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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Racing the Dots

Met up with Vic, Chad, Jim and Richard in the gym. This would be the biggest group for the "Dot Race". However, it was soon evident that Chad was not going to compete and Richard was not even able to make to the starting point. They would jog the distance.

Vic has been on a roll lately and dropping time like nobodies business. I gave him a 1:30 head start. Jim (remember JIM = FAST) talked about what his time would be. My best two weeks ago was a 5:50. Jim wanted to do a 5:30 so I would give him 20 seconds.

I started after Vic. I had planned on pacing myself at about my lactic acid threshold (about 172 BPM). This went out the window immediately. Even this little fun run is a race and so it was on. Heart rate soon climbed to the 190's. The highest that I have ever seen on my heart rate monitor is 195. I would just have to hang on.

At about 2/3 of the way through the mile I could hear Jim's foot steps approaching fast. He came on strong. Vic was still 100 feet in front of me. I tried to hang with Jim - this lasted about 5 strides. I then just tried to limit the distance. I saw Jim fly past Vic and beat him to the finish line by at least 20 feet. I was about 10 feet behind Vic.

I believe that my time was a little slow due to the hard intervals this morning and the fact that once again I had to make a bee line to the trace restroom. Talk about deja vu from this morning!

Ran anther couple of miles with Jim.

Jim: 5:27
James: 6:00 (10 seconds slower)
Vic: 7:24 (4 seconds slower)

Where's my Girl Dog!

So I tried to get back in the groove after my week out of town. Not easy to do. Rode the bike in on Monday morning and just took it easy. Monday is usually not as hard due to the longer sessions over the weekend. With only Sunday being an exercise day an easy day was not necessary - but back to the routine.

Went for a campus run with Vic and Chad at lunch. Vic was running pretty strong and it was a fun pace. Chad, on the other hand, was limping along. Something with his quad. He probably should not be running at all. After the 30 minute run I hit the weight room. Just pull-ups, chin ups and abs. These are my favorite exercises. You get better by being stronger or lighter - a win-win. Saw Jim in the locker room. (He is also signed up the the Louisville Ironman.) He asked me if I wanted to run the stadium on Tuesday. I told him about the "Dot Race" and I think we may have another participate. As far as running: Jim = FAST. He will definitely start after me.

Sam called me on Monday night and told me about his Tuesday morning interval sessions. Sam is a triathlete extraordinaire. He just got back from the Age Group Nationals and he placed in the top 1/3 of his age group. That's really good - you have to have won or placed in the top 10% of your age group in prior races just to qualify - triathlons: Sam = FAST.

Morning sessions for Sam are early. He said that they meet at 5:30 AM at the trace trail head. That means I have to drive to work and leave the house at 5:15AM.

We are having a little get together on Tuesday - A beer tasting - at my house. I only bring this up because I purchased my mystery beer over the weekend. Well, I have to go back to the store - if you get my drift.

Anyway, I set the alarm on my watch for 5:00AM. The alarm woke me up. All I could think was 'Where's my girl dog!' This an old saying for when you are startled out of bed and a little confused.

I got to the trace at 5:35AM and did not see Sam and crew. Went for a 1 mile jog looking around - no one in site. Ran back to the truck to grab head phones and just go for a run. Got about 1/2 mile out and saw Sam and Steve. Ran back to the truck and dropped off the head phones and got ready for the intervals (12 x 1/4 mile @ 1:21 pace with 1:30 rest interval). This was going to be tough. I ran the first 4 intervals with Sam and Steve. It was taxing to saw the least. After the forth I had to take a break, not because of spirit, I had to literally run to the restroom. I hate pooing on the trace! I missed 2 intervals (about 4 1/2 minutes -if your keeping track) and joined them for 6 - 12. They were able to keep the pace. I slowly started to fall behind, progressively worse, as the intervals continued.

Finished strong but tired. The "Dot Race" will suffer today!

FYI - With my audience increasing (something like 4) please feel feel to leave comments!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

motto: Train Hard - Not Smart

Started out on what was going to be a nice 20 mile time trial to Sumral with a casual BRICK at the end. Push the pace - see how the good or bad the week off of training was to my performance. It was soon evident that this was not going to be one of my better sessions. My heart rate was 10 - 15 beats higher than it should have been considering the pace that I was pushing. I saw Jodie running out on the trace and chatted with her for a couple of minutes.

This was the excuse that I needed - the time trial was off - minutes had been lost - it was time to smack the heck out of myself. I stopped at Sumral to refill my water bottle but I was really sizing up what I was going to do the rest of the session.

I decided to just do a hard ride out to Bassfield and see how I felt.. Rammed a granola bar down my throat. (This had been a bonk session but I am always prepared.) Jumped off the trace a few times and tried to attack the few hills that I know of off the trace.

Ate another granola bar at Bassfield and headed for home. At Sumral on the return home the legs started to feel the pain. The heart rate had been kept high and cardio wise I was doing well. But the legs started to ache. (As well as the 'soft tissue' areas that I have spoken about before - still working on that area!)

Continued to keep the pace high to simulate a race pace transition once I pulled into the home base. I was still planning on doing the BRICK. I had told myself that this smack down was going to be hard - maybe a 55 mile bike with a 10 mile run BRICK. It sounded tough and hard and would fit the bill. Almost the last 2/3rds of a Half Iron.

Pulled into the garage feeling tired but surprisingly strong. Quick transition and I was on my feet and headed towards the trace. Heart rate high and feeling good. Yes there was discomfort but I knew that it would pass before the first mile marker. I was still on my way to a 10 miler. Hit the 1 mile mark and my lower legs were on fire - really hurting - but not in a bad hurt way - just hurting really bad. The bad hurt would be joint or muscle tearing feelings. This was not like that - this was really bad fatigue.

At the 1 1/2 mile mark the pain was not getting any worse but it was still hurting really bad. That is where I broke. I decide that I would turn around and if it got worse I would stop at 3 miles but that if I felt better I could continue and tack a few more miles on. I was not fooling anyone. I was stopping at 3 miles!

In retrospect I know that it was a mental break down. The pain / discomfort never got any worse but my tolerance to the pain waivered. The mental area is were these personal battles are won and lost. To help with the recovery I took a quick ice bath.

I must keep working on the mind and body.

extra - After doing Sunday stuff - washed the truck, changed it's oil, ran some errands, etc - I noticed that the front tire on bike was flat! Two rides and two flats. I know that these run in three but come on - two in a row.

On the lighter side - I will take these slow leaking flats any day. Just patch them when you get home is much better than messing with them during a ride. If you look at it like that then I guess I am pretty lucky!

Back home again

Rolled into home yesterday afternoon. I had a hard week for work but got to see some friends. Glad to be home but I had a good time.

Never saw Greg again for running. I took MARTA to Kyle's house Tuesday night. He introduced me to the Blue Frog. The train stopped running at about 1AM so I ended up staying the night. (I really was not is condition to ride the train home in a strange city.) Late night commitments to run the Peachtree 10k next year were made by all - well not really from June (Kyle's wife) but Kyle assured me that he would work on her).

June drove me back to the train station the next morning. We actually saw Greg running around in the traffic! Oh well - this just was not a good week for training. Good thing this is the off season.

Prior to driving home on Saturday I did get a short hilly run in with June. It was a steady pace but she really charges the hills. Short and sweet but a good work out to get the blood flowing before being cooped up in the car the rest of the day.

That's all have - lots of book work! Eagleman Sprint Tri in two weeks and Gulf Coast 1/2 mary in two months.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Out of town running

The weather in Atlanta has been very mild. I went down to the 'fitness' center at the hotel on Sunday. a treadmill, exercise bikes (recumbent and upright), and a universal machine. Not wonderful but better than nothing. I started on the treadmill but I just could not get into the run. I played with several of the programs but nothing got me excited. I hit the weight machine instead. I spent about 20 minutes listening to a podcast and just going through the motions.

I was tired from the drive and just called it a day. Monday was taxing and I did not even attempt to go downstairs to the fitness room and the concrete jungle was not calling. I checked Google maps to see if there was any kind of park near by and there was nothing. I certainly was not going to drive anywhere - there seems to be a gas shortage here. None of the stations are getting much gas. It has been on the news every night. There really is not much gas.

This morning I dragged myself out of bed to try to go for a run. I hit the outside at about 6:00 AM. I headed towards the training facility where I have been having class. I ran up a small hill and there was just sidewalks. Nothing was very becoming for a run.

I came upon a giant intersection that I really did not want to wait for a 'walk sign.' I was just about to turn around when I saw another runner coming towards me. He was running a pretty fast pace. I asked him where there was to run around this area. Without even slowing he said to follow him.

Greg was on mile 10 of 16 and still maintaining an 8 minute pace. He is trying to qualify for Boston in December. Although the running environment did not get any better the company made for a good run. Having someone to run with that was familiar with area was comforting. Greg works for Cox and one of their buildings is just across the street from my hotel. We are going to meet for another run at 5:30 tomorrow.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Travel and carrotbelly

Went for a near 40 mile bike ride ( 38 miles) this morning. Hit a few hills with Chris and Ted (from Jackson). I think that I have seen Ted at nearly every triathlon I have been to. I went to the 29th annual 'Heart of Dixie' triathlon with Jim earlier this year. Ted was at the very first one in 1980. He told me that he has only missed 2 of the races (because he was living out of state.) Ted will be 55 this year and he beat me at the Heart of Dixie by 2 minutes. He is a fast guy.

I ended up getting a slow leaking flat on the ride and hit the tire with a shot of CO2. It lasted for about 10 miles and then I hit it again. I saw JD doing a run on the trace a few miles from my house and that gave me so motivation to go ahead and do a brick. I ended up having to use the little remain CO2 and hit the tire again just to get home. This probably was a good thing since I had to soft pedal the last few miles.

I slipped on my running shoes and headed down to the trace towards where I saw JD. I saw him in about a 1/2 mile. I turned around and ran with him to finish his 7 mile run. I caught him at the end of his run and the pace was slower than I normally would have run. An easy 2 mile run was just what I needed. After I left JD at Jackson I proceeded to put another 5 miles in - not really pushing the pace.

I finished the brick tired but satisfied with the run.

Took a cool 'ice' bath and ate some chicken and oatmeal when I got home. Jodie and I went to the grocery store for her to get stuff for next week. I'm going to be out all of next week so I was already prepared for my food needs - oatmeal and tuna. That is just what I am on right now. Quick, easy and not too bad for you.

I also picked up some strange yellow baby carrots for the rode trip to Altanta. As most people know - when I travel I get the carrotbelly.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Trace running

Went for a 3.5 mile run on the trace yesterday at lunch. On the way back to the gym saw a guy with 2 of the Ecoeagle free-ride-on-campus bikes. These bikes were provided to the campus last week and all of them have been stolen.

Anyway, I approached this guy and told him that the bike could not leave campus. He argued with me for a new minutes and I finally just told him that I was taking the extra one back to campus. I could not get the one that he was on but getting one back will do.

Got a lift home with Jodie - she had to drive in. That means I had to run in this morning. Not as cool as it has been. But a nice run none the less.

We did our adventure run around campus today. Hit the ROTC play area and I was much stronger on the rope. Ran 100 yard intervals on the soccer field. A good solid 30 minutes of hard work. Hit the weights for another 20 minutes.

Ran into Chris and set up a hard ride / run (brick) in the morning. We will see how it goes. I'm trying to get a few good workouts in late this week since I will be out of town all of next week for work.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Stadium - To the top

Wednesday has become Stadium day. We have started to run the stadium stairs - up and down each row. I spoke with Coach Wayne in the gym if this would have benefit in racing, specifically swim-bike-run. He said that hills had a lot of benefit for sprinters (100M, 200M, 400M & 800M) and not so much for endurance athletes. However, he did say that it was effective for adding lower body strength and would add power and stamina on any hills during a race. For the time being I think that I will keep this up instead of adding lower body weight exercises.

Back to the stair run. As with most group activities there is a bit of competitiveness. Chad and Vic left the gym a few minutes before me - in fact, they were leaving the gym as I arrived. I told Chad that I would beat him. He said to the stadium - I said YES. I changed clothes and raced to the stadium. To get the the top of the bleachers you have to run up the ramp. Round and round I raced up. When I got to the top of the first staircase, Chad was behind Vic pacing him up the second flight of stairs. I quickly started down the flight at full speed. No rest, no recovery.

Chad saw me coming and passed Vic and pushed the pace. My goal was to "stair" Chad - pass him by a complete flight. It would not happen on the first lap.

We regrouped at the end of the first session. I had run the 'lap' in 5:39. The second 'lap' I was able to 'stair Chad on the last flight. Once again my time was 5:39. Pretty consistent but I had some recovery before this leg. I pushed the pace on the last lap. You can always did a little deeper knowing that the end is near. I 'staired' Chad with two flights to go. I completed the final 'lap' at 5:27.

We ran back to the gym but I wanted to hit the ROTC area. Chad and Vic went inside the gym - I ran on. A few minutes later I got to the ROTC area and looked up at the rope climb. It is a little daunting and I did not realize how much of your legs you have to use. There is a skill set involved. Last week I was not able to reach the top. I had new shoes (the blue ones) and they have a soft tread compound. I did not want to damage them.

With 'regular-old' shoes on I was able to reach the top! Then I hit the chin up bars and back to the gym. Saw Chad and Vic in the WOZ - work out area and they were doing medicine ball push ups (someone throws the ball and you catch it and do the crunch - the 10 - 12 pound medicine balls are a challenge.)

This morning got up early and hit the rollers for 30 minutes zoned out reading the Lance Armstrong book. Met the guys for the group ride at 6:10 AM and got another 1:15 on the bike.

Pretty good cycling day so far.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The DOT race

Went for a brisk morning group ride. I say brisk because here in Southern Mississippi a dip below 90 degrees and you start seeing jackets and parkas and other blizzard gear start to appear.

At the morning group ride there were two people with long sleeved jerseys, one with a short sleeved jersey with an under shirt and me with no socks and a sleeveless jersey. Every morning we pass a lady on an electric go-ped type scooter. She is trucking along at what seems like 10 - 12 MPH. She is coming from Sumral and I can not image how long it takes her to commute. Anyway, not just today but for weeks she has been wearing long legged pants, a huge goretex type canvas jacket and a hat. I can not wait to see what she is wearing when the temperature get cold - cold here is high thirties / low forties in the morning.

I commuted all last winter by bicycle and I did get cold a few times. Mainly the feet and hands. I have not really thought about how to prepare for this coming winter. Memories fade. I didn't get that cold.

I think we averaged about 22 MPH for the ride this morning ( 1 hour / 22 miles ) - easy math. JD was with us and he got dropped twice. He always comes back with a never say die attitude. We will soft peddle or even stop at an intersection for him and then he will go screaming by, all the while chastising us about taking a breather. He has my respect.

During lunch Vic, Chad and I did the first official "DOT RACE." On the long leaf trace there are "dots" marked on the pavement denoting miles in 1/4 mile intervals. Well last week we determined each of our base line 1 mile run speeds. Vic finished in about 8:30, Chad at 7:00 and I finished at 6:20. Once again, for easy math we decided to follow each other at 1 minute intervals. This was Chad's race to lose (Vic and I were both fighting against better times.)

We did the staggered start with our respective handicaps. I had forgot my stop watch so Chad was going to throw his hands in the air when was 1 minute out.

Vic took off at what appeared to be a "too fast" pace. You could barely see him at the one minute mark. Then Chad took off and immediately started to reel Vic in. Shortly after I saw Chad's arms go straight up in the air. I was off.

With no watch or heart rate monitor I just took off. Quickly my breathing was starting to feel labored. In the first 2 minutes I had already made up much of the distance to Chad, however, this distance did not continue to get smaller. Once again I think that I went out a little "too fast."

Vic was able to maintain his pace and force Chad to step it up. I continued to gain on them both but at a slower pace. I was just trying to hold the run together. I saw Chad make a surge at 100 yards before DOT ZERO - the finish line. In a valiant effort Vic tried to hold him off. Alas it was to no avail. Chad beat Vic to the line by a few yards.

I came plodding in a few 10's of seconds behind. Chad won today's race but we all improved because of the competition. Next weeks race will be tight.

Final times:

8:30 old
7:30 new
1:00 difference

7:00 old
6:30 new
0:30 difference

6:20 old
5:50 new
0:30 difference

Monday, September 15, 2008

No go on the swim - bike trainer again

There was a no go on the swim this morning. My training partner, Jim, stayed up a little too late studying (those PhD programs can be hard I guess.)

Last night I put my "new and expensive" seat on my "old" road bike. This seat has just not worked out for me. While it has a huge cut-out I still get some discomfort on my "soft tissue." It also has an interesting beak.

I did not have any real discomfort with this seat on the road bike. I put several hundred miles on this saddle while it was mounted to my TRI bike. With the TRI bike more of my "soft tissue" is exposed to the saddle. With the road bike it is really only my "sit bones."

So, I jumped on the bike trainer for just shy of an hour. I hooked up the "Speed Reader" and zoned out to "Lance Armstrong's War." It is about the 2003 TDF. A good read. The sweat drops are a little nasty though.

Obviously you can't do intervals or anything on the trainer while reading, but for a recovery or low zone 2 I don't think you can beat it.

Jumped off of the trainer and onto the TRI bike to commute to work. Nice easy early morning ride. Looks like rain later today.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

50 Time Trial

Slept in today - I was not able to organize a group swim, bike, run so just did my thing. Jumped on the bike a little before 9AM. Set a good pace for a 50 mile ride. It just so happens that 50 miles is exactly from my house to Bassfield and back.

I took a bottle of water and a diluted bottle of sports drink. I also grabbed some sports drink powder for the return trip. I made good time(2:26 or just over 20 MPH.) This include the one stop (about 4 minutes) to refill the water bottles.

I immediately followed up the ride with a BRICK. I always have visions while on the bike of nailing the run. I think that I'm feeling pretty good and maybe I will run 10 - 12 miles. Try to do my own 1/2 iron dualthlon. This never happens. I even tried to pace myself. I always just try to do a mile and I know that my pace will pick up. After the first mile today I was just out of gas. First mile in 8 minutes (not too fast) and then I walked a minute and ran back to the house. A total of 2 miles in about 17:30. I've had better BRICK sessions - I'll keep working on this!

Prior to the ride I had adjusted my saddle up about 2mm and forward maybe 4mm. I'm still looking for that sweet spot - the spot that was the most comfort and power. Right now I am just guessing. I need to do a better evaluation, maybe put the bike on a trainer with a power meter or some other type of quantitative measure.

Going to try to swim in the morning but there is a chance of thunderstorms.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Labor your Legs 5k

I ran the labor your legs 5k this morning. This race had been scheduled for obviously Labor Day buy had to be postponed due to Hurricane Gustav. I was not as prepared for the race as I had wished. I really felt that I had been peaking at the end of August. As a matter of fact, I had finally broken 20 minutes in the 5k. I was off of my game today but still managed an age group win. These only have so much value because they depend on who shows up at the race. I know several people who can whip me easily at this distance. They were not present today. Brad also did well today - 3rd in his age group.

I think my race was off for a number of reasons. As I mentioned I was peaking about a month ago and the race conditions were a little worse today. That could just be my perception but it was hotter and muggier. In addition there was a stiff head wind for much of the race. I also believe that I just did not have the motivation to kick it up and push it out after achieving the sub 20 minute 5k last month. It is time to re-group and plan the next goal. Then I will be able to push a little hard and run a little faster. I've got to set my sights on sub-19. New 5k goal for 2009!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Washing machine

Went for a swim this morning. The wind was stout and the water was rough. I brought an old pair of swim goggles with me in case the others leaked. Looking at the water I did not even try the leaky pair.

The wind blew me off course a little and I had to be conscience of which side I was breathing. A mouthful of water quickly lets you know which side is correct.

Swam to the other side of the lake and the water was calmed from the tree line. An uneventful swim south until I once again had to traverse the body of the lake. Swimming back to the initial point would be a challenge - straight into the wind. Once again I was forced to breath from my non-dominate side - fearful of the mouth full of agua. I fought the wind and surf. A difficult swim by any standard. On a positive - I was only off of my best time by a couple of minutes - less than 5 percent. This swim will be filed away for another challenge.
Thursday was more of an adventure run. Vic and I explored the ROTC playground. Rope climbs, log runs and walls to scale were the order of the day. I had to check my slight fear of heights while climbing he rope. Lots of hand and arm strength are required, as well as, a good deal of leg strength. A fun way to fill the lunch hour.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Leaking goggles

Hit the lake again this morning. Started at sunrise and struggled from the very start. There was a slight wind and a little chop on the water. Let Jim head across the lake and I would follow - I'm a little faster than Jim. About 10 feet into the swim my goggles started to fill with water. This was troubling me. I decide to tough it out and treat it like a drill. I stopped and treaded water and adjusted my goggles. Started to swim and they just kept filling up. I did this over and over across the lake. On the other side I stood up, took the goggles off and just looked at them for a minute. Tony had his boat out and I waved to him. I let Jim take off again as I adjusted the goggles again. I pulled the straps tight and pushed the mask onto my face hard. Chasing Jim the goggles just would not stay sealed. So it is at sunrise, it's pretty dark, goggles and half full of water and I have not been wearing my contacts while swimming in the morning. I can see land marks but not with the sloushing of the water in the mask. I thought about just taking the mask off and swimming with eyes wide open.

Finally made it around the lake and finished the loop. My times was off by about 10 minutes (30 %.) I tried it again with the goggles and they now seemed to work fine. Not sure what was different. This was a frustrating but effect drill to file away for the future.

At lunch I decided to run the football stadium stairs. It was not as warm as it has been but the stairs are always challenging. I was feeling a little run down and tired and let Chad and Vic lead the way. Got the spring back in my step and took the lead on the second loop. Finished strong and ran back to the gym to hit the weights. Did chest pretty hard - pretty hard for me anyway.

Group ride in the morning - still no bright light... All the reviews say you really need a HID light but those are $$$. I'm dragging my feet on this purchase.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Bridge down on Trace

Went for a morning ride with the group. A fast and foggy 20 something mile romp along the Long Leaf Trace. Really need to invest in a stronger light. The fog was so thick that I had to remove my glasses (condensation.) JD and Keith had lights this time, however, their lights were just as under powered as mine. Just pin holes in the dark.

Apparently a truck hit the old railroad bridge over HWY 59 last week. This bridge is the only safe way to cross the HWY by foot or bike. The bridge was barricaded over the weekend and was just re-opened this afternoon. I have had to drive to work the last two days. What a bummer.

OWS in the morning so I will have to drive once again. I think that this will be the most (3 times in 1 week) that I have ever driven. Oh well, it could be worse. What if I had to drive to work everyday?

Monday, September 8, 2008

New shoes for faster racing

Went for 35 miles + group ride on Saturday morning. Had a total of 9 people in the pack. Many were fairly new but it still made for a good ride. It is amazing how much of a difference a pace line can make. We were flying. Did a small run brick after the ride with Jim and Keith.

Went to Soccer Locker and City Runners faster shoes. This local runner stores gives members of the Pine Belt Pacers 10% off and just started to up that to 15% on the 15th of the month. Mustafa told me about the sale but I said that I need the shoes for the upcoming 5K this weekend. He gave me the 15% off anyway. I realize that I could get the shoes cheaper online but I due like to support local businesses anytime that I can. I certainly do also enjoy the instant gratification. These shoes will be strictly for racing. As a side note, I am going to start tabulating expenses that this sport is costing (NEW SHOES = $80.) Don't get me wrong - I believe that the positives of keeping fit and working out far out weight the money.

Jim was not able to make the mini-tri that we had planned for Sunday. So I decided to explore a local (less than a mile from the house; just off of the trace) mountain bike trail. It has been a while but I used to really enjoy trail running. I put my old Timex GPS triathlon watch on and hit the road. It has been wet and muddy since Hurricane Gustav roared through (more rain than wind) so there were a few shallow creeks. My feet were soaked from the get go. Rolling hills and quick switchbacks were a welcome change to the dead flat asphalt trace. I found a 1/2 mile loop and and circled several times for a total of about 5 miles. I really enjoyed jumping over the felled trees and leaping the small streams.

Monday I met Jim out at Lake Serene for a morning swim. When we hit the water the sun was just beginning to break. The pretty purples and oranges filling the sky and was enchanting. The water temperature has gotten a few degrees cooler in the past two weeks. Jim keeps mentioning that this might be the year to get a wetsuit. I am wondering just how cool the water gets in Southern Mississippi.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Dark and Fast

Had a good group ride yesterday morning. Having to start in the dark and still pushed the pace. Need to look for a better light on the bike. Being the only one with an underpowered light is a little scary. The prospect of encountering a feld tree or broken branch on the trace with 3 cyclest breathing down your neck is a little tense.

Had planned on an OWS (open water swim) this morning at sun up (6:15AM no a days), however, it was pouring outside. Jumped on the rollers and cranked only half an hour. So boring even with a DVD playing on the laptop. Also it is very hot in my office even with a ceiling fan and floor fan blowing on me.

By the time that I was done on the rollers the rain had stopped and it was nice outside. I do not mind swimming in the rain (already wet) but I do not like swimming in the dark. Should have gone for the swim.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Pushing the envelope and way out of the comfort zone.

After debating with myself all day today - I finally pulled the trigger and registered for Ironman Louisville (KY) 2009. You have to register a year in advance - these races fill up quickly. Looking over the stats for the 2008 race there were around 3000 people who registered and 2000 people who started the race. Another 200 people started but did not finish the race. From registration to finishing only about 2/3 compelted their goal. My friend Jim was one of these people that did not finish. I have great respect for Jim and his fitness level. He got caught up in a tragic bout of dehydration after 70 miles on the bike. He felt much better after several IV's at a near by fire station. This is not encouraging.

As of today I have never swam 2.4 miles, biked 112 miles or ran a marathon (26.2 miles.) This will be a challenge and a goal for 2009. Pushing the envelope and way out of the comfort zone.