Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Countdown to the Disneyland Half Marathon

With just over 4 days to go, the countdown has begun for the Disneyland Half Marathon. I have started to taper my runs, both frequency and distance. We will head down to the health expo on Saturday morning and then get checked in to the hotel and rest up for the 3:30am wake up call.

I ran last year's race in 2:41:31, I had originally set a goal of 2:30:00 but due to starting in the last corral and having to maneuver through all of the walkers, it took me a while to actually start running. I also "hit the wall" around mile 11 and ended up walking that mile all together. I was also under prepared for the race distance, as my longest run was 4 miles. All that has changed for this year.

I have been training since March, I have logged 379 miles since then. I have run 4-5 days a week since March including several long runs over 10 miles. I believe that I am prepared for this year's race. I have set a goal of 2:15:00, which I believe is achievable. I will most likely be put in an earlier corral, but since my wife is walking the half marathon, I will start with her in her corral. When I was down in Anaheim earlier this year, I did a few runs through the Disneyland resort and down the narrow street the race starts on and was able to map out an "escape route" to get around all of the walkers.

I will be posting via twitter from Disneyland and may get a couple of pics before/during/after the race. Follow me on twitter. I will have a full race report on Monday or Tuesday.

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Benefits to Running with a Group

As you may know, I joined a running group from A Runner's Circle running store about 8 weeks ago. We meet on Thursday nights and run through Griffith Park, here in Los Angeles. The main reason I joined the group was to break up the monotony of training solo...by myself. I figured once a week running with other people would be good for me. Week 1, I went out with 2 people and we ended up doing 7 miles, my longest run at that time. Over the course of the next few weeks, I was running the 5 mile loop and increasing my pace each week. Fast forward to last night...I ran the 5 mile loop in 42:02 (8:30 per mile) without any walk breaks and I didn't feel tired at all. I was able to stay on the heels of one of the faster runners. It was fun coming back to the shop with the lead pack instead of the middle or last pack.

I think running with other people helps keep me motivated and pushes me to the next level. It is a great addition to my normal training.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Completed My First Triathlon

Today was the day...the day I did my first triathlon. I chose the Castaic Lake Sprint Triathlon (400 yd swim, 10 mile bike and 5K run) as my first because it was close to home and had a pretty easy course, as I was told.
We got to the lake about 7am and there were a lot of people already mulling around an jockeying for transition space. Grabbed a spot on the bike racks and headed down to register.
Got my race number and "inked" on my shoulder and calf and went and set up my transition area.

I met up with my friend from the running store, Bill and we went to the pre-race meeting. After the meeting we all headed down to the start and got into the water. The women started first with the men 5 minutes behind them. As the gun went off I waited a few seconds before proceeding in the water to let the crowd disperse so I wouldnt get kick or bumped. After about 100 yards, I felt that I was unable to get a rhythm going with the freestyle stroke so I flipped onto my back and did the back stroke for most of the rest of the swim. I could see that there were alot of people struggling with the swim as many were resting on the lifeguard's surfboards. I got out of the water and headed up to the transition area. Swim split: 8:22 (seemed like an eternity though)

T1 went well as I got my socks and cycling shoes on, grabbed a Gu gel and headed out. Spent the first mile catching my breath and focusing on what was ahead. Everything was going well until we hit the hill...we were told it was 1/2 mile hill climb that according to my garmin was more like 1 mile. The rest of the ride, I was able to make up some time until my chain came off the front chain ring. I stopped and 30 seconds later I was back on the road only to be passed by an ambulance with lights flashing and all. Rolled into the transition area feeling good. Bike time: 36:04

I changed into my running shoes, put on my ball cap and number, grabbed another Gu and bottle of water and headed out. I felt a little sluggish at first but then found my pace and kept going. I hit the turn around a felt good, but a bit tired. I walked for about 150 feet and drank some water. That helped me keep going and about 1 mile later...I could see the finish line. I crossed the finish line with a time of 1:18:24 (updated 8/10/08 official time) which was over 10 minutes better than my goal.
What a great feeling to cross the finish line feeling that you accomplished something that less than 3% of the population ever do.

I am thinking of doing another sprint next weekend but the swim really kicked my arse!

Link to all pictures: http://picasaweb.google.com/bfrein/CastaicTriathlon

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

My New Bike Finally Arrived...

After patiently waiting 10 days for my new-used Canondale Road bike to arrive from Dallas via US Mail, I got the call...the bike was sitting on my front porch. I spent Friday night assembling the bike and took it for a quick road test. I spent Saturday gathering the cleats for my shoes, spare tubes, tool kit and a CO2 inflater. Got everything loaded onto the bike and made the final adjustments.

Sunday morning I decided that I better do a brick workout (ride the bike an then immediately after, go for a run) since my first Sprint Triathlon is coming this Saturday. I took off for a 10 mile ride and everything went smoothly, even getting un-clipped at the stop lights. I ended up doing 10.69 miles on the bike and when I got home, I put the bike in the garage, put on my running shoes, grabbed a bottle of water and headed back out for a 5K run. When I looked at my garmin, I noticed that I was running at a much faster pace than I normally run, so I tried to slow down, but I couldnt. I ended up running the 5K in 27:18. It seems that riding the bike gets everything loose and warmed up. In the end, I felt good and confident about this weekends triathlon. Goal for this triathlon: To finish...under 1:30:00...I think it is possible.