Wednesday, December 14, 2011
My normal swim volume is probably somewhere around 30,000 yards a month. For October and November I had a goal of 50,000 yards per month. Unfortunately due to a sickness in October and a little bit of life outside of triathlon getting in the way I was unable to hit that mark either month. I did make it to about 45,000 each month though. Here is what I learned from past 2 months.
1. The black line in my pool is actually blue. The funny thing is I never noticed this. I had it pointed out to me by Kelly Jahns who informed me in late Novembr. I guess it's time for some new goggles. :)
2. A swim focus will really dry out your skin. I'm pretty good about putting lotion on post swim but I can't reach my back, and I'd feel weird asking my swim buddies to lotion me up. So I walk around with an itchy back all the time.
3. I started to actually enjoy swimming. (don't worry, the feeling went away). I no longer dreaded going to the pool in the morning. The biggest reason for this was the people I swim with. They were all very encouraging and helpful.
4. I did get faster. I felt like I got significantly faster, though I'm still not signifcantly fast but certainly "faster" than I was.
My benchmark tests showed some rather significant gains.
1000 TT. October time- 15:32 December time- 14:42
500 TT. October time- 7:20 December time- 6:54
100 TT. October time- 1:14 December time- 1:12
The only goal I didn't hit was my 100 time which I missed by 1 second. Hopefully I can maintain some of this speed I've gained in last year and it will benefit at Ironman Coeur d' Alene in June.
Friday, December 9, 2011
Friday, October 28, 2011
I think a 1:11 100 is doable and 7:00 500 and hopefully 14:50 1000. I'll report back at the end of November.
In the meantime I encourage everyone to get out there and do what you enjoy the least. :)
Sunday, September 18, 2011
This race has been my goal "A" race since Kona last year. Kona didn't go quite as planned. I’d say the biggest problem for on the big island was letting everyone convince me that the race didn't matter because I wasn't going to win my age group anyway. This way of thinking poisoned me and made me believe that I didn't really belong there.
I set out this year to race a World Championship. Not simply show up and participate.
I qualified in Boise on a roll down. That didn't eaxactly help my confidence going into Vegas. If I couldn't even get it done at a smaller race in the Northwest, how was I supposed to compete with the best in the world?
As the season progressed I started to get more and more fit and it was showing in most of my races. I finished in the top five overall in all of my non WTC races with one overall win.
The successful season paired with some great training sessions leading into Vegas had me cautiously optimistic.
T1 full of bikes!
The pros started at 6:30 and I went off at 8. Transition closed at 6 so that meant I had to get down there at around 5 to make sure everything was ready to roll. Luckily I stayed at the Ravella on Lake Las Vegas, which is about 500 yards from the swim start. That meant I was able to walk back to my room, eat and hang out until my wave was getting closer to starting. On a side note if you're looking for a hotel I reccomend the Ravella over Loews. It's actually a lot closer to the swim and T1.
As far as a warm up goes. I just hopped in with about 5 minutes left before we started and swam around a little. I got tired of treading water so I stood on the rocks under the bridge for the final minute before the race started.
Here I come...37 minutes into the swim :(
I decided to go with a swim skin this year. In Kona, I just wore my tri shorts and I had a hell of a time getting into my top after the swim. My Desoto Liftfoil performed beautifully! You can even wear it the whole race if you want. I raced in my Planet X team kit and pealed the swim skin but you can go either way.
As far as the swim went, I started to the far left and swam straight for the first turn buoy. The course curves to the left and I think you can effectively cut some of the swim by not following the buoy line. I got out for the first 100 yards with very little contact. I even managed to stay up near the bulk of the field up to right around the first turn buoy. The swim was pretty uneventful. I was hoping to swim a 34-35, but I came out in 37. Oh well. At least I have something to work on for next year.
T1 – 3:27
T1 is about a 200 yard run around the backside of the lake. I ended up passing about 5 people on the run, only to have them pass me back as I struggled to get my socks on. Somehow I put both on heel side up and had to take them off and start over. Coming out of the change tent my Planet X Exocet was looking pretty lonely. I assumed this would be the case and I didn't let it bother me. The nice thing is I felt zero pressure all day.
I grabbed my bike and started the long run out of T1 and up a windy hill. I left my shoes clipped in and was having problems with the heel loop hitting the ground and spinning my shoes around. I was just waiting for one to pop out of the pedals and go flying. This was a new problem for me. I guess I’d never had to run this far with my bike.
After mounting my bike I had a ridiculous time getting into my left shoe. I collapsed the part I needed to get my foot into and couldn’t get it to open back up. This happened to me one other time this year and it is extremely frustrating. Eventually I got it straightened out, but it took about ½ mile.
What would you do differently?:
I need different socks. I never have problems with the pair I wear for the run. Also, use bands on my shoes to hold them level.
I know my wife meant to show me getting onto my bike, but I can't help but notice how lonely T1 looks.... I was in the last wave though so cut me some slack.
In talking to people throughout the week I had told some that I was planning on going pretty hard on the bike and some I was planning on taking it easy. To be honest I wasn't lying to either of them. I didn’t know what the plan was. I ride mostly based on feel and I just decided to see now I felt on the day.
Right out of transition you have a 2 mile climb. I was passed by about 5 people in this section, as I struggled with my shoes. Luckily I was able to pass them all back within the next 2 miles. I was passing people left and right (actually most on the left ;). I was feeling great.
There was one guy in my AG (Charlie) that I was going back and forth with until about mile 20. He was kind of a bigger guy so I assumed he must be a biker and I figured I may have a shot at catching on the run.
The race progressed and I kept waiting for the big hills everyone had warned me about, but they never came. For the most part this course is spent going back and forth between your big ring and small ring. I had an 11-25 on the back I never really needed the 25. There is one difficult part of the course. The climb out of Lake Mead all the way back to T2. It's not super steep but it is long.
By the time I was back near Henderson I was seeing fewer and fewer people in my AG. However, as I was passing by one of the last 2 penalty tents I did see two guys from my age group, and I couldn't help but smile (cheating bastards).
I rolled into T2 feeling good. It turns out I was more on the easy side of the bike. Which in my opinion is usually the better way to go.
I finally had a decent transition. Shoes and socks went on easy and I was ready to run.
Feeling pretty good on the run
I came into the run having no idea where I was in my AG and not really caring to tell you the truth. I wanted have a good run, and that was all that mattered. This was my last race of the year and I wanted to leave it all on the course. No saving it for a future race. No worrying about an injury flaring up. Just go hard and see where you end up.
The first mile or so is a steady downhill. This allowed me to get my legs under me and set a good pace from the beginning. I was running at about 6:30 per mile pace and it felt relatively easy going downhill. At around 1 mile into the race a guy from my AG in a PACwest kit went flying by me like I wasn't even moving. I looked down and at that time I was running a 6:10.
"Welcome to the world championships" I thought.
My mind started to drift back to my Kona race last year where I did nothing but get passed for the entire run. For a split second I started to struggle with my confidence. It’s times like this that you have to remind yourself that you’re just starting a half marathon. That’s a fairly long race by itself. When you pair with a swim and hard bike anything can happen. I decided to just to keep my pace and run my own race. I knew I wasn't getting on the podium so I may as see what I could do.
The first lap was a bit of a struggle, but then something awesome started to happen. I started noticing that I was passing people in my AG and no one else was passing me. With a renewed sense of confidence I was able to find another gear. It was crazy. Nothing hurt, I was staying cool, and was running really well. The uphill half of the race I was running about 7:20 and the downhill is would let myself go as fast as I wanted and I was running 6:10's.
The second loop flew by and before I knew it I was on the last loop.
It was gut check time.
I had been falling apart at about mile 11 of all my longer runs and races this year and I didn't want that to happen. So with three miles to go I started to push hard. I knew I only had one more trip up the hill then it would be a mile downhill to the finish.
Oh yea, and PACwest guy that blew by me was suddenly running right up the road from me. Holy shit! I had managed to bring this guy back that I had deemed untouchable. When I him passed I made sure it was a hard pass and checked him at the next 2 turns. I gapped him pretty quickly and he looked miserable. From there it was just pushing hard to the top of hill and gearing up to finish with the downhill.
Then, out of nowhere I noticed at the turn at the top of the hill that were 2 guys in my AG within striking distance so I gave it all I had left coming down the hill. I was running a 5:40 and gaining on those 2 in hurry. I made the pass about halfway down the hill and kept on the gas all the way though the shoot. I was spent! I ended up with a final finish time of 4:43:07. That was good enough for 21st in my age group and the 4th American finisher in my age group. Those Europeans are FAST!
What would you do differently?:
The key at a race like this is staying cool. If you overheat you're done. I made sure to take ice and water and dump it all over me at every aid station. I also hit the coke early. I know from experience Coke is magic for me on the run
My best cheerleaders!
I had done exactly what I wanted to do at the race. I ran hard... So hard that when I stopped I got really dizzy. Luckily Ironman races never have a shortage of volunteers at the finish. 3 people grabbed me and helped to the medical tent. The tent was full so I sat there for a minute talking to Nate Birdsall and cooling off. I could tell an IV was going to be a long wait so I eventually got up and walked to meet my family and friends.
I had an excellent cheering/ support system for the race. My brother his wife, my wife and daughter, and my friend drove up the night before from San Diego to come watch. It always helps to see familiar faces.
Finally I had a race I felt I could be proud of. I loved this race and really want to come back. Next year is an Ironman year and hopefully another Kona year so we'll see what happens.
Saturday, August 13, 2011
Troika has been on the top of my list to do for the last 2 seasons. My first year I think I just plain ran out of money to sign up. Last year I was still battling IT band problems and I had Kona to think about. This year things seemed to come together nicely. I've been smarter with my injuries, and not let them put a complete stop to my training and racing for any long periods of time this season.
Monday, July 18, 2011
We'll go through the Liftfoil in order of event that you wear it.
1. The swim- The De Soto Liftfoil is first and foremost a tri suit. However, it also pulls double duty as a swim skin. In non-wetsuit swims this is my go to suit. First of all it is very hydrodynamic. De Soto claims it to be every bit as fast as the more expensive swim skins from Blue Seventy. It has no pockets to act as parachutes in the water. If you've swam in a tri top you know what I mean. This suit also has what De Soto calls a float pad. It adds a little extra buoyancy and doubles as the bike chamois.
2. The bike- De soto shorts are by far the most comfortable I've ever used. They work great with Adamo saddle because of the slightly wider pad. The Liftfoil also feels very aerodynamic. In a podcast on tritalk.com they claimed that it could save minutes in an Ironman over a traditional 2 piece design.
3. The run- super comfy and you able to zip it down the front to cool off.
4. I forgot to mention the fourth discipline..... T1. You can run right past everyone peeling their swimskins.
Saturday, June 18, 2011
Anyway, I thought about it on Friday and talked it over with Morgan while we shared a bottle of wine on the porch. I decided then, that I wouldn't race so I wouldn't risk hurting my fragile running legs. I could promise myself all I wanted that I wouldn't race it hard, but let's be honest... all those promises mean nothing when you're getting ran down at the end of race.
When I woke up on Saturday I watched a couple of races I had recorded on the DVR. That was enough for me to get that itch to race. The soreness had left my legs from Boise on Thursday and this ended up being a free/recovery week. I also still had my bike all dressed up for racing from Boise. So I decided to give it the old college try.
Monday, June 13, 2011
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Monday, May 2, 2011
In the months leading up to this race I had sufferers numerous setbacks with my IT band and calf injuries. I made the decision in February that I would do no speed work this spring and would really take my time building the distance back up. This meant that I was coming into Bloomsday having two weeks over 15 miles while only exceeding the 7.47 mile distance of Bloomsday 3 times on pancake flat Centenial Trail runs. To say I was a little nervous about getting hurt again would be an understatement. I decided 2 weeks ago that I would do zero taper for this and not let myself get sucked into running it too hard. So the day before I did a pretty hard loop on the Ironman Coeur d Alene bike course with Derek Garcia (he was into his taper for Ironman St. George, but that didn't stop him from putting the hurt on me). We finished up an easy 4 miles brick run. The run felt surprisingly good.
I woke up on race morning without the typical butterflies I get on race day. (My life has changed a bit since last year so my morning race routines now include hanging out with Amelia and helping a little with her morning routines.). My legs felt a little dead after the Ride and run yesterday, but I figured would come around if I asked really nicely so I wasn't too worried about it. I got dressed had some breakfast and headed off to downtown Spokane.
Now, I'm not positive but I think this was my 18th Bloomsday. I have everything from where park, warm and make port a potty pit stops down to a science. Everything went well but my legs still felt dead in my warm ups. There was nothing I could do about it at that point so I went and lined up. I was racing second seed but my pre-race goal was to break 50 minutes. That would be 7:30 slower than my last years time. It also meant that I really didn't belong in 2nd seed. Oh well. I still lined up at the front out of habit and ran into fellow tri-fusion teammate Nate Duncan. We chatted for the few minutes before the gun went off and it sounded like we had a similar strategy and goal for the race. He was also coming off an injury and didn't want to aggravate it. He said he was just going to try and stay with me to keep himself from going out too fast. Well the gun went off and he was instantly about 10 seconds ahead of me. I was getting passed like crazy, and I'm actually proud of myself for not trying to stay with people. Pretty much to the college or about mile 4 I ran my own race and didn't worry about anyone around me. When I hit mile 4 I started to feel good and was actually passing quite a few people. That lasted until Doomsday hill. This hill has never been that bad to me before, but this year was a different story. Doomsday pretty much chewed me up and spit me out. I struggled all the way up the hill! In the past hills have always been a strength for me. I've never enjoyed them but I think I've always hated them less than everyone else. Like I said, this year this was not the case. As I crested the hill I could tell I was not going to recover well.
For those that don't the course it really flattens put for the last 2 miles and you should be able to pick up the pace and finish strong. It took me way too long this year to get back on track. As soon as I made the first turn into the neighborhoods I had to stop and adjust the IT band strap I have been wearing lately. It seemed to not like the water I was dumping over my head at the prior water station. I later found out my nipples didn't appreciate the water I had been dumping on my head either. Anyway.... The stop only cost me about ten seconds and it seemed to satisfy the need I had to walk. From that point on I was able to bring my pace back down to fairly descent run.
I wasn't doing a ton of passing, but I wasn't getting passed either. We then turned the corner onto Broadway. From there it's about 1.5 miles to the finish it's completely flat and you can see all the way to the corner you turn at to finish the race. This is a horrible way to finish. You run for a couple minutes and look up and the corner doesn't seem to get any closer until you're right on it. I turned the corner and made the downhill run to the finish. This year I knew I wasn't going to be in the 100 so I didn't really give much of a finishing kick. I think I passed one guy and got passed by one, but it really didn't matter. I was just happy to break 45 minutes.
Final finish time- 44:50.
In the end it's hard to get excited about running slower than I did last year, but it is encouraging to know that I can still turn the legs over with some speed after not having put the work I truly needed to into it. So...all in all I would rate this as a success.
Next up for me is Onion Man down in Walla Walla followed by Boise 70.3 on June 11th. Things are finally starting to come together. I'm hoping I can string together a couple of "long" runs around 10-12 miles in the coming weeks and be ready to hammer out the 13.1 in Boise.
Happy training everyone.
PS- I published a race report on this about a week ago but it disappeared into the interwebs. I think the previous one was better written but it seems to be gone forever.
Saturday, March 26, 2011
The second problem I've noticed sort of fits in with my first point. For some reason the swimming and biking still seem to mildly affect my ITBS. It's not bad enough to hurt, but it is obvious that it's slowing my recovery. I feel like I'm constantly keeping things mildly inflamed. The problem I can't afford to stop completely at this point. I'm too close to Boise and too committed to quit now. So I'll continue to take things slow and and hope that the additional steps I'm taking to heal actually work.
Well... I'm sure There are plenty of other reasons triathletes seem to always be hurt, but those are the two that come to mind for me. On another note I've lined up another sponsor. The company is called Albopads. The product is a reusable pad that you use pack your bike you send it through airport security. I'm sure those security guys are all VERY gentle with our expensive bikes, but you could always use a little extra cushioning when it come to a $5000 investment. You can check them out at the link on the right of the page.
Sunday, February 27, 2011
We'll, I've decided that I really need to stop starting my blog posts with "It's been awhile". The problem is, it has been awhile. I'll throw out the obligatory I've been busy, and the truth is with a new baby I have been extremely busy! In fact I've been so busy I've completely changed the way I train. I'm now trying to get everything done at 5:00 am on weekdays. It was hard at first, but it is getting easier.
Thursday, January 27, 2011
This post has taken me a long time to write. It's a very hard thing to describe something like watching your first child being born. It was absolutely the most AMAZING moment if my life.
I'll keep this fairly short. My wife Morgan was absolutely incredible through the entire 18 hours of labor. She pushed for 2 and 1/2 hours, and I have never been more impressed with someone. When all was said and done we were blessed with a 6 lb 11oz baby girl named Amelia!
I've been able to get some decent training time in during my paternity leave but the real test will come when I go back to work. The plan is to swim Monday, Wednesday, Friday in the morning at the Valley YMCA. We just switched gyms and the pool at the Y is sooo much better than Oz. Swimming in the Morning means 5 am for me and that will take some getting used to.
Friday, January 7, 2011
The next day I had a medium length run (about 13 miles) so I head out and make it about 6 miles then the knee pain comes back and it's a lot worse than before. Again, I'm stuck 6 miles away from home. This time I had no choice but to walk three miles to a gas station and call my wife to come pick me up. A year of hard work down the drain. I thought I was done. There were only about 3 weeks left to Ironman so I threw everything I could at the problem. Physical therapy, stretching, even accupuncture. No running for three weeks and I decided that I was going to leave it out on the course, and let the chips fall where they may.
Come race day I felt pretty okay but I was pretty confident my chances at Kona qualifying were gone. Of course everything ended up working out great (for a full recap check my race report) and I got my Kona slot. Still I couldn't help but think if I could have ran even better had I been healthy.
From there I had more running problems. I never really got running again until December. I'm just now starting to feel right again. Although I do have to do all my running with a calf sleeve or compression sock on my left leg to keep my calf feeling right.
So here are my training numbers for 2010.
Swim- 126 hours (my skin hates me for the 126 chlorinated hours) 195 miles
Bike- 267 hours (I left some of my skin on the road this year) 5203 miles
Run- 115 hours (I left a lot of skin in my running shoes this year) 942 miles
I'm a little dissapointed in the running numbers, but there isn't much I can do about it now. My goals for 2011 are to get to Las Vegas for 70.3 World Championships and race well on the big stage, with another Kona run (hopefully) in 2012. With the shorter distance and baby due in 2 weeks I imagine the volume may take a little hit for 2011, but I plan on making up for in intensity. Good luck to everyone in 2011!