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Milford Stay Dri Tri 2009 October 7, 2009

Posted by shwaldman in Family, Fitness.
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I am getting closer and closer to participating in a real triathalon. A few years ago, I did an indoor tri that used the pool, stationary bike and treadmill. It did not have measured transitions, so the intensity of the combined disciplines was reduced. I also did a few outdoor duathalons that year, but no swimming. Maybe next year, I will get in the water outside.

This past weekend, I joined a friend in a team triathalon. – although this one was a little different – instead of being in the water, we were on the water… canoeing 5K from Proud Lake to Milford. Once we beached the canoe (for the last time – there were several run-ins with the river banks!) we carried thr 75lb aluminum canoe about 1/3 mile to the transition area where we jumped on our bikes. I left the transition area a few seconds (22 secs) before than my partner who has real triathalon experience. I had a feeling I would be seeing him shortly. From that point, it was a 10K mountain bike ride on a tight single track trail through the woods in Milford. Although I did not recognize him, he passed me in the first mile or so, but we stayed close after that. In the midst of other faster riders passing us, I ended up passing Jeff with a mile or so to go in the bike. As I dismounted my bike, I heard our support team (our families) cheering him on, so my lead was about the same as when I started the bike. I heard later he had crashed right at the end of the bike trail.

After we survived that, it was a 5K run on the new paved Milford Trail. Jeff took a few seconds to put on his MP3 player, but after I racked my bike I grabbed some water and got out on the run. (It turns out he gave me 43 second head start.) I knew from the Milford Memories 5K, he was about 1:30 to 2 min faster than me, so I suspected I would have to have great run to hold him off. Unfortunately, right away, I knew I wasn’t going to set a blistering pace when I could feel the wobbles in my hamstring and then tightness in the calves. Sure enough, at the turn-around, he was only about 10 seconds behind me. He caught me and slowed down as I could keep up with him, although I have to say I would have stopped if we wasn’t there, so he kept me going. I finished the 5K in 28:04 which is decent given the prior bike.

After we finished and caught out breath, the rain started. It had been threatening and spitting all morning, but the skies really opened up. We were quite lucky to have gotten it in before that, because the bike and run would have been tough – it was on 50 degrees at the time. That being said, this was a really fun event. We really pushed ourselves and got to enjoy the outdoor activities Milford has to offer… this is yet another example of why I like living here!

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Bad Triathlon Dream January 14, 2009

Posted by shwaldman in Fitness.
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Let me preface this recollection of a dream that I had last night with several things. First, I have never participated in a (real) triathlon, although someday I would like to. And I say “real” because I have done an indoor triathlon, but that really does not count as there is no timing of transitions. I have done a few duathlons (run/bike/run), but again there is so much less involved. Second, yesterday I was listening to a couple of podcasts about triathlons and such, so it makes clear sense why this would have popped into my head overnight.

In any case, this is what I can recall:
I go to my first triathlon. I get there late by normal standards – probably 30 minutes or so before race time, but this doesn’t seem to cause me any sense of urgency. I proceed to get my shoes on and prepare for the run. The announcer calls for participates to start lining up. It was at this point that I realized that I didn’t even have my number and other registration. After I casually get my registration info, I then realized I had to swim first (duh…) , which caused me to remember I hadn’t set up my transition area -laid out shoes,… oh, wait… I then realized my bike was still on my car.

As one might expect, my brain was going nuts. I had to figure this all out and the gun was about to go off. My recollections of dream are usually vague, but especially so under this circumstance. So, I think what I ended up doing was yelling to my family that I needed them to get my bike and what my registration number / transition location was as I crazily got prepared for the SWIM – my worst event by far. I was going to be tired before I even started.

I woke up a couple of times during the dream – which I think is why I remembered it this time. This was not a good night of sleep! But as much as I kind of knew I was dreaming and tried to keep it going, the dream never got to the actual race. I certainly hope this bad dream is not a preminition of my first try at a TRI, but rather an opportunity to realize mistakes before they happen. The list of things to do and not to do is growing!
#1 Swim First
#2 But don’t forget to get the bike!

2005 Flying Pig Marathon Race Report May 7, 2005

Posted by shwaldman in Uncategorized.
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Ok, so here it is – my first marathon report. Cincinnati was to be my second first marathon – the first being what seemed like a lifetime ago – in 1998 MCM.

Having had a disappointing time in DC – I didn’t make any expectation adjustments when the temperature got to 80 degree and my sub 4-hour goal turned into a pure test of survival to get in before 4:30. With a lot of walking from 20 miles on, I survived that day, but knew the marathon had beat me. I was so disappointed, I didn’t run too seriously again for over a year.

So, in Janurary of this year, I made the decision to try again for a sub 4 hour marathon. I picked a training schedule, The Pig and with only a 5 mpw base, I got to work. Due to family and work constraints, the plan I choose called for 5 days a week (Mondays and Fridays off) and peaked at 55 mpw. I dusted off our treadmill and after our 8 month (now 12 month) old son went to bed and quickly got up to speed. It felt good to be focused on a particular goal again. I had run a couple of races here and there (even three dualthons) a couple of years ago, but this was the first time since ’98 that I had a plan.

And I stuck to the plan. I ran nearly every run the scheduled called for and until the first 17 miler, there were no mental setbacks. That day it snowed the whole time, accumulating about 6-8 inches during the course of my 3 hours out there. I came back soaked and unsure of myself. But I stayed focused and continued my progress. The next long run was another 17 two weeks later. The weather was much better, but the time was only slightly better. It was here, that I made the critical decision to stop eating on the run – gels, granola bars – it all just made me BLAH!

Two weeks later, I went for 20 and it only took a couple minutes longer than the 17 – now that was a breakthrough and I was back on track, physically and mentally. I did another 20 and then a 23, all feeling good. On the weeks in between these long runs, I did longish hill runs for 14-16 miles, just up and down a (4-5%) one mile stretch of road because I knew I had to be ready for some hills in Cincinnati.

Everything went well for 14 weeks. I read the forums nearly every day and picked up lots of good information. I felt both mentally and physically prepared going into the taper. I got the flu 10 days before the big day. As agonizing as those 24 hours were, I was happy that was all I had to deal with going from 5 to 55 in 16 weeks.

Then the weekend came… I drove down to Cincinnati on Saturday morning, picked up my wife at the airport who flew in from a work trip and headed to the expo. I was just trying to take it all in, but not make any mistakes. I had come too far to blow it now. I kept to the mindset that the work was done and it was now time to celebrate the 4 months of hard work.

Sunday morning came, the weather was marathon perfect as predicted and still everything was on track. I got started and tried to stay focused on not going out too fast – not dodging too many people. My times showed I was doing well with the former, but the GPS showed I was doing a lot of extra running. By Mile 5, I was already at mile 5.30. From that point, I tried to run the tangents and stay in line, which wasn’t too hard as we headed up through the Eden Park hills. I was prepared for this and felt good. On the way down, it felt real good and I put it in cruise control, but noticed my time was not on pace for sub 4. “Well,” I thought, “we are net downhill from here, I should be okay.” I tried to make up a little time here and there, but not remotely trying to pour it on. At the halfway point, was 2:03:51 Chip time, so I wasn’t far off, but it would have to pull the magical negative split.

After a quick pee break at the (aptly named) 13 mile porta-potty “oasis,” I settled into a good pace and found a couple attractive runners to stick behind… it worked for 3-4 miles, but as we got to Eastern, I lost a little focus and lost them. From that point, as much as we were supposed to be going downhill, it seemed to me that the road rose up to meet me – and not in a good way! The last 10K received quite a few damnations for the race director and anyone who had said “it’s all downhill from here!)”. Surprisingly enough, I caught up again with the “carrots” around mile 24 and finished 10 yeards behind one.

Final time: 4:06:05 (watch) and 4:06:04 (chip) and 4:08:22 (net) – I’ll take that extra second! Total GPS distance 26:55.

So, I ran a negative split, barely, but its gotta count for something, right?. 2:03:51 and 2:02:13 – maybe not, given the course. But given how much I felt like I was suffering the last miles (final 10K was 1:04 ish), I am a little surprised. But the first 10K was nearly the same (1:06:43 first 6.8). So, what was my error? I thought I was really on track for the sub-4 on this course, but I really ran out of gas and couldn’t give anything more at the end…. after hobbling back to the hotel room, I realized what my error was – I used my Camelbak which I used throughout training, but it was still half full. I didn’t take water or gatorage on the course (except on my head and down my pants!), so I literally RAN OUT OF GAS!

So, the sub-4 eluded me again, but not by much. I feel mostly satisified with my results, but now I have one more reason to try again – it’s still out there. I may be getting older, but this time I won’t wait another 6+ years. Two days after, I am already thinking about #3. That’s a good sign!