Thursday, June 28, 2007

Pacific Crest Half Ironman!

Sorry for the delay! I've been on vacation with the family with VERY limited internet! Just got home tonight so I'll get right to it.

Friday morning I woke up after a mediocre sleep (thinking about the race) and went into Sunriver and hit packet pick-up. I got over there around 10 am and was a bit surprised to find that not many people were there! I kind of expected that with an event this size there would have been people swarming into town. Eh... no big deal. Picked up my packet and wandered around the various and sundry booths in the "Athlete's Village" trying to find free stuff... not too much luck no that front. Went back to the cabin and touched base with the family, picked up the bike, and met my buddy Jim to take our bikes out to T1... about a 25 minute drive from SR. Us 2 rookies had a great time freaking out and second-guessing our pacing strategies and nutrition plans for the race. Breezed in, got marked (TOTAL rookie move), found our assigned row for the bikes, set them up and drove back to SR. Met up with Drew and decided to take a ride with him out to the lake. When we got out there the wind was kicking up some pretty massive whitecaps on the lake. I knew the wind wouldn't be as aggressive at 9 am the next
morning so I didn't sweat it. As usual, Drew was good company and I took advantage of his ability to calm my nerves the day before the race. He had also heard from a fellow Triscooper named Scottie that was doing his first HIM at Pacific Crest as well. Drew's a good man and pretty level-headed... thanks for keeping it even keel Drew! The plan for tomorrow was to have my Father-In-Law take, myself, Drew, and Jim from T2 in the m0rning at about 6:30 am and drive us out to the lake.

Back to the cabin with the family. My Mother and Father-In-Law had arrived by that time and when I walked into the kitchen they came out shaking pom-poms and chanting, "Go Rob! Go Rob! Go Rob!" Freakin hilarious huh? I love those guys. Had a nice relaxing dinner and turned in around 9:30 pm... and proceeded not to sleep due to 1) Excitment, 2) Tom deciding that he's all of a sudden afraid of the dark, and 3) Lila needing to pee every 3 minutes! AH! The joy of fatherhood... the fun never ends!

Race day started with a 5 am wakeup. Ok ok... I know... a little early... but I just couldn't help it! YES! RACE DAY! WHOOP whoooooooop! Coffee, oatmeal, banana and a heavy coat of sunscreen... ready to go! Off to T2, meet Drew and Jim, get my stuff set-up and pile in the car to get to the lake. Got there around 7:30 am and had plenty of time to chill out and warm-up in the sun before out 9:05 am wave start. Drew was cool as usual... I think he actually took a nap under the big inflatable RedBull swim finish thing. I was feeling really really good! Confident, relaxed, centered, and just plain ready to get things going! Double checked my stuff... all set! Random thoughts flew through my mind, "Wow... that old chick is HOT! Skinny guys like me look bitchin in wetsuits! Alright big buff dude with attitude that just bumped into me and didn't say excuse me... OH... you're in my age group... I'm gonna smoke your bags dude." HELL YEAH! Ready to GO! Had a Hammer Gel and a couple of Endurolytes and walked on down to the water.

Waded into the water with Drew and did roughly 100 yards to warm-up a bit and get used to the water. Temp wasn't cold, surface looked glassy, Jim waded in looking a little freaked out. Some dude's zipper broke about 5 min from the start... he was holding it together pretty well but you could tell that inside he was freakin out... I know I would be! 9:00 am... first wave takes off! "WOW... this is freakin cool!" Alright... 5 min to go! Deep breaths! Keep it straight... flow... flow... flow... smooth... smooooooth. Gave Jim and Drew a high 5, "Have a good day guys!"


Head down, plowin through... not too many people around me... sighting sighting sighting... few bumps from either side... I'm NAILING my sightings! TOTALLY pumped about going straight! HEY! I feel awesome!
YES! Pull hard! I'm at the first buoy already! HOLY crap! Nice! Wait... those are caps from the first wave! YES... ok ok.. calm down... they're just slow. I feel good though... I'm actually going in a straight line and am exactly where I thought I'd be in terms of pacing. I was a bit timid in terms of pushing the pace... mostly I was afraid of putting out too much too early and not being able to hammer the bike. Next thing I know I'm out of the water and heading through the RedBull arch thingy. Check my watch... "Holy CRAP! I'm 2 minutes ahead of where I thought I'd be! YES!"

Into T1! Slow slow sloooooooow. "CRAP! Move move MOVE! COLD! Come ON Rob... get your wet suit off! Bah ha ha! This is GREAT! Woooo WHOOOOO! YES!" Crammed all my stuff into the bag that was provided to us. Helmet on. Glasses on. Shoes on. GO! Out the gate and off I go!

"Eeeeeeeasy... eeeeeeasy." I had to keep telling myself when I started out b/c I was SO jacked with adrenalin! I wanted to red-line immediately! A few people blew right by me early on, and it was really tough not to go with them. "Let 'em go... you'll see 'em later." So I let them go. Then I realized that I was freezing my ass off! The combination of the relatively cold water and my "fancy" (Lila's term) triathlon "outfit" still being wet, the chilly morning air, the wind chill, and my adrenalin pumping was making me shiver. "CRAP... where's the sun?! I'm freezin my balls off!" This passed soon enough. The scenery was awesome as I was peddling along. No one was passing me except for the occational super-fast dudes with disk wheels... I was ok with that. I was passing some people though... LOVED that! The course was rolling hills... nothing steep but some of the ups were large enough to slow me down to an average speed that I didn't really like... then again there were the downs... FUN! I think I topped out around 40mph on a couple! SWEET! I was sipping on my aero bottle every 10 minutes religiously... I had set my timer... feeling really good. I had decided early on not to look at my odometer until I was an hour and a half in... that was my predicted half-way mark. About an hour in I heard a bike coming up on my left, "Clank, Grind, CLANK, CRUNCH!" There's this guy on an old Trek just grinding away... he passed me on an uphill, I let him know that he was lookin good but his bike sounded aweful! He just said "Thanks" and motored on. "Ok... you can't let him and his noisey bike go". I held onto him and paced with him. I would pass him... he would pass me... it got to the point where we just laughed and smiled at one another every time it happened. Finally, I saw his cadence falter... I passed him one final time and never saw him again. I was a bit bummed... it would have been fun to push each other on the run as well. I hit the 1.5 hour mark and held my breath... looking down I cycled through the buttons on my computer... "Holy CRAP... I'm down 31.6 miles! I can finish sub 5 hours! HOLY CRAP! YES!" Such a great feeling! The rest of the ride was auto-pilot. I felt fantastic and just kept after it. No one was passing me and there was a huge gap between myself and the next guy... "Try to reel him in"... didn't happen but it kept me focused. About 2 miles out of T2 on the main road there was traffic backed up and I actually had to duck to avoid a huge truck's side-view mirror... freakin SCARY! Then on the final turn toward T2 the dude that was directing the traffic actually sent an SUV right in front of me! I had a few choice words for the cop and the driver! No harm... I was at T2 and completely blown away that I was there a full 25 minutes before I expected to be! NICE!

Into T2! "Holy CRAP! So that what it feels like to run after going hard for 56 miles! Eh... oh well." Coming in, a college buddy of mine that I rowed with and his wife were yellin for me, "Go Rob! Hey ROB! Lookin GOOD DUUUUUUDE!" I loved that! ALL smiles I parked my bike in the rack, helmet off, shoes off, race belt on, visor on, running shoes on, two Endurolytes, 3 gels in the waist band, GONE!

I was a bit shocked at how my legs felt. I don't exactly know what I was expecting... but I wasn't expecting to feel this tired. Plus... I was also FULL! I consumed a grand total of 32 oz of Perpetuem and one HammerGel on the bike... and I felt really FULL! I clocked my pace at just under 8 min at the first mile... I was ok with that thinking that I'd pick it up as the miles ticked off. Then this girl just BLEW by me, "Hey! She's haulin ASS! Speaking of ass... look at her's... its HUGE! There's no way a chick with a bootay like that can be that FAST! Uhhhh... hmmmm... check your ego Rob!" Yeah... that was crazy. Anyway... came up on a guy with an MDot on his calf... asked him where he got it... turns out he got it at IM Wisconsin last year... "You're hardcore dude! Have a good run!" Off I went. I kept my pace even. Every aid station I walked through and took in at least one water. I'm not entirely sure why I felt the need to walk each station... I guess it was just lack of experience that told me to be careful, take it easy, don't blow your wad too early. I warmed up pretty well by mile 3 and hit cruise control. My mind wandered a LOT. "Am I taking enough fluid? When do I take a gel? Gatorade at the next aid table? I wonder how K is doing with all 3 kids at the finish? Why does this dude sound like he's in labor?" Who knows man... I certainly didn't so I just plodded along. I was passing people for a while and then it just opened up... no one behind... no one in front... which sucked b/c I'm better when I have someone to chase. I started feeling a cramp come on at around mile 8... so I slammed a gel and started taking in one cup of Gatorade at every aid station... and guess what? It went away. At mile 11 I started my "kick"! YEAH... if that's what you call it. I looked at my watch and started to think about not quite being able to hit sub 5 hours. "Relax.. you're ok... you can make it... just don't slow down." The problem was that I spent the last 10 miles or so relaxing and walking aid stations... I think deep down I knew I couldn't make up the time lost... but I sure as hell was going to try. I felt surprisingly good... which pissed me off, "If you feel this good ROB... you should have pushed harder earlier! You SUCK dude! Wait a minute... knock it off! Dude... you're doing great... keep it smooth... kick it up a notch... look around you! It's GORGEOUS out here! Can you hear the crowd? YES! You're family is over there waiting for you! Have FUN for Christ's sake!" I really did hear the crowd... and they pulled me in! It was AWESOME! There was Kathryn and the kids and my Mother and Father-in-law screamin for me! It was GREAT! I was clapping for myself and yellin, "YES! WOOOOOO WHOOOOOO!!!! COME ON!" as I crossed the line... a VERY happy man!

So here's the final results:
  • Swim: 00:33:50
  • T1: 00:03:14
  • Bike: 02:35:18
  • T2: 00:02:12
  • Run: 01:47:35
  • Total: 05:02:10
  • Overall: 73 of 443
  • AG: 23 of 74
I'm pleased as punch with the overall results! Especially considering the fact that this is my first race at this distance and my 3rd triathlon ever! Here's the thing though... I know I can be faster! Bah ha ha! Isn't that classic? "Don't bask in it... put yourself down Rob... all the cool kids do it!" Seriously folks... I'm NOT happy with that run! I think I attribute my lack of speed mostly to lack of experience. Now I know... and I will go harder next time! Now the bike... I'm shocked and THRILLED with that! I'm so happy with it that every inch of my being is struggling to find something to put down about it... can't do it... I'm PUMPED about that bike! Swim was fine... REALLY happy with the sighting... BIG thanks to my buddy Mark for helping me with that!

I'm an overwhelmingly lucky guy. I have an amazing family that's extremely supportive of my "habit". I just feel incredibly blessed every single day and competing in events like this just make me appreciate all that I have even more. There's more training to be done and more races to be run...

this is just the beginning...


Thursday, June 21, 2007

aLOT of Breathing!

The pic at left is from HERE. The title is "Flow". Pretty good theme for this coming race.

2 days away from the race that I've been working toward for the last 5 months! Ok, so that's a bit dramatic. It's not like my life stopped and all I did was train. Nor is it like my life depends on how I do in this race. But to be honest, I really really want to do well. The thing is... I don't need to prove anything to myself or to others. I'm good with all that. So I'm trying to figure out why this means so much to me. On the other hand, do I really need to figure that out? I mean, isn't it just ok to do it b/c I want to and I enjoy it? Yeah... I think that's ok. So that's what I'm goin with.

Tying up some business in Bend today and then heading out to Sunriver to get set-up at the house. My friend and collegue Lynne S. and her family have a mackdaddy house there and they were kind enough to let my family and I use it for the race as well as the week after! BIG shout-out to Lynne! You ROCK Lynnie!

My bike had a bit of trauma the other day. It was skipping gears so I took it into my LBS. Some of the teeth on the big chain ring were bent... no problem right? Replace the big ring and we're good to go. WRONG! They didn't have the appropriate parts and couldn't get them in before I left last night. SO... the guys did some of their magic and made it work. I was a bit stressed yesterday... but overnight I realized that there's really nothing I can do about it... all I can do it race my race and thinking about that will just distract me. It's good to let go... I don't have to control everything.

All my gear's together and I'm ready to go. I have a short brick to do today and then tomorrow I'll hook up with Drew and Jim, get registered, get the bikes dropped off in transition, then hunker down with my family until race morning!

Detailed race report will come sometime next week!

Thanks for all the support out there!


Sunday, June 17, 2007

Father's Day Festivities!

Like all previous Father's Days, this one started out with doughnuts and coffee provided by my three amazing kiddos! Although colorful, delicious, and nutritious... I would NOT recommend starting your morning like that on a big training day. K and I have a long standing tradition that on Father's or Mother's Day... we... as the father or mother get to choose whatever they want to do! Usually this does not include a mediocre brunch out with a ton of other families screaming children... but it DOES usually mean a quiet day of reading and relaxing alone and a battery re-charge. On this particular F-Day I had a long swim and a long run scheduled... so there ya have it!

I called my college buddy Mark and asked if he wanted to go do an open-water swim! He's quite a good swimmer and has done triathlons in the past... to include Escape from Alcatraz, numerous times. I figured he could help me work on spotting and maintaining my line in open water. The weather was PERFECT... sunny and roughly 65 degrees. Water was a bit chilly in the beginning but we warmed up pretty fast and were able to get some good practice in. According to gmaps... we covered about 1,800 meters total. Mark had a lot of tips for spotting and maintain your line while in the water! We stayed in for as long as we could... then the rednecks showed up with their boats and jetski's... which means we were suckin diesel a little too much for my tastes! The best part was getting to spend time with a good friend doing something that we both love! Thanks for coming WOMBAT! Then it was off to the pool to finish up the swim workout... total of 2,600 m. Good stuff...

After that I relaxed in the sun for about an hour and read. Such a treat! I read pretty much every night before going to bed... for about 3.2 second before I fall asleep. It was really nice to sit in the sun and read without the threat of drool running down my chest and puddling in my belly-button. Then it was run time!

On the schedule was a 1:50 min run. The weather had heated up to about 72 degrees and it was perfectly sunny! AWESOME weather for a long run! Then I realized that I hadn't really eaten much beyond my two doughnuts and coffee earlier that morning. I tend to get a bit paranoid about not fueling properly... and the fat pills really didn't do the trick. I shoved an apricot Cliff bar in my face, slugged down some NUUN, had an ounce of HammerGel and was ready to go. I striped down to the bare essentials... running shorts, visor, glasses, shoes, sunscreen and took off. I had one gel in my waistband and there were multiple water fountains throughout the route I chose so I was pretty confident that I'd be otay. I felt fantastic up to about an hour in... took my gel... and immediately knew that the rest of the run would be a struggle... at least to maintain a consistent pace. Oh well... its all part of the fun right? Ideally I would have been able to take in one gel every 1/2 hour or so... but obviously that didn't happen. I really did feel it in the last half hour... but you can pretty much do anything for a 1/2 hour if you put your mind to it. Finished up and had a Recoverite and banana... good to go! Over all I covered 14.7928 miles in 1:50 which interprets to a 7:26/mile pace. VERY happy with that considering the lack of fuel in my body!

Today, Monday, is a rest day and then I'll start my "taper" for the HIM on Saturday! Basically all of my workouts from here on out are intense yet very short... for instance my brick on Thursday is like a 15 min ride followed by a 5 min run... then Friday I do nothing! I guess the idea is that I'll be totally fresh for the race... which I'm all for! Heading over to Bend on Wed evening and taking care of some work stuff over there on Thursday. Friday is registration etc. I'm really excited and fairly confident that I'll put together a race that I'll be happy with!


Friday, June 15, 2007

Thursday BRICK.... house...

Yeah! OK... so here's what I've really enjoyed about all this training stuff... improvement! SO cool to experience it over a training cycle. Basically I'm in the 19th week of a 20 week training cycle. The ride that I did as part of my brick session yesterday was a standard ride that I started doing waaaaaaay back at the beginning of this 20 wk cycle. Essentially the bike starts with a roughly 10 mile steady uphill climb of about 6-8% grade. I can remember going up that thing in the beginning and thinking to myself, "I must be the most pathetic triathlete in the WORLD! I can't get my breath! My legs are gonna fall off! My butt is on FIRE! OUCH! Crap! I'm a failure! Whyyyyyyyyyyyy?" Yeah... pathetic huh? Anyway, I cruised up the thing like it wasn't even there... laughing the entire time (b/c of the most recent Zen podcast) and just having a good 'ol time! So very cool! So I rode for an hour and a half at an extremely relaxed pace (as prescribed by my training plan), covered 24 miles, then hopped off the bike for a 45 min run covering 6 miles. How cool is that!? I felt totally fresh the entire time! Good stuff.

Heading into the Father's Day weekend and some fairly heavy training. Saturday will be a short run in the morning followed by a 1 1/2 hr bike at HIM pace. Sunday will be a 2,600m swim followed by a 1:50 run. Looking forward to both!

It might interest you to know that Morgan and I are organizing an endurance nutrition talk on June 30th at Collin's Cycle Shop on W. 11th! There will also be a presentation in regard to improving your open-water swim! Details on times and speakers to follow! SWEET!

HEY! If you're reading this... leave a dang comment!


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Off the PATH!

If I had a coach... he'd/she'd be pissed at me! I was supposed to do some speed work today... but it didn't happen. I had every intension of doing a 1 mile warm-up followed by 26 min at 10k speed, followed by a 1 mile cool-down... but I got down to Ashland, Oregon... on business... and there was Litiah Park... BEGGING me... "Rob... just run a little bit... keep it mellow.... run along the creek and through the trails... take a look around... it'll be fun" So that's what I did! JEAH JEAH!

But just LOOK at the scenery man! Holy COW! You simply canNOT haul ass through stuff like that! Seriously! So what I did instead of hauling ass was to jog for 40 min at a 7:30/mile pace and listened. I listened to the creek. I listened to the wind in the trees. I listened to the birds. I listened to my feet falling on the path. I listened to the hippie-type wannabe actors rehearsing for the Shakespear Festival hosted in Ashland. That's RIGHT... I had a 40 min Zen moment... and i'll hunt you down and kick your ass if you give me crap about it. Uhhh... I mean... ummm... yeah... you shoulda been there... uhhhhh... breathe...
Seriously though. Sometimes ya just gotta run... or bike... or swim... without killing yourself to prepare for your next race. The way I figure... I'm in shape. I'm prepared for my first half IM. Does it really, truly, honestly matter if I train and taper perfectly for this race???? Not really. This is a journey of self for me... not for anyone else. If I hit the wall so hard in the race that I can't get through it... that I have to lie down, throw-up, pee myself, and then curl up in the fetal position and suck my thumb... then that freakin ROCKS! That's RIGHT! It ROCKS! You know why? Because most people will never experience what its like to get so beyond yourself that you cease to exhist and you simply ARE. That freakin ROCKS!

Whew... what the hell was THAT!??? Feel free to ridicule me now.


1 1/2 Weeks Till Pac Crest!

I'm not sure what that picture at the right is saying... but I came across it HERE.

Not much to report. Summer is quickly approaching and the school year is echoing its final death rattle. I just can't believe that Lila's going to be a 2nd grader... and Jack will enter the pre-teen attitudinal hell that is 5th grade! I'm REALLY going to have to rememer to breathe! LOTS of baseball happening for all three kids... 2 out of the 3 I coach. This time of year is completely AWSOME! There's just this huge sense of anticipation for summer vacation that everyone feels and the air simply tingles with it! We're all really ready for summer!

In terms of training, this week is fairly intense. I think the idea is that you do a lot of hard work before the week of your taper. The odd thing after my race on Sunday was that I really didn't feel all that fatigued... then Monday came. I was TIRED! Luckily Monday is always a rest/recovery day so I just worked, ate, and rested... good stuff!

Tuesday was swim/bike day. Since the race I've had a nagging strain in my right calf... don't know what that's all about but it hurt enough to make me skip my swim in the morning. HEY! Seemed like a legit excuse at the time. The weather in the afternoon was perfect for a bike so I packed it up and headed out to a little farmy type town called Coburg. Just beyond the town is a straight/flat stretch of road that goes through some nice countryside... perfect for a TT which is what the workout was! Here's the stats:

Warm-up: 10 min
Main Set: 45 min at 40k race pace
Cool-down: 10min
Total Dist Main Set: 15.5 miles
Avg Speed: 21.2
Avg HR: 145

Pretty happy. Considering I'm a bit tired from the race... I thought it went well. My calf felt a little tight the entire time but nothing to worry about... at least I hope. The true litmus test will be during my run today. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

OK! On a different note... If you reply to this post... in your reply... tell me what's important to you! Seriously! All this training and triathlon stuff is totally awesome... but I believe that we need to remind ourselves occationally about what drives us. What makes us smile when we're out there on longer rides... and your mind gets to wander around itself... I'd love to hear...


Monday, June 11, 2007

Blue Lake Race Report!

See the confused look on my face? That's b/c I have no idea what I'm doing! Bah ha ha! Regardless... I had a great time and am pleased with my results... especially considering this is my 2nd Triathlon EVER!

Here's the blow by blow:

I left Eugene Saturday evening following Lila's t-ball game and Tom's b-day party. I had packed all my gear the day prior so when the game was over... I kissed everyone and took off! About 2:30 hrs later... more time than it took me to complete the race... I pulled into Drew's parent's driveway. They live about 20 min away from the race site so it was perfect. We hung out for a while then hit the hay at about 9:00 pm.

5:00 am wake-up, coffee and Grape Nuts, and we're off to the race! We got there in plenty of time and were able to just relax, calmly get our stuff together, scope the flow of the transition area, and take a peak at the swim. It was a pretty cool day... roughly 55 - 60 degrees and overcast... pretty much perfect! There was some concern on my part thinking that it might be cold on the bike... I don't like being cold... so I laid out my arm warmers despite the ridicule from Drew. We got our race gear on and headed out for a quick warm-up jog. Got back to the swim start during the pre-race brief, threw on our wet suits and were ready to go!


Water temperature was in the low 60's but it didn't feel cold at ALL! Must have been the adrenaline. It was a water start... so we all headed out and floated around for a bit. The crowd did a count-down and then we were OFF! Our wave was by far the largest in the race... final numbers came in at 56 total in the group. Flailing arms and legs, struggling to find a rhythm, running into everyone on either side of me... the first 500m were torture for me! I just couldn't hold a straight line! I felt sorry for the guys on either side of me! No major collisions but annoying non-the-less. After roughly 600m we took a right at one of the buoys and then it got a bit more smooth. Found my rhythm and was able to keep a relatively straight line... having buoys on my right and the bank of the lake on my left. "Ok.. settle... you're passing people... settle". Round the last buoy and heading for home. Then it happened... 100m from exiting the water... CRAMP! My right hamstring and calf completely seized up! "NO WAY! OUCH! Ok... stay calm... almost there... just pull!" Hit land... cramp went away after the first 4 steps... and I was off to transition!

Swim time: 25:25 (1,500m)


SLOW! I swear the distance from the water to out of the transition onto the bike was at least 1/4 of a mile! Is that normal? Uneventful and pretty smooth. Just took my time and made sure I had all the stuff I wanted for the ride. Morgan ended up in position right next to me... nice to see a friendly face... we shot the bull for a bit and then we were off.

T1 Time: 00:03:00


Took off at a relaxed pace and held it between 19 to 21 mph. Morgan and I exchanged a few words and then he hit the gas... it would have been a mistake for me to try and hold him. I just settled in and tried to remain conscious of my breathing and cadence. I kept reminding myself that it was 25 miles... not 10 and that there would be time to catch some of the guys that were passing me. Surprisingly, there weren't that many passing... and I passed a few myself. Around mile 8 the elite guys started BLOWING by me (I think they started in the last wave... which was odd) like I was standing still. I looked down at my computer and I was holding 21 mph... they must have gone buy at 28 mph at least! AWESOME! I was taking in little sips of Hammer Heed every 10 min or so... but it just wasn't hot and I didn't feel the need... kept after it anyway. It was a flat to slightly rolling course overall which followed the Columbia River. The winds can be brutal in that area but they weren't too bad. Its basically an out and back course and after the turn-around at roughly mile 14 I saw Drew heading toward it... we exchanged hoots and hammered on. I was feeling the threat of a cramp in my right hamstring and calf for most of the second half of the bike... I just didn't give it much thought. Over the course of the 25 miles I took in about 4 oz of Hammer Gel as well... which seemed to work just fine. I was happy as I was pulling into transition when I glanced down at my watch. I know I could have gone harder at this distance but I wanted to test and see if this was the kind of pace I could hold for a Half IM. Jury will be out on that until after that race... but I'm guessing I'll want to bring it down a notch for my first Half IM.

Bike Time: 1:07:44 (22.21 mph pace 25 miles total)


Again, uneventful AND slow! Helmet off, shoes off, socks on, shoes on, visor on, # belt on, GO!

T2 Time: 00:02:31


Started out of the gate relaxed and controlled. Got to see two of my college friends, Dean, and Gary, that came out to support me! THANKS GUYS! I didn't want to go out hard and crash. My goal was to hit a 07:00 min mile or above at the first mile marker. Bingo... hit the first marker at 07:10. Unfortunately that was the last mile marker until the turn-around. That was pretty disappointing b/c I had no way to gage how my pace was holding up. I will say that I was passing people consistently which always feels good. Felt relaxed and in control the entire time. Saw Drew at about the 5 mile mark... he looked comfortable but I knew that he wasn't hitting his goal pace.. high 5 and rolled on! Time to pick it up. I looked at my watch and noticed that I was getting close to my overall goal time of 2:20 for the whole race. I was hoping to have a little more time to relax on the run... but really wanted to hit my goal time! Accelerated hard but was still comfortable... ran through the woods and up a small hill to the finish... I LOVE the rush of the cheering crowd! Crossed the line with a smile on my face!

Run Time: 42:17 (6:42/mile avg)

Overall Time: 2:20:57
Overall Place: 97th of 478
AG Place: 19th of 56

Overall I'm pretty happy! I'm really glad to have an open-water swim out of the way before Pacific Crest. Just from a comfort perspective I think it'll really be helpful. The bike went well and I'm fairly certain I can maintain that pace over the 56 mile distance for the Half IM... although I will probably tone it down to ensure a stronger run. I'm really glad to know that I can still run a sub 7 min mile off the bike... though I think it would be more realistic to expect something 8 min and under for a 13.1 distance. A couple of firsts which I wouldn't recommend. Brand-new wet suit, brand-new running shoes. Though they didn't cause me any problems, there was a lack of familiarity that I would have appreciated right before the swim and as I headed out on the run!

More holistically I'm am SO blessed to be able to participate in this sport! Not only does it keep me sane but it also allows me to meet new people and develop new friends. BIG shout-out to Drew for all of his support and level-headed advice before and after the race! Lookin forward to Pac Crest with ya buddy!


Saturday, June 9, 2007

BLUE LAKE OLY Tomorrow!!!

Welp... I take off for Portland immediately following Lila's T-ball game and Tom's B-day party! Got my gear and bike all packed up and ready to go. The weather hasn't exactly been ideal... rainy and a bit on the chilly side.. mid to low 60s. As a result I'm bringing some snivel gear (arm warmers/gloves) just in case... I'm a wuss when it comes to cold. I'll be staying with Drew and his parents who were generous enough to offer up their guest room. I'm guessing we'll get over to the race site to set up around 6:30 am... that'll give us MORE than enough time and a chance to chill before the race with a waved start at 8:00 am.

Predictions? I'm going to say that I'll complete the race in under 2:20 min.

Full race report will be up sometime Sunday evening! Whoop Whoop!


Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Mellow Training Day...

After a whole bunch of work CRAP! I took off for Bend for a little biznez trip. I'm not sure what was going on but I came close to falling asleep at least 3 different times during the course of the 2 hour drive! How weird is THAT? After getting into town I touched base with Drew and we decided on a LSD run today. We had hoped for an open-water river swim on the Deschutes... but it was way too freakin COLD! Basically we did an hours-worth of running at an extremely casual/conversational pace and covered 6.5 miles. I've said it before... and now I'll say it again: Drew is SPOILED! Take a look at the picture! This is where Drew gets to train all the time! We ran along the Deschutes for almost the entire time! It simply doesn't feel like work at ALL! We were able to discuss race/nutrition strategy for the upcoming Blue Lake Oly this coming Sunday! Of COURSE I'm overthinking it and completely freaking out... and here's Drew... "It'll be great maaaaaan... chiiiiiilllll." Bastard. I hate him.

I'm hooking up with my college buddy Jim tomorrow for a 1:15 hr followed by a 45 min run at HIM pace. Jim just got a brand spankin new Kestrel super duper fast guy bike. I hate Jim too... a LOT... and his fancy bike and will have to cause him much pain on the bike tomorrow and then REALLY hurt him on the run! YES!!! (I won't make him cry... too hard)


Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Lila Says I'm the QUEEN!

Uhhhh... yeah. My daughter put this pink crown on my head yesterday morning and declared, "Daddy! You're the Triathlon QUEEN! Bah ha ha ha!!!" Eh... I've been called worse... and there could be some sort of connection related to the shaved legs. I have to admit that I would have preferred the title of "KING"... But I don't think kings are ok with pink shiny crowns. Moving on now...

Rainy and COLD this morning as I headed out the door at 5 am! That's the hardest part... actually getting up. Once I'm up and I get started I'm usually completely stoked to be there. Amazon pool was completely empty with the exception of the shivering lifeguard and I hopped in. Here's what the swim looked like:
  • 300m warm-up (swim, pull, kick)
  • 4 X 400m on 30 RI
  • 300m cool-down (bilateral breathing drills)
  • Splits: 7:01, 7:10, 7:09, 7:04
  • Total Distance: 2,200m
Fairly consistent but not as fast as I like to think I am... apparently I need to reality check my ego. Its funny... my first interval is always my fastest and then I seem to settle in. I'm assuming that that's the way my race swims will go as well... who the heck knows. Overall I was pretty with the workout... although... like I said... I really really want to be faster than that! But at this point I'm not sure how much speed I can develop before Pacific Crest... no time to worry... just gotta move on. As I got out of the pool I ran into a fellow Collins Tri-guy Morgan and we talked a little bit about getting a nutritionist/dietitian to come in and talk to the team. That's seems like its coming together for the 30th of this month.

This afternoon I had a bike scheduled but between the howling wind, the cold rain, and the thunder I thought it might be prudent to get the ride done on the trainer. Arg... really don't like the trainer... particularly for any fast stuff. I mean, its not THAT awful if you have to put in a straight 2 1/2 hrs of LSD... but doing intervals or work at race pace kinda sucks... mostly b/c there's no real way of telling how fast you're going and how much distance you've covered... at least with my set-up there's not. Anywho... here's what I did:
  • 20 min warm-up
  • 40 min at 40K race pace
  • 20 min cool-down (pedal drills)
  • Total Distance: 1,000 miles
  • Avg Speed: 132.428 mph
Bah ha! Seriously though. I kept my cadence at roughly 110 to 115 strokes/min and felt like I was just FLYING. Judging by the amount of sweat I produced I worked pretty hard and should have taken in at least two bag of normal saline via IV to replace fluid lost. My average HR during the entire workout including the warm-up and cool-down was 135 BPM. The highest HR was 155. Overall I felt pretty solid and if I had to guess... given ideal conditions at the same pace I probably would have covered roughly 12 to 14 miles (lemme know if that sounds like a load of crap!)

Good day overall! Tomorrow I head to Bend on business for the day/night and I'll be hooking up with Drew. We'll get some sort of workout in while I'm there. I've got a run scheduled but he mentioned something about an open-water river swim! Depending on the water temp... that ought to be really FUN!


Monday, June 4, 2007

Feel the CRAMP!

I did NOT do a good job of staying hydrated this weekend. After Kathryn and Lila got back from their Brownie camping trip... I took off for my swim! I was supposed to do a total of 1,800 yds at a relaxed pace. I got in the pool and starting doing my warm-up and BOTH of my calves and feet started cramping up! I couldn't believe it! Pretty frustrating considering I had been stagnant for the entire weekend... except for the bike excursion with the boys. Anyway, there was no way I was going to miss the workout! I struggled through 20o yds of warm-up, I grabbed pull buoy. I ended up doing 1,100 yds pulling. Surprisingly I felt pretty good the entire time. What it forces me to do was to be more efficient and I was also able to really work on my bilateral breathing... something that often gets neglected when I get in the pool. After I hit 1,100 yds I decided to try to finish the main set using both arms AND legs. I was able to complete the final 700 yds but was again plagued by cramps particularly in my right hamstring this time. I found that if I felt a cramp coming on... if I completely relaxed whichever leg it was... eventually it would relax... but it always came back. No worries though... I finished my workout and was happy to have gotten the work in.

In other news... I got the t-shirt from Brett at Zen Tri. If you recall, I suggested a slogan for a triathlon t-shirt for a small company called Tri3Life. Anywho... my little slogan, "Smile, You're Tri-ing" won... which got me a free t-shirt... which is freakin sweeeeeet... we like t-shirts. Brett didn't have any options for sizes... which means I got a large... and for my skinny butt... he might as well have sent me a dress! No worries though... its just another opportunity for me to show off my emaciated form! Thanks Brett! I'll wear it proudly...

Got a swim and bike tomorrow... lookin forward to that! Getting ready for the Blue Lake Olympic distance triathlon coming up on Sunday. No taper... just training right through it! I'll be joined by my buddy Drew in Bend as well as a few local Eugene guys... namely Morgan and Scott. I predict pain for the competition!


Sunday, June 3, 2007


Yeah BABY! Kathryn and Lila headed to the coast for a Brownie camping trip... so it was just us MEN this weekend. We opted to fore-go the massive amounts of booze, the cigars, the gambling, and the strippers for something a little more ummmm... healthy! We headed out on the bikes yesterday and covered roughly 11 miles on the river trail here in Eugene. After that we stopped by the River Park, had a snack and played our fannies off! Really a good time! The weather couldn't have been better and we men made sure to take off our shirts... to please the ladies of course! We endured the whistles and cat calls and headed on back home.

I was intending to do a longish ride Saturday but it just wasn't in the cards... instead I ended up cruising around Eugene on my mnt bike. I realized that I never ride just to ride... its always to get somewhere or to train. It was really nice to get out there and just casually ride.

K and L get home today and after that I'll go log some yards in the pool!


Saturday, June 2, 2007

Eugene Street Sweeper Sprint Triathlon!

I did a sprint on my own on Thursday. I decided to call it the "Street Sweeper" b/c I had to go around one 3 different times during the bike portion! CRAZY!

Here's how it went. The distances were are as accurate as I could get them... I G-mapped the bike and run routes. During the bike, there was a lot of stopping and going. The point of this whole exercise was to just get all three events linked together once before Blue Lake. OK... so here's how it went:

  • 800 yds
  • Total Time: 11:14
  • 1st 400: 5:37
  • 2nd 400: 5:24
Felt completely comfortable and could have pushed harder. Had to do it at the Y in the 25 yd pool. LOTS of turns... kinda sucked! I haven't mastered the flip-turn so its just kind of slow.

  • 13.1 miles
  • Avg Speed: 19.1
  • Total Time: 37:32
Piece of cake. Legs felt good. Cardio was good. Could have gone faster but I was constantly having to stop for cars/stop signs etc. I put the bike route together in my head while I was swimming.... so the route wasn't ideal.

  • Total distance: 3.2 miles
  • Total Time: 19:58
Pretty pumped about the run! I Gmapped the route I took and it came to exactly 3.2 miles. Good fast run. Felt completely comfortable with the exception of my shins. I've been having some pretty sever pain immediately after my runs... as a result I'm not running at all until next Wednesday and I'll consistently ice and keep up with Ibuprofen.

Total time for the Street Sweeper:
  • 1:07:46 (If I did the math right) This time does NOT include transitions times. I'm not sure what they were... but they were slow!
Not having actually done a sprint distance tri... I'm not sure if this is really good or bad. I think its fair and am overall happy with how I felt. What I noticed is that you don't have to worry about nutrition too much at this distance! I basically had 8 oz of NUUN and 3 oz of Hammer Gel... felt well fueled the entire time! FUN!

Thursday night I was in Ashland for the night on business. Pretty successful nursing program actually! Woke up at 4 am and hit the road to Bend! Absolutely GORGEOUS drive as the sun was coming up. Took me about 3 hours to get to Drew's house... then we took off on a nice casual ride. Total distance was 23 miles and we just cruised at about 15 mph. Good times... nice to get to talk triathlon and the like while on your bike! I then went over and saw Jim... who's considering getting a new tri-bike... then hit the Juniper pool for a quick 1,600 m swim... mostly drills etc. Overall a great day!