Saturday, January 26, 2013

New year, new goal

I'm finally 100% recovered from the incredible season of racing in 2012 and feeling great in the 8-10 mile trail running distances.  Leadman wiped me out so much that I didn't have the energy to blog about it, but one of these days I really should devote some time to it.  It changed me in many good ways and I look very positively at the entire experience.

I signed myself up to run the North Fork 50 in June, which is a 50 mile trail race in and around Buffalo Creek. I made a New Years goal to run a 50 this year to keep my focus on trail running. I'm running stronger at this point of the year in comparison to last, so my confidence going into the preparation is strong and my training plan will officially begin on Feb 1.  My other goal is to weigh less than 150 on race day.

In addition to running, I'm loving the Charmichael training DVD series and keeping my biking fitness  sharp. I hope to put more tlc into the blog this year, but tonight isn't one of those nights.  Gotta run!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Alas the gold buckle! LT100MTB 2012

What an incredible week in Leadville, a city that has definitely grown on me this summer.  Saturday and Sunday were races 3 and 4 of the Leadman series and it lived up to the hype and expectation that was 'racing' in my mind all week.  I left early on Friday to get up to the bustling city of Leadville so I could put in a 7:30am ride before the racer briefing at 11.  A group of us rode past turquois lake, over sugarloaf and powerline and back into town, a ride that allowed me to test out my new Specialized Renegade tires.  Despite their low profile appearance and low weight, they gripped every corner and mowed down every rock without a scratch.  My pressure was dialed in and my lungs were feeling great, despite a 2hr ride.  Needless to say, while my confidence was high, these races never leave anyone feeling 100% confident until the tires see the red carpet at the finish line.

My 3rd Leadville 100MTB was nothing short of awesome, with perfect weather, solid nutrition with my gallons of Carborocket readily available in multiple camelbaks and a relentless focus on the gold buckle.  To be honest, I can't remember looking much at the scenery and enjoying the views everyone talks about.  My entire focus was on the 10-20 yds of dirt in front of my wheel for the entire race.  I felt best in the last 50 miles than I did on the outbound and crossing the finish line in 8:27 was more than I could have hoped for.  My lung busting rides over Mt. Falcon to break my personal climbing record each time really paid off.  I shattered my optimistic goal of 4:30 to the top of Columbine in 4:19 and I nearly climbed all of Powerline on the return before wimping out and hiking the last 1/4 of the hill.  I have God to thank for not face planting on the lightening fast downhills and my awesome family for all of their love and support throughout this entire series of races.  I got rather emotional calling Stephanie at the finish line to let her know that I had finished in under that difficult 9 hr mark. 

Sunday morning was the 10k, and I don't have much to say about it other than it went well and though my legs were moderately tired, running anything at 10k feet of elevation is hard.  My pace was steady, but not fast and frankly I was totally cool with it, because I was healthy enough to run it and it instilled more confidence in me that this Saturday's big 100M run might be ok.

One remaining race in the LM series and I intend to give it 100% as I have in each of the other 4 races.  I believe I am now in the top 10 of the Leadman standings, hoping I can keep that standing with the 100 run on Saturday!

This year: 8:27
2009: 9:29
2008: 9:55

Gold baby (worth the pain)!

This trusty beast was 'money' on Saturday.  The saddle pain has left me seated at an angle for the past couple days, but I can deal with that because it ain't going to affect my run on Saturday.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Mt. Evans at midnight

With a scout campout at echo lake this weekend, I decided to make the most of the high elevation by running the mt Evans road, starting at 10:45pm. I felt like crap from the beginning of the run and it didn't get a whole lot better for the next 6hrs. The run was quite extreme and a bit out-of-the comfort zone for me, being the only one on the dark mountain for such a long time. I fought back every reason to turn back at summit lake, but decided to press on despite crossing 13k of elevation, feeling like s* and knowing exactly what to expect ahead having biked it many times previously. I was super proud of myself after reaching the 14 mile mark and hitting the top of an extremely windy and pitch dark, somewhat spooky environment. It was cold too and I'm glad I brought my gloves! I firmly believed the downhill would be much easier then the uphill but was sorely disappointed (pun very much intended). My feet were not used to the non-stop pounding on the pavement.. Ouch! My light was loosing battery, my neck and back were on fire and all I could think about is how good this was doing for my lt100 training. Total drudgery for 3 hrs until I arrived at camp just before 5am. Despite the pain in my feet, I felt such accomplishment for pressing to the top. That run truly goes down as one of the hardest physicaly and mentally in my life. Another couple such runs and I think I'll go into the 100 with a decent amount of confidence.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Leadman Race #2 in the books

I've been so focused on training and racing recently that I forgot I had a blog to update!  I've never had more fun in my life training for and racing in this Leadville race series.  Each time I drive to Leadville I feel prepared and ready for the competition.  Each drive home I can honestly say I left everything I had out on the trail. 

Regarding the marathon, I came into the race well prepared, but I had no idea how difficult that trail would be.  The race takes place in the center of town and goes straight up over the Eastern side of the city (I am used to heading West in the Leadville 100MTB).  At the 10 mile mark, the trail goes straight over Mosquito Pass an elevation higher than any of the other 4 races (13,200).  I wasn't too far back at the turnaround, but my downhill sucks and I lost some places coming off the pass.  My heal started to develop this killer blister too which I had to tough out for the duration of the race.  In fact, with about 8 miles to go, I felt the blister start to slide toward the back of my heal and at the finish line it was completely rolled over in several places.  Though painful, the adrenalin to finish under 5hrs had me pushing a 6 min mile down the final 3 miles, running parallel with a chick who was trying hard to pass another female competitor.  Overall it was my slowest marathon of my life, but definitely the one I am most proud of.  I finished 54th overall and top 20 in the Leadman standings.  My overall time was 5:02.

The 50 MTB was this past weekend and it definitely lived up to its hype.  This race is no joke with ~7500 feet of climbing over a 47 mile course and 6 touches over 12K feet of elevation.  I counted every one of them as I intently stared down my Garmin as the never ending climbs continued.  I don't believe I saw much of a flat part on the course.  It starts with a run w/bike over Dutch Henry Hill, something that has the potential to ruin the first 5 miles of your race if your not careful.  I had speed-hiked it twice before the actual start and was winded both times at the crest of the hill (10k feet is quite different than the 6k altitude I am used to).  Doing that hill race-pace with a bike on my shoulder seared my lungs but I caught my breath after a couple miles and started to get into my groove again.  The race went well and I felt decent throughout despite major leg cramping after about 25 miles.  The cramping was ok as long as I stayed seated, but anytime I raised up off the saddle, the cramps came back and put on some serious pain.  I'll be taking S-Caps with me for the 100 in a few weeks.  My climbing felt strong, but I had to be super careful on some of the technical descents - I witnessed a lot of blood at the finish line and was grateful it wasn't mine.  Overall, it was a successful race for and I only got chicked by Rebecca Rush.  I was the 8th leadman through the finish at a respectable 4:52 which likely puts me in the top 15 for the series cup - and out of an initial 100 LM starters, I consider that fairly good at this stage because the biking is where I gain ground and the 100 is next up.

My training continues to go well, but the perpetual conundrum about whether to focus on the biking or running is a daily frustration.  I want so bad to finish the LT100 in under 9 hrs, but is that more important than finishing the 100 run and earning Leadman?  I have decided I need to do everything in my power over the coming 3 weeks to see if I can accomplish both (a strong set of training rides to prep for the 100 MTB and a ton of running to build confidence and fitness to finish the capstone race).  Never have I been more pumped about a set of races in my life and I really look forward to the weeks ahead!

Leadman standings post this week, so we'll see where I am!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

32M on some tired legs!

Major milestone for me today as I put down a 32M hilly trail run after a long ride yesterday over Falcon/Lair. While my legs were in rough shape today, I mowed the lawn, did some shopping, and now Im feeling alright! How on God's green earth am I going to run another 68 miles in August, at elevation?! First things first I ... The Leadville marathon in June. Might see if I can muster a 6m jog in the morning. Otherwise I'm quite satisfied with my weekend results. My yard looks pretty good too.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Another awesome week

Life's good these days and training is following along well.

Run Recap = 45 miles with a decent 25miler on Saturday (all trail)
Bike Recap = 80 miles (trainer miles while I wait for the A9C to come back from the shop)

That's two weeks w/back to back 45 mile efforts on the feet - shooting for 50+ this week. Leadman very much on the mind, but confused as ever as to how I can get fast in both events at the same time. I don't just want to finish Leadman, I want to contend for the title.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Run/Bike Block - 145M

Put in 45 miles on the feet this week - very painful couple of days to end the week, but a little rest and I'm feeling great today! Looks like I'm turning the corner a bit with the running and starting to get the October strength back in the legs. Still confused about how best to balance the biking and running so both sports remain strong. Here's a look at last week:

Running (45M):
Monday - 16M
Friday - 16.5M
Saturday - 13.5M

Biking (100M):
Saturday - 60M
Wednesday - 20M
Thursday - 20M

Looking forward to the next training block this week.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The running continues

While the ole' back is still giving me some grief, I've managed to control it through the Foundation back exercise program and biking to the Carmichael DVD series in my basement. Last week I put in a 31M run effort over a 18hr window, the most mileage in a 24 hr period than I've done in a long while. I also pushed my legs to the brink with a 3hr trifecta [threshold, race and max power] bike workout which left my legs screaming for the day. I felt really strong though and feel my biking is as good this year as it was last year - what I need to do is step it up to break 8:30 in the 100 in August.

Leadman training is definitely on track as long as I can up my mileage this week to 50 and setup a 30M run in the month of March, 40 in April. I'm watching my body like a hawk these days and am very attentive to any mechanical failure.

In London, I had many of these dishes - NO MORE!

My awesome daughter Bailee and I out for a run:

she's 11 and putting in 10k's like their nothin'!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Dealing with the pain

I've come to the conclusion that my lower back is going to take a long while to heal, but I can't just sit and wait for that day to come. I've been pushing the Carmichael cycling DVDs pretty hard in the mornings and went for a swift 8.2 miler over daniels park this evening with the lamp. Today was a day of confidence as I start to really focus again on the training. Being in London for the past 2 weeks wasn't very conducive for anything except fish & chips and toffee.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

15M run today!

I did it, and I don't believe it. 15 miles running today after thinking my days of trail running were dwindling just a few weeks ago. My back felt pretty good today despite needing to stop and walk a few times. tough elevation on certain sections, but kept moving until I climbed into the ice bath at home. I actually accidentally filled the tub with hot water first, which felt really good until I had to drain it and fill it with the cold stuff & a bucket of ice.

Grateful for a book that's helped me strengthen my core/lower back area:

Friday, January 20, 2012

Focused on the 2-wheels

With my back as temperamental as it has been, my focus lately has been on the bike, despite my new-found love for trail running. In fact, give me a trail and it's a complete toss up for me which one I'd rather do. I quietly have ignored the sport of swimming and don't know if I'll jump back in the water until the fall when the IM training begins again.

I discovered a new bike DVD series from Carmichael training and it's so far doing some healthy damage to the legs and keeping my back clear of pain. These one hour pain sessions have me burning rubber in the basement in the early morning, pushing limits that I've not been able to push by simply riding on my own in front of a TV program (my favorite is 'how its made' or re-runs of bully beatdown).

My nice torture chamber:

Three days in a row on the bike has me feeling more confident than I have in the past 2 months. Today I took to the mud & gunk of the highlands ranch/lone tree trails which forced me to work extra hard to push through inches of mud. It caused me to do what I've always been told not to do - hose down the steed. Here's a pic from today's mud magnet:

I consider my training for Leadman to be in full swing these days, but I've backed off the running a bit. I've never competed in an ultra marathon before so I have ZERO expectations other than to enjoy the journey and finish in one piece. It's what wakes me up in the morning, helps me decide what to eat (what not to eat) and what pushes me through difficult times in other aspects of my life.

I've decided to run tomorrow even if it takes walking some to build stamina on the feet. My preparation so far is fast/strong on the bike and slow/steady on the run. Hopefully that strategy will get me a high finish in the LM five-race cup. First order of priority though is the Marathon June 30.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

A new beginning

Time for me to start blogging my adventures again. I've taken some time away from blogging and hard-core exercise to nurse a messed-up lower back and establish new goals for myself. The 2011 year was an awesome one for me personally, professionally and in the realm of fitness, which is what my blog in the past has mainly consisted of. I intend to continue that focus, but include more about myself and my other ambitions and experiences. The online chronicle of my experiences seems to keep me sharp and allows me to remember the many blessings I receive from God. It enables me to see where I've come and what I can do to improve from this point forward.

And so here I resurface to start a new plan, a new year and an exciting adventure. I mentioned my aching lower back - one that I suffered during the Highlands Ranch 1/2 Marathon in October. I came down hard on an icy rut and it shot a weird pain up through my lower spine - though able to finish the race strong, I re-experienced it on a treadmill that set me back about 6-8 weeks. Combining a lot of prayer, fasting and an exercise strengthening program, I feel I am almost back to my previous form. Most importantly I feel stronger spiritually than I have recently and I've focused a lot on core strength (mainly back strength) to start feeling a strong base. I'll certainly need it when the high training volume begins, which is essentially now.

I am blessed to be focused on some goals for 2012 that I never placed in the realm of possibility. Until my recent back injury, I was comfortably running 2o trail miles with little post-run fatigue. My biking has suffered a little bit, but it seems to be the one exercise at the moment that has not caused me too much pain. With a modification to my riding position, I believe it will remain a strong element in my quest to finish, and maybe place high in the standings of the Leadman cup series this year.

In March I am taking the family to New York City and Palmyra for some exciting and spiritual times during Spring Break. While looking forward to the big city, I can't wait to step foot in the sacred grove of Palmyra and see other Church history sites. I've found that no matter what my physical condition is for any event I am doing, as long as I remain spiritually strong, nothing else really matters.

Regarding this race series I will finish in 2012 (emphasizing with great optimism the word will) the words of Ether to his people gives me great encouragement...

"And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them."

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Solid training block

Having a great time lately with early morning 5-7am rides with Jeff Higham burning close to 2hrs before work, throwing in some decent runs throughout the week as well. Today was a 20M trail run at 2:59, a decent time for me considering I climbed 1,600 feet and pushed well over 3hrs on the same course last week.

Looking forward to the HR 20M run race next weekend!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Lots of running!

Testing out the leg strength with 50 miles last week including a 21.5M trail run Saturday. It felt a LOT better than the 16 earlier in the week and can't wait to strap on the pack and hit the trails this weekend. Looking to see if I can hit 25 with little fatigue and no injury. Building confidence for a potential Leadman go in 2012.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

End & Beginning

This time of the year marks an end to an awesome summer of training, racing, vacation, family fun, etc and the start to my favorite season of cold weather training, football/fantasy football, holidays, etc. Life is great and I'm grateful to have so many incredible opportunities and awesome people around me to enjoy life.

I've all but decided to give focus in 2012 to longer distance trail running and completion of the Leadman race series. That means no Ironman for me in May (sniff, sniff) and as I semi-commit to this path I feel humbled by the challenge and excited to re-focus on running which I started at such an early age in my life. I'll dedicate a separate to the start of that journey, but for now, here's a few pictures summing up a very memorable summer...

One of 3 Mt Evan's ascents on the Niner

The greenest my lawn has been in years (thanks Mother Nature)!

The best garden I can remember.

Jet skiing in Mcall, Idaho at the Stones Family Reunion.

Me, My Mom, and Bro Marcus in Idaho

Bailee at the Zoo with the birds

Stephanie with a parrot.

Bailee's sasquatch look-a-like

Me and my hottie Stephanie on the way out to Les Mis.

The Rolling Stones at the King of the Rockies race this fall.

Kevin tearing it up in Cross Country for RHMS.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Ironman or Leadman for 2012

My mind has been a bit plagued lately with what I want to do next year; the year I turn the big 40. I've considered an all out assault on the Ironman St. George for a 3rd year and a chance of qualifying for Hawaii once and for all. Being in the 40 yr category gives me a bit of an edge and with a revised fun format, I think I could do it.

Then there is this thing called Leadman involving 5 distinct running and biking races in Leadville, a town about 2 hours from here sitting at over 10,000 feet of elevation. Those who finish all 5 events within the cutoff times receive the coveted 'Leadman' award. The trick is convincing myself that I could finish all of the events, including the finale 100 mile run. I've never run more than 26, let alone on trails and at that altitude. The other events consist of bike and foot races that I've either done before or feel I can train to race, and race competitively.
Leadman events include: 50 Mile Bike (option to do the 50 mile run), 100 Mile Bike, 10K, Marathon, 100 Mile Run

Needless to say, the Leadman with its 100m run has me doubting my capabilities more than any event has - which is also why it has intrigued me so much. Could I train in such a way to finish such an amazing race, one that I've told myself for years is way out of reach?

Regarding the overall decision, I will have to make the decision within the next few weeks given the need to begin IM training, should I elect for the race in May.

Aside from this mental dilemma, my recent training has been going well with a recent run of 15 miles and bike rides covering lots of interesting terrain - even a couple pool swims to boot.

One of my favorite chapters from Born to Run is Chapter 9:

Sunday, August 7, 2011

A decent week to start August

Summer recap and recent happenings...

I've struggled to find motivation to get back into the water for a swim and managed to find it out of necessity to nurse a few sore spots in the legs from running. Two swims for the week at 1.5M each, following late-season ironman swim plans really built confidence and has inspired me a bit to continue and even sign-up for St. George again. I'll likely pull the trigger on the race registration this week. As for the rest of my week, training has continued as if I were training for a long endurance race...

Monday: Falcon, Parmalee, LOTB (and a face plant on the cushy meadow trail to boot)
Tuesday: Swim 1.5 M + 8.5M Run
Wednesday: 25M Mt. bike
Thursday: 8.5M run
Friday: Swim 1.5M
Saturday: 56M Bike (Mt Evans)

Here are a few pics of recent doings...

My favorite ride lately = Mt Evans

Evidently I was the champ at the Breck 100...
at least according to the MountainFlyer caption and photo!:

If "Smart" meant comfortable...that is one really dumb vehicle
(there are 4 people jammed into that thing).

Kevin earning shotgun certification. Way to close the correct eye!

Bailee's and my favorite hang-out (Noodles & Co)

Kevin earning his horsemanship merit badge.

The Stones family in McCall, ID (July)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Breck 100 in the books!

A fantastic race day yesterday in Breckenridge for the B100. I've been training a lot lately and taking some much needed vacation (from work and from blogging), but I'm back and ready to track things again. Most of my week was spent on the bike with rides up Mt Evans, Falcon/Lair, Breckenridge, then again on the B100 course Saturday.

I had to dig deep many times throughout the race yesterday and survived many near crash-n-burn episodes. Fortunately both me and the bike finished in one piece, well...with the exception of my Ergon grip that disintegrated in a crash. Carborocket was money through the entire race and I felt nearly as good on the last climb up Boreas as I did up the first climb over Wheeler.

Time: 11:04
Place Overall: 49th
Place in Age: 11th
Crashes: 1 (minor)
Broken bones: 0
O sh** moments: 5

Will I do it again?! Definitely.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Fully Recovered and Ready for Summer!

I feel super strong these days just over two weeks following my favorite race of the season. The last couple of weeks have involved a lot of junk food, some rest, and a decent amount of solid fast workouts. Tonight might have been one of my strongest daniels park runs with a quick and light 56-57 min 8.3 miler. I feel I'm off to a great start to the summer and can't wait to race it up at the Breck100 in July.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Ironman St. George (10:53)

I don't intend to say too much about this year's race other than I had the time of my life, did better than I had expected and can't wait to do another Ironman sometime/somewhere. It seems to be the distance that excites me the most.

My family had the most awesome time with my Uncle and Aunt in St. George, staying at their 'resort' of a house and providing the best hospitality. It's like going to a spa to get mentally ready for the big race and having all the nice relaxing amenities post race to make you want to do it all over again!

I'll say a few things about the amazing day, because I tend to forget things that I hope to remember in years to come:

My preparations were perfect. I think I trained and tapered about as well as I could possibly have given my other work, family and church commitments. Leading up to the race, everything was in perfect order except for my rear bike tube which mysteriously went flat on the trip to St. George. I patched it and put it back in the tire hoping it would be alright. Then race morning at 5am I checked it at the reservoir and sure enough it was flat as a pancake and would not take any air. Fortunately I was in row#1 of the bike transition, about 5 feet from the bike mechanics and I got there at 5am! Within 5 minutes the mechanic applied new rim tape a tube and gave me my fully functional rear wheel in perfect working order! Had I had $20 bucks he would have received it because it totally calmed me down and boosted my confidence. I never did have a mechanical problem on Saturday and blistered the bike course in 5:33 with a 20.17mph average. Not too bad considering the 90+ degree heat and 22mph wind gusts. The only issue I encountered came on the back side of Gunlock where I hit a bump and sent my $60 2-bottle carrier flying into the ditch. I quickly picked it up and took off to catch up, but ended up throwing it back into the ditch since there was no place to put it. sigh.

So, I'll back up...
My swim was just on-par with 2010 despite the increased amount of training I put in the pool this year. I felt stronger than last year, but I suspect I was faster last year out of fear that I would get 'sunk' by the other swimmers. This year, the piranha frenzy was worse and for a longer period of time following the starting gun, but I survived and dished out my share of elbows and roundhouse kicks. Exiting the water was awesome because that's where the race begins for me.

My legs felt crappy for the first 5-8 miles of the ride but seemed to gain strength as I came into the town of Washington and my pace seemed to be in the low 20s all the way out past Ivins. Overall, my bike was more than I had hoped it to be. I rarely was passed, but passed a whole lot of fast swimmers throughout the bike course and finished with a strong 40 minute decrease from 2010 at 5:33.

With Carborocket flowing through my veins at this point (and getting a bit old), I transitioned in just over two minutes to the run where the heavy legs carried me across tabernacle and onto diagonal at a pace around 8:15. Loop 1 of the run was a blur as I just tried to maintain focus on gaining leg strength and turnover despite the massively hilly course. Seeing my family on the side of Diagonal was a huge boost to my energy and mental state at the time and it vaulted me into loop #2 with encouragement and resolve. Resolve to not walk any section of the course despite the throngs of people walking the steep sections. I know myself best...I walk and I may not start running again.

Having reached the 20 mile marker I knew I could finish, I just didn't know at what pace and there were few people around me pushing fast speeds to keep up with (like last year). Having made it to the downhill on diagonal with 2 miles remaining I was filled with excitement and carried a 7min/mi pace for much of it until the glorious finish line. I'll never forget turning the corner, seeing the finish line and being stoked about the time on the clock. My overall goal was to be faster than last year and a 40 minute improvement over 2010 was plastered on the clock in front of me. I was overjoyed and in such relief at the finish to see my family again. My post race weight was a scary 151 lbs, but I felt pretty decent.

Time: 10:53
Place Overall: 146/1,600ish?
Place in Age: 34/321
Swim: 1:05
Bike: 5:33
Run: 4:08 (gotta get this one down in the 3:30s someday)

Here are some pics from the day...

Uncle Fred, Aunt Lou, Bailee, Kevin, Ironwife and Me at the St. George temple.

My awesome family and support crew.

Kevin and Bailee always supporting me through these events.

Happy to be finished!

Friday with Coach and St. George tour guide Uncle Fred.

Most painful post-race injury (looks worse today too!)

My biggest fan (Ironwife). Wanna do Jeju in Korea?

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Ready as ever!

After meticulously following my 36 week Ironman plan, I'm ready to tear it up this Saturday in St. George. I've never felt better in all of the 3 disciplines and know I'm stronger than last year. If nothing more than good ole' self-talk, these are the things that will help me smoke the course faster than 2010 (maybe even get lucky and qualify for Kona)?

My technique is far better than last year
My clock times are consistently better
I followed the plan to a T including a few extra workouts incl. 3 ocean OW swims
I can go further distances at higher speeds
goal: 59:59

  • My training involved much steeper terrain
  • I dumped the compact rear cassette so my legs should be fresher after the race's hills
  • I suffered severe cold a few times more than last - will that at least make me tougher?
goal: 5:50

  • I followed the run plan much closer this year with speed workouts and bricks, with a much quicker transition to solid pace after a hard bike leg.
  • Recently, I feel I can maintain a sub 8min/mi pace for much longer than last year
  • CarboRocket in-hand will eliminate any need to slow down at aid stations
goal: 3:30-3:45

  • No compression socks to put on will save me at least 2 min in transition
  • PI speedsuit to eliminate changing in transition
goal: 5 min total (T1/T2 combined)

  • New fuel - CarboRocket, has become my next best friend. Whatever legal/illegal substance is in that mix, I feel strong throughout all major training workouts I've used it in, most notably on the run.
  • I've read nearly every new strategy out there and have applied a few which makes me a more educated racer.
  • I have course knowledge!
So... with a few light workouts to go, I'm as excited as can be and ready as ever for a super race. I can't help but think I could qualify this year and keep the training going???!! I will miss it otherwise!

Swim: 40lap continuous
Run: 7.2M (1hr)
Bike: 45 min (light, 100rpm)

Bike: 52M to Sprucewood
Run: 5.2M (7:43 pace, relaxed, light as a feather)

Sprucewood - one of my favorite rides:

Friday, April 29, 2011

52M Bike (Sprucewood) + 5M Run

Feeling super today, but the wind was annoying. Light feet on the run (7:43 average).

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

1M Swim, Mtb Hill Repeats

Nothing fancy to say today, but tracking to look back next time around and learn what worked and didn't work.

Grigs hill repeats on the Niner (7X 2:00-2:10, w/ 2-4 min spin rests)

Monday, April 25, 2011

1.4m Swim, 12M run, 20M bike

Good start to the taper (I think). Had some extra time today, so I threw in a ride out to Santa Fe and back - decent hills and a few good stretches to put down the speed. Tomorrow is a swim and another bike. I think the leg is about 85% and felt light as a feather on today's run from Eastridge past Daniels Park and back.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Frozen Ride to Conifer

Today's ride was one to remember. 6:15 am and I was out the door for a trip to Conifer again, thinking the inability to see the fog-covered mountains would add to the excitement. The weather forecast today was to be a mix of clouds and precipitation, but not until later in the day, so I figured I'd race it out to to Conifer before the bad stuff began. The climb over high grade had me feeling great and I kept saying how perfect I had dressed for the occasion. That was until I passed Pleasant Park at the top and continued onto Conifer.

The stretch from Pleasant Park to Conifer was nothing but snow, slush and temperatures just above 32 degrees. The adventure aspect still had me smiling and with my trusty Carborocket fuel just now beginning to form in to a slushie, I thought I'd be fine to touch Conifer and haul it back down the mountain. Having reached Conifer I noticed how badly my brakes were due to the amount of ice which had accumulated around every component on the bike. My rear wheel would only turn if I gave it momentum and my rear derailleur was so badly encased with ice that I had one gear to work with for the next hour. If that wasn't bad enough, my booties began to ice over and I could barely feel anything at all in my hands. At this stage the snow picked up and any amount of moisture splashing on the bike was instantly frozen causing huge clumps of ice to gather. Every 1/2 mile I had to dismount to a) dethaw my hands and feed and b) break loose the ice to slowly get my sorry state down the mountain. It was the only time I would rather have ascended than descended. A met a fellow biker on the way down who was obviously in similar pain. He and I would leap frog eachother on the way down several times as he would stop to warm up while I passed, then I would stop to thaw while he braved the icy cold on the way down. We gave eachother the sympathetic smile of support as we passed and rejoiced after reaching the bottom at the Chatfield parking lot. Not only were my booties entirely encased with ice, but I was shaking so uncontrollably that I could barely keep my bike on a straight path. My vision was also a bit skewed & wobbly- why I have no idea. I quickly entered a Chatfield restroom to put my fingers under warm water while jumping up and down to give life back into my system. Taking a leak was a joke...very lucky to avoid the floor given the shakes (so glad no one was in there with me).

Hands down the coldest I have been in a very long time. I was so happy to return to the C-470 trail where the 50 degree weather completely thawed me out and put a smile back on my face. Not the best time for the distance, but being alive was gratifying enough. Confidence still strong going into Ironman in less than 2 weeks!!!

Still a smile on my face in this one...

The ice just beginning to build up. Should have filmed it about 30 min later, but my fingers would not function.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

1.5M Swim, 74M Bike

With all this great time off work I think I'm getting back my mojo despite hurting my lower leg last Thursday. Tomorrow will be the first time in a week since I'll run on it, and I think I'm ready, especially with the new shoes which arrived today in the mail!

Pearl Izumi Fuel XC

This week has been a confidence booster in the pool and on the bike with several super strong workouts as follows:

Today: 1.5M swim, 74M bike (home to Palmer Lake & back, 3:36 - 20.5mph average). Got the javelin up to 51mph!

Thurs: 2M continuous swim - this is one I have been waiting to do to build confidence that I can take a strong pace for a full hour. With a wetsuit and a good drafting technique I hope to break an hour in St. George.

Previous days - lots of pool & indoor bike time, but resting the stupid leg.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Good week/bad week

The week started and nearly finished with perfection, but some things don't always work out as planned. With my project on a two week hold, I've had perhaps too much time to train and I over did it this week with a run that strained a muscle in my lower leg which is too painful to put out there on the road for at least a few days (sucky timing with a week of heavy volume before the long-awaited taper). On the positive side, I have a full week of vacation time this week and hope to exercise enough patience and mental preparation to get everything else in order.

My week could be best summarized as follows:
Swim = 6M (best swim week yet)
Bike: 60M (lost my long Saturday ride with the injury)
Run: 36M

I'm doing all I can to get back on track (rest, massage, tiger balm, ice, etc), and have to exercise some faith and patience I suppose. One thing is for sure - my swim will dramatically improve with all the attention!!! Goals for IM this year include:

Sub 1hr swim
Sub 6hr bike
Sub 4hr run
5min T2/T3 reduction

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Speed Week

Working on speed this week... This morning involved a strong, yet comfortable 2M swim at Westridge followed by this track workout at Thunder Ridge:

Warmup - 15 minutes
Main Set:
3 sets of the following:
400m @ 80-85%
800m @ 85-90%
800m @ 80-85%
400m @ 85-90%
800m easy jog
I firmly believe my run is stronger than last year if I can remain healthy. With more time away from work, my biggest challenge will be avoiding over-training and injury.

Monday, April 11, 2011

20M run, 1.5M swim

4:30am start this morning. 20M run at 2:50 (8:30 pace), + 1.5M swim and feeling GREAT! Thanks to the Carborocket fuel Jeff Higham gave me last night; I really think that stuff has something in it better than what I was previously using. Time to switch fueling strategies and I think I have enough time before May 7 to put it in place.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Leg Strength

If there are two things I can say confidently are stronger this year than last it's my swim and my leg strength. Jeff Higham took me to the hills Friday for a nice beating of the legs on my first 'real' mt bike ride of the year (25+M & 5K of elevation gain), and I followed it Saturday morning with an 80M ride to Conifer over high grade & round about trails on the Javelin; followed by a 10K. Needless to say, I was quite clear of energy Saturday, but feel a heck of a lot better today and am ready for my last two weeks of real training before the Ironman taper begins.

Tomorrow is a 1.5M swim and an 18M run.

The new Air 9 is quite comfortable all around; finally a bike that actually fits me.