Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Treadmill Rants

I did a thirty minute hill workout on the Treadmill Tuesday and the following rants came to mind (which I've lazily copied from my Twitter feed) ...

#1- #espn I've seen the same Julius Peppers highlight package at least 100 times. I'm having sack flashbacks 24-7...

#2- #espn The first fifty times you told us that the Chargers cut LT it was a newsflash. Now it's more like a newsrash...
9:44 PM Feb 23rd via Tweetie

#3- #lafitness no one wants to watch soap operas at lunch
9:45 PM Feb 23rd via Tweetie

#4- #CNN 'Broken Government' ? That's it, inflame rather than inform...
9:46 PM Feb 23rd via Tweetie

#5- college and pro ball sports athletes. Less chest-thumping, less parading. More effort.
9:47 PM Feb 23rd via Tweetie

Seriously. If I paraded around like that at the end of a 5K, JB would tell me not to come to any more of his races...
9:48 PM Feb 23rd via Tweetie

#6 Spandex- use it wisely. A LOT more wisely...
9:49 PM Feb 23rd via Tweetie

#7- Holy sh!t. I just got hot sauce and vinegar in my eye. Rant over.
9:49 PM Feb 23rd via Tweetie

Sunday, February 21, 2010

2010 Time Trial #1

Did my first self-imposed time trial of the year.

6.66 miles.

On my mountain bike.

It felt good to get out there, and just hammer away for 20 minutes or so. It was a viscously windy day, so I was averaging 20+ when the wind was at my back and 16 into the wind. I'd forgotten how hard it is to ride the bike going all out for that long and on top of it, I think Margit may have moved my seat down, making the ride even more challenging.

I rode around the Hammerfest course and then over to Zanes, dropped my bike for a tune-up and ran easy back home (going the short way). It was a nice 45 minute add-on to my early morning run and I'm looking forward to doing it again after the bike is tuned-up.

After all, Brian's is a month away...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Snow Day ?

For most people, a snow day is supposed to be like a vacation day. For me, not so much. We opened late at ten am today, and I think I probably had a day a lot like many of my co-workers and friends.

There was a lot of driving, a lot of shoveling, a lot of updating the website at work and sending out text messages, reorganizing schedules...It was not an easy relaxing day, and not just because my phone rings at 5:15 am and I'm the one that has to updates websites and send out text messages to let people know there's a delay.

Nevertheless, I did get to spend an hour sledding with my son and he clearly enjoyed it- that alone made the 90 minutes of shoveling worth the effort.

Did you get to enjoy the day ?

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Sweetheart 4 Miler

Another cold day race. As I warmed up I debated stripping off the tights but decided against it. It was pretty cold and raw, after all, and I still was pretty lightly dressed. Then I saw Charlie Hornak in shorts and thought to myself 'Oh man, I'm a wuss.'

Before the race I was joking with Charlie and Tim Cote that we were the only three that actually wanted to race. No one else was actually at the starting line except us. Then suddenly, at the last possible moment, out came the horde. I've never understood this. If it's cold out, you'd better get outside and acclimate...

Pretty soon everyone was organized and off we went. I picked on Rob Baker right away, he was off to the right, and lined-up on him. There were five or six guys really in front of us as we started out, plus a few kids everyone knew wouldn't last.

The race starts out on a downhill, and it's a steady, fast downhill, not steep, but you are running fast. I could tell I was in for a long four miles of battling with people. I was just trying to hold my own as we hit the turn and then really went downhill. It was quickly clear that four or five of the guys were just going to run away and there was nothing to do about it. Then we hit the first uphill and I settled in and tried to run at 90%. Keep climbing, but pushing hills early is a surefire way to lose whatever place you should be able to hold.

At the top of the hill you hook and left and it's flat and this part of the course is kind of like a flat section in the Winter Wonderland race. It doesn't last though and you're climbing again, a shorter but steep climb. Tim, Rob and I had settled in to running together and there was some give and take between us with no one really getting an edge. At the top of the climb it's a right and then it's flat again.

I was having trouble keeping contact here and everyone was taking short pulls off the front. Rob and Tim almost collided at one point and then I saw the water table up ahead. I wanted to get in front of them and do the same thing I'd done last year, which was grab the water and dump it over my head to be intimidating.

I know. Silly.

I couldn't get out of third position. I still took the water and dumped it over my head. It's what I do.

I wasn't done yet.

We were still jockeying and then we took one more turn and we were finally back on a downhill, and it's a doozy. We took turns leading down the hills and were a tight pack as we turned left and ran through a flat section. We were tight, there was some very minimal arm bumps with apologies (mine, I believe), and we took the final turn that takes you to the biggest hill.

It's actually downhill first before the big uphill and both Tim and Rob pushed it here.

I was waiting for the hill and went into it behind both of them. I climbed as hard and as fast as I could, but I still felt like I was almost walking towards the top (I wasn't). We came over the top and I tried and tried to push as we went into the downhill.

I still felt like I could catch them as we bottomed out, took the last right onto the main road, and ran as hard as we could. But it was a mistake to ever let the two of them get a gap. Working off each other while I worked alone 4 seconds became 6, then 8, then 10.

I ran a decent race, I challenged tactically and repeatedly, but I just didn't have the speed or the endurance to take either of them. I felt like Rob ran a real solid and steady race, and Tim is looking like he's going to have a great triathlon season.

I was disappointed that I didn't run faster (24:46 or so) or place higher (9th). But I did win my age group and Margit and I won our combined age group and were a top 5 couple.

Not too bad.

But I have a lot of work to do.

Monday, February 08, 2010

The Refugee 5K Run

Sometimes I go into a race I've never done before with no idea what I have coming, and Run for Refuges would be a great example of this.

5ks in February are not exactly my specialty. I don't think I raced in February last year.

Dick Korby and i went to the race together, getting there early enough to run the entire course for a warm-up. This was a great idea. It was also, if my concentration on spinning and light running lately can be discounted, the reason I didn't run a faster race.

Did I mention how fraking cold it was ? It was so cold (about 23 degrees) that after the race the race director told me that since it was under 25 degrees at race time I should have worn tights. Since this was John Bysiewicz (JB), I think he must know what the hell he's talking about. More on that later.

So Dick and I headed out and ran the course as a warm-up. Because we started at almost ten after nine, I was a little worried about getting the entire course in. This concern only intensified when we actually started climbing up in East Rock. Unlike Dick, I'd never run here and had not consulted the race course map. So I was surprised by how far up we ran, especially how far we ran after taking the right hand turn.

Just when I was ready to turn around and head back we actually made it to the turn-around. I got a feel for the run back- except for one short uphill section and a flat last tenth of a mile, it would be a downhill run.

I headed back, Dick and I separating and I started to think about whether to ditch the tights and lightweight cycling jacket. I wanted to be tough, but I didn't want to be so cold that it hurt my performance.

I went ahead and dressed down to bike shorts, a bike jersey and arm-warmers and I lined-up.

Then we were off. There were a lot of kids at the front, and I mean a lot of kids. Too many kids. It was pretty hard determining who all was legit and who was ready to quit, so I just started running. My goal was not to overcook the climb, based on my first run up. It was clear two of the guys were well off the front and there was five or six of us in the b mix, with another 2-3 more hangers on. We were trying to follow decent lines up the hill.

I found myself up against the side of the road, near the guardrail, and the same guy that elbowed me at Winter Wonderland made a move to pass me. He cut it too tight, cutting me off and kicking me in the knee on his back stroke.

As he pulled away I snapped 'You just have to make contact every race' but I'm sure he didn't hear me.

There was a surprising amount of back and forth as we climbed and looking back, I know that I was going too slow and saving too much.

We hit the turn-around and I felt like that was when the race was starting, for me at least. I can run downhill pretty well for a guy as short as I am because I'm willing to open up my stride. I ran by one of the guys that I'd been back and forth with and he complimented me on my pace. That was huge- it really gave me a boost at a point that I was starting to struggle. I opened it up even more, and settled in. I wasn't moving up or moving down.

I also wasn't breaking 18 minutes.

There wasn't a lot of action in that last mile. We were spread out and we stayed spread out and then it was over.

I think going out and running the course ahead of time was great, but I think I took the wrong lesson away, which was to take it easy on the way up. I left too much in the tank.

Lesson learned.

But hey- look at those feet.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Running 5Ks

Running 5ks is not easy.

It makes me wonder exactly why I want to run another one. As of tomorrow, I'll have raced 5 times since Ironman Arizona, a 4 mile cross country race, a 5 miler, and 3 5ks.

5ks are kind of like doing time trial workouts on the trainer, or well, anything I do in the pool, which is to say that when I finish one, I'm pretty well done. So it might be better to say that what I'm really looking forward to is tomorrow's 5K being over with, at which time I can concentrate on getting ready for our annual Super Bowl party.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Super Bowl Prediction

Just to get it down on the blog here:

Colts 31, Saints 13

Thinking- the Colts have shown that their offense is resilient. Look at the Jets game or going back at a little farther, the Texans game. The Colts might not put the ball in the end zone in the first drive or two, but the offense will get on track. I also think that the Saints can be run on and the Colts will look to use the run to move the ball and reduce the pressure on the passing game.

On the other hand, the Saints have a true rhythm offense, and teams have show the Colts what the blueprint for disrupting that offense is. I think the Colts defense has been underrated all season and has what it takes to take the Saints out of their game.