Building Blocks, Transitions and Runs

Saturday 20090801 – Brick Practice

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Saturday was an interesting. I did 4 mini bricks of 2 1.5-mile bike looks and 3 laps in the track; Yes, I know we were supposed to do 6 but I wanted to keep my legs healthy for Sunday.

I was kinda glad we did active recovery workouts on Thursday. My legs were tired but not as bad as they were the week before. They were in pain, oh yes, but I felt pretty confident that it wouldn’t impact Sunday too much, besides the speed run down McClellan in Cupertino  was awesome 🙂

Sunday 20090802 – Golden Gate Vista 10K

DSE's Golden Gate Vista 10k race map

The race I ran was the same course I ran in May before deciding if I was going to do Olympic or Sprint at Pacific Grove.

My goal was to get as close to 1 hour as possible. My previous PR on this course was 1:22 so I figure that anything below 1:10 was good but wanted to challenge myself to get as close to an hour as possible. I did the 10k in 1:08:41... 13 and a half minutes better than my last race.

Here's the break down:

  • Mile 1: 10:04
  • Mile 2: 11:48
  • Mile 3: 11:09
  • Mile 4: 10:14
  • Mile 5: 11:03
  • Mile 6: 12:34

I had a really hard time trying to do negative splits. I don't know if what it was but my legs just refused to move fast for the last 2 miles.

Did I do well: Yes. Could I do better: I want to think so. Did I have fun: I most definitely did, and that's what is important to me.

Tuesday 20090805 – Bike N Beer

I agonized whether to do Bike N Beer this week or not. I kept thinking that my legs were too tired and that I should take it easy and not push…  I should have learned by now to listen to my body and what it was telling me. I should have also learned not to push when fatigued or should I?

Drew, one of our coaches, thought I should and kept pushing me until I had to choose if I wanted to continue… much to my surprise I did.

It’s a requirement of the Triathlons to push when your body doesn’t think you can so I better get used to that now and learn that it’s as much a mental thing as it is a physical one.

Saturday 20090808 – Practice Triathlon – Pillar Point Harbor

We did a practice Triathlon today. About .75 miles in the water, 14 miles on the bike and then a 3.2 mile run.

It was all the hell I expected it to and all the fun and enjoyable that I was hoping.  The swim continues to be the hardest part, not the distance but the water itself.  It was cold enough that my body went into shock, the swim was much slower and difficult than I remember. I also had a ‘close encounter of the bouy’ by hitting it with my wrist… didn’t realize it until I hit the transition area and I saw that my wrist was all bloody 🙂

The bike was good, even if coach stopped me to check why my front gear wasn’t going to the highest one. It’ll be interesting to see how much it would have shaved if I hadn’t stopped.  But the course itself was really nice and if Pac Grove is like that then it’ll be a dream to bike there and I’ll be able to push hard to compensate for my sluggish swim and the weak run afterwards.

The run was ok. Calves started cramping at the end of the bike but, surprisingly to me, I managed to walk them off and then had a fairly decent run/walk as I don’t think I can do run in a Triathlon as fast as I do when it’s just the run (but that’s another future goal… to do the run leg of an Olympic Triathlon in the same time I run 10k on the road in a run-only race)

Tuesday 20090811 – Bike N Beer

Carlos Araya got his butt kicked on the ride today. It was a challenge all 18 miles but it was also a great exercise and it keeps getting closer to the pace I want for Pac Grove

It was a harsh workout today. Even though my legs were fully rested it was a harsh workout… not in terms of what the course itself was, but the pace that we kept throughout. I was particularly impressed with the way the girls in the group just smoked me most of the way back.

It was also a really good workout; as coach Tom says, you’ll feel a little discomfort when you’re doing your workout right. People were more worried about me than I was… yet I recall feeling a little weak but as good as I’ve had in a while.

I’m also getting closer to the pace I want to keep for the 25 miles at Pac Grove and move to the 56 miles that I need for Big Kahuna

Thursday 20090813 – Brick workout

The transitions today were ok. I wasn’t counting on the tire change exercise and it was both welcome and hated at the same time. Welcome because I hadn’t had to change tires on this bike (the one time I’ve had to change a tire I had a lot of help) and hated because I don’t particularly like changing tires; don’t get me wrong, it’s a good skill to have but not one that I expect to exercise very often, the least often the better 🙂

Also think I nailed the last of my nutrition with salt tablets. Now all I have left is learn to open the ziplock bag, pull a pill, pop it into my mouth and drink a lot of fluids. Even though my calves were screaming at some points, I think that I nailed the nutrition part… now I have to start putting it all together.

Why am I doing this and Who am I doing this for

"You have to wonder at times what you're doing out there. Over the years, I've given myself a thousand reasons to keep running, but it always comes back to where it started. It comes down to self-satisfaction and a sense of achievement."
- Steve Prefontaine

Dan, a friend from Church, asked me why I was doing triathlons and why I was pushing myself so hard. I had my, somewhat knee-jerk, answer: because I can and because I haven’t found where my physical limits are. Now that I’ve had more time to reflect on it, I think I can give a better answer:

I love the structure, the team and the passion that people in the Triathlon community give you and they get from you in return. There is a passion from everyone, the team managers, the coaches and the other participants… it’s contagious.

Team in Training gives me a structure to work towards. I could probably train just as hard on my own but nowhere near as effectively.

I’ve got to meet some of the honorees for the team this summer and it’s humbling to hear from people who’ve had to go through cancer treatment. Most of them agree that if it wasn’t for LLS they wou ldn’t be here today or that the lives would be far less happy or productive… hell they could be dead.

In addition to all the Team in Training honorees that we’ve met during the training I am running Pac Grove for two people; one whose courage and determination just rock; the other one has been a very dear friend for over 20 years

Eric had cancer when I first got to Chico. He recovered and has lived a very happy and productive life ever since. He’s the kind of guy that will say what needs to be said when and how it needs to be said. Jennifer and him are getting ready to move to DC where Eric works as an intern.

Pancha has been so many things over the year: 6th grade crush, friend, confident, therapist, mother, daughter, sister. She’s the sister I always dreamed about having. We exchanged emails a few weeks ago and she very simply told me that she had cancer. Didn’t tell me which kind or what was the prognosis.  My thoughts and prayers continue to be with her.

Next to the TnT honorees and my two friends’ strength and toughness, both physical to overcome the effects of chemo and mental to not let the disease depress you or your loved ones, what is a little physical discomfort?

Cancer sucks and it’s up to those of us who cares to make sure no one has to go through this or, if we can’t avoid it, that future patients will have the proper tools, care and information that they need.

Lessons and things to carry forward

The best way to describe this past week is the posting I made on Facebook on Saturday afternoon:
Carlos Araya had a very satisfying morning. He froze his but off, swam .75 miles in Half Moon Bay, biked 14 miles and ran 3.2 miles. He can see how much he has improved in all his Triathlon disciplines and can't really tell you how happy and exhausted he is right now.
I have learned and I have improved my techniques (although it seems I’m still riding with my heels up according to Drew) but it’s so much better now than it’s ever been. I feel like I’m ready for Pac Grove and, hopefully, for Big K as well.

I need to do a few things to get in tip top shape:

  • Better sunscreen use; reapply if necessary. I still burned the right side of my face and my neck above the wetsuit line; either put more sunscreen on when you come out of the shower in the morning or put more sunscreen after the wetsuit goes on before the swim and the bike… I think I’ll be ok when I start the run
  • Learn how to take salt pills and gels on the bike (with lots of water). I think I finally  nailed the last of my nutrition with salt tablets. Now all I have left is to put it all together while on the bike and the run.
  • Keep remembering to have fun. As much of a challenge as Pac Grove is going to be, remember to have fun and smile