Monday, June 30, 2008

Hitting the WALL-E

On Friday night, Elena had her first test of karate skills in front of all the parents.  The placed was packed with parents and friends watching their kids do various kicks, punches and stances.  Elena did quite well for it being the 2nd week of the class.  She's been practicing every night.  She's also getting used to the camp quite well as she was named student of the week.  She got a certificate.  I'm pretty happy that she's following the rules, listening and not causing problems.  Although I hope she is wasting all this good behavior now and just goes ballistic when she's a teenager.  On Saturday morning they had a sparring tournament with the full karate gear but I wasn't able to go well because I had to get in another big ride.

The weather was predicted to be in the low 90s with a heat index of around 100 so I decided to start my 6 hour ride at 6:30 AM.  It was already high 70s when I started.  I decided to try just gatorade and power gels for this ride's nutrition.  There were already quite a number of cyclists and runners already out when I got to Rock Creek park.  This place is closed to cars on the weekend so it's a nice spot to get some uninterrupted miles.  My legs felt really dead at the start and it was a struggle.

At the halfway point, it started to get cloudy and I was worried that the "afternoon" thunderstorms were going to start mid-morning.  I started pushing to beat the weather back home plus my designed route has the homeward bound leg being a little easier.  The clouds did keep it cooler.  I had miscalculated the number of power gels I needed and proceeded to hit the wall with about 7 miles to go.  I was almost in total bonk mode but I got lucky.  I passed this cyclist and he proceeded to suck my wheel.  After a bit he came around and I was able to latch onto his wheel.  He pulled me quite a ways and then I turned off for home.

The final stats for the ride was 120 miles in 6:10.  This was about 19.3 average.  So overall a perfect workout in preparation for the Ironman.

I jumped into the shower and washed off all the dirt.  Its amazing how much dirt your legs collect when they're constantly wet with sweat from the humidity.  Everything sticks.  I had planned on going to see the new Pixar movie Wall-E with Elena, Amber and Joe.  I got home at 1pm and they called to say they were going to the 2pm showing.

The movie ended up being a romantic comedy.  It was good and Elena liked it.  I'm not sure younger kids would be so happy with it.  It really didn't have much kid humor.  There were parts but not jammed pack.  It was really funny from an adult prospective though as there were subtle things here and there.  The animation was out of this world though.  It was just amazing how far it's come.  Tons of detail and huge backdrops of just stuff.

On Sunday, I ran an hour and 40 minutes to the pool, did an interval workout and then did a 3 mile cooldown run home.  The humidity was just killer.  Being constantly soaked before even getting to the pool was nasty and even caused some chafing issues.  My ankle tendon warmed up and I was feeling okay but my legs were tired from mile 1 from the runs earlier in the week and the slight bonk on Saturday.  The plan was just to go easy so I accomplished that with a paltry 7:30 pace.  I was pretty beat when I got to the pool so that workout suffered as well.

The best thing was getting done by noon.  This allowed me to take a nice nap and watch some DVDs without pushing up against bedtime.

1 month 25 days...

Friday, June 27, 2008


I know that I'm not going to drown from the actual distance at the Ironman swim. I may drown from the being with 2200 other swimmers vying for position in the water. Just think about walking out of a sporting event where everyone has their eyes closed and trying to get through the exits...I just hope to come out of the water with all my fingers, toes and blood free. The actual swim distance is 4224 yards and I swam 4000 yards this morning for a new all time swim distance. I wasn't able to swim that fast even though I went with low water drag jammers rather than the baggy shorts.

I decided against the PT route as my run went pretty well yesterday. I did a 6 mile run with 5 miles of good tempo. I was using my new racing shoes to break them in. They're fast. I was able to run some sub 6:30s which was nice but they were tough. I dug up my old marathon training from 2001 when I was gearing up for a 2:40 something marathon and I'll be trying to reproduce some of those workouts in the next month to get the legs ready. I'll just really focus on shorter higher quality workouts and probably only put in two more 2 hour runs before the big event. I'm almost positive I weakened my foot from pushing off the wall during my swim workouts. My other foot was bugging me about halfway through the swim workout this morning so I starting changing my pushoff.

It's going to be hot and humid again this weekend. I'll be putting in a 6 hour ride tomorrow when the heat index is suppose to be 100. Oh joy, I'm going to try a new nutrition plan with just gatorade and gels. I'm just not having much luck with the infinit. My tummy gets too many calories I think. I probably pushed up the calorie slider on my custom formula too high. We'll see how it goes. On Sunday, I'm going to just run for 90 minutes and do another hard swim workout.

Elena is having her first karate belt test tonight. I'm not sure what they are going to test her on after only 1 week but it will probably be something straightforward. We'll see how it goes. She is having fun with it. I'll try to post some pictures and/or movies.

1 months 28 days...

Thursday, June 26, 2008

PT or Not

Well, after talking to 2 different physical therapists, I'm stuck. One is in my network but not my doctor's #1 but full til mid July. The other one is available but is going to cost me $200(my deductible) and then $30 per visit with 2 visits a week. The therapist tells me that's in 2 to 3 weeks I should see improvement although it just seems that's way over optimistic. I just don't know if it's worth it especially if it doesn't help at all by the time the Ironman rolls around. I just don't know. I'm the total doctor skeptic which is why I didn't go to the podiatrist until just Tuesday even after dealing with this injury since early May.

So I could spend probably roughly $380 or not? Hmm...I really want to get a bike traveling case.

I'm going to run again today and maybe I'll see how it goes. If the foot is completely in massive pain, I'll probably cave in to the PT. I just have a feeling it's not going to work.

So I showed Elena how to "carry" for addition. She got placed in advanced math next year so I got get her ready. She can also do simple subtraction but doesn't understand negative numbers, yet. She can add up "change" pretty good which was on the list of stuff they'll be doing a bunch in first grade. All in all it's pretty interesting to see Elena learn stuff.

Another big weekend block of training coming up. I'm definitely having trouble staying motivated right now. The training is definitely starting to wear on me. I thought about it and this is the longest single event training focus I've ever done. Marathons were always around a 6 month training cycle. I've been focused on this event for 10 months so far. A part of me wants the event to be next week and my other half says I don't have enough time left.

1 month 29 days...

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


That's the results from the podiatrist. He was a cool doctor and definitely was cool about training and stuff. He said it was probably caused by my flat feet and not having enough arch support in my shoes. He recommended to try to get some inserts from a running store. He said there a lot better now then they were when the last time I tried one. We'll see. He also prescribed some physical therapy which based on my 8 week timeline is the best for a quick fix. If the physical therapy doesn't help in 3-4 weeks he said he'd do a cortisone injection which would blast the inflammation. It's like the pros get before the big game. I'm sure the shot hurts like hell though so we'll hope the physical therapy works. I'm still trying to schedule that.

The best part was he said just to run but cut the miles in half and take it easy. This meant that I'm able to run again so I got back to the condo and laced up the running shoes. I was going to do an easy 90 minute ride but I decided a 4 mile run would be better. I was trying to keep my left foot as stable as possible to not bug my tendons. I basically turned in a tempo run which wasn't bad but man I felt it. Of course, the tendon warms up during the run so its not as bad as the beginning which is good because my form tends to have a little trouble at the end of tough workouts or long runs. I'll take it slow and just keep busting out 4 mile runs for the normal runs and try to get my one long run up to 10 something. Overall, I still have my base miles but man it's going to be hard to kill the marathon.

I got my new racing flats in the mail yesterday.

After seeing them up close they remind me of my first Nike marathon flats. This is a good omen as my marathon PR was on those bright green Nike racing flats. I can't even remember the name of that shoe but it didn't last long. The only bad thing is they are only a tad lighter than my training shoe. This is the real thing I don't like about my new training shoe. It had more cushion than my standard training shoe but ended up being lighter. I always liked the "fast feel" to donning the racing flats for race day. Overall, they're going to do the job. I just got to get the fast laces off my old flats.

1 month 30 days....ack!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


OMG, what a horrible movie. I'm so glad I never went to the theater to see it because it would've been a waste. I had to fast forward through the first 20 minutes of the movie because it was so pathetic. I mean most horror movies do some easy character development but this movie really was all over the place at the beginning. They really didn't need to do that whole first part shaky cam either although the last part shaky cam was well within reason.

The only cool thing about the whole movie was the monster. They really did a good job with it and it had some cool stuff going for it. It was a very innovative monster. The script was horrible and just almost non-existant during the bulk of the "real" movie. The main characters in the movie were even more pathetic than your typical horror/sci-fi movie folks. They were about the stupidest people in the world. I guess you'd have to be a little stupid to continue to carry a video cam while you were running for life in various parts of the evening. Selling footage to CNN I guess outweighs surviving. The other interesting thing about the movie which I don't know if it really happened but I believe not one person in the whole movie said "monster". Now I'm not sure if this was on purpose or not but definitely funny. The movie ended in a weird way so I decided to check out the "alternate endings" on the DVD and all I can say is they were so sad that I didn't even bother with watching deleted scenes because it was just laughable.

I don't know how much money the movie made at the box office but the producers and director must've been laughing the whole time. They even left it open for a sequel which if it's in the vain of the "Aliens" sequel could be totally awesome and eclipse this pathetic movie. I mean exploring the monster with a full on assault from a special ops team would be awesome for the sequel. I should write the screenplay and sell it to Hollywood.

Today is the day for the podiatrist visit. I'm thinking now that it's just a weird ankle sprain(injury #2). Although it's not swollen at all which is weird. It definitely hurts though but the original injury doesn't hurt at all. We'll see how the visit goes. I still can't believe that stupid step in the pothole could be screwing me. Argh...well I got 8 weeks to get the run going. I still have a decent base so I'm figuring cut back on the cycling and increase the running thru July. Lots of tempo miles I see in my future...

2 months...

Monday, June 23, 2008

Push ups

Elena is doing 30 push-ups per day and 30 sit-ups as part of her training for karate. It's amazing. They have to do 15 in the morning and 15 in the evening. I helped by holding her feet for her sit-ups last night. I can't even do 15 push-ups if I tried without pure suffering let alone 30 per day everyday. She went to school in her karate uniform today as they do karate for most of the day on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

My 2nd DC Costco trip was yesterday. I held back this time and ended up walking out spending half as much as last time. Not too bad as it will last about 2 months. I'll go to Costco right after the Ironman as the countdown is 2 months away. I already eyed all the junk food I'll come out of there with during that trip. Hmm...2 x 3lb bag of Doritos, 24 ice cream sandwiches, 12 huge Costco muffins, and 3lb bag of Ruffles. It's going to be awesome. I already forsee a new all-time weight high easily eclipsing my current 157 which occured 2 winters ago.

On Saturday, I went in reverse. I decided to ride the bike first(still resting the foot) and then swim afterwards. I could start my ride early, pick up Elena and then swim while she was in the "Kids Club" at the gym. I rode for just under 3 hours really pushing a bunch of hills. I had a pretty good ride considering my legs felt totally dead on both Thursday and Friday. The kids club at the LA Fitness wasn't such a great place. Pretty scary. One person with about 12 or so kids from babies up to 8 year olds. Luckily Elena is a pretty safe kid and old enough to be able to handle herself pretty well. I probably won't be doing that again. I hit the pool for the swim. I swam for 70 minutes. My longest swim ever. I ended up with 3800 yards and could've finished last the 600 yards for that Ironman distance.

As for the foot, I actually think it's a sprained ankle. At least the second injury as the first one really isn't hurting at all right now. On my long run last Sunday, I stepped in a pothole and thought I just tweaked my ankle. I really didn't worry about it as it was just past the halfway mark and I finished without it bugging me. I think maybe during the tempo run that Tuesday I aggravated it without knowing it. I mean I was trying to ease up on the other injury. Who knows...hopefully, I know more tomorrow afternoon.

2 months 1 day...

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Dead Weeks

I hate those weeks where everything feels slow and all the workouts suck. It always happens after a great week of workouts for me. I mean last week I really killed a couple of swim workouts and had a couple of good bike workouts. This week has been miserable as far as swimming and cycling go. I'm not going to count running as well I'm still have a screwed up foot. Today's swim was atrocious. I was doing 200 intervals and my speed for them was slower than my average speed for the 3400 yard swim on Saturday. I did have the "slow baggy" swim trunks on which is about 5 seconds per 100 or so but still. I just couldn't get anything going plus I was rested. It wasn't like this was third hard swim workout in 3 days. I hadn't swum hard since that Saturday workout. The two attempts at a hard cycling workout have been pretty pathetic. My speed is nowhere near last week or even previous weeks for each interval. I have Elena this weekend so it's a built in rest weekend into my training.

Work has been busy but normal until our major competitor announced that they were going to try to a hostile takeover of the company by offering $16 per share. Oh joy, the problem with this is that if it went through my product would be scraped. It looks like our upper management and board laughed at their proposal and said basically "No Way!". We're hopeful it just goes away kindof like the failed Microsoft takeover of Yahoo.

The summer movie season is in full swing but man there really hasn't been one of those awesome movies yet. I mean Ironman was good and so was Indy but not like totally awesome. I hear Kung Fu Panda is good. I haven't really been able to hit up the movies because my workouts usually go until 4 something in the afternoon and I'm totally beat afterwards on the weekend. It's easier just to sit at home and pop up some microwave popcorn when I feel the urge to eat popcorn.

I keep thinking about life after August 24th(Ironman). It's going to be totally weird being able to sleep in and the weekends are going to feel like 5 day vacations. I'll have so much time I'm sure I'll be bored. Of course, I could actually do some stuff other than training like finished unpacking and organizing the condo. Also, I'll be downing at least a bag of chips per day right afterwards. Doritos, Pringles, KC Masterpiece, Salt & Vinegar, Cheddar & Sour Cream, and Cheetos just to name a few.

And the final thought is I scheduled an appointment with a podiatrist for Tuesday. I was planning on not running for a week anyway so I'll hit up the doctor and see what's what. I made sure that the actual podiatrist runs and competes. Stay tuned.

2 months 5 days..

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


So I really screwed something else up in my foot yesterday. It's weird because I hurt some completely different part of my left foot. The top of my foot which had been bugging me doesn't really hurt because I have some new problem. Oh great! I decided to work on my tempo running which caused this without really knowing it. It was a good 4 mile tempo run on the way to the pool. My speed is definitely not as good as it used to be even in the month of April. The foot bugged me as usual during but then the pain kindof went away...ENDORPHINS!! But somehow with a different stride or compensating for the other foot problem I caused a brand new one. Oh joy!!

I'm looking at podiatrists right now in my PPO network to see what I can find out. I know I could deal with this on my own but man I really want to put in a good run time. If I don't have the ability to train full out on the run, its going to be hard to put in that time. I'm hopeful that I'll be able to find a podiatrist that is an athlete. If the doctor doesn't know anything about training they just say "REST". That's just unacceptable for us hardcore folks. Normal people really don't understand endurance athletes and think we can just "REST". WRONG!!

So after the tempo run, I swam and then hobbled home to ice. I took the day off on the bike. I'm hoping the foot will be unaffected by riding today. We'll see...

Elena started her summer camp which is basically a martial arts camp. She practiced her stance and kicks last night. It was awesome as she was screaming out "hiss" when kicking. I guess that's the standard scream these days not the "hi-yah!". Maybe she'll learn new phrases to scream as she learns new moves. She's excited about the camp. What's weird is Elena goes back to school on the Tuesday after the Ironman. Her summer is over the same time my Ironman is done. It makes the Ironman seem a little farther away or she got screwed on a super short summer.

2 months 6 days...

Monday, June 16, 2008

Fastest Ever

swim on Saturday morning. I couldn't believe it. Not only was it my longest swim so far 3400 yards but my time was the fastest 100 yard average for anything over 2000 yards. I averaged 1:47 per 100 yards. I really tried to use to my left arm for pulling a little harder. I also really tried to "catch" as much water as possible while keeping a good stroke rate the entire time. I started to slow at the end. I was busting out 1:45s for the 2nd 1000 of the swim. It was sweet.

After the swim, I went and rode for 5 and a half hours. My legs were still fried from Thursday so I cut out two of the hills. I thought I was just going to bag the longer ride until I got about 90 minutes into it and felt okay so I went the entire way. I finished with 107 miles so it wasn't bad. My cycling legs are coming around.

It was Father's day yesterday. Way to go to all the Dads out there. I decided to do a long run. My first long run since late April. I was worried before the run about my running condition and I'm still worried after the run. I was going to run first and then if I felt good go do a technique swim before going over to Elena's for father day festivities. The plan was to do an out and back. I'd go out for an hour and then turn around. The first 2 hour run since 2002, the last time I did a standalone marathon.

My first mile was slow, 8:10 even though I felt comfortable and fast. Its so weird I had run that exact mile in 7:10 on Thursday after a hard 90 minute ride. I decided to try to pick it up a little and was able to hit my 2nd mile and 3rd mile in 7:20ish. These were the only mile marks I really had until I went by them on the way back. It wasn't too hot but it was humid. My shirt was soaked about 30 minutes into the run. I had brought my runner water pack with 20 ounces of cytomax and 3 powergels.

I was going well about 45 minutes into the run. My foot stopped hurting and decided to try and hit this one water fountain for a refill, then turn around and head home. The fountain was at 66 minutes out. Uh-oh, this is going to be over two hours.

I started trudging home and got within 4 miles and the legs really started to fatigue. I just kept trying to mimic the focus I'll need for that last 8 miles of the Ironman. I started to get back into my familiar territory with known mile marks. I was clocking 7:35 miles and they were tough. I just felt I've lost a lot of running fitness from this stupid foot injury. I'm going to start just blasting through the foot pain and try to get some tempo runs in over the next month to increase my speed. I slogged in the last mile with a 7:25 as it's got a decent downslope to it and finished. My legs were toast. I could barely walk and stretch.

I hit up Runner's World to calculate the total distance and it came out to 17.9 miles for an average pace of 7:24. This is just over 8 miles left or about another hour or so of complete suffering. Hmm...this is getting tougher and tougher as my training gets longer and longer. I figured I'd gain more confidence as my training volume increase but I'm losing confidence and thinking what the hell did I get myself into.

This morning I decided to swim in my wetsuit at the pool for a long swim. I wanted to see if would make my shoulders tired and if it felt okay. The pool has been cold enough that officially it would be wetsuit legal if there was USTA triathlon being held in it. I got going and was flying across the pool. My left shoulder was tired and sore though. I really did a number on it on Saturday. It was hard to focus on my stroke because it was bugging me so much. I wasn't able to swim as long as I would've like because I just couldn't bare the soreness. I didn't want to injure myself so I stopped at 2300 yards. I still averaged 1:39. So the wetsuit is 10 seconds per 100 yards faster for me. This basically equates to 440 seconds over the Ironman swim or 7:20. Sweet!! That puts me under 1:10 for the Ironman swim. If I can stay straight during the Ironman swim without getting bashed by other swimmers that should be good.

2 months 8 days...

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Cool your jets

This is what my 6 year old daughter said to me this morning as I was trying to hurry her up while she was making her bed. A chore by the way that I didn't ask her to do. Too funny, she could just leave it but that's her mother's influence. I mean really why bother making your bed when you're getting into it in about another 16 hours. Seems like a total waste of energy. Its not like anyone sees your bed while you're at work. I can see making the bed if you're hosting a party or have friends coming over but other than that, why? Straightened covers/sheets versus just a pile of sorts? So overall, I'm learning patience and cleanliness from my 6 year old.

The heat is over for now. It's only going to be in the upper 80s today and it's actually cool enough to have my morning coffee. I've definitely missed that over the past few days. I left early for my workout yesterday right around 11am and it was only 92 degrees with a heat index of 98. It was overall a decent workout on the bike and my brick run went okay. I really didn't feel like pushing because my quads were still sore from the weekend. My foot was also hurting just enough to ease up a little.

I keep icing the foot and I'm taking today off from running. The foot feels a little better today so maybe it's on the way to working itself out.

Elena last day of kindergarten is tomorrow or should I say last "half" day as they get out at noon. Luckily, she had daycare so I can pick her up at the normal time. She doesn't have school on Friday and her summer camp doesn't start til Monday. I'm watching Elena on Friday so she'll be at my place. I'm still a little in shock that I will have a first grader and half the time I still feel just as irresponsible and childish as I did when I was in college. Amazing..

2 months 13 days...

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Hunger Pain

I hate waking up to hunger. I didn't work out at all yesterday. I just worked and snacked through the day to make up for a calorie deficit from Sunday. I really didn't consume enough calories Sunday night. I felt hungry all day on Monday even though I didn't do anything but sit. I ate a bunch of cheese filled tortellini from Costco. These things really are good and for 10 bucks you get a decent sized bag that lasted about 6 meals. If I can average under like $2 for dinner, I'm a winner. I feel this type of meal is towards the high side of my price range but I don't eat them all the time. I can really save money by consuming my usual rice or pasta and lots of it.

My foot hurts so I didn't run to the gym even though it was a lovely 75 degrees with 80% humidity when I woke up at 4:30AM. This is suppose to be our last high 90s and mid 40 humidity day of the week. The weather folks on the local news say this isn't normal. Thank god! I'll be able to stay cool in the evening without running my A/C non-stop. I'm not a hot weather weenie by any means but sleep is beneficial to my training. The last two nights I set the temp to 76 like a wuss. Oh well, it's only a couple of days. I'll buck up after the Ironman and just leave the thermo at 80 since it won't matter if I get a decent night sleep or not.

The thing about not working out is it's really weird. I got still sortof early at 5AM only showered once during the day and wrapped a decent day of work around 4pm. The hardest post Ironman training part will come on the weekends when instead of working out for 6+ hours I'll have those hours to do "stuff". I may have to up my Netflix subscription to 8 out at a time as I'll be able to burn through tons of movies post Ironman either that or maybe I should actually try to meet some people. Do social stuff and contribute to society. Nah...I'll just eat, watch TV and gain 100lbs. Crap I can't do that because I promised to do the Florida Half next year with Orion.

I will have to continue to swim even though I'm still totally lost in the water. Little girls, old guys, fat people, short people, skinny people, old gals and just about everyone can swim faster than me. I still must suck at technique because I just can't believe that all of those people have more endurance or strength than me. I mean there are tons of people who easily average 1:30 something per 100 yards for the entire half and even the entire Ironman distance. My fastest 100 yard all out ever is 1:40. I'm able to swim in the pool low 1:50s for at least 3000 yards so far so my fastest to my endurance speed is real close. Ugh..Orion just started working out and he's already just as fast as me in the water but he swam a bunch as a kid plus he is way stronger. Oh well, if I can get rid of this nagging foot pain I will still crush the run portion I hope. I may suck in the pool but if I can post a 3:15 marathon at IMC that would rock and be probably top 25 run split compared to my likely 1800 out of 2200 swim split. Ouch!

Ack 11 weeks left!!!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Hot Fog

Yep, you read it right. Who knew that there was such a thing? Being from the west coast, I had never experienced this weird phenomena. I need Bill Frye the Science guy to explain it to me. Here's wikipedia on fog. It happened on Saturday morning. I knew it was going to be hot from the forecast so the plan was to wake up at 6am and ride at 7am skipping swimming. I could be back from my scheduled 6 hour ride by 1pm before it really got hot.

I woke up at six and turned on the computer to see how hot it was already. It was 75 and then I noticed the humidity read 98%. Hmm..that's strange and I looked outside. FOG! Crap...visibility was horrible so I was hoping it would go away soon. Finally around 8am it had cleared enough to be somewhat safe on the bike. Probably quarter mile visibility. I jammed out of the house and proceeded to start my death ride.

The new P2C only has 1 water bottle cage. I have a rear hydration cage system but I lost a key part in the packing of the bike from the Florida 70.3. So on the bike I have the front aerobars bottle and the lone cage. I packed two water bottles in my jersey. I was going to test some nutrition for the ride. I mixed a 3x concentration of infinit or 900 calories worth, the front aero bottle had another 300 calories of infinit and the rest was water.

My plan was to attack all the hills and just cruise the flats with some tempo sessions during the last 3 hours. By the time I got to my scheduled turn around point and free cold water stop, I had rode 57 miles 3.5 hours and it was frickin hot. I thought to myself this is how you toughen up for any hot weather you get at the Ironman.

The entered my rides last hour and I immediately started worrying. I mean I didn't swim 2.4 miles before this ride and I was planning to go pass out on my couch after the ride not run a god awful full blown 26.2 miles. Oh no, this is not good. What had I signed myself up for?!?! The final ride statistics were 111 miles in 5:50 which is about 19.2 average speed. I felt totally wiped out. Calling NASports....I think I need a refund. I stumbled incoherently into my condo and looked at the Weatherbug temperature. It read 95 degrees with 48% humidity for a heat index of 100.

So I woke up late Sunday, 7am because the current day plan was swim for an hour, bike for 4 hours and then run for an hour. I'd be done around 2pm just like yesterday. It wasn't foggy woohoo but it was 75 and humid right out of the gate. The good thing about the day was there was a breeze so it felt cooler.

I packed up the Escape to drive over to the pool and then park for the ride/run portion. It's hard to run off the bike from my house because there's easily 15 minutes of dodging speed bumps, crappy roads and traffic lights at the end of the ride. So my legs really spin out easy and I'm pretty refreshed plus if I want to go over an hour on the run I have to deal with more traffic lights and the worst part of the run is there's no water. There's a park that has most of its roads closed to traffic on the weekends here. It also has bathrooms and water fountains.

I was clicking off a nice swim pace until the end and then it was a struggle. I swam 3300 yards and hopped out the pool. I got onto my bike with a different nutrition strategy. I just feel the Infinit isn't working as well as my old standby Cytomax so I decided to go gels and cytomax for the 4 hour nice and flat mellow ride.

The ride started and I immediately got passed by a girl. She was moving at a good clip. I figured I might as well follow and get the legs moving. She turned at the top of this little climb so I continued on my way. I decided to explore a slightly different route and was hoping I'd be able to find free water around the 2 hour point. I was only 45 minutes in when I stopped at a water fountain. I had already consumed 2 bottles. Uh-oh...this is going to be a tough day.

The new route was quite smooth and nice. The legs started to feel good and I was going at a relaxed pace. The day definitely felt cooler due to the slight breeze. As I approached the car, I was quite relaxed and felt I was going to have a good run. This notion came crashing down like the hopes of my Dodgers actually having a chance with Joe Torre at the helm this year with the first 10 steps of my run.

Oh crap, my body feels like total hell. Instead of running the first mile of my hour run, this feels like I've already run 18 miles during a marathon. It was just all out tiredness. My legs didn't hurt but I really felt dead all over. Wow, this is how the marathon is going to feel out of the gate. I'm not even going to get that first 10 miles where you feel invincible during the marathon. I just kept trudging along feeling like my new goal for the marathon portion of the Ironman is 4 hours.

I made a bathroom stop and about suffocated from the intense humidity and heat. I slugged forward trying to stay with it although I just wanted to quit. I kept thinking about all the Ironman finishers each year and just wondering if they suffer like this through the whole marathon. What an amazing feat. I shuffled along and got to my first water fountain. I downed a gel and drank as much as I could while splashing some on my head. I made my turn around point right at the 30 minute mark and proceeded back.

The gel with caffeine perked me up and I felt a little better. I decided to try to go with it and if I totally blew up and walked so be it. I decided to make another water stop and eat my 2nd gel about 15 minutes later for that final push to the car.

I got to the car with a total of 61 minutes and thought I was going to die. How am I supposed to run at least 2 something more hours...maybe I'm not going to be an Ironman. Overall, I figured my pace was probably 8 something miles and it just felt tough. Man I'm stupid if I think I have a chance of making a 3:15 marathon.

I stopped at a 7-Eleven on the way home for a slurpie. It was so hot all the flavors were just pushing out syrup except pomegranate margarita. Oh well, it was cold and had sugar so I started downing as I finished my drive home.

My bad foot was hurting, my quads were sore and I have a new blood blister under a totally different toenail. Joy! I was so wiped out that I wasn't hungry at all. It took everything just to eat one plate of food. Before I crashed into bed, I measured my distance for the run portion and logged my bike stats as well. For the bike, I rode 77.7 miles in 4 hours for an average of just over 19mph. Not bad considering it felt pretty easy but there wasn't much climbing at all. I did the whole Runner's World gmap for the run and it was an 8.6 out and back which put my pace at 7:09. WTF!! I was and still am in shock. It felt so slow and hard. I'm totally confused.

2 months 15 days...

Friday, June 6, 2008

Too lazy

I ordered my Florida 70.3 photo today. I got the 3 photo page with my finish time. This is my first ever triathlon so it was worth the extra money for more of a keepsake. It will have my finish time on it so I had to hit the results page to see what my time was. The official results are posted. The official results allow all kinds of sorting which is really cool so I sorted on overall run time. I basically showed me that I was totally lazy on the bike and I'm a super slow swimmer.

I remember early on during the bike toning it down on purpose. I really just went through the bike easy. I can say now that I really was using this as a good feel for the IM distance. I don't care too much but it is funny looking at the results sorted by running time. There was only one swim slower than mine with a faster run. I was like minutes slower on the bike than everyone around my time on the run except for a woman between 18-24 who was almost exact with her bike and run as me.

During next year's Florida 70.3, I will really push the bike and see how that goes. It will be interesting to see how it affects the run. Next year's training will hopefully be different as an Ironman won't be looming causing to me to train like Rocky in Rocky IV when he fears for his life. Although, I think with my wetsuit the thought of drowning is now less likely. Even I'm completely spent at the 2 mile mark I can just float in the wetsuit to make it to the end.

I still haven't had the mental breakthrough on my run. I don't have the HTFU mental edge I used to have with running. I had it before the last two marathons which were my last two real running races. They destroyed that mental edge that I had used in a ton of previous races to put the hammer down. Now I run scared not wanting to put out that extra effort worried that I'll blow up and not be able to finish. If I can get my foot feeling good, I will need to put in quite a few killer tempo workouts to get it back. I'm hoping if I just go hard without caring if I totally get destroyed that it will come back. I'm going to need to rely on this during the marathon. I will need to be tough when the pain comes.

2 months 18 days...

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Milestone and 90s movie flashback

I hit a new swimming milestone this morning. My longest swim of my short brief career so far, 3400 yards or 65 minutes of continuous swimming. My overall time was okay but the last few 100 yard splits were pretty pathetic even though it felt like I was doing a decent pace. I just think I wasn't pulling as hard because my body was tired. I really busted out some fast 100 splits at about the 2000 yard mark. I'm hoping I can extend my pace farther if I keep getting in these long swims. I need a 75 minute swim to feel easy so I'll be ready for that Ironman swim.

I went for a brick run after a hard bike ride yesterday around 1:30pm. My foot felt "okay". I notices a little twinge here and there but I was happy..until this morning when it feels a little sore. I iced the foot right after the run yesterday and I have my ice corn bag on it right now. This really sucks. I guess I'm not going to have to worry about overtraining for the marathon portion of the Ironman. I'll be lucky if I get in a couple of 18 mile runs at all the next 2 months or so. I think I'll be looking for a podiatrist via my health insurance soon. I hate doctors because they rarely understand endurance athletes.

I got back from my run at around 2pm and decided to check out the doppler radar. There was a mention of thunderstorms for the afternoon. That turned to a full blown tornado watch as this massive storm was head straight for DC. It was sunny and about 80 degrees around 3:30 and then it got dark and just starting pouring rain with intense wind.
I was wondering where Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt were chasing the storm just waiting for a tornado to appear or the RV helmed by Phillip Seymour Hoffman. His break out film before moving to his real parts like his Oscar winning role in Capote.

I can't see much from my condo's window except some big trees which were basically blowing sideways during the storm. I'm just glad I wasn't out on the bike or running when it happened because it easily rained about an inch in the 20 minutes that storm lasted.

Power was flickering and out in some locations just south of where I'm at. This morning on the way to the pool a bunch of street lights were out. School is out today because some schools don't have power. A total mess...and to think I thought I only had to worry about snow issues when moving here.

2 months 19 days...

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Stronger or Fatter?

So I hoped on the scale after my killer swim workout this morning and it read 145lb. Ouch...that's 3 lbs in 3 days. I feel stronger on the bike and with today's swim I feel a little stronger in the water but I could just be fatter though. It's hard to tell. I wouldn't know how my run is going because I haven't run really since the half. I ran an easy 30 minutes on Memorial day but that's it. I'm going to try to do a brick run tomorrow and see how the foot handles it. I got 11 weeks left to get ready for the marathon part of the Ironman.

I still need to figure out how I'm getting to Canada. I have lots of options. I'm just not sure which one to take. I could fly into Seattle and rent a car = 6 hour drive at who knows what gas prices. I could fly into Vancouver BC and rent a car equals 4 hour drive at who knows what gas prices. I could fly into Kelowna BC and rent a car equals 45 minute drive but a significant heft to the ticket price for the airline. I can't seem to catch a break right now on saving money. I just got whacked by the state of Maryland yesterday.

I need to get my vehicle registered in the state because my insurance is coming due this month. In Maryland, you have to get an inspection. Totally lame...and my car failed because I have a big ole gouge on my front window from this massive rock. I think it happened when I was still married which was almost 4 years ago and it's totally fine but not my Maryland standards. So now I have to get a new front windshield then get reamed the DMV for the rest of the registration process. I could just drive uninsured and come post December 08 with an expired license. I rarely drive anyway. What a pain...I need to call my insurance company and see what to do about the front window glass.

I think my allergies are worse here in Maryland than Oregon. The 24 hour Claratin isn't even helping. My eyes constantly itch. I'm blowing my nose all the time and I can't even think clearly enough to come up with some gross analogy for that. I didn't have hardly any allergy trouble when I was down in Florida. I guess there must be a bunch of pollen running around up here in the Mid-Atlantic.

2 months 21 days...