Sunday, December 19, 2010


I started this blog a long time ago as a way to keep a log of how I train, what I think, and as a way to observe other athletes. I am a passionate person and I wear my heart on my sleeve. I use this blog to show the good times and the bad times, to learn. In the range of time that is a year there are highs and lows. I am still confident, I am capable of doing anything I want to do but right now, I dont know what I want to do. I am in a lull because of a lack of direction. My life right now is quite stressful and training is not relieving stress. I realize that I had a very successful race season. I am proud of that. In the last few years I have rediscovered my competitive and physical life. I expect a lot out of myself. I am blessed to have the health, resources, and time to do the things I do. I could be more efficient with my time. Here is how my week went.

Tuesday-Ran 4.
Wednesday-Skipped a 7 miler to hang with my sick wife
Thursday-Ran 7 miles, finally a day without some blister pain
Saturday-Long Run of 20 miles. A rainy/windy start. Cold but not freezing. Karl was in town and really gave me a boost. He is funny because he is subtle enough to be nice and not subtle enough to get the message across. If he had the time to train that I have he would be an absolute machine. More than he is now. Thanks for the push. My race will not be this cold, hilly, or windy. A good confidence booster. I am hardly sore. My blisters are OK, not great. We ran 4 X 5 miles loops and this was a productive way to get a long run in.
Sunday (today)-Rest

I wrote an aggressive marathon schedule post silverman. I am up to date with minor glitches. I am holding onto these miles. I do need to get into the gym for strength training. I have been thinking about Crossfit. I got one of 2 20-plus mile runs in. Quote:

“No matter how far life pushes you down, no matter how much you hurt, you can always bounce back.”
Sheryl Swoopes

I wasnt that far down, I am not that hurt, and i will bounce wayyyy back.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Kinda Lost...

There is something I have been struggling with. You see I seem kind of lost. In the last few years I have spent this time of year very wisely, this year not so much. Its not like I am wasting time or anything I just dont have a plan. My goals are not set so the path is not known. I am struggling with goals and an old problem of mine I have not thought about in a long time. In fact I forgot I had it. When I was a kid I was a real good baseball player. I thought my life was going in a baseball direction. I spent all of my waking hours watching videotape of me in the cage or my at-bats during the last game. I did not have the outcome I thought I was going to get. I was devastated where do I stand? What do I do? I was so jealous of the baseball players that went on to college and got drafted. I busted my ass to be less than good enough. My definition of good enough. I find myself back in this place. I am busting my ass and I am not measuring up. What should I be learning? Instead of a quote today I will place this excerpt my buddy Karl gave to me. This is kind of what I am thinking too.

"Every kid’s talent level is different. And their motivation level is a lot different. When I talk with kids, the biggest thing I stress with them is to be hungry for the sport and to enjoy the sport. That is the bottom line. And then if you are hungry to improve in the sport, you need to set a lot of short-term and long-term goals. You also have to set a lot of goals in between. Whenever I sign an autograph, I write, “Dream big,” because if you don’t set your goals to a little bit higher than you think you can accomplish, then you are never going to be reaching your full potential. Obviously, some people are going to be limited by what they can handle, but each runner needs to find that level of hard work that they can handle. It’s more than piling on a lot of miles, breaking down, and getting tired. Find that level that you can handle for a long time and consistently put in a lot of hard work. Whatever that level is, will pay off over time. You will see improvements. As you get older and stronger you will be able to increase that workload. You start to see results. You have to constantly stay motivated and constantly reach for that bigger goal that you have set for yourself."
--Chris Solinsky

I am seeing results and they are improvements. They just arent good enough. My struggle is between dreaming big, pushing myself hard, and finding my true potential. I am not in love with running right now. I am not getting the rush even though I am stronger. I ran 17 miles today and I was miserable. I was thinking too much and not running enough. My back is nearly 100%. Stretching doesnt do anything for it, but strength training does. Planks with alternating arms/legs, lower abs, figure 4 gluts, and kettle bells are bringing me back. Here is how my week went:

Tuesday-Run 4 miles. My blisters did not tolerate it but I fought through it.
Wednesday-Pushed a 5 mile run to sleep. I couldnt get out of bed.
Thursday-Ran 6 miles and fought myself the whole way. Got them in.
Friday-Rest, pushed a 5 mile run to sleep. Not very motivated.
Saturday-Ran 5 miles and basically got them in. Trend?
Sunday-Ran 17 miles for a weekend total of 22. I am glad I got them all in because I wasnt motivated but not happy about the results very slow.

I am on the clock now officially with the Surf City Marathon. Better get my stuff together before then.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Last Race of the Season-Las Vegas 1/2 Marathon

100% PR's this year. 5K, 10K, 1/2 Marathon, Full Marathon, sprint triathlon, olympic triathlon, and 1/2 Iron distance triathlon. All new marks to beat next year. It is interesting that each race was a PR and I am grateful for that, I did not reach my potential. I have some work to do. I have not finalized by race plans for next year. I have some confounding circumstances that do not allow for planning. Besides what do I want to do? I am signed up for the Surf City Marathon in Feb. After that? No idea...I need a shot at a 1/2 Iron that is not Silverman but which one? I dont know.

Las Vegas Half. Ya see, when I was sitting around years ago plotting my progression (like we can do that), I had this goal that I would break 2:00 on a half before I run a marathon. I signed up for LA last year before last years Vegas and I didnt beat it. Then I had surf city half, didnt beat it. So today? My chance to do that. Here I am signed up for another marathon and I have not reached the mark I set for myself. Today it was perfect conditions. Perfect weather, No wind, cool but not hot. NICE. A relatively flat course with perfect conditions=PR but not as fast as I wanted. Heard that before? Yeah my nemesis. After reviewing my splits I was around the time I wanted but not there. I finished in 2:03:30 a PR by 4 min or so. Here are my splits: 9:14, 9:15, 9:05, 9:12, 9:00, 9:00, 9:16, 9:30, 8:59, 9:53, 9:49, and 10:15, 1:44. Miles 11, 12, and 13 I was supposed to step up and get the average down below 9. Didnt happen. I pooped out, lol. Not only that but I had some gnarly blisters on the medial aspect of the 1st ray at the MTP. My back held up well. I almost ruined with an impromptu running in the staff/faculty 1 mile run at the UNLV track meet friday. I have to get my legs stronger. I have to get my core stronger. That is my goal for the next month. Run/lift. Here is how my week went:
Monday-Back "rehab"
Tuesday-Run 3 miles, stiff and sore. Never stopped me but didnt feel good.
Wednesday-Rest, sore but better. Running helped.
Thursday-Felt great. Ran 5 miles at 9:00 on the dot. I think I can do this sub 2 thing.
Friday-Roped into 1 mile run on the track. Didnt have a watch or idea where I was at time wise. I ran 7:21. I think my VDOT is going down.
Sunday (today)-Las Vegas 1/2 Marathon. QUOTE:

“Don't let your special character and values, the secret that you know and no one else does, the truth - don't let that get swallowed up by the great chewing complacency.”


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Quick one...

Overall a good week. The goal for this week was to PR at the 5K distance and get a long run in. Here is how the week went.

Monday- 4 mile easy. 36:50.
Tuesday-Fartlek style 4 miles. I wanted to know what 8 min pace felt like. I was planning my race strategy and I wasnt sure what my first mile pace should be. 35:56, with a 3rd mile of 8:12. I think I hang with that.
Thursday-5K. See last post for details.
Sunday-Long run of 18 miles. I didnt even make it a mile. Lower back stiffened up. Funny, my back has been a little sore off and on but nothing too bad. This morning it didnt loosen up. Walked back. Miserable day.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

PR streak continues

Every race this year PR. Chase the Gobler 5K this morning. Here are splits:

8:11, 8:05, 7:59, and 0:55. PR by 42 sec and a course record by 2:41. Results were not available at the end of the race but will be posted online soon. My wife killed it too! She had 2:13 5 K PR/course record with a total time of 26:16. Now lets eat!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Silverman Pics...what next?

Pic 1: Finish line w my wife
Pic 2: Finish line w "Gallagher's groupies" I love them
The rest are self explanatory

Since I am rolling over training right into marathon training, I have some time to think. Running only. What can I do to get better? What do I want to do after this? What goals should I make? What races should I do? How far should I race? What do I want out of training? I bounce around from answer to answer and I do not necessarily have any good thoughts. Despite a wandering brain, I am running the best I have ever run. Most of it is better conditioning, the rest is confidence. I feel so good running. The "base" I have under me feels very supportive. So I am torn. Here I am running 16 miles a few weeks after a 1/2 Iron and I do not feel so supercharged but I dont feel a limit either. I am running and I asking myself if I like this. It is windy, cold, long and I dont know if I like it. Weird? I dont know what to think of it. I finish and I feel pretty good. I am not so tired or sore but when I am out there sometimes I dont feel like pushing it. I am inching my way to performing and stop finishing. I think about that too. Thinking...

This year I have had good gains. Before any chickens are counted, I still have 2 more races to go. A 5k and Las Vegas as a half. I believe the reason this year was a step up from last year is because of my running last year. Last year at this time I was training for my first marathon. Longer and longer runs than the week before. This long run flew by. I dont want to listen to music. I like hearing myself. I hardly hear my feet. Its what I want from the runners that I train. Its fun to feel myself not so tired at places I used to be gassed. Then I think why am I thinking about the past? Why arent I in the moment and going faster, going harder. I am not that tired. Ok enough is how my week went.

Tuesday-Run 4 miles. No watch not rules just out and about.
Wednesday-Pushed a 5 miler to have some fun. Karl will question this move since it brought my weekly mileage under the 1/2 my long run level. Try not to let that happen again Karl.
Thursday-6 mile run. Might be the single best run I have had. Unfortunately no watch to track it. From clock to clock it was about 56 min. I used my rates of perceived exhaustion. I must have had a 3 min or so negative split. I used a strong exhale and a little faster than I used to. I wonder what my HR was. Days like this I like running.
Saturday-Long run of 16 miles. About 6 of those miles with a gnarly head wind. Cold/windy. I felt very strong for the first 8-10 miles. Then I was pooped. The funny thing is despite the conditions it was about 8 min faster than the last time I ran 16 miles. I didnt even think about that until tonight. Funny brains of mine.
Sunday-Off. One of these weekends I am going to get a ride in. Quote:

“Take time to deliberate; but when the time for action arrives, stop thinking and go in.”
Andrew Jackson quoting Napoleon Bonaparte

More action, check

Sunday, November 14, 2010

1 week Post

First and foremost I must thank my fellow bloggers who commented on last weeks race report. The people who love me dont really get it. Funny how perfect strangers with an unbiased opinion go out of their way to send a kind word. Well they mean a lot. I feel a lot better about the race now. When I posted that report it was still quite raw. Now that I have a little distance I am a lot more proud of my accomplishment. I raced a harder race with more harsh conditions than last year and I was faster and more competent. I have to realize that people travel from all over the place to race this race, so how can I compare myself to them? Silverman marks the 2 year anniversary of beginning cycling. It IS a half iron distance too. Not only that, but I have recovered incredibly fast compared to last year. Here are a few notes I want to remember for next time.

One; the 3 weeks taper was perfect. I felt well rested. However, during that 3 weeks I need to watch my food intake. Cannot eat like I was training super hard. Three; perfect recovery session. 5 laps swimming in a cold pool, 5 min of jacuzzi with quad sets, glut sets, calf pumps, press-ups, rotation, and hughstons, jacuzzi, swim 5 laps, jacuzzi, and swim 5 laps. I went from a 7/10 soreness to a 2/10 by the next morning. Not sore after 2 days. Last year I ran vegas as a half (in early dec) and I was still sore. Fourth; I need to do a half iron away from silverman. Its not fair. I mean it is a ridiculous bike and run. What is another bike course like? How would I perform on another stage? My Ironman dreams are still on hold while I sort this out. Here is how the week went:

Tuesday-Contrast bath swim/jacuzzi. 750 meters total.
Wednesday-4 mile swim. Good cardio, limited push, felt great. I couldnt wait to run.
Thursday-5 mile run. In the cold head wind.
Saturday-Basketball. Felt great to do something different. Sore back though.
Sunday (today)-10 mile run. Up hill run for 6 of the 10 and was able to keep sub 9 min miles on the flat/down parts. Overall, cold/hard run. Felt decent. My back as a little sore at times. Quote:

“Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action.”
Peter F. Drucker

Did plenty of that and looking forward to the other thing.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Silverman 2010: Half Iron race report

My streak of PR's is still alive. I am struggling to put this race into words. I use this blog as a diary and a method of connecting with other athletes. I have been putting in the time and effort to have a huge race. I didnt have a huge race. I needed the extra fitness and I am a better athlete for it but I am just not happy. The only mistake I made all day was not having my watch charged. ROOKIE mistake. All day not knowing where my heart rate was or my pace. Here is how it plays out.

The Swim: Last year 44:00, this year goal 45:00, actual 51:00

With the new swim venue I was wondering what would be different this year. The new swim venue is Lake Las Vegas which is a pretty little community of homes that are set around this man made lake. The water was very, very cold. The visibility was poor. The swimming lane was quite narrow and was the most physical swim I have been a part of. Including an elbow to the back of the head, which at the moment didnt seem like that big of a deal, but I had a small cut. No biggies. I had some stomach issues that carried over to the bike but didnt necessarily carry over to bad performance. I didnt put a whole lot of time into the swim because I thought the bike and run were just so much more important. I dont like swimming enough to get super technical with it and really work on it. I was a much more efficient swimmer than last year. Last year I went out waaaay to fast on the swim to get that 44:00. Which is so slow. The end of the swim was me getting pulled out of the water and then quickly had my wet suit ripped off. Wetsuit strippers are amazing.

T1: Last year 7:52, this years goal: 5:00, actual: 8:35.

So frustrated with this time. I was so foggy. I had a little hamstring cramp. It is a new venue and there was a lot to run. Covered 3 times the distance compared to last years t1. I dont know what to say, except it was too damn slow.

Bike: Last year 4:15:42, this years goal: 3:50, actual 4:14:46

Really? 25 min slow? I didnt take into account the difficulty of this course compared to last years. I certainly didnt expect the 25 mph or so head wind. Sure last year I couldnt climb the sisters and I did all 3 this time. But I am so disappointed with this time. I did a much harder course, with wind, and it was faster than last year but it is 2nd slowest bike split in my age group. I fought back lower back spasm and quad cramps the whole way. I ate a buch of pretzels or just licked the salt off. It really helped the cramps. I still felt like I pounded. The times away from the wind were faster or on track with training. One thing is we cannot control the elements. Moral victory here but I would like better results.

T2: Last year 8:19, this years goal: 4:00, actual: 6:29

not too bad. But sheesh what have I been doing? Why arent I faster? I was starting to get pissed. WHY AM I GOING SO SLOOOOW. It sure felt good to stand. My legs were still cramping up a bit. Am I in trouble for this run? What will I do if I am slower than last year? I am gonna have melt down if I am actually slower. Off I go.

Run: Last year 2:55:16, this years goal: 2:20, actual: 2:47

These running legs are not happening. The first 4 miles as I am trying to use my mathematical skills, am I going to be worse than last year? I dont know what I am going to do if I am worse than last year is all I kept thinking. The cramps slowly start to subside and I starting to pick it up. I can feel my running conditioning taking over. I start to think I am ok. I start to run a lot more. I wish I had my watch. I bet I had a 20 min negative split. I felt so much stronger than last year. I ran so much more and faster when I did run. I passed a lot of people that I was going back and forth with. I could have kept running if I needed to. I actually got stronger as the run went on. I took gatorade and water at every aid station. I tried chicken broth and I really liked it. From mile 4 to the finish I had no cramps just fatigue. I never had any pain per se. I just felt so much stronger.

Overall: Last year: 8:11:17, this years goal: 7:00, actual 8:08:01

WOW. Really? It is actually hard to write this all down. I am slightly ashamed. ASHAMED? about finishing a half Iron distance triathlon TOO SLOOW? Not just any triathlon either. This race course is RIDICULOUS. I need to race somewhere else. May be I am being unfair to myself. I just do not want to be a finisher. I want to be in the mix. I want to be fast. May be thats just not me? I dont know. I needed every bit of the fitness I gained this last year to be 3 min faster? I am not ok with that. It continues to be an issue for me. May be my goal setting is screwed up? May be I need a cycling coach. To the people who are not familiar with triathlon its a crazy event. Its not crazy to me. I hate being 4th to last in my division. Losing by 2 and half hours. I just need some time to goal set. I like training. I like to challenge myself.


I would to thank all my "groupies." I will post some pics in the next few days. Every body came out in full effect. It is was very special to me to have all of you out there. Its a long day to watch one of these events. I appreciate it. Thanks Karl for always looking out for me.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Big T

Taper. I read a lot blogs and everyone is on break. Offseason. I am having this weird battle inside my head. I read last years blog at this time and I did not comment on that. I know what is in store for me and I have met all of last years goals. All of them. I have put in more miles, a lot faster, and I am closer to the body I want. YET, I am almost freaking out. LOL. Its weird. I cannot stop thinking and evaluating. My work should account for itself but its not. I am amped up. I need to sleep and the last 2 nights I didn't. I cannot predict what is happening but I am right there going over all the details in my head. What if it doesn't turn out right? Every race I did this year was a PR. That is a huge streak and a tribute to my hard work then why am I not feeling it?

I had friday off and my wife and I decided to head out of town. We went to St. George, Utah about 2 hours east of Vegas. I rode about 20 miles or so of the IM course and I can rule that one out. The view was awesome but the ride absolutely was miserable. I cannot believe that is race course. I felt like I rode on a tuning fork for an hour and a half. I turned back sooner then I wanted to secondary to wind (a lot of it), rain, and hail. Very cold. Miserable. Here is my week by the numbers:

Monday-Easy Run 4
Tuesday-Went to Lake Las Vegas and swam the lake. About 20-30 min or so. No distance or time avail. Cold. Dirrty, lol. Not horrible though. Definitely doable.
Wednesday-Pushed a ride.
Thursday-5 mile run.
Friday-Hiked Zion.
Saturday-30 mile bike on IM St. George. My legs felt like jello. It was miserable. Shouldn't I feel good today?
Sunday-Easy semi-long run. 8 miles on the 3 rivers trail right next to the virgin river. It was nice. I would train in St. George again. I will also consider racing there too.

One week from right now I will be watching the finishers of the full drag themselves across the finish line. I will know how I went. I am fired up, I am nervous, I am excited, I am so ready for this to be here already. Quote:

“When you suffer an attack of nerves you're being attacked by the nervous system. What chance has a man got against a system?”
Russell Hoban

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Saints and Sinners...

This weekend I ran in the Las Vegas Ragnar Relay mostly to add this medal to the collection. The saints and sinners medal is awarded to runners who run Wasatch back in Utah (saints) and Las Vegas (sinners) in the same year. I was runner number 12 which means I am the actual finisher. The mistake I made was comparing every little thing to Wasatch Back. Wastch Back in The Ragnar "flagship" race. There is twice the runners and twice the hype for that race. Its not fair to compare that environment with Vegas. Lets just say Id run Wasatch every single year and I am happy I got this medal, but I dont need another one.

Leg 1: Began at 5:19 pm on friday night. I received the wristband on Lake Mead blvd just outside of Lake Mead national park and ran all the way to the 1st major exchange at Loews Resort and Casino at Lake Las Vegas. Funny since this is where I train quite a bit. The swim at Silverman is at the this lake and I ride these hills all the time, but hardly ever run. After this run, I realize I should. It was a steep uphill, followed by down hill, then met with a huge up hill finish. Hills. Here are my splits: 9:58, 8:45, 8:34, 10:41, 11:06, and half mile in 4:36. Total: 5.5 miles in 53:43 for an average of 9:44. I experienced some sharp knee pain on the downhill. Did not seem serious or permanent just sore after.

Leg 2: Began at 3:55 am saturday morning. I received the wristband just outside of the small town of Jean, NV. For those who arent from around here its on the I-15 on the way from CA, where the Goldstrike Casino is. So with our rain in the last week (lots for us), the trail run I was about to do was sort of a question mark. What was this trail going to be like? Ragnar labeled it as "very hard." Lets just say they got this one right. 900 feet elevation gain over 8.02 miles. Thats not what made it hard. What made it hard was the rocks. Little ones, big ones, loose ones, hard ones, sharp ones, then there was the bumps, sand, and did I mention it was dark? Yeah 4 am dark. Bloody runners showing up at this major exchange. Runners loosing their minds when met at support areas. I did the best I could. Hopping from left to right on a 4 foot wide trail at most places while my head lamp was lighting about 10 feet in front of you and with shadows what is what? This is no exaggeration, I nearly fell 100 times or more. Very frustrating. I have a lot of room to grow as a runner in order to run this run economically. My feet were thrashed. Bruised and sore with blisters. It was a god send to have my trail shoes on. I survived it and I am a better runner for it. I hope to kick this runs ass another day. Everything hurt on this run from the bouncing side-to-side and the rocks. This run challenged my ankle, knee, hip, and lumbar stability. I also got caught up in the festivities and wrapped a glow necklace around my right ankle. It was fun while it lasted but I got some achilles tendon irritation for it. Sore walking around the rest of the morning.

Leg 3: THE LAST LEG. Began at 5:23 pm on saturday night. I received the wristband at Calico Basin, in Red Rock National Park. The last leg of the race is a gift for the 12th runner after what we experienced this am. Other runner 12's were not happy about that leg. A badge of honor as far as I am concerned. All 5.5 miles down hill. With my feet sore, an achy knee, and calf soreness what would my body do? At Wasatch, my 3rd leg was much harder then it normally would be. Would this be the same? My plan was to just go. Do not give in to the soreness and see what was what. Here are my splits: 8:04, 8:59, 9:33, 9:01, 8:44, and last mile in 1/2 mile 5:02 (includes getting teammates and finish slowly as a team). 8:56 average pace for a total of 49:26. I felt great. No issues. My fitness this race was much greater. Obviously different terrain but the overall effect of this type of race was not a challenge for me. Proud of that. 20.5 miles total in 24 hours. I am sore today but nothing hurts. More sore on my R achilles and knee but not so bad. I am not so tired. I am happy with the whole experience. Here is the rest of the week:
Monday-Swim 1500 m. Amazing how miserable the pool is. I need to swim some this next few week. May be 2 open water swims.
Tuesday-Easy 4 mile run. Ruined by stopping to poo. Our bodies are funny.
Wednesday-Quality bike. Pushed on account of the torrential down pour and serious wind. I thought it might add to my small taper for Ragnar.
Thursday-Rest. Ragnar get together.
Sunday (today)-Rest. Quote:

“Rest when you're weary. Refresh and renew yourself, your body, your mind, your spirit. Then get back to work.”
Ralph Marston

And by work I mean kicking Silvermans Ass.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The big miles are over...

In one way I am happy. The overall volume of this years training is about twice of what last years was. Last year I didnt even do the entire bike course in one day. This year I have done it twice. Not only the full bike course but the bike course plus mileage. Longer, faster, with easier recovery. Although, in the last 2 weeks the cold and cough I have has waxed and waned. I have not felt that bad in a year or two. I am hoping in the next few weeks to kick this cough and cold while on taper. This is the last of the big blocks. I have a full taper block and prior to that a part ramp down and taper block to taper for 2-3 weeks. Here is how the week went:

Monday-Skipped swim. I have been very happy with my swim and not feeling going to the pool.
Tuesday- Easy run. Still recovering from long run/blister so easy run. Love the new shoes.
Wednesday-Bike Q. I started out wanting to do the sisters twice. Was well on my way and then BOOM. Flat. That makes 2 flat tires in 2 weeks. Took tire to shop they suggest swap out tire. Duh.
Thursday-Run hills. Wanted fast hills. Got some fast and a whole lot of coughing and wheezing. Overall good run despite trouble breathing.
Saturday-Long ride. Silverman course plus 15. 72 miles total. My longest ride to date. Saddle soreness was the limit. My butt wanted off that bike. It was 5 minutes faster than the last time in 3:55. That is 20 min faster than the race last year but when I drew up my goals its slower. I thought I could go faster. 3:50 is my new goal. I did get more nutrition this ride. I had bouts of feeling no fatigue and no soreness and cramps. Pretzels are the best. May be a salt pill will help. Ride was 3:55. I was hoping for faster.
Sunday-Rest. I am not too sore. Partial quads. R right Sartorius is the most sore. Interesting.

Funny how performance changes. I have a different body then last year and yet I am not happy. Funny how faster is never fast enough then on the next breath how far can I go? If I continue to improve at this rate it will take me 4 more years of gaining 20 min a year to reach the top of my age group. So that is improve my bike split by an hour. Thats only the bike. Can a person do that? I think the biggest gain has been less body weight on the bike. If I lose enough weight to get to 15% body fat and that translates to speed, do I have another drop in weight to get that same effect? Does my cardiovascular system have enough gains to see that kind of change? What kinds of changes does my body have to undergo get gains like that? Qualifying for Boston is the same deal. My 1st marathon would have to have a 2 hour and 15 min drop to qualify. Can a person do that? I am enamored by the this last weekends race at Kona. Ive read every blog that I can who has raced, commented, or posted a picture. The athletes who qualify hold it sacred. I get that. What phenomenal athletes and commitment to reach such a pinnacle. But what about people like me? Can we do that? Something to debate. I have my nose to grindstone and I hope that is enough to see how far I can go. Quote:

All who have accomplished great things have had a great aim, have fixed their gaze on a goal which was high, one which sometimes seemed impossible.

Orison Sweet Marden

Sometimes I wonder about aim. The day to day work is the focus and I am amazed at the things i thought was impossible and accomplished. What am I capable of?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Defending the clearwater change to vegas...

I am on blogger. I am on facebook. I am trying to network. The latest news is that Ironman has changed Clearwater to Las Vegas. I have noticed a lot of unfortunate words used to describe this change. I do not know clearwater. I do know this valley. I do know these athletes. Everyone has an impression of "Vegas." The truth is this community is 2 cities in one. I have the option to go to "Vegas" any time I want. When there is a concert, nice restaurant, show, etc. The rest of the time I live in a place with tons of outdoors activities. We have lake mead. We have Mt. Charleston. We have Red Rock. We have the Colorado River. All within an hours drive. We have snow close in northern NV or California. The beach is 4-5 hours away. There are literally 1000's of cyclists and runners in this valley. If you went to Red Rock/Lake Mead on a Saturday morning you will see 100's of athletes. Fast/fit athletes to people who are learning to be athletes. So this community if VERY active. It is VERY outdoorsy. I think it was Adventure Magazine rated Las Vegas as the TOP active place to live. The course change is something they complain about too. The Silverman was rated by Triathlete Magazine as one of the top 3 HARDEST triathlons on the planet. In the Silverman promo video Macca says its the hardest course hes raced. Many experienced Ironmen have said if it was on the Ironman circuit it would be hardest. Recently the St. George folks may have something to say about that. Why do we want a super fast, flat, boring course for a World Championship? Kona isn't easy. The Xterra World Championships is ridiculous in Maui. Why not have a challenging 70.3 course?

Sorry (off soap box). Back to me. My Silverman experience is not a championship caliber endeavor. It is me against me on a very challenging course. Less than a month away. I am so pumped. I am ready and this weekends will be the last big weekend until I taper. I will run Ragnar Las Vegas as part of that taper. Here is how my week went:

Monday-Scheduled 4 mile easy. Pushed secondary to cold. Been sick. Swapped Rest day with tue.
Tuesday-Bike Quality. Tried my best to sprint the sisters again. I didnt have much energy and I moved some phlegm (lol). I actually felt better after riding.
Wednesday-Easy 4 run. Felt strong. I wasnt sure if going out instead of sleeping would help the cold but it did. Happy to do it. Strong 4.
Saturday-Long swim. Made it open. About 1800 or so with the wetsuit. It has been a while since it was cool enough for a wetsuit. Truth be told it wasnt cool enough. It wasnt too bad though. I forgot my watch so no time data. I felt good. Fast at times and bored at times.
Sunday-Long Run. I have been managing my week to get to this day. I felt about 95% over the cold and I wanted to have a good run. For the first 8-9 I felt awesome. Then this ugly blister popped up on the arch of R foot. I made a run to the local running store for new shoes. NB 760. I figure since I lost so much weight the "old" style shoes were over posting me. Hmmm we will see. So I banged out all 15 but the last 6-7 were miserable. Especially since my cardiovascular system had no problem. Even more especially since my musculoskeletal system was ready to go as well. Stupid blister. Overall happy with it. QUOTE, actually instead of my normal inspirational quote I leave you with a link to that Adventure magazine article about Las Vegas:

Monday, October 4, 2010

Funny time in training...

As I review last years posts to see if what I am feeling was new or something I expecienced last year, It appears to be a trend. Last year at this time I experienced a lull. The things that I am experiencing are fatique, soreness, slight sickness, and a general lack of motivation. Although today I am much better than I was yesterday. Today I am itching to get out there and this weekend I didnt feel like it. What is funny is last year I was so worried about whether or not I "could" do it. Last year I wondered if I was even athletic enough to be doing this. This year I know those things are doubts of the past. I belong there and I am going to race and not survive. I have put in so much more miles, faster times, and with virtually no injuries (cross finders). So what am I complaining about? I simply didnt want to grind this weekend. It was a recovery weekend anyway and with the opportunity to volunteer in my kayak for "Slam The Dam" a open water swim race I jumped on it. It was very interesting to watch these swimmers. The faster swimmers have command of the stroke. The slower swimmers are inconsistent and sloppy. The number of breaths, location of the head, location of the elbows were strikingly different. I enjoyed myself and I figured as many times as I race giving back was important. Here is how my week went.

Monday-Pushed a long swim, rest.
Tuesday-Scheduled rest,
Wednessday-Easy 5 mile run. No watch just out for a run. Generally tired and achy.
Thursday-Quality bike. I woke feeling good and ready for a bike ride. I decided that I would try to sprint the sisters. Last year I couldnt get up, this year sprinting. I actually was only able to go fast on one and a half. I felt very strong though. No fatique, no soreness. Cardiovascularly spent though. I was able to stand, mash, and hang in there on a much bigger gear and just go faster. No watch but I guess 12-15 mph climbing then the 6-8 I was doing earlier in the year. Next weekend I am going to time trial on the race course plus another 10 to 20 or so. We will see where I am at on the bike.
Saturday-Volunteer at Slam the Dam. 4-5 miles of Kayaking. No soreness no pain. Incredible to be back in the kayak. The last time I kayaked I would have been very. very sore and tired during and after. Fun to watch and learn from the swimmers.
Sunday-Pushed a small recovery swim/bike for sleep. Didnt want to get up.

With 3 more blocks until the race, I hope I am recharging for a strong push. I am looking over the schedule and will have to adjust a few things. One huge block, on big block, and then taper. I am more confident, occasionally I am afraid of over confident. I feel ready already and excited to get it done. The sacrifice with time, food, relationships takes its toll and sometimes I dont feel like sacrificing. I will get back to it and make a strong push. Quote:

"Self-sacrifice is the real miracle out of which all the reported miracles grow"

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, September 27, 2010


My best showing in a popular race in my age group. Not super fast but fast for me!

Swim: 19:46, T1 3:05, Bike: 39:48, T2: 2:49, Run: 30:44, Total: 1:36:10, Place 16/33. Its way better than one of the last few to finish in my age group. Moving on up. The winner beat me by 26 min.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Las Vegas Triathlon 2010

Funny how friends and family influenced me to race today. I decided I would do a sprint. Of the 8 triathlons I have done, my second sprint. I wanted to get some speed work in on a brick anyway so why not add another discipline? So I raced. It was a blast. I didnt know how much fun sprints are. Pound, bing, bang, boom ya go home. Fun. I dont think a true race report is necessary but a breakdown is in order. The race was on a familiar course. RAGE, last years olympic at the same race, Silverman all share these highways. Why not do some speed on them? Thankfully there were really no climbs. The whole time I had a smile on my face that said "thank god I am not doing the olympic today, lol." This is the first race I am competing in my age group as opposed to clydesdale division. I cannot wait to see how I fared. All splits are unofficial according to my watch.

Swim: Goal 18 min, actual 19:45 mostly due to LOOONG run to transition. Nothing to report. Kept to my cues, no issues.
Bike: I didnt know what to expect so no goal time. Actual: 39:17. Ave 17 mph. I passed A LOT of people. I loved it. My bike is coming along. I cannot wait to see how this ranks among my peers.
Run: I wanted to be as close as I could to 25 min. I think that would have been possible except for the first 1/2 mile out of transition is steep. Actual 30:46.
Transition: No problems. T1 3:33, T2 2:47. Happy with those.
Overall: 1:35ish. We will see what the official results have. I know the winner in my division beat me by 20 min. WOW. Overall, healthy and happy about today. The swim entry/exit is very, very rocky. My bones in my feet are sore from that.

This next block will be a recovery block and then my last 2 big blocks prior to Silverman. I am happy with everything right now. I am not content though. I will continue to strive to be faster. Quote:

“Progress is not created by contented people”
Frank Tyger

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Thirteen mile thursday...

I thought in light of last weeks groans that a mid week post was in order. My wife has been bitten by the tri bug and was not going to race by herself at the Las Vegas Triathlon this sunday. So I agreed to race with her. I went to my schedule and moved things around to fit in this race. I decided to make it an all out sprint. I have only done one sprint and it was in CA. This race will be an all out speed workout. Should be fun. In changing my schedule around I decided to go without my long bike this block and move my long run to thursday to try to be as fresh as can be for sunday. Really 13 miles on thursday? Never done that before. I decided to run the Silverman course. The weather was perfect. The wind was down, as was the temperature. So nice. Here is how my week has been so far.

Monday-1750 m Intervals. here is where my week turned around. I had a great swim. I am getting how I swim faster, Its been fun. A total of 35 laps, 5 off then 5 on. Here is how it went. 6:09, 5:41, 7:19, 5:43, 7:55, 5:44, and 7:18. I was so pumped about the consistency of the "on" intervals. Face down, elbows up. Those are my cues.
Wednesday-I wanted some hills before my long run and may be have some sore legs to start. I was going to hammer this ride but 2 miles in big ugly flat. I was going to do 2 loops with the sisters in there twice. Didnt happen. I ended up with a rest night to get ready for the silverman run course.
Thursday (today)-Silverman run course. I woke up a lot during the night. I have not been sleeping that great. I have been to bed early now 5 nights in a row. I woke up ready to go. Got to the multi-generational center (where the race transitions to run) ready to go at 5:30. By the time you get to 4 miles you have climbed for about 3 of those miles. Tough to do when "you have to go." There isnt anywhere to go and I had to hold it a long time. I made my stop and out on my way. I was miserable but nothing said stop. I just tried to suck it up. Then when I got to about mile 8 my R knee started in with an irritated IT Band insertion. I was able to get all 13 in. I was hoping for a better run but ultimately, all things considered, not horrible. Got it in. A very slow 2:30. Still that was 2o min faster than the race last year but I was hoping for better.

Considering using my TT bike for the first time in a race to see what happens. I have to change that flat. Who knows. Quote:

“Consistency is the quality of a stagnant mind”
John Sloan

Well may be the roller coaster isnt so bad then.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Mental Toughness Training

Not sure if I got better with my mental toughness training. I had a less-than stellar week. After last weekends big miles I was in big trouble. I got sick and I was super sore. I didnt sleep well, my nutrition wasn't what it should. I. FELT. HORRIBLE. After a month of good work for me I suppose it was due. I took my advisors advice and stopped playing softball but on tuesday I filled in. It was a stupid idea. It was late and I payed for it. Its funny how your heart and body fight on a long ride or run. They make deals with each other or they talk each other out of things. I wanted nothing more then to sleep in this weekend. I am happy to say that I didnt but I didnt get what I wanted done either. Funny I just read last year at this time and I have the same trouble. This year though it is much bigger miles and faster paces. So I am just chalking it up training toll and this 1/2 Iron distance race training. I need more sleep. I need to eat better. I need to suck it up. Here is how the week went:

Monday-Long interval swim modified to a fast finish. I was scheduled for 1750 but make 1000. It was as fast as I can swim though. Happy with intensity. here are the splits 6:08, 6:08, 5:57, and 6:03. I got pooped that last 250. I was shooting for 5:45 or so.
Tuesday-Was scheduled for rest. Actually softball and learned my lesson. Everything hurt and was sore, lol. Bad idea.
Wednesday-Bike Q. Rest actually.
Thursday-Long swim. REST.
Friday-Rest. REST.
Saturday-4 mile easy run. 4 mile easy run. I was sore and tired but had good pace for a easy run.
Sunday-40 mile bike/8 mile run brick. Exhausted, sore, and not feeling it. Actually 40 miles on the bike and 4 mile run. It was hot and I wasnt willing to push today. My HR reached 121% of max. Hmmm issue? YES. I climbed the sisters though without issue. I did the entire river mountain loop trail. My butt was sore from last week. My legs are tired. My back is sore. MISERABLE. Why do we do this to ourselves again?

Funny all that being said....the thing I think of most is IRONMAN. This feat is daunting. I think about it all the time. I dream about it. I love watching them on TV. I want this poster on my wall. I want to be called IRONMAN. I have a ton of work to do. So far this is working out but boy is it hard. I am so tired. How many years will I commit to this goal? I got talked into to doing a sprint this weekend. I am going to manage my schedule and I am going to make it a all out speed test. How fast can I go? Quote:

“Good work habits help develop an internal toughness and a self-confident attitude that will sustain you through every adversity and temporary discouragement.”
Paul J. Fleyer

I sure hope these are good habits and temporary.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

So Close, Yet So Far

I would have to look real close from last year to see if I had mileage weekend like I had this weekend. Thats a plus. I never did the whole bike course until race day, thats better (I did today). When I first started cycling I couldnt climb the sisters, today I was able to get 3/4 of each after 45 miles or so. Im not happy about it. I am glad my family wasnt around when I unclipped. I was pissed. The whole ride I thought I was going to be able to do it. I didnt have the strength or endurance to polish them off. Sure my legs were very sore from the day before but I wanted it badly. With the swim venue change the bike is even harder. Really? This race is challenging. Overall it was a very strong weekend but the icing on the cake would have been no walking on the stupid sisters. Here is how the week went:

Wednesday-Bike was in the shop. Bad "hanger" and got a tune-up.
Thursday-Progression run/fast finish. Funny how my watch didnt work. It was not keeping the right speed. I used rate of perceived exhaustion. I would guess, 9:15, 9:00, 8:45, and 8:30 for 4 miles. I felt good despite the wind.
Saturday-11 miles. Since I had 4 friends racing in the Lake Las Vegas Triathlon I decided to get my long run it super early. Like head lamp, blinky, vest early, straight Ragnar-style. I averaged 10 min miles but that includes running on 2 of the sisters. BIG HILLS. I felt very good. I wasnt even tired until after running the hills. I was keeping 9:00 to 9:15 prior to the big hills. I was thinking the whole time I cannot wait for my next 1/2 marathon. Congrats to Susan, Becca, Shannon, and Cody. All did very well respectively.
Sunday-Long ride. Silverman course in its entirety. I was very sore from the day before. I wanted to stay in bed I was that sore. The ride was a supported group ride by Jackie Arcana, the big tri coach around here. My goal was to travel the 56 miles plus make it home. 62.25 miles total. Lots of relentless hill climbing. One after the next. I am dead right now. Nothing hurts but everything is sore. I wanted to quit about 100 times and I ground it out. I tried to gear 1 or 2 smaller than I normally do. I felt fantastic with that. I went kinda slow but a long way. 73 mile weekend. Here are some pictures of the sisters. I am not sure what you can get from them but here you do.
When I see these lines I am at the top of 3.

From the top of 3 (in front of the 3 lines) looking back at where I came from

From the top of 2 looking back at 1
From the top of 2 looking up at 3.....Quote:

“Life's real failure is when you do not realize how close you were to success when you gave up.”

I am so glad I didnt give up.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Keep on Keeping on

Not a whole lot to input. I am very pleased with my ability to gain more and more "conditioning." I am going longer, I am going faster, and I am doing it with minimal complications. Aches, pains, and fatigue but that is par for an 1/2 Iron course. I am enjoying training and looking for new and challenging training sessions. I am also very happy to report that I have been able to add a bunch of new training partners. Its been fun to spread the word of triathlon and have some cycling wisdom passed to me. I have not been this lean since I graduated high school. I weighed in at 224, 17% body fat. For the record that is 85 pounds and about 10-15% less body fat overall. The more I think about it I think that shaving an hour and half off this years half iron is very doable. I need to continue along this course, have some luck with the weather, and get my nutrition strategy down. I am confident that is happening. One of my mentors in Physical Therapy is a phenomenal cyclist and I decided to see where I stand. He had some excellent feedback for me. I over-gear. I work too hard. I turn my legs over too slow. My bike chain needed to be changed, I need a tune-up. He liked my posture on the bike, he thinks my plan for continuing to get faster is spot on. Straight up strength:weight ratio. He put a bug in my ear. He thinks I should reward myself when I get down to 205 to upgrade bikes and go carbon. I think that will be my plan. Here is how my week went down.

Monday- Rest
Tuesday-Easy Run. 4 miles. Ave 9:11 pace. Its amazing what happens when your HR is controlled. I am learning to listen to that heart of mine.
Wednesday-Rest. Skipped my swim to rest. Long day at work, late night etc.
Thursday-Sisters loop. I am not afraid of them anymore. I can climb them anytime. I am going to do the whole Silverman loop this weekend and It will be interesting to see how I go with them after 40 miles. I did this loop 3 min faster than last time. 59:00. even though I had a pesky L calf cramp. It didn't affect my strength at all it was more annoying. It was sore for 2 days but didn't limit anything. I am happy with that. (does anyone read the daily breakdown? if so comment that you do =))I averaged 15 mph with those sisters in there.
Saturday-Long bike with fast cyclists. I have put this off for a long time because I didnt think I could hang. For the most part its true. But I did have my fastest ride to date. In 40 miles I only had one avg less than 10 mph. That is the result of trying not to get dropped or slow the group down and changing gear strategy. 40 miles in 2:30, 16.1 ave mph. Total elevation gain of 2200 feet on an out and back course. I made them cut it short a bit because it was so slow for them but overall I am stronger for it. I am happy about it. They tried to teach me to pace line. I have to get more stable and more confident. I didn't want to be the newbie crashing people. Good ride and I sold out to it. Made the rest of the weekend suffer but I need the bike to be my focus.
Sunday-Bike/Run brick. I woke up thrashed. Beat down tired, sore, and wanting to go back to bed. But we were meeting people and I needed to get used to this feeling. So I sucked it up. I wanted a longer run but it was not in the cards this day. I planned for a 15 mile bike/10 mile run. Actually 13.5 mile bike and 5 mile run. I wanted the bike to be easy and the run to be the focus but my HR was way too high for all that. I was tired and it was hot. I ran the first 5 of silverman course without walking. So overall considering it was positive. I am getting stronger with each brick. My biking legs don't feel so wobbly when I run. Good times with new friends and good breakfast.
Monday-Long swim. Didnt get to it because of honey-do list. Decided to do it tuesday.
Tuesday (today)-I had a easy run planned but since i skipped yesterday I wanted to make it up. 2 mile run to the gym, 2250 meter swim, then 2 miles home. 17:56 to the gym. Transition to the pool in 6:32, lap splits are 6:04, 6:41, 6:24, 6:28, 7:15, 6:42, 6:44, 5:21, and 6:38 with a fast finish. I got pooped. Transition back to running in 6:44. Then run home the same route in 17:38. It was a hard workout but totally doable. I enjoyed myself. Funny to run after swimming. Quote:

'Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who could not hear the music.”
Angela Monet

What is happening in this obese, lazy society? They cannot hear the music.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Moments of "Inception"

(The new header picture is a pic I took on our ride at the Red Rock loop just outside Las Vegas, NV.)

If you havent seen the movie "inception" it is a movie that takes place mostly in the mind. It is about how a team of people plant an idea or decision in a persons mind for another persons benefit. In a series of conversations with my good buddy Karl I had an experience that reminded me of that movie. It actually was just what I needed. My training so far had been moving so well I needed a check. The conversation was basically about how as a coach or athlete you are trying to walk that line of how intense is appropriate intensity. Too easy and there isnt enough training effect and too much and you run the risk of injury or bonking. Karl planted the seed and I tried to walk the fine line. I wondered at every minute if I was giving enough. As fitness changes and perception of what youare doing changes do you give enough? I have had some experience with crashing and I have had the experience that I held back too much. What would I do today? Here is my week.

Monday-Rest Extra day off during recovery block
Tuesday-Swim. I met my new Marathon Bar Buddy at dinner tonight. I swam 800 meters secondary to time.
Wednesday-Bike Quality, Hill repeats. I was able to ride longer on my repeat hill. I did 5 repeats and consistently traveled longer I just wish I had my watch charged.
Thursday-Hopefully this is NOT where my silverman build up went awry. I had a 4 mile easy run scheduled but I decided to stay in bed. Doenst sound too bad right?
Friday-Woke up to take yesterdays run. My inception moment begins. Here I am so recovered and out for an "easy" run. I think to myself I have some in the tank, lets go. I had it a tempo run. First mile 9:29, 9:15, 8:54, and 9:12. Now doesnt sound that fast but the last 2 miles were up a small to moderate hill. So I pegged it. I was sore and tired all Friday. Had a great run but quads were thrashed.
Saturday-I had a 20 mile/4 mile run planned. With a group forming of about 9 of us it turned into other things with thrashed legs. 26 miles and not just any miles. The Red Rock loop. Here is the post of the first ride at the loop. 26 miles, Ave speed 16 mph, max speed
42 mph. Reached 134% if my max HR. Hmm might have to rethink what I posted as my max HR. 2000 foot elevation gain. Not too mention there were parts with gnarly wind. It was a challenging ride. The transition was slow and we spent some talking and enjoying ourselves. Then the run. I planned for a 4 mile easy run today but turned into 5 mile super hard run. Might be the hardest run/hike I have done. I need to go back and do this run recovered and fresh. LOTS OF CLIMBING. Even though it was more hike than run and more walk than run I definitely got stronger today. Very loose footing, some rocky some sandy gravel. It was tough and frustrating. Grind it out. I had awhile of the old Ron. What am I doing out here? This is too hard for me. I am not fit enough for this. But I fought through it and I am stronger for it. I pushed it when I had nothing left. I got stronger today. I am sore today and tired.
Sunday-Long OWS. No data except 1000 meters. Super windy and hella choppy but not anything like Oxnard. Good swim though to recover from a tough workout yesterday.

I am happy to have another Marathon Bar sponsored athlete in town. She is quite the skilled cyclist and came out with us for a tough brick. Here is me and Jen at Red Rock. Hopefully she will be racing here in town soon and I am looking forward to watching her race and train with us! Welcome Jen! Quote:

We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Plugging Right Along....

Have you ever had an experience out on what seemed to be an ordinary run/bike/swim that turned out to be totally different? That happened to me this morning. Out for a straight forward 6 mile run. I decided I would go for the first six of the Silverman course. It turned out to be a walk down memory lane from last year. I remembered people, sights, sounds, smells, and feelings. Today was the first time I have been on that course since last year. Has that happened to anyone? It was surreal. It seemed so fresh, so present. There was not a soul in sight yet I remember passing the amputee on the top of stephanie, I remember Jennifer passing me looking like death warmed over, I remember walking a TON, I remember looking for Judy and not seeing her, I remember where the aid stations were and what they had and how bad I wanted whatever they were selling, I remember hearing the crowd reacting to finishers, I remember telling myself it is only 1/2 mile GEEET GOOOOOIIIING, I remember overcome with emotion to see the finish and to know I was going to finish, I was able to use that as fuel today. Not for today. For this whole experience. I wasnt sure until that moment that I was going to do it. Today I ran the same course some 30-45 min faster than that day. Sure there was no bike or swim this morning but I am a totally different athlete. I am competing at a different level for me. Sure it will not blow any doors off but I dont care about that. What does shaving off an hour and a half in a half Iron distance triathlon say about a person? That seems logical to me, I can do it. I finished my second building block and began a recovery block in the last week. I would rate this block a B+. I got all my workouts in, with no issues, and I am getting stronger with each discipline. Here is how it went.

Monday-Long swim. My goal was to swim 2000 meters in 250 meter blocks in 6:30 or better. I averaged 6:23, each lap at 5:55, 6:28, 6:30, 6:25, 6:28, 6:34, 6:27, and 6:21. For a total of 51:11. I am able to go faster longer with a few details. Head deep in the water, full arm push, and high elbows. I felt very strong.
Tuesday-Short run. Watch died. 4 miles with the wife. I was back in less than 40 min with small cool down outside. Must have been 9-930 pace.
Wednesday-Weight training.
Thursday-Swapped days off with friday. REST
Friday-Running intervals. 1 mile warm up, 3 X 4 min, 1-1.5 mile cool down. Overall 4.88 miles in 49 min total. I had trouble keeping the interval pace for 4 min. After 3 min I went down hill. The on ave speeds were 8:24, 8:53, and 9:03. I also chose a hillier course. Overall I became a stronger runner. Marks end of block. Rest block to ensue.
Saturday- Recovery long ride. 30 miles towards Red Rock. Ave 16 mph, with a head wind for the first 15 miles (out and back). Art and Julie went along.
Sunday (today)-Recovery long run. The first 6 miles of the Silverman run course. This is a course that I tried to run all last year to train and I never was able to do it without walking. Did it today with a blast from the past around every corner without walking. Total 6.01 miles in 1:02. My 10K PR was just a few minutes faster. That course is no where near as hard as this one. For the race, the first half is harder than the second half and If I can hold this pace I will shave 45 min off last years run time. That would be awesome. I thought about my favorite quote of all time this whole run. I was out the door by 5:15 and running at 5:30 not another runner out there. QUOTE:

"Champions are made when no one is watching."

I think a lot about what next year will be compared to right now. What If this is my crowning achievement, what if I crush next year I am going to crush this year? JUST WHAT AM I CAPABLE OF?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Trying to remain an even keel

I had some time this week to read some of last years posts. What I noticed is that this year I am more consistent. Last year I spoke a lot about a roller coaster that I was on. I dont feel that anymore. I feel my body changing. It is very fun. I feel faster, I am recovering easier. I am waiting for the scale to tip the other way. I know enough about endurance training to know that it is not all sunshine and roses all the time. Right now I feel strong. I am grinding it out better. Here is how my week went.

Tuesday-Quality run. When I say quality I am going to use those days as some specialty run. This particular run was intervals. I love them. This run was no different. However, I had some watch difficulty and didnt have data. I felt very strong though. 1 mile warm-up, 3 bout of 3 min on/off, 1/2 mile cool down. 4 Mile total. I havent ran them in a while so I thought I would introduce myself slowly. I definitely could have gone more. I ran the first mile in about 9:30, interval speed was 7:40, recover at 10 ish. I look forward to more of them and more intensity. Then softball at night.
Wednesday- Rest
Thursday-Bike quality. I rode 14.5 miles on a new loop. I did a loop very similar last year. This year 2 mph faster on the hill and I climbed them. So for 2010 lets just say sisters 0, Ron 6. I climbed them easier with less HR, less fatigue, and more speed. I love that. Another thing I was thinking is I am going to stop talking about them like I am afraid of them or automatically a challenge. I own them.
Friday-Plyos, abs. I was able to jump higher, lift more weight. I just feel stronger.
Saturday-Bike/Swim brick. Since there were some events going on at Lake Las Vegas (where I wanted to swim since that is race course) we went to boulder beach. I had planned a swim of 30 min, easy to transition, then ride between 30 and 40 miles. Actual 33 min swim about 800-1000 yards, slow did some education on OWS with a couple of newbies. T1 slow 8 min, again with some education. Bike ride 35 miles, I have set a new times for checkpoints. This one was 6 min faster then the last few times I rode this course. This was only 14 miles of Silverman course but good hills nonetheless. I encountered my RAGE climb this time some 20 miles more under me then when I ride this hill. Crushed it. I am so surprised how much better I feel. Overall it was a 3:20 min effort. I am significantly bigger than in terms of minutes, miles, and speed then I was last year.
Sunday (today)-Long run. I planned 8-10. Actual 8. I woke up late and it was hot. I probably didnt have more in me anyway. I FELT STRONG THOUGH. My watch seems to have a mind of its own. I thought I had the autopause on I didnt. So the per mile and the overall pace is off. It says that I averaged 9:46 but I think it was more like 9 because I had 3 stops at lights. I feel good out there. I am using a more forefoot strike with a non-valgus position. I think those are my keys. Quote:

“Celebrate your success and stand strong when adversity hits, for when the storm clouds come in, the eagles soar while the small birds take cover”

Monday, August 9, 2010

Loving the build up...

Now that Silverman training is heating up, I am enjoying myself. I am faster, smarter, and more experienced than I was a year ago and I am enjoying that as well. My nutrition has been good and I have been recovering a lot better with more sleep. It is amazing what happens when the "other" stuff is on how good it makes training. I think I went sleep deprived (although self inflicted) for too long. I have been in constant control over my blood sugar and eating timing has been spot on and that is the key to continue my weight loss. Another 9 pounds in the last month and under 20% (18.7%) body fat since 1995 in college. Which brings the total now to 70. I am hoping to run Surf City at or around 215 or less. That would be another 10-15 pounds off. Here is how my week went last week and I am finished with my second training block. This one I grade a B. I had some quality work but I scratched a brick with a long run.

Monday-Swam 1150 intervals. 5 laps warm-up in 6:33, 3 laps "hard" 3:31, 2 laps recovery 2:59, 3 laps "hard" 3:30, recover 2 laps 3:06, 3 Laps hard3:27, 5 laps cool down 6:09, with a total of 29:19. I felt strong. Pretty even too.
Tuesday-Softball and abs/core.
Wednesday-Late with patients and I forgot my light for the bike so I went about 10 miles in 45 min or so. Made it a hard effort on some hills around the clinic that are the same hills I run for silverman.
Thursday-Plyometrics and accessory muscle strength. A moderate effort workout on things I dont normally get to. Went well.
Saturday-Softball tournament. Played 4 games and hit the ball very well. I kinda tweaked my knee in the outfield though. Nothing too bad
Sunday-Pushed the brick I had planned when I woke up with knee pain. It was gone by noon and gone this on monday am.
Tonight-Long swim of 1750 m. I would like to Ave 6:30. Lets see.

This next block will be more miles than the one before. In order to space out the recovery blocks to peak at Silverman I will have a recovery block shortly after this one. I have been looking at my running plan within this plan to see if there is potential for more as Karl has suggested we will see how I feel. P.S. Thanks Karl for the shout out on the Marathon Bars. I am glad you enjoyed them. Quote:

“All life demands struggle. Those who have everything given to them become lazy, selfish, and insensitive to the real values of life. The very striving and hard work that we so constantly try to avoid is the major building block in the person we are today.”
Ralph Ransom quotes

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Off to a good start, block 1, and anouncement

So I spent last week out of town/recovering from Strawberry Fields. I scheduled the 2 days following Strawberry Fields just to be plain off. Then to officially begin the road to Silverman. I began with a recovery block. When I say block, I train 8/10 days. A 10 day work week, instead of 7. Per 10 days, I strive for 3 runs (one recovery, one long, and 1"quality"days), 2 bikes, 2 swims, 2 workouts (accessory muscle day/global muscle day, with core 3 days), and 1 brick (alternating between swim/bike and bike/run with 2 bike/runs per swim/bike). The other 2 days off. Then every 4th block will be a recovery block and prior to that a big block. Each big block progressively bigger finally culminating in a PR at Silverman.Usually I recap the weeks training on sunday and occasionally have a long post on sunday then a short one during the week. I am going to try to review the blocks instead of by week.

Block 1: Recovery/Colorado
Wed: Easy 1250 swim. No time just go and swim. What a crazy feeling it was to be the first swim after the ocean. Very still and predictable. Feels funny like after you get off the treadmill.
Thursday-Travel day to Breckenridge, CO.
Friday-Was supposed to run an easy 3 miles. Altitude sickness prevented that. I couldnt sleep much less run. Crazy Nausea, fatigue, headache, and inability to sleep. The lodge we stayed at was 12,600 feet. That is a 12,600 feet gain in 4 days (since I raced at the ocean). Problem? I think so.
Saturday-Ran 4 miles. Very slow, as my HR was waaaay out of control. Here are some pictures.

Sunday-Travel home and recover.
Monday-1500 m swim. 5 lap increments. 6:14, 6:43, 6:56, 6:53, 6:55, and 6:54. Avg 6:46, Total, 40:38. I wanted a slow-moderate paces long swim. Got it. Nice and somewhat even.
Tuesday-Softball and 4 mile run. A very hot and muggy night run after softball. Mistake, I need to do that in the morning. It is still over 100 degrees at 8 at night. Sweltering.
Wednesday- Meant to be a quality hill night on the bike but the bike fit took too long and I forgot my change of clothes bag at home. Good news I feel fit to my TT bike and I will sprinkle that bike in. I have not decided If I am going to use that bike for the race or not. Its shaky, I dont turn well in aero, and its very fast. Equation for lack of confidence. I need to strengthen to be able to command that bike.
Thursday-Long Run. 6 miles. 1:10 min. Super hot. It was 90 at 5:30 am. I need to get up earlier. Was about 20 min slow out the door and the heat got to me at the end.

Beginning block 2 I am pumped to be starting to get bigger stuff in. My confidence is soaring at this time compared to last year. Now that I know I can go the distance and my conditioning has allowed me to do more than the race distances I am pumped to race this year. Dont hang on, RACE. I think that 1 hour PR is doable. Sub 7. Here are a few days of block 2.

Saturday-Long bike. 40-45 miles. Actually got 40 miles in just around 3 hours. Took some breaks, took some pictures with some new riding buddies. I cruised it. It is amazing my stronger I am than the last time I was out there by the lake. I did all bike course. Over half of it miles wise but did not include the sisters. I felt strong. The long climb out Lake Mead National Park wasnt even hard this time. Last year I could hardly ride it. I am looking forward to this. The header is taken on way on Sunday, sure makes it hard to ride with all that going on.
Sunday (today)-Rec run of 3-4 miles. 3 miles in 28 min. The fastest I have been able to run in weeks. It was overcast and not humid or hot per se. I mean 92 at 5:30 in the morning is still hot. Not overwhelming though. No walking. My new goal with EVERY run is going to be able answer the question: "Did I become a stronger runner today?" YES, Today I did.

I have struggled in the past with my performance at the LA Marathon. Its kinda hard to expect yourself to do better than I did at my first one, its just I did. I thought I would have handled it a lot better. My training runs went without issue, except now I know that the walking I do at the end of those long runs do not make you stronger. I signed up for another one. Surf City Marathon, February 6, 2011 I will run my second marathon. I have 12 weeks after Silverman to get ready. I have been recovering so much faster, I have already trained that much, it fits into the training year very nicely, and its a fabulous race. Done. I think may be I will 3 or so half Irons in 2011 and may be 2 marathons to get ready for IM SG or IM AZ. That for me is the ultimate goal. Quote:

"Confidence is not a guarantee of success, but a pattern of thinking that will improve your likelihood of success, a tenacious search for ways to make things work."

Dr. John Elliot

I can feel it growing.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Strawberry Fields: A Race Report

Wow, what a day. Picture this 70 degrees sun out, not a cloud in the sky, windfloating off the ocean, and BAM! Your hit with the wonderful smell of strawberries.

Strawberry Fields triathlon in Oxnard, CA. Just south of Santa Barbara and north of Santa Monica. Gorgeous. We did the Olympic distance. 1500 m swim, 20 (ish) mile bike, and 6.2 mile run. Here is how it breaks down:

Since this was my wife's and our dear friend andrea' (andi) first attempt at the olympic distance and all 3 of our first ocean swim, we though we would get there early and check out the water. So glad we did. This race is a triathletes race. No fluff, no corporate sponsor no funny business , just speed. There was a small and intimate expo with not a whole lot of stuff but nice. It was set up at Oxnard beach park and what a nice park it was. Saturday and all had tons of non-triathlete types barbecuing and jump housing. So it made it fun. Then there is the practice swim. This is where we realize what we are in for. At the time there was 6 foot swells and crashing about. Just get past the break. Easier said than done. Oh and when you are swimming to shore you still have to manage the waves, they sneak up on you. lets just say my sinuses are rinsed. After surveying the scene I decided to modify my race strategy. Get as much out of the swim as possible, kick ass on the bike as it is flat as flat can be, and hold on to the run. Since I have been trying to train that way I felt totally prepared.

SWIM: Goal: 35:00, actual 41:15 (+6:15)

The good news is the waves were smaller in the am. Bad news not that smaller. From 6 foot or so to 4 or so. TURBULENT. The swim required every bit of swimming skill and fitness I have. I am proud to say I can swim anywhere now. The only thing harder might be alcatraz or something crazy like that. Anyone? Hard swim somewhere? Anyway some strokes were completely out of the water and totally useless while I ride a wave and some sighting was absolutely nothing. Some sights had everything but what did I just see? So it was a challenge. The good news is the garmin shows slight deviations but not a zig zag pattern way off course. I did not have any trouble with other swimmers or anything. Attached to this swim was a 0.5 run/walk/stumble out of the water onto deep sand. Wobbly any one? If I swam in the ocean more often I think I can preform better but since I dont I am happy with that. I have never had shoulder soreness from swimming this distance. My shoulders are sore today for sure.

T1: Goal 4 min, actual 3:18 (+ 5:27 overall off my goal)

Experience with the same equipment is the key. I had a little trouble with my tri jersey cought on my HR monitor, lol. Overall happy. I like transition on grass.

Bike: Goal 1:30, actual 1:12:53 (-11:31 off my goal)

This bike is in the shape of a boxy letter B. One u turn, and 2 laps. Once I get on my bike I thought CRAP, there isnt supposed to wind out here. This was supposed to be flat and no wind. A cross wind for most of it. Oh well make due. I wanted to average 20 mph. I busted my ass. There was only one climb and it was only 100 feet or so and then followed by a long fun downhill to the exit or start of the 2nd lap. I actually averaged 18.4 mph. I think when I computed my goal I though it would be 25 miles it was a little more than 21 I think. Yeah 21.56. The race reports on the race site have mixed measurements. My goal was to max out the bike. I am limited by my leg strength. My HR ave zone 4.6 (86% of my max) or 159 bpm. I tried to keep 80-90 rpm on the biggest gear I could. It was a blast. There were some dudes with RIDICULOUS bikes out there. I passed a lot of people. Some with nice bikes in aero position. I was proud of that. There was a scenery or strawberry fields for probably 1/2 the bike course. It smelled so awesome. Nice ride.

T2: Goal 4 min, actual 2:43 (-15:14 overall off my goal)

Can be faster but I had to put socks on and my feet were still sandy. Should I put my socks on over sand? Baseball has prepared me for that. Go for it. hat on number on off I go.

Run: Goal 60 min, actual 1:07:06

I have reading a lot lately about "triathlon" running vs running alone.
Main difference? Running strength or economy. I though about that the whole time, why? Because I aint got none, lol. This is my biggest weakness right now. I am too easy to walk. If I am going to start to compete I HAVE to get better at this. The slowest run of my category. It was pretty though. Out and back a few times on the beach sidewalk with some beach houses thrown in. The residents out with hoses and cheers. It was nice. I did start to get some cramping in the L quad but I am able to keep it at bay now and I am able to fight trough it. I am sure that will come in handy in NOV. This run was so flat a net elevation gain of 54 feet. In las vegas you cannot go a 1/2 mile flatter than that in any direction. The only real issue was hot spot on the ball of the my left foot and later felt gritty from the sand. Funny.

Overall: A Goal was smash my actual goal and beat 3 hours. B goal was actual. 3:13 when everything gets added up. Actual was 3:07:16. Beat my actual goal by 6 min. Good enough for 3rd in the Clydesdale division. Who cares if there was only 5 competitors in my category. If I was racing with my age group I would have been 46/48. Thats not that great. Now my age group also had the 3rd overall male and he flew. Will I ever run a 38 min 10K? That is beat my current PR by 20 min? That is a lot and I hope that is the progression I am on. Sure my 5K pr is 8 min faster than when I first started running and if I double that then that would be about the change I am going to have to make. The 1st guy to have a 10K over the hour mark is 33/48, so it was a fast race. It is a new PR for me at this distance but it seems not comparable. The hills and runs that I have raced on at this distance are a completely different race. It was a PR of 23:33 at this distance. My PR streak for 2010 is still intact.

Marathon bar:
I gave out 10 boxes of bars. 5 protein and 5 energy. I met another athlete Carlos. I also saw him out on the road too. It was nice to talk to another athlete. We didnt have much time together though. I had all positive feedback. A couple of people came up to me and struck marathon
bar conversation. Everything thinks that its a fun and cool thing to spread the word of what an active lifestyle can do. Average Joe triathletes
who are above average citizens. I am comfortable with that. I would like to be faster though. Here are some pics of the weekend.

Congrats to Julie and Andi on stellar performances in their Olympic distance debuts. Julie actually had the 4th fastest swim among all women in her age group and the fastest in the athena category. Andi had the 7th fastest run among females in her age group. WE get her some bike fitness and a decent bike and she will make some noise.

I am on the clock with SILVERMAN. A few days rest, then the build to Silverman. BRING IT. Quote:

"I think they should put a warning label on strawberries: 'Caution: tastes nothing like a strawberry milkshake'." — Ryan Kaplan.

But boy they smell delicious and right of the vine....PRICELESS