Friday, February 25, 2011

2011 Southeastern Multisport Expo!!! February 26th, 1:30-7:30p

"Two posts in a day???  Don't you have anything better to do?"

I wish!  Things got backed up at work, and I forgot to post this for everyone that is within driving distance of Atlanta.  I am in no way associated with this, I just think it is really cool and I wanted people to know about it.

I am just gonna copy and paste a few things from their site, that way I am not butchering anything :)

Hold the date for the southeast's largest endurance and multisport event! SEE-ME 2011, presented by Classic Subaru of Atlanta, is unlike any other expo you’ve ever been to – it’s all here to help you learn, explore and discover what you need to compete in endurance and multisport events. The day is designed to help you, no matter if you are a newbie or an experienced athlete, learn, explore and discover what it takes to get to the starting line.

New for 2011 is the SEE-ME Fit Zone, sponsored by All3Sports!  You won't want to miss the separate area just off the main exhibition floor where you can see demonstrations and ask questions from service providers who specialize in getting you "fit" for the season ahead.  No, we're not talking about personal trainers and dietitians...although that's important too.  The SEE-ME Fit Zone will be for all kinds of "fittings" such as:  wetsuits fitting, sports bra fitting, speciality shoe fitting, spin bike fitting, road/tri bike fitting, and much more!  Ask the Fit Zone experts and get fit early before the training season kicks into full swing

Once again, a highlight of SEE-ME is the raffle of gear and services items graciously donated by local and regional multisport organizations. You can purchase raffle tickets during the expo event up until the raffle at 6:00 pm. Raffle winners MUST be present to win!

Another highlight to the annual event is the awarding of the Henry C. Forrest "Person of Courage" recipient. SEE-ME is proud to reward someones efforts that you might not otherwise know about because he/she would rather go un-noticed. What better way to recognize someones notable accomplishments than at the multisport kick-off event for the Southeast? Nominate someone for the 2011 award at this link. The Getting2Tri Foundation is this year's sponsor of the Person of Courage award.

DIRECTIONS/LOCATION: Concourse Athletic Club, 8 Concourse Parkway, Atlanta, GA 30328, (770) 698-2000

The Friday Review!!! February 25th, 2011

Happy Friday Everyone!!!

Results from Rev3 Costa Rica

Here is where you can get all of the results from the Rev3 Costa Rica Race!

Leonardo Chacon (Men's) coming in a time of 1:53:25
Kelly Williamson (Women's) coming in at a time of 2:10:35

Some of my favorites I follow
Matt Reed - 8th (Pro) finished in 2:02.23, I don't know what his average run pace is, but he was 12/13 in the men's field with a run pace of 6:08/mi.  Also there were only 3 men in the pro field that exceeded a  6:00/mi pace.
Kate Major - 2nd (Pro) finished in 2:12.42.  Looks like it was a case of Kelly being better on the swim and the run just enough to out race Kate with her small advantage on the bike. 

I hope to see both of my favorites in the other Rev3 Events this year.  It was kind of interesting to see the pro field in the Olympic distance race this year, but I am attributing that to the fact this was more of a warm up race for the season. 

The next Rev3 Series race is in Knoxville on May 15th, 2011 (Olympic and Half Iron distance).  I completed the inaugural race last year at it was awesome!  It is also a great alternative to the Ironman 5150/70.3 events!  I know some of you are anti-Ironman sanctioned events, while others are just looking for a great alternative race series and this is a bandwagon you should definitely be on (Shameless free plug :).

Let's see... what else happened this week?  Oh yes, the earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand!  There is a podcast that some of you might listen to, IM Talk, and if you don't you should definitely check them out.  They are also on Facebook if you want to friend them as well.  They talk about everything, and you get a greater world picture on triathlon since it is coming from a non-US perspective.  Bevin and John, the podcasts' creators are doing well although they have sustained property damage to their homes.  Here is a link if you would like to donate to the people of Christchurch for this disaster (Multiple sites listed here).

Lastly, before I go on about myself for a few minutes, I thought one of the bigger news events this week was Macca announcing to leave Ironman for awhile to focus on the 2012 London Olympics and the Australian Olympic Team. Good for him.  He knows what he wants, and he is gonna leave IM to go and to it.  Congratulations.  I only did a quick skim over a few articles, and I don't remember whether or not he said he would be open to coming back after the Olympics.  I will still enjoy his racing, whatever format he is racing in.

Ok.  So this week I missed a couple workouts because of my Final Exam, but other than that I did OK.  I finally got my road bike fitted on Tuesday, and the most drastic change was that he moved my seat height up about 2.5 inches, he moved my seat forward about a centimeter, and he flipped my headset upside down to give me a more aggressive profile.  He also suggested I get a new set of drop bars (smaller) that will fit the new group set I purchased last week.  I am still waiting for that to come in as of today, however Monday was a Federal Holiday so no post running on Monday.  Bill at All3Sports was very helpful, although they were a bit short handed, they had a lot of employees down at the Rev3 Costa Rica race (they are a major sponsor for the event).  Other than that I have class tomorrow morning for 4 hours, then the Southeast Multisport Expo (that runs from 1:30-7:30p for all of you who live in the Atlanta area).  After that I have a couples shower to go to with my roommate, the couple are really good friends of ours, and the groom to be is one of my fraternity brothers.  Outside of studying, I once again will take full advantage of this beautiful early spring weekend to swim, bike, and run closer to my goals this year.  I think I have about 23 days till the Publix Half Marathon, and I have about 78 days till the Peachtree International Triathlon. 

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

No Prinicipal Richards, its ok! I have a "Hall Pass!"

Sooo, I was gonna tell a real quick story about the skinny on what transpired this past weekend (and I wanted to somehow get the new "Hall Pass" movie into my title as well :).

Friday I was supposed to get my bike fitting for my road bike.  That got cancelled because All3Sports was gonna have a number of their employees down in Costa Rica for the Rev3 Tri Olympic and Half Rev races this past weekend.  So there went that for the weekend.  Then my buddy Mitchel who works for LifeTime Fitness told me that he had scheduled a metabolic test and a VO2 Max test for 1pm on Saturday.  He tells me this Friday afternoon, and then proceeds to give me a laundry list of things I can/can not do between Friday evening and Saturday @ 1pm.  One of these things was that I was not allowed to work out.

I get a "Hall Pass!"

The Friday evening not working out kinda pissed me off because I slept in Friday morning and was planning on doing a brick in the evening to make up for it.  So there goes two workouts.  Then I had two workouts planned for Saturday, one being in the morning, and he then tells me that I cannot do the morning workout either.  Oh and I have to go to bed early, and I cannot drink the night before either, and I have to have my last meal by 9pm and can only have a small snack for breakfast. 

Saturday morning comes and around 10am I get a text from Mitchel.  I had already made other plans for the morning and was currently out and about, and he says, "Just found out that the equipment is not working, so I have to cancel the tests, sorry bud."  Well crap!

I did get my rest of the workouts in though through the weekend, and I did find time to go out on Satuday night, and I also tackled some studying for a final exam I have this coming Thursday night (Federal Tax Accounting). 

In other news, my road bike parts should be here sometime this week.  I purchased them last thu from a guy in Washington State, and he shipped them out Friday.  It was an ebay auction, however, he ended it early since I made him an offer rather than bidding on the item.  I got a 2010 Shimano 105 groupset, and then he threw in some Mavic Kysium's for an additional $175, plus the tubes and tires.  Total out the door with all of that was $520.  Pretty good considering the average retail price of that 2010 groupset alone is around $650-700.

Here are some pics.  I did have a pic of the wheels, but I lost it, so I will get that to you when I receive the items in the mail. 

I will have a post on my rescheduled bike fit and other things in the Friday review, since I am now going to go into hiding until after my exam on Thursday night!  Have a great week!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Murtha's Triathlon Blog Listed in Top 50 Athlete Inspirational Blogs!

Don't even ask me how this happened!  But I will accept it nonetheless.

So I don't know if you guys do this with your blogs (be it wordpress, blogger, etc), but I will go one every couple of days and check my stats to see how much traffic I get, where it is coming from, and if anyone else is linking to my blog.  I think it was this past Friday I was looking first thing in the morning, and I saw this website/blog that my blog was linked through, Sports Psyche.  The site/blog is dedicated to the study and communication of sports psychology to the masses, they also have other resources on their site if you are interested in this field of study. 

They have a post from February 8th, entitled "Top 50 Inspiring Blogs by Athletes."  I clicked on the link and it has 50 blogs from both pros and amateur athletes that they feel can inspire others.  I go through the first three sports, basketball, football and baseball.  There were some pretty big names in there.  My next thought is, what does this have to do with me?  I keep scrolling down, where I hit the Running/Triathlete section, and who do you suppose is listed at Number 29?  That would be yours truly!  Also, one of my blogging buddies, Rachel, was featured as well coming in at Number 28.  Here is her blog if you are interested in checking it out.  I know this is probably not some high ranking sports psychologist that is world renowned or anything, and this list is far from Triathlete Magazine or Sports Illustrated Top ## Athlete blogs of all time, but I thought it was still pretty cool!

Take a gander at the post here.

Hope all of you had a great weekend!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Friday Review... February 18th, 2011

Happy Friday Everyone!

I hope all of you have had a great week this week.  I know for a lot of you the weather has been really nice and I have also seen the number of people out and about biking/running quadruple I think.  People had a rough case of cabin fever and needed to get the hell out of the house!  Got a few news items I saw this week, which I thought were important, so I will pass those along first and then get on with what the hell was going on with me :)

First off I wanted to put in my two cents about Lance Armstrong's second retirement (dubbed "Retirement 2.0.").  I think this is a great thing for Lance, and hopefully he will be more decisive than Brett Farve is/was in leaving his sport.  Oh I am sorry, I meant coming back.  Oh hell, I don't know what Brett is doing... I think that he just flips a coin about two weeks before the season starts ;)  Regardless of his innocence/guilt regarding the doping allegations, I think him coming back just stirred the pot again.  There will always be people who put him on that.  After looking at the year after year training regimen that he went through, I would hate to think that some, if not all of his major wins were due to performance enhancing drugs.  Also there were so many proactive things he did for pushing forward testing to fight the doping scandals. 

I feel that his comeback from retirement and wanting to bridge that with the Livestrong organization did not pan out like some people felt it was going to, or at least where I thought it was going to go.  I am sure there were some events where proceeds and donations made there way into the Livestrong program, however, from a PR and outsider's standpoint I felt that Livestrong would be labeled on everything he touched.   I heard all this hype about how a lot of his comeback was going to help promote Livestrong, and then when I watched him throughout the year I did not see much of Livestrong shown, other than his Livestrong bike he rode during his races.  I did not think that he was gonna be able to pull off another Tour de France win, however, in the same note, he loves his sport so much that I can see how hard it is for him to get away.  Kudos to you Lance, I hope that you enjoy your retirement!  Also come back and do a tri or two for fun ;)

As for me, the front end of the week went really well for me training wise, and then the wheels fell off at the end of the week.  I will get to that in another post, probably tomorrow (Monday, as it is Sunday and I am still working on the Friday Review).  School seems to be much harder and taxing (no accounting pun intended) and when I got to Thursday I started wearing down.  An average day for me without training is 6:30a - 11:00p, and that schedule includes working and studying.  Add in training and I am going 5:00a - midnight.  My Fridays I have made to have an easier schedule or have that my day off so that I can sleep in a bit, and not take a worn down body into the weekend where I need to ramp up my training due to more free time.  I will make the adjustments.  Oh and nap time is definitely coming back!  I like to take naps, but I am the kind of guy who, if he has the option to, will try to push through and just make it to the end of the night.  Naps are going to have to come back into the equation if I am to make it through August. 

I am gonna cut this one short as I once again ran this post too far past Friday ;P  I got some other stuff that I wanna talk about tomorrow anyways.  I hope that all of you had a great training weekend, and enjoyed the weather (for those of you who had great early spring weather this weekend).  I am out!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The meaning of Ironman vs. the Ironman brand (Part 2: From a Pro's Perspective)

Hey Everyone!

I got a bit inspired this morning from one of our local pro triathletes here in Atlanta, so I wanted to get this on the blog today!  April Gellatly-Burkey resides in Atlanta and has been a pro for a number of years now, while also coaching on some of the local triathlon teams, private training sessions, and consulting with local news media on all things triathlon.  I have been to a few of her open swim sessions with Tri-PTC, and have seen her at the Southeastern Multi-sport Expo, as well as a few other places.  She is a great person, and a great representation of our sport.  Here is a photo of her from Rev3 Cedar Point.

In December 2010 I posted a blog titled: "What's your Opinion? The meaning of Ironman vs. the Ironman brand" (click on the link to read)

Today April was inspired by a blogger talking about "Fighting the Good Fight" and is trying to apply it to her endeavours of furthering her career in triathlon both on the WTC circuit as well as other national triathlon circuits.  All coming from the perspective of a pro-triathlete.  I think you will like both her post and the post that inspired her.  I like it when people think with the glass half full :) We Must Never Stop Dreaming

Paul Coelho's Blog:  The Good Fight


Monday, February 14, 2011

The Belated Review...

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

Sorry I missed Friday.  My girlfriend was in town for the weekend, and I got distracted, since it was our early Valentine's Day weekend.  I did some scouting for new gear for this season, but I came home empty handed.  No worries though, as I am sure I will probably find some money to spend that I don't have this year (yay capitalism, yay materialism, yay deficit spending!).

Yeah workouts kinda did not happen since it was Valentine's Day weekend.  That does not happen too often nowadays that we are so far apart, and also since it was "spend time with your main squeeze holiday."  But I am ok with that.  As far as training is concerned, I have a 13 week training block leading up to the Peachtree International Triathlon on May 14th, 2011.  Between now and then I have the Publix Half Marathon in Atlanta (March 20th, about 5 weeks away).  After that then I have a 24 week training block till I hit Ironman Florida.  Everything is getting planned out quite nicely.  I am only doing a two week taper in my 13 week plan, so I have two extra build up weeks to help with the transition to the Ironman block of training.  At some point I will be completing either IM Augusta 70.3, Halfmax, or the new Half Rev3 in Anderson SC.  All of them happen the last week of September/First week of October, so that will be perfect to lead into tapering for IMFL. 

I am also working on tweaking with tapering, because I have been doing some new research and studying the training habits of a coach in Australia who has trained up swimmers, triathletes, runners, etc and put a lot of them on Olympic teams and some of them into Ironman World Championships.  Basically he craps all over periodization and tapering (not to get rid of tapering, you just don't need as much as you think you do).  I also got to listen to an hour and a half interview with him, and I totally drank the Kool-aid.  Why???  Because it made total sense.  We have been trained (in the age grouper macro view) to look at swim bike and run separately, and not to train for triathlons.  Sadly enough this guy has not written any books or training manuals, and short of paying money to fly to Australia and train with him in person, I will just have to soak up any articles/training logs/interviews that he has done and try to tailor more of my training towards his style.  Do I think I will become the next best athlete?  Hell no!  But I think he is onto something and anything I try is bound to improve my performance by some standard, so why not employ his methods.

Just some food for thought.  Swam today, total workout 1700M.  I am going to wait another week or two and then complete a swim test.  At that point I will begin timing my workouts.  Tomorrow is bike at 5:45am at LA Fitness, and then I will work, go to class, and about 9:15pm I will get out and then head over to the gym to get in 4-5 miles of running.  Good times :)  Hope all of you had a great weekend, and I hope that all of you were wished a Happy Valentine's Day by someone who thinks you are special (friend, family, significant other, pet, etc).

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Listening to the body...

So I have a history of not listening to my body.  This has led to numerous injuries some including ITB Syndrome, Plantar Fasciitis, Osgood's Schlatter, and more. With respect to this year it has been trying to stage a revolt on the scale of Egypt with President Mubarak.  I was sick for the better part of the month with a sinus infection I could not shake, I had food poisoning, and this past week my ITB band and my calves have been kind of messed up from running (precursors to former leg injuries I do not wish to repeat), and the doctor told me I am overweight and need to lose weight.  It I am usually never sick and the only time I have had sustained injuries is when I did something stupid with respect to training.  Weight has been due to my lazy ass ONCE AGAIN this off season combined with my food intake.  Crap, crap and more crap. 

Those of you who are linked to me on facebook saw my post this morning about how Bloomberg News reported McDonald's January same store sales were up 5.3% beating estimates.  I commented on I ate so many times at McDonald's in January (more than I think I ever have in my life), that I probably helped them beat analysts estimates (a funny business joke, but not funny when it comes to nutrition). 

I think I came to this epiphany last night when I was running my Chastain Extended Loop.  as I approached about 1 mile on the run, my calves really started to hurt.  I was running uphill at the time, so I thought nothing of it.  As I crested the hill to go down hill for the next half mile, my calves were locking up.  I had to eventually quit when I hit this particular intersection that would let me cut back to my car.  I walked/jogged back to my car in considerable pain.  I also had problems driving home in my car, because i have a stick shift.  I went home and stretched and put on the compression calf sleeves.  sleeves helped some.  Today I am going to stretch and roll the calves out before I go on the run to see what happens.  I wonder if it was the 2nd day soreness from Saturday's run.  I know that I did not run very long on Saturday, but I am still recovering my mileage from my lost January, where I was pretty much beginning anyways. 

I am behind the 8 ball for the Half Marathon, but I am going to take it in stride.  If I can complete a Half Ironman with virtually no training, then getting the training that I am going to get over the next 6 full weeks will be a huge step up from that.  Also the half mary is not an A race for me, it was just something for me to work up to so I know I would be ahead of the curve when it came to my Ironman training.  If I was putting in good mileage for the half mary towards the end of March, I would be in good shape coming up to the summer and for Ironman.

I've got a training plan for February.  I have been sticking to it, even if the workouts were not on the exact days that I am used to.  I am working on a nutrition plan, and hope to have that finalized in the next couple of weeks.  In the next two weeks or so I will decide how I want to tackle the main part of my season, and how to break it down with regards to building up my base, tackling a few races I have put in my season, AND Ironman specific training.  I have also been toying with the idea of joining a group or getting "informal" coaching.  I say informal coaching because I cannot afford to have the coaching I want to have (i.e. $100+ a month for personalized service). 

On that note I have been bike shopping again... More like bike Internet shopping.  Things I cannot afford :(  But I am going to try really hard to upgrade parts to my bike this year.  Main items on the list include (and will finish off this bike permanently), new wheel set, new group set, and new handlebars/aero clip-ons.  I would also like to get a bike fit for all of this.  I have a coupon for all3sports to get fit on the bike, but I want to wait until I get all the parts (except maybe the wheels) so that when I get fitted, everything will be ready to go.  I am going to go ahead and take measurements this weekend so I have something to take into the bike shop, even though they are going to measure me again and tool around with the bike.  I did get my ISM saddle, and I have not yet put it on the bike, but I am excited that I got it. 

I kinda feel like the purchase list is going to get longer this year.  Most everything I own that is triathlon related was purchased (with the exception of clothing) in 2005.  Helmet, Bike Shoes, Bike and 90% of components, etc.  Why did I have to choose such an expensive sport??? I mean a drug habit would be cheaper than all of this ;)  That is a running joke (no pun intended) I use quite frequently, some people laugh, some don't.  I guess if I joined a club of some sort I could get some discounts, but it is going to take more than that to help me out :)  I am not asking for a full ride sponsorship or a brand new bike to be purchased for me (although that would be nice), but somethings gotta give.  If I convert this to a real world experience (because triathlon is a hobby, not the real world,  unless you are a pro, hope I don't offend) it would be like having to repair your transmission, your car insurance is due and you found out that you owe taxes to the state AND federal government. 

The other issue is getting hassled by bike shops.  They never want to install parts that you purchased yourself, they only want to install parts that you purchased through them.  Something about liability or some crap.  Hey, if I buy some parts of the Net or through another 3rd party and I give them to you, and one or all of the parts are actual crap, then that is my damn fault for buying them.  I am PAYING for you to install the parts I purchased.  You are still making money by charging me labor for the install, why are you trying to screw me for not wanting to pay double for parts at your shop when I can get them for 50% off somewhere else???  Sorry I will get off of my bike box.

Speaking of which, if you live in the Atlanta area and need a full size hard case bike box with wheels and a handle for pulling while you are traveling, I will rent you mine for $25.00.  I paid $450 for mine plus shipping to my house and I have only used it once, and I have rented it to a friend one time.  Otherwise it just sits around collecting dust until my next traveling event or I have to move a body :)

This week I am getting the swim and bike back into my workouts, but still mostly run focused.  So that this point for the next few weeks (and because school is still crazy) I will have a couple swims and a couple of bike rides/spin classes a week to get back into the swing of things.  By the end of February I will have gotten my feet week and some miles under my bike and I will kick it up a notch in March.  April will be a great month because I have three weeks off from school, and then I will be MIA socially May-2nd week of August because of Grad school + training.  Then I will be done with school and can peak in August and September with my training, taper October, and BAM!  Race day will be upon me!

So I have gotten way off track on this post.... where was I?  Oh yes listening to my body!  Well I just need to spend more time listening to it and less time in my head ignoring it and telling my body what I think it should do regardless of its state. 

Have any of you forgotten to listen to your body?  What happened?

Have a great week!

Saturday, February 05, 2011

2010 Ironman Augusta 70.3 Race Report - Part 3 (Conclusion and thoughts...)

Hello Everyone,

     It's Saturday, just got out of a Federal Tax Accounting Class, and I needed something to do while my lunch was settling before I can get in my afternoon workout.  Missed the morning 8am run with the West Stride Support Group.  Sorry Lee!  Was out at Ormsby's and Waffle House too late last night.  I was planning on being late to class this morning anyways because of the run, so I did not feel guilty getting up late, waiting for Planet Smoothie to open at 9am and then go to class.  So I decided I would complete the last part of this race report, put some thoughts and feelings behind how I felt about the event and my completion of it to tie everything together.

     First off, I think that my attitude and priority towards this race was all out of whack!  I think you may have gathered that from part 1 of this race report.  I signed up for this race in May and did not do enough training for it.  I kinda feel like 2008 and 2010 were lost years with respect to training and racing.  In 2007 I had a huge racing season (not that I was actually good, just a lot of races) and then I guess I was burnt out when I hit 2008.  In 2009 I did IMCDA, so there was the motivation there.  There were a couple times during the season where I slacked off and I admit that, both for being burnt out and trying to keep a relationship in check.  2010 I think was the same result as 2008, though it was due to training really hard for one race rather than multiple races.  There were also other major things that happened in my personal and business life in 2008 and 2010 that had significant impacts on my training and competing in triathlons in general.  In 2011 I am trying to remedy that situation by one, getting back into a year where I am fully training and participating in the sport and two, actually not having another "off" year going into 2012.

     Second, and this is more of a humor related intermission for this post (but still topical to it), I really need to start taking some sort of laxative around 5pm the night before the race.  I mean come on!  I stopped 4 times on the run????  Not to mention I did not go at all BEFORE or during any other portion of the race.  And not only that, it was like 2 days worth of food!  Not cool!  And the fact that I wasted somewhere between 25-30 minutes waiting in line for a porta-john and using them.  I mean, I think I added a 4th discipline to the sport that day so we could call it a quadrathlon.  Swim, Bike, Run, and poop.

     Third, I really need to work on my run.  Not necessarily the time, but the running off the bike.  In most, if not all of my long distance races (HIM + distance events), every time I come off the bike I have to walk at some point due to cramping or leg fatigue (notice I did not say body fatigue, usually when I stop I feel fine, just my legs are trashed).  One of my tri-resolutions for the year is to do lots more bricks, and not all of them are going to be 2-3 hours in the saddle and then 15-30 minutes of running.  My buddy James that I did CDA with and also trained with, his original discipline was duathlons, and he has a few key workouts, similar to bricks, that I am going to employ so that when it comes time to race in another HIM or IM distance race, I am not gonna have trashed legs/cramping all the time.  That's not to say that I won't ever get a cramp again, or that I won't ever walk again, I just know there is a large area of improvement for me in that area.

    Lastly, I think something that will stop the huge roller coaster effect from year to year when I participate in this sport is to have fun and remember not to be so serious about this sport all the time.  Sure you have to have discipline to train, you have to plan out your workouts, you have to schedule your events in advance, etc.  But once that is all over with, we should all be able to cut loose and have a little fun with this sport.  If we forget to do that, then we go down a path where it is not fun anymore, and we decide to cast it by the wayside like some toy we got for last Christmas knowing there is a new present wrapped under the tree right now for this Christmas.

Hope you all have a great, safe training weekend.  Don't know who all of you are rooting for in the Superbowl, but I hope that Pittsburgh gets their butts kicked!  :)

Friday, February 04, 2011

The Friday Review for 02/04/2011...

Happy Friday Everyone!

I hope that everyone had about as good of a week as I had.  Well except for Tuesday.  I pretty much bombed my Advanced Accounting exam (scores to be posted by Tuesday).  Even with cutting out the training for more study time, it did not help.  Should have gone and worked out anyways. 

Other than that I got in some good runs this week.  I also found an extension to my Chastain Park loop, which extends it another three quarters of a mile.  The only downer (or great thing if you are into S&M) if that it adds a LOT of elevation to the run.  I guess it is not so much a bad thing, but if I want a flat run, that is not going to cut it for me.

I have begun using the running ahead training log on Facebook to generically track my workouts.  While it takes in all kinds of great data, I have some spreadsheets I created a long time ago for IM training that are event better.  But it takes time for me to do that, and I like just entering the data and having it spat back out at me with what I am looking for. 

I will get in my second run of the week tonight, and then my third run tomorrow with the West Stride Support group at 8am.  They are involved with the Publix Georgia Marathon/Half Marathon and will also be doing some of the pace groups for the event.  I signed up for the group for the past two years, and I figured why not, I love the company and I like all the fun stuff they put together for runners in the Atlanta area.  Sunday will be a 2 a day workout, I will get a run and swim in and then take Monday off from running.  4 days in a week is not bad. 

I also purchased a new saddle for my good ol' Allez today.  Probably the biggest upgrade of recent memory for this trust steed.  I got the ISM Adamo Road saddle from All3Sports.  Cashed in my gift certificates from Christmas so I ended up getting a $100 off for the saddle.  Pretty good stuff.  I was wavering between the ISM and the Fizik Airone Tri2 saddle, however, there was only a $10 difference (my choice was $10 more) and the fact that there has been a lot of research done lately about cycling and issues with sexual organs in both men and women.  Triathlete Magazine's February issue ("In the Hot Seat," p. 91) has an article about this, and I am really glad I read this before I made my purchase.  Don't get me wrong, I think that Fizik is a great saddle company, however, I need to keep "my boys" in top shape, and if purchasing a saddle that is shaped like a tuning fork is going to do that for me, then hells yes I am going to purchase an Adamo saddle.

Last but not least, I was browsing the triathlon/running blogosphere and I found out that Jess got featured in a popular running blog that deals with Mothers who Run.  The author of the blog has also written a book and has a few followers.  Here is the blog (post featuring Jess)...

Run like a Mother

Well that is about all I have today!  I will get you my follow up to my race report soon enough. 

BTW what are you guys doing this weekend in general?  What about for training? 


My Orbea - Or more like what my Orbea would be if I had money :)

So one of my friends Dee Dee posted on her Facebook page the other day, a bike that she outfitted through Orbea.  It lets you customize certain features and then not only tells you how much it will cost, but it will allow to you share it with friends and purchase it if you wish.  She went all out and her price tag ended up being just under $11,000.  I was a bit more modest just because I wanted to see how much one would cost if I was to go out and buy one right now.  Just for funsies.

Here is Dee Dee's link.

Here is my link.

You should go try it as well!  Always fun to do even if you are not in the market, or if you are just doing some window shopping like myself ;)

Thursday, February 03, 2011

2010 Ironman Augusta 70.3 - Part 2 (The Race - or moreover, how not to train/race)

It Begins...

Swim Leg

I am suddenly awoken from my trance by the loud bang of the referee's race gun.  As I came back to reality, my body had done what it has been always trained to do.  The current was fairly strong.  My last half I completed (I was also a bit slower then than I am now) was in about 48-49 minutes in the ocean, so you would get a little help on the way in, but none on the way out.  This was all one way downstream.  I did attempt to sight, and my sight line was in closer to shore as to stay away from other swimmers, and the fact that we were getting out on the same side as we got in on, so there was no point in swimming all the way out to the buoys.  Swim was 1.2 miles or just over 2100 yards (6 in one, half dozen in the other).  Kinda forgot to do some extra kicking the last couple hundred meters to get the blood flowing back into the legs.  I want to say that my best form was during the middle third of the swim, when I got all my race jitters out from the first third and settled into the race.  The last third I began getting fatigued and got back into my old swim (bad) habits which slowed my time.

Swim Time :          31:24.00
Swim Avg/100:     1:30

Transition 1

Legs felt like two stumps and I was tired.  Remember that almost no training thing I did most of the year.  Yeah it was coming back to me and I had not even gotten on the bike yet.  Oh well, this was just about finishing the race.  I told Mike while yes I would love to beat my time from 5 years ago, I just wanted to finish.  I jogged through transition to my rack position.  Of course (as is always the case) my rack position sucks, the tri-gods have cursed me with horrible rack position for the rest of my life for some reason.  Took my time getting everything on (still lightly raining) and I was trying to dry anything off that was soaking wet.  Ran with my bike past the porta-johns..... Nothing.  Although I did pee in my wetsuit prior to the gun going off.  Man it feels great, especially when the water is cold.

Transition 1 Time:  6:55

Bike Leg

After getting a good look of the bike course the night before on YouTube (thanks to whomever loaded that!) The elevation profile was not as bas as advertised on the Augusta course part of the site.  One thing I do distinctly remember is how crappy the roads got as soon as we hit South Carolina.  See Augusta splits between GA and SC and 90 percent of the course (if not more) was in SC.  Once we got off of the main roads that were heavily traveled, the roads got a bit better, but not much.  It began raining again about halfway through the ride.  I only got water at the 2nd aid station, as I already made sure I had everything I needed on the bike before the ride.  I am gonna re-think that strategy this coming year, since the aid stations at most 1/2 iron distance events are evenly spread through the course and have everything I usually want, the exception being the brands that I consume. On the back half of the course, there were some pretty technical turns and some pretty steep downhills, so I made sure to keep my speed down just to be safe.  I did not want to incur some horrible bike injury due to inclement weather.  After looking back at Mike's speed as well, I am assuming that he did the same thing.  My back was beginning to ache a bit as I got to the last 10K of the bike, so I was out of aero for the remainder of the ride.  I was in and out of aero a lot on the second half of the ride, but I am used to that since I am in group rides and even some of the solo rides I do in Atlanta get pretty technical, so I find myself out of aero more than the average person.  As I got close to the finish I had to pee again, which was good because I knew I hydrated well during the bike despite the wet weather. 

Bike Time:            3:06:52
Bike Avg Speed:  17.98 mph 

Transition 2

Light rain, but the clouds began to look like they were clearing up.  Hmm... "I wonder if it is going to heat up and get really humid if the sun comes out...?"  Once again because the bike to run transition was not the same as the swim to bike transition, my rack position still sucked.  It is like they put me in the one corner out of 4 that has no entrance or exit.  Changed into run gear and once again took my time, and it was wet, but there was nothing I could do about that.  As I was heading out of T2 I went ahead and went pee at the porta-johns, but nothing.  This was going to be the bane of my existence during the run. 

Transition 2 Time:  6:00

Run Leg

The main problem I have in my longer races is that I have issues running off the bike.  I am going to fix that this year, as I have a few things on my tri-list that I want to improve about my races.  It is not that I am not going as fast as I wanna go, it is that I cramp up and my legs are too fatigued.  This is from not doing enough brick training so I get used to the bike/run transition.  I got about a mile down the road before I cramped up and had to walk.  Someone in the crowd yelled for me to pick it up, it was just the first mile, and then he kinda calmed down he he saw me limping in pain from the cramps. 

The run course is a two loop course with multiple back and forth areas, which is cool for spectators, so that they could stay on the same block area and just walk back and forth between streets to see their racers.  Celine had gotten to the race site just in time for me for the run.  I saw her as I was passing through the 2nd mile, trying to look my best even though I felt like crap and my legs hurt.  Just before I saw her I was actually walking again (for the second time).  After I had passed I was kind of in a groove and then it hit me...... Thank goodness mile marker 3 was coming up, and there are porta-johns at each mile marker.  What had been eluding me all day since I woke up had finally come back to haunt me.  There were two people in line in front of me and I thought I was gonna die.  Also I was somewhat in the back third of the pack for the day in general, so there had been close to 2000 people that had passed by this way two times before I got there.  I lost about 5 minutes waiting for my turn, then took another couple in the porta-john.  Phew!  I am sooo glad that was over.

Since I got about 7 minutes of rest out of that so my legs felt fresh enough to go another mile or so before I was going to have to walk.  I was alternating between water and Gatorade at every aid station, I had my endurolytes in my tri jersey pocket, and I was taking in a gel about every 40 minutes.  It started to get warm outside because of the sun, and this also began to make it humid as well.  Began sweating even more.  I got to mile 6 on the backside of the run course where we were about to do our second loop when... Oh no not again!  Twice???  Well I did have quite a bit to eat over the weekend, but come on, I thought the first time was bad enough.  There was only one person in front of me this time, so I only waited 2-3 minutes and then I was in there for another couple minutes before I emerged to begin the second loop of the course.    Now we are up to a 11-12 minute delay in finishing because of bowel issues.  Never fear!  I pushed on (no pun intended)!

Going into the second loop I felt much lighter, however the fatigue and cramping had set into my legs.  I was basically alternating between walking and jogging every quarter mile.  The sun at this point had been out for a good 30-45 minutes, parts of the pavement were steaming.  I was grabbing sponges at every water station and pouring some additional water down my backside to cool off and to wash off from the prior two visits.  On the second loop I stopped not once, not twice, but three times more for the porta-johns (the third time was just to pee, I was two miles away from the finish and I could not hold it)!!!!  I mean I must have been backed up for a couple days, because every time I went throughout the run was serious.  I ended up wasting another 15 minutes in those three visits for a total of 26-27 minutes waiting and using the restroom on the run.  I would normally never talk about bathroom breaks affecting my time during the race because I seldom go and when I do it is usually on myself, unless I have to go #2. 

Run Time:     3:02:53
Run Pace:     13:58

The Finish!!!

I saw Celine a couple more times on the run and I believe that I did see Melissa once or twice on the run.  The sun was out in full force when I was crossing the finish line and the weather was great!  I was jogging the last mile of the course and i tried really hard not to walk.  My jog while crossing the finish line was pitiful.  I have not bought any pictures from the race, but when you look at them online, all of them are horrible, most of them are of me walking and the one at the finish line you can tell I am doing some kind of turkey trot because my stride is next to non-existent.  Celine was there to greet me at the end of the race and a few minutes later I saw Mike and Melissa.  Melissa had already checked them out of their hotel, so whenever Mike got cleaned up he would be ready to go.  We both got some pizza, water, and beer, and then hung out for a few minutes before parting ways.

Final Time:                               6:54:02
Time Spent in Porta-Johns:       26-27 minutes
PR in minutes from last HIM:    31:48

My PR would have been almost an hour if I had not had sooo many stops!  Oh well, that is how the cookie crumbles.  Post race report to come soon!


Wednesday, February 02, 2011

2010 Ironman Augusta 70.3 Race Report - Part 1 (Prelude)

Let's face it guys and gals,

     This 2010 has been pretty much a busted up season for me.  I know I have re-edited my 2010 race schedule, but if you would have seen the "projected" 2010 race schedule at the beginning of the year, There were double the races, including new ones I wanted to try, "B" races that were training feeders in to my "A" races, and just some others for fun.  Well... Life doesn't always pan out the way you want (why not?).

     The race I completed prior to IM Augusta 70.3 was TRI - PTC Sprint Triathlon.  That was my 6th year competing in the event, and I make a point to doing that race every year because it was the first race I ever completed.  Going from the Chattanooga Riverfront Tri to PTC I got in about a dozen workouts total.  Not a very productive summer tri-wise.  But hey, I am in good enough shape to wake up on any random day and do a sprint tri.  Doesn't mean I should be doing that though, bad idea.  After PTC (late August) I only got in about 10 workouts or so before Augusta (late September).  I thought to myself, "hey I have done an Ironman, and I did a half 5 years ago, so what if I have slacked on my training?  I paid for this damn thing, even if I DNF, I am doing it."

     One of my good friends Celine has family that lives just outside Augusta, and she said that she would come along and be my tri-sherpa for the weekend as well as let us crash at her family's home.  Celine used to date a triathlete who is currently attempting to go pro, so I was a piece of cake to handle compared to him (although she would have to wait longer on me).  We decided to drive up on Friday afternoon.  I took a half day so I could get everything together and then went to pick up Celine after she got off work.  I think we finally got to Augusta around 10pm or so after driving from Atlanta.  I went ahead and unpacked a few things since I had to drop off my bike on Saturday, etc.  We stayed up and watched some TV, she made me one of her famous Bloody Mary's and then it was off to bed. 

     Woke up the Saturday morning and had breakfast and Screwdrivers :) then got everything in the car to go register for the event.  We got down to the hotel (race site) around 11:00 or so, and we called Mike and Melissa, who were already in line.  They said there were hardly and registration volunteers and only one line, which was about an hour long.  Celine and I decided to go ahead and get some lunch while we were in downtown Augusta and let the lines dissipate before we headed in.  We found this great little restaurant at the corner of the street directly down from the hotel, about three blocks away.  Lunch was good (is that a pint of beer at Andy's table?)

     There was about a 20-25 minute wait just to make it to the registration table when we got there.  Celine took this as an opportunity to get a massage from one of the sports massage people while I stood in line and waited.  Once I finally got all of my registration stuff, I headed through the shopping area to see if there was anything that I could get w/ respect to this race.  I found a hoodie that I really liked, and then I got a cowbell for Celine to cheer me on.  Good purchases.  After that we drove down to the transition area to drop off my bike and get a look at the swim exit and then head back to the house.

     I was originally planning on driving the bike course to see what it was like, but someone had been nice enough the prior year to drive the bike course with a camera and then post the videos.  I plowed through those videos while Celine cooked dinner.  Her sister prepared a whole dinner for us, all of it was delicious!  Drinks for dinner, watched some TV and then went to bed for the evening. 

     Sunday Morning!  Race Day!  We got up early (me first).  I always take a quick shower on race morning.  Don't know why, since I am going to get sweaty and dirty during the day, but it makes me feel better in the morning.  Ate my usual breakfast items and got in some water and a bottle of Cytocarb/Accelerade.  Wasn't able to use the restroom, but I figured there would be plenty of porta-johns to take care of business when I got to the race site.  Celine's brother-in-law left his truck at the house for the weekend, so Celine drove his truck, since she cannot drive my car (stick-shift).  She dropped me off and wished me good luck, as she was headed back home to go sleep in.  The night before she asked me what my proposed times were for each leg of the race so she knew where to be on race day. 

After dropping of my gear in transition, it started to rain slightly.  I found Mike and Melissa at the transition site after finishing up my stuff.  Melissa decided to get in a good walk back up to the hotel and swim start, since it was only a mile and change away, and she had nothing to do for the next hour.  As Mike and I were about to get on the bus, I took a look at the porta-johns.... nothing.  Mike and I got on the bus, it took about 5-10 minutes to get to the swim start.  I kinda had a nasty blister from a couple days before that I should not have messed with, and did anyways.  It felt like not matter where I walked, I was stepping on some pebble exactly at my exposed blister.  Mike and I soaked the whole experience in.  This was his first half, my second, albeit my first was 5 years before.  We chatted some more and decided we would get in one more bathroom break before we donned our wetsuits and headed to our respective corrals.  I went in an peed...... but nothing (I hope you have gotten the idea of where this is going...).  Got the suits on, and it started to lightly rain again.   We got into our respective corrals. 

     It was cloudy and rainy, but it was becoming more light out.  The singing of the national anthem was the last point where I was in tune with my surroundings.  The silence of being alone in your head, even with the thousands of people around you, the race director barking orders, the 90's music blasting (thank god they have moved up decades, I have never been much of an 80's person).  I began reflecting on my experiences over the 6 seasons I have participated in triathlon.  The ups, the downs, the highs, and the lows.  Long training hours, meeting new tri-friends, going to places I have never been before, taking my body to limits it has never been before.  Now I am jumping off the dock into the water.  The current is decent, they let some water out of the damn earlier that morning to get the flow up.  Strong enough where I had to swim backwards a bit to stay behind the start line.  The silence in my head drowning out everything........Then...

(to be continued)

Its Coming.... (Part 1 of 3 will hit today!!!)

Just as I posted at the end of 2010, I have some catching up that I need to do on my blog.  I know that in the blogging world there is no real thing as catching up.  The past is the past and if you have not blogged about it, then it is old news.  But this blog is also for me and my memories and I think it will benefit not only me to reflect and read upon, but for people's reading enjoyment as well as some good info in general to have.

Can you see that I am not trying to give away too much?

Part 1 will be loaded by tonight!!!