Monday, June 29, 2015

Mizuno Running posted an article I wrote (this is me doing a happy dance)!

So...who has two thumbs and is on the Mizuno Running website? THIS GUY!!! I can't even begin to say how excited I am that Mizuno put my article (about how to train for your first 5k) on their website...but they actually wanted to use pictures of me too! I'm not going to lie, I'm feeling pretty awesome about now. You can go read the whole article here. I'd like to know what you think. Now, if only I could just go run..damned broken toes.

Monday, June 22, 2015

I mean...I HAD to go try a run to see if I was healing up

Look, I'm not going to lie...not running is killing me. Yes I can swim, lift and bike (although biking is a challenge) but nothing help me feel fit and trim like running. It was such a nice day out that I couldn't spend another day inside training.

What I had planned was to do a 1 to 1.5 mile "test run" to see if my toes could take it. I went with a pair of my Topoathletic shoes because they're a "natural" running shoe with a wider toe box and man I never understood what that really meant until now. Even busted up, my toes felt good with the more room.

I started out with an easier pace just trying to focus on body position and turnover to see how uncomfortable running would be. Because I cant roll off the end of the foot, I was running with a shallower step and that's what got me in trouble. I didn't see the "rise" in the pavement and caught the tip of my left foot on it. It caught me by complete surprise and it went down hard. I didn't do my normal "tuck and roll" fall and ended up taking off the top of my knee, a good chunk of my elbow and the skin off both palms (thanks goodness I didn't break a collarbone)! And not even at the 1/2 mile mark!!!

Well, what was going to be an "easy test run" turned into a rage driven, adrenaline fueled, expletive filled screaming in my head, 4 miler. The good thing about the fall is that pain made me forget all about my toes...at least for a little while. But after I stopped..wowza! Ya, I'll be enjoying a large glass of bourbon later.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Who knew toes are so important?! Sonuva!

So, I've never broken a toe. Yes I've banged them, stubbed them but NEVER broken them...until now. To add insult to injury, literally, I didn't break them doing anything cool either. I was walking between my kitchen and living room while making myself some dinner and "kicked" the edge of the oak feet of my couch.

I looked down to see the last two toes on my left foot pointing 90 degrees to the left and oh my sweet baby Jesus the pain. So, I quickly reached down and grabbed the toes to pull them out and reset them back in place (I mean I've reset my own should before, not fun but has to be done) but heard the "snap, crackle, pop" of what had to be broken tootsies. I just told myself "they couldn't be broken, I didn't hit the couch that hard",  "sure they're dislocated but not broken, "I'll be fine in the morning".  Well, woke up the next morning to realize I was just lying to myself. I couldn't even get my foot in a shoe for Christ's sake!

A trip to the doc, and x-rays revealed I did dislocate them...AND break them. Although, I take great pride that both the doc and the x-ray tech were impressed by my resetting the toes correctly. Prognosis? Its toes, no way to cast them or even tape them to other toes because they're on the end. So two weeks on no running period, then reevaluate. Bottom line is that  its broken bone and will take 6 weeks to be completely healed. You know the doc knows you when you ask about painkillers and his response is "I'm not giving you anything for pain. you'll just take 'em and keep running". This is NOT what I needed to have happen now. I was just getting back into the training and racing groove and this now jeopardizes my racing Timberman 70.3...and that was my only BIG race this season. Ugh. I'm gutted. I'll just have to see how I recover. more to follow...

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Something new is coming AND I got a speedwork workout in too

So I had an impromptu photo shoot for an article I hope to be able to share shortly. Gorgeous, sunny, hot New England day to get out and snap some photos...and my friend Melanie made me look awesome! She shot so many great images of me and this is my fave. Good running form, proper turn over, one of my favorite quotes and a wicked light, fast pair of running shoes (hint, hint...more to follow, I hope).

If I'm on the track to shoot pictures, I might as well get a workout in too right?! A 1 mile warm up on 7:15 pace followed by 6x100s on a 5:45 pace. I need to get back to speed work and having a great "kick" for racing. I never cease to be amazed at how you can literally run off the anger and frustration of the day. Oomph, I'm a bit wiped out but I feel great!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

The 2nd Annual Greendale Triathlon...an eye opening race to say the least

Well, I would love to say I had a great race...or that the race went the way I'd hoped...but that would be a total lie. I have been not training, not motivated to train and apathetic about racing at best. Because of the illness, surgery, more illness, lung infection and general malaise, I haven't done a triathlon in almost a year. A year?! Jesus! So what better thing could I do than sign up for a race to shake the silliness right out of me, right? Right?! It was a new race for me (although in an area I know pretty well) and I was beyond anxious about it. Taking my bike down off its rack the night before to prep it I had to clean off the dust. DUST?! Wow, its been a while since I've touched my bike. I went through my packing lists and tried to layout everything like it was just a routine thing.
 

Getting to the race I was a bit on edge (could you not tell in that first pic?) and setting up transition was a challenge because I had to ask folks around me to rack their bike properly. I that to be that guy but come on people, look around and see what everyone else is doing. The race is run by MRA (a local race management group that I have nothing but great things to say about. If you want a great, well organized race, do an MRA one...you won't be disappointed) and the volunteers and race staff were all smiles.  Which I never realized has a pretty calming effect. One thing worth pointing out is that bike numbers they gave out were really cool. Made by a local company called "Smart Mount" they're like what you see in pro bike races and were super easy to put on, no muss no fuss. But I digress.

1/2 mile swim (um, no) - 24:23

Although the water wasn't that cold, I decided to go with a full wetsuit because I just got it and wanted to try it out. Taking in an easy swim before the start I looked at the buoys and it seemed a little long but I'd wait until the race brief to be worried. Sure enough, in going over the swim course in the pre-race announcements it was actually longer than I originally thought. Now I don't have a calibrated eye but even I know that out to the first buoy and back was half a mile..no need for the other 2 buoys! And yes a half mile swim (what the race was billed as) or longer shouldn't be a big deal but longer is NEVER better...when it comes to swims at least. I have not been swimming a lot lately and I didn't have the confidence of lots of swim fitness to slough it off. Add in that it was a "rolling start/time trial" start (which I absolutely hate) and I placed myself near the back by accident and queue the nerves. When the mantra in your head as you swim is "just make it out of the water, you'll be fine on the bike and run" it is not going to be a good day. As I came to the swim exit, I couldn't get my wetsuit off for the life of me. I don't know if it was fatigue, being out of practice, anger or what but I had the grace and speed of a dying rhino. I glanced down at my watch to see I was at .78 miles instead of .5 miles for the swim...just as a ran by the race director I did have enough energy to say "half mile swim my ass".


T1 - 3:02
I got into transition STILL with my wetsuit on, gassed, and barely able to catch my breath. I actually had to sit down to get my wetsuit off. IT honestly was like I've never raced at all before. I even forgot how to use my v800 (so the data for the race just ended up that it was one long swim, ugh)! I fumbled my way out of transition to get out on the bike.

Bike - 16.5 miles - 52:45 (18.76mph)

Ah, the bike...my leg of a triathlon. Oh, no it was not. Even though the course was relatively flat with rolling hills I couldn't but settled in or comfortable at all. Since my watch wasn't giving me the proper data, I just focused on trying to catch and pass people. So much so that when I got the 10mi marker I realized my dry mouth had come from not drinking anything (other than some lake water during the swim) up to this point. I know I should've something positive to focus on but instead I was just taken aback at how poorly I was doing up to this point. Then the age old triathlete problem hit...I had to pee. Damnit, peeing on the bike...yet another thing I was that I was out of practice. Maybe i could hit the porta potty in transition before going out on the run. Well, keep grinding and get to transition.

T2: 1:07

Learning from the T1 debacle I was thinking about how to better execute T2 while I was riding in. As I got off the bike and saw how many people were already out, I just skipped hitting the porta potty (I'm not wasting MORE time getting out of a skinsuit to pee). Thanks goodness I got in and out trouble free at least.

Run - 2.5 miles - 19:43 (7:53min pace)

Yup, haven't done bike run bricks in a while and my legs let me know quickly. I thought that they'd come back quickly...but considering we had to run up stairs...and then continue running practically uphill to the first mile maker..I felt like I was made out of cement. I just kept telling myself that it'd be downhill, the finish was close and it'd all be over soon. Ya, when you hear that coming from me...at a sprint tri...you know I'm having a sh*tshow of a time. I crossed the finish line in 1:40:58, 45th overall and 9th in my age group.  I have always prided myself on being in a level of shape that allowed me to pick any race, show up and be competitive. That was blatantly not the case today. I have no one to blame but myself. The only thing I can do is use this as a learning lesson and motivator and work to get back to the "me" I expect for race day. But now I'm going to have some pizza...


Monday, May 25, 2015

The Powisset Farm 6 miler trail race...always look down

In the spirit of getting back in the habit of racing and trying new things, I decided to do a trail race on Memorial Day Monday. I've never raced on a Monday and I've never done a trail race. So I should have no expectations other than to finish and learn something new. Boy, did I..

 So...what did I learn? Well first off, since the course is winding and the ground uneven, you're not going to just blow by lots of people. You have to think of when and where you're going to pass someone. I got that little lesson taught to me when I first tried to pass a group of people at about 1/4 mile into the race and rolled my ankle, actually letting out a little yelp from the pain (really, I'm not proud) and I had to stop and take a breath. But hey, we're here to race so lets get back to it. I would love to say I learned my lesson for the rest of the race...but no. There is no "turning off the brain" to run when trail racing and there's no "looking ahead of you" either. I did that a few times more during the race...and what did it get me? Fall, then fall, then fall again. Jesus Christ, I felt like I was going to spend the whole race fumbling and stumbling! Oh ya, then then there was a mountain climb in the middle (no really, in order to get over it I had to lean forward and use my hands to get up and over the top). The course was technical and challenging almost every step. But, I have to admit that I enjoyed it and want to do another one. I did ok too, 17th overall and 4th in my age group. And the icing on the cake is even with all the effort the race required I had no heart rate spikes. Maybe I'm done with that too!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

The Golden Eagle 5k. The only nway to get comfortable racing...is to go race

My racing every weekend schedule has been off for quite a while. So rather than fret or be nervous about racing, why not just show up to one and see how it goes? 

This 5k was just minutes from my apartment, had a late start (yay, for sleeping in) so I figured I'd head over and try my luck. When I got to the start line I realized the crowd was filled with middle school and high school track kids. Oh my, the pain of this race just got more painful. These kids are gonna take off at the start and I knew my ego would not want to just let them go.

The gun goes off and indeed, all those kids take off like rockets!!! But...by the first mile marker they started to burn out and the steady uphill from mile 1 to mile 2 got to most of the rest. Ha, there's a joy in being old, fat and SMART! I just focused on good body position and foot turnover. Don't get me wrong, that hill killed me too but I knew how to get through it.

Not the pace I would've wanted (or expect, with proper training I should've averaged around 6 min miles even with that hill) but it was good enough for a top 5 overall and winning my age group. AS I walked up to get my medal, I don't know which overheard comment made me happier: the "That guy is in the 40-44 age group?" or "that old guy is FAST!". Well, at least its another race in the books. Now to go log some training miles for the day.