a knob for brightness

the personal blog of Greg Bassett, adventures in travel, endurance sports and general cruft

Author: Greg (page 1 of 42)

Ironman Maryland 2017 Race Report

For an Ironman branded event, this felt much more like a local race. Only a bit over 1000 athletes, but over 400 were 1st timers. It gave the race a completely different vibe than big events like Madison WI, or Lake Placid.

Once again we stayed at the Hyatt Chesapeake Resort. It’s pricey, but they do take care of the Ironman athletes.

Race morning we were up early to get good parking and get setup for race day. Rob & Nicole Martzen (TeamNRGY) came down to support, volunteer and cheer for me. That was a great treat!

Fran, Rob & Nicole were also scheduled to volunteer at the event.

Pre-race was my usual BP coffee, and Xtend Perform BCAA drinks.

I was a bit worried about the jellyfish, since they seemed to be everywhere, but I never got stung. Water was 71f and felt perfect in my full wetsuit. Start self seeded and people were released in small groups of 8-10 athletes. Swim was long by my Garmin (4615 yards) but I was pushed around by the current, as were others. out of the water in 1:10

Fran was right at the swim finish, so I got a quick kiss and off to T1



T1 was a bit slow. Just didn’t have a sense of urgency. This was a theme for the day. 9:16

Bike: 1st loop felt pretty good, but I was riding with the wind. I could certainly feel the wind pick up, and the temp and humidity rise with each passing mile. I stayed on top of my water and salt intake, but fell behind on nutrition. I just didn’t feel like eating, and without eating my mental state didn’t improve.

At special needs I really felt like I was done for. I did stop and saw Fran, Rob & Nicole, and tried to get some food in me. It helped for a bit.

On the next leg of the bike (2 loop course) the wind was screaming in our faces and my pace slowed to a crawl, and my mental state with it. I stopped at each aid station for water and tried to rally myself back into some sort of race state but it wasn’t happening.

On the return leg, at about mile 90 my stomach revolted and I ended up pulling over with dry heaves. I realized that I was way, way behind on my fueling and that I was headed for a very, very long day. After my gut settled down a bit (about 10 miles later) I tried to eat some of the bars I brought, then grabbed a banana at Gatorade at the next aid station.

Off the bike in 7:14. Looking at the data, you can really see my HR, Power and pace fall off a cliff after the 1/2 way point…

T2 was also slow. My gut was in full-on rebellion, I was hot, tired and in a dark place. Not where you want to be for Ironman. But I was in for the full deal, and somehow got myself out of the tent on onto the course 8:07

Run: The run is a 2.5 loop affair, and while most of it has some good crowd support, a chunk is rather boring. I started off by walking the first bit, and trying to get my gut to cooperate, but it just wasn’t happening. I was pretty much in full-on bonk, and just putting one foot in front of the other. My Garmin was telling me that I was at a 21-22min/mile pace, and I KNEW that was wrong as I was hitting the mile markers well before the Garmin clicked. After almost 3 miles I figured out that the Stryd footpod I was wearing was completely off the reservation, so I deleted it from my Garmin as an sensor. Once that happened I was using GPS and the miles started to make more sense, but I was still short a mile by my watch.  I did manage to find Fran on the run, just by luck.  She had finished up her volunteer work, and was on the run course on her way to the car to get my post-race clothes.  I saw her “crabbie” hat and yelled out to her.  She didn’t hear me, but a couple on the course heard me and got her attention.  That was a nice moment in a tough day.

I did manage bits of running from time to time, but I was battling hamstring cramps by this time. I’d get up to 13 min pace and then one or both hamstrings would lock up and I’d be back to walking. Then I developed and a bunch of blisters on both feet from all the walking. Around mile 14, I had another major bout of dry heaves that had me doubled over for about 10 minutes. Once that cleared up I was able to get in more fluids and some food, enough to keep moving.

I fell in with a young guy named Steve and we kept each other moving along, trying to run when we could, but just kept moving along.

7:26 run time, 16:07:49 final time.

So a bit better than IMLP last year, but I had really expected much, much better results from myself, given my training leading up to race day. I made huge mistakes with nutrition, which lead to the poor performance. No excuses, I just didn’t bring my “A” game, mentally. But I know what I have to do to get ready for IMLP2018 and IM#10!

This and that

A big deposit in the training bank.

Last week I went up to Lake Placid to train on the course.  I had planned this as a major jump in my training volume, as the run to the last 4 weeks for IMLP70.3 and 8 weeks to IMMD.  The plans called for all MAF-heart rate training, even on the long climbs, on the run and the swim.  I was also testing a Stryd running power meter, and sorting out nutrition timing.  Oh, and simply enjoying the vibe that is Lake Placid in the weeks leading up to a big race.

Fellow TeamNRGY member Stacy was also joining me.  Stacy was coming off a medically-forced 7-week layoff and wanted to jump back into training for IMLP.

The weekend ended with over 100 miles of swimming, 16 miles of running and close to 3 miles of swimming.  Also one of my highest TSS loads ever.  What was most interesting was it was all at an easy MAF rate, and the cumulative load doesn’t feel that much.  While I was running Sunday with the Stryd, I hadn’t figured out how to display HR on the Stryd display on the watch, so I was going by feel.  The run plan was to stay at MAF, but allow it to drift a bit higher on the River Road rollers.  If I felt like I was pushing too hard on the flats, I went to nose-breathing to force myself to slow down and stay in MAF.  Seems that it worked, because I was well below max MAF for the whole run, except on the hill “pushes” and quickly dropped after each effort.  I was feeling so good at the end of the run, that I went ahead and pushed the gas down and just ran hard for the last 1/2 mile.  That effort, while not impressive by most pace standards, was a solid effort and I’m pretty sure I could have held it for a good bit longer.

Today (Monday) I’m taking as a rest/refuel day, but will be back at the training tomorrow.

This weeks training includes a 100+ bike ride on Saturday and a NYRR race (France Run 8k) on Sunday.  Sunday’s race will include my usual “jog the course warm up” but I’ll also do a third loop after the race to bump distance up to about 15 miles for the day.  Warm-up/cool-down loops will be at MAF, but I’m planning on running the 8k at 1/2 marathon pace.  This should be an interesting experiment.

As I mentioned above, I’m playing with the Stryd power meter.  No conclusions yet, other than it is a relatively new unit, and I’ve had some issues setting it up and getting it working.  That seems to be resolved now, so we’ll see how it behaves going forward.

I’ve also been using 2XU running compression shorts.  Where have these been my whole life?  I’m coming off my long runs feeling much less sore, especially in my left ITB where I normally have issues.  I’m not sure I can run in anything else again..  Love, love, love these.

Quickie update

Just a quick update to note that my blog is now SSL enabled.  While I don’t take any sort of payments and don’t have a lot of stuff to protect, as an infosec professional I think it’s important that ALL websites use SSL encryption.  So in the spirit of eating my own dog food, I went through the process of updating the site to SSL.

Any by “going through the process” I mean I simply opened a ticket with my AWESOME hosting provider HostingMatters.com and they took care of all the details including splitting my two sites (gbassett.com and ratchetupfitness.com) into separate IP spaces, tweaking the sites to get the permalinks to use SSL, running down and resolving a cpanel bug and keeping me continually updated on the progress.  My involvement was simply to test out the sites.

I’ve been a HostingMatters.com customer for a very long time and I have had rock solid service, and simply the best customer support.  In fact, they provide better customer support than just about any other service or product that I’ve ever used.   I can’t say enough good things about this company!

Previewing a big week!

It’s Ironman Lake Placid weekend, and while I’m not racing this year, I’m as excited and nervous as if I were.  I’m planning a big, big training block over the weekend, and am looking forward to some solid results.

The plan is to drive up this morning, get in a 1-2 loop swim and a short run.  I’m hoping that the cramping problems on the swim hold off.  Friday will be another 2-loop swim, followed by some pre-race meetings with my athletes, then off for a 1 loop bike and a short brick run.  Saturday will be another full loop, or a different route, plus some extra miles, perhaps repeat the climb back from Wilmington, and another short brick run.  Sunday will be on the feet ALL DAY LONG.  I’ll be seeing off my athletes and friends before the swim then volunteering at bike special needs through early afternoon, then bike handling in T2 through the evening.  I’ll be wrapping up with cheering through the end of the race.   Monday will be sleeping in a bit, then another 2 loop swim, and 1 loop of the run course.  So if all goes well we are looking at 7 miles of swimming 100-130 miles of biking and up to 20 miles of running for the weekend.  A solid training block.

On the keto front, I think I’ve settled into a static, mild-ketosis state.  My morning, fasted readings are holding at 0.5-0.6.  I’ve been adding ketone supplements to my BP coffee every morning.  It’s like rocket fuel for mornings where I do a workout after drinking the coffee.  I also feel a lot more focused and stable through the day and not near as hungry as I approach lunch time.

One bit of concern is my blood work.  Cholesterol & triglycerides  tipped a bit higher again.  The Boston Heart report indicated that the biggest issue is my cholesterol uptake in the gut.  While my liver is producing a bit too much, my gut is absorbing too much.  So for the time being, I’m on Zetia.  On the other hand, my inflammation markers are way, way low, blood sugar is way back down.  My weight has stayed pretty stable, even tipping down a bit more.  Currently running around 153-155.  Body fat is stable at 7%.  Overall I feel great, which I suppose is the best indicator.

As far as diet, I’m dialing back the dairy and beef, and trying to eat more fish, oils and nuts.  I go back for follow up blood work in mid-August.

Since my current cardiologist is retiring, I’m going to visit a new guy at the Gagnon Center.  Dr. Martinez is starting a sports cardiology practice, so I’m very interested in discussing my progress with him, and get some ideas on improving my run and bike performance to get closer to where I was pre-surgery.

So this weekend begins the big build up for IMLP70.3 and IMMD.  I’ve got some great trips planned back to Lake Placid for training, and to Boulder CO for the Endurance Coaching Summit.  The summer is starting to speed up!

Another week down…

Another pretty good week..

Got back on the keto diet, and hit ketosis mid week, and extended it a bit through today (Sunday).  Hit a weight goal this week, but will have to see how it holds.  I know that quick losses and gains (5-8lbs) can be caused by small changes in carb consumption, due to the water retention (2.7g of water for every 1g of glycogen stored).  I’d like to think that I can keep my weight at/around 150-155 for the next 30 days, and see how much body fat I can lose and replace with muscle mass.  I know that these next few weeks are going to be tough.

Workouts have been pretty good as well this week, except for the long ride on Saturday.

We had planned on doing the Revolutionary Ramble 100.  But right out of the gate, I was feeling pretty depleted and unable to get any power on the climbs.  I intentionally skipped leg day on Thursday to avoid lingering fatigue and DOMS for Saturday’s ride.  I didn’t feel sore, but I was unable to push down more than 150-170W.  I could hold that power on the flats for pretty long stretches, but with over 6000′ of elevation for the century, I was doomed.

When our little group got to the section where the 65 mile and 100 mile route split, we were told that we missed the cutoff.  Part of that was due to some of the group missing a turn and about 3 extra miles for them to get back on track.  But it was also getting quite warm, we had some serious climbs coming, so we all agreed that doing the 65 would be good enough. Live to fight another day.

Looking back at diet and ketone levels, I was probably experiencing a bit of a performance drop due to the adaptation phase of the diet.  Saturday was the longest ride I had attempted on the diet, and I’m sure that I was going in pretty well glycogen depleted.  I had a similar episode a couple of weeks back during a Thurs night ride, so it’s not unexpected.  Hopefully these will level out and performance will get back on track.

On Sunday, I planned on doing a run in the morning, but instead opted to sleep in, and spent the day relaxing.  A nice quiet (keto) breakfast.  Picnic lunch at the BRPC 300th anniversary celebration and a wonderful steak dinner.  No real schedules, no commitments and wonderful warm summer weather.

Next week I’ll be tweaking strength workouts to include more kettlebell work and increasing load in the regular routines.  I also hope to get back down the shore for OWS on Friday morning, and a solid bike ride on Saturday.  I MAY also do the Asbury Ice Breaker swim on Saturday as well.  Atlantic Ocean swim, Brr…..On the diet front, going to keep to the keto plans and see how I feel next week.



So this week was a bit of a mess.  I knew going in that trying to stay keto would be tough with anniversary dinner at one of our fav restaurants, and the Escape The Cape triathlon over the weekend.  I hung in there for awhile, but quickly fell off the back of the keto-truck and back into the comforts of bad habits.

Training was also a bit of a mess.  I wanted a bit of a taper going into Escape The Cape, but not as MUCH time off as I had.  Some family stuff popped up that I let derail some sessions.

Escape The Cape was FUBAR.  I thought I had signed up for the Olympic distance race.  So I show up for packet pickup on Saturday afternoon, get my stuff, sticker and rack my bike and head back to my hotel.  Only when I start to lay out my gear for the morning do I notice that my bib says SPRINT on it.  I’m standing there scratching my head wondering if I just got the wrong packet, so I look over the envelope and it also says SPRINT.  When I checked the envelope at pickup, I was concentrating on my NAME and AGE GROUP, but never checked the actual RACE!  I went to my computer and looked at my registration confirmation from February, and it too says “SPRINT”.  So I guess I’m racing the sprint in the morning.

Race morning went smoothly.  Up at 3:00am, over to Wawa to get coffee, mixed up the Bulletproof powder (blech) and loaded up the car.  Off to the parking lot, through the security screening (including bomb sniffing dogs!) and then on the busses to the race venue.  As usual, Delmo Sport had everything very well organized.

I met up with Yana, who was racing her FIRST Olympic, and Jennifer who was doing the Olympic Aquavelo for her 5th time racing this event.  Yana & I got everything set up in transition, and we made our way to the boarding line for the Ferry.

Escape The Cape has a great start, where all the athletes leap off the ferry into the bay for the swim start.  It’s about a 12 foot drop into the water, and they let athletes go 3-4 at a time, making sure everyone is off safely.  The Olympic athletes go first, then the ferry is repositioned for the Sprint athletes.

Race morning was great.  Clear skies, no wind, and relatively warm.  Delmo Sports chooses the race date based on the tides, to ensure that the athletes have an outgoing current to swim with, making the swim very, very fast for most athletes.

I hit the water about mid-pack of the sprint athletes.  The jump was just a wee bit intimidating since I’m not a fan of heights, but off I went.  Once I was in the water and moving, I started passing a lot of folks.  The current was very strong, and we were advised to consciously pull to our left.  While the Olympic athletes were swimming we could see the pack veer way off to the right, then way back to the left as they hit different eddies and currents in the outflowing tide.

As I swam along, I notices I was getting pushed and pulled in different directions, but basically kept a fairly straight line.  I finished the swim in just a tad over 9 minutes for the 977 yards, so about 30sec per 100 faster than my normal pace.  I guess the tidal current was REALLY strong.

T1 was a long run/walk into the bike area.  I got my stuff together and was off on the bike pretty fast.  My race plan was to push the bike relatively hard, keeping a solid Z3-Z4 HR and just let power and speed be what they were.  It was a bit slow and congested at the beginning, but the roads were closed to traffic and I could get around folks pretty easily. The course was a bit technical, with some sharp turns that scrubbed speed, but also had some longer stretches where I got aero and applied power.  I finished up the bike in 36:58 for the 11.7 miles, avg speed 18.9, 160w NP, 150 avg HR.

I got off the bike and out of T2 pretty quickly, and off on the run.  My plan was to keep HR 145-150ish for as long as I could hold out.  The run has several sections of sand, which keeps speeds down and jacks HR, so my plan was to walk them if needed.  I came out of T2, and was on the road in my HR zone, and running at 11mpm pace.  But very quickly HR became really high, I had chest tightness and seemed to be cramping in my left shoulder to mid-back.  I’ve had symptoms like this before, and can usually walk them off and get back to running, albeit at a slower pace.  But these started right before the 1st, and longest sand stretch, which I walked.  When I got to the end (about 1 mile into the run) I noticed that I was a bit dizzy and having problems walking a straight line.  I would jog for a bit, the dizziness would get worse, so I’d walk until it got a bit better.  At the turn around, I was VERY dizzy and had to stop at the water station and lean against a vehicle.  When I got to the last sand section I was extremely dizzy and someone had to help me up to the road.  I had to sit down a couple of times headed back into the finish as I was really dizzy.  I ended up with a miserable 52min 5k time, since I was walking pretty slowly toward the end.   I did manage to run the last 50yds into the finish.

At the finish I was really dizzy, so I sat in the medical tent and explained what was going on.  They gave me some diluted Gatorade and some water.  I sat there for several minutes, and the vertigo dissipated a bit, but I still felt unsteady.  I decided to get back to transition, and get my gear together.  I was sitting at my bike, sipping my water and eating a bar when Yana found me.  She was really happy with her results, and I was really happy for her as well.  She helped me get my stuff together and I met her husband and boys.  As I was headed back to my car, just steps out of transition I began to feel really nauseous and had to stop.  I moved into the shade, leaned my bike up against the wall of the ferry terminal and threw up.  I knew at that point that something wasn’t right with me, and I should probably get medical attention.  Another athlete got an EMT who helped me back to the med tent.  My BP wasn’t bad, pulse was ok, but the vertigo woud not subside.  Given my cardiac history, the advice was to get to the ER and get checked out.  While I really didn’t want the hassle, I knew it would be best to do so.  So I got my first ever ambulance ride.

Once in the ER, they initial EKG didn’t show anything wrong.  As I was sitting there I became nauseous again, and threw up once more.  I got an IV drip started and some anti-nausea meds and started to feel better.  Got blood & urine samples tested and they also came back clear.  After a few hours, and two bags of IV fluids, the vertigo was gone.  My friend Jen had stayed in contact with me, and graciously offered to come get me out of the ER.  The Delmo Sports team had taken good care of my bike, getting it into the ferry terminal and secured, and had contacted the vineyard where my car was parked to let them know I’d be delayed.  They also stayed in touch with Fran to make sure that she also knew where all my stuff was.  I can’t say enough good things about the Delmo Sports folks.

Jen & her friend Marcia picked me up and shuttled me back to my car and lead me back to the ferry terminal.  I quickly got my bike, stopped to thank the Delmo team again, and was back on the road and home by late afternoon.

This morning (Monday) I’m feeling pretty good.  No vertigo and no nausea.  I’m not really sure what happened on race day.  I didn’t do anything really different on race morning, I had plenty of fluids before the race, perhaps it was too much plain water that threw off my electrolytes.  The race wasn’t really hot, nor did I feel overheated on the bike.  I drank a bit on the bike, but since it was only 30 minutes I didn’t drink more than 1/2 a bottle.  But I’m used to going for over an hour on the run w/out fluids.  Really odd and I’m going to try and sort this out over the next few weeks.

This coming week will be back to full-keto diet.  The week will culminate in the Revolutionary Ramble 100 miler.  I’m riding in support of my friend Rob, who is training for IMLP in a few weeks, so this will be a big test day for him.  I’m taking my road bike, since I DON’T need to climb hills in the tri-bike quite yet.  But I’m also not trained up for a fast 100.  I should be able to make it through the distance, but it will be slow.




Training & Keto update


So this past week was a good one.  I had a couple of diet and training break throughs and a lot of fun.

On the diet front I kept to my keto diet exclusively through Wed, when I had a bit of a meltdown.  All through the day I just felt more & more sluggish, and my mood turned really sour.  I bagged my run on Wed since I was feeling so bad.  After reviewing my intake over the prior few days, I quickly figured out that I was really low in my carb intake since the weekend, even below what I had planned in my diet.  Taking a UCan w/protein really helped and I was still in keto and feeling MUCH better the next day.

I now know that 25g of carbs aren’t going to cut it when I’m looking at 10+ hours of training a week.  Now the challenge is to figure out where the sweet spot is.  It seems logical that I’ll need to do some sort of carb cycling.  What remains to be see is if it will fit into a standard week (5 days on, 2 days off) or some other construct.  Also the total daily carb intake will likely need to move up, in small increments as the weekday workouts increase in length, particularly the evening workouts.

As for the training breakthroughs, they happened over the long weekend.  We planned to be at the shore all weekend, so I decided to head down Thurs night.  Since the weather was crap on Thursday, I did my ride on the trainer, opting for a 45 min Sufferfest ride.  Since I was anxious to get on the road, I skipped the 15 OTB run, packed up the car and drove down the shore.

Friday AM I met up with Team Zebras in Lavallette and had a great OWS in a nice little protected cove.  Times were below average, but this was more about getting comfortable in the new Roka wetsuit.

Friday afternoon I went out for a run.  It was pretty warm, with wind out of the west, but I just went easy and kept to Z1.  Felt a bit stiff and sore during the run but I think that was mostly due to lack of sleep.

Saturday was the Nave-Sink-or-Swim Open Water event.  I always look forward to this race as it is like ‘opening day’ for the triathlon season.  Everyone comes out to race the 1.2 or 2.4 mile swims and meet and catch up, chat about the upcoming race season and just have a good time.  Since I hadn’t done a LOT of swimming and almost all of it has been at/around MAF I had no idea what I was going to be able to do.  Plus this would only be my 3rd swim in the new wetsuit.  My plan was to go out at a moderate pace at the start, then push on the second loop.  The swim was counter-clockwise, meaning that the return leg of each loop would be against the current, but close to shore.  Since the 2.4 racers were the last wave, we got the brunt of the current, and the 2nd loop was MUCH harder than the 1st.  As it turns out, I finished with a respectable 1:06, 32/34 split, good enough for 44th OA and 3rd AG.  That was a pleasant surprise.

After the swim, we had a nice group come back to the house for more training.  Since I only did 20 miles on the bike the day before, I figured I’d split my run with 45 min, then 20 miles on the bike, then another 20-30 min run.  The first 45 min run felt pretty good.  I kept in Z1, and just plugged along.  I jogged out the last 5 min, then got on the bike for the IBSP out and back.  I did take a bottle of UCan with me, just to experiment with it, and planned on drinking it during the hour long ride.  With the wind off the water, I was able to just get aero and cruise along.  However as I rode, I started feeling better and stronger.  I kept waiting for the HR to get way above Z1 but it didn’t happen.  The out and back inside the park was averaging over 17mph, almost 2mph better than Saturday.  On the 2nd run, I ran at about 12min/mi for the first bit, then at the turn back to the house, decided to just push and see what happened and ended up clocking a 10:30 mile.  HR was well into Z4, but I never felt like I was losing form, or really struggling at all.  Looking back on it, Sunday was the best training day I’ve had since OHS, and probably a good bit before OHS.

I really ignored diet most of the weekend.  Keto on Friday was 1.4, but on Saturday was down to 0.7 and 0.3 on Sunday.  I didn’t bother measuring on Monday since I knew it would be way down.  I’ll pick it back up this week and see how quickly I can get back above 1.0.

Lessons learned:

  • Consistency is key.  If I keep plugging away, I will see results
  • MAF/Z1 work is real, and the speed WILL be there when needed
  • Carbs aren’t the enemy.  The are just another tool in the bag
  • My Roka wetsuit completely and totally rocks

Recovery week+Ketosis

On the plan, this was a recovery week, but the tale of the tape says otherwise.  I felt pretty good after the marathon.  A bit stiff and sore on Monday, so I just did a slow walk with Tula.  Tuesday I felt much better, and did a faster walk with her, then a quick 1:15 bike ride that felt AWESOME.  Since I was using different muscle groups my legs actually felt fresh.  Both Mon & Tues I worked from home and used the standing desk a lot, which helped reduce the pressure on my pos chain, and ease recovery.

Wednesday I swam at Berkely Masters, but cut the workout a bit short, 2400m.  For the month of May, I’m trying to stay in ketosis, as nutrition experiment.  Wednesday’s dinner was a bit much right before swimming, and I was getting a good bit nauseous.  Plus I still felt a bit of fatigue from the marathon, and wanted to save something in the tank for the ride I was leading on Thurs.  That ride went pretty well, but I could definitely feel the fatigue.  Nowhere near as smooth and strong as I felt on Tuesday.

Heading into the weekend I took Friday off, slept in a bit, and relaxed.  Saturday was the Farmlands ride.  It was windy and chilly, but a fun ride with friends.  My plan was to keep in in MAF as much as possible.  As it turned out it was also a day of flat tire issues for a couple of my riding partners, one of which had to get sagged back to the start.  I waited with her for the support car to pick her up, and that hour-plus of downtime made the ride more like two 30+ milers, than one metric century.  On the second “half” of the ride I kept in MAF through the first 7-8 miles, but as it was getting late, and one of my friends was waiting at the car for me, I hustled it in.

During the ride I got really, really low of fuel.  At one point, feeling a bit hypoglycemic.  So I bailed on the keto fueling I was using up till then, and stuffed in a PB&J, some sort of “organic” bar thing, and headed back out.  I felt really good and strong the rest of the way, and could feel the fuel working but I worried I’d be back to square one ketone wise.

I had a ketone-diet type dinner (roast chicken, salad) and was surprised when my ketones measured the same on Sunday AM as they did on Saturday AM.  I’m barely in ketosis, so we’ll see how much further I progress this coming week.

Speaking of which, I’m in suburban D.C. this week attending training for work.  As it turns out the training center is 2.5 miles from the hotel, and a decent walk each way.  I’m planning on doing a good bit of running & walking while I’m here, since I can’t bike or swim.  I just wish I had my foam roller with me.  I’ll have to improvise something…

NJ Marathon

Slowest. Marathon. Ever.

During the week, I was worried that the weather would be really hot and humid, but we got the warm temps on SATURDAY and race day was overcast, with temps dropping through the day and a wind off the water.  Perfect marathon weather!.

My plan was to go out and try to hold a MAF HR as long as I could.  In the corrals (I was in the last corral) I set up with the 2:45 half-marathon pace group, (12:35), and I figured that would keep me in MAF (or close) for quite awhile..  Unfortunately they were tracking around 12:05 pace for the first couple of miles.  So I just backed off to run my race.

I was pretty quickly out of MAF HR, but holding steady in the low-mid 130s and felt really good. I just kept plodding away at a steady pace, and waited for the wheels to blow off.  While there was no spectacular melt-down, the fatigue in my legs built up until they were pretty beat up around 18 miles.  I did a bit of walking to try and stretch, then went into a 5/1 walk run pace.  The fatigue was simply a lack of run durability.  Not enough long runs on asphalt.  However, the strength training to date really paid off allowing me to rally and finish pretty well for a slow, but acceptable time.  My Garmin had me in at 5:42, and clock time of 5:48 included a couple of potty stops, where I had to wait for a bit.

Lessons learned:

  • More time on asphalt.  Going to make 1/2 my long runs on hard surfaces
  • More time at stand-up desk.  Simply being vertical will help
  • More consistency with long runs

It’s full-on IM training now.  It’s going to be good to get out on the bike again for consistent riding.  And more consistent swimming, instead of just recovery pace efforts once a week.

Next up:

  • Farmlands (metric century) – 6 May
  • Brooklyn 1/2 Marathon – 20 May
  • Nav-e-sink-or-Swim – 28 May

Getting to the hard work…

The first 8 weeks of my NJ Marathon training ended today with a 10 mile run.  It helped that temps were in the mid-60’s and I got the run done in shorts & t-shirt.  #FTW!

By the end of the week I was feeling a bit beat up, mostly from strength training (hamstrings REALLY sore) and that lead to an extra rest day on Friday and a shortened ride on Saturday.

But this week I’ll be back to full load with the Al Gordon 4 miler on Saturday and Sourlands Semi Classic on Sunday.  Depending on how I feel I may add in a swim on Wednesday and an extra loop of the 4 mile course on Saturday.

Also starting on Monday and for the next three Monday’s I’m taking StrongFirst Kettlebell training with a local instructor.  The plan is to add swings and TGUs to my BFL strength routines on Tues & Thurs.  As I move out of marathon training and into the build phase of IM training, I’ll may need to cut back on the strength training due to time challenges.  However, I think I can add in 30-40 min of kettlebells and at least keep most of what I’ve gained over the last year.

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