Thursday, August 31, 2006

Downtime

Hey guys, haven't been around much lately, due to my season being over and the whole baby thing coming up. (It's been a TON of work already and the lil guy/girl isn't even here yet, I can only imagine how much more it will be when it's here.) So for the last couple weeks my nights have been filled with painting rooms, moving furniture (although out of this we did get a new living room set up, so I can't complain--with a big screen TV!!!), setting up cribs, rockers, baby swings, lemaze, etc, etc...you get the idea.

Since Steelhead I've pretty much been hanging low. Probably get a run and ride or two a week in, and some weights. Things should be settling down now in relation to chaos of shopping for new baby stuff, and after this weekend's painting mission, the house should be pretty much set, so I'll probably start my base training for 2007 in mid to late Sept. Until then, I'll just do some recreational runs, rides and of course b-ball nights start up.

Next season for me is going to be a little more active, race wise, as I plan on doing two half marathons, at least 2 0r 3 sprints, 2 oly's and one half IM, capped off by the Chicago Marathon in October to set me up for my 2008 IM dreams. We shall see.

I'm out for now, trust me, I'm still lurking on all of your blogs, but for the next few weeks it's all baby mode for me, I'll report back when my base training starts.

Later,
The Clyde

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Steelhead Report

OK, so here we go, the official race report of my first half IM.

(Sorry for the lack of pictures, but bozo here forgot to pack the special battery for his digital camera, BRILLIANT!!! I'll have some video and pics from the throw away camera I had to buy in the next few weeks, I did remember the battery for the camcorder)

Friday: Not going to bore you with all that went on. Basically got to the transition area, picked up my race packet (with a sweet Steelhead shirt inside) and checked in my bike. Happen to run into Elizabeth as she was coming out of the water and stopped and chatted for a little.

Friday Night: Dinner with the bloggers. It was really cool that a bunch of people who never have met each other, or conversed more than through a couple of emails, could sit down and make 1.5-2hrs fly by like it was 5 minutes. I don't think there was a second of dead air as we all seemed to really click and get along. Bloggers in attendance included Habeela, Elizabeth, Shelley, Mike and for a brief few minutes Alison. Thanks again to Habeela for organizing everything and showing us an AWESOME Italian restaurant in that area. We vacation in that area every year and will be sure to hit up again.

Friday later night: Get back to hotel and meet up with my TNT coach for the first time. I'm informed that we will be MEETING at 4:15, yes that's AM, in the lobby to leave. I say, "quit f#cking with me" only to find out he's dead serious, which makes sense since my heat doesn't jump off the pier until 7:30!!!! But anyways, I didn't want to fight against the trend of the team so I agree to it (it's already 10:45) and head to bed. Takes about an hour to fall asleep and I'm out.

Sat Morning: Wake up, meet at 4:15 and leave by 4:30. Get to transition at 5:10 or so, set up, and then sit on my a$$ for the next hour, literally. I was not very happy about the whole situation, but enough about that, as you can tell, I have an obsession with sleeping time. So after that I catch a bus to the start (1 mile down the beach), do the potty stop, get my wetsuit on and wait at the beach. Bump into the blogger crew again and wish everyone luck. 6 heats go out and I as am walking to the pier I run into my family and wife. Take a quick picture and head on my way.

THE SWIM
The start, as the others have mentioned, was pretty cool. You jump off a pier into Lake Michigan and swim along the beach. So after I leapt off with a cannonball (I knew I was going to do this as soon as I signed up, and hey, I am a Clyde) going along the beach was perfect for me, as I breathe most of the time to my right, so I always kept a swimmer or two inbetween the shore and myself and I knew I would be on course (let them spot and go off of that). It was about 15 minutes into the swim and still had not really found my rhythm...and that's when the mind started playing games....I have to admit, I wanted to stop right there, not because I couldn't do it, just because I couldn't find a rhythm...almost like I wanted a do over of the start. Really the only thing that got me through was just a little while after this whole mental dialogue, the buoys changed from green to orange. I looked up and only saw what I thought was 3 more orange ones...so I figured I was close to finishing. Well that was a total miss count....no sh!t, there were just as many orange as green, so I really was only half way done, but at least it got me into a rhythm and the last half of the swim seemed to go by pretty quick. There was a huge Gatorade blow up bottle on shore and the first time I spotted that breathing I could have swore I saw heaven on earth, not that the swim was hard, I was just glad to be done with it. So I get out of the water, and start the trek to T1 , it was pretty far. Total time was around 42 minutes, 3 under my normal pace, so I was happy to say the least.

The Bike
So I get to transition throw down my wetsuit, and yes, had to pee, which was OK considering the porta potty was 6ft from my transition area. Get on my gear and head out for the bike mounting area. Lift my leg to go over the seat and kick my water bottle full of Perpetuem right out of its behind the seat holder. SWEET!! I have not even started the bike yet and already have one dropped bottle. Go pick it up and start out, again. The course takes a pretty nasty left up a hill, within the first half mile of the course. Luckily I rode the course before hand so I knew it was coming, geared down and started passing people. The bike course was relatively flat in the middle of the course, with some mild hills at the beginning and the end, that being the case it did take me a good 7-8 miles to get my legs under them.

So about mile 9 I permanently got in aero and just started pushing. Not being the fastest swimmer out there and being behind the 40-45 womens age group meant I had plenty of "hello's" and "keep it up's" on the course. At about the halfway point I looked and my average was 20.1 for about 30 miles or so. I was pretty pumped. The course then headed back west and made a turn south and that's when I realized...there was a slight tailwind I had been riding with that we would now be riding into for the majority of the way back to Benton Harbor, not real bad, but enough to slow you down a tad and be an annonyance. About mile 50 or so, I did manage to pass Elizabeth, but knew my victory would be short lived as that girl is a freaking cheetah when it comes to running, it's almost not fair ..So the wind along with coming back home down the stretch with the hills lead me to a total overall speed of 19.28 for the course. Not the fastest I have biked, but I was still pleased. I headed into T2 knowing that a sub 6 IM is very much attainable for me (42 swim + 2:54=3:36 + transition times, I figured I was at about 3:45 or so.)

Run
I rack my bike and start to change. At this point I'm thinking.

"OK Clyde, your fastest half marathon is 1:51, which was this year, at your Olympic in June you did 6 miles in 56 minutes, in ABSOLUTE pain after the swim and bike, you can knock this puppy out in 2-2:10 and still come in under 6hrs."

I thought everything was going to be fine.

I. WAS. WRONG. WAY. WRONG

I head out of transition and I'm feeling fine, just telling myself to take it nice and easy and you'll be back in about 2hrs. This lasted all of say, 3 minutes. Out of nowhere I get this sensation that you get when you know you've done too many situps...you know what I'm talking about? My midsection all of a sudden just tightened up like someone had two giant hands around me was squeezing as hard as they could. In a second, I couldn't get ANY air into my lungs. OK, OK, let's walk a little and see if we can shake this. So I walked about 50yds, then tried to run again. The first 20 steps or so were fine again, and then BOOM the tightness came back.

"Oh f#ck, this is not good"

So that was they way it pretty much went for the next THREE HOURS, physically my legs and back felt awesome, but for some reason my diaphragm would just tighten up and restrict my air intake, not the best thing to have happen to you in an endurance event. I would pick out a street sign to run to and just try to make it to it. I've never had anything like this happen before and trying to explain it is hard. At any rate I ended up running, walking and shuffling the rest of the course. I did everything I could on the course to try and help. Ice on the head, ice down my shorts, ice down my shirt, etc....nothing seemed to work. I even had salt tablets that I had been taking all day to reduce cramps (for my calves, that have worked wonderful in trainig, but those were rendered useless for my midsection apparently).

On the run I did see the bloggers I met the night before and a lot of the TNT folk quite a bit throughout the course and even gave some high fives and encouragement as they flew by. The course was a series out and backs all over, so it almost was like you were a spectator as you were participating in the event.

So I finally get to the finish chute and manage to get through, happy to finish, disappointed at what had happened.

Conclusion
So it's been over a week now and to be honest I still don't know what happend. Throughout all my brick sessions, nothing like this has ever occured. My calves had cramped up in the past, but the salt tablets seemed to fix that only to have no effect on my stomach muscles. I'll admit I have not done core workouts every day (who has??), but I was doing those workouts occasionally, so maybe I need to put more effort into that.

I thought maybe it was hydration but I was drinking more than enough, making myself drink on the bike when I was not thirsty, and when I counted I actually had pee'd four times on the course. So I don't know. I guess I'm just a little dumbfounded by it all.

Initially after the race I was really, really dissapointed to be honest. Yes I finished, but to me it was all about the time, to prove to others that a guy with a bigger stature can race a "relatively fast" race. I guess I 66% proved that. This last week I have reflected a little more and I realize the time isn't as important as I first thought, especially when hearing people's reactions about me finishing and how "I don't think I could ever do that", but it is still something I would like to obtain. I will definitly be back next year (probably Steelhead, but maybe Florida or somewhere out of the midwest), wiser, better trainied, and more experienced, I'm thinking the combination of those 3 will get me to where I want to be. I think I am also going to sign up to a training coach or program at the beginning of the year to provide me with some guidance and instruction, especially for the swim.

So all in all, yes I'm a Half-Ironman, and no one can take that away from me, but on another level, I have a score to settle, and you know what a wild animal does when backed into a corner? Watch next year and you'll find out.

....and now it's time to lace up the hightops, my much foresaken Tuesday night mens basketball games are officially back in the "training program".....YES!!!!

Friday, August 11, 2006

I'm Alive

Sorry for no updates, I'll have a Steelhead post and hopefully just some uncut video footage up this weekend of Steelhead. Been a busy week. Life happens sometimes.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Well....I finished, and did at least 2/3 good.

Just a quick update.

Good news:
42 min swim (45 pace was what I was expecting)
2:54 bike (wanted sub 3hr)
Was on par for sub 6 finish through 2/3rd of the race.
I finished the race. (my A objective)
I LEARNED a lot about what I need to do for next season.
Got to meet some really cool bloggers.


Bad news:
Run, er walk, er shuffle didn't go so well. MAJOR cramping, not of calves, my usual problem, but of my diaphragm (people I couldn't even breathe running DOWNHILL???? WTF?). (2hr planned, 3hr actual)

Outlook for my 1/2 Ironman career?
I'm calling it quits.








Just kidding, I hope you'd know me better than that. I am all about redeeming myself and my sub 6hr finish at the next one. It's personal now.

More tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

T-minus 55 hours...

....and my battle outfit is ready.....




...let's get it on!!!!!!

(The names on the shirt are of people who have had cancer at some point. Some of the people on there have won their battles, others were not so fortunate. They got on my race day shirt by people I know donating $50 or more to my TNT fundraising on their behalf. I thought it would be a good way to get people to donate, boy was I right, it was no problem raising the $2300 I committed to.)