Saturday, November 28, 2009

Friday, November 27, 2009

Ironman Arizona 2009


I am always amazed at how many people sprint in front of me only to be passed in 200-400 meters. No real problems until I neared the turn around. Somebody decided to pull my goggles down. No big deal, I treaded for a few seconds and replaced them. At the first turn buoy, a double d (dum dum) decided to use me as a platform. I went under water as he went over me. When thing like this happen, all I can think is that Karma will get you. I felt great on the way back. I passed a lot of people. I exited the water and quickly found a wetsuit stripper. I ran by my bag, grabbed it, and hit the tent. I quickly put on my Oakley's and Spiuk Kronos.

It was amazing how great I felt running through transition. I dropped a minute off my transition from last year. This is the first ironman where I didn't feel tight in the upper body and my breathing was relaxed. I grabbed my Lynskey and headed out of transition


I quickly got into a nice rhythm. My plan was to drink every 10 minutes and take a Succeed Salt tab every 30 minutes. The first loop, there was a head wind out and a tailwind back on Beeline Highway. I saw Karen on the way back. She was wearing a cheerleader outfit with a big red M dot on the front. She definitely played the part. On the second loop, there was a head wind all the way out (19 miles) and a tail wind back. I felt very slow going out. I don't remember how many times I got out of the saddle. I found a guy who seemed to be riding at the same speed, so we worked together the rest of the race. He ended up winning the 40-44 age group. On the third loop, the winds were the exact opposite of the first loop. Two guys caught up to us just after the second loop turn around. I liked their pace, so I decided to ride with them. I went to grab water at the aid station and they took off. They placed 1-2 in my age group. I know I could have rode with them. Would it have affected my run? I started feeling hungry with 10 miles to go. I drank 1700 calories on the bike. I definitely need to add more. I took in 5500mg of salt.

As I neared T-2, I got my feet out and mentally prepared to start running. I quickly dismounted, ran by and grabbed my bag. I didn't have any luck with volunteers having my bag ready today. The way I look at it is, if they have it great, if not then be ready to grab it. This is why I do a quick run through the day before, so I have a mental note where I need to be just in case. I took off the Spiuk. I put on my Newtons, grabbed my bottle & visor, and headed out. I quickly asked for sunscreen on my shoulders.

I took another minute off my transition. It could've been faster except one of the volunteers decided I needed sunscreen on my face too.


My left foot was numb and my back felt super tight. I walked a bit hoping it would loosen up right away. It took almost 5 miles before it loosened up. I drank coke & water every aid station and drank Powerbar Endurance every mile marker. I also took a salt tab every 4 miles.

I was able to get into a nice rhythm for the entire second loop. I started drink coke & water at every aid station. Karen was all over the place. She stayed at the same spot on the bike, but not on the run. At one point, it almost seemed as if she had teleportation powers. She was at 2 different spots within seconds. She told me I was in 7th and the guy in 6th was right in front of me. She said it loud enough that the guy turned and looked at her. I think he gave her the how could you stare.

One of the pros who finished fourth passed me near the end of his run. I didn't change my pace and it seemed we were running at the same pace. Maybe I did pick up the pace, something about male ego. If I had my watch on I could verify that. My watch came off around mile 5 as I was turning right. The band came off both sides and one of the pins vanished into thin air. I don't really use the watch during the race. I use it more to see splits after the race.

I mentally broke on the third loop. I also started cramping in my arms. Was it because I did not take enough salt. I used to drink a different liquid that had more sodium in it. I completely brain farted on that one. I looked for reasons to walk. I pulled it together by the end of the run.

9:26.25 5th 35-39, 15th Amateur, 43rd Overall

I finally put it together. I qualified for Kona. It took 5 tries, but I did it. I still remember Heidi telling me it is a long process and me not believing her. It has been a great year of training and racing. I look forward to next year. I will continue to challenge myself. Kona here I come.

I want to thank:
Jason - Getting me into triathlon
Heidi - Writing my first training plan and giving my lots of wisdom that I would evetually accept
Guy - Getting me through my first Ironman
Mark - A different training philosophy.
Karen - Race Support and crushing me in the pool (Yes, you are still the faster open water swimmer)
Crowieto - Making be a better cyclist and all of the trash talking to push me further

I want to also thank all the companies who have supported me:
Bear Naked Granola
Lynskey Performance
Succeed S!Caps
Wheel Builder

Race morning

I woke up every hour on the hour. Nothing new. I beat my alarm by 15 minutes, so I decided to drink 2 boosts. I put my gear on and decided to reset the alarm. I thought I could get a few more zzz. No luck. I decided to get up and double check I had everything. Karen dropped me off at transition just before 5am. Yes, I like to be early.

I pumped my tires and placed my bottles. I dropped off the rest of the drinks in the bike & run bags. I asked someone yesterday about putting shoes on the bike. The volunteer said it would be okay. I was all done with everything when I hear the announcement, "Only pros are allowed to have shoes clipped onto the bikes." This is why I like to be early. I take the shoes off and place them back in the bike bag.

It was a little before 6AM. I gave Crowieto his pump and found a spot to sit and relax. Someone asked, "How can you be so calm?" I replied, "It's just another day." He smiled and hopefully it calmed his anxiety.

I chewed on my Powerbar Raspberry Gel Blasts. If you haven't tried these, you are missing out. They are awesome. It is the last thing I eat before racing. I put on my Xterra Vendetta wetsuit and put body glide everywhere I thought chafing would be possible except one place. My feet. Will I pay for that later?

I stood in line while the pros got ready. One of the pros was doing jumping jacks. As I was waiting, Crowieto snuck up behind me and said, "I find you." If you haven't watched Wedding Crashers you are missing out on one of the funniest movies of all time. We walked down to the dock. Crowieto jumps in. I look at my watch and decide to wait a few minutes. I finally jump in and move toward the front. We don't start for about 15 minutes. After 5 minutes, I hear, "I find you." It was Crowieto with a stalker look on his face. All I could do was laugh. We tread water for a little longer then the gun fires.

Last two days before the race

It was a nice relaxing day Friday. I had no workouts scheduled. My body wanted to sleep, sleep, and sleep some more. I finally got up and cleaned my bike. We went to get Karen from the airport. For Lunch we ate sushi. I chilled the rest of the day. For dinner we ate at Claim Jumper. I had a Jamaican Jerk Chicken in a sweet potato. It was very good.

Saturday morning. I had three short workouts. I felt great in each. Karen was super motivated. She swam 2.4 miles. After getting cleaned up, we dropped our bikes off in transition. I decided to put the Bad Ass Coffee sticker on my bike. I figured it would only bring good luck. We went to lunch. Any guesses? Sushi!!! Can't go wrong. Chilled some more. We went to the Olive Garden for dinner.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I didn't sleep as well last night. Probably because I didn't have any workouts yesterday.

We got in line for some ART right before the swim. The guy I had was much more knowledgeable. He worked on me for 15 minutes. Crowieto did not fare as well. His guy was in training, so the ART lasted a whopping 2 minutes.

I swam in the canal. The water was a nice 64 degrees. I swam 15 minutes out and turned around. This drunk ran into me in the first 100 meters. Actually, it was Crowieto.

We got on the bikes and headed out. There was a headwind out on Beeline Highway. The good news about that was the tailwind coming back. We were flying. Our speed stayed above 28mph. Our overall time was 1 minute faster than Tuesday. Average speed for 1 loop was 23.3mph.

We quickly transitioned out for a run. I started out a little fast because Crowieto was next to me. Once I tuned him out and slowed the pace down a few seconds I felt much better. I stayed nice and aerobic. I ran for 34 minutes.

It was a good day.

We rushed back to the hotel and showered up. We picked up Guy at the airport. He was waiting for his bags. We yelled at him, but he couldn't figure out where the voices were coming from. It's probably due to the fact he has too many cousins coming out of the woodworks.

We went to lunch for some more sushi. Good stuff. Then over to pick up our race packets. The rest on the night will be low keyed.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Crowieto eyes are failing him

After our second breakfast, I set up my race wheels with new tubes and tires. I had to replace the rim tape on one wheel. Good thing I am doing the wheel inspection now. Race wheels are race ready. Check!

Finally, Crowieto is starting to listen to me. His bike computer has been on the fritz. The company was supposed to send out a new one before the race. He found out today that it will be delivered the day after the race. In true bendoverandgrabhisanklesfashion, he tried to use the force. This means throw it at the wall a few times and stare at it until it works. The force is weak in him. I suggested he call Trisports, since they are a local company. He got them to send one to the hotel. Who says u cant teach a dumb dog better things or is it an old dog, same difference.

We went to lunch at Ra Sushi near ASU. We both ordered a sushi bowl with different ingredients. It was awesome. The best part of the meal was when Crowieto thought he was biting into a big piece of Avocado. He definitely had the color right, green. It was Wasabi. Nothing like watchin a grown man cry. I started laughing so hard that I almost spit a mouthful at him. This is the second time his eyes are failing him. I think he needs glasses.

We picked up a few things for dinner at Costco. Chicken and sweet potatoes. Yum!!!

Another chillaxin evening.

Where or where is the computer cord...

Crowieto has been searching for the computer cord for the last 2 days. He asked his better half to check because he thought he left it at the house. She couldn't find it. This morning I decide to kind of peek in his room. He said, "I already searched everywhere. You ain't gonna find it." I decided to search anyway. Everyone knows what's coming next. First I saw some stained drawers. I quickly moved away from the contaminated area. I saw his suitcase in the closet. I found it in his suitcase, outside compartment. He was in complete disbelief. I think Crowieto needs to get his eyes checked. He said there wasn't anything in there.

I don't have any workouts planned today, so I am gonna chill. We might catch a movie.

A day of sun and mid 70s

I wanted to get up around 6am on Tuesday. My body did not. I slept in and went straight to the pool for an easy 2000m. It's great to swim outdoors in a 25m pool. I only wish the pool was a few degrees cooler. I felt better than my swim on Sunday. We quickly changed and headed back before breakfast ended. Crowieto actually managed to eat before, so he got 2 breakfasts.

We chilled for a couple hours before our ride. We rode a loop of the course. Last year it took us 1 hour 45 minutes. This year we were 7 minutes faster. There was even some dude who caught up to us at a light and asked, "Are you guys pros?" I said we were just out riding at race pace. He was like WOW. We kind of laughed. The biggest thing to remember here is DRINK. My mouth was dry. I almost finished 2 bottles of fluid.

I got cleaned up. Crowieto headed over to the pharmacy. I figured he was going to grab an item. I didn't know he was going grocery shopping. I was ready to gnaw my arm off. We hit up KFC. I finished my entire meal as he was starting his second chicken breast. He looks at me and asks, "Were you hungry or somethin?"

We headed over to Whole Foods. We grabbed stuff for chicken spaghetti.

We watched "The Goods: Live hard, sell hard". It was a stupid/funny movie. More stupid than anything else. What do you expect when Crowieto picks the movie.

I cooked us up some dinner. The rest of the night kicked the feet up and relaxed.

On to Arizona

I got up for a short run at 630am. I took Indy with me. Josh drove by the trail start the night before. I couldn't find it. I asked Indy, but all he did was stare at me. I decided to make a loop of about 1.1 mile and run it 3 times. I ran for a little over 5 miles. I saw Crowieto starting his run, so I passed off Indy to get a little extra.

We ate breakfast, while our clothes dried. We were on to Arizona around 930am. My butt was not happy with several more hours of driving. We stopped every few hours. We just missed a nasty crash. The Lexus front end was smashed and the other car was in the ditch facing the other direction. Both cars airbags deployed. We ate dinner at Baja Fresh. Two Mahi Mahi tacos hit the spot.

We arrived at the hotel at 1030PM. It was a 12 hour day. We unloaded the car and called it a night.

Sunday in Monterey

Crowieto and I drove to the local gym for a swim. The pool was nice, 12 lanes. I wish the water was a couple degrees cooler. It was the last hard swim til race day. The main set was 4x(4x100fast on 2:10 + 200ez on 3:00). I felt ok. My body felt like it was in a car all day. Duh! It was. After the swim we found a decent breakfast joint. Bi333y and Josh met up with us. She ran the Big Sur Half Marathon earlier that morning.

Later that afternoon we headed out to ride around one of the most beautiful areas. The Thiel's introduced to a friend who lead us out on the ride. Brian said, "We get to see how the upper 0.05% live." The first part of the ride is slow because we have to ride on a bike path. There are people everywhere. Most of them are oblivious. Then we hit the coast. We were riding along the coast. It was awesome. After a few miles of the coast we hit 17 mile drive. There were homes that were not just big, but enormously gigantic. The views were spectacular.

The terrain was mostly flat until the about mile 10. There was a nice up section that started gradual and got steeper. Just when I thought we were cresting, there was another turn. Can you guess which way? Up of course. The grade did drop, so it wasn't too bad. Then the long cold downhill. The best part is we did the loop twice because we needed to ride for 2 1/2 hours. My navigational skills were right on par on the way back. Luckily one of us was paying attention. Crowieto wanted us to turn. I didn't think it was right, but I decided to oblige him. Sure enough, he was wrong. We turned around and continued on the right path. At the end of the ride there is a short hill 0.3 mile long. Bi333y is gonna get be a great hill climber since she has to ride that hill every time.

After the ride we quickly cleaned up and got dinner at Roy's. It was located on 17 mile drive. We saw an amazing sunset and listened to a bagpiper play.

Going down to Cali…

I woke up a little after 4am. We were out the door by 5. I took the first shift (of course it was the longer shift because I am Bad Ass). It was the boring shift. We have two different philosophies on driving. Crowieto is about efficiency. I am about getting there as fast as possible (without getting a ticket). The best part was stopping for coffee. It was called BAD ASS COFFEE.

The Legend:

The native people of Kona, Hawaii remember the days of the “bad ass ones.” The bellows of the donkeys could be heard through the mountains as they hauled the heavy loads of coffee up and down the mountainside. In honor of these hard working donkeys, we name our coffee company. The legend of the Kona Nightingale lives right here at Bad Ass Coffee of Hawaii.

It is a definite sign of things to come.

A few minutes later we hit snow in the mountains. Luckily we were driving thru in the mid afternoon.

We arrived into Monterey a little after 8PM. I walked in and didn't think anyone was home. I looked in the kennel and saw Indy. He was quiet as a mouse. I let him out. He remembered me. He has grown. He is a lot thicker. He used to be skin and bones. What a day!

Last few workouts before heading out…

What a busy week! It seemed like every time I wanted to be somewhere, I was always delayed. UGH! On Tuesday, I had the hardest ride of the year for me. It was only 3 ½ hours, but felt like a 5 hour ride. The winds were relentless. Whenever I thought there would be a reprieve from the wind, it was only a dream. It seemed like the wind was testing me. All I could do was laugh. I laughed a lot during the ride. It was a little bit easier on the second half, but not much.

I had a strong run Wednesday morning. I warmed up for a 3 miles, ran 6 at tempo, then 2 ez. I met up with the McCurleys for breakfast. Nothing like being hungry and you wait 35 minutes for an order to be taken then wait another 45 for food. Crowieto and I headed up to Triumph to drop off our bikes.
I love taper time. Especially, when you know you have done the work. I went and picked up the bikes. On a whim I decided to something extreme. Some of you will have to wait and see.

Friday morning I swam 2500. The swim felt okay. I jumped on the trainer afterward and completed Chris Carmichael’s (Lance Armstrong’s coach) Time-trial DVD. I was surprised at how tired my legs were while sitting at work later that morning. Later in the afternoon, I hit the track for six miles. A little bit of speed stuff. Afterward, I took the dogs to the vet. The vet said they are healthy. She also wished me good luck with Kona. Her personality is the opposite of Fina. I got everything packed and tidied up the place.

Luckily, Jess was willing to watch the dogs. Actually we traded services. I wrote her a running plan for the Boston marathon. She may not want to have anything to do with me after a week and half. I hope they are good for her.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Last long training weekend

It rained hard all night Friday. I was shocked to see no rain when I woke up. The weather was trying to taunt me to ride outside. Luckily, I waited just long enough and the buckets of water began to drop. I bought a new spinerval, Harcore 100. It is 5 1/2 hours long. I rode for 5 hours. The sets were very boring, but the time went by quickly. I was calling at my lap splits, "Lap 1 1:35 check, Lap 2 3:10 check, T2 4:45 check". I jumped off my bike and ran to grab by shoes. Crowieto said, "What took you so long, I've been running for a few miles, slow poke." What can I say, this guy is a broke joker!!! I got back on to finish 5 hours. My knee felt good. I headed out for a quick 30 minute run. I felt really good. My knee started to act up. I turned around and started back. I knew this was a pace I could run off the bike at Arizona. As I hit mile 2.5 I saw Crowieto running toward me. Did he run to the same point? Of course not. He decided to run with me. The funny thing about this guy is that he ran with me for about 10 seconds then took off. I laughed because he barely runs 6:30's for a sprint tri. He thinks that will be his pace at Arizona. If you go that route, enjoy the death march. It will guarantee a smack on the butt as I lap you.

On Sunday, I wanted to start my run by 630AM because I had to work later that morning. My body wanted a little extra sleep, so I started just after 7. I felt pretty good. It rained for the last 40 minutes or so. The real question is if I started on time would I have stayed dry? My knee was feeling ok. I got in swam 2000 later that evening. The last long training weekend is complete. Woo Hoo!!!

I swam 4500 yards this morning. I felt like crap. I love swimming in 85 degree water. NOT!!! I have four days to get everything ready to head out.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Only in Washington

Wednesday, I went to the track for my last speed running workout. It was the first workout in 8 weeks I had no knee pain. Finally, my body is recovering/repairing. The main set was 3x1 mile repeats. I have done this set two other times. My pacing is much better this year. I was only a few seconds my PR for the workout.

Only in Washington does the weather change so fast. It was 60 & partly sunny Wednesday. Thursday, it was pouring rain & wind gusts, so I opted to sit on the trainer for 2 1/2 hours. The whole time I was on the trainer it didn't rain. I know if I changed my mind, the weather would do the same. The first hour I rode watching TV and standing on commercials. The last 1 1/2 I did Totally Time trial 14.0. It was a good moderate workout.

I had another great swim Friday morning. The main set was 6x(3x50 on 35 + 200ez on 4:00). I did the same set a month ago and struggled. This time around, I could actually hold my stroke together. Crowieto and his better half decided to join me for the last 4 rounds. I dared both of them to swim a set without me. Karen accepted the challenge and made it with ease. Crowieto knew he couldn't make it, so he made up some story about why the chicken crossed the road.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

He who laughs last, laughs best

On Monday, I could tell my legs were tired from the weekend. The number one sign is the walk down the stairs to drive to the pool. I figured my swim was going to be rough. I swam 6100 yards. The main set was 3x1200 descend 400's. I actually had a great workout. Even though my body was telling me one thing, my mind decided that was unacceptable. Karen actually swam all 3 too. I think it's one of the longest workouts she has done all year.

I was hoping to start my ride around lunch time on Tuesday, but work wasn't cooperating. I finally got out on the bike around 2:30. The weather was low to mid 50's. The wind has really picked up the last few weeks. I am not sure which is worse, hills or into a head wind. The main focus was 3x(2' hard, 15"ez, 2'hard, 15"ez, 12' hard, 2.5'ez). I felt good. I decided not to run off the bike. My knee did not bother me. That's the first time in several weeks.

I had a great swim Wednesday morning. The main set was 3x(3x200) followed by 9x100 descend every 3. I descended each set and progressively got faster during the workout. I had a "broke joker" in my lane. He decided to try and start 10 yards in front of me on the fastest 200 in each set. My favorite part was he would only swim 150 yards. He even shouted, "I won, you lose." That's ok. He who laughs last, laughs best. The last 200 of the set, I caught him at 125. I don't think he counted on me swimming my fastest 200 by 5 seconds. He also tried to swim on my feet during the cool down. I hope he decides to draft off me. I think he will be in for a special treat.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The volume is starting to come down

I had a solid bike ride on Tuesday. The main set was 2x(15' hard, 5' ez, 5' hard, 2' ez, 10x(45"accelerate + 15"ez), 6'ez). I was glad to stay dry.

I felt tired in the pool Wednesday morning. The bike ride zapped me. I got on the track before the rain came. My knee was feeling good through the warmup and the start of the main set. I decided to skip the fast 400s.

Crowieto and I rode just under 70 miles. We stayed fairly dry. Some of the roads were wet and it rained a little, but all in all no real complaints. We faced a steady head wind out and a small tail wind back. I decided to do my share of the work, so I pulled 5% and stayed on the Crowieto express for 95%. We have a great chef on our staff. She hooked us up with a chicken curry.

I was surprised with my swim Friday morning. My main set was 60x50 odds ez and evens fast. I was able to swim the ez 50s on a sendoff that was 5 seconds faster. This means I am recovering faster. 2 goonie goo goos tried to swim with me. Unfortunately they couldn't make the fast 50's and didn't really go ez on the slow ones just so they could say they made the workout. I guess that's good enough for some people. I was going to go into work for a couple hours, but decided to just call it a day and relax.

We were teased Saturday morning. It rained hard all night, so wasn't sure what the weather would bring. On my drive over, it was blue skies and sunshine. Crowieto and I were in no hurry since it was going to be our longest ride of the year. Our first stop was 39 miles in at the Texaco. We were getting ready to leave and it started pouring. I couldn't believe it. We headed out toward Bucoda. I thought someone was sitting on a cloud above us and dumping a never ending bucket over us. At one point, I was so cold that I thought I wouldn't make it through the entire ride. Luckily, the rain slowed and it warmed up as we were leaving Tenino and heading toward Olympia. For the most part the rest of the ride was manageable. Crowieto bonked with 5 miles to go. We ended up with 129 miles. I was exhausted after the ride. Thank goodness Karen had food ready for us. Otherwise I was gonna see what my arm tasted like. First dinner was spicy. We went out for second dinner and a few games of chess.

It was so cold this morning. My legs were tired. The plan this morning was to have a solid run. It took me 6 miles before I could change gears. After mile 9, I finally got into my race pace effort and held it for the next 11 miles. I went to the pool at 5pm. One of my swim partners decided she was gonna put the smack down on me. True competitors want people at their best and others will take what they can get. I wish I could run 8 miles in one hour and fifteen minutes then hit the pool. But hey, she beat me in the pool today. Victory!!!

I can honestly say, my body is tired. I feel physically exhausted. I am so glad the volume is coming down. I can tell it is time for my body to start prepping for an amazing race.

3 weeks to go.