Training Week 14: Check-in
Apr 04, 2016 by Andrew Rich
We did a full Olympic-distance "practice" triathlon in Pacific Grove last weekend. Yes, the distance that I spent the first half of 2014 working and training towards, now just a practice session midway through the season. The swim segment was cut short, but I did 922m of open-water wetsuit swim (my first wetsuit swim since 2014), 26 mile bike, and six miles run in three and a half hours.
Notice the kelp strands. That just made it extra fun.
Our bike workouts are getting longer -- even longer, at this point, than the actual race distance (56 miles). This is to provide enough conditioning and cushion for the race, where a 13.1-mile half marathon run will follow that 56-mile bike. In fact, most of the team will journey up to Tahoe in early June to participate in America's Most Beautiful Bike Ride, cycling once around the lake for around 72 miles.
Somewhere along a 26-mile bike course in Pacific Grove.
I took this last weekend "off" from triathlon training to do a pair of running races: the Giant Race Sacramento 5K, and the Rock 'n' Roll San Francisco Half Marathon. I set a new PR at the 5K on Saturday (26:26, beat my old 5K record by 35 seconds), and just beat my 2:30:00 goal at the half -- improving on last year's result at this race by nearly an hour.
Multi-medal weekend: Check.
So, overall, training is going well. Of course, I'm tired and hungry all the time. Sometimes I can't tell if I'm too hungry to sleep or too tired to eat. #triathleteprobs
Up next: a week of swim/bike/run workouts; an extended swim/run workout on Saturday; and a 57-mile ride on Calaveras (Milpitas) on Sunday. Eleven weeks of training left until the big event.
With some recent donations, my fundraising is up to just over one-third of my goal. My training gift-pack giveaway is still going -- donate $20 or more to my fundraising account and I may randomly choose you to receive the gift pack of training gear and supplies I described in my previous post. Why not take a minute to donate and help LLS with their vital mission?
Training Week 10: Check-in
Mar 16, 2016 by Andrew Rich
Let's face it, I'm tired!
Heading into week ten, and Lili von Shtupp is right! Right? I'm tired. Five Team or on-your-own (OYO) training sessions per week, plus weekly yoga and strength training, plus some additional runs as I start to gear up for a marathon in November... It's a lot.
Last Saturday we had a 45-mile ride with a time-trial on the schedule. A time trial is a designated segment of the ride where we're timed by one of the coaches; we repeat this every few weeks during the training season to assess our progress. Well, the weather didn't support the speedy riding of a time trial, but the 45 mile ride went on as planned. Hills, headwinds, rain, mud -- this was a fun one! Earlier in the week we'd had weeknight swim training, track running and group spin sessions on bike trainers. And the previous weekend featured a Boot Camp, which involved cycles of bike/run/bike/run for almost six hours.
We have a 50-mile ride and a swim/run workout scheduled for this weekend, plus the usual weeknight training sessions. And I am still doing strength training and yoga/pilates on my "off" days.
Of course it's still nothing compared to what cancer patients go through every day. The honorees on my Team in Training team remind us of that. But LLS is making a difference: the funds we raise go to vital research into treatments and cures for blood cancers, and to patient support programs. Here's some of the most recent progress made by LLS:
An investigational therapy supported by The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) performed significantly better than the standard therapy in a Phase 3 clinical trial for patients with high-risk (secondary) acute myeloid leukemia (AML), its developer announced today. AML remains the deadliest of all blood cancers, and there have been no new therapies for nearly 40 years.
LLS funded the Phase 3 clinical trial through its Therapy Acceleration Program® (TAP), which supports promising projects and clinical trials through collaborations with biotechnology companies. LLS began partnering with Celator Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in 2009 to develop the therapy, CPX-351 (VYXEOS TM), an innovative formulation of two existing chemotherapy drugs used to treat AML, when it was still in Phase 2 clinical trials.
(Here's the full news release with details.)
As for my fundraising efforts, I'm pleased to see that I'm (as of this writing) nearly one-third of the way to my goal of $3,500. But it's time to step it up and hit that goal. With that in mind, and with thanks to several fitness/athletic gear brands I've been using and working with, I am happy to announce that I will pick one person who donates to my fundraising goal between March 16 and April 13 to receive this amazing gift pack!
This package of gear, perfect for anyone training for a race or just keeping active, includes:
- R3 Orthopedic Foot Roller by Roll Recovery
- Two rolls of KT Tape Pro (one blue, one green) by KT Tape
- One pair of Men's Dynamic+ Short Compression Socks (purple blue/green) by CEP Compression
- And a $50 gift card from Sports Authority!
The retail value of this gift pack is $139.47, but I will give it away to a randomly-selected person who donates at least $20 to my Team in Training / Leukemia & Lymphoma Society fundraising between today, March 16, and April 13, 2016. And every $20 of your donation counts separately, so (for example) if you give $100 to LLS for blood cancer research, you'd be five times as likely to be randomly selected to receive this gift pack. And I'll even pay for (U.S. domestic) shipping out of my own pocket. (If you do not want to be considered to receive the gift pack, just note that in your donation.)
That's enough for today. Back to training.
GO TEAM IRON TEAM!
Disclosure: Roll Recovery donated their product expressly for this gift pack; I purchased the KT Tape at a discount; I received the CEP Compression and Sports Authority items as contest prizes. I received no compensation from these companies for their products' inclusion in this gift pack.
Training Week 5: Check-in
Feb 08, 2016 by Andrew Rich
Not that Ironman, the other Ironman
I'm beginning the fifth week of training for the Ironman 70.3 triathlon with Team in Training. I think it's going pretty well, and my coaches agree. With five scheduled team workouts every week, I relish my two recovery days! They give me time to catch up on emails, check-in on my fundraising, and keep my job search going.
The typical weekly workout schedule, in case you're interested, looks like this:
- Monday - Rest (I do light strength training and yoga/Pilates)
- Tuesday - Spin (I do this at my gym)
- Wednesday - Swim or Run (either an hour in the pool or a 4-5 mile track workout with calisthenics)
- Thursday - Run or Swim (whichever wasn't done the night before)
- Friday - Rest (I do light strength training, usually)
- Saturday and Sunday - Varies but one day will have a double workout of swim/bike or swim/run, and the other day will have the third workout.
After four weeks of training and more time in the pool than I've had since, well, my last triathlon in 2014, I am very pleased with my progress. I swam a bit over one mile on Saturday morning in less than an hour. The 70.3 triathlon's swim distance is 1.2 mile and I expect I'll hit that within the next couple of weeks; then it will just be a matter of getting comfortable with the long swim, taking fewer breaks and working on my breathing.
You'll recall I did the AMBBR ("America's Most Beautiful Bike Ride") Century ride with TnT last year -- 100 miles around Lake Tahoe -- so as you might expect, a 56-mile ride for the triathlon isn't as daunting to me as it was when I was training in 2014. I've done this distance, and more than, several times; I'm confident of my cycling skills, I have a good bike, and my cycling endurance and strength are in good shape. Of course, doing a long ride after swimming for an hour is something else again, but recent swim/bike workouts have gone reasonably well and I'm feeling fine about it.
Anyone who follows me on social media knows my primary activity is running. I did 28 running events of various distances last year -- before, during and after my Team in Training season -- and set new Personal Records in the 5K (27:01), 10K (54:49) and Half Marathon (2:07:45). However, I'm re-learning just how much more difficult it is to run a race after hopping off the bike. The legs, they burn! Never the less, the coaching and training I'm receiving is the absolute best, and I'm sure I'll be ready to finish (if not PR) the 13.1 mile run portion of the 70.3 triathlon.
That's my training update for week 5; now it's time for a fundraising update and appeal. Unfortunately, my fundraising isn't going terribly well this season. I'm a little concerned that I may have gone to the well a few too many times; this is, after all, my fifth consecutive year fundraising for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. So I thought I'd share some of the latest news from LLS about where your generous donated dollars go:
- Precision Medicine. We’re continuing the track toward precision medicine, which means “the right treatment for the right person at the right time.” People may actually be able to forego toxic chemotherapy and instead benefit from targeted drugs prescribed based on one’s individual genetic make-up in the not-too-distant future. This is the goal of LLS’s groundbreaking BEAT AML initiative, which you’ll be hearing more about in coming months.
- Cures. At the recent American Society of Hematology meeting, where leading researchers shared their most recent advances, it was very encouraging to hear experts using a four-letter word when it comes to blood cancers -- “cure”! That was a word people shied away from for years but now we are starting to see it as a real possibility for many diseases.
These and many other advances are possible because of you, my friends and family, who support my LLS fundraising and TnT training. So, one more time, allow me to please ask for your help. The "Donate" button in the right column of this page will take you to a secure transaction site where you can enter credit card data or find out how to mail a check. If you see me in person, I can accept either right away through the new LLS mobile app. Remember, these donations are tax-deductible.
As always, thank you.
GO TEAM IRON TEAM!
Starman > Ironman
Jan 12, 2016 by Andrew Rich
The world lost an icon this week. David Bowie passed away at age 69 after battling cancer for 18 months. I didn't realize how much this would affect me until I woke up on Monday morning and saw the first tributes on social media. If you know me, and my typical stoic demeanor, you might be surprised to learn that the news had me quite emotional.
David Bowie - Starman (1972)
While (as far as I know) the specific type of cancer hasn't been made public, the research and treatments funded by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society apply in some ways to most of the common varieties. If you feel like supporting a cancer-related cause in honor of Bowie, you could do a lot worse than LLS.
I Am Ironman
Dec 09, 2015 by Andrew Rich
Here we go again! For the fifth consecutive year, I'll be competing in a Team in Training event, benefiting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. This time, it'll be the Ironman 70.3 Triathlon in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.
The Ironman 70.3 consists of a 1.2 mile swim, a 56-mile bike ride and a 13.1-mile run (a half marathon). It was my initial goal when I began training for the 2014 Pacific Crest triathlon, but some setbacks during the training season led me to switch to the shorter Olympic distance. I am confident there will be no such setbacks this time; I'm in much better shape, over fifty pounds lighter, and more experienced.
My friends and family - you - have helped me raise over $10,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma society so far. This money has helped LLS fund and develop breakthrough treatments for blood cancers, and markedly improve the lives of blood cancer patients. One recent success involved LLS providing major funding for two new drugs (daratumumab and ixazomib) for patients with relapsed multiple myeloma. My fundraising goal for 2016 is $3,500. I'd love to get an early start on fundraising so I can concentrate on training once the season starts early next year.
Need to get that last charitable donation in before the end of the calendar year? LLS is a 501(c)(3) organization, so donations are fully tax deductible--click that Donate button! Or, want something tangible in return? Check out my Amazon Storefront (these purchases are not tax-deductible).
Either way, thank you as always for your generous support for this very worthy cause and for my training.