Mass State Olympic

Last time I did this race was four years ago. I was in much better shape than I am now and it showed, especially in the run. The reason I signed up for this race was because a friend of mine was doing it for the first time. He was looking for someone to show up and race it with him.

Turned out to be a perfect weather day and the only question was the swim going to be a wetsuit legal swim. As it turns out the water came in just under the legal temp for wetsuits, so everyone was pretty happy about that.

The Swim

The swim is a counter clockwise course in Lake Denison. Since the water was so warm it was kind of hard to push hard during the swim with the wetsuit on. Overall the swim was pretty uneventful. I just tried to get out toward the front of my group and keep a strong pace. My swim time was 23:34 and my average pace was 1:30/100 yards. I was pretty happy with that.

The Bike

Going into the race I was thinking if I could hold 20 mph I would be happy. A few years ago I was up over 22 mph but I’m not anywhere close to the condition I was in back then. I could only remember parts of the ride so I was kind of going on feel, and was staying right around 20 for the first half of the ride. Luckily the back half of the ride is flat and pretty fast. My bike time was 1:02.14 for an average of 21.2 mph

The Run

I was kind of dreading the run as I have only recently started to build up my miles. For the run I was thinking about where I would probably see my friend Brian. I knew we would be pretty close on the swim, but on the bike I would have him by quite a bit. I thought maybe I would have a 2 mile gap on him. So, since it is an out and back course I thought I might see him when I hit mile 4 and he was at mile 2. I actually thought he might make up some time on me during the run as he was telling me his times when he goes running. However, most of those times are on the treadmill and that doesn’t translate very well to being outside and having done a swim and a bike first.

Starting out on the run I was just trying to get my breathing under control for that first mile and settle in to a rhythm. I saw another friend Steve Bosic coming in to finish as I was heading out. He was pretty much killing it. As the run went on I started feeling better and was actually picking up the pace each mile. I saw Brian right about where I expected to see him on my way back.

My run time was 49:19 for a 7:58 per mile pace. Looking at my Garmin the last couple of miles were at 7:40 pace. While this was much slower than a few years ago I was pleased that I could get it down under 8 minutes per mile after pushing it pretty hard on the bike.

Overall I was really happy with the race for the amount of training that I had been able to get in.



Being injured is never fun and even less fun when you know you could have probably avoided it. I had some really run training while we were in Florida. I managed to get probably 5 of the 7 days we were there. It was great, considering that back home we were getting pounded with snow every 4 or 5 days. Unfortunately coming home to the snow and ice covered streets didn’t lend itself to running outside. This is the bad part, instead of running on a treadmill I just put in more time on the bike.

At first this worked out Okay. I put in 9 to 10 hours one week on the bike and managed to get one run in. Only one run seems to be the problem. Once I started back up running again, which was probably a week and a half later, my legs were not ready for the volume. I went out for a 10 mile run and could feel my calves getting tight. Didn’t stretch enough when I got home and they were sore again the next day. Next scheduled run was skipped for the bike because of weather.

Here is where things got ugly. Went out last Thursday morning for what was supposed to be an hour easy run. I made it less than two miles and my right calf tightened right up. Had to stop and stretch it, turned back and it started to feel better. Then stupidly tried to continue for a little more and the calf tightened back up again.

The next few days I did some exercises to strength up and stretch out the calf and it was feeling pretty good. Switched my bike and run day so I wouldn’t go out again until Sunday. Supposed to run 10 miles or 1.5 hours. I made it an hour and was feeling good and then, BAM, tightened up again. Made it home, sort of, walked the last mile. So it was a 9 mile run and a 1 mile walk.

After doing some more exercises and switching my next run day out a day I was back out there again this morning. It was definitely tight for pretty much the whole run, but I limited it to the 4 mile loop. Will continue with the exercises and stretching and see what happens for Thursday….


An increase in FTP…

Most triathletes are always trying to increase their FTP. What is FTP? FTP is Functional Threshold Power, or the number of the maximum number of Watts that you can hold for 1 hour. Most people don’t really do a full hour long test. Instead it is some form of 20 or 30 minute Max effort and then a percentage of that is used to determine what you could “probably” hold for an hour long effort.

A couple of weeks ago I did the 20 minute test on Trainer Road. After I was done it changed my FTP from 250 to 260. At the time I was thinking great! Now, after having done a couple of workouts with segments sending you to 120% of FTP, not so excited. It’s back to suffering, I was able to complete them, but it was HARD. Hoping it will get easier over the next couple of weeks as my fitness increases.

It’s not too bad on the Tempo or Endurance rides where the change is hardly noticeable. 75% of 250 is 187 and 75% of 260 is 195 so not that big a deal. However when you are going over FTP, 120% of 250 is 300 and 120% of 260 is 312. Now it is a 12 Watt difference and when you are at your Threshold it really start to burn up the legs!!!

So, while an increase in FTP is usually a good thing, sometimes it just means more suffering…


Shoulder Update

It has been almost 6 weeks now since I suffered my Shoulder Separation so I thought I would post and update on my progress.

I’ve been doing my PT exercises almost daily and have been seeing progress in my strength and notice that there are fewer places in my shoulders movement when I feel any kind of soreness.

Last Saturday was my first time back in the pool since the day before I injured the Shoulder. I would describe the feeling in my shoulder while swimming as weak and stiff. At no point in the swim stroke did I feel any pain, so I was happy about that. I did 1000 yards for my first swim and felt that while I could have done more that was enough for the first time out and wanted to see how the shoulder would feel a few hours after the workout. There was a slight soreness, but no pain, so that was good.

Tuesday evening I went to PT and received a few new stretching techniques. For the next week we are planning to continue with the routine that I have now and then on next Thursday map out where I will take the exercises from there.

I think my questions at the next visit will focus on how I get back to lifting heavier weights. Exercises that include incline bench press, squats, etc. I know that I won’t be doing things like shrugs for sometime and I’m perfectly fine with that. I haven’t done those in years so it isn’t like I feel a huge need to do them.


Race Report – Patriot Half-Ironman

This year was much different that last year for me. Last year I had to worry about was my bike actually going to work after it flew behind my friend Mike’s car!!  Well, this year I thought it might be better for me to do the driving. Mike and I had an extra passenger this year in Heidi. Heidi is famously known for forgetting things and being late. Mike and I were able to pick up out packets early so we wouldn’t have to worry about racing around in the morning to get everything ready.

Heidi, on the other hand, needed to get her packet and wasn’t going to have a lot of time before the race. To prevent a catastrophe I had Heidi drop of her bike, helmet, bike shoes and wetsuit the night before. I figured anything else we could deal with, she would just have to show up on time. Good news was, she showed up on time and we were able to grab Mike and be on our way.

The Swim

This year the swim looked like it would be pretty standard, the wind didn’t look as bad as it did last year. I was deceived though, the wind was blowing sideways and I think the course ended up being a little bit longer because the buoys were blowing out side ways. There was also a little bit of chop too that I didn’t expect. The swim was pretty uneventful though and ended up taking me 33:21. Slower than last year, but I was ok with it since my watch said the swim was 1.35 miles instead of 1.2.

SWIM NOTE: My friend Mike was 4th overall in the swim.

The Bike

I was kind of disappointed in my bike ride. My intent was to hold 200 Watts consistently as Coach Dave and I had discussed. The problem was my legs just couldn’t keep it there, not sure why because the swim felt good. Looking at the data from the ride it looks like it took me almost 30 minutes to get my heart rate down to where it should have been. I think next time I may start a little lower than my target and work my way up. I actually did have a negative bike split, not by much, but the second loop was faster than the first. My total time for the bike was 2:46:11.

The Run

When I ran out of T2 Heidi was not far behind. I figured we might be able to run together since we both had the same target of running 7:15s. I had just didn’t have much of a chance at that, it was too hot for me to hold that pace. I started out around 7:50s and felt terrible, my back was very tight. I wish that I had a chance to stretch before the race started but the ground was just soaked in transition. So, for the first 3 miles I just ran 7:50s and watched as Heidi took off. I noticed on some of the longer stretches though that I could still see Heidi out in front of me. After the 3rd mile I started to feel better and loosened up and started to slowly increase my speed. By mile 5 I was doing around 7:30s although I did have one mile around 8 in the middle because I had to stop and tie my shoes.

At mile 7 I realized I was going to catch Heidi and started reeling her in over the next to miles. Mile 9 I caught her and she almost just stopped at that point. I thought when I caught her we would just run in together, but she was hurting pretty bad. Remembering how she stuck with me through the marathon last fall I couldn’t just take off on her. The rest of the way we ran in together, except when we walked. Well, we only walked up once at a hill just after mile 10. I think we ended up averaging 8:30 or so for the last 4 miles we ran together. My time for the run was 1:43:16. I was happy with that, since it was hot and I was a couple minutes faster than last year and could have actually been in a few minutes faster.


Overall I felt like I had a pretty good performance at 5:08:26. I think my Coach prepared me well and I had a good race. While my ride was a little slower than I had hoped, I felt like I could have kept on going and hold the Watts I was pushing for another few hours. I was very happy with my run. It was good to know that I could get off the bike and run 7:30s in heat. I know that I can’t jump off the bike and hit those numbers right away, but once I loosen up I should be able to click off the miles.


First Long Ride


Did the first long ride of the year this weekend on the CompuTrainer. Two and a half hours of riding at about 80%. Felt pretty good throughout the ride, but have to remember to take more salt in during the ride. This year the rides won’t get up to the ridiculously long over four hours, but will probably have a few three hour rides.

The Tuesday and Thursday rides were pretty tough, the short intervals on Tuesday had me seeing stars. Six minutes never seemed so long! Then Thursday was twenty minute intervals, talk about mind games to keep from stopping! Made it through, only going to be harder this week.


I had planned on going for a run after the ride, but the weather has been brutally cold and in the single digits here. Maybe next week if it can get above freezing I will follow the ride with a run. While my running has been ok, I need to run more than once a week. I’ll get out for another run Wednesday morning, but the cold keeps me from pushing as hard as I would like.


I think my swimming is progressing a little bit. I was able to get in the pool three times last week. On Wednesday I was fortunate that the Prep were not using the pool and I think that is the case again this week. The reason I think my swimming is progressing a little is that we were doing 100s on 1:20 this morning and I managed to keep up for the first set of 4. In the past I would have just had one continuous swim with no rest. Second set wasn’t so pretty and only had rest after first two.

As stated in my goals for the season I was planning on posting my weight each week here. So this morning at the weigh in I was 163.25 lbs. Looks like I’m trending in the right direction so far.