Sunday, May 31, 2009


May 31, 2009 -

Today I had a two hour bike ride and it was about half-way through when I realized I had some great confidence. No, not confidence in my Ironman race....I'm still moderately frightened for that one....this was confidence specific to my bike.

When I got my bike back in December, I was still pretty novice and that bike leg of any of my tri's was always my weakest leg. It was the leg where I would get beat my the biggest margin by others in my age group.

I didn't really know how all the parts of the bike worked, how to efficiently and quickly change my flats, make adjustments or clean my chain. I had only a slight clue on how to shift effectively for a strong ride. I was weak on uphills and timid on downhills.

Today I was out and started realizing how far I have come since then. I have really adopted all these strategies and techniques without even realizing. Hills I used to sit-up and brake all the way down; now I lay on my aero bars and fly down. I shift so much up and down hills that my legs never really get fatigued.

The two-hour loop I set out on today only took me an hour forty-five. Yes, yes the bike has come along quite nicely. I hope after a couple more long training rides that I can come in strong on the bike in CDA because the run...I'm pretty sure....will be a toss-up.

Day 151 Training Log - So two-hour bike today. I headed out from my house and down Market Street, up through Juanita, down Holmes Point and then back up that 600ft incline. From there back down through Kenmore, up the Burke-Gillman trail through Woodinville and Redmond and then up the 520 hill. Back down through Kirkland, along Lakeshore Drive and back up Market street home. It was a great, strong, fast ride. The weather was sunny and 70 degrees and I had that whole confidence thing working for me as I was cookin along.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Suburban Battle

May 30, 2009 -

In the battle of man vs. house today I waged another round of assaults against all the insurgents trying to turn our house into the trailer park it wants to be. But neigh...we mow and weed, clean the garage, do laundry, clean the kitchen, throw a round of junk away. We even find time to bbq and enjoy the sunshine and our sliver view of the lake, where to others it looks like we have an adorable little brick house.

To us, we do have an adorable little brick house......that requires a constant war of housework. I win today and live to fight again next weekend.

Day 150 Training Log - Today was my day off, which I did enjoy despite working around the house most of the day. It was just nice to be around the house, enjoy the sunshine and get some work done. My legs were a bit sore in places from that 22 mile run on Friday and behind my shoulders are all knotted up? I'm wondering if I was running a little tense or awkward from wearing that camelpak?

Friday, May 29, 2009

The Long Run

May 29, 2009 -

22 mile run at an 8:13 pace today! Damn was it hard. The first two hours went pretty well rocking at a sub 8 pace, but that third hour became this gradual decline with every step. By 2:45 I was so spent, just counting down the steps until I would be done.

To add to it, I broke one of the cardinal rules of long distance running...I clipped my toenails last night....bah. I'm not really sure what the difference is between neatly trimmed toenails and tree climbers, but the the long run does not respect the freshly cut toenail.

A couple things I did different today was running in my actual race clothes, and I switched to a CamelPak. My fuel belt was scraping my waist-line and the three 8oz bottles on it usually only lasted about 16 miles. I liked using the CamelPak although it was a little awkward at first, as it got lighter it was much easier to run with and I was secretly rejoicing in the fact that I had fluid through mile 21.

I found this dirt trail recently that goes all along Lake Sammamish, which is where I ran today. The weather was 62 when I went out and 75 by the time I got back. The trail was nice as it offered shade, great views of the lake, Mt. Rainier and some pretty incredible lake homes.

For nutrition I had a power gel at hour one and two and had power tabs at each half hour and every fifteen minutes of the third hour. I also had two Thermolytes before I left, two at 1:15 and two more at 2:15.

Day 149 Training Log - So three hour run that actually ended up being 3:01:56 for a 8:13 pace for 22 miles. The first half hour was a little rough getting warmed up and used to running with that CamelPak. From there, I was pretty much in a zone and cookin through the two-hour mark. After that I was running in fifteen minute increments and then taking a drink and a couple power tabs. By two and a half hours my legs were so cooked and me feet were shot. I did wear my 2XU compression socks and really liked having them. I'm thinking I may race with them in CDA. After I got back I enjoyed my newest favorite thing after a long workout.....and ice-cold real Coke....delicious. I stretched and recovered pretty well, but my knees are a little sore. Prolly have to ice up tonight.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

You Better Work

May 28, 2009 -

Today was one of those days where I knew what I had to do, and I set out to kill it. I just wanted to work hard and crank hard. Ever since I was out sick a few days last week, I have been mentally battling to get my head back in the game and I wanted to do that today.

I did.

I had a bike/run brick and I worked it dude. The bike was swift and fast. I did the Lake Sammamish loop and had a bit of a time getting going. Although I wasn't feeling that way, my legs definitely told me they were still a little chewed up from that century ride on Monday....really.....still legs?

I cranked through it though and pushed hard when they were screaming and pushed harder when they weren't. Also, a buddy went with me who I used to always kick his butt and today he was kicking mine. So a couple times I really had to crank and let him know "who's the boss."

After the bike I went straight to a short run that I only wanted to beat an 8 minute pace...which I did...athank-you. The run was a little annoying as I was pushing harder than I usually do for a brick...but as I mentioned before...I wanted to work today.

Day 148 Training Log - So today was an hour and fifteen minute bike and a forty-five minute run brick. I cranked out on the bike for a 21mph average (could have been faster except for those darn stoplights). Then, for the run I cranked out 5.75 miles for a 7:50 pace. Great workouts today....athank-you.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Monkey On My Back

May 27, 2009 -

I gotta say, that century ride really did a number on my back muscles. I had a short speed swim as part of my training today and the muscles under my shoulder blades were so knotted up it felt like I was swimming with a monkey on my back...only less entertaining.

I could actually feel the knots back there with each stroke and it seemed to change the way I could twist and reach on each stroke. It did loosen up toward the end of the swim, but I will have to figure how to bust those knots outta there.

In other news, it is soooo dope in Seattle right now. It has been sunny and 72 everyday and usually about 65 when I head out to train...perfect. Tomorrow throughout the entire weekend it is supposed to be even better....80 and sunny.

This means a couple things...running shirtless in all my muffin topping glory...(one of my favorite things), and my first open water training swim of the season. My first open water swim was actually at Wildflower, but this will be my first time attempting to plunge into the chilly waters of the Puget Sound for some lake swimming.

We'll see how that goes. Until then, I will be getting my mad tan on in all this sunshine!

Day 147 Training Log - Today was a one-hour run and a 1150 yard speed swim and both workouts went great. First, I hit the trail around noon for an hour run in 65 degrees and sun. The run felt great and ended up at 7.73 miles for a 7:46 pace. After that, I headed straight to the pool for a 1150 speed swim, which was 5 x 200 EBEH (easy, build, easy, hard) and a 150 cool down. Outside of what felt like relatively awkward swimming because of tight back muscles, the swim was great and I felt swift and strong.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Just For Kicks

May 26, 2009 -

Pretty easy day today with only a short recovery swim. I'm guessing just to flush out the legs from yesterday since half of the swim was kicking (which I hate). I was feeling pretty good overall today after the long day yesterday. I mostly only felt sore on my butt bone, and my lower back. When I got in the pool I could feel that I was also sore in my shoulders and my quads. But my butt though...really? It feels like I just stood around and kicked my own butt all day.

All in all though, I would have to say I feel great considering 6 hours and 55 minutes of training yesterday.

So I got in the pool and had a short swim in which 600 yards was kick. I'm not sure if there is something that I'm not getting, or if it's that way for everybody, but I suck at kicking. It goes soooooo slow and seems to take forever and is pretty tiring on my legs.

I cranked....slowly....lap by lap....and finished my 600 yards of kicking in what seemed like just under 19 hours......not bad.

Day 146 Training Log - 12oo yard recovery swim today that was 300 swim, 300 kick, 300 swim and 300 kick. Easy swim. The first 300 was tough as I got going and worked everything out, but got better and better as it went on.

Monday, May 25, 2009

7 (14) Hills - Start Week 4

May 25, 2009 -

Today I did the Seven Hills of Kirkland ride. This is a fundraiser ride, which includes your choice of 40 miles, 65 miles, or the always beautiful 100 mile century ride. You have to already know I was choosing the century ride. It actually worked out perfect because I had a 6 hour ride and 30 minute run on the schedule.

The name is deceiving however, because the century ride actually includes a wonderful 14 hills with 7,000 feet of ascent! I was climbing my tail off all day, it was crazy. I headed out around 8:30a and had a food stop around mile 25. I put down a cookie and used the porto. Then on through mile 50 for another food and pee stop. There, I ate two fig newtons and a half banana.

After that stop I pushed through to mile 65 for another food stop and this was at just the right time. This was the point where my back, neck and shoulders were starting to ache. At this stop I had a few grapes and a half of a turkey and cheese sandwich. I headed out again and pushed to mile 85 where I had to stop for some water in my one water bottle. (Yes I lost my two seat bottles again today, even after I secured them with a little contraption...bah!) Also at this stop, my back, neck and shoulders, and butt were all more than ready to be done. I actually bought a can of coke and mixed it with the water in my bottle.

I had 13 of the 14 hills done by mile 85 and was dealing with a bunch of rolling hills that were just sucking any remaining life out of me. I definitely felt like my legs were chewed up, but not totally spent, it was more my butt and back/neck/shoulders at this point that were taking my focus....I was getting more and more uncomfortable.

At mile 92 I worked up that last hill (the second biggest of the day at 525 foot ascent). After this hill, I was cooked and enjoyed a flat few miles, a downhill few miles and a couple more flatties back into town.

The ride totaled 102 miles at 6 hours and 25 minutes, which was about 16mph pace. That is slower than what I usually do, but understandable considering the difficulty of the ride. When it was done, I biked the mile back uphill from the marina to my house and headed out on a 30 minute run.

Day 145 Training Log - So 6 hours and 55 minutes total workout today with the 6:25 bike and 30 minute run. I headed out for the run right after the bike and started waaaaay slow, but gradually picked up the pace. I had spurts of a faster pace but mostly fell back into a slow jog. At the end of the 30 minutes I felt definitely tired, but that I could still keep going. Not sure for how much longer, but every mile farther you can get before the walking starts in Ironman is a victory. I'm really feeling worked, but not overly sore, just a very tired back and butt. My legs are feeling pretty solid for the most part.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Happy A

May 24, 2009 -

Today is my sixth wedding anniversary and another 75 degree, sunny day in Seattle. With all the work and hosting yesterday I was so spent last night and got up today knowing only two things. One, I will do some type of small workout today, and two, I will do nothing else.

I decided just to hit a short run today. Enough to kinda get everything moving again, but not overdo it. This is because tomorrow I'm doing the Seven Hills of Kirkland century ride. It's not a race, just an organized ride and I just so happen to be due for a six hour bike/thirty minute run so this will work perfect. I'm just hoping I can be strong for it as I've only worked-out, three out of the last six days.

Today though, we enjoyed some family time and sunshine. My wife and daughter went and got four baby chicks and my son and I played ball. I also picked up the wigglin waterpillar sprinkler for them to go crazy in.

Day 144 Training Log - I went out this morning on a short 45 minute run in about 60 degrees along the Kirkland waterfront. The run ended up being a little harder than I wanted it to be, but still solid overall. I made it 5.78 miles for a 7:56 pace. Ready to ride tomorrow!


May 23, 2009 -

Today was a day of catch-up and ketchup. With all the work travel, training, being sick and generally wanting to veg with any down time, today I HAD to get some work done around the house. We were having some neighbors over for a bbq at 4p so priority #1 was the housework and then, if there was Guess what....there wasn't time....bah, I fall farther behind, but not worried.

I did about four hours of pressure washing (a bonus you get for living in the pacific northwest), we did mowing and weeding, planting and washing, cleaning and scrubbing and I added a window and flower box to the chicken coop I have been building, (which is 90% done).

When the tasks had been completed, wouldn't you know, it was 4p. We had over six adults and seven kids. It was craziness, but fun. I bbq'd up some burgers with?........ketchup duh. It was sunny and 72 degrees.

Day 143 Training Log - I didn't really want to take today off with all the recent time off but I'm still not feeling a 100% either and worked my butt off around the house, so I didn't really miss the workout as I was equally tired from working from 9 til 4.

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Sting

May 22, 2009 -

After three days off due to the ick, I felt well enough today to attempt to train again. I was concerned that my stomach still felt like garbage (keeping me a little grouchy), and that I have barely eaten anything the last few days so I had to be low on fuel.

But whatever, this is Ironman training we are talking about here. I made up a run that was supposed to be from Wednesday. I thought a nice easy run would be the test of getting back out there; plus it was a gorgeous day.

The run went pretty well, until this a-hole bee came torpedoing out of nowhere toward my face and in an instant slammed into my left eyebrow with a sting. What a jerk bee. This thing came so fast, I was still in mid-swat when he stung me. Talk about insult to injury. My stomach had its own issues....but a bee sting....really?

Day 142 Training Log - I hit an 80 minute run today where the first hour (outside the bee sting), went relatively well. My stomach was a little weird, but ok for the most part. The last 20 minutes I could definitely feel my legs losing fuel. I ended up with 9.44 miles at an 8:28 pace. I pretty much got my appetite back by evening time, however some things which I'm really craving, sound horrible. I have a lot of trianing groud to make-up so I hope this goes away soon.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Gettin Ickky With It

May 21, 2009 -

I had a great night's sleep with no sweating and woke up feeling pretty refreshed, outside of that whole stomach annoyance, which wasn't as annoying this morning. This is the first morning where I feel I may want to attempt a workout....test the waters. One problem though, still no food sounds good. I had a diet 7-up and a banana for breakfast and headed to the office.

I started to feel a little more solid as the morning progressed and found my way into a bowl of oatmeal before the doctor. At the doc he couldn't really pinpoint anything specific because I didn't really have any other symptoms than achy stomach. They drew some blood and and will get the results back on Tuesday. The only alarm he had was the loss of appetite.

Good news though, by mid afternoon I was feeling better and hungrier. Got a bowl of soup and a baguette for lunch. Still feeling a little weak but I refuse to lose out on another day of training, so tomorrow, no matter what...I'm gonna try something. Especially if the progression of feeling better continues.

Day 141 Training Log - So no training today...again. Three days off in a row in one of my heaviest weeks is a lame thing. I'm not overly concerned because I'm still good and can make-up the important ones, but it is pretty lame.

The Ick Deux

May 20, 2009 -

After a solid, but sweaty night's sleep I wake up at 6:15a from more stomach pain. My wife make homemade cinnamon rolls, which are my favorite and they don't sound good. That morning cup of joe, which I so enjoy, doesn't sound good either. I do feel a little more solid this morning, but the stomach thing is too annoying.

I get down a half a banana and head into the office. This time for almost three hours before I left to head back home for the day. The difference in today was that I'm not as tired and exhausted like yesterday. I just can't stand to sit in my office and focus on the stomach pain. I figure I will head home and do a few things around the house to distract me, while taking it easy.

So I work on the yard, the chicken coop building and a couple other things and manage to eat half a salad around 3p. I ended up fiddling around until 6p when I came in for a dinner of a pb&j and chicken noodle soup. At this point the activity caught up with me and I immediately crashed hard on the couch for about an hour.

Watched some TV for the rest of the night and headed off to bed. I am felling almost better, just a little tired and primarily annoyed by my stomach. I feel like I'm starving but don't want to eat because nothing sounds good. I've been trying to stay focused on keeping hydrated.

The worst about this, is that I'm that healthy guy. I haven't been to the doctor in probably over ten years and I never get sick or have any health problems. So today I had to call a hotline to get a referral to find a doctor and made an appointment for tomorrow. Wish me luck.

Day 140 Training Log - Another day of no training. I just couldn't muster up any energy to think about that kind of activity today. I imagine with the lack of food, my body will deffinitely be feeling it on my next workout...whenever that will be.

The Ick

May 19, 2009 -

Monday night I go to bed, feeling a little off. All night long my stomach is cramping and I'm I know. I wake up Tuesday totally exhausted, drained....spent. I'm out of breath just walking up the stairs.

Still, I get ready for work and head into the office. Great idea, that lasted a whole hour. I headed back home and proceeded to sleep pretty much the entire day. Not hungry and only wanting diet 7-up. I managed to get some toast down by 3p and a pb&j for dinner. Only a minuscule fraction of what I eat on a daily basis.

Can't really figure this thing out either because I don't barf, not real feverish (just a little hot, but you already knew that), and not really sick in any other way. Just the stomach cramps. You know that feeling you get right before you are about to barf. That mixture of nausea and stomach clenching...that's what I felt like all night and day.....BAH!

Day 139 Training Log - Obviously no training today. No energy, barely any food, slept almost all day and the thought of any training almost puts me over the edge.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Check My 10% - Start Week 5

May 18, 2009 -

Lightest day of the week today with a swim only. Good thing too, the swim was long. It wasn't a bad swim, it just seemed to take forever as I was just wanting to be done so I could get to some other things I needed to get done today.

So you probably have that guy at your pool that is the "elite pool swimming guy." We have one of those too. He wears the same Speedo Laser suit that Phelps wore and has is own equipment and swimming clock. He stretches out with cords before each swim and always does tons of crazy drills.

Today, he wanted to talk to me about my swimming (first time we have ever spoken with each other). He asked me if I was a tri-guy and if I had ever had any swimming training. When I replied no, he said that was amazing because I had a very natural mechanical stroke and that I was in the top 10% of swimmers he has seen at the pool.

This was very uplifting as I had always thought I was a fairly lame and inefficient swimmer who just had built up enough endurance to hammer through long training sessions. As it turns out, I'm on way was to being quite a swift and naturally gifted swimmer with a little tweaking. He talked about getting a book by Janet Evans and reading a little about some technique stuff and focusing on some drills.

I may think about this post Ironman...we'll see. For now I will just bask in my swimming glory according to "elite pool swimming guy."

Day 138 Training Log - I had a 2900 yard swim today. It broke down to an 800 warm-up with 200 swim, 200 kick, 200 pull and 200 swim. Then, a main set of a 1900 yard ladder starting at 300 and decreasing 25 yards each set. Finished off with a 4 x 50 cool down and was more than happy to gracefully exit the water and call it a day.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Long Road Home

May 17 2009 -

Well I gotta say after that 20 mile run my legs are a little sore and stiff, but overall not too bad. Long runs always get me more sore than any other long workouts. One out of three hell weeks down, two to go. Last week was a 16 hour training week, this week is 17 and next is 18. Then....the beloved taper.

It was my day off and the only feat I had to tackle was the 5.5 hour drive home from Idaho. When it was just my daughter it was easy, she was quiet and well behaved....but my oh man....what a little car ride hater.

He took a one hour nap so we only had to endure another 4.5 hours of him whining, yelling...blah blah blahing. What a crazy man.

We did make it back however, and still with a few hairs left on top.

I live to train another week!

Day 137 Training Log - So nothing today. Gearing up for another big week which includes a 22 mile run and a 5.5 hour bike/30 minute run brick. Looking forward to my next day off on Saturday.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Palouse Empire Strikes Back

May 16, 2009 -

So we are over in Moscow, ID visiting the in-laws this weekend and I had a 20 mile run today. I was a little nervous as to how the 'ol legs would perform after that five hour bike and thirty minute run yesterday. I was also a little excited to be running back in the Palouse where I trained for my first marathon (Chicago) while I was in college (University of Idaho).

I was really nice to be running back here again through the rolling wheat fields on that long, straight and flat path spanning the distance between U of I and Wazzu. It brought back a lot of memories of training for a marathon in college as a means to stay healthy so we could party more. To top it off, it was 65 degrees, sunny, and I had a nice breeze coming at me on the way back....perfect.

Luckily my legs came to the party this morning. The trails of the Palouse Empire were my battlefield and I was the athletic Darth Vader out there vaporizing everything in my way step by step (maybe like Dark Helmet to onlookers). I started on the far side of Moscow on the Troy highway and ran a few miles through town, then the seven miles in between Moscow and Pullman and then back

I had three 8oz bottles on my fuel belt, two with Gatorade and one with water. I also at a PowerGel at the first and second hours and PowerTabs on each half hour. All in all it was a good run, nothing to complain about today. I got back and hydrated and iced my knees for about a half hour. Now I can get on to more important feeding my face.

Day 136 Training Log - So the run today was supposed to be 175 minutes (2:55). My goal was to hit 20 miles. I started off pretty slow as my legs took about four miles to flush out from yesterday. After that, the first two hours went pretty well. I finished the first two at a 8:30 pace. Then the last hour I started to slow down a little bit with those last six miles at a 9:00 minute pace. At two hours and thirty minutes I was starting to get pretty much cooked and the last two miles were a battle. I did finish strong however hitting 20 miles at 2:54 for a pace of 8:40. Between yesterday and today I can kind of start to see what my Ironman times will probably look like, which I actually do not care too much about as finish is the only goal.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Risk & Reward

May 15, 2009 -

I had been dreading today for a bit so it was easy to keep putting its workout off. It was that five hour bike and thirty minute run brick. The risk was continually putting it off in order to avoid having to do it in the consistent shotty, rainy, windy weather as of late. The other risk is of pushing it off too long and having it run into next weeks five and a half hour ride and thirty minute run.

So I made the decision I could push it back no the day. The reward, as planned today was gorgeous! I had to head out before it got warm, but I didn't care, it was sunny and clear.

When I headed out this morning at 7a it was 44 degrees so I threw on some warmer gear. I also loaded up a water bottle with Gatorade on my frame cage, and two with water and carbo-pro for my seat cages. I just bought these new plastic cages for my seat as I had a metal one at Wildflower that was cracked and rattling the whole time......annoying. Problem with these plastic ones....I was only a mile from my house when I saw one fly out onto the road after a bump spilling out everywhere, and the other one was already long gone. I picked up the the empty one and put it back in the cage and was happy to still have my Gatorade.

About a two hours into the run I stopped and bought another Gatorade and a water. I filled up my empty water bottle with water in one seat cage and put the Gatorade in the other seat cage. It was at about four hours into the ride when I realized I had lost both of those too.....damn. I had a half bottle of Gatorade left in my frame cage for the last hour of the ride. I also fuelled up with one power bar at two hours, a pack of powertabs throughout and one powergel at four hours.

All in all it was a good ride. I hit close to 90 miles averaging 17mph. My neck and shoulders were getting pretty tense around three and a half hours and by four and a half hours my neck and shoulders, lower back, wrists and sweet, hot booty were all begging to get off the bike.

I hopped off and sputtered out a three and a half mile run at an 8:40 pace which I was happy with as it involved a bunch of lame hills. After it was all said and done I fed out like crazy, hydrated like crazy and hopped in a car to drive five hours over to Idaho for my sister-in-law's college graduation (congrats Jill, proud of you).

I would say in the future, five and a half hours of working out followed by five hours of driving is less than ideal.

Day 135 Training Log - So there was that little five hour ride and thirty minute run today. Over all it went well, I felt fine after and was happy to break another barrier today of my longest bike to date. I was questioning on the run however...."tell me again how I do this for 26.2 miles after all that?"

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Defeating Of Me

May 14, 2009 -

Today was one of those mental toughness days where the only thing I had to do, to have great workouts was to beat my brain into submission. You know those times when you are not overly motivated to workout in the first place and then your brain keeps trying to tell you to go slower, do less, finish was one of those.

The great thing about those days is when you don't give in, but go harder. In stead of slowing down you run faster and rather then do half the swim, you go the distance. Doing this today I broke through about nine brain roadblocks that were trying with all their might to stop me, but like a semi plowing through an old gate...I crushed it.

Stupid brain....I own you!

Day 134 Training Log - Today I had an hour run and a 3400 yard swim (just a hundred yards shy of two miles). I hit the trail for the run and started off a little slow and groggy. My lungs never felt like they were getting a full breath and my legs were heavy so.....I turned up the heat. Ended up about 7.75 miles for a 7:50 pace. From there I went straight to the pool when really I just wanted to be done for the day. The swim set was a warm-up of 800 (200 swim, 200 kick, 200 pull, 200 swim). Then a main set of 2 x 1200 and a 4 x 50 cool down. I was feeling after just the warm-up that I was cooked. No way could I make it another 2600 yards....and then I did. I just swam through it and ended up having a great swim. Each lap got progressively better, I just had to swim it out.