Friday, April 29, 2011

Not Very Deep Thoughts ...

Currently I am at the end of week 21 of a 24 week training plan for Ironman Texas, which is a mere 21 days away!  My mind is pretty much mush right now from the crazy volume and the below thoughts should do nothing more than verify the mushy-ness:

  • Saturday:  20mi run; 2.5mi swim.  The run will be done on the IMTX marathon course and without an iPod *gasp*.  The swim will be of the Open Water variety at  Lake 288.  It will be done sans wetsuit but in my brand new WTC Legal  TYR Torque Swim Skin:

  • Sunday:  100mi + ride; 7mi recovery run.  A couple of buddies who are also training for IMTX will be joining me on this one.  We are opting to stay close to home and do a local 22mi loop 5 times.  It is right along Lake Houston and the wind will be brutal.  Last time here we were holding a tight pace line into a crazy headwind averaging about 13mph - Good times.  The run will be done at a snail like pace in my neighborhood.
  • I have learned to embrace the pain that is an icebaths.  Seriously, I do not think I could have made it through this training without icebaths.
  • Preparing water bottles, gels, food, and other nutrition for these long weekend runs and rides seems to take up a helluva lot of my time?  
  • My car smells like a men's locker room.
  • Speaking of men's locker rooms - I walked smack dab into the middle of a fierce Performance Enhancing Drug debate at my gym this evening.  Four guys that were not very fit and about my age were discussing what they were using.  When I came around the corner they all stopped talking and glared at me.  Little awkward. But they were by my locker so I paid them no attention.  After about 30 seconds of silence they all began talking about their PEDs of choice again.  They must have decided I was okay to speak about this illegal activity in front of because my skinny triathlete ass would have no idea what it was they were speaking of - and for the most part they would be correct.
  • Question I have been getting a lot:  So Jeff, you have put in a lot of training and are almost to the end, how are you feeling?  My Not-Really-Wanting-to-Talk-About-it-Answer is:  I am Good.  My Going-to-be-Honest-With-You-Answer-When-You-Only-Wanted-to-Hear-I-Am-Good is:  My ass is dragging like an old tired dog.  I am irritable, tired, emotional, and just downright agitated.  My legs and brain quit communicating to each other about a month ago and I can barely follow a conversation that is more than 3 or 4 sentences.  I have the attention span of an 8-week old puppy and all I am really motivated to do anymore is eat and sleep.  But aside from that I am good.
  • Can someone please give me a reason as to why Obama deserves a second term?  Since he took office: Gitmo has not closed, unemployment has skyrocketed, stimulus packages have not worked, we went from 2 wars to 3 wars, political rhetoric has exploded, gas prices have doubled, healthcare is being suffocated by regulations and bureaucracy, it is almost May and we do not have a budget for the year, his administration has spent more than all other previous administrations COMBINED, a large amount of his staff have resigned or retired or quit, and this is just the failed efforts off the top of my head!!  Why does he deserve to be President for 4 more years? I just want one reason ...
  • Our weather has been absolutely beautiful the last few days.  High 70's, blue skies, low humidity - sort of like San Diego without the crazy housing costs!  But this will all change very soon as the Fumidity season will be soon upon us!
  • I hate doing plumbing work.  My outdoor sprinklers exploded this winter during a rare deep freeze and I finally got around to fixing them. I know how to do it but it is just a meticulous process which drives an ADHD person like myself crazy.  All it took was four trips to Home Depot (and a little cursing) and the sprinklers were as good as new.
  • During last Saturday's 100mi ride we drove past a brush fire.  It was huge.  Read in the newspaper the next day that it took out over 17 acres of land and a few homes - we really need rain.  Could all of the rest of you that are getting tons of rain send some our way?  Thanks, much appreciated.
Thanks for Reading,


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Too Hot, Too Cold, or Just Right?

Just like with Goldilocks, opinions will vary ...

The Houston Marathon last year switched over to a lottery system as opposed to the first come, first serve online registration of the past.  Many locals were upset about this as they were no longer certain if they would be able to run as registration became nothing more than chance.  This concern was valid because after the lottery selections many of them (myself included) were not able to run because they were not lucky enough to be drawn.

With the popularity of the marathon seemingly increasing exponentially each year this puts many the of larger cities Marathon Committees into tough positions. Just look at the controversy from the changes to the Boston Marathon registration process! Online registrations are selling out immediately and lottery systems are considered unfair.  So what are the organizers to do?  How about the hybrid system that will be implemented for the 2012 Houston Marathon?

Here are the details:

Click image for larger view

Summary:  Starting on this May 10th if you have run a marathon (after July 2010) with a time under 4:00hrs or a half marathon with a time under 1hr 54m 36s then you are able to register early for the Houston Marathon. As you can see from the chart above qualifying times apply for the half marathon as well.

Basically, the Houston Marathon Committee is giving faster runners a chance to register before the lottery system begins.  After May 30th, if you do not meet the qualifying times, you will be able to toss your name in the hat for the lottery.

Usually on these very interwebz pages I take a firm stand in one direction and defend my POV vehemently.  However, with this one I am not sure how I really feel?  Is this a good system?  Should faster runners be given special treatment?  Considering the difficulty of the logistics of making a marathon registration process fair and easy is the Houston Marathon Committee doing the right thing?  What do you guys think?

With all that being said above.  I qualify for the early registration and have decided to not run in the Houston Marathon (1/15/12).  Personally, I enjoy smaller races and as I get older become increasingly frustrated with large crowds and the utterly stupid rules and costs of these marquee events.  I prefer a start and finish line that is either duct tape or chalk!!

That is why I will be running in The LaPorte 1/2 Marathon on December 4th, 2011 (the infamous Sausage on a Stick Race), the Texas 1/2 Marathon on New Year's Day (5 minutes from my house), and the inaugural The Woodlands Full Marathon on March 3, 2012 (will be my first stand alone marathon).

Let me know your thoughts on the Houston Marathon Registration process?

Thanks for Reading,


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Ten Years Ago Today ...

...  Annie and I gathered in a large church in front of our friends and family and recited the words "I Do" to each other.

Yep, it has been ten years since Annie and I tied the proverbial knot.

We met in 1997 as we were both servers at a little fine dining restaurant in the town where we went to college (Indiana, PA).  We became friends first but the chemistry was undeniable and shortly began dating.

That was my senior year and after graduation I moved away to work and we did the long distance thing for two years.  This is when most college relationships falter but Annie and I only became stronger.

On New Years Eve of 1999 I asked Annie to marry me and the rest is history.

When asked about marriage many people will tell you that it is filled with Ups & Downs and Good Times & Bad Times .... This may be true for many but I can honestly say that Annie and I have experienced an overwhelming number of the Ups & Good Times. We "get" each other in every way and this is why it has worked so well for ten years.

An example of how we "get" each other occurred just last night.  We had plans to celebrate our Anniversary by having dinner at a plush restaurant and then spend the night in a fancy hotel.  It was going to be fun and we were both looking forward to it.

Annie told me last night that she wanted to stay home and not do this?

I did not understand her reasoning at first but it was really for my own good.

Over the last month I have been overwhelmed with work, work travel, and Ironman training (totally a future post).  As the typical guy, I of course, was pretending that all of this stress was not bothering me and that I would just roll with the punches.  She knew better.  She could see that I was struggling.  She knew that I had guilt about the long weekends training and the recent time away for work.  She knew this better than I did and she stepped up because she could see I was struggling with it all.  She "gets" me - even better than I get myself!

We will still be having a nice dinner at a local restaurant and we will still get to spend time with each other just at home.  But I will not miss anymore training and will be doing a 6hr ride on Saturday morning now because of Annie's insistence that I do.

Thank You Babe.

Thank You for the last 10 years and Thank You for being the best thing to ever happen to me!

Happy Anniversary!

Thanks for Reading,


Sunday, April 17, 2011

Cowboy Up ...

Last Sunday at Galveston 70.3 Pro Triathlete Michael Lovato  (who is a 26-time Ironman Finisher) had a difficult time on the run course with a pretty severe calf cramp/strain.  When the calf issue hit him he was a few places behind the leader and was on pace to finish in the money.  This caused Lovato to stop running to stretch out the cramp and knocked him completely out of contention.

In the past under similar situations many a pro has called it quits.  Not Lovato, he decided it was time to Cowboy Up and limped to the finish line instead of dropping out and taking a DNF.

Love & Respect this!

Check out Lovato's Race Report - Here.

Oh, and make sure to bookmark his blog.  He has some very informative and inspiring posts!

What do you think - should he have bailed and saved his legs for another day or does he get mad props for finishing what he started?

Thanks for Reading,


Monday, April 11, 2011

Galveston 70.3 Race Report (with lots of Pics!)

Finisher's Medal


This weekend began on Friday.  Annie and I packed up the cars and made the 75mi drive South to Galvestion.  We were staying with friends, Jennifer and Mike, at their beach-house for the weekend.  Thanks guys for the hospitality!  

Beautiful view from the deck!

We hit Moody Gardens (race HQ) and immediately went and picked up our packets.  Annie, for the Sprint on Saturday, and me for the HIM on Sunday.  After that Annie went back to the house with Mike and I went to meet fellow blogger and super-speedster Triathlete, Jon Campbell, and his girlfriend Kelly, who had just landed at Hobby Airport.  Since Jon lives up in the tundra of  New York I suggested we go to one of my favorite Open Water Swim sites (Lake 288) just so he could get the feel of being in the open water again.  Jon loved Lake 288 and Kelly loved the lake puppy there! We did about 1000m sans wetsuit and it was just a perfect swim in perfect water (about 72 degrees).  

After that it was back to Galveston and then off to dinner at a nice(ish) seafood joint.  Jon and his girlfriend joined a group of us and we ended up with a table of 8.  We all had a couple of drinks and some some good laughs and then it was time to hit the sack since Annie had her race in the morning and the rest of us were volunteering at the first water station.


5am wake-up and off to Moody Gardens for Annie's first Triathlon.  She was a little nervous (as was I) as we made the drive over.  I was watching her in transition and she was double and triple checking all her gear and finally walked over to me and said, "I forgot my socks, can I have yours?".

So off my socks went only to be returned 10mins later when she found hers.

We made the short walk down to the swim start area and I snapped off a ton of pics of Annie and her swim wave.  She will post them up on her blog later.  Annie did wonderful in her race and more importantly is already talking about getting a new bike and doing, "Maybe and Olympic distance race".

My Tri Club volunteered at the first water station and we all had a great time:

The Kingwood Tri Club Crew!

Honorary Texan Jon in front of a huge ass glass pyramid!
Iron-sherpa Kelly jazzing up the volunteering gig!

The race was a hit and all the racers and volunteers had an amazing time.  Annie and I ended up at a breakfast place with our friends Cheryl and Patrick called the Sunflower Cafe and had an amazing meal.  Followed by an amazing walnut-glazed cinnamon bun.  Probably not the best meal 18hrs before race start!

After all the festivities were done Jon and I decided to go for a ride to see how we would handle the strong cross winds that were pounding the seawall of Galveston.  He drove down to Mike's place and we went on a quick ride out and back.   Lucky we did this because it was the first time I have ever worn my Giro Aero helmet in the heat and it was extremely hot.  We were out for maybe 25 minutes and my head was dripping sweat like a faucet - the ventilation was horrible.  I decided right there to not wear the aero helmet on Sunday and it was a good choice because Sunday ended up being a smoker!

Saturday night about 15 or so of us ended up at the Mosquito Cafe for dinner.  This is one of my favorite places to eat in Galveston and everyone really enjoyed dinner.  I had a steak sandwich and it was fabulous!  It was an early night as everyone had a 70.3 race to do the next morning:

Jon, Kelly, Annie, Jeff

Bloggers Unite!

Sunday (Race Day):

Up at 4:45am and had my normal whole wheat bagel with peanut butter.  Got in the required pre-race boom-boom and then we were off to the race site. Since we had to drop our bike off in transition on Saturday, Patrick picked up Mike and I and we all rode over to the race together.  

One of the highlights of the weekend was that we had VIP parking.  Since we had people volunteering on both Saturday and Sunday and needed to set-up tents and shuffle people around both days we were given parking passes right next to transition.  We literally parked 50ft from the transition area all weekend - it was glorious!  This also meant that we didn't have to get to the race as early since we did not need to make the long walk in - this was also glorious!

Mike, Patrick and I all got on our wetsuits, with ease thanks to TriSlide, in the parking lot and then hung out by transition getting our Tri Club tent ready for the day.

Sea of bikes and porta potties (these both will be very instrumental in my race)
Pre-Race Tent Set-up
Mike, Patrick, and me getting ready to start!

Okay, onto the race ....

The Swim:

The pros started at 7:00am and my wave (#10) was going off at 7:45am.  We all lined up on a big boat dock and jumped in at the end, very cool:

Swim Start
My wave (35-39) was treading water and we were all chatting it up.  I yelled out, "Raise your hand if you're peeing right now!"  Everyone else raised their hands and coped to the crime.  It was good laugh.  

Literally, one minutes before my wave's start the cloud cover vanished and the bright Texas sun reared it's large orange face - and it was blazing!  The gun went off and the start was not too rough.  I found a pair of feet and hung on for a few hundred yards, this was pretty nice.  The only problem was about 500 yards in I realized my heart rate was way down and the guy I was drafting off was slower than me so I broke left and passed.  At the first turn buoy the the ocean waves started to get a little choppy.  I began to breath bi-lateral  and realized rather quickly I was taking in a lot of salt water on the left side.  At this point I switched over to just breathing on the right for the rest of the swim.  

This was my first time ever doing a race in the ocean and it was pretty cool.  I enjoyed the chop and the salt water - made it feel more epic or something? Oh, and not a single shark sighting (-:

Overall the swim was pretty uneventful and I maintained the moderate pace I had planned for going into the race.

Swim Splits:
Distance - 1.2 mi (2112 Yds)
Time - 37:45
Pace - 1:46/100 Yds
AG Rank - 97/307
Overall Rank - 648/2200
My Grade - B 
Reason - I should have pushed a little harder during the first 3rd of the swim.  I was barely working and took it entirely too easy.  Probably could have shaved another 2 minutes off the time but overall this was a decent effort on the swim.

Transition #1 - 3:59
I would describe this as a series of errors.  First, I ran past my rack.  Then I placed on my sunglasses, socks, shoes and grabbed my bike.  Yep, I forgot to put on my helmet which was still attached to my extensions.  I went to grab the helmet and the bike slipped and feel to the ground.  My garmin twisted around and I lost the rubber straw from my aero-bottle.  Well done Jeff, Well done indeed!
The Bike:

The course heads South out of Moody Gardens for the first 1.6mi and it was directly into a headwind. At the end of this section you make a right hand turn and go that way until the turn-around.  As you are riding down the first section you are trying to determine if the wind will be a direct cross or out of the Southwest which would mean a cross with a head wind on the way out. 

I made the turn and hello headwind, I was barely holding 18mph.  I decided to spin out for a couple of miles to let my legs get used to riding and my heart rate stabilize. Then I would work a little harder to pick up my average speed.  

This plan worked well.  The first 6 miles I was passing a lot of guys but was also being passed a lot too. At this point my HR was back to a low zone 2 and my legs found a nice cadence.  Time to pick it up but save some for the ride back.  I ended up passing hundreds of cyclists and was feeling great.  

I started out the ride with Powebar Perform in my aero bottle.  I have been practicing with Perform for the last 6 months since it is the drink that will be on the IMTX course in May.  However, even though this was a WTC Ironman race the on course drink was Gatorade.  We did not find this out until a week or two before the race.  I hate Gatorade.  

I still had my normal foray of First Endurance (EFS Liquid Shots, EFS Drink) but the bottle hand-ups were Gatorade or water.  At the first station I wanted a water but all the volunteers had in hand was a gatorade bottle - crap - I grabbed it and filled up my bottle.  Oh well.  

I stayed in aero and ended up getting to the turn-around point with a 18.7mph average on my garmin.  I made the turn and reached back to grab my EFS Liquid shots from my jersey and realized I was holding 21mph while sitting up!  Hello tail wind!

The rest of the ride was uneventful and I held between 22-23mph the entire way.  A large part of me wanted to just hammer but the rationale part of my mind won out and I still rode conservatively. 

Bike Split:
Distance: 56 miles
Time - 2:48:06
Pace - 19.99 MPH Avg 
Garmin Pace - 20.02 MPH Avg
AG Rank - 82/307
Overall Rank - 499/2200
My Grade -  A
Reason - I worked hard on both the out and the back and did not let my meat-headness kick in and hammer in the tailwind.  I had a pacing plan and followed it to the letter.  My Kestrel is one badass ride too.  I could ride this bike all day.  I actually did not want the ride to end!

Transition #2 - 3:03
This would be described as a series of error part deux.  However, it was not my fault.  The asshat next to me had his bike in my spot on the rack.  No place for my bike to go.  AND he had his bike barely on the rack by the nose of the saddle so I needed to pick it up to move it.  I had to rest my bike against my leg and move his over.  This added at least a minute to my time.  People are so inconsiderate sometimes.  Thanks Dude.

The Run:

By this point I had a decent swim and a solid bike split.  I am a runner and this is the part of the race where I can lay down a nice split.  My legs felt great and even though my plan was to take it easy on the run I had made up my mind I was going to run and run hard! The course is setup as a 4-loop run, 3.275 miles per loop.

Well, my stomach had other ideas .... 

Okay, we are going to get into the point of Too Much Information in the next few paragraphs.  If you don't like to hear about poop and vomit (you probably aren't a triathlete) then you might want to skip ahead to the summary portion.

Here we go:

Little much on the sunscreen Jeff?

That pic above is at the first aide station.  About a half mile after this my stomach began to get real angry at me.  As in I have to go and I have to go now angry!  Well, I found porta-potty right before the next aide station and jumped in as fast as I could.  It was ugly.  Do you remember the scene in Dumb & Dumber when Jeff Daniels was turbo laxed?  Well, that was pretty much me!

I was in the porta-potty for quite sometime, maybe 8-10 minutes.  And it gets better!  When I was finally finished I went to stand up and both of my quads cramped because I was sitting so long.  I was literally pulling myself up by the side rails in the crapper because my legs wouldn't work.  I was afraid I was going to be stuck in there!  At this point I was laughing because, well, it was damn funny.

I managed to get out of the shitter and hobble the 200 or so yards to the aide station.  A medic rubbed some biofreeze on my quads and I was go to go again.  I ran about two more miles and had to make another stop in a porta-potty and then another.  Loop one = 3 porta-potty stops!

The second loop was bad because now I had this pain in my stomach.  It felt like a knife was being rammed into my ribcage and I was afraid to trust a fart.  The harder I ran the harder it was to breath and the more the pain in my stomach hurt.  

I shuffled on until about mile 7 and decided to try some soda at the next aide station.  I figured it may make me burp.  I chugged two cups and kept moving forward.  About a mile later I started to burp and the GI pain started to be not as bad!

Between mile 9 & 10 I was running at a decent pace now and let up a big burp.  I tasted this burp and things were getting serious because one more was coming and it was going to be so much more than just a burp.  At this point I jumped to the side of the course and headed right for a big bush where I proceeded to projectile vomit all over this bush.  It was awesome! It had to look like a scene I remember from Family Guy:

And if you are reading this and were one of the horrified spectators who witnessed this massive display of vomiting I sincerely apologize.

Anyway, after the vomit incident I ran it home feeling like my normal self?  If only that would have happened at mile one?  

Run Split:
Distance - 13.1 miles
Time - 2:14:12
AG Rank - 103/307
Overall Rank - 683/2200
My Grade - D
Reason - This is a hard one to grade because I have no idea where these GI issues came from?  My PR for a 13.1 run is 1hr 34min.  I run 1:45's on my slow long run days.  However, I feel like I spent as much time in the shitters and walking from the stomach cramps as I did running.   Not good times here folks!

Race Summary:

Overall I was pleased with the swim and extremely happy with the bike.  I stuck to the plan on both and my results were perfect.  My fitness levels for the bike and swim are exactly where they need to be 6 weeks out from Ironman. This is very encouraging!

I am concerned about the GI issues on the run because I have no idea what caused them.  My breakfast and pre-race nutrition were no different than any other morning.  My bike nutrition was spot on and in-line perfectly with what I have been doing in training.  The only difference was Gatorade vs PowerBar?  My diet was not great the three days leading up to the race but it wasn't awful either?  

As I sit here I am thinking I possibly had to much liquid (aka - Gatorade) on the bike.  Over the last couple of months it has actually been hotter in training than it was on the bike course.  This leaves me to believe I may have had more to drink than what I needed and since my sweat rate probably wasn't as high that I might have taken in way too much?   Who knows for sure but I am going to try replicate this over the next 6 weeks so I can figure it out.  Maybe even dehydrate myself a couple of times to see what the minimal amount of liquid needed.   I am actually glad this happened now as opposed to on Ironman day and if it was the Gatorade then I don't have to worry because it is not on course for IM.

Another positive that I can take away is that my legs feel like a million dollars today.  Since I ran such a slow 13.1 miles my legs are not beat up at all.  That means I can get in a nice ride on the trainer tonight!

Galveston 70.3 Final Results:
Distance - 70.3 miles
Time - 5:47:05
AG Rank - 103/307
Overall Rank - 683/2200
My Grade - B

Overall this was probably one of the best times I have ever had during the course of a race weekend.  Good friends, good food, good times and a chance to race on a really good course. With all the problems I had on the run (with runs) my final time was actually pretty good.

It was awesome spending time with Jon and Kelly - they are so much fun.  It is so cool when you meet another blogger you follow because it is like you have known each other for years and it was this way with Jon. We are all going to do a race again soon (Rev3 Cedar Point, right Jon?).  Make sure to check out Jon's blog, he set a PR at this race and I think this is only the tip of the iceberg in his potential in this sport.

Also hung out with Trakkers Teammate Mike Moore @TheIronBar.  Before and after the race.  Mike had a good race as well.  He'll probably have a RR up soon so stop by and check it out!

Here is a final pic of Patrick and I post race standing by his truck in our VIP parking spot!!!

Thanks for Reading,


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Pre-Race Galveston 70.3

This weekend is the Memorial Hermann Sprint and Half Ironman at Moody Gardens in Galveston, TX.  Being located along the South Eastern shore of Texas along the Gulf of Mexico, you may remember Galveston was pretty much leveled in 2008 during Hurricane Ike.

Now three years later when you drive around Galveston you can still see some of the remnants from Ike but the community has done a wonderful job of restoring this little beach paradise and it is great that so many have made this race a yearly tradition because it is a real boom to the local economy.

I will be racing in the Half Ironman on Sunday but my wife, Annie, will  be doing the Sprint on Saturday morning.  She has done an indoor Tri but this is her first official Triathlon and she is going to do great.  I am a million times more nervous for her than I am for myself!  My Tri Club is volunteering at the first rest station and it is right next to transition so I will be able to cheer Annie on from some pretty good seats.  So when you are doing your Saturday morning workout please think about Annie and send some positive vibes her way!

Next comes the HIM on Sunday morning.  The race begins at 7am but my wave (M35-39) does not go off until 7:45am.  This is good because it means the port-a-potties should not have that long of a line since all the other athletes will be racing!!

The forecast for Sunday is calling for temperatures in the low 80's with the typical sweltering SE Texas humidity.  But the real fun is going to be the winds along the Gulf.  As of right now the winds are supposed to be 18mph sustained with guests up to 31mph.  AND they are supposedly coming from the SSW - this would mean a direct headwind for the bike on the out but a tailwind on the way back.  I am cool with this and hope it stays this way!

Race Strategy:

With Ironman Texas only 6 weeks away I will be using this race as a training/practice day.  This means that I will not be racing this at the normal HIM effort and will be practicing nutrition and IM pacing.  With this as the plan I have not done any sort of taper going into the race so I will be towing the line with tired legs.  This is by design so that even if I feel the "urge" to race or go hard my legs just will not allow it.  The main reason for not racing is that recovery from a HIM can be a few days long and I cannot afford to miss training days with IMTX being so close and I could not afford to taper either.  Yes, Ironman is pretty much all-consuming at this point!

My targets for the race are as followed:


Swim - 40mins - My PR for this distance is 35:xx but that was in a calm, clear lake.  This swim is in the ocean and last year it was reported as a couple hundred meters long.  If I maintain a moderate pace, in rough waters a 40min time would be about right and this will keep me in aerobic Zone 2.


Bike - 3hr - This number will change based upon what the wind decides to do on Sunday.  I am going to maintain my IM pacing that I have been dialing in for the last 18 weeks.  If we do end up with a tailwind back  for the last 28miles then it will probably be closer to a 2:50ish split.  If it is a cross wind then the 3hr mark will be a good guesstimate and this means I kept myself in Zone 2 the entire ride - which is the goal.  If you see me with a 2:45 split that means I deviated from the plan and became a meat-head.


Run - 2hr - The plan is to really take the run extremely easy.  If I go a little harder on the swim or bike it really isn't all that big of a deal as recovery is much quicker from those disciplines.  However, if I go hard on the run then recovery is going to be a bitch and I failed at executing my race plan.  A normal Zone 2 run for me is usually between an 8:00-8:25 min/mi pace.  If I execute the swim and bike as planned I will probably keep this pace and come in around 1:50.  If I go too hard on the swim and bike then I am going to hold myself back to a 9min/mi pace for recovery purposes.  

With Transitions and hitting my goal pacing I expect to finish between:  5:40 - 5:50.


Fellow bloggers Jon @SwimCycloRun  and Shannon @IronTexasMommy are also going to be racing the HIM.  

Here is the info if you would like to follow us on Sunday morning:

Athlete Tracker:  (Click on the Athlete Tracker Link)

Jon (Lenny) Campbell:   #234
Jeff Irvin:   #800
Shannon Spann:  #? (pull up by name)

Thanks for Reading,


Sunday, April 3, 2011

Fighting the Dark Voices

47 Days.

That is the countdown to Ironman Texas.

It cannot come soon enough.

This weekend was difficult.  Every pedal, stride, and freestyle stroke was nothing short of torturous.  My mind spend each minute of training fighting back the dark thoughts that were begging to quit.  My legs spent each minute of training being agreeable with my mind.

In the end neither my legs nor my mind were strong enough when stacked against my will.

Every. Workout. Complete.

Now that the whine-fest is done ...

Something positive happened this morning when I was about 14mi into my long run. The body was feeling the wear and tear of the previous 17 weeks of training.  I was on the Ironman Texas run course and I was hurting, bad. Once again I was thinking to myself why in the heck am I doing this and wanted to quit?  And right at this point for some reason I started reflecting back on all the training, the ice baths, the races, the pain, the soreness, the bike crash, the early nights to bed, and the even earlier mornings to rise.  It was at this point I began to smile and realized I had officially earned the right to attempt an Iron Distance race.  The hard workouts, the early mornings, the pain - it was all sort of the right of passage and I have now earned that right.  I finished the run with a strong kick.


Bike:32h 22m 21s  - 610.66 Mi
Run:15h 50m 32s  - 110.37 Mi
Swim:16h 46m  - 36300 Yd


  • Galveston 70.3 is this coming weekend.  My plan is to take it very conservative and practice my pacing and nutrition for IMTX on May 21st.  It is going to be hard to not race because I am pretty much a meathead and will easily get caught up in the moment.  BUT I need to keep reminding myself that if I do race the recovery will be much longer and hurt the following weeks training.  I'd like to finish around 6hrs.
  • On Friday Annie and I had dinner with fellow Blogger Shannon @ Iron Texas Mommy and some other peeps from the Beginner Triathlete forum.  She drove down from Dallas for the Endurance Nation bike ride that was happening on Saturday morning.  We had a great time - Shannon is awesome and we all got to hang out on the bike course on Saturday too.  It is always great meeting other bloggers who you follow because it is like you already know them from their postings.  Shannon is doing Galveston next weekend so it will be great to see her again!
  • Random things heard from our kitchen tonight: "I didn't know canned goods had expiration dates?" and, "The directions say to use a microwave safe plastic wrap? Is saran wrap microwave safe?"
  • We don't cook much.
  • The IM Texas run course in The Woodlands is fantastic.  Lots of shade and extremely spectator friendly.  Just a great venue for an Ironman.
  • This morning after our run we were standing around chatting with some of the folks in town with the Endurance Nation group.  Many of them were from much cooler climates and they were dying in the humidity.  The funny thing was before the run a few of us locals were talking about how great a morning it was to run and how it was sort of chilly.  It did warm-up so their complaints were not unfounded but if these guys think it is hot now then May 21st is going to be brutal for them.  Luckily for us the weather has been steamy so we are all pretty much acclimated and will be ready on race day!

Thanks for Reading,