Friday, August 22, 2008

Dig the Big Pig Gig

Reading the last post warrants some update from where I was then to where I am now. After that rant, I took a step back from my training and evaluated. First thing I did was get some needed rest. I took two full days off and then went to our club's Wednesday Open Water Swim (WOWS) to get in an easy open water swim. This was just the ticket to get me back on track. The second thing I did was to re-evaluate my training schedule. I've been doing the same structured schedule for three years. OMG! I needed a change to freshen things up. I suppose the slip in training focus was from my mind rejecting that same old schedule day after day.

I worked out three different training weeks that work with what my schedule. This way I have options. I kept the same basic volume/frequency, just mixed up the days. It's the old philosophy of doing the same thing over and over will not allow your body to progress. Add change and your body will have to adjust therefore forcing a progression. It's working so far. I feel a new "tired" I haven't felt in awhile.

The last thing I will do is to schedule my long run with a day of rest beforehand. I have always done a long bike on Saturday then long run on Sunday. For me at age 42, the body has a hard time recovering to be able to do those 13+ mile long runs. Granted I can do them but it's been a struggle. Put a day of rest in between and I can run longer with more focus. Seems to work.

OK, now what has the above change in training given me? A PR at the 1/2 IM distance. I signed up for Pigman as an A-race to prepare for Kona. It's typically very hot for this race and it delivered with mid to upper 80's but not so much humidity. That's ok, I'll take what I can get. This summer has been very strange with mild temps.

The swim start for this year was changed to a time trial format. Not sure why. Kind of reminded me of Memphis in May. We did however line up by wave and my wave was last (wave 9!). This meant a lot of swimming through people. The water was 77 degrees and Keith decided to wear his wetsuit so he graciously lent me his Point Zero Three skin suit. Not sure it made much difference as I swam the same 33 minute 1.2miles I always do. Conditions were a bit tough through the center section. Water was very choppy. The buoys were also kind of small so sighting was a bit of a struggle. Anyway, I was happy with my swim. 0:33min

The bike course was up down, up down, up down, up down.....very rolly the whole way. I tried to keep a pretty consistent pace and not go out too strong. Since I was in wave 9, again I was passing people endlessly. I think this kept my pace pretty brisk and by mile 50 I was feeling it a bit in the legs. Wind was starting to pick up and the last few miles back to transition were into a head wind. I thought I was on pace for about a 2:21 split but ended up a little slower. Course might have been 1/2 mile long since the computer said 56.6. My nutrition for the bike was a 200 cal bottle of HEED and one flask of Orange/Raspberry Hammer Gel or 500 cal. In addition to that I drank about one and 1/4 bottles of water. Probably not enough to stay hydrated. Seems like at that effort, I have a hard time keeping the water flowing. I'll have to work on that for sure. As I came in to T2, I saw a familiar red and white striped bike jersey ahead of me. Sure enough it was John Collet from Verona, IL. He is in my age group and a very good runner. I made it out of T2 ahead of him and hoped to hold him off for awhile. Good bike split for this course. 2:28 @ 22.7mph

I tried out my new Saucony Grid A4 tri shoes for this race to see how they might feel for a full marathon in Kona. Needless to say they're more of a race flat so I'll probably leave them home an pick up a pair of DS trainers or another pair of Kayanos. At mile one here comes Collet (running flat footed and not grunting with every breath surprisingly). I said hey and asked how he was doing. He looked at me like he didn't really know me (which he may not) and said good, starting to cramp a bit. Under my breath I said "good". Ha! I was hoping he would crack. By mile 2 I noticed I was running a pretty fast 7:20 pace which blew my whole strategy out the door. I was planning to build slowly out to mile 6 and then push hard for the finish. I also noticed my quads were beginning to twinge with that cramping feeling. I was certainly dehydrated and needed to increase my water intake with some Endurolytes which I did with success.

After mile 2 the run course followed a road with absolutely no cover but relatively flat. I was with a pack of 4 guys who I drafted for, for about 2 miles. At mile 5 they dropped me and I was all alone. I slowed a bit from there and at the turnaround my split was 50 minutes. I thought that was pretty awesome so I was feeling good about my finish time. I was shooting for a 4:45 overall time and if I matched the first half I could do it. The temp got to be in the upper 80's and I was feeling hot. Started to pour ice in my shirt/pants. This helped a lot. I surged from mile 9 to 10 and thought I was running great. 8 minutes. Wow, must be fatigue setting in. Between 10 and 11 that surge went straight to my stomach and I thought maybe I'd start having some GI problems. I slowed a bit more to hold that feeling off. I pretty much gutted the last 2 miles out and finished strong. 1:41

I didn't break my 4:45 goal but felt pretty good after the race. Total time ended up being 4:47:12 which beats my Muncie Endurathon 1/2 IM PR by about 30 seconds. I'll take the Pigman PR any day. That course is much more challenging. I was surprised to find out I got 2nd in my age group. I thought I had seen other guys in my age group pass me on the run. They must have been relay guys.

And by the way, my sports hernia didn't bother me at all. That's a good sign.

I took a couple days off and I'm back on track with my training. One last push for Kona. I'm trying to do more of a run focus to build up to 16-18miles "comfortably". I also need to do my long rides without the harder efforts. Just need to get some long mileage in. Today was a 5hr ride in the heat and humidity. I got through it but it was a character builder.

7 weeks and counting...


P-Dawg said...

Hey Dude--Never gotr to congratulate you on your great Pigman...Mighty, mighty stuff. The whole day was a struggle for me but I got through it. Nice one man!
Phil Shils

Sweet said...

Yes, back-to-back long rides and runs is a silly, silly idea that doesn't help anyone. Intentionally training on tired legs -if avoidable- is a myth that needs to go away.