Thursday, August 30, 2012

Quick little update....

For some reason I just haven't found the motivation yet to write up the bike and run race reports from Mont Tremblant yet. I even haven't written up a 2 mile swim race report I did in early August. They will get done. I have the time to write them, just no motivation.

I guess I had such a satisfying race at Mont Tremblant that I don't feel like I should write a race report. They will get written.

Now that I am ~10 days post Ironman, MAN does life feel liberating right now! I have ran 3 times, done leg strength 2X, biked easy twice, and otherwise have sat on my ass doing a whole lot of nothing.


I have written about this in the past, and I will write about it again. Most of my motivation through the first 4 years of my triathlon "career" have been all about discovering new distances and the excitement associated with that.

Now that I have experienced every "standard" distance (basically NON ultra distances...) more than once, that "excitement" had and has and still does continue to wain.

It is all about reprioritizing my goals in this hobby. I think this is why I am not as enthusiastic about writing another race report. I remember I couldn't WAIT to write up race reports because it was either a new distance, new venue, or new PR.

Those days are mostly gone and its now, "How did I place?"

And, for the first time I am NOT chomping at the bit for an aggressive Fall running race campaign. Those three runs I have done have been for 30 mins each, at a 9:14, 9:06, 8:58 pace. Slow, yes. And on two of those runs, I felt some pain in my left knee.

Yes, that SAME left knee. It wasn't bad. It was subtle. But it freaks me out! And recall this is how it started last year after Placid.

So! No more running. No idea how this is happening a second time, but unlike last time, I am NOT going to run. I am going to do my PT exercises until this thing goes away.

Which brings me to some goals I have for this Fall "off season". Knee permitting, I would like to break the 20 and 40 minute barriers in the 5K and 10K. I have broken 20 twice before, but unofficially as part of a 4 miler and 10K. I would like to have an "official" sub 20 though.

Otherwise, I want to do strength training. And lots of it. Strengthening my legs brought me back from injury last Fall, brought me back faster than ever before, kept injury at bay, and helped me recover a LOT faster.

I know a lot of people say "strength training has no place in triathlon. You should be spending that time doing S/B/R instead..." But I don't buy it. My coach said to me last winter:

"Jon, Ironman isn't all about endurance. It is about strength. At hour 9 you will thank yourself for doing all of that strength training because that is the time when your body starts to fall apart. Strength training will hold your body up, allowing your endurance to do its thing."

I didn't know what to say at first, but at exactly 9 hours (or at ~13.1 miles into my marathon), my form was still great. I felt great! I even powered up the last two hills of the marathon! I owe it all to strength. Not long run training. I only ran 2.5 hours, or 17 miles as my longest run the ENTIRE season.

I also want to get leaner. I put on weight this season. I was as heavy as I was 2 years ago, and yet I was still PR-ing everything this season. (Again, thank you strength!) but if I can get leaner, that is less gravity working against me going up hills on the bike and running in general.

Which brings me to my next point: DIET. My diet the last 3-4 months SUCKED. I haven't cook myself a healthy dinner since April, I think. I basically lived off of high glycemic cereal to fuel my workouts and deal with stress while working overtime at work. I felt.just.gross.and.disgusting.

Already within the last 10 days I haven't touched cereal once. I have eaten 4 slices of bread total. I have eaten quinoa, black beans, lots of avocado, TONS of green things, lots of fruit, and just plain old healthy things. I can already feel my blood sugar levels coming back down from the stratosphere. I feel "whole again".

I have been craving this feeling all season long, and I finally have it! Work has calmed down. The weather is getting nice. I feel NO pressure to train. Hell! I am no longer training. I am *gasp* working out, or even *gasp* jogging! (sorry folks, won't be running in place at "don't cross" signals)

To a wonderful, STRESS FREE Fall!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Ironman Mont Tremblant: The Swim


Woke up at 4:30 and just wanted to get up for the sake of getting up. Because transition was so close to my hotel, I went down as soon as it opened, dropped off my remaining bags and added water onto my bike, etc. Then I went back to my hotel and started to eat and put my temporary tattoos on. Thanks Kevin for hooking us up! And thanks Beth for putting em on me!

Then it was time to march over to the swim start. It was COLD out! But oh so pretty with an almost clear sky that would signal a good day ahead

There I met up with my parents, hung out with Beth, put on my wetsuit and made my way into the pen to watch the pros go off.

Good God I look bloated!

(funny story while putting on my wetsuit. I was lubing up my neck, wrists, and ankles with Tri Slide when this woman came over totally amazed at all of this going on. I think because my arms were tatted all up with temporary tattoos and I was using some "magical spray" (oh! It IS Magical!) that she thought I was a pro! ha ha ha haaaaaaaa.....)

It was a very short wait before it was OUR turn! I lined up 2 people back, and to the left. Jeff and Kevin were right there with me (THANK YOU!!! It totally calmed my nerves having you guys right there). Then I saw Sarah walk by. She had this terrified look on her face. Well, I did too. But! She swam a 1 hour flat swim! Woah!

(source) I am screen center. Right behind Mr. Wetsuit-less
Compared to Placid, I wanted to DESTROY this swim! I was ready to leap into battle whereas in Placid I was wincing in anticipation for that clock to hit 7:00:00. I would look behind me at the hordes of people and realized something: They are back there because they aren't 100% confident in their ability to hash it out with us. US! I WAS the fast guy for once! Sweet! That further calmed my fears and revved me all up even more.

We all waited for the cannon to boom, but it never did, so we just WENT! BATTLE!!!

Then the contact started, and then it ended....

I was like, am I off course? Where is everyone?

We found clear water! Within the first 200 yards! It was maybe 5 mins of mayhem, maybe not even that long. Then I found my groove and just started swimming.  It wasn't hard to draft, especially with 100's of swimmers around you. In fact, I never really sighted until I got to about 2 buoys left on the outward bound leg.

On the cross section is where I started sighting and further getting into my groove.

Finally on the last turn, with 1 mile to go (ha!) I was able to stay  as close to the buoy line as possible with no contact. In fact, I saw a group ahead of me that I was catching up to. So I caught them, drafted off some feet for awhile, SWORE I saw Kevin (then he magically disappeared on me) and continued on. To break this long last portion up, I was using the peninsula that you swim around as a bearing for how much further I had left. I could NOT see shore so this was my last major landmark.

Coming into the final stretch, I knew it would get shallow to the left, so I hung to the right has much as possible. For some reason I KNEW I was swimming a 1:05, and just as I was standing up, I heard Mike Reilly announce some random person's name with a time of 1:05:xx. SCORE!

Found a wetsuit stripper, and then started BOOKING IT towards T1. My legs felt SO great! I was cruising with no dead leg to T1 syndrome. It was awesome! And the crowds lining the run were just awesome.

And I had no idea that Kevin was literally right behind me. Next time, we draft off each other!

Stay tuned for T1 and the bike!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Ironman Mont Tremblant Pre Race Report

Ironman #2 is done and I AM THRILLED with my result!


Despite some botched bike pacing, I had the swim and run of my life and rounded the corner to the finish line to nothing but utter surprise of a time I never thought I would hit.

It was a good day, and I learned that even the hint of thinking about quitting a race is a VERY dangerous thing.

But! One thing that made this race one of my most favorite races ever was a great group of friends and family to race with and have as support.

I can't thank enough to Beth for her SUPER DUPER sherpa-ing. You really took the stress out of the equation!

Can't thank enough to my parents for making the trek up from NH and for cheering support.

And I couldn't think of a better group of friends to race with: Jennie and Kevin, Jeff and Annie, Mandy, and Dave and Jen.

Seeing you all at the swim start totally took the edge off the entire thing and for one of the first times in a triathlon, I wanted to kick the crap out of the swim (and other people! haha!).

After the race, I went back and looked at my goals post and was actually shocked at how many things I actually hit! There was one very blatant thing that I did NOT hit, but that "miracle" of a marathon made me feel better about my bad bad bike pacing.

This race was the largest PR of my life (60 mins, 8 secs) and wrapped up a super successful PR-ridden season.

Stay tuned for the FULL race report early next week!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Ironman Mont Tremblant Goals Post!!!!

Go faster than Lake Placid!!!

Sub 12:05 or bust!!!!

But seriously, I am NOT going to race this one. I have PR-ed various distances 9+ times this season, taken a number of podium finishes, and been satisfied with SO many races, that I just want to go out there and enjoy a long day swimming, biking, and running for once instead of doing race math for 5 hours or less.

I know what the "feeling" of the pace is that I should be doing for each discipline; I know what to eat and drink and when to eat and drink.

I mostly just want to run the entire marathon without doing the Ironman shuffle the last 8 miles.

I made it 18 miles into the marathon at Placid before I had to walk/visit every bathroom left on the course.

I don't want to get sick this time.

I just want to keep moving without stopping.

I don't want my bike to break at mile 43.

I want to finish the bike without my legs screaming at me.

I want to start the run able to run 9 min miles from beginning to end.

Do you know how easy it is to run 9 min miles for me? It is MY "easy" pace. I just hope a 112 mile bike warmup won't hinder that...

I just want to have a good day finishing with a smile on my face.

I know this course and know it well. I went a 4:54:xx in the 70.3!

I am looking forward to getting this sucker done with and calling it DONE with the 140.6 distance for awhile.

I want some fucking poutine at the finish!!!! (yeah right, I prolly will want to die)

I can't wait to see Beth when I finish :) SCHMOOPY ALERT!!!

I can't wait to eat waffles the next morning. Possibly in bed because I won't be able to move.

I just can't wait to finish!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Putting/Pulling Myself Back Together

Maybe its the past two mornings of 60 degree temps, or my body is finally healing, but I feel a LOT better than this time last week and weekend where I was prepared to just quit the sport because I had had it with just feeling slow/burned out/sore.

Hi there taper! Remember me?

I think mentally I am feeling better than physically. I just haven't been thinking about the race. All I have to do is pack, drive up there, check in and race. I have done this before, I can do it again.

Besides, I am looking forward to riding that course. It is broken up into so many pieces that mentally it goes by quick! Or maybe riding a 2:28 helped.

Maybe I should ride a 5 hour bike split? That should help get my legs loosened up for a marathon? RIGHT?!?!? Riiiiiiiiiiiight ;)

I will leave you now with a clip from one of my favorite comedians, Tommy Tiernan, with an Olympic themed act:

My favorite part: "Athletes would no longer represent countries, they would represent pharmaceutical companies."

Monday, August 6, 2012


This is how I feel right now:


Happy Monday :)

Thursday, August 2, 2012

There is NO race coming up!!!!

Screw it!!! I am convincing myself that there is NO race coming up in less than 3 weeks.

Ironman Mont Tremblant?

A) What is an Ironman?
B) Where is Mont Tremblant?

Anytime I think about my next workout, my mind immediately jumps into "Oh no! Don't go too hard! You might blow it and never recover!!!"

I have had some of the best runs and rides and swims of my life on an absolutely train wrecked and tanked body, and some of the worst rides/runs/swims of my life on a perfectly rested body.

Why or how could or would ANY workout in the next three weeks wreck the last 7 months of training?


(and I feel better now)

Basically I am mentally having a hard time right now. I recall making a good decision by only training for 7 months last year and ending my season with Lake Placid. This was because around that time in 2010 I peaked for Timberman and realized that training non stop for 8 FULL months is too much. 7 FULL months is the perfect amount my body can handle.

Next season? Maybe the end of June will end it...

Oh, and.....


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

August: The Final Month

Welcome to the beginning of the end of the world! of my training season. I can't believe it is already August and I am racing my 2nd Ironman in less than 3 weeks.

For those seasons where my season ended either in August or September, I always remember that physically I feel like the King of the World, but mentally I feel like a scared timid little child not wanting to jump off of the diving board at Mr. Switzer's for the first time.

Have I done this before? YES! Why does it seem so so hard to get through the final 3 weeks of the training cycle? I think it is because of anticipation.

Ever wonder why the first 5 miles of a 10K zooooom right by and yet the final 1.2 feels like it takes a friggin marathon of time to complete?


You want it over SO badly that it won't come soon enough. I liken this to watching a kettle boil or for Christmas to arrive when you were 6. It would never happen!!!

So! I gotta stay mentally sharp.

This morning I took my 1 trillion x 400 workout on the track and turned it into a 60 min easy run. I felt guilty. My coach, without even telling him I did this, sent me an email with the following:

"Be very smart now with the last 2.5 weeks....So, whenever you feel as though you may be going a bit too hard between now and race day, chances are you probably are. Back off and ease up."

Boy did I feel relieved!!! And.......CONFLICTED!

When should I slow down? When is it ok to keep going hard despite it hurting?

I think the fine line rule here is this: STAY SHARP!

I have done this before. With less than 3 weeks left, my Ironman fitness is in the bag. I may add to it slightly, but the bulk of everything is done.

We are determining my race wattage. My swimming pace. My running pace (until my legs give out).

Now it is time to cement those paces and practice them and know what they feel like, and make sure my fueling supports it.

I have been here. I have done this. I have followed through with it.

Now I just can't fuck it up.

Happy August!!!