Friday, May 30, 2008

I'm Back In Boise!

We got in to Boise about 5:00PM Friday night after 15 hours of driving, 1 speeding ticket, 1 book on tape, 6 DVDs (for the kids), 2 returns back for forgotten items (Tanya's phone and my wallet), and 1 night in SLC. It was an eventful trip. It feels very strange to be back in Boise after being away for a year.

I got pulled over by a Utah highway patrol officer 4 miles before I left the Utah state line going into Idaho. He pulled me over and gave me the "do you know how fast you were going?" routine. I responded candidly because I was otherwise focused on other things than the speed, "No, Officer, I don't know how fast I was going." He proceeded to tell me that I was driving 85MPH in a 75MPH zone. I was 10 MPH over! I thought for sure I was going to get off with a warning based on how close I was to the speed limit and how respectful I was to the officer. He disappeared back to his squad car to return 15 minutes later with a citation. He cut me a break though...he only cited my for being 9 MPH over the speed limit. Thanks!!! UTARD!!

Once we arrived in Boise, we immediately began to see old friends lay claim to our children. Ethan went with his cousins to go camping over night just accross the Idaho border in Oregon. Plans were made for the girls to spend the night at our neighbors, the Quinatoas. Other plans were made and the kids will be elsewhere the other nights as well. Tanya was starving and made the decision that we'd eat at Chuck-O-Rama. If you're not familiar with the restaurant Chuck-O-Rama, you're not missing much. Frankly, I would never eat at this place. It's a buffet style eatery that's focused on quantity rather than quality. What's more...it's expensive. We ended up dropping $55 for marginal food. I was too tired to fight the powers that be to dissuade Tanya from wanting Chuck-O-Rama. She made the promise that she'd drop me off at the hotel afterwards to let me rest while she went out on the town with her friends. Marriages are made of compromises...I took her up on her offer.

This evening I got my bike ready. I had to clean all the bugs off it from nearly 1000 miles of being on top of the car. Now that was a science project! I also got the Bento Bag set up and the wheels ready and primed.

The weather is much warmer than the news was forecasting and consistent with my initial expectations: hot. It's also really muggy. It was in the 70s but felt like the 90s with the humidity. Being from New Mexico where it's high altitude and dry, there's no humidity (except monsoon season in July). Hydration will be a key factor in optimal performance for the race. I'm still very fearful of the extremely cold Lucky Peak Resevoir with its snow melt run-off. I've never swam with an ice cream headache...but Sunday just may be the first time. Oh well...that which doesn't kill me...

I'll check in tomorrow with bib number for online tracking and other details.

Goodnight!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Art Of Details

These last few days, I've been trying to master all the details before the Boise Ironman. It's been really challenging. I've taken many personality tests in the past (this was once my wife's hobby), and I'm a contingency planner by nature. Perhaps this is why my career has gradually gravitated to financial planning and budgeting.

These are the details I've worked out in event chronology:
Day Before Race:
Early morning spin on bike to get legs supple (1 hour)--High cadence 5-6 45 second bursts. Register for Ironman, spend least amount of time on legs as possible. Go to Lucky Peak Resevoir and swim 400-500 yards to see which is best wetsuit to use. Drop bike off for T1. Go back downtown and drop off T2 stuff (shoes, extra socks, Gels, Shot Blocks, Hat, and water-bottle belt. Go home and watch tv rest of day and drink lots of water. stay off legs. Red sauce pasta dinner with no Coke or chocolate cake (these are for the day after race). Be in bed by 9pm--alarm set for 4:45 AM with back-up wake up call.
PreRace:
Eat bagel with cream cheese and Naked Juice Bluberry Energy 3 hours before race to start to allow full food metabolization by race start. Prerace stretch/yoga. Inhaler for allergy asthma, which I had a lot in Boise; Ibuprofin for shins; Imodium for insurance. Listen to Ipod and visualize race on drive out to Lucky Peak. Breif warm-up in water to overcome cold/anxiety/fears. Don't talk to other atheletes to avoid anxiety. Appologize in advance to Tanya because of morning testyness/nerves.
Swim:
I have made arraingements for two wetsuits 1)no sleeves (my preferance for free arms while swimming), but if the water is as cold as I've heard (42-50 degrees) I have a long-sleeve wetsuit.
I have two sets of goggles, I have clear pair in which I plan on using because I know Lucky Peak Resevoir is murky, It's been overcast in Boise this last week, and the race will start early before the sun hasn't quite peaked over the mountains. However, I have a dark lens pair (which is more comfortable) just in case it's dark out.
I'll have contacts when I start and an extra set at T1--this is my biggest fear of the race (getting my goggles kicked and losing a contact in the water and spending precious minutes trying to put on contacts in wet windy conditions (I'll need to bring 2-3 towels).
T1:
I've spent alot of time practicing this transition. I'm pretty sure it's going to be fairly cold coming out of the water and with cool ambient temp (60 degrees-ish), so I'm going bringing arm warmers and possibly a vest. There's also a possiblity of rain--I secretly would like rain because that would make things challenging for others. My best practiced T1 time (without yanking off my wetsuit) is 1 minute 9 seconds including a 100 yard bike/run. All my food will be on bike in bento bag and water bottle cages. I do plan on bringing aero water bottle just in case!
Bike:
Push hard right away to get blood flowing to warm up! Try to find rythum as quickly as possible. Don't blow up on climbs. Eat 1 gel as quickly as possible with a shot block every 20 minutes. Drink every 15 minutes rotating between water and gatorade. After 2 hours on bike eat Odwalla bar.
T2: Be prepared to ditch contacts if drying out (packed glasses just in case). Eat a gel.
Run: No more gatorade--cold cold water only! Try to maintain 6:50 mile pace--save a little for last mile. Be prepared to face the demons!

I'm sure there will be some contingency not planned for but I'm hopping with all the forethought I can be ready.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Final Week Bofore Ironman Boise

This is the last week of taper before Boise. Tapering work effort is really hard, which is counter-intuitive. You spend months killing yourself getting ready for the big event. Mentally, you're geared up for a high quantity of training, and any fluctuation may result in a loss of fitness. Now, your purposely decreasing your training load to be as prepared for the big event as possible. I can feel my energy level has increased. Now I just want to do it, and get back to my training!

Friday my HED 90mm Jet Clincher rear wheel came in the mail. I put the tire and cassette on it and it's fast!

My training consisted of 12.5 hours total
4.5 hours of swimming/12,000 yards
1 hour yoga
.5 hours of T1 training
6.5 hours of bike/110 miles

After riding on Saturday, I spent 2 hours swimming with the kids--one of the hours was teaching Grace how to swim freestyle. She's quite the swimmer. We started out with kicking drills accross the pool, which she did no problem. Then we worked on stroke mechanics. It was fun.

Monday (Memorial Day) My brother and I took the kids on a mini hike to the Tram house. We rode the tram to the top of the Sandias and had another 1.5 mile hike to the Crest. Afterwards, we were met by Tanya and Dan's wife, Lindsey, and had a big family picnic. I was worried my leg would hurt during the hike. It didn't though. Afterwards, I did some skipping races with Mia that didn't hurt either. I think I might be close to recovered. We'll see Sunday!

I'll post pictures of the activities later.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Fragmented Disk While Riding The Fingers Ride



Last night I did the Fingers ride...it was really windy, but riding through the neighborhoods in the foothills sheltered me a bit. The ride was hard; I wanted to do something hard to carry some intensity for next week. There was 3200 feet of elevation gain of 32 miles of riding.

The interesting part of the ride was my "fragmented disk" of a memory of the ride. There's a very distinct double whoopty-doo section towards the end of the ride that drops a good 75 feet, climbs the same and drops another 75 feet than climbs the same. It's pretty fun to do really fast because you can carry enough speed not to work too hard on the climb back up. Well last night on my ride, I must have done the whoopty-doos and not have remembered them because, for the life of me, I cannot remember doing them. I got to a point in the ride where I told myself, "OK, get ready for the whoopty-doos" only to find out that I had already done them and was already at the next phase of the ride. It completely threw me! There's no other way to progress to the next phase of the ride without passing through the whoopty-doos, so logically, I did them. But, there's no recollection whatsoever! After my ride, I confirmed going over them with my GPS. I've tried to jog my memory, but nothing. It actually kind of scares me. Is this the early signs of Alzheimers?

When I was younger, I can recall a few times driving places, and when I'd try to recollect the details of the drive, there was nothing. The details were gone. I'd scratch my head and say hmmm. And when I was really young, I used to sleep walk...alot. I'd go to bed in my bed and wake up in odd places (i.e. the closet, the couch, the car outside, my parents room, siblings room). The most common place was the closet though (don't read too much into that!). It happened so much that Began to accept it as a reality--no bother.

Once I spent the night at my cousins house. I must have been 6 years old. The next morning, I woke up in a different place. My aunt woke me up very upset. "Justin, call your mom and tell her to come pick you up!" I didn't understand why she was so upset. Mom came, and my aunt told my mother that she caught me peeing in my cousins' closet all over their shoes. She tried to stop me but I screamed like I was totally terrified, which terrified her. She didn't want me to be there anymore. I was amused by the story because I couldn't recollect any of it. It was as though it wasn't me she was talking about, but some stranger.

Well, I think I need to defrag my hard drive soon, or I'm going to have more memory blips!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Santa Fe Century Pic



This picture is taken at mile 85 at the beginning of the final climb back to Santa Fe. I wouldn't be honest if I said I held the aero position the whole rest of the way. I had to stand up a bit. Up until that point, I spent 95% of my time in the aero postition. I had to come out a bit climbing out of Madrid and Heart Break Hill, of course.

I took Monday off after the century to recover a bit. I didn't realize how much it took out of me. Tuesday I did yoga at lunch then I swam in the evening. I did 4000 yards with a 10X100 @ 1:50. I'm not sure if it was because I gave myself 3 days of rest, but I was flying during my intervals. I was finishing each 100 10-20 seconds faster than I have in the past. I kept looking at the clock to see if it was slow.

I'm bringing down the volume for Boise. My legs are starting to get the high-energy feeling; I got the jimmy-leg!

My rear wheel is coming in the mail in the next couple of days. I got a Hed deep dish (90MM) clincher. I just can't bring myself to ride tubulars for the event. I need to build my confidence in changing tubulars before I ride the 404s.

My calf is feeling much better, but I don't dare run for fear of aggrevating it so close to go time.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Santa Fe Century

Today was the annual Santa Fe Century. This is the last event I'll do before Boise, which is only 2 weeks away.

I rode my Tri bike for the century and wanted to see what I could do. I'm really tired right now. I finished in 4:45 with no drafting and lots of climbing and wind. I haven't downloaded my workout but it was hard! I've done the Santa Fe Century four times now with a 2 year hiatus while I lived in Boise. I forgot how much climbing there is on the course. It's really hard to do prolongued climbs in the aero bars. I did the first 56 miles, which contained 80% of the climbing, in 2:30. This is encouraging for Boise!

Added Later:

Check Out the green lines; that's altitude. The Santa Fe Century has 5,250 of elevation gain.

As far as running goes, my calf is too sore and needs more time to recover. I'm guessing I'll probably not run again until the actual Ironman. This isn't going to be pretty, but every time I start running again, it takes 3-4 days for the pain to go away. There's no sense in re-agrevating the injury; I won't progress, in terms of speed, in the 2-week interim. I'm glad the next 2 weeks are taper.

Weeks summary: 16 hours

1.75 hours running/12 miles
6 hours swimming/16,000 yards
8.25 hours bike/152 miles

Next week calls for 10-12 hours, which should be easy with no running.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

1st Week of Training Block

I have three weeks until the Boise Ironman. It's coming up quick!

Monday, I got up early and swam 4,000 yards. I was feeling a bit under the weather, so I did push any tempo while swimming. I just worked on form and endurance.

At lunch, I decided to run for the first time in a week. My left calf had been killing me, so I gave it time to rest. It was feeling good, so I thought it was time. I ran for an hour and 7MPH. Immediately, when I started, my leg started hurting as bad as it did before I rested. I pushed through and finished my run anyways.

An hour after my run, my under the weather feeling grew to a low-grade fever. I had a slightly high temp and my joints were killing. And, my left calf was really hurting.

I went to bed right after work. I stayed home Tuesday and rested. I iced my leg and did a lot of research at to what was wrong with my leg. I hate going to doctors. I don't trust them. They seem to think they know more about your body than you do. You give suggestions as to what you think is wrong, and they feel like you're insulting them. Besides, I didn't want to pay a $20 co-pay and wait 2 hours to be told to ice my leg and take anti-inflamatories. Thanks, but no thanks!

Based my research, this is what I was able to conclude. I have a mid-calf strain caused by increasing my mileadge too much and running too many hills. This is common with runners who have poor flexibility (that's me). The resolution is to decrease miles and put heel pads in my shoes and more stretching.

This is very frustrating right now because my cycling and swimming are on track for a dramatic improvement. My running should be the same if I can run uninjured. I don't want anything to stop me from doing my best...I hate making excuses for not reaching my potential. At any rate, I am tapering, which will give me more time to recover.

Wednesday, I felt much better after resting the whole day. I swam 4,000 yards (including 20X50 yards tempo @ 50 seconds) in the morning before work. And rode the trainer for 1.5 hours--it was raining outside.

I'm planning on doing my first run today (Thursday) for 30-45 minutes. I'm going to use some heal pads and try to run outside. I'll let you know.

Mothers Day

Mothers day started with the kids making breakfast in bed, and Tanya getting her gifts. I gave her a strap for guitar, a Mason Jennings CD, a couple of pairs of Thorlos socks (so she'll stop stealing mine), and a bunch of PowerBeans, which she seems to enjoy.

Afterwards, we went to church, which was as to be expected.

Then, we did another of our Mothers Day traditions. We ate lunch at Bucca di Beppo. The food was great. We had a Gorgonzola salad, baked ravioli with ricotta and goat cheese, and a chocolate brownie with ice cream desert.

Afterwards we hung out at the house...lots of napping. I'm celebrating my last day of recovery week.

Finally, we went to Tanya's mother's house for dinner and gifts. It was a day of eating and family.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

It's The New Thing!

When my little brother, Jared, was a kid, he made an odd Christmas present request. He wanted his own Charlie McCarthy doll so he could become a ventriliquest. This Christmas present brought him endless torment.



A few years later, my sister wanted a similar doll called My Buddy; she honed her french kissing skills with this doll. Check out the commercial!



Well, now people in China are getting into the act, but their dolls are much more life-like.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Galesteo Road Race Recap

Friday prior to race day, I took my bike and rollers to work and did a brief speed-skills workout during lunch to get my legs ready for the race. This is something I've done before each race and it's very effective for getting the legs ready for race day. After work, I decided to swim easy for an hour just to get it out of the way. I figured Saturday after the race, I'd be too tired to want to swim and be busy Mothers Day shopping and Sunday was Mothers Day and wouldn't want to push it trying to squeeze in a workout on that day.

Saturday morning I was out the door by 6:45 AM to Galesteo. Galesteo is east of the Sandia mountains and midway between Santa Fe and Moriarty. East of the Sandias is very much like the Front Range of Denver. It's comprised of rolling wind-swept plains. It's not as grassy as the Front Range; there are your random cacti, juniper, and tumble weed (Russian Thistle) thrown in the mix.

East of the Sanidas is known for its wind. It's windy! Trees and bushes grow sideways. Older telephone poles are bent from the constant winds. The terrain is akin to Amarillo; in fact, a lot of racers come from Amarillo--a 2-3 hour drive. The wind has always been a factor in this race, and this year was no exception. There was lots of winds.

The race course starts in Galesteo and travels south toward Moriarty. The first 20 miles climbs ~1,500 feet by way of rolling hills. A few miles past Stanley (a yet smaller town) and the racers turn around and race back to Galesteo. Historically, there's been a slight headwind on the way out that increases as the day progresses. Once you turn around, you have both a hefty tailwind and a descent, which sends the racers roaring back to the finish line in half the time it took to cover the first have of the course. However, this year the wind was a cross wind from the west, which provided a bit of a tailwind on the way out and a headwind on the way back.

I decided last minute that I wanted to race the Masters 35+ category, which is combined with the Masters 45+, and Masters 55+. The Cat. 3 group had maybe 10 people and the combined Masters group was upwards of 50 people. I didn't want to get in the middle of no where, get gaped, and face a headwind the whole way back by myself. The best way to avoid this was to go with the bigger group. So, I raced the Masters.

Before the race, my team mates talked strategy, but pre-race strategies are useless, as far as I'm concerned. There are so many variables (i.e. course, racers, accidents, fitness levels) that I find it best to go with the flow and be fluid. It's important to know who the potential players are before the race and keep tabs on them during the race. Also, I didn't really care how I did in the race; I just wanted to get in a good hard workout leading me up to Boise.

The race started out neutral and I was in the front with a team mate. Once we passed the neutral zone, I decided to bring the speed up to tempo to be in my one triathlon training speed. Afterwards I turned around and I had a 50 yard gap. Hmmm! I thought to myself. I gave a little more gas to see what happened. Again, I turned around and the gap grew to 100 yards. "What the heck!" I put my head down, got in my drops and started to motor. My heart rate started to climb and my breathing got louder. It was lonely out there, but the good thing was I could control my pace and relieve my team mates of any chasing duties for the time being.


Me On My One-Man Suicide Break

Midway up the rolling climb I looked back and saw a lonely rider trying to bridge to me. I knew it wasn't my team mate and was probably one of two riders we marked as a legitimate threat. So, I pushed harder to make his job that much harder. The miles kept ticking by and the lonely rider was getting closer and closer. Finally, just before the last hill he caught me. I could tell he burned a lot of matches to bridge to me. We crested the hill together and took turns pulling towards Stanley and the turn around. I made it 20 miles by myself. The rider that caught me was, indeed, one of the marked riders.


The Chase Group after being whittled down from original 50 riders. Notice My Team Mates Tucked In For A Nice Drafting Session...Thank You Very Much!

After a few miles of rotating together, the second rider we marked pulled a group of 7 people to us. The field was shattered behind them into small groups of 2s and 3s. I sat in as long and I could but was still suffering from the effort. I faded and slipped off the back. I thought my day was over and I'd have to ride alone in the headwind after all. But, a group of 3 riders caught me, and we began a rotation. We hit the turn-around after Stanley and turned into the headwind. Our rotation was picking up steam, and we ultimately caught the lead group.

When we were all together, the second guy we marked made a huge acceleration and got a good gap. The group was trying to pull him back, but no one wanted to be out in the wind too long, so there were lots of surges with no follow through. Being the single-speeded triathlete I am, I couldn't match the surges and got dropped. Again, I thought my day was over, powered on at my one speed, and caught back to the group. This happened 2-3 more times until we got to 5 miles from the finish. It got really dicey at this point because the wind picked up still. I let the pack go and took it easy for the rest of the race.


Me Crossing The Finish Line, "Mommy!"

Ultimately, I finished 14th of the overall group and 5th of the Masters 35+ group. Not a bad day for having no expectations. My team mate finished 2nd overall.

After the race I took the two youngest (Grace and Mia) shopping for a Mothers Day gift for Tanya.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Recovery Week Inactivity

Recovery week has been good. I took Monday off completely. Tuesday I did yoga for the first time in three weeks. I'm still very inflexible. Tuesday night I did the local criterium race; this is the first week this year.

For those of you not familiar with the criterium bike race, it's generally held on a short 1 kilometer track that may or may not have multiple corners/turns. The course we're using is at the Balloon Fiesta Park is rectangular in shape. They are held over a brief period of time+3 laps. Ours was 20 minutes + 3 laps, which translated to ~13 miles. They're really fast and anaerobic. You spend most, if not all, of your time in the drops strung out chasing wheels or trying to break away from the pack. Some people don't like being in such tight quarters with other riders and they get freaked out. There are more crashes in these types of the races because of the rider proximity and intensity.

I enjoyed it and got a good workout. I really struggled because all my high-end training has been replaced with long, tempo activity. At any rate, this is purely for a workout. I'm beginning to feel like I don't know where I belong anymore though. Not a single rider out there was a triathlete. I would complain about my legs being tired from running, and the response I got was, "why would you run?!" Oh well, I guess having duel citizenship has its perks and down-sides.

Wednesday night I swam for 4,000 yards and did about 1,500 yards tempo. This consisted of 10X100 yards at 1:50 and 10X50 yards at :50.

I'm taking today off, but the inactivity is starting to get to me. Tomorrow, I'll swim endurance, maybe do a pre-race ride on the rollers. Saturday, I'm going to the Galesteo Road Race. It's a small rural town in between Santa Fe and Albuquerque. The ride is 65 miles and has lots of wind and about 1,500 feet of climbing--that's a gentle climb for these parts! I'm wavering as to whether I'll do the Cat. 3 race or the Masters race. I'll call it race morning.

My leg is getting better; I'm not planning on running until Sunday. We'll see how it feels. That'll be a week without running. I hope that's enough.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Bridge Results

Ethan's Bridge-His bridge fell apart 5 minutes before the contest and he was holding it together while a new layer of glue was drying in this picture
Elise's Bridge--if presentation and appearance were factors of the contest, she would have won hands down!
Ethan drew the shortest straw and had to go first. It was a bridge fit for a troll.

Ethan's bridge with 30 pounds. He's got nerves of steel.

An additional 20 pounds for a total of 50 pounds. At this point, it only made sense to put his hands over his ears to avoid the inevitable cracking sound.

Finally, Ethan's bridge failed at 70 pounds, not bad for still having a fresh application of wood glue.

Elise's bridge with 20 pounds. Oh the drama!

Elise's bridge failed at 30 pounds.

Ethan's the winner; he gets the $20. After this, Ethan was bouncing off the wall's with excitement. Stay tuned for the next contest: Tallest Towers!!!

Monday, May 5, 2008

I'm Registered For Boise!

Today, I took the plunge and plunked down $275 for Iron Man Boise. I usually delay these things as long as possible, but I didn't' want to ruin our Boise vacation plans by missing registration if it filled up last minute. Still...$275 is a lot to swallow--I'm thankful for the stimulus package. Unfortunately, this was my money in the first place!

On a different subject, Mothers Day is this weekend and I think I've got the perfect gift: a chameleon. Tanya's always wanted exotic pets. A chameleon is just what the doctor ordered. It'll go well with our 4 monkeys. What's the going rate for a chameleon?

Week 3 Recap

Sunday, I decided to forego my run and just do a nice easy recovery ride. I rode 1.5hours and kept the heart rate below 120 with a cadence of 90-100: small small gear.

In total for the week, I had 19.5 hours.
Swimming: 16,000 yards @ 5.75 hours
Biking: 185 miles @ 10.75 hours
Running: 20.5 miles @ 3 hours (I lost ~3 hours of running from my calf issue)

This morning by body is still sore from Saturday and all the prior 3 weeks of training. This will be a most excellent recovery week! I'm now starting to get every thing ready for our trip to Boise at the end of the month.

My son ate the last piece of chocolate cake this morning! BAD MONKEY!!!!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Saturday's Triathlon Simulation

Friday after work, I took the three oldest kids to see the new Iron Man movie. It was pretty good. Afterwards, I found out my wife made dinner arrangements for the family at some friends house, which, ordinarily, would have been fine. But, I had big plans for the following day. We didn't get home until after 10:00. It took me an hour to get everything ready for the next day. I didnt' get to bed until nearly 12:00.

The next morning I slept through the 6:30AM alarm and finally woke up at 8:00AM. This wasn't starting off good. I scrambled to get everything in my car, which I've aptly decided to call T1/T2 because it's my impromptu sporting event transition point. I can't tell you how many times I've changed in-and-out of clothes in this car...but I digress.

I put the wetsuit on, which was quite a challenge getting the zipper shut. I did a little stretching, then I decided to jump in cold turkey and crack a 1,650 (swimming mile) just to simulate a tri start. My official start time was 8:55 AM. Something about the smell of the wetsuit brought back the race memories of the Redman (Oklahoma City Half Ironman) because I kept replaying that swim in my mind as a swam. I finished the first mile in 25 minutes--that's 20 minutes faster than my RedMan time. Granted, this was a pool without a current or wakes, but I was carrying alot of accumulated shoulder fatigue from the week's swim workouts. I was very happy. I gave myself about 3 minutes rest and launched into my second mile. This is when the fatigue really set in. I was tired. It took 35 minutes for my second effort. I warmed down with a 500, which gave me my 15,000 yards for the week. Sweet!

On to the next event: the bike. It was actually good that I got up late this morning because it was just starting to warm up. If I had gotten up as scheduled, I probably would have started the bike event wearing much too much and would have baked. Instead, I was able to dress as minimally as possible. It was still windy though...actually it was gusty. I couldn't tell from which direction the wind was coming. One moment a headwind...a tailwind the next.

I wasn't too focused on my transition times, just the core events. So I took my time getting dressed, fueling up, and making sure all my ducks were in a row. This leads me to one of the reasons for me to do the event; I wanted to dial in my nutrition needs.

I started the bike and headed out the traditional route, which is the flattest route I can find. For those of you who don't know Albuquerque, it sits at the foothill of the southern rocky mountains, which are to the east of the city. The mountains east of Albuquerque are the Sandia mountains, which crests at 10,800 feet. We're at 5,700 feet elevation--my house is actually. The Rio Grande river flows through (north/south) the valley at the base of the foothills and, west of the Rio Grande, the altitude increases again to endless mesas. The route I take primarily heads north/south along the Rio Grande, although this still ends up being a 2500-3500 foot elevation gain ride.

The ride was uneventful. My legs were tired from the accumulation of prior weeks' training. Right away, I wanted to bail on my plans of 90 miles. I turned up the Ipod and pushed that thought out of my mind. I hit mile 56 in 2:42, which is 5 minutes faster than my RedMan time. I was encouraged because I was riding my heavy training wheels, was not riding with my aero helmet (I'm hopeful it's as time saving as the claims), fighting the wind, hills and fatigue.

I was choking down a Cliff Shot Block every 15-20 minutes and drinking at the same duration. Every hour of riding, I would eat a Odwalla Chocolate Peanut bar. At about mile 65, I really began to blow up. I wasn't sure if it was a function of hydration or eating. I decided to trim 10 miles off my ride and get to the gym to save a little for my tempo run afterwards.

When I got to the gym I changed fairly quickly, filled my water bottle with cold water, ate a plain Cliff shot and started my run on the treadmill. I decided to run on the treadmill so I didn't completely blow up in the middle of nowhere and have to crawl back. My left leg was feeling OK--not great, but OK.

I ran at a 8MPH pace and threw in 4X5 minute tempo efforts at 9MPH. I drank my whole water bottle in the first 30 minutes and had to fill it again for the remaining 30 minutes. I also took another plain Cliff Shot at the 30 minute mark. When the hour was over, I ran 8.35 miles. My average heart rate was 145; during the tempo efforts, my heart rate got to 155. I think I could have easily lasted another 30-40 minutes if I wanted to (that wasn't part of the plan though). The key to maintaining the pace was drinking cold water.

Total workout time was 5:20. I was glad it was over too. I am so looking forward to a recovery week next week.

After the workout, I met Tanya and took the kids home while she went food shopping. I was going to go, but decided I would have been smarter with me not there. I would have bought everything at the store. She did bring me home a chocolate cake--did I tell you how well I married?

First thing Mia wanted me to do when I got home was pull her around the block in her wagon. I'm a sucker and I indulged her. We took in the warm day--and she got to watch her dad hobble around like a curmudgeon. Every house we passed, Mia asked me where the monkey lived. I wouldn't acknowledge the question hoping she'll forget the monkey by her birthday! Monkey's aren't good pets...I have four!

Friday, May 2, 2008

1 Month Until Boise IronMan

Well its one month until the Boise IronMan. Gosh, will I be ready? I've been killing myself getting ready. Next week is a recovery week, then I start to taper. Endurance sports aren't like finals when you cram the night before the test. It's actually the opposite! You kill yourself training for it in advance then a few weeks before the event, you taper your training to let your body recovery/build. This is the hardest part for me. If I'm not pushing, I'm not progressing--at least that's what my personal instincts tell me. I think this has lead to my mediocre bike racing results; too much quantity!

This morning was cold getting into the outside pool. After my swim, there was ice on my pull-buoy. In the pool, the water was perfect. I did 2,000 yards tempo effort with another 2,000 warm-up and endurance for a total of 4,000 yards. I'm excited that I'm building up my tempo effort. I'm still not the fastest swimmer, but I can peg the tempo effort and go for a long time.

My schedule calls for an hour of easy running today at lunch, but I think I'm going to bag it and give my leg another day to recover. My left calve is killing me. Rather than popping some ibuprofen and pushing through, I'm going to give it some more time.

Tomorrow's going to be a good training day. I'm planning on doing a triathlon. I'm going to swim in the wetsuit 4000 yards, ride ~90 miles on the tri-bike, and run tempo for an hour. The fun starts 7:00AM at High Point. I'm going to do the same bike route I did last week (see below). Wish me lucky!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Kids' Bridge Challenge

Last night I stopped at the Hobby Lobby and picked up a bunch of pop sickle sticks, tongue depressor sticks and wood glue. When the kids got home, I issued the KIDS BRIDGE CHALLENGE to Elise and Ethan. This is the challenge:

Each kid must build a bridge using the pop sickle sticks, tongue depressor sticks and wood glue that must span 12 inches. Each kid must build their own bridge and only use the three supplies provided. The bridges must be as wide as a pop sickle stick. On Monday evening, we are going to see which bridge will support the most weight. The kid's bridge that supports the most weight will win $20.

Both Ethan and Elise have expressed an interest in becoming engineers or builders of some sort. I thought this would be a meaningful challenge/experiment. When I told them about the challenge, they were very excited. Ethan just started gluing things together. We had to re-explain the rules to him so he understood how long the bridge must be. They stayed up until 9:00pm working on their bridges and were up bright and early doing the same.

I'm excited to get them involved in all the crafts I did when I was a kid. Building rockets, models, potato guns; that's the life.

On a different note, I told my youngest that's she's getting a monkey for her birthday. That's all she talks about. I was on the internet looking at houses on the MLS, and every house she'd ask, "Daddy, where will I put my monkey?" I'm not sure how I'm going to dispel her from the monkey thing. Kids these days need to have less long-term memory!