Archive for March, 2009


Build Phase = Twinkie Nutrition

March 29, 2009

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The snow has melted (almost), it actually rained this week instead of snowed and I heard thunder for the first time this year. Not only does that mean that winter is gone and spring is starting to bloom, but it is time to move from my base training phase to the build phase! More volume. More intensity. More hurtin’!

I am moving past that 5-10 hours per week to that 10-15 zone and it hurts. These past two weeks have slowly and systematically been tearing my legs off from my body. I’ve gotten two 50 mile rides in and it isn’t even April yet. I normally don’t get in this much riding this early in the season, but then again I don’t normally plan on doing a half ironman in the beginning of June. I guess it is at least good to know that my training is matching my race schedule. Makes sence, right? Haha.

During my long ride this weekend I cruised through one of my favorite routes from Concord, MA. Nice quiet farm land and cool little stuff like this old mill.

Besides wearing my calf compression sleeves almost constantly, and refilling the ice bucket repeatedly for another round of ice baths I’ve found that the build phase makes Jamie HUNGRY! My mid-workout nutrition is usually pretty good, but it seems like I just can’t take in enough calories during the rest of the day. I’ve cut back on a lot of things since losing my job, but food has not been one of them. I just couldn’t justify trying to get fitter and training for triathlons, but downgrading the fuel that I feed my body to keep it performing. It is almost like buying a new sports car and refusing to put anything but 87 grade gas in it, right?

But after multiple trips to the local butcher and Whole Foods in one week, I still am struggling to get in enough food. A whole box of chocolate chip cookies, a ton of fruit and enough PBnJ sandwiches to choke a donkey just aren’t cutting it. It even got to the point on Saturday that after a 55 mile tempo ride, I had to skip my swim workout because I was busy stuffing my face for so long that by the time I was done, the pool was closed. What gives?!

The good thing is that I’m at least not gaining any weight. I got a little worried once I ran out of fruit and veggies and started hitting the cookies, Ben & Jerry’s and danishes as if my body ran on fat and sugar alone. I guess that means I’m at least burning all those junk calories that I’m taking in, right? I also made the mistake of walking by the wall of snack cake deliciousness while at Target today. Twinkie the kid was calling my name and I couldn’t resist.

I inhaled three before I even left the parking lot, and another one on my way out the door for a 6 mile run. I was really expecting a stomach ache by mile 2, but it surprisingly worked out pretty well. I think they may be new replacement for GUs and Clif bars, I’m just saying….

Thankfully this next week is a rest week. Hopefully my eating habits don’t continue or else I’m going to blow up like a baloon and they’ll have to roll me across the finish line.


Indoor Time Trial Time

March 23, 2009

This weekend me and two of my Wheelworks Multisport teammates signed up for the indoor computrainer time trial at the Multisport World Expo in Cambridge.

Coach Brett and I decided that this would be a good test of my fitness that I could hopefully use it as a benchmark for how I’m responding to all the training through the rest of the season. It also gave me a good idea of how much I could actually blame on my bike. My road bike isn’t exactly built for speed and it was a great way to get myself on a level playing field with other guys who are rocking carbon tri bikes that cost thousands more than my bike and weigh half as much. This race was all about legs and lungs baby!

But the thing about the indoor time trial is that it isn’t just some spectators, a few other athletes and me sweating our brains out for 10k. It is right in the middle of a huge multisport expo floor! So if you bonk, finish miles behind the rest of the riders in your heat, or make the mistake of wearing that pair of tri shorts that chlorine has eaten all but a few strands of spandex and bare your back side to a few hundred very close new friends, everyone knows. Instantly. All of your data is projected on a big screen for everyone to see. Watts. Speed. Distance behind the next rider. EVERYTHING.

Pic stolen from my Wheelworks team mate Sara. I’m not in this heat, but it at least gives you an idea of the setup.

Normally I’m not all that self conscious and have gotten used to most of my friends seeing me in varying amounts of spandex on a regular basis, but having all my stats broadcast onto the big screen instantly was a bit uncomfortable. But by the time the butterflies came, it was too late to even pay attention to them. I saddled up and before I knew it, we were off.

My feet started flying and I was really pushing the cadence. That was until one of the guys that was running the race came over and let me know that apparently the computrainer works better with a lower cadence around 85. After a few gear shifts and coming down from closer to 105 rpm, I was settled in to a good pace and found myself in fourth place out of eight. I was completely clueless about pacing for such a short race, but decided that for such a short race, if it didn’t hurt at least a little, I probably wasn’t going hard enough.

After some rolling hills and switching up my wattage, I figured anything under 275 didn’t hurt enough, and stuck with that as my target. I tried to only pay attention to that, mainly because there were a billion other numbers on my performance being projected on the screen and I could have gone into overload. Eventually, I realized that I was only a little while back from third place, and had him in my sights. He looked like he was hurting a lot more than I was, so I kept pushing it, took him down and held it through the end.


I didn’t have any expectations for this race, but just wanted to to give a really hard effort and analyze some of the stats. Given that I got a new max HR and that if the race was a mile longer, I would have thrown up everywhere, it was a good day. Here are my race stats.

Distance: 6.03 miles

Time: 15:56:09

Avg speed: 22.7

Avg watts: 283

Place (overall): 25 (74 overall)

Avg HR: 174

Max HR: 189

While I can’t prove it, I am sure that I wouldn’t be able to finish that strong this time last year. I’m totally psyched to start racing OUTSIDE!

UPDATE: Apparently I beat Karen Smyers by 20 seconds according to the official results. I can only imagine that she wasn’t giving it her all, but either way, it is a nice ego boost. 🙂 She is pretty hard core.


Rev 3 Tri Coupon Code

March 21, 2009

FYI: This blog has moved to a new address. Catch up on new posts at:

2010 Code: Trakkers108

2009 Code: NSS 132


As a part of Team Trakkers I was given this code to share with anyone else that might be on the edge about registering for the Revolution 3 Triathlon this June, or has been training for it but just hasn’t taken the leap to slap down the credit card. If you use the code (NSS132) when you register on, you’ll get $10 off. A nice little bonus when the economy sucks and it gets harder and harder to spend money on races, right? Granted, I’m sure you are much more likely to spend the extra dough on some extra GUs or post-race celebration beers instead of dropping it in your savings, but that is a different story.

And if you are still on the edge and need a little push to join me, the rest of Team Trakkers, and a whole horde of other bad-ass pro triathletes on June 7, be prepared to be persuaded.

1) I will be there. Seriously. Is there anything else that you need to know? Even if your race sucks and you bonk, I’ll be there to celebrate after and toss back a few adult beverages with you. But just in case you need some more…

2) The course is SERIOUS. If you just want to cruise easily to the finish of a Half Ironman, this isn’t it. There is a great post on the bike course elevation elevation HERE. Lots of rolling hills mixed in between some longer climbs. It doesn’t look like there are ANY places just to coast and settle into your race pace.

The race organizers created HD videos of both the bike and run course, so even if you can’t pre-ride the course before race day, you will be able to get a pretty good idea of what to expect beyond just staring at the elevation map.

Run course video:

Bike course video:

The course has also been compared to Wildflower. You know that now historic crazy-hard race out in California? Yeah. That one. Imagine being able to say that you were there the first year of a bad-ass race like Wildflower. Cool, right?

3) The race venue is awesome. I went to the Quassy Amusement Park a lot as a kid. It isn’t a super fancy Six Flags style park. It is much more “down-home New England-style park.”

So while you are out destroying the course for 5 or 6 hours, your family and little kiddies can romp around and risk their lives on the “Mad Mouse.” I remember this roller coaster from when I was a kid and apparently they still have it. The thing must have been built in the 1920’s. It doesn’t go that fast, or have any huge drops, but the fact that it was probably built a good decade before you were born will make your life flash before your eyes.

And in case you value your life, or don’t have good health insurance, apparently they upgraded a bunch of other rides since I was there 15 years ago.

4) Your will be among the first group of people to test out the new GPS athlete tracking gadget, Trakkers. Your family will be able to track your progress from the race site and know exactly your you are doing out on the course.


St. Patrick’s Day Trail Run

March 18, 2009

Yesterday I went out to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in style with a nice 2 hour trail run. Rather than sit around at home and wait for non-existent jobs to be posted online, or enjoy some adult beverages in my apartment by myself, I went out to explore some new (to me) trails just north of Boston.

I felt like I had to bring a whole bunch of extra crap with me compared to when I just ran around the block. Between my HR monitor, map, Road ID bracelet (in case I fall and break my leg off and the EMT needs to know where to send my body), four fuel belt water bottles, two Clif Shots and my cell phone, I felt like I was camping more than running. Since I hadn’t been there before, and no one would have missed me for hours if something happened, I figured it was better to play it safe.

I definitely want to make this a regular occurance. Except for some short speed work on the track, all of my runs have been on sidewalk and asphalt. NOT good for the knees. That is probably the reason that I’ve had issues with my IT band the last two years. Trail running is great for ankle and hip strength and is much easier on the joints. Plus, it is just nice to get out and enjoy some nature and not have to battle with traffic.

I even scoped out a pretty nice (although pretty rocky and muddy) bike trail. With my cyclocross tires, I think I can totally take it on! But that is for another day…