Friday, December 31, 2010

Just a few pictures from 2010...

A little recap of 2010. Mostly some photos that didn't make it in and some I just wanted to see again. I learned so much from family, friends and teammates. This year was pretty crazy and I couldn't have made it through without Alley supporting me and taking care of everything "behind the scenes"if you will. Also, Sara, Karen, Laura and TN Multisport Team/family for putting in all those rainy day training runs and rides! Maybe mini golf next year : )

Great photo of emotion just before the start of IMC
Little did we know how important this place would be
Poor Pen in the Shark Cage
What a fun race with Matt, Tiff, Alley and Miia. 17 minutes late for the start of the race. Shuttle bus next year for sure!
4 days of touring through this on the bikes. Pretty Sweet!
First flat in two years. At least it was scenic!
Sara and Karen making it to Hanging Rock on day 2 of the tour. Intense climb!
Can't even explain what this was like!
First 100 Mile bike ride...

Sara & Karen at IMC

Waves hitting shore during the wind storm.
Caught in a crazy wind storm Friday before IMC

Just drinking it all in...
Definitely one of my best moments of the year!

Lights out after IMC, long, long day...

WHOA! Alley working the slide!
Alley getting ready to win the second game of the night. Argh!

Long day for Alley, x ray would later find a nasty stress fracture in her leg. She felt it bite her way back at mile 13!
Running the Ballard Turkey Trot w/ friends

Playing in the snow with one of our snow beasts
Easier days after tri season is over...

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Early X-Mas?

Well the good news is that I wasn't signed up for anything...
Out for 3-4 weeks then we'll see where we're at.

Monday, December 13, 2010

It's been awhile, again...

Ok it’s been awhile. I’ve had a few good updates then waited too long and they didn’t seem relevant anymore so I past on them.  So I thought with the news I got from the doc this morning I had plenty of time now to update and write a few things down.

The last few months I’ve been fairly busy, nowhere near like the beginning of the year, but that is O K… After a few weeks rest from IMC I started back in with track and a few runs just to start back into it. I.T. Band was never an issue after starting up again, always good.

At track we were doing a 5K so we would know where are splits would be for future track workouts. I was excited about the chance to run a 5K, because the legs had felt good all year and I knew they had to be faster than last year. My PR was 19:43 done in 2008 at the Fleet Foot 5K in Redmond, so I was really interested to see what new time I could post. Especially, with the weeks leading into the 5K I was feeling really good.

It was just over 12 laps and I felt great into lap 8 keeping a steady 6:25  + - 3 seconds. I remember thinking  “only 4 more laps, I still feel good.” Then I hit lap 10 and it quickly became real work. The thighs were not happy and they were not shy about letting me know. I floated through the last full lap thinking if I eased up a bit I could get my legs under me again and push the last bit to recover some time. HA! I floated through then pushed it alright, pushed to just keep 6:40 for the last half lap. Argh!!!!

I came in at 20:16, I just couldn’t focus on anything other than the fact that I had not done a sub 20, I was pretty disappointed to say the least. Not sure there alway needs to be a lesson learned around every failure, it just is what it is. I look back on it now and still feel disappointed about it, but what can you do?

A few weeks after that I had a 15K planned over at Magnuson Park, such an odd distance, I was really looking forward to it. It was a small event only about 300 people total for all three event: 5K, 10K, and 15K. It was a windy cold, cold morning, Halloween actually, sunny and no rain. The course was 3 loops of the 5K course, flat w/ only one hill at about the half mile mark that climbs about 2 hundred yards in a stair step pattern. First time up the hill I was thinking not bad, but this is going to suck on lap 3.

By every possible stretch of the word I went out way too fast, hitting mile one at 6:24 with a few dashes of 6:05’s on the opening flat section. Not good! I calmed down telling myself “I will make you walk if you don’t slow it down RIGHT NOW!” My goal was to run it at half marathon pace, so around 7:15, then just throw it all out there for the last half mile. 

Lap one was 20:24

Heading into lap two I had a better handle on pacing and kept in within reason, the hill was much more “hilly” the 2nd time around. However, once at the top the downhill pays for most of the time lost, pushing 6:15 on the down, but making sure it’s backed off effortwise.

Lap two 22:10:  - Seems way off from 1st , but this is where I should have been for the whole race.

At the start of lap three I made the mistake of staying with 3 guys that started to pass, moving me from 7:05 pace to 6:50 pace. When we hit the line to begin lap three I was pissed mildly at myself because the three guys moving pass me were doing so because they were kicking for the line only doing the 10K. My only advice that I ever give to someone is “run your own race” and I totally almost blew up because I didn’t follow my own advice.

The hill on the 3rd lap ssuucckkeedd! Hit a 9:50 pace at the top! Woo Hoo!!! On the downhill I could only top out at 8:10. I kept yelling in my head, stay in , stay in. only 2 more miles.
I started to focus on the guy in front of me, about 30 yards out. I wanted to close the gap on him and stay close. He was running very light and looked great, like a easy run for him. I was pounding away at 7:00 pace bridging the gap slowly. With a mile to go I let loose on a small down to try and get within 5 yards and as I did he used the down as well to slowly pull away. – so close….

The last mile weaves through the trees at first then pops you out on the road heading south for about a qtr mile then straight back north to the start/finish line in a long half mile stretch. I was still focused on the guy in front, trying again to reach him, but into the turn around he had 15 seconds on me. The last bit was really fun, I wanted to dig and just lay down a full out effort to the line. My pace was 7:00 going into the last turn and I managed 6:24 flat out to the line from just over a qtr mile out.

Finish 1:06:24

I pushed as hard as I could of and felt like the result was above what I thought I could of done going into it. I was hoping for a 7:15 ave. pace and ended with a 7:08 ave. There were plenty of times I wanted to stop because the pain was so much. The pain of racing is obviously different from injury pain, but makes you want to stop just as much. It’s hard to explain, but I’m sure plenty of you know exactly what I’m talking about.

At the end the guy in front thanked me for making him race so hard and I thanked him for the same. And I guess that’s kind of what it comes down to, the sport of it. Whether it’s swimming in crazy white caps, snowboarding in the tree’s, cranking up a mountain pass on your bike or running a race and trying to catch the next person, trying not to let the person back catch you. It’s all for the sport of it.

I’ll write about the Seattle half next, just got back from the doc to see what the damage total on that was. Ugh!!!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The start of what’s next...

Well fall is here and tri season has slip on by again. Some years it seems like you can never race enough and other years it’s like the season lasted forever. This was an odd year for me. I only “raced” twice, 3x if you count the relay in Kirkland. And of those I really didn’t see IMC as a race, more of a long days journey. At times this year I really wanted to race more and feel that start to finish pull of faster, stronger, better. However, with schedules and training it just never really happened this year.

I don’t think it was a bad thing, because on the other hand with all the Ironman training if I had forced a bunch of races in I might have easily burned out and stopped training all together. As it was there was a quickly approaching window of time that was about to close and shut out all of the momentum. Towards the last few weeks it was hard to even think of being on the bike for longer than 2 hours or have to run AGAIN afterwards for a few miles. So it’s hard to say, either way it was a long season that I’m extremely happy to look back on.

Over the last couple of months I’ve been supporting Alley in her running season. Unfortunately, she just got back from a bone scan on Friday and the Doc told her that she has some stress fractures in her femora. She was running in the Portland Marathon and felt tightness and shape pain around mile 13 and had to walk by mile 15. Long tough day for a tough lady. So hopefully she’ll be back on her feet in time to get some snowboarding in around February.

I’ve been getting back into track and running 4x a week. It’s been really really hard to get the pace back up after a season of trying to slow the pace down for IMC. Last year I was training everyday comfortable speed around 7:10 pace. The last few weeks I’ve been in around 7:45. last week for my first long run I wanted to run at :15 slower than my intended pace for Seattle half and man was it hard to stay :20 slower. And that was just 8 miles! It’s hard to say where to put that.

So coming up I’ve entered in a few races just to get the feel and pace worked on. Tomorrow I’ve signed up for a 15K out at Magnuson park. I needed to get a 10 miles run in and didn’t think at first it would be a good idea to race 9 miles just yet, but then the more I thought about it I figured “why the hell not” If any thing I’ll pace it out with my half marathon pace and see where that puts my training for Seattle at. Plus I’m a firm believer in the notion that ever once in a while you have to sign up to get your ass handed to you from time to time. It’s good for those “what the fuck have I been doing?” moments that can really push a break through in self limiters.

So coming up I have:
Magnuson 15K, Seattle Turkey Trot 5K, Seattle Half Marathon and then the 12K’s of Christmas in Kirkland.

I’m not sure if I’m ready for tomorrow, but then again that’s the point right!?!?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

What a day! IMC

Ironman Canada race report:

The day was finally here! 11 months of waiting and it came down to a 3am wake up call for early breakfast followed by a short nap with another 4:15 wake up call for a 2nd breakfast. Then a let’s get this show on the road!

The feel of an early morning race has it’s own out of body feel to it. You’re focused, it’s dark, cold and very quiet. No different this time. You can see people playing their game plan over and over in their minds across the eyes and that long stare off to nowhere. The whole time I’m thinking - no one has said I can’t do this yet...

The days leading up I don’t think of the day as one long ass day, but rather a morning swim followed with 2 hours of easy spin. Then a fun, but intense 4 hour bike ride with a 30 minute spin and a transition run after. The run would be done at comfort, no pace just comfort. So when I hit the beach I was really excited w/ very little nerves. It was going to be a fun day.

I walked the beach and saw a teammate Laura O., who has done IMC a few times and would by the end of the day qualify for Kona! Amazing! She said something like “You’re here, you trained for this...” I can’t remember exactly, but with that I kind of went into “Holy Crap mode” and realized that bigger than the day, almost, was surviving 11 months of mostly hellish training. From early season swims in freezing waters to mountain passes with severe wind and rain during the EWT. Sunday wasn’t about time, but about simply being able to get to the starting line.

I found other teammates and then found my 3 cohorts Sara, Laura and Karen. We were more excited than nervous and I think all of us just wanted to get the day on with so we could start working off all the food we’d eaten the 3 days leading up. *Burp! But really, I think each of us cried a few times on the beach from the shear joy of knowing that we’d made it to the start. The bag pipers made there way down the beach and then the Canadian anthem was sung and the pro’s took off. 15 minutes to go...


My plan was to wait about thirty seconds after the start and then wade in and start swimming when I felt there were gaps enough to really start swimming. Worked out pretty well, I swam at about 70% effort and just kept it nice and easy. My goal was no longer than 1:30 in the water. I felt any longer and I’d be using more energy than if I’d just swum faster.

I don’t get some people in the water? I swim focusing on clean quiet hand and arm entry, with the force coming on the pull. I’ve slowed my stroke rotation down a bit for longer swims this year, feeling like I need to swim with a bigger chain ring ( very Jan U. in the water ) for more of a smoother cadillac ride if you will. Anyways, about 15 minutes in I have a guy just pounding the water right behind me and every 5 seconds or so he’d grab my foot and hold on to it? My first thought was,”that’s got to screw with your stroke” so about a minute of that and about a dozen foot grabs later I sat up and pushed him around me and on his way. I don’t get the whole grabbing and holding on to thing.

However, other than that there was no other real issues in the water. The views or glimpses from under the arms around the turn buoys were not for the faint of heart to say the least. At most swim starts you’re pretty surrounded, but it falls off and by the half way point you have descent open water and can maneuver well enough. Not so much, the line across heading into the first turn seemed to be about 40 yards wide with about 50 yards of humanity wrapped in neoprene thrashing and gasping for air in a terrible Titanic reenactment. I sprinted in the last turn, I figured that would happen a few times and actually trained for that the last few months. I think it’s good so you can get out of trouble and then recover back down to your race pace afterward.

The swim was going well and I kept remembering what Mark had said ‘ the twin towers will never get any closer, so don’t think they will.” That actually helped out because I saw them but didn’t pay attention to them as to when the end would come. You can actually stand up about 40 yards from the end and a lot of people did. We were warned before hand and it was easy enough to swim around. I swam up to about 5 feet of the shore in about 2.5 feet of water because it took no effort and you end up passing 10-15 people with every stroke. I got out and looked back at the route and was just ecstatic.

Swim time - 1:18:26

T1- pretty uneventful so that’s really the best you can ask for.


I’d been waiting for the bike all week. I love riding my bike! The last few weeks I’ve been coming away with some pain from the set up, but I knew this day would be great and just wasn’t going to let the thought of the last few weeks creep in. Out on the road I hit the TN Crew and was so excited to see them, the screams about scared me off the bike, it was pretty funny. Nothing compared to what would come on the run later in the day.

At mile 13-15 just before the downhill off of Mclean (sp?) my seat sank down and the nose pointed straight down. “Grrr” What the ..... before I hit the downhill I stopped and fixed and cleared and negative thoughts out. Took about 2 minutes, not a big deal! Pretty steady out to mile forty where the bike course starts to go up and up and up.

My plan, as in training was to stay easy and comfortable on the climbs. So starting Richter Pass was steady and just letting people go. By the time I hit the halfway point I felt great. I was talking without any pause, heart rate at 160, cadence 92, looking around enjoying the view and the day. Then about 50 yards from the top I got a little impatient and told the guy next to me “oh, screw this” I said it very, very jokingly as I was laughing at the same time. I got up and took off.

Now, I mention this only because as I did I realized I had all kinds of energy and was passing people at a really fast rate. I thought I was putting too much effort in, but it felt comfortable and the heart rate only went to 166. Plus, the crowds up at Richter Pass went crazy when I took off. Riding the course before I knew once over the top I had about 2 miles of recovery to get the heart rate back. I down hills coming fall Richter are pretty straight forward. Long sweeping and open, no blind turns. I was hitting about 36 MPH without pedaling and felt really comfortable. The rollers behind were a bit more difficult due to the fierce head wind. Ave. about 20 MPH on steep roller hills that during training camp ave. closer to 34mph. ‘Blah!’

The rollers get you to the out and back and that just sucks, a little kick in the teeth just to make sure you’re awake. However, special needs is at the turn around, a bag you get to put goodies into that might help brighten your day. I had: Icy Hot patch, Snickers, Pringles and a Flat Dr. Pepper. I slapped the Icy/Hot Patch on my neck, down the hatch with the Snickers and took a swig from the Dr.P and off I was. I couldn’t eat the Pringles, but wanted them with so I emptied my bento box thing and loaded it w/ Pringles, mmmm

Heading out of the out and back I saw Sara, then Karen and had a great shot of adrenaline as they looked to be having great days.

Back on the main road from the out and back the head wind was no joke and I could only manage about 13 mph. Urgh!!! I kept telling myself to treat the head wind like a hill climb, spin and keep it steady. I think I read that or seen an interview with Chris Carmichael a few years back and it made sense. The race officials were patrolling the roads really well, any bunches they would ride in on the motorcycles and break up. Telling rides to back off or pass. With that head wind no one was passing, that’s why everyone was bunching up.

I lost a bit of focus in the head wind. It’s like mile 85 and you’ve been on for awhile and that part of the course is hard. I drifted to a pace of about 13-14 mph when I should of been doing maybe 16. It doesn’t seem like a big difference but you have to consider the overall length of the day. I rode slower for only about 20 minutes and was just trying to make my way to Yellow Lake.

Then we hit a right bend in the road and I saw the “Green Road Sign” It’s the back of a highway sign, much more importantly it’s about 300 yards from the place you first see it and once you get to it it’s only another 200 yards to the TOP OF YELLOW LAKE!!!!
I saw it and went from asleep at the wheel to dancing on the pedals. I didn’t mince words this time and it wasn’t for crowd response. I told the rider next to me “ F**k this hill” And with everything I had I just took off and ripped it up the last 400 yards to the crest at Yellow Lake.

It was a few things. I caught myself feeling sorry for myself and was angry? for lack of a better word. That blended with the fact that once you get you butt over Yellow Lake the bike more or less is over. 12 miles of mostly down hill to the transition zone. So it was the excitement of the moment, I didn’t feel anything in the legs saying slow down don’t push this last bit too hard. All that was coming from the legs was - push, keep pushing, keep going, keep pushing go, go , go! We have this covered! I don’t know if I’ve ever-ever been happier on the bike. I knew the down hill was going to be fast and roads were wet, but no standing water. I yanked out my drink straw out and shoved it in a back pocket and was just tucked down flying. I passed more people on the downs than on the climbs. This is a big deal for me because I’m extremely light, and that’s no help on a descent, I spend energy climbing by people on a climb and they go flying by me on the downs without even pedaling. I had a top speed of 46 mph off of Yellow Lake.

When I hit the last down and hit the lake before town my eye’s teared up and I was laughing out loud. 2.4 mile Swim and 112ish mile bike DOWN! Being my first Ironman I have or had no problem admitting that for each milestone tears of joy would need to be wiped away. Rolling back towards transition we hit the Team tent first and seeing the familiar faces was such a shot. A few blocks down was Sara’s girls, Alley and a few other close friends. You can’t explain the feeling, it’s just amazing.

Bike time: 6:37:59

T2 - again, uneventful. Best case scenario!


I use to be a diehard Seattle Super Sonics fan back in the earlier to late 90’s. The best game I ever watched was a game they lost to the Lakers. The game was everything a basketball game should be. About 20 lead changes in the last 4 minutes of play. 4 players from each team scored at least 2x in the last 4 minutes, teamwork! I didn’t even matter that they lost, it was a great game.

I left T2 and felt really really good. Legs were light and easy to move. Stomach was NEVER an issue and was calm. I knew the training I did would get me to mile 14-16 and from there on it would be work. I was OK with that, I’ve had to scrape it together in a marathon before. I hit the first turn and saw a friend Lauren and was laughing as I waved to her and almost missed and ran into to hard right turn for the small out and back. After that I saw the Girls and Alley again, loud screams and smiles all around.


Then I hit the TN Multisport Tent! My team! There was no screwing around with this group I could hear them a block up the road as I came into view of them. AMAZING! if you’ve never been part of a team that has that much support I suggest to keep looking. So worth it! I was hitting about 7:30 pace - too fast, but my goal was to run comfortable pace at what ever it was and 7:30 was what was on the menu. I hit the team tent and shot up to 6:40 : ) oops. I was running and having fun at what really felt like a jog. I’d reach a group pass through and run to catch the next pack of runners. Legs felt GREAT! I ran 7:40 pace until mile 6, hit mile 6 at 46 minutes.

For me running is freedom. I’ve been injured before and didn’t know how much I loved to run until I couldn’t for months at a time. Pace, movement, form, breathing. I love the feeling of pushing a good pace and know everything is how it should be. Smooth, comfortable, light.

At mile 6 I felt a pinch on the outside of my right knee, I knew exactly what it was. If you’ve ever had an injury comeback to pay you a visit you know exactly what it is. The last time I really felt this was at the Seattle Rock and Roll marathon 2009 at mile 24.

I just passed the 6 mile mark and got a strike of pain down my right leg across the top of the knee. The day was really about to turn. I walked it out and did a quick stretch, but could only run about a minute and the bolt of pain would fire off again. At this point I figured as long as I can run every once and awhile I was OK. I made it to the turn around at mile 13.1. 2:30 hours even. I broke down at this point and fell way in a hole. My right ankle and shin started to become too painful to walk and the down hills were just killing me.

I got to mile 15 and my mouth was tired from having clenched teeth for so long. I got to 16 and the though of just walking 10 miles and having to walk another 10 was way overwhelming. At 18 I felt terrible, then remembered what Mark and T had said as I saw runners still heading towards the turn around at mile 13.1 “someone would love to be where you are” Thinking about that really pulled my head out. Here I was at mile 18 and there are people still at mile 8.

I saw a few teammates running by and asked them to get word to Alley so she wouldn’t worry that I wasn’t in around 5 hours and just walked and cheered for as many people as I could.

I was at the top if the hour an came up with a new game plan and goal. If I could keep 15 minute miles I could come in under 6 hours for the run. I would shuffle a bit and walk 3/4 mile. I made it to mile 22 in a hour and then from there of course my left hamstring finally gave out from having to swing my right leg forward. This was I think the toughest part of the day. Now walking was painful and I was slowly falling off pace.

Back at 21 you round a corner and can see the lights from downtown and even worse you can clearly hear the announcer calling people into the finish. This gave me the energy to start running again regardless of the pain and it worked for about 2 solid minutes. Then my right leg revolted instantly and I went sprawling out on the road like a rag doll. I remember saying out loud “OK, I know! Not an option.”

Mile 23 was dark and lonely, there were plenty of people around but it was quiet. I’d walk a few, get impatient, stumble to a jog then reach down and grab my leg in pain. i was a freaking mess. I could only manage 18.68 min pace. I had this thought keep replaying in my head - I’m going to get the the finish and Teresa N. was going to tell me “I need the jersey back, I can’t have you represent the team : ( this played over about a dozen times running in the dark. Then out of nowhere I see two people running right at me calling my name from the dark. I couldn’t run and felt ashamed, then before I knew it I was running (jogging) with them. About 10 seconds later there was about 4 more teammates running with me and all the worries and pain of the last 20 miles just seem to disappear. Around the corner I saw T. and she yelled how proud she was and I saw Alley and she said the same. Sara’s girls after that and the crowd from there on out was crazy.

The last mile was dark to the out and back. I had a teammate, yet again, Brent I think, come out of nowhere and talk me through a rough spot. He kept saying “slow and easy, just walk you got all day. You are there, you did it. Just walk” I wanted to walk, but I wanted to get back to the lights and the family, friends and teammates waiting.

Run: 6:11:22

Total - 14:23:47

In the end it was an IT band pull that changed the day for me. Instead of an amazing day I had a GREAT day! I’ve run injured like that before, only for 3-4 miles. Pushing through 20 miles like that I never really thought of anything else but finishing the day out. I’ve also raced w/ team and family support before, but I don’t think I’ve ever leaned on support and been more proud of my supporters than out there on course that day. The TN supporters were/are Amazing, every time I’d pass them on course racers around me would say “Your group totally rocks!”

Well before the race, during training and even before and during Ironman Canada I said with a few others that 1 IM was good enough. However, after IM we sat around at dinner a few nights later and were talking about how ‘the next one will be different’....

Thanks to Teresa, Mark, Alley, Sara, Karen, Laura, Tom, Kirsten, Jeff and Brent for a great day!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Getting closer...

WOW! 8 days away from CANADA!

How the hell did that happen. Just the other day I was filling in this years race and training schedule having a Hawaiian theme dinner watching the 2009 Ironman from Kona on tv, talking about had we had 9 months to get ready.

I remember my first 50 mile ride at the end of December and having to stop because I was just dead on the bike. Cruising at 8 mph and stopping before I fell over : ) Oh, good times, good times!!!

This year was a bit unexpected as most of you know I’ve never had a goal of doing an Ironman - EVER! A year ago, having just finished up Lake Stevens 70.3 and having that race fall apart on the run. I doubted if I’d ever do anything over an Oly again. However, meeting the people I have and having family support I figured, “What the hell” I was young”ish” and in shape. I could raise my level and do this thing. That lasted until end of February. I looked and found TNMultisport and a few friends were already on board so it was a no brainer.

The months have actually flown by somehow? The last few weeks have had their highs and low’s. At track the other day it was good to hear the nightmare weeks others had been going through. Of course not happy others were having a rough go at it, just that feeling of ‘you’re not the only one’. This last week I’ve rebounded again and have remembered to enjoy what it is I ‘get’ to do.

I’m reading ‘Born to run’ right now and it’s been doing wonders on my outlook of running. I’ve always enjoyed running, the freedom of where your legs can take you. A few weeks ago I was running w/ Karen on a 16 miler and it was amazing how it seemed like 30-45 minutes at most, but it was just about 2 hours. I had a mile swim later in the day and kept thinking, I should do a ..(something).. after the swim. Then laughed as I had to remember - you just ran 16 miles! I year ago I would of never gotten out of bed.

Last weekend was the Lake Steven’s 70.3

It was so much fun to be out on course cheering for everyone this year, having trained with a number of the teammates in the race, it was pretty special to be out supporting them. I love cheering for people at races in general!

The work that they put out, some having great days, some good days, others in their pain cave focusing to finish. I’ve had really bad days and could never had guested what or where the rights words were that lifted me out and back on track.

You see someone go by and they smile and give a wave, a thumbs up. Having a good day and feeling great! Someone else, you know they can hear you, but they don’t or can’t look. Just a flick of the fingers and maybe a dart of the eyes in your direction. You can see, as I’ve been there before plenty, - I can’t look, if I look I’ll stop, I’ll fall, I’ll give in. I can’t lose focus -

That day, a few times I stepped back and looked at the cheering crowds and really soaked in and felt the excitement in the air and really felt alive for IMC. I couldn’t help but wondered what the 29th would bring. Just 8 days away now....

Monday, August 9, 2010


The last 2 weeks have been pretty stacked with workouts. It’s probably fair to say that the closer one gets to and object (target, goal) the harder it may be to see or focus on the reasons why. Three weeks out and tired eyes, legs and neck just continue to scream for a rest. 8.5 months of training and somedays I forget why. I know what I signed up for, but I have to believe that no one truly knows what it is they’ve signed up for.

I told a friend of mine if I’d of heard last weekend’s schedule a year ago I never would of gotten out of bed:

Saturday - 85 mile hilly bike, 4 mile trans run
Sunday - 16 mile run, 40 minute-1 mile swim

It’s hard to say where those miles and hours get placed in the mind. You’re tired, you continue to drive and push. I guess that ‘s the point. At some point in the Ironman your body is going to ask the mind to go on autopilot, lead you home from the hole you’ve fallen into. Training in the last few weeks has gone from physical (being able) to mental, putting it all together for one day. Surviving the day.

I had a bad day out yesterday, injured my knee, my minds not quit where I need it. Tired of trying to figure it out. Tired of tweeking nutrition, heart rate, cadence. Just tire, all the damn time. I know the 29th will come and it’ll be exciting and amazing. I just need to rest...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Just because you can, doesn't mean you should

Just got back from training camp up in Canada for the Ironman. What an amazing time! Aside from being on the course and everything else about traveling off for a weekend, it was the team that really made it worth it. Surrounding yourself with people of like mind and that are there to help you is a great feeling. The team is stacked with great athletes, but you never feel intimidated or overlooked. Great coaching and teammates that know on any day you’ll need a hand no matter how good you are.

It’s odd being surrounded by people of like mind. So often I get tired of explaining why I “need” to get a long swim, bike or run in when on vacation or just over a weekend away from home. being in a place where you could see, not just our team, but hundreds of other people doing the same.

With the team it’s a different feel than I’ve ever been use to before. It seems like no one has an attitude, is condescending or over competitive to the point of being overbearing. Every workout seems to push and raise the level of your our game.

It’s odd waking up knowing that at some point in the day you’re going to be pushed to your limit. Reason enough to hit the snooze button a few extra times. I knew I was going to be in trouble before the bike start if I didn’t approach long rides from a different angle. Up until now the last 10-12 miles of all bike rides have been just trying to hold on. I go out steady, feel good at about 80-85% effort, but at the end....Bam...holding on to make it back to the car.

Mark suggested that “just because you can fly up the hills, maybe you shouldn’t”. I thought about that all week, or the few days before training camp. So my new moto on the bike is, “Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.” So I took the bike out as usual, but as we hit the first hill I slowed, lowered my rate, kept the heart rate down and did a steady climb up a little steep hill about 5 blocks long. It was still early, real early, mile 10 of 112.

Forty miles in we hit a little kicker and the same thing, get to the top and feel OK, steady. At about 45ish we start Richter Pass, I’m looking at the road as we approach and I can’t wait! I’ve been living in fear of this damn piece of road for almost 6 months, bring it on!!! Hard right turn and......

“Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.” I ease up and slow down and pedal nice and easy. On the bottom part of Richter I got pasted 4x and had to just mentally tell myself over and over. “Let them go, not your pace today”. I was feeling amazing when I got to the top, breathing wasn’t labored, heart rate was 135 and down to 93 about a minute after I stopped climbing. I looked around and just noticed how almost everyone else was pretty whipped, both from the heat and the climb. I felt great!

I had a few things I was trying new this day. 1. was the not going up with as much effort as I usually climb with. 2. Was not to pedal on the downhills, unless you needed to so you didn’t have to do much work on the next hill. As I did this I’d see the heart rate ease back to 130 and figured that was saving matches for later.

The out and back hits you around 63 miles or so. You have to keep in mind that the out is hard because it’s hard. Not because your tired. It’s Hard, because it’s Hard! False flats and steep little climbs, solidly kicks your ass. The way back at the turn around, not so bad. Which makes you realize - It’s Hard, because it’s Hard!

Yellow Lake - because I like to look at climb profiles and expect every climb to look like a saw tooth I didn’t realize we were on to climb until about a mile from the top. I may be a little thick when it comes to this. On the EWT, day one I think, I keep waiting for the road to really turn up for the 12 mile climb to Loup Loup and was amazed at the rest stop to hear we were already 6 miles into it. Sweet! So I kept thinking we were always about to start climbing, the rollers were just, well rollers to the approach.

Energy wise I was doing very well, heat wise I was not really doing very well. The last stretch up to Yellow Lake was an oven, I was riding with Kirsten and out of fluids. It seemed the heat was just eating away at any energy. It was very survival mood. I could only really focus on her back tire and felt if I lost that I was cooked. Luckily before things got too critical we hit the top and our great team support car was there with ice cold water and Gatorade...Phew

I iced down and stood off the bike for about 3 minutes and felt back in the game. The rest was about 2 miles of rollers and about 8 miles of descending back down to flat ground. I think everyones face was lit up with this excitement of “ I just did the bike course in 97 degree weather and survived” Holy Shit! 4200 plus feet of elevation gain as well.

The next morning was a long run in the 14-15 mile range, mind you I was doing one of the shorter runs...???? It was hot hot hot, again with amazing support from the team and coaches. Such a strong team, it’s so inspiring to train, work and support along side them. And by the way, the new approach to riding hills and saving energy totally paid off...

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Eastern Washington Tour - Catching up...

Day one of the Eastern Washington Tour (EWT)-

The way things appear from a distance is sometimes always best. This season from a distance seemed to spell it’s self out pretty well. Early foot races that lead to early bike rides that lead to a mix of both before the big event. Until of course the mood changes for a few weeks or the weather stays bad and you don’t want to keep at it. Unfortunately that has come in the form of an injury.

I’ve had this same before for the last few years, last year was the first I didn’t and was hoping to be done with it. But it finally caught up. I was at track a few weeks ago and it came on slowly then after about 20 minutes grabbed pretty good and hasn’t really let go since. The good news is I can still bike and swim. However, running is totally out the window. Which is a bummer because the running was really coming around.

Anyways, I’m never one to play the “what if” game, just never made any sense. So I’m at the EWT and I feel a bit under trained, but I have to look at it as training for Canada and not racing 4 days in the mountains.

This is not a race!

We've been told that a number of times already, tired of hearing it, kind of getting on my nerves now. So tomorrow will be fun, regardless of what happens. It’s all part of the road to Canada and will make for great memories with some really great friends.


I'm just now getting around to posting about the trip that was about 2 weeks ago. It was a great time with friends and pushing ourselves farther than we thought was possible. Days 3 and a four were such a mystery going into this simply because we'd never done that kind of mileage before pass two days. It was more laughs than anything and such a great group of new people to meet and ride with.

I posted plenty, if not all the photo's on Facebook, so I won't repost here.

On to a general update:

After the EWT I pulled up a bit lame w/ my left knee. Some pretty good pain that I hadn't felt before. Now I've had some pretty good pulls and injuries during training and races and this was by far the most painful. Well, maybe second to the few IT band pulls I've had, but you get the idea. Good thing is I went to a UW Sports Doc and he said it was deep tissue inflammation. Some profin and ice and it would be fine in about a week. I was bummed not to be able to roll on the fitness from the tour, but that was great news. I was in the mind set and really bracing for being told I'd have to have surgery and that Ironman was out the window.

So slow going the last two weeks, but I'll get it back in gear soon enough. If anything this minor set back reminded how much I really enjoy all the training. Well I'll start w/ regular posts again now that I'm back at it...

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Bricks and more...

The time for the brick workouts have started, I know a few have been in it for a while, but I just finally got to the point of doing them. Two a days have been going on for over two months or more and this last week I started adding bricks to the longer workouts. Mostly bikes (spinning) before running or core workouts after running.

More later have to go eat...

Monday, May 10, 2010

And then things turn...

Crazy how weeks fly by when you really don't want them to. Canada is getting closer and closer and suddenly I'm realizing how serious (how much I could hurt myself) it has become. Working and working and really keeping my head down is kind of how I've been training up until about a month ago. The last few weeks I've gotten out on rides and runs w/ good friends and really started enjoying the longer pulls that training at this point has become.

It's been about reconnecting as well. Reconnecting w/ the form and the mindset, among other things that came at the end of last season. Remembering that my limits are only the limits that I put on myself. With getting back into track and really rolling on the miles I'm interested in seeing how far and injury free this season will go.

I added an odd picture from the pain cave above that looked kind of cool...

Saturday, April 24, 2010

A few weeks out

Learning a few lessons from the body and in life I suppose over the last few months. Training is in full gear as of this last week after a 3-4 week disruption through March. It's funny how this is the first year I've really put limits on hours per week getting back up to speed and I feel it has really paid off. Most noticeably, no injuries!

I've learned you have to wait for things or situations to come to you and hope that they do, but be able to move on if they don't. Whether it's endurance, a job, a new bike or something else that's out there for you. On the bike or in a run the last few weeks I've had to stop thinking about where I need to be and just focus on where I'm at and not to rush the process. Training is harder than it needs to be sometimes simply because the long hours give you much too much time to think...

Track and longer bike rides have filled the schedule lately. Core workouts have filled the swim days while I'm in between pools right now. Track is coming along really good, I started off a notch slower and think it's really paid off doing so. Last year and the year before I think I would of already had a few pulls in some not so fun places. I've kept top speed at and around 6:45-7:00 as compared to last years 6:05-6:20 which really was fun, but produced on going injuries throughout the season.

The group I've been running w/ at track has been really fun to work w/ as well. I'm very humbled to be running w/ them, which is a great thing. Well it's windy and a touch nasty out, but I have to go hit some hill repeats over in the Blue Ridge area to start cycle hill training in earnest: Strenuous Hill Interval Training - S.H.I.T is on the menu for the legs and lungs this morning. I love it when people comment that I'm light so I don't have to really work on hill work. It must be that and not the miles and hours of vertical work I put in on the bike every year. My thought to that is gravity is one ones friend, deal with it...

Saturday, April 3, 2010


Spin class today was just kicking my ass, about 20 minutes in I realized I was in trouble, crap.

Mostly (completely) it was my own fault, I stayed up watching Madmen until 1 AM the night before. Ugh… At least I knew what the problem was. I lowered down and looked over and saw this older guy just dying on the hill workout, but holding his own. He looked over at me and said, “stay in there”. Here I was ready to call it a day and this guy, who looked like I felt, tries to throw a line out to me.

From there I focused on pace and got back into the rhythm of the class and had a good, not great, but good workout. I’d never met the guy before, but thanked him after the class. I felt at that point I was falling and no one would notice if I just slowed, got off and left. Bagging a much needed and important part of the days workout.

The plan was:

Spin class -1 hour – treat like a Time Trial
Hill Work – 30 minutes
Run – 30 minutes

Just that half second of “stay in there” was enough to finish the rest of a pretty good workout. From there I went on and did the hill workout that I had planned. I do it on a stairmastertypetorturemachine, it mimics the movement of hill climbing on the bike pretty well. After 30 strong minutes on that thing I put in a solid 30 minute run.

Note to self: if you want to push 90%-95% at the end of a long workout to replicate a strong kick at the end of a race put in a little Rage against the machine on the shuffle.

As this season starts up and training really moves into the next phase I have to start and look into motivation and am currently looking for another Tri Team to join. After last weeks long bike and run, and I know it just goes with the territory, but I was so bored. Not so much from the ride, just from the fact that last week I was solo, the one before that, this weekend solo, next week will probably be solo as well. So I’m looking around for a new team. Also, teams are great for pulling that extra bit of training or extra bit of inspiration during a race.

And you never know where or when you’ll need “some” words or a look to give you that push that gets you through the weak miles or minutes of a workout.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Pretty crazy, but back to normal...

OK, the last few weeks have been pretty crazy. I know some friends have a busy life and still manage to get there training, but sometimes you have to put things in perspective and do what you can. The last two weeks I’ve had finals in both my classes, one being editing 5 interviews for a final presentation, and the other a final analytical thesis. Ugh! Plus this past week on top of finals I had my parents in town, which I wanted to spend as much time as I could with. CRAZY!

Oh and 40 hours of work!

Needless to say I had to drop a few workouts, well not a few, but most. I had over the last 2 weeks only 4 workouts in a space of when I should have had 10-12. I could feel my base slowly getting away from me. The months of training slipping away…
Not ready – I knew this was a bad 2 weeks for training and tried to get in what I could. It also meant that I had to watch what I ate somewhat closely for the last two weeks. Can’t eat like I’m training 6x a week when I’m clearly not. Also, I knew it was temporary, but two weeks down is still two weeks down. So that week will be a build up, soft week. Then starting Friday I’ll be back in the full routine again. Playing weekend warrior can only last so long, because it’s not sustainable and ONLY leads to injury.

The things I do.

So have you ever just really let yourself down? Did crappy in a race because you knew you didn’t train right for it. Or jump into something at a level you should have known was going to need your “A” game and you suffered. I’ve been doing some great bike training the last few months and I’ve been focusing on flats, because that was my weakness from last year. I threw a rough hill climb in this week knowing I was going to get my ass handed to me because I haven’t been doing a lot of hill work this year. Not compared to other years. And as planned it was painful.

A friend and I started with a loop around Mercer Island then headed over and up to Cougar Mountain. As soon as you make the turn on to Lakemont Blvd. it’s no screwing around, right away you realize ‘ Pace, you will walk if you don’t!’ There are I think 5 steps to the climb, can’t rush because you can’t see the top. Slow, steady. Well not that slow, I wasn’t eating my lunch, but I was careful not to red line. My friend Chris stayed about 40 yards in the lead for the whole climb and that’s what I was wanting and waiting to feel. That feeling of “you’re dying and he’s not”, “you should be loving this, but you’re not”. That voice in your head, my head, saying “this is what you need, get your ass in gear” That same voice saying, “you have nothing, your legs are gone, stop, what are you doing, you can’t handle this, what were you thinking, you’re not ready”

That voice competing with the other voice saying, “Pace, find your rhythm, stay within yourself, don’t panic” Again, “Pace, find your rhythm, stay within yourself, don’t panic”. “Pace, find your rhythm, stay within yourself, don’t panic”. You hit a point where you’re going to listen to one or the other. You’re going to stop and walk or you’re going to fall back on what you know and weather a bad situation on a climb (ride).

I put myself on a hard climb when I wasn’t 100% ready for it for a few reasons.

1. After 2 weeks of missed workouts I needed to get my head back in the game
2. Nothing motivates me like not being in the condition I should be in

It was a good hard ride and it ends March with room to still get a 60+ ride in, which was the over all goal for March. Well, training should get back to normal this week and track workout will start up this week or next week. Those are always fun, ugh….

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Great weekend Ride...

I took the race bike out for a spin on Saturday. It’s funny how even if I haven’t been on him for six months it feels like only a weekend has passed since jumping on for a ride. I’ve done enough training rides on George, my 4 year old Trek, this year to feel like I have my riding legs under me. Meaning that more or less I have the confidence to go out pretty aggressive with a good pace and kept that going for about 3 hours.

Yesterday we started out with two good hill climbs then a long 15 mile flat, followed by a few hill climbs and finishing off with some rolls into the finish. The start up Market and Juanita were taken at a aggressive pace, I wanted to feel plenty worked by the time we got to the top because I knew we’d have time to recover on the long down hill on the back end. I was riding with a friend Chris and he can descend on a down like a rocket, so I knew it would be a challenge to keep up with him and he’s a confident rider so that always makes a difference.

Heading into the flats the trail was getting pretty busy, but I knew once we got about a mile or two past some of the parking lots it would open up. I hadn’t, like I said, been on the race bike this year yet so I was curious to what kind of speed I could maintain over a 10 mile stretch at a hard effort. I usually train at a 80-85% perceived effort, but I wanted to hit the flats closers to 90-95%. I didn’t tell Chris, but he was on my wheel and a strong rider so I knew he was up for it. We averaged 22 MPH through the flats for a distance of about 10 miles, not bad for only being March!

We still had about 22 miles left to go and the hill climbs ahead of us weren’t terrible just the slow constant 2-3% grade up for about 3-4 miles. It was a great day out, lots of sun and an eagle along the water to look at. We finished the day with 42 miles and a welcome ride back to the car. Not bad for still being winter

Monday, March 1, 2010

It's chilly and hilly

Yesterday was the Chilly Hilly, pretty fun. I wanted to ride and have fun and let the day unfold with a few people I thought I'd be riding with, BUT I ended up riding by myself. Oh well.

I started out pretty easy, trying to take in the first climb or two at ease and the legs felt pretty good. I got to the top of the first climb and I figured "what the hell" I took off and turned my easy day into a great hill training day. The legs were feeling so ready for the work, I started the day thinking I was tired and would rest the legs on a easy ride. So I was a bit surprised to finish in 2:08, a few minutes faster than before.

Hill climbing is something else. There is something about cranking up and up and up a hill. Your hips brace for the turning, your legs sit in for the feeling of what pace is possible. There's nothing really mystical about it, just training. And by that I mean train the hills. At the beginning of the year I ride my hill training course and hit it at about 12:30 minutes per lap. By June 1st, just over 10, by end of August I can hit my hill course in under 10 minutes usually even after multiple laps. And I know people love to say "well you lose weight throughout the year so you can climb easier" During the year I only loose about 3 pounds.

Sunday was a good idea about how the years training going so far and I'm pretty happy with it so far.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

So in general...

So in general I've been pretty busy these day's. I started training Dec. 1st and started school and work on the Jan 3rd. So I've been swimming in it lately trying to find a schedule that I can remember and stick to. It hasn't been great, but I've been tired and workouts took a back seat to life for awhile.

Works been a struggle, which puts everything else in a tail spin. I try and remember that in sport I have some control and that true joy mostly comes from hard work. In life away from sport, I have to remember this as well. Just like the first couple workouts of the season you have to know that this chapter will pass. The struggles will lay down and life will be full again.

The last few months I've been working on strength training and cycling. I've entered this year in the best weight I've been at in almost 15 years and feeling healthy. I usually enter training March 1st at about 132-133, this year I've entered at 124 and feel great, not under weight and weak. Controlling my weight was a big focus going into this season, as well as strength training. I've never done longer than 2-3 weeks on strength training before, so being almost three months in I feel like I'm at a different level than past years.

On the bike I've really tried to improve my flat road speed. In past years I always had major slow downs on flat roads. I could pass on hills and downhills, but long flats were where I had problems, mostly because I think I just get bored if the roads not heading up or screaming down : ) Anyways, I feel good abut the last few 50+ mile rides I've done on the flats. I need to bring the pacing that I've learnedin running over the last 8 years to the bike. I ride at a fast comfortable pace, but maybe a bit too fast for the long rides. Often I wait until the legs start to really bark and shutter and feel that that is when the real training starts. I can be a bit brutal to the legs when they think they've hit a wall.

Well training has been on the back burner for a few weeks and needs to switch over to start focusing on the goals of the season:

1. another sub 20 5k
2. sub 1:30 half marathon
3. 3:30ish marathon
4. Ironman of course

I guess you have to remember to lean on friends and loved ones close to you when things start to get out of control. Well I have pizza getting cold so I better go...

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A few days since...

OK, it's been days since I've posted but I've got plenty to start up with again.

I started school and work at the beginning of the year and have just been spinning from both a new job and getting use to school.

So I'll be back on the blog, maybe trying something new, adding some audio when I get time.