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Update No. 15 – Back in training 2014: Preparing for an international triathlon, half-marathon August 31, 2014

Posted by Brian in Brian Kelley, links, New Jersey, NJ, Philadelphia, running, training, weight loss.
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Atlantic City Triathlon logo
Trenton Half Marathon
Hightstown Triathlon logo
Broad Street Run

I kind of promised in my last update that I would provide more detail regarding my performance in the Hightstown Triathlon on August 17, but thinking about it some more…there really wasn’t a lot more to say. I mean, I know the swim component of these triathlons are going to be the toughest for me to complete. My 10:24 time for the quarter-mile swim at Hightstown included a few breaks, but was probably a best-case scenario for me. My transition times were pretty terrible, but—as much as I wanted to—I didn’t really get a whole lot of time to practice that, especially going from swim to bike. If I can improve anywhere at this point, it’s during the transitions.

Also, the last two times I’ve taken off the wet suit after a swim, I have suffered a slight charley horse in both calf muscles while trying to get my feet out of the legs of the suit—including during the Hightstown Triathlon.

Speaking of which, I tried to do a practice mile swim at a lake in Medford, N.J., yesterday morning. However, after completing two loops for a half-mile, I wanted to rest in shallow water and make some adjustments to my swim cap and the neck area of my suit because something was digging into the back of my neck. When I went to put my feet down on the lake bottom, I stepped awkwardly and suffered a severe—and painful—charley horse. It was so bad I had trouble feeling my right leg below my knee for a minute or two. I quickly started rubbing it out and started backstroking to shore.

Thankfully, by the time I got myself to the lakeside beach a few minutes later, my leg wasn’t too bad. It felt a little tight, but I could walk without too much discomfort. I can’t imagine being able to complete a 20-mile bike ride and 10K run, though, if that were to happen September 14 during my next event, the Atlantic City International Triathlon so I’m going to be researching ways to prevent that from happening again.

Also, I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I’m just going to have to go buoy to buoy on the mile swim for the AC Tri…whatever it takes to complete the mile loop.

Then, with both triathlons behind me, I will focus on my final major event of the year, the Trenton Half-Marathon, on Nov. 8, 2014. I also just added a minor running event to my schedule, as I recently registered for the inaugural WXPN 5K Run for Musicians On Call on October 5. WXPN is a radio station close to my heart and I’ve been a member-listener for a few years now, so I figured it would be a nice tune-up run prior to the Trenton Half Marathon. Plus, it benefits WXPN’s Musicians On Call program, which provides live music to thousands of patients in healthcare facilities around the Delaware Valley area.

Just a reminder…I have already completed two of my main competitive, athletic events this year, as I finished the 10-mile Broad Street Run on May 4 in 1:36:21 and completed the Hightstown Triathlon on August 17 in 1:34:05.

Note: See the January 18 update and original post below for background information…and please see the Training Tracker below to follow my major training swims, rides and runs. And, again, I apologize for not yet having a chance to reverse the order of the tracker so that the more recent results are at top…hopefully, I’ll get to that for the next update.

1/18/2014 UPDATE:
Earlier this month (see original post below), I wrote about training for my first half-marathon, the Trenton (N.J.) Half-Marathon taking place Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014, and my other goal of reaching a target weight of 168 pounds.

Well, when I wrote that, I was also eyeing another ridiculously ambitious goal…competing and finishing in the Atlantic City International Triathlon on Sept. 14, 2014. However, I was still waiting to hear back from the organizers regarding a question about my bike. Well, I was given the information I needed and have officially registered for the event, which includes a one-mile swim, a 20-mile bike ride and a 10K (6.2-mile) run.

I’ve never done an official half-marathon before, but at least I’ve run 13.1 miles in training  so I know I can do it. I have completed a swim of around a mile, have ridden 20 miles on a bike many times before and have 6.2 miles several times. However, I am in no way ready to do all of these in sequence at one time, but I’m learning as fast as I can how to get myself trained and conditioned for it.

So I must revise the 2014 fitness goals I listed in the original post. They are now: 1) get weight down to (and stay at/near) 168 pounds, 2) complete the Atlantic City International Triathlon, and 3) complete the Trenton Half-Marathon.

Wow…when you write it all out, it looks daunting. What was I thinking? Oh well, nothing to do now but to get in shape and ready to compete.

At the bottom of each of these posts, you will find a training tracker so you can follow my progress.

Original Post – January 9, 2014:
Last year, I tracked my training for the Trenton 10K, which took place Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013. It was the first organized race I have run other than a 5K. I finished the Trenton 10K with a chip time of 59:46.399, and my goal was to finish in less than an hour…so mission accomplished.

But as I watched the half-marathon runners start their race that morning, I regretted not being more ambitious with my running goals. After finally shaking off a persistent head cold I came down with the day after the race, I mapped out a route and completed a test run of 13.1 miles in 2:27:27—and, admittedly, that included about a half-mile of walking.

Now that I know I can do it, I want to announce here that I have registered for the 2014 Trenton Half-Marathon, taking place Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014.

I also want to use this opportunity to finally get into the proverbial “best shape of my life”— a sports cliché used by so many aging veterans heading into training camp. The holidays and two bouts with colds have basically put me back to square one as far as conditioning is concerned, but next week I’m going to start getting serious about working out everyday and tracking my caloric intake. And, of course, I’ll be tracking my training runs here on the blog.

In addition to training for the half marathon, it is my goal to finally get down to 168 pounds, which means losing about 23 pounds. I had lost 35 pounds back in 2006 after a false heart disease scare, but my weight-loss efforts stalled at 173—leaving me five pounds shy of my goal. Unfortunately, I gained nearly all of the weight I lost back again within the following year and have only been able to lose about 10-15 pounds a couple of times since then.

So…those are my two main goals for 2014: 1) complete the Trenton Half Marathon, 2) get down (and stay at/near) 168 pounds.

Training Tracker
I’ll be posting updates on my progress here every so often. The table below includes my swim/bike/run distances and times during this training period. Items in bold are personal records or other milestones. Also, I finally reversed the order of the table so that the most recent activity is at top…
Date Swim/Bike/Run Distance Time
8/30/2014 0.5 mile (swim) Approximately 25 minutes
8/29/2014 3.15 miles (run) 26:14
8/17/2014 3.1 miles (run) 26:01 – 2014 Hightstown Triathlon (results)
8/17/2014 15.3 miles (bike) 50:16 – 2014 Hightstown Triathlon (results)
8/17/2014 0.25 miles (swim) 10:24 – 2014 Hightstown Triathlon (results)
8/9/2014 2.34 miles (run) 19:40
8/9/2014 600 yards/0.34 miles (lake swim) N/A…first time swimming in a lake in a wetsuit…had to “float” frequently during swim and rest for about 15 minutes between the two 300-yard loops.
8/8/2014 3.11 miles (bike) 27:22
8/8/2014 15.55 miles (bike) 52:48
8/6/2014 3.12 miles (run) 27:12
8/6/2014 14.99 miles (bike) 49:32 (in a bit of rain)
8/4/2014 3.11 miles (run) 29:05
8/4/2014 14.42 (bike) 51:19
7/31/2014 19.55 miles (bike) 1:06:54 (tracking was a bit off toward the end of the ride due to device issue)
7/29/2014 3.11 miles (run) 26:17
7/17/2014 3.11 miles (run) 30:42
7/16/2014 3.11 miles (run) 28:36
7/16/2014 20.03 miles (bike) 1:09:05
7/10/2014 3.1 miles (Nike+ recorded 3.19 miles) (run) 26:47.15 (RWJUH Strides for Stroke 5K) / 27:14 (Nike+)
7/10/2014 20.05 miles (bike) 1:09:45
7/8/2014 2.01 miles (run) 18:28
7/8/2014 10.04 miles (bike) 33:59
6/30/2014 5.00 miles (run) 48:02
6/27/2014 6.2 miles (run) 59:51
6/27/2014 20.08 miles (bike) 1:07:31
6/23/2014 3.30 miles (run) 31:15
6/23/2014 20.03 miles (bike) 1:06:44 (20-mile personal best)
6/20/2014 3.12 miles (run) 28:20
6/20/2014 15.01 (bike) 51:08
6/17/2014 3.11 miles (run) 26:09 (included personal-best mile time of 7:33)
6/16/2014 4.06 miles (run) 41:37
6/16/2014 20.28 miles (bike) 1:08:34
6/10/2014 6.22 miles (run) 57:02 (10K-distance personal best)
6/6/2014 3.12 miles (run) 26:43
6/4/2014 4.54 miles (run) 52:46
6/4/2014 20.24 miles (bike) 1:08:27 (20-mile personal best)
5/29/2014 6.21 miles (run) 1:02:37
5/29/2014 16.6 miles (bike) 58:48
5/29/2014 4.67 miles (bike) 17:39
5/27/2014 3.12 miles (run) 27:42
5/25/2014 6.21 miles (run) 58:57 (Brigantine, NJ)
5/23/2014 3.12 miles (run) 27:15
5/20/2014 6.23 miles (run) 57:16
5/19/2014 2.35 miles (run) 20:02
5/12/2014 5.01 miles (run) 46:18 (5-mile personal best)
5/9/2014 3.11 miles (run) 25:58 (5K-distance personal best)
5/4/2014 10.0 miles (Nike+ recorded 10.2 miles) (run) 1:36:21 – Broad Street Run (10-mile personal-best)
5/2/2014 3.1 miles (run) 28:15
5/1/2014 3.1 miles (run) 26:23 (5K-distance personal best)
4/28/2014 4 miles (run) 35:44
4/24/2014 10 miles (run) 1:39:04 (10-mile personal best)
4/22/2014 5.02 miles (run) 50:18
4/21/2014 5.02 miles (run) 46:38 (5-mile personal best)
4/13/2014 3.1 miles (run) 26:57 official chip time – Barnabas Health Lakewood BlueClaws 5K
4/9/2014 3.14 miles (run) 26:52 (26:35 personal best 5K time)
4/2/2014 3.11 miles (run) 26:51
3/27/2014 10 miles (run) 1:45:49
3/21/2014 15.25 mile ride followed by 6.21 mile run 59:25 (bike)/1:05:14 (run)
3/11/2014 18.46 mile ride followed by 3.11 mile run 1:10:09 (bike)/30:40 (run)
3/6/2014 6.21 miles (run) 58:45
2/21/2014 6.21 miles (run) 1:01:34
2/11/2014 3.11 miles (run) 30:55
2/10/2014 1.02 miles (swim) – 72 laps (25-yd pool) approx. 40 minutes
2/6/2014 1.02 miles (swim) – 72 laps (25-yd pool) approx. 40 minutes
2/4/2014 0.57 miles (swim) – 40 laps (25-yd pool) unknown
1/31/2014 1.14 miles (swim) – 80 laps (25-yd pool) approx. 1 hour
1/29/2014 1.02 miles (swim) – 72 laps (25-yd pool) approx. 50 minutes
1/27/2014 0.71 miles (swim) – 50 laps (25-yd pool) approx. 40 minutes
1/24/2014 0.37 miles (swim) – 26 laps (25-yd pool) approx. 30 minutes
12/5/2013 13.12 miles (run) 2:27:27 – longest distance run

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