Monday, June 30, 2008

Week 2/Block 1 Wrap Up

My schedule called for 17 hours of training, but that seemed soft when you factor in an hour of yoga and 2 hours of strength training. Here are my totals for the week:
Total Hours: 20
Bike: 11 hours/194 Miles
Swim: 4.5 hours/12,600 yards
Run: 1.5 hour/10 miles
Stength: 2 hours
Yoga: 1 hour

Friday night I went to Hollywood Video--somewhere I chose not to go unless the Redbox line is too long or the selections is weak. I found a video and went to the front desk. The local Hollywood video makes you pay 10% of your late fee before they'll rent. Our currently late balance is ~$60; this is why I don't go to Hollywood Video!
Anyways, the person checking me out was this early 20's large guy--he was large in the sense that he was once a bodybuilding football player but didn't keep it up and the muscle turned to something else...He saw my IronMan Boise hat I was wearing and got really excited. "Did you do an IronMan?" I affirmed and mentioned that it happened just a few weeks ago. He got really excited and asked me lots of questions. He didn't make me pay my late fee. He even said that I looked "Tuned Up". At 160lbs, I don't know if I would qualify as being "tuned up", but I'll take what ever complements I can get. I told him that he should try an IronMan and he shrugged as though I just asked him to pull $1M cash out of his pocket..."Yeah right!"
This conversation was rather interesting to me. I've been racing bikes for years. Some of the bike races, in my opinion, were much harder than an IronMan. A week of the Tour of Gila isn't a picnic. I've done over 100 road bike/mountain bike races. Yet, this small complement from some random person at Hollywood Video for only my second Tri event, is more than I've ever received for all the bike races I've done (family doesn't count). How strange?
Saturday, I did a TT effort up Oak Flats to establish a baseline for testing purposes. I figure I'll use the climb up Oak Flats for testing because it's continuous and it's gradual enough to carry speed. In a few weeks I'll test it again to see if I progress. I figure progression should be interesting to chart once I increase my running mileage. My time Saturday was 34:02 from the ranger station.
Yesterday, I stopped midway through my ride to watch the pros in the NM state Crit race. It was a really small field. Three riders lapped the field in the first 6 laps of the course; this was supposed to be a 75 minute race, and it was already over after the first 10 minutes. I guess the prems become more meaningful at this point.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Sprinter....I Guess So!

This morning was sprint training with the Masters swim group. We started out doing 10X25s all out. I started last in my lane because I'm the new guy. Right away I swam up the back of the guy in front of me. After this happened a couple of times, I asked if I take his slot; he acquiesed getting tired of having me swimming him a wedgie. Again, I swam up the back of the next person. I moved up again to lead. I started watching the people in the next lane over, and I was passing them as well. The next set was 5 x (4X25, 1X50, and a 200); the coach said do these all out. Same thing, I blew everyone out. Weird thing was, I'd really muscle through this set, and not be tired; however, when the last 100 of the 200 came, I'd be tired and the poeple in my lane would start catching me. To me, this is quite strange, I'm supposed to be an endurance athlete. Oh well, I guess I got a little sprinter in me.

It's looking like I'm going to over-shoot my weekly training goal. So far, I've racked up 13 hours, and I still have Saturday and Sunday. Tomorrow I'll do an endurace swim followed up with a 4 hour tempo ride. Sunday will probably be a hill climb day. I've come to the realization that all IronMan bike courses aren't flat; in fact, most have hills and flat Ironman bike courses are the exception.

I was supposed to do some motorpacing today, but the moped driver bailed. We're reset for next week. This will consist of going back-and-forth down Rio Grande where the speed limit is 25MPH. My front wheel will be about 2 inches behind the Vespa's rear wheel. As dangerous as it sounds, this is a great way to increase leg speed in a big gear. It's a hard workout that generally lasts no longer than an hour.

I ran again this morning but stopped after 15 minutes because of leg pain. I have an appointment this Monday with the doc. I'm really frustrated. I know that once my leg heals and I can put in the training, I can really start making significant gains in my run. I think all my times I've achieved to date are a function of will power and minimal form improvements. I know I got more...I'm just not able to harvest it right now. This is really frustrating.

On a final note....this may be a bit premature. But, it looks like my next full ironman, after Arizona, will be in Brazil. This occurs May 29th, 2009--a year after Boise. Passports, Visas, and plane tickets, oh my! I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Salt & Vinegar Chips

It seems when my training volume starts to ramp up, I start craving odd things. Right now it's Salt & Vinegar chips. Fortunately, I have some stashed in my desk. Today has been a crazy training day. I got up at 4:40AM and swam with the Masters. Thier swim lasted 1 hour. I did an additional 500 yards. I jumped out of the pool and threw on my running gear and ran for 20 minutes (still easing my leg back into it). I went to work. At lunch, I did my super secret strength training routine--the whole time excited about the Salt & Vinegar chips waiting for me in my desk. After work I planning on riding my TT bike on the rollers for an hour. It'll be the first time I've ridden the TT bike on the rollers--it should be fun! This training block, I'm going to spend a little more time developing a faster cadence while on the TT bike rather than just work on bruizer strength sessions, which is what I did last night.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Week 1/Block 1 Wrap Up

Friday I had a bit of a stomach funk going on. It progressively got worse and I tooke some medicine. Saturday morning I took some more medicine and went on an early ride to Madrid (Mad-Drid) with Silvio and Rod. It turned out to be an 86 mile ride with 6,200 feet of elevation gain. See work out:

This ride was very hard. It seemed like we had a headwind 90% of the day. New Mexico is notorious for shifting winds. I felt good on the way to Mad-Drid. Once we got to Mad-Drid, my stomach really started to bug me. On the way back, my power was down. Everytime we'd hit a long climb, my power would fade. Silvio and Rod had to wait for me after the long climbs. On the way back, Silvio and Rod wanted to do Heart Break Hill and come back a different route. I wasn't too excited but they talked me into carrying on. My power would come back on the flats, but still would fade on any extended climb. We, finally, finished up the ride, and I went home and took a nap. I later joined Tanya and the kids at the pool. After some lunch and some more rest, I decided to swim some laps. I swam a mile then swam with the kids for an hour or so. After which, I was done.

I came home and went to bed. I spent the entire Sunday in bed. By the end of Sunday, I was able to start eating again.

Weeks Totals:
15:16 hours
Bike: 9:16 Hours/161 Miles
Swim: 4 Hours/10,773 yards
Strength: 2 Hours

This Morning I got up and swam with the Masters. The main set was 4X(200/100/6X50). My total yardage was 3400 in 1 hour. I swam second postion in my lane. I ran 20 minutes right after swimming. The day hasn't even started and I'm tired!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Big 100

Earlier this year when I started swimming and was struggling with kick-turns, I told myself (and wrote) that once I swam 100 consecutive laps in the pool, then I'd be ready to start swimming with the Masters. Well, I started swimming with the Masters this week and decided I'd better make good on my committment. So, today after work, I jumped in and did 100 non-stop laps (2500 meters) without touching the side of the pool with anything other than the bottom of my feet. I can't say I'm any faster than when I started (that's where the Masters will come into play), but my swimming endurance has improved.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Fortitude To Be Happy!

I don't often use my blog as a forum to climb on my soap box; this blog is meant to update people on how I'm progressing towards my goal of competing in the Iron Man competition's pinnacle of venues: Kona. However, today I want to briefly touch on something that I'm learning. It's what I call the fortitude to be happy.

From an early age, I have been athletic. If you were to ask my mother, she'd agree. I've always been active in sports; it makes me happy. I'd say it's hard-wired in to my DNA. I can feel it my gut. As intuitive as this may seem, this simple concept wasn't vividly clear to me until about a year ago. I think I might have known this when I was younger, but somehow along the way between then and now, I lost that knowledge.

How did I forget that I love to be athletic? How did I forget what makes me happy?

I think there's a lot of reasons. In my life (and I think in most every one's lives) there is never a shortage of people telling you what you should or should not be doing. I have family members, co-workers, college professors, church leaders, friends, and, even people I care very little about telling me what I should or should not be doing with my life.

Even worse, I am my own worst enemy when it comes to pursuing what makes me happy. I'm am greedy sometimes and am willing to forgo what makes me happy for a promotion or a salary increase. I am rash sometimes and satiate an urge at the price of happiness. This is the greatest detractor: human nature.

This is where having the fortitude to be happy comes in to play. When we know what makes us happy...what makes us content, it is incumbent on us to have the fortitude and resolve to continue to live in such a manner--to do that thing regardless of whether someone or something disapproves. There are numerous people who are miserable and have forsaken that which makes them happy--or have never found it. They will beguile you away or distract you. Misery loves company!

I have seen this at work. Some people will push you to work long hours with vague promises of promotion. The pressure can be overwhelming. If you resist, you're viewed with disdain; you're not "in the trenches". In many cases, the leaders pushing such behavior are miserable themselves--they've sold their soul for filthy lucre. Again, misery loves company!

I have seen this at church. There is never a shortage of people at church telling you what will make you happy--and what won't.

Most recently, I have seen this with family and friends. Now, I need to note something important: never would I say my wife or my children are distractions from what makes me happy. It's quite the opposite. How could I be happy if my wife or any of my children were not? My happiness is consolidated in my family's happiness. Right now, my wife is happier than she's been in a long time: she has great friends, she spends lot's of time doing fun activities with the kids. She's engaged in the things that makes her happy. As a husband, this makes me happy. Conversely, My wife said being at my Iron Man was one of the best things she's been a part of because she knew the sacrifice and commitment it took to cross the finish line--from both of us and the children. Additionally, She said that my son keeps drawing pictures of me in the Iron Man, and it has had a lasting impression on him.

What does this all mean? It means having the strength to do what makes you happy regardless of the ridicule, second-guessing, and disapproval. It means not compromising just because a family member or boss doesn't understand or is down-right unsupportive. It means pushing on even though there may be negative fall out with personal relationships or career progress. There may even be humiliation. But, ultimately, you'll will have to prop yourself up and run in the direction that your heart directs, otherwise, you'll be on the ground with all the other hapless, miserable bodies grasping at anything!

In conclusion, I'd like to post one of my favorite poems:

I saw a man pursuing the horizon;
Round and round they sped.
I was disturbed at this;
I accosted the man.
"It is futile," I said,
"You can never -"

"You lie," he cried,
And ran on.

-Stephen Crane

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Ouch...What Was I thinking?

Yesterday, I cut out of work early to meet a new friend on a ride. He's a Cat. 2 road racer that likes to climb. He's also a med student starting his residincy. So, I figured he'd be someone good to ride with. Furthermore, him new to the area, I thought it would be nice to show him some good local rides.

It was 97 degrees outside. That should have been my first sign of things to come. We met and began the fingers ride. We started with the first climb of 20, and it was nice and cordial. After that, it was game on. Every hill was at a demon's pace and hot like Hades to boot. We did the entire fingers ride then dropped down to the bottom of Tramway and climbed back up. The entire ride was 39 miles with 3,900 feet of elevation gain. Even on the ride back on the flats of Tramway, which is generally the social recovery part of the ride, we were pushing a 53X11. I looked down at my speedometer and we were averaging 27-30 MPH.

I was sure I was just feeling fatigued because of accumulated training/racing throughout the year and he was feeling randy because he hadn't ridden for a awhile, but I looked at my heart rate data and I hit a new high: 201BPM. Previously, my high was 198--during a race sprint. My average HR was 150BPM and the ride was 2:27.

When I got home, I must have drank a gallon of ice water. I went to bed at 9:40PM after making dinner for the family--hamburgers with goat cheese and A1 steak sauce. We generally add bacon too, but Elise used up the bacon for Fathers Day.

This morning I got up at 4:40AM and dashed over to Masters swim #2. This time the workout was much harder and longer. We swam with 4 people in our lane. I swam 3rd person. I do think and hour of swimming is too short though. I stayed after and swam another 1000 yards. There are some tangible benefits to swimming with the masters that will translate well for triathlons: growing comfortable with swimming in close proximity with other swimmers, growing comfortable with turbulant water, and a forced intensity so you don't fall behind. I enjoy it...I just don't like getting up so early! Oh well, it's a function of discipline. I figure my body will get used to it over time. I figure at the end of 5 months, I'll be able to finish my Iron Man swim in 1 hour--or less!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Masters Swim

I swam with the Masters this morning. I was expecting to get steamrolled; swim was actually easy. We ended up only doing 2000 yards because there was a lot of kicking drills. The hardest part of the workout was 2X50 meters backstroke. I hate backstroke. If man was meant to do backstroke, we'd have eyes on the top of our head. I suffered through it though.

After getting up at 4:40AM, I can already tell I'll be needing the Red Bull come 2:00PM.

Weekend Summary (Fathers Day)

Saturday...the last Saturday before I start my training in earnest. I decided to join my team for a 3 hour ride. My intention was to never have to use the big chain ring. When I met the team, there were only 4 people; two from my team, and 2 head bangers. I call riders that like to push really hard all year "Head Bangers". I knew it wouldn't be the easiest day, but whatever. We rode east and decided to go South 14 towards Oak Flats. This happens to be one of my favorite rides in New Mexico just because the climbing isn't too hard and not too long either--just right. Right as pie...the head bangers began to motor up the hill. I didn't have too much trouble staying with them, but I did notice my HR was in the high 160s. This was much too high for someone trying to take it easy. Half way up, I backed off and let them go. I spun at a high cadence and brought my HR where it needed to be.

At Oak Flats, I turned around and went back to High Point where my car was parked. I was done 2:50 and did a little cross training to make up the 10 mintues. My bro was there and I showed him some of the BOSU we did last Monday. This aggrevated my leg, which made me nervous. I still haven't decided whether I to go to the doctor. What are they going to do for me?...tell me not to run on..keep the pressure off of it. Thanks..Here's my $20 co-pay! NEVER MIND!

I spent the rest of the day swimming with the kids at the pool. That was fun.

Sunday started with kids making me breakfast: chocolate chip muffins, scrambled eggs, and bacon. I've realized I'm not so fond of bacon anymore. Bacon generally is a stapel for most guys but it leaves a greasing lining in your mouth afterwards--what does it do to your insides. At any rate, the breakfast was nice. Then Tanya and the kids proceeded to give me Father's Day gifts: a comprehensive book about The Sopranos (very nice!) and 3 one-hour massages (very nice). I will use these during my next 3 recovery weeks. We then hurried to church.

After Church, Dan and his family joined our family for a picnic at Cochiti Lake. It was toasty outside, but Dan was smart enough to bring a shade tent. My intent for going to Cochiti was to practice my open-water swim skills. After getting everything set up, I through on the wet suit and started to swim accross the lake. Dan was going to swim too, but he wanted to eat first and swim a shorter distance (he hasn't been swimming much these days). On the way out, I had a tail wind that blew my kicking splashes into my face, which was annoying but probably good open-water swim development. In my mind, any adverse swim conditions I chalk up as "good open-water swim developement". I swam for what seemed to be an eternity. I was counting strokes...every 10 strokes, I'd sight. My objective was to swim to this round tower in the south-east corner of the lake. From the beach it didn't appear to be too far. Finally, after a long time, I got to it. There were a group of people fishing off of a pontoon boat there where were a bit taken aback by someone swimming up to them from the beach. I had a brief conversation with them and headed back.

About a quarter way back I see my bro Dan swimming towards me. "Dude you totally freak me out...I couldn't see your green swim cap anymore!" "I swam way further than I wanted to...I was worried something happened!" Poor dude; he swam out to me thinking I decided to change my citizenship to the fish kingdom. We swam back together. Swimming back into the headwind pushed the small ripples over my head during the swim. Again; good open-water swim development! I finally reached the beach after an hour and change. I'm guessing I swam 2 miles. My poor brother-in-law probably swam 1.5, which is challenging after his 1 year torpor.

After swimming, I ate brisket sandwiches, IBC root beer, and brownies on the beach while the kids splashed around. Now this is what Father's Day is about!

Afterwards we made a pit stop at the out-laws for more Father's Day activities. I wanted to get to bed as early as possible because tomorrow is the first day of Masters swimming, which starts as 5:00AM meaning 4:40 wake up. I ended up getting to bed around 10:20, which later than I wanted but earlier than last night (1:45AM).

Friday, June 13, 2008


Last night while I was swimming in the pool I normally swim in, I found out the pool is 25 meters, not 25 yards. That means when I thought I was hammering out 15K yards a week, I was actually hammering out 16,200 yards. I guess from a sheer "more-is-better" training quantity perspective that's good news. Unfortunately, all the swimming I did only amounted to trimming 5 minutes off my first half-IM distance swim. I still question question whether the two swim distances. A true apples-to-apples comparison will be going back to my first Iron Man and reswimming, which I plan on doing.

I sat down and worked out my training schedule up until IMAZ and have 23 weeks (starting next week when my next block begins) or 5.75 months. I'm adding 2 hours of strength per week: 1 hour BOSU and another hour plyometrics. I really don't like lifting weights; it seems to make you really tired, sore, and slow, and the noticeable difference is minimal. I'd rather do something that will strengthen my core and build my balance and is entertaining. This may or may not translate to faster splits, but it may prevent future injury and keep me well rounded. Other things I plan on doing new in this training block is 10 open water swims before IMAZ, to get myself accustomed to sighting, currents, wakes, and whatever else is slowing me down. The training weeks range in 15 hours to 25 hours of training with a 10 hour recovery week. I'm going to do less road racing (1 race) lots of TTs and 3 tris (2 half-iron man;1 Olympic). I'm going to take my running a little slower this time and build up and stay with my current Vdot category rather than a desired Vdot speed. Finally, my goal is to swim with the masters 3 times a week and add 1 continuous endurance swim. I will also do 1 hour of yoga a week to keep me from getting too tight.

This is a fairly aggressive training schedule, but I think I'm good for it. I want to show up for IMAZ knowing I didn't hold back on my training--NO EXCUSES!. I'm going to re shift my mindset from racing to qualify for Kona to finishing respectably--this will be my first full Iron Man, after all. Too much pressure can lead to bad training/racing decisions. I still have plenty of time to mature in the sport.

Training's a funny thing. Every year when I was planning my road racing schedule, I'd add some new technique or approach that I hoped would push me over to being that great cyclist I wanted to be. PowerCranks, fixed gear bike, off season running, weight lifting, a coach, or extreme weight loss; it was always something. But, ultimately, the best thing I've found is simple: consistency. Day in, day out, training. This isn't to say continuous large quantities of training, but consistent, strategic training. That's when I'd see most of my gains.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Mid-Season Slump

After Boise, I've been in my mid-season slump. A couple of days after Boise, I ran in the park on grass and my legs weren't happy. The run only lasted 20 minutes. A few days later (Saturday) I did 70 miles of the Albuquerque Century (I guess I surpassed the metric century). During the whole ride, I kept asking myself why I was riding. I guess once the post-Boise excitement wore off, my body and mind told me it was time to slow it down a bit. That's probably good considering I've been training hard since last October. My Ironman isn't until November, so I think I'm going to give myself some time (not completely shut it down) to recover.

In the interim, I need to sit down and map out my training for the next 6 months. I'm going to add some strength training. I hate weights, so I decided to try some thing new. Monday I went to a BOSU class, which is a core workout class utilizing half of a Swedish (meat) ball. That kicked my butt! It uses a lot of plyometrics and balance--both of which should help my speed.

My calf is still bugging me and it's looking like I need to go to the doctor. This should drag on so long; it's been nearly 2 months now with intermitten runs that I've stayed off of it. It's driving me nuts. Don't they have shots for this kind of thing?

This is the busy time at work, which, timing wise, works out with my training down-time. This Sunday is Father's Day; I hope I get a new lego left calf, so I can start running again!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Post Boise Iron Man Reflections/Data

It has been a couple of days since Boise, and I've given myself some time to internalize/analyze the day's results.

Here's the Race Data (Bike Portion):
Average Speed: 22.2 MPH
Average Watts: 307
Average HR: 155
Total Elevation Increase: 2,142 feet
Notes: I had to stop once to use the rest room. This lasted about 1.5 minutes. I started out a bit too hard (this was in response to my perceived slow swim). Towards the end of the bike, I was suffering a bit. At the end of the day, I didn't leave anything on the bike yet left just enough to finish the run. I was happy with my time. I think I need to continue to work to build strength on the bike. I can't believe the top speed was 25 minutes faster than me. Wow!

My T2 was fairly good relative to my first half iron man. I trimed of 45 seconds. My wife videod my T2. There was definitely some time savings to be had still. I made a last minute decision to put on a waist water-bottle holder. During the run, the bottle fell out and broke; this was a waste of time--especially considering the cool temps. I'm projecting I could have saved another minute.

Average Run Pace: 7:39 minute miles
Average HR: 157
Notes: This perhaps is the first run I've done in which I was able drink water from the neutral feedzone cups. I prefer a water bottle, but it worked this time. I went solely with water, 2 gels and a bag of Cliff Shot Blocks. I started out hard, and realized I couldn't maintain the pace so I slowed a bit. I did save a little for the last half-mile and pushed really hard at the end. At the finish line, I was done! I used everything I had and was spent. There were a handful of people who blew past me on the run (who I passed during the ride). I couldn't believe their pace. I just tried to ignore them because if I tried to follow, I would have blown up on mile 10.

Post Race: I've been very sore in my legs. I have a huge scab on the back of my neck and arm pits from wetsuit rub. It's Thursday and I'm still a bit sore. I'm going to take it easy this week--except I do plan on doing the Albuquerque Century on Saturday. This will be a social ride. Suprisingly, I'm pumped and ready to start my next training block. I'm giving myself some time to mentally/physically recover from the early part of the season, but my results in Boise get me excited to keep going. If I can stay injury free for the next few months, I think a 4:45 is attainable at Redman in Oklahoma City. Wish me lucky!

Who Needs A Podium Girl!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Back Home

We made it back home Tuesday early evening. We cut out of Boise Monday around 4:00PM and slept in Price, UT. Then finished the rest of the trip the next day.

It was a good trip. Last time I left Boise, exactly a year ago, it was on a very low note. I just got laid off and spent the prior year working at the worst place I've ever worked (Hubble Homes--Don't Buy One of Their Homes!). While living in Boise for the 2 years, we suffered many set-backs. At the time, I didn't want to leave Boise, but circumstances necessitated the move. For this very reason, I had my reservations about returning. We did return and, in many respects, it was as though nothing had changed. We spent time with family and friends just as we had in the past. They welcomed us back. The day before the race, I rode my bike from Camelback Park along Hill Road to our old neighborhood. It was an early Saturday morning and riders were hurrying to their respective group rides. Had I still lived in Boise, I, too, would be in a hurry to get to my group ride. Boise had remained the same--a lovely place to live--sadly, we'd moved on to our "new" lovely place to live.

I was able to meet up with most (Lori was away on business; Tom Christensen was in his car reading an aviation magazine) of my former co-workers that I really enjoyed working with and considered friends. My wife and children were able to do the same.

While driving away, I felt like I left Boise, this time, on a high note. Through the Ironman, I was able to carve out a lasting, positive memory. I'm glad I came back!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Boise Half -- Done!

I finished in 5:01:05. My goal was to be sub-5 hours. The 1:05 was a pee break I took on the bike from drinking so much during the swim. I trimmed 45 minutes off my first half ironman (this is my second). The results break out like this:

Swim: 40:15 (Terrible!)
Bike: 2:31:34 (Met my expectation)
Run: 1:40:49 (Greatest Improvement)

I think of all the events since Redman 2007, I've trained the most on the swim. You wouldn't be able to tell from the results. In the Redman, my swim split was 45 minutes. I was able to cut out 5 minutes this time. In the pool, I can push out a mile (1650 meters) in <25 minutes. Here's the thing! Lucky Peak was so choppy during the swim with lots of wind and boats and jet skis patrolling the lake for troubled swimmers. Every time I'd take a breath, I'd have a wake break on me and take in a lung full of water. Frankly, all my swimming has been in the pool, which is a real problem. Swimming in a pool and open water are as about as similar as turkey and beef. You can't improve your bike skills by always riding on a trainer, so I'm going to have to spend some quality time at Lake Cochiti--the only body of water near Albuquerque worth swimming in.

My bike at Redman was 2:42. I picked up a 9 minute improvement, which is pretty good considering how much more vertical was on this course (at least 1,000 feet). The addition of a TT bike, aero wheels and an aero helmet helped.

My run at Redman was 2:15. I cut out 35 minutes. I'm very happy about that. I was shooting for a 1:30, but considering how much my leg has been bugging me these last few weeks, I'm very pleased. I have to take this time with a bit of grain of salt though. You couldn't have asked for better weather (except the morning wind on the lake). It was over-cast all day with a slight drizzle at the end of the ride and throughout the run. It played a large roll in keeping the core temp down and helped ease off the need for hydration.

In conditions of higher ambient temp or humidity, I don't run nearly as well. I struggle in heat! I struggled at Redman during the run because of the heat. Running in heat is simply a part of the Ironman experience--unless, of course, you go to New Zealand, Canada, or other events in northerly climates. However, my goal is to qualify for Kona, where heat is the name of the game. Again, this is something I'll need to get my body to adapt to.

One last thing: the Ironman website gave a brief summary of the Boise Ironman. The article said today's temps are the norm for the area. This is not correct. If you polled 100 Boise natives, 99 would tell you it's generally very hot during this time and this year has been an unseasonably long spring. The 1 person that would agree would be the village idiot! I think this was a ploy to get more people to consider this race next year.

One more "last thing": many people doing Coeur D'Alene Iron Man came hear for an "Idaho" primer. I spoke to many while waiting in line to register, and the water is very cold. One person described how he swam in the water, and afterwards threw up because the cold cold water screwed up his inner-ear. These people are terrified!