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 that...run, 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 sleep...no 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.  (ricklapinski@hotmail.com

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 did...you 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 jealous...you 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 Ironman...it'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 walk...you'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 computrainer...so 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 Saturday...my goal time was somewhere around 5:00-5:05, but in the back of my mind I was hoping for sub 5...as 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!!!