Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Wedding Weekend of No Training and Waterfalls and a Hurricane

Knee out of commission? = No training

Wedding weekend? = No training

Enjoying not training? = No training

I went up to Rochester, NY this past weekend to see my running buddy, Lisa, get married to a mountain biker. *GASP!* I kid kid. I lent him one of my old road bikes last year, so technically speaking, he is a roadie. She is as well (I can take credit for getting her onto the bike). It was a perfect match wedding. I mean, just look at the wedding cake!

And for the wedding favor? A cowbell. I almost go a blister on my finger from ringing the damn thing so much to get the bride and groom to kiss. Totally beats dinging glasses with forks.

I really like Rochester. Glad I didn't go to school there (I looked at RIT), but the training terrain there is pretty nice. Lake Canandaigua is nice, including an AWESOME German restaurant called Rhineblick. I got the Weiner Shnitzel with a fried egg over the top! Holy GOD that was good!

Those are not worms. That is Spatzel
Can't remember what it is called, but I shall call it YUMMY!

We also can't forget that the one, the only, the super badass trichick Alexa "Two Ironman in one year isn't enough for me" Harding @ JustKeepSwimming lives there. Met up with her at Starbucks Sunday morning while Hurricane Irene's winds were blowing. Second time I have met her in person, and I guess the second time I lured her with the promise of sugary items? Hhhhhhmmmm......I guess my creepy blogger status is preserved? I think we chatted about ZIPP wheels and carbon bikes for a good 15 minutes. We are total tri nerds....also, we talked about what happened to Google+. Is anyone actually using it? The group video chat feature was cool, but a bit of a novelty...anyways, follow her on her journey towards tackling her 3rd Ironman, and 2nd Ironman in 10 weeks.

Since the hurricane blew out power and closed all roads from Rochester to White Plains (darn!) I had an extra day. Since we were so close to Niagara Falls, we took a detour west and saw them in person finally. So cool!


I got soaked!


They need one of these at the start of an Ironman

Then I drove 6.5 hours home. Blah. The hurricane's aftermath only rerouted me once, but it wasn't bad. Soooooo, did you know that the Adirondacks, especially Lake Placid, Keene, and Wilmington got NAILED with record amounts of rain? Just look at these photos of what the flooding did!

This is at the intersection of Rt 73 and River road on the bike and run course. (source)

WTF?!?! It looks like someone peeled the asphalt off of the ground! This is 1-2 miles down River Road on the run course. I got the "runs" on this section (source)

Um? That is NOT an optical illusion. Half the road is now the river.

There was a bridge that went across this dam! I ran to it during the 12 mile trail run at my coach's training camp in June (source)
Man, this saddens me so much! I mean, a freaking hurricane destroyed the area surrounding Lake Placid! Lake Placid is soooooooooooo far INLAND!!!

I hope they can rebuild quickly up there because even though I won't be racing in Placid next season, believe me, I'll be up there once or twice for some training in that area because it is so epic.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Announcing Ironman Mont Tremblant 70.3. F-YEAH!

The Triathlon Gods (in this case WTC) both tempted and teased me yesterday with the announcement of Ironman Mont Tremblant 70.3, yes, a HALF Ironman in the same location as the FULL Ironman.


And the date couldn't be any more perfect! June 24th! Exactly 8 weeks out from the full Ironman itself.

Talk about doing some 95% car free course recon at race pace. This bad boy won't be a "training day" in my book. Its gonna be a flipping RACE DAY in my book. Go big or go home for this race! 8 weeks is plenty of time to recoup and build back up for the final homestretch leading up the full Ironman in August.

So far the course looks almost identical to the full minus a few changes. Obviously the swim course is only 1.2 miles and the bike course is only one loop, but the way they structured the bike loop is slightly different. They lopped off a bit @ the top by Lac Superior and added a short out and back at the bottom of the course. Who knows why! But as long as the climbing is the same, I'm game.

I am disappointed in the run course though, but I can understand why they did it. Instead of it being just one 13.1 mile loop (which we will have to do twice in the full) it will be two 6.55 mile loops. The reason why, I am guessing, is to cut down on the number of aid stations, which is fine. I was just hoping to finally do a single loop 13.1 mile run in a HIM for once.

Even though I hold a hard stance that a HIM is NOT, I repeat NOT!, a great way to test out your Ironman pacing and nutrition, however! this race will help with the race logistics for the Full Ironman 8 weeks later. Bonus points there. I plan to arrive the same day as the full, and depart the same day as the full. Its like a full race walk through minus doing the entire distance, pacing, and nutrition.

Sooooooo, who is with me?!?! You can sleep, wake up, roll out of bed and stumble, no joke, 10 feet to the swim. Heck, you might be able to jump out of your hotel window right into water! (I don't recommend this)

Think of this race as a practice exam for your future Ironman Mont Tremblant 140.6.

Registration starts Monday September 19th @ Noon EST.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Moving Forward...

Urf, this is not gonna be a "happy" post, but more of a reflection on how much of a dumbass I am what is going on in my knee. This "little" knee injury has turned out to be a not so "little" knee injury after all.

After Sunday's 10 miler in the trails of Rockefeller State Park the shit really hit the fan. It hurt SO bad to walk on Monday that in agony I texted my coach with what to do just so I could WALK comfortably. He suggested Advil. Amazing what 600mg of Advil does when it kicks in. I had a brand new knee!

Unfortunately an NSAID is not a long term solution and only blunts the pain before it wears off.

Tuesday was slightly better.

Wednesday was even more slightly better.

So what is wrong exactly? Seems to be a combination or one of two things: Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome(PFPS) or Chondromalacia Patella (CMP).

Basically my knee cap, the patella, is not tracking up and down (it is tracking laterally) and the cartilage underneath the knee cap has gotten roughed up.

The CMP makes more sense because one of the symptoms is "movie goers knee." Yes! That is a real term! Basically if you sit in a chair for an extended period of time, then straighten your leg, your knee gives you the middle finger and makes a cracking sound called crepitus! Guess what? I sit in a chair all day and I actually went to the movies last night. It has hurt like a bitch the last three day standing up from a chair.

At night when I sleep, my leg is straight, so in the mornings when I get up the knee is fine and doesn't hurt.

I chatted with my PT and when she says she is out of ideas, that is not a good thing when she says this. She suggested I visit an orthopedist. This makes sense, because if I push on the inside edge of the patella bone, it hurts, which suggests a possible bone fracture. Only an X-Ray or MRI can confirm this.

Soooooooo, in the meantime, what the heck do I do? Well, I am off to a wedding in upstate NY this weekend so that means more rest, which I am totally in love with! I visit my general practitioner next week and when I see him, I am requesting a referral to see the orthopedist.

Now what if things don't improve and I am out of commision this fall? Well, there goes the NYC Marathon. YES! I know it is still a waaaaaays away, but I have already accepted that not doing this race is not going to ruin my year. I think I have done enough already! Don't you think?

My #1 priority right now is to A) figure out what's wrong, and B) to get healthy for next season for Ironman Mont Tremblant.

A marathon is a cute little thing to run (I kid! I kid!), but I have bigger fish to fry! I am hoping this "thing" goes away quickly, because I would REALLY like to hammer out the NYC Marathon and end the year on a high note.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Cool Stuff Post

Training wise, I have NOTHING going on right now. Actually, I guess the only thing I can count is the number of Chocolate covered almonds I have been gorging on. So yummy!

Anyways......since training is at a standstill because I have a possible injury that "is common in adolescent girls" (boy am I gonna get a lot of crap for this! *cough* Jill *cough*)

Anyways!......since training is at a standstill, I might as well shift focus onto some nerdom and recent things in the triathlon world that I find intriguing.

Tri Tats
Alexa @ JustKeepSwimming recently did a sprint race where she was in the elite wave (cuz she is badass is why!) and she was sporting some tattoo race numbers. Totally jealous, I told her rightly so. Kevin @ IronmanByThirty, aka future Ironman-man, chimed in with "you know, you too can get those! (and we will double your order!)" and pointed me to the Tri Tats website.

For either $20, or $35, depending on if you like a larger size (TWSS!), you can get 20 tattoos of each number, which according to the web-site, "will last anywhere from 4 to 7 triathlons depending on the race numbers you are assigned."

So if you don't want a handwritten unprofessional race number on your arm, pick up a packet of these and look pro!

Apparently they give you a tan and bulk you up over night? (source)

Garmin Vector
Garmin finally entered the world of power on the bike. But instead of crank or rear hub based, this is the first pedal based power meter on the market (as far as I know). They bought out a company called Metrigear and rebranded the product. The pedals are compatible with the Look Keo cleat. The fact that it is made for a garmin cycling computer is a win in my book.

Only downside is the price. So far its set for a $1500 MSRP. Ouch. You can get a proven PowerTap wheel for MUCH cheaper at wheelbuilder.com.

I believe the dongles are for sending data. The sensors are inside the pedals. (source)
Pruis Project
Um, have you ever wanted to change gears by merely thinking, "Uhg, this hill is so steep! I need an easier gear!" Well, according to this, it is possible!

Peace out mapmyride.com! You are tooooooo slooooooooow. I was turned onto ridewithgps.com the other week. It is sooooooo fast! I mapped Lake Placid in about 15 seconds with it and Mont Tremblant in about a minute, vs about 5+ minutes on mapmyride due to just waiting for the damn thing to catch up. Also! It gives better detailed and instant elevation charts. Mapmyrides is a freaking joke and 95% of the time doesn't load. Take a look at these three elevation charts I quickly built using ridewithgps.com. I compiled Placid vs Mont Tremblant vs Wisconsin.

sooooooo pretty!

MAD spoofed my last movie, "Rio!" by turning all birds into Green Lanterns. This is so cool and is quite the compliment that a movie I worked on for two years made it into more main stream entertainment.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Three Things Thursday: The Master Plan

I am a guy who has it aaaaaaallllllllllll figured out. Smooooooth operator here, thank you very much....

My lingering knee issue? Puhleeeeaaaase. Throw something a tad bit more difficult at me! Here are my three ideas on combating it:

#1: Become Robo Cop
The dude is inspirational. The dude is indestructable. The dude is completely monotone. But hey! I betcha his knees don't hurt!

#2: Become a Terminator
Not the Arnold version. The silver morphing dude. The T-1000. Bum knee? Ok, I'll just morph it into a working knee. BAM!

#3: Become Road Runner
Ryan Hall has got NOTHING on me! Armed with the tumbleweed run, no coyote can catch me no matter how much ACME TNT he is carrying!


Got any better ideas? I DARE YOU!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

An Open Letter from My 87 Year Old Step Grandfather Re: Triathlon, excess, and balance

Even though my grandparents are not on the interwebz, that does not mean that word doesn't travel in my family faster than the speed of light. Apparently word quickly reached my step grandfather regarding me quoting him in this blog from his last letter.

Well he wrote me a new letter, and this is another good one. Harry, who we all call him, is a Dartmouth graduate, WW2 vet, and a great writer. I always enjoy the letters and numerous NY Times articles he cuts out and sends to us. He does a great job remembering all of our hobbies and interests and he tries hard to find new perspectives on these hobbies and interests to send to us.

In this latest letter he brings up some good points regarding excess vs moderation. My take away is, "Are we so consumed by this sport that we are missing out on other things in life?"

Dear Jon -

Gran'ma H and I I hope you've made a full recovery - bounce back from whatever physical insults you experienced at and during your "go" in the Lake Placid Triathlon. Sorry I forgot to tell you about Tums; house-brand Walgreen Antacid Tabs are the same and half the price.

It's doubtful anything I said or wrote about your triathlon training and participation warranted quotations in your blog - but an obituary in yesterday's New York Times [he included it with this letter] for 41 year old Amy Martich who died in NYC's recent triathlon must surely pose questions that all triathloners ought to ponder, with or without quotation from your 87 year old step grandpa.

Wherein lies the greater honor, glory, self satisfaction and esteem? Is it in the life sacrificed to the extreme physical demands of the triathlon? Or would it be in the measured in years of normal actuarial expectancy which are dedicated to family, offspring, community and productive employment? The latter, of course, would be a life governed by moderation, not excess.

Would your fellow bloggers waste their time on such questions? I wonder - and I'm doubtful. But no harm asking.

Onward! -H

Harry, if you get a chance to read this, you hit upon a LOT of issues we triathloners think about every day.

I have it easy, actually, not being married, working a pretty cushy job that pays extremely well and requires only 40 hours a week. This is why I refrain from ever complaining about not having enough time and money to train because I know of a number of fellow bloggers who are married, have small children, and have a bit of a commute, and yet they are training just as much as I am and are putting up times faster than me. These are the true heroes in this sport. They have mastered that "balance" that we all crave so much.

And this brings upon my next point: I am doing this now while I am young, injury free (well most of the time!), not married and not tied down by the responsibilities of a family. These are things I want one day, just not now. I want to get this whole triathlon "thing" out of my system before I am ready to settle down and put my energies towards other things.

I know that I limit myself in terms of seeing family due to training obligations, but for large races I try to include my family. Lake Placid was a HUGE success. I tried my best to keep the race separate from our vacation until the last possible moment.

For now, I have another Ironman to train for in EXACTLY one year. This is where my energies are going. I will figure it out from there :)

Since Harry asked the question, what about you?

Wherein lies the greater honor, glory, self satisfaction and esteem? Is it in the life sacrificed to the extreme physical demands of the triathlon? Or would it be in the measured in years of normal actuarial expectancy which are dedicated to family, offspring, community and productive employment?

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Weekend Wrap Up

Trying to find a theme for this past weekend. Relaxing?

Friday night after work I hit up the gym @ work for my first Kettlebells workout.
not me, sorry! (source)
I only use a 15 pound weight, which really isn't that heavy. If you have never done a Kettlebell workout before, you should know that you are basically swinging that thing around for a good 30 minutes while doing nothing but squats and lunges the entire time. OUCH. Saturday I wasn't sore, but Sunday? OMG! My jaw freaking hurt! And my traps? I didn't know they existed! I am really enjoying strength training right now and I have basically replaced swimming with it. Don't worry, I'll be back in the pool........... next year eventually......

I don't know why I resisted twitter for so long? I am really kicking myself now because I prolly missed out on a bunch of opportunities like this when Amy @ WelcomeToBoston tweeted me Friday night with, "Hey, gonna be up your way this weekend, let's run!"

And a blogger run meetup commenced. 10 awesome miles later, we negative split that sucker with an uphill final 5 miles. THIS folks, is why bloggers freaking rock :)

It was also one of the best mornings we have had in a loooooooong time too. I have picture evidence to prove it!
Really cool photo Amy took from a bridge crossing the Croton Resevoir

It was AWESOME meeting Amy and its SO easy to strike a conversation with a fellow runner/blogger. Did I mention fellow runner/bloggers rock? We marveled at how small our runner/triathlete blogging community is and yet we are all spread out across the country. I think she has me convinced to do the National Half in March down in DC.

Sunday it just poured aaaaallllll day long. Not sure we have had rain like this all summer. Was supposed to ride two hours, but I just did nothing instead ;)

Since I had aaaalllllll of this time on my hands, I sat my butt down on the couch, watched Netflix,  and stalked Kevin @ IronmanByThirty and Mathew @ GoSmittyGo!!! compete at Steelhead 70.3. Unfortunately the winds were too crazy causing a duathlon. Nevertheless my blogging buddies DESTROYED that course! Visit their blogs and see how they did!

Since I was still bored, I perused the interwebz for awhile and shockingly came across a mugshot of someone I know!!!

Who knew he had a criminal record! Jeff, what the heck did you do?!?! And Annie? Did you know?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Holy Semimembranosus Sartorius Gracilis!!!!

You are probably thinking, WTF kind of language is Jon blabbering on about now?

Leg muscles!

A little secret, the "I" word has leaked out, yet again.....injury, how I hate thee!


And its totally ALL my fault. Swallowing my pride here. Eating a slice of humble pie. Checking my ego at the door. So here goes.

See, even though two weeks out from your first Ironman you think you are fully recovered, guess what? YOU ARE NOT!!!!

Your legs might feel totally fine and you belt out a 9.22 miler @ an 8:08 pace, your fastest run like this in months, but guess what? THEY AREN'T!!!!!

And what happens? You go crawling back to your PT, head hung in shame with the PT shaking her head. You can hear her thoughts, "WTF did this dumbass do now? I just saw him last week and should not be seeing him until November!" (true story!)

Well that nine miler last Saturday did some damage. I ran too hard. I wasn't ready yet! I didn't listen to my coach. He prescribed 75 minutes EASY. Yes. EASY! Why can't I listen? I don't know HOW my ego fit through my front door after that run. *stupid* *stupid*

I ran Monday easy, Tuesday at the track fast, and Wednesday morning for only 26 minutes. I had to stop during the run because it hurt too much. Punishment enough? I don't think so. After a stretch and foam roll, the knee was fine after Monday and Tuesday's runs. Wednesday morning's run pushed me over the edge.

Long story short, the interior of my knee hurts while running. There are three muscles (and probably more)  that attach there, the Semimembranosus (a hamstring muscle):
rear view - (source)
The Sartorius (connects from your hip down, wraps around the quads and connects to your interior knee):
front view - (source)
And finally the Gracilis (helps with the adductors and is the inside most muscle of the upper leg).
rear view - (source)

Basically these muscles allow you to cross your leg. How did I strain them so much that they are yanking on their connection points in the interior of the knee? Who knows. Probably at Lake Placid! Or I have a muscle imbalance. Regardless, they need to be stretched out (which isn't so easy for these muscles)  and strengthened, so a lot of hip flexor and adductor stretches will be done.

But most importantly, I have a WONDERFUL PT who has gotten me through every injury I have sustained, so much so that I successfully trained and raced through a much more painful knee injury 18 months ago.

Soooooooo, now I have homework. I have two new stretches: Hip Flexor and Adductor.
this is not me! - (source)

still not me - (source)

I also have three strengthening exercises via the resistance band.

Huge thank you to SportsInjuryClinic.net for the images and video of the stretches, muscles, strengthening exercises, and knowledge.

Btw, I find all of this fascinating! So cool to learn how each muscle is connected and what they do. Makes me wanna learn anatomy finally.

At least step #1 is over with: Admit that you are injured.

I just wrote up my goals post leading up the NYC Marathon. An injured ankle and back spasm knocked me out of that race last year. I have a score to settle with the Marathon. Sorry Injury, but I am fighting back! BRING IT!!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Rounding out 2011: Whats left?

Normally my triathlon season ends at the end of either September or August.

This year? The end of July! What do I do with myself for the next 4-5 months?!?!? (get fat?)

Fortunately I got an "in" to the NYC Marathon a few seasons ago and put it off until now. Phew! Motivation. Also, holy crap my first stand alone Marathon!

And I will let you in on a little secret: I HAVE NO CORE!

So marathon and no core? What does that mean?

Run focus and strength training! Sayonara pool and bike! (Well, not completely, but it will def be taking a back seat to recovery and XTraining)

Running a 4:34 for my first "Marathon" at IM Lake Placid is fine. Really, its fine! I swear! Don't believe me? You should! Why don't you believe me? I told you it was fine!

OK FINE! I want some fricking revenge and I am NOT satisfied. THERE! I said it...Happy now?

So here goes the rest of my season.

First, strength training:

I drank the Kool Aid and spent way too much money on some nylon bands I prolly could have bought at Home Depot for $5. I went with TRX. It is simple and can work anymore, especially with the door attachment. Also, I don't want to get huge. I just want to get toned.

The downside to strength training is that it can get repetitive quick, like swimming in the pool. SO! To spice things up further, I have three different strength training routines now: #1: TRX. #2: Kettlebells (aka another form of OUCH) and #3: Your standard free weights on a bench circuit. I hope to strength train 3 times a week (because it is different and I like different) and do each routine once a week.

#1 goal for strength training? DON'T GET HUGE! Stay lean. Stay lean.

As for running, I am keeping the racing to a minimum again and focusing on some key races.

Sept 17th, NYRR Fitness Body and Mind 4 Miler. Why? I haven't ran "fast" since June 5th when I had the race of my life at Tri Ridgefield. This will be my first "speed" running race since March and will be a good "break in" race for me. (are you loving me quoting everything?)

Oct 1st, NYRR Greta's Great Gallop Half Marathon. Why? This will be my first "long" distance running race since March and my first stand alone Half Marathon in 18 months. Yes! 18 months! (done plenty in HIM's during that same period) I have a Half Marathon PR of 1:45:xx and its time that this baby goes DOWN.

Nov 6th, NYC Marathon. Why? Because this is the goal!

And from Nov 6th until January 2nd, I am getting fat! :)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The CNN Comments Thread about the NYC Triathlon. GGGGRRRR!!!

Tragedy struck the NYC Triathlon this past weekend with two deaths in the swim. Yes, TWO deaths. I think it is horrible and I am VERY saddened for the families who lost the loved ones.

The swim was rough. This is the best video I could find of the swim:

The video is misleading. Look at the larger swells. From the camera's perspective, they look small. From the perspective of the surface, boy do they mess with your stroke and ESPECIALLY your breathing!

We as triathletes think we are superhuman who can sustain anything. Fortunately those of us who are comparable swimmers never think about a rough swim as something being deadly. It reminds me from my post yesterday about one of the quotes from my 85 year old step grandfather:

"Congratulations! - Jon - And let's not do that again any time soon. It distresses family noticeably."

I guess we never think about what our non triathlete family and friends are thinking while we are out there with 3000 of our newest and closest friends getting the ever living shit kicked out of us for 1 hour+. Think they are worried? YES!

But at least they "get it". They know our addiction is healthy and long term is beneficial.

And then I read the comments section of the CNN article on the two deaths.

Oh boy.....

I find most of the comments quite Ironic. I found Many MANY "Darwinism" comments posted. Here is a sampling of the best ones:

"Funny.  People trying to prove they're super-human and dying like humans.  We should offer Darwin Awards to these types. "

"2 dead just for fun! How stupid have people become!"

"Who competes in a triathlon in record heat? Isn't that simply Darwin calling you home?"

"There are other sports that are not so cruel to the body.  Common sense, folks!"

"this is exactly why i dont exercise"

"The human body is just not meant to be pushed that hard"

So would you guess that those people who are posting these comments are couch surfing jockeys? Inactive people? Wouldn't logic say that they will probably live a shorter life than we, active people who are doing our best to eat healthy (well, most of the time!) and keep our bodies in tip top shape?

Some guy made my argument for me:

"The probabilities are that the couch potatoes will have a shorter life than the triathletes"

Like the comments from my 85 year old step grandfather, his awesome quote that he wrote rings EVEN louder now.:

"his quest for whatever one quests after under such tortuous requirements of endurance." 

I am PROUD to be an endurance athlete!

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Weekend Wrap Up

I am slowly settling back into reality. Lake Placid was 2 weeks ago? Me volunteering over a year ago seems less far away than the actual race! Strange...

Because I have the NYC Marathon in exactly 12 weeks, I can't tie myself up to a pole and become tenderized meat yet, so I still need to keep trucking.

On Saturday I did my longest run yet since Placid, a 75 min easy run. Well 20 minutes into the run I finally woke up and realized I was pushing a low 8 min pace. I haven't felt this light and fast during a run in about 2 or 3 months, so I just went with it. This turned out to be a test of how recovered I am. I think an 8:08 pace (for me) is a confirmation of full recovery, especially in gross fumid conditions.

Sunday I just rode for 90 minutes naked. What a chafe! No seriously, my Garmin decided to freeze and crap out of me NO JOKE 90 seconds before I started my ride. What? How? Gggrrrr.....

Still turned out to be a great ride. Legs were smooth and I mashed it up a few hills. For you future Ironman, just wait for 2 weeks post race. All of that fatigue will be gone and you are gonna feel like SUPERMAN!

With all of this spare time I now have, I am getting back into another hobby of mine (wait, is Triathlon a hobby anymore?) which is brewing beer. Yep! Making aLk-Ee-hAuL.

5 gallons of pure wonderfullness!

Finally, I am going to leave you with parts of a letter from my step grandfather. Mind you he is 85 and from a MUCH different generation that most of us. He means well and has a lot of good stuff to say, but his misunderstanding of our endurance lifestyle really cracks me up and most importantly, makes me feel PROUD. Here are a few excerpts of a letter he wrote to the entire family:

"Congratulations! - Jon - And let's not do that again any time soon. It distresses family noticeably."

"...to head for Lake Placid to join family rooting for Jon in the Ironman torture to which he subjected himself on Sunday. No word yet on how he survived."

"The total Campbell family was at Lake Placid, NY for a long weekend to cheer Jon on his quest for whatever one quests after under such tortuous requirements of endurance. Best him, not me."

My reaction? The grin on my face right now tells all. I like the "his quest for whatever one quests after under such tortuous requirements of endurance." part. That's good stuff! Might need to reuse that! haha!

Stay tuned for my next post that entails the rest of my 201Ironman season!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Three Things Thursday......for the first time!

Funny, in almost 4 years of blogging I have yet to do a "Three Things Thursday." Q: Who started this trend? Well here goes!

#1) I wrote my own version of "This Little Piggy"

This little piggy went to the market
This little piggy stayed at home.
This little piggy had roast beef,
This little piggy had none.
But this big piggy ran off to the coal mines and got itself the black lung.

#2) I think my big toe is just severely bruised. Would it have fallen off by now 10 days later? Strange too because I felt it around mile 16-17 of the Marathon and yet I have done training runs up to 19 miles and never had an issue, even in the same shoes. The toe and toenail doesn't hurt anymore, fortunately.


#3) In non triathlon related news (shocker, right?), I ordered my Lefse Blonde beer ingredients from Northern Brewer. They should be showing up tomorrow! Which means I will brew on Saturday and will be watching a snowstorm of yeast particles going nuts having sex and burping up alcohol and farting out CO2 by early next week. Isn't beer brewing terminology just so elegant? I mean, flocculation and phelonics are totally more proper terms, right?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Call me a creature of habit, but if I don't do something every day, I become the crankiest and moodiest A-Hole you will ever meet. So I ran to the track this morning to test out my legs with a little bit of speed. This is run #3 since Placid.

I got to the track around 6:45 and it was infested with......


OMG they were everywhere! Scattered across every running lane, two, sometimes three abreast just marching slowly along looking for, I don't know, brains?

I had to zig-zag through them like crazy trying to find a clear lane for at least 100 meters and each time I would pass one, they would quickly look at me, probably smelling my human flesh. Good thing I was faster than them!

When do the zombies emerge? I figured 6:45 would be way too early for them. Perhaps I need to go at dusk?

Zombies? Well, they really aren't that bad, until I saw the damn hippies wearing the vibram 5 fingers*!

 *I know some of you wear them. I am not making fun of you! Just the hippies.

Happy Training!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Part 4: The Aftermath. Some Celebration! And Some Reflection...

The next morning I woke up early. My clock was still on "crack of stupid time" and I immediately felt the pain. I can only describe it as best as this tweet:

My legs just felt stupid and sitting up or standing down was ridiculous! I felt like a 90 year old!

But then I saw all of my finisher's swag and IT. WAS. WORTH. IT!

Unfortunately everyone was leaving Monday morning, but as they were packing and leaving, my blogger friend, Alexa came over for her promised cupcake.

We later joked that I lured her over to a stranger's house she met on the internet with the promise of cupcakes. I am also known as her "creepy stalker" blogger friend. Makes sense right? It was nice meeting her in person finally.

A few nights before at the welcome dinner, I met fellow blogger Annie @ Paris Mountain Stridin and her husband, Jeff. She mentioned that she wanted to "throw down" Monday night. Oh heck yeah! Jill @ Simply Tri and her boyfriend, Simon, joined us and we all had a great time swapping war stories and reminiscing about our special day. Aaaannnnd realizing the word "TOMAHAWK" will forever be a funny word, right Jill?

Me, Annie, Jill

And what is even cooler! We all bought the same finishers jackets!

And we continued to have a great time over some WELL deserved beers!

Yes, blogging buddies FREAKING. ROCK!

So that is it! Took me only 4 posts to explain it all, but I hope I gave some of you IronVirgins some helpful info on what to do, and especially what not to do. If there is one thing I would say, it is to make sure you are balanced on your electrolytes throughout the ENTIRE duration of the race.

Now for some reflection....
Lake Placid is a GREAT race and I would highly recommend it to anyone. The town is an excellent (but a tad bit expensive for lodging) venue. Everything you need is here and the community and atmosphere is IronCrack on roids!

If trained, the course isn't terribly hard, but it still is a nice challenge with awesome views. Mentally the run course is easy. I never once felt like I needed an extra aid station.

Now for the serious stuff....
Did this race change my life? No. Not even close. Triathlon changed my life.
Was is it the hardest thing I have ever done? Maybe? There were lots of moments of suckage, but I never once felt like I wouldn't finish. I definitely hated life and the sport at miles 18+, but crossing the finish line erased everything.
Was using a coach a good idea? OH YEAH!
Was knowing the course a good idea? OH YEAH!
Was involving family into race week a good idea? OH YEAH!
Do all of you bloggers rock? OH HELL YEAH!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Part 3: T2 and The Run: Lake Placid Race Report

If you are doing your first Ironman later this season, please, if anything, read my experience on this run. I made some rookie mistakes, and I hope you can learn from them! I don't want you to relive what I lived during the last 8.2 miles of that run! And the fix is just oh so simple!

If you missed my swim report, go HERE
If you missed my bike report, go HERE

T2: 4:25
This was easy. They take your bike. You take off your shoes and you run. A volunteer immediately opened my bag for me and helped me get sunscreen on, my shoes out, what I needed, what I needed back in the bag. It was great! I can't remember who my volunteer was, but he was AWESOME! So thank you mystery volunteer member!

The Run: 4:34:49
Oh the unknown of the Marathon. I have never ran a marathon before. In fact my longest run leading up to this race was 19.07 miles in 2:45:00. This didn't really mean much, but this distance was an unknown to me, let alone after a 2.4 mile swim and 112 mile bike.

But I started running and saw my family immediately as I exited. I just shouted to them, "Just gonna run a Marathon now. Cya in a short while!".....I was totally loopy at this point.

During the first two miles I was already questioning life. This run SUCKED. It was hot and my legs were NOT responding. If this is the beginning, is it only going to get worse now? Because I don't want any part of this! But a guy who knows me from beginnertriathlete.com came up behind me and said, "Are you Jon?"

We ran for a mile or so just chatting. That distraction tricked my legs into going smooth and suddenly I felt a LOT better.

And I went onto autopilot. As the miles crept by I felt myself getting stronger and stronger and stronger. Saw Peter at my mile 2, he was at mile 9-ish already and killing it. I saw Jill @ Mile 9. She looked great! Annie wasn't too far behind. At mile 10 I felt just AWESOME. Even the spectators were noticing it. I was getting a LOT of "#918. Looking super strong!"

I knew it. I felt it. My ego was ever expanding.

I even ran up Mill Hill. It hurt, but I kept chugging. I even saw Alexa at the top by the Sunoco station. She came out and high fived me. I told her she had a cupcake with her name on it. That was enough of a mental boost to get me past the diner to the main intersection.

Saw the family at the intersection. And apparently I was a salty beast at this point!

Somewhere between miles 10 and 13 things started to feel different. But I was still trucking. Just the normal fatigue of crossing over the halfway mark, right?

Up to this point I was carrying a handheld bottle and would fill it with ice and water at every aid station. This kept my hydrated (or so I thought) and also allowed me to squirt cold water on my head and down my back (this was WONDERFUL!).

But my innards were a ticking time bomb. I was drinking when I felt thirsty, but the entire time I could only get down so much before my stomach was just too full. It couldn't process any more liquid! If my stomach got too full, I would get a sharp cramp under my rib cage and that would slow me down.

So I was getting water logged, meaning I had enough liquid in me, but that doesn't translate to having the right balance of electrolytes.

And this is where the bathroom breaks started :(

I saw Mandy coming towards me between miles 18 and 19. I said to her, "Keep moving! I will catch up!" Brilliant, right?

My legs were hurting, but I was still running. At the turnaround on River Road all of a sudden I had to stop......or else. Crap! (literally!)

So much for catching Mandy as that would have been the final mental break I needed to get me to the finish line.

I could physically run, slow at this point, but my innards wouldn't allow it. Bummer...

So I would run until I couldn't, then find a portopotty, go, then run until I couldn't, portopotty and repeated that until I basically finished the race.

I did eventually catch up to Mandy around my mile 20 but she was so strong that I let her go and finish her race. Thank you Mandy for sticking with me for those couple of miles! Meant the world to me!

Again, I saw Jill and Annie near the River Road intersection.

The Finish:
The final 2 miles were the worst. I got to the bottom of Mill Hill and basically walked it from there to the finish, where I saved just enough energy (and innards will power) to run the length of the Oval or the last 200 yards.

When I entered the Oval, there were two people right in front of me. I let them go so they could have the finisher's shoot to themselves. I was constantly looking behind me to make sure no one was there. No one was!!!

I had the finisher's shoot to myself. It was pure bliss at this moment.

Then I heard the words from Mike Reilly:

Jon Campbell...

28 Years Old...

White Plains, New York...

For the First time in your life.



There is a reason why there are finish line catchers. As soon as you finish, your body just releases itself and you turn into a noodle. Its so strange! I was just walking/running feeling totally human not 2 minutes earlier and then BAM! Your body goes, "Thanks for playing! Its been fun! Aaaaaaaannnnnnd I'm out!"

The guy who caught me asked me how I was doing. As soon as I heard those words I blew up.

I. Freaking. Lost. It.

I saw he was a medical guy and I knew I was in rough shape having been to every portopotty from mile 18 to the finish. I tried to explain to him that I had severe diarrhea and it came out as something like this as my lips were quivering:

"I....hup hup hup......have....hup hup hup......gone to every....hup hup hup...bath....hup hup hup.....room....hup hup hup.....since mile.....hup hup hup.......18."

He understood and asked me if I wanted to go the medical tent. I said yes. But first! I wanted my dang finisher's photo! So with all of the strength I had, I stood there, put on one last smile and held myself up as best as I could.

Funky tan lines and all!
Then the space blanket went back onto me. Fortunately a family member was right there and I told them where I was going.

The medical people were just amazing. They took me in to weigh me, and as soon as they took me off the scale, suddenly things got even worse! The world started spinning, I wanted to hurl SO bad and everything was going black. I said, "Uh oh. UH OH! I AM GOING DOWN!" And my legs gave out.

They caught me with a, "I don't think so!" and hoisted me back up and to a bed.

The nurse got an IV into me, took some blood, then started pumping fluids into me.

25 minutes later I was brand new! The legs hurt, but I felt human again. Everything checked out except I was low on calcium, which is an electrolyte. (more on this in a bit)

We grabbed all of my stuff and tossed it into the back of my Uncle's truck with 4 pies of Pizza and I was on my way home.

But first I ran into DROG again! Fitting I guess?  Saw him at the swim start and now at the end.

(He dropped a 10:46 on his first Ironman!!!)
When I got home we all tore through the Pizza. My family was hungry too from spectating all day. They even got me a trophy with candy in it! My family is AWESOME!

What I did right for this run:
I believe I paced this as best as I could. I never ran faster than an 8:30 mile and eventually my miles evened out around a 9 min pace. I held this for the most part until the halfway mark. I hit mile 13.1 in 2:07:xx.

Carrying a hand held bottle was a smart move. At every aid station, I would fill it up with water and ice. This gave me liquid when I needed it and also allowed me to squirt cold cold water over my head and down my back. It was bliss! I HIGHLY recommend doing this!

What I should have done better for this run:
I should have taken Endurolytes (which were in my bento box!) on the bike. Then I should have continued to taken the Endurolytes, as well as Tums during the run. I should have used the liquid that I could get into me to get the pills into me.

Remember how I mentioned I was low on calcium? My coach later told me to bring Tums. That would have not only settled my stomach, but it also would have gotten the calcium into me, since Tums contains a lot of calcium, which is another electrolyte. Also, there is a reason why they serve bananas on the bike and run courses. Duh! Ding Ding! Easy calories and calcium!

So lessons learned! Liquid electrolytes can only get you so far. Taking in pills would be something to test during training. I think if I took the pills and tums and bananas on the bike and run, things would have turned out a lot different. I would rather be walking because my legs gave out, rather than my innards forcing me to walk.

What got me through this run:
Well, running the first 18 miles sure knocked off a ton of time! Walking the last 8.2 kinda sucked.....ok, well, it REALLY sucked! Knowing the course and how far I had left really helped. I knew I had plenty of time and I was VERY satisfied with running the first 18 miles of my first Marathon, ESPECIALLY since it was during a frigging Ironman! This is a small victory for me.

Stay tuned for one final post about the next day!