Sunday, April 25, 2010

Mistakes and Strategies for Long Workout Recovery

By Michael Donikian, USAT Certified Coach, NASM-CPT

Training this week has been tough and not because the training itself has been tough but because my recovery has been poor. I've had a few late nights, some happy hours and events and the usual early mornings. By the time Saturday morning came around I was pretty beat though I still had a 75 mile ride 4000 ft of climbing scheduled as part of the NYCC A-SIG Classic ride series, for which I am a ride leader. Not the kind of thing I could just skip, shorten, or modify at my own discretion.

After some coffee and a bagel I rode a short 3 miles to the meet up location. My legs felt like they were still asleep but I was cautiously optimistic they'd "wake up" after 20-30 miles. The major hill came at around the 35 mile mark and decided this would be a opportunity to test my legs. I started off going hard at a pace I knew I could sustain for the 2.5 mile climb under normal circumstances. I quickly fell apart though... the pace was not sustainable under my current condition. Instead I chose to hold back and go at a much easier pace and hopefully have something left for the remaining 40 miles. After some regrouping at the top of the hill, we had a quick briefing about safety and took the descent on the backside of the hill. We didn't even go a quarter mile when we came upon a mess of ambulances, fire trucks, and flashing red lights. I hoped it wasn't our people but it was. It appeared that two of our riders got hit by a car making a left turn. They must have been going 30 mph or more on that downhill. They got taken away by ambulance (as of Sunday they're recovering well but won't comment more out of respect for their privacy).

Needless to say the group took it pretty easy for the rest of the ride, especially on the descents. Despite the easier pace, I was still pretty beat by the end of it. I wish I had taken extra recovery nutrition post ride but was stressed for time once I got home and just couldn't fit it all in. I would pay for this mistake!

By Sunday morning (today) my legs felt like bricks. I had a 9 mile run scheduled today, which I dropped down to about 5. I then swam for about 20 minutes. To help facilitate greater recovery I structured my run to follow the Western Australia One-Day Carbo Loading Protocol. I then proceeded to eat unusually large amount of carbs (700g given my body comp) such that I could be back to normal (or better) come Monday. As of right now I'm maybe only 300-400g in but still working on it.

Tips for making the protocol work
In the past, I've had great success with this protocol though it is quite difficult to follow. One of the easiest ways to make it work is by making super concentrated drink mixes of Hammer HEED. If you get the 80 serving container, it's actually quite cost effective (less than $0.59 per 100 cal serving). Gu Recovery Brew is another great choice since it's got a 7:1 ratio of carbs to protein... unusual for most recovery drinks, but ideal for these types of applications. You can mix it up with fruit in a blender and make yourself a custom smoothie. People usually don't think of Hammer HEED or other high carb sources as being recovery drinks but if used properly they can have amazing results.

Pre-Race Checklist

It's that time of year when training is well underway and racing is just around the corner.  Since it's likely to have been a few months since the last race (or your first time!) here's a race checklist reminder, for whatever you're racing.  If I forget anything, let me know!

Running Specific
Dry-wick shirt
Race number (attached)
Running-specific shorts
Running shoes w/ chip attached
Run-specific socks
Vaseline/Body Glide
Pace bracelet
Fuel belt (if needed)
Warm clothes for post-race

Cycling Specific
Cycling kit (jersey/shorts/bib)
Race number (attached)
Arm warmers/ legs (if needed)
Cycling shoes
Cleat covers
Street shoes
Cycling Gloves
Saddle bag w/ tire levers, extra tubes, CO2 cartridge + inflator, multi-tool
Chamois creme
Cue sheet (if needed)
Casual shorts for post-race

Triathlon Specific
Tri top/shorts/suit
Body Glide
Race Belt with number
Bike Shoes
2 water bottles
Small Towel
Running Shoes
Race laces
Socks (optional)
Saddle bag- tire levers, extra tube(s), CO2, multi-tool
Dry clothing

Cinch backpack
Heart Rate Monitor & Strap
Foam Roller
Nutrition (gels, chews, bars, salt tablets)
Pre-race water bottle with sports drink
Post-race water bottle with recovery drink/bar

Sunday, April 18, 2010


Wow.  That's all I have to say about today.  For the abridged version, my performance was subpar, by my own standards and definitely compared to the competition.  I wish I could blame it on the weather, but alas we all faced the same brutality from Mother Nature.

Day began with a 6am wakeup.  This is possibly the latest I've woken up for a triathlon (that usually start at 7am or even earlier) so I was definitely feeling refreshed.  Packed the trucks, drove to race site, got there around 7.  The sky was just lightening up and there was no rain, but boy the wind was bad.  It was probably in the 40s with winds around 20mph, gusting to 30.  It felt COLD.  We had a long, meandering walk over to transition because the original parking area was flooded (and we had to cross gushing water between two lakes to boot).  When we arrive at transition they are making announcements that the water is 54 degrees (warmer than outside!) and the swim has been cut in half from 1500m to 750m.  Darn, I was really hoping for a duathlon!  And it hurt our team because we have a super-swimmer (who was first female out of the water anyways!).  But whatever.  Get the chip, bathroom, usual transition stuff.  This time we couldn't take the bikes out and no one was going to warm up in the water so there was a lot of standing around, freezing.  15 minutes before race start, I took the first of 3 Gu Roctanes.

Race started at 9, with 10 waves every 5 minutes.  Each collegiate team had up to 7 men and 7 women and the top seeded male from each team goes first, then top seeded female, second seeded male, etc.  I was going as the second-seeded female, in deference to our super-swimmer.  9:15 and I was off.  The wetsuit and neoprene cap really helped, but my feet were freezing!  Plus the water was really choppy and I've never had a worse swim start.  Everyone was on top of each other, I swallowed water, had to come up twice, got scared around the buoy, etc.  It was nothing short of a disaster.  It was only 9.5 minutes (the swim was shortened further to 500m) so I didn't lose too much time, but was way in the pack of the pack.

T1 could have been my worst split.  4 miles to find the bike, struggle with socks, put on a jacket, attempt to get on bike, etc.  My feet were ice and just not working.  I had already resigned this to being a training race so I was ready to sacrifice my transitions for comfort on the bike and run, but it was just too much (and didn't help anyways).

Onto the bike.  Once clipped in we had a pretty steep uphill.  Even though only the "fast" people were supposed to be ahead of me, I saw a number walking up (it wasn't that bad!).  The bike felt okay and the jacket really helped me stay warm, but my toes were completely numb and functionless.  The bike course was essentially a square such that we were headed into all cardinal directions at some point.  That meant that we faced the wind from both sides, the back, and the front.  So speeds were all over the place!  One section it was blowing from left to right and I literally had to get out of aero, grip the bars, and lean left just to stay upright.  It was like anything I had ever experienced- true Texas plains wind!  There was absolutely nothing to block it from whipping across us.  I was honestly more than a little scared of toppling over.  I couldn't even reach for the water bottle (Accelerade) and once I was able to get it I had to hold it in my hands for a few minutes until I could find a place to put it back without falling over.  But, once we turned and the wind was at our back, I was flying!  I passed a lot of people on the bike (including our super-swimmer, who had never done more than 18 miles at a time) and was only passed by 1 female so I thought it went well (relatively, of course).  Came in at 1:25, but it was only the 60th best female time of the day, way below my expectations.  Took another Roctane mid-way through.

After a quick T2 I was off on the run.  I could not feel my feet- they were just nubs.  I had to stop twice in the first half mile and actually took off my shoe and rubbed my toes to get some feeling.  Someone ran by and yelled ""just run, they'll get better!"  Tried that, but still was scarily numb.  I even asked a ref who repeated what the runner said.  So I just kept going.  I didn't have the run setting on my watch, there were no mile markets, and I was so concentrating on my feet that I had no idea what my pace was.  Just going by feel (or lack thereof).  Gupled down my final Gu Roctane but it was not settling and my stomach was sloshing and I got a bad stomach cramp.  I think it's because I had to take my entire water bottle on the second half of the bike, rather than space it out to aid digestion.  I was paying for it now- but I knew how to change my breathing and was better by mile 2.  But it was too late, my run was shot.  The 1.5 mile loops felt like forever and I just never got a rhythm.  Was passed by an MSU guy but was able to keep him within 20 feet for the rest of the race so at least I was consistent.  49:02- yikes!  Worst 10K in a very long time.

Race ended around noon but we had to wait around to 2pm to get our bikes from transition, after the sprint race ended.  By the time we got back, packed the bikes, showered, etc it was time for the awards ceremony.  Useless for our team, but good sportsmanship and a great way to see 1,000 collegiate athletes all together.  It's amazing how strong and united a lot of these teams are!

On that note: collegiate triathlon.  Very few of the races I do have any >24 participants I just don't see the younger racers.  Maybe it's geography (almost all of the teams were from big schools in the South, Midwest, and West)- there were only 2 New England schools represented (MIT and Keene State in NH).  If I raced in CA or CO maybe I would see them.  On the other hand, maybe there are only 1,000 or so racers but they all come to this race- it's like their Kona.  For the biggest and best teams, they train together all year (and they can in Palo Alto, San Diego, and Boulder) and this is the end of their season.  They are trained and tapered, whereas we are just starting outdoor training.  But these are excuses- the truth is they are FAST.  And not just the single-sport stars I thought they were.  I am very impressed, and can't wait for the next few years when they enter the AG ranks.   If they are the future of triathlon in the US, it looks very bright.

All in all, this is a forgettable race, except that I never will.  However, it kick-started my season.  Since I came in 381st and only 20th female grad student- far below my goals- I realize how much work I have to do to get back into racing form.  I am now pumped to get my bike back where it belongs and to get the run down.  May will be that time when I'm between school and work.

Friday, April 16, 2010

A Wash Out in Lubbock

by Lindsay

Day 2 of USA Triathlon Collegiate National Championships in Lubbock, TX.  Also day 2 of non-stop rain. While none of the epic hail of last year, this rain is causing some concern.  The ground here is all clay, meaning that it does not absorb water quickly enough.  The roads are all flooded with inches of water and even cars are having trouble getting through.  How will we?

The day started at 7am when the team awoke to get used to an early morning start and do get a good run in.  Plan was foiled immediately as it was absolutely teeming and still pretty dark outside so we decide to take turns on the hotel gym's treadmill instead.  Breakfast of cereal and bagels and peanut butter followed and I distributed all of the sports nutrition donated by Sports Bistro to the team.  Final checks of the bike and a quick tutorial on how to change a flat (we couldn't get the CO2 to work though) and then we were off to tour the race site.  We drove 18 miles through absolutely nothing to get there.  I'm from the midwest and have seen my fair share of flat, uninterrupted land before, but this feels different.  There was no vegetation, no plants, no buildings, just miles and miles of wet clay with a few power lines and overpasses dotting the landscape.  Lubbock is a small city of 200,000, but it sure doesn't feel like it!

The race is held at Buffalo Springs, which also hosts an Ironman 70.3 triathlon.  We swim in a dammed lake then run 4 miles out of the park, with some decent hills, then it's all flat for 10 miles as we skirt around the Lubbock backroads.  The roads were entirely flooded mind you, so I don't know how things will look tomorrow.  Even without the rain, you are out in the open and it's easy to see how the winds can strongly affect the bike ride.  No shade either, although that won't be a problem tomorrow!  Amazingly, we saw a number of teams getting a warm-up swim in.  With temps in the mid-50s both in the water and out, and choppy waves, it didn't look to appealing but kudos to them for getting in there! 

After a course viewing- which was the first time I had done that before a race and feel much better about the race after seeing it- we returned to the hotel and grabbed some burritoes for lunch (small, healthy ones!).  The rain wasn't letting up but we had to get on the bikes just to test everything out.  Sure enough, every one of us found something that was the wrong height, not tightened enough, or just plain backwords.  Even though it was just a cruise around the parking lot it was the most productive thing I did today!  Now it's time for some relaxing and showering before our team meeting and then a pasta dinner hosted by Texas Tech.  We've seen a number of teams around the hotel but this will be our first good taste of the competition.  The southern and western schools tend to have the advantage at these races as they are able to train all through the winter and spring as a team, but maybe the cold and rain will give us northerners the upper hand.  UC San Diego won't know what hit them!

Fingers crossed for a dry evening and morning, but either way, we race at 9am!  Good luck everyone!

Triathlon Collegiate National Championships- Day 1

by Lindsay

For those of you who don't know, over the past few months I had been agonizing over whether to run the Boston Marathon (on Monday, Patriot's Day) or compete at the USA Triathlon Collegiate National Championships in Lubbock, TX.  I had qualified for Boston at the 2009 NYC Marathon and signed up immediately- this was the race I had been training for.  When Nationals came on the horizon about 2 weeks later, I told my team I would be unable to go because I was committed to Boston (props to the guy on our team doing both!).  I had taken Monday off, my parents had taken the day off, and I was going to run that historic race that I was so privileged and lucky to qualify for.

Fast forward a few months to late February.  My marathon training was, well, sub-par.  My longest run to date had been an 8 miler and the marathon was only 2 months away.  I was facing down a punishing school schedule, a full 8 days off from training while on Spring Break in Japan (no complaints there!), and I still had to work up to and add 20 mi/week to my training schedule.  Frankly, it wasn't going to happen.  Also, I've struggled with injuries when I build up too quickly and knew this would put my and my knees at high risk.  The straw that broke the camel's back was that the tri team put out a last minute request for female competitors as they did not have enough to field a full team.  So with about 6 weeks to go before the races, I made the switch.

I had worked up to a full half marathon so I felt confident in my running for the Olympic distance triathlon (which ends in a 10K/6.2mi run).  However, I hadn't swum since late August and had put less than 100 outdoor miles on the bike.  That had to change, FAST!  And it did, and I enjoyed the shift in training away from just running.  While I'm nowhere near peak, I think my bike and swim are now up to acceptable levels, for an early-season race anyway.

So here I am in Lubbock, Texas.  Never been to Texas before and I don't imagine this is the best city to start, but oh well.  It's done nothing but rain and that's not expected to let up all weekend.  The city/town is nothing to speak of but the hotel is nice enough.  I've enjoyed getting to know my new teammates and am sharing a room with 3 of the girls.  We have enough to field a full team on both the men's and women's side and I'm looking forward to seeing how competitive we will be.  There are a lot of tough teams here from triathlon hotbeds like CA and CO, but there are other northeastern schools who also deal with the reality of a harsh winter.  Today was just a travel day and putting our bikes back together, but tomorrow we get more info on the race and do some running and cycling tuneups.  Then we wait...  until the big race on Saturday!  I'll be blogging each day to let you know how it goes, and more on the collegiate triathlon scene, which really is the future of this sport. 

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Knee/hip pain? Could it be IT band syndrome?

By: Mike Donikian, USAT Certified Coach, NASM-CPT

As the weather gets warmer, I've been hearing this concern/question a lot lately. It comes in many different forms:
  • "What do I do for knee or hip pain?"
  • "What do I do for IT band syndrome? (ITBS)"
  • "The outside of my knee hurts and it hurts while running but not cycling"
  • "It hurts for running AND cycling"
  • "What does it mean if my knee/hip hurts but my MRI shows nothing?"
If you have some of these symptoms, I wouldn't rule out ITBS. The iliotibial band (IT band) is a tendon that runs along the outside of your thigh. It originates at the hip and inserts at the top of the tibia (lower leg). I also find that knee pain is also overdiagnosed as ITBS so please make sure you see a specialist and try to not self-diagnose either. This is not meant to be medical advice -- I'm not qualified to do that especially through a blog :)

Anyway, let's assume you've been checked out and have ITBS. You can certainly do some foam rolling ( to try and get rid of it but depending on the severity you'll only get some temporary relief. I like to attack the root cause which tends to be a weak gluteus medius muscle. Without getting overly technical, one of the roles of the glute med is to keep your leg "aligned" when your foot makes contact with the ground during the support phase of your run. A weak glute med will cause your leg and knee to adduct (come inward) and can stress the IT band to the point where it becomes irritated, inflamed, and excruciatingly painful.

The plan of attack it to strengthen that glute med. One of the things you'll actually want to avoid is stretching that glute med as chances are it's "overstretched". I'm talking about that stretch where you cross your leg on top of your knee in "figure-4" pattern. Yeah I know it "feels like it's a good stretch" but chances are it's just causing more trauma. Yes, I'll repeat that: "stretching can actually make an injury worse!" Stretching the glute med to solve ITBS is like using a hammer to remove a screw... it's not the right tool. I'd say there are equally as many "bad stretches" as there are good stretches... frightening isn't it?

The most basic of glute med strengthening exercises is the hip hike. Start by standing on one leg or by standing with one leg on slightly raised surface like a step while not allowing the other leg to touch the ground. Pick the leg that is the same side as the hip/knee pain. Then raise the opposite hip while supporting yourself on that one leg. Keep your shoulders level. Continue to raise and lower the hip allowing the "dangling" leg to move up and down while you support yourself on the other leg. After a few repetitions you should feel some fatigue. Try the other side and you may notice that it doesn't fatigue as quickly. That's a good indicator that you've found the underlying cause. Perform 3 sets of 15-20 on the affected side at least twice a week and you may find that the pain is gone. Oh yeah and no more of that cross legged hip stretch either.

With the hip hike alone, some people have seen results in as little as one week. Some people may need to work with a personal trainer or physical therapist to do some more advanced exercises and stretches. You may also need to change the way you sit at your desk or in your car. Minor lifestyle habits can result in major injury when you combine it with the stress of a training program. If you haven't already, definitely get yourself checked out.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

It's all downhill from here

I just completed my longest run before my first marathon and now have an idea of what the actual race is going to feel like: PAINFUL, yet amazing. Now I just have three weeks of tapering to go before race day, so all the hard work's done! It should be a breeze from here, right?

Before I go on, here are a few stats from my training log:
# of weeks: 15
# of runs: 62
# of miles: 387
# of injuries: 1
Time spent on the running path: 56 hrs, 30 minutes

I also managed to fit in an average of 1 bike and 1 swim per week, so my first triathlon shouldn't be a total bust.

First of all, my marathon goal: to have the best marathon time on the SB team. To date my only record on the team is for the most number of flat tires in a single race (2 flats during a sprint tri!!), so I'm really looking forward to having the fastest time on the team. Even if it only stands until the fall, I'll still have 6 months of bragging rights.

Today was a chance to pull together all of my training and practice my race prep, hopefully to minimize the possibilities something will go wrong on race day. This meant a number of things:
-Eat a pasta dinner the night before.
-Get a full 8 hours of sleep.
-Get up 3 hours before and eat my race-day breakfast (bagel with peanut butter, wishing I had a banana around too).
-Drink Heed over the next couple of hours to top off my glycogen stores.
-Follow my nutrition plan for the run: 1 bottle of Nuun w/ dextrose per hour, alternating Gu Just Plain and PowerBar Tangerine Gels every 35 minutes. Total calories today: 900
-Break the run up into 3 manageable chunks and pace it at increasing splits. Today was 8/8/4, but the marathon will be 10/10/6.2. The first chunk will be slightly slower than my goal pace, the next will be slightly faster than my goal pace, and the last will be even faster. This was thanks to Mike's article on, so I'll blame him if I crash and burn at mile 22.

This spring I switched from eating Clif Shot Bloks as my workout food of choice to Gu and PowerBar Gels. I like the taste of Shot Bloks much more, but it's harder to carry 2-3 of them on a long run than it is to carry a bunch of the gel packets. So far I haven't noticed a difference in performance and most of the gels don't make me gag (except you Tri-Berry Gu, Damn You!!), so I'll probably keep using them throughout tri season.

The other thing I've started drinking in my water is Nuun. I've recently realized that the empty tubes are the perfect size for 1 tablet + around 90 calories of Dextrose, so I just bring these along with me for refills on the go.

I won't go into the details of the run, except to say that the last 2 miles were TOUGH. I'll save the rest for my race report on May 1st. At this point all the hard work's done, though. I've put in the training miles, skirted around a mild calf injury that took me out for a few weeks, have my nutrition plan, have my pacing plan, and have put it all to the test. Like I said: it's all downhill from here.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Product Review: PowerBar Energy Bites

Had a chance to try the new PowerBar Energy Bites in training this week, and DAANG... IT'S FRIGGEN' DELICIOUS! In fact, I just mentioned to some of the other Team Sports Bistro folks that if I hadn't been told this was an actual sports nutrition product, I would've happily been chomping away at them at the movie theater like candy.

PowerBar has done a fine job of combining the dense consistency and taste of an energy bar within the convenience of bite-sized pieces for athletes on the go. In my opinion, the flavors (currently available in Oatmeal Raisin and Chocolate) are a welcomed alternative to the tangy-fruity tastes you get from other products in the "Energy Chews" product category like Clif ShotBloks, Gu Chomps and PowerBar Gel Blasts.

PROS: Love the taste. Contains 5 grams of protein per 4-bite serving (for those of us endurance athletes who believe that taking a bit of protein during training speeds the recovery process). Re-sealable packaging helps keep the bites fresh and dry on long training days.

CONS: A bit higher in sugar content than other "Energy Chews" products. (Contains 16 grams /150 calories per 4-bite serving as compared to GU Chomps' 11 grams sugar / 90 calories per 4-bite serving.) Despite the re-sealable package, some will find it not as convenient to eat as the tube-style wrapping of Clif ShotBloks, especially during races.

Conclusion: Alas, I'm a die-hard gel-only athlete during races (for speed of digestion purposes), so this product is not likely going to replace Roctane as my go-to competition product. However, it's definitely going to make its way into my weekend long-ride rotation. Heck, it'll probably make its way into my afternoon snack rotation too.

Hammer Nutrition Chocolate Recoverite Review

I must admit- I didn't get off to a great start with Recoverite.  I had heard so many good things about Hammer Nutrition's products and had been reading that in particular their recovery drinks were superior to their competitors' because of the reduced sugar, no artificial ingredients, and right amounts of protein and carbs.  I thought I'd give it a try so last spring I bought a 60 serving tub of Recoverite in Subtle Citrus.  After a hard workout I dumped 2 scoops into my water bottle, shook it up, and took a nice long gulp.  That was a mistake.  Some of Hammer's drinks have a love it or hate it taste.  We saw this at Sports Bistro's recovery drink tasting bar after the New York Cycle Club's Escape New York Ride: Recoverite was either people's hands down favorite or they couldn't stand it.  Unfortunately, I was in the latter category.  The minimal amount of sugar didn't help, and perhaps the subtlety of the flavor was just too little for me.  I was used to taking Fruit Punch Endurox and this was very different.  In any case, I now had 59 servings left and I couldn't bear to just get rid of it.  Over time I got accustomed to the flavor and managed to finish that entire tub, but I wasn't loyal to the product and cheated with other recovery drinks like Fluid, Gu Recovery Brew and Endurox now and then (shhhh).

Fast forward to this spring.  I was lucky enough to get some single serving packets of Recoverite in their new Chocolate flavor.  As you can tell from prior posts, I had started taking their Chocolate Pro Whey mixed with milk and really liked it.  Despite my previous experience with Recoverite, I decided to give the chocolate flavor a try.  And it was great!  I cannot believe this is the same drink that comes in Subtle Citrus.  It tasted a lot like the Pro Whey in that the chocolate was fully flavored and only slightly more bitter than regular chocolate milk (although Recoverite I mix with water).  In all honesty I really liked it and went through my single serving packets in a few days.  I'm actually very relieved because I wanted to like Recoverite, but just didn't.  Now that I've found a flavor that I like, this will be a no-brainer for me.

I will continue taking the Pro Whey when I just need calories and muscle fuel, like after a short but intense hill or speed workout.  But Recoverite is better after the long workouts, like my 3 hour bike rides or a 10 mile run.  I've lost electrolytes, I'm out of fuel, and my muscles are tired.  Recoverite helps with all of that and it's easy to take the minute I get home before I get in the shower and have time to find real food. This is what a great recovery drink should do, and finally I've found the best one in a flavor I like.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Spring has sprung!

I don't know about the rest of you, but I am sick and tired of winter!  We've had a few nice (50s+) days here and there, but they are always followed by periods of exceptional wind, rain, and cold.  Ton was even able to snowboard last weekend!  The southern part of the country is well into their triathlon, running, and cycling season but we in the upper climes are just dusting the cobwebs off of our equipment.  Hopefully indoor training went as well as possible, but there's nothing like stretching your legs in the warm sun of spring.

Finally, here in New York, spring seems to have arrived.  The next week looks to be sunny and above 60 so we can't complain anymore.  Yes there will be more rain and cool, windy days, but I'd wager that the worst is behind us and I can confidently start planning my workouts to all be outdoors again.  I find trainers and treadmills mind-numbing and though it's still not open water swimming weather yet, that to will come. I am really starting to look forward to my upcoming race, long training rides, and my annual cycling weekend in the Berkshires, that all seemed so far away not too long ago. 

Happy Passover, Easter, and Spring to all, and to all some good training!  Lace up your shoes, pump your tires, and get out there!  And welcome back, sun.  We've missed you.