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