Saturday, June 30, 2007
Swim: 1:15:35. 598th place overall. This was right on my primary goal. The swim was pretty rough, and even the pros were quite slow (for them), so I'm very happy with my swim.
T1: 5:53. My T1 in Wisconsin was almost 12 minutes, so I wanted to improve on that a little bit. The transition areas are VERY different, so I this was good! So far, things are going great!!
Bike: 6:03:17. 547th place overall. This was fun! My primary goal was a 6:15, and breaking 6 hours was on the radar, so I was very pleased with my ride. I stopped for 2 bathroom breaks, and still averaged 18.5 mph for the bike on a hilly, hilly course with some wind. I can definitely build on this!
Run: 6:10:10. 1253rd place overall. Yes, you read that right, my run was longer than my bike. This falls back on why I have 5 levels of goals, and the first one is "finish". This is 2 hours longer than I expected to run, and at this point I'm okay with it. I just simply couldn't run on the flats or the hills. I could run downhill, but that's it. I was having some pain in my abdomen, and I just couldn't run. So, I switched gears and went as fast as I could under the circumstances. Am I disappointed? A little, but not as much as I thought I'd be. I had a lot of time to think out there, and I really feel blessed. I am able to train and compete in a sport I absolutely love, I was much improved from my last race - even if my final time is not representative of that, and I am able to spend my life in this sport with the people I care about the most around me, supporting me, getting supported by me, and sweating and suffering together. What more could a guy want? I'm thrilled to be a two-time IronMan, and thankful beyond belief that I have arranged my life in a way that allows me to do what I love.
For the rest of the team? They were all fantastic!!
Sara and Ric finished first, together. Troy was next, even though he had some troubles with the run, too. K and Momo were next, and they finished together, too. Me, then Heather. Heather just rocked the swim, and had a huge smile on her face every time I saw her. What a great day. What a great sport. I can't wait to do it again.
Plus Ben, our new friend. You know him as IronBenny, and he finished, too. I don't know his exact time, but it was before K & Momo. He had a tough day out there too, and gutted it out. He's a cool guy, a really cool guy, and we were all happy to meet him and his wife Nytro. Great people.
For my full race report, check out our website at http://www.allthingstriathlon.com/ and go to the "special reports" section. It's long, like 8 pages, and will be ready on Monday.
Thanks for all the encouragement and well-wishes I've received, it means a lot to me.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Monday, June 25, 2007
Saturday, June 23, 2007
The town of CDA is a small beach town located in Northern Idaho. It's the kind of town with a few locals, tons of tourists, shops, dining, and a beautiful lake. Overall, a wonderful spot for an ironman. We've been here since Wednesday, and definitely have enjoyed the stay. We started off Thursday with a chilly swim. We completed one loop of a two loop course, and it was very, very choppy. The way out took forever, then I swear I caught a wave on the way back and rode the thing for 2-3 minutes. What a ride! It was really cold, and thank goodness I picked up a long sleeve wetsuit. I could do it with a sleeveless, but I'll be much more comfortable this way. Well, as comfortable as you can get with 2600 people trying to use you as a punching and kicking dummy. :) After the swim we all registered, drove the course, and went for an afternoon bike ride. The traffic was scary (I didn't write that part yesterday), and I'm really glad we'll have lots of police around to keep the cars away on Sunday. Small streets and beach-goers not used to all these bikes around made for a challenging ride.
Friday morning K, momo, and Heather wanted to go for another swim. We also met IronBenny and Nytro! Benny seems to have had some challenges during this training, much like I did, and so we had lots to talk about. He was swimming, and Nytro went, too, so we didn't hang out for very long. I wasn't into the swim, and my schedule said "Rest", so I sat on the wall and watched everyone's stuff. We haven't run into them since, but hope to see them again today. I didn't catch his race #, and want to know it for race day. We are lucky enough to have a bunch of people in our cheering squad along the course, and they can cheer for Ben, too!
Oh - I forgot to mention shopping Wednesday night. Normally I'm not really into shopping, but the event merchandise goes fast, so we went right away. My favorite thing was that I got the kids a present - new leashes with "IronDog" on them. :) They trained for this thing with us, so they deserve to get some race gear. Baxter is pretty funny, actually. He somehow seems to understand. When we get home, we'll put our medals around his neck and he runs around for a little bit all proud of himself. One of these days I'm going to enter us into a dog friendly race and get that guy a medal of his own. He has run countless miles with me, always wanting more, and he deserves his spot on our medal wall. Anyway, back to IronMan...
Last night we had our athlete welcome dinner and mandatory meeting. The food really wasn't bad, but the meeting went from 5:30 - 8:45. It was LONG! There was a whole "show" going on and lots of people speaking, etc, so it's not like it was just quiet. But it was still a very long time. The most interesting, and unfortunate, thing we learned is that Mike Reilly, who is the "voice" of IronMan, the guy who announces those famously wonderful words "You are an IRONMAN!!!!" had a bit of a bike accident yesterday. He was on his bike and riding the new course, so he could talk intelligently about it, and came up on a corner he couldn't make. The result? 2 broken ribs and a collapsed lung! Yikes. He managed to talk for a minute (talk about an Ironman!!!) and said that his clips were still attached to his bike - the fall ripped them from his shoes! Wow. He promised us that he'd be there tomorrow, and I believe him. His dedication clearly goes way, way beyond his "job" of announcing. He cares about each and evey one of us, and has a deep love for the sport. You can just tell. He's probably not feeling so well today, so we all wish him well.
That brings us to today. A few quick workouts, our 14th time to check our gear bags to make sure they're right, and a mostly sleepless night. Then, it's time. IronMan. I can't wait. You can watch it online, too. www.ironman.com will have race coverage all day. Here we go...
Friday, June 22, 2007
6 of our 7 team athletes are renting a house together, and momo (the 7th) has another house with her whole family. Tri-dogmom was smart enough to reserve the house BEFORE the race even went on sale last year at this time, so we have a fantastic location for our house. The transition area and IronVillage is set up in a big park by the city beach, and our house is literally on the opposite side of the park. It's amazing! She really hooked us up. The house is also totally renovated, big enough for 6 triathletes and all their gear, and really nice. We couldn't have done any better!!
We have all registered and gotten all our stuff. We also drove the bike course yesterday. It seemed to go on and on and on forever. Not a good sign! :) And it was really, really hilly. Steep hills. Not a good sign. Afterwards, we went for a ride and went on an out-and-back stretch along the lake in CDA, and that part was really pretty and really fast. But the 2nd half of the loop (which we do 2 times) looks a lot tougher. It really reminded me of Wisconsin, only with a little bit steeper hills. I'll definitely follow up next week with a more detailed description of how it went.
Overall, it's amazingly beautiful here. And the temperature is a huge relief from Arizona. It was 111 degrees on the way to the airport, and like 70 when we landed. Race day temps look to be in the 60's for a high, and possibly windy. The local stations even used the dredded "rain" word as a possibilty, but we're going to think positive and pretend it didn't happen. I've had a rainy, windy IM already, let's try something new this time! How about great weather!!
So, we're all getting bikes and gear bags ready. And we'll go to the athlete dinner and information meeting tonight. Then we turn our stuff in tomorrow, and the next day is IM. Wow - it's definitely getting very, very real. Oh yeah, the water is very cold, too. Thank goodness for wetsuits.
I'll try to get an update tomorrow, then early Monday am I'll post the results for the team.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
#4: 4:15:00 (primary goal)
#2: 3:59:59 or less
#1: No walking except in aid stations
So there you have it, all my goals for IM CDA! It's out there, and the world has access to what I'm trying to do.
We will be posting from CDA as much as possible, so stay tuned over the next several days to see what we come up with!
Monday, June 18, 2007
IMCDA Bike Goals:
#5: Finish (seeing a pattern here?)
#4: No Flats. I flatted in Wisconsin and it cost me 15 minutes.
#3: 6:15:00 (primary goal). Also, this is 18mph average at 6:13:20. I think I can do this.
#2: 6:00:00 A stretch, but possible
#1: 5:50:00 Like all my top tier goals, the universe will need to align to help me on this one.
So there you have it, my 5 IMCDA bike goals.
Maybe I should come up with my 5 IM keep myself sane goals to quiet my mind...
Sunday, June 17, 2007
#4: Stay Aerobic
#3: 1:15:00 (primary target)
#1: Don't get kicked in the head
Well, I'm pretty sure I have a better chance at obtaining my overall #1 goal than my #1 swim goal. :) You just have to accept that you're going to get kicked in the head, and try to minimize the damage. I got knocked right in the right eye goggle so hard in WI that I literally rolled on my back and checked to see if my goggle was filling with blood! It wasn't, so I swerved away from all the people around the general area. I didn't want to meet "super-kicker" again. A 1:10:00 is also pretty agressive, but you never know.
Tomorrow: Bike goals
Saturday, June 16, 2007
IM CDA Goal #1: 10:59:59
That's right, my "stretch" goal is to break 11 hours. I am confident I can break 12, and I know in the depths of my mind that breaking 11 is within the realm of possibility. The stars and universe will need to align, but it is possible. My swim would have to be an amazing swim, like the water is pushing me along. My bike would have to be a day where, as the professional dopers, um, I mean cyclists say "it felt like I didn't have a chain on my bike". And my run would have to be pretty close to my marathon PR. So, this is a definite stretch. But if you don't stretch, you don't acheive. I will know at about mile 80 on the bike if this is possible on that specific day or not. If I feel like superman, and my bike is just flying beneath me like it's not even there, I"m going to go for it. Feel like superman, race like superman. The worst that could happen is that I totally blow up and end up walking the vast majority of the marathon. It's not like that's never happened before! (I have yet to publish my Grand Canyon Marathon story, aka: The Greatest Bonk EVER. It will be on its way soon, and let's just say it was a very, very long and slow marathon) So, shoot for the stars, you may land on the moon.
There you have it. My 5 goals for IM CDA on June 24, 2007. Over the next 3 days I will list out my goals for each specific sport, as much to remind me and burn them into my mind as anything else.
Friday, June 15, 2007
This is my primary goal for the race. It is a little over an hour faster than IM WI, so it's a challenge and a reach, but achievable. I like to have a primary goal that I know in my heart is completely possible, yet challenging enough that I'm going to have to earn it. I've done the math on each leg, and I really think I can do this.
The excitement is really starting to build! We shipped off our bikes today (man, that's hard to do) and IronMan is consuming my thoughts. This is going to be fantastic! Plus, it's like 108 degrees today, seriously, and in the 70's in CDA. Can't wait!!!
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Goal #3 is to beat my previous IronMan time at IM WI last September. Though I was able to train more regularly for WI, I believe that I am actually in better shape now. I have the experience from last time, combined with the cuumulative effects of both trainings. This is a goal I can achieve. Like I've said before - it's IronMan, and anything can happen, and just being able to finish, at any time, is an honor. However, I'm confident that my IronMan day in CDA on June 24 will include a PR of 13:05:11 or less...
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
This one is harder than it sounds, but also the most important goal of the day. This is fun, we do triathlon because we enjoy it. If it's going to be a stress-fest all day, well, we might as well go to work instead. If you've done an ironman, you know there are inevitable ups and downs during the day. You feel great for awhile, then you may not feel so great for awhile. My 2nd goal of the day, after finishing, is to enjoy the whole thing. Revel in the joy. Celebrate the pain. Rejoice in the suffering. It may sound silly, but it's a lot easier, for me anyway, to get through the hard times when I remember to enjoy them as part of the process. And the good times, they ROCK! So, on June 24th, I'll be doing my best to enjoy the entire day. I may look worn out. I may look roughed up. But, I may just be too tired to smile. I probably think I'm smiling, just can't make my face cooperate. Until the last 100m, as the finish line approaches. The smile will be there then. And it'll stay until at least a week from Tuesday...
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
It's IronMan. In my opinion, a first-tier goal of being an official finisher is appropriate. Anything can happen out there. Anything can happen before. Covering 140.6 miles under your own power is a hell of an accomplishment, no matter what your finishing time is. Goal#5 (mine get harder as I go from #5-#1) is to finish the race. Walk, crawl, do the Blazeman roll for 5 miles, whatever it takes. If you don't know about the "Blazeman", read about him here: Jon'sStory.
His story is as incredibly inspiring as it is sad. When I watched him cross the line in Hawaii, and first heard his story, I was deeply moved by it. I think a lot of it has to do with his being a little younger than me, and raised in the same part of the world. Why him? Why did he get sick when so many others do not? The only answer I can come up with is that he was strong enough to fight back, strong enough to race anyway, and strong enough to be the voice and face of the fight against a ruthless disease. IronMan allows us the opportunity to be more than just ourselves, to be our extraordinary selves. What a wonderful gift, and what a fantastic way to live life while we can. 16:59:59 or bust. And, if you don't mind Jon, I may think about you for awhile out there. You inspire me to be extraordinary...
Monday, June 11, 2007
9. The 9th day of June is the day it all came together. Now, on to the taper!
So, we had a great 5 hour ride on Saturday June 9th. K tried to derail her race yet again, and take me with her this time, but I think she survived. We rode just under 90 miles, climbed a total of just under 5000feet (according to Garmin), and finished before it reached 100 degrees out. It's Taper Time!
So, many books and advice that I've read suggest that you tell someone your goals. Make them known, and the universe will line up to help you achieve them, is the theory. Well, universe, I'm going to put it all out there. For the next week or so I will be posting a new goal for IronMan Coeur d' Alene on June 24th, 2007 every day. I have 5 primary race goals, in increasing difficulty. The legendary Mark Allen taught me this. Have multiple goals, that way you always have something to strive for. If you only have only one goal, and you get a flat or something that renders your one goal impossible, you have nothing left to push you forward, nothing to gain. Makes sense, so I go crazy with goals. This is how the posts will go:
Tues Jun 12: Goal #5 for IM CDA
Wed Jun 13: Goal #4 for IM CDA
Thurs Jun 14: Goal #3 for IM CDA
Fri Jun 15: Goal #2 for IM CDA
Sat Jun 16: Goal #1 for IM CDA
Sun Jun 17: Swim Goals for IM CDA
Mon Jun 18: Bike Goals for IM CDA
Tues Jun 19: Run Goals for IM CDA
More posts will follow from CDA, once we arrive. The excitement and anticipation is already starting to build. I can't wait!!
Monday, June 4, 2007
Anyway, on to my training (mis)adventures. Something in the universe is placing object after issue after situation in front of me and my training plan for IM CDA in 20 days. The latest? A 4 inch screw lodged in my, gulp, race wheel!!! Oh NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!! It happened at about the 3:20 point of our 5:45 brick ride on Saturday. I was a little concerned. Okay, I FREAKED OUT!!! It went into the tire (new one - breaking it in for the race), and through the rim. Oh crap. My heart sank as I envisioned the ruining of my race wheels 3 weeks before my A race. I wasn't taking any chances, I didn't want to ride on it. So, I hailed a cab (quite a feat in Paradise Valley, AZ by the way) that happened by, put my bike in the trunk, and he brought me home. I did actually do the brick, even though my time off the bike was substantial. I had to do something until the LBS opened. I walked in, head and shoulders down, and showed the guy. His answer "no problem, it didn't break the integrity of the sidewall of the wheel. Your're fine." me "Seriously?" "yeah, new tape, tube, tire and you're all set". I stopped myself from telling him I loved him, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't think it! So, it's okay. It's funny how that extra 2.5 hours of ride time became completely unimportant when compared to losing my wheel.
So, if you're keeping score, this training has included the following challenges:
1 = number of weeks where I've completed all my workouts (out of 20)
2 = number of times I've been really sick, keeping me from training 3-4 days each
3 = number of days I've missed due to my hamstring being a problem
4 = length (in inches) of the screw that tried to take out my race wheels.
5 = number of days completely lost to my first bike crash
6 = The day in April of my first bike crash.
7 = Number of people on our team racing CDA
8= 8 is my lucky number. Please don't let there be a 8...