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Domestic Travel in the US

IMCDA 2015 Training Update Week #4(of 26)-Lake Placid Cross-Training

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Adirondack Sunset

I mixed things up a bit for week #4 by heading up to Lake Placid for a bit cross-training in the snow. I try to get up there for a week in the Winter every year for some skate-skiing at Mt. Van Hoevenburg. We have a week planned in Sedona, Arizona next month so it wasn’t looking good for skate-skiing this year. We decided that we needed our Lake Placid Winter fix, so we arranged a long weekend up there which was perfect.

I tried to get in as much biking and swimming in the early part of the week as I could. Thursday ended up being a rest/travel day. I got a small case of swimmers’ ear too, so it worked out that I would not be swimming for a few days.  The rest day would also help since skate-skiing can be pretty exhausting .

2015 Training Week #4

2015 Training Week #4(1/19-1/22/2015)

We made up to Lake Placid in time to have dinner at the ADK Cafe in Keene, NY which is one of our favorites. On Friday, I was able to get our ski’s waxed in the morning so we were able to get in a good hour and a half in the afternoon. Conditions were great at Van Hoevenburg too. There was a really solid base and everything was open too. Temperatures were perfect as well running in the high 20’s to low 30’s on Saturday. On Saturday, we did our town shopping spree and lunch and then headed to ski later. Denise ended up pulling her back out though while putting her boot on. 🙁 She was in some severe pain too. I had to run her home, but then was able to go back again and get a good hour in anyway.

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One of my least favorite little hilly sections on the Perimeter Trail at Mt. Van Hoevenburg

On Friday night we had a nice dinner at Milano North in town and Saturday Cafe Rustica. Both of them are two of our favorites. The ladies at Cafe Rustica were also very accomodating of Denise’s back issues. I was a little disappointed to find out that my all time favorite, The Cowboy had closed up. Also Pan Dolce seems to be closed as well.

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Nice view of Cascade Mountain from the Biathlon area at Mt. Van Hoevenburg

Sunday was a different story though. We got about an inch or two of new snow and it got cold! Like 7 degrees in the mid afternoon. Brrr! This also changed the snow conditions too and the purple wax that I had on my skiis was no longer gliding like it was the past two days. Now I was getting a major workout whether I like it or not. To add to this I also headed out on one of the harder trails, Porter Mountain Loop. I was sucking some major wind on this one. It was brutal, but I got in another 1:30 of skiing. So all-in-all it was some workouts on the ski trails. It is nice to break up the running, biking and swimming during the Winter.

Sunday night we had a real nice dinner at the Interlaken Inn Pub with the couple we stay with in Lake Placid. Food was amazing, but we had to rush through it since we were going to the Banff Mountain Film Festival immediately afterwards. There were some really good films this year and it is always a packed house in Lake Placid. I threw together this playlist of some of the ones they showed there…

One thing to note this week was my Heart Rate Variability(HRV). I hadn’t had any alcohol since New Years and over the weekend I had a few glasses of wine on two of the four nights in Lake Placid. It is pretty interesting how my HRV dropped severly on both mornings after that. They were also not consecutive days, so my HRV went up on the night between and down again the following. My training was about the same on all the days too, so I don’t think that had anything to do with it. I slept good all the nights as well.

HRV timeline as of 1/27/2015- Wine playing a part here.

HRV timeline as of 1/27/2015- Wine playing a part here.

ithlete-pro-TrainingGuide- What a few glasses of wine can do...

ithlete-pro-TrainingGuide- What a few glasses of wine can do…

We headed home early on Monday due to the impending winter storm, Juno which was headed our way. It turned out to be a non-event, so all that rushing home was for nothing. Oh well. It was a great weekend in the Adirondacks and it was nice to change things up a bit too. Well next week it is back to some usual training again.

Thanks for reading!

 

Tuscany 2014-Not Off To A Good Start

The day finally came and we were off to Newark Airport to begin our trip to Tuscany, Italy. We had a late flight so we made a stop at Pru Thai in Clinton, NJ for dinner on our way. Pru Thai is our favorite Thai restaurant and it was a good way to avoid the rush hour traffic too. We dropped our car off at the ABC Airport Parking and were quickly whisked away to Terminal B at Newark Airport. As we rolled up to the terminal it was starting to sink in that we were finally on our way. Or so we thought.

The SAS Ticket Counter

The SAS ticket counter was rather vacant of travelers, but there were several ticketing agents standing there. Hmmm…that’s strange? The ticket agent swiped our passports and said “do you know your flight was cancelled?” WHAT??!!! Suddenly I felt like I was in a dream and this was not really happening.

There was a lot of back and forth and the eventually all of the agents had come over and were huddling around trying to figure out alternatives for us. There wasn’t any, other than to fly out the next day. One option was to fly a little earlier on Friday morning with another airline that had a connection that was less than an hour. It would get us there 8 hours earlier, but we would risk missing the connection and possibly our luggage. The other, safe option was to leave at 6:55pm EST Friday via SAS with 2 stops and get to Bologna at 5pm on Saturday.

We chose the safer option and they put us up for the night in a hotel in Newark. Yippee!! The girls at the ticket counter were really nice and they told us we could use the airline lounge the next day since the one girl would be working the counter.We headed down to the welcome center at the airport to line up a hotel and shuttle pickup. Our voucher was for the Wyndham Garden hotel, but when I called the number the Hilton Garden answered. They said they would take our voucher and we needed to head to the P4 parking area to meet the shuttle.

Newark AirTrain

We made our way via the AirTran to the P4 Parking area to shuttle pickup. We waited while shuttle after shuttle came and went. None of which said Hilton Garden. There was Hilton, Hilton Newark but no Hilton Garden. There was even a Wyndham Garden! WTH? I asked the driver if that was the same as the Hilton Garden but he said no. Well we waited over an hour and saw the same shuttles come and go. We took the next Wyndham Garden.

We got a room at the Wyndham Garden, no problem, with vouchers for dinner and breakfast. I have no idea to this day where the “Hilton Garden” is or if it even exists. After checking in, I snagged some to-go Corona’s and water at the hotel snack bar and settled in for the night. I started cancelling and sending emails to change our reservations before falling asleep.

Wyndham Garden Newark Airport

We headed down for our free breakfast after a pretty decent nights sleep. We hung out in our room most of the morning until our late checkout at 1PM. I finalized changing our museum arrangements, rental car and cancelling our first nights room. We packed up our stuff had our free lunch at the hotel before heading back to the airport.

When we checked in at the SAS ticket counter and there was some more confusion with the ticket agents again. Now what?? The guy kept asking us what flight we were on and kept reminding him that they were supposed to be all confirmed for the day. He started going down the line asking the other agents something. Eventually he reached the last lady who seemed to know what she was doing. We walked down to her and got the scoop. She said there was two options. We could wait until 11:30pm and do a similar flight as what we were supposed to do yesterday with only one stop in Copenhagen. Or we could just do the two-stop flight that we were planning on doing which left at 6:55pm, but stopped in Oslo and Copenhagen. Either way we still got to Bologna at 5PM. We decided on the two stop flight just so we could get the hell out of the US. We made our way through TSA and headed to the gate.

The SAS Lounge - Newark Airport

The SAS Lounge – Newark Airport

I spotted the SAS Lounge and we looked through the doors and spotted the girl from the ticket counter the night before. She recognized us right away and we chatted a bit with her. She let us in to the lounge for free which was cool. It was free food and drink, comfy chairs and free WIFI. We enjoyed some nice snacks, wine and beer. They even had an open bar that you could make your own mixed drinks. It was pretty nice!

 

Before we knew it, it was time to head to the gate. We boarded the plane and settled into our seats. Our seats were at the exit door and bulkhead so we had a ton of leg room to stretch out a bit. SAS has gotten pretty stingy with their food & beverage service these days. They now charge for beer and wine on international flights which they did not the last time we flew with them. Oh well their flight was $400 cheaper(per ticket) than any other airline for the flight.

We taxied down the runway and we were finally off to our Tuscan vacation!

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In Flight Sunset

Timberman 70.3–Travel and Logistics

The following documents some of the travel and logistics details of our weekend up in Gilford, NH for Ironman 70.3 Timberman.

Getting There

Google Maps show the drive from Allentown, PA to to Gilford, NH to be anywhere from 6.5-7.5 hours depending on the traffic and route you choose. The shortest route takes up by New York City then onto I-95 through Hartford, CT. I had taken that route once before and it was a bit too insane for me. We were also leaving on a weeknight after work, so this would be all the more crazy. So, instead we opted to head north on I-87 up to Rhinebeck, NY, have dinner then take the Taconic Parkway to I-90 West.

Sunset Inn, Lee Ma

We also had decided to split the drive up and stay over night in Lee, MA where we found a nice little place to stay for ~$85 called the Sunset Inn. The place was nothing fancy, but it was clean and not far off the highway. The other benefit is that it is only a short drive to Kripalu Yoga Center, which is a favorite of my wifes’. Since we were close, we were able to head there for a very healthy buffet breakfast which was only $10 each.

We then headed East on I-90 towards Worcester, MA which is pronounced like “woo-sta!” We also continued to shout the name multiple times as we flanked the city via some connecting bypasses. Eventually we ended up on I-93 which took us past Concord, NH where we picked up Route 3 taking us into our final destination of Gilford, NH.

When I signed up for Timberman, I originally booked a room in Concord, NH due to the price and availability and lack thereof in and around Gilford. After Denise decided she was going to volunteer for the race and would have to be there earlier, I decided to seek out something closer. This was a wise decision! Staying in Concord would have made this weekend suck! It would have been too long of a drive and it was worth paying a little more to be closer.

Lodging

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The Fireside Inn-Gilford, NH

I happened to find the Fireside Inn with vacancy only a few days before leaving for the race. I had changed hotels in Concord twice before that and eventually cancelled them both. I don’t think the Fireside ever showed up on Hotels.com or it was just lower in the list because of the price was a little higher. I ended up paying $200/night there and it was so worth it. It was only 3 mile bike ride from the race site at Ellacoya State Park which you could get to by a light traveled road which happened to be the run course. It also provided beautiful views of Lake Winnipesaukee the entire way, which were even more spectacular at 5:30am when the sun was coming up. The bike and run course also went right by the hotel too so if you just wanted to stay there and watch the event you could see 2 of the 3 disciplines right there.

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You just never know what you’ll find in the woods of New Hampshire-A Hockey Rink?

The hotel was also very clean and had plenty of room. Some people in the review complained about the older TV’s but that was not really an issue for us. The rooms had a nice big refrigerator and microwave so you can make some things for your early morning pre-race breakfast. There is also a market/deli, liquor store and Pub right across the street too. A short drive will also get you into Laconia, NH which has basically everything you need.

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Our Room at the Fireside Inn-Gilford, NH

The staff at the hotel are also very friendly and helpful. They give you whoopie pies at check-in and make popcorn in the afternoons whose smell would drift down the hallway luring you in for some. They have and indoor and outdoor pool, nice weight room and access to a local beach on the lake which is $5/person.  They also have full suites which offer a full kitchen if you need that. All the rooms also have little balconies or patios which I liked.

The only negative I could think of was that the hotel was right in the flight path of the local airport, so there was a few planes landing and taking off from time-to-time. The one day I kept getting blasts of jet fuel fumes coming in the screen door, but closing the door and putting A/C on solved that.

Dining

My wife and I like to eat pretty healthy and avoid the chain or franchise restaurants at all costs. I am a plant-based vegan 95% of the time and my wife is more on the “paleo” side. Finding good places for us to eat is usually a bit of a challenge, especially when you are in more off-the-beaten-path places. My wife Denise is a pretty good researcher when it comes to finding places to eat and she did a pretty good job routing them out in and around Lake Winnipesaukee too. So here are our favorites around Gilford…

Tavern 27

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Tavern 27 Dining Room

Tavern 27 is located a little bit north of Laconia nestled between the links of the Mystic Meadows Golf Course. It is a family run, farm-to-table American-style “tapas” restaurant which are little larger portioned than your typical Spanish tapas. There are a long list of different dishes to choose from, but our favorite was the Chickpea Fries. My wife was also a fan of the Egg Cups and I though there little pizzas were really good too. The place is very small and it seems they are always busy. The owner told me he has been booked up for several days and has had to turn away many walk-ins. We had lunch there on our first day, but were able to get in for dinner on Sunday night. I would highly advise calling here well in advance unless maybe in the off-season.

The Local Eatery

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The Local Eatery-Laconia, NH

The Local Eatery was another favorite of ours. Also a farm-to-table restaurant and located in the old train station in Laconia. It is a small place but we were able to get reservations on a Friday and Saturday night here during Timberman weekend. Denise enjoyed their local burger so much she had it two night in a row. I had the Chana Masala on Friday night and the house made gnocchi on Saturday. The Chana Masala was a very generous portion while the gnocchi was a bit small. The gnocchi was a little more filling than it looked though and it also left me some room to have the Vanilla Crème Brulee for desert, which I think was the best I have ever had. I also had the hummus plate on Friday which was very good as well. Definitely a place to check out when in the area. They also have outdoor seating.

 

Kitchen Cravings

Kitchen Cravings is a little breakfast and lunch restaurant just a short drive or bike ride away from the Fireside Inn. It is basically at the other end of the airport runway. Their menu is extensive to say the least. They have tons of options and have no issues with substitutions. My wife was in heaven since she is the queen of substitutions. It isn’t very big inside so if there is something going on like Timberman, be prepared to wait.

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Bike Ride to Breakfast

Ellacoya Barn & Grille

The Ellacoya Barn & Grille is a little pub just up the street from the Timberman race venue at Ellacoya State Park. We walked here after the race to get some lunch. Not necessarily the healthiest of the bunch here, but the food was good and it is convenient to the race. I particularly like their Bruschetta and they have a bunch of good beers on tap. I ordered a pizza after the race which I thought was a personal size since it was only $10, but it was huge! I did end up eating 5 out of the 8 slices though.

Summary

We had a really nice weekend in Gilford, NH and I think much of that is due to the logistics of where we stayed in relation to the event venue. Staying in Concord would have made this a much less enjoyable weekend. We had an easy 3 mile bike ride to/from the event which allowed us to not be trapped or have to deal with vehicle traffic. We were able to easily get in and out via the bike course or the run course.

 

Ironman Coeur d’Alene 2015 Here I Come!!!

Well how things change. I was planning on taking next year off from a full Ironman, but Denise and I got talking about it at dinner. All she had to say was “I wouldn’t mind going to Coeur d’Alene next year.” And I was on the computer registering before she could say another word.

Ironman Coeur d'Alene 2015 registration

Ironman Coeur d’Alene 2015 registration

I don’t know. Life just doesn’t seem the same without an Ironman in the future. And I am not getting any younger, so I might as well do it while I can!

I thought this blog my die a bit over the next year, but I think we got a whole bunch of new adventure comind down the pike.

 

Ironman Lake Placid 2014-Race Week Update #1

Well the week I have been preparing for all season is finally here. It was a quick 3-day work week and then packing up and heading to Lake Placid on Thursday morning. I did a light swim and easy hour bike on the training Tuesday and Wednesday just to keep the blood moving. Tuesday was a bit of a panic day after finding a large nail in the back tire on the CRV and then the crown on my tooth fell out. I fortunately had a dentist appoint that morning already, which was really the reason it fell out in the first place since I decided to floss. I won’t do that again! 🙂

Denise also cut my hair on Tuesday night, so I took the trimmer to my legs right after. It was not pretty. And there was bloody carnage that came with those “free” alleged 15 watts. Warning! Some viewers may find these images disturbing…

All the issues eventually took care of themselves as we got 2 new tires on the CRV and my crown was glued back in place again. Packing up seemed much less stressful this year and I usually keep most things I need all ready to go at a moments notice.

Thaddeus Kosciuszko Bridge on I-87

Thaddeus Kosciuszko Bridge on I-87

The drive up went very smoothly and no major traffic except for a small slowdown on I-78 due to them spraying some chemical cocktail of herbicides along the side of the ride. It was some pretty nasty stuff which we were able to taste and smell for some time after we passed. Thanks for the carcinogens NJDOT!

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Veggie Tacos-The Comfort Kitchen, Saratoga Springs, NY-@ComfortEats

Denise did most of the driving and had located a good farm-to-mouth place in Saratoga Springs called Comfort Kitchen. They had meat and veggie burgers, but I ended up going with the veggie tacos. They were mostly corn and beans with a piece of some deep-fried veggie, which I think was eggplant, and some spicy and tasty little sauce on top. I would gather it was not vegan, but it was too good to inquire about. What I don’t know won’t kill me right? Saratoga Springs was a bit busy for some reason and it was hard to find a spot to park. The food was good though, so it was worth the stop.

We arrived at the house on River Road around 4 PM and settled in. I was eager to get out on the road for a little run to stretch the legs a bit. It was a beautiful afternoon and the run felt so good. I kept it to a half hour though just to stay fresh. I felt like I could have run forever.

We headed out for dinner after a quick shower. We had made reservations at Freestyle initially, but cancelled them after viewing the menu and seeing Foie Gras listed all over it. Foie Gras is a disgusting practice were the force feed ducks which I have some major issues with. You can google it if you care. We tried Cafe Rustica, but it was an hour wait. It was tough to turn down because it smelled so good there. We ended up at the Cowboy, which is one of my favorites. They had had a large party being served there so we had to wait a bit until they were done. It was not even a half hour though. I ended eating the same Thai Noodle Salad and Thai Green Curry with Tofu I had back in June. It is just to good to pass up.

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Thai Noodle Salad-The Cowboy, Lake Placid, NY

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Peanut Satay Green Curry-The Cowboy, Lake Placid, NY

After dinner we made a stop at the Hannaford Grocery store to pickup some frozen fruit and a few other items. Next we were back to the house and settled in for the night. I had a crappy night of sleep after waking up at 2:30am and having trouble getting back to sleep again. My Jawbone said I slept 7 hours, but it sure didn’t feel like I did.

It was a pretty cold morning when we left the house. The thermometer said 46 degrees F and it felt like it too. I ended up putting pants and fleece on to head into town to get some breakfast.

We got out to the Breakfast Club by around 7:30AM to beat the crowds, which we were successful with. I had a massive stack of pancakes and I was feeling a little guilty about it after seeing all the people running and riding by the window on Main St. I got over it pretty quickly though because they were yummy!

We killed a little time walking around until 9am when I was able to register and get all my race crap. There was a little line coming down the steps at the convention center, but it moved pretty quickly once they started up. One of the things they do is weigh you. I was not looking forward to this after eating that huge breakfast and the large meal the night before. I also had pants, phone, and wallet on too. I was 180 when I left home, but they got me at 188…Yikes!!! I told the lady those pancakes I had for breakfast weighed a whole 8 lbs. She got a laugh out of that.

 

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Ironman Lake Placid Transition Area Bike Racks-IMLP2014

I finished being ushered around to all the different stations to get my race numbers and stickers, swim cap, computer chip and some swag. We actually a nice little bike multi-tool which I thought was cool. We also got IMLP backpacks again, but I like the ones this year much better. I could probably use this one for work. They make you go down to the expo area to pick them up probably so you buy some more stuff. I bought nothing this time. Last year I over did it and then half the stuff was on sale on the website afterwards anyway.

Denise was chatting it up with nice guy from Charlottte, NC named Bob. His son is a pretty awesome triathlete from what he was saying. He was a pretty interesting guy. I also bumped into my Coach, Scott too and talked with him for a few minutes. We walked around the expo for a bit and Denise ended up buying some electrical muscle massage thing.

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Ironman Lake Placid 2014 Finish Line Arch

I headed over to the lake for a quick 20 minute swim in the lake. The lake seemed a little cool at first, but should be perfect for raceday with a wetsuit on. I took it easy on the 10 minutes down the lake and then took it up a notch and cruised back towards shore. I saw the cruise back average pace was around 1:38/100 yds, which for me is pretty fast. Doubt I could do that for 2.4 miles, but it does give me confidence of being more in the 1:45 range.

I was ready to get out of the craziness of town after my swim and get back to the house and chill for a bit. I think I saw two-thirds of Team AWESOME too on the way out in their Soas kit. It was a little too crazy though to stop and say hi.

Well that is about all for now. Got some chillin’ to do!

 

 

IMLP 2014-Week 23 Training Update-Taper Week #2

image

Nothing real exciting to report here for my second week of taper before Ironman Lake Placid 2014. I ended up swimming a little more than I planned on Tuesday, but then totally bagged my run on Thursday night. We were heading up to Lake Wallenpaupack again from Thursday to Saturday and I just didn’t give myself adequate time management to fit it in. Oh well. I also bagged my 10 minute brick on Saturday too. I seem to be an all or nothing kind of triathlete. When I have a big build training week I usually do every single workout minute, but when it comes to recovery and taper weeks I frequently blow things off. Perhaps it is my way of giving 110% on those recovery weeks!

Power Meter Crisis Averted!

I did have a bit of a panic when I set out on my bike ride on Wednesday night. I was planning to upgrade my Stages Power Meter to the latest version of firmware, but I was unable to connect it to my iPhone via Bluetooth to update. I thought it was just my iPhone Bluetooth causing the problem, but when I proceeded out on my ride my Garmin 910xt would not pick it up on ANT+ either. Hmm.?

Stages Power Meter

Stages Power Meter

I changed the battery in the module when I got home and it immediately started working again. Phew! I did a little more inspection of the module with a flashlight and magnifying glass later on. When I first received the unit my bike mechanic had broken a couple of the tabs that lock the battery in its compartment. Stages immediately sent me out some new caps, but I was never able to lock the cap in place so I always wrap it with black electrical tape.

Stages Power Meter Firmware Upgrade

Stages Power Meter Firmware Upgrade

Apparently, when I washed the bike after my last long ride, water got in and shorted the battery. Turns out that one of the little tabs that had broken off was lodged in the compartment locking slot and would not allow me to lock the cap securely. I was able to remove the broken tab and am happy to report it is locking securely in place now. Crisis averted.

I tweeted about the issue after my ride and the folks at Stages quickly replied to get me help I needed(See tweet below). I wasn’t able to respond right away and they even shipped me some new caps before I have got back to them. Just a sign of the great customer service they have there. I had a similar experience when I needed those new caps the first time too. I hope to do a gear review on my Stages Power Meter after Ironman this year. Spoiler alert…I have been very with happy it!

Open Water Swim at Lake Wallenpaupack

Lake Wallenpaupack deer fawn poconos

Fawn near house at Lake Wallenpaupack

Since we were up at the Lake for a couple days, I was able to get in a little open water swim there on Friday. My in-laws had rented a house on the lake and I could walk right out the door in my wetsuit for a nice swim. I hit it just early enough to avoid most of the crazy boat traffic that starts around noon. We were situated in a very narrow section of the lake and it gets crazy with boats flying back-and-forth there.

It did get a little rough as I rounded the bend heading towards Ledgedale Recreation area. The waves were angling into each other as the boats rounded the bend as well. And apparently “no-wake” zone means nothing to these folks. Once I did get around the bend it did mellow out a bit, but by then it was time to head back. My wife followed along with me in the kayak and I think she was bummed to have to turn back so soon. I only wanted to swim for 30-40 minutes and I was at around 18 by then.

It was a pretty nice swim otherwise. Water seemed ok initially, but I was getting pretty hot by the time I returned to the dock. I averaged around a 1:46/100y pace which is what I did at Black Bear Half  this season too. I would be pretty psyched to get that at Lake Placid too. Or even a 1:47 would be an improvement. Strava totally botched my upload for this too, but I will embed it just for the hell of it.

SSD Workouts – Short, Slow Distance!!

I did my typical bike and run on Saturday and Sunday, although the duration was quite a bit shorter than usual. Instead of calling them LSD workouts I changed it to SSD since they are much shorter. I have to say I felt REALLY good on both of the workouts too. It is that time where you have to reign yourself in a bit from going crazy fast since you feel like the Six Million Dollar Man.

Cool sky on my ride on Saturday. Had to stop for an Instagram shot.

Cool sky on my ride on Saturday. Had to stop for an Instagram shot.

I ended up averaging 18.5MPH for a 36 mile ride on Saturday night and it felt like nothing. By the way, Saturday evenings are the best time to ride. At least were I ride. There is hardly any cars out on the road and it is just so nice. There is usually minimal wind at the end of the day too.

My PMC chart on TrainingPeaks is showing some major recovery with the TSB value heading up towards the 45 mark.  I was up to around the same value last year too, but my fitness level(CTL in blue) is forecast to be around 95 on raceday, whereas last year I was around 89. Not sure how well those numbers translate to real life, but we will see in a week.

image

 

Well this coming week is going to be an even easier one. A couple short workouts early and then on route to Lake Placid for race weekend. I usually do a couple very light, easy workouts up there too just to get the blood flowing a bit. I like to do a little run on River Road after the long drive too just get that blood that all pools up in my legs from a 6 hour drive.

This year should be pretty fun since there are a bunch of people I know racing this year. I am real excited for a few first-timers: Shanna and Ashley. I have a good feeling they are going to kick some major butt in their respective age groups up there. They have had some great success this season so far too. Best of luck ladies!!

There is also a few veterans returning like my Coach Scott, who has done IMLP for the last 10 years. A true IRONMAN out and out! Also Kenrick Smith who is a coach and soon-to-be pro triathlete. His athletic performance is amazing! Also a friend from John Parks is also doing his 5th consecutive Ironman Lake Placid. He is an animal! These are the people that help motivate me to do this stuff. I wish them all the best and love seeing them out on the course.

My bib number this year is 2422. Not quite as nice as my #234 last year, but not too far away either. I suppose that my Ironman Foundation fundraising last year provided me the lowered number.  Well, time to start packing up!

See you in Lake Placid!!

Ironman Lake Placid 2014-Race Plan

Whenever I set a goal, I like to have a good plan for how I might achieve it. I had one last year for Ironman Lake Placid 2013, but there were surely many more unknowns that there are now. With a previous race under my belt I have a better idea of what I can realistically accomplish. So as I sit here with 10 6 and a half days displaying on my little sidebar countdown timer, I will divulge the details of the plan of events for July 27th, 2014.

My goal for IMLP 2014 is to finish under 12 hours. There it is…I said it! This was my goal from the start of training and I had tailored my training based on that goal. Below are my times from last year and my projected times for this years race. I will elaborate a bit on each discipline.

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2013 Ironman Lake Placid Times-TriCalc3.com Tri Time Predictor

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2014 Ironman Lake Placid Goal Times-TriCalc3.com Tri Time Predictor

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2014 Ironman Lake Placid Stretch Goal Times-TriCalc3.com Tri Time Predictor

 

1. The Swim

IMLP "Washing Machine" Swim Start

IMLP “Washing Machine” Swim Start

The rolling start is back again for another year, which I think is a good thing. Based on last year, I crossed through the archway at 10 minutes after 7am to start my swim. I figure that should be no different, but I may try to move up a bit from the 1:20 finish corral since I finished under that time. I really didn’t do a great deal to improve my swimming this year. I maintained 3 swims/week and copied most of the workouts from last year and extended them a little bit. I also started using the ankle-band in my workouts to help increase my arm turnover a bit which I hope might give me a little improvement. Based on my Black Bear Triathlon 1.2 mile swim pace of 1:46/100yds in June and last years 1:49/100yds pace I hope to be around a 1:47 pace this year which will bring me out of the water at around 1:15-1:16. A respectable swim for someone without a swimming background.

2. T1

Transition Setup

Transition Setup

T1 is a long run to the oval. Last year I was kissing wives, mothers’ and babies(or my dog Yuki) which I would guess took up about 45 seconds. I actually ran past my wife, stopped, and ran back to her which took probably about 15 secs alone. This year I will be vigilant running through the chute and will limit kisses to a quick pecks.  My Mom and my dog, Yuki, won’t be there this year, so that will cut some more time. Other than that I think I was pretty efficient on this transition last year. I just need to focus a bit.

3. The Bike

 

IMLP 2013 Bike

IMLP 2013 Bike

Last year I thought I might have gone too hard on the first loop, finishing in 3 hours, so I took it a little slower on the second. In retrospect I think 3 hours is doable for both loops this year. I feel that I am faster and have more power output at a Zone 2 heart rate than I did last year. I did a ton of early season trainer work using TrainerRoad to increase my FTP a bit, so I hope that will present itself on race day.  I was able to easily average 17.5MPH without much extra effort during my training rides in IMLP this past June.

Stages Dura-Ace Power meter

Stages Dura-Ace Power meter

All of my training this season was done utilizing my Stages Cycling Power Meter. Joe Friel has a great article that explains how to “cheat” in an Ironman by using a power meter. The article provides a table that states that given your projected bike split time and what type of athlete you are(Age Grouper with good prep) that I need to hit a specific TSS range to accomplish that. That TSS range translates to a range of Intensity Factor(IF) for my FTP. So given all that my power output for the race should be between 160-170 watts on average in order for me to hit my 6:00 time and still have some legs to run a marathon after. Sounds too easy to me. I am not sure how that translates into what speed I am going. What if the course was all uphill? Or all downhill? Would I still finish is 6 hours if staying in this power range regardless of the terrain? Will see how that pans out. Regardless, the power range it spews out seems like a good range for me to stay in on the bike.

They have also freshly paved the worst section of NY73 and hopefully finish the downhill section to Keene before raceday. This should also provide some extra “free” speed and cut some time.

XLab Aerobar Setup

XLab Aerobar Setup

In addition to this, I am planning to shave my legs this year which will save another 5-10 minutes according to Specialized Bikes’ wind tunnel tests. We’ll see how true that is! I also made a couple aerodynamic tweaks on the bike such as getting rid of the water bottle cages in the frame and adding a bottle between the aerobars.

4. T2

IMLP 2013 Transition

IMLP 2013 Transition

There is no long run in T2. A volunteer takes your bike immediately as you enter transition. Very cool! Not sure what took me so long here last year. I did take a leak but that wasn’t too long. Here is the process: remove helmet and bike shoes, put on sneakers, run hat and run belt. Get lathered up with sunscreen. Oh wait, how did I get my bag? I don’t remember if I got it or a volunteer got it. See if I can chop a minute or two here.

5. The Run

My Two Favorite Fans-IMLP 2013 Run

My Two Favorite Fans-IMLP 2013 Run

Last year I had a pretty good first loop of the run finishing in about two hours. I had a little cramping in the legs going down the big hill to Lisa G’s, but other than that it was cool. The family was situated at the bottom too which was nice. I kept a fairly steady pace most of the 13 miles except for walking a bit on the hills back to town and to greet the family again. I would like to try to keep a running pace up the hills this year. My goal pace is to try to keep a 9:30-9:40 pace for the run, which would translate into a fairly respectable 4:08-4:13 marathon time. That would be a marathon PR for me too.

As you can see from the chart below, my 2nd loop had much more walking in it. The turn to head back out of town again for another 13 miles really played on my mental focus and lead me to walk a bit more here. You can see that most of it was also in the first 6 miles too, which is mostly downhill. I actually picked it up a bit heading back to town. I have been working on the mental side of things this year and I hope that I can resolve that 2nd loop mental breakdown a bit and keep it steady. A 4 hour marathon is attainable for me, I just need to keep my head on straight.

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6. Nutrition

IMLP 2013 Nutrition Food

IMLP 2013 Nutrition Food

I feel I pretty much nailed my nutrition plan last year. This is pretty amazing for a 1st time Ironman. The key here was to keep drinking and stay away from the over-processed gel/goo crap. I have had that nauseous feeling from that stuff in the past and I know to stay away. So given my good fortune of last year, I am going to stick to the same plan. My only change here is to cut up the bars and the PB&J to make it easier to handle and eat. Riding up 73 with a whole PB&J sandwich hanging out of my mouth is not happening this year. So hear is my plan…

IMLP Nutrition Plan
Pre-Swim No of Srvs Calories Carbs Sodium Hydration(floz)
Skratch Labs Hydration

1

80

21

360

20

Amrita-Pineapple Chia

1

235

36

75

0

Pre-Swim Total

315

57

435

20

Amount/Hour

210

38

290

13

Bike Loop 1(3 Hours) No of Srvs Calories Carbs Sodium Hydration(floz)
Skratch Labs Hydration

2

160

42

720

40

Ucan SuperStarch

2

160

42

320

20

Amrita-Pineapple Chia

2

470

72

150

0

Chia Orange

2

240

30

0

0

Water

1

0

0

0

20

Bike Loop 1 – Total

1030

186

1190

80

Amount/Hour

343

62

397

27

Bike Loop 2(3 Hours) No of Srvs Calories Carbs Sodium Hydration(floz)
Skratch Labs Hydration

3

240

63

1080

60

PB & Honey on White IT Bread

1

414

47

556

0

Amrita-Pineapple Chia

2

470

72

150

0

Chia Orange

2

240

30

0

0

Water

1

0

0

0

20

Bike Loop 1 – Total

1364

212

1786

80

Amount/Hour

455

71

595

27

Run Loop 1- 2hours No of Srvs Calories Carbs Sodium Hydration(floz)
Skratch Labs Hydration

2

160

42

720

40

Honey Stinger Waffle

1

160

21

55

0

Amrita-Pineapple Chia

1

235

36

75

0

Water

1

0

0

0

20

Run Loop 1- 2hours

555

99

850

60

Amount/Hour

278

50

425

30

Run Loop 2- 2hours No of Srvs Calories Carbs Sodium Hydration(floz)
Skratch Labs Hydration

2

160

42

720

40

Honey Stinger Waffle

1

160

21

55

0

Amrita-Pineapple Chia

1

235

36

75

0

Water

1

0

0

0

20

Run Loop 2- 2hours

555

99

850

60

Amount/Hour

278

50

425

30

Calories Carbs Sodium Hydration(floz)
Race Total

3819

653

5111

300

 

Well, that’s the plan anyway. I know full well that not everything always goes to plan and I think I have added some time to account for any flat tires or other small issues. If I don’t hit my goal I will not be that devastated, because really the fact that I can train and be able to participate in this event is all I truly care about. It is about the journey and the journey is the destination.