Wednesday, June 30, 2010


I am going for "Put-Hair-On-Your-Chest-Wednesday" installment # 2 today, because today REALLY tested my limits. I may have caused more grays than chest hair. I am beat and DONE for the day.

First, this morning's bike ride. But FIRST, my recovery from yesterday's 10 mile run in 100% humidity. I wrecked myself yesterday AM, and throughout the day I was waiting and waiting and waiting for the soreness to creep it; it never did. I even brought the foam roller with me to work for an extra stretch and roll @ lunch. None needed. I was like, "OOoooaaakaaaayyyyyy....."

It never showed up passively, but it showed up on the bike this morning. I was missing a gear, or so it felt like. I did 30.6 miles in 1:40:00. I was either going @ a slow recovery speed or going HARD since I did about 6 or 7, 5 min intervals @ threshold pace. I noticed a 28mph number here and there on some of the flats. SCORE! I felt like crap, but my legs sure were fast this morning. I crawled up the hill @ work to finish the ride and was glad that was over with!

Then tonight the fun REALLY got going. And I thought my ride this morning was hard. I HAD NO IDEA!!! My super swimmer coworker Bob gave me a set to do tonight:
500 warm up
5 x 100 on 2:00
5 x 100 on 1:55
5 x 100 on 1:50
hold the pace for ALL 100's.

So not only is the cumulative effect taking hold, but I am getting less rest as the sets progress. I snuck in 200 yards of kicking drills between each 100 yard epic battle for some sort of recovery, if you can call it that.

And my result? Held no slower than a 1:31, and no faster than a 1:24. I saw lots of 100's in the 1:26 range. I felt my best during the 100's on the 1:55 interval. DOUBLE SCORE!

Whelp folks, 2010 is 50% done. Unless I run some miles in my sleep tonight, I am calling June DONE.

Gonna try to do a half year in review post tomorrow. So stay tuned!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Out with the Old; In with the New

Dear Old Mizuno Shoes,

You will be missed on the run. You brought me, no joke, 5 PR's out on the run this past spring. Thank you for giving me that 1:45:xx stand alone Half Marathon PR in March, the 1:15:xx 15K, the sub 30 min 4 miler, that sub 2 hour half marathon in the heat in New Orleans @ the 70.3, and that amazing 1:50:00 half marathon @ Mooseman 70.3 in the pouring rain; you held up well that day! You are being replaced by a new version of you, but don't worry, you are being retired into your glory days as walking shoes.

Our last run together this morning was a great parting run. You again held up well, only this time in 80 degree weather @ 100% humidity (@ 5:45 AM!!!) for 10 miles while allowing me to hold an 8:43 pace.

You won't be forgotten as the best pair of running shoes that I have ever worn!

Monday, June 28, 2010

My Guilty Post Workout Pleasure; and a swim that came together

Do you have a guilty post workout pleasure? Mine is those generic "Nutritional" ala Ensure-meals in a can "Drinks."
I only drink the chocolate.

Whenever I have to drive to a location to get a workout in, I need one of these for the car ride home to take that "hunger edge" off and to get something into my body before I go into zombie mode. You won't like me when I am hungry. They taste soooooo artificial, but after a workout they taste sooooooooo good! (the drinks, not zombies)

And the funny thing about these drinks, is that every major supermarket or wholesale store carries there own generic version, and yet, they all happen to taste the same and have the EXACT same calories and nutritional data and ingredients to em. Makes you wonder, right? Speaking of nutritional data. Here goes (taken from

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 can (8 fl oz)

Amount per Serving
  • Calories 350 Calories from Fat 100
% Daily Value *
  • Total Fat 11g 17%
  • Saturated Fat 1g 5%
  • Monounsaturated Fat 6g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat 4g
  • Trans Fat 0g
  • Cholesterol 0mg 0%
  • Sodium 240mg 10%
  • Potassium 500mg 14%
  • Total Carbohydrate 50g 17%
  • Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
  • Sugars 18g
  • Protein 13g 26%
In other words, this is a balanced meal in a can and perfect for getting some quick calories into you post workout. I wouldn't live off of these, but man do they take that edge off when you are hungry!

And now for tonight's swim.

I had one of the best swims of my life tonight:
500 WU
5 x 100 on 2:00, hold the pace. Went: 1:26, 1:29, 1:30, 1:27, 1:30
5 x 300 on 6:00, hold the pace. Went: 4:43, 4:44, 4:42, 4:40, 4:35
200 CD
2800 total

I think all of my efforts in the pool finally paid off tonight. I never went into the red tonight other than that last 300. I tried to hold back as much as I could and stay aerobic. Where is this speed coming from?!?!?
Sort of how I felt after holding a 1:31 pace for a 300

This time last year I was lucky to hold a consistent 1:37 pace on a good day. Today I was nearing the 1:30-1:31 pace. This is such a confidence booster since swimming is my weakest leg.

Tomorrow is gonna be an early run. 10 miles baby! Doing 3x3 mile laps so I can keep water @ my car.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sweat! Let's talk about sweat.

Got out this morning in what I called "Marshmallow Fumidity" it was so humid. No sun could penetrate this thick cloud of yuckiness. This was good, though! I wanted these conditions (75 degrees, 81% humidity) because this was the morning to test out how much I sweat in these conditions. I ran 6.67 miles in exactly 1 hour for a 9 min/mile flat pace, which is my base.

Here is the formula that I learned when I wrote my Beating the Heat, My Plan post. I didn't eat or drink anything during the run and didn't use the bathroom after or before the measurements. What is lost is purely through sweat, tears, and thermal energy.

Starting Weight 154.5
Finishing Weight 151
Total Loss 3.5
Calories Burned 667 (I burn roughly 100/mile)
Calories in Weight 0.2
Total Sweat Loss 3.3
Sweat in ounces 52.8
Ounces lost per mile 8
1 Liter of liquid 33.8 Ounces
My loss in Liters 1.56

Isn't this convenient!!! So had I known my sweat rate, and if I had a race today in these conditions, I would need to drink 1 cup of liquid per mile to keep my body @ a constant hydrated level, roughly. Fortunately NYRR races in the summer have water stations @ every mile.

But it all makes sense now! I was doing just that (drinking ~8 oz every mile) in New Orleans in April and ran a 1:56:xx Half Marathon in my second Half Ironman, which I still consider a VERY successful run.

What you sweat out of your pours is not just stinky H2O. You are also losing electrolytes (sodium & potassium). I had salt stains on my tri suit yesterday from the 3 hour ride in the heat. How much sodium was that and notice that I used both salt and sodium in the same sentence? Salt and sodium are two different things that both share sodium. Salt is sodium chloride, sodium is just sodium. Its not like you have table salt running through your veins. Table salt is just a crystalized form of sodium with about 100 other minerals involved, primarily chloride.

According to all of the articles on the trustworthy inter-webz, a normal average person can sweat out ~1000mg of sodium per liter of sweat lost. So for me, @ ~1.5 liters of sweat lost per hour while running, I could be losing ~1,500mg of sodium. Other than feeling tired and thirsty, I noticed no muscle cramping, but then again I was only out there for an hour. Tack on another hour, and I'd prolly bonk from lack of nutrition before the lack of electrolytes got me. I have never had an issue with cramping (knock on wood) and for the Half Ironman distance, I have raced them both hot and cool, and have never had issues other than not consuming enough calories.

I guess what I am going to take from this test is that I now know how much I need to drink per mile on the run in hot conditions to stay hydrated and to keep my core cool(er). I remember hearing a pro triathlete talk about how he keeps his core temp down on the run in the heat, and that is through the ingestion of cool liquids. Yes, dumping water over your head helps, but its only a temporary solution. Ever see them handing out ice @ aid stations? Call that your best friend and chomp that stuff down and wait a few mins. I did this down in New Orleans and I kept coming back to life over and over again.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

I beat the heat!....and slapped 57.5 miles across the face!

What a difference a week makes! Exactly one week ago, 90 mins into a two hour ride (first hot ride of season) I was conceding defeat and crawling to a mobile hot dog stand and chugging down water to save my soul.

Fast forward to today, same conditions (85+ degrees), 2 hours -55 mins, 57.5 miles, 188 watt average, 19.5 mph avg and I just about had the best and most successful bike ride IN MY LIFE!!!

It wasn't the fastest at that distance (rolly terrain), but it was the most powerful. I have never EVER held a 188 watt average for that long. My previous bests were 170 watts for 56 miles @ Timberman (8/09. semi-flat course with some rollers), 170 watts @ 56 miles for New Orleans, (4/10. pancake flat course with two bridges and headwinds) and 172 watts @ 56 miles @ Mooseman (three weeks ago. hilly F-ing course!).

Today was a training ride. I can't wait to rip it @ Timberman in ~8 weeks!

So the things that helped me out today were:
- Lots of miles under my belt this season. I am very close to hitting my 2009 yearly mileage, and its only the end of June. Wanna ride faster? Ride more.....its really that simple!
- Hydration. I drank every 10 mins last week, and subsequently almost died (not literally). Today I drank every 5 mins after about 55 mins. This helped tremendously!
- started off conservative, and built up the intensity. I notice that if I start off @ my goal pace, I can't hold it the entire time. Rather if I start off easy, then go harder towards the end, it all averages out to my goal pace, but I feel BETTER coming off of the bike.
-simplified my nutrition - gone are the thoughts of peanut butter and gone are the Balance Bars. Its only Chocolate Gu now....I only need about 5 for this distance and I take them every 30 mins. I felt full of energy @ the finish of the ride.

So over the course of 57.5 miles, my brain waves were repeating over and over the following songs:

"Walcott" - Vampire Weekend - super annoying song and only when I was climbing.

"500 Miles" - The Proclaimers - not a bad song! Remember "Benny & June?"

"He Was Worse Than the Needle He Gave You" - Delta Mirror - currently one of my favorite songs. Went through my head when I was feeling "fast"

"Ting Ting" - Jo Koy - when I started feeling wonky with around 30 mins left to ride. Jo Koy yelling "Ting Ting!!!!" Started flashing through my head. This is a hilarious clip especially if you have a little boy. haha!

So if you can't tell, today's ride was a huge breakthrough. I not only beat the heat but put in a best performance. When I stopped for water around mile 37, there was another triathlete stopping as well and we chatted briefly. He was @ mile 85 of his ride with his 6th attempt @ Lake Placid coming up in a month. See you up there in the changing tent! I will be in his shoes in about a year!

6 mile run tomorrow. I hope to test out sweat loss and will report back on my findings. Pray for fumidity! I need it as muggy as can be for the best results.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Swrun; join the club! It was one of those kicka$$ mornings!

I am now a proud member of the Greenwich Tri Club!

My first workout with them was this morning out @ Todd's Point, which is a SUPER beautiful place.

View Larger Map

I will have to get pictures to show next time I swim there. The funny thing is, is that I never actually saw the club there. On Friday AM's it seems that a bunch of local triathletes just do an informal meetup around 6AM on the beach and then we jump into the water and swim along 6 buoys that are parallel to the shore. So one length of the 6 buoys is maybe 1/4 of a mile? We did around a mile, I think?

The water was in the upper 60's, which is perfect, but I am not used to salt water still. I don't mind it, its just that I am not used to it having grown up in the Lakes Region of NH, known for its clear and pristine fresh water lakes.

After the swim, I threw on my running shoes and did a quick 3 miler around the peninsula, also known as a Swrun (I just made it up! swim to run workout) Apparently I run a LOT better out of the gate when I do either a swim or bike before hand, cuz I was able to knock out a 8:33 pace for just a nice and easy 3 mile training run. I guess my body is saturated with oxygen already?

I guess I ran the loop in the wrong direction, because had I run it in the opposite direction, I would have had an awesome view of Manhattan for a good 1+ miles of the run. Doh! Next time!

Anyways, this was an AWESOME workout and really put me in a good mood for the day. Plus! I am done for the day, workout wise.

Have a good weekend everybody. Are you racing?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Ok, so today wasn't thaaaaaat uber crazy workout wise, but I figure I ought to own a slogan for at least one day in Bloggerville! You know, "Three Things Thursday", "Five Things Friday", etc etc etc. How does some Chest Hair compete with that?!?!?

Haven't really mentioned swimming very much this season. Usually after a big race, my swim motivation goes down the drain (pun intended) and I usually do a restart in the pool. After Mooseman, I stuck with it and just put upped the volume and dropped the intensity. Fortunately this worked and I have been able to hold some (not all) of the speed that I was building up right before Mooseman, so I feel like I am still in a very good place (compared to last year) in regards to my swim form.

We did:
500 WU
2 x (4 x 25 EZ, 50 HARD)
6 x 200, descending 1-3, 4-6
2:56 (we raced each other)
2:58 (we were both cooked)
250 CD
2250 total

Not the longest swim, but when you haven't done some intense sets in a few weeks, it really does a number on you. Hope to get used to the intensity over the next few weeks. Swimming is great because its so measurable. The conditions never change! so its is easy to measure whether or not you are sucking or doing well.

Then tonight was one of those rare nights where no thunderstorms showed up over my ride start location @ EXACTLY 6PM. Seriously Triathlon Gods? SERIOUSLY?!?!?!? Its Karma, my friends.....Karma....

The temp read 88 @ the start, and with my goal of heat acclimation, I said bring it on. Was able to knock out 29.8 miles through the posh posh of Greenwich, CT. I had to stop off to blow my nose, unfortunately the convenience store was out of tissue, so the guy just gave me his spare $100 bills. ZING! Only saw one Maserati and one Lotus. People and their commuter cars....

The terrain in Greenwich is hilly. Lots of short ups and downs with few flats, so its a great place to learn how to change your gears really fast to transition from a short but steep downhill to a short but steep uphill, then rinse and repeat about 100 times.

My legs finally opened up around mile 15 and I felt like I was flying up the hills. By 7:45PM the air became "romantic"....i.e there is a nice balance of dimming sunlight with dimming heat and humidity. I guess its the "comfy" air to ride in forever.

Do you see an elephant? Or something else....

Gotta rest up and knock off 9 miles in the morning. I'll save some fumidity for you!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Beating the Heat, My Plan

When I get my butt whooped by something, like the heat/humidity @ this past weekend's 5 miler in Central Park, I get back up and keep fighting, but smarter and with a plan for round #2.

First, I needed to understand WHY at the mile 2 marker my body suddenly had the life sucked out of it and cast into survival mode.

#1. I went out too hard! On a nice and cool or rainy day, that strategy is actually suggested for distances for 10K's and shorter. i.e. go out hard and hang on for dear life cuz its gonna be over with before you know it. I have done that and it worked and I have PR'ed. However! On hot and humid days, GOOD LUCK with that strategy! It obviously didn't work for me. (and I am longing for cooler days again)

#2. Where is your blood? This is related to #1. Your blood goes to the muscles when your activity increases to deliver oxygen to the muscles. That is why certain body functions start to decrease efficiency such as your stomach's digestion. The same is true for your skin. The blood goes to the skin so that it can cool to keep your body temp down. Unfortunately its either the blood is going to your skin to cool, or its going to stay in your muscles and then you will overheat. Which is it gonna do? Well, for me it went to my skin and that is why I suddenly sloooooowwwwwed down at mile 2 when my body was like, sorry, your core temp gets priority over 7:xx min miles. Your body knows whats best!

#3 Acclimation. Everything I have read suggests it takes your body 10-14 days to acclimate to hot temps. I spent two summers cycling in Southern France. The weather there is like Arizona, hot, but dry, with more emphasis on the HOT. By noon, you are inside cuz by then its 100 degrees most days. I cycled through the terrible summer of 2003 that killed a lot of people across Europe due to the extreme heat. Fortunately every village in Provence has a water fountain in the middle of town, so I was constantly filling up my water bottles and staying hydrated. I remember getting heat headaches and learned how to take my helmet off going up hill and strapping it onto my handlebars then dumping water over my head. Eventually I acclimated and heat was no longer an issue. I always had a bottle of water on me and stayed hydrated. (I only took my helmet off for long uphills, it was promptly put back on when resuming flats or downhills)

#4 Know the conditions. I have been frequently heading outside in cooler temps in the morning, but because the humidity is already off the charts, I am suffering before I know it. I came across this cool chart which explains how humidity makes heat worse.

So now my plan of attack for beating the heat for my next race, a 10K around Central Park on July 10th, will be the following:

#1 Staying hydrated. I am constantly guzzling water. Seems as if after every run or ride my pee is no longer clear. So I guzzle some more water after the ride until it goes clear again, then I monitor it. I also feel like I have a lot more energy when I am fully hydrated.

#2. How much liquid should you consume? I came across this cool formula and article for figuring out your approximate sweat rate and how much liquid you should drink during a workout to prevent dehydration. Here is an example from the article:

Weight Before

Weight After 138.25 lbs.
Weight Lost or Delta 0.25 lbs.

Convert to Ounces 4.00 ounces (Delta x 16)

Liquid Consumed 42.00 ounces

Total Loss During Run 46.00 ounces (Delta + Consumed)

Loss Per Mile 9.20 ounces (Total Loss/Miles Ran)

#3. Train like you are gonna race. This is a tough one because if your race doesn't go off till 9 AM, that might be a time where you are already at your desk @ work. That is the case for me, so my most convenient option is training early in the morning like normal. So how can I acclimate to the heat the best? Mid day runs. I am fortunate that my workplace has a locker room with a shower. Its probably a really stupid idea to go out running @ 1 PM on a hot summer's day, but that is the same time I will be out on the run @ Timberman in August. Gonna have to get used to it at some point! Fortunately there is sun-block, even more sunblock, a visor, and fuel belt with water bottles. I will also limit the run to 4 miles and will drink PLENTY of liquids. (trust me, I am not looking forward to this)\

#4 Heartrate and going slower. Have you ever used your heart rate as a limiter? If your run calls for a zone 2 or 3 effort, then use your heart rate to tell you to stay in that zone, even if it means your pace will be WAAAAAYYYYY slower than on a nice and cool day. Eventually you will acclimate and the pace will come back up while staying in the same zone. Just think about when the temps cool down! Its gonna be PR CITY!!!!

#5 Ramp up the pace. My pace strategy is going to be the complete opposite for the 10K. Go out easier, get the body used to the conditions, then save the best for last. I actually felt the best during the 1.5 mile cool down after my 5 mile race, when the humidty and heat was even worse. My body only needed 7.5 miles (2.5 mile warmup, 5 mile race) to get acclimated. BLAH!

So this is the plan. Still debating the midday run. If you have any "train in the heat" suggestions, I wanna hear em!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The NYRR Run for Fumidity Race Report

[F]umidity, aka F-ing-[H]umidty is my Kryptonite.

I figuratively fell flat on my face this morning during the NYRR 5 miler in Central Park. After .5 miles of my 2.5 mile warmup, I was already dying and felt SO sluggish. Finished the warmup, then just walked around for a good 15-20 minutes to let my body get ready to race.

We race, and I knock out the first mile in 7:27, 2nd mile in 7:34, and then my head exploded. I could feel this heat pressure in my head just building and building and building until right at the 2nd mile marker its like someone took a syringe and extracted all of my mojo, and I was DONE. My body said this:

"Thanks folks for playing! Its been fun!......But stick a fork in me."

So I just let my body do what it could to crawl to the finish line. My mile splits came out as:
40:37 official time / 8:07 pace

This race basically was a total disaster! But you know what? I am GLAD this was a total disaster. I am actual SUPER HAPPY that this was a total disaster. You are right now asking yourself, "Is the boy on drugs?"

Basically this race has become the motivation to beat the humidity this season. The game has changed. In cooler temps and in the rain, I succeed. If the humidity and heat are going to be my Kryptonite, then I gotta find a way to beat it, cuz right now Timberman is the next battle and I am planning on going into that fight swinging, BUT! I gotta respect that run due to the possible temps and humidity like last year. I am actually praying for rain @ this point for August 22nd. But, I know that in order to have a fair rematch over last year's attempt, I need the heat and humidity.

Gonna start the research for heat/humidity running and will hopefully apply it @ my next race in July @ a 10K in Central Park. Watch it be raining or nice and cool that day! haha!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

oh boy, the heat

Got out for a 40 miler today on the bike. The goal was to get out there in the heat to start the heat acclimation in the build towards Timberman. It was around 86 degrees and not very humid, so it wasn't the hottest ride on record, but since I have had very little heat training this season, it really affected me. 90 mins into the ride there was one of those on-the-go hot dog trucks. I was SO thirsty! I jammed on the brakes and spent the best $2 on a cold bottle of water. Glug glug glug it was gone and I was saved!

Speaking of water, I have been CHUGGING water for the past 3 days and I can't stay hydrated! I drank so much water last night, got hydrated, went for my ride today, BAM, dehydrated again. I drank almost 40 oz's of liquid on my ride! Chugging water again when I got back home....Is this a case where I want to eat some more sodium in my diet to retain some of this liquid?

I know my body will acclimate to the heat this summer. I spent two summers cycling in southern France where the weather was basically Arizona: Hot, but dry. I remember struggling at first, but soon my body was able to take it. Just gotta give it time? I just know that @ Timberman on the run, I could encounter the 85 degree with 100% humidity weather again. That was NOT fun last year, but I want to be prepared for it this time.

Oh, and racing in the rain sucks, but running in the rain ROCKS. Basically there is no way you can overheat! I am starting to think that lead to my 1:50:00 Half Marathon @ Mooseman, since heat will just slaughter me.

I have a 5 mile race in Central Park tomorrow AM. This will be my gauge to see how recovered I am from Mooseman. Has it been 2 weeks already?!?!?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Lets talk Peanut Butter

A few posts ago I mentioned that I ordered an assortment of Peanut Butter & Co's Easy Squeezy gels/packs. The goal was to possibly use these on the bike as a replacement for the Balance Bar Peanut Butter bars, which were too hard to get down while riding. These Peanut Butter packs and the Balance Bars are roughly the same caloric amount of energy.

They arrived tonight. And I tried two of the three flavors, The Bee's Knees and Dark Chocolate Dreams. I am too full to try the regular flavor, Smooth Operator.

I was testing for two things: #1 Taste, and #2 ease of eating (both opening the packaging and getting it down).

The Bee's Knees tasted ok. I could deal with this taste out on the bike. The major downer was the packing. Opening it was easy, but the contents didn't come out that well. Yes, I know its peanut butter, but it was viscous enough to squeeze out easily if the packing had allowed it. You know how you open a Gu, and there is a smaller hole which facilitates the exiting of content? This packing didn't allow for that (gets too big) and it was too cumbersome and would be too hard to deal with on the bike. Dangit!

Then I popped open the Dark Chocolate Dreams. This one didn't open as well, which is not good. I had to use two hands and my teeth to open it. What if that happened on the bike? NOT good! Ok, I get it open, and the quality (viscosity) of the stuff is good, like a slightly thicker form of the Chocolate Gu. I like that! The taste? Um, it could be a LOT better. But let's say for the sake of argument that it tastes freaking incredible (which it doesn't), the contents enter your mouth and then suddenly dries your mouth out. It sucks ALL of the moisture out of your mouth and you suddenly can't get it down without quickly drinking some water. You can replicate this feeling in your mouth by taking a quarter of a teaspoon of pure cinnamon and try to eat it. I dare you! (PLEASE DON'T!!!!!)

If you can't tell, I am NOT sold on this product for use on the bike, which is a major bummer, because it seriously had some incredible potential. Finally, since the Gu packaging design is so wonderful, here is what one peanut butter pack looks like next to a Gu. They both hold the same amount of content (32g).

Side by side. Sorry about the bad cell phone pic! The peanut butter is thinner than the Gu, but wider.

And on top of each other

My biggest dream would be for Peanut Butter & Co to either replicate Gu's packing design or downright steal it. I doubt they can do that, but at least with a rip off tab and smaller opening, it would help out soooooooo much.

If you are going for a hike or walk or something more leisurely, I would say bring these along, since you won't be one handing it while doing ~20MPH on skinny tires. The Bee's Knees was a good flavor, the chocolate not so much. I am thinking of reattempting my Chocolate Peanut Butter Gu recipe and using the Gu flask afterall. I also wish they would make their Cinnamon Raisin Swirl (sans raisins) into an Easy Squeezy. THAT is so far my favorite flavor they make.

Perhaps I should forward this to them? Suggest they make a triathlon friendly version?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Input needed! If you were to ask a Race Director ANYTHING, what would it be?

If you can't tell, my training is on the waaaaaay low end right now while I recompose myself for an intense 4 week build, so talking about my adventures out on the road are just not that exciting @ the moment.

So! I am trying to fill the void by "digging deeper" into the triathlon world. I am *possibly* (fingers crossed and not jinxing myself!) doing an email interview with a big time race director in the near future. While out on the bike @ Mooseman for 3 hours in the cold pouring rain, I had a LOT of time to think. One thing that I thought about was how the race director must be handling the day. Afterall, I just have to take care of myself. He had to look after 1,000 people!

We have the easy job: pay, race, eat some food, accept some hardware, get your photo taken, go home. Guess who gets to set up and clean up the aftermath? I have a lot of respect for the race director! So I am really curious as to what it takes behind the scenes to put an event on, especially one that has 2,000 plus athletes.

I am starting to compile a list of Q's to ask, but my perspective of a race is different from yours. If you were to ask a race director ANYTHING (keep it civil folks!) what would it be? What are you curious about? It can be as small as, "How many porto potties do you need?" to as big as "How does the entry fee break down to in terms of expenses to put the event on." I wanna hear it!

Leave me the question as a comment and I will compile a list to ask.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Halfway to......

Its June 12th, folks, and that means its halfway time. I am officially halfway from 27 to 28 years old today. And! Its basically halfway through the season already: 4 major races for the year, two down, two to go.

So far this year has been a busy one and by the #'s:
1 4 mile race
1 5 mile race
2 stand alone half marathons
1 25K race (and longest run ever)
1 15K race
1 Sprimpic Triathlon
2 Half Ironman Triathlons (two of the four major races)
111 blog posts
118,830 yards swam
2021 miles biked
438 miles ran
0 mins strength training
A baker's dozen PR's
Only 1 or 2 mental breakdowns ;)

Mentally, I am still sharp. Went out for a 30 mile ride today on the road bike and besides almost bonking twice, my legs feel mostly recovered.

Speaking of recovery, do you foam roll? I am starting to find that my foam roller is a great barometer for how recovered my legs are. Basically the more tender my muscles are while foam rolling, the less recovered I am. As the week went on and the tenderness subsided, I felt better and better.

Finally, its 10 weeks till my last Half Ironman of the season, Timberman. I whipped up my new training plan. Basically its gonna be a bunch of consistent work from here till then. It includes a big training weekend up in Lake Placid during the Ironman where I am going to swim the course, bike the course, and the run course once each, since everything is a two looper. Its gonna be my 4 weeks out broken half ironman, or something like that. AKA Do I really want to do this course 2X in one day a year later.

Happy training!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Taper Madness Contest Winners!

Thanks to those who entered into my Taper Madness contest where I asked YOU to tell me what a good defination of "going taper crazy" meant if you were to explain it to a non-endurance athlete.

Since I was giving away two different things, I selected two different winners.

Jeff @ Dangle the Carrot, uh, "bashed" the competition with his entry:

"Do you remember the movie The Untouchables in which Robert DeNiro played Al Capone? Do you remember the scene when all the mobsters were sitting around a table after Elliot Ness had ruffled some feathers and one of them had said something stupid to DeNiro/Capone? DeNiro/Capone was walking around said table holding a Louisville Slugger and we all knew he was going to bash the stupid guy in the head and everyone at the table knew he was going to bash the guy in the head even the stupid guy knew it was coming ... DeNiro/Capone walked and talked very deliberately for what seemed like a long time and the tension just keep building and building and building and building until BAM ... he violently bashed the guy in the head with the bat. Well, that Tension is the same feeling we get from the Taper, like a snake coiled up and ready to strike, and if timed perfectly we will explode on Race Day just like the maple bat exploded the stupid guys head all over the table. BUT if not timed correctly we might explode on the next idiot that asks us what taper crazy means! Capiche?"

That got the point across!!! Jeff, email going your way with details to send you the Gelrilla Grip Gel Holder.

I selected a 2nd winner and this goes to Colleen @ Irondiva. Her answer was VERY succinct and to the point. It hit home!

"Going Taper Crazy is the time between your hardest training weeks and your race when you totally doubt everything that you've done leading up to the race, you feel fat and lazy, you get bored easily, you eat a lot, you question your reasoning for thinking you can do a race, you feel like you'll have to start all over and that you'll never be able to race. But you do. And you kick ass. And you forget about the taper tantrums until the next race. :)"

Colleen, comment sent to your blog asking for info to send you some Larabars! Congrats!

Till next time!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The De-Taper, and more on Peanut Butter and Chocolate

You know all about tapering before a race, so I won't go into the details. You know how to race, so I'll spare you those details as well. But what about after the race?

When you do a race and taper for it, the taper and race are essentials to actually doing the race. That's the whole point!

Its what you do after the race that is optional. There is no necessity to do anything after a race. You can just sit on your butt forever if you want!......and I actually don't mind doing that after the last race of the season.

But! If you are still mid season and there is another important race coming up on the calendar, going all couch-quarterbacking is not an option. So what do you do? How do you go from taper to race to recovery to back to it?

My plan this time is to basically reverse back out the same way I came in on the taper. Aka. The De-Taper. I am just going to do the same workouts, but in the opposite direction to bring me back up to where I was pre-taper. Does that make sense?

I see that on two fronts: Physically and mentally. Of course physically you gotta bring it back up gradually to let your body repair the damage. My body is still a little wrecked, but getting better. But mentally that post race fog still lingers. Even if my body was suddenly cured, I cannot mentally bear going out on a 3+ hour ride this Saturday and down more Gatorade and Chocolate Gu. I need a break! My taste buds need a break! haha! Which I am taking....

So far I have biked an easy easy easy 16 miles on the road bike, hopped into the pool for 30 mins, and ran an easy 5 miler. I even ate McDonalds!

Disclaimer: I actually have nothing against McDonalds. I just don't have one near me or one that is convenient to get to. I loooooooove me a BigMac with a Chocolate Shake. I know, its soooo bad for me, but I haven't eaten (I think) McDonalds in 7 months? So it tasted extra good :) AND! I think I deserved one! hehe

Finally, I want to leave you on a yumminess note. I did a post about my peanut butter chocolate Gu recipe awhile back; it tasted great, but it was a bit unpractical unless you used a Gu flask, which I don't. But! The Peanut Butter & Co now makes these single serve "easy squeeze" peanut butter gels that are just like Gu gels. Both the Gu and Peanut Butter are 32 gram servings of yummy matter.

Me thinks you take a Chocolate Gu and a Peanut Butter Easy Squeeze and eat both @ the same time? Whatcha think? Might be a bit much? 180 calories of Peanut Butter + 100 Calories of Chocolate all @ once? Would just do this on the bike, NOT the run. I think from a pure taste stance, it will be a winner!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

"Manly bike for sale" GOTTA read this! Hilarious!

I got nothing to write about, besides I am recovering from Mooseman. I did get out for a bit this morning on the bike, but it wasn't much besides seeing a decapitated baby deer head on the road......yeah.....GOOD MORNING EVERYONE!

OK ok ok, to the title of this post. A buddy sent this to me. Its a craig's list ad. It has been archived under the "best of craigslist." It goes under the category "Pure Awesomeness." Link

Manly Bike for Sale

Date: 2008-07-22, 10:18AM PDT

Bike for sale

What kind of bike? I don't know, I'm not a bike scientist. What I am though is a manly guy looking to sell his bike. This bike is made out of metal and kick ass spokes. The back reflector was taken off, but if you think that deters me from riding at night, you're way wrong. I practiced ninja training in Japan's mount Fuji for 5 years and the first rule they teach about ninja biking is that back reflectors let the enemy know where you are. Not having a rear reflector is like saying "FUCK YOU CAR, JUST TRY AND FIND ME".

The bike says Giant on the side because it's referring to my junk, but rest assured even if you have tiny junk that Giant advertisement is going to remain right where it is. I bought this bike for 300 dollars from a retired mercenary that fought in both World War 1 and World War 2 and had his right arm bitten off by a shark in the Phillipines while stationed there as a shark handler. When he sold it to me I had to arm wrestle him for the honor to buy it. I broke his arm in 7 places when I did. He was so impressed with me he offered me to be his son but I thought that was sissy shit so I said no way.

The bike has some rusted screws, but that just shows how much of a bad ass you are. Everyone knows rusted screws on a bike means that you probably drove it underwater and that's bad ass in itself. Those screws can be replaced with shiny new ones, but if you're going to go to that trouble why not just punch yourself in the balls since you're probably a dickless lizard who doesn't like to look intimidating.

The bike is for men because the seat is flat or some shit and not shaped like a dildo. If you like flat seated bikes you're going to love this thing because it doesn't try to penetrate your ass or anything.

I've topped out at 75 miles per hour on this uphill but if you're just a regular man you'll probably top it out at 10 miles per hour. This thing is listed as a street bike which is man-code for bike tank. The bike has 7 speeds in total:

Gear 1 - Sissy Gear
Gear 2 - Less Sissy Gear
Gear 3 - Least Sissy Gear
Gear 4 - Boy Gear
Gear 5 - Pre-teen Boy Gear
Gear 6 - Manly Gear
Gear 7 - Big Muscles Gear

I only like gear 6 and 7 to be honest.

Additionally, this tool of all immense men comes with a gigantic lock to keep it secure. The lock is the size of a bull's testicles and tells people you don't fuck around with locking up your bike tank. It tells would-be-thieves "Hey asshole, touch this bike and I'll appear from the bushes ready to club you with a two-by-four".

Bike is for 150 OBO (and don't give me no panzy prices)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Ironman Mooseman 70.3 The Full Race Report

I have never experienced such highs and lows in one race. As Matt @ Venerable Companions wrote to me, "He looked very relaxed at the swim start," I thought that made me an Oscar worthy actor because as I met him at the swim start all I wanted to do was find the bushes to hurl my breakfast up. I was sooooo nervous at the start of this race due to the theme of the race: SUCKAGE. aka shitty weather!

The lows of a nervous start went to the highs of an awesome swim (I didn't want to get out of the water!) to the lows of a tough bike that really sent me soul searching to the highs of an incredible run that I am still questioning myself with, "Where the F did that come from!!!"

I always say that I have a complete race, but THIS race, was a complete race and is an absolute victory considering what I had to overcome with weather and terrain to accomplish crossing the finish line. Grab some popcorn! Its gonna be a long one...

But first! I want to congratulate my fellow Mooseman comrad, Regina @ Chiu On This. This was Regina's first Half Ironman distance race and she rocked it! The day before the race @ the pre-race meeting, I gave her a 70.3 sticker and I was questioning whether it was a little premature so as to not jinx anything, but I knew that she was going to finish strong, no matter the circumstances. She did awesome!

Regina, you picked the HARDEST Half Ironman to start your Half Ironman career. I already told you this via text, but considering the Mooseman terrain and the weather conditions, I think its going to be hard to find a harder race than what we experienced. Its all downhill from here! Look forward to shredding your Half Ironman PR by a LOT in the future! I am glad that we raced this together, because knowing someone was out there that I knew helped a LOT. It was also that "someone is looking over my shoulder" thing so quitting was not an option, so thank you for pushing me!

Now onto the actual report! I promise this time!

Pre race:
Up @ 3:30 after tossing and turning dreaming about God knows what about the race. Out the door @ 4:15 and on my way. Arrived @ Parking @ 5 AM and rode my bike to transition. Totally relaxed environment. I even got body marked by this big burley guy who had really nice handwriting. That was the strangest moment of my morning....

Met Regina @ Transition and we kept each other motivated despite the announcer guy going all George Orwellian on us with, "Its not a matter of if you get wet out on the bike course, but when and by how much."......Thanks buddy! I'll give you the Debbie Downer award for the day cuz we ALL KNOW!!!

My row in transition was adjacent to the pros. SO COOL to just look over and see Kate Major, Sam McGlone amongst others. I actually went over and said hello to a somewhat local Pro, John Hirsch, from Block Island, RI. He slaughtered everyone exactly one year ago @ the Tri Ridgefield Sprint, and we both were bummed that it was the same weekend this year, otherwise we would have been doing that race instead.

Donned the wetsuit and hopped into the water. It was 69 degrees! PERFECT!

Swim: 35:36
This was the most comfortable swim I have EVER had in a triathlon. The secret? DRAFTING. I found a pair of feet that were the same speed as mine and I just stuck to em from start to finish. I was saving so much energy and still moving at a great clip. Did I mention that the water temp was awesome?

Which one am I? 6 men in black, 5 wearing caps. Its dress alike day!

I came out of the water feeling great. Usually by 1.2 miles I am just surviving to get out of the water. This time was like, "Oh, 1.2 miles, that was fun! Can we do it again?" This is in stark contrast to the Timberman swim, which I did about a minute slower, but I was working what felt like 10X harder to finish.

Ok, NOW which one am I? Hint: I'm in the water swimming ;)

The swim gets an A+ in my book!

T1: 2:54
Coming out of the water, it was starting to rain. Not super hard, but they were big drops of rain. I felt really warm, but I knew that I was going to freeze out on the bike (it was only 62 degrees outside), so for the first time ever in a tri, I had to put on extra clothing.

This took extra time of course, but I would rather be somewhat miserable out on the bike for 3 hours, rather than be totally miserable out on the bike for 3 hours.

Bike: 3:07:17
Got out onto the course and my legs were frozen. I was pushing some big gears despite my legs hurting, so I had to mentally cool it, since I still had 55+ miles of hilly terrain ahead of me.

Upon hitting the first mountain, my legs were being stubborn. They didn't want to climb! So going up that last pitch, the pressure my body was exerting was just incredible! It was total suckage.

Speaking of suckage, this was my mantra during the day, especially going up a hill:
"Embrace the suckage."
I would say it worked? Basically I just mentally told myself that this pain you are currently experiencing is short term and that it will be over soon, just get through it. This is where the "race song" popped into me head. It was a good one! When I left the house @ 4:15 this morning, the song that popped on the radio was "Wide Eyes" by the Local Natives. I love Local Natives and this totally got my day going in the right direction!

This song kept me calm while "Embracing the Suckage"

I also suddenly understood an article that I read earlier in the week about gearing choices on harder courses, especially when you are training with power. I was pushing too hard of a gear up that hill. I was using a 39x25, but I should have been using a 27 or 28 to spin up it more. I probably would have gone just as fast since my cadence would have been faster, but I also would have been saving my legs instead of mashing it.

After the big uphill, comes a huge downhill, which they imposed a 30 mph speed limit going down it due do to slick conditions and windy s-turns. Didn't matter, I wasn't going that fast anyways! I was just worried that some yahoo was going to go flying by me, lose control, and take me out. Fortunately everybody was smart and took it easy as well. Phew!

This is where I was glad that I put on the extra clothing. It wasn't so much as to stay warm, but when you are going that fast downhill, giant raindrops HURT when they hit bare skin. So my exposed shoulders felt like they were getting nailed constantly by pins and needles. OUCH!

Then comes the flattest part of the course, which allowed me to hold 20+ mph for a good stretch and let my body finally even out and relax. I felt the best on this section.

Then you do that loop again. I guess my legs felt better going up the giant hill the 2nd time, but my back was really hurting! This was due to pushing too hard of a gear. If your lower back hurts from climbing, its due to putting too much strain on your hamstrings, which connect to your lower back == pushing too hard of a gear. Lesson learned for future hilly courses!

I also went by the scene of the dog bite crime 2X on the course. That hill sucks too, but is not as bad in comparison to that monster hill. I knew the dog didn't live there, so I was fine.

It was a huge relief to pass the 2nd loop sign and go straight for home, even if you had 11 miles left. I just endured the pain at that point and finished. Between the terrain and weather, my soul was sucked out of my body!

T2: 2:41
Getting off of the bike going into T2 I saw my family and just shook my head and said "I am NOT in a good place right now." I really didn't want to go out and run. My legs and body were trashed and I was like, "Stick a fork in me, folks! I am well done...."

At my transition spot, the rain flooded everything and all of my gear was soaked, EXCEPT for my running gear, since I had that in a plastic garbage back. Phew! The rain had actually stopped at this point, but I my towel was soaked and covered in dirt/debris, so I had to use the inside of my vest to dry off my feet to get my socks on.

Speaking of putting socks on, have you every tried doing this with frozen feet? Its kinda hard...

Run: 1:50:03
Coming out of transition my legs felt AWESOME. I was like, "What the hell? Not two minutes ago my legs were giving me the middle finger?!?!?"

I'd say about 100 yards into the run you come out on the main road and everybody is there cheering you on. They were blasting music and you know what happens, right? Whatever song that is playing is what will be stuck in your head! I had 13.1 miles of suffering ahead, so it better be a good one!

They were playing.....


Well, it got me through about the first 2 miles, then it left my brain. The biggest hill on the outward bound leg is around that part, and I had to "Embrace the suckage" at that point. Its one of those hills that if you were doing a stand alone run, its a rather easy-ish hill, but after 56 miles, its freaking hard. So I just slowed my pace and crawled up it, making sure to not walk.

@ Mile 4 I popped my first Gu and started running with a guy from CT on the way back to transition. I felt great at this point and was pushing the faster miles of the run.

Heading towards mile 7, feeling the best

Here are my mile splits for the run:
Mile 1: 7:58
Mile 2: 8:13
Mile 3: 8:29
Mile 4: 8:30
Mile 5: 8:18
Mile 6: 8:23
Mile 7: 7:59
Mile 8: 8:09
Mile 9: 8:52
Mile 10: 8:35
Mile 11: 9:31
Mile 12: 8:53
Mile 13: 8:06 (includes last .1)

After mile 8 I popped Gu #2, but things started to change, especially the weather. Right @ mile 9, the heavens opened up and we got DUMPED on. I recall hitting mile 9 right @ ~1:15:00. My legs suddenly switched from awesome to survival. The rain never stopped....

Mentally at around mile 11 I was spent. I was anxious to finish and I knew that I had less than 20 mins left, but those last 20 mins were some of the longest of my life. I had a super slow mile 11 due to the inward bound big hill, then mile 12 was regaining composure before hitting the gas and holding on for mile 13.

I didn't mind running in the rain since it keeps you cool, and my feel were fine! I was actually completely blister in free in the usual spots that I hammer my feet. I did get a blister on the inside of my right foot, but that was due to a tiny tiny rock or piece of wood being on my foot when I put my sock on. It was just a raw spot for the entire run, but totally manageable.


In SO much pain!

Sorta smiling but HURTING

Post race thoughts:
I still have NO IDEA where that 1:50:03 run came from. That run was the highlight of my day and basically saved the day. I had a great swim, and despite the conditions, did the best I could on the bike. I guess I have gotten used to going much faster on the bike this season that holding almost 18mph is slow? Its the terrain, stupid! haha!

I really want to go out there and bust out a stand alone half marathon now. I came within 5 mins of my stand alone time even after a super hard bike. I guess my hard work has been paying off?

So now I am looking forward to resting for about a week before starting to build back up again for Timberman in 11 weeks. Thanks for reading!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Ironman Mooseman 70.3. VICTORY! and quick results

Gonna be quick:

Swim: 35:36
T1: 2:54
Bike: 3:07:16
T2: 2:41
Run: 1:50:03

Weather: Low 60's and RAIN. Rain = TORRENTIAL DOWNPOUR!!!!

The word of the day: SUCKAGE
Use it in a sentence: "Embrace the SUCKAGE."......(especially when going up hills and downhills in torrential downpours)

Totally shocked myself today and went WAAAAAY faster than I ever expected, especially on that run. I was 5 mins off of my stand alone half marathon PR!!!!

More details to come.

Timberman 70.3, you have been WARNED!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

That's all she wrote, Folks! Time to RACE.

Not much more I can do now. Its time to race HIM #2 of the season!

Did a nice and easy 3 mile run this morning and skipped my 5 x 100 yard swim tonight. I was tired and passed out on the couch @ 7:45. I just want to give myself the next two days to let everything heal and to feel 100%.

So this is gonna be a HUGE racing weekend across the nation. I would like to say "Good luck and have a great race!" to the following fellow blogger buddies who are racing this weekend:

Regina @ Chiu On This - Ironman Mooseman 70.3
Kevin @ Ironman By Thirty - Racing for Recovery Half Ironman
Christi @ Pedestrian Runner - Kansas 70.3
Shelly @ Vergence Ranges - Pawling Sprint Triathlon
Aneta @ Confessions of a Rambunctious Runner - Her first Duathlon!
Julie @ Julie's Running Blog - Twin Cities Half Marathon
Aimee @ I Tri To Be Me - Metro Brokers Sprint Triathlon
Colleen @ IRONDIVA - 10K....her first standalone 10K EVER! And she is an Ironman!
Matt @ Venerable Companions - Mooseman International Distance
Maija @ NJ Tri and Dog Tales - Mooseman International Distance
James @ Ironman 101 - Heat Wave Triathlon

I am racing Ironman Mooseman 70.3 as well on Sunday. My bib # is 64 (under the name Leonard Campbell). If you get bored, you can track my progress throughout the day @

Signing out. I am driving up to NH tomorrow, then hopefully going over to watch the International distance race on Saturday. I hope to drop a short line Sunday evening. Have a great weekend everybody!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

What is your race "song"?

Kevin @ Ironman By Thirty just did a post titled "The Triathlon Song." It got me thinking of when I reach the deepest and darkest place in a race where your body just hurts and you want to end this race ASAP. What is going through your head? For me, a song pops in my head and plays over and over and over again. I remember during a Century ride my senior year of high school (spring 2001) that around mile 80 when my body and mind were totally wrecked I kept hearing "I'm On The Outside" by Stained over and over again in my head.

This year, usually at the end of a half marathon where the last 5K just breaks you, its been Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance." Not sure WHY Lady Gaga, but I guess the general beat and melody and lyrics are in sync with my running pace? I'll spare you by not posting the video. Not sure if Lady Gaga is your style!....its not mine either. (honestly! I swear! ;) )

Do you have a race song?

So other than dreading which catchy song is going to pop in my head during the 5th hour @ Mooseman, the workouts have been winding down.

Yesterday was an easy 4 mile run in the morning with a short swim in the evening. The swim was pure taper, involving all out hard mixed with a ton of easy. I did a 4 x 100 set on 3:00 and went 1:22, 1:24, 1:23, 1:22. So the speed is there in the pool. Other than that I was holding a ~1:40 pace/100 and just going super easy to get/keep my arms loose. Thursday's swim is going to be awesome: 5 x 100 on 3:00 EASY then I'm hopping out of the pool.

This morning was my last ride. The bike is in great shape. The wheels are true and the gears are shifting smoothly. I did just 15 miles and kept it easy with some moderate pickups. My legs just need a few days off and I'll be ready to rock it on Sunday! So far, this has been a great taper. Mentally I am perfect. No meltdown yet! And I feel NO anxiety about going too easy or too hard during the taper. Seems like 9-10 days is about right for me for the HIM distance.

Finally, are you racing this weekend? I know of at least four of you fellow blogger buddies are racing, but drop me a line if you are. I am compiling a list for a later post this week.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Monster Month of May

May was all about the bike and the return of the run.

May totals:
Swim: 22,500 yards
Bike: 488 miles
Run: 92 miles

I feel like a totally different person on the bike. I have NEVER put in that many miles on a bicycle in a month before. My previous best was last month with 393 miles. Those miles have already started to pay off. I am noticing that on the flats that I am pushing some pretty respectable numbers (both wattage and speed) with much less effort compared to a few months ago.

So here is the secret to getting faster on the bike: Ride more! Amazing, right? ;)p....getting bit by a dog and contracting rabies helps too, right? (kidding about the rabies....)

Now for the run, in April I hit the high 50's, which is my yearly low so far. I made up for it this past month, blister free and injury free, with 92 miles. Only 6.2 of those were done at speed, the others were shear volume miles.

So going into Mooseman this weekend, I am feeling VERY confident on the bike, but I am really unsure of where my running speed will take me. I know that I can do that run strong, but how fast will be the Q.

Actually, this will be a good test compared to New Orleans: Run Speed work with less bike fitness going into a HIM vs more bike fitness with more run volume work going into a HIM. My goal for Timberman will be to have both.

Not gonna comment much about the swimming this past month. I had some PR's in the pool, but that amount of yardage is nothing record breaking for me.

How did your May turn out?