Saturday, December 29, 2007

Dr's Checkup

A couple weeks ago I mentioned seeing my sports Doctor to have a full athletic physical done complete with blood work. I had a followup appointment yesterday and I got my blood results back. I'm very pleased!

She said that I'm definitely not anemic as I have a ton of red blood cells for some really oxygen rich blood! Good for my VO2 max and endurance training!

My HDL (good cholesterol) is at 45 and my LDL (bad cholesterol) is at 91, so very good numbers! Doctor's recommendation is to add a glass of red wine at dinner to boost my HDL. I was never a wine guy, but it's really good.

She then reviewed my thyroid numbers and noticed that there is a safe and legal way to make me faster! My numbers are normal but she prescribed me Synthroid, a thyroid supplement to slightly bump my numbers up. The thyroid controls how quickly the body burns energy and makes proteins. So a small increase could make a big difference. In 6 weeks I'll have another blood test to check my thyroid numbers to ensure the supplement is working okay. If the numbers are way off, I'll be off it.

Finally, I had a gait analysis done to check my running form. My arms are a bit high and crossing my body, so I need to keep my elbows behind my torso and forearms at my waist. I'm also a slight heel striker, so I need to really focus on landing on the mid foot. My Doctor gave me a few drills, including barefoot strides after every run, to keep me off my heels. She also recommended the Newton shoe, which I'll probably give a try once I'm due. My current shoes are okay for me and only have about 40 miles on them so it doesn't make sense to get new ones right now.

A very good appointment and I'm really glad that I made myself go to get checked out. I'm feeling more confident getting ready to begin my Ironman training. I'm also looking on some coaching options to help me out and I'll be getting a bike fit with my Christmas money! Tomorrow, I'll be getting a
Polar BodyAge done, which is a system that Kevin has at his work that measures VO2 max, bodyfat, and strength analysis. It will tell you how old your body is compared to your real age. I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Merry Christmas!

I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas. Here are a few of the very many Christmas pics, Enjoy!


"Autobots, transform and roll out!" This is the first of many toys that I get to play with. I'm such a kid!

"I like opening presents!"

"Look at my pretty Kitty bank"

"Those kids better stay away from my presents!"

"Look at all the stuff Santa brought!"

The kids loved the Art Easel that Santa brought them

Logan's very first Star Wars figures and Starship! I'm a HUGE fan, so it's cool to see him getting into it!


"If I play football, does that mean I get to hit people? For real?"

Ansley loves her Princess laptop

"I am Darth Vader!"

"lemme check those measurements"

I'm such the kid, that Nikki even got me toys!

Friday, December 21, 2007

A week of firsts

I had a few firsts this week.

  • I ate sushi - LOVED it!
  • Had sake (Japanese alcoholic beverage) - Very good!
  • Ate at P.F. Chang's
  • Saw my first movie in a DLP theater - WOW, AWESOME! I'm a total movie buff and seeing a movie in a DLP theater was outstanding. We saw I am Legend, a very good movie.

Today we got the kid's Christmas presents wrapped. I'm so excited about Christmas this year. Logan is at a good age, I'll get to play with most of his toys with him! I'm such a kid at heart!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Great News!

My brother got engaged! We are so happy for you Brandon! Marissa is a great girl! We look forward to welcoming her into the family.

I can't believe that it's almost Christmas! Nikki and I finished up the kids shopping last night. Never realized how hard it would be to find some of these toys Logan wants. I was able to finish up my shopping for Nikki tonight. And no, I won't tell you all. I did all my shopping for her without solicitation from anyone. She's pretty scared! I love Christmas time and can't wait. I have the whole week off work as well, so I'm stoked!

I planned out and organized a Christmas Secret Santa for my running group this past Sunday. We all had a great time and I thoroughly enjoyed making it happen. Our group spends so much time together throughout the year that it just made sense to do something nice for everyone.

My training has been a little off this week, as I'm in a Capacity Planning Bootcamp class for work. Not being able to workout during lunch is killing me. If I get up any earlier, I'll end up doing more harm than good. I already get up a 5am just to get to work! Oh well, I'm still getting my weekend workouts in, so I'll just take it easy this week and fit them in when I can. After all, I only have a few more weeks where I have the luxury of taking it easy. Better take advantage of it and give myself plenty of rest.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Overdue post...

Wow, what a week.

I flew outta Richmond at 6:45pm last Tuesday for Addison, TX, 15 miles north of Dallas. I was heading down for a 2 day Bootcamp style class for McAfee EPO upgrade training. (EPO is a McAfee product for centrally managing all the McAfee VirusScan installations in the environment. One of the duties that my team is responsible for is McAfee VirusScan across roughly 1200 servers.) The class was great. I really learned a lot about tweaking our current installation of EPO and some great info on the new version. Our instructor was really good and even took us out and showed us around Addison and Dallas both Wednesday and Thursday nights. Nothing like having your instructor buy you drinks and shots all night! He took us to a restaurant in Dallas on Thursday evening,
Cuba Libre, which had some of the best food I've eaten in a long time! The bartender made the best Mojito that I've ever had! Being half Cuban, that restaurant was my kind of place! With all this learning and partying, I did manage to squeeze in a 4 mile run on Thursday afternoon. Kinda cool to strap on the Garmin and run around a city that you have never been to! 7:01 pace for 4.14 miles. So, I'm still fast even after two nights of drinking! The weather was really nice, mid 60s with zero humidity. Almost cold, but very comfortable for a run!

I got back to Richmond about 1pm on Friday and headed to work to get my expense report turned in and get through some email. My new position comes with a TON of email! In hindsight, I probably should have spent less time drinking and more time checking email during my evenings in Dallas. I now have close to 500 emails in my Inbox! I left with about 100! Oh well, hard to stay in a hotel room in a city you've never been to.

Friday evening Nikki had her work Christmas party which was fun. They chartered a bus to drive us to the party, which was about 30 minutes from Richmond, so that we could partake in some beverages along the ride. We had a great time and it was really good to see Nikki after 4 days. The only downside was that Nikki had taken the kids to my Mom's house earlier Friday morning, so I didn't get to see them when I got back into town. Going on 4 days without seeing them. : (

Saturday morning Nikki's Dad and Brother, Kevin, met us at our house to leave for Morgantown, WV. About a 5 and a half hour drive. Kelly, the younger Brother, was graduating from WVU on Sunday. Before we left, Nikki and I realize that we need to have someone come over and water our Christmas Tree. Yes, we needed a Sitter for our Christmas Tree! I got in touch with my good friend and neighbor, Mark, who agreed to come over and keep our Children's Christmas dreams alive!

In Morgantown, we got lucky and had cloudy, foggy, and rainy (heavy at times) weather all weekend! It was nasty and cold up there. Had a few more drinks at a party for Kelly and his friends that evening. I resisted wearing all my VT Hokie stuff up there, since they are pretty big rivals of ours and I didn't want to take anything away from Kelly's weekend by trying to make a scene.

The Graduation on Sunday was really nice, in WVU's Basketball Coliseum. Pretty big place. Very nice ceremony. I even nudged Kevin to holler Kelly's name right before they started announcing Graduates. When he yelled, it was so quiet that you could hear a pin drop. Kelly's name echoed throughout the whole Coliseum and we could see Kelly raise his hands in acknowledgement! It was good to see Kelly again and be there for his Graduation. Congrats Kelly, we love you!

On Sunday evening we all take it pretty easy, knowing that we are getting up early Monday morning to head back to Richmond. Just a nice dinner with Kelly's girlfriend, Jess, and her family.

After a stop at Kelly's place to pack up and take home some of his stuff, we hit the road back home. We get back to town and I head over to pick up my dog, Allie, who was very happy to see me. Then Nikki gets home after picking up the kids from my Mom's house. Boy were they happy to see me, as was I! : ) I hadn't seen them in almost a week and really missed them. It was good to be back home with my family! I love them all so much!

Now that my drinking binge and sleep deprived nights are behind me, for now, I'm glad to be back home and back into my routine. I'll be better about updating my blog, especially as I flesh out my 2008 Race Schedule. I'll also have some pictures up from this past weekend, so look for those.

On an Ironman training note, I went to see my Sports Doctor today, Dr. Stadler, to get a physical done with some blood work. Nothing wrong, just want to make sure I'm in good working order before my Ironman training really gets started. Haven't had a full physical in almost 10 years. I'll have a Gait Analysis done in a couple weeks to check out my running form, which I think feels good, but we'll see.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

ACC CHAMPS!!


The Virginia Tech Hokies have won the ACC Championship! Getting sweet revenge for that fateful night in Blacksburg! We are headed to the Orange Bowl!

In training news, I got back on my bike for the first time since the
Odyssey Half Ironman in early September. Felt pretty good and at almost the same level. I'm beginning to realize that the Ironman is getting close!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Big News!

Effective 12/1 - I've been promoted to Lead Systems Software Engineer! I'm the Team Lead over the Windows Intel Server Admin Team. It's a great move for me and I'm really pleased and excited to have this opportunity!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Rivalry Week!

VIRGINIA TECH VS. VIRGINIA in Charlottesville, VA - Saturday on ESPN2!

“Under soft they have a Cavaliers football logo in the dictionary.”

Enjoy!


TAILGATE FEVER


Monday, November 19, 2007

Marathon Pics!

ENJOY!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Reaching for a Goal



I'm so pleased with my performance at this past Saturday's Richmond Marathon. My main goal was to break 4 hours. My reach goal was a 3:35. I finished at 3:41:27! 6 minutes off my reach goal and an over 45 minute improvement over last year! I averaged an 8:27 per mile pace and was 75th out of 275 in my age group.

I'm also amazed at the tenacity of my good friend Chris's performance. He's been having some knee trouble and lately, hasn't been able to run very much in training. He wasn't going to pass on the Marathon, so his Physical Therapist told him to only run 10 miles and walk the rest. Chris ended up running 14 miles before having to walk the remainder. He posted a respectable Half Marathon time of 2:03:12. I admire his desire and never give up attitude. It would have been really easy for Chris to not run at all. Congrats to you, Chris! Way to gut it out!

Kevin posted a great time in the NTelos 8K with a 33:01! That's a 6:38 per mile pace! That put him 14th out of 247 in his age group (M25-29)! Way to go Kev!

Below is my race report.



The alarm goes off and I pull myself out of the warm bed, knowing that it's going to be cold this morning. As I reach for the door to let Allie outside, I see the moonlight reflecting off the deck. It takes me a few seconds to realize that it is raining. I could not believe that it was going to be cold and raining for this run. Immediately after breakfast, I head to the laptop to check the radar. I'm fully relieved to see the last of the rain moving out.

I arrive downtown at about 6:45am, plenty of time before the 8am start. I park in my building and head to the restroom. Don't have to find a parking spot and don't have to deal with the Port-A-Pottys. I love the local races, where I get to park in my building. Two race morning headaches I don't have to deal with!

Check my post race clothes in the UPS bag check and head over to find a place that is sheltered from the wind until it gets closer to the start. About 20 minutes from the start, I head over to the corral that I'm assigned to. I caught up with all my running buddies and wished everyone luck. I then talk pacing strategy with the guys that I'll be running with.

Much of the Marathon goes uneventful, which as many of you know, is the best way to begin a race. I was setting a great pace with my Garmin. Very steady and controlled. We reached the Half at 1:48:19 and felt really good. We spent quite a few miles of the first Half at just under 8 minute pace.

At about mile 21, I begin to fade just slightly, dropping my pace to 8:39 per mile. To compensate my fading body, I decide to take very short walk breaks at the Aid stations and push hard between them.

The 25th mile. This was the worst of the 26.2 miles. The one that my body wanted to shut down and call it a day. I guess I was about halfway through the 25th mile when my body just stopped. I actually remember stopping and placing my hands on my knees. "Had I been running too fast?" "Was this all I had?" At that moment I remembered my favorite inspirational quote.


"There will come a point in the race, when you alone will need to decide. You will need to make a choice. Do you really want it? You will need to decide." - Rolf Arands

Of course I really want it! I've trained too hard and put too much work into this to give it all up. I might not hit 3:35, but I'm not going to fold up and quit. I ended up with an 11:09 pace through the 25th mile, but mentally overcame a huge stumbling block was able to begin pushing hard again.

My body tried one last time, with only 9 blocks left to go, to shut down. My Hamstring locked up and I could no longer run. I hobbled over to the curb and stretched it out for 20 seconds. "We're not done yet!" I told my body. Taking a few steps, the Hamstring loosens up completely, and I'm able to grit my teeth and fly the 9 blocks down the hill to the finish of a great Marathon!

Upon finishing, I learn that my buddy Mark had qualified for Boston! He and I were running together and I was setting the pace. He pulled ahead at about mile 21 and finished in 3:34:11! Just under his age group qualifying time of 3:35!

I know that I can't waste any time and have to get all my things together. I have a long drive to Blacksburg ahead of me. After getting my bag from the bag check and grabbing some Papa John's Pizza from the post race food, I head back to my building to shower and change. I end up leaving Richmond about 1pm and make great time. I have plenty of water and food in the cooler riding shotgun, so I'm not in too much pain while driving. The first hour of the drive was the worst as all I wanted to do was sleep. I ended up on the phone talking to my Brother for a long time, just chatting, to keep me awake. My first restroom break turns into a trip to the bushes as I realize that I can barely walk and couldn't make it all the way up to the gas station.

I end up in Blacksburg having only missed the first quarter and got to watch my Hokies beat FSU 40-21. It was a great day!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

#999

I'm getting really excited about the Marathon this weekend. The weather is currently slated to be in the mid 30's at race start, getting into the low 50's by noon. It should be a gorgeous morning.

TRACK ME LIVE, OR GET CELL PHONE & EMAIL UPDATES!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Happy Anniversary!


8 wonderful years married to the best woman in the world!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Happy Birthday Allie!


Our baby girl is 8 today!

In training news, I'm feeling really good about the Marathon this coming Saturday. So good, in fact, that I've decided to run and then make the 3 hour drive to Blacksburg for the game immediately after. The Marathon starts at 8am and the game kicks off at 3:30pm, so with any luck, I'll make it.

I'm going after a 3:35 Marathon this year, which is about 8:10 pace. Last year's first Marathon was plagued by a hip flexor that gave out about mile 17, leaving me with a 4:33 finish. I have 3 other running partners that have the same time goal, so we'll be able to help each other pace.

Since my
Half Ironman at Lake Anna, I've been focusing solely on my running. I want to become a stronger runner between now and Lake Placid. Here are some monthly numbers from my run training proving to me that I'm running well.

Aug total miles - 63.66 - Avg pace - 7:29
Sep total miles - 23.16 - Avg pace - 7:44
Oct total miles - 67.64 - Avg pace - 7:33

As you can see, I'm feeling confident in being able to run a great Marathon. Hidden in those numbers was a long 20 miler that I ran at 8:09 pace! There was part of me that wanted to bag the Marathon and just get to the VT game, but I'd just feel really bad about myself. I'm just running too good right now to miss out. Even if I miss kickoff, I should have the satisfaction of a good solid Marathon.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

2nd Place!

I ran my first ever 8K race this morning, the Run for READ. It was a mostly off-road race. I wasn't expecting anything great, I hadn't run since my 20 miler last Saturday, spent Thursday evening getting soaked at the Hokie game, and the course was very wet and muddy. However, I finished 2nd in my age group, (M30-34)! My time was 35:52, for a 7:12 pace! I'm so stoked! Got my first ever age group award medal! SAWEET! My Brother-In-Law finished 1st in his age group, (M25-29), with a 34:43, 6:59 pace! We ran the first two together, 6:30 & 7:10 respectively, then I pulled back a bit up a steep climb, while Kev pulled ahead.

Yeah, we ROCK!

Friday, October 26, 2007

So, I learned a few things last night


1) Completely dominating a team for 58 minutes means absolutely nothing if you can't play defense the last 2 minutes. For those of you that don't follow College Football, Virginia Tech was manhandling Boston College all night and winning 10-0 with about 2 minutes left, only to lose 10-14 in the last 2 minutes.

2) A Nike Clima-FIT jacket, originally thought to be Weather-Proof, is in fact NOT Weather-Proof and can only hold off the pouring rain for about 20 minutes. After which, it becomes a bathing suit.

3) A Under Armour Cold Gear Mock Turtleneck is rendered useless when soaking wet.

4) My really nice Columbia ski pants are not totally water proof as once believed. They lasted longer than the Nike jacket. But by halftime, about an hour and a half of standing in the pouring rain, I was completely soaked, even down to my boxers.

5) Amazingly my feet and socks remained dry, thanks to my Timberland boots.

6) Traffic on I81 sucks. A 3 hour drive from Richmond to Blacksburg took 4 1/2 hours!

7) Driving in the rain sucks. The trip back from Blacksburg was a 3 hour drive in the pouring rain with 18-wheelers all over the place. Not fun.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

AS IF...

I needed anything more to get me jacked up for this Thursday night game! The Hokies are 13-2 on ESPN Thursday Night games! We love playing "Under The Lights, in Blacksburg"! I'm taking off work Thursday and will be heading to Blacksburg by 12noon. We'll be tailgating by 3 and I'll be drunk by 4! Tailgate Fever



ESPN ranks Lane Stadium as the 2nd Scariest Place to Play Enjoy the videos! It's GAME TIME! GO HOKIES!




We'll see about that Mr. Palmer...

Monday, October 22, 2007

Weekend Update

Training is still going really well. I ran a 20 miler on Saturday morning and felt really good. Averaged 8:10 per mile! We ran much of the Richmond Marathon course too, so that's always helpful. I'm so excited about the progress I've made in my running and anxious to see how well I can do on November 10th.

I was going to run 7-8 on Sunday, however, couldn't get out of bed. The kids were at my Mom's, as Nikki had a silent auction for her Women's club, so we were out late. BTW...We ended up winning the grand prize, about $150 in restaurant gift certificates for our $10 raffle! Then we got home and were up to 12:30am watching the LSU Auburn game. What a great game! 5:30am came really quick, and with no kids, it was too easy to turn the alarm off and sleep till 9am! I ended up doing about 45 minutes of Yoga late Sunday evening, which I love, so I'm feeling great today!

I needed to skip the Sunday run anyway. I was pretty sore and don't usually run back to back days, so I didn't want to push myself over the edge. My hip is feeling really strong this year, not painful like this time last year. The physical therapy that I went through last fall and winter has helped out big time. My running form was tweaked and I had some great strength training workouts added that have all made a huge difference in my running form.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

If you want to run faster...

Run with faster people. And that's just what I've been doing. I had a great training week and the weekend long runs went very well. It's weird to be training like a pure runner. I still haven't been back in the pool or back on my bike since the Half Ironman in September. I'm just focusing on my running for the marathon. Typically, I won't run back to back days, but to boost my weekly mileage and marathon endurance, I started this weekend. In an effort to really push myself, I stayed in the front of the groups I was with.

Here is how it shakes out...

Saturday - 12.10 miles - 1:35:32 - 7:53 per mile pace!
Sunday - 6.2 miles - 0:43:46 - 7:03 per mile pace!

I'm feeling really great about my running and will continue to push myself through the marathon.

In other news, the Hokies got another win. We now have a great matchup lined up for October 25th, when Boston College comes to Blacksburg to play "Under The Lights"!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Hokie, Hokie, Hokie, Hi

How 'bout them HOKIES! Shutting down Clemson 41-23! Great game, great win! All about the Special Teams and Defense, BeamerBall Baby!

That's my boy! Teaching 'em young...

video

Monday, October 1, 2007

Feeling great!

I'm feeling really great this week. My back is feeling much better today and those nasty jelly fish stings are fading. I'll resume workouts tomorrow and hopefully be fine. I just need to make sure that I don't go too hard or too much this week, which will be tough for me, as I'm really itching to get back out.

We had a wonderful time in Blacksburg this past weekend at the Hokie football game. It was a beautiful clear day with temps in the 70s. Just a gorgeous day for football! The team looks to be getting better by the week, led by the Freshman QB Tyrod Taylor. We'll see how we stack up against Clemson this Saturday.

Check out this cool video that I took of the flyover by a B2 Stealth Bomber at Saturday's game, pretty sweet!


video



My gorgeous wife Nikki and the kids enjoying the game...

Me with 2 of the three loves of my life, Nikki being the 3rd, on the top of Afton Mountain...

And, I may be biased, but these are the two most beautiful children I know! Our Son Logan and Daughter Ansley...

Thursday, September 27, 2007

3 weeks

So it's been almost 3 weeks since my Half Ironman...

I've only completed 2 workouts since, a short run and a weight workout. I must say that I've thoroughly enjoyed the time off.

The weekend following my Half Ironman, Nikki and I left the kids at my Mom's house for a long weekend, 4 days, in Charleston, SC. It was a great time! Got some surfing in, which I enjoy every chance I get, save for the two jelly fish stings I received, one on each foot! Boy did those hurt! Lots of drinking, eating really great food, and getting lots of sleep. My cousin, Aaron, is a chef at a really nice restaurant,
Tristan's, that has some excellent food.

Here's what the jelly fish sting looked like a couple hours after...
And over a week later you can still see the tentacle lines...

We are heading to Blacksburg this weekend, as our Hokies take on UNC. It will be the second week in a row Logan and I have made the trip. This will be Ansley's first time this year. She has the cutest Hokie cheerleader outfit! I can't wait to get back up there. Blacksburg is like my second home and I truly love it there. We are huge College Football fans, so we spend 7-8 weekends in Blacksburg in the fall. It is a 3 1/2 hour drive, but totally worth it!

I had wanted to resume my workouts this week, however, on Wednesday morning, I pinched something in my low back wrestling with Logan. I think it's the piriformis muscle or my hip flexor that's dinged up. It was probably a combination of being sore from my weight workout on Tuesday and then wrestling the following morning. At any rate, it hurts like a mofo! As your kids get bigger, it gets more important to use your legs to pick them up and not solely your back. So that's kinda forced me to remain sidelined for a few more days.

Hopefully, I'll be healed up enough to get back to my normal workout routine next week. The rest was good and even better for my body after a long hard summer, but I've got the urge to get back out there. With an 8K and a Marathon coming up in the next couple months and the looming Ironman, I can't stay away too long.

Monday, September 10, 2007

2007 Odyssey Half Ironman Race Report

Since I had a good learning experience from last year, I decided not to make the same mistakes this year. It was my scheduled day to work, I have every other Friday off, but I decided to take a vacation day to eliminate the last minute shuffle of getting up to Lake Anna. I was determined to get my tent set up in the daylight this year. Things worked out really well. Nikki had to work and had already planned to take the kids to my Mom’s house. I had the day completely to myself. No excuses for being late this year! Everything went smooth and I left my house about 5pm. Made a stop at Chick-Fil-A, for my pre-race evening meal to go, and hit the road. Again, another beautiful drive up Route 1, only about an hour drive.

I arrived at Lake Anna at 6:45pm and went straight to the Park office. Got all checked in and drove over to pick out a camp site. There were a lot more campers this year, given the weather, not cold like last year. Picked my site and wasted no time getting my tent set up. I love the tent sites at Lake Anna, just a large pea gravel bed. No worries about finding a smooth place in the woods. Again, not making the same mistake two years in a row, I attach the rain fly. Now, to the right is my new tent. Last year I had a little one person tent. I wanted to use my new tent for this trip, thus the desire to get to the Park early enough to set it up. Yes, it’s a 6-person tent, but that’s much better than a little one person tent that squeezes you in. Well, as you can see in the above pic, the two sides are half mesh, great for warm weather camping, as it lets the breeze in. With the rain fly on, not so much. More on that in a bit.

This year, Odyssey was actually doing their check-in at the Lake Anna beachfront. This was so convenient since I was camping there. Not like last year, at a hotel 30 minutes away. After I had the tent set up, I sat down and ate my Chick-Fil-A Chicken Sandwich. Good stuff! Once I was finished with dinner, I went ahead down to the beach to get through the race check-in and bike check. This would save time in the morning, by not having to worry about those things. Got checked in, received my race number, swag bag, and t-shirt, which was a really cool black dry-fit shirt! It was recommended that we get body marked that evening to avoid any issues in the morning. Wow, never been body marked the night before a race. Now my concern was to avoid getting permanent marker all over my stuff, especially my nice sleeping bag. I know, “the things I worry about” even drive Nikki crazy! Got my helmet and bike checked out and I was good to go. The only thing I needed in the morning was to pick up my chip.


I’m getting pretty tired by this point, it’s close to 9pm, so I get my air mattress blown up and into the tent along with my sleeping bag. Now, since I have already been body marked, I have a huge 17 on both quads and both shoulders. I end up wearing long flannel pants, other than shorts, was all I had, and the new black dry-fit Odyssey shirt to bed. Well, as you can see from the pic on the left, the rain fly on this tent goes all the way down to the ground. Very scared that it might rain, I just loosen it up a bit to try and let some of the night breeze in. Didn’t work very well at all. I ended up sleeping on top of my sleeping bag all night. Didn’t even get into the bag! It was HOT and muggy all night.

“ring, ring”, “beep, beep” – both my cell and watch begin alarming me at 4:30am. I get up, grab a slice of my wonderful homemade Banana bread for breakfast, and get the tent pulled down and packed up. Once I’m changed into my race clothes, I head over to the beachfront, eating my pre-race Cliff Bar. No issues getting my timing chip or setting up my transition.


The whistle blows and I’m off on the very short beach run into the lake to swim the upside down triangle course. As I get started on the swim, I realize that I’m so glad I rented a wet suit for this race. The water temperature was a bone chilling 85 degrees. Folks, that’s like warm bath water. Way too warm for a wetsuit. As you can see by the picture on the right, a diamond swim is longer than an upside down triangle swim. I found myself, several times, swimming up and away from the “hypotenuse”. This, coupled with my lack of attention to my swim workouts, led to a ridiculously slow swim for me. 53 minutes, 78th overall. Obviously, I need some work in this area before the Ironman in July. No worries though, I felt okay, a little heavy in my hips, but managed to complete the swim without issues. With only about 110 participants the water was not crowded at all, so no bumping or pushing around. Just had some ground to make up.

That’s where the bike comes in. To say that I had a great bike leg would be an understatement. I had the ride of my life! I love this bike course, especially compared to what I’ve been training on here in Mechanicsville. It’s a 2-loop course of 28, mostly flat and fast, miles on beautiful country roads. Lots of brand new pavement which makes riding unbelievably smooth. There were several sections that I classify as “zero effort” zones. Where I was hitting 23-24mph, for several miles at once, and did not feel any resistance at all! To me, there isn't any better feeling in a race than that feeling of no resistance while going all out on the bike! I was in the zone and totally stoked! Hitting all my nutrition and staying on top of my hydration kept me going strong. Nikki, the kids, and her Dad made it there and I was able to see them at the turnaround of the first loop. It always brings a huge smile on my face to see them while I’m racing as they are so excited to see me. The only small setback happened about mile 40 as I was opening up the baggie that contained my 3 Endurolytes (salt tablets). I could only watch as the baggie got swept out of my hand and ended up far behind me on the pavement. Knowing that I had one left in my fuel belt for the run and plenty of Powerbar Endurance sports drink remaining, I was okay. I always pack a few extra GU’s just in case anyway. Final bike time – 2:51:08, 20th overall on the bike! 19.6mph! Hopefully, I’ll be able to get a Tri specific bike soon and see how much faster I can go. I did not get passed by a single competitor until about the 45 mile mark. That’s where the one and only guy passed me. I wanted to reel him in, but knew that I was close to the 13.1 mile run I had to complete, so I just stayed within my pace and headed back to transition.

As with T1, T2 was very smooth with no issues. I get my running shoes on and grab my hat, which has my race number belt already attached to it so I don’t forget it, and my fuel belt. After a quick kiss to both my kids and wife, I’m off to run.

I had a good run. In hindsight, I’ll add longer brick workouts, runs immediately following a bike workout, to my routine. I didn’t do too many over the summer and those that I did complete were not too long. Oh well, as my family constantly reminds me that I do have a family and life outside Triathlon. I did run very hard, pushing myself to make sure there was nothing left when I crossed that finish line. The heat, and sore legs from the bike, had me take a few walk breaks. No worries, I'm not one of those "have to run the whole thing" people, so I just take the walks as I need them and push hard when running. As with the bike, I was nailing my nutrition and hydration so I was feeling pretty good. The run course is not too bad, one really nasty hill, the rest pretty flat. All contained inside the State Park. Said hi to my family at the turnaround, and headed out for the final 6.55 miles. About mile 10 is where I picked it up a little bit, knowing I had a bit more left in me for the last 5K. I begin the downhill to the finish and let myself fly down the hill, leaving every ounce of energy I have left out on the course. As I cross the line, I get my finisher’s medal, too bad they didn’t have them last year, and slide over a bit to catch my breath. I’m totally spent and gasping a bit for air. Final run time – 2:05:21, 37th overall on the run. Not too bad at all. After I catch my breath, I head over to see my family and give nice big sweaty hugs to everyone. “You’re wet” the kids exclaim!

I change clothes, drink my Endurox while packing all my stuff away, and head over to the Bar-B-Q lunch. The food is great, but so hard to eat. My body just spent almost 6 hours ingesting Cliff Bars, Cliff Bloks, and GUs. Now I'm trying to send down a Bar-B-Q sandwich, baked beans, cookies, and a brownie! Well, at least it stayed down. I end up winning a Jug, 26-servings, of Hammer Strength Gel from the raffle! Sweet! Once all the awards are given out I get up and decide to check my
results. There it is, 4th in my age group (30-34)! I’m stoked! Once my bike is picked up and racked on the X, I send a text message to almost everyone in my phone book to let them know how I did. My last stop is at Five Guys back in Mechanicsville for a single bacon cheeseburger, fries, and a sprite. My perfect post race meal.

I’m really liking the 70.3 distance and this has to be my favorite 70.3 race. I’m positive that I’ll continue to keep this one on my calendar. Odyssey does a wonderful job in putting on this race!

Woo Hoo!

Just a quick update on my performance at the Odyssey Half Ironman this past Saturday.

4th in my age group (30-34)! Total time of 5:54:29
20th fastest bike split of the day! Average speed - 19.6!

Full Results

My full race report will be posted soon.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Getting Ready

Just a quick post before my race, while I'm getting my gear ready. No last minute ebay'ing like last year! Went ahead and rented the wet suit, just in case, so I'll be going to the pool this morning for a couple laps in it. The official race report from Odyssey and Lake Anna State Park states that the water temps will be between 75-82, so there's a 50-50 chance. I'll find out when I check in this afternoon. At least there's no chance for rain and those that know me, know that I love the heat - Lake Anna Weather

Good Luck to Kevin, who is racing with his team in the Blue Ridge Relay this weekend! It's a tough 208 mile relay race divided into segments. But they run all night! They'll start this afternoon and finish up tomorrow. One of his segments is between 2 & 3am!

Also Good Luck to all those racing IM Moo this Sunday!

I'll try and post my race report this weekend when I get back.

GO HOKIES!

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Race Week!

First off, hats off to my Hokies for getting a hard W this past Saturday. It was a very emotional day and I'm so glad we came away with the win. The pre-game ceremony to honor the victims of 4/16 was beautiful and moving. We got a chance to see the memorial for the first time after the game. Truly tragic what happened to those young students and teachers. Now I hope the team is ready for LSU this coming Saturday. It should be a very good game. I'm glad my race will be complete so that I can enjoy the game.

Congrats to my Brother-In-Law, Kevin, for his time at the Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon this past Sunday, 1:42:58. That's a PR for Kev! Great job Bro!

Still keeping an eye on the water temps for Saturday, but looking warm right now. I can't get a solid number. One local marina has 78, while another has 84. I think that I'll call Lake Anna State Park tomorrow and see if they know. No sense renting a wetsuit if there is no way I'll be able to use it.

I feel really ready for Saturday. I've been taking it easy this week, a taper week. Not too much volume, just keeping everything going. Looking back, I probably should've spent a little more time in the pool, but nothing I do this week is going to fix that. I've already laid the foundation, now I just need to believe in myself, not doubt my training, and not try and cram a bunch of extra workouts in this week. Rest and relaxation are the most important things to me this week. Oh yeah, and lots of salt and water!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Interruption

We interrupt this regularly scheduled training update to bring you a very special announcement. IT'S COLLEGE FOOTBALL TIME! More importantly, it's time to see the HOKIES play! I'll have to do some major training adjustments this weekend, as we'll be in Blacksburg Friday and Saturday, in what will be a very emotional game. Tailgate Fever has posted their first update of the season, the Hokies are on the front page of ESPN.COM, and College Gameday will be in Blacksburg on Saturday morning. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else this weekend than in Blacksburg, VA. I truly love that place.

Monday, August 27, 2007

2 Weeks To Go

Well, I've got 2 weeks left until the Odyssey Half Ironman at Lake Anna, VA and I'm getting excited! I'm anxious to see how much I've progressed over the year. I've been keeping an eye on the water temps at Lake Anna and I've seen 78 and 80. I'm hoping that it stays at 78 so that I can wear a wetsuit. We'll see.

On to the Weekend Training Update - Friday evening I joined the Richmond Tri Club for an open water swim in the James River. It was about a mile and I felt pretty good. I completed a 61 mile bike ride on Saturday and a 14.4 mile run on Sunday. I was roughly on the same courses from
two weeks ago. Great training weekend! I was a little sore in the last half mile of the run, but nothing I can't recover from. You can keep track of my training volume over on the left hand side of this column.

Congrats to all my running buddies who finished a VERY HOT
Patrick Henry Half Marathon. Amie-Anne, 2nd in your age group, 1:46:21! Awesome!

Congrats to all my Richmond Tri Club buddies who finished the Richmond Sprint Triathlon

Finally, Congrats to all the Beginner Triathletes that competed in, and finished, Ironman Louisville. And congrats to the Beginner Triathletes that competed in, and finished, Ironman Canada. You all did awesome!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Congrats and Good Luck

Congrats to a good friend and running buddy, Nick, for finishing the Lynchburg Half Marathon in a time of 1:42:34. That's 7:50 pace! Nick was 62nd out of 183 runners. Great job Nick!

I also want to wish Good Luck to all my running buddies and friends who are racing in the Patrick Henry Half Marathon this Saturday, Aug. 25th. Amie-Anne, Kara, Aubrey, Steve, Mark, Jesse, Bryan, Jill, and anyone else that I may have missed. Good Luck guys, you'll do great!

Finally, Good Luck to those fellow Triathletes that will be racing Ironman Louisville this Sunday, Aug. 26th.

I'm coming off a great recovery week! Two more hard weeks, then the taper week for my Half Ironman.

Stay Tuned.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

My Orange & Maroon Blood is Running Wild!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Weekend Training Update

Got in a really nice solo 60 mile ride on Saturday morning. Beautiful route that I mapped out off the main roads. Probably only got passed my a dozen cars all morning. Felt great for the entire ride and I'm nailing my nutrition. Thanks Jeremy! Click the picture to enlarge and check out some of the hills. There were a couple of nasty ones. Images are screencaps taken from Map My Tri



Sunday morning I got in a 13.5 mile run prior to Church. Again, more hills. I think I'm beginning to like hills.



After Church, we went to the pool. We had a great time. I love hanging out at the pool and playing with the kids. Once Nikki and the kids left to go home and take naps, boy I would have loved a nap, I went down to the lap pool and cranked out 2150 meters.

Great training weekend. I'm feeling great! Tomorrow is my rest day and next week is a recovery week. 4 weeks to go for the Odyssey Half Ironman!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Feelin' Hot, Hot, Hot

Tuesday temp - 94 degrees with a heat index around 102

Yesterday, I decided to join a RABA bike group for a nice, hard, tempo ride. Most of these folks are strictly cyclists. The initial group was riding 40+ miles at 23MPH, not me. I rode with the second group, of which I was told would average 20MPH. Talk about humbling. It was a tough ride, but I managed to hang with the main pack, about 8-12 riders, for about 27 of the 33 miles.

At the very beginning of the ride, I decided to be nice and help someone from the first group who had a flat. 4 of us stopped to lend a hand, but 2 didn't want to be too far behind and took off to catch up with the group. I was left with the ride leader. Not wanting to leave her behind to catch up by herself, I waited until we were both ready. I ended up pulling her about 5 miles back to group averaging 23MPH.

Once we were all back together we quickly found a grove and began riding at a quick pace. There were many times I glanced down at my CPU and was shocked to see 26MPH, on a flat, not a downhill. These guys and gals were rollin'. I didn't know if I could hang but kept pushing myself, staying in the line as close to the wheel in front of me as possible. I stayed on top of my nutrition and fluids and felt pretty good until we hit a couple steep hills. I was pulling the group at around 24MPH just before the first hill, when I peeled off. That's when the trouble for me began. I don't ride that often in a pace line, so I'm not good at how to correctly re-enter the back. Before I could think about it, they just slung-shot around me and I was left climbing the steepest hill by myself. When they hit the other side, they were gone. They did pull up at the final turn to regroup, but three of us got dropped on the next hill. Knowing my way back to the parking lot from there, I just let them go and rode within myself the last 6, or so, miles.

All in all, it was a really good ride. Since I spend most of my time riding alone, it forced me to really push myself and see what I had in me. I ended up finishing the ride with an average of 20MPH. Great mental and physical boost. I did get a lot of pointers after the ride from the race leader. I'm positive that I'll be out there on another Tuesday before the Lake Anna Half Iron.

Wednesday temp - 102 with a heat index of 108

Got my tempo run in, but boy was it hot. Those temps are not the highs for the day, rather the current temps when I went out at 12:30pm. It got up to 104 for the day! For some crazy reason, I'm one of the few people that actually enjoy the heat. Yeah, crazy, I know.

I had a really good run. Got 4.5 miles in at 7:45 pace. Usually faster, in the 7 minute pace range for my tempo runs, but played it safe, backing it down so as not to induce a heat stroke. I don't take water with me, so it made sense to be safe.

Did get a side stitch, an early indication of dehydration, with less than half a mile to go. Got inside my building, stopped by the water cooler for a few cups of cold water, got a nice and cold shower, and got upstairs to grab my Endurox.

The miles are in the bank! Two hard workouts in the heat. Builds character!

Hot weather tip - If you find yourself still sweating and hot after a warm weather workout, especially a run, and you've already showered to cool off, take a piece of ice and run it over the inside of both wrists for a minute or so. The blood in your wrists goes directly back to your heart, so when cooled in this manner, drops your core temp fast. No need to spend the remainder of the afternoon sweating because it's taking hours to cool your core temp.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Got a place to stay

Sometimes it pays to stay up late. With every place to stay in Lake Placid, for 2008's Ironman, pretty much full, we finally have a place to stay. Reservations opened around midnight for the Crown Plaza and I was able to secure two rooms. Glad to have that out of the way. If we can find a nice Cabin or Condo, we might drop this room, but feel much better knowing we do have a bed.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

One of Those Days...

So I leave my house at 6am this morning to meet my Sunday morning running group, a 25 minute drive, prepared to run 10-12 miles. Well, it's not until I pull into the parking lot that I realize I have left my fuel belt bottles and Endurox all nice and cozy in the refrigerator at home. Guess they didn't want to come out in the heat! Made the decision to cut the run short and only do 6, but I was going to make those 6 count. Finished at 7:30 pace and felt great.

I get home, say hello to the family, grab a bite to eat, and head out to cut the grass, my absolute least favorite thing to do. After 2 1/2 hours of weed-whacking and mowing it's time to get showered up. (BTW...I only got the backyard done)

Nikki's work is having a family day at the Richmond Braves baseball game. It was nice to see everyone and hang out, but I dislike baseball so didn't pay attention to the game at all. At least the company has a box so we got to stay out of the heat and the kids had a good time.

We get home from the game and it's back outside for another hour of mowing. After mowing, I start thinking about the swim workout that I need to do when, bang! Thunder. The storms keep going until well after the pool closes. For the second week in a row, I miss my long swim due to Summer thunderstorms.

Oh well, sometimes you just gotta bag it and not worry about it. Tomorrow is my rest day!

Friday, August 3, 2007

My first Half Ironman

I wrote this shortly after completing my first Half Ironman at Lake Anna State Park in Northern Virginia on Sept 16, 2006. I hope you enjoy reading.



It’s Friday morning, the day before my first Half Ironman Triathlon. Well, the day doesn’t go so well. I had planned on leaving early enough to get my race packet and get checked in at the host Hotel in Fredericksburg, then arriving at Lake Anna State Park with enough time to set up camp and relax a little.

I’m a last minute guy, so here I am, Friday afternoon, running around the house trying to get all my stuff together. Heaven forbid I actually pack some things on Thursday evening. My wife Nikki is at work and I have both my son Logan and daughter Ansley at home. Needless to say, my hands are full, even without trying to pack and prepare for a Half Ironman. Between feeding them and playing with them, I have pushed all my race preparation tasks back. Then, for some odd reason, I decide that I need to package up and mail out two items we had sold on eBay. Could that have waited until Monday, sure, but I just had to get it done Friday. Instead of going to UPS and paying for the shipping labels, I have a bright idea to try and print my own shipping label from home. No big deal, I’ve done this numerous times. I checked the ink cartridge and was sure I had enough. Well, you guessed it, no more than a couple lines into the printing, no more ink. Since I had already paid for the label online, I had no choice but to print it at home. I spend the next couple hours driving around Mechanicsville searching for a printer cartridge while getting a couple errands done. With that finally printed and out of the way, I begin to load the Xterra with all my race gear and camping supplies. My bike is then racked to the roof of the X. I had wanted to leave my house around 4pm, but, of course, that never happened. Nikki called around 4pm and we planned on meeting at Chick-Fil-A about 5:30pm. Well, 5 o’clock rolls around and I still need to make all my drinks for the race, get them into the cooler, load the kids, and head out. When I’m all ready to leave the house, it’s about 10 of 5. Of course I have to drive by the UPS store to drop off those boxes. By the way, those packages missed the UPS pickup for Friday and didn’t even get mailed until Monday. Yeah, I was pretty peeved. I finally get to Chick-Fil-A to meet Nikki at 6:15pm. Nikki had been waiting for 45 minutes. Thankfully, she is rather patient about having to wait so long. Once we’ve all eaten, I hit the road. I need to be in Fredericksburg by 8:30pm to pick up my race packet and Lake Anna State Park by 9pm to get my campsite.

Driving up Route 1 is a very nice drive, not much traffic and a much calmer ride than being on I95. The drive took me close to 45 minutes. For the first time all day I was able to crank up my music and begin to really focus on the race. I knew I was ready. All the work had already been done and it was just a matter of execution.

I make it to the host Hotel in Fredericksburg by about 8pm, plenty of time to spare. Check in is a breeze, most of the other racers have already picked up their packets and are relaxing. Me, I still have a 20 minute drive to the Park and a tent to set up. I learn that evening that the water temperature is 78 degrees. That’s great news, as I’ll be able to wear my wetsuit. In the event that it somehow gets 1 degree warmer, no wetsuits. However, it’s forecasted to be cooler that evening, so I feel pretty good about the water temperature. I’ll have to wait until the morning for the official word.

I arrive at Lake Anna State Park and begin to find the check-in lodge in the dark. This proved rather difficult as I had never been there before and all the roads heading into the Park were pitch black. On the first pass, I completely miss the Park entrance. It’s a smaller sign than what I was looking for and there were no streetlights. After a few miles, I realize that I had indeed missed the Park and turn around. I finally find the check-in lodge with about 10 minutes to spare. They close at 9pm.

I drive around a little to find a nice secluded campsite, away from the restrooms and a decent distance from other campers. After all, I wanted a quiet, good night’s sleep. Once I choose a site, I take a few minutes to glance up and admire the beautiful starry night. Tons of stars are out tonight. I leave the headlights on the X so that I can see the campsite and set up the tent. I didn’t see any need to attach the rain fly onto the tent. After all, it was a nice, cool, clear night. Not a single cloud in the sky. I opened the screen window and the screen door of the tent to allow the cool breeze in. I inflated my air mattress and placed it into the tent. I had a small backpacking tent, so the twin air mattress took up the whole tent. No room for my bags, they stayed in the X. With my flashlight and sleeping bag, I headed into the tent to get some sleep.

Much to my surprise, I awoke to the sound of a light pitter-patter on the tent. I closed my eyes thinking that it was just wind or something, can’t be rain. Suddenly, the pitter-patter became louder and harder. I shot up, realizing that it was indeed raining. It just hit me that I did not place the rain fly on the tent. I checked the inside of the tent, sure enough, the floor was getting damp and my air mattress a little wet. I quickly zipped up both screens, grabbed my flashlight, and went out to the X to get the rain fly. I could only stare up at my bike, primed to race in its first Half Ironman, getting soaked. It was still locked on the roof as there was no place safer for it. In the rain, I attached the rain fly to the tent, re-entered the tent, and climbed back into my sleeping bag. I was getting really mad at this point, thinking that I wouldn’t get back to sleep, and never losing thought that my bike was on the roof of the X getting soaked. Then the sky lit up, yes, lighting, followed by distant thunder. In the next few minutes the thunder only got louder. I thought I was in for a wild evening in a very small tent.

“BEEP, BEEP, BEEP” my alarm goes off at 4:30am. I listened carefully to what was going on outside. Taking a deep breath, I was at ease, no more rain. I reset my watch for 4:40am for a little more sleep. I was pleased that, all things considered, I actually did get a good night’s sleep. Once up, I head to the X to grab a long sleeve shirt, as it’s a bit chilly. First thing I do climb up and check out my bike. It’s a little wet, but not too bad. Nothing a couple towels can’t quickly dry off. I drape my sleeping bag over the passenger seat of the X. No need to pack it up right now, it’s a little damp on the head and foot due to the rain on the inside of the tent. I deflate the air mattress, fold it up, and place in into the back of the X. Last thing is to pack up the tent, then head to the restroom to change into my race gear. My pre-race Cliff bar is tasting very good.

I arrive at the Lake front to check in and set up my transition area. I get my bike off the top of the X, dry it off a bit, and with my transition bag, head over to the bike check line. After the race crew checks out my bike, I get body marked. I take a big inhale of the dark black sharpie used for body marking. It’s one of those things that make a Triathlon memorable. Now I pick up my timing chip. I notice that Odyssey placed the chip on a neoprene band. That’s very good news as I really didn’t want to wrap a hospital type band around my ankle for the duration of this race. So, I’m all checked in and heading over to transition to set up. Before I lay everything out, I pick my spot and mark it with my bike and wetsuit. Then, I head back to the X to grab my cooler. All my bike bottles and juice are in there, can’t forget that thing. Once back, I begin to lay everything out. Bottles are placed on my bike and my Aerodrink bottle is filled up. My running fuel belt is then loaded with its four bottles. GU’s and salt tabs are already packed into the pouch of the fuel belt. Finally, my food for the bike leg is laid out. I’m all set and ready to go.

We get the official word that the water temperature is 78 degrees. Out come everyone’s wetsuits. I begin putting mine on. With my transition setup complete, it’s time to go. I grab my cap, goggles, and earplugs and head down to the Lake. A little warm-up in the Lake reveals that the water feels great. I’m so ready for this. I exit the water after my warm-up and look up the beach, wondering if Nikki and the kids made it there with my Brother-In-Law Kevin. All of a sudden, Kevin catches my eye. I’m stoked, Nikki, the kids, and Kevin have gotten here just in time. It was about 5 minutes until race start, my family is here, and I’ve never been more ready to get racing.

The swim is outstanding. I felt like I was on autopilot. The only thing I had to think about, was aiming for the two buoys. The swim course was an upside down triangle, the point being on the beach. Not once did I have to tread water or use a different swim stroke. It was all freestyle, the whole swim. I’ve never felt better while swimming than I did that morning. I stayed a little to the outside to avoid the commotion from the main field. This proved to be very beneficial to me as I was able to remain consistent with my stroke. I even caught the draft of a few others on the outside that had the same idea as I. After the last buoy I turn it on a bit, heading back to the beach. Once I can touch the bottom with my hands, I stand up and begin to peel the wetsuit off. When it’s halfway off, I pull my cap and goggles off, followed by pulling my earplugs. A quick glance at the race clock, WOW, I’m in at 39 minutes! I’m so stoked at this point, I was thinking it’d take me close to an hour, but I know I have a lot more racing left. Sitting in T1, I peel the remainder of my wetsuit off. I grab my food for the bike leg and stuff it into the pockets on the back of my race top. Once the rest of my bike gear is on, I head out of T1.

Out of T1, and on to my favorite leg, the bike. The course is a two lap 28 mile course. Once I mount the bike and climb out of the finish area, I begin to settle into a rhythm down on my Aerobars. I begin to eat a half of my first Cliff bar. As I’m putting away the other half, it hits the road. That extra half was the extra I had packed in case I needed it. I realize that I must now pay close attention to the rest of my food so I don’t lose anymore. The bike leg is beautiful, great country roads and very scenic views. I’m on top of all my nutrition and hydration. Having my watch timer set is really helping me eat when needed. I’m drinking all the time and refilling my bottles at the water stops as needed. It was a rolling course with a few very nice flat sections to fly. I was flawless while on the bike. No maintenance issues or flats at all. I hit a very smooth rhythm and was able to remain consistent throughout. There is one killer hill that is set after you ride down it and pull a tight u-turn to climb back up, no momentum to climb back up. It’s very close to the turnaround, slowing up all the riders to about 10 MPH, and it’s definitely a quad buster. I can’t wait to climb this the second time around. At the turnaround, I’m able to see Nikki, Kevin, and the kids all cheering me on. 28 miles down, 28 to go. I actually felt faster on the second lap and spent a lot of time on my aero bars, in the aero position. That steep climb was very fun the second time around. All the athletes were helping each other up that final climb with words of encouragement.

Heading back into transition, I’m feeling really good. After dismounting the bike, I roll over to my spot and get the bike racked. I take off all my bike gear and get into my running shoes. I take a few seconds to catch my breath and say hi to the family as they are watching me from the side. Putting my hat on, grabbing my fuel belt and race number, I head out. Only 13.1 miles to go. Out of T2, I grab a Red Bull, and I’m on my way.

I begin the first of a two lap 6.55 mile course. After a few sips of the Red Bull, for a good sugar kick, I toss it. No way am I going to finish the whole thing, seeing as I never drink caffeine and don’t want to begin today. A few miles into the run I have to pull over into the woods to relieve myself. This is a good thing as I know that I’m getting enough fluids. The run course remains inside the Park and is a very nice run. Mostly flat, with a few tough climbs. Again, I’m staying on top of my nutrition, GU’s on the run, and keeping well hydrated. I feel a little bad as I approach the turnaround and my family notices the struggle in my face. Some great cheering, and encouragement from my family, boosts my spirits. Only 6.55 miles to go. I’m feeling much better on the second lap, knowing that I’m really close to finishing. I hit the 10 mile mark, only a 5K to go, I’m going to finish my first Half Ironman! I can’t help but to speed up, I don’t want anything left in the tank. I want to feel like I left everything on the course.

As I crest the hill and begin the final descent, I can see the official timer. I’m going to finish under 6 hours. Well under my initial goal of 6 ½ to 7 hours. I’m stoked as I cross the finish line in 5 hours and 51 minutes. I did it!! I’M A HALF IRONMAN!! 70.3 miles!! I can’t even begin to describe the emotion that came over me upon accomplishing something this big. To work hard all year long for that one big race, then have the absolute definition of a perfect race, is far more than any words can describe.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Organized Chaos

A look at the swim start for the 2007 Ironman Lake Placid. I actually signed up for this next year! Yes, I'm a little crazy.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Ironman Lake Placid Sign up

Yesterday I signed up for my first Ironman race, July 20th, 2008 in Lake Placid, NY. For those that do not know, an Ironman race is comprised of a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike, and a 26.2 mile run. 140.6 total miles.

I'd say I was pretty lucky to get signed up. The sign-up process was very stressful. I was going to actually take the 10+ hour drive up to Northern New York to sign up in person, however my wife suggested that I was crazy and shouldn't make that drive. She is a Financial Planner and was already apprehensive of the registration cost, let alone gas money to travel all the way up there. I decided to take my chances signing up on-line.

On-line registration was to begin on Monday July 23rd, at 11am, after those that were on-site had registered beginning at 9am. I found out at 10:30am that on-line registration was delayed and that Ironman North America would "make an announcement" on the status of registration at 1pm, due to the high demand from the on-site line. Some folks have estimated over 1000 people in line to sign up! At that point I was sure there weren't going to be any slots left for those of us waiting on-line. Then, at about 12:30pm, there was hope. Ironman North America made an announcement that on-line registration was going to open at 1pm. A few minutes later, it was announced that there were only going to be 800 slots available for on-line registration. I started clicking the registration button at 12:50pm and got in a few minutes before 1pm. Sold out in less than 10 minutes!

I made the first step towards my goal of becoming an Ironman.