Saturday, December 20, 2008

Let's Run the Trails

I ran the trails at Carlisle Park Reservation this afternoon. Here is a video I put together of my adventures. Enjoy.

Route:--Elev. Avg:755 ft
Location:Lagrange, OH, Elev. Gain:-4 ft
Date:12/20/08Up/Downhill: [+396/-400]
Time:02:45 PMDifficulty:4.1 / 5.0


26 F temp; 68% humidity

26 F heat index; winds E 8 mph
Elevation (ft)

Posted from

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Off Season Swimming

You are supposed to work your weaknesses during the off season. So I decided to get a tune up on my swim stroke last week. Biker Chick (Aimee) has been taking lessons recently with a coach at Liquid Lifestyles.

I decided to have Leah look at my stroke and offer some tips/corrections. Overall things are good but we discussed what she saw and agreed that some changes were necessary. Small items like head and hand positions, recovery, body angle, arm extension.

I've been doing drills during each swim session in order to start the "change" in my stroke. I'm noticing improvements already. I've reduced my stroke count by two already.

This mornings swim was more of the same. Drills, pulling, and two 400's with negative splits.

The first 400 was a 3:07 and 2:58 for each 200. The second 400 was a 3:05 and 2:51.5 for each 200. I put the half second in there because I like the idea of being close to 2:50 for 200 yards.

Overall I was very happy with the swim. there should be some improvement in my swim times during the summer.

Game On.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

What's Cookin' Wednesday - Jose Cuervo Christmas Cookies

Jose Cuervo Christmas Cookies

1 cup of water
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup of sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup or brown sugar
4 large eggs
1 cup nuts
2 cups of dried fruit
1 bottle Jose Cuervo Tequila

Sample the Cuervo to check quality. Take a large bowl,
check the Cuervo again, to be sure it is of the highest quality,
pour one level cup and drink.

Turn on the electric mixer. Beat one cup of butter
in a large fluffy bowl.

Add one peastoon of sugar. Beat again. At this point
it's best to make sure the Cuervo is still ok, try another
cup just in case.

Turn off the mixerer thingy.

Break 2 leggs and add to the bowl and chuck in the cup
of dried fruit.

Pick the frigging fruit off the floor.

Mix on the turner.

If the fried druit gets stuck in the beaters just pry
it loose with a drewscriver.

Sample the Cuervo to check for tonsisticity.

Next, sift two cups of salt, or something. Who geeves
a sheet . Check the Jose Cuervo. Now shift the lemon juice and strain
your nuts.

Add one table.

Add a spoon of sugar, or somefink. Whatever you can

Greash the oven.

Turn the cake tin 360 degrees and try not to fall

Don't forget to beat off the turner.

Finally, throw the bowl through the window, finish the
Cose Juervo and make sure to put the stove in the wishdasher.

Cherry Mistmas!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Be a Follower

Now I'm not telling you to be a lemming and definitely don't follow Lemmiwinks.

I'm asking you to be a follower of my blog. Just scroll down a little and click on the link that says "Follow this blog." You can be like iRuniFly, Eric, Michelle, Big Daddy Diesel, Shawn, Flatman, irunmarathon and JT.

I think it's cool to be a follower on the blog. This provides me a way to know who is reading my blog and possibly what type of information they would like to read. It also provides a way for others to venture around to other blogs.

iRuniFly is the newest follower. This female runner from Iowa is one tough.......

I'm going to have fun reading about all of the new things she learns about herself and running. Her enthusiasm reminds me of why I enjoy running....and cycling.....and....yes.....swimming.

Game On.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

WTF Wednesday - Rollin', rollin', rollin'

Sometimes you just have those DUH moments. Why didn't I edit my video, reduce the size and then upload to blogger. Do you think that would work better than trying to stream a 68 MB video to blogger? Silly blogger, vids are for YouTube. There is always more than one way to do something.

Is it just me or does the song remind me of long training rides?


Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Two for Tuesday - Rollin' Along

I've been wanting/needing to post these two vids for your viewing pleasure.

There is supposed to be a second video here but blogger is being bloggery...boooo.

Game Rollin' On

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Baby It's Cold Outside

Despite the cold temperatures in Northern Ohio I packed up the mountain bike and headed to Findley State Park for some riding. I took the camera for some pics of the trails. Enjoy.

Oh yeah....that's the temp before and after my ride. I was only gone 1 hour.

Trail Map

Do you see those deer eyes peering back at me? I saw at least 20 deer.

Double teeter-totters

Practice your balance on this log or bypass to the left.

This guy has been sitting there for the past 3 years. No one ever bothers him.

Four or five years ago I was riding this frozen creek with Pat and Linda during one of the coldest and most enjoyable winter rides.....ever.

Looking back at the downhill and creek crossing.
Aimee, Dale and I are going to a night trail run this evening. Another cold one outside.
And loving every minute of it.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

What's Cookin' Wednesday - Pizza

I was reading USA Today and there was an article about the day BEFORE Thanksgiving. Papa Johns Pizza says that the day before Thanksgiving is their third largest day for pizza sales. The Super Bowl and Halloween are one and two respectively.

So what's stopping you from getting that pizza tonight?

It goes great with the Beer and Wings from last night.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Two for Tuesday - Guilty Pleasures

It's the off season, enjoy yourself.
Get some game with beer and wings.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Family and Friends Friday - Mary

Mary, Mary Quite Contrary.....How does your marathon go?

Mary has been one of our running friends for many years. Aimee has trained with her for different events and we always have a good time. Mary has completed 7 marathons and her 8th will be in Philadelphia this Sunday.....and I have a feeling this will be her most special one yet.

Mary knew all year that she wanted to do a fall marathon. She saw the Philly one listed and started to train for it. However, when she tried to register it was already closed. But something in the back of her mind wouldn't let it drop so easily. She felt a strong "need" to do this marathon.

A relentless stream of e-mails and phone calls asking for admittance to the race were made. Mary just couldn't let this race go. She tried to convey the deep calling she was feeling for this marathon. She eventually received an email from a charity organization stating that they had a few slots available for the race if she was interested in running the race on their behalf. Reluctant at first, Mary researched the "Back on My Feet" organization and realized this was the reason she "needed" to do the race. To complete a marathon that would benefit those less fortunate than her. Three days later she received a call from the race organizers offering her a spot in the race. She politely declined since she accepted the entry from the "Back on My Feet" group.

Mary sent out the message below to her family and friends:

I am running the Philadelphia Marathon on November 23 on behalf of the"Back on My Feet" organization in Philadelphia, PA. I am really excited about this opportunity to run this race for someone other than myself! I am trying to raise $1,500 for this great cause and would appreciate the consideration of a donation (see donation options below). I know everyone is so busy but if you could take a moment to read my story and review the links on this page, you will understand why I am so passionate about this great cause.

I didn't post her entire message due to it's length, but hopefully my summary shows what a caring person she is and how she has turned her love of running into a way to help others.

If you are interested in helping Mary with her fund raising you can go to the website

This Sunday Mary will show that she has her Game On.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Two for Tuesday - Lurkers

I have a counter at the bottom of this blog from It pretty cool because I get reports from Sitemeter showing me where people come from, who reads my blog, what they are searching for. I've gotten visits from people looking for meatloaf recipes.....honestly.....they went here....

And you lurkers that swing by but don't leave comments.....I.See.Youuuuuuuuu. Two of those visitors are also bloggers. I have popped over to Shawn and Dan's blogs, then added them to my Bloglines. They remind me what it was like to get into triathlon, the struggles of training, pushing the limits, fighting demons........essentially providing some inspiration and motivation for my own races. Sometimes you just need a little reminder about what we do and why.

Keep it up you two. I'm looking forward to reading more about your triathlon journeys in 2009.



Friday, November 14, 2008

Family and Friends Friday - Jeff J

Jeff is one om IM training partners and of course an all around nice guy. Upon first introduction Jeff is pretty quiet and reserved. But once we get running or cycling, with Scott making it a trio, there is plenty of laughs and joking with each other. Hey, you have pass the time somehow be it a 4 hour ride or 90 minute run.

Jeff was a swimmer in college and is still an amazing athlete. He is consistantly in the top 50 exiting the water at Ironman. This past year he was signed up for IM Wisconsin. I was excited that we woould be racing together, well maybe not together, but in the same race. Unfortunately a lost battle to a persistant cold which turned into bronchitus forced his withdrawal from the event. He tried to train through it but it was too much.

Jeff was also getting ready for his impending wedding to Elizabeth which will come to a conclusion tomorrow afternoon.

Aimee and I are looking foward to sharing in the happy day with some great friends.

Congratulations Jeff and Elizabeth.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Two for Tuesday - Veterans Day

Thank a Vet.
Their Game is Always On.

Monday, November 10, 2008

As seen on the bumper of a Jeep.....

Couldn't help myself.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Yes I'm still out here

So it's been a while since I have last posted. I didn't realize it has been so long. Once I got into recovery after Ironman Wisconsin I was in deep. Work has helped me with my recovery. It's been almost non-stop since the beginning of September.

Looking at my calendar I have worked every weekend since. It's kind of been nice to focus on something other than training and racing but the work is starting to drag, especially when I do want to get in a run or ride. Working during the early morning hours, like 2AM, doesn't lend itself to long early morning runs. The only plus is that my work pays for my passion, so I'm glad to have a job.

So what have you been doing? I've been lurking and reading other blogs when I have time. The Ironman Championships were awesome. I had two friends who were able to race this year through the lottery. I was able to track them through the They both had great finishes.

Today I was watching the results for the 70.3 championship race in Clearwater. This time Cleveland was represented by three local guys. Jim LaMastra rocked the course with a 4:07 finish that placed him third in the 30-34 age group. What a stud.

I'll try to get some more out here for you. I've seen some great quotes and have made some observations that I want to share with everyone.

Game recovery mode.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Ironman Wisconsin - IronFans

Reflection upon an event such as Ironman is important if you are going to learn anything about yourself and how you handled the race. Trying to remember everything that happens during an 11 or 17 hour day is not easy. Fortunately for me I had some great IronFans to help me remember the day and provide a valuable perspective which I would have never been able to have.

The true definition of an IronFan is my friend and teammate Mark Durno. This guy is nuts, but is also a great competitor himself. Here is a recap of his day watching his Cleveland friends race.

I highly encourage anyone who is passionate in endurance sports to witness an Ironman event - its an awesome experience. I don't, however, necessarily recommend that you do it in the manner that I did. I committed to drinking one shot of Jack Daniels every hour, at the top of the hour, that my training partners were on the course. Since one of them finished in just over 13 hours, when you throw in the start and finish "extras" - that would be 15 shots of whiskey. Now, add in the approximate 50 miles of biking I did running around the race course cheering these guys on (and drinking very little water), it had the making of one big-ass headache the next morning. Dehydration sucks. Surprisingly, I never felt "tipsy" during the day

I didn't realize Mark was doing this "celebration" until mile 23 of the marathon when he held out a shot glass and said, "the next one is for you Eric." I just shook my head and kept running.

After the race Mark sent an e-mail to our Snakebite teammates recounting his observations from the day.

All of you know that Eric is a high energy guy whose enthusiasm is contagious. I think back to a half Iron race that he did in Morgantown, WV this year where he crossed the finish line bloodied (from a bike wreck on the course) and whooped, but still was hootin' and cheerin' at the end - because that is his personality. Ironman Wisconsin was no different.

In transition, after the 2.4 mile swim, Eric was running to get his bike, yelling and cheering the entire time - really pumping up the massive crowd that was surrounding transition (I have a good photo of it - to come in a later e-mail).

I crossed Eric 3 times during his 112 mile bike ride - same thing - every time I saw him, it was unbridled enthusiasm coming from a guy who was 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 hours into an endurance event - nothing can hold this guy down.

At mile 15 of the run course, I caught up with Eric's wife and we waited for him to run by. When we saw him, the energy level had dropped a bit, but there was still high intensity and a smile on his face - he gave Aimee a hug - I gave him a swift smack on the ass (hope it didn't sting !) - and he moved on - looking real good.

As I was biking around the run course I caught up with him again at about mile 22. I saw something I don't know that I'll ever see again... The intensity was still there - but the smile was gone - the energy was gone - there was nothing left but a competitor grinding out the last painful 5K of a race that would last over 11 hours. He couldn't really even talk. I said a few word to him, but it was clear that his focus was clearly on finishing strong through pain that I can't imagine (and will probably never experience).
Aussie Rob and I running together
In a word - Eric's performance was "amazing". I didn't get a chance to see him at the finish, but, I sure the smile came back right after he crossed the finish line... is my finish line video. Thanks for the memories. I will cherish them forever.

Mark's words above are kind and a greatly appreciate him sharing his thoughts with me. He chose his words carefully in order to convey what he was seeing. I'm glad he had pictures to backup those words.
I'm not sharing his words today because of what he said, but because he said them. He took the time to write them down in an e-mail and let us know what an Ironman is from the fans point of view.
If you are a spectator at any event and have some insight about the day, please make sure you tell that person. Be it a first marathon, a PR day, even a training day. The feedback you may be able to provide can prove to be a valuable lesson or memory for that person.
Help someone else get their Game On.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Ironman Wisconsin - Thanks

What is a race report without acknowledging those that helped you get to the finish line.

This was my fifth year being coach by Angela. Each year we have tried and learned different things. We have tweaked my training and discovered how my body responds to a wide variety of workouts. She has always listened to what I have had to say and responded with good advice and words of support. She is more than a coach and I'm glad to have her as a friend.

Despite triathlon being an individual sport there are times when you need to swim, bike, or run with others.

Jason was my swimming buddy. Even though we can't talk while swimming the before or after chats were very important. His enthusiasm for triathlon reminded me of why I do this.

Scott, Jeff and Chris were my bike and run go to guys. Scotty helped me fine tune my ride with advice and equipment pointers. Jeff helped keep the conversations going on those long rides and kept me company despite struggling with colds and eventually bronchitus. I knew I could count on Chris for a long ride when I didn't know where to go, and didn't have the mental capacity to figure it out. He took me out on a ride where he told me when and where to turn.

Scott and Jeff during one of our last rides together.

Chris fueling up during the "take me where you want" ride.

The most support I received was of course from Aimee. She was so much help to me this year, just like in the past. She was ready to ride her bike when I would finish my brick run after 5 hours on the bike. She listened to my bitching and did what she could to help. She cheered loud and hard during the race which always brought a smile to my face.

I managed to hug Aimee whenever I saw her. Even at mile 15 I was able to smile when I saw her.

There are so many other people who helped just be asking about training or going to the race and watch. Everyone made my second Ironman journey special. I thank each and every person for their help.

What's next for me. I really don't know what 2009 will hold for me. Only time will tell.

For now....get your Game On.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Ironman Wisconsin - Run

As I left the women who put sunscreen on me I stopped off to pee in the port-a-potty. This would be the final time I would have to pee. I had peed once during the swim and 3 – 4 times on the bike, mostly during the first loop. I finally crossed the timing mat and hit the split button on my watch. Unlike Lake Placid I was going to keep track on my mile splits and see how fast or slow I would be running.

Right away people were shouting encouragement to me by name. At Lake Placid I wore the number with my last name and not as many people cheered for me by name. This time I wore my first name and people were more likely to cheer for me. Funny how that works.

Heading down State Street for my first loop I was surprised by how many people were lined up along the street. It was awesome to have so many people watching you run down the street. The entire street was covered with chalk from people writing support for their friends or family. I made the first zig zag towards Dayton street and suddenly Hodska was running next to me. He wanted to check in on me and see how things were going. He said I was a hard man to catch up to. Baker couldn’t keep up with me so Hodska sprinted ahead. He said I looked solid and smooth. It’s nice to hear some input from someone looking at your objectively. Hodska is a top notch athlete and knows what he is talking about. It was good to see him again and hear what he had to say.

I continued down the street and saw my parents sitting by the side of the road. I caught them off guard and my mom rushed to get her camera out and get a picture. I hit the first mile at 7:56. I wanted to be at 8 or slower but I felt good. I felt like I was going slow enough to go the distance.

I started keeping track of my miles and taking water or Gatorade at each aid station. My nutrition plan on the run was to put down a PowerGel every three miles or 30 minutes. The early part of the run course winds around all over the place. The arrows on the road and the volunteers were great in sending you the right way.

Mile two was right before the course went into the University of Wisconsin football stadium. A short ramp into the stadium sent us around the perimeter of the football stadium. Unfortunately we needed to run back up that ramp. It wasn’t too bad the first time. Personally the loop in the stadium was blasé. I’m not a football fan so I could have done without the loop. As I was heading out of the stadium, Aussie Rob was heading into the stadium. This was his first IM and you looked really good. I was pleasantly surprised to see him so close to me.

The day was starting to get hot so I was grabbing sponges at the aid stations to put in my jersey or squeeze over my head. I grabbed two cups at each aid station so I could take in as much fluid as possible. Between miles 4 and 5 the course goes on a nice multi-purpose path. This stretch offered some shade from the sun. To this point I had seen several of the pros heading in the opposite direction. I saw Amanda Lovato for the first time on the path and cheered her on. She’s the most recognizable pro to me and I read her blog so she gets my support each time.

Approaching mile 5 I finally started to see the family support. Before turning towards the mile 5 aid station I heard my sister-in-law Becky yelling for me. I had a hard time realizing it was her because she had a camera to her face while yelling for me. The guy running next to me commented on the cheering. I replied, “She has to yell for me, that’s my sister-in-law.” A little bit further I saw Aimee and she was cheering loudly for me as well. I turned to the same guy and said, “and that’s my wife.”

Right before the aid station Becky had written GO ERIC in huge letters with chalk on the sidewalk. I mean you couldn’t miss it. You can even see it in the highlight DVD. My in-laws were volunteering at this aid station. I managed to grab some water from my father-in-law but I don’t think he realized it until I was past him. All of a sudden I heard my mother-in-law screaming for me from behind. Those little boosts are so important during such a long race.

After the aid station is Observatory Road where the majority of hill climbing is. There are three uphills back to back on this road. I managed to run each hill during the first loop. Thinking back I should have power walked the hills instead. The final downhill leads to a quick run through campus to a different section of State Street. I saw my mom and dad at this point. Again she was fumbling to get the camera out in time to take a picture. Lucky for her the course goes down State Street then back to where they were sitting. She would be ready when I came back.
On this section of State Street there were a lot of spectators cheering people on. After the turn-around on State Street I saw Aussie Rob again, still the same distance behind me. I made my way back to the streets in campus and saw my parents again. We talked as I went by and my mom took a small video clip.

The course went back along Lake Mendota on a nice dirt path covered by trees. This was a very nice area to enjoy the shade. During mile 8 there was an aid station decorated with a Disney theme and the Ford Inspiration Zone. I like the Inspiration Zone because this is where all of the signs people have made are up for display. It was hard to read them but still felt good have them there. The female DJ at the zone was cheering people on and playing some good music. As I passed through I did a little dance to the music and got a shout out from the DJ.

Trudging along I continued to drink water and Gatorade. I was grabbing sponges and squeezing them over my head. I kept moving forward so that I could get this first half of the run done with. As I headed back to State Street I rounded a corner and heard some people yelling for me. I tried to look back and see who they were but I couldn’t get a good look. Maybe they would be there on the way back. It was good to have someone cheering for me.

The turn around for the marathon has got to be the worst one out there. The course runs past the special needs bags, make a left hand turn and you are now on the final stretch heading towards the finish. You see the finish arch. You see the crowds waiting and cheering. They may cheer for you thinking you are finishing. But alas, you stay left and run around the cones that take you back out onto the course. It’s such a terrible teaser.

I stopped off at the special needs bags and grabbed some more PowerGels. I wanted to replenish my supplies but wasn’t sure if I would be using them. I thanked the volunteer and headed back out for loop two.

I made my way down State Street again and I saw Hodska and Baker again. Baker was kneeling right behind an ASI photographer with his video camera. Hodska was standing right off the street. What he said would be stored away until I needed it, “the second lap is where you make it count.” That may not be exactly what he said but it stuck with me. About a mile later I saw Simply Stu from Team EvoTri. He had two teammates in the race so I gave him a shout and we bumped fists.

Right before the Wisconsin stadium I ran across Aimee cheering me on. Mark was also there taking pictures and he snapped one of me stopping to give Aimee and quick hug. It was also around this time, mile 15, that my times started to go north of 9 minutes per mile. The length of the day was starting to take it’s toll. I was also starting to slip off my nutrition plan. I had stopped taking my PowerGels which was probably my biggest mistake of the day.
From mile 15 to 20 I remember that I was moving forward. I saw Becky and Kyle again. I saw Aimee and her friend Debbie. I saw Alan’s girlfriend Rosana on State Street. Each time I think I smiled to show my appreciation of them being there.

On Observatory Road I power walked the three hills. I decided that whatever energy I had left was best used on other sections of the course. I am happy to say that these were the only times I walked. I would take very small walks, 5 – 10 seconds, at the aid stations, but those were very fast.

On the out and back on State Street I could see that Aussie Rob was still behind me and going strong. I knew what I was going to say to him and was hoping that he could rise up to my challenge. At mile 20 Rob finally caught up to me. I simply said, “If you pass me, I better not see you again.” I don’t remember his response but he soldiered on and started to pull away.

When I looked up again to see where he was I noticed the gap between us was not increasing anymore. It was at that point where I sub-consciously started to reel him back in and at mile 21 we were shoulder to shoulder again. Wanting to be friendly Rob asked if I wanted to talk to pass the time. As response was short and to the point, “You talk…I’ll listen.” Rob got the picture and said, “Okay, I’ll shut up then.” I know he didn’t take it the wrong way and if he needed someone to talk to I was fine with that, he just wouldn’t get any response from me.

So we ran for a mile together. Mark was taking pictures and got a good one of us near mile 22. And then it hit me…….only 4 more miles to go. Several things helped me with the final four.

1) My competitive nature. My ego. Call it what you want but Aussie Rob was going to pay for passing me and letting me catch back up. I warned him that “I better not see him again.” He was going to pay for it.

2) “The second lap is where you make it count.” Hodska’s comment came to the front of my mind. This was the end of the second lap and I was going to make it count.

3) Halle Nanda. All summer Halle was with me during the end of my big weekend bricks, which usually consisted of a 4 mile run. So with only four miles to go I had Halle on my shoulder helping me put my best effort into these last miles. It was time to finish this race with my Game On.

So I went for it. I saw Mark one last time as he passed me riding his bike. He held out a shot glass and said the next one was for me. The dude is nuts. He took a shot at the top of each hour as long as there were people on the course he knew…..he finished the day with 15.

Heading back onto State Street the crowd was still cheering loudly and I heard my name called out again. This time I was able to identify the two brunettes cheering so loudly for me. It was Doug Bell’s wife and daughter. Doug is also coached by Angela and his family is energetic spectators. It was great to know who was cheering for me. Coming off State Street and passing through the aid station I saw an athlete leaning against a chain link fence. He was shoving his finger down his throat trying to make his stomach feel better. With his second try he managed to expel the fluid in his stomach, I yelled at him “get it out of there buddy.”

The final two turns toward the finish were hard to handle. The emotions that I had bottled up from a long summer of training were starting to come up to the top. I just needed to make it to the finish line and then I could let it out. As I headed down the final stretch I managed to find Aimee and everyone else along the fence. I ran to them and gave quick hugs and high fives. Each time you see me dipping my head down I am trying not to loose it before the finish line.

I also tried to take in the atmosphere of the finish. I ran to each side giving high fives. I saw a group of girls in yellow shirts and ran towards them but stumbled a little and fell into the fence. I got up and slapped hands before finally crossing the finish line.

I didn’t realize it but I walked across the finish line. The only way I know this is to watch the DVD we received with the race highlights. My walk across the finish line is the last scene of the volunteer clip.

On the other side of the finish line I was greeted by a finish line catcher and my friend crazy Debbie. She was taking the timing chips from people after they finished. It was nice to have her near by and watching over me as I stood there and cried into my finishers shirt. Once I was able to compose myself I looked up and saw Aimee along the fence. I walked over to her with my “catcher” to great everyone. I assured the volunteer that I was okay and I was left to celebrate with my fans.

I knew that Aussie Rob wasn’t far behind me and sure enough he was there when I turned around to look for him. We congratulated each other and he found his wife standing next to Aimee. A quick picture with my medal and I went to be with Aimee and my mom and dad.

Run time: 3:59:53
Finish time: 11:03:36

More to follow…….

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Ironman Wisconsin - Bike

The bike course goes out on the country roads of Dane County. It’s a nice 12 mile ride out to the city of Verona where the loop begins. People refer to it as the “stick” and the “lollipop” due to how it looks on paper.

The race plan called for a very controlled heart rate on the “stick”. I was to be in the low 130’s. My body however had different ideas. I was running around 140 BPM all the way to Verona. I finally saw 130 as I passed the special needs area. I was feeling fine, legs weren’t getting pushed hard, just a high heart rate.

I was eating and sipping Gatorade for the first hour of the ride along with a Z-Bar to eat. I would then switch to Perpetuem for the second hour. I planned on switching like this each hour to mix solid and liquid calories during the bike.

The bike was a normal ride through the country, only the hills were constant and sometimes steeper than expected. Hodska posted on his blog that this course will keep you honest. It will be rewarding if you prepared for it or punish you if the bike was neglected. My training was good for this course and I was hoping for the best.

You can’t explain a 112 mile bike ride in too much detail but I’ll at least give some highlights.

I was trading position with a girl that was riding very strong. Her race number was folded under her race belt so I didn’t know her name. Her bike was a nice Aegis painted green and yellow. I asked her if it was painted for the Green Bay Packers and she said no. As I rode in front of her she called out my name and asked if I do any power lifting. Something about power squats. I responded that I rarely weight train and actually hate weight lifting. She was impressed with my calves and said they looked good from her view. I told her I play soccer and the ham hock calves come from that.

At Mount Horeb I saw Hodska and Baker. Eric said he would call Angela with my status and Baker was taking video. I hope to see it some time. Not much further was an aid station where I took some water and a banana. My mom and dad had driven to this aid station and were cheering for me and waving signs they had made.

My favorite aid station was at Cross Plains. The volunteers and aid station were dressed in a Pirate theme. As I approached the aid station I raised my arm, hooked my finger and yelled “AAAAARRRRRGGGGGHHHHHHH”. The bottle drop was also labeled, “drop your booty here.”

After Cross Plains I had my first sighting of Mark Durno. Mark is an SBR teammate who was watching about six of us from Cleveland. He surprised me by being on the bike course but I managed to give him a wave as he took my picture. I knew I would be seeing him again.

Depending upon who you talk to there are 2, 3, or 4 hills on the bike course. There are many rollers but the actual hills are another story. I really only thought there were two major climbs and that is where the fan support is awesome. People were lined up on both sides of the road beating drums, ringing cowbells, waving signs, cheering you up the hill.

Heading into Verona there is a section near the high school where all of the spectators gather. There is an aid station at this point as well. The cool part is riding down a street that is covered in chalk. It’s hard to read all of the writing on the street when you are going 20 MPH but just the fact that the street was covered proved the crowd support was tremendous. Aimee, Rosana, Tammy and a couple other wives had taken the shuttle to this point to watch us ride by.

We zipped down the road between two rows of barricades. This got me all jacked up as I powered through the city. I looked down and saw my HR was 150…..whoa big fella….slow that heart rate down. After the barricades we approached a left hand turn. As I headed into the turn my bike was tracking right towards a small hole in the road. It was the natural way to take the turn but I was heading right for this thing. So in mid-turn I took the risk of giving the small hole a bunny hop. If the roads were wet I would have been down, but the dry pavement grabbed my wheels when I landed and I completed the turn.

After a couple more miles I was back to where we started the “lollipop” loop. Time for loop two. Just outside of town the bike special needs bags were lined up waiting for us. I stopped at the volunteer who had my bag and replaced all three bottles on my bike. I still had enough fuel with me so the remaining items stayed in the bag. While this was a nice break from riding I made sure to keep it short. I thanked the volunteers as I passed them.

As we headed West we could tell that the wind had picked up. Fortunately we wouldn’t be heading into the wind for very long. Most of the second loop was just a repeat of the prior. I saw my parents at Mount Horeb again which is always a boost to your morale. I also saw Debbie taking pictures on the course. She was waiting to see our friend Amy on the bike course.

As we headed towards the hills of the course I was passed by another rider. I looked at his calf and saw his age. I almost couldn’t believe what I saw. This person was 60 years old and riding strong. At one point I commented to him that I hope I will be riding that well in twenty years. Checking the results after the race he won his age group. He also came out of the water behind me….meaning he caught up to me on the bike. Damn.

The fan support during the second lap was still as strong as the first lap. At one point I was riding by and someone shouted out my first AND last name. I tried to look behind me at who it was but I couldn’t get a good view. I think it was a co-worker who lives in the Madison area.

As I went through Verona I kept myself under control and didn’t push the pace like I did the first time. The intersection with the hole in the middle of the corner was marked this time with orange paint so I could make the turn without any problems.

Heading back to Madison I kept the final 12 miles under control. There is one last hill that some people tend to forget about. Once I made it past that hill it was smooth sailing. I didn’t push hard into transition but put forth a solid effort. As we approached the helix up to the top parking deck I slipped my feet out of my shoes so I wouldn’t have to worry about it during the climb. Some spectators were cheering on the ramp and were telling people to take their feet out of their shoes. When I went by I heard one say, “oops he already did”.

Once I reached the top of the helix I rounded the corner and headed toward the bike handlers at the dismount line. One person yelled “orange” indicating the top of my jersey. I coasted toward him and handed off my bike.

I jogged into the room with our transition bags. A volunteer grabbed my bag as I approached and handed me the bag as I went by. Once inside the changing area I slipped off my helmet and grabbed my hat and race belt containing my PowerGels. There wasn’t much in the bag. I did a quick inventory, told the volunteer I had everything and said he could pack away the bag.

As I headed out the door I found the two guys I was looking for, ART doctors. ART is Active Release Technique. It helps release the tension in the muscles through the use of pressure and active movement. I asked them to work on my hamstrings. I did the same thing in Lake Placid and it worked wonders. They each worked on my legs to prepare the hamstrings for the marathon. Once they were done I thanked them and headed outside.

So yes Alan, I had another massage in T2 with a smokin’ transition time.

Through the door I was greeted by a line of women waiting to rub my body. Of course they were wearing rubber gloves covered in sunscreen. A quick rubdown with sunscreen and I was heading out to the run course.

Bike time: 5:46:53
T2 time: 3:48

Monday, September 22, 2008


Blogger: Hello

Blogger: Helloooo....TriEEEEEriiiiiiic?


Blogger: Is there anybody out there? Heh heh..I like quoting Pink Floyd.

Blogger: One Ringy Dingy....Two Ringy Dingy.....

TriEric: Who's there?

Blogger: It's me Blogger.

TriEric: What do you want?

Blogger: How about a post?

TriEric: What?

Blogger: A blog post. Remember, you write a blog. Type type type...publish post....Blog post.

TriEric: Yeah....I've been busy.

Blogger: Excuse me. This is your blog. You posted last Saturday. Not last Saturday the 20th, but last Saturday the 13th. What the hell have you been doing?

TriEric: Work has been hellacious.

Blogger: Is that even a word? You are in the middle of a race report for Pete's sake.

TriEric: I know. I'm heading towards my bike in transition.

Blogger: You have people waiting for the rest of your race report. An IRONMAN race report!!! What is more important than that?

TriEric: The work that helps pay for my triathlon lifestyle. I'm not a pro you know.

Blogger: Puhleeeaaaassssse. Spare me the drama.

TriEric: Watch it Blowhole. I've been busy. After my last post I had to drive down to a customer between Dayton and Cinci. I had to spend the entire week there. I drove down Sunday just as the remnants of Hurricane Ike blew through the state. I was driving with a nasty cross wind pushing my car around.

I then get to my hotel around 9PM only to find that the area is without power, including the hotel. I'm a triathlete...I can go with the flow.....I stayed in a darkened hotel for the night.

My customer had power but I needed to work during the day. I moved to another hotel about 40 minutes away. When I got there, the hotel's power had just been restored. Power...but no cable and a very weak wireless signal.

So for the entire week I had no internet, except at my customer, and was too tired to do much else. Then I drove back Friday, worked at a customer that night, did yard work all day Saturday, drove to another customer Sunday to work almost all day, and now it's Monday and YOU ARE BITCHING AT ME FOR NOT POSTING!!!!

Blogger: But...

TriEric: NO BUTTS munchface. I'll get there.

Blogger: But....

TriEric: LEAVE ME ALONE. Yes my race report is important. There are alot of memories I have stored, especially from the run part of the race. I will get there.

Blogger: But......

TriEric: ENOUGH!!! I will get the report posted when I can. I know my readers will understand. They are real people....unlike you. I'm not going anywhere. The race report will be posted soon. Thanks for understanding.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Ironman Wisconsin - PreRace and Swim

Race Day – Pre-Race
Aimee and I left the hotel around 5:00 AM. We watched one couple get into a cab for the short drive. I mean come on…..what’s a one mile walk compared to the rest of the day. Our short/private walk to Monona Terrace was a nice time for us to spend together before the long day ahead of us began. A quick stop to drop off the special needs bags and we continued to the Terrace.

I got body marked quickly and made my way to the bike racks to load my nutrition and pump my tires. I let someone borrow my pump for his tires then went to wish Tim Walsh good luck. Tim was a couple of racks away and ready for his first Ironman. We saw Rosana waiting for Alan so we all waited together for him to come back out of the bike area.

Alan and I then went inside to check on our transition bags. I put the race belt in my T1 bag and reviewed my path to retrieve the bag. I also went over to the T2 room to spot check my second transition bag. I’m glad I did because the bags were placed slightly different from what I expected. It’s always good to review the transition layout.

I hit the porta potty then joined Aimee, Alan and Rosana to wait out the remaining minutes before heading to the swim start. We were at a good spot to see other Cleveland friends and wish them good luck. We enjoyed each others company which helped us stay loose and relaxed.

Alan and I finally slipped into out wetsuits before heading down the helix with our girls.

I was excited to get into the water. I had no problems with getting in and either treading water or floating on my back. I made sure my goggles weren’t leaking and got into position. Coach and I agreed that right of center and 5 rows back would be a good starting position. Tom Zeibart sang the National Anthem while I floated on my back with my hand over my heart. We got in position and the cannon was fired. It was time to be Iron again.

I tried to get into some sort of rhythm but the congestion wasn’t helping. I soon found myself surrounded and feeling anxious. Anxiety soon bordered on fear as I started to fight the feelings of panic. The heart rate and breathing were out of control. I was swimming with my head out of the water trying to find open water and keep from getting pummeled.

At one point I swam across the legs of four swimmers as I headed to my right searching for less traffic and some space to swim. I don’t know when I regained control but I was finally able to get my face in the water and actually swim. To the first turn buoy I was breathing each stroke to the right watching the people around me, getting as much air into my lungs as possible and avoiding the rising sunlight to my left.

As I swung wide around the buoy I was able to start swimming with my normal race stroke, three strokes/breaths one side then switch to the other side for three strokes/breaths. During the return trip of the first loop I got too close to a foot and caught a toe to the left eye. Fortunately it pushed the lens into my eye instead of off. I got away from that foot to avoid another kick. At some point I also received an elbow to the head. It wasn’t hard but I thought to myself, “should I be wearing my bike helmet out here?”.

I stayed wide for both loops of the swim course. I could judge my distance to the buoys and I seemed to be holding a good distance. My sighting was working well for me so I didn’t feel like I was zig-zagging too much.

As I rounded the final turn I spotted the exit and tried to pick up the pace just a little. My pace to that point was solid and felt just at the edge of too much. I swam until my hand dug into the small pebbles at the exit and stood up in barely a foot of water.

I didn’t see the clock but hit my watch button to record my split. I didn’t look at my watch but felt it was a good swim time. I quickly started to peel off my wetsuit. I raced past several volunteers and made eye contact with one of the last volunteers. I slipped as I stopped and landed a little hard on my butt. No damage and they had my wetsuit off with two pulls, it’s hard to get the legs off with my ham hock calves.

Back on my legs I ran towards the parking ramp known as the Helix. People were all lined up along the side as we ran by to transition. Reaching the top of the Helix I saw Aimee along the fencing and ran to her for a quick kiss.

This is the bike exit. We had to run up this same spiral after the swim at the other end.

Entering transition I stood in the door not remembering which aisle to go down for my bag. Some volunteers were asking my number and I just shook them off and saw the row number I was looking for. I ran down the aisle and grabbed my bag. I had the MyAthlete belt sticking out the top so it was easy to see.

I found a place to sit and started getting my bike gear on. I put on my….Helmet…..Sunglasses….Socks….Race Belt. There wasn’t a volunteer to help with my bag so I stuffed my swim gear into the bag and tossed it along the wall. I grabbed my shoes and headed out the door.

Outside the Terrace the sunscreen girls were all lined up with gloves covered in white stuff. Three girls covered my arms and back with sunscreen as my mom yelled for me. I looked her way and acknowledged her cheers. I ran towards the entrance of the bike racks. I waved to Aimee again and went to my bike.

Stopping to get some sunscreen

My rack was five rows from the entrance. I had to run the entire length of the bike area with my bike. The volunteer helped pull my bike off the rack with me and wheeled it to the aisle for me. I ran with my shoes in hand pumping my arm in the air encouraging the people watching to cheer for all of us. As I approached the end of the bike racks I handed my bike to a volunteer so I could put my shoes on.

This the only HALF of the bike area. My bike is at the far end of this picture.

I thanked her and headed towards the mount line. I heard Eric Hodska yell my name and I pointed to him in response. I mounted my bike with the smoothest cyclo-cross slide onto the seat I’ve ever had and heard a spectator say “suhweeet”. That’s right baby….that’s how I roll. I rode down the exit ramp and was on the bike course.

Swim time: 1:06:57
T1 time: 6:05

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Ironman Wisconsin - Race Report Status

Do not fear....I have started my race report. I will be posting the pre-race and swim soon. I'll check it tomorrow and publish. When it comes to the report you know it has to be right. It's just good journalism.

So much to write about. So many thoughts and feelings. Such an awesome race.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Ironman Wisconsin

Before I crash and burn in my bed and get some sleep I want to just post a quick recap of the race.

If you were tracking me you already know the results.

Swim 1:06:57
Bike 5:46:53
Run 3:59:53

Total 11:03:36

Despite an immediate panic attack at the start of the swim, once I got myself under control I had a great swim.

The bike was awesome except for the winds that started blowing during the second loop.

the run was decent but I think I burned too many matchsticks on the bike. the highlight of that was finishing the final four miles at a 9 min/mile pace after slipping to 11 min/miles.

I specifically want to thank a host of people.

I saw Aimee a huge number of times on the course and even gave her a couple of sweaty kisses.

My parent and in-laws (Tom, Liz, Becky/Kyle) for being on the course and cheering for me quite loudly.

Alan Wong and his girlfriend Rosana for spending some time with us over the weekend and before the start of the race.

Mark Durno for being out all over the course, bike and run, to cheer on the Cleveland crew.

The main people I saw alot of and made for a special weekend were Paul, Rob, Dave and Tim. You guys rock.

Debbie Sidol was out on the bike course then took my timing chip off and gave me a big hug at the finish line.

Eric Hodska and Baker for being on the the bike and run course and looking out for me, making sure I was doing well and reporting back to Coach Angela.

Coach Angela for getting me ready for this day and finish. Her workouts encourgement and friendship have become invaluable to me.

Finally I want to give a shout out to Halle Nanda. She was with me during the final 4 miles, just like the hard brick runs giving me strength to run well.

More to come. There is so much to tell...a.fterall it was an 11 hour day.

Thanks to you all for supporting me on this second Ironman Journey.

Game was definitely on.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Ironman vs Cancer - Roll Call

This is who I will be thinking of during my race.......

Tina Hoban - Survivor
Chris Armstrong - Survivor
Jamie Whitmore - Battling
Bolder - Fighting
Dan Van Luvender - Survivor
Rita Moher - In memory
Debbie Jerrome - Survivor
The fathers of Roger and Donna Lozinski - In memory
Grandmother of Jen - In memory
Gerri Herbruck - In memory
Linda's sister Karen - Survivor
Annie, Jan, Lisa, Kim - Support
Ralph B. Lunt - In memory
Michelle Elkins - In memory
Sara's Aunt Judy Wuennemann - In memory
Jan Ptacin - Survivor
Margie Paltani - In honor
Judy Joseph - In memory
Abe's sister Becky - In Support
Jason Hendricks - Survivor
Dakota Hendricks - Fighting

HALLE NANDA - In memory

Each one of these people have been with me during training. Halle in particular has given me strength on those hard days. I know she will be with me again tomorrow.

My fund raising total today was $3,375.69. That's $24 per mile. That's cool.

On race day I will be reminded to Harden Up.


And to Galvanize

Game On

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Let's Do It Again

Aimee and I are heading to Wisconsin today. It's finally here and I'm ready to do it again.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

I need something....

.......something that I'm used to. This taper thing is nice but the legs are ready to go.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Ironman Thoughts

Ironman does not define you, it is a part of who you are!

Thanks for the reminder Coach Angela.

Game On.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Confidence is High

Scene: Pre-flight meeting for the Rebel Alliance before beginning their attack on the Death Star.

General Dodonna: The Empire doesn't consider a small one-man fighter to be any threat, or they'd have a tighter defense. An analysis of the plans provided by Princess Leia has demonstrated a weakness in the battle station. But the approach will not be easy. You are required to maneuver straight down this trench and skim the surface to this point. The target area is only two meters wide. It's a small thermal exhaust port,
right below the main port. The shaft leads directly to the reactor system. A precise hit will start a chain reaction which should destroy the station. Only a precise hit will set off a chain reaction. The shaft is ray-shielded, so you'll have to use proton torpedoes.

(side conversation)
Gold Leader: By the time we hit the trench leading to the exhaust port we will only have 4000 yards before firing.

Blue Leader: At the speed we maintain.....the target will be in range in 1:05.

Wedge Antilles (Red 2): That's impossible! Even for a computer.

Luke: It's not impossible. I used to bullseye womp rats in my T-16 back home, they're not much bigger than two meters.

Luke's confidence is high. Luke also had the Force on his side and Stayed on Target.
Luke has learned that anything is possible.
4000 yards huh? That's 224 yards short of an Ironman swim.
1:05??? For a X-Wing fighter that could be 1 minute 5 seconds for 2 miles.
But for's the length of my swim Thursday morning. And that 1:05...hours and minutes.
Confidence is High
Game On

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Where's my brain?

One thing is for brain hasn't been into posting lately. I have been quite busy with everything else and the posts have not been coming out. I usually have goo dpost thoughts during training but I don't quite have the time to write them out during the day. I'm just going to throw some crap out here for ya. Filter through it and find what is useful or interesting for you.

This past Sunday I had a good bike ride. I wanted to watch some friends race in a local sprint/Oly tri but I need to focus on my own training and continue my prep for IM MOO. I went 3.5 hours and had a good time riding in the Cleveland Metroparks. I wasn't so bored the I wanted to get off the bike so that was good.

Not so good was the 1.5 hour run Saturday morning. I started early, like before the sun came up, and proceeded to roll my left ankle twice and jam the big toe on my right foot into a rock. Nothing too serious but it did prevent me from completing the run portion of my brick Sunday.

The rest of Saturday was devoted to the Valley City Street Fair Road Race that my team Snakebite Racing hosts every year. I drive a lead or follow pace car during the races. You would think that wouldn't be hard but before each set of races I was making sure everyone understood their driving assignments and making last minute changes. Aimee and I took a quick nap after the races before heading to our neighbors for a quick showing at her birthday party.

I'm gathering all of the important information needed for IM Wisconsin. Still waiting for bib numbers. Coach Angela and her hubbie (Scott) have inside contacts with the owner of http://MyAthlete.Biz. Check out the website. A GPS transmitter is worn by the athlete during a race and people can track their progress on-line during the race. It's way cool and I will be wearing one at Wisconsin. Check it out this weekend for IM Kentucky. Go to the website and click on Track Athlete. Sign-in with user name: ma1 and password: ma1. This will be the same information for me at Wisconsin. Try it for Kentucky even though you may not know any of the people.

My fund raising for the Janus Charity Challenge is going well. I am at $2455, almost half way towards my goal of $5000. If you are interested in donating shoot over to the Kintera website:

Every little bit helps. Don't forget that my charity is the Komen for the Cure in northeast Ohio.

So I just wanted to give you a quick update. As the final 11 days tick by for Ironman Wisconsin my mental and physical preparation continues. I am preparing myself for what lies ahead by visualizing a successful race and resting my body so that it will be ready to handle the 140.6 miles.

Game, almost, On.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

The "Get Me Off This F'n Bike" Ride

I'm heading into taper for Ironman Wisconsin. My weekend brick was scheduled for Sunday due to work on Saturday. Coach said to take it easy and the ride should be boring. I guess the boring part was supposed to be a good mental workout. I never, NEVER, want to be off the bike. But for some reason time was movin v.e.r.y. slooooowwwwllllyyyyy and I just wanted to get home and have it over with.

Half the time I didn't even know where I was going until I approached an intersection and would decide to turn here or there. The map below shows my crazy route.



Posted from

I can't be that depressed about the ride since I did cover 93 miles in 4 hours and 45 minutes.
Happy with my performance on the ride, not happy with the mental attitude on the ride.

Perhaps it's good to get those bad vibes out during a training ride versus on race day.

I was looking at the IM MOO bike course on Google maps. Did you know that 99% of the course is available with street view pictures? You could "ride" the course and see the almost the whole thing.

Game On.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Twilight Trail Run - Race Report

I am slamming this report out because I had so much fun and felt great.

Aimee and I went out to the Twilight Trail Run to benefit the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center. Our friend Mandie volunteers at the center and this was a great way to support the Center's and Mandie's efforts.

My intention was to have fun with the run. Support a good cause. Hang with friends.

In order to avoid congestion on the trails we started in I was 13 minutes back from the first group. With maybe 20 of us in the group I wasn't sure what to expect from the others.

I didn't take my HR monitor but did use an old watch. I didn't look at my splits along the way but felt strong the entire run. It was a little hilly, the first hill was called *()$%#@ hill. I ran on the shoulder of another runner I know up the hill at a nice steady pace. I had also mentally marked who was still in front of me.

After the hill I was feeling real good so I chased after the only other two in front of me from our age group. I bombed the downhills to gain ground and stayed steady on the uphills.

I was racing but not racing. I was thinking clearly about what I was doing and being tactical. As I ran up on someone I just sat with them until I found a good spot to pull away and crush them, like on a short uphill.

I was in control the entire time. Staying loose. Not over exerting myself. Each time I passed someone, Aimee, Dale, Mandie, I was able to say something. I even felt like I could still hold a conversation. My fitness is starting to show.

I finished the 8k (4.9-5 mile) run in 33:47 (6:45 average). And this was on some hilly to rolling bridal trails. The only person who passed me was local duathlete Aaron Rood and he started 2 minutes back from me but he didn't catch me until we were within one mile. He did take second overall.

At the finish chute we were handed a beer to go along with the awesome pizza donated for the run.

This run was just what I needed at this point in my training. Something with a relaxed atmosphere that also allowed me to gauge my fitness.

I am entering taper at exactly the right time. My training is starting to peak. Mentally I'm ready to recharge and prepare for battle.

Ironman Wisconsin........Game......On

Family and Friends Friday - Factory Rider Family

The Factory Rider is a one of my blog buddies. I got to know his dad and step-mom before starting to learn about FR. His dad, Rudy, is the head mechanic at Bike Authority. He's also a brutal competitor on the bike. Julie, the step-mom, is a gifted athlete that continues to branch out into various areas of the cycling world. She has been primarily mountain biking this year but has also been All-American in Duathlon which allowed her to travel around the world with Team USA.

Anyways........I was at the track when the three of them came out to ride. I was taking pictures of the races. This one has stood out for me ever since I took it.

This was after one of the races. Without alot of people in attendance everyone raced together.

Rudy to FR, "Are you having fun?"

Nuf' Said.

Game On Factory Rider Family

Friday, August 08, 2008

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

I often can't come up with a G,B and U but today was not a normal day. Day one of my big training weekend had me up at 5AM to get ready for my 2.5 hour run.

The Good:
Running on stretches of road with no cars around.

Cool temps with a slight breeze and cloud cover.

Seeing this during my two loops through the park. Simply Beautiful.

19.9 miles in 2:37......7:53/mile

The Bad:

After the first hour there were more cars on the road. Oh well.

Accidentally discarding the BIMActive information from my cell phone. I still had my watch splits.

The Ugly:

Two big chaffing marks on the inside of my legs. Should have put on some BodyGlide.

Fortunately the Ugly gets taken care of with this stuff. It's AWESOME. And no wise cracks about it being a Monistat product.

Game On.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Stuff It....Stuff It Real Good

The local Fox station has an annual campaign called "Stuff The Bus". The station is collecting new school supplies for the children of Cleveland and East Cleveland schools. The supplies will be taken to the Cleveland Resource Center, which is operated by the Kids In Need Foundation. The supplies are sorted and placed on shelves. Teachers from all of Cleveland and East Cleveland schools will then be invited on scheduled days to come and get the free supplies for their students. And teachers say this means the world to the kids. Without the help of generous people, many students would have to go without. Last year, thanks to so many generous viewers -- Fox 8 filled four school buses with supplies.

This year Aimee mentioned getting some supplies to TriGuyJT who works at Fox 8 thinking that the bus stuff was next week. Watching the morning show we realized it was TODAY. Aimee shrugged it off as not doable. But the bug was planted in my feeble little mind. She didn't realize that I would be at a customer near downtown. I could head over to Steelyard Commons, purchase some supplies, and drop them off at the station.

So by 11:30 I had stopped by Staples and loaded up the car.

I was at the station in no time where the volunteers grabbed my stuff and loaded the bus. I spoke with one person and he said they were on their fifth bus already after 6.5 hours of donations.
So I leave you with this........
300 two pocket folders: $29
2 boxes of copier paper: $50
10 packages of filler paper: $9
120 pens and 216 pencils: $20
Thank-you's and a good feeling: Timeless
A childs education: Priceless
Why.....Because I Can

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Fitness Test.....kindof

I had a 45 minute run this morning. We woke up at the crack of 4 dark 30 so we could both get our respective runs in. I haven't done much running in the morning this summer, mainly swimming. Temperature read 70 degrees already. So I put my shorts and racing singlet on and headed out the door. Damn it was warm and humid. Before I reached mile two the singlet came off and was tucked into my shorts.

My pace felt fast and whenever I passed under a street light I checked my heart rate. I was below my target zone, based aerobic, and felt great. I was holding up pretty good. As I ran through mile 4 I decided to push the last mile in order to increase the heart rate and test myself. How hard could I push for one mile at a steady pace. I really haven't had any speedwork since it's all about Ironman this year.

With one mile to go I hit the split button on my watch. I had 42 minutes in the bag after 5.5 miles. I picked up the tempo and started hauling ass back home. Each time I felt my pace start to diminish even a little I surged forward to keep the pace going. With half a mile to go I picked it up again and tried to make sure I was keeping form, staying loose in the upper body and running solid. At the entrance to our development I pushed it again and was practically sprinting to the house, but in a controlled manner.


That was the time for my last mile. There were times when I felt like my legs would buckle under the speed. I forced them to move. Pick up those knees, increase the tunover, land on the ball of the foot. In the dark you can't see the undulations of the road and I could feel the waves under my legs as they moved quickly over the asphalt.

Somehow I kept my footing moved forward with determination and felt great at the end.

Thanks Hallie.

Now more than ever......Because I Can = I Know I Can

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Brainless Weekend Brick

I arranged to ride my Saturday brick from a friends house, Chris. He lives a little bit further west from me and also has great access to country roads. I told Chris that I needed four hours but didn't want to think about where to go. He was happy to oblige since he was riding from his house. He didn't let me down. I just listened to his instructions, "turn left" or "turn right". I can do that.

We picked up Peter along the way and we had a great time. Peter just graduated from high school and will be leaving for college in one week. He just got back from USA Cycling Developmental Camp and is a strong rider. He joined us on his cyclocross bike while Chris and I were on our Cervelo TT bikes.

I took my camera along for some pictures and video.

We started around 6:30AM so the sun was still rising and burning off the morning haze. Clouds were moving through the entire time so it never got too hot.

Here is Peter waiting for Chris to finish one of his half dozen pee breaks.....I think the small bladder is a family thing.

This is one the many times Peter was leading us. I did mention that he was on his.....CYCLOCROSS BIKE!!!

Chris during out feed zone break. He has his package of Sharkies. Such talent on the bike sans hands.

And I can't have pictures without video. I had to stop the camera work due to the rough tracks we were approaching.

Rode 74 miles and ran 5.5 miles. Met a new young rider. Enjoyed the company of friends. Done by 11:30AM. Overall a great training day.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Huntington Sprint Tri Race Report

Wait a minute......a race report? But I still haven't posted my race report from Morgantown. I know. But this will be a shorter read before I lay the monster on you. I hope you enjoy my race ramblings.

The Huntington Sprint Tri is one of the most popular races in the Cleveland area. The race draws seasoned athletes as well as those attempting their first triathlon. I haven’t been able to participate in this race since 2004 when I was training for my first half Ironman race…Great Buckeye Challenge. It was my best showing at the race with a top ten finish and winning my age group. The next three years would find me traveling to races and keeping me away from my favorite local race.

For 2008 I would be in town and I didn’t want to miss the race. The trick was figuring out how to incorporate the race into my Ironman training without deviating from the volume required for the weekend. Coach Angela and I figured out that the race would be a good test of speed endurance and mental toughness considering the weekend she had planned for me.

As a warm-up for the race I had a 5 hour bike and 40 minute run as my Saturday brick. The bike was flatter since I had attacked the hills the weekend prior. It was a difficult day with some mental challenges later in the ride but Aimee was waiting for me to ride her bike by my side during the 40 minute run.

Sunday originally called for a 2 hour run by Coach. Figuring that I would complete the sprint tri around 1 hour we opted for a 1 hour warm-up before the race. I managed to show up early third bike in transition and headed out for my run. With all of this long distance training I have been finding that it takes longer for my legs to get moving. Sunday was no exception due to the prior days ride.

I found my running pace within the first mile and was holding steady in Zone 2. It was a good seven miles by the time I made my way back to the event site. I finished setting up my transition area where my newly painted TT bike was making its debut. I had taken the Elite apart and found a guy who does powder coating. The bike was looking good hanging on the rack. I was able to chat with Aimee, Kim and my parents who all came out to watch me race. The hard part with racing the local events is that you get to know a lot of people and the chit-chat can sometimes take you out of your race preparation. I said my final hellos to friends and made my way down to the beach with my friend Jason who would be competing in his first tri.

At the beach I saw Sara and her four high school girls and told them they would have a great day today. I knew they were nervous but would be able to handle anything that came their way. I did get into the water for a small warm-up. The water was perfect temperature for swimming without a wetsuit.

As the race director made his final announcements I heard Coach Angela and Scott yelling to me from the stairs where they would be watching. I gave them a quick wave to acknowledge them and made my way to join my starting group.

The first several waves started then it was time for the 40 – 49 age group to start. I lined up right at the front determined to make the best of a quick start and swim. The horn went off and we ran into the water. I ran as far as I could then sank into the water for a couple of strokes. I then proceeded to execute a couple of dolphin dives in the shallow water to help propel me forwards. So far so good my goggles were still on my face and I felt good heading towards the first buoy marker.

As we approached the first marker I lost my rhythm and stroke. My breathing was erratic and out of control. I hadn’t raced a sprint in so long I wasn’t used to the quick start. I had to swim breast-stroke for approximately 50 yards to get things under control. Once I forced myself start swimming again things started to click. My stroke was back and I was starting to catch-up and pass people from my group. The remainder of the swim was perfect. My sighting kept me well on course and I could see one of the other top triathletes in my group not too far ahead of me exiting the water.

I swam as far as I could before standing up which is usually about one foot of water. I peeled off my swim cap and goggles as I ran across the beach hearing people cheer for me as I went by. The run to transition is about 200 yards with a road the takes us up to the bikes. I washed my feet quickly and ran to my bike.

With not much gear to worry about I dropped my swim cap and goggles and started to put on my helmet sunglasses socks and shoes. I also put a PowerGel in my back pocket for some quick energy. I grabbed my bike ran out of transition and jumped on my bike Cyclocross style.

Once on the road I started to pass people from the waves ahead of me but I was also getting passed by some of the other riders behind me. One person from the Spin team passed me and I kept him within reach trying not to draft behind him. I was holding a good speed but needed to keep the cadence high because the legs were not willing to provide any power due to the previous days ride. There was also a headwind as we headed west away from the park but I was hopeful for a nice tailwind on the return trip. I was very happy with the effort I was able to put into spinning the pedals.

The bike was uneventful as we continued to pass people from previous waves. The Spin rider had built a gap on me but I was bringing him back in as we approached the park. Once I saw the entrance I started to take my feet out of my shoes and prepare for the running dismount into transition.

While placing my bike back onto the rack I almost caused it to fall over. I took off my helmet and slipped on my shoes. I only had to grab my visor and race belt before heading out of transition. I was exiting to start the run at the same time as the Spin athlete. He glanced over at me and said he was a duathlete. I nodded and we made out way down and up the first of two hills on the course.
I managed to run with him for about a quarter mile and then he had more gas in his legs and pulled away. I was still maintaining a constant pace that was very sustainable. I was trying to redline the run and as far as the legs were concerned I was already there. I kept a mantra in my head that I read in a teammates race report “I can do anything for 20 minutes”. I knew I could keep this pace for 20 minutes during this 3 mile run.

During the out and back section I could see where some of my friends were and I gave them a quick word of encouragement. A quick word was about all I could provide in my anaerobic condition. Several times I could see people ahead of me and wondered if I could real them in. I kept my steady pace and if I did catch some more people that would be some nice icing on the cake.

At the aid station I grabbed some water and dumped some on my head. The humidity of the day was taking its toll and the heat I was generating was not leaving the body. I looked up and realized that I was gaining on several people ahead of me. One person I had my eyes on was Bill. We met each other several years ago at a Duathlon where we raced each other to a new friendship. I finally passed him right before we turned into the park where we would have to run the final down and up right before the finish line. He cheered me on as I passed and I pushed forward. The downhill was steady as I gained on more people and I pushed upwards to pass several more right before the final turn to the finish line.

I could hear Aimee, Coach, Kim plus my mom and dad cheering for me as I made my way to the finish line. I was completely spent when I crossed the timing mat and had to grab my knees to catch my breath. I had completed one of my hardest training weekends preparing for Ironman Wisconsin. Being able to race the sprint tri as part of my training helped with my fitness and confidence.

Game....pant, pant, pant.....On

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Just something quick and short.....

.....for my blog post, not my swim this morning. Coach had me down for 4200 yards. That is 24 yards short of the Ironman swim of 2.4 miles. Completed in 1 hour 20 minutes. That's including rest between intervals or sets, warm-up and cooldown. My goal on race day is to hold close to 1 hour on the swim. Lake Placid swim was 1:05. 800 yards today are race pace totaled 12:14, that's about 1:32 / 100 yards.

Game On.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Where in the world am I?

Not posting on my blog that's for sure. Work has had me traveling during the week and training has kept me busy, and tired, on the weekends. I'm posting this from the Las Vegas airport. No this wasn't a pleasure trip, business. Really.....needed to have a customer meeting. I'm not saying I didn't have fun. My sister-in-law was also in Vegas for work so we managed to have dinner together.

My Ironman training has been going extremely well lately. The weekends are kicking my ass but in a good way. I am getting stronger with each ride or run. I'm resting more so that my body can recover for the next round. This past weekend I did a hilly 4 hour ride followed by a 2 hour run. Aimee accompanied me on her bike during the run and it was a big help.

Oops....they are boarding the plane. I hope to be back soon with another post.

Game is is my training.