Ironman Arizona was the second of three Ironman races I did between May 2012 and May 2013.  The next Ironman race for me is not until September 2014 at Ironman Chattanooga but loving the sport as much as I do and having a handful of friends racing Ironman Arizona 2013 I decided I would head to the desert to spectate.  This idea was born last year when Susan Lacke said she was racing and we talked about me coming out to cheer for her.  As the year went on I didn't think I would be able to get out there, but as we got closer I realized that I had to go.  I owed the sport and my friends who have supported me throughout the past year.  Little did I know how much spectating would affect me.  The one problem with going to Tempe was that I was going alone as Karen could not make the trip. On Friday morning I flew to Tempe and had one of the most interesting flights ever.  I boarded the plane and sat and waited for everybody to get on.  Finally my row mate asked to get into the row as I was in the aisle.  From the moment he sat down he started shaking.  I texted my wife and a couple of friends to let them know that this guy was making me nervous.  He was checking his watch and shaking.  I thought that I would have to tackle him from trying to charge the pilots.  I normally fall asleep before the flight attendant has started talking about falling oxygen masks.  This time I was awake until about 30 minutes into the flight before I fell asleep.  I woke up and he was still shaking.  Fell asleep and woke up as we were landing and he was still shaking.  I could not fathom being that nervous but I was thankful we were on the ground and I could get away from him. I drove to Emily's house and the festivities began.  We got caught up and her family arrived and we all went out to eat dinner.  The next morning I was up early and down to Tempe Town Lake to get a run in and try to catch-up with as many people as I could.  I found a ton of people and chatted with them all.  Those that were racing looked ready.  Those that were spectating looked nervous.  The electricity was in the air, but not the way I would feel it on Sunday morning.  After catching up with everybody I went to breakfast with Susan and her family along with the Iron Leubs (Heidi and Brian).  Lots of laughs and lots of food.  My goal was to balloon up to 155 pounds during this weekend. (I failed and only reached 153.)  We departed company and I headed to Emily's before heading back to Scottsdale for dinner with the guys I have been training with for nearly two years.  I will allow the pictures from the weekend to tell the story now. [flagallery gid=25] I was overcome with emotion seeing the athletes struggle and then overcome those struggles.  None more so than Susan though.  I saw Susan around Mile 3.5 as seen in the photos above and she looked good but told me that her ribs were hurting from being kicked.  When she came back around at Mile 17 I could tell she was hurting but her legs were still moving.  I ran with her and talked with her and asked her if she needed me on the other side of the bridge and she told me no that she would be fine.  When I saw her last, around 200 yards from the finish, the look on her face said:  Is this ever going to end.  We ran together until the bright lights of the finish line showed on her face and the brightest smile I have ever seen came across her face.  I was so inspired and in awe of her accomplishment.  I later found out that she had a cracked rib from getting kicked during the swim.  That is one tough hombre.  Susan - I am proud to call you friend and impressed by your persistence. Watching my buddies Jeff, John, Julie and Judy march on during the run was also inspiring.  They did not let anything get in their way and kept pushing.  Our support crew was there for them every step of the way as well.  We cheered for them and ran with them.  Gave them encouragement and supported them on their way, but the real work was done by them.  They trained hard and long hours.  They jumped in Tempe Town Lake before the sun came up.  The rode their bikes 112 miles and then ran a marathon.  The memories of them throughout the day will stay forever and the passion for the distance was rekindled. September 2014 cannot get here fast enough but in the mean time I will go through these pictures and watch this video until then.  Remembering what I saw that day will not soon be forgotten.

Ironman Arizona 2013 - What A Terrific Day

Published in Race
Monday, 19 November 2012 20:55

Ironman Arizona 2012 Race Report

Ironman Arizona 2012 is the last triathlon of the season and I went out with a BANG.  This race report came very close to being the shortest race report for an Ironman race but fortunately (or unfortunately for you) I have a lot more to say since there was and ending that I can speak of.  In case you don't want to go through the process of reading every word just jump to the bike section and you can read why this was very close to being a short post.  If you care to read it all than let's jump right in together: Thursday:  On Thursday I flew into Phoenix ahead of Karen because she had to work.  From the airport I drove straight to the expo to go through the athlete check-in and get all of that over with before heading up to Emily's house.  Emily was kind enough to allow Karen and I to stay at her house during this race weekend and I am so grateful to her for doing so.  We picked up dinner and then I headed back to the airport to pick up Karen and prepare for a rather easy Friday. Friday:  Lots of nothing going on.  Did the rounds of the expo for Karen to see and spent the day off of my feet as much as possible.  Friday night is the big dinner night for a race on Sunday and I ate and ate and ate.  Felt good though. Saturday:   Headed down to the transition area early so that Karen could begin her 22 mile run since she has the Dallas Marathon coming up.  At first I was going to go to sleep in the car and then do the practice swim and a quick 30 minute bike and 30 minute run.  I was antsy so I figured I would ride and run then swim.  Thankfully I did as I realized as I was heading to the swim that I did not bring my bike and run gear bags and they had to be checked in that day.  After getting that all done we headed to the tattoo parlor to talk to the artist about sketching out the tattoo (I will be getting it today so stay tuned for pictures.) Sunday:  Race day.  It all starts with a 3:30am wake up followed soon by a cup of coffee, a bowl of granola and toast with peanut butter, banana and honey.  Gather up whatever I need for morning clothes and into the car we went.  Off to the race site at 4:44am (a node to Emily) and we got down to transition after fighting with the GPS for a few minutes.  Walking down to the race site I had a calm come over me.  Maybe it was experience or just that I knew I was ready but either way there were no butterflies. I got all my gear checked over and then put my nutrition on my bike along with pumping up my tires.  Body marked and porto-potty time.  After that I ran into Troy and Michelle and what a terrific sight.  We all stayed with each other until it was time to jump in the lake, and here the race report begins: Swim:  Michelle and I jumped in the lake together with about 7 minutes to go before the cannon.  We found a surfboard and hung onto it.  While handing on I dropped my face into the water several times and kept kicking to keep my body warm.  The water temp was 64* and while I made it much colder in my mind before jumping in the temperatures  still ran a chill down my spine. With about 1 minute to go until the start I told Michelle that we needed to start swimming so that we were moving and would be able to just go without stopping.  As we were swimming the cannon went off and we said our good lucks and went.  The start at IMAZ is not as crazy as I expected.  I sighted on every stroke to start to make sure I wasn't swimming on top of people and to also help me find a line.  After the first 200 meters I found an opening and went.  I was not touched after that, nor did I touch anybody.  That is until the first turn buoy, then second turn buoy which are very close together.  People warned about the sun as you would be swimming into it but I never had any issues on this section of the swim. After the second turn I had smooth sailing and picked up the pace.  I was settling into a groove when the leg cramps started to hit.  My calf muscles would get very cramped and I had to swim while flexing my feet.  It was after the 4th or 5th cramp that I decided to kick just a bit more to keep my legs from tightening up again.  Then before I knew it I saw the last turn buoy and was headed toward the stairs.  When I got to the stairs my legs were a bit fatigued and I almost slipped climbing the stairs and that is when the lady in front of me went down.  Feeling so bad for her I just stepped over her and kept on moving.  Found the wetsuit strippers and off to grab my bag and into the changing tent. T1:  I pride myself on getting through the transition areas quickly, but this time I decided to bake cookies or so it would seem.  A 12 minute transition in T1.  What is this all about?  Well, let me tell you.  Being afraid of being cold I took some toe warmers and hand warmers from Emily that had to be opened.  I changed out of the shorts I swam in and into a dry pair.  I put on a top (swam without one) then applied sunscreen and arm sleeves.  Put on race bib, shoes, gloves and helmet and I finally got out of that tent. Bike: Ironman Arizona is a 3 loop bike course with each loop consisting of 37 or so miles.  I got on my bike at the mount line and started going.  I held back a bit because I wanted to make sure that I could feel my legs and not over exert myself because I was cold.  After finally settling I began my plan to hydrate and get the calories in.  The plan was to drink my prepared drink every 15 minutes, a HoneyStinger every two hours and EFS every 1.5 hours.  In between I would take water off the course from every aid station.  I would drink what I could and chuck the bottle before getting out of the aid station area. At the first aid station, which is about 13 miles into the race, is where the race nearly ended.  I slowed down behind another rider as he reached for a water bottle.  As soon as he grabbed it I grabbed mine.  He dropped his, and then a Gatorade bottle dropped from some place and he went down.  With only one hand on the bike and no place to go I went down over top of him and hit the ground with a huge thud.  I  could feel the air leaving my lungs and then my head smack down hard on the ground and then the sliding began.  I stayed down for a moment and then stood up and a few volunteers helped me. One woman told me I was ok and that I had no swelling and the bike looked ok.  I was gathering my thoughts when I thought of not being able to continue and this so soon into the race.  I thought of the sacrifice that Karen had put in to get me here.  I then started smacking my saddle and cursing.  After feeling bad for myself I did a body check (check) and a head check (check) and then a bike check (check) and started to go.  Before even the first peddle stroke I noticed that while my bike was pointing forward the wheel was pointing to the left.  That is when I really thought my race was over.  I asked the volunteer helping me if there was a bike aid around and he found there was one at the end of the aid station.  I walked my bike down there not knowing what to think.  The mechanic put it up on the bike holder and made some adjustments and told me the bike was perfect that I could keep racing. I got on the bike and with a lot of hesitation and trepidation I began going.  This section is where the 3% grade is but we were also facing a headwind.  With my body still wracked and the elements against me I had the slowest splits of my day at this point.  When I reached the turn around I was pissed and said it was time to ride.  I started hammering and noticed that I was riding at 30 mph (thank you tailwind.)  I got to the turn around to start Loop 2 in about an hour and finished Loop 1 in 2h6m.  My goal was to do a 5:50 bike split and doing the math I knew I would need to kill the 2nd and 3rd laps but I did not want to hurt my run so while I was aggressive I did not blow all my energy.  My left hip was feeling good and other than the cut on my shoulder I thought I was ok.  That was until my right hip started throbbing and the top of my right foot started to hurt. When Lap 3 started I just wanted it over with and pedaled.  This time there were no incidents or issues but I really wanted to be off my bike and running. T2: More like it.  I ran down my row, yelled out my number and as I got there the guy was picking up the bag and I told him to throw it.  I caught it in full stride and ran to the tent.  Just like in Texas I did not go into the tent and sat down on a chair outside and put on my visor, running shoes and grabbed the bottle of EFS.  Off I was in a swift 1:51. Run:  3 loop course but the miles seemed to be further apart than I remember a mile being.  The course is a mixture of cement and gravel.  There are a lot of turns and  I think this caused the miles to be further away than other 3 loop courses I have run or trained on.  When I started running I noticed my pace was down in the 8:00/mi and I wanted to pull back and get my HR under control which I did.  I slowed down and started the hydration plan.  Every aid station I would take water from and every other aid station I would walk for 10 seconds.  I did this through the first two aid stations but I felt great at the 4th aid station and did not stop to walk. I started to feel really full and though I needed to use the toilet.  I went into the bathroom (yes, not the porto as there were bathrooms on the course) and nothing happened so I got out and got ready to get going again.  I managed to make it to Mile 10 before I wanted to walk the aid stations.  At this point my left hip was throbbing and my shoulder hurt so bad I could hardly keep my left arm pumping during the run.  The pain was almost unbearable but I started to do math calculations in my head. When I reached mile 13 my watch was beeping so much that I just turned it off and decided to just run.  I knew that to get in under 12 hours I needed to run a 2 hour half-marathon and that became the goal. With every passing mile I would multiply the remaining miles by 10 minutes (assuming I was running 10:00/mi pace but I really had no clue) and made sure that I was always under 12 hours.  When I hit the 17 mile marker I told myself it was only 15k to do, then again at mile 20 (only 10k to go) and finally at mile 23 before I could get my thoughts out another athlete yelled: only 5k to go until I am an Ironman.  That got me fired up and I picked up the pace.  I was really hurting here but knew that I did not have far to go. As I got closer to the end I could feel the electricity in the air.  As I made the turn toward the finisher's chute Susan Lacke ran up on me and I had no idea who it was but I got pissed because I was thinking:  What a$$hole is going to sprint past me to get to the finisher's line.  When I saw Susan's face I could have cried.  All the pain was now leaving my body and I only had a few hundred yards to go.  I crossed the finish line and could not lift either arm, legs in total shut down mode and my brain completely fried from trying to motivate my body to keep moving forward.  After the catcher held me for a few moments I started walking and found Richard who helped me through the chute and over to Karen. I hugged her and told her I was in so much pain.  More pain then I ever thought I could endure.  My hip was screaming mad, my shoulder was not happy and the soft area on my head started pulsing.  I never noticed the major road rash on my calf or shoulder area, let alone the skin ripped off my elbow until this morning's shower when it all screamed at me. Through it all I never lost sight of my honor my father.  I did not hit the 11:18 but I think he would be proud of me for not quitting.  He would be proud of me for proving that anything can be done if you put your mind to it.  He would be proud that when I finished I did not bitch and moan about my time but instead accepted what the day gave me. For that I am the proudest.  I fought the good fight on the course and when it was all said and done I set a PR in the process.  Finishing my second Ironman this year in 11:53 will be remembered for the time but for me it will always be remembered for not quitting even when the going got tough. Thank you to everybody for reading and for your support.  At different times on the course I channeled you and you helped m get to the finish line.  I can never repay for your help. [gallery link="file"]

Published in Race Reports
Monday, 24 September 2012 13:41

Why Ironman Arizona?

[caption id="attachment_6512" align="alignright" width="300"]ironmanarizona_triathlon_inspiration Source: Guardian[/caption] If you have not been reading this blog for a while you may not know why Ironman Arizona is as important to me as it is.  I figured that with 7 weeks left until race day I would let you in on why this race has more meaning than any other race I have ever done. Back in 1995 during graduation week from SUNY-Oswego I was given the news that would alter my life forever, yet at the time I didn't realize it.  I was more interested in grilling, drinking beer and playing beach volleyball at our frat house than I was in allowing the news to sink in.  Crazy thing is I remember this day very vividly but I probably could not recount it for you a couple of years ago and I think that is because I mentally blocked it out. On this day I was told by my parents that my father had cancer.  My father grew up poor in a poor neighborhood in Puerto Rico before moving to New York and growing up under not the greatest of circumstances.  So he picked up cigarette smoking, and if I remember correctly that started at 9 years of age.  When I got to high school I practically begged my parents to quit smoking and they actually did.  They both went cold turkey and it was great and I was so happy for them. When I got the news and found out that it was throat cancer from smoking I found it so ironic.  Here my Dad was telling me he had cancer from smoking and yet he hadn't smoked in years.  The questions swirled through my head as to how, why, when, name the question it went through my head but again it was with the thought that he would beat it. My father would go through chemo and be in and out of the hospital more times than I could count and then he finally succumbed to the disease.  In a way it was the most peaceful thing that could happen to our family.  We struggled to watch him suffer as my father was very tough and this weakened state was not him.  My mother spent years sleeping on a pull up bed in his hospital room and I was in charge of taking care of my younger sister. My father passed away one week prior to his 50th birthday.  Imagine not making it to your 50th birthday.  It is impossible for me to fathom, and yet it happened. When I got into endurance sports I had never run a race in honor of my father.  It wasn't until a 15k that I chose to dedicate to him that I started to lean on him during the hardest of times during races.  When the pain in my legs would get to unbearable points I would think about my father and what he endured and realized that I could go further. As I began training for long course triathlon I pointed to Ironman Arizona in 2013 as the race I had to do.  I knew the difficulty in getting into the event because it sells out so quickly but I was going to go to this race no matter what.  Along the road I noticed my training was going well and chose to race Ironman Texas as my first 140.6 race and I am glad that I did. Ironman Arizona is in 7 weeks and with this being the second one I am less nervous about the training and the race and more focused on hitting the sessions and being prepared for race day.  Race day is November 18 or in my father's birthday. I had to get into this race this year because it would have been another 7 years before I could race Ironman Arizona on my father's birthday.  When registration opened up the blood surged through my body as I answered every question and clicked through it all until I got the notification that I was in.  The adrenaline left my body almost immediately and I went and took a nap.  When I woke up I smiled and thought that I would be racing on November 18th. When this day rolls around I hope to keep the tears from filling my goggles and I hope that when mile 24 of the marathon comes around I can think about the strength my father had and hope that it transfers to me. This is going to be an emotional day but I will be doing it not for myself but for my father.  I am going to give him a birthday present he never would have asked for. Thank you for everything Dad.  I will make you proud.
Published in Race
Friday, 06 July 2012 14:07

D-Day: Determination Day

[caption id="attachment_6156" align="alignright" width="360"]determination_inspiration_motivation_triathlon_imaz Source: Nancy Santana Blog[/caption] D-Day is how I'm feeling today.  What I mean by that is I am putting a stake in the ground and taking my training and living my life to the next level starting yesterday but since I already wrote a post yesterday this is becoming D-Day: Determination Day. Yesterday as I was driving home I heard that song that has the word YOLO in it.  Not being the hippest cat on the block (I know you are shocked) I had no clue what YOLO was, but then I listened to all the words and figured out that it stood for You Only Live Once.  At least that is how I'm interpreting it and since this is my blog that is what it is going to stand for. Then after Karen got home she posted on Facebook the song by Eminem to which I trained for Ironman Texas to which was Till I Collapse.  The lyrics are perfect for training in these dog days of summer and in general when training for an event:

'Cause sometimes you just feel tired, Feel weak, and when you feel weak, you feel like you wanna just give up. But you gotta search within you, you gotta find that inner strength And just pull that shit out of you and get that motivation tonot give up And not be a quitter, no matter how bad you wanna just fall flat on your face and collapse.

I got fired up and decided to go back and read Maria's post on Becoming The Athlete I Need To Be.  I don't know how many times I have read this post but it gets me fired up every time and with all of these things circling me yesterday I decided that July 5th was D-Day.  Determination Day.  The Day I take the step forward to crushing my IMTX time at IMAZ.

From this point forward my training will take on new meaning.  I am no longer training to complete the distance I am training to race the distance.  There will be bouts of pain and fatigue.  There will be moments of misery and failure.  There will be times of questioning but in the end the product that goes to the starting line on November 18, 2012 is not going to be the same one that went to the starting line of Ironman Texas.  This athlete will have done all that he can to not just beat that 11:59:51 but done everything he can to obliterate it.

My diet is being cleaned up and tracked.  I have never liked tracking my food but it has helped over the past couple of days to see exactly what I am consuming and how it can affect my workouts and mood.  I am currently at 145 pounds and while it is a good weight for me to be at I want to be down to 140 by August 5th and training at 140 pounds since that is what I plan to race at.

All of these items coming together on one day could not have been a coincidence, but even if they were they came at the right time.  The time to make the declaration that this race will be different and I will make sure of that.

Published in Train
Monday, 18 June 2012 14:55

Ironman Arizona Week 2

Ironman Arizona training is now into its third week and today (Monday June 18th) I can say I had the first good swim of the entire cycle to date.  For some reason my swim has been nothing but a fight between me, the water and my brain.  My body wants to cooperate but my head keeps fighting me about it.  I haven't been dreading the swim but there has been some trepidation about getting into the water. Today that changed.  I told myself that even though it called for threshold pace swims to just swim. Don't worry about the clock and just swim.  It worked as I wasn't fighting myself or my head and my times were reasonable.  Some I could be proud of and really something to build on. This past weekend I rode the CompuTrainer to the IMAZ course and over three hours I got in 58 miles.  I felt good and pushed my heart rate on the way out and recovered on the way back.  I think this will become a once a month ride to test my endurance on the course and see where I am at. Here are the stats for the first two weeks: [caption id="attachment_6083" align="aligncenter" width="300"]IMAZ_training_Ironmanarizona_triathlon 2 Weeks In And Many More To Go[/caption]   A video capture of the first two weeks.  Don't worry it is short and that is how I plan on keeping them from here on out:
Thank You For Watching And Reading
Published in Train
Friday, 15 June 2012 13:37

Ironman Arizona Bike Setup

Ironman Arizona is still nearly 5 months away but I am getting mentally focused for this day.  Having the experience of having just raced Ironman Texas I want to put my lessons to good use and train over the next 20+ weeks with the focus on making AZ a fast race. With that in mind I have been emailing with Jeff about getting the bike setup so I am not carrying around extra weight, especially since the Arizona course is flat. Having the ability to pound away and not lug unnecessary items is going to be a tremendous benefit.  Between emails to Jeff and last night I went searching for a single cage for the rear of my saddle and found an X-Lab one.  I sent out a tweet to Kevin, Matt,Jon,and Jeff and they found the Tri Rig for me which is what I'll be going with. Joe from RockStarTrialso provided his thoughts and all I can say is thank you. Twitter and Facebook and this blog are awesome for connecting with people who are in the know. Up front I have the clips from Profile Design that will hold a water bottle.  I will swap out the Speedfil for a regular cage for another water bottle.  The rear saddle cage will hold water from the course.  I will have replacement bottles at special needs to swap out at the midway point and keep going. So I am going from a bike setup like these photos show: [caption id="attachment_6071" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="70.3 Ironman California. Didn't Have Torpedo Yet."][/caption] [caption id="attachment_6074" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Speedfil blocked by bag but it is there."][/caption] [caption id="attachment_6073" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="2 Cages On Saddle, Speedfil and Torpedo Upfront."][/caption] To a bike setup like this photo shows: [caption id="attachment_6075" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Sleek Setup........"][/caption]   Yes, I do expect to get at least an hour faster on the bike now that Crowie and I will be sharing the same setup.  That is what is supposed to happen isn't it?
Published in Train
Monday, 04 June 2012 11:44

Ironman Arizona - Here We Go

[caption id="attachment_5997" align="alignright" width="240" caption="Ironman Arizona: Let's Get It On!"]ironmanarizona_imaz_triathlon_training[/caption] Ironman Arizona is in 168 days or 24 weeks.  What does that mean for me?  It means that training for this race starts today.  I am very excited to get the training going for this race because there are so many people out there that are training right now and I felt out of the loop for two weeks while I recovered. I have set up my spreadsheet to track my mileage for IMAZ and to compare it to IMTX.  I would think that the mileage would be similar but I do think that there will be more swimming mileage.  I have found an open water swim practice hosted by the Frisco Tri Club on Wednesday evenings and I will be attending this practice as often as I can.  Based on the 1:34 I put up at IMTX I could surely use the practice. There will be a few changes going on during this training cycle:
  • My aerobic bike rides will be done at 140 bpm.  My goal will be to race IMAZ at that heart rate so in order to understand how that feels I need to train there. I will still be doing a lot of my work on the trainer during the week in the garage and with extra layers.  I found that this helped me to understand how much liquid to take in.  While it should be somewhat cooler in Arizona in November if I train at a hotter 'climate' then the cooler weather will benefit me on race day.
  • I have picked up a new bike computer.  I will be training with the Garmin Edge 500 so that I can track all my trainer work properly as well as when I head out on the bike.  This will allow me to upload my bike data for Coach so that she can truly adjust any bike sessions she has scheduled.
  • As mentioned above, I will be heading to the lake more often so that I can get the open water swim practice.  The beauty of this is that the summer will be with no wetsuit but IMAZ will most certainly be a wetsuit event.
  • My aerobic runs will be done at 155 bpm.  I raced IMTX in 4:09 which equates to a 9:31/mi pace.  I had some data before my watch died and it showed a 140 bpm during that first 41 minutes.  I ran that first loop in 8:27/mi and the 2nd and 3rd loops at 10:06/mi and 10:04/mi so I don't think my heart rate ever elevated above the 140 bpm which is not bad but I also know that I can run the marathon at a sub-4:00 pace.
  • My diet is going to be dialed in from day one.  I have been on a routine lately that has helped me keep my post-IMTX weight right near race weight.  In addition to that my body fat% is at 6% and that is an improvement from early April.  That being said Summer Bailey and I are going to be comparing the cost of training for an Ironman being a vegetarian versus being a carnivore.  This should be interesting and my spending will be chronicled through 'Feeding An Ironman'
Here are my numbers from  Ironman Texas and we can certainly compare them to Ironman Arizona as the training goes on.  
Swim Bike Run
Miles 110.8 2858.6 633.6

I would be ignorant to think that I will get through this on my own so I want to thank my sponsors for helping me out, but first thank you to Karen.  Ready to rock and roll this training?

  • Herbalife 24 - nutrition to help me start, keep going and recover.
  • Boundless Nutrition - when you want great tasting cookies you come to these guys.
  • Grapevine Grains - for the best oats and flours to make healthy dishes go to them. (CTER code gets you a 10% discount)
  • TriSwim / TriSlide - TriSwim removes that chlorine smell, while TriSlide protects against chafing and sores but also removes your wetsuit fast.
  • Sonix Studio - my partnership with Chad in this web design and internet marketing company that allows me the freedom to train and race.
  • Core Power - recovery milk that goes great in an Herbalife 24 smoothie.
And certainly last but not least.....thank you Coach.  Claudia Spooner of iRuniTri Mutlisport has gotten me to the start and finish of IMTX and will now have the task of doing the same at IMAZ.  Be prepared for lots of questions and suggestions Coach.

Thank you for reading and as they say in boxing:  Let's Get It On

Published in Train
Monday, 02 July 2012 14:48

Ironman Arizona Weeks 3 And 4

Ironman Arizona training is in the process of being right in the middle of the throes of a Texas summer.  I sure paid the price this weekend with the heat and the humidity kicking in and really kicking my butt.  I can't recall the last time I had to slow down to the point of basically walking but the lactate threshold ride followed by the lactate threshold run put a whopping on me and reminded me that liquids, liquids, liquids are very important. For the past two weeks I have struggled mentally with my swim.  I felt like I was going backwards and I can trace it to the fact that I was trying to hard.  I was putting so much pressure on me to get faster and faster and faster that I paralyzed myself.  I would get to the pool and just not want to get in because of the worry of whether or not I would be faster. After my open water swim I emailed my coach with the subject:  Swimming......UGH!  I told her that I felt like my swim was going backwards and that no matter what I tried I was struggling.  As usual her response opened up my mind and allowed me to swim freely the very next day.  I was so comforted by her words that my text message to her was:  From Swimming.....ugh! to Swimming.....hellz yeah!  I have had two swim sets since our email exchange and they have both been very good and I am looking forward to today's swim set. I have changed a few things about my training for Ironman Arizona in comparison to Ironman Texas.  For IMTX I did my Monday ride in the morning on the trainer.  It has been a 1 hour ride in the aerobic capacity zone.  This time I am going out on the road and starting around 6:30am and doing a 30 mile loop and I am loving it.  I have created my own race against myself and am pushing myself. Here is a comparison of the last two Monday's in which I rode the same course.  The one from today I hit the start button on my Garmin one mile into the ride so the total ride was 1:36:19 and I am excited about that.  It was warmer with a steadier wind of 10mph versus 1-2mph last week. [caption id="attachment_6138" align="aligncenter" width="600"]ironmanarizona_imaz_training_triathlon Very Comparable Week To Week[/caption] The second thing I have changed is that instead of swimming at 5am in the morning I am doing my swims at lunch.  Although I have hated the swim for two weeks I think this is a good change.  I can focus on the form of my swim instead of sleep-swimming through the set.  I am still getting up early but I am doing the ride or run and then coming home before going for a lunch swim.  This has forced me to make adjustments to my schedule but I think it is better for me. The numbers for the bike have been down for the past two weeks but the run mileage has picked back up a bit.  Overall time for each of the past two weeks spent training has been just over 13 hours.  This week should be in the 15 hour range when all is said and done. Here are the numbers to date: Swim: 18.4 miles Bike: 452.9 miles Run: 79.7 miles   [caption id="attachment_6140" align="aligncenter" width="600"]ironmanarizona_imaz_training_triathlon Will Be Interested To See If Weight Drops As Summer Drags On[/caption] Thank You For Reading!
Published in Train
Sunday, 11 December 2011 20:26

2011 Review and 2012 Preview

Today on my run I was thinking a lot about what 2011 meant to me and what I have coming up in 2012.  On a cool crisp day I was out there for an hour with nothing but my thoughts and I smiled the entire time.  2011 was just a terrific year in terms of racing and one that provided lots of challenges and a way for me to learn to overcome those challenges.  As I put my 2012 race calendar together I realized how much better 2012 was going to be and self high-fived myself. Here is a recap of what happened in 2011:
  • Started the year with an easy PR at the 15k distance.  It was easy because I had never raced that distance before.  I wound up finishing 3rd in my age group with a 1:09 finish (7:21/mi pace) but bigger than that was that I got to race with Shannon and Allison.
  • In February I ran the Stonebridge Half Marathon where I finished 6th in my age group with a time of 1:36 (7:22/mi) and started what has turned out to be a great friendship with Greg.
  • [caption id="attachment_4850" align="alignright" width="290" caption="First 70.3 Race In 2011"]ironman_california_2011[/caption] Competed in and finished my first 70.3 Ironman race in Oceanside, California.  I had a blast and realized how important all the friends on Twitter, Facebook and through this blog are.  The amount of well wishes before, during and after was truly amazing and humbling.
  • In May I travelled to The Woodlands to volunteer for Ironman Texas.  Jeff and his wife Annie were gracious enough to allow me to pug-sit and what a weekend.  The energy of the race was incredible.  The ability to see Shannon during the event was awesome as well as high-fiving Jeff in T2 and then seeing Juan come across the finish line.  This was the even that wet the appetite to race Ironman distances in 2012.
  • In June I travelled to Boulder, Colorado for the Fitness and Health Bloggers Conference and got to meet some awesome people who include Beth, Amanda and Jill.
  • In July I raced the Disco Olympic triathlon in a revenge match with the event.  This event was my first open water swim event and was handed my lunch, but in 2011 I broke through and finished 5th in my Age Group.  I also learned from Jeff Irvin about the beauty that is EFS Liquid Shot.
  • In September and October I raced Olympic distance events in Austin, Texas and Rockwall, Texas to help me prepare for 70.3 Austin in late October.  At both races I had great company in my coach, Greg, Robert or Juan.
  • Late October I raced 70.3 Austin as my second half-ironman race of 2011.  My goal for this race was to go sub 5:30 and I accomplished that with a finishing time of 5:28:06
  • Ran the Las Vegas Marathon in December to a time of 3:31:28.  The race itself was a mess but I set and 8 minute PR and met so many bloggers that it made up for the disaster that the race was.
A Preview of what I am going to call:  2012 The Year Of Epicness
  • [caption id="attachment_4851" align="alignright" width="184" caption="First 140.6 Distance of Year and Career"]ironman_texas_triathlon[/caption] I am going to start the new year by trying to defend my Top 3 status at Bold in the Cold as well as try to improve upon my 6th place showing at the Stonebridge Half Marathon
  • In March I am heading to Puerto Rico to race 70.3 San Juan.  I am Puerto Rican so this is a special race for me as I'll get to race on the island upon which my father was born.
  • In May I will be heading to the start line of Ironman Texas.  I have a terrific support crew that will be showing up and I will be able to race with Juan again.
  • In August I am heading to Maine to race 70.3 Old Orchard Beach and much cooler than that is that I will be able to spend an entire weekend with her and her.  I am actually staying with Jen's parents so I am very excited to take in all of Maine and spend quality time with two people I highly respect and whose friendship I value tremendously.  There is also a rumor that Team Oravec (Matt and Heather) will be there.....doesn't get more epic than that?
  • In October I will head back to Austin to get another training day in prior to the big race in November.
  • [caption id="attachment_4852" align="alignright" width="300" caption="November 18, 2012 will be epic for many reasones"]ironman_arizona_triathlon[/caption] November brings with it Ironman Arizona.  This race was on my list of races for 2012 since prior to 70.3 California in 2011.  I was fortunate to get in and cannot wait.  The race is taking place on November 18, 2012 which happens to be my father's birthday.  My father passed away on November 8, 1996 just 10 days prior to his 50th birthday.  Racing on what would have been his 66th birthday will hold special meaning.  In addition to that I am going to have the pleasure of staying with Emily, Pita and Peanut.  I have promised EMZ that I will learn every song from Cheap Trick between now and then.  Why you are asking yourself right now and the answer is that at the Las Vegas marathon they headlined.  I looked at Emily and asked who they were because I never heard of them and the face she game me was priceless.  Oh and let's not forget that I will be able to hang out with Colleen and Tom of Team Kingery while out in Tempe since Tom is racing IMAZ as well.
So 2012 has been setup and I look forward to traveling the country to meet as many people as I can and along the way put some miles on my bike and running shoes as well as swim farther than I ever have.

How Did Your 2011 End Up?

Are You Ready for 2012?

Published in Race