Who is Ted?

I'm the father of two beautiful daughters and an amazing wife. For fun, I enjoy the long hours of seemingly endless suffering that endurance sports (mostly running, cycling and triathlon)provide. During my "down time" I'm an avid beer snob and self-described gourmet chef (in other words I like to burn things on a stove or grill).

Monday, May 28, 2012

twenty-three



If you've never run the Bolder Boulder, here's a snapshot tour of what it's like.
A view from the Starting line



 
Official Starter and former GWHS coach, Tad Boyle
Under way

Mile 1


Always plenty of live entertainment!
Looking back on the hill just before Mile 2

The 4K mark with the foothills in the background

Marshmallows, Cotton Candy, and Beer all offered along the way.

Aid Station at mile 3

This sign offers a different kind of motivation!

Extracurricular activities along the course route.

At the bottom of the Casey Jr. High Hill.

Starting up the hill at Mile 4
Heading east on Pearl Street.

Looking back on Pearl Street.

Did I mention they serve Bacon?

The final push towards Folsom

Final climb into the stadium
A great way to finish,

Go Buffs!

Running into the Stadium

Looking Back at the Finish Line!
A race with 50,000 + of your closest friends!

Honoring the USMC who run the race in formation!

Looking to the Scoreboard.
Melisa and I, pre-race!
In case you were wondering about the post title, Twenty-three is for the number of times I've run this race. Happy racing this season!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

My friend

Whenever I go for a ride, there's always the possibility that my friend will show up to ride with me.  I don't invite him, but he has a habit of showing up anyway.  He'll also come running on occasion, or even show up when I'm at work, or at home, or  even asleep.  It's always uninvited of course.  Most of the time, having him with me on rides is just a minor nuisance, although he does slow me down.  Sometimes though, it's good to have him along, as he pushes me and I feel like I'm flying along.  But today.  Well today, my first ride in about 5-6 weeks, and my friend decided to tag along with a vengeance.  Uninvited of course!
It is rare to have my friend ride with me the whole time.  He usually rides only a portion of the route which is okay.  The part that he is with me however, is very taxing.  When we ride together, he is always getting in my face.  He's really noisy too, and sometimes I feel that  I can hardly hear myself think.   Yesterday, he was the absolute worst.  Jabbering on for miles at a time, slowing me down without the slightest consideration.  Once or twice I even wanted to quit riding, and just go hide from him inside somewhere.  But I knew if I tried to ditch him like that, the second I got back out on my bike, he'd be right there waiting to join me again. He seems to always know where I'm going to be.
Now it may sound to you like my friend is more like an enemy given all the negatives that I have stated about him.  And while I must admit, I'd rather not have him along on most of my rides, I've come to realize that he's just going to be there sometimes.  As I mentioned before, I know that he makes me a better rider, and if I've ridden with him several times, and then he doesn't show up, the joy I find in riding is unmatched.  The truth is, my friend makes me tougher, and though I don't really like him, I have to respect what he does for me.
Despite the difficulty he caused me yesterday on my ride, I do plan on heading out the door for another ride this morning.  I keep peering out the window to see if he's waiting for me.  At times I think I spot him near the bushes or the trees, just waiting for me to come out.  But what can I do?  I'm not going to hide inside forever.  All I can hope is that if  he rides with me, he'll just be a little more mellow today.  But if he isn't, then I just have to remember that he's helping me to get better.
Happy riding everyone!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Colfax Marathon RR

The View from Colfax on the way to the finish
This morning I ran my third Marathon, and my second in the last 9 months.  I'd written previously about the purpose for running this marathon, and as I'm writing this afternoon, I do feel like I now have a solid aerobic base for triathlon training this summer (even if I didn't meet both of my goals for the race).  This was my slowest marathon (by about a minute), but it is also the one that I felt the best running.  Although I was tired at times, I finished strong, and didn't feel completely wasted when it was over.
The Colfax Marathon is a set of races that include a Marathon, Half-Marathon, Marathon Relay, and a 10 mile race.  In total, they estimated about 11,000 participants (the Marathon had about 1100 finishes or 10% of the total participants).  My marathon experience started on Saturday afternoon.  I left for Denver about 1:15 or so, and drove through rainy conditions up to Sports Authority Field where the Marathon Expo and Packet pick-up was located.  I didn't spend too much time at the expo, and I was actually a little surprised that there were so many people still picking up their materials that late in the afternoon (the packet pick up closed at 5:00 on Saturday, with no race day pickup). 
Another Tech Shirt
After getting my commemorative shirt, a wristband for a post race beer, and my bib, I headed back down to Parker in order to stay with my older brother, who was gracious enough to host me after competing in the Summer Open Triathlon (see his post here).  His house is often serves as a hotel/ staging area for our various races throughout the year.  After a pasta dinner and some good conversation (much of which was about triathlon and probably bored my sister-in-law to death),  I turned in about 9:00 so as to get a good nights sleep prior to the race.
3:45 a.m.- The alarm goes off and I'm confronted with the fact that there will be no rolling over and going back to sleep.  After a half-bagel covered with peanut butter and honey, and a quick shower, I was in the car, and on my way north towards City Park in Denver.  I arrived a little before 5:00 a.m. and spent the next hour alternating between trips to the Port-o-potty, and people watching.  At about a quarter to six, I made my way to the "D" corral, only to find it completely full.  About a dozen of us who had been assigned to this wave, waited just outside the gates for the race to start.  Once it got going, we were able to squeeze inside, and about 2-3 minutes after six a.m., we were on our way. 
Inside Sports Authority Field
The Colfax Marathon is by far the most entertaining of the three races I have done at that distance.  The course really is a great tour of Denver, and you can tell that the race organizers have placed a premium on designing a course that is runner friendly, and very unique.  A few of the highlights of this race included:
- A section along the Cherry Creak Path.
- A run through a downtown Denver Fire Station
- Two trips through Sports Authority Field (Home of the Broncos)
- A very Picturesque Loop around Sloan's Lake
Sloan's Lake
In addition there were probably a dozen bands/ entertainers along the route, playing everything from folk, to punk, to Jazz Piano.  The race was supported by aid stations at nearly every mile between 10-20 miles.  At each of these, there was Gatorade and water, and each was manned by plenty of people (This was a very well-supported and organized race throughout).
In a previous post, I had mentioned that I had two goals for this race.  The first was to use the training and the race as a means to build my aerobic base in preparation for Marathon season.  This goal was certainly accomplished, as I ran a slow, easy race, and never really felt tired, or as if my heart rate was spiking.  The second goal was to finish the marathon in over five hours,  and this is where I fell short.  When I reached mile 21, I noted that my time was just barely over 3.5 hours.  I figured at this rate, even if I dropped to 12 minute miles, I was on pace for a time of just over 4.5 hours.  The problem was that I still felt pretty good, and I was having a difficult time slowing down to a lower pace.  This continued to be a problem, and I even forced myself to stop and walk for a minute at each of the remaining mile markers (I didn't bother to stop at mile 25 since I was nowhere near my predicted finish time). 
The Course Map

As I neared the end of the race, I realized that I would probably finish in under 4.5 hours, even with 3 bathroom stops, walking several of the aid stations, and some forced walks at the last few mile markers.  I was a little disappointed that I didn't get to experience what it would have been like to still be running at 5+ hours, however I don't think it ultimately matters too much since I still felt pretty good at the end of the race, which leads me to believe that a little longer time, racing won't be anything I can't overcome.   Throughout most of the race today, I felt pretty good, and found myself enjoying the opportunity to slow down, look around, and take in the experience.  I felt strong at 5 miles, and even at 20 miles (I actually did a negative split for the race, running a 2:19 for the first half, and a 2:09 for the second).   If anything, my performance today would seem to indicate that I'm in better condition than I thought I was, and I should be ready to move into the next phase of my triathlon training. 

This shirt Signed by 300 students
So will I do another marathon?  This is never a good question to ask right after completing one.  Last September after the ADT Marathon, I didn't want to have anything to do with them.  And yet, I've done another already less than a year later.  I think it's likely that I will do one again.  I certainly feel like I could do one anyway.  Chances are that it won't be something I do for anytime soon, considering that my 2012 schedule is basically set.  That said, if I have a successful summer of triathlon, it may wind up being the annual springboard that I need.  We shall see.  We shall see.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Oh Yeah, My 2012 race schedule

Since I started this blog, I've meant to get my 2012 race schedule posted.  Now that 2012 is nearly half over,  here it is with a brief description for each:
  1. PPRR Winter Series I-IV:  A progressive series of four runs that are held every other weekend in January and February.  The shortest distance is about 6 miles and the longest just over 12.  Note: I wound up doing only 3 of the races as I was sick during the second race.  In addition, the third run was cut short to 5 miles due to very bad weather.
  2. The Pueblo Chieftain Spring Runoff: This year I did the 5k with my daughter after helping her to train.  I've done this race the last 10 years, making it my second longest streak of running.
  3. Ordinary Mortals Triathlon: I added this one as a last minute addition.  A fun race, and very well organized.
  4. The Horsetooth Half-Marathon: See my race report for this one.  I also chose this as a reconnaissance mission for HITS.
  5. Colfax Marathon:  My only marathon this year.  See my post for more information about why I'm doing it.
  6. The Bolder Boulder: I've done this race for the last 15 years in a row and have only missed three races ('95-'97) since my first in 1986.  This will be my 24th running.  I wouldn't dream of missing this one.
  7. The Greeley Triathlon: A hometown triathlon that's close to where my parents live.  A well-run event that's cheap, convenient, and relatively easy.
  8. Loveland Lake to Lake:  I've had this race on my list since I did the Loveland Sprint Triathlon two years ago.  Loveland was my first triathlon, and I've done a number of OWS at the lake so I'm looking forward to going back.
  9. HITS 70.3: Fort Collins: This is my "A" race this year.  The course has hills and also hills.  Did I mention hills?  Not for the faint of heart.
  10. X-Terra Pueblo:  I've not done an X-Terra Triathlon before, but I've always wanted to.  How could I pass one up that's held right here in town?  This will be fun to train for after HITS at the end of July.
All of the race on the list are what I would call "definite" meaning I've already registered, or I plan on doing so as soon as I get some more $$$.  With the last race on the list in September however, I won't rule out signing up for something beyond this.  

The Marathon Purpose: 2012


In two weeks time, I will be nearing the finish of the Colfax Marathon in Denver, Colorado.  This will be my third marathon, and my second in less than a year.  In an earlier post, I wrote about using triathlon training as preparation to "cross-train" for a Marathon.  Last September, I completed the American Discovery Trail Marathon with a time of 3:59:06, setting a PR by 28+ minutes and making my goal of a sub 4:00 race.  Based on those results, I did feel that the triathlon training provided me with a solid base for completing a marathon without having to log the miles usually associated with marathon training.  

So this spring, I've signed up for another Marathon.  This time however, I'm approaching the marathon in a different way.  My theory is that by completing a spring marathon, I can use the aerobic base that I've built in training to help me prepare for a 70.3 that I will be doing in July (for a great article on base training, see this one posted on Trifuel.  Therefore, in the off season, my focus has been mainly on running and building endurance in preparation for the Marathon.  Here are a few things to know about how I've prepared:
From my 1st Triathlon
  • Since December, I've been focusing on longer runs from 10 miles up to about 18 miles.
  • I've continued to do some cycling and swimming, but not at the same volume and intensity as last year.  I've also worked on strength training and building a stronger core.
  • Since the beginning of April, I've focused primarily on the run (I did one local sprint triathlon in mid-April, but didn't focus on any specific preparation for it).  I've done long runs of 12,13, 15, and 18 miles.
The biggest difference between this Marathon and the ADT last fall has to do with my goals.  For this upcoming race, I have two main goals:
  1. Build my aerobic base by training for a marathon at low intensity.  
  2. Complete the marathon in 5 or more hours.

These goals may look very strange at first glance because they emphasize low intensity, and a time focused goal that shoots for "over" a certain number of hours rather than "under."  Goal #1 supports my desire to have a strong aerobic base for training.  The focus of my running has been the long, slow run (usually between 10:30-12:00 min/ mile).  Goal #2 provides an important psychological benefit in terms of being able to exercise for an extended period of time.  If I can run for 5 hours, I should be able to spend a nearly equal time swimming, riding, and running.  People don't always consider the importance of psychology in sport (much the way the importance of rest is underestimated), but it can have a significant impact on performance, especially when one is venturing into uncharted territory, which is exactly what I will be doing with a half-ironman distance this summer.
Sunday, May 20th, 2012/ 6:00 a.m.
Once the marathon is complete, I will enter the summer with a strong endurance base.  I will continue to run (though less frequently) as my training goal will focus more on cycling and getting stronger and faster on the bike.   
In a couple of weeks, I will have my Marathon RR posted, and over the next two months I will have plenty of time to reflect on my training strategy and its benefits and drawbacks.  I will post these of course, as my training progresses.