Sunday, March 30, 2014

Ironman Training - Still in Recover after the 50K

Finally back to getting in some biking with an easy and hard interval on the trainer.  The original plan was for an outdoor ride, but it was raining hard.  Hopefully, I will be able to take the bike out on Tuesday for a Bike Handling Clinic with my Coach.  Today, I rode for about 1:15

I also had to get in a Core Workout, so I opted for Tony Horton's One on One: the Making of Ab Ripper X2.  Both Viewing Screens in the Home we occupied by the little people of the Home.  One was watching some Justice League, and the other was on the XBox.  Thank God that my Laptop was free and in went the DVD for a great core workout that made me sweat! 

Missing Common Sense for My First Ultra-Marathon

As I posted a picture of my gear for my first Ultra-Marathon, a 50K (31 miles) with a comment, "What am I missing for my first 50K?" Of course my friend, Erik replied, "Common Sense."

I guess, I lost my Common Sense after signing up for another Marathon after doing my first one in 2008.  So now I am up to 11 Marathon Distance + Races in 9 States. And I definitely lost any Common Sense when I signed up for the 2014 Ironman Arizona!

We arrived at the New Jersey State Fair Grounds, sans any children, early in the morning, with my belly filled with a unsatisfying bagel egg sandwich from a place that supposedly was a bagel shop.  Just because, you have a sign with the word Bagel, does not mean you have the right to call yourself a bagel shop.  It really has to do with the water, but I will leave my rant for another blog.

Any anxious nerves about this race, beyond the tradition marathon of 26.2 miles and on top of that on a muddy trail, back at home and parked the truck near the start line.  It looked like not too many runners were doing this race from the look of the number of vehicles parked outside the start.  This is completely different than the New York City Marathon, where you have to take a bus or ferry to the start line.  It made it convenient to leave my GU and water back in my truck.

Around 7:40, we all gathered around the race director outside of the warehouse and she announced a few instructions and off we went, a mile around the parking lot and grounds before heading into the 10 mile out and back loop which I will be navigating 3 times.

During my first loop, I was trying to figure out the course, what side to run, how I can avoid the mud, ice, snow and tiny streams, but I did not expect to slip at mile 5.39.  During the time my feet gave way, I could hear myself thinking, I still have a marathon distance to run left.  I laid on the ice for a minute and got up trying to get my bearing and checked myself.  A runner ran past and said it happened to him on the first loop, then another runner asked if I was ok, and as I replied, "Yes."  She said, "Keep moving!"  And I listened to her and eventually I caught up to her and passed.

During my second loop, I was more familiar with where to step and I took more pictures to document what I was doing and share with my friend and family the craziness of this cool and interesting race.  The course was the same, yet slightly different, as the snow melted some more and the ground became more muddy.  It was interesting to see the same faces over and over as we passed each other during the day.  I even got to take a picture with a fellow Long Islander, Karl H. who also runs a set of hills in Selden call Selden Hills.    Meeting Super Ultra Runner Otto Lam as a delight as he became known to me in 2011 Wineglass Marathon (see my Wineglass Marathon Post regarding Otto.)

During my final loop, I left my jacket and phone at the truck.  It was getting warmer and I continue to enjoy the course with the addition mud.  This time around, I really did not care as much as I stepped into more mud and the course was unlike the first loop.  The streams got wider and ground was more soppy and muddy!  And I did not want to carry my phone around anymore!

Before I reached the finish line, I had already made up my mind that this was probably one of my favorite races that I have ever done.  While it did not have the crowds, support, excitement, and loudness like the New York City Marathon, this race was the complete opposite, barely no one on the course and besides Irene cheering for me, a handful of volunteers clapped their hands as I ran by.  I completely, lost time for 7 and a half hours, and I got to think a lot and about nothing at the same time. 

So happy to be married to Irene and have 3 wonderful kids who support me on these adventures.  Together we earn our finishes together!

As I cross the finished line, the race director said, "Congratulations." and handed me my Finisher Medallion and a really cool fleece jacket.   Irene continued to take some pictures of my tired body.  However, I was not beat up as I was during my first marathon, and that is a good thing.

Now back to Ironman Training!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Ironman Training - Breaking in my Trail Running Shoes - March 11, 2014

To get ready for my 50K, I finally got a pair of trail running shoes.  Basically I got tired of having cold and wet feet using my regular running shoes as I would step in some left over patches of snow and sopping wet muddy ground trying to absorb the melting snow.

It was interesting how tough the sole was.  Trail running shoes are designed to keep you feet dry and handle any rocks, henceforth a rock protection plate.

I opted for the Saucony Peregrine 4 because they were similar to my Saucony Mirage 2.  My feet were not use to the larger lugs designed for traction on slippery fields.

Click on the shoe to save!


Saturday, March 8, 2014

Ironman Training - First Tempo Run of 2014 - March 8, 2014

Today's schedule calls for a Tempo Run at 7:45 to 8:15 pace for 20 minutes.  Irene wanted to get a run in, as she is training for the NYC Marathon in November.  Zachary wanted to run, just because.

We headed over to the University track because the plan was to do a Tempo Run based off my of my Run Test from Wednesday.  I figured a flat course would be help me keep my pace even, and as we approached the track, I could see the gates locked and closed.  We then jogged over to the parking lot and finished our warm up.  Irene turned back home and got ready for work.  It was just me and Zachary now.  I told him to do his best, thinking he'd probably out run me.  About 2 minutes before the Tempo Run, I started to quicken my pace, and thought about the flatest and even parts of the School and plotted it out in my head.  Off we dashed!

I was thinking that Zachary would pace me, but he seemed to fallback, and as I noticed that, I told him to make some straight runs and I ran around curves and turns to meet up with him.  5 minutes passed and I was like only 15 more minutes left.  10 minutes passed and I was like I am going to only 15 minutes of this tempo instead of the 20.  It looks like I ended up with 8:35 pace with a little up and down elevations.  Next Tempo Run, I think I will be able to do it for 20 minutes!


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Ironman Training - 3 x 1 mile Running Test - I am Really Lucky! - March 5, 2014

I was actually semi-looking forward to today's workout only because I really don't like huffing and puffing with I run, and I was anticipating the heavy breathing when I saw 3 x 1 mile Run Test on my Training Peaks schedule.

I got home a little early for the boys to get home and I asked them if they wanted to go to the track with me.  They wanted to run, but I did not want them to do what I was about to do, so I suggested that they do a Brick.  They were happy to do that.  A little biking then run.  It really surprises me when they use terms that never existed in my vocabulary until last year.

During the afternoon, it reached a warm 46 degrees, so I thought to myself, this is awesome running weather.  However when I got home, the sky's got cloudy and the temperature dipped.  The boys and I layered up and headed out.

We reached the track, and I usually avoid the track in favor of roads unexplored or roads that I do not have to repeat.  In order to get the right times, I needed a flat surface and the University rebuilt the Track and Field.  There were snow mounds that lined the sides of the track and field.  Mixed in the the white hills were the rubberized pellets from the astroturf.  The boys found several dozen lacrosse balls as they played king of the hills in between biking the outside and running on the track.

So I continued my warm up, and then with stride outs.  Eventually I had to hit the start button to begin my time trial,  I could feel that I was giving it my all for the first lap, and I think I got slower as I did each lap.  When I heard the lap distance beep go off, I let up on my pace and looked at the watch.  My eyes opened up and flashed Lap 1 7:26.  Holy Cow, it must be a fluke!

I walked for 5 minutes to lower my Heart Rate and prepare for the next mile.  This time, I could feel that I was started slower than the first go.  First lap down, 3 more to go, Second lap down, half way done.  Third lap down, 1 more to go.  I figure another 2 minutes and rest.  It's running, I kind of like doing the count downs and it started with Focus T25 because it's 25 minutes, and everytime the clock reached 13 minutes, I am like we are more than half way done.  Well, this Lap 1 said 7:19.  I am like, NO WAY!!!

I slowed to walk and my son ran over to me with a bottle of water.  I could feel my fingers now really getting cold as the sunset began.  I said to myself, 10 more minutes and we are out of here.  I reset my watch and pressed Start.  3 more, 2 more, 1 more and the beep and vibration went off and I looked down at 7:14.  Really, Negative Splits.  UNBELIEVABLE!!! I don't ever remember breaking 8:00 anytime during any run.

Doing P90X, Insanity, Tai Cheng, Focus T25 and now working with a Triathlon Coach, I have really stepped up my game!  This time last year, I was thinking that I might not be able to run and now I am doing Personal Bests.  I am really lucky!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Ironman Training - More Hills - March 1, 2014

This is what my Coach emailed me: 

"I know...this cold is really terrible.  at least tomorrow will be more "mild" ;-)  I adjusted your schedule for the weekend."

So I prepared myself with Foot Warmers and Hand Warmers and had 5 upper layers, 2 tights, gloves and socks for the gloves.  As I headed out the door, I was thinking it was a nice day regardless of the temperature.  It was sunny!

As usual, it was another run with hills, and this time I headed towards Avalon to see how the trails were.  The manicured section by the pond was actually shoveled and no ice was on the path.  That was interesting until I ran over to the trail-trail section that was iced over and for about a mile, I navigated the mounds and sheets of ice which slowed me down.  I was so looking forward to getting out of there.  So my feet found pavement again and I went up and down the hills of my neighborhood, listening to the emptiness, occasionally counting my steps and losing count...

What I love about endurance distances is that you have time not to thing about all the craziness that happens in life, you get to think of all the opportunities and possibilities that you want in your life.  Today's run revisited an Awesome Idea that I had about 6 months ago, and I sort of forgot about it.  Now I am going to take action!

Stay Tuned to Change the World for the Better!