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SC HIM Training – By the Numbers

This is quite possibly the last time I’ll write prior to racing in the South Carolina Half Ironman. It’s an exciting time for me. This time last year I was only swimming 400 yard repeats and getting geeked up for a sprint – the Emerald Point Triathlon that I recapped here. Many people are hitting my race recap now preparing for the 2nd running of that event this October, so I re-read it just to see what kind of bad advice I was giving people :). I’ve often wondered why I post this blog and share my pictures. If nothing else, it gives me an easy way to look back on where I was and help my appreciate where I am.
But enough of this memory lane crap. At the end of that race recap, I posted two things that I wanted to take forward into the off season – 1) was more swimming and 2) was more bricks. It is with a smile on my face that I say I accomplished that. Those fruits were actually beared back in June when I ran the Rock & Roll Man 1/2 iron distance event in Macon (race recap). Since that time, I have focused more intently on all 3 sports and am excited to see what Sunday will bring.
OK, now for the numbers.
The following compares the 17 weeks leading up to each event. It’s measured simply in yards for the swim and miles for the run and bike (I was not confident in some of the time data entered in February and March since I didn’t start using Training Peaks until April and had to manually fill in the previous months’ data). The first set of data is the most recent, starting the day after the Macon race. The second set of data begins 17 weeks before Macon, and does not (at least I think it does not) include the Macon race itself.

Week	Swim	Bike	Run		Week	Swim	Bike	Run
6/4/2007	2700	0	4.3		2/5/2007	3500	0	16.75
6/11/2007	8350	0	15.44		2/12/2007	4650	0	30.2
6/18/2007	6600	17.12	22.8		2/19/2007	5000	0	0
6/25/2007	7700	12	15.3		2/26/2007	0	0	0
7/2/2007	2500	22	16.71		3/5/2007	4900	12	2.6
7/9/2007	7000	75.5	14.5		3/12/2007	3000	11	15
7/16/2007	6450	35	16		3/19/2007	3200	11.4	26.2
7/23/2007	7500	61	23.25		3/26/2007	1800	60.9	4
7/30/2007	5908	57	8.35		4/2/2007	5500	0	23.33
8/6/2007	4500	75	24.7		4/9/2007	5900	23.05	10.2
8/13/2007	0	116.2	26.63		4/16/2007	3500	0	18.35
8/20/2007	3950	54	8.5		4/23/2007	6625	45	4.35
8/27/2007	6750	87.11	22.2		4/30/2007	4490	50.1	15.18
9/3/2007	3500	115	20		5/7/2007	5200	47.3	13.15
9/10/2007	7100	86.82	21.66		5/14/2007	4750	67.7	25.8
9/17/2007	2600	132	16.95		5/21/2007	5900	47.05	8.2
9/24/2007	3750	28	2.12		5/28/2007	3740	0	7.91
86858	973.75	279.41			71655	375.5	221.22
% Change	21.2%	159.3%	26.3%

My bike mileage went up signifcantly following Macon. At least 1 session a week was a brick. A signifcant number of miles were accomplished on an indoor trainer, but an equally signifcant amount was experienced on the road. The week with the 0 pool yards in February was following my knee injury at the Austin Marathon when I decided to take a week and a half off of everything. The goose egg in August was the week (plus 1 day) that thepool was closed. I missed 4 swims because of that, but the timing was ok. Otherwise my swim volume would have increased roughly 25% as well.
All in all I am very pleased. It’s the journey that defines you as a triathlete, not a single event (although we’ll see what tune I’m singing after I do an Ironman). This reminds me of a Sun Tzu quote:

Thus it is that in war the victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory has been won, whereas he who is destined to defeat first fights and afterwards looks for victory.

My training will assure me victory. This Sunday is the battle. Thanks to all that have supported and participated in my journey. The next post you see should be details of my 2nd half iron distance finish! Good luck to everyone doing this race with me and my buddies doing the Two Bridges Triathlon in Cumming this weekend!

Ironman Events on TV

Tapering for this upcoming half inroman has led to extra time on my hands. In that time, I’ve ended up spending too much time in bike shops, running stores, and watching television. For those of you who haven’t seen recent tv listings, I wanted to point out that race recaps from 6 Ironman distance events would be on Versus in the upcoming weeks. Arizona was on a couple of weeks back (thanks, TiVo!!) – here are the remaining ones to watch:

Oct 7th at 4pm Ford Ironman Coeur d’Alene
Oct 28th at 4pm Ford Ironman USA Lake Placid
Nov 18th at 4pm Ford Ironman Louisville
Dec 2nd at 5pm Ford Ironman Wisconsin
Dec 16th at 4pm Ford Ironman Florida

Each program should be 1 hour long. Of course, check your local listings as all times I listed above are Eastern time. The Ford Ironman World Championship is slated to be aired on NBC on December 1, 2007 from 4:30 – 6:00 pm Eastern.
I have no idea how I will occupy myself during the rougly 3 week taper that Ironman Lake Placid will require next summer. I guess I still have 9 months or so to figure that out. As for today’s stats – it was an easy 1 hour spin. All the time in the saddle on what was a mostly flat course. I’ll do a short swim in the morning to keep the feel for the water and consider my work complete.

Frequently Asked Questions about the South Carolina Half




Steep grades ahead – is that a challenge?

Originally uploaded by Mike.

Here are my answers to the two questions I’ve fielded the most over the past week with some additional thoughts aimed at no one in particular.

Q) Do you think the bike course will be hilly?
A) I’m prepared for it to be, but based on the elevation profile you can find on the official website I don’t think it will be quite as difficult as Macon was. Of course all it takes is a strong headwind and you’ll think it was hilly.

Just because I went for a 114 mile ride on the comet last week doesn’t mean I’m preparing for a flat bike route. It just means that I didn’t feel the need to kill myself a week and a half before the race.

Q) Do you think it will be wetsuit legal?
A) I don’t know. I figured once I procured one that a heat wave would break out (it kind of has – it was 90 yesterday). You should’ve been in the pool or lake more to better prepare yourself. My experience has been that the more prepared I am, the less fear I have.

Fear is a giant limiter. You’ve got to find a way to minimize that fear. A little fear is good, even healthy. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it. Your success is not determined on race day, but in the months of training leading up to it. A magical water temperature of 78 or below isn’t going to make up for the time you didn’t spend in the pool.

Now on to today’s workouts. It was a brick day, starting with a 5:15 spin class – strength ride. Since it’s a taper week, I held back a little and didn’t go for the full hour. 42 minutes on the bike and I figure roughly 12 miles. I then put my running shoes on and ran 2.1 miles in 20:03. Mentally I wanted to run slower than that, but my feet kept the turnover at that pace so there wasn’t much I could do. I would’ve adjusted if it were going to be a longer run than that.

Only 4 more days separate me from running the South Carolina Half Ironman to become a 2-time finisher of that distance!!!

Watching the Weather in Greenwood, SC




Cloudy Day at the Suwanee Greenway

Originally uploaded by Mike’s Adventures.

You never know what the weather will bring this time of year. Yesterday was cloudy on my run. By 11am, the sun came out and started baking everything around. This morning things are starting off cloudy and cool again but the forecasted high is 90.

It looks like the same phenomena is occuring at the site of this weekend’s South Carolina Half Ironman. Overnight lows are in the upper 50’s/lower 60’s while daytime highs are in the 80’s. The question is – will the lake be wetsuit legal?? Only time will tell.

Of course I don’t just want it to be a wetsuit legal 78 – I’d really like it to be 73 or so. That rubber skin is HOT! I raced this distance in Macon without a wetsuit, so I’m not afraid to leave the one I rented in transition if it’s just 78.

Stats for today: 1750 yards in roughly 45 minutes with lots of rest. It is taper time after all. I threw in a couple of sets of 500 yards for good measure in the middle of a pair of 250s. Cooled down with a couple of 100s and a 50. It didn’t really seem like a workout – but then again I AM trying to rest!! I’m just not very good at resting, I’ve decided.

Silver Comet Ride to Alabama Recap


Sunrise on What Will be a Gorgeous Day

Originally uploaded by Mike.

8:00 am – We meet up at the Florence Rd trailhead. It’s a beautiful day for a ride. The temperature is a little cool, but will quickly warm up as the sun has its way. There is already activity on the trail with a few runners and cyclists, but nothing like what this place sees on the weekend. After filling the water bottles, stashing some food in our pockets, and a quick restroom stop – we are on our way.
It’s smooth sailing all the way to Coot’s Lake. My cyclometer gets a little chilled and cuts out for about 8 miles, but we have a computer on another bike to help keep track.


10:02 am – Restroom Break in Rockmart

Originally uploaded by Mike.

10:00 am – We pull into Rockmart and are in need of restrooms. The little gas station I know of doesn’t have public restrooms. And they add on 30 cents to your charge bill if you charge under $5. That reminds me – I need to call Mastercard and see if this merchant is allowed to do that. Sounds fishy to me.
So we head next door to Suntrust Bank. Laura has an account there, so it should be no problem to use their restroom. She heads in and asks about a restroom and they hand her a set of keys. I think it was the keys to the entire place since she opened up a closet and a staircase before finding the restroom. Unfortunately, we leave without any extra cash, but it’s good to have an empty bladder.


11am – Lost

Originally uploaded by Mike.

11:00 am – We’re lost. There is a 2.5 mile gap in the trail between Rockmart and Cedartown. I downloaded a detour map from pathfoundation.org that was supposed to get us around it. At one point, it says “Right on Campbell”. There was no street sign that said “Campbell Rd” at an intersection that we came to. So I THOUGHT we were essentially staying on whatever road it was we were on. I was WRONG. As a note to those of you thinking about doing this ride – we later discovered little spray painted emblems in the road that looked like little rocket ships. The white ones seemed to mark the route that we wanted to take. BUT DON’T BLAME ME IF THEY AREN’T THERE when you ride. Make sure you know where you’re going.
I see a gas station about a block down and decide to pull in for directions. They were outta business (does anyone see the irony here?). But their gas was $2.75 a gallon, so although the place looked abandoned for years, it hadn’t been that long! I guess the town of Antioch wasn’t ready for the veggie dinner offering listed on the sign. Oh well. So I see “Antioch Rd” on the little map I had and charted out a route to get us back on course.


Brian & Laura Catching up after Dog Sprint #4

Originally uploaded by Mike.

11:20 am – We’re back on the prescribed course. But this is after 4 – count ’em FOUR dog sprints. The first pack was rank amateurs. They came prancing after us like a glee club going to a Bette Midler concert. The next one was not so pleasant. A MEAN 3-legged dog came after us. I was going to snap a picture, but I had to wear his ass out so he’d leave the rest of the party alone. So then I’m cruising up a hill when I hear the leaves rustling behind me – and then I hear snickering. I look back to see what gives and there is this little Chihuahua running up the hill after me. I hit the next gear and dust him. And then comes the lassie dog that was probably just going to say “hi” but I could do without (he’s standing in the middle of the street in the background of this picture).


Brian & Laura Crossing in Cedartown

Originally uploaded by Mike.

11:52 am – we finally hit the depot in Cedartown. I must say that I’m not impressed. The countryside you passed through was really nice between Rockmart and Cedartown, but once we hit the depot we saw a somewhat rundown town and graffiti on lots of signs and the trail itself. We pressed on to our final goal knowing it was only 10 or so more miles away.


The Georgia / Alabama Border on the Silver Comet Trail

Originally uploaded by Mike.

12:31 pm – Are we there yet? YES. Ignore the dog poop – the arch reads “Chief Ladiga” which is the name of the trail on the Alabama side. This thing goes on all the way to Anniston, Alabama. There is a nice park there with picnic benches and bike racks. No water or restrooms, though. I took several pictures and we relaxed for a few minutes basking in the glory of having ridden to Alabama.


Let’s Go Home

Originally uploaded by Mike.

12:44 pm – Now we just gotta get some lunch and get home. We started back out down this long and lonely stretch. We saw one other old guy out here on a Bianchi (must’ve had a good retirement pension) but other than that it was us, dog poop, and chickens.


Restroom Break at the Courthouse

Originally uploaded by Mike.

1:30 pm – We roll up to the depot in town and the sign says “Open” but the little thing in the door says “Back at 2”. So we’re off to find restrooms elsewhere. And where better than the courthouse?? Of course, the restrooms are on the OTHER side of the metal detector – and one member of our party has an extreme amount of metal in her leg. It went off but they let her on through. Some guy was hanging out there, shooting the breeze with the sherrif. Upon further inspection, Brian found he was in leg shackles. What a town!
We pressed on back to Rockmart and went through 4 more dog sprints on the detour (and we actually took the prescribed route the whole way). The last one involved a dog that was able to do about 20mph. Fortunately I had an extra gear left in me. Mind you this is happening after mile 70. But I wore him out good and he didn’t seem to care about Brian and Laura at all.


We Didn’t Have the Wings

Originally uploaded by Mike’s Adventures.

3:15 pm – We arrive back at Rockmart and have lunch at “Hometown Pizza”. You should stop by if you’re in town. Have the turkey sub – it’s a favorite.
From here it’s only 28 miles or so back to the trucks. The sky looked like the weather was going to turn, but it didn’t bother us at all.


The Three Amigos 114 Miles Later

Originally uploaded by Mike’s Adventures.

5:30 pm – We’re back at our vehicles. Pictured is the three of us at the end. What does mile 100 look like?? Why didn’t we take a picture there also?? Because there was a diamondback rattler crossing, that’s why. There are more pictures up over at in my Silver Comet 2007 Set at flickr. They are also geotagged, so you can get a feel on the map of where we were.
I hope you enjoyed reading about our escapades as much as I enjoyed experiencing them. And I just love my new camera!!

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