Monday, April 28, 2008

Tour De Summerlin Ride Report

Reasons why I don’t have a coach:

Imagine this conversation:


-Hi Coach!

-Yeah, had a great weekend.

-Oh, um... the swim? Yeah, funny thing happened on the way to the pool. I took a wrong turn and ended up on the bike.

-Yeah, so then I took another wrong turn and ended up in the Tour de Summerlin bike ride. You know the one that rides all around Summerlin? Right, that one.

-Um...the distance? Well...80 miles.

-What? Yeah 80 miles.

-Hmm…oh yeah coach. I know. I know that 80 miles wasn’t on the plan.

-What’s that? The furthest I’ve ever ridden? 35. Yeah, 35 miles.

-Yeah, coach, I realize that 80 is more two times as far as I’ve EVER ridden before.

-Yeah coach, I realize that that was stupid. I realize that I could have potentially hurt myself.

-Uh…yeah coach. I do realize that 80 miles is NO WHERE near my current training distance. Yes, I realize that the Olympic is only 11 days away.

-Hmm…25 miles, I think right. 25 miles is the distance I have to ride.

-80 is umm…yeah right, more than 3 times the amount that I need. Right coach.

-Oh...the HR training? Well…that kind of went right out the window. Yeah, coach...I don’t know. I kind of just rode. Didn’t really pay attention to the HR. let me check…um yeah. I was all over the place. Zone 5,4,3,2. One? No never touched one.

-Yeah, OK coach. Have a nice day too. I’m thinking about doing it again, next week!


So, you see? Way too hard to explain. Did you sense the awkwardness?

That’s why my coach is a piece of paper. (It's a lot easier to explain things to paper)

But the ride...Was Awesome!

Imagine 500 bikes zooming through the streets. The police have blocked all traffic, so we are flying! The first 10 miles are downhill and before I know it, I’m flying down the street at 25 mph without pedaling. The group it pulling me along.

Through the streets and around the corners: SWOOSH! It feels like the tour de France and I look around and see the army of jerseys flying around the corner. All the colors and shapes blend into one gigantic snake that serpentines through the road, its glimmering scales reflecting a different color every time I look up.

It was breathtaking.

That is until the police are done with us and the street signs start breaking up the group and finally the hills hit and then it truthfully is breathtaking.

Despite all the hills, I have to say (declare) that you ‘blue diamond’ riders are wimps compared to the ‘lake mead’ riders.

Those are hills? HA! That’s a bump in the road compared to Lake Mead.

Mind you…those ARE hills after 60+ miles, but had I hit them with fresh legs….

The Tour de Summerlin 80 mile ride is broken into 5 rest stops. The first one doesn’t come until mile 25 and then they come about every 8-15.

The original plan was to ride the first part of the ride (which should give me about 45 miles) and see how I feel.

Umm…does anyone see a problem with this logic? You don’t feel ‘bad’ until it’s too late! You never know when you’re done until you're DONE.

I seemed fine by mile 45, so I just kept going. By the time I hit Blue Diamond, I was feeling tired, but not ‘done’.

I would say it wasn’t until mile 72 that I was ‘DONE’! I passed the last rest stop in lieu of being finished sooner (how hard can it be? It’s only 10 miles left!). I hit a hill and promptly had my legs fall off. I couldn’t manage any speed and was about to step off and walk a little bit, when heaven arrived in the form of a rider group who said “hop on our wheels and ride along”

HOLY COW! Not only did they save me but I actually got to ride with a group. My first wheel suck! My first pull! Woohoo!

The original goal was not to touch granny (gear) and I made it until 72. But I have to say, not only did I touch the old lady, I knocked the crap out of her! I was all over her like white on rice!

Thanks granny!

(Oh coach: yeah, you were right, the 5 miles the next day…they HURT!)

Friday, April 25, 2008

New me…same as the old me...

...Only slower

(Note: I’ve update Rage with some pics – If you didn’t get a picture from me and you were supposed to, e-mail me)

With my (hopefully) last sprint of the season out of the way, it’s time to revamp the training schedule.

For the ME2008-v1.0, it was hard, hard, HARD. All the time, any time. HR zone 5 anaerobic non-stop. And I think that was the right thing to do.

It was a sprint race. They don’t call it Sprint for nothing!

But now it’s time for a new approach (ME2008-V2.0). Looming in my future are several Olympics and maybe even a few Half’s.

With that in mind, I’ve decided to go back to the basics. The next 10 weeks are base. Going back to the slow and steady approach.

GOD! This is going to suck!

Do you realize how slow 'SLOW' is? Like, REALLY slow! I’m talking ~14 min miles. I’m talking about keeping my HR below 133 on the bike. I’m talking S.L.O.W.

If you need me…I’ll probably still be running my 5 miles. It’ll take all day!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

RAGE Race Report

I’m going to die out here!

That’s the only thought going through my head as I feel my arms transform from Greek godlike arms to pylons of cement.

I can’t swim another length and there’s no kayak anywhere near me.

I’m going to die out here! Four months of training, four months of working harder than I’ve ever trained before and this is what it comes down to. Me bobbing uselessly out in the middle of the lake.

That was the moment I decided that I need a new wetsuit. There’s got to be a reason why I can swim for an hour nonstop in the pool, but it’s only been 5 minutes and I’m dying. Or it could be the nerves or the fact that I suck or…but I’m going to go with the wetsuit.

“Racing anything is always a disproportionate investment. The time you spend training is tenfold the amount of time you actually race, but you accept that as part of the game.” – Bob Mina

This is it. The last 4 months of training have been for this. Sure, it’s REALLY so that I can continue and grow and race some more but this is my RACE, the one that started it all, the one that will end it all.

Sadly, the days prior my race thoughts are minimalistic. “This race is just a stepping stone”; “this race is just a training day”; “this race is just…”

Maybe it’s a mental defense, a self-protection mechanism to shelter me from the nerves and the chaos it brings with it.

Whatever it is it works (almost). Come race day I’m ready, I'm nervous but I haven’t crapped myself and nothing went into the toilet that shouldn’t have so I am already ahead of the game!

Watching the Half people go off before me is awe-inspiring. Or nerve racking. Either way.

As I watch them go off, I see how far they have to swim compared to my measly Sprint distance, Thank God! About this time, I also realize how long the transition is.

HOLY COW! The RD was trying to prove a point, something about how low the Lakes gotten over the years and how much damage we’re doing to the world with every breath we take. OK. I got it! The transition was at the water’s edge back in 2002, but now its 500 feet away. OK. But can you tell me why the transition is another 400 feet long! It’s like high school track all again, but this time do it with while pushing a bike.

Coming back from the bike was just as bad. Coming down hill with bike shoes, you don’t know whether you should run and make this a fast transition or walk and conserve energy for the run. You end up somewhere in the middle. Trotting along. This coincidentally goes along perfectly with your bike shoes (clop; clop; clop).

As I start the run and head out into the desert, I run across Stef who just finished her swim. She’s looking great and fully ready to take on her bike.

She gave me a boost of energy, which the desert immediately sucked right out of me. Trudging through the desert is always an experience. An experience in slow suffering. Somehow, running over rocks no bigger than a marble, sucks out the energy the same way as climbing over rocks the size of buildings. Both leave you tired and relieved that it’s over, but it this case all it means is that you’ve run one mile. There are 2.1 more to go!

Finally when I found my legs, I was able to catch 1-2 people in my age group but there were two people that were just outside of my grasp and I could tell by their form that if I sprinted, they’d match me. With that knowledge I cruised in for and easy finish.

Swim: 22:14
T1: 5:36 (including that long transition run)
Bike: 47:51
T2: 1:50(I think the Bike included some of the transition time)
Run: 33:23

That’s about 30 min faster than my first RAGE. But that was the time I swam head up; used a mountain bike; and ran on an injured leg.

So….What did I learn?

· Get a better wetsuit
· Swim more
· Run Faster (if I had run my last mile pace for the entire run then I would have finished 3 minutes faster and moved up 5 slots for my age group- Although I would still have been NO WHERE near winning!)

I had a great day after the race. Hung out at the race the whole day and saw Stef come in from the bike, saw Baboo and friends coming off the bike, and watched as JohnnyTri flew by me on the bike towards the run. Was even briefly able to run with JT and SWTriGal as they started their runs. As an added bonus, watched Stef come in for her finish and hang out with her right after her finish.

The best part…hanging out with the Mrs. It was a long day, and she hung out the entire time taking pictures and keeping an eye out for everybody. THANK YOU for being there with me and THANK YOU for being there for me.

The second best part…hanging out with the Outlaws and JT after the Race. We ate some good food and enjoyed even better company.

Another cool thing: My friend Steve, won the raffle! It was his first Tri and he did the whole mountain bike thing. Now he won this awesome FELT tri bike! How cool is that? Man, I’m jealous!

From what Baboo says, this course was TOUGH. Like real tough. Like tougher than Buffalo Springs. (Check out their intro, it’s sweet!)

It’s nice to hear! It’s nice to know that if you can do well on this race and Silverman you can pretty much tackle anything.

It’s nice to know that Las Vegas has some of the hardest races around.

That means that this should be no problem!

Next up? SG TRI

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Rage Group meet-up!

I’ve been a bad blogger. No updates since a week ago.

It’s enough to make you think that I’ve been doing nothing. Oh wait! I have done nothing.

Welcome to TAPER week!

With the exception of a few easy workouts my week is nothing. As sad as it seems, it’s boring. I get home now and have nothing to do.

My neighbors come over and wonder if everything OK. “You’re home early; usually we don’t see you until much later”.

Yep, taper kinda…sucks!

On the good news, my legs are sore and my neck is tight. Ah, the beauty of taper. I know it will all be for the better, but I’m dying to hop outside for a few quick bricks.

I’m following strick coaches/doctors/lovers orders (the Mrs.) and not going above my few easy exercises, but I think I may be driving her crazy too!

On a good note:

We’re having a Blogger-Rage meet up!

Turns out that we have a lot of bloggers who are racing the Rage.

Me (Formulaic)
Sweet Baboo
Tri-dog mama

Add in some other racers who don’t have blogs and we got ourselves a NICE race!

So the current plan is: we’ll meet up after the race for dinner (Saturday). That way there’s no rush to get to bed or pressure about being up too late.

We’ll meet up at Macaroni Grill on Sahara. Its right next to the Strip (0.9 miles away) but without the high Strip prices.

Also we are hoping for a brief pre race get together before the race. Packet pick-up is at Sunset Casino, so we’re hoping to grab some food at one of the local restaurants.

If you’re in town and want to join us let me know!

Send me a quick e-mail and I’ll fill you in on the details:

IzaacR at

See you there and See you at the Race!

Monday, April 7, 2008

If you suck and you know it, raise your hand

For my first triathlon, I signed up on a whim. Took a week off from work and hit the gym. Trained WAY too hard (and on completely useless things) and when it was time for the tri, my body was shot.

My inability to swim face down meant I did the entire distance head-up (a feat that I doubt I could do again). My 2 ton mountain bike slowed the bike portion to a snail’s pace and my jack rabbit racing personality mean that I would sprint as hard as I could for 20 feet then walk exhausted for 500 feet. This continued from the beginning to the end.

All in all – it was a horrible, S.l.o.w. and miserable race.

It’s good to know that after two years of experience and 3 months of intensive training…I still suck just as much!

If there was a way to account for time the same way accountants can account for inflation, then I am sure that my performance this past weekend would be exactly equally if not even worse than my first one!

Talk about encouraging!

Now I’m sure that there are some VERY good reasons. I was coming off of 5 HARD days of training, including a long run, a long bike, two bricks and lots of endurance swimming throughout.

The 35 mile bike ride 16 hours prior was probably the main factor in undermining my performance. I could really feel the burn on even the slightest hills and the run? Fugetaboutit!

There are lots of ‘reasons’ why I had a “stellar” performance. But in the end all I can do it chalk it up to a training experience and leave it at that.

Very encouraging.

Maybe that’s why that have a taper period!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Little engine that could

Final two weeks of Competitive stage.

Starting to feel the anticipation! Who am I kidding? It’s been here for weeks now.

Only thing that’s changed is the worry. Not so much worried about it...I ‘know’ that I can do it. The real question is how well can I do it?

Over the weekend, I went to the race site. Looking over the Lake, I watched the waves, stared long and hard at the buoys bobbing up and down and thought “I can do that”. R.e.a.l.l.y, I KNOW I can do it.

Not saying it’s going to be cake or anything, but I can do it.

Also this past weekend, the Mrs. and I went out to St. George to do the Dual at Sand Hollow. The main point was just to see the landscape and do whatever I could do to reduce the stress for the future Olympic Tri.

Let’s just say that it was NOT flat. Despite rumors that said otherwise there were some (ok two) BIG hills. 6% for 1.5 miles. Not life threatening but not flat.

The whole time I was out there, I didn’t care. I was out there just to see the terrain, enjoy the company and have fun. And boy did my time show it. One of the slowest, worst times ever.


I know that I can do it.

And as my Sunday cereal spoon feed education has taught me “ …knowing’s half the battle.”