Thursday, May 28, 2015

Busy is better! (Sometimes)

What a CRAZY last couple of months it has been. I took April off from work, except for Sundays...more on that in an upcoming blog post hopefully in the near future. Hopped in the Barking Dog...1st in AG, 4th overall, 1st "non-elite wave" finisher. What a weird race though (although it was cold so I was a fish in water & loving it!) It's no secret that aside from myself the arch-nemesis has always been the heat factor. With a training deficit due to April as mentioned...there wasn't a lot of pressure so I stayed out of the elite wave which took off in wave 1. Then there was a second wave, I was third & my buddy Andy Ames was in the 4th wave. With the elites & pros up the road & Andy not next to me, it was one of those go through the motions type runs. Nobody to run with so used it as a warm up, just enough to warm up for the bike.

2015 Barking Dog Duathlon
The bike--okay, I gunned it as best I could so no complaints there, but it was still off from normal especially with all the rain we've had this year & as mentioned, the entire month of April's non-activity. Finally, the last run...whatever I could dig into/press to the finish is what was going to be my result. The finish came up quickly & even afterwards, didn't seem like I was really that taxed. No gaggy-pukey feeling like I normally have from over-exerting myself, although I didn't have coffee that morning. I think that is a trend I'll be following.

Memorial Day was Bolder Boulder. Another odd non-coffee day that started with wife's home baked wheat bread, strawberry jam and water. Used some old cotton sweats to ditch near the start, but brought $1 for a "mobile locker" just in case. Finally, I tried to use the  mobile locker & theysaid it was actually now $2. So...I ditched said gear behind a bush and picked them up after the race. Before the race I did some sprint pick ups in front of Excel Sports with Chris Grauch, my team mate from our defending US National Master's Cross County gold medal crew. We run for Boulder Running Company/Team Adidas out of Colorado Springs. That really got the legs moving.

Long story short, I started about 7 yards or meters behind the start on the far left to avoid the nut jobs who just HAVE to get out front right away for that "A wave" photo that usually appears on the next year's calendar. Anyhow, it was a quite laid back start and just took it out what felt slow (5:32 pace)...but was not really any slower than last year--it just felt that way. About mile 1.5 Andy Ames (who holds silly fast BB records of 31 minutes + for many, many years)...pulled up and tapped me on the shoulder as he did last year when he trounced me horribly. I settled in right behind him comfortably until mile 5, then as I did in Barking Dog Du...decided there was just way too much left in the tank so I floored it until the finish with my second best time on that course. While it was my 2nd best time, it was also my easiest effort RPE-wise...with my lowest HR ever. Checking my 920XT, per LT zone calculations using the Coggan Method...I spent 68% of the Bolder Boulder in heart rate zone 3, with only 22% in zone 4. In 2014 I was almost all zone 4 after mile 1.  Which totally makes sense because as I told a gal I used to coach through a Tweet on really did feel like just a Tempo run. I've had harder training runs than that effort. The data proves to too.

To top it off, I won my age group FINALLY in Bolder Boulder after something like four 2nd places in a row. Something has happened with the last couple races with the running. It seems easy to go faster, yet less training, but no coffee before races so there isn't that stomach acid issue.

The folks were here for 10 days so I didn't get to see them much with things starting to pick up following my "post-April" sabbatical from training with the upcoming races on the horizon. I'm heading to US Duathlon Nationals next week with 2013 World and National/2014 National 50-54 Champ Andy Ames, as my room mate again. This guy is a freaking LEGEND--if you Google him you'll see how impressive this guy is. It's always a challenge just to hold his shoulder in a race.  I'm heading back to defend my 45-49 AG National Championship/#1 ranked for all of 2014. Andy is the one that talked me into this duathlon stuff a couple years ago when I finished 4th at World Championships in Ottawa's ITU Standard Distance Championships.

If I don't show up, it would be disrespectful to not only the National Champ title, the ranking, but to those who want to try to knock me off that top stair. Which is fine for me because I have no expectations especially after taking April off from pretty much "life of any sort" to speak of...although April was STILL fun...just not letting the cat outta the bag yet on that so stay tuned in the weeks ahead!

I've managed to spend some time with some of my athletes I coach, to really snucker-down on specific individual help, as well as holding a transition clinic for them. It included video footage, form analysis & set up for race day.  Summer is just about here, tomorrow is the kid's last day of school, it looks like training time Monday-Wednesday will be more limited if any at times, but I'll have PLENTY of daddy time which is better than just about anything I can think of!  You can ride a bike until you're older, or run when old--but you only have your kids around for so long. I'm going to take advantage of that while I can. Until next time, steer clear of the bad people in life & don't let anyone tell you "no" because--they know NOTHING about the power you  hold within you!


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