Jason Bahamundi

Jason Bahamundi

I grew up in New York and lived there for 34 years until I got divorced and moved 1600 miles to my new home in Texas.  I love New York and miss it but that does not mean that Texas hasn’t been great to me because it has.  It was here that I discovered endurance sports and specifically the sport of triathlon.  Triathlon has given me new life through all the challenges it presents.  I no longer look at life the same way and I can say that is in part due to my endeavor into this sport.

I cannot recall the exact time in which I started interacting with Hollie of Fueled By LOLZ but I am glad that I did.  I find Hollie's blog posts and social media engagements to be enlightening.  She does not take what she does so seriously as to make everything else that isn't done by her wrong.  She has an open mind and is always willing to listen to advice.  Add to the fact that she has a terrific sense of humor and I was more than happy to lease (nothing was exchanged in this transaction) her my little space on the interwebs. ==================== [caption id="attachment_9380" align="alignright" width="225"]lolz - zooma - lake effect - fund raising Source: Lake Effect Half Marathon[/caption] Jason was kind of to allow me space on his blog to talk about two campaigns I have going on.  My name is Hollie and I blog at Fueled By LOLZ.   I respect everyone in the triathlon world and as retired college swimmer I now turn my attention to running.  I’m currently training for the NJ half marathon where I hope to PR (1:24.49). The first campaign I have is an eating disorder awareness campaign.  I am currently running the Lake Effect Half Marathon in Syracuse, NY on February 24th for the charity and inpatient eating disorder center Ophelia’s Place. While I have never personally had an eating disorder I have witnessed friends lead down a devastating path.   I graduated college with a degree in community health and spent the next year raising awareness for multiple different mental health issues including eating disorders.  After seeing one of my personal friends struggle with an eating disorder that eventually led to her not competing again, it has always been a topic close to my heart. Last year I signed up for the Lake Effect half marathon in Syracuse, NY.  It is a notoriously cold and miserable race, often times white out conditions during the race.  I signed up and although it was cold had a blast.  It wasn’t until after the race I found out the charity that was co-sponsoring the race was Ophelia’s Place, an inpatient eating disorder center.  After moving in May, I determined this was a race I had to get back and do.  Not only get back and do but raise money and awareness for eating disorders. Eating disorders make up one of the highest mental health illnesses yet there is not much awareness brought to them.  Eating disorders make up the highest rate of suicide for mental illnesses.  The statistics are shocking, yet they are one of the least discussed mental illnesses.  In fact, they are also one of the most well hidden.  They aren’t talked about, family members or friends live with an eating disorder and yet are able to hide it from their loved ones. For the Lake Effect half marathon, I have two primary goals.  One is to raise 2,000 dollars for Ophelia’s Place.  As of now I have raised 1275 dollars and have exactly one month left before the race.  Every dollar, donation and shared story brings more awareness to the campaign!  Here is even more information and stories that have been shared Lake Effect Series as well as the donation page if you are interested and able Lake Effect Fundraiser. [caption id="attachment_9381" align="alignright" width="236"]lolz - zooma - lake effect - fund raising Source: Zooma Run[/caption] The second campaign I have going on is a personal campaign.  I am in the running to win a chance to run the ZOOMA Napa Valley race.  The race itself is in late June.  ZOOMA has a contest for bloggers who they believe follow their mission to inspire others to live a healthy, active and happy life. So why me? I personally think I have come to terms with living a healthy, happy and active life.  One of the most important factors to me in life is balance.  It’s important to balance your social life, your friends, your family, personal time as well as training time.  Throughout my three and a half years of blogging I think I have learned that. I have learned that sometimes it is okay to skip a day of working out to hang out with a loved one. I have learned that sometimes it is okay to say that you can’t hang out because you need some alone time, some workout time or need to do what’s best for you. I have learned that while you should never strive to make anyone feel guilty or bad, only you can make yourself truly happy.  You must love and accept yourself before others will do the same. Honestly despite all of my moves and lives curve balls I have come to terms with being more balanced…  I am at a point in my life that I am truly happy.  As I sit here and reflect about that I realize how far I have come since college.  If you were to ask me “Hollie would you be happy living in NJ, eagerly awaiting job callbacks while sitting indoors while it’s 20 degrees?” I would have laughed. I probably would have thought I would be stressed beyond belief.  I probably would have thought I would have fallen deeper and deeper into my social anxiety hole from early college but I have not.  I have risen and combated my social anxiety. It would truly mean a lot to me if you voted for me.  You can vote HERE: link VOTE TODAY  daily from now until February 24th.  I appreciate everything Jason has done by allowing me to share all of this information with you.  If you are interested in chatting please feel free to email me at lolzthatswim(at)gmail(dot)com.
Thank you again Jason!
Richard Sherman by now has probably been across your TV screen, laptop, mobile device and at the water cooler even if you are not a football fan.  As a football fan I have been inundated with Richard Sherman and will be for the next two weeks as he and his team, the Seattle Seahawks, prepare for Super Bowl 48 against Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. I am not going to write about who I think wins that game and why.  I want to discuss Richard Sherman and his actions immediately following the game up and through to today.  In case you missed it Richard Sherman did two interviews after the game on Sunday and the immediate reaction from the public seemed to overwhelming against him as if he had just run over a cat with monster truck then reversed the truck and ran over the cat and the child owner of the cat.
For me this was a breath of fresh air.  This was a combatant in a very physical football game telling his feelings to the camera and he did not hold back.  He did not give a canned response.  He did not act as if what just happened was not a big deal.  Remember that he just made the play of the game to put his team into the Super Bowl.  Think back to when you did something of great magnitude to your life and how you felt.  Now imagine a person sticking a microphone in front of your face and asking you a question. Maybe you would have answered differently or acted differently than Richard Sherman but I can guarantee you that you had not just had somebody else push you in the face and that I believe is what is missing from the reaction of the public today.  If you go back to watch the play you see Sherman knock the pass away then celebrate with his teammates for a bit as they recognize that they are going to the Super Bowl.  He then runs over and pats Michael Crabtree on the rear and gets in front of him to shake his hand.  We have no clue what he says, and it is assumed that he said something bad, but the next reaction is Crabtree slapping Sherman in the face.  To me that is the most disrespectful part of this whole episode.  You never, ever slap somebody in the face unless you are ready to fight. I think what has happened is that people are taking what Sherman said after the game and inserting it into the conversation that took place immediately following the play.  However, according to Sherman and supposedly backed up by NFL Films all Richard Sherman says to Crabtree is good game.  How that warrants a slap in the face I will never understand.  That being said, it has also been reported that there is bad blood stemming from a charity function in Arizona during the off-season.  I do not know the extent of this bad blood but if there is bad blood then maybe Sherman should have left Crabtree alone and kept celebrating with his teammates to which Sherman acknowledges that he took away from his team with his post-game interview. For about a year now I have been reading Richard Sherman's articles on MMQB.com and I come away more impressed with the man after each article.  They are insightful into the sport of football and make you think about what you just read.  Isn't that the mark of a good author/journalist?  To get you to think.  Each time I read his opinion it makes me respect him more for standing up and saying what is on his mind rather than suppressing it and expecting change to just happen because it doesn't work that way.  The squeaky wheel gets the grease, but the squeaky wheel doesn't always have to be a complaint.  His opinions also come with solutions which tells you that he didn't just write his article to write it, but actually took the time to think about it.  My respect for him has grown over the past year and what he did on Sunday made me respect him more.  Think about the typical reaction to getting slapped in the face.  Most people would have swung back and tried to knock Crabtree's head off but he didn't.  What he did do was let all of America know that he didn't think highly of Crabtree and I am ok with that. All of this being said I like Richard Sherman today more than I did a year ago.  A year ago he was brash when he spoke about Tom Brady because at the time he had not done anything in the game to warrant the words he spoke.  Today, Richard Sherman is the best in the NFL at playing defensive back.  He has remarkable athleticism, is smart in playing the game and getting into the heads of his opponents.  Everything you want in a football player and when he hits unrestricted free agency after the 2014 season I hope Jerry Reese and the Giants take a strong look at adding him to their defense.

Your Thoughts On Richard Sherman?

[caption id="attachment_9352" align="alignright" width="300"]doping - ironman - triathlon Source: EverymanTri[/caption] Doping is a topic that I have discussed a number of times on this blog.  It is no secret that I do not have any sympathy for those that dope, nor do I have any empathy when they get caught.  If you are going to break the rules and you get caught......deal with it.  It was a decision, conscious decision, that you made to go down that path and when you get caught you have to deal with it. Yes, there are false positives and the off-chance that a prescription drug trips the meter and says that it was something illegal.  All of that still does not tell me to give them leeway.  Not today.  Not when all it takes is a phone call to inquire about whether a certain prescription contains something that may be deemed against the rules.  Not when you can read the label on a canister of protein powder.  There are just too many safeguards to avoid having a positive drug test.  You get caught you deal with the punishment. Yesterday, Jeff posted a link to an article in Irish Triathlon that concluded that 1 in 7 dope at Ironman Triathlon.  1 IN 7.  That is an absurd number when you think about it.  Let's assume that there are 2100 athletes wading in the water with you before the cannon goes off.  That means that 300 of those people are doping.  Think about that.  It is perplexing considering that the number of athletes from any given race going to Kona is minimal at best.  What are these people thinking when they make the decision to take a drug that is going to improve their performance. If they stopped to think about it I can imagine that they would not do it.  Look at it from a numbers perspective.  At Ironman Texas 2013 I finished in 12:03:58 which was good for 80th place in my Age Group.  Assume that the drugs improve my performance by 5% and that would make my final finishing time approximately 11:28.  That finish time would put me at 39th place in the M40-44 AG.  That is still nowhere near a Kona qualifying time so why dope?  Before you say to me that those that are close to qualifying for Kona are probably the ones that are doping, the facts from the study are that they are not. The study points out that those that are physically doping are training for 14 hours per week and those that are cognitive doping (antidepressants, beta-blockers, modafinil, methylphenidate) are training for 15 hours per week.  During my overload weeks for Ironman Texas I was regularly putting in 18-21 hours per week.  During base building weeks the amount of training volume equaled ~17 hours.  That is far above what the average from this study is and yet I am over an hour away from Kona.  How far away are these athletes training for 14-15 hours per week? And this gets me to my point about doping.  I am very competitive.  I want to be better than myself from race to race.  I want to beat you, you and you.  That is no secret but I also know what I am capable of.  I am a 12 hour Ironman as defined by my 3 finishes.  Maybe at IMTN I can get closer to 11 than I am to 12 but the breakthrough I would need to get to Kona is enormous and I cannot see that happening.  Would I love to qualify?  Of course, but it looks like this is more of a legacy slot than qualifying slot and I am ok with that.  I once had aspirations of qualifying for Boston as well as Kona.  Today I am having thoughts of qualifying for Western States but in the end should I qualify it will be because I did it on my own ability and not a synthetic.  To me that is not qualifying, that is cheating.  Doping is cheating and anybody who dopes is a cheater.  There is no room in sport or life for cheaters.  Period, End of Story.

What Are Your Thoughts On Doping?

Monday, 27 January 2014 08:44

Ironman Chattanooga Week 12 - The Doldrums!

The ups and downs of training for an Ironman, or any event, can take a toll on a person's psyche.  Sometimes the best thing to do is walk away for a day or two.  Get away from it all and allow the universe to take control.  As endurance athletes we are Type A meaning that we want to have all the control, but at times that can wear you down and the effects can be seen in your performance, your diet, your sleep patterns and just about anything that takes place in your life.  This week seems to have been the doldrums for both KC and I but for different reasons.

KC's Ironman Chattanooga Week 12 Recap

Ok, these weeks lately have been really lame and boring but you know what? I’m okay with that. I feel like I still need the down time for my brain. My mind hasn’t quite wrapped itself around training for another Ironman yet but it will soon. And once the physical and the mental parts come together in harmony, like when the stars, moon, and planets align, it’s game on and full speed ahead. For now, I’m happy with where my training is. [caption id="attachment_9384" align="alignright" width="300"]ironman chattanooga - training - duldrums KC's 'light' Week 12 Training Log.
Not sure a 4th Century Ride in 4 week is light.[/caption] I have a confession to make. I’m a very spontaneous person, so when I get something in my head, I usually just do it. Last Friday was a testament to that spontaneity. I had been thinking about getting my nose pierced for quite some time, so when I woke up last Friday, I decided that it was the day to finally do it. So I did. Why am I telling you this? Because I want you to know why you will not see any swimming on my calendar snapshot until the beginning of March. No swimming allowed because the puncture could get infected and who has time for an infection? I do have a 70.3 on March 22nd, I haven’t swam since Ironman Florida and I AM NOT ONE BIT WORRIED. I’ve taken long breaks from the swim before, only to come back even stronger within a few sessions. The same cannot be said about long breaks from running and biking. The fitness is lost too quickly on the run and bike, unlike the swim. At least that has been my experience, so I don’t fret over it. This week’s training was good. I got my 4th, 100 mile ride in today, so that makes a century every week for the month of January. Not too shabby, huh? I’m thinking I’ll try to keep that streak going if I can, for a while, maybe through February. My running is coming along nicely. I’m slowly inching up the mileage …slooooowly. I would like to have an average of about 30-35 miles of running per week by mid February. That’s a comfortable range for me. This week’s lesson is practicing setting short-term goals. Not looking too far ahead just yet. It’s too early in the game (the game being IronmanTennessee). So far, it is working very nicely. No burn allowed here! Upward and Onward!

Jason's Ironman Chattanooga Week 12 Recap

Last week was the final week of overload training for the Rocky Raccoon 50.  The week totaled 70.68 miles which is the second consecutive week I have gone over 70 miles and totaled 209+ miles over the three weeks.  Needless to say that final run on Sunday was a sap sucker as well as de-motivator for the upcoming race.  My legs were extremely heavy & I was sore in my lower back which I attribute to two things.  The first being that I was coming down with a bit of a chest cold and having run 26 miles the day before on the road.  The road just trashes your legs and it was evident from step 1 that the run on Sunday was not going to be a pleasant one. When I finally finished slogging through 11+ miles I landed on the couch and spent the rest of the day there.  I had no desire to do anything and the energy was quickly fading as the hours ticked away.  I finally fell asleep for a short nap, which normally energizes me but this time just continued to make me tired.  When I woke up I started questioning my ability to race these 50 miles.  Questions such as:
  • [caption id="attachment_9383" align="alignright" width="300"]ironman chattanooga - training - duldrums Managed three swim sessions and have a goal of a :39/50y on the 4th of 4x50 descending.[/caption] How am I ever going to get through 50 miles if I am this tired after 37 over two days?
  • Should I have started the overload week a bit earlier to get in more miles?
  • What would happen at the Lake Martin 100 if getting to 50 is so hard?
I questioned and questioned and questioned.  I then made the determination that I was not going to get up early Monday and go to the pool or get on the bike.  I was going to sleep in and allow my body to heal.  I was going to sleep in and allow my mind to regain the strength it had lost during those two hours of running on Sunday. Right now I am in taper and the amount of miles I run this week is approximately half of what I have run in the past two weeks and it seems glorious.  I have gone through overload three times in lead up to Ironman races and none of them were as hard as the three weeks for the lead up to Rocky Raccoon.  Getting through those weeks and preparing the mind and body for the race in two weeks is going to be my sole focus.  Nothing else matters and I am okay with that.  Lake Martin 100 training will effectively start the week after RR50 recovery and then and only then will I concern myself with 100 miles of running.
Ultra Trail runner were not words I would have ever used to  describe me when I started down the endurance athlete path.  Like anybody else I started with a half-marathon and that was ok but I wanted more.  I ran a marathon, and probably should have quit then because I couldn't walk afterwards, yet something kept pulling me back in.  I got into triathlon and raced sprint and Olympic distance races at first but again needed more.  When I raced my first Half-Ironman I was already of the belief that an Ironman would not be far behind.  Once that third Ironman was over and the fourth (Ironman Chattanooga) was registered for there seemed to be a void. There was a vacuum where the endorphins, training, food logging and elated exhaustion was missing.  Enter the world of Rocky Racoon 50.  The words ultra trail runner would now become part of the adjective list used to define me.  Somewhere along the way I had the following conversation with myself, and also a little help from my friends:
  • Me: When RR50 is over will you have time to properly train for 70.3 Galveston?
  • Me: Can you race Galveston by winging it?  Do you want to wing it?  Do you want to be great that day or just say you did it?
  • Me: Jeff is running Lake Martin in late March.  Can the 50 miler be a 'training' run for that? You'll have the base.
  • Jeff:  Yeah dude, c'mon and race Lake Martin with me. I have over 24 hours worth of stories for you to listen to.
  • Me: Yes, running a 100 miler makes much more sense than racing a 70.3 triathlon.
[caption id="attachment_9345" align="alignleft" width="300"]ultra trail run - triathlon - observations This Pic Of Denali National Park Looks Awesome
Source: Rob Hammer Photography[/caption] While I have not registered for Lake Martin 100 I have looked at condos.  I have set up a budget to pay for the race and the accommodations.  I have added to the Rocky Raccoon 50 training plan to carry me through March 29.  So it seems like a forgone conclusion that Lake Martin 100 will be my first, and not likely last. attempt at a belt buckle a la my friend Emily - RUN EMZ. And while the idea that running 100 miles seems more sane than that of a 70.3 mile triathlon there is more reason to this decision than meets the eye.  The ultra trail run training has proven to be a great way to train for an Ironman without specifically training for an Ironman.  How?  Here is why:

Ultra Trail Run Training Observations

  1. Embrace The Pain.  I thought I was a badass for getting through 18 months of Ironman training for 3 Ironman races.  Pfft!!!! That sh*t was nothing compared to this.  I am running upwards of 60 miles per week and capping off each week with a 12-13 mile run through Cedar Ridge Preserve.  For those not in the Dallas area, that MF'er is HARD.  This past week I asked the following questions of myself while 'running' 12 miles with over 1500 feet of elevation gain:
    • Are you sure you want to do this 50 and then 100 mile race?  This seems insane.
    • Are you kidding me?  Aren't you man enough to climb this nearly vertical wall of dirt? Get your ass up there.
    • Really dude?  Really?  You are doing this by choice? You do not have the ability to do this.
  2. My aerobic ability is a good as it has ever been.  I ran a 12 mile warm-up on Saturday followed by a 15k where I managed 7:30-7:40 per mile and finished in 11th place in my Age Group while averaging a Heart Rate that was at the Top End Of Zone 2 Without Going Into Zone 3.
  3. I have swum nearly 50% less in the first two of January 2014 compared to January 2013 (8,900y v 17,150y) and yet I posted a 14:20 800 TT last week (PR is 13:36) and yesterday posted sub 1:40/100y without feeling taxed.  The mindset of hard has changed.  The bar for what is difficult has moved and I am now able to push my body further because the mind is not quitting as early as it used to.
  4. I am becoming more efficient at using fat for fuel.  I am running very early in the morning Monday through Friday (430-5a start times) and thus am not eating breakfast prior to those runs.  These runs are typically 5 - 10 miles in length so there is truly no need to eat anything prior to starting.  By being able to use fat for fuel I am getting leaner but more importantly I do not have the need to carry loads of fuel.  Right now my plan for the 50 miler is to wear a Nathan Pak with ~800 calories along with two flasks of EFS Liquid Shot totaling another 800 calories.  As I run if I feel the need for a banana at an aid station here or there I will take one in.  The plan will put me at approximately 200-250 calories per hour.  Yes, I have been training on that and it has worked and my recovery has been sound as well.
[caption id="attachment_9346" align="alignleft" width="300"]ultra trail run - triathlon - observations Source: Competitor Magazine[/caption] When I put these 4 factors into my head and converse with myself I can see that the ultra trail run training is going to be enormously beneficial to my training and performance at Ironman Chattanooga.  Learning where I can push myself, understanding the use of fat as fuel instead of extra carbs on the bike or run and having an advantage aerobically plays well into Ironman racing. While 2014 is only two weeks old I am already contemplating what happens after Ironman Chattanooga in September.  Take a month off and start training for an earlier in the year 50 miler so I can  race Galveston?  Sounds like a pretty solid plan, but not until I add Ultra Trail Runner to the list of adjectives.

Have You Seen A Benefit To Your Triathlon Performance From Ultra Trail Run Training?

Here is an article from Competitor Magazine on Trail Running Tips For Triathletes.  
The Ironman Chattanooga Challenge started out with a challenge from me to KC to blog our way through a year of training for Ironman Chattanooga on September 28, 2014.  We knew that along the way we would be facing different scenarios that would force us to move training days and rest days.  We would skip parties, have to work late, sleep in all along the way to our own finish line.  Each of our travels there would be different and the point is to showcase that there is more than one way to get to the finish line of an Ironman. This week seems to showcase that we are built to crave a challenge.  Essentially we are looking at a challenge within a challenge.  It isn't hard enough to train for an Ironman but when it is so far away and you are Type A the difficulty grows exponentially.  We crave the challenge and this week it seems that KC and I have gone ahead and sort of accepted a new challenge on the way to Ironman Chattanooga.

KC's Week 10 - Ironman Chattanooga Challenge Challenge

"Finally remember that God heals and the doctor sends the bills. Give nature every chance to do her own good work."    ~Tom Osler (1978) "One of the basic rules of health is, ‘Listen to your body.’ I am responsible for my health, and to respond to my body I must listen to it, learn from it.  ~George Sheehan (1978a) Those 2 quotes were taken from one of my favorite books, The Lore of Running, by Tim Noakes. Smart guy! Plus, he’s come around in his thinking when it comes to the conventional wisdom regarding endurance training with way too much emphasis on sugars and grains. [caption id="attachment_9329" align="alignright" width="300"]challenge - triathlon - ironman KC's Week 10 - Ironman Chattanooga Challenge[/caption] Those quotes hold true today as I did not do the Disney marathon. It was a hard decision to make but I knew by Friday morning there was no way I wanted to show up on Sunday and half ass it. Funny thing is, had you asked me Thursday morning if I was planning on doing the marathon, I would have said yes but then I had a little accident on Thursday afternoon, with the same foot that I have been having the nerve issues with, and that was the nail in the coffin right there. That’s when I knew, no marathon for me. So what’s a girl to do when she can’t run the marathon she’s been training for, for the last 10 weeks? She does another 100 mile bike ride. For anyone counting, that’s 2 centuries in the first 2 weeks of 2014. I’m kinda feeling a little challenge coming over me …a century a week? What the what? Is that the insane KC speaking? Why yes, yes it is and she loves this crazy challenge idea. Stay tuned to see what happens in week 3 of 2014. I plan on picking up the run slowly this week and should be back up to running speed soon, as long as I don’t pull anymore stupid human tricks while walking to my car in the parking garage at work! Easier said than done, I know. I had some fun this week. I was a guest on a really cool podcast! You should go listen to it. Not because of me, but because the 2 guys on it, Andrew and John, are awesome and are a hoot to listen to, plus you may learn a thing or two. Here is the link: http://doughboytoironman.com/2014/01/10/ironman-year-one-episode-13-coach-kc-kristie-conception-on-why-beginners-and-bopers-need-coaches-too/ That’s all I got for ya this week. Upward and Onward!

Jason's Ironman Chattanooga Challenge Challenge

Week 10 of ICC is also the first week of overload training for Rocky Raccoon 50.  This week was quite the week in terms of running volume.  I hit 67 miles this week for what is easily the most miles I have ever run in a week.  It did not come with its own challenges though.  Mid-week I found myself sluggish and wondering what was happening considering I had just come off of a pull back week.  As I wrote, here, it boiled down to tracking my food and making sure that I was surrounding my workouts with carbs and then lean proteins and healthy fats for my other two meals.  Since I workout in the morning this turns out to be very advantageous for my running and recovery.  Big breakfast and then some healthy, tasty and protein rich meals the rest of the day. [caption id="attachment_9328" align="alignright" width="300"]challenge - triathlon - ironman - rocky raccoon First Week Of Overload For RR50 and HUGE base building for IMTN[/caption] This weekend was a breakthrough as well.  I was scheduled to run 23 miles on Saturday and 13 miles on Sunday.  Prior to registering for RR50 I had registered for the Bold In The Cold 15k which happens to be my favorite race.  This was the fourth year and I was torn about how to approach it.  Do I run prior to the race, run the race and then cool down.  Run the race then finish off the remaining 14 miles.  How would I fuel?  How would I hydrate? I took the option of running 12 miles as a warm-up first, then run the race at a steady but not fast pace and then cool down. I started at 5:15am with 12 miles and felt good.  I held a steady 8:56/mi pace with my HR at the top end of Zone 1. Perfect.  After that run I stopped and had coffee and a banana to refuel.  Walked to the start line and saw a bunch of friends.  We got in line and the gun went off.  I figured a steady 8:30/mi pace would be great to start and then drop down to 8:00/mi and negative split the race.  Well, after the first two miles and running a 7:50/mi pace I felt great and figured it was time to light the match and hang on for dear life.  Over the course of the next 7 miles I ran ~7:35/mi and finished in 11th place in my age group.  Finished off with a 2 mile cool down and 23 miles in the books. Sunday morning I went to Cedar Ridge Preserve where I ran 12 miles with 1500+ foot of climbing and cursed myself, the trail, Jeff and everything else along the way.  I was hurting big time.  I had two hours out there to contemplate what I wanted to do at RR50.  I have a 'plan' heading into the race so far but bigger than that is I think I am going to register for my next challenge. I originally thought I would be racing 70.3 Galveston in April, but with RR50 taking precedence I do not think that I can get the bike volume in that I would need to have an enjoyable and fast race.  What I will have is a HUGE running base and so the next logical thing to do is run a 100 miler.  I have the registration page open  and am ready to pull the trigger.  With running the 100 miler at the end of March I can get a couple of weeks of recovery in before entering into training for Buffalo Springs 70.3 and true IM specific training.  The next challenge is on the horizon and I think I am ready for it.

What Is Your Next Challenge?

Friday, 10 January 2014 10:44

This Is Not A #Rage Free Zone

Rage was welling up inside of me yesterday and then like Mount Vesuvius (I am not sure if this is a 'working' volcano but the metaphor works) I erupted.  On Wednesday night I got into an Instagram conversation about the whole theory of carb-loading.  It was late and I went to bed thinking that Thursday was going to be a great day.  I woke up and sure enough it started out well and then quickly began to fill with rage.  Rage to the point that I am going to have to boycott Competitor Magazine and their Rock and Roll series of races.  Let's get into the three Rage Filled Rants on this gloomy and rainy Friday here in Dallas.

Rage #1: BBWAA and the HOF

I am a big baseball fan that to the point I refer to myself as a baseball nerd.  The game is long and can be quite boring at times but I am enthralled with all the numbers that baseball brings to my life.  Calculating OPS, BA, WAR, WHIP, ERA and all the other stats fills me with joy.  Ever since I was a young pup running around baseball diamonds in New York I was enamored with baseball and its numbers. Baseball's numbers were an easy way to compare today's players to yesteryear's players.  The numbers that Babe Ruth put up in his career are still compared to the numbers being put up by Miguel Cabrera.  That is EXCEPT for what is being called the steroids era.  If you can clearly define that era I would be happy to talk to you, but that is beyond this rage conversation. One of the voters for the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) and has a vote for the Hall of Fame decided to hand his vote over to the website Deadspin.com and allow them to vote for the players and he would submit the ballot.  I am not sure what the BBWAA has a problem with but they have stripped this writer (Dan Le Batard) of his voting ability for life.  They believe that he did not take this voting seriously and I counter that with he took it so seriously that he chose not to participate because it is a total joke.  In order to be considered a BBWAA voter (and there are nearly 600 of them, yet only 3o teams or an average of 20 writers per team......and therein lies the first problem) you must have written about baseball for 10 years but do not have to currently be doing that writing.  You can have been shipped to the Food and Wine section and yet you still have a vote even though you do not cover the sport. Guess who does not have a vote.  Vin Scully. Bob Costas. Karl Revich.  That is right.  Three of the most notable faces and names in baseball today do not have a vote.  You figure that out.  BBWAA has gone about this the wrong way and when Dan Le Batard decided to stand up and say that the process is flawed they decided to take away his voice.  Makes sense...... RAGE!

Rage #2: Carb-Loading

The concept of carb-loading has driven me up a wall.  I hear and see people talking about eating pounds and pounds of pasta the night before a race with the idea that they are preparing themselves for the race the next day and nothing could be further from the truth.  Do not get me wrong, as I was a part of the movement when I first got into these endurance sports but the more I raced and trained the more I read and learned.  That led to quickly changing from the carb-loading concept to the carb, protein and fat pyramid.  This is not an actual pyramid but a way in which I monitor my calories and macro-nutrient intake the days leading up to a race. A few years ago I read Maria's blog post about how John (her husband) fueled and I took that same process and it worked. I did it again and it worked again. No GI issues.  No bloating.  No uncomfortness at mile 20 of the run.  What was this magical formula?  Eat a larger carb based meal TWO nights before the race.  Eat a larger carber based breakfast the morning before the race and then taper your meals that day with a focus on healthy fats and lean proteins then eat like a pig AFTER the race with a 3-4:1 Carb:Protein ratio to ensure proper recovery. The rage that is being built is from reading about people running 5ks and piling food on their plate as if they are going to prison the next day.  Even at a 15:00/mi pace you will be done with a 5k in about 45 minutes.  No reason to carb-load at all but if you feel the necessity to eat more then do after the race.  Surely you can wait 30-45 minutes before eating a stack of pancakes 2 feet high.  Why put in all those hours, days, weeks, months of training to find yourself in the porto at each 10 mile segment?  Doesn't make sense for long races and makes even less sense for 5ks......... Speaking of 5ks

Rage #3: A 5k is a 5k.  It is not a mini-marathon

[caption id="attachment_9324" align="alignright" width="300"]rage - anger - mini marathon A 5k is a 5k. It is nothing else but a 5k. Stop making names up.[/caption] Yesterday while trolling though the interwebs I came across a site for a Mini-Marathon.  Thinking WTF is that I clicked and the blood boiled.  The mini-marathon is a 5k.  It is not a 13.1 which is commonly referred to as a half-marathon.  No, this mini-marathon being promoted by the Rock and Roll brand is a 5k.  ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Why are they promoting this race as anything but a 5k?  I refer this to the wussification of America where people need to have the feel to have run a marathon without actually running a marathon.  I am sure somebody will point out that it is a way to get people active.  Maybe, but is there proof that says those that run a 5k eventually run a marathon?  Is there proof that says that somebody running a 5k being marketed as a mini-marathon eventually runs a marathon?  Or is this some marketing survey that says: Would you run a mini-marathon if the distance were 5,000 meters or commonly referred to as a 5k? I posted this to Facebook on a friend's page and another friend posted a link to another mini-marathon.  This version is a 1.31 or 2.62 mile run and comes with age awards, finishers t-shirts and medals.  REALLY?  Do we need to be rewarded for running 1.31 miles?  Shouldn't a high-five and way to go be enough?  Why do we feel the need to reward this?  Running has clear distances.  5k, 10, 15k. 13.1.  26.2. 50k. 50mile. 100 mile.  Why can we not stick to these?  I am at a loss. On my 9.31 mile run today, also known as a 15k, I thought about how this would translate at the triathlon level.  Would we register for a 14.06 mile race that included 240 meter swim, 11.2 mile bike and 2.62 mi run and call it a Mini-Ironman?  I do not get it and it drives me nuts that we feel the need to even have these things.  Run 1.31 or 2.62 on your way to a bigger and more difficult goal like a half or full marathon. As a matter of fact do not ever refer to anything less than 13.1 or 26.2 as anything but what it is.  You ran 12.4 miles today.....then you ran a 20k and not something close to a half-marathon.

What Is On Your Rage Friday List?

Rocky Racoon 50 Mile Ultra Trail Run is a bit more than a month away.  That means that I have survived the base month buildup and after this week of pull back will be heading into overload weeks.  Those overload weeks once seemed like a complete and total joke but now I am excited about going after them.  Especially after the base building weeks have shown that I have the ability to run for a long time and recover properly. Here is an idea of how the weeks were going to be completed in the different cycles:
  • Base Building for 5 weeks totaling 279 miles in Z1 / Z2.  I ran 285.3 miles at an average HR of 142 which is at the high-end of Z1 which for me is 143.
  • Pull Back week (this week) total 29 miles.
  • Overload weeks starting on Tuesday January 7th and weekly totals of 67, 69 and 71 miles.
  • Taper week with a total of 34 miles.
  • Race week will be 64 miles with 50 of those in the race.
As of the typing of this blog post I am very happy with where I am from a fitness and mental perspective.  As the training started I thought that these types of miles would be impossible to get to and worse yet recover from.  I also feared that I would be hitting a plateau and that it would be nearly impossible to breakthrough.  What has actually happened is the opposite and I place credit on adaptation and mental awareness of where my body is for this result. The way my weeks break out are as follows:
  • [caption id="attachment_9305" align="alignright" width="300"]rocky raccoon 50 - ultra trail run - training The color coding is for the shoes that I wore on that run. This helps me keep track of miles[/caption] Monday - Rest Day.  Usually a recovery bike trainer ride and/or swim.
  • Tuesday, Thursday, Friday - Low mileage days (5 - 10 miles)
  • Wednesday - Long Mid-Week Run (8-10 miles)
  • Saturday - Long Run Day (15 - 25 miles)
  • Sunday - Long Recovery Run Day (12 - 13 miles)
I have added in some strength training at least 1x per week along with swimming on Friday evening to prepare the body for the upcoming weekend.  In addition to that I have been visiting the chiropractor 1x per week.  Starting on January 6th with the overload weeks starting I will be visiting twice per week. Lastly, the addition of the Hoka Mafate and Stinson to my running shoe collection has truly helped.  The key to surviving and excelling at this type of training is to make sure that you are recovering and ensuring that you are able to go back out the next day for another run in the cold and windy conditions. As I progress through the weeks and miles of training an idea about how I think I should perform at the race is being formed.  I originally started out thinking that if I took my time from the Wee-Chi-Ta 13 mile trail run back in August I could use that as a gauge.  That race was broiling hot and run the day after a 100+ mile bike ride in 100+* temps meaning regardless of how much water I drank I was dehydrated.  I finished that race in 2 hours.  If we multiply by 4 to get the mileage that would be 8 hours.  Sounded good but running 13 miles and then using that as a gauge is near impossible not to mention the idea that the temperatures are going to be much different. Last weekend Jeff, Dave and I ran 23 miles on the Rocky Raccoon 50 course and covered 23 miles in 4 hours.  We didn't take it easy but we sure weren't pushing the pace either.  If you double that you end up in the 8 hour range also.  Does 8 hours make sense?  That would be fast for a distance on a course that I have never done.  I am guessing that 9 - 9.5 hours is probably a good guess but as I sit here thinking about that I almost do not care.  This first 50 mile ultra trail race is my barometer for the next one, and yes there will be a next one.  Never thought I would say that. This race is similar to Ironman Texas 2012 where I raced it but knew that there would be more and that I needed to use the race as a gauge for nutrition, body signals and everything in between so that I could race the next one faster.  Right now the notion of a second 50 mile race is closer to reality and there could certainly be a 100 mile trail race in my future as well.

How Is The Training For Your Next Race Going? Lessons Learned?

2013 Year In Review as done by me will have a handful of rants, rages, raves and other things along the way.  In short I am glad that 2013 is over and that we are moving forward like a runaway train into 2014.  That is not to say that there weren't some good things that occurred this past year because there were, but there was a lot of heart ache and pain that went with it.  In the end, my 2013 is not unlike others, but taking the time to reflect on those events is what makes the 2013 Year In Review special.  There are lots more than what I list here but these are at the top of the list.

2013 Year In Review Raves:

  1. [caption id="attachment_9299" align="alignright" width="300"]2013 year in review - cook train eat race - susan lacke Source: Competitor.com[/caption] Being at Ironman Arizona in November and not racing but spectating, encouraging and being a part of the fabric in that race was incredible.  I had many friends from all over the country racing and stayed with Emily and her family for the second year in a row. It was all special but being able to run with Susan Lacke and encourage her as she suffered from broken ribs was the best part.  Seeing Susan going up the final climb and holding her hand while we ran to the finish line was special.  Seeing her face go from pain to utter elation as the bright lights shined on her was magical.  Never before had I been moved this way but this was something I will never forget.  Read her account of the day here on Competitor.
  2. Racing 70.3 Puerto Rico holds a special place in my heart.  It is the birthplace of my late father.  Riding through the island and running on San Juan is an incredible feeling.  The crowd is amazing and everything that comes with the race is down right spectacular.  This year I was able to race with friends Joe and Melissa Verdicchio.  Karen and I met Joe and Melissa on the island and instantly hit it off.  Our friendship started with this blog and blossomed into something worth cherishing.  We spent the entire day after the race touring the island and just eating and laughing.  Being on the island with my wife and two new great friends meant the world.

2013 Year In Review Rants and Rage:

  1. Social Media and Blogging Sell-Out.  I cannot take the selling out that I see in blogs and on social media platforms these days.  No longer do I see opinions from people but instead I see constant promotion.  The seemingly never-ending feed of shout out for shout out on Instagram, product promotion without disclaimers and the un-opinionated review.  I started my blog back in 2010, and the version you see today back in January 0f 2011.  I did this so that I can bring information and good content to the viewers/readers and not to generate an income or free product.  The shilling I see today makes me wonder if free stuff is worth that much to those reviewing and praising products and trying to generate followers/likes.  Remember that not all that glitters is gold.
  2. PROTEIN.VEGAN.PALEO.  Please just stop.  Last week I was scrolling through Instagram and came across a post for protein pretzels.  REALLY?  Protein F'N Pretzels?  I do not want protein pretzels, vegan pretzels or paleo pretzels when I want a pretzel.  I just want a pretzel.  Put salt on it and let me dip it in mustard.  Plain mustard.  Not caveman or protein mustard. JUST MUSTARD AND PRETZEL.  Thank you.

2013 Year In Review Changes:

  1. Like anybody else and in any other year there was change. Two of the hardest that my family and I have had to deal with were me going back to corporate America.  For the past three years I have been a partner in a web design and social media company.  For the past 6 years I have worked from home.  This past September I started working at DMNmedia which is the marketing arm of The Dallas Morning News.  I traded in my shorts, t-shirts and afternoon runs/rides for a tie and a cubicle.  Timing everything out has been a challenge but one that our family will grow with.
  2. Losing Karen's Dad.  This proved to be harder than I could ever have imagined.  I lost my father nearly 20 years ago and while you never get over these types of things you learn to live with them.  That is until the scab that has grown gets pulled off and you see somebody you love going through the wide range of emotions that you went through.  Trying to stay strong for them was harder than I thought as the old feelings of losing my dad came flooding back.

What Are Your 2013 Year In Review Highlights?

My year in review on Twitter is here. This brings back quite a few memories of 2013.
The fact that the Ironman Chattanooga challenge is 8 weeks old is astounding.  It reminds me that while I am not specifically working on Ironman training the base that has been built-in the past 8 weeks and will continue to be built is all heading toward the A race of 2014 which is IMTN. As I have mentioned in this series before the training that KC and I are doing today is for a race prior to Ironman Chattanooga (a marathon for KC and a 50 mile ultra trail run for me) but the Ironman is still there in the back of our heads.  We have goals for that race, but we also have other accomplishments we want to tackle.  In addition to other races we have family, friends, work and other responsibilities.  While we would both love to throw our jobs out the window and focus solely on Ironman training that just isn't happening.  We are going to show you what 11 months of living a life while training for an Ironman is like.  The ups, downs and in betweens.  There will be glorious days and weeks, maybe even an entire month of glory.  There will also be downs and pain and hurt and agony and wonder about why we are doing what we do. This series is to show you that there is no one size fits all when it comes to training for an Ironman.

KC's Ironman Chattanooga Training - Week 8

ironman chattanooga - rocky raccoon - trail runningToday I was singing running in the rain. Ok, I was singing too and I didn't care who heard me. Actually, the all day threat of rain must have scared everyone away because it was like a ghost town at Flatwoods park, the park near my house that I run and ride at almost everyday. I got a late start today and that always throws me out of sorts. I'm such a morning person but for some reason, probably because weather.com had me totally convinced it was going to be a total washout, I held off on heading out early. Still, I did get up pretty early, like5am early, I checked the radar and yep, it showed lots and lots of rain coming through soon, so I drank some coffee and went back to bed around 7. I woke up around 9:30 and it had maybe drizzled for like 5 minutes. Of course, now I'm a little irritated. I check the stupid, inaccurate radar again and the hour by hour and sure enough, that big blob of rain storms is coming and will be getting here soon, so again I wait. Around 11 am, I had enough of that crap. Barely a drop of rain at this point, so I said, rain or no rain, I'm getting this last long run in for Disney. I wasn't waiting around any longer. The run was not easy and I know why. I'm not used to running mid-day. I run probably 95% of my miles before the sun has even risen. I prefer to run as early as possible. It's when I feel my best, so to say today's run was run outside of my comfort zone would be an accurate statement. I'm glad I did it and I'm glad I can check it off the schedule. The best part of this run, beside the fact that it's done, it that it finally did rain while I was out there and it felt sooooo good! Today's photos were taken out and about on the trail. I ran a nice mix of pavement and trail. [caption id="attachment_9293" align="alignright" width="192"]ironman chattanooga - rocky raccoon - trail running KC On The Trails[/caption] [caption id="attachment_9291" align="aligncenter" width="192"]ironman chattanooga - rocky raccoon - trail running KC On The Trails[/caption] In other news, I sat down this week and looked at the 2014 calendar to see when I officially start training for Ironman Tennessee. Looks like the last week of April will be go time and I'm looking forward to it. Next week, probably on new year's day, I will sit down again and plan out my training plan for the 70.3 I have in mid to late March. I'm ready to jump back into the tri training but I still have to get past the little 26.2 mile run i have coming up in 2 weeks. Bleh! Someone remind me why I signed up for the Disney marathon. I hope everyone has a nice week coming up. 2013 was a good year and I'm hoping 2014 will continue to build on that same note. Upward and Onward!

Jason's Ironman Chattanooga Challenge Week 8 Recap

Holy run week Batman.  This entire week was  filled with running, running and more running.  In the end I wound up posting nearly 65 miles of running which is the most I have run in.....well probably ever.  Even during marathon training back in 2010 and 2011 I did not run this much.  While that number seems like a lot it is going to be dwarfed by the mileage I have planned for the overload weeks that are still to come.  Those weeks will range between 65 and 72.  Lots of miles on these legs but sure enough I have felt my body getting stronger and breaking through plateaus and better yet my mental stamina is getting stronger. [caption id="attachment_9287" align="alignright" width="300"]ironman chattanooga - rocky raccoon - trail running Hunstville State Park Rocky Raccoon Trail Training[/caption] This weekend I ran 23 miles at Hunstville State Park which is where the Rocky Raccoon 50 will be held.  I did the run with my buddies Jeff and Dave as they are training for a 100 miler in Alabama after RR50.  I felt great this entire run and toward the end we put down tracks and ran miles that were sub-10:00.  That feeling of gliding over the trails and not having my HR escalate in Z3 told me that the 285+ miles I have run in the past 5 weeks in Z1/Z2 are paying off.  In addition to that wearing the Hoka Mafate (review of these and the Stinson here) being able to recover so that the miles can pile on has been truly helpful. As you can see from my training  for the week there was NO swimming at all.  As motivated as I was to swim the problem is that the Y pool was closed and the day it wasn't closed there were not two lifeguards so you could not swim.  That hurt the swim training, but this week is a pull back week for running so I will be spending more time on the trainer getting my legs recovered and swimming to help get the yards in the drink in. [caption id="attachment_9288" align="aligncenter" width="300"]ironman chattanooga - rocky raccoon - trail running IMTN Week 8 Training[/caption]
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