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37 laps (1,850 yards) in 33:55 for 471 calories
37.37 miles in 2:11:30 @ 17.1 mph and 149/175 bpm for 2,193 calories

With only a Sprint triathlon remaining in my season—unless I get lucky enough to squeeze one more post-baby Olympic in before the end of the year—and with the knowledge that I won’t have many “long” workouts (i.e. over one hour) for a while after the baby is born, I began this weekend to toy with the idea of working some basic speedwork into my routine. Racing the Olympic on only a week’s training proved to me that I do have a decent base at this point, and if I’m not going to try a Half until ~2011, I might as well get faster in the meantime.

So on Saturday morning I hit the pool, and instead of swimming a mile straight to start, I decided to swim only 350-yard repeats.  I chose 350 yards instead of the typical 400 because my upcoming Sprint is a 350-yard swim leg.  Now, when I’m pacing myself for a mile, I typically swim 100 yards in ~2 minutes. Having never timed myself at speed, I wasn’t sure what I could do.  End result is that after a 200-yard warmup I swam seven 350-yard repeats and my average time was 1:50 per 100 yards.  This would mean a 6:25 swim in my next Sprint, which would be great if I could pull it off.  We’ll see what a month of speedwork in the pool can do for me.

My Sunday bike ride was great. Lebanon Road is finally fully opened to four lanes from Frisco to the Colony, so after a quick ride up Ohio, I U-turned and headed west on Lebanon. I was able to ride all the way to the Tribute, where I stopped for half a PowerBar and a stretch before I headed back for home.  Just under 40 miles, just over 2 hours, and cloud cover the whole way.

Sunrise over The Tribute golf course

Sunrise over The Tribute golf course

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Pre-Race
This race report is going to be relatively short.  First, it’s been a week since the race, and a very busy week at that, as I am starting up a new company and we are officially “launching” next week.  (More on that in a future post.)  And second, because this triathlon was on the same course and run by the same people as TexasMan, the Olympic I raced back in May.

That being said, this race was an interesting test of the factors that cause fitness/performance loss:

  • Training. Prior to TexasMan, I had trained fairly consistently for 3 months straight. Prior to Disco, I had one week of training and over six weeks of injury.
  • Weather. The high temperature on the day of TexasMan was 76 degrees. The high temperature on the day of Disco was 101 degrees.
  • Weight. I weighed 194 pounds for TexasMan and 199 pounds for Disco.

What was the end result?  My final Disco race time was 9% slower than TexasMan.  My swim was 13% slower, my bike was 4% slower, and my run was a whopping 16% slower.  The hot weather was certainly a factor, but still it’s amazing how slowly base fitness takes to build and how quickly it disappears!

Swim (30 minutes 30 seconds, 205 out of 273)
The swim was intimidating the first time around—it just looked so long.  But this time around I was much less nervous. I knew exactly where the buoys were this time and the water was quite calm.  I did have a couple problems once the race started, though. My goggles got hit by another swimmer and leaked a bit of water, which caused me to flip over on my back and empty them. And I swam off course at one point because I wasn’t sighting for the next buoy frequently enough. Despite those problems, the swim was relatively easy, and I actually found myself pushing a bit at the end to pass a couple of people in front of me.

T1 (2 minutes 55 seconds)
Coming out of the water, I noticed the sun was hiding behind some clouds. Nice!  As I ran up the path towards transition, some volunteers with hoses sprayed our feet and legs to get the sand off.  That was great.  My transition went fine and I headed out on the bike.

Bike (1 hour 21 minutes 32 seconds, 230 out of 273)
The ride was just as beautiful as in May, and amazingly the sun stayed behind the clouds for almost the entire ride.  Hemming Road was brutally bumpy like last time, and my piriformis muscles (muscles between your butt and lower back) were definitely aching on the final stretch.

T2 (2 minute 13 seconds)
Another good transition and I met my goal of approximately 5 minutes of transition time in every triathlon.

Run (1 hour 9 minutes 36 seconds, 224 out of 273)
More than a few people, include my wife Joanne, told me that racing a July Olympic in Texas was a bit silly. But with the new baby girl due on September 4th, I wanted to squeeze in one more Olympic. And the Disco race is really a blast. Many athletes dress in full disco garb, with afro wigs and gold chains and tie-dyed race gear. That being said, it was HOT. Oppressively hot. And humid, too, like running through warm soup. I paid close attention to my heart rate for the whole run, knowing that if I tried to run the 10K in under an hour I would “bonk” and end up walking. The sun came out in the first five minutes of the run, and when the route turned onto the unshaded road heading out of the State Park, I knew it was going to be painful. I walked through each water station, taking a cup of Gatorade to drink and two cups of water to pour over my head and my chest. By the last two miles, the path was littered with runners who had bonked, walking in a daze towards the finish line. I must have passed at least 20 people then, and at least half of them looked significantly more fit than I. It was a tough run, but it felt great to sprint the last hundred yards and then collapse in the lake.

Final Result: 3 hours 6 minutes 44 seconds, 225 out of 273
I didn’t have a goal time for this race.  I knew I would be slower than in May, and my time off to heal my ankle was the longest since I started triathlon, so I didn’t really know what to expect in terms of fitness.  The heat and lack of training made the race painful, but I have to admit that I was proud that I finished well. Overall, the race made me optimistic that I am starting to build a long-term base that will survive the new baby and allow me to build back up quicker than it would take to restart from scratch.

Run: 2.28 miles in 24:07 @ 10:34 pace and 168/186 bpm for 335 calories
Swim: 1,600 yards or 32 laps in 34:56 for 340 calories
Run: 4.43 miles in 48:13 @ 11:07 pace and 167/190 bpm for 670 calories
Run: 5.43 miles in 58:28 @ 10:46 pace and 163/192 bpm for 812 calories
Bike: 27.95 miles in 1:44:16 @ 16.1 mph and 144/177 bpm for 1,739 calories

Seven weeks ago, I sprained my ankle. Last week, after lots of icing and rehab, my doctor gave me clearance to start exercising again.  I managed to work in one swim, one bike, and three runs.  With our second daughter due in 4 to 6 weeks, I wanted to squeeze in a race or two before my baby-induced triathlon hiatus begins.  Since I missed the Playtri Olympic two weeks ago, there was only one more local Olympic before the baby’s due date.  Unfortunately, it’s this weekend.

That means I’ll have had only one short week of training before a second race of the longest distance I have attempted.  I felt really good in my workouts this week, and although I seem to have lost about 10% of my speed, my endurance (a.k.a. “base”, “engine”, “cake”) still feels decent.  I decided I’m going to give it a go, so look for the race report soon.

Milestones

  • Highest weight: 228 pounds
  • Lowest weight: 187 pounds
  • Current weight: 216 pounds
  • Started training: March 17, 2008
  • First Sprint: June 26, 2008
  • First Olympic: May 17, 2009
  • First Half: TBD 2011
  • Longest swim: 2.05 miles
  • Longest bike: 63.57 miles
  • Longest run: 13.33 miles

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