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!


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


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!


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!


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:

(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, 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 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!