Monday, December 7, 2015

Hitting the Weights

Most of my readers know I've lost a substantial amount of weight since 2010 when I first entered Ironman Louisville.  Unfortunately, it also came with a substantial loss in strength and my tone isn't great.  Over the past couple winters, I've been promising to do some strength training.  Well, it eventually got lost it seems.  Whether it was preparing for the Dopey Challenge last January or doing an early season Ironman, I never quite got around to it.

The second problem was being completely out of my element when it comes to weights.  Where do I start? What exercises should I do? How often? Can I use machines or would I need free weights?  Like just about everything in 2015, I began by searching online for some tips or routines to try.  But it was all too involved.  I wanted simplicity. I wanted something I could easily track.  But nothing seemed to meet that criteria.

As luck would have it, an Ironfriend from England was also trying to find the same thing and remembered a strength program from a book we both owned, "Be Iron Fit."  Lo and behold, there was a list of strength exercises which also matched up nearly perfectly with the machines at my local gym.  Perfect!

I've been doing the follow exercises twice a week for about a month.  Takes me about 10-15 minutes so doesn't take too much time and it fits nicely into my normal routine.

Leg Press
Leg Extension
Leg Curl
Chest Press
Lat Pulldown
Bicep Curl
Tricep Curl

Given how quick it goes, I may try to keep it part of normal schedule once tri season rolls around again.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Ironman Louisville 2015 Race Report

On October 11, 2015, I participated in Ironman Louisville. This would be my 6th Ironman and second in two weeks after doing Ironman Chattanooga on September 27th.  Not my brightest idea ever but as I've heard, you never know your limits until you reach them.

The first hurdle, after Chattanooga, was to make sure I was recovered enough but at the same time, not completely go into hibernation and be a slug for two weeks.  The day after Chattanooga, after riding in a car for five hours to get home, I was incredibly stiff so in addition to my daily one mile run (still streaking) I went out for a 12 mile small ring only ride with the Louisville Bike Club.  Amazing how much moving around helps, even the day after an Ironman.  I then took a day off outside of my normal one mile run and went back into my normal Ironman taper routine including about a 30 mile ride and 10K run the weekend before.

Another interesting aspect of this Ironman Louisville was that it would be the first Ironman I'd do from home.  That is, I wasn't staying at a hotel the night before down near the action.  I was sleeping in my own bed and having my wife drop me off downtown at the start.

Finally, the last pre-race concern was the weather.  Ironman Louisville had always been held in late August, meaning almost 100% certainty of hot and humid conditions.  This was the first October IM Louisville so me and all my tri-club mates were watching the weather closely.

I won't bore you with the check-in/expo details as you've read those reports several times.  Things went smoothly, I picked up the normal athlete name t-shirt and got ready for the big day.  One perk of having so many club mates doing this event was being in a bike rack with Louisville Landsharks only.  It was nice to see familiar bikes and familiar faces during bike check in and all that.

Louisville is like Chattanooga in that it's a time-trial start with people getting into the water essentially one a time on a first-come first-served basis.  Also, due to the October date, sunrise was much later than August so we would be starting at 7:30 instead of the customary 7 AM IM start time.  Furthermore, this meant a maximum 16.5 hour time limit which would be shortened by any delay getting in the water.  Since I was confident in a 14ish finish, I decided to sleep as long as possible, get to transition to get my bike/nutrition set up, then have my wife drive me down to the swim start.  When I arrived I was surprised how close I was to the docks and ended up hanging out with several Landsharks in the swim line.  Always nice to be around people you know.

The Swim

Due to the October date, this IM Louisville would be wetsuit legal.  I'd never done Louisville in a wetsuit.  I had done a 1:28 in Chattanooga so with the wetsuit and some good coaching, I was hoping to do Louisville in 1:20. Nothing really eventful happened except I was surprised how fast I was in the water.  Even though I hadn't hurried down to the start and slept in, I was in the water at 7:32.  Swim time was 1:18:49, by far my fastest IM swim ever.  I was thinking I might be in for a good day.


Headed into transition for a full change.  I wore normal swim jammers under my wetsuit so changed into my Landsharks tri kit.  Since we had a cool October morning, in the low 50s, I was concerned about being cold but decided to suffer a bit for the first bit of the bike instead of overheating later.

I did have my first hiccup of the day in T1.  Bikes are racked by hanging the nose of the seat on a bar.  Most bikes are small enough to drop the seat off the bar and pull the bike through.  This of course doesn't work so well when you're dealing with a huge bike like I ride due to my height.  In a rush I rather yanked my bike under the bar, caught the seat, and my seat was now pointed down about 45 degrees.  Not conducive to riding 112 miles!

Here I am looking quite shady in T1 but I was fixing my seat.

With the mishap, total time in T1 was 13:57. Not very good at all but good enough for a finish.

The Bike

Since I've ridden the IM Louisville literally dozens of times, I know every pothole and crack it seems.  I also know what I can average safely without destroying myself.  The only spot of difficulty was the temperature in about the first hour.  Since I went with a normal tri kit with bare arms, I was indeed a little cold. Suffered through some goosebumps but soon warmed up.  Again, nothing eventful and it was great to see so many Landsharks out there either racing or volunteering.

Here I am heading into T2 with a fellow Landshark, Geri, who I played leapfrog with for about the last 20 miles of the bike.

Total bike time:  6:21:02 or 17.64 mph.


Another full change into running shorts and my Landsharks t-shirt as well as loads of Body Glide meant a T2 of 12:48.  For my next Ironman, I'm contemplating staying in a tri kit for the run to see how much time I can save.

The Run

After a great swim and a good bike, I knew I had a PR in my sights if I could just keeping moving at a steady pace. I wasn't sure, however, how my body would react to another IM after just doing Chattanooga.  My goal was to keep the miles in the 12s while walking through each aid station as I took salt, nutrition, and hydration.  Keep this up at a good pace for the first 10K then I could hear a little whisper in my brain, "you have to be tired don't you? You have to be pooped from Chattanooga."  Most of that is mental but since I wasn't going to be qualifying for Kona anyway, I did a bit more walking.  Still had a decent marathon, finishing in 5:33:00 for a total of 13:39:36, a 30+ minute PR!

The Aftermath

Two Ironmans in 14 days and I was sore, but didn't feel completely wrecked.  I did deal with a bit of a cold in the week after, which may have been the result of higher than normal algae levels in the river or perhaps from being in general run down and having a compromised immune system.  But many have asked if it's doable and I'm living proof it is.  I think the timing was also just about perfect.  Not enough time between to lose fitness but enough time to recover and then do some short taper workouts.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Ironman Chattanooga Race Report

(Photo courtesy of Carrie Kiefer)

First post in a very long time, but first official race in a long time...

I had previously signed up for Ironman Louisville, but when Ironman Chattanooga didn't sell out in five minutes as it had for the first edition of the event, I bowed to some peer pressure and yes that means I would be attempting two Ironmans over fourteen days.

About ten days before the event, I found myself with some pain in my groin area so ended up in an urgent care center with a urinary tract infection and some antibiotics.  This may have had an impact later, but I'll get to that.

I drove down Friday morning with a fellow Louisville Landshark, right into a rainstorm.  It rained for most of Friday and Saturday, which had us concerned for Sunday.  It made for an interesting outdoor Ironman Village on the grass as we were a couple inches in mud during packet pick up and all that.

Did a little shopping, where I bought my usual event shirt with the participant names on the back.  I didn't however, buy any other pre-event gear as I already have so many tech shirts, cycling jerseys, etc. and the design didn't blow me away.  It takes something pretty spectacular to add to my collection.

The rest of Friday and Saturday was meeting up with a couple other Landsharks for some local dining, the underpants run, and a practice swim.  Saturday's pre-race dinner was Fazoli's (Italian) for some carb loading and then off to bed about 9:30-9:45 for a 4 something AM alarm.

We had been uncertain on the wetsuit status for the swim but with cool, wet weather, we figured the temp would drop even more to give us a wetsuit legal swim.  Well, we were all wrong, and the first news I got when I woke up was a wetsuit optional swim, which means going to the back of the swim line if you wear one.  I decided to pass and swim in my jammers.  The other uncertainty was the river current.  In 2014, the current was very fast, meaning super fast swim times.  The practice swim also had a heavy current so we were hoping for another fast day in the water.

Ate a Clif bar, had some Gatorade, and kept eating a little while I waited the hour or more in the swim line.  Got in the water pretty quickly, and we were greeted with almost no current.  Not entirely sure why, but we all had to deal with the same conditions.  Felt ok in the swim, but admit I was a bit demoralized by the lack of current.  Total swim time was 1:28:56.  Had a decent haul to get to the changing tent, where I changed completely into tri shorts, tri top, fresh socks, etc.  Stopped for a quick hit of sunscreen and was on my way in 13:18.  Slow, but a full change with a wet body is never fast for me.

I had done one lap of the bike course several weeks ago so I knew what to expect.  I never felt out of gas or like I was pushing it too much.  The course seemed very flat to me, even though there is a decent amount of overall elevation gain, so I figured I was having a good day.  The only downside to the Chattanooga bike course is the length.  A typical Ironman bike is 112 miles but this one is 116 miles, which at my speed, adds another 14-15 minutes to the total time.  Even though it was cool, I ate and drank regularly as well as took regular hits of Base Salt so I could keep the cramps away.  Finished the bike in 6:34:16 or 17.65 mph. I knew I had more in me, but didn't want to destroy myself and have to walk the entire run.

T2 was another full change: running shorts, fresh socks, tech tee, etc.  Not quite as slow as T1 but it included a bathroom stop.  Total was 9:40.

My goal going into the day was trying to PR (my previous best was 14:12) and to possibly break 14 hours for the first time ever at this distance.  The first bit of the run course is slightly uphill-ish then flattens out as you hit the turnaround.  My plan was to run each mile, walk through aid stations, and repeat. I was pretty successful for the first 6 miles or so then I picked up an absolutely wicked stomach ache.  I was forced to walk for most of the next 14 miles.  It wasn't bathroom related as far as I could tell, but it had me completely drained.  I think it might have been UTI related or the antibiotics but I wasn't sure.  Another racer advised me to drink a lot of cola at each aid station to hopefully settle my stomach.  Finally, after some Tums another racer gave me, along with loads of cola, chicken broth, and Gatorade, I felt well enough to try to run about mile 20.  Unfortunately, it was on the second half of the loop, which is brutally hilly.  I had previously decided to walk those hills as it was, so stuck to my plan.  My first Ironman featured a 6+ hour "run" so even with all that walking, I finished the run with a 5:44:07.

I knew my chance at a sub-14 was gone, and probably a shot at a PR as well.  But as I crossed the finish line and looked up my total time it was 14:10:17, nearly a 2 minute PR!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Ironman Coeur d'Alene Race Report

A bit over a year ago, a friend asked if I wanted to join him in Idaho for Ironman Coeur d'Alene (CDA).  He was having second thoughts and by the time I had signed up the day registration opened, he had decided not to make the trip so I was on my own.  This would be my fourth full iron distance triathlon but the first time I would be going alone without any friends nor family.

I originally had hotel reservations at a La Quinta about a mile from transition in a suite that included a full kitchen.  I had also planned on going a few days early and visiting Glacier National Park.  However, the weather at Glacier in the weeks leading up to the race had been cold and snow-filled.  That meant many of the trails would be closed as well as putting the Going to the Sun road in jeopardy so I decided to save that visit for another time.

In the meantime, I had hooked up with a fellow on the CDA Facebook group to share my room.  We were then able to hook up with some other people in a killer house about 5 miles from the race start/finish for about half the price.  So with lodging sorted, we made our way out to CDA for the big weekend.

I arrived on Thursday evening and after checking out our house and grabbing a bite with my housemate Craig, we settled into our house but then my trouble began.  I wasn't feeling great in the couple days before Thursday but it hit my hard after dinner. A serious migraine-type headache and a bit of vomiting so on Friday I started sipping on some Pedialyte to restore my fluids.  I hoped it was just a bug but wouldn't know until Sunday what race day would bring.

Friday morning, we headed to get checked in and pick up our bikes from Tri Bike Transport.  I can't say enough about how great TBT was in handing my bike and gear bag.  I dropped the bike and bag off at a local bike shop instead of taking the bike apart and having to reassemble it in Idaho.

Once we got our swag, wristbands and all that, we did a little shopping at the Ironman store where I picked up a water bottle, and t-shirt with all the athletes names on the back.  A funny moment happened while shopping as they had the actual finisher's medal displayed.  Craig touched it so as a hockey fan, we made fun of him all weekend for essentially touching the Stanley Cup and jinxing himself.

We then went for a practice swim in what was forecast to be a very cold Lake Coeur d'Alene.  It was cold, not unbearable but a little choppy.  After changing into bike gear, we tested our bikes on the first seven miles of the bike course.  The bike course goes seven miles one way away from town, back to town, then out twenty the other way, back to town, and is repeated twice.  Took it nice and easy and felt good if that was the kind of terrain we would be facing on Sunday.  Ironman CDA tried something a little different for your welcome meal in that they gave you $25 to spend at one of several local restaurants.  We ended up at an asian place and enjoyed some egg rolls, sushi, and other asian fare.  I really liked this idea as it gave you a lot more choices.

After getting cleaned up we headed back to the expo for the athlete welcome celebration.   We saw the standard inspirational videos and such, and heard form several local politicians. 

As part of this ceremony, Mike Reilly, the "voice of Ironman" typically goes through a biggest loser celebration.  Things like, if you've lost 40 pounds training for Ironman, stand up, keep standing if you've lost 50, etc.  I ended up on stage with four other guys, but the biggest loser was at 100 pounds lost.  That kind of stuff is really inspiring but I never thought I'd end up on stage as one of the top five!

Saturday was a pretty relaxing day.  We attended an athlete briefing, Craig went for another swim, and we checked our bikes and gear bags in as required.  One neat thing that happened Saturday and throughout the weekend was Craig's appreciation of having me around and keeping him calm during his first Ironman weekend.  That really surprised me as I'm usually wound pretty tight but unless you're trying to qualify for Kona, it really is just a really long training day so why get too worked up?

Race morning was a lot different than the Louisville Ironman.  Since you're not lining up for a swim spot, you are in no rush to get to and through transition.  We woke up about 4, had a couple eggs, bananas, and such and made our way down there.  I pumped up my bike tires, loaded up nutrition and hydration and heading into the transition tent to get my wetsuit, booties, etc. ready for the swim.   While doing that, I ran into what looked like a really familiar face. I couldn't place it but thought he was famous for something.  More on this guy later.

We headed down to the water and immediately noticed the wind and chop in the lake.  We found out later we were dealing with three foot swells/waves.  CDA is one of the events that utilizes Ironman's "SwimSmart" initiative where you line up based on your expected swim times and they let you in the water in smaller groups instead of the giant mass start that's usually very rough and filled with flailing arms and such.

As I found my place, I had my Garmin's heart rate functionality turned on and if I needed any evidence of my new found calm over Ironman, I looked down to see my HR at 44.  Yes, you read that correctly.

Swim was a little rough, quite choppy, and I'm not sure if it was some level of sea sickness or the bug I had been fighting, but ended up vomiting three times in the water during my 1:34 minute swim.  The most disheartening part was on the second lap, approaching the first turn, and seeing the buoy floating away in the wind and waves.  At the same time, the swells were large enough that it was almost impossible to see.  Given those conditions, the vomiting, and matching my Ironman Louisville 2013 swim was pretty awesome.  I was also one of the few who's second lap was faster than the first, even though conditions were worsening as we passed eight AM local time.

Had a pretty crap transition to the bike, but with taking off so much gear and trying to change tri kits while being wet, I wasn't really too upset.  The temperature was a bit warmer than we expected so decided to head out in my normal Landsharks tri kit.

First seven miles out was uneventful but as we turned back toward town, the wind really kicked up.  Found out later than the wind was a sustained 17-20 mph with up to 30 mph gusts.  Coupled with that, the twenty miles away from town were effectively uphill.  It was pretty much torture.  The only saving grace was I knew exactly how far I had to go on lap two before I got to head back with a nice tail wind.  The four trips through town, however, were awesome.  The local support was great! Tons of people, tons of clapping and cheering.  My 2013 Ironman Louisville bike was 6:24 and I was hoping for maybe a 6:40 in CDA.  But the wind turned that into a 7:08.  That included a 4-5 minute special needs stop/bathroom break as I knew this wasn't going to be a PR kind of day.  But I wasn't alone.  Pretty much everyone I came across was moaning about the terrible bike times and the locals had said they don't remember, in twelve years, this race having such a rough swim and high winds.

T2 was uneventful, as I changed into my running shorts, bright orange Landsharks shirt, and Blazeman Foundation for ALS visor.  Stuck to a pretty regular walk/run pattern, while trying to keep all miles in the 12:xx range.  I think 22 of the 26 miles were in the twelves and the four that weren't were the hills that you went up on each lap.  We crossed a hill, went down a bit and went back up after we turned for a total of four decent hills.  One new feature of Ironman was the availability of Red Bull on the run course.  I wasn't sure how much I should use it so decided to get a 4-5 oz serving every 5 miles on the run.  When I hit the turnaround for the last time, I came across the gentleman above.  I wasn't sure how to ask so I went with, "You look familiar, are you famous?"  Turns out he's an actor named Kevin Linehan and does a lot of supporting/commercial work so you've probably seen him on TV.  We ran together for a couple miles and he's a regular Ironman racer.  He said he hopes to score an NBC show in the future so they can feature him at Kona.  Quite a nice guy.

The part of the run through town was great.  Lots of partying and very supportive and friendly spectators.  One house even had shots of Fireball available but there was no way I was doing that even though I saw several athletes take shots!

The finish straight is about .6 miles of barricaded street that is slightly down hill.  Just perfect.  Every bit of that .6 miles has people and as I much as I love the Ironman Louisville finish, this was pretty spectacular too.  Heard Mike Reilly call me an Ironman and dropped for a Blazeman Roll as I finished.  Total for the run was 5:30 and grand total for the day was 14:38.  My 4 iron distance races so far have been 16:07, 14:23, 14:12, and 14:38 but I might be most satisfied with CDA.  Very very tough conditions but those that finished definitely persevered.

Craig and I caught up with each other after the finish and stayed until midnight to enjoy the excitement.  We saw Craig's tri-club pal finish along with one of our housemates.  Great atmosphere.

Craig insisted on being at the Ironman Store the next morning for finisher gear when it opened so we were back up at 6:00 for some shopping and the celebratory breakfast.  We both stuffed our faces after buying some finisher gear. I bought a jacket and visor along with a hoody for Sarah.  We then headed to the airport and parted ways.  I keep saying I'm going "Iron Free" in 2015 but my pal Ken keeps planting seeds....

Monday, April 21, 2014

KDF Marathon Report

My donations have essentially ceased, what's the deal? I'm not asking for millions here! Please give.  ANY amount will do, and I mean ANY!

I’m competing in 2014 as a “Blazeman Warrior.” In 2005, Jon "The Blazeman" Blais raced the big Ironman, in Hawaii, and completed it even while suffering from ALS/Lou Gehrig’s Disease. His family started the Blazeman Foundation for ALS. I’m raising money for them and in honor of Jon, I plan on rolling across the finish line in Coeur d’Alene just as Jon did when he finished. A famous quote from Jon is, "Even if I have to be rolled across the finish line, I'm finishing," so you often see Blazeman Warriors rolling across Ironman finish lines.

I also lost an Aunt to ALS so this charity is very personal to me. Any help would be appreciated.

An Ironman is 140.6 miles so even if you donated just 10 cents per mile, that would be $14.06. You can donate at the following link:

The KDF marathon was on Saturday and it had been a challenging training schedule to say the least.  The weather was horrid, like most of the country, over the winter, so that meant a lot of treadmill runs, icy runs, and so on.  But a few weeks ago, I had done a very hilly Run the Bluegrass in 1:56 so I was feeling pretty good.  I followed that up with an 18 mile long run the following weekend and then went into taper mode.

I had tossed around the idea of trying to go for a sub 4 hour marathon.  I had previously done 2 stand alone marathons, both at this same race.  The first was 5:15 and the second was 4:47.  I was very confident I could beat that 4:47 but wasn't sure I could go under 4.  But I figured it was worth a try and I would never know my limit if I didn't go beyond it, right?

I decided to join a pace group along with my friends Scott and Susan.  A 4 hour marathon pace is 9:09/mile.  I set my watch to show me how I was doing in relation to that pace and off we went.  The first couple miles were a bit slow as we dealt with a big crowds but then we got into a groove.  It was a fast pace, but I felt ok as we got closer to Churchill Downs and ran through the track and made the split as the marathon course splits off from the half-marathon course.  I looked at my watch and we were about 50-60 seconds ahead of the 9:09 pace.

The first real challenge is the lower hilly loop of Iroquois Park.  I looked at my watch as we entered the park and I was 58 seconds ahead of the 4 hours pace.  My goal for the loop was to break even at about the same lead exciting the park.  But even though I was personally right on target throughout the park, the pace group left me and got farther and farther ahead.  My pal Scott told me that he stayed with the group and he averaged 8:45/mile in the park, which explains why I couldn't keep up.  I'll admit that it demoralized me.  I don't expect pacers to be perfect but over 3-4 miles that's a loss of a minute or more that I couldn't make up.

I did my best to stay on pace but about mile 19, I just didn't have it in me.   Not that I slowed to say 15 minute miles but was in the 11 minute range for most of the last 8 miles.  I also ran into some psychological games. Once I lost the 4 hour group, with my PR being 4:47, I knew that was in the bag, even if I had to walk a lot, so I lost the will to really push it toward the end.

Final time:  4:17.  A 30 minute PR, but not what I wanted.  I guess that means there's next year?

Oh a good note, I did get a nice treat at the end.  Because I had done both the Run the Bluegrass and KDF races, I completed something called the "Kentucky Classic" and got an extra medal.  It's the one in the middle.

The next event is a half-Ironman in mid-May.  Thanks for reading and stay tuned...

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Run the Bluegrass Half Ironman Report

Saturday was the Run the Bluegrass half marathon at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington.  I first did this race last year and was surprised by the amount of climbing we had to do and ended up with a 2:09.  Not my best effort but I thought it was reasonable for the course.  So my only goal this year was to beat that time with no other real expectations.

Friday night was the elite 8 of the NCAA basketball tournament and both my alma maters played late so the games ended a little past midnight.  I figured that would only add to the torture of the race as I would be going on about five and a half hours sleep.  Got up early and several tri club friends headed to Lexington with our new concern being the weather.  We started the drive at about 50 degrees, but by race start, the temperature had dropped a bit and we were dealing with some drizzle.  The radar indicated that we'd be in for certain rain by the end; it was just a matter of time.

I decided to go out with the 2 hour pace group and see how it goes.  Here is a visual of the elevation:

You can see that there is hardly a flat spot on the course.

The pacers went out a bit fast, and our first few miles were:  8:46, 8:57, and 8:52 but I felt good so I was ok with building up a bit of cushion on the two hour mark.  The next few miles were:  9:08, 8:39, 8:50, and 9:02.  Miles eight and nine were both 8:55 and then the rain really started coming down.  At one point, I think we had a bit of sleet to go with the sideways rain and wind.

Mile ten is the hardest mile in the race as you climb something called the "corkscrew," which is just as it sounds.   It was 9:15, but I knew I had 2:09 beat and was in great shape for a sub-2.  I also started wondering what my overall half marathon PR was.  I thought it was somewhere near 1:58, but I wasn't sure.

The last few miles were 8:59, 8:40, and 8:44.  With the wicked rain, wind and cold, I was ready to be done and thank goodness the finish was in sight.  I ended up with a total of 1:56:39, and as it turns out, it was nearly a two minute PR.

My next big race is the KDF Marathon in a few weeks and if I can pull off a 1:56 in those hills, can a four hour marathon be possible?  At this point, I know I can finish it, so I might well go for it, right?

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Papa John's 10 Miler

Yesterday was the Papa John's 10 Miler, the 3rd leg in our local Triple Crown of Running.  After a successful Rodes City 10K, in 51:19, my running partner Scott and I decided to give it a good go at coming in under 90 minutes.  Last year, I tried for sub-90 but just missed it, in still a PR, at 1:30:19.  So just like the Rodes, we set our watches for a good pace and went for it.

The race starts out nearly flat, with perhaps a very very slight uphill grade until you reach Iroquois Park where the hills begin.  Then you go back to flat or very slightly downhill until you reach mile nine where there is a bridge then into the football stadium for a finish on the field turf.  So essentially it's about 1/3, flat, 1/3 rolling, 1/4 flat, and then that last hilly mile over the bridge. 

We were going to try to pace ourselves better with our watches set to 8:25 pace, or coming in at 1:25 for the whole thing.  The first 3 miles were: 8:11; 8:11; and 8:30.  Then we headed into the park for the rollers. As we entered the park, we decided to try to "break even," neither gaining or losing any time.  Then we could see how we felt as we headed for the final four miles. 

The in the park miles were: 8:20; 8:20; and 8:27--just perfect for our pacing goal and successfully breaking even.  That left us with four miles and a nice cushion. 

Miles seven through nine were: 8:06; 8:23; and 8:22.  With our goal pace being 8:25, we knew we had it, even with the mile over the bridge still in our way.  The final mile was 8:34, for a grand total of 1:24:33, or a PR by nearly six minutes. 

One thing I've noticed as I've gotten faster over the last couple years, is that my HR data shows that my aerobic health has finally started to sync with my legs. In the past, I've found that my legs are moving about as fast as I can go but my HR was very low.  I guess that's good in a way, as it shows my aerobic fitness.  But now that I'm able to push my legs a lot harder, my HR isn't staying so low.

Saturday is a half-marathon I did last year.  It's very hilly so not expecting a PR, but I am expecting to best my time from last year.