Thursday, June 21, 2012

Buffalo Springs Lake Tri 70.3 ...

This Sunday I will be racing in the Buffalo Springs Lake Triathlon.

It is about a 9-hour drive from the steamy Houston area, through the lush Texas Hill Country, and finally to the arid North West Texas desert of Lubbock.

It is supposed to be, ahem, a little warm:

At least the wind seems light!?!

The reason for racing BSLT is to get in a dress rehearsal for Ironman Mont-Tremblant, which is 8 weeks away. The BSLT bike course has 7-different climbs ranging from 3-9% grades. It is difficult to get this type of elevation gain in the pancake-flat Houston area so this will be a good test to see how well my bike fitness is for the ridiculously hilly Mont-Tremblant.

My goals for the race this Sunday are to just get in a good day of training and practice nutrition in race conditions. I have recently decided to make a major change in the amount of calories consumed on the bike and the results in training have been excellent. Hopefully this will correlate to race day and allow me to dial in the Full Distance Course plan.

Good luck to everyone else who is racing this weekend - especially to Jon and Mandy who are doing the IMMT 70.3 - your recon info is going to be much appreciated, unless you tell me the course is brutal!

Thanks for Reading,


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

I Am Triathlete ... Hear ME ROAR!!!

Unless you are a resident of North Korea, or my friend Bobby, you have heard about Lance Armstrong being notified by the USADA that they will be investigating him for doping.

This was a text from yesterday!

This story broke on Friday and the triathlon community was in an uproar because WTC, promoter of Ironman branded races, has a corporate policy that states (paraphrased) that an athlete cannot compete in any WTC race while being under investigation for violations of doping.

After many meetings were supposedly had about possibly changing the rule, WTC decided to stand pat by what was written and suspend Lance from racing all future events until the investigation is concluded.

People were pissed. Everyone wanted to see what Lance could do in the upcoming Ironman France (June 24th) and then at Kona in October. We wanted to see him going head-to-head with Crowie and Macca. The anticipation of such drama had us triathletes foaming at the mouth and randomly breaking into uncontrollable shakes! 

So when Dan Empfield, Slowtwitch Editor-in-Chief, released the details of the WTC decision and them upholding the suspension the comments that followed were overwhelmingly in favor of Lance Armstrong. Many of the replies focused on the stupidity of WTC and ranged from a full out Boycott of all WTC races to signing a petition to reinstate Lance. 

Here is a small snippet of the 129 rage-filled comments:

Summary: Boycott WTC, Free Lance, Go F yourself WTC, Doping is cool ...

Then to make matters worse WTC goes and announces on Friday that a brand new Ironman race was going to take place at Lake Tahoe in September of 2013. The timing of this announcement really had to have WTC shaking in their shoes because triathletes were SO UPSET by the Lance decision. I mean just looking at the above Facebook posts would lead you to believe that the people had had enough of the antics of WTC and would stop supporting them, amiright? AND THEN to add insult to injury, the Lake Tahoe Ironman was going to open for registration on Monday morning. Burn. Can WTC really be this arrogant?

Triathletes would surely ban together in a sign of solidarity by channeling every Rage Against the Machine song ever penned and stick it to WTC with their wallets, hells yeah!!!!!! Screw Ironman Lake Tahoe!!! Down with WTC!!! 

Take the Power Back!

So What Happened?

Ironman Lake Tahoe (@$675) sold out in less then 24 hours. 

Do not go gentle into that good night, 

Old age should burn and rage at close of day; 
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

What did I learn from this saga? 

I want to be more like Bobby.

Thanks for Reading,


P.s. - For what it is worth, I actually am happy WTC stuck by their guns and followed the rules. The rule may be stupid, and that can be argued at another time, but people are always bitching about how WTC has zero integrity. I'd point to this decision the next time one offers up that argument. 

Ray @ DCrainmaker had a nice write up on this earlier today and is exactly how I feel.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Things of Interest ...

... to probably just me.

  • So thanks to Karen (@theladybaha) for her fine sleuthing work and bringing to my attention that Brooks Running will be discontinuing the Launch and the Green Silence.  The Launch are my favorite running shoe of all-time so I am crushed. After reading Karen's text I almost had the same feeling of losing a family pet. First, the sadness kicks in but then you begin to remember all the good times that I had with the Launch:
    • My first Ironman
    • My first Marathon (BQ)
    • My first 20mi training run
    • My last 20mi training run
    • All the PR's
    • All the rainy runs with no falls due to the excellent traction
  • Ok, take that above as tongue-in-check because I just am not a real sentimental type of guy. I like running in the Launch and they make my legs feel great. But, Brooks has hit it out of the park with the Pure Project Line and I just checked my logs and the last few months over 60% of my miles have been done in the Pure Flows. I have recommended the Launch to MANY, MANY people and have started doing the same with the Pure Projects as well. If you are looking for an alternative check out the Flows.
  • Speaking of family pets, a few weeks ago we got some very sobering news after our pugs visited the vet for the annual check-up: Our little girl Pug, Bailey, had a tumor. She needed to have immediate surgery. The Vet was able to remove the tumor and Bailey has recovered with flying colors. 
Hey, Jeff, get off your ass and get me a treat.
  • IRONMAN MONT-TREMBLANT TRAINING is going okay. This is my second round at full on IM Training. Last year I trained for Ironman Texas and the vast majority of the training occurred in the cooler temperatures of the winter and fall. This year with IMMT being at the end of August the training is happening right now in the scorching South East Texas Summer.
  • Some training changes have had to be made: 
    • Running: Is happening either in the dark, AM hours or on the Treadmill. For Bricks, I have been parking at the gym and riding from my car. I will then finish my ride and toss the bike in the backseat and then hustle inside to hit the treadmill.
    • Biking: Two weeks ago my buddy Dave and me went up to the hilly Coldsprings, TX area to get in 90mi around Lake Livingston. We started at 6:30am and the first three hours were awesome. Then the sun came out. We melted. By 10am the temps on the black asphalt was over 100*. I was so dehydrated and exhausted that I had to miss the next day of training. Changes needed to be made as training in this heat was not at all beneficial to our fitness. This week I rode both Sat and Sun and got in 85mi. On the road early and off the road before the sun comes up. Got in the long miles but did them at tempo pace (22mph) instead of Endurance pace (19-20mph). This coming Sunday we have a 5.5hr ride scheduled. We are going to start on the indoor trainer at 4am and then ride from Dave's house to the group ride at 7am and get in the last 2.5hrs with them. 
    • Swimming: All at the 70* indoor lap pool. No exceptions. 
  • As you can see, due to our extreme temps I have had to improvise, adapt and overcome. It is not ideal to be training for an IM right now but with a little flexibility and creativity it can be done and done well. 
  • So how is my overall fitness? With 10 weeks until race day I would say my bike is the strongest discipline right now. It is night and day compared to how it was in IM training at this point last year. I've been doing all hills and intervals and it is paying off. My swim is in the 1:15-1:20 range for 2.4miles. I can swim forever but my speed is still a little lacking in the water. The run is nowhere near as strong when compared to the Woodlands Marathon at the beginning of March, but is probably in better shape then I was last year at this time. Overall I am in pretty good shape. The Mont-Tremblant course is going to be a lot more difficult then the Texas course but the temps are going to be glorious!
  • The Pittsburgh Pirates are tied for First Place in the division. I cannot even begin to describe how exciting this is for me.
  • 2013 is going to be a non-Iron Distance year. I plan on doing a lot of local races and a couple of 70.3's but have decided to take a year away Ironman.  So now the question is which race to do in 2014?

Thank for Reading,