Thursday, March 27, 2008

60 minutes nonstop lovin’

AKA: Swim till you puke…and then swim some more

It’s official! Less than 4 weeks until RAGE!

It’s time to F.R.E.A.K!

Begin training phase “Competitive Stage”. Time to kick it up to the next level.

Let’s just take a look at our trusty training manual….

Um…Holy crap!
Holy HOLY crap!

Looking forward to the next couple weeks, I can pretty much kiss my free time good bye. Friends – I’ll talk to you in three weeks (try not to hate me too much); Work – it’s been a pretty good year so far, how about I just show up and collect a paycheck while I sleep at my desk for the next few weeks? OK? Family – Um...yeah. You’ll pretty much be asleep when I’m home. I’ll be gone before you wake up and you’ll be asleep when I get home. (I swear, I do actually live there).

First up on the schedule?

60 minutes swim - Non stop

Nonstop – that means no stopping. No feet touching the floor. No holding on to wall for ‘just a few extra seconds’. No “I need to adjust my goggles”. NON-STOP.

I’ve done this before. I did for my very first tri. I don’t remember how long it was but I remember doing this before. I had to do it. It was the ‘only’ way I’d "know" that I could do the distance.

It sucked back then …It sucks now!

Lately, I’ve noticed that for whatever reason, after swimming somewhere around 800-1000 yards, my mind wanders to the feel of the water flowing in and out of my mouth. This continues for a while and I begin to notice the subtle differences between the pool water and my own saliva.

I notice the feel of my saliva. The thick viscosity of it. The way it ‘sticks’ to my lips. I imagine the long spit trails hanging from my mouth like spaghetti noodles. It fills my mind, it fills my mouth, I can’t eliminate the feeling, I can’t escape my own spit.

I’m swimming in my spit!!

(Not surprisingly,) I start to gag. Gagging leads to more gagging! UGH! Now I feel like I’m going to throw up. I’m dry heaving! I’m swimming and I’m dry heaving. What a wonderfull world!

This has happened before. First at a Tri and now anytime the distance creeps over 1000. It’s a mental thing. Nip it in the bud and force it from your mind and you're ok. Let it grow and it snowballs (spitballs?) itself into a monster. The throw-up monster.

Hiya Chuck!

This time it continues. It builds and I can’t stop it(nonstop). But it doesn’t stop me. Not this time. I'm Non-stop.

Swim till you puke….then swim some more.


Bet you're glad I didn’t eat ‘solid’ food that morning!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Rage Run course Preview

Recently, Baboo noticed the Mrs. looking all fast in the Six Tunnels race pictures. Luckily he noticed the trail and not the Mrs' sexy body (good man!)

He was wondering if that trail was the same as the Rage Half Marathon.

It turns out that it is part of the trail (except without that horrendous climb/turn-around point).
I looked over my previous runs and noticed that I had done another section of the run before and that I had done part of the run on the bike trail.

I took some time and came up with a ‘composite’ of the race (I swear, I do actually DO work at my work TOO!)

Here is what I have.

I have actually ran the first ~2 miles of the course. But I’ve never ran from mile 2 to 4. I have biked up the road that runs the same way but not the same path. And then as you know I have run the last section.

I’ve broken it down into:

Section 1 – (actual run before) Follows Rage from mile 0 to mile 1.6
Section 2 – (Not actual – follows bike path not running trail) approximate of mile 1.7 to mile 4
Section 3 – (actual run before) Follows Rage from mile 4 to mile 6.71 – turnaround.

I noticed that the elevation on section 3 jumps a lot in the middle. Those are the tunnels and it screws with Garmin (Makes it lose contact with the satellite and Garmin gets all freaked out). Despite what the elevation says, they are essentially flat. No jumps at all.

Here we go:

From Rage’s website:

From my Garmin:

Elevation of section one:

Section 2 from Rage:

Section 2 from Garmin:

Elevation from Garmin:

Section 3 from Rage:

Section 3 from Garmin:

Elevation from 3 (remember the ‘jumps’ in the tunnels don’t count)

This should show you almost everything. Of course section 2 is only approx.

From what I can tell and what I can remember, the Rage is almost entirely on trail. For the most part it’s all packed dirt, but the beginning is loose gravel. Right from the start of T2 it’s a lot of uphill until you get to mile 4, then its a little break and great views. Then it’s all downhill baby!

All I can say is better you guys than me! Oh wait! I’m going to be doing ‘part’ of the course too!
I'm trying to get JT to post his preview of the Bike portion up here to. I've done most of it, but not the complete thing. JT on there other hand is a wild man and tackles those hills like no body's business!

Monday, March 17, 2008


It’s probably a good sign when you wake up before the sun peaks over the hills and grab the nearest can of spray paint and paint yourself green.

I know…you're green with envy, aren’t you?

That was the start of the Six Tunnels Marathon day.

After being leprechaun'ed up, we (the Mrs. and I) headed to the race.

The recent rains that we’ve had, have done a number on the desert. The desert transforms itself into a lush cornucopia of greenery, flowers and life. Mind you it’s all of two inches high but it’s everywhere.

Come April, it may well be all gone.

I went into this race with no expectations. I had already done this distance before and didn’t think that a repeat performance was in the books.

Besides that, during the past week I’d gotten in almost no runs in (long or otherwise), add all this together and the Mrs. was worried that she’d even be able to finish the distance, let alone PR.

Bundling up pre-race, hiding from the wind.

Needless to say, her worry was COMPLETELY unfounded.

Once the race started, she/we took off on fresh legs and a big store of energy.

Flying past everyone else.
Notice that they’re all walking and she’s running.

Everything seemed to come together for this race. Nutrition was right on track, energy stayed high and the weather was great. There were a few hills that sucked especially the last turn around. It was literally almost straight up and down. According to Garmin, it was 30+% grade!! Usually I don’t trust Garmin on grade, but it had the same numbers going up as down. HOLY CRAP! What kind of mean RD puts that in a race after 11 miles??

After that I knew that we could make it through anything.

I’ve found that while running, I can’t think of ANYTHING. It takes me forever to do even simple calculations while running. If I’d been able to do even simple math, then I would have realized how far ahead of schedule we were.

Instead, I ran completely in limbo until the last three miles when I was able (sorta) to do elementary math and realize that we were looking at a great PR.

Of course, I still couldn’t do in-depth math so all I could do was estimate, couple that with the fact that my IT’s were starting to lock up on me and I knew that we were on iffy territory for a PR.

I kept my mouth shut the whole time until we were right outside the finish line where I announced that "I have a surprise for you" and then the Mrs. saw the race clock. When we went through the finish line, she went nuts!

From having no confidence in our ability, to feeling strong, to finishing with a new PR by 27+ minutes from her previous PR!


A little later, Stef, came through the finish line and she went nuts! It was a day of PR’s for everyone.

Then I re-realized that it was St. Patty’s day. I burned 1700 calories on the run. The way I see it, that equals 17 green beers!

Here’s to you!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Heat is ON!

Surprisingly (or not really) the Six tunnels half marathon is only a few days away.

How the hell did that happen? Just the other day it was Red Rock and now this.

Let me start off by saying that I REALLY doubt there will be anything spectacular happen. I am woefully underprepared for this and to be honest, I really don’t care.

I already did the distance. I know that I can, so really this is just a fun run (Um...when did a 13 mile run become ‘fun’??!!).

To be truthful, I can’t stop thinking about Rage. More to the point I can’t stop thinking about Triathlons.

The bug bit me again. I’M READY!!

Over the weekend, the Mrs. and I did a Duathlon hosted by the LV Tri club. It was fun it was easy and low key.

Basically it was a blast! It really got me energized for the real thing. It also showed me that I still suck!

Looking at the calendar, it looks like tri season is already here.

We’ve got a Duathlon coming up in two weeks; then its Iron girl (for the Mrs.) two weeks later and then the Rage the week afterwards. Then it’s just a few more weeks and it’s the SG Tri.

Man, they're stacking up.

I can’t wait.

I just found out that Las Vegas is going to be inundated by bloggers. Looks like we got Cindy coming down for Iron Girl; Baboo and Sluggo for Rage. Add in JohnnyTri and Stef and we got a huge party!

Who else is in? Come one-come all. Vegas: Right Now!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Sermon of Red Rock Half Marathon

Congregation, please be seated.

We are gathered here to hear the recollection of the time known as the “rocking of Red Rock”.

First, let us begin by opening our logbooks to page 03/01/2008. Bear witness to the word of Garmin where-in it is told of the amazing time 02:21:13. Behold the previous time 02:42:48.

Yes, ladies and gentle man, that is correct. Over 20 minutes. That’s two zero.

Witness the power of the hills of Red Rock!

Can I get a 'hill-yeah'!


Let us turn our attention to things that the good book cannot tell us. Let us look at the tale of when ‘Formulaic rocked Red Rock’.

Witness the obstacles placed before him.

See here, the combining of gravity and loose pockets.
Witness the falling of his pre race nutrition. And where do the gods of racing plunge his hopes?

To the ground? No, that would be too easy. Where then? Where is the most vile of all places to plunge?

Yes, my friends, watch as his pockets open up and drop his Ensure bottle into the deep darkness of the porta potty.

See it now, the bottle floating in the blue water. Caressed with used toilet paper and body waste.
Observe him struggle with the realization that his nutrition plans are shot. See him struggle, will he go in after it or will he run his race with no nutrition?

Behold! He thrust his hand down the porta potty and retrieves his Ensure. Covered in wads of toilet paper, it is rushed to the sink and washed repeatedly. Soap and water doth froth everywhere.
More obstacles?

Witness as Formulaic falls prey to the bane of mass starts and shoots out of the starting gates like a bullet.

And here, notice as he hits the first of many hills and watch as his pace plummets to a mere crawl.


With his pace now comparable to a turtle, witness as he is struck with small bladder syndrome. First it was the porta potty, then the bus, now see him scurry off to the nearest tree for a quick pee.

But let us not think that it was all misery.

With his bladder finally empty, his focus turns to the race.

See him meet people from all over the country. Chicago, Boston, Florida, even such faraway places as Las Vegas and Henderson!
Notice the beauty of Red Rock. The multi colored mountains. The strata of red, orange and white. See the snow on the not so distant mountains. Truthfully it is a beautiful world out here.

(stolen from Stef, really go see her, she's got more pics)

But wait, this is the "rocking of Red Rock".

See now as Formulaic finds the thrill of downhill. Watch as his legs relax and gravity takes over.

After climbing the gargantuan hill at mile 9, observe as the pace plummets from 12 minute miles to 6-7 minutes miles!


See as this momentum carries him through the rest of the race. See him flying past other racers as if they were standing still. Picking off people left and right. Girl with pig tails, gone! The guy with the yellow shirt, gone! The couple with identical shoes, Gone! The list goes on and on.

See as he finds Stef at mile 12 and with merely a pat on the shoulder, she literally propels him toward the finish.

Here now is the end of the race and he comes flying through. Unbelievable but true, the clock says “02:21:13”.

Can I get 'hill-yeah'?


Truly a ‘rocking at Red Rock’.

Before we end this tale, let us notice how now, several days after the race, Formulaic is still OK. The next day, he even swims 2,500 and bikes 20+ on tired legs.

How can this new transformation be explained? Is Formulaic possessed with some supernatural ability now? Will he be able to recreate this next time?

The answer is simple my parishioners. The secret lies in the hills, the hills of Red Rock. Without the hills, there would be no “rocking”.

Can I get a 'Hill-yeah'?

Monday - Weights
Tuesday - Rest
Wednesday - Swim 1850
Thursday - Bike - 60min
Friday - Run - Speedwork
Saturday - Swim 3150
Sunday - Brick 2hr bike; speedwork
P.S. Congrats to JohnnyTri for a great LA marathon.

Saturday, March 1, 2008


Yep, you guessed it.


I rocked that course!

Thanks to the hills and thanks to all the people who offered advice and all those people I stole advice from.

I'll write a race report later.