Wednesday, June 27, 2007

A Hard Post to Write

Sometimes truth can hurt in ways that really hurt you when you realise that. That you did'nt realise.

A friend today told me that I had made them turn against running and that I was no longer fun to run with. The reasons were stupid callous words that I had forgotten or chosen to put in the just words spoken but with no respect to my friends. people who i have run have every right to run with someone who wants to run just like them for the fun of it and not turn it into a competitive sport.

I will never win anything and perhaps now I should just step back and reflect.

Why? Because I enjoy running with friends above everything else, just for the fun of it. And maybe I have lost that focus and need to take drastic steps to repair this aspect of my life.

I am competitive that is my own curse that needs to be cured, and perhaps today was the biggest wake up I have ever had as to how I need to change my training and become once again the person people enjoy training with.

I no longer want to train alone and stare at my reflection on a computer screen of my heart rates and pace, there is no substitute for laughing and realising that running is fun.

We take each step as a solo runner, but the best sound is hearing a friends footsteps next to you not behind you.


Monday, June 25, 2007

Attack of the Medusa's

It has become official, the curse of the open water swimmer has arrived for there summer sojourn on the beaches. The Medusa Jellyfish is back for the holiday season, as I found out this morning when a tentacle managed to drape itself across my mouth during the group swim session. It stung like hell and like everyone else I spent the next thirty minutes wishing with deep reflections not to be stung again, and luckily I managed to avoid the tentacles.

My swim is gradually getting better and I am happy to see progress. Followed the swim with a 40 minute run at a good pace.

The weekend was again a good solid training block, with cycling 65 km on Sat Morining and a run in the afternoon with the hash group. Sunday was swim drills and a late afternoon run in the heat. We have been having a heat wave here with temperatures in the high 30's C or close to 100 F. I have been sweating buckets as they say and it is hard to keep up the fluids on the run.

I have signed up to run the Munich Marathon on October 14th with Chaim, my aim is to run a good sub 4 marathon so the emphasis over the next few months will be running as the tri season is in hiatus till September.

Train Strong

Friday, June 22, 2007

Long by Tempo Zones

The good old days of going out for a long run at an easy pace have been changed by my coach Gavin. Long runs are now days dictated by running in certain heart rate zones for periods. What ever happened to those long easy days of comfortable running at a conversational pace.

Todays long run was 18 km in 1:43:00 and it brutally hot and amongst it all I lost a bottle from my fuel belt so when I came to the end gasping with thirst all I felt in my belt was an empty loop.

This weekend looks like it is going to be even hotter with a heat wave coming accross the country, luckily the bulk of my running is over and I have a group bike ride at 6:30 in the morning.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

15 minutes and a new PB

Report on the Tel Aviv Olympic Triathlon

The bottom line is that I dropped 15 minutes off my PB time for the Olympic Distance in a month, now it only my second Oly tri distance but taking it down from 2:56 to 2:41 is good and my challenge now for the next Oly distance is to go sub 2:30. So how did it break down and how can I improve.

Leg #1 - 1500m swim, now everyone who has been reading my blog knows that I have only just started to swim freestyle after being a breaststroker only for all my life. I was confident of swimming the distance as my training in open water group classes has been going well. I am one of those people who prefer swimming in open water to doing laps of a pool.
The horn went off just before 7 am on the beach and we had a long sand bar wade to get to a depth we could swim in, and the course was two loops. I started well on the side hoping for clear water, but for the first time in three triathlons I was well and truly in the washing machine. Hey I even enjoyed sort on contact swimming BUT i was going backwards and was not passing anyone in fact I realised that even with my freestyle breast strokers started passing me.
I had been determined to swim the 1500m freestyle, but the reality of racing made me rethink my race strategy, I was determined to do at least the first loop freestyle and as I came back onto the beach for the second loop I made the decision to switch to breaststroke for the second loop and on the second loop I was in fact two minutes quicker.
I came out of the swim after 33 minutes , happy with my time but I knew that I had been slower than I hoped, the run back to the T1 was a long way thru the Part and took 3 minutes 40 barefoot thru sand and on concrete, it was not worth having running shoes for such a short distance the time to put then on would be negated by the advantage.
My T1 time was 1 minute 16 seconds , the training had paid off
The bike was 40 km and drafting was allowed so the aim was to find a fast group and work together it took a good 5 km's to work up to a fast pack and get the drafting in full swing , Over the course I rode with various riders and we were moving my average speed over the course was above 35 km/h . With 3 km's to go my b.....y computer fell off the handlebars and it was either forget about it and stay with the draft or stop go back and get my computer (Velo Cat eye) I stopped cursed and picked up the computer , the same one that fell down the elevator shaft a week ago. And refocused on the course, I had no one to draft and fought hard against the wind, finally picking up a draft pack with a km to go. Now I thought fast transition get out of your shoes coming into T2 , bending down I managed to twist the shoe off the pedal and had to carry it in my hand , something to work on LOL
T2 was even better exactly 1 minute and I was out and running , it was now close to 30 degrees C around 90 F so it was hard but keeping focused I did the 10 km in 53:20 and probably put more cold water over my head than I actually drank.

So total time 2:41:27 by my watch , my nutrition was probably not the best as I did not eat enough during the race, but my pre race nutrition included a plain no fat yoghurt and gel at 4:30 am and another gel 20 minutes before the start.
I recommend mixing yoghurt and gel makes the gel taste better

Hope you enjoyed the read , was great race
Tri Harder

Monday, June 18, 2007

Kicked Butt in Tel Aviv Tri

Full report to come , have not had time today been walking backwards with fatah Gunmen in Nablus on the West bank. But had a great tri Saturday and took 13 minutes off my PB for the Olympic Distance , did a 2:41:06 on Saturday.
More to follow
Sorry no time to write more today , and by the way never eat at Mister Baker if you ever visit Nablus, you could use the grilled chicked as tiles on the Space Shuttle LOL

Friday, June 15, 2007

How my run finished last night

This is a funny , only in Israel could this happen at the end of a run.

Thus, last night I was running with my hash group the Thirsty Knights Hash House Harriers, commonly using slogans like runners with a drinking problem or drinkers with a running problem. Simply you run with friends then rehydrate with beer. Ok not the best training program but it adds a great alternative to speed intervals or long runs.

So as we ran back to the car park at the end of the run last night, there was a police car with its lights flashing next to my car. Now your immediate thoughts are of course , expletive my car has been broken into oh expletive.

However the car was untouched and the concern was that my car with its TV signs painted on the windows was in fact a suspected terrorist vehicle. The background being last week Militants in Gaza had tried to kidnap another Israeli soldier down in Gaza by getting a SUV and painting TV on the windows they had approached an israeli checkpoint. There attempt was thwarted one was killed and three others fled back into Gaza.

This story was palyed heavily in the local press, and last night whilst my car had been parked and left unattended two boys had seen my car and being good concerned citizens called the police and reported a "suspected potential terrorist vehicle"

The policeman was cool about it all and drove off smiling, after we explained to him dripping in sweat " That hey no, thats just Mals car".

So a funny only in Israel way to end a run. You have to laugh.

The vehicles look so similar LOL

Thursday, June 14, 2007

You often wonder?

Have been spending a lot of time looking around at other tri and running blogs in the past few days and have been trying to figure out what makes a good blog and how to adapt mine to reflect these.
Some tri'ers have great links and information whilst mine lately has seemed to be an endless listing of boring facts and figures complete with graphs that to be honest only are probably of no interest to to anyone and who cares about split times when the simple fact that I cannot understand simple instructions which are lost in translation are far more funny.
I suppose we all go through doubts about our blogs and whether they mean anything.
Then again what is the magic to some extent of specific blogs is that in a small way in connects us middle (to the back) of the pack athletes who compete for fun, we (well I) am never going to win anything in the forseeable future and no sponsorship deal is ever going to knock on my door.
I like being active and perhaps reading about other active people makes us all feel good, so maybe out there someone will read my blog and get a smile or look at my silly HR graphs and go wow dude that is awesome so that is why I like to blog.
Hope you all agree
Tri'ing harder

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Clif Bar Triathlon Start Commercial

Ok Something Silly to make you laugh. Must add this to my training schedule


I have fallen foul to my own enthusiasm for training we all do it , luckily I have done it without injury but my legs at the track yesterday felt like lead.

When I asked my coach Gavin if I was overtraining he said yes "Take it easy, Your running has improved so much"

So with the words of encouragement I have taken heed, time to back down a bit and focus on the Tel Aviv Triathlon this Saturday

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Whew Whatta

The title "whew whatta" comes from my past, when working as an editor in a tv station n Melbourne Australia, whenever there was a heatwave (Remember those days before global warming) , so whenever we had hot weather the line up editors used the expression " Whew Whatta " as in What a hot day.

So the other day Chaim asks me if I would like a run Sunday evening, not realising that a heatwave was on its way I thought could be a good time to work with Chaim and run at a local track up from his home, and introduce the Yasso 800's into the mix as we start training for the Munich Marathon in October.

From what I can figure it was at least 39 degrees C over a 100 F, when i got back into my car the temp came up as 45 degrees C.

If you look at my heart rate , click on the graph it expands out you can see that it was beyond my max rate of 172 , was hard to guage as i did not feel like I was pushing the bounds, but this is clear proof of the effects of hot weather and training. A good lesson learnt about training in the heat.

We had a good workout but I felt the effects and a lesson learnt

Train Smart .

Friday, June 08, 2007

Longer and Faster

I normally do my long runs early and on Saturday morning, which is the same as Sunday morning elsewhere, but today the programme had me long as Saturday is the only day that is half safe to ride on the roads here. Remember that they show Mad Max movies at Driver Education Programs here in Israel, and ifthey do not then how they learn to drive so badly is a vexed question.

So foolishly I started my run at 7am and spent almost half of it dodging cars , note to self do not run late Friday.

My normal pace on long runs is to be as lazy and slow as I can justify , taking into consideration that according to all books it is a LONG SLOW run to be done at conversational pace, rarely will my heart rate get close to 120 unless I am going up a hill.

Thus Gavin my coach has implicit zones to train in now, to break this habit and today I was to train in Zone 3 145 Bpm + , and how did i go. Well I looked for excuses and found I could justify a slow start as I was running on sandy soft trails, but when I got to the paved road I kicked up the gear and thought hey do it , on your long run push it "Define Yourself"

15km's - 1 hour 21 minutes 40 seconds for a training run I was very pleased with myself , Heart Rate average 134 max 157.
Pace 5.33mins/km or 8:55mins/mile. Well ok that is not fast but for me it was the best paced long training run I have ever done so a good session despite the Mad Maxes

and I managed 28% in Zone 3 and 59% in Zone 2

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Lactate Larry goes beyond the Zone

Well first up I think that that is a darn funky name for a blog entry, so excuse me for patting myself on the back, and yes given enough time a monkey with a blackberry would also come up with the exact phrase.

Any thanks for all those who posted comments on the recent video links to you tube inspirations. I also recommend all three of us that read my blog entries , to download some great podcasts about running and triathlons so next blog will give you my rundown. I am at the point that actually I do not like running to music and would much rather listen to a podcast about tri or running.

Anyway, enough digression back to Lactate Larry aka me this morning at the track, given the complete balls up the other morning at the track, go on snigger and laugh I know you are. Before even the warm up I cordoned the coach and got my running orders before the others. Strike 1 victory for moi.

Oh boy,as Gavin said we are peaking for Tel Aviv next week, hey I thought what ever happened to the "Taper" expression, so we are going to have two speeds on repeats today Lactate and beyond Lactate.

Great I thought, not only am I sore from Tuesday's mistakes, now I knew exactly what had to be done. I wished for blissful ignorance instead anyway here is the breakdown

warm up
400 m Lactate threshold 400m Beyond (ie even harder) REPEAT 5 times - Total 4km No breaks
2 minute rest
800m LT 400 m Tempo REPEAT 3 Times
Cool Down

So how did it go , well here are the facts and figures of the session

Warm up 10 minutes heart rate sub 110

Distance Time Max HR Speed km/h
400 1:38 135 14.6
400 1:42 138 14.0
400 1:52 139 12.8
400 1.47 143 13.3
400 1.56 144 12.3
400 1.46 154 13.0
400 1.53 152 12.6
400 1.47 158 13.3
400 1.57 155 12.3
400 1.51 158 12.9


800 3.43 154 12.7
400 2.11 149 11.2
800 3.52 158 12.3
400 2.16 151 10.6
800 3.51 181 12.2 (Last 200 flat out 16.3 kmh - nothing left max effort)

Cool down Walk & Jog

Total Distance workout 9 km
Speeds avg 11.5 - max 16.3 kmh
Hr avg session 135 max HR 181

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Can World's Strongest Dad

A true story of inspiration for all of us

The video points to Dick Hoyt competing in triathlons with his son Rick, and when you first look it won't take long to see this is a video with a difference.

Something happens, you see, when people see Dick Hoyt.

It started 45 years ago, when Rick was born in Massachusetts, US, with the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck cutting off the oxygen to his brain and Dick and his wife Judy were told there was basically no hope for Rick.

He had little hope of development and it was best to put him away, the doctors said.

When Rick was eight months old the same doctors told his father that he would be virtually a vegetable all his life and that they may as well put him in a home.

"It's been a story of exclusion ever since he was born," Dick says on his website,

Dick and Judy didn't put Rick away, though.

They played with him and laughed with him, and when two younger brothers came along the Hoyts soon became convinced that Rick was as intelligent as either of them.

Dick wanted to put his son in school but because Rick couldn't talk the school authorities told him Rick could never understand.

"Tell him a joke," Dick said.

They moved uncomfortably.

"Tell him a joke."

Rick laughed at their joke.

So Rick went to school, and even way back then in the early 1970s they built him a computer that enabled Rick to put his thoughts into words and he got along fine.

So Rick was off to school.

Then one day a schoolmate was paralysed in a car accident and the school organised a charity fun run.

"Dad," Rick typed, "I want to do that."

Dick had never run in his life.

Still, he did it for Rick, pushed him the whole 8km, and when he hit the finish line Dick was as sore as sore can be, and glad it was over.

Then Rick typed something.

"Dad," he said, "when we were running I felt like I wasn't disabled anymore."

That did it for Dick. He began training – swimming and running, riding the bike.

So much so they did the Boston marathon in 1983 four years after being denied entry, with Dick pushing Rick all the way.

After that they went into ironman triathlons. A 3.8km swim, 180km bike leg and 42km marathon at the end of it.

Dick's pot-belly had long disappeared and Rick, who had never walked, was now floating on clouds.

"Dad is one of my role models," Rick says on the website. "Once he sets out to do something, Dad sticks to it whatever it is, until it is done.

"For example, once we decided to really get into triathlons, dad worked out, up to five hours a day, five times a week, even when he was working."

So much has happened since.

Rick graduated from high school and now lives by himself and holds down a job.

Then Dick had a mild heart attack four years ago during a race. Doctors found one of his arteries was 95 per cent blocked – and said that if he hadn't been so fit he'd have been dead.

World's strongest dad . . .

Now to that video. So much is downloaded these days.

Such is the world we live in, people can get just about anything they like on the net.

But somewhere along the line, among all the hate videos and celebrations of violence, among all the rage and division, somebody put together a video of Rick and Dick and, well, give it a try, it might just change something for you.

It's on, and if you type "can world's strongest dad" in the search window Dick and Rick will pop up.

What you get is more than Dick and Rick competing together. You get the chance to watch those around them.

Volunteers and fellow competitors, people who get to see some pretty special athletes do some pretty special things as part of the everyday, affected by two honest, good men.

What you get to see is that, at a time when anybody can drive their hate, when the net is a free-for-all, there are still some pretty impressive people out there.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Tuesdays with ?

Well apart from the upcoming Triathlon Sat Week , my other main focus this year apart from more triathlons later in the year is to run the Munich Marathon in October so a lot of my focus in coming months will be running, well trying to improve my running and going for a PB. I will not mention the BQ word as that is not a reality and I am a realist and not a fool at my age.

So anyway I aim to be running two track sessions Tuesday and Thursday morning leading up to October. So where does the title of this entry come from well there was a famous book out recently which i did not read called Tuesday with Morrie.

Thusly rocking up to the track this morning fully expecting one of the two normal coaches to be there, but a new coach was there with very little English, a quick briefing to the assembled 50 of us, and bang they were off.

"What are we doing?"

One of the girls laughed and said "20 minutes, 1minute break, 25 minutes, 1 minute break and then 10 minutes to finish off"

So off I went good solid pace 5 minutes a km (8 minute miles) , round and around , first the twenty, then the fifteen, the coach smiling and saying looking good whats your pace?

"5's I said thru a pounding heart rate and hard breathing"

I was about to start the final 10 minutes, when he said "now at 10km race pace"

"What ?"

So off I went for the final session, giving it my all. Now I did not barf but was totally soaked with sweat and bent over double by the end.

I asked the girl who had given me the original 20/15/10 formula, what the coach had meant by doing the last at 10km race pace?

"Oh the did I forget to tell you that the first twenty minutes was at your Marathon Pace, the second fifteen minutes at Half Marathon Pace and the last ten minutes at 10k race pace"

"No I replied but I ran bloody hard for the last hour"

Perhaps this entry is another Lost in Translation

Monday, June 04, 2007

Weekend Wrap up

Thanks to Steve at Phedipidations Podcast for the plug for the blog in the last show, boy know I have to post some interesting stuff apart from my heart rate charts

The best thing of the weekend training schedule was my chance to go and watch a triathlon, instead of competing. The Herzliyya Womens Tri was held early Saturday Morning , so I was up before the birds to get my long run in before the start so at 5am I was running one of my favorite courses up the Nofyam Wilds past the Ammo dump, hey it is Israel they are everywhere sort of like running in the states and not seeing a 7/11 or a Mc Donalds is the way I put it. All runs here involve going past some Military Installation and at least going North meant that I did not have to go thru condom carpark where the results of the night trade are on evidence

Back to the tri , it was great to watch. It amazed me how much you can learn from watching for a change, little points like faster transitions and bike mounting all make sense now. I can see where I will be able to make up time for my own next race in two weeks time in Tel Aviv.

Sunday Morning was nearly three hours in the gym doing everything from weights to a spin class and since I only have a few days membership left time to make the most of it, I cannot afford the gym anymore simple fact of economics rather than lack of desire for the gym as I do enjoy it.

This morning was the group swim in the Open Water and even though I felt I sucked and was being beaten by anyone doing any stroke I did achieve another milestone in that I swam the whole thing from the gitgo Freestyle , not pretty but hey I have only been swimming freestyle for the last three weeks after 48 years of being a breast stroker so there was a positive.

Going to try and work on drills now to get the stroke better and faster . My goal is to do the swim leg of the Tel Aviv tri all 1500m of it freestyle ... wish me luck

Track tomorrow ... oh the pain LOL