Monday, December 31, 2007

It’s on!

Today marks the first day of my official training plan. Like I mentioned before, I decided to go with the Triathlon Geek training plan. I mentioned before that it looks good and breaks it down into different levels. Originally I had planned on extending the 14 week to 16 weeks by adding a few weeks to the Adaptation and Aerobic phase, but there has been a slight change of plans…

My Honey has decided that she wants to do the IronGirl triathlon! *

This is exactly two weeks before the Rage in the Sage, so the new plan is to follow the plan completely then redo a week of competitive. This way, the one plan will work for both of us.

The plan for this week is:

Monday – Run – 45 mins
Tuesday (Hung Over) – Weights
Wednesday – Swim – 500 yards
Thursday – Bike – 50 mins
Friday – Weights
Saturday – Swim – 500 yards
Sunday – Run – Drills – 3 miles

Let’s see how we do! Wish us luck!

*"Wants to" may be a strong choice of words, I was going to go with "would rather suffer through an Irongirl than suffer through the Rage. Plus the IronGirl has a smaller swim", but I didn't think it rolled off the tongue so easily.

Kick in the Pants!

It’s a little old but it needs to be talked about. The past weekend, we went out for a leettle bike ride. By leettle, I mean 30 freaking miles!! And by “we”, I mean the one and only… JohnnyTri!

JT e-mailed me a little while back and mentioned that he wanted to go for an easy bike ride. Like a dumba$$, I jumped at the chance. Nevermind the fact that I have never done 30 miles before. Nevermind the fact that JT is training for IM-CDA and Rage(Half) and Half-Ironman Switzerland; nevermind the fact that he has calf muscles the size of my head and is built like a Greek god (Women swoon at the mere mention of his name!).

No! Despite all these overwhelming facts, I decided to ride.

Now this could have been a perfect ride. He wanted to stay easy, L1 and L2. RIGHT! Leave it to me to F@ck that up in no time flat.

Apparently, JT thought I knew what I was doing when he let me plan the bike route.

Unwittingly, I chose the bike path next to my house. It’s a great path completely isolated from traffic with 6 foot wide path. Normally the Mrs. and I ride it every week. we ride half of it every week…appearently the easier, flatter, less likely to cause cardiac failure side.

The other side is the not easy, not flat, very likely to cause cardiac failure. Imagine my chagrin, when I take JT out there on a route “I do all the time” only to find that HOLY MOTHER OF GOD…WHO PUT THIS HILL HERE?

Needless to say it was GREAT! The first 15 miles were some of the hardest miles of my life. We reached grades of 10+. I think there was one the almost reached 15, trusty Garmin says 22% but I think Garmin was smokin’ something at the time.

The first 15 made the second 15 all the better as it mellowed out to good smooth climbs but added the exhaustion of having the life sucked out of your bone marrow. GOOD TIMES!

All in all, it was really good. I hung with JT (who slowed down to a crawl a few times to wait for me, thank you very much!).

Final time for this jaunt out into the hills was 2:13:39. That makes for a whopping…..13.4 mph!

Look out Tour de Farce! I’m only one sponsor away. (Miller?; Budwieser?; Corona?; Absolute?)

I would like to thank Johnny for slowing down for me. I think that he woulda/coulda/ (probably) shoulda been about 6 miles ahead of me at any given moment and therefore would have a much more impressive mph.

I’d also like to thank my lovely wife, who in a moment of weakness let me talk her into a ride and went with me the DAY BEFORE the 30 mile ride to “test the legs”. Apparently 13 miles and 10% grade does not make a fresh pair of legs!

And finally I’d like to thank the little people. Not for any reason other than I’ve always wanted to thank them. You know who you are! (Good. Cause I don’t)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Screw Triathlons, I’ve got a whole new goal!

I’ve been wondering around looking for a meaning to my life. I mean really, is my life only to serve as an example for others not to follow??!!

Finally, I have found my life purpose:

Breaking News!

The Beer Mile world record was broken yesterday with a time of 5:09 by Jim Finlayson. The Beer Mile was held Tuesday night on the Oak Bay track in Victoria, B.C. His beer choice was Granville Island Winter Ale, from a bottle.

For those that aren’t aware of the rules, the basic idea is this: Each competitor drinks four regular bottles or cans of beer of at least 5% alcohol and runs four laps on a track (Start - beer/lap, beer/lap, beer/lap, beer/lap - finish).

This may be might life’s purpose but I seriously have my work cut out for me. This guys drank 4 beers and ran a mile in 5:09!!

My hero!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007!

Today was one of those days were you look around and go whose body is this??!!

Now, I have that sometimes. Usually it’s because I am sucking so much ass that I can’t believe it. But today was one of those days on the opposite end of the spectrum.

I was hauling some serious butt out there today!

The whole run (3 miles) felt very easy and slow for me. I was thinking that the cold (relatively) would get to me, but that was no problem. I was thinking that the swimming workout I did the night before would get me, no problem-o. If nothing else, I figured the fact that I was a dumbass and didn’t go to bed until 1 am and 4 hours of sleep would do it. But it turns out that everything lined up for me and I was Billy Bad Ass out there.

Maybe it’s a sign. Maybe I should always stay up to late, work too hard and be a general dumbass! This might be a whole new leaf for me. I could break new records, write books on how to be a dumbass and beat the system. I could be a MILLIONARE (then I could REALLY be a dumbass).

Me thinks not. Fluke, I say. But we’ll see.

In the meantime, I just hope that the group doesn’t start expecting that kind of performance out of me all the time. They’ll be in for a rude awakening!

Training Plan

In preparation for the upcoming year, I decided to go off the deep end and get a training plan (or two).

I actually wanted a coach, but 1). Don’t think I deserve one [I’m waiting to get a coach for when I’m actually close to winning something, right now I’m BOTP, maybe when I get to MOTP], and 2). Most importantly, I can’t afford one.

I think that it sucks about the money. I know a great guy and great coach (I assume) but right now, I don’t think I can afford him, the Gym, the house, etc all at once. Which sucks, because I’m pretty sure that I can con beg my way into a good deal if I include the family.

Anyways, I bought the Triathlon Geek Olympic training plan. I’ll let you know if it works well for me or not. At first blush, it looks good, a lot of work outs at various levels and it focuses on different styles and techniques.

I plan on using the Olympic plan for the Sprint race, and I’ll use the Half-Iron plan for the Olympic (coming up!!). My hope is that I’ll be so far ahead with the larger distances that it’ll be cake walk for me to do the actual event.

(Here’s to hoping!)

I have one problem. I currently go to the gym and do a couple classes (Both on the same day 6am and 6pm)

1). Run class – Basically a running group. We run ~3 miles. Twice per week; ~40 minutes

2). Sports conditioning – Mainly consist of a lot of various activities; i.e. sprints; push-ups; stairs; core work, etc. Basically it REALLY gets the heart moving (HR 158-193). Twice per week; 1 hour

I really like the classes, but when looking at the new schedule, I’m not sure how they fit in. If I keep them AND follow the schedule, is that too much and/or I’m sure that they may fit into the schedule at first but inevitably the time will come that the schedule calls for more than the class can give.

It’s a pickle, no doubt about it!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Just Push the button!

Crap! What have I done!

I know for you big time endurance athletes out there this is nothing, but for me…OH CRAP!

I have officially registered for an Olympic!

Apparently, I fell for that old trick: “Hurry, hurry HURRY! Don’t miss out, the time is right! We’re SOLD OUT, (but there may be room for just one or two more), HURRY!”

I contacted the RD and he said there were a few spots still open. But I should hurry before they’re gone. Guess what I did? That’s right, no time to think, no time to reconsider and no time to double check the bank account: I spent my hard earned cash-olla on an event.

To hell with the power bill! I don’t need electricity, I need to train. Hell, since this is my first Oly and I’m so drastically underprepared, you could hook a generator to the bike with how much I’m going to need to train to get ready.


(OK, I’m off to throw-up now!)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

2008 Schedule

So here it is. My 2008 race schedule:

[sorry, Blogger editor doesn't do tables very well so it's in picture format :( ]

As my wife puts it: "it’s...ambitious."

Maybe that because I’m looking at doing 17 events

Tri – 7
Bike – 4
Run – 3
Fun – 3

Break down:

The Rage is the third year I’ll be doing this. The first time I didn’t have a clue and came in with three weeks training, sporting a big, heavy mountain bike (suck!); the next year, we (my wife and I) did the Duathlon, again with little training (although I think it was almost a month’s worth this time); For this year, I want to be as prepped as possible. I’ll give it one good go and really find out how badly I suck at this Tri thing.

SG Tri, Utah and Kokopelli are all a series of tri’s that you get to compete against your time. Depending on how I do on the Sprint Rage, I’ll be trying this out in Olympic. This will be my first time. I figure with three of them, I can truly judge how I’m progressing.

UPDATE: Holy Crap Batman! SG Tri is already sold out. I’ve asked to be on the waitlist but DAMN! That was fast!

I did the Pumpkin man last year and have to say that it was F@cking impossibly hard! It has some of the steepest hills I’ve ever ridden (ha! Like I ride a lot of hills in the first place!) But regardless, it was tough. I’ve got to go back, if for nothing else than find my self-respect, which I’m sure I lost somewhere on this trail.

The rest of the events are fun events or biking events to push my biking skills up. Throw in a few long runs and you’ve got a jam packed year!

Wish me Luck (I’m going to need it)!

To bike or not to bike…

When I started looking into Tri-s, I thought that this would be perfect! With a Tri, you get to do three different sports, all of which I suck at.

My original plan was to focus on one event each year.

First year – Run
Second year – Bike
Third year – Swim
Fourth year – Tri

This would enable me to get my skill level to a competent level in each discipline before I tackled the big beast that is Triathlon. But I quickly realized the flaw in this plan.

I’m no spring chicken and I’m getting older every day.

By the time the Tri year rolls around, I’ll be in Depends and most likely will have forgotten everything I learned (Alzheimer's, you know).

So I’ve revised my plan to still focus on each discipline but include Tri throughout the year. This will keep the skills new and fresh while showing me what I need to work on.

2008 will be my ‘Bike’ year.

I’ll be looking for more bike events to do throughout the year and I’ll be looking to take more bike trips each week.

My initial plan is to start with a low mileage, determine that I can actually ‘do’ the mileage, and then slowly attempt to get faster at getting to that same mileage. On the last week of the month, I’ll drop back the speed and take it easy.

Looks something like this (in theory):

Week 1: Determine distance and duration
Week2: Decrease duration while holding distance(GO FASTER!)
Week3: Further decrease duration (Go REALLY fast!)
Week 4: Easy Stroll at same distance.

Hopefully, with this plan, I can give my body the workout it needs while still allowing it to rest enough not to blow some kind of gasket.

I figure I’ll start with 25 miles on January and increase by 10 miles per month. So come September, I’ll be up to 100 mile (105). If I can keep it up past this, December I’ll be at 135. Now the problem here is the cold and the distance/time required. Mind you cold here is not that cold, but I’m sure it will be for me. I’ve got thin blood living here! 50 is COLD!

So that’s my plan.

Gradually increase mileage each month, while finding more riding events throughout the year as well as, throughout the year finding some Tri’s to do.

At this rate, I’ll have to join a riding group (gulp!).

Saturday Recovery Run

This is our first long run since the half-mary last week.

5.6 miles - 1:05:11 – 11:38mi/hr – 154 avg.HR

This actually wasn’t too bad and we even got a pretty good clip coming UP the hill. Definitely felt the recovery though.

The run wasn’t nearly as bad as it was on Wednesday, when we ran with our group for ~3 miles. That day it felt like running was a major effort and we ended up power walking the whole time.

Actually it wasn’t so bad, considering that I’ve never ‘power walked’ before. My experience with it was rather lacking. Power walking just didn’t seem to have the same feel as running (duh!). I mean, it didn’t feel like I was burning any calories or pushing my body at all.

I will say that during the Marathon, I was passed by a group (3 people) of power walkers. They just sashayed their way right past me and left me in their dust. They were all older people, probably 50+, but I couldn’t keep up with them.

Makes me wonder about learning power walking as a skill. I would think that ideally I would learn how to run at a good speed and then when I need a ‘walk’ break, I could jump into power walking mode. That would be great. I’m sure it would cut down on my rest time.

If only they didn’t look so silly when they power walk!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Whole lotta shakkin goin’ on!

I think it’s obligatory to say something corny and Elivis-ish when talking about the race. Just look here and here, of course it helps if you actually are Elvis like this.

The original idea was to do the Santa Run on Dec 1 then the Marathon on Dec 2, but plans fell through as I was still feeling a little down from the cold and was a little nervous about running and then running and how the body would take it. So at the last minute, I decided to leave the Santa to others.

Me and the Missus got up nice and early and slowly made our way down to the Mandalay bay. We meet up with a few people from my work that I conned; begged and bribed to do the Half with me (actually these people are awesome! They have never done any event let alone a half marathon, yet with two months of training and constant encouragement, here they are and they did GREAT. They successfully walked the entire thing in just over 4 hours. These guys are inspiring. To all those people who think that a marathon is impossible, these guys show you just what you can do if you put your mind to it. Congrats to them).

We took a group picture or two and meandered down to the race. We got there right before the race started and was able to watch the sun coming over the mountains. Take a look at this pic, isn’t the Vegas backdrop gorgeous?

Once the gun went off, we (the entire 17,000) started moving forward. About 11 minutes later we were finally at the start line! And Bang! We were off like a rocket! Well, not really, but we were off, all without saying goodbye to the group (who would be walking). GOOD – BYE!

First couple miles were done before we knew it and we were ahead of our normal pace. Unfortunately our heart rate was ahead too.

I think that we passed the blue man group right around mile 4-5 and decided to stop for some water breaks.

Man! Those volunteers have an unsung job. Nothing like handing water off to a bunch of runners who have two brain cells working and inevitably spill water all over the place. Then there’s nothing like cleaning up all those cups of half drank water up off the road.


Right at mile 4.75, I remember that I had last year’s course on my watch (from Garmin website). I had meant to run against it at the start but forgot. Now seemed like a good time.

Warning! If you think that you should “do” a course midway through your run…DON’T!! Because when you do, it will terminate the run you are already on and make a new one for you! Nice!

Now I’m trying to do the mental math of trying to remember my previous time and then add the new time to get the total time and the same for distance. Have you ever seen me do math?? It’s not a pretty sight!

Every time my honey asked how long until the mile is done, I screw my face up, a small vein would pop up on my forehead, a few seconds later, the vein would grow, turn purple. Just about when my head would explode, I would figure out the answer…only to realize that we just passed the mile marker. Uugghh!

Surprisingly, the entire race wasn’t that bad. The Elvi were fun; the run through wedding chapel was great, the people pushing strollers with TWO babies in it AND passing me always blew my mind.

I think that the best was when several Elvi decided to stop into 7-11 to grab an eighteen pack of Milwaukee’s best. Sadly, I was envious.

Miles 10 and 11 were the hardest for us. Probably because on our long runs prior to this, we had only gotten to 10 miles, following the training philosophy, that if you can do 10, you can do 13.

That’s a stupid philosophy!

It may be true, but it’s stupid. The body doesn’t like doing more than it’s been trained to do. The last 3 were not happy. Next time, go over the distance, say 15-16.

We finished the race in 2:42:42. Which is good. Not too fast; not too slow. It beats my previous Half by 6 minutes! So I’m happy with my performance. I’m REALLY happy with my honey’s performance!

This was her first Half and she came through with flying colors. No injuries, no complaints, no tears and no worries. In truth, she was in better shape than I was. My IT band was acting up something fierce (on my good leg nonetheless!). I can’t say enough how proud I am of her.

She’s already talking about next time!

Afterwards, we waited around until the rest of the group came through and then we all got some race swag and grub and headed home.

Well, they did. We went to Macaroni Grill and had a beer or two with the family, then went home.

Sometime about 3pm, my IT band declared it was staging a revolt and woke me out a very deep sleep. After appeasing the revolution with loads of ice, we went for a small walk to flush the legs and then went out again for some late night dinner.

All told I burned about 1800 calories! This morning I woke …. 5 pounds heavier! WOOHOO! I hate my body! I’m going to assume that it is the water retention, either that or the 10 beers and the ice cream zookie I had. (Maybe I should hate me instead of my body! You think?)

With the last race of the year done, I’m already looking at next year’s schedule. I’ll keep you posted.

OH! Here are the splits

Mile 1 – 11:40 – 158hr
Mile2 – 11:32 – 164hr
Mile 3 – 11:56 – 164hr
Mile 4 – 11:51 – 163hr
Mile 5 – Screwed up the log
Mile 6 – 11:52 – 154hr
Mile 7 – 11:59 – 161hr
Mile 8 – 12:13 – 161hr
Mile 9 – 13:36 – 156hr
Mile 10 – 13:00 – 160hr
Mile 11 – 13:19 – 155hr
Mile 12 – 12:11 – 162hr
Mile 13 – 12:23 – 168hr

Total time: 2:42:42 Pace 12:24.6

Here are some more pictures for you to enjoy: