Wednesday, November 18, 2009

into the spin zone

No, I have not entered profesional politics :)

I am encorporating spin classes into my winter/off season training.

Definitely learning some interesting things, such as
1. you should not feel your legs burning at 50% effort
2. you should not feel your legs burning at 60 % effort
3. you should not feel your legs burning at 70 % effort
4. you should not feel your legs burning at 80 % effort
5. you should just start to feel your leg muscles burning at 85% effort

Guess who thought his legs should have that burning sensation starting at say.... 60%,,,,,??? If you guessed Michael Schwab, you would be 100% right. Now that I have that figured out, I will probably still try to kill myself in every class (provided it is not on a recovery day) just because that is the kind of guy I am (grin)

After the spin class, I showered off the 3 gallons of sweat that came out of my body and jumped in the pool for an hour. I used the first 20 minutes just kicking and working out my balance, rolling to sweet spot to breath (sort of like freestyle only longer breath and no rythem to a stroke.

Then I used the rest of the time to work on my stroke at tempos ranging from 1/second to 1/1.3 seconds. A world of difference, believe me.

Some things I did well today on my swim include
  1. balance better every time
  2. better glide in tempo
  3. improved grip on water
  4. kicking from hips more
  5. elbows higher on entry

    For improvement

1.higher elbows on entry

2.more patient front hand on breath stroke

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Prudence is the better part of valor

Some times knowing when to quit is as important as sticking it out.

I woke up this morning feeling my heart beat from my left ear all the way down to my hip. I started out trying to tell my self to get up and get into the pool anyway and it turns out that I did the right thing by laying in bed and working to get my BG down from a good morning high of 458
Seems I have swimmers ear again and an infection on top of that. Melissa gave me a couple of Naxproxin and called the Dr for me to get me in Before work. .... Yes I still went to work, a brother needs to get paid :)

The Dr put me on Z packs and some ear steroids, along with a drying agent to clean up my left ear, which she said had a bulging eardrum from the infection. The good news is that as long as I wear my tight ear plugs, I can get back in the pool tomorrow.

I didn't run today as it was pooring down rain and I really felt awful all day.

On a positive note, I raced the metal man for 10 miles last night on the CT and only finished about 100 feet behind him. Woo Hoo

Good things about last nights ride
1. I improved my spin

2. I learned the importance of my spin for producing watts

3. I found out how much compression tights can improve your workout and recovery, plus the importance of graduated, zone compression. This apparently speeds muscle recovery, improves blood circulation, reduces lactate acid and allows me to perform at a higher level with decreased risk of injury!

4. saw the positive results from stopping momentarily (coasting in the real world) and allowing my muscles to reset for more continuous power output

5. got some good work on my aero position riding with a proper/more efficient spin

Areas for improvement
1. my spin especially at higher work loads. I need to involve the muscles in my inner back quads more for a stronger more sustainable spin. This will be a tremendous asset not only for raw power for extended sprints and climbing but for overall endurance, particularly on rolling courses.

2. my flexibility, so that I can stay aero more comfortably and spin more efficiently in that position, taking advatage of reduced resistance and still putting watts to the ground

Monday, November 16, 2009

Somethings new

OK so first of all, I am setting some goals, one of which is to post here, every day.

It can be time consuming, (mainly because I talk a lot and don't know when to stop :)) but I think it is an important part of my discipline to do this and have at least some sort of accountability to do this.
Some goals I have set for the week (started Friday actually) out of bed by 5:30 (yes that is AM) - which means I have to be asleep by 9:30Pm or sooner. So far so good, up at 4:30 on Friday (also part of the goal as I have a meeting at 6:45 on Friday mornings and I want to swim before hand every time.
Some other goals for the week, swim M-F for 1 hour before work. Run every single day with a long run on Saturday, Long Bike ride on Saturday, Computrainer workout M and W, and don't miss my vitamins on any day, twice per day, post every day here and include a daily log in a format provided by my mental game coach John Ellsworth
So far pretty good!
I went swimming this morning and first some positive things!
1. elbow height on entry improving

2. first time using my new tempo trainer and that was really swell, right on beat every stroke, with my rate set a 1 sec and 1.15 secs!

3. good balance even at the higher stroke rate, and LS breathing continues to improve

4. kicking is improving with a better feel for kicking from the hip, every time that I get into the water

5. reaching for the end of the pool consistently, while maintaining early entry on the catch
Good swim overall, I just need to ad to my goal of getting up at 5:30.....get out of the house by 6am M-T and by 5am on Friday, so that I have time to swim for a whole hour.
For improvement
1. Balance on right side (when breathing left on sweet spot drill)
2. Patient hand out front at all times, for improved length on my vessel, with more consistent front quadrant swimming
next workout focus (tomorrow)
1. Drill 200 yards (4 laps) on left side sweet spot with my goal to keep my head back (low in water) to maintain balance and not drink/breath in water. Will likely be able to accomplish this more efficiently by starting on the right side and paying attention to my position and how it makes this work.
OK so at lunch, I ran 3.1 miles and my Garmin Forerunner, (which I could have sworn was fully charged last night) decided to give me the dreaded battery low message, as soon as it fired up and locked in on the satelites. This gave me an opportunity to try to adapt and recover, from an unanticipated problem. I did good, but there is definitley room for improvement in this area.

I did my extimated (probably a little more than 3.1 miles) in 27 min 45 secs. What I actually calculated was 27 min 15 sec, but given that I did not decide to adapt until 2:30 into the run, my accuracy on this is up for debate. Plus the 17mph wind factor out of the east could not have done much for my actual time. So regardless pretty good run.

What I did well

1. did not get shook up when my Garmin checked out and did a little bit of premptive work to be able to have a record of what my performance was

2. kept on the beat like a machine for the second half of my run (85 BPM) used my gears to keep my pace up even when going directly into the wind. Was able to stride out long at the end and not rev it up

3. loose arm swing

4. good foot strike - felt right in the middle the whole time

5. Good linear rotation on my hips - maybe that fast time was totally acurate

Things to improve on.

1. faster turnover

2. keeping head up and focused attention ahead instead of down.

Focus next time - bring BPM up to 86 from the start - better preperation with Fore runner :)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Week in reflection

So, I had some great swims this week, my form gets better every time that I get into the water.

The TI program that I took this summer really helped me and is helping me a lot.

When I am having difficulty, I am now able to analyze what is happening, figure out the problem and make adjustments to improve my stroke, posture, aerodynamics and breathing.

I made some real headway, my last time in the pool, even though it felt like an aweful workout. I was only able to get 1500 yards in an hour. I did spend most of it doing drills and made a lot of laps breathing only on my left side to try and figure out how to make my left side breathing smoother.

I finally figured out that the big difference between right and left was that I need to really breath over my left shoulder instead of to the side. That is what I do right and it keeps my head down, my body balanced and allows me to keep my right hand on target and avoid over rotating and ultimately sinking.

But what made me feel the best about this workout was that I swam a couple of laps at the end and did 49 second laps (lightning speed for me) it is very encouraging to see that kind of improvement.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Ok so I'm ready to R & R

No I'm not talking about rest and recover, I did that last week.

Only ran 4 miles and drilled in the pool Saturday for an hour. (not like with a drill, but I did drills).

Yesterday, I swam 1500 yds in an hour and today ended up crunched for time and only ended up doing 1000 yards but I did it in 37 minutes. I am getting a lot better feel for balance in the water. You want to be teetering on your armpit (read leaning on your armpit) because that is the fullcrum of your balance. I can tell that is getting better when I breath left as I am not sinking after I breath (near so much as I was a short time ago anyway)

I am still picking my head up instead of totally rolling for air on the left side but I am getting it right about 50% of the time now. My front quadrant stroke is getting much more consistent as well.

My focuses in the swim today were to
  • keep my head down when breathing (I did great on the right and got better on the left)
  • faster recovery on stroke (went very well)
  • feeling my weight on my armpit (better all the time)
  • anchoring my hand (first day I started trying this and did it about 25% of the time)
  • drive relaxed hand to target ( about 90% on this and getting better)

Whew, that is a lot to think about! Also I usually rest and reset every 25 yards and today I felt the need to start building my swim endurance so I stretched that to every 50 yds. This should also allow me to get more yards in during the time that I have available. The trick is to imprint and not get myself so tired that I get sloppy.

Also I ran a little over 5k on my 30 minute lunch break today and that went really well.

My foot has been swollen for a couple of months now from my PF and even though the pain seems to be diminishing, it concerns me that I still am experiencing inflamation. My foot looked and felt a lot better today, before , after and during my run than it has in a long time.

My average pace was 9:26 and that included my warmup, plus I did a negative split with the second half coming in at 9:11 and my best pace 5:21. Never cracked zone 4 either so this was a pretty easy effort run.

planning to stretch out real good tonight after 30 minutes on the eliptical and icing and stretching for my left foot as well

So I am now ready to Rock and Roll Baby!!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Back in the swim

Ok, so I have had a little break after my DV ride. Thursday I ran 4 miles along the tow path starting at Hinkle fieldhouse, I was planning to run with Indy runners but apparently forgot to learn the secret handshake or something because I could not find them. So I ran by my self with several groups of college age people passing me and letting me know that I need to start picking it up if I am ever going to find my youth again. (grin)

I had come to the conclusion after the DV ride that I must be deficient in magnesium and that is the cause of my cramping episodes as well as the night cramps that I have had in my calves for over... a year and a half. So I did some online sleuthing and discovered that my best source is dark green vegetables.

Great,,, who has time for that, (i do my best to eat my greens but convenience, seasonal availabitlity of quality product and time can make the best of my intentions go south)

So I decided to find a supplement that would make things easier. It occured to me if dark green vegetables are the ticket then perhaps liquid Chlorophyll was the answer. I did some research and found that the vitamins and minerals contained in LC must be a deep dark mystery, as all of the websites that I found googling, "Liquid Chlorophyll nutritional information" only produced manufacturers sites making wonderous claims about the benefits one could gain or claiming that LC is as close to red blood cells as you can get...... like I want to drink blood!!

I finally found the following site
that was quite helpful and verified what I thought I would find, LC is an excellant source of magnesium. So I bought some and started loading my Reliv (multi vitamin, fiber, health food shake that I take) with the gross tasting green liquid.

Suprise, my legs felt better with in 24 hours and I am not having night cramps in my calves for the first time in .... a long time.

Oh yeah, back in the swim

So today, I went swimming for an hour, spending my time working on some focuses that I really need to get imprinted in order to take my swimming to the next level.

Key focuses
  • balance - the ability to keep my body level in the water with minimal kicking
  • staying long - pointing toes while kicking, keeps my kick powerful and efficient, and stroking in the front quadrant, never letting both of my hands come back lower than the top of my head at the same time, in fact keeping them out as far as I can while stroking
  • breathing - breathing out through my nose continually while my head is under the water, to promote normal intake and expulsion of air, plus keeping my head down when I roll to breath, so as not to upset my balance.

So how did I do?

  • I swam about 1100 yards total either 25yds at a time or 50 between short breaks
  • I did 150 yards just kicking to warm up and get myself centered on my balance and posture
  • I swam the rest in underswitch (not pulling my hands above the water) and over switch (hand out of water but fingertips dragging)

I was able to improve on all 3 of the above points and learned that I need to improve on or do the following.

  1. I need faster recovery on my stroke - I will stroke down to my deep pocket position (picture the Michael Jackson crotch grap) which serves well to propel me along with my 2 beat kick. The issue is that I am slow to bring my hand back on top for the entry and catch. I need to finish my stroke instead of stoping at MJ position.
  2. when I breath left, I need to keep my head down. I have to rotate a little farther for this, but I keep lifting my head, which throws off my balance, causes me to sink, and makes it difficult to keep my mouth clear long enough to breath and bleeds off my momentum. I was getting better at this by the end. I think it will take a lot of hours to imprint keeping my hand on target and my head down for that left breath, but I am committed to making it a no brainer
  3. I need to make an hour per day 5 days a week my minimum and 2 hours on Saturday until I can accomplish the above.

All in all a really good work out! Every time I get in the pool, my goal is to become a better swimmer and I can definitely say, Mission accomplished this time arround

Monday, October 19, 2009

Well they don’t call it Death Valley for nothing.

If I didn’t learn anything else this year, I came to the realization that no matter how many times I ride this route from Furnace Creek to Jubilee Pass it will be hard and potentially dangerous.

I had been having stomach issues for a couple of days leading up to the event, with some pretty serious cramping on the tune up ride during the climb to Zabriskie point the day before.

Needless to say, I was not totally on my game when we lined up at the start Saturday morning. My BG was higher than I wanted it to be (327 from a 125 when I woke up) so I was a little on the queasy side.

We staged to far forward, the backed us up we staged again and they took our pictures, we waited, sang the national anthem and finally as the sun was just starting to peek over the horizon, we took off.

I left in the first wave and tried to latch on to the Novo Nordisk Rocket train for the 18-mile ride to the first checkpoint at Badwater, but they went out and up a little too fast for me.

I had some severe leg cramp issues 3 weeks before on a training ride at Morgan Monroe, so I had decided that I was going to do my level best to stay out of my zone 4 until I started the climb to Jubilee. (For me this means less than 137 heart rate)

Needless to say, when the train split into 3 groups, I was in the third. At first it was me and three Novo riders Chuck, Bill and Rob, but just before we got to Badwater, I looked over my shoulder and said to them, “Either we have a real fast rider coming up or we have a motorcycle back there.” The next thing I knew, Bonnie had joined our pace line, pulling away as we pulled into Badwater.

A quick fuel, dehydration break, grabbed some GU and checked my BG now down to 91 and we were back on the course. I got gapped a little bit out of the CP but I was soon able to make it up and caught the group again on the first descent.

I had heard on the radio at Checkpoint 1 that they had 22 people through the checkpoint as we were arriving and we soon found one of them on the horizon that had been dropped off the NN B-group. It was Tim from Wisconsin.

We reeled him in and now we were 6! I realized in the rollers that to stay out of zone 4 and hang on to this group, I was going to have to be very careful not to pull to long or at the wrong places, as they were cooking along pretty strong. (Still a 19+ mph avg at Mormon Point.) So I became a major wheel sucker.

Somewhere along the way, Karsten, another Novo rider joined the group We were still looking strong heading to the Ashford Mills check point at the bottom of the climb to Jubilee pass, when the wind began to kick up and slow us down a bit. That was the bad news; the good news was that we would hopefully have that same wind at our back part of the way home.

We talked it over heading into Ashford mills and decided that we were probably going to get spread out on the climb to Jubilee, so we tentatively planned to regroup at the top and run on back in. I was the last one out of the check point, due to checking my BG and so set out to chase the group up the hill.

I caught Rob and Bill right out as they were turning back to fix a mechanical issue with Rob’s bike. I could see Tim and Karsten a couple of hundred yards ahead and figured they would be out of site before long. So I put my head down relaxed my upper body and concentrated on the spinning and keeping my cadence up. I was looking just a few feet in front of my wheel, avoiding looking towards the pass, which seemed an impossible distance away.

Next thing that I knew I was passing Karsten and Tim. It was more survival than anything that allowed me to get by them, as I had to keep my cadence up for this climb so I kept on with what had allowed me to catch up in the first place. I focused on the task at hand which was to keep those pedals turning focusing on the moment and not the goal.

Much to my surprise, I was actually able to do some of the climb in higher gears. Last time I did this event, I had to climb the whole way in granny and that was with a triple front. Last year I switched to a double and this year to a compact double, pretty much with this event in mind. I knew it would be a challenge and figured to be in my lowest gear the whole way up. Imagine my surprise when I saw the speedometer climb above 14 mph a few times.

With who knows how much farther I had to go my left inner quad (thigh muscle) began to cramp, so I was now having to alternate sitting and spinning with up shifting and standing to relieve my leg.

Finally I saw the sign that said the checkpoint was only 1 more mile away and almost at the top. I met one of the coaches (I think John from Wisconsin) who was working the last part of the hill making sure that riders were holding it together or to see if they needed assistance. He rode beside me for a little bit and let me know that I was the 25th rider up the hill (provided I could make the last ½ mile without being caught that is) a couple more minutes and I could see that checkpoint, which I had forgotten was so much short of the summit. So I rode past and shouted to Chuck (who was already there, Bonnie, I had met coming down a little earlier) that I would be right back.

So I pedaled on up to the summit and made the narrow, left hand U-turn to get back. This resulted in violent cramping in my left leg as I pulled it up to turn left,,,, ouch.

I zipped back down to the CP where I was greeted with ice cold wet towels for the back of my neck and someone took my bike for the rack and my water bottles to be refilled. I slathered on the reverse age sunscreen (which unfortunately failed to reverse my age) Jumped on my ride and went rocketing down the hill.

While not the fastest that I have ever been on a bike, it was a great ride down and there is probably nothing that I enjoy more on the bike than a nice speedy descent. While it took me right at 54 minutes to go from Ashford Mills to the CP at Jubilee, I was back at the bottom in just over 14 minutes. The only problem was that I discovered as the hill flattened out towards the CP that I was now having serious cramping problems in both leg now, any time I got pointed just a liiitttle bit up hill. It was serious enough that I was climbing very minor grades now in my lowest gear. I kind of had this idea that I could ride it off, drink my way out of it, magic would happen, but alas, no, I had to ride all the way back to Furnace Creek dealing with this issue.

Well I did a real quick stop just to top off my water one more time and was able to get Karsten and Tim again as ride partners (I think they took a shorter break at the top)

So we headed as 3 back to Mormon Point (don’t you love the excitement that the names ad to this ride???) We had another rider Jeremy chase us out of the CP and the next thing we knew there were 4 of us. Karsten was concerned about my cramping (what with me being Type 1 and in the middle of Death Valley), so he told me that he was going to stick with me as long as I wanted to keep going on. I think he thought I was going to need to be SAGed back especially after he realized that I really could not maintain speed on even the slightest grade when in the draft.

By now the temp was somewhere in the neighborhood of 104 but I think it felt hotter because of the black pavement we were riding on. They were giving us Ice towels at every CP, which was a good break, but the dry heat was taking a bit of a toll on all of us.

When we got back to Badwater with only 18 miles to go, Tim decided he needed to rest a bit longer than the rest of us and so we left without him after a slightly extended (like 13 minute) break.

Karsten and Jeremy by this time would drop me on the up hills hanging back so that I could catch them on the down hills. It was a rolling 18 miles that we had left back to Furnace Creek, and I was thankful not to have the 30 mph headwind I had faced in my first ride here. I really felt pretty good, my legs were just not co-operating.

We stopped for less than 3 minutes at the halfway water point, topped off the bottles and I dropped a Motor Tab in one as I had forgotten to do that at the Badwater CP and was afraid I was going to under fueled, even though I had been running a little on the high side all day. It only takes 30 minutes to blow away 100 points of Blood Glucose headroom.

Finally, we made it to the Hotel California turnoff, back to the ranch. We could see it for miles, which really was no encouragement, because it never ever seemed to be getting any closer and it was as if we were being teased.

Karsten and Jeremy had waited for me to make sure that I was able to get up that last grade and so we all bombed down the last mile to the ranch peaking out at somewhere well over 30 and it felt good.

We rolled through the finish at a little over 20 mph amid enthusiastic applause from the volunteers and the riders who had already finished and were hanging around. I sat up and did my Mark Cavendish phoning it in imitation and rolled through no hands. We ran out of room a lot quicker than I thought we would so that didn’t last long and I crammed on the brakes and circled back, where I was greeted with an ice towel and a medal.

I was having a great time talking to some of my new friends that I met this week (who obviously ride faster than I do) Lars with Novo from Denmark, Frank from Frankfurt and Karsten, when everything started looking blurry and I got kind of weak like my BG was dropping. They took my bike and hustled me on into the medical check out (everyone has to do that at the finish of this ride) where I discovered that my BG was 144. So I have to assume that I was suffering a heat stroke, because when I got in the air conditioning and they put yet another ice towel on me, I started feeling better immediately.

OK, so you would think that this is the end of the story, but the lesson was not over for me. I had cut my basal rate back on my pump at the beginning of the day. This means that I was taking less insulin all day than I normally would have. I did this because at the managing type 1 diabetes meeting the day before, Bob Hanisch had asked me a question when I told him that I never did a reduced basal but fueled up to my insulin rate instead.

He said,” What are you going to do if your stomach is upset and you can’t eat?” Point well taken, especially since my stomach had been messed up for a few days already. Well here is the other side of that equation. I am used to having to fuel a lot more after an event due to increased insulin sensitivity along with having a bit more on board. In any event, it is standard to be more worried about lows after than highs. I am not sure exactly why this happened but I started running high, like between 300 and 480 between an hour after I got off the bike and the end of the evening meal 3 hours after that, even doing full boluses (I usually would have cut them back but I was High) as a result of this I had a domino effect of unfortunate things happen.

The high BG made me dehydrate, my kidneys using onboard water to try and scrub the excess sugar out of my blood. I was thirsty and knew that I needed to hydrate and with the high BG I didn’t want to drink sports drinks and aggravate my BG with more carbs, so I drank a bunch of water, which served to flush electrolytes out of my system.

The net result was that when I at last was able to get back to my room all packed up to leave the next day and relax on my bed a terrible thing happened.

I layed down and was relaxing watching a little TV wishing it wasn’t so hot so that I could put my compression tights on and help my legs recover faster. I checked my BG which was finally down to a reasonable 180 and decided to read for a few minutes and then give in to what I thought would be a wonderful but short sleep, when I felt my hands starting to curl back in cramps. I didn’t really think a lot about that but my legs all of a sudden started to feel kind of tweeky along the hamstrings. The next thing I knew, I had full on cramping down the entire back of both of my legs. I jumped up exclaiming a colorful metaphor, thinking that standing up would make it go away…….. It didn’t, in fact the next thing I knew, the front of my legs were cramping too.

Quads and hamstrings co-operating in a perfect symphony of pain, with me doing the vocals. (Screaming at the top of my bloody lungs like someone was killing me) I am sure that my room mate Bob Karnack was a bit freaked out by this, it took him a few seconds anyway to figure out why I was acting so crazy, He was still getting ready to go to bed so that we could get up at 4:30AM to catch the airport shuttle when my legs went mad.

I have no idea how long this went on, but Bob went to get the Brock the EMTIC and my legs did not decide to release until he was well out of the building. By the time they got back, I was starting to go into shock and was freezing. I was able to get my hooded sweatshirt on and was afraid to try for the tights as my legs felt like they could go back to the dance at any moment.

Short story is that Brock figured it out immediately, got me under the covers talked me out of my hyperventilation and got electrolytes in me. OMG, I won’t make this mistake again. I am really thankful for Bob and Brock getting me taken care of, I don’t know what would have happened without them.

I almost forgot the most important part..... we raised $710,000 for research for the cure!!

I will do this again next year!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Death Valley Awaits

Ok, so I am getting close to my ride in DV and have been spending my time on the bike and writing fundraising letters instead of blogging.

Also In the last month, I have developed or discovered plantar facittis and so my running is on hold at best right now. I am alternating very short runs (5k) with several days of rest.

The good news is that my PF seems to be slowly healing and my run fitness does not seem to be suffering.

I have been doing long bike rides (60-75 mile) alternated with short (30 mile) fast bike rides 1 1/2 hour or less. THe long needs to be longer and the short needs to be faster, but my bike fitness is continueing to improve

I have not been in the pool for the last week as I have been working on fund raising in the mornings and riding every night. My long ride of this year is still only 90 miles, so I intend to build my endurance off of the DV ride and by spring be doing at least one 120 mile ride per month on my hill loop.

We will see how that works out, today I raced the metal man on the Timberman 70.3 course and he kicked my butt. I out climb him but for some reason, he can go down hill a lot faster. NO matter, when I can beat him, I will just have to turn up his power, so that he is a challenge again (grin)
Got my road bike all packed for DV so likely for the next few months all of my outdoor riding will be on my Cyclocross TCX0

Friday, September 4, 2009

I guess I'm just a B

Sometimes, I think I lack the killer instinct when it comes to riding with Killer B s. Perhaps, I should try killing something that is not so tenatious and deadly, like butterflys or catapillars.

Then I can move up to wasps and hornets and try for Killer B s again :)

Seriously, I continue to ride with this group and when I get to the point that they no longer drop me will have to move on to something faster. A great group of people to ride with who put me in a considerable amount of agony every Thursday.

Earlier this week, I had a great ride with the Monday group at BGI south. It was pretty speedy and I ended up finishing in the first 3, then on Wednesday totally bonked (due to not paying attention to what my body was trying to tell me) and got dropped by a much slower paced group.

I am planning to do 2 100 mile rides this labor day weekend, so we will see how that goes. Tomorrow, I am going to try for 9 - 15 mile hilly loops down at the Morgan Monroe State forest or 6 hours, which ever comes first....... likely the 6 hours. Then on Monday am planning to ride with some of my JDRF team in the tour de loops in Brownsburg, IN.

I have been in the pool pretty regularly this week and it seems like 3 strokes forward and 2 strokes backward sometimes, but never the less every time that I get in the water, I am able to improve on something.

My plantar fasciitis is hopefully in control ($500 and a lot of pain later) and I hope to be back to running by Tuesday.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

RIding for a Cure for Diabetes

I hate getting old! was supposed to be the title of this entry but, when I put my link in I had to change the name so that no one would think it was some website telling you about a fountain of youth super fruit pasta smoothie

Ok so now I have Plantar fasciitis and not only had to buy expensive orthotics but my running is temporarily impaired as well :( Apparently you get this from being inflexible and growing older. I have never been the most flexible guy in the world.

Well, I've worked through my IT band syndrome, I am sure that I can work through this.

The good news is that I hit 15 strokes in the pool this week!! Yeah!!

My bike is getting faster too! I had a guy give me some great tips during the BGI group ride last night and I am sure that they are going to make me faster and more powerful. I am planning to ride at least 100 miles every Saturday between now and when I go to Death Valley in about 46 days.

Now if I can only get my fund raising for my Death Valley ride in gear.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Last Tri of 2009

As I mentioned before, today was my last tri of the season.

I was regretting doing this as I waited for the start this morning and hoping for any excuse not to go through with it. I felt sick, it was cold, I knew the swim was not going to be easy and on and on and on.

Most of today's issues were brought on me by me. Last night some dear friends of mine who happen to be of another culture and for some reason really love me, invited me to go to dinner with them for their daughter's 14th birthday. I have begged off on so many invites that I really would have felt awful adding last night to the list. So I went and the meal was huge, plus filled with dairy products. But I not only ordered something that I should not have, but then I ate the whole thing.

Then of course, I did not want to be rude and refuse an invitation back to their house for Tres Leche cake and chocolate milk. So I end up waking up in the morning feeling ill and with a 360BG and who do I have to blame??

None the less, my swim which felt like the slowest I had ever done, was a Personal best for the distance by 2 seconds. I had moments of realization, that I was finally getting on to how to move through the water quickly, followed by I wish I had more prep time with this.
I was actually able to draft off of a couple of other swimmers for a short time, but my control is so poor that I kept running up on the back of them, so I backed out and let them go. Finally I found footing and staggered out of the water into the transition and prepared for my favorite leg..... the bike!!

I had a little trouble getting going as the Transition area at Eagle Creek is a long sand, stick and gravel filled parking lot and running bare foot is pure torture. But it gets easier every time that I do it. I made a spur of the moment decision to go sockless and had not really prepared my shoes for that but I still think it was a good decision.
I had a little trouble getting up on my bike as I had someone dodge in front of me as I first got up on my pedals and shoes, so I had to slam on the brakes, stop and start again.
I'll have to say, I was so worried about getting my feet into my shoes that I didn't exactly charge up the hill and Eagle Creek is one of those places where I think you need to do that on every one to make good time.
I had some difficulty again getting into my shoes and I think I was probably 2 miles into the course before I finally got them snugged down.
The bike course was different for the third time in a row for me on the course so I am not really sure how my ride stacks up other than not being as fast as some previous. Also we were fighting a pretty strong headwind for about 2 miles or more on Lafayette road.
I thought about clipping out and running with my bike shoes on in T2 and I should have done that as I got passed by a bunch of people who were not wearing clipless shoes and did not have the same gravel and sand issues that I had with bare feet. So this was a bit of a slow transition due to the ouchy factor alone
Anyway my Zoot Shoes gave me a little bit of a problem as I did not put glide on them so I had to yank extra hard to get them on over my sockless feet and then apparently did the same with the speed laces which left the plastic pull hitting the ground and going clack clack clack as I left the transition. it took me about an eighth of a mile before this was driving me crazy and I stopped to fix it...... didn't get it fixed so I stopped again and just re did them.
Then it was off to the races :) I passed some people and got passed but I was sure that I was keeping a sub 9 minute pace. The stops must have cost me more than I realized as I ended up with a 9:30 minute per mile average. I finished strong and was kind of disappointed in myself that I didn't run a little faster and harder.
Noodles and Company put on a great spread at the end of the race and Michelle (will put name of place she works later :)) was giving free chair massages. Mine was great!!
It was a little bit of a cold day for August...errr... I mean.... this wraps up another successful event for CAPTAIN TRIIIAAATTHHALON!!

Friday, August 21, 2009

16 Strokes!!

Well training this week has been less than spectacular in a number of ways.

Equipment issues,my Garmin Forerunner quit working Sunday, but decided to fire up again last night, I put a speedometer on my road bike and didn't have time to get it set up properly for 3 days so rode with no idea of specific speeds or distances, had 2 seperate low BG instances, lost strokes on my swim at the begining of the week, blown out the back at 15 miles on the Nebo ridge bike ride, etc...

Some bright spots however

I did get some great training time in, started my strength training again on Wednesday, and the top story of this week happened this morning.

I had decided after my Sunday and Monday swimming results to only do one more Triathlon this year (the Eagle Creek Sprint on Saturday morning)

I did a Total Immersion Swim Clinic about a month ago and one thing that they did not really want me to do was actually swim for about 6 weeks afterwards, in order to imprint the new and somewhat counter intuitive swimming technique that I had learned in 2 days at their clinic

The clinic took me from taking 30 strokes to cover the length of a 25 yd pool, to only 20 strokes in 2 x 4 hour sessions

The idea is to do drills (which include some actual free style drills) to imprint, aerodynamics, balance, etc... on your swimming so that you make the movements in the way they are supposed to be made - automatically - with no forthought or malice :)

If I find my form slipping when freestyling, I am supposed to stop, catch my breath and then start again, even if I am in the middle of the pool.

So a 1500 meter swim when I had not done more than 300 consecutive yards for since the Mores Triathlon in June was a formula for poor form at some point as soon as I got tired.

Monday morning, I started drilling again and did my test at the end of my workout and I had gone from 18 strokes (my improvement subsequent to my TI workshop) to 24 :(

So I drilled the rest of the week and today for grins and giggles thought I would just do a lap and count my strokes. Imagine my suprise when I came up 17 strokes :-) at first I thought I must have miscounted, so I did it again. ..... still 17 strokes.... one more lap just to be sure.... 17 and then..........16 strokes!!!!, now that had to be a fluke,,,, one more time just to be sure and I had a little unco-ordinated mishap mid pool and still came up 16 strokes!!

I did one last length just to get back to the proper side of the pool for exit and 16 strokes again!!

I have to swim 500 yards in the morning and hopefully can hold my form together for most of that, so I am expectling my final sprint of the year to be another personal best!!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Tri Indy - my worst equipment day

The water looked great for the swim as Melissa and I walked the canal on our way to the start line near 16th street.
I had been running high Blood Glucose levels all night and with a 299 when I got up at 4am and then 198 with double down arrows on my CGM at shortly after 5am.
By the time I got my transition set up (about 7am) I seemed to be slowly dropping at 105 so I ate a gu pack to give myself a little boost to get me through the swim.

The water felt nice at first but with the wind picking up and having to wait a long time for my turn to go. (I admitted that I swim slow, so I went in the last wave) I was wishing that I had worn my wet suit.
Finally my number was called and I got to go. Melissa said that I was swimming pretty good at first but the farther I went the worse my body position became. I was lifting my head to breath, instead of just rolling with it.
My right calf started cramping about half way through and I had to stop and stand up finally about 20 yards from the finish after some chick put a hand on my head and shoved me to the bottom of the canal. The seconds ad up :)
Anyway, I finished the swim in 48min 28 seconds, a full second ahead of the year before (which makes me think that last year was actually a lot slower than I thought, unless the wet suit really makes that much difference.) Also, in order that my CGM maintain wireless contact with my transmitter, I had stuffed my pump in a ziplock freezer bag and then clipped it to my suit through the bag. While this did serve it's objective of protecting the pump and keeping me in constant contact with my BGs, it did wear a nasty sore on my waste, so I am rethinking that idea currently.
So I had a relatively fast transition 2 min 16 min 8 secs, I was fumbling a bit and should have probably done it about a minute faster, but way better than last year.
Finally I was on the bike and after an initial problem with my pump (I somehow managed to break the clip off of it during my mount and shoved it down in my shorts, which proved to be a problem latter, then getting my left foot located in my shoe, I began passing people.
I did not get very far however before I realized that the route was much rougher than last year as the first hard bump that I found on Washington street just about launched my water bottle clear out of my Aero bars and spilled sports drink all over my bike.

But I stayed down as much as I could and just made watts. The course goes up to the velodrome and back with 2 loops required to go 24 miles. Aside from my water bottle wanting to launch almost the whole time, the only real difficulty that I had was when I stood up to make a small climb and my pump began to slide deep into my shorts. Feeling like an idiot, I remembered that I have pockets in my shorts, so I pulled it out of my pants and shoved it into the pocket closest to my GGM transmitter.
This course is semi open so I had to pass one car and keep an eye out for traffic all the time. I passed a lot of people, had a total of 2 people that got by me but I had a respectable time 1 hour 17 min and a 19.4 mph average (1.4 faster than last year and this year there was a definitel wind factor)
When I rolled into T2 I had a picture perfect dismount, hitting the ground at a full run, just in front of the timing matt and then running right past the bike entrance, right through the orange cones and having to do an about face to get back into T2 in spite of this faux pax, I still managed a 1 minute 38 second transition and headed out on the 10 k run.

I had bought a new set of Zoot Tri Running shoes, which were great in transition, but I have had a few issues getting used to them as they have put some sores on my feet.

They are mean't to be used with out socks, which would have been preferable for faster transitions, but I wore socks today as the following photo indicates,,,,, I had a little bit of a problem during the break in period.

I anticipate getting beyond that and enjoying faster transitions all the time. They were great to run in but I still had a slow run as I was aparently closing in on a low BG when I started the run, but my CGM was showing mid 100's so I didn't catch on to the cause of my lack of running enthusiasm until about 5 miles when I had a 134 with down arrows. I ended up having to walk for about 10 minutes to get that all sorted out and took off again trying to make up for the walk in the closing mile.

I made it across the line at a full sprint, but had another crash almost immediately afterwards. In addition, I had gotten a bit dehydrated so I am definitely rethinking my bike fuel and hydration stategy for improving my run.

My run split was better than last year, but still way slow over what I am really capable of with 1 hour 12 minute 0.7 seconds my final.

Total time was 3 hours 21 minutes 21.3 seconds - not what I had hoped for, but still about a 15 minute improvement over last year.

Next week will be my last tri of the year at Eagle Creek as I am going to really work hard on getting my swim stroke imprinted and getting my swim conditioning up before the spring, so that I can ride with the faster cyclists in the in the coming year.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Swimming and Riding

So Saturday, I rode to Whitestown,IN to rider with my buddies on the JDRF team. The planned ride was 50 miles and with detours for a bridge out I ended up riding about 25 miles to get to the start.

I did not realize that the route was going to be so hilly, which was cool as I got a lot more workout than I bargained for (one day, I will be an adequate hill climber)

I was still quite unrecovered from the stinging that I took from the killer B's on Thursday and so it seemed like every pedal stroke was a struggle. On the first loop Fishback hill left me feeling like every muscle in my body right down to my finger tips was going to explode and then cramp up.

But I made it back to the start to head out on the second loop that was supposed to be 22 miles. Things were going all right aside from my CGM deciding that it was not going to calibrate and there fore I did not have real time Blood Glucose feedback

This was compounded by the fact that I apparently spilled some of my sports drink on my hands and my One Touch was telling me that my BG was running mid 100's suspiciously 167 every time I checked.

The long and short of this is that I was bonking before the end of the loop and ended up getting lost and riding a bit further than I intended (going to Lebanon) but I finally made it back to the start, just as my team was packing up and heading out and Alex gave me directions to the nearest Starbucks (oh yeah, I went all morning without caffiene arrrggghhh) where an Americano and spinach wrap solved all of my woes.

So my wife (Melissa) picked me up at Starbucks (prearranged plan to get picked up after the ride :)) and took me to the Runners Forum where I bought a pair of Zoot Ultra Race 2 shoes (I will post a pick later) These are designed for use without socks and I have to say that they are the nicest running shoes I have ever owned.

The only problem is that the loops that make getting them on so fast also can rub your ankles so after 2 5k runs, I have a blister on the back of my left ankle :(

Oh yeah the swimming ( i should have titled this riding and swimming)

My last time in the pool, my stroke per lap count came down to 18. That is 12 less strokes than before the TI training a few weeks ago. This morning, I did not count but was focused on keeping my head down and stroke and glide, stroke and glide. Tomorrow, I am going to work on breathing relaxed to my left side as I seemed to be having a few issues in that direction this morning

Friday, August 7, 2009

Mission not accomplished

While I made my brag that I was going to stay with the killer B's until the very end last night,,,,,, I fell a bit short of the goal hanging on until about 26 miles before blowing up due to a bunch of decelerations followed by hard accellerations.

I stayed near the front until we turned south and the pace picked up to 29 mph and some change for probably 3-4 miles (it seemed like forever as I was kind of in survival mode for this leg)

I finally caught my breath and thought I had it made to the end and negelected to watch ahead for stop signs so that I could conserve my energy and stay off the brakes to have enough gas in the tank to stay with the group on the take off.

The good news is that after I got dropped, I was able to pull myself back together and catch another group of stragglers that got blown out and rode in with them. A bit of an improvement over last week.

So yesterday was Pool, lunch 5k and 30 mile bike ride.

Today is 600 yd pool, lunch 5k and possibly another 5k after work

Tomorrow I am planning to get up early and ride to Zionsville to meet my JDRF group for a 50 mile ride and then hopefully have my lovely wife pick me up for lunch and a "car ride" home

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Attack of the killer B's

OK so not the attack of, so much as the attack on.

I am riding with this group again tonight up at the Nebo Ridge Bike shop and they have dropped me 3 weeks in a row

first time at 12 miles

second time at 15 miles

Last week at 27 miles

Tonight..... no drops, I will hang in there for 30 :)

So far did about 500 yards in the pool this morning and getting ready to run 5k for my lunch.

Feeling pretty good today!!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Dropped again

Well it seems no matter how hard you train, there is always the possibility of getting dropped off even an easy group ride....... especially where diabetes is involved.

I went out with the BGI South group on Monday on what is typically an easy ride for me and spent most of the ride in the front of the pack.

We really had the hardest part finished and were on the way back with the wind at our backs, when I got double down arrows at 138 on my meter. The only reason I looked was because I had suddenly felt like I was out of gas. The thing was that I had one kind of ride in mind when we started, so I planned my start BG strategy with that in mind and the ride actually started a bit harder and faster.

So instead of adapting my strategy, I continued on as if nothing had changed....... a lot of room for improvement on this using my head thing here :)

So I got blown out the back and had to ride the last 14 miles home by myself. Fortunately, it was not in to the wind.

I will be going out with the fast group tonight from BGI South and so far, I forgot to bring a bike jersey with me, and have felt awful all day due to high BG issues yesterday, but I usually feel better getting exercise after the high BG hangover has subsided

Monday, August 3, 2009

Trying Duathlon

OK so I showed up to my 3rd sprint tri of the year yesterday knowing that it was really going to be my first Duathlon ever.
The lake at Indiana Downs had an unsafe e-coli levels so the triathlon was converted to a duo by substituting a 2 mile run for the 600 yard swim.

I had come down with a case of swimmer's ear that got infected on Monday and so this was a mixed blessing. While the Dr had said I was ok to swim, I was not looking forward to that split.

So we started out with 2 laps on the Indiana Downs horse track, which for some reason was a bit daunting. I was not able to put out the speed that I really wanted to only averaging about 9 minutes per mile on that split.

I got on the bike after a sub one minute T1 and was ready to rock n roll, when I pulled the strap completely out on my right shoe when trying to shove my foot in. Apparently I had neglected to secure it in the open position.

So I had to waste some of my hard core pedal time, threading threading the strap back through the top of my shoe while coasting. I finally sorted it out, dropped into my aero position and began picking riders off. (in the course of doing this, I also got picked off myself twice, but I didn't give those up uncontested and ended up getting both of those riders back in T2.)

It dawned on me about half way through the ride that all of the people I was passing were faster runners than myself and that was why they were ahead of me...... the implications were that as soon as I jumped off of my bike, they would be chasing me down in the final run. So I lowered my head and rode even harder. I had a pretty good ride overall, it was a windy day and the course seemed crowded, but I only had to hit the brakes one time from leaving T1 until coming back to T2

Speaking of which, I had a pretty fast entry into T2 and started on the 5 k run. I felt like I had more juice left, but my legs decided that I was going to continue running at the 9 min / mi pace. The good news is that I only had about 6 people pass me so I maintained most of my bike advantage and ended up with a 112 placement 10th in my age group and a time of 1 hour 32 min

Thursday, July 30, 2009

I am officially a swimmer

So this weekend, I went to a swim workshop in Downers Grove, IL that changed my outlook on the way I swim.

I had bought a video from the organization that puts this workshop on about a year ago and I have to say that it helped me considrably, taking my 500 yard time down about 5 minutes in 1 year

That said, I realized that I was still a terribly slow swimmer ( lower 25th percentile in my races - in contrast to my bike split which is in the upper 25th)

So I decided that I needed some hands on help to improve and man was that a great idea!

I started the weekend needing 30 strokes to travel 25 yards and ended up the weekend needing only 19 strokes to cover the same distance and with less effort.

Plus, I learned the principles that will allow me to drill properly and continue to improve my swimming every time that I hit the water!!! yeah!!

Now the part that makes me officially a swimmer. Since I had to be in the water for 8 hours this weekend without earplugs ( so that I could hear instruction) I now have swimmer's ear in both ears. If that doesn't make me a swimmer, I don't know what does. :-)

In spite of all this, I am not expecting a tremendous improvement in my swim split this weekend at the Indiana Downs Sprint tri, but I do anticipate yet another PB as every tri I have done this year has been an improvement on the last.

BTW - just because I have not been posting a lot does not mean that I have slacked off on workouts but to the contrary I am definitely picking it up



Thursday, May 7, 2009

Real life dememtors

If the only thing I had to do was think happy thoughts when the dementors of low blood glucose close in on me and try to suck my will to live out of my body, things would be ok.
I did about 20 miles on the bike tuesday, and ran my lunch 5k, then took wedensday completely off as it poured down rain the whole day, and I was being a baby due to a couple of low BGs the previous night. Actually woke up twice Weds morning with BGs below 50 soaked with sweat and freezing.
Could not have forced myself to ride even if the weather had been nice and easily talked my self out of my lunch run due to the deluge.
Today started off much better with my waking BG at 134, I ate, changed my pump reseviour and bolted out the door.... to fast because I was about a half mile down the road when I realized that I somehow forgot my helmet. I went back, retrieved my lid and dashed through the fog full speed to make it to work on time.
Checked my BG before running and is was 136, a little to low for starting a 5 k run especially with no idea which direction it was heading. So I ate a very ripe banana and checked my BG again in 20 minute. it was 168! All systems go!
The MO on these unpredictable low BGs seems to be that they will hit me about 20 minutes into a workout. It happens on runs more than anything, but I have had it happen on the bike as well.

So I leave to do a 5k and notice I am a little slow at the split and I am having trouble keeping my form together. (should have ate a GU right then and there) The problem is, I hate going high on my BG as well, so when common sense dictates that is what will happen, I am often reluctant to believe the real life feed back I am getting based on pre workout data. My HR seemed to be acceptably high, just not for my perceived effort, which I blamed on form issues (i.e. lack of total concentwation)

So as I come down to the final 1/2 mile, I am feeling like crap, but finding things to blame that on that are not BG since I had already ruled that out. So I am weaving on the final 100 meter aproach and have no gas in the tank. I cut my run short 1/20th of a mile and headed to my desk to eat an orange. Which made me feel better pretty quickly.

Once I got to feeling human again I checked my BG and it was a whopping 72. Who know how low it went, because I was unable to walk a straight line by the time I got back to my desk.

I talked to the good people at Medtronic yesterday about a Constant Glucose Monitor(CGM) and I think that would make a lot of this suffering go away. I have to just wait and see if insurance is going to cover enough of this to make it affordable for me

Monday, May 4, 2009

The Monday After

Ok, so I am paying the price for not having the volume I needed for the Mini, but I am going to do my level best to make sure that I don't get behind that 8 ball again.

I woke up Sunday with my core and going down the stairs/sit down leg muscles hating me.

I went to Church where I had ample opportunity to stand up and sit down to try and loosen them but.... So I went for a walk in the woods with my wife in the afternoon after slaving over a computor for a couple of hours working on a friends website. Oh yeah, I cut the grass after Church too :)

Today I felt much better and had resolved to be on my bike for my 9 mile comute this morning no matter what.

Things were going well right up to the time I went to jump on my bike and realized that the computor was no where to be found. This is a Garmin 305 edge, GPS enabled Bike putor that keeps track of my HR, Cadence, work outs, mileage, tells me how fast I am going, how hard I am working and how far I have gone.

I remembered that the last time I had been on my bike was last Thursday, when I rode downtown to pick up my packet for the Mini. On the way back, I realized that I did not have my putor but I remember thinking, "Oh well, I put it in my pack, I will just do with out it, cause this is only a couple of miles." So I dumped my pack out twice, went through every place in my house that I could have possible put it and...... no putor. So I used my wrist Garmin (same thing but for running and triathlon records and a little tough to use on your bike when it is on your wrist) and came on to work, unhappy about the missing Gman but happy to be riding never the less.

It was a beautiful morning and I did the 9 miles in an easy 32 minutes and arrived at work with most of my soreness gone.

After sitting in meetings all morning and at my desk, I had stiffened up plenty for the recovery run that I had planned for my lunch time. I did 2.18 miles in 22 minutes 15 seconds and felt reasonable again. Also, I was able to get my HR working again on my Gman so that made me happy.

So at 5pm I was out the door on my bike headed to my annual eye Dr Appointment. I have to do this every year to make sure that I have not developed complications with my diabetes. Retinopothy is the word, I believe. It was about a 5 mile ride in rush hour traffic that took me a half hour. I almost got ran over for the second time since I started biking, but this time it was someone I didn't know.

I didn't exactly get a clean bill of health at the Dr's office, but it wasn't necessarily bad news etiher. I was leaking a little blood in my right eye (tiny tiney amount) but he wants to see me again in 6 months this time.

When I had arrived at the Dr's office my BG was a little on the low side (72) and when I checked it again B4 leaving it was still only 86 so I drank 2 8oz juices to give me enought fuel to get home.

BTW they dialate my eyes for these exams so I then got to ride the 9 miles home with less than perfect vision, but I made it safely with no incidents.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

2009 Mini Marathon Race Report

Indianapolis mini marathon race report

I will preface this report with the following pertinent information.

This is my 3rd mini marathon in 3 years, the 2 previous I finished but with injury due to an IT band problem. I had some great training coming up on this race until about 6 weeks ago when things became spotty due to an illness that just did not seem to want to go away. 6 weeks ago I had to take a whole week off due to doctors orders. So I never really got my total training volume and my long runs back up to my schedule.

I had never before today run 13.1 miles without stopping, my longest run ever before today was about 7 weeks ago when I did a 10 mile training run.

My alarm went off at 4:45 and I jumped out of bed and hit the switch on the coffee pot so I could consume and eliminate my liquid motivation before the race, I also had my breakfast and supplement laid out so that I could get that down right away. Unfortunately, I fell victim to poor planning with the wrong order of operation and ended up wasting some hard-core eating and digestion time by cleaning and putting away dishes from the night before, plus dressing before I ate my oatmeal. The consequence of that was gurgling puke for the whole race.

The start of the race was predicted to be a chilly 50 degrees, so I dressed in my CW-X tights and my bike Jersey with Arm warmers. Then ate my Oatmeal and took my Reliv shake.

I left home at about 6:15 and ran walked the 2.5 miles to my corral (I started in K) When I got there, I stretched out and loosened up anticipating the start. I checked my BG (Blood Glucose) at 7:00 and it was 165 and then again at 7:25 when it had climbed to 226 so I pumped ½ a unit of Humalog to just knock it down a bit for safety sake.

It was about this time that I realized that I had forgotten to change the battery in my Heart rate monitor strap, so I was not getting an HR reading on my Garmin at all. I use HR to not only determine if I am running at the best speed, but also to determine if I might be having a BG problem. So I realized that I was just going to have to Hoyle it and make sure to fuel like clock work. NO missed Gatorade stops and a GU pack at 45 minutes and 90 minutes.

Close to gun time, people started jumping forward into the voids of the forward corrals. I used this opportunity to try to get forward as I had thought with seeding that I would be a lot closer to the front than K. It turns out this was a good move. I have no idea how these people got in the forward corals as I had a good seed time and some of the forward people were not even running.

So the gun signaled the start and we started moving more steadily towards the start. About 50 yards out people started running. As we were got to the start line, I looked down briefly at my Garmin to hit the start button and almost rear ended about 4 clowns who decided it was a good idea to not only stop on the start line, but to spread out for maximum effect to try and block the line.

They were not nearly cagey enough for me as looking up at the last minute; I faked right and then committed left to foil their plans of causing a pile up at the start. Heh heh

Finally I was running (hard to believe it took a whole page to get to this part)

I had a strategy to run the first mile at 9:45 and to progressively speed up through the end but I apparently felt a little better than that. I was running very relaxed and easy so my first mile went by at 9:37, so far so good. I hit the first water station and using my newly found pinch the top of the cup together and drink like from a bottle, I was able to completely drain the cup before the last trash can and score 2 pts, all with out loosing breath, spilling water all over myself or choking.

I picked up a little steam on the slight up hill on the White River pkwy and my next mile was 9:34. I tried to concentrate on my form, keeping my ankles relaxed, knees low and only picking my foot off the ground after I had totally completed my stride.

I was breathing easy and controlled, trying to picture various landmarks that I knew along the way and figuring what time I was shooting for to arrive at them. Mile 3 was a little slower and I was back to 9:37 but running very much with in my comfort zone. I hit the first Gatorade station and not a problem drinking every precious drop with out any stickiness.

Mile 4 was a 9:15 as we sped down Holt Road to go left on 10th towards the speedway.

Mile 5 was a little slower at 9:18 but I was particularly happy to reach this point without falling down in the ginormous mud puddle that is at the corner of 10th and Main in Speedway every year. Last year I jumped up on the curb to go around it on the inside misjudged and rolled through it instead.

On Mile 6, I did a GU pack just before we hit the tunnel to go down to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and did the last Gatorade for all the fuel I was going to get for the next 2.5 miles. No Gatorade or GU is to be consumed on the track. My pace was picked up a little bit to 9:16 overall running very steady and relaxed.

I hit the 10k mark at about 58 minutes, just a little slower than my personal best at that distance, I still felt great and as far as I could tell everything was going swimmingly.

Mile 7 on the track was a blistering 9:14 (notice I said blistering, that sounds fast) and again I was running loose and comfortable.

I had been running the tangents as much as possible and tried to stay to the inside line on the track to run shortest distance possible. (If you make a right turn and your next turn is left, you try to drift to the left at an angle to minimize your distance = tangent) At the end of the race, I still ran 13.28 Miles almost 2 tenths longer than the shortest route. I kept getting pushed inside and outside of the line by people going slower and faster or faster and slower. … You know, when they blast by you cutting you off and then slow down in front of you. Things happen so it is just part of sharing a race course with 35,000 other people. But I had an incident going through the water station just before mile 8 that I had to mention.

I had elected to forgo this water station as it was getting pretty dicey at this time with people making erratic moves stopping suddenly dodging in suddenly to grab a cup of water, etc... (Notice I said erratic not erotic) So I decided in the interest of speed and with a Gatorade station not that far away to stay away from the people getting water. Well about half way through the station, some lady cuts in front of me slows down and then drifts over to block my line to the outside. I’m like ok, I will just go to the in side, so I quickly filled the hole that was available to me (so that she couldn’t cut me off again) and she looks at me with this tude and says, “I’m trying to get over there!” I couldn’t help but shoot back, “Well, you didn’t seem to have a problem a minute ago!” Kind of reminded me of things that happen in the grocery…. But that is another story.

Mile 8 was also on the track and I was able to pick it up to 9:08. I’m thinking yeah baby, negative split, I can still do this in under 2 hours and who needs all those weekly long runs in their training program anyway.

Mile 9 and we are back out on 16th street headed home. I must have been starting to feel it a little by this time as I dropped back pretty significantly to 9:22 but when I hit the 15k mark I realized that I had a personal best at this distance 1:27:45 almost 4 minutes better than ever before.

Mile 10 down the home stretch and almost to the final 5k when things started to noticeably come apart. I started getting cramping and pain in my quads (obviously from an increased heal strike) and I realized that my stride had lost a lot of fluidity. My pace had dropped significantly again to a 9:34

Mile 11 I started having thoughts of I could stop and walk for a little as I definitely have a PB in the bag for this one and my stride was starting to feel very labored an mechanical. I was sick to my stomach, but I did another GU and washed it down at the Gatorade stop. I somehow maintained a 9:30 but it was really getting to be a struggle.

Mile 12 and I was starting to hate my life as my pace had dropped back to my slowest of the day at 9:45. I had planned to surge at the 11-mile mark and try to kick out 9-minute miles for the last 3.1, but my legs were not having any part of this plan and were making me miserable. If I had to guess, I would say that my HR never ventured above 133 for the whole race to I had a lot of headroom in that department, but I didn’t count on my legs committing mutiny. The bottom line is my core was obviously giving out and I was not keeping my form together any more.

Mile 13 I dropped off just a little more and fell back to 9:47. I was trying to lean in and get some kick at the end but I had nothing left in the tank, I was only able to pull an 8:08 pace out for the last tenth and no real sprint. But given my 2 previous finishes, this was still a PB and gives me something to beat in my next half marathon. Plus it is the one thing I had to do before considering entering a full marathon which will be on the books for this fall, as soon as I decide which one I am going to do.

Final results, I finished 10745 out of 35000 improved by 39 minutes over last year and 1 hour 24 minutes faster than my first attempt 2 years ago. My final average pace was 9:33 average and I feel good other than my quads are going to need a lot of stretching over the next few days. My Garmin time was 2 seconds faster than the official at the very end but dead on with the 5 and 10 mile splits. There was a big crowd at the finish line and I might have hit the button going under the arch instead of after I was on the timing matt. BG at the finish 148, I would have preferred 100-110 but not bad for flying blind.

I ran a little farther which probably explains the difference in official and Garmin pace. My Garmin showed me a 9:22 which I am sure is due to the extra .18 miles I ran.

All and all, I am happy with the effort under the pre training sickness circumstances and no HR thing.

Monday, April 6, 2009

My Story Begins

My quest for Iron Man glory began with what seemed like a crazy idea at the time. I was going to ride a bicycle 105 miles in one of the most brutal deserts in North America in the fall of 2007.

I accomplished this and set my goals higher along the way. Don't get me wrong, this was certainly a tough ride, made tougher by one hundred degreee heat plus a 30mph headwind with gust to 60 mph over the last 50 some miles, but I needed more of a carrot to keep me training when the weather is not so good and my bed seems so comfortable.

As I am starting this blog in April of 2009, I will make some posts that are background to where I am now to not only share some helpful experiences, but hopefully to entertain those who are either interested in increasing their physical fitness, or who simply want to live their lives vicariously through my blog.

I look forward to hearing your comments.