Saturday, July 31, 2010

Swimming in place

Yesterday the fog was out again. I decided to swim 4k at Titlow. There were only 10 people in the water and 1 lap swimmer. The swim gods must have wanted me to swim fast. The main set was 3x100 fast followed by a 200 cruise four times through. I was hoping to swim a little faster. At least I wasn't swimming in place. I hope the swim gods do not bring bad weather for the ride.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Have you ever worked out so hard...

I am not sure what has been going on with the Garmin satellites lately. It has taken over 5 minutes on average to locate satellites. I know there are out there somewhere. Tell E.T. to move his ship, it's blocking my signal.

I went for a run yesterday morning. It was short and sweet. The watch said I averaged 5:25s for 30 minutes, running backwards of course. Luckily I had run the route a few times, so I knew it was a little over 4 miles. My internal GPS said it was closed to 6:45s.

After work and a nap, I went out for a killer ride. This workout had more rest than Tuesday. Interestingly enough, I had the same amount of time and distance for the workout as Tuesday. The focus of the set was improving Max VO2. It was 5x (6 minutes hard + 5 minutes cruise). I didn't realize how windy it was out there until my speed picked up. As speed increases, drag exponentially increases. This by far was one of the hardest workouts I have ever completed. I couldn't figure out why #2 had my lowest power numbers. I have to assume tailwind. I put out the biggest numbers on #3, only because I climbed up the hill from the bridge. I descended 1,4,5. I saw a coyote on the road looking back at me. He may have been licking his lips as he saw chicken legs riding around.

I cleaned up, stretched out, took the dogs out to play for ten minutes, then picked up dinner. Have you ever worked out so hard that your hand was shaking as you held food? That was me. At first, I thought I was losing my mind. Then I realized my hands were shaking for every bite. I tried to use the force even the Jedi mind trick to make it stop. No luck. "What doesn't kill me, only makes me stronger. Right?"

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Swimming in another dimension

I don't know why, but I felt great in the water yesterday morning. The main set was 3x200 on 2:50/2:45/2:40 + 3x100 on 1:40/1:35/1:30 + 100 cruise on 2:00 two times through. I can't believe how fast I am swimming right now. The crazy part is that my 1st 100 and last 100 of the 200s were the same. I couldn't go any faster or slower. That was a, "Go buy myself some pineapple upside down cake for having a great workout and eat the whole thing :-)" I finshed with 4k.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Swimming forward yesterday

I felt so much better in the water yesterday. I descended both sets and the effort required was minimal. It was and easy 3k with mostly IM.

After work, I ate a bowl of cereal, took a nap, then headed out. The focus of the workout was to hold Olympic Distance effort three times for 20 minutes each with 10 minutes easy between. My goal was to start off just under and make sure the last one was over. I performed better than expected. My first one was high, the second higher, and the last even higher. I negative split the last one by a considerable amount. It helped having to turn around at the bottom of the bridge and climb back up the hill. At one point during the ride, I tasted puke. I need to put a sign up in the kitchen kind of like don't feed the bears - DO NOT EAT WITHIN 1 HOUR OF HARD WORKOUT.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Swimming backwards

I ran nine miles on Sunday. Fina only ran half and Kona ran it all. It was a nice day.

Yesterday, I felt like I was swimming backwards. The main set was a 400 + 2x100 + 2x50 on a 1:30 base send off, four times through. Aerobically I felt fine. It really sucks when you think you are swimming faster, only to have the clock call you a liar. I made the set, barely. Another 4k in the bank. "Just another day in paradise."

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Have you ever sat in your car...

Yesterday, I swam 4k at Titlow. My main set consisted of a lot of 50s pulling with paddles. This is my second favorite set. Karen's team swam next to me. They couldn't figure out how I finished my 2k set faster than them. "To finish faster, you must swim faster..."

I got up early this morning and headed out for a solid ride. I opted for the Johnson Creek route. Early in the ride my handlebars moved when I hit a good bump. Nothing like sitting in aero and all of a sudden you are trying to kiss the tire at 20+mph. I felt strong until mile 70. I guess my body isn't fully recovered. Maybe it's because I started a little too fast after the first hour. I ended up averaging 22.2mph with good power numbers. Once home, I took the dogs out for a short brick run. It was nice and toasty out there. Fina was done after a 2 miles and Kona after another 1/2 mile.

After a few hours of being a vegetable, I took the dogs out for a quick toss the ball while I bake in the heat session. Have you ever sat in your car after it has been in the sun all day? OUCH!!! I think I lost a layer of skin. The dogs were done with their play session in less than 10 minutes. The rest of the night will be relaxing.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Recovering nicely

It was a long drive back from Monterey on Monday. I left at 4:15AM and arrived back to my house a little after 8PM. Traffic was good until Portland. I was tempted to park the car and get on my bike at that point. My average speed was 7mph for 30 minutes.

I swam an easy 2k Tuesday. My legs were a little tired. I normally take a big jump into the pool, not this time. I think my jump was as far as a 3 year old, 3 inches from the side. I dropped my LYNSKEY off at Triumph, so they could send it back. Russell Stevenson was kind enough to let me use his TT bike. If you want the best fitter in the area, he is the guy. I have been fit by three different people and he was hands down the best.

On Wednesday, I felt pretty good on my first short run of the week. Fina does not like running on leash in the heat. Later in the day I swam 3.5k. I felt better in the water. The main set gradually built up by decreasing rest and increasing speed.

I don't know where the sun decided to go yesterday. It was windy and cloudy, no sun. I ran a little longer. My speed is coming back. I am almost fully recovered. In the afternoon I went for a 2.5 hour bike. I could not shift into the big chain ring. I guess my body did not want to ride too hard.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Vineman 70.3

The day started just before 5AM. Bi333y and I drove over to the race start. It took us about 40 minutes. I walked over and set up the LYNSKEY. I noticed my arm pad fell off. I did not have any tape. I saw someone with a big roll and asked for a piece. I was very thankful. I looked down at my watch and saw 6:13AM. It was 17 minutes until the start of the Pros and another 24 for my wave. I stood in line for the port a potty one last time. I started to put on my XTERRA wet suit and would have succeeded putting it on over my shorts (not my OOMPH race suit) until Bi333y spoke up. I have never seen so many people start their swim wave late. I must've counted 4 guys in the wave before me running down to the water as they were under 10 seconds. One of the guys didn't have his wetsuit on and the other wasn't fully zipped.

SWIM - 28:42 (1:30 per 100m)
It was a little foggy at the start. I started in the middle. The gun fired and we were off. I tried to catch a draft off several people. It doesn't help when they are slowing down drastically. There were several sections of shallow water. I had to adjust my stroke to stop pushing dirt off the ground. If you ever had any doubts about the swim portion for a half ironman, I highly recommend you sign up for this race. As I approached the turn around, I saw people walking. At first I thought I was delusional. I lifted my head up again, and there was a convoy of people walking. I wasn't sure if I should join them. I was swimming faster than they were walking.

T-1 - 1:45
I quickly ran up to my bike and strip off my XTERRA. We had to place all of the contents in a bag before we left. The bag would be transported to the finish. I grabbed the LYNSKEY.

Bike - 2:29.22 (22.49mph)
I tried to mount the bike on a hill. I failed on the first attempt as I tried to bike on top of my pedals as my shoes rubbed on the ground. I failed on the second attempt, see previous. On got somewhat lucky on the third attempt and made it up. If I were to do that different I would either run up the little hill or no put shoes on the bike. The course was nice and rolling the whole time. I started taking a salt tab at the beginning. At mile 30, I went to grab the vial and felt all the pills drop into my pocket. I had to slow down to get them back into the vial before my sweat dissolved them. I don't race well without my salt. The only person that passed me was the tandem racer, who was visually impaired. I passed them right back once I figured out how to keep salt in the vial. There was a guy in front of me for miles 40-50. He kept looking over his shoulder every 2-3 minutes. That usually means you are struggling and the yellow taxi is on its way.

T-2 - 1:57
I hit transition, ran down the rows of bikes till I found rack 23. I could not find my shoes. I stood there scratching my head. I overshot the landing. Now I know why I am not a pilot. I ran back and racked the LYNSKEY. I put on my  NEWTON shoes/visor and grabbed my water bottle. I stopped at the water station to fill my water bottle before I left transition.

RUN - 1:29.48 (6:51 per mile)
I was a little surprised at hilly the course was. I noticed Chris McCormack was riding around on a road bike. He said to me, "Keep it up mate." It was the coolest thing ever! I won't lie, I picked up the pace at that moment. I met Mark from Portland, Oregon. He was running right behind me. At mile 4 he said, "You gotta to be f.... kidding me." The funny thing, I was thinking the same thing. In the distance was three hills that seemed to touch the moon. We were either going up or down. It is the hardest half marathon run I have done yet. I smiled when I saw a guy running in a pink fairy outfit. I struggled through miles 10-12. I had to walk through each aid station. I saw Bi333y cheering at mile 12. She also threw down a challenge. Something about how she was going to outrun me in this last section. She was running on the sidewalk stride for stride. I definitely needed the mental boost.

I finished 6th in my age group and 43rd overall 4:31.34. I qualified for the 70.3 World Championships. I declined my spot because my focus will be for Kona.

After the race, we went over to a local winery. We lucked out there were 4 at one location. I did not like any of the wine at the first place. We walked over to Kokomo. We both enjoyed every single wine we tasted. We had to eat a lot of breadsticks to make sure something was soaking up the wine. After 9-10 sips of wine, we decided no more wineries if we wanted to get back to Monterey.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Getting ready for Vineman

After coffee with Guy yesterday, I went for a run near the beach. Have you ever tried running with a dog? How about 3? I wasn't sure what Indy got in to, but he stopped twenty times. He definitely did not like the 30 second pickups. Kona was leading the pack, then me, Fina, and Indy pulling up the rear. Several people commented on the pretty dogs. My only response, "They get their good looks from me." ;-) I let the dogs run on the beach at the end of the run. Kona taunted Indy. Fina was not happy with Kona's arrogance, so she was in the chase. Three dogs sprinting down the beach. Kona looking at the other 2, "Catch me if you can!!!" All I could do was laugh.

I drove back to Casa d'Thiel to refuel and get ready for my bike ride. I rode along the coast. I did not want my workout to get interrupted so I looped an 8 mile section three times. Do you ever have to worry about cars slowing you down? It only happened twice, so I wasn't too frustrated. At one point, I passed 6 cars and left them in the dust. The speed limit was 10mph :-)

I finished up the ride and refueled again for the last workout of the day. Guy and Bi333y decided to join me at the outdoor pool. I usually try and complete the workouts in order, but sometimes it just isn't an option. The main set was 12x100 on 1:30 descend every 3. It was hard to see the clock, but still managed to stay on task.

I was starving after the long day. Guy and I headed to a local pub. The food was mediocre. There was a frozen yogurt place around the corner. It was awesome. They had several flavors of frozen yogurt and toppings. The price was .45 per ounce. I loaded my bowl up with vanilla yogurt, heath bar, butterfinger, almonds, and caramel. I think it is a must when in Monterey!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

In Monterey

I am back in Monterey hanging out with Guy and Elizabeth until my race on Sunday. My glutes are a little sore from all the sitting yesterday. Maybe a little from the bike ride yesterday. This week was super short. My recovery was quick.

On Sunday, I had staff training. We had all staff go through the requirements for the NW Lifeguard certification. Nothing like trying to sprint a 50 head up crawlstroke a day after the race and 2 young swimmers on both sides of you. After that we had a 100 rescue swim. The first lap was towing a victim on their back with a rescue tube. The next length was a cross chest carry with no tube. The third length was a straight arm push in the victim's armpit. The last length after a 3 second break was no breath back to the wall. I'm glad there was O2 available. I started to see illusions of Michael Jackson in front of me. Later in the day I went for an easy 90 minute ride.

Monday I swam an easy 2.4k. I swam 3x800s, kept it simple.

I had great workouts on Tuesday. I swam 4k in the morning. I swam the same set last week and improved considerably. I took it up another notch and made both send offs faster. I was a little surprised since I raced on Saturday. I guess I am recovered. After work I went for a 2 hour bike ride. The workout focus was pacing for the race this weekend. It felt windy out there. It was my fastest training ride of the year so far. I switched out gear and took the dogs for a brick run. Again I felt really good. After the workouts, I ate then got everything ready for my race.

The drive was good yesterday. I tried to stop more to keep the dogs happy. Every once in awhile, Kona would start digging for China. I would start laughing and you would dig harder. Too funny!!! There really wasn't anything too exciting on the drive. It hit 100 in Redding. Even Kona did not like the heat. I stopped more on this trip and still made it in at the same time. I even back tracked to stop at Bad Ass Coffee in Medford, OR.The dogs were happy to see Indy. They played for the next 3 hours.

I can't believe I left warm Washington for Cold California. Sad, sad, sad.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Ocean Shores Olympic

Where I do begin...

The morning began at 3:15AM. Luckily I went to bed at 8:30 the night before. Crowieto rolled up at 3:50. We were off to the race site by 4AM. We pulled into Ocean Shores at 5:30. Crowieto wanted a coffee. Nothing opened until 6. Was this our sign of how the day was going to play out?

We drove to the race hotel. Crowieto found a cup of coffee, I walked around. I saw him sleeping on the couch and thought a nap would be good for me too. I got a nice 10 minute nap on the love seat. It was just after 6 and I was wondering where the race packet pick-up would start. After 10 minutes, we realized it was at the race site. DOH!!!

We grabbed our bikes and walked over to registration. The line moved very s l o w l y. We set up our areas. I left my shoes in the car. Of course time is ticking away. I finally have everything set up and get ready to warm up. It would help if I put on my race suit. Tick tock. Tick tock. I head out for a 20 minute warm-up. As I calibrate the powermeter, it decides this will be the first day of displaying crazy numbers. I was holding 2000 watts for the warm-up. If I could do that, I would win the Tour de France riding my bike backwards. I thought I was riding part of the course. Not even close. I might as well of been in another country. I saw a couple of deer sitting in a front lawn. Then I saw a sign that had several animals on it. Really? Beware of animals? Crazy!!! I finish up my warm-up and they are talking about the race. Hopefully I didn't miss anything important.

The half ironman started a little after 730AM. As I look at the water, I see the the turn around buoy for the Olympic racers. It looks like it is too close. All the buoys seem a little too close for the different races. I put on my XTERRA VENDETTA and warm-up.

SWIM - 15:54 for 0.67 miles
I decided to line up behind broken Karen. Even though she was broken, I wouldn't count her out for an open water swimmer. The race starts and I see a guy sprint out in front. He was definitely moving. Karen moved ahead of me then Alicia. I decided to draft off them. I kind of got into a zone. I look up and they are 10 yards away. I figured they were swimming crooked. Especially since Karen had to overcompensate with her good arm ;-)  We hit the turn buoy and they extend their lead. I pick the second dock as my reference point. Oops, wrong dock. The sprint racers were getting ready to start. I hear, "Turn you dufus!" I look up and notice I overshot the water exit. UGH!!!

T1 - 0:26
This was my second fastest/shortest transition ever. I put on the SPIUK, grab the LYNSKEY, and take off.

BIKE - 1:00.09 for 24 miles
I catch the girls and pass them within the first mile. I guessed there was only one male in front of me, the super swimmer. I watched a cyclist in front of me approaching the first set of cones. The volunteer tells them to go straight thru then changes his mind and says left. I was already going thru the intersection as I hear this. I slow down to turn around and take a right. GRR!!! I wasn't sure when I passed Aquaman, but think it was in the next 5 miles or so. I caught up to Lisa before my turn around. I think her woman's intuition radar went off. I saw her sitting up. Why would you sit up on a flat course into the wind? Is it more efficient to drive with your head sticking out of your sunroof? She looks back and then is back into Aero. I tell her good job and motor along. After the half way, I see that no one is close too me. I keep on the throttle. I see a 4 point buck in the grassy median. He decides to jump out in front of me. I hit my brakes and shake my head. Didn't anyone teach him to look both ways before crossing the road? At mile 18 I catch up to a car that is causing me to tap my brakes. Seriously?!? I have to slow down because a car can't figure out how to safely pass the cyclists. Really? GRR!!!

T2 - 0:21
This was my fastest/shortest transition. I put on my NEWTON RACERS & VISOR.

RUN - 40.04 10k
I started the first mile with a slight cramp. I worked it out as I hit the beach. We had a 200 meter section in soft sand then ran a little over a mile on hard sand. I thought this was a unique run. I hit the turn around and check my time to get a gauge of who will be coming up on me. I don't see another racer for 3.5 minutes. I didn't think anyone was in front of me. I acted if someone was to see how fast I could finish. My last mile and a half was sub 6 minute pace. Not too shabby.

Crowieto-Overall Half Ironman winner (Even though he couldn't stay on course if there was a moto pacer in front of him)
Karen-Overall Female Olympic winner (Broken and all)
Lisa-2nd Female Half Ironman (Girl who only rides Aero if I am around)
Christopher - Personal Best (Redemption from the curse of Elma).

Next up, Vineman 70.3 on July 18.

Friday, July 9, 2010

You don't realize how hot it is...

What a great day it was yesterday!!! I jumped on my bike for an hour at 8:30AM. You would've thought I just came out of the sauna because of the amount of sweat. I normally don't sweat too much on the bike. Especially so early in the day. 85 degrees before 9. You don't realize how hot it is until you step out of the air conditioned car. As for my condo, it was a furnace. I was so glad to purchase the portable A/C unit on Wednesday. You know it's cool in the place when Kona is going to run laps. I talked to Bi333y yesterday and it is much cooler in Monterey. I bet she has FOMO.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

It's gettin hottin out here

I thought someone put rocks in my swimsuit this morning because my legs felt a heavy during warm up. The main set focus was to swim a fast 200 take 10 rest then swim a 300 at race pace. I did this same set 5 weeks ago. I wasn't sure what to expect. I swam much faster on the 300s this time. I was very surprised. My body is adapting well to my current training program. I finished with 4k.

On my drive home to run, a bee flew into the car. I screamed and almost crashed. Not really. I rolled the window down and flicked the little bugger off my shirt. I went for a short 30 minute run in 90 degrees. I didn't feel too hot. I was sweating a lot. I must be in pretty good shape since the heat didn't not seem to affect me. As for the dogs on the other hand...

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Here comes the heat

I stop at a huge field to let the dogs play before I swam. Kona was running so fast. She tried to plant her feet and ended up rolling over twice. It was hilarious. A nice visual before the swim.

I have been swimming really well. Yesterday I swam 4.6k. The main set was 3x (300p + 2x150 + 200p + 2x100 + 100 cruise). I descended all times every round. It was nice to have the day off and relax.

This morning I swam 3.2k. The main set was free mixed with fly. 2x50 fly on 50 was hard. I thought the lifeguard was going to jump in and save me. My arms were controlled by a puppet master. I could barely get them out of the water near the end of the second 50.

I went for a ride at 3pm. The weather was sunny and mid to upper 70s. The main set was a hard 12 mile effort. It was so windy. There was a 2 mile section where i was averaging 15.7 mph and pushing 200 watts. I kept looking behind me to see if someone tied a rope to my bike. I felt like I was pulling someone or something. I was shocked to see I averaged over 21mph for 48 miles.

I went to Costco to try and pick up a portable AC unit that was there yesterday. No dice. All of the stores were out. What will I do?

Monday, July 5, 2010


Lots of driving

On Friday, I rolled into my hotel just before midnight and hit the sack. I got up early the next morning, ate breakfast, and was out on the course. The course was somewhat similar to Couer D'Alene. Like any other course, it was relatively flat. I did not bring enough salt tabs. DOH! I was cramp free until mile 80. My body decided to test my will. I had to stop a few times and stretch out as my hamstring and groin. They kept twitching as if someone was jolting me with electricity. :-( After 5 hours and 20 minutes of riding, I was cooked. I was tired and hungry. At one point, I was so hungry that my dogs started to look like giant steaks. I finally found some food. I inhaled it. I was hungry again an hour later, 3 hours later, and even woke up at midnight.

Sunday morning, I woke up at 6 and headed out with the dogs for a solid run. The dogs were happy after being couped up all day yesterday. Little did they know, we were heading back later that morning. I didn't have to rush back, so I was able to stop more and let the dogs out to play. At one of the stops, I noticed something in the distance moving around. It was a black bear. I did not want my dogs to be real steaks, so I threw them in the back and hightailed it outta there. It was the first time I have ever seen a bear in the wild. I'm thinking my dream cabin in the woods, not happening. The bear was pretty big, almost as big as Crowieto himself.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Headin to Cali to ride Vineman course

Yesterday, I swam at lunch time. The main set was 4x (200bk on 3:20 + 150fr on 2:20 + 100bk on 1:35 + 50fr on 1:15) descending each round. Surprisingly, I swam well considering the hard swim from Wednesday. I descended each set and finished up with 4k.

I headed out around 4pm for a short ride of 28+ miles. The focus of the workout was VO2. The set consisted of several high efforts. I goal was to work at 135%+. I made the first three. A gorilla jumped on my back and would not get off for the last 3. I ended up missing the last three. No matter how short the distance pacing is so important. The first one had the highest wattage. Then it was all downhill.

This morning I swam one of my favorite sets. The main set was 50x50 odds ez on 55, evens fast on 40. Last time I did the set in yards, today it was SCM. I felt good for the first twenty, the next twenty I felt slightly nauseous, and the last 10 my muscled started to fatigue. I dug deep, all the way to the bottom of the ocean and finished the set holding speed.

After work, I am driving down to Cali to ride the Vineman course. It will be fun!!!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Back from Coeur D'Alene

Elizabeth raced well, 3rd in Age Group, 8th female amateur, and 17th female overall. She set personal bests for the bike (5:43), run (3:42), and overall time (10:33). Elizabeth also earned her 3rd trip to the World Championships in Kona. Josh and I were all over the course as spectators. We had a blast. I had a couple of different racers ask if I had twins or magical powers. I replied, "I'm just fast!!!"

On Monday, after the awards banquet, I dropped them off at the airport and made like a speeding bullet home.

I didn't sleep well Tuesday along with my allergies being out of control. I took the day off and let my body recover.

Yesterday, I swam 4k and felt strong. The main set got progressively harder as the distance increased. I missed 4 of 6 sendoffs. The funny thing is I made the faster send-offs for the 300 and 400.

Today, mother nature has decided to water the flowers and grass. I am hoping to get outside for a 3 hour ride. We'll see.