Sunday, July 29, 2007

The Sweet Corn Chellenge

Today's bike ride I did with about 2,000 other riders where we participated in the Sweet Corn Challenge in Richfield, Ohio. The bike route meandered in and out of the beautiful Cuyahoga Valley.

I signed up for the 50 mile route. The highlight of the ride was the 3 optional challenging hills. I decided before the ride that I would do all three. The first 2 were early in the ride and only a few people riding near me took the challenge. The last challenge was near the 40 mile point and I noticed no one came with me to take the hill. After climbing up the hill I realized why. It was the toughest and made the ride to extend an additional 6.5 miles. All I could say while climbing up the hill was, "this is for the half ironman race on August 19th". I enjoy those little extra efforts put forth in training to help boost my confidence needed for race day.

I used my GPS to record my ride.
My max downhill speed was 42 mph.
Total Ascent 4,757 and Total Descent 4,815.
Total ride time 3:24:34 for 56.5 miles

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Huntington Sprint Triathlon

This short and fast race was not my A race but I did manage to push myself enough to win my age group division and place 15th overall.

At the start of the swim I spotted my age group competitor and tried to stick with him for the swim but that only lasted about 20 yards. It was kind of hard to concentrate on my swim while trying to follow another swimmer. I decided to just do my swim and to give it my best effort. When I finally could touch the bottom of the lake with my hand, I stood up and began to run out of the lake and found that, "my friend" was right in front of me about 10 yards. I followed him into transition and together we were out on our bikes but he took advantage of the early down hill and put a good lead on me. I was able to keep him in view for about 3 to 4 miles but he kept putting distance on me. He made it back a little over 1 minute into transition. But then came the run...

I don't think he knew I was stalking him the whole race but I wasn't about to let him get away from me on the run. I was a man on a mission. I think I caught up to him about a mile into the run. I told him he was doing great and I ran past him. He didn't put up a fight.

At the finish area I made it a point to introduce myself to "my friend" and to congratulate him on a well run race. Nice to meet you, John. I'm sure we'll have more fun out there on another race course.

Follow this link to see the exciting finish between my 15th place and my friends' close 16th place race results.

For the cool down I ran the 3 mile course at an easy pace. I had fun chatting and encouraging the other runners to finish strong.

I have 2 weeks left of speed and focused quality workouts, and then it's 2 weeks of tapering for my first half ironman race. That'll be my A race.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Fun in the sun.

We had a wonderful time with the family during our stay at the Deer Creek State Park resort. There was on average 30 of us together every day for the week. And to quote my youngest son, "I loved every minute with our family at Deer Creek".

Not only was it a perfect week of fun in the sun but the training for my half ironman was the perfect getaway place to train.

Grandma enjoying her 5 generation heritage.

My in-laws with the grand kids, including my 4 kids.

Biking on the country roads.

Swimming in Deer Creek Lake.

Saddled up to ride off into the sunset.

I now am in my final 6 weeks of training for the half ironman triathlon which is 4 weeks of speed/quality phase and then 2 weeks of taper. The schedule is not a very heavy load but it sure feels like it at the home front. My wife expresses with emotion that she is not happy with all "my time" of training and that it is all about ME. Boy, do I have to be careful when choosing the right time to take off for a 2 to 3 hour workout. I am including the family to bike along while I run my long runs, and we all have a great time.
The next 4 weeks look like I'll be swimming about 1000 meters and running 12 miles on Saturdays. On Sundays I need to bike 50 miles then go for a 20 to 30 minute run. If I can survive these next 4 weeks I'll be ready for that half ironman.