Friday, May 29, 2009

Punishment called...

And I answered.

I have confirmed my 2 night reservation at Wernick's Casa de la DiversiĆ³n y el Dolor!

Saturday will bring upon us ~115mi of tough riding on the infamous Henshaw Loop. Charisa was kind enough to recruit some "fast guys" to come ride with us. Thanks. Thanks a bunch. This is NOT what I needed. Jonathan (the medic who helped/carried me to the med tent at Cal. 70.3) has promised that he won't let me die and is going to bring a tow rope in case I completely blow! Hopefully Charisa or Marit will share the workload with him should that come to pass (I'm not exactly "light" and there be hills!!).

For Sunday, Charisa decided to call my manhood into question and offered me the opportunity to run the Rock N' Roll Marathon with her. Any pride I had was quickly swallowed, as I meekly passed on the opportunity. I am going to try and hang with her for a few miles, but not knowing how much punishment Henshaw is going to dish out, I will refrain from committing to any firm number. Most likely I will spend much more time chilling with Steven.

Should be good times and some awesome training. I can't wait.

Have a good weekend and good luck Maggs & Bree at Honu 70.3. CRUSH IT!!!


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Desert

Memorial day weekend brought an opportunity to head out to the Desert with Sean & Trish, train, and relax in style.

With the 4Runner all packed up we departed Friday night and were in house by 11p.m. Saturday's menu read: "Long Ride" Sean, is smart enough not to be doing an Ironman so his turn around came about mile 30. I continued on Highway 111 towards the Salton Sea and along its shore for a few more. That place is desolate, I mean, nothing.
For those who don't think Triathlon is it, you will be happy to see that I found it. If you want directions let me know.

The ride was going well, hot, pretty good head & cross winds all the way out and once out of town, very few stops. The way back was going even a little better with the aforementioned head wind, now a tail. The only bad part was the seemingly constant train of semi trucks passing me loaded to the brim with Garlic. Several hours into the ride, this made me HUNGRY and I had "Pizza on the Brain" for almost the rest of the ride. That was, of course, until I ran out of fluids. then I had H20 on the brain. I mentioned before that this place is desolate. Not many places to stop out there for a cold drink, plus as I was averaging about 25-27mph, I didn't really want to stop. So I passed one or two extremely sketchy looking markets, knowing that at my current speed, I was going to be back into safer stopping territory pretty soon. I thought I could hold out a little longer. Well, I am not sure if it was the dehydration, or the Pizza brain, but about mile 85, I was wishing I had stopped. Somehow, in my dehydrated state, I managed to get blown/veer off the shoulder and into the loose dirt, my front wheel washed out and I met asphalt at about 25mph. I managed to roll with it pretty well, and my left arm/hip and shoulder took the brunt. I also did a nice little re-style job on the back of my helmet. My main concern was my bike and I remember sliding along, holding my bike up off the road by the right aero bar and my still clipped in right foot. Thus, my bike was relatively unscathed, I took a little road rash but nothing my traveling medical team couldn't take care of. Sunday brought the first test of my calf after the week's rest. The night before Sean & Trish had let their PT opinions be known and encouraged me to try to incorporate a little more of a heel strike into my run stride. My forefoot style, they thought, could be contributing to the calf problems I had been experiencing. After 35mi on the bike Sean and I were off on a run, and I was concentrating on a nice heel strike. I am super stoked to report that 12mi later, no pain and the calf was happy! Some strength training and a little "lap of luxury" recovery at the spa, and a fine Sunday was brought to a close.

Monday morning, not wanting to over-stress my calf too soon, I opted for a ride with a small run off. I found some awesome roads and just couldn't force myself to turn around. 30mi later I was here: Knowing I had to go home sometime, I reluctantly headed back and fought a mean head & cross wind all the way home. A quick 2mi run off and the weekend training was all done.

Yesterday brought my first ride back with the Tues/Thurs group in a while, and I was Punished. The weekend had taken its toll and I was quickly dropped like a school girl. Tuesday also brought on my second ART session with Tamar. I was super stoked that this round was not nearly as painful on the calves. Proof of the recovery accomplished. Tamar inflicted her pain and an hour later I was a new man. This morning's tempo run went off without a hitch!! Now I am just looking forward to the weekend and riding the infamous Henshaw Loop with Charisa on Saturday and supporting/cheering her on in the San Diego Rock N' Roll marathon on Sunday. Should be good times!!

Ohh and just for a parting treat, here is what my hip looks like today.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Hi my name is ART

Last night I met ART. I had heard lots (horrible and great at the same time), so I was very interested excited about this introduction. I have to say, it was almost all it was cracked up to be.
In the last month or so, I have had a few sessions with a local massage therapist who thoroughly kicks my ass for an hour & 15. Seriously, last week I was almost in tears. Well, with the recent resurgence of my much complained about (I am sure you are sick of it by now) calf injury, I decided I needed to see what this ART was all about. In preparation, I spoke with Charisa, read Marit's post, and was scared by D when she simply laughed at my pending treatment.

6pm came around and I found myself nervously approaching Tamar's office, weary of the pain I was soon to endure, and hoping it would yield the results I was hoping for. Tamar is a girl from my running club and is a Chiro and ART therapist. She is also a tough girl who just recently rocked a 3:09 at Boston with her bright green Nikes turned crimson, soaked through with blood from some gnarly blisters. To top it off, she did the run portion of Wildflower 2 weeks later in just over 1:30. So you know she is tough. Thus, I was apprehensive of just how bad the pain would be. Don't let her small size fool you, she's packs a punch!

After some intro stuff, some stretching and prodding, Tamar laid her hands on my right calf, and chills went down my spine. After a couple rounds of "point & flex" the right calf was done. To my surprise, while a couple spots were pretty torturous, it wasn't all that bad. So there I was thinking the worst is over and everything else would be fine, right? WRONG!!! Next she moved up to my right IT band and quad. HOLY HELL!! How can such a small person inflict such pain? With just her thumb no less!!! She is like a Ninja "I can kill you with one finger". Apparently, my right IT Band and quad were ridiculously tight and adhered to one another. After one round, complete with several LOUD vocal expressions by me, and while I was dizzy with pain, Tamar asks, "Can you handle another round?" Obviously, the pain had disabled the rational thought portion of my brain and I found myself saying, "Whatever you think it needs." Thankfully though, the first round had apparently loosened it up some and the 2nd round was much less painful. The rest was rather uneventful. The left Calf and IT Band were, relative to the right, pretty painless, and after some stretching and adjustment I was done.

I am happy to report that aside from the slight soreness from the pressure, my legs felt better almost immediately. This morning was WAY better. I rode the trainer for an hour completely pain free and after some pool running tonight, I get to test it out for a mile or two.

Fingers crossed, I am hoping this is a sign that the training weekend / heat camp in the desert this weekend will be taken full advantage of.

If your in the South Bay and you find yourself needing some ART. I HIGHLY recommend Tamar Gamliel's services. She rocks. Let me know and I'll get you her contact info.

Monday, May 18, 2009


So looks like my last post proved to be a bit too soon, or I jinxed it, whatever, the result is the same. My calf injury that had been nagging me since before the marathon (late-ish January), reared it's ugly head last Thursday. I went out for my run and about 3.5mi in, going up a long steady incline, there it is. But it wasn't bad, it didn't really hurt, it was just kind of there. So I kept running. 10.5mi later I was home. I knew I had no running or riding on Friday and did have a massage so I was hoping that would send it packing. Friday afternoon and still, that was not the case.

Saturday I had planned to run a really solid training loop we have here in Palos Verdes. We refer to it as "a loop" or "running the drives". Whatever you call it, it is a almost exactly 21mi loop with some great climbing and mostly steady rollers. My PR is a 2:22. Its a good run I was really looking forward to as a fitness gauge. Unfortunately, the calf had other ideas and I was forced to scrap the plan. Instead it was stay off the hills, and the Doc's orders were "We'll run 5mi see how you feel. Run 5 back see how you feel. If it feels good, you can do it again. But I stress you should use caution." So I ran 20. I'm not good at caution.

Sunday was just a ride, so no big deal. Almost a full 3 days to rest. Right? Not so. It even bothered me on the bike which it never had before. Bummer. So coach's orders have me off the run and very limited and easy biking for the next 4-5days and some PT and ART. I am hoping for a miracle to save this weekend's scheduled training weekend in the desert. PLEASE!!!!!!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

So Far, So Good

If you have read any of my most recent blogs you know that I am in my last big training block before:

This will be my first IM, and this has been the first time in a while I have made a big adjustment to my training. So after last week's recovery from Wildflower, the weekend's workouts were a "Lead In" to my first week of the block. So far, I am happy to report, all seems well. Last night was track, and I knew it would be the first real test. The other club runners would serve as a reality sounding board to see what toll the last couple days had taken on my legs. I was pretty pleased with the result. I wasn't able to run up front, but I wasn't dropped to far off. All in all I was happy with it. This morning brought a HARD 1hr interval session on the trainer and a 5k run off. I was VERY pleased with the way me legs responded on the run. So that was encouraging. A swim at lunch and a 1.5hr run tonight and then its Friday rest day!

Staring me in the face however, is a tough 21mi run loop of PV on the drives, and a swim on Saturday. Then its my good buddy Scott's wedding down in Laguna. I am pumped to see he and Kat "tie the knot" and couldn't be happier for the both of them. Should be an awesome event!! Sunday will have the brothers Pearson and I riding from Santa Ana to San Diego. Good times!

Monday is going to be a REAL test :/

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Recovery over

After Wildflower a few days of recovery were in order (the hills on the run brutalize the legs). But come Wednesday it was time to get things rolling again (only 6 weeks till IM CDA), and we have already discussed the shape I am in, or not in, and the work that MUST be done. So Wednesday's track session led to Thursday's med/lng run (not fun) and Friday's usual rest day got turned into a pool and gym tri WO.

My travel schedule is pretty nuts and this was one of the few weekends I am actually home in a while and one of the last for the coming weeks. So after some Wildflower fallout amongst the training partners (illness, fatigue, etc...) I was left to train mostly alone. Saturday brought a 30/17 ride/run brick, followed by a swim. Actually, it went more like this, Ride 30; Run 7.43 Begin Bonk (I looked at my Garmin and remember that moment because I knew the next ~9mi were going to be rough... 17 was doubtful), stave off bonk with gel; run 3mi another gel; run 3mi, BONK!!!; run 1.5mi, call for a ride, run 1.5, see car & get in. Total 16.57mi. Doubt prevailed.

Today meant a long ride. Knowing I was going to be alone and thus not wanting to ride too far from home, or too close to the smoke from the Santa Barbara fires I chose to stay local and go for the loop ride. The problem with this "loop" ride is that it is 5 of em. 5 of anything can be pretty tough, but with the climbs this ride entails, and the fact I was going it alone, I knew it was going to be as much of a mental and willpower test as it would be a physical one. 112mi later and 8,885ft of climbing, and I was done and ready to enjoy the rest of the day with Super Moms buying her treats. The lady likes her crepes so that was #1 on the agenda!! Strawberries, whip cream, powdered sugar & a little lemon = Happy Mom. That was definitely the highlight of the weekend. Follow that up with some farmers market fruit and veggie shopping, and an awesome dinner, and I am very happy with the weekend.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Not so wet WF

The rain came and went on Friday and Saturday we awoke to what proved to be almost perfect weather conditions by Wildflower standards. I guess the only complaint would be that the traditional tail wind that is almost always present on the back side of the lake was replaced this year with a slight headwind. As Chris Lieto said, "no tail wind, just a head wind, so I had to burn a bunch of matches to close the gap on the bike." or something to that effect. Either way, it made what is already a pretty brutal bike course, that much more "fun".

All in all, I am, lets call it "content" with my race:
Swim: 27:23 (I was 26:xx last year and wanted to be 25 this year so that pissed me off);
T1: 2:10;
Bike: ?? no splits (thanks to Eternal Timing / Bazu Media, probably the worst timing company I have seen. Seriously they missed SO many people's splits. I think the RD must have some sort of relationship with them, otherwise their is NO reason they should still be doing this race), but doing the math, it looks like it was 2:35 - 2:36; I am actually pretty happy with that, and my first experiment with rubber banding my shoes made mounting a breeze;

T2: ?? Same story, but considering I ran down the wrong aisle and had to duck under the racks to get to mine, and then find my #, not too stellar;
Run: 1:28:29 (6:45pace) This is the definitive "low" spot for the race for me. I SHOULD have run faster. I had some abdominal cramping and "bathroom problems" but I make no excuses. The run was slow because I am slow. Those issues were not the cause of the result. plain and simple, my run fitness is not where it should/needs to be.
Finish: 4:36:22. 4th in Age Group; 17th Overall.

Again, I am content, but could be much happier. It is my fault. I need to get my fat ass in gear, and build up some serious run speed and stamina before IM Couer D' Alene. Otherwise I am going to get my ass handed to me.

Overall however, the good times outweighed the bad, and it was an awesome weekend. How can it be that bad with sunrises like this?

Great times were had with T3 members and I was super stoked that Charisa and her crew (including the 1st place mixed relay team) camped with us. Charisa, in typical fashion, CRUSHED it, and took 2nd in her age group and 3rd overall. AWESOME!! Maybe I should have had a "Big Frank" afterall?? I guess I can chalk it all up to another learning experience. I learned that my fitness level will not get any better if I don't work even harder at it, and won't even remain stagnant if I don't work hard just to maintain. I learned I need to do a boatload of work before Kona. The only real plus on the racing side, was that my nutrition plan seemed to work pretty darn well (aforementioned bathroom problem aside). At least I know a little bit more now and can carry that into CdA. Big Work ahead... I hope I am game. If not, please feel compelled to kick my ass should our paths cross in the future.