Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Official Member?

Does this (notice the missing toenail) mean I can officially call myself an endurance athlete?
Ever since I first got into the sport of triathlon I have been hearing all about people loosing toenails but as of last week, I had never had the experience. Well send me my card! If Mike Reilly's "Ian you are an Ironman" didn't do it, the toenail Couer D'Alene took must have right?

This last weekend consisted of a couple mellow spin sessions on the bike, some swims, and a 5mi run that felt like 15. Last night's 7mi felt like 12 so I will take that as an improvement. My first "real" bike was followed by my first "real" swim this morning, and both felt relatively good. This weekend is looking like it may actually end up being the "kick it back into gear" point. Lucky (unlucky?) for me, Charisa (who just took 1st overall amateur female at Buffalo Springs 70.3 & would have been the 5th pro!!!) and Steven have been nice enough to take my reservation at the Wernick Manor Resort, Botanical Garden, Koi Preserve and Day Spa for the Holiday weekend. I have tentatively co-opted her and Kevin's training plan. Tentatively as in, I may get dropped like a M-80 (sorry, best 4th analogy I could muster). But we shall see, I may be struck with a fit of reality in the next couple days and realize this could be a bad idea, for mind, body and ego.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

My 1st IM -- CDA Race Report

First off I have a few "Thank You" shout outs to the following people: Bree & Maggs, your advice and encouragement was awesome; Mike, your help, hooks, and advice were HUGE, Beers on me in Kona; D, your positive reassurance leading up to and throughout the weekend was rad. I'm not sure you realize how much it helps, but it does. Charisa, your advice, tips and calming reassurance was BIG. Quite simply I would not have had the race I did if it were not for your help. The training we did together was a huge confidence booster (& ass kicker) and I thank you and Kevin for it. Your and Steven's hospitality and friendship has been awesome!; Brothers Pearson and the Minnow, your enthusiasm and passion for the sport have only fueled my own. The training we did together, and the sacrifices you guys made to accommodate my schedule was a huge help in my prep. I can't wait to be there alongside you guys in AZ!

T3 and Trish, Sean, Marcel & Bill: I am positive you guys have NO idea how much you all helped me. Too much to say here, THANKS is grossly understating it, but words simply fall short.

Alright onto the race:

Swim -- 56:33
Race day forecast was ominous at best & called for cold, rain, wind & thunderstorms, but the morning greeted us with just cold and wind. The water was CHOPPY but it was warmer than the air so it felt kinda good. The start was less eventful than I thought it would be. I lined up a little off to the right (all left turns on the swim) but in the front row. I think in an IM people tend not to go out quite as hard as in the shorter distances, but I knew I had the stamina, so I planned to go out as hard as I could for the first 2-300yds. About 100yds out, I was pinned between 2 others and took a good clocking to my right eye, but the goggles stayed on and I swam over his legs and to his right and found myself in clear water. So about 150yds in I just tried to settle into a rhythm and go. The wind chop is much different than ocean waves and is highly unpredictable so it made the swim pretty rough (as the swim times reflect). I looked at my watch on the X-Terra style run after the first loop and it was a 27 and change. I was not happy about this. The 2nd loop was rather unremarkable. Coming out I checked my watch late and saw 57 & change. Again not happy about this. I was hoping to swim sub 55. But after looking at results and seeing I was 4th in my age and #1 went 55:30, and that I was 22nd including pros, I chalked up the 3mins to the wind and chop.

T1-- 4:27
Hahahahahaha... Oceanside repeat plus 1. With the forecast in mind I had a h20 proof jacket, a beanie, armies & and gloves in my bag. But given the amount of time it took just to get my arm warmers and gloves on, and seeing countless people pass me in the tent, I opted to leave the vest and beanie and I was off.

Bike -- 5:05:16
I knew I had to take it easy on the bike to try and save legs for the marathon. I had my nutrition planned out with 1 gel flask (5Powergels) on my mount and another in my T1 bag; 1 Powerbar cut in half stuck to my top tube & my aero drink and downtube bottle of Gatorade. However, in my haste, I put the other gel flask in my special needs bag, and thus was forced to grab some gels at aide stations before I got to special needs. I got caught by some riders including my buddy B.J. about 20-25miles in and thought it was the beginning of a whole slew of dudes that would overtake me. But my legs kicked in a bit later and I was able to pull away from them. At about mile 40 I passed a friend of mine, Jason May who is a RIDICULOUS swimmer and was first AGer out of the water in 51mins. He told me I was then in 3rd overall. I passed 2 other guys on the road, but was then passed by another guy just before the end of the first loop. So going into special needs I knew I was in 2nd overall. given my nutrition folly, I knew I needed to stop at special needs. So stop I did. I had a mini picnic in fact for probably about 3.5 mins. I ate half a PB & Banana sanny, some PB pretzels, a fig newton or 2, drank a pedialyte, took some Tums, Gas-x and salts and was off. During my little picnic however, a bunch of guys had flown right past me. I was able to retake several of them pretty quick but two could not be reeled in. The second loop was pretty uneventful and I just tried to walk that fine line between going hard enough, but not too hard. In the end I came off the bike in 4th overall and 2nd in my AG. I was surprised to see I had the 2nd fastest bike in my AG.

T2-- 1:45 Compression socks are tough to get on wet feet

Run -- 3:12:08
Having never done this before, I was VERY curious to see how my legs would feel on the run. Thankfully, they felt really good... for about 2.5mi. Then... a cramp in my right inner thigh. I don't cramp, even in hot weather, even at Wildflower. But apparently, the full IM is a whole different ball game and even in the cold weather, I need to get more electrolytes. I stopped stretched it out for a minute then just told myself to run through it and hope to find the cure at the next aide station. That cure, was gatorade, a handful of pretzels & a coke at every aide station. Having forgotten my gel flask for the run (sense a trend here) I combined all that with a few gels on the first lap. About 3.5 miles in I caught 3rd place and saw he was in my AG. He said the two ahead were older so I knew I was the first 25-29er and 3rd AGer at that point. Some time later, about mile 13.5 I caught 2nd place, but trouble was a brewin. The nutritional concoction I described above had caught up with me and about mile 14, I felt like I could win a Beer Belly competition. The bloating was painful, but I knew special needs was coming. At special needs I grabbed some more PB pretzels, more Tums, Gas X, Immodium, salts and Advil, all chased down with another pedialyte.
Then I was left to simply suffer shuffle until they took effect. At about mile 15 my buddy B.J. Christensen (mentioned above) caught me. The dude runs like a Gazelle. I knew I had no chance of running with him in my current state so I had to let him go. He went on to run a 2:55, be the only AGer to break 3 and have the 3rd fastest run including pros! Dude's got a wicked run! It was a painful ~5mi that felt like 10, but about mile 19 I began to feel much better. At 20 I felt pretty dam solid, and I was able to really get back on track. Although the race splits don't reflect it (they are screwed up for everybody), I am pretty sure I ran the last 6mi as fast if not faster than the first 6. About mile 23 a female pro named Jessica Jacobs caught me. I had passed her right out of T2 (she is right behind me in pic above) but she had reeled me back in with a strong run. We ran together for a bit but I pulled away and had a little gap (200yrds) on her going into the long straight away to the finish. Running down that straight, the crowd started going NUTS, I didn't realize what was happening until I looked behind and saw her CHARGING. I tried, but there was nothing I could do to match her speed. She was flying! She gave me a quick pat on the back and said "Lets Go!" to which I responded "I can't. This is all I GOT!!" She ran away US Flag in hand. Her kick was so strong that I am not ashamed to say it. I got Chicked! It was an great way to come down the finish and she greeted me with an awesome hug after crossing the line. My parents support for me in this sport is incredible (my mom has been to EVERY race I've done), and my Dad's lieniency with work is the only thing that makes this possible, so it being Father's Day, and seeing them at the finish line... it was pretty awesome.
I was emotional, beat up, exhausted, in pain, dizzy, nauseous... in short, I had never felt better in my life. It was truly an AWESOME experience that words cannot describe.

Final Result: 9:20:07; 1st in 25-29; 3rd Amateur; and 14th overall. STOKED!! As an added bonus, at awards I found out that I set a new course record for the 25-29 age group.

That night the super swimmer mentioned above Jason (9:45 in his first IM), his wife Galen, Scott (10:30 in his first), his girlfriend Hilary, and D came over for a HUGE meal a couple beers and of course some carrot cake and ice cream.
I know I left some time out there on course, but all in all, I would say my first Ironman experience was, in a word, Perfect.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Time will tell...

Will I start, will I freak out, will I flounder, will my body cooperate, will I bonk, will I get sick, will my stomach revolt, will I puke, will I need an IV, will I finish, will I break 10:30, did I train right, did I train wrong, did I mentally prepare, did I fuel right, can I suffer, can I persevere, can I block it out, can I push through, do I have the determination, do I have the will, do I have what it takes, am I mentally tough, am I physically tough, am I strong enough, am I an IRONMAN?



Friday, June 12, 2009


All Thats on my mind!!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Whats Done is DONE!!

My taper officially began yesterday. While I can say that some things could have gone better with my training for Ironman Couer D' Alene, I am trying to stay positive, and find myself cautiously optimistic. But being an Iron virgin, what the hell do I know? Not much! One thing I do know is that time has run out for me to do anything else (training wise) to make me any more prepared. I have now entered that paralyzing territory where seemingly each and every action you take can only hurt, not improve your pending race performance. Queue the nervousness and anxiety! Maybe I will actually get some of the things I have been putting off done this week? Pfff...

Friday, June 5, 2009

Experiement & Last Weekend

I have been inspired, or at least my curiosity was piqued by Charisa and JP and I have gone meatless. I don't say vegetarian because I feel that term denotes a level of commitment I have not risen to... yet. It has only been 11 days that I have refrained from consuming any animal that doesn't make its home in the ocean (and I only ate some of those once). For those that know me, and my ....er... nutritional predilections in the past, this news would (if any of them read this) come as a HUGE shock. To say that historically my eating habits have been predominantly carnivorous, would be a DRASTIC UNDERSTATEMENT!! Meat, be it red, white, the other white, brown, or almost any other color, has been a firm STAPLE of my diet for the entirety of my, as of yesterday, 29 years on this planet.

For the last 11 days that changed. NO MAS! I was intrigued by JP's posts and the obvious copious amounts of research he had done, and decided to give it a go. I know it was a little risky to try during the last big week of training for IM CdA but I knew that if I felt down, I could just drop the deal and eat a steak. I was pleasantly surprised however at how good I have felt. I wouldn't say the change has been glaring by any means, but I have noticed that I feel like my digestive processes have sped up, and thus I feel as though I am better fueled for workouts and have had less GI issues and naggings during my trainings as a result. I don't think it is the no meat diet, but more just the eating healthier and training more, but I think I have dropped a few lbs, which is good. We will see how long it lasts. But for right now, I am content to keep experimenting.

This weekend will be my last weekend of big training before the taper for IM CdA. Saturday will bring the 21mi loop I was supposed to run 2 weeks ago and with the calves (FINGERS CROSSED!!) feeling relatively good on my last 2 runs, I think it is going to be a good one. A swim video session is to follow and then a birthday BBQ. (I don't know what I will Q, so I may have to eat some more of our swimming friends). Sunday will be my last big ride, but is not going to have all the hills I usually incorporate and should be pretty mellow towards the end. Then its taper time. Getting anxious!!



Monday, June 1, 2009


First off a HUGE thanks to Charisa & Steven for their generous hospitality this weekend. Charisa invited me down to go for a Saturday ride, my response: "Sure, I'll stay the whole weekend and eat all your food." Its not often you find 2 people willing to let that go on. They rock and their house is RADICAL! Steven is apparently a green thumbed Bob Villa and with a little help from Charisa (when getting a break from training) has turned their back yard into a regular botanical garden complete with veggies, fruits and jumping fish.

Friday night the 3 of us met up with Jonathan for some carbs before the morning ride and we quickly realized we would be getting wet the following morning.

4:45 on Saturday my alarm went off and at 5:45 we opened the garage to find Marit & wet ground. 10mins in and it was pretty much a rain. We met up with the rest of the crew and headed East. Once into the climb towards Ramona, the sun came out and it warmed up. From then on it was great. There had been some talk about a East Grade (Mt. Palomar) climb, but I figured that was one of those things that people say, and then 65 miles into a ride you never hear about again. Well, Kevin and Allen weren't on the same page, and they were climbing it. Charisa was running the full marathon the next day, and Jon had a big day of training on his plate too, so I was left with no excuse. OK... Up we go. In the end I was happy I did it. That is an awesome climb and Kevin kept me honest the entire way. My Garmin threw in the towel after 110mi so I am not sure exactly what the # was, but I know its the farthest I have ever ridden. Call it 120 miles with some real good climbing. I was happy & STARVING!! Steven, being smart enough not to want to hang out with a couple of ravaged triathletes, headed off to golf, and we went and wolfed down some Thai food. I am pretty sure our waitress told stories about how much we ate to the rest of the staff. Full & tired it was couch and Giro time.

Sunday brought a 4:10 alarm (this is getting OLD!!). Steven, again showing his superior cognitive abilities, wisely chose to sleep, warm in his bed as Charisa and I windshield wiped our way down to the Rock N' Roll Marathon. I dropped her off at the start, spent an hour parking the car, walked a mile, caught a cab, and found myself at the mile 6 marker with about 20mins to spare. Right on time Charisa came by and I jumped in. We ticked off the miles one after the other with surprising ease. I was very happy with the way my legs felt. The calf especially, not a peep out of it for the entire run. Charisa powered through with no problems whatsoever. The girl is INSANE!!! After a HUGE 3 week build, and 115mi on the bike the day before, she "cruised" her way to a 3:10 marathon. We were talking and laughing for the entire 19mi we ran together. This is how we looked around mile 23, I think some other girls on the course HATED her!! At about mile 24 I realized Charisa had a real good shot at breaking 3:10 (which I knew was her PR). In fact, apparently we both made this realization and had the ESP working cuz we both began picking it up. At mile 25 however, I spotted the Marine Corps bandit patrol and was forced to peel off. After getting through security, I was on the base and sprinting the last mile to try and catch her. An effort in futility it was however as she stayed on pace and tied her PR. In a TRAINING RUN!! I was super stoked as the 20miles felt great. My legs never really felt that tired and definitely had some life in them even after the Henshaw/Palomar bashing they took the day before. More importantly, my calf kept quiet the whole run!!

The day and the trip was topped off some great Mexican food with all the marathoners. All in all, it was an AWESOME trip that I hope to "do-over" many times in the future. Can't ask for much better training, and certainly NO better hosts! Thanks again guys.