Sunday, April 27, 2008

Legs at the Hinckley Duathlon

This is a profile graph of the Hinckley Buzzard Duathlon race.

The course is a 3 mile loop around Hinckley lake.
As you can see from the graph it is HILLY.

My plan for the race was to run the first 3 miles easy in around 18 minutes, bike the 5 laps averaging 20 miles and then to finish the last 3 miles faster than the first loop.

For the warm up I biked the 3 mile loop at an easy pace. I used my Garmin to get the elevation chart. After the ride I did some light stretching and then ran an easy 1.5 miles.

The race began with a 3 mile run. I felt strong while trying to keep my pace under control.

The bike portion was the same loop but we had to ride it 5 times. I was able to maintain a steady pace but I felt my legs didn't have the strength to push through the hills.

I was in awe as I watched some of the stronger cyclist whoosh by me. Some of the things I noticed was, the aero position they were in, what gear they were in, and the powerful looking cycling legs they had.

What I enjoyed the most during the final run portion, was passing the same guys that I envied. It was my running legs that smoked a few of those sexy cycling legs, that made me think if it is possible, one day I will have both running and cycling legs.

Male results of the Duathlon Race

Monday, April 14, 2008

Comfort, Power and Speed.

I have to say my swim, bike, and run training during this off season is proving to be a success.

One of the most challenging swim drills for me is the freestyle kick without a board. It is done with arms held out front in a streamlined position with fingers overlap and one thumb lightly gripping the opposite hand. You lift your chin above the water to breath without turning your head. When I first did this I was not comfortable holding my hands together because of the sinking feeling and lack of air to breathe. By the end of winter swimming, the fear has gone away and I can hold my hands in a streamline position and kick in a 50 meter pool. It's hard to do 4 sets of 50 meter repeats but I'm enjoying the benefits.

During the winter months I did a "club challenge" on improving power on the bike. I did a 2 x 20 minute functional threshold test about 2 months ago and received all kinds of data to indicate my strength on the bike. For the last 2 months I did many workouts on the bike trainer to help increase my aerobic capacity. After 2 months of hard work I took the same test and my coach was very impressed with the results. I had a 33% increase in average output power on the bike. I surprised myself.

I am in my 8th week training for the Cleveland 10K Run and I have noticed my track and long run times are coming down. The short fast track intervals are the hardest to keep pace but I did manage to pull off 10 x 400 averaging 1:15 and 6 x 800 averaging 2:45 recently.

I guess if you put the comfort gained in the water, power gained on the bike, and speed gained on the run I should have enough confidence to race well this coming summer.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Queen City Chess Tournament

Nate riding the Queen.

The chess tournament was a blast. It was a big chess party fest. I should have taken pictures of the lobby area where there were chess paraphernalia and food strewn all over the place.

This was a chess tournament for school age kids who were from all over Ohio and Kentucky. My son played 5 games in the 4th grade section and finished with a score of 3 wins and 2 losses. He was a half point away from winning a trophy.

After each game my wife and I would watch Nate as he walked down the hall and we would try to read his expressions and guess whether he won or lost a game. With some kids it was obvious whether they won or lost but with Nate he had a cool calm look about him and we couldn't tell if he won or lost until he came up to us and say, "I won", or "I lost". He'd then go horse around with other kids playing the big floor chess set or at a table with the Indian kids. He commented that, those little Indian kids are fast and good. I was impressed with his attitude of good sportsmanship and having fun.

PapaLouie versus International Master Irina Krush!

While the kids played, the parents were entertained by Master chess players commenting on the top rated games being projected on monitors in the lobby area. Some masters would play 5 minute games with kids or parents. Here I took the challenge to play International Master Irina Krush. I knew I wouldn't even come close to possible pulling off a win but I asked her if she would comment on the game so that I could learn something. After my 5 minute melee she went through the whole game move by move to point out the various alternative moves that I could have done. I was impress she remembered every move and was able to offer suggestions. She did this for anyone who wanted to play a game with her. No wonder she is America's top rated female chess master.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Soccer champs & Chess weekend.

The indoor soccer team that I coach won the minor division championship. We had to win our last game, which was last night, in order to make first place overall. We faced a tough team and after the first half the score was 3-3. During half time I reminded the kids to stay cool, calm and to focus on controlling the ball as much as possible. They played very strong and was able to pull the victory with a 5-3 score. All the parents and kids were cheering and applauding our first place finish. It was an exciting evening.

This weekend we drive down to Cincinnati for my son to play in a scholastic chess tournament, where there should be well over 1,000 kids playing. It should be an exciting time watching all the kids and meeting some of the world grand masters at the event. My son will play 5 games in the 4th grade category. He has to win 3.5 games in order to get a trophy. He feels confident he can pull it off. I'll be biting my nails the whole time.

When I come back on Sunday I'll run 8 miles at a 6:40 pace and do some yoga to round off a fun filled weekend.