The Patriot Half – Race Report

I have to say that the day ended a lot better than it started. My friend Mike stops at the house at 4:15 am to pick me up. We load up the car and I put my bike on the back. We are ready to roll. We start heading down 95 and Mike looks in the rear view and says “What is going on with the bikes?” I look bike and my bike is flying along behind the car!!! Mike slows down and pulls over. Bad news, race wheel tire is shredded.

The bike rack has rubber straps that hold the bike in place while driving. The problem is that when you have race wheels that have a large surface area the wind catches them and lifts the bike up. When the bike gets lifted up the rubber straps can then come undone as I have learned from personal experience and doing a little search on the net. Fortunately we had some bungy cords and were able to strap the bike back on and be on our way again without having to worry about the flying up.

We finally get down to the race venue at just about 6 am. First thing I have to do is change out my wheels. Luckily I had brought along my other wheels. My thought there was that someone was going to need them and I didn’t feel like changing tires and tubes so I was just going to give them the whole wheel. Turns out it was me that needed them!! It took all of about 10 minutes to get the other wheels on and adjust the brakes. One thing that I did forget about though was that the cassette that I had on these wheels is setup for a hilly course and not the flat course we were riding. There were a few times I missed those in between gears that my 11-25 cassette has, as opposed to the 11-28. So, the bike is finally all squared away and we are setup in transition. Hopefully that would be the end of the problems for the day.

The Swim

The swim is a counter clockwise swim that works out nice as the sun is never an issue. The water temperature was reported to be 68 degrees, not bad at all with the wetsuit on. There was a little bit of a wind blowing in at us though and that caused the first leg of the swim to be a litte tough with the choppy water. I quickly moved out in front of the other 93 people in my wave and caught up to the wave that went off before me. I think I even saw Julie and Janet during the swim. Jan, on other hand, was far too fast and I wouldn’t have seen her even if she started in my wave. The swim took me 32:24, my goal was 30 minutes flat.

SWIM NOTE: My friend Mike K. tied for 3rd overall in the swim and probably would have won it outright if he started in an early wave and didn’t have to swim through 8 waves of yahoos….

The Bike

The bike ride for me was pretty much the same as last year as far as time. According to my Garmin I was at 20.5 mph for both loops of the bike. The first loop I was 20.6 and the second 20.5, probably a little less since the average was 20.5. I had hoped to go at least 21 mph, but without the Zipp wheels I probably lost about .5 mph. I’m ok with the ride, it was a bit more windy than last year but I was able to ride just a little bit faster and certainly did not push nearly as hard as last year. My goal, which I know was a stretch was to bike the course in 2:33:25, and I did it in 2:44:47. So I was way off on that. Still a lot of work to do on the bike. While my overall biking fitness has improved a lot from last year I still need to get stronger on the bike. A lot stronger.

BIKE NOTE: Didn’t see it happen, but Coach Bri went down pretty hard on the bike with about 18 miles to go. This probably has something to do with Mike and his bike rack. I’m not sure of the connection but there must be one!! Coach Bri is a little sore, but doing ok and his bike is already ready for the next ride.

The Run

Part of not killing myself on the bike was wanting to be able to run this year. I increased my fitness enough on the bike over the last year that I was able to put in the same bike time but still had legs left to run this year. My goal for the race was 1:47:00 or 8:10 pace. This is the only goal that I managed to accomplish I did the run in 1:45:59 for an 8:05 pace. My total time was 5:07:53, a new personal record. I had hoped to break 5 hours, but I can see I still have some work to do to get there. I felt my nutrtion was pretty good and I didn’t have any cramping problems. Even though I didn’t cramp I still feel like I need to hydrate better.

The rest of the Sunday morning crew

The rest of training crew, with the exception of Coach Bri, had pretty good days as well.

Heidi M. doing her first ever half ironman distance event had what I thought was by far one of the most impressive times of the day at 5:14:22. Heidi pulled this off with barely any bike training and only a few open water swims. We expect her to quit her day job and turn pro soon!

Mike K. had a personal best of 5:24:46 and beat me in the bike leg. Now we know why my bike fell off the car!! All part of his master plan!

Jan D. also had a personal best of 5:35:11 and improved her time by half an hour. Improving both her bike and run times significantly.

Julie V. while about a minute slower overall at 5:40:17 improved her run this year by over 10 minutes. Now if we could just get her to swim a little more and stop hanging out in transition…..

Janet B. took first place in her age group while setting a personal record of 5:42:11 at the half ironman distance.

Brian B. needs to keep the rubber side down!!!!

Cycling Running Swimming

The training update

After being sick the previous week, this past week has been much better.

At the Pool

Starting to do more kicking at the pool. Last Friday I managed to go over 4000 yards for the first time this year. In large part that was due to a lot of kicking at the end. Fred said we were going to do 5 x 100s. That is probably the most consecutive kicking I have ever done. It took everything I had just to keep from getting lapped. I’m going to have to ask for tips on some of the kicking drills rather than just using the kick board all the time. The dolphin kick looks pretty cool.

On the road

This past week Heidi finally showed up to run on Wednesday morning. It’s good when she shows up because she pushes me, at least early on in the run. She tends to start at a much faster pace than I normally would. I usually go out just a little over 8 minute miles and then bring it down. I think we did our first mile at 7:45 and went down from there. For the 7 miles I felt pretty good holding the 7:25 average.

On the trainer

Last week was the final week of the 4 week build. The Tuesday and Thursday rides were pretty tough. Sometimes I wonder if it is harder mentally or physically. The 6×6 minutes on Tuesday are definitely a physical challenge as I’m at 108% of FTP. The Thursday 2 x 20 minutes are just a mental grind.

The weight is still coming off, but more slowly. Partly because I’ve been eating a little more and we hit the Texas Roadhouse for my sons birthday. The “Peanut Place” is his favorite place. It’s one of mine too, but I know I’m going to gain a few pounds just from the salt content.

Weight: 160


Another 5K

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.


Vacations are over

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.


The week in review

This week has been a pretty tame week for training. Monday I headed to the gym and did some lifting. Mostly legs, as I want to increase my leg strength for biking. After lifting I went out for a short slow jog and it was definitely short and slow.

Tuesday and Thursday I was out on the bike. Tuseday morning I did my time trial route through Boxford and managed to hold onto 20.6 mph average. Not bad, but I had it up over 21 mph for the first 10 miles. Thursday morning I went out and rode with Jan. She took me on short steep hills through Topfield. Pretty easy ride, will have to pick up the effort on Thursday mornings.

Wednesday and Friday were swim and run days. Pretty much all swimming right now consists of a single crossing at Stiles and that likely won’t change until we head back indoors. I ran on Wednesday with Melinda and we did 7 miles at about 8:30 pace. I think she will need to pick that pace up if she is going to qualify for Boston. This morning I did another 5 miles at 7:30 pace. Wasn’t able to finish off the last mile with a negative split, so was a little disappointed in that. The first four miles were good though.

This weekend it looks like Hurricane Irene is going to ruin any plans I have of a bike ride. Maybe I will get out in the rain and run.

Ironman Lake Placid

5 Days and the taper continues

Did a 2 hour ride on saturday and a 1 hour run on sunday.

We were back in NY visiting family again this weekend so that means I was back up to the Ashokan Reservoir to ride again. It’s really nice riding along 28A up there, not many cars and the views of the mountains and water are great. The course is mostly rolling hills, I think only 2 where you would switch to the small chainring though. Kind of like riding around MA.

The run on sunday was  a pretty flat run along the Dam. Easy pace with negative splits.

Followed up the weekend with a nice easy crossing at Stiles this morning.

Part of me wants to push harder because I feel pretty good but in the back of my mind I keep telling myself to save it for Sunday. I also keep thinking to myself to take easy, don’t get hurt in the last week!

Ironman Lake Placid

10 Days to go

Single crossing this morning at the pond and a pretty easy pace. Then a short and quick 5 mile run. The run wasn’t that much fun, horse flies are out and I didn’t have my hat! Funny thing, seemed like they were worse on the way out than they were on the way back, maybe I just ran faster and they couldn’t keep up. Yeah, THAT’S what it was! I was so fast they couldn’t keep up. That’s my story and I’m sticking with it.

I have my spare tubular stretching now so if there is a flat I will be able to get the new tire on. After seeing the gigantic hole in Julie’s tire on Sunday I really need to have a spare, maybe two!

Weight: 161.2


Ironman Lake Placid

Last 4 hour ride!

Today was the last of the really long rides. If you consider 4 hours a really long ride. I actually haven’t minded the 4 hour rides. It was when it started to get into the 5 and 6 hour time zone that it felt like work. Today was a great day to be out there, maybe a little warm toward the end of the ride but it was very comfortable for most of it.

I think my nutrition plan is coming together. Today I used Ironman Perform with two Salt tabs in each bottle. During the ride I drank all 4 bottles and had 3 Honey Stinger Waffles. I practiced pulling them out of my back pocket and eating them rather than waiting until we stopped. Hopefully during the Ironman I will be able to do that and not have to stop. I also had 3 shots of EFS Gel during the ride, alternating the Waffle and the Gel every half hour. That should give me plenty of calories during the bike and a few extra for the start of the run. If the weather is bad on race day I may have to stop and get my stuff to eat, but I guess you deal with the conditions you get.

The Ride:

Saturday Run:

Ironman Lake Placid

Longest Run Ever

I had never run more than 13.1 miles until today. Training program called for a 3 hour run. I didn’t make it 3 hours and really didn’t have any intention of running that long. I don’t have a fuel belt so I had to run out and back on 1 Gel. I ran out 1 hour and back so that I could stop at the car and get something to drink and another Gel. Having 14 miles done I went back out and ran to the other side of the Dam and back for 19.5 total.

The weather for the run was kind of lousy, started out very warm and humid and then at about mile 6 turned into a thunderstorm and just a down pour for the next 6 miles. After that it was just a steady rain. Glad it is over. Maybe it will be severe thunderstorms on race day, I’ll be ready!

Ironman Lake Placid

Brick Workout

Haven’t done many brick workouts. Well, I haven’t done many bike to run brick workouts. I’ve been doing mostly swim to run bricks, which are much easier. The ride was on the easier side today, usually my thursday rides are a bit slower as I try to give my legs a break from the harder effort on the bike on Tuesday. I rode with Julie and Heidi this morning and Heidi is just getting on the bike for the first time in a while. She did ok, once we explained a few things to her about what gears to be in and when. When I got home after the ride I threw on the sneakers and headed out. As usual the legs didn’t really like it, but within a half mile they relaxed a bit and I was able to hold a nice steady pace. I wanted to try to keep it under 8 minute miles for the entire 6 miles. I have to remember to tell myself to breath more, at mile 4 I felt like I was holding my breath! I kept telling myself to just relax and run, took another half mile or so to settle back down and get my pace back.

The Ride

The Run

Weight: 160.8