Friday, May 30, 2008

3000 and pictures

The pictures from the Florida 70.3 are available and I'm trying to figure out which one to buy. There's a couple of good ones on the run but not really any on the bike which is a bummer. Here's all the pictures..

I'm not sure what I'm going to order but the running pictures look pretty decent. The swim exit was hilarious. I was taking a big breath in preparation for the rest of the day.

I feel stronger on the bike and even stronger in the swim the last few days. I had a great cycling workout yesterday with some decent intervals. It still could be just going faster on the faster Cervelo and it's definitely lighter than my Trek 5900 which is hilarious because the 5900 was the lightest bike road bike available at the time it came out. I have to get a new cassette though because my shop didn't tell me they were putting on compact chainrings. I requested normal chainrings but I guess it got lost during the phone call. Assuming I running normal 53-39 chainrings, I had them put a 12-25 cassette on. Well, I got the bike and rode it without looking. I just felt weird that I something just didn't feel right on the speed and the amount of gears. I thought maybe i got a 12-27 cassette so I check and it was fine. I didn't think to check the chainrings until I got back from Florida and they're compact. now I have to get a different cassette. I looked at the gear inches and I can a decent top end and bottom end with a 11-23. A 11-21 might be a possibility because the bike is so light, I'm sure I won't be in the 23 until that last hill on Ironman Canada.

I had a good 400 yard interval session on Tuesday. I was wearing just my normal "high drag" swim trunks and was able to stay at 1:50s for all the 100s. I swam 3000 yards with the trunks this morning at 1:55 avg. This is good as I think it's about 5 seconds per 100 compared to my tri-shorts in the pool. I definitely need to start putting in some serious long swims. I feel like the half-ironman swim distance is no biggie and I need to get up to feel that way about the Ironman swim distance.

I have taken running off after still having a sore foot after an easy brick run on Monday. I'm going to rest the run for an entire week at least to knock out this injury. I need to be able to run comfortably or I'm screwed. I under 12 weeks to go so I think I have enough base that I can still get in my 18 mile run at the end of July if I can start running again late next week or the following week. I'm definitely going to put in a 2 hour brick run during the peak weeks in August to really see if I can the legs ready. My run goal has changed from a low 3 hour marathon to a 3:15 if everything goes perfect. That's just over 7 something pace which I think I can do if I can get my nutrition figured out for the run.

2 months...25 days

Monday, May 26, 2008

Vermonster and more

What a Memorial day weekend...My friend Orion came up to visit me in DC and we went on a 4 day food extravaganza. He arrived on Thursday evening at the Baltimore airport. Before picking him up I went for my first bike ride since the half. I just spun easy for about 75 minutes. My legs were still sore but slowly recovering. It was 8:30pm when I picked him up and we went out to eat at Ruby Tuesday and proceeded to destroy the all you can eat salad bar. The trip's starting off good.

On Friday morning, we woke up at 5AM and went swimming at my LA Fitness as well as doing the spin class. Orion really hammered the spin class as I still took it easy. Afterwards, we went to IHOP for breakfast. I had 5 pancakes, 1 egg, and hashbrowns. Orion had 5 pancakes, 2 eggs, and 4 bacon. We proceeded to play a marathon session of Rock Band up until 5ish.

Friday evening we were going to the Nationals/Brewers game in downtown DC. Their new park is amazing and I got great tickets in the front row of right field off of StubHub. Orion had this massive chili nachos, garlic fries and some soda. I had a chicken sandwich, fries, pretzel and peanuts during the game. We had planned to take it easy on the food because Saturday would be the ultimate in eating...the Vermonster at Ben & Jerry's. Orion and I had found out about this behemoth of an ice cream sundae on the Travel Channel on the top 10 "pig out" places in America.

The plan was to go for a long swim, ride the spin bike for an hour and then finish up with a 30 minute run. We'd be good and hungry and then we would stop over at Ben & Jerry's and test out stomachs. The Vermonster consists of 20 scoops of ice cream, 4 bananas, 4 ladles of hot fudge, 10 scoops of walnuts, 4 scoops of other toppings, 3 chocolate chip cookies and 1 fudge brownie. It costs $32 which is cheap considering one scoop of Ben & Jerry's costs like $3.

They come in the tubs pictured below:
This Ben & Jerry's had run out of cookies and brownies so our Vermonsters had 4 extra scoops of ice cream for a total of 24. I brought my own spoon as the little plastic spoon wouldn't be enough for me and my eating. Orion got 10 scoops of vanilla and 14 scoops of Chocolate Fudge Brownie. I couldn't get any Chocolate Fudge brownie as his Vermonster had emptied that tub. I got 8 scoops of chocolate, 8 scoops of Mint Chocolate chip and 8 scoops of Cheesecake brownie.

Elena was there to watch the whole event and we dug in. I had to go slow at first because it was so cold. The first half went quite well but man it started to get super sweet towards the end. Also the ice cream had started to melt and became a layer of soupy mess on the top. The soup was really hard for me but Orion did quite well with his.

Finally we were finished..

We figured Orion had about 2 scoops of ice cream left and I had about 4 scoops of ice cream and probably at least one whole Hersey sized chocolate bar left in chocolate chunks from the mint chocolate ice cream. We both decided that vanilla would've been the way to go because it got so sweet at the end. We walked out of the Ben & Jerrys and stumbled back to the car in quite serious pain. We dropped off Elena and made it home. We immediately took a nap for 3 hours as our guts were just hurting. For the rest of the weekend Orion was having nightmares about not finishing and wanting to try again as soon as the next day. Orion got hungry about 9pm and we went to Wendy's for food. I even stomached a little food but Orion ate normal food. What an ice cream animal!

We went to the gym Sunday morning for a technique swim. Orion went to lift arms afterwards and I did a full on spin class. Afterwards, we went over to the movie theater to catch the new Indy flick and immediately downed 2 tubs of popcorn only 10 minutes into the movie. Oh well, we could've easily downed 3 tubs but didn't want to leave during the movie. The movie really didn't have too many slow spots so it was pretty good although the concept wasn't the best.

For the final dinner, we got reservations at Fogo de Chao, a Brazilian steakhouse in downtown DC right off the Metro. Orion and I had never been to one of these places but had heard good things. I mean it's the perfect restaurant for us as they bring skewers of meat constantly thru the dining area and it's all you can eat. All you can eat meat...the perfect last dinner. We arrive and get seated about 6:30pm. Plenty of time to absolutely wreck the place. I was still not feeling really hungry but I had to make up for the loss to the Vermonster. They had a super salad bar that was part of the meal. I just had a little salad where as Orion had a decent sized one. I immediately turned my coaster to "green" which basically has the folks stop by with their skewers to load your plate with meat. So the first skewer stopped and it was pork sausage. I got a link and then the meat really started to pick up. I got a little pork roast, 3 different cuts of sirloin, ribeye, bacon wrapped chicken, bacon wrapped filet mignon, and filet mignon. I totally destroyed the place. I was still eating when Orion caved in. I had 2 full 8 oz filets and a bunch of ribeye. Orion said there was this other guy who was keeping pace with me for awhile but I put the guy to shame as I kept piling it in. All the meat I ate bodes well for the 72oz steak challenge. I think I'll be able to do that without much problem although I was barely able to walk out of the restaurant. The ride on the metro home was brutal.

We woke up Monday and didn't need to eat. We instead looked at the various challenges we'll be doing after the Ironman. We're going to do the 6lb burger challenge instead of the 15lb unless we can down 10 quarter pounders at McDs easily in training. We found a few more restaurants that have challenges. We found this website, Super-sized meals. It documents a bunch of people doing crazy eating stuff. We definitely need a video person to capture the moment. I took video of the Vermonster but not enough as I was trying to eat that darn thing. We also found that there's a Ben & Jerrys close to Orion's house so we'll be trying again.

2 months 26 days...

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Convertible Corvette

I arrived in Phoenix on business Wednesday morning. Well Phoenix morning anyway..As we touched down , the plane was 30 minutes early. Everyone was quite happy..until we had to sit on the tarmac for over an hour waiting for our gate to clear. How sad is that, we want from being early to being late. I wonder if the airlines count that as an early arrival, ontime or late in their statistics. People were making mad dashes through the airport to reach connecting flights. Pure chaos..

I was headed out to the shuttle to massive Phoenix airport rental car pavilion. It's this massive separate building with it's own food vendors and everything where all the rental car companies have their desks and operations. I got outside around 9:45am and it was already 85 degrees out..but it's a dry heat compared to Florida. Florida = Sauna...Phoenix = Oven. There was at least 100 people waiting in this long massive rental car shuttle line. Oh joy, I went to the end. My luck was changing as about 8 rental shuttle buses arrived. It was awesome. I piled into a bus and I was off.

I got to the pavilion and proceeded out to the Hertz garage area because I have Hertz gold. My name was in lights baby. It said L04 for my stall. I proceeded to walk over to it and saw the car was occupied and started. Wild...hmm what now. I was walking back to the counter when a Hertz agent asked what was wrong. I said my car was being stolen. She said she'd go find me another car. After about 5 minutes of waiting, she came out and ushered me over to this other section. She pointed at a white convertible Corvette and asked if that would be okay. Oh yeah, that's fine and I was getting charged the same rate as a mid-size. I hope in the convertible and attempt to figure out how to start the car. It has one of those keyless push button ignitions. I finally figured out that you had to have your foot on the brake to start the car by reading the owner's manual.

I literally zip out of the rental car garage and head over to my appointment. All I can say is the car has some horsepower. I was driving down the freeway on the way to my hotel and decided to punch it. I hit 90 in no time. Very fast.

I fly back today and Orion flies into Baltimore tonight. He's hanging out for the entire weekend. We're planning a lot of cool stuff with some triathlon training thrown in as well. My quads still hurt and my foot pain is back. It'll be good to continue resting and recovering with him here. We'll be hitting the gym on Saturday morning for sure as this is our date with destiny. The Vermonster from Ben & Jerry's is going to be consumed that afternoon. We'll have pictures and videos of the event. Orion and I are each getting one and hopefully we'll beat rather than have it beat us. For those who don't know, it's 20 scoops of ice cream, hot fudge, banana, cookies, brownies, and all of your favorite toppings.

This will be our first eating attempt. I think next year is when we'll make some trips around the country demolishing other challenges.

3 months 2 days...and I'm scared!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Florida 70.3 Race Report

This is going to be crazy long as it has some gory details. It's basically so I can look back right before the Canada Ironman and go over what I did and what I need to tweak, etc.

Here's the crib sheet for the event(prelim results):
Total time 5:05:15
Swim: 42:30 (goal was sub 40)..spent most of the swim sighting and bumping into people
Bike: 2:41 (goal was 2:45) was long as my computer had 57.9 miles and it rained!
Run: 1:32-3ish not sure exactly (goal was sub 1:30 hopeful for 1:27) dodging folks

Pre Race
I woke up at 3:40am. I had prepared all my stuff that I was taking to transition from the previous night. I started to consume my pre-race nutrition of 2 Clif bars. I ate 1 clif bar as I got dressed and immediately felt nauseous. I decided to bring my 2nd clif bar rather than eat it in hopes my stomach would settle. I loaded up my 3 infinit and 2 water bottles into my transition pack and headed off to the race venue.

I arrived at my prime time rack spot. I got the end of my row because I was at transition at the start of bike check-in and they didn't have assigned spots. After scouting the swim finish and the length of the run to my bike spot, I knew my feet would be covered in sand and dirt. I set out a towel and water bottle just for washing off my feet before putting on my socks and shoes.

My support crew called and were in a massive line waiting to get on buses from the Grumpy and Dopey parking lots at Magic Kingdom. Here's a picture of the line courtesy of Orion:
The support crew was my buddy Orion, daughter Elena, her mother and her husband, Amber and Joe. They had brought horns and other noise makers to keep my pumped up during the run loops. They arrived on the bus and I showed them where to watch various parts of the race. They went to the swim start to get a spot to watch the pros while I went to stand in a massive bathroom line.

I got back to the start line to see the pros go off at 6:20am and I had only 49 more minutes til the start of my wave. I was just mulling around watching each wave head out to start the day. It became more light but the sky was overcast so using clear goggles was going to work out fine for the swim. A wave was about to start when the announcer took a poll, he asked the wave who was doing their first half ironman and a good number of hands went up. He asked if anyone was doing their first ever triathlon. I think he asked as a joke because when he saw one participant raise their hand he immediately blurted out that they were crazy. A bunch of other participant chuckled and I thought uh-oh...

3 ways to drown in a Disney Lake
  • 1st ever triathlon
  • 1st Half Ironman
  • 1st open water swim

My wave was up so I waited for everyone to wade out into the water a little bit and I positioned myself on the right side(buoys left, swimming counter-clockwise) behind everyone. I would wade out during the start with everyone, let them go, and try to catch a little draft before they left me in the dust. The horn sounded and we were off. I started to swim well actually started to flail like a drown victim as I really couldn't catch my breath. I decided to breathe every stroke to get through this nervous hyperventilating. I got comfortable and went to my every 3rd stroke pattern. I was still in the mist of my wave which was weird. I was suppose to be the slowest. So I got some bumping and grinding going on..this wasn't too bad but I really didn't want to keep whacking people so I just tried to find clear water and swim around slower swimmers. This required a ton of sighting for the first 400 yards at least. I got comfortable and stopped running into people and just swam. Every so often I would get kicked by previous wave swimmer who was breast stroking or side stroking. I tried to stay right but kept ending up right in the middle of the corridor created by the buoys and kayakers and into a bunch of swimmers. I thought I would never see that frickin red turn buoy. I saw it and proceeded to make the turn which went great. On this part of the course, I was able to really swim smoothly and focus on my stroke without much bumping. I made the last turn to start heading back to the beach. During this section, faster swimmers from waves behind me would pass and I'd try to grab some free draft. I was actually able to stay with one swimmer for a good while which was nice. Luckily they have a pretty good kick as I was able to follow the feet bubbles. As we were going it was getting more crowded for some reason, I sighted and saw that the kayakers had squeezed us down to about 20 yards wide. WTF!! I mean really did they need to do this. This being upset was replaced by jubilation as I saw this brown boat house during my normal breathing. I had scoped out this house the previous day as a good landmark that I was about 200 yards or so left. I wasn't going to DROWN, I was going to make it. I started to make out the bottom and finally my hand hit sand. I was up and running out of the lake onto the beach. I saw my support crew.

Total swim time via my watch 42:30...42:22 prelim result. I thought not bad considering I was sighting and bumpin a lot.

This took seemed to be easily 300 yards. There was a line of us as I tried to make my around slower people here and there but not much. I got to my bike and started going through my routine. I washed off my completely caked on dirt feet, put on my jersey, my helmet, and sunglasses although it was still overcast. I put my socks on and shoes. I really don't like cycling barefoot. I grabbed my 2(remember this number) full infinit bottles and put them in my jersey pockets with 3 total counting that my aero bottle was full. This was so I could do a running mount since my rear hydration causes the bottles to be higher than my seat. I left my rack and started jogging. We had to run through this maze after leaving the bike rack area. It was easily 200 yards past the transition exit before we could mount. I had 5:21 or so for T1 and prelim had 4:43.

I got going on the bike and took off my Keo cleat covers(this allows me to run without slipping). I was moving along through the first part of the course and looked down to see my speed, 23-24ish. I immediately toned it down and just started cruising. I started drinking water but waited til about 15 minutes before downing a few clif blocks before starting my Infinit. The Infinit was sweet as it was still cloudy and probably only 70 something. I wasn't as thirsty so I was having problems with drinking and keeping up on my nutrition. The course was wide open and so passing previous wave participants was easy. The wind wasn't bad but I think it was just because the bike, 808s and Giro Advantage 2 was so aero.

And then it happened, it started to sprinkle around the 25 mile mark or so. I immediately started cursing. Are you kidding me...I can't believe this. I scheduled this half because I knew it would be nice and hot and sunny. It's always "AFTERNOON" thunderstorms and I was going to be done around noon so I figured I'd be safe. WRONG!! It started coming down and roads became soaked. This was going to get bike (3 rides), race wheels, aero position, and tons of other cyclists on rear discs and other race wheels. And right on queue, my feet became soaked. Oh joy!! I immediately thought wow this really sucks but at least it's not cold. Luckily, I had packed a spare set of socks in my transition bag. Thank god but my T2 time would suffer because I would need to change socks. It stopped raining and the roads began to dry as there was some wind. I was still feeling great and my speed was decent with decent legs.

Just when you thought it couldn't get more dangerous, it did. Let me just say the course was perfect up until this point. It was wide open, smooth roads, just great. We arrived onto this 2 lane road with no shoulder and it was totally open to traffic. There was a long line of cars right next to us and a long line of bikes as well all going about 15-18mph. Then it got worse as we were directed onto a sidewalk for about 400 yards to evade construction on this same road. I think overall this was a 2 mile section. Wild stuff...I still can't believe this happened on such a great super fast course up til section and after this section. I guess it was just the best they could do.

I proceeded through the last aid station and grabbed a gatorade. I had been having slight stomach issues trying to keep on top of my nutrition. I figured maybe a little gatorade would help. I hadn't finished my 2nd bottle of infinit and went to reach for the 2nd rear bottle and it wasn't there. I was like what the hell. Where did it go? I couldn't believe it was gone. I only remember one slightly big bump but nothing really harsh. Wild...maybe I didn't put it in right but I felt for sure it made it into the cage at the start. Maybe stole it? The water bottle thief...bastard! So I started to drink the gatorade and thank god I had it. My socks had started to dry out and then it started to pour again about 6 miles away from the finish of the bike.

I made my through the Fort Wilderness campground towards the end of bike. I started to spin out my legs and just get them ready for my run. I looked at my computer and it read 57 something. Ugh oh great a long bike course. I felt great and was ready to really crush the run. It would be fun trying to reel in all those folks who went past me on the bike and especially the 2 draft packs. Overall, I only did see 2 blatant draft packs go by which isn't bad for a totally flat course.

I slid off my cycling shoes and hopped off. Watch time: 2:42:47..prelim time 2:42:51. Right about my goal time and I didn't feel tired.

I racked my bike and dug through my transition bag for my fresh and dry socks. I took off my totally dirty wet socks and used my towel to dry my feet the fastest possible. I put the socks on and slipped on my shoes. They were damp but not soaked because it had rained here as well as out on the course. My bike rack was quite close to the run start so off I went...1:19...prelim time: 2:07

Here's where I was going to shine because the sun was still behind the clouds. I started off and looked for my support crew in the crowd but didn't see them. I figured they were closer to the loop turn so I'd see them after the first loop. I started off at a good pace and started navigating my way through runners on the course. There were already people walking. It was a constant focus to make my way through as the course was crowded. The loop started off on pavement. Nice, I was feeling good. My foot wasn't really bothering me much and my knee which I banged during my taper ride crash was sore but not bad. I hit the first mile and clicked the watch, 6:10. Uh-oh..I need to settle down so I got into a rhythm plus I was hoping it was short. The next mile started on the trail and just then the sun broke out of the clouds. I hit the 2nd mile at 6:44. Ahh much better I felt this was a good pace and if on the 3rd loop I felt great, I'd really drop the hammer. I had to take a leak so I hit a port-a-potty at the 3rd aid station so my 3rd mile was 7:11.

The trail part of the course wasn't too bad as far as footing but dodging people on it was tough. It got real hot and my jersey was immediately soaked. I was grabbing gatorade at each aid station and drinking as much as I could while running. I really didn't feel good stomach wise with the gatorade. I grabbed a gel which happened to be vanilla and downed it with water. It still didn't help the stomach. I finished the 1st loop and saw my support crew. They were going crazy and I waved at them as I started my 2nd loop.

I still felt good and just kept clicking off the miles. I skipped my gel this loop as my stomach just didn't feel right. I figured with just gatorade I could get through the last loop. I saw my crew again as I started the last loop. Then my quads started to hurt...uh-oh..this isn't good. I immediately thought about IMC and started to worry. I started to focus on my running stride and form. I really wanted to be as efficient as possible. I made a plan to get through the trail section of the loop and start pushing once I hit the pavement which would be about a mile to go. There was a section on the trail that just took forever and I recorded my slowest mile, 7:37. Ugh, I suck. My dreams goals of sub 1:30 were gone. I had no idea of my total run but I just knew I had gone too slow with that mile time. I finished and clicked the watch one last time and it read 5:05:16. Damn so close to my goal but man I was really worried. I was hoping to feel good about the upcoming Ironman and now I feel worse.

The prelim run time was 1:33:15. It was good for 39th overall run time. I was hoping for that sub 1:30 which would yield a top 20 run time. Damn..I suck and really need to get some longer bricks in training. A hour run isn't long enough..I'm going to need a 2 hour run after a 5+ hour ride to really get the legs ready hopefully.

Post Race
My quads are totally trashed. I got a huge blister on my right foot from dodging runners throughout the run. The finisher shirt was okay but the finisher hat is awesome. Just exactly what I wanted and thought about buying at the expo. I went to Charley's and ate the 50 oz porterhouse steak with no problem but the massive chocolate cake beat me again just like the last time I was there. I hung my head in shame. My buddy Orion was so excited about the whole event that he wants to it next year. He doesn't own a bike so I'm going to get him all set up. So I'll be doing this event next year with him. It'll be great.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Bad luck

I thought things were looking up but not today. I was able to get the big bike case through the Metro system to airport without much hassle. I checked the bike and one bag for free because I had the special free bike travel certificate. I arrived on time in Orlando and got my luggage quickly, waited 5 minutes and Orion was at the curb. The weather was nice and I had some decent food.

I put the bike together this morning with the fancy 808 race wheels. I swam in the local pool at the housing area which was fine just for an easy 15 minutes. I proceeded to head out the door to do my taper bike for the day. The roads here don't have shoulders in certain areas but there is a bike path. I was going to follow the bike path and then cut over to this newer area which does have a shoulder to shake out the bike. The wheels felt fast as I was just slowly going into a pretty good headwind. I came up to my turn onto this busy road. I was still on the sidewalk but I needed to get onto the road. A entry for some shops was coming up so I decided to look back and see if there were cars...that's when it happened. I saw a van coming so I started to look forward again but I had drifted way left. The bike handling is so fast that I had drifted left looking over my left shoulder. This combined with the wind and the deep wheels and I was already at the edge of the sidewalk. The sidewalk was veering to the right. I was going off the sidewalk into the nicely edged grass = big crevice to suck my entire front wheel. I knew what was going to happen before my wheel went off and I had already started cursing. I should've just tried to peddle into the grass but it was thick Florida grass about 5 inches tall. My front wheel slide of the sidewalk and I was going down. I was only going about 10mph so the road rash isn't too bad. A little on my elbow and the side of my knee. I bonked my helmet and scratched the crap out of my aero brake lever, right pedal and right aero shifter.

I just can't catch a break. My elbow is a little sore and swollen but I'm hoping it's all better by Sunday. The swim will be interesting with road rash. Again it could've been worse. I keep thinking about the article I read that the accomplishment is getting to the start line of an Ironman. If I can just get to start line of the Ironman in August without all this stuff that I'll have at the start of Sunday's Half, I'll be grateful.

The only good news is my foot is feeling a little better as I ran off the bike for 20 minutes and it wasn't too bad.

3 days..

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Packed and ready to OUCH!

Stupid foot. It's still bugging me. I ran 4 miles off the bike yesterday and it was bugging me the whole time. This is with 5 days rest. Ugh...I can't believe it when I started my 7 mile tempo session last week that I would aggravate this thing. Everything was really going well too. I'm totally bummed that I'll have to contend with this pain during the half.

I found that it only hurts if I flex my foot to push off running/walking or standing on my tippy-toes. I don't think it's a stress fracture because one of the signs is that pressure on the actual spot will hurt. I pressed all over the top of my foot with no pain at all. This is good because it's probably soft tissue injury. Like my foot muscles are worn out compensating for not enough push from calf maybe.

I might have to take an Alleve somewhere on the bike to mask the pain during the run. I've raced in the past with 2 Alleve. It was another actual race where I was traveling. I had gotten a super nasty shin splint the week of the race just on an easy training run. The shin splint was so painful I was reduced to walking and almost tears. I iced like a maniac and rested. I flew down to the Bay area to run this killer 10 mile point to point race that goes up the foothills of Mt. Diablo. The first 5 miles are straight up and the last 5 miles are straight down almost entirely on fire roads. I was able to perform with a fast time and without pain. I might be using again this weekend.

I packed up the Cervelo yesterday. I rented a Trico Iron Case and man what an interesting case. At least it has 2 wheels but a lame handle to pull it. It's going to be a real pain to take up and down stairs because it doesn't have a "true" handle on the side. I'll be lugging this on the Metro in order to save $50 in parking at the airport and still have to lug it on/off a shuttle. The only real problem is the steps down in the metro stop next to where I live. It'll be fine going down to the stop but come home will be a bear coming home. Oh well, I'm stubborn. I'll just go easy on the walk over to the stop.

I got all my nutrition as well packed in my luggage. My nice white Infinit powder in a ziploc baggy should look great to the security guards. I'm hoping to check this piece of luggage but we'll see with all the new luggage procedures at the airlines who charge for everything these days. At least I got a free bike certificate for booking my flight on US Airlines.

My swim taper is working well though and my legs felt great during the bike and run. I feel like this taper should really set me up for a good race on Sunday.

4 days...

Monday, May 12, 2008

Parking Ticket

I got one this morning while I was working out. I'm such a dummy. I just forgot this strip of spots are "No Parking" from 7-9am. I just spaced out as they have meters but the meters don't start til 9am. I usually don't workout in the morning if I drop Elena off at school but this week is special because only 6 more days til the race. It's pouring rain here so I can't even read the ticket as it's one big soppy mess. It's not like there weren't free spaces available I just was tired. My vehicle still has my Oregon plate and tags. I'm planning on getting it registered in June since my insurance renews then but what a pain in the ass. I have to get this inspection thing and then go to the DMV and probably wait forever. I wonder if the "man" will be able to track me down on this parking ticket. I think in the blurry ticket writing it says its $50. Oh joy!

On to the fun stuff, I didn't get a chance to post about the my inaugural ride on the P2C on Friday night. It was nice. I had the bars way too high and adjusted the seat twice during the ride. The seat on this bike is a pain to adjust. It's an aero carbon post that I swear is wedged into the seat tube. No real easy way to do fine adjustments. Overall, the bike is super light and it's way more compliant with the road than my Trek. I was able to really zoom through my intervals. Of course it's been raining non-stop since the ride on Friday night. Fricking's suppose to be nice tomorrow which will be my last chance to really see if I'm going to ride the bike in the race. I'm going to put it on the trainer today and spin on it to see how my position is.

So I got the new bike or just go with my old bike dilemma plus my foot still has that weird pain. I looked at a couple of running injury books but nothing fits. I've been icing and I haven't run since Wednesday. I'll probably run 30 minutes off the bike tomorrow easy to see if it feels okay. I know I could really bust out a fast running time if I didn't have this soreness. It totally sucks.

The wave start times are up for the race. I'm either starting at 7:03, 7:06 or 7:09AM. Again, you can track me by name, bib #1854 or #1855 as I right now I have two bib numbers which I have straighten out at registration, or age group(35-39) at I expect to swim around 40 minutes and then I'm hoping for a 2:45 bike time with a sub 1:30 run time which should all point to just under 5 hours for the whole event. So I'll hopefully be done before most of my West coast peeps wake up Sunday morning.

I fly to Orlando on Wednesday and will be hanging out with my buddy Orion for a couple days before staying at the Disney Wilderness Resort Friday, Saturday and race day.

6 days...

Sunday, May 11, 2008


More info but for now here's the pictures...

Friday, May 9, 2008

Bad Omen

So it's pouring rain today, the day my new bike is supposed to get here. I was hoping to take it outside for a ride today and tomorrow morning to see if I should race it on the 18th. Oh great, I'll put it on the trainer and dial it in. I'll see if it clears up enough to take outside although I really don't want its first ride to be on wet roads.

Another bummer is I have this weird pain on the top of my left foot. Its been a nagging thing for the last couple of weeks but during yesterday's long tempo run it really flared up. I have no idea what's causing or what it is. I think it might have to do with how I push off the wall during swimming but I'm just not sure. I'm going to take some time off from running to let it rest as running really aggravates it. I'm going to ice it tonight as well and see if I can knock it totally out. I decided to totally change the push from the wall in the pool today as well.

The good thing is I'm feeling a little stronger in the water today. I think the new tweaks to the stroke technique has sped me up a little. I just need to get comfortable doing "that" stroke at a faster rate because it's so hard during swimming to stay focused on all the little bits of it.

I'll make sure to take all kinds of pictures of the new bike when it arrives. I have to go unlock the outside door to the stairwell so the UPS guy can get in and deliver it. This is the weird thing about my condo is there's an exterior door which is locked. It keeps the condo safer but it's a bummer for deliveries obviously. I do get the benefit of working at home so I have a chance to work around it.

9 more days...

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Bib #1854

The numbers for Florida 70.3 have been posted and we're 10 days away so it's getting close. I believe will have live athlete tracking so you can find out my results as I'm participating.

Things are getting crazy as my brand P2C arrived at the shop on May 1st and it's scheduled to arrive here on the 9th which is tomorrow. I need to put it together and give it a spin. I'll try to see if I'm comfortable enough on it to race it on the 18th. The only problem with the P2C is it only has 1 water bottle cage. If I raced it I would have to carry a water bottle in my jersey and mix a double strength Infinit drink for the bottle cage. I would attach my aero bottle.
This would be full of normal strength and then I'd just add half my concentrated with on course water to mix the next two bottles. I've ridden tons of miles with bottles in my jersey before I got a seat bottle cage for my road bike. I'll just have to see. I mean the rule is don't change anything on race day so I might just leave the brand spanking new bike at home.

The race wheels that I rented for the event have shipped. This will be interesting to see how much faster I can go. I figured that I might want to use them for the Ironman so I wanted to test them out to see how they race. I used Race Day Wheels for the rental and all I have heard is great things about this company so I'm excited.
My swimming has been stinking lately though so I'm worried about not meeting my swim goal time. I did however figure out how to "catch" more water. I saw this picture posted on Jonnyo's blog and I was like I'm not doing that at all. I'm not bending at my elbow right when my arm is parallel to the pool bottom. It's helped a little but I can't really tell from my times because my jammers had a major blowout so I'm stuck with my major drag trunks. I got totally robbed on buying some cheap swim jammers from Swim Outlet. They lasted a whole 2 months and that was only with wearing them on my hard swim days. Pretty I'm stuck with just the trunks. My times are slow but I'm hoping that it's because of the drag. I'll know more in just 10 days.

10 days til the Half...
3 months 16 days til Canada

Monday, May 5, 2008

Weekend Allergies

Wow, my allergies are in full swing. I'm taking Claratin and its not helping very much. My eyes constantly feel like they have a bug or something in them when I'm riding because they itch so bad. I'm constantly wiping my nose and attempting to blow it out while on the bike. I can't breath too well when this is happening so I'm hoping this will help make me tougher. We'll see.

I did a major workout on Saturday. I guess I'd call it a milestone workout. I swam 2200 yards basically the full half iron swim distance. I had to drive to the pool because in order to complete the rest of the workout I needed to be able to finish full out on the bike. I drove to this park which is all closed off to motor traffic on the weekends. I ride there on my hard weekday rides as it's pretty low for cars and the pavements not too bad. So I get my bike out of the car and I'm off probably 10 minutes or so after the swim. I decided taking a gel right out of the water is a bad idea as my stomach started giving me problems. I knew I should listen to what Gordo said in his book, "Going Long". The ride will be a 3.5 hour total ride with the first 2.5 hours at comfortable zone 1/2 pace and the last hour in zone 3/4 or basically really hard effort. I planned the ride so I could get the hard hour in mostly on flat roads with little stopping for lights. The final 30 minutes was totally uninterrupted just as hard as I could go. Basically just loading up the legs. The weather was great. It was 80 with 25% humidity. I had executed on my nutrition plan. I was so glad to be off the bike...sense a theme. I grabbed my hat, put the bike away, drank some water and downed a gel. I was off for an hour run at race pace.

I picked the running route to go by a fountain at 30 minutes so I could carry just one gel and down it on that interval. This is my current strategy. 1 gel every 25 to 30 minutes during the run. I went easy on the way out as it was a slight downhill and I wanted to conserve energy just in case. I started pushing the way back and felt pretty good but was glad to see the car at the end.

The details were:
2200 swim 40:58 right on my goal pace
3:31 bike w/ 2:30 at 18.6 avg. and last hour at 21.8, total 69.7 miles w/ total avg. 19.6
58:33 run 8.45 miles, avg. pace 6:55

My run is still my strongest event. It's funny about triathlon training. Everything is just mediocre as far as pace goes. Well my swim is below mediocre and totally plateau'd. I've run fast and felt faster on the bike as well. Mediocre ride + Mediocre run = not too bad of a triathlon time.

The marathon still looms in my head as I rode 98 miles on Sunday at a nice relaxed pace and it took awhile but it definitely doesn't feel the same as running for 3+ hours. Time just slows way down on the run for me and that's going to be one of the hardest mental challenges. Just to keep ticking off miles while suffering. I'm hoping the crowds and being able to pass fast swimmers and cyclists will help distract me enough through the miles.

13 days til Florida 70.3,..

3 months 19 days..

Thursday, May 1, 2008


I got the call yesterday that my P2C is at the River City Bicycles in Portland. It's all built up so they're planning to box it up and ship it out maybe even today. I might have it by the middle of next week. I'll have to put it together and then figure out my position on it. I have to figure out the best way to integrate the bike into my training since the position will be different than my current road bike setup.

All in all, it's quite exciting to see if I'll get some free speed and maybe even some more comfort. I'm having an extra chain and a folding Armadillo Specialized tire included in the box. I just bought another Armadillo yesterday for my road bike at City Bikes. It was a nice small shop but had a decent selection from cruiser to a couple of high-end bikes. The cool think is its on this trail just a mile away from my typical flat interval route. I decided just to change my tire right there and I'm glad I did. I found out that one of the tubes I've been carrying in my seat bag had a hole in it. I guess it's something to check every so often. Luckily the 2nd tube was fine.

I did a 2200 yard swim with the first 1000 at race pace and as fast I could for the 2nd 1000 with a 200 cooldown. I'm still struggling to match my speed from earlier in April in the pool. It seems the trip to Germany slowed me down somehow. No idea...I'm just not improving. I guess it's back to focus on some more technique to try to find some free seconds. It's looking like a 40 minute swim at the upcoming Half is a good goal. We'll see if I can swim that fast in open water as it's probably slower than the pool. Maybe I can catch a draft for some free speed since there will be over 400 people in my wave. Hopefully I won't come out of the swim with a broken nose or finger with 1600 feet and arms churning.

The weather here has been a bummer this week as it's been cold and wet early this week and just starting to warm up slightly. I already got spoiled with the nice warm weather the last couple of weeks but hopefully the weekend will be warm for the big rides. The current weather report is showing mid 70s on Friday and Saturday but possible thunderstorms. I'm hoping the rain stays away. I've been trying not run the heat in the condo but I wussed out today and turned it on. I was freezing.

Another interesting going on this week is the amount of food I've been eating. I've been constantly starving and eating tons of food but as of this morning I haven't gained any weight. Not sure what's going on there as the training volume hasn't been huge or anything. All I can say is thank god for Costco!

3 months 23 days...