2016 IMLP Training – WEEK 22

WEEK 22 – May 23, 2016 – May 29, 2016

As usual, my wonderful wife keeps pretty close tabs on me during my training.  She knows the effort involved and makes sure I don’t overdo it.  But lately she has been on me about under-doing it, in particular the swim.  Some may call that nagging, but it is really just loving concern.  The schools had their final week of classes this week and therefore adjusted the pool hours to end midday, effectively keeping me out of the pool for another week.  And I am still waiting for my in-ground pool to be fixed.

I had convinced myself that missing a week or two of swimming wasn’t going to affect me, but when my number one fan is concerned, I guess I had better think about it as well.  I guess I will add some upper body strength training (which I loathe, by the way) in the interim until I can get back into swimming.

The Ironman related Facebook pages that I follow were also talking a lot about swimming too, mainly in regard to a condition called SIPE – Swimming Induced Pulmonary Edema.  It appears that this condition may be a big cause of many of the swimming related fatalities in the Ironman swims.  I read up on the topic and even listened to a podcast that discussed it, and truthfully I have never had any of the symptoms of this condition.  But it pays to be aware of them for sure.

As far as the rest of the week of training is concerned, it was somewhat of an easy week that tapered down slightly toward a Half-Iron distance race in the plan for Sunday.  Since this weekend happened to be Memorial Day weekend and my youngest daughter had a soccer tournament, the best day to do this trial run was Saturday.  There was too much going on to do an actual race, so I did the training on my own.  The day started out slightly cool with somewhat threatening skies, but it never did rain.  I stuck to the Old Plank Trail in order to have some shelter available to me in case I needed to dodge a storm.  I ended up doing almost exactly 56 miles, averaging 17.5 mph.

After getting home, I changed into some non-sweaty running clothes and headed for the 6.55 miles out and 6.55 miles back.  But the threatening skies turned sunny, and I had neglected to put on sunscreen.  I was starting to cook.  But I had plenty of water, GU and Base salt with me and I kept up with it.  Of note, I ran the 13.1 miles in 2:01 which was pretty much my best effort for the conditions.  I had run the Frankfort Half Marathon a month earlier in 1:35.  Interesting how much slower you run when you precede it with a 56 mile ride and do it in 80 degree weather.

Upon getting home, I could tell that I had over-done it somewhat.  A shower, some rehydration, and a quick dinner made me whole again. I think I pushed a little too hard on the bike and didn’t hydrate as much as I should have.  That’s what training is for, learning from the mistakes.

IMG_5581
69.1 miles later…

 

WEEK 22 TOTALS:

Swims: No swimming this week 😦

Bikes: 3 total, 5 hours, 87.5 miles

Runs: 7 total, 5 hours, 34.6 miles

Unknown-4
Training gets serious in the next few weeks.
Advertisements

2016 IMLP Training – WEEK 21

WEEK 21 – May 16, 2016 – May 22, 2016

Another week of playing catch up.  The totals for last week were down because I missed my long run on Sunday.  So I ended up doing it on the Monday rest day.  14 miles in 2 hours.  Tuesday I had a dentist appointment in the afternoon, so I had to cut my swim short and ended up doing 2500 yards instead of the 3500 the plan called for.  Since I needed to pick up my son from college on Friday, I skipped the planned swim.  I don’t mind skipping the third swim.

The rest of the week went well with no big issues.  The best part of the week however was the long Saturday ride and brick run that most of my Gunner teammates were able to make.  Dave and his son Alex made the trip to my home to ride together, but we ended up delaying it a little so John could join us as well.  We were missing our Gunner friend Jeff, who is still rehabbing from his minor back surgery and is limited to riding a stationary recumbent bike and using an elliptical.  So what does a Gunner do when those are his options?  Jeff did 4 hours on the elliptical.  Gunner.  Can’t wait until he can join us again.  He had a really good base built up and should be able to get back up to speed easily.

IMG_5570
It took us several tries to take a selfie. My arms are too short.

We rode for about an hour and then met with John, then we decided that heading east and west might be our best option due to the wind blowing from the north.  Unfortunately, most of the good riding for me is south of my town, so with a south wind it is hard to avoid having to ride back into the wind.

So we decided to explore a little, and that meant discovering gravel roads and busier highways. But we weren’t on them long, and eventually made it out to Elwood.  When we got to the north side of Midewin National Nature Preserve, we decided to ride into it and see what the old abandoned arsenal had for us.  Essentially it was just a couple miles of choppy road in the middle of nowhere.  Now we know.

IMG_5567
I’m the odd ball with the non-Speed Concept.  Oh well.  We weren’t sure if we should go in, but we did anyway.

Since we had been riding about an hour when we caught John, we decided that we would compromise and do an extra 1/2 hour to give him 3.5 hours and us 4.5 hours of riding.  In all, we covered about 77 miles in 4:30, give or take a couple of minutes.  I did notice that we passed the half-Iron bike distance of 56 miles at about 3:17, which is a pretty good time for a training ride if you ask me.  Matter of fact, the ride was quite a confidence booster.

The brick run was impressive to me.  I had always thought that it wouldn’t be long before Dave and John started to catch up with me tempo-wise on the run.  They certainly had some speed at the end of that 5.5 mile run.  I took them through a local neighborhood that has some really big houses, which they seemed to enjoy.  Then it was back home for a quick shower and a dinner at Fuddrucker’s, a hamburger joint that I hadn’t been to in probably 25 or more years.  I didn’t even think this place still existed.  But the food was hot and good, and the end of day conversations and recaps were awesome.

The Sunday workout consisted of a 1:15 hour spin, which I did with my wife.  We rode into New Lenox on the trail and then made it back home.  I took a minute to clean the Gatorade and gravel dirt off my bike, then headed out for the 1:45 long run.  It ended up being 12 miles.  I should have hydrated more because I was suffering a little in the 80 degree 100% sunshine.  I brought one water, but could have used more.  I think I needed to hydrate a little more from yesterday’s effort.

The last thing of note for the week is that we have all ordered our custom tri kits from Epix.  They did a really good job designing a logo for us and creating a kit.  I hope that all of us find the kit to fit well and be comfortable.  Can’t wait to get them in early July.

IMG_5558
A screen shot of our tri top from Epix.  They did a really good job with the Gunner logo and the design of the kit.  I really like them.

 

WEEK 21 TOTALS:

Swims: 2 total, 2 hours, 6000 yards

Bikes: 4 total, 7:40 hours, 121 miles

Runs: 7 total, 7:55 hours, 54.7 miles

Unknown-4
Week 21 is Done!  Getting closer to LP!

 

2016 IMLP Training – WEEK 20

WEEK 20 – May 9, 2016 – May 15, 2016

Well, I have reached the end of another week of training, but it was not without its imperfections.  Stuff happens, and it certainly was an interesting week.

First of all, what a crappy weather week.  Basically rainy and 50 degrees for most of the week, which is somewhat unusual temperature-wise for northern Illinois.  I hit the trainer and treadmill for most of the weekday workouts.

The swims were interesting as well.  As the school year winds down, I noticed for the past few weeks that the freshman classes that are required to take swimming must have all gotten through the program because I had the pool pretty much to myself.  (The school dedicates two lanes for Adult Community swimmers, and the kids swim in the deep end.)  But I forgot that as we reach the end of the year, they let any class that wants some pool time to come an goof around.  That means kids doing cannonballs off the spring board, football wannabes tossing a football around and tackling each other, water polo balls flying into my lane, etc.  Makes for an interesting swim.

An update for my pool situation – I ordered a new liner to replace the ripped one, so I anticipate it being open sometime mid-June, hopefully because I believe my wife has a graduation party scheduled for the end of June.  Yikes!  I saw a duck in there this morning.

I had to cut short Friday’s workout so I could go watch my son run at least one track meet this year.  I picked up Grandpa and off we went to Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa to watch him run his event, the Steeplechase.  4.5 hours of driving there.  9:55 minutes of him running.  4.5 hours driving back.  Very proud of him though.  He set a personal record by 15 seconds or so, and finished 8th in the race which earned a point for his team, Loras College.

IMG_3090
The lad doing his thing.  Interesting race, the steeplechase.  Of course it rained.

Saturday was another day that I had to make some changes.  A family acquaintance passed away and I attended the funeral.  Good man, raised good kids, and went above and beyond serving his community as a board member of the high schools.

So I did about a third of the biking that was in the plan for Saturday, and did another 2.5 hours on Sunday.  Which meant Sunday’s long run took a hit.  I will move it to tomorrow, which is normally a rest day.  Two hour run.  That’s something to look forward to.

The Week 11-20 Build phase totals up to the following:

  • Swims: – 19 total, 18.5 total hours, 115,800 total yards
  • Bikes: – 38 total, 53:45 total hours, 850 total miles
  • Runs: – 70 total, 45.5 total hours, 324 total miles

WEEK 20 TOTALS:

Swims: 2 total, 2:20 hours, 6800 yards

Bikes: 3 total, 4:45 hours, 77.75 miles

Runs: 7 total, 2.8 hours, 24.75 miles

Unknown-4
The build phase is over.  Uh oh.  

 

 

2016 IMLP Training – Week 19

WEEK 19 – May 2, 2016 – May 8, 2016

Just a quick wrap-up for this week as it was pretty uneventful.  But there were some noteworthy items.

I learned a lesson about doing a half marathon last weekend.  It’s aftermath was painful.  I was very sore on most of my runs until about Friday.  Need to do some more stick rolling and stretching and I should be back to having that “normal” worn out feeling that I usually have.

Although the plan has a swim on Friday, I have decided that I will do them when I can.  It’s just that when you are doing training you end up neglecting some things that have little consequence, and others that have more significant consequence.  Like not mowing the yard, which at this time of the year can be more like a jungle if I don’t tend to it.  And since I feel the weekend long efforts on the bike and run are vital to the training, I think I can still be okay by foregoing one of the three hour long swims to devote time to household responsibilities.  I’ve been averaging about 2:05 minute splits per 100 yards over 3000 yards, which I am very happy with.

Speaking of the swim, I finally decided to pull the cover off my pool and try to open it.  Swimming in my own pool saves time, and even though it is a lot of turning around, I don’t mind it much.  I expected a green pool when I pulled the cover off, but got a much bigger surprise – a black lagoon!

IMG_5536
Watch out for the creature!

Cleaning this will be a chore, but it would probably be ready in a couple of weeks.  But surprise number two came when I saw this:

IMG_5537
Yeah, duct tape won’t fix that.

So, now it looks like it may need to be replaced, and that may delay the pool opening for a while.  I’ve got two kids graduating 8th grade and high school this year, and the Ironman to train for, so I need that pool open!

The long bike was a four hour long trip this week, but I got to ride with a couple of friends, my normal riding partner Todd, and my other Ironman Gunner teammate Dave.  Todd is not interested at all in doing tri’s, but loves to ride.  He left us around 2:45 into the ride and Dave and I finished it off.  We pretty much have to ride south for good roads to ride, which meant with the wind going out.  Coming back was tough!  But we got through it.

IMG_5532
Looking fresh after a 4 hour ride and 45 minute run.  So much more fun when you have someone to train with.

Wrapped up the weekend with a Sunday long run of 12 miles.  I was set to only do 10 miles, but just as I was turning off the trail to run the mile back home, my wife jumped on.  So I enjoyed running an extra couple of miles with the mother of my children on a nice Mother’s Day.  She was the anti-runner when I met her, and now she’s starting to get pretty fast.  I converted a non-runner into a running lover!  Just need to get her interested in the marathon!

WEEK 19 TOTALS:

Swims: 2 total, 2 hours, 6000 yards

Bikes: 5 total, 7.8 hours, 112 miles

Runs: 7 total, 5.5 hours, 38 miles

Unknown-4
Getting closer to the endurance phase!  Scary!

 

2016 IMLP Training – Week 18

WEEK 18 – April 25, 2016 – May 1, 2016

The taper weeks always seem to surprise me, mainly because I rarely look ahead in the training plan unless forced to do so.  I take it one day, one week at a time.  No sense in worrying about the six hour rides and 3 hour runs at this stage of the game.  The tapers are almost like a gift or courtesy, like someone holding the door for you.  A welcome break for the work that you have put in.

The plan had an Olympic distance triathlon scheduled for Sunday, and since it is April in Illinois, the opportunity to get that task done was going to be limited unless I traveled to somewhere with a better spring than the one we are having.  But there was a local half marathon being run, so I decided to hop on that instead.

The half marathon was so local that it was on the exact same trails that I run every run.  I went into it thinking to use it as a training day, but of course the competitive side of me took over and I pushed hard.  I finished in 12th place overall.  But the surprising thing is that I finished 4th in my age group!  I am still trying to figure out how someone in the Male 50-54 age group can finish in 12th place and lose out on a podium finish by three other old guys.  My area must be ripe with fast old guys.  You can read my race recap here:

2016 Frankfort Half Marathon Race Report

IMG_5513
Bad post race selfie.

The other thing of note this week was the swim and my ongoing issue with having to urinate when swimming.  I don’t get it.  Tuesday was to be a 3000 yard swim, and like clockwork I had to pee a half hour into it.  Then it was again about every 5-10 minutes.  When I got to the 2800 yard point I could feel some rather sharp pain in my lower back that almost doubled me over.  I decided to get out and head to the shower.  I did a little googling of the issue and found a condition called immersion diuresis.  The suggested reasoning is colder water and the pressure of being in the water stimulates the kidneys to make more urine.  I’m not sure what the pool temp is, but it isn’t what I would consider cold.  And I am not sure that I buy any pressure related causes because I’m swimming along the top of the water.  In the past I have just gotten out of the water and relieved myself and was able to continue on.  But the kidney ache that I got this time gave me some pause.  On Saturday after finishing the half marathon, I urinated a somewhat bloody stream.  Race day was cool and damp, and I had not felt like I was adequately hydrated.  I am curious if it was related to the issue I had earlier in the week or that the run was the cause.  I have had bloody appearing urine after hard running efforts in the past.  I will keep an eye on it for now.

Hoping for the best for one of my Gunners training teammates.  He had an issue with his back that has been treated and hopefully will put him back at it soon.  He was in great shape prior and will have plenty of time to recover and train.

Not sure what next week will be like.  I don’t look ahead, remember?  But it won’t be long and I will be heading into the endurance phase of training.

Unknown-4
Taper is King!

 

WEEK 18 TOTALS:

Swims: 2 total, 1.5 hours, 4300 yards

Bikes: 2 total, 1.5 hours, 21 miles

Runs: 7 total, 4 hours, 31 miles

2016 Frankfort Half Marathon Race Report

4/30/2016

I’m not even the fastest Old Guy!

I ran the Frankfort, Illinois Half Marathon today and found myself really questioning my sanity. First of all, I am in the middle of training for Ironman Lake Placid, and I usually avoid racing any distance road race to avoid doing something stupid and end up injured. But my training plan tapered this week with the instruction to do an Olympic distance triathlon on Sunday. Seeing that it is April in Illinois, good luck finding one. So I substituted the half marathon on a Saturday to end the week.

Second, this race seems doomed weather-wise. It was 40 degrees and pouring last year (I didn’t run it last year), and this year was predicted to be more of the same. I have never not started a race that I signed up for (and paid good money), and I really didn’t like thinking that I was going to blow it off. Fortunately, the rain held off at the start and I took my spot in Corral A. I found it slightly humorous that I was seeded in the first corral of this little local race.

So the gun went off and I found myself running along the guy holding the 1:30 pace group sign, a sign basically made from a dowel rod, two paper plates, and plenty of clear tape. We chatted for a while, but I knew that I would probably be better off not trying to stay with him. We passed the first mile and he said our split was 6:51! Okay, definitely need to back off the gas a little. I mentioned to him that I was surprised the big guy in green was ahead of us, holding that sub-7 minute per mile pace, but that guy started to slowly pull away. Pacer Guy said he had to pick it up in order to stay on pace. I found this particularly funny, because he basically had no one with him to pace! Maybe he grew tired of me, I don’t know. I do know the 2 hour pacer guy came in a little late and the guy with the microphone was razzing him a little. Maybe 1:30 pacer guy didn’t want to suffer the same indignity! Pacer Guy didn’t have a bib, and wasn’t racing because I asked him. So I let both the Pacer Guy and Green Shirt Guy go and I fell into a more comfortable pace, because I knew what was coming.

After a few minutes I found myself running alone. The Pacer Guy and Green Shirt Guy were at least 100 yards ahead, and there was no one immediately behind me either. I find myself in this situation all the time and it puzzles me. I guess it is a matter of perspective, but I can either say I am the slowest of the faster group or the fastest of the slow group. Maybe mid-packer is what I truly am. But it is tough to be in the mid-pack WHEN YOU ARE THE ONLY ONE! Trivial, I guess. The loneliness of a long distance runner.

I also realized at this point of the race, I was slightly overdressed. I took off the ear wrap and gloves and could feel myself cooling down. I thought about tossing the long sleeve shirt but kept it, because I remembered during my warm up that the wind would be blowing in my face on this out and back run. Glad I kept it on.

Standing in the elite (!) Corral A, I took notice of the competition. There was the typical thin twenty year olds who look like they just finished their college running careers, the backward hat guy, a couple of girls who I could tell had “game”, the guy with some race team singlet, and another guy who clearly didn’t belong in Corral A because his number was 438 or something, and we were all wearing very low numbers. Plus, he kept asking questions about the course. We racers in Corral A never come to Corral A without knowing the course and how to attack it! SMH, dude.

But the most interesting aspect of my fellow competitors in Corral A was that many seemed to be in my age group by the look of their greying hair and fuddy-duddy race outfits. I had looked at last year’s results and figured if I had a good day, I might win an age-group award, but looking at these guys I wasn’t so sure. They had the look of confidence, and well the look of fast, old guys.

Back to the action – At about four miles into the race, we turned off the mostly flat bike trail and headed into the nature preserve. Since I live in this area, I consider this area my home turf. I know every little hill, bump, crack, twist and turn as I have run this trail nearly every run since it opened in 2001 or so. I knew what was coming, about six miles of very difficult hilly terrain. So I paced myself up the hills and flew down the other side, over and over again. At about Mile 5, a group of volunteers were passing out water so I took a cup to wash down the gel I just ate. As I was doing that, the volunteer said “You’re looking good!” I replied, “Lady, I’m not even the fastest old guy!”

And that was true. I hadn’t caught any of the old dudes that had started with me in the race. I had a good idea of where I stood, about 14th overall, when I had the opportunity to count the lead out pack earlier in the race. At the halfway point, I had only been passed by two runners – the two girls with game – and that was it. I also saw Race Team Singlet Guy walking on the side of the trail after getting through Round 1 of the hills. As I hit the turn-around and started back into the fury of hills, I could see that he dropped out. Yes! I made up a position! But I could also see how far the Fast Old Guys were ahead of me. Way ahead of me.

Back into the hills and that’s when the rest of the racers got a view of the awesomeness of the Corral A starters! Out and backs are interesting, as you get to see the lead runners and how far ahead of you they are. I got a little depressed when I saw the leaders already heading back while I still had a half mile to the turn-around. I wonder if the back of the pack runners get that too. They and I shouldn’t, we’re awesome too!

The trail got pretty crowded and I was no longer able to take the straightest line and run the tangents. But I got plenty of “great job’s!” and I returned the complement. I have been running since the late 1980’s, and truthfully I think this is the biggest running boom that I have seen in a long time. Glad to see so many others taking up the sport, especially the longer distance stuff. The lone runner that I actually know personally, Holly, saw me and we exchanged hello’s!

At Mile 9 I caught Green Shirt Guy, and as we continued leaving the hills behind us, he didn’t seem to want to keep up. But I didn’t get to enjoy passing him for too long, because within a mile I got passed by White Shirt Guy. I had dismissed White Shirt Guy earlier because he didn’t look the part of my other Corral A competitors. We were wearing real running shorts and looking every bit the part of running legends, and this guy had a pair of baggy shorts pulled over some tights. And he was wearing earphones! I got to say, I see people wearing head and earphones in races all the time. I never take them seriously because I think its a crutch for them, like they can’t do such a boring activity without music! And if they can’t run without music, my thinking is that they probably aren’t doing intervals and hill repeats either. But maybe I misjudged White Shirt Guy and his earphones.

White Shirt Guy passed me quickly as I was trying to down my second and last gel, but he was panting pretty hard and I felt like I was floating along. My immediate thought was that he is kicking way too early. I grabbed a water from another volunteer and said something that I would quickly regret: “That guy sounds like he’s suffering.” He wasn’t.

We turned on to the path and briefly headed west until a quick turn around and then it’s a 5K or so straight back to the finish. It was then when I saw the pack starting to form behind me, and the lead that White Shirt Guy was building. I figured I better keep pace with White Shirt Guy, and focus on the race ahead instead of what was behind.

The wind was now blowing straight into our faces. It wasn’t that strong, but it was cold and it made me duck my head a little. It had also started to sprinkle just a little. As I crossed Wolf Road one of the ESDA volunteers shouted my name. It was a kid that I had coached and had on my baseball team when he was about 11 or 12. I tell you that really gave me a pick-up! I actually had a little adrenaline flow through me from that. Glad I made an impression on the kid. And I am thankful that he was impressed.

I kept the pace until Mile 11 and started to draw White Shirt Guy in slowly. I could see the big bridge that goes over Route 45 ahead at about 12.5 miles and knew I would pace up it and try to fly down it. I made up some space on him and it was then that I knew I probably had him. As we came upon the 13 Mile marker, he took a quick look over his left shoulder, but I don’t think he saw me as I was running far right. I made my move and passed him quickly. I don’t think he even heard me, because he didn’t make any sort of effort to match my effort. Another reason not to wear earphones in a race! I heard him struggling and finally give an exasperated sigh, and I kicked to the finish line with what I had left. He kicked too damn early. And he wore earphones. I don’t get beat by runners wearing earphones.

I walked to the car and grabbed my sweatshirt and sweatpants to keep warm and then I walked back to the finish and watched quite a few runners finish. The race directors Jim and Bev own the little running store near the finish line. My son worked for them last summer. I spoke with Jim and he reiterated how great of a kid he was. Even though he has told me that once before, I still beam with pride. (Note to my son – use Jim as a reference on your resume!)

Bev walked up and had the current list of finishers and she let me have a look. There it was: 12th place overall. 4th in the 50-54 age group. I finished in the top twelve and didn’t even medal.

I’m not even the fastest Old Guy.

2016 IMLP Training – Week 17

WEEK 17 – April 18, 2016 – April 24, 2016

Good week this week because of…  Taper!  Just as the plan was building to a weekend 4 hour ride and a 1.5 hour run, Fink dialed it back.  I think the next week is set up for another easy week, finishing with an Olympic distance triathlon.  Since it is late April in the suburbs of Chicago, good luck finding a race!  Instead, I signed up for a half-marathon for next Sunday and will do a little biking afterward.

I missed one of the swims this week as the Friday swim fell on my wife’s birthday.  And if I have learned anything about triathlon training, you don’t screw with family obligations!  So I had some things to do birthday-wise, and the swim was skipped.

Cycling went well this week, and I felt really good about the 4 hour long ride/half hour brick run.  It was a little cool at the start, but all things considered a nice day for a ride.  I think I averaged about 17 mph, but was often moving along at over 20 mph.

IMG_5502
Had to yield to a peacock on the bike trail.  That was a first.  

I finally found some time to buy some new running shoes on Sunday.  I haven’t tried them out yet.  My running shoe brand ASICS has been so dependable for me that I almost never even try them on in the store, I just grab my model and size and go.  But last time I bought the new version of the Kayano, the 22 and it’s construction is very different from the 21.  I found it to be stiff and the left shoe seemed to slap the ground, which bugged the heck out of me.  Very disappointed with this version.  So I am trying an experiment and bought a cheap ASICS model, the GEL-EXCITE 3.  While testing them in the store, I found them to be really comfortable and sturdy.  My experience with the cheaper shoes is that they just don’t last as long in respect to cushioning and wear and tear on the sole.  I will keep track and see if they can get to 300 miles.  If so, then that is $50 well spent!

 

WEEK 17 TOTALS:

Swims: 2 total, 2 hours, 6000 yards

Bikes: 4 total, 6.5 hours, 112 (that’s an omen!) miles

Runs: 7 total, 5 hours, 36 miles

Unknown-4
Week 17 – Done!