Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Recovery Week

The past week was one of the easier weeks I’ve had in quite some time from a workout perspective. Two off days (yes, I cheated and swam on one of them – trying to work on form and relaxation) plus a number of shorter distance runs (except for the 9 miles last Tuesday, which included runs up a “short hill”). Note to Coach Andrew – if a workout takes place in whole, or in part, on a “hill” and I am running 100-200 meter sprints up this “hill”, the “hill” cannot be called a “short hill”!

If you’ve ever been to Alexandria, VA and know where the George Washington Masonic Temple is located (near King Street Metro) – you have an idea of where this so-called “short hill” can be found (on King Street going away from Old Town). Note also there is no mention of “steepness”. Note to self – next time find a short, less steep hill to run on. If you’ve been there you know what I mean. At any rate – since the “hill work” phase of my marathon training is now done it seemed like a good time to complain.

Next up is the “speed work” and that continues on Tuesday’s through the end of September. I’ll try to keep comments to myself on that until it’s done. Second note to self – visualize that this part of your training is taking place in Jimmy Smith Park – you will feel like you are running much faster (a 3 rock 3 bench run) than you actually are, and you’ll be laughing. Note to teammates - iD leadership (JM) can explain and maybe he’ll even show us “the movie” at camp in November.

The “distance work” will continue to lengthen over the next few weeks as well. I’ve got a nice route from Alexandria to Arlington (which goes right by where I used to live and overlooks the Pentagon) with a couple hills incorporated (I will not be sprinting during that portion of the workout and the word “short” is not associated with the word “hill” in this case). This will help me remember and prepare for the fact that although Chicago is flat, St. George is definitely not…like I need a visual on that one…I’m not laughing either. Since some readers may not have been to St. George the chart below shows the "hills" on the marathon portion of the IMSG. Note that the bike portion is pretty much the same.

This morning’s 14-miler was not easy – I experienced some cramping in the calves (probably dehydrated given the amount of water I’ve put into my body today) and found out that I have a bruise on the bottom of my right foot (no clue how that got there), so the last 3 miles were exceptionally slow (not that I typically qualify my running as fast either).

This weekend is my second Olympic distance tri – this one taking place at one of Georgia’s State Parks. It has a two lap swim (with a run on the beach in the middle I think), a shorter bike ride than Chattanooga, and a two lap run (part on trails). As a result I’m hoping the time is a little faster and the fan club will get to see me a couple times. I’m also looking forward to getting the new Triabetes Tri Kit (my uniform) for this race as well. Rumor has it that the artwork is great! After that I have one 5k (and maybe one 10k due to the need for that distance and a race pace on one of the upcoming workouts) and 3 more weekend tri races that will take me through the middle of September. From there I’ll have a week to get a 20 mile run completed and then taper (looking forward to that part) before the Chicago race.

To sum it up, I have a several busy weeks between now and Chicago 10/10/10 – but the workout program seems to be working well based on my 5k time from a couple weeks ago and the progress I’m seeing in the tri events (which are still not where I’d like them to be). Tune in next week to see how things go this weekend.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Christmas in July

Overall a busy week with some good training, and presents!! Early in the week I attended a Braves game in DC with some friends (Jay and Kathy Willson and their sons Nolan and Liam) from St. Edwards in Lawrenceville. It was one of the few times the Nationals sold out (Strasburg was scheduled to pitch) – standing room only, which worked well because they had a table in the restaurant and we managed to stay there for the entire game. The Braves lost – however, we had a nice time catching up.

Blair Ryan and her sister Alison arrived Tuesday night. I met with them briefly that night and they did a 6 mile run with me Wed. morning (Alison ran, Blair rode and took video). I admire the effort both of them put forth on this trip across the US to cover the Triabetes atheletes. If you haven’t seen the site, check out There are some pictures of my favorite athlete and part of his story posted there now - as well as some great shots and articles on his team.

Thursday morning we were up pretty early (out the door by 5) – so was the humidity and I think her camera lenses fogged up. Blair stopped to take some video as we were heading out – we managed to lose her in the first mile – circled back and found her – then continued on a 14 mile run (with hills just for fun). Alison ran most of the way with me, she and Blair switched about half way, but there is a slight height differential between the two of them (those who have met them both can attest) – and Blair’s bike doesn’t quite work with Alison’s slightly shorter stature (it is important to be able to put feet on the peddles and use the brakes at the same time, especially when going downhill). By the time we were done with 12 miles I was completely drenched (and the sun was just coming up) – might as well have been a torrential downpour. Got some water and slogged through the last 2 or so miles of Old Town Alexandria with Blair who was nice enough to keep a “moderate” pace so I could keep up. Headed back to Atlanta Thursday night – a wonderful light show outside on the eastern seaboard as we headed south (on yet another delayed flight).

Santa Claus (in the form of the UPS driver) arrived Friday with my XTerra wetsuit (like I’ll need that in the 86 degree lake water). I also got some swimming videos (courtesy of the US mailman) and to top it all off I got my loaner Dexcom CGM for a week!! I’ve had fun playing with it since then – seeing what happens when I eat certain things – for example: cereal and pizza. Don’t think I’ll do Chinese or Mexican at this point. It’s a plus to able to see what’s going on – even if there is a bit of a time lag – and even if it didn’t work when I did my 5k race Sunday (the rep says it can have a hard time registering rapid changes in BG – I’m thinking it was the blazing speed I had Sunday morning…or maybe the blazing sun – who knows).

Had a short (one-hour) ride at Stone Mountain Saturday and support team members Jolanta, Nicole and Martin made use of the playground area. I also took Victor and his friend Jake to Camp Kudzu to help unload the truck carrying the camp supplies. Fortunately the rain we ran into on the way up didn’t last too long so the only one that got soaked was me in humid air in the back of the 53’ trailer. Sunday was a 5k race which Andrew included as part of this week’s training regime. Did a 10 minute warm up lap (and the heat and humidity made it very warm) then had a good run from Centennial Olympic Park up toward Ga. Tech and back. There were about four hundred runners and I ended up placing in the top 80 (ego boost after the other races I’ve been doing recently – maybe it was the warm up?). Went to the pool with Martin and Nicole in the afternoon – he enjoys splashing the water with his hands (something he tries to practice with the dog’s water dish at home when he can – which isn’t frequently, even though he tries). Maybe that would help my swimming?

Looking forward to the coming week which should be one of rest/recovery (no double digit miles except for the bike ride Saturday) as well as using the CGM.