Skyscraper – Week 7 Review

After a great weekend in Seattle it was back to the Austin grindstone for Week 7 of training. Things started off a bit shaky with a red-eye that netted me about 3 hours of sleep taking me straight from the airport to the office. To make up for the lost morning I laid down 7 easy miles in 102* heat after work.

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The heart rate was higher than a normal recovery, but I’m ok with that. My goal was to simply survive. Tuesday was even less fun, feeling nauseous during and after the run. I think my body was still out of whack from the travel and weird sleep schedule, but I got through it.

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Climbing the Skyscraper

About a month ago I set forth the challenge to myself to tackle the Coolhaus Ice Cream Sandwich Skyscraper — 5 scoops of ice cream sandwiched between 6 cookies.  Anyone can participate, giving Coolhaus a few days notice, so I chose August 13th as the challenge day– first because I’d be running 20 miles and second because it coincided with the 5th Annual Austin Ice Cream Festival.  What better way for Coolhaus to showcase their amazing ice cream sandwiches than with an eating challenge at an ice cream festival!

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Team VW Swag

Just a quick update on the Team VW front.  I’ve been putting in the miles and sticking to the plan (as you know from my interesting and informative weekly updates).  Well Team VW sent over some swag out of the blue.  Sitting on my front door when I got home from work was a bubble-wrapped envelope busting at the seams with some pretty sweet gear.  Inside was a t-shirt, water bottle, one of those string backpacks, and Dean Karnazes’ book Run!: 26.2 Stories of Blisters and Bliss.  Definitely a nice surprise to keep the motivation up now that I’m getting into the heart of my training.  Thanks Team VW!

Weather You Like It or Not

I talk about the weather here a lot.  I think it’s because it’s so universal.  I mean, everyone has to deal with some form of Mother Nature’s wrath at some point.  For us Texans it comes in the form of heat.  Relentless, punishing, uncompromising heat.  Just this past week we had three days in a row with a high temperature of 107*.  We’re not talking heat index either.  And say what you will about “oh it’s a dry heat”  False.  80% humidity in the mornings which makes even the low of 79* at 6am a beast to deal with.  What’s a runner to do?  It’s inescapable (especially with my self-imposed “No treadmills.  Ever.  Again.” policy).

Austin's 10-day Forecast

Well, there is one way to escape the heat., and that is to escape Texas altogether.  The little lady and I are currently (as I type this) on a plane to Seattle for a long weekend that should be high on fun and low on responsibility.  Part of that fun is going to rest solely in being able to be outside without melting.  In planning for Saturday’s 18 mile long run I felt it worthwhile to see what kind of conditions I’d be dealing with.  The only word that comes to mind is “perfect”.  Here’s the 10-day forecast for Seattle.  Just compare that to Austin’s 10-day (which has really been the 50-day forecast).  I mean, it’s not even fair.

Seattle's 10-day Forecast

I’m more excited that you can imagine to go for a run and not think about the weather.  Maybe I’ll even spare you any mention of the weather in the next blog post, but I wouldn’t count on it.

Bits and Druthers

Let’s be honest here: fish and chips is not something I ever crave, want, think about, or even recognize as real food. For one, it’s English and nothing great has come from England since, well, America. Second, chips are what you eat with salsa, queso, or out of a mustachioed cylinder. They’re called fries because you see, we’re in America (a.k.a. England 2.0). And third, fried food hasn’t really been my thing, including, but not limited to, fish. That is, until I went to Bits and Druthers over in the burgeoning East Side Drive-In food trailer park. That’s when my whole world was flipped on its bonce.

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Recovery – Week 5 Review [brief]

Sometimes you need an easy week and sometimes you don’t.  Last week was one of those times when I definitely needed an easy week of running.  I diligently knocked each one out exactly as the schedule said, including a sweltering lunch time run in the heart of Texas summer heat.  There were no tempo or speed miles and no real long distances.  It was much-needed after a rough Week 4.  Heading into Week 6 I’m feeling refreshed and ready to light it up.  I’m looking forward to hitting 50 miles this coming week, particularly with an 18 mile run that I can do in Seattle’s cool, dry climate.  I’m not even sure how to prepare for a place where their HIGH temp is cooler than our LOW temp.  I think I’ll figure out a way though.

Distance Time Pace Heart Rate
Monday 8.17 Miles 1:07:28 8:15 min/mi 147 bpm
Tuesday 5.00 Miles 48:40 9:44 min/mi 132 bpm
Wednesday 8.13 Miles 1:09:25 8:32 min/mi 144 bpm
Friday 4.02 Miles 37:15 9:16 min/mi 140 bpm
Saturday 12.43 Miles 1:41:10 8:08 min/mi 152 bpm
Total 37.73 Miles 5:23:59 8:35 min/mi 145 bpm

Newb Triathlon Tips from a Recently Retired Newb Triathlete

This post is intended for two purposes.  First and foremost it should be useful to any new triathletes wading into the sport with little or no knowledge of what they’re actually getting into.  I found there to be many seemingly obvious, yet curiously undocumented, aspects to triathlons that more veteran athletes took for granted.  Hopefully this post addresses many of those questions (and, let’s be honest, fears).  The second goal is for this post to serve as something of a “remember when…”, pointing out how naive and innocent I was before getting semi-serious into the triathlon scene.  I’m sure I’m already missing some things that I’ve taken for granted at this point, but I hope this is helpful to at least one person.

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Let the Battle(s) Begin!

I’ve gotten the urge to do some real scientific, in-your-face, who’s-king-of-the-castle, head-to-head(-to-head) taste tests between some of our favorite trailers. This post is just a preview of what I have on deck. The rules are simple: 1) Each place needs to offer up a similar, nearly identical menu item for a fair competition. 2) The food needs to come from a trailer. That’s it. Let the battle(s)… BEGIN!

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