Wednesday, December 23, 2009

127 Days and Counting... GO UTES!!


Monday and Tuesday were off days... Not by design, just out of last minute changes in plans. Was feeling sick, got busy with work and housework, and just lost my mojo! Tough time of year to try and get into the routine, but I am glad I am trying a race earlier in 2010. It's a new wrinkle, and it really isn't bad to be training with all the awesome food temptations that come with the season!


Today, I got on the dreadmill for 30 minutes, 7mph after a "subtle" reminder from SHW that it has been a few days... I love that! She laughs in my face every time I try to talk her into a full IM, but she never lets me slack for long. :-)


It was also a joyous day in our household, as the University of Utah beat Cal in their bowl game!! 9 straight bowl wins, and a great way to close out the season... It was also gratifying to see that the PAC10 is 0-2 in their bowls so far, and the MWC is 3-0.


But the BCS works GREAT. It works almost as well as a drunk ironman, anyway.


My diet, as mentioned, has NOT been great the last week or so. SHW had her 27th (ish) birthday and we went out for a bottle of wine, and some awesome Italian. Veal parmegana, fried calimari, fried zuchini, cheesecake, and creme brulee. Cookies at home don't help, and we're currently working on a 5lb. bag of M&M's. Tomorrow is our annual Christmas Eve bash with the gang and their kiddos. Wing Dome, chocolate fondue, chips and dip, with plenty of beer and wine.


This is not a recipe for success! But it is a recipe for a great holiday season, and a pretty good reminder of what we have to be thankful for... Good friends, good family, good food to share with them.


I likely won't be posting tomorrow, so happy holidays to all! I hope you have fun with friends and family, and take some time off of whatever training takes up your days!

Monday, December 21, 2009

130 Days and LAZY!

Not about training, about blogging... What's happened to me!? I used to be so good about my daily ramblings... Wait, no I wasn't. I guess I just wasn't this BAD! So, to catch you up:

Friday was a 50 minute ride, 10 minute run.

Saturday was a 30 minute run.

Sunday was a 65 minute ride, 20 minute run.

Monday was off.

As is the custom this time of year, the diet kind of takes a hit. My meals have been fine, but the cookies and the chocolates in between meals? They are awesome (and hard to decline!).


Some of my delay in posting is due to some good news our family got at the end of last week, that has been a bit distracting... I've kicked around the idea of grad school for the last couple years, and stumbled across a really great program at a great school. Wasn't sure I qualified academically, but after all my stuff was reviewed, I got the call Friday morning... I'll be a student at Gonzaga University, beginning January 12th!

I know this is another big commitment, and I am not sure if I'll do full IM after St. George in May (we'll see how this year goes), but I know I will at least do 70.3 races.... I can't give up cold turkey!! What else will I blog about? :-) If this year goes well with time management, we'll keep up the full IM schedule, but it is honestly a question mark for me now. I think subconciously I want to see how this year goes with a more modest training load (read: training as little as possible!), and if the race is still fun.

I think it will be. :-)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

134 Days and Counting... And keeping it in the family!


Ironman is definitely and individual effort on race day, but I consider it a team sport... The only reason I've finished is because Smokin Hot Wife, my mom, my kid sister, and all the other friends/family that either show up at the race or support the habit. It takes a ton of good people in your corner to get through it all, and I am very appreciative of all the great folks who help me move along...


Tonight, the munchkin got her first chance to REALLY help Daddy with his training! It can be a LOT of time away from family if you don't plan your training well, and since I don't want to miss anything at home, I'm often on the treadmill or trainer instead of going outside. Granted the weather helps with that decision, but it is fun to be able to do this crazy stuff and still be within sightline of my girls!


Tonight, baby and I did 55 minutes on the trainer (see above), followed by a 10 minute treadmill run at 1.1 miles (Daddy did that one solo, munchkin doesn't walk so good yet).


Life... is good. :-)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

135 Days and Counting...

Traveling for work today, so my workout was "hotel based." Read that as "a highly unfulfilling run on a 15 year old treadmill because the pool was smaller than a kitchen sink, thus unfit for lap swimming."

But, punching the clock again this week, just like we're supposed to!

Yesterday was a 30 minute swim, RPE 4. Arms felt GREAT. I also had one of my buffalo chicken sandwiches for lunch... Probably why the swim went so well!

Today was a 20 minute run on the hotel dreadmill, RPE 6, higher speed/intensity to make up for the shorter time (hotel gyms suck).

Ate pretty well today, but as is the habit after being on the road all day, dinner was a small step backwards. :-)

-Breakfast: Bowl of granola, 2 cups of coffee.

-Lunch: Last of the buffalo chicken from this weekend (only made 5 sandwiches this go around, instead of the 30 or so from last time!).

-Snacks: drank 1 can of mtn. dew on the road trip, and a chocolate chip cookie

-Dinner: Steak and baked potato, with a HUGE pile of broccoli, and 1 Bud Light.


Had a chance to talk to Smokin Hot Wife and the munchkin on the phone before everyone's bedtime(daddadababababphluupupfpppfpfpfpfffff), and now blogging my insanely exciting life for the world.

Today, was a good day. :-)

Monday, December 14, 2009

137 Days and Counting.... I'm back!!


WOW! After I promised I wouldn't bail out and take weeks at a time off of updating you what I ater for breakfast, I went and did it again...


SO MUCH has happened since my last post! Okay, not really. I have been pretty consistent on the treadmill (moved up to 40 and 60 minute runs 3-4 times a week, from 30 and 40 minute runs), and eating well (oh yeah, more buffalo chicken sandwiches this week!).


I finally got the bike set up this weekend as well (it took long enough), and got in a ride today. 50 minutes of mixed effort (easy spin, hills, moderate effort) followed by a 9:30 mile on the treadmill. Gotta make sure I don't forget how the legs work coming off the bike!


Only two real things of consequence mentioning today other than training.


1. I did try to convince another person to run an Ironman, a weekly occurrance for which I have had to apologize to a few strangers and relatives.


2. I wrote our Christmas letter! I had put if off for about 2 weeks, but got it done so Smokin Hot Wife can get the World's Cutest Christmas cards out into the mail.



Back on the Wagon, see you tomorrow!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

156 Days and Counting!


Happy Thanksgiving Faithful Readers!


I've been out the last few days, and picked up a cold along the way... Not much for training this week, save for 60 minutes of running on the dreadmill. Other than that, it has been light eating (soup, crackers, and OJ), and relaxing.


That is about it for triathlon today; in the cheesy spirit of the holiday, I'll simply list the things that I am thankful for, in no particular order. As is my style, I am mixing the sincere with the silly, but I truly am thankful for all of this, and more.


-Smokin Hot Wife (SHW).

-The fact that SHW graciously allows me to refer to her as SHW all over the inter-web.

-The fact that SHW makes me smile whenever I think of her, how she knows what I like to eat for dinner, that she appreciates all my weird habits (including triathlon), her absolute honesty about everything, and what a fantastic mother she is to our munchkin.

-Cutest munckin ever, who always looks up and smiles in a way that makes you almost want to cry.

-A wonderful home, when so many go without even a roof over their head.

-The new roof we put on our house this past year, so now it doesn't rain inside on my family, like it did last year (we are in Seattle).

-Really good friends, new and old.

-Facebook. Seriously, it has helped find many of those Friends, new and old. It also lets me shamelessly brag about my baby girl to the world, complete with video evidence of her cuteness.

-The fact that some people actually read my blog. This is a labor of love, and not that pretty most days. I know, a stupid countdown in the title of my posts is NOT creative, but I am trapped by my habit.

-Smokin Hot Wife.

-Buffalo Chicken. Did you really think I would leave that out?!

-My parents. Taught me a LOT about being a good person, and continue to make sure that I remember you never STOP trying to be a good person.

-Every one of my sisters (there are 4).

-The fact that I never had a brother; I wouldn't appreciate my sisters as much.

-Smokin Hot Wife.

-Okay, maybe a brother would have been cool.

-Education, and the opportunity to make my life what I want it to be. I am not a victim of circumstance.

-Ironman. It saved me from myself.

-Treadmills and indoor bike trainers. Seattle is awesome, but it sucks for outdoor sports 6 months out of the year.

-The History Channel.

-Our Military, Police, EMS, and Teachers. All of them allow weenies like me to do things like blog about my hobby, with the type of safety and security that most of the world only dreams about.

-Awesome In-Laws.

-Crossing guards. Likely wouldn't have made it through puberty without them.

-Smokin Hot Wife.

-A country where we can argue, bitch and complain about politics, religion, health care, race, gender, sexuality, taxes, morality, technology, and anything else under the sun we feel like picking a fight over.... but still realize at the end of the day we wouldn't want to be anywhere else. And despite what the rest of the world thinks of us, they still keep showing up here!

-Canada. Also a great place!! I'm serious, I love it there. America should do less Canada bashing, and learn a few things.

-Did I mention Smokin Hot Wife?



Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

161 Days and Counting...


Quick post today... I am TIRED! I have no reason for posting a picture of a 747, it was just the first picture I came across in my files. I took it at the Anchorage, AK airport last year. I like airplanes, what can I say?


I did manage to get on the treadmill for 30 minutes today while the munchkin took a nap... She has a bit of a cold this weekend, and so has been a good napper. Two 2-hour naps today!


I ate fine today (an unnamed sandwich, WAS part of my diet), but added a couple beers. Smokin Hot Wife went out for girls night, so a buddy came over to watch some football this evening. For dinner, he and I had... Beef and Bean Burritos. They were awesome.


I am hoping to get the bike set up next week, and start getting some indoor "mileage" on the trainer. It is time to start riding!


Also, I took some advice, and I flushed the last of my chicken down the toilet. :-)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

163 Days and Counting....






Training:


30 minutes swimming, continuous.





Nutrition:


2 nutri-grain bars, 1 can of ensure, 2 packets of fruit snacks, 2 peices of buffalo chicken pizza, 1 buffalo chicken sandwich, 2 chocolate chip cookies.








HOW IN THE HELL DO I STILL HAVE BUFFALO CHICKEN LEFTOVERS?!?!?





Maybe a better question is, why am I still enjoying the leftovers? I am totally NOT sick of my creation, so can't emphasize enough that it is a winner.... If you like chicken, buffalo, and sandwiches.





I think tomorrow I am going to try a buffalo chicken omelette.






However, I feel the need to post something triathlon related today, so I am going to pry myself away from the crock pot for a few minutes





I am getting the urge to race. We got handful of silly race fliers in the mail yesterday; they weren't even addressed to my wife and I, but rather to the someone with the odd name of "Current Resident." I don't know who "Current Resident" is (I don't even know if its a he or a she), but we get lots of his/her mail. The race fliers were for some Thanksgiving Day races in Seattle, and for a "Marathon Maniacs" club. As my Smokin Hot Wife was getting ready to throw them in the recycle bin... I asked her to save them. :-)





So, maybe a few intermediate races to keep the winter interesting! Seattle Half Marathon is in a week and a half, 12k's of Christmas in Kirkland, Mercer Island Half Marathon in March... I'll need to add a few race sites under my A and B links!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

164 Days and Counting... And a Recipe?


Today is the Better Homes & Gardens edition of HappyIronman... As a foil to the usual workout/food babbling, I'll share the much-hyped Buffalo Chicken recipe. I am fantasizing that I'm publishing it "due to overwhelming demand," so thanks to both of you who asked for it! :-)


First, today's stats...


Training:

30 minutes on the treadmill, 6mph, 3% incline. I didn't have a long day today or yesterday, but I fancied this a bit of a "recovery" run. Nice and easy, and just getting back into the habit of punching the clock every day.


Nutrition:

2 nutri-grain bars, 1 can of ensure, 3 packets of fruit snacks, 2 peanut butter granola bars, 1 handful of wheat thins, 2 chocolate chip cookies, buffalo chicken sandwich, 1 bottle of gatorade (16.9 oz), 1 can of sprite.


Now to channel my inner Rachel Ray...


Ingredients:

-2-3lbs of boneless chicken breasts (I used 3 lbs, and it was too much for 2 adults; we still have leftovers)

-1 packet of powdered ranch dressing mix (.5 or .59 oz size)

-One 12oz bottle of Frank's Wing sauce (really, any wing sauce will do, but I found this at Fred Meyer, and Buffalo medium worked great; next time it's HOT!)

-Hoagie buns

-Crumbled blue cheese


Toss the bottle of wing sauce into the crock pot, and stir in the ranch dressing mix.

Drop in the chicken, and cook on low for ~6 hours (I did 7 for 3lbs.).

After ~6 hours, shred the chicken with 2 forks, and cook for an addition 1.5-2 hours on low.

When ready to scoop chicken onto buns, be prepared for not much liquid left in the pot; most of mine absorbed/evaporated, but it was NOT dry. We hit the sweet spot with timing.

Top with blue cheese crumbles.

Enjoy leftovers for approximately 2-3 weeks.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

165 Days and... Buffalo Chicken


You read that title right.... Buffalo chicken. I will explain in a moment, but first the stats.


Training:

31 minutes swimming; 2 minute warmup, and 29 minutes continuous, RPE 4 (rate of perceived exertion, for the new readers).



Nutrition:

2 nutri-grain bars, 2 peanut butter granola bars, 4 packages of fruit snacks, 2 handfuls of trail mix (cashews, almonds, peanuts, raisins, M&M's), 2 pieces of buffalo chicken pizza.



Okay, so now about the chicken... A few days ago I wrote about SHW and I are growing our curiosity with cooking, and doing much more at home. I am currently infatuated with the slow-cooker, aka CROCK POT. Part of that infatuation is that there is a laziness factor with the crock pot, and I think that appeals to my Manly side. Basically, I can put some BBQ sauce and some raw meat in the crock pot, turn it on, and in 8 hours I have a main dish for dinner. AWESOME!!


I actually put more effort into making something GOOD when I use my current tool of choice, but it isn't a complicated proposition. This last Saturday, I hit the absolute JACKPOT with my crock pot creativity. In several posts, I've mentioned the Wing Dome, a great wings & beer joint 1 mile from our house. Quite literally, a place where the wait staff knows us and our friends by name, and where our kids (the ones who can talk) also know the wait staff by name (it is pretty awesome to walk into a bar and have a 3 year old wave at the bartender and yell "Hi Jill!").


As you would imagine, we like wings. So, I tried a recipe for buffalo chicken sandwiches on Saturday, and it turned out AMAZING. Great flavor, not too spicy, and an awesome sandwich (also 578 calories per very generous serving, if you were interested).


Thing is, I think I made too much. Our meals this week:


Saturday: Buffalo chicken sandwiches

Sunday: Buffalo chicken sandwich for lunch, Buffalo chicken Pizza for dinner

Monday: Buffalo chicken sandwich for dinner

Tuesday: Buffalo chicken pizza for dinner


After all that, I still have more chicken in the fridge. I only started with a total of 3lbs., but I am starting to feel a little like I turned 7 fish and 2 loaves of bread into.... Buffalo chicken for 3,000 (I realize that may be blasphemous, but I say it in fear of how I managed to do this, not with pride).


I will again have sandwiches tomorrow for dinner, and probably Thursday and Friday as well. A normal person would be sick from lack of variety, but I am actually enjoying it. How many times at the Dome have I wished I could just eat wings for every meal?!


But if I get into next week, and I STILL have chicken left, I am going to be in serious need of religious guidance.


Or my own reality TV show...


Sunday, November 15, 2009

167 Days and Counting....


After our early start yesterday, we did manage to get on the treadmill... So, stats for yesterday and today.


Training:

30 minutes on the treadmill, 6mph, 2.5% incline yesterday.


35 minutes on the treadmill today, 6.6 mph, 3% incline.




We are both a little frazzled (Smokin Hot Wife and me) with our latest chapter in child rearing. We are trying to get the munchkin to put herself to sleep at night, and get used to waking up, then putting herself BACK to sleep. She has been a champ in every new stage she's entered, and this has been no exception. But, last night and tonight were a litte rougher than normal!


The Bug isn't much of a crier (she's pretty happy all the time), so when she does cut lose and cry, it absolutely breaks your heart! She is actually able to put herself to sleep, it is just a rough 10 or so minutes for mom and dad until she does....


In other news, I was trying to nominate myself for Housewife of the Year today. While SHW was at work today, I cleaed the kitchen, did 3 loads of laundry, cooked dinner, got my treadmill session knocked out, baked chocolate chip cookies, and did some grocery shopping.


I, haz mad skillz.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

168 Days and Counting...


With the weekend arriving, I thought I would be able to get up early today, and get in some treadmill time before the rest of the family got up! I am not regularly a "morning person" when it comes to training, but I am finding it easier recently to get some mileage in in the morning... Having a baby girl whose body clock that in no way resembles that of an adult with a career may have something to do with that! :-) But the odd hours practice has been good for me, and I've been able to capitalize on it.


But today, I only got half of the equation... I just got up early! She fell asleep at 6pm yesterday (2 hours before bedtime), and slept straight through til about 415 this morning. Momma fed her breakfast, and then went back to sleep (she works today), so Daddy took over! And in true baby fashion, once I had 2 cups of coffee to wake up 100%.... The little bug fell back asleep!


So instead of treadmill time this morning I am using the uninterrupted quiet to catch up on all sorts of important things..... Like 7 episodes of SportsCenter, playing games on Facebook, blogging, and shopping for my dream triathlon bike (which only costs $13,987, but is more advanced, and faster than the space shuttle).


I also started doing something to prepare for training season that I realized would be odd to the uninitiated... I started shopping for my running shoes. Not that I don't HAVE running shoes (see recent posts for base fitness training on the treadmill). I do have 2 pairs. But there something that runners and triathletes do that borders on hoarding. Once we find a running shoe that works for us, we buy them in unreasonable quantities, and store them. Why?


Paranoia.


What if Adidias stops making the AdiFusion Polar edition? What if Brooks discontinues the Forza Distance? What if K-Swiss stops manufacturing the K-Ona? What if another runner purchases all available colors and sizes of the Asics that I MUST HAVE TO BE SUCCESSFUL?!


We put in a lot of miles for training, and for those of us that love running and hate cycling, we put in even MORE running miles. We are super finnicky about the shoes that "work" for us, and are comfortable for our running style. When you find that ONE SHOE that works, you absolutely go a bit psycho to make sure you can get your hands on as many pairs as is financially feasible, without showing friends and family that you are mentally ill.


Most shoes are good for about 350-550 miles before the cushioning is shot, and the shoes are then ready for retirement as the pair you wear to mow the lawn. In my experience, I'll use two pairs of shoes for training/racing per season. I'm not acutally putting in 1000 miles, but I stagger the use of the two pairs so I have a pair of shoes that are "broken in" and sprung for the races. Nobody wants to wear a brand new pair of shoes to run 26.2 miles!!


So as I was watching my beautiful baby sleep through the 8th episode of SportsCenter, I was shopping on zappos.com for my current shoe of choice. I say current, because to validate every paranoid runner's fear, Adidias DID stop making the AdiFusion Polar edition. I used up the last pair available on the internet in Lake Stevens this past August.... But I did find a replacement! So, I am currently buying 4 pairs of shoes. Two pairs of K-swiss Keahou, and two pairs of K-swiss Ultra Natural Run. Oddly, the description of the Ultra says it is "ideal for world class triathletes."



That begs another question.... Is this HappyIronman a victim of predatory shoe marketing, filled with delusions of grandeur that he can become said "world class triathlete," or is he just a simple old-fashioned Brand Whore?




Brand Whore. Totally.




Thursday, November 12, 2009

170 Days and Counting....





I rarely have any method to the madness for my photos anymore (I used to have them at least make sense), but I was flipping through our Honeymoon photos, and was feeling nostalgic... So, today it's surfing in Hawaii!








Today's Training:

50 minutes on the treadmill, 2.5% incline, 5.5 miles.






Nutrition:

2 nutri-grain bars, one can of ensure, one granola bar, 2 packages of fruit snacks, a handful of wheat thins, and a can of vegetable beef soup with goldfish crackers, and a chocolate chip cookie.







I was thinking about what to write today (I know, as bad as this is, I actually put some forethought into it!), and was feeling a bit stumped... And then, after my run, I was absolutely CRAVING wheat thins and cheese. Weird, huh? Not for me!





I have a friend who blogs, and he is an EXCELLENT writer... He is deep, meaningful, intellectual, and fluid. He is also super organized, and when he wants to reference a previoius post, he hyper-links that post into his current writing. I wish I was that organized! I tend to be more of a writewhateverpopsintomyheadandtrytobefunny kind of blogger.





I know I have written about food before, and how an Average Joe like me approaches the diet; if I had a hyper link I would put it here, but I don't (there's only 107 previous posts to filter through). My point is though, I am a creature of habit when it comes to food, and I have a pretty limited repertoire. Oddly, wheat thins and cheese are part of that routine, and since I was craving them today, I felt like I was REALLY getting ready for Ironman!! As I was scanning last year's blog, and my training diary for the previous 2 years, there was a TON of canned soup, and wheat thins and cheese. Literally, if I added up quantities, it would have come to just about 2000 lbs of cheese and crackers.




Having said that though, I think my nutrition this year will be better than it has been in the past. As a general rule, I have eaten well, but there is always room for improvement. Like a lot of people, Smokin Hot Wife and I used to eat out a lot; cooking was something we (she) did on Christmas. That grew into a slightly more respectable routine this past year, when I got fairly savvy on the grill outside. Burgers, steaks, chicken, etc., but with different marinades, sides, and seasonings. There was actually a pretty good variety.





Now, we have elevated our game! We've started getting about 99% of our food from the grocery store, and eating out rarely (I think that 1% comes from the Wing Dome). We still have some packaged stuff, soups, chips, and a few frozen foods, but there is a lot of home cooking going on. Even more fun, we're both getting into the game, and sharing chef duties a few nights a week.



Nutrtition to an athlete is similar to the gas you put in a car; the higher quality fuel, the higher quality the performance. So while that statement makes it sound like I live on organic herbs and tofu products, and will win every race I enter from this point forward, I am actually just excited to be eating more foods WE cooked, and less stuff processed in an industrial oven then scraped into a freezer box to be sold at Costco.




Will it make me faster? Seriously, it would take all the organic herbs and tofu in the WORLD to make me faster. I am one slow racer. But it will help us teach our daughter that more often than not, dinner comes from the kitchen.


And sometimes from the Wing Dome.







Wednesday, November 11, 2009

171 days and Counting...


Yesterday's information, today....


Training:

31 minutes on the treadmill, 6.3 mph, 3% incline.



Nutrition:

2 nutri-grain bars, 1 can of ensure, 2 BBQ beef sandwiches, Anniversary Chicken and Vegetables (creadted by Smokin Hot Wife, and delicious- mix of ranch, teriyaki, bacon, and cheese).



Today's information, Today:


REST DAY. I slept weird on my back, and it's bugging me today... Smokin Hot Wife got me a heating pad, though! I love this woman. Seriously.



Nutrition:

1 nutri-grain bar, one can of ensure, steak quesadilla, taco, bowl of granola, and a couple starburst (yup, halloween candy).




In the hopes of being slightly more interesting than the usual menu and treadmill routine, I got some inspiration for material today... I get Triathlete magazine in the mail (SHOCKER!!!), and I have seen a couple articles in the last few months on training for an Ironman. If you haven't seen an issue of Triathlete, it's honestly a lot like Cosmopolitan. While Cosmo is a monthly digest of CRAZY SEX THAT WILL ROCK YOUR WORLD and HOW TO LOSE 483 DRESS SIZES IN 12 MINUTES, Triathlete is just a bunch of ways to train for Ironman. But, I like it.... There are just enough differences in the articles every month to keep it pretty interesting, just like crazy sex and weight loss. :-)


Anyhow, back to Cosmo... I am not a pro triathlete. If you didn't know that, please see my lunch for today (quesadilla and a taco). So, I don't have 40 hours a week to train. Now that I am a daddy, and balance that with being a husband and an employee, time for swimbikerun is not quite as plentiful as when I started this stuff.


So the articles that jumped to the front of my mind were about training for an Ironman in LESS time than is considered customary... In general, that is about 20 hours a week for upwards of 4 months in advance of the race. For me, it has maxed out around 18 hours a week, but for 6 months. In a focus on quality over quantity, some plans advocate around 10 hours a week.


Now, I don't know that I can only do 10 hours a week, as I certainly don't possess the same physical gifts as other athletes... But it got me thinking. What if I scaled back the training volume, and did more short/intense efforts? That would be a BIG change, as I really enjoy the endurance work (swim and run, I tolerate the bike).


I am no stranger to mixing up training, as I've done it the last 3 years. My first race, I focused almost exclusively on swimming for 2 months. On my 2nd race, I added in a 70.3 in Florida as a warm-up, and did 100% of my bike training indoors (I didn't ride outside until I showed up to the race). Last year, I did about 90% of my training on bike/treadmill, and almost all of that was indoors (Seattle sucks for winter riding outside).


So, do we scale back some of the endurance effort? Honestly, I don't know... I do this because I enjoy the process, and frankly, the 3 hour training runs, the 75 minute swims, and even the 6 hour century rides, are theraputic. Working them in, along with all the other training sessions, is a fun challenge. It makes me squeeze the most out of every day, and I like how that has worked out, and the perspective that it brings.


But if you look at my race times... Well, maybe a little speed work is warranted. :-) I can't think of anything you can do athletically where 14 hours is considered "fast," and Ironman is no exception!

Monday, November 9, 2009

173 Days and Counting....



It sure doesn't seem like very long til race day when I do this countdown thing... It feels like it was about 2 weeks ago that we were in Coeur d'Alene, worrying about the weather! I do have to admit though, that it is nice to have the race on the calendar this far out. It certainly helps with motivation, and having something to look forward to. And frankly, to have something to think about running indoors on the treadmill... Yuck.


Stats for today:


Training:

51 minutes on the treadmill, 6mph, 2.5% incline, 5.1 miles.



Nutrition:

2 nutri-grain bars, one can of ensure, 2 granola bars, 2 packages of fruit snacks, baked chicken fetticini, and one each fun size skittles/starburst candy (Still on the halloween leftovers).



I updated the links to the right for the A and B races for 2010, but after 2009, I am seriously re-thinking which one is going to be my A race. I REALLY enjoy the process of preparing for and racing the full Ironman. It is such an emotional and exciting process, and the culmination of all 6 months of effort NEVER disappoints. Race week is a blast, and the race itself is an amazing thing. But...


I found last year that as much as I enjoy Ironman, I am better at the 70.3 (half Ironman) distance. It is easier on the body, and though still painful, is a challenge that doesn't leave me limping gingerly for 4 days afterward. :-) My fastest IM time is 14 hours 31 minutes, and my 70.3 in August, on a tough bike course, was 6 hours 9 minutes. I was proud of both finish times, but in the 70.3 I felt like I had more in the tank, and could have pushed it a little more!


So, while I am much more proud of the full IM finishes (the distance, even when you've done it, is mind numbing to think about), I think I am a better RACER in the shorter distance.


And lets be honest, they are both still VERY challenging!


So, while this is the "off" season for most athletes, I am getting started thinking about how summer 2010 will shape up, and starting the "Iron Journey." St. George is May 1st, the first IM race of the year! That leaves June through September for me to evaluate where I really want to RACE!!



Saturday, November 7, 2009

175 Days and Counting....


I skipped posting yesterday, though I did get in some training time... It was an interesting day as I swam for the first time in 3 months! We joined a brand new YMCA by our house, and said goodbye to the disgusting LA Fitness... The Y actually has some neat programs for Little Miss Cara, including daycare and a kid's only pool, in addition to the lap pool. SCORE!

Training:
5 minutes warm up (300 meters), and then 25 minutes straight at an RPE 7 (rate of perceived exertion, scale of 1-10 if you are new to following). The effort was MUCH harder than it should have been (I wasn't going that fast), but I guess that is the price of 3 months of cookies, beer, and candy. :-)

Diet was okay yesterday:
2 Blueberry nutri-grain bars, one can of ensure, one bowl of granola, and a bunch of chicken wings with 2 Bud Lights (GO WINGDOME!!).



Today was a light/recovery day. My arms were definitely sore from swimming, though overall I felt good. I have been feeling twinges of what MIGHT be planar fascitis in both my feet (switched the shoes I wear to work, and that seems to have helped), and tendinitis in my left knee? Take those "diagnosis" with a grain of salt. I am not a hypochondriac, but the Smokin Hot Wife is a physical therapist, and is intimidating smart. She concurs with the possibility of both, so I am sensitive to going too heavy too fast with training. Nice and slow, just like my races!

Training:
31 minutes on the treadmill, 6mph throughout, and 3% incline.

Nutrition:
1 nutri-grain bar, one bowl of granola, 2 bbq beef sandwiches and a small handful of potato chips, and vegetable beef soup with goldfish crackers. I also tossed in a handful of Tootsie Rolls left over from Halloween.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

177 Days and Counting....



I am finding it VERY hard to get off the couch these days! But, I did a little better today on the diet... I was pretty inspired, and not by the regular stuff (good music on the radio, or an ironman clip on YouTube).





I have a great friend who has taken on a HUGE lifestyle change in the last 12 months, and is currently working on getting ready for a 70.3 race next summer. He has lost 87 lbs. in the las 12 months, and posted some before/after photos of his effots. Needless to say, it was impressive!





So, today's stats:








Training:


50 minutes on the treadmill, 5.2 miles, 2.5% incline.








Diet:


2 blueberry nutri-grain bars, one can of Ensure, one can of vegetable beef soup with goldfish crackers, a bowl of granola, a handful of pistachios, and a few Doritos, and a packet of skittles.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Lazy Ironman!! 6 months and counting...


WOW!! It has been almost 3 months since I last posted... What happened?! New job, new baby, more travel, and less racing.


But today, with the change for daylight savings time, my internal clock also changed. Instead of it being November 1st when the sun rose today, my thought waking up this morning was verbalized by the Smokin Hot Wife.


"6 months exactly until Ironman St. George!"


I was super excited, but also a little nervous. I've eaten WAY more candy/ice cream/beer in the last 3 months than I have in the last 3 years. I took my "off season" a little to the extreme, and am coming in with a bit less fitness than the last couple years. But, I've been working on the dreadmill the last few weeks here and there, and in my first training session today, I was pleasantly surprised.


I have a few updates to make to this blog page to get it up to date, but all in all, the sentiment remains the same. I am a proud back of the pack athlete, and going for IM finish #4. I'll keep track of training and nutrition here, and make every attempt to not bore the snot out of those of you following. With that said, here we go!


Training:

45 minutes on the treadmill, 2.5% incline, 4.7 miles (about 9:30 per mile).


Food:

Nutri-grain bar, granola bar, 2 cups of coffee, baked cheese tortellini with red sauce, BBQ pork sandwiches with some potato chips, and a bucket of leftover Halloween candy.


See what I mean about bad habits since Lake Stevens?! Ugh... I have some work to do.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Is that all you've got?!

So, I've been VERY lazy about sharing recently, but I wish to jump back on the wagon for those of you still with me! And if you're excuse the philosophical mumbo-jumbo, I'll explain a bit about my absence...


I absolutely enjoy triathlon, especially long courses (ironman and 70.3 distance). Why? They are HARD. I am not skilled, I am not fast, and I don't posess some of the natural gifts that other athletes do. The training is long, the distance is almost unfathomable, and the race itself is guaranteed to expose any flaws in my preparation. BUT I LIKE IT. I like that it is not an instant gratification; you have to put in months of physical and mental practice. If you don't, the race will chew you up and spit you out. You just can't fake it. That appeals to me.


BUT... for as much as I like it, I also need a break in the routine. After being in this for 3 years now, I've learned that there is a pattern to these breaks. The 4 weeks following an Ironman? I don't want $#!+ to do with triathlon! I don't want to train, I don't want to keep track of my equipment, and I don't want to plan travel/food/logistics for my race.


I DO want to eat ice cream/bratwurst/hamburgers/bacon/beer/cookies/beer/cookies/beer (smokin hot wife introduced me to the 50lb. box of Otis Spunkmeyer cookie dough at Costco).


But after a while, I need a break from that too, and triathlon again calls for me softly... she lures me back into my old, comfortable routine. That routine in 2009 was to do IM CDA in June (DONE!), take my break, and then come back and do IM 70.3 in Lake Stevens in August. That race took place yesterday, and this is a brief recap (if I get the itch, I'll write a full report and post that, but I have beer and brats calling my name first).


For starters, here are my stats:

Swim 35:12
Bike 3:24:15
Run 2:01:06
Total 6:09:13
Overall rank 541 of 1189
Division rank 52 of 111


A fantastic race for me! My goal was to try and go under 6 hours, something I have never done, and pretty lofty considering my full ironman times; I thought I'd be closer to 7 hours. But I came VERY close, and am very proud. Honestly, if I could shave 10 minutes off the bike, I'm there... and I STILL have a TON of work to do on the bike. It just isn't my best event, which does nothing except provide ammo to keep getting better!


The most fun part of this race however, was that my kid sister from Utah, who is brand new to triathlon, drove up to take part in this race. She has some guts to make a half-ironman her first race, but she didn't let that bother her! She did the registration/drive the bike course/bike check-in bit, and suited up for her first ever race on Sunday morning....


As a big brother/fellow racer this added a whole new element to the race. Not only was I making my own plans to hit the gas pedal in the race to see what I am capable of, I was worrying about my little sister! Will her bike chain break? Will she get psyched out on the swim (hell, will she get the crap kicked out of her on the swim, a "non-contact" sport)? Will she enjoy the race, or just be miserable? Can she handle the unpredictable weather in the PNW? I was in a strange place, the mindset of the triathlon spectator! Watching the clock, and staring up the course for hours desperately trying to find a glimpse of the uniform that I recognized, only to see her for about 4 seconds... then spending the next hours waiting for her to come back, hoping she was alright!


Well, as you probably know, our worries will wear us out if we let them... Control the variables you can, and then enjoy the ride, right?! Well, she did just that, and had a nailed it. Her first ever triathlon finish was a half-ironman! 70.3 miles, in 7 hours 26 minutes. She had a great day, and a great time... For proof, here she is smiling at the end!


CONGRATULATIONS KIDDO!!!!!


In other news, the smokin hot wife proved herself AGAIN as the world's smartest ironman spectator. Even with a stroller and an infant, she ALWAYS manages to navigate the crowd and the course and show up smiling and cheering right when you need her. How doe she do it? ESP? A crystal ball? Some magic powers reserved for beautiful, intimidatingly intelligent, triathlon-savvy babes? I don't know. But if you ever participate in a race, and want some support, you need to contact her. She's truly amazing people.

Monday, August 10, 2009

The REAL Real World




This blog post has nothing to do with triathlon, per se, other than how most of us age groupers manage to fit this enormously time-consuming hobby into our lives... And how it sometimes takes a back seat.


My wife and I have been discussing day care options for when she returns to work in September. We have not put 100% effort into FINDING day care, as we are (like most first-time parents, I would guess), reluctant to face the reality of not getting to spend all day/every day with our cute little girl. But today we woke up, ate our Wheaties, and figured we would just slay the dragon and get things done. I actually had planned on doing a medium length run this afternoon when we had finished.


I did not run today.


Searching for a day care that you trust, it turns out, is a gut wrenching, appaling, eye-opener of a reality check. I know there are LOTS of really awesome and well-run day care centers in the world; this isn't a generic commentary on the industry. I can say with the utmost confidence, however, that we visited ALL of the worst that have managed to be licensed in Washington state.


It felt like we were touring drug-addict training facilities, and sweat-shop employee orientations.


In one facility, a disheveled "director" met us at the entrance, wearing sweatpants, slippers, and a giant men's shirt (she was not a man). She had either not bothered to comb her hair for the day, or I am just not up to speed on "director" hair styles. Based on the facility, I would guess it just wasn't combed.


On the tour she mentioned about 3 times for us to ignore the "dirty mess" because they "just hadn't cleaned up in a few days."


"Um, is that why it smells like rotten beef and cat piss in here?" I wanted to ask (but didn't).




Then, we went into the infants room, where one of the "teachers" was asleep on the floor. I know she was asleep and not dead, because she got up and started playing with a baby when she realized we were in the room. The fire exit was propped open by a crib with no fewer than 4 infants in it, and some lady was playing with another 2 kids just sitting on the ground outside. The "director" pointed at that scene, and said "That is our fire drill crib (WTF is THAT?!)... And Jane there, her English is pretty good." She said it with pride.


Then she asked the floor-sleeper if they had any room for another infant; oddly, after about 5 minutes of discussing it, they couldn't decide if they had an opening or not. Why the floor sleeper would know this info, and the "director" would not is still a mystery to me. I also wondered why she didn't ask "Jane." After all, her English is pretty good.


So, we went back to the front door, and politely asked for a rate sheet, as we had other facilities to look at. The receptionist gave us a rate sheet, and in a moment of full disclosure, told us they had recently had a violation with the state. Where a child was pulled over the fence. By one arm. By an employee who had worked there for one hour.


So, we looked at a LOT of day care sites today, and we did actually find one. The only one where baby girl smiled at the infant room teachers, and where they spoke intelligently and politely to us.


And did not sleep on the floor.



I also got a funny Facebook response to a shorter version of this rant... A friend said this reminded him of the movie Mrs. Doubtfire, where Robin Williams calls pretending to be a string of terrible babysitters. At one point he yells into the phone, "IT GETS BACK IN THE CAGE OR IT GETS THE HOSE!"



Yeah, it felt a little like that!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

70 Degrees and Cloudy


Is the current forecast for one week from today, for Lake Stevens 70.3! 10% chance of showers as well; I can live with all that... Hopefully it holds up!


I am starting to get quite excited for this race, as I have a bit of a different mindset going into this one. All my previous iron and 70.3 races I have had the mindset of "train to finish, and have fun." This will be the first time I am really going to push and see what I can do... I am hoping for sub-6, which for me is a pretty challenging goal. Not that I haven't tried hard in the other races, but when you're dropping a truck-load of money on plane tickets, hotels, food, etc. for a week long vacation, you want to make sure you finish the damn race! This one is in our backyard, so I am excited to see what I can do when I push it a little harder, with no pressure to live with the disappointment of traveling 2000 miles for a DNF.


We'll see what happens!




In other news, results for the swim on Friday were posted this morning...


I finished in 33:12, and #8 overall out of 51 (men and women), and #6 out of 13 in my division (men's wetsuit) in the 1.2 mile race.


AND


Smoking Hot Wife finished #13 out of 23 in her division! A SUPERIOR performance for her first post-baby race, AND her first open water swim in over a year.


Saturday, August 8, 2009

Super Awesome


My wife is.


We had our first "joint" race event tonight since our little angel showed up in May and started pooping all over the place! We went to Lake Meridian in Kent, and participated in the RTB Open Water swim race.


This was a bit of a warm up for me, as IM Lake Stevens 70.3 is on Sunday 8/16; this was a "back in the saddle" race for my wife, who just got her new Nineteen Pipeline (pink) wetsuit this past week, and needed to see how it performs (oh yeah, and she JUST HAD A BABY).


We both did the 1.2 mile distance, both finished strong, and had a ton of fun. For me, it was one of the rare times I have had to actually spend some time cheering for her! I popped out of the water, met up with our super supportive friends (Chantel, Stacy, Mike, Todd, Nolan and Cadence- THANK YOU!!), and got to feel some of the nerves that are inevitable when waiting for one's Super Rad wife to come finish her swim. About 10 minutes later, we saw the pink goggles, and pink sleeves on the wetsuit coming in to the beach! She crossed the finish line, and miraculously... didn't want to kick my butt for talking her into this garbage. :-)


Love you sweetie!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Going the distance....



So, another 9.5 miles in the sun yesterday, and felt GREAT. No pain in the achilles, no trouble with maintaining my pace... A great day!





I've been feeling the itch to get some races on the calendar for next year, as the 70.3 series apparently opens registration all on the same day; August 3rd! But it is hard, as I am learning that training/racing, parenthood, career, and making sure to keep date night with The Best Wife in the World can be a tough balance! All in all, I know I will still get to race, and do everything else (love date night people!), I just have to balance my 2-year old enthusiasm for getting into races. I will often forget that it costs $225-550 per race, plus travel, plus hotel, plus food...





I wish this stuff was free!

Monday, August 3, 2009

50 miles in the sun...


We had a GREAT ride yesterday!! Deuce, Chan and I hit Cedar River for 25 and 50 mile rides. Chan hit the first half of the trail with us, and hammered out her goal race distance; the relay in September is an Olympic Distance race, so it was cool to see her knock that out in her first long ride!


Then, Deuce and I did another 25, as he seems to want to get ready for Lake Stevens 70.3 in 2010... I think he's hooked! It was about 90 degrees out, so super nice, and the 50 miles total we did in about 2:45.


Then, we closed out the day with some burgers and pasta salad in the front yard, courtesy of the best wife in the whole world.... Who coincidentally, should be getting her tri wetsuit in the mail this week. IRONMOM!! :-)


Overall, a great day!

Friday, July 31, 2009

More fun in the sun!

So... Last few days have been good:





-25 miles on the bike.
-1 mile in the pool.
-9 miles today running in the sun, NO PAIN in my achilles.





I also have arranged a "rivalry ride" for this weekend. Revenge of Dirty Thirty vs. All the Time Bad Ass Man Power! 50 miles on the Cedar River this Sunday morning... Not really a rivalry ride, but I will have Deuce and Chan along for the ride, and in riding, the more the merrier!





Weather continues to be great up here, so getting in as much time during the heat of the day as possible.... I don't get to train in the heat often, so taking as much advantage as possible!

Also, a note to the jerk in the Ferarri who shot me a dirty look in the cross walk today:



Your $200,000 silver Ferarri is not as cool as my $8000 silver Jeep, so drop the attitude. Also, my wife is hotter than your wife.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

90 degrees!!! Awesome!!!


So, back at it today, and I decided to test my fitness a little bit... It was another 92 degree day in Seattle, and NO ONE has air conditioning. I admit it gets a bit uncomfortable at times, but I honestly love that it feels like summer. We just don't get HOT up here that often, so I am enjoying it.


But enjoy it or not, running in 92 degree weather is hard. So I strapped on my shoes, drank a 64 oz. slurpee (thank you smokin hot wife), and went out to see what I could do at 23opm at the height of the day's sun.


Result? 5.4 miles, 48 minutes, and I felt pretty good.


It is going to continue being hot, so we'll see how a swim/bike workout goes tomorrow!


For now, I am going to sleep on an air mattress in my front yard! It got so hot up here that it is much more comfortable to sleep outdoors than in, so we put up the tent, moved the babie's crib in to the yard, and we are all set to be the most comfortable family in town!

Monday, July 27, 2009

A quick break...


Got some family in town, and have been here for the weekend, so I took a break for about 5 days. I think it was well timed, as I am struggling with some pain in my achilles, and that is a new one for me... Not really injury prone, in general, and this doesn't appear serious. It hurt to walk up and down stairs after runs, particularly after my harder/faster runs.


So, a few days off, and a bit of rest for the legs. Along with a few beers and ice cream and bratwurst. I can feel my time for Lake Stevens getting slower, and slower and slower...


Good thing we do this for fun!


In other news, we have a "friendly" competition on the horizon, and another race to add to the calendar! There is an olympic distance race in Bonney Lake Labor Day weekend, and we have 3 gals, and 3 dudes doing a relay! I will swim, Deuce will bike, and Mike will run. For the ladies, My wife will swim, Chantel will bike, and Stacy will run.


It is the "Revenge of Dirty Thirty" versus "Badass All the Time Man Power" (title courtesy of Deuce). Should be fun!


Thursday, July 23, 2009

I'm BAAAAACK!!!


So, I was orbiting grandly in the gravitational pull of the couch this evening (been watching some science channel from there, too), when my smokin hot wife asked me a question.


"So, are you going to keep your blog?"


I love you sweetie.


YES, I am keeping the blog! And, despite the 3 weeks I took off after IM CDA, I have been doing some training to ensure I am prepared for Ironman 70.3 Lake Stevens. Swimming, biking (enjoyable outdoors, I have found), and some running. I actually ran my fastest 10k of my life 2 days ago, in 50 minutes 20 seconds. AmI going pro? No.


But, I decided I was missing the blog-o-sphere, and thought I better let you all know (okay, both of us) know I am still at it, fighting the good fight.


Monday, June 22, 2009

I... AM... IRONDAD!!!

We did it! I had a great swim, and the weather AGAIN pounded us... Cold, wind, and rain, so the bike and run legs were not spectacular. We did do sub-15, so that is good, and I am very happy with everything. Thanks to my mom, my sister, my niece, and my beautiful wife and daughter for braving the weather to cheer me on! Love you guys, and I appreciate the signs and smiles!

Though I still enjoy IM, I have to say I would LOVE to do a race where it is 75 and sunny one day; I am 0 for 3. St. George, here we come! If it rains in Southern Utah, I may need to put the horse in the shed, and hang up the wetsuit and shoes. Or at least stick with 70.3 races, as I don't think I could give this up! :-)

Daddy and his girls are off to Yellowstone for a couple days of hiking and sightseeing, so we'll post some pictures and a race report in about a week... We also have Lake Stevens coming up in August, so I plan on continuing to bore the snot out of all of you. Thanks for reading!

Swim 1:12:12
Bike 7:24:11
Run 5:51:02
Overall 14:47:21
Place 1693 (out of around 2300?)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

22 hours 42 minutes and counting!!


SWEET.


Today, we drop off the bike and transition bags down at City Park, and then... Wait.


Waiting for tomorrow is hard! Wife, mom, sister, daughter and neice will make some fun signs down at the expo that the race crew will post on the course, I'll stroll through all the overpriced M-Dot merchandise (I already blew my budget on souvenirs the first day!).


Weatherman still says rain by 1pm on Sunday, but we have all the weather gear prepped and ready if the rains decide to punish us. We've done it before, we'll do it again....



For anyone with spare time on Sunday, the live race coverage is online again this year. To track my (or anyone else's!) race progress"




2. click on the Couer 'Alene race link


3. Track an athlete


4. enter last name, or bib number (my bib number is 502).



That is all from here, hopefully Sunday night or Monday morning I have some good news to post here!! For all the other athletes that are competing, good luck, and enjoy!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

2 Days 10 Hours 43 minutes and counting....







No kidding! 2 days and change!

CDA is great, hotel is great, transition is great.... All is great! Except for the damn weather man.

5 days ago it was going to be 80 and partly cloudy on Sunday.

Then 4 days ago it was rainy and 62.

3 Days ago it was 72 and isolated thunderstorms.

Yesterday it was 67 and cloudy.

Today is 62 and showers.

Seriously? You went to 8 years of college, watched "Twister," have NASA computers at your disposal and that is the best you can do?!

The upside is it still looks better than NY last year. I brought my magical waterproof cycling jacket, arm warmers, and at the expo today I got leg warmers, just in case.
In other good news, my bike rack spot is 4th from the end of a row! I will not be lost in the middle of a mass of high end carbon fiber and titanium worth more than my life...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

And we're off!!!

Oh, the magic of subaru...









Tuesday, June 16, 2009

4 days and counting!!!

So I've been pretty run of the mill lately with posts, so decided to shake it up a bit and answer a question I got on race day prep... I will say I got in my last ride yesterday on the new tires and they are SWEET. Love them, and their interent reputation for puncture resistance! Hope I'm not tempting fate, but I need all the help I can get on the bike! :-)


Okay, so race morning... I get up at 3:45 for a couple reasons.


First, to eat some breakfast, and give it time to get digested and settle. That way I'm not swimming with a big floating ball of bagel and peanut butter in my stomach. Some people CRAM insane amounts of food in their faces on race morning; I eat my regular breakfast. I can chow down on the bike, so no need to overfill the tank.


Second, the transition area opens in CDA at 4:15 am this year (if I remember, it was 5am the last 2 years), with body marking starting at 5am. I am a firm believer in CONTROL THE VARIABLES YOU CAN, and that includes gettting to transition to get my bike, gear, bags, and body marking done before 2300 other people show up. I honestly like to have piece of mind, know my stuff is together, and relax and enjoy the atmosphere before the swim instead of rushing around and feeling panicky, trying to find a bike pump and a port-a-john that doesn't have a line 300 people deep.


I am no expert, but I know what works for me, and skipping out on 45 extra minutes of sleep is well worth the price of enjoying the morning.


I also have the luxury of staying about 1.5 miles from the transition area in CDA, so it is a short walk to get there. Depending on where people are staying (we were way out in Liberty Lake in 2007, a 30 minute drive), you can adjust your schedule accordingly. My only piece of unsolicited advice is that whatever you do, give yourself time to enjoy the WHOLE experience. Crazy as it sounds, it goes fast!


One more cheesy photo for my positive imagry for the week... :-) This was Lake Placid last year, where we raced in a monsoon, and the 200 mile bike course, all uphill (kidding... kinda). You'll notice I didn't blaze through the course (uh, just shy if 16 hours!), but I finished, lucid, and with a smile on my face.
Sweet.


Sunday, June 14, 2009

6 Days and counting!!

And I am sleeping REALLY well (thank you baby girl and smokin-hot wife!). I am having no trouble knocking out 9 hours a night, and am worried I am getting a little lazy! Race day requires a 345am wake up call, but I've never had any problem with that, so not really concerned...


I had a 90 minute run to squeeze in yesterday, and got it knocked out no problem... 90 minutes, 9.5 miles, and felt great all the way. Eating about 2 GU's an hour, and washing them down with Gatorade, and no issues with the stomach.


Oddly, I can eat about anything on the bike, and as much as I want (shot blox are my tool of choice), but tri-berry GU seems to be the ONLY thing I can do on the run. I actually ran out of GU 2 weeks ago, and tried shot blox on my run. The payoff? A raging case of adult-onset O0psicrappedmypants. I had to cut my run short, and perform a slow, focused, walk back to the house to avoid embarassing myself at a major intersection in Renton. :-)


I still have a 3 hour ride to sneak in, and was going to do that today, but we had an impromptu celebration (not for IM, just a shindig for the sake of a shindig) at the Wing Dome last night. Thanks to Eli/Emy/Marli/Brenna/Chan/Cadence/Todd/Stacy/Nolan for one last night of beer and wings before race day!


Looks like the ride will wait until tomorrow, and then it's pack, drive, and swim in Lake CDA on Thursday! And all the while, all I will be thinking about is finishing... Hopefully with the sun still up this year! :-)

Friday, June 12, 2009

8 Days and counting... 502, are you ready

502 is READY!!!


They released bib numbers for Ironman Coeur d'Alene in the last day or two, and in what appears to be an age-group related phenomenon (I was in 25-29 for 2 years, now in 30-34), I pulled a low number, 502. Last year in New York I was at 300 even, which gave me a SWEET spot on the bike rack, RIGHT on the end of the row! I didn't have to wade through a mass of 30 other bikes with riders to get to my spot. I think some people were mad ("What is THAT POSER doing with the best bike spot in all of Transition!?"), but it was awesome. Even if I don't end up with the perfect spot, it should still be easy to find...


I got in a nice, solid swim yesterday, 30 minutes continuous. Then, it was off to Lowe's and Home Depot to stock up for a few house projects. I have one more 3 hour bike ride to get it this week, and a 90 minute run, so we'll see which gets done when.


I have always been pretty flexible around training, and don't get too worked up if I have skip a session, or move things around. This has proven helpful since baby girl arrived, as there are times when I just can't (or don't want to!) get away, even with the awesome weather we've been having. She is so darn cute! But I have still managed to punch the clock the majority of the time, and she is good about letting mommy and daddy sleep.


We'll see in 8 days and some odd hours if daddy punched the clock enough this year! :-)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

9 Days and Counting!!


So yesterday I got in a very short brick... 45 minutes on the bike (all hills around the house), and then had a 3 minute transition to the run, and did 45 minutes, again hills around the house. The legs felt great yesterday, and I was able to work out the "wierd" feeling getting off the bike in about a half mile of running, AND I managed to keep my pace reasonable. I have the tendency to to go WAY too fast off the bike into the run, and get super tired super fast. Score one for restraint!!


This workout was also my first chance to test out the trusty Roo (bike) after it's tune up and rubber overhaul. I have to give some props to Center Cycle in Renton, as they got me into the shop and completed the work in 24 hours (REI, 2 weeks? Seriously?). They did an AWESOME job; shifting smooth, brakes back up to snuff, and my new tires rock. I asked for some puncture protection and mileage without breaking the bank, and they seem to have delivered in outstanding fashion!


I had a chance to talk with my mom last night too, who is roadtripping up from Utah with my baby sister and my brand new niece. It is exciting to have a bit of a cheering section at the race! My oh-so-cute-and-supportive wife has been there the last 3 years (love you baby!), and this will be my mom and sister's 2nd IM cheerleading experience. It makes a WORLD of difference to have some friendly faces to look forward to on the course. It gives you a huge emotional boost, and frankly, is WAY more exciting that just counting off the mile markers (that loses its appeal after the first 100 miles or so).


Plus, my wife is good for a couple kisses out there, which seems to be WAY more effective at passing the miles than GU and Gatorade. :-)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

11 days and counting...


Yesterday was a nice, sunny day in Seattle, 75 degrees out.... sweet! I did a long-ish run, with 11 miles in 1 hour 42 minutes. Nice easy pace, and the legs felt fantastic.


I also took the trusty Roo (my bike) to the good folks at Center Cycle in Renton for a race prep tune up, along with new tires for puncture protection! I am a slow cyclist, so any time lost to changing flats gets compounded... I am a firm believer that if I overprepare, and overpack (to the tune of 4 tubes, a pump, and 4 CO2 cylindars), then I won't need any of it! But the minute I leave any of it behind? SMACK!!! 10 flats, and 2 blown tires.


Maybe not, but it sets my mind at ease and lets me focus on other stuff... like pedaling and eating!!


Overall, still feeling good, and despite me feeling like I have done less work this year (i.e., less running volume, but more cycling), I am actually 3 lbs. under my race weight from both 2007 and 2008... Odd, but the body feels good.


I'll start tapering this week, with shorter sessions, and in lieu of long days, I'll be doing TONS of visualization. How I'll swim, what transitions will look like, how I'll pace, and what it will feel like to finish with my wife/baby/sister/mom/neice there for support... You know, all the good stuff. Thus, more positive imagery above! :-)

Monday, June 8, 2009

12 Days and Counting!!


I got in a 35 minute swim yesterday, followed immediately by a 35 minute, 4 mile run. Not a super long day, but I am gearing up for a long run today; going to be nice out again, and I want to capitalize on that.


I also got to play bike mechanic yesterday, as I took Heather's bike out of the garage, and put it together on the trainer inside! She is getting the itch to make her comeback, and wants to be able to get some bike mileage in... Way to go Iron Girl! :-)


Speaking of Bike Mechanic, I took mine in to my regular shop yesterday to get a final tune up before the race... They said I would have it back by Wednesday. Then I got a message at 8pm last night that it won't be done until Wednesday 6/17! That is the DAY WE LEAVE FOR COEUR D'ALENE! I need to check with them and see what is possible, and may need to do some research on where other bike shops are around town. I thought I would be okay taking it in at this time, as the STP (Seattle to Portland) ride isn't for another month, and THAT was what threw a wrench in things for Lake Placid... No worries though, the tune is a precaution, and we still have 10 days to find something; worst case scenario we join the hundreds who will get a tune in Idaho from the awesome shops that work overtime to accomodate everyone.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

14 days and counting!!!



Baby Girl is very relaxed about the two week countdown... So is daddy! Feeling darn good about things, and getting in some solid work to make up for the sick time, hospital time, travel time, baby-watching time....


Holy crap, that is a lot of time NOT training in the last 20 weeks!! Am I really ready?


Well... I really think so. I told a friend this week that we weren't out to win it this year (or any year, for that matter), and I have put in more time this year than last. Plus, I don't have 111 miles of straight mountain climbing on the bike course (damn you Lake Placid). So, I feel good. NOT overconfident, just good.


In the last three days I got in a 68 mile bike ride in 4 hours, and another medium length run (9.3 miles, 85 minutes), and a 58 minute swim that just felt AWESOME!!


I have also been following a few blogs of fellow IM folks, a few of who are training for their first IM distance race. It has been cool to hear them ask the question that I had 3 years ago...


"What happens when this is over? What will I do with an extra 10-20 hours a week of extra time?! "


Hopefully, you find that you're hooked, and keep on keepin' on! We all have our reasons... :-)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

18 Days and Counting!


Officially getting super stoked for race day... that is the funny thing about this "hobby" we call Ironman. You sign up 365 days in advance (you have to, the races sell out in a matter of minutes), you mark your calendar, you train for more than half the year to be able to do it, you answer a million questions from friends, critics, aspiring racers, family, and strangers.


Think there's any build-up to this thing?! I love it though, it makes the day THAT much more special, no matter what happens. It is an awesome feeling to have dedicated an entire year to get to the point where you toe the line and get to compete. Finish or not, every step of the year is really great.


So, I have still been a bit hit and miss with the blog since baby girl arrived, but I am happy to report that I have stayed focused and been getting in my mileage.


Sunday, I got in a 7 mile run in 1:01, and followed it up with a solid 45 minute swim in the pool.


Monday was an off day, the first one in 6 days, to get some spring back in my legs.


Today was a long-ish run at 2 hours, in the HEAT. I loved it. :-) I am still optimistic that with Ironman #3 we are actually going to get nice weather!! (see IMUSA monsoon picture above)
I've had the chance to get out and bike/run in the tremendous weather Seattle has dished out recently, and am relishing it.


Things with the family (I also love saying that!) continue to go well. We have established a system of each getting some sleep, and baby girl treats us pretty well. Being a daddy is great!


Now, about her swim lessons.....

Saturday, May 30, 2009

21 Days and Counting...


Holy smokes, 3 weeks to go!


I know, I have been out of cyberspace for about 9 days, and for that I apologize... I am happy to say we got through the stomach flu, despite losing 7lbs. in 24 hours. YUCK. But, we got the 7lbs. back (I drank a lot of apple juice and ate some ice cream for "recovery"!!).


Since last Monday, I have managed to squeek in a 45 minute swim, a 100 minute run, a super fast 7 miler (60 minutes), a 2 hour ride, a 30 minute swim, and an 80 minute run. On the docket today, another 30 minute swim, a 3 hour ride outside (going to be nice out!!), and if the legs feel up to it, a 60 minute recovery run.


So, we lost some traction with getting sick for a 2nd time, but I feel strong, and am still confident that we have a sub-17 in the tank.


Despite all the triathlon talk, baby girl is doing AMAZING. She is figuring out day from night, eating well, and seems only to be fussy when she's hungry. How did we make a baby this cute?!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Swine flu, and counting...


Ugh. Okay, not swine flu, but man am I sick. Have been for a few days. I lost 7lbs. in fluids in 24 hours (um, I was not sweating either).


SO, though I really need to get in some long days, I am back to recuperating. A few years ago I would be freaking out, but after 5 weeks off last year for bronchitis, I am still very confident. I think we're cutting it a little CLOSE (bronchitis was 10 weeks out LY, not 30 days!), but let's be honest. I ain't gonna win the damn thing, sick or not. :-) Sub-17 is still within reach! I am posting a positive racing picture above to keep myself thinking positive...

Sunday, May 17, 2009

34 Days and Counting...


So I skipped a day of writing, but admirably, did NOT skip a day of training. It wasn't specatacular yesterday, but I got in a solid 30 minute swim in the morning.


Today, did 9 miles in 80 minutes, and felt really good. I put down 4 GUs and 20 oz. of water, which was good. Today was warm in Seattle (75 and sunny!), so it is a mental win to get in some training in the heat. I am operating under the assumption that it will be warm and sunny in CDA in June, though I have been wrong before... :-)


I continue to find ways to shoehorn in training despite LOTS going on, and it is a pretty good confidence builder that with all the distractions that life tosses out, I still feel good physically. Plus, I still love being a Daddy (surprise!!), and it looks I can be Daddy and Wannabe Ironman at the same time. :-)
FAILURE IS THE PATH OF LEAST PERSISTANCE!!!

Friday, May 15, 2009

36 Days and Counting.....


I got a note from my younger sister today that I haven't been as diligent with the blog as I initially promised, so I am making a special effort to post today... Thanks Anna!


My eating continues to be good... Oddly, having the baby makes me pay attention to my food more, mostly because I squeeze in my meals when I can, and knowing I can't just eat when I feel like it, I am doing quite well. I also weighed myself today, and am down to 147. My race weight the last two years was 145, so it seems like the volume, though it feels low, is on track, and my nutrition, in addition to feeling on track, also seems to be verified by the scale.


Today was a tough training day, mentally. I got in a 2 hour run, and actually got to do it outside. About 65 and sunny in Seattle, so can't complain about that (in honor of that, the jeep photo, as I am stoked to get the top off soon!). Was just tough mentally; didn't feel focused, and couldn't keep my head in the game. Proud to say I did gut it out, and got it done... Legs felt sprung for about an hour afterwards, but after a bit of stretching, they felt just fine.


The year seems to be going ridiculously fast, with only 36 days to go?! I feel pretty good about training so far, but am going to have to be pretty strategic about my time in the next month to get in both some long sessions, but ample rest and recovery. We'll see how it goes!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

39 Days and Counting... Can it be true?!


Yes, it can. Calendars do not lie!


For all of you (okay... both of us) following the blog to this point, you've noticed that I REALLY fell off the wagon of posting in the last 10 days or so. With baby girl showing up to the party, time has been at a premium, but I am very happy to say I have been productive. At least what I would consider being productive!


Last Saturday, I got in a 2 hour ride with my buddy Deuce; sunny weather, a riding parnter (rare for me!), and some bratwursts on the grill afterwards.


Sunday was Mother's day, so I did... Nothing to do with Triathlon. :-) Took care of brand new mommy, and relaxed!


Monday, got in an 80 minute run, pretty brisk, and hashed out 9 miles.


Today, I got in a 30 minute swim, and 60 minutes HARD on the bike, on the trainer.


I am managing to still squeak in training, though I am finding that my sessions are shorter (only so many hours in the day), and I am fine with that. I have found in the last week and a half that I can kill 2 hours without noticing it, just sitting on the couch making faces at Cara. I am a diaper changing machine (in that I like it, not that I change them all!), and tonight I had my first incident of Cara peeing all over the changing table after I had wiped her clean and turned away to toss the dirty diaper. I thought only boys could pee sideways?!


Anyhow, I feel good about training, will find ways to keep it going, and am loving being a daddy.


Ironman, here we come!

Friday, May 8, 2009

43 Days and Counting...


Back at it today!


-Breakfast: Whole wheat bagel and peanut butter, 2 cups of coffee
-Lunch: Turkey and provolone sandwich on whole wheat bread, one can of coke (helps me not fall asleep with baby girl in my lap!).
-Dinner: steak and lobster, some green bean and carrots, and 3 (okay, now 4) glasses of wine. Excessive? Yes. Awesome? Oh, yes.
-Snacks: None!



-Training:
10k run at race pace, and did the 6.2 miles in 51 minutes. Pretty good!


In an odd twist for me, I actually have a friend coming on a bike ride with me tomorrow... In 3 years of training, I have done all of it solo, save for the training/racing I did with my smoking hot wife last year for IM FL 70.3. My buddy Deuce is headed up to Ren-Town to hit the Cedary River Trail with me. I am really excited to have some company on what is admittedly the least favorite part of racing/training for me.


I have bribed him with BBQ afterwards at the house, and the chance to meet my adorable baby girl, but he is up for the challenge!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

45 Daddy... I mean Days... And Counting!


Okay, so I have been offline, and (predictably) not training since last Friday. We ended up in the hospital at 730am, and little Cara was born (with a little help!) at 9:15pm.


Since then I have actually done pretty well with my eating. I've cut WAY down on calories consumed (I managed to drop 3lbs. this week) with the decrease in training volume, but I've also stopped hydrating as well (some of the 3lbs, I'm sure). The worst thing I've eaten is some jelly beans and a couple brownies, and as I type I am treating myself to a beer tonight.


But I HAVE been busy! This is not exactly a "Rest Week" in the traditional sense... I have slept from about 1am to 530am, and 6-830 each night since Saturday, which is actually pretty good. Heather has been getting less sleep, as she has to do most of the work in the night time. We've split duties up a bit, so she can get a long nap mid-morning and late evening, but I gotta tell you, she is a champ!


I am proud of myself for one thing... I'm more relaxed than I thought I would be. I figured I would have a hard time sleeping, as I'd constantly be listening for baby's breathing at night, or watching her for movement to make sure everything is okay. Either I am doing okay at staying mellow, or I am too tired to maintain focus for very long. I am banking on the latter...


I hope to get in some swimming later this week, as we are sort of getting into a new routine here at home. But, even if I don't, my goal of sub-17 Ironman is still alive and well, and I have a cute little bundle of love to think about every step of the way (and a baby too! haha, love you Heather!). Training will pick up soon enough, and I am thinking now, more than ever, the bike trainer and treadmill are the most fantastic strategic purchases of my life!