The fire that burns in each of us that can never be subdued!
Thursday, August 31, 2006
Pigman Weekend Pictures
Well I finally have them all online and they are available for you to browser through at your leisure.
Gallery #1 – Contains all the photos from the day before the race. They include Bob and I checking out the course, the girls (Kim, Rachel, and Bridget) making their way down to Iowa, the whole crew chillin at our hotel.
Gallery #2 – Contains all the photos that our wonderful cheering crew took during the actual race.
Gallery #3 – Finally a few shots from after the race in the hotel, the girl’s and Bob’s return trip back to MN, and a little victory ice cream cake get together.
Finally Bob took a bit of video as we were checking out the swim course. 100 million brownie points if you can actually decipher my two lines at the beginning and end of the clip.
I seriously have nothing to blog about. What is this world coming to? Anyway I’m working on getting all the pictures from the Pigman weekend up in a gallery for your viewing pleasure/displease. (We had pics on 4 different cameras) I finally got the notice that the official pictures were in for Pigman, but they have huge watermarks on them so I’m not going to even bother.
Anyway since I can’t provide and good reading material today I just suggest you head over to Phase Five and check out Nic’s race report from the Hood to Coast relay she did this past weekend. This girl kicked some major booty and wrote up a damn fine report to share with y’all.
I made the effort, but six days was all I could go without a workout. I really tried to make it the full seven, but it didn’t happen. On Saturday morning, or mid-morning, neighbor Kim and I headed out for a run. Of course we had different opinions on how far we should run. I was like a nice easy three sounds good, while she was more inclined to do around 6. Now normally I’d be up for more mileage, but I wasn’t sure how much body was going to react. Plus Kim was a little misinformed about the 6 mile route she wanted to do. (It’s more like 9) So we settled on an out and back route that ended up being 6.5 miles. For the first 4.5 miles things felt ok. My body was little upset with me, but nothing major was going on. More of the why are you doing this type stuff. The last couple of miles were a different story. The body went into total reject mode. First it was my knee and then it was my right arch. I guess this was my payback for jumping the gun a bit. Finally we made it back to our apartment building after a 1/3 mile cool-down walk. It was great morning to be running, but my body isn’t quite ready yet. My arch is still bothering me, which is not a good sign. Hopefully all the icing will help because I can’t wait too long if I want to make it through Chicago.
In other news I was out with some friends on Saturday night. It seems like ages since I was out bar hopping. Bar hopping led to closing the last place down. Again all very strange considering it’s been months and months since I’ve closed a place down. I guess its all part of what most people might call “normal” life, but that doesn’t have much of a place in mine when I’m training and racing. So finally I made my way home and in bed by about 3 AM. Wondering why I was out so late when I had to be up to coach the next morning. After about 3.5 hours of sleep I was up to coach my tri team. By mid-day yesterday I was seriously hurting. Not much besides the necessity to eat drove me out of my apartment again to go get groceries. After that I pretty much was a waste of space.
Oh and finally I got a photo postcard from my brother. It took awhile, but I finally got a look at what my new nephew looks like. So here is a picture of Ethan Skyler.
I hope you all have a great weekend and your races went well if that’s what you were going. Take care…
After all the hysteria that centered on Sunday’s race it was weird to come home last night after work and not have go train. It’s been months since I’ve had time off from some sort of training. I’ve got mixed feelings about it. Part of it is very nice, but at the same time that itch is starting to take shape already. I’ve imposed almost of full weeks rest after the beating my body took on Sunday. I know I need the recovery, but it’s all a little foreign. It’s been a couple of years since I’ve felt the need to really impose a true recovery. I should be using this time to get caught up on all the real life things I’ve been putting off the last month or so, but that hasn’t happened yet. Instead I went out for dinner with a buddy and had a few drinks afterwards. It was a strange to be in a bar during the week watching the baseball game while playing pool. I guess it just shows how influential my training is on my life. Not that I would have it any other way, but sometimes you lose track of how much time we put into our training. It’s only when the training is gone do you see how much of a focus our sport really is in our lives. Oh the old struggle of life vs. training continues to go on and on and on…
If you get in your car and drive that distance it might take you an hour or so. A combination of swimming, biking, and running the same distance and it will take you just a little bit longer. Ok quite a bit longer.
I can’t describe my anxiety levels other then huge the morning of the race. I thought at any moment I was going to loose my breakfast. I could see the concern from my friends and family who had graciously driving the 4+ hours to come watch my first ½ Ironman attempt. I’m sure I looked on the verge of death and felt similar. After a short warm-up in the water I started to settle down. The morning was shaping up very nicely and the weather was going to be great with temps around 80 and partly cloudy skies.
I tried to laugh and joke with everyone as I prepared for the start. Finally my wave was called and we gathered in our pink swimming caps near the waters edge. I was doing my best to calm my racing heart with slow breaths hoping not to crack at the last minute. Finally the racer director said GO and we were off. I was off. Off to an unknown destiny at the start of my first long distance triathlon.
To my surprise my swim went really well. I’m not a speed demon, but I was sticking with a few of guys from my group. It was hard to see at first with the sun coming up and it was hard to distinguish orange buoys from pink caps. Besides my somewhat not so straight swimming I felt good in the water. Gotta love wetsuits. About half way through I say a few people from the later waves making their way past me, but I just kept at my own pace trying to swim long and strong. I exited the water feeling good and hearing the familiar voices of friends and family was a godsend.
T1 went off with out much of a hitch, well that is until I actually exited T1. As I was mounting my bike I stepped on my right shoe (clipped onto my pedal) as I hopped on the saddle. As I went to place my left foot on my shoe I didn’t quite land it right as my shoe came off my pedal. Ok don’t panic! I get off my bike grab my shoe from the volunteer who handed it to me, put it on and get back on my bike. I don’t know how long the whole process took. The important thing was that I was back on my bike and riding. I was pissed the whole time, but tried to not let it bother me. I had more important things to consider with a 56 mile hilly course in my near future.
Note to everyone; make sure you know exactly what type of course you are in store for long before the race begins. Needless to say I wasn’t the smart when I missed the link to the image of the bike course on the website only to find out that it was hilly course instead of the flat Iowa that I had in my head. Luckily SafetyBob and I had driving the course the day before so we had a better idea of what it was like. We didn’t like what we say, but we at least had a frame of reference.
Overall the bike course was tough. The hills were mainly long slow grinders what basically chewed up your energy stores. There were a few nice down hills, but it wasn’t close to equally out. I remember saying to myself how much I loved hill, wind, and pain. The order would change depending on what I was feeling at the time. The wind would come and go so it wasn’t horrible, but it defiantly made itself known a couple of times. Like when you have a little bit of a downhill but you are working just has hard because the wind would pick up just enough. I pulled deep at times to make it through the challenging course, but eventually I made it though and waiting for me again were the familiar voices that would pick me up again as I started out on the last leg.
I was heading out of the park where the race was hosted when I say SafetyBob down in on the bike. I was pumped because there was a chance that he had passed me on the swim and I had no idea where he was. Not that we were racing, but it gave me a little boot. Per my usual stupid self I started the run a little faster then I wanted to. The run is usually my best part of the race and I can’t help myself from running at my normal pace vs. being smart and remembering that I had a ½ marathon to run. Miles 4-8 were my hardest. My feet were killing me from being on the hot blacktop and I knew I was slowing down. It didn’t help that there was yet another hill right before the turn around. I mean come on didn’t we get enough of that on the bike. I know that they were tired but it also didn’t help that on the way back the young boys running the water stops had basically stopped handing it out and we had to grab it off the table as we ran by. I was approaching mile 9 and I knew that I was going to meet the run time that I wanted, but I was still under my overall time. This is when I really just started to enough the race. I relaxed about finishing times and just took it all in. I went over all I had done in matter of hours that had taken months to train for. For once I was really smiling during a race. The race had a couple more hills for me before I finished including one that ended at mile 11. As I neared the finish my smile grew and somewhere I even managed a kick to the end. I didn’t think I would have one but somehow I managed a little sprint. Finally I crossed the finishing line and I had done it. 70.3 miles, I had gone the distance and finished the hardest race I have ever attempted.
The stats… Swim: 40:52 (slow and steady is my moto, actually I was pretty pumped with that time) Bike 2:53:17 average 19.4 mph Run 2:07:04 9:42/mile (a bit slow, but I’d been through a lot. I was hoping to beat the 2 hour mark) Total 5:44:32 Woohoo, I was hoping to break the 6 hour mark and I did. I was pretty thrilled about that!
214/439 Overall 24/38 Age Group
Overall it was a great race and I couldn’t have been more thrilled with the outcome. I survived my biggest challenge to date and it felt great. I didn’t sure come to my own demons or break down mentally. In the end that’s what it truly all is, one big metal game. In part I have to thank SafetyBob for coming and racing with me. Bob did a great job and pushed his own limits to finish well. Plus many thanks to my family (mom & dad) and friends (Kim, Rachel, and Bridge) who made the trip down. The power of hearing a familiar voice is simply amazing. I know there were many others who were pulling for us on Sunday and somehow all those good vibes made it to the course. It was a great experience which leaves me wanting more. A want to push my limits to see where they my truly be. Until I find them I was continue to keep training and racing with a great song pumping through my veins when I need an extra surge or push. At Pigman and for most of the season it has been Foo Fighter’s “Best of You.” On Sunday I pretty much found my best which is all we can ever ask for. There are plenty of things that can bring us down, including ourselves, but only we can truly bring the best out in ourselves…
Get your mind out of the gutters people. :) This is just the phrase Kim had written on a Dairy Queen ice cream cake that we took over to teammate Bridget’s house on Monday. I agreed with Kim that an ice cream cake was very suitable giving the weekend Bridget had after Turtleman. Bridget was looking her cheery normal self. The only downer is that she can’t workout for 2 weeks, doctor’s orders. I’d go crazy if I had to take 2 weeks off.
Speaking of crazy I think I’ve caught of bit of that bug too. The nerves are starting to sink in with Pigman only a few days away. A couple of sleepless nights are always the first warning signs for me. The extra energy from tapering usually leaves me somewhat restless at night. That and drinking too much water on Monday and having to get up at 4:00 AM because of it. So I’m doing my best to push out anything triathlon related when I’m not doing a workout or coaching. Pretty much an impossible task but I’m trying. It’s pretty sad but I’m getting close to the point where I just want it over and done with. This will probably go on til the end of work tomorrow when I start to put everything together for the trip down to Iowa. So til then it will be a holding pattern of nerves and anxiety for another day or so. Well I should say for this stage of nerves and anxiety.
Tonight I have my last real run before the race. I’m looking forward to just a nice easy run around the lakes in Minneapolis. It won’t be too fast or too slow. Just a run where your real purpose it to simply enjoy a warm summer evening.
Quote of the Day: All the wonders you seek are within yourself. - Thomas Brown
This weekend I was reminded that just about anything can happen during a race. As much as we like to think we are in control, as most of us are control freaks, you never really know when a race is going to have your number. This idea hit home this weekend as I was watch a dozen of my teammates compete in the Turtleman Triathlon. As the morning progressed I watched each one of them go through the swim, bike, and run. Rachel, another teammate, and I were trying to do our best to get pictures of everyone as they flew by. Finally we were at the finishing line cheering as they made their way down the finisher’s chute. After Kim had finished we knew that our teammate Bridget should be next. We waited and waited until we actually saw teammate Jamie finish first. During our wait there had been a call for the medical staff about 200 yards from the finish. Unfortunately this happens from time to time, but you sometimes tune it out til there is that chance that you might know the person that needs help. I didn’t think much of it til I saw Jamie and started to really wonder why Bridget hadn’t finished. Finally I made my way towards where the call for the medical staff had been. There I did learn that in fact it was Bridget who had needed help and was currently in the ambulance. They said that her temp was 104 and that she had collapsed. Finally another ambulance came to take her to the hospital. After which the rest of us sprung into action to get all her stuff and eventually meet her at the hospital.
It was pretty frightening seeing someone you know being taken away during a race. I’m sure there are things she would have done differently to prevent this outcome, had she known, but sometimes there is nothing that can be done. For the record Bridget is doing well. They did keep her for a couple of nights, but she looked her normal cheery self yesterday when I saw her.
I guess I’m writing about this to flush out some of my own worries for this weekend. It’s not easy to tell a control freak that there is a lot that I won’t be able to control. That there is a finite list of items that I can really control and the rest is out of your hands. It’s all part of doing through the motions before a big race. You want everything to go so well, but that’s not realistic. You can prep and prepare only so much and then it’s about giving yourself up to the race itself. Hopefully your preparation will prove to best or at least match everything the course may throw at you, but your never know. In the end you have to be ok with losing and not having control of many things. This is not an easy task, but a necessary one as people prep for a big race. Having put in so much time and effort it’s hard just to throw thing up in the air and let them fall as they may. Unfortunately there are so many factors when racing that part of it has to be a crap shot. Each race we grab the dice, shake them in our hands and throw them down to the end of the table. Will we hit our numbers or will someone else hit theirs? Only after going the full length of the race will we know if we hit a bit of luck and those things that we couldn’t control were in our favor and the dice show our numbers. Sometimes they hit and sometimes they don’t. What really matters is that we stepped up to the line and said, “Let’s see what you got.”
Well after my last post about training tan lines it was quickly noted that we all should be taking the necessary precautions against the sun when we are training. So I thank Audrey and Nic for once again reminding us all what we should be doing before we head out for our workouts. That said no amount of sunscreen will get in the way of the tan lines when you are out for a really long session. So whether you were smart and just out for a long time or forgot to put on the block, tan lines come with every type of endurance training. I guess we’ll wait and see if anyone’s willing to show theirs off. (Audrey just look the other way. hehe)
On Monday night I was with a group of friends out on Lake Minnetonka. We were treated to a great night out on the lake. There were the usual cocktails and snacks followed by fooling around in the water. Who could do the best cannonball, flip, and all that jazz. Just as the sun was setting we moseyed over to a lakeside restaurant for dinner. Making our way back to the cars an almost full moon had risen over the water lighting up the dark sky. If you’ve never crusied around on a boat at night with a full moon in the sky you really are missing out. All in all it was a great time and perfect way to end the day.
Well it seems like forever since I’ve had a long workout go as it should. Over the last few weeks it seems like there has been some weather, mechanical, or bodily issue that rears its angry head during my long workouts. For awhile I thought my calf issue from Thursday was going to take out my training again this weekend. Trying to do the right thing I rested my legs on Friday and Saturday. I felt I should walk normally first before running again. I swear the severe cramp actually pulled my calf muscle. At least that’s what it felt like. (That would be one for the headlines…Cramp pulls triathletes calf muscle…hmmm, I guess I don’t have a future in headline writing.) After the rest I needed to get in some miles. Nothing that running would most likely make things worse I decided to scrap my brick for the weekend and just do a long ride.
Sunday I set out and rode a little over 50 miles. It was a great day to be riding. It was windy and I defiantly felt it most of the ride, but it just seemed to stir me a bit more. I cruised along the rolling hills for over 2.5 hours averaging 19.4 mph. Towards the end I was staring to feel pretty tired, but felt great over the distance covered. Finally after arrived back at the starting point I was relieved to get off the saddle. I had worn my tri shorts in prep for Pigman and they just don’t offer the padding of normal bike shorts. My a$$ was a little sore. After getting some carbs and fluids I walked down to the beach where I had started my ride and strolled into the water. Nothing feels better then strolling through the cooler water after a long workout. Ahhhh I threw down a towel and just laid in the sun for a bit. My body was taxed but had smile on my face and I just relaxed in the warmth of the sun. The long ride was finished and I was left there admiring the nice tan lines biking always provides.
I think we need to have a contest kind of like the Kahuna’s Transition Olympics for the best tan lines from training. Though I had some nice ones from my ride on Sunday I know that they are far from what others have had. So if you are so inclined send in your pics with your training tan lines and I’ll post the winner at the end of the month. Now remember this is training tan lines and not ones you had after spending the day at the beach. :)
On Tuesday night my family grew when my sister-in-law gave birth to a baby boy. Ethan (middle name unknown yet) was born around 10:30 PM weighing in at 6 pounds and 15 ounces. By all accounts mother and baby are doing well. Hopefully my brother will send me pictures that I can post in the near future. It will probably be awhile before I see the babe in person because my brother lives in Tacoma, WA. Anyhoo the clan keeps on growing.
Last night we had perfect weather for biking. Finally after the heat wave and two days of storms Mother Nature was very kind to folks around here. A group of us met up at a LBS for their Wed. night rides. We cruised around for 27 miles just taking in the nice weather. I can’t really call it a hard ride given our pace at times, but that’s ok. Sometimes ya just need to go out and ride.
This morning it was up at 5:00 to get in a run before work. Apparently my body was pissed off at me for some reason this morning. Not two seconds after my alarm went off did my left calf cease up in an excruciating painful cramp. I mean I haven’t locked up like that in a long time. Of course the seconds that go by feels like hours when all you want to do is scream out loud in pain. I’m sure my neighbors would have appreciated that. Neighbor Kim joined me on the early morning run. There were a lot of people out this morning as we went out and back on the 7 mile route. We started out a bit slow as our bodies woke/warmed up, but we picked things up on the way back to negative split the second half. It was a nice run and the cooler weather made me want to keep on going and blow off work for the day. Yeah no such luck of that happening. I mean who doesn’t love working for the man?
Quote of the Day: The successful man is one who had the chance and took it. - Roger Babson
Well there has been a multitude of things going on since my last post, which was like a decade ago. So here’s a recap of what has be going on around these parts over the last few days.
Friday was a very busy day. If work wasn’t enough I was off to the pool afterwards to get in swim to start the weekend. Shadow eyes was back in town for a wedding. Apparently he thought that people missed him, besides his sister Kim, so of course he had to invite people over for a BBQ. There was a good turn out to see the unkempt, full-bearded Shadow eyes. (The kid needs a hair cut) The food from Van Hanson’s Meat Market was excellent as always. As a bonus Shadow eyes got to participate in his favorite pastime which is having political sided conversations where he does most of the talking. (He kind of likes to hear his own voice…ok loves to hear his own voice) Overall it was a good time and I was able to catch up with people I haven’t seen in a while.
Saturday started off way to early with a long brick scheduled. It was early to beat the looming heat wave. I was hoping to ride about 40 miles and then run for about an hour. Let’s just say that didn’t happen quite as plan. Tire flats prevented this from happening. At the end I had to go MacGyver style and wedge in a dollar bill between the tube and where it was rubbing an exposed spoke hole because the rim tape had pulled away. This caused an error in judgment as I went for a longer run and hit the wall 9 miles into the run. You know you are not in good shape when you are forced to walk and then have trouble walking because your body is completely out of fuel and it’s affecting your brain. Yeah not good, but eventually I made it back to my car and loaded up with water and sports beans to bring up the low sugar levels.
After a shower and nap it was off to a family reunion around the area where my dad grew up. Now normally there is nothing wrong with camping with the fam and seeing the extended family. The issue this past weekend was the high 90s and humidity that Mother Nature served up for us. I beat the heat by actually sleeping at my dad’s place. I was in no mood to be out in a tent or cabin in that heat. There was a very good showing with about 70 family members showing up. Yes I come from a large family.
I returned to the cities Sunday evening where it was much cooler in my car them my apartment. I cranked the AC and ended up sleeping on my couch because the AC unit is only good enough for cooling off the living room and not the entire apartment. I can’t say I accomplished much and just vegged and recovered from the exhausting weekend.
I decided to take on task of coaching out Disney Tri team. I’m going to be getting some help from the outgoing coach so that I can still have my weekend for my own training til Pigman is over. I get to meet the team tonight at our swim workout. I’m kind of nervous. Yikes. Hehe
The Kahuna had an entertaining post/comments about human anatomy today. (I mean anytime things from Seinfeld make in into a blog it usually is entertaining.)
Finally I will get to the zillion of posts that you all have made since Friday. I think I was caught up for about a week or two and now I’m behind again.
I’m a software developer by day and an endurance athlete by night. Strange combination I know. My main focus is in triathlons. I had no idea that trying something new for a charity (LLS) would have changed my entire lifestyle and ambitions.