Monday, December 13, 2010

Tri-Fusion End of Season

Tri-fusion EOS Party 11/19/2010

I had a great triathlon season.  This year I did my first triathlon and I finished the season doing Troika, my first half ironman distance tri.  It was a fun and challenging time.  I learned a lot about myself, my capabilities and gained a great respect for long distance triathletes.  Triathlon is a sport that requires a lot of discipline and heart.

This year I also joined Tri-fusion triathlon club.  It is a group of highly motivated athletes who live life to the fullest.  I am constantly inspired by other members.  At the End of Season Party a video that highlights the season was played.   It was broken up into three segments so it can be uploaded to UTube.  A big thanks to Dave Erickson for creating it!

Thanks to Karla for this humorous comic!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Ironman Coeur d'Alene Bike Elevation

The IM race is on my mind a lot. Such a big commitment.  At this time I am not getting all the hours of training in that I would like.  Maybe it is that time of season.  I am too tired to get up early in the morning and after work and family time I am pretty tired too.  I am probably averaging about 5 hours a week of training.  I know in January this will have to increase significantly.  This image will give me incentive to get on the bike, some major climbing!

 If that image doesn't, this one will.  A BIG thanks to my wife for supporting me on this big endeavor and for allowing me to get a new bike for Christmas!!  Here is a great review of the Felt B16.
2011 Felt B16
Hope everyone is enjoying the season!...oh!...and you better be good or else!...hehehe

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Monster Dash: It's All About the Kids

One of the benefits of doing Triathlon for me beside keeping in shape, enjoyment, health and socializing is to be a positive influence on our kids.  Teaching by example.  Sometimes this happens intentionally and sometime unintentionally.  Since I wasn't doing a marathon on Halloween day we planned to do a 5K race that weekend.  Last year we did the Pumpkin Pacer in Deer Lake, but since Reanna, my daughter, had dance lessons on Saturday morning we decided to do the Monster Dash on Halloween day.  Reanna really wanted to do one of these races.

On Sunday morning I woke up at around 7:15am and was very tired.  I actually wanted to go back to bed, but since I told Reanna that we could run the Monster Dash I really needed her permission.  I said in my head as I walked to her room, "If she doesn't want to do it, I am going back to bed!"  I opened her door and quietly walked up to her bed and to my surprise she was already awake! (oh oh).  I then asked, "Reanna, do you still want to do the Monster Dash?"  She replies, "Yes!" as she jumps out of bed.  Generally in the morning it takes her about 5 minutes to get out of bed.

At the Monster Dash they have the 5K race (3.1 miles)  and the kids race which is 1 mile (for Reanna's age).  I asked her if she wanted to do the 1 mile, but she wanted to do that 3.1 mile run.  The costumes there were creative and amazing.  I ran with Reanna and she was having a hard time at first, but then at mile one when she got some water and candy she perked up a bit.  She ran better the rest of the way knowing at mile two we would hit the candy/water station again.  The race runs through Manito Park in the South Hill of Spokane and is very beautiful.  We walked a little bit and jogged.  I was glad to be running with Reanna, if it wasn't for her we wouldn't have been there.  She is such a positive influence on ME! :-)

The trees in Manito were so beautiful, after the race I took some pictures.

A big thanks to Spokane Swifts who put on this race with a portion of the proceeds going to Active4Youth! Active4Youth is the group funded the cross country training and meets for Reanna's school and the city. 
A win win!  Thanks to Moxie Images for some of the free photos!

Start of the Monster Dash. 10/31/10
Me with my little rock star
Us with Chris, Joy and clan!  These two seem to be at ALL the races!
This woman passed me in the race so I tripped her!  ;-)
Loved the pac-man group. The life guard on the left won best female costume.
Creative!  Three blind mice!
The beauty of the trees in Manito was AMAZING.  I look forward to the next time I have the opportunity to run in this area again.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Dance...I mean...Run in the Rain!

I just love this cartoon.  In actuality I think the recommended minimum amount of working out per day is 30 minutes, but an hour is even better.  I generally try to work out an hour a day.  The time I have to work out seems to be getting more and more compressed as our family life gets busier and the girls get older.

I had a great season of racing in 2010, I wanted to finish the season off with a marathon.   I figured it would give me the motivation to continue training and stay consistent with my workouts.  It would also give me some extra confidence for Ironman (IM) CDA in 2011.   I chose to do Tri-Cities Marathon on October 31st....Halloween Day!  I started churning out the miles.  I did multiple runs in a week but these were my long runs:
8/14 - 16 miles
8/21 - 17 miles - My confidence was soaring.  I was thinking I could possibly qualify for Boston since my new qualifying time is 3:20.  In 2008 I finished the Portland Marathon in 3:30:58.  I need to knock 10 minutes off...I can do this!  
Portland Marathon - 26.2 Mile Run - 3:30:58  (10/5/2008)

9/4 - 20 miles - I continue banging out the miles.  I wasn't getting in the speed work I did in 2008 due to time limitations so I was thinking I could at least PR.  Boston is out.  I can do this!
9/25 - 18 miles
10/9 - 20 miles - Days after this long run the bottom of my foot started to hurt in the heal area.  I realized it was plantar fasciitis.  Not happy about this.  I continue wearing a boot at night, rolling it (on a tennis ball), stretching and icing. I bought some shoe inserts, I will do this.  I have time to recover before Oct 31!

As the days continued to pass I decided I would not shoot for the PR but just run the marathon and finish it. No running for now, I was biking and swimming.  One evening after rolling my foot on a tennis ball, I pulled a ice pack out of the freezer and put my foot on it.  I numbed it good.  Little did I know that it was so numb I couldn't feel the freezer burn,ouch!  My foot hurt from that and I could barely walk on it for two days.  That was painful.  My "A" race for this year was Troika, the Tri-Cities Marathon was a "B" or "C" race.  It would have been a big run, but it wasn't meant to be.  If it was my "A" race I may have tried to do it despite the circumstances.  I don't want to impact my IM training.  I need to try and stay healthy.  My number one goal is to get to the IM CDA starting line uninjured.  Tri-Cities Mary...I have bigger fish to fry!  I will conquer you or another marathon when the time is right.  We WILL meet again!  Count on it!! ;-)

With that said, things continued to go down hill.  The plantar fasciitis seems to be about gone but I still have a little knot in my foot.  According to Dr. Google this could be plantar fibromatosis!  :-(  I continue rolling, icing and stretching.  One evening while at the pool my flip-flops which I got at REI were stolen.  I couldn't believe it!  They were right next to my swim bag while I was swimming at masters.  A few days later my swim shorts, goggles and swim cap were taken.  WTH??!!!  I have backup equipment so I continued to go swimming. Finally on Oct 27, while swimming at masters I get a muscle cramp in my calf.  I had to stop swimming for a minute.  The calf was balling up....ouch!

...that brings me to today.  I am GRATEFUL that these injuries are happening to me now and not in the middle of my race season!  I started some dialog with a fellow named JoshKaptur on BT.  He advocates running 3-6 miles a day, 5-7 days a week for building a running base for IM.  This sounds like a good idea.  My foot is feeling better.  Last night I rode 17 miles on the bike.  Before going to bed I set my alarm clock for 6:30am so I can get up and run 3 miles.  I can do that in 30 minutes or less!  The alarm woke me this was very dark and I could hear the rain coming down. I pictured myself running in the rain, cold, possibly shivering and my feet landing in big puddles of water.  The thought of my feet sloshing around in my watered sneakers faded as I got out of bed.  I would have ran on the tread mill, but the wife already "called it". ;-)  I kept saying to myself....3 miles!  Everything lives in cycles, muscles tear down and rebuild, crops have a cycle, the seasons and even humans do.  I think my body is going through one of these cycles.  I am being torn down just in time to slowly rebuild.  I put on my GPS and my headlamp and I headed out the door. My foot felt good, my calf felt good and I was running.  It felt so good to run, the tears rolled down my cheeks as I ran through the neighborhood (OK, maybe it was just rain!).  ;-)  I ran...and ran...and I RAN in the RAIN.


I hope everyone has a fun, safe and Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The only Failure is the Failure to TRY something!!

I saw this inspirational vid of the 2009 CDA Ironman....Wow!

I totally agree with the racer that siad, "The only failure is the failure to try something".  This doesn't just apply to triathlons, but ANYTHING!!!  Good luck in whatever it is YOU are going to try!! :-)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Tour des Lacs 2010

Let me start off by saying this is a tour, it is not a race.  With that said, in 2009 I did the 108 mile distance at Tour des Lacs.  I had some commitment constraints which didn't allow us to do the "Super Long" ride at that time.  I figured I would do it the following year.   As the time got closer, I knew I needed to go the full distance as I didn't have any excuses this time and it would be a good confidence booster for the 2011 Ironman Coeur d'Alene.
Casey and Rene before the tour begins (Sept 18,  2010)
The days leading up to this ride it was predicted that it was going to rain.  I hoped the forecasters would be wrong, but unfortunately this time they weren't!  When Casey and I got to the start at Northern Lights Brewing Company it was already drizzling.  I can handle the drizzling, I was just hoping there wouldn't be any MAJOR downpours.  We both chowed down a some blueberry pancakes and were ready for the ride!

The start of the ride was delayed 15 minutes due to an accident on the course.  The start of the tour was AWESOME as you get a police escort through town.  I wish all my bike rides were like this!!  LOL   The rain lasted about 45-60 minutes.

At one point during the ride all traffic (cars and bikes) were diverted on to a rocky, dirty and muddy road.  As I was going down the hill I started gaining more speed than I wanted and was getting closer to the rider in front of me.  I tapped my brakes and was sliding.  I got a little nervous that I was going to slide to the ground but I was lucky I didn't.   The reason we were diverted was due to that accident on the course.  Two teenagers had hit a tree at high speed.  That car was smashed up BAD.  Sad.  Rest in Peace Levi and Tiffani

Once we got to the first rest stop, I looked at my bike and my clothes and both were covered in mud.  Some of us rinsed off our bikes with the hose there and someone even sprayed my back to get all that mud off.  As I was riding I was so glad I borrowed my wifes leg warmers that I got her for her birthday (LOL).  They sure kept me comfortable out there!  I was bummed that this long route doesn't include the  Trail of the Coeur d' Anene's bridge crossing, I really enjoyed crossing that bridge.  The sights there were spectacular.

The rest stop food was awesome.  Some of the stuff I ate along the course included a pancake, turkey and cheese sandwiches (2 or 3),  peanut butter and jelly sandwich (Yum!), chilli, chips, cookies, bananas and nuts.  Of course at the end I chowed about 5 pieces of pizza and a couple of those mini chocolate chip brownies!!  Instead of losing weight on this ride I may have gained a few pounds!  ;-)

The first 60-70 miles aren't too bad.  After that though you start feeling it.  My legs started getting a little sore and my neck and upper back started to ache.  At some points during the ride I was dropping into aero-position.  I knew this was causing the neck soreness, but going down those hills in aero was FAST and FUN!! I was FLYIN!!  It was worth it.  Some time after the first rest stop (at 18 miles), we were riding with some folks from the Baddlands team.  We just pulled up on the back of their train and started riding.  Last year was the first time I had ridden on a train and had a great time doing it.  So I was happy to do it again.  I knew that it was less work and you travel faster due to the aerodynamics of drafting. We rode approximately 60 miles with the Baddlands team.  One of the guys there, Bob Fisher, had recently won the 24 Hour Ring of Fire race in which he rode 373 miles.  Even with that recent race he was doing some serious pulling!!

Bob Fisher on left, Rene yellow and Casey is sporting the Bike Hub jersey.
According to the web sit, this "Super Long Route" has approximately 7000 feet of elevation changes. This course is VERY HILLY!! I was certainly feeling it. When the end finally came I was looking forward to relaxing and chowing down.  I was tired physically and mentally.  I was up at 5:30am to get to this ride and total ride time not including breaks was 7:44.  I looked at my odometer and we had ridden 126 miles!  I just realized that averages out to 16.29 miles per hour!  I am really happy with this accomplishment!!!   A BIG thanks to Casey for joining me on this adventure, thanks to my wife who picked us up in CDA after the ride and held down the fort so I could do this ride, thanks to my kiddies and finally a BIG thanks to Round and Round, Davids Pizza and all those volunteers!!

Monday, September 6, 2010

5K Labor Day Fun Run

We had a great time at the 5K Labor Day Fun Run today!  So proud of Reanna, she PR'ed (Personal Record 30:41) and she got second in her age group!  I am so glad she enjoys running and she does it so well!

Rosi ran really well and was able to PR (26:50) also!  Her race was a story in itself.  She was pacing early in the race with this woman who looked like she was in her age group.  The woman got ahead of Rosi then stopped and started walking.  Rosi slowed down and encouraged the woman to continue running and told her, "you can rest when the race is over".  Well the woman started running again and beat Rosi by about 14 seconds.  The woman ended up being in her age group and got 3rd place and Rosi got 4th.  Unfortunately they give medals only for 1st-3rd place!

Raelene was very patient and did well in the stroller.  She tucked and was in aero position so I could run faster!  ;-)  I ran in the stroller division because Raelene isn't quite ready to run/walk 3.1 miles.  I took 1st place in the stroller division, but for some reason they stuck me in the male individual runner category and I took 3rd in my age group.  LDS put on a great race!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Troika Race Report

Just the Numbers:
The race included a 1.2 mile swim, a 56 mile bike and a 13.1 mile run.
Swim: 39:00 - Pace: 1:51

T1: 1:58
Bike: 2:42:55 - Pace: 20.62 MPH
T2: 1:03
Run: 2:00:15 - Pace: 9:11 Minutes Per Mile
Final Time: 5:25:11

Date: August 1, 2010 

Last August I decided to learn how to swim so I could compete in a Triathlon in 2010.  Up to this point I had done a few duathlons,1/2 marathons and 1 marathon, but never a Triathlon.  My goal for 2010 was to complete a Half Ironman distance length Tri.  I chose to do Troika due to the convenience of it being local.  So earlier in the season I did a few sprint triathlons to prepare myself for Troika.

The swim course took place in Medical Lake.  It was to be clockwise around the buoys, which I was bummed about because I breath to the left and I would be able to spot better if it was counter-clockwise.  At first I lined up on the outside, but then I saw a buddy of mine (Lee) line up in the inside.  I asked him, "what are you doing?", and he replied, "there's not many people over here".  I looked around and he was right.  So I decided to start off in the inside near him.  As I heard the start I took a few strides in and dove in to the shallow water.  The water was dark, dirty, mucky and weedy.  I just swam.  I was bumping into people in all directions.  I would run into people and they ran into me.  I tried to stay horizontal when spotting but a few times my body went vertical and I knew I was going to lose time when that happened.  I didn't time myself so when I got out I didn't know how long it took me.  As I was running up the grass hill I was giving Rosi and the girls a thumbs up... just then I tripped and caught myself before I fell and kept on running to Transition 1 (T1).

The way this transition works is, you are given a black garbage bag that has your race number sticker on it.  When you leave from T1 your wetsuit and all your stuff from T1 needs to be in that bag.  They later transfer it to the finish where you pick it up.
As a general rule, when you come out of the water after a swim you want to take the top of your wetsuit off, then goggles and cap.  Because I was busy giving my family the thumbs up and tripped afterward when I got to my bike I realized I hadn't done any of that!!  Oh nooo!!  I quickly took off my goggles and cap and threw them in the black bag.  I tried to get off my wetsuit but I couldn't find the string!  I heard Chris and a few others yelling to me where it was hanging but those few seconds that passed seemed like FOREVER!!  I finally found the zipper string, unzipped, dropped the wetsuit on the ground and put on my bike shoes, helmet, sunglasses etc.  I put everything into the black bag, grabbed my bike and gave a thumbs up as I was leaving transition.  I was feeling GREAT!

I took off on the bike and just started cruising.  Everything was going great, I was passing a lot people.   I passed a few guys who were 60 years old and I was thinking to myself, "man, they must be fast swimmers!".  I am always amazed at the age and shape of triathletes, it is very inspiring to see.  Just past the Medical Lake Park entrance was a left turn, I kept going straight and two people yelled, "you're suppose to turn back there!".  Arrggg!!  Why didn't they point me in that direction before I passed?!  I quickly did a U turn in the middle of the street and got back on track.  I over shot a turn on one other occasion, but it wasn't as bad as this first one.  At one point on the ride the FAN VAN came by!  Rosi, Reanna, Raelene, Deb, Elise and Kyle were in the van.  Reanna was in the back with Elise taking pictures and Rosi rode shot gun and video taped.  I blew the girls a kiss and kept on riding.  It was GREAT to see them on the course.

Before the race starts you put all your T2 stuff into a white bag and put it into a red pickup expecting it to be at T2 when you get there.  As I rolled into T2, which was at Riverfront Park, someone yelled my number: "109!".  I got off my seat and coasted into the dismount area.  For some reason I wasn't dismounting though...ooops...someone yelled, "get off the bike!"  I got off my bike just in time to cross that timing mat.  A young fellow holds open a white garbage bag to me and yells, "put everything you aren't going to need into this bag!".  I thought I was just going to use the one bag I dropped off before the race so I didn't understand what was going on, where is my stuff?  I say, "huh?!".  He says again, "Put everything you aren't going to need into this bag!".  OK I get it now.  I quickly drop my helmet into the bag and bike shoes.  Someone else hands me my T2 bag which has my running gear in it.  I immediately dump it on the ground as the girl who handed me the bag says, "don't you want to sit down?".  No thanks!  I put my fuel belt on, pop on my shoes, visor and grab my GPS as I give a double thumbs up to Rosi and the girls before I leave T2.  I can hear them cheering me on the whole time!  :-)

I was in race mode and feeling great up until now.  Once I exited T2 I started feeling my quads and I felt them like I haven't in a LONG time.  I don't know if it was cramping, soreness, nutrition or going too hard on the bike.  Each stride going forward was like I was in the weight room squatting and it was PAINFUL.  I quickly went from race mode to survival mode.  Around mile 5, I saw some friends and they had already done the turn around.  From this point on I decided I would walk through the aid stations, which I have never done in any race prior.  Athletes were passing me at mile 8 and at this point it didn't matter to me.  I saw Natalie and she looked strong on her run.  As I walked through the aid stations I grabbed 2 cups of water, drank a little, poured some water in my fuel belt bottle and the rest over my head.  It took everything in me to keep on running and not walk.  When I crossed the finish line I was exhausted, but very happy because I knew it was finally over.  My quads were aching and very sore, I was depleted of nutrition and all I could think about was finding something to drink and to eat.

Post Race

I drank a few cups of water and used a hose sprayer to shower myself off so I could cool down.  I later put ice packs on my quads in the med tent.  After I ate a few sandwiches and drank lots of water I started to come back to a place in my body and mind that I was once again familiar with.


A BIG THANKS to the FAN VAN (Rosi, Reanna, Raelene, Deb, Elise and Kyle), Lee, Kathy, Frank, Jennifer, Todd M, Chris, Joy, Greg, Nat, Nate, Merissa, James, Cusacks, Wordens, Byrds, Wilcoxs, Steve, Trish, John, Craig, Kurt, Pheadra, Rodger, my buddies on BT and SO MANY others!!!!

The competitors out there were AMAZING!! This race was one of the hardest, most challenging things I have ever done in my LIFE!! I am SO impressed with long distance triathletes, the mental toughness and pain that is endured is unbelievable!! Cheers to all the supporters, volunteers and Troika finishers!!!! What a great day it was to race!

Tri-fusion friends: AMAZING athletes and supporters!

The Frenchs' & Guerreros' gettin' CRAZY!   :-)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Some Helpful Road Bike/Tri-Bike Links

I really like this article, Biggest Bang For Your Buck In Time Trial Equipment, it discusses "drag difference" of different equipment for a bike and the cost of that equipment.  I am thinking I need to get an aero helmet some time soon! :-)

Bicycle Repair Guide - Video Tutorials, lots of "How To" information for your bike.  I have to admit I haven't read a lot of information on here but I do want to when I have more time.

When I finally bought myself some aerobars for my bike this video, Maximizing the Aero Position,  was really helpful for installing them and body positioning.

And the last article, Triathlon Fit on a Road Bike,  discusses some adjustments that need to be made and what to look out for when adding clip-on aerobars to a road bike.