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