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