Friday, December 28, 2012

Year End Review? I think NOT!

I think the band Boston said it best: “Don’t look back.”  So instead of a year-end recap of races and events, let us look forward to 2013.  A big year is planned.  How are we going to get there? 

A big year you say.  What will make 2013 big?  I am signed up for two triathlons so far:  California 70.3 in March.  This will be my third 70.3 race.  It will be the first time a 70.3 is not my A race of the year.  Why?  Because in June, I will attempt to become an Ironman.  Coeur D’Alene, Idaho on June 23rd.   

After Superfrog 70.3 September 30th, I had an off-season of sorts in October.  I worked out, but with no plan, and it was a low volume month.  We ramped back up in November and started base-building for 2013.  I added strength training to my regimen to get more durable;  using a tri-specific plan.   That's me on the grueling beach run at Superfrog.

Biggest challenge to pulling this off?  The run.  Running is by far my weakest event.  I have the most issues with running.  To help, I took a run clinic put on by TCSD coach Brian.  Now I am working on my form and what Brian noticed and pointed out during the session. 

The over-all plan is to continue to ramp up my swimming, which I am very pleased with.  I just finished my second year of swimming, and while I am far from fast, I progressed further than I would have thought at this point.  Next is to hit the bike so hard in training that I can go 112, and get off the bike as fresh as possible.  Finally I just want to get my running to where I can run 2/3 or more of the run.  I know there will be some walk breaks; I am using a Galloway type run/walk for my long runs.   

In the short-term I will be doing the Bumble Bee 5K this week, the resolution run 15K on January 6, and the Stagecoach Century on January 12th.  From December through February USA Triathlon (USAT) is having their National ChallengeCompetition.  This is tri-clubs throughout the country competing in total miles logged over the three months.  Run and swims are weighted, so regardless of the sport, your efforts are pretty much equal.  This works as an additional motivator and fits well with a big base building plan for 2013. 

So why not a recap of 2012?  Nothing I did this year compares to my wife.  My wife went through six rounds of chemotherapy, 32 sessions of radiation, battles lymphedema and numerous other side effects from cancer treatment.  And at the end of the day, she told cancer to take its ball and go home.  She kicked cancer’s ass!  She's walked a few 5Ks, and has resumed riding her bike!

I hope all of you had a good 2012, and will have an even better 2013.  Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Time to Train for IRONMAN

I have completed two triathlons at the 70.3 (half-iron) distance.  As I prepare for the 2013 season, which will include my first attempt at a 140.6; Ironman Coeur d’Alene June 23rd.

This will require some additional training.  As I prepared my training plan, and did research I realized I would need to add two things I had been doing hap-hazardly.  Okay full disclosure, two things I really haven’t done much of at all. 

What could those things be?  If you follow my training on dailymile, you know I swim, bike, and run.  And it is rare for me to miss a workout.  I enjoy the process, and really like swimming, love cycling, and have grown to like running.  So what is missing? 

Some of you are probably screaming at the computer.  Weights and Yoga!!!  Here is the challenge:  I work 40-50 hours a week, I try to spend some time with my wife.  I already have a good workout schedule.  Now, I need to add two yoga sessions, and two weight lifting sessions.  Plus, I’ll be increasing volume of the three sports. 

I think I’ve got this worked out.  My IMCdA training begins this Monday, but I have already started the yoga, and weights.   My schedule will be tight, but it looks doable.  And the weights and yoga should reduce the risk of injury, increasing the chance of a successful race.   

Well the training plan is done, here we go!
Upcoming Events:
October 28: 80's 5K
March 30, 2013 - California 70.3
June 23, 2013 - Ironman Coeur d'Alene

Monday, October 1, 2012


My second season of triathlons is now complete.  In the two years I have done triathlons, none had the buzz going into the event that this one did.  It started about three weeks ago, when a certain triathlete turned cyclist turned triathlete sent a tweet that said “This looks like fun.”  According to Superfrog, once Lance Armstrong committed to racing, they received an additional 200 entries.  People at work were asking me if I knew about the race Lance was doing.  Me, “Yes, I’m racing.”  Usually met with a blank face and shock.  People outside the sport do not realize we get to race the same day, the same course as the pros.

Photo courtesy of Sugarmagnolia 70.

This race would be my second 70.3 I felt like I had built a good training program, and followed it well.  The Chula Vista Challenge showed me I had improved my swimming, and showed I had some nutritional issues, problems dealing with heat.  With a much hotter than normal year for San Diego, I embraced training in the heat and made some changes to my nutrition.  In the final six weeks, I was pleased with my nutrition, and finally starting to see some improvement in my running. 

Tuesday before race day, I took the bike out; mostly to make sure the race wheels were rolling okay, as they require a bit of a brake adjustment, and I’m not much of a wrench.  After the ride, I did a one mile brick run.  As the run ended I felt a twinge in my left calf.  Really?  Five days before the race?  I scrapped my Wednesday short run, and treated the calf twice a day.  I’m not going to kid you; I was worried it would act up early in the run causing a DNF.  KT Tape to the rescue, hope, and pray. 

Race day, it is finally here.  What a glorious morning.  Pull into the parking lot, and I was treated to a bright full moon, the water looked like glass.  I had my TCSD top on, with DeSoto 400 mile bib shorts.  I love these, as the way the chamois sits; I can get on the rivet for a long time.  I drew a pink ribbon on my #458 bib and wrote Angi on it, for my wife who has battled breast cancer this past year.  And while her last scan was clear, and the treatment is done, she is still recovering.  What she has done this year makes her the real endurance athlete.  That has to be harder than the hardest Ironman.  Hang in there wifey!   KT Tape on the left calf.  I head over to transition.  They had reserved spots in transition with our name and bib number.  I like this, no thinking, just set-up.  Bonus, I was right on bike in/out.  The Lance buzz was in full effect.  Hearing little groups chat, 90 percent were talking about Lance in one way or another.  Guy near my spot had the best line.  He hoped there was some guy named Lance that came in last.  Then everyone could say they beat Lance!  Putting the final touches on my transition area I noticed everyone looking over.  It was Lance, surrounded by his entourage headed to his spot. Other people carrying his stuff.  Hey what happened to athletes only in transition?  My friend Sugarmagnolia 70 from dailymile went over and took a photo of Lance getting ready.  This was her first 70.3, and we had practiced ocean entry and exits five or six times during training. 

Getting close to the time for the pros/elites to start.  Time for me to put on my wet suit. After a stirring rendition of the national anthem, the elites went off, and I went into the water to warm up.  Whoa!  The waves are bigger than I thought.  I swim out past the first set, entry could be a challenge.  And the water feels pretty cold, too. 

About five minutes before the start I saw Sugarmagnolia again, along with Leah from dailymile as well.  Have a good race, and line up.  That was a fast five minutes, boom, go.  Swim, swim, big swell, duck, swim hard, good.  Swim BOOM!  I missed that one and got knocked back.  Regroup, go, and mis-timed another one that wound up being a draw, no progress, but not knocked back.  Finally past the rough stuff and swimming. Make the turn, settle in, and go.  Make the turn heading back to shore and yikes!  My goggles had fogged a bit, and the sun made it impossible to site.  Tried to follow other swimmers, but I’m sure my path was that of a drunken bee.  Hit the shore, and we get to do it again.  This is a two-lap swim!  Took the goggles off and rinsed them quick; then made the walk/jog down to the start and into the water again.  This time, I cruised right through the waves, in fact I remember thinking where are they?  I was right passed the big ones, and headed toward the first turn.  With the sun higher, and the goggles clear, I had no issues coming in either.  Out of the swim and into T1. 

Smooth transition and we are off on the bike.  Ahhh.  Best part of the day.  Get aero, smooth pedal.  I don’t have a power meter, and I’m not a big fan of heart rate since there is a lag in response, so I’ve been training by feel.  For “race pace” over a half-iron course, my objective is to keep the lactic acid clear.  For comparison in a 20 kilometer time trial with no need to run after, I go as hard as I can, and when I’m done the legs are on fire.  Here, you need to be able to run a half-marathon once off the bike.  I focus on a good pedal stroke and if I start to feel the lactic acid creep in, I go into an easier gear and spin it out.  The bike course is about as flat as you can get in Southern California.  Garmin said 371 feet of gain over 56 miles.  Most of that on the small bridge we went over eight times.  As the ride went on the breeze picked up, making for a bit of a headwind going north.  By the third and fourth lap, you could really feel it.  With a four lap course, you get a rhythm of what to expect and when.  What about that Lance guy?  Glad you asked.  At one point, heading south the motorcycles pass me, so I know the leaders should be right behind.  I look down, and see I am going 23.5 MPH.  Then WOOSH!  A Trek Speed Concept with a shirtless dude in a Speedo goes by me like I am standing still.   

The crowds on the bike course were as big as I’ve ever seen in a triathlon.  I wonder why?  The bridge I mentioned was well populated with lots of cameras.  Hard to believe that many people wanted my picture. 

I came into T2, racked the bike and started to get ready for the run.  I heard w Who Hoo go Steve, but had no idea where it came from or if it was for me?  If it was, thank you, I looked around and didn’t recognize anyone.  I felt like if my calf held up I could have a decent run.  Last year when I did the Austin70.3 I came in with severe cramping in my quads.  I felt pretty good getting off the bike here. 

Another smooth transition, I did duck into the port-o-potty before hitting the run course. 

The run course.  Soft sand to the beach, then firm sand for over two miles before pavement/groomed trails, two laps of that, then the final three miles on soft sand/packed sand. 

Here is the plan.  3 minutes of run, 1 minute walk.  A bit of bad luck for all runners at this point, the tide was in, meaning the firm area was mostly under water.  Putting us on the boarder area of firm/soft sand.  The legs would pay for this.

I was able to keep to my plan for almost six miles, then I took it to 2.5/1.5.  After the two laps of trails and pavement we hit the sand again.  Only it wasn’t straight to the beach, we had to go out further on the soft stuff!  Everyone was walking through here, what a slog!  Whatever I had left was crushed through this section.  Every step your feet sink in, it takes tremendous effort just to lift your foot and move it forward.  Finally back to the beach.  The good news, the tide was back out, and we could stay on the firm sand. 

I settled into walking fast at this point.  After getting a bit recovered I went to a one minute run, one minute walk.  This is the best I could do at this point, and finishing the one minute run was a bit taxing, but we did it. 

What about the calf, you ask?  It started balking and feeling really tight by mile two, but it was more of a real stiff bark, not a sharp pain, so I was able to ignore it and go.   

Finally the finish line is in sight.  My second 70.3 in the books.  And a really cool medal. 

So how was Superfrog?  Love assigned transition space, love that proceeds go to wounded seals and families.  Love the tie-in to Livestrong.  The swim was rough, but with a race created by Navy Seals, it is appropriate.  The bike course was boring, four laps on the Silver Strand, but fun to be able to go that fast.  The run course was brutal, again fitting since it was created by seals, but oh so hard.  But the best and biggest props goes to the volunteers.  Very enthusiastic, good job on the hand-ups on the bike course, and great enthusiasm on the run.  Well done! 

One compliant:  Virtually no post race food.  Mediocre oranges, and over-ripe bananas, water, and Cytomax.  I was famished and in need of food.  But I wanted to stay and watch Sugarmagnolia finish.  After sitting for a bit on a bench and in my transition spot, I had to leave; I had the shakes, and needed food.  Proud of my friend for her first 70.3. 

Equipment nerd?  Here is what I used.  Note, I am not sponsored, and this is not an endorsement, just what I use: 

Swim: Xterra Vortex sleeveless wet suit, Speedo smoke goggles.

Bike: Specialized Transition, 53/39 crankset, 11-28 cassette, Williams 58-85 wheel combo, Rudy Project helmet, Shimano Tri shoes

Run: Asics Nimbus 

2012 Tri season is now over.  Next up:  March 30 – Oceanside 70.3, then June 24 IMCDA. 

Well, next up, is a month of do what I want, no formal training.  Then November we begin training for my first full ironman.  Lots of base miles coming soon!

Thanks for reading.  You can follow me an Twitter, I am @stevecycles200

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Chula Vista Challenge

The Chula Vista Challenge.  I signed up for this race as a dress rehearsal for Superfrog on September 30.  Before we get into the swim/bike/run stuff, let’s set the stage. 

This is an Olympic distance triathlon.  Point to point, meaning two different transition areas.  The swim would be in the bay,   the bike goes from the bay inland to Otay Lakes for the run. 

This made pre race packet pick-up a bit of work.  You had to have your T2 bag ready to go.  For me, it was shoes, hat, and fuel.  Then off to T1 to leave your bike.  Before leaving it, I took my pre-race shake out ride.  A final check, make sure I didn’t pick something up in the tires, and some lube on the chain.  Rack the bike.  Props number one to the race organizers.  They use the racks that you stick a wheel in, so much better than the over hang racks. 

Early to bed, early to rise, the triathlon starts just after sunrise!  Which means, a 3:30 AM wake up to get ready, eat, and head to the finish area, so we can catch a shuttle to the start?  More props to the race.  Nice coach buses for the shuttles.  

Arrival at the race start.  Into transition where I set up my spot.  Turn over the helmet, straps open, do-rag in place.  Cycling shoes opened up, and ready.  Take care of business, get body-marked, more business, and look at the path for bike-out.  Study the swim course, okay ready.  30 minutes till start.  Jump in the water for a warm-up.  The water is warm, feels good, swim out about 100 meters or so, and back arms are loose.  15 minutes. 

Wave one off.  I’m in wave five.  They go at three minute intervals.  It doesn’t take long.

Men 45-49 in the hot pink swim caps.  The siren sounds and we head into the water.  My plan, go out hard.  Yes, you read that right, go out hard.  As you know I signed up for my first full Ironman next year.  Everything I am reading, is the first 200 meters are an absolute frenzy.  I thought, I need to start practicing for that now.  The swimmer to my left thought it a good idea to hold my left arm down for three strokes until I could shake free, then I took off.   The fastest of our group was out ahead, but I felt like I was swimming well.  Before the first turn buoy I passed three swimmers from the previous wave, along the long parallel stretch I passed several more, and even passed a few from the third wave.  Turn for home and the swim is done!  Out of the water, run up the hill, and just before enter the transition area is the timing mat.  Even with the minute or so it took from water to the mat; my swim time was 29:22.  A PR for 1500 meters for me!  Better, I accomplished what I wanted to with this swim.  I went out aggressively and hard, then settled in, and had a good swim.  Now to the bike, my favorite! 

I’ve learned when I start the bike leg, to ride on the bullhorns for the first two or three minutes.  For readers not sure what I mean by that, the bullhorns are the outer bars on an aero bike, as opposed to being tucked and in the aero bars.  I do this until I feel my breathing is regulated and I’m ready to tuck and go.  Normally it takes two to three minutes.  It seemed to take 10 this day.  Not sure why, I wasn’t out of breath coming out of the water, and even if I was 4 minutes in transition would have brought that down.  I just had a hard time getting settled.  Finally somewhere on Main Street I settled in, went aero and cranked it up to race pace.  Main Street.  Time for a digression from the normal race blog of I rode, I climbed, I descended, etc. 

I have nicknamed the bike portion of this race the Monopoly Course.  Playing the role of Mediterranean and Baltic Avenue is Chula Vista’s Main and Broadway.  And as the course progresses it is just like taking a tour around a Monopoly Board.  Eventually we make the final turn on Woods, which with its gated homes, note I said gated homes, not communities, Woods starts as Boardwalk!   

After Woods you cross Otay Lakes Road into Salt Creek Park which is T2.  The best part of the race is T2.  Again, props to the race.  Hit the dismount line, off the bike, and a volunteer takes your bike, they well out your bib number, (66 in my case) and bam!  Another volunteer has your T2 bag as you sit in a chair and put your running shoes on. 

On the way out of transition I hit a water station, took a couple of salt tablets and doused my head to cool my core.  It is HOT out here. 

At this point the race turned ugly for me.  Within two minutes I was gasping for air, even though I went out “easy.”  No way I should be struggling like this.  I run bricks off of 75 mile rides, where I finish with a hard interval to simulate race day.  I can only think the heat and humidity were taking full effect.  In short, the run turned into a walk/jog/slog that took me from having a really good day for me, to a not so good result.  But that is not to say I didn’t like the run course.  In fact, I loved it.  Oh, it was hard, almost 500 feet of elevation gain in 6.2 miles is one tough run course, but on nice trails, and right through the Olympic Training Center.  What great inspiration.  Running by the fields for field hockey, the soccer pitch, softball fields, a BMX jump right over the trail, and of course, the track and field area.  Just think of the athletes that trained there.   

Finally the finish!  Again, some chairs to sit on, get some water both in me and on me.  Done and dusted.  Great swim, solid bike, lousy run.  But a really good event.  Huge props to Pulse Endurance Sports and Mike Drury for putting on a great event. 

Mike, I have two suggestions.  One, since we do not have T2 access on race day, I did not leave a fuel belt with fluids; I figured they would be way to warm.  On a hot day, please add a couple of additional aid stations, and I would have loved to have the cold wet sponges like they have at Ironman events.   

Big thanks to all the volunteers.  Hope my transition neighbor who was doing his first triathlon had a good event.

Gear Used:

Swim – Xterra sleeveless wetsuit and Speedo Rx goggles 

Bike – Specialized Transition with Williams 58-85 wheels, 53-39 crank set, and 11-28 cassette. 

Run – Asics Nimbus 

Kit – Tri Club San Diego 

Next event is my A race for the year, Superfrog, a half-iron distance race on Coronado, CA.

Friday, July 6, 2012

IRONMAN...I'm Committed Now!

Ironman. 140.6,  Long course triathlon.  Call it what you want, but after deliberation, and my journey into triathlon I have taken the plunge and signed up for my first 140.6 Ironman.  On June 23, 2013 I will toe the start line in Coeur D’Alene, Idaho.  I will do a two-loop swim totaling 2.4 miles in a cool (cold) lake.  I will complete a 2 lap 112 mile bike course with some hills, and finish the day by running a full marathon.  When I hit the button to confirm my entry I thought I was going to vomit. 

I had been eyeing and was pretty sure my first would be Ironman Texas.  However, they delayed registration for that event, and when Coeur D’Alene opened up, I considered that I have been to, and raced in Texas, but I’ve never been to Idaho.  The area is supposed to be very scenic, the event is well received by locals with lots of support.  So I made the decision partly because of all that, party because I didn’t want CDA to sell out, and Texas to get cancelled.  As it turns out, Texas registration is opening up Tuesday.  This gives me an extra month of prep time. 

At this point I am not setting any time goals.  It is too early in the process, and you cannot control factors like weather on race day.  All I know is I am going to do my best to train right, get in the best shape I can, and race my heart out on race day. 

It is almost a year away, but I already have my motel booked, and my training plan laid out.  Anal or prepared?   

I am committed now;  or should I be committed?
That is all for now.  I think I might need to vomit again.

Next up: Chula Vista Challenge August 12th
Then, Superfrog (half iron distance) September 30th.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Rock and Roll San Diego Half Marathon

Those of you who have read my blog know my wife, Angi is fighting breast cancer.  Good news, she is done with chemo and her last scan was clear.  She is currently going through some radiation. 
I mention this because she always does the Rock and Roll half marathon.  It was her first major event, when she did the full, and she really enjoys the half-marathon race.  Of course she could not do it this year, so I did.  I put a pink ribbon on my bib and wrote her name on it.  Along with her mom, who is a 15 year survivor.  I ran this race for them. 

A group of us joined in on a race day fast pass so we could park at Sea World (finish) and get shuttled to the start.  Smartest money spent!  

Leading up to the race, I had been having issues with pain behind the knee, on the outside of the left leg, and soreness in the ankles.  I made two shoe changes, and I think the most recent will work.  I just bought them a week ago.  “Nothing new on race day be damned;” what I had was not working.   

Change one was documented in this post.

Change two was just a week ago.  Using Good Feet custom orthotics that I had along with a neutral shoe, the Asics Nimbus. 

The elites started at 6:15, which meant that not so fast Steve started at 6:46.  A little crowded at the start, some bunching, but not as bad as I thought it might be.  Got into a nice little groove.  Started ticking off the miles.   

The Rock and Roll series always brings out some characters and costumes.  My favorite was Mario, mostly because he was near a band that started playing the music from the video game, and Mario would jump like he was hitting the little buttons, and the band would hit the “scoring” notes.  Great stuff.  Lots of energy at a Rock and Roll event.   I heard later Chrissie Wellington and Bob Babbit dressed as Elvis and ran.  That is classic!

One of the bigger challenges of the race is running on route 163 as the road is heavily cambered.  I figured out the best place was way inside, and made pretty good hay along this portion. 

One of my concerns going into this race was that I would hit the wall early, like mile 8 or 9 since I didn’t get the length of training runs in I wanted to.  I hit it, but not until mile 12!  You can see my mile splits below and see how I fell off during the 13th mile even though I thought I was pushing pretty good, and passing lots of other runners. 

Overall I am happy with this race.  While I would like to get faster (who wouldn’t) I see this as progress, and hopefully will lead to a good run split at Superfrog. 

10:03 – downhill
11:06 - uphill
11:20 - uphill
11:44 – THE WALL

Hit the finish line, received my medal, very nice!  Water, chocolate milk, jamba juice, and chips. 

Met back up with the Fast Pass Express group.  3 of the 5 of us had a PR!

Good event, felt strange to run without riding my bike first.  Next up: Chula Vista Challange -

Gear: Asics Nimbus shoes

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Orange County International Triathlon

It looks like I will finally get to race a triathlon this year.  After having both Superseal and a TCSD club race cancelled due to bizarre bad weather in San Diego; the forecast for May 20th was about as good as it could get for a race. 

The weekend started on Saturday morning.  My wife works for a company that makes products for defense applications.  Because of this, we had tickets to see the commissioning of the U.S.S. San Diego.  A great experience. 

The ceremony ended about 11:30, and I headed north to Orange County.  On the way I stopped at the San Onofre campground to get a shake out ride in.  that being done, I went to packet pick up. 

Minor disappointment, I paid $10 extra for a technical T, and they didn’t have my size.  I got a size smaller, and they “gave" me the regular T as well.  How do you not have the right size when people declare well in advance? 

Transition one and Transition two are separate for this race.  They had us do a shoe drop at T2 on Saturday.  I went over and took care of that, headed to my room and relaxed. 

Race morning was about perfect weather wise.  I set up T1, walked over to the lake and studied the course, and exit.  Back to T1, chatted with a couple of guys, took care of pre race business, and got my wetsuit on.  Time to head to the lake. 

I was in the fourth wave; I got in the lake and warmed up for the swim.  Felt good, and I was ready! 

The horn ripped through the morning quiet and we were off!  Swimming, swimming, swimming.  Swimming some more.  I felt okay; but I didn’t feel fast.  Not too concerned, I felt slow in the water at Austin, and had a good swim.  This swim felt like it was taking forever.  Finally the turn for home, out of the water, and I hit the Garmin.  36 minutes.  Ugh!  I was expecting 32, and thought I could push 30 with a great swim.  Oh well, no worries, now its bike time! 

Had a good transition for me.  I normally have something happen that slows me down, but I was out in about 3 minutes.  On the bike and riding. 

I pre-rode the bike course twice about a month ago.  I knew it was hilly and what to expect.  One of the notes I made was the turn from Marguerite on to El Toro.  Marguerite is going downhill, then El Toro is a pop up hill.  I knew to be in the small ring as I turned so I didn’t burn any matches, and I thought if you tried to slam it into the small under load you could drop a chain.  I made the turn nice and smooth, and sure enough, off to the right not one, but two riders with chains off.  Recon works! 

If you have ever ridden in Orange County you know it is probably hilly, This is in the Mission Viejo/Lake Forrest area, and Santiago Canyon.  Up, up and up, then a kick-butt downhill.   Turn around and head back up.  Up some more.  Up a bit more.  Then downhill the last two miles and into T2.

Hit the lap timer on Garmin, very happy with the bike!  Rack it, change shoes, helmet off, hat on, fuel belt on.  Quick trip into the port-o-potty, over the timing mat, and away we go!

The final leg of the triathlon.  The run.  10 kilometers.  6.2 miles.  Starts on the bikeway, slight downhill for 2 plus miles.  Running harder than a training run, but not all-out.  I heard there are some nasty hills.  We turn, and there they are.  Up, double digit gradient, off-road.  Not hard trail off-road, but a mushy mulch mix.  Ugh.  And when the road went up I got a pain behind the back of my left knee and into the hamstring.  So for the rest of the race, the hills were walked.  This killed my time, as there were many hills.  And the buggers were steep, too.  Always a bit demoralizing to see people you passed on the bike glide by on the run.  But we push on.  Back on pavement, only to see a huge hill.  Almost three-quarters of a mile long.  The sun is out in full force, the temperature is now pushing 80.  This is the hardest part of the day.  Finally the summit.  Then a turn back into the woods and some off-road.  Pavement again, now near the finish.  An out and back on Marguerite, also hilly, but the final descent, turn into Lake Mission Viejo, the finishing shoot and boom, it was over.

For those that emphasize the geek in Tri-Geek!
Swim Gear:
Xterra sleeveless wetsuit
Aquasphere Rx Googles
Bike Gear:
Specialized Transition Comp
Williams 58/85 Carbon Clinchers
53/39 Crankset; 11-28 Cassette
Giro aero helmet
Run Gear:
Brooks Adrenaline shoes

The good:  Averaging over 18MPH on a big leg that had more than 1,800 feet in elevation gain. 

The okay: The swim.  Not at expected pace, but not a bad swim, came out feeling strong. 

The ugly: The run.  Had plenty left after the bike.  The quads and principal running muscles felt great.  But the pain behind the knee forced me to keep it easy and walk the hills.  Would love to see what I could have done without pain on a flatter run course. 

Overall I am happy with my first race of the year.  I improved my transitions, and felt like I paced correctly throughout. 

Three beefs with the race.  1. When I picked up my packet, they didn’t have my size technical tee.  Only an issue since I paid an extra $10 to get the tech tee.  2. No medal or anything else for finishers.  Not acceptable for a $160 race.  3. Timing splits did not include transitions.  Are you kidding?  They had the timing mats.  This makes no sense - according the the fb page, they are expecting them to put the transition time up.  If they do, remove one beef.  

Huge thank you to all the volunteers.  Looked like Tri-La-Vie handled most, if not all the volunteering duties.  Especially on the run course, with lots of turns, and reminders to watch as we came off high curbs.  Also thank you to the residents of Orange County for tolerating the road closures and especially those that came out to cheer us on!

Splits:  Swim 36:03, Bike 1:19:21, run 1:10:42  Total including transitions: 3:13:27 

Next up: Rock and Roll half marathon

Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Agony of Da Feet

After the Austin 70.3 last October I felt like I had the wrong running shoes. 

I went to a local running store, and discussed my running, goals, and what I was in.

At the time, I was wearing Nike Voomero 5’s.  I had a Good Feet orthotic I wore with them.  One of my goals was to eliminate the orthotic if possible since it shifted and was kind of a pain. 

We settled on Brooks Adrenaline 11s.  The felt pretty good at the start.  A short time later, though, I had a calf strain on a run.  Not sure if it was the fault of the shoe, but it set my running back.  After healing and returning to running, I haven’t felt like I got back to where I was pre-Austin.  I picked up a pair of Adidas Super-Novas which were our second choice.  I haven’t really cared for those at all.   

My feet and ankles tend to be sore after longer runs.  Based on this, I thought maybe going away from the orthotic was a mistake. 

I decided to go back to Road Runner Sports, go through the “Shoe Dog” process and see where we came out. 

The fitter suggested custom insoles based on my right and left foot being vastly different.  Since I would really like to be more comfortable on long runs, I agreed to give them a try. 

He also recommended four possible shoes.  The Brooks Adrenaline, now 12s was one of the choices, along with the Brooks Trance.  We also looked at a pair of Asics Kayanos and Saucony Guides. 

All four pair felt really good.  This made me realize it wasn’t the shoe as much as the insole.  The custom insoles are feeling GREAT.  We’ll see how they do over time, but I am really excited for my run Tuesday. 

Here’s the deal on how I say the insoles felt so good.  My feet and ankles were killing me after the run, when they tested my gait in my socks at RRS, I could barely do 1/8 of a mile at 5.2 MPH.  With the insoles, I dialed it up to 5.5 and felt like I could go for a few miles.  I took it up to 6, then 6.5 MPH; and felt good!  This is after a 10 mile run earlier that I could barely finish.  Over the 4 pair of shoes, and trying them I ran over a mile, and felt like I could have run more.  I actually feel better after running more with the insoles than I did earlier. 

I settled on the Brooks Trance.  The Trance is a bit more stable than the Adrenaline.  Since I have a pair of Adrenalines, I think I can now do a good comparison with live running, using the custom insoles.   

We’ll see how this all works out.  If you start seeing more Daily Mile happy faces after my runs, you’ll know the shoes/insoles are working!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Can I Race a Triathlon? Please????

I haven’t written a blog for a while. I usually do ride/race write ups and just
haven’t had anything for a while. Not
that I haven’t tried!

What does a guy have to do to race a triathlon?

My first race of the year was going to be Superseal March 18th.
A big storm came into San Diego.
By Saturday we knew we wouldn’t swim.
Sunday morning they pulled the plug on the bike due to 40 MPH
winds. They had a 5K, but I had headed
home when they pulled the plug on the bike.

A double bummer since my wife was feeling pretty good, and
she, her mom, and our friend (Onci on dailymile) came out to cheer me on!

This last week, I was going to race the TCSD club race. When I originally planned my races out, I
scheduled this to work out what didn’t go right in Superseal. Now it would be my first race of the year.

DENIED! Another race,
another storm. Déjà-vu; or as Yogi Berra
would say Déjà-vu all over again. By
Friday we knew we wouldn’t swim.
Saturday morning they pulled the plug on the bike due to strong winds. This time, I went to the gym. I wanted to do a tri, doggone it, so I did a
gym tri. 750 in the pool, 12.4 miles on
the spin bike, and 3.1 miles on the treadmill.

It helped, but I’m still itching to race. Hopefully the weather will cooperate on May
20th. We’ll try again with
the Orange County Triathlon, an Olympic distance event.

Despite my failed attempts to race there is good news with
what is important in life. My wife, Angi
has finished her chemo and is doing pretty good. She still has some other treatments, and
recovery, but the worst is past!

Hopefully sometime after May 20th there will be a
race recap blog!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

2012 Update and Plans

Happy New Year! I have been negligent in writing a blog update for a while now, so here goes.

First, if you have been following you know my wife, Angi is battling breast cancer. She has completed two of six chemo treatments, and all things considered is doing pretty good. My observation of fighting cancer is that it is the ultimate endurance challenge, as it tests, and depletes the body as the fighter battles for a scheduled six month fight, and that is if all treatment goes as planned. That said I still have pink tape on my bikes.

A big thanks to Cyclewarrior, Moonkinrunning, and SugarMangnolia70[1] for joining me in rocking the pink bar tape.

Yesterday was the SD Randos 200K (124 miles). I signed up as usual, and rolled out at 7:00 AM. It started raining about 45 minutes in. I have ridden and completed many long rides in the rain. Several in far worse conditions than yesterday. I had an issue I could not work out though. I couldn’t see. Yes, I wear glasses, and they spot bad, they didn’t fog, but I just couldn’t adjust. Wiping them didn’t work. So, I DNF’d. I just didn’t feel safe. I can only remember one other time when I felt like that and just had to get off the bike. It was on a 600K two years ago, when exhaustion hit about 11:00 PM and I had a hard time keeping the bike rolling in a straight line. By the way, a note of apology to our RBA Dennis for not calling in my DNF, I had seen a couple of riders, so I made the wrong assumption that he would be notified, and I just didn’t think about it.

After getting home yesterday, and warming up, I was looking at my 2012 plans. I have three events that I am registered for as of right now. The Fiesta Island Time Trial on February 5th, Super Seal Olympic Distance Tri on March 18th, and Super Frog 70.3 Tri on September 30th. I think I am running the Rock and Roll half marathon for Angi as well.

I have three double centuries on my schedule, but I haven’t registered yet. And I’m thinking seriously of dropping them from my plans this year. We are four weeks from the kick off double, El Camino Real, and I am not looking forward or excited for it. I am excited and looking for triathlons. The more I think about it, the more I think 2012 might be dedicated to triathlon.

So, fellow enthusiasts, what do you think? More triathlons? Will I be sorry if I skip a season of double centuries? Please feel free to opine in the comments.

[1] Used Twitter names for privacy.