Friday, December 11, 2009

A return...

Well it's been a while since my last and very foolish post about blogging once a week, but somewhere in the last few weeks, I have to admit, I've become somewhat Facebook'd out. Yeah it's great for quick hits, funny little comments, etc....but at the heart of it, it seems a somewhat artificial way of keeping in touch....almost impersonal to a point. Don't get me wrong, I'll be on Facebook, but I think I definitely want to kick up posting again. I've met some really cool people that there is no way in hell I would have met otherwise, and although the trend may be shifting in public opinion to Facebook from blogging, I think there will be some, like me, that will be returning after a while. Facebook is like the cliff notes of peoples lives....I feel blogs are the full on novel.

Now that all that crap is out of the way, I've got some shit going on.

1st off, some of you may know, but I'm doing IMWI 2010. Call it a drunken bar bet or whatever, but my ass is signed up and we are about t-minus 7 days away from official training. Surprisingly I haven't been eating like I'm trying to get on Biggest Loser these last few weeks. In actuality, I'm already 9lbs lighter and about 6% less bodyfat than I was when I actually raced in 2008, all good signs in my book (I'm still a Clyde, but shrinking -- 217lbs and 15% BF) And unlike the first one, where it was just to cover the 140.6, this time I've got goals, goals that need to be hit. (more on that in a later post).

2nd. I've found my cocaine, and it is delicately packaged like this:

Don't let the professional packaging fool you, thinking it's healthy because it's basically flavored peanut butter....this stuff has some serious street value....not to mention that if you look at the nutritional info, you're better off eating mayonnaise.....but still, this shit is for real.

3. I actually suckered one of my best friends into doing IMWI with me. We are pretty close in athletic ability, so even though my first one is special, I am really looking forward to having someone to take on this second journey with me.

4. P90X, TRX and Yoga -X (hell there's a lot of X's in there and it's not even anything porn related) have become staples of my workouts. I highly recommend them all.

5. I have produced another child. I realized for some of you that don't know me on facebook, it's been a while, but I actually persuaded a women (my wife, I'm not Tiger Woods) to have sex with me, more than once!! So I now have two beautiful little girls (31/2 and 8 months), it's going to be interesting to see how I can fit in workouts as well as make sure that I still have a marriage after this is all done, haha.

6. Despite my biggest objections, I have been swimming. My petition to the IM board to omit that part of the race is still pending, so I figure I better start preparing in case they dont' see it my way. I'm a little slower than I was in my peak at 2008, so that's a good sign as I haven't lost much speed, but I do have some work to do. I have even started going to Masters, again all against my will but on the advice of my coach.

That's all for now, got to run, train ride is almost over.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Steelhead Race Report

Pre Race….nothing too exciting here….get up to the race site, unpack in transition and get everything laid out. Make our way 1.2 miles down the beach to the race start.

Race Start: 1st wave went off at 7:00, w/ 7 minute wait between heats…that means, that’s right, me being in wave 14, did not start until an hour and half after the first wave went….it was kind of disheartening to know the pros would be almost half way through the bike course before I even got to get in the water.

However, in all reality, it wasn’t so bad. The entertainment at the start was nice, with lots of modern songs, and that did seem to make the time fly….the water as well was a balmy 69 degrees, so I spent a fair share of that time just chilling right on the waters edge watching the other waves go off. Luckily I knew before hand what time we were to set off, so I brought a bottle of Gatorade as well as an extra Special K bar to the race start to keep on the calories during the wait.

So our wave finally lines up to go off, and as we have 2 minutes to start, of my favorite Killers songs come on “All These Things I Have Done”….. right then I thought the day was going to be a great day…little did I know what Mother Nature had planned for us.

So the horn goes off and in we go, and I have the song in my head for the good first half of the swim “I’ve got soul, but I’m not a soldier”., over and over in my head…..there was a little washing machine effect, but not too much, I found a few guys that seemed to be going my speed and hung to the left of them….I noticed they were sighting very often, so I just kept focus on my stroke and keeping pace with them. The swim was pretty uneventful to be honest, waves were probably 2-3 feet, nothing too bad. I only spotted twice on my own, instead relying on the people to my right to keep my on course, and it worked brilliantly. Before I knew it, we were at the last buoy, took a right and was heading for the beach.

I got out of the water feeling fine, definitely much better than 2006 when I thought I was about to pass out. I ran up the beach and into T1. My swim time was 38:50 something, so a definite improvement over my 43 min swim last time, and I felt MUCH better. However that placed me 28th/49 in my division…..yes I know I need to work on my swim…

Get through T1 and get on my bike and I’m feeling good, the first two miles are pretty flat and I take in some calories as well as get my HR settled. The next 3 miles or so are primarily uphill work, so I get through those and then know the real fun (rollers) are about to start as I had ridden this course twice this summer. On the way out of town, there is no wind and I’m absolutely feeling well. Holding around 22 mph for that first hour, while keeping my HR where it was suppose to be.

It was around this time (we took a right turn and started heading east) that I started to notice something….the winds were definitely starting to pick up, and not in the good direction either…..we had just come south to north with no wind….however now there definitely was a south to north wind, with the majority of the course coming up going back exactly that way, not good I thought…in the mean time though, it was all cross wind.

I continue on, I get to mile 38 at the 1:40 mark, and I’m feeling pretty good. I figure if I can hold around 19-20 for the last 10 miles or so, I should be pretty happy with my bike time as that should be a 2:35-2:40 or so….however all that change pretty quickly as soon as I took the last turn on the course that would lead south for the last 18 miles of the bike course.

That fatal turn, ha.

To say it was work to get back to T2 is an understatement. It took me only a matter of a mile or two to realize that any time goal I had was going to be out the door…miles that had been going buy as quickly as 2 and a half minutes were now in the high 3s. Even on the downhills, you had to push to even get to get above 20 MPH, it was crazy. There was total carnage on the course, my friend doing the race said he saw people walking their bikes up the hills (he unfortunately shredded the sidewall of his tire and had to DNF, so he got to ride back in a SAG vehicle, missing all the “fun”). I didn’t see that, but I can tell you that the majority of people were up in there bullhorns in that crouched over position you see when people are absolutely spent. The wind was nonstop and relentless, and coming directly at you. I’ve been in some pretty bad biking situations, and I have to say this ranks right up there as some of the worst miles I have ever put in on a bike. It just made you so hard just to move along at a snails pace. I think you get the idea.

So anyway, the last downhill FINALLY showed up after an hour and fifteen plus minutes of riding into the wind…..I cruise down that hill totally humbled by what just had happened, and my right butt cheek is absolutely on fire. Like someone had stabbed a knife right into the middle of it. I get into transition and get off my bike, try to run, but the pain in my ass, literally, only allows for a slight shuffle…

And then it happened as I went to rack my bike. I had a thought I never had in a race before. I thought about saying “eff it” and quit right there in transition. I remember saying to myself, what do I have to prove? I’ve been here before, I’ve done this distance, no one is really going to care if I wrap it up right now. Sure it would suck, but why not? But then I remembered the sick feeling I had at Racine last year when I double flatted and didn’t have a choice in the matter…that got me back on track….I went to the porta potty, regrouped, and headed out. I may be in pain, but I’m not a quitter. I had just won the mental game these races can throw at you.

Somehow through all that wind and butt pain, I managed to move up 10 spots in the Clydesdale category on the bike, so it’s pretty clear that I was not the only one suffering out there. 18th/49 in my division heading out for the run.

So I start running with small steps, hoping that it’ll eventually work loose what feels like the knife in my ass, but after about ¼ mile it’s evident that it’s not, the pain is still there…so I try something else. I decide to try and take a slightly longer stride than I normally do, in essence using the muscles just past where it’s hurting, and to my surprise, it worked.

The next miles are by no means my best run splits. The work on the bike in the wind had not only taken its toll on me, but on other competitors. Although not a large sample, I can say it seemed like more people were walking at Steelhead on Saturday than I can remember of any of my other races.. I saw a lot of people walking, and I’m not talking just on the hills.

The run course itself was alright. There were 3 pretty big climbs and then one more that was more gradual but still work.

I managed to hold low to mid 9 min/miles for the first 10 miles. In all reality probably around 8 to mid 8, but I made sure to stop at every aid station and try to get in as many calories as I could, hoping to get my real legs back, but they never came.

Around mile 10 is when my friend Mr. Cramps started to show up. I had been taking salt tablets all day, but that apparently didn’t matter…my legs were torched and he wanted revenge. I managed to waddle through another mile, and then it happened around mile 11, my legs just cramped up so bad I couldn’t even waddle…for the next two miles I did some walk/run as my legs would allow. I would push my legs to the point where they would cramp up, then walk it off, then continue. I had managed to catch up to Kristin from my tri group around mile 10 and she caught back up to me at mile 11. I told her to go ahead, but she insisted on finishing with me. That made it easier as we were chit chatting and it got my mind off the issues going on, and passed the time quicker than if I had been solo.

Finally the home stretch along the beach came and Kristen took off, I had no gear left so I ran as fast as I could to the finish and finally put the rough day to rest. Many lessons learned.

Initially I was pretty disappointed with my time, I really was hoping for a sub 5:30, but as the minutes passed after the race, I became more at ease with it, knowing the conditions were not ideal for it. Then after I saw that on the run I passed 8 more people in my division and finished 10th of 49, I finally felt OK about it. Only 7 minutes was the separation between 10th and 5th place, so I was right there.

Overall I’ve made some great gains this year. Every race I’ve done I finished in the top 20% or higher of the divisions I have raced it..…but there is still much I can improve on and am really looking forward to getting leaner, taking swim lessons, and overall getting faster for next year…..I want to win a race in the Clydes division next year. That is my goal. Mark it down.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

All it took was one.....

(Yeaaaay for Blogs!! (and Duathlons too!!))

...a funny thing happened along the way....this blog got lost. Period. No other way to describe it. Father of two now, increasing work load at work, and a new commitment to workouts, has left me little time to scribe some classic epic posts. However, that all changed this past weekend.

I was walking back from my pre-race warm up at the MetLife Duathlon, (a race I just so happened to finish SECOND in my AGE GROUP, no not weight division, but AGE GROUP!! And yes there was more than two people in that group. 33 to be exact, and I was second, yeay Me! (27th overall out of 450+ racers)...but this new found speed will be another post.)...when out of nowhere I hear something I have not heard in a while. Someone called out my blog name.

"Are you the Clyde?"

It took my brain a few seconds to even comprehend the sentence...Clyde = your old blog name = the blog you have left behind like a red headed step child, you long as it took my brain to comprehend, it took me even longer to mutter something back...

"Yeah, I said, although I've been very bad about keeping up with it, I must admit. I am the Clyde."

"Nice to meet you, I'm Rich, I follow your blog"....and then he went on to describe words I never thought would be adjectives to describe me or this blog. "Inspirational", "humorous writer", "I printed up your words of wisdom post", etc, etc (I was thinking more along the lines of "suck", "horrible" and "I'm glad you hung it up" I told Rich, I started blushing and got butterfly's in my stomach. It made me feel good that through this little space of the 'net that Al Gore gave us all, I have helped someone else out through my writing.

...but it also made me feel EXTREMELY guilty...guilty that I let this space basically go to hell over the last half year or so. Facebook took over, the world of one lines, Mafia Wars (even though I don't play) and video links....but it's still through the blogs were you can lay everything out on the table...let people in a little deeper. It's a side that Facebook still doesn't really have.

And so my "faithful" followers, not sure if there is anyone out there besides Rich left, but from here on out, I will try my damnest to post once a week at the very minimum. And so this is my post for this week, haha. I'll follow up next with a race report for Elkhart Lake (2nd place Clydesdale) and then the Metlife Du (mentioned above) you can see, somewhere along the line something really strange happened. This chubby Clyde somehow discovered he has some speed in him.

(On a side note, it was really nice to meet you Rich!! Thanks for coming up to me, we'll have to set up a ride in Aug/Sept or last official race of the year is Steelhead Half Ironman, Aug 1st, so my schedule should be more open after that.)

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

A few things I've learned along the way.

Blame Facebook, that's all I'll say.

Anyway I just realized that next weekend will officially be my 5th full year of endurance sports. This being my first race. WOW does time fly, when I started this I looked at a half marathon like the pinnacle of all achievements, now 13 miles some weekends is not even the length of my training things have changed.

That being said, I figured I'd share somethings I've learned along the way that others may find useful. Some of these took me years to figure out, some I have been doing from the start.

1. Always do some sort of warm up and cool matter how far the distance, getting the body warm is the way to go.

2. Fuel: In events or trainings lasting over an hour, it's critical to get nutrition in. It may vary for each person, but for me 300-400 calories does the trick. I really learned this lesson last year training for my IMWI and have carried it over, even to my not so long workouts and it works. I can't remember the last time I "bonked" on any event or training since I've been fueling properly. You can be the best endurance athlete in the world, but if you don't fuel, you're going to falter.

3. Recovery: Be it an ice bath, recovery socks, getting in a 3:1 carb/protein drink after a workout, it. It's important. You need to give your muscles the nutrients to recover to prepare for the next workout. I have found ice baths (last year) and compression socks (this year) particularly helpful for a quick recovery after particularly hard workouts.. Some may think they look funny, but yes, I have worn them out in public. I look at it this way, if the person giving you the weird look even attempted half of what you were doing, they'd be in the ER with IV's all over them, so who is really having the last laugh?

4. HR zone training....another HUGE key for success. Get a VO2 max test so you know what your HR zones are and train in them. You should know your L1,L2,L3,L4 and L5 for both the bike and run. Once you know them, it's so much easier to make sure you are putting for the right effort for each workout. It's really dummy proof at that point.

5. Yoga. There I said it. Yes the Clyde does Yoga, usually at least once a week, but he tries to sneak it in twice a week. It works. Period. You will be stronger, more flexible and overall feel better. Personally I have gone from being able to only reach halfway below my knee to being able to touch my ankles, and it's only been 5 weeks since I started.

6. Weight Programs. Another key component, and I'm not talking meathead weights...programs such as Kettleball or P90X, (which I'm currently doing)...which incorporate real life movements w/ weights is where you want to be heading.

7. Sleep. Ties into 3. They say 8 hours is optimal, but even I have problems w/ that, so I try to make sure I get at least 7 a night.

So that's the list so far, it may seem very short and straightforward, but each one was "learned" by me at some point over the last 5 years. Each one has helped to make me a much better athlete than what I was when I toe'd the line that May 5 years ago. I'm sure in 10 years I'll have more to add for that's one of the greatest things about this sport, you never stop learning new tricks.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

I'll be posting again soon....

...but in the meantime, don't think I've been slacking.....weight/power wise I'm much further along that I was even vs Ironman training at last year at this time......this year should be a good one!!

And I've found a solid training partner as well.....and I'm not kidding when I say she has ridden that tri-cycle in circles for up to an hour and half straight while I do my workout.

You can't see it very well, but I'm actually watching a movie on my laptop....

(Notice the bail out stand to my right....luckily I no longer need that)

.....and yes, the garage is a disaster's better now, thank you very much.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Almost done...

Thought I'd share this little bit with you.....finally got around to editing my IMWI video. And yes I still think about IM several times a day, it really is worse than any drug out there.

Enjoy, I still think I want to touch up the ending, but not too bad for a few hours of editing.

(Found a nice little surprise at 2:50 as well, tonight was the first time I heard that)

I hope this counts as a post Pam, ha

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Stat to keep focus on.

Weight lost---- seconds/minutes saved:

2 lbs - 12.4 seconds for a 5K, 25 secs for a 10K, 52 seconds for a half marathon, 1:45 for a full.
5 lbs - 31 sec - 5K, 1:02 -10K, 2:11 - half marathon, 4:22 - full
10lbs - 1:02 - 5K, 2:04 - 10K, 4:22 - half, 8:44- full
20lbs - 2:04 - 5K, 4:08 -10K, 8:44 - half, 17:28 - full

I'll be back with a real post soon. (OK Pam, ha.)