Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Pain in the......

....back. Gotcha. You thought I was going to say ass. The pain is definitely a little higher than that. Curious thing is that I'm not sure why. It's right between the shoulder blades and it feels like someone slammed me on my back in the wrestling ring. I'm trying to figure out where the pain came from. These are the most likely culprits in order of likelihood:

  1. Intense pulling on the aerobars during Sunday's race.
  2. Using the manual hedge trimmers Sunday afternoon in the garden.
  3. Bad running posture during the race, tight upper body, high arms, etc.

I'm going with the first culprit. This was the first race I did on the Cervelo and I probably haven't pulled so much during training. I stayed in the aero position each lap, including the uphills. I know my arm position is a little narrower than on the Elite so a small change like that can have a major impact.

Yesterday was definitely the worst as far as the pain. I managed my recovery swim in the morning but the tightness increased during the day. Overnight I think it got better. Mentally I was letting the soreness get the best of me. I didn't feel like doing anything because of the pain. I forced myself to run this morning. I wasn't going to push it to the point of injuring myself but I needed to do something.

You know what....I had a great run. Forty-two minutes in Zone 2 as I make my way through a recovery week. I can still feel some soreness in the back but it's better than yesterday.

Amazing how little aches and pains can affect your training. Next week will be the beginning of another training cycle, back to intensity and hard efforts. Next up is the Bolder Boulder 10k. Can't wait to get out to Colorado.

Game On.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Two for Tuesday - Race Reports.

Fill the coffee mug and grab a muffin because today it's Two for Tuesday - Race Reports.

Two weeks ago I ran the Capital City Half Marathon. I finished the race report and was lax in posting it. Sunday I raced in the Buzzard Duathlon and finished my race report on Monday. So I post both today for your review and approval.

Read them both at once or read them separately. Either way enjoy my experiences with racing in 2008.

Buzzard Duathlon Race Report

The Buzzard Duathlon is traditionally the opener for the multi-sport season. Last year it was postponed due to bad weather. When the race was finally run it was a prefect day. This year the weather cooperated and provided a beautiful day to race. Aimee and I drove to the race and arrived about one hour prior to the start. We put together our transition areas with plenty of time to talk with friends.

Being the first race of the season there are plenty of people to reconnect with before and after the race. I still didn’t get time to say hello to everyone I wanted to. My goal for this race was to have as many Snakebite teammates racing. I was happy to see Alan Wong, Angie Ridgel, Nicole Miranda, Ian Hoffman, Mike Nies and Matt Tuskan. Nicole, Mike and Matt are cyclists at heart but decided to mix it up with some running. Nicole was the cyclist for a biathlon team.

There were a lot of good athletes in attendance. The Second Sole/Spin team had everyone there. There were also some people representing the Cleveland Tri Club. I was feeling good, rested and anxious to race. Last year I was 7th overall and 1st in the age group. I was excited to see how this year would go. It was two weeks since the half marathon in Columbus so I wasn’t worried about the legs. They had recovered nicely from the top notch effort.

My race plan was to go out even for the first 3 mile run, stay steady and consistent for the entire bike and push the final two of three miles of the second run. With the sound of the starting siren we were off. This race starts immediately going uphill. It’s very easy to blow yourself up if you’re not careful. I settled in to a nice pace. It felt hard but manageable. I could see some of the front runners down the road but wasn’t concerned with them. I hit my watch at the first mile split. I didn’t look at my watch but it was a 6:20 mile. I’m glad I didn’t know my pace because it would have not settled well in my mind. Again I was holding a hard effort for the first run but that is what I was there for. Over the next two miles I managed to pick off people who had started off too fast. I didn’t see a two mile marker so I couldn’t hit the split. Heading into transition my watch registered just under 19 minutes. I ran 12:40 for two miles. I’m not sure how evenly paced that was but overall a 6:20 pace is very nice for me.

My transition to the bike was fast as usual. The congestion out of transition was terrible. I estimate 5-10 people were trying to leave at the same time. I hate waiting for people to stop and clip into their pedals. I ran past all of them, even the ones already on their bikes, and jumped onto my bike. I love doing that. It was finally time to see how the CervĂ©lo P2C would handle in race conditions. I started up the first hill right behind one of my age group adversaries. I was surprised to be so close to him because the prior year I was out of transition before him. I know he is a strong cyclist and I wouldn’t be able to stay within striking distance without blowing myself up on the bike. After one lap he was out of my reach.

The bike course is the same as the run. Several fast downhill’s with opposite uphill’s. The rest is rolling which makes it difficult to get into a steady rhythm. We had to complete five laps of this loop for 15 miles. I was feeling good on the bike, it was handling excellent and my effort was hard. I made sure to save some for the final run and not blow-up too soon. On my third lap I slammed down a PowerGel to prepare for the run.

The best part about this multi-loop course is the amount of spectators on the course. Teammates Rick and Gary were taking pictures each lap. There were also many other people cheering for you each time you went buy the transition area. It was great being able to fly by with them cheering your name.

Heading into transition I quickly got my feet out of my shoes so I could hop off the bike and run into transition. Another quick turn around in transition and I grabbed water as I started my run. There is nothing quite like the feeling in your legs after riding 15 hilly miles at race effort. Throw in an immediate uphill and your legs won’t like you for the rest of the week. I tried to use the first mile to find my legs. They were responding quite well to the effort. I wanted to be ready for the remaining two miles where I would put the hammer down.

I could see two other runners ahead of me and wasn’t sure what I could do to catch them. After I ran the uphill near mile marker 1 I regained my breathing and tried to steady my heart rate. I looked down the road and didn’t see the other runners. I wouldn’t see them for the rest of the run because there were several turns and hills in the last two miles. I also think they pulled away from me as they put on the speed. Out of sight + out of mind = no incentive. I completely forgot about putting in any more effort. I was strong and steady at this point but not pushing to leave it all on the course. I ran to the finish at a hard effort and crossed the line. It still took me a while to catch my breath. My overall time was 1:20:18. Good for second place in the age group and a top ten finish.

Reviewing my watch I have no significant splits. I didn’t hit the lap button coming out of transition to start the second run. I really wanted to know what my second run split was. I don’t have a computer on the bike yet so I can’t even back into the splits. Oh well.

I’ve had some time to think about this race. I’m happy with the overall physical performance, but disappointed with my mental performance. The first run I was in tune with how I was running and was happy with the steady pace that allowed me to pass people on the uphill’s and final mile. On the bike I let the strength of another cyclist defeat me mentally. I think I let my effort slip to much and I didn’t put enough into the bike. Then on the final run I let my race plan slip away. I had been telling myself all week to go all out for the last two miles. Once I hit that point I was mentally zoned out and didn’t put forth the effort I wanted to.

Physically I am where I want to be. Mentally I need more work than I thought for the season. At least I was able to learn something from the race. Once all of my other Snakebite teammates were across the line, we had all placed in our age groups with one placing second overall in the biathlon.

This is one race where I have to recognize the sponsors of Snakebite Racing. Bike Authority has set me up with an awesome bike. The Cervelo P2C is fast. I was climbing up the hills with ease and bombing down like a rocket. I can’t wait to get the Flashpoint 60’s on the bike. Sherman and Mike have really come through for team. Coach Angela, Angela Forster Training, is giving me great workouts to get me where I am right now. We talk a lot about how I am feeling and responding to training. The results are showing with two races under the belt so far. My new Oakley Radar Path sunglasses were comfortable and I essentially forgot about them, just how eye protection should be. Of course Citi Smith Barney and CDW Berbee are great sponsors for the team and their logos look good on our uniforms.

Enjoy the little video I put together from the race. These are the pics Rick and Gary took.

Capital City Half Marathon Race Report

I better get this thing written before I forget everything and it just turns into another long run. Originally we were going to run the Athens Half Marathon at Ohio University. We have done this before and have always enjoyed visiting campus. However, this year the sister-in-law, Becky, and her boyfriend, Kyle, signed up for the Capital City Half Marathon. Apparently Kyle’s brothers and sisters were going to run as well so there was a lot of smack talk going around.

Aimee decided that we should go down to Columbus and be part of the fun with a larger group. I’m flexible that way. I can run 13.1 miles just about anywhere. We did the Cap City Half several years ago in some sloppy wet weather. This year the course would be different and the week leading up to the race was awesome.

My workouts leading up to the half were not taper like at all. The weekend prior I did 1:45 long run and a 2:30 Brick. The 30 minute post ride run with Jeff was great. We helped push each other to maintain a solid pace. I had two swims during the week that were not taper like with race pace efforts. The main run for the week involved two sets of 10 x 20 second intervals faster than 5k pace. Not knowing my current 5k pace I pushed hard and had a great workout.

Coach and I talked about the build-up to the race. I was classifying the half marathon as an A-/B+ race. It is definitely not a training race, but more of a see what happens and where training has gotten me so far. We wanted to see how the body would respond to a heavier than normal taper and short strength building workouts. We didn’t lay out the typical race plan where you increase your HR steadily over the course of the race. I’m more of a steady as she goes racer.

I was feeling pretty good heading into the race. My last two visits to acupuncture were breakthroughs as we were finally able to release the tightness in my right hip and hamstring. For the first time I felt well balanced during the runs and especially on the bike.

Being a Saturday race, Aimee and I drove down to Columbus Friday afternoon. We met our friends Dale and Mandie at the hotel then went to dinner at a family run Italian restaurant I had found. It was the perfect pre-race setting; relaxing and good food at a great price. The pizza at the next table looked so good I wanted one, but pre-race eating is best left to pasta.

The rest of the evening was relaxing and we had no worries since the race didn’t start until 9:00AM Saturday morning.

The morning weather was near perfect for the race. The rain that moved through Friday was long gone and left us with partially clear skies and temps in the mid-40’s. The only downside was the 15-20 MPH winds from the southwest. The race course was predominantly north-south so I wasn’t sure how bad the wind would affect my pace. I settled on running in a sleeveless compression shirt, short sleeve SnakeBite Racing shirt and shorts. I also wore gloves to make sure the fingers didn’t get cold. I had two PowerGels with me for the run. I was only anticipating using one but a second wouldn’t hurt.

Everyone lined up pretty good for the start by placing themselves appropriately. I was 3-4 rows from the front. Two Kenyan runners, Robert Letting and George Moisi, were up front and the pre-race favorites. A trio of women from Second Sole/Run Ohio were also on hand in matching uniforms, I wouldn’t see them again…ever.

The first mile was slightly congested as everyone jockeyed for position and found their pace. I was running comfortably moving between groups, passing people and getting passed. After the first mile I settled in on my race pace. The pace felt good, slightly uncomfortable, yet manageable for the entire race.

My intention was to only take splits at the mile markers and not look at my watch. I didn’t want to get into a numbers game and let predictable finish times dictate the race. I didn’t need to look at my watch because there were timing clocks at each mile marker. I was happy that I didn’t let the clocks affect me mentally. I was running solid and didn’t waver.

The first 5 miles headed north onto the Ohio State University campus. I was happy to see groups of students out cheering for us runners. The trickiest part running through campus was the wind direction. Several times the wind would get re-directed by a building and hit you at an unexpected angle. I was drafting behind two guys when the wind came from the side.

At mile 5 the course turned south on High Street. I knew this would be a major wind tunnel. My intention was to have someone to run behind at this point. Going through the aid station and making the turn I was all alone. Hello Wind.

Looking at my splits, the wind didn’t affect me like I thought it would. Sure it felt hard but I’m thinking my strength helped me push through the resistance. There were groups of spectators cheering, clapping and ringing cow bells along the route. I hit mile marker 6 in 39:32. Being sub-40 at that point was a big mental boost. All I can say is, Bolder Boulder 10k look out.

The course has several rollers on it as well. Most “hills” are slight rises in the road where it goes over a highway. On the downside of these rises is where I would feel the wind the most. The wind wouldn’t allow you to take advantage of the downhill. Each time I had a slight downhill I had to RUN down the hill while the wind was blowing. I was hoping for some free speed at those times.

The second half of the course goes through some old Columbus neighborhoods including German Village and the Brewery District. At mile 11 the course turned north on High Street. I was hoping for some help from the wind but it just wasn’t there. During mile 12 is where I got “chicked”. Passing me like I was shuffling along was a girl looking strong. I can’t complain too much that a 23 year old female beat me by 45 seconds.

At the 12 mile marker is where I decided it was now or never. That last mile would be an all out effort to the line. Despite taking water or Gatorade at each aid station I was starting to cramp in the calves. I made sure my stride was perfect to avoid a mis-step that would send my muscles into cramping hell. The wind had been mis-leading about my sweating but I do remember wiping it away from my forehead.

It was awesome running down the final stretch for what would be a personal best at the half marathon distance. Crossing the line I completed my best half marathon in a time of 1:26:18. My average pace was 6:36. My last mile was 6:20.

After I was done I got me clothes from gear check and made my way to the final straight to watch for Aimee and the others. I had just missed Mandie as she got a PR of 1:38, she rocked it. I saw Dale (1:53) and Aimee (1:58) finish strong. I made my way over to the finish to get Aimee and gather with everyone else as they finished.

Overall I am very excited about the race. I was starting to have doubts in my 41 year old body. Most of my training wasn’t “fast” enough for me to think a 6:36 pace would be possible. Boy did the old body prove me wrong. I’m glad to have the strength and speed still around for this season. This race is an excellent starting point for my Ironman training. I just hope I can stay healthy through September. My stats are below for the number geeks, as ugly as they are:

Mile Split Cumulative Ave HR Comments
1 06:32 06:32 153
2 06:43 13:14 160
3 06:27 19:41 163
5 13:18 33:00 162
6 06:32 39:32 164 First mile heading down High Street
7 06:37 46:09 162 Second mile on High Street
8 06:35 52:45 164
9 06:45 59:29 163
10 06:31 1:06:00 163
11 06:39 1:12:39 163
12 06:40 1:19:19 163 North on High St. with roller at Highway
13 06:20 1:25:39 165 Started to feel the cramps in the calves
13.1 00:40 1:26:18 167 6:36 pace overall

Overall Place 43 / 3326
Gender Place 36 / 1509
Division Place 7 / 234
Pace 6:36

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Awesome day at the races....

for Snakebite Racing. This morning was the 8th annual Buzzard Duathlon/Biathlon/3 mile run. This rite of spring brings people out in masses and is the first multi-sport race in Northeastern Ohio.

For the second year in a row we were blessed with perfect weather race morning. I had high expectations for this to be a team race and I was very happy with the results.

Racing we had myself, Alan, Angie, Nicole, Mike, Ian, and Matt....I think that is everyone.

At the was Michelle, Rick, Gary and one more member I can't remember his name. They were all watching and cheering us on. Rick and Gary got some great photos and Michelle helped at the finish line.

Gary's pictures are posted on his Flickr account.

Rick has his Flikr account here. Lots of great pics.....thanks guys. I'll be making one of my movies this week.

Results are not posted yet but I can say this:

Snakebite Racing placed in each age group and took a 2nd overall in the biathlon (Mike).

My wifey, Aimee, took first in her age group in the duathlon.

I couldn't have asked for a better day and results.

I will have a full race report on Tuesday. In fact it will be a Two Fer because I still need to post my half marathon race report.

Game was so On today.

Saturday, April 26, 2008


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Park that bike

If only we had a bicycle parking problem in the US....we could have something like this..

Friday, April 18, 2008

Family and Friends Friday - Debbie

I'm working on my race report from last weekend. Until I am done...tomorrow is something to read. In case you haven't heard about Duane and his triathlon journey go to Couch Potato To Ironman and also check out Bolder's Post.

Duane is one of those people that reminds me that anything is possible. But then again I don't have far to go to see that in action. You see Cleveland is full of triathletes of varying talents and physcial stature. One person who amazes me is Debbie. I sometimes call her Crazy Debbie. She is so crazy excited about triathlon it drive you crazy as well. But now she's crazy for doing this Double Ironman.

Check out these links about Debbie:

Lifestyle Change Award

Double Ironman

Ironman Florida 2005

This girl has more "Game On" than alot of people I know.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Time to get some Game On

We are going down to Columbus this weekend with family and friends for the Columbus Distance Classic / Capital City Half Marathon. I'm feeling pretty good heading into this race. My past two visits for accupuncture have helped loosen up some tight spots. I'll have a race report next week.

Hope everyone has a great weekend. I'll leave you with this video so you can get your Game On.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Boyah... Snakebite Racing Sponsors

You may notice that I have added all of the SBR sponsors to the right. The team is very fortunate to have some long standing sponsors as well as new sponsors for the 2008 AND 2009 season.

CDW Berbee, AFT (Angela Forster Training), Bike Authority, Vertical Runner and Voler are returning sponsors.....some have been with us since almost the beginning of the team.

Citi Smith Barney, Cervelo, Crank Brothers, Oakley, Ritchey, Sport Legs and Zipp all come to us through the hard work of team president Rick Adams.

This is a great line-up of sponsors and SnakeBite Racing is proud and fortunate to be associated with each one.

Please click on the logos to learn more about our sponsors.

PS: I want to thank Bolder for the source code which made this happen.

Game On

Friday, April 04, 2008

Family and Friends Friday - Michelle

Yes it's been a while since I have last posted and I have work to blame.....I mean attribute that to. Busy, busy, busy all week especially when I had to travel out of town. I took my running gear so I could get in to taper runs prior to the Columbus Distance Classic on April 12th. But like I said work was crazy and I never laced up my shoes to run.

While the work was successful there is nothing better than making the trip back home.

Making my way to the gate at ORD, I stopped to have a late lunch. The woman in front of me didn't feel right taking a table for four so I suggested we share the table I was about to sit at. After our polite introductions I am not sitting across from Michelle from not Ottawa, OH......silly.

So the chatting continues. Michelle was in Chicago for a taping of the Oprah Winfrey show. Michelle helps with a volunteer group who raises money for and builds schools in Kenya. WOW. That is so cool. She works for the Justice Department in Canada, International Relations, which I'm sure is a great asset for this type of volunteer work. So the Oprah show on April 17th will be about this group and schools in Africa.

Through work and help helpful ways Michelle has been over seas alot. She has hiked Mount Kilimanjaro and the way she described the experience was amazing and has set a fire in my belly to do the same.

So I'm sitting there thinking, here is a woman who has really made an impact in the lives of others. Such motivation, talent and ability to do these things. I was lucky to be able to talk with her. Our conversation turned to running as she described watching two Kenyan men running on a dirt road during one of her visits to the country. Michelle has done a marathon and several half marathons.

I mentioned that I race in triathlons and we started to talk about Ironman. When I said that I had done IM USA and will be racing at IM Wisconsin this fall her face lit up with excitement. I really enjoy meeting someone who appreciates what it takes to do an Ironman. She asked questions and truly wanted to know about the race and my training.

Every once in a while, chance encounters like this really help me understand what I have accomplished. Completing Ironman AND raising money for the Komen Foundation was a very satisfying event in my life. Michelle helped remind me of this during a chance encounter in an airport restaurant.

But the story doesn't end there. I feel like a reporter because I wanted to do some research for this post. I couldn't remember the name of the organization Michelle works with for these schools in Kenya. So I figure a Google of her name would help out. Boy did I learn more about my new friend.

I found these three links that allow me to appreciate what Michelle has done with her life.

Wikipedia - I always read these with a certain amount of doubt but I found supporting evidence.

Department of Justice - Canada Website

Free the Children - Michelle is President of the Canadian Board

So here is a woman who has accomplished so much with her life, is making a difference in her home country AND helping make a difference around the world. And she is excited about meeting an Ironman?!?!? The only way I can describe our indifference, yet passion, for what we do is.......

Because She Can

Because I Can

This girls got......Game On.