Sunday, August 29, 2010

I've got a long way to go

This has been one of those days that are really frustrating. I had a 5.5 hour brick today consisting of a 4.5 hour bike ride followed by a 1 hour run. Everything went off this morning without a hitch. I was able to be on the bike by 5 am giving me plenty of time to pick up KGB after her slumber party. I rode for 1.5 hours on the trainer, when the sun came up I pulled my bike and hit the road. I probably pushed a bit on the bike but my average speed just isn't where I want it to be (17.7MPH) for the watts I am producing. Granted, speed is fairly irrelevant because many factors tie to speed (wind, hills etc...) however since this was an out and back, any wind that was in my face slowing me down on the way out was at my back on the way back so it should balance. My nutrition was pretty good, I was able to consume enough fluids and finished my bike fine. I jumped off the bike, literally jumped in the pool and back out again just to cool off for a second, threw on my shoes and on the road for the worst run I have had in a long long time. My heart rate was high, my legs were jello and I just didn't have it today. Granted, it is the end of a three week build following the most intense week I have had but still, I should have been able to have a better run.

Considering that my actual race will be over twice as long as I spent today it was a reminder of the harsh reality that this race is not easy, it is not for everyone and there is going to be a lot of pain between the starting cannon and the finish line. The good news is that I still have 83 days, 14 hours, 46 minutes and 41 seconds (at the time of writing) before said cannon. Today was a reminder that I am going to need every single minute of training if I am going to complete this thing.

Next week is a recovery week in the build 3 weeks, 1 lighter recovery week. I am hoping I am just fatigued......Time will tell.

I am not looking for sympathy, the good training days far outweigh the bad, however, when the big workouts go bad it really weighs on you. That one is over, thanks for letting me vent.. now to look forward and make the most of the time I have...

Have a great week!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Some time for reflection

This is the end of my last "base" week designed to give me baseline endurance before I start to build for my race. Last evening I had an 1:45 minute swim and a 1.5 hour bike ride. In the 1:45 I was able to swim 6000 yards which is now the new farthest I have ever swam. It is hard to believe that two years ago I couldn't swim down and back in a 25 yard pool. My point is not to be boastful but just the opposite. Anyone can due this, it just take focus, desire and to be as consistent as possible. I hear from many people "I could never do that" and that is what they say but what they really mean is that "I don't want to do that". Anyone is capable.

Anyway, I have a long brick work out tomorrow that will be a 4.5 hour ride immediately followed by a 1 hour run. Again, when I started I struggled to run 10 minutes. Neither one will be fast but I will get them done and anyone considering getting into shape or setting a goal to run a 5k or whatever, I would be happy to help in anyway that I can. This journey has really changed my life for the better.

Sorry for the weird post this time but on this beautiful Saturday morning a little reflection never hurts anyone.

All for now

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tuesdays update

I am sitting at my son's football practice and figured I would send an update.

After having Sunday off following lake St Louis I juggled my long run scheduled for tonight to last night .... Make sense? My workout was for a 1:45 minute run with the first hour 15 aerobic with the last 30 minutes pushing into "tempo" that is tri speak for faster. After a race and my self induced few days off due to fatigue last week I was feeling amazingly good last night The weather was nice, Rene and the kids were at football so I took off for a run in the country. I was feeling so good I turned it into 2 hours and just enjoyed the low humidity and semi fresh legs. I was able to push 8.5 to 9 minute miles at the end (not great but not bad). The most important thing is that the 13 miles felt good (thanks weather). Got home, jumped in the pool to cool off, hot tub to stretch, shower and then bed.

Tonight is strength for 30 minutes. I have a tough hill climb workout tomorrow night so a bit of recovery for that is good because the arthritis (or torn meniscus) in my left knee is a little sore tonight. The first thing after the ironman is a visit to the ortho to get it looked at. It is probably just my birthdate causing the pain but it hurts too consistently to let it go.

More to come, all for now


- see who inspires me,

Monday, August 23, 2010

Beautiful night for a 2 hour run

The weather has stunk. Can't complain about tonight though

- read about my inspiration Deborah ...

Location:S Moreland Rd,Edwardsville,United States

Sunday, August 22, 2010

It has been awhile & Lake St. Louis Results

I know it has been awhile since I have posted. This week has been one of the busiest weeks I have had in a long time. Coming off two really hard weeks of training, I was feeling it.

This week was a taper week leading up to the Lake St. Louis Olympic distance triathlon. This was the 28th year of the event and it shows, they really do a great job, the lake is beautiful and it is just really well run. This year was different because it was Rene's first Olympic distance triathlon and was her "A" race.

I don't want to dwell on how this week was but I can't remember a time where I purposefully decided to take two days off from my workouts mid-week. I felt like I was fighting being sick all week, I had a trip to Bloomington that started at 4am one day and back on the same day, many meetings, and it was just a tough week. Friday night, we went to dinner and I thought for sure I was getting sick, things were not shaping up for a good race. However, on Friday night, I did do a 30 minute bike and a 10 minute quick run just so my legs could remember what they were supposed to do. I did feel a little better after, finished packing my tri gear and to bed, we had a 4 am start on race day!

Rene and I were up early and out of the door. We had storms all night and they were calling for rain but fortunately, it stopped by the time we got to the race. Transition was assigned spots by our wave starts and we were right by the entrance/exit...sweet!!! The water temp was just shy of 90 degrees so no wet suits. We set up our transitions, talked to some of the other folks we knew, and we were surprised to be met by Keith Timmins of Metro Tri Club, he introduced himself and brought us our club T shirts. We chatted with him a bit and got ready to race. We walked down to the lake to watch the challenged athletes go off at 7am and then we waited until it was our time. We chatted with our coach and several other Tri smarters and waited for wave 6. I hadn't been in an event until now where the women and the men share a wave except this one. Rene and I wished each other luck and waited for the horn, and we were off.

Swim: I had a mediocre to average swim. It was slow and I knew that, but I was able to sight pretty well, avoid traffic and just keep trudging away. During the swim, it seemed long and it was, I was almost 3 minutes slower than last year but last year was wet suit legal. My swim could have been faster but I must have missed something in my technique. I know my tri suit slows me down so I will be switching it out. Drag = Slow and it doesn't fit me as tightly as it should.

T1: was pretty good, I shaved 20 seconds off my last years time. Not blazing fast but okay. My sunglasses got tangled up in my bike helmet; that cost me a few seconds but not horrible.

Bike: Much different bike course this year. There was road construction on the normal course so they really changed it up. Still rolling hills but much more technical (triathlon speak for lots of turns) It was really hard to get into a long rhythmn on the bike. Now the bad part: my nutrition plan (triathlon speak for what you are going to eat for energy during the race) was to take in about 400 calories of this syrup stuff called EFS. It comes in 5oz bottles and is pretty much vanilla tasting syrup. Not the best tasting but an efficient energy is key when you have to carry it around with you. I was also going to take in 60+oz of gatorade. It was a great plan except 3 minutes into the bike I dropped my EFS leaving me with nothing to eat with a 24 mile bike and a 6 mile run following a 36 minute swim. I almost stopped but I was cresting a hill when I dropped it and it went sliding down the hill. There were cars around and stopping would have been pretty dangerous so I decided "to drink more gatorade" Not the best of plans, but all that I had. Lesson learned - pack more than you need just in case. Long story short, (or long in this case) I was able to hit my wattage goals on the bike and push 210 (actually 215watts) for the bike, is what it averaged, even with no nutrition.

T2 was pretty fast due to our position in transition. In and out in a little over a minute.

Run - The run was okay. I immediatly took int 2 GUs (100 calorie sugar gel in a pack)at an attempt to make up for my lack of nutrition on the bike. It helped, but not nearly as good as it would have been if it were in my system on the bike. The run was consistent: 8 minutes per mile, I would have liked it to have been a little faster but, oh well. My run this year was slower than last year's, but it was okay.

My total time was 2hours 41 minutes, about 4 minutes slower than last year, all pretty much gobbled up on the swim.

Rene's goal was to finish (which I knew was not a problem) her goal was 3:06, but her over-reaching time goal was 3 hours.... she finished 3:01 and was very pleased. She did awesome, and after complaining the last several weeks as to how much of a drain training has been, she is now trying to find another race. HA! This was to be her last race of the season, with the kid's activities ramping up. She will probably do one more this year, though. Funny thing about this sport, if you get bitten by the bug it gets you.

Post race we talked to the Tri Smart folks, swapped stories etc.. Rene and I sat next to our new friend Keith (who won his age group in the sprint BTW) and Bob Patterson, a local 60 year old who finished 31st overall (and is the best ambassador to triathlon) and we watched the awards from the grass and talked about the race.

It was a great day. I want to give a shout out to my buddy Danny Soshnik who is in the final taper for Ironman Wisconsin in three weeks. Quick funny story, he signed up for this event with a plan to only do the swim... as practice... I don't even think he brought his bike. Finished the swim, took a shower and turned into a spectator. Too funny.... He appears and looks so ready to rock his first IM. Good luck Danny!!

Coach Jennifer hasn't populated my calendar with training yet so I can't start complaining yet :-) that will start next week.

All for now


Sunday, August 15, 2010

My wife ROCKS! Cool trophy too!

The kids and I went to the Wood River Triathlon to support Rene yesterday. It is a Sprint tri that includes a 450 meter swim, 12 mile bike and a 4 mile run. The distances aren't long but this is always a well attended event for both experienced triathletes and first timers alike. This is always a tough one because it is literally a Sprint go as hard and as fast as you can until you finish or pass out. It has been hot the last couple of years and yesterday was no exception.

Rene beat her last year time by over 10 minutes improving in all 4 disciplines (I count transition too) to win her age group that had over 30 women in it. She rocked it and I am very proud of her! She did awesome.

My weekend consisted of a run yesterday and a long ride today. Today's ride was the longest I have done to date an it went surprisingly well. Watching rene race yesterday made me want to race too, when I got up at 4:30 this morning for my ride I was glad I chose not to.

Have a great week! More to come


- read about my inspiration Deborah ...

Location:Albers Ln,Bethalto,United States

Time to make the donuts

Or in this case, go for a long 5 hour ride.

- read about my inspiration Deborah ...

Location:Albers Ln,Bethalto,United States

Friday, August 13, 2010


I can't begin to convey the relief following Deborah's doctor visit and scan yesterday. The short of it is that she had been having and is having some problems with her urinary tract. Based upon what was happening, the doctors said it was indicative of tumor growth on the spinal column and was prepping Bart and Amy for those results. Following many tests yesterday, a complete scan the doctors reported back yesterday afternoon that there is no growth and the scan is "clean". Click on the link above for Amy's full report.

There are still issues the doctors will work through as there will be challenges for a long time to come, however, talking to Bart this morning their spirits are high and if for the rest of us, we ever need to frame our challenges just repeat these words.... It is not Cancer..... Deborah has challenges but she is Cancer free. The doctors can now focus on working through solving her urinary tract problems. With each successful "clean" scan her chances of beating this horrible disease get slightly better.

Please take a minute and read her post and if you haven't done so send the family a message. It doesn't matter if you know the family or not, they appreciate your prayers and well wishes.

On a much much much lighter note, I was able to swim 4,000 yards over lunch. For you homegamers that is 160 - 25 yeard lengths in a standard lap pool. That equates to the farthest I have ever swam. I have a short 1:15 minute ride tonight and a 5 hour ride this weekend on Sunday with workouts in between. Again, very very insignicant following the Olney's news yesterday.

Keep them in your thoughts and prayers!!!!!

All for now


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Tough week

"This is the "meat" of Ironman program. Long runs, Long bikes and long swims. Some intensity has been added as well. I know it is tough to get these long workouts in when the weather is not cooperating. Do your best."

I had mentioned last week that my workouts were changing. When I get a note (as I did this week) in my training log from my coach that reads like you see above, you know you are in for it.

Last night I had an 1:45 minute run. It was much too hot to do outside so Rene rode the bike, I ran, and we watched America's got Talent on TV until 10:00 at night. Two things came to mind:

1 - Date night has changed forever
2 - I truly question how much talent America has

This week is going to be tough but the challenges are what prep me for November. Along with another 80 minutes swim, a 5 hour bike ride, and some really long "short" workouts it is going to be a tough week!

It is all good though, for sure! More to come....


Sunday, August 8, 2010

Let the day begin

Getting on the bike. It will be a long day.

- read about my inspiration Deborah ...

Location:Albers Ln,Bethalto,United States

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Happy Birthday to me!

Okay, kind of lame but today I turn 40 and I can say with certainty this is the best b-day yet. Things are going well. We are on the verge of a very big announcement at work (which I am excited about)and generally I am doing well. I can't say that I am the luckiest guy on the planet but I feel as if I am near the top.

I am getting over my strep throat, the anitbiotics are doing their job and I am feeling really good. I will be able to get all of my workouts in this week (more on that in a minute), work is great but busy busy busy but all is good.

Nathan started pee-wee football this week. He had his first practice, got his pads and had a ball. He "sacked the quarteback" in a drill that they played twice then self proclaimed he is the fasted kid on the team. I am sure he will be humbled when "biggest" kid on the team knocks him on his but. Funny how life does that to you. They all look like bobble heads in their helmets... too funny. Rene had a meeting and I texted her how much fun it looked like he was having. She responded with "will we ever see soccer again" my reply was "I am not thinking so" she was bummed.

Now, for the workouts. I can tell following my recovery and testing week my training has changed. I have never seen workouts like I have seen this week. Some are similar but just to give you some idea I had an 1:15 minute bike ride yesterday (not a big deal) but then I had an 80.... yes 80... minute swim. The longest I had ever been scheduled before was 45. I really thought it was a type-o but it wasn't. So, I did it right after work with no major issues other than soreness today. In the 1:20 minutes I was able to swim about 2.6 miles. I was pretty psyched.

Today I had a 10 mile run this morning followed by a 45 minute swim. This swim was easier not just because it was shorter, but because some of that time was drills and cool down. Actual swimming was only about 20 minutes and it was good for my sore shoulders to loosen up a bit. It was actually a pretty cool morning as the sun rose up. The first one of those in a long time.

Tomorrow I have a full day. I have a presentation at church tomorrow along with a group lunch. The kicker is that I have an 80 mile bike ride I HAVE TO get in. Again, the longest ride to date that I have had scheduled. So, my plan is, up at 3:30am, on the bike on the trainer from 4:00am to 5:30ish, then I will pull my bike off the trainer and finish my ride outside. Home at 8:00 - 8:15, shower, church, presentation, lunch, home, swim, then birthday dinner with the family, home, get ready for the week, bed..... Weekend over......

Much much much different than any other birthday that I have had maybe with the exception of my 39th. I only wish it hadn't taken me so long to realize without your health nothing else matters.... Nothing..... Again, shame on me for taking things for granted.... All I can do is work hard, lift my head every once in awhile to look around and if I don't like where I am going change direction...and smell a few roses... KGB and NBB, one day when you read this, please don't take as long as your dad has to figure out what is important... if you do it sooner, your life will be soo much better for it and you will add so much more joy to others lives if you are truly happy. You and those around you will be better for it.

Now if you would have read the above paragraph and this was my 60th birthday post you could dismiss it as confusion or delusion, I am not sure how you take it on a 40th? Enough with my 40 year old pontification....... Have a great day/weekend/week all.

More to come....


Wednesday, August 4, 2010


I'll be riding inside tonight!

- read about my inspiration Deborah ...

Location:Inner Belt Expy,Creve Coeur,United States

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Setback - Argh

It is Tuesday morning following a test week. The tests went well and the "race pace predictor" that Coach Jennifer uses at Trismart was updated using my new data. The bad news is that it didn't get any faster, however, the good news is that it stayed the same meaning that we are zeroing in what can be expected. Now that I have done these test probably 10 times over the past 2 years in addition to getting a lot of live race data at the longer distances she is able to accurately project a range of what should happen at IMAZ assuming a lot of things (health, conditions, no injuries, training execution, consistency, and oh yeah, that they dam in the lake gets fixed and it gets refilled in time etc...). That is a lot to assume but we have to act as if it will happen per plan.

Now to the set back. Rene and I had dinner Saturday night with some friends of ours. I had a 6 mile all out Time Trial that day along with a 35 minutes hard swim. What testing week lacks in durationg (many shorter workouts) it makes up in intensity. A typical training week would never have me ride as fast as I can for miles or run as hard as I can for miles (or swim all out for 15 minutes). This is just really hard to do. Your heart is at max for an extended duration and there are times it is beating so hard for so long I have actually looked around to see if I collapsed if someone would be around to help me (no joke). It is just really intense workouts. The good side of all of this is they are always shorter. Just to give you some idea, this week is a build week (longer workouts, less intense) and I have about 14 hours of training on the schedule with most of that this weekend (1.5 hour run and an 80 mile bike). Last week was less than 6 hours.

Now to get to my subject line (setback). Saturday following my intense bike and swim and coming off my intense run the night before I started feeling bad. I tried to nap in the afternoon (something I never do) and just didn't feel good. As dinner went on, I kept getting worse and worse waking up on Sunday unable to get out of bed. I had strep throat about 2 months ago (following a very intense week) and ufortunately, this felt all too familiar. NBB (my son) was also sick so when Rene and KGB returned from church we went straight to the doc in a box at walgreens. Sure enough, we both had strep. I was off yesterday because I was still contagious and back at work today on anti-biotics. I will skip my run today and probably be back at it tomorrow.

It happened at a great time because Mondays are typically my training days off. Last week being light I only missed a short hour run on Sunday and a 45 minute run today. This is the time that I can not miss my long workouts on the weekend because those condition me for the long day in November. It is now critical that I get all of my workouts in to be successful at IM. Everything up til now was for the 1/2IM in Racine. Everything from this day forward is building for the big race.

All for now!


P.S. Deborah and the Olneys had a setback as well last week much worse than mine. They got some bad news about Deborah and some of the long term effects of her Cancer and treatment have affected her urinary tract. It is not a relapse of Cancer but they think that some of the after affects have caused some issues that she will have to deal with for the rest of her life. Please keep them in your prayers, the Docs have been wrong and suprised before and there is no reason to think it can't happen again There is no protocal for what she is going through so this is uncharted territory for everyone, including the docs. My heart is heavy for them and anytime I write in my blog about my challenges I always know my challenges are insignificant. Please pray for them during this difficult time.