Friday, January 27, 2012

A Blast from the Past

A few months ago, I made a trip back to Australia to renew my work visa.  During that time, I finally got to cleaning out all of our things in storage, shipping some of it for us to use. 

There were a few things that I had completely forgotten about, including some old entries into some windsurfing world championships from my early 20’s.

The first one is from 1991, from Adelaide.  I look so young!blast-001

This one was from Singapore, I think from 1992, raceboard world championships.  I ended up finishing 10th after having some equipment problems.blast-003

and the last one is a really terrible photo, from 1994.blast-002

it all seems like so long ago now, but I have fond memories of all of these competitions, especially from Singapore.

to continue with the nostalgia, here are some pictures of me windsurfing.

I was about 16 here.  Between races on at Narrabeen Lake, Sydney.  My dad took this, on the boat the he used for the start/finish of our local races.  The equipment I was using was the original Windsurfer – we raced on these for years.windsurfing1

The next one was taken @ Palm Beach, Sydney.  I still remember this day.  A winter westerly wind.  I was using a large sail (7.3sqm) with a weight jacket.  This was back in the days when our Australian numbers were all ‘KA’ before switching to AUS.windsurfing2

the last one for today was taken at Mona Vale Beach, Sydney.   At the time I was living with friends close enough to walk here.  The photo’s were taken from a rocky point.  The board that I was using was one of my favourites – a custom slalom/racing by John Hall (Hybrid)windsurfing3

after all of this water sports reflection this morning, it’s time to go off to the pool for a swim!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Frozen 5k race report – new 5k PR

brats_frozen_5k2012I competed in a local 5k last weekend, after having this race recommended by a friend.  I figured that it would give me a good opportunity to see how my run training is coming along.  I was hoping for a good result, especially after going sub 20 minutes for the first time in a training time trial at the track just before Christmas.

This is the second 5k I have ever raced that is not a triathlon, the other one was almost 3 years ago and was my first running race since I was 17 and any distance over 400meters.

I didn’t really care where I placed, but it did want to beat my recent 19:12 time.  My plan was to start out steady and see what I could do to hold a good pace/effort.  I didn’t use any GPS/pace watch, just looked at my lap time at each mile marker.

The race was titled a “Frozen 5k” but the weather played nice and was actually 34 degrees – I still ran with gloves, but there were some people with shorts and short sleeves, crazy!

I lined up about 10 rows of people from the start line and for the first few hundred meters found myself weaving through the crowd in front, I was then able to quickly settle into a pace that felt good. As I passed the first mile marker, my watch said 5:54, this was a little faster than I was planning but not too far off (anything under 6:10 was the plan).    I tired to hold this pace for as long as I could, and was getting closer to the front of the pack – I could actually see the leaders a couple of times.  My split for mile 2 was 6:15, slower than I had expected, but who knows how accurate the miles were marked.  Adding the first 2 miles together had me right on my target 6:10 pace, so I was pretty happy with that.  For the last 1/2 mile I picked up the pace and tried to finish strong.  Only one person passed me with about 1/4 mile to go – I tried but just couldn’t go with him.

I crossed the line with at time of 18:50 - a 22second PR!  I was very happy about that, I even managed to finish 2nd in my age group and 16th overall. 

here’s a bit more detail from active.com2012-frozen-5k

the results page was done very well. click on the image for the full results.2012-frozen-5k-top10

the race was very well organized, with timing provided by mettle timing they had the timing chip integrated with the race number, this was a nice touch.  After the race there was plenty of water, muffins, bananas and hot drinks for everyone.  The other nice thing they had was a video camera at the finish line.  Today I received an email with instructions to view/download my finish.  You can see me cross the line about 10 seconds in.  I was only a few seconds ahead of the first female finisher, she helped keep me motivated to run hard

that is me in the red shirt finishing the race

Next time I’ll try to start closer to the front of the pack, this way I can start with the faster runners and have less traffic for the first minute or so.

Only 3 weeks ago, my main goal was to break 20 minutes for the first time, and now I have gone under 19.  My next goal is to beat 18:38, that will be just under 6:00/mile, I think this is doable in 2012.  I will post updates through the year as I get closer.

Monday, January 9, 2012

2012 Outlook & Goals

It’s the off season at the moment.  I am enjoying a reduced training load & not really thinking about any upcoming races that seem so far away.

I am thinking about the coming year, trying to set some goals that are both realistic, and a stretch/challenge to make.

The biggest race/highlight for 2012 is undoubtedly my first full ironman – Lake Placid in July.  I don’t want to focus too much on the numbers, like a specific bike FTP or run split time.  My main focus is going to be on the following:-

  • consistency – try to execute the training sessions I have planned, even through my busy work travel schedule
  • stay injury free – continue to self-monitor to ensure I don’t have any unplanned down time because I pushed too hard when I should have rested of sought medical attention (training smart, not just hard)
  • contend for podium for local races.  In 2011 I got close, with a roll down 2nd place at the Luray Spring (really 4th – but 2 of the 3 ahead of me placed in the masters division), and 4th at the Beach 2 Battleship race.  This year I would like to finish in the top 3 in my AG without any roll downs at the Kinetic and Luray sprint races.

My schedule for 2012 is currently :-

  • January – local 5k, test out my new run speed in a race
    • complete: 18:50, 2nd AG, PR by 22seconds details to follow soon
  • March – local 5k, fun race with the kids
  • May – Kinetic sprint, smash last years 1:30:04 time
  • June – Reston open water swim, perhaps 2 mile this year
  • June – EagleMan 70.3 – goal, sub 5:00
  • July – Ironman Lake Placid – goal 10:45 (ambitious goal)
  • Post Lake Placid, not really sure; possibly:- 
    • August – Luray Sprint  or possibly an XTERRA race
    • September – Nations’ triathlon (Olympic distance) 
    • October/November – perhaps a 1/2 or full marathon

I am following the Endurance Nation out season plan at the moment.  This plan has an emphasis on intervals, short workouts (6hrs/week) with the goal of increasing power on the bike and speed on the run.  I have made significant improvements already since starting in November.   My last bike test was an FTP of 268, up from 256.    My last 5k run time trial (solo at the track) was 19:12 a huge PR by almost a minute and my first time under 20 minutes.  I also managed to back this up 2 weeks later with an 18:50 5k race January 8th.

I am really looking forward to a strong year in 2012, hope you all are too.