Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Ironman Canada Swim-Bike

My alarm went off at 3:55AM. I quickly drank 2 bottles of nutrition and swallowed a bunch of pills. I went back to sleep for a few minutes. We were out the door just before 5AM. Monica dropped us off a few blocks away from the start. That's what we thought until we tried to walk toward transition. It felt like we walked over a mile just to get to our gear. I set up the bike and headed over to a nice grassy area to relax and listen to some tunes. I don my XTERRA VENDETTA with 40 minutes to race start.

SWIM - 56:40 (1:29 per/100m)
I lined up slightly to the left. We were off. I tried to swim with Karen, but her pace was a little to aggressive for me. She ended up swimming over 3 minutes faster and was one of the top female swimmers. After 500 meters I started converging over to the buoys. I went around the first boat then the second boat a few minutes later. The trip back to shore was fast. We had the waves driving us back to land. The water started to get very shallow 100 meters out from shore then a little bit deeper. I  hope no one stood up there. I continue swimming. I start with a few dolphin dives and start running with high knees.

T1 - 2:09
I start stripping off the upper part of my XTERRA and let the wetsuit strippers pull it off. I ran into to transition. I put on my shoes, OAKLEY's, and start running with my SPIUK on my head. I had a slight disadvantage on bike placement. I guess my bribe wasn't good enough. I ended up having to run all the way into my rack then out and to the mount line.

BIKE - 5:13-16 (21.45mph)
I jump on the LYNSKEY and ride down Main Street. There were throngs of people cheering. It was a good feeling. I rode the first 40 miles in control. Once I hit Richter Pass, several people started to pass me. Luckily I am a good descender. I caught up to most of the people that passed me on the the downhill. I peaked at 50.9mph. I had shifting issues a few times during the seven hills. (On Friday, the mechanic from Bike Barn said it was the frame. UGH!!! Nothing I could do about it for the race, except suck it up and cross my fingers.) I caught the rest on the out and back section. I felt great. The best and worst part of the ride started near Yellow Lake. It started to rain a little. On the first climb up there were people lined up on both sides of the road. I felt like I was riding in the Tour de France. It was awesome. I probably even biked a little harder just because of all the positive energy from the spectators. At the peak it started to rain harder. The decent was scary. I think I used up a few of my nine lives on the downhill and ride back into Penticton. Combine rain, wet roads, disc rear, 808 front, 20-30mph cross winds. What do you get? The wobble. Have you ever watched a motorcycle wobble uncontrollably and then crash? That was me except for the crashing part. This is the first time I thought my chances of crashing were 99%. I'm not sure how I stayed upright, but I did. I passed a racer with 4 miles to go. He mumbled, "That was so f...in scary!!!"

I rolled into T-2 turned in my chip and changed clothes. I quickly met up with Monica and we cheered on Guy at the start and turn around. I found out I was in 50th when I came off the bike and 9th in my age group. My goal was to swim 56-59 and bike 5:05-5:15. I achieved both with only 2 days of rest. It would've been nice to see where I could have finished, but it's all good. Kona here I come!!!

Pre Ironman Canada

Monica headed out for a ride at 7AM. She came back after 15 minutes. The temp was in the upper 40s. We headed to Starbucks. I jumped into the Lake for a short swim. The water was rough and choppy. It was a complete turn around from Thursday. Once back to the hotel, I went for a short ride and run. There was a crazy tailwind going south on HWY 97. It took me 3 minutes longer to ride back. I felt good on the run. We watched a good movie with Ray Liotta and Andy Garcia. We dropped our bikes off 30 minutes late. We were the only athletes in the transition area. We were definitely a little worried. We grabbed some food for dinner and headed back to the Condo.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Chillin in Penticton, Canada

It's day 3 in Canada. The first day the weather was in the mid 90s. It has cooled since. Yesterday we swam some, biked a bit, then ran a lot. In between all that, we squeezed a small drive around the course. The day ended with some ice cream from Tickleberries. It's a must!!! They had over 40 flavors. It was delicious!!!

Today will be a relaxing day. We'll head up to the race and pick up packets. It will be a good day.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Making progress

Sunday morning I swam just under 1k. I threw in a few fast 100s before staff training. After training, I took the dogs for a run. I felt great. I made the entire run on rolling terrain. Fina was dragging after 5 miles. I think that is her magic number. As the miles continued, she drifted farther and farther back. I had to wait for her at all major turns to make sure she was still back there. I dropped the dogs off at 8.5 miles and finished up my 90 minute run. I felt really like I could hold this pace for an entire marathon. My breathing was so relaxed.

Yesterday, I swam 4.5k. My legs were a little tired from the weekend. I came up with a tough swim. The main set was a longer swim followed by 2 shorter distance swims on faster send-offs several times through. The pace I was swimming my 1000 back in the early part of the year was now my send-off for the longer swim. I guess I am making some progress.

Saturday, August 21, 2010


A little bit of swimming, biking, and running has been good all week.

It was a little chilly today at the start of the ride. I rode the Johnson Creek Loop. There is a yellow house with a black poodle. The dog barks a lot and runs up real close. I always have my water bottle in hand just in case. This time he had a friend with him, CUJO. If you haven't watched the movie, the dog is vicious. I start to see my life flash before me. I stop and try to calm them down. They look at me and bark. I guess they decided there wasn't enough meat on my bodies for them to share. I averaged 22+ mph for the entire ride. Once home, I transitioned out and grabbed the dogs for a quick run.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

sonic boom

I was throwing the ball with the dogs yesterday. Out of no where there were 2 loud bomb sounding explosions. Fina and Kona were completely spooked. Less than a minute later, it happened again. Fina and Kona took off, scared to death. I tried to recall them. They must have thought the world was coming to an end. At one point, I did not know where Kona went. I found Kona standing by a tree. Fina crossed a street and ended up under a laurel bush. She would not come out. I had to crawl in after her. She was still scared, so I had to walk with her for almost 600 meters holding her collar. My back was not happy with the angle. I later found out there was an unauthorized plane in the area while the President was visiting. They dispatched a couple of F-15s.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

All screwed up

I took my bike out of the car yesterday and noticed the seat post was 2cm low. I guess the crunch I heard was my big butt pushing the seat post down. This morning I was getting the bike ready for a short ride. I found out that I was missing 1 of 4 screws for the seat post. One of the other screws was loose and about to fall out. Maybe I am just all screwed up.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Wasn't meant to be

It seemed like this race wasn't meant to be. I arrived at the race site early. I found what I thought was a good parking spot. Matt Lieto, a pro K-Swiss athlete, parked next to me. A cop pulled up and said move it or get a ticket. Luckily I got there super early and found a good spot just down the street. I guess that is sign #1.

I set everything up and was back in my car listening to the Ipod by 5:30AM. Could listening to "Mad World" be sign #2? I headed back to transition at 6:05AM. There was still air in the tires and the biked looked ready to be ridden fast. I grabbed my XTERRA VENDETTA and headed over toward the swim start. My age group was the 5th wave to start. I lined up on the left.

I saw Lee in the first 200 meters or so. We were swimming side by side. The swim felt good until around 1400 meters. A guy in my age group came up on the right and as he tried to pass me, he elbowed me water polo style. It knock my goggles sideways. Sign #2. I stopped, readjusted, and then swam on his feet the rest of the way. I was 82 seconds faster than last year.

I overshot my rack. Yes, even with a green bike. Sign #3. I exited T1 with my newly colored LYNSKEY a few seconds faster than last year. I did a flying mount and landed on my seat. I felt it move downward. Sign #4. Lee passed me around mile 7. I was feeling pretty strong and thinking I can't believe how good I feel until I looked down at my chain ring. I had been riding in the small ring the entire time. The shifter said otherwise. I tried to get it to shift to the big ring. No luck. UGH!!! A vehicle driving the other way, gave me the middle finger. Sign #5. The vehicles on the course did not help either. I had a vehicle turn left in front of me, causing me to hit the brakes. Then I got stuck behind him and couldn't pass. Sign #6&7. I usually make time up in aero descending. Not this time. On almost every descent I had to sit up and tap the brakes. Sign #8,9,10,11. On the last descent, there were several cars and a crazy racer who passed them all in the opposite lane. Crazy!!! I almost wiped out on the second to last turn. I thought it was a normal 90 degree turn. It was more like a 115 degree turn. I ended up on the shoulder in the other lane. Sign #12. I was still a few seconds faster than last year with all the things working against me.

I overshot my rack again. Sign #13. I quickly racked the LYNSKEY and put on my NEWTON RACERS. As I was exiting T2, I dropped my water bottle. I picked it up and noticed the top was flattened like a pancake. I went to adjust it and the spout fell into the bottle. Sign #14. Even with the drop and pick up, my T2 was a few seconds faster than last year.

I ditched the bottle in the first mile because it was splashing all over me. Sign #15. This would be my first half ironman not running with a water bottle. It was also at least 10 degrees warmer this year. I had to walk through most of the aid stations. Sign #16,17,18,19,20... This helped eliminate the cramping in my diaphragm. I ran several minutes slower than last year.

I finished a few minutes slower than last year and a several places down. It just wasn't meant to be.

"There are signs everywhere."

Next up Ironman Canada. I will only swim and bike. Then cheer on all the people racing.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Kona thinks...

I woke up yesterday and noticed Kona facing me. She had her head on the pillow, paws straight out, and taking up 2/3 of the bed. Kona thinks she is human. Crazy dog.

The week has been good. Everything is pointing toward a great race. I'm so excited and I just can't fight it. I know, I know, I know I want to...

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Krazy Kona

After work I went for a ride. I put up some solid power numbers for a 48+ mile ride.

Later that evening, I opened the door for the person who will be dog sitting for me in 2 weeks. As I opened the door, Kona slipped out and said hi to the neighbors. I tried to run out and grab her. They opened their door and Kona went inside up the stairs. I felt so embarrassed. I apologized several times. Kona came out after a few seconds. Unbelievable. Krazy Kona!!!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The K's of swimming

Yesterday my legs felt a little tired from the weekend of training. I headed out to Titlow for 4.5k of swimming. I swam better than expected. There were a few other high speed athletes swimming next to me doing a crazy long set of 1200s. There was also a girl who had huge shoulders and biceps too. My main set was 2600. Nothing too special.

This morning I swam 4k. My calves were more sore today. I have done this same set three other times. My speed and endurance are improving steadily over the last 2 months. I am looking forward to this weekend of racing.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Yeah, no rain

My legs felt heavy after the ride yesterday. I wasn't sure how the run was going to feel. Especially since I started with a head ache. Everything seemed to work itself out after a few minutes. I felt really good on the run. Kona does not like to run at sub 6:40 pace. I had to slow down a little to keep her happy. Fina definitely doesn't like that pace. She was fading further and further behind us. It is nice to see my running is right on form. I ran 10 miles in a little over 68 minutes. That was with a 3 mile warm-up and 2 mile cool down.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Didn't stay dry today

The weather was kind of gloomy yesterday. I went to Titlow to swim one of my favorite sets. The pool wasn't very crowded. The staff moved the lane lines over twice because there were only 2-3 people playing and several people swimming laps.The set went by quickly. I even lapped Karen's Team.

I heard rumors of rain today. It was misting a little when I started. The workout called for a nice long warm-up and several 1 minute hard efforts. Then a few 10 minute efforts at 40k pace and finally finishing up with 45 minutes at half iron pace. There was a lot of crosswinds today. I thought I was going to luck out on the weather. As I rode through Fort Lewis the roads were wet. It dried up once I got out to the ranges. I stopped at Texaco to refuel. I was going to ride toward Johnson Creek. I noticed rain in that direction, so I re-routed and rode the same way back. Murphy's Law said, "Nice try." It started to rain as I entered Yelm. This time the roads were dry through Fort Lewis. I stopped at Forza to refuel one last time. I finished up riding to the Chamber's Bay. I felt strong today.

It started to sprinkle when I took the dogs out for some play time. After eating lunch, I took a nice nap. The rain is finally here. I know it is much needed. I hope it will be gone soon.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Fire in the woods

It turned out to be a nice day yesterday, sunny and in the 80s. I went for a short run in the morning. It was just short of 4.5 miles.

I could not decide what to do after work. I was kind of tired and contemplated a nap. The dogs were still panting from playing. I opted to ride. The workout was super tough. The workouts the last 2 weeks have been challenging. I think it all caught up with me. The focus was working on Max VO2. I alternated between 3 minutes at olympic distance and 2 minutes and sprint distance over and over and over... I could not get into a good rhythm. Right before I started the first one at mile 2 of the TT route, there was a fire on both sides of the road. There were firefighters trying to control the spread. I did not want to inhale too much smoke so I quickly re-routed and turned around. This also meant that I would climb the hill by the bridge twice to complete the workout. You can never ride too many hills. Right?!?!?! As I came back by the fire on the last repeat, I thought I saw Smokey the Bear. I had to do a double take, it was just me starting to bonk. I cruised home starving and ready to pass out.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Swimming on tired legs - round 2

I headed out to Titlow yesterday. I must have been a little stinky. There were 7 people swimming laps when I walked up. After 5 minutes, there were only two others left. The main set was four sets of swimming where the distance decreased and the the speed required increased. It didn't matter how much harder I tried, my gearing selection was very limited. My clutch would not shift into fifth. It was still a solid 4.5k swimming. I was exhausted at the end. Afterward, I stopped to let the dogs play for 20 minutes. I wanted to run later in the evening, but my energy levels were non existent. I stayed on the couch and acted like a potato.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Have you ever tried riding your bike fast...

My upper body felt a little tired on my swim yesterday. I mixed it up with almost 2k of IM and finished up with 3.5k.

I jumped on the bike at 2:30. I had another strong ride. The QUARQ powermeter has definitely helped with pacing. After the warm up, I had 10 minute efforts at sprint distance with 5 minutes cruising four times through. I increased my power output every round. On the first repeat, I had issues with sweat running into my eyes. Have you tried riding fast with sweat filling up one eye? I felt like Popeye the Sailor man. I couldn't stands it no more, so I took off the glasses and put them in my pocket. Much better. On the second one, I had a dragonfly get trapped against my chest. I wasn't sure if he heard from the coyote, "He would be some good eatin." I stayed calm and it flew away after 5 seconds. As I was finishing #2, I saw a blur of red. This guy was moving out. I bet he was holding 270 watts. He must have been military because I did not see him again. I finished up the last 2 while riding out to the bridge and back. Then I cruised for 20 minutes. The last hard thing for the day was a 20 minute ride at Half Iron pace with several short bursts of power. The smoke was getting worse in the Time Trial area. Either that or I was starting to become delusional from all the power I was generating. It was definitely smoke. I ended the ride with a little over 55 miles. Not bad for another day of work.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Swimming on tired legs

I wasn't sure how my swim was going to turn out today. My legs were tired this morning just walking around. The workout was 4.5k with the main set of 400, 2x100, 200, 2x100 on a 1:25 base send off three times through. My pacing improved each set for the 400. I am gonna have to start working even harder, if I want a chance to beat Lisa. She was only 17 seconds slower than Karen at their race yesterday. Watch out Lisa, I am gunning for you!

Finally a run 99.9% pain free

I took the dogs out for a 10 mile run yesterday morning. It was the first run in awhile that was almost 100% pain free. I looped around back to the house at mile 7 to drop off Fina. I contemplated leaving Kona too. She was still bouncing around, so I took her for the last 3 of rolling hills. I noticed she was limping around. She limped for almost the rest of the day. If she would've have just said something, I would've left her. This was how they spent the rest of the day.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

An article in the local paper


There was a misprint. I did not win Cascades edge. I was 5th.

Vineman Pics

Hills, Hills, and more hills

I rode for 5 hours yesterday. The first hour and a half was mostly warm-up. I repeated the hill after the bridge 3 times. The first time was nice, the second ok, and the third ugh. After the bridge I had 4x20 minute efforts at Olympic distance effort. I ended up just past the Texaco for the first effort. I cruised back and refueled. I wanted to keep the ride challenging, so I rode back thru Yelm then Lewis. I refueled at Forza and then finished the last tempo. After all the tempo stuff, I rode out to Solo Point for 8 hill repeats. I could tell the 20 minute efforts zapped my legs during the first hill repeat. It did not get easier. I somehow managed to improve the power numbers. After the last one, I had 45 minutes at Half Iron effort. I was toast, burnt toast. All the work hard efforts left the tank empty. My little leggies had nothing left. Nada. Nil. Zero.  I completed the workout in 5 hours and 30 minutes and only 2 stops.

I took the dogs out for some play time. Kona looked like a major league baseball player. She caught the ball in her mouth, slid into the grass, rolled all the way over back onto her feet, then trotted back to me. It was hilarious!!!