Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Picture Me Rollin'...

My last 4 training weeks have been pretty solid: 20.75 hrs / 21.5 hrs / 19.75 hrs / 24.75 hrs. Probably not optimal without a rest week in there to break it up but counting back from IMC, I wanted a recovery week to flush out any fatigue before heading into the 3 week taper so had to go with 4 straight weeks of volume. Definitely a ton of heartbeats there and I am REALLY enjoying the recovery week right now! :-)

Week 5 was a pretty solid week with 300 bike miles capped off by back to back 100 mile rides followed by a brick run. Saturday, Steven and I were pretty much skunked by crappy weather so I went out Sunday and got in a pretty good race simulation ride. I chained myself to the aerobars and did 5.75 hrs / 105 miles over some rolling terrain with some good hills, serious headwinds, rain. The brick run went surprisingly well and I ran 6 miles over rolling terrain in 47 minutes - not a bad end to a solid block of training. The only bummer was a bee sting during my Sunday ride that ended up getting infected. My arm swelled up like a balloon so I was at the Doc today getting some antibiotics. I had a 2.5 hour ride on tap but decided to skip it and let the body rest.

Here's the tale of the tape for the last two weeks:

IMC Training Week 6
19.75 TOTAL Hours
Swim 3.25 Hrs

(11,000 Yrds - 3 swims. Focused on longer straight sets - did a boring straight 4000 during one swim.)
Bike 12.5 Hrs
(232.9 Miles - 4 rides: 27.4 / 42.8 / 91.1 / 71. Overall, didn't really seem to get in any "long" rides- I am trying to keep all my rides to 2+ hours and it didn't happen this week)
Run 4 Hrs
(32 Miles - 4 runs including a "long" run of 13 miles. The ASTYM continues to provide healing with the PF even though I am continuing to run *thank god*)

IMC Training Week 5
24.75 TOTAL Hours
Swim 3.25 Hrs

(10,500 Yrds - 3 swims. I'm just punching the clock here and getting in the minimun 3 a week)
Bike 17.5 Hrs
(303.7 Miles - 4 rides: 42 / 50 / 106.1 / 105.6 SOLID week capped off by back to back century bricks)
Run 4.0 Hrs
(29.5 Miles - 3 runs including a glorious long run of EIGHTEEN miles- huge for me since I really haven't been running and didn't think that was even a possibility a couple weeks ago. I plan on doing a couple more long runs pre-IMC.)

Rolling thru week 4 and enjoying some nice recovery. Coach KP always scheduled a recovery week right before the peak / tapering block to flush out any fatigue so going with that protocol. The thought of another heavy volume weekend would have crushed me so it's nice looking at a weekend where I only have a 2.75 hr long ride scheduled. Granted it has a tough 3 x Bald Peak hill repeat insert but sub-3 hours..nice!

I can see the light at the end of the tunnel....
and it's a beautiful thing!


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

No Heroes

What in the hell is going on in the Tour De France!? With Vinokourov testing positive for homologous blood doping and Astana leaving the tour, can the sorry state of affairs sink any lower? Now every great performance is suspect but I guess it's been that way for awhile now.....pretty darn sad.

Can the sorry state of affairs sink any lower? I guess so...Rasmussen had his arse kicked out of the tour. The TDF has turned into a circus...I'm waiting for the little car full of clowns to roll out

This lil cutey-pie has the right idea eh! DOPERS SUCK!!


Thursday, July 19, 2007

Keep On Movin'

Just surfacing real quick to let you all know I'm still alive and kicking! ;-)
As the Ironman Canada clock went sub-50 awhile back, I decided that stressing about the chronically injured status of my feet wasn't helping matters so I decided to focus on doing everything I could to get them to a point where I could run semi-regularly. Here's a couple of good things that you all should look into:

Evolution Running or Pose Method or Chi Running....in whatever form, improving your run technique is definitely worth the time investment. I purchased the Evolution Running DVD and it is definitely worth every penny.

Take a look at your running race photos- heel striking? If so, it's only a matter of time before you get some type of nagging injury. Work on the technique my friends! Don't learn the hard way...it sucks!

ASTYM- If you are suffering from Plantar Fasciitis or any soft-tissue injury, get into see a PT who is certified in this injury treatment protocol. After only 4 treatments, I've noticed a HUGE difference in my PF pain. The best thing about ASTYM is that they encourage you to keep running thru the treatment phase. The only regret I have is that I didn't get in sooner before my PF was so bad. Check out the website, YES- the treatment is pretty painful at times but the payoff is definitely worth it!

Don't worry, be happy! Seriously, if you are dealing with an injury, It doesn't have to shut you down. Remember the glass is always half full right? If you can't run, swim more. If you can't swim, run more...and so on. For me it's been all about the bike lately. I need to make sure that I get off the bike as fresh as possible at IMC since I won't have the optimal run fitness going in! Here's my finish shot from a good day in Canada...aaah, memories.... I'll definitely be giving a 100% of whatever I have on the day, come 8/26/07. Daylight finish baby!!! :-)

I also had a appt. with my awesome podiatrist and had him modify my new orthotics. Unfortunately, they no longer look nice and new like this photo taken the other day.

He went to town on them with a grinder and saw but they are much more comfortable now. Also, I got some cushioned shoes (Air Max Moto) to help with the PF foot pain since the orthotics should provide all the structural correction I need.

Ok, enough about my feet...or at least my injured feet. How about some very cool cycling shoes. It's really unfortunate that Nike got out of the retail cycling business because there was some really cool stuff coming down the pipe in 07 and beyond. Including these shoes. I don't think they are available at retail yet but I've been told they're only going to be available in limited quantities. Luckily, since I was involved in the Nike Cycling group, I was given a pair. Actually someone asked me if I could fit a size 43 as she dangled a pair in front of my face. Amazing how my size 42 feet immediately grew a size as I said Yes! ;-) Nothing that an orthotic or insert can't fix right!? They are EXTREMELY LIGHT, especially in comparison to the weight of any other cycling shoe I've ever had in my hot little hands. I think the minimalist upper is pretty cool too.

Speaking of minimalist, check out these new free 3.0's I bought for a friend. They've taken the Free and carved out more of the sole...hopefully I can get to an injury-free status soon so that I can give them a go. My podiatrist would still like me to get into a racing flat which he states will definitely help in the running technique dept. by promoting a forefoot vs. heel-strike since they typically don't have a huge built-up heel.

And last but not least, in case any of you thought I was going soft in the training department. Here's my last two weeks of training, a bit light, as mentioned, in the running dept. but increasing the cycling to compensate.

IMC Training Week 8
21.5 TOTAL Hours

Swim 3.25 Hrs
(10,500 Yrds - 3 swims. Working on longer sets and doing alot of straight 3000's.)
Bike 14.5 Hrs
(240.9 Miles - 4 rides: 58 / 27.6 / 45.3 / 110)
Run 3.75 Hrs
(27 Miles - 4 runs including a "long" run of 11 miles. Much less pounding on the legs with the forefoot strike off the bike.)

IMC Training Week 7
20.75 TOTAL Hours

Swim 1.0 Hrs
(3,500 Yrds - 1 swims. OUCH-swimming took a big hit for some reason last week, Dr. Appts got in the way of a couple workouts)
Bike 17.25 Hrs
(306 Miles - 5 rides: 34.5 / 36 / 62 / 100.4 / 73.1 Solid bike miles - last 3 days were consecutive Fri-Sun)
Run 3.0 Hrs
(22.3 Miles - 3 runs including a "long" run of 11 miles. Working on ramping it up here soon as long as the injury treatment continues to go well)

Currently in the middle of Week 6 and the running has been getting better. The feet are still sore but I've noticed marked improvement with every ASTYM treatment. ANYONE SUFFERING FROM PF, TRY THIS NOW!!!

Finally, lets all send positive vibes out to the STRONG guys and gals rocking Ironman Lake Placid this weekend. I'll be following Cliff, Darren, and Jeremy. Good luck and Godspeed boys- RACE HARD!!

Train smart and be safe out there!


Sunday, July 15, 2007

Oregon Coast Vacation

Post-race, battered feet....what better time to get off the aerobic train and get in a little R&R right? I drove back from Bend, Oregon the day after the race just in time to pick Deb up at PDX. We had planned a quick run up the Oregon Coast staying a couple nights in the Newport area and a couple nights in Manzanita. I'd like to say that I was able to come up with the itinerary myself but I did the easy thing and asked resident expert and lifelong Oregonian, Steven, for some suggestions and he didn't let me down. He suggested The Inn at Cape Kiwanda, located in Pacific City, Oregon and The Inn at Manzanita. They both get two big thumbs up from Deb and I.

We started out early Monday morning and drove straight to Newport which was just south of where we would stay in Pacific City. We didn't stay too long in Newport but long enough to check out the Oregon Coast Aquarium and The Rogue Brewery. I'd have to say the Rogue is one of my fave microbrewers in Oregon...great food and tasty beers.

Rogue Nation Baby!!

Oregon Coast Aquarium...yes, I'm a dork!

I love the jellyfish exhibits...pretty darn cool...gave me flashbacks of Ironman Florida...they had some big ones there!

We then drove up the coast for the short drive to Pacific City. We really didn't have any formal plans, just wanted to get a chance to spend some time together and relax. The Inn at Cape Kiwanda was located right across the street from the beach and The Pelican Pub & Brewery. We hit the pub for a bite to eat and to sample the brews. The food was pretty good, we probably could have done without the TOWER OF RINGS...probably belongs on one of those lists of things that should never enter your mouth! ooof!

The Tower baby!!

all those pretty colors....

The food was all my fault of course, Deb is usually my voice of reason...she eats much cleaner then I do...she was a vegetarian for a long time and usually lets me know when I am going sideways...I guess she relaxed a bit for this vacation and let me get crazy...everything in moderation right? ;-) After we waddled out of there, we took a nice walk up the beautiful beach and climbed the biggest sand dune / mountain, I've seen. I called it the hill of doom and I tried to convince myself that I was able to work off the damage from dinner by climbing to the top...maybe not but fun, nonetheless. We just relaxed around Pacific City....did some sightseeing, hiking etc before we drove North to Manzanita.

Deb and I on top of the world aka, the hill of doom!

Pacific City was nice, but I LOVE Manzanita. Such a nice *little* town without all the tourist trappings of the larger coastal towns like Lincoln City or Seaside. Our Inn was really nice and the town had everything I needed, a great coffee shop,a bookstore, a good pizza place across the street and the beach within walking distance. Two big thumbs up here. More relaxing and quiet time....nice to just spend time with Deb. The only bummer was that it ended up raining while we were in Manzanita but it is Oregon right?! No worries, we just made the best of it. We also drove up one day to check out Cannon Beach. Also a very cool town up the coast. I'm a coffee addict and we found a really good local coffee shop in Cannon Beach and Deb bought me a couple different bags of the good stuff....if you're ever driving thru Cannon Beach...STOP!! at The Sleepy Monk Coffee Roasters....great, fair-trade organic beans!

Much too soon, the week was over but again, a nice relaxing time with Deb. She is definitely my better half, my voice of reason, my biggest cheerleader, and best friend. :-) I still think she let me down on the Tower of Rings though....how could she let me order that artery clogger!?! ;-) Happy to report that all that "throw caution to the wind, vacation eating is done!!

I also need to throw a shout out to Karen and Steven for a great b-day dinner last night - THANK YOU. Yes...I hit the big 41...but I heard that 41 is the new 31 so It's all good. Steven and I did a hilly 100 mile bike / 4.3 mile run so the dinner really hit the spot. He makes a mean barbecued double-patty, cheez burger which was paired with a tasty fruit salad, roasted potatoes, and beers. YUM...the best part was that Karen sent me home with a bag of her homemade oatmeal-raisin cookies. A couple even made it safely in my car all the way home! :-). I spent my birthday counting my blessings.....Deb, my family, my health, my wonderful friends, my job and realized how lucky and truly blessed I am. The glass is always half....or three-quarters full, it's all about your mindset and perspective right? I also threw in a 73 mile / 4 hour ride for good measure!

Have a great week!


Sunday, July 08, 2007

Pacific Crest 1/2 Iron Triathlon

I don't even know where to start with an update since it's been so long! I raced, went on a mini-vacation, dealt / dealing with the saga of my injured feet. Maybe chronological order will work?

Pacific Crest 1/2 Iron
I wish I had a more exciting race report but it was a pretty standard race. In hindsight, I wish I would've skipped it based on how F'd my feet were post-race. I could have used the taper & race week to get some additional solid aerobic volume under my belt for Ironman Canada.

I *thought* I did everything right this year. I got in the water early, did some warm-ups to get the HR up and clear the jets, etc. When the gun went off I made a conscious effort to go out very easy to avoid hyperventilating since this was only my second wetsuit swim and we were at elevation. It didn't seem to matter because I was right on the edge of gasping for breath after only 2-3 minutes of racing. I was able to talk myself off the ledge and get it under control, thank god! After about 2-300 yards, I thought I was doing okay when I saw a kayaker fast-approaching from the right. F&#%! I was veering off course so had to cut a hard left to get back on course, pretty uneventful after that....just settled in and worked it to the finish. One bummer is that there is absolutely no draft at Pac Crest due to the murky water. It really makes it difficult to find any feet and to stick to them. You can only see about an arm length out so it made it a tough swim for those, like me, who are aquatically-challenged.
Swim Finish: 37:06
1:45 pace OUCH. Oh, well...where's that bike!?

T1 4:22 Yeah, that's FOUR:22...you gotta problem wid it!? ;-) We had to bag up all our stuff for transport to T2 but still not an excuse for that loong transition.

I was a bit bummed that they had to change the course this year due to road construction. They eliminated the climb up Mount Bachelor and the screaming fast descent down the other side and replaced it with a *yaaaawn* boring course with a horrible road surface. I'm talking teeth-jarringly bad. I didn't have time to drive the bike course but had heard that it was flat and fast. The first 15-20 miles were anything but. Right out of the gate, there were some good rollers and a couple climbs....I made it a point to push it up the rollers / climbs and settle in on the flats. After about 25-30 miles it was pretty flat with several sections of false flats but nothing that forced you to get out of the aerobars. I was a bit nervous with the big fat 808 wheel up front but glad to report that it was very manageable in the wind....granted there weren't any gusts but some pretty good wind in certain sections. Besides pushing it up the climbs/rollers I just rode the bike at a pretty steady pace.

Race-ready....stunning eh!? ;-)

Uummm, does this disc wheel make my butt look big?

Ok, back to the race...I did three stops - 2 stops to dismount and use the bathroom, 1 to park it at an aid station for a quick fill-up on the bottles. Isn't there an unwritten rule not to pee on the bike if it isn't an A race?! I couldn't force myself to sully my beautiful new bike so took the time penalties to keep her nice and pretty. The whole ride went well until the dismount area where the rider immediately in front of me slammed on his brakes at the front of the dismount area while I was right behind....not good! There was approximately 15-20 feet where he could have gradually come to a stop but he panicked and thought he had to be off the bike at the front line. I almost laid it down right there but was able to save it by making a wacky brake / turn combo while making some strange moaning sound. You had to be there- good times.
Bike Time 2:30
22.4 mph ave

T2 2:35 I was actually happy with this transition since it was old school all the way. I sat down to put my socks on and also tie my regular laces. I was too lazy to put on race locks or easy laces. I even used the bathroom before exiting the transition so not too shabby.

Ok...nothing to see here, keep it moving.
The run was disappointing but it's not like I was expecting to PR based on the plantar fasciitis I've been dealing with. My feet hurt during the first 5-6 miles of the run but nothing I could do but suck it up. To put it in perspective, I was able to shuffle through this whole run without walking and still have the same run time as last year where I could actually run but spent quite a bit of time walking. No walking just an overall slower pace this year. At least endurance wasn't an issue on the run, all the bike mileage in training seems to have helped me here.
Run Time 1:48
8:15/mile pace

Finish 5:02:20
13/63 Age Division

One major positive from this race was my successful fueling / hydration plan. I seem to have nailed this aspect of the race and didn't have any stomach issues on the run AT ALL. After a ton of research and pestering guys who have raced well in the heat (thanks Crash), I now realize that my racing m.o. was to get off the bike woefully dehydrated, try to ingest calories on the run and have my stomach immediately shut down. I carried a bottle of my mix (2 scoops malto / 1 scoop cytomax / 2 endurolyte tabs = 350 calories) out of T2 and was able to drink it with no problems. This was HUGE for me. It really got me fired up about how I was going to tackle the fueling at IMC. I definitely DON'T want a repeat of last year where I ended up in the med tent puking my guts out!

The major negative from the race was the state of my feet, post-race. They felt like someone beat them with hammers but I figured as much based on how sore they were while I was actually running during the race. They are still bothering me 2 weeks later but I have taken some other measures to help in that area but that'll be a topic of another post. Also, I guess I should have paid more attention to the race clock since I had no clue I was close to the 5 hour mark. Oh well, STILL A PR sore feet and all, so I'll take it! :-)

I'll have to tell you about my great vacation up the coast of Oregon with Deb in my next post- stay tuned!

Also- thanks for your patience in dealing with my sorry blog updates. I'm dancing as fast as I can!