"It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly, who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and who at the worst, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat."

Never, Never, Never Quit.


Countdown to B2B


Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Getting old?

It's been 3+ weeks since Steelhead, and I've yet to recover fully. I've biked and swam just fine but I've run 5 or 6 times and still haven't had a decent run. Don't know if it's because I'm getting old or what. My bike and swim have actually improved since the race so I don't know what to think. Hopefully it will just take a little more time.

I haven't been do any major workouts but have been getting in rides between 30-50 miles and several 2000 yard swims. Was able to get in a 7 mile run last weekend but not a very good one.

Just biding my time until the weather breaks in another month or so and then hoping to PR at the Longleaf Olympic distance tri on 10/21. Also hoping to get in 2-3 1/2 marathons over the next 3-4 months before starting the long ramp up for Ironman. At this point, I'm looking at doing Ironman Florida, if I can get in. If not, there is a new Iron distance race in North Carolina next November I'm thinking of doing. We'll know the beginning of November if I get in IMFL.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007


Good news/bad news. I PR'd but did not quite get my goal of 6:15. Here's how it went:

Went to bed early but was not able to sleep for more than 30 minutes for some reason. Got up at 3:10 local time(4:10 race time), got dressed and everything together and hit the road from my parents for the 40 minute drive to Benton Harbor.

Got to the race site with no problems only to find cars backed up for a mile into the parking area. It went relatively quickly and I parked, grabbed my stuff and hopped on the shuttle for a short ride to transition.

Arrived at transition with plenty of time since I was in the 14th wave at 7:48. Setup my transition area, filled my tires, finished my breakfast of Luna bars and bananas, double checked everything one last time and went to stand in line for porta johns.

Started the 1.2 mile walk down the beach to the swim start and about 1/2 way saw the elite wave heading out. The lake was calm and the temps a little chilly at 58 degrees. It had been months since I had seen the 50s. The weather actually turned out to be near perfect. Highs hit the low 80s with low humidity and only a stiff breeze at the end of the bike.

Got to the swim start when the 3rd wave was heading into the water, lots of time to get ready. So I zipped up my wetsuit and went into the water for a warmup in the 76 degree water. Made sure my wetsuit wasn't rubbing on my neck and swam a couple hundred yards just to warm up. Spent the rest of the time watching the waves going off and talking to guys in my wave.

Finally wave 13 took off and we were up next. We had to start on dry land so I set myself up back and to the right since I didn't expect to be anywhere near the lead of my wave. The horn went off and we were in the water. Waded in about 30 yards until I was able to start swimming. Despite 200 in my wave, the entire swim was clean and smooth. Without a doubt, the best swim I've had in any race. Maybe not time wise but I never once struggled. The buoys went by pretty quickly and then we were turning toward shore. As I got close enough to run out of the water I looked down and was at 43:40, a PR!!! I dropped into the water at the shore to get my wetsuit off and had a little trouble with one of the legs which hurt my time. Then it was up the beach quite a bit to transition. The timing mat was placed a good ways up the beach so my official swim time was just over 46, which is deceiving.

T1 was pretty uneventful other than the long run up the beach to reach it. Got to transition and went about getting socks, shoes, gloves, helmet, glasses and racebelt on. Grabbed my bike and I was off. The breeze was supposed to be out of the Northeast but turned out to be out of the East. Since the loop took us first North and then East, it played a part in slowing me down a little, I think. The reason I think is once I mounted my bike and went to turn on my computer, it would not turn on!! No idea on my speed or my average or my cadence. Luckily I did have my heartrate on my watch so I could make sure I wasn't redlining. Anyway, the ride started out going up an incline for about a mile. Then the course moderated a bit with rollers for the next 15 miles or so. Once we hit the furthest most point of the loop, about 25 miles, things seems to level out for a while, and with the breeze at my back, started to feel much stronger. The roads themselves with mostly chipseal and in some spots pretty rough. I've never seen so many bikes with flats and so many bottles, CO2s, bottle cages, etc on the road. Luckily I was spared any of that. At about mile 40, my left hamstring really started to bother me. This has been happening on most of my long rides but during those I would stop for something to drink and stretch it out which always helped. Since I wasn't about to stop today I just had to push through it. It wasn't horrible and it kept coming and going but it did affect me. Finally I hit mile 50 and started descending toward the finish. I was feeling taxed but happy to be getting off the bike and starting the run. Got to T2 a lot slower than I wanted. Just under 3:17. I was hoping for 3:10. Part of the problem were some of the hills and also holding back a little not knowing how fast I was going. I was afraid to got too hard not knowing how fast I was going and then crash on the run.

In and out of transition in about 2 minutes. Shoes and hat and on the road. About a quarter mile of flat until we start a very steep, short uphill, which many people were already walking. I was feeling pretty good both physically and mentally and started out slow and steady just to get some miles under me. My goal was to average 10 minute miles and run most of the way. In my past 1/2s I've had to walk too much. I figured if I could run most of the way, even slowly, my time would benefit. This worked for the most part until late in the run. I was able to put the miles behind mile just maintaining a slow pace. Got to mile 4.5 and saw Beth, the kids and my mom. It was great to see them and I decided I would try to continue to run until I saw them again on the 2nd loop between mile 8 and 9. I did walk a couple of the water stops but for the most part kept running. When I got back to about 8.5 I stopped and walked and talked to my family. They were going to head down to the finish to catch me finish. Once I left them, things got tougher. Checking my watch, I knew I wasn't going to get 6:15 but I also knew I had a very good shot at PRing if I just kept moving. There could be very little walking. So I began to run 1/4 mile and walk 10 steps or so. This lasted until mile 11 when the walk breaks lasted longer. By mile 12 and the short, steep decline, I was well within time of PRing and decided it hurt just as much to walk as it did to run so I might as well run. As I got closer to finish I couldn't hear the announcer or the crowd, which seemed strange since I knew it was close. But finally I turned to last corner, between 2 big sand dunes and the sound erupted. Apparently the sand dunes had muffled the sound but once between them it was very loud. I ran as hard as I could(not very at this point) to finish. Crossed the line in just over 2:24 for the run and 6:35:25 for the race.

Overall I'm happy with the race since I PR'd but still disappointed because I really thought my training had set me up for a better race. But you have to take what the day gives you.

Now it's time for a little rest and maintenance. It will be nice to not have to ride and run long every weekend. I'll still get some long runs and rides in in the coming weeks, just not back to back and not every weekend!!