Monday, January 29, 2007

A Better BT Winter Run Report

I figured I better give you a better race report since E has put me as a link on her BT50k race report. Time to step up.

if you recall in my prior post I had partied hearty at OU with my son the weekend prior. Too much beer, too little sleep, too much college food, too little intelligence....equals.....head cold. So with that type of setup I wasn't sure how the run would go. Here is what I sent my coach and will post as well interspersed with additional comments. A little disjointed but still worth posting. muscles are sore. I had to check my watch but my HR averages were all above 160. Even as I started the run my HR was high and I attributed it to 1) being sick and 2) taking medicine....Sudafed to combat the clogged head.

Unsure of the HR based upon those two items I decided to run how I felt.....and I was feeling pretty good. Not good enough to keep up with Rudy Sroka or some of the 50k guys, man can they go, but still at a good pace. Rudy is a world class cyclist, head mechanic at Bike Authority, and an all around great guy. His wife got him into duathlons and he has excelled in that as well.

So I was taking it easy until the first set of hills. Aggresive walking up the hills and downhills that were on the verge of being out of control. Quick mind and quick feet make for a successful downhill run.

I walked most of the hills and was able to recover my HR quickly once I started running again. I really didn't run into problems until the final leg back from Pine Lane (second loop of course....8 miles). My calves started to cramp on me pretty good. I admit that I have not been stretching them very well but I felt I was hydrated enough. I took gatorade at the aid stations and was also drinking my fuel belt bottles. However, I may want to look into getting a bigger water bottle pack.

The hills, especially steps, were taking their toll on my calves. I stopped once to stretch them but didn't stop long because I didn't want to loose my momentum. There was also a competitive friend of mine, Bill Marut, whom I really wanted to stay in front of. I'm wondering if there is something else besides hydration that could lead to muscle cramps in my calves. My calves are the only muscles that I have ever had cramp up.

BT Half Marathon summary

Brandywine Aid Station 22:06 / 162 ave HR
Boston Store Aid Station 19:08 / 170 ave HR
Pine Lane Aid Station 40:14 / 169 ave HR
Finish at Boston Store 38:47 / 170 ave HR

I negative split each loop which I was totally stocked about.

Now you (coach) told me to be in Zone 3, maybe 4 on the hills. Let 's look at my zones again.

Zone 3 154 - 160
Zone 4 161 - 167
Zone 5 168+

I guess you could say I overdid it. No wonder my legs are sore, even though not as sore as they could, or should, be. One bad side affect of the race is a tender ITB on the right side, yep the one I always have trouble with. I may replace running with eliptical or more bike time.

I told my coach the I would look at the schedule she would put together for me and make adjustments where necessary. If I am still stuffed up I will skip the swimming. Swimming with a stuffed nose and snots floating out is just wrong.

So my coach called me after reading my e-mail. She was happy with my results and agreed that the cold and drugs were affecting my heart rates. We also talked about hydration. It reminded me that I was sweating pretty good during the first half of the race. At the middle of the two loops we were back at the start. I peeled off one shirt under my jacket because I was wet underneath. So I guess I was sweating too much and not replacing the fluids well enough. Most definitely a possible cause of the cramps. I must remember to drink more during my races, especially the running races.

The good thing is that coach added a second rest day this week. She knows the effort I put in and proper rest is needed right now. We will also be expecting to see good dividends down the road from the hard training race. I am feeling stronger but must take care of the ITB.

Okay......this is a good post. More detail from the Winter Run.


Saturday, January 27, 2007

From OU to BT50K

The past seven days have been a whirlwind of a week. Last weekend I visited my son at OU for Dad's weekend. I drove down on Friday to spend some extra time with him since I would need to leave a little early on Sunday to make a birthday party for my father-in-law. I knew we would have a good time but I wasn't sure what the weekend would entail.

After I got down to OU we waited for his roommates dad to arrive before getting something to eat. After wings and beer, great training food, we hopped to two other bars. It was nice to finally meet some of Andrew's friends. I've heard their names many times but didn't know who they were. We actually closed the second bar, but there was an "after party" to attend at another friends. We walked to the apartment and placed some games before finally leaving. We made it back to the dorm room around 4:00AM. What was I thinking. We slept in until 11:00AM like good college students.

We got some lunch then watched the women's basketball team. Andrew's cousin is the leading scorer on the team so it was fun to watch the game. Unfortunately the OU team lost. We killed some time before meeting with more friends and dads back at BWs. We stayed there until closing, a round of shots and 8 pitchers later. Of course there was another after party at another friends apartment so we walked there and hung for a little bit, I was tapped out so no more beer for me. Oh, did I mention that the weather in OU was pretty cold, low 30's all weekend and I was walking around in a hoodie or sweater. Didn't want to carry and worry about a jacket in the bars.

We made it back to the dorm around 2:30 - 3:00AM. I slept in again until about 10:00. I headed out to the showers and saw about 2 inches of snow on the ground and flurries coming down. Mind you this is southern Ohio and they don't usually get alot of snow. No salt on the roads, no snow plows. Made for an interesting drive to my dad-in-laws house for his birthday party. It took me about an extra hour to get where I was going. Thank-you SIRIUS for keeping me entertained on the drive.

The birthday party was fun and all I wanted was to get home and sleep. I didn't have much sleep all weekend, then through on top of that beer and college food.......I haven't done that in a long time. I'm waiting for Andrew to send me pictures so I can post a couple.

So come Monday morning I'm still extremely tired and also stuffed in the head. Oh yeah...walking around without a jacket really did me in. FULL BLOWN HEAD COLD.

I needed to get over this cold quickly because of the Buckeye Trail Winter Run on Saturday. There is also the overnight work trip to Detroit. What a week. The stuffiness in my head started floating down to my chest. It's not bad now but I should go see a doctor on Monday.

I finally got some good sleep Thursday and Friday nights. The run on Saturday started at 7:00AM. Aimee and I were up at 4:30. I wasn't sure how I was going to do the run. the BT Winter Run had three runs, half marathon, full marathon and 50k.....all on the trails of the Cuyahoga Valley. Don't forget the pictures I gave you of the creek crossing. I would have to cross it two times today. The winter run is very low key. No awards, proceeds would go towards a scholarship and a non-profit organization. But the race shirt was primo and the food afterwards top notch.

I started running easy to get warmed up. You never know how far the guy next to you was going to run. Conversation was abundant and I realized that there were several 50k runners around me. I couldn't believe the pace they were running at. I was feeling pretty good and decided to see what I could do. I think my heart rate was a little high from either the Sudafed I was taking or from just being sick. I was going to run on feeling. The footing was okay despite the snow and ice. A warm front came through over night and with temperatures just below 40 degrees the air was comfortable. The first loop was 5 miles which I completed in just over 40 minutes. I started the second loop still feeling good. The second loop, 8 miles, is alot of fun. The two times I've done it before it's become my favorite trail run. The creek crossing was at a normal level and I could step over on a couple of rocks.

It wasn't until the turn-around of this loop that I started having any problems. The hills were starting to take a toll on my calves. They were starting to cramp. I had to fight off the cramps and keep moving forward. The uphills were walkers and the downhills I took agressively moving quickly.

I would pass Aimee and other people I knew going the other way. Everyone looked good and even the people I didn't know offered words of encouragement and I tried to return with a comment to them as well.

As I came off the trail there is a half mile path to the finish. My calves started to cramp again but I was almost done. As I hit the finish someone called out my time. Run over. From the finish line we go inside and turn in our race number stub and tell Tanya our time. See....I told you it was low key. Then your race number gets placed on posterboard in order of finishing. I was 7th overall for the half marathon. As I reviewed the results I was surprised by what I saw. The top four spots went like this, 39, 15, 49. Those are the ages of the runners. The 49 year old is a friend of mine, but a 15 year old cranking out a 1:50 for a trail half mary. The only thing more incredible than that was the NINE YEAR OLD who finished around 2:40. This kid must be the next Dean Karnezes. Amazing he would even want to run that far.

Oh by the time was 2:01....which is what I was hoping to run. Of course being sick I was pretty much drained. Aimee and I made it home and took a nice long nap. My legs are very tired and I'll be hitting the sack early again. Maybe I'll be able to sleep better tonight despite the sore throat and stuffy head. I can only hope.

I can also hope that it won't be another 10 days before I post again.

Game on people.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Product Review

What do you get when you combine your cell phone with The following information, charts and graphs.

You may have seen the ads in Runners World or InsideTri for BimActive. The website is free, but you can also download a program onto certain phones that allows you to track your workout. It is supposed to be better than the GPS systems because it also uses cell towers to find your position.

After the workout is done the data is uploaded to the website so you can look at it and publish it to a blog, like this.

Personally I have seen two benefits of this program. Now that I am trail running I can get accurate distances of what I am running. My phone also beeps when I hit each mile, allowing me to mark my splits. this gives me average HR per mile.

The total mileage is good for tracking how many miles I have on my shoes. I usually don't care how far I run, but I like to know when I should be replacing my shoes using mileage instead of age.

I usually carry a phone with me when I cycle or run anyways so I might as well use it for something else.

If you are interested check with the website to see if your phone is supported. You can try it and delete the program if it's not for you.

Just another way to get your game on.

Route:--Elev. Avg:793 ft
Location:Peninsula, OHElev. Gain:-9 ft
Time:11:53 AMDifficulty:4.4 / 5.0
38F temp; 92% humidity
38F heat index; winds N 5

Distance:9.97 miles
Speed:6.63 mph
Pace:9' 03 /mi
Elevation (ft.)
Pace (min/mile)
MilePace (min/mile)Speed (mph)Elevation
actual+/- avgactual+/- avg
19' 07+0' 046.6-0.1+111 ft
28' 58-0' 056.7+0.1+105 ft
39' 00-0' 036.7+0.0+3 ft
410' 21+1' 185.8-0.8-69 ft
59' 08+0' 056.6-0.1-112 ft
69' 12+0' 096.5-0.1+177 ft
78' 43-0' 206.9+0.3-42 ft
89' 35+0' 326.3-0.4-26 ft
98' 28-0' 357.1+0.5-151 ft
end8' 00-1' 037.5+0.9-7 ft
Versus average of 9' 03 min/mi

Posted from

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Communing with Nature

Amazing what a week can mean for training. Remember my implosion and regaining of balance last weekend. I had a good trail run last Sunday on the Buckeye Trail. This weekend I had to work again but things went better and I was able to get in my trail run after work as I had planned. This week I had to be at my customer at 2:00AM. Hospitals can't do without their systems during the day. So I worked from 0200 - 1000, about 8 hours. With only one hiccup in the process things went well. I thought it would be interesting to get in my 1.5 hour run with only 4 hours rest before work.

I ran another section of the Buckeye Trail. This part will is the second half of the Buckeye Trail Half Marathon at the end of the month. The rain had come down in the area pretty hard. The rivers were running high so I knew of one creek crossing that would be flowing well. That and alot of mud on the trails.

As soon as I turned onto the trail the hill climb was slippery. There was water running down the middle of the path. I'm enjoying getting muddy. Splashing through the mud puddles. Ducking under trees. Jumping over logs.

I don't run with any music. I like to run by myself. I like to think about what I am doing. Keeping my pace where it should be. Staying in the HR zones where I need to be. Watching out for tree roots. Being careful where I place my feet. Taking the correct line on the trail.

I also think about people I know. Why I train. How I am improving. My "big" thought this trail run was how much I've been enjoying my current training. How much I've been enjoying getting muddy and loosing myself in the woods. I don't get lost literally, I just feel generally great about being out there.

I thought about IronKahuna at Tri-Geek Dreams. He's in a slump and needs some motivation. Go out and give him some love. I was a little slumped too but this trail running has helped alot. Maybe Kahuna needs something new in his training to get un-slumped.

It's the enjoyment of the trail running that has revitalized my training. Doing something off the beaten path. Getting into a unique area of running. That's how I got into triathlon. It wasn't something that everyone was doing at the time. I just like doing things that are a little becoming an Ironman.

So I'm revitalized with my training. My HR zones have increased by 5 beats. I'm feeling the benefits of the changes and looking forward to a good season.

So to share my enthusiasm here are some pictures from my trail run.

This is a picture of the creek that I would have to cross twice, out and back loop of course.

This is a picture I took of myself crossing the creek. Normally the water is only ankle deep. Almost to my knee this time. The water was cold but once you get going again the legs warm up again. Of course I stood in the water for about 1 minute in order to get a good picture, maybe not the smartest move. I could feel the grit from the water filling my shoes. I was on my way back anyways.

Post run: Oh yeah, that's mud all the way up to my knees.

Reason #15 to shave your legs.......the mud is easier to get off post trail run/mountain bike.

Game On

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Blog Updates

Make sure you check out my sidebar information. I've updated alot over there, especially the 2007 season.

Amazing what you can get done when waiting on an operating system upgrade in the middle of the night. I have read all of the posts that were waiting for me in bloglines.

Don't you people post in the middle of the night? I hope you all got in some good training this morning while I was working the hours into daylight.


How many of me?

Got this from Flatman so I punched in my name.
LogoThere are:
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

Friday, January 12, 2007

Merry Christmas

Come on. It wasn't that long ago. Have you forgotten all about being nice to each other and fellowship and caring and Jesus and connecting? I didn't think so.

I was putting away more decorations and had to make sure I posted a picture of the ornament I got from my mom. My parents were at Lake Placid when I did the race. They stayed a couple of days extra to see more of the area, definitely nice to be retired. So they were strolling through town and one of the shops was selling ornaments. The entire thing is hand painted, including my name, number and finish time. What an awesome gift.

It's a great reminder that I am an Ironman.

Game On!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

I love trail running

I finally am able to post my BiM Active activities on Blogger. Here is the results from my trail run the day after I found my perspective again.

Route:--Elev. Avg:724 ft
Location:Northfield Center, OHElev. Gain:+0 ft
Time:09:19 AMDifficulty:4.5 / 5.0
Weather:Overcast with Haze
39F temp; 75% humidity
39F heat index; winds SE 9

Distance:11.04 miles
Speed:6.45 mph
Pace:9' 18 /mi
HR for each split on the watch
8:18 / 145
8:29 / 149
9:20 / 154
9:23 / 151
8:27 / 155
8:36 / 151
9:51 / 137
21:40 / 146
17:50 / 156
Elevation (ft.)
Pace (min/mile)
MilePace (min/mile)Speed (mph)Elevation
actual+/- avgactual+/- avg
18' 32-0' 467.0+0.6+132 ft
28' 24-0' 547.1+0.7-115 ft
39' 25+0' 076.4-0.1+39 ft
49' 24+0' 066.4-0.1-65 ft
58' 22-0' 567.2+0.7+161 ft
68' 59-0' 196.7+0.2+4 ft
79' 50+0' 326.1-0.4-105 ft
811' 05+1' 475.4-1.0-66 ft
910' 38+1' 205.6-0.8+27 ft
109' 33+0' 156.3-0.2+122 ft
118' 12-1' 067.3+0.9-128 ft
end11' 06+1' 485.4-1.1-3 ft
Versus average of 9' 18 min/mi

Posted from

Keeping It In Perspective

My problem is that I have things to post about but I can't set aside the time to write them down. I'm usually too busy reading other blogs, updating my Training Peaks, reading the message board for the Cleveland Tri Club, training, working, Snakebite team business, etc. You get the picture.

I also think quality over quantity is better, so I try to make my posts worth while. Then I need to spend some time and update the blog with sidebar information......where does it all end.

Must focus. I don't know if I have a mild case of adult ADD or just too many things that I'm involved in that pull me all over the place. Oh and the Christmas decorations need to be packed away. SEE WHAT I MEAN!!!

So usually I have to step back, make a list and prioritize. That's where the perspective part comes in. Once I create that list I can see what's important and get things done. On my current list almost everything is crossed off and blogging is one of the last things not crossed here goes.

********BEGIN FLUFF******

Today's post actually goes back to last weekend, Jan. 5-6 to be exact. I was finishing a project at a customer in lovely Lima, OH. This place is a 2.5 hour drive from home. Friday was to go out and do some prep work on the new computer system and Saturday we restore the production data to the new system. on the new system.....everyone is happy. I forgot to include what I call the Denis Factor.

Denis is the person I was working with at the customer.......he is the customer. Smart guy. Been there over 15 years. Knows all there is to know about the processes on the system. Also a very busy guy, many year end projects as we also try to install this new system, the prior system was 8 years old.

Anyways, I knew Denis would be tight for time. However, when i arrived on Friday, 2:00PM, he hadn't done anything on the new system in the past two weeks. New software wasn't loaded. Things hadn't been tested. GREAT. I started doing what I had planned on doing and see where we wind up. I kept him on task as best I could. Friday plans was to prep the new system and save data from the old system.

I thought cool, write the program, set it up to run at night, get to the hotel, nice dinner at Applebee's, relax at the hotel, blog a little, good nights rest. Oh boy was I wrong. We could get the system at 7:00PM. Fine I said. Still early enough for me.

BOOM......oh by the way we have to run day end processing before we run the save. Now I almost loose it. WTF. so how long does that take........3-4 hours. Then he starts manipulating the jobs, ending some that don't need to run, pushing others fasters, etc. I'm sitting there trying to figure out what has happened as I can do nothing.

I've read most of the links on bloglines. Nothing new on the message boards, I don't feel like posting. I'm just getting totally frustrated as I am now tired and hungry. I've been going for over 12 hours. The emotional rollercoaster I'm on is worse than Ironman. At IM I was in control for a majority of the race. I have NO control over Denis.

Well we finally get out of there it was 10:00PM. I'm starving. Dinner turned into Arby's in bed watching CSI. Saturday's work started at 8:00AM so I needed some sleep.

Saturday went well. I was in control. I made sure during testing Denis stayed on track. Unfortunately, Saturday also went 3 hours longer than I wanted. I had packed a bag so I could run the trails on the way home. I didn't leave Lima until 3:30PM. As I drove by the exit for the park the sun was setting and there would be no trail run today. So Friday AND Saturday became rest days from training.

I called Aimee letting her know I was on the way home. She made plans with her sister and neighbor to go shopping and have dinner out. I wasn't going to interrupt her plans so I kept quiet about how shitty the past two days went.

Once home I made some dinner and opened up a bottle of wine. I guess I needed to unwind more than I thought. By the end of the evening I was one glass shy of finishing the bottle. Yeah, I was buzzing pretty good. I watched a couple of movies on the TV, only remembering "The Punisher".

On Sunday I felt better. Despite all the alcohol I put in an 11 mile trail run at a 9:18 pace. I felt great, got muddy and used the endorphines from the run to improve my attitude.

********END FLUFF*********

During my drive home Sat. afternoon I started to get things back into perspective. Things didn't go exactly as I had planned. I wasn't going to get my trail run done. I spent more time than I wanted at the customer, in fact it went 14 hours over thanks to the Denis Factor.

It was around noon on Saturday that things clicked for me. I was so pissed off because I wasn't going to get my run. The run mattered more than the work. I love my training and competition. I like my work. But it's the work that pays for my training and get over it and deal with it. Once I let it go that I wouldn't get in my run I started dealing with the whole situation better.

I'm a triathlete damn-it. We constantly remind ourselves and others that we must go with the flow because on race day, especially Ironman, so many things are out of our control and we should expect anything. Be prepared to face the unexpected, adjust to the adversity and move forward......always move forward.

I think the flexibility is what prevented me from blowing up at Denis Friday night. It was what is was.....out of my control for the moment.

So once again the lessons we learn in triathlon, work and life can be used in any situation.

Keeping my perspective reminds me that things could be worse in my life. Homeless, jobless, ailing, mentally know what I mean.

So my perspective in back in balance......GAME ON.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year - Let's Tri

Happy New Year everyone. I just got back from the Cleveland Tri Club's Polar Plunge into the brisk waters of Lake Erie. The air and water temps were both mid 40's, around 43-45 degrees F.

This is my fourth year involved with the Club plunge....and I love it each time.

Aimee took some great pictures this year and I post them for you today.

A local TV station was on hand and gave us a good story. I'm in the far right opening shot.

Here I am leading the troops into the water. Time to "Charge"

Below is my friend Jason from the Y. He just recently joined the tri club and this is his first polar plunge. I think he enjoyed it.

Here's JT from JT's Tri-spot.

Matt and I took our time getting out of the nice waters of Lake Erie. Doesn't it look inviting?

Several people were a little late for the first wave into the lake. Considering these are some of my best and bloggiest friends I couldn't let them go in alone.

The second wave consisted of, from left to right, Elizabeth (e-speed, runwithme), me (TriEric), Jen (JenuineIMexperience), Alan (TriAl), and Sara (TriSaraTops).

Alan in a new member of my race team Snakebite Racing.

A portion of the Cleveland Tri-Blog Alliance trying to get warm.

JT, Elizabeth, Sara, Alan