Blog Archives December, 2009

Weekend Warrior Update- Life Begins At 40! (So they say)

Life begins at 40, so they sayI’ll start with the Training Log. After the Aquathlon on the 6th I had 3 days off and then it all just seemed to kick into gear. I cranked out 1h45m on my hybrid bike (the shopper) on Thursday, then did a 1hr run/1hr swim on Friday and a 1h45m bike /1hr run on Saturday. It all looked good going into the Club’s Christmas Party on Saturday night, but that’s where it stopped and I’ve done diddly squat since. I suspect that 4 days of nothing is hardly ideal preparation for the planned 40mile run this Sunday. It’ll be interesting to see if that actually happens.

So onto my Birthday!!! On Tuesday (15th) I hit the big 4-0! I know, it’s hard to believe I’m any older than 30 with my youthful looks and my amazing physique isn’t it? Well now that my tongue has been prized from my cheek I can get on with the tales of my Birthday goings on.

So it’s my 40th and I’ve been to and heard of enough 40th parties to really just expect anything and be surprised by nothing in the weekend before. I couldn’t help wondering if my parents were going to show up at some point, it’s just the sort of thing they’d do. I even opted out of phoning them to discuss the football, just in case they didn’t answer and I ruined any surprise. As the day went on there was no sign, but then when we rocked up at the Tri Club’s Christmas Dinner that evening there they were sat at the end of a table with my nephew David. I genuinely had no idea (just my suspicious mind) and it was great to have them there, the only problem being that after they’d travelled all that way we didn’t actually spend that much time together as the whole ‘club thing’ was going on too. There was of course Birthday Cake too (my second one) which I’m still troughing my way through. Couple all that with my mixed bag of Birthday presents including the healthy (Nike Air Pegasus and a Garmin 310XT) and the not so healthy (cake, chocolate and TWO bottles of Drambuie).

The only downsides to my birthday were the fact that people kept wanting to celebrate it before the day (didn’t they realise I was in no rush to hit 40) and that on the day itself I had to work a 14hr shift. Ah well.

Tune back in tomorrow for the big tale of the weekend, the North Devon Tri Presentation Night. That really was something else.

This Weekend Warrior Report is contributed by Iain
http://devoniain.blogspot.com/
Follow him on Twitter www.twitter.com/devoniain

Photo Credit : pintrest

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Weekend Warrior Report

Monday, December 07, 2009

The one that got away- Cow Chip

Six days after Ironman Arizona I found myself standing on the starting line of the Cow Chip Cross Country race in Trumbull.

Having won the race last year, I felt that I should go back and try to defend my win.

I was not 100%. I’d limped around Arizona for two days before I felt ready to even put 20 minutes of running in on Wednesday. I’d spun an hour on Friday and I was psyched for this, but I was also not really fully healed or ready.

When I went to sign up they told me they were expecting me to be there, but they’d put aside #1 for me, so I handed over my check (which Marty later ripped up) and pinned the number to my shirt- I’d forgotten my race belt.

My warm-up was limited to run out to the starting line and doing a few sprints. I ran into Charlie Hornak and we talked a little about the Branford Thanksgiving race. He’d had a decent race but was talking about building his speed. It seemed like we were out there early even though it was only about 10 of, then suddenly the mass of runners that had been avoiding the cold in the school cafeteria came out, followed by Marty on his bike.

Marty acknowledged a number of runners that were there- past winners and so on- and then we were off.

I didn’t take the lead early. I’d spotted a couple of kids/guys I thought might be a threat. I picked my line to the goal post (the race starts on the football field, just like my old high school days), got there and I was quickly in third. The course takes a right, then a left and by the time we got to the backstop, I knew I had to pull in front and take control of the race.

Which I did.

I felt- good isn’t the right word. I was running strong, but not really fast or anything. I was chasing Marty but then we went into the woods and I was leading a few people. The front pack had already thinned out and I felt good. I always feel good running through the woods. I feel like if I’m in front in the woods, you’re really going to have to work to take that away from me.

We broke out of the woods. Marty’s women’s cross country team was supposed to marshall the course. Only two showed up. I came out at a point where you go right early in the race, and go left late in the race.

I didn’t know which way to go.

Who’s fault is that ?

Mine. It’s my responsibility to know the course.

Bang, I was in third.

I settled in a second time. We broke out of the woods and I was third behind a guy I thought I could take late in the race and a guy I wasn’t sure about. We went around the front of the school, by the barn, into a short section of woods and back around again. I could not eliminate the distance and get back in front.

We wrapped around the middle of the course and headed towards the stream/wall. the two guys in front of me went around it. I went around it. We were all within a few seconds of each other. As we went up a short hill, two of us made our move. The guy in second moved up to first and I moved up to second.

We went under a pavilion of some sort and then we were headed back towards the woods. My goal was to stay close and make a move in the last 750 yards.

This was the wrong strategy. I didn’t lose any ground in the woods, but I also didn’t gain any, and after we broke out the backside of the woods, I did try to pick it up.

But in the end, it was too little too late.

When the winner crossed the line, I shut it down and lost another 3-4 seconds, but my calf was hurting.

I had not done my job. I could have, in my opinion, but I didn’t.

I warmed down with Charlie and an Australian guy who was also a previous race winner, then I hopped in the car right away and drove home so Margit would have some time to do some things.

This one had gotten away.

This Weekend Warrior Report is contributed by Alan MacDougal http://rochpunk.blogspot.com/
Follow him on Twitter www.twitter.com/cyberdyne
Tags: Arizona Ironman, Triathlete, vitalyte, Weekend Warrior
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Extreme Kellie Update

Extreme Kellie: Sheriff

 

  

We started with basic figure eights, changing lanes, backing and parking maneuvers.  I basically had to learn how to handle a Crown Victoria at super high speeds! 

I had a blast, though I don’t think I did that well.  I knocked over about a dozen cones, which they say represent REAL people and REAL accidents.  Great.  What’s worse… I had a cameraman with me, so everything was caught on tape!!!

I learned it takes a lot of coordination, reflexes, and just the ability to handle a car.  I’m hoping I can use what I learned on the driving track in real life (and I made them promise me not to give me a ticket when I try this stuff at home!!!)

My final test was the pit maneuver.  You may have watched a high speed chase on TV before.  The deputies will come up on the suspect and bump the back corner of the car, then spin them out.  I got in on the third try!  It was a rush! 

 

That’s photographer Devin Eskew, catcing all the action.  Watch our full story Wednesday night at 7pm on The Deuce.  You’ll laugh at my driving skills… I promise! 

They spend more than half their time behind the wheel to keep us safe.  Our local law enforcement is constanstly on the road patrolling, and when they’re fighting crime, driving turns into multi-tasking.  So, the recruits spend about 50 hours on the road training for the real thing.  

In real situations, they’ll have to not only drive, but look at computer, figure out where they’re going, talk on the radio… then inevitably, someone’s going to call them on their cell phone!  It takes a certain kind of person to be able to do all that.  In fact, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Academy starts out with a thousand recruits, and then 23 funnel down… from those, two or three don’t make it through the program.  It’s extremely difficult and dangerous!

They invited me to come out and try it for myself for “Extreme Kellie”.  I actually got to get behind the wheel and go through the basic maneuvers on the mile and a quarter training course up above Golden.   

 

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Weekend Warrior Report

Ironman Arizona-The Run

I came in off the bike and grabbed my bag from transition. Once again, there was no thought of going into the tent. I changed quickly into my running shoes and visor- I decided on the free Tribike Transport visor because it matched my kit, and hey, it was free. If I needed to toss it, I would toss it.

I did stop to try and use the port-potty. I peed a little, but mostly wasted 45 seconds.

Then I ran out and asked which direction was out.

‘Through the tent.’

It was my only time all day in the tent.

I ran through quickly, located the sunscreen people and said ‘Face, back of neck, arms, legs. And hands.’ I’d had the exchange planned while I was still on the bike. After the sun poisoning that I’d gotten in my first race here, I’d sprayed sunscreen all over myself before the swim, and knew I’d need more on the run, as almost my entire run would be under the desert sun.

I’d put my watch on for the run and started it as I went under the arch at about 6:38:30.

I saw Steve almost immediately and began working to real him in. I got to the mile mark and he was close, but problematically, I’d run a 7:30.

Way too fast.

I went through the first water stop. I needed endurolytes and had just taken a GU. A volunteer actually followed me into the aid station, asking what I wanted, which I can’t tell you how much I appreciated, as I’d later get stiffed at three different aid stations. I told him I needed water and got it, downed the endurolytes and kept running.

I caught Steve on the bridge and asked if he minded if I ran with him for a while. He said no, but we were running at different paces, and although I wanted to slow down and work my way into the marathon, I just couldn’t do it.

I ran the second mile in about 7:15.

Huh ?

Yeah.

I did slow it down after that, although mile 3 is a downhill mile. If you’ve never seen the course, it’s kind of amazing. They’ve managed to pack an entire marathon into a course that only covers a few miles of roads. You run out, over the river, er lake, um why can’t we just call it a canal ? then back over the water again, through transition, down to the next bridge, over that, run a loop that takes you to both the biggest hill and the biggest downhill on the course, back over the second bridge, and back past transition.

Three bridges and you run on both sides of the water. The biggest negative about the run is that too much of it is on concrete.

Over the third bridge on the way out, I saw Eric and he told me I looked solid, or something like that. I waved, slightly.

The real test for me was at about 4 miles. Over the second bridge, on the way out, was where I’d cracked last time I did the race, where I’d ducked into the porta-potty and tried to go, then come out and walked.

There was an amazing amount of shame in that for me. I never really got it, to the point where I had to go back and do the race again primarily because it had beaten me once and I couldn’t accept that.

I ate a GU as I ran by the potties, grabbed a water and downed some endurolytes and I never slowed down. Was I a little afraid of the aid station ? Yeah, I was. The knowledge I’d cracked there-

And then it was just another spot on the run and I was past it.

I took it easy up the hill. Then, because of my leg, I took it easy on the downhill.

As I was coming back to the bridge the lead male’s entourage was catching up to us. It’s kind of tight on the path and I was yelling at people to get out of the way of the motorcycle. ‘Come on, it’s the lead male. He’s already won Canada. Get out of the way.’ The truth is that a motorcycle probably shouldn’t be on the run course when the run course is a pedestrian path, but that’s how it goes. I think he was double-lapping me.

That’s DOUBLE-lapping me. Ouch. Humble much ?

I made it back into transition. I was low on GU- only had three, and I took one at the loop marker and then it was out again towards the arts center. I was running OK, but not great. I was really happy to be on the second loop.

It was cool at the long fountain by the art center, and then I was working my way up through people. Even though wasn’t running especially well, I was passing people. I got down close to the hotel we were staying at and back to the aid station with the uber-helpful guy. He again escorted me in to the area where I got the water I wanted so I could down more electrolytes and it was back on the bridge again, one of the bigger ‘uphills’ on the course. By now I was running with certain goals in mind.

Then at about 10 miles the 5th place woman passed me. I know because she was escorted by a mountain bike. When you’re the 5th woman, there’s no motorcycle and camera, I guess. She passed me, but then she didn’t gap me. I was actually getting annoyed. I was still trying to keep my effort steady, and didn’t I have to be running harder to not be getting dropped by a pro woman (who had just lapped me) ? Yeah, it’s a weird sport. Then, I realised what he problem was as she ducked into a porta-potty. I never saw her again- and I unlapped myself !

Does the Ironman have a scrap of mercy ? No. While the 5th place woman was in the crapper, she became the 6th place woman as the former 6th place woman went by me.

She did drop me.

Eric likes to break the marathon into ten miles, ten miles and then 10K, and I think that’s very useful. I have some benchmarks I work with as well- 13 miles, and for no real reason, 22 miles.

I saw Ian and Margit again on the run and think it might have been when I exchanged a high five with Ian. That was somewhere close to twelve miles.

I first took cola right before that, because I was out of GUs. The soda picked me up and then upset my stomach. The upset didn’t last as long as the pick-me-up, so I went with it.

It was a big relief to hit the back half of the run course, if there is such a thing on a three loop course. I saw Eric again and he was- as always- nothing but positive energy. Shortly after I saw him I was again headed to that area I’d walked at in 2007 and-

I was worried. I was hurting a lot more than on the first lap. Screw it. I went through with no difficulty and now I’d heaped dirt on this area that had beaten me in 2007. Of course, that uphill graded area of the course hadn’t beaten me. I’d beaten myself- that and the sun poisoning and the desalination. Not this time. I ran through the aid station, took some more cola, and then I was easing my way up the big hill for the second time.

I wasn’t feeling that great though.

I had to pee, but after I went down the biggest downhill on the run course, there was nowhere for it.

I was having a harder and harder time running. So I found a large utility pole- some monstrous grey metal thing, ducked ‘behind’ it, bent at the knees, and peed. If this is too gross for you, so be it. I didn’t pull down my shorts. I just peed.

And then I started running again.

I felt a lot better. I went through the Inspiration Station and it didn’t pick me up like it had the first time ‘We love You’. Isn’t that sweet. I was going to fast to see my message come up. After that I just concentrated on getting through the second loop and out onto the third loop.

I was so psyched to be on that third loop. About a mile in, getting close to the aid station, I found myself running with a guy and a woman that were talking to each other. They were on their second loop and I was on my third and yet I was having trouble passing them at first. Then I basically got tired of listening to them talk and passed them. I got more great service in the aid station, and was back out on the bridge- that bridge I’d be going over the last time.

The third loop of a three-loop ironman is a thing unto itself. It’s liberating in that the end of the day is coming for you and yet, there is still a lot of work to do. I got stiffed at the last aid station before 22 miles, but when I got there, to 22, I really felt like I’d done my job, and put myself in a position to have a chance to-

Do what ?

When I’d left transition at the start of the run I’d set a goal- break 10:40. Not a lofty goal, but I just needed to run a solid 3:40 on one good leg to do that.

With four miles left, I needed to run about 8:00s.

I kept pushing through and ticking off the miles, but by the time I got to 25 miles, the numbers on the watch weren’t adding up. I was not going to make the 10:40 mark.

Of course, as deadlines go, this wasn’t killer. It wasn’t the difference between qualifying or not qualifying, or between getting a medal or crossing the line with the lights out.

I had three people in my sites as we wended through the parking lot. Because Ian had run the kids mile run the day before, I knew what the finish line was set up like. I passed two of the three people I was trying to run down before I reached the final turn into the straight away. Then I had a dilemma.

The guy in blue and yellow I was trying to pass didn’t want to be passed. He picked it up in a big way and went by him under the Ford black inflatable. There was no strategy. I just ran as hard as I could, and then it was over.

I had beaten him to the line, and while he tried to recover, I got my picture taken.

But I was whooped…

This Weekend Warrior Report is contributed by Alan MacDougal http://rochpunk.blogspot.com/
Follow him on Twitter www.twitter.com/cyberdyne
Tags: Arizona Ironman, Triathlete, vitalyte, Weekend Warrior
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Weekend Warrior Update

Ironman Arizona-The Bike

I have never been so glad to be on my bike. Just surviving the swim seemed like a journey worth the trip.

When I signed up for the race last year, I thought that the winds would be less of an issue in November than April on the bike and that was not exactly correct. It was obvious right away that the wind was going to be a factor all day, although not as bad as April 2007. Having dealt with it before, I felt prepared. It was going to make the ride challenging both physically and psychologically, because no matter what direction it took, it would be in my face for a long way. I’m a fan of getting punished on the way out and enjoying the tailwind on the way back, so that was my hope.

I got my wish. As we worked through the early set of turns that take you out to the reservation, it was clear the wind would be in my face on the way to the turn around.

Eric had said to give our stomach 15 minutes before starting to eat, so I sipped at my Gatorade and took some Endurolytes. My legs were basically stumps. I couldn’t feel my feet, my achilles tendons had no flexion, and my calf was still pretty sore. Of course, the cure for the calf was drop my heel and extend my pedal stroke to stretch out the calf muscle, except that I couldn’t drop my heel…

My race almost ended around the time I first went to eat. As I passed one athlete, he decided it was time for a bathroom break- on the other side of the road. He started cutting across the road as I was finishing my pass and he nearly t-boned my back wheel. I was not happy.

I was relying mostly on Clif Rocks for solid food. In hindsight, a 50/50 mix of Rocks and Blocks would have been a better choice. The second banana I’d eaten that morning was also waffling between the good idea and bad idea columns. I think it’s safe to say that two bananas and a Red Bull are probably not a perfect choice.

Once we started heading out to the reservation my early speed started to bleed away. Turning the pedals is an amazingly mechanical process. I was sore and a little discouraged, but I’d still managed over 20 mph out to Beeline Highway. That average started to head south as we turned into the wind. I looked down and saw I was going 14-15 mph per hour at some points, but I wasn’t worried. I knew that I had what I wanted. Into the wind on the false flat out- it’s pretty much a steady slight uphill grade out to Shea Road (the turn around).

The drafting wasn’t too bad on this first loop.

I had to pee for the first time on the way out, probably 15 miles into the bike. The last time I’d done the race I’d gotten severely dehydrated (my pee started burning during the bike and continues to feel like fire for three days after the race). I could tell I was much better hydrated. I took turns with gatorade and water bottles all through the bike. The funny thing about peeing on the bike this time was that it felt hot coming out and on my leg, then cold as it got down to my left foot- which didn’t actually need any more wet and cold.

I saw Steve Surprise coming back from the turn around, and he had maybe seven minutes on me. He was berating a group of people I was passing from across the road for drafting. I laughed and tried my best to do some math. I didn’t think I could make that up in a single loop, but it did invigorate me a little bit. I worked through the turn, starting now to dump water on my head and chest (but careful to keep it away from my feet) to keep my core body temperature from elevating.

I was eating every half an hour. My nose was also running and I was frequently blowing it- the sinus infection was making its presence felt.

As soon as we’d crested the hill at the turn around, the effect of the tailwind and the downhill combined. I hit 36 miles per hour- this is supposed to be a flat course, right ? Let me tell you I’ve never hit 36 mph in two races at Ironman Florida. This is not that flat a course.

The ride back was fast until we got off the reservation. Once you made the right at the gas station things slowed down a bit as you were riding into the cross-wind.

My feet were starting to wake up but my right side was sore because I was using my hip to do the work that my leg was supposed to be using. There was already salt on my legs- I was taking endurolytes every half an hour as well. I just kept grinding out the first lap and before I knew it, I was looping back out.

I saw Ian and Margit as I headed back out on the second loop. They were cheering me on, but I knew Margit could do the math and would know I was not in a great position at this point.

Eric really pushed the idea in the pre-race meeting of not pushing too hard on the bike. ‘You should feel a little bit guilty’, Eric said. ‘Like it’s a training ride.’ I tried my best to stick within that, while also working on moving up.

That’s the hardest part of the bike for me- moving up. I’m dead serious about not drafting. Because I come out of the water so far in arrears, I am faced with the frequent need to pass people. That requires a little more work in some cases than I’d like to do. Over 112 miles, there’s a lot of situation where I have to get out of my rhythm to stay within the rules.

It was also clear on the second loop that continuing to eat was going to be a challenge. I had the bike computer as my only clock to keep track of the thirty minute intervals. I was basically keeping a package of something open at all times and eating one at a time (block or rock). That was helping quite a bit, but I realised I was drinking a lot of water- almost as much water as gatorade. You go with what you can stomach. I noticed my speed dropping to around 18 mph going out on that second loop- the wind was still in our face and I was trying to just stay aero. My feet and legs were warming up and I was getting some heel drop extension.

I knew my leg would hurt on the run…

The bike computer has some kind of issue with the right control button- likely gatorade has been spilled on it. The button sticks sometimes, including during the race. The computer started switching- at random intervals- from one function to the next. Sometimes it was cadence. Then trip distance. Then speed and average speed. Speed and max speed. Cadence usually came up when I was going uphill into the wind…

Steve maintained most of his lead over me during the second loop- he went by me going back from the out and back after losing only about a minute. I got to the turn, babied my way around the cone, and picked out ‘tall guy’ for my water. As in ‘You, the tall guy’ and a point. I like to identify the volunteer early- I’ve seen too many feed zone crashes…

I hauled some ass on the second loop back as the wind was at my back again. I missed one bottle exchange and I was still struggling to eat everything, but getting it down, along with endurolytes.

I was still sore. My hip was complaining about the extra work I was giving it because of my right calf and then my groin was starting to hurt as well.

I could tell on the ride back into Tempe though, that the wind was shifting. This was bad news. I had an idea that it would be at our back on the way out on the third loop, which was not a good thing. I’d done this last time in Arizona- fought the wind coming back on that third loop and gotten off the bike fried.

The ride back in was uneventful. I was still moving up but of course, not passing as many people and there was some jockeying- I’d pass someone who’d pass me back or visa versa, and I was starting to get close to some packs.

I went around the loop back in Tempe and was out for the third loop. I was almost glad I didn’t see Ian and Margit again. It can be very emotional, seeing your family like that, especially when you’re maybe letting them down. I needed to concentrate, find my centre and get something done out there.

I almost didn’t finish the race and concentration was what saved me.

I was early on in the third loop when I took a right hand turn. I was aggressive in the turns all day because I was seeing a lot of grandma riding in the turns. I went wide, then settled in. The guy in front of me was going maybe two miles an hour slower and I was just thinking of starting my pass when-

He stopped. There were five porta-potties on the side of the road and the guy decided to just, well, stop. In the fraking road. Not pull off, not give a hand signal. Just stop.

You reaction time ? You’ve spent an hour and twenty minutes in 61 degree water. You’ve been riding about four hours and ten minutes. You were up with a fever the night before.

You swerve.

Somehow I made the move I needed to make.

Later, as I was peeing (#4), a guy came up to me and said ‘That was a sweet move back at the bathroom. I closed my eyes.’ He was sure we were abut to have a three bike (or more) pile-up.

The third loop was the one where I did have an issue with groups drafting. Once on the way out and twice more on the way back I would find myself dropping to let an entire drafting group go by and then accelerating to around 28 mph to pass the whole group. I never hit thirty on any of these accelerations- I didn’t have that left in me.

I’d gone through the turn around far enough behind Steve that I knew I wasn’t catching him. And as I’d expected, the wind was in my face on the way back- no 30 mph speeds, more like high 20s. After the second acceleration and before the third I caught the eye of one of the officials and he gave me a nod and a smile.

An idea formed.

The next time the pack attacked me, I went with a quick counter and went much harder than the other two. I splintered the group, drew a few people in and next thing I knew, the motorcycle pulled up and the guy behind me was headed for the penalty tent

Sweet justice !

I rode back into Tempe somewhat exhilarated, but my right calf was still sore and I knew one thing.

It was going to be a long run.

This Weekend Warrior Report is contributed by Alan MacDougal http://rochpunk.blogspot.com/
Follow him on Twitter www.twitter.com/cyberdyne
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