Elver repeats in the scorching heat

Food poisoning is brutal...or it is for those of us who don't handle it very well. Today is the first day I've felt 100% all day since I got food poisoning last Monday. It took a full 7 days to get over it...and it took its toll.

Sunday I went out for a run. Eight miles, which isn't a tough run this year. I've done a lot of distance so 8 miles on a Sunday isn't a big deal. But I completely fell apart. My pace went from 7:40 on the first mile to 8:55 on the last mile. I had to stop and rest at some intersections (I pretended I was waiting for cars, but there were none in sight).

And those 8 miles made me very sore. The dehydration and nutrient lose from the food poisoning did some damage, and I've been paying the price the past two days.

So..... I planned a big three week block of training to get ready for Racine before I left for Park City. Three tough weeks, and this is week one...and I'm sore and tired already. It's going to be a tough training block. This isn't how I wanted to start it out.

Today was my first key workout so I was a little nervous. I wanted it to go well. The plan was Elver hill repeats. I decided I wanted extra miles so I changed my route...and good thing too. Typically, I run down Hammersley to Elver, run the hill, and then run back down Hammersley. Today, I opted to cut over to Raymond then McKenna to Elver. It's 3 miles each way instead of 2.

Matt also did Elver repeats today, and he stuck with the Hammersley route and said he saw about 7 police cars on Hammersley today and it made him a little uneasy (there was a shooting on Hammersley the other day in the middle of the day so it's making me think twice about running down there at lunch).

Anyway, my first key workout and it's the hottest day of the year. I love the heat, but that doesn't mean it doesn't get the best of me from time to time. And coming off illness I wasn't sure if I'd be able to handle hill repeats in 90 degree temps. But I'm dumb enough to give it a go.

The run there was pretty easy. I felt good and barely broke a sweat. My legs felt pretty sluggish, but I was happy with my pace. Then came the hill. Elver hill is brutal, and there's no tree cover. You're out in the open fully exposed to that big burning globe trying to melt the skin off your back. As much as I feared the heat, I was loving it. I love a hot, summer day. Although I admit hot, summer days are better spent lounging in a pool instead of sprinting up hills.

I did six repeats. My goal was to do them all in under 30 seconds (the hill is about 360 feet and finishes off at about a 21-23% grade - it starts around 10% I think), and I hit my goal: 27, 29, 29, 29, 29, 27. It's funny how I can run 27s on the first and last but couldn't come in under 29 in the middle of the workout.

The way back was brutal. I was spent. My legs were fried and I was overheating. I had a tough time catching my breath and I wanted to walk. It felt like the Ironman. I wanted to quit, but I knew I could keep going. It was a test of willpower. It was a great workout, but I'm sure I'll be feeling it tomorrow.

Even though I'm paying the price for getting sick, I nailed my first key workout so I'm really happy with that. My next key workout is Thursday, and I'm not very confident that one is going to go well. It's a long, tempo brick in the evening and it's still going to be pretty hot. I don't think I can hit my numbers, but I'll give it my all and see what happens.


No Name has a name...

...and that name is Ceviche...or, to me, food poisoning.

Let me back up to the beginning of the trip to Park City, Utah....

Park City is very cool. Unfortunately, Park City wasn't good to me.
The weekend began with a few long work days. We were there for our annual sales meeting, and we had about 450 bikes coming we needed to unload. Our trucks arrived late on Saturday, just in time for our hired help to leave so we had to unload by ourselves. Long day. Probably 11 hours.

Sunday we had to move and sort bikes, and when that was done I had a spreadsheet I needed to get done by Monday so I worked on that in the evening...another long workday.

Monday was better, not so much work. I went to dinner with my boss at No Na
me Saloon and that's when things got really ugly. We ordered Ceviche as an appetizer. It was good, but I will never eat it again.

Ceviche has both shellfish and finfish, and the finfish is typically raw. I think I remember the chunk of fish that made me sick.

What followed was possibly the worst 24 hours of my life. It was rough. That was Tuesday. Wednesday was better, but not much, and I had to fly home on a flight that had 3 screaming kids. Today is Thursday, and I'm finally eating again. I've lost 10 pounds.

Before I got sick I got to do some running and got out for one ride. It was all tough since Park City is at 7,000 feet. Altitude is a killer, much like food poisoning.

But I'm home now and starting to feel better.

I never did find out why there are shoes in this tree..


Park City

Tomorrow morning I'm off to Park City, Utah for 5 days. Park City is at 7,000 feet so I'll be able to get in some high altitude training. Probably some really good trail running, not that I'm much of a trail running fan. But I imagine they have some great trails out there so it should be fun.

When I got back from lunch today, the Madison forecast for the next 5 days was on my desk. Mid 70s and sunny. The forecast for next Monday is "another great day."

Here's the forecast for Park City for the next 5 days:


I shouldn't find this as funny as I do....


Connecticut & Rockman Pics

Today, we had to turn in our CT decisions and I declined the offer. I have no idea when my job ends. Life is an adventure.

I know some people may think I'm an idiot for turning down a good job during one of the worst job markets in history, but I don't think this was a mistake. Sometimes you have to go with your gut feeling and hope for the best. I guess time will tell if this was the right move.

Here are a few pics from the Rockman Half Ironman yesterday....

Rockman Performance Chart

This was on the results page. Kind of cool. You can see I need to work on my swim.


Rockman Race Report

This morning was the Rockman Half Ironman. The early weather report was a little sketchy - upper 50s and rain. That's cold. It was only about 60 degrees at the start of the race, but it was a warm 60 degrees if that makes sense. It was suprisingly comfortable. Not nearly as bad as I expected.

The water temp was decent. A little cold, but nothing to complain about. I haven't been putting in enough time in the pool, but was thinking I could pull off a 32-33 minute swim. I came out of the water in about 36 minutes. I'm very disappointed. I give up way too much time in the water, and I need to get in some hard work in the pool and improve my times.

When I came out of the water, it was already raining.

My transitions are typically pretty quick and smooth, but not today. For half ironmans and ironmans, I like to put on my garmin in T1. I turn it on toward the end of the bike so it can find satellites and then I have it for the run. I also wear my timex so I have my total time for the race (I can't wait to get the new waterproof garmin so I can wear it for the whole event) so yes, I wear two watches. It's goofy, but having my garmin for pace and distance is really helpful so it works for me.

But I screwed up...I put my Timex on my left wrist. I always put my watches on my left wrist, so when I plan on putting a watch on in T1 I put my Timex on my right wrist. Why? Because, for some reason, I can't put a watch on my right wrist. It takes me forever, but I can put one on my left wrist quickly. So I fumbled around trying to put my garmin on my right wrist in T1...then I tried to put on arm warmers which is really tough when your arms are wet. I should've gone without. I also lost some time in T1 when I headed back to the rack to get rid of my glasses. I couldn't see through them from the rain so I decided to bike without glasses.

The bike....it was good. I passed a lot of people, which says more about my lack of swim skills than my bike skills. I don't always wear glasses when I bike so that wasn't a big deal, and it actually worked out great. Visibility was never a problem. I stayed within my power zone and finished around 2:30-2:31. Right about where I expected to be. I thought I might go under 2:30 but the course was a little hillier than I thought (far from hilly...just hillier than I thought it would be).

Coming into T2 I got out of my shoes early (too early) and did my usual side saddle dismount. Sometimes when I do this, my shoe comes off and it did today. One of the volunteers grabbed and yelled that I dropped my shoe. I tried to stop on the wet timing mat and slipped and nearly fell...close call. Very close.

The run was tough. It's very hilly. Nothing too brutal, although there were a few hills that were really tough. Mostly it's just rollers. I don't think there was a flat stretch on the whole course. I was hoping to run 7:45s but realized early on that wasn't going to happen. The course was too hilly for me to hold that pace. So I made my goal sub 8 minute miles. The run was tough and I was hurtin, but I kept pushing and finished in 1:43 - a 7:54 pace so I'm happy with that.

They don't have official results posted yet, but I have my total time at 4:53. I was hoping for sub 4:45 so I'm a little disappointed, but not much. I signed up a week ago so I haven't been training for this race so I can't beat myself up for not hitting a goal I came up with a few days ago.

What I really wanted from this event, I got. Renewed motivation and a sense of where my current fitness level is. My bike is where I want it right now and my run is getting there. Swimming is way off so I now know where I need to put my focus and what I need to do to prepare for Racine.

My next two weeks of training will be screwed up because I'll be in Utah for 5 days, but after I return I'm going to be focused on making improvements and getting in some solid training for Racine.

Upcoming races: Aquathon #2 and Pleasant Pairie Open Water Challenge


It's Tri Season

Triathlon season is finally officially upon us. Most people I know are doing the Lake Mills sprint tri, which I wanted to do. But I opted to do the Rockman Half Ironman this weekend instead. I hope I'm ready.

To prepare, I did a long brick workout last Saturday which was brutal. I did 3 hours of tempo on the bike and then ran 5.5 very hilly miles. Then I did a long run on Sunday, and I was hurting on Monday...luckily Monday was a rest day.

Tuesday was tough. The first aquathon was last Thursday, and I swam the exact same time I did last year at the first aquathon so I was pretty disappointed in my swim. So Matt came up with a swim workout and met me at the Y after work and put a hurtin on me. It was the hardest hour I've ever spent in the pool.

But I needed it. I need to get in gear and improve my swim so it was a good thing. Wednesday was easy, and today is kind of a hard day. Not brutal and not long so I'll recover quickly and be ready for Sunday.

I did a tough hour in the pool this morning, which was especially hard since my shoulders are still tired from Tuesday. I hope they come around by Sunday, otherwise the swim is going to be slow. Later today I'm doing a 90 minute bike with 45 minutes of tempo and then I'll run about 5 miles easy afterwards.

Friday is a rest day. Saturday is a super easy warm up bike/run workout followed by a lazy afternoon saving my energy for Sunday.

The Rockman Half Iron isn't a high priority race for me so I'm not too worried about it. I'm using it for training and to test my fitness. Obviously, I'll go hard and do the best I can, but I'm not going to beat myself up if it doesn't go well.