Friday, May 29, 2009

Friday... the new Sat.

Last week I was officially cut back to 4 days at work which means that Thurs. is the new Fri.!  This is a short term deal but I'm taking advantage of the new found time to get some stuff done around the house and, of course, to get some longer workouts in.

Today I woke up to our new refrigerator being delivered.  My brothers came over to help me move it in this evening and let's just say that the installation was not without incident.  That being said, I got it in finally and now we have ice cubes again!  Besides putting the fridge in I spent some QT in my yard this afternoon mowing, raking, etc.  So now my triathlete's lawn is not so "triathleteish."  The bigger part of my day consisted of my workouts...

This morning I headed over to the pool for a big swim.  My plan called out for a 3100 M swim broken down into the following:

-6x50 M. each 25 increasing in pace.
-The following at T-Pace:
  • 100
  • 200
  • 300
  • 400
  • 500
  • 400
  • 300
  • 200
  • 100
-300 M. easy to cool down 

Because I have been slacking in the pool lately I upped the ante a little and did 1000M to cool down instead of 300 which put me at 3800M total... which is just over 2.3 miles.  Definitely a great workout.  From there I hopped on the bike and went out for an hour long ride.  Here are my bike computer metrics:

Time- 01:00:00
Avg. Cadence- 93
Avg. MPH- 21.3

This was my first ride in the big chain ring (for the most part) and I was able to keep a decently high cadence which meant that my avg. MPH were higher!  I was really happy with this ride and felt comfortable throughout.

Tomorrow is a 03:00:00 Brick and I'm looking forward to getting in a really good workout to start the weekend.  Gwen and I are heading to Ann Arbor for the weekend as she will be running in the Dexter to Ann Arbor race on Sunday.  She's doing the 10K and I'm really excited for her!

Alright... that's all for now.  I need to relax a minute!!!!

Hope everyone is well.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Tight Leg!

Laying here watching the Magic vs. Cavs and my left calf got super tight on me. Luckily Gwen was willing to play masseuse for me tonight and is working on the huge lump in my leg. Definitely a result of training on Sun. and Mon. which I suppose means that I was working hard enough.

Yesterday I went out in the morning with the Mon. Night Ride group. We headed south towards Saugatuck/Fennville and had a nice little ride. My bike computer read:

Total Distance: 41.3 miles
Avg. Mph: just under 19 MPH
Avg. Cadence: 88

After the ride I went out for a quick run. I was out for about 20 minutes and ran just under 3 miles. Considering the effort already in my legs from the ride I was pretty happy. Following the Brick Gwen and I spent some q-time with her family in Saugatuck and then saw Ryan and Ali before heading home for the night.

On Sun. I had my "long run." I ran for just under an hour and went between 7 and 8 miles. I was feeling great and despite the hot weather I finished strong. Following the run I went out to the local disc golf course to hit the links with the boys (Nick, Will, and Ryan). Had a lot of fun and definitely want to make it out again soon. We'll see how it goes!

Today I used as a rest day and plan on getting back to it tomorrow. My first official triathlon of the year is in just about 2 weeks and I'm curious to see how it's going to go. Either way it'll be nice to see the fruit of my labor.

On a separate note I have some exciting stuff going on with my bike and Whisper/Jade cycles. Once everything is all said and done I'll post some pictures. Gwen has been loving her new Jade and is getting used to riding a road bike. Pretty soon we'll have her out in the group ride! Also, Gwen starts training for the Chicago Marathon soon! She'll be running the marathon for the Girls on the Run Solemates program and we're both really excited about it! I'll keep you posted on her progress and any news that she may have.

I've been watching the Giro d'Italia consistently online and I have to say that watching bike racing is quickly becoming one of my favorite spectator sports. Todays was a rest day but we'll see what tomorrow holds.

That's all for now. Keep checking back... Whisper/Jade uni's will be in this week and once they're in I'll post some pics... they're sweet!!!

Hope everyone is doing well.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Gwen's New Bike!

I had mentioned awhile back that for Gwen's graduation I bought her a couple of gifts.  Yesterday I was finally able to give her the 2nd gift that I had bought... her first road bike!  Yesterday afternoon we went into Jade/Whisper Cycles and she got fitted for her new ride.  Gwen isn't super comfortable on a bike so this gift was probably more "for me" than for her but I'm really excited to get her out on the road and riding.  There is a church down the road from us that has a massive parking lot that is set up really well for a short circuit course and that's where we'll be heading to get her started.  Below you'll find pictures of the bike... green is her favorite color and Jim hooked it up with the cool silver decals.  

So... this gift was definitely a little "selfish" for me to buy (especially since I have a pair of shoes that fits the pedals... but that's purely coincidence).  Based on that I decided to also give her another gift.  This is something that I had been planning on giving her for awhile and it seemed like the perfect occasion... 

So, ladies... which would you want?  I already told Gwen that between these two gifts I think I have the next couple of years worth of birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, etc. covered... we'll see how that works out though.  I figured worst case scenario I've at least set myself up to build up a bike or two someday!!!

Training this weekend is going to be good.  Today I was supposed to get out on a 2 HR. Brick but instead ended up on the couch (after watching the Giro online) taking a 2 HR. nap.  Looks like last night we ended up staying out a little too late.  With a bunch of our friends back in town for the holiday it's pretty hard to motivate and get out training alone but this is a big weekend for me and I need to make sure to stick to it.  That being said, because of today's missed workout I'll be bumping my "recovery day" on Mon. out of the schedule and replacing it with either the Brick I missed today or tomorrow's scheduled long run.  All in all it was worth it to have some rest today and then have a great dinner with Gwen and my Phil (my father-in-law) for Phil's birthday.  Tomorrow I'm planning on getting out early to do my workout and then in the afternoon we have lunch for my Grandma's birthday and then I'm going disc golfing with my boys Nick and Ryan... very excited for this.  That means tonight I need to be a little smarter about how much imbibing I do (always difficult when everyone is in town).  Loving life though...

Hope that everyone else is doing well.  

Later on...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Ride of Silence Today

Today is the Ride of Silence which, as some of you may know, is a slow paced ride to honor cyclists injured or killed on public roadways. This is a really neat cause and I would really, really encourage anyone who has a local ride to get out and support/ride along tonight. Check out their website @

This is eerily topical as this afternoon I just read an article from a local Grand Rapids news source that spoke about a cyclist killed by a city dump truck in GR this morning. Really sad news...

Alright, just wanted to give an FYI on this as it is a really important and good cause.

Training this week is going alright. I'm feeling good and have a lot of different "irons in the fire" that I'm excited to post about(new gear/equipment, Gwen's big surprise, etc. etc.). Hopefully I'll have some time to share more this week. Until then hope everyone is doing well.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Sunday, May 17, 2009

MI Beginner Triathlete Training Day at ILRA

Alright, first and foremost... today was awesome!  Gwen and I had a blast out in Brighton at the Island Lake Recreation Area with a bunch of other folks from Beginner Triathlete.  The weather was beautiful (a little chilly but pleasant) and there was a great turnout... around 20 people.  Here's a group pic... I'm on the far right squinting.  Makes me look like Sloth from "The Goonies."

There were two "courses" set up for the day; Sprint and Olympic.  In addition to that people were doing all sorts of things; aqua-bike, duathlon, run only, bike only, etc. etc.  I chose the Olympic Distance course and although we didn't have an "official" clock I came in somewhere around 2 1/2 hours.  Granted, there were a couple of stops in there and T-1 and T-2 took about 15 minutes total... but I was still pretty happy with the time.

To start the training off we all jumped into Spring Mill Pond.  Most of us were wearing wetsuits although there were a couple of brave souls that went sans protection and toughed it out.  The water was probably 55-60 degrees which isn't so bad when you consider that the air temperature was about 50 degrees.  At any rate, I came prepared with a wetsuit... and despite it being the first time that I've swam in a wetsuit I felt very strong.  Gwen told me that I was looking quite strong... but she's my wife and she's supposed to say that type of thing (just like my Mom telling me I was the cutest boy in school).  I was a little worried pre-swim about having a tough time adjusting to the fit/feel of the wetsuit while swimming but it wasn't bad at all.  I had one brief moment where I felt like I was having a hard time getting air but it passed quickly and I stayed calm throughout.  Below is a picture Gwen took of me getting out of the water and heading to T-1:

It's been a long time since I've come out of the water and hopped on the bike and it took me a minute to gather my legs (and wits) about me before heading out for the 24 mile ride.  Once I got out on the road I was feeling great and it was a really nice course.  It was basically a circuit with some decent little hills and chances to pick up some speed on the flats.  There were a TON of roadies out while we were riding and it definitely seems like a good place to get out and train... if it were closer than 2 1/2 hour away.  It was great to see a seemingly strong biking community and it was cool because there were a lot of people who noticed the Whisper and asked about it.  Hey, what can I say... if it looks good, rides good, you know it's good!  Coming off the bike I was feeling a little tired but was definitely ready to run.  Here's a pic Gwen took of me in T-2:

After I took some time throwing my shoes on and making sure I was ready to go Gwen joined me for the run!  We set out at a steady pace and made our way back out onto the course.  Again, I can't say it enough how impressed I was with the course today.  A big up to Coop from BT for taking the time to scout the course out and make sure we had the right distances to make this enjoyable for a wide variety of folks.  Gwen and I made it 4.6 miles (1.6 miles shorter than the official Olympic distance... but it was a great run nonetheless!).  After the run we took a minute to say goodbye to everyone and then were on our way!  It was a really great way to end the weekend and I would definitely encourage anyone who hasn't checked out Beginner Triathlete to do so.  It's a great resource with a lot of great people.

So, next week doesn't hold anything as exciting as this weekend but I'm looking forward to building off of what I accomplished this week.  I'm definitely going to try to get out and do some more OWS (open water swim) in the near future.  I much prefer it to swimming laps in the pool... but I don't think there are many who DO prefer the pool.

Hope everyone had a great weekend...

Later on...

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Big Weekend

This weekend is shaping up to be a big one.  Today I did a TT on the track at the middle school down the road and then a 10 mile TT on the bike.  The winds were hellacious today but I was happy to see small improvements overall.  Tomorrow I will be heading towards Brighton with Gwen to train with some fellow MI Bt'ers (  There will be a sprint distance and olympic distance course mapped out and we're all going to head out and get a nice day in!  I'm really excited about this as it will give me an opportunity to break in my wetsuit as well as do my first triathlon of the year.  I'll throw up a post tomorrow reviewing it and will have some great pictures I'm sure.  

This week was a decent week overall.  My total hours were down for the week because of the "testing" that was called for in the plan and this was a welcome change.  My allergies have been killing me lately and it doesn't seem like the medication I'm on is doing anything.  There is a constant "tickle" or soreness in my throat/chest and it is driving me absolutely nuts.  That on top of a constantly stuffy nose makes for lovely training days... at any rate, I'm hoping that it will either get better or that I'll get used to it in the near future.

I set my T-Time in the pool again this week.  I dropped 10 seconds overall from my time which equals a 1 second drop in the t-time.  I'm sitting at 00:01:44 right now.  The pool that I swim at has been closed (or has changed hours) the last couple of weeks to accommodate some work that has been going on so I haven't been in the pool as much as I would have liked.  Because of this, I'm pretty satisfied with my new time.

This morning I woke up and jumped onto the internet to watch the Giro d'Italia.  I'm glad that coverage is available online but kind of bummed out that the American networks aren't covering it at all.  Anyway, I watched that and then got ready for my running time trial.  I may have explained this before but basically I run 3 miles on the track and log the time it takes for each mile.  My time this week improved by over 10 seconds from the TT last month so I was pretty happy about that.  Here's the breakdown:

Mile 1- 7:20
Mile 2- 7:22
Mile 3- 7:25
Overall- 22:07

I'm still running a little slower than I want to be at this point.  The main thing that I am concerned about is that I have a really hard time running negative splits unless I really back off on the first mile.  This is something that I'm going to have to continue to work on.

The 10 mile TT on the bike was done about an hour and a half after the run.  Typically I break these types of "testing" days into two separate workouts (at least that is what my plan calls for) but because of the tri tomorrow in Brighton I smushed them into one day.  This may have had an affect on the overall time on the bike but I think that the biggest factor in my time today was the hellacious winds.  On my way out I had a vicious crosswind that was pushing me all over.  On the way back in the crosswind became a headwind.  Overall, my time was about half a minute faster than it was last month... so again, considering the conditions, I was pretty happy.  Here's the breakdown:

Time- 00:29:21
Avg. MPH- 20.5
Avg. Cadence- 93

So... that's it for now.  One more thing though... yesterday Gwen signed us up to volunteer at the Girls on the Run Celebration 5K.  It was cold, windy, and rainy and I didn't really want to do it but once we got out there it was a blast!  What an awesome, awesome, organization GOTR is.  Those girls were so happy to be running the 5K... and it was crazy to see them do it!  These are 3-5 grade girls (the majority)!!!! Over 500 participants showed up yesterday and it was worth it to cheer them all on.  On a side note I saw a lot of familiar faces there as Jade/Whisper Cycles was providing support on the bikes.  They did leadout/follow-up for the girls.  At any rate, it was really cool and I was excited to be a part of it (even for only 1 day).  Hope everyone is having a great weekend.  Check back tomorrow evening for the MI BT Tri post!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day Brick... (and the Speedo Debut!)

Above Left: Pre-Brick
Above Right: Hour 1

Above Left: Hour 3
Above Right: Out of the Saddle and Climbing!

Above: Post-Run, Hour 4.  Happy Mother's Day!

Hope all the Mom's out there had a great Mother's Day today!  Today's workout was a tough one but it was totally worth it.  Not only did I do my longest brick to date but I was also able to work on my nutrition (although today will probably fall into that "what not to do" category).  Also, the speedo made it's debut.  Ladies and small children... please avert your eyes!

To begin, wearing the speedo was a little odd to say the least.  Truth be told, I've never worn a Speedo prior to today's brick.  It felt strange at first but I had to get over that pretty quick as I kept telling myself that I'll be rocking the speedo only tri in less than a month.  I'm thinking maybe I'll have to tan before that... look at how crazy white my legs are!  Anyway, once I was sure that everything is in place, and wasn't leaving, I hopped on the bike and got to work.

Because my speed sensor is attached to my front fork I wasn't able to get a speed or mileage readout for this workout.  That was a little disappointing since this was my longest ride of the year and I would have liked to have known where I was at distance-wise but I guess it was on the trainer so it would have all been relative anyway.  Anyway, the metric I used while riding was my cadence.  My goal was to stay above 90 RPM for the entire ride and I was able to do so with a couple of brief exceptions.  The ride itself wasn't very hard but the fact that I was doing it on the trainer made it pretty boring after the first hour.  To keep myself motivated I threw on the Ironman 25th Anniversary DVD.  Riding while watching these DVD's is such a great experience... it's like you are constantly reminded of why you're on the bike.  Once that finished I threw on some music and rode, rode, rode some more.  Gwen was around to keep me company for the last 45 minutes or so and it made things a lot easier!

Following the ride Gwen and I went out for a 30 minute run.  I was really, really surprised at how good my legs felt.  When we started out it felt as though I hadn't been riding at all!  We made our way over to the local middle school track and ran a couple of miles each.  I was feeling really good and today has been a huge confidence booster for me!

The one thing that I learned today was that although my aspirations may be to be an Ironman... my stomach will probably never be "iron."  Today I decided to try using Accelerade instead of my normal 50/50 Gatorade/Water mix.  Instead, I mixed in one scoop of Accelerade per 12 oz. of water.  My plan was to drink one bottle of water for each hour of the workout.  In addition to this I took one packet of GU each hour.  The first 2 1/2 hours went great but after that I started to have some major GI issues.  I'm guessing that what I did wrong was to consume the Accelerade too fast.  The first 2 hours I spread it throughout... However, the last 2 hours I basically slammed it.  There was basically an immediate effect.  Each time after that anytime I took a drink or used GU I felt like I had to run to the bathroom.  It definitely made for an interesting end to the training.  In the end, I was able to control everything but I know for the future that I really need to spread out the Accelerade.  Surprisingly, I didn't mind the flavor of it too much... which I figured that I would but it works great!  I definitely feel like I noticed the "power" that I get when I use nutrition in the right way!

Alright... this week should shape up to be a good one.  I'm really excited as I think that Team Uniforms for Jade/Whisper Cycles will be in at the end of this week and I will be able to unveil the new speedo (the special Whisper Cycles speedo) in conjunction with the new uniforms!  There will also be plain old tri shorts which I plan on wearing more than the Speedo... so friends/family/acquaintances don't worry!  Don't run and don't be scered.  And, for the record... I would like to say that Nick Gerrits totally hit the nail on the head when he made fun of me for starting a blog.  He called it out that eventually there would be a day when suddenly pictures of me in a speedo came online... unfortunately, he is so right!

Alright all... hope the weekend was good.  

Later on!

(oh... and two more things... or, three more things: 
1.  if you haven't already... go out and buy Ben Folds Presents: University a Capella!
2.  why the heck isn't there coverage of the Giro d'Italia in the States?
3  it's Mother's Day for goodness sake... make your Momma proud and buy a Whisper! 

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

2 Days of Riding...

So I tweaked my training schedule a touch this week to accommodate the Jade/Whisper group ride tonight. In the end I think it will have been worth it especially b/c tomorrow it's supposed to rain.

Here are the readouts from my computer for the last two rides:

05/05/09- time 00:56:27, distance 18.8, avg. mph 20.0, max mph 29.5, avg. cadence 94

05/06/09- time 01:39:06, distance 32.8, avg. mph 19.9, max mph 32.4, avg. cadence 93

This week has been pretty good and I'm looking forward to finishing the week out strong. It has been crazy busy around Holland this week b/c of Tulip Time. Luckily this has meant that the roads that I bike have been less busy lately. Hopefully the same will be true at the gym/pool this week as well.

In other exciting news it looks like Gwen may have some hot prospects for a job coming up so we are pretty excited about that. All in all, things are going really well.

Thanks for checking in. More later!

Later on...
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Weekend Workouts

This weekend was a great confidence builder for me.  After a lot of trepidation about whether or not I would be on, or near, form I was able to prove to myself that I'm still making progress.  As I have mentioned over and over and over this week... this was the first week that I was back on my training plan. 

I had mentioned earlier that I was going to post some of the information that I went over with my nutritionist... and then, I failed to post it.  That being said, I learned a lot of good stuff from her and feel like it has really helped my energy levels and recovery times so far this week.  Basically, the long and short of it was that I found out that I haven't been eating enough.  I have been letting my body get nutritionally deficient during the day and then when night time rolls around I'm looking to pound down as much food (especially Gummi Bears and Jelly Bellys lately) as I can.  By tweaking my eating schedule and learning about which foods will help me "carbo load" I've been able to avoid this type of semi "binge" eating this week.  I've also been practicing my race nutrition and this weekend was the first big test for me.  I used 50/50 Gatorade/Water mix and Gu gels on the bike and felt great throughout.  Again, I didn't have to binge post-workout because I didn't let my body go "deficient" during the workout.  So that's it for nutrition for now, on to the workouts...

Yesterday I did a nice 03:15:00 Brick.  It was AWESOME!  Here is the readout from my bike computer for my ride yesterday:  ride time- 02:56:05, distance- 55.7 miles, avg. MPH- 18.9, max MPH- 33.0 (that was on a flat stretch too!), avg. Cadence- 93.  Like I said, I felt great to get out and do that distance on the bike and also be able to practice nutrition, check out some new routes, etc. etc.  Post ride I went for a QUICK run.  I spent 20" running around the block and went about 1.7 miles.  My legs felt great and my lungs/heart felt good too.  Overall the day was a real boost for me.  As the weather is getting better I'm looking forward to having a lot more days like this.

Today I went out for an 01:20:00 in the Saugatuck Dunes State Park.  Again, it was a really awesome day.  This was my first long day in the Dunes this year and it felt good to push myself.  I love the SDSP because there is a lot of hill work, loose sand, dunes to run up, and BEAUTIFUL views.  Today was the perfect day to get out and let loose.  I started out on the trails that I run all the time and just went.  I ended up picking up a deer trail and just following that until I got lost.  It was a really cool feeling to just be able to get lost out in the woods following this deer trail until I hit the road.  Once I hit the road I was relieved to see I hadn't gone TOO far out of my way and I spent the last half hour of the run on the road.  It was a really nice way to end the run and I realized again how lucky I am to live in this area where there is a lot of really great scenery to occupy your mind while training.  

Looking forward to the start of another week.  This upcoming weekend is the annual 5/3 River Bank Run in Grand Rapids, MI.  I wasn't planning on doing this race but am thinking about going for it now.  It's a 25K and I've run portions of the course before... we'll see if I end up doing it or not.  I'm a month away from the Ann Arbor Tri.  My official race uniform is 50% completed... I have the much talked about Speedo and now am just waiting on my Whisper Tri Top.  It sounds like my Whisper Uniforms will be in, in a couple of weeks and I can't wait.  I'll post pics of the new kit when it arrives... who knows, maybe the Speedo will even make it's way onto the blog... I apologize ahead of time!

Alright, hope everyone is enjoying their weekend!