Archive for May, 2009

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Tapering Diet

May 29, 2009

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

 

Now that my taper is in full swing and I’m letting the legs completely rest before Rev3, I realized that I need to make some serious changes to my diet. I’ve gotten pretty lean with all the HIM training, but I’ve also been eating a ton to try and make up for all the extra calories that I’m burning.

I’m a huge snacker and eat something different every hour or so. If I kept that up during the taper I’d blow up like a baloon and I’d be rolling myself across the finish line. Either that or I’d get DQ’d because I couldn’t even fit in my tri top.

I emailed with Coach Brett about it and he had some good tips that helped put things in perspective, but I decided to go straight to the source and hit up Team ZenTri’s nutritionist, Christine Lynch (@holisticguru). I sent her everything that I ate the day before, and asked her to basically tear it apart. And she did. I probably didn’t pick the best day to send her, since the only veggie that I ate were some pickles on a BBQ sandwich. Some days are better than others, and this clearly wasn’t one of the better ones, but at least I get points for honesty, right?

Here is my mini diary:

7:00 – bowl of frosted flakes w/ 1% milk. Multivitamin and fish oil pill
9:00 – tea w/ stevia and half a grapefruit
10:00 – peanut butter and jelly on wheat bread
12:00 – another PBnJ or some sort of chicken sandwich
3:00 – hand full of fig newtons or something else stashed in my desk drawer
6:00 – stuff something fast down my face before PM workout. Usually reheated leftovers or BBQ sandwich w/ pickles.
9:00 – bowl of cereal w/ 1% milk
10:00 – bowl of ice cream

If you want to read some really awesome tapering nutrition tips (and really just great nutrition tips for any time of the year) check out her post: http://holisticguru.blogspot.com/2009/05/i-think-you-should-blog-about-how-to.html

Here is my new tapering fuel plan that should keep me happy and lean for race day. I’ve got some shopping to do this weekend, but am really looking forward to trying it out on Monday.

7:00 – Steel cut oats (made ahead of time from HolisticGuru’s blog recipe) Multivitamin and fish oil pill.
9:00 – tea with stevia and half a grapefruit
10:00 – apple slices or celery with almond butter or peanut butter and raisins
12:00 – quinoa cooked with veg or chicken broth, cut up veggies and beans (sweet potato and black bean with salsa sounds yummy in my head right now and would only take 25 mins to make… you can make it while you’re cooking the steel cut oats)
3:00 – handful of dried fruit with dark chocolate chips and a giant glass of water
6:00 – hummus sandwich with veggies (lettuce, tomato, cucumber)
9:00 – quick omelet and a side of something leafy and green and maybe some potato wedges
10:00 – bowl of fruit sorbet, or a small amount of ice cream isn’t terrible

In the mean time, I did make some killer raspberry/papaya pie yesterday and cut out almost all of the sugar. (At least Christine can be proud of me for that). I had some leftover pie crusts from another baking venture a few weeks ago and not enough raspberries to fill it up. A big ‘ol papaya was calling my name at the grocery store, so I decided to throw it in with the raspberries and test it out.

It took about 3 cups of raspberries, one cut up papaya, 4 packets of stevia and 2 or 3 tablespoons of lime juice for the filling. Because raspberries are so sweet anyway, they don’t even really sugar or stevia anyway, but I was curious how well it baked, so I tried it out. Cover it like a normal pie crust, sprinkle with brown sugar (Okay, I couldn’t cut out ALL the sugar) and bake at 400 for 30-45 minutes.

TA-DA!

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The raspberry flavor also totally overpowers the papaya, but it is at least good having the papaya in there for some nutritional variety. Seriously, look at all the health benefits inside of Papayas! That pie is awesome. And no. I’m not sharing. Make your own, it tastes better when you make it yourself anyway.

This is what one looks like in case you get lost on your next trip to the produce aisle.

papaya

Happy tapering fatties!

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Final Tune Up

May 25, 2009

This weekend was my last minute tuneup before starting to taper for Rev3. I found out that some of my friends were planning on doing a road race down on Cape Cod, and since I was already planning on getting a long run in, I figured I might as well join and have some company while I run.

There was a 5k,  7.2 miler and a half marathon all on the same morning. One college buddy was doing the 5k, and two others were doing the 7.2 miler. I was left doing the half all by myself, but at least I had some familiar faces to run through the pre-race routine with and I had a guaranteed cheering section once I came through the finish line, so I was happy.

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Since it was a last minute addition to the training plan, I got some advice from coach to help with my race day game plan. Much to my dismay, he nixed the idea of tapering, but I at least had a few mental touch points to run through in my head while racing.

Don’t taper for it.  Just treat it like a regular run.  Definitely enjoy yourself, pay attention to nutrition, and especially pay attention to the ups and downs you feel as the race goes on.  Notice how after a down, there’s an up.  You must train yourself to not give in to the downs and to not go too hard during the ups.  Don’t get caught up in the moment and pay attention to yourself.  Do this and you’ll have an amazing run “experience” no matter how it goes and you’ll learn a lot about how you run.

It was pretty cloudy and cool, but was perfect weather for a run. The wind kicked up and almost blew me backwards as we ran along the beach during 4 or 5 times along the course, but otherwise it was a perfect day to race. I stuck almost exactly to an 8:50 pace all the way through mile 5 and gently cranked up the pace all the way to the finish.

Minus some cramping around mile 10 (which was helped out after I gumped down some water at the next aid station), everything went amazingly smooth. My favorite part about taking the first part of the race a little easy is all the people that you get to pass during the second half of the race! I made a point of cheering on anyone who looked like they were bonking and were walking, but every other person was my rabbit. I picked out anyone with a bright colored shirt (or crazy purple/animal print skirt in once case) off in the distance and slowly tried to reel them in.

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And once again, the race plan worked like a charm! I crossed the finish line in 1:48:43 (unofficial). That averages to a 8:17 pace. That is almost two minutes faster than pretty much the same course in February, and without a taper. Sa-WEEEEEEEEEET!

And the best thing about this race? I topped it off with a nice dip in the ocean to cool off the legs and some cold beers.

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And with one more hard workout/race in the books, I enter Taper Land. Population: ME!

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Training Weekend 2009

May 19, 2009

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

Training weekend totally beat me up this weekend.

After making the road trip up to Franconia, NH on Friday, I woke up bright and early and headed out with the team for a hard 90 mile ride with a belly full of fruit and pancakes.

Last year I stuck to the 60 mile route, but decided to step it up this year and go for the long route. It was definitely a good decision. There were 4 or 5 different groups that started along the same route. I was able to keep up pace with the “A” group for a while, which was a nice fitness test.

Up through the first climb, descending down the other side at around 49 mph (which was pretty slow because of all the wind) and half way through the climb up the Kangamangus, I was able to hang on to the caboose of the”A Train” led by speed freak Toby Wells. I even felt pretty good hanging on the back as we climbed, but once the climb started to get really steep, my HR got dangerously close to my lactate threshold and I had to drop off. Mile 30 is way too early to blow up on a 90 mile ride.

While I love the company of my teammates for the whole weekend, one of my favorite things about training weekend is the views from the road. Surrounded by snow capped mountains, waterfalls an moose crossing signs every few miles, I couldn’t be happier.

While the route was already hard enough, the wind made it pretty brutal. It was gusting around 30 or 40 mph at some points. And when you are heading up the side of a mountain at 12 mph, and a head wind gusting down your throat drops you down to 7 or 8, you just have to do anything you can to stay upright and keep the rubber side down.

Eventually we did get a few headwinds to take us home. We closed it off with just shy of 6 hours in the saddle. I averaged around 15.5 mph, which seems slow, but it sounded like the A group averaged only around 17 mph, so I didn’t feel so bad.

Views from my 90 mile ride:

The next morning me and hardcore climbing machine Andrea headed out to test the waters for a “swim.” Ther wasn’t much actual swimming involved. It was more of just splashing around until the nerve endings in my face died and stopped screaming in pain. Yeah, the water was somewhere between 50 and 52 degrees. And yes, that is snow on the top of the mountain behind us.

Eventually once my face went numb, I was able to keep pretty normal form. It was less for building my swim fitness and more of just getting used to racing in cold water, but it was definitely a success. This was my first time ever breaking out the booties for a swim. They made a HUGE difference. I love ’em, but I can’t wait for the water to warm up and I can leave them in the car.

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The obligatory super hero flexing pose.

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Andrea and I discovered this megaphone on the side of Echo Lake.The sign below it says:

“This megaphone was originally used by guests of the profile house around the turn of the century. Removed after the 1938 hurricane, the only one ever to come inland in N.H., it was discovered and reestablished in 1981. Listen and you shoudl be able to hear two distinct echos.”

Funny how people entertained themselves back in the day, eh? I could actually hear three distinct echos bouncing back from the mountain across from the pond. Fun times.

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And remember that brutal head wind that I mentioned? Unfortunately not all of my Wheelworks team mates weren’t so lucky to keep the rubber side down. On the 60 mile ride, a big gust nocked down Natalie, and Sara went right into, and over, her. She ended up taking most of the impact to her face, but thankfully she ended up a lot better than the damage looked.

She had the best attitude throughout the whole thing. All smiles (or as much as she could muster up through the swelling) and jokes. And the whole team rallied around to help her out like a huge family. I love my team. 🙂

For the whole story, check out Sara’s blog post here. She is Bad Ass! She even had Natalie shoot some video of her on the backboard ad the hospital.

http://ironwoman.wordpress.com/2009/05/18/i-fought-franconia-notch-and-the-notch-won/

Crash Damage

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Climbing and Descending

May 14, 2009

This weekend is the Wheelworks team training weekend. One of my favorite times of the triathlon season.

This year, I will be trying my luck with hardest bike workout I’ve ever attempted. Ninety miles along the Kancamangus Highway and over 5,000 feet of climbing.

kancamagus highway

I did a section of this course last year, but topped out at 60 miles, but the most fun part was the descents. I maxed out at 57 mph and can’t wait to fly down those hills again.

I even just outfitted my bike with new shifter cables and brake pads, just to be safe. So if you don’t hear from my by Monday night, come find me. I might be hanging off the edge of some cliff somewhere.

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Rev3 Bike Course Cue Sheet

May 13, 2009

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

As I mentioned in my last post, I bummed a cue sheet off of a friendly stranger when I rode the Rev3 bike course. She said that the cue sheet that she from the Rev3 peeps  who were organizing the ride was slightly different from the cue sheet on the Web site. There was just a minor edit that gets you around some road construction. So just in case you are planning on riding the course any time soon, here is the the new sheet.

No word on if this is the version of the course on race day, or if the construciton will be done by then, but I’ll see if I can clear that up. Until then, here it is. It is a pretty easy course to follow, and somehow I managed not to get lost at all, so I was even pumped about that.

  1. Right out of transition at Quassy
  2. Right on Tuttle Road
  3. Straight (sort of) on Cat Swamp Road
  4. Right on Middle Road Turnpike
  5. Left on Quassapaug Road
  6. Right on Route 6
  7. Left on North Street
  8. Left on Route 63
  9. Right on Route 109
  10. Left on Route 6
  11. Left at Light on to 254
  12. Left at Center Street
  13. Left on Route 254
  14. Left onto Route 118
  15. Left on Chestnut Hill Road
  16. Right on Camp Dutton Road
  17. Left on Route 63
  18. Right on Route 61
  19. Hard Right on Alain White Road
  20. Continue on White Wood Road
  21. Turn around at Plumb Hill Road
  22. Back on White Wood and Alain White Road
  23. Cross Route 109
  24. Continue on Route 61
  25. Cross Route 6
  26. Straight on Quassapaug Road
  27. Straight on Watertown Road
  28. Straight on Tranquility
  29. Right on Route 64
  30. Right Into Bike Transition At Quassy

Another blogger, Chris, aslo wrote up a report on the bike course. Unfortunately, he got stuck in the rain storm that I missed, but he also picked up on a lot of little pieces of the course that were just a blur of pain and sweat. Check it out if you are interested. http://runningfort3.blogspot.com/2009/05/rev3-bike-preview.html

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Rev3 Triathlon Course Preview

May 12, 2009

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

 

Last weekend I made a little road trip down to Connecticut to scope out the bike and run courses for the Rev3 half ironman next month.

Once I got there, I realized I wasn’t the only one with that idea. There was an lonesome Rev3 tent in the parking lot and a bunch of cars with empty bike racks. I felt like I was late to a party that I wasn’t even invited to, until I remembered getting an email about an official re-ride of the course that left that morning. DOH!

Rev 3 Tent

But actually worked out pretty well because the one thing I forgot, the damn cue sheet, I was able to bum off of a friendly rider who was just finishing up the course. Sure it was sopping wet (hopefully more from the rain than sweat) but I was thankful to have it either way. I love making new friends with stranger triathletes.

I got a few requests to scope out specific parts of the course from some of my other tri friends who are racing with me, so here is my recap of the bike and run courses.

Bike:
Total ascent: 2395 ft

Rev3 run elevation

  • Right out of T1 you are on a slight downhill. This is nice if you don’t get your feet in your shoes right away. You can just coast for a mile or so until you get clipped in.
  • There is a quick left and immediate right on to Cat Swamp Road at mile 3 on a slight down hill. Nothing huge, but worth mentioning so you don’t freak out if you come flying down the hill and see the T intersection ahead of you.
  • Mile 10 has a sweet cheering section. The brown one was pretty rude though. He kept trying to mount the black one, but she wasn’t having it. Ladies, expect some rude comments and cat calls.

Cows - Mile 10

  • Mile 17 is a really fun long descent. I got up to about 40 or 45 mph without any problem. It slowly winds through Black Rock State Park and along a reservoir. The bottom of the hill is a sweeping right turn. I went through it at about 30 mph, so no worries about hitting a stop sign or any other obstacles on this section.
  • Once you take the left on to Rout 254 at about 25, be prepared for some hurtin’. Take in some water or a gel. You’ll need it. The climb does level off a few times, but just keeps getting steer and longer. I was hoping to stay out of the granny gear (I have a triple chain ring) but that just wasn’t happening. I’m glad I had it. You can slow down and take it easy, but that just means the pain lasts longer. It will definitely be a challenge to not kill my legs too hard here.
  • After the top of 254, you take two quick lefts and head downhill on Camp Dutton Road. This is a short downhill, but it ends at a T intersection after about a mile or so. Nothing crazy, it is good to expect it ahead of time. You take a left at the bottom and head through some vinyards and really nice roads after that.
  • From then on out it is all smaller (but still hard) hills and a nice gentle descent from about mile 45-50. The only stop is where you cross Rt 6, but I’m guessing that it will be blocked off from traffic, so there shouldn’t be any wories and you can fly through.
  • When you come up a hill with rock walls along both sides, you are at about mile 56 and have a nice mile downhill back into T2. I’m going to ease up and take my feet out of my shoes at that point to get ready to run.

Overall: The bike is a killer. I was expecting it to be hard, but it completely blew past my expectations. There aren’t really any rolling hills (by my definition of rollers). Lots of steep climbs, but two really fun and fast descents. I met two guys who had also just finished the course and they both agreed, it is stupidly hard. All of the roads are beautful and have great scenery along state parks, wildlife reserves, farm land and vinyards, but some of the hills may make you cry a little.

Run:
Total ascent: 400 ft

Rev3 run elevation

  • You head out on the run in the same direction as the the bike. A nice gentle downhill to help get your run legs back under you.
  • At mile 3 you take a right onto a quiet dirt road. There is lots of tree cover and the shade will be nice. The elevation map has a steep climb at about mile 4. It looks pretty bad on the map, but isn’t so tough in person. It is steep, but really short.
  • Immediately after the hill, you head back on to paved roads. The dirt road section is short, but packed and not very rocky. If you would normally run in racing flats, go for it.
  • At mile 7.5 you come up through the same hill along the rocks walls as the bike course. From there you see the lake off on the right and know that you are are more than half way there.
  • From there it is a nice easy downhill up until mile 10, where there is a mile long slow climb. Nothing crazy, but that late in the run, it is good to expect it.
  • Once you crest the hill at mile 11, you do a short fast downhill and loop back around to the finish. You are home free!

Overall: The run course is just as scenic as the bike course, but not nearly as brutal. It is definitely going to be a nice change of pace. As long as I still am able to run off of the bike, the run should be a blast.
Only three weeks to go and I’m heading up to New Hampshire this weekend for some long mountain climbing to do some last minute prep for Rev3. It is my triathlon team’s training weekend, which involves swimming/biking/running until all you can do is drop your butt in the hot for the rest of the night and suck down a few beers and call it a night.

Mountains baby. MOUNTAINS!

Just over three weeks to go. Get ready people!

I’m PUMPED.

UPDATE:

It turns out they changed the run course between when I ran it and race day. So for anyone that read this, and is subsequently pissed at me for making you think the run course was going to be somewhat easy (in comparison to the bike), let it be known. My Bad.