Monday, December 22, 2008

Love/Hate

Dear Running,


I hate you! I F-ing hate you!



I had hoped that after the Marathon you and me would be good friends I had hoped that a new trail and new outlook would make us BFF's.

Nope! I still hate you.

Signed,

-Bitter

P.S.

How many freaking miles do I have to run before I get skinny? I mean come on, I keep running and see some huge calories numbers but I'm seeing huge numbers on the scale too!






Dear Bitter,


HTFU!



Really! No offense but I'm not you're friend. I'm here to make you strong and faster.

If you don't like running for five hours to do a Marathon, then run faster! The faster you go the sooner you'll be done.


P.S.
Let's not kid each other:

STEP AWAY FROM THE PIZZA AND BEER!

You can run and bike all you like but if you keep eating everything in sight then the weight loss is going to be VERY slow (just like you).

So stop blaming me for you wide load and start watching what you eat. And yes, I am talking about Christmas Dinner!

Hope to see you on the trail!

-Running

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Couvade Syndrome

Something is UP!!


Here is a hint:


-0r-


Get it yet?

OK how about this:

Get it NOW!

We’re pregnant!

All I can say is:




We are having a baby!

You can read all the details here (the Mrs.)

Here’s the executive summary

Who: We don’t have a name yet, but it’ll be strong and powerful. It’ll scream sensuality. It’ll be the best name ever: We’re leaning towards ‘Macca Wellington Rowe’ or ‘Christie McAlexander Rowe’. Personally I am leaning towards Izaac Jr.


What: Um...A baby (DUH!)


Where: Las Vegas, NV (but I’m trying to convince her that Spokane is a beautiful city)


When: June 21, 2009


Why: Well….you know….practice makes pregnant!




OK, enough about her, let's talk about ME!




To those that are astute or those that actually looked here, you noticed that the due date is a rather common date.

Not only is it Father’s day (what a present!), but it has some other significance.

It just so happens to be on the exact day of IM-CDA. Yes the exact day!

Now I know what you’re thinking (because I thought it myself), it’ll be perfect, do CDA then have a baby all in the same day. PeRfEcT!

Alas, apparently pregnancies don’t work like that. I guess there is this whole rule about not flying when you’re due (like that day!).

So flying is out…

And the Mrs. has this silly thought that she doesn’t want to have a baby on the side of the road, while we are driving to Coeur d'alene.

So driving is out

Maybe CDA is out? I contacted NAS, and while they were extremely friendly, they explained with no uncertain terms that there was no getting out. No transfer, no postpone, nothing. A small refund but other than that I was crap out of luck.

Add in the Dave Scott story and how cool of an opportunity this is and it means that dropping CDA is a hard decision.

Of course there is NOTHING more important than being there for the birth of our baby.

It’s a pickle! No doubt about it.

Statistics say that it being her first born that she won’t deliver until after her due date but…that’s a big gamble.

What do you guys think?

In the meantime, I’ll probably just train like CDA is going to happen and we’ll make the plane tickets or not later on. Still got 190 days (Ahh only 190 left!)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Surprise - The Las Vegas Marathon Race Report

Or “How not to run a marathon”
Or “What the heck I am doing out here??”

Surprise! I decided to run a marathon!

What? You don’t wake up on Sunday morning an say “Today is a good day to subject my body to absolute torture?”

Truth be told, I’ve been sandbagging my post since Silverman. I have been secretly training (if that is what you call it).

I am not sure if I did it for the ‘shock’ factor or so that you couldn’t say “Jeez, man. You just finished your first Half ironman. Maybe you should take it easy. You know, you have 6 months of intense training coming up. A month off wont kill you!”.

Of course I know that you guys wouldn’t say that. Hell, if anything you’ll point out Baboo’s schedule and tell me to get moving!

How about a recap?

First lets cover my pseudo training and then we’ll eat the big enchilada.

Since Silverman, I have had 4 weeks to train. I need one week to taper so essentially I have 3 weeks.
As I said before, miraculously, I had almost no soreness from Silverman and that very next weekend I was out there running.

I figured I already had a base, I mean I had just finished running 13 miles! Never mind that they were brutal miles, I did them. I also have read (somewhere) that biking can equate to running. So for the Silverman, I did bike/running mile = 15.85 and for the run I did = 13.1 equaling 29 miles! Woohooo! I have this distance in the bag! Of course, the trick was to put this to the test and see if it was anything like real life.

To be smart, I broke my long run into separate runs. This way I can still cover the distance but not put too much stress on my body.

3 runs for 21 miles!

The original plan was to do this the (semi)smart way and get two short runs in during the week and one long run at the weekend.

This is the ‘what not to do’ so let me dispense with a nice little gem. Don’t be an idiot and try to combine your two short runs (that you missed, because you got lazy) into one run. That would be a LONG run!

1 run for 12 miles

Another gem??

Don’t go bike riding with your friend who is ‘dying to do those sisters’ on the same day that you have your long run planned! Nothing like tiring out your body on some monster hills and driving your HR up to 181 and then turn around an run.

For my long run, I decided to combine all last weeks run into one run. I got it done, but it wasn’t easy!

1 run for 21 miles

Want another gem of ‘what not to do’?

If you are following your own plan, follow YOUR plan, not listen to someone else and taper when they taper. They have been training properly, they’ve followed their plan the entire way, you on the other hand are flying by the seat of your pants. You need to get all the mileage you can.

Needless to say I either got REALLY lazy or I followed someone else's taper program.

Week 3 runs:

5 miles!

My training fell into a deep abyss. Which bring us to the final week, which conveniently is another taper week!

First order of business, donate blood!

I like to donate, I think that it’s easy to do and helps the world, but it probably shouldn’t be done the week of your marathon. I’m just saying!

Now that that beauty was out of the way, it’s time to help a friend move. I recommend spending both Friday night and Saturday helping. And for extra kudos, stay up extra late on Friday.
One more thing? OK, How about fight a cold. Nothing says Marathon ready like itchy throat and a deep cough.

OK. Let’s race!

Not to be outdone, let’s leave some surprises on race day too. First off let’s not wake up until an hour past time! Now rush, rush rush. Get out of the house.

And because you’re in such a rush, now is a great time to forget your morning nutrition. Just leave it there on the counter.

Despite all these shortcomings, I have a damn GOOD race!

Because we were so late, we rushed right into the race. Parking was surprising easy to find and it was a breeze to find the race. I was able to slip in the queue near the front and actually had better placement than last year!

There was no warm-up but there never really is any warm-up at a big race like this. This meant that there was no sitting there in the cold for twenty minutes freezing. Just show up and run!

I will say that last years race was a lot better! Last year there was a band every couple of miles and that really kept a person going. This time there was nothing.

But they did seem to learn their lesson from last year and there were lots of Port-potties. Seemed like there were a row every couple miles. Even out in the boonies, there were random honey pots.

Last year, I ran the half with the Mrs., this time I was lucky enough to have the Mrs. sherpa for me. It was great to have the family show up at random spots throughout the course.

Thank you!

The miles didn’t exactly fly by but they did go by a lot easier than for my 21 miler.
I finished the half in 2:29, which was perfect. If I could keep that pace up I’d finish the full in 5 hours.

Based on the pace of my 21 miler, I was looking at a 5:30 race. I had hoped that the taper and the race would bump me up to a better rate.

So far it was going good. I made a goal of mine to run the entire way. I only walked the aid stations. It was easy at first but come mile 20+ it was nearly impossible.

I started to slow down around mile 18 and come mile 20+ it was a slog fest. I never walked but it might have been faster to.

In the end I was able to finish, but my 5 hour goal was lost. I finished in 5:17 and change, which worked out to a 12:07 pace.

The jury is still out on the biking miles equals running miles. According to the equation, I can do 29 miles. I couldn’t imagine going any further. But then again, for Silverman, I was limping and crawling my way to the end. Perhaps if I had to do 29 miles this time, I would look almost exactly the same.

SO that was my first marathon. At least that is out of the way, but I still can’t imagine doing this after biking a 112. This seems impossible!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

A passion for running

I have a passion for running…

I passionately hate running!

I hate running.

I used to like running.

I’m not going to say I loved running, but I used to like running.

I used to enjoy the feel of the road beneath me. The long hours of solitude. The bittersweet cold crisp air.

It was beautiful.

Now it’s a different story.

It’s my feet flapping on the ground, I’m alone, and I’m cold.

I don’t know when it happened, I don’t know how it happened but for some reason I can’t get into running.

Today was a simple 5 miles. 5 miles on a route that I’ve done a bazillion time. It’s easy; it flows; I enjoy every mile.

Not today. Today and the last few days have been anything but easy.

I know this will pass. I know that I’ll enjoy the lonely road again.

But in the meantime…I’m passionate!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Seefood Diet

Remember when I said time to run?

Yeah. So apparently I meant time to run to the dinner table.

And boy howdy! Did I run.

Run for an extra helping of mashed potatoes; Run for an extra helping of turkey; run for an entire extra Thanksgiving dinner!

The only thing I barely did was run on the street.

The grand total for the week.... (Awaiting fanfare :) 5.5 miles!

WooHoo! 2000 extra calories consumed and 600 calories burned.

Now I'm no mathematician but I don't think that this plan leads to anorexia.




How about some monthly totals?

Nov Monthly Total:

2 Swim – 2799.4 yd – 01:17:25 (2.26 miles)
5 Bike – 116.5 – 08:34:25
8 Run – 76.4 – 15:06:06

Total:

16 Workouts
28:27:57 Hours
199.9 miles
17162 Calories Burned

Let’s see, how does that compare to last month?

Swim: 52% less than last month
Bike: 66% less than last month
Run: 4% more than last month
Total Mileage: 53% less than last month
Total Time: 17 hours less than last month

So to all you people who think that I am training too hard: this month was 53% less than last month.

I think it is safe to say that it I am in the off season!

And to all those people who think I should be training more:

[begin Raspberry]
:P - ptzzzzss
[end Raspberry ]

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Yeah, Yeah I know! Pathetic!

I haven’t posted a single blog since Silverman.

Just so everyone knows, I am still out there. I have actually been running a lot (well kind of, compared to Silverman training it’s not really a lot).

Also, I noticed that I had just about zero soreness from Silverman! I expected my knees to be killing me (they were during the race!), but the next day I felt fine. I even went for a ride with my friend and we tackled the 3 sisters again. No problem!

I’ll post more soon and I know that I still owe everybody a race wheel report.

In the meantime, enjoy the turkey and eat as much as you can – for Friday we run!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Half Silverman – all crazy

I signed up for this?? Really! What the F@ck was I thinking?

This thought went through my head many, MANY times.

It was a long day that started off longer thanks to the rain and this little thing called lighting!

Apparently the Rangers thought that it would be unsafe for us to be swimming out there in the middle of a monsoon.

While we were waiting for the ‘all clear’, we froze our fins off. We were herded into the changing tents to preserve body heat.

Imagine…400 pent up athletes shoved into tents made for 40 people max. There were men in the women’s and women in the men. Now imagine that the full people are still out there swiming.

Finally, imagine that you are coming in from a looooong swim and as you hit the shore there are 400 people cheering you on, you grab your bag and run into the tent and strip down to 200 people hooting and hollering!

Imagine your best locker room fantasy! Now add Macca! (Well maybe that only works for the girls)

Somehow I think that the RD could sense a revolt happening (or a whole other scene on the girls side) and he found a clear moment in between the lightning to get the ranger to call the scene safe enough to swim.

HA! Safety! As if... don’t they know that we are triathletes? We laugh in the face of danger. We ride headlong into trouble. We run whether others fear to tread. We are electrified by the possibility of electricity. OK. That may be pushing it...

Regardless, they finally got the swim underway and I was able to latch on to someone’s feet all the way until the turnaround point. After that I was distracted by this weird tapping sound on my head and the feeling of water on my face. Every time I turned to breath, I would get a face full of water. What the heck? There was no wave, so what is going on?

It took me a good 10-15 breathes before I realized it was the rain. And it was raining H.A.R.D! After the rain left, it was the wind and then after the wind, it was the rain and then after the rain it was… the shore!

It was an eerie feeling to have your name called by strangers. At first I thought that I should know all these people but when I ran into T1 and the 5th person said my name I just figured it was one of the benefits of a well supported race. Nice volunteers!

Another great benefit? Wet suit strippers! It may be old school to you IM people, but for me it was awesome. Lay down and 2 seconds later, you're off and running wetsuit in hand!

Swim: 47:25

Despite the help the strippers gave me, it was my socks that caused my undoing in the changing tent. I had chosen a double layer sock that would last me through the bike and the run. What I didn’t count on was that double layered meant double trouble for my waterlogged brain.

Maybe next time, I can skip the strippers and request some put-on-ers?

T-1: 6:11

Some cool things about the ride?

I rode up the ramp chatting to another local. We laughed and made fun of our plight so that the hill that never ended didn’t feel soo bad.

Another cool thing? Reaching the top and slamming down that pedal. I went from 6 mph to 30 like nothing. I was enjoying the new wheels!

I was able to feel the speed like a pro out there; I also got my chance to act like a pro on the aid stations. Each aid station must have had 10+ people and you’d just call out your needs and someone would have it ready for you. Just snatch and go!

Awesome! No stopping. Just like the pros.

My Pro dream ended abruptly as I witnessed Macca climbing out of Northshore as I was descending into it. I then realized that the speed I felt on the downhill, he feels all the time.

What I would have loved to see was him climbing the 3 sisters. I am certain it would have been a thing of beauty. As it was, I was spared the agony of the sisters thanks to my family. They had shown up throughout the course cheering me on and they surprised me by being at the first hill.

Now with camera in hand, I HAD to look good climbing the hill. 'Smile pretty! No walking'.

Once I was past them, I figured that with the zoom on the camera, they’d be watching me climb the next one too, so better look good climbing that one too.

Finally the third hill. I’ll be able to relax on this one, right? No such luck as Nate and Bailey come flying down the hill dress as superman. Well maybe superman is a little too nice. How about dressed in a red cape, riding shorts, a sh!t eating grin and nothing else! To top it off, Nate was still wearing his heart strap. This picture was too much for me and I burst out laughing!

Thanks Nate and Bailey, you made that hill fun!


When I finally made it to T-2, I must have been in a coma. The last 6 miles, I just couldn't wait to get off the bike and when it finally came time to, I was totally unprepared.


I’m heading to the volunteer and I realize that I need to get off the bike soon. I try to do the cool thing and leave my shoes on the bike. I get one shoe unstrapped and pop out my foot when I suddenly realize, “I’m not going to make it”. If I don’t do something quick, I’m going to fall over and be laying on the side of the road in front of my family and 300 spectators!

At the last minute, I unclip and come to a complete stop. No professional hopping off the bike while it is still moving. No. It’s a complete stop and I am straddling my bike. My Garmin is still on the bike, my last minute items are still on the bike. I am a mess!

Finally, I makeshift my way enough to get off the bike and run up to the tent.

I am hobbling to the tent with my Garmin in one hand and my food in the other hand. I have one shoe on and one shoe off. I have this zoned out look on my face looking for directions. And about this time, I realize that the one foot that doesn’t have a shoe…it’s asleep!

I am a hot mess!

Bike: 3:59:29

Nothing special in T2. Except I finally found some salts! Like an idiot I forgot mine at home and I have been looking everywhere for them. Luckily, the weather was cold and I was not in dire need, but I was so very happy to find them here.

T2: 3:24


At about mile 2-4, I realized what else I had left at home. A knee brace. Right about now my IT band started acting up.

Now you may see pictures of me and notice that I have a knee brace on. Well at this moment I was wishing that I had two. I had decided to wear one for the entire thing. I’ve had it on since the swim, through the bike and now onto the run. That knee felt great! It was the other knee that was feeling left out and wanted some attention. And why didn’t I have a knee brace on this knee? EGO! I had decided that I didn’t want to look that lame out there and be the ‘guy with both knees in braces’. Well, what is better? Be ‘that guy’ or be the guy who hobbles through the entire run?

Next time wear the brace (or toughen up those legs!)

I’ll tell you who didn’t look lame out there. Jason. Jason did the entire race in a wheelchair (minus the swim part!). He overcame obstacles that would have made lesser men cry. He persevered over hills that were an almost overwhelming struggle on the bike. He overcame the three sisters when most everybody was abandoning the bike and walking up them. He is awesome. As I ran through the small part of the run that had a 100 foot section of dirt, I witnessed Jason first hand struggling to make forward progress. I cheered him on and watched him grunt and struggle his way forward.

I was impress and inspired.

I was less impressed when he F-L-E-W by me at near the end of the run. He was sailing down the hill and my knees where buckling at every step.

Less impressed, but no less inspired. Way to go Jason!

I was also inspired by Frank’s (The RD) signs. Or perhaps inspired is not the correct word.

Motivated…to kick his butt!

At the end of the bike and all around the run, he placed little ‘motivational’ signs:

  • For a good time, call Frank!
  • When you get close to town call my cell…If I don’t answer, I am getting a massage!
  • This hill is going to suck…so is the next one!

    And my favorite:

  • Damn, this burger tastes good!

The one sign I did find actually motivational was:

  • Suck it up, buttercup!

For whatever reason, that one helped push me through.

Another motivational thing? The run through the District. It’s an area that has lots of nice restaurants and shops. Basically it’s a place full of people, especially for the race.

There is nothing like having a few hundred people you don’t know cheer you on. Or as I like to think of it, it was the “crap! Can’t stop running now, or I’ll look like a moron in front of all these people” time.

My last bit of motivation happened at mile 12.5. A friend/volunteer was directing foot traffic and passing out food.

“What do you need? Water, Gatorade? Or we have beer!”

Beer. Sweet nectar of the gods.

Yes, I had a beer at mile 12.5 Right in the middle of my race. It was truly motivational!

And now the part where JT will be pissed off at himself for not doing the Silverman because ‘it’s not an m-dot race’ - - - It was sponsored by MGD! You know what that means?? FREE BEER! The recovery tent was a happy place!

Run: 2:43:01

Overall, it was a great race for me. I met my swim goal, blew away my bike goal, and came relatively close to my run goal.

I kept going over the time goals in my head and no matter what I did, I could not realistically come up with a time less that 8. I know that others do it, but I couldn't imagine it. Not here. Not in Vegas. Not on these hills. Not at Silverman.

Imagine my happiness

Total: 7:39:29

I’ll come up with another report later on regarding the wheels but this one is already too long.

I just want to thank my family and especially the Mrs. for being there for me. It was great! There is nothing like having your family there for you.

Finally, a big congrats to Stef. She prevailed were I would have failed. I think I speak for a lot of people out there when I say Stef has more endurance and perseverance that most people in our community and that is saying a lot!

Congrats Stef, it took two years but you met your triathlon dreams! You earned it, every inch of the way!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Home again, Home again

It's done!

I had a great time as opposed to Stef who had every possible obstacle placed in front of her and kept going!

Stef is a hero, I would have rightfully given up along time ago!

I have the next few days off, so I'll give you an update and full race report sooner than later.

Also, Check out the SWEET shirt than the Mrs bought me!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Silverman is coming!



This is the sign I see everyday as I drive home. For the entire LAST WEEK!

Thanks, as if I could forget!


OK, Lets talk about goals.

I don’t have any!

There...next?

OK, fine, some kind of goal.


To finish!

Something MORE?
To finish on that same day!

OK…OK…my goal is to finish somewhere between 6 and 8 hours. That means if I get to the finish line in 5:50, I’m gonna sit and wait until 5:59:59.9999 rolls around. I don’t care if I’m ahead of Macca or not!

A real goal for me is to beat the clock. Last year I volunteered and was able to watch the full finishers come in. It was great to see these guys coming in, guys who had given their all. But, right before the first place full finisher came in; they switched the timing clock from displaying the half time to displaying the full time.

That meant that any half finisher would have to convert the number back to their half starting time (about 90 minutes difference). The math wasn’t a problem, it was that suddenly the half’s were anonymous. They where the lost in the excitement of the full.

Their names where mentioned but not in the same excitement of the people who had just done a FULL IRONMAN DISTANCE.

They had only done a 70.3. Hurry up and finish so we can get to the full. You had your chance and now we’re moving on.

They lost their own clock. Just another number.

I understand that it has to happen. You can’t keep the clock turned back forever; you’ve got to make room for the new, but…

My goal…beat the clock. Finish with a name. Finish.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Daddy’s got a brand new bag

I know the rule…never try something new on race day, but I think this is an exception to the rule.

I’ve got RACE WHEELS!

Check it out; I am riding on a demo set of Flash-point 60.

Here’s a pic:



It turns out that our local Tri store (Las Vegas Multisport) has a demo program. Basically, you contact Larry and he’ll hook you up with a set of Zipp or Flash-point wheels for your race.

And here the cool part: there’s NO charge!

I’ve seen this on the web and it cost $200 or more, so when Larry offered his services, I had to jump on it.

Just come on in talk to Larry and he’ll figure out what you need for your race and viola! Sign a waiver and they’re yours!

Larry made me feel real relaxed the whole time; he even switched out the cassette from my old wheels to the demo wheels.

Easy peasy!

I know that I am a rockstar, but he’ll demo the wheels to all local athletes. So for your next event, come on down!


Now for a quick review:

I HAD to give them a test drive before the main event.

I did a quick test ride for an hour just to get a feel for them and refresh the legs.

I’ve got to tell you…they felt awesome!

I’m not sure they increased my overall speed that much but I sure FELT faster! And that means a lot right there.

I was originally concerned that the extra weight of the deep rims would adversely affect me on those hills but I honestly think that my old wheels weight the same if not more.

I was able to climb the sisters without a problem (well…besides the usual problems…it is the sisters after all).

Again, I felt faster than normal but when I got home and compared the numbers, everything was just about the same. I had more energy but I couldn’t tell if that was the wheels or the taper talking.

I’ll give a more complete report after the main event.

Here is the whole set-up





I am all sorts of lucky this weekend!

First, the Demo race wheels and now this.

At the pasta party tonight, they were raffling some SWAG, a mountain bike and a training plan with Dave Scott (the Man).

I put my name in and guess what??

I’ve got 4 months with DAVE THE MAN!

I couldn’t be happier. Talk about a perfect gift. Right before the IM.

WooHoo!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Is it Sunday yet?

It’s only Tuesday and I have already washed the car, mopped the floors, done the laundry. I even washed the bedding, the sheets and even turned the mattress around.

Is it Sunday YET??

I’ve detailed the car, detailed the bike, cleaned the workout clothes, and finished my last couple bricks.

Is IT Sunday YET??

I’ve talked to old friends, made new friends. I’ve walked the dogs, brushed the dogs, washed the dogs.

Is IT SUNDAY YET??

I have run out of things to do!



Here are last month’s totals:

Oct Monthly Total:
3 Swim – 7533 yd – 03:06:41 (4.7 miles)
11 Bike – 339.2 mi – 25:24:10
17 Run – 73.8 – 13:32:03

Total: 31 Workouts
42:02:55 Hours
417.3 miles
27669 Calories Burned

Wow! Look how many swims I had. A whopping 3! And all those happened just last week. But take a look at my bike and run. Way up from last times. In fact those are my highest bike and run times ever!

Let’s hope I can make it through the swim!

IS IT SUNDAY YET!!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Gone baby gone. The love is gone!

As I woke up this morning, I could feel the aches in my muscles. All I could think was:

I cannot wait until the weekend, so I can finally rest!

Wait a moment, this is Monday. That was the weekend!

I wasted my weekend working out!

UGH!

I feel the ache deep in the muscles. Not the soreness on the top layer of the muscles. This is D-E-E-P. This is down to the bone. I swear, I think my bones ache.

Apparently, I had a good weekend.

Saturday was the RTC ride that goes through the Las Vegas Valley into Red Rock and then back.

For the entire time leading up to the event, I was debating about what to do. Stick with the 50 or go for the gold: century. Not just a century, a double metric century. 118!

*I think my hand just trembled putting that number in.

118 – It’s just a big number. Especially when you have only done 80 miles before. More especially when you have a Half in two weeks.

In the end, I wimped out and went for the 50. I figured it was a smarter move and safer than going full bore and blowing out my legs for month or so. Besides the route went up the pumpkinman route and…like I said I wimped out!

But I did do the 50. And in record time too!

It took me 1:45 to get to the turnaround point but only 1:20 to get back! I was flying.

It was all good until the end. Then I ran into about a gazillion stop lights. Go a good pace for 200-300 feet and stop at a light. Then go another 300 feet and stop. Repeat and repeat Ad nauseam.

It was good to get out there and get in the mileage. But the problem is that is nowhere near a proper comparison for Silverman. No hill after hill to the point that it makes you want to cry, no desert monotony, no three sisters.

But regardless, I was glad to get out there. Glad to see a fast time in my log book. Man, I can’t tell you how much I would love to see 3 hours for 56 miles! Talk about a dream come true. I’ll be lucky to see 4-4.5.

Sunday was filled with a monster swim, which the devilish Stef, talked me into. She billed it as a good workout: Fast and fun. Apparently she meant fast as in Sprint 100+ yards repeatedly. To the buoy. And back (SPRINT!) To the buoy and back (SPRINT!).

My arms are about to fall off!

Then Stef dragged me to the shore and forced shoes on my feet and away we were running a grinding and grueling 8 miles.

No wonder my body is achy!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Ants-in-my-pants

I’ve got ants in my pants!

Of course, I’m not actually wearing pants, I'm wearing my running shorts.

I am doing intervals. On a cold autumn night. Perfect!

The air is crisp, the night belongs to me, I have energy in the legs and nothing but time.

It’s run hard for 30 sec and easy for 2 min. Nice, perfect interval run.

The first 30 is on the downhill. I’ve got nothing but energy in the legs. I go hard! It’s the first one, right?

It just might be the last one too!

WAY TOO HARD!

My legs are turning over so fast, they are just a blur. There is no way my lungs can even think about keeping up. I am so anaerobic that I’m turning blue.

The first 20 seconds flew by. The last 10 seconds are an eternity.

Finally the interval is up and it’s all I can do not to collapse. Two minutes cannot last long enough. I keep hoping that my heart will calm down or my breath will realize that I’m at the bottom of the hill and not at the top where I left it.

“Hello! Down here!”

About the time my breathing is returning, the ants find me.

I have itches all over. My lower back. My forearms. My scalp.

And then it’s gone. Sweet relief. No itch. Anywhere.

The next 30 I take it easier. Much easier. Like the kind of pace that I can actually hold. As in hold in my dinner.

No problem. Good fun.

Next up: Two minute easy.

But the ants are back. I swear I am itchy everywhere. It’s feels like an allergic reaction.

Maybe I’m allergic to exercise! PERFECT! If I can get a medical note then I am exempt from workout! Couch potato here I come!

Sadly, it doesn’t last. The itch goes.

It’s just me and the cool night.

It’s just me and the cool night.

Cool night. So cool its stealing my heat. I’m getting the pre-sweat itches. Over and over again.

If only I can just work up a true sweat then these itches will be gone. But it’s no go. 30 seconds hard doesn’t even out two minutes of easy.

This is formula is working perfect for my run but its doing a number on my skin.

Finally, the interval is over and it’s on to a tempo run.

I’ve never been so happy to run so hard.

Sweet sweat! Sweet relief.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Spinach and kryptonite

65 miles

Who the heck knew it would take sooo long?

My goodness that is a lot of miles.

Random things on the bike:

While riding up the three sisters, I passed a few kids who where pushing their bikes up the hill. They see me coming up the hill and stop and watch.

As I pass them (while staying seated), they say “Wow! How do you do that?”

I swear I actually said “Eat your spinach kid!” and pedaled past like nothing had happened.

I wanted to break into song:

“I'm Popeye the Sailor Man,
I'm Popeye the Sailor Man.
I'm strong to the ‘finich
Cause I eats me spinach.
I'm Popeye the Sailor Man.”

I say wanted to, because at this point I was hypoxic from the several lack of oxygen of pedaling up this 'hill from hell' while trying to look cool.

Needless to say I waited until I was over the hill and out of sight and then I passed out!





Also on this trip, I realized my kryptonite (one of two million).

The Freakin’ heat!

Over the ride the heat steadily climbed from a comfortable temp to an oppressive energy draining heat. Now it wasn’t bone searing heat, because I am apparently used to this type but rather it was a slow succubus heat that drained the live from me.

Like superman I was faced with this invulnerable invincible enemy and there was no place to run to for safety.

The water was hot, the nutrition was hot and thick; the GU’s were hot, thick and sticky. Everything turned against me!

In SCUBA, they have a sign of panic called ‘equipment rejection’. The pivotal moment when you body is freaking out while your mind watches through the looking glass as you throw the very equipment that is keeping you alive. Like being under water and feeling like you can't get a full breath of air so you throw away you breathing tube (regulator)! Now you’re breathing sea water! Illogical but panic never is very logical.

I was nearing that point. I wanted to take off my shoes; I could feel THEM suffocating me! I wanted to get off the bike. It was slowing ME down! I wanted to get rid of my water, IT was the reason I was so thirst!

I was nearing meltdown. I had to do something quick or I’d be on the phone calling in support with demands of ice cream and air conditioning.

Finally I found a tunnel on the trail, got off my bike and rested. When that wasn’t enough I took of my shoes. (I swear I saw steam rising out).When that wasn’t enough, I was worried. Normally when I get this hot I take off all my clothes and stand under the fan. That thankfully is at home. Here, I am out in public, While I don’t mind being naked, I didn’t want to frighten any young children or give older people heart attacks.

Finally in desperation I laid down (clothed) on the concrete tunnel floor. To hell if another biker came around the corner and rolled over me. It might be a blessing, give me something else to focus on.

As I lay there, I wondered what had happened to my heat training. I had just trained through the entire summer hadn’t I? 110+ degrees. And here I was on laying a semi-cold floor watching the ants crawl over me, dying in 90 degrees!

I had gotten soft!

In the end I finished the ride but it wasn’t without promising myself a week of cold showers and a pint of ice cream.

Ice cream is part of the triathlon diet right?

Friday, October 17, 2008

Change - Change - Change

It’s the new season.

You can feel it in the air. You can smell the crispness in the October sky. You can see the leaves changing and watch the darkness overtake the day.

It is a new season.

Of course, with this being Vegas, we have no seasons!

There are no leaves (just Palm trees).
There is no crispness just cold air (soon to be followed by 80+ air next week).

Regardless…it is a new season. And the blogsphere is alive with new training. Can you feel it? Can you read it?

It’s MARATHON season!

It seems that EVERYONE I read is training for a marathon or just did one (or ten!) an ultra (or ten!).

I think it’s because of the cold and the darkness. Things that make bike riding miserable, but aren’t too bad for runners.

The cold and the darkness…Perfect environment for slow, plodding runs that last forever and never seem to have an ending.

I must admit. It sounds fun!

I think that I need to try out at least 1 or 2 marathons before CDA.

Have you checked out JT’s blog? He blew me away with this one! Awesome medals, great area, and a beer GARDEN. Not just a tent but G-A-R-D-E-N!

Now that sounds worth running 26 miles for (but not the 0.2)!

Oh! It’s not like I’ve given up on the Triathlon thing. I’m still biking and running and I drink water (HEY! That still counts right?)

Last weekend I biked another 56 even included the three sisters just to make it a good workout. And NO! I did not stop midway. Thank you very much.

Fearing that come race day, I would be a floundering fish, the Mrs. has forced me to swim. So I’ll be hitting the lake and hopefully follow it up with a long run. I also plan to ride the Silverman course again.

Wish me luck!

PS-

Go Stef! She's gonna rock this Pumpkinman!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Oh what a difference a day makes

Last time I went out for a long ride, it was disastrous.

This week, I did not one but two long rides.

I have decided that I H-A-T-E Northshore road. There are so MANY hills. Hill after Hill after Hill after…well you get the picture.

You know that means? …Non stop Northshore! If you hate it, that means do IT!

Saturday, I went out for a long ride on Northshore solely. I parked on the top of Northshore, which coincidently starts with the humongous hill. SWEET! Nothing like starting the ride off with a fast 30+mph!

Unfortunately, the Northshore start is this “V”. Big down hill followed by BIG uphill. And then it was Hill after Hill after Hill afte…well, you get the idea.

I saw where I decided to quit the race last time. In Hindsight, I get to see how close I was to almost passing the hell known as Northshore (two miles), but I also realized that at the time the run would have been impossible.

I also saw how freaking hard the race was. My “spot” was right after a major hill and another major hill was directly ahead. If ever there was a good time that was it!

One uncool thing about Northshore? The “V”. It was there going out and it was there coming back. Big fast downhill and long slow climb out.

Did I mention the hills? Hills; Hills; hills...well, you get the idea.


Sunday was a Silverman supported ride. Silverman is the local Ironman-like event. Toughest most grueling event in the world (honestly, that’s what the website says). So tough that certain Californian’s are a leetle afraid.

4 and a half hours. 65 miles! I pushed myself hard on those hills. Hills; Hills; Hills…you know.

Pushed myself hard and all I got was 14 miles an hour! But I did feel good the entire time, that is until the end. At the end I was beat up! Tired.

And then the slave driver known as Stef, forced or rather dragged me through the desert kicking and screaming on a run!

Running after 65 miles on the bike? So tough! I swear, I’ve done so many bricks that this should be easy right? Nope! Talk about hard.

Stef (the evil maniacal slave-driver that she is), eased through the run like a deer through the forest. I think I even saw a smile at the end of the run! Evil!

But the overall point is… damn good! I’m not back, but I'm getting there.

5 weeks. Silverman…I’m gunning for you!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

And now.. in other news

OK. Enough with the depressing "woe is me". For now on it’ll be "Whoa! It’s me!"

Or it’ll be useless stuff like this:

I just found out from TRI-DRS, that the American Triple Desoto is coming to the West coast.
For those who don’t know what the Triple Desoto is, it’s a kick in the pants event. 4 triathlons in 3 days. Starting off with a sprint and moving all the way up to a half by the final day. It can be done in a team format with drafting off your team mate allowed.

Really, it sounds like a lot of grueling work. And surprisingly, people actually have a great time at it!

It’s going to sell out quick, so if you’re thinking about going for it, go fast!

Here’s the copy of the notice:

AMERICAN TRIPLE-T CALIFORNIA ANNOUNCED
(Columbus, Ohio). Victory Man Racing, LLC is pleased to announce the expansion of the American Triple-T Triathlon format to a second venue in Lakeport, California for the 2009 season. This race will be the sister event to the current American Triple-T event based in Portsmouth, Ohio that is going into its seventh year. The new triathlon event is sure to become a classic throughout the west coast.

This epic event is scheduled for the weekend of September 18th through 20th, 2009 in beautiful Lakeport, California, which is just two hours by car from the San Francisco Bay Area, the Sacramento Valley and the Pacific Coast. Lake County is known for its spectacular beauty, unsurpassed recreation, and fine wines as it is nestled between three of the most famous wine areas in the United States - Mendocino, Sonoma, and Napa counties.

The American Triple-T California is a unique 3-day, 4-event, long distance format triathlon with participants competing on 2 person teams or in the solo division. The American Triple-T California is unlike any other triathlon and offers participants intimate camaraderie not often found in traditional triathlons.

"We're excited to bring this fantastic event to Lakeport, California and to the West Coast, showcasing Clear Lake and the area that makes up this great region," said Doug Grout, CEO of Victory Man Racing.

"The athletes should expect a "red carpet" experience featuring lots of attention by the community in Lakeport that is extremely accommodating; and excited to have these athletes competing in their community says Grout." Athletes will also receive their race shirt, event towel, water bottle and many other goodies provided by key partners and sponsors. The athlete also should look forward to the exclusive "finisher only shirt" that will place them in a select group of athletes throughout the world.

"Get ready for a "World-Class" triathlon event - the American Triple-T California will have it all, added Shannon Kurek, Victory Man Racing President and Executive Race Director. From elite athletes to top age groupers and weekend warriors, the American Triple-T California will truly be special for all participants, spectators and the surrounding communities."

Register today by visiting http://www.americantripletcali.com/, the field will be limited to first 500 registered participants, which means a very quick sellout. The entry fee for the event is $300 per solo person or $600 for the two person team.

Go to http://www.attcali.com/ to get registered.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

turn, turn, turn

I first want to start off by saying thanks to everyone who left nice comments out there for me. I was in the dumps something fierce and while I am still not out of them completely, I am loopy enough on cough medicine to pretend that I see a light at the end of the tunnel and if I just keep going, I’ll get there. Again, thanks everybody. Your support means a lot!



Well…first the bad news then the good.

First off, I am still sick. It’s been two weeks now and everyday I wake up and feel completely great. Then I get out of bed and the sickness hits me.

I can’t wait until I am better. This cold has been so subtle that it doesn’t feel that it’s really there but then the coughs start and I am reminded that I’m still a sicky.

I went out for the race. I felt good for the swim. I was actually able to latch on a guys feet and have him pull me the first 800 yards and we flew past everybody, then the coughing attacks started and I lost him and then I lost the rest of the people. Then I came out of the water, back of the pack. But still it was actually a pretty good time all things considered.

The bike started off good too. I was able to concentrate on getting in the right amount of nutrition, drink a lot of water. Everything was going good. I even passed a pointy helmet in an Ironman kit no less!

However, Come turn around, I was feeling the heat. There were only two aid stations and this one had run out of Gatorade and was serving boiling hot water and GU’s.

I was able to hold it together for a while, but I knew that I was toast. The run seemed forever away and just didn’t have the energy to go on.

The opportunity was there and I took it. At mile 44, I ended my race! My first DNF.

I kept waiting for this overwhelming guilt to come crashing down on me. For something to break and for me to ‘realize’ what I've done. It never happened. I am not saying I am proud that it happened the way it did, but neither am I depressed by it. I think that I gave up too early. In hindsight, I think I should have finished that ride. But I knew there was no way I was going to finish the run so I was OK with ending the ride early.


Later on I heard that the run was a total death march for a lot of people. The temp was 103 and unfortunately, it seems that they ran out of water on some of the aid stations. I understand it was horrible. A lot of people have left a lot of hate mail for this race. Mountain Man Events is quickly earning a bad reputation.


Now the good news:

When I resigned, I was afraid that this meant I was done. Done for the year? Done for the season? Done with the sport? I don’t know. I just had this feeling that I was done.

But, as soon as I got home, I kept thinking of what I could do to get better. It just seems that this distance is a major butt kicker. It’s my second attempt (one race; one self supported) and each time, I am dead.

I REALLY need to work on my bike. I mean REALLY need to work on it. I am thinking of riding the course every weekend. I have got to get my body used to that distance so that it doesn’t even blink come race day.

If I’m going to commit to the distance, I am going to need to shut down some of the other workouts.

It’s about time to start focusing on the run. It seems that lately I loathe the run. I do every thing I can to avoid the run. That must mean that I need to do nothing but!

So for now on, it’s run twice a week (tempo; speedwork; hill repeats, etc) and a long distance run on the weekend.

I am sorta abandoning the swim, but it’ll just have to wait.


My hope is that I can build up enough strength that the 70.3 will be beat able. Maybe it’s the sickness. Maybe I was overtrained. Maybe I needed some rest. Whatever it was, I hope that when this sickness finally wears off, I’ll be ready.

Silverman…I’m gunning for ya!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Excuses are like…

Everybody has 'em and boy do mine stink!




So, where to begin?

How about at the beginning and work from there?

I was born...



OK. Let us take it from last post. Last post I had a miserable day. I went out for mock half iron and sucked on the swim, sucked on the bike and died on the run.

Everyone suggested taking time to taper and reevaluate the nutrition.

Honestly, I think everyone was right. So I took a mock taper.

I say mock because I still ran a level 4 (maybe 5) run but other than that, it was easy. Come the weekend and the Kokopelli Olympic.

This was my third and final Oly of the year and after all the training for the half, it really felt insignificant. I wanted it to be an A race, but I couldn't get my head around that. I was lucky to even consider it a C race.


Needless to say….the race sucked!!

After 5 months of hard training. 5 months of kicking the crap out of me and my body. 5 months of doing Olympic level bricks, rides, and runs, my performance was (almost) exactly the same as before!

DFL!!

Just to recap, the last time I was at this venue, there were hurricane like conditions, so bad that they cancelled the swim (after I was already in), and I felt like I was fighting in the ocean. After I struggled through the swim, it was onto the bike and by then I was exhausted. Finally, it was onto the run, my knees started acting up, and I had to walk most of the 6 miles!

All that easily made for a great excuse! I was OK being DFL.

This time?

Perfect weather! Like P-E-R-F-E-C-T!

There is no excuse. My swim? Actually not too bad. Then the bike, started off bad and downhill from there. I just had no pop no energy. Flash backs of my last post. I felt defeated and I was only 2 miles into this.

What has happened to me?

Finally, I was onto the run. And the flashbacks hit full force. I couldn’t run. Nothing! When I was running, it was an easy smooth 10 min pace. I felt like I could hold this forever no problem. 5 seconds later I would be walking. No clue what happened. Body said, “OK, walk now” and that was it.

End result? Almost the exact same time as last year! Both the bike and the run were within minutes of last years times. My only redeeming quality was my swim. This time there was no hurricane. There was no knee pain, this time should have been perfect.

What has happened to me?


All the training is for not!

All this effort and I am just as pathetic as when I started. I am utterly defeated. I want to give it up. Give the rest of the season up. Give up all the Half’s I have planned. Give up on CDA. Give it all up.

Maybe take up knitting. Something competitive that I can win at. Maybe eating? Or power napping?

Whatever, but not Tri. I am D-O-N-E!




What has happened to me?

Excuse #1
The few days prior my body was fighting a cold and it seemed that on race day my body gave up the fight and the cold hit full force.

Excuse #2
Somehow, my nutrition is still out of whack.

Excuse #3
I still need to rest. I didn’t really taper and my body is still feeling it.

Excuse #4
I can’t shake the failure of last time. It’s in my mind and I can’t get away from it.


Yeah, yeah yeah! Whatever!

The truth is…I don’t know. Perhaps I just suck. Maybe it’s time to recognize it. Either accept it and move on or accept it and move forward. Maybe.





Which brings me to now. Now is the Las Vegas Half-ironman.

This is on the same course as the mock ironman. Same swim, same bike, same run. I didn’t make it through last time.

I am nervous.

I’ve been forced to taper this whole week as I’ve been so sick that I’ve been coughing up lungs everywhere. I’ve been popping vitamin C and B like its going out of style and I am STILL sick. Still sick!

I am nervous.

I haven’t run or bike or done anything in a week. Nothing. I haven’t run anything over 6 miles or bike over 24 in two weeks. And the last time I did, it was a flop.

I am NERVOUS.


So here I be.

I’m full of nervousness and full of excuses.

I can easily not race tomorrow. I REALLY am sick. I really have no energy. I really don’t feel like I should be racing.

But I REALLY think that it’s because I’m scared. I'm scared of last time. I’m scared for this time. I’m scared for CDA time.

I’m scared that I suck and that its time to move on.



Full of nerves and full of excuses.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Sick day

Friday I called in sick to work.

I should have called in Stupid!

This weekend we are going to California for a quick mini vacation. As much as I'd like to pretend that I'll run on the beach and swim in the ocean. I know the truth. I'll be swimming in Corona and running to the bathroom.

That meant I needed to get all my training in during the week. Friday was the big one. I was gonna put my swim and my 50 mile bike together and combine it with my 10 mile brick. Heck add a few and I've got a full half (full half?? Half full?).

It started off good and went downhill from there.

What have I done! I have a race in two weeks and I am so not ready!

I had a great swim. Felt strong fast fluid. Everything good. Except the time. 1:00 exactly! Crap! That's 20 minutes slow.


so much for that, how about the bike?


Last week I rode 50 hard miles in about 3:30. The next day I rode 52 harder miles on very tired legs in about 3:39.

Today on the very same course that I had just rode, this time with much fresher legs...4:40.



That's an hour slower! My average speed fell from 15 to 11. It was miserable. I had no energy. My feet were on fire, I was hot; tired. My back hurt from carrying the camelbak. It was a slogfest.

Miserable.

On to the run!

First mile - great! Good pace; good cadence.

After the first mile, I was working on a 7/1 ratio. First 7 minutes of running, no problem. The second round of 7 minutes was up hill. I stopped running after the first 3 minutes. That's about the time I realized I was in trouble. Less than 3 miles in and the best I could do was 1 minute of running. It wasn't long before I was in negative territory. I was now walking more than I ran.

Run/walk; walk/run; walk/walk.

By mile 5 it was pathetic. 20 seconds of running, several minutes of walking.

By mile 6 it was pure walking. Powerwalking that devolved into trudging.

By mile 7, I was afraid.

I wanted to lay down right there on the trail. My mind was planning. I had told people where I was at. I could just lie down and rest a while. Surely somebody would walk the trail sooner or later. And if not, it wouldn't take my family long to realize that I was missing. I figured come nightfall they'd find me.

By mile 8, I could see the road. By mile 8.5, I reached the road and had reception. I called the family and let them know where I was. I fell asleep.



All totaled, I was out there for 10 hours (I took some looong transitions)

What have I done!

In two weeks, I have to do this distance and be fast. There's no sleeping, there's no resting on the side of the road. There's no crying and wailing taking time to eat and drink.

In just two weeks I have to RACE!

Hell! In less than a year, I have to do double this and finish in less than 17 hours.

What have I done!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Jock math

I was Michael Phelps, if only for a little while.
The training plan called for 3 x 800 non stop (well duh!, it is an 800 after all).

I really though that this was easy. I mean just the other day it had me swim 1.5 miles. So an 800 no problem. So I just jumped in and off I went.

Now lets see.

Each pool length is 25 so down and back is 50.
50 goes into 100 2 times.
There is 8 100 in 800

I swim 8 laps.

I did math 3 times. Just to make sure. I confirmed the math at least once during each 800 swim.

It helps that my brain is oxygen deprived.

I swam each 800 in 10. Actually 9:XX.

Had I actually took the time to analysis the time I might had figured something was up.

I mean...10 minutes for 800? That's like a 45 sec per each 50 for 800. That's fast, at least for me.

This week I had the same workout planned. OK, sure. No problem. 10 minutes per I'll be done easy.

Until the Mrs. Mentions 16 laps. (apparently she's much smarter than me. She did this without counting!).

16 laps?

Crap! Yep, just to confirmed I checked my time at 8 laps (400).

Guess what my time was? 10 minutes!

Rest assured, my actually 800 was much higher.

20 minutes each.

I was Phelps for a day!


Speaking of Jock Math,

I was thinking about my recent race.

I had a good time and it was a good test race, but it wasn't great. Yet everybody kept saying how good I did.

"My race splits were good."

OH! Wait a minute, you guys don't know the course.

See its the Lake Las Vegas course. We had to do loops around the course.

Sprint had to do 3, Olympic had to do 5 laps. 3 vs. 5. The Sprint was 10-11. That's about right, but the Olympic? 5 laps only equaled about 17 miles.

Way short for an Olympic!

You guys saw my time of 1:08 and thought "wow! That Formulaic guy is fast. He biked 25 miles in one hour". Good try!

Now I'm still happy with my average speed, after all 17 mph is tough to maintain in Las Vegas, but its a far cry from 25.

And since we are on the subject on the impossible. I don't get my swim.

Stef pointed out that there was a 2 at the start of it (28:36) not a 3 or a 4. That's great! Except it doesn't make sense to me. I usually swim in the 3X-4X range. Always!

But this time it was MUCH lower. According to the Garmin, the distance was right (.93) and I swear I didn't cheat.

So what gives? Either I rose to occasion or... Well I don't know. The race time is the official time, so its not my Garmin. The distance seemed right and the Garmin confirmed it.

So... Whatever it is, I know that I won't be relying on me to add it up.

M-athlete? Not I!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The one that got away

For weeks now, I've been treating my body like a machine.

I expect it to keep going and going and never give in.


And that's OK. Because it is a machine. It can keep going. As long as I treat it right. Give it the fuel it needs.

My body is my temple, right? Well my temple feels like a landfill.

I watch(read) Baboo, who truly is a machine. Event after event. Tough! Or Lucho, talk about a machine. Watching him run is more like a work of art than a workout.

But both of these people and hundreds of people out there (including my competition) fuel themselves right.

This isn't a Sprint. This isn't an Oly. I'm working on the Half and focusing on the full.

I can't keep shoving crap into me and not expect me to be...crap.

Garbage in garbage out.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Sick Puppy

Like a spider, the lone cyclist rides alone lurking for the unsuspecting group riders to fly by. He flings out his web and latches on. He’s being pulled by the group. He is one with the group. He eats the group!

That’s the analogy.

Like a sad puppy that is put in the tub for his bath. He tries to escape, he jumps, leaps and scrabbles for the edge, hoping that his nails will catch and he’ll find his escape. You watch him; you know that he can’t escape. He flails against the side, nails scraping on the tub. Hopelessly he slides back down. Again and again, until finally he gives up and huddles shivering and shaking in his own pee and bath water.

That’s the reality.

And that’s how my group ride went.

Group after group flew by and my legs looked at me and defiantly turned the other way.

No way they were gonna join in anyone else’s fun. That day it was all about them and them alone. ALONE, I say!

It was their private revenge for two days of hard riding.

Two long rides in two days.

It took me two days to do it but 100 miles done!

Day 1 - 3 hours 48 minutes for 50.5 miles. That’s a lot of long grueling hills. I went from my house to Lake Mead and then back up through the Pumpkinman course. Here’s a profile of the Pumpkinman ride. Yes, that’s a climb of 1400+ feet



Day 2 – The group ride with the Silverman crew. That is where I learned how much group rides can suck when you ride alone!

03 hours 39 minutes for 52.54. Nothing can be as bad the Pumpkinman route right?? WRONG!

The Silverman route is tough! And that didn’t even include the sisters!


But hey! At least it's done!


Whew! In one week I got almost ¾ of all my bike mileage of last month in!

And this week looks to be about the same! I am so going to be ready for taper!

Week 36
2 Run – 3.8 mi – 00:40:01
4 Bike – 119.4 – 08:35:26
2 Swim – 5696 yd – 2:09:22

Aug Monthly Total:
10 Swim – 16985 yd – 08:25:20 (10.62 miles)
10 Bike – 200.2 – 15:16:22
12 Run - 52.3 – 10:21:29

Total:
32 Workouts
34:03:12 Hours
262.1 miles
20964 Calories Burned

Slow boat to China

While watching the Olympics, I saw the open water swim event. It was billed as a 'marathon' swim, but in reality it was only a 10k.

ONLY!

The women finished just over 2 hours and the men finished just under 2 hours.

And I finished just in 2:09 minutes!

What??

Oh...

I did 2.4 in 2:09

They did 10k in 2:00


10k! That's 6.2 miles! That's 2.58 (3333) more times more than me.


That means that they did 2.4 miles in...

Um....Divide. Then take the quotient and then....

OK. Great!

Not only am I slow but I AM s.l.o.w.


I have the video and I'll be studying their form.

But don't worry; I doubt I'll be in London 2012

Signed-

On the slow boat in the short bus

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The wheels on the bus - Lake Las Vegas Race Report

The wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round, round and round:

5 loops! F-I-V-E! That’s a lot of loops. Especially when those loops are surrounded by hills. On both sides. The struggle of getting up one hill is rewarded with the thrill of flying down the other side. Hoping that your momentum will carry you up the next hill. Feeling yourself slow and feeling that deep burn as you have to pedal the rest of the way up. Up and down and up and down and up and down.

The wipers on the bus go "swish, swish, swish"; "swish, swish, swish"; "swish, swish, swish":

This was my first open water swim sans wetsuit (OWS WO WTST), but that wasn’t what worried me. I was afraid that I’d be DFL out there, again! After my pathetic swim, I realized how slow I am. So my goal here was to find a good pace and stick with it. OH! I finally found another person who had a Garmin in their swim cap! I’ve been doing this FOREVER, but up until now, I’ve never met anyone else who did it.

When the swim started, I was near the middle and got my first body contact. Yes, it’s been 5+ races and I’ve never been touched. Not so bad! One guy did try to dunk me but he disappeared after one attempt.

The rest of the swim was uneventful. It took a while to get into a groove, but once I did it was OK. Not true bilateral breathing but 5 breaths on the left and 15 breaths on the right. Close enough. I did find that I settled into an easy pace. My “I could go on like this forever” pace. Surprisingly, I actually passed somebody at this pace, but I need to work harder on these shorter swims. I’m not swimming “forever”, I’m just swimming for this race, and I need to pick up the pace.

The horn on the bus goes "Beep, beep, beep"; "Beep, beep, beep"; "Beep, beep, beep":

The great thing about the course is that there are so many loops and so many people. I have never heard “On you left”, so much in a race. From me to others; others to me; others to others; heck, a few times I said it to myself.

It is a thing of beauty to see the pro’s or at least the elites ride up those hills. They are smooth, they are fluid; they make me look like I’m standing still.

Whirl, whirl, whirl. Is it a car? Nope it’s the guy with the disk wheel climbing up the hill.

AWESOME!


The lady on the bus goes “Get off my feet”; “Get off my feet”; “Get off my feet”:

Consistency. That’s what it comes down to. If you’re going to do something, stay consistent the whole way through. The Lake Las Vegas Tri HAS consistency.

Hills on the bike and hills on the run.

So many hills! Long steep hills on dirt and gravel. I could not find a rhythm. I took it easy up the hills and pushed just a leetled coming down. But because I didn’t know the course, I didn’t know when to push and how hard to push.

When I finally did, it was too little too late.

The baby on the bus says “Wah, wah, wah”; “Wah, wah, wah”; “Wah, wah, wah”:

This is the part where I whine and mope. It was a good swim, but it wasn’t good enough. I still need to work on my technique. The Garmin guy used his Garmin as a pace setter. It warned him when he was going too slow. That is something I’ll need look into.

The bike was good but not good enough. As much as I enjoyed watching the elites zoom by me, I would have loved to pass more people.

The run was good but not enough. The hills really cut into my time on the run, but more than anything it was my mind that hurt me the most. I was afraid that my body would crash, so I held back for too long.

The mommy on the bus says “Shush, shush, shush”; “Shush, shush, shush”; “Shush, shush, shush”:

And this is the part where I tell myself too shut and train.

  1. I finished the race. That is itself is a BIG victory!
  2. I did a great job on the swim. I passed people! P-A-S-S-E-D! That is cool. Not only that, I decided to near the middle of the action. I found that it’s not really all that bad. After the first 200 yards everyone, who is going to pass you is already gone, but at least you didn’t what and you’re well into the swim.
  3. As much as I wanted to pass EVERYONE, I did pass some people. I did a god job climbing the hills; I was fast going down the hills. I went through the curves fast and fluid. Plus as an added bonus, I was able to pass a pointed head guy! NICE!
  4. It’s time to start pushing the run. I occasionally run with Frank’s group and while I still suck, I run faster with them then I do elsewhere. It’s time to step up to the plate and start running that pace all the time. My body can do it; it’s now time for the mind to admit it. My last mile 9:00 m/m. That’s after 5 miles of hills and dirt.

All the people on the bus say “We had a nice ride”; “We had a nice ride”; “We had a nice ride”:

All in all it was a good race. I beat my old time (although that wasn’t hard to do). I rode hard and ran semi-hard and still no knee pain. That’s big!

This race was really a bell weather for me to determine how ready am for Kokopelli. Now I know my strengths, I know what I need to work on.

Come on Kokopelli! I’m ready for you!


Results:
Swim – 29:23
T-1 – 1:23
Bike – 1:07:26
T-2 – 1:28
Run – 1:05:17

Total – 2:44:55

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Recovery? What recovery.

How sad. I had a whole week off and no update.

Truthfully though, I didn’t follow doctors orders and take the week completely off. I threw in there a few extra workouts and some long ones to boot.

I have pretty much given up on the catch up game (being as I am so far behind I’d have to run an ultra and bike a century or two just to make it all up), But I’m still feeling guilty for missing the workouts, so I am making the ones I do even longer or better.

My boo-boo while not serious, seemed to have a debilitating effect. I couldn’t run. At first it was the vibration of the impact hurt too much on bruised skin and once the bruises went away, it was the ankle wound that hurt too much from the shoe rubbing it.

I think that I’m pretty much over it all now, but it turned my ‘Monster’ week into a ‘Ghost’ week. Followed that by a week of recovery and I feel like I haven’t had a decent workout in ages!

Upcoming is the final build for the plan. It marks the “competitive” phase. I think it will call more on the mental endurance than the physical. Technically, I pretty much have it in me to do the distance now. I’ve done the workouts (most of them) and have conquered the distances so far.

I still can’t imagine running for 13 miles after being on the bike for 56, but technically I ‘should’ be able to do it.

Blue ribbon winner…I am not! YET!

Friday, August 15, 2008

A disturbance in the force

Did you feel that? Did you feel the force? It felt like there is some new presence amongst us.

It feels like…no, it couldn’t be. I think there is a new blogger in our sphere!

HOLY COW! Run and tell the neighbors, the Mrs. is in the house!

Maybe it was my constant badgering. Or maybe it was the fact that she was already virtually blogging. Or maybe she just wanted a voice to defend herself in this blogosphere.

Either way, head over to her site and see why she is my BETTER half.

(Dang, that’s a cool url)

Hm…apparently she has brains as well as a knockout body. DAMN! The complete package!


P.S.

Ask her what she is doing on the 30th!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Fall down - go boom

I am now one step closer to becoming a real cyclist!

Yes, I took my first real spill.

I was coming home and hit the corner too fast. I had crap in my hands and couldn't feather the brakes. By the time I was able to get my hands on the brakes, I hit them HARD! Locked up my rear tire; my bike went out from under me and I did my best first-base slide.

It's no biggie, but it did a number on my bike (the poor baby!).






Again, it's no biggie and I'm sure I'll be back to good before I know it, but I have a n.i.c.e. road rash and a sweet strawberry on hip and on my ankle too (I ruined a pair of socks [boo]).







On a side note: Remeber when as a kid you put Peroxide on? No pain right? HOLY CRAP!!! The pain radiated down through the nerves into the bone and seared my soul!! OUCH!! (and I used to luv peroxide).

All told I got off easy for my first baby crash. Unlike Kayvee who took a major crash and still went on to do her 70.3! Tough!


Funny thing, now that's bandaged up and the next day, it hurts more now then when it happened!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Run Formulaic! Run!

Now you wouldn't believe me if I told you, but I could run like the wind blows. From that day on, if I was ever going somewhere, I was running! – Forrest Gump

Yes, indeed! I said I needed to run more and guess what??

Wow! Good guess! Yep, I’m running more.

In fact, in this last week, I ran more than half of my total distance from all of last month!

Whew!

Somehow, the dates conspire against me and half of my mileage was also in the last month, but for the week as a whole, I got in 27+ miles. And the good news (or the bad) is that I get to do the entire thing again this week! Yippee!

To keep on the run note, not only did I run Egads worth of mileage (for me). I also got in my longest distance ever.

It was hard, it was a struggle, it seemed like the distance would never end. I prevailed against insurmountable odds and overcame all. Yeah me!

What? The distance? Oh...um…

14 miles.

Yes, I realize that this is only 0.8 above half marathon mileage but still….give a boy some credit would ya??!!

Yes, it’s sad to say but I don’t think I’ve ever run 14 miles before. 13.1 sure, maybe even 13.3 or13.5 if the course was long, but never 14 miles.

So I have officially run farther then I ever have!

But wait! There’s more ground breaking news!

It involves my swim…no, no sharks…no, no banana hammocks (Thank GOD)…yes a new distance PR too!

I finally broke down and swam the Iron distance.

2.4 miles

Yippee for me again!

What? The time? Damn! Why do you ask so many questions??

OK, OK. Fine!

2.4 miles = 2:09 hours.

Yeah, yeah. Not rock star status. BUT, I did make the time cutoff (barely).

Now…actually getting on the bike and riding…yeah, I don’t think so. Don’t even get me started with the 112.

But I still have 10 months to get faster. (And I plan on using every minute, thank you very much!)

Friday, August 1, 2008

Where has the time gone?

I can’t believe that it’s already Friday. And it’s also August. Holy CRAP! 7 months of the year – GONE!

Better make the best of what is left, right?

So I have been SLOWLY catching back up with missed workout. IronTriTim once said, "don’t worry about trying to catch up on the missed workouts" and his logic never made more sense.

This week and next week are monster weeks for me. Both weeks include midweek 30+ mile rides and not one but two long distance runs.

Whew! Still….I can’t help it, I W.A.N.T to get ALL my workouts in. Even if it kills me!

On a side note, we had a nice little meet up with Calyx on her way to an awesome Half Mary run.

It is so nice to meet people and instantly connect.

I think that blogging really brings us all closer together. We instantly feel like we’re talking to family. All the pretenses fade away and we are relaxed. Blogging and Triathlon providing the bridge between strangers.

OK. Enough of the talk on with the numbers!

July totals:

10 Swim – 10:39:31 hours – 18,800 yards (11.75 miles)
16 Bike – 20:53:59 hours – 273.9 miles
13 Run – 08:46:15 hours – 41.0 miles

Total:
39 workouts
40:16:46 hours
325.6 miles
23,423 Calories Burned!

Despite my promises, it looks like I still need to work on my run mileage. It’s actually lower than last month’s! But this month does hold a lot of promise (or pain – depends on how you looks at it).

Monday, July 28, 2008

Flop week

Stef and JohnnyTri are on recovery, but it seems that I decided to join them in there somehow!

The last week can best be described as a bunch of blah and Half a$$ed work.

It started off with such promise, got in a good strength workout on Monday. Tuesday, was a great swim of 2000 broken into descending sets (awesome!). Wednesday, I was saddled with another midweek long ride of 45. Unfortunately, I had no more luck with this one than last time, and I had to break it into 3 rides again (trainer, road and road again after work).

That is about where the wheels fell off.

Thursday was supposed to be a high tempo run make up from last week.

The morning sun rose...I didn’t.
The evening sun set….so did I.

Thursday = Nada!

On Friday, there was a group swim planned at Lake Mead. Unfortunately, friendly obligations had us getting there too late and I had to swim by myself while the rest of the group finished their swim. Finally, after just over an hour, I had to call it because it was getting too late. 1.5 miles

Saturday

Apparently, my gym has a policy to close the pool during times of lightning. That seems perfectly fine. Logical. I understand that and am OK with it.

No problem, we head inside and work on finishing our swim in the inside pool.

Nope! The manager comes over and says that because of the lightning, they have to close the indoor pool too!

After some argument, he lets loose that according to policy, he is also supposed to close down the showers too! Basically anything with water gets shut off. In fact, if it was bad enough, he’s not allowed to let people out to the car fearing that they may be struck.

Um…come on, this is Las Vegas, not Seattle. We have storms that brew but never boil.

Turns out that the gym isn’t crazy! In fact the lightning safety institute (who know there was such a thing), recommends this very thing. Check out more lightning safety here.

Needless to say, that meant my swim was DONE. It was supposed to be 3600 but all I got was 1300.

Finished the day off with a makeup run/farklet. It was actually fun!

Sunday, the sun (and the heat) came too early and cut my 3 X brick into 1.75.

So in the end I have to make up:
Swim: 2300 + 200
Bike: 15 miles (brick)
Run: 4.5 miles + Speed work

Crap! I think I’m further behind now then when I started!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Temporary insanity

I work next to a mental health hospital. “Mental health” as in “crazy as a loon”.

Nearly every workday, a group of us walk around getting a brief walk in during the morning.

With the temperatures starting at 95* by 6 am and quickly climbing past 100+ by 10 am, you can imagine these walks are becoming increasingly difficult.

It appears that our walks have not gone unnoticed, as we walk through the NEW mental health parking lot. Instead of harassing us for walking through their private lot, they were actually very cool and the Director said that they think that it’s really cool that we walk and are staying fit!

Also, we have a brand new exercise room that you guys can use! Come in during lunchtime, when we don’t have scheduled appointments and you’re welcome.

Cool!

Eventually, we work up the courage (and the sweat) to investigate this new “exercise room”. The Director told us to speak to Mr.…. (I don’t remember his name, but he was a nice guy, dressed relaxed and was tall).

Mr. Tall takes meets us at the front door, escorts us back into the inner workings, uses his ID badge to get us into the exercise room.

WOW! Nice big room! Limited equipment but it really is new and good stuff too. Apparently this is the area for group session activity. They have a volleyball set, small basketball hoop, table tennis, etc. Think recreational rehab.

He reconfirms it. YEP! Come in any day. During lunch they never schedule appointments. He uses his ID badge to get us out and shows us where his office is and that anyone can get us into and out. No need to call ahead, someone is always here. He shows us around, we drool on all the cool, new stuff they have.

How perfect! I can come here and bang out a quick set of weights during lunch and then my evenings are FREE! Perfect.

Friday, I head over.

Hmm…I still don’t remember Mr. Tall’s name but I found an open door into the building. Now all I have to do is find his office.

Now I’m wandering up and down the halls looking for his office. Did I mention that I am in a Mental hospital??! I am sure that everyone is looking at me. Am I ‘supposed’ to be here? Am I crazy? Is he one of them or is he one of us?

Whew! Found his office!

Cool!

Hmm...No one is there. Maybe because it’s Friday or maybe because it’s lunchtime. Oh, look here comes some body. She’s about to unlock the office door and go in.

I stop her and plead my case.

“Hi! I work across the street”. (Blank stare)…

“I was told I could use your workout room” (she’s fidgeting with her keys, trying to get the office door open)….

This is going downhill. Quick pull rank!

“You director said it was ok. Last time I spoke to ….” Crap! I don’t remember his name!!

“Umm...I actually don’t remember his name; he was a guy about this tall…”

GREAT! I am going to get escorted’ out of here! I’ll disgrace my company and myself! GREAT!

Surprisingly, there is a twinkle in her eye. “Oh, you mean Larry?”

Larry? No, well, maybe. SURE!

“Yeah, Larry. Larry said that we could use the room. Larry (extra emphasis) said we could come in during lunchtime”.

“Sure, no problem. We have a group coming in at 1, you can use the room until then. Here I’ll take you back”.

Sweet! Honestly I don’t know how this worked for me. Like an idiot, I forgot my name badge. I don’t know who I am looking for and its ‘casual Friday’, so I look ‘casual’. Talk about trusting!

She escorts me back, uses her ID badge to get me into the room and tells me that I can work out until the group comes, by then Larry should be here and he can let me out.

She leaves me in the big auditorium by myself. There is no one here and I get a little alone time with the new equipment. I quickly establish a circuit and get too it!

About midway in, a gentleman walks in (with a name badge). He’s relaxed and non-fazed by me.

I nervously attempt to explain that I was told I could work out here. He waves it off and says it’s fine. The group isn’t here yet and they won’t be for a little while still.

He goes about getting everything ready and wanders in and out of the nearby open door that goes out into the courtyard.

Apparently this is Larry. This is NOT Mr. Tall!

2/3 the way done and I hear a commotion. The group is starting to arrive! Some of the people are loud and seems like this is old hat for them. They are telling stories about their day (loudly), others look like they’re on lithium right now! Sullen, sunken eyes.

I’m in the middle of 'girl interrupted'.

'Larry' is greeting everyone and gets to setting everyone up. He's busy. I'll find someone else to let me out. I quietly make my exit into the courtyard.

The courtyard is a nice open air courtyard about the size of a small park, surrounded on all sides by the building.

Wait! Surrounded.on.ALL.sides. hmmm…ALL sides!

I walk over to a door and see the signs. “Warning! Extreme flight risk, ensure that doors are secure!” “Warning, this door exits out to unsecure area, doors must be closed”"You are leaving a secure area, check to make sure doors are closed”.

Secure! Flight risk!

I try the doors. Yep! Locked! I give a gentle push. Nope! Still locked. And that ‘gentle’ push, made a rattle and I am getting looks.

Crap!

OK, no biggie, just walk around act casual. You’ll find somebody who knows you. Blend in.

There is no 'blend in'. I'm in a mental hospital. I'm either staff or patient.

Right now I'm not doing a very good job of looking like a staff.

I'm walking up to every door. Giving it a quick (nonchalant) push. Nope! Everything locked.

Psst! Nonchalant doesn't work here. All it's doing is making me look suspisious.

OK. Um...no. No staff that I can recognize. Oh look there is a custodian. Maybe he can let me out.

"Um...excuse me?"

Smooooth! Damn it! Where did that whiny voice come from?! I need to sound confident not weak.

[Timidly]"Where is the exit"

"What?!"

Crap! This isn't working. Explain your story:

[Timidly]"Sir, I don't belong here"

??

um...

??

Did I just say 'I don't belong here'?

"Can you let me out"

....?

"...." [Silence]

Not surpisingly, he looks away, trying to disengage. He shakes his head and turns away. Clearly, we are DONE!

N.I.C.E.

I can just imagine him going over to the alarm. Woop! We got a loose cannon! Woop! Get the Tranquerlizer gun!

Crap! OK. Keep looking around. Find SOMEBODY!

Look! The woman who let you in. She's there in her office. She has people in there and she's clearly busy working. So busy that she doesn't notice me standing outside her office. Staring at her like a lost dog.

Now I either interupt her and look like an idiot or I wander around some more.

Knock, knock. I have no choice but to knock on the window.

Utterly defeated, I have to resort to interupting her and her business.

I NEED OUT!

At the door, she teases "Are you sure you don't belong here? I'm not sure that I'm going to let you out."

HA HA! Quick, just laugh (but not too much). Pretend that everything is OK.

Almost to the door. There is no alarm yet but I don't breath until I'm out the front door.


FREEDOM!!!!

Freedom never felt so good!