Monday, May 27, 2013

Settling into a grove!

Over the past few weeks our little guy, Jackson, has really settled into a good sleeping pattern. He is consistently giving us 4-5 hours of sleep initially, then another 3 or so before I get up for work. He's definitely finding his grove in terms of being a baby. He's still crying a lot, but mainly during the day. However, he's recently started smiling a lot and we think even laughing a little. He just turned eight weeks old, and here is he is snuggling on the couch with the other two boys (Dusty & Coby):

As a result of Jackson settling into his grove, I feel that my training has done the same. I'm hitting the paces coach is asking of me, and feel like I'm making some solid gains. In the pool I feel like I've hit a bit of a plateau, but I've gained some good speed in the past four months. I've gone from doing my 100 repeats on 1:45 and touching around 1:30, to now doing them on 1:40 and touching in the 1:22-1:23 range. Still no means fast by swimming standards, but I'm hoping it will translate into a swim time of around 31:00 in a June HIM, which would be a 3 min gain from last year. I'm still swimming 3-4 times per week, and getting in around 12k yards.

Biking has been steady, and I've been able to get in some good longer rides on the weekends. My tri bike was in the shop for close to three weeks, though, and I was relegated to riding the road bike. I apparently had a crack in my fork, which was covered under warranty. The only problem was that Blue sent out the wrong freaking fork initially, so it took a week longer to get the bike back than it should have. As a result, I actually borrowed a bike for my first tri of the season, but still had the fastest bike split - many thanks to Kyle, who lives near me in Chelmsford for offering to lend me his bike!!! I ended up finishing up 4th overall, behind a Boston University kid and two members of my tri team. If not for a sub-par swim, I would have been in contention for the win. It was also a bit weird being in an older AG this year, and therefore not starting in the first wave. Here are a few shots from that race:

Running has been improving, and I just set a half marathon PR of nearly three minutes yesterday in the Boston Run to Remember. I finished in 1:20:46, which was 23rd out of 6,800, and getting 13.34 on my Garmin. This is the 5th year I've run this race, finishing in 1:47 in my first go. I had a real good last 5k in this race, closing in 18:15 to crack 1:21. I'm psyched with my run gains and feel that I should have a good run in my HIM in three weeks.

Through the first 3 1/2 weeks of May I've hit the following training #'s on about 12 hrs a week:
Swim: 40,000 yards
Bike: 430 miles
Run: 110 miles

Saturday, May 11, 2013

2013 Season Goals

This season will be unique for a few reasons. Number one, I'm now a father, and have a little guy who now depends on me. Number two, my sole racing focus is getting as fit as possible for IMMT in August so I can get to Kona.

My tri season officially kicks off tomorrow with the New England Season Opener, a local sprint tri. My goal for this race is the overall win. I know it will be a challenge, as there are plenty of fast local guys, including a few on my own team, Northeast Multisport. However, I feel that if I execute and race to my potential, I've got a good shot at winning.

One slight hiccup going into this race is that my tri bike has a broken fork/steerer tube, and is currently out of commission. On a long ride last weekend I nearly had a serious crash, as a car pulled out in front of me on a narrow road. I was forced to swerve and slam on my brakes, doing an endo, but somehow not ending up on the ground. However, I think the load on the fork may have caused the crack. The funny thing is that I didn't realize it was cracked, and continued for another 50 or so miles. I dropped my bike off for a pre-race tuneup, and the shop called, notifying me of the crack. Blue will cover the fork under warranty, but the new fork won't be in until mid next week.

The 'awesome' result of this incident, is that a local slowtwitch member graciously offered to lend me his bike for the race. So, I'll be racing on a blue TTX this weekend. I picked it up on Thursday night, and took it on a quick spin yesterday. After stopping four times to make small adjustments to the seat and bars, I think the fit is pretty decent. I guess we'll find out tomorrow!

Overall, training has been going quite well. I did an 81 mile ride at 274 watts avg this past weekend, and a short run off the bike felt great. My swim volume has decreased a bit to around 12,000 yards/week (from around 15,000), but my speeds have gotten a bit quicker. Yesterday I did 10x100 touching around 1:22-1:23 on 1:40, which is a good 8-10 seconds faster than where I was last year. My bike fitness is probably a bit better than last year, thanks to Steve's guidance. I did a 20 min test last week and got 361 watts, which pegs my FTP around 340 (around 4.5 w/kg @ FTP). I also feel that my run fitness has increased a bit as well, and running at faster paces definitely seems more manageable.

After tomorrow's sprint the season will go as follows. On May 26th I'm running in a half marathon, where I hope to be right around 1:20. Three weeks later I'm doing a local HIM (Patriot), and my goal there is sub 4:20. I'm shooting for splits of around 31:00, 2:15, and 1:25, plus transition times to get me there. After the HIM in mid June I have nine weeks until IMMT, which will be a solid block of training time. I think that a time of 9:40 or less is realistic, and top 5 in my AG is my goal. If all goes well, I'll have eight weeks between IMMT and a trip to Hawaii!

Katie, Jackson, and I are also planning on a bit of traveling over the summer. We would like to visit Katie's aunt and uncle in Hilton Head, and we are also hoping to spend two weeks on Nantucket with my family in early July. Of course, my bike, wetsuit, and running shoes will travel along with us so I can get in my workouts.

As a result of having our first child, I realized it was about time that we had two cars that Katie could drive. That meant that my Subaru Outback XT with a manual tranny had to go. I traded it in and picked up a 2014 Forester, which will do the trick. It's got 80 less HP than the Outback, but the mileage should be close to 30, a far cry from the 21-22 on premium I was getting before.