Sunday, June 26, 2011

Beginning the build up

I looked forward to this weeks workouts.  I was excited to get started for pumkinman.  I have noticed a few things while resting/recovering.  I am starting to feel the lack of strength workouts in the last 3 weeks.  I wanted to get the strength workouts back in.  I spent the beginning of the week with a slight to moderate sore throat.  I made a decision to scale back the plans and be smart. I was able to get the triathlon training in, including a swimming time trial, I just didnt load it up.   I also, wanted to move closer to a decision on what I should be doing with my bike situation.  Here is the situation:  ok road bike, decent tri bike.  I am comfortable on the road bike but seems like I am missing some speed if I dont use the tri bike.  I wasnt sure what to make of the tri bike.  It is wobbly, there may be a brake issue, and occasionally has a misfire on the gearing.  I wanted to have a bad ride with it to make the decision easy.  That did not happen.  Here is how the week went.

Monday-Originally scheduled to have a TT swim workout scratched for sore throat.
Tuesday-Originally scheduled to have a 5 mile easy run, changed it to 3 miles on wed.  
Wednesday-I had to get sully out anyway....rough day with snot but got some work in.
Thursday-I felt very good today.  I actually wanted to get to the pool.  I did a 1000 m time trial in 11:36:52.  Then a few easy laps and then 100 m TT in 1:53:98.  These figures will be used to help with workouts and future fitness tests.  Speed cues: quality strokes on each side with fluid reach and pull through, facedown, and high elbows.   
Friday-By this time I feel great.  I decided to run some intervals.  1 mile warm up in 9:33, 3 min on/3 min off X 4 then 1 mile cool down. Goal was to be under 7:20 for the on and around 9:30 for the off.   Here are splits: 7:17/8:44, 7:31/9:30, 7:55/9:54, 8:29/12:04, and cool down in 9:24.  I felt strong except for the last interval.  Ran out of gas.  I think that is the idea.  Next week I will repeat this.  I am learning the fight at the end of the workout.  That is definitely an issue for me.  My legs felt strong but cardio isnt there yet.  I feel it getting stronger and stronger.  I feel like my miss on the end of the workout is an aerobic strength issue.  
Saturday-Long bike.  This was going to be a test.  We picked a route with some climbing.  I wanted to descend and climb with this bike and see what I think.  20 miles total, 10 miles out and back.  1,500 foot climb.  Looking at the numbers and comparing those number to what I felt I definitely need to spend more time on this bike.  I was a chicken on the very fast decent.  Not pedaling, not contributing to making the bike go faster and I went 38 mph.  WOW.  I wasnt even aero.  On the climb, I climbed easier and faster then my road bike.  I actually passed 2 riders on the climb.  That never happens.   K2 has earned one more week.  I do have a few mechanical issues that may be contributing to the lack of confidence.  Learning this bikes gearing and feel wasnt so bad.
Sunday (today)-Long run.  I am feeling very good and I thought a medium distance long run with some speed work would be a good idea.  So lets make it a progressive run.  7 miles.  Actual split (goal).  9:22 (9:30), 9:08 (9:15), 9:19 (9:00), 8:43 (8:45), 8:43 (8:30), and 10:22 (8:30).  LOL...zapped again.  No excuses.  The aerobic/mental strength not there yet.  I battled a lot more than I have in the past though.  The grade did turn back to up for the last 2 miles but I have ran faster there.  I just couldnt hold it.  Something to work on.  Long slow grades continue to get to me.  Just simply have to get stronger.  I did try out some new shoes today.  The assics nimbus 13.  A neutral shoe.  They felt amazing.  I had some muscle soreness but It was good to focus on mechanics.  Sore gluts, sore quads, and no foot or skin issues.  I felt really good just not fast enough on the end.  Quote:

   Fitness - if it came in a bottle, everybody would have a great body.  ~Cher

I am progressing very well.  Special shout out to Khadevis Robinson who was second in the 800 m at the USA championships.  Good luck at worlds my man!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Pumkinman On the Clock and 10K PR

First things first.  My classes are open!  To check out my running classes click here!

The 1/2 Iron at pumkinman will be a different animal.  The swim is the same swim I swim all the time, the bike will be a different set of hills at the lake ending in a good climb to Boulder City.  The run will be through the streets of BC and will be a collection of long slow climb type hills.  It will be mid October so the weather should be awesome.  I will have some buddies to train with so the company will be welcomed.       This weekend marked the first training weekend leading up to this race.  This 1/2 will be a different focus.  I want to do a few things different:  swim faster, ride faster, and run faster.  LOL.  I am going to tweak the swim training.  If the bike split was the same but on the tri bike, and the run was competitive with what I am capable of, I would be ecstatic.  Thats the goal.  More on that as time goes by.  Speaking of tri bike I had 2 rides this week.  One horrible, the other not so good.  Its wobbly and hard.  I dont know if I want to continue the bike on this bike but we will see.

The Ambulance Chaser 10K/5K/1 mile walk was a race at the Las Vegas Motor Speed way.  Pretty cool.  The 5K 2 laps around the track and the 10K 1 lap speedway and up and down the drag strip.  Here are some pics:

  Here is how the week went:

Tuesday-Easy run 4 miles with sully
Wednesday-Strength training
Thursday-Training run 5 miles with sully
Saturday-Ambulance Chaser 10K.  My previous 10 PR was 55:16 or so.  I thought I had the juice for a sub 52 min race since Karl predicted 52 I wanted to be faster than that.  My Vdot says 48 min is possible.  I have had some good training runs so I thought it was going to be in play.  Here are my splits: 8:17, 8:17, 8:40, 10:05, 8:54, 7:35, and 1:59 for the 0.2.  The super slow mile came on the steep drag strip when the heat was pounding from the sun, the asphalt was radiating heat, the grade went up, and the rubber from the race car tires was making the ground sticky.  I got zapped there.  I think 3 min should have been shaved off.  My official time was 53:42.  My new 10K PR by 1:24.  Overall, a good race.  Minor soreness and fatique.
Sunday-Bike/run brick.  16 mile bike and 3 mile run.  My longest ride with the tri bike.  I am not sure what the think of that thing.  Aero is uncomfortable and unsteady.  It was hard and not as much fun.  The big gear isnt as fast and the little gears are easier to climb with.  Hmmmm.....just so different.  I dont know if I like it.  Too early to tell.  The run was ordinary.  Just getting some reps in.  1 hour ride and 30 min run.  QUOTE:

Learn to run when feeling the pain: then push harder. William Sigei

I am learning how do this, I need to that better.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

2011 Ironman 70.3 Honu: One week later...

I started this blog a few years ago to document this journey.  Every once in a while I go back and read old posts and think about the highs and lows presented in race reports.  But my most favorite posts are the one week laters.  Once the hoopla and emotion of race day wears off what does it all mean.  I am so proud of what this body can do.  I am most important proud of what this mind/brain is capable of.  Sure 169/226 in my age group isnt a great ranking.  So I am not going to wow anyone with the time.  I am not close to a Kona slot, some 3 hours slower than those guys.  Can I shave 3 hours off this time?  Lets be real, not in the next foreseeable future.  I am sure going to bust my ass to get there.  What I did do show up to a 70.3 with a rented bike and put up a 53 min PR in this distance.  What is funny is the only thing that was faster was my bike.  The swim and run splits were nearly identical to silverman.  Undertrained on the swim and swimming off course didn't help.  Very hot and burning feet was the only limiting factor on the run.  Fitter, faster, and still only one discipline was faster.  The bike course at Honu is not considered easy, the World Championship is on that highway for petes sake.  Just goes to show what the Silverman bike is like, ridiculous.  I will keep training the course at the lake and see what my bike fitness will be like.  It is a gift to be able to train these hills.  Some of my questions are becoming clear.  I realize this is process and a long one at that.  I am amazed at how I recovered.  The recovery gets easier each race this distance.   I had about a 2/10 soreness.  My skin was the only thing that was significant.

For the first time, in my heart I know this journey is progressing.   The way I wanted it to go and the way it has gone has been different.   Initially its confusing but eventually it works out.  My goals are working themselves out.  IRONMAN is beginning to look like a doable challenge.  My body is responding.  Leaner, fitter, stronger, more efficient, and the nutrition piece is coming into focus.  The half at PUMKINMAN is now the goal.  Secondary to that is Las Vegas Marathon.  Use the running program for Vegas to dovetail train for pumkinman.  For pumkinman I want to do some specific things.  For the swim I want to get into the low 40 min.  I realized that when I open water swim, I havent done any speed work.  DUH, no speed work out there =no better time.  I also hate the pool.  So I need to find a way to get faster in the water.  I think the TRIATHLETE magazine swim program for a 70.3 looks good.  I am going to try that.  For the bike I realized several things while at Honu.   Number one, I was one of a very low percentage of road bikes.  Tri bikes abound.  I am guessing 5,000 ave per bike.  That means 90 million dollars in transition.  I passed a bunch of them too.  How much faster will I be in aero position?  The tri bike is now in effect.  My back has been a lot better and I feel better physically making that change.  For the run, keep running.  My run is coming up.  I want to do a new VDOT.  I want to run a few 5/10Ks and I want to keep progressing that way.  Also, I want to do a few sprints for some speed work.  Funny how my run is the best its ever been but did not show up at the race.  I am not happy about that.  I want the Pumkinman run to be competitive  with my other 1/2 marathon racing times.  If I can do those things another PR is on the way.  

I had 3 runs this week.  3-5 miles per.  My legs are not back to form yet but they are close. Quote:

“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”
 George Bernard Shaw

Monday, June 6, 2011

Ironman 70.3 Honu the Race Report

I showed up to Hawaii with some questions.  Is this something that I can do?  Does training on my home course make it easier for me despite one of the most grueling courses in the world?  Am I trying to do something that isnt for me?  Can I compare the 2 Silverman events to anything else?  Is this goal of Ironman doable?  I have experienced many changes as a person and the evolving me is trying to let myself be less conscious.  I used to analyze and over think.  I am able to avoid that problem.  This trip has helped teach me that.  I was able to train daily and still hike, swim, walk, drive, and not have any consequences.  I believe in me.  That is something I have never admitted to.  This time around this race was not about a Kona slot.  Who knows were I will be in the future.  This race was go somewhere not silverman and see if I can do.  I cannot say that I put up some amazing times or that the big triathlon companies want to put their clothes on my back or anything.  What I can say is that I got ready for a 1/2 Iron triathlon in 9 weeks and I put up a 53 min PR at the 1/2 Iron distance.  I came in under trained on the swim and with a rented bike.  How did my day go you ask?  Here we go.

Swim:  Goal 50:00   Actual 51:12

Hapuna Beach was incredible.  This is a man made beach that was very hard to swim.  The sea life was a distraction.  I literally had to check myself and get it together.  HEY YOU ARE RACING HERE.  lol.  The night before at the race meeting the staff mentioned a typhoon off the coast of the Philippines that would influence our swim.  5 foot swells they said would arrive at or around swim start.  The beginning of the waves began in waves of 3.  Big waves then no waves.  I never noticed them.  1800 people in at the same wave.  This was the thing I was most concerned about.  With Kona slots on the line will these people take me down to get there before me.  Answer NO.  It was physical though.  The course was a box that required me to keep all the buoys on my right except the last buoy, go left and get to shore.  The first turn is supposed to be the most troublesome.  I took it a bit wide and was out of trouble.  Then I wanted to take the second turn in stride as a result of the 1st turn and took it a bit wide.  So wide I went a bit off course.  One thing in triathlon is for sure.  Never find yourself alone, if your alone something is wrong.  Yeah about 5-10 min off course, lol.  It was so cool out there.  I right myself and get back into the churn.  I was happy for keeping my arms going the whole time, no breaks.  I also was trying something new this race.  One outfit the whole day.  I have leaned out enough to pull off a triathlon suit so why not?  Overall, happy with the swim but I know this is an area I must improve on.  

T1:  Goal 3 min     Actual:  5:54

I thought since I wouldnt be changing that I would be out of there quicker.  A long beach run and a shower didnt get accounted for.  I could have spent a little more time in that shower.  The timing chip rubbed me raw all day.  I would have made sure that was cleaned off if I had to do it again.  The organizers did a wonderful job of having turf/carpet to run on.  Very feet friendly.  I had no issues with gearing up, getting on the bike, and getting off.

Bike:  Goal 3:30:00   Actual:  3:28:33

This what I came here for.  They kept saying, dont empty the tank on the bike the run is hard.  I said no way.  I want to kill this bike split and put my run to the test.  I needed to see what I am made of.  So I attacked the little bits of this course to Hawi.  Including this race I had 3 training rides on Queen K.  SO AWESOME.  I wanted to know if I am just slow or is it the place I ride a lot.   The route was simple.  Queen K make a R go 5 miles then uturn to Hawi.  Uturn at Hawi and head back.  If you break down the 3:30 time goal that is 16 mph.  I went the first 5 in 18.5 mph, the next 24 miles in 15.75 mph, and the last 29 in 16.03.  I laid awake at night for the last few months wondering what the wind was going to be like THIS day.  The training ride showed my what a bad day would be like.  The only windy parts were 5 miles before the turn around in Hawi.  Of course there would be wind there.  If thats the only wind then I am in amazing shape.  The fun part was I passed a lot of riders.  Fancy tri bikes in aero position and were smaller than me.  BYE.  I attacked and felt strong with the exception of 2 places.  The 5 miles before Hawi with a 20-25 mph head wind and the "dead spot."  Can I first tell you the pros were unbelievable.    I had spots were I was averaging 30 mph and they went 40.  Awesome.  The dead spot happened when the tail wind stopped and the terrain turned back to up.  If you look at the hill profile you will see it.  I started breaking.  I was on pace for a 3:10-15 bike split.  I started to go down that negative route.  Then I ate a Tri3Bar.  They were outstanding.  I perked up and hammered it out.  I now have a bank of memories to draw from that allows me to persevere.  That was very fun to live.  Get it done, get off this bike with some gusto, dont coast in there, finish like you belong here.  Mauna Lani Drive was a welcome site and cruised into T2.

T2:   Goal 3:00     Actual: 4:54

I wanted to get some shade.  The changing tent was empty so I sat down and took a minute to cool off.  I got some petro jelly for some chaffing, got ice water, and boy did it feel good to get off my shoulders and get on my feet.  My arms and shoulders were blasted.  In fact my hands were totally useless by the time I got off the bike.  

Run:  Goal:  2:20   Actual:  2:43:47

As I began the run I noticed the lack of shade.  The run course was not observable prior to the race.  It was a golf course/housing development.  We ran right down the middle of grass, onto the cart path, out and back, out and back, up hill down hill, concrete, asphalt, and NO SHADE WHATSOEVER.  Easily the hottest I have ever been. For the Vegas people this run is equivalent to running down the middle of the river mountain loop trail in the middle of the day. Yeah, I am not doing that so I wasn't THIS heat trained.  In the 3rd mile I felt the blisters start.  I think they are more like burns.  Each foot with 2 blisters.  I did the best I could with the circumstances.  I tried to take one mile at a time and battle each mile for under 10:40.  Didnt happen.  A small victory for me is no cramping.  I think I figured my needs.  NOT SUGAR.  I had an all fruit smoothie and a muscle milk 3 hours before start.  I alternated between water and Ironman Perform (which was outstanding) and I had 2 bars on the bike and one on the bike.  In and out of grass, concrete, asphalt, and then there was HELL.  Miles 8-12 were brutal.  2 miles down and 2 miles up in the desolate lava field and no redeeming qualities.  I suppose thats what I signed up for but dang, it was brutal.  I know that I can persevere through anything now.  I can feel it coming together.  The heat and the blisters drained my run but, all in all, it is what it is.  

Overall:  Goal 6:47      Actual:  7:14:20

Lofty goal again but I have training to back it up.  I missed it by 1 min on swim, 3 min on T1, made up 2 min on bike, 1 min on T2, and then missed the run by 24 min.  Not that far off each and the heat got me.  Ok so the heat got me on the big island of Hawaii on a half iron distance triathlon, I can live with that.  I had a blast.  70.3's not silverman are WAY more fun.  Dont get me wrong the silverman is a great event but the bike is brutal.  The run course is brutal.  I think if I ran the Kona course in the early morning I can do it A LOT easier.  Just the way it was.  I am ecstatic with a 53 min PR and I am ready for the next adventure.  The next 1/2 iron will be in my back yard.  No silverman this year, it will be pumkinman.  The bike is brutal.  I must get my climbing on point.  I think I may get my tri bike going.  We will see.  My back never gave me trouble.  I was muscle sore there but no bid deal.  In the aftermath my blisters are trouble, minor muscle soreness, and ready to rock.  I would like to send a big shout out to my wife.  She is most amazing, supportive woman I know.  Thanks honey for encouraging me to do that.  

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Ironman 70.3 Honu: leading up

I am officially registered and ready to go already.  I am bib number 1188.  Follow me on  I did have to sign 3 waivers.  ENTER AT MY OWN RISK.  I get it.  I have noticed a culture change here with these athletes.  They mean business, hardly any friendly exchanges mostly stuck up people who happen to be fast.  Ok big deal.  The locals dont like the athletes because of that attitude.  I understand being fast comes a fair amount of swagger but honestly, the local people know how to live life.  We are on THIER island.  We should respect that.  Took these 2 this morning.

The weather for saturday in Hawi looks like this:



Wind:From SW at 9 mph
UV Index:10+ Extreme
Sunrise:5:43 AM HT
Avg. High:80°F
Record High:88°F (1967)

What is funny about that is that where the wind is.  I will climb to Hawi.  In Waikaloa or at the finish line it looks like this:



Wind:From SW at 9 mph
UV Index:10+ Extreme
Sunrise:5:43 AM HT
Avg. High:83°F
Record High:90°F (1977)

This is interesting because they are never the same.  I am not taking any of that to heart.  It will change and it will be interesting.  Saturday has a few goals.  One I know I have the fitness for this distance and course.  What is unknown is how I will handle to conditions.  The wind will pick up.  The humidity will be a factor.  My brain will be affected by these and how will I respond?   I am going to take it one stroke, one mash, and one step at a time.  Believe in myself and just get it done as fast as I can.  Karl and Dr. Daniels says it will be over sooner if you go faster. (Now I know where you get that from Karl.)  I am the fittest I have ever been, I am more mentally aware now more than ever, I have the fitness for this, I have good equipment (more on that in a minute), and my nutrition plan is in place.  I am pumped.  I rented a bike. Scott CR1.  Fast.  Carbon.  I had to have a tweak today and I am more excited to ride it.  What are my legs going to do with all carbon?  They better be ready. Here is one last pic.

In life, you reap what you sow - if you work hard, you believe in yourself, you do the right thing, good things usually happen."
Khadevis Robinson