Monday, December 29, 2008

End of the year review...

What went well? What worked? What didn’t? What the hell was I thinking?

This past year of races were pretty sweet. I hit all my goals and felt I was getting the returns on all my training. I focused early on my swimming and did on ave. about 4x more a week than last years training. I’m mostly happy about the number of times I got into the open water: 28

The high point of this years swim came the week of the Seafair Tri. I swam the Fat Salmon the day before - 1.2 miles in just under 40 minutes. Then the next day I did the swim leg of the Seafair Tri in 14:20, on a team with Eileen and Alley. EIleen did the bike and Alley finished out with the run. Those two races then a week later was the Escape from Federal Way Olympic Tri with the .9 mile swim. That was an amazing few weeks there of just putting on the hours, miles and wet suit, over and over again.

With the swim coming along well, mid summer I turned my focus over to track running, Something I’d never done before. I’ve run for about 8 years, but never hit the track. With the help of Joe Tysoe and crew from Emerald City Multi-sport, I turned out and pushed down some pretty set walls in my run training. I got to a point of averaging about 5:58 per mile pace on a 4.5-5 mile tempo run. For me that was about 45 seconds faster than I would of ever thought was possible.

The goal heading into the track training was to do my first Sub-20 5K at the Foot Zone in Redmond. I was primed and felt good the morning of and all things went as planned.

The pain of attempting to reach for what you want was pretty heavy on the mind that day before and during the race. I was talking with someone a few days before and she said about her first 70.3, ‘ I have to know the pain is going to come, I have to know how long I can handle it, how I’m going to react. I can’t starting hoping that it doesn’t come.’

Throughout the year I was putting time in on both George and Luke. I started training with George (last years race bike). I had this thought that I didn’t want to start training on Luke and never feel that huge difference between the two bikes. Especially if I was out of shape when first jumping on Luke ( New bike).

Hill training was a big part of my training, mostly because I actually enjoy climbing for some reason. Also, I wanted to compete in a time trial style bike race and managed to talk Eileen and Tony into joining me at the Cougar Mountain Hill Climb. Alley, Shell and Lil’K, were there for support and at one point drove next to me cheering me on. The support is usually what gets me, or us, through the tough parts of any event. It’s always fun during a race to see were they find to cheer you from.

My goals for the year were;

Olympic Distance tri - Federal Way Escape, 5th in age group 30th overall
Sub 20 for a 5K - 19:42
Top 50 in the Kirkland tri - 57th Overall - 50th Males
Improve Open water swim - Totally!

I Hit all my goals for the year and got a marathon added in to boot. The marathon could of been better, but I was happy and satisfied considering the achilles and I.T. problems I had in training.

What I learned?

This year I learned right from the beginning that you can’t limit yourself to what you think you can handle or achieve. That when it comes down to it you’re the only one standing in your way. I wanted to come out this year and just throw it down and feel like a triathlon racing for a place, rather than just trying to survive the day.

I love the race, personal race, that plays in my head during events. Tempting to raise the pace, giving feedback on sustainable efforts, screaming to run my own race. Comparing race effort with training effort and where the “redline” lies for the day.

The support that Alley gave me this year was amazing. Long hours away on the bike and run. Then coming to make sure I made it back to shore during key swim workouts. All the race support and making sure I’m out the door with everything, cheering and explaining to strangers why I kept yelling “mango!” : )

Before every race I still get nervous and wonder what the hell I’m doing. I failed PE once for sure, maybe even twice during high school and always think someone’s going to call me on that before a race, saying something like, ‘Sorry this is the wave for the real athletes’. I’ve just had this feeling like someone was going to realize, ‘hey you can’t start doing this now!’

This year went a long way to change that outlook, not in a cocky, boastful why. I feel confident to push my limits and get up the next day and push again if needed, or in the next leg.

On the first starts a new year and a new tri season. I can go in with plenty to work on from this year. As well as plenty of things that I learned about myself

- I can hold my own, I can compete, I can place, I can tri...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

10k at Nookachamps sounds good too...

So I've decided to do the 10k at Nookachamps next month rather than the half marathon. I wanted to do the half, but I just don't think I can get the training in to hit the time I want. After this last summers races and the times and paces I had, I was thinking a winter race would be a good chance at hitting 1:30 on the half marathon.

Over the last few weeks I've seen and enjoyed the sport around me, either through seeing events first hand, reading other peoples blogs or watching on the tube.

Last weekend watching the Ironman in Kona on TV was a great boost of making it through the winter to get back into the rythem of training again. The thing that kept running through my mind, watching the finishers cross was, 'I want to be there. I want to give that'.

Now, I still have no interest in doing a full Iron Man, not yet. What I mean is, looking at them, I want to be in that space of time, - frame of mind, working it to the finish.

I want to be there, I want to give that.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Seattle Marathon ...all 26.2 this time...

Last week I got to go out and cheer on AK plus thousands of other runners at the Seattle Marathon. This is the first year either of us had anything to do with the full marathon, we’re both run the half a number of time’s over the last several years, but never the full. So this was going to be pretty cool.

The morning started with a light mist that was suppose to burn off by 10-10:30, that was what most the local news stations were reporting. And for the most part that was true.

Except that instead of the fog burning off it doubled in thickness and moved in pretty heavy over the course.

AK was off and running and I had 40 minutes to make it to the I-90 tunnel and cheer her on. Takes about 15 minutes to drive straight there, - about 38 to get there around the course, park and run four blocks down and over, back up under the bridge to see the runners cross the bridge.

I got there, took 2 pics of the crowds and stood up on the jersey barrier and didn’t realize that Shell and Lil’K were standing about 10 ft down the road from me. I laughed and said, “ What are you doing here?”.

TK had joined AK on the opposite side of the tunnel and was going to run with her from the tunnel out and back to Mercer Island, pretty sweet. I know that’s going to be a high light to her 2008 running season.

AK was running on great pace for her would-be finish time of 4:40 and the days weather was perfect for running. After TK left her she was headed out to Seward Park.

I caught back up with her at mile 17 and she was still smiling and looking really strong and steady.

The fog rolled in and got really thick at the bottom of Madison. Mile 21 was at the top of a really nasty hill and AK pushed steady through the hill and was still smiling.
I hung out at mile 26 for about 10 minutes before I saw AK and that was really a special place. The course ducks under Hwy 99 so the runners disappear for about 2 minutes then pop up right at mile 26. So all the support people wait and wait and keep saying he/she should be here, should be here, should be, not them, close - what time do you have, what were........

The feeling and emotion just about rips your heart out. So many times during the day having to hold back tears from just watching that raw emotion pour out onto the street.

At mile 16 I saw a girl hobbled, in serious pain and fell into her mothers arms saying,”I knew you were waiting and I had to make it to you.” The mother loaded her in a car and kept repeating “I’m so proud of you”

I think the best way to put your sport of choice in perspective is to sit it out and watch it from the sidelines. I always gain more or regain my respect for running/racing/trying by watching and seeing all shapes and sizes just go out and put it on the line. It seems to remind me of how much is needed to reach my own start lines. How much is needed to willingly start the whole process. And how much is needed to remember this is fun, this is work, this is what I want.

What AK wanted was 4:40, what she got was 4:33:06 - Pretty Sweet!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Seattle Marathon tomorrow!!!

AK will be running the Seattle Marathon tomorrow, I’ll be posting photo updates from my phone on Facebook. The weather should be pretty good, cold but not raining much and no snow. It should be 38-45 degrees at the start and about 50 after the sun comes up.

AK said she feels ready and can’t wait to get on with it. At the Expo on Friday she said she finally got the nervous excitement of realizing you’re about to plunge into another marathon.

I had the same feeling and told her “, but I’m still glad I didn’t sign up : ) “

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Ten days til the work starts....

Have been keeping it pretty low the last few weeks, much to my liking. I wouldn't say I'm a lazy person, but not having to get out of bed at 5:45 to train is really easy to get use to.

I started looking at the 2009 season and started to see what I would smash and grind the body through this next year. I love the time away from "Sport" because after a few weeks of not being active, I get this real surge of the " oh, I can't wait!" Like waiting for Santa 2 weeks out.

I really want to tune up the year with Nookachamps at the beginning of the year with a hard fast half marathon. I'd like to go under 1:30, which isn't out of the question with the way I was running in the summer. I'd really like to start tri-season with the San Francisco Olympic Tri, the run does an out and back over the Golden Gate Bridge, how cool is that!

I want to through a huge effort into this next year and think I could really have fun doing it. This last year I focused on swimming and made what I thought was huge advancements in distance and speed. Making a 1.2 mile swim seem totally fine to start the day or a race : )

Well, talk to you all soon...

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Laying low...

This has been a much needed rest over the last three weeks. I see daily all the people out training for whatever's on their schedule and I can't wait to be back joining them. I get restless and down right grumpy when I don't workout or train in some sort of schedule.
However, I know myself and I knew that "burn out" was just around the corner.

As you can see I haven't signed up for anything and that's probably the first time in a few years I haven't had that carrot out there pushing or pulling me towards the start line.

Feels kind of freeing. I know that this next year will be covering new ground and not doing a lot of the same races and schudules as the last few years. I have a marathon to look forward to and jumping into my first 70.3 race. The training will be more intense and longer, so I can really enjoy this time anyway from all things athletic.

Of course there is still running w/ Penny.

Also, Alley (AK) is a few weeks away from running the Seattle Marathon, first time doing the full in Seattle. She's been out and about on mornings before work putting in her miles, in the dark I might add. She's looking and feeling ready for the hills that Seattle throws at you.

I'll be cheering her on with Penny from the roadside.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Recovery and sunny days

An easy week of recovery this week from the marathon. A few bike rides and a small run. I think as much as I want to race in a few things over the next couple of weeks. I think I'll just rest up and support AK with her marathon training for Seattle in a few weeks.

She hasn't signed up for it, but I have a feeling she's going to jump in for the full in a few days. Having run a few times this last week already, I know she says she's recovered from Victoria. So why the hell not : )

I got out on the bike today for the first time since Kirkland, oh the work. I hit a few hills and long flats - felt like I was riding on flats...
I think I'm going to start a weekly spin class with some friends from Emerald Multisport to keep up the biking over the winter.

Mostly I was just wanting to enjoy the day and take advantage of the sunny, sunny day. While I was out on that, AK was doing a 13 mile run around the hood and to Green Lake.

After that we took Penny over to Marymoor to the dog park and ran around there for a few hours. Until she just started laying down in the tall grass every time we threw the ball for her.

Look at that tongue!!!
I think we'll all sleep well tonight.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Back from a long run....

What a cool weekend! Aside from having to leave Penny behind it was a great weekend.

The race was 24.5 miles of really having a good time and being surprised at how well my legs were holding together. I set out planning to hold the pace at around 8:45 - 9:00 per mile. A little slower than usual, but I figured after the last 2 months of training not being so hot, I’d be able to survive 26.2 miles at that pace.

Race morning was great, an 8:30 start meant we got to sleep in about an hour and a half compared to most races. SWEET!

The morning was odd because the temp was s different from morning to evening and that morning was about 48 degrees, but suppose to get about 64. Didn’t want to waer too much and over heat if the sun did come out, but didn’t want to under dress and be freezing before, during and towards the end of the race.I think I changed twice before heading out and AK must have changed just as many, maybe more. However, it wasn’t as cold as in the past and the clouds gave way to clear skies and amazing weather for running. About 53-55 for most of the day.

AK was ready to run and couldn’t wait to get it started. She said she wasn’t nervous this time, just waited to get it on. I felt odd at the start, like I wasn’t really there to do 26.2, just there to do a long run.

From the start of course you get stuck in the massive packs and run really slow trying to wait for the numbers to drop and make it easier to start running at your own pace. My biggest rule and advice is “Run your own race.” Something I follow and never let myself fall out of, except when the finish is in sight of course.

At about mile 2 I fell into a good pace that felt easy and sustainable, around 8:10. I thought of slowing and running a little easier, but it felt comfortable. At this same time I found my friend Karen and thought I’d run with her for a few, but knew she was looking for a 3:40, faster than I was going to be doing. I told her I’ll run with you when I can, but don’t hesitate to drop me to keep your time. That was at mile 2.

I had a great time out on the course and maybe because I knew I was running on borrowed time. I knew around any corner my I.T. band or achilles was going to jump up and rob the day from me. I was OK with that. I’ve never DNF’d and I figured it would happen sooner or later.

Around mile 12 I was still running a strong 8:15 per mile and feeling really good. Mile 13 I was like OK half this may not be that hard of a day. Up through 16 was feeling great, at 18 the group I was running with, including Karen, made a surge and we did a sub 8 minute mile. Not amazing for the truly fast, but I was proud to be there holding my own. At twenty I broke to the front of the group with this guy from South Africa and told him at the top of one of the hills,’ you going?’ he smiled and said ‘ go ‘ We broke from the group and opened a small maybe 15 sec gap on the group at the bottom.

Not the game winning shot of course, but it was really fun talking, joking and supporting each other out there. I ran with about four people through the race at different times in the race and ended up finishing with most of them.

At the 23 mile mark the legs felt great and I was pacing pretty well and the thought, as most do at this point, was to tell myself one lap around Green Lake. I hit 23 at 3:13. Sweet I thought, I’m going to PR.

Then at mile 24.5, I would say that for the second time in my athletic career, the wheels came off. At 24.5 I hit the water stop feel mostly OK then in about 30ft the legs put out the “out to lunch” sign. I walked a few then picked up a painful stab in my right hip and the legs felt heavy as lead. i looked at my watch and saw that I could still make 3:40 if I put my ass in gear and started running again. So I told myself “ just running, walk, then jog, then pick up the pace” About 15 long seconds of that my legs refused.

I made myself walk until I was clearly unable to PR, so I could stop thinking about that. Then I picked it up again, but could only do about 30 yards then walk again. This went on until I saw the one mile to go sign. At that point I was walking with massive cramps in places I wasn’t really expecting or had had before. My legs felt like they wanting to buckle in on themselves. I walked for about a half mile until I saw the green gates that lead to the finish. I held a strong 12:45 for the last .25 miles! CRAZY!

The pain was brief and only came in the last two miles. Although the last few miles seemed to last forever and seemed to crawl by my Forerunner has me at: 8:50, 9:25, 9:50 for the last three, but 5 minutes for the last .2

Over all I enjoyed the race and the amazing setting of Victoria for the race. I still find it funny because I told Alley at the beginning, I don’t really think I’m going to run 26.2 today, we’ll see.

The thing that this did do was make me want to get in the right training to see if I could hit 3:30. I felt great out there and the lack of training caught up with me as excepted. BTW the lack of training came from injury and not laziness. However, I felt I could of run 8:00 even or better per mile up until about mile 23. Endurance from better training could .......................wait a minute!

This sounds like other one could be around the corner soon.......

Also, AK and Karen did an amazing job out there, both getting the times there were looking for.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Long run on Sunday.....

Off to the Victoria Marathon tomorrow. I feel good and ready for the run. Maybe not 100%, but close enough not to make it brutal.

I guess that is all you can ask sometime. I can't look at all the training I didn't get in for the marathon and have to look at it like this - I can pace and maintain and enjoy the day.

It could be worse, I look at this as a great weekend getaway to celebrate one hell of a year in training and racing. I had such a great year that this is a cool way to just put a good high watermark on it.

The main story for this weekend is AK's run. She has been training and in the zone for the marathon. Knocking off 5 days a week and long runs like water. I can see it's not easy on her, shoving out at 6:30 in the morning to get a morning run in before work. Cold dark mornings, with little shelter from wind or rain.

I can see that she has that look of keeping an eye on down the road. Looking down to the payoff. Looking down to this Sunday. Looking down to seeing mile marker 22 and knowing - totally have this.....

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Kirkland rundown.......

When the announcer calls one minute to go, I stand there in the water staring just over the horizon,
breathing, calm. Always thinking how, in just a matter of seconds, at the sound of the horn, all hell will break loose.

I got myself a bit unfocused before the start because I forgot lube for my bike and lost my swim cap on the way to the transition zone from the car. Crazy.


I wanted to push in the swim and lin
ed up just one row back on the left, about 15ft closer than I usually do. The water was pretty choppy heading into the first buoy and about 10 yards from the turn I lost a bit of focus and drifted a bit off course by about 15-20 ft.

I swim pretty straight, I’m not faster than a lot of people, but I tend to swim straighter and in a swim that’s less energy and less time to the other side.

I felt great around the first turn and hit the half way point rolling pretty good. A nice long stroke with plenty of room to move. The last turn takes you back to shore, I let off a bit, but kept up a good pace, about 70%. At one point I was swimming shoulder to shoulder with someone thinking I couldn’t lose this guy and thinking I was moving too slow.However, about a minute of that and we caught about 5-6 people, surprisingly passing with some pretty good speed. A bit more closing speed than I thought a few times.

I had a feeling that I had a good swim time and came out of the water clean without having to run around any large groups.


Pretty smooth, all went as planned


Heading out on the bike I wanted to stay calm, but steady at about 80% effort until the 5 mile mark. The first five are hard, but if you hit the corners right with the right speed and use small burst of speed you can really go through some serious hills with very little effort.

The road was pretty littered with glass from the late and early morning rain. I seen about three flats, but even worse heard a crash behind me that I didn’t want to look back at. Most of the way it was wet and slick, but I never got caught out on a slick spot or felt like the bike was out of control at anytime.

I felt good pushing the tempo and started hunting down people once I got to the second hill, it’s a pretty intense stretch that takes you over some railroad tracks then kicks up again through some houses to get you over the freeway. I was keeping about 10-11 mph up that and breathing was calm so I just thought instead of waiting until mile 5 I’d start at four and work the hill.

Looking back even right after the race I felt I didn’t make the best decisions on the bike as far as went to make the biggest efforts or focus on certain parts of the course. On Slater road, a steep long hill that kicks at the end before flattening out, I trained to stand and attack the last 50 yards, knowing I could recover o
n the two minute flat spot at the top. Although, during the race I sat and just paced up steady and kind of played it safe?
Also, at about mile 9 you finish a nasty climb and hit a flat spot before a big down that rolls you up the last hill, well mostly.

I hit the flat area and started pulling a gel out and taking a drink and arranging
stuff from my bike to my back pocket on my jersey. Sitting up to take in a few deep breaths.........and two guys fly by me. Not just edge by, but haul ass in full sprint mode. CRAP!!! I lost focus again on a very easy part of the course and forgot that others came to race and not just ride. I felt that instead of taking it easy on the part that I did I should of quickly refueled and then got back in a tuck position to take advantage of the flat. The two guy’s shot away from me and it took me less than a second to change gears and chase, catching one on the hill and the second on the overpass of the freeway.

Once you cross the freeway it’s all downhill to the finish. You S turn after a steep descent off the overpass int
o some blind turns, which you can take at speed if you know the course : ) I kept telling myself “don’t over cook the turns”. I shot out of the turns through the enter section at 39 mph and passed one more person before the next big down that sweeps you left back to the start. I felt great and as soon as I hit max speed I rested the legs and took my feet out of my shoes for the last half mile.


I put new quick release shoe strings on my running shoes the day before and forgot to loosen them back up for the race. Then I got to my station I grabbed my right shoe first and couldn’t get it to fit. Only wasted about 2 seconds.

Heading out for the run I was knew I had to keep a good pace, 7:30-7:45, if I wanted to stay in the hunt for the top 50. I saw AK and Lil’K at the start of the run, along with Penny, cheering me on. That always seems to get me out of my head and kin
d of remember, “ OK, we’re just out here running” The first part of the course has a hill to it that I always forget about until I’m staring up at it, but I just kept pace and spotted a few people to focus on. At the first turn I was hunting down a guy in blue, but past him there wasn’t anybody we could see. I stretch of about 150 -200 yards until the next turn.

I was telling AK that for some reason when I go to pass someone I look for the next person down the road to focus on, but if there’s not someone else I fall into a “sympathy pace”, for lack of a better name. It’s hard for me during a tri to focus on the pressure of
racing when I get stuck in “no man’s land”. Meaning there’s no one insight, you’ve either run to the front of your pack or got dropped by the pack in front of you. I went from 6:50 pace down to 7:35 in just a few moments
and started running with the guy I was about to pass. Obviously, something to work on!

Once we got into the long snake like turn around I spotted enough people to start bridging the gap on and regained my pace. Heading back for the last mile I kept thinking that all the training, all the hours, all the time out on the road this season was about to finish up. I spotted a guy wearing a Live Strong bike jersey about 30 yards ahead of me and wanted to take him before the intersection that lead to the finish line. I can usually put aside pain if I know there’s reason behind it??? I guess meaning I can live with 2 minutes of extreme discomfort, knowing the finish line is around the corner.

I was talking to someone on a group run yesterday who said, “ you have to know when the pain is going to come and if your willing to deal with it. You can’t start hoping it’s not going to come, but be ready for it.”

Passing the guy and rounding the corner I let off a bit, but worked it to the finish. Always knowing how sometimes seconds can make a huge difference.

I felt great about this race, It wasn’t the bike ride that I imagined, but it all felt like a great effort.

Last years times:

98th 35 M 1:21:38 23 17:53 305 1:50 0:39:54 122 1:16 143 0:20:45 80

2008 Times:

57th 36 M 1:17:30 5 15:14 206 1:35 0:39:26 96 1:12 76 0:20:02 71

Over two and a half minutes faster than last years swim, that alone was a great day! I was telling AK I was a little bummed at not getting sum twenty on the run and I sort of lost track of the fact that this was the fast run leg of a tri I’ve ever done.

In the end I didn’t get Top 50

However, I only missed it by 31 seconds and I could of had that in a straighter swim, slightly more focused bike, loosened shoes in T2 and by not hanging with the guy in the run, but just passing him. I’m happy with how I placed and did and of course, think I can do better next year.

Thanks to AK, Shell, TK, Lil’K and Penny of course for their support and encouragement .

Shell’s got a shell of a story to tell about the Kirkland tri, next time......

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Again with the numbers......

Tomorrow is the last tri event for my 2008 season, unless I decided to do Austin 70.3 in 2 weeks, but not likely : )

Here are some fun numbers on training this year

Swim - 50.57 miles
Bike - 1442.37 miles
Run - 508.61 miles
Other - 35.8 Hours

The coolest number that I’m proud of is that this year I’ve done 28 open water swims, races included. Last year I did a whopping 7 open water swims including races.

What was I thinking?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Pre race preview....

I don't want to say that this whole season has come down to this next weekend, but I kind of can't wait for this race to start. Maybe because this is only my third and last tri this season and after the last few weeks of cheering on my friends for Iron Man Canada and other local races I feel like it's finally my turn to race.

I get this rush of excitement I have to ignore or I feel I'd never sleep before race day.
I can picture lining up, wave four - left front, not the left back this time.
Thinking in my head, two hard minutes, cut back to 75%, rhythm, breathe, go

You like this, you love this.

10 minutes in: sight because you're going to start catching the people that went out too fast. Pace, control, ease by them, control.

150 yards out: suit, shoes, race belt, helmet, shades - repeat

Last 75 yards - sprint 100%, w/ legs around the crowd, swim till you can run past all the people wading through the water.

Out of the water - MOVE!!!

T1 - calm, steady, smooth

Grab Luke ( my bike) and start the best part of the day..........

Arms up and head down, steady don't over react. You have five miles before this bike split starts. Use the gears and the flats to make small work of the first hills. Steady up the first major hill, race hasn't started yet, one more mile...

Right at the stop sign one 15 second surge and.........

Head tucked arms up, crank the big gear, don't look up. Speed 26.8 miles per hour, flat road one S turn ahead and a sharp right to Slater Rd. Slater's going to hurt. Wait for it, it starts at the inter thighs and jumps to the lungs. Pace. Stand and work the bike, stand and push the tempo. This only hurts for a few minutes, there's the bus stop, burst over the top, head down arms up.

Flat, downhill, big gear.

Back up, the last climb that can hurt you, long steady, cross 85th. Stand and push hard until the right turn, breathe, control. Flat with burst coming up in 60 seconds, pass the school and ramp up then attack 100% for 20 seconds full out, legs are on fire, lungs are on fire. Sit and coast,recover.....THE LAST HILL AHEAD.

Easy on the climb, when you hit the last sign on the right, everything that you can throw, thigh's screaming, standing on the pedals working the crap out of the bike. I want this...

Hit the top sit and gear all the way to the largest gear and let gravity work for about 20 seconds or until you can breathe again. Cross the freeway and once again jump up and give one last burst of 100% for about 15 sec. 39.8 MPH! 2 miles downhill!!!

Tuck and pace nice and strong at 75%, recover on the down and get ready for the run.
I can't think of what the run is going to be like yet, my leg is pretty bad off from the twenty miles on Sunday.

Tomorrow I should be able to tell how it's going to be, however, I don't see running on it until the race. That could be worse than running on it this week sometime, but I know my body and it usually handles pain and stress pretty well during a race.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Wait til yesterday is here...........

It's funny how when you wait for something for so long it's hard to feel like you're "in the moment" ,for lack of a better term, of being in the middle of it all.

This whole tri season has felt like I've been getting ready, been getting ready, been getting ready for the next build level, the next step in weekly workouts, the next level of intensity. Now with just over one week left in the season it seems odd that it's coming to an end.

Tuesday morning I was swimming across Green Lake before work and I was out in the middle and I just stopped and looked around. The sun just coming up, red clouds fading to white, green yellow evergreens calmly soaking it all in, I had the whole lake to myself. Amazing!

Today I was headed around the Mag Loop after work and the same unreal yellow cast over all the hills, trees and downtown. The mountains just ready to jump over the water and splash in the sound. I can't help but think of all the views and sights I'd miss if it weren't for sport or tri training.

Anyways, after seven months of training with little time off, I've really looked around and have enjoyed the time,places, feelings, pains, confidence and new friends that this season has brought.

Todays ride was a hammerfest from the start with a 3 mile run after, then I grabbed the Penster for a short mile. I love running with her, she's all life.

I kept thinking about Kirkland the last few workouts to keep the intensity up and these words keep crossing across the mind: Relentless, Search and Destroy, All Out.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Back at it..........

OK, I had an easy week to get my legs back under me and I feel good about the last few weeks of training leading into the Kirkland Tri.

My goal this year for that is to place top 50 in the overall. I'll need to take off almost one and a half minutes in the swim, maybe a minute in the bike and about one minute in the run.

I think it can be done I just need to focus on really working the bike in and out of gear and get my run back to were it was 2 months ago. My swim is strong and I can do about 80% for a half mile and a mile and still feel great coming out of the water. In training I've been doing a slow half in about 16 minutes. About a minute faster than last years Kirkland time.

The transitions I could run faster than last year also and gain a few seconds, it's funny how a few seconds in T1 and T2 can cost you about 5-6 places on the overall standings.

After feeling a bit taxed last week with over training and the leg injury I feel good today having done a 16.5 mile run Sunday and a hour bike yesterday on sore legs. Working through the sore legs yesterday was a treat, but after about 15 minutes they felt great.

The goal for this year was to do a Olympic distance triathlon and I got that covered, so to place top 50 in the Kirkland tri would be a sweet way to end the season.

Well I have a swim this afternoon with a bike after so I better get to work so I can rest before I start hitting it again : )

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Going, Going, Gonnneee?

I've felt a bit burned out lately, training since Dec 1st has finally caught up with me I believe. That and getting the first real injury of the year - Right Achilles tendon has decided to take the winter off.

I was out getting my ass handed to me in the water at Green Lake on Tuesday from the wind and off and on again rain and just kind of thought - A rest. Maybe a few days or a week.

If I take the rest of the week off and start back on Saturday, that might be good. I feel like I have great builds for all swim, bike and run. I just ran out of steam.

Here are some quotes that I thought would help motivated myself and others trying to make it through the last drops of summer.

"I do today what others don't, so I can do tomorrow what others can't." -- Prefontaine

"A life spent defensively, worried, is a life wasted. Life to me is a series of false limits and my challenge as an athlete is to explore those limits." Lance Armstrong

"Obsessive is just a word the lazy use to describe the dedicated"

"Everybody wants to know what am I on? What am I on? I'm on my bike busting my *** six hours a day. What are you on?" -Lance Armstrong

"Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off the goal."

"I am building a fire, and everyday I train, I am adding fuel. At just the right moment, I light the match."

"Some dream of great accomplishments, others stay awake and do them."

"Run when you can, walk if
you have to, crawl if you must; just never give up," Dean Karnazes

“If you want to run, run a mile. If you want to experience life, run a marathon." Emil Zatopek

If you are not big enough to lose you are not big enough to win. Anon

Don’t wish it was easier, wish you were better. Don’t wish for less problems, wish for more skills. Don’t wish for less challenges, wish for more motivation. Anon

"In order to get things you have never had, you must do things you have never done."

"Triathlon, from the outside looking in you can't understand it....From the inside looking out you can't explain it."

"The will to win means nothing without the will to prepare".

it's not who you are that holds you back, it's who you think you're not. ~Author Unknown

Monday, August 18, 2008

By the numbers.......

Some cool numbers to throw out -

Year to date -
Swim - 46.04 miles / 31.24 Hours
Bike - 1324.47 miles / 89.97 Hours
Run - 415.39 Miles / 56.89 Hours
Other - 32.63 Hours

Total Hours 210.74

AK Run Totals -

619 Miles / 98 Hours

Could AK be on her way to breaking 1000 miles for the year?

That would be about one of the coolest milestones ever for either of us since we started running seven or so years ago.

Some of the biggest changes to note in my training this year have been the 23 open water swims. Compared to only seven for last year, races included, has lead to a more relaxed comfort in the water. Instead of thinking about the differences between the open water and the pool I can focus on form, sighting, breathing and pace.

This last weekend capped off a big build week to get back in the thick of training again, after what felt like about two weeks of easy recovery.

Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday were doubles with Saturday being a half mile swim followed with a 52 mile bike ride. I went from Green Lake around the north end of Lake Washington over to the Kirkland Tri course. Did a loop of that and headed back vie Perkin’s Way, another day of hill climbing.

However, due to the heat of the day, I stopped twice for about ten minutes each to eat and cool off. I only mention because I usually can’t stop longer than 2-3 minutes during a bike because my legs turn to concrete and sometimes I lose interest in finishing, but I thought stopping would prevent cooking myself out on the road in the heat.

After Saturdays three hour ride I still had Sunday’s long run of 13 miles to get through. AK was slated for 16, but due to an eye injury she held out for 10. She was on the phone with the doc hotline saying, “Well, do you think I can go in after my long run?”

AK is “Hardcore!”

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

What’s 2 miles.....

This last weekend Eileen, TK and I signed up for and rode the Cougar Mountain Bike Climb 4 Cancer. It was a free Time Trial style race up 2 miles of 7.2% grade out in Issaquah with donations going to Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.

It was pouring down when we got there, not just raining, but coming down hard. Having a wet suit on wouldn’t have been out of the question.

I arrived with AK and Eileen expecting a hour wait or more, but when we went to check in we were told ‘since it’s raining we want to get people out and up as soon as possible. Your Number 8 and 9’.


So instead of the hour or so we were thinking, we had about 25 minutes. 25 minutes to get our bikes warm up and find some place to whiz. Always a plus.

The good news was it didn’t give us enough time to start freaking out about what we were about to put our bodies through. TK showed up right after and AK, Lil’ K and Shell headed off to the top in the car to cheer us on the last bit.

I was first and told Eileen,’ if you pass me I’m grabbing your seat and you’re going to have to pull me up.’

I started out fast and figured I’d cool it down and get my legs under me and find a good rhythm to move along with. However, after the first two minutes there was really no time to play catch up. The road kept climbing one turn after another. I spotted the rider that went before me and caught him a bit before the hardest turn, about 3/4 of a mile in. I past him, then two other people before the half.

Team support.

There’s something odd about a group of people supporting a person that’s destroying themselves. I heard a car coming up behind me and heard AK yelling out the window. My first thought was ‘ Tell Shell to run me over ‘, I think a second before I heard them I was starting to lose focus and concentrate too much on the pain, almost panicking I guess. Hearing them yelling as they drove by brought back the main things I always focus on during stressful periods: Pace, Form, Breathing

Pace: Is this pace sustainable? Yes/No - Stay or find it.
Form: Is eve
rything from legs to head functioning and set for the right motion?
Breathing: Steady, control the rhythm, I control cadence.

I look to these three things constantly in a race and hard training workouts. Having asthma, I feel that this
helps me keep away from the attacks I use to get when I would just go full out on everything, usually with the worst results.

As my team car went by I got pasted by this guy with Snooze Junction stickers on his bike, I recognized him from meeting him a few months before. My thought was ‘GREAT, now everyone’s going to start passing me now!’ I tried to match his pace, but within about 20 seconds of staying on him I knew I’d never make the top if I continued.

So I raised my pace a bit and braced for the rest to start passing. I could see that up ahead was a good size downhill, about 100 yds or so, then a small flat piece that lead to the final climb. A real nasty little sharp hill, I figured I’d throw 100% on the downhill, coast the flat, then let the momentum eat off the first 1/3 of the hill before I had to do any real work.

End the end it felt like that worked, about half way up I lost all steam in my legs and was just going on lunging back and forth on the pedals. I could hear Team Cannoli yelling and screaming and I knew the end was close and was very thankful that it was. The guy that pasted me ended up coming in 4th, wow, and I never got pasted by anyone else.

This pic of me and Luke was less than five feet after the finish line.

Eileen, after she finished actually even talked to me, I think one of the first things she said was," How bout something flat next time Bill!"

TK had a good strong finish, with about four riders at the bottom of the last hill arou
nd him he muscled it pass three of them before hitting the finish.

The race of truth is what time trials are called and I guess that goes double for uphill races, there's nowhere to hide or pause. I enjoy pushing and pushing and pushing and I don't lose sight of the fact that I do actually enjoy swimming, biking and running. Separate or all together in one day.

Thanks to Eileen and TK for joining and of course to AK, Shell and Lil'K for cheering in the pouring rain.