Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Dad's 5k PR and Other Stuff

March 11-17

Swim: 4640yds, 2 swims
Bike: 1:25, 1 ride
Run: 47 miles, 6 runs
Total: 8:23, 9 workouts

            It was a crazy week, but I didn’t get much training done. Hey, you’re only young once—may as well enjoy it while you can. I love training, but if I had to pick between going to swim at 6am, or sleep in, lay out on the beach all day, and stay out til midnight (so late, I know)…with that said, it was my highest run mileage week in quite some time!

          My Friend from Cocoa Beach

           Well, Monday I was enjoying my last day at the beach. We were at Cocoa Beach, and I actually enjoyed it more that Daytona Beach—it was warmer, and it seemed like a more relaxing place. Monday was also the first day of break that I felt like I could actually relax, and didn’t have to focus on racing, homework, or anything else. Tuesday, dad and I made the trip home to end our spring break adventure. I still managed to get my track workout in at Middle Tennessee State University!

 Woohoo! College Basketball!

            Thursday I went to the Nebraska and Purdue tournament game with my friend Matt. He is a huge Purdue fan, but as an Indiana fan, I had to root for Nebraska. Following the game we went to Joliet for a Thousand Foot Krutch concert. I forgot how good TFK is, and they put on an awesome show! I know, it sounds like I was having fun all day—which I was—but, I still did my tempo run in the morning. AND I swam…which may or may not have been my first day in the pool in a while.

 Somehow we're still friends after all these years.

            Finally, and most important, Sunday was my favorite day of spring break. Dad and I went to run a 5k, and I got to pace him through to a new PR. He had run 29:15 (9:24/mile) in August, and I had been bugging him to run another one sometime soon. He finally caved in and agreed to run a 5k on St Patrick’s Day. He swore before the race that he would run 27:00-28:00 and that is the fastest he could run. I have been watching his workouts and I knew he was 25:00-26:00 shape, but I let him pick the pace. Our first mile was 8:35, and dad was feeling good. I wanted him to pick it up just a little bit, but he said no. The course was an out and back. When we got to the turnaround I told dad we needed to pick it up a little bit. He said “k” and tucked in behind me to let me block the wind. Our 2nd mile was 8:31. At this pace, I knew it was going to be a PR, but I wanted him to keep on pushing. When we had about 1200 m left I told dad we were going to try and pick it up. I noticed that he kept running farther and farther to the left, so I said, “run a straight line—why run more distance than you have to?” And dad replied with, “I’m running with my eyes closed so I can’t see how far I have left to go!” It took everything I had to not laugh at him. Our 3rd mile was 8:12! The last 0.1 was :47 for a total of 26:05 (8:24/mile)! It was definitely a great day, and a confidence booster going into the Lincoln Presidential Half Marathon on April 6. I cannot wait to see how his first half marathon goes!

He looks fine 10 minutes after the 5k--we're running harder next time!

Song of the Week!

TFK with Matt and Me!

Did you race over St Patrick’s Day weekend? How did it go?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Bitter or Better

March 4-10
Swim: some
Bike: a bit
Run: yep
Total: too lazy to actually go back and look

It was a normal week…until Wednesday. On Wednesday, Dad and I took off down the road for Florida.  I was just in Daytona Beach in December, and I was not looking forward to the same ride—I knew it was a few hours longer than I wanted to be in a vehicle. Long story short, we stopped in Nashville on the way down so I could try one of the Fat Mo’s burgers…it was great. Anyway, we made it most of the way on Wednesday.

After a short drive on Thursday, we finally made it to Clermont. I went to the National Training Center to do a workout on the track, and dad was busy making friends with the coaches of the local 5k training group. After my run, I ended up talking to them for a little bit too, and found out one of them would be working the transition area on Saturday. (more on that later)

 Looks like a nice place to relax!

Friday is where things go interesting. We went to the course in the afternoon to check things out—apparently everybody else had the same idea. I was quickly regretting not bringing a wetsuit. The water was a lovely 62 degrees at 1 in the afternoon, and I knew it was not going to be getting any warmer. Wonderful. I got in the water and do some swimming, and the water really didn’t feel that cold, and I felt like I had a decent feel for the water. Going into the race I wasn’t worried about the swim, and that just confirmed that I would be fine. After the swim, I went out for a couple loops on the bike course, just to make sure everything was working…it was! I was ready to go.

 It didn't seem so cold on Friday...

Friday night we had packet pick up, and a pre race meeting. I don’t think I was even slightly nervous for the race until they started discussing being lapped out. Going into the race I knew there was a chance that I could be lapped out, but I was confident enough in my swim ability that it wouldn’t happen. I know that I am not the strongest swimmer, but I had spent the last 4 months working on it, and I had seen big improvements in the pool. After the meeting was over, dad and I went for a quick dinner, then back to the hotel to relax.

Okay, race morning…it was cold in Florida! I think it was mid 40s when we got to the park around 6:15am. The first few minutes were spent parking, and unloading the truck. Then I did my 2 mile warm up jog just to get the legs moving. After that I spent about 20 minutes on the trainer at a pretty easy pace with a few pickups in there just to get the legs moving. After the ride, I got in line to get my chip. Everything was feeling good, and the check in process was simple. I set up transition, and had a few minutes to get down to the lake. I did a 10 minute swim warm up before they called us back to the beach to get our starting position. The 5-10 minutes we were standing out of the water seemed like 5 hours (remember I did not have a wetsuit on, and it was probably 48 degrees). We walked out into the calf deep water to take out starting position, and shortly late the gun went off.

This is the good part. Okay, so maybe it isn’t the good part. Water temp was 58-62 degrees depending on who you ask, but all I know is I was cold! I felt like I was swimming well, but apparently I was not. I exited the water in 15:13…I know I can swim better than that. But it is what it is. When I saw 15:00 on the clock I knew my day was done—I needed to be sub 13:30 to even have a chance at finishing…which I thought was a realistic goal going into the race. Oh well, I continued the run up to T1 and got on my bike.

 All by myself :(

At this point I knew there were a few guys maybe 25 seconds up, and a couple behind me. If I had any chance of surviving the bike I needed to catch that pack, but I knew it would not be easy. I could see that I only had maybe a minute on the lead pack when I was ½ way through my first lap…not good!  I was gaining on the pack ahead of me, but the lead pack was gaining on us! At the turnaround for lap 2 I could see that I had maybe 15 seconds on the lead group. Could I hold off the lead pack for another 2 laps? Most likely not. But I sure as hell was going to try. I ended up making a decent dent into the gap of the pack ahead of me, but got lapped out at lap 2. Was I upset? No. I was more embarrassed than anything, because I know I can do better! I just really shot myself in the foot with an awful swim—always bring the wetsuit! But the good news is my new friend, Jeremy from the NTC, was at the Transition area! So, at least I had somebody to talk to! Dad was busy volunteering out on the course!

For the next few hours I sat with Jeremy, and watched the pro races from the transition area. I got to pick the brain of somebody that works at the NTC. I got to soak up some good information. I got to see all the action up close. Draft legal racing really is pretty awesome to watch! It was pretty dang awesome to see all of the ITU pros flying by! After the race I even got to take a picture with Richard Murray!

So…Here are a few things I have come up with since race day.

1.  ALWAYS bring the wetsuit!

2.  Bitter or Better (I actually was wearing that shirt for a while after the race!)
            *It is not the end of the world.
            *Swim still needs A LOT of work—we’ll get there.
            *Just motivation to keep working on the weakness.

3. Draft legal racing is a new challenge. All racing is a challenge, but this really excites me.
            *I think it could be fun if I get that swim time down.

4. Clermont was still a good experience.
            *Let me know that my swim is still weaker than I though.
            *Good advice/tips talking with Jeremy.
            *Up close experience watching from transition area. 
            *Call me crazy, but I actually want to go back 

 (Top 3 Men) 

Now it is time to get ready for the track season! What is your next race?

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Feb 25-March 3rd, and a Thank You or Two...

Swim: 12,620, 4 swims
Bike: 2:35, 2 rides
Run: 37.5 miles, 5 runs.
Total: 10:53

Well, this was quite the interesting week. My swims were feeling great, my runs felt easy, and biking felt okay—then I fell on my cool down on Thursday. There was probably only one patch of ice on the ground in this town, and I happened to find it on Thursday evening. I was about a quarter mile from home, and oops… I found the ice patch. I put my hand out to stop it, but I ended up falling on my hand and landing on my ribs. It wouldn’t have been that bad, except I hadn’t done my swim workout yet. L Unfortunately I had to skip my Thursday swim workout, and I hate skipping workouts. To make things worse, this all happened less than 24 hours before leaving for Stevens Point! Luckily by Friday evening this were feeling okay.

 (I may hate skipping workouts...but...the pool was a little freaky on Sunday.)

On Satuurday, I ran the 5k at UW Stevens Point, and ended up setting a 16 second PR—15:34. I raced smart, and things worked out. I stated the season with a track PR of 16:01, and got it down to 15:50 at the first meet. Then 15:34 at Stevens Point. I am happy with my time, although I was hoping I could run sub 15:30 indoor this year. I definitely think this indoor season has been a great stepping stone leading to outdoor track. What does outdoor hold for me? I am not sure yet. I now have to make the choice of focusing on the longer stuff (5k/10k) or dropping back down to the 400m/800m/1500m. I know the 4x800m will be one of our main focuses this outdoor season—we want that record! I am also thinking I would like to take a crack at getting back onto out 4x400m relay! With that said, I think it would be awesome to go sub 15:00 in a 5k, and we have a perfect line up of meets that could make that possible. Who knows, maybe I will go sub 15, while gaining back my spot on the 4x400m, and being part of the 4x800m record setting team?

I would just like to take the time to say thank you to my teammates at Greenville. I know I only get to practice with y’all a few days a week, but this has been one of my favorite seasons yet! With the way my swim/bike/run schedule is set up, and a Monday evening class, it makes it hard to be there all the time. I am just lucky to have the supportive teammates that I do! I honestly enjoy spending as much time with y’all ask I can. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of y’all, while pursuing another dream of mine.

Also, thank you to coach Steve! I am excited for Clermont Draft Legal on March 9. I have enjoyed the last 4 months or so of training--it has been challenging, but very satisfying. I have learned many things, and I have pushed myself beyond what I would have if I were making my own plans.  I have no doubt that I am ready to race, and I am looking forward to the new experience! 

Song of the Week

Have a great week!  What are your goals for this spring?!