Sunday, December 21, 2008

Surgery update

Well I went into surgery this past Friday and was happy to finally get it over with. I was originally scheduled to go in at 1pm so it was going to be a challenge not to eat or drink anything that morning. I was happy to get a phone call on Thursday from the nurse telling me I was scheduled for 7am. Cool. Got some good rest and was up at 5am to chip the 1/2" of ice off all of our cars and throw a little salt down. Winter came in strong Thursday evening with a nasty ice storm that caused lots of damage in our neighborhood. Tree limbs and even whole trees were down everywhere.

Sloan drove me down to the surgery center, which is a convenient one mile down the road and we were the first ones to arrive for what they told us would be a stacked day at the surgery center. Got prepped, hangin' out in my gown, got the IV in my arm, and I was checking out the cool little device you clamp on your finger that shows you your heart rate. A relaxed 60 bpm or so. I was not nervous at all, just wanted to get it done and over with. After talking one last time to my surgeon Dr Wieland, I headed off to the operating room and got strapped down to the table. As the anesthesis was getting ready to give me the sleep serum, she was looking at the heart monitor and noticed my heart beat looked a little funny. Every once in a while it would skip a beat. I was feeling fine, heart rate still at about 60-65bpm, calm, relaxed, but it was pretty strange looking at my EKG and seeing that my heart did in fact skip a beat every once in a while...

The anesthesiologist came in and basically told them to abort, no way he was allowing me to go through with surgery having an anomaly with my heart. He wanted me to go see a cardiologist immediately. Geesh!! WTF!! My surgeon looked at the EKG and said it was probably no big deal. He wasn't too worried. Bottom line though....abort. They couldn't take a chance of putting me under and having my heart stop for some unknown reason and then not being prepared to jump start me.

So back to the recovery room to recover from nothing and put my clothes back on. Dr Wieland contacted one of the cardiac offices in town and got me in for a 10am consultation. I went in to see Dr Novak who I had actually seen about 10-12 years ago when I was having an issue with rapid heart rate. Long story, but no big deal, turned out to be nothing. Anyway, he looked at me, we talked a bit, he listened to my heart, and looked at my EKG. The verdict....nothing to worry about. This type of abnormality (if you want to call it that) is a common occurrence in lots of people. I should be fine for surgery.

Woo hoo!! I called Dr Wielands office and told them the news and asked if I could reschedule for later that afternoon. If I hadn't eaten a donut and drank some coffee I probably could have gotten in. I rescheduled for the following Monday. Tomorrow!! Probably be like deja vu going in there tomorrow. At least I'm gonna get it done. Recovery should be 6-8 weeks so looks like first of February before I'll be looking to get back into shape.

Have a great Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!

Monday, December 8, 2008


So I've been taking it easy the past month or so. Relaxing, keeping the load off my mind. It's amazing how much an Ironman will consume your life and your brain. Balancing that with a wife (who I love), two grown kids (trust me, kids are a LOT of work when their young but its more mentally challenging when their grown), two dogs (and that damn cat), a full time 50+ mile per day commute to Decatur (the soy city), and a life (life?). Mind blowing when in season, so out of season I have to just compress and take a load off.

I did start running about four weeks ago and found out my "sports hernia" was for real and had never said goodbye. I figured with the time off and the fact that it really hadn't bothered my in Hawaii, I'd be safe to start up an easy run regimen that kept me in shape over the winter. NO! The day after I ran six miles for the first time, I was in some serious pain. I was probably so rested and felt like I could just keep going forever, I just put too much strain on things down there. From there, I thought I'd take it easy and run every other day. No better, I can take three days off and it still bothers me all day. I've got a Dr appt this Wed....cut me Mick!

K-dog is getting married this weekend in Mexico to his lovely wife Jill so he's been trying to "get in shape" the last 2-3 weeks or so by hitting the pool and running a bit. I'm on to his ways! We've been busting out a few thousand yds per session and the water feels great. I've restrained from running too much so I thought the pool is a good way to keep the fire alive. Gee I'm up to 187lbs or so, give me a break!! No, I just felt like it's a great way to shake the cob webs.

Been kicking around a few ideas for next year and think I'll do at least 2-3 half iron distance races. I really liked Pigman, I want to get back to Muncie, a guys trip with a half involved seems like a good idea, and I'd even like to do Steelhead and qualify for the Worlds. That's four so I'll have to figure something out. The only full iron distance race my wife will buy into (well, that's my excuse. Not that you can't get into an Ironman in North America next year....oh yea, you can't!) is RedMan in Oklahoma City. September race just before IM Wisconsin. Hot, flat, humid, and hot. I've been looking at this race for 3 years now and never had it fit into my schedule until now. Winning times have consistently dropped the past three years. 11hrs, 10hrs, 9.5hrs or something. If I put my mind to it, I could do well. If I put my mind to it... Might even entertain a late spring marathon, Madison? Hmmm...

I won't be doing much in the month of January, but come February, I hope the roads are clear and the weather is nice. I'm hoping for some outdoor riding like a couple years ago. Probably work the core again next season. Those circuit training sessions are awesome. I may post one more time with a surgery update. I'll have plenty of laying around time, I'm sure.

I posted more pictures to my Picasa account that Keith gave me. They are awesome!

later, cd

Monday, October 20, 2008


Mahalo to all my family and friends who followed me through this experience of the Ironman World Championships. From the moment the plane landed in Hawaii through the 10 days we spent on the big island, the warm people of Kona welcomed us and athletes from around the world joined me it what would be the experience of lifetime.

This would be the 30th anniversary Ironman Hawaii and it was hard not to get wrapped up in the energy and activities offered during race week. Regardless of all that is written about staying off your feet and resting for most of the week leading up to race day, I was not going to miss out on seeing what this place was all about. I had a pre race week training agenda that included getting in a couple ocean swims, an easy bike ride, and a few short runs. Swimming in the ocean was my biggest hang up going into this race and it was quickly erased as I found the water to be ultra clear and calming. Brian Rossi and Keith Adams both made the trip to Kona this year so we all took advantage of the demo bikes offered down at the expo. I rode a new Ridley Dean while they both rode Cervelo. Even the running shoe guys were offering up demos. I laced up a pair of Newtons, a pair of Zoots, and the new K-Swiss tri shoe. Mix that with a lot of pro watching and I had a great time leading up to race day.

Pre Race
The opening ceremony for the race was an incredible feeling. Three Navy Seals parachuted out of a C130 cargo plane into the water, where they stripped their gear, got body marked, and swam to the starting line. Hawaiian drums pounded in the background and the stage was being set for a perfect day. Tension began to thicken as the Hawaiian blessing was given and the national anthem was sung. Thousands of people lined the sea wall to watch the chaotic mass swim start of almost 1700 swimmers. I found NK Martin at the start and we focused in on the big day ahead.

Swim 2.4 miles
The pro start began at 6:45am, and then age groupers would get their chance to swim out and toe the line for this amazing race. I had no strategy for where to start. Most of the strong swimmers would line up in front or hug the pier and jockey for inside position. I decided to hang in the back, let the fast guys get out in front, then hope it would clear up a little. I thought closer to the pier would be a good spot, hoping this section of swimmers would pull ahead and I could follow with good inside position. Worked like a dream… until about 10-15 minutes into it. There was a good pack forming and clean water ahead. Then in an instant a shit-storm of people began moving toward the inside. Body surfing and head bobbing, I tried to move toward open water. Guys were grabbing and pulling. I seemed to be moving backwards and almost panicked. Instead, I fought my way toward the inside line along the buoys. Finally reaching clean and clear water, the 1.2 mile swim out to the turn around boat seemed to get a little choppy but nothing major.

I really felt good for the remainder of the swim and I just tried to soak up the atmosphere by watching the clear ocean water, a few fish here and there, awesome coast line, and splashing the stand up paddlers who were watching over the athletes. After awhile I felt the Point Zero Three Skinsuit Keith graciously let me borrow, digging into my back. I would end up with a pretty nasty rash and noticed plenty of other athletes after the race with similar war wounds around their neck and arms. Picking up the pace for the last quarter of the swim, I was hoping to exit within a few minutes over one hour, but to no avail. Swim time: 1:09. Sub par for what I expected but not fully disappointed. It was gonna be a long day, and a few minutes wasn’t going to dampen my spirits.

It’s hard not to rush through and feed off the energy that is transition. It was all surreal hosing off and grabbing my bike gear bag running into the changing tent. Soaking in the organized chaos was the objective and it was pretty cool to be on the inside. The transition set up in Hawaii allows you to clip your shoes onto your pedals and leave your helmet and sunglasses on the bike. It was a great mix of big Ironman racing and genuine grass roots triathlon. T1 time: 3:53

Bike 112 miles
The long ride begins with a quick jaunt through downtown with fans lining the streets going bananas and the announcer screaming in the loudspeaker. I was so pumped to get on the Queen K and see this famous bike course first hand. This desolate highway would lead us approximately 50 miles along the west coast through long rolling hills into the small town of Hawi, and the turnaround. Lava flows created centuries ago and white coral graffiti is pretty much all that was visible along with a few resorts built up like oases in the desert. Vacationers and locals dotted the course to offer their support. This was the only sign of life out there as the mid day heat started to beat down on the steady flow of bikers.

I knew the clan from Bloomington was headed out to some point on the course but wasn’t sure where I would spot them. I was feeling pretty fresh and taking in my nutrition on schedule, grabbing water at each aide station, drinking as much as I could in the process. It felt like we were going down hill most of the way. I would ultimately realize there was a nice tail wind pushing us along. Turning left into the port town of Kawaihae I see my wife Sloan and the rest of the crazies in their Get Fast Or Quit gear. The red shirts were easy to spot throughout the day and would bring me some reassurance and restored confidence each time I saw everyone.

Presence of the pro pack was just over the next hill as the sound of the helicopter reverberated in the distance. Press cars and motorcycles began zooming by and the first peak at the real race was nearing. Torbjorn Sindballe would lead the pack followed by Chris Lieto and Normann Staddler. Goosebumps covered my body as the string of pros continued their race back to town. They were flying!! I wish I was watching!!

Big white caps were visible in the ocean along the coast and it became very gusty as the winds blasted inland, causing bikers to wobble and clutch their aero bars to avoid being knocked over. The long climb into Hawi started and the wind direction shifted to a headwind. It was apparent everyone was slowing way down and the rapid pace of before turned out to be the slowest section of the course.

I was happy to finally see the turnaround and a big celebration had collected in the quiet artistic town of Hawi. Again, I tried to soak up the energy that was few and far between on this long out and back bike course. A quick look at my time showed right at three hours and I was thrilled to be averaging 20mph to this point. I knew a good downhill tailwind approached. Nutrition was still clicking and I felt my hydration was still good although I didn’t have to pee up to this point. I just needed to continue drinking and not fall behind since the temperatures seemed to reach the upper 80’s if not low 90’s.

Making our way back down hill toward Kawaihae we were again confronted with blasting crosswinds as speeds approached 30+mph. Scary stuff for sure. Ron Greene, Dennis Killian, and Tricia Madey were waiting at the turn back onto the Queen K. This would be my last grasp of energy as the next 30 miles back to town gave way to an insidious headwind that would literally suck the energy right out of me. It was hard to imagine peddling downhill just to keep a good pace. I got into a group of riders that seemed to be passing each other back and forth so I knew at this point I wasn’t keeping a consistent pace. My back began to tighten up and I spent most of the last 10 miles sitting up. My legs were tired and I was ready to be off the bike. Madame Pele had her way with me but I still had something to prove on the run course. I was certainly happy with my bike time of 5:42/19.6mph avg.

Pulling into the bike/run transition and jogging toward my run gear bag I felt my nutrition and electrolyte intake was right on but my quads were fatigued and I could feel a slight cramping coming on. Not enough Endurolytes? I probably took 3-5 per hour. Not enough water? I didn’t have to pee yet so maybe so. This planted a bad seed in my brain as it was the hottest part of the day and I still had a long way to go. I pretty much walked out of transition to make sure I got my legs and a couple cups of water. T2 time: 3:29

Run 26.2 miles
Just out of transition you face the short hill up Palani. It’s a prelude to the tough marathon ahead. I saw my Mom for the first time of the day and gave her a wave. She didn’t know how much I was beginning to hurt. The plan was to get my legs and run the first 5 mile out and back section easy so I could get a good rhythm. I couldn’t even run the first mile without walking. My legs were FRIED. Thoughts of the long marathon ahead swirled in my head and I began to second guess whether I would be able to finish this thing. It was really hot and I really didn’t want to go out on the Queen K let alone the Energy Lab and walk the marathon, finishing in the dark with a glow stick around my neck.

Thoughts like these are inevitable in any Ironman. The run is by far the most excruciating part of the whole race. I tried to put on a good face but underneath it all I was suffering a bit.

The short out and back section along Alii Drive is sheltered from the sun and there are a lot of people watching, partying, and cheering everyone on. This helped a little by keeping my mind off my aching legs. Hammer Nutrition had rented a house at about mile 2½ and they were pretty jazzed to see me sporting their kit and I gave them a big thank you back. By the turn around, I thought my race was coming back around and I could possibly pick up the pace a bit. It felt like I had a small stone in my shoe and it was bugging me so I took my shoe off. Finding nothing I lifted my foot up to see if there was something on it. That’s when my groin muscle and hamstring both locked up solid in a painful cramp. I almost fell over. I couldn’t take a step without it cramping up again and I tried my hardest to relax and stretch it out. I was able to keep moving and walk a lot during the next 5 miles back to town.

By the time I was on the Queen K, it was overcast and the temperatures had dropped. This made it a bit more tolerable and I figured I could gut it out for the rest of the race. My nutrition plan was still on target and I was only taking in Espresso flavored Hammer gel for fuel. I was basically walking through each aide station and running slow in between. I ran out of Gel and by mile 14 I was wondering where in the heck my Special Needs Food Bag was. I guess I forgot it would be at mile 18, the end of the Natural Energy Lab.

I saw NK Martin just before I got to the Energy Lab. He appeared to be doing well and I gave him a high five with some encouragement to finish strong. I always envisioned the Energy Lab to be this desolate place with searing heat and a tough 4 miles out and back. I was pleasantly surprised when I got there and found the aide stations to be a big celebration with music and tons of support. It was only a 2 mile out and back, the temp was “only” 84 degrees and I finally got my Special Needs Food Bag. I had two gel flasks which I ended up pitching one since it was beginning to annoy me carrying both. Once out of the Energy Lab I had some renewed energy and tried to pick it up between each aide station. I was probably running sub 8 minute miles and by the time I got the next aide station, my legs were beginning to cramp and ache with fatigue. It took all I could muster to get moving each time.

With about 2 miles to go, I saw Keith in the median with a big yellow sign that said “DON’T SUCK”. I was certainly trying not to. He gave me some words of encouragement and I told him I tried my hardest to break 11hrs but it just wasn’t going to happen. All of a sudden this guy from Germany who was walking next to me grabbed me and said “let’s go”. We began to run together at a pretty quick pace and we tried to chit-chat a little but the language barrier was a little hard to get past, especially at mile 25 of the marathon. I tailed off and made the turn onto Palani which meant a little more than a mile to go. A jolt of adrenaline came over me and I nearly sprinted down the hill. At the bottom I got a pretty nasty side stitch and had to stop and walk for a minute. It was then a turn onto Hualalai. One more block and another right onto Alii Drive. This is it, the famous finish to the biggest triathlon on the planet. As I approached the finish line the lights were bright, the music was loud, and the crowd was going crazy. I searched side to side for Sloan and my Mom but couldn’t spot them. Dang It!! I looked up on the jumbo-tron and stared at myself crossing the line and gave a big double fist pump. I DID IT!
Run time: 4:18/9:52 per mi avg :(

Total time ended up being 11:17 148/226 in M40-44 Age Group & 889/1732 Overall.

Post race
I finally found Sloan at the greeting area behind the finish line and just about collapsed in relief. What a day for me and what great support she had given me not only during the race but throughout the year leading up to this day. I almost cried as the emotions came flooding down. I was done and it was finally time to relax and have some fun.

As I look back to my performance on the day, I keep thinking about the time goals that loomed in the back of my head all day. The thing is I never really cared so much that I was behind schedule or off pace the whole day. Each time check got me frustrated which soon turned toward a focus on just finishing. What became important was collecting glances of the other athletes, the faces of the volunteers, soaking in the race, and enjoying it all. The race really does go by in the blink of an eye and although it was one of the toughest things I had ever accomplished, I wanted so much to go back and relive every instant. Do I want to go back to Kona? Not next year or maybe not even the next, but I do feel like island is a calling me for another challenge.

Post Race Party
Thanks to my buddy Chris Sweet who has the real hook-ups when it comes to sponsors. He was invited to the K-Swiss post party at Huggos on the Rocks and he got us all on the VIP list. Although the awards banquet was a bust with a steady downpour of rain, the party did not disappoint. Anyone who was anyone in the triathlon world was there celebrating the end of a great season. Chrissie Wellington (women’s champion) just happened to sit next to us for awhile and I bumped into another champion to shoot the breeze about a great race (Crowie!). We all had a blast. Thanks Sweet!!

My sincere thanks go out to my family for supporting me on this journey. Without you I would have never made it. Huge thanks to my friends who kept me going all season with the training, social events, races, and overall good times.

See some additional pictures HERE

See me finish HERE and enter my name.

later, cd

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Secret training in Germany

Well I can't believe its almost here. In only one and a half weeks we'll be on the big island. 5 days later my knees will be shaking and "BOOM" the cannon will fire for the Super Bowl of Triathlon. Nervous? You betcha. Confident? You betcha. I'm really confident I've put in the training needed to finish this thing. My running has come around and I feel like I can put in a good marathon effort. My biking peaked about a week early but no worries, I'm strongest in that discipline. I've also come to terms with my open water swimming and can't wait to swim in some open water that you can actually see the guy next you you (and the guy next to him!).

I'm just nervous about the heat and my performance in the heat. We've had a pretty mild summer and I've not really been able to "acclimate" at all or even ride/run in the heat to much to get a good feel for how my performance will be. Its all about racing the clock and executing my plan to perfection. I've never really had a bad IM experience and I don't really want to have one now. That's what I'm really nervous about. But hey, confidence reigns over nerves any day. Plus, my wife, my mom, and some of my closest friends will be there supporting me. That's huge.

To make things more difficult, I had a business trip to Germany planned for mid September and I was a little nervous about the timing. 4 weeks out from the race. That should have been my biggest training week as far as volume, and how could I do anything half way across the earth in a place I've never been and with an agenda that wasn't geared toward my training needs. I basically overtrained myself for the 3 weeks leading up to my trip. 120 mile rides, 2 hour runs, 3-4 days/wk swimming. And thankfully IM Wisconsin was in there so I was able to ride that beast of a course. Good training for sure. I really put a lot in the bank so I planned to make my Germany trip a rest week with some run focus if I could get it in.

I left on Sunday the 21st and since I was tired from Rossi's bachelor party the night before my flight, I slept just about the whole way over. Our team visited three different suppliers across Germany and made one domestic flight from Leipzig to Frankfurt. With all that travel, I was still able to get three good runs in with the last one being 1.5hrs (2 mi warm up, 3mi at 10k pace, 1m easy, 3mi at 10k pace, 2 mi cool down). I was excited to be able to get all this in. On my return flight I stayed up the whole time since we landed at 4:30pm in Chicago. By the time I got home I was wiped out. I planned for a long ride the next day if I felt like I could do it. Well, I felt good the next day so I headed out for my last long ride, planning to do the Miles of Smiles 100 route starting from my house. I made it about 4.5 hours into that ride and I completely hit the wall. I think the jet lag caught up to me and no riding for a week probably didn't help either.

I've got one last long run in and I'm going to try to get 20 miles in at the Tri-Shark course. I've done this as my last long run the past two years before IM and it has worked out great. I feel like my running has come around and hope I can carry that over to the big island. As far as my injury report goes, the sports hernia seems to be at bay for now. No real big pains other than some nagging pain and tightness of my right groin muscle. It bugs me a little but I've been able to push it aside and focus on the task at hand. I won't be worried about it.

One more post before I leave. Yee hee!!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Dig the Big Pig Gig

Reading the last post warrants some update from where I was then to where I am now. After that rant, I took a step back from my training and evaluated. First thing I did was get some needed rest. I took two full days off and then went to our club's Wednesday Open Water Swim (WOWS) to get in an easy open water swim. This was just the ticket to get me back on track. The second thing I did was to re-evaluate my training schedule. I've been doing the same structured schedule for three years. OMG! I needed a change to freshen things up. I suppose the slip in training focus was from my mind rejecting that same old schedule day after day.

I worked out three different training weeks that work with what my schedule. This way I have options. I kept the same basic volume/frequency, just mixed up the days. It's the old philosophy of doing the same thing over and over will not allow your body to progress. Add change and your body will have to adjust therefore forcing a progression. It's working so far. I feel a new "tired" I haven't felt in awhile.

The last thing I will do is to schedule my long run with a day of rest beforehand. I have always done a long bike on Saturday then long run on Sunday. For me at age 42, the body has a hard time recovering to be able to do those 13+ mile long runs. Granted I can do them but it's been a struggle. Put a day of rest in between and I can run longer with more focus. Seems to work.

OK, now what has the above change in training given me? A PR at the 1/2 IM distance. I signed up for Pigman as an A-race to prepare for Kona. It's typically very hot for this race and it delivered with mid to upper 80's but not so much humidity. That's ok, I'll take what I can get. This summer has been very strange with mild temps.

The swim start for this year was changed to a time trial format. Not sure why. Kind of reminded me of Memphis in May. We did however line up by wave and my wave was last (wave 9!). This meant a lot of swimming through people. The water was 77 degrees and Keith decided to wear his wetsuit so he graciously lent me his Point Zero Three skin suit. Not sure it made much difference as I swam the same 33 minute 1.2miles I always do. Conditions were a bit tough through the center section. Water was very choppy. The buoys were also kind of small so sighting was a bit of a struggle. Anyway, I was happy with my swim. 0:33min

The bike course was up down, up down, up down, up down.....very rolly the whole way. I tried to keep a pretty consistent pace and not go out too strong. Since I was in wave 9, again I was passing people endlessly. I think this kept my pace pretty brisk and by mile 50 I was feeling it a bit in the legs. Wind was starting to pick up and the last few miles back to transition were into a head wind. I thought I was on pace for about a 2:21 split but ended up a little slower. Course might have been 1/2 mile long since the computer said 56.6. My nutrition for the bike was a 200 cal bottle of HEED and one flask of Orange/Raspberry Hammer Gel or 500 cal. In addition to that I drank about one and 1/4 bottles of water. Probably not enough to stay hydrated. Seems like at that effort, I have a hard time keeping the water flowing. I'll have to work on that for sure. As I came in to T2, I saw a familiar red and white striped bike jersey ahead of me. Sure enough it was John Collet from Verona, IL. He is in my age group and a very good runner. I made it out of T2 ahead of him and hoped to hold him off for awhile. Good bike split for this course. 2:28 @ 22.7mph

I tried out my new Saucony Grid A4 tri shoes for this race to see how they might feel for a full marathon in Kona. Needless to say they're more of a race flat so I'll probably leave them home an pick up a pair of DS trainers or another pair of Kayanos. At mile one here comes Collet (running flat footed and not grunting with every breath surprisingly). I said hey and asked how he was doing. He looked at me like he didn't really know me (which he may not) and said good, starting to cramp a bit. Under my breath I said "good". Ha! I was hoping he would crack. By mile 2 I noticed I was running a pretty fast 7:20 pace which blew my whole strategy out the door. I was planning to build slowly out to mile 6 and then push hard for the finish. I also noticed my quads were beginning to twinge with that cramping feeling. I was certainly dehydrated and needed to increase my water intake with some Endurolytes which I did with success.

After mile 2 the run course followed a road with absolutely no cover but relatively flat. I was with a pack of 4 guys who I drafted for, for about 2 miles. At mile 5 they dropped me and I was all alone. I slowed a bit from there and at the turnaround my split was 50 minutes. I thought that was pretty awesome so I was feeling good about my finish time. I was shooting for a 4:45 overall time and if I matched the first half I could do it. The temp got to be in the upper 80's and I was feeling hot. Started to pour ice in my shirt/pants. This helped a lot. I surged from mile 9 to 10 and thought I was running great. 8 minutes. Wow, must be fatigue setting in. Between 10 and 11 that surge went straight to my stomach and I thought maybe I'd start having some GI problems. I slowed a bit more to hold that feeling off. I pretty much gutted the last 2 miles out and finished strong. 1:41

I didn't break my 4:45 goal but felt pretty good after the race. Total time ended up being 4:47:12 which beats my Muncie Endurathon 1/2 IM PR by about 30 seconds. I'll take the Pigman PR any day. That course is much more challenging. I was surprised to find out I got 2nd in my age group. I thought I had seen other guys in my age group pass me on the run. They must have been relay guys.

And by the way, my sports hernia didn't bother me at all. That's a good sign.

I took a couple days off and I'm back on track with my training. One last push for Kona. I'm trying to do more of a run focus to build up to 16-18miles "comfortably". I also need to do my long rides without the harder efforts. Just need to get some long mileage in. Today was a 5hr ride in the heat and humidity. I got through it but it was a character builder.

7 weeks and counting...

Monday, July 28, 2008

And the slump is on

July had to be the worst month ever. I think it's the non structures training I've been doing or something. I started out with a good race in Decatur and then came the Evergreen race in mid July. In between I've not been following my training schedule much, just going out and doing whatever. Some days I'm on, most days I'm off or feel just...blah. I feel like my fitness has peaked or something and I'm in a slump. I must need some extended rest or something.

I also feel like my fitness is way behind schedule. I didn't have one single long run in July until yesterday. 13 miles. Are you kidding!? I barely made it out of the water at Evergreen in under 27 minutes. Are you kidding!? My swimming pretty much sucks right now. And I can't even bike a 40K in under 1 hour. Are you...OK I won't say it again. On top of that (I'll just make this paragraph one big complaint) I think I strainied my calf during Evergreen because it won't stop hurting when I run, and my sports hernia just keeps getting worse. Today it just killed and all I did was sit at my desk at work. Ugh!!

To make things worse, I ruined one of my all time favorite rides to participate in. Last weekend was the Miles of Smiles. This was my first century ride in 2004 and I've never missed a year since (well except 2006 when it was the week after IM Lake Placid and I pussed out by riding only 30 miles) It's like the "hometown" century course or something. Anyway, three years ago, Andy Sweet made the bold prediction that he could ride the course faster than anyone, so you guessed it, it was on. I didn't ride that year (see above puss out sentence) but I did last year. It was relatively fun. We dropped a bunch of people and Andy kicked our ass at the end. This year I got a late start and rode out to Geno's house from my house to get a few extra miles in. Only problem was that everyone left at about 7:10 and we got there at 7:30. After signing in, Mark, Keith, and I headed out and were on the road by 7:45. My ultimate goal was to push hard and minimize the stop time at water stops to make the catch near the end. I figured I could make up 30min....oh that's brilliant. Keith and I dropped Mark around El Paso (sorry Mark) and then hammered it all the way to Carlock. From there the temps started to soar and the course turned into the devil. Holy crap who adds the hilly section after the first 75miles of flat? Geno does. He even threw in a few sections I never rode before that were tougher than nails. I ended up dropping Keith at Congerville with about 1hr of ride left. I told him I had one good push left in me and I was sure I could catch those guys. Well by the time I made it back, I had run out of water and was completely wiped. I pretty much time-trialed the last hour and 15 min. There was everyone in the garage, all happy as cows, drinking beer and eating food. "how long you guys been here?" "oh, half an hour". Brilliant I tell you. Sorry Keith, I still feel bad for dropping you in Congerville. To tell you the truth, I'll probably never "race" that course again. I'd rather have fun. I will go back and train on that bitch of a course before Kona though...

All that aside I just need to focus and get back into a good ryhthm for the month of August. I have the Pigman 1/2 Iron race on the 17th so I'll try to make that a good day. From there, the focus is on quality AND quantity.

Good day and sorry for the crappy mood this time... cd

Monday, July 7, 2008

Homecoming...and it starts to heat up.

Been awhile but that's because my June has been pretty full. Hali graduated at the end of May and she's been non stop in and out, one party after the other, and then she had her own party we had to coordinate. I missed the actual event since I had plans with my Dad to go to the drag races in Joliet along with Emily and her boyfriend Tim. That would be the first time for both of them and it was pretty cool to see them have a good time. I also headed out to Coeur d'Alene to watch some friends do IM CDA and meet some other friends to do some hard core training on the course which made me an Ironman. Hali also had a visit to EIU where we got her all signed up for classes, toured the campus, and did some reminiscing from when I attended back in the...80s. The month ended with a big 4th of July weekend that was absolutely gorgeous weather.

I've been toning down on the running recently to try and take care of my sports hernia. Went to the surgeon and he convinced me I only had tendonitis in the area where the core muscles attach to the pubic bone. He sent me to the "pain doctor" who specializes in targeting the exact area the pain is coming from and then treating it specifically. Bad thing is, this guy pretty much specialized in back injuries (got that from all the people in the waiting room) and initially thought my pain was from the last sports hernia operation I had over 2 yrs ago. He didn't even know what a sports hernia was. I tried to explain the amount of training I do, what I do, how I do it, when I feel the pain, etc and he just stared at me with a blank look on his face.....nice. He felt around in my groin area and convinced me I had a "defect" not tendonitis since it would hurt if he pushed down there. OK fine, what now? Cat Scan. Great. I scheduled one but bailed on it since it was already halfway through June (I'm not getting surgery now), it was feeling better, and plus, it would probably cost an arm and a leg for a Cat Scan even with insurance. I didn't have the time for them to analyze it and figure it out. So I guess I'll just live with it until after the big show. : (

Our club's Tri Shark race was June 7th and it was turned into a Duathlon because of inclement weather. 1/3 of the people ended up leaving. What a bummer. It rained cats and dogs and I guess there was possibility for lightning so the safe thing to do was eliminate the swim. That would be my first duathlon and let me tell you, it was a little harder than I expected. I put myself in the "elite" wave (thanks Keith) which wouldn't have been so embarrassing with a water start but I can't run like those young studs and I was left in the dust. Third from last into T1. Heart rate at max and confused that my shoes where on as I got to my bike. I'm used to putting on my sunglasses and helmet then taking off. Had a good ride and then another decent run. Not the same as good 'ol Tri-Shark but we all made the best of it.
9:43/31:56/10:19 53:38 total for a 2mi/13mi/2mi Du. 8th in the elite wave and 3rd in my age group if I would have started that way.

My trip out to CDA was the perfect vacation. I hadn't really had one since going to work for Cat two years ago. This was the first year for me to get actual vacation days. That along with a free ticket from frequent flyer miles and I was there. Rossi flew out to Boise and stayed with Drew for a day and then they both drove up and picked me up at the Spokane airport before heading to CDA. We all stayed in K-dogs hotel room and it turned into another "guys" trip. Friday morning we all headed down to the swim course and I got my first real open water swim in for the year. Water was a brisk 55 degrees F. A lot of people were wearing wetsuit hats and booties. After a 1.2mi swim we all jumped on the bikes to check out the course. It was a different course from when I did the race back in 2005. I thought it was a bit harder but probably the same amount of climbing as IM Moo. Hills just seemed to be steeper, but then the down hills were just as steep and there was a long flat section between the two loops. For Friday we just did one loop and threw in a 3mi run for good measure. Great day of training.

On Saturday we skipped the swim so we could ride the whole course and save some time for rest and relaxation. We had to watch the race on Sunday you know. We ended up getting around 95 miles and it would be my longest (and most challenging) ride of the year. Drew showed us how well he has been riding thus far in the season. Seems like there are real hills out west. See you in Kona next year Drewbie. ; )

Sunday came early since we stayed out a bit late Sat night enjoying the nightlife. Nothing over the top just some good fun. Met some locals and walked around the downtown area. I really give it to Keith for putting up with us in that tiny hotel room. He has a big race and we cram all our shit into it, go swimming, biking, running without him, and we go out partying making noise as we come in late at night (he said he didn't even hear us). You're awesome K-dog, thanks for being you!!

We put together a cooler of food and drinks for the day and mapped out our course to watch the race and then headed down to drop Keith off and watch the swim start. The start of an Ironman race is such a cool experience. What a wide range of people you can watch. From the experienced to the novice. It got my juices flowing for my big day in Oct. K-dog ended up getting a PR with an 11:27. Mike D PR'd with a 10:45, and even Tricia PR'd. Guess the bike course wasn't that hard. I'm just not where I need to be or want to be, I suppose. It brought back to reality that its a really long open water (need to work on that), and you have to be prepared to run a strong marathon (need to work on that).

I made an inspirational sign for K-dog to see during the race and it ended up being the best sign of the day (in 90% of the people's opinion). He certainly lived up to it...

To finish out the month, well really to start another month (can you really believe July is already here!) I did the Lakeside Triathlon in Decatur which I did last year and had a great time so why not do it again. I've met some great people in Decatur since working for Cat so it was almost like a hometown feel. Kyle May and his band of Spin City Cycle teamates were out in force. He ended up breaking his saddle coming out of T1 which ended his day. I had no expectations going into this race other than to have fun and to stay in front of Rossi!! I ended up doing both. Brian had a great race even though he had to ride his road bike after an unfortunate breakdown with his new BMC Time Machine. Can't imagine what he would have done with it. He spanked his new age group. Oh, did I mention it was the over the hill age group (30-34)? I had clear water throughout the swim, pounded out a good bike ride and took it too easy on the run. I let a guy in my age group blow by me at about mile 2.5 and just couldn't hold on. Ended up 2nd in my age group, 7th overall. 21:24/47:15/32:26 and 1:42 total for a .75mi/19mi/4.5mi tri.

Well, if all goes well, we'll have some hot weather to train in for July and August. I'm gonna amp up my bike mileage and try to put some focus in on the swim to get some better endurance. Not a whole lot of running volume or core work to try and save my hernia as best I can. Evergreen Tri is in two weeks and then the Miles of Smiles 100 which will be another "race" to see who can ride it the fastest. After that, I'm focusing in on the Pigman 1/2 Ironman and hope its hotter than H. E. double hockey sticks. Hope to check in before that.

later, cd

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Good news...Bad news...

Good news, I had a GREAT couple weeks of training. Hit every workout, felt strong, made some good progress. Bad news, I think I have another sports hernia. I don't think it, I sort of know it. I had one a couple years back and let it get pretty bad until I did some research, presented it to my doctor, and convinced him to operate. Yea, pretty crazy but after the surgery, it was confirmed "he" was exactly right. Well this time it's in a different location but feels just the same. Every time I engage my core, sit up, get out of bed, lunge, or worse yet, RUN, it's there. A nagging pain just above my pubic bone and kind of over my bladder. I reckon, my hard training the past few weeks caused it and I need to make a decision what to do about it. Anyway, I've got an appointment with my surgeon next Monday and I'll be asking about recovery time in case I decide to go under the knife.

The last couple weeks have been great as far as training. I forgot to mention I had a good race in Sullivan at the end of April. Finished 4th overall thanks to the many fast guys who decided not to show up this year. First weekend in May was the Lake run and it was pretty fun. Seemed like a low turnout for some reason. I showed up early and ran the course backwards as a warm up. I ended up running the race and pacing Tamera White since she said she was looking to run a 7:30 pace and that was perfect for what I wanted to do that day. She PR'd and won her age group and I finished with a great run training day.

I had some business travel to do in Wisconsin for a few days and then down to Atlanta for a few more days which I thought would kill my plan, but no worries. I did some nifty rescheduling and ended up doing great. I found some great running trails in both places. I hit the Decatur TT for my first time trial of the year. I did the 20K. Last weekend Keith, Mark, and I headed up to Madison to ride the IM course on Saturday which ended up being a GREAT day weather-wise. We got a good 70 miles in. Love that course.

The next day was the Madison Marathon. Mark signed up for the half and I signed up for the full. Earlier in the year I was planning to run the whole thing but when it came down to it, I just didn't want to trash my legs and recover for three weeks. Plus the whole sports hernia thing put a damper on how I felt. So I just ran a good 7:30 pace for 15, cut over with the half marathoners when the course split, ran one more, walked one, ran a bit more, then finished by walking the last four, 21 miles total.

This past Wednesday I decided to do the Decatur TT again. 40K this time since it was another beautiful day. By the time we got out on the course however, the wind picked up and everyone had a worse than expected day. Good hard workout though (1:02 @ 24mph). I finished the week with a nice strength interval day with Mark on the bike Thursday, an 8 mile tempo run at the gym Friday, good hard 2.5hr ride with Rossi on Saturday followed by a transition run, and a 13 mile run in the 85 degree heat Sunday. I'm pooped!!

I'm due for a recovery week so that means I get to "taper" for Tri-Shark and hopefully have a good day. June looks to be just as exciting as May. Hope the heat gets turned up and I hit my training targets by finishing up strong in Coeur d'Alene with a breakout training day with the boys. I'll decide what to do about my sports hernia soon and I'm leaning toward getting surgery after the CDA trip so I can recover in July. That gives me August/September to build/peak for my ultimate day. If I can get by without cutting into my body, with maybe just some rest or less running, then I'd prefer that route. Wish me luck...

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

VO2 the MAX!!

This past week I’ve been pretty tired for some reason. I think lack of sleep is the culprit. I tend to stay up late (10-11pm) and then I’ve been swimming early in the morning a couple times a week. The only problem is now my sleep patterns are such that I wake up at 4:30am EVERY DAY. I get up and go swim on training days but roll around and piss my wife off the other days (read, no sleep for me or her). Anyway, I’m trying to work through that. But I’ve got a new training tool to fuel the furnace.

A friend and club-mate of mine, Laura Vedeen is working toward her masters at Illinois State University, and one of her thesis topics is to differentiate between the testing results found using a standard two different types of cycling test equipment, an Ergometer and a Velotron. The Velotron is more like a bicycle and the Ergometer is more like the piece of exercise equipment found in most hotels.

The test was made up of two phases. Phase 1 involved riding the Ergometer and measuring my VO2 max, Peak Heart Rate, Max Power, and determining my Ventilatory Threshold Values (similar/same as Lactic Threshold). Phase 2 involved riding the Velotron and measuring the same as above. Phase 2 would be performed no less than 2 days later than Phase 1 (for me it was three days later).

I was thinking this test was going to be an hour long, grueling lab test. I was somewhat pleasantly surprised since it was only about a 15 minute test, but the grueling part was still in there. I started out with an easy warm-up then they started to add resistance every 1 minute until failure. I only suffered for about 3-4 minutes at the end of each test when they had the resistance cranked WAY up.

For each test, they set up the bike with similar dimensions from my bike (which I brought for the first test) and installed my pedals. The Ergometer had limited adjustability so I felt a bit cramped and the Velotron felt more like a real bicycle.

As you can see in my results, my numbers are as follows:

Maximal Values                    Ergometer     Velotron
VO2 (ml/kg/min):                      56                58.3
Peak Heart Rate (bpm):           165               169
Max Power (Watts):                  360             400
Watts/kg body mass:                4.24            4.71
Ventilatory Threshold Values
Heart Rate:                                   150             140
% of Peak HR:                               91               83
Watts:                                            260             270
Watts/kg:                                    3.06             3.18

What does this mean? You can’t really tell anything from the MAX numbers alone. You have to compare them to the numbers at Anaerobic Threshold (AT). AT is a comparison of the volume of oxygen your body can consume and process vs. the volume of CO2 it can release as waste. When the two volumes are near equal, you are at AT.

My volume of oxygen consumption at AT is 2968mL/min
My max volume of oxygen consumption is 4942mL/min.

This means I have some room for improvement. I can’t really increase my maximum volume of oxygen consumption (VO2 max) but I can increase my volume of oxygen consumption at AT. The other number to look at here is how many watts of power you can output at AT. The Velotron results tell me this number is 270watts. That means I can train at tempo or sub AT without going over and slowly improve the amount of time I can hold that pace. This is a mistake many people make by training at the same pace over, and over, and over and then reaching a plateau in their fitness. You need to increase your training zone to just under AT (with intervals) and you will slowly start to see improvement in your “race pace” fitness. Throwing in a few short VO2 max blasts will also help. Key is knowing this number.

That’s all for this week. I have a big month of training for May and I need to nail every bit of it. I’m going to start picking up a little bit of swimming intensity, begin doing my run circuit training (functional strength), and then increase my bike volume. I’m planning to ride the IM Moo course with Mark and Keith (maybe just one loop) the day before the Madison Marathon (where I’ll probably just run 18) and then Tri Shark is coming the first weekend in June. Can’t wait ‘til June. IM CDA training !!

Later, cd

22 weeks and counting….

Monday, April 21, 2008

A successful camp

C + C Triathlete Factory was a success. Three days of intense training, informational sessions, good food, and comrodery. It was a great experience, not only for our campers, but for me too. I enjoyed absolutely everything about this past weekend. Thank you to my wife Sloan, all of Chris Sweet's family, and to Stan Watkins for pitching in and helping us make this camp work. NONE of it would have happened without you.

Chris and I started Friday out with shopping for some last minute menu items to make sure we had fresh food for meals and to ensure we had enough food for everyone. This is one area we did not want to come up short. Camp Wocanda was a superb location. The big lodge was perfect for our central meeting point. We were able to store our bikes, cook and eat our meals with tons of space, have access to clean bathrooms, and it just had a great rustic feel. It was pretty exciting to meet each and every person as they trickled in on Friday afternoon. I recorded every one's name on the chalkboard as they arrived and handed out the small binder of material we collected as reference material along with a goodie bag from Hammer Nutrition with gels, bars, and Recoverite. All in all we had 14 campers which would turn out to be just perfect.

The weekend forecast was not looking that great. I had the laptop open showing the weather radar and forecast for the weekend. Rain and thunderstorms, just great. We all thought positive and hoped it would blow over. In the end it did. It turned out to be a great Spring weekend weather-wise.

I'll go over our schedule briefly (I hope), as I could write for hours about the details that swirl delightfully around in my head. Friday evening we headed out for a short 40-45min trail run around the camp to loosen up. Much like everyone else, I didn't really know what to expect. I hoped our organization skill would not fail us. Sweet had camped here a number of times so he knew all about the winding trails, sharp hills, and challenging terrain. I tried to lay back and make sure everyone was able to keep site of our direction. As we turned back toward camp, some ended up running a bit longer than others but we were able to corral everyone and head back to the lodge for some dinner.

After a hefty spaghetti dinner we put on a tire changing clinic and made sure most everyone changed at least one tube on their bike to ensure they got the hang of it. Another good exercise was just removing and reinstalling the rear wheel which proved a bit tricky for some. This clinic would prove essential as we had some unfortunate flats during the weekend.

Our sleeping arrangements were two cabins, one for the women, and one for the men. They both had bunk beds and our group was small enough that nobody had to sleep on top. It was great extra space for our belongings. Lights out, a good nights sleep, and everybody up early with great enthusiasm.

The radar for Saturday morning looked pretty clear so we went ahead and made the call to go ahead and ride outside. After some breakfast we all loaded up our bikes and headed across the river to a better location than leaving from camp. On the way there, it looked a bit iffy as the rain was coming down pretty steady. By the time we got to our location, the rain had stopped and never restarted. Based on the information everyone provided regarding cycling pace, we divided up into two groups. Andy and I would head up one group and Chris and Stan Watkins (USA Cycling coach for Vision Quest Coaching) teamed up with the others. The roads were a bit wet but nothing too bad. Plenty of worms on the road too, which ended up on everyones frame. The route we took was pretty challenging for everyone. Some good climbs and some good descents, but nobody had any problems tackling the terrain. I think we were all pretty psyched to be outside riding since none of us had been able to get out much because of the strange weather we'd been having.

After we got back from the ride, we ate lunch at the lodge and got cleaned up a bit. We put together a nutrition seminar which lasted about an hour. This is one topic that people had plenty of good questions and we probably could have taken twice as much time. Hammer Nutrition was nice enough to provide plenty of sample products like gels, bars, and Recoverite, and some additional product info they could refer to. I mixed up a 5 gallon cooler of HEED to fill water bottles and also had a second tub of powder mix so they could mix their own.

Our post lunch workout was a nice trail run at Detwiler Park just a few miles down the road. This is the same park the IHSA puts on the state cross county meet every year. Great open fields sections where we could run the perimeter. This workout would be self paced and we wanted everyone to challenge themselves rather than just running easy for 1 hour. 20 min warm up/20 min tempo/20 min cooldown. Back to the camp to change clothes and take a short break before heading out to the pool.

Chris Sweet found a great pool to use in Chilicothe, the Park Community Center. It was just 10 min away and we were able to rent the place out after hours. Chris did a fantastic job by outlining the Total Immersion swimming technique (which I have been using for the past 4-5 yrs). It feels like you are doing a bunch of nonsense drilling but you are actually breaking your stroke and assembling it into something that will make you more efficient in the water. Key is PATIENCE. A few people had a hard time getting this idea down. But in the end, it started clicking. Chris' wife Cara came to the pool to assist and started videotaping each swimmer to review for later. Two hours in the pool and everyone was pretty wiped out. It was nice to have clean warm showers to use before returning for camp.

After eating another great meal, Chris reviewed the video of each swimmer and offered constructive criticism and advice on what thing to work on. This was a great tool that everyone seemed to get a lot out of. By the time we were done reviewing video, it was about 9:30pm and most people were heading back to the cabins for some much needed rest. I didn't hear a peep all night : )

I woke up a bit early on Sunday. I heard some watch alarms go off in the cabin thinking it was 6am but in reality it was 5am!! Should have figured that out when nobody, even Chris down at the lodge, was awake or moving around. I (rudely) woke Chris up and started making coffee, put a few food items out, and did a quick check of the weather on my laptop. It was going to be a great day, 72 and sunny!! We planned to hit the pool before Breakfast and have everyone work on that swim stroke. Chris put together a more structured swim workout and we joined in for a good workout.

Back to camp for an awesome breakfast. Our volunteers worked their tails off getting the meals ready for everyone. It was so great to have everything ready when we got back from a workout. They did an excellent job.

Our final workout for Sunday was to head back to Detwiler Park and do some transition tips and let everyone practice doing them a few times to get them thinking about what time improvements they could be getting in T1 and T2. Chris and I demonstrated a couple different techniques we prefer in our transitions and then everyone was able to practice a few times.

We had been talking about the "Hill Brick of Death" for the afternoon workout and even posted it that on the chalk board. The hills at Detwiler are very steep and it would be a big challenge for some but very do-able. We wanted the campers to judge how their weekend had been going, and if they felt like they still had some extra left in the tank, then we challenged them to ride a number of hill repeats and then get off the bike and run a few hills. If they felt like they had gotten enough training in thus far, we at least wanted them to try one or two hills and a short run to finish up. Everyone went at their own pace and it seemed to work out great. A few of us, Mike, Terri, Tamara, Chris, and I rode down to Skyline Drive to do some repeats on a very scenic, winding, hilly road.

After returning to camp again, Chris fired up the grill and started cooking some burgers and chicken for a nice cookout to finish the day. I mingled with some of the campers to get some feedback from the weekend. We all finished up by sitting out on the front porch and doing a little training Q&A and just talking in general about planning our tri-season. We came up with some quick awards for the weekend and did some giveaways. It was a nice way to end the day.

I think this experience was incredible and I hope I was able to make a difference in a few if not all of our campers in some way or another. I also learned a little about myself and how I need to interact with others in that kind of setting. I think I need to spend more time focusing on the campers, spending one-on-one time, analyzing their form or technique during workouts, and just offering more feedback. I really like spending time with others in a training setting and hope to do more in the future. Chris and I are thinking of offering this camp again next year and I believe it could work. It really gives everyone a great jump start to the season.

Now back to the grind...

Sunday, April 13, 2008

26 weeks and counting...

Another couple weeks of great training under my belt and some cool plans for the next two. I hit the pool 2-3 times a week and have been feeling pretty good in the water. I always try to add in some drills to my workouts early on to get back in the habit of controlling my stroke. A couple years ago Eric Arndt got a bunch of us Tri-Sharks together and did a video swim analysis which showed I had some issues with my technique. I've been trying to correct them on my own with drilling and focus work. This past fall I even tried to do some masters swimming with a coach giving me some advice. I bailed on the masters since they made me kick too much (I don't like to kick). So I just continue to do my Total Immersion swimming stuff which I think helps me focus on the "right" way to get through the water. I'm working on 2000-2300yds a session for now.

I've been keeping up with the running and slowly increasing my Sunday long runs up into the 13-14 mile range. The past few weeks before my half marathon in St Louis Brian, Keith and I have been running out at the Tri-Shark bike course which is a good 13 miler with some challenging hills.

I suppose this is why I did a pretty good job at the half finishing with a 1:33. I'm glad we spent time running those hills in preparation for that St Louis course. It's pretty rolly and can sneak up on you in the last few miles. My splits showed I had maintained a 7min mile for nine and then slowly faded with 7:30's for 10, 11, 12, and 13. I suppose I'm happy with that.

My plans for run training leading into the Madison marathon will be to maintain a 14-18 mile long run but to finish the last 1/4 to 1/3 with increased effort close to LT. Had a nice run with Brian today where I finished this way. It felt pretty good and I hope to continue like this through June and then take a mid season run break to focus more on the bike. Maybe it'll warm up by then...

Not a lot of biking going on around here since the weather is just down right shitty. Keith and I've been out one Saturday and I've been out a couple week days. The rest have been on the trainer in the garage. This past Saturday though I had an incredible training session with my Kona-mate Chris Sweet. He and his Team Evo Tri have picked up Vision Quest training as a sponsor. Each of their teammates get a mentor coach from Vision Quest to work with. Chris works with a Vision Quest guy here in town, Stan Watkins who has THE ultimate set up in his basement. 6 decks for CompuTrainers wired into his computer projecting onto a HUGE screen. Up to 6 riders can train, race, do a simulated pace line, whatever. We had 4 guys and did 2x15min intervals after a good warm up, then to finish, 4x30sec V02 max efforts. All in all a 1.5 hour workout that felt like a 4hr ride afterwords. Stan input a my LT at 270. This would the max effort in watts I could maintain for 40min. This would also be the number I needed to hold in those intervals. Pretty cools stuff. It gave me another perspective of what it feels like to train with power.

My tri camp with Sweet is coming up this weekend and we're putting the finishing touches on getting it all complete. Made a trip out to the camp site and it looks pretty cool. Made it over to the pool to see where we'll be doing the video analysis, and drove parts of the bike course. It's pretty challenging. We're "gonna make them sweat" for sure! The Sullivan Tri is the week after so I'm looking forward to getting the season started on a good note. Hoping for good weather for both...

Friday, March 21, 2008

I swear I'm ADD

Wow, a new post.

No, really, I couldn't wait to start reporting out on my 30 week countdown to Hawaii. So far so good on the training front. I actually made all my scheduled workouts the past...4 days. Woo Hoo. I'm on a role. Big deal, you've got a long way to go. Thanks to Drew for his jet tool. I can schedule every week to the T. I do confess Drew, I never use it in the off season. I've never been a good off season guy. I basically roam aimlessly from day to day, weekend to weekend, not really knowing what I'm doing. See title.

It really is a good thing, a schedule. Especially if the ending is as sweet as Hawaii. I've used a pretty decent structured schedule for 3 years now and I think it really helped me focus. I always have a goal starting out (which I don't really document, just keep close to the chest for some reason). Anyway, I just read a good piece from Justin Daerr on xtri and it was pretty cool. He talked about how he made the jump from his first 12:55 IM to a sub 9 IM for his... 4th?. Kind of cool but he did it the Gordo Byrn kind of way. While he was a student he had the opportunity to train, train, train. Mega hours. I really believe you have to put in that much effort to be able to suffer a sub 9 IM. I'm not saying I'll do a sub 9 IM but I'd kinda like to do a sub 10 for sure.

1hr + 5:30 + 3:30 = 10 hours. Get Fast or Quit, right? This years schedule is a good one since I've got some different approaches that I'll try. I need to improve my run and bike over and above what I pulled off last year. That should be do-able since I'm again running a spring Marathon and making some epic bike plans. I built a huge base running over the winter last year and I'm right on track with that this year. I will be trying out some "circuit" training sessions which add in functional strength training along with your running/biking. I like the idea since I hate lifting weights.

One awesome deal is that I'm making the trip out to IM CDA to watch some buddies. I can't wait to swim that ultra clear lake again, and I'm stoked to ride the new bike course. A few Madison trips in there will also do the trick. Love the availability of that course from here. Pepper some "Miles of Death" rides (as Keith would say) in there and some monthly TT's, WOW, enough!

29 weeks and counting...

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Midwest Tri Camp

Huge announcement...A Midwest Tri Camp!!! That's right, a camp for all levels of triathletes that is close and will offer great training with all the ammenities of those high priced camps offered by the pros. It's all inclusive!!

Chris Sweet and I have put together a camp called C + C Triathlete Factory which will offer a camp style atmosphere full of challenging training sessions and informative seminars. If you think Illinois is full of flat cornfields, think again. Our location will offer challenging hills in the Illinois river vally to ride through and a run location suitible for the IHSA state cross country competition. Additionally, we're planning to have video swim analysis for everyone. We'll also offer bike fit consultation and will have a licenced massage therapist on location. Come join us for some fun and excellent training to kick start your season because... we're gonna make you sweat!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Lets get it started in here...

I'ts a long way from serious Kona training but I'm planning to do the Madison marathon in May so I've pretty much need to get my butt into run shape. I've been running the past few Sundays with my GFOQ buddies and finally put something down on paper to get some structure. My long runs are at 10 miles and I've put together a +1mi +2mi +1mi -1mi run schedule for my long runs and that should get me to 20+ miles by May and enough time to taper into another marathon which I hope to use as my early season gut check to kick start my "real" training for the big dance. I thought last years marathon set me up well for Wisconsin so I'll keep the same plan for this year. You might say it's too early for that much distance, but I say look at the guys who train hard for Kona. An early season Ironman is not out of the ordinary. I just need to take a mid-season break to ensure I don't overdo it.

I've also started to do some winter weight training which is a bit different than what I've done in the past. I'll see how long that lasts. I'm not much of a weight lifter, kind of hate it. Always overdo it and get hurt so i'm trying to pace myself.

Other things I'm thinking about as the season gets in gear is what my season schedule will look like. Here's what I've planned so far:

St Louis 1/2 Marathon
Madison Marathon
Lakeside tri - Decatur
Evergreen Tri
Miles of Death er Smiles!
Pigman 1/2 IM
And lots of training in lots of different locations......yee hee hee!

So, even though the temp outside is currently below zero, I'm ready to get it on. I can't wait :)