Friday, May 14, 2010

Ironman St. George

Ironman St. George Race Report

Sometimes our greatest success' can be born from a failure. -- Brett Skyllingstad

While finishing an Ironman triathlon in under 17 hours is by no means a failure, I certainly felt like a failure when I finished Ironman St. George in 14:10:23. It didn't take long after the race for me to realize that I hadn't failed but only let my mind tell me that I couldn't race like I should have. So back to my quote, this is how I feel about IM St. G so here is the rest of the story to explain why.

In late December I knew I had Plantar Fasciitis (PF) and went about trying to heal it. Part of this process was limiting my running. I eventually pretty much beat PF and after having taken some 3 months off from running I began to run again. I was cautious not to overload myself and cause the injury to come back, and slowly started running. I took the approach of running as often as possible but for shorter durations. The frequency of my running would help to build durability. With that being said, I had only worked my running up to an 8 mile run before New Orleans 70.3, then basically the 13.1 in N.O. 70.3 and that was my run training for IM St. G. So there was no doubt that I hadn't put in the time training for the run course on IM St. G. However, I let my mind get the better of me and started telling myself that I had lost all the running base that I had prior to stopping running. Like they always say hindsight is 20/20, well I had lost some base but not as much as I thought. Now I realize I have much more running base than I thought and I was just feeling sorry for myself during IM St. G and used the lack of training as an easy way to justify the fact that I should walk during the marathon as well as ride slow on my bike. Well, I am here to say that I am done feeling sorry for myself and never again will I let my mind get the better of me during my training and racing. No more failures on the race course.

Throughout the course of my training for IM St. G I had to do a balancing act. For the first time I was attempting to train for an Ironman while dating a very special person, Whom I am happily still dating. It was important to me to balance spending time with my girlfriend but also putting in the hours it takes to train for an IM. Some of the other difficult things I didn't expect in my training were, the lack of daylight in January, February, and March. The sun is down early in the day which meant my bike rides were going to be on a trainer which is not very fun. Second was the harsh weather we had in Dallas. This made my long Saturday rides not easy or fun either. We had a record snow fall in Dallas this year in March I think. We had some 12" of snow in 24 hours. Then I rode on Saturday the day afterward in 30 degree weather. It sucked. With that being said the two things I will correct in training for another early season race is to buy a compu-trainer -- This will allow me to get in quality rides after work at 5pm when it is dark out. I also think I have figured out how to balance time with the GF and train for an Ironman. At many times I felt bad spending so much time training and not with Morgan. Then I would be with her not training and felt bad because I wasn't training. Now we have it all figured out though. So on to the play by play of the race.

Race Lead Up:

Arrived in St. G on Tuesday night late. Brandon and I got to our Condo and we were quite impressed. Best way to stay is to rent a condo or house. Wednesday we went for a short swim and I put my bike together and we went to check in for the race. Thursday we went for another short swim and short ride. Thursday we went to pick up the GF's from the Las Vegas Airport. Friday night as usual I made some pasta with roasted veggies and had a salad and garlic bread. We had already dropped off T1 and T2 bags and the bike. So all we had to do race morning was drop off the special needs bags.

Race Day:

Woke up at 3:45am and did my usual routine, shower, eat breakfast and got ready. It was cold out that morning maybe in high 40's or low 50's. I knew the water would be warmer than the air too, just barely. We drove to T2 and dropped off the car and our special needs bags. Then we boarded a bus to the swim. When we got there all I did was pump up my tires put some other items in my T1 bag and got in the wetsuit. I forgot my body glide at the condo and didn't put any on my neck before I got into my wetsuit. The Xterra Vendetta suit has a Velcro patch that rubbed my neck till it was bleeding. The funny thing is that I didn't feel it during the swim just when I got out. So off to the swim, I got in the water and waited it didn't feel bad. I had 2 swim caps and ear plugs. Both of these really helped me with the cold water. The water was 58 degrees. The earplugs really helped with not getting dizzy. It is known that cold water can effect your equilibrium when it gets in your ear. I notice this after my first swim on Wednesday and promptly bought ear plugs. They really helped. The swim went fine as usual. The one thing I was confident about my training was my swimming. I did many more 3k swims than I did before IM WI. So here again, when you tell yourself you are confident about your training it pays off. I swam well. I am really surprised with my time because I sighted quite a bit and even did some breast stroke sighting too. I don't believe the course was accurate especially because my perceived exertion on the swim was very low compared to swims I do at the pool and I go slower in the pool and I don't sight in the pool.

Swim -- 2.4 miles -- 1:04:19 -- 1:39/100M

On to the bike, I ran thru transition and was able to see Morgan when I picked up my T1 bag. She got some great pics of me too. It was cold out so I really suited up to ride. I had arm warmers, wool socks, leg warmers, a bike jersey and a wind protective vest. So I started riding and was feeling pretty damn good. I knew I had just PR'd my swim by some 3 minutes, but had a slow transition. I had never been too concerned with transitions in an Ironman, until now. I can do better than 10 - 15 minutes. I should have just gotten dressed while on the bike that way I would be moving forward as opposed to sitting. Within 10 miles I got a flat. So I quickly changed it out. I would say it took me less than 5 minutes to change as well. I was on my way. Before I knew it I was at the start of the first of two loops. First mistake was not hitting the lap button on my powertap. Second mistake was not doing another power test on the bike before the race. I was using old power zones and this would prove to haunt me. I knew this course you have to pace yourself. I had ridden in November and did much better than I did during the actual race. So the whole time I was on the bike I kept saying you better ride slow because you don't have the running base you used to and you will need to save yourself on the run. All I have to say now is what the hell was I thinking. I kept my power in check and rode at roughly 75% of my FT. While this would have been good had I been racing in February when I did my original testing. This was not accurate to my current fitness. FYI I tested myself 2 weeks ago and had a 6% wattage gain in my FT. I am pretty sure I had this fitness before IM St. G too. So I was basically riding in the wrong zone the entire time or closer to 69% of my FT. At the start of the second loop we had some tough headwinds and this was a downer for me, I really wanted to quit but didn't. One of the main reasons I didn't quite was because I already had bought a IM St. G bike jersey and didn't want to have to return it since I didn't finish the race. That's funny too because I joked at Brandon for buying one before he finished the race and said he might jinx himself. Then I ended up getting one too, and it was part of the reason I didn't quit. As the bike came to an end I knew I screwed up, I felt way too good and didn't leave enough out on the course. Especially when I looked at my final time on bike.

Bike -- 112 miles -- 7:35:24 -- 14.77mph average

On to the run, at this point I was tired. 7.5 hours is a long time to be on the bike but I felt good and knew I would be able to make it to the finish. I started my walk run routine and felt pretty darn good. I got the first few miles in and then I started walking up the steep inclines. At this point my feet were really tired. I had ZERO muscle cramps or anything like that. So for whatever reason I felt like since my feet were tired I should walk to draw out the experience. What an idiot. Like Gordo Byrn says an easy bike can be made up for on a 42km run. What I should have done is said to myself, wow Brett you had a really slow bike. You should have been at least an hour faster, why don't you make up for that on this marathon. For the first time I didn't practice what I preach. I let my mind tell me I should walk and take it easy. I did that. I kept doing an overall inventory on my body and the only reason I didn't want to run was because my feet hurt, again no cramping, or GI issues, just tired feet. At mile 20 is when I met up with someone who was from Houston and originally from South Africa. We both began to push each other to run. At this point we were putting in 9 - 10 minute miles. Then with about 2 miles to go I just said the hell with it and started running faster. I was running 8 - 9 minute miles. My first thought was what the hell were you doing dicking around on this course for so long. I finished the race and was glad to be done, but was not very happy with myself because I felt too good.

Run -- 26.2 miles -- 5:08:23 --11:46/mile

The next day when I woke up I felt like a million dollars. That is when I knew two things, I had just raced the hardest IM course in the USA, and I went so incredibly slow that the event had almost no impact on me. I was sore but by Thursday of the next week I had no fatigue. So at first while racing and immediately after I told myself I would withdraw from IM Lake Placid, I soon found a new vigor and really looked at this race as a large training day. I exposed myself to a huge day of training at a very slow rate. This I believe was a positive way for my body to really absorb some great fitness, and the failure of the slow race has also made me want to kill the IM Lake Placid course. I decided the other day while swimming that I am done being afraid of the Ironman distance and it is time to start racing. There is no doubt that I can complete the distance but now it is a matter of how fast. So this next race, I will be pacing a little different. I even have a goal to beat my time from IM Wisconsin. I know if I beat my time at WI on the Lake Placid course I have really made some progress because IM LP is way harder of a course than IM WI. My pacing plan is to go around 80% -- 85% of my FTP on the bike. I also plan to do a field test about 10 days out from IM LP to get proper zones before the race. Then on the run, it is two fold. The first is to negative split the run. Run the second 13.1 faster than the first, no matter the pace, secondly to shoot for as close as possible to a 4hr marathon. So there it is, I have some new goals to reach.

So I am already visualizing success at IM LP and that is why I wrote the quote at the beginning of this post. I am so confident I will succeed at IM LP that I can attribute this success to my failure at IM St. G. Only time will tell. Until then and my Buffalo Springs Race Report.....

Saturday, April 24, 2010

New Orleans 70.3 Race Report

Wow, it has been quite a long time since I have posted anything. I guess I have some other stuff besides training in my life that has been taking up my time. Mostly when I am not training I am spending time with my girlfriend Morgan. We have lots of fun together. Well here is a little download from the past 5 months.

I pretty much beat my plantar fasciitis with the help of Active Release Technique which Dr. Ron Tribendis did for me. Check out his website. He is great and is also a triathlon coach and athlete. He is also racing Ironman St. George. I still have some pain but it ebbs and flows and as long as I wear my strassburg sock it feels pretty darn good.

So how has my training go over the past 5 months well, needless to say I am very weak in my running ability. I didn't start running till the last week in Feburary and wasn't able to build as much base I would have liked. But I knew it would be tough to do IM St. G without running a bunch. But I like a challenge. My biking is mediocre. The rough winter we had in Texas made it really hard to get my riding in as my schedule planned, combine in a bunch of travel in March and Feburary and no daylight savings, I was pretty much hindered by that. Lesson learned, don't do an early season Ironman because with my schedule no daylight savings doesn't work well and I can't ride as much as I would like.

Now on to the race report.

Flew into New Orleans (NO) on thursday night. We got checked in and went out to have some fun. Myself, Morgan, and her 2 room mates were all there. We had some good fun at Pat O'Brians on bourbon street. Overall, that was the second time going to NO and I still have the same opinion of the city. Its dirty, gross, and there are a bunch of trashy people there. Imagine panama city beach trashy people combined with the smell of a bar mat or bar floor at the end of the night and there you have what bourbon street is like. Saturday I met the other team members for a swim at 10am. Unfortunately I slipped on the stairs entering the water and fell right on my arms and but. It hurt really bad. Tommy was right behind me and he said I was less than half an inch from cracking my head. That would have been really shitty so I will take bruised forearms and a scrapped wetsuit over that. The swim went great, the water was very warm.

Saturday I got my bike from Kristen and set it up, I road around for about 10 minutes to make sure everything was working right and in order. I thought I checked it all and everything was good, but alas, something would come to haunt me within the next 24 hours.

Race day--

Woke up at 4am and did my usual routine, shower, eat my oatmeal, get dressed. I was all packed up the night before so I just had my bag ready to go. My swim wave didn't start till 8:15 so I would be the second to last to go. I didn't like this because one it would be much hotter for me on the run since I started an hour later than everyone else. Also I had to wait around at the start for an hour.


The swim start was finally here, the water was very shallow for the first 50M or so, so I did dolphin dives out to deeper water. I started right in front of the swimmers and did pretty well. The water was horrible, the waves in the lake were un-real, It reminded me of swimming in Australia. I couldn't believe it either. The lack of buoys was also not good. It made sighting very difficult. The race directors needed to put a lot more buoys in the water than they did. Also the course had a very weird turn and it was really stupid and with the waves it made it very tough to sight on the swim in. Not a fan of the swim on this course mainly because of the course layout and the lack of buoys then add in the waves, it made it horrible. I vote for mass starts and more buoys.

Swim -- 1.2 miles -- 34:35 -- 1:39/100

T1 -- 3:03

In T1 I didn't like the grass and much prefer concrete. With grass you have all this crap that gets stuck to your feet since they are wet and I had to stop and wipe them off with my transition towel. Not a fan of that.

Bike --

My plan for this race was to just go out and have fun, then when the wind was in my favor the whole time I thought it would be interesting to see if I could put in a good time. Well needless to say I did put in a good time but not my best. However, I did realize 3/4 of the way thru the bike my rear brake was pressing against my rim, I was wasting tons of energy. I did however have a normalized power of 213 and beat my 30', 40', 60', and 120' power peak records. I was really pleased with the power file. My HR that came with my power tap is not waterproof and broke since I wore it in the swim. I did the whole bike based solely on power which I do anyways but I also like to check in and see where my HR is at. The reason for this is that power while it is completely un-biased and a 100W is 100W no matter the temperature or terrain or how your body feels, I like to use HR as a gauge for how my body is doing overall, kind of like an engine temperature gauge. I was pretty much riding the whole time in my zone 3 power zone. I wonder how fast I would have gone had my brake not been on. What is weird is that I think when I picked up my bike by the seat post and carried next to my body I may have bumped the brake because everything was fine the day before... O-well, overall the bike was boring terrain, and a shitty course, no hills or no good scenery. Not a fan. The roads were pretty good condition though so that was a plus.

Bike -- 56 miles -- 2:37:26 -- 21.3 mph avg

T2 -- 2:25 -- same gripe about the grass and having to clean my feet off before the run.


I felt pretty good at the onset of the run and was optimistic about the race, however the first vital check I did of my body was this --

temperature it was really hot there and I could feel it. -- Negative
Energy level -- high and felt really good -- Positive
Attitude -- great -- positive
Calfs -- super tight and felt cramps were possible later in the run

So I started my run walk routine 10' running and 1' walking. This overall really helped to keep the cramps at bay throughout my entire legs. I knew it would be interesting running 13.1 miles when the longest I had ran in some 5 months was 8 miles. I kept a pretty good pace for the first 6 miles around 8:30 - 8:45 then at the half way point I started to really drag and had some cramps in my legs preventing me from running faster. I knew if I pushed it harder that I would cramp. I think I did pretty good with my electrolytes too. I take Enduro-Sharks and they rock. Next time a few more on the bike. However the temperature that day was hotter than I had trained in all year so that I think had some real impact. My body was not acclimated to those temperatures yet. We have had a very mild climate this year compared to last year and really no hot days yet.

I slugged it thru the rest of the run doing my run walk and had to walk a little longer than 1' a few times towards the end. The cramps killed me. I also think the cramps were from fatigue as well as dehydration. My legs just aren't used to running that far. So the marathon in St. G will be interesting. After St. G my training will be very running oriented, so I can have a better race in Lake Placid.

Run -- 13.1 miles -- 1:59:21 -- 9:07/mile

total time -- 5:16:48 -- 31st place out of 166 in my age group.

Not my best race but considering the factors I am pleased. Overall ready to go for St. G and this really helped me know I could put it all together and I recovered very quickly too. I had a massage on Monday and by Wednesday I was good to go. So the most positive aspect of this race is how quick I bounced back.

Next post will be the St. G race report. Till then.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

2009: A year in review

What a year 2009 turned out to be. I want to take this post into a few different directions. The overall purpose of this post is a review of my life in 2009. The items I wish to examine are as follows:
1. Lessons Learned
2. Exciting Moments
3. Looking Forward goals for 2010

To focus on the first, when looking back on 2009, I learned a few things. First starting with work, we made a few mistakes, but none catastrophic. This is very positive, since we can only improve from our current state. My boss and I were able to contribute a good deal of money to our company’s bottom line. I am happy to be associated with this. However, a few items that jump out at me that we have already improved upon and or learned from a mistake are as follows:
1. Ensure accurate communication of Engineers comments on submittals to vendors.
2. When approaching a large project worry more about clarifications in the notes from vendors as opposed to counts and quantities.
3. Allow yourself a good DEDICATED week to scope out a project the size of Deloitte.
4. Clarify startup activities and quantity of days before PO is issued.

In life I learned a few lessons too. Most of them relate around triathlon but some are general.
1. Completing an Ironman isn’t as hard as I thought if you train well for it and pace yourself.
2. Learning your RPE and being able to correlate that with your heart rate and pace is critical to racing an Ironman
3. Mental preparation once again was one of the largest factors in my Ironman training.
4. Taking time off after an Ironman, take more than you think.
5. This one I already knew but I lied to myself and am paying the price now. At the first sign of any pain or twinge that reoccurs for more than a week go to the doctor.
6. Choose your races early and stick to that plan, don’t add stuff at a later date that may jeopardize your future goals.
7. After an Ironman, I personally need to write down a workout plan that significantly cuts volume but still provides with regular physical activity, or sign up a for a new workout class or pursue something other than Triathlon related stuff. This could also be self improvement type things, night classes, etc.
8. Still working on this one, learning to tolerate your job and be happy about the positives and to not be stressed about the negatives. I personally compare my job to other jobs on a regular basis and I am reminded about the all the really positive things about my job.
9. I learned this one late in 2009, but I need to try to make a better attempt at speaking with my family on a regular basis.
10. Nutrition is really important in racing an Ironman
11. Do better with changing my nutrition habits when my training load changes. This year I am still eating too much when I am not training. I will try to have better habits of eating while training so I don’t have issues when I cut my training load.
12. Being very friendly to people will really help you get what you want.
13. Becoming friends with someone even if you don’t like them or have anything in common, will only help you get what you need from them.

Exciting moments or things I will remember for quite some time to come. There were many exciting times in 2009 so I will simply list them as they come to me in no particular order.
1. Finishing my first Ironman
2. Breaking 5 hours in an Half Ironman
3. The birth of my 3rd nephew
4. My little sister getting pregnant
5. Getting my new bike, race wheels, and just recently my powertap
6. Visiting San Francisco
7. Meeting someone special at a concert
8. The divorce of my best friend from growing up and being able to spend time with both of my best friends in Dallas, shortly thereafter.
9. All the new people I met in 2009 and growing my social and work network.
10. Going to Australia
11. Becoming a coach with TTT
12. Making a commitment to do 2 Ironman races and 2 Half Ironman races in 2010.
13. Doing a Triathlon camp with Gordo Byrn and all the others especially Chris McDonald and visiting Utah.

Looking forward: These are the things that I am excited about in 2010, I am very thankful for having all of these things ahead of me.
1. Ringing in 2010 on a Beach in Australia
2. Coaching myself for all my races
3. Becoming a certified Triathlon coach
4. Racing 2 Ironman distance triathlons
5. To all the new friends and acquaintances I meet in 2010
6. The marriage of one of my best friends in July
7. TTT triathlon training camp in Arkansas

If you could sum up the past year in writing here it is. Enjoy. I am very optimistic about 2010 and foresee another very positive year. I think it may turn out to be a year in which I learn more about myself than I have in the past 2 years in Dallas. So Cheers! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

St. George Ironman Training Camp

A few months ago I signed up for an Ironman training camp in St. George, Utah with Endurance Corner. The purpose of this camp is to preview the Ironman St. George course. So here are my thoughts, comments, etc. on this course along with the comments and thoughts from one pro champion triathlete Chris McDonald and Gordon Byrn.

Day One --

I arrived pretty late at 10:30pm. We had breakfast the next day at 6:30 followed by a lecture then a swim. The lecture was about overall Ironman training etc.

Off to the swim, the swim workout was a simple set that included a 1300M warm up can you say crazy. I only did 400M of the warm plus the main set. I got in 3200M including rest sets in 60 minutes. The main set was pretty solid it went:

400M / 30" RI
4x100 / 30" RI
400M / 1' RI

300M / 30" RI
3x100 / 30" RI
300M / 1' RI

200M / 30" RI
2x100 / 30" RI
200M / 1' RI

100M / 30" RI
2x50 / 30" RI
100M / 1' RI

After that we went back to the hotel grabbed some food then Chris McDonald helped me put my bike together or I should say he did it and I watched. I guess one of the benefits of racing all the time is you learn to disassemble and reassemble your bike quickly. He did it in less than 15 minutes. The whole entire camp I was just in awe that I had the opportunity to workout with some of the best athletes in the world. Even some of the campers were Kona AG qualifiers too.

After lunch we had a short ride thru snow canyon, were we also did a lesson on descending down hills. This was my first taste of some of the scenic views St. George, Utah has to offer. It also included a nice 5 mile climb too. I was well into zone 3 during most of this climb. I was hoping I could do most of the climbing in zone 2 but I could tell this wasn't the case. I am pretty sure though my fitness will allow me to run in zone 3 on t he bike or the run for well over 2+ hours. I was running a compact crank up front - 50/34 and a 12/27 in the rear. My front derailleur's set screws were off and i couldn't use my 27 gear without scraping the chain. So I toughed it out. All the pics are at the end and on my Facebook page so those of you that on Facebook can view if you are my friend.

The descending lesson put on by Chris and Marylin McDonald was excellent. I can now say that I am fearless when I descend. I no longer use my brakes when riding down hill. A couple of key pointers that I got in my own words are as below, one is very visual so maybe I take a picture and include it so you can see it.

  1. The tires want to stick to the road. This is the visual one.

  2. You don't turn when descending you move your weight and body.

  3. You should put your outside foot at the bottom of the pedal stroke and put weight into, this helps to keep you from skidding away. It really works.

  4. Let your inside knee kick out when moving thru a curve just like the high speed motor bike guys do.

  5. Lastly if you have down both of those things and you are still feel like your slipping turn your head into the curve

  6. Also I already knew this one, but it really helps with speed wobble, use you knees to squeeze the top bar.

Read this link for the full article by Marylin McDonald

I was a little nervous about the ride on Saturday considering the hills were longer and the ride itself was longer. My roommate and I were both in the same boat. He had only done 1 Ironman as well and we were both worried everyone would drop us on Saturday's ride.

Friday concluded with a 5 mile transition run. I opted out of this because I really wanted to have a solid Saturday ride and not hinder that by running. We finished the night out with dinner at a great place. Everything but lunch on Friday was included in the cost of the camp. We had all our training nutrition covered, plus dinner both nights. Since we rode all day on Saturday we didn't really have lunch.

Day Two

On day two we would have 3 ride groups, a friendly group, peppy group, and a MAS peppy group. Since I had never ridden hills like this I decided to opt with the friendly group. We rode out at 7:15AM. Gordo took us to the start of the loop and we were off. I took the first loop very easy. I took some pictures and just got into a rhythm. Having never even drove the course I didn't know what was where. My first impressions were that it wasn't too bad. I rode the first loop so slow. It took me 3:09 minutes for the first loop. I missed the second aid station on the course and had to ride the second half of the course without water. Luckily it was mostly down hill and rolling hills. I got refueled shortly after the start of the second loop. We took some pictures here with a small group I was riding in. I was going really slow and I knew it too. The point of this ride was purely to scope out the course. However, I felt really strong on the second loop, so I decided I would push it up a notch and really start to ride. I had come to the conclusion on Friday that when riding these hills there would be no way for me to stay aerobic. So my plan would be to just keep my heart rate as low as possible and stay as fluid and relaxed while climbing. With that being said I will describe the loops the best I can.

Once the loop starts at Hwy 18 and Snow Canyon Rd, it is a steep 8% down hill, you can really move on this. No need to break the road is smooth no curves. Get some free speed here if you can. I got up to around 35mph on this road. Then its a few short rollers before you get thru town. Nothing hard. After you get thru town you start on HWY 91. This where the course goes out into the sticks. 2 lane roads, chip seal, but smooth chip seal if you are used to riding in Texas. It didn't bother me at all. However many of the other folks (most people except like 3 were from Southern and Northern California, the others were from Boulder, CO) complained about the chip seal. As you venture further into the loop, there is a great deal of false flats. These are deceiving. You don't feel like you're climbing, but you really are. They keep coming at you too. Basically when you look at the course map on the website or seen below. The real climbing doesn't start until you get to about mid way up the the left hand side of the loop is where the big climbs are. There are really only 2 big climbs on the course. But don't let that fool you. The course is still really hard from the rollers and the false flats. The hardest part of the course takes about little under an hour to ride. I clocked this on my second loop when I was riding significantly faster. Remember I rode the first loop in 3:09 and the second in 2:26. Huge negative split. I anticipate a bike split well over 6 hours for this course. Gordo's comments were that only the really good pro's would break 5 hours on the bike. Chris McDonald also said that this is one of the hardest courses he has ever done, including France, New Zealand, Louisville, Wisconsin, and Placid. Chris McDonald said he would be around 4:50++ on the bike course here in St. George. Its tough. The hardest climb was a total of 8 minutes long. I rode a 34 - 27 gearing on this hill and my HR still jumped up to 160 on the bike. A big topic of the weekend was discussing power / HR / Pace / and RPE. I plan on buying a power meter for this course and using it to train. I don't think I will be running my aero wheels either on this course. No reason to.

Day Three

Day three was run focused. All I have to say is that it is the hilliest run course I have ever done. I have ran the Austin marathon and that is a joke compared to this course. It seems like you are running up hill the entire time. Both ways, out and back. There are down hills, but in reality they killed me as much as the up hills.

My plan for this course is simple, this is what I got from my weekend, and working with the other coaches. Since I am doing Lake Placid approx 11 weeks after my schedule will be simple. This is a race of endurance, strength, and durability as Gordo says.

After my Ultra 50k race on 12/5/09 I will spend the rest of December doing weight training, hiking with a weighted back pack, and riding big every weekend with hill repeats at the end of each ride, plus Yoga and Swimming. Then January will then be the same thing but I will start to do my runs strictly on hills. I will continue to do big rides as often as possible, and maintain strength training at least 2 - 3 times per week. I am also going to alter my strength training plan to really try to build muscle in these first 2.5 months. I want a good strength to weight ratio for this course, I also want to be durable and injury free. I will be doing as much riding as possible for this course. Swimming will be a once a week or twice a week. Maybe I will pick a few weeks to back off on the biking and do a swim focus week. Not really sure yet, but all I can say is I have a challenge ahead of me training for this course in Dallas. We have no HILLS.... Hope you enjoyed this report.

I'll try this link see if it works for photos of Utah :

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Video BLOG!!!!!

So not sure how this will work when you get an email but it may not embed correctly, so please click on this website to view the video blog.


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Chicago Marathon

This race would be my 4th marathon (if you count the Ironman) and 3rd official marathon. I decided to this race after my 2nd marathon in Austin this past February. I figured that a month after my Ironman I wouldn't have to train for the race and would be able to just run it and have fun. I also have a close friend from high school who just so happened to live like 6 blocks from the starting line. So after my Ironman I struggled with recovery. I really wanted to workout, but every time I would try to do a workout I just felt flat or when I would go for a bike ride it would take me like 45 - 60 minutes to start feeling good. I took this as a sign I wasn't recovered and backed off. I finished my Ironman on 9/13/09 and the Chicago Marathon was on 10/11/09. During that period of time my workouts consisted of these:

4 - runs for a totaling of 21 miles
1 - 750M open water swim
2 - bike rides totaling 40 miles

Well I have to say that I was kind of excited to go and do the marathon. I left for Chicago on Friday on what was supposed to be a 4:30pm flight. Needless to say we didn't leave until about 5:15. I got to chicago at a terrible time for traffic. 7:45pm on a Friday. I sat in the cab for almost an hour. Cabbies are horrible drivers too. They just slam the gas press the break. I much prefer the train. If I would have known it would take me an hour in a cab I would have taken the train since it only takes about 45 minutes guaranteed. Plus I took the train back to the airport and actually enjoyed it more than the cab. Plus its only 3 dollars plus a 7 dollar cab ride to the station, as opposed to 40 bucks in a cab the whole way.

Friday night was good. I spent time with my close friend Matt. We shared many memories and caught up on life. Needless to say we drank about 2 bottles of wine, plus all the beers we had at the pub. I think we went to bed around 3-4am. I was drunk.

Saturday I awoke at about 10:30am. So not much sleep. I can't really sleep in anymore like I used to. I started the hydration process. I left for the expo while my friend Matt who I was staying with stayed and watched college football. While at the expo I got a free stride analysis and video taping session from Brooks. I had never seen my own foot strike pattern on tape. I have a pretty neutral gait. They also were selling huge tubs of gatorade endurance formula for only 20 bucks. They tubs are big, they weigh 3lbs. That is a lot of gatorade. So after that I left the expo and went back. I hated having to take cabs everywhere, when I was only going like 2 or 3 miles. If that. If I lived in that city or new york I would so ride a bike everywhere. That is a no brainier. The expo was really close and cost me like 20 bucks round trip including tip. WTF... I could have walked the 3 or so miles but I figured I'd be better off staying off my feet.

So fast forward. I ate dinner pizza and a salad and was asleep by 9:30am. I woke up at 5:30am. Race start was 7:30. Normal routine, shower, eat oatmeal, drink Gatorade, get dressed. Here come the complaints. Well Chicago decided to have unseasonably cold weather this weekend. WTF.... The past 2 years have been hot for Chicagoans, in the 70 - 80's... I'll take that over the 30's anyday. Now in the 90-100's that is a different story and probably will opt for the cold. Well I awake race morning and it is 26 with a wind chill. I didn't have pants or tights. Rookie mistake. I bet on it being in the high 30's to start and high 40's to finish. It was the opposite. I was freezing the entire time. I left the apt and walked to the start. It was only like a 4 - 6 block walk. Super close. I timed it perfect. I think I waited in my start corral for like 10 minutes. The race gun was off. My race plan was simple, stick close to the 3:40 pace group, chat to as many people as possible since I didn't bring my headphones and kick it up a notch at mile 20 if I felt good. Well needless to say I didn't find too many chatters. I talked with one guy for like 5 miles. Really nice guy. At like mile 7 I started to get really dizzy, but not the kind of dizzy from dehydration but more the dizzy you would get from standing up too fast or if you have ever felt dizziness from vertigo? I started to suspect that it was because I felt really cramped and was really close to so many people. I saw tons of people fall and get trampled by the runners behind them. Even when you start in a specific corral it didn't make much difference. Especially when the streets get narrow. Some turns we I was almost forced to a walk. I quickly pushed my way to the sidewalk and immediately felt better when I wasn't surrounded by people. I drank a bit too much water before the race and had to pee about 3 times during the race.

Basically the miles clicked by. I got to about mile 17 or 18 and was feeling a bit bored. At this point is when it finally thinned out and there were not that many people around me any more. The cold weather really had a huge impact on me. I felt pretty miserable for the last 8 miles or so. I kept shaking and shivering. I was cold no doubt about it. At this point my clothes were wet too, this didn't help especially when the wind blew. I stuck to my normal nutrition plan and had 4 gels the entire race. Plus Gatorade and or water at just about every aid station. At mile 19 I started to get a second wind. The sun was out and I thought that I would pick up the pace and see what happens. Well I did well. The miles kept clicking off. My left hip was tight as always. The cold however didn't help with keeping it stretched out. I stopped a few times from miles 17 - 25 to stretch it. Since I didn't have any real goal on time I didn't really care. It wasn't till mile 20 that I started doing the math on if I could PR the race. Well this is why I picked up the pace. I had a lot more ups and downs in this race than normal. I think that is because I didn't train for it and didn't have it as a goal race.

Well here are my mile splits:

Total Time -- 3:40:56

Average pace per mile -- 8:25/mile total average HR 156

Mile -- AVG HR -- Pace

1 -- 150 -- 8:12
2 -- 151 -- 8:26
3 -- 151 -- 8:13
4 -- 149 -- 9:00 --- bathroom break
5 -- 155 -- 7:51
6 -- 152 -- 8:05
7 -- 149 -- 8:22
8 -- 150 -- 8:36
9 -- 152 -- 8:17
10 -- 150 -- 8:13
11 -- 152 -- 8:15
12 -- 155 -- 8:30
13 -- 157 -- 8:29
14 -- 156 -- 8:19
15 -- 156 -- 8:18
16 -- 157 -- 8:47
17 -- 155 -- 9:00 -- this is when I was feeling really cold, bored, and stretched my hip
18 -- 155 -- 8:54
19 -- 154 -- 8:46 -- then I realized I could possibly PR if I would just suck it up and fight the cold
20 -- 161 -- 8:24
21 -- 163 -- 8:12
22 -- 164 -- 8:09
23 -- 160 -- 8:30 -- walked thru an aid station
24 -- 161 -- 8:21
25 -- 157 -- 9:00 -- this is funny, I was not motivated and just wanted to quit, not from being tired or cramping but because I didn't care.
26 -- 168 -- 7:44 -- this is what I call a kick. I should have done that at mile 25, I had too much energy
.2 -- 174 -- 1:38

So all in all this was great finish to my racing season of 2009

I did 2 half Ironmans, 1 sprint tri, 1 Ironman, 2 marathons.

What is next for me????

Well next is my Ironman St. George Utah training camp shown here. This is 11/12 -- 11/15

maybe the Austin marathon on 2/14/09 ?????? I don't have a real reason to do it.

Then after that is Ironman 70.3 New Orleans on 4/18/10

Then Ironman St. George, Utah on 5/1/10

Then Buffalo springs Ironman 70.3 on 6/27/10

Then Ironman Lake Placid on 7/25/10

Probably Longhorn Ironman 70.3 sometime in October of 2010 or just take the rest of the year off and run some winter marathons. Maybe I'll do the Texas Quadruple that year of San Antonio Marathon in November, then Dallas White Rock Marathon in December of 2010, then Houston Marathon in January, then Austin marathon in February.

I plan on signing up for Ironman Louisville this year. My team has a few folks heading there so I will go and be a helper and also ride and swim the course. There is also possiblity for Ironman Cour D'Alene in Idaho too. We'll see how the 2 Ironmans in one year go this summer.

Until, then the blog will be pretty slim unless I just feel like writing. However in case you don't know I won't be going home to Cincinnati this year for Christmas. I will be going to Australia to visit a friend from high school, Reynold. Its a once in a lifetime opportunity. He has been living there for like 2 years and he lives on the beach.... So I am sure my 19hrs on the plane ride back will allow for some writing. Until then...


Sunday, September 27, 2009

My Ironman Movie

So ever since I started training for the Ironman I thought that upon completing the race I would make a movie about my experience and how endurance sports have really changed me. I put together a movie and it is now on the internet. It can be found here on my coaching page from my team. Oh yeah by the way I am now a coach with Texas Triple Threat and look forward to helping tons of people out in the future. I only hope I can also help people achieve the goals and dreams the same way my coaches have.

So the link that contains the video is on my coaching page, simply scroll down and click on the "Becoming an Ironman" link. I would grab a drink and some popcorn cause it is about 30 minutes long. But enjoy it. This is my way of telling everyone out there anything is possible...