Monday, May 30, 2011

Life is good....

Life is good in no small part to our active duty, veterans and fallen soldiers.  I sincerely thank all of you!  I'm not a big country music fan, but I love the song American Soldier by Toby Keith.  Check it out.

Life is good when you have good friends.  I'm very fortunate in that regard.  I have good friends at work, the neighborhood, from high school, from college, online, etc.  My college roommate came to town Friday and we got together at our friend Scott's house and played some poker.  We had a blast!  I haven't laughed that hard in a while.  Sunday night my neighbor across the street had a fish fry.  We had a good turn out and awesome food as always.  The week after next I go on my yearly fishing trip with a buddy from college.  Life is good.

Dale is the poster child for fried food :-)

Life is good when you celebrate 23 years of being married to your high school sweetheart and are still in love.  I'm a lucky guy and would marry Cheryl all over again.  She is a great wife, wonderful mother, all around nice person, and very supportive.  Life is good.

Life is good when you are in the best shape of your life.  My training volume has been down a bit since NOLA, but I'm about to sign up for another HIM this fall so that should bring the volume back up.  I did a couple sweat tests this weekend. For my ride Sunday it was 90 degrees and very breezy.  My starting weight was 160 and after two hours on the bike I was at 156.5.  I drank 34 ounces of fluid which I rounded to 32 ounces to make the math easy.  One pound = 16 ounces so I drank 2 pounds of fluid for a total of 5.5 pounds of sweat lost in 2 hours which is 2.75 pounds or 44 ounces/hour.  For my run Monday, it was 86 degrees and humid (felt like 91).  My starting weight was 161 (thanks to the salt from the fish fry) and my ending weight after an hour run was 156.0. I took in 8 ounces of water for a total of 5.5 pounds of sweat lost in an hour which is 88 ounces/hour.  I guess I'm a heavy sweater.

Life is good (but short).  Get out there and live it!

Monday, May 23, 2011

My first Oly

First of all, I'm happy to report I had NO pre-race funk!  If you've followed my blog for a while, you know I normally get moody, edgy, and stressed on race week.  Enough so that my wife added "good mood" to my packing list for NOLA :-).  I tried hard not to have that happen for this race and it worked!  It really made for a much more fun race experience.  To have that happen, I pretty much just didn't think about the race.  So I packed the morning I left for the race site and only forgot my running visor and Halo sweat shield.  Not bad.

The other thing I did different for this race was trying to meet some people.  I'm kind of an introvert (being an engineer and all) and have gone to races alone and not talked to anyone.  Not a fun way to race, trust me.  So for this race, there were several people from BT racing and I made it a point to hook up with them.  I met Ann, Mary, Mike, Joe and Joe's wife Michelle.  It is so much more fun racing with friends than alone.  I need to make a point of meeting more triathletes.

I arrived on site the day before the race.  Picked up my race number and swim cap then swam the sprint course, biked the run course and did a brief run.  The water was chilly (66F), but perfect with a wet suit on. After the brief workout, I met up with Ann, Mary, Joe and Michelle for dinner.  Again, it was nice to eat with other athletes.  I stayed at my BIL and SIL's camper near the bike turn around.  It was very quiet and peaceful.  I slept great after getting an electrical issue taken care of with help from my SIL.

Race morning I woke up ahead of my alarms and ate a yogurt and banana.  I bought peanut butter and bread at Walmart the night before but I also bought peanut butter stuffed pretzels and ate a bunch of them before bed, so I wasn't very hungry.  Transition was open from 6 until 8 and I got there about 6:30 and was one of the first to arrive.  I was set up by 7 and just hung out.  I wasn't nervous or stressed at all even though I knew my longest OWS swim yet wasn't going to be easy.

For the swim my plan was to start wide and stay wide.  I pretty much did that but would drift back toward the crowd then back wide.  I was really off course on the back stretch.  I was a good 50 yards wide.  It felt like it was taking forever and I stopped and got my bearings at least 10 times.  I expected to see 45 minutes on my watch when I exited the water so I was surprised when I saw 37.  The wet suit was so buoyant that it felt like my legs were too high and kind of bothered my lower back.  I just need more practice OWS.

Hill coming out of the swim

In T1 I took 2 salt capsules, socks, shoes, glasses, helmet and I was off.  I was happy with my transition, I wonder how fast it was.

The bike was mostly flat with a couple steep hills.  On the way out I was going 26-27 mph so I knew the way back would be brutal.  It was, a 10+ mph head wind meant 15-16 mph.  I ate a GU about 10 minutes into the ride and another about 15 minutes from the end.  I really had to choke down the second one.  I need to practice eating while going nearly all out.  I drank one 20 oz bottle of water on the ride.
Most of bike route was like this

In T2 I took 2 more salt capsules.  I need to put them in baggies so I can take them on the course instead on in T2.  Then off with the helmet, switch shoes, grab race number and I was off.  Pretty efficient again.

The run was out and back across 2 dams with a nice hill about a mile in and again a mile from the finish.  It was hot but not as hot as last year.  I could have gone a little harder but after my bike I knew I couldn't reach my goal and the kind of pain I would have had to inflict on myself wasn't worth coming up short.  I felt pretty good and was encouraging many other triathletes and received much encouragement myself.  What a cool sport.

start of the run course
After the race, I got to clean up this mess in transition.

And this mess when I got home.  Not quite as neatly organized as when I blogged my gear checklist.

I pretty much missed all my goals but had fun anyway.  From what I can tell, transitions were added to the next segment. The race site says transition times are coming soon. So here are my times:

swim - 37:00 - actual 37:04 (pretty close!) 138/159
T1 - 2:30
bike - 1:12:00 actual 1:18:21 (really windy ride so not too bad) 60/159
T2 - 1:00
run - 54:00  actual 59:22 (my goal was aggressive for my running ability) 65/159
Total - 2:46:30 actual 2:54:46 (I'm happy with it for my first Oly)

That put me 3rd of 11 in my age group, 83rd of 159 overall, and 66th of 115 men.  Not too shabby for a 45 year old non athlete.  It does point out what I need to work on though.  Yep, all three sports :-).

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Oly goal (1 week until my first Oly)

My main goal is to have fun and not get in to my pre-race funk.  I'll be at the race by myself since my wife is busy with work. My second goal is to make some more tri friends, I'm trying to set up a BT swim Saturday afternoon.  My third goal is my time.  My speeds for my first 5 sprints were;

swim - 2:29, 2:18, 2:28, 2:02, 2:32 per hundred yards
bike - 19.0,18.9, 18.4, 20.2, 19.8 miles per hour
run - 8:38,9:23, 9:37, 8:58, 8:39 minute miles

Assuming it's not too cold, hot or windy, I'll be shooting for the following times. My swim hasn't improved much since last year due to injury and lack of a coach.  I'm going to shoot for 2:15 based on increased experience.  My bike has improved due to NOLA training so I'm shooting for 20.5 mph.  This will be highly dependant on wind speed.  My run hasn't improved much and this run will be twice as long as all the above times.  I'll shoot for 8:45, but I should be able to run faster.

T1 includes a long uphill from the lake to the transition area.

pic from last year when I did the Sprint race

swim - 37:00
T1 - 2:30
bike - 1:12:00
T2 - 1:00
run - 54:00
Total - 2:46:30

Truth be told, I'll be happy with anything under 3 hours and even more happy if I don't get stressed leading up to the race.

Recipe of the week.  My friend and co-worker Frank shared this recipe with me for beer brined chicken.  It turned out great!  I might do a bunch of legs and wings for a football game this fall, great flavor.  I forgot to take a picture of the chicken, but I did get a pick of the neighbor guys in the garage helping me cook.  I grill rain or shine, heat wave or blizzard and I get lots of help.  It's always nice to unwind with the neighbors.

yes, the heater is on, it was chilly
 Last but not least.  My volume has been down the last couple weeks and my body is craving more volume.  It's hard to describe, but it is the same kind of craving I get for fries if I stay away from them for a few weeks.  So I'm close to signing up for another half ironman the first weekend in October.  The one I'm looking at has a 63 mile bike leg instead of 56.  I was ready to get off the bike about 40 miles in at NOLA.  Looking at the calendar, that is 19 weeks out!  How can October seem so close?

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Double The Meat (2 weeks until my first Oly)

Haha, my original title was "Sick", which I have been this week, but "Double The Meat" is much more entertaining.  On Sunday nights, I normally cook for my neighbors.  They are really good friends and the Denise was diagnosed with ALS about two years ago.  Dale is a bit overweight and one of his favorite sayings is "double the meat".  I digress.  So, I like to cook and I cook out just about every weekend year round, rain or shine, blizzard or heat wave.  With cooking out so much, I kind of get in routines.  My friend Robin sent me a recipe to try and it sounded good, so what the heck.   Here is the recipe (I know, I normally put the recipe last, but I had a lame training week).

1/2 lb pork tenderloin sliced into medallions (3.5 pounds if cooking for two families and Dale)
salt pepper to taste
1/2 tsp paprika
olive oil for searing pork
2 mangos one sliced/ one diced
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 lemon- juiced
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 sweet red pepper chopped.

Season pork with salt, pepper,paprika. sear in olive oil until cooked. Set aside. In same pan saute mango cubes orange juice and wine. cook for 8-10 minutes. Mash mixture. Add lemon juice and cinnamon. Arrange mango slices on plate, then pork, then top with mango sauce and sliced peppers (I sauteed the peppers a little first).
getting things ready

I'm a bbq chef so I grilled the medallions

the presentation wasn't bad

Back to training....  Early this week, I started getting a runny nose.  I was hoping it was allergies, but nope.  It was a cold, runny nose, sore throat, feeling tired and achy, blah.  The last few days, it moved into my chest so I decided to skip my training Wednesday, Thursday, Friday (rest day anyway) and Saturday.  Thursday I actually had a swim coaching opportunity and Saturday was perfect outside too :-(.  Oh well, it is pretty normal for me to get sick after a big race, usually about a week after (not sure why it took two weeks this time).  I don't know if it is the mental or physical stress (or both) that causes it.  I did manage a decent ride Sunday and was treated to a perfect day, lots of green (and brown fields) then I rounded a bend and BAM!  Bright yellow!  My lame BB camera phone didn't do it justice.

The yellow was much more vibrant than the pic.

Monday, May 2, 2011

My first Oly (3 weeks to go)

My first Oly will be in Carlyle IL May 22nd.  I heard today that the beach is under 10 feet of water so my second race of the year might be a duathlon as well. Coming off of training for my first HIM, I'm in pretty decent shape (for me). It has been interesting how my attitude towards this distance has changed as I've become a triathlete. When training for my first tri, I figured I would do a couple Sprint triathlons then jump to Olympic distance races for the rest of the year. After my second tri on a very hot day (at the same sight that my Oly will be at), I realized there is a big difference between an hour and change race vs. a three hour race and I reset my expectations. I changed my plan to do a late season Oly last year then had an injury that forced me to post pone that distance.  Now that I've trained for a HIM (and completed 69.1 miles of it), I'm confident in my ability to hammer the bike portion and still be able to run at my normally slow pace.

We've had a lot of rain the last month but I've managed to pick up where I left off after some recovery time.  The last two Sundays I have ended up riding outside and not beating the rain.  Here are a few pics from the ride Sunday before the rain hit.

miles and

miles and

miles and

miles of trails and open space.
I'm lucky to have so many miles of trails that run right past my house.  I'm a little tired of the same old thing but it sure beats worrying about people texting and driving.

Funny reason for a tattoo.  My wife said I should get a tattoo on my arm so it's easier to tell me apart from all the other middle aged, MOP (middle of the pack) triathletes in spandex running down the finish line chute :-).  I guess it was stressful standing at the finish line in NOLA trying not to miss me running by.

Random easy recipe.  Take a bag of red potatoes and boil them in shrimp/crab boil seasoning.  Easy and delicious.