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!!


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.

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.....