Monday, April 30, 2007

Thats a big Haboob!

Fe-Lady had a great question for me about Haboobs. First I must proclaim that I am not very smart and in complete transparency for several months I thought the Fe in Fe-Lady was pronounced Fay not realizing the Fe stood for the periodic table for Iron. I put 2 and 2 together while working in my garage one day. Much like my thinking Taconite Boy was pronounced Taco Night until I was schooled that taconite is pronounced Tack-a-nite for a rock type in his region and not my favorite dinner.

Anyway, two great people with much to say.

Here is a link to the definition of Haboob. Even though I am not very smart, I will state that I did not read this definition before writing my post earlier today.


It was really nice to not workout on a Saturday. I stayed up late Friday watching shows normally tivo'd. Didn't really sleep in much but didn't get up at 0515 like I would have needed for the club ride. Which turned out in my favor since they all pretty much kept pushing the distance till the line broke at 67 miles. Some still went out for 90. Ah- No.

The community Broadway Saturday was actually really fun. Mo loved the songs and I loved that they served beer and had a buffet and sat next to Big John. Afterwards I sat in my jacuzzi reading magazines and drinking beer while a mostly dry monsoon came through with thunder/ lightening/huge wind and massive dust.

Sunday was a very nice 1.5 mile open water swim and then 20 minute desert hill run. Afterwards we all went to Mexican food and drank and ate too much in the sun.

Had our first official 101 degree day Saturday. Bring it on!

Friday, April 27, 2007

The focus off me

After close to 100 weekends thinking of Ironman training, doing Ironman training or lamenting that I can't do any training at all; this weekend is focused on Mistress and Mo.

Its funny how perceptions change but I really have no desire to wake up Saturday at 0515 to get ready and drive to a group ride with my tri shop starting at 0700. So I will allow Mistress to sleep in and Mo and I will go to the park at the corner while its still cool out. We all have tickets to a Winnie the Pooh show at a 'Broadway' theater later in the day.

Sunday I will swim and run at the lake but its not very complicated and there is no pressure to complete a set distance or perform at a certain level. Thats a nice feeling.

Next weekend Mistress and I and several of our friends are going to Rocky Point Mexico for an International distance triathlon at a resort. We rented the penthouse of the host hotel. We are leaving Mo with my parents for our first real vacation since he was born.

Lets see...all adults...Mexico...Cinco de Mayo...triathlon...I see some fun going on.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Burp and Guzzle

So much of Ironman training and endurance training in general, is based on regulation of intake, whether that be with food or fluid. Most times food is fluid! In long distance work, the last thing you want to do is take in too much and have that sloshing around in your stomach. Add to that all the solid / gel /liquid carbohydrate mixtures your putting into your digestive system for calories and that can cause some serious gastro distress.

Once your done with your workout and your stomach's at the point of being empty and slightly upset, and the sweat is clinging to your body and the sun feels hotter without the wind, thats the time you pull out a ice cold soda and chug it down. After a few minutes that resounding burp makes all your stomach problems go away. Then you cool off by chugging a bottle of cold water filling your belly to a satisfying level, knowing that you wanted to do that five mile ago. You knew though you wouldn't have been able to keep going if you had.

But the goings gone. All thats left in the distance done and the distance to your car is the thought of the Burp and Guzzle.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Boys of Summer

The day after Ironman Arizona, several of us were sitting outside an Italian joint drinking some beer and waiting for our meals arrive. We were in different states of physical distress and discomfort. Somebody looked up and remarked, "Notice there's no wind today. What a crock."

Since IMAZ, the weather here could not be better. Last night around 6pm I was at a gas shack getting pretzels and a diet coke and as I walked out to my smoking hot Charger, I was struck by just how beautiful the evening was. Some of you will have to wait till mid July for a night like this. And thats too bad.

While in the not too far future the temperatures will go nuclear and afternoons a UV nightmare, there is a window on either side of the desert summer that is down right amazing.

Its another great day to train.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Happy Birthday Mighty Mo

The final push came at sunrise. As my son took his first gasps of air, the window in our hospital room was suddenly awash in a brilliant ray of sunrise coming over a mountain. As if ordained by God.

The last four years have been a tribulation period for our son. Between his illnesses and injuries one would think this boy was destined for a hard life. The glory though is that this boy is a Light for others. From the day he was born Mo has pulled people towards him with a gravity that is supernatural. People of both sexes and regardless of age are captured by him and want to reach out and touch him or be a part of his world. He is like a Little Buddha in that regard.

When he is in the hospital, which has been a while thank God, nurses and aids would go out of their ways to come to his room. Before shift, after shift, breaks; all wanted to be a part of this happy, loving boy.

Doctors are perplexed when they attempt to match his behavior with his conditions. Many times we are told he is too sick to sit or stand, let alone be playful and engaging and bringing joy to others in much less dire straights.

Often we are told he is an old soul or he is understanding and empathetic beyond his years. Teachers tell us he asks questions well beyond his years and comprehension to know about. I don't know about all that. All I know is that I am living my lost youth through his eyes and its a blessing to behold. Among all the boyheadedness any son can have with a father, he has taught me about grace in ways I didn't understand.

Happy 4th Birthday Mighty Mo.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Declaration of Intent

I'm staying on my home turf next year and completing Ironman Arizona.

It was a decision that in the end had to be made.

Aside from the Oly two weeks from now in Mexico, I have cleared my race calender of all commitments through 2007. My entire focus is to be in top physical shape for the only race and only distance that matters to me right now.


Sunday, April 22, 2007

In a landslide

In a completely one sided poll, T-Rex Mo or Dino Mo wins easily. On Monday I will debut the cropped and enhanced photo.

One friend who voted over my shoulder yesterday during a get together says that even though the other photo's might look nicer, their not the Mo he knows. And he is right.

You people sure know how to pick substance over style.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Viewers Choice

I don't have the effort for a fancy schmancy poll so just tell me picture you like best for Mighty Mo's new avatar.

Cowboy Mo

Business Mo aka bank manager

Nascar Mo

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

IMAZ 2007 epilogue

The funny thing about pain and suffering is that it is hard to capture in a photograph. If you think about it, unless someone is grasping a body part a particular way or there is physical evidence or a facial expression you could misinterpret a photograph of pain as laughter or just plan nothing. How many times do you walk by someone in a hallway or see a friend and even though there is a feeling that they are disappointed, frustrated, in pain or confused they look relatively normal if not a bit placid and inexpressive.

The first picture was at the medical tent. I was shivering uncontrollably and could not open my eyes from salt crust but not in pain. I remember people commenting on how pale my lips were and how the IV was bring the color back. I was described as 'babbling', 'incoherent', 'nauseus' and 'non-responsive' but those are hard to portray on film.

In the second, Mistress claims to have never seen my eyes as red which is why she took it. At this point both arms were IV'd and I was feeling better. That might be a relative term looking at this photo.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Words From Mistress Carol

A Brief note to all on what a Ironman is. He may not have finished his second race but he is definitely an Ironman. A true Ironman pushed them selves beyond where they should go. Commodore did that, true Ironman trains beyond reality, he did that, a true Ironman picks himself up and plans for next event and we are already for that too.

I have no doubt he will do another Ironman race but for now he will do some sprint races and give the Mistress (me) and Mo a break from training and be an Ironmann at home.

Mo loved watching his dad race. He cheered and held up his sign for the Ironman he loves even more than Power Rangers. From a four year olds perspective his dad is the most amazing person in the world. He does not fight bad guys like Power Rangers or Spiderman or carry a sword but he can perform feats greater than any super hero ever has. An Ironman super hero must persevere through years of training, through the pain of racing and uphold standards of commitment to family and the sport that no Power Ranger has to. Mo spent 8 hours watching his dad race on Sunday he was the most amazing four year old. No complaints no fits just the question "when will daddy come by?" He searched and searched for his dad to cheer his Ironman super hero on to the finish. Mo does not understand finishing or not finishing. He knows his dad did an incredible race and that he won. To Mo winning is not coming in first or even finishing. If you ask him he will tell you his daddy won the race, because he was there and watched his dad compete for 8 hours. An incredible amount of time to a four year old and my self. Finish or not he raced for 8 hours before the wind and the heat and his own body called "time". Only an Ironman will go until his body stops working. He pushed himself to the limit literally before he stopped. If this does not teach a four year old about competition and perseverance , goals and what a hero is than nothing ever will. Today our son has a real hero to look up to.

My only words to Commodore are: Great job dear you are amazing! You are an Ironman! Now get over it. Time is up for mourning the loss of a finish photo. Life gets back on track now and your sons birthday party is the next life event, then the sprint race in Mexico, then plan for the next Ironman race.

Grateful: An Ironman's Story

I have never been so grateful for this blog. While I am not crying in my Starbuck's over this, the overwhelming support you distinguished people have shown me is quite frankly humbling.

My weight is coming back as expected though my energy is still up and down from the dehydration. I still have a lot of mucus coming from my lungs and sinuses so I will have to go to my doctors for more tests on what I might have.

I was browsing our digital camera the day after the race, Mistress took pictures of me in medical and then the ER. I will post them. I have decided that since I still have race day photos from the swim and bike and just not a finishing photo I am still going to create a shadow box. In lieu of the finishers photo I am going to use my ER photo. In place of the medal I am going to put my green Ironman athlete bracelet and my blue hospital admittance tag.

I'll post the medical photos soon. BTW to answer an unknown bet, I only threw up once on the course ;)

I met my teammates for lunch and we discussed the race as we will continue to do for the next six months. The fact that theirs ended with a photo and mine a IV bag makes little difference.

I want you to know I didn't learn anything new out there about myself. You won't hear from me that I am going to wrap myself into a chrysalis coocoon and emerge a beautiful butterfly stronger than ever or that I discovered the secret to my future happiness. I'm not that smart or I would have stopped 56 miles back from where I did. This was just a bad week for me and I had a bad day. Tomorrow is another day. There may be another Ironman inside me. Perhaps unfinished business on my home turf. I am not ready to make that commitment right now and luckily I don't have too. I have months to think and retrain myself but first I have to get healthy.

You are all the best.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Not Enough

As most of you may now know, I didn't finish the race. I struggled the entire day, feeling flat in both the swim and the bike. I knew half way through the bike that I was suffering from dehydration and fought through it, putting as much fluids in me as possible. I did not pee the the entire race.

Some say the winds this day reached gusts of 50 mph for those of us in the back. I know that it was unpredictable and that it slowed me down, but my problems weren't from wind. I don't think I have been healthy all week. I did not bonk. I felt flat all day and my energy though flagging in the end was not the normal bonk cycle of strength then weakness, like hitting a wall in running.

My over riding goal was to make the bike cut off and then see what happened from there. It took every ounce of energy I had. As I dismounted at T2, a club member grabbed me as I fell. Based on my physical condition she took me to medical and they put 3 bags of IV and nausea medicine in me before send me to the ER by ambulance. I took 4 more there with both arms being used.

I weighed myself before bed as I did when I first woke up. After 7 liters of saline, all the liquids I drank during the day and the food I ate at home, I was still 20 pounds lighter.

I have no misgivings about the race. It is what it is. It's Ironman and I respect that. I am not sorry or disappointed about not finishing, well maybe a bit disappointed but I will take my victory's where I can.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Oh yeah, race number is 761. Only Commodore in the race.


Today is bike drop, gear bag checks, last minute details and the last supper with the team.

The sore throat has returned much to my chagrin but my all my kits are loaded with sore throat lozenges that have numbing agents. These should help me out there on the course. I have been staying busy but find that for long periods of time I am on the phone with a blogger, friend, love one and I am too tired to do much of anything except save my energy for the big day. I skipped the dinner and athletes meeting to sleep.

Weather is calling for 18 mph winds from 11a to 5p. Tough but manageable. The forecast is less than 80 degrees. Great news for core temperatures but must remember to keep that sunscreen on.

At Florida for the beach start I thought of all the people close to me IRL and online and as I said their name I drew a cross in the sand. This is a water start and there is no sand so my crosses will be drawn in the grass but hold the same thanks.

Mistress will have my cell phone. Anyone who has my number can reach her at any time for some news.

I don't know what race day will hold for me; a medical DNF, a PR, a finish, I don't know and that is the lure and the magic of iron distance racing. No one is less a triathlete for starting the race and not finishing. Its dreaming the impossible and making it not only probable but actual.

Perhaps I will get off a few words before leaving the house Sunday morning but if not please know that every one of you who leaves comments, those that simply just come by and share a moment in my life, you have done me more help for this day than you will ever know.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Good to Go

Yesterday was a rough day for me. I never lost hope but I certainly felt like crap. After registration and a bit more of work I went to see my father at the VA. He's recovering from hip replacement surgery. Just walking into the VA immediately snapped me back to my on-going Infantry sub routine that runs in the background of my life.

I walked into a gallery of photos, memento's and medals and observed a veteran in a wheelchair sobbing in front of a purple heart display. It was touching. Of course in all things military, the building is huge and makes no sense and I walked all over asking every 'Ma'am' and 'Sir' how to find his room. I think military hospitals were all designed based on a Rube Goldberg machine.

After bringing the Ole' man his pogie bait, I tried to leave. Again, I was running on my sub-routine and even though I was getting no closer to getting out of the hospital I kept getting closer and closer to the D-Fac (Dining Facility). All Grunts know that when lost head for the food.

I should also say that as the day wore on, my physical well-being was deteriorating. I felt hot, my throat hurt...I went back to my office and just laid down for an hour getting myself ready for a race seminar at 7pm. I ended up cancelling. I went home and straight to bed. I slept ten hours and today I feel much, much better. No sinus problem, no drainage.

Good to go.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

IMAZ Swag: Scene 2, Act 1

My sinuses are better than in bed but I am hawking a lot and my throat is scratchy. Still think its atmospheric. It didn't affect my swim though which went very well. We were some of the first in the water which is felt very fantastic. Swam about 40 minutes. Worked on sighting landmarks and staying in a straight line.

John, myself

Todd, Mike, John

Met a woman who did Florida with me. I don't know how she knew but she came to me. She confirmed to the guys the 4' foot swells in the ocean and 20 mph winds the first 50 miles of the bike along with the cold temps. Validation!. She is from Chicago and we all noticed she was taking off a short cast boot. On her first day here, she went for a run and felt the bottom of her foot 'crunch'. She went to the ER and they gave her the boot and permission to come back for a cortisone shot for race day if the pain did not subside. She still plans on racing and just proves once again the indomitable spirit of the Ironman triathlete.
Myself, Glen, Jeff, Hardcore Mike

Went to work and back a bit later for registration and just ran into Glen, Hardcore Mike and Jeff aka The Machine. We all moved through reg together which is so much easier the second time and then off to the expo tent for one more look now that everything is up. I only picked up a new IM logo'd shirt.

3 Ironman ditty bags-1 free at reg & 2 asked for. 3 Gatorade bottles from Gatorade
swim-originally took 2 but Mike stole 1, took 2 more. 2 NA Sports license plate
holders free at reg. 1 shirt $64. Ouch.

Semi Conscious

My only corollary to this race is my last ironman in Florida, or as I like to call it, "One the top three best vacations and weeks of my life." Just head over to Taconite Boy's blog for a righteous video he took and I am forever grateful for. I felt totally alive, in the moment and completely self aware.

Last night I didn't sleep well, couple hours tops. Not from anxiety but post nasal drip. Bastard. I don't think its a cold since the wind is gusting at 20-40 mph and particulates are in the air but its a buzz kill. Being Mr. Positive though, I got out of bed at the same time I will on race morning (0345) and went about a practiced plan of collecting what I needed to get out the door for the actual race. I ate what I will eat, did what I will do and things look good.

Long day today. I already mentioned not much sleep and at 0700 I will meet Big John and another teammate Todd, for the Gatorade swim. Todd is doing his first IM and has a solid shot at a sub-10 race which gives him the Kona slot he wants. We have trained together for three seasons now and he is part of the tight group of pals I train with. He just gets done a lot faster than me, so its a lot of "See you in X amount of hours. Have fun." But he was always there for me. Last summer when the group planned 56 mile bikes and I needed 100 and the temperature was going to be 110 degrees that day, Todd was always there in the parking lot at 0400 putting his stuff together because, as he would say, "AZ TRI CLUB, doesn't ride alone. We're there every stroke, pedal and step for each other."

After the swim, a bit of work, then back down to the expo for more swag, I mean registration. Then back to work, then hopefully meet some triathlete's in town for the race, fellow bloggers. My dad had hip replacement surgery Tuesday at the VA so I am going to try to make it there to see him and perhaps talk to some troops injured in the Global War On Terror. I hope I can do that. Work some more. Then at 7 pm is a Mental Preparation seminar at Tribe Multisport for the race from a sport head doc.

This is not necessarily how a triathlete should taper for a big race, its certainly not the schedule I had in Florida. But this race is much different than that one. While I was fully engaged in Ironman in I am semi-conscious.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

IMAZ Swag: Scene 1, Act 1

(Standing up from my chair) "Hi, I'm Comm's and I'm a swag whore."

(Group in unison)"Hi, Comm's."

(One lone Ironman bedazzled in M-dot gear in the back row)"Keep c'mon back man, it works."

aaaaaaand scene.

As you can see from the photo I have already sampled the expo of Ironman Arizona. I must say I am slightly disappointed. First the race colors this year suck. Brown with gold M-dot. I remarked that the race jerseys looked like chocolate. Come on, who the eff wears dark brown unless your Leon Phelps. Second, this is Phoenix. Who the heck wears long sleeve polar fleece or cotton sweat shirts here. Give me a break. Yet the expo is overflowing with these thick, IV inducing clothing items.

However I did get an orange towel; orange being the color of AZTRICLUB and my personal favorite. An extra race belt just because I couldn't help myself, a Christmas ornament with race logo, and couple of stickers for the swim bucket/ transition seat. I really wanted a collared shirt from this race and it looks like that ain't happening. I also wanted a very light weight long sleeve technical pullover. One can only hope.

Inside/Out sports was not letting anyone in their tent so I will undoubtedly be walking through there and getting some odds and ends.

I thought I would take a photo of the transition area (TA) without any bikes in it. In 72 hours this place will have 2,200 bikes racked in it. Multiply that times a rough average of $2,500 invested in each bike and you have $5.5 million dollars planted on one football field.

In full disclosure, you may notice a blue bottle on the shelf behind the swag. Thats for my camp stove. Many times instead of going out to eat I bring in freeze dried or dehydrated hiking food and fire up the stove in my office to boil water. This is especially necessary when I spend my entire lunch time working out.

zip ties and heart rate

Last night, Andy2 and I took our bikes out for a shake down after getting tune ups. He was trying his new aero helmet and HED3 disc wheels and I was just making sure the gears worked and the cables were tight. Good thing because although the bike was working perfectly, my polar bike computer fell off. No big deal, just a stretched out rubber band that I replaced later with zip ties.

With that SNAFU, I have trained sans technology all week. Its been an interesting investment in my taper to only rely on my internal perceptions as opposed to HR, pace, distance, cadence, ave. speed, etc.

Of course all that will be looked at almost exclusively to everything else on race day. The last thing I want to think about on race day is what hurts or how hard I'm breathing.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

A mile in line

I have looked through so many scopes in my life, I pretty much view everything through red dot or a green night vision filter. As the reticle in my mind dials into race day, life at once seems to slow down and speed up much like concentrating on my breathing to get the perfect shot off. So the question is: is it just me or does everyone else seem to move so much slower the closer I get to Ironman?

Yesterday I was Office Max. It took me two minutes to find the tabs that I needed and nine minutes to get through the checkout line. There were ten employees in the store and only five customers, all of us in line with me being last. I figured I could have run a mile and come back and still not have lost my place in line, nor intrupted the flow of business.

I find that I walk really fast right now; at work, at the store, in the parking lot, it doesn't matter. Sometimes I run where I need to go; inside, outside, it doesn't matter.

I realize I am walking really fast when someone up ahead gets into my line of travel and I get right up behind them really fast almost like I warped up to them. Of course I try to get around them but it seems slow people are drawn to walking right into my path and my side shuffle becomes a leap to the side.

I'll be thinking about this post at around mile 126 on Sunday. I hope I am moving faster than a fast walk.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Dialing it in

As the hours tick away till Ironman, Mistress reminds me to focus. In Florida I had four straight days living the Ironman life before race day and this time I am not taking any work off before and just the morning after.

The menu at our house is considerably more healthy than you would expect except for the munchies which I am now avoiding through the race. I will certainly be increasing water and Gatorade intake as Sunday gets closer and by Thursday start using electrolytes sparingly to get my concentration up pre-race.

Going through my provisions I realized I am out of maltrodextrin (Carbo-Pro) and Cytomax. As a personal reminder of the First Law of Triathlon: Don't Try Anything New On Race Day, I have to go buy six single serving packets of Cytomax because I am going to try a new brand this year and don't want to use anything my stomach is not used to on race day. I did not have time to buy my pharacutical grade maltrodextrin online in time so I ended up spending $6.66 per pound for Carbo-Pro and split the tub with a friend rather than the $1 I am used to spending from online sources.

Whereas in the very beginning almost two years ago Mistress and I spent hours figuring out our Training Contract, this time around she is been much more my partner and coach. Just as I have become accustomed to six hour workouts away from home so has she and her encouragement is a testimony that any family can support an iron-distance triathlete lifestyle.

Weather is a toss up right now. The winds are picking up this week to 40 mph on Thursday but its projected to keep the weather on race day to a high of 82. If the winds can drop on race day then it could be perfect. Still I would rather take the heat and no wind than great temperature and high wind, like the first year IMAZ.

Friday, April 6, 2007

If you rate her ass on 100, it would easily be a 94...

Today is Good Friday. It surprises me sometimes how this is such a low key holiday as opposed to the commercialism of Christmas considering Christmas wouldn't matter without the crucification and resurrection.

Driving Mighty Mo to grandmas this morning was an interesting conversation about the bible and the death and resurrection of 'Baby Jesus'. My son prays like Ricky Bobby from Talladega Nights. Feel free to leave your favorite Ricky Bobby prayer in the comments section. [Video]

My favorite: I like to think of Jesus with giant eagles wings and singing lead vocals for Lynyrd Skynyrd with, like an Angel band and I am in the front row hammered drunk.

You can make up your own.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

A Mo Update

Excuse me while I get pissed for a minute. This is all stream of consciousness stuff. Today Mo had his allergy testing. It was a big deal since he had a bad reaction to some testing very early in his life. Today he only tested positive on the Control.

Good news you think. Yes it is, but what it really means is that I/we/doctors still do not have a clue about his auto immune deficiency and that pisses me off. With every test there is the opportunity to define the reason why he is so sick. When a doctor tells my wife today that he is healthy as a horse, I want to scream at him, "Then why the hell do I pay $25,000 a year out of pocket in medical bills and he's been on antibiotics since last Hallow- Fricking- Ween?"

My mom and Mistress are for now at least a bit happy that he has no allergies and were back into auto-immune discussions. We can actually drop a drug. Goodie. Meanwhile instead of having the 'address' of his problem we are told he lives in a certain country. I know that doesn't make sense but I want a NAME. I want a face of evil. "Tell me which way to point my weapon sir and I will not fail you. "


Great we know that one but it doesn't explain why his immune system is constantly trying to destroy itself. It is not the source, it is the symptom. I know it. I know it. I know it.

I have to do this here because I have to be strong IRL. I have to go home and hold my son's hand while he cries on the toilet. Then when he is not looking check the bowl for the amount of blood in it. I have to give him cold wash clothes on his legs in the middle of the night when he wakes up crying because they hurt. I have to remember to not get angry when he refuses to take a nasty tasting medicine and remember to hide my tears when my son who will be four this month tells me HE's sorry he forgot to take his peanut butter medicine (its mixed in). Like it was his fault. Like he has a choice...

I have a lot to talk to God about on the ride home from work. He and I are going to have some robust dialog.

Windows of Opportunity

In the alpine climbing world there is usually only a small window each year to summit certain mountains. Mt. Everest for example has a climbing window of about three weeks at the end of May between spring and monsoon season. Some peaks in Yosemite can only be summited in July or August and sometimes I hear not at all.

I have been pondering this lately as I realized my window is upon me. Next weekend I have my second Ironman. Then I essentially spend three weeks recovering with very little working out that I can foretell, then I travel to Mexico for an Olympic distance race held on Cinco De Mayo. Yes they do serve beer at the finish line. I will post more on that race later. Then two weeks later another Olympic distance race.

April 15th to May 20th. 3 races in 5 weeks. 1 Ironman and 2 Olympics.

When thought of realistically, it really means that other than those 3 races, I will won't be doing any training of note. How can I? Its race, recover, taper, repeat. By 11 a.m. on May 20th my season is essentially over except for maybe a pick up here or there just for the fun of it. Funny how some peoples season won't even start until later in the year. Interesting.

Having such a short season does have its advantages. I want to take my performance to another level and need to make some fundamental changes to my training. My body has become too adapted to my training stimuli. I have been training for one Ironman after another since September 2005. Thats right, I trained and peaked for Arizona 2006 (didn't compete), took no time off and trained, peaked and completed Florida 2006, took two months off and trained for Arizona 2007.

Like the Himalayan climber I have a small window to achieve my victories this year and then its time to regroup and climb another peak (which is not a metaphor for leaving triathlon for another sport). I sense a good year of change coming. I proclaimed 2007 as the Year to Step It Up. I thought it was the races. I was wrong. Its about the training; being consistent, challenging myself and God willing getting a bit of Favor.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Dead Space

My marathon at IMFL was 5hr 30min. Thats with a thirty minute negative split. I threw up every half mile for the first 6.5 miles. Oh, I didn't really stop running, just ran on the extreme right and let it go but it slowed me down trying to reconfigure my nutrition plan. I think I spent five or at most ten minutes waiting for or using a Porta-Let. I know my pace was consistently 11:15 all the way through because I looked at my Polar 625 all the time. I know I walked almost all the aid stations and very infrequently in between. Adding up all the aid stations and walking portions in between, I walked less than four miles of the marathon.

I have no clue what I thought about out there for five and one half hours. I have stunning visions of the course but not a single thought.

I remember at about 2 miles all the females leaders passed by on their sprints to the finish. I remember passing so many of my blogging buddies and how great they looked; determined Jenny, a super fast Robo hammering out his first half, smiling, finger pointing Kahuna, Bolder with his head high and knees up in perfect running form, Tri-daddy smiling and huffing it out very much looking like a man that learned to run in the Army (compliment), Tri-mama a vision of supreme concentration. I remember throwing up a lot up till the first turnaround (6.5 miles). I remember it got dark fast. I remember the lights up to the finish shoot.

Then my memory kicks back in and I can recall all sorts of thoughts and conversations. My favorite is talking to Robo Stu and Kahuna at the transition exit and how awesome Robo's race was when Mistress walks up with a bottle of champagne and a stack of cups. We all could only take a sip without blenching.

Isn't strange that during such a long run, I should be able to remember one thought. Just one. I could guess I thought about breathing, being relaxed, counting footfalls, being excited to walk at an aid station, scolding myself for looking at my pace to much, where my friends were. Thoughts of would I be able to finish changing to I am going to finish.

Instead I am left with dead space. Every memory of my run is visual. I can still remember so clearly what my friends were wearing, especially Kahuna's sloppy grin and super big long sleeve gray shirt yelling, "Comm today you are an ironman!". Not a single thought of my own though.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Taper Time...

Like that really makes a difference in the way I have been training the last two months. I think I have been tapering for Arizona since Florida.

Big John, Glen and I did a loop on the IM course, Glen doing two loops since he is a stud. Then a fast 5k around Tempe Town Lake (TTL). Totally not IM pace when running 9 minute miles but then again it was only three miles. It never ceases to amaze me how my leg turnover is the same whether I run a 9 minute pace or 11 minute pace. Its 81 rpm by the way. It never felt that hot out but all the gauges were showing high 80's.

For the rest of the day I felt like I was radiating heat, like I had been microwaved and no amount of cold water got rid of it. Mistress would feel my skin and it would be cool to touch so I didn't mind it too much, just stayed under a fan. It made falling asleep a difficult task.

Around midnight I was laying on my stomach asleep and woke up to a mouth full of bile which I promptly evacuated over the side of the bed. I got up felt fine, but went into the bathroom to rinse my mouth and had a similar thing happen again. I couldn't explain how or why or the cause. Went back to bed and woke up just fine. Strange. But thats me. the pool.