Chattanooga Waterfront Triathlon

On July 11th, I headed down to Chattanooga, TN to compete in the Chattanooga Waterfront Triathlon.  I was just using this Olympic distance tri to prepare myself for my Half-Ironman race at the end of August.  I found out later (today actually) that I have a severe case of bronchitis.  At the time, it was just a cough and a little stuff in the lungs, but it has since gotten worse.  This limited the amount of oxygen in my blood and probably effected my race.

The race itself went fairly well.  I finished swimming 1.5km, biking 42km and running 10km (.93 miles, 26 miles, and 6.2 miles) in 3hrs 5mins.  I will have to work a little on the bike to run transition because I decided that I would try to leave the shoes clipped on the bike and just step out of them.  The plan went well for my right foot, but I couldn’t get my second foot out of my shoe in time and I had to unclip it.  Needless to say, I had to run through the transition area with a shoe on one foot and nothing on the other.

The swim portion of the race was a huge learning experience for me.  I had never swam in open water before so I didn’t really know what to expect.  It was pretty tough to stay oriented in the water because I didn’t have a point of reference like the lane marker provides when swimming in the pool.  Every time I would poke my head up to try to sight where I was, I was pointed in the wrong direction.  It took some getting used to but after a while, I got better (still far from a level which I would call decent).  My breathing also suffered.  I usually breath every 4 strokes (sometimes 6) in the pool, but I had to breath every stroke because my breathing was so labored.  This could have been from the illness or just caused by race excitement.  Either way, it was good to know and experience for the first time.

The bike went really well.  The course was very hilly but I ended up going fairly fast anyways.  I averaged 17.5 mph, 1.5 mph faster than what I train at.  I might have been going a little fast but this is something that I wanted to test.

After hopping off of my bike, I fully expected to have very heavy legs.  But when I started to run, I was pleasantly surprised.  My legs weren’t tired at all.  During the first few miles I took it easy, but at about 2.1 miles into the run course, I wanted to go faster.  I kept telling myself to keep it in control and don’t get injured because this race means nothing.  At that point in time, it was true, and it is still true today.  My pace was as good as it needed to be for the race that I ran.

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Ironman – You will do this

Pretty sweet inspirational video…This will be me someday 🙂

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Flying Pig Marathon – race report

The day has finally come and gone. The Flying Pig Marathon was a great success for me and I was able to achieve this through a lot less pain and stress than the Derby Festival Marathon. Going into the pig, I didn’t really know what to expect. I took a new approach to training and I wasn’t really sure if it would pay off for me or not. You can check out how I varied my training plan here. The training plan that I followed allowed me to adequately recover before Sunday.

I decided to average a 10:00/mile pace throughout the race. I was going to bump it up in the end if I had anything left in the tank. The first 23 miles of the race went REALLY well for me. I felt like I could run forever. I had no pain, my breathing rate increased a little bit on a few of the hills, I only had a little tightness in my quads, no shin splints, I wasn’t hot at all, and the list goes on. Right around mile 24 is when I started to drop off pace a little bit. I had trouble continuing to run so I called my brother Ben and told him that I was going to beat Oprah. As an aside, my previous marathon time, 4:44 was 15 minutes slower than Oprah’s New York Marathon time and my brother insisted on bringing that up from time to time. The phone call gave me the little bit of confidence I needed to start running again. At least until mile 25.5…just before the last hill I started walking again, I came across my other brother Jeremy waiting for me. He gave me the encouragement that I needed to pick it up. I huffed it up the last hill and saw the end in sight. What a beauty it was…another 26.2 miles almost in the books. I saw my family waving and cheering along the side and it gave me such a rush that I sprinted across the finish line.

A finish like this was over a year in the making. I expected the Derby marathon to go as well as the Pig did, but I had a lot more to deal with on that day. I wasn’t able to finish up to my expectations. I knew that I would have another chance. I owed it to myself.

Flying Pig Marathon – 26.2 miles in 4:22:20

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Flying Pig

Ever since I ran the Derby Marathon in Louisville last year, I felt that I needed another shot at 26.2. In Louisville, I fell short of my goal time and ran it in 4:44. Even before I finished the race, I knew I wanted another shot at it. I told myself that I could do better and I will do better. A year and 9 days later, I will get my chance. The Flying Pig Marathon is a mere 2 days away.

I’ve been reflecting on my training for the Pig and I am confident with what I have accomplished. I’ve had a few issues that kept me from running a few of the longer training runs but I think the HIM training that I have been doing has filled in those gaps nicely. I think the biggest issue I will have to deal with on race day is the impact.

My initial goal was to break 4 hours on Sunday but I am having my doubts. I don’t want to be too cocky in the beginning of the race and end up walking the last few miles like I did in the past. I think that I will just play it safe and try to run the entire time. I’ll start out around a 9:45-10 min/mile pace and go from there. Who knows…maybe at mile 18 I’ll be feeling good and I’ll want to pick it up a little bit. Either way, I just want to cross that finish line before 4:44.

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Run and swim

I had a 40 minute run with strides followed by a pretty intensive pool workout on the schedule today.  The run went really well but the swim only went okay.  I was supposed to do 6×100 warmup, 4×400, 2×150 cooldown.  Everything went well until my feet started cramping during the last 100 meters of the third 400 on my main set.  I got to thinking that the swim was taking entirely too long (I was already in the pool for 1.5 hrs and the workout was only supposed to take the normal person 40 minutes).  Something was wrong with my calculations of how big the pool really is.

If you know anything about Urban Active, you know that their pools are smaller than a normal lap pool.  Today, I decided to count out the tiles on the side of the pool and then find something that I could take home with me that I could compare to the length of the tiles.  After I did my calculations, I found out that instead of 4 laps being 100 meters, 4 laps was actually 143 meters.  It actually made sense because even though I was swimming slow, I know that I wasn’t swimming that slow.

I called it quits after the 3rd set of 400 and packed it home.  When I got home, I verified that I did roughly 2,563 meters.  And if you’re keeping track at home, my overall workout had me scheduled at 2,500 meters so I did a little extra today :).

-ZJ

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Bike test

I went out for a ride today and I finally got a true test of how much faster I am on my new bike.  Check this post for a description of my first ride on my new bike.  It was Easter Sunday so I spent my day up in Northern Kentucky with the family enjoying the wonderful day.  I had planned on biking from my parents house to my grandparents house for breakfast but the weather had other plans for me.  When I got out of church, it was only about 40 degrees and I didn’t have the correct clothes for cold weather riding.  Instead I waited until after breakfast and rode from my brother’s house to my parents house and back.  This made for a decent 20 mile round trip ride.

Overall, the ride went great.  I only had to stop once or twice for traffic lights and I was able to ride some decent hills along the way.  I checked my average speed at my parents house and it was an average of 16mph.  That’s a pretty significant improvement from the 12mph that I rode on the Tri for Sight.  The ride back to my brother’s house was a lot slower because it was mostly uphill.  I ended the ride with an overall speed of 14.5mph (still a pretty good improvement).

As soon as I got to his house, I jumped in the shower and had about 10 minutes to get ready for an Easter dinner over at another house.  My day was kind of hectic, but overall it was worth it.

On my ride, I remembered a quote that I once read.  It goes as follows:

“Success isn’t measured by how far you traveled, but by you gave up to get there”

It really made me put my training into perspective.  Between the marathon and Triathlon training, I will have to train for a solid 32 weeks.  That’s giving up a significant portion of my life.  It really cuts into my fun-time.  I can’t look at this training as something that I have to do.  If I do, I will probably fail.  I have to make it a lifestyle change.  It has to be something that I do because I want to because that’s who I am.  I think over the past 13 weeks, I have done a pretty good job of that.  I know I have struggled at times but who doesn’t?

–ZJ

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Slow start

Today the schedule showed a slow 40 minute run followed by a 40 minute swim (2500 meters in the pool — I think it would have been more like 1.5 hrs). The run went well but when I got ready to get in the pool, I noticed that the water was really cloudy. I scooped up a handful of water and it smelled of strong chlorine…I came to the quick conclusion that I wouldn’t have even jumped in there if my clothes were on fire. Needless to day I packed it up and called it a day. I’ll just swim/bike tomorrow at palumbo.

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