Me and Dzangel

Me and Dzangel
RMC 5K 2007

Friday, April 29, 2011

On your mark.....

Can you feel it? I can. I can feel it in my stomach. The little butterflies that start this time of year. I can feel it in my twitching nerves and muscles. No, I don't have a spring cold. It is the start of race season! At Last!!
My first race of what I consider race season is this Sunday, May 1st. I've had a couple pre-season warm up events. Not to say I didn't take them seriously. I actually worked harder at Point Bock than I have in years. But, when WORS season kicks off, that's when I get serious. Or at least serious for me.
I had grand plans at the start of the year. I was going to follow a plan, train hard, lose a few pounds, eat better. Well, I have done a little of all of the above. Not quite as well as I would have liked. But, I tried. And I'm still trying.
I've been fighting a bit of a sinus infection, which slowed me down a little the last two weeks. Add to that a long run that I pushed a bit too hard on and should have cut short. That had me battling some back and hip issues. But, I'm feeling pretty darn good now. How good? Well, that is what I'm going to find out on Sunday.
I'm excited to be racing in a new age group. Last year I raced in the Sport Single Speed class, which didn't go by age. Just everyone lumped in one single speed class. It was fun, but tough racing against guys 10-15 years younger than me. But, the old guy gave them a pretty good fight.
I'm not expecting too much for the first race. I want to see what kind of competition there is going to be in the 50-54 age group. Where do I need work? Can I get used to riding a geared bike again? Lots of questions. I'm sure I'll get answers, and hopefully they won't all be bad answers!
I'll let you know how it goes after the race.
Thanks for checking this out.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Iola Trail Run 15K

I did my first, and hopefully not last, trail run this past Sunday, April 17th. I used this as more a training run than a hard race. I'd been having some back and hip issues the previous two weeks and just wanted to finish this and feel good when I got done.
Sunday turned out to be a cool and windy day for the race, but much better than Saturday. Saturday had winds and rain most of the morning. Sunday was sunny, but only the low 30's and still blowing a brisk northeast breeze. I got up and kind of experimented with my breakfast. I know, not a good idea. But, like I mentioned, it wasn't an "A" race so a little tinkering was in order. I added some protein, in the form of a couple of scrambled eggs. I've heard that the protein seems to help with the fueling. Can't remember exactly why, need to check on that. I figured it couldn't hurt, right?
Tammy and I headed out to the race and I was surprised when we came over the last hill before Iola Winter Sports Center and saw the field full of cars. I figured the cold and blustery day might keep the turnout low, but that didn't seem to be the case. We parked, headed in to pick up my bib and went back to the car to get things set for the start.
I did a very short warm up and headed to the start area. I felt a little cold but knew I'd warm up once the race began. I lined up towards the middle of the pack and when the horn went off I took off with the rest of the group.
The race was a combined 5K/15K and both started together. I settled into a comfortable pace and got ready for the hills I knew were coming up. I'm fairly familiar with the course at Iola. I've skied here before and done WORS mtn. bike races here for years. I knew that after we passed the lodge that we would hit some pretty good climbs. Okay, nothing mountainous, but pretty good climbs for central Wisconsin. I didn't want to be sucking air right away so I took it pretty easy and even did some walking. I didn't seem to lose much ground doing a power walk up the climbs and stayed in a nice small pack.
The 5K/15K was the same for the first loop. I was a little worried that when the 5K runners finished and we 15K runners went out for our second loop that I'd be running solo. Not too worry. The group I was running with turned out to be all 15Kers.
I got ready for the hills again and kept my steady pace. I wasn't exactly lighting the course on fire, but I wasn't getting passed much either. I'd fallen in with one of the female runners that was running a similar pace. We talked a little which helped the miles go by a little quicker. I guess if I was talking and not gasping for breath I wasn't running that hard!
After the initial climbs on one side of the lodge the course settled down a bit. Some nice wide open running with a few little climbs. Mostly ski trail with some of the Ice Age Scenic Trail tossed in. Nice flowing sections of singletrack broke up the ski trail sections. The course was in nice shape but amazingly, or not, if you know what the weather has been like here lately, there was still snow on a good amount of the course. Nothing deep, definitely runnable, but it did make the footing a little tricky at times. All in all, an excellent course. Well marked, lots of up and down with enough flat to catch your breath.
I didn't wear my HRM so I don't really know how hard I was working. I felt good the entire run. Never gasping for breath. In control. No aches or pains. I would say maybe a 7 out of 10 for effort.
After the race I relaxed a bit and got my results and then headed home. For the race I was 26th out of 71 males. 5/17 in 50-59. Nothing exceptional. Could I have run harder/faster? Yeah, probably. But I always think that. Full results-
Now I have two weeks to the first WORS race of the year. Interestingly, it also at Iola. Will it help? Probably not. Then another week to the Door County Half Marathon. I plan on running that one a little harder, with a goal time planned.
My hip/back issues seem to have resolved themselves but now I'm battling one heck of a sinus infection. Knocked me on my butt the Monday after the race. Enough to send me to the clinic. If you know me at all, it takes quite a bit before I head to the doctor's office. Hopefully this will clear up quickly.
As I write this, we've gotten another 3"-4" of snow in central Wisconsin. Apparently Mother Nature can't figure out what the hell she wants. Maybe this will give me a couple more days to get the herd of bikes ready.
More later this week. Hoping I can say I'm finally almost back to 100%
Thanks for checking this out. Comments and suggestions are appreciated-good or bad.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Mid week musings

Well, it's been a pretty good week so far. I've been having some hip and back issues on my right side. I think it's my wife using a voodoo doll and getting back at me for always saying, "I never get injured"! I've been taking it kind of easy, for me. This has always been hard for me to do. I am not exactly a sit around the house kind of person. And, I am not use to being injured! I've been pretty lucky my entire life this way. No big muscles strains, sprains, over use injuries, etc.....Not sure why? When I do get hurt I usually grit my teeth and try to work through it! This time it didn't work real well. It didn't help that my job the last few weeks has had me on my feet most of my shift. Walking around on a slanted steel floor wasn't helping much at all. I've been hitting the foam roller pretty hard and rolling on the Biofreeze. After a few weeks I'm glad to say I'm feeling much better. Maybe 80%. How will it feel for my 15K trail race on Sunday? I'll let you know after I'm done. Thanks for checking this out. Gotta run.......

Monday, April 11, 2011

It's been too long!!

I'm back! Not sure I've been missed. First thing-new goal. I WILL update this weekly, hopefully a couple times a week. Promise! Nothing long winded. Training updates, race plans or recaps, the usual BS that occurs during my days. I want to use this to inform and also to hold me accountable when I have a goal. If I put it out there, I'm likely to work harder at it.
It's been a long winter, but I think I can safely say spring is here. After yesterdays rain, the snow in my yard is gone. And good riddance!! I never did get out the cross country skis. My work schedule didn't jive with any of the races. Hopefully a year away will just kindle the fire a little hotter for next season.
Training has been going well so far this year. I'm a little more focused than normal. I have a couple early season races planned. Then it's time to dive in to the WORS season. I'm racing sport again this year, but racing age group instead of single speed. That doesn't mean I won't bring out the single speed a time or two. Since I've turned the big Five-Oh this year my goal is to win my class. I hope that doesn't sound like smack talk or being boastful. Can I do it? I think I have a pretty good chance. But, if I don't, I won't say the year will shot. My number one goal is always to have fun and race hard.
I have a 15K trail run this Sunday, April 17th. It is at Iola Winter Sports Park. I'm feeling pretty good about this one. My only concern is I'm having a bit of an issue with my right hip/leg. Kind of a general dull ache. Then, I managed to add in some sort of back strain/spasms/pull. I can run without much pain. Biking doesn't bother much either. Just makes going through the day a pain-physically and literally.
So, 11pm-7am this weekend before the race, but it's my weekend off so I should have one good day of rest. I'll go out and run until I drop and do my best. That's my goal. I'd like to shoot for 10 minute miles, but it's a hilly course.
I'll check back in later this week and after the race on Sunday evening. I hope everybody had a good winter and is gearing up for a fun spring/summer of outdoor activity!