Friday, October 26, 2007

Training and Planning for 08

The past few weeks I have been taking it pretty easy with training. I think this has been a good thing since I know I was burnt out by September. However, now after a few weeks of this I am slowly working my way back into a training mode. The past two weeks I have gone on 5-6 mile runs pretty much 4 times a week and have snuck in one swim session and a very short cycling session. At this point I really cannot do much more due to everything going on in my life right now ( selling Condo, buying house, tons of work). However that has not stopped me from Thinking about training :)

I have two races that offer me training challenges. First is the IM race which is now a whole new category of training level. Second I have the IAMS world Championship Doggie Duathlon, which now involves training my dog. For regular training I have already identified and plotted out some of my training areas around my new home such as open water swim training, a great dead end straight away that runs for about 300 meters, excellent for speed work. Challenging rides can be found anywhere in Westchester so I did not plot those out.

My main challenge for IM training will be in finding the time to do the necessary training and well developing a strategy that will help me make the most of the time I have. This will be tough. I fear I will have to depend on mostly quality training in order to prepare. I was hoping to upgrade the bike and some equipment. However, after buying a house, there simply is no money around to get that done. However, I CAN train with what I have. So perhaps the money I do have is best invested in preparing a quality training approach.

The second race of note is the Doggie Duathlon. I know what you guys must think..."What a nut". But I am looking forward to this. Its different and that adds a little spice. Sometimes maybe its good to do something that is half witted ;)

Anyhow the challenge here is that now I have to train my dog Simba for endurance events. The run will be easy since she is faster than me by multiples. And already runs 5 to 6 miles with me fairly regularly. The real problem will be the swim. She can swim pretty good and enjoys chasing a ball in the water. In a race she has to swim 1500 meters ( .9 mile) without a ball to chase. And go straight too !! Yes I'll be swimming with her, but that will not be easy if she is going to be struggling to swim to the sides. I also don't want her to panic. I would like this to be fun for her as well as me. So I need to figure out a way to train her in the water.

Its a challenge, but its a fun challenge.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Its Official!

I just got the email-

Hi Javier,
Congratulations! You are officially entered in the Iams Doggie Duathlon World Championships. You will receive monthly e-mails and updates between now and the July 20 race day. It is your responsibility to make sure that you and your partner are sufficiently fit to complete the 1500 meter swim and 10k run. Please call Carlie or me if you have any questions 212-691-2200. We will process your credit card. Welcome to the Iams World Championships - woof, woof!
John Korff

So me and Simba are one of the 20 teams to be competing in the inaugural IAMS World Doggie Duathlon Championships!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Ironman on a dollar a day

As I sit here counting the massive amounts of money seemingly stream out of the bank account as myself and my wife participate in this endurance sport of selling and buying real-estate, it occurs to me there will not be much left in the kitty for upgrading the Tri gear for 08.
When I first thought of taking on an Ironman event I figured I would of course upgrade to some Superior equipment. Something that would finally make me look like a REAL triathlete....Like This-

However, the above Bike costs many thousands of dollars. After we finally buy this house I think the only Tri Bike I will be able to afford is This....

Ok so I am being dramatic. I know. But I guess I wish I could set my self up with all of the equipment necessary to give myself the best advantage possible when assaulting the Ironman challenge. Being that I am riding a bike that I bought two years ago when I was unsure if I would like the sport, and thus did not invest a whole lot of money into it, its not exactly top or middle of the line. Dusty ( the bike) was never meant to be used in a gigantic effort like IM.

On the flip side, as has been said, "its not the bike, but the man". Dusty may not be a speed machine, but it will be more than enough to get t=me to the finish line. And perhaps this is for the best. In my first IM Triathlon I don't know if I want the pressure of performance goals other than to finish. The Bike I have is good enough for that. Its best to let the real performance goals to the next IM.

There are some upgrades I will probably be able to do like getting a better Bike computer, possibly a GPS/ HR monitor (Garmin 305) to help in training. Better peddles, etc. If I look there are small upgrades I can make to improve my equipment. But really the best equipment I can improve is myself and that doesn't cost much to do. With a little creativity I will manage.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Chicago's massive fun run

So who gets the blame for a race gone bad? The weather? Organizers? or the racers?

As described in this article:

The Chicago Marathon had to be stopped at around 12 noon due to the excessive heat. they called it a fun run after that. The result being a HUGE number of folks who trained for months on end did not get to complete the marathon, were in fact turned away at the half way point. This mostly affected the slower runners and newbies who were just in it to say they finished a marathon. Those fast enough were already probably done by noon time.

The real question is was there enough water or not? There seems to be mixed information about this. The fact however is that Many MANY participants said the aid stations were not stocked well enough to deal with the heat. to me that sounds like it was the organizers issue. After all they were forewarned, Chicago had been hot for days before this race. The organizer had promised all of this support for the race. It apparently did not transpire as they promised.

Now over the past few days I have heard many discussions about this. Several different point of views, some saying that the organizer was not responsible for the weather and the runners should have been better prepared, carrying their own fuel. Others stating that the problem is an already over crowded race that the organizers simply could not manage once there was a problem. Others stating that the problem is that there are simply too many "new" runners who really are not trained enough to deal with the weather conditions.

Most likely its a little of all. But in MY opinion the organizer failed to manage the emergency. They failed to recognize that they could not handle the massive amounts of runners, they failed to deliver on their promises of water and gatoraide. So yes they are mostly at fault.

But this does bring up another issue, as a society is it possible we are just now taking on the "Just do it" approach that Nike has been pushing on us for so long in their adds. Are we just "Doing it" without proper training and preparation? The massive increases in folks doing Triathlons and marathons would seem to support this. I wonder if allot of people are just taking on these exceptionally strenuous tasks just for the sake of saying "they did it". I remember last year while I was training for the NYC tr with Team in Training, I overheard one woman tell another that she should go ahead and sign up for the NYC Marathon because after all if she got tired she could just walk most of the race. Aside from my own feeling of being appalled that ANYONE would want to participate in a race and actually walk through it ( whats the point then?) it is evident of what allot of people think, forget training just sign up for the sake of saying that you did it. Which bring me to think that allot of people out there do not get it. The real point is you should finish this thing KNOWING you are in better shape than when you started. That you really are someone who can finish a Marathon. Not just someone who might as well take a taxi to the finish line.

Anyhow, no matter what my opinion I do believe this does add to the problem and its a problem that race organizers will have to deal with. They need to start to "Dummy proof" the races.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Time trial - ongoing

Oct 6th did a 4 mile Bike time trial on Route 100

Overall did it in 11:04 = 21.8 mph

2008 Objectives

OK. I know what I said about goals in my last post but now that I am more rested I feel better about them. Anyhow I met all of my 2007 goals so they are not so bad.

I had 3 goals for 2007 and they were:

1. Bike speed on ave 17-18 mph by June 30
2. Finish Tupperlake Tinman in Better than 5:45
3. Finish NYC Triathlon better than 2:40


1. My Bike average in Tupper was 18.5 mph *met the objective :)
2. Finished Tupper in 5:44:01 *Met objective by 59 seconds! :) Note this included dealing with leg cramps on the run so I could probably have done better.
3. Finished NYC Tri in 2:37 *met objective :)

So overall I had a great year in meeting my objectives for 2007

So here goes for 2008

1. Improve my Bike average at Tupper Lake to 19.5 mph
2. Finish Tupper Lake in 5:30
3. Do the Tupper Lake run in 1:40 or about 7:30 pace
4. Finish IM Wisconsin in better than 14 hours ( the goal really is finishing being its the first IM for me)