Saturday, May 26, 2007

Message from Michigan

I wanted to share an e-mail I received today. It's too good to keep to myself.

From: Racing for Recovery Half Triathlon
To: TriEric
Subject: Upcoming race at Monroe, MI


Yesterday Madame Pelee was visiting Michigan in preparation for the triathlons on June 10th. She was looking at the bike course and trying to decide how to arrive best so she could mess with the athletes. We also talked about some of the athletes on the participant list. I told her of the large number of people coming from Ohio.

Madame Pelee recognized your name and quite frankly it made her nervous. She mentioned that her recent visits to Ohio have not dampened your spirit and she thinks you are becoming too strong on the bike. This morning over breakfast I recommended that she pay a quick visit to Cleveland and see what you were doing. She saw you riding and decided to throw some rain at you. Despite being two hours into your ride she saw you pushing harder during the rain. And what is this business about getting off the bike and running a 32 minute 5 miler?

When Madame Pelee returned to Michigan she became hesitant about her return on June 10th for the triathlon. What did you do to her? If you stay home on June 10th we can call it even.......Okay? You can get your Game On at another race.

Best Regards,
Racing for Recovery Triathlon Course

Needless to say I was a little confused by the e-mail. It's true that my bike has been on and the run has been clicking as well. My ride this morning was a little wet but I was able to run with my Coaches husband and all around awesome training partner/friend Scott at a 5 mile race.

But is that race course talking smack at me? Is it scared of what may happen on June 10th? Is the race providing me a "gimme" like a 6 inch putt on the golf course?

Well I don't take "gimmes". Never did on the golf course, won't take it on the race course.

Ummmm.......Racing for Recovery.......I'm gonna be Game On all over your course. Oh....and tell Madame Pelee to stay home......she doesn't need to waste her time coming back to Michigan.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Another Brick in the Wall

I'm entering into the final days of preparation for the Racing for Recovery Half Distance tri on June 10th. This is my late spring/early summer A race for the season. This is my focus, my goal, my motivation, my inspiration to train.........and train hard. I'm bringing speed back into my workouts because of this "short" distance race. I guess anything is short after Ironman.

One area that has been lacking is my brick workouts. I've been doing them but something has been missing from them. One brick I skipped completely due to Mother's day, ran out of time. And another brick I rode to a local 5k race and did a controlled pace run. No brick this past weekend because of the 10k + 2 that I did on Sunday.

Coach Angela put a mid-week brick on tap for me yesterday, Wednesday. I've been working from home lately, big bonus, so I just had to get a conference call out of the way in the morning and do my workout during lunch. A 1 hour ride with a 30 minute run, but with some intensity. The weather also called for temps in the 80's by noon so this would be a good assimilation ride for warm weather, which we have not had a lot of around here.

The first 40 minutes of the ride in zone 2, pick it up to zone 3 working hard for 20 minutes. The run portion involved 10 minutes at zone 2 then finish with 20 minutes in zone 3. I was excited about the workout. The harder the better. Put in some big effort the will pay off on race day.

The ride was on target. I went over by 11 minutes because I didn't factor in the wind coming from the south. Regardless I hit the zones well. I transitioned into my run feeling good. At the half mile mark I saw 3:20 on the watch. A little too fast of a pace for zone 2 so I backed it down. I still had a ways to go and it was hot outside.

I clocked the first mile at 7:30 trying hard to keep my heart rate in zone 2, a high zone 2. The sun was beating down and I could feel the body getting hotter with the extra effort. At 10 minutes I did start to feel the legs could handle the run and I increased my pace. My heart rate easily went into high zone 3. I was able to keep a steady pace all the way back home.

When I finished my run I tried to feel my body. What was it doing? How tired was it? How was it feeling? I wanted to remember the effort exerted for this brick so I could duplicate the feeling on race day. It felt good. I was sweaty, tired and spent. That's what I want on race day.

So what did I learn from my workout on Wednesday? During the first mile of the run inspiration hit me like a....well....a.....ton of "bricks". I thought about the "WALL" that marathoners must face at some point between miles 18 and 22. How the body wants to start shutting down and pure will power and determination pushes a person through/around/over the wall.

I thought about what is the wall for a triathlete? Getting started on the run. Transitioning from cycling to running. Getting the legs used to the motion and effort that goes into running. The wall is placed at different distances for everyone. Most of the time the wall is withing the first 2 miles of the run. Once you are past the wall the legs want to run and the stride feels more natural and easier. Our brick workouts help us beat the wall when we face it come race day. These bricks help us tear down the wall and allows us to run better and faster after the bike segment of the race. And these workouts are seen as Bricks in the Wall, each time we complete a "brick" the wall is being torn down. Each brick completed makes it easier for us to get past the wall, have a better run, have a great race.

It's time to start tearing down your wall......Game On.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Rite Aid 10k Race Report

I am filled with so many emotions and thoughts right now about the Rite Aid 10k I do not know where to begin…..yet as usual and expected I start at the beginning.

I don’t run to many 10k during the year. In fact this 10k is the only local race at this distance available. I had already done two half marathons this spring so I wanted to test my speed with a 10k. I ran Rite Aid in 2005 as I was preparing for a triathlon season of Olympic distance races. I hadn’t run a straight 10k in years so I wanted to see where I was at. In 2005 I went 39:38 reaching my goal of a sub 40 race. I was determined to race even better and strive for something around 38 minutes.

Aimee and her sister, Becky, were running the 10k also. Becky stayed the night at our place so we could all drive down together. Becky is new to running this year and has been having fun at the 10k distance. Here goal was to break 1 hour on a somewhat hilly course. The alarm went off at 4:45AM so we would be ready to start at 7:20AM. Aimee and I are used to getting up at that hour but Becky was fit to be tied getting up to run that early.

We made it to downtown Cleveland with plenty of time to spare. We met some friends at a tent hosted by a local running club. They would watch our clothes during our run. Several members of the Cleveland Tri Club were on hand to race at all three distances, full marathon, half marathon and 10k. Papa Louie(10k) and DaisyDuc (marathon) were ready for action. Even E-Speed decided to run the full marathon and try to keep Daisy company. E-Speed had just completed the Flying Pig Marathon, but she looked ready to tackle another 26.2.

The marathoners, full and half, started at 7:00AM. They would be able to clear the first two miles of the course before the fast 10k runners took over. At mile 2 the courses took different splits in the road.

Coach Angela has sent me a plan for the race. First two miles go Zone 3, steady, holding back for later. Middle two miles push to high Zone 3. Final 2.2 miles red line the heart rate and squeeze it all out in the last mile. I’m not much for following this type of plan. I’m more of a single speed type where I don’t want to rely on getting faster. I’d rather start with my race pace and push to maintain it in the last miles. I was also told to make sure I warm up well with some jogging and wind sprints/turnovers so I would be warm for the start.

I did get in a nice warmup. I ran away from the start area and had the sidewalks to myself so I could get in some surges. I got back to the clothing tent and waited until we were close to go time. I took a Hammer Gel before heading to the start line.

The weather for this year’s race was very nice. The temperature was around 60 with some winds coming in from the west. Earlier there was some spotty rain hitting the area but nothing that was going to last.

I made my way up to the start line and positioned myself about 7 rows back from the front. I figured that I wouldn’t have much traffic to contend with being so far up front. I was in the top 100 finishing the 2005 race so I figured I belonged up front. Unfortunately there are still people that don’t know how to seed themselves for even a 10k. The horn blasted and we were off. For the first half mile I still had to dodge people and slip between slower runners. Fortunately they were left behind quickly. I tucked in behind some people as we turned into the wind and we had a good pace going. I felt great running a fast and easy pace.

The first mile was partially into the wind. I managed to draft behind some other people. As we approached the first mile marker I hit my watch and was surprised to see a 5:45 split. I really didn’t want that fast of a first mile but I felt really good at that point. Just past the mile marker was a water aid station. I grabbed a water and had a quick sip.

Mile two dropped down and around the Cleveland Municipal Stadium, where the Browns play football. On the west side of the stadium is a nice uphill climb that is gradual and long for about a quarter mile. The heart rate started to rise but I didn’t want to relinquish the effort I was putting in. At this point the only rain of the day came down for about two minutes. At the top of the hill a quick right turn and the course continues onto the “Shoreway”, a highway that goes along the shore of Lake Erie. Not as nice as Chicago but the best Cleveland has to offer.

The two mile marker is at the bottom of the on-ramp for the highway. I hit my watch for a 6:28 second mile, which I was happy with considering the hill. So I am sitting at 12:13 for two miles. I liked what I was seeing. If I could hold pace I could definitely get my 38:00 finish.

Now here is where the race report takes a weird twist….and it’s not a good one. The 10k course goes up the on-ramp, over the bridge, a small loop through a neighborhood and back over the bridge. Why was everyone going to the left? We were supposed to go right. One female runner, who was one of five in the lead for females made a move to the right but someone pointed her in the other direction. She continued with the rest of the field.

Like lemmings to the sea I also followed course. I could still see Papa Louie up ahead so maybe things are okay. Down into the Flats along the Cuyahoga River we went. The Flats is an area filled with bars and usually doesn’t see any activity on a Sunday morning. I was trying to figure out where this new route would be taking us for a 10k. Even the guy standing outside Larry Flynt’s Hustler Club was staring at us as we went by. We kept running at race pace following the trail of racers ahead of us. I looked at my watch and was wondering where the 3 mile marker was. We had reached 20 minutes and surely would be at three miles. I was also feeling ill at ease when we approached intersections with no police or course marshalls. Where is the protection? Should I turn around? What if this is the way to go? I was a lemming following the death march to the sea.

I finally started to give in to the fact that we were terribly off course. What the hell happened? How did we get out here? I slowed my pace as I started to give up hope. We climbed a hill and I saw where we were at, the Tremont District. A nice area of Cleveland that has a had an upscale rejuvenation. Some great restaurants and housing has sprung up in this area. But now we had to get back to downtown Cleveland.

I cruised along for a while and we finally hit the down hill back to the roads along the river. I decided it was time to push it home and have at least a good tempo run for the day. I cruised down the hill as I always try to do and recaptured the group I was running with originally which included several of the top female runners. We backtracked to the Flats and then people started taking different hills back towards downtown. I took several people with me to the spot where we went off course. We rejoined the official race course at the same time and several others we were running with.

At this point we were within two miles of the finish. We were still going strong and passing many people as we made our final push to the finish line. I grabbed some water at mile 5 just to wet my whistle. My final 1.2 miles was 7:41, a 6:25/mile pace. I finished my 10k+ in 51:10. I walked around a little stunned about what happened but congratulated one of the female runners I was with for still finishing and chatted with some other friends. I waited around looking for Aimee but it turns out she finished before me by about 2 minutes. I continued to walk around, put on some of my clothes to stay warm and did a cool down run. I found a friend who had been watching the race and he said all of the times were off. The Kenyan runners finished around 33 minutes which should have been closer to 28.

I found Aimee and Becky, talked some more, shared my experience with them and we finally left downtown a little dejected. Once home I mapped out the “course” I ran. Follow the link to the mapped out that elevation at mile 4.

Rite Aid 10k +2 route

I added an additional 2 miles to my 10k. You know what?.....a 8.2 mile run in 51 minutes is still a 6:15/mile pace. I can’t complain about that. My middle 5 miles were run in 31:15, also a 6:15/mile pace. So I guess overall I had a great day. My official goal wasn’t met but I faced the challenge and fought forward, even though weakly at one point.

Further information has revealed that the lead car for the 10k was the cause of the problem. I just don’t understand how something like that could happen in a race that is 30 years old. I just shake my head with disbelief. I estimate that the top 100 – 150 runners went off course. The finishing times, especially the “top” age group times, are indicative of the error. Age group wise, I wound up 39th this year when I was 9th two years ago.

Oh well. Water under the proverbial bridge and it is as muddy as the Cuyahoga River. There have been several times in prior races where I have provided direction during the race, why didn’t I speak up this time. I knew the course was supposed to go right but I went left. Live and learn I suppose. I’ll have to find another 10k later in the summer to redeem myself.

Either way…..Game On.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Flash-Point Friday - Madame Pelee

Last year during my training for Ironman USA I often paid homage to Madame Pelee. I feel that the grande dame of Ironman should not only be appeased when racing on the Big Island but also during all Ironman training. There is much to be learned during training or racing when you are forced to endure high or low temperatures, humidity, torrential downpours, and gusting winds.

Madame Pelee has been visiting Northern Ohio for part of April and most of May this year. She has been flying in from the south which is weird because she usually hops over from Chicago which is a straight shot from the west.

Regardless, when she arrives everyone knows it. The flags are blowing stiff in the wind and no matter which way the wind is blowing, it always feels like you are headed straight into her face. Be it running or riding you know Madame Pelee has arrived.

Maybe she is just checking out the "competition". Seeing who will be ready for their IM races this year. Checking in on who is braving the elements so they are prepared for whatever race day will present to them. Eventually she will return to Hawaii where she will lay in wait for those individuals that have qualified or received lottery slots for the Big Show in Kona.

I only have three options for riding out of the house, I'm not driving to a ride with gas prices the way they are. I can go East, West or South. I can only go 5 miles North before this big body of water called Lake Erie gets in my way. East and West usually has more traffic and suburban spread. But when I head south I am on rural country roads in 15 minutes.

The country roads are usually smooth, light on traffic, and provide some different scenery. But with that comes the lack of protection from the wind. Madame Pelee knows this. She challenges me during these rides. She comes straight at me. She hits me from the side. Occasionally she will help push me along. But 75% of the time we are fighting each other.

She helps me work on my power. She tests my bike handling skills. She let's me play with speeds that I may not see otherwise. She is a good training partner.

I've been really happy with my speed during these rides with madame. I have tapped into the power stroke instead of spinning relentlessly until I turn out of the wind. This power stroke has made me stronger, similar to riding hills. Maybe the FP 60s are helping slice through the wind better. But contrary to what Matt Purdue says about crosswinds, I'm getting tossed around the road.

The 60mm rims are catching air like a kite. I'm finding myself leaning into the wind, making quick adjustments to gusts and Staying on Target so I don't swerve into traffic. When I race at the Racing for Recovery Half Iron I will be taking two sets of wheels, the Flash Points and my road wheels. Depending upon the weather/wind I will be ready. I will prefer to use the FPs but I am not going to waste my energy fighting Madame Pelee if she decides to blow into town for the race. I'm sending her a ticket from Chicago because a nice tailwind for the second half of the bike would be nice.

Game On

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Two for Tuesday - Music for the Masses

I found this video at IHateToast.

Enjoy music lesson #1

And in honor of Bolders new theme song......

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Two for Tuesday - Going Mental

Are you prepared for the racing season. Swim volume up.....check. New running shoes.....check. Bike is tuned up with new tires......check. You are mentally prepared to put your best effort forward.......HUH? Practicing mental imagery of race day.......WHAT???

Yes mental preparation is the fifth, sixth, or seventh discipline we can employ during triathlon training along with nutrition, weight training, stretching, massage therapy, etc.

But mental preparation may be the easiest of the "extra" training techniques to actually perform. A couple of minutes a day, before bed, cutting the grass, in the shower, can help prepare you for a stellar day on the race course. I came across this article about positive self talk.....Mental Training: Positive Self-Talk

But my TfT is something old and something new. Two books.....One I recommend and one that I am going to buy.


Triathletes Guide to Mental Training
I read this book while preparing for Ironman USA and am about to re-read it for this season. I posted several times about sections of the book. I'll put labels on those posts so you can find them easily.

Future Reading:

Thinking Body, Dancing Mind: Tao sports for Extraordinary Performance in Athletics, Business and Life
This book looks very interesting as well as some of the other books by this author. If anyone has read the book please comment on it.

In body and mind....Game On.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Back on the Trail Again

My Sunday long run was on the Buckeye Trail. I enjoy running this area that I have to share it with everyone. The charts and graphs are good too. Rootsrunner and e-speed will know these trails. Also make sure you visit them for some marathon lovin' as they both did very well at the Flying Pig Marathon in Cinci.

On the main portion of the run, the middle miles, the south to north squiggly lines, running all over, up and down, over trees across streams......I never saw a single person.......I..Loved..It

Game On


Distance:11.94 miles
Speed:6.73 mph
Pace:8' 55 /mi
Elevation (ft.)
Pace (min/mile)
MilePace (min/mile)Speed (mph)Elevation
actual+/- avgactual+/- avg
18' 00-0' 557.5+0.8+10 ft
27' 20-1' 358.2+1.5-10 ft
37' 12-1' 438.3+1.6+10 ft
49' 30+0' 356.3-0.4+141 ft
58' 34-0' 217.0+0.3-108 ft
611' 51+2' 565.1-1.7-30 ft
710' 47+1' 525.6-1.2+157 ft
88' 32-0' 237.0+0.3+59 ft
910' 01+1' 066.0-0.7+132 ft
108' 16-0' 397.3+0.5-164 ft
118' 45-0' 106.8+0.1-63 ft
end8' 09-0' 467.3+0.6-128 ft
Versus average of 8' 55 min/mi

Posted from

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Strange Similarities - Part Deux

I asked about the similarities between


turns out that is what I will be at Ironman USA in Lake Placid. I received an e-mail from the captain of the wetsuit stripping team and I will be helping the athletes strip down. Nothing like helping hawt triathletes take off clothing.

Then Aimee and I will be on course cheering for all of our Cleveland and blogger connections.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Flash-Point Friday - Riding and Racing

I have managed to get several rides in on the Flash-Point 60s, including the Buzzard Duathlon. Of course as soon as I mentioned the wheels people are wanting pictures. There are several in this post to satisfy the need for bike porn. You will have to excuse the quality because the digital camera is on the fritz and the pics were taken with my Treo.

That's 60mm's of rim BABY! I soooo had to go with totally black tires. Completes the package. Remember that tires should match the rim, kindof like matching your belt and shoes.

What I first notice is their weight. Granted it's hard to tell what is happening on the bike since there are so many factors that go into riding. Things like fitness and weather can skew the results of how you perceive new equipment. I am entering the season very fit so I don't know if my bike rides feel great because of the wheels or my general riding fitness.

I do know I feel lighter with these wheels. The effort to spin the wheels is less than what I am used to, especially uphill. At the duathlon, I never felt "heavy" going up the hills....again....wheels or fitness?

Something else that other people have been writing about on the FP Blog, is the feel of the wheels on the road. The road dampening affect the carbon fiber as it eliminates the bumps on the road. That I haven't felt yet. I have a carbon fork already. I live in Cleveland where NO road is without imperfections. I tried to feel the road last night but the sealed cracks in the road were too much for all the carbon fiber. So the jury is still out on that, maybe I just don't have to true sensitivity of a metro-sexual triathlete to express my feelings.

Last nights ride on the FPs was awesome. Did some hills and I know the light weight of the wheels is helping. I was cruising uphill with a new 11-23 cassette on the back, never missing the 25. I slapped on the 11-23 because the Half IM race I am doing in June will be pancake flat.

Here is the elevation from last nights ride.
Elevation (ft.)

Posted from

Here is the 11-23 installed on the wheels.

And now for you Moment of Zen.....the complete package.

Game On.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Strange Similarities

Can anyone tell me what


Have in common? Answer on Saturday.

And I think I found the reason Cleveland Ironman athletes love Mitchell's Ice Cream

Game is deliciously On.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Staying on Target

Do you remember this scene from Star Wars?

Gold Two: [the Y-wings are running the gauntlet toward the Death Star reactor-port] The guns - they've stopped!
Gold Five: [realizes why] Stabilize your rear deflectors... Watch for enemy fighters.
Gold Leader: They're coming in! Three marks and 2-10! [Gold Two is slain by Darth Vader and his wingmen; Gold Leader starts to panic]
Gold Leader: It's no good down here, I can't maneuver!
Gold Five: Stay on target.
Gold Leader: *We're too close!*
Gold Five: Stay on target!
Gold Leader: [shouts] Loosen up! [he too is picked off by Vader and Company; Gold Five tries to escape but is fatally winged]
Gold Five: Gold Five to Red leader, I Lost Tiree, Lost Dutch. They came from... behind!
Gold Five: [crashes]

Exciting stuff right. "Stay on Target" was one of the phrases I used during Ironman training and the race. Gold Leader had a hard time keeping focused on the goal of the reactor-port with Darth Vader breathing down his neck.

In Ironman training it is also hard to ignore the outside forces that can compromise your training.

Bombing down a hill is dangerous enough that you don't need to be distracted away from the road and risk a crash.

Getting the phone call from friends to join you at the bar the night before a long training day instead of getting the needed rest your body deserves.

Focusing on how the person running in front of you is unreachable instead of worrying about maintaining your own pace.

Being drawn to the dark side of Ben and Jerry's, or Mitchell's, ice cream when trying to follow a good diet.

Getting caught up in the excitement when exiting transition and starting off too fast.

I think you get the picture. The mental aspect of triathlon training/racing is often overlooked and not practiced. Training the mind to "stay on target" will pay dividend in all aspects of your life. Remind yourself when the mind starts to drift. Say it out loud to yourself.

Keeping on target will make help you make the best of your workouts and races.

Stay On Target = Game On

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Two for Tuesday - Similarities and When to Play

Welcome back TfT. I think I'm getting back into the groove of blogging. Inspiration has been hitting me at the oddest times for items to post.


This year I will be running my "first" marathon. I say first because last year it was an Ironman marathon. Training for this season is going well and I should have a good run on September 30th. I have been playing around with the idea of qualifying for Boston. My time to qualify is 3:20. I never thought I would want to run Boston....I never thought I would do an Ironman either. Aimee has been boosting my confidence, one of our friends just ran Boston and her race experience is exciting and my sister-in-law is moving to Boston.

Last night I was reading the latest issue of Running Times. One Letter to the Editor was about an article "Boston or Bust". The final paragraph of the letter spoke volumes to me. The author of the letter, Beth Deloria, suffers from permanent paralysis of the foot

Your photo, taken from behind (at Chicago Marathon), does not capture the tears of joy as I "won" the biggest race in my life (her qualifier for Boston). As Hennick states, the runners who qualify are "somewhere between Superman and everyman" and I believe myself to be the "everyman". To anyone, anywhere, who has ever dreamt of Boston I say this: Go for it -- your dreams just may come true. And in the mere quest of this challenge your life will change fantastically.

You can replace the word Boston with Ironman and the sentence still holds great truth. Find the similarities and be inspired.

When to Play

When you are done lurking or commenting on today's post make sure you