I hadn’t been down to the pond in almost a week, so when George sent out an email to see who was in for this morning it sounded good to me. He had also mentioned that the water temp was 70 yesterday. That’s pretty warm, so I decided it was a no wetsuit morning. The water might be warm but the air is still chilly and it make quite a difference. This morning the official temp was 71. We didn’t chat long on the other side because it just gets too cold standing around. The water was like glass this morning, some of the leaves are starting to change and quite a few of the leaves were on the pond. Perfect fall morning for a swim.
This past weekend I did the Charles River Wheelmen Fall Century ride. This is the second year in a row that I have done it. My friend Julie joined me this year for the ride. We have perfect weather, although it was a little bit chilly to start the day.
This is one tough century ride, with about 5000 feet of climbing. The hard part is that the climbs are pretty steep unlike say Lake Placid where they tend to just be very long. Which, by the way, if I ever train for again I will be making sure to get some training rides in on these hills. There are three stops along the course for the riders with plenty of food, water and gatorade. If you haven’t done it, give it a try, plenty of support. Hey, even U.S. Senator John Kerry was out enjoying the day!!
The rest of last week was mostly a swim week for me. The weather has quickly changed and it is now in the low 40s in the mornings and I just don’t have any desire to get out and ride in the cold and dark. Cold I can do, dark I can do, I just don’t like cold and dark together. I think I swam four times last week and was already in again this morning. The water temp was 68 and the air temp was 41. Makes it a little uncomfortable when getting out. The swimming part was actually pretty enjoyable with the wetsuit on. George and Fred were of course TF and by the time we got out George was pretty chilled.
Today was the Call To Honor triathlon in Boxford. This is the 3rd year of the event that honors the memory of a local resident and State Trooper who died in the line of duty. His family comes and races as relay teams and presents the medals to all the winners. They are a very nice family and very involved in the community espeically the town beach where the race is held.
The race itself is a very short, especially the run. Most triathlons the athlete will spend 10% on the swim, 50-55% on the bike and the rest on the run. This even though, It is about 10% 85% and 15%, so if you are a strong biker it really helps.
The weather for race day was very nice, a little bit chilly on the bike ride over, but it warmed up nicely and the water in Stiles was at least 70 degrees.
I wore a one piece tri outfit today. A DeSoto Liftfoil speedsuit. This is the first time that I have ever worn one of these for a triathlon. This year the swim seemed to be a bit longer than it was the last two years. I think they actually measured it out. My time was a little bit slower than last year and I was 13th overall in the swim. I knew that I had fallen behind some of my fellow age groupers that were wearing wetsuits, but not by much and I figured I was behind maybe 3 of them.
My transition was pretty good, but not as fast as I had hoped. I really wanted it to be under a minute, and part of that expectation was that I wasn’t wearing socks and I didn’t have to change out of a wetsuit or put any other clothes on. It was glass, helmet, shoes, bib number and go. I think I need to learn to mount the bike with the shoes clipped in.
My expectation was to average over 20 mph on the bike and I did that. At least according to my Garmin GPS I did that. It said that I averaged 20.9 mph. My official time was 30:20, which I think was about a minute faster than last year. So, that wasn’t bad, but it would have been nice to break 30. I guess there is always next year. The only problem I had on the bike was when I slowed down to take the left onto Herrick Rd. I got up out of the saddle to accelerate and I got a massive cramp in my left calf. I had to stretch it out before I could start riding hard again and lost some time there.
This transition was better than the first, but again I had trouble getting one of my bike shoes off, so that was a little disappointing. You would think I had never taken my shoes off before. I need better focus.
The run started out a little slow because of the cramp in my calf, but about a half mile in I started to feel better and was able to push more. After the turn it is mostly down hill and I really started to push a little more and wish I had my Garmin on to see some splits. My pace was around 7:30 for the run. Again this was about a minute better than last year.
My overall time ended up being just about a minute better than last year because the swim was a little bit longer and I was a little faster on the bike and run. I ended up placing 8th overall and 4th in my age group. The age group placing was a little bit disappointing. I really had hoped to be higher after looking at last years results, but I guess it is all who shows up that day. 4 out of 34 isn’t bad I guess. An interesting note is that 6 of the top 10 were in my age group and 8 of top 15. Tough age group to place in.
Well, that wraps up the triathlons for this season. Time to focus on getting better for next year!
I did another short run this morning when I got to the Y. My IT Band didn’t bother me at all for the first half of the run, but around mile 2 I could start to feel it. The pain never got as bad as it did on Tuesday. When I got back to the gym I did plenty of stretching today and some more light lifting. Today I didn’t do any leg exercises, mostly shoulders and chest.
I’ve been using the foam roller at night and will keep that up, hopefully that and the stretching will help me fix this IT Band issue.
I bought a couple pairs of swim paddles last week. I’d never really used them before but my swim stroke seems to be kind of sloppy and I feel like my hand is sometimes slipping through the water and wasting effort.
Here is a link to the Paddles that I bought http://www.swimoutlet.com/product_p/2129.htm?color=11590. I actually bought two pair, a medium and a large pair. For right now I’m using the medium pair because I don’t want to put too much stress on my shoulder and get hurt.
The last two days I’ve been in the pool and doing alternating sets of 500 free and then 500 pull. I can definitely feel a big difference in my 500 free after doing the pull set with the paddles on. It will take some time but I think it will definitely improve my swim stroke.
The vacations are over and it is time to get back to work, school (for the kids) and training. Over the last week we have been through 7 states and the District of Columbia. We went to the White House, saw the Washington Monument, went to the National Zoo and also stopped to see the Statue of Liberty.
Now all that fun stuff is over and it is back to training. For most of the vacation I didn’t do much of anything, a run here and a bike ride there. Pretty short stuff, but it was good, the body needs it’s rest too.
This morning it was back at the gym early. I was at the Danvers Y at 5 am and went for a short run. A run that needed to be shorter according to my IT Band. Had a lot of pain this morning, which was very disappointing. I thought the time off would have helped it but it seems to have made it worse. Back at the gym I went down to the weight room and did some light lifting and then some stretching to see if I can loosen it up. I will definitely do some more stretching tonight to try to really focus on getting this thing better now.
Also did a quick 2000 yards in the pool and tried out my new hand paddles. They worked pretty well and I think will help me with my form.