Saturday, February 26, 2011

Passed Gassed

I am beyond tired right now... Just to put it into context, it has been a monumental chore for me to get into a hot tub, type things, fill a water bottle, and eat chocolate. Usually these things are AUTOMATIC BABY!
If you were a betting man, would you ever bet against Dicky V?

The day started off with masters swimming which I have avoided due to the early nature of these workouts. It walks that fine line of exercise being fun and exercise being productive when you have to get up around 6 am to do it. However, the swim sets are always awesome thanks to the LEGEND, Jill Savege.

WARNING: Workout details below! This part will bore you if you aren't geeked up on tri crap...

Warm up
6x150 pull w/ paddles
3x100 on 1:30, 3x100 on 1:25, 3x100 on 1:20
2x100 on 1:30, 2x100 on 1:25, 2x100 on 1:20
1x100 on 1:30, 1x100 on 1:25, 1x100 on 1:20
100 ez
3x200 IM
cool down

It was sick and I BLASTED the 100's... super cruisey and fast enough to get massive amounts of rest even on the 1:20's. 3 weeks ago, I would have been pressed to make 1:20 intervals.

Double shot at starbucks and immediately off to a bike with Jason, Matt, and Tony. They had a 40k TT to do and I had 20k of over under intervals. My set was 3x (5min @ 360watts, 5min @300 watts). My powermeter had no batteries so I just kind of winged it...I ended up averaging 26.4 mph on a super windy day and without pinning it too bad. Again pretty comfortable and the speed was just there. I followed Tony around for the rest of his TT and then cooled down with them. 2hrs and 10 min on the bike. The boys smashed it. Jason and Matt hit 1:08-1:09 territory and Tony hit 1:04. Good early season stuff.

On to the next one... I immediately hopped off the bici and had a 5 min build to race pace followed by 15 min easy... I pushed a bit too hard I guess and ran the 5 minutes @ 5:24 min/mile pace! The effort didn't feel out of control but who knows. It's easy to feel good for 5 minutes.

I got home and fell onto the bed. It was noon. Just looking at all the crap I did before noon makes me tired. That is too productive for a Saturday morning in this blogger's humble opinion.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Close to the Chest

I am coming to the end of a particularly tough week of training. I had a major interval session on the track for the first time this year. 3x1000,3x800,3x400,200 was the set. The times are proprietary. Let's just say I haven't hit these times in 3 years.

It beat up my legs as they still are a bit soft when it comes to speed. They are starting to harden up though. My top end is there aerobically as the effort was very smooth compared with the times but the muscles are still adjusting. I used to have to turn myself inside out to run like this.

The next day was a swim set where I had to blast out some sprints. Again... I don't know if I have gone that quick in 3 years if ever.

I am really shocked by my top end right now...

The race is right around the corner and the only hard workout standing in my way is a bike set. That's my wheel house. The set is 3x 5 min @ 360 watts, 5 min @ 300 watts. Basically an over under race pace set for 30 min continuous. The runs and swims always make me a bit nervous. The bikes don't bug me. I am barking right now. Down week to let the legs come around and then the first exam of the year! Desert Triathlon in Palm Springs.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Beasting off the Riesling

Very good week of training... lots of it was highly secretive so I can only give you tidbits.

1. I had a pretty hard interval run. I ran VERY fast for me. This isn't saying much in the grand scheme of things but everything is relative and getting my giant sausage legs moving fast is not super easy. You wouldn't understand, chicken-legged bloggers.

2. I had a long bike ride in which I shattered some people (myself included) pretty effectively. We were pushing ridiculous watts during my interval set of 3x5 minutes. We're talking around 450-530 big gear. Stuff that makes knee joints and babies tremble and tiny tea cup gears go completely unused.

3. I had a long progression run. Caitlin contributed by coming along on her bike with water and lecturing me on her financial plans and some clever money making plots. I am starting to realize that she has a keen eye for socking away cash. Also, I am starting to use my racing flats for parts of these runs to build up my durability and force my muscles to take more of the load. Sort of a barefoot running concept but less pathetic and less chic. I again ran the final part of this much faster than I thought with much less effort.

4. I had two solid swims: one sprint set and one strength set. Both were faster than anything last year.

People of SoCal. Gather your children. Run to the hills. John Paul Severin is coming to your small local triathlons and Death rides with him.

He is a simple man. He takes in lots of butter and gummy bears and outputs death and pain. You've be warned.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Move over Kenny Jennings

Guess who was the brains behind Watson and took down the feeble Jennings. Shamed him really. All in the name of charity. You really thought a computer could have that much game? Please. Search your heart. You know it was me.

The last week for me has been excellent. The highlights were two killer nights of trivia. Me and Cait hit the SoCal trivia circuit and we hit it hard this week.

I don't know why but trivia elicits a reaction from me that is unmatched by anything in life. Sad? Probably, but it's just the facts. Anyway, I really internalize all my trivia successes and failures. For example, I will never forget missing the question:

Q: Who is the bond villian who throws his hat? A: Odd Job

I should have been all over this question like mud on a pig. He was my character in N64 007. It was on the tip of my tongue and I just let it slip away like a choke artist. Same goes for this one...

Q: What is the NYSE symbol for anheiser busch A: BUD

DAMMIT! So simple. I had it written down. In the investment bank, so to speak. HA! But I second guessed myself and put ANB. IDIOT.

But I also have some huge successes. For example:

Q: Who was the biblical figure who killed a lion with his bare hands and decimated an entire army with the jawbone of an ox? A: Sampson

BALLIN. I agonized over this. Two possibilities. Two biblical figures who possess this massive destructive prowess. Sampson and Goliath. I had heard of these feats before but it was in the deep, cobwebby recesses of my brain. Hard to access, especially in a seizure-addled brain(for those of you who don't know me this is a serious comment) such as mine. I dug deep though and pulled it out. Sweet victory that I will remember for at least one month which is an eternity for me.

Another example.

Q: You receive the clarett jug for winning what event? A: British Open

Holy God. I was so far away from knowing this answer... I started out with home run derby as my best guess. Thankfully, I recognized that it was absolute shit. I went back to the drawing board and ran through all the possible sports that you could maybe win a jug in... Football, hockey, golf? GOLF...for some reason that struck me...So it is golf and it has to be an old event. Who gives jugs anymore?

Golf was invented in Scotland. Any Scottish tournaments? No? Ok, well the UK then. Only thing I've got is british open. Ok we'll go with it. The moment they read the answer and I knew I got it... It was like sunshine filling my body. If you have never felt what it is like to completely pull a hard trivia answer out of your @$, I suggest you find a local trivia tourney and give it a whirl. Words don't do it justice.

You should brush up on your trivia, bloggers. Who knows when you'll face me in trivial pursuit? Trivia is my wheel house and I don't hold back. It is a full on onslaught from the first question. If you don't step your game up, you might get embarrassed.

Oh and the workouts have been stellar this week. Very fast running, very solid biking, very strong and fast swimming. My fitness is nuts right now.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Big Day

I have been slowly adjusting my circadian rhythm to be able to work out in the morning. Today was a testament to my GREAT SUCCESS.

Up at 6:30, massive coffee awaited and did not disappoint. I rolled over to the pool for a masters workout. The idea was to hit up a long hard swim with my coach, Jill Savege dishing out the set. We ended up with about 4800-5k or so and I finished pretty well. I felt well balanced and decent in the water.

Next up was a longish ride with the boys. We met near the pool and took off. It was a strong group. Tony, Trey, McCray, Josh, Matt, and Jason. They can all throw down. But more than that, they are just a kick ass group. I set the route and we headed off into the Santa Monica's. Golden light was everywhere. It is stupid how beautiful this place is. The route was pretty hilly and the hills were all stingers. They don't kill you individually but each one stings your legs and by the end you are toast.

My legs had some punch and I felt good on the ups and my pedal stroke felt smooth. We ended with a hard 5 mile effort. Trey was on my wheel and we emptied the tank properly. Lethal ride.

Next up from Jill: Get the run in fighting shape

Sunday, February 6, 2011

S-as in super bowl sucks E-V as in Victory E-R-I-N

This weekend was underlined by horribly early mornings, highlighted by awesome racing, and punctuated with drinking and boring sports.

I'll start with the bad news... The super bowl sucks. Somehow I have gotten to the point where I hate watching sports to the point that I am just looking at the scoreboard to see how much time is's a burn out the clock situation. I don't even do that at work. Me and Cait went to a Superbowl party and I was more interested in chatting with Cait and 'the girls' than watching the game. Even the commercials sucked. What happened to me?

The mornings were early due to the new regime. Under the rule of Jill Savege, mornings will be early and workouts will be difficult. That just sounds right... something about the name Jill Savege I guess. Really Jill is great. She is super calm, positive, and really helpful. We had scheduled a hard morning swim on Saturday that had me up at 6:30 and a TT race on Sunday that had me up at 6:40. Both brutal for me...

Here are the details:

Swim- 4600 or so with the main set being pretty tough
400, 8x 100 on 1:25, 400, 6x 100 on 1:20, 400, 4x 100 on 1:20

Sadly that is the longest and hardest swim I have done in about two years

Bike TT- 20k race north of LA

The wind was brutal (15-20mph) but I was feeling pretty good after a warm up. I saw Jordan Rapp, Jill's husband, warming up. He won Ironman Canada and Arizona and is a beast in general. It was a small race but there was some serious talent. I was super nervous because a 20k is a gut wrenching effort and that kind of discomfort is difficult to deal with. You'd be stupid not be nervous for a 20k. It would be like not being nervous the first time you were interviewed by Oprah. Or not being nervous if Oprah was trying to attack you with a brand.

Anyway, I got to the line and the countdown started. When he hit five, my heart rate was already sky rocketing. I jumped off the line and was sailing with a 20 mph storm at my back. I was hitting 35-43 mph and almost nervous going around corners. I was pushing solid watts and had directions to start conservatively. I hit the halfway with an average of 335 watts and something like 34 mph average...just nuts. The effort was comfortable though and I was ready for the wind in the face section which I knew was going to be ugly.

The wind hit me in the face and the effort went through the roof. My speed dropped by about 15 mph. I kept thinking, just gun it and it will be over faster. Get under thirty minutes and no one can laugh at that time. I thought I was fast but basically just didn't want to embarrass myself. Before the start I was thinking that 33 minutes would be a realistic time. Under 30 would be nuts, I kept thinking but I kept glancing at the clock and it looked possible.

I was spitting, huffing, and nearly throwing up, but I was reeling people in all over the place. Honestly I haven't breathed that ragged...maybe ever. I saw the trees that were near the finish and went all in. I hit the line and felt totally decimated.

The second half I ended up averaging 375 watts!

Total time: 29:52 which was good enough for 4th place overall! I went toe to toe with some BIG guns and was right there and even beat some pros!

average watts: 355

I couldn't believe the result really.

I might be more proud of this race than any I can think of in recent memory...

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Fat? NO. Powerful.

Pure power, baby!

Alright so I have been doing a bit of thinking about the past year. It was by far my best year for a lot of reasons. I also had an excellent year 3 years ago. However after a couple awesome races that year, I trashed myself and put myself deep into the bucket which lead to a 3 year road back to where I am now. I have changed a lot as an athlete. I got smarter and trained differently. I am also WAY bigger. Not sure exactly why but I can’t seem to stop growing up and out. I think this Seinfeld scene sums it up pretty well…

Elaine is trying to set her friend up with George….

Cynthia: What does he look like?

Elaine: Um, well, he's got a lot of character in his face. Um, he's short.
Um, he's stocky.

Cynthia: Fat. Is that what you're saying, that he's fat?

Elaine: Powerful. He is so powerful, he can lift a hundred pounds right up
over his head. And um, what else. What else. Oh, right. Um, well, he's kind
of, just kind of….. losing his hair.

Cynthia: He's bald?

Elaine: No! No, no, no, he's not bald. He's balding.

Cynthia: So he will be bald.

Elaine: Yup.

I would say I am a way more powerful athlete now than I was. Maybe just fatter but I have numbers to back it up too. Ballpark power increase of 20-25% with a weight increase of only ~10%. I am still running the same which really annoys me but I’m biking lots faster with less effort. I want to be a gazelle but I am more of an elephant or a plow horse and that may just be the nature of the beast. The power has been great and despite the mass, at least I’m not bald…yet.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Haters gonna hate

Just had my first interval session on the run today. I was a bit nervous for it but super excited. I made the mistake of drinking about 4 shots of espresso prior to the run which turned my stomach a bit. I then promptly stepped in dog $#!+ on the warm up. I turned the shoe over thinking it was mud and scraped a bit off with my finger, only to find out it was indeed dog shit. Super nasty. I am kind of thinking about booting just writing it... If I knew the dog that wronged me, I would punt it off a cliff.

Anyway, the workout was 3x5 min @ 10k pace. I ran it a touch harder than that but came in @ 5:32 min/mile pace for the 1st, then 5:42 pace on the next much hillier route, then finally 5:30 pace for the last one. Legit. Not smoking but definitely good for a big rumbler like me.

I also found out I was a USAT All American this past year with a 98.5 rating. Theoretically the fastest amateur in the country scores a 100 so this was Huge! Especially in the 25-29 age group which is lots more competitive than 18-24. I'm on the scene baby. Definitely my best year ever!

2010 races:

6th overall at the olympic distance southwest region championship
5th overall at American Triple T ohio
2nd overall at Rev 3 cedar point half
9:24 at Ironman Florida and qualified for Kona