Archive for October, 2011

The marathon training begins!

So today marks the beginning of my marathon training program.  I put the program together myself based on something I know I need to do, and from a bunch of research I have been doing over the last year or so.  I plan to focus on running with some core work and maintaining some bike and swim fitness.  I am ok with letting the other stuff go, but the run training will be important to me.

My starting weight, as of this morning, is 182 pounds.  My goal is to reach 160 by the time I run my marathon next year.

My current 5K PR is 26 minutes and 6 seconds.  I hope to get that down to 19:30 or so.

I want to run a half in June at sub 1:30, and a full marathon in the fall at 3:15.

Most important of all, I want to stay injury free all of next year.

I will not be disappointed in myself if I miss any of those targets.  I have kids and spending time with them is the most important thing I can do.  However, I will be upset with myself if I don’t get to at least 165 because, baring any odd illness or injury, that is very controllable.

Race year 2011 was fairly low volume for me.  I focused a lot on swimming towards mid season, but mostly it was a relaxing year.  Next year will be more intense, but hopefully just as fun.

My Son’s first 5K

This weekend was the Hartford Marathon.  My wife was doing the Half, my sister-in-law was doing the full, and I decided to do the 5K with my 6 year old son.

We had been training, but not as much as I thought we needed to.  We are both so busy that it is hard to get some time to get a run in.  If my neighborhood were more run friendly I would have done a bit more training, but having to get in the car and drive somewhere made it difficult.

We started the day with a peanut butter sandwich and a chocolate milk.  When we arrived I searched for my wife and sister-in-law, who came early, but couldn’t connect with them.  I of course had to make a potty run, the lines were long, but we made it just fine.

My son was very nervous.  There were a lot of people, and the Hartford Marathon is quite a spectacle for a little guy.  I prepped him as best as I could and we got into line with all the other 5kers.  I decided to start us out back so that he would feel like he was making good progress by passing a bunch of people as opposed to having people pass him.

When the gun went off he stayed right next to me as I found a clearing or two for us to run in.  When he noticed that I was finding gaps he decided to take off and bounded between people.  He took of at that point and I just ran behind him impressed with his zig zagging skills.  He was doing an 8 minute mile or so at that point, and I knew it was too much to sustain for 3 miles.  We just weren’t fit enough to do it (both of us) about half a mile in I took off his sweath shirt and he took off once more.  He managed this fast pace for about a mile and a half.  I was really impressed!

Unfortunately, after the 1.5 mile mark he got a stomach cramp.  The peanut butter combined with the break neck pace was too much for him.   We started walking, and I could tell that he was really suffering.  We walked for about 3/4 of a mile and he kept looking behind him and seeing people pass.  He asked at one point if we were going to be in last place.  I said that we weren’t going to be, but even if we were I was very proud of him.  He kept fading, and at about the 2.5 mile mark I picked him up and ran with him a bit.  He had very much checked out of the race at this point and I felt bad that I had brought him this far out with no way easy way to get to the finish.  With about a half mile to go I put him down and said, can you hear the finish?  We need to run when we get there.  Well, I barely got the sentence out and he shot out like a bullet.  A police officer shouted “You aren’t going to catch him” and he was right.  I would guess that my son was running a 6 minute mile at that point.  I couldn’t gain any ground on him no matter how fast I ran.  He eventually faded and we walked for a bit, but he looked much better now.  He bolted again, and once again we were buried in cheers from people who knew I had no hope of catching him.

Eventually I did catch him and we ran hand in hand through the finish.  When we got across the line I hugged him and told him how proud I was of him.

We did the 5K in 38 minutes, and, for the record, we were no where near last place!

I will never forget this day as long as I live.  I’m so proud of my little guy for a really successful run.

My wife was no slouch either.  Despite a head cold and a trip to the med tent for feeling light headed, she had a 7 minute PR in her half.  My sister-in-law had leg cramps starting at mile 10 of her marathon, but managed to make it through with a walk/run finish of 5:45, not bad for a first marathon.

It looks like everyone fought off some pain to make a great and memorable race!

Metric Century Ride of Death

I got together with some friends and our goal was to ride the local rails to trails up to Massachusetts.  That was very close to a metric century, so that was our goal.

I have said many times that I don’t really like riding my bike on the rails to trails.  You are pretty limited in terms of speed because of all the people on there, and you have to constantly slow down/stop to get through the many intersections you pass through.  In addition, each intersection presents a series of obstacles, like steel poles or fences, that you have to go around/through at a slow (read unstable) speed.  Last year my sister-in-law got hurt when she feel at low speed going between a couple of poles on the way across a driveway.

As a relatively unsteady bicyclist, I am in trouble going through those things, and I dread it.  This ride was no different.  The trip was actually very smooth for the most part, and there were very few people on the trails in the beginning.  About 40 miles into the ride, we got on a part of the trail where two sections merge into one.  I looked back to make sure no one was coming from the other side, and proceeded.  I was riding beside a friend, and I pulled slightly to the side near a guard rail that was between the trails and a street that was parallel to the trail.  I felt myself get too close, and I instinctively reached down to push off the guardrail.  I couldn’t reach it and of course leaning that way pushed me every closer until…something on my bike caught on a support beam on the wooden guard rail and the bike came to a stop, I did not.  My bike stayed put more or less, and my feet and body went over the side of the guardrail.  I sensed a car coming and pulled my feet in which caused me to land on my feet and, because I was wearing cleats I slid back.  Fortunately I was very far from the car, so all was good.

My friend quickly asked what I hit and what was hurting.  To my surprise I wasn’t hurting at all.  I landed on my feet, my hand were on my bike/the guardrail, so all was good in the world.  In fact, none of my body made contact with the ground.  I did have a scrape on my left forearm, and a couple of scrapes on the outside of my right leg.  My Garmin 305, however, wasn’t so lucky.  I smashed it on the guardrail and the LCD shattered internally.  My front brake lever got messed up too, so I did the last 20 miles or so with only rear brakes.

I was able to fix the front brake once I got home, so the only real casualty was the Garmin.  I count myself very lucky, it could have been so much worse.

Rockwell Park – Bikers Edge Bike Tour

This past weekend I did the 50 mile Bike’s Edge Ride.  It was a really great ride through the hills of Harwingting, New Hartford, and Barkhamstead.  I didn’t plan on a 50 mile ride, in fact I was thinking that 25 was more my style, but at the last minute I was convinced to do the 50 miler.

I have to say, I’m glad I did.  The morning started off rainy, I almost blew off the ride completely.  The rain ended at 7:30, and I was at the even in Rockwell Park in Bristol by 8.  A little after 8:30 we took off, and within about 30 minutes the sun came out.  The day ended up being perfect.  The route was great!  Enough hills to keep it interesting, but plenty of flat areas and down hills to keep you fresh.  Of course, the scenery can’t be beat.  I think I might turn the route into my standard 50 miler.  I think I can trim a handful of miles off and get it down to 30 or so, while maintaining the best parts of the ride.

I have a couple more rides coming up, including a ride on the rails to trails from Framington into Massachusetts.  That should be fun.  After that it will likely be time to start up that spin class again.

  • The Narcissist Section (a.k.a. Me Me Me)

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