Sunday, January 27, 2008

It's a bird, It's a plane...

It's Logan's new bedroom...

Nikki and I moved Logan into the larger room and painted it the weekend of 1/19. Nikki came up with this great formula to make the Superman symbol larger from a poster we had. Using her formula with a level and a ruler, I drew up the symbol and spent two days outlining and painting. I can't even believe that it turned out this good! Nikki leveled, taped, and painted the lines across the other three walls. I must say, we did a pretty good job!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Kev & I are sweet!

Thank you toes, feet, and ankles for all the abuse you take. Calves, knees, quads, and hammys; thanks for all your hard work. Lest I forget the hips and glutes, you two serve a vital role in all my training. To show my gratitude to you all, we'll go for a roughly 21 mile run through the deep woods, over varying terrain, and through very cold creek crossings. It'll be fun, keeping you all guessing with every footstep! No need to say thanks, I can still feel every one of you screaming in excitement!

Kevin and I had a really good race. We had no time goals going into it. He DNF'd last year, so we both just wanted to finish in one piece. I finished in 4:08 and Kev finished in 4:15.

The race started off pretty easy, on wide trails and fire roads. Then, after only a mile or so, we were in deep woods on a small single track trail. The only time we saw a real road was to cross it and reenter the trail on the other side. The hardest thing about this trail race is having to watch where your feet go, watch the branches to keep your eyes safe, and watch the white trail blazes to keep you on course. A couple of times I was leading a group of runners only to veer off into the brush, taking a few of them with me. We had to cross several creek crossings, so our shoes and socks were nice and wet. Kevin had a great idea about having a bag at the turnaround point, the race was an out and back, with an extra pair of socks and gloves. My feet loved the fresh, dry socks! However, they only stayed dry for about 20 minutes! Of course, in looking at the results, that 10 minutes we spent changing socks cost Kevin first place in his age group and I would have been 3rd in mine! Oh well, the short break was good for both of us.

There was one point where I made a poor decision and almost broke my leg. After the turnaround, I was coming up on a creek crossing that was about 2 feet below the trail and 2 feet across. I decided that it would be a good idea to leap over instead of slowing down to step over. Well, my right leg was my take off leg and was planted firmly, so I thought. Now when you jump, you tend to go up and out from the direction in which you took off. So if you go straight down, that's the first indication that something is wrong. My right foot slipped off the muddy edge at takeoff and came straight down. I'm very lucky that it landed in the water and soft mud, as my leg was completely locked for takeoff. Quick inventory of everything and I was okay, but made a mental note to not try crazy leaps for the remainder of the race. Kev watched the whole thing and seriously thought he was going to have to carry me out of there! He quickly reinforced the notion that I was not to try anymore crazy leaps.

We stayed together until about 3.5 miles remaining. At that point, we ran into a group that went 5-10 minutes out of the way and were coming back onto the trail. I surged ahead so as not to get caught up, but Kevin got stuck behind them. I was going pretty hard once ahead of that group. A couple miles later, I was out of the woods by myself to hit the final road crossing. Upon reentering the woods I followed a trail, however, it was the blue blaze trail and not the white blaze. Since I was running at a pretty good clip and didn't want to head back down the blue trail, I took off into the brush to where I thought the white trail was. Mistake #2. After tearing through the brush for a few minutes, I quickly realized that I was lost. I did a couple of 360's to see if I could catch a glimpse of the road, but I had been running with my head down watching my feet and not picking up any landmarks. At this point, I calmed and centered myself, listening for some movement from other runners. Bingo, I picked up a group about 100 yards away and watched their direction. I picked a line through the brush at an angle and picked up the trail just in front of the group heading for the finish.

Once finished and regrouped with Kevin, I got really worried as we could not find his favorite WVU sweatshirt that his Mom had given him. He placed it on a tree at the start, but it wasn't there when we got done. Now this sweatshirt means the world to Kev, so I was praying that we'd find it. It was so cold that we didn't look too hard immediately after the race. We headed back to the car to change into warmer clothes and headed back to the start. Turns out that the race folks collected all the gear at the start to move it down to the finish to have it all together. There was a huge sigh of relief from Kevin when we found it!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

2008 Race Schedule

I've finally nailed down my 2008 Race Schedule. It's posted on the right side of this page. Depending on how I feel after the Ironman, I may do a late season Half Ironman. Also, I'm considering coaching for the Richmond Marathon with Richmond Sportsbackers this year. I know I won't feel like running another Marathon after Shamrock and the Ironman, so this will be a good way to give back and support the other runners.

Race season begins with this weekend's Swinging Bridge 35K. Kevin talked me into this one. Thanks Kev. I can't wait to run 20 some miles in the middle of the woods, with sub 30 degree temps, knowing we have to cross knee deep creeks! I'm getting all warm and toasty just thinking about it!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Bike Porn!

While I wasn't able to get a new Tri bike this year, I was able to secure some sweet wheels! I was shopping at Performance Bike and got a great deal on a 2007 Mavic Ksyrium SL3 wheelset. The first thing I did was mount my race tires on them. The cassette went on shortly after the pic, so I'm ready to ride them! Well, I guess the weather has to get a little warmer first. I'm not a cold weather biker. I'll keep my old wheels on the bike as I'm on the indoor trainer. Speaking of which, if you are watching Star Wars: Episode I while on the trainer, beware of the pod racing scene. I found myself riding on my aero bars at almost 30 miles an hour for the duration of the race and almost leaning too far over as the pods were banking!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Gotta love hills!

Began my run hill workouts today. 4x4 minute hill repeats. Which meant that I had to find a hill that I could run for 4 straight minutes. Good thing I work in downtown Richmond. Below is a screenshot from Map My Tri showing the hill that I choose. The hill was just over half a mile climbing 200 feet. Pretty intense!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

First Quantico visit

Today marked the first visit since last April to Quantico National Cemetery for the kids and I to visit Nikki's mom (She passed away from Ovarian Cancer on April 17, 2007). Judy was a wonderful Mother and a great Mother-in-law. Some guys truly dislike their in-laws. Me, never. I cherish all the time I had getting to know her and loving her. She is, and will continue to be, missed. Being there with Nikki, I can tell how much she misses her mother. Even though she doesn't talk about it much, I know she really misses her. Logan and Ansley miss their Gigi. We all do.

We also visited Nikki's Grandmother, Jane. Another really sweet person that we all loved. The kids never got a chance to meet her, but we all miss her as well.

May God bless you both

~2 Corinthians 1:3-5
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.

And so it begins...

Seeing as I haven't been swimming since my Half Ironman in September, I guess I've officially begun my training for Lake Placid. Completing workouts in all three disciplines this week, I actually feel like a Triathlete again! I'll have the training numbers posted tomorrow for last week.

a week ago I posted about getting a prescription for Synthroid, the thyroid supplement. After a week of deliberation and wondering, I've decided not to fill the prescription. I've spoken with several folks and we all agree that any benefit would not be worth the risk. Nikki's advice to "go with your gut" helped a lot, as I've been leaning toward not taking it. Thanks to Kevin and Nick for the final words of advice during our run this morning. The thyroid is such an integral part of your system, controlling metabolism, that I don't want to go f'ing around with it. I'm afraid that I'll end up having to take the supplement forever, just to stay normal.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

BodyAge results

Kevin hooked me up with another Polar BodyAge this past Sunday. Here are the highlights:

  • VO2 Max - 60.5 - which puts me in the Elite, >56, cardio fitness classification! (this is a measurement of the maximum rate your body can consume and process O2 during exercise)
  • In Jan'07 my VO2 Max was at 59.7
  • Bodyfat - 8.4% - body weight is 164, lean body mass is 150.2
  • In Jan'07 my weight was at 170 and bodyfat was about 12%
  • I'm 30, but have a BodyAge of 18!

I had planned to drop a few pounds this off season, so I'm pretty stoked about those numbers. Especially the VO2 max. My training is really paying off.

I hope everyone has a very Happy New Year!