Renewing my partnership with GU Energy, I'm excited for the 2011 race season, fueled by GU.
Friday, January 7, 2011
Monday, December 20, 2010
First off, thanks to my wonderful and amazing wife Nikki for putting up with my insane “hobby”. My awesome Coach, Karen Holloway (ProK), for constantly pushing me to work harder and smarter. And to my sponsor GU, for supplying me with the best nutrition available to push myself further in training and racing. If you haven’t tried GU products, do yourself a favor and give them a go! Now sit back and enjoy your favorite GU Energy Gel while you read my race report from the Ironman Beach 2 Battleship.
Deanna B and I arrive in Wrightsville Beach in the early afternoon, Thursday, before the race. An aside, the Wrightsville Beach area is awesome! And the food at the local restaurants is amazing! Highly recommend staying there sometime. The house, The Sand Crab Cottage, was beautiful. We picked rooms and started to unpack. We didn’t have a workout on the schedule, but both of us decided to don our wetsuits and go for a swim. There was so much chatter about how cold the water was and whether or not to wear booties. This turned out to be one of the most beneficial decisions we made prior to the race. While the initial surge was indeed cold, after about 2-3 minutes of swimming, it was totally bearable. Despite all the fears I’d read about the water temperature, I felt very confident out there.
Friday was a busy day. We got a second swim in that we talked the others, especially Molly, into getting in and feeling it for themselves. This second swim followed by a short bike, helped me make the final decision on my race attire. I was going with my tri top and tri shorts for the swim, put a cycling jersey and arm warmers on top for the bike, and lose the cycling jersey either at bike special needs or T2. The two swims also helped me realize that with the salt water, I needed more Body Glide around my neck to prevent chafing.
Getting the bikes and bags checked in and Nikki getting into town to help and watch, rounded out the day. Got it all in early to allow for plenty of downtime and we’re now chillin’, ready to race! DB’s Sherpa, Carmen, cooked us all chicken and rice for dinner. Delicious! I’m usually very nervous the night before and the morning of, but I can say with 100% honesty, that this was the first time that I have been completely relaxed and ready, both physically and mentally. I’ve never felt this ready for a race! More thanks to my wonderful Coach, Karen, for working hard getting me prepared for what would be a huge PR!
Alarm goes off a little after 4am. Cook up my standard 2 scrambled eggs and toast for breakfast, while sipping on CarboPro. Feeling really good this morning. Nik takes DB and I to T1, where we load our bikes with nutrition and then catch a trolley to the swim start. I realize that I’ve forgotten water for my aero bottle! I knew that I couldn’t go 25-30 miles without water till the first aid station. Yet, I’m surprisingly calm. I mention to Nik if she could head over to the food trailer and get me a cup of water to throw into my aero bottle. This lady standing next to her over heard and handed me a full, unopened, bottle of water. I couldn’t believe it! I said “thank you” many times, walked over to my bike, and filled my bottle. When I came back to hand this nice lady the remainder of the water, she was gone. Like a Guardian Angel, just gone. Finally, I listen to Enter Sandman on my iPod, hand it over to Nik, and we catch a trolley to the swim start. Having plenty of time to get our wetsuits on and pre/post clothes bags dropped off.
The Swim – 1:16
The beach walk from the parking lot to the swim start was very long. Felt like a couple miles, but I’m sure it was only a quarter of a mile or so. Boy was it cold standing on the beach! I am glad that I listened to someone’s advice to wear old socks to the start and while standing around waiting to start. As the cannon went off, we headed into the water a few hundred meters, then made a hard right at the first buoy. That was a complete cluster. There wasn’t enough time to spread out as everyone was charging for that first turn. However, once around, there was plenty of swimming room and I quickly settled into my rhythm and stroked out a pretty good swim. Turns out that we had a stale current this year and not the huge incoming current of previous years. I tried to pee once, but just couldn’t do it. It was gonna have to wait until T1. No idea how others can pull that off. I lost some time at the end as I was heading toward the final turn buoy, which I was later told wasn’t a buoy that we needed to actually turn at. It wasn’t until I was almost on it and changing my sight line that I noticed everyone else, save the few of us who headed to that buoy, were making a straight line toward the dock. Cutting the last corner.
Once at the dock, it was difficult to find the actual ladders to climb up. Glad the volunteers were extremely helpful and pointed me to a ladder. Headed to the wetsuit strippers and made no hesitation on obtaining help getting out of my wetsuit. No way was I going to struggle with it in transition. The quarter mile run to T1 was tough. It was on asphalt and it…was…cold. I had to look down at my feet numerous times as I couldn’t feel them at all. I had to ensure that I was keeping them in front of me, so as not to face plant.
The Bike – 5:59
T1 was pretty uneventful for an Ironman. I remember my first in ’08 and how much I was like a “deer in headlights” when I hit the tent. Today, just smooth and calm. In and out in 10 minutes. Really good, given that I was putting extra clothes on. What was funny, was watching folks put full Under Armour gear on for the bike, knowing that it was gonna get into the 60’s in just a few hours. I put on my bike jersey over my tri top and put my arm warmers on about a quarter of the way. Slammed a GU, hit the port-a-john, and then pulled up my arm warmers as I jogged down the rows toward The Mistress. She was happy to be mounted and ridden hard for one last time this year.
Just after starting the bike, I noticed that I couldn’t feel my toes, at all. It would be about 40 minutes before I could feel them again. I just kept curling my toes up to get some blood down there. This bike course is flat and fast! The highlight of the bike was getting to ride on Interstate Highway 140. In the left hand lane, the fast lane! That pavement was really nice and super fast! We had headwind for most of the first 60-70 miles and a very nice tailwind for the last 40 miles. Every 17 minutes (yes, I set my watch timer for a 17 minute countdown so I don’t forget to eat), I get to enjoy a piece of PowerBar, a sip of CarboPro, or the crown jewel of my nutrition, Mint Chocolate GU. I’m very thankful for the shipment my sponsor, GU, got to me in time for this race. Those Mint Chocolate GU’s are the best!
When I hit the special needs bag drop, I laughed at the copious amounts of athletes struggling to shed all their Under Armour gear ‘cause they were heating up faster than they thought. I grabbed my bag, racked my bike and went to work. Only thing I had in my bag was a CarboPro bottle, which I poured into my GU nutrition bottle, and a 3Muskateers bar. An extra minute to apply an additional coat of lube (Chamois Butt’r) to the undercarriage, and I was off. Only spent a couple of minutes here as I didn’t want to be off the bike long. Last half of the bike went really well. Those 40 miles of tailwind were on a single straight road back to the Battleship. I was passing so many folks with all kinds of aero gear. I could tell that they went too hard into the head wind and were gassed. Me? I was rolling! Felt confident, really good, and strong.
The final climb to T2 was on a huge bridge that went over the Cape Fear River. There was a ton of traffic and we were forced to the shoulder of the road. Lots of debris to navigate through. I was unafraid and relentless at this point. Charging up the shoulder, dodging rear view mirrors, and passing other cyclists. About half way up, we got directed to the other side of the road and had a free lane into the Battleship. Only one more problem. Giant trucks were delivering support beams for a bridge, blocking the bike lane. We were forced into the outgoing/incoming runners. With 112 miles on my legs, it was tricky to navigate this section without plowing into anyone. I arrived at T2 safely and ready to run.
The Run – 4:51
Since this was a point to point race, this was the first time I was seeing T2. The volunteers were again great. They pointed me in the right direction and handed me my T2 bag quickly. Got out of T2 pretty quickly, slightly under 5 minutes, just shed my bike jersey and arm warmers (though later, I’d wish I still had the arm warmers on).
Started the run right where I wanted to be, around 9 minute miles, and was feeling really good. For those that train with me, you know that I’ve had numerous crash and burns with GI distress. When I finally switched to GU and GU Roctane as my primary source of nutrition on the run, I’ve been good to go with no GI issues. GU’s with salt tabs and water for the run keeps my gut from going crazy on me. Only problem I had this day, was waiting an hour and fifteen minutes before taking my first GU. Afterwards, I spoke with PK about it, and it became evident that since I’m already in a deficit, I should begin taking calories earlier. I can’t treat this marathon like a standalone marathon. No wonder miles 13-18 felt like I was running through hell and back. It was during these tough miles that I tapped into the GU Roctane I had. Thanks again to my GU Sponsor! They included a couple GU Roctane packages of their Island Nectars flavor in my most recent shipment. The special edition flavor for Kona this year. Now I admit, I was scared to try a new flavor in an Ironman race, but these turned out to be amazingly delicious! And provided a much needed kick in the tri shorts.
Four things about this run course; it’s not flat, roughly 2 miles of cobblestones is interesting, it gets really dark in the park section, and there are a crazy amount of spectators and fans cheering you on. Our polka dot ProK team kits were a huge hit with these spectators. So a word of warning. All this talk about B2B being crazy fast does not include the run. It’s a very challenging run course. There was one hill coming out of downtown that I just stopped and laughed at. It was at an insane incline.
Picked up a long sleeve shirt from my special needs bag since it was getting chilly as the sun dropped (here is where I wish I had my arm warmers). It was nice to have it, as I just wore it when I was cold and tied it around my waist when I warmed up. Kept alternating the last half of the run. After mile 18, my nutrition had caught back up and my pace was starting to drop. The last two bridges I had to climb, I lowered my GU visor so that I couldn’t see the top and just focused on “it’ll get here when it gets here”, “just keep clipping away”, and “you’re not walking anymore”. That helped me not walk the last two climbs and keep good momentum. Finished up really strong with a 12:23 flat. A PR by just over an hour and a half! I know I have a 4 hour marathon in me off the bike, just need to fine tune that nutrition so the middle miles don’t kill me. I now know that I need to start taking a GU earlier, sliding my whole plan up, which will garner me an additional GU or two. Yummy!
Looking forward to Ironman Coeur d’Alene in 6 short months…
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
WOW, I can't believe that it's been 2 months since my last blog post! Where has the time gone? I promise that I'll get better about posting updates. I hope I didn't lose too many followers...
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
I finally got the all clear from both Dr. Stadler's yesterday afternoon! Lungs sounded good and the little shortness of breath and coughing I have left over is more than likely due to the lost aerobic capacity over the last two weeks. Carlton's advice - "You need some hard interval training"!! So now I'm back to training full steam, but just need to ensure I get good rest.
Friday, July 3, 2009
It's been 14 days since I've been sick now. I'm feeling better, but anytime I do a little more playing or moving around too much, I can feel my lung tighten up. Then I start coughing.
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Sick update for my Blog followers:
Went to see my primary care Dr. on Monday, Dr. Stadler. She came in and after listening to my lungs made the statement "You know Bryan, I just wasn't buying the whole pneumonia being diagnosed at Patient First thing", "But I have to say, you have the worst sounding lungs I've heard in years!" Great news to hear from your Dr.! ; ) She is great and we began to discuss when I could get back to training. I can resume strength training (light and very low intensity) as of today and I can get a couple easy bike rides (indoors and again real easy) this week. She, Coach K, and everyone else, don't want me to push too hard too fast since this could get pretty serious if we don't get rid of it. No worries, I just need to check myself and make sure I'm easing into things over the next week or two.
She added a few more medications to my medicine cabinet. Here's a nice list of the meds I currently have to take. I'm like a walking pharmacy!
In the morning:
- Normal Juice Plus vitamin fruit supplement
- 2 Prednisone (oral steroid)
- 1 Levaquin (antibiotic)
- 2 Mucinex (expectorant)
- Albuteral inhaler as needed throughout the day
In the evening:
- Normal Juice Plus vitamin vegetable supplement
- 1 Zyrtec (normal seasonal allergy med)
- Rhinocort (normal seasonal allergy med)
- 2 Mucinex
- 1 shot of Advair before bed (inhaler)
Got a followup with Dr. Stadler on Thursday so we'll see how I'm doing and I'll keep the updates coming.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
As I sit here typing this, my fellow triathletes are swimming, biking, and running at the Tavern Tri. I was supposed to be there too. I love that race! I even went to packet pick-up and got my packet just to feel something normal. Man, I really wanted to race today! Got my first DNS (Did Not Start) today, but I gotta put my health first.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
That is what is written on the side of my Gatorade Rain bottles. It's a great saying and one that I implanted into my mind while racing the Kinetic Half Ironman on May 9th.
Nikki and Ansley made the trip up with me for this race. We left Logan at home with his Grandpa as his soccer team was playing his best friends team. We didn't want him to miss the game, being the only time he'd get a chance to play against his good friends this season. As usual, we were late leaving, with me waiting until the last minute to throw everything together. My Xterra Wetsuits Tribag showed up as we were getting ready to pull out. Money!! Threw it in the X and we were off. Made the usual stop at Chick-Fil-A for my evening pre-race meal and we were on the road. The drive is only about 45 minutes, which put us at Lake Anna for check-in just a few minutes after 7pm. Picked up my race packet and walked around a bit with Nik and Ansley checking everything out.
I booked this place, the Lake Anna Lodge, that had us envisioning a roach motel. It's about 10 minutes out from the State Park, so we arrived with lots of time to relax. It was a nice place. Very clean and not the dump that we thought. The first thing I did was open up my kick ass tri bag, begin to unpack my two smaller tri bags (i.e. small backpacks), and load up the new bag. This thing is GREAT! I got my wetsuit, both pair of shoes, helmet, and everything else I'd need during the race into it. Ansley was in typical form, couldn't stop talking or moving around in the bed, giving Nik a fit as I was pre-occupied. After pacing around and wasting time I was ready for bed. Gave my girls a goodnight kiss and hit the sheets. As usual, I didn't sleep well. No worries. I had a great nights sleep on Thursday, which two nights before, is the most important.
I wanted to get to transition no later than 6am to ensure that I get everything setup, hit the restroom, get my wetsuit on, and warmup. The alarm goes off about 5:15am so that I could get Nik and Ansley up so they could get ready. As we leave the motel about 6am, I'm stressing. We're the last vehicle left in the lot and I wanted to have already been there. As we get to the Lake, the main parking lot is full and they are directing us to another lot around back. Now, I'm really freaking out, having no idea where they are taking us and how far away it'll be. Turns out we end up right behind transition! MUCH better than at the very back of the main lot! It's 6:15am and after setting up most of my transition space, I head down to get body marked and get my chip. Back to transition to finish setting up my space. I then collect my wetsuit and swim gear and head to the start. It's 6:40am now and I still have to make one last restroom trip and get my wetsuit on. Great! Lots of athletes need one last "business" trip, so I'm forced to wait in line a few minutes. Finished up with 10 minutes left before race start. Donned my wetsuit using the plastic bag over the feet trick, which works awesome, and headed down to the Lake.
Getting into the water for a little warmup got me ready to start. A little chilly, was 68 at the start, but felt great! I was ready to roll.
As the gun went off, we ran into the water and I found myself dolphin diving! Just like Coach K has been teaching us. The first loop of the swim went really well. I ended up finding another athlete that was a very similar pace and we split time swimming in each others draft, literally in the armpit, stroke for stroke. This made for a fast start as we were pushing each other using the draft. I'm staying right on course, cutting the buoys really tight. As I swim up to the beach, we have a short jog and onto lap 2 of the swim. This lap went equally well, and I even found myself breathing every 3rd stroke for a while. Yes Coach K, I was breathing to my non comfortable side. I had an awesome swim! 34:28. Over 5 minutes improvement over my fastest Half time!
The bike proved to be a nice and difficult ride. It was really windy, hilly, and there was a lot of traffic heading to the lake. For most of the ride I was unable to really hit the downhills due to the 15-20 mph headwind. It was a rolling course with only one real long, slightly downhill section, where the wind was at my back and I could really get it. We even passed a group of horses on a bridge that I couldn't tell who was more spooked, the horses or the bikers! Throughout the bike I had Jaime Foxx's song "Blame It" stuck in my head. I know, I know, not the most upbeat song to race to, but proved to keep me amused throughout the ride. I kept making up my own lyrics, singing "Blame it on the wi-wi-wi-wi-wind, blame it on the hi-hi-hi-hi-hills" And to the little girl at the first water bottle handout, please practice handing off a bottle to a biker traveling at roughly 19mph. It's not as easy as just standing there and "hoping" we grab it. Needless to say, that bottle hit the ground and I was almost out of water. Luckily, there was another stop not too far away. The bad thing about the bike was it's 2 loops outside the park, so there were very few spectators out to cheer us on. Didn't get to see my girls until I was back to T2. Nutrition was on point and I wasn't feeling hungry or drained. 2:57:40. I was a couple minutes off my fastest bike split, but I felt pretty good about hitting the run
As I was approaching T2, I got concerned that my legs were going to buckle as soon as I got off the bike at the dismount line and I was gonna fall flat on my face in front of everyone! The line was on a decline, so I had to be careful that I didn't fly right on by! I had been pushing hard through the wind and hills. I started slowing down, unclipped my right foot and shook the leg out a bit. Around the back of the saddle it swung, right behind my left foot, which caused the left foot to unclip in a fluid motion. As both feet hit the pavement, there was no fall. Just an anxious excitement to begin the run. Today, I was gonna push myself HARD on the run.
My last 3 Half Iron's have all finished up with just over a 2 hour 13.1 mile run. I was determined to push myself past the uncomfortable point that I usually end up walking too much. I was also nailing my nutrition, salt tabs every 30 minutes and Gu's every 45. No GI issues this time around. I was running at a really good clip and only walked a couple of times to get fuel in and kept the walks very short. It was getting really hot out there and that was just fueling me as I love the heat. The run course was 3 laps and very nicely laid out. I got to see Nikki and Ansley on every lap and they proved to be great motivation for the tortuous hill climbing out of the lake area to start each lap. I was very pleased with my pace and feel like I can improve on it before the Patriot's Half this fall. I finished with a PR in the half marathon distance, 1:51:27!! 8:30 min/mile pace, which I know I can improve on.
A Half Ironman PR of 24 minutes!! 5:27:18!!
About a week before this race I mentioned that I had a lofty goal for this race, but didn't mention to anyone what it was. I wanted to break 5:30. Mission accomplished. I can't wait to see what I can push myself too this year!
So I'm so excited about my race and can't wait to check the results. Of course, Five Guys was calling my name and I wolfed down a Little Bacon Cheeseburger and Small Cajun Fry with a Sprite! I then go to look up my time. Wait, my name wasn't on the results! WTF! I busted my ass out there and I wasn't even on the results. I start looking through the finish times, as kept my splits on my watch, and found out that they had me under the wrong number. I was listed as ALVARO DE LA CUEVA. After a couple days, I was able to work with Set Up Events and get my name back in there. Glad to be Bryan Deal again!!
Monday, May 25, 2009
My brother got married in Ohio over the weekend. Long 8 hour drive, but we had a wonderful weekend up there. Beautiful ceremony! Enjoy the pics!
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
So, I AM working on my race report, but just can't get it finished. Both Logan and Ansley have swim lessons this week. Logan at Burkwood, here in Mechanicsville, and Ansley on Broad Street. So Nik and I are having to split up to get them to where they need to be. Well, haven't had much evening time to get it written. Alas, LOST is on tonight, so it won't get done now.
Time to get LOST...
Saturday, May 2, 2009
For the last three weeks, I've been cheering on friends and watching others get their Tri on. A week from Saturday, my Tri season gets started. I can't wait. I have no idea what to expect from my first race, but I know that I'm going to be more mentally prepared this year. I've made a pact with myself not to wuss out on the run, which in hindsight, I have a tendency to do. It hurts, I know this. I HAVE to move past that. My training runs have been solid. Ran for an hour today at about 7:10 pace, almost 8 1/2 miles, and it felt good, REAL good. I've got a number in my head that I want to hit, but it'll stay in my head for a little longer.
Ansley had a much better soccer game today. Getting involved and actually looking like she was playing! Logan, of course, did awesome! I'll have to get some pics up soon.
I know I take a lot of time away from them during the week, but Nik and the kids' support means the world to me!
Monday, April 20, 2009
Time just seems to be slipping by so fast that I keep dropping the ball on this blog. Maybe I'm just spending too much time playing Mafia Wars! But I digress.
Training is going really well. I continue to improve in the water and all the hard work I put into my running over the winter is paying off. Got my first outdoor bike ride in this past Saturday and looking forward to the RABA group ride Tuesday evening. I'm really excited to get this Tri season started. May 9th at Lake Anna, the Kinetic Half Ironman. I want to do really well and have been really focusing on this race. Got a couple more weeks to fine tune and dial everything in. I feel ready, so we'll see.
Logan and Ansley are doing very well. Both are playing soccer. Ansley is warming up to it and Logan LOVES playing. He's beginning to really get the hang of it and playing well. Although he loves scoring goals, he seems to have a knack for defense. He's understanding defense and not playing the ball, but rather the position. Actually taking angles that get between the goal and the other team, then taking the ball away. This past Sunday, we got him signed up for swim team at Burkwood. The Burkwood Pirates, arrgh! Let me tell you, he looks super cool in his swim team jammers!!
Congrats to all the RTC'ers and all my friends who Rumpassed in Bumpass this past weekend! You all ROCKED!!
Finally, here's some great shots from our Disney trip...