Archive for December, 2007

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Goodbye 2007

December 31, 2007

December is coming to a close and I thought it was about time to do some reflecting. I didn’t really have any official triathlon goals for 2007, except for finishing an Oly (which I did early in June and repeated again in August), but I think it went pretty well.

Despite a pretty bad IT band injury this summer, I’ve been able to maintain at least a modest level of fitness all the way throughout the year, and am about 5-10 pounds lighter, and in a WHOLE lot better shape than I was last December. (I ALMOST have that middle line of muscle definition in my calves from spinning!) I haven’t gotten any better at resisting Christmas cookies and my grandmother’s fudge, but at least I’ve finally found my year-round workout groove to help burn it off, and I couldn’t be any happier.

I feel like somewhere along the line in 2007 I’ve passed that point that I’ve been trying to reach for quite a while. That tipping point where triathlon and being generally active isn’t just something I do to keep busy when I’m not at work, but has become a part of my lifestyle and has started to define the way I deal with life and look at the world. For example, my job no longer offers vacation days. They are now days to be used to travel to my big races next year and recover before heading back to the daily grind.

I went on a tour of Fenway Park yesterday with my family who came up from Connecticut to visit their big brother.

The score board is counting down to MLB’s opening day. It was a nice reminder that it isn’t too long before the racing season starts up again and I can head out on the road without having to bundle up in thick coats and multiple layers. The weather may be getting colder, but the winter solstice has passed and they days are only getting longer from here. I hope everyone had a great year and here is to a great 2008 season!

Cheers and Happy New Year Everyone!

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More race photos

December 26, 2007

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Jingle Bell 5k

December 24, 2007

This morning I ran in the Somerville Jingle Bell 5k that was rescheduled from last week after the snow storm. I was a little worried that the cold rain would come early, but it turned out to be the perfect weather (at least in comparison the rest of the cold/rainy/snowy shit that we have had lately).

I took a short walk from my apartment to the starting line. I LOVE that the race was so close to my house. It made the whole “making sure I get to the starting line on time” stress situation non-existent.

There were all sorts of crazy outfits and Sam (my official race photographer and cheerleader) grabbed a few pics. There was a pretty sweet moose hat with big antlers that I spotted. I hope I get it for Christmas! I do have a thing for mooses…

It was pretty warm out (mid 40s), so I just had a lightweight jacket, wicking long sleeve t-shirt, tri shorts, knee warmers and some thin running gloves. I got pretty warm about two miles in and had to unzip my top and pack away the gloves in my back pocket.

I didn’t have too high expectations since I have not been running nearly as much as I had planned on leading up to this race. I would have been happy if I landed somewhere between the 25-26 minute range (depending on how many people ended up running race and I had to dodge). I was able to slowly pick out different packs of runners to help me keep at a pretty consistent pace and to slowly catch up to some faster people towards the end.

It was a relatively flat course, but there were a few small hills and bridges along the way. I’m not sure what it was, but I felt like I was able to just plow right trough them and overtake a few runners every time. While my pace wasn’t all that hot, and could’ve much better if I actually trained more, I felt like all of the spinning I’ve been doing lately has really helped a lot in powering through the hills.

My time (at least according to my watch) was 24:54. I was pretty psyched. It wasn’t the fastest 5k ever, but decent compared to my training time.

Also, I had been having a big problem getting blisters along the arch of my foot on a few of the last runs I’ve gone on, but tried some new running socks (and have now sworn off of ever running in the standard thick white socks) and will only run/bike in real running socks from now on. Check ’em out at The Sock Guy. They may cost a few extra bucks, but knowing my feet will be comfortable and won’t be all torn up and raw after a few miles out on the road is more than worth it. This was the first time sporting this particular pair, so they definitely deserve some more testing, but I was SO happy with them after today’s race since just about every other pair of socks in my top drawer has been giving me problems lately for watever reason.

Max HR: 192
Avg HR: 176

Next Goal: Sub 21:00 5k

I should be able to pull that off in 2008, right? I just have to get my ass out the door and actually put some more miles in.

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I Heart Endorphins

December 19, 2007

That is all.

No real update, I just had a busy day at work, went to teach another spin class, and came back a brand new man. Hurray endorphins!

Winter may suck the motivation to workout right out of me, but once I’ve got my shoes and shorts on, I’m good to go.

Oh, and I got the first blackened toe nail that I’ve had in a really long time and I love it! I know that is a wierd thing to be excited about, but I had this one black toe nail from running back in High School when I was my fastest and hadn’t had one since. It makes me feel like I’m a real runner again and am showing some physical signs to all the miles that I’ve been putting in lately. Ugly and gross, but awesome. I’m very proud of my thick black toe nail. 🙂
I’ll spare you guys the pictures since I actually like people reading my blog and don’t want to scare anyone off.

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Offseason Dreaming – Ironman Boston

December 17, 2007

Another Nor’easter hit last night, dumping another 6 inches of wet slushy snow, and canceled my 5k today. Thankfully it was postponed until next weekend so I won’t miss out on it, and I’ll have a chance to shake off some of the soreness from sloshing around in the snow on my run this past Friday.

Being snowed in, with no other responsibilities other than doing some online Christmas shopping and digging my car out of a pile of snow, gave me some time to finish mapping out my ideas for a self-supported ironman at the end of my 2008 season. The idea is slowly and slowly becoming more real and I’m in love with the idea of doing an IM all by myself. Sure, I don’t get the crowds, TV cameras, banners and right to where IM logo gear, but I’ll be able to do the race on my own terms, create my own dream course, and have the extra challenge of doing it without the support of crowds and aid stations. That isn’t even getting into saving the probably +$1,000 of race registration, travel and lodging for me and all of my support crew.

IM Boston Map

http://www.mapmytri.com/route/united-states/ma/concord/2119270

I finished the long process of mapping out all 140.6 miles on MapMyTri.com today. My plan is to start the race sometime in late august/early september at Walden Pond in Concord, doing two full loops around the perimeter, using the parking lot as my T1 and aid station to pass by on three 30ish mile loops on the bike before heading down to Hopkinton to the start of the Boston Marathon route. I’d then pass off my bike and transition into my running gear (with the support of whoever I can convince to help me out and take care of my gear for the day) before heading east into downtown Boston and crossing that big blue finish line across Boylston Street.
Ironman Boston

Anyone else interested?!

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Winter Wonderland

December 14, 2007

Last night, this was the scene outside my window. Over 10 inches of snow and barely shoveled sidewalks and roads.

It was a much better view outside this morning when I got up before 6:00 this morning for another run along the river. Getting out early and seeing the whole city covered in bright and clean white snow made it all worth it.

Running in snow is almost as tough as running in sand. I felt like I was working WAY too hard for how fast I was going. The run was about 5.5 miles, took almost exactly an hour and I averaged a HR of about 170. DAYUM!

I hope I’m not really that slow and that I can blame it all on sloshing through the snow and trying not to slip and fall into traffic or the river…

I’m doing a Jingle Bell 5k this weekend. Hopefully that’ll give me some better idea of what my running speed is like this winter…

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The things you find on morning runs…

December 8, 2007

I was out on an early morning run through Harvard Square and along the Charles river this morning. It was just about 30 degrees, and everything had a light coat of snow all over it. Perfect. The kind of scene that makes waking up early all worth it.

You know how runners are usually the ones to find dead bodies buried in parks or something? Well I have yet to find any bodies, but I always find a few oddities out on the road. From being chased by dogs, yelled at by incoherent drunks, local college kids making the early morning “walk ‘o shame,” I manage to see something interesting whenever I hit the road.

This morning was no difference. So there I am, cruising along the Charles river and off in the distance I spy some people jumping in to one of the few unfrozen spots in the water under a foot bridge.

It wasn’t until I got around to the other side of the bridge that I realized half of them weren’t even wearing any clothes. I like to think I’m usually up for just about anything, but damn! Needless to say, some early morning nudity has probably topped my list of random things I’ve run across during a run.

Crazy college kids…