Nov 30, 2006

November Month End

Here's my month end totals for November 2006.

  • Swim - 3,500 yds - 1 hr
  • Bike - 279 miles - 17 hrs
  • Run - 52.9 miles - 9hrs 20 mins

Pretty light on the swimming, but I'm working on trying to find a Master's group to swim with. My biking was solid, and the run as well as I'm getting more consistent with my workouts. Interesting to compare to last year, numbers were as follows.

November 2005

  • Swim - 5,500 yds - 2 hrs 20 mins
  • Bike - 93 miles - 5 1/4 hrs
  • Run - 21 miles - 3hrs 30 mins

2005 was my first real year of training all year round, and I was still having a lot of trouble running without getting injured then. I went from 215 hours of training in 2005 to close to 300 this year.

I'm aiming for 350 - 400 hours in 2007.


Nov 27, 2006

Manchester Road Race

Just a bit damp...

The Manchester Road Race is run on Thanksgiving day in Manchester every year for the last 70 years. I haven't been running for quite that long, but it is a race I enjoy. This year we had the biggest contingent from my family as there were 6 of us who braved the "chance of rain" to head to the start. We were dwarfed by the 12k or so other runners who also made their way to Main Street in Manchester for the 4.8 mile race.

Myself, my uncle, my brother, 2 brothers-in-law, 2 sisters-in-law and my father-in-law headed out in the light rain to the start area. My uncle needed to use the bathroom, so we waited in line a bit before shedding my shell pants, and since the wait was a bit longer than expected, we ended up at the back of the start line, not a good position if you are trying to run fast. However, I was not concerned since this would be the first race of this distance for a few of my companions. As usual, the gun went off and we stopped. Sensing this was the right moment to cheer us up, the skies opened completely and it began to pour. The temperature stayed just above freezing so we could enjoy the rain and still be really cold. Good times while you wait!

It took just over 5 minutes to get to the start line, but we began jogging at that point, and began the trip up the hill for the first 2 miles. I ran with my uncle, and we spent most of those first two miles dodging other runners and walkers, occasionally darting on the sidewalk and embankment to get around slower runners. It finally began to thin out as we headed down the hill for the start of mile three. I missed the first mile marker, but hit my watch at 2 miles in 20:48, not bad considering we were fighting traffic the whole time.

My goals for the race were pretty simple, have fun and beat my uncle and brother :) Since I was the only one besides my sister-in-law and father-in-law that really trains seriously, this shouldn't be do hard, but the repurcussions of letting one of the others beat me would have been serious. Both my uncle and brother are decent athletes, and my uncle in particular has always managed to be just a little better than me in most sports so it would be pretty important to keep him in his place in this race! With that being said, going into the 3rd mile, my uncle was right with me and I figured I needed to drop him early since he would have all the motivation he needed to outsprint me if he could see me at the end. With that in mind, I opened the throttle and went to my top speed, about 8 minute pace :) Not extremely fast, but I knew I could hold it and he probably couldn't. The strategy worked, as he slowly faded from view behind me (at least as far as I could tell, it was still pretty crowded). I went hard to the line and finished in 42:23, a new personal best for me at this race.

After finishing I hung out in the chute freezing and waited for the others. It turned out that only 1 person beat me, my sister-in-law (a very good runner) in 36 minutes or so. Overall a very fun race, although it was very cold!!

Afterwards, a good Thanksgiving with lots of turkey, potatoes and stuffing (the big 3)


Nov 20, 2006

Over the hump

It had been a tough week with the funeral on Monday, but I'm feeling much better at this point. I went for a run yesterday from my house to the cemetary and back, and it's a really peaceful place. Exercise has become a stress-reliever for me, something I never thought I would say. Riding my bike especially can be relaxing and good time for thought, but even running you can focus on your breathing and enjoy the scenery around you.

Good to see Uncle Rick too, welcome home!


Nov 16, 2006

A Big Loss

I've struggled for a while thinking about how to write about this subject, but I'm going to attempt it...

As you may have noticed, there is a section to the right regarding the Janus Charity Challenge, a fund-raiser to support cancer research that I'm doing as part of my goals for participating in Ironman USA next year. It seemed like an appropriate thing to do, using my push towards achieving a huge goal, to raise awareness, and help in the fight against cancer.

One of the primary reasons I choose cancer research was that my grandmother was diagnosed with cancer about 10 months ago. This was a pretty tough blow for me, Grandma Carol was a major part of my life, being 40 years old when I was born. I spent much of my childhood being raised by both my parents and grandparents. My brother and I, my oldest cousin and my youngest uncles where all within 5 years or so of each other and spent a great deal of time together at my grandparent's house. I had been fortunate in my life, not being greatly affected by the ravages of this terrible disease, but when it struck, it hit in a spot that really hurt.

I can't do much to help my grandmother in her battle against the disease, she's passed away this past week. I can try to keep her memory alive, and do what I can to lessen the impact of cancer on others. Please read her obituary for just a few details on this remarkable woman.

Thanks for reading, and if you can help please consider donating something to cancer research whether it be your time or money. The charity I selected is doing good work, and can benefit from your help, but really anything you can do to help in any way is appreciated.


Oct 27, 2006

Planning a year

It's time to lay out my training plan for the upcoming season, and I've been trying to combine Rich Strauss and Gordo Byrne's ideas on training. Both of these coaches suggest a lot of time in or under AeT as a way to build base endurance. This means the majority of your training time is long and slow, in Zones 1 & 2. This should do a couple things for me, first it gives me the ability to simply complete the Ironman distance race, at heart a test of endurance. Secondly, exercise in that zone is also ideal for bodyfat reduction another area I need to work on. I have a goal of losing another 20 lbs to get under 200 lbs for the race in July.

I'll post more as it comes together, but I'm aiming for minimums of 3 days per week in each sport starting in November. Then, every other week I'll add either an additional bike or an additional run. The second bike week should fall on a recovery week, and this additional ride would be very easy.

The end goal of the plan will be to have minimum 4 rides of 6 hours plus, 4 runs of close to 3 hours and 4 swims of 1.5 hours. I'm hoping the swims will be in Crystal Lake in the spring since spending that kind of time in the pool isn't a lot of fun. In addition, I will be doing the Mooseman 1/2 Ironman distance the first weekend in June.

I have a spreadsheet where I track most of this data, and will publish it as I fill it out.


Oct 16, 2006

Hartford 1/2 Marathon Race Report

My last big challenge for the year was the Hartford 1/2 Marathon on Saturday the 14th. It would be my first attempt at the distance, and part of the progression of my run focus for the last month and 1/2. I've been running between 4 and 5 times a week in an attempt to strengthen and stretch out my running. Prior to this race, the longest distance I've competed in was 10k, although I've done a few 10k's as part of a triathlon.

Training had been going well, I did 2 runs of 11 miles, and had been fairly consistent at just over 10 minute pace for the long runs. I had a great run on Monday where I did 8 miles at race pace, just under 10 minute miles and kept my heart rate pretty consistent in Zone 3. My goal for the 1/2 marathon was 2:15, figuring that I could handle that pace pretty consistently. A stretch goal would be to come in under 2:11, and break the 10 minute mile barrier. As a comparison, my 10k P.R. was 58:41 for a 9:28 pace.

It was a relatively flat course, and turned out to be both well attended by spectators and runners, so there was always a lot of other folks on the course with me. I started a decent ways back with Jon, a friend from work who was also running his first 1/2 marathon. It took a minute or two to get over the mats after the gun went off, but I started my watch and off we went. Right away, I wasn't feeling too great and rethinking my decision to go for a 30 mile bike ride the day before. I quickly told myself that this was just part of my training for Lake Placid 2007 and that I didn't need to run really fast for it to be successful. We went through the 1rst mile in 10:02 though, so it was reassuring to be right on pace. The second mile was a bit uphill, but familiar since it is the course that I ride on the way into work although this time going over the river we got to go on the highway bridge instead of the attached footpath area that I have to usually take on my bike. The second mile was 10:46, and my legs were still a bit leaden. Things improved a bit as I hit the first water stop and grabbed some Gatorade, well at least that's what they claimed it was. There wasn't a whole lot of mix in the water I suspect, but you did get a tinge of flavor. Third mile was 9:24, and I thought "Whoa, better back off a bit". Fourth and fifth were 10:21 and 10:22, but my legs started to feel really good, so I stretched it out a little bit.

As the miles continued to tick past and my legs continued to feel good I kept a good pace and began to have thoughts of negative splitting, middle miles were 9:47, 9:38, 9:33, 9:20 and 9:31. At this point, I was over 10 miles and feeling great. I could feel my goal was within my grasp and felt better than I could have imagined feeling. Every time I hit the lap button and saw 9 something I would shake my head in disbelief, and say "I can't believe I feel this good". While not real fast, I felt like I was racing instead of just trying to finish the run. I've never really considered myself much of a runner, so this was just a great, great feeling. The excitement picked me up and pushed me forward hard, mile 11 was 8:59! Yep, you knew it was coming, I got a bit too excited and suddenly it hurt, mile 12 was a bit of a struggle both mentally and physically. At this point I knew I would finish, and probably exceed expectations as long as I didn't totally fall apart, so I told myself to try to recover a bit and then go hard the last mile. Coincidently, we also hit a steep but short hill. Mile 12 was 10:40, but I got my wind back a bit and started to pick it up to come home. I wasn't really familiar with the finish, so I kept waiting for the course to end however I was able to stay really strong. I managed to pass a ton of people, as it seemed like many were slowing down at this point and I really picked it up. The final 1.1 miles went by in 9:21 and I was thrilled to start running down the chute with 2:07:xx still showing on my watch! What a great feeling to finish, knowing I had exceeded my goals!

After cooling down, grabbing some food and getting a free massage, I was still on a high feeling like I can do this! It's been a great season, and I still have a few short runs to do this fall for fun. I'm going to try to bring my daughter on 1 or 2 since I don't need to race any of them any more to have had a successful year.


Sep 28, 2006

Bike adaptation

Whoohoo, my new bike is here! I decided to get a tri bike since I've been doing triathlons for three years on my road bike and I’m going to be doing IMLP next year. I wanted to do it right, so I went up to Fitwerx in VT, and had them fit me. This weekend, I went and picked up my new black Guru Cron`Alu. I’m thinking of naming it Gerald… an obscure reference to a Pink Floyd tune (Extra points for naming the song)

In any case, being excited about the bike, I go for a spin on Tuesday evening. Hmm… going from a roadbike setup to spending an hour in the aero position is different. So, anyone have thoughts on how quick the adaptation will be, any exercises to do off the bike to help. My riding time is a bit limited at the moment, I’m training for the Hartford ½ marathon in a few weeks. For the record, it’s mostly my next that is sore, although the forearms aren’t feeling great either.


Sep 13, 2006

Don't Ask...

I need the image :)


Sep 1, 2006

Winding trails wrap up

Well, this Tuesday was the last race of the season at Winding Trails. It poured the whole time, the course was a muddy mess, but it couldn't have been more fun! My brother, brother-in-law, uncle, cousin, and a friend were there and it was a big party! It's a lot of fun to have more people around, and we attended the after party together. Lots of good door prizes (I didn't win my age group :) ), I won a $75 gift certificate to a jewelry store.

Good series this year, I had fun and also improved. I'm definitly better at the long slow stuff, but the sprints are still fun!


Aug 29, 2006

Reeling them in...

I've been spreading the word, and getting a lot of folks interested in triathlons. The short sprint tri that I do on Tuesday is the perfect distance to try if you feel like seeing what it's like to race.

It's a 1/4 mile swim, so that part is not as intimidating to newbies, and the rest is off-road so it sounds like a lot of fun to most people. This season I've managed to get an uncle, a cousin, two friends, and now my brother to give it a try. So far they all love it, and it makes it fun for me to be the "big brother" type to help them all out.

Don'tcha love this sport??.


Aug 23, 2006


I'm a hurtin puppy! Crashed on my mountain bike during the Farmington Race last Tuesday night and I've been out of condition with muscle spasms in my neck and back for the week and 1/2 since. Spent 3 days lying on the couch in a drugged stupor and the next four days in quite a bit of pain. I'm hoping to be back in the game and go for a run tomorrow morning but we'll see how it goes.

Hopefully this will be the last injury I get during my training for next years IM but we'll see.


Aug 15, 2006

Busy Weekend

Fun and exciting weekend, I got fit and bought a new bike and I heard back from the charity I selected to represent for the Janus Charity Challenge.

Spent Saturday driving to and from Fitwex in Vermont for my bike fit with Sarah and Ian. Absolutely worth the trip!! I ulitmately picked out a Guru Cron'Alu, and have ordered it. The folks at Fitwerx spent 3 hours with me, measuring and adjusting and fiddling until I felt really comfortable in the aero position. Ian showed me how I could be more comfortable without compromising aerodynamics by videotaping my position from the side while he adjusted the bike. I feel really confident about my decision, which was critical considering the cost.

The second item of interest was that I heard back from Scott from The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, the charity that I've selected to represent for the Janus Charity Challenge. I've signed up, and hope to raise some money for cancer research.


Aug 9, 2006

Mental Breakthrough

There is a local sprint race that runs every Tues. night during the summer that is quite a bit of fun. It's called the Winding Trails Tri-Training series, and is a 1/4 mile swim, 5 mile mountain-bike, and 3.1 mile trail run. This is the race that first got me started in Triathlon's 3 years ago, and has been a lot of fun ever since. My best ever time was 1:05:14 last year, and I've been struggling with my pace since most of my training is more long distance oriented.

Last night I set a new record in 1:03:37 by finally breaking through mentally. I'm not a great runner, and have struggled to run under 30 minutes at this race. Part of the issue is that I think that I'm not a good runner... but also I haven't really pushed. Last night I felt pretty good, but mostly I decided to just go for it, and deal with the pain. I've often heard that sprint racing is tougher mentally because to excel you simply need to go as hard as you can without worrying about blowing up. I feel like I finally turned the corner last night as I ended up running in the 27 minute range, hurting most of the way but really pushing hard the whole way. It feels great today to know that I can really run the whole course instead of just managing the race.

Now if I can break an hour...


Aug 7, 2006

Vacation week is over

Back from vacation at the cape, and a solid training week. I did close to 125 miles on the bike and 20+ miles running as well as getting 2 swimming sessions in while being on vacation and keeping my wife and kids happy. Not too bad, although of course I'm going to need to ramp things up in the future. I do feel like I'm laying a pretty solid base, and I want to be careful of getting burned out to quickly, I still have about 50 weeks to go ;)

Researching some charities as well this week, I want to sign up for the Janus Charity Challenge so something/someone gets some benefit out of this madness!


Jul 25, 2006

Taking the plunge

Whoohoo! I'm in for Lake Placid 2007!! One of the lucky ones in fact, since the race filled up in 30 minutes and lots of people did not get in.

So now I'm committed! My biking has increased lately, and that's a good start but I need to keep adding to my running so that I have a good base to start from this winter. Swimming will take care of itself as long as I put the time in.

I'm excited about the challenge, and have decided to treat myself to a new bike to make sure I'm totally prepared. I'm going up to see Ian at Fitwerx to get fitted and make sure the bike works for me.

Should be a challenging year!


Jul 21, 2006

AmI Ready??

Am I ready, am I really ready??

Ironman is a huge challenge, at least for those of us who live ordinary lives and haven't yet tried one. Life is about challenges though, and I'm starting to see that I rely on them to really live my life. I've finished my master's degree, and although I'm married and I have three kids to go along with my full-time job, it seems that I need another goal.

The thing is, the race I'm interested in; Ironman USA in Lake Placid, is happening this weekend, and due to a "feature" of the Ironman races registration is Monday. The commitment needs to be made now! Swimming I can do... biking I can do... even running to a certain extent. The question is putting them all together.

How do you know you're really ready?


Jul 7, 2006

Running scared

Went for a nice run yesterday from the Farmington office. As I headed out the door, on a whim I decided to take a new route but apparently I didn't think it through well enough. Circled around the park in New Britain, but I missed the first turn and didn't really know where I was. Not a great place to get lost, but ultimately I ended up having a nice run of about 7 miles (3 more than I had planned for)

Moral of the story... make sure you know the neighborhood a little before heading out :)


Jul 6, 2006

Ramping Up

1 Long Bike, 1 Long Run, and 1 Long Swim...

That's the plan anyway, as I start moving towards longer distance. My max bike at this point is 3 hours and 50 miles, run is 1:45 and 9 miles, and 1 hour and 1.5 mile swim. They aren't great numbers, but a good base. My bane at this point is consistency, I need to really focus on getting out there every day. Goal for July is something every day, with a minimum of 25 days for July. So far, not great with the holiday weekend and being away, but I do have some longer distances in.

Good info that I'm following is Gordo's basic ironman week...

The idea is a key session in each discipline, and then add in 2 other workouts per sport as well.


Jun 13, 2006


Well... Mooseman came and went, and it was a blast again!

Miserable weekend, since it rained the entire time, but we still had fun and I had a great race. 50% longer swim this year, which added about 15 minutes to my time, but I still took time out of my personal best. Finished in 3:13, with a faster bike and faster run. Only disappointment was that I missed my goal of running under an hour by finishing with a run time of 1:05, still 10 minutes better than last year however.

I'm really feeling ready for longer distance... at least a half, and maybe Ironman LP next year!


Jan 23, 2006

Just keep spinning, spinning...

So I'm starting to get in the spinning class habit. I did it last year of the winter, and noticed I got a lot stronger so I've added it back in this winter as well. M-W-F at 5:45 is tough to get up for, but it makes for a good day for the most part. Monday's class is an hour with a taskmaster! She's tough, but pushes you pretty good.

In other news, solid week last week, I got close to 8 hours of training in. 5 straight days of running, not long distances, but I've wanted to get the repetition in. Hopefully I'll have some longer runs this week.


Jan 20, 2006

I'm in for Mooseman...

Well, I'm commited now, I signed up for the Mooseman International distance triathlon in June. The swim is longer this year, close to a mile so I'm not sure if my goal of 2:45 is still doable. I finished in 3:15 last year, but the swim was only .6 mile. It's still doable if I can meet my first goal of running the 10k in under an hour. Not real fast, but I'm not much of a runner, and it's a bit harder to run fast after biking for an hour an a half.

I'm still considering signing up for Timberman, which is a 1/2 Iron (1.2 mi swim /56 mi bike / 13.1 mi run). If I can train consistently for another couple of months, I'll probably sign up. The race isn't till August, but it's likely to fill up soon.


Jan 3, 2006

New Year

Well... its a new year, should I post more.. hehe.

Been working on Biztalk lately, and it's pretty frustrating. The feedback loop for making changes takes a long time, so you end up spending a lot of time doing repetitive steps to see if your fix worked. Sounds like Microsoft has fixed this a bit in 2006, hopefully it will be better.


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