Friday, June 27, 2008


Let me tell you about my girlfriend. She IS an Ironman. To some of you her times may not sound to impressive. But those in the know, know just how impressive they are. Jayne finished this years IM in 14 h 20 min and some change. That is a modest 6 min. improvement over last years times. But a 6 min improvement is still pretty good. Most people that know her know she is a good swimmer and might think that she improved her swim time. Wrong!It actually was about the same. But because the water was pretty cold and she was fighting leg cramps she swam way wide in the course to minimize contact with the other swimmers grabbing her legs.
So was her improvement on the bike?? No that actually was slower this year. She too did not have as much bike time this year. With her longest ride also 82 miles,not the same 82 miles though as mine. She also had a few more stops this year.
No much to my surprise and everyone elses including Jayne herself. She improved her marathon by about 30 min. This is huge and I'll tell you why. 8 miles, that's the distance of her longest run leading up to IM. I'll bet she did not run 30 miles in the last 2 months. She had been fighting a nagging leg injury basically all year. Every time she ran she would re-injure her leg. A few days before the race though she was thinking that the seat height on her bike just didn't feel right. She had worked with Steve at 2 Wheel Transit on getting position dialed in, but the seat height had slipped or something. Anyway, the day day before the race we stopped at the bike shop and they made a cm increase in seat height, that's alot. So her plan for the race went something like swim her best,bike her best, then walk the marathon. We were expecting a midnight finish. But every time I saw her on the run, she was running. I thought cool, but she was way back. So after I finished and Tony and I loaded the bikes. We got a call from Janine,who had driven out on the course to see where Jayne was. She said Jayne has about 3 miles left. "Get the Fuck out of here" or somehting like that was my reaction. So we hobbled, I guess I hobbled, Tony was fine, back to the finish area and met up with Janine. And about 10 min. later here she came. Totally running and stroking it pretty good. Grinning ear to ear, she said "I'm going to beat last years time" and she did. I have never been prouder!! what a studdete!!
Lots of people would have never started that race given her prep. Not doing it was never even an option for Jayne. She is as tough as they come. She is an IRONMAN!!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

IM CDA 2008

Well I did it, again. If you have been following along on this blog then you know I was less than optimistic about this year. With my work schedule 7x 10hr nights in a row then 7 days off it was hard to be consistent. Working nights adds an element of sleep deprivation that cannot be good. This combined with the addition of Otis, our Chocolate Lab puppy in Dec. made for many days with 4-6 hrs of sleep. The weather also took it's toll on my training plans. With the limited number days that I could ride my bike to start with being ruined by rain,snow and freezing temps. My pre race mileage was down over 900 miles from last year. with my longest ride being 82 miles.
The icing on the bike riding cake though was being hit by the car 3 weeks prior to the race on what was to be the beginning of my biggest week. My running, the 1 bright spot in my training early on, had fallen on tough times as well in the last 6-8 weeks. Minor injuries and a slightly mistimed peak had left me feeling a little flat and less than fast. As for the swim, I hate swimming! I never have like to swim. As far I can tell the only good thing about swimming, other than keeping you from drowning, is girls in swimsuits. The SWIMP3 made the training bearable but still not something that I looked forward to.
Ok so enough excuses you get the picture. Ironman is not for pussies,excuses or whining.
Race day morning came early 0330. Jayne and I opted to stay at home this year vs staying at her mom's house. We stayed at her house last year, and it did save us about 40 min, but sleeping in our own bed is sure nice. So after we both had some coffee and a successful BM we were off. We were about 8 miles from the house when I realized I had forgot my IRONMAN swim cap, shit! But it was not worth turning around for and we were sure they would have extras for all the other morons, they did. When we got to CDA we were a little concerned as we drove down Northwest blvd because the flags were flapping in the wind. But after parking and getting a look at the lake a feeling of relief no real waves to contend with. Compared to last year it was glass.
We dropped off our special need bags and drinks and helmets at our bikes. Filled our tires and double checked all the gear. I made sure my bike was in a lower gear so I could start off easy. After the body markers we put on our wetsuits and headed for the beach. We got to see Al and wish him luck. Boom! and we're off. The mass start of an Ironman is a clusterfuck beyond belief. Imagine 2000 people thrown into a 2 million gallon washing machine, and everyone trying to go to the same place. I think this actually works to my advantage though because it's the only part of triathlon which is a contact sport. For the 1st 1000 meters it's basically a fight for a place to swim. By the time we made the 2nd turn and headed back to shore it had spread out and I was able to get into a rhythm. I finished the 1st lap in 37 min. WOW! for me that's great. The 2nd lap was uneventful. But I was getting hungry, swimming makes me so hungry. Out of the water and to my surprise my legs felt springy, so I ran up the beach and to the wetsuit peelers. After they peeled my suit and stood me up I got one of the best head rushes of my entire life. Re-caged the giro and I was off to the change tent again with springy legs. I was actually high stepping over the other t1 bags on my way to the tent. T1 went faster this year but not much. swim time 1:17:07 T1 11:13
The plan for the bike was to start slow enough that I could eat a pbj, then hit it. Well I ate 1/2 the pbj, the rest was blob of mushy goo in the bottom of the baggy. Lesson learned do not cut into quarters. Time to cruise, now this is where I get confused. I passed tons of people all day long. Up hill, down hill and even on the flats. Now I did get passed but it sure seemed like I passed alot more people than passed me, but my bike time relative to others in my age group pretty much sucked. The difference between bike split and my bike computer was 8 mins. so with stopping to pee and getting my special needs bag that's not to bad. My garmin was a huge disappointment. About 3 hrs into the bike it starts telling me it has a low battery. The damn thing had been on the charger for like 4 days straight without being used. I don't understand what the idiot that designed a recharging system that actually loses a charge while being plugged in was thinking. I would think that the software could assess the charge and act accordingly, but what do I know. The Garmin issue was not that big of a deal on the bike but the run would suck without the pacing info. I digress. Towards the end off the 1st loop as you head back into town the head wind was brutal. I remember thinking that if this wind keeps up the 2nd loop will kill me. The wind must have subsided a little because the 3rd 1/3 of the ride was faster than the 2nd 1/3 but not as fast a the 1st. make sense?
bike time 6:29:27 t2 4:31
I do want to thank all of the volunteers that helped with this race. Having been a volunteer in the past myself I know that I liked feeling like I really helped someone have a good race. And for me it was the guy who helped me in T2. I don't know his name but this guy was great. He dumped my bag and was taking my bike shoes off. After changing socks he put my running shoes on my feet and my hat on head while I was eating and drinking. I know he saved me 2-3 minutes and allowed me to relax a little. I got to talk to Mike Bresson a friend who was also helping in the tent and got some words of encouragement from him. Which means alot coming from a guy that can run a 2:20 marathon. Got some sun spooge rubbed on me as I left the tent and back on the road I go.
With no gadget to tell me my pace nor a watch to figure it myself I was left to be a caveman. I ran on feel. I have no idea what pace I was running at first, or at second for that matter. But I did have an idea. When I would get to a mile marker I would ask someone standing there what time it was. Now this was not going to be a very good system for figuring my current pace, but it would allow me figure out roughly when I might finish. When I felt like I had settled in I passed my buddy Stan only he was going in the other direction. He is great rider and had pretty good day on the bike in retrospect he was about 41 mins ahead of me. Stan's a big boy though and I thought I could catch him if just stayed consistent and tried to push myself. I would know when I got back towards the second turn around if I was going to be able to run him down or not. It was a pretty nice day for a run the wind was a non factor and the support was great. My feet were killing me though. One of the nagging minor injuries I had been dealing with just would not go away. Of coarse my fix...a new pair of shoes... a model that I have run in but still brand new and a 1/2 size smaller than the other 2 pairs of those shoes that I have. So now not only do I have the normal soreness of my right foot, but now I have a whole new soreness of the big toenail of my left foot, gotta have balance. Like I said Ironman is not for pussies. keep plugging away counting my cadence in my head. People yelling "good job" "nice pace" "your doing it" for the first 5-10 miles I would say "thanks alot" or "thanks for your help" but by mile 10-20 it was reduced to "thanks". And from mile 20 on it was more of a grunt. By the time I got to the third and final turn around I knew I could catch Stan if I could maintain my pace and keep the wheels from falling off. We high fived each other as we passed, what a great competitor. 5 more miles of pain, I was drawing deeper and deeper into my own head. Counting cadence focusing on form the the occasional grunt towards a spectator. Now I have intentionally left Jayne out of this blog because her story deserves it's own blog entry. But I will mention her here just before mile 25 I saw her, we kissed, that's all I needed. I could see Stan in front of me now maybe 2 blocks. Right at mile 25 I caught him. I told him he was one tough MF to catch. What a great race he had. Last mile gotta pick up the pace, finish strong. I was passing people some with a second loop still to come and others on their way home with me. But nobody was going to pass me in the last mile no matter what, and they didn't. Now when I made the last turn and headed toward the finish line I would have sworn I running 7 min/mi pace. But according to the Hobbit no not quite 7 min pace, maybe 9:30. I felt fast, to bad that doesn't count. I was able to get the crowd fired up though which was fun and when I came down the shoot this year I did hear him call my name and call me an Ironman. run time 4:34:53 total time 12:37:09
For those of you keeping score that's a 57 min improvement over last year.
After the catcher helped me out of the finish area and I was waiting for Tony an Janine. I actually got a little choked up. Knot in the throat, watery eyes the whole thing. So for those of you that say I only have one feeling, I found it. Huge thanks to Tony and Janine for being there and Tony for helping me load everything up and Janine for keeping track of and continually motivating Jayne. Thanks to everyone that sent the good vibes my way it was appreciated.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


This year has been weird. With the new job, doing part of the job not getting paid for it though. The new puppy, nearly 8 monthes old now. And weather that it indicative of the end of times. My training this year has been marginal at best. So there is no real need to taper. Trying to make sure that I'm getting enough rest. I'm not pushing if I feel tired. I am trying to make sure that all workouts are on pace though, after a warm up. I'm also trying to eat right, not just a lot, but good stuff. Big salads almost everyday with chicken or tuna. Fresh fruit and veggies as much as I can. And I've really cut my ice cream intake, one of my only vices. The other being coffee, forget it, maybe I can cut that down when I get off nights but not now.
On June 10 it snowed ???? WTF crazy weather.
The bike is dialed in I just got some new Pro race3 tires that I will mount later today. I plan on riding today and Sunday ~ 3hrs each with a short brick run. Next week will be a couple of short bricks a few open water swims and some strides. Then it's time to step up and see what happens.

Thursday, June 05, 2008


This morning,as most mornings, I read Chuckie V's blog. He had a link to Kevin Purcell's page and a discussion about potential. They raised some very good points and below is my 2 cents.

As a 44 yo man preparing for his 2nd IM, I have been giving this a lot of thought. And not to be to argumentative but I think the question should be "what is my eventual" rather than potential. According to wikipedia,sum of all universal knowledge, Potential,n.1.Currently unfulfilled capacity to improve, develop, and achieve impressive feats. adj.2 Existing in possibility, not in actuality. Therefore a potential can never be reached. However if one asks himself/herself "how good will I eventually be if I".....fill in the blank.
1.continue this protocol
2.get a coach
3.spend more time on the bike
Chances are you still won't get the answer you probably want. We all want some finite answer and there isn't one. But you would be asking a better question of yourself. As for "knowing" if your close to your potential or not, I'm not sure. I do think we all have a sense of whether we are ready or not. Even then as Chuckie pointed out"HR does not not measure heart". Until the deed is done and we reflect upon it can we then say we did EVERYTHING we could, and got the most out of ourselves at that particular time. But I could potentially do better next time if I change xyz.
At this point in my life I just want to get the most bang for the buck so to speak. If Gordo is right and it take 10yrs/10000 hrs to get good. Then I won't be good until I'm 50-52. Hell, if I can still do this when I'm 50-52 that WILL be good.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Another First

Well today June 1st I had another first in my life. I joined the ranks of thousands that have gone before me. And, as with most things, it never quite turns out the way you thought it would. I'm not sure if it is unrealistic expectations or misinformation or just plain naivety that leads to that surreal feeling after a first time experience. Your head swims. Replaying the event over and over trying to figure out exactly where it was that what ended up being fate became inevitable. At what point was it destined to happen and/or could you have affected the outcome in some other way. So what "Cherry" did I have popped today.....I got hit buy a car. Yep, t-boned complete with a ride on the hood of he car. And just like on TV when the car came to a stop I went flying off the front. But being the stud athlete that I am...yea right. I was able to hit the ground running... sort of. I don't think I went down to the ground. My confusion has nothing to do with a head injury or loss of consciousness or anything I'm pretty sure it was anger. I saw the whole thing develop I knew it was going to happen. I was watching the girl that hit me as she watch the bikers I was following pass in front of her. And as is the case far to often she did not look back to the left before pulling out. The weather was crap and it was raining. I was on the brakes hard and was skidding slightly sideways. My years of motorcycle riding paying off so that I did not lay the bike down. Which would have allowed her to run OVER me, rather than into me. I was yelling at her NO!!!!! to late...BOOM! Time slowed way down as I was riding on the hood I swear I saw her mouth the words "I'm sorry" right before I launched off the front. She was terrified, poor girl was about 17. She was crying and apologizing. At first I was so pissed I told her not talk to me. The people that I was riding behind had heard the crash and had turned around to see if they could help. Thanks, to the 2 members of Badlands Cycle Team for helping me out. One of them tried to calm the girl down while the other tended to my bike, after I assured them that I was ok. The girl said she would pay for any damage to my bike to which I exclaimed "you don't understand I have Ironman in 3 weeks and you may have just screwed up a year of training". But as I began to understand that I truly was ok and that my bike was ok I calmed down. I then tried to interject a little humor by stating that the worst part is that I blew a hole in the toe of my favorite sock. Which is true I love those socks. I apologized to the girl for losing it and said "you had every right to lose it". We exchanged information and I told her it was ok, I was fine. My only real injury is a very sore left quad, she hit me on the right side. I think my quad hit the top tube of my bike. I climbed back on my bike and headed down the road. This happened at about 20 miles into a 100 mile charity ride the Loreen Miller Ride . I rode about 4 miles further at which point I decided that the pain in my leg was getting worse not better. So I thought it would be better if I called it a day and got some ice on my thigh. So at the next intersection I waited for Jayne and Jeff and Sean, who I started the ride with. Jayne decided to bail with me so she could drive me home, she IS the best girlfriend...ever.
Hopefully this will heel fast and I can ride by Tuesday at the latest I need a 100 miler.