Blogging Slacker!

I know, I know, I've been a blogging slacker. But while I haven't been blogging, I have been training and planning, working and recovering. I've logged some awesome 40-50 mile bricks, a few decent swims, and the usual early morning speed work. I've also been logging some serious hours at work and I'm getting over a chest cold. Redman is now 3 weeks from Saturday, which means one more big weekend.

But more exciting than that, I've also been doing a little window shopping for a new road bike. I think I've found The One. It's a Felt 2011 ZW5. Why the 2011 you ask? Because this year, Shimano revamped the 105 group set. After test riding the 2011, I can't justify the cost upgrade to Ultegras. With a carbon fiber frame, I can always upgrade components later and not lose any thing. Ain't she purty?

Besides the sweet ride, it was also more than $100 less than the comparable Trek and Cannondale. I also have a %15 off coupon for one of the local dealers, which will save me an extra $300. I haven't put in the order yet, but I'm pretty darn close.

And with the future requisition of a road bike, I'm also doing some preliminary research into bike racing for next season. I plan on going to watch some cyclo cross races this fall to get a feel for it, but I may look into a race series for next season.

Then, I have a few friends that want to run their first 50 mile trail race in Feb and asked if I was interested. After very little arm-twisting (or none at all) I agreed to train for it and if my PF flares up, I'll just head down to crew.

Since I don't have enough hobbies and WAY too much free time on my hands, I'm also looking at a 24-hour endurance climbing competition next Sept with some of my lady climbing friends. It would mean getting lead-certified sometime this winter and adding more climbing into training. But I heard "24-hour climbing comp" and I was in.

Oh yeah, I have a completely different kind of endurance event this spring. I'm going to take my licensing exam for structural engineering. It's 16 hours of testing over two days. So some of this may get pushed back or dropped completely since I will also have some endurance study sessions. But for now, I'm happy with planning for everything and letting the execution take care of itself.


Running in the Dark

I seem to be doing a lot of running in the dark lately. We did run, but we helped out with the Trail Nerds Psycho Night 10k, manning the only aid station on the course, located in the middle of the woods. We made it a tiki theme, with tiki torches and leis. I made quite the tasty treat for the mosquitoes, even with bug spray and tiki torches.

Then last Friday, I got together with 50 of my sweatiest friends and ran a sweaty ass run. It's kinda like a fat ass for you ultra runners, just done in summer at night. I didn't do any ultra distances but had a blast.

KM and I ripped off 9 miles at a decent pace and beat *most* of the storm. The lightning show off in the distance was awesome. It was not so awesome when it was overhead, but it was one of the coolest experiences I've had running.

And finally, I got new shoes! Trail and road. I stuck with the Saucony Xodus for my trail shoes. I just love the fit. I almost bought a pair of their traditional road shoes but went with these babies instead: the Saucony Kinvara. It's their light-weight neutral shoe, similar to the Nike Free (which doesn't fit my foot at all). So far, I absolutely love them! They are lightly cushioned, very flexible, and at 6.7 ounces you barely notice them on. I've been wearing them after long workouts and love how much better my feet and legs feel (as opposed to flip flops or dress shoes). Whatever Saucony does, their shoes fit my feet to a T!


Training schedule? I don't need no stinkin' training schedule!

As much as I have thought about it, talked about it, and blogged about it, I still have not put a formal training plan together for Redman. Why not, you ask? Good question. I honestly don't know why not. I've printed out a calendar. I have a training spreadsheet set up from NOLA. I just look at the days and... nothing. The last issue of Triathlete even had a 70.3 training plan. I still couldn't bring myself to do it.

Even without a training plan, I have been training consistently. 40 mile weekend rides, intervals on Mondays, long weekend runs, two days of swimming a week, and whatever else I can fit in between 90 degree days and thunderstorms. I just can't seem to commit to a training plan. At least I have a couple 70.3 races under my belt and I know what I need to do to feel comfortable.

After thinking about it for a little while, I think I might know what my problem is. It was a the swim at NOLA. The swim was so rough for me, I actually took almost 3 months off of swimming completely. I hadn't gotten back in the pool until just 3 weeks ago. Even a turquoise pool with a solid black line didn't feel safe. That swim... it was awful. It was beyond awful. I have never seriously considered throwing up my hand and ending my day in the water until NOLA. I have never been that SCARED in the water. I had no desire to do any race of any kind after that one.

But that changed. And I am racing. I am swimming. I just need to get over my fear and have faith in my abilities. My swim at NOLA wasn't that much slower than Boise or even Kansas, so even if I felt it was that much harder, either I'm exaggerating or getting better, or some combination of the two.

Training plan or not, I'm hoping for calm waters in OKC. Even if it's not a PR or a fast race, I'm just hoping to have some fun.