Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Ironman Canada 2006 Race Recap

First of all, I wanted to thank you all for the great comments on the blog- each and every one was much appreciated. If you were following me on IM Live, you probably know that I ended up having a tough day out there but let me give you the whole story.....

I left on Thursday afternoon and the flight to Vancouver was pretty uneventful which is a good thing. Deb met me in Vancouver and we waited for our connecting flight to Penticton. We did have a bit of drama here as Deb had to get back into bag check to physically get her bags through customs after having been told it wasn't necessary....we got through that ok and settled in for a couple hours. Our flight to Penticton was ok until about 15-20 minutes before we were scheduled to land in Penticton. At that point, the pilot made an announcement that the lights were out on the runway and we may be directed back to Vancouver....


He then came on about 2 minutes later and stated that yes, unfortunately, not cleared to land and we were headed back to Vancouver. As you can imagine this did not go over to well with a plane full of stressed out triathletes. We had all just about resigned ourselves to this sorry predicament when the pilot came back on and stated he was ok'd to go for a "visual landing" at Penticton.....we all cheered and gave him a nice hand after landing.

More drama as we got our bags and Deb's bags made it but mine weren't anywhere to be found....uhhh, all my race gear (bike shoes, helmet, running shoes, nutrition, wetsuit) was floating around somewhere besides Penticton.....I was a bit stressed out but nothing I could do .....we ended up finally settling in at the hotel and I got a call at 11:10pm from the airlines stating that my bags had made it in and they would be delivering them shortly- crisis averted...nice!

On another note, if any of you are traveling and can use the services of Tribike Transport, I would highly recommend them. You don't need to worry about partially disassembling your bike and carting it around the airport. You can pick it up at the race venue and return it right after you are done with the race and it will be waiting for you at your bike shop upon your return home. At aroundd $220, well worth the price since the airlines usually nab you for $75-100 each way for the bike.

It was nice to be back in Penticton and to also spend some time with Deb. We also caught up with a couple friends of mine that I had met doing IMC for several years. I went for a very brief bike on Friday- the legs were feeling pretty good. I had to push into a very strong headwind but still got the mph's up there...shut it down after 20 minutes. The lake was covered in whitecaps so I decided to skip the swim. Seeing that lake that way was a stressor as well....I haven't been swimming at all due to the bike crash a couple weeks ago and even prior to that, my swim frequency was pretty lame. My zen-master friend Kevin stated, no worries- it's windy today so race day will be perfect....I wasn't sure if I believed him but nothing I could do to change things...

I awoke Saturday to calm winds and perfect conditions at the lake so maybe Kevin knew what he was talking about. Here's a pic of me pre-swim on second wetsuit swim in the last two years.....nice! ;-) Deb was nice enough to head out early with me and keep me company while I took a quick dip...I swam for about 15-20 minutes and shut it down. Luckily, no shoulder issues, although I could tell that I would not be going for any PR's come tomorrow....just a matter of getting through the swim "warm-up" as Steven called it until the real race began....

Steven was going to be there volunteering so we made plans to meet him at 2pm to hang out and catch an early dinner. Here's a pic Deb snapped of Steven and I while were hanging out until dinnner. We met up with my friends Kevin and his girlfriend Jessica for an early dinner before shutting it down.

I have to give Steven a BIG THANKS though for shuttling us around town to take care of some loose ends before the race- very cool. I owe you bud!'s been two years since my last IM race....can you tell I'm a lil nervous!?!? Mug shot, IMC 2006

After sorting out all the last minute to-do's, we hit the sack early for a 4am wake-up call. It seemed like the alarm starting going off right when I was finally getting to sleep....Deb was finally able to get me out of bed in about 5 minutes and I started the nutrition going. I try and avoid all solids pre-race, I don't want to spend anytime later in the race camping out in a porto-potty so limit it to liquids. I shot-gunned 3 Ensures for about 750cals then got ready for the race. We met up with Kevin / Jessica for a 4:45am departure to the race start.

Kevin and I getting ready to head out to transition / body marking.....Also, a pic of Deb and I.....don't we all look wide awake?!.....Not a fan of the early starts....

Deb took this picture of the swim start as the Pro's began their warm-up for the race. They were getting a 15 min headstart on the age-groupers. Perfect conditions for the swim...Kevin was right about the conditions turning around.

We ended up doing a last minute run through of our gear, pumped up our tires and watched as the time flew by....I had one more Ensure at about 6:15am, followed by a E-gel at 6:45am before heading for the swim start......



Swim Time:

With my lack of swimming this year, I knew it was going to be about damage control on the swim. My priority was to keep my heart rate very aerobic and mimize my effort by drafting as much as possible. U2's Beautiful Day blasted through the speakers as we got closer to the swim start....I couldn't believe I was finally here again.....I couldn't wait to get going.

I lined up right on the inside buoys and up near the front. I know this is exactly where you would think I shouldn't have lined up, based on my training this year, but my friend Kevin is a strong swimmer and he gave me this tip a few years back and it is great. There is much less contact here vs. going very wide (which everyone seems to do) and having to swim over everyone to get toward the buoys.

The gun went off and I just kept it nice and easy....catching feet all the way along the swim. I did push the effort a bit to get around the buoys aggressively but settled into an easy pace once around. I was able to catch several good drafts around the course. As I was stepping out of the water, I was surprised to see 1:09 on my watch...not to far off from my swim PR of 1:04. I was definitely happy with that, based on my training this year. Took me a bit to get through the timing mats and get my wetsuit stripped off. Also, nice to get a shout from Steven here- I'm surprised he recognized me in the major traffic jam coming out of the water at this time!


Bike Stats:
20.03 mph ave

The bike was the x-factor this year. I was curious as to how all the hill training in Oregon this year would sort out on the bike. Although I didn't get in months and months of solid training, I did get in some solid training in the last build before the race. Also, my legs felt suprisingly good this year with the forced taper.

As we headed out toward Richter Pass, my goal was to keep it aerobic but I also wanted to have an "ave speed cushion" of several mph when I hit the base of the climb since I knew I would lose that over the 6 mile climb. I was feeling pretty good and averaging around 21-25 mph based on wind / roads until we hit Richter at around mile 40 of the bike course.

I need to give a big *YOU SUCK* to the draft packs up until this point. Why people choose to cheat in an ironman is beyond me.....couple of big pelotons out there.....glad we hit the hills to break them up a bit.

At the base of Richter, my ave speed was 22.5. The climb was pretty uneventful...I just kept a steady effort up the climb but didn't have to work too hard at all....I passed quite a few people up the hills so was feeling good. By the time I hit the top my ave speed had dropped to 20.4 mph. I immediately began working again to get into a nice tuck down the backside of Richter.

Next up, the "rollers" on the way out to the out and back in Cawston. Again, just focused on keeping everything aerobic. All the climbing / terrain in Oregon made the climbs seem much easier vs. training for Canada while in Cali. It was nice being ready for the course vs. having to push too hard here. I got through the rollers and made it through the out and back until the special needs stop where I stopped briefly to pick up some nutrition and use the bathroom. I lost a couple minutes here (this was my second stop- I stopped briefly earlier to get some water in two of my bottles that were already loaded with powder).

Now it was time to hit the false flats on the way to Yellow Lake. I was not looking forward to this section of the bike because it has crushed me in the past.....this year, not so much. I was able to maintain pretty solid effort levels through this section and passed a ton of people. Yellow Lake was also just a blip....not that difficult and I was able to keep it pretty steady up the climb. It was also nice that the crowds were lining the hill at this point, definitely feeding off their energy until I hit the crest. Once I hit the top, I knew there was some more climbing before I hit the true top of the course but just laid it in the big ring and pushed it here....

I was finally on the major descent into Penticton.....a bit windy here but got into a nice tuck and pushed it... Overall, I was very happy with the bike.....kept it aerobic the whole time (HR ave around 150) and no loss of energy over the 112. Again, another major adrenaline rush as I hit town and got a push from the crowds. Once in transition, I kept my eyes peeled for Steven. He was there shortly shouting some encouragement- I gave him a high five as I headed to the run transition

Here's a shot Deb took of me right before I swung it around the corner and into transition


Run Stats:
4:21:25 (Ironman Personal Worst- OUCH)
First 13.1 (2:10:01)
Second 13.1 (2:11:24)

Besides what the final stats tell you, I was actually feeling pretty good as I started the run. My legs felt pretty fresh and I had carried a bottle of nutrition out and planned on drinking that as soon I settled into a comfortable pace. It was nice to get some shout outs from Jessica and Deb as I headed down the main drag (sorry about the sweaty hug Deb!) I was keeping it pretty conservative until about two miles into the race when I took a big swig of my bottle and my stomach immediately cramped up....


Here's where I made my nutrition / hydration mistakes and it ended up costing me a ton of time. To avoid cramping, I immediately dumped the contents of my bottle and decided I would rely on Coke / Water for the remainder of the race. I didn't drink anything until about mile 5 into the race. At this point, it was getting very hot out there and I should have heeded the warning signs and took in more hydration in the form of water. I was not feeling good but kept shuffling along. Every aid station, I was loading up on ice (in my hat, jersey and down my shorts) to try and stay cool while not taking in enough water.

Once we hit the hills about 10-11 miles into the race, I was a mess. I resorted to walking / shuffling along and pretty much felt like crap. Mentally, I was crushed as well since the run was usually my strongest discipline. I had run a 3:47 & 3:50 at Canada before so to be walking the course was a major bummer. I saw the course from a very different perspective this go around.....THIS BITCH OF A RUN COURSE IS TOUGH........major hills around OK Falls at the 13.1 mile turnaround. I was walking through this section of the course and the crowd encouragement was pretty F'ing annoying - No I DON'T LOOK STRONG....NO I AM NOT ALMOST DONE (I knew I wasn't in a good state now). I grabbed my special needs bag and drank two V8's I had thrown in there. They actually went down very well and got a boost of some electrolytes there. I was able to run up some of the more difficult hills out from the turnaround but would then resort to walking the flats....WTF?!? Strange stuff....

I did see my friends Kevin and Noel as I headed back from the turnaround and they were having their own tough days to deal with.....major suffer-fest on the way back into town. I did see Sister Madonna Buder and tried to give her some encouragement but she looked like she was having a tough day as well. I just wanted the day to end as all my time goals were thrown out the window. I went from possibly thinking that I could get close to hitting my Canada PR of 10:41 to hoping I would still break 11 hours to just wanting to finish.......uuuugh.....

Here's a couple pics Deb took of me as I continued my zombie-like shuffle into the finish. This was the last out-back until you ran into the finish (probably about a 1/2 mile from the finish). I was kinda out of it at this point since I didn't even recognize Deb until I was right in front of her and she yelled my name several times....I was not in my happy place

almost home......

Finish Time: 11:15:05

After crossing the line I saw Kev's girlfriend Jessica who was working the finish line and Steven who was now done with his volunteering duties. He took a walk with me to the athlete finish area and let me bitch for awhile about my disappointing finish / run out there. I'm surprised he didn't slap me since I was probably sounding like a whiny beeyotch.

After downing some watermelon and water, I kept feeling worse and worse. I started feeling pretty nauseous and Steven mentioned that I should probably take a quick trip to the medical tent to make sure I was was like a war zone in there. At this point I felt like crap and sat around waiting to see a doctor while I shared war stories with the two guys next to me. Luckily the nurse had handed me a bag in case I decided to puke.....I started dry heaving which hurts like hell......I then proceeded to puke about 3-4 times.....thank god I was in the med tent where there was alot of that going around. I couldn't imagine unloading out there with Steven while everyone else was enjoying their post-race high.

I did feel alot better after wrenching out my guts....after sitting there for observation for a bit, the doctor finally let me go.....not a great end to my race.

I continued my whine as I walked back to the hotel with Deb.....she did put things into perspective for me though.....and I needed it big time.

You really never know how things will pan out when you toe the line at an Ironman....the event is too long and there are too many variables to deal with out there. You can only keep moving forward and hope for the best. When I got back to the hotel, I turned on the TV and watched the racers coming in at 15+ hours through the finish......those guys / gals kick some serious ass out they can push for that long is pretty amazing and the majority of them were so happy and excited to be finishing an that definitely put things into perspective for me.

Yes, I wasn't happy with how my race turned out but any Ironman finish should be viewed as a accomplishment....If you are racing and things didn't go as planned, use it as a learning experience so that maybe you can avoid those same issues from affecting your race next time.

I am already looking forward to IMC 07......I was glad to hear that Steven was able to get in next year and I plan on pushing him in training over the course of the next year and I know he will definitely do the same for me. Same goes for my friends Kevin and Noel....nice to hear that they will be back next year as well.....

Finally, make sure you thank your supporters out there (and the GREAT volunteers throughout the course). It is really easy to get a tunnel-vision like focus when you are getting ready to race and forget the sacrifices your family/ friends have made for you....especially the ones who actually join you out at the races.....don't kid yourself- it is not fun for your supporters to sit around for 10-11 plus hours waiting to catch a few fleeting glimpses of you as you head out again from transition.

*Deb- thanks for being my biggest fan....I love you and appreciate everything you do for me.... more than you know!*

Now...time for some R&R until we start this madness again.......


Wednesday, August 23, 2006

I'll Catch You All On The Other Side......

Run Stats
13:48 Time
2 miles:
153 HR Ave
Wow- it felt pretty effortless out there....granted it was only two miles though!

Easy Spin, Post-run
30 min


Of course now the time is just flying by....feeling pretty anxious here and can't wait to finally hear that cannon go off so we can get this party started. The shoulder continues to feel better on a daily basis.....the legs are coming around. I've pretty much shut it down at this point. I was planning to get in a quick bike /run today but skipped it since I hadn't even started packing yet.....

I hate packing.....

Well better get back at it.....finish packing, get in a quick bike / run in the am tomorrow, and catch the Max Light Rail to the airport. Pretty cool that we can catch a train that runs right into the terminal at the airport.

Any positive vibes, well wishes, prayers, etc very much appreciated for this Sunday. The weather gods are forecasting an increase in temps from the low 80's right up to a blistering 91 degrees for race day in Penticton. Ouch! Not the best prep fore me this year but I plan on giving 100% effort regardless of how I feel during the race....stay focused......breathe deep...and BELIEVE.....


Monday, August 21, 2006

I'm Keeping My Fingers Crossed For A Boring Week....Please!

Hey- thanks all for the nice posts regarding my mishaps! I can't believe I crashed out a week before the race. It is such a rookie move- I think the last time I went down was about 3/4 years ago at least then it wasn't my own fault. This is, by far, the worst taper I've had to deal with for any race. No relaxation at all. It's enough to make a guy paranoid....Lora mentioned hiding out because bad things happen in threes.....yikes! Well, all I can do is roll with it at this point.....i'm rolling.

As expected, the pain/soreness was much worse on Saturday. I could barely move my left arm above my head due to the pain in my shoulder muscles / rib cage. Even then, I had to do it sloooowly because of the pain- glad I didn't have to swim 2.4 that day! I'm not sure how my rib cage got rocked but a lot of soreness there. I decided to take a rest day. My sister's boyfriend was in town for work so it was an excuse to give him a brief tour of Portland.

Sunday, I decided to test the body with a short run / bike. The soreness was a bit better and, while it hurt running, I was able to get in a workout. I just did a easy spin on the trainer, post-run, with some 60 intervals at 200watts that didn't feel too hard. Here are the stats:

Run Stats
28:50 Time
4 miles
158 HR

30 Min
5 x 60 sec @ 200 watts
132 HR

Today was a forced rest day. I went to the gym and suited up for my test swim (test the shoulder) but when I tried to enter the pool area it was locked. I had forgotten that they were planning on shutting down the pool for a month beginning today. F^&#%@! Oh well, maybe it is a sign for me to rest my shoulder for the race. That swim is not going to be fun- my only wetsuit swim this year was during my Pac Crest race in June. In years past, I was engaging in ocean swims 1-2x / week, pre-race, so I was dialed in to swimming in my suit. This year, not so much.

Well..enough of the negative stuff. I am feeling pretty darn lucky that I will be able to toe the line this year. I wanted to thank you all for sharing the journey with me this year. It's nice to have a connection with others that are truly passionate.....or truly mad! I guess it's all about perspective right?! ;-)

Go big people- make it count!


Friday, August 18, 2006

The Excitement Continues....

I'm still alive and kicking out here although you wouldn't know it by my absence out on the blogosphere. My training as been going well although I had a MAJOR hiccup tonight. I'll get to that soon but let me get caught up on the last week of training.

2500 Yards Total
5 x 500 Free Easy
50 Minutes

Lazy Tuesday

Lunch Swim
58 Minutes
3000 Yards Total
1 x 1000 Free
1 x 250 drills
1 x 500 Pull
1 x 1000 Free
1 x 250 Drills

Post Work Bike
2:03 Time
40.1 Miles
19.5 MPH
133 HR

Lunch Run Chip Trail
5 Miles Total
2 x 2 mile
1 mile
156 HR

You would think I have had enough excitement during this taper with the ER visit last week but had a little excitement on the bike tonight. I was 4 miles from home and riding on autopilot when I crashed my bike!! I am always paranoid during the taper because of all the horror stories I've heard of people getting injured, etc during the last 2-3 weeks and ruining their race. I've had a pretty good record up until today but all it took was one moment where I wasn't paying attention and my luck ran dry.

I was cruising along at a pretty good clip and glanced to the right for a bit too long. I'm not even sure what I was looking at but when I glanced forward I had just enough time to see that I was heading off the road into some pretty thick gravel. I did have enough time to get out of the aerobars and grab the hoods and while glancing down, I saw that I was going 22 mph....great......I fought the crash, tried to keep the rubber side down but my front wheel turned sharp right and launched me over the bars. My "flight" didn't last too long before I came crashing down on my left shoulder / left side of my face & helmet. To add insult to injury, my bike followed me and ended up on top of me. Of course I jumped up real quick ala Pee Wee "I meant to do that" Herman and checked out my bike. No noticeable damage there. The shoulder of my jersey was pretty chewed up and my sunglasses were pretty scraped up but protected most of my face so that was good thing. Thank god I was wearing a helmet too...took a pretty good impact there on the front left of the helmet. My left shoulder is pretty darn sore and I have some road rash there. I guess I'll have to wait until tomorrow to see how bad it really is (hope my slow swimming isn't too affected, I don't need any handicap in that dept!!) I did run after I got off the bike and no issues there except for the sore shoulder.

On a happier note, the legs seem to be coming around. I am going faster while effort levels seem to be the same so hoping to get fresher through next week. I am definitely shutting down the road riding at this point...well maybe one more ride outside this weekend but I will be very careful. Next week it will be 100% trainer for any cycling.

Brick Workout
2:57 Total Time

50 Miles
20.1 MPH
137 HR Ave

28:43 Time
4 Miles
163 HR

It was pretty warm out there tonight and it looks like it is going to be a hot one this weekend. I'm glad I'm tapering and not going long in that heat. Have a great weekend and whatever you choose to do, BE CAREFUL OUT THERE!!!


Sunday, August 13, 2006

Generic Carbo-Pro

I keep forgetting to post about an alternative to Carbo-pro for the many of you that use it out there. I was buying tub after $20 tub of Carbo-Pro and thought there has to be a source for high quality malto out there without having to pay $20 for 3 lbs of the stuff. You can get malto through alot of places but alot of it is of lower quality. You need to get the good stuff! After some research on the net, I found these guys

They are one of the larger suppliers of malto out there. You want to look at their Maltrin QD (quickly dispersible) line of Malto. Either the M550 or M580 works well and has the proper DE range. They have very knowledgeable people working the phones there and can also set you up with the information for a local distributor. *Scroll to bottom of page for contact info*

Here's the only comes in 50lb bags. The bags can range from $48 to $52 a bag...I paid $48? up here in Oregon but it was $52 in SoCal thru the LA distributor. Not too much of an issue if you are training high volume or have several people you can share a bag with. I just bought an extra garbage can and used a heavy duty bag liner to store my supply. I currently have about 40-50lbs of the stuff so will not run out anytime soon.

I have used this stuff for the last 3 years and there is no difference between this stuff and Carbo Pro. I think this actually dissolves faster then Carbo Pro and is MUCH CHEAPER ($1 / lb vs. $7/lb for Carbo Pro). Steven has a team member on his tri-team (a doctor and very fast triathlete) who spent time researching the Maltrin QD with his contacts in the nutrition field and now he and many members of the Ironheads use the stuff with great results.

Ok, enough with my Triathlon Public Service Announcement....just trying to save you all some $$'s so you can spend it buying other tri-toys!


14 Days And Counting....

Two weeks out from the big race....mentally, I feel pretty beat up after all the excitement last week. I plan on really scaling back the training in the next two weeks and focus on reducing all stress. I need to find my happy place! I don't feel "amped" about the race but hopefully this will turnaround in the next two weeks. I've come to the realization that a race is not that important in the grand scheme of things.....actually pretty low on the scale......

At least the training is going legs felt a bit tired on the bike Saturday but probably due to the wind and hills....this was my last focused hilly ride...will probably try and keep everything on the easier side going forward. I ran off the bike for 4 miles and clicked off close to a 7 minute pace....too bad we have to run 26.2 in Ironman....

3:45 Hilly Ride
Bald Peak (29:20)
Blooming Fern
Iowa Hill
62.6 Miles
16.8 MPH
131 HR

4 miles

I talked to Steven yesterday and after hearing about his Forest Park run, I was thinking of heading there for a run but, lazy me, ended up getting a late start. I just ran my typical loop which is ok because it has a good mix of rolling hills...perfect training for Canada. Although, the hills right after the 13.1 mile turnaround at Canada HURT...alot of carnage out there. Since I ran 15 miles on Tuesday, I cut the run a bit short today but still got in a semi-longish run.

Run Stats
10 Miles
154 HR

After the run, I headed to the pool for a swim. This is the one area of my training that I am really worried about. In reviewing my training over the last couple of months, my swims have been few and far between to the tune of averaging two a week. For someone like Chris or Mike who are swimming 2.4 miles and hitting the beach in an hour or less, not a problem....for me, PROBLEM! Oh well, gonna roll with it at this point....I would much rather be undertrained on the swim vs. bike or run.

Swim Stats
4000 Yards Total
1 x 1000 Free
1 x 250 Drills
1 x 1000 Free
1 x 250 Drills
1 x 1000 Free
1 x 500 Free

Have a good week!


Friday, August 11, 2006

Good News

Well this whole heart scare has thrown a huge monkey wrench in my Ironman Canada taper. I had my tentative taper mapped out but this week it was more of what I didn't do vs. actual workouts.

Good news is that after spending all morning getting tested at the Cardiologist office this morning, I checked out ok. I had a nuclear stress test including the treadmill stress test. The nurse made a funny comment about me being the only person she has ever seen outrun the treadmill during this test (I hit the highest level before I hit 85% of my max HR). Uhhhh....since her typical patient is probably 65+ with heart problems, not sure if I should take that as a compliment!

No problems with my arteries or heart...the only issue is a very slight thickening of the heart muscle but the cardiologist mentioned that this is typical for someone doing extensive aerobic exercise. Re: the heart palpitations that initially caused me to see a doc, he stated they are pretty normal and just to monitor it....if accompanied by any dizziness, call a doc!

I know way more then I want to know about the heart and how it functions now.....

Now the bad news.....he said it would probably be a good idea to cut out the that nuts or what!?!?

Ok, that is all for my "too much information" segment....bottom line, everything looks good. I feel VERY LUCKY!! I also wanted to thank everyone for their support, nice comments, emails etc....very much appreciated. If any of you are feeling "off" or having any chest discomfort or any issues for that matter, GO SEE A DOCTOR.....don't take a chance with your health

Time to rock this little race in Canada!

Training Stats

Bike Stats
1 Hour
Richter Pass course plus easy spinning to make an hour
(Stats to top of Richter: 6.87 miles / 11.9mph / 177 watts Ave / 84 Cadence / 34 minutes)

Bike Stats
2:12 Total Time
42.3 Miles
19.2 MPH Ave
131 HR
Very windy ride..felt like I was in a wind tunnel the whole of the disadvantages of riding in the afternoon around here. **Steven- I rode up Blooming Fern and noticed that someone had posted a sign on the guardrail (Blooming Fern 16% grade)....not sure how accurate that is but it's gotta be pretty wonder that hill hurts!!

Have a great weekend out there- make it happen!


Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Easy Day

Easy training day today....the legs felt pretty good after the longish run yesterday so that's a plus. I just ended up swimming though....

Lunch Swim Stats
3000 Yards Total
54 Minutes
6 x 500 Free
Odds pulling with paddles / buoy

Post work, dropped by Athlete's Lounge to pick up my bike and the Zipps....anyone looking for a cool Portland area bike shop with a great mechanic (Jeff) should check these guys out. I got the bike tuned up and the tires / wheels ready to roll. The plan is for another 8-9 days riding the bike before I pack her up.



Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Count Your Blessings

Bike Stats
3:36 Total Time
66.8 Miles
18.5MPH Ave
137 HR Ave
Bike felt ok...took a hilly loop around Hagg Lake and then shut it down

Run Stats
32 Minutes
4 miles Total
2 x 2 mile chip trail

Run Stats
2:00 Total Time
15.2 Miles
7:53 pace
154 HR Z1

Now for the scary stuff.....I started feeling what I would describe as a "flutter" in my chest late Saturday night...I took my pulse and felt what seemed to be a irregular heartbeat or skipped's a link. It totally freaked me out since with so much exercise, I think you really gain a heightened sense of your body and when it is "off". No issues Sunday / Monday during my workouts but decided to make an appt. with a Cardiologist to rule out anything serious. I couldn't get an appt. until Thursday so left work early Monday (yesterday) to get checked out at a walk-in urgent care clinic. They took an EKG and the doctor was alarmed at the abnormalities** and referred me to the ER. She thought the EKG showed signs that my heart wasn't getting enough oxygen. They even considered calling me an ambulance which really stressed me out.

** Re: the abnormalities, I should note that during a routine physical 3 years ago, the same thing happened. Abnormal EKG, sent to a cardiologist and after numerous tests including a stress test EKG on the treadmill, it was ruled as an "abnormal normal" heart rhythm due to all the exercise. I should have had a copy of that EKG because it would have definitely helped at the ER.

I drove to the ER and the only concern during the drive was how it would affect Ironman Canada. This soon became the least of my worries and, in hindsight, pretty damn ridiculous. I checked into the ER and they immediately got down to business based on my EKG and description of my chest symptoms. Before I knew what was happening, I was flat on my back hooked up to oxygen, ekg, IV, and chewing on aspirin. I have never been so stressed or scared in my life. I rarely get sick and have never been admitted to a hospital or had any reason to visit an ER. Talk about facing your mortality...not a good time.

After they did blood work, EKG, Echocardiogram and monitored me for several hours I was released. The Doc on duty felt I didn't have any issues but I still have an appt. with the consulting Cardiologist on Friday. It was after 9pm at this time....I was pretty stressed. My 4 hours in the ER was definitely eye-opening. Those Docs / Nurses are about difficult work. It must be hard facing life & death situations on a daily basis...I had a hard time dealing with the suffering around me for the short time I was there. I couldn't see the guy next to me but my heart went out to him....he kept talking about the unbearable it was...his wife tried to comfort him the whole time....definitely puts all this silly training......all these races into proper perspective....

Hopefully, this Friday appt with the cardiologist will just be routine and I can move forward

Seriously, take a deep breath and think about all the gifts we are truly blessed is so easy to get into a routine.... to take it all for granted but the rug can be pulled out at any moment. I went running today and my emotions were all over the map....I felt pretty silly out there at times blubbering like an idiot but I was acutely aware of every step and how great it felt to be out running and living.

I love life


Saturday, August 05, 2006

22 Days and Counting.....

Playing a lil' blogger catchup which seems to be my m.o. lately....anyway, let me get the training stats outta the way....nothing exciting *yawn*:

Lunch Swim
2500 Yards Total
50 minutes
1 x 1000 free
1 x 250 TI Drills
1 x 1000 free
1 x 250 TI Drills

Bike Post-work
Very, it sucked
1:34 total time
27.6 miles
17.6 MPH Ave
124 HR Ave

Another Glorious Lazy SOA (sit on my ass) day off. What a waste though...Nike has incorporated an "Enjoy the Summer" policy of letting us take off at noon on Fridays for the month of Aug / 1st week of Sept.....I ended up running errands....took my car in for service, went to the bank, got a bite to eat...etc then all the fight was gone. I ended up watching "Match Point"....definitely not a feel good movie.....

In other bad news, I dropped in for an appt with the Nike PT about a nagging pain in my has bothered me off and on for the last year but not bad enough to affect any of my training. It seemed to have gotten worse in the last week but a switch of shoes seemed to have helped a bit. I wanted to get her opinion on it though and she said it was a very mild case of Plantar Fasciitis...NOOOO!!!!.....glad I found out now so I can try and treat it aggressively. I had a bad case ages ago where I couldn't run for several months so didn't even think this was the same thing she did mention, that I immediately started, was to wear shoes at all times to support the arch (don't go barefoot in your house!)....sportin' the nike frees while walking around the the arch peeps!

2 thumbs up on the Nike Structure Triax....the update to this shoe is awesome. The last iteration of this shoe was a bit stiff but this new one is great right out of the biased opinion anyway! ;-)

I wasn't looking forward to this workout but figured any extra dosage of hill work would help so I decided to do hill repeats up Bald Peak. This climb killed me on the monster brick last week so that weighed heavily on my mind as I spun my way to the base of the climb. I figured this was the closest simulation to Richter Pass I had around my hood. It is 4.25 miles from the base to the top and it "stair-steps" in a similar fashion as Richter althought it doesn't have 3 distinct is a pretty tough 4.25 miles though. I did 3 repeats up the hill and then hopped off the bike for a quick run. The legs were feeling pretty good and I was able to maintain a 7:25 pace....

Bike Stats
3:14 Total Time
49 Miles
15.1 MPH Ave
145 HR Ave

3 x Bald Peak:

Transition Run
28:14 Total Time
3.8 Miles
157 HR Ave

Finally, for IM Canada, I am rolling the new Conti Comp 06 Tubies with Vectran flat protection (thanks to my girl Deb!!). I mounted them on the Zipps to stretch them out and plan on taking them into the bike shop to get them properly mounted / glued early next week.

Taking off the currently mounted tires WAS A BEEEYOTCH!!

*take note Steven*

After a half hour, drenched in sweat and with two nice blisters on my thumbs, I was finally able to wrestle the tires off the rims. I didn't have too much of an issue with the tire that was glued/mounted by my prior shop in Cali but the tire that was glued on by the local shop here ......holy crap......felt like they used cement to mount it. I'm thinking it may have to do with recently applied glue vs. the other tire being mounted over a year ago. I'm glad I was able to finally get it off but after that nightmare, I will DEFINITELY carry a razor on the bike during the race. I figure if I flat, I will slice the tire in half with the razor and and then yank it off kung-fu style vs. trying to wrestle with the glue and trying to pull the intact tire off the rim.

Look at those beauties.....


Tomorrow I plan on closing out the week with my last "long-ish" ride and maybe a long run. Then it is time for the 3 week taper.....

Keep it rolling people!


Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Recovery Week

I'm currently backing the volume waaay off this week to rest / recover so that I can hit the 3 week taper / peak for Canada feeling decent. After 3 successive 20+ hour weeks of training, it's funny how your body becomes accustomed to the fatigue and it almost feels "normal". I'm hoping my body gets a chance to right itself this week. I feel like I could keep it rolling but I've been at the start of too many races feeling flat so will err on the side of caution.

The only issue is trying to map out my training for the next 3 weeks. I have been reviewing the tapers from my 02 / 03 Canada training plans and will probably try to piece one together using workouts from both. I know I was pretty flat on the start line for 03 and probably did too much volume in the last 3 weeks that year.....hmmm.....hard to figure this training mumbo-jumbo out.


Lunch Run
5 miles
152 HR Z1

Lunch Run
5 miles
150 HR Z1

Swim Post Work
1 x 3500 Free

Just doing easy workouts....keeping the effort level way down. Strange that I haven't had a chance to get on the bike yet this week...will have to give it a go tomorrow. The days are flying by and I'm dancing as fast as I can!