We Survived Cannon Falls Duathlon!

>> Saturday, April 29, 2017

It was a pretty windy day down in Cannon Falls, but my gang all survived and did well at the Cannon Falls Duathlon:

My family pre-race: Annie, her hubby Matt, Steph, my wife Sarah, and me.

Sister-in-law Steph finishing up the run along the Cannon River.
Beautiful day! (To run, not bike...)

Back with a full race report soon.


Friday Funny 1265: Sarcastic Office Notes

>> Friday, April 28, 2017

Lots more funny stuff posted 10x every day on steveinaspeedo.tumblr.com. Happy weekend!



Friday Funny 1264: ALMOST Fixed

Here are some Redneck "ALMOST" fixes (from Ebaums World):

Lots more funny things posted all day long on steveinaspeedo.tumblr.com.


Friday Funny 1263: Funny "March For Science" Protest Signs

Here are some funny "March for Science" signs from last weekend (from a picdump site, buzzfeed, and good.is). Some of these make funny points:

This is my Ironman buddy's sign! Nice work Wedgie!

To get personal for a second: I'm Catholic and attend mass every Sunday, and I'm 100%
behind this. My beliefs regarding my God don't need to dictate laws that govern other people.

Ok, low blow. (Literally.) But a point about science and medicine.

Ha! (More United Airlines funnies HERE.)

Yessss! And this was here in MN! Go Granny!

(Jurassic Park reference in case you can't see the pictures too well.)

More funny things posted all day long on steveinaspeedo.tumblr.com.


Thoughts/Predictions/Goals for the Upcoming Cannon Falls Duathlon

>> Wednesday, April 26, 2017

My family and I have done this race a lot in the past (2 mile run, 14 mile bike, 3 mile run), but it’s been 4 years since we’ve been back. We raced it with a big group of family members in 2009 which was a pretty nice year, except my brakes were rubbing for part of the bike. Then in 2010, it was pretty windy (24.3 mph average at the turn-around, 19.4 average once back at T2). In 2011, it was damp and rainy (my pregnant wife was there to cheer me on!). And finally, in 2013 we had a nearly perfect morning to race, and I set a big PR because of that.

Windy (but pretty) race in 2010.

Here’s a list of 8 possible goals with the most important/practical being at the top, and the more far-fetched goals at the bottom. Let’s see how many of these I can check off this weekend:

1. Finish without getting injured. Always the first goal.

2. PR on the bike. This is partly dependent on the day, but it’s also practically a given. I’ve logged sooooo many more miles this year prior to this race than I did in past years. Unless conditions are just horse crap, I should be able to set a personal best on the bike. My Gamin said 21.2 mph in 2013, and the official results said 21.5 mph. If the wind isn't too crazy, I'd love to be a full MPH or 2 faster. (That'd be 1:45 - 3:30 faster, which is substantial.)

3. Set a race PR. In the 4 years I’ve done this race, I’ve only gotten faster: 1:18:03, 1:13:14, 1:12:56, and 1:08:56. Let’s try to keep up that tradition.

4. Place in my age group. I’ve only placed in my age group 1 out of 4 times that I’ve done this race: I’ve been 5th, 2nd, 4th, and 6th in my age group. With so much bike time recently, I really hope to place here. (But it’s been a few years since I’ve raced here, and I don’t know if their level of athletes registering for this race has changed.)

5. Crack into the top-10 overall. Again, this is more dependent on who shows up to race. Even though my race times have gotten faster (see #3 above), my overall place has hardly moved. I’ve placed 12th, 12th, 12th, and 11th overall the 4 years I’ve raced Cannon Falls.

6. Don’t set any “personal worsts” on the runs. My run splits have been a bit all over the place at this race in past years as my bike split has only gotten faster. In the first 2 mile run, I was pretty consistent the first 3 years at this race, and then I was a lot faster the last time raced in 2013: 11:32, 11:35, 11:27, and 11:04. My final 3 mile run split has been a bit more all over the place: 18:14, 17:39, 18:19, and 17:26. I’m not in the BEST running shape right now having done VERY little speedwork (and no bricks or two-a-days), so I expect that final run to be a tough one. Let’s see if I can keep my runs faster than current PWs of 11:35 and 18:19.

7. Hit 5:45 pace for the first run, and sub-6:00 for the second. That would make my last goal possible.

8. Set PRs on the run. Now I’m just dreaming. Yeah, that’s not going to happen. But here’s something to shoot for if all else is going well!

Soggy buns post-race in 2011.

(The 5 "x-factors" that could throw a wrench in some of my goals are: (1) not sure how the level of competition has changed over the last 4 years [it was getting more intense as we were doing this race years ago noted by my faster finishing times yet constant overall place], (2) such a nice late winter/early spring that lots of people might be in good shape, (3) too much wind on the bike, (4) not having done any brick workouts or even 2-a-days, and (5) not having done much running speed work. We'll see how any of these affect my goals.)

Alright, time to go race! I’ll probably be back with a quick pic on Saturday afternoon, and then a hopefully a full race report on Monday. Here goes nothing!


A Few Good Swims

>> Monday, April 24, 2017

First, I tried something new. Someone named Audrey (who noted she was a year-round swimmer since age 8) commented on a post from last month where I talked about mixing up swim training. She made a good point. I thought I was mixing up my workouts by doing 100s, 200s, 500s, or ladders, but she said:

You need to do speedwork and endurance work (and tempo sets) if you want to improve. It looks to me like your ladders and 100/200 repeats are a lot of the latter and less of the former two. So for greater muscle confusion and progress, I would work on mixing in some speed with your endurance.

I've still been a LITTLE afraid to swim too fast/hard with my shoulder still not 100%. There's a workout that's all 50s (done in sets of 5 with different goals for each of the 5) that I used to really like, but I haven't felt "safe" to do that yet. She recommended this workout:

Do this set 3 times through:
4 x 50 descend, pick an interval with 10-15 seconds rest (I do 1:00)
5 x 100 free on 1:30-1:40 (an interval with 0-10 seconds rest)
2 x 75 back on 1:30
4 x 25 free sprint on :40

That would be a bit too far for me, so I did it twice (not 3 times). I did a 200 warm-up, then the 4x50 descend, then the 5x100s, but I skipped the 2x75 back because I can only do freestyle, and then I ended with the 4x25 sprint. Then I repeated it, and ended with a 200 cool down for a total of 2000. I'll do that again shortly.

Here are 3 more solid swims worth noting in the last few weeks:

- On the 11th, I did 7x200 with 20 sec rest. I wasn't trying (and didn't realize it at the time), but I had nearly a perfect descend with one of my fastest averages in a long time:

2:58, 2:55, 2:56, 2:55, 2:55, 2:54, and 2:50, for an average of 2:55.22/200 yards.

- On the 18th, I did a quick 3x500 swim at work between classes. Again, one of my fastest averages in a long time:

7:31, 7:24, and 7:22, for an average of 7:26.4/500 yards (or 1:29.3/100).

- On the 22nd, I did one of my faster ladder swims, although it felt horrible. (100, 200, 3, 4, 3, 2, 1, all with 20 sec rest.) As I was swimming it, I thought it was going to be a slower swim (my longer sets felt BRUTAL), but overall times came back faster than I thought:

1:27, 1:30 = 2:58.04
1:28, 1:29, 1:28 = 4:26.98
1:28, 1:31, 1:29, 1:26 = 5:57.02
1:27, 1:30, 1:28 = 4:26.80
1:26, 1:27 = 2:54.15

My swimming time was 23:32, which was the exact same as my PR version of this swim from 3 weeks before. (When I started swimming this workout once a month, I was between 24:00 - 24:15. Then I constantly got it sub-24. Now I've been at 23:32 twice. Nice.)

Back with a few final thoughts regarding the Cannon Falls Du this upcoming weekend shortly! I'm stupid excited to be racing again! (Although this swim progress won't help me at a du...)


Riding Strong: Another Bike PR!

>> Saturday, April 22, 2017

About 2 weeks ago, I shared this post that noted I had just had a PR on my "go to" bike loop. Two weeks ago, I did this loop along the Mississippi River, up Ramsey Hill, and along Summit Ave with a 21.0 mph average. My previous PR was from 2 years earlier, and it was 20.6 mph.

Well 2 days ago, I went out to do that loop again between classes. It was 39 degrees, everything was wet, and it drizzled a bit during part of the ride, so I wasn't expecting it to be fast. But I got up Ramsey Hill with a 21.4 mph average. I kept it as strong as I could into the wind down Summit Ave for the last 4 miles, and ended with a new PR: a 21.3 mph average! The ride was 0.03 miles farther than 2 weeks earlier, and 29 seconds faster.

A messy bike after a cool, damp PR.

All this bike riding mixed with my fastest running interval workout ever along with a stretch of having a swim, bike, or run workout 67 out of the last 70 days and I'm feeling ready to race next weekend!! Cannon Falls Duathlon, here we come!


Friday Funny 1262: Creative Captions for Old-Timey Books

>> Friday, April 21, 2017

Here are 13 funny captions for "old-timey books" from SnideOctopus on Imgur:

Lots more funny stuff posted all day long on steveinaspeedo.tumblr.com. HAPPY WEEKEND!



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