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

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.


Sunday, September 4, 2011

Week in review Monday 8-29-2011 to Sunday 9-4-2011

What a training week! Monday was a huge rest day for me. I realized on Monday that I had two training races coming up on back to back weekends. This Sunday 9-4 I had a sprint Tri and the following Sunday 9-11 I have a ½ Ironman. This made me a bit nervous because I knew I would have to juggle my training schedule around to be able to do the events.
I was a bit reluctant and almost did not go to my sprint tri event on 9-4 because I really wanted to stick to my training. I went ahead and decided to make it work. Fortunately this week was an easy week.  I was able to use Tuesday and Wednesday to help aid my recovery from the previous week’s 287 mile three day bike ride. I finally started feeling my energy level and leg strength coming back on Thursday. I moved my long Saturday ride to Friday morning to allow me to get a rest day in before my sprint tri and long run on 9-4.
Race morning came and I was soon in the pool getting my race on the way. I had a pretty solid race. I felt pretty good in the swim, good on the bike and solid on my run. The run course was pretty flat and I had a good rhythm going.
In a sprint tri there really is no way to tell how you are doing in the race as the athletes start their swim one racer at time. I crossed the finish line and was happy with my effort. I quickly headed to my car to get a fresh pair of shoes on for my 1 hr 30 minute brick run.
I was hoping to place in my age group so I wanted to be back before the 10 a.m. awards.  I ended up cutting my run short by 15 minutes and was able to get back to the awards as they were announcing the male age group winners. I headed over to see the posted results and found that I had finished second over all. Bonus..! I also noted that the person who finished 1st over all beat me by 13.5 seconds. The “what if” started to run through my head. I knew there were places on that race where I could have made up 13.5 seconds. I was a bit upset at first but, I quickly let it go. It would have been nice to have been an overall winner but, I feel my time will come. I still walked away with a 1st place age group award and the satisfaction of getting a 10 mile run in after the race.
Next week I have a ½ Ironman which I’m also using as a training day. I have a few fellow triathlete friends who are also using it as a training day. This event is known to be very flat and hot. I know we are all hoping for good weather. It will be my second ½ Ironman event. I’m hoping for a PR. We’ll see how the cards pay out on 9-11.
As always it was good to see several fellow triathletes out there at the sprint tri. It was also good to meet new people and see all the newbies give the sport ago. Congratulations to all who competed this weekend and who are going to compete tomorrow on Labor Day.