August 31, 2011

post race/ post taper

The day after Oak Flats Road Race I was crazy sore! I hadn't been that sore since I completed my 1st Half Iron in 2005. The race helped me realize that the weak point of my bodies fitness is my glutes & lower back. I've read that is a common issue with triathletes. My glutes had muscle failure so badly they gave out on the last 12 mile loop. They fatigued so badly that when I stood to sprint my legs colapsed & almost crashed. Yesterday I started a strength training regimen that targets the glutes & lower back.

I'm so glad I tapered for this race. Not only did I do better at Oak Flats RR since I tapered, but I was really excited to start training again.

My next race is the Elephantman half Iron Sept 25th! The Elephantman will be my tune up race for Ironman Arizona.

August 28, 2011

Oak Flats race report

Today I raced in the Oak Flats road race. I raced 4 twelve mile laps, 48 miles total.

I knew the basic rules of cycling, the #1 rule is DON'T GET DROPPED. Stay with the pack no matter what! I knew if I got dropped I'd never be able to get back with the front runners. I was able to hang with the pack for awhile, the speeds they were riding at wasn't a problem for me, but what killed my legs was the accelerations. I was not expecting how brutal the accelerations were! I'm in pretty good shape for triathlon specific training & racing, but triathletes don't train for explosive 5-15 second sprints. We go really hard for an entire race, but we don't do quick hard sprints, there's no need for them in a multisport racing. By the 9 mile mark the sprints were killing me, my calves were cramping up. At mile 9.9 we hit the biggest climb of the race & I got dropped from the pack.

From miles 10-17 I went back to my triathlon racing mindset, which is to push myself as hard as I can for as long as I could. Hindsight I realize that was a mistake. I was pushing myself so hard I didn't have enough strength to sprint & catch any ones wheel when a group passed me. By mile 16 I had been pushing myself so hard my hands started to shake. At mile 18 I was able to finally catch the slip steam of a couple of cyclists. At 1st the 3 of us were taking equal pulls at the front. I was faster riding with these guys, but each time I'd take the lead and hammer it would kill me! I'm just not accustomed to hard sprinting with short rests. At the end of the 2nd lap we dropped one of the guys, 2 of us left. At the beginning of the 3rd lap my lower back started cramping up. From then on each time I took the lead I was able to pull for less time. He'd pull for a minute, I'd pull for 20-30 seconds. Mid way through the 3rd lap I got dropped. I struggled from that point on. My inner thighs, calves, & lower back was cramping & I was completely out of energy. At mile 36 the cat 1, 2, & 3's started to pass me. At mile 38 the a few female cyclists passed me. At mile 40 I caught the wheel of 2 females. They were TOUGH! They were keeping a 20-28 mph average. I was able to hold their wheel for approximately 4 miles pretty easily, but at the next big climb I tried to peddle standing up to ensure I stayed with my new pack, but by then my glutes were TOAST. When I tried to stand my legs collapsed, I came near to crashing & I lost the slip stream of the ladies ahead of me. From miles 44 to 48 I tried my best to continue riding hard, but my legs simply had nothing left!

My average on the last 4 miles was 13 mph! My total average of the 48.5 mile race was 18.8 mph.

My top speed of the day was 47.3 mph & it happened while being in the middle of a large pack. Riding over 45 miles an hour with people 5-6 inches on every side of me was something I had never experienced. It was a major rush!

I burned 2015 calories.

When I came up to the finish line I saw my wife & kids holding signs saying "GO DADDY" & "YOU ARE MY HERO" that they drew with markers & crayons. They were screaming & cheering for me. It's amazing how their encouragement made all my pain go away. I felt on top of the world! I'm not saying I could have completed another lap, but I felt good enough to dig deep for one more sprint across the finish line. I'm very lucky, extremely loved, & have the best wife & kids!

I think next year I'd like to try a multi day stage race. Perhaps The Santa Fe stage race which is a 2 day event or Iron Horse which is a 3 day race with 1 road race, 1 criterion, & 1 time trial.

August 27, 2011

tapering for my 1st road race

I'll be racing in my 1st cycling specific road race in the morning. It's called Oak Flats. It'll be 4 twelve mile loops on a somewhat mountainous course located 9 miles south of Tijeras New Mexico.

I've done 74 triathlons/duathlons and a couple centuries, but never a cycling specific road race. I've been tempted before, but have never pulled the trigger. There's a lot of tactics, team strategy, and drafting used in road racing, as a triathlete I haven't practiced at those skills much. Plus most of the people who race road events are pure cyclists. They're great at cycling because that's all they do. Right now I'm training for Ironman Arizona, so only about %50 of my training time is dedicated to cycling. On one hand I'm in good shape & I'm weighing at an all time low, but on the other hand cycling is my weakest sport. The lightest I've raced at before was at the 2010 Dog House triathlon & the 2010 Chick-Fil-A tri. At those races I weighed somewhere in the high 180's to low 190's & I finished 5th & 10th overall, right now I weigh 182. I'm hoping being another 10 pounds lighter helps my racing performance.

To ensure the best performance I'm capable of I did a small taper this week. This was my 1st taper of the entire 2011 season. It felt great to have a little down time. Let's hope it helps me out on race day! Wish me luck everyone, I think I'll need it! Let's hope I keep the rubber on the road!

August 25, 2011

my new run partner

One of my fondest memories as a child was when I'd visit my Dad during the summers, almost every morning he'd go running & I'd ride next to him on my bicycle. We'd talk & enjoy each others company. Sometimes a 2 mile run would turn into 10+ miles because of how much fun we'd have together.

Today I was scheduled for an easy recovery run & I took my daughter on her bike. We did 4 miles together. I was amazed with how well she did. She never once stopped or slowed me down, as a matter of a fact she was going so fast I had to keep a high zone 2 pace to keep up with her. She's an amazing little athlete for being only 5 years old. I sure enjoy her.

Next year my middle son should be big enough to go with us also.

August 24, 2011

my daughter the cyclist

I've been pulling my babies in a bike cart to the park for 4 years. Yesterday I only had to pull my 2 sons in the cart, my daughter rode her bike there. Round trip it was 5 miles plus she rode around the park a half dozen times once we got there. I'm guessing she rode a total just shy of 8 miles. That's A LONG WAYS for a 5 year old!

August 23, 2011

Oak Flats road race!

I'm now registered for the Oak Flats bike race on Aug 28th 2011! I'm so excited! This will be my 1st road race. Wish me luck!!!

August 22, 2011

Oak Flats road race

The training plan I'm following from the book Ironfit has me scheduled for an Olympic distance triathlon this weekend. There aren't any multisport races in NM of any distances this weekend so I'm contemplating competing in the Oak Flats road race, which is a cycling race. I'm never trained or raced a draft legal cycling specific race. I'm intrigued & intimidated all at the same time. If I do Oak Flats I'll do a run afterwards to ensure I get a good bike/run workout.

Here's the link:

August 13, 2011

unexpected running

My running this year has been excellent. I'm not sure why. I'm running the same amount as last year, but my pace & endurance is better. I weigh 1.5 pounds less than I did last year. Other than my small weight loss I see no reason at all that I should be making gains like this.

Today was my 2nd day back from 3 weeks of vacation & annual training for work. I'm fatigued because I'm having to get used to working nights again. This morning I got mandatory to a 16 hour shift. I woke up after only 4 hours sleep to go run. It was 94 degrees out, I was exhausted, & sleep deprived. Usually that combination would make for a horrible run. I ended up having an amazing run! I ran for 65 minutes & at the 45 minute mark I ran at a moderate pace (zone 4 for hard core triathletes who know what the zones represent) and averaged a 7:40 per mile pace! Normally a 7:40 pace wouldn't have been very impressive, but a zone 4 pace is fairly easy pace and my body was hot & fatigued! I'm feeling good about the swim & run portions of my upcoming IMAZ! Now f I could just find a way to get in more cycling miles.

August 11, 2011

unexpected weight loss!

Back in early July I was given some great advise on training for Ironman & my body weight. I wanted to lose some more weight but was beggining to struggle with hunger. A few of my triathlete buddies told me to STOP trying to lose weight, just try & maintain my current weight &concintrate on Ironman training. I've dome that & I've never felt this good in my training.

I've been eating my bodies metabolic rate plus any calories I burn in exercize for the last 6 weeks. At first my body stayed at 186 very easily. But this last week I unexpectedly dropped another 3 pounds. I was suprised but also very happy. Light is fast in triathlon.

I believe my body dropped the weight because I was concintrating on giving my body all the calories & nutrition it needed while doing some fairly difficult endurance training. Have you ever been on a diet & got stuck at a weight & just couldn't seem to drop below that weight, then all of a sudden your body drops 4 pounds in less than a week? Those are called sticking points. I think I was at a sticking point & that my body finally realized it was getting all the calories it was needing so there wasn't a drought on food, so it was ok to drop that weight. I also believe my body is trying to adapt naturally to the training I'm putting it through. In the past if I trained like this & tried to lose weight by restricting my calories, even if only a small amount, I'd struggle with my training AND weight loss. I think I've finally accepted that I need to eat when training! My body is happiest & I respond best.

August 10, 2011

new body weight new nutrition needs

For years my bodies nutritional needs were around 300-350 calories per hour on my long bike or run days. If it was a cold day I'd use 400-450 calories per hour.

This year I've felt bloated on my long days so I tried adjusting how many calories I consume during training. After a few weeks of experimenting I've found that I only need 200-250 calories per hour. I believe my nutrition needs has changed because I'm training at a much lower body weight than the last time I trained for an Ironman. 50 pounds lighter actually. Since I weigh less it makes sense that I use & need less calories during exercise. Now that I feel better on my long days I'm able to bike & run longer at a higher quality. I never stop learning when triathlon training!

August 06, 2011

15 weeks until Ironman Arizona

I'm now 15 weeks away from IMAZ. This weekend I finished my 1st big brick workout for Ironman Arizona. Yesterday I did a 13.1 mile bike & a 9.7 mile run, today a 61 mile bike & a 3.4 mile run. My weight is maintaining around 185-188. Although I'm still struggling to fit in enough cycling I feel really good. I still feel confident in breaking the 13 hour mark. I probably wont be as close to 12 hours as I originally hoped, but I should hit my sub 13 hour mark.