A Crazy Crazy Legs

Last weekend was the April Du. It's a 2 mile trail run (hilly), followed by a 12 mile bike (hilly) followed by the same 2 mile trail run (still hilly). It was really fun. Lots of co-workers and friends there. I did well (2nd), but injured my hamstring by attacking the downhills too hard - that's how I tore my tendon 2 years ago.

So all week I've been in a lot of pain. I tried running Wednesday, and that was a big mistake because I made it worse. Thursday it was the worst - very painful. It hurt to touch it, so it hurt all day sitting in my chair at work. Friday was much better, but still far from 100%.

This morning was Crazy Legs, and I really wanted to run so I went out early this morning for a short run to see how it was and it didn't feel too bad. It hurt, but not so bad that I felt I couldn't run. So
I smothered the leg in Aspercreme, wrapped it for support and headed to the race.

The weather was brutal today - thunderstorms and heavy rain. It was my parent's first year walking Crazy Legs so I was hoping for better weather for them. I'll run in the rain so I don't mind that much, but walking in it has to suck.

Anyway, I had two goals. The lofty goal - break 30 minutes, and the realistic goal - 31 minutes. I started out at a 5:55 pace and felt great. I decided to back it down a tad at the 3/4 mile mark and finished the first mile in 6:04. The second mile has Observatory hill (this is when the heavy rains started), and I took it easy on the backside to protect my hamstring, so that mile was slower and I finished with an average pace of 6:14. I held that for a while and felt really good. I figured I'd pick up the pace toward the end and try to get back the time I lost on Observatory...not meant to be.

I faded....then faded some more....then faded a little more. I finished in 32 minutes. I missed both goals, but set a Crazy Legs PR so it's not a complete disappointment.

I find it frustrating because last year I weighed in 5 pounds lighter than I did this morning, and I pushed myself a lot harder during the race and suffered a lot more. I don't feel like I had the mental edge today. I lacked the strength and will power to push myself as hard as I did last year. I don't know if it was the hamstring or the weather or what the deal was, but I need to get that focus and determination back or this season may be full of disappointing results.

Unfortunately, I'll be in Connecticut next weekend so I can't race the Peanut Butter Duathlon this year (big disappointment), so now I'm focusing on the Beloit Biathlon. That's my next race. I hope the weather is nice.

My parents said they had a good time despite the rain so that was good.


First century of the year

Yesterday, I rode my first century of the year and it was a tough one. I met Matt's group at 8:30am (still cold - mid 30s) for a 50 mile ride to New Glarus like last week....can't resist that Fat Cat coffee. Then Matt, Dave and I rode another 20 miles so they would end at 70. Then I was on my own.

It was a decent plan, but there was one flaw. I planned on maybe a 17.5 average speed. Since most of the group was doing 50 miles, they pushed the pace and we finished with an 18.5 average. Then Matt, Dave and I put in some hard work on our 20 miles and finished with an 18.6 average.

Then I was on my own, and getting pretty tired. The wind was brutal so Matt suggested I bike through the arb to help block the wind. That helped a lot. Then I turned around and headed out to Paoli with a tailwind so I was flying. At mile 92 I turned into the wind and it only took 3-4 miles for the wind to get the best of me. At mile 96, I hit the wall and was stuggling. My average speed was still at 18.6...then 18.5....then 18.4.

And that's where it finished. A great training ride, but I paid the price. Good thing next week is a recovery week.


Trying to be positive.

They like barns in CT, that much I know. The picture is Cannondale's office. I guess construction begins this summer, so I don't know what it will look like when that's done.

I've done a lot of research this weekend, and I think I actually found a place or two that I like that I can afford. The tough part is that I'm picky. I don't like old buildings, especially old apartment buildings. I like newer apartment buildings that look like townhomes. Or, if I have to live in an old building, I want something with character...like a warehouse turned into studios or something like this...

This one is affordable, but it's in West Haven which would give me a pretty long commute...but I'd be close to Yale. But for right now I'd rather not commute too far because I'm afraid $4 gas is going to return in the near future.

And I want a washer/dryer in my apartment. No laundrymats for me...told you I'm picky.

So there's this place...

It's in Danbury and it's a lot like my place now. I would lose about 250 sq. ft and my underground parking, but I think I can afford it and it looks nice (although I'm concerned all the pictures online are of the pool, clubhouse and gym - I'd rather see the apartments). It's close to work - 5.5 miles - and close to Candlewood Lake and I think it's close to the train station but I'm not sure on that. Danbury is a town of 78,000. It's like Janesville. Everything is close because you can drive across town in 15 minutes.

That's the big negative for me. I want to move to a city bigger than Madison, and moving to Danbury would be a little like moving back to Janesville. But there are worse things out there. Danbury's crime rate is really low so that's something.

There are only about 2 or 3 more places I found that I like and I think I can afford. The tough part is that they each have one floor plan that I can afford so if it doesn't open up I don't know what I'll do. But I have time. Plenty of time.

And there's the Bethel Cycle/Tri club with 190+ members so I would have some people to train with. And I think their team kits look pretty nice so that's an incentive (a small incentive).

One of my worries was that CT wouldn't have much of a triathlon scene, but it looks there are quite a few events around there. The new Rev3 half ironman is in Middlebury, CT (sponsored by Cannondale) about 30 minutes from the Danbury/Bethel area. There are lots of sprint tris and olympic tris.

As I was doing some research on this a few weeks ago I came across a small series of running races in the area that are free and then I picked up Runner's World and there was an article on those races. Weird. Do you think it's a sign? Much like my new license plates that have NYC on them (instead of my ex-girlfriend's initials - that was weird too).

And I wouldn't be too far from the NYC marathon and the Boston Marathon and the Lake Placid Ironman....

...and the ocean. Gotta love the ocean.


As for training, here's the link to my run today if you're interested. It was so so. My speed was good, but I felt like crap so I don't know what to make of it.



Mom/Dad - Start cleaning the basement.

So here's the deal, for those who haven't heard. My employer restructured. Part of the restructuring includes relocation for a lot of employees....me included.

I was offered a relocation package to go to Bethel, CT. Bethel is in Fairfield County, which is considered part of the NYC metropolitan area. $$$$

I was offered a cost of living adjustment that doesn't quite cover the cost of living difference. I'm finding rooms that rent for more than my apartment (I live in a 1,000 sq ft one bedroom loft for $800 per month). By rooms, I mean literally a bedroom in a house with 3 or 4 other people. $900. Rent on my apartment out there is at least $400 per month more. And, believe it or not, taxes are higher out there. WI is one of the highest taxed states, but they actually found one higher to move us to.

They're building additions on to the new office and it looks like it's going to be a really cool building, but I'm just not sure I can afford to live out there. I'm all about advancing my career, but not if it means a huge step back in my standard of living. My work supports my personal life, not the other way around.

So at this point I'm thoroughly frustrated. I'm happy I got an offer because a lot of people are losing their jobs these days. Don't get me wrong, the offer isn't necessarily a bad offer (there are a lot of details I'm leaving out). It's just not good enough to be a no-brainer. And to be fair to the company I work for, I think they were very generous with the deals they offered in terms of timelines, and I think they treated everyone with respect (unlike some of the horror stories I've heard of how other companies handle this stuff). It's not fun, but it makes business sense. That's life.

Everyone is telling me to go because it will be good for my career and I'll get to work in a state-of-the-art building with one of the premier brands in the bicycle industry. All of that sounds appealing, and I kind of want to go. But I keep crunching the numbers and things aren't quite adding up. I'm a single dude so I don't have anyone to help with expenses. I'm on my own. If I can't find a place I can afford, it doesn't matter if I want to go or not.

Obviously, I'm not going to post how much money I make, but I will say this: I make enough money that I think I should be able to afford a decent one-bedroom apartment. That's what I find the most frustrating about the apartment hunt right now.

But I'm not giving up and I'll probably go out there for the cookout if nothing else.

Who knows, maybe I'll find a place I can afford and all will work out....

...or maybe my parents should clean the basement and be prepared for my arrival if I take the severance package and I'm unable to find a new job....

...just sayin.