Monday, January 7, 2019

2019 Week One

2019 Week One is done and it looks a bit like last year (so far):

Swim: 1,000 yards (just hopped back in the pool for an easy swim after 2 months off)
Bike: 256 miles (picking up where I left off last year)
Run/Hike: 14 Miles
2 hours weights/stretch
Total time: 20:41

For compassion, first week last year was:
Swim: 1,500 yards
Bike: 322 miles
Run: 12 miles
Time: 24:20

Go Eagles!

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

2018 Totals

Here are the raw volume stats for 2018:

Swim : 220,000 yards over 65.8 hours (1:48/100)
Bike: 11,827 miles over 717 hours (16.5mph)
Run/hike/climb: 809 miles over 180 hours (13:20/mile)
62 hours of weights/pt/stretching

2019 off to the races!

Looking forward to 2019!  Two big goals:  a successful climbing expedition in Bolivia with Anders in the 2nd half of May--biggest objective is Sajama at over 21,000 feet.  Number two is to rebound from the challenges of IMFL and KQ at IM Barcelona in October--also with Anders!

I'm pumped and ready to get after it!


Monday, November 5, 2018

Tough Day in the office!

Well, IMFL (Haines City) did not turn out the way I would have liked and was certainly a very demanding challenge for me.  This was my 154th triathlon and 15th IM and my first DNF.  Highlights:

-the weather on race day turned out to be a perfect storm for me.  Dew Points reached 76 degrees and I’ve long since lost my heat adaptation.  This was not the day I had prepared for these last 4 months.

-I had a solid swim.  I clocked just over 80 minutes as I chose to be very conservative in the crowded 2 lap swim with 13 turns (9 left and 4 right).  My garmin clocked it at 4536 yards and so I either swam a lot further than necessary (for sure true) and it was probably long.  I’ve heard many clocked it at around 4500 yards as well.  At 4200 yards this is equivalent to a 74 minute IM distance swim...which seems right because I would characterize it as relaxed and an easy effort.

-Transition seemed endless and it took me over 10 minutes and I left for my bike between 91 and 92 minutes in.

-I settled in at around 160 Watts, which was lower than my target at the beginning, just to ease into the ride.  However, very early, by 10 miles, my arms, hands and shoulders began to cramp.  I carried on, hoping it would pass.  I was drinking a lot, trying to eat gel or shot blocks every 15 minutes, and eating 2 Electrolytes every hour.

- my cramping continued and soon, and painfully spread to my quads.  The cramping would persist for the whole ride and became quite debilitating as the miles and time passed.  I went through the first check point at 28 miles averaging around 20mph and low 150 Watts, both way below my expectations.

-despite this low effort, it became apparent to me by 35 miles I was in a for a tough ride.  I was feeling dehydrated, having trouble eating and felt worse then I’ve ever felt at 35 miles.  I continued to slow.

-I passed through 56 miles a bit over 3 hours (vs my plan of 2:45) and told Judy as I rode by: “I can’t eat and I’m dying”

-by 65 miles I was in real trouble.  I had trouble getting either fluids or solids down.  I was really sweating and despite a low power output my HR was over 150 bpm and I was breathing heavily.  I really backed off the pace and was doing about 100 Watts and 15 mph.

-at 90 miles I felt I like I was about to pass out so I stopped and lay down by the side of the road for about 3 minutes, which seemed to help.  I got going again with the sole goal at this point of trying to finish the bike and see if by resting in transition, I might be able to rally.

-things began to go down hill rapidly from here.  On the flats I was doing 70-80 Watts and riding about 12-13 mph, with a HR in the 140s.  I had to stop 4 more times at mile 98, 102, 108 and 110.5.  I could only manage to stay upright for 5-10 minutes without waves of dizziness coming over me.  The last time I stopped for about 10 minutes just 1.5 miles from transition with a cop and medical staff watching me closely.

-I pulled it together and finally managed to roll across the finish line some 7:20+ after last 56 miles took nearly 4 and a half hours.  I stopped right past the finish line and rested still straddling my bike but soon felt very light headed.

-I managed to get off my bike and sat down a few feet from the dismount line.  I soon needed to lay down.  A race official told me I needed to sit up or go to medical so I sat up.  I just wanted to collect myself so I could walk to T2.  She told me I needed to take a drink of water which I declined but she insisted I do so or go to medical.  So I took a swig and then this precipitated a pretty violent bout of throwing up.

-they told me I was done.  4 people lifted me into a wheel chair and off to medical I went.  I was white and very dehydrated.  My fingers were wrinkled like you get after soaking in the bath for a long time.  My family was very concerned and I felt really bad about that.  As I rolled to the med tent, people were clapping for me and frankly I was pretty embarrassed.

-my blood pressure was 80/40, which is why I was dizzy but my HR was a solid 65 so they basically figured I was low a quart or two and probably low on sodium.  My core temp was 96 and my hands were cold and blue.   I was hooked up to an IV and soon the ordeal was over.  I recovered quickly and  soon walked back to our car with my family and drove back to our place.  Later that evening I had some pizza and even got a whole IPA down.

-disappointing for sure.  I was ready (for sure) to go 13 hours, which easily would have punched my ticket to Kona.  But I’m ok with that.  I literally drove myself all the way to the limit and there was nothing left.  Given how my body reacted it was clearly the heat and humidity.  I probably should have backed off right from the start but even that probably would have been a challenge.  I just don’t race well in those conditions, even when I’m ready for them, which I wasn’t yesterday.

-not sure what the future holds.  I think I still have another good IM in me and it would be nice to be able to finish my IM career on a high note.  But I also need to recognize how selfish this sport is and the toll it takes on my family and especially Judy.  I’ll decide later after I think about it for a while.

Onward and Upward!  Soon it will be time to get ready for mountain climbing in Bolivia with Anders.  After I rest a bit....

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Race Day Weather Update

Here is the hourly forecast for tomorrow for most of the race timeframe:


1.  It will be cloudy most of the day which will reduce the stress of the sun.

2.  The wind direction is predominantly from the East and the course (I think) mostly runs North and South so it seems like it will be mostly a cross wind.  This means the wind will have a lesser impact than if it was either North or South.  Good for times, although competitively, anything that makes the bike harder is generally better for me.  It says less than 10mph but my on the ground experience over the last few days tells me that out in the countryside it will feel like a pretty good wind--maybe 15+mph.  Nothing that would impact bike handling though.

3. Rain/T-storms.  When it says it might rain here it does seem to rain so my guess is that we'll start to get some rain on the bike--maybe mostly in the 2nd lap.  This shouldn't be a problem.  This is not a super technical course and I'm fine playing it cautious when I need to (to compensate for the relatively poor breaking surface on my carbon wheels).

4. T-storms/run.  It looks like its going to be a real soaker on the run--which I'm in favor of.  The thunderstorms are a concern--I hope it doesn't impact the race at all (but nothing I can do about it so we'll see what happens).

5.  Heat--bike should feel fine, although I'll need to really focus on drinking more than I might feel like I need to because it will be deceptively warm--especially on the 2nd lap.  The run is going to be oppressive with Dew Points in the low 70s.  The rain will help and the fact that I move so slowly means that the heat should impact me less than faster runners.


My calf is still funky.  I'm going to probably skip my normal day before short run.  I did ride 5 miles this morning and my calf seems to be fine for the bike...I'm guessing it will be a voyage of discovery race morning!

Friday, November 2, 2018

Dew Point forecast for Sunday afternoon: 73 DEGREES

Quick update from Haines City

Judy and I had a great drive down.  we drove 8 hours on Tuesday and stopped in Florence, SC and a nice dinner in the historic part of town.  Early to bed at the Holiday Inn and then another 8 hours the next day down to Championsgate, where we are staying.

I've been doing all the normal get ready stuff.  Drove the two courses and got all my gear ready.  My mom and sister joined us yesterday afternoon.

Course Update:

My guess at this point is that the swim will be wetsuit legal.  It was 69.8 degrees on Thursday morning but jumped up to 75.2 degrees this morning.  It was very hot today but rained quite a bit tonight.  It's supposed to be quite cool from now until the race so I'm guessing (and hoping) wetsuit legal.

The bike course is pretty nice.  Road surface seems very good.  The first half of each loop is a lot easier than the last 28 miles of each of the two loops.  Definitely some hilly areas and a couple of places with steep descents into sharp turns but generally pretty straight forward.

Run is comical--so many turns!  138 in total.  It's the most convoluted course I've ever seen.  Pretty hilly, will be a challenge!

Weather on race day looks to be a challenge.  High of 85 and very humid with Dew Points north of 70 degrees, which is considered "oppressive".  Also, it looks like we will get some significant rainfall during the run at least (which I generally like) and perhaps for part of the bike.

All good though.  I did have some cramping in my left calf today but I think that might be attributable to all of the hydrating I've been doing.  I took some salt and I think that seems to be addressing the problem....

We had breakfast with Julie Moss this morning and she gave me a copy of her new book--lots of fun reliving that famous "Crawl of Fame" from 1982....

Ready to get after it!

Kara arrives tomorrow morning!