Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Comments from Here and There

The other day as I was out on a training ride, a person pulled up behind me on a 4 lane residential street and began honking at me. I was about as far over to the right as one could be, but no way was this "gentleman" going to not let me know his feelings about cyclists. Then he switched lanes and didn't even use the one he was in. What purpose does it serve to be honking, yelling, and throwing things? The same thing happens to runners. Have not had it happen in the pool yet, but who knows?

Turkey Vultures
Yeah, that's right. Turkey Vultures. They have been thick around these parts this spring and summer. Had about 15 of them circling and keeping up with me this morning on my ride. Beautiful looking creatures. Ha! When you can hear the wings flapping you know you're in trouble. Hummm....

Lettuce Wraps
These are great! Use Romaine lettuce for the wrap. Fill with shrimp, avocado, tomatoes, and grated carrots. Sauce can be the cocktail sauce or a peanut sauce, or nothing at all. Have had them twice this week. Really great!

How does the wind change on a ride when you are so looking forward to having it at your back after battling it as a headwind for many miles. How does it know to switch and become a headwind for the trip home too?

If you are doing a "brick" workout that calls for a bike/ run or a run/bike, change socks in between in this very hot and humid weather to guard against blisters. I know it takes time and also not easily done in a race but .....just sayin'

Help Someone Out this Summer
It helps so many people to "run for a cause" and support the efforts of a local or area group. Many local cross country, track, swim, and other athletic teams will really need all of our support this year with all of the budget cuts. It was there for us, now let's make sure it is there for them!

That's all for now, have a great rest of the week!

Forward we go! May your roads, trails, lakes, and pools be happy and safe and may you have peace of mind!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Disappointment/Reality/An Honest Reflection

The past few days have been kind of tough for me. I have had some kind of "bug" or stomach illness. Normally, that would mean a scale back of training and a blip on the radar. However, this happened two days before a triathlon that I was scheduled to be in. I had been training hard for this tri since completing the Ironman Kansas 70.3 in June. Training was going great and injury free. I was just sailing along.

Then it hit Friday after my early morning swim and 20 mile ride. There was no doubt that the stomach and lower intestinal problems were severe enough that I have to recover fast or not do the Sunday triathlon. I had been on the course several times to ride it and develop strategies for the swim, ride , and run. I knew every bump in the road and how I was going to ride the hills and run the ups and downs of the run course. Drove out there Thursday night and was greeted by perfectly calm waters in the lake and was very excited that it would be a good calm day. My confidence was high and preparation was as good as I had ever done for a race. The 4:00AM wake-ups for swim training and rides and runs had gone well. Nutrition was well planned and hydration was on target. Ready to go. Then......

BAM. Knocked flat, literally by the "Bug". Spent all of Friday either in bed asleep or in the bathroom. What the heck? How could this happen? I was so prepared. How could I be sick? It wasn't fair. What about all of the training? Surely by Friday evening I would be ok and go to the packet pick-up on Saturday. I took some Anti-diarehea medicine Friday but it didn't help and knew that if I took more I would risk the factor that it would dehydrate me for Sunday. So I stopped the medicine. And I wasn't any better Friday evening or Saturday morning. A decision needed to be made. One that I had never had to make before. Yes, this would be my first "sick" no show. After close to 40 marathons/ultras/tri races/other distances, I knew I would not be able to go. So what do you do?

I got mad! I felt like I had let everyone down that had been supporting me all along. Felt sorry for myself. What would I say to them? Got several supporting messages from family and friends and it really helped. But..emptiness/disappointment was still winning.

Then reality hit. And hard. Who did I think I was? Was I above getting sick? I could take the easy way out and hang my head and blame and complain. I had read on Twitter and DailyMile accounts of others having tough days and races. I had watched Lance and many others have terrible crashes in the TDF and make an effort to get up and go on. Some could not due to injury. Others brushed themselves off and with a pedal stroke or two resumed their dreams. I did not have an injury. I had a stumble. A blip. I started gaining strength and and a dose of common sense from others.

My job was to look forward. All I had was a case of the flu or some kind of "bug". The sun would come up on Sunday. The race would go on without me and what I needed to do was look to start a strong recovery that would get me ready for my next race. It was out of my control and the worry and stress was not making any difference. Time for a positive attitude! Time to get a plan developed. Time to get strong! Get next week's training plan ready and go for it. Monday, here we come!

So that's where I am right now on Sunday evening. Also wanted to send along some recovery nutrition ideas:

I have been doing the BRAT nutrition which consists of bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast when it would go down. Also drank Kefir Probiotics and ginger ale. One of the best recovery foods has been one that I saw Dr. Allen Lim share on Versus as food he prepares for Team Radio Shack:
1 doz Eggs Scrambled
1 lb bacon or prosciutto
6 cups Sushi Rice
1/2 cup Soy Sauce
1/4 cup Balsimic Vinegar
2 tbs Brown Sugar

Press hard into a cake pan and let form for a bit then slice and individually wrap. I liked to put it in the fridge to get a little harder. This really hit the spot as far as making me feel better. I am looking forward to Monday and a new day.

Forward we go! May your roads, trails, pools, and lake be happy and safe and bring you peace of mind!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Kansas Ironman 70.3 Race Report

The Kansas Ironman 70.3 is in the books. What an experience! It was a great weather day. Temperatures were about ten degrees cooler than the day before and the water temperature dropped as well overnight. The lake was calm as there were no real winds to contend with. Following is a look at just how the pre-race day and race day went for me.

On Saturday it was Packet Pick-up, Expo time, and bike check-in time. Packet pick-up was well run but the lines were a little long but moved quickly. Something I didn't know that was a "rookie" thing was that I needed to have my USAT Member card with me. None of the literature that I saw suggested that. You could not check in without it. You had to buy a temp one ($10) if you didn't have it. After filling out and checking forms, it ws goodie bag time. Nothing special there but the important things like bike, swim, and run numbers were in the packet as well as timing chip and cap. My swim cap was pink because they ran out of the ones that I should have had. Also, mine says Ironman Florida. Not excited I didn't get a Kansas one. it was a hot day and I never ran into one negative person in the packet tent. Great volunteers! The Expo featured several vendors but not a large number. I found that if you needed something it was there though and that was important. Also, there were several places top get your bike worked on if you needed that service. There were several course meeting times that you could go to and find out particulars and also ask questions. That was nice that there were multiple times so you could pick and chose when you wanted to be there. Bike check-in went well and there were plenty of volunteers there to help you and get you through fast. I found my spot and marked it with a landmark so I could find it fast. A very helpful hint that I picked up. My spot was not hard to find since it was on the first row.

It was then on to The Fellowship of Christian Athletes Iron Prayer meeting that I helped host. We had a great turnout and had a great pre-race worship and fellowship time. After the meeting we went out for the before race meal with some great friends from Colorade Springs.

Then it was home to set up the swim bag and transition 1 and 2 items. My transition 1 items included: Bike helmet, bike gloves, bike shoes, socks with baby powder in them for fast foot entry, Body Glide, two towels, 2 24oz. bike bottles and a 48oz CamelBak filled with my special mix of energy drink, sunscreen, GU Chomps and Hammer Supplements for my Bike Bento. Transition 2 items included my running shoes, another pair of socks just in case, cap, Body Glide, Amphipod 20oz bottle pack, GU Chomps and Hammer Supplements. Everything was now ready. With all of that done it was time for bed.

Race day started with a wak-up alarm of 4:00AM. Had Peanut Butter and Cracjers and my energy drink mix and then headed out to the race site which was a little more than 2 miles from my house. By the way, that was nice! We got to the site and they had the athletes parking very far from the main race site. It was not good. They provided shuttle buses and all and they were very quick but it was really a long way away. We got to the race site around 5:30 (my wife and me) and went to set up the transition areas. I had a very bright blue striped towel so it was easy to see. I set up Transition 2 first and then we walked down to the swim start and I set up Transition 2. When we got to the start they said that we could wear wetsuits because the water temperture had dropped enough. The day before they had said no wetsuits unless you wanted to go in the last wave. That would have meant that I would have had to go from wave 4 to 19. Glad that didn't happen and I was real glad to wear the wetsuit. All transition areas were well marked and very well organized with plenty of volunteer help. Again, they were all first class!

The race started late because they were waiting for medical staff to get into place. Then after the first waves were called, wave 4 was called and off I went. We swam out to the start and then we were off. I placed myself towards the side and at the back to avoid the major rush of the start. That was a great piece of advice. I had a clear start and soon started making time up on those who went out too fast. Stayed wide of the buoy line at first to have some open water to swim the 1.2 miles. Did a good job of keeping my direction fairly straight and also avoided most body contact until I rounded the halfway mark and then got greedy and started swimming closer to the buoy line. Got kicked in the head, swam over, elbowed, you name it. Finished the swim much better than I expected though. My swim training had me very well prepared and I had paced myself well to not be completely out of gas after the first leg of the race.

On to the bike portion of the race (56 miles). My swim to bike transition was not fast. But I was pleased how I had everything set out. Getting the wetsuit off was the most time consuming. There were no people to help like I had heard there are at some races. Got everything on and in the right order to avoid penalty and went up to the bike mount area. I had placed my gears in an easy gear the day before because it was an uphill start. That was really effective. Got a good start and was off. Started hydrating at mile 5 (letting my body get adjusted) and then continued to hydrate often during the ride. We had a light headwind at times and also a good tailwind at times. The course was hilly but since I had been on it before I knew what was coming. At first it seemed like everyone was passing me but I kept my pacing strategy and didn't get into that gane. I had a good even pace the entire route and felt great the entire time. Continued to hydrate along the way. There was a huge oil spill from something on the course close to mile 30 and we had to dismount and walk around it carrying our bikes. Aid startions along the course were great but I didn't need to stop. Plenty of volunteers on the course and everything was marked very well.

The bike to run transition went well and I got out of there about two minutes faster. The run was a two loop course around the campgrounds with one significant hill on each loop. By the time the run part started it had warmed up a bit. Hydration was important (Again, waited a couple of miles to start hydration to let body adjust) and my Amphipod worked well though I had to adjust it tighter from the day before when I tried it on. It didn't flop around and was much easier than a hand help I thought. Ususally I have done the hand held bottle but this has changed my mind. Had a great pace during the run and kept it even and steady. Had very good energy and felt fine. Put ice down the front of my tri suit and back to keep the core cool and it worked fantastic. There were multiple aid stations along the run course with so many volunteers at each station. It was great. They had everything ready and knew what they were doing just like on the bike route. Many thanks to them.

As I ran through the finish area, it was a great moment. I had finished my first Ironman (tri) and was so happy that I felt so good and had accomplished a major goal of mine. My training plan was fantastic and my coaching team really kept me on target over the past few months. The success of this race for me was not a one day thing. It was months of training, proper nutrition, hydration and mental focus. I felt well prepared and can't wait until the next one.

After the race I met up with my wife, went through the food tent, then went to the transition areas to pick up my gear, and then met our friends from Colorado and carried things back to the cars. The hardest part was the long trek back to the cars with all of the gear and the bikes. Wow, something needs to be done here. Athletes should not have been the ones parking the farthest away from the Race Complex. But that quickly faded from my mind as I enjoyed the success of a good experience and great support from family and friends! I will be back for more next year!

Race statistics:
Swim (1.2 miles): 46:35 Bike (56 miles): 3:22:13 Run (13.1 miles): 1:59:35 Overall: 6:21:41
18th in a division of 47
Total Swim: 2:27/100m Total Bike: 16.62mph Total Run 9:07/mile
T1: Swim-to-Bike 7:47 T2: Bike-to-Run 5:31

Forward we go! May your roads, trails, lakes, and pools be happy and safe and may they bring you peace of mind!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Kansas Ironman 70.3 Update 10

What an exciting day today for this Ironman rookie. Went out to packet pick-up and also the race expo and got everything done I needed to do as far as race heck-in and paperwork. Much more detailed than any marathon or ultra that I have done. Very well organized and lots of wonderful volunteers to help and answer questions. Also went to a pre-race meeting. Lots of details to learn and pay attention to. The what's and how's are a little overwhelming. I have to start somewhere and start with confidence and energy!

Tonight we went out to dinner with friends that are helping me put together the FCA Iron Prayer meeting tomorrow afternoon. We got some great planning done and I think it will be a great pre-race get together.

Bike check-in is tomorrow afternoon and so I will get my bike all set up and in the racks. Race number is 160. Also, tomorrow will get my numbers on everything and be ready to put transition things together tomorrow night and take them to the transition areas on Sunday morning. I am in group 4 which means I will start the swim around 6:38AM.

Going to get a good night's sleep tonight and then take a short spin in the morning and a short run. Hydrating and fueling and doing prety well with it. Very hot here today so need to make more progress on the hydrating part tonight and tomorrow. Temps are going to be a factor on Sunday. Glad that I have been running and riding in the heat of the days the past few weeks. Hope it helps.

As the start draws closer my energy level is increasing as well as the pre-race butterflies. Gotta have em' but wow, they are really something!

Until tomorrow...

Forward we go! May your roads, trail, lakes, and pools be happy and safe and may they bring you peace of mind!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Ironman Kansas 70.3 Update 9

Today was the really last day of training that had any distance to it. Tapering has been a little hard as I went some extra distance today and realized that I should stick to the schedule. I ran 4 mile, swam 2000 meters and biked 20 miles. Saturday wil be a short workout of just getting loose. Through all of that I realized that I have done about all I can to get ready for my first Ironman 70.3. That's very hard for me to say because I am a worrier. I over think everything. Over plan every thing. And also tried to seek information from about everyone I can think of.

It really just come down to me and all of you. But... I've got to swim 1.2 miles. Ride 56 miles. Run 13.1 miles. You all will be along with me. We'll get wet, sweat, swim hard, pedal hard and run like the wind. I will try to the best of my ability to do the best I can. Everyone's help has been amazing and the support has been overwhelming. It has given me energy and confidence. Doubt has raised its head several times only to be stifled by your warm encouragement and help.

My family has been a huge support. They are incredible. To Berta, Andy and Katiy, and Kelsey and Ryan I say thank you for all you have done. I love you all for all you do for our family! We're a great team! I thank God for the ability to even think that I can do this and then give me the gifts to swim, ride, and run in His name. Through His power we can do all things.

Tomorrow is a rest day with a rip to the race site and expo tomorrow afternoon and dinner with the FCA Team Endurance Crew tomorrow night. Until then....

Forward we go! May your roads, trail, pools, and lakes be happy and safe and may they bring you peace of mind!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Kansas Ironman 70.3 Update 8

Today was a pretty good day. Started off with an early wake-up to go swim. I noticed some lightning but thought it was far away but by the time I got to the pool it had spread all around. So no swimming today. Came home and slept a bit and then got on the bike and did 40 miles. It was a good ride. Again rode part of the course and just ran through my mind what I would do during certain parts of it.

Today I also went out to the lake area and tested the wetsuit with a brief but very beneficial mentally swim. Just to get the feel of the lake. The fact that you can se nothing but green slim and things floating around, it is so much different than pool swimming. Wait a minute, the pool looks like that too. No just kidding. Practiced getting the wetsuit off and the transition. Now I am not after any records, just a good finish, but getting that wetsuit off was a task. Body Glided up and all. Wow, not easy.

I also took a tour of the race site this evening. It was beautiful out there. They were stuffing packets and setting things up. It was fantastic to get out there and see where everything is. Found the swim start and the transition area to bike. Then found the transition area for bike to run. Really took a lot off my mind to see everything. There are some major hills after the transitions so I already plotted a low gear start and a slow easy pace at the start of the run to get my legs ready. Plus it was just a beautiful walk on a nice warm evening.

Tomorrow brings somewhat of a hard taper day. A 4 mile run, 2000 meter swim, and a 25 mile ride. Then celebrating my wife's birthday the rest of the day.

Until tomorrow...

Forward we go! May your roads, trails, lakes, and pools be happy and safe and may the bring you peace of mind!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Ironman Kansas 70.3 Update 7

With the race less than a week away it's time to start getting things out and ready to go. At least that's what I pan on doing. I always like to lay things out and see what I am missing or what goes where. Since this is a new adventure for me, I will take extra caution to make sure i have everything. I am sure after the Ironman I will learn about things that I wish that I would have had there. That's ok. That's what it's all about. Learning as we go. Right now my mental focus is on the swimming and making it through the course and get on with the cycling and running portions. I have to say, this has really tripled the amount of things that I feel that I need to have ready as opposed to a marathon or ultra. It seems to me much more technical and wow, are there parts that I can really mess up if I do things the wrong way.Entering and exiting the transition areas is a big concern of mine. Not forgetting when to put on and take off the helmet is another area of concern.

Today I ran 4 miles and rode 28 miles. Tomorrow is a swim day and a ride day of around 40 miles I hope. I'd like to get that distance in. Nutrition has been basically the same as decribed in earlier posts. Starting to add good, fuel calories and hydrating more. Getting some goood fats in me and geting the electrolytes up where they should be.

Bike tip for the day...As I was riding today I experienced a new adventure of cycling. Some of the huge holes and gaps in the street are really getting bad. Enough so that a tire could very easily slip down into one. With traffic buzzing all around sometimes it is hard to aviod the "bike sinkholes". Actually they kind of remind me of minature skate parks. You know, you go down one pothole ride around a bit and come up on the otehr side. Twist around to avoid a car or two and the curb. Land with both wheels still attached to the bike and you still clipped in. Yep, score it a 10! I have found a new mouth position for entering one of these hole areas. Make sure your mouth is closed because the holes will jolt your jaw beyond repair. Today I had 4 crowns hit at the same time and it sounded like the Boston Pops Orchestra. My ears are still ringing.

Unitil tomorrow..

Forward we go! May your roads, trails, pools, and lakes be happy and safe and may they bring you peace of mind!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day/ Kansas Ironman 70.3 Update 7

Interesting day today. Swim workout (1800 meters) was sluggish. One of those days. My late afternoon swim yesterday I think really had an impact on the early hour swim today. I'll have to learn better timing. Quality not quantity. Rested quite a bit today after a short spin of 10 miles. Put in some extra fuel and feel much better this evening.

Tomorrow (Tuesday) I speak at the start of a middle school running camp and I am excited about that. Topic will be "At the Starting Line, We all Line Up Together". Focus will be that through proper training, coaching, and nutrition we can all accomplish great things no matter what our level of ability. This camp is a great opportunity for these kids to learn about so many things about running and be together with their peers and enjoy the fun of running.

During my swim and ride today, I was constantly thinking about what today meant. Memorial Day. Over and over in my head I thought of countless people who have impacted the freedoms we enjoy everyday. As I was pulling myself out of the pool, a little tired and sluggish, I thought of the many servicewomen and servicemen that are defending our country as we speak as well as those that have gone before them. That each day they experience fatigue and long hours of physically and mentally demanding efforts. They muster up the courage to forge ahead and do the best they can every single day and night. As I sat on the edge of the pool at sunrise, my feelings of being tired did not seem justified. They would only be temporary.

I can't imagine the pain the many men and women have faced leaving their families to serve our country for extended amounts of time to both near and far away places. I can also not imagine the pain of those families that have lost loved ones in the line of duty. The ultimate sacrifice. Generation after generation of men and women have served in various capacities to protect our freedom. To them and their families I say thank you and God Bless.

Our family today remembered my Dad as we placed flowers at his grave. We also remembered my wife's Mother, Dad, and Brother and the wonderful moments that we all shared. As I looked across the cemetery, I saw so many brightly arranged flowers and messages and even a few balloons and it made me feel both sad and happy. Loved ones missed. Memories celebrated for what they brought to the lives of their loved ones.

Memorial Day. The hope for peace is never ending. God Bless you all!

Forward we go! May the roads, trails, pools, and lakes be happy and safe and may they bring you peace of mind!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Kansas Ironman 70.3 Update 6

The Kansas Ironman is one week from today. Can't wait. Will start getting Transition things set out this week. Bought some really bright beach towels so that it would help me find my things. Starting to plan food and hydration intake requirements and plan how and where to fit them in and what times.

Have been noticing an abnormal number of snakes that didn't make it across the road the past few days. What's up with that. Big ones and small ones. It's like they all decided that it looked better over there and went for it. Bad timing. Heavy traffic weekend. Several other things also suffered the same fate. Sometimes hard to avoid on the bike.

Today's Training consisted of an 8 mile run, 28 mile ride, and a 2000 meter swim. All went well. Now the taper will begin. I will do the regular swim workout in the morning then a short spin in the afternoon/evening. Used the Camelbak again today and really liked it.

Most of the nutrition today came on the run/bike, and swim times. Had salmon and boiled potatoes for dinner. Tasted real good after all of the training today.

Forward we go! May your roads, trails, lakes, and pools be happy and safe and may they bring you peace of mind!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Kansas Ironman 70.3 Update 5

Today's training went well. The swim this morning consisted of 3,000 meters of drill, swim, and intervals. The wetsuit went on better this morning and I know it was because of the Body Glide and just a second try at it. Actually did not need any help and came out ready to roll. after the workout I practiced taking it off quick like in a transition. I'll hope for people to help! The water was warm today so I did feel I was getting a little hot as the workout went on. Stroke was stronger this morning than yesterday. It's just one of those things that we can't really explain. Juts like in running and cycling. There are those days you just want to box up and keep forever, then there are the other ones. Still amazed by sunrise. The pool was so quiet and peaceful this morning and then drove by a few minutes ago and I don't think that you could get any more people in there. It was packed.

Had a great cycling workout. Rode 50 miles and met up with several others riding the Ironman course. I rode parts of it because I wanted to end up downtown to get some more things done on my bike. Traffic on the highways was as packed as the pool. slowed speed down to make sure I was more aware of the traffic. Tried a new idea today that worked out fantastic. I met last evening with the current age group world champion ironman and his wife who got third in her age group. we went over so many things about the upcoming race. So many great suggestions. Practiced putting things out for the transitions and also what things I should have at the transitions and also backups of things. They suggested that in addition to the two bottles of my drink mixture on my bike that I also ride with a Camelbak. I am trying to carry 900 calories on my bike and the Camelbak allows me to do that. I also have a new Bento Box that fits on my crossbar and in it I have the GU Chomps and Hammer Endurolytes and Endurance Amino Caps. It was also filled with my drink and lots of ice. It kept my core cool the entire ride which was fantastic. In addition to that, the drink coming out of the Camelbak was nice and cold which tasted great. It did add a little weight but it was well worth it. Try it and see what you think. For me, it's a keeper!

After the ride I did a short 20 minute run to try out running in my tri suit. Felt good to run and the suit was great. Nutrition today was done mostly on my bike but did have the same food and hydration menu as before for the swim and ride. Tonight is a "going out to eat" night so we'll see what I can find.

Tomorrow's training will be an 8 mile run, 30-35 mile ride and an hour swim.

Forward we go! May your roads, trails, lakes and pools be happy and safe and may they give you peace of mind!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Kansas Ironman 70.3 Update 4

Started off today with an early morning swim of 200's drill, kick, swim, drill, kick, swim. The 8 150's swim with 20 second break between 150's. Then I did a cool down 200. Total I think around 2600 meters. I had the wetsuit (2XU) debut today. I was uneventful actually except for the getting on and off. Wow, that is really difficult. Body Glide helped but I will have to have more practice. I will wear it again at tomorrow's early swim. As typically happens to a rookie doing an Ironman, everyone vanished when it came time to finally zip me up. Yep, let the rookie figure it out. Well this rookie did. I just went on out and got some help getting the back all together. Kinder minds prevailed. When I actually got in the water it was unbelievable how much floating power. I don't even think I kicked during the first 100 due to the fact that my feet were out of the water. The suit restricts your stroke and I will have to get use to that, but I finally got somewhat of a hang of it towards the end. It does give me some confidence as far as staying on top of the water better and not letting my hips sink. Need to keep my head down more and also practiced looking ahead without taking a breath. also, worked on extending my arms above my head on each stroke,reaching more. So tomorow, more of the same. Wetsuit episode #2. Stay tuned.

After the swim I went on a 30 mile ride concentrating on staying down on the aero bars as much as I could and also working on the gears I would use for the hills. Still not happy with my hill techniques yet. Would like to not be in the lower gears. I tried out my 2XU Tri-Suit too for the bike. Really liked it. Very comfortable and had a light feel to it. Ride was very good today. HAd good strength.

Nutrition today was not what it should have been. My fault. Took a nap and got out of whack as far as routine. One banana before swim + Hammer Nutrition Supplements during and after swim, my special mix of powder drink. Then nothing before ride, mistake stomach was growling, and after ride had Hammer Recoverite Shake. Snack this afternoon was one of my nutrition bars that I make. Dinner was chicken and a sweet potatoe. And in a few minutes I will have my before bed Casein Shake. The part that I messed up on was not enough hydration and a good blend of carbs and protein in liquid form. That will be corrrected tomorrow. Be sure of that.

Tomorrow's training starts with early morning swim, followed by a 50 mile ride, followed by a short run. Within the next few days my goal is to get in the lake and swim and on Tues and Thurs practice Transitions 1 & 2 at the lake.

Feeling pretty good tonight. But... Didn't sleep well last night at all. Put two protein drinks too close together and I had way to much energy to sleep. Shoulders were a little sore from the wetsuit changing my stroke a little. So went into today's training with 4 hours of sleep.Not good. Must get better at getting to bed at 9:00PM.

Looking forward to reporting in tomorrow night.

Forward we go! May your roads, trails, lakes, and pools be happy and safe and may they bring you peace of mind.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Kansas Ironman 70.3 Update 3

Interesting day today. Started the day a little sluggish and in a very reflective mood. That was after a night in which I was trying to identify everything I needed to do before the Ironman race. Of course no one was listening to me as I was downstairs having a snack. No on was up at 2:00AM. I mean, what do yo do when you can't sleep and have ideas and thoughts racing at an incredible pace through your brain? Have some of those bars that I make that I told you about. Yep, had two more. Then wrote down a few things. Organized a bit. Then went back upstairs and promtly went to sleep. Zzzzzzzzzzz

Today's training involved running 4 miles with steady 1/2 marathon pace repeats of each 1/2 mile with 30 seconds rest in between. Legs were very heavy for the first few and the really came back to life for the end of he workout. I was glad about that. Foot strike was better and softer. Then after the run I did an easy ride of 20 miles. Felt very good. I am a little concerned about my bike. It is making grinding/rattling noises in the gear and crank area. I just got it serviced and I am not happy. Going up hill sound like I am going to lose the bottom of the bike. May take it back this wekend. I'm sure they'll be glad to see me on such a busy holiday weekend. I know the changed the chain and I am wondering if that is it? Any suggestions. This rookie need help fast!

Nutrition was really the same as yesterday except that for lunch I went out and had an incredible vegetarian panini sandwich with a cold quinoa salad with black beans and roasted red peppers. Tonight's routine was altered a bit as I did not have dinner. Just a dinner snack between the Recoverite drink and the Casein Shake.

Had 4 groups of cars with windows rolled down yelling at me tonight. What's up with that? Seems like they try to get so close to you and yell. Highways were very busy already with Memorial Day traverlers. So let's be careful out there!

Tonight I am going to give you a challenge. A very good friend of mine and I had lunch today at a great place called the Community Mercantile. Basically a health foods store. As we talked about other stores, he posed a suggestion that we really should only shop around the perimeter of the store. That we could get everything "healthy" that we needed. Our basic body engine fuel. It's when you step into the aisles in the store that you encounter the things that are really not good for us and fairly unnecessary to our well-being. High carbs, high fat,hhigh sugars, and very processed. Mentally take a trip around where you shop and see if you could survive on the things offered on the perimeter. Then next go see if you can stay out of the aisles that give us trouble nutritionally. Make some comments here on the blog so that people can see if this holds true. I really think we have to eliminate most health food stores but take a look there too. I there a difference from the perimeter to inside the aisles?

Tomorrow's training consists of early morning swim and a 30 mile spin. The new wetsuit debuts tomorrow. So here we go. Hold on to your .....well nevermind.

Forward we go! May your roads, trails, and pools be happy and safe and may they give you peace of mind!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Kansas Ironman 70.3 Update 2

Today's training went well. Started off with an early morning swim. We began at the outdoor pool and will be there the rest of the summer. The outdoor pool has 50 meter length lanes instead of the 25 meter lanes at the indoor pool. There was a cooler temperature difference when you figure in the outdoor air too. Today's distance total was 1,900 meters. The sunrise during the swim was incredible. Will probably wear my new wetsuit Friday that I got today along with my tri-suit. We also started at a new time of 5:00AM which meant a 4:00AM wake-up, dress and get the skin suit on, take Hammer supplements, and eat a banana on the drive to the pool. During the swim I drank a special energy drink mix and after the training swim I had a whey protein drink. Breakfast consisted on Peanut Butter and Whole Wheat Crackers this morning. I know, but it is good protein and carbs.

Mid-Morning snack was another banana and a Brown Rice Protein drink. Today's lunch was 3 sliced hard boiled eggs on flatout bread with pickle relish mixed in. Also, had two oranges. During the day I had 2 packets of Emergen-C for a total of 2,000mg Vitamin C in 16oz of water.

Before my afternoon training ride I had a protein bar that I make here at home that settles very well on the stomach and provides a great blend of protein and carbs before the ride or run. I usually have 2 bars. The training ride this afternoon was a 40 mile ride with 4- 10 minute threshold paces within the ride. I am really liking my new carbon aero bars. Provides a great position in a variety of riding situations and really takes pressure off my back. what a fantastic acquisition! After the ride I had a Hammer Recoverite drink and will then have dinner (Yet to be determined) and the before bed the Casein shake with a banana.

Felt good about training today. Especially the ride this evening. Weather was again a threat in the forecast as was this morning's forecast for the swim. We really have had enough rain for a while! Enough!

Friday the wetsuit will provide in water challenges as well as challenges on dry land of getting it on and off. I have had some great suggestions of using Body Glide as well as plastic baggies to help get it on and off. I may charge admission Friday just to watch the rookie struggle to get the suit on for the first time.

Tomorrow is a short run and a shorter ride. Will give you the full report tomorrow evening.

Forward we go! May your roads, trails, and pools be happy and safe and may they bring you peace of mnd!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Kansas Ironman 70.3 Update 1

Thought I would do a daily update as the Kansas Ironman approaches in less than two weeks (June 6th). These updates will include training for the day, nutrition, as well as thoughts and reflections. Some days the post will be short and I am sure some days it will be long. This will be my first Ironman (Swim 1.2 Miles/Cycle 56 miles/Run 13.1 Miles) so I know there will be lots to share.

I have run several marathons and ultras but decided that there was a need for a new adventure. So far, that has that has not been a disappointment. Each day brings new information for the mind and body to take in. Just like marathon and ultra training, there are good days and days that are a challenge. I have always felt that coaches and consultants should not coach themselves. So it is in that light that I have put my training in the hands of a fantastic coach. He has years of experience in cycling, running, swimming, and nutrition. It makes me appreciate all the more the training plans and information that I give to my own clients.

The biggest jolt in the training has been the early morning swims. Generally all of my running training before has been in the evenings then mornings on the weekends. Not so anymore. It's wake-up at 4:00AM and swim for it!

Here is a brief sampling of a schedule for the week:

Monday: 5:00AM Swim/Afternoon Spin of 20-25 miles

Tuesday: Afternoon Running Speedwork/Followed with a 20 mile Spin

Wednesday: 5:00AM Swim/Afternoon Spin 2.5 hours

Thursday: Same as Tuesday

Friday: 5:00AM Swim/Afternoon Run of 4-6 miles/Afternoon Spin of 20-25 miles

Saturday:5:00AM Swim/Morning Run of 10-12/Morning Spin of 25 miles

Sunday:Morning Spin of 2.5-3.5 hours

Nutrition has been key. With the additional training I have had to add calories to fuel this engine. A good breakfast followed by a mid-morning snack (Brown Rice Protein and a banana), then lunch and a mid-afternoon snack before afternon training, following the training I have a huge glass of Soy Milk and then dinner about an hour after. Evening snack consists of a large Casein Portein shake. Hyration has increased big time even though at first I swallowed enough pool water to keep me going for several days. Electrolytes have also been very important as there have been some mornings at swim training that I have had to deal with some light cramping in the legs. That seems to be better now.

Mentally, just getting the confidence that I can put all three of these together in one day has been the ultimate goal. Telling the brain that yes we are going to run after a 60 mile ride is difficult until it realizes that in fact we are going to do this. Also, I will be swimming in the lake soon to get the feel of the "out of pool" body experience. Today, I'm a little tense.

Today's schedule calls for a 5 mile run followed by a 20 mile ride directly after. Weather today is a threat, as thunderstorms are forecast to move in about the time I start. Hope they hold off!

Tomorrow will be a recap of today's training and a look ahead at upcoming training.

Forward we go! May your roads, trails, and pools be happy and safe and may they bring you peace of mind!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Big Sur Marathon Race Report/Boston 2 Big Sur Challenge

Boston 2 Big Sur Challenge: 2 Marathons, 2 Coasts, 6 Days

Upon arrival in San Jose, Ca., I knew it was going to be a great trip. The weather was beautiful and the drive up to Monterey was incredible. Still a little sore from the Boston Marathon a few days earlier, I did some light runninig and swimming training before the race. It was good to get things loose and get the blood flowing for what was to be an exciting and scenc coourse.

We stayed at the Marriott Hotel which was the host hotel. That was ver nice since it was right across the street from the Expo and one of the stops or the bus shuttle to the start. The hotel was runner ready and provided many services that were geared to the runners. Most of all they understood requests and inquiries about where the best pre-race food was located. There were many, many outstanding restaurants in the area.

The Expo was fantastic! Not huge but just the right amount of vendors. As part of the Boston 2 Big Sur Challenge, I was treated to a special booth to pick up race bib number and final instructions. All aspects of the arrangements were made very easy by the event staff and the many volunteers.

The day before the race was spent resting and keeping down as much as possible. I did go over to teh Expo and hear Dean Karnases speak which was a real treat. Pre-race dinner the night before consisted of Salmon, cauliflower masched potatoes and the tradidtional servings of bread. Lots of water of course as well as Hammer Heed during the day. I had been hydrating all week with Hammer Heed and water and also drinking Hammer Protein shakes of Soy and whey. I did a good job of hydrating. Also, took several long walks along the beach and also most of the runs were along the beach too. Wanted to keep the legs moving and ready to go.

Race day dawned with a wake-up call at 3:00AM. Whew! The earliest yet for me. I ate a banana, got ready with extra layers of clothing, got my drop bag,a dn supplements and headed down to the buses for the trip up to the start. What a fantastic send off from Berta, daughter Kelsey (Celebrating her birthday with this trip), and her boyfriend Ryan. Can you imagine them getting up at that hour to see me off? It was great. Also had great calls from Andy and Katiy that brought much encouragement! Oh, and by the way, at Big Sur you ride to the start in motor coaches. At least most of the runners did. I was in bus paradise. I love motor coaches!

We arrived at the start where the temperature was around 40+ degrees. The whole start area was organized very well with food and drink available to runners. Plenty of pota-potties. There were many necessary and informative annuncements made as well as music. There was a short delay to get all of the buses unloaded but it was minor.

The start was down a long road of redwood trees. Wow! So......After the first mile, I turned my watch off and said this one is just or fun and to enjoy the sights and sounds of the California coast! This was funtime, not a timed race for me. I haven't done that before. It was wonderful! Just enjoyed the scenery and ran at an even pace so that I could take it all in. I had run agressively at Boston and just wated to take it easy.

Here is a course video so you can see what I mean. It is about 20 minutes long but well worth it.

Crossed the finish line at 4:50. Not a problem when you are having fun and enjoying the race. I talked to so many wonderful people. Some first time marathoners, some that had done it many years. also, stopped and took pictures for a cople of people. This would be a tough first marathon though. Hammer Supplements, GU Chomps and my Brooks Infiniti's performed great. Feet and body felt good.

Post race food at the race sight was great except that I drank pineapple juice which I will never do again. Didn't settle at all on the stomach. I never do that. don't know what got into me. There was a special VIP tent for the Boston 2 Big Sur Challenge runners which was great and the is where I got my Incredible jacket. Also, got two great ceramic medallions. One for the marathoon itself and one or the Boston 2 Big Sur Challenge.

At the post race party at the Marriott which was really first class, I got to meet and talk to Dean Karnazes. That was way cool!

Wow, what a great time! Now training concentrates on my first Ironman on June 6th. The Kansas Ironman 70.3.

Forward we go! May your roads, trails, and pools be happy and safe and may they bring you peace of mind!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Big Sur Update 3

Quick update tonight as I head to bed early for the 3:00AM wake-up and to catch the bus at 4:15AM. spent the day resting, eating, and hydrating. Did some race strategy work and listened to Dean Karnazes at a runner's forum. He did a great job with his talk and gave some sound advice. Before he spoke there was a panel of running experts that also were excellent. It's always great to here about how they prepare and what they go through for their races too.

Dinner tonight was salmon, cauliflower mashed potatoes, bread and some great water! Had a good awalk to and from the restaurant so was able to get the legs in motion. Did a short run of 30 minutes this morning and nothing else today.

I'm all packed up and clothes laid out as well as the drop bag and supplements. Will probably run with a pace group tomorrow gain some knowledge from them too. Take care and have a great Sunday run,bike , or swim!

Forward we go! May your roads, trails, and pools be happy and safe and may they bring you peace of mind!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Big Sur Marathon Update 2

Time at the Expo was well spent today as there were several people to talk to about the course and their experiences with the race. It was helpful to hear the different versions. I have looked at the course map several times and will watch the video tomorrow that shows the actual layout.

Most of the first 10 miles are downhill with the major hill starting at mile 10 and going up for the next two miles. Then it's down until about mile 15 then there are some rolling hills to the finish. Many people said it's not the "up" that gets you but the "down" part that burns the quads. It will be extremely important to get a smart start to the race and have good energy for the hill and then be able to sustain that energy throughout the second half of the race. Especially after Boston.

I have decided to run with one of the Clif Bar Pace Teams just to keep my pace solid and also to gain more knowledge of the course as we go. That will be a big help for my race startegies. I have not decided the exact pace I am going to run. That may be a race morning decision.

This evening was spent taking in the sights of Cannert Row which is close to whre we are staying. Ate dinner at a great restaurant named the Fish Hopper. I think we were there about 2 hours. The food was amazing and the service was especially attentive. Evening by the ocean is a great treat when you are from Kansas. I know, waves are waves, but when you compare there to waves from a Kansas lake, come on...not goona even go there. As the tide rolled in, it was beautiful to hear the waves crashing up on the shore.

Felt better today on my run. My left knee is a bit sore but the quads and hamstrings are improving. Will cut back some tomorrow and do a 3 mile run and some pool training. Also, most of the day will be spent holtelbound and resting. I will go back to the Expo at 1:00PM to meet and hear Dean Karnazes speak. He will be running the maraton and I am a huge fan of his accomplishments! Then back to the hotel for naps and hydrating and food. Bedtime tomorrow night will be around 8:30 since race day morning will start with a 3:30AM wake-up and then catch the runner bus to the start at 4:30 for the 6:45AM start. Forecast is for dold temps in the 40's at the start warming into the 60's during the later part of the day. Wind will be in our faces most of the time. Have picked out race clothes and will probably change my mind a few more times as I find out more about the weather. I will have alternatives in my drop bag to take care of the unknowns I hope. Eating so early will pose somewhat of a challeng. My usual race scheduke will just have to take an earlier version.

It's late and I need to get the body in bed to rest. Will post early tomorrow evening and then hit the bed early.

Forward we go! May your roads, trails, and pools be happy and safe and bring you peace of mind!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Big Sur Update 1

After getting up at 4:00AM to start the day of travel to Monterey,CA, I am so happy to be here and getting ready for the second part of the Boston 2 Big Sur Challenge. Marathon #2 here we go. It was a day of sitting in airports and on planes. Thank you Southwest Airlines for your continued outstanding service and early arrivals. We flew into San Jose, Ca midmorning and did a drive up to Monterey (Staying at the Marriott) which took a little over an hour. Great views and a great opportunity to just sit back and see beautiful areas. I have always felt that airports and rental car agencies sometimes just don't get it. They just can't put all of the pieces together. Today however, it was different. Alamo did a great job, upgrading us to a larger vehicle, yeah I know it was Earth Day, and we fit all of our stuff into something called a GMC Arcadia. Two bags of clothes, one bag food and supplements, and one bag running gear. Yes, I checked my running gear again.

After a late afternoon lunch which was the size of a decent dinner, we took a walk along the Fisherman's Wharf and really enjoyed the sights. Saw a bunch (scientific term when your from Kansas) of sea lions. The Wharf had lots of great restaurants. Through the recommendation of the hotel we ate at Old Fisherman's Grotto. It was outstanding! After the meal and a few more sea lion watching encounters, I headed out for a short 3 mile run along the coast where I saw even more sea lions and also some more great places to go back to to see more of. That's one thing about a runner or cyclist in a new town, you become the scout for all of the best places to go. After the short run, I did a 20 min swin again just to loosen up things. Nice heated pool. Then it was out to a late dinner at the Crown and anchor British Pub. No beer. Just a great turkey sandwich.

Tomorrow will include a short run and a short swim. Also, I will go to the Expo which is always great fun to pick up bib numbers and bus ticket. If you have tim, go to the Big sur website and check out the virtual tour of the route and you will see whaat I am facing Sunday.( I will be spending quite a bit of time tomorrow and Saturday studying the route.

I feel pretty good. Eating more than usual to replenish body needs faster than usual for recovery and build-up for a race so close. Legs are still sore (Quads and Hamstrings) but getting better each day. They will be called on to do quite a bit on Sunday.

Well, it's poff to bed. It will feel good tonight. Been up for a bit. Will sleep in a little and then get on with Friday. Looking forward to the challenges of this quick a turn around.

Forward we go! May your roads, trails, and pools be happy and safe and may they bring you peace of mind!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Boston Race Report

The morning started out with a wake-up call at 5:0AM after a 2:30AM fire alarm in the hotel. Thankfully we didn’t have to evacuate. Anyway, it was back to sleep for a brief time and up for a banana and the start of Hammer Heed. Sunglasses broke and had to tape them. THen at the start of the race had to use Duct Tape. Left the hotel at 6:00AM for a quick walk over to meet the buses at Boston Commons. That’s where Berta and I said our race farewells and pre-race prayer. The bus line was very efficient and the lines moved quickly. I was happy to get on the bus and start the adventure for the Boston Marathon.

Upon arriving in Hopkinton, I went directly to the athletes’ village. There I found a space to wait for the next 2 ½ hours until the start of the race at 10:00AM. I brought a plastic mat to sit on, my pre-race meal of peanut butter and whole wheat crackers, Hammer Heed, a poncho, Hammer Bar, a towel, disposable warm-up suit, gloves, supplements and an extra shirt and cap. All needed for the long wait before the race. As race time neared, I made sure I took care of all of the restroom needs, took supplements 90 minutes before the race and got my things packed up for the drop bag to be dropped off at the bus on the way to the corals. All was accomplished without too much trouble. I rested well at the village and food settled well. Weather was cold and windy, but partly cloudy which was a blessing over my run in 2007.

It was time to walk down to the corrals which were about 7/10 of a mile away they said. I was in the first wave. It was great to visit with people once we got into the corral and then anticipate the race. The walk down to your corral is an emotional one because you think about just how you got to this race, the people that supported you and understood your wacky training and eating routines. My goal this year was to start out more conservatively and not force the start. That worked well and I really held on because most of the first 9 miles are downhill. Speed and excitement usually make you start out much faster than you want and then you have little left at the beginning of the Newton Hills.

As I said yesterday, the crowd support was amazing and welcomed. I went along at a reasonable pace and felt great. Refueling at miles 4,10,14,18,22, and 24. I took powered Hammer Heed and Perpetuem which I had in small tubes on my belt. I also took GU Chomps. All nutrition worked well, thank you again Hammer Nutrition products! They are amazing! Supplements taken during the race included: Hammer Endurolytes and Endurance Amino Caps. Two of each on the hour.

The goal of the race time wise for me was around 4:10. Especially since I have Big Sur this week on Sunday. However, my ½ marathon split was 1:53:39. That fired some unknown spark in my head and I thought about, briefly, a sub 4 hour Boston.

The rest of the splits were:
5K 26:26
10K 54:18
15K 1:20:37
20K 1:43:49
Half 1:53:49
25K 2:15:45
30K 2:44:23
35K 3:14:16
40K 3:42:29
Finish 3:53:13

Pace was 8:54

After the race I went through the medal area, food area, and met Berta at the Family reunite area which was great! She had a hug and a rose, also my post-race supplements and Hammer Recoverite. We then walked back to the hotel and had a great time discussing the race and enjoying the Boston Commons Park area and all of it’s beauty. The evening included a quick swim to relax the body and a great dinner.

Boston was a great experience and I look forward to Big Sur on Sunday. We leave Thursday morning for that race.

Forward we go! May your roads, trail, and pools be happy and safe and bring you peace of mind!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Boston Update 8 Crowd and Volunteer Support

Just have to do a quick message before the race report in a few days. Tomorrow is a travel day with a short spin tomorrow evening. Eating will be a priority tomorrow. Also re-hydrating as I get ready for Big Sur Marathon on Sunday. So we'll switch for a bit back and forth from Boston Report to Big Sur.

Today's race was amazing from many points. I was very happy with my sub 4 hour mile. But something that sticks out even more was the crowd, volunteers, and others. I am overwhelmed by the attention and recognition a Boston finisher gets. During the race, the noise from the crowds was as loud as I have ever heard it at a race. The Newton Hills were lined with people as was much of the entire route and it really helped. There were also the Boston College crowds and the Wellesley College "scream tunnel".

Walking back from the race, people stood and clapped as we walked by. It was incredible. Then at dinner, when we walked into the restaurant, everyone cheered. They welcomed each participant the same way. It is by far the most energetic city for a race that I have ever seen. It is a memory that will be cherished for many years.

OK. Off to bed and a big breakfast in the morning. Already planning Big Sur.

Forward we go! May your roads, trails and pools be happy and safe and may they bring you peace of mind!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Boston Update 7

Race eve. Just finished a dinner of salmon and mashed potatoes. Tasted pretty good. Did a short 3 mile run this morning and felt good. Spent the rest of the day resting and getting race day things ready. Have been a little unsettled today getting all of the details down of meeting the buses at Boston Commons and then the ride up to Hopkinton. Bus leaves at 6:30AM so it will be a wake-up at 5:00AM. Dress and eat a little something.

We will walk to meet the bus then I will be in the start area for a few hours before wave 1 starts at 10:00AM. Taking things to sit on (ground will be wet from rains), eat, and drink. Also, taking extra clothes. Race temp at start is supposed to be around 42 with a finish temp in the 50's. Partly to mostly cloudy skies.

So here we go. It's that time. Boston Butterflies are swarming and the energy is at its max. Will try and get a good night's sleep. I'll write a race report tomorrow evening. Thanks for all of your support!

Forward we go! May your roads, trail, and pools be happy and safe and may they bring you peace of mind!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Boston Update 6

The day started out with a little bit of a sleep in since after our room service dinner at 1:00AM wasn't finished until 2:00AM. Great meal though. Getting in at midnight had its advantages and disadvantages. Almost all were very positive. Rain and cold still haunt the running picture. Hoping the weather gets better! Brought everything I had in terms of clothes so I hope I am prepared for whatever the weather turns out to be.

Did a short 4 mile run this morning along the South Boston Waterfront and loved the route. Wished that I could have spent more time but followed training taper and pre-race plans not to run further. Took the subway train to the Expo. The Expo was packed but there were so many great vendors there it really didn't matter. Bought a lot of things this time. Oops! Got to visit with Steve DeKoker at the Brooks Running booth. Great to talk to Steve and see the Brooks products on display. Also, stopped by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Team Endurance Booth and talked to them. I am a FCA Team Endurance runner. Purchased a new piece of equipment for my bike. It's called the Smash Bottle from Smash Sports. Great hands-free attachment for the bike. Look into the website. Very interesting approach! I stopped at the Team 413 Booth and visited with Chris about his program.The Boston Marathon Expo is one of the best Expos you'll find and there are so many outstanding volunteers everywhere to help.

Had a great time at the DailyMile party. It was great to see people that I get to talk with on the DailyMile site and put names with faces. It was a great group and there were some great give aways.

Did a 45 min. evening swim. Light workout and then on to dinner. The Intercontinental Hotel Concierge recommended the Chart House Restaurant. Located on the Boston Inner Harbor. It was amazing. The food and service were superior! And we had VIP treatmenat for the evening. Wonderful! Almost felt like an Elite runner for a while. Great way to end the day. The staff at each place exceed expectations time and again.

So tomorrow it's a light 30-40 minute run and then rest for the rest of the day until the FCA Team Endurance meeting later in the afternoon. Then dinner at the hotel since they are providing a special runners meal Sunday night. It will be gear prep day. Also, nice big naps!

Boston Buterflies are flying high tonight! Whew!

Forward we go! May your roads andtrails and pools be happy and safe and may the give you peace of mind!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Boston Update 5

Support from family and friends is so important that I wanted to share video with you all tonight talking about the things that my family is sending with me to Boston. Enjoy!

Forward we go! May your roads, trails, and pools be happy and safe and bring you peace of mind!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Boston Update 4

Wednesday evening brings more packing. Tonight the packing will make it into the final stages. I have decided to brave the Baggage Check-In issues and go ahead and check my running gear. This is a first except one time in Chicago where my carry-on was rejected by security because it was too long. Humm on the flight to this city on the same airline it was ok. Well no questions asked. Bags do grow I guess. The bag was checked after a minor panic attack. So here we go. A new adventure. Intentional here are my running clothes, please don't lose them because I am running Boston. We'll see.

Today's training went well. Talked to a couple of people that had recently run Boston and got some good advice from them about "the hills". I need to stop worrying about that area of the race. Start out at an even pace and have good energy ready for that part.Pacing will be key. I started out way too fast on '07 so I want to be smarter this time. when the first few miles are all downhill, you kind of lose focus and say, "wow, look at me go", then wonder what happened later on. Of course there will be those that it doesn't bother at all. They start and end fast.

Both pairs of my Brooks Infiniti's feel about equal so I will need to decide in the next few days which one will be the race pair. Great shoe and one I would highly recommend. A few more runs will decide that. Also wearing the SmartWool socks. Fantastic socks and ones I wouldn't ever run without! They are the best by far of anything that I have ever worn.

Training for tomorrow will be: an easy 15 min warm-up run followed by 8x (1 mn at 3 mile pace and 1 min easy jog), then an easy 5 min run, then 4x 1 mile @ 10-15 seconds faster than marathon pace with 3 min jog in between. After the running I'll do a 15 mile easy spin. Looking forward to tomorrow! Training food and snacks remain the same for Thursday. Hydration kicked up a notch.

On another subject. My Pull Float and Kickboard arrived today for swim training. Yea! Not quite like the excitement when new shoes arrive, but close!

Forward we go! May your roads, trails, and pools be happy and safe and may they bring you peace of mind!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Boston Update 3

Hope you had a great day. Well, first of all, a correction is in order. For lunch yesterday I told you that I had flatbread. Well, they are called "Flatouts". I was close. Since tomorrow (Wed) is a swim day, breakfast will switch to natural peanut butter and whole wheat crackers. The rest of the menu for the day will be exactly the same.

Which brings us to, "What to eat on a travel day?". I don't eat airport food under any circumstance heading into or out of a race. Never have, hope I never have to. Always take food along. Friday's travel day will be a challenge since we leave our destination at 3:30PM and arrive in Boston at 10:20PM. Will need to figure out the food plan on this one. I will fill you in when I come up with it. Yes I know there are great restaurants in airports now. And yes I know they are probably ok. But I had the unfortunate experience one time of watching a sub sandwich move and trade places with a turkey sandwich in a glass case in an airport many years ago. Not a good sight. Have not eaten at an airport since. Bottle water, yes. Food no.

Training for tomorrow consists of morning swim and an afternoon run of 30 minutes with 4-6 accelerations. After the run, a 25 mile spin. Hydration and food become more and more important each day. So my routine just gets even more strict.

Tonight the suitcases are out and the packing begins. We are flying on Southwest so at least there will be no charges. I still always have the debate on whether to check my running clothes and shoes or carry them on. As a rule I never check my running gear. I will need to decide that tonight as well. I know many of you never worry and always have good luck but with plane changes and all, I just don't know. I like to have things with me. My wife thought we got rid of the diaper bag during travel many years ago, but since I started running, it lives again!

Just to let you know some statistics on my running. This will be my 25th marathon and I have also run 5 ultras from 30 miles to 50. I ran my first marathon in Chicago in 2002 in the time of 5:43. My fastest qualifying time for Boston was a 3:26 at the Eugene Marathon in May of 2009. There were many other times sprinkled in between those numbers but actually each time I find a new respect for any distance and any time run.

Time to go pack and focus more on Boston and to feel the emotion of race day and the bus ride to the runners village and the emotional walk to the start. And to think about the finish and respect the many thousands of famous and not so famous men and women that have crosed that finish line. Hey, I read today that Wednesday is "Paint the Starting Line Day" in Hopkinton. What did the starting line look like at the first Boston Marathon? I wonder.

Talk to you tomorrow night!

May your roads, trails and pools be happy and safe and may they give you peace of mind!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Boston Update 2

It's Monday evening and training today consisted of an early swim that was one of the hardest I have ever done. Whew! But quite an accomplishment to get through it. Also, this evening I did a 20 mile spin on the trainer. Feel pretty good and felt today's training goals were met. Hip feels better.

An interesting thing happened during the swim this morning. One of the drills that we did called for us to swim a series of 25's, I think around 25 of them, using fins. I was really moving as we had four people in our lane spaced out by about 5 seconds. Towards the end of one of the 25's I literally swam right over the top of one of the people in my lane. Oops! Not a good thing to do in the pool kingdom. I was not a real popular person after that. So apologies were made and we continued on. I think I have more to learn about Ironman training than just swimming.

Today prior to the swim I had 1/2 of a banana and some natural peanut butter on whole wheat crackers plus my Hammer Nutrition supplements. During the swim I had Hammer Heed mixed with water. I also run and cycle with Heed too. After the training swim I had a bottle of Hammer Whey Protein and the rest of the peanut butter crackers. Morning snack consisted of a banana and a bottle of Hammer Soy Protein mixed with Tart Chery juice and water. For lunch today I had a flatbread sandwich with hard boiled eggs and pickle relish with two oranges. Afternoon snack was a protein bar that I make. After my spin tonight I had Hammer Recoverite and then about 45min later I had another shake that was made from Gold Standard Natural Casein mixed with water and a banana. This evenings snack will be pumpkin seeds, almonds, and an apple. That's the foods for today plus the Hammer supplements that I take.

Today's Boston packing prep was getting the travel packs of all of the powdered products organized. All of the ones I mentioned above come in single serving packets that travel much better. I also take mixing bottles and we always request a refrigerator for the hotel room. I have estimated all of what I need for the days we are in Boston plus race day needs. During the race I wear a belt that I can carry little plastic bottles filled with Heed and Perpetuem plus a pouch for my GU Chomps and in race supplements. One of the suitcases we take is all food and supplements. Go figure.

This was a little better day for the Boston Butterflies. I seemed to be more confident since I worked on race strategies and looked at the course elevations last night. I am looking at this point at trying for a 4:10 to 4 :20 race. I also want to enjoy the race too. Tonight I will work on things I need to get at the Expo and questions I need to ask when I am there.

Tomorrow will start out with a breakfast of 7 egg whites with a veggie mix, folowed by the same foods as today. I only vary my breakfasts at this point. All else is the same including quantities. The afternoon training run will consist of an easy 15 minute warm-up, followed by 8 half mile segments with a 3-4 minute jog in between. The odd number 1/2's will be done at my 3 mile Time Trial pace and the even number 1/2's will be done at the 3 mile Time Trial pace + 30 seconds. After the run I'll do a 15 mile spin and then repeat the evening nutrition.

So that's it for today. I'll leave you with this question. Do runners really carbo load by eating rolls off of the room service trays left in the halls at hotels? Hummmm.

Forward we go! May your roads, trails, and pools be happy and safe and bring you peace of mind.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Boston Update 1

Over the next two weeks my plan is to write each night about what I have done that day in preparation for the Boston Marathon which is April 19th and the Big Sur Marathon which is April 25th. It's called the Boston to Big Sur Challenge and yes it looked appealing to me to do. I believe they had around 500 slots to give out at Big Sur to those that were doing both. So from Massachuesetts to California here we go! I will try and convey to you what it is like to go through all of this while also training for an Ironman in June too.

So when I first ran Boston in 2007 there was a terrible storm the night before and also the day of. Thought ok, I've done Boston, now on to other things. I really did not dream I would be able to qualify and come back again. I was surprised during the past few months to have 3 qualifying time races and be able to come back to Boston in 2010. I have been blessed to be able to do these things.

In my household, it's Boston week. That means time to get things moving and started for the trip. Last night my wife and I spent much of the evening with my marathon notebook which basically organizes me from now until we land back home for this portion of the journey. She and the notebook honestly take over from now on. It has times of where and when to do things from boarding planes to what and when I eat and train to hotel and restaurant information. There is also the all important checklist of things to take from clothes to food. We also started early discussions for the Big Sur too. We only have one day turn around before we have to leave for California. So that was last night.

Today I spent 25 miles on the bike trainer doing intervals and some easy spinning. Followed that up with a good two hour nap and in betwen lots of hydration and protein. Evening church and unfortunately out to dinner where the meal didn't settle at all. Bad mistake on my part. And it was my idea where to go. Stomach doesn't feel good at all right now. Will go over course map before bed and also add to stack of things that I am taking which right now commands the dining room table.

How do feel right now? Well other than the dinner part, I am very excited and ready to run. Butterflies come and go but mostly stay. Trying to keep food and hydration a priority. Concerned about the the four hills around Newton and that includes Heartbreak Hill. Didn't run them very well in '07 and have a score to settle with them. Maybe right now they are taking up too much of my mental energy. Have been having allergy trouble since every tree in Kansas seems to be blooming right now and the wind has been terrible. Also have a tight spot above my right hip area in the hip flexor zone that I am a little worried about. Hopefully that will loosen up a bit this week. Other than all of that, I feel pretty good.

Tomorrow's training includes an early morning swim and a 20 mile spin in the evening. Oh yeah, and work. That's right, focus! Early to bed after I fix tomorrow's food and supplements.

Talk to you tomorrow night!
Forward we go! May your roads, trails, and pools be happy and safe and bring you peace of mind!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Running, Hiking, Swimming in the Mountains

From the minute my plane touched down in Denver, the excitement of seeing Andy, Katiy and Ogden was almost more than I could stand. Yes, I had booked a flight on Southwest that got me early boarding status and a seat in row 4. It just seemed right. Yet the beginning of my spring break in Denver was just the start of an incredible week of fun. Driving up to Louisville, Co was amazing even though it was night, I still knew the mountains were there waiting for me to see.

The first morning, I just went outside and there they were. Mountains. For this flatlander from Kansas, I am always in awe.

You've got to understand that with this guy here, there is a certain respect, honor, wonder, amazement, and yearning to be in the mountains and come alive with spirit and energy. The days and nights would bring time with my son Andy, Katiy, Berta, Kelsey and Ryan, wonderful talks, great restaurants, runs, swims in the local rec center (yes, Ironman/Boston/Big Sur training must go on.), playing with Ogden, laughs, a bus ride into Boulder for a shopping trip that I am still excited about, a half-marathon race with Andy, Katiy, and niece Angela (which by the way I ran after being at altitude for a day and a half),race support from my wife's sister Micki, and niece Alison, more runs and swims with Angela, an anniversary French Toast breakfast made by Chef Katiy that was amazing, visits to the dog parks, hikes that were beautiful that I later found out son Andy had run up this mountain 3 times and back during a lunch break for a training run...Whoa!, late night and early morning walks with the Og dog, peanut butter toast, the smell of pine trees, mountain turf to hike on, views that captivated everyone, tours of new offices for Andy and Katiy, and some good ol' relaxation.

Yes, it was quite a trip. Had I run a race before and not worried about the time? No. Did I love it when Katiy PR'd her race? Yep! Did I enjoy running and having the mountains to look up to along the way? You bet! Still shaking my head about Andy's mountain running abilities.Getting to see the wedding location for Andy and Katiy was very emotional and beautiful. Spending our anniversary in the mountains with a great dinner celebration, cool!

Respecting the weather was another factor on the drive home where we spent the night in a Red Cross shelter in Hays, KS. due to terrible roads and blowing snow (12:30 AM). Looking back though, it was just part of the beauty of the trip. The mountains aren't going to let you get away from them without making some kind of statement. The storm that blew over them reminded us that they are powerful yet breathtaking. Statement made.

Thank you Andy and Katiy for everything. Your love and warmth was very special! Can't wait to get out and see you again. Ogden, you watched over all of us with care and understanding.

Forward we go! May your roads, trails, and pools be happy and safe and bring you peace of mind!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Ironman Training

So the week started out with a new challenge. After careful consideration and just plain "I think I want to do that.", I have decided to do the Ironman Kansas 70.3 on June 6th. This is a new chapter in my book. I have, as you all well know, done many different distances of races, started cycling last summer, and increased my coaching and consulting.

Along the way came this idea that I wanted to reach out for a new challenge. That will be training and particpating in the Ironman Kansas. Swim training started yesterday and it was eventful. I guess I knew the pool wouldn't be heated but I had no idea that water could be so cold at 5:30AM. However, after a warm-up for a few minutes, I settled down and appreciated that fact that things (me) were warming up. Of course I have all of the gear after a shopping trip on Monday. Goggles, fins, and hand paddles. It is all about the gear you know. It's a great group of very dedicated individuals that gather on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday's (Saturday's are an option too.) and training with two fantastic coaches. Lanes are divided up by speed and of course I was in the slowest for the first time. So, I am thinking I may be there for a while too. Lots of help and welcomed advice from everyone. They thought it was really something to see me off the streets and into the water.

Just like at some races, I started out too fast with my laps. Don't know why but did. ESPN wasn't there and at that time in the morning nobody really cares. Don't know who I was trying to impress or why. After a few laps I was sucking air and water, sometimes both at the same time. So I slowed down at the urging of the coaches and just relaxed and followed the training plan for the morning. Things went much better after that. It's pretty cool to watch so many swimmers that can accomplish so many different times and distances through hard training. As the hour training session came to a close, I was really ramped up. Wanted to go run or ride. Instead, I climbed out of the pool, starving, and headed back home to get ready for the day. That evening I did an hour spin and some cardio, strength, and ab work. It was a good day!

Things I learned:
Eat before I swim. Why would it be different than a run or ride?
Stretch before and after training. Again, see above.
Have bottle of water/electrolyte drink poolside. Again, see above.
Get some recovery drink in you ASAP which I did. Again, see above.
Never go outside in the 5 degree weather with wet clothes. (I didn't do this but some did.)
Be humble.Everyone has a day 1.

So tomorow (Friday) I go back for another training session with a little more kowledge and excitement as I prepare for future races: 1/2 Marathon in Boulder in March, Boston and Big Sur Marathons in April, and the Ironman Kansas in June. Run, Ride, and Swim.

Forward we go! May your roads, trails, and pools be happy and safe!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Chevron Houston Marathon 2010

Race Review: The Chevron Houston Marathon on January 17th was run in outstanding weather.Race start was around 42 degrees and finish temps were in the 50's. Great weather as far as I am concerned since I left temps in the teens. From the minute you get to Houston in is clear that race organizers are very glad to have yo as a part of the race. There is a marathon, half-marathon, and 5K. The host hotel was the Hilton Americas and we really enjoyed our stay there. The Expo was held at the George R. Brown Convention Center right next to the hotel. Packet Pick-Up was fast and well organized.Runners are greeted with a 7:00AM start. The half-marathon starts at the same time and joins the marathon course at mile 2. Runners are organized into waves with a 10 minute space between starts. Wheelchair start is a 6:45.The course is flat and fast with a few beginning, middle, and end hills. None of the large variety but enough to get your attention. The course is a loop course beginning and ending downtown Houston. Although the race is all run on roads, the course is well taken care of and good. The staff and volunteers at the aid stations and expo were amazing and very well prepared to help the runners as well as inform spectators of prime vantage points. The finish area was very well run. Attention was paid to all runners in need and also congratulations were widespread by everyone in the area. Food after the race is a real treat if that's what you need. It was a runner's buffet. Personally, right after a marathon, eating is not my first thought. More hydration and recovery drink. The medals were a great design and also the glass mug that you receive. Everyone that finished got a finishers shirt to go with the participant shirt that runners got at packet pick-up. Finishers shirts were a good tech material. For the race I used Hammer Heed and Hammer Perpetuem mixed in a hand held bottle as well as GU Chomps. Water was also part of my plan. Other Hammer supplements taken every hour were 2 Endurance Amino caps and 2 Endurolyte caps. That also includes the pre-race Hammer supplements: Race Caps Supreme, Mito Caps, Endurance Amino Caps, and the Endurolyte Caps. For my pre-race meal I had a peanut butter sandwich and a banana. Finish time was 3:48:11 with a pace of 8:42 per mile. Felt great after the race and as always had the Hammer Recoverite drink soon after as well as post-race supplements. This is a great race and it sold out at all distances within hours this year. Registration opens for 2011 on July 27th.