Wednesday, November 28, 2012

IM Canada

Ironman Canada would be my 6th Ironman. I’ve always wanted to do this race, not because it’s another Ironman, but because it’s Ironman CANADA! This would be the 30th year Penticton would host Ironman, and from what I had read and heard while hanging out around the town, it’s a pretty special event for this small town. Unfortunately, this will be the last year for WTC to put on the race, but fortunately the Challenge Series will take over the reigns and I’m sure this race will be just as special for many more years to come. I’m not going to lie, I wanted to do well at this race and my goal was to PR my Ironman time of 10:23. It would take a herculean effort but felt I was up for the task. My training this past season included some extensive strength training early on and I had numerous 100 mile bike rides in the heat of the endless 100 degree summer. Character builders for sure. I also tried a running plan that, during my long run phase, had me running longer one week and then the next week I backed it down to 13 or so. I thought this would help recover my legs better. I think it worked pretty well. My 18 and 20 mile runs felt great. The only thing I would do different is to ramp up to 20 about four weeks earlier so I could get a couple more 18 and 20 milers in. For the trip out to Canada, I was glad to hear Frontier Airlines started flying out of Bloomington. They offer low fares and do not charge extra for flying your bike. As long as it’s in a bike case and doesn’t weigh over 50lbs, they only charge $25, the same as a piece of luggage. From Bloomington we flew to Denver and caught a connection to Spokane. After an overnight stay, we had an awesome 6hr drive straight north through the scenic countryside of eastern Washington. We even had a chance to drive past the Grand Coulee Dam, which we were pleasantly surprised to see.
We arrived in Penticton on Thursday which gave me enough time to get in a good swim at Okenagen Lake on Friday and check out some of the bike course on Saturday. I didn’t really spend too much time in the Ironman village/expo but it was worth checking out one day. We stayed about 30 minutes north in the small town of Peachland in a super great condo we found on VRBO, called the Duck n Pug. It was just the right size, had all the amenities for cooking some of our own meals, had a great deck overlooking the lake, and was quiet and relaxing.
I felt really relaxed on race morning, no anxiety, strong, recharged, and ready to rip. I studied a few videos and read a few posts about the swim start since it was a pretty tight beach when almost 3000 athletes are crammed in there. I wanted to avoid the washing machine start so my strategy was to start about 10-15yds left of center and in the front. I took off at a quick pace to get out in front of the group and then merged into the buoy line. The water temp was about 65-68 degrees (perfect) and the visibility was excellent. I got into a good groove and ended up following a few of the same people throughout the swim. This was a one loop triangular course with two long legs so it was easy to get into a pace and stay with it. About 200 yards form the finish, I lifted my head up and did a few breast strokes to see if I was lining up with the finish chute and as I kicked my legs back I kicked someone right smack in the face. I felt full on nose/mouth/eyes with my foot and I heard them gasp out in pain, and I felt kinda bad. I had the strange feeling they were trying to catch up to me so they could get back at me, so I finished that last 200 pretty quick. The swim finish was a short beach section that went right into Celebration Park and didn’t have much room for fans to gather around. I looked for Sloan but she had already headed out to the bike course in town. Swim time was as expected. I was hoping for a few minutes less than 1:05 but I’ll take that. Transition was so easy to navigate. I grabbed my bag and a volunteer luckily noticed I grabbed the wrong one. He quickly grabbed mine and we switched. That would have been an unpleasant surprise, for both of us! My bike was racked just outside the change tent so it was easy to find and then easy to make the exit. I was looking forward to the bike course. Sloan and I drove the bike course so I had an idea of what to expect. The first 30 miles had one sharp uphill section just outside of town and from there was gradually downhill. On this day, the wind was at our back so I was flying. I tried to be patient but it was hard to hold back. Rictor Pass was the first big climb of the day and I was looking forward to seeing what it had to offer. It was a 6 mile grinder with about a 6% grade and riders quickly bunched up. I was wondering if it was possible to get a drafting penalty in this section. The climb reminded me a little bit of the Lake Placid course. I didn’t try to push it, just spun it out and got over the hump. An awesome downhill plunge followed. The middle section of the course had long rollers and smooth roads. My calculations had me ahead of schedule and I was feeling pretty good so I kept the pedal to the metal. I was also making sure to hit each aid station and replenish my water. I had an 1100 calorie bottle of CafĂ© Late flavored Perpetuem along with a flask of Hammer Gel to keep me fueled. I was confident I was getting enough fluids because about ¾ way thru the bike, I already had to pee. Thought about stopping or letting it fly on the bike but decided I could hold it until I got back to T2. The middle section of the bike course was my least favorite section. They had us on an out and back section that, while winding thru fruit orchards and vineyards, had a poor road surface. I even lost a water bottle that had me paranoid I was going to get a penalty (like Wisconsin!). Once out of the out and back section it was a gradual uphill climb that had numerous false flats and long rollers that began to slowly eat into my energy. The next big climb up to Yellow Lake was ahead and it was about 16 miles or so long, not as steep as Rictor Pass but still a tough steady climb. This bike course is so dang scenic and challenging. I kept thinking to myself that this would certainly be a great place to train. As I made the final climb, I could see a big crowd of people lining the road and I finally got to see Sloan as well as the “Don’t Suck” sign! At this point I still felt pretty good. I knew the last 10 miles or so was pretty much all down hill and according to my calculation; I was on a 5hr 20min pace. Perfect pace I thought. I still had to pee and hoped I had taken in enough fluids. I got a little anxious riding the last few miles in town. I just wanted to get off the bike and see how my run legs would respond. I was on track to a PR, if I could run my run. As soon as I got to T2, I found my bag quickly and changed into my bright yellow Saucauny’s. I relieved myself which was a huge relief since I had been holding it for the last couple hours. Within the first mile of the run I could already start to feel my hamstring tighten and when I saw Sloan at the first turnaround, I told her I was feeling a little crampy. I didn’t panic and took in plenty of water at the first aide station. At about mile 2 ½ or 3 all of a sudden my left hamstring and quad cramped solid. If I straightened my leg my quad would cramp. If I bent my leg too far my hamstring would cramp. All I could do is stand there crouched halfway down. If I took a step or tried to walk I’d cramp. After about 2-3 minutes I was relaxed enough to walk and then started running again. This was not a good sign with 23 miles to go. I did not want to do a death march for that long! Plan B, start pounding water at every aid station. This seemed to work as I made my way out. The course started to get pretty hilly and there was a pretty good one around mile 10. I was able to run most of the hills and walked a few briefly. I also tried to pick up the pace on the downhills, using gravity to help me along. By the time I got to the turnaround, I was averaging about 8:40/mile pace. I had to pick it up if I was going to salvage this run. Nutrition wise, I was taking in Hammer Gel every 3-4 miles and also taking in enough Endurolytes to keep my electrolytes up and I thought I was taking in enough water to hold off the cramps but the harder I pushed the more my legs wanted to cramp. I just couldn’t push the pace without cramping. Running/walking through the hilly section on the way back completely destroyed my quads and I settled in to the idea that my PR was gone and I just needed to do damage control and finish in a respectable time. Once I got back to town, the crowd grew and more cheers from people kept me going. For the last mile and a half of the run the course the course had one last out and back before hitting the finish line. The crowd was crazy and people were yelling at me that I can easily break 11 hours, just need to keep it going. I thought to myself, sheesh, I have 15 minutes, less than a mile to go, I have no doubt I can break 11 hours. Just about then my left leg completely cramps up. Just like at the beginning of the run, I could not move. Try to straighten my leg and the quad cramps. Try to bend my leg and the hamstring cramps. All I could do is stand in one spot, crowd now yelling and screaming ‘don’t stop, don’t stop, you’re almost there!” I guess I better start thinking about that 11 hour mark now. It was all I could do to start walking and not cramp. Slowly my leg relaxed and I was able to start walking, then a slow jog, then running again. I will make it!!
Running down the finishers chute I just tried to soak it all up. This race was awesome. I’m so glad I got to do IM Canada. I’m thinking it may be a while before I do another Ironman distance race so I’m happy to get this one under my belt. Training for this Ironman was a long haul. I got a new job at the beginning of the year and with it brought more responsibility and longer days in the office. It seemed like I didn’t’ have the extra time and those extra little times to think about my training or plan things in my head like in the past. I found myself thinking about work and the added responsibility. That’s part of the reason I feel like it may be awhile before another one. After the race, my finisher volunteer helped me get to the athlete area and made sure I was ok. I was probably a little dehydrated so I tried to get in some fluids. I never really feel like eating or drinking anything after a race that long. I almost had to force in the food and water. After about an hour Sloan went and got my bike and gear and we headed back to the house. My legs were definitely cashed and I needed a good soak in the tub.
The next day we went back to the expo and the line for finisher’s gear was a mile long. I didn’t really need anything anyway. We went over and looked at my race pics and put in an order. That should be a good enough memory for this great race. Hope to get back to this part of the country some time soon.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Summer update:

Effingham ½ Ironman, June 20thWhen I was looking around for ½ ironman distance races to do this season, I was thinking of Muncie, IN in July or even Iowa’s Pigman in August. Both those races are known to get hot and I’m not training for Kona (yet ), so why not pick a race that’s a bit earlier in the season, close proximity so I can drive down and back the same day, and is relatively inexpensive. I thought all objectives were met since Effingham is just less than a 2hr drive AND I got a comp entry from my good friend Colleen Kline. Only problem was…it was 95 degrees and a heat index of 105! Meltdown….that just about sums it up.

Obviously it was going to be a non-wetsuit swim. I didn’t even bring my wetsuit. No big deal, I have been swimming pretty well thus far and it gives me a good chance to test my long distance fitness without the crutch of a wetsuit. It was a two wave start and I was in the first wave. It would be two laps around the buoys and getting out running through the gate on the beach after one lap. I hit the timing mat around 34 minutes and was pleased with that.

The bike course was basically a straight out and back to Ramsey, IL with a couple zig-zags at a few corners. I planned for 2 bottles of water on the bike and one bottle with 500 calories of Sustained Energy for fuel along with a flask of Hammer Gel. I planned to pick up an extra water bottle at the bike turn around, hoping this would be enough for hydration. It was getting pretty humid and I could tell I was sweating profusely. I don’t think I drank enough water. I also totally blew my selection for a cassette (11-21) thinking this course was pancake flat. Although it was relatively flat overall, there were some short rollers that required a 25 or better gear and I ended up having to get out of the saddle and grind up over a few hills. Therefore, I probably put in a higher effort than what I planned for. I think those were the two factors that made me have issues on the run (more on that later). I ended up coming in off the bike around 4th overall so I wea pretty excited.

T2 was super fast and I ended up getting the fastest split there. Yea!

Immediately upon running I knew I was dehydrated. My quads were very sore from my hard bike effort and felt like they were going to cramp at any moment. I had to walk and stretch before the first aide station and when I got there, I sucked down a couple cups of water along with a few Endurolytes. The run course was a two loop course with pretty much NO shade. It was getting really hot and by mile three I was toast, had to start walking. I basically ran/walked the rest of loop one. I really thought hard about quitting. I didn’t want to go out on another loop and walk the whole thing while baking in the sun. On my way out for the second loop, a lady by the side of the road saw me walking and said “you finished?” I thought for a second and said, “You see me moving forward don’t you?” At that point, I wasn’t quitting no matter what (I’ll show her!). They finally got some ice at the aid stations and I was able to cool my body temp down enough that I felt good enough to run the whole second loop and finished somewhat strong. Not my best half Ironman since I did have some issues with the heat. I finished and was glad I pushed through it physically and mentally.

This race was sponsored by Hammer Nutrition and I was glad to see they had Endurolytes out on the course. I’m sure lots of people needed them. I had my own dispenser with Endurolytes and I believe I tried to take 2 caps every 30min. Other supplements I used were 1 RC, 2 EA, 2 AF every hour. I fueled with Tropical Gel on the run to give me an added caffeine boost. No issues with nutrition (only the heat!!)

Swim 34:08
Bike 2:34
Run 2:11
Overall 5:21
11th overall
2nd in M40-44

Rodney T Miller Lakeland Triathlon, July 10th
I believe this was the fourth year for the RTM tri and it seems to be getting better every year. This was the first year it was not held on July 4th weekend, which I think helped participation numbers. They recently paved the bike course road which made it ultra fast. The finish line area had a nice big tent for shade, scrolling results, video, and the announcer made it feel almost like an Ironman atmosphere. They really did a great job this year.

July started my increase in volume for Ironman training and since I had another race planned for the next weekend, I couldn’t really afford to miss any long bike workouts two weekend in a row, so I went ahead and planned to ride to Decatur the day before and sign up for the race, then get a ride back home from there. I altered the route to get in around 85 miles and it ended up being a tough day with the heat. I wasn’t really planning to go big during the RTM race so any residual fatigue was ok with me.

I opted to start in the elite wave to get out in front and not have to deal with a crowded swim start. Worked out good. No wetsuit swim again, this one is a point to point, almost 1 mile. I was hoping to get into a good rhythm like the Effingham race but never really did. I finished in what I thought was a slow time, 21:17

Bike course as I noted earlier had an ultra smooth surface and was super fast. I felt really good considering my long ride the day before. Temps were beginning to get hot and I made sure to take two bottles of water and hydrate as much as possible so I didn’t have any issues on the run. For fuel, I had a gel flask with some Huckleberry gel. I took one shot on the bike and one shot right before the run.

Run course is a nice out and back along the lake. My first mile was pretty fast and I felt good. I started to pick up the pace around mile two and for some reason I started getting a side-stitch. I tried to slow down and relax but it just started getting worse. I had to stop and start walking. Took a while to get over it and I ended up getting passed by a bunch of people. After I calmed the side stitch down a bit, I was able to start running again and just took it easy for awhile. Last half mile or so I picked it back up and finished strong.

Swim 21:17
Bike 47:45
Run 33:27
Overall 1:48:38.
20th overall, would have gotten 2nd in my AG

Evergreen Triathlon, July 17th
Just like the previous weeks race in Decatur, this race was not a huge priority for me so I turned it into a good training day. My plan was to ride out to the lake (20mi) and then after the race, ride back. Since the bike portion was a 40k, this would give me a good 65 mile bike day along with some swimming and running mixed in :) . I was somewhat nervous about how to approach my nutrition since I’d be riding for about an hour before the race. I typically eat light before an Olympic distance event so I didn’t want to burn up my reserves prior to the race and then try and hang on with gels throughout the race. It was going to be hot and I knew consuming calories was going to be hard. For a pre-race meal I had a banana and a Hammer Bar. I then made sure to consume one 100 calorie bottle of Heed prior to the race as I was getting set up and then used one 100 calorie bottle on the bike along with a couple shots of gel. This seemed to work just fine. I also followed my regular protocol of Race Caps, Anti Fatigues, and Endurance Aminos prior to and during the race. Since it was hot and humid, I made sure to take an extra Endurolyte per hour.

The 1.5k swim was again too warm for wetsuits. I was hoping to do a little better than the previous week. This time the elite wave start was a bit more crowded since the colligate athletes also started in this wave. I started way on the inside to get away from the speedsters and within a few hundred yards I had clear water. I found myself wandering wide quite a bit and thought I was surely loosing time because of it. I came out of the water in a little over 26 min which was indeed a little faster pace than my previous race.

The 40k bike would be another course change from previous years. It was basically a one loop course with an out and back thrown in there. The country roads in Illinois in July get pretty crappy with oil from the heat. That means there is quite a bit of rock chipping being done and you never know where it will show up. Well it looked like the county decided to perform some maintenance on the roads prior to the race and a few of the corners had lots of loose gravel. This course had a lot of turns so that only meant I slowed down a lot but I really wasn’t looking to kill it. Better safe than sorry. Finished strong averaging 23.6mph.

Again, I felt good going into the run. First two miles were fast and then the heat started setting in. I just could not motivate myself to move any faster. I ended up walking through the aid stations and tried to cool off as much as possible. No ice, just “cool” water to pour over my head. Decent race overall considering it was “just a training day”, but I need to focus on how I can get acclimated to the heat or try and use some cooling techniques to better my performance in this heat.

Swim 26:48
Bike 1:06
Run 48:24
Overall 2:23:27
28th overall elite, would have gotten 2nd in my AG

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Mississippi Blues Marathon

This marathon was supposed to be a nice getaway from the winter blues of Illinois and into the warmer southland region. January in Mississippi is normally in the upper 40's to low 50's. Perfect weather to run a marathon. Race weekend ended up being "abnormal" for this part of the US as a huge cold spell rocked the south. Race day temperature started at 17 degrees and maybe increased to 20 when the sun came out briefly, but overcast skies kept it quite chilly to the end.

My friend Eric and I drove down to Jackson, MS the day before the race. Even though we left very early in the morning to try and get down there by mid afternoon, a nasty blizzard kept the highways pretty slick until we got out of Illinois. We arrived a little after 4pm and picked up our race number/packet before checking into the hotel. A bunch of other friends made the trip down to Jackson on the train. (Mark, Adrian, Brad, Dennis, Julie, Leann, Terry, Carolyn)

I've done many races while travelling to the site the day before and it's pretty challenging to get a good meal and eat right. Unless you bring your own food you have to be pretty resourceful to find the right roadside food stop. I brought my own breakfast (bagel and peanut butter, coffee) and we stopped at a Subway for lunch (Foot-long turkey/ham). For dinner we were not planning to eat as late as we did but ended up finding a place to eat a light pasta/chicken dinner. I typically like to eat a bigger lunch and a lighter dinner the day before a race of this length. Dennis and I checked out Hal & Al's after dinner to meet Mark, Adrian, and Brad. We had a beer and watched a good jazz band.

The marathon started at 7AM and since the overnight temps were in the teens, I knew it was going to be cold at the start. Our hotel was about 1/2mile from the starting line so we stayed in the lobby until 6:45, and then had a nice “warm-up” jog to the start line. I thought I dressed “almost” perfect for the conditions. Race singlet for a base layer, long sleeve running shirt, and short sleeve (Hammer) running shirt on top, shorts, running pants along with gloves and a stocking cap seemed to keep me warm but I still did not feel like I was warm enough. The sweat froze on my shirt keeping my core a little too cold, but my hands/feet were fine.

My plan going into this race was not to break any records or even PR. I just wanted to get it done and remind myself what it was like to go long and push myself through it, mentally and physically. I was going to start out easy and then pick up the pace near the end, say, at 16 or 18 miles. Well that never even happened. I hadn’t looked at the course profile but heard it was hilly and challenging. It was basically downhill for the first 8 miles, flat for 5, then hilly the remainder of the race, especially 20-24. Therefore, the course pretty much dictated my pace. I ended up staying very consistent and averaged 7:45 per mile until mile 20 and then could not hold on to a sub 8:00min mile until the last 2, barely. Completely fine with me, I felt like this course made we work for it and I was happy with my results...3:26

Race day nutrition breakdown:
Pre-race - ¾ of a bagel w/peanut butter, 1 bottle of HEED, 2 Race Caps, 3 Endurance Amino, 3 Anti-Fatigue, 1 Mito, 1 Fish oil, 2 Endurolytes.
During the race – every hour 1 Race Cap, 2 Endurance Amino, 2 Anti-Fatigue, 2 Endurolytes. I also packed in my Fuel Belt 1 bottle w/7 servings of Espresso Hammer Gel. However, at mile 8 I quickly found out my bottle of gel froze and I could barely get a serving squeezed out. I didn’t panic since they had Hammer Gel on the course at mile 8, 15, and 20. This was a lifesaver!! The gels they handed out were also a bit frozen so I kept them in my hands, under my gloves which kept them nice and fluid for when I was ready to take them. It was actually pretty nice to have a variety of gels on hand. I typically only carry a gel flask with one flavor.

Overall I felt my nutrition was on. I did have a slight feeling of GI issues when I would start to push the pace. I was able to go to the bathroom prior to the race but maybe I just didn’t get everything out J. That, along with my peanut butter bagel might have been a little too much substance especially at <2hrs prior to my race start. Looking back at my calorie usage, I consumed approx 560 calories in my 3hr 26min race. I started consuming calories at 1 hour into the race. This gave me approx 240 cal/hr which I thought was perfect.

This marathon accomplished two things for me. It got me back into shape for the season to come, and it reminded me of the suffering I’ll need to endure at Ironman in September. I didn’t do an Ironman last year for the first time in 4 years (which was actually good) but I needed that to remind myself of how much I’ll need to dig to perform well. Now I’ll just keep the run fitness going while working on my bike strength.

Next race is not planned at this time. Probably be something like a 5k or cyclocross maybe. I did see an 8hr adventure race offered by the Ultramax people out of Missouri. Hmmm, checking into that now.

Later, cd

Friday, November 13, 2009

Kona 'aint no picnic

Spoken out on the run course by a competitor at the Hawaii Ironman in 2008...

For 99% of the people still left at this point, they’re possessed with one thing…finishing.
They’re saying to themselves “If I can be standing at the finish, I’ve won”
And they’re right, but….
For the gifted few, for our 1% that are still competing, that are still racing. They are more than standing
They’re wondering
“Can I catch that guy up there? What about the guys behind me? Are they gonna get me? Are they coming on me? Are they picking up on me? Can I get him?”
‘Cause let me tell you something.
This is it.
The last hour of this triathlon, on the pavement, at 110 degrees,
That’s when we’re gonna find out who the hell the Ironman really is…

I love that. Competitor Radio plays that snipit during their intro to each show. Check them out sometime. They've got some great interviews.

I was excited to watch Ironman Hawaii this year. I was pretty much glued to the computer all day. Watching the race brought back lots of memories, mostly of the course and having that connection of having been there ("hey, I remember that part of the course, oh! I remember how I felt there"). The above photo captures the essence of the pain this particular race can bring. Going into the marathon, I had never felt like my legs were fatigued and was confident in the training I had done leading up to each race. Kona just sucked the life out of my legs. I was doing some serious soul searching on the run course.

There's been a lot of talk lately about the run portion of Ironman. Obviously the race is won on the run. With the performance of Chris Lieto this year (2nd) and his run training with Ryan Hall, and the fact that all these new guys are coming in from the ITU and 70.3 distance and beginning to dominate the long course, it just makes sense to me that if I am going to progress and get back to the island, I need to focus on running and get stronger in that discipline. Iwas curious to note, qualifying times from IM Wisconsin for M40-44 were 9:42 - 10:04. All but one went 3:30 or better in the marathon. I went 10:23 in 2007 and ran a 3:39. I don't see my age group getting any slower, only faster. My goal needs to be cut 20min in total time. 10min on the bike and 10min on the run . Cutting 10 min requires running 25 seconds faster per mile. I believe its do-able

I've already got the wheels in motion by training for an early season marathon. I've been putting in some good mileage and good focused training to see if I can bust out a 3:10 or better. Big task at hand I think since my body is aging and running puts so much strain on the body as far as recovery and injury. I'll definitely have to approach running this early in my preparation for IM Moo and be mindful of both. With age comes experience and I've learned that recovery is huge. Rest is best and I'm learning that I perform better when I just take days off and do nothing. No more junk miles for me.

Next step for me will be planning for 2010. Would like to do a few half IM races. Maybe Pigman again, possibly a 70.3 race again (but geez their a bit expensive don't you think?). Will for sure do some epic rides including the IM course in Madison. I would love to get out to Boise and ride with Drew this coming spring or summer. Mark Temple has always raved about southern IL and that would be a great get away weekend (or two). Building a strong bike, keeping my run fitness at a high level (without training like a marathoner), and staying healthy will be my main goal for the coming year.

later, cd

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Back to Back

Terre Haute Tri
Since I don't have a real schedule this season, I'm just signing up for races as they come. Of course I signed up for Tri-Shark but didn't even think about the Terre Haute tri since it was the weekend before. Usually don't do that but what the heck, it's a "fun" year right?

Keith was already signed up and he twisted my arm a bit to keep him company. I thought Lance Benedict was also signed up but come to find out, when he went to sign up on line, they had already closed the online sign up. He called the race director with no luck, emailed me to ask if I had any "pull" (yea right), and then asked our Tri Shark race director Colleen Klien to put a good word in. Well, he eventually got in, but he didn't think the guy really cared too much for it. Anyway, he was in.

Keith and I headed over Fri evening in what we thought was enough time to catch the packet pick up which closed at 8pm. Well we forgot about the 1hr time change so we were late. Guess we'll just pick that up in the morning, no bigee. Lance made it over in time for the dinner and to hear a couple speakers, USAT rookie of the year Daniel Bretscher and X-terra goddess and multi world champion Jamie Whitmore who is overcoming cancer and extensive surgery that left her unable to compete ever again.

I got a great night sleep and felt pretty relaxed in the morning. We arrived early (pretty much first) to get a good bike rack spot and pick up our packet. After getting things ready we had plenty of time to relax and then get a good warm up in. The Terre Haute tri is 800yd swim/40K bike/8K run. I wore my wetsuit even though the water temp was around 72 or so. Our wave was 3rd just after the all-women wave. Not the greatest seeding since I ended up swimming by most of that field by the time I was heading back in from the out and back course. Felt real good in the swim, water was pretty clear so didn't have to sight all that much. 11:43 including a good 200yd run to the transition.

Bike course was a relatively flat out and back on smooth roads with only a few rollers in there for good measure. I saw both Lance and Keith as they were heading back from the turnaround. Lance was crushing it and looked like he was in the top 10. My right calf started to cramp a few miles into it so I felt like I couldn't put 100% in to my ride. Not sure what the issue was, partly my hydration level and partly the hard effort my legs were NOT used to at this point in the season. Really hadn't put in a hard effort for more than a 20K in the weeks leading up to this race. Started to feel better as I got closer to the finish and even passed a few guys that flew by me earlier. 1:02 @ 23.8mph (oooo nice!)

As soon as I got out on the run, maybe 1/4 mile, the few guys I passed on the bike...passed me. So much for that. My legs were feeling pretty good so I kept a nice pace. First mile was 6:50. In the second mile, I started talking to a guy (for whatever reason, I don't know) and as we finished the second mile in about 7:00min, I started to get the worst side stitch. Had to let the guy go and started to walk. I could hardly breath and had to walk about 1/4 mile. Starting back running was pretty painful until the side stitch finally went away around mile 4 and then finished strong. 37:33 @ 7:33/mile pace. I'll take it.

Ended up 8th in my age group which I'll take for the amount of training I did (zero) Solid effort and great "training day" 1hr 53min 22sec. Lance had an awesome race and finished 2nd in his age group with a 1:50 and Keith finished with a 1:55. Keith and I hit the Applebees on the way out of town for a good recovery meal then made it home in time to mow the lawn and power spray the brick on my house. Ah the life...


This is the 10th year for me doing Tri Shark and its really got to be one of the best races ever. Probably because it's our club race and I know practically everyone or at least have seen most everyone at this race in all of the years previous. It's really too bad that our previous Governor had to close Moraine View State Park where this race has taken place for 15+ years? Anyway, even though they reopened the park, we still had to do the race at Lake Evergreen which is just as good a location. We can fit more people and with the popularity of Tri-Shark, it may be fitting.

As always, the youth group from Chicago, Multisport Madness, had a group of kids come race. Its been fun to see these kids grow up over the years. Funny thing is, their FAST now!!! One of there kids won this year in a blazing time. Fastest bike and fastest run. Amazing.

Had to show up early for this race too. It really is the best way to get the day started. Racked the bike in the elite wave section since I chose to start in the first wave. Keith, Lance, Chris Sweet, Paul Dees, Brian Rossi, and I all racked!

Wore my wetsuit for this race even though the water temp was 72. It felt colder so I'm glad I wore it. Didn't feel as fresh as I did in Terre Haute. I could see the fast bunch got out and away quickly. I stayed close to Lance and Paul. All of a suddon about half way through, I saw Sweet cruizin by. Found out later he had a rough go at the start and had to ease up. Finished feeling pretty good, winded, but ok. 8:52 which I think is one of my better swims at Tri Shark, woo hoo!!

Running up to the bike rack, I see Lance is already there and heading out. Paul Dees is right in front of me, as is Chris Sweet. I say "wow, what are you doing here?" not expecting to see him at all. Then I see Keith and Brian both run up. WOW! all of us at the same rack are out together. Very cool.

Never could get a good ryhthm on the bike. Was passing a bunch of the little kids that are great swimmers, but didn't really gain any on any of the other guys. Rossi blew by me and ended up haveing a great ride. Sweet passed me early too. Emily Dewald and I kept passing each other until the last few miles when I put the hammer down. Overall not so bad, I'll take it. 32:11 @ 24.2mph

Run was lonely. I only had a few people pass me and I passed maybe one. Was pretty much all alone so I didn't really feel like pushing it much. That was ok, I was still haveing a good time watching the ultra fast kids up front and seeing my friends Rossi, Lance, Sweet, Emily, etc all have a fantastic race. 22:14 @ 7:10/mi pace

I ended up finishing in 1:05:13, not a PR but a good race. Would have gotten 2nd in my age group if I had not started in the elite wave. Had a fun day all around

What's next?...Ragbrai in July and then Steelhead in August. Better start training...

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Loooong update

Ok, lots to update. Been woking on the house lately, installing counter tops, painting, refinishing floors, yada yada. I have found some time to get back into some shape and the bug is biting. Started doing the Tuesday Night Time Trials out as Comlara Park so that has gotten the juices flowing and just finished the Decatur TT last night with a sub 30min for a 20K. Not too shabby for the shape I'm in.

Been working out at the pool with Rossi a couple days a week religiously and feel like I'm in pretty good swim shape. Last two weeks have been killer. Feels good! Hope to push the swim at Terre Haute next week and then Tri Shark the week after.

As far as races go, I did the Sullivan Tri a few weeks back and ended up winning my age group (guess nobody showed up :). Paul Dees was there so I knew he would be gunning for me. He was right behind me in the time trial start. Almost caught me in the swim. It was an unbelievably windy day. 30-35mph winds with some gusts that were even stronger. Paul passed me on the second loop but I got him back and never looked back. Out on the run I felt pretty good for mile one but after that I had nothing. Ended up doing 8min miles or something. Good for a first race of the year and to test my sports hearnia situation. Still feeling a little twingh on the bike but not so much on the run anymore.

Speaking of the injury update, I'm feeling better all around but my core strength and flexor strength is really down. Especially on the right side. I feel like I have a huge muscle imbalance issue. I can really feel it on the bike. Will try to work on my core and stability strength throughout the summer.

Held the 2nd annual C&C Triathlete Camp again at the beginning of May. Had 9 hearty souls attend and we had a great time. Pretty much kept the same format as last year, Chris' Mom was able to come ride with us and Sloan helped out a bunch. Really learned some things again this year. I feel a bit out of my element without any formal coaching badge. Chris is getting his USAT certification and has ventured into the coaching arena. He is doing a great job and is a pro at teaching. This camp could be huge if we market it right. I just want to fit in there properly. With Hammer Nutrition on my side we were able to provide some good products and exellent information for everyone. I like to think I provided some good input there, and even got some good feedback. Need to work on the overall presentation if we are going to have more people. Looking forward to next year already.

Next up on the racing schedule is Terre Haute. Keith, Lance, and I are all going and it should be a good time. Did that race a few years back and thought it had the same feel as Tri Shark with the location, size, and organization. Can't wait. My fitness is improving so we'll see how I do on a 40K course as opposed to a sprint distance. Just a 8K run but I imagine I'll avg sub 8min pace. I'll take that for now.

Big challeng coming up is Ragbrai. The weather finally broke and I'm getting out on the road more. Bike fitness seems to come around by July so looking forward to the challeng of riding 50-80miles every day for a week. Talked quite a bit to the Skins rep out at the Decatur TT last night. I've been wanting to get some compression gear to try out at Ragbrai. Got a 30% off coupon from him and plan get a pair of long tights and maybe some sox.

Long term goal in the back of my head is to go down to Louiville and sign up for IM in 2010. Not sure why I want to do that but I have a feeling some people might be going to Hawaii that year and it would be a great goal to get there again. I can't believe I just wrote that....

later, cd

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A new life

No it's not what you think. OK, I haven't written anything for....over 3 months (oops), but I'm not recreating myself by becoming a musician...or handyman...or couch potato. That's just the profession I've taken on the last couple months while I've "battled" with my recovery. I really thought I would bounce back and start anew after my surgery. Well, the amount of work the doc did in there must have been pretty significant. He did say I actually had a bit of a hernia poking through and I think he doubled up on the mesh down there. That became an issue for me at work sitting all day, which made it feel like I was cutting off a nerve. My leg and groin would ache all day and feel numb. It was agonizing.

I began swimming about 4 weeks from surgery and it really did feel good. It felt like I had a guitar string in my abdomen as I stretched out. He must have really tightened things up down there. I don't really think that was the greatest thing though. I tried to run a bit at about 6 weeks out and it really kind of felt like it never went away. Man, then all I could focus while running (jogging) was "did it work, did he really fix it, am I going to have to deal with this again all year, will I have to get another surgery!!!" Ahhhh!

I just decided to take a break from it all and not focus on anything physical. Just eating and drinking and gaining 20 lbs!! Yes, my Kona weight of 180 quickly ballooned to 200. Oh well, Sloan kind of likes it. And I don't look so sickly thin. Got some work done around the house and pulled the old 68 Fender Amp out of the basement. Cleaned it up, made some electrical repairs, bought a crappy guitar from the pawn shop and started playing some tunes. I quickly realized I suck just as much as I did back in college.

Since the weather has been kind of nice a few days here and there, I've been riding the road bike a bit and it feels really good the next day. I think riding must have moved some things around down there and loosened things up a bit. Sloan worked on me one day and really got down in there and moved some scar tissue around and loosened up my groin muscle. I really think I had two things going on. One being the sports hernia and the other a touch (or more) of adductor tendinitis. It was really sore to run just a mile. Anyway, after some massage therapy, it felt much better.

Started running a little more the last week or so and it feels much better. Sloan worked on my a couple days ago and got down in there and released something. I let out a big gasp, almost passed out, and then all was better. I'm running much better now and just taking it kind of slow for now. I think I'll start trying to increase my strength of the adductors a little at a time with some simple iso moves and even some easy yoga/palates work.

The next thing on my plate is to hold another C&C Triathlete Factory Camp with my buddy Chris Sweet. We decided if we got enough participants we would do it again. It looks like its filling up slow but sure. That will be lots of fun. I enjoyed it tremendously last year.

Signed up for the Sullivan Tri again and it will be one of those fun races I'll just go through the motions. That's really been my vision so far this year. I don't really have any A races planned. Just want to get out there, do some races, have fun and make sure I'm healing. I'm thinking of doing IM Louisville next year so I think I'll try to head down there for the race this year, ride the course, check it out and then sign up the next day.

later, cd