Monday, September 30, 2013

Not Just Vegetarian

As you know, I took the small step and plunge into the depths of being a vegetarian.  To be honest, other than Saturday's craving for fish sticks or a fish sandwich, it has been pretty easy going.

No, I did not give into the craving!

Now, while vegetarians are pretty much viewed as eating vegetables all the time, I think we all know that even a vegetarian (or vegan) can still eat pretty badly if they so choose.  So on top of being vegetarian, I am doing my best to slowly work my way towards a few other dietary sides of the coin...

Locally grown
No processed foods

The first two items are, in theory, quite easy to do.  Aside from keeping track of the farmer's market schedules, the seasonal periods of various foods, the availability of organic foods at different grocery stores, and possibly the extra driving to get to all the food, the only issue I have had in the past with this switch is the difference in price.  And I am cheap!  There's no point in hiding it.  If I can get something cheaper, it's a no brainer to me.  Why NOT save money?  And when it came to food, I had always been used to the non-organic, non-home grown foods, so why change?

Instead of trying to rationalize the purchase to myself, I've gone with the transitional approach.  I started with buying local tomatoes, something I use quite regularly for Pico de Gallo.  Then I got onions, garlic, zucchini, corn, and most recently, butternut squash.

Above is the price list from the farmer's stand I go to, Eddy's Farm in Newington.   I honestly try not to look at the prices.  I just get what I need, ring it up, and leave.  My financial side may cringe later, but if I can leave before that happens, at least I got that bag of food!

Once the local foods are picked over, however, it's time to head to the grocery store.  Over the last few years, I have become very good about "skirting" the grocery store; shopping around the outside instead of the center aisles.  This is something I picked up from a documentary, Food Inc. if I'm not mistaken.  Therefore, I've cut 90% of my previous processed food diet out.  What remains of my "processed" food is almond milk, canned tomatoes (for sauces), saltines, canned beans, bread, steel cut oats, and natural peanut butter.  The rest (produce) I'm working on getting organic, though it's slow going. 

I feel my vegetarianism is turn into a type of vegetarian paleo diet given the further restrictions, but we'll see where it ends up.  The saltines are hard to kick.  haha


1.  Do you buy local, home grown foods?

2.  What would be your ideal diet?
A mix of vegan and paleo would be my ideal, but I'll admit now that cheese will be a very large hurdle.

3.  What was the last craving you had?, and what was it for?
I wanted a box of fried fish sticks so badly!  


Friday, September 27, 2013

The Last Long Run (And Piggies!)

Tomorrow is my last long run before my BQ attempt at the 20th anniversary Hartford Marathon.  And instead of spending the night plotting out my route and getting water bottles ready, I'm prepping for a race. 

The Hogsback Half Marathon
You know I'm taking the pink!

If you don't recall, I ran this race last year in 2012 and OMG was it amazing!  The race itself is very low key, but it is very well organized, at a great location, and THE FOOD!!! Great food!  So this year, having gotten into the race for free based on my first place age group finish last year, I have opted to use this race as a good chunk of my 20 mile long run.  The problem, however, is going to be deciding how to pace it.  I've decided there are three options...

Option #1: Marathon-Focused Easy Long Run
My overall goal is to use this race as a motivation factor for getting in my 20 mile run without giving up a fun local race.  My inner coach says I should run a 7:00 pace if it feels comfortable and let my legs get in the muscle memory work.  Plus, I have the extra 7 miles post-race to get in which will undoubtedly be slower. 

Option #2: PR-Focused Run
My inner coach is met here by the inner athlete that thinks that it's likely I can beat my 6:40 pace from last year.  Is this smart?  Most likely not.  But is it enticing?  Yes!  Is it possible?  I do think it is, and I would love to be able to have a new 13.1 PR.

Option #3: The Compromise
Finally, there's the compromise that I'll go out and run it by feel, keeping my pace in the comfortable range, and let my body do the decision making. 

Option #3 is the most likely to happen tomorrow, but I will also say that the race course elevation profile may help lean this decision in the direction of shooting for a PR.  We drop elevation all the way to the half way point and then begin our way back uphill which means the first half will be fast.  As horrible as it may be, I somewhat hope that I feel a little low on energy somewhere in the first 4-5 miles so that I pull back and take it easy.  Haha. 

At least I acknowledge 
that my inner athlete and coach 
spend most of their time battling

On another related note, I am on a search tonight for pink pipe cleaners.  While running a half marathon with a pig nose would be cool, I doubt I'd be able to handle it.  So I'm trying my best for a pig tail.  I think I'll be able to handle that. 


1.  Have you ever used a race as a training day?
I've never used a race for this specific of a training day.  I've used sprint tris as speed work before, but those are different in my mind.

2.  Have you ever raced in costume?  
I was a reindeer for a 5k once and I ran with a birthday hat twice.  

3.  What fall race are you looking forward to most?
I'm very excited for the challenge of the BQ attempt at Hartford, but I'm more excited for the JFK 50 in November.


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

My Inner Grammar Nazi

The original Grammar Nazi resided in my high school.  She taught English (obviously) and was an absolute stickler on spelling, grammar, and all forms of correct use of the English language.

Your vs. You're
Two vs. Too vs. To
It's vs. Its
Commas where they should be (or shouldn't)
Sloppy, nonfunctional use of adjectives and adverbs
The list goes ON!

And of course, while we all made fun of her for it - hell, we called her The Grammar Nazi - we all now share her views as well as some of her choice antics when we run into instances that would elicit an outcry.

For instance...

I was driving home last week from work when I pulled up behind this truck that obviously belongs to the owner of the motorcycle shop that it advertises.  However, I was intrigued by one of the items they offer...

I literally busted out laughing and I hope the people in the car next to me questioned what it was the whole way home.  Do you see it?  At the top right.  They offer "Apperal."  I'm half tempted to go to the shop and ask where their Apperal is though I'd have to completely accentuate the pronunciation; App-er-AAAAAaaal.  I have a feeling they wouldn't get it.

But it bugs me.  That is on the truck permanently and while I'm sure it is a stand up shop, the simple misspelling lowers my thought of them.  I'd honestly prefer to go somewhere where they spell their ads correctly.  Is that bad?

That then reminded me of another misspelling I've seen.  ...many times.

This is the screen that pops up just after you're done pumping gas at one of the stations I go to after work.  It still cracks me up!!  The only redeeming quality of seeing this screen is that the guy who tends to work the later shift is so ridiculously nice and perky that I enjoy seeing him.


I have no athletic update today because I took the day off.  My joints needed a rest and I'm letting my mental game enjoy it!


1.  Do you have an inner Grammar Nazi?
Is there any part of altered writing that bothers you?

2.  Do you have any funny sightings of misspellings or incorrect grammar?

3.  Would a misspelled sign, ad, or the like deter you from going to a store?
There are plenty of things that could override a misspelling, but yes, I would still be deterred to a degree. 


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Ups and Downs of Training

Typically, after a race, there is a given time span where you have to let your body recover.  We all acknowledge that.  Some of us ignore it, but oh-well.

Post-race we head down.

After Saturday's 70.3 (the race report is in the works), I meant to do a short recovery run on Sunday, but found that my left foot was bothering me.  I put off the run and before I knew it, the day was over and I hadn't ran.  I wasn't all that bummed, but I was worried that my foot was going to hamper this week's training.

And then back up!

On Monday, I headed to the track for my last set of 1200s.  I had 6x 1200m with a 400m recovery.  I honestly expected to make it through maybe 4 of them and then bail.  My energy was ok, but not high.  I still showed up, got warmed up, and started the set.  While my foot bothered me for maybe the first 800m of the warm up, it went away after that and hasn't returned!  It seemed my fear on Sunday was unnecessary.  And on top of that, I ended up running the 1200s only a second or two slower than before; and I finished all six.  I was pumped!!  My energy may have been slightly low, but my body seemed to have handled Saturday's race well and wasn't going to keep me down.

And down again.

Today, I went to coach and felt GREAT!  My legs felt refreshed and loose, my foot wasn't bothering me, and my energy felt good.  I wasn't exactly thrilled with the idea of another longer run today, but I'd make it through.  Then as I headed back to my car to get changed, I must have passed through some aerosol spray of demotivation because I all of a sudden had nearly zero push to go run.  I wanted to go home and veg so badly!!

I knew I wasn't going to do the workout on Wednesday since I have less time then, so I mustered myself up and headed out.  The 10 mile run that was supposed to be split into a 3.5 miles easy and 6.5 miles at a 6:30 pace quickly turned into a 3.5 mile easy jog.  My left ankle bothered me right from the start.  My left hip started to tighten up.  I was a mess!!  I made it back to the car 3.5 miles later and was not about to go for another loop.  I called it a day.

Maybe I'll just have a Looooooong taper.

Hartford is 2.5 weeks away and this was supposed to be my last hard week of training.  I'm thankful I got the 1200s done, but I'm slightly bummed today didn't go anything like what I planned.  I'm going to take tomorrow as an easy day as well, getting in some miles just to loosen up, and then do my best to reclaim myself Saturday at the Hogsback Half Marathon.  I'm using that very fun race as a long run; 13.1 miles at 7 or sub-7 pace and then I'll head out for an additional 7 miles at whatever pace I feel I can hold.  Having some people around will certainly help keep me motivated and distracted.

On a happy note, however, I no longer feel like I'm coming down with a cold!  Woohoo.  I can put the Halls back in the medicine cabinet for now.  =D


1.  How long do you take after a big race to recovery and return to training?
I usually give myself a week or two of light workouts after a hard race, but HITS was not a hard push specifically so I could not interrupt my marathon training.

2.  Have you ever used races as a training day?
I've only done it once this past February and it worked well, so I'm hopeful Saturday will work out the same.

3.  How long do you taper for a big race?
I find a marathon is 2 weeks for me.  A half marathon is 1 week.  Ironman is 1-2 weeks, different for each discipline.  And a Half Iron is 1.5 weeks.


Monday, September 23, 2013

Why It Sucks To Be A Guy!

This is about to get ugly in more ways than one.

That's right!  You women have so many things to complain about that no matter their validity (I'm not here to argue that), us men have very little time to make our own point.

So I'm taking a moment to make a formal (albeit online) complaint!

Blood stains on the front of my tri shorts.

For whatever reason, the above picture (genital chaffing) has been an issue all this year, though it had never been one before.  I've tried I've tried body glide, saddle butter, other creams, and even bandaids, but I never seem to avoid the very uncomfortable chaffing on...  well...  Let's just call it mini-me for giggles.

I thought it might be the new shorts this year; my Cardio Express kit from Champion Systems, but in an attempt to avoid the issue, I raced in last year's Newington Bike kit from LG this past Saturday and had probably the worst case of chaffing all year.  It was about 20-30 miles into the bike when I noticed the pain, began shifting the shorts around to avoid excess movement, and then I looked down and found I was bleeding from worn down skin.  Not comfortable!

I'd love to say that I'm just biking so much harder, but that's certainly not the case.  And once I'm off the bike, I'm fine.  It's just the bike that kills me.  

So while I am in no hurry to trade in my manhood for a set of breasts and a period, I'd still like you women to know that we don't always have it easy! 


1.  Guys!  Do you ever have this problem?  
I'm all ears for any solutions or thoughts!

2.  What is your worst chaffing area?
Luckily, I've never had an issue with bloody nipples, but I can imagine that would be horrible.

3.  How was YOUR weekend?


Friday, September 20, 2013

One Last Tri for the Season

Tomorrow is the HITS Hunter Mountain race in Hunter, NY.  While I was super excited about it when I signed up, I have to admit that I have been in a state of lack-luster enthusiasm the past week.  After Lake Placid, I have been slim with my triathlon training for a number of reasons; Ironman recovery, dropping FIRMman from the schedule, and switching to marathon training mostly, but also the fact that I've gotten run down the past week with the swings in temperature (it's that time of year again to get colds!).  No matter what, though, I am ready for the challenge!

I've accepted that this is just going to be a fun race though I know I'll have different thoughts once that gun goes off.  But no matter what happens, tomorrow is all for the love of the sport!

And without a doubt, Mr. Mark Wilson and the whole HITS crew will be firing us up pre-race and keeping the fun going all day long!!  HITS may be a small player, but they do well by me!

Here's the quick and dirty down low (Do people use that phrase anymore?  How about 411?)

- Air Temp @ START = 50 degrees F
- Air Temp @ High = 65 degrees F
- Water Temp expectation = 56-61 degrees F
** Trust me, I'm packing plenty of options, including layers! **

- Lots of running; I'm in marathon training!
- 7 swims post-Placid; a total of 8.9 miles with three >1.7 mile swims.
- 6 rides post-Placid, a total of 176.2 miles with one 70.6 mile ride.

- Survive the swim as quickly as possible.  This may be my only race effort due to temps.
- Get dry and stay comfortable on the bike.  I'm shooting about 3:15.
- A 7:00 pace for as long as possible on the run.  This will be a rather perverted marathon training run.
- Enjoy the day.

With that, I am off to pack my bags, make some food, and just relax.  I opted not to stay in Hunter, NY tonight, so I will be up BRIGHT and early tomorrow to leave CT around 3am so that I can get to NY in time to check in pre-race. 

Wish me luck!


1.  How far have you driven or traveled on race day for a race?
This will be the furthest, it's roughly a 2.5 hour drive.  Should be a long enough time to put a dent in another audiobook!!

2.  How long of a race would you be willing to attempt on minimal training?
If I didn't have the marathons coming up, I'd say bump me up to the full distance and just let me have fun lollygagging out there!  I think I can still put together a decent sub-6 hour performance at the half distance.

3.  What is the coldest you're willing to swim, bike, and run at?
Not gonna' lie - if the water temp is truly that cold, I predict I'll swim backstroke most of the race.  I don't know if my face can take that chill!!  I usually don't bike until it hits 60 degrees and even then it's with arm/leg warmers and not far.  I will run well below zero, but that's also with various thermal gear.  

4.  What are you doing this weekend?
Let me live vicariously through your social endeavors!


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Is it Fall yet?

According to me?, YES!

"How do I know?" you ask.  It certainly is not because everyone on Facebook is posting how pumpkin is single handedly making or breaking their day, week, or month.  If I see another post about how some sort of pumpkin coffee has saved the lives of children or how it has ruined their willpower, it'll be too soon!  It's not when the kids go back to school because that doesn't affect me much anymore.  And it's certainly not the calendar!  I've lived in New England long enough to know that weather does not get confined by the month written at the top of the page.

For me, Fall is officially signaled when I begin digging out the cooler weather clothes; the sweatshirts, hats, pants, the running gloves, headband, etc.  Once that's started, no matter how many more warm weather spells Ms. Mother Nature decides to pepper in, it is Fall. 


1.  What signals the start of Fall for you?

2.  Do you have a favorite month?
Fall is my favorite.  It's still warm enough to do things outdoors, but cool enough to have an excuse to bundle up.  The best of both worlds!

3.  What is your favorite part of Fall?
I do love pumpkin, but I think I now look forward to the change in training focus.  Triathlons only go until late summer here, so I get my break now with marathon and ultra training.  

4.  What's the weather like where you're at?  
Have the cool weather clothes come out yet?


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Great Autobiography Titles

One of the things I do at work to help clients take their mind off the workout they're doing at the moment is to come up with a fun list for them to help fill out.  This past week, I asked them to come up with titles for "great autobiography titles."  Here are the results...

  1. WTF?!
  2. You're Not Going To Believe This, But...
  3. It Seemed Like A Great Idea At The Time
  4. I'm Going to Pretend That Didn't Just Happen
  5. It Wasn't Intentional
  6. I Never did Look Good in Jail Stripes
  7. She Said It Was Ok
  8. This Is Why I'm Not A Parent
  9. They Said It Wouldn't Hurt
  10. (*Sigh*)
  11. You Can't Make Me
  12. Sorry, I'm a Bitch

If I saw any of the first four titles on the bookshelf, I would pick them up!! 


1.  Do you have any titles to add to the list?

2.  Have you ever thought of writing a book?


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Shut Up Mind!

That's what my body has been silently telling my brain.  But as always, actions speak louder than words, so while the words had been falling on deaf ears for almost a week, today's track workout finally let it ring clear!

Seriously!  No one.  EVER!
Remember how I had been dreading last week's 1200m repeats?  This week was the same workout with one more 1200 added on.  Luckily, due to a tight schedule I was in more of a rush so I had less time to dwell on it.  I just packed up, got to the track, and got started.  I had reserved myself to having a sucky workout but knew after a drop week, I needed to get the mileage in.  It turns out my body was ready!!  It's just my mind that's not quite in the same place.

5x 1200m w/ a 400m recovery

I always start and finish with the same distance at a warm up/down speed; so it's really 7x 1200m.  I set out and cruised at a 1:52 lap, 1:50, 1:46, 1:44... I was feeling good.  With the first real 1200m, I set out at a comfortable push assuming I'd have a bad day and BAM!, 1:35.  What felt like a 15-16 on the RPE scale last week was down to a 12-13.  I even began playing around with my breathing on every other 200m, switching from my normal 2-1 breathing to 3-1. 

Two repeats in, I was psyched and quite happy I had pushed myself to get to the track.  As it says above, I certainly did not regret doing that workout!!


1.  Have you ever regretted a workout?  If so, what was it and why?
I've only regretted pushing too far and getting injured.  

2.  What's your favorite track workout?
I hate/love ladders because I know I lack on the side of pacing.  I love 400m repeats.  There's something close to perfection when I click into that rhythm and just hit the finish on the dot every single time without fail.  Plus, it's fun to watch other people's times fall back as you continue being steady.  =D

3.  Do you have times when your head is just not into training?
I've got 4 weeks left of hard training and then it's ultra time (much more relaxed and free schedule), but my mind wants it to be over already.


Friday, September 13, 2013

RECIPE BOOK: Baked Eggs in a Bell [veg, gf]

Today's recipe comes from Everyday Paleo.  The blog post came up on my Blogger reel recently and I automatically knew I had to try it.


2 bell peppers, halved
1/2 small yellow onion, chopped
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 zucchini, chopped
1/3 sweet potato, chopped
2-3 baby bella mushrooms, chopped


Preheat the oven to 375.

Half the bell peppers and place them face up on a baking dish.  Bake them for 15 minutes.  When done, drain the condensed water that has pooled in the pepper.

In a small pan, heat the onion until they begin to soften.  Then add the garlic, zucchini, sweet potato, mushrooms, and sprinkle with salt.  Cook until the zucchini just begins to soften.

Half fill the bell pepper halves with the filling mix.  With the remaining room, crack an egg and place in the pepper.  If there is still room, fill with any remaining filling mix or a second egg.

Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes or until the egg has set.


1.  What is your favorite egg based recipe?

2.  What else might you add to the filling mix?


Thursday, September 12, 2013

TTT: Veggies, Gluten, and Carbs (Nutrition)


As you may recall, I recently posted HERE about going vegetarian.  Overall, things are going well, but thus far, I've narrowed the experience down to a few thoughts.

  1. I am hungry much more frequently.  I figure this is due to (1) a less calorie dense diet and (2) 
  2. My meals are less diverse.  Again, I'm a creature of habit and haven't found a new set of recipes just yet.
  3. It is tough to eat outside of my apartment!  I've become so accustomed to my diet (fresh ingredients, no oils, low sugar, etc.) that going out or eating at another person's place becomes touchy.
I will say that I feel much lighter and don't feel any drop in energy.  So far, so good!!  However, I would love to have a dollar for every "So you're not eating protein?" or "So you can eat fish and chicken, right?" response I've gotten.  It's becoming apparent that not everyone has a grasp on this very simple diet.


One of the books I'm currently reading is Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis.  I admit that I began reading it with the preconception that the whole gluten free trend is a fad that - for weight loss goals - simply comes with the side effect of lowering carbohydrate intake.  However, I now see that there is a lot more behind the diet than just a fashion fad.

There is a big difference between the original wild wheat that our ancestors ate and the wheat we see in the giant fields today.  And the examples of comparing their effects - if true - are quite eye opening.  If it's true, this puts another nail in the coffin of believing we're F'd as a country food-wise.


I recently listened to a podcast by Tawnee Prazak at Endurance Planet who interviewed Dr. Timothy Noakes. After that, I went to youtube and I listened to a couple of his talks.  While Tim Noakes reaches across many topics of exercise science and nutrition, what I picked up was his view on carbohydrate intake.  Tim's own diet reflects the history of adult onset diabetes in his family (if I remember that correct), and he limits carbohydrates quite a bit.  As an endurance athlete, I've had the view that carbohydrates should be the greatest part of the diet.  However, Tim told a couple stories about how much limiting carbohydrates has helped boost performance for athletes.  If not for my recent vegetarian switch, I would have doubted this.  However, since going vegetarian, I've limited my carbohydrate intake simply by wanting to limit my intake of saltines and bread and not having an alternative to switch to.  Since this change, my carbohydrate intake has decreased and I've actually felt great.

Call me crazy, but I feel an experiment coming on.  What do you think?  Limiting carbohydrate intake little by little and testing my performance to find my limit?


1.  Any ideas for vegetarian recipes that don't include pasta, oils, processed foods, and are low on sugar/carbs?

2.  Have you ever gone Gluten free?  Any thoughts on the diet idea?

3.  Do you limit your carbohydrate intake at all? 


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Track Dread & Workout Math

 4x 1200m w/ 400m recovery

I woke up today with fear of today's workout.  The 800s went surprisingly well the last three weeks, but now it's an extra lap and no rest.  Ugh!!  And I had zero motivation to do ANYTHING yesterday, which seems to have spilled over to today.  But I had no excuse.  "Get it done" I told myself.  So I packed up and headed to the local high school track. 

I had kept a 1:30 pace per 400m for my 800s and had hoped to maintain the speed for the extra distance, but I knew it was less likely with the low motivation.  I was just going to push as much as I can and hope it works. 

Every 1200 was 1:35 or less per 400m!  I stayed happily consistent and ran the warm up right through all four 1200m repeats without a break.  It wasn't exactly a happy or exciting workout, but it will do.  Next week is 6x 1200s.  *sigh*

And I met the nicest walker!

Dave, is a middle aged guy who I've seen at the track a few times.  He came out about halfway through my workout and began walking.  He walked every lap in a different lane, completing 8 full laps.  Once I was cooling down, we exchanged pleasantries.  We finished at the same time and chatted a bit.  He asked if I was training for something specific and told me that his son-in-law who lives in Michigan does "those marathon things."  He was not of the type to jump the bandwagon, but he has walked ~2.25 miles 2-3x/week for 3 years.  I couldn't help but get a big smile!  I love people who not only appreciate regular exercise but enjoy it!!

Exercising people = Happy people
People = People
Exercising = Happy


1.  Who have you met recently on your workouts?

2.  What workout do you wake up and dread?
It's a drop back week and I'm thankful for that, but after last weekend, my motivation is down for ANY workout.

3.  Any tips to help boost my motivation?
I can't wait for Thursday's Fleet Feet Track workout.  Having people there brings out my competitive edge and it always boosts my motivation!


Monday, September 9, 2013

A Long Weekend

What did you do this weekend?!  

Anything fun and exciting?  I feel I need to live through your adventures at times just to make my day-to-day workouts seem less monopolizing.  This might be a cry for help; ya never know!  Haha

Long Run

According to the BQ Marathon Training Schedule, this past weekend was 18 miles.  After my dismal experience with 15 miles (bad dehydration in the humid weather), I left the house with extra water and a route mapped out to give me ample stops for refills if needed.  In the end, I didn't need the stops for water at all, but the adventure turned into a Bathroom Crawl; 4 bathroom stops!  If the marathon turns out to be anything like my long runs, I'm going to need to run faster to make up porta-pottie time.

I had listened to two podcasts featuring Tim Noakes the day before and some of his talk about hydration (I still need to read Waterlogged!) got me to thinking about the whole 'Drink when you're thirsty' vs. 'If you get thirsty, you're already screwed' debate.  Tim recounted that he doesn't drink for two hour runs and I was shocked, but thinking back on the times before Gatorade, GU, and Fuel Belt were around, not only did science not have recommendations for athletes, but the athletes just did what they needed to.  For most of them, they taught their bodies to be much more efficient than athletes are today.

Anyways, I got well over an hour into my run before I started sipping the HEED from my handheld.  I made the whole run, 17.93 miles in 2.5 hours, on roughly 30 oz. of water/HEED and a single Clif gel.  Surprisingly, I felt pretty consistent throughout (purposefully taking it "slow") and felt good afterwards.

Long Ride

Sunday was the 2013 Cardio Express MS Bike Tour.  Not 3 miles in, I knew it was going to be a tough day!!  Haha

We had a 7:30am start and I was happy to have a few other riders that wanted to go out with me.  Last year was a bit lonely at the front by myself.  And man did the guys push me this year!  There were four of us that stuck together through about 25 miles.  Three of us held out through mile 36.  And then finally Matt took off, leaving me behind around mile 55.  With the extra push, I maintained a 19 mph average for the first 48 miles, but then dropped to an overall average 17.7 mph by the finish (70.6 miles). I think it's safe to say that Saturday left my tank a little below full.  haha

After finishing, I got pictures with all of my crew!

And of course my ladies leave their men behind on course!

Such a proud finish for both of us!

And then the party got started.  Food, massages, beer, music, and my ladies pulled out their champagne!  We had a blast and as a team raised approximately $40,000 for the Connecticut Chapter of the National MS Society.  What a great cause and event!

Blood Tests

And then today, after fasting since 9pm Sunday night, I went and had blood tests done for my yearly physical which is next week.

What are the chances that I'll have to repeat a test due to my weekend "adventures"??  Haha.  With my schedule, there really is no "good time" to do bloodwork; there's only 'better' times and 'worse' times.  But my numbers I'm sure go all over the place depending on when you catch me.


1.  What did you do this weekend?  Any training, racing, or fun adventures?

2.  Have you ever had to repeat bloodwork because your doctor thought your workouts affected the results?
Even if that's the case, if it's 'normal' for a patient to be working out so regularly, wouldn't the workout numbers be more 'normal' than what I'd consider "Lazy lab test" results?


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

My Marathon Training Program for Marathon #4

This year has been unique if not viably considered "Crazy."  Most of my training periods and schedules have overlapped and my marathon schedule is no different.  I thought I'd share the construction of this year's marathon program in order to be held accountable.

If it works, this is where I'll refer to with my
"Ha-HA.  I was right!"
If it doesn't, this is where I'll return to try and re-evaluate.

After recovering from Ironman Lake Placid, I gave myself a solid 8 weeks of training for the Hartford Marathon.  My ultimate goal is to attempt the BQ.

Yeah, it's a tall order!  And I may not make it (I've accepted that), but I wanted to give it a shot.  Before you think "Man, this guy is crazy and due for an injury!," as a little background, I had trained for a 3:30 prior to hitting my current PR.  The day before that race, I also ran a comfortable 1:44 half mary, so I was obviously ready for a faster time!  Therefore, I see no reason to not give the BQ a try. 

So here's the info I had going into my training plan construction.

  • I did an Ironman (including a marathon) in late July; I have plenty of base without injury.
  • I have 8 weeks until race day.
  • In February, I ran a 3:18 having trained for a 3:30.  Therefore, I am capable of a faster time.

I constructed the schedule based on 4-5 runs a week...
  1. Long Run - A slower run based on making sure my body is still used to the distance & time
  2. Tempo Run - Increasing distances to adapt my body to the pace and metabolic demands while training myself mentally to push.
  3. Track Speed - Training my legs to turn over at a faster rate.
  4. Track Fun - A fun group track workout to mix things up and keep motivation up; speed and distance will be based on how I feel that day.
  5. Recovery Run - Short runs meant for recovering from harder workouts throughout the week; 1-2 times/week. 
Here's the basic schedule...

  • Monday is my Tempo Run
  • Tuesday is my Track Speed
  • Thursday is my Track Fun
  • Saturday is my Long Run
  • REST days are up for recovery runs if desired.
  • Three weeks out, I have a 70.3 to race, so that'll be a test run of my pace at the half distance.

RACE DAY PLAN: Attach myself to the 3:05 pacer and hold on as long as I can.  

If two miles in, I feel like I'm going to crash and burn, I'd prefer to keep pushing and see how far I can push the pace.  This will be the first of my back-to-back marathons, but if I had to choose, I'd prefer to be happy with this race alone than to settle for being happy about the double completion.  


1.  What is one PR of yours that you know you can beat?  What time do you think you can achieve?
I think a 3:05 marathon is going to be tough, but is within reach.  I also think a low 1:20s half is within reach (current PR is 1:27:xx)

2.   How crazy do you think I am??  
I'm shooting for a BQ at Hartford, driving out to run the Newport Marathon the very next day, and have the JFK 50 ultra 6 weeks later.  Anyone taking bets on the outcome?  I might want in on the action.


Monday, September 2, 2013

A LOOK BACK: August 2013

Total Swum:  11,674Yards (6.63 Miles)
Total Biked:  105.6 Miles 
Total Run:  71.83 Miles
Total Strength:  12 Workouts
Total Yoga:  0 Sessions

Greatest weekly swim mileage:  4668 Yards (2.65 Miles)
Greatest weekly bike mileage:  69.41 Miles
Greatest weekly run mileage:   32.67 Miles
Greatest weekly no. of strength training sessions:  3 Workouts

Average bed time:  10:10 pm (21 minutes earlier than July)
Average time to get up:  6:15 am (34 minutes later than July)
Average amount of sleep:  8:06 (nearly 53 minutes more per night than July!!)
Average RHR:  49.0 bpm (1.9 lower than July)

** MUCH better sleep data this month than last.  I function so much better with more sleep!

Monthly Goal - Unofficial Prep for Vegetarian
Though I haven't gone into it much, September is going to be Vegetarian for me, so August was a prep month; ridding the kitchen of meat products, looking into alternative meals, and such.  So far, I feel pretty well prepared.  More on this to come!

2013 Racing Resolutions
  1. Race 12 races throughout the year - 14 races completed!
  2. Break my 5k PR (currently 19:30 from 2010) - Completed! 17:37 at the Sandy Hook 5k!
  3. Run my 3rd Half Marathon - Completed Colchester Half Marathon
  4. Run my 2nd Marathon (for time) - Completed Hyannis Marathon in 3:18:17
  5. Run back-to-back marathons - I'm registered for Hartford & Newport in October
  6. Race an ultramarathon
    1. Run a 50k - WMAC Fatass 50k in December
    2. Run a 50 miler - JFK 50 in November
  7. Break my Lake T Sprint PR (58:06) - 57:56 on June 20th
  8. Race an Olympic Tri - Litchfield Hills Oly in July
  9. Race Two Half Irons - Raced Rev3 Quassy & HITS North County in June.  HITS Hunter Mountain is in September.
  10. Race an Ironman - IM Lake Placid in July
  11. Race a new event (i.e. Spartan Race)
2013 Training Resolutions
  1. Ride a double century (200 miles) - I might have to throw in the towel on this one.
  2. Once started, maintain at least one swim, one bike, and one run each week - The transition to marathon training has caused me to be quite lax on swimming and biking despite the 70.3 coming up at the end of next month.
  3. Maintain strength training sessions throughout the year - Success!
  4. Make use of group training sessions - I've kept using the Friday night OWS group and the Thursday night track workouts.
  5. Do not ignore recovery - Lots of cold baths!!
  6. Maintain data log - Success!
2013 Personal Resolutions
  1. Do 12 things that scare me throughout the year - Still only one down!
    1. #1 - went on my first date in three years (don't expect a blog entry about this one)
    • I am taking any suggestions!!
  2. Obtain a 2nd coaching position - I am currently coaching/training 4 clients, running two studio classes / week, and have a fall/winter training program started.
  3. Make time to visit my sister in PA.  This one's looking harder every month.
  4. Compile and keep a list of recipes / meal ideas - The Recipe Book tab is underway!  I'm trying to post a new recipe on Fridays.  I've slacked recently.
  5. Continue eating healthy - I've prepped myself for going vegetarian in September. 
  6. Continue cooking from home - Success!
  7. Continue personal reading - Currently reading Wheat Belly by William Davis and Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins.
  8. Put 10% 25% of my income into savings! - August saw a savings of 10.1% thanks to two marathon registration fees, a useless doctor's visit, and a pair of new shoes for work.  I held off on purchasing hotels for three events and a hydration pack because I knew I was running close to bottom, but next month doesn't look much better.  Time to cinch the belt a little tighter!  I'm at 26.0% savings for the year. 

1.  How was your August?

Dream.  Believe.  Achieve.