Sunday, September 23, 2007

Reach the Beach

This was my first run since the race. We arrived in Fl, Friday night at 11PM, we went to the beach Saturday morning and I really wanted to swim, but the waves were rough and the surfers were out in numbers so in order to swim I would have to go way out past the breakers and then hope to not get run over, so I didn't swim.
Anyway, this morning I set out at 7 to go for a run on the beach. I figured I would run 30 minutes South, then turn around. Love running on the beach, but it was hard. It's extremely humid and at 7 am, it was still 78 degrees. Luckily there was a breeze on the beach that was blowing west so I didn't have to run into the wind.
After a week of no exercise, I was really ready to get back out there and the beach was calling. The humidity was mean, the breeze was warm, but I was running and it was on the Ocean so even though the second half was really tough, it was worth it.
Heading to Disney today, I am going to try to run a couple times in Orlando, then do a long run back on the beach next weekend.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

My brain on the duke liver half iron man ( race report)

first let me say that the day didn't start off all that great so I knew it was going to be more of a test of will then time. That being said, I finished, I'm happy :-).

the numbers
swim - 39:16
t1 - 1:53
Bike - 3:17:04
T2 - 3:39
Run - 2:47:28
Total - 6:49:18

At least I beat my goal times for transition ;-)

Hold on, this might get a little weird, it's 5pm right after the race and I wanted to get this done while it was fresh in my mind.

Woke up at 4 AM, watched some weather channel, got up and went to get some breakfast. I had my normal grapenuts, raisins, milk and 16 oz of water. My stomach was a little off, I attributed it to nerves. Finished packing the car, got dressed, wasn't sure what to wear as the water temp was right on the border, 79, so I planned for it to not be wetsuit legal, but brought a change just in case. Grabbed a powerbar and some ultima for the drive and headed out at 5:30.
while on the drive the powerbar was making me nauseous, not a good omen, so I only got half done. I arrived at the race at 6:10 and even though it was posted that 90% of participants would be able to park at the site, I saw all the cars headed out and took the first spot I could find about 1 mile away. It was pitch black so I grabbed everything, pumped up the tires and headed to transition. Found out it was wetsuit legal, and also that I forgot all my food for the bike back at the car. So got back on the bike and rode out to the car, changed in the car, grabbed the food and headed back. Got back at 7, luckily I didn't start until 7:20 and they were running a little late. Tried to eat again, no luck, so I put on the wetsuit, put the final touches on the transition setup and went down for a warmup swim. The water felt good, and I felt really good swimming during warmup.

The Swim:
Started off in the middle, didn't get beat up too much though, managed to get out ahead of some of the guys and found some feet to follow. Water wasn't too rough at the start, but that all changed at the first buoy. There were 5 buoys out, then turn around, so for the next 4 buoys, it was really rough. I started getting nauseous again so I slowed a little until it went away. I was able to pretty much go straight and steady the whole way out but ended up with a bunch of yummy lake water in my mouth. The way back on the other hand was awesome, I could feel the waves and pushed when they got behind me and helped. While going out felt like it took forever, coming back seemed to go by too fast. Got out, looked at my watch and thought not bad for that mess. Yes I wanted 35, but it was just too rough. My coach said everyone was having slow times, so that made me feel better.

Went by real quick, got my wetsuit off, shoes on, helmet and glasses, downed a gel and headed out. I even ran with my bike out of the transition.

Not sure what happened here as I have ridden the route a couple times and managed to do around 3:10. I figured with the adrenaline I could do 3:05. Started off and my lower back was hurting. What the hell is that. I never hurt my lower back swimming. And it didn't hurt before, oh well. The first part of the bike I took it easy, enjoyed the weather, made sure to get some non lake water fluids and some food. Still felt good, stomach hasn't bugged my since the first part of the swim, I was eating on the half hours, and drinking when ever. I had loaded the bike with 88 oz of ultima and I got a water bottle at each stop to pour on my head and grab a quick drink. Surprisingly, I was passing people on the hills, but getting passed back on the flats. My legs felt good out of the saddle and climbing, but in the saddle I couldn't maintain the power to keep them off. At the half way mark on was on track for a 3:10 but I knew the last part up pee ridge was going to be uphill into the wind so I was still trying to save some for the end. It was when I turned onto lower river when the wheels started coming off. It was hurting more and more on the uphills and I was running out of strength. Then, I wasn't able to eat anymore as the nausea came back. So I shifted to the small ring and starting spinning it in. When I got to pea ridge, I was able to eat again so I had two more crackers. It was somewhere on pea ridge road when Evil Bill took over the brain and started the we aren't going to finish this, why even bother starting the run? At mile 55 I screamed out loud, why won't this (expletive deleted) bike course end? This didn't help.
Rolled into race site and took off the shoes and noticed my toes were a bit numb. This mad it not too easy to run, so I walked to my bike spot, changed my shirt, lubed up with some chamy butter since my arms were showing signs of chaffing. Put on socks, shoes and hat, grabbed my hydration belt and headed out.
Ok, Evil Bill is in complete control, Stomach is saying no food, lower back is killing me. So I start to run, what else could I do? Anyway I notice right away that it doesn't hurt to run. I think without that little surprise my day would have been over right there. Ran to the first hill, saw my coach again who cheered my on and told me to pace myself. I had already decided that in order to finish I would be walking all the hills. I think there are 148 of them on this course, but I started up the first one anyway so she wouldn't see me walk and get nervous. After the corner, walk time. So if you've never run the duke half course, you're lucky, but you probably don't know what kind of hell awaits. I did it once as part of a relay and I think I told Cindy at the time that it was the hardest half marathon I had ever done and if I ever told her that I was going to do the whole race, that she should talk me out of it ASAP. I guess she forgot that, or it never happened, I prefer the former :-). First two miles 26 mins, I'm flyin, but then next two miles 24 minutes, hmm, I'm getting faster. Stomach is not complaining anymore, had one gel, one salt tab and 16 oz of ultima. Walk breaks are starting to pay off. All of a sudden, Good Bill pops up next to me. He kinda looked like my head with wings coming out of the ears. He is floating there and telling me if I want to finish, I need to let him get back in charge and get rid of Evil Bill. Sounds good to me, then I don't have to talk to him anymore and look like a crazy person, so Good Bill takes over and we banish Evil Bill to the back of my overcrowded mind. Hey, am I running up hill, stop that. Whew that was close. Time to turn around and do all those hills again. What fun. hmm, I'm hungry, but don't want more gel, already had 3, got 1 left. What should I try? Good Bill says Melisa really liked the oranges at white lake, try on of those. Are you sure? I mean my stomach has been buggin me all day and now you're telling me to eat some citrus. Are you nuts? Good Bill replies, Whose in charge here? and has Melisa ever let you down? OK OK, Next rest area, I'll have some water and an orange. Man, that was the best tasting orange I've ever had, maybe I should go back and get some more. Focus man. I guess I can wait for the next water stop. Long down hill here, feel fairly good, coming up to the loop around and Evil Bill comes back. This hurts, are you nuts? let's slow down and walk some more, you'll be lucky to break 7 hours. what's the point? Shut up Evil Bill, Good Bill and I are going to finish this race even if it takes 8 hours, which it's not as I only have 5 more miles to go and I can walk it faster than that. Hmmm, I think I just said that out loud. This guy is looking at me funny, oops he is about to go the wrong way. "Hey Dude, it's that way, you go that way, then it loops back out this way". He looks at me like "Is he talking to me, or himself again?". So I say it again, and this time it appears he believes me and goes the right way and says thanks. Long walk up to the water stop, more oranges, more water, start running. Good Bill says why don't you start thinking of titles for your blog entry, that will take you mind of all this wonderful pain. OK, how bout "Up and Down", "7 hours of hell", "Next time just shoot me instead", All seem good maybe we should just call it "Title", No that's kinda lame. Maybe I should stop talking to myself. No, this is fun let's keep going. I got it, see title above. Now what am I going to do, I got 3 miles left to go. Oh well, let's just enjoy the pain. ooh, water stop, more water, oranges, those were even better the the last water stop. Ok, this is the last hill, stomach says, "No more oranges". Bummer :-(. Hey where the hell is that 12 mile sign. Did I miss it or is it up ahead? I missed it, there is the 6 mile sign for lap 1. good news only 1 mile to go. down hill to the road, run it home. half way there. walk break, let's walk for a few to get ready for the picture. Ok run again, there is the finish line. Sprint, yeah right. Jog more? ok. Step on the name mat, here them call out my name, Evil Bill screams in agony and goes away to hide.

Post race:
That sure was fun. I could use a gatorade, power aide, any kinda aide. No aid, just soda and water left. Crap, it's on the ground, I have to bend over to get it. After a minute I slowly bend over and grab a water. I think that hurt way to much. I need to get back in the lake. Back in the lake, foot cramps every time I step on something. finally the cramping ends, I go in more. This feels goods. What the hell is biting my toes? I think I'll get out now.
I guess you can tell I made it home alive, but it was touch and go there for a while so I am going to wrap this up so I can goto bed.

When I signed up for this race I was looking for a challenge. I got it. I finished, I didn't have "it" today, but I still made it to the end so I am happy. Now if only I had gotten that percocet...

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Shaking off the cobwebs, and some nerves

Today was my pre-race brick. I have had some success with this in the past and usually do this before a Sunday race as I just don't feel right not working out on a Saturday. I do a 30 min bike followed by a 10 min run. I ride out for 15 minutes easy as a warm up with a couple pickups mixed in to get ready, then at the turn around, I sprint back. Today it took 27 minutes, 15 out and 12 back. It felt good to feel the burn in my legs again and to know I can handle it when it returns full strength tomorrow on some of those hills. The run part is just an easy lolly pop route from my house. After a 1 minute transition, I started out uphill easy, loop around and head back home on a slight downhill. The run was great, after about 4 minutes the wobbles from the bike went away and I was able to keep a steady pace. My heart rate was between 151 and 156 the whole way so no spikes and my pace was around 9:35. Right at race pace. Legs felt great so this workout did wonders for my confidence and the weather looks awesome for tomorrow.
Still, I am a little more nervous for this race then usual as it is a much harder course. I haven't had pre-race jitters like this in quite a while so it's a little unnerving and the coffee isn't helping any. Off to pick up my race packet, then home to start getting everything ready for tomorrow.

I did the white lake half in May in 6:08 Something, so breaking that would be great, but since this course is much harder I will use it as a carrot if I am close on the run. so my current prediction is...
Swim 35:00 ( probably no wetsuits, yea ).
T1 2:00
Bike 3:05:00
T2 5:00
Run 2:30:00
total 6:17:00

Now I just have to wait and see

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Neighboorhood 5k

I had an easy 3 - 4 miles this morning to continue with my taper so I decided to do a preview of our upcoming family 5k picnic. Weather was descent 70 something low humidity but I am still waiting for the really cool stuff to come in. Felt good the whole way did 3 sets of strides along the way. Maintained an easy 10 min pace, heart rate was mostly zone 3 with one section of zone 4 going up the monster hill. No walking today and didn't feel like I needed to. I do need to work some more hill stuff when I get back to training after the race though. I really need to get out of the habit of walking the hills and train my brain back to running them.

Yes the hunger is still with me. Woke up this morning and ate a power bar and 16oz of water while watching the news in bed. After the bar my stomach kept rumbling and my wife said "Is that you?" I said yes I can't get rid of this hunger. She said "For God's sake stop starving yourself!" I told her I was eating more now than when I was training but I can't stop being hungry.

Tomorrow is an off day, then Saturday is a short fast flat brick, 30 min bike 10 min run to blast some of these cobwebs off my legs before the big race on Sunday.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Stop the hunger... Please

Ever since yesterday's track workout I've had this never ending hunger. I was riding my bike easy on the trainer for 40 minutes as instructed by Coach B, and 30 minutes into it the hunger started coming on strong. I think I am going to gain 5 lbs this week. It's not like I've been starving myself this week, I've been eating as if I am still training so not sure why I'm so hungry, but the coach says it's normal so I'm just going to keep eating. I'm off the bike and almost done with my large house special low mien. It's better now, but after the shower the ice cream will be calling. I doubt I'll let the machine answer it :-)

Another benefit of this taper is my knees no longer hurt going up or down stairs. Hopefully my toenail will stay on until after the race.

Track Day

Well, not really...
Today was 5 miles easy, but where I work there is no easy except at the track. Since tuesday is normally track day I decided to jog over to the track with the group and just do easy miles while cheering them on during their really hard workout. It was hot and the sky was clear so even though I was taking it easy my heart rate was still up there. Luckily there was a descent breeze.
Felt good before, during and after, this tapering thing is great.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Wide Load

Today was an easy 30 mile ride. I picked a nice flat route, an out and back from my house due east. The wind was NE, so at my back to start and in my face on the way back. It also descends about 200 ft over the 15 miles, so not a big difference, but enough for me to notice. My ave heart rate was 7 beats higher on the way back and my speed was 2 mph slower. Was by myself and have done this route a lot earlier this year, so I was fairly bored and started getting lost in thought and was looking on the side of the road for dead bodies, didn't find any...
On the way back I was coming up to a school and saw all the cars ahead making uturns and coming back. I got to the turn around spot and really didn't want to go back two miles, then go two miles out of the way for an 8 mile trip to get home when I was only 4 miles from home going straight. The guy at the turn around said there was a house going over I40 just ahead and it would be about 15 minutes, but I could ride ahead and try to get around it if I wanted. I wanted. I thought I was going to see a new home like I see on the highways being transferred, but no, it was a really old house. It looked to be about 50 years old. I wondered why they would move it since it was so old and decrepit looking. I guess it might be a historical house or something, but it barely fit on the bridge and was rubbing the electric wires overhead so I didn't hang out to see how it turned out.

Saturday, September 8, 2007


That's the sound of 6 easy flat miles at an easy pace in low 70 temps with low humidity. I finally get to feel my taper and it was great. I ran with Cindy at Shelley lake, she had to do 10+ so I had her pick me up at the mall, then we drove to the lake and started the out and back course that would give me a little over 6 when we passed by the mall on the way back. She let me vent about some topics at work, thank you very much, and we went at a nice easy pace with a couple of walk breaks thrown in for good measure. Afterwards I went to my old favorite coffee shop for a triple white lightning and a wrap for lunch later.
If only every workout this summer could feel like this one :-)

Thursday, September 6, 2007


Sure didn't feel like a taper today. I was scheduled for a 15 mile bike and 2 mile run which is kinda short for a brick, but on a weekday it's a lunch hour thing and fits in perfectly. I rode 20 yesterday at lunch on the streets so today I thought instead of 15 outside on the roads with the ozone and traffic I would do the spin class first for 45 minutes, then do a 2 mile loop outside.
Spin class was great, my buddy Pam was teaching and had a funky add-on session I hadn't done before and it was challenging enough with good recovery so to not wear me out too much. The run was good, I was a little fired up from something going on at work so I used that to focus on and before I knew it 2 miles was up.
Ended up being 38 minutes on the bike 18 minute run with a 2 minute transition.
Afterwards during the cool down aka walk through the parking lot I felt like the week so far hasn't really been a taper, but the weekend is coming with 6 mile run on Saturday and 30 mile bike on Sunday being about half the time and distance that I have been doing on weekends so I'm psyched about that, and next week is even easier, until Sunday that is.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Wednesday Bike

A nice easy no pressure taper bike at lunch. Legs felt good, heart rate was down, but still spicked on the weston hills. It's still feakin hot and no end in site, my fingers are crossed, but I'm not holding my breath... Wanted to leave early enough so I could catch the stretch class at the rec center afterwards, but missed it my 10 minutes. Nothing remotely interesting happened on the bike but I was ready for a boring ride anyway

Tuesday track day

Today's workout, 1 mile warmup, 6 x 800 @ 4:10, 1 mile cooldown. The day started off a little wrong as the holiday weekend got me all confoosed. I started to leave the house and relized it wasn't monday so I had to go back in and pack up my run stuff. Ended up forgetting my hat, watch and heart rate monitor. I was half way to work when I looked to see what time it was and all that was there was my wrist. Anyway I knew Cindy would have my back or as a final backup get one of those big bulky timer thingies from the rec center.
The morning temp was beutiful, but by 11, it had warmed up significantly but at least the humidity was giving us a break. The jog over felt ok, my left knee was still buggin me so I knew the first 800 would be more warmup, but then after that started feeling real good so I really had to try to keep the pace down to save some for the end. Cindy seemed to be back to her pre summer form, or at least not suffering as much as during the summer so that gave me some more inspiration to keep the pace up. Even though I tried to start out slow each time the first 200 somehow ended up being too fast, but at least that made the middle 400 seem easier until picking it up again for the last 200. Finally on the last 800 I was able to descend each 200, with a 1:04, 1:02, :59, :54 it was tough, but when done we were very happy to break the 4:00 mark.
Then the 1 mile cool down was just a .5 mile walk back to the rec center.

Phase two begins - monday swim

At little late, but I've been busy tapering ;-)
Monday morning, nothing exciting about this swim except it signalled the start of my tapering for the race on the 16th of this month. Woke up late 6am instead of 5, ate my powerbar and 16oz of water, feed the monster cats and headed to the pool. Today's workout 10 min warmup 30 min a little faster than race pace, 5 min cool down. Like I said nothing exciting. The 30 minutes at 2.55 mph was really tough or the first 5 minutes, but then I settled into the pace and just kept going.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

1400 calories in a half hour

Sounds impressive doesn't it? But that's not the burn rate during my brick workout today, it was how many I consumed on my half hour drive home. My fancy smanchy Garmin 305 GPS Trainer watch thingy told me I burned 4839 calories. 3415 during the 43 mile bike and 1424 during the 8 mile run. That seems a little high so I checked an old formula I had and it was as I suspected a little lower. 2865 for the bike and 1367 for the run for 4232, either number is really high. So after I was done I drank my recovery drink for 180 cals, then drove to Moe's to get a Triple Lindy burrito 900 cals, then walked next door to Starbucks and got a grande no whip mocha, iced of course, for another 320. It's not easy to eat a big ole burrito while driving, but when you are hungry enough, you find a way.

So the day started off rough with a 4:30 alarm wake up. Ate my cereal, finished getting ready and headed off to meat Karyn at 6:35. Got to North cary park right on time at 6:20, setup the bike, took a quick bathroom break and headed out. The knee was a little tight for the first bit up the hill to harrison, but after that it felt much better. Rode with Karyn out to Lifetime fitness to meet Salman and another guy whose name I can't remember right now. Then we headed out to Jordan lake. They were going to do a 70 mile loop, so I just rode with them until my turn back point so I could head back to me Cindy for the run. The ride was overall good, slow and easy. The trip back was a little harder as the wind had just started to kick up, but still not bad. Returned to the park at 9:15 as planned and started transitioning for the run. Cindy showed up right on time and after some chit chat with my coach and her husband who were there with her training group, headed out for the 8 mile run. Felt good on the run, but decided to do a walk break at each mile. Cindy said she was ok with that so it was the plan. Run went well, it was an out and back with the out being mostly uphill and the back mostly down. This worked out great as we did a negative split by :50 seconds. Took it easy mostly with only a couple of hard efforts where neither of us could manage to talk, but the walk breaks definitely helped and I had all 6 of my 8 oz bottles filled and used them all. After last week I figured it was better to over hydrate then under. Turned out the bike was mostly all zone 1,2 and 3 with only 2 minutes in zone 4 when I pushed up one hill just to see how the legs were doing. The run was split almost evenly between 3 and 4 with some 2 thrown in for the walking breaks. without the walk breaks I probably would have been all zone 4, so for the race I'll definitely be doing walk breaks at all the aid stations.
So that's it for the hard stuff, the race is 2 weeks away and it's now time to taper. Only thing I can do now is hope the training was good enough and not screw it up by training too hard leading up to the race. So back to yoga and less stress. :-)