Tuesday, August 31, 2010

My Ironman Race Report

I'm fulfilling all kinds of promises this week.  Finally, after more than a month, I have posted my Ironman Lake Placid race report.  Read it here...  Please know, however, that since I've had so much time to think about it, it is not a brief report.  I wax on for a while, so make sure you have some time to devote to reading about my experience ;).  Seriously, I hope that you enjoy it.

Oh yeah, and Teta, check out my finish line photo that I included at the end.  Do I get bonus points for "letting" the photographer catch me floating across the finish line?

Enjoy all!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Honoring a Promise

As multisport athletes, the time we spend out of the house can never be recovered.  While I can't justly say that it is "lost" time, because we are out there working toward significant goals, healthier lifestyles, etc., I can say that when you're in a one athlete house, certain sacrifices are made. 

When we're out on that ride, run, swim, any combination of the two, we oftentimes leave our significant others behind to shoulder the burden of dinners/lunches, finances, cleaning.  While we do our best to do our share...and I know that we all do, it isn't always "good enough."

Where am I going with this?

You see, I trained and competed in Ironman Lake Placid this year, you all know this by now.  That was a huge committment on my end and many sacrifices had to be made.  One of those was spending time at home, just being with my wife and helping out around the house.

So, during the early stages of training, I went to my wife and made a promise (previously referenced).  I said, "you help me get through this, try your best not to harp on my not being around when you need me and be the best danged cheerleader you can be and I promise that when it is over, I will take some time off to be with you and help you accomplish your goals.  Which is why, to start honoring that promise, I took a few days off from work and made it a long, four-day weekend - just me and my wife at home. 

Great!  Sounds amazing, right?  Yes!  It was the best four days of doing nothing and everything all at the same time.  No, we didn't go away.  We didn't lounge by a pool or a lake or the shore.  We stayed home and tried to dig out from the last few months of insanity.  We cleaned, we organized and we enjoyed.  We even ate ice cream...whenever we wanted (which was a few times a day!).

We even made time to run.  Which leads me to this brag...the wife has decided to do the Hartford Half Marathon in October!  Woo hoo!  I'm stoked.  She has been working hard at running/jogging/walking over the past few weeks and Saturday, she did seven miles!  I was very impressed.  I can't wait to see her face when she crosses that finish line.

As for me, I met up with my running buddy on Saturday and we grinded out a ten miler.  The weather was great and we had a nice run. 

And finally...I just got in the Timex Global Trainer...hopefully it will be up and running soon!  More to come...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

POSTED - Race History & Results

I just created a new tab - allowing me to make a home for my race history and results. Click on the tab above or click here - http://triwithrecklessabandon.blogspot.com/p/race-history-results.html.


One step closer to an archived race report page...

A Celebratory Weekend

First, to all of you out there that started and finished Timberman - congrats!  I've already read a few race reports where people PR'ed, did better than they expected and just had an overall great time.  Specifically, check out the great reports posted by Caratunk Girl and Teta...  Awesome!

Second, I was absent from the blogosphere for a few days because I was down on Long Island for a party.  It wasn't just any party, mind you.  This was a family/friends "welcoming" party for my niece.  We had so much fun.  At just over two months old, she is pretty cute and changing every day.  I'm biased, as I am her Godfather. Awesome!

I did make some time to do a tempo run on Sunday before the festivities.  I wasn't sure how I would perform, especially given my last outing.  But, thanks to some good advice and support from you all, I forgot about that valley, slipped on my Newtons, strapped on the HR monitor and off I went.

I started out at a pretty good clip - without a GPS, I wasn't sure of the pace...just knew that it was solid.  I did notice the heaviness of the air, though.  Man, was it humid.  I pressed on - heading to the park for a loop around the lake.  Knowing the route, I kept my pace pretty quick.

I had heard that there was a 10k in the park earlier that morning, but there was absolutely no sign of it but the chalk markers to keep folks on the course.  (So, to the race organizer and clean up crew - thanks! Leaving it like you found it allows us to keep racing in parks/neighborhoods/towns across the country). 

This is a really long post to say that I finished up feeling great.  3.51 miles (thanks mapmyrun) in 27:20 - a 7:47 pace.  Not too bad.  Could've been worse. 

To anyone waiting on my Ironman Lake Placid report and/or an archive of my previous tri experiences (I'm catching up since I'm so new), please be patient.  I'll get it done.  Promise!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Suffering - Peaks and Valleys

Peaks and valleys.  We all experience them - in sport, at work, in relationships - life, in general, can be described as a series of peaks and valleys.  I know, too, that how you respond to those peaks and valleys is what determines your overall level of satisfaction/happiness.

But, I can't help but be down about my "long" run last night.  After a great run earlier in the week, followed up by a pretty good day at the track on Wednesday, I was totally not expecting an eight mile run to be my death march.  I just couldn't seem to get it right.  From the jump, my HR was completely out of control, nothing I did could get it to come down.  My legs felt heavy and I was even struggling to maintain good posture.

When it was over, we took a look at the distance and time and realized, though, that even with a walk break at the turn-around of the out-and-back, we still were able to maintain a 9:00 pace.  Not bad, but I know I can do better.  Plus, it frickin' hurt like hell and I didn't enjoy it. 

So I leave you with a favorite quote of mine, one that I will be repeating over and again this weekend as a sort of reminder...

"To succeed, you must first improve, to improve, you must first practice, to practice, you must first learn, to learn, you must first fail." - Wesley Woo

The peak and valley I experienced this week are no where near this pretty...

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Speed Work and the Running Journey?

So, on my drive into the office this morning, it dawned on me that for the next few weeks/months, I should rename my home on the interweb My Running Journey.  You see, I made a promise that, post Ironman Lake Placid, I would take some time off from serious triathlon training and spend more time at home.  That promise doesn't prevent me from training totally, I just won't be spending hours in the saddle or in the pool.

But, I had already committed to running the ING Hartford Half Marathon with my running buddy in October.  It will be his first half and I signed on to pace him to a solid first-time half finish.  (Shhh...we're also thinking of a guys weekend in December to do the Rock-n-Roll Half in Las Vegas). 

All of this leads me to my first round of speedwork since my hard taper before IMLP.  I set out to just get it done - see how it feels to run fast - without really a planned workout.  I did a mile warm up, a few pick-ups and then got down to business.  This is what I had "planned" (we're triathletes, even without a plan there is a plan): at least 12 X 400 on at least 1:50 (7:20/mile pace).

I did 13 X 400 on an average 1:47 (7:08/mile pace).  Not too bad for my first time back at it.  I was inspired somewhat by the other 3-4 multisport athletes out doing speedwork.  I love it when I'm not the only one alternating directions on the track - makes me stand out less.

I will get back to my 1:35 400s, I know it.  It will just take me some time.  I still feel like my recovery from stronger efforts is taking me longer than it used to.  For those Ironman vets out there, have any tips on what I can do to speed up my recovery time?  I probably should go to see Michele at Florence Yoga.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I Love Eggs

I opened my Google Reader this morning to find an article about a massive egg recall.  Read: http://bit.ly/ar5uQK

Sparked by the fact that hundreds of consumers had become sickened from eating suspect eggs, the CDC recalled more than 200 million eggs thought to be contaminated with salmonella poisoning.

As an athlete and someone that believes that protein is a HUGE component to a healthy diet, and because I think they are an amazing food (omelettes, anyone?), I eat a lot of eggs and find this news disconcerting.  In reading up on the recall, not only am I not in an affected area, I don't buy mass produced eggs.  I feel pretty safe.

I am thankful for my co-op, River Valley Market, and for the locally farmed eggs that they sell.  The eggs I get taste better (okay, maybe it is pyschosomatic), are said to be healthier and support local agriculture.  Are they "cleaner" and free from risk of contamination?  Maybe not.  Does eating them make me feel better?  Absolutely.

So, as I continue my training and bring back my post-workout egg and cheese on toast, I will, for sure, be cracking local, organically raised, free range chicken eggs.

Think about it.

Photo sourced from www.topnews.in.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

23 days and counting...up!

It has been 23 days since I finished Ironman Lake Placid (more to come on that later, as I'll add in some past race history to further chronicle my multisport journey).  While I have gone out on some other runs prior to today (read two or three), I haven't really felt like I was making my way back on the horse.
Seriously...when you look at this face in the mirror at 5:15 a.m., you don't feel inspired.

Well, regardless of how tired I looked, I still was up and ready to run.  I carefully put on my injinji toe socks (anyone that wears these knows that they must be put on carefully), slipped on my Newton Gravity running shoes, put on my Garmin FR60 and RoadID and out the door I went.

I wasn't sure of what I was in for today, I just knew that I wanted to run.  Since it was really my first day back, my plan was to take it easy - keep it in mid-Z2 the entire run.  It was pretty humid and I could feel my HR ticking up faster than I had hoped, so I did my best to just find my groove.

I did an out-and-back on the Norwottuck Rail Trail which isn't far from my house.  I don't have a GPS (want one) and I haven't put the foot pod back on because I'm still running with my Yankz!, so I was just running for time.  I picked a spot a little less than 20 minutes from home and made it my turnaround.  I negative split on the way back which made my HR spike somewhat, but still in Z2.  I ended the run feeling pretty good.

Well, imagine my surprise when I mapped my run and calculated the distance/pace/etc.  For a pseudo first day back, I'm feeling better than good.  Here are the stats: 4.5 miles in 36:36, which I calculate to be a 8:08/mile pace.

I felt so good that on my way into the office I called my buddy and scheduled in some speed work tomorrow.  Wish me luck!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Reckless Abandon - The Launch

Dear Friends, Family and Fellow Triathletes,

Welcome to Reckless Abandon - My Multisport Journey.  What is to follow, hopefully, will be some observations and thoughts about my experiences - in life, in sport, at work - anything and everything may be fair game. 

This is an opportunity for me to chronicle my life from the jolly fat guy to the somewhat fit triathlete.  I have come a long way, I know.  I know, too, that I still have a long way yet to go.  As I work to get to where I'm going, I hope to share my views on my training, my gear, the people that I encounter, etc.  I am open to suggested topics, too.

My journey would never have been possible without the love and support of my beautiful wife, Always Becoming, my friend and coach, Martha at Dynamic Training, and all of the countless articles and blog posts that I have read over the years (far too many to link to here).  I do have to give credit to Kovas at Midwest Multisport Life for encouraging me to share my story and my thoughts. 

Thanks, in advance, for your support and for reading.  Maybe we can have fun with this thing!

Race on,