Thursday, May 26, 2011

Filling Up the Tank for Another Journey

This post was supposed to go up last week, but didn't :)  So here it is... Better late that never.

Update:  Day 6 of (left) foot injury.  Pain is starting to subside a bit, still hurts to wear shoes.  Forgot to wear ankle brace last night to keep foot at 90 degree angle.  Forgot to bring ice water botttle to work today.  At least I remembered to bring my ibuprofen.  Will put the bike on the trainer tonight and see how the foot feels on the bike. That does not mean I am gonna get out and do road riding again this weekend, but at least I can log some miles on the trainer in a controlled environment.  Will start swimming again later this week as well.

(enter picture of long road here)

Well, I have one race in the books this year.  Thank goodness :)  Great to get the nervous excitement of the new season worked out of my system by toeing the line and competing. I have another race here in about three weeks, but I am unsure how it is going to play out due to my injury.  I may very well need to see if I can transfer the entry to another one of GA Multisports Races (sorry Wes!!!), but I will make a decision at the end of next week. 

Tomorrow is a BIG DAY!!!  168 days/24 weeks till IMFL!  Holy S#@! Snacks!  Too close :D  Today I will lock down the training plan I am going to use (I have been wavering between 2-3 plans, I just really need to man up and pull the trigger).  Then it is all about execution for the next 24 weeks.  I have had a lot to think about since last November.  Mike and I headed down to Florida for a three day weekend to volunteer at IMFL, and get signed up for the race in 2011.  I had even talked to my old training buddy James, and his plan is to volunteer in 2011 so he can race in 2012.  I think he is on some sort of crazy 3 year plan where after 2012 he is gonna try to qualify for Worlds again in 2013. 

Anyways, of course Mike and I were riding a mental high when we got back from Panama City.  Then reality set back in for me.  I had set out on a journey earlier last year in completely changing my career and part of that was going back to school.  Not only going back to school, but also a full time program while working full time and finishing within a year.  Trying to keep up with a long distance relationship because my girlfriend is realizing her dreams by getting her PhD.  All of you juggle similar tasks, and at the same time we are all trying to stay the course on this journey that is triathlon.  Although I have been slammed with school this week, I have spent some time late in the evenings before I go to bed, contemplating the next leg of this journey, manifesting itself in the form of an Iron-Distance race.

I have the plan, I have the resources, and more importantly, I have myself (intact).  Time to pop in a good road trip track, and head on down the (IM) highway.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

More Pictures from P'tree Int'l Triathlon

Just thought I would put these up until I am done with my next post.  I am also gonna get the pictures from this race as well. I think there are a couple good ones in there. 

Dismounting and headed into T2

Could not get my suit off standing up because my left calf was cramping up too bad.  FAIL

My feeble attemps to get said wetsuit off standing up, please see above pic for next step at failing to do this :)

Another shot of me running into T2.  Yes I wore my bike shoes off the bike.  Tar and feather me.

Look I am smiling, and in a bit of pain, but I am smiling :)


Monday, May 16, 2011

2011 Peachtree International Triathlon - May 14th, 2011

Hope y'all are having a great weekend.

Well, first race of the year is in the books.  Santa brought it yesterday.  A bit more than I could chew :)  However I did say I was gonna finish with a smile, and I did.

I decided I would go down Saturday morning to Peachtree City as I did not want to waste two hours to get my packet.  Went out with a couple people to hang out with some friends for the evening.  I got in bed by 11:30 and needed to get up at 4:00am.  Not a big deal since I have problems going to bed early the night before a race.

Jumped out of bed when the alarm went off and headed for the kitchen.  Apple slices, banana, peanut butter, and Greek yogurt with strawberries was what I had for breakfast.  Put on my new 2XU suit that Dermantone Labs put together for me!  Fits really well and it worked out great during the race. 

Threw everything in the car (except the bike pump) and headed down to the race.  It was a good thing that i brought both my bike helmet and my aero helmet because Tommy had forgotten his helmet.  Went and got my race packet.  Yay!  Another water bottle, shirt and socks :)  Got all the numbers on and got everything in transition.  Can I say that I LOVED my rack spot this year?  My race number was 48 and I was about 30 yards from the bike exit and re-entry.  Sweet!!!!  No having to run with my bike all the way through transition.  Hung out with Tommy for a few minutes before we needed to get in line at the swim.


Left a lot to be desired.  Need to get more open water swims in this year, and preferably a few more in my wetsuit before it gets too much more hot.  Most likely the water conditions will be too warm for West Point Lake Triathlon on June 12th.  Felt good for the first half of the swim, and I was sighting really well, which is strange for me, since I sometimes lack in that area.  Began to fade though in the latter half of the swim.  Think it is a combination of the OWS environment (no stops/turnarounds/interval breaks) and swimming in the wetsuit.  Either way, combine that with tired and you get my final swim time.  I will say though, there were three times where I upped the intensity and those catch pads on the forearms work really well.  I could actually feel as if my arms were anchored better in the water which allowed me to move faster.  Traffic got a little heavy at then end of the swim because the super sprint athletes joined up with the rest of us at the end of the swim.

35:04  (1.4mph) - 22/42 in AG


Kind of disoriented after getting out of the water and so I was not running as fast as I would have liked through transition.  Lost my swim goggles somewhere in transition, and I just broke them in a few weeks ago :(  Oh well, someone else's gain, I will just get some new ones.  Thanks Mitchel for the idea of leaving them in my wetsuit sleeve saying they would stay in there ;)  Only other issue, which actually drove up my transition time, was the fact that my left calf kept cramping up so I ended up having to sit down to take my wetsuit off.

2:31 - 28/42 in AG


Did not average as high of a speed as I wanted to, but I was pleased with my performance on the flats and some of the rollers.  There were a number of race marshals out there and they got quite a few people on penalties after looking at the final results.  I decided since I needed to save some for the run, that if I could not convincingly pass someone and keep moving ahead of them, that I would hang back until I either had an opportunity to move up in the field or not.    Using the new bike and aero helmet seemed to work out well.  Big snag on the way back in around mile 16-17.  Biggest hill (not that there were any that big) on the ride and I go to downshift into the small chainring.  Chain comes off.  So I have to get off of the bike on the hill and put the chain back on.  Took a min and about that time there were a slew of cars that were coming by (open course) that had been trying to get around some of the other riders.  By the time it was all said and one I wasted about two minutes with that.  Tried punching it on the way back in, since after hitting that hill, it was a net decline in elevation back to transition.

1:17:36   (19.3 mph) - 28/42 in AG

Transition 2

Pretty Standard.  Did not try to get off of my bike leaving my bike shoes on it, as I had not practiced that yet this year.  However, being so close to the bike re-entry it was not a problem running in the bike shoes in the grass back to my rack position.

1:34 - 22/42 in AG


Not my best run.  Took about a mile to get going, and then I kept cramping up throughout the run.  I had to do some walking to make the cramps subside.  Finally was able to get some fuel in on the latter half of the run and it helped to dissipate the cramps in my legs.  Also had a GI issue for the first half of the run, and thank goodness there was a porta-john at the halfway point of the run.  Unfortunately since I was in a one piece it was a little harder than normal.  Chalk up about 2-3 minutes of time lost due to that.   Was able to finish the last two miles fairly strong despite the results of the first two thirds of the race.  And like I said, I finished with a smile.

1:03:39  (10:16 pace) - 40/42 in AG

Finish:  3:00:22, 32/42 in AG, 293/438 overall

Tommy did great for his first ever race.  He was in the Clydesdale division and ended up getting 4th in his division in his first race.  Congratulations to him.  I hope he keeps it up.

Would like to thank Kim Bramblett for putting on a great race for the weekend (as usual).  And a big thanks to my sponsor Dermatone for all of their support.  Everyone who I gave product out to was greatly appreciated, and had lots of questions on where to get it from.  And thank you Beth for coming out to cheer me on and take pictures of the event!  I will have some more pictures to post for you guys once I get them from her, and also get my pics from the picture company that worked the race.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Race Week - Some Thoughts...

Hey Everyone!

I feel like a friggin five year old on Christmas week.  This is my seventh season competing in triathlons, and if I was to pick the top 5 moments that I have enjoyed over the past six seasons, I would say that this week would have to rank up there as number two or three.  I know, weird, right?  I would have to say number one would be finishing my first Ironman in 2009, followed up by completing my first triathlon in 2005.  And then I guess my excitement about this week would come in at number three.  Why?

I feel that I have had a "Renissance Movement" with regards to triathlon.  While I have had some fairly structured years (2007 and 2009) and I have had some great memories with friends, family, and the sport, I have been in a tri funk since my Ironman.  I guess I am a person who likes to try new things all of the time, and in doing so, I hit what I thought to be the peak of triathlon.  I finished an Ironman and thought to myself, "what's next?" 

Life also tends to get in the way, but I have learned now that it only gets in the way if you let it.  During this off season, I have had an awakening of sorts.  I remembered all the good times I have had in this sport, all of the great relationships I have developed, all of the stories I have told and listened to.  I am not sweating the small stuff, missing an occasional workout due to school, etc.  I am taking more time to enjoy life in general.  I cannot believe it has taken me this long to do this!  It is such a refreshing feeling, that I am ready and raring to go this year. 

I have no idea what is gonna happen on Saturday.  I know what I would like to ideally happen, and I know what realistically should happen.  But I am not gonna worry about it.  I am just gonna get up, like I do every day now... Bust my tail, enjoy it, and be me :)

My Christmas is Saturday, and under the tree is gonna be a glorious 1.5K swim, 42K bike, and a 10K run.  And for those of you who might be there and see me cross the finish line, if you see a big smile on my face as I "hit the tape," just think back to this post and you will know why.

Bring it Santa, I am ready ;)

Friday, May 06, 2011

Murtha's Tri - Minicamp! April 23-26, 2011

Ok, so it definately was not as cool as the title sounded.  There was no destination camp (other than driving to where I was training) and I was the only one participating in said mini-camp.  But I had a blast nonetheless!

Classes ended on April 21st, and do not start up again till May 3rd.  Also I have not had a vacation/staycation/etc since 2009, and I needed to have a few days off.  I don't have the Garmin on me right now, but here's the gist on how it went down.

Friday:  After work I went for a 5 mile run (a couple laps) around Chastain Park.  Good way to start off the weekend, and for some reason the run felt particularly good.  Probably something to do with the fact that I did not have to work for the next four days.

Saturday:  Met up with Mike at the Silver Comet Trail for a 2 hour ride.  This was the first time he had taken his new bike (Trek Speed Concept 7.0) out for a spin.  I'll admit, for a bike that I kinda shunned in choosing my Cervelo, it is a pretty nice ride, and I am jealous of the rear bike box.  That's ok, I am still really happy with my ride :)  The first two miles we were just puttering along to get our legs warmed up.  Because of finals that week, I had not been able to get all of my workouts in.  I really tried to keep it at MAX HR between 150-160, but I kept trying to be a speed demon and had to keep putting myself in check.  I have been focusing more on these Oly-distance races, but here pretty soon I am gonna need to put a lock down on my agression with HRM alerts on my Garmin so that I am not killing it on the bike.  I think we did about 35 miles or so on the bike.  Went home and then went to the Nook for dinner/drinks in Atlanta.  For those of you who are in the ATL area, it is on 14th and Piedmont right across from the park.  Patio is wonderful.  And if you love tater tots (and I think this group does) you are gonna be wonderfully suprised by the various selections of dishes called "Totchos."  Just google them and pull up their menu, you will wanna go ASAP.

Sunday:  Got up and did 1900 M total at LA Fitness, 1500M being my main set comprised of 3x500 with the 2nd 500 using a pull bouy.  Wears my arms out for the last set, but I do it on purpose because at some point in the longer distance events I will be swimming with tired arms.  I finished in under 30 minutes which I am happy with, I just wanna get my time down closer to 25 min for 1500 M.  In the afternoon I headed over to Chastain Park and belted out a few laps around the park totalling a bit over 5 miles.

Monday:  The first big day of two.  I did all three sports on Monday, however, there were no brick workouts.  Hit the pool in the morning and belted out 1800 as my main set, comprised of 3 x 600 with the 2nd set using a pull bouy.  Again, arms are worn out, but they are getting a workout, so I am fine with that.  Run came next early in the afternoon (Atlanta Memorial Park), and then followed it up a few hours later with a Monday night group ride (Atlanta Cycling - Vinings Recovery Ride).

Tuesday:  Last Day!  Woke up a bit late (last night was Monday Funday at my house, lots of drinking and such).  Swim was a straight 1500M swim.  It turned out to be somewhere in the 28min and change range.  I already had the bike on the car and the shoes in the back and headed over to columns drive to do my brick workout.  I was short on time so I only did 15 miles on the bike, and averaged about 20 mph.  There was a nasty headwind headed back to the parking lot on every lap, and it felt like I was working twice as hard just to get 18-19mph average on the way back in each lap.  Fortuantely because of this I belted out 22-23mph average on the way out each lap, with the tailwind on the way out.  After this I quickly racked the bike and put my shoes on and went for a 4 mile run.  After adding in a hypothetical 1:20 for each transition, I can project out around a 2:37-2:40 expected time.  We shall see if that actually happens :)

Post Brick I had a scheduled massage for an hour.  Man, that was just what the doctor ordered.  I think I am gonna need to start scheduling those for post race and post high volume blocks of training.  Was almost late to the massage, but made it nonetheless.  I am convinced if I had not gotten that massage, my legs would had been wrecked for the next few days following.  Instead there was only mild soreness on Wednesday, and no soreness after that!

I feel since then that I have absorbed the training really well, and now I just need to keep up the intensity.  It was really fun to have some time off of work and school, and just focus on triathlon for a change.  I hope I can do it again sometime later this season.

I hope all of your training endavours are going well!  Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Ironman Wedding (Grooms) Cake

I do have some other posts I am working on right now, however, I wanted to get these pictures up for you to take a gander at and maybe comment on.  Mike got married this last weekend to his wonderful wife Melissa and this was his groom's cake at the wedding.  He is off for two weeks and it will be on like Donkey Kong for his IMFL training!!!  For those of you who don't already know, Mike and I are doing IMFL together this November.  Here you go!

I hope he has not jinxed himself!  I don't know what the filling was (strawberry or raspberry) but it was delicious!