Thursday, July 31, 2008

Bowel Bug

I got some sort of thing going on with my stomach.  I think I got it from Elena this past weekend as she was having tummy trouble and so were Joe and Amber last week.  Oh great, anyway it's a real pain in the ass and that's both figuratively and literally.  I was going to run for 75 minutes yesterday but ended up with just over an hour after a mid run pitstop.  My stomach was just in knots the entire run.  ***WARNING NEXT SENTENCE CONTAINS GRAPHIC INFORMATION*** I just can't seem to keep any food down, it goes in and it comes right back out in about 10 minutes.***END OF WARNING***  I'm worried that I'm not getting enough calories. Plus the humid weather and staying hydrated is a pain.  Hopefully it will gone soon and that my immune system is full kick virus/bacteria butt mode.

I slept in today.  Woohoo!! I decided to skip swimming for a couple of reasons.  First, I was planning on just a swim off day.  Second, with this stomach bug I was up 3 times during the night to take care of business so I didn't get much sleep anyways.  Oh well, it was worth a shot.

I might try to get me a cheap Mac computer.  Yes, I said Mac.  I saw the cool video editing that Joe was able to do with a movie he took of Elena's karate sparring that I might just go the Mac route.  The only thing I ever did on my PC was play games and I haven't done that in ages.  I just hear from friends that they are so easy to deal with and my PC with XP is just pissing me off.  I mean the thing takes forever to boot up and shut down.  It's storing all my pictures/videos/music on it but that's about it.  I have my Polar software for tracking my rides but I rarely use it.  I'm not sure if the Verizon music store works on Mac but now with Amazon and other music services offering DRM free music I won't be using the music store anyway for new stuff.  Plus if I go with a small Mac laptop its just more convenient overall. I know nothing about Macs though so we'll just have to see how they sell on Ebay.

Just under 24 full days...

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I can't feel my arms

OMG, being a year older about killed me in the pool this morning.  What a way to start my 38th year(yes it's my birthday and I'm 37) on the planet but getting up at 4:30am and heading to the pool for the death pyramid workout.  It reminds me of the movie Apocalypto when the Aztecs/Mayan who knows are sacrificing people at the top of the large pyramid.  Heads rolling down the steps...brutal is all I can say.  I did the workout at one of my faster paces for this workout but man was it tough.

I decided to skip the pool tomorrow and just sleep in.  We'll see if I can.  I've been going to bed earlier than usual every night for the past week trying to get out of this tired feeling but it's not working.  On the bike yesterday, I could tell that my legs still hadn't recovered from the 2 hour Sunday run.  They were trashed even though they slowly warmed up but still I decided to bag the easy brick run.  No need to risk an overuse injury at this point for a stupid 4 miler.

I got my new chain for the bike as I already have just over 2000 miles on it since May.  I put it on yesterday but still can't quite get it to ship smoothly for all cogs and chainrings.  It's because River City messed up the rear derailer cable routing.  They didn't go through the guide correctly under the bottom bracket.  I could fix it if I had one of those nice little cable ends but I don't.  I might try to go pick one up at a bike shop and redo the routing before the Ironman.  Although, I'm worried to change anything too drastic before the big event.

I must be getting too old because now I can't get over some of the lyrics in songs today.  They just crack me up like the Pussycat Dolls new single When I Grow Up.  It cracks me up with appears to sound like this, "...When I grow up, I wanna see the world, drive nice cars, I wanna have boobies...".  I mean this is what it sounds like but maybe it's something else.  The other song is by Estelle, American Boy.  There's a line in there about a 5' 7" man.  5'7"...really that's a dream man height.  I'm 5'11" and I'm relatively short but 5'7" is pretty damn short for a guy.

As I was just typing this I saw the circle of life in action...too bad I didn't get a picture.  I'm looking out the window in my office/bedroom.  Well there's a tree right outside my window and they're always birds in it.  Anyway, on the screen for my window there was a big moth just hanging, a bird swooped in and grabbed it.  Good stuff.

I have a long 75 minute run today which I hope will go well and then this weekend is going to be a ton of fun.  I'm going to do a 10 mile tempo run at hopefully 6:30s on Saturday.  This will be a good test for the legs and the hamstring.

24 days...

Monday, July 28, 2008


I just can't get enough sleep these days.  I always feel tired.  I read a thread on Slowtwitch a couple of week back which basically had someone asking if it was normal during this phase of training.  Everyone chimed in with "YES" in various wise cracking form.  We are on the last push for the big event.

I had a great 2 hour run yesterday.  Well as great as it could be with 80% humidity but it was only in the upper 70s.  It wasn't too bad.  My pace was pretty good and my legs weren't completely wiped out at the end.  I might have a chance to come up with something during the marathon.  The run will be where I try to make up on all those fast swimmers and fast bikers.  It's a single loop run course so everyone I pass will count.  I'm hoping that little bit of competition will help get me through the tough spots in the marathon.

I swam for 75 minutes this morning and it was awful.  The first 100 I felt tired and knew it was going to be a long swim.  I just never got going.  Oh well, I guess all the swims can't be good. I'm back to my swim goal of 75 minutes for the 4400 yards even though I only got thru 3900 yards today in that time.

I have only 3 more weeks of tough workouts.  1 week of some serious work and then 2 weeks built for shorter duration but hard efforts and then the week of taper.  Ahh, I can't wait to taper.  I find it amazing how people train too hard through the taper.  Every taper I've made it to, I'm so happy to take it easy.  I'm counting down the days.

I can almost smell the Doritos that I'll be eating coming the 25th of August and if lucky maybe on the evening of the 24th.  Although, I may not be able to eat them.  I had trouble making it through half my tub of popcorn yesterday during the Dark Knight. I also didn't do so well with the popcorn during my visit to Oregon and watching Hellboy 2.  God I am getting older but man if I lose the ability to eat junk food what will I do?  A life without being able to eat mass quantities of chips, popcorn, candy and greasy food would not be worth living.  I'm sure the Frito Lay YTD financial results are having troubles meeting expectations since I haven't had any since August last year.  That's easily 52 bags of chips that have not been purchased.  Don't worry the 2nd half of 08, I'll make up for my year off.

27 days...

Saturday, July 26, 2008


for my laundry to finish before hitting the hay.  I figured why not bust out a quick blog for today's workout action and some other fun tidbits.  Well maybe not so fun but nonetheless here we go.

I had a decent run Friday afternoon.  I pushed the pace a little and the hamstring didn't complain.  I think it will be good for the tempo runs starting next Sunday.  I called Desoto Sports because my tri-shorts that were made by them started tearing the stitches.  I mean my ass isn't that big.  My luck with shorts just sucks.  I swear all my stitches come undone right at the pad connection.  I hear they are real good about warranties and such so I give them a call.  They say just to send them back and they'll repair or replace. I wander over to the post office and send them off for $3.  I ordered another pair just in case they don't get them back to me before the big race.  Can't go wrong if they'll fix them if they rip!

On the walk back from the post office I notice this car and just immediately start laughing.  I snapped a quick picture.

Good advertisement for this school.  Classic stuff!

I woke up this morning refreshed for a long day in the saddle.  Well not exactly refreshed but a long day in the saddle happened anyways.  I got my new Infinit Orange formula on Friday so I tried it out today.  I had them up the flavor so it would have some taste at the end of a long bike ride and it worked.  The only problem was at the beginning it was almost too strong.  I'm still not sure what I'll do.  Anyway, I started out the ride and it was a slog.  My legs just didn't feel great.  I suffered for most of the ride and it showed at the end with a 18.9 average for just 110 miles.

I decided after the ride to run to the pool rather than drive.  So I booked off for an easy 3 mile jaunt to the pool for some fun 200yd intervals.  My legs felt good on the run and I was thinking about how they will feel at Canada.  I was able to bust out some super fast 200s with my new stroke action.  I even put up a couple of 1:39s for the first 100 of the 200.  The only problem occured when it got crowded and I had to share a lane.  In the confined conditions, I wasn't able to rotate as much.  I need to fix this because at Canada I'll have about as much room as a middle seat between two fat Jareds.  Maybe if I practice my stroke in my bathtub, I have a chance.

Okay the laundry is in the dryer and I just yawned so I'm off to dreamland.  I have a whopping 18 mile run tomorrow and I hope it goes well.  It's the last long run before the big event.

28 days(4 weeks on Sunday)...

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Swim breakthrough

It happened...well at least I was able to figure out how to get a better roll during my stroke and not look like a snake going down the pool lane.  My co-competitors in Ironman Canada, Don and Jeff have been giving me swim help since I met them up at last year's event.  I've combined all of their advice into my current swim stroke.  This morning I rocked my workout as I was swimming continuously while alternating fast 100 yards with an Ironman pace 100 yards.  I was swimming each of the fast ones at my fastest times ever for 100 intervals and this was in my normal swim trunks.  These balloons add about 5 seconds per 100 as compared to a normal tri-short or swim jammer.

My swim has been sucking for so long that having this workout really got me excited to keep waking up at 4:30AM.  Now if I can get a little stronger and pull it all together at Canada, I might have a chance at a decent swim time.  This combined with my awesome bike workout yesterday really is showing that things are going well.  Now if I can get my run in line, I'll be set.

I still keeping my running tentative to make sure I don't have a hamstring problem.  I'll probably keep going easy until the 2 peak weeks in the training program.  During that time, I will do the tempo runs and see if I can get my run together.  Based on the info about the Canada run course, it's going to be a tough haul through the meat of the course from 10-17 as it goes up hill.  Uh-oh, I didn't get any hill repeats in during my training.  I'm a little worried about how the legs are going to respond.  This makes going at an easy pace for the first half extra important since it's an out-n-back course.

Now I just have to figure out what type of workouts I need to do today and tomorrow...ugh.

31 days..

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Rest does a body good

I had an awesome bike workout today. I'm reaping the benefits of the killer workouts in Oregon and two days off from the bike.  I was planning on riding yesterday but the weather wasn't looking the best.  I decided to ride first thing after dropping off Elena because there's a huge rain storm headed our way.  I was planning on doing less intervals but increasing the effort and length.  I was killing my first 30 minute interval as there was no wind, no direct sun and it was only 70 something with a decent amount of humidity.  I finished that interval and did my rest.  I started my last interval and my speed was just phenomenal compared to my usual pace for a shorter interval on the same road.  I was cruising at 25 to 26 and it felt pretty easy on the flat smooth road.  I'm excited about the bike portion of the Ironman as I can hopefully go at a good pace while it being easy to save legs for the marathon.  Now if I can just get my run to the same level, I'll be set.  Although, I don't think there is a pace that will allow you to feel great after mile 20.

I can't seem to get enough sleep though as the early morning swims continue for me even though I do get a break when I have Elena and on the weekend.  I guess it's the increased training during this key phase of training.  At least I didn't have any Ironman dreams last night.

My cycling floor pump bit the dust this morning.  Doh!  The stupid hose cracked enough to create a hole.  It happened because of folding the hose over the top of the pump.  Double DOH!!  It could've lasted forever and now I have to get a new one.  I tried duct taping the hose but no luck as it wouldn't hold past the 80psi mark.  I have to hit up a cycling store to get me a new one which probably won't be as functional as my current one.  The worst part is I have to drive to pick it up.  At least gas prices have sortof leveled off here in DC.

31 days....

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Rain and running

It rained about an hour before I was planning to do a hard ride with 2 longer intervals and then an easy 4 mile brick run.  I decided to switch my Wednesday long run instead and hopefully it will be a better day tomorrow for riding.  It was a cool mid 70s although there was 80% humidity.  I wanted to run for 75 minutes at my cruise pace to test the hamstring.  I was able to feel pretty comfortable cruising at 7:30s but man was I soaked.  My quads still hurt from not getting enough "pounding" into them from the road.  It seems to take about a month of consistent running for them to feel normal on the run.  The 10 mile run didn't feel too bad but it shouldn't because that's not even halfway.  I think if I can get enough nutrition and hyrdation in during the Ironman marathon I should be able to make it.  I think my body is still on track for the 2 hour run this Sunday.

Elena is really showing her willpower these days.  I have her Mondays and Tuesdays so I can train each weekend up to the Ironman.  I went to the store last night with her for a couple of things to use for her lunches.  She threw a fit when I wouldn't buy her a "Lunchable".  She normally wants certain things when we go shopping but this time she basically flung herself on the floor.  I had to practically drag her out of the lunch meat section.  On top of that she wouldn't get up this morning either.  Ugh...6 going on 16.  She's getting in mad shape for karate though.  She did 20 pushups last night and is doing them with better form than before.  She also did 100 jumping jacks and 10 sit-ups.  She showed me a medal she received for not crying.  Good stuff!!

I did a quick easy pool workout this morning trying to figure out body roll on each stroke.  I was able to post some decent 100 yard splits when doing the body roll but it's hard to keep doing it.  I have to really focus on it or I just forget to roll.  If I can put it all together, I might be able to really go at a decent pace for the swim.

It's getting real close to the big day.  I'm actually having dreams about executing my race plan on the course.  I'm hoping I can guide my body into a nice peak on the bike, run and maybe even the swim for that day.  Mile 20 of the run looms in my head though as that is when the race is going to get super tough.  I already know what it's going to feel like and I just have to bring everything together when it occurs.

32 days...

Monday, July 21, 2008

Are we there yet?

What a weekend!  I was able to run for an hour yesterday and no hamstring pain.  Woohoo!! I wasn't able to run fast though.  I'm still tentative right now but I figure maybe this week I'll try to get back into my normal running speed groove.

Jeff drove up from Yorkstown, VA this weekend.  He one of the super fast swimmers I met from the Portland Tri Club at Ironman Canada last year.  He's in the area for a long training class.  He decided to come up and train with me and I think he's regretting it.  He has a specific training program and I screwed it all up.  I'm sure I'll be getting some hate mail from his coach.

His coach had him up for a 45 minute swim and easy 2 hour bike on Saturday.  On Sunday, another 45 minute swim, with a 3 hour bike and 2 hour run.  An easy 2 hour bike around my area is pretty sucky so I figured if I went easy he could suck wheel and still be well rested for his Sunday workout.

There were a couple problems with that.  First, he didn't bring his normal race bike, a 2008 P3C with him.  He brought his road bike just in case something happened in transit.  It wasn't as comfortable and definitely not as light or aero.  Second, he wasn't as experienced "sucking wheel" so he did push a lot more wind than normal.  Third, he drove 3 hours and had Wendy's for dinner at 8pm Friday night.  Finally, it was hot and humid.  He's big time heat adverse.

We got back from the ride and drove over to the pool.  I definitely wanted some last minute stroke critique.  I'm still struggling to get the right technique to conserve the most energy in the water and go fast.  He's lightening in the pool and made me pay when I tried to draft of him in the water.  I couldn't keep his feet for one length of the pool at his Ironman pace. Sad, very sad.  I've gotten slower in the pool since June.  I had a horribly slow swim today as well.  Just not getting the right stroke to go fast.  Anyway, he was still tired from the ride so we called it a day in the pool.  I was going to run home from the pool to get in an easy 5 miles and he drove back to the house.

I got back from my run and he was completely trashed.  The bike and heat destroyed him.  I made some chicken stir fry but he was so wasted he didn't eat hardly any or maybe he was pretending to be tired and just didn't like my cooking?

We woke up on Sunday and he decided to sleep in a little longer and just do a 2 hour run.  I decided to go a hard hilly 4 hours on the bike and then attempt my first hour run since the hamstring injury.  The heat and humidity took its toll on both Jeff and I.  He had to cut his run short because he was just dying in the heat.  I barely made it through my hour run after really killing the bike.  The marathon looms...

We both just vegged on the couch for the afternoon.  Both Jeff and I just want the event to be done.  The training is definitely wearing thin.  It was good to hear that I'm not the only one wanting it to be done.  I'm starting to countdown the days in the sense of I only have to train for 33 more days.

My weekend of training was good and as a bonus Jeff cleaned up the kitchen while I was gone.  I destroy the guys entire training weekend and he cleans the kitchen while I'm suffering in the heat on my run.  That was awesome and totally unexpected.

34 days...

Friday, July 18, 2008

I'm DC

I flew back to DC yesterday.  I walked out of the airport and immediately began to sweat.  Ahh now that's heat.  I was able to run an easy 3 miles on Wednesday after an hour ride without hamstring pain.  I think I've turned the corner on the hamstring injury. I'm going to go for an easy run today in the brutal heat and humidity to see how it feels.  If I can at my normal pace then I'll just keep easing back into it.

I looked at my workout schedule and it shows an hour run on Sunday with my 18 miler next week.  I think that won't be happening but I should be able to put in at least hour run next weekend or if things go super well a 90 minute run.  I'm going to stop all tempo or speed type workouts.  I'll hope that I have enough of that to get me through the race.  I still might try the peak workout in 3 weeks which requires a 90 minute brick run with tempo finish.

I got back into the water this morning after a week off.  I tried to make sure I was pulling water throughout the whole stroke as recommended by Don.  It actually worked although I can definitely feel it.  If you don't get lazy during the stroke you go faster...hard to comprehend I know.  I'm such a slacker.  I swam 45 minutes and a cruise pace.  Nothing earth shattering.  I'm just breaking back in.  I was gone just a week but now the pool at LA Fitness is hot.  Well it's actually like a normal mild temperature.  No more freezing cold water.

Jeff, a fellow IMC PFer, is coming to visit this weekend.  He's in the area for a class down in Yorktown, VA.  He's a super fast swimmer so I was saving something for the weekend swims. He's in for a surprise because the temps are suppose to be mid 90s and a ton of humidity.  He doesn't like the heat so hopefully he'll survive.  I'll show the wonderful pot-hole, cracked, and gauge city streets then the beautiful smooth country roads.

37 days...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Still Hurts

The hamstring had been feeling great for the past few days so I decided to just run an easy 2 miles on Monday and not cycle at all.  My legs were dead from the killer cycling week I had.  I stretched a ton and the bad hamstring felt just like the good hamstring.  We took off at an easy pace and everything was going well until about 300 meters to go.  I started to feel a little ache.  DAMN!!  I got 40 days left with at least 7 or more for a running taper.  Crap, crap, crap!!

I iced and stretched a bunch but I'm just not sure today.  I'm going to ride then run off the bike the same easy 2 miles and see if a warmer hamstring feels fine the whole way.  I'm hoping it will slowly just get stronger so I can slowly build up some mileage.  It's a guessing game at this point.  You don't want to run that extra 100 meters which will trash it.  I mean had I just let up that last 200 meters during my tempo run or had I just went easy like I thought about doing or even just stayed at an even tempo rather than building to an all out mile at the end.

Oregon is so dry compared to DC, my skin is cracking, I'm dehydrated and have dry mouth during the night.  Just amazing considering Oregon isn't that dry of a climate.  I guess I have gotten somewhat used to the humidity in DC.

I've been trying not to overdo the food intake but man I've had some good food over the weekend.  I gained a couple of pounds from Friday - Sunday.  That's okay as I'll lose most of it on Thursday during the flight back to DC.  A fun 6 hour plane ride probably on a full jet.  I'll try to get some extra sleep so I can adjust back to the east coast time zone.

39 days...

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Hammer and Nails

This was the name of the group of Portland Velo's race team that almost killed me with the speed they rode today.  It was brutal.  I should've known when Todd said it wouldn't be too bad.  They were doing easily 25mph on the flat sections with jumps.  I was sucking wheel the best I knew how just stay in contact.  I had already put in 2 hours of riding just to get to the start of the ride.  Luckily, I knew something might be up so I took it easy getting out there.

We were cruising at 25ish when the first climb started.  It was a road I've never been up before but I had been down before.  The road is so steep that the time I went down I hit 50 easily.   I had been getting some dirty looks from the peleton because of my time trial bike before the climb.  On the climb I was able to pick my through most of the peleton but couldn't read Todd and one other guy.  I was wishing I had drank more of my water as the 4 full water bottles were killing me.

After the climb we regrouped and I got a compliment from one of the guys saying he's never seen anyone on a time trial bike climb like that. was good to fit in and no one was giving me any dirty looks the rest of the painful ride.  We stopped to get water and my Polar speedometer stopped so I wasn't able to get an accurate average for that section.

I ended with 100 miles total and I figured about a total ride time of 5:30.  I'm guessing for the Portland Velo section it was easily 22ish or higher average speed.  Those guys were just animals.  There was one big guy who was climbing that big hill in the drops.  He didn't stand once.  Amazing...

1 month 12 days..

Friday, July 11, 2008


So I experienced this little lake/reservoir for the first time last night.  I got to try out the screaming fast wetsuit in real open water.  Of course I didn't put enough body glide on my neck and have this massive chafe mark.  It's from my shoulder material/collar rubbing.  I know that I will just body glide my entire neck.  I don't have any tinted goggles as I gave them to Orion as part of his welcome to triathlon training package so I was having trouble sighting right into the setting sun.  We swam about 30 plus minutes and my shoulders felt fine in the wetsuit so that was good.  I also was able to take the wetsuit off pretty quick by myself so that was good practice.  I figured out that I will take the top part of my wetsuit off first before removing my goggles/cap because I shot my goggles about 30 feet when pulling my arms out.

The biking has been going great down here.  I destroyed my old flat loop on Wednesday.  I pulled the whole way and just put in some good tempo the entire way.  We'll see how the hills go today but I'm sure they will hurt me.

My hamstring feels pretty good and I almost felt like going for an easy 2 mile test run yesterday but I held off.  If it continues to improve, I'll run easy 2 miles on Monday as the start of getting back.  I figure a couple of 2 miles days, then I'll start running 4 miles a day and after a week I'll just put in miles.  I won't do a tempo run until probably 3 weeks to go and just put in a "mini" base period.

It looks like my fellow IMC PFer is coming out to Virginia for a couple of weeks.  He'll be fairly close and plans to come up to my place for a weekend for some training fun.  I'll take him out on a good ride and hopefully get some swimming advice as he's one of the super fast swimmers I met last year.

The weather is nice out here.  No humidity.  It's almost too dry as I keep waking up in the middle of the night with dry mouth.  My skins all dry, it's crazy.  Everyone was saying it was hot on Wednesday but it felt pleasant to me.  I forgot to bring a sweatshirt, pullover or jacket which sucks in the mornings here.  It gets cold.  I just didn't think of it because its rarely below 70 degrees in DC these days.

I ate with some co-workers at the Original House of Pancakes and it was so good.  I love that place and definitely miss it being out on the east coast. We're having afternoon snack at work which will be great as I'll eat up for the big ride tomorrow.

1 month 13 days...

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Ahh Oregon

drivers are the slowest in the world.  I was zipping in and out of cars on I205 last night but I was only going 70.  Pathetic!  I made it with the flight only being about 10 minutes late.  There a bazillion kids on the flight which was weird considering it was coming from DC.  I know it's summer but who takes 8 year olds and under to DC or who takes them across the Atlantic which is the only reason anyone would connect in DC.

I'm trying frantically to sell my Mentor stock options shares this morning but having no luck getting a hold of a broker.  I have a few that are expiring next year which right now happen to be above water.  I'm dumping them while I'm here so I can easily fax all the paperwork.

My bike made it without much issue except for the oversize cost.  Ouch..not sure how heavy it was in the box but this time I got a Thule box as a rental and it's super nice as compared to the Trico.
My hamstring felt painful all cramped on the flight but this morning it felt pretty good getting out of bed.  I'm hopeful that by next week it will be totally healed and I'll be able to resume my training.
1 month 15 days....

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Olympic Trials

I've catching a bit of the Track & Field trials and even more of the swimming trials.  It's always amazing watching the distance track events.  They are moving so fast but look so relaxed that is until the last lap when they drop the hammer.  Webb was in the wrong position and failed to make the Olympics.  I'm not sure but it seems he always gags at the big events.  I watched the swimming trials hoping to catch some actual stroke technique.  The first event I watched the 400m free they were showing underwater shots which was really helpful.  The whole rest of the events they didn't show anymore underwaters shots at all.  LAME!!  It's just amazing at how fast they go.  Their arm turnover rate is fast yet they're pulling tons of water each time.  It's was awesome watching 41 year old Dara Torres make the trials by winning both the 50m and 100m freestyle events.  Just goes to show you it's more technique than the rest.  Not that you don't need a big engine but it's got to be easily more than 50% technique.  A similar thing was when Edwin Moses in the 400m hurdles.  Again more technique than engine can really beat a bigger engine and crappy technique.

The hamstring is on the mend.  Ice and more ice with some stretching.  I think I'm going to wait a full two weeks before hitting the road again.  This was the amount of time I rested my strained calf muscle last year.  The only concern is the hamstring is a bigger muscle but I don't think I trashed it as bad as my calf.  This will give me 5 full weeks with 2 weeks of taper.  The only plus to this whole thing is running happens to be my strongest triathlon discipline.  I'm definitely cutting it close but I'm hopeful the various long runs up to this point.

Finally, I'm flying to Oregon tonight for a week at the office.  I'll be bringing my bike which should be fun.  It will be great to do some of the old courses on the fancy new time trial bike.  This requires me to bring the bike.  With all the new airline baggage rules, I'm going to get worked by United.  It's going to cost $100 each way for the bike.  I'm just hoping my actual luggage is going to get me an additional $15 fee.  I tried to stuff all my crap into my carry-on bag.  It really didn't fit well so I went to the checked bag.  As long as the bag is less than 50 lbs I'll be okay.  I'm also bringing my nutrition powder with me.  It's a gallon zip-loc bag of white powder.  I'll be taking that in my triathlon backpack on the plane along with my bike saddle/seat post, bike helmet and cycling shoes.  It's not gel or liquid so I should be fine.

1 month 16 days...

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Tweak = pain = strain

My luck stinks for running.  My foot feels fine but my hamstring is toast.  It was a little tight when I started on my long run this morning but at that the 5 minute mark it went...I walked back home disgusted.  I can't believe it 300 measly meters between me and that stupid hamstring strain on Thursday.  I'm going to rest it until at least Wednesday if not Thursday.  I got 7 weeks of training left.  I need to get that damn start line healthy.

This will mean my run is going to be less than stellar.  I'll have to rely on pure guts during the marathon as I just won't have enough training in the bank.  My bike is really coming along and my swim is getting there.  If things really came together well at the Ironman, I could make a run at a low 10 hour mark but now I'm just worried about actually finished the marathon.  If my hamstring doesn't get healthy that could be a serious stretch.

If I get it healthy in the next 4 days, I'm going to cut out all hard workouts til August.  I'll just build up my base again and try to put some tempo work on top during the last 2 weeks of real training in August.  Maybe my luck will turn around and it will come together for a perfect peak come the 24th of August.  We'll see...

1 month 19 days...

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy 4th!

Hopefully everyone is having a great start to a 3 day weekend.  I have Elena this weekend so having today off helped me get in a massive swim and ride but let's talk a little about yesterday.

It was god awful hot yesterday but not humid.  I went for an easy swim and then around lunch time I decided to hit the run.  My extensor tendon on the top of my foot has been feeling better each day so this is great news for the run.  I decided to just pick up the pace each mile and finish all out.  This was going quite well and my foot was feeling fine.  I was in the midst of the last 200 meters of the run going really hard when I tweaked my hamstring.  Just a little twinge but just my luck.  I just can't get my run going at all although I'm not the best at following good run advice.  I'm definitely pushing the boundary of getting in some quality runs without getting injured. I just keep failing on the injured part.  I iced it but it was tender the rest of the day.

I woke up this morning at 5am to work on my pre-race breakfast and swim-bike transition nutrition.  Both of those areas failed for me at the Half Ironman so I wanted to switch it up a little.  I had a Clif Bar and some instant oatmeal for breakfast.  I checked the temperature and radar before I was going to head to the pool to start the day.  It showed a decent rainstorm about 5 minutes away.  Damn...I'm going to have to wait before I hit the pool because I really don't want to bike in the rain.  Overall this was probably a good thing because I got to the pool just before 7AM which is the actual Ironman start time.

I hit the water and proceeded to swim.  The plan was to swim 80 minutes then hop out, drive over to the park and get out on the bike for a good hard 5 hours.  I felt slow but really didn't have an idea of my splits.  This is good because during the actual Ironman I'll have to push myself without knowing how fast I'm going.  I struggled here and there during the time but finished the last 100 right on the money of 80 minutes.  I got out and started sipping water to settle the stomach.  My stomach felt good with the Clif Bar and oatmeal.

I got on my bike and still drank water for the first 30 minutes.  My legs felt dead on the bike though.  I really felt the last 2 weeks of hard bike workouts.  I wasn't planning my usual hills because they are by the Congressional Golf Course which is hosting a PGA Tour event this weekend.  It would crazy with cars out there so I went a more flat route.  Overall this was a good choice because my legs were just dead feeling.

I got almost to the halfway point of the bike when it started to sprinkle again so I turned around early and proceeded back.  I knew I'd be short mileage and time but that's okay.  I've gotten decent bike miles.  I decided just to push extra hard with what I had to make up for the short ride.

Nutrition everything went really well on the bike so I think I've honed that down for sure now.  I ended up with 4:45 minutes on the bike for just under 95 miles.  Not too bad considering I felt I'd be extra slow.  I just recorded my swim information and I ended up with 4300 yards in 80 minutes.  This is just barely over the Ironman swim distance.  That was my goal time as well when I first started this adventure.  I can't believe I'm actually able to swim that far at that pace without drowning.  Sweet! I'm totally stoked.  I was a little faster at the end than the previous 75 minute swim so I'm getting just a little stronger.

Now I just need to put all the 3 distances together on the 24th of August and hopefully become an Ironman.  The marathon is still going to be super tough but its where I have the most experience.

1 month 20 days...

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


No not the TV show, which I had watched religiously until this season when it got so lame that I just couldn't stand it.  I have all the shows from the entire season sitting on my DVR but it's just so painful to watch.  I guess I just got tired of all the jerking around the show did.  It was a new concept the first season and then the 2nd season was awesome with some of the answers being revealed.  Season 3 almost did me in trying to watch it especially when Charlie died.  That was pathetic.  All he had to do was open the door and the main chamber would've started flooding so both them could swim out.  I still don't get that one.  I tried to watch the start of season 4 but it was just pissing me off too much.  Oh well, if I get real bored this summer I'll go through the DVR and watch them.

Back to what was lost, my swim technique.  It's so weird because I don't think "I'm tired" which is why I've been swimming so slow lately I think I screwed up my form.  I had that awesome swim 3 weeks ago where I went the fastest ever for an hour.  I was rocking some nice technique during that swim but now I can't remember that stroke.  I don't remember the exact motion.  I'm sure with that technique combined with the wetsuit I could average 1:35 per 100yds for Ironman swim and that gets me into the sub 70 minute group.  There wouldn't be as much crowding and I'd be able to get out of the water and not have as much bike congestion.

As Dora from Finding Nemo would say, "Just keep swimmin...swimmin".

The running has been so-so.  My ankle tendon no longer hurts but now the foot tendon is a little sore.  Ice and even more ice.  I have the quad pain I get when I haven't been running very much.  I'm running every other day so if I put in a couple of hards run here and there I should be able to keep my speed up.  I've abandoned an idea for pace during the Ironman marathon.  I'm thinking I'll just go real easy for the first 13 miles, settle in up until 18 and then it's just willpower against the sore legs for those last 8 miles.  I'm still confident and feel I could run down some fast cyclists during the run.

I was relieved as I was taking Elena to school today that the weather report was going to very little humidity.  This humidity definitely gets old.  Everything stays soaked the entire workout even the fancy wicking fabrics don't really work.  At least I won't have to carry my extra water bottles in my cycling jersey after receiving a key part for my saddle water bottle cages.  During the packing of my bike after Florida, I lost this bracket for my rear water bottle cages.  I've putting 2 extra bottles in my jersey pockets to survive my long rides.  I posted on Slowtwitch asking to buy that part.  What a great community of triathlon folks are on there because I got a response from someone saying they'd just give me the part.  The only problem is the USPS shredded the envelope it was in.  I got the envelope devoid of the part and the envelope was demolished.  So I posted again and again another awesome triathlete sent me the part for free.  They did a great job of taping it inside the envelope so it actually made it.  I installed it so I'm set for my long Independence day ride.

1 month 22 days...