Friday, May 25, 2012

A tribute...

Hello all,

Amazingly enough, I am posting again.  Pretty shocking to be posting so soon, but with training in full swing and my body reacting well to it, I have a bit more to talk about.

First off, I need to say goodbye to a friend.  A couple weeks ago I was notified that a friend from college, Ara Standiford, had passed away.  It is pretty funny how life works sometimes.  I remember exactly how and when Ara and I met.  For those of you that went to EC, yes it was at Pio and yes, alcohol was involved.  Needless to say, he made an impact as he usually does.  Hands down one of the funniest people I know, and certainly the biggest wise-ass.

Thinking of the friends I made in college, if you had asked me at the time who I would would still be in touch with or close friends with 10 years later, Ara would not have been on that list.  We always got along great, but we were never what I would call close friends, especially compared to some of the friends I met in college.  It is interesting how life works out, as Ara and I did stay in touch and talked fairly frequently as he was going through his chemo treatments.  Yet I am not in touch with three people I thought I'd be in touch with forever.  Life's interesting little twists.

In any case, he actually read my blog which by itself is pretty funny.  But far funnier than that was the day he IM'd me on facebook to tell me he had read my blog and that he thought I was tough as nails for fighting through the crohns and injuries and other crap that I do and how I'd push through and make it happen.  I know he was being very complimentary and serious, but knowing that he was going through chemo at the time, the suggestion that I was "tough as nails" was pretty damn funny.  I told him the drugs must be impacting his cognative ability.

Being only 36, its pretty sobering when a friend dies.  I'm certainly well aware of my own mortality, but I don't always think about the mortality of those around me.  Ara, I expect a stool and a beer to be waiting for me.  And I know I am not alone in that sentiment.  You are missed.

Onto training and racing which is the purpose of this blog.

Kansas 70.3 is about two weeks out now, so its just about time to start tapering.  Overall I am feeling far more confident than I thought I would.  I think a lot of the stress from my previous job is now gone and that has greatly helped my training.  I also think I've been a littls smarter about my diet and sleep, those have also helped.

Kansas will be my first race since JHawk early bird last May.  It has been a long time and I am a bit nervous.  Having only done a sprint in the last 1.75 years leaves me a touch concerned about getting back on the horse and making sure I get the details right.

My last full HIM was Racine in 2010 where I did a 4:53.xx.  Depending on conditions in Kansas I think I am fully capable of hitting a 4:3x.xx.  It is a tough course, hilly on the bike and on the run.  But overall I am prepared for that.  Obviously if it is burning hot or windy I'll have to adjust accordingly.

Sunday is my final race-pace simulation.  I'll be mildly rested for it and going out to do a 2hr ride at 260w and a 45 minute run at a 7:00 - 7:15 pace.

If you had asked me 6-8 weeks ago if I could hold that kind of run pace for a half marathon, I'd have told you no effing way.  But last week I clipped of 12 miles in training with intervals and hills and my average pace was 7:45.  That is by far my fastest "long" training run ever.  Since that was on fatigued legs, I'm thinking I have a pretty good chance at a sub 1:40 half marathon if I play my cards right.  If things really go my way, its possible I PR the half marathon as my best stand alone half was 1:36 two years back.

My weight is really good.  I've been hovering around 195.  My swimming is solid and I am looking for a 25:xx swim.  I really need to make sure I focus during the swim and not get too relaxed.  I did that in Racine two years ago and I think I swam close to 30min...yuck!!

Its tough to say how fast I'll bike as conditions dictate so much.  Ideally I'll be in the 2:20-2:25 range.  I've never been on the course, so we'll see how challenging it really is.  I've heard the first 20-25 miles are flat, and the last 20 miles has a lot of rolling hills.  I'll have to be careful pacing up the hills as hammering can really suck the energy out of your legs.

Overall my hamstring is doing good.  No real issues to speak of.  I am having some trouble with my toe again...I think I need to have my orthotics adjusted or just not wear work shoes as much.

Other than that, I am looking forward to tapering as I've been a bit tired lately.  I really need to get to be earlier the next couple weeks so I can go into the race ready to go.

As far as qualifying for Vegas...a month ago I would have said it was a long-shot without a rolldown.  Now I am not so sure.  If I really race well...and I do mean REALLY well, I might sneak under 4:30.  I suspect that would be enough to get a non rolldown which case I would promptly go to the medical tent and then get drunk.  In that order.

Until next time.

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