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Sunday, January 22, 2012

2012 Schedule

This winter I had more trouble then ever to pick out a race schedule for 2012. Every year I like to find a couple new races to race, as well as, race one or two races that I raced in the past year. With the focus being on IMWI my choices were limited and I had to strategically pick and choose my races. Add in my already busy summer and many events that I wanted to race again this year (TriStar 111, LIfetime Minnesota, Pigman) I simply could not.

4/28 Crazylegs
Annual tradition here in Wisconsin, great course, huge crowds, lots of run, and of course it covers the most challenging part of the IMWI run course (OBservatory Hill) backwards. Run it every year and is always a chance to see where my running is compared to the year before.

5/6 La Crosse Fitness Festival Half-Marathon
First big race of the year for me and will be the end result of an off-season devoted to running. Hoping to not only PR but set me up good for the season. I would love to break into the mid 1:30's here.

6/3 Lake Mills Sprint
Fun local race that opens the season and always seems to attract some good competition. Short enough to still get in a training day with lots of partners after the race.

6/10 La Crosse "Got Energy" Olympic
"Hometown race" as in where I am living right now. Site of my first olympic last year and put in a solid performance with my first AG podium. Looking to compete thsi year for the overall podium, which, should be contested with everyone in my swim squad, good, friendly, fun, competition.

6/16 High Cliff Half-Ironman
Raced here two years ago in my build to IMWI. Fun race, with a trail run that helps in the recovery. Good chance to see where my fitness stands early in the summer and what I need to work on.

7/22 Door County Half-Ironman (TBA)
This race is becoming THE race in Wisconsin at the half-distance and is overtaking Racine 70.3 Having done Racine the past couple of years it is time for a focus away from their and try a new challenge.

8/13 Rev 3 Dells (Half or Olympic)
Still deciding on distance, if I don't race Door County I will race the half-distance. Word on the sreet is that the course is challenging and should bring in some good competition from the midwest before IMWI.

9/9 Ironman Wisconsin
Big focus of the year, hometown race, huge support, hoping for a breakthrough performance. Two years in the making since my last IM, watch out for my run split!

10/13 Haunted Hustle Half-Marathon
Running side-by-side to help mom finish her first half-marathon. Can't wait for this experience and enjoy watching my mom finish


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

7 weeks, 5 weddings, 1 Ironman

When I decided to take 2011 off from IM training I did so for a few reasons. First, I wanted to have a season to train and race without the pressure of an IM looming over my head. I also felt that I could gain valuable experience by spending more time training and learning about the sport then have my attention at IM prep. But mostly, I decided not to race to enjoy another summer with a lesser time commitment to triathlon as a whole. I promised that I would return in 2012 and devote my summer once again to IM training. This was the plan from the get-go and I never really wanted to take a second summer off. Then something happened... friends decided now is the time to get married along with my sister. Being close to all these friends of mine, and of course my sister as well I was now facing a big conundrum. Race day for IMWI is September 9th, 13 days before that I will be supporting Kate as she is the maid-of-honor in her friends wedding, and 6 days before that I will be standing up in my sisters wedding too. But that is not all of them yet!

July 28th Aaron/Katie's wedding (Madison)
August 4th Matts wedding/Patty's wedding too (Milwakee area)
August 12th Rev 3 Dells Half/Olympic
August 19th Sisters wedding (Madison)
August 26th Kate's maid-of-honor (Somewhere)
September 9th IMWI

I knew of two of these weddings before IMWI registration, but now my calendar is now quickly filling up. On the positive side here I do not think anyone else is in-line to get married this summer, but you never know with my friends. Still with that said the final 7 weeks going into IMWI have become extremely chaotic. Luckily all of these weddings are located here in Wisconsin so travel will be minimal (though I am skipping the Jamaica wedding). On the downside (not really) all of these weddings are slated to have one freakin' huge party after another. Drinking and training do not mix for me, the mornings after are always harsh for me, it might come down to the old college workout, and sweat out the alcohol the following morning. My only other worry is time and recovery, which being in my high volume training phase at that point is crucial. This is also another reason why I have sought out coaching for 2012. Usually with commitments known well ahead of time and I fail to plan my training accordingly, that should not be a problem this year and something that I will not need to stress over.

The thought of me missing any one of these weddings is out of the question. I know sometimes triathletes put their training ahead of other activities, but I only see my friends tie the knot once (fingers crossed) so I do not want to miss out. Ironman's can come and go and I am not going for a Kona slot this year, so I figure that I can afford to party it up through my biggest training block.

Good thing I do not wear compression socks!



Wednesday, January 4, 2012

100x100's - Happy New Year!

This set has been on my mind for awhile, and finally it became a reality! A little bit of planning ahead of time, and having a true army show up for the set got me real excited to bust out a 100x100's swim set.

If you are curious to what was done in the pool here is the set below:

10x100 warmup
10x100 pick it up
5x100 50 free/50 back
5x100 50 kick/50 swim
20x100 toys paddles/buoys/bands/snorkel
15x 100 anything goes
10x100 25 sprint/75 Cruz
10x100 kick w/fins
5x100 IM
5x100 negative split
5x100 cool down

My morning was supposed to start at 6am sharp, but I had alarm troubles and slept in until 8am...oops! Having a 2.5 hour drive ahead of me and the swim starting at 930am I knew I was going to be late. If you are a Seinfeld fan, my morning resembled this...

click here to see what my morning wake up was like

Anyway once I got to the pool everyone was already 3k in, so I joined in on the set at 3k, and decided I would swim the the first 3k of the set as my final 3k, but backwards, and use the warmup as my cooldown. For the ease of writing this here is my thought process through the almost 4-hour swim session.

1-15 Used pull buoy as warmup "Man I am gonna cruise through going at this pace!"
16-20 "Let's change up the toys, time for some fins!"
20-35 Anything goes set "Boy we are taking a lot of time for rest, why is everyone soo tired? Oh yeah I am 3k behind...crap!"
36-40 We decided to blend the next 2 sets together and swim 4 sets of 5x100 "Wow I am getting towards the middle of the set already"
41-45 "Kicking is so much easier with fins! ;)"
46-55 "IM's are next...good play Ben showing up late, your gonna swim those at only 5k, not 8k like everyone else...well done!"
56-60 IM set "Lifeguard's must be concerned about my safety in the water with my butterfly"
61-65 Negative split "Somehow I don't think these are going to be true negative splits"
66-70 "cool-down" "Yeah right now I wish I was cooling down with everyone else"
71-75 "Hmm everyone is done already and I still have 3k to go...guess I'm not so wise anymore showing up 3k into the set, could've been done by now"
76-80 Officially swimming solo "I must have 30 years on the guy next to me and he is hanging on my feet!"
81-85 "Why did I think this would be a good idea?"
86-90 Pete and Lindsey stayed while I finished my set, good thing their encouragement from afar was much needed!
91-99 "Duuuuude, just 1k to go, how many times have you swam this as a warmup!?"
100 "Boo yah, screw a cool down, lets see what I have left in the tank...1:29 on the final 100"

Felt great to get out off the water after 4 hours, probably the longest I have spent in chlorine since I was a kid at the wavepool in Noah's Ark. Already planning the next crazy swim, 1-hour postal swim later this month. However, I still hope that a tradition was born on Monday and this becomes at least a yearly swim to start the new year!

Happy 2012!