Monday, July 31, 2006

Some Steelhead Thoughts

1. THANK GOD this heat wave is suppose to be over then. There is no way I'd be able to run in the heat we had this last weekend.

2. I very much like that the Clydesdale are scheduled to be in the last heat. There was something about having everyone and their mother pass me in the swim at my Olympic tri two months ago (Clydes went right after the pro's - 2nd heat) . I mean you realize you are not directly against them since they are not in your weight division, but it still messes with your psyche a little bit. It'll be much better to be the hunter, than the hunted.

2.1 Aquabikes are scheduled to start with the Clydes/ it illegal to draft one of those puppies? How about skitching on an aquabike? Now there's a thought.. (OK, am I the only one who was confused about the aquabike? I thought people rode these for the swim, since they were not good swimmers. I was unaware that aqaubike people just swim and yeah, not so bright sometimes, carry on, nothing to see here. As you can see, there will be no skitching)

3. Number 2 indicates there will not be many bikes left in T1 when I finally wash up to the shore. Any pictures taken of me in said transition must have a caption letting viewer know I was in the last heat, thus the absence of bikes.

4. I am hoping there are not so many bikes again when I get back to T2 (biking is my strong point, I hope to be able to make some noise in this stage of the race). Caption here again to point out my Lance like trek would be appreciated.

5. Per the Steelhead Athlete Guide:

"Run Rules & Regulations
1) No form of locomotion other than running, walking or crawling is allowed."

---well at least I now know that is an option, I may have to take advantage.

6. I am not looking forward to the last 5 miles of the run, I know that already. (It's about that time I am ready to be done with my long runs).

7. This is the first time I've done an out and back run course. It will be fun to see the leaders of the back flying towards the finish as I am in the first stages of my run.

8. I could not be more pumped for this race to start.

9. I fully expect to break down and cry. At some point in the race the realization that this goal I set for myself almost a year and a half ago is finally going to be reached may choke me up.

10. As pumped as I am, I am also scared as hell. These two emotions have started to flip flop almost per minute these last few days, that alone is tiresome.

11. It will be fun to meet some of the bloggers I've followed since I've started this journey. Friday night should be fun.

...that's about it for now, have to get back to work.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Steelhead 2006 Preview

OK, sorry for the delay on this.

Last week as stated below, was my vacation/workout week in Michigan. The majority of the days I stayed at the resort and biked/swam in that area. However, last Wednesday I finally ventured over to Benton Harbor to check things out.

There's really not much to report on the beach/swim portion, it is a little ways from the beach to where I'd imagine the transition is going to be, probably 300-400 yards or so, but it shouldn't be too bad. Lake Michigan, is well, Lake Michigan, the waves didn't look too bad, but then again it probably will not be the same conditions as last week on Aug 5th. I can say that fairly close to the tranisition area (two miles or so south on M63) is a very nice little downtown area, that if your spectators want to do something while you're out on the bike, has some pretty cool looking little shops, just an FYI

Now on to the bike course, or at least part of it. I had to drive around a little to find the TRI arrows that are painted on the road, but finally did. Not feeling the most confident and since I was solo, I decided I was going to drive the bike course first. For two reasons.

1. To make sure the arrows did in fact mark the entire course.
2. As you can see in the pics, the weather didn't look all too promising.

Both turned out to be good decisions. My take on the course is this. It really is "rolling hills". I drove about 30-35 miles of the course before I lost the markings on the road (there was construction and a new road, so I bet they paved right over it, and of course I forgot the detailed map back at the resort). In those 30 miles, there were only 3 hills that I legitimitely thought would be classified as a climb. And even then, not in the truest fashion of the word. These are not long, drawn out hills, but rather, shorter steeper hills that should take no longer than 3-4 minutes to get up and then be on your way. There is one fairy steep hill with the first mile or two of the bike, after a sharp left, you'll have to climb, once again steep, but not very long, just an FYI. The rest of the course is fairly flat, with rolling hills, where if you get enough momentum on the downhill, you should have enough to get up the next small incline. All in all, I thought Michigan had bigger hills, like back home in WI, but it appears that's not true, which I am happy about. The training I did on those will set me up well for the bike course next Sat.

As I said above, I lost the course about mile 35 or so, there was road repair gonig on and it looked like the had just laid new pavement, so the arrows must have been covered. I doubled back twice and could find the arrow, so I decided to call it a day. It started to rain around this time as well, so I figured I wasn't going to be able to get a bike in that day anyway. So sorry no run report, since I didn't complete a full loop in the car, but from what I read in the participant guide it's flat except for one big hill, so keep that in mind and save a little in the tank.

Other than that these photos pretty sum it up. Some nice flats, with a few rolling hills, and one "extra effort" hill maybe every 9-10 miles. I think we are going to be all right people. I know a few of you are going to be there, so leave me a comment and I'll keep an eye out for you on Fri and Sat.

The pic above is the lake where I got to do my swim....I swam from the pier to about where the sun is and back, roughly a mile or so, pretty sweet, except for a few boats (most of which belonged to the family/friends I was vacationing with.) I did pretty good, got in two bike rides of about 45 miles each and two days of swimming. Not bad considering it was wrapped around 3 nights of pretty intense drinking. Ah the challenges of a social triathlete.

Also had to put this one on's me with my (hopefully to be very soon) adopted nephew. This guy could absolutely not leave my bike alone all week, perhaps a triathlete in the making, let's hope so.

Friday, July 14, 2006

"Vacation"/ Week Off Training

(Above - perhaps one of the "rolling hills" of the Steelhead course? I'll find out this week)

Well everyone, my week off is here. Unfortunately the po-dunk place we stay at doesn't have internet, we're lucky it has running water, so I'll be gone all week from the computer. I will return next Sat with pictures galore of the Steelhead course and my report of the course for those of you not able to see it before hand.

In the meantime, it's the first time I'll probably take a vacation and come back more tired than when I left. I plan to use this "vacation" to get in a few long bricks, that's if I make it through my workout tomorrow in this ridiculous heat and humidity, see you all in a week or so!!!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

When it comes to shoes....

.....well let's just say I can shop like a woman with a new credit card.

Picked up these beauties this week

And I am going to get these next week when I get back to the shoe store, I think these are the ones that are going to drag my Clyde ass around the steelhead course. It's brand new technology from Brooks, and it's suppose to give more bounce back to you than most shoes out there.

You can read all about it here. I'll have my "Mogo" on, baby!!!

This weekend is my last long brick before my workouts start to gradually cut back. 200 minute bike ride, followed by 60 minute run. I just got a huge shipment of Hammer nutrition stuff in this week, including Electroylte tablets. It's suppose to be very warm and humid Sat, so I can't wait to see how these salt tabs are going to help me in my fights vs leg cramps. I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Steelhead Preview And Ride

Well, folks, it's getting to be that time. 4 weeks until Steelhead. That means, only about 3 more weeks of real training, a little taper, and then the race.

Following along with that, much like some did last year, I am going up to Benton Harbor the week of the 17th-21st to scope out the course. (Staying in Paw Paw, MI for "vacation)". So I'm going to put it out there.

If anyone wants to ride/run/swim any part of the course that week with me, you are more than welcome to join, just let me know via comments. For those of you that can't make it (I do realize it's the middle of the week)....I am going to take AMPLE amount of pictures so maybe you can at least visualize the course.

Just think of it as my pay back to society for all those times I use to steal from the house that blind person lived in.

Yes, that was a joke.'s a good link with ton of info about the race.

Monday, July 03, 2006

A Moment Of Clarity.

Yes my faithful, I am back. With all the activities going on this summer, something has to give, and it looks like my blog has drawn the short straw, I've just been really busy, still lurking with everyone, but my posts have definitly been hurting......Anyway I'm back to say "Hi" shed some light on an issue I've been struggling with for a while now.

Do I want to be an Ironman?

Yes, it's a bit premature, considering I have not even completed my first half yet (Aug 5th, hopefully), but none the less, it's been something I have been kicking around during my training. Much like Benny did here, I have at times doubted my desire to become one (well for him to re-do it, but for me to do it once).

Is it too far? Can I make it? But most importantly, DO I WANT TO TRAIN THAT MUCH IN ORDER TO BE READY FOR IT? I mean you hear these stories of 8-9+ hour TRAINING days, that must be put in to get ready. So after much deliberation and consideration and in a moment of "slight" drunkeness, I have decided that my aspiration to do a full Ironman is dead.

Yes folks, I have no desire to put that much time in in order to fully prepare for IM WI or Florida or wherever. You see, there is something I have not let out on this here lil' web page.

Let me explain. This blog initially started out as a way for me to just keep track of my training and to give me a place to write down how it's going. When I started I had no notions of sharing it with anyone, nor did I want to include anything else about myself on it. Triathlon, training, etc...all the time. (Like MTV when it use to actually play videos)

However, throughout the last year a few people have stumbled across it (aka my faithful followers) from comments I left on other blogs, and I've given it out to a few family members and it has, at times, has had to deal with more than just training (much like MTV is much more than video, I mean do they even play videos anymore?)......anyhow, in a very strange way I have come to almost feel like I "know" some of you, at least in a wierd internet type of way, so I have decided to let you in on a little more about self.... this goes back to the time thing and not having enough time to train for IM in 2007. The reason I have given up my IM dream for 2007 is because of this..... hold on, I realize the SHOCK you may be experiencing is two fold........

.......yes, there is a Mrs. Clyde and yes, we are expecting a lil Clyde coming in Sept. So as you can see, I feel my time the next year is going to be a little more, how shall we say, taken up with other "adventures".

Now don't get me wrong, Mrs Clyde would be more than willing to take over and support me during my training (like she has ever since I started this little sport), even with the extended hours it would entail, but I just can't justify missing that much time and letting her fend by herself while I'm out doing my training missions.

So this last week, I have finally come to a resolution and decided to hold off on an IM for 2007, BUT, I am 100% dedicated to one in 2008. I feel the extra year will give me time to do a few more Oly's and another half IM and it'll give me another year to gain experience and get ready to gear up phyiscally, mentally and perhaps even equipment wise (full carbon baby) for 2008. Not to mention that the baby will be a "little easier" to handle (or at least we'll know a little more on how to deal with it since this will be our first), with a year under our belt.

Now all those are great reasons, but my favorite is that by putting this off a year, it'll give me the chance to walk the lil guy (or girl) across the finish line with me in 2008......

Happy 4th everyone!!!