Monthly Archives: September 2012

My Biggest Enemy

I tend to be an all-out ball buster.  Get me excited about writing and I will try to knock out a book overnight.  Introduce a captivating author and I will read her entire catalog in a week. Show me a new drug and I will shoot up until sunrise.  Well, not quite, but you get the point.

That is my biggest fear regarding training.  I get super hyped and occasionally forget the process takes a while.  No pace is fast enough, especially when I’m challenged or feel good.

This morning I set out to run 11.2 miles in Percy Warner park.  It is loaded with hills and my post-run health/mood would be the deciding factor for doing the Huntsville Marathon on December 8th.

I’ve biked and rode motorcycle through the park, but this was my first run.  It is absolutely awesome. The winding hills and nature put me in a totally different place and I nearly enjoyed every step.  I would highly recommend the Flying Monkey marathon to all of you hard core marathoners with a bit of an edge.

The first 3 miles were more or less uphill and I took it slow, but still got to that point around 29 minutes and felt fresh.  The next section had a few ups, but also serious downhills and at some point I felt a tweak in my knee.  It sort of came and went, then I decided to keep going, but on the flat ground.  My lungs felt absolutely great and I wasn’t winded at all.  But the knee wasn’t feeling so hot.

I did some digging and this sounds like a typical IT band issue.  I’ve heard others mention it, but never paid attention, now my ears are wide open.  Sounds like ice and rest are the best remedy.  Any other suggestions?

I’ve decided that Huntsville is a bit ambitious at this point.  Maybe that will change tomorrow, but a marathon is not worth putting my knee at risk when the intense training starts in January.

A Triathlete’s Friday Night

Picked up my little girl dog from school then blasted a 5 minute nap before staring at the living room ceiling for a while.  This quick sunset is throwing a wrench in my plans, though I planned to take the night off and relax for a beast of a run tomorrow.  I’m gonna tackle almost half of the Flying Monkey marathon course.  (One of my Ironman Wisconsin buddies, Kevin is doing the Monkey). From what I understand this bad boy has a serious reputation of being a bitch of a race.  Here’s how the organizers describe the course:

We will time and measure the distance, but the course will not be certified and it will not be a Boston qualifying event. If you get to the end and you (or your gadget) believe the route to be long, we won’t charge you extra; if you believe it to be short, just keep running. There will be no bands, cheerleaders, wave starts or crowds. We promise no marathon Personal Records, but we guarantee every runner a PR – a Permanent Remembrance of a well-earned marathon finish. We promise to give you approximately 26.2 tough and memorable miles, with a total of over 3600 feet each of elevation gain and loss, or over 7200 feet of overall elevation change.

Anyway, I’m only running an 11.2 mile loop, but I used to ride my motorcycle through this park and thought runners were absolute morons for running those hills.  Funny how perspective changes.  Now I’m really looking forward to the challenge and, if it goes well, I’m gonna sign up for the Huntsville Marathon (he said while sipping on a Horney Blonde from Horny Goat).

East Nashvillians will be happy to know that I stopped by Pizza Real for a little real pizza and now I’m nestled cozily in my basement at 10:30.  So, that’s how Fridays roll these days and I kinda love it.

Today’s Diet:
Breakfast: Protein shake, coffee, cream cheese bagel
Lunch: Fried Rice with shrimp, 2 egg rolls, unsweet tea
Snack: Fiber bar (see my arch nemesis)
Pre-dinner snack: 2 dill pickles, glass of water with scoop of perfect green food
Dinner: Pepperoni/mushroom pizza (5 thin crust slices) Blue Moon, Horny Blond

Ironman Wisconsin in Perspective

When putting an Ironman in perspective, it may help to use landmarks and other interesting analogies to get you over the hump.  It seems like an intimidating task and merely 3 months ago I would have laughed at the thought.  But after finishing an Olympic triathlon I started to believe.  Granted, it’s roughly a quarter of the distance, but feeling your body move through the seemingly impossible gives you a great boost.

Ironman Wisconsin starts and finishes in Madison, but I thought it would be fun to breakdown the distances in another way.  Let’s start with the swim.

I’m a huge Badger fan and I got to thinking about what it would be like if they installed a one lane lap pool along the sidelines at Camp Randall stadium.  In essence, while you’re sitting in the stands,  sneaking hits of Whiskey from your flask and watching the Badgers beat up on Ohio State, you could track me real-time as I blasted back and forth for 42 lengths of the football field then back to the 24 yard line before stripping from my wetsuit to an ear shattering ovation after swimming 4,224 yards.  If things were going right, I’d be done by halftime and unfortunately miss “Jump Around” at the end of the 3rd Quarter.

Then I’d have one of the Badger trainers pull my bike from the tunnel and tear out of Camp Randall on my way to I-90, heading south toward my hometown of Beloit, and home away from home, Rockford, IL.  I’d wave to old friends at the Flying J truck stop and more fans as I screamed past the famous Clock Tower Resort on my way to O’Hare Airport.  I’d actually stop about 21 miles short of O’Hare, but magically be transplanted to the runway with zero exertion of energy.  One of the many fine baggage handlers would deliver my transition bag, let me change in the break room, and I’d be back on the road with fresh Yankz in my Pearl Izumis.

The run would wind right through the energy of downtown Chicago.  I would admire the skyline for miles before I was actually under it, then look up at the buildings and get dizzy as usual.  After I hit downtown, I would turn up the pace and roll through Cabrini Green completely unnoticed because pale white guys run through the area at will.  As darkness fell I would be winding through the notorious South Side with no more than Gu for ammunition and my sights clearly focused on the finish line at Midway Airport.

So there you have it.  Visualization is a powerful tool.  When you have perspective, mountains don’t seem as tall, oceans aren’t as deep, and Ironman’s aren’t as daunting.  But to be honest, I’m not sure this exercise has helped.

Race name : Ironman Wisconsin
Date : 9/8/2013
Address : Madison, Wisconsin
Country : United States
Race type : Triathlon (Full Ironman)
Organization : World Triathlon Corporation
Website : http://www.ironmanwisconsin.com/
Description Swim 4224 yards   Bike 112 miles   Run 26.2 miles
Taking place in Madison, the race features over 45,000 spectators lining the course through Wisconsin farm land and downtown streets of Madison. The finish line is the most recognizable of all the US Ironman events; it is located in front of the Wisconsin state capitol in the heart of Madison.

Diet Temptations

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As if the corporate world doesn’t brainwash you enough?  They are positioning this as a new “healthy lifestyle break room.”  Works for me.

Ironman Augusta 70.3

In three days, two of my friends will hit the downstream current in Augusta 70.3 Half Ironman.  Both will also join me in Madison at Ironman Wisconsin.

We all ran together with the East Nasties last night and it just pumps me up to see the look in their eyes.  Excited, clear, yet a bit distant.  A 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, and a half marathon are lurking.  Both know they are ready, but for various reasons this will be a legit test.

Jim was recently battling a bacteria infection he picked up in the last river he raced and it has taken a toll on his training. I’m sure it will be in the back of his mind as he takes the Augusta plunge.  Daniel is coming off a pretty serious bike accident four weeks ago that sidelined all workouts for a couple weeks and still limits movement in his shoulder.

Jim has been a motivational force from the beginning.  He jogged along with me at an 11 minute pace, and I now realize what a sacrifice that was.  It’s satisfying to help others, but when you’re training for a race, which he often was, it can be a burden.  He also paced me for my first 5k, willingly accepting a chip time that would linger on the internet forever and be well under his potential.  He also lent me a bike to explore triathlons.  Someday I will erect a statue of Jim next to my infinity pool.

The first time I met Daniel was after one of his Sprint Tris.  I was there to soak it all in and see if this was really something I wanted to do.  At some point that day I fell in love with the idea of doing a triathlon and it may have had something to do with Daniel’s post-race excitement.  He was ear to ear grin and just couldn’t hide how pumped he was about what he’d just done.  We didn’t talk much that day, but have become friends since.  I look forward to his positive energy on our journey to Wisconsin.

I really want to go watch these guys race and know how much that helps, but a 7 hour drive on Sunday while having to work on Monday is a bit much for me.  Time is more valuable than ever, it seems.

Side note: The co-worker next to me has the fucking Andy Griffith them for a ring tone and always leaves his phone in the office.  It rings constantly and I cannot thwart the whistling loop that takes over my brain for 3-4 hours a day.

I think I’m finally getting used to my new fucking tri bike.  That whole deal with the aero bars has been cramping my style.  Literally.  My neck felt like it was in some kind of illegal wrestling hold as I’d peer above my glasses while bugs flew in my eyes.  Tonight was better.  I did about 15 miles of rolling short hills at about 17mph on average.  I’ll take that for now as long as I can get my back, neck, and thighs used to a funky new position.  When I got home my dog barked at me.

Todays Diet:

Breakfast: Protein shake, coffee
Lunch: Pizza, pasta, salad
Snack: Fiber bar, Green Tea
Dinner: Protein shake, 2 pickles, green perfect food.

Still going with the flow.

Dark, Murky Waters

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You gotta start somewhere and this was from my first Sprint, in the Music City Triathlon.  It’s funny how I look back on this now and think it wasn’t really that tough, but I was supremely intimidated by the idea.  To swim in the Cumberland River for 400 meters with a “wicked” current had me shakin’ a little bit.  And really, I don’t remember much from that swim except gasping for air and wondering what the fuck I was doing.  There were about 600 people in the race and we did a timed start, so it wasn’t really congested, but you still taste a lot of feet.

I tried to get into the mindset of a Navy Seal as I navigated the dark and murky waters.  Luckily I learned that you have to swim upstream to get straight across, so I buried my head after the last marker and dug in for Opryland.  When I looked up, I was STILL below my exit point and scurried like a dog to get back to the pier.  The swim took me something like 6:45, but it seemed like I spent a lifetime in that river.