About Me

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Texas, United States
Welcome to my blog. What is a triathlon? It's a swim, bike and run usually in that order. My goal is to give exposure and insight to triathlons along with encouraging living a healthy life style. My post will also contain my collective thoughts pertaining to my training experiences. Feel free to send an email to ej@trilifeblog.com with any feedback or questions you may have. facebook: www.facebook.com/TriLifeBlog

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Holidays..!

I blinked and a week has gone by. I want to wish all of you a happy and safe holiday. I know most of my fellow triathletes and endurance runners will find some time over the holiday to squeeze in a workout or two. :)

I sometimes take for granted that there is an overwhelming selection of events where I live. It’s not hard for us to go online and find something to do on any given weekend. It’s usually when I have to travel out of town that my appreciation for those events set in.

A few weeks back I was planning an out of town trip and I was amazed to see that my destination did not have any events going on, not for that weekend but, for that entire month! I contacted the website’s webmaster was relived to find out that there was an event but, it had not been posted yet. I was hoping for a 10K event but, all they have to offer was a 5K event. I was happy they had something rather than nothing at all.

For those of you who are in the middle of training this time of the year can be a bit tricky. Take the time to look at your training calendar and plan your workouts appropriately. It will help you get through the holiday without having to worry about missing any workouts. You may not be able to squeeze them all in but, something is better than nothing. It will also help put your mind at ease when you are attacking those holiday meals. J

My lower abs are still healing day by day. I’m almost back to 100%. I’m looking forward to the day to be able to do core work again. I had a pretty solid workout week. I can usually gauge the effort based on how trashed my legs feel. This morning they were pretty trashed. I got in a good swim and relaxed in the hot tub to help try and loosen them up.

I take with me a positive this week. I ran a 5K this week. I knew it was going to be flat and fast. My last year time of 18:04 was good enough for 29th place overall and 4th in my age group. This year I went in with two goals. I wanted to beat last year’s time and I wanted to place in my age group.

My legs were pretty beat up by a Tuesday morning run work out and my Tuesday evening bike workout. I knew I would have to work to make my goals. This 5K had over 1000 chipped runners and 4000 non chipped runners. I made sure I got up front to avoid trying to get through hoards of runners.

The first mile was pretty fast I was maybe in 20th position and put in a 5:31 pace. The second mile was all head wind. My pace dropped to a 5:51. My legs were really talking to me after the second mile. I was also very careful with my foot placement. There were parts of the course that were not well lit and there were turns with some gravel on them. My first thought was, “Don’t fall”. J The last mile was my gut check mile. I put in my last mile at a 5:43 pace.

As I approached the finish line area I was well aware that there were 4 or 5 of us running in a pack. I had no idea where I stood on my time goal but, I did have my sight on a gentlemen who was running about 5 feet in front of me. He looked like he could be in my age group. I still had that goal in mind. I did not know how many others in my age group were in front of me.

With less than 200 meters to go I decided to sprint. I was going to leave it all out on the line and if they could keep up and beat me the more power to them. I went for it and crossed the finish line at a 4:18 pace. Yes, I was in a full on sprint for about 20 seconds. I can’t remember the last time I pushed this hard but, it felt good to compete with other competitive runners. I honestly can’t remember the last time, if there was a last time when I had to dig deep for a finishing position.

In the end I walked away with a PR (17:38) and a 1st place award in my age group. I finished 12th over all which is a good size move from last year’s 29th overall finish.

I’m eagerly waiting for my abs to be 100%. I want to be able to give the quality workouts I know I need for the upcoming 2012 season.

Again Happy Holidays to everyone!

Thank you for reading this blog entry. As always feel free to email me any questions or comments you may have.


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Rough Start

My triathlon training officially started the week of Dec 5th. It’s been a rough start and I hope the worse is over. The week prior to Dec 5th I somehow managed to strain my lower abdominal area. It was painful anytime I had to engage those muscles.

I felt it most when I swam and ran. Kicking in the pool and trying to lift my knees up when running would put an additional strain on that area. I was concerned that I would take a while to heal up since my workouts would not let the area rest.

I had a company 5K I committed to on Dec 3rd and I showed up with every intention of running it. The soreness and discomfort was still on the back of my mind. That Saturday morning I put in a 2 hour spin then headed over to the event site. As I started my 2 mile warm up the first step I took left serious doubts in my mind as to weather I would run the 5k. Each step I took was pretty painful. Imagine you had sore abs and you sneezed really hard. That’s exactly how each step felt.

I told myself I had 2 miles to warm up. If the pain did not subside then I would not run the 5K. After my 2 mile warm up the area had warmed up enough that I went ahead and decided to run. The course also appeared to be pretty flat so I figured I would not have to put much effort in to lifting my knees as hills were not a factor.

This 5K was one of the most interesting 5Ks I’ve ran. It was more of a social fun run and there were lots of children in the race mixed in with the competitive runners. The start line was so packed that I had to start 3 rows deep in order to get my timing chip behind the mat. Yes, that meant that the 3 rows before me were on the other side of the timing mat.

The gun went off and there were kids everywhere. I spent the first ½ mile dodging kids. I was too busy concentrating on not running into kids that I forgot all about the sore area. Once I was out in the clear I started to focus on my run and the lower abdomen pain resurface. It wasn’t as painful as my 2 mile warm up however I felt it every time I lifted my knees to try and push harder.

I wanted to step on the throttle to go but, it was not happening. The course looped back towards oncoming traffic for about a half mile. That half mile was another game of dodge kid ball. J I found myself running on a road covered from left to right with oncoming runners/walkers. I had to do some serious maneuvering to keep from running into kids who were not looking where they were going. As I turned the corner I was happy to be out of that on slot of oncoming traffic.

I finished out the race the best I could and started my 5K cool down. As I was out on the cool down run a motorcycle cop drove up next to me and started apologizing for all the oncoming traffic during the race. He told me that there was a mix up with the 1 mile fun run and the 5K race. They didn’t turn the 1 mile fun run people around in time so they ended up on the 5K trail. That explained all the oncoming traffic. I laughed and told him, no worries it happens. I also felt for the people who started off the race thinking they were only going to do one mile and ended up doing a 5K.

Sunday morning came and I talked myself into taking some time off. I was still sore in the lower abdomen area. I was about to start my triathlon training the next day and I wanted to be as fresh as I could be. Monday came around and I had an easy swim to put in. As I lay in bed that morning I could still feel the lower abdomen area as I stretched out. It was still pretty intense so I decided to take that Monday off.

Here I was week one of training and I already started with a day off. Sometimes that’s just how the ball bounces. My thoughts are better now then later in the season. I got through my first week and I could still feel the lower abdomen area but, it was not as intense as the previous week, so positive thoughts were in my head. I know it would take a while to heal given that my workout engaged that area on a daily basis.

I’m almost done with week two of training and unfortunately I had another derailment in my training. I caught a bug on Tuesday that knocked me out. I ended up having to miss my Tuesday workouts and my Wednesday morning workout.

This bug was a nasty one. I was in bed for almost 17 hours. That’s unheard off for me. My body was fighting off something and left me with the chills for the majority of those hours. I kept looking forward to being outside again. As twisted as it may sound I enjoyed being sick as it allows me reflect and appreciate my health when I have it.

Most of us walk through life taking our health for granted. I’m not saying that we all have to go out and run a marathon but, we can at least get outside and enjoy the fresh air. There are thousands upon thousands out there who are not as fortunate as we are and would love to be in our shoes to be able to get outside and simply walk a few miles.

I’m still nursing my lower abdomen injury but, I know with time it will heal. I also know that I will workout and push through the soreness as it heals.

Thank you for reading this blog entry. As always feel free to email me any questions or comments you may have.


Thursday, December 1, 2011

2012 Race Decision

It’s almost been three weeks since my last blog entry. It’s now been a month since my Ironman event. After taking three days off I took the liberty to keep my workouts going. The past four weeks consisted of unstructured workouts. I kept them pretty sporadic and fairly low intensity. With my first Boston Marathon coming up in April I decided to start running on Tuesday’s and Thursdays with the Texas Running Center. It’s a bit of a drive for me but, it’s definitely worth it.

I’ve had a lot of time to think about what I wanted to do with my 2012 triathlon season. I’ve firmly decided to train for 70.3 events. It’s going to be an interesting year. I’m going to see if I can increase my speed in all three events. I’d like to drop 20 to 30 minutes off of my current 70.3 PR by the end of the year. It’s and aggressive goal but, I feel that it is obtainable.

For now I’m going to try and continue to self coach. The next for months are going to be a discovery period for me as I’m going to try and mesh a couple training routines together. I still want to go sub 3 hour in Boston but, at the same time I have my sights set on Galveston 70.3 which is a couple weeks before Galveston.

My goal is to fit an aggressive 70.3 training plan with an aggressive marathon plan. I believe I can make this work. I know I’m not the first person to have come across this kind of race conflict. This is new waters for me and I’m eagerly anticipating the results. I’m going to start piecing this workout together this weekend. My training for Boston and Galveston 70.3 will begin next week, Monday Dec. 5th.

Thank you for reading this blog entry. Best of luck to all my friends running White Rock this weekend. I’m not running the race but, will be out there to support.

As always feel free to email me any questions or comments you may have.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Week in review Monday 11-07-2011 to Sunday 11-13-2011

I had to endure new waters this week. It was my first week of Ironman recovery. This was a huge first for me. Now that the event is over what’s next? What do I do? I knew I had to take some time off but, how much time? Lot’s of questions when through my head this past week.

I read some online recommendations. Some mentioned it took several weeks and some said it took several months. I’m on day 10 of post IM Florida and I’m feeling pretty good. I know I’m not 100 percent but, I do not feel as if I’m going to need several weeks or months to recover. I could be way off on this feeling but, I have a gut feeling that says otherwise. So, the question to myself is why do I feel this way? Maybe it had something to do with my post race recovery?

I ended up taking three days off. The Sunday, Monday and Tuesday after the event I had absolutely noting on my schedule but to relax. I ended up putting in an easy 30 minute swim on Wednesday morning. Thursday morning I got a 1 hour spin in on the Computrainer. I kept that work out light and easy. I just wanted to spin to continue to flush my legs. Thursday night I put in a light 2 mile run. My legs were still sore and a bit heavy but, I also felt them coming around.

Friday morning rolled around and I got in a 45 minute spin at my local gym and some ab work to go with it. I was starting to feel pretty good. My energy levels were coming back around. I decided to go ahead and put in a workout on Saturday. I put in a 4k run, 2 hour interval bike ride and a body pump class. When I was done with the work out I felt pretty good. I was excited about getting through the work out and I knew I would be sore and hurting the next few days mainly because I had not done any type of strength training in about a year.

I closed out my week by putting in a run before I volunteered at a local duathlon. I really, really, REALLY wanted to race but, I knew it would be best that I skip giving it was only a week after my IM event. So, instead of racing I put in a run before the event. I got in an easy 8 mile run. I wanted to push for 12 miles but, I ran out of time. I think the 8 miles I put in that morning was perfect. I allowed me to feel my legs again and see where my body was as far as recovery.

I had a really good time volunteering this weekend. As much as I wanted to join in on the fun I also had a blast following and cheering on fellow triathletes. Meeting first timers brought back memories of when I first started.

I have several new things brewing and I need to find time to work on each of them. One item I need to get to is my race calendar for the off season. I’m signed up for the Cowtown half marathon and the Boston marathon. Once I get my training schedule down I’ll start fitting other races into my schedule. I’m contemplating doing Galveston 70.3 but, that would leave me two weeks out from the Boston marathon which I would like to set as my A race before I get into full swing next year for trathlons. There will be more to come as the weeks progress.

Thank you again for reading this entry. The cold weather appears to be settling in. It’s a great time to get out and run.

As always feel free to email me any questions or comments you may have.


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Ironman Florida - Week in review Monday 10-31-2011 to Sunday 11-06-2011

Ironman Florida week! Where do I begin? I apologize for the late blog entry but, I needed a few days to soak in what just happened. I spent the last eight months training for an event that would last one day. The week of the event was finally here. I headed out of town on Wednesday at 2 a.m. and 13 hours later I arrived at Panama City Beach with a fellow Tri Junkie member who was also doing the event.

I was a bit concerned about the drive and how it would affect me once we had arrived. I was fortunate enough that the drive did not affect me. Taking turns at the wheel on the drive to Florida allowed me to get my regular hours of sleep in. We arrived in Panama City and the first thing I noticed was the number of athletes running and cycling the area. There was a different vibe in the air. I can now associate it with the Ironman event.

On Wednesday I had a run and short bike on my schedule as part of my taper. After unpacking I enjoyed a run along the beach side and finished off my workout spinning on the balcony of the condo watching the sun set. It’s a moment that would be pretty hard to top. The scenery of the beach, the colors of water and the sun sinking into the ocean was pretty breath taking. I was so caught up with the scenery that I forgot to put the earphones in my ears during my spin.

Thursday morning we headed to the beach close to race time to try and simulate race morning conditions. The first thing I noticed was the swells and white caps close to the shore line. It was an intimidated sight for me given that I do not favor swimming. Along with the weather conditions we also tried to get a good feel of the current. Knowing the current would be helpful come race time.

The water was crystal clear and as I swam out into the ocean I could see straight the bottom of the ocean. I could not tell how deep the water was. It felt like I was swimming in place but, when I stopped to spot where I was to my surprise I had traveled a good distance from the shoreline. After the swim we took a break for lunch and scouted the bike route. The route looked fairly flat. We had a good feeling that the only challenge may be the wind.

Thursday was an odd day for me. I got a in a swim, scouted out the bike route and picked up the race packet. There were several reasons for me to be pumped up and excited but, I wasn’t. I also wasn’t nervous. I was just there. I felt absolutely nothing knowing that in a couple of days I would lay 8 months of work on the line for a single event. What was wrong with me? If I went into the event on Saturday with this mindset I thought I would for sure be in for a long day.

Friday was a rest day for me and a day of mental preparation. The only thing I had to do was get a morning massage and drop off my bike, run bag and bike bag to the transition area. With so little going on it was an emotional rollercoaster for me. I went from a low to a high and back to a low in less than 12 hours.

While dropping off my bike and bags to the transition area I felt adrenalin rush through my body. It was like night and day. I was all of a sudden excited and looking forward to the race to see if all the training I did would pay off. I believe seeing all the other competitors’ bikes in transition triggered that reaction. Whatever the trigger was I was floating on a cloud and my mind and body felt ready to race.

Friday evening rolled around and my energy levels dropped again. I also started to feel ill. At this point I could not tell if I it was nerves or if I was truly coming down with an illness. Not taking any chances I decided to up the intake of orange juice and I drank a dosage of Airborne, an all natural immunity booster. It was 10 p.m. and my alarm clock was set for 4 a.m. Tomorrow was race day and I had no idea what it would have in store for me.

Saturday morning…Race Day!

The announcer in the mandatory race meeting went over what we as athletes should expect on race day. He said, “You swim a little, bike a little and run a little and you’re done, it’s that simple”. Reflecting upon my training I knew that I had not covered 140.6 miles in one training session. Had I put in enough training to get me through the 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and 26.2 mile run? I found myself doubting but, as quickly as I doubted I talk myself out of it and placed my faith in the training I had done.

First up the swim, I felt like a true armature when I found out that it was a mass start. When the cannon goes off there would be over 2,400 age groupers starting the swim. I was nervous as I knew it was going to be crowded and I really wanted to hit my swim goal. I decided to start over to the right side of the swim area to try not to get tangled with the crowd. The current was also moving from right to left so I figured it would be easier for me to angle my way to the first turn buoy.

The cannon went off and we were on our way. My Ironman journey had begun. The swim was a two loop 1.2 mile course. The first loop was a beating. I got hit with hands, forearms, elbows, knees and feet. Before I could reach the first turn buoy I had to stop and let water out of my goggles. I had been hit in the face a couple of times each time let a little more water in. It was really hard to get into a swim rhythm. Every time I started getting into a rhythm I swam up on a slower swimmer.

It felt like driving through rush hour. When someone hit the breaks everyone else behind them had to hit the breaks. It was a constant go, slow down, stop, go swim for the first loop of the swim. The second loop was a bit more forgiving as the swim crowd began to thin out.

As I was finishing my second loop I was certain that my swim time goal was going to be a bust. I just wanted to finish the swim and get going on my bike. Finishing my second lap and exited the beach as quickly as I could. I got my wet suit half way off to allow the wetsuit peeler to get the rest of the suit off. I ran to a peeler and laid on my back with my feet up so he could strip the wet suit off. The wet suit got caught on my right leg and the peeler toughed and pulled on the suit causing my right calf to cramp. I was real concerned about what just happened. I hobbled away limping with a cramp calf muscle to transition one.

The muscle relaxed as I ran through T1 and into the changing area. T1 had four long run stretches. It was a good 400 meters from beach exit to changing room area. It was maybe another 400 meters to leave the changing area before reaching the bike out.

There were volunteers in the T1 area who were handing out bikes. My bike was unfortunately missed and I had to go pick it out myself. I had my bike in hand and started running to the mount line. The mount area was very narrow and I decided to run my bike at least a couple hundred yards down passed all the madness. I didn’t want to risk accidently running into anyone or anyone running into me.

The first 6 miles of the bike was quick and easy. I was out moving at a good clip with the wind at my back. I found myself passing riders during the first 6 miles with ease. After the 6 mile point we hit a turn and headed north. From mile 6 to mile 80 figuring out the wind was a guessing game. I would venture to say that 75% of the ride was against the wind. I was upset because I knew I was going to miss my set goal for my bike average. I also knew that I wasn’t the only one out here fighting the wind. I kept telling myself that everyone would be affected equally.

I stayed focus making sure that I was hydrating and consuming my calories as planned. I knew that if I missed my nutrition that would affect me on the run. I had a 24 ounce bottle filled with roughly 1800 calories. I planned on consuming calories every 10 miles of the bike with my last calorie consumption coming at mile 100. I also planned on consuming a couple hundred solid calories which I consumed at mile 40 and mile 80.

I knew I had passed a lot of riders during the race. I did so with ease and it felt great. I knew the training had paid off. I had a couple solid 5 to 5 and ½ hour ride sessions during my training where I did not stop peddling. I knew this would be and advantage. When we hit down hills I noticed some of the racers would coast to rest their legs. That was not the case for me. I was never resting and would pedal past the riders who were costing. I felt the conditioning paying off.

The last 6 miles of the bike were tough. Though the road was flat we road straight into an aggressive head wind. I kept thinking I really did not want put forth this type of effort before starting the 26.2 mile run. I got through the last 6 miles of the bike and headed into T2.

In T2 the volunteer handed me my bag. My bag was in the front of T2 so I had a good little run to get into the changing area. As I sat down to open my bag I realized that the volunteer had handed me the wrong bag. I was bib 1233 and she handed me bag 1223. Man what a mess. I was pissed for a second. Thank fully the volunteer in the area who was helping me sent someone out to get my bag. As I waited for my bag the seconds that ticked away felt like minutes. I was standing around in the changing area with nothing to change into.

Finally the volunteer came back with my bag. What took him maybe a minute felt like an hour of waiting. I reached to grab the bag from him and noticed that the bag he brought me was also not mine. Again my bib number was 1233 and he brought in 233. Now I was a wreck. I decided that I should jump up and get my own bag and that is exactly what I did. I darted out of the changing area and hurdled trough T2 jumping over rows of bags making my way to the front of T2 where I knew my bag would be.

I saw my bag and I finally had it in hand. I ran back into the changing area and quickly go into my shoes. I put my fuel belt around my waist and I was out the door headed towards the run out.

I was finally on the run course. The run course was a two 13.1 mile loop. I pushed what just happened aside and focused on my run. I had my Garmin on to help me keep pace. I got through the first mile and I was at a 9 minute pace. Wow, I thought to myself. I was really concerned about my legs. I was expecting to run my first mile in the high 6 to low 7 minute area. I grew worried that I had pushed to hard on the bike and used up too much leg.

Mile 2 rolled around and my pace dropped. I had settled into a low 7 minute mile pace. I was at home and felt good about what was now happening on the run. I had a goal of finishing the marathon in the low 3 hour mark but, at the same time I was willing to move that needle as needed. I also had the calf cramp which took place after the swim in the back of my mind. I did not want to have to stop and stretch. I had given into the fact that the 3 hour marathon was not going to happen today.

I changed my run goal to finish the marathon in 3 and ½ hours. As the run pushed on I passed several other competitors. I was able to see the pros on the run course which I thought was pretty cool. The 1st place male had a great pace going and looked real comfortable on the run.

I was feeling pretty good as I finishing the first 13.1 mile loop. I was on top of my nutrition and my legs were holding up well. There were aid stations set up on every mile of the run course. I made sure I took a sponge at every station and I took in some water at ever other station. I planned on taking in my nutrition every 30 minutes of the run. Everything was going as planned until I hit mile 18. With 8 miles left I noticed my pace was starting to slow down.

My legs were not heavy but, felt a bit fatigued. My concern was back on cramping. I did not want to cramp mainly because I did not want to stop. I approached the rest of the race with the thoughts of keeping the pressure of the run nice and easy. I kept telling myself do not do anything stupid. This meant do not run faster than your body is allowing you to. I felt there was a fine line between what my body would allow me to do before it would cramp. I did not want to cross it.
Last year I had a bad experience when I did my first ½ Ironman. Given I had to run the ½ marathon with a growing injury I ended up cramping the last four miles of that race. It was pretty bad. My body slowly started to give up. First my right calf cramped then my right hamstring cramped finally my left hamstring cramped. I had to stop and stretch each time I had a cramp. That was about a year ago and it was still fresh in my mind.

I with about 5 miles left in the race my pace was in the low 8 minute range. I wanted to make sure I was able to hit my new 3 hour 30 minute goal so I decided to role the dice and push my body a little bit. I did not allow myself to get any slower than an 8:30 pace at any given time. Mile by mile I was getting closer and closer to the finish line.

I was two miles out from the finish line and the reality of what I was about to accomplish started to hit me. Three years ago I was learning how to swim and to ride a bike to be able to compete in sprint triathlons. Three years later and I find myself about to finish my first full Ironman. Words cannot explain how good I felt. I had a smile from ear to ear as I chipped away at the last two miles.

Someone mentioned that the last mile would be the easiest mile of the race. That someone was right. I was on an adrenaline high. What was a low 8 minute mile pace was now a 6 minute mile pace. Yes, that’s right. I was pushing about a 6 mile pace for the last mile and I was still carrying that huge smile on my face. As I approached the finish line I noticed that I was under the 10 hour mark. That was pure icing on the cake. I was completely ecstatic.

Finishing under the 10 hour mark was one of my last minute goals I had set for myself. I wasn’t sure I was going to hit it given what felt like a horrible swim followed by a head wind bike and a missed goal time on my run. At the moment I didn’t care how I was under the 10 hour mark. I was overjoyed with the accomplishment at hand. I crossed the finish line and I knew I was now an Ironman. I heard the announcer say it I also hear several people in the finish shoot say it. I could not hear it enough.

Here are some quick stats on the event.

Event distance: 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and 26.2 mile run.
2,439 competitors, this included 24 pro men and 10 pro women.
Swim Time: 1 hour 13 minutes 58 seconds
T1 Time: 7 minutes 3 seconds
Bike Time: 5 hours 7 minutes 49 seconds
T2 Time: 4 minutes 20 seconds

Run Time: 3 hours 21 minutes 25 seconds
Finish time: 9 hours 54 minutes 33 seconds
Finished 83rd overall (included the pro field) out of 2,439.
Finished 20th in my age group out of 356.

I still owe a few of you some email responses to questions asked about this event an training leading up to this event. I will get to you guys as soon as I can. Please feel free to send me another email or if you have my number text me or call me. I’ve had a lot going on since I got back into town and I want to make sure I get back to you.

Thank you for reading this blog entry. My next entry will talk about the off season and my training preparation for the Boston Marathon.


Monday, October 31, 2011

Week in review Monday 10-24-2011 to Sunday 10-30-2011

Week 35 of 36 was my first of two taper weeks. This week had 10 hours 55 minutes on tap. Given this is my first ironman event I had no idea how the taper weeks would treat me. I knew I was going to face a reduction in workout hours but, had no idea that I was going to struggle with the thoughts wrapped around my upcoming event.

I spoke with several people this week, three of which are also doing IM Florida. Two of my friends had already completed an Ironman and had already been down this path once before. My other friend and I are first timers and this is a discovery phase for us. I am full of different emotions. I’m glad I did not have too much extra time on my hands to dwell on them. I’m nervous and excited for myself and the other three friends who are also racing with me this Saturday.

I had several questions running through my head this past week. Have I trained enough? Is my nutrition right? Am I eating right or too much? I had put in hours upon hours of working out and I still was left to question my conditioning. Taper week one was really messing with my mind. I was really concerned about putting on weight before my event. I’m okay with putting on a couple of pounds but, nothing more than that. I also wanted to go into the race feeling fresh and ready.

I was fortunate enough to I get some advice from a local tri pro. He shared a list of things I should consider doing leading up to my event. I read through the list and it made a lot of sense. The prep advice was something I needed not only to help me prepare but to also help calm my down.

I did feel a little sluggish during a couple of my work out sessions this week. My swim has improved some but, not much. It was hard for me to gage where I was on the bike. I was fighting lack of sleep and fatigue. Those are two ingredients which can really make for a bad work out session and will leave you with questions. My running this past week felt pretty good.

I know I should be thinking about anything other than IM Florida right now but, I’m eager to start racing in running events. There is also a duathlon I have my eye on at the end of November. Speaking of duathlons this will be the first year since I started doing triathlons back in 2009 in which I will miss Bronda’s Du. The event is one week after IM Florida and there is no way I would be recovered to race in that event. I wish that wasn’t the case but, it is what it is. I love that event not only does Jack with Ironhead productions put on a great race but, it’s also at the Texas Motor Speed way which is very cool. I’ll have to be patient and wait until next year.

As I sit her on a Monday night trying to reassess where I am and how I’m feeling I’m very confident that I’ve put in enough time to get me across the finish line. I do have some goals set for IM Florida but, my main goal is to finish. I’ve been asked what distance I would like to race next year. I honestly do not know. I want to get a taste of a full Ironman. Once I’ve completed this event I should be able to set some triathlon goals for 2012. All I can say is that I feel like I’m just getting started. I’m really excited about my upcoming marathon training and my off season cycling and swimming training. I’m going to try and set some higher goals for next year.

I’d like to end this blog entry by wishing everyone racing this weekend the best of luck. If you are a resident of the DFW area there is plenty of opportunity for you to get involved in an event. Don’t take where you live for granted. It’s still mind boggling to me to see all the events available for us to participate in. You can find a 5K, 10K or ½ marathon without trying too hard. Where I come from that isn’t the case. When I go home for vacation I would be lucky to find a 5K to run in.

As always feel free to email me of you have any questions, comments or random thoughts. If you have a story to share I’d love to hear about it.


Monday, October 24, 2011

Week in review Monday 10-17-2011 to Sunday 10-23-2011

Week 34 of 36 had 15 hours and 30 minutes of training in it. The first few days of this week was an absolute blur. Driving back into town took over 10 hours. Combine the drive with the hard training weekend left me completely exhausted. I woke up Tuesday morning my energy levels were really low and knew I would have to skip my morning swim. My body still had not caught up from the previous three days.

Tuesday afternoon rolled around and I was on the computrainer getting a short ride in. I was feeling better. I started to think through the rest of my training week and realized that after this week I would be only two weeks away from my Ironman event. I’ve been in training for 34 weeks and now, doubt and nerves started to set in. So many thoughts started going through my head. Am I ready? Have I put in enough training? Was my quality of training going to get me to the finish line? Is my nutrition on its mark? The questions go on and on.

I got through my Wednesday and Thursday sessions and started to calm myself down. After this week I would begin to taper. This meant a couple of things. First there isn’t anything I can do about the training. I’ve put in the work and I’ve I have to be confident in what I’ve done. This also meant that my training hours would start dropping dramatically.

I think the upcoming two taper weeks are going to be more mentally draining than physically draining. I didn’t want to think too much about the taper weeks and fortunately a friend of mine who text me earlier in the week about training on Saturday shot me another text with what I saw as a challenge. I had a 4 and ½ hour ride online for Saturday and he suggested we do a hill ride that would take 2 hours. I said no at first as I shot him a text message with a photo of a sheet of paper which said, “Keep your effort aerobic. No hard group rides.” I thought about it for a few seconds after I sent the “No” reply and decided to change my mind. I figured I could climb with a low effort for two hours. It would be a test of self control. I also had a 45 min run afterwards which he said he would join me on.

Saturday came along and I started it off with a 1 hour warm up on the bike. After the warm up we started on this “steady” climb which translated to a hill climb that started off with a 2.5 percent grade. When riding a computrainer it is a constant effort. There is no coasting there are no breaks. If you stop peddling you stop going forward. The next two hours would prove to be interested. The grade never dropped below 2.5. There were sections in the course that held steadily at 8 percent, 15 and 18 percent. We hit a section of the course that registered as a 29.1 percent grade. Yes, I will not leave out that .1 percent. J After 2 hours on the steady climb I found that I had only traveled 20 miles. Though I averaged only 10 miles per hour I ended up averaging out over 30 more watts on that ride. The run after the ride went really well. I had two friends run with me. It felt like a social run and it made the 45 minute run go by smoothly.

I had one last long run and short spin on Sunday. I didn’t know what to expect Sunday morning given I had that 2 hour steady climb. It rained that night and into to the morning. I decided to sleep in a bit and get my run in a little later than normal. My run went well I put 12 miles in at a 75% effort and my pace was pretty much on its mark. It felt good to finish my last long week on a good note.

As I venture into my taper weeks I don’t know what to expect but, I’m going into it with a positive attitude. It’s going to be a time of physical recovery and recuperation, a time of mental preparation. I know the event will be upon me before I know it.

As always feel free to email me of you have any questions, comments or random thoughts. If you have a story to share I’d love to hear about it.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Week in review Monday 10-10-2011 to Sunday 10-16-2011

Week 33 of 36 had 15 hours and 30 minutes of training in it. This week was going to get a bit crazy. I signed up for an out of town event, King of the Causeway Challenge, in South Padre Island. This meant that I would have to travel a total of 18 to 20 hours this week, work three days and figure out a way to squeeze in my training.

I stuck to my normal routine for Monday and Tuesday. I decided to move one of my Thursday workouts to Wednesday to free up my Thursday evening. It worked out pretty well. I ended up putting in three workouts on Wednesday and an early morning workout on Thursday morning.

The drive from DFW to the Rio Grande Valley would prove to be long as expected. I had been up since 4:20 a.m. and I knew my day wasn’t going to end anytime soon. I knew I had a long hard training weekend ahead of me and wasn’t sure how the drive was going to affect me. I’m originally from the Rio Grande Valley and had a family event to attend to plus packet pick up for the King of the Causeway Challenge. My day would come to an end at 12 midnight. It made for a very long day.

Friday came around and I was not feeling good. My energy was low and I was just felt crappy. I had a 45 minute swim to put in and luckily I found a public pool to get my swim in. Swim options in the valley are pretty limited. It was the middle of the day and the pool was outside. I ended up getting just enough sun to leave me with a headache. Now not only did I feel weak I also had a headache. I was not too confident about the upcoming weekend’s events. I took something to help boost my immunity system and decided to turn in by 10:30 p.m.

Saturday was here and I was up again at 4:20 a.m. It was KOC Challenge weekend. The event consisted of a two stage bike race on Saturday and a Sunday sprint triathlon. I knew I was going to have to put in more hours than what the event would provide so I threw in a couple extra workouts.

The Saturday morning stage one road race was a 58 mile ride through the southern tip of Texas. The Saturday evening stage two road race was an 11 mile sprint that went over a 3 mile causeway. I had a 4 hour and 25 minute ride to put in along with a run and a swim. I knew the two races would not give me the time I needed. I ended up showing up early and spun on my trainer for an hour before the 58 mile ride.

Before the road race began I was told that since I had a tri bike I was not to ride in a pack or draft off of anyone. I was completely fine with that since I wouldn’t be able to draft in my IM event. The morning ride went well. I missed my training average by a little bit but given I road the course all on my own effort I was very happy with the ride. I was also pretty excited about the fact that I was ridding outside for a change. The south Texas weather was perfect. I finished the ride and got in a quick 30 minute run. I was feeling pretty good after the first event. I knew my recovery and nutrition would be crucial to get me through the weekend. I immediately refueled and rehydrated after the event.

Saturday evening’s event was a quick 11 mile road race. Aside from a little wind the conditions for this race were excellent. I had another great ride and I hit my mark this time on my bike average.

Saturday evening rolled in and I was now feeling a bit fatigued. I was unable to get a nap in during the day as I had planned so I knew I would have to get to bed at a decent time. The next morning was the sprint triathlon and I had family and friends who were going to come by and see the event. It’s very rare that they get to see me race so I wanted to do well for them.

Sunday morning was here and I was hurting. I knew I was fatigued but, there was nothing I could do about it. It was go time and I had to mentally prepare myself for the race. This sprint event had two transition areas so I had to set up my run gear in T2 and road my bike over to T1 to set my bike up. It was maybe a 3 to 4 mile ride between transition areas. I figure it would make for a good little warm up.

The swim would take place on the bay side of the island. This would be my first salt water swim. I was nervous but excited at the same time. I hear that salt water was buoyant so now I would be able to experience it. The race officials called my wave into the water. He mentioned to be carful as there may be some barnacles on the floating doc. I sat on the lip of the floating doc and eased my way into the water. Yes, sir it was buoyant. In fact the buoyancy caught me by surprised and I floated over to the left just far enough to nick a barnacle with my elbow.

I enjoyed the swim. I did not hit the swim time I was looking for but, I still enjoyed the swim. I quickly transitioned to my bike I knew my legs were fatigued but, I also knew the route was going to be flat. I tired to hold a pace the best I could the whole way through. As I was on the bike I noticed a huge blood spot on my knee and quad. I wasn’t sure why I was bleeding. I then noticed my elbow. The barnacle had cut me when I entered the swim area. I blew it off and focused back on my bike.

Coming off the bike I felt I had put in a pretty solid effort. I jumped out onto the run course. I was looking forward to this run and was expecting to hold a certain pace. It didn’t take long to figure out that I was going to miss my run goal. My quads and legs were heaving and hurting. I had to focus hard on my form and depend on it to get me through the run.

I had lost a sprint earlier this year by 13 seconds and I just knew that every second counted. With about a mile to go I was running on fumes. I pushed what I could and got across the finish line. I was happy with my effort and was completely exhausted from the push. I took a few minutes to get myself together. I washed the cut on my elbow and spoke with a few of the athletes along with my family members for a few minutes.

I had a one hour run to do and thought about passing on it. I knew I wasn’t going to pass on the run but, I did think about it for a second. My goal for this weekend just like every past weekend is to put in my training hours. I changed into a fresh pair of running shoes and got my run in. When I got back to the race site I ran into a friend of mine who told me he got second overall. I congratulated him on his placing. He then told me that I took the overall win beating him by 3 seconds. Yes, 3 seconds. I know how that feels. In a sprint every second counts. I was defiantly excited about winning the inaugural KOC Triathlon. Wally and his crew did a fantastic job putting on this event. There was a lot of sweat and time that was put in behind the scenes to make this event come together.

In addition to the sprint triathlon overall win I also took 1st in my age group for the Saturday two stage bike race. Laura Reyna and her crew also did an outstanding job. I would love to come back next year and do this all again. We’ll see what 2012 has in store for me.

I met several new friends in the area. A great group of guy and girls who I know will be better and stronger next year. There were a couple of triathlon first timers who did an awesome job. I also met a gutsy gentleman who had a badly sprained ankle but, still went ahead with the swim and bike portion of the triathlon. Both Wally and Laura are doing a fantastic job by hosting these events in the Rio Grande Valley area. I hope they continue putting on these events. The valley needs more of them.

For now this week has come to a close. It was a week of accomplishments for me. I had a list of goals at the beginning of the year. I will recap those as we get closer to December. I’ve already hit three of them. Winning a triathlon event was one of my goals. Please see my Facebook page for event pictures.

As always feel free to email me of you have any questions, comments or random thoughts. If you have a story to share I’d love to hear about it.


Monday, October 10, 2011

Week in review Monday 10-03-2011 to Sunday 10-09-2011

Before I get into the meat of this weeks blog I want to send out a congratulations to all Ironman World Championship finishers who competed this past Saturday morning. A huge congrats goes out to local DFW athletes Patrick Schuster, David Jones and John Morgan for completing this event.

Another week is gone and I’m one more week closer to my IM Florida event. This week was pretty uneventful. Week 32 of 36 had 15 hours and 30 minutes of training in it and was geared to be a low intensity recovery week.

I was pretty tired on Monday coming off of a huge volume week. It felt like one rest day was not enough. I’m constantly thinking about my swim and how I need to improve it. I know it’s not going to happen this year but, I’m still searching and trying new things. I was online searching for strength exercises for my swim and I stumbled upon an article which talked about the EVF (Early Vertical Forearm) technique. I read through the article and it said a lot of things that made sense. I vaguely remember seeing an EVF video earlier this year but, never really did explore it. I searched and found one which showed how several swim pros utilize EVF in their swim. I felt like I had new life again and maybe this is what will help me shave some seconds off my 100 meter pace. I look forward to blogging about the out come later this year.

I also realized that I have not lifted any type of weights for almost 3 years now. All my strength training has come from hill repeats on the run, hill climbing/low cadence on the bike and pulls on the swim. I’m already thinking ahead for next year and want to do some type of base strength training with weights. Optimally I would like to improve my strength to weight ratio in all three areas. This will make me a better athlete for next season.

This week in review is going to be a bit short. Again it was pretty uneventful. I had one highlight which was my Sunday morning run. It rained on me the entire 1 hour and 30 minutes I was out there. I loved every minute of it. My shoes were wet and heavy. I was also soaking wet but, I really did not care. The weather was cool and the water was refreshing. It was so refreshing that I actually took more hydration than I needed. I ended up not drinking close to 24 oz of fluids.

It’s now Monday evening and I’m planning out my whole week of training. I’m going to be traveling out of town and will need to incorporate my training with my travel. I have a couple of out of town events lined up for me this weekend. I have a two stage bike race/rally on Saturday and a sprint triathlon on Sunday. I will use both of these events for training. One of the reasons I signed up for the triathlon was because it was a salt water swim. I wanted to get some salt water swim experience before my IM Florida event.

I’m a bit excited that these events are back near my home town. There are not many triathlon events in that area so I’m taking this opportunity to invite family and friends to come see me race in a sprint triathlon. This will allow me to share something I truly enjoy doing with them. It’s rare that I have any family see me in any of my events so this means a lot to me. I’m looking forward to this fun filled weekend.

As always feel free to email me of you have any questions, comments or random thoughts. If you have a story to share I’d love to hear about it.


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Week in review Monday 9-26-2011 to Sunday 10-02-2011

Training week 31 of 36 had 19 hours of training in it. This would be my longest training week of my training program. I also had to incorporate the Toyota U.S. Open Olympic triathlon I had signed up for earlier in the year. Last year I went to the event as a spectator. I heard there were going to be some Pros racing and I wanted to see them compete. I had no idea that this event was the finally to a race series. I thought it was really cool to be able to see them race and it would be even cooler to race with them. That’s the main reason why I signed up for the event.
Going into this week I knew that my conditioning would be tested. I had just come off a ½ marathon race and I had one rest day before getting back into my Ironman training. I also had the Toyota Open Olympic event at the end of my long week. I was having second thoughts about racing. I didn’t want it to interfere with my training.

I was a bit sore and tired on Monday. I took full advantage of the rest day and did absolutely nothing from a workout prospective. Last weeks training took extra personal motivation to get my workouts in. I did not want to just “get through” the week so I made an attempt to get mentally into my training. I was sore during my Tuesday swim/bike and Wednesday run/bike workouts but, I pushed through them and felt good about my efforts.

Thursday rolled around. I had a long swim and a run on my plate. The weekend was fast approaching and while I was on my run I started thinking about my weekend’s workout and the Toyota U.S. Open on Sunday. I knew I was going to have to use it as a training race so I had to take that mind set with me into the weekend.

Friday was an easy swim day and I’m glad a friend of mine suggested we go get an open water swim in. I had not been in my wetsuit since late June maybe early July. When I purchased my wetsuit back in 2010 I decided to opt for the full body suit. I read that there was a buoyancy benefit. Well what I didn’t read but, later learned is that there is also more of an effort to get your arms moving in a full body wetsuit. I was hoping the practice session would help me break back into that wetsuit effort.

After my swim on Friday afternoon my weekend turned into a blur. My Saturday started at 4:20 a.m. I had a 5 hour computrainer ride, 45 minute run and 20 minute swim. I put in a good effort on the bike. I had the race the next day on my mind but, I kept telling myself it’s for training. I will benefit more by putting in a solid Saturday workout effort. I reminded myself throughout the workout session that the goal is IM Florida not the US Toyota. I got through my session and felt really a bit fatigued but, I also felt good. I headed over to packet pick up and was fortunate to find some people doing ART for free. I got my legs worked on. This was like finding gold. My legs needed it badly.

I scouted the 40k bike and 10k run and found that they were no picnic. I was hoping for a sub 1 hour 20 minute time but, after seeing the hills on both the bike and run I knew it was going to be tough to get there. I knew that Sunday’s race was going to hurt. My Saturday came to a close a little after 11 p.m. I’m usually in bed by 10 p.m. before race day but, I had family come into town and was playing host.

Sunday came around and I was up again at 4:20 a.m. It was race day. I decided to wear my Wheaties Fuel gear to this event. I was out the door and headed over to the event. I was able to get there by 5:30 a.m. just in time for transition to open. I got my stuff squared away and was ready to work. The day was great for racing. I felt real relaxed on the swim, maybe too relaxed as I missed my swim time by a few minutes. The bike was tough the first 5 miles felt like it was all up hill. The rest of the bike was rolling. We were either riding up or rolling down. I missed my mark on the bike by 3 minutes but, I had not accounted for the hills so I was happy with my time. The 10k run was also very hilly. The first mile was a steady climb the next four miles were rolling hills. The only fun part about the run was the last mile. It was mostly down hill. I kept focused on my legs I wanted to make sure I didn’t fall on my face.

The finish to this event was very cool. We got to run through a finish area that was lined up with people who were cheering us as we came through the finish line. I had no idea what my time was or where I finished. I knew I had a great training session and though I wish I could have pushed harder on the bike and the run I knew that my performance was going to be restricted due to my previous day’s workout. I met up with a fellow Team Wheaties Fuel member who was in my age group and finished in front of me. He asked me how I did; I told him I did not know. I asked him the same question and he was pretty confident that he won our age group. I congratulated him on a great race. He then told me he though I was second in our age group. Now that was a surprise. I was going to get my recovery run in but, I decided to wait for results. It turns out that I did not get 2nd in my age group but, I did get third. That was pretty cool. I was able to take home some hardware. I also was able to sneak in another ART massage before I headed home. J

As I drove back to my area I was seriously contemplating a nap. I knew I had a one hour run left to do and I started thinking of skipping it and just calling it a day. I got close to my house and starting thinking about IM Florida. I just could not walk away from the last hour of my workout. I decided to stick to the plan. I drove to the park and got my one hour run in. I took it nice and easy just making sure I got my time in.

I want to close out this week’s blog with a quick note. Each time I go to an event there is usually something that keeps me motivated. This Sunday I noticed an elderly overweight lady as she walked on the dock with her wetsuit on. I would have loved to have spoken with her to find out what is her motivation. I knew there were relay teams so I figured she was the swim member of a relay. I was pleasantly surprised to see her on the run course. I thought to myself how awesome is that? She was not on a relay after all. She was doing a sprint triathlon all on her own. I didn’t see her finish but, I’m sure she did. She looked real strong on the run. This is a great reminder that it is never to late to make a change and put forth an effort.

It was great seeing all my fellow triathlon friends at this weekend’s race. Congratulations to all who raced on this tough course. It was no walk in the park.

As always feel free to email me of you have any questions, comments or random thoughts. If you have a story to share I’d love to hear about it.


Hardware from the Toyota US Open.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Week in review Monday 9-19-2011 to Sunday 9-25-2011

Training week 30 of 36 had 16 1/2 hours of training in it. I will admit that this week was the toughest training week thus far. It was mentally challenging more than physically challenging. It took a huge effort to get through the smaller mid week workouts. I had a pretty solid training week which ended with a ½ marathon race. Before I get into discussing my week I wanted to blog a little bit about a person who has gone through a life changing transformation.

I signed up for a half marathon to support my neighbor who is currently in training for his first full marathon. I mentioned the race to a friend of mine who I knew had been working his butt off in the gym and had put some miles on the treadmill. I asked him to come out and run a 5k while my neighbor and I ran the half marathon. I knew he could easily do a 10k but, since this would be his first running race I felt he would be more accepting to the idea of running a 5k.

He agreed and come out to run on Sunday and knocked out the 5k. He did a fantastic job finishing 16th over all and 2nd in his age group. Okay I know what most of you may be thinking. So this was a guy who got into the gym trained and did a 5k, big deal.

I did mention life changing transformation, right? Well you see this individual started his transformation back in 2009 and by 2010 he lost 60 pounds. That is an awesome accomplishment. Losing 60 pounds is not an easy task. He kicked up the intensity level and workouts in 2011. Nine months later he had knocked out an additional 160 pounds! Yes, that’s right he’s dropped a total of 200 pounds in less than 3 years with most of them happening in 9 months.

I think it’s safe to say that this person has been through a life changing transformation. I’m very proud of his accomplishment and have encouraged him to continue on with his amazing journey. I think he is well on his way to maintaining. I can see him already making that crossover to living a healthy life style and not considering what he is doing dieting. I’m not a fan of “dieting” it’s a word that is frowned upon by many. There is a cloud of negativity which surrounds that word when it is used.

For those of us who want to loose a few pounds and live a healthier life. It is possible no matter how far from your goal you may be. I hope you can take my friend’s experience and use it as motivation to reach your own accomplishments. I know I will.

Here’s a little wrap up of my week.

As I mentioned it was hard for me to get it done during the week. I spoke with a couple of friends who were experiencing a similar week. I had another high volume weekend coming and I had signed up for a half marathon. At this point of my IM training I think the time on the bike is meant to get me mentally ready for the race.

I had the half marathon in the back of my mind on Friday. I was faced with a dilemma. I wanted to get a solid workout in on Saturday but, I also wanted to have a solid training race on Sunday. I felt my conditioning was very good and that I could make it work. I put in a 4 hour computrainer ride, 50 minute run and 30 minute recovery swim on Saturday. I made it a point to start at 5 a.m. to be able to have as much recovery time as possible for the next day’s hard training run.

I had a couple of goals for Sunday’s half marathon. I wanted to make sure I pushed myself beyond my IM marathon pace, I wanted to finish either at or faster than a 1 hour 30 minute time and I want to make sure my neighbor completed his run. This was my neighbor’s first half marathon. We spoke about the run and came up with a strategy. It was a chance for him to work on his nutrition and liquid intake.

Right before the race started I made my way to the front of the pack. I wanted to latch on to a faster runner to help me push. I also did not want to burn out so I placed a 6 minute mile pace limit on myself. The gun went off and immediately a runner bolted away from the pack. I decided to stick with him for as long as I could. We hit the one mile mark and had put in a 5:36 mile. It was way to fast for what I wanted to do. I slowed it down and tried to stick to my plan.

I knew I had a long workout the day before and I wanted to get through this race without killing myself. As the race went on I stuck to a pace and ended up really enjoying the run. I was presently surprised that I was not suffering or wishing it was over. It was a bit hot and humid but, nothing compared to the 100 plus degree weather I ran in earlier in the summer so I was perfectly fine with the conditions.

I was coming up on mile 10 and I was approaching an aid station. I yelled for water because the volunteers were not looking at runners heading back towards the finish. When I called out for water my right calf started to cramp up. It wasn’t bad but, I felt it warm up and knew bad was coming. As I grabbed a cup of water I noticed a police motorcycle pulled out in front of me. It appeared that he was slowing down and looking back waiting for something. Man did I feel like a goof. I finally realized he was looking for me. I was sitting in 2nd place overall and had a police motorcycle escort with less than 3 miles to the finish.

I thought that was way cool but, at the same time I knew I was on the verge of cramping. I thought to myself this may be the one and only time I get an escort in a race do not mess it up. It was gut check time and I just could not let this slip away. My calf muscles did cramp up at mile 11 and 12 but, I worked through them. I did slow down a bit for the last couple of miles but, I tried not to slow down to much. I had no idea how far back 3rd place was.

I was about a fourth of a mile away from the finish and I heard another police motorcycle pull up behind me. I though I was getting passed by 3rd place. I turned for the home stretch and kicked it up a notch. Right before the finish line I cramped up one last time. I was laughing inside at that point. I was just happy to have crossed the line with goals accomplished.

After the lady removed the chip from my shoe I went back for my neighbor. I found him and jogged back to the finish line with him. He did really well considering the warmer condition and though his ham cramped up with less than a fourth mile to go he was able to work it out and jog it through the finish line. Mission accomplished for him.

I ended up finishing 2nd overall in half marathon. I also walk way with a PR of 1 hour 22 minutes. After this weekend I’m confident that my endurance is where it needs to be. I have three more events before IM Florida. All of which I am using as part of my training. I will continue to stay on course with my workouts and not taper for any of these smaller events. I think it’s working for me thus far.

The human will is very powerful and when used to its fullest potential miraculous things can happen. I feel very blessed and fortunate to know of individuals who take that will and just simply get it done.

As always feel free to email me of you have any questions, comments or random thoughts. If you have a story to share I’d love to hear about it.


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Week in review Monday 9-12-2011 to Sunday 9-18-2011

Training week 29 of 36 had 18 hours of training. This is the biggest training week I’ve had all season. I just had a solid ½ Ironman training race and I was ready to get this week’s work out going. Reflecting back to my first ½ Ironman I could tell my conditioning was much better this time around. I had some soreness but, nothing that would keep me from training.

On Monday morning I remember stepping out of my place and feeling the cool refreshing 70 degree weather. It made it almost impossible for me to take my training day off. I held strong and resisted. I enjoyed the day off and the great weather. The change in weather was so welcome by all in the DFW area.

On Tuesday I had a swim in the a.m. and a bike in the p.m. I was a bit disappointed going into my swim session. I had the 41 minute 1.2 mile swim from Sunday on my mind. It really is frustrating for me knowing that IM Florida could be a 1 hr and 20 minute swim for me. If that happens I’m going to be at least 20 minutes behind my competition. My bike isn’t strong enough to make up that ground and neither is my run. I’ve convinced myself not to think much about this IM’s upcoming swim. I’m going to let it play out and work on this during the offseason.

I contemplated blogging about my Wednesday’s morning run earlier this week. I may still add a little something under the 101 pages. I had a morning run and the rain was rolling in. I sat in my car and noticed how hard it was raining. For a second I thought about going back home and skipping my run then I thought to myself, “What is a perfect day?” I started thinking about race day and started going through the “What ifs”. I train with the “What ifs” in the pool why not on the bike or on my run. I heard stories of races having rain, high winds, cold temperatures and hale. There wasn’t any lighting just a hard rain so I decided to go get my run in. The reality is that your race day may not be the perfect race day. I took the opportunity to put myself in an uncomfortable situation, so if it does happen I will be a bit more prepared for it.

My Thursday and Friday workouts ran together. I put the work in while thinking about the weekend’s workout. I had high volume workout lined up and was already getting mentally prepared for it. As most of you already know I’ve taken my training rides indoors for the rest of my training session. On Saturday I had a 5 hour 15 minute bike ride on tap followed by a 30 minute swim. It was going to be a long Saturday morning.

My alarm went off at 4:20 a.m. on Saturday. I wanted to start my ride by 5 a.m. since I was dedicating close to 6 hours of my Saturday to a training session. Starting any later would leave me without much time to do anything else. I had a solid training ride in putting in 113 miles in on the bike. My swim also went well. I felt really good after my Saturday training session. I wanted to get out and run but, that was not on my plate for the day. I would have all the running I needed on Sunday.

Sunday’s workout session was a “Sandwich”. I just learned that term this week. J A “Sandwich” is a run, bike and run. I got a late start on Sunday and I paid for it. The humidity was pretty bad. I got done with the first leg of my workout and I was drenched with sweat. The only refreshing thing about my run was seeing Rick dong SAG for Patrick’s (IM Texas armature champion) run. That gave me a bit of an energy boost. It was good to know that I wasn’t the only one out there training and suffering.

I quickly transition to my bike and got my 45 minute spin in. I tried to keep my cadence between 85 to 90 rpm while watching some of the IM Vegas 70.3 on Universalsports.com. I’m glad Madison made that suggestion it made the 45 minutes go by pretty quickly.

I got off the bike and threw on a fresh pair of socks on and I was off to finish my 3rd and last leg. Legs were starting to feel heavy. I had a 30 minute out and 30 minute back to finish my day. I had put in a total of 21.5 miles on the run and I was so done. The only thought running threw my mind was ice bath.

This week was packed full of hard fun. I really enjoyed putting in the work. Completing this week boosted my confidence as I’m now less than 2 months away from my first Ironman.

I have a couple pair of shoes which I picked up from The Texas Running Depot. They are fairly new to the U.S. One is a trainer the other is a racing flat. The racer sits at a very light 5.5 ounces. I’ll put some work in them and blog a review in a week or two.

I hope you all had a great week. The weather is finally cooling off. Get out there and enjoy it.

As always feel free to email me of you have any questions.




Sunday, September 11, 2011

Week in review Monday 9-05-2011 to Sunday 9-11-2011

Training week 28 of 36 was a bit of a challenge. Coming off of last Sunday’s sprint and 10 mile run I was a bit sore and my energy levels were a bit low. This week’s training was supposed to be low intensity and high volume training, I had 17 total workout hours lined up. Monday was my rest day for this week. I was hopping the day off would allow my body to catch back up.

I got through my Tuesday and Wednesday’s works outs not feeling that great about them but, satisfied that I got the work in. I finally felt my energy level’s coming back on Thursday. I now had to make a decision about my weekend’s workout. On Saturday I had a long 5 hour 55 minute workout on my plate. With my half Ironman set for Sunday I knew that just would not work. I ended up swapping my Sunday and Saturday workouts.

Anytime I start mixing my schedule it makes me a bit nervous. I do not want to cut myself short because I’m afraid it will hurt my IM race in Nov. I went for the flip flop of schedules anyway. On Saturday I put in a low intensity 10 mile run followed by a 1 hour bike. I had 40 more minutes to put in but, I was running late and was not able to put it in. It didn’t bother me much as I knew I was going to push the next day in the half ironman race.

Sunday came and it was time to put in some high intensity work. I was treating it as a training day but, I was still going to push. I wanted to break the 5 hour mark. I ran into a lot of people I knew and met some new people. I noted that this race had a pretty stacked field. The current Texas Ironman armature champion Patrick Schuster, local triathlon pro Brent Poulsen, a couple top notch area competitors David Jones and Brian Miller were also in the field along with several other seasoned triathletes.

Up first was the 1.2 mile swim. This is the weakest of my events. I tried to relax and just get through the swim. I felt pretty fresh when I was done and I was ready to get onto my bike. I knew I was going to have to play catch up on the bike and run.

The 52 mile bike was a 4 loop course. I’m usually not too crazy about loop anything but this course was flat so I didn’t mind. Not sure why but, I struggled to warm up on the bike. I figured my Saturday morning workout had something to do with it. It wasn’t until about mile 11 when my legs finally felt like they were there. With maybe 5 miles left on the bike my left growing started to cramp up. I backed off the effort a bit and it worked itself out. I was now hesitant and did not want to push to hard. With maybe two miles left I was able to see some of my competition. I decided to go for it and push the last two miles of the bike. The run was next and I felt I would be able to pick off a few on the run. I had the cramp in the back of my mind because I wasn’t sure how it was going to affect my run.

I got into T2 to and started my 13.1 mile run. It was time to find out if the cramp was going to affect me. I felt good coming off the bike and my first mile was a low 6 minute pace. My plan was to try and stay around the 7 minute average for the run so I backed off a bit and settled into a 6:40 pace. The run felt good and pretty effortless. I kept checking my Garmin and wondered if the GPS was incorrect. I decided to hold that pace as long as I could. I was able to pick off a few people on the run and I didn’t cramp up. With about 3 miles left in my run I decided that if I hit my PR and had a top 10 finish I would pass on the 1 hour ride after the event.

I crossed the finish line and felt pretty good about the day’s work. I congratulated all the top finishers. I knew going into the race I was not going to have a top 5 finish and come race morning I wasn’t certain I would have a top 10 finish. After getting my easy 20 minute cool down run in I wet over to check results.

I landed a top ten finish! That was a huge bonus for my training day. My swim is still hurting my time but, I feel it will come around next year. I had the 42nd fastest swim time which translates to a catch up time of 6 minutes on the low end and 14 minutes on the high. In other words once I’m on the bike I’m already 6 to 14 minutes behind the leaders.

My bike was much better. I ended up having the 7th fastest bike overall. With the one pro in the field it was the 6th fastest bike amongst the armatures.

On the run I had the 2nd fastest overall run of the day. With the one pro in the field it was the fastest run amongst the armatures. This was certainly one of my highlights of the day.

My other highlight was my PR. I crushed my old PR by almost 17 minutes. I’m sure the flat course had some to do with it but, I’ll still take it!

I’d like to through a special thank you to Garrett Underdown, a fellow Team Wheaties Fuel member. Garrett is a seasoned triathlete who gave me some advice on managing my calorie and nutrition intake. I went ahead and gave it a try in today’s event and I had success with it. I know trying new anything on race day is a huge NO NO but, it was a training day for me and I decided to roll the dice and thankfully it paid off.

Thank you for reading this week’s blog entry and congratulations to all who competed today. Everyone who crosses the finish line are winners in my book.

Feel free to check out my facebook for pictures of the event.