Thursday, May 10, 2007

May: Taking on the Bike

It is apparent that if I want to be successful at this training, I need to get better at the bike. Way better. So, I have made some changes. One option would be to work harder. Never really been my style. The other, buy a better bike. Actually, I was getting some good miles under my old bike when I went into REI to inquire about new wheels and tires that would make my bike lighter. I was riding a good, but heavy, bike designed for long-distance touring. He suggested I look into upgrading to a classic road bike. So, ladies and gentleman, you are now looking at the proud new owner of a kick-ass bike. I took it out for my first ride yesterday and it is definitely on. The thing about biking is, duh, the bike is a major part. With running and swimming there is less hassle and I can just go work out. With cycling, there is so much attention paid to the size of the frame, weight, components, etc., that it is a little stressful for a newcomer. I think I am pretty much dialed in right now though, with just a little concern over the frame size. This month I hope to include a lot more days of dual work-outs and long bike rides.

At the beginning of the month we ran Bloomsday, our first official race. At 50,000 people, this is the largest run in the world. The course is a hilly 7.5 miles through both scenic and ghetto Spokane. Lauren and I both felt pretty good running. I beat 1hr, which was my goal and much better than my previous attempts at this hometown run. The only lame thing about the race was the priority given to corporate sponsors. The food court at the end of the race was only available to these runners and they were allowed to start the race from the front. If you donate some money, you should get some benefits, but I wasn't stoked having to dodge this group of overweight, balding execs as I made my way down the course.

Personally, we spent some time in Seattle this month and I got the chance to visit with my twin brother Thomas. He is living in New York, and was back in Seattle resting after his first year of Law School. It has been great to be so close to my family in Seattle and see the babies grow. The picture with my sister is her and Lauren holding Caden and baby Lauren. Amazingly, I have managed to avoid changing any diapers so far.

Training this month was pretty solid. I definitely got some more time and confidence on the bike. That said, I am still pretty daunted by the prospect of 112 miles. Some days 30 miles seems like childs play and others I am pushing hard to complete 20. I am not sure if this is a function of rest or nutrition. I think we have an advantage biking here for training because the terrain is so hilly. I can't imagine the triathlon courses will be as difficult as our day-to-day conditions. So far my longest day has been a beautiful ride south of town that leads to an historic country church and cemetary. I brought a book of sermons I was reading at the time, and I had to smile at how sappy the whole scene must have looked to anyone passing by.

The highlight of the month was completing the Onionman triathlon on my 28th birthday. The day before Lauren and I drove down to Walla Walla and checked out the scene. The lake was small and probably better suited as a fishing hole than swimming. The bike was uphill for 13 miles and then pretty fun on the way back. The run was a very fast 10k that followed the river. We both were pretty nervous before the race. However, the jitters turned quickly into adrenaline as the swim began. I finished the swim much faster than I had hoped and basically biked as expected. Predictably, Lauren beat me in both disciplines.

All in all, I feel on track. The next focus will be to up the mileage on the bike. We have a goal of completing the Seattle to Portland (STP) bike race in about six weeks, so that should determine the training schedule. Whether I am right or not I don't know, but I think if I can finish the STP I will be able to do the ironman. My thinking is that, with the STP under my belt, I will have completed the individual distances that comprise the triathlon and the ability to combine the three can be achieved through mental discipline. We'll see.

Training Log:
May 1st: 1:30 tennis
2nd: 1:20 jog around Manito
3rd: 30 mile bike in rural NW of town
4th: 3000m swim at Eastern
5th: tennis
6th: Bloomsday fun run (7.5 miles) My time was 59 min.
7th: 1hr swim
8th: rest day
9th: Bike 20 miles and 1hr run
10th: Bike 19 miles and 1 mile swim
11th: 1hr basketball
12th: 30 mile bike in Palouse
13th: rest day
14th: 30 mile bike in Palouse
15th: missed work-out due to tutoring (and laziness)
16th: 1hr swim and 1hr run
17th: 40 mile bike
18th: 30 min tread/ 30 min weights/ 30 min spin
19th: 9 mile run
20th: 2.4 mile swim at Eastern
21st: 20 mile bike
22nd: rest day
23rd: 1.25 mile swim
24th: 1hr run
25th: missed work-out (brother Peter in town)
26th: rest day
27: Onionman triathlon 1500m swim, 40k bike, 10k run. My time was 2:47
28th: rest day
29th: 5.5 mile run
30th: rest day
31st: 37 mile bike


Unknown said...

I just saw this blog, i just thought that you didn't update your other blog, so I'm glad to see this one. I'm impressed with all of your training.

Anonymous said...

Well said.