Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Merry Christmas

I haven't updated in a few weeks purely out of spite. :P

But seriously, there has been a bunch of fun stuff going on and lots of pictures have been taken.  I just haven't loaded them onto my computer and/or am a bit too lazy to post them all into this blog.  Below are a few pictorial highlights of the last couple of months.

 New Orleans weekend trip with my dad and Bro in law

 'nuff said

 Also ran into our buddies Sam and Kevin and their little girl

 Junior Awesome gets his first haircut!

 Junior Awesome does the tapdance routine

We ran a 5k at Bond Park and had fun 

We ran another 5k in Pittsboro in December and also had fun -
The OSB Racing Team took 2nd at the Reindeer Run

 Watching Cars - Enthralling

Cars - Owen Wilson at his best

I'll add a few more in the next couple of days when I get around to moving them onto the computer.  I am not wise enough to blog directly from my phone although I'm sure it is possible.

In the training world I have been keeping up with 2x swims, 2x bikes, and 4-5 runs a week.  I have signed up for a trail marathon in mid-March to keep some motivation and race goals on the horizon.  My tentative 2014 race schedule:

January - 5k somewhere
February - 5k somewhere
March 15 - Instant Classic trail marathon in VA
March 29 - Sampson County Super sprint
April 19 - Beaverdam Sprint
May - TBD
June 2 - Raleigh 70.3
June 14 - 3 Little Pigs sprint tri
July - Triangle triathlon
August - Lake Logan sprint tri
September - Wrightsville Beach sprint tri

That will about do it. I will throw in some extra local races if they fit and our family unit can agree on who is doing what.  All fun!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

body composition & endurance athletes

Ideal body composition & endurance athletes
Marty Gaal, CSCS

I don’t discuss this subject in great detail with my athletes because it is the sort of subject that can drive high achieving athletes even more insane.  I do mention that extra bodyfat is detrimental to performance and causes more stress on the joints when running and, unless they want to dig down on the subject, leave it at that.  Why?  Because my focus in coaching is on helping people to get fit and to have fun, not helping people to obsess about their calorie intake or to develop body image issues.  So, please take this article with a grain of salt and maybe some doughnuts as you’d like.

However, this does not change the fact that if you’re carrying around more body fat than you need, you’re not really doing everything you can to become a better, faster, fitter athlete.  You may be training long and hard, but you’re slacking in the nutrition department.  And this will negatively impact your race day performance, not to mention the stress extra weight causes in other ways.

VO2 max(relative equation)= maximum milliliters of oxygen consumed in 1 minute / body weight in kilograms

If you’re not familiar with V02 max, it is the ultimate predictor of endurance athletic ability.  As you can read in the above equation, it includes body weight as the denominator.  If you’re not a science-y type, that means any increase in your body weight is going to decrease your V02max value and by extension your lactate threshold ability.  Re = in endurance sports, as you grow softer than your ideal body composition, you get slower.

Purely from a performance perspective, let’s talk about cycling and running.  For example, imagine a male athlete with an ideal bodyfat composition of around 7% body fat and 140 pounds. This is getting towards the low end of elite male athletes, but you will definitely see even leaner athletes on the race course. (5- 12% for men and 12-20% for women is athletic / elite fit type).

Let us imagine at this weight/composition our athlete can put out 300 watts at threshold power and run 5:10 / mile threshold speed.  Now take the same athlete and add 7 pounds, most of it adipose tissue aka fat. That’s not a lot, right? But that 7 pounds is 5% of body weight at 140 pounds, meaning the athlete is now 12% body fat.  That’s still relatively low!  But consider the ramifications to the power / weight ratio and threshold running speed.  At 140 lbs (63.63kg) the athletes’ threshold power to weight is 4.714 w/kg.  At 147 lbs it is 4.489 w/kg. That’s about a 4.7% reduction in his power/ weight ratio. The power equation does not particularly discuss the decreased V02 max value that additional weight will cause but shows the net result. Any hill is going to be slower and his engine is not quite as fit on the flats as it used to be since it has to power 7 extra pounds everywhere.  You can find a variety of bike speed calculators based on these numbers on the internet.

Now, the popular calculation for running speed is to add 2 seconds per pound per mile. That is more or less in the ball park but let’s get geeky and take a look at the impact on V02 max.   If his V02max was 68.35 ml/kg/min at 7% and 140 lbs (based on 4350 ml oxygen in 1 minute), it would be 65.10 at 147 lbs. That is a 4.4% reduction in V02max.

There are other factors that impact running speed besides weight and V02max like technique and economy, but to get to the point let’s estimate that for this particular athlete each pound adds 1 second per mile.  His threshold run speed is now no faster than 5:17 per mile, or ~:43 seconds slower for a 10k.  That is a world of difference in placing at the elite and amateur elite levels.

If you were to calculate his threshold 10k run time of 31:30 and add 4.4% (the reduction in V02max) the time would be 32:48 or more like 1:20 slower instead of :43 for a 10k.

The popular calculation of 2 seconds / pound / mile = 5:24 threshold speed or 32:54 for the same 10k.

So to anyone out there that has time goals, performance goals, and so on, think about this the next time you’re getting ready to shove another delicious Christmas cookie in your face!

Marty Gaal, CSCS, is a triathlon coach based in Cary, North Carolina.  He loves cookies. You can read more at www.osbmultisport.com.

Monday, October 28, 2013

B2B half race report

We had a fun crew stay with us in a beach house rental over the weekend.  Only two of us were racing and the rest of the gang were there to be 'spectathletes'.  They did a great job!

My Mom stayed home with Junior Awesome so Bri and I were able to run around a bit more than we can with mr.man.

To the point: race day.  I arrived feeling good but not terribly well rested.  The last few weeks Junior has been waking up in the 5-6 range and I stay up late.  Usually can catch a nap but the week of was just hectic, and no naps.  Priorities definitely change!

The morning of: woke up around 545 and sucked down a bunch of coffee and my usual eggs, chips, toast breakfast.  I like my breakfast!  

It was a friggin' cold morning!

The swim: Stayed bundled up as long as possible then got in to warm up a bit just before our wave.  Started in wave 2 with a mild current assist, nothing like it's been in years past.  Felt good and came out around 26:30. 

 Me run. Cold feet. Ouchie.

OSB spectathletes

T1: slow as molasses.  I put on skullcap, gloves, winter jacket, tights, and wool socks, not in that order.

Bike: felt ok but not great, just couldn't seem to crank it as well as I have in some workouts recently.  Didn't feel completly anemic though.  The first 37 - yes 37 - miles were all into a headwind or head-crosswind.  GahH!  Made up some time on the return to downtown.  2:37 time.

T2: faster than T1 but still slow.

Run: felt good!  Kept feeling good!  Pushed hard on 2nd half!  Actually passed people!  Ran a 22:00 final 5k!  Wowie!  1:35.13.

 Comin' in for a smoochie with my hunny

Overall time was 4:47.53 and apparently good for 5th place masters.  The current results are incorrect showing that I ran a 3:24 half marathon. 

Our crew also won the award for loudest/most obnoxious fan base. :)

 They only look harmless.

I would post more pictures and/or but am burned out on this blog post already.  me me me me me blah blah blah.  the end.

Monday, October 21, 2013

almost there

Just a few days until the Beach 2 Battleship half-Iron! I'm bib number 1643, or something like that.  I have enjoyed getting into good shape for it but the last couple weeks have been tough.  This past weekend :

My high school team hosted a cross-country championship on Friday afternoon.  Pretty much took most of the day.  The teams did great with our girls taking 2nd and boys taking 3rd.  I was able to get a good long-ish run in on the AM side of the day.

On Saturday morning Bri ran a local 5k at the same park.  Junior Awesome and I cheered her on.  Then we held our last Powerstroke swim clinic for the year.  Pretty much took the rest of the day.  I think we went out to dinner after but it is a blur.

"Momma! Momma!  Mommmm-aaaaa!"

Bri was sure to beat him to the line.

On Sunday we chased Junior, shopped, played with Junior, then met some of our buddies at the Flying Saucer for a quick social.

In between all these I wrote several training plans and managed to read a chapter or two of a book I'm working on.

No exercise for me took place over the weekend but that is OK.  I was really tired on Sunday and am still feeling pretty worn out today (Monday).  It's time to rest up a bit and have a good race on Saturday. 

You should be able to view my training year to date on Training Peaks.  (It might only display the last week) Lest you think I can't geek out, as far as training hours go:
Sep 2 : 11.75 hr
Sep 9: 16 hr
Sep 16: 13.8 hr
Sep 23: 15.33 hr
Sep 30: 16.5 hr (bike to the beach weekend)
Oct 7: 11 hr
Oct 14: 11 hr
Oct 21 race week: 4-5hr not including the race

 I don't expect to PR by any means this weekend but feel good about my fitness for my age, life situation, etc!

I was 13th overall in 2011 with a 4:37:52.  The conditions were cold, wet and really windy that year.

Goal ranges are:
swim 20-22 minute depending on the strength of the tide
T1 5 minutes - it is going to be cold and I bundle up
bike 2:28 +/- 5 minutes.  Forecast is for a NNW 10mph wind which is a headwind for ~35 miles
T2 2-3 minutes, not sure how long / far it is
Run 1:40 +/- 3 minutes.  My endurance is better than it was in June for the Raleigh 70.3, but there has not been a bunch of speedwork.

Total time: 4:35 +- a few minutes.

Monday, October 7, 2013

epic style training weekend

I don't get to do this very often - last weekend I got a pass from Bri to head to the beach with the guys for a big weekend of training and fun.  On Saturday, 4 of us rode our bikes from Apex to Wilmington and 2 other buddies met us down there.  Then most of us did either the Swim the Loop 3.5 mile or Mott's Channel 1.3 mile swimming races.

 The riders.

 Should have worn my aero helmet.

The ride went well, it was somewhat uneventful with a mild headwind for the bulk of the 2nd half.  We covered 121 miles in just over 6 hours of ride time (and another hour + of hanging at gas stations to refuel).  2 of the guys are getting ready for Ironman Florida on Nov 2 and myself and another us are getting ready for Beach 2 Battleship half on October 26.

This is more or less the route we took.

If we were really hardcore we would have run 2-3 miles off the bike but instead we loaded up and went to the Front Street Brewery for a coldie.

I also had a brief light saber battle with this gentleman in downtown.

 The force is strong with this one.

After the festivities, we headed to "The Shack," our buddies beach house to clean up and get to the pre-race swim meeting to discuss course logistics of the Sunday morning swims.

Swim around Harbour Island aka Swim the Loop

We hung out at Dockside for a few more refreshments after the meeting then headed went to the Lighthouse Beer and Wine patio for a couple more.

 Great selection.

Before we knew it, Sunday morning was here and it was time to get wet!  The race went off in a time trial format with most of the faster swimmers going early.  I left about mid pack so had people to follow for most of the swim.  Finished in an almost dead-tie with fellow OSB-Cary master swimmer Greg Sanchez for 4th/5th overall in 1:24.46.  

It has been a long time since I've swum anything more than 2 miles in a race and I enjoyed the course.  There was a mild outgoing tide for us which meant we swam against the current for the bulk of the swim.  The slower swimmers had it worse as the outflow picked up as time progressed.  Without Limits and Kristen Smith did a great job with this race and I bet it will become a very popular open water swim in years to come.

You can check out overall results here.

Then I photobombed my buddies as they finished.

                                                           Man growing from shoulder!


We hung out for awards then packed up and came home, where I chased Junior Awesome in circles for 2 hours before we both collapsed from exhaustion.


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

more Wrightsville Beach sprint triathlon details

If my teaser of an ending on my last blog post didn't hook you in, then you're just not a good reader.

We enjoy the Wrightsville Beach sprint aka the Wilmington YMCA sprint because it's at the beach and is short, all things considered.  The swim is 1500 meters but with an incoming current so more like a 1200-1300 swim.  The bike is under 12 miles and the run is usually a bit short of a 5k although this year is was a bit over a 5k.

The past 3 races we have rented a house with a few of our friends and athletes and had a great time hanging out, racing, then hanging out some more.  Over the years I've been 5th, 7th, 32nd or so (bad year of training) and DNF'ed last year with a busted up foot -I did the swim-bike but had to walk through transition to get to my bike, then was not able to run.

My Mom came up to hang out with Junior Awesome for the weekend and give us a couple days to ourselves, which is a real treat.

Here is the beach we stayed at:

It is very nice.

Bri and our friend Alysia signed up for the beach cruiser division.  Here they are practicing.

Later that evening I danced with myself in the pale moonlight.

The race: My training has been going pretty well as I'm getting into 'better' shape for the Beach 2 Battleship Half Iron on October 26.  Riding 2-3 x a week with a long 65+ miler in there.  I usually do1 harder swim then 2 easy shorter swims.   Running is up and down as far as intervals go but I've been consistent with a 10+ miler each week and in the 20-25 mile / week range.

In the days before the Saturday morning race I ran 11 miles on Thursday and rode 75 miles on Friday; this is just how the week worked out for me and historically makes little difference in how I feel on race day.

Race day:
Swim: 3rd out of the water and felt pretty good for how much I actually swim hard.

T1: pretty good but it is a long run and I'm not a sprinter.

Bike: Felt strong, wound up getting caught or passed by 5 other riders as the race progressed and it turned into a legal type 'group' ride. 24-25mph type pace.  Since it was raining we had to dismount at the bridge and run across and 2 more guys caught up to me here.

T2: Super duper fast.

Run: Hung with the fast guys for about 5 minutes then realized I could slow down or blow up. 20:06 which is a 2013 triathlon-season best PR.

Finished in 10th overall and 4th in the open masters category.  It is great to see my fellow older guys still kicking some butt on race day.

Here is how Junior Awesome felt on hearing my splits and results.


Monday, September 23, 2013

Wilmington YMCA sprint and word explosion with Junior

It has been a while since I have blogged anything in earnest.  This time of year is very tight on free time with high school cross country season as well as a lot of end of season racing for my adult kids.  I am also in the process of sculpting myself into a pretty fit triathlete for a handful of weeks in prep for Beach 2 Battleship half-Iron on October 26.  Anyway, most of what I do is fun but the time adds up sometimes.

First things first: I meant to make this post a month ago.  Junior is at that stage of toddler-dom where the words are about to explode.  He is 21.5 months old as of today.  Here is a fairly comprehensive list of the words we have heard him say.

Gigi (grandma)
Nana (grandma)
rarrr (lion)
woof (dog)
no mas
poo (Winnie the)
owe (owl of Winnie the)
nana (banana)
appa (apple)
mil (milk)
mout (mouth)
eeh (ear)
teef (as in my teef needs to be cleaned)
hea (head)
too-too or tat-too or thak-too (thank you)
choo choo
modobi (motorbike)
cheese (food or pictures)

a few others not springing to mind right now.

new as of this week or so
cheers (we clink glasses at dinner)

In the triathlon world, things have been going well.  I did the FS Series aquabike on Sep 15 and felt good with a 21 swim and 2:30 bike on a tough course.  The swim was a little short.

I have been getting out 2x a week during the week for longer sessions on the bike in order to reserve the weekends primarily for family fun times.  Up to 75 miles on the long ride and planning to do a 125 or so next weekend with some buds by riding to the beach from here.

This past weekend we met up with our crew in Wrightsville Beach for the Wilmington YMCA sprint.  I like this race and enjoy hanging on the beach for a couple of days.  I raced well and was 10th overall.  I would post pics but this stupid website won't let me copy the sample pictures of how awesome and fit I look at the moment.  I would also write more details about the race but am already tired of typing. 

So in the words of Junior Awesome, "bye bye!"

Monday, September 16, 2013

bathtime with Junior

Junior: Whee la la la la whale ball agua agua haahahhahah
Mom: Yes that's right it's agua, don't drink the bath agua it's not for drinking
Junior: -takes cup and fills it, drinks agua- hahahah
Mom: Yucky water!
Junior: fini shunu neeno toombo? Bawena agua tawnee denonah
Mom: Uh-huh.
Junior: -takes a crap- - acts surprised- AAh! Aaah nononono bawanee nona toonee nasoo!?! Translation: who crapped in my tub and OMG get me out of here!
Mom: OK buddy, bathtime's over!


Friday, August 23, 2013

Being too busy means you are a schmuck

14 reasons you are too busy:

1. You are wasting time on the internet/tv.
2. You sleep too much.
3. You spend time trying to convert frenemies. Absolute waste.
4. You don't know how to say no.
5. You crave power and influence and wealth and try to keep up with the Jones'.
6. You find downtime leaves you with nothing but yourself, and you don't like you.
7. You are in love with your Facebook profile.
8. You write lists that sum things up in 14 succinct points.  What other word has 3 Cs in it? If you think about that too long, you're wasting time.
9. You read number nine!
10. You procrastinate.
11. You justify your procrastination with self-publishing on a blog.
12. You read semi-historical fiction novels then write fan fiction on minor fictional characters, giving them depth and substance.  Wait, that might make you some dough.  I'd scratch out this line but that would waste my time.
13. You didn't maximize your earning potential with quality choices early in life and now blame others for your misfortune while singing bad karaoke in your local dive bar.
14. You can't count past fourteen, which is absolute hell on birthdays.

Monday, August 5, 2013

mountain weekend

Bri and I headed to the mountains in the Asheville area last weekend to enjoy some clean mountain air and get in a couple of events at the Lake Logan Multisport Festival.  This part of our state is absolutely gorgeous and if time and circumstance allowed, we would spend significantly more time there.

We brought Junior with us (we left Tassie with her boyfriend Mocha) and met up with OSBer Frank R and sis-and-bro-in-law Shana and Scott at the Wicked Weed Brewery. The beer was really good and I have had lots of them so you must just take my word for it.

Afterwards we headed to Bri's father's Maggie Valley cabin.  Bri and I have spent 3 or 4 anniversaries here as well as random other weekends for relaxing and fun.   It is situated on a stream and has a nice porch on which to just relax and forget about your problems for a while.

Bri won the international race on Saturday while I played cars chase crash go go go with Junior at the cabin.  We opted to take turns going to the races rather than get little man up at 4am.  Bri had a great race and you can read about it here.

While she raced Junior and I took a few selfies around the cabin.

We also watched all of Elmo goes to Grouchland (in pieces), which is awesome.

She had driven over with Frank and on their return they took over entertainment of the little guy while I got in a short bike ride in the Maggie Valley area.

Frank is a genius with toddlers so if you ever need someone to entertain your kids for a few hours, or a mortgage refinance, give him a call.

On returning from the ride we played around and took a few fun-time pictures.

That evening we headed into Waynesville so we could check out the Bear Waters Brewery.  Their beer is also very good (the wheat is excellent) and worth a visit if you get out that way. 

After that we visited yet another brewpub called Tipping Point Tavern.  These guys are more of a restaurant and bar with a small brewing operation.  The decor/setup is very good and their Punch in the Face IPA is worth a visit.

On Sunday it was my turn to do the Aquathon - 1500 meter swim then 5k run.  There are not many options to do races like this and this year it was the USAT national championship so I decided to give it a whirl.

Pre race I ran into the DeHart's, who have done and won several of our own Old School Aquathons over the years, as well as my old racing and training buddy Andy Farrell.  I first raced Andy in 1998 at a sprint triathlon in Clermont and we have gone back and forth many times since.  Here are selfies:

The race itself went OK, not great, but not terrible, and I am happy to just get out and move around without a broken foot and all that.  I had a really good swim and came out in 3rd.  Might have gone harder than my training has really been geared towards. :) On the run I felt a bit heavy and stiff - the effort and HR was there but the legs were not responding as well as it did at the Cary 5k the previous weekend.  I also have not done a swim-run workout in about a year.  Ah well, you cannot feel good-great all the time and this was one of those.  The run is 1.5 miles essentially uphill then back down.  I survived the uphill then pushed the return trip as well as possible and finished in 16th overall, 4th in my age group.  

After the race we packed up Mr Junior Awesome and hit the road.

Next up will be a local race on August 18 at the Rex Wellness Wakefield facility, then a month until the Wilmington YMCA triathlon on September 21.