Friday, 25 May 2012 12:43

Ironman Texas Video Review

Ironman Texas is now in the rear view mirror but I am going to bask in the glow of the accomplishment for the next week or so.  And I say that because I realized yesterday thanks to KC and Summer that Ironman Arizona is 25 weeks away.  I'm not sure what Coach has planned for a training cycle but if it is 22-23 weeks like Ironman Texas that means that training will pick up here in a few weeks.  The best part is that about halfway through the training cycle I will be heading to Maine for Rev3OOB to meet Jen,MattyO and Heather, Laura and Mandy.  Exciting times. Winners of the Ironman Texas Giveaway for predicting my times correctly are as follows:
  • Overall:  Kevin --> He predicted 11:29:34 which is the closest without going over.  He wins a case of CorePower of his choice of flavor.
  • Swim: Bob --> He predicted 1:29 and gets a couple of boxes of protein bars from my sponsors Carla and Eddie Weber from Herbalife.
  • Bike: Kevin --> He predicted 5:58:32 and wins a canister of Herbalife Prolong that I use on the bike.
  • Run: Kevin --> He predicted 4:06:17 and wins the book Heart of Iron
I will contact you both for your addresses and to mail out these as soon as possible.  For those of you that entered CTERman Virtual Event I will have an email out to you today for your addresses and what you won. Enjoy the movie and thank you for watching.
Published in Race Reports
Wednesday, 23 May 2012 11:44

Ironman Texas - Run Recap

Ironman Texas - Swim Recap can be found here. Ironman Texas - Bike Recap can be found here. ========================================== After telling Scott I felt great it was time to head to the Run Gear bags.  I yelled out my number and the volunteer pointed me to where it was.  I ran down there and was handed my bag and toward the changing tent I went.  I noticed that not everybody was running into the changing tent and I thought to myself why would I go in there.  I can slip on my shoes (I had removed my feet from my cycling shoes on the ride so I had no bike shoes on), turn my race belt around, put on my visor, grab my handheld and go.  So that is what I did.  I got out of T2 in an un-MattyO like 3:55. Now here is where this is screwed up I thought.  I still had to run through the changing tent to get to the run course.  Why?  That was the flow of traffic and it slowed me down.  Probably a good thing though.  As I exited the changing tent I had them slap that goopy mess of sunscreen on me because I did not pack any into my Run Gear Bag (remember this for Ironman Arizona in November.)  They lathered my shoulders, my legs, my neck, nose and cheeks and off I went. I looked down at my watch and it was still running so I was happy to have it with me to check my heart rate.  As I looked down at my watch I saw my goal Heart Rate for the run of 155bpm.  That was going to be the top end for me and so I started out with that in my head.  Within moments you are at an aid station. Following my plan of stopping at each aid station and walking 30-45 steps I began to implement my plan.  I took in some water and squeezed a sponge on my head and then about 5-6 sponges into the top of my race kit and zipped up. You head out onto a grassy section where you do a complete 180* turn and then head up a steep grassy hill.  Now the hill is only about 3 steps long but it could be dangerous because the footing is not solid.  Once over that hump you are into a parking lot and doing a lot of turns and zig-zags.  The best part is that you are under a canopy of trees but this also screws with your satellite connection to your watch.  I saw I was at an 11:00/mi pace but told myself not to move faster because the data was getting screwed with because of the turns and trees and having to locate the satellites.  Keep steady, keep strong and only walk at the aid stations. Each aid station is so loaded you could get through without bringing any nutrition or hydration of your own.  If you train with what is going to be on the course then you would be all set.  Since I love the EFS Liquid Shot Kona-Mocha I trained with it and was using that in my handheld.  I also had two HoneyStinger waffles broken in half in my race kit to be consumed every two hours. As I was running I started to notice a lot of people walking.  The problem is you don't know if they are on Lap 1 or Lap 3 and are walking.  Either way my observation was that there were going to be more and more walkers along the way.  I got passed by a few people here and there but for the majority of the time I was passing people.  I could hear people complaining about the heat and I thought to myself this isn't hot.  I again go back to the fact that I trained with 5-6 layers of clothes on and forced my body to adapt to the heat and humidity that we would face.  This helped immensely at this race. About one-third of the way through Lap 1 I heard footsteps coming up on me.  They were moving fast but there was no heavy breathing.  My initial reaction was that this person must have just started and they are going out too hard.  Sure enough as I got passed and I looked to my right this person was hauling ass.  They were not breathing heavy and their cadence was quick and light.  I looked down at the calf to make sure they weren't in my age group and noticed the P.  I just got passed by Caitlin Snow as if I were a volunteer handing out water.  She looked effortless and within 30 seconds she was out of eyesight.  It was unreal to see that speed at what proved to be her third and final lap. The run course is gorgeous.  There are some easy rolling hills but nothing that saps your energy or takes your breath away.  Having aid stations approximately every mile apart was perfect.  I knew that I would drop off the sponges, grab a cup of water or ice, then more sponges and be on my way.  It was a perfect cadence and rhythm  through these aid stations.  At one point I thought I need to really keep everything cool and so I stuck two sponges down my short and into my crotch.  As I was running I was thinking what if I have to pee will I take the sponges out and go or just pee on the sponges.  I'm not sure if this was the same thought from the volunteer who just handed me the sponges or not but after she saw me jam down my shorts she made this look of disgust.  I laughed so hard and said:  Jason take them out if you have to pee. After the 30 minute mark and the 2nd 15 minute alarm the watch started to really go nuts and beep.  At around mile 5 I looked down to see where my heart rate was at and my watch was blank.  The battery finally died and it became a race of perceived exertion.  Where am I?  How do I feel?  Are you breathing heavy?  Are the legs hurting?  All questions I would ask myself for the remainder of the race.  Each time I asked the response was you feel great keep plugging along. Toward the end of each lap you get onto the canal and it is lined with spectators.  People cheering for their athletes but as I came around for Lap 1 it was kinda dead.  I yelled out to the crowd that I understood we were having all the fun but let's hear some noise.  Let's get some cheers going and they responded.  Right after that I came up on the Kingwood Tri Club tent, which Jeff is a part of, and sure enough a sign.  Powered By Veggies....Go Jason!  I almost peed' myself from laughing.  It was the perfect sign to see. Right after that I caught up with a guy and we started chatting.  He told me he was on Lap 2 and ready to be done.  I told him he has to look at this like a 5K.  The first mile you fly and love life, the 2nd mile sucks and you are wondering why you are out there, the third mile you are so geeked to be finishing that you turn up the speed.  He thanked me for the analogy and off he went.  I kept at my pace because I was still on Lap 1. Midway through Lap 2 and the bladder was yelling at me.  I knew it was about time to release and so I took out the sponges and started peeing everywhere.  It felt magical and made me feel a lot lighter until my stomach rumbled.  It wasn't a rumble of you have eaten too much and drank too much but more along the lines of having eaten a big meal and your body had to get rid of the waste.  I crossed over the bridge and into the Swim Start area where there were 15-20 porto-potty's.  Stupid me ran past them thinking I could hold it.  Looking back:  Hold it for what stupid?  Anyway about 1:00 past the porto I was faced with turning back and going, keep going forward and potentially be the cover of a poster for Ironman who doesn't quit regardless of situation but then I remembered the bathroom I used at 6:30am was right around the corner. I must have had this look on my face of desperation because a volunteer was about to enter the bathroom when he gave way.  As a matter of fact he did not enter with me either.  I blew that place up and I apologize to those that had to go in there after me.  Let me tell you though about 5 pounds lighter and this race was ON.  I got out of there ready to roll.  My pace felt like it picked up and I started passing more and more people.  Keeping steady to not overheat myself though. Toward the end of Lap 2 I saw Karen sitting at the Kingwood Tri tent and I yelled at her and she yelled back.  It was great to see a friendly face at that point knowing that within the next 8.5 miles I would be an Ironman.  I chugged along and each time you pass through this section you hear Mike Reilly calling out somebody else's name and saying YOU ARE AN IRONMAN.  I played this vision over and over in my head.  My goals times were out the window as I didn't have a watch and just wanted to keep running.  Walking was never an option and especially on Lap 3. I was on cruise control and running strong when Jeff of Apex Endurance caught up to me.  I asked me where we were at because I had no watch.  He told me it was 6:40p and that we had about two miles to go.  I said to him that we have 20 minutes or 10:00/mi to beat 12 hours.  I was ecstatic to think that.  After hearing that I came up on Karen again and handed her my handheld.  I honestly wanted that thing gone at Mile 18.  I was tired of drinking the EFS at that point and even more tired of carrying it.  At Mile 20 I took in some coke and a mini-brownie.  Then at Mile 24 took some more Coke and that would be the end of the nutrition/hydration.  Giving Karen that handheld felt like an anvil was being let go from my hand. Jeff began to pull away and I just kept running.  When you know you are getting closer your pace picks up, and the volunteer directing traffic between the 2/3rd laps and finish was awesome.  When she saw me veering for the finish she smiled bigger than me and said you are almost done so soak it up.  Coming up that hill and into the finisher's chute was something I will never forget.  Karen, Jeff, Scott, Annie, Shannon and Lesley were all there cheering hard.  Hearing their voices was incredible. Now the finisher's chute starts but then you have to make a right turn and then a 180* turn to head back toward the Finish Line.  I was beyond word and high-fiving people when I heard some spectator say you only have 30 seconds to beat 12 hours.  Mike Reilly said something along those lines as well.  Then I saw our friend Stefanie yelling my name and cheering and I just bolted up the hill.  I saw 11:59:4X and knew I would be in under 12 hours. As I neared the finish line I pumped my fist and just let out a yell then jumped high over the finisher's line.  The catcher grabbed me and put her arm around me, then asked me to dinner and a movie.....just kidding.  She asked how I was feeling and I told her great that I just needed a moment.  To them that means medical and ice.  Told her I didn't need any of that and I was just overwhelmed with the enormity of the whole process. From training to racing to finishing.  The whole idea was incredible and now it was over.  She walked me to get my medal and lo and behold:  Chrissie Wellington.  She put the medal over my head and then said to me:  Way to crush that course Jason.  I smiled and thanked her and kept moving.  Another volunteer poured ice down my back and chest, I was handed a shirt and cap.  They took me over to take pictures and were going to shepherd me to the athlete lounge when I told her I wanted to hug my wife. I walked over to Karen and grabbed her and held on for dear life.  Each second that passed my grip on her got tighter as did hers on me.  My tears were flowing (as they are now) and I could barely keep my composure.  I kept telling her how much I loved her and thanked her profusely for going with me on this journey.  As tough as it was to wake up at 2:30-3:00am every day to train it was harder on her.  Lots of missed family time and friends but through it all she kept me moving forward toward this dream.  I cannot say it enough but without her this day never happens.  Thank You Karen.....You Are An IRONMATE! After the crying and hugging we walked into the athlete lounge where the worst part to the whole adventure took place.  I walked to Freebirds to get a burrito and asked for the veggie burrito.  The lady handing them out promptly went into the whole you need protein.....OMG LADY I JUST RACED AN IRONMAN. GIVE ME THE F'N VEGGIE BURRITO NOW!  I then told her that the burrito had plenty of protein in the black beans and what I really needed and anybody out here needed was CARBS.  After that moment came a better moment and that was running into Susan and Neil again.  Just two great and wonderful people. After all that was over Karen and I went alone to our favorite after race or hard workout spot.  IHOP!!!!!  Those pancakes never stood a chance. Stats: 4:09:43 (9:31/mi) –> Goal 3:55 - 4:00 First Lap: 8.4 miles: 1:11:01 for 8:27/mi pace Second Lap: 8.5 miles: 1:26:08 for 10:06/mi pace First Lap: 8.4 miles: 1:26:24 for 10:04/mi pace 0.7 mi: 6:10 for 8:48/mi pace Division Rank: 113 (moved up 91 spots from the bike; moved up 171 spots from the swim) Gender Rank: 544 (moved up 481 spots from the bike; moved up 1010 spots from the swim) Overall Rank: 443 (moved up 404 spots from the bike; moved up 771 spots from the swim) And for those keeping score at home: #1s on the run:  1x #2s while on the run course:  1x #3s while on the bike: 0x Thank you for reading.  Come back tomorrow for the overall experience and wrap-up. [gallery link="file" columns="4" orderby="rand"]
Published in Race Reports
Tuesday, 22 May 2012 11:44

Ironman Texas - Bike Recap

Ironman Texas swim recap was posted yesterday and so we will pick up the story where that left off. ==================== I got out of the water and up the stairs and saw the clock read 1:34:xx.  I then heard somebody say:  There goes Jason Bahamundi and I turned around and thanked them but had no clue who they were.  I then saw Susan Lacke (whom I met on Thursday night and was everything and more than I thought she would be.  Thank you for spending time with me on Thursday and again on Saturday after the race....see you at IMAZ.) who completely ignored me because I was not wearing a wetsuit but seeing a familiar face helped me tremendously.  Rounding the corner I saw another familiar face in Annie Irvin (Jeff's wife) and that made me smile again.  Shannon was there but I don't recall seeing her or saying anything to her but thank you for the great pic.  I ran up called out my bib# and was directed toward my bike gear bag. Doing some math I though that to get to 11h30minutes that I would have to be 14 minutes faster on the bike and run.  Then I thought about what Coach said and that the race started at the bike not the water. Forget the water and ignore it.  I adjusted my goal time to 11h40m and said to myself that I was going to ride for 6 hours and run for 4 hours.  Not ride for 5h53minutes and run 3h53minutes.  It was over and I needed to stick to my plan. I ran into the tent although I saw many walking and when I got in there I was stunned.  I am not sure what I expected to see but what I saw was not it.  I thought maybe there were chairs spaced out with few athletes in there and volunteers at their feet handing them gear, but I saw tons of athletes and chairs packed like sardines.  I found an open seat immediately and jumped into it.  I sat down and threw on my helmet, then my socks and shoes.  Race belt was next and then sunglasses. I took out the sunscreen spray because I did not want to get lathered in that goopy stuff they put on you, nor did I want to wait in line and lose precious seconds.  I sprayed my legs and then my left arm and the pain was searing.  I looked and noticed that I had a major chafe and what must have been caused by the string from the swimskin.  Holy cow did that burn like mad.  Up and out of the seat and running out the back-end of the tent.  Handed my bag to one of the thousands of volunteers and off to my bike I went. I grabbed my bike off the rack.  Popped the HoneyStinger into my mouth and ran to the mount line.  Went to look at my watch and it had not recorded the swim at all.  I got it set to record before I started pedaling and was off.  As I started down the chute I looked at my right hand and saw 135.  That was my target heart rate for this entire ride.  I knew it would climb a bit with headwinds and or hills but overall I wanted to be right at 135bpm.  As I turned the corner I saw Karen along with a friend of ours and just yelled out:  Hey Honey.....see you in a few hours and off I went. The first 40-45 miles were going to be a tailwind and so I knew that I would be able to go faster with less effort and thought that if I could keep my heart rate around 130 bpm that I would be setup for a good second half of the ride.  As we passed sections there were so many people out there cheering for us and I would thank them for coming out and rooting for us on this journey. After 5 miles the watch beeped and it was time to start the nutrition/hydration plan.  My plan was to drink every 15 minutes and eat a HoneyStinger every two hours.  I had 1500 calories of Herbalife Prolong (1000 calories in my Speedfil and another 500 in a bottle on the back of the saddle) along with 400 calories of EFS Liquid Shot in my torpedo.  There were another 400 calories of EFS in a bottle in my shorts pocket.  Lastly another 480 calories of HoneyStinger in the bento box.  All in all if I drank/ate all the calories I would consume 2780 calories over 6 hours or ~460 calories per hour which is a lot more than I normally would take in but the heat of the day was going to really sap my energy so I wanted to be prepared.  If I didn't eat/drink them all there would not be a problem.  I wound up eating only 320 calories and drinking about 1800 calories for a total of 2120 calories for 350 per hour. Within moments of drinking the first few sips after 15 minutes I felt my stomach grumble.  I knew that being jostled in the wrestling ring known as the Ironman swim was what caused this.  I had drunk (swallowed?) a large amount of water and my stomach was not happy.  I also knew that if I did not take care of this right away that the ride would be horrible and I would be questioning myself all day.  It was at Mile 12 that the first aid station popped up and I got off my bike, handed it to a volunteer and jumped in the porto-potty.  I spent about 2m30s in here but when I got out I felt GREAT.  I was relieved and the best part was the volunteer put a water bottle in my empty cage and that set me up for a perfect ride, even if I did not know it then.  I got on my bike, she yelled out rider in and I was off again. Having read the Endurance Nation article about the ride and where the three troublesome spots were (Miles 45-50, 55-60, 65-80) and having spoken to Neil (Susan's boyfriend) on Thursday I was prepared.  Neil had warned me that the trouble spot was really at Mile 50 where you crossed into Grimes County.  Sure enough Mile 45 was tough but not harder than I expected and at Mile 50 you hit the chip seal and that was exactly what Neil had warned me about.  The thing about it though is that this was not the worst chip seal I have ever encountered and just kept on pushing and checking my heart rate every 15 minutes when the watch beeped. I was staying in my planned heart rate zone very well and was also hydrating right on plan.  I even adopted the method of drinking water immediately after taking in either the Prolong or the EFS Liquid Shot.  I would then also pour water down my back to cool off as well as pour some into the opening of my aero helmet. This helped tremendously as I never felt hot the entire ride.  I was having the time of my life. At one point I came up on a guy named Mack and as I passed him he said I will see you later.  I thought he meant on the run but within 10 minutes he was passing me on my left going down one of the larger downhills.  He yelled:  I told you so and I could not stop from laughing.  I then yelled back well I hope you go down faster here than me since you have at least 60 pounds on me.  We laughed a bit and then when I passed him for good he said:  It gets hard at Mile 55.  Enjoy the day.  I thanked him and told him the same. It was then that a guy named Rico passed me and I thought to myself.  Hold back.  Don't go into a leap-frog mode with him.  Let it go.  Follow the plan, stick to the plan.  I let him go and knew that I would see him again, whether on the bike or the run but I would see him again.  This happened quite a bit and I just kept telling myself that I would catch them all on the run.  I was feeling great and just kept on riding.  My legs never truly hurt, like when you are riding the trainer. I also think I benefited tremendously from training on the trainer with 5-6 shirts and creating an atmosphere of heat and humidity in my garage.  The weather never bothered me, nor entered into my mind about it being too hot or too humid.  Everywhere I have read that people were getting beat up by the heat but it never entered my mind. As I got past the half-way point I came up on a guy who gave me the greatest compliment I received on the course and it absolutely made my day.  I came up on him and as I was passing him he asked me if I was a runner.  I told him that I was and he just said: oh sh*t.  I asked why he asked the question and said what he did he said I am too.  Didn't think twice as I passed him by and then he came up on my left after a few minutes and said:  I said that to you because you look sleek and in great shape ready to run a great marathon.  I thanked him and mentally fist-pumped.  That absolutely made my day. Now I was hooked up with this guy and we conversed for about 30 minutes, even if he was illegally drafting.  He would ride up on me and get right next to me without passing and we would chat and then he would fall back.  Then he would catch up and talk and fall back.  Finally I picked up on what he was doing and I picked up my pace because he was using me to pull him. I then came up on another rider and he asked me where the next aid station was and I said I had no clue but I hoped it was soon because my water ran out and I needed more.  I was worried about grabbing water from the aid stations but the volunteers were well-trained and the riders were respectful of each other out there.  We saw the next aid station tents and we cheered audibly.  As I grabbed the last water bottle, which was at Mile 90, I was ecstatic to know I was only 22 miles from being done.  Then my watch started to really beep. The beeping really threw me off because I knew it wasn't 15 minutes.  I looked down and it said low battery.  I forgot my charger at home so I did not charge my watch the entire weekend.  I was worried that I would not have a watch for the entire ride and really wanted to focus on my heart rate.  If I had no watch on the run, not a big deal but I wanted to have a good bike to set up the run.  Oh well, what could I do at this point.  Just keep on riding and smiling. Finally at Mile 100 I felt the full feeling of all the liquid and food I had consumed.  I burped once and then again and on the second burp all the liquid came flying out.  There were white specs and I had no clue where that came from.  It was all over my arm, but like the getting out of the porto-potty at Mile 12 I felt so much better.  But then at Mile 102 I threw up again.  Now I knew my stomach was settled. At Mile 109 the greatest words to ever hear from a volunteer:  Only 3 more miles to go.  I looked at my watch and knew I was within a decent area of my goal time.  As I got within ear shot of the transition I took my feet out of my shoes and they thanked me profusely.  It felt great to wiggle my toes and to know that within seconds I would be getting off the bike and starting the last part of my journey to Ironman. I came into transition and saw Shannon with her arms up yelling my name and it got me so fired up, that I threw my bike to somebody and yelled.  Jeff then came up to me and told me to slow it down with a laugh but I was so amped up and ready to run that I just kept on going.  Toward the end of the transition area Scott (aka BDD - great surprise that he came down for the weekend) came up to me and asked me how I was feeling and I looked at him and said I feel GREAT. Stats: 6:05:44 (18.37 mph) --> Goal 5:50 -- 6:00 First 56 miles: 2:58:30 (18.82 mph) Second 56 miles: 3:07:14 (17.95 mph) Overall Heart Rate: 134bpm  Max Heart Rate: 154bpm Division Rank: 204 (moved up 80 spots from the swim) Gender Rank: 1025 (moved up 529 spots from the swim) Overall Rank: 847 (moved up 367 spots from the swim) And for those keeping score at home: #1s on the bike:  2x #2s while on the bike course:  1x #3s while on the bike: 2x Thank you for reading.  Come back tomorrow for the run recap.[gallery link="file" columns="4" orderby="rand"]  
Published in Race Reports
Monday, 21 May 2012 11:44

Ironman Texas - Swim

Ironman Texas was an incredible day all around.  I cannot say it enough but this day was exciting, fun, phenomenal, inspiring, motivating, intense and a just a great time. In case you do not know I finished the race in 11:59:51 and for every second of that day I smiled.  There was never a moment when I thought of quitting or slowing down on the bike, or walking on the run or floating on my back in the swim.  The day did not go exactly as planned but what Ironman race does?  As I write each section of this extra long race report I will get into my feelings of each section, but know that I did exactly that:  I compartmentalized the race and once one section was over it was over and onto the next part. The night before the race we went to dinner with a ton of people at Bucca Di Peppo.  Well, let's be honest it was more linner than dinner since we got to the restaurant before the blue hairs.  We sat down to consume grub at 4pm.  Yes, we were done and the normal early crowd was just getting there but it was perfect timing as I could get back to the hotel and setup all my drinks and food without rushing through it.  I wanted to make sure I had enough calories for the bike and run and that all my bags were packed with everything that needed to go in them. After everything was set I sat on the bed and went to talk to Karen and realized she was already asleep.  It was 7:30pm.....but I will give her a pass as she ran 12 miles early in the morning with Jeff.  So sitting there with all my thoughts was perfect.  I went over my race plan, my nutrition plan, my hydration plan.  I took out my sharpie to write these plans down on my hands.  I knew it inside and out and was going to follow it no matter what happened. I fell asleep at 9:30p and when the alarm went off at 3:30am I felt refreshed and ready for the momentous task that lay ahead of me.  I made a smoothie and had two slices of vegan rye bread with homemade almond butter, honey and sliced banana.  I chose not to have a bowl of granola or eat the rice cakes.  I was concerned about the fiber in both and did not want to have a too full feeling when the swim started. Karen and I left for transition around 5:15am and got to the area around 5:30a.  This is where the day could have fallen apart on me.  I could not get my extra tire attached to my bike because I had put on water bottle cages and could not figure it out.  After struggling with this for what seemed like forever and sweating a ton I finally got it attached and I loved how I did it.  Everything was set after I put my bags in and pumped up my tires.  I ran into Coach at the Run Gear bag section took a picture and said our good lucks.  Coach was in the zone and ready to race. Walking over to the swim start I was loose and just looking forward to the start of the day.  After standing in line for what seemed like forever for the bathroom I used TriSlide and kissed my wife good-bye and started to walk to the swim start with Juan.  This is when the first butterflies showed up.  I wasn't nervous about the swim distance or pace or MMA like scenario that was going to unfold.  I was worried about having to float until the cannon went off.  I got in the water with around 6 minutes to go and found a spot that seemed fairly empty.  I floated on my back and then used the sculling method while on my stomach to create space.  I looked around and had somehow floated to the front.  I pushed back but kept moving forward.  It was there that I engaged in conversation with a guy from Waterloo, Iowa.  He was so fired up and excited to be doing this race that this eased my nerves.  We were embarking on a memorable moment in our lives. The cannon went off and I went to hit start on my watch when I noticed it was off.  WTF can I do now?  I turned on the watch and hit starts as I was swimming and getting slam danced on.  Seriously this is like trying to squeeze 1,000,000 golf balls through a garden hose at the same time.  Contact is unavoidable.  You get hit, you hit and it is all in the name of the swim start.  I managed to keep my composure and just kept swimming hoping to find a lane at some point.  I did not get my heart rate elevated and kept my breathing on pace. It was about 200 meters in when I took a heel to the eye and was thrilled to know I had goggles on.  The goggles did not move but the suction to my face was magnified.  It is what it is and just kept on swimming.  Eventually I found a hole and just kept going and was in a great rhythm.  This happened throughout the entire swim.  You find a lane and you feel great to just be swimming when all of a sudden you catch a hand to the back. At one point I had somebody grab my ankle and start to pull.  Silly goose didn't realize I had another leg and I landed a Chuck Norris style kick to the side of their head and the hand was released.  I was working on a smooth, efficient stroke when I found myself right next to the buoy.  What am I doing here I thought?  I normally veer to the right in my swimming and now I was veering left.  So much so that I wound up on the inside of the swim course at one point and had to adjust to get back to the left and on course.  I was spotting all the big buoys and knew they were 200m apart.  I was taking 10 strokes before looking up.  Maybe this was not the best plan but when you are in the water with so many athletes spotting just didn't seem that important and it made the swim go by faster. Before I knew it I was at the turn buoy and as you know this is where the contact picks up.  People are swimming on a looping style and others are swimming a straight line and you can't help but make contact with people.  The 2nd turn buoy is only about 100 meters away and so the turning and contact pick right back up.  Now I am heading for home and I smiled so huge.  I figured if I got out this far that the rest of the swim would be easy and I would finish and start the race. As you are heading back the sun is right in your eyes causing an issue with finding the large orange buoys.  I did the best I could until I found the crane to spot off of.  It was about this time that the wetsuit swimmers were  catching up to me.  I started to do math and figured if they were swimming 1:20 that I would be done around 1:30 and I was comfortable with this because I was having a good swim and enjoying myself. You make a right into a canal and when 100s of swimmers enter this canal it is bananas.  This section is just relentless.  You are getting hit more and hitting more than at the start of the swim.  At one point a wettie hit me on the back and instead of pulling off kept pushing me down.  I was under water for a good 3-5 seconds when I finally had enough.  I threw a punch right to their gut and was able to get back up for water. A few moments after that I am breathing to my left and seeing buildings and realize that we are close to the end.  I also notice two guys who are extremely tall and have the water at their waist.  I assume that we are done and stand up myself (the water is at my chest) and realize that we are forever away from the finish.  This screwed with my mind a bit because I was ready to get out and get on the bike.  After recovering and going I could finally see the finish kayaks.  Then the zig-zag swimmer showed up.  He came from my right and crossed in front of me, realized he was going in the wrong direction and headed back to the right and was in the way.  I finally just grabbed him and pushed him away from me, made the turn and headed for the stairs. As I got out I saw the time on the clock showed 1:34:xx.  Had this been prior to Puerto Rico I would have let this ruin the next few moments.  On that day I did not care.  I had just swam 2.4 miles and was ready to continue on my way to becoming an Ironman. Stats: 1:34:23 (2:26/100m) --> Goal: 1:15 - 1:20 Division Rank: 284 Gender Rank: 1214 Overall Rank: 1554 Come back tomorrow for the recap of the bike. [gallery link="file" columns="4" orderby="rand"]
Published in Race Reports
Monday, 28 May 2012 14:41

Ironman Texas - Lessons Learned

[caption id="attachment_5968" align="alignright" width="270"]ironman texas - triathlon - race report A Simpler Equation Has Yet To Be Written[/caption] Ironman Texas is now over a week old and while I am still basking in the glory and greeting everybody I see with Hi, I'm Jason and I'm an Ironman it is time to let it go and focus on the future.  In order for me to focus on the future I need to have understood the past so as not to repeat the errors I made along the way.  I would normally have written this post the day after the event but I wanted to marinate on what went right and what went wrong and reflect on the what led to that point. I know I won't be able to take care of all of these items on this list in one fell swoop and so it may not be 100% correct for Ironman Arizona but I know that the more I practice at it the better I will be.  The more I listen to those around me and put to work their suggestions the faster I can go at this distance. 1- Start packing the Monday of the race.  I waited until the last-minute because I have been racing triathlons for two years now so why would I need more time.  Well you do for Ironman.  Lots of stuff goes into this race and you don't want to forget anything.  I wound up forgetting my charger at home and my watch eventually died on the run course.  Now I don't have data for my run to examine and try to get better at. 2- Don't be afraid to go faster.  In the water I would be hesitant to go fast because I might be out of breath.  Well duh!  You are going to be out of breath until you get faster and more efficient.  Once you become more efficient you will not be as tired as you were when you started that process. 3- Speaking of efficiency.  Do various drills and not just the same drills in the water.  By doing the same drills repeatedly I will only be better at that scope of work, but not overall. 4- Film a swim session or three and send it to everybody I know.  That means you Jeff, Bob, Kevin, Jon, Colleen, Beth, Katie, Claudia and a whole host of others that are much better than I in the water.  I'll get different opinions but it will give me something to work on with those various drills from above. Update: This never happened because of warnings I received about multiple opinions.  I also switched coach's and my time in the pool has increased and so has my speed. 5- I will embrace the trainer even more than I did in this cycle.  I feel the trainer got me faster because I spent a lot of time on it working on cadence and being aero for as long as my neck could stand it (which is nearly 2 hours) before having to sit up.  I pushed myself but always slowed down when my heart rate hovered above an average of 135bpm.  Guess where I rode Ironman Texas at?  134bpm.  If 134bpm means a 6:05 ride then what would a 140bpm ride mean?  Could I save 15-20 minutes and still be setup for a good run?  I think so. 6- Not bring as many calories on the bike as I did.  I had so many calories and consumed more than I did during training and thus the throwing up at Mile 100.  I think this really lead to this issue of beating bloated as well as having to go to the bathroom for #2 at Mile 19 of the run. 7- Perfect my ability to fill my water bottle with the EFS Liquid Shot bottle I carried in my shorts.  I was a little spastic during this transition and so I need to practice on the bike on the trainer and on the road to perfect this. 8- Running through more of the aid stations on the run course.  I ran a 4:09 which is terrific and I know I can run a sub-4 hour marathon and it would start by taking 15 seconds at each aid station instead of 30-45 seconds.  Think about 25 stops at 30 seconds equaling 12 minutes and 30 seconds.  If that is 15 seconds I would save 6 minutes and 15 seconds without doing much of anything. Please don't get me wrong with this list as I am not saying I am not happy with my results.  I am thrilled with my performance and race steady and consistent.  I just want that steady and consistent to be faster for Ironman Texas 2013. In conclusion, anybody can do an Ironman.  I truly believe that.  What I think it takes is a special person to get through the training.  One that is determined and focused but also has a tremendous  support system.  You cannot get through this alone.  You will lean on tons of people and some will be strangers but they all have a helping hand in getting you to the finish line.

Are You Racing Ironman Texas In 2013?

Your Tips From Racing Ironman Texas In 2012?

I also wrote 10 tips for CorePower that you can read here.
Published in Race Reports
Tuesday, 15 May 2012 15:41

Ironman Texas Giveaway

ironmantexas_worldtriathloncorporation_triathlonIronman Texas is now just a few days away and so what better way to celebrate that than with a giveaway. So what am I giving away?  How about a case of CorePower for the final time prediction.  I will also do some giveaways for each individual event. What are you dealing with?  I wrote my goals post that you can read here and then make a formulated guess. Where am I at today: Since doing the last video blog I have been in full taper mode.  I finished off my last long bike ride Saturday which was a total of two hours.  Since then I have run for a total of 1 hour and 45 minutes.  I don't have any ill effects from not working out.  My legs feel strong.  My mind is developing that toughness that is going to be required come race day.  I don't have any phantom injuries and most important is that I am not gaining any weight.  I have maintained my weight for the past 2.5 weeks of taper and I couldn't be happier. I am hydrating like a madman and drinking nearly 100 oz of water per day.  I am taking naps at lunch and getting to bed and falling asleep by 930p. El Diablo came back from the shop yesterday and needs a quick brake pad change (I forgot to tell them to do that so I'll do it myself) and new bar tape (it is race day you know) and he will be ready to go. I picked up a new pair of Brooks Launch for my special needs bag.  I know that what you leave in there does not get returned but in this case I am planning on stopping to swap out sneakers.  The ones I leave behind smell like a sewer so they can keep them.  I am also thinking that with all the sweat, water and pee that is going to get logged in my shoes that there is a good chance of a blister and I want to avoid that.  Yes I pee on the run too. So there you have it.  You have all the information you need to make an educated guess. Here are the rules and giveaway:
  1. Predict the overall time and win a case of CorePower of your choice of flavor.  If you are within 30 seconds of the overall time then I will include my favorite recovery drink mix so that you can combine it with the CorePower.
  2. Predict the swim/bike/run time correctly and there will be a choice of protein bars (swim) and canister of sports drink (bike) from my sponsor Carla and Eddie Weber of Herbalife and the book Heart or Iron by Kyle Garlett (run)
Easy enough.  
Published in Race
Friday, 11 May 2012 14:14

Ironman Texas Goals

[caption id="attachment_5885" align="alignright" width="245" caption="The Real Goal Is To Just Finish!!!!!"]ironman_triathlon_finishline[/caption] Ironman Texas is in 8 days and I am posting my goals post today for a few reasons:
  • I will not be posting over the weekend as I'll be spending time with the family.  Chico is racing his first tri on Saturday morning so I plan on getting on my trainer at 4am and riding for 2 hours then a 15 minute run then off to do the kids tri with him and Karen.
  • Next week may get crazy with packing, checking, re-packing, re-checking, etc and I may lose track of time.
  • I have been thinking about this for 4 months and so I want it off my brain.  There are other thoughts that need to occupy the space that this has been taking up.
As the commercial says:  HERE WE GO! Weekend Goals:
  • Laugh as much as I possibly can.  This is going to be a tremendous weekend and I want to soak it all in and have a great time with family and friends.
  • Meet Susan Lacke, Chloe Efrink, Andy Fernandez, Charisa Wernick, and Chrissie Wellington.  Getting to meet all of them would make that a tremendous weekend.
  • Enjoy dinner with Karen, Shannon,Jeff, Annie and Lesley.
  • Wake up Sunday, pump my fist and enjoy the biggest carbohydrate loaded breakfast I have ever eaten.
Now onto the race.  When I first started writing this post in my head my thoughts were:  Swim Goal:  Don't know.  Bike Goal:  An idea but still don't know.  Run Goal:  Who the f*(k knows what could happen here but the more I thought about it the more I know what I am capable of.  Notice I said capable and not will do because the day will dictate what happens out there. Swim: Based on my HIM times of anywhere from 40:00 to 41:00 I am looking at a time of 1:20 and I am comfortable with this number.  I am taking the point of view of just getting through the swim and not pushing myself too hard.  Swimming 2.4 miles is just something I have to do on race day and consider it a warm-up prior to the race starting when I exit the water. A 1:20 swim averages out to 2:04/100m or 1:54/100y.  This is something I am comfortable with.  Yesterday I swam 20x100y with all times between 1:49 and 1:53 and was not breathing heavy and never felt like I couldn't continue.  I could have swum all day at that pace. Goal: 1:15 - 1:20 (my OWS projections from the past few weeks put me in at 1:16 but since I was by myself I did not have the things that could knock me off my game)   Bike: I rode the course (backwards mind you) back in February when the weather was perfect with little wind and no humidity.  My speed back then for the 92 miles I rode was 19.5 mph.  This would be ideal if I knew that I could run a marathon at the pace I want to coming off a bike split as fast as this for my first Ironman. The forecast for the race is showing winds 2-4mph from S to SSE which is the same direction but slightly lighter than last year.  Having 2-4mph winds is like having no wind considering that I have been doing my training rides in the open with winds in the 15-20mph range and gusts up to 30mph.  2-4 mph would be heaven.  The temps are forecasted to be around 88* which is warm but no different from Puerto Rico.  So the weather, should it hold up, will not be a huge problem. The key will be hydration/nutrition and keeping my heart rate in check.  The biggest goal will be to maintain an average Heart Rate of 135bpm.  If I do that then I will be setting myself up for the perfect run.  A heart rate in that range has shown me to be anywhere between 18.0mph and 18.5mph. Goal: 5:50 - 6:00   Run: The biggest unknown in this entire race will be here.  I have never run a marathon after riding for 112 miles.  I have run for an hour after riding 119 miles and felt great but that was only a fraction of the 26.2 I will need to cover next Saturday.  The key again will come down to how I took care of myself via nutrition/hydration on the bike. I have a strategy for the marathon that I have been practicing since December.  Run the first 4-6 miles about 15 to 30 seconds per mile slower than my goal time.  I want to get my legs under me and running at that pace will only put me behind my goal time by 2 to 3 minutes.  Not a huge time difference.  After that I want to walk 30-45 steps at each aid station.  I am not putting a time on the walking because 30 steps at Mile 2 is going to be a lot faster than 30 steps at Mile 20. Goal: 3:55 - 4:00 (this is ~9:00/mi)   Overall: The goal for any race, but especially 140.6 miles, is to just finish.  As Kevin emailed me earlier this week:  Finishing an Ironman is a PR no matter how fast you go.  I couldn't agree more with him on this.  Each course has a different story and each race, even on the same course, will tell a different story. Goal: If you take the lower end of the times along with transitions you end up at 11:15.  The higher end puts you at 11:30.  Should this go as planned an 11:30 finish time would put me in the Top 15% of finishers and that I will happily take in my first Ironman and shout it from the mountain tops. I also want to point out that my Bib# is 1626 and I have converted that to mean: 1st Ironman with a finish time of 6:26p.  A 6:26p finish time would mean an 11:26 race.  Karma?  Foreshadowing?  


Published in Race
Ironman Texas training is in taper mode now and as I heard on Sunday......DOWN THE STRETCH THEY COME...... That is how I feel right now.  I am coming down the home stretch to the finish line.  This training cycle has taught me so much about who I am and what I can accomplish.  It has taught me how to rely on others for help when needed.  It has taught me that I have the absolute best partner in the world in Karen.  It has taught me that 'It's OK' no matter what it is.  Life isn't perfect and neither is a training cycle for an Ironman race.  My Type A - Ultra Competitive persona doesn't want to believe that but it is. Now as we enter Week 2 of 3 for taper I cannot say for sure that all the hay is in the barn.  I don't know that because I have never been through a training cycle for an Ironman.  I have trained for 3 Half-Ironman and also for 3 Marathons.  When those were nearing their taper I was done training and just wanted it to be over. I don't feel that way right now about Ironman.  I feel strong and confident.  I feel prepared physically and to a lesser degree mentally.  I am saying that not because I don't think I can do it, but because I want to know my race plan inside and out.  I want to know my fueling plan inside and out.  Do I know it already?  Yes I do, but I want it to roll of my tongue as easily as my social security number.  I want it committed to memory so that if I am 5 minutes faster or slower than my goal time for that discipline that I forget that and move onto the next discipline. There will be surprises on the course come May 19th, but I want to know my plan so well that the only thing that happens when that surprise is taken care of that I get back to my plan.  I am breaking it down into little pieces and parts so as not to be overwhelmed by the enormity of what is going to take place.  I cannot focus on others or what their concerns are for they are not mine.  My one and only concern is to finish no matter what the day throws at me. I am staring out my dining room window and I can envision that walk to the swim start.  The running to the mount line.  The dismount line and seeing Karen, Lesley, Shannon, Jeff and many others in T2.  Running the 3 loops of the marathon and seeing them all over and over and over again and gaining momentum and strength from their encouraging words even if I look like diddly-poo (Jim Mora anybody?) In a few days I will run my goals post and have a great giveaway to go with it so be sure to check it out.  Look for it on Thursday. Thank you for reading and watching my video of Weeks 19 and 20. Week 19:
  • Swim: 5.1 miles
  • Bike: 223.3 miles
  • Run: 20.4 miles
Week 20:
  • Swim: 4.8 miles
  • Bike: 115.5 miles
  • Run: 21.97 miles
  • Swim: 100.5 miles
  • Bike: 2536.7 miles
  • Run: 566.6 miles
Published in Train
Tuesday, 24 April 2012 14:02

Ironman Texas - Weeks 17 and 18

Ironman Texas is now less than one month away.  It is a day I have been preparing for nearly a year.  I remember the feeling of euphoria and fear when I hit the register button and they processed my credit card.  The adrenaline coursed through my veins like a runaway train.  It was unbelievable to have that feeling and in a moment it was gone.  The questions arose as to whether or not I could do this.  The questions arose as to how fast I could do it.  The questions arose about training and hydration and nutrition.  I remember one sentence that Jeff Irvin wrote to me about Ironman and it went like this:  Ironman Is A Different Beast. At the time I had no clue what he was talking about.  At that same time I thought that anybody can jump right into training for an Ironman and be ok, but my thoughts have changed in the past 18 weeks.  I realize what Jeff was saying back then.  This event is completely different from anything else I have ever trained for.  I have run 3 marathons and raced 3 Half-Ironman plus countless half-marathons, Olympic and Sprint distance triathlons but nothing compares to the blood, sweat and tears you put into Ironman training. These past two weeks have been peak weeks for me.  I never thought that I would be able to train as much as I did and still feel the way I do.  I have a ton of energy and I can thank the proper recovery, diet, hydration and wise training.  I learned from the Las Vegas marathon that you cannot go 100% (that 110% thing is total non-sense because you can only give 100% -- I will not argue this point....I'm right!) all the time.  You have to change your paces, listen to your body, check your heart rate.  It's a science this Ironman thing.  It as about pushing when you must but staying in control all the time.  It is knowing your sweat rate, knowing how many calories you need, knowing what is you aerobic heart rate and your lactate threshold. I have learned these things and yet they change.  I thought that after Week 17, where I trained for 20 hours and 42 minutes, that I could not do anymore than that.  Then Week 18 came and I trained for 22 hours and 30 minutes.  I am into Week 19 and I should be close to the 20 hour mark again and then I head into taper mode.  If somebody had told me that I would be training for 20+ hours in a week I would have thought that they were crazy but here I am going into my third week in a row at that level and I love it.  That is how Iroman is a different beast.  I never trained for 20 hours in a week for a marathon of half-ironman but my thoughts about stand alone marathons are this right now:  HATE 'EM.  I had my body so beat up heading into Vegas and coming out of Vegas that my first words to Karen after I was done were:  I'm never running a stand alone marathon again.  This Ironman training cycle teaches you a lot about you and your body.  It beats you up but in a gentle way it seems. In less than 4 weeks I will have raced Ironman Texas and will be ready to face another training cycle for Ironman Arizona.  Let's Do This! Mileage: Overall:
  • Swim: 90.6 miles
  • Bike: 2198.0 miles
  • Run: 524.2 miles
Week 17:
  • Swim: 7.2 miles
  • Bike: 152.3 miles
  • Run: 40.1 miles
Week 18:
  • Swim: 6.6 miles
  • Bike: 199 miles
  • Run: 42.3 miles
Thank You For Watching
Published in Train
Tuesday, 06 March 2012 19:24

Ironman Texas Training - Week 11?

Ironman Texas training is 11 weeks down.....I think!  I can't keep track but I think that is the right number.  Last week was a huge week and break through week for me. Training last week took up a total of 17.5 hours of my life and I loved every minute of it.  I am thankful that the zombie apocalypse did not happen until Monday when I could barely move my legs because of the 92 mile ride followed by 30 minute lactate threshold run I did the day before.  That ride was the longest ride of my 'career' and I smiled the entire time.  I was on a large portion of the Ironman Texas course and it is no longer as daunting as it once seemed.  I managed to ride the course at a 19.5 mph clip and felt strong.  My hydration and nutrition were spot on with 95% (guesstimate) liquid nutrition and 5% (Thank You HoneyStinger) coming from solid foods. When I got home though is when the zombie hit.  I had to drive back from Conroe, Texas after that ride and it took me nearly 3 hours and when I landed I packed up my gear for the Monday workout so when 830p hit I was done.  Cooked.  There was no moving.  It was to the point that Karen practically dragged me into bed. Monday rolled around and getting in the water for what I figured would be a recovery swim was not true.  That was a session of yard after yard after yard of race pace swimming.  If you have heard it before I am going to say it again:  Ironman training is hard work. There are rewards though.  Like knowing you can ride 92 miles at 19.5 mph.  Like knowing that you can throw down a 30 minute run right after that and cover 3.7 miles at an 8:00/mi pace.  Like knowing that the next day when you get in the water you can still hit your race pace times.  That is what Ironman training has done for me.  My confidence is sky-high right now and I need to bring myself back to earth as there is this 'little' race called 70.3 Ironman San Juan in two weeks that I need to be focused on. The numbers to date are: Weekly:
  • Swim - 5.5 miles
  • Bike - 164.3 miles
  • Run - 30.5 miles
  • Swim - 23.2 miles
  • Bike - 476.7 miles
  • Run - 83.0 miles
Ironman Texas Training:
  • Swim - 56.7 miles
  • Bike - 1278.3 miles
  • Run - 296.7 miles
Thank you for watching.
Published in Train
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