Thursday, November 29, 2012

Everything After

so my body is starting to return to normalcy--it was definitely a difficult recovery this time around--the two IMs in five weeks thing seemed to be more than what this 55-yo body is best suited for....

I have now turned my attention to getting ready for Cerro Aconcagua.  I have been hiking 2+ hours each day with 70 pounds on my back--very enjoyable and quite different than triathlon training...

More on that later.  Also, I'll be penning my IMAZ race report shortly....

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Quick IMAZ update

Back in my room looking at a cheeseburger with one bite out of it....the good news is I'm almost halfway through a Corona!

Tough Day at the office for your truly.  and yes anders, there was definitely some sucking up by the buttercup.  Bottom line I finished my 11th IM.

I had to deal with two unusual challenges today during the race:
-on the swim, I got pummeled right from the start (I foolishly set up near the wall on the right).  I got pushed under by a procession of swimmers.  I had trouble getting air.  I couldn't get horizontal to make progress.  I started to hyperventilate and my HR skyrocketed.  Fortunately, I had enough wits about me to swim across the flow of the swimmers and made the ledge by the wall.  I had to sit there for 4-5 minutes before my HR settled and I felt calm enough (this is 70 yards into the swim).  I started swimming but had the same hyperventilation/HR problem a couple of more times and had to rest twice more--but for less time.  finally I settled down and was good to go.  However, I stayed close to the wall throughout as a safety measure and my Garmin shows 2.8 miles swum--this is why my swim time stunk.

-on the bike I had 3 flats--all inside of the second bike split (from 15 to 30k).  Plus my rear tire was underinflated during the first split.  I'll need to analyze the data but it looks like I lost nearly 20 minutes due to this

Also, contrary to the forecast, it was quite windy (windier than 2011) on the bike route.

I was exhausted by the time i got to the run--the whole go to Vegas, get back at 3 and sleep for 10 minutes thing apparently does not lead to fast IM times.

O'Brien DNF'ed again but Wyman went 10:50--even in my best dreams, I can't touch that...

more latter!

IMAZ Update #8

13:23:48 - another Ironman finish for RC.

Congrats, and thanks as always for putting on a good show!  

IMAZ Update #7


RC went through mile 22 at 12:20 and at this pace we should see coming in 13:10 (+/- 10 minutes).

Beam him some energy for the final push.  Bring it in strong!

IMAZ Update

RC is still cruising and has entered the last half of the marathon in just over 10 hours of race time.  This last half is going to be tough, but he's a tough guy who knows how to get the job done.  Keep on truckin' RC.  

And some inspiration:

IMAZ Update #5

Hey there RC fans.  The big guy is off of the bike and working his way through the marathon.  RC ended up holding an super steady pace on the bike averaging about 19.2mph.  He seemed to have kept up a strong pace throughout the end of  the bike, so hopefully this means he is feeling good and ready to run a strong final leg.

Right now he is rounding out his first 5k and holding about 9.5 minute miles.  I know he will be happy to keep this pace up.

Let's continue to cheer him on!

IMAZ Update #4

RC is through the halfway point on the bike in just under three hours averaging around 18.6 mph.  My guess is that he is just taking it easy and working towards another solid IM finish.  Interestingly, his pace seems to be improving quite a bit, so he could be building through the last half of the bike course.  

Send him some energy vibes!

For some inspiration, a little Johnny Cash.  Embrace the hurt!

IMAZ Update #3

Race Update
So we are well into the bike right now and RC is cruising along.  There are 12 bike check points this year, and he came through the first ~10 miles averaging 18.2mph.  This is a solid clip to start the bike off with.  At the third checkpoint we will have a better idea of how he is stacking up against his race there last year.

Competition update
RCs two main competitors for a Kona Slot are John O'Brien and Wyman Roberts.  These two racers are tough and have both gone sub-11 at the IM distance before.  O'Brien came out with a swim time of 1:15 and Roberts a 1:16, putting them both about 9 minutes up on RC.  Time to make up some time on the bike!!

I'll update again after the third bike split.  

IMAZ Update #2

Part 1 of IM Arizona is done.  RC came in with a time of 1:24:23, which is a little slower than his last effort in Tempe.  I'm guessing he likely took an outside line to avoid the washing machine in the Tempe Town Lake.

He is now off on the bike where he will surely put some time on his competitors.  The IMAZ course with no wind has RC written all over it.

In my next update I'll talk about where he is in relation to other Age Group contenders.

Ride fast!

IMAZ Update #1

Good morning sports fans.  Anders here - I'll be taking over the reigns on the blog for the rest of the race.

The first of the pros are out of the water in 48 minutes, which would indicate that the swim is fairly fast this year.  This is good news for RC who is hoping to swim around ~70 minutes today.

The weather looks pretty solid for this race.  Cool this morning ending up with highs in the mid-70s and almost no wind.  Let's hope this weather holds.

I'll check in later once we have some more information from the swim.  

Tempe--sunday morning

Well, I'm back here in Tempe, in my hotel room and getting ready to head to transition to get evrything set up.

Last night was wild.  We saw robin williams, John Fogerty (of Creedence Clearwater Revival fame), and then Paul McCartney and his band.  After a quick charter flight home, I got back to my hotel room here at 3:10am.  Ate my PB&Js, laid down for about an hour--I may have napped for 10 minutes, and it's now 4:45am.

Here we go!

The next entries will be by IM partner and son Anders....I hope to give you a short summary of the race sometime latter tonight.....

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Saturday afternoon, Vegas

Enjoyed some good luck at the tables last night.

Ran for 15 and biked for 30 in the hotel today.  did not feel that great running.  My right extensor tendons are feeling flaky again--I loosened my right shoe up a bit and hope they can handle 26 miles of pounding tomorrow.

I'm surprised that I'm actually feeling nervous right now about tomorrow....perhaps doing this weird thing has thrown me off my game a bit....I hope it passes...

just laying low in my hotel room staying off my feet...

waiting for the show tonight, and then the show tomorrow...

Friday, November 16, 2012

Vegas-Friday afternoon

OK, on the ground in Vegas.  Well actually, I'm 22 stories up seconded in my plush room at the Wynn...very nice.

At breakfast, which included the XC brethern, we were joined by Jordan Rapp, Lynsey Corbin, and the current IM and IM70.3 World Champ Leanda Cave.  Nice conversations and a group pic.

I then gave my bike and all my T1/T2 stuff to the XC guys.  Strange process this time around.  I hope I packed everything right and that my bike finds it's way into transition without me.  I won't have much time to make any adjustments on Sunday morning.  As per my previous post, I'm at peace with it all and looking forward to living my life over the next 2-3 days....will not be dull, that's for sure!

I talked to Anders who is on his way up to MT. Washington, which he intends to climb tomorrow--he is very excited and I wished him well...Aconcagua is just around the corner so dullness will be kept at bay even after the next 2-3 days!

As for Vegas, it's a beautiful day and I think I'll walk over and see the new center city complex, grab a bite to eat and maybe see if i can figure out how craps is played....

The calm before the storm!

Tempe--Friday morning

Inside of 48 hours now.  I got up early this morning and hit the Kiwanis wave pool when it opened--I was the only one there.  The Kiwanis wave pool is where you want to swim in Tempe pre-race.  I, for one, don't feel comfortable chancing swallowing Tempe Town Lake water 24 hours before my race start--if I'm going to get sick, I'd rather it be on Monday....

Normal protocol for me is to take the complete day off two days before my IM but with my Vegas thing going on I thought I'd do my swim this morning.  I was hopeful that I would be even faster this morning thinking that I might be slightly better adjusted to my wetsuit (which until wednesday, I had not worn for 5-6 weeks).  I swam 15:35 for 1000 yards--essentially the same time as Wednesday.  I think that my TYR FON is such a great wetsuit, that it's basically good to go all the time.  Anyways, this is a 65 minute pace and certainly indicates I have the fitness potential to swim sub 70 on Sunday.  Of course, that was also true last year when I swam 78 minutes.

The Arizona swim is very rough--at least for my pace--much more so than Kona.  Also, I probably made some tactical errors last year and this year I plan to start right in the middle of the field, up at the front (last year I was left on the buoy line).  Whether or not this proves to be a good idea will probably have a big impact on my time.  Still, I have to say that swimming slower than 72-minutes on Sunday would be underperforming...we'll see!

Anyways, I've done some thinking about my race and how I want to wrap my head around it.  I'm out here by myself and a Kona slot is not in my control (unlike last year when I was the strongest in my AG).  I need some people to have off days to have a realistic chance of getting a slot.  I don't expect this to happen and so I really don't feel any pressure to perform.  Consequently, the thoughts I'm going to hold in my head are thankfulness and appreciation.  I am truly blessed to be healthy (and wealthy) enough to do this.  I have a great group of friends and a family that supports me in this self-absorbed hobby.  I get to swim, bike, and run all day on Sunday--just like I did when I was a a sense I'm just a 55-year old kid.  And, while I'm no great shakes, I'm not to bad at it.  So no matter what happens on Sunday, I'm going to have a big smile on my face--someday I won't be able to do this, but that day has not yet come!

Off to Vegas!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Missives from the front

- Picked my bike up at Tri bike Transport today.  They had 600 bikes there--that's probably 25% of the field.  At $300 a pop that's also $180,000--quite a biz!

- No drama at all with the bike.  She's ready and able and I must say, still the prettiest girl at the dance.  I rode 16.5 miles today and I have to say I felt (and was) fast.  No problem cruising along at 20-24 mph on the flats.

- I ran a couple of miles this morning as well--even my run felt OK (which is, alas, as good as it gets these days).  I feel VERY tapered and ready.  Of-course the lack of any IM training (with the notable exception of the race itself at Kona) for the past 7 weeks may have impacted my endurance--the smart money says so anyways....I have no idea how my body will respond on race day.  I guess we'll find out on Sunday!

- I did all the things that one normally does the day before an IM this evening--60 hours before my IM.  I have to pass off my bike and T1/T2 bags tomorrow morning to the XC guys as I am flying to Las Vegas tomorrow for my 36-hour adventure up there.  I won't be back to my hotel roon until about 3:30am race morning, so I had to make my PB&J sandwiches tonight and get all my stuff laid out and ready to go....when I roll back in on Sunday morning it will be game time!

- This whole Vegas side trip is nuts but I'm very much looking forward to it.  I think I am becomming just a bit daft in my elder years....

- I met my two main competitors tonight at the XC dinner.  They are both a LOT better than I and I hope my bud John gets the Kona slot if (WHEN) I don't.  He DNF'ed at Kona in 2010 and he needs to go back and finish the race.

_ At the end of the day I am very blessed to be able to do this.  And do it I shall!  When the gun goes off at 7 am on sunday and the kung-fu begins I'll muscle up.  I know I'll relish hammering on the bike (at least for the first 80 miles).  And the run, well if it sucks, I at least have a great deal of experience in dealing with that sorta thing...

Here we go--more on Vegas in the posts ahead!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

IMAZ: Grounded!

Arrived here in Arizona mid day.  Drove out to our hotel and the race site purely by memory....and a lot of memories were triggered....a year ago Sparty and I came out here and claimed our XC Kona was a wonderful expereience!

This year I am absent my wingman (Sparty) and my on the ground support (Judy).  I'll miss them both!  the latter is obviously a significant negative from a competitive perspective.

I unpacked and organized.  My bike comes tomorrow so if I'm to have any drama it will be then.  I don't expect any and I am very calm about this, my 11th Ironman.

One of things I wanted to do was to climb the Hayden Butte (aka Oidbag Do'ag), which I didn't get to last year.  It's the iconic adensite butte that sits above Sun Devil stadium.  It's not much of a climb, as climbs go...just a climb from 350 to 456 meters (that's an elevation change of about 350 feet for those of you who are metrically challenged)...but quite steep.  I met a very cool guy at the top who had run up--he was a workplace fitness consultant who worked for Salomon--and we had a great conversation.

Anyways,  I bid goodbye and climbed down and made my way over to the Kiwanis Park Wave Pool.  Most people would not think to swim here if they were in town for IMAZ, but (thank-you Rappstar) it is definitely the place to do your pre-race swim stuff.  I met an older gent in the locker room who was doing his very first IM (he was worried about the midnight cut-off) but I assured him that he would do just fine.  There is truly nothing like your first IM--top of the life resume kinda thing!

I swam a very easy 1000 yard swim (in my wetsuit) in 15:32.  So, what to make of this?  This is about the equivalent of a 65 minute IM Swim.  Of course, you fatigue as the distance piles on, but I was definitely swimming considerably below a true race effort.  I felt this way last year and ended up swimming a 78 minute swim....I have some ideas tactically based on last year's experience that I think will help but who really knows?  Look, I should be able to swim 70 minutes on sunday (or perhaps faster) but my IM history gives no comfort that I can.  Of course, having competed at Kona less than 5 weeks ago,  I haven't really done any real IM training in 6 weeks now so my endurance in each of the three disciplines should definitely be suspect.

Still--I am very happy and content.  Probably more so than before any other IM I have ever done.  I don't expect to qualify for Kona on sunday and I'll certainly be cool if I don't.  I'm just thrilled to be able to do this.  I'm 55 years old and haven't really trained (like an IM) for 6 weeks and yet I know I can do this, and reasonably cool is that?

I talked to my good bud, BP tonight about the two of us doing IM Lake Tahoe next September....I am truly blessed!

More on the race to follow!

thanks for reading!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

all packed

this is going to be a strange one for sure!  5 weeks post Kona and my night/morning before jog up to Vegas for my friend's BD...who will it be (I'm betting the Rolling Stones)?  Really, before an Ironman? I love it!

I have a very small chance to qualify for Kona for my third time but I am very pumped to get up there and rock it is truly a great thing to still be able to do this!

Anders has agreed to live-it-out blogging...I sent him my secret sauce on how I qualify (17 people need to have  anyways, I hope you tune in because Anders plays it like it is....

I'll have a lot more from Tempe and I'll let you know who I'm rocking out with in Vegas...when we are rocking it!

This will be very cool!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Arizona T-minus One Week

Taper week of-course.  here's the data:

Swim: 6500 yards
bike: 128 miles
run: 11 miles
time: 11:20

I'll add a bunch of stuff next week prior to the race.  It will be crazy with my dash to Vegas on Friday and return back to Phoenix early in the morning on sunday just in time to race!

Anders, will be blogging again....

stay tuned!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Last Month and this week

October was obviously dominated by the taper into Kona for the first half of the month and the recovery after Kona for the second half of the month.  here were the totals:

Swim:  25,225 yards
Bike: 581 miles
Run: 85 miles
Time: 56:41

This past week, my body actually began to feel good enough that I was able to start to provide some real training stimulus again.  Still, not anything close to IM training but I think I at least didn't lose fitness this week:

Swim: 5,500 yards
Bike: 185 miles
Run: 24 miles
Time: 17:09

So it's now two weeks to IMAZ and I have really no idea how this strange five week period between Kona and Zona will ultimately affect my fitness.  We'll se on the 18th I guess.  In any event, I'm starting my run taper as of now.  I'll probably through a couple more harder bike w/os in before tapering starting mid-week for the bike.  I hope to have a fairly big swim week and will just use a 7 day taper for the swim.

Unchartered territory for sure!

Friday, November 2, 2012

ride today

three hours thirty-four minutes.  cold, windy and a bit of rain.   Don't tell anyone but I'm getting a bit of zip back in my legs!!!!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Limitations and checklists

I had a pretty solid training day today but clearly, my bod is not designed to do an IM, take a few days off and then start hammering again for the next IM five weeks later.  Still, I had a good day today so I'm not going to fixate on my limitations--makes no sense.  Just as it makes no sense to get caught up in my capabilities.  I yam what I yam (as Popeye used to say).  I'm not as strong as I wish I was but it's pretty cool that I'm still in the game!

A good bud of mine said that one of the downsides to triathlon, especially IM is the massive challenge associated with checklist management.  All the things you need to do to be ready to tackle one of these beasts and all the stuff you need to bring to actually do it on race day.  And, if you forget one little thing you might be screwed....I got lucky with a couple of checklist oversights at Kona (really Randy, overlooking things at Kona!) that didn't take me out.

So now I'm working through my IMAZ checklist and at the same time working through my Cerro Aconcagua Expedition checklist.  The latter is my 21 day expedition to climb the highest mountain in the Southern and Western hemispheres with Anders starting Dec 29th.  IM has big checklists but at the end of the day, nothing compared to a high altitude alpine expedition....

interesting times....