Friday, December 31, 2010

Out with 2010...Can't WAIT for 2011!!!

It's been a while since I have posted here, with the holidays and no real training to report I thought I'd save you the boring details.  Here it is New Years Eve, some people have already celebrated the new year, and the rest of us will soon enough.

All I have to say is thank goodness that 2010 is over! To say that it was a challenge would be a great understatement, but as I wrote about in a post months ago you wouldn't be dealt the hand you were unless you could handle it.  I could not have handled it alone and am so very thankful for my incredible family and amazing friends!  You were all there for me this past year, and I wouldn't be where I am now without you.

I think everything happens for a reason, and although you may not know the reason...I'm sure there is one.  I think that I was "tested" this year and I would have to say that I passed.  This past year I had to really dig deep to get through some crap, and I really think that it might have helped me dig deep enough at Ironman Arizona to qualify for Kona.  Maybe my reward for "passing the test" was Kona?  I don't know, but I do know that I have learned a lot about myself in the past year, and know that with the support of my family and friends I can get through anything.

I can't put into words how excited I am to start 2011!  A lot of people have New Years Resolutions to lose weight, or exercise more, and those are all great, best of luck if that's what you're goals are...but I have something a little different.  Just two words...NO REGRETS!  I think we can all look back and say that there are things that we do "regret" and so from here forward I want to have NO REGRETS.  Simple enough right?

Have a great 2011!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

December Running Challenge Day 6 & 7

It feels like the weather just decided to take a major dip in temperature lately.  I'm not complaining because I feel that if you dress right you'll be alright and that really is the case.  So I haven't been cold on runs.  The challenge is going well, and I'm really trying to not over exert myself.  I just run by feel, and check the pace when I'm done.  I'm pleasantly surprised most of the time and have just been getting the time in.  Consistency is key, which is why this challenge is awesome!

If you're following the challenge and need this next weeks plan here it is:

Tuesday - 25 minutes
Wednesday - 20 minutes
Thursday - 30 minutes
Friday - 25 minutes
Saturday - 25 minutes
Sunday - 40 minutes
Monday - 20 minutes

Last night I didn't get my run in until 9:30 at night.  I felt bad that the dogs wanted to go, so I brought them with.  While we were running they were fine, and happy.  They were even happy when we were done, the problem is that poor Winther has something funky with his hip (I'm afraid to say it but I think he has hip dysplasia).  The poor guy was limping last night, and a little this morning.  I won't take them again, and just have to get my runs in somewhere other than home...I feel too bad having them see me run away knowing they aren't coming with.  Wish there was something I could do, but unfortunately there isn't.  He loves running, and getting out there, but I just can't stand to see him limping later.  The challenge continues today...

This mornings computrainer was solid, more aerobic types of work, much more towards the upper end though.

15' warm up

2 x 20'
  • 10' @ 80% (cadence 100+)
  • 5' @ 85% (cadence 50-60)
  • 5' @ 90% (natural cadence)
Cool Down

This wasn't all that difficult, and I find it hard to sit at 80% without pushing a little harder...I think I'm good at about 82.7983% strange I know!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

December Running Challenge Day's 3, 4, 5

The weekend hit and I haven't been in front a computer to write an update.  The challenge is still going strong.  I've been in the 4 mile rut (not the best word, but it will do).  Day's 3 and 4 were both 4 miles (well one was 4.37 but who's counting).  When I'm running I'm not paying attention to my pace, I'm just going by feel, and am usually surprised by the pace when the run is over.  I haven't really wanted to push considering it's only been 2 weeks since Ironman Arizona, and although I feel alright I'm sure that I'm still in the recovery phase.

Yesterday I rode on the computrainer at Endure It, and the set looked a lot more difficult than it actually was:

15' w/u

5' @ 70%
1' @ 90%
1' @ AT
5' @ 80%
1' @ 90%
1' @ AT
6' @ 70%
5' @ 90%
2' @ AT
5' @ 80%
2' @ AT
6' @ 90%

I did the workout based on 300 watts (and it was all at a 2% grade as well) and it really didn't hurt all that much.  I followed up with an easy transition run.  This morning I rode on the computrainer again and was able to get 40 miles at a relatively easy effort.  I was back on my Giant Trinity Advanced SL2 this morning, and I love that bike!!

I did get a new winter toy yesterday...the Raleigh XXIX Belt Drive.  The thing is sweet, I'll get some pictures posted soon.

Thanks to my Mom, Dad and Katie I went and got a Christmas tree today and we spent the afternoon decorating around my house.  It feels like the holidays now, thanks everyone!

My day 5 of the challenge is going to happen in about 30 minutes here, looking forward to a nice relaxing, brisk Sunday evening run. 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

December Running Challenge Day 2

It's late, but day 2 of the December Running Challenge is in the books.  The challenge is already paying off, I really didn't want to get out and get my run done today, but I know that there is a whole group of people out there doing this thank you!  It was a long day today starting with a 4:00 a.m. wake up call for computrainer.  I wasn't sure whether or not I would actually ride through the whole workout, but just thought I'd roll with it as long as I could.  I was able to finish the workout without much difficulty.  The set was as follows:

15' warm up

4 x 8' (No Break!!)
  • 2' @ 70% (210 watts)
  • 3' @ 80% (240 watts)
  • 2' @ 90% (270 watts)
  • 1' @ 110% (330 watts)
2 x 3'
  • 3' Left Leg
  • 3' Right Leg
Cool Down

I was happy with the results and the fact that this came relatively easy.  The whole workout was done at a 2% grade.  The class wasn't digging that...they better learn how to because it's going to be up there all month!

Tonight's run wasn't pretty, but I held a sub 7 pace for a little over 4 miles.  The weather was really nice, calm and not all that cold.  It was great to be out there in the peace and quiet, these are the runs that you really have to enjoy.  Come to think of it I did not see a single car my whole run...crazy 30 minutes and no cars, am I really in the suburbs of Chicago?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

December Running Challenge - Day 1 + "Super Duper Fan Status"

Before I get to the running challenge, there is a change to the "fan" distinction that I had made in a previous post about Ironman Arizona.  My sister Katie was rather disappointed in the fact that she wasn't labeled a "superfan" so I am going to give her a new category all to herself.  She is now the "SUPER DUPER FAN".  Alright here is the reasoning behind it (these are all rough estimates and round trip distances), and my Mom is an established superfan regardless, so she's out of the running here.  Uncle Jim traveled a total distance of 6270 miles round trip to cheer, while Katie traveled a total distance of 7500 miles round trip to cheer.

So Katie you are officially the SUPER DUPER FAN, and Uncle Jim you are still a Super Fan not to worry!

The first day of the December Running Challenge is in the books.  I thought last year that the challenge started out with me running in shorts (don't know why but I thought that was the case).  This year, definitely not the case!  I rode in to school to meet up with Wanner and Chris to run this morning and had a windchill of 10.  I didn't break out the face mask yet, I thought if I did that now what's going to happen in January?  So I just manned up and went with it.  The run was nice and relaxed.  Today was a 20 minute run, I ended up going more than 20 minutes, but never pushed the pace!  I ran 4 miles, all super comfortable and enjoyed the run!

It's not too late to get into this can find 20 minutes to run today right?  Get out there and do it!!!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The December Challenge Begins Tomorrow

Last year Chad, Hillard and I completed a December Running Challenge.  The challenge was to run every day for the month of December for a certain amount of time.  We didn't do anything based on mileage, or pace, we just ran for time.  I think we have quite a few more people interested in joining us this year, and it starts tomorrow!  Here is how the first week looks:

12/1 - 20 minutes
12/2 - 30 minutes
12/3 - 25 minutes
12/4 - 20 minutes
12/5 - 35 minutes
12/6 - 20 minutes
12/7 - 25 minutes

Everything is doable, so get your butt out of the door (or on the dreadmill...have I mentioned that I don't like the treadmill?) and get your runs in!

I went and rode computrainer this morning, I decided to push a little, but when the going got tough...I backed down.  I'm only 9 days or so removed from Ironman Arizona and really have no need to push things right now.  I was happy with numbers I was able to hold without a huge effort.  I could have pushed through and hit the workout, but really don't know how recovered I am so I didn't want to push it.  I think by the start of the year I'll be back into full swing.  The goals are already swirling around in my head for CDA...we'll have to wait and see how the training builds up.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Ironman Arizona Race Report

It's a full week after the race, and the pain is gone.  Well, the pain was gone early on in the process when I was lucky enough to get a Kona slot.  My build up to this race was better than my previous two Ironman races, I had nothing holding me back, and was able to get the training in that I needed to get, when I needed to get it in!  Looking back I know that I need to run more, and be more effective with my run workouts.  Basically I need more structure.  My swimming always has structure, my cycling does as well, but when I go out for a run I just do, usually with no plan in mind except for distance. 

Alright the race details...

Pre-Race: I slept well until about 1:45 a.m. when I had to go to the bathroom, after that I tried to sleep, but it just wasn't happening.  I eventually turned on my i-pod to try to lull me back to luck.  I woke up for good at 4:45 a.m.  My mom was nice enough to make some breakfast for Chad and I, so after a few scrambled eggs, cinnamon raisin toast, banana, glass of orange juice, GU Roctane, and a bottle of GU Brew it was time to leave.  My mom dropped us off at the race site and then it was time to drop off bottles, check the bikes and chill.  The pre-race went relatively fast, and very smooth!

Swim: We got into the water at 6:45 and started to make our way to the start line to jockey for position.  On our way up there the pro's started, and the nerves were at an all time high!  I started about 3 rows of people back on the far left hand side.  This was the calmest Ironman swim I have been a part of!  Besides the typical feet bashing, I had no contact with anyone else really.  The water was brisk at 61 degrees, and really didn't phase me too much.  My goal for the swim was between 1:10 and 1:15...hoping for closer to 1:10.  The swim was one loop, and I did a good job of staying on course.  When I hit the turn around (a little less than half way as we had to swim past the swim start coming back to finish) I was right where I wanted to be time wise.  I found some feet to swim on for much of the race, and really kept things in control.  I found that it was easier at times to swim my own race than to draft off of people.  I knew what kind of effort I needed to swim, and when I was drafting I couldn't tell if I was going too easy.  I wish I could have found a draft which would have still put me at that effort I wanted to be at...but that didn't happen.  When things were all said and done the swim went really well and I came out of the water in 1:09.xx needless to say I was happy with this, seeing as it's my weakest point and it put me in a good place mentally right away!

T1: This was quite a distance to run, so I was in an all out sprint (in Wisconsin that might have been the difference).  The problem with being a slow swimmer is that the tent was full.  I had to change on my own and pack my own stuff up...not ideal! 

Bike: I love to ride, and knew that I was going to make up the most time on the bike.  I needed to keep things in check early on though.  As I went out of town I was easily hitting my goal pace.  My first two loops (of three) I was dead on, and actually set up to ride a 4:45 bike split, then the third loop hit.  The wind was gradually getting stronger as the day went on, and really laps two and three is where the wind was bad.  Of course it never really felt like you had it at your back, and the way back into town was brutal.  I stayed on the pedals knowing that this is where I needed to put time into people.  I went from 51st out of the water to 4th off of the bike.  I did post the 2nd fastest bike split in my age group and the 5th fastest amateur bike split of the day with a 4:53.xx.

T2: I was cruising...that's all there is to say!

Run: I had plans of running fast, well that didn't quite happen.  Right away two guys in my age group went by me and I couldn't hold on.  As it turns out coming out of T2 I passed one of the guys and was in 3rd.  I decided to do what I could and to hold the fastest pace I could at the time hoping the others would blow up.  Well I ended up chasing 4th place for about 21 miles, never able to close the gap.  I know what I need to work on building up to CDA.  I ened up running a 3:35.xx marathon, not my best in an Ironman but given the wind on the course and going for it at the start of the run I can't be too upset.  I had to go for it and I did, I left it all out there.  Things were good for the first half of the marathon, but the wheels really came off on my last loop.  I would say my pacing was off from the start, but again...I went for it and that's what caught up to me.  Had I been more patient I don't know what would have happened.  I guess a different race tactic the next time around might be in order.

Overall I finished 5th in my age group with a time of 9:43.46.  It is nice to break that 10 hour barrier, but the wierd thing is that I'm not satisfied.  I know that I can execute a better race...also read I can run better.  Luckily for me though the 4th place finisher didn't take his Kona slot and it rolled down to me.  Talk about the longest 20 minutes of my life! 

The cool thing about finishing in the top 5 at an Ironman race is that awards go 5 deep.  We got to go to the awards ceremony, which was really cool.  I have actually taken this past week really easy, only working out twice, a 6 mile run on Thursday and an hour on the computrainer yesterday.  I'm not planning on anything all that structured with any intesity until the 1st of the year.  We are doing the December running challenge though, so if you're interested please email me and I will forward it on to you.  (

Freakin Fast!!

The Swim Start

Guess I didn't need that much sunscreen

All done!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Ironman Arizona Fan Report

Going into Ironman Arizona I knew what I had wanted to accomplish.  Obviously I wanted to qualify for Kona, but at the same time you can't control the competition and it's a really long day where anything can happen.  My lead up to the race was solid, I had a lot of confidence in my bike, and felt pretty good about my run and swim.  If you want to know the details of the race I'll put up a race report in a couple of days.  If not, I get it!  But I do want to send out a big thank you to everyone that called, texted, emailed, you're support was amazing.  When I got done with the race my phone was on overload...almost as much as it was on Monday morning when it was official that I had a Kona slot.

I need to send a huge thank you to some special people who made the trip down to Arizona....I'll try to break them down into categories to spice it up a little:

Superfans (Mom and Uncle Jim) -  The "Superfans" category only has two members.  Both my Mom and her brother Jim have been at all three of my Ironman races.  You can count on Uncle Jim not seeing me go past him on the bike at least once during the day, and my Mom having to let him know 10 minutes later that I've been gone for a while.  Mom, you have to be the number 1 superfan!  Not only do you come to all of my races, but you face some nasty weather (and we all know you hate the cold) just to cheer me on.  It means so much to have you there!!!  Uncle Jim, sure you're retired, but having your calming pressence around is always nice, and you were right...the number three and Hawaii do go together!

Travel Rockstar Fan (Katie) - So we had the debate that my sister Katie is close to "Superfan" status due to the distance she's had to travel to come watch my races.  Last year she flew from Boston into Chicago, to drive to Madison to watch me at Ironman Wisconsin.  This year she flew from Boston to Phoenix to watch me at Ironman Arizona.  I'm giving you an exemption from Couer d' Alene in June so that you can come to Hawaii in October.  Katie was also the twisted mind behind the "See Rick..." t-shirts this year.  I mean "you're not cool unless you pee your pants" right Katie?

Training Partner/Idea Man (Chad) - So Chad had the bright idea last year for us to sign up for Ironman Arizona in 2010.  I'm pretty sure that I owe him big time...because without this brilliant idea I wouldn't be headed to Kona next year.  Chad had an amazing day and he just had a daughter a month ago, well Amy get the point.  It's awesome to have a great training partner and friend to bounce ideas off of and for all of the support he gave me throughout this journey.  Chad believed the whole time that I could qualify, even when I might not have.  I couldn't ask for a better partner in crime!  Hey Chad and Amy, how about a trip to Hawaii next October?

The Rookie Fans (Brian, Matt, Cory Beth [did I spell that right], Kyle, Katie) - I warned them that being a fan at an Ironman was harder than actually racing...and with the look on Brian's face when we got back to the condo you could believe that!  Thank you so much for coming out everyone, you have no idea how nice it is to see a group of people you know cheering, ringing cowbells, and out there supporting you.  I know the weather wasn't the best, but thank you so much for sticking it out, it really means a lot!

The Ride By Fan (Scott) - There really weren't too many people out on the bike course, but I was lucky enough to have my buddy Scott out at the turn around.  Perfect timing of that show huh?

And to some special people who I know were glued to computers at home:

The Internet Stalking Crew (I'll try to break this one down into sub-categories)
  • Confused and Obsessed (Dad) - I say confused because he isn't the most computer savvy, and obsessed because I know he was sitting in front of that computer all day hitting refresh!  This is the same guy who would sit listening to Cory's baseball games when he was playing in New York...even if we knew Cory wouldn't pitch that night.  Guess what Dad...we get to go back to Hawaii!!!!
  • On Deck (Cory) - He has always shown a particular interest in my races, thanks Cory.  And sorry Mom but he says that he's going to do one of these when he can get back to benching 300 pounds and can dunk a basketball.  How does that fit into Ironman training?  Well if you're asking that question you obviously don't know Cory, and there really isn't enough time to explain on a blog...that would have to be a long conversation.  Let's just say his training is unique...but Cory you can't fake an Ironman!  Or can you...Chad??
  • The Miller Clan - Thank you for all of the calls before, during, and after the race!  I'm sure someone had to calm my Mom down and tell her that I would come out of the water at some point in time, and that I would be alright.
  • The Central Fan Club (Barber's, Otahal's, Wanner's, Varsbergs) - You have all been awesome, and always so encouraging with training that I can't say thank you enough.  I did think of you during my race and I was quite were all having a great time together hanging out with some beverages, while I was in some major pain.  Glad I could provide the entertainment for the day.
  • Endure It - What an amazing group of people.  David those wheels are ridiculously fast!  Erik my bike worked perfectly, you're the man!!  And for all of the emails and texts thank you!!  What an incredible group of people, and everyone is so supportive, do you ever wonder why we pay money to put our bodies through these things?
My Awesome Sponsors
  • Lululemon - If you haven't checked out the store yet you really need to!!  Not only are the clothes by far the most comfortable that I have ever worn, the atmosphere is great inside of the store, and everyone is so caring and truly interested in what you're doing.
  • GU - A special thank you has to go out to the folks at GU Energy, without them I would not have been fueled through this training season as well as all of the races.  The Roctane was crucial during the race last week, thanks!!
  • CycleOps - The folks at CycleOps helped me to put up one of the fastest bike splits for the amatuers in Arizona.  I believe it was the 5th fastest split of the day, not too shabby, and with their continued help I know that I can crack off an even faster split next year.
  • Brooks Running - When you can train your butt off, and run over 1000 miles this year building up to this race without a single blister you know something is going well...thanks Brooks!!
  • Zensah - I rocked that compression gear like it was my job, and I was always ready for my next training session thanks to Zensah!
  • AXA Financial - Special thanks to Kyle Zake!  He has been with me for these past two years on the journey to qualify.
I'll get a race report up in a couple of days here.  I'm still trying to figure out why the explosion took place on the run like it did, but it didn't matter in the end because I'm going to Hawaii!  Kona 2011 has a nice ring to it, it still doesn't seem real!!

Monday, November 22, 2010


I will write the details later but all I can say is that I am going to Hawaii to race in Kona next October 8th!!!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

IMAZ Day 2

One more sleep until the show. Chad thinks I am crazy for doing this from my phone so I am doing this just to tick him off. We rode our bikes down to the lake...felt awesome, then went for a short swim. The water is freezing, 61 degrees. I felt alright but Beert kept complaining about the cold. Everything is checked in, bottles are made up, nutrition is ready, now it's go time! Thanks for all of the well wishes...and a special thanks to the whole crew down here. My next post will be in a while...I am ready to make it hurt!

Friday, November 19, 2010

IMAZ Day 1

Well day 1 is in the books. Pretty chill day today. Chad and I got registered, got our bikes and took a spin on them back to the condo. All of this was after we were at the grocery store by 6:30 am. The bikes are ready to roll, we took a little run tonight too and things are feeling good! Gear check tomorrow and then some more time to chill. Can't wait to race!

Thursday, November 18, 2010


I don't even know if "twitchy" is a word, but this taper is starting to take its toll on me.  I feel the energy starting to build up.  Yesterday I swam for 15 minutes, and would you believe it I actually wanted to keep swimming...huh?  Things felt pretty good in the water, and I'm looking forward to doing some more swimming this winter.  I rode for 30 minutes this morning during compoutrainer, everything below 150 watts which took a lot of restraint.  My legs were ready to roll, and I really wanted to nail the set (below) but held back. 

Our flight leaves tonight.  I'm excited, nervous, and a whole lot of other things at the same time.  Looking forward to getting there, getting settled in, checked in, taking the bike for a spin, swimming in my wetsuit, a couple short jogs and then racing!!!  I haven't raced since September, and I'm ready to roll!

Here is the set from this morning:

Warm Up: 15 minutes

Main Set:
Pyramid Set
• 5’ @ 70%
• 4’ @ 80%
• 3’ @ 90%
• 2’ @ AT
• 1 @ 110%
• **1’ @ 75%**
• 1’ @ 110%
• 2’ @ AT
• 3’ @ 90%
• 4’ @ 80%
• 5’ @ 70%
2 x 5’
• 2’ Left Leg
• 2’ Right Leg
• 1’ Both Legs – Cadence 110+
Cool Down

Thank you for all of the emails, texts, calls and well wishes!  No one can race Ironman alone, it takes a huge support crew.  This is by far the best support crew that I've had going into an Ironman and I'll make sure to race my best race for all of you on Sunday!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Closer...It's Race Week

It's race week.  The work is all done, and honestly this time is probably harder than putting the work in.  Yesterday morning the nerves started to set in when I thought, "One week from now I'll be done..."  It's crazy to think how much time and energy goes into building up to this one day.  And as so many people have said it's not the race that makes you an's all of the work that you put do leading up to the race that makes you an Ironman.  Like I said the work is done, now it's time to stay sharp and time to race!

I rode easy during computrainer class this morning keeping things at around 200 watts, and really not letting it go up any from there.  It's too bad because I would have liked to do this workout:

Warm Up: 15 minutes

Main Set:
3 x 5’
• 2’ @ 80% (cadence 100+)
• 1’ @ 90% (cadence 50-60)
• 2’ @ AT (natural cadence)
2 x 5’
• 1’ Right Leg
• 1’ Left Leg
• 30” Natural Build Up
• 20” RI
• 2’ Big Tough Gear
2 x 5’
• 2’ @ 80%
• 1’ @ 90%
• 1’ @ AT
• 1’ @ 110%
Cool Down

I started packing last night and think I have all of my tri stuff ready to roll.  I did a pretty good job too of not packing too much stuff I think.  Besides my tri stuff all I need are board shorts right?  At this point I think I have about as many snacks as I do clothes.
Last night I took the dogs for a walk after dinner, it was dark which really sucks but whatever.  I saw a shooting star during my're supposed to make a wish right?  I thought you were supposed to...and so I made one.  More relaxing is on the plan for today, maybe a short 20 minute run...who knows.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


It's taper time, for me it's more of a time to get my mind wrapped around the task at hand and time to take care of the details.  I haven't ever flown to race somewhere, so this is a little different than other races I have done.  Other races I didn't have to worry about getting my bike somewhere because it was in my car with me, this time around that's not the case.  I can't "overpack" to make sure I have everything, so I've already started a list of stuff that I need to bring.  By the end of this season I had become very efficient with what I brought to races.  My last race I showed up with a backpack...and my bike...nothing else.  I saw people with coolers, multiple duffle bags, water bins...and other random stuff.  I feel like packing for this race is going to make me one of these people...hence the list.  I'll feel a lot better after I drop my bike off and get a quick spin on it with the race wheels.

This morning at computrainer the class did their first threshold test.  Seeing as I know where my numbers are I didn't test...instead rode a consistent effort and still held a high average wattage (272 watts) for the 30 minute test.  I had a ton left in the tank and was talking throughout the test to help encourage people.  It would have been interesting to see where I might have ended up had I pushed it, but I know better than that.  It's not time to drink the kool-aid yet.  I have put in the work, so now is time to rest up and let it pay off.  Swimming went well yesterday, and I plan on getting in the water every day to continue to build that confidence.  I know what I'm capable of in the water, and think I have set my goal to definitely be attainable.

Can't wait to Race!!

Monday, November 8, 2010

I have it...

I like watching this triathlon dvd called "What It Takes" which documents a few triathletes build up to Ironman Hawaii in 2005.  Peter Reid (who has won in Kona multiple times) said during the film that he needed something to "piss him off" prior to the race.  I think we can all relate to that in a way, I mean who doesn't like a little extra motivation right?  All I am going to say is that I have that little bit of extra motivation right now.

This weekend was my last big test.  I wanted to do a test ride of 112 miles for time to see what I could do  (Well originally it was just going to be 100...and at the start of the ride I was thinking 75...but then I said screw it!).  The plan was to go out easy and slowly increase the effort.  My nutrition was perfect, hydration was good and I was holding 250 watts by the end of the 112 miles.  I know how I have to ride Arizona, and am confident that I can bring it home.  My test was all done on the I now have 3 rides of 100+ miles on the computrainer in the last 3 weeks and prior to that 2 rides outdoors that were 100+ not to mention the great number of 70-80+ mile rides.  Yep I'm ready!  Back to goal time was somewhere around 5:00-5:05, but in the back of my mind I was hoping for sub the ride went on that sub 5 was looking more and more like a reality.  I ended up riding 112 in 4:56.  That was a huge confidence boost for me knowing that I can go sub-5 and feel good doing it.

Saturday was also computrainer at Endure It!  The set was as follows:

Warm Up: 15 minutes

• 3’ Easy
Main Set: 70 minutes
• 10’ @ 70%
• 1’ @ 80% - Cadence 50-60
• 9’ @ 75%
• 2’ @ 80% - Cadence 50-60
• 8’ @ 80%
• 3’ @ 80% - Cadence 50-60
• 7’ @ 85%
• 4’ @ 80% - Cadence 50-60
• 6’ @ 80%
• 3’ @ 80% - Cadence 50-60
• 7’ @ 75%
• 2’ @ 80% - Cadence 50-60
• 8’ @ 70%
Cool Down

It's officially "taper" time for me.  What that means for me is that I'm still going to train...just not with as much volume or intensity.  I plan on getting quite a few sessions in, just short in duration...basically just to stay sharp.  I'm not going to gain any fitness in this next 13 days, but I will gain confidence.  I know what I'm capable of and am just aiming for the best race I can have on November 21st.  Definitely looking forward to it!!!!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

November 4th...Sorry I have NOTHING for a title

Not all that much to report today.  Had a good run yesterday, a good ride this morning, and I'm feeling fresh.  1 more big weekend of training to make sure everything is dialed in and I'm good to go.  Mentally things are coming around, so all in all things are good.  Big bike commuting day today, I'm already at 7 miles on my bike just commuting...another 23 at class and I still have at least 12 to go (home and back to school twice).  Today's class was some more aerobic work:

Warm Up: 15 minutes

• 2’ Easy
Set #1: 15 minutes
• 3 x 5 minutes
o 3’ @ 80% (250 watts)
o 2’ @ 75% (240 watts)
• 1’ Easy
Drill Set: 6 minutes
• 2 x 3 minutes
o 1’ Right Leg
o 1’ Left Leg
o 1’ Both **50-60 Cadence**
• 1’ Easy
Set #2: 15 minutes
• 3 x 5 minutes
o 4’ @ 80% (250 watts)
o 1’ @ 85% (270 watts)
Cool Down

Two weeks from today we leave for Arizona.  I checked out our condo online yesterday and it looks pretty sweet.  Looking forward to getting down there to relax before the big day.  Looking for the best race I can put together on November 21st.  If I put my best race together what will be will be and I have to be happy!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Happy Birthday Dad

Even though I know he doesn't read this...Happy Birthday Dad.  I really wish you were easier to shop for though!!!  And hopefully you'll want something good for dinner because I'm sure I'll be starving by then.

This morning was the usual Tuesday morning computrainer class at Endure It and we had 15 of 16 computrainers full.  The class was relatively easy:

Warm Up: 15 minutes
2’ Easy
Main Set: 28 Minutes
• 4 x 7 minutes
o 3’ @ 70% (220 watts)
o 3’ @ 80% (250 watts)
o 1’ @ 85% (265 watts)
• 1’ Easy
Drill Set: 10 minutes
• 2 x 5 minutes
o 2’ Left Leg
o 2’ Right Leg
o 1’ Both Legs
Cool Down

We varied the cadence a bit today, and the power numbers came easily!  I really had to hold back to keep the wattages down for the 70% time.  All good signs for racing in 19 days.  Wow that's a bit scary!  It's time to get the legs snappy and ready to go, so some shorter faster runs will be in order.  I would love to do a couple of them a day, along with that swimming thing.  I did get in yesterday and swam in control at a pace I felt I could hold for quite a while.  Let's hope some race day excitement helps with that.  Until then it's time to stay healthy and injury free!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Biking and Catching Up

Saturday was my last super long ride, and I once again did it on the computrainer.  It was nice to have some people to ride with for a bit, so I definitely took advantage of riding with a class.  The class was as follows:

Warm Up: 15 minutes

• 2’ Easy
Main Set: 35 minutes
• 10’ @ 75% *10 sec spin up on 2,4,6,8
• 15’ @ 80% *30 sec spin up on 13, 16, 19, 22
• 10’ @ 85% *Cadence 100+ on 26, 28, 30, 32, 34
• 3’ Easy
Drill Set: 10 minutes
• 5 x 2’
o 1’ Right Leg *Cadence 50-60
o 1’ Left Leg * Cadence 50-60
• 2’ Easy
Main Set Part 2: 25 minutes
• 5 x 5’
o 3’ @ 80%
o 2’ @ 90%
Cool Down

I rode the first class as written and then about half of the second class until I just rode the remainder at Ironman pace.  I ended up getting 100 miles in on the computrainer.  It took me 4:30 to ride 100, not too bad.  I felt great after riding as well...let's hope that's the same in three weeks.

Saturday night I went back up to Whitewater to watch them play Oshkosh.  This is a huge rivalry and we try to get a group of alumni to go back each year for the game.  I met up with Skoug and and Poppen and we headed down to meet up with the rest of our college buddies.  We had a great time catching up and telling old stories, and laughing about stupid things that happened during college.  The game was good, except for the bogus PK that the ref called with a minute left.  We had a great time, and the campus is so very different from when we were there.

These next few weeks I am going to try to make sure I am completely ready for IMAZ...clean eating, lots of rest, and solid workouts.  Can't wait to race!!!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

When will the wind stop?

The last couple of days in Chicago it has been super windy!  When will the madness stop?  Yesterday I was riding home from school when a branch that fell from a tree almost nailed me.  It's wierd because I had thought about that exact thing happening at the start of my ride, luckily for me the branch missed.  The ride home did suck though...when you're riding into the wind, which had gusts of over 50 mph, it's not all that fun.  At times I felt as if I was sitting still on my bike, but that still beats sitting in traffic in my car, so I shouldn't complain all that much.

Last night I went and checked out the new Warren Miller movie called "Wintervention"  Some of the places that these people ski is just incredible, I have no idea how they do what they do, and it really got me excited for the snow to start falling.  Hopefully I'll be able to get out more often this winter to ski.  Yea there aren't great places around here, but I'm going to have to take advantage of what we do have. 

This morning was a little rough to wake up because I didn't get home until late, and Roxy and Winther were keeping me warm in my bed.  I swear they think I'm crazy for waking up at the times that I do, because they decided they were going to sleep for longer.  I actually had to go and wake them up to go outside...I could tell that while I was gone last night they were running laps in the house because doors were opened that weren't opened when I left...they are known for that.  Computrainer went well this morning, and it felt very easy to keep the numbers that I kept.

Warm Up: 15 minutes
• 2’ Easy
Main Set: 30 minutes
• 5 x 6’
o 3’ @ 80% (250 watts)
o 1’ @ 85% (270 watts)
o 2’ @ 70% (220 watts)
• 3’ Easy
Drill Set: 8 minutes
• 2 x thru
o 2’ Right Leg – Cadence 50-60
o 2’ Left Leg – Cadence 50-60
Cool Down

A little swim and the day will be complete.  25 more days, I would say that at this point the hard work is done and now it's just time to soak up the fitness, stay healthy, and most importantly to get my head on straight!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Another Mental Test

I decided to get my long run in yesterday after school.  I wanted to run 20 miles, and wanted to hold a 7 minute pace for that 20 miles.  I had an idea of a route I wanted to run, but scratched that and decided to get some hill work in instead...why I'm not sure.  I knew that heading south from school 6 miles would get me close to Waterfall Glen, and then I thought it was about another mile or so before I was able to jump onto the trail.  Well it was only a half mile to the trail, so I head off on the crushed limestone reminding myself that I was closer to turning around and heading back.  I was doing a good job of holding a 7:00 pace up until about mile 10.  That's when I caught up with the xc kids from school and ran with them for a few miles.  We were sitting right at a 7 minute pace and before I knew it I had to head back onto the roads.  I was tempted to stay with the guys and take the bus back, but know I would have been mad at myself for doing so.  I knew there were a few big hills I still had to tackle and I had to get ready for them.  I tried to sit at my pace, but the hills took a lot out of me.  I hit the 17 mile mark and was about 25 seconds off of the pace I needed to I tried to not bring it back all in the first mile, but most of it came back there.  Mile 17 on was not a pretty sight, but I was able to get my 20 miles in right at a 7 minute pace.  It's amazing the mind games that you have to play with yourself to get you through things.  It was a good confidence boost, and I ran out some demons, which is always a good thing.

When I got home I was pretty smashed, and it was nice to hang out and play with the dogs.

This morning was Computrainer at Endure It.  The set is below:

Warm Up: 15 minutes

• 2’ Easy
Main Set: 25 minutes
• 5’ @ 70% (220 watts)
• 5’ @ 75% - Cadence = 100+ (235 watts)
• 5’ @ 80% (250 watts)
• 5’ @ 85% - Cadence = 100+ (270 watts)
• 5’ @ 80% (250 watts)
• 3’ Easy
Drill Set: 12 minutes
• 3 x thru
o 2’ Right Leg – Cadence 50-60
o 2’ Left Leg – Cadence 50-60
Cool Down

I wasn't sure if I would have any power in my legs seeing as it was less than 12 hours since a long run effort.  Much to my surprise the power was there.  Not saying I didn't have to work for it...but it was there.  My legs didn't feel too bad once I got going.  And as long as they are moving I'm's when I stop that things start to hurt.
I'm going to get in the water today for a quick swim set.  Hopefully that will help to flush things out a bit more.  26 more days!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

A Test of Mental Toughness

I was debating how long I wanted to ride on Saturday knowing that I would be teaching two computrainer classes and didn't know how long I could sustain riding in one place.  I thought that I would be happy with 3 hours, and to do so I rode into the shop a little early to get a head start.  Have I mentioned that I love my cross bike!  That bike is awesome, and so much fun to ride!!!!!

Anyway, I was able to ride for a bit before anyone got to the shop which was nice.  The set for Saturday was as follows:

Warm Up: 15 minutes

Main Set:
Set #1 - 30 minutes
• 10’ @ 75%
• 5’ @ 60%
• 10’ @ 80%
• 2’ @ 70
• 3’ @ 90%
Drill Set #1 – 12 minutes
• 2 x through the following
o 1’ right leg (big chain ring)
o 1’ left leg (big chain ring)
o 1’ both legs
o 1’ right leg (big chain ring)
o 1’ left leg (big chain ring)
o 1’ both legs
** 3 minutes easy **
Set #2 – 30 minutes
• 10’ @ 70%
• 8’ @ 80%
• 6’ @ 90%
• 6’ @ 80%
Cool Down

So I rode the first class as the workout was written with the exception that during the "rest" periods less than 70% I stayed between 70% and 80%, I did the same during the single leg drills as well.  I was sitting between 230-240 watts for the first 3 hours of my ride.  Some time during class I decided that I wanted to ride for 5 hours.  Don't ask me why, because I don't have a good answer for that!  So the fourth hour I figured it was going to be tough to hold that wattage for much longer, so I backed things down to between 220-230.  Things still felt alright.  The last hour I put on the Ironman Hawaii course on the CT and that was painful.  I'm guessing that my time above 90% during the set earlier was getting to me...that and drinking only water, and not really sticking to a nutrition plan as well as I should have.  This was a great day for mental toughness though.  I ended up riding 110 miles in 5 hours on the computrainer, which let's be serious is freakin brutal!  So with my bike commute to the shop and home it made for 118 miles.  That's the farthest I have ever gone, and have no doubt that had I been on the roads for the whole time and stuck with a proper nutrition plan I would have been good to run off of the bike.  Let's hope that's the case in 27 days!

Friday, October 22, 2010

30 Days and Counting

Less than a month from now Ironman Arizona will be in the books.  I'm going to give one last hard block in training leading up to the race.  The key is to stay healthy!  It seems as if more and more pro's are signing up to race, so if nothing else it will be a good show that they put on.

Yesterday was the second computrainer class at Endure It.  Another "sampler" type of a workout to give people an idea as to what to expect in the coming months.  Tomorrow we will do a much more aerobic set, and I plan on trying to do the set twice with a little added time as well...I'll shoot for 4 hours, so we'll see if that pans out or not.

Yesterday's set was as follows:

Warm Up: 15 minutes
Main Set:
Set #1 - 15 minutes
• 5’ @ 70%
• 4’ @ 80%
• 3’ @ 90%
• 2’ @ AT
• 1’ @ 120%
Drill Set #1 – 12 minutes
2 x through the following
o 1’ right leg (big chain ring)
o 1’ left leg (big chain ring)
o 1’ both legs
o 1’ right leg (big chain ring)
o 1’ left leg (big chain ring)
o 1’ both legs
Set #2 – 15 minutes
• 2’ @ 70%
• 1’ @ 80%
• 2’ @ 70%
• 1’ @ AT
• 3’ @ 80%
• 1’ @ AT
• 3’ @ 90%
• 1’ @ 110%
• 1’ @ AT
Cool Down

Another solid class, and everyone seems motivated to work hard. 

When I got home yesterday my new CycleOps Fluid Trainer had arrived.  I was pumped about that!  So I have it set up, and will take it on it's first ride tonight.  I'm tempted to get my long run in tonight as well, but we'll see how that goes.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


On Saturday I rode for a couple of hours at Lululemon in Oak Brook.  It was nice to ride for a couple of hours after a long run.  The stuff at Lululemon is awesome, if you haven't checked it out I definitely would.

This morning was the start of the computainer season at Endure It.  The set wasn't too bad this morning as we're just getting back into things, and it was kind of a sample of some things to come.  Here is the set:

Warm Up: 15 minutes

Main Set:
Set #1 - 15 minutes
• 4’ @ 70%
• 1’ @ 50%
• 3’ @ 80%
• 1’ @ 50%
• 2’ @ 90%
• 1’ @50%
• 1’ @ AT
• 2’ @ 50%
Drill Set #1 – 12 minutes
• 2 x through the following
o 2 minutes right leg (small chain ring)
o 2 minutes left leg (small chain ring)
o 2 minutes both legs
Set #2 – 15 minutes
• 2’ @ 90%
• 1’ @ 70%
• 2’ @ AT
• 1’ @ 80%
• 3’ @ 90%
• 1’ @ 70%
• 3’ @ AT
• 1’ @ 90%
• 1’ @ AT
Cool Down

My legs felt pretty good on the computrainer this morning and it was pretty easy to hold my numbers.  Riding to the shop this morning was a bit chilly though.  It was in the 30's so I know that I need to get used to the cold riding temps.  An easy run is on tap for tonight, seeing as my ride was harder, I'm not planning on busting out a hard run.  I say that now so we'll see what ends up happening.  Hopefully I'll keep things in check.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

A quick update

Just a quick update about today. A solid 4 hours of training today which started with a 17 mile run at a 6:59 pace. Thanks Guy for pushing me. Followed up with 2 hours on the trainer at Lululemon Oak Brook. Check out the store...there is always new stuff and it's amazing!!!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Pain Cave...

4 more hard weeks before a two week taper...that's what I keep telling myself.  I need to get my running legs back, and there is really only one way to do run more.  I ran 6 yesterday and felt alright while averaging 6:32's.  I looked back to a similar workout that I did in August and I ended up running 6:41's, so at least I know there is some improvement.  Within this next month I would like to get that down another few seconds...basically I want running 7:00-7:05 pace to feel easy...really easy! 

Last night I hit up a 90 minute trainer session.  I was trying to ride with my powertap, but I decided to change back to my "trainer" bike because I couldn't get the wattage up.  I think my trainer is starting to crap out on me.  I was spinning at a cadence of over 100, in the hardest gear, with the trainer wheel cranked all the way tight and I could hardly hit 200 watts.  Not sure the reason, but I was working much less outdoors pushing 300+ watts.  So in changing bikes I strapped on my heart rate monitor and decided to use that for the workout.  The workout didn't look that hard on paper, but stupid me wanted my heart rate to get pretty was the set:

20 minute warm up
5 minutes - :20 sprint; :40 easy
5 minutes easy
5 minutes hard (HR = 160+)
5 minutes easy
4 minutes hard
4 minutes easy
3 minutes hard
3 minutes easy
2 minutes hard
2 minutes easy
1 minute hard
1 minute easy
20 minutes tempo (HR = 140+)
10 minutes easy

It was tough to get my heart rate up for the first five minute set, but after that I didn't seem to have a problem spinning it up there.  I just bumped some Dr. Dre and rolled through the workout.  I have a longer ride/run to get in tonight.  4 more hard's going to pay off!!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Heavy Legs...

Ironman training can take its toll on you...mentally and physically.  After riding long on Sunday I wanted to go easy yesterday and just rode for an hour on the computrainer.  What was supposed to be easy didn't always feel easy, but I kept things under 200 watts and ended up riding a little over 20 miles.  I slept in this morning and just got back from a lunchtime 6 mile run.  I wanted to keep things in check at the start of the run, and well it was easy to do because I didn't feel like I had much in my legs.  My body is starting to feel the training, and I'm loving that.  There are times to fight through the fatigue and times to back down...this is a time to fight through.  What I have found is that as I get further along into my workouts I start to feel better. 

A prime example would be my run today, I started out going through the first mile at 6:48 which didn't feel hard, but it didn't feel like it was easy!  I ended up finishing with a 6:19 mile and in all honesty it felt easier than the first mile.  I have found this to be similar on my long rides as well.  I start to feel better at about mile 40-50.  Now if I can just hold that feeling through until the end of the ride I'll be happy...that's what these next 5 weeks are for.  Today's run ended up being 6 miles at a 6:30 pace, so even though I didn't feel great it was a solid workout.  I still have a ride on tap for tonight, and maybe another short run to get the dogs tired out before the bike.

Monday, October 4, 2010

An Unwanted Tag-a-long

I got home from my long ride yesterday (110 miles) and felt pretty satisfied with where I am on the bike.  I would like to go faster, and think that I am capable of it, but I have to remember that I still have 5 hard weeks of training ahead of me before a 2 week taper leading into Ironman Arizona.  I was able to ride the same time yesterday that I did at Ironman Coeur d' Alene two years ago.  That is good because, I didn't eat breakfast (hadn't been to the grocery store yet), I was up late (Wanner Walk), didn't get a nap on Saturday (come on we know these are key), it was cold (warm clothes are not aero), and I didn't have a race set up on (no aero wheels or helmet).  Does this translate to a time 40minutes faster in 7 weeks...I don't know, but the bottom line is that I got the work in, and I'm happy with that.

My nutrition was better and I never really hit a wall, and I was able to ride through the tough parts of the ride.  The worst part of the ride happened when I got home.  I was in the shower getting my hair wet when all of the sudden there was an awful pain on my hand.  I pulled my hands out of my hair just to realize there was a bee in my hair.  I don't know how long it was there, but must have dropped in during my ride, just to make me feel some pain when it was over.  I don't remember the last time I was stung by a bee...but it hurts, bad!! 

My legs felt fine yesterday and feel fine today, thats a bonus.  5 more hard weeks!!!  Motivation is high right now as so many people are in Kona.  That place looks amazing!!!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Enzo's Buttonhole

Training continues to go well, and I think my run is coming back to me, which is nice.  Now if I could find my swim I would be happy...swimming still escapes me.  I have to think that my training is going as well as it is because I have been consistent and my recovery has been great.  I have been refueling properly and rocking the Zensah compression sleeves and shorts on a daily basis (I know what you're thinking and I have more than one pair...and I wash the others).

I often get asked, "Doesn't your butt hurt when you're out riding your bike for hours on end?"  And the answer is  I have some exciting news for you though if your butt does get sore.  I've been using Enzo's Buttonhole Chamois Cream for the past few months and it really helps to keep you comfortable during your rides.  One of the nice things too is that it helps to prevent and treat saddle sores.  Since starting with Buttonhole, I haven't had a single problem, and I've been putting in some serious miles.  I put Enzo's to the test last weekend during my 105 mile ride and it performed like a dream.  One of my buddies tried it out last week for the first time and he liked it as well.  Give it a try, you won't be disappointed!

Monday, September 27, 2010

A long training day, the first of many

The final build for Arizona has begun, and yesterday was my longest training day out of any of my Ironman's.  I met with Andy and we headed out on a long ride.  The plan was to ride 100 and run off of the bike.  I had wanted to run 6 off of the bike, and wanted to run a certain pace, but would be satisfied with a little slower pace.

The ride: We left from my house at like 6:45 and did the new loop that we had discovered about a month ago.  I thought that the route was 50 miles, and it ended up being 52 and change.  The first loop went well and was without incident.  After a quick stop to refill bottles the second loop started.  I felt better early on into the second loop, until we hit about mile 80.  I could feel myself bonking, and there was nothing I could do about it.  I was doing my usual eating more sooner than expected hoping that things would come back.  I had to go to the bathroom, so we stopped at a gas station and I went to my known bonk frosted donuts.  After the stop things were going better.  I think the problem was that I wasn't in a rhythm, I would hammer and then chill...hammer and then chill.  That's not how I need to ride, I need to get into the zone and stay there, when I'm in the zone I'm all good.  Something to learn for sure.  We ended up riding just over 105 miles.  I started thinking as the ride went on and I was more satisfied with it.  I felt strong again towards the end of the ride which was definitely nice for the confidence.

Off of the bike I was going to be happy to run 4 miles, not knowing how my legs would feel.  But I have a little secret that I used to help get me started and to help keep me dogs.  I knew that my dogs would set a nice pace right out of the gate and I really had no choice but to keep up with them.  So mile one was 6:30...far faster than I wanted to hold so I then figured that they burned off that initial excitement and I could slow them down so after that we settled in.  My goal was to run at a 7:00 pace, but I was going to be satisfied with a 7:15.  I went through the second mile under 7 minutes so I decided to keep things under control and try to get 6 miles in, as I got closer I said screw it I'm going 7, holding 7:00.  When things were all said and done I ended up running 7 miles at a 6:48 pace.  This was a great confidence boost.

Time for another week of training.  First a little recovery today with my Zensah compression tights.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Determination & Dedication

This weekend I was in San Diego for my cousins wedding.  We had a great time, hanging out with family, surfing all of that fun stuff.  It was really relaxing and I think we all had a great time.  I'll post some pictures in a little while from the weekend.

The final build has begun.  There are only 61 days until Ironman Arizona.  As I was running/riding/running last night I was thinking of some words that I would key in on for this final build.  What came to mind were determination and dedication.  I am determined to put together the best race that I can on November 21st, and that's all I can wish best race.  I know there will be high times, and low times during the race as there always are during Ironman. 

I know I am dedicated and always have been, now it's time to get the work done.  Last night was a run/bike/run session.  I wanted to make sure the dogs got some exercise so we ran 3 miles together (mile one was 6:13...think they were excited?) I rode for an hour on the rollers (I forgot how much focus that takes), and then ran another 2.5 with the dogs (they were a little more tired this time around).  It was a solid session, and good to know that my legs felt great the whole time.  An hour on the trainer this morning watching Bloodsport was a great way to start the day.  I still have a run planned, and have a feeling it might be a warm one, which is alright by me.  Oh yea, and have I said how awesome it is to bike commute?  I love my cross bike, and it's quite nice to not have a car at work, maybe the extra miles will help in November?

Thursday, September 16, 2010


I have been running "unplugged" (no not from my i-pod) from my Garmin ever since Pigman, when I lost it.  I can honestly say that I hate not knowing how fast, or how far I have gone.  If I'm going for a "run" with a friend then fine I can be content with going easy for x amount of minutes.  But if I'm by myself I want to be able to know what I'm doing.  I picked up my Garmin from the post office on Monday and ended up running over 9 miles on Tuesday.  This is a "recovery" week and I know I shouldn't have run that much, but I wanted to make sure it was working properly.  Really it just gave me an excuse to go run.  If only I had something similar for swimming!

A fun weekend awaits, my cousin is getting married in San Diego.  It's always fun to hang out with the family, and I've never been to San Diego so I'm really looking forward to the trip.  I have my running shoes and Garmin packed, if I use them great, if not no big deal.  The "hibernation" begins on Monday so I want to enjoy the last couple days of freedom before I start to hit it hard on the training front.  Can't wait for the big bike/run bricks!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Preparation / Hibernation

I raced Saturday, ran semi-long on Sunday and am going to use the rest of the week to be sort of a "recovery" week.  I'm going to do this for a few reasons.  It's the time when you rest that you make true gains right?  I'll be in San Diego this weekend, so I'm not bringing a bike with me, I'll be able to swim and run, but want to spend some down time before a big final build to Ironman Arizona.

I watched IMWI on Sunday which was motivating for me, not to just finish, but I saw people who I have been racing with this year do extremely well.  That was awesome to see!  It helped to boost my confidence knowing that I'm a similar caliber athlete to these guys and I know I can do well.  Yes I need to put the work in, and after a little physical/mental break this week I'm going to enter "Hibernation" mode.

For me this is going to mean some big time training, with some long distances and high volume.  This is the final push up to IMAZ and I don't want to have any regrets.  I have some pretty big goals for rides/runs that I'm going to be doing.  I have 6 weeks of hard training after this weekend before a couple weeks to taper.  Sunday's are going to be dedicated to some serious riding/running.  So if you're not doing anything on a Sunday and want to meet me somewhere to exchange water bottles please let me know.

The opening to this song is something I'm going to have to have running through my head for the weeks to come:

Monday, September 13, 2010

That was a First...

This weekend I went up and raced a half ironman up in Lake Geneva.  I really didn't want to race, but I had told Wanner a while back that I would race with him, and being his first half ironman I felt I really needed to be there.  I'm glad he was there, and he had an incredible race!  I had warned Wanner that this race was going to be a complete cluster and not to expect any bit of organization.  Well the organization part wasn't as big of an issue as I had anticipated (I'm not saying it was good by any means though...more on that later).

A Special Thank You / Race Day: Started with a 3:30 a.m. wake up call.  Ouch!  I have to give an award out right now though...SPECTATHLETE of the YEAR = My MOM.  She was up with me at 3:30 a.m. made breakfast, took the dogs out, and was ready to head up to the race with me knowing that odds are it was going to rain.  We were on the road at 4 with the two of us, my bike, a spare set of wheels...I know I'm crazy, and two dogs.  Yep a little packed.  So why is my Mom freakin awesome you ask?  Because she had my two insane dogs with her the whole day in the pouring rain while she was freezing in the 55 degree weather just so I could go out and do something I love to do.  Mom I can't thank you enough!!!  We arrived up in Lake Geneva at the race at about 5:45 and luckily for me Wanner had saved me a spot in transition.  That's when it started...the down pour.  Yep setting up transition in the dark and rain isn't fun, and I knew it was going to make for a long day. 

Our race started with a "mass start" at 6:30 a.m.  It wasn't completely light yet but they sent us off.  My swim was nothing spectacular, I had a great start for about the first 1500 meters, and then things slowed down, maybe because we swam up on the slow olympic distance swimmers which started after us and swam on the same course...yep same course, oh yea and there was a sprint on the same course...and I must have forgotten to mention the super sprint on the same course as well.  Like I said earlier this would be a cluster!!!  My swim was in the 36 minute range and I was ok with that because I really never swam hard and knew the people I swam up on were slowing me down...and with this race who knows if the distance was right or not?

T1 was uneventful.  I headed out onto my bike and was almost immediately scared.  They had a bike lane blocked off with cones for us for the first quarter mile.  Ok fine I can handle that, but then we had to take a left with NO ONE blocking traffic as we turned left.  Luckily I didn't get hit...but one poor person did.  That is just soooo wrong on behalf of the race!!  Well that was just the start.  So I'm riding and within the first 10 miles I have a volunteer tell me I'm in 2nd place.  I had no idea where the leader was and figured it was some fast guy that I wouldn't see the rest of the day.  Well I stayed positive and kept telling myself I was a strong rider, to ride within myself and to get ready for a show down on the run because it was going to be on.  Well somewhere between mile 15-20 I caught the leader and took the lead over.  After passing him I was pretty sure he wouldn't be able to match my speed, or come back to catch me.  I was just wondering how much time I could put into him on the bike for the next 35ish miles.  So here I am riding behind the lead van, well that didn't last long because he pull off to the side and I never saw him again.  I was out riding just following arrows hoping I was going the right way.  About 3 miles from T2 some guy comes riding out off of a different street who was in the race.  I asked him which race he was in and he claimed the half ironman.  What?  I've been cruising for 35-40 miles and people are on a different course?  So now I'm ticked, dropped the hammer and decided to run the first loop as a recon mission to see the damage...basically how many other people rode a different course than I did?  I had no idea and started moving through the run pretty well.  It was super hilly, hillier than Galena's run if you can believe that.  I got to an aid station which had to be at mile 4 or so to overhear some guy claiming that he's winning the half ironman.  Huh?  I was a little ticked at that point and turned on the gas for a few miles to prove to this guy that he had cheated somewhere on the course.  So to the guy who claimed that he rode a 2:05 bike split on crappy roads in the pouring rain...what the heck are you thinking?  And who do you think you're fooling?  A 40 minute swim and a 1:56 really think you can ride 2:05?  What you did was the olympic bike course...not the half ironman one, you rode 25 miles instead of 56, but do what you need to in order to sleep at night pal.  I came through the turn around where my Mom told me she thought I was winning.  On my way back out I wanted to see the damage that I had caused to this was substantial!  When I went past him on the road (heading back out) I think he realized that he shouldn't have ticked me off.  I set things on cruise control after that point and just cheered everyone on that was out on the course.  People dealt with a crappy day and it's amazing to see them get the job done and finish!

The result...I got my first overall win at a triathlon.  Yea I know it's not the most organized, but a win is a win and I'll take it.  I ended up beating that cheater by 16 minutes and 3rd place (which really should have been 2nd) was 33 minutes behind me.  The people at the finish line didn't even realize that I was the winner of the half ironman race.  Oh well, I had a 36ish minute swim, 2:21ish bike (in the pouring rain with crappy roads and a lot of turns which weren't protected by race volunteers) and a 1:31ish run, which there were only 3 miles or so that I ran hard.  4:33 on a day like that is something I can live with.

Congrats to Wanner, and another thanks to my Mom and to Aunt Lou for cheering me on too!!!!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Breaking Down

"The world breaks everyone and afterword many are stronger at the broken places."
           - Ernest Hemmingway, A Farewell to Arms

Quotes seem to motivate me, and really make me think.  I came across the quote above and it hit home considering how I'm feeling because Ironman training has come into full swing.  I'm just hoping that all of those broken places are stronger come November 21st.  So the next two months are about "breaking to become stronger." 

The body will need to adapt to the higher training volume, as I transition from the half ironman distance races to the ironman distance.  I have known this for a while but I really have no high end speed and that was pretty evident in my ride this morning.  I can ride tempo for quite a while, however, when it comes to going super hard for a short time that just doesn't happen.  I think it's important to get out of your comfort zone, so this morning I wrote a bike workout which I knew I would struggle with.  Typically I would write a workout that would be tempo types of effort for longer periods of time.  Instead today this is what I did:

3 times through the following:
5 x 30 seconds
- 20 seconds max (470-520 watts)
- 10 seconds rest
4 minutes rest

15 minutes @ 80% (250-270 watts)

The first rep in each set was well over 500 watts...the rest was painful...very painful.  One thing that did feel good was the 80%, I was feeling a lot better as things went on and was finding that I had to hold back towards the end.

Day 3 of the running come back will have to happen tonight, and I think taking the dogs with me should help as they like to set a blistering pace right from the start and then taper off.  I was able to get a quick 2300 yard swim in and held under a 1:30 pace for any set that I did, so that's a positive, especially given the fatigue.  2 months of hard work left, and it's time to get after it!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Running is a funny thing...

So my new running streak is now at 2 days.  It was an awesome day to run, besides the fact that there were 20+ mph wind gusts on the way out.  Which just meant I had them at my back on the way back.  Since I lost my Garmin at Pigman it's been tougher to get out the door to run. I shouldn't be that dependent on the GPS, but you get used to it.  The good news is that the new one is on its way, let's hope it gets here sooner rather than later though.

So needless to say I have been running with no idea of how fast or really how far.  I've been using at times to see an approximate distance and then can figure out my pace, but haven't worried about it prior to today.  The first quarter mile or so today felt great, then it sucked for a while, then I picked up the dogs and they helped to set a good pace, eventually their pace fell off and I was back to pace setting, dropped them off at home and had the wind at my back.  I was hoping that my pace was under a 7 minute mile, and was really going to be happy with 6:40's.  I checked map my run and as it turns out I ended up running 8.6 miles in 55 minutes for an average pace of 6:23.  It's wierd because I never felt that great, but I'm satisfied with that pace.  Hopefully with 2 months of consistent hard training prior to tapering for Ironman I will be where I want to be.  Today was a good start though!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Today...I got put in my place!

I have a weakness...besides swimming, and no it's not the bike, or's RUNNING!  I have been slacking on my run training and today it was evident.  I went out for a long ride with Chad and Dan, we ended up riding almost 80 miles which was solid, and I felt great riding.  I was strong into the headwind, it was easy to hold over 300 watts for long stretches of road, riding 22+ mph into a brutal wind, I pretty much nailed the ride...and then came the transition run after.  We decided that we were going to go about 3 miles.  So the three of us set out and were running just under a 7 minute pace down Chad's street.  That's when he said alright see you guys...and that's when the pain/reality set in.  Dan can run...Dan can ride...Dan can swim...but at this time it was the run that he was using to inflict pain on me.  Neither of us had a Garmin on, so we didn't know how fast we were going, but Chad let us know when we were at mile 1...6:17...are you kidding me after riding almost 80 miles, that's just stupid.  I have no right trying to run that fast, and that definitely caught up to me the next 14 minutes.  We turned around after running for 10 minutes, I was hoping just to wait there for Chad and then run back easy to his house.  Well as it turns out Chad had already turned around...probably at mile 1.5 which we should have done if we had a Dan told me I had a mile and a half to catch Chad.  So we took off, and darn it he wasn't coming back as fast as I wanted to.  Running with Dan wasn't helping either since he is just effortless and I'm breathing as if I had one lung and I was on the top of a mountain.  I hung on with Dan for a little longer before he pulled away.  Ended up finishing in around 20 minutes or so, but it was painful!

At least I know where I stand on the running front...and that I need to do more of it, so from here on out I suppose I need a little challenge.  Daily runs of 20 minutes or more...let's hope for the more, but I need something to jumpstart my running again.  I cruised through a half ironman in July, and I need to get that feeling back.  Part of me is thinking that was just a fluke.  Time to get to work I have a solid 2 months to regain that running form.  Which I think can happen.  My bike is there, my swim...well I won't's time to put it all together.  Thanks guys for kicking my butt today!!!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Details...

So the blog posts have been short, I've been busy.  I don't feel like going back to see what I had said in those recent posts so I'll try to fill things in about the past couple of weeks.

About two weeks ago Chad and I raced at the Pigman Half Ironman in Palo, Iowa.  I had wanted to do this race, and I'm glad Chad decided to do it as well because that was more motivation for me to actually sign up.  It was kind of a fast trip for me as I didn't leave for Iowa until around 3 on Saturday afternoon, raced Sunday morning and was home about 7:30 p.m. Sunday night.

The race - To start we were delayed because of fog.  We were actually delayed for about an hour or so which was not all that exciting.  I had eaten breakfast before we left the hotel, and delaying the race for an hour left me a little hungry at the start.  I had taken my GU Roctane 15 minutes before I thought I would start...dumb move on my part!  Oh well, something to learn from.

Swim - This was a time trial start where someone started every 3 seconds.  I had never done a time trial start before, so this was kind of interesting.  It was nice to start passing people right from the start and I had a decent swim.  I was 2 minutes faster than a month ago, and I don't think I stayed on course all that well.  I still need to work on the swim.

Bike - I ended up with a PR bike split of 2:15...that's the good news.  I am wondering how I did that though considering within the first 5 miles I lost one of my GU Brew bottles and my Garmin.  So I was on my own in terms of pace for the remainder of the race and all I had was one bottle of GU Brew...from there on out it was water because what they had on the course was nasty!!!  I just rode by feel and things felt good so I went with it.  I was riding well, and within myself, and it was nice to keep passing people.  I ended up riding myself through the waves until I rode into the first wave (I was wave 6).

Run - This was just survival!  It was hot...and I mean HOT!!!  So I ran from aid station to aid station and just tried to stay within myself.  It worked out well, and I know that I have some work to do on the running front, and that has already started!

Overall I was 9th place and I won my age group.  Solid day for sure.

This past weekend Dan, Noah and I did the Chicago Triathlon as a relay.  Dan swam and killed it coming out of the water faster than last year and in 3rd position.  I'm guessing that he passed 2nd in the run to transition because I had only seen one person come in before him.  That guy was way ahead, and as it turns out he's the 2nd best distance high school swimmer in the state.  So I knew I had some work to do to catch up.  As soon as I took the chip I was off.  My goal was to completely bury myself on the bike to see what I could do.  I had no idea how fast I was going because I didn't have a computer, so I just pushed harder and harder.  The funny thing is that as time went on I started to settle in.  The first 6 miles or so I was hurting.  It would have helped to warm up on my bike...but I'm not sure how that was going to happen since I had to check it in at 5:30 a.m. and didn't get on it to ride until 10ish.  I had a race official on a motorcycle trying to clear things out for me, but there were times that he got in my way so I had to slow down.  My bike felt great and I ended up passing everyone I needed to and gave Noah a lead on the run.  We ended up winning the relay by 2 minutes.

It's been a great couple of weeks, and now the training starts to pick up in volume...can't wait!!!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Chicago Triathlon - Relay Results

Alright another quick post.  Yesterday Dan, Noah and I did the Chicago Tri as a relay once again.  We had a win!

We're happy to report that we did in fact win, and by about 2 minutes at that.  It was brutally hot, well mostly for Noah which sucked for him.  Dan was a minute faster, I was two minutes faster and it's nice to see things coming along fitness wise on the bike.  I have had some solid bike times this year and hopefully I can start getting those run times down as well.  More on the race later.  Thanks Mom for being a trooper and coming with me for an incredibly long day.  I would have been bored out of my mind hadn't you been there!!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Pigman Half Ironman Race Report

Alright this is going to be short and sweet...well maybe not sweet, but short for sure.  Sunday Chad and I raced the Pigman Half Ironman in Palo, Iowa.  It was hot, the morning was foggy and did I mention it was hot! 

Swim - Delayed for about an hour because of the fog, but once it lifted I ended up swimming better than my last race.  I am not sure if I sighted the best, but whatever, I came out of the water in 34 minutes...not bad for me, not great, but not bad.

Bike - I hate railroad crossings, and we had to go over a couple of them.  The first one my rear bottle of GU Brew fell out and I decided not to get it.  I looked down a little later and realized that I lost my Garmin somewhere.  Well time to just roll I guess.  The bike was an out and back, and I had people in front of me the whole time to catch...and catch I did.  I rolled into T2 as the first non-"elite".  It was pretty cool to be the first bike racked.  2:15 bike split, happy with that.

Run - It was hot, and it was just survival mode.  1:41 nothing pretty but it got done.

All in all I was 9th overall and I won my age group.  Happy with the race, really happy with the bike, looking forward to more training.  Less than 3 months until Ironman Arizona.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Early Morning Long Run

It's been a good week of training.  I was able to get everything in and am pretty happy with the results.  Last night I decided to get my track workout in at 4:15 p.m. not the brightest idea.  With a heat index of 97 degrees it made for an interesting workout.  I nailed my times though:

Distance                   Planned Time                           Actual Time

1200 M                    4:17                                        4:10
1000 M                    3:30                                        3:22
800 M                      2:43                                        2:43
600 M                      2:00                                        1:56
400 M                      1:16                                        1:13

I have a feeling I started out a little too fast, but was able to get things back in check after nearly puking on the 800.

I had to get my long run in this morning, since I knew I wouldn't be able to ride, and let's be serious it wasn't going to happen later.  At least not without a ton of motivation, so I'll save the motivation for some other time.  I didn't have high hopes for my long run this morning seeing as I was only about 12 hours off of the track, but I went anyway.  I ended up getting in my 17 miles at a 7:04 pace, which was pretty easy.  I ran with a former player for about 10 miles so that was good and helped keep me from blowing up.

Long ride tomorrow, something I'm definitely looking forward to!!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Life is Good

So this morning as my swim set was almost done I heard something interesting, and I heard it because we were doing a kick set alright so I wasn't resting at the wall.  Actually with this group there is no rest...well they get rest, but I sure as heck don't!!  Back to my story, so Barber came into the pool and says, "I want your life!"  He was just kidding obviously, but it got me to thinking.  I do have it pretty sweet.  I think part of the reason this put me in a good mood was because I was just about done with swimming for the day, which always helps, but in the next couple 100's I thought about what he had said.

I'm pretty lucky, I have an awesome family, two awesome loyal dogs, amazing friends...I could list things all day long, but the bottom line is I do have it pretty good.

The swim was solid this morning, 4800 meters in the books.  Hammerfest ride tonight with the boys, should be is going to hurt, but it should be fun none the less.  Let's hope it cools off soon.  Something new might be on the horizon as well.  Will know more tonight.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

It's a Rollercoaster...

I feel like training is a rollercoaster, there are times where you feel high, and others where you feel low.  For me I typically feel low when I'm swimming, and the high's can come on either the bike or the run.

I've had a couple of solid weeks of training, so I am feeling good.  I had a great tempo run last night, I'm not sure why but it was awesome.  The plan was to run the first mile at a 7:10, the next five miles at 6:35 and the final mile at 7:00.  Well I went through mile 1 in 6:54 and then cracked off a 6:19, 6:19, 6:23, 6:21, 6:23 and finished up with a 6:40.  The best part about it was the fact that I was holding myself back the whole time.  I would glance down at my Garmin and realize that at times I was running at a sub 6 pace and really had to hold back.  Just one of those good days I guess.

The awesome run from yesterday continued this morning on the computrainer.  There were only a few of us, but as always we were in the hurt locker after the set.

15' warm up
2 times through the following:
10 x 1:30
- :30 @ 150% (450+ watts)
- 1:00 @ 70% (~215 watts)
Cool Down

For many of the 30 second intervals I was well over 460 watts, and for the last one I was over 500 watts the whole time.  My legs feel good, I'm going to head out for another ride tonight to loosen things up, and maybe a short run as well.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Pluggin along...

I realize that I have been really slacking big time on this blog so I'll try to catch up here with the important things.  That might be tough because isn't everything important?  Well not really, but here goes.

Training has been going along well, I had a solid week last week.  I guess a couple of highlights would have to come from training on the bike.  This new ride I have is amazing!!  I'm more comfortable than I have ever been, I feel as if I'm more efficient and I feel like I'm stronger each and every day.  Last Wed. computrainer was solid, and went something like this (if I can remember that far ago)

15' warm up
2 x through the following:
5' @ 85-90% (255-270 watts)
1' RI
4' @ 90-95% (270-285 watts)
1' RI
3' @ AT (310 watts)
1' RI
2' (1' @ AT; 1' @ Max sustainable - 420+ watts)
1' RI
1' @ Max Sustainable (450 watts)
Cool Down

I pretty much nailed that workout and didn't put a whole lot of extra effort in, so that felt nice!!

Being a scatter brain I'm going to head back to a tempo run from last Tuesday, 7 miles, and I was faster than all of the paces that I had set for myself, so again happy with that.  Swimming was over 15,000 yards so another positive, and I even hit some pretty fast times in the pool...well fast for me that is!  And I have at least 4 more weeks outside so that's a bonus!!

Saturday I rode long with Chad and Saeger, and my legs were feeling good, as time went on they started to feel better!  I think the best part about the ride was how fresh I felt when I was done.  I'm feeling fresh after riding in the 70-80 mile range and so now it means I need to bump that up.  I want to feel fresh after riding 112, not 76!  And trust me when I say that is a huge difference.

Last night I did my long run, 15 miles in which I was able to hold a 6:51 pace without having to step on the gas too much.  I want that to feel easier though...and I want it faster, the only way to get there though is to put in the work.

This morning I went to swim downtown with Wanner.  Let me tell you he is determined to be ready for this Ironman next June.  We went down to Ohio Street beach to get some open water swimming in.  The water was very calm (for Lake Michigan standards) and it didn't feel too cold, so I made the game time decision to swim without a wetsuit.  I have never done this in Lake Michigan and thought it would be a good challenge.  Heading out to the first buoy was no problem and I was comfortable.  But as you get closer to the break wall the water got colder...way colder.  As I was waiting at the half mile buoy for Wanner I realized how cold I was, and some people walking by dropped a thermometer in the water and proceeded to announce to me that the water was 64 degrees...thanks a lot!  At least now I knew I wasn't just being a wimp and as soon as Wanner got out there I said let's head back I'm frozen.  It was wierd that as you got closer to shore you could really feel the change in temps. However, the damage was already done.  I was only 3 minutes slower without a wetsuit and I really didn't hammer all that much so it was a good day.

This week includes a lot of riding, single speed tonight, mountain tomorrow, tri bike wednesday & e-ride wednesday, and the hammerfest Thursday night at Willowbrook's Endure It.

Last week I also met with the awesome crew at Lululemon Oakbrook and there are some exciting things on the horizon!!  A new beginners run group is going to start out of the store on September 15th, at 6:30 p.m. come check it out!  I'm really excited to be working with such awesome people and can't wait to see what else they have in store as well!!!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Chisago Lakes Half Ironman Race Report

This past weekend I raced up in Chisago Lakes Minnesota.  I was able to see Poppen and Kathryn whom I haven't seen in way too long so it was a great weekend all around.  I drove up to Minneapolis on Friday, and it was a pretty nice drive, I haven't been that way past Madison in a few years and I forgot how nice the scenery really was.

Poppen and I went for a quick 25 minute run when I got to his house, and it was a great way to shake out the legs after a long drive, it was freakin hot though!  The weather was supposed to cool off by Sunday and I was hoping that it would.  Saturday morning I got up early and took out my new Giant Trinity Advanced SL2 for a quick spin to make sure everything was in working order, followed by a quick 30 minute run with Poppen.  Things were all firing away and I was feeling good.  The rest of the day was pretty chill, Poppen and I checked out a soccer game for one of the teams he's in charge of, and we went to the horse tracks.  Good times!!

Race Day

Race day started at 3:45 a.m. since Poppen said it was going to take an hour and a half to get to the race site.  So after my typical oatmeal with agave nectar and a banana we were on the road.  There was almost no traffic on the roads and of course as we got closer the only people there were the people headed to the race.  We were able to find a close parking spot and getting everything set up in transition seemed great...seemed is the key word there!!  More on that later.

Swim: The swim was a straight out and back...yep along the same buoys, so do you know what that means?  Yep the way out (well most of it) was fine.  I need to become pissed off in the water like I am when I ride and run.  I was swimming with a group for about 500 meters and then let them go, and that seemed to be a constant theme...letting people go.  I hit the turn around in a much longer time than I had wanted to, but was hoping for a current (?? who knows ??) on the way back, but what I hit on the was back was traffic...not cars, but later waves coming right at me, and they were not looking where they were swimming so I was essentially playing frogger in the water the whole way back.  Trust me I'm not blaming that on my crappy swim...there is no one to blame but myself!  I came out of the water in 36 and change, by far my worst swim of the year, so at least that means I have room to improve!

T1: Wetsuit strippers are nice to have, but that was the only nice thing about T1.  You see I had stayed with my bike until the transition area closed and everything was good.  Needless to say I was a bit surprised/madd/panicked when I got to where my bike should have been and it wasn't there!  My brand new freakin bike wasn't there, so after getting a volunteer to ask where my bike was she was nice enough to go and look, and happened to find it.  So with one of the longest transitions in my wave I lost a little over a minute due to the fact that my bike was missing.

Bike:  You would think that I would have just started hammering away, but I was trying to be smart and trying to conserve some energy for later in the race.  So I stayed conservative for the first 5 miles and then I said screw it I'm in!  I started to ride my race, and I think it worked out pretty well.  There was always someone up the road, and I was able to bring back everyone I saw.  I would say that coming out of the water I had to be way down...70 people or so ahead of me would be my estimate.  I was able to ride up into the top 10 overall.  The bike course was not completely flat, but it wasn't super hilly either.  I was able to ride a 2:17 and change bike split averaging 24.4 miles per hour.  The nice thing is that I never truly dropped the hammer on the bike.

T2: Uneventful, especially after my debacle in T1.

Run: I wasn't sure where I was on the run but I counted what I thought were 10 bikes in transition when I got back.  And one guy headed out directly in front of me, so I had him in my sights.  I had an idea of what I wanted to run, but wasn't sure if I'd be able to do it since I haven't been running much as of late.  So with this one  guy in my vision I went out.  I was going to race smart, not bring this guy back right away, but slowly and I was going to run my race.  Well running my race was bringing him back, and by mile 2 I was side by side.  I decided to put a quick surge in just picking it up a bit to see if he would go with, and I dropped him immediately.  I was alone for about a mile or so before taking a left hand turn and seeing someone further up the road.  So that was my new target.  He was way up the road, and I knew it would be a while before I caught him.  I would pick places on the road and figure out my time gap.  Each mile I was gaining about 10 seconds.  At mile 6 I figured I would have him by mile 9, well as things turned out I brought back even more time faster and had him by 8.  So now I had 5 miles to go and no one was in sight.  That is until mile 10 when some dude came flying past me, he was sub 6 minute pace and I knew I couldn't keep up so I let him go.  I'm not sure where he came from but he was flying.  I was able to finish the race with a 1:25 and change run split.

Overall I finished up in 8th place with a time of 4:22.57 and I won my age group.  I am happy with the result, especially considering the fact that I haven't been running much lately.  It's time to start picking up the training with Ironman Arizona on the horizon.

All in all a good day.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The New Rule

In order to run more I'm placing a new rule upon myself.  The new rule is that starting today, I have to run at least 3 times the distance that I swim.  A year ago I would have had no problem doing this, and it isn't going to be problematice, it's just that I'm swimming more in close to 3 miles every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.  So that means running around 9 miles each of those days.  I didn't say I was going to run fast, although I'm sure some days that will happen, I just said I was going to run 3 times the distance that I swim.

So today I swam 4800 meters which converts to 2.9825817216 miles...I suppose we can round up to 3 miles which means I do have to run 9 miles.  Given the fact that it's hot once again I think I'll head to Waterfall Glen to run since it provides shade for most of the loop.

My shoulders are feeling a bit smashed from two hard days swimming in a row and some mountain biking thrown in there.  I definitely need some work on my technical bike handling skills...until then I'll be meeting the dirt by means of falling, hopefully there aren't rocks to break my fall.

Just a little over 4 months until Ironman Arizona, time to start picking up the volume of training, and I'm looking forward to it!  I read something someplace the other day which really hit home and helped to motivate me.  I need to print it off so that I can put it around the house to remind me why I'm getting up at 4:30 a.m. in the summer time.