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Reflections

Posted Aug 09 2012 12:00am
First, there's a reflection on this guy
I know the leagues of adoring fans that Kelley's photography brings here.  And this guy didn't work his moneymakers that hard for them to go unnoticed in public.  She must oblige the fans and find the best in all of my races.

Of course, she also found these guys

A whole group of guys in pink speedo's that had "The End of The Kid" on the butt.  Turns out it was a batchelor party and the groom was called "the kid".  He had the whole party centered on the Lake Logan race.  They also all grew out mustaches.  This guy beat me by more than a few minutes, and they were all in pretty good shape.  Gives me a good idea for an upcoming batchelor party for my buddy Shawn.

And that is the hardbody addendum to my Lake Logan Oly race report for this year.

Sunday I got to sit out on the deck at Kelley's mom's house in Maggie Valley NC right next to this big loud creek with 15 waterfalls within sight and just drink coffee.  I ended up going through about 6 cups, and other people would come out and talk some, then go back inside to get more coffee or do something for the kids.  I tried to be very present in that moment and gain full appreciation for that situation and just how peaceful it was.  I really loved living in the mountains, and still enjoy going back up there any chance I can.  That moment gave me the time to reflect on the triathlon season and the difference in goals between this year and previous years.

This week I'm able to take some time to recover from the race and really embrace the yoga and the finer details on what worked and what didn't work about my training.  This year I was built for speed, not endurance.  There wasn't a question of could I finish the race, but how hard could I push myself.  Did I do the right kind of training for this type of result or should I have done something different?

Speed vs Endurance is a strange concept.  I had to fuel up to get lean and strong, hitting the weights a lot more.  I really enjoy this physique right now, although I may be carrying too much muscle weight to be fast over a longer distance.  And I still don't have the body fat down into the 11% range, although it has gone under 20% for several weeks this summer.  Overall I feel confident and look pretty good, if I may toot my own horn there.

I have raced a lot this year.  I have already registered for 21 races this year, and completed 18 of them.  We did the Grand Prix series for the spring, and there is a fall series as well.  The spring series was so much fun that we both really want to do the fall series too, that's 6 more races (mostly 5k's).  There's also the City of Oaks marathon, that will really be a long run/warmup race for the Pine Mountain 40 miler in December.  So seven more will make 28 races on the year.  Plus the Tuna Run (more on that later), and there are still people trying to talk me into doing fall century rides, or the last few open water swim races.  It could be too much racing on the year and not enough training.

Training for speed is very different from training just to finish something or training for endurance.  Training for endurance dictates that you have to run 10 miles today.  Training for speed says that it's better to split that into two 5 mile runs in the same day, and be sure that each run is under 38 minutes, and eat xxxx calories in between the two runs, and be sure you can sleep enough that night to recover well.  They both go onto the training log spreadsheet as a 10 mile run day, but with very different efforts, preparations, and results. 

At the same time, I think there is a volume component for speed training to still be effective.  When I regularly started putting 20,000 yards a month in the pool my swim speeds started to get incredibly competitive.  I broke 30 minutes in an open water mile for the first time in May by only 10 seconds.  Then by July I put two miles in open water in only 59:04, absolutely smashing a 30 minute mile.  Lake Logan's 1500 meter (0.92 miles) swim time was under 25 minutes, which is completely absurd by last year's standards.  At the same time I was doing that much volume in the water, I was almost putting 300 miles a month on the bike and only a pitiful 40 miles a month on the running shoes.  Hitting the bike three to five times a week and running three times a week should have been enough (in theory).  But they weren't.

So if 20k yards a month is the magic number to make my swimming fly, I still have to find that magic volume amounts for bike and run distances.  Do you know what your magic distances are?  or at least your monthly average?  I became a faster runner when I was putting up 100+ mile months in Ironman training last year.

The rest of my year is going to be endurance based, from the half ironman in OBX september 22nd to the marathon in November and the 40 mile ultra on December 2nd.  Next year I'm going back into Ironman training for Beach 2 Battleship.  That means this week I've been thinking about a plan to get the right volume in for endurance training, and starting to work on my training plan.

I mean last year I was in the middle of Ironman training building an endurance base to go for 140.6 miles with no concern for speed.  This year was entirely focused on speed and I finished the same race only one minute faster?  I know there's a point of diminishing returns, but one minute?  I was expecting to be a touch faster than that.  When you are training for speed you expect to get faster.  I really think there was too much racing (and recovery time) and not enough training time.

So of course, there is something cool to add to the race list.  The Tuna Run 200 is a relay race from Raleigh to the coast, covering 200 miles.  We both actually got in with the same group, spearheaded by a guy from the Second Empire Grand Prix series, but I ended up on a 6 man team and Kelley ended up on a 12 man team.  So we won't be riding in the same van but we will both have plenty of stories to share.  I'm really looking forward to this, it should be a total blast.  Sunday we pay the registration fee for this one, which is why I haven't really talked about it too much on here yet.

And there is also the City of Oaks marathon .  Every year we try to run this one, but there is some kind of conflict.  Kelley wants to do it this year as her fall marathon.  I might do it just to get a good long run in before the ultra.  We haven't registered yet, but the price increase is the end of this month so I bet we will do it soon.

Next year has to be less racing and more training time.  The biggest goal for the year will be getting under 12 hours at the full iron Beach 2 Battleship, and it could be that the only other race I do was just announced yesterday.  Ironman 70.3 Raleigh is on the board for June 2nd.  I love it!  The swim is in Jordan Lake at Vista Point, one of my favorite open water swim spots.  The Bike then goes from Jordan Lake, right past my house, and into downtown Raleigh, and having separate transition areas is not going to be ideal.  But then the run course is the real highlight here.  Running through downtown Raleigh out Hillsborough street you get to see everything from the Capital building to the NC State main campus, then pick up a greenway at Meredith college (close to my house), turnaround and head back downtown to the finish line.  You know a WTD branded race is going to be well organized (well, all of the local area races are well organized), and this is really going to shine a spotlight on our great city.  I race all of these same spots all the time, but putting it all together on one course and with the spotlight of the Ironman brand.... this is going to be really special.  My toughest decision around this race is going to be deciding what kind of social activity to surround it with.  Open dinner the night before?  Recovery party at the house?  Let me know if you want to come to town for this one.

So I'm enjoying the recovery week, and looking forward to the endurance base building that lies ahead.  This weekend is going to be a lot of (non-racing) fun!  Have a great one.
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