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2015 Race Season Review ...

Added on by Ray Insalaco.

Of the goals that I set this year and actually worked on, I’ll call this year a resounding success. Overall I had a lot of fun this year while hitting most of my race goals this year. And I did this while actually training smarter, not harder.

I had two running related goals for this year, and they were to go sub 2 hours in a half marathon and sub 20 minutes in a 5K. I had a 1:47 at the Willimantic Half Marathon early in the year while running with my friend Bill Smith, and then managed a 19:50 at the Brooklyn Fair 5K in late August. Guess that means that I will be looking to take things up another notch this year.

There were three things I was looking to do in the multisport world this year. I was looking to qualify for the Duathlon Nationals, go sub 6 hours in a half IRONMAN and sub 12 hours in a IRONMAN. I only did one duathlon this year and got my butt handed to me. Going up an age bracket seems to have increased the completion more than I was expecting. However, there were some takeaways from the race and I am looking to take another shot in 2016. I did hit my other two goals with a 5:59:59 at IRONMAN Timberman 70.3 and crushed my IRONMAN target with a 11:32 at Maryland.

My other race goals had to do with cross. Maryland ended up getting delayed by weather for a couple of weeks and by time I was recovered the cross season was pretty much over. Better luck next year.

The biggest non-race goal for the year was to get my weight under control. By early October I was down to 178 pounds, which I didn’t think I would ever be able to get down to. However, I also have found it to be something that I can’t maintain. In the week before Maryland, while tapering, I gained 2 pounds back and in the two weeks recovering from the race I put another 8 pounds on. It seems that my weight was pretty stable in the 185-190 range until I started to do some heavy lifting at the gym in early December. Going forward I will try to target something right around 185 pounds.

Hopefully in the next day or two I will be able to get my goals and planned race schedule for next year posted. Seeing as that I am already in week 5 of my training schedule I should know what my plans are.

2014 Race Season Review ...

Added on by Ray Insalaco.

Overall I would have to say that this past season was a success. I reached two of my goals, and they were the two that were the most important to me. Stay health and have FUN! It was a different year and I really enjoyed the new challenges that it brought. The only goal that I was a little disappointed with missing trying to finish a Cat.3 'cross race in the top 50%. I figured out rather quickly that what I was working on for time trialing didn't carry over to 'cross. That is something that can be fixed for next season.

My training goals all worked out pretty good. Based on the Performance Manager in TrainingPeaks, my fitness was the best it has been while reducing the time I spend training by about 20%. I mostly kept my weight under control, even if I still look like a beached whale in all my race photos.

Basically I build my season around two peaks this year. In late April I peaked for the Willi Whammer 1/2 Marathon followed two weeks later by the Race of Rams Duathlon. After that I took some time off before building to my main races of the season. Although I was trained, I botched the recovery going into Timberman and had a little bit of and off day. Learning how to properly time a recover before a big race is something that I need to work on.

IRONMAN 70.3 Timberman

Added on by Ray Insalaco.

Exiting the water.

SWIM: TrainingPeaks Data
Target Time: 0:45:00
Race Time: 0:42:54

I was so nerves before this swim that I tore my wetsuit twice trying to put it on.  This was going to be my first group start in a triathlon so I really had no idea what to expect.  Once the race started I started to relax and try getting into a rhythm.  Unfortunately that was not going to happen.  Instead I struggled with the swim the entire time I was in the water.  Overall I felt the swim went terrible, but when I saw my time I was pretty happy.  B+

T1: 0:04:55
Just tried to be steady.  Overall very happy with my time.

Finishing the bike

BIKE: TrainingPeaks Data
Target Time: 3:00:00
Race Time: 2:48:13

I had pre-rode the first and last 8 miles of the course on Saturday, so I knew the first 6.5 miles were mostly uphill.  It was never a big climb, just a long rolling climb.  The plan was to just keep it nice and steady for this part and then put in a good effort until the big climb that started around mile 12.  After that climb it was 35-38 miles of just getting into a nice steady grove and try to maintain around 220 watts.  This worked out better than I could have ever hoped for.  I had great legs for the two big climbs on the way back in and just buried myself for the last 6.5 downhill miles into the finish.  A+

T2: 0:05:23
It was looking like rain before the start, so I left my T2 stuff in my transition bag to keep it dry.  This cost me a little time, but at least I didn’t have to worry about having wet stuff to start the run.

The start of the run

RUN: TrainingPeaks Data
Target Time: 2:15:00
Race Time: 2:32:28

Before I was even out of transition I knew that I had no legs for the run.  Instead of killing myself and trying to find something that was not there, I just immediately fell into a run/walk routine that I was sure would get me to the finish.  I really liked the course and wish I could have found some way to run a little more but it was not to be.  D-

Overall: 6:13:53

Summary:
I was using a training plan to get ready for Timberman and was questioning the running volume for the last month before the race.  Unfortunately I decided to trust in the training plan instead of what my body was telling me. I just do not think that I was doing even close to enough miles, so coming off the bike and being a little tired I was doomed.  Going into the half marathon that I ran in April I was doing 25-30 miles a week, but the training plan that I was working with only had me doing 10-15 miles a week.  Oh well, live and learn.

On the bike I wanted to average 220 watts.  When I pulled my data off the Garmin, I found out that I only averaged 190 watts while going under my target time.  I’m not sure if means that I had great legs that day, or that the course really suited me.  I will say that I really liked the course.  I did have on problem on the bike.  I missed my pocked when putting my gel flask away around mile 20 and didn’t find out until the next time I went looking for it.

Based on my result and how I felt after this I have decided that I will go ahead and do a IRONMAN next year.  Not sure if it will be IRONMAN Maryland or Louisville.

2013 Racing Year Reviewed …

Added on by Ray Insalaco.

My 2013 racing year can be summed up in one sentence.  It was over before it ever started.  

I had a good plan going into last year and I thought some achievable goals, but the week before my first bike race I broke a couple of ribs.  This wasn’t the first time, but it was the first time that it hurt enough to stop me from riding, training and sleeping.  While I was waiting for the ribs to heal, I decided to go see a doctor about a problem with my foot that had been bothering me off and on for about a year.  It ended up being a severe case of athlete’s foot.  He put me on oral Lamisil for 90 days.  One of the side effects, other than destroying your liver, can be fatigue.  For every hour I spent on the bike I would spend four crashed on the couch after.  It was the end of July by time I was off this stuff and another two weeks before it cleared out of my system and I could start training again. 

So what’s the first thing I did once I was training again?  Over train and end of with a pinched nerve in my neck/shoulder area that made it pretty much impossible to ride.  That took another six weeks to get straightened out.  At this point it was mid-October and the ‘cross season was in full swing and I was not even close to being in race shape.  At this point I called it a season without ever lining up for a bike race, and only one running race.

So long 2013, and I am not sad to see you go!

2012 Cycling Recap …

Added on by Ray Insalaco.
 2012 BEvaER Cross

2012 BEvaER Cross

2012 was a good year on the bike.  I hit most of my goals for the year.  The goals that I accomplished were finishing the in top 50% in the Cat 4’s, upgrading to Cat 3 in Cyclocross and finish a Cat 3 race on the lead lap.  I also wanted to do and finish a 12 hour solo MTB race.

The two big goals that I missed were picking up an upgrade point as a Cat 4 in Cyclocross and finishing the Hampshire 100 in under 6:30.  I was on pace to easily finish the Hampshire 100 in under 6 hours until I folded the front wheel.

I ended up putting just over 5100 miles on the bike for the years, and a lot of those miles were with some really good friends.  Here is looking for many more miles in the years to come.