Tuesday, May 27, 2008
I've been in a funk. A training funk, that is. It all started with this foot injury. I've told you before how all or nothing I am...well, I went to the doc last Wednesday and he told me I had a "stress reaction". Evidently I put too much stress on the outside of my feet while running, and I probably aggravated the tendons and ligaments on the outside of my foot while training in my racing shoes on uneven surfaces. So he gave me some heel cups to help build up the outside in my shoes and said the dreaded words "give it a couple weeks before you run again." I'll be honest, that nonchalant "give it a couple weeks" lingo doesn't work well with me. I looked at him and said "14 days? You're saying no running for 14 days starting today?" He nodded his head somewhat indecisively and said the same thing again. I needed a definitive answer if I really needed to stay off it for 14 days. So I gave it 6. I feel like I really have been off of it since Gulf Coast anyways. I mean, 6 days after Gulf Coast I ran a 3 miler and it started hurting after 1 mile. I waited 4 more days and tried it again, and it hurt after 2 miles. So then I waited the full 7 days and tried a 4 miler this morning and Ta-da!! No Pain!! Anyways, the past two and half weeks of worrying about my foot have depleted my motivation. I've done a short bike ride here and there, and a swim here and there, but other than that I haven't done much. The open water swim and bike on Saturday rekindled some fire, and the pain free running of this morning got it going nicely...so hopefully I am out of the funk. But I promise (Steph) that I will not overdo it... I will continue to take it easy with the running until I am for sure out of the woods.
Another thing is Tom. Tom is a fellow triathlete, a good friend of mine, and a great training buddy. If I was Harry Potter, he would be my Professor Dumbledore. Well, actually he's not that old or anything, but is very much that wise in the sport of triathlon. He is one of the "guys" that I talk about riding with at lunch that push me so hard I think I can't breath and have no doubt made me a much better cyclist than I ever would have been otherwise. Tom was out riding last week and became dizzy and then proceeded to lose control of the left side of his body and fall off the bike. He was rushed to the hospital and found out that his carotid artery in the right side of his head had torn, clotted, and blocked the blood flow to that part of his brain. Basically, it caused a stroke. Thankfully, the clot passed on through the bloodstream after a couple of hours, and no permanent damage was done. But Tom is going to be on the sidelines for a while. It may not sound like a big deal, but for someone who has been doing this stuff for 30 years, it's a big deal. I feel terribly sad for him. He was signed up IMFL '08...and it's not going to be the same without him. The good news is that once that artery heals, he will probably be able to ease back into his training. One thing is for sure, you can't keep a guy like that down. My guess is that he'll be back for IMFL '09.
And the winner is.....Don Rogers, Manchester TN!! That's right...Don and Amy went up to the GJCC triathlon in Nashville yesterday and Don brought home the 1st place award for Male 45-49 Beginners. Not only that, but he has been suffering from a pulled hamstring and was going easy on the run to keep from hurting it worse. Keep an eye on this guy, he's super competitive and he's ripped like Rambo...I dare say this is only the beginning of a serious triathlon hardware collection for him! And Amy gets the mental toughness award for avoiding a complete meltdown. She had a great swim, and then set off on her bike looking like a pro only to have the freaking crank fall off at mile 3.5. Can you believe that?! She had just had her bike tuned up - what a bad break. She brought her bike back to transition and went ahead and did the run like the trooper she is. A DNF stinks...but a DNF due to bike failure completely sucks, but congrats to Amy for making the best of the day anyways!
Last but not least, Briar got his cast removed this morning and he is good to go for tonight's game.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
So...let's start with reflections/lessons from GCT...
- Patrick Kane. He did not make it out of the water at GCT. I just don't have words to say what I feel about this. It is tragic, and it is unfair. Things like this shouldn't happen. He swam the same course last year several minutes faster than I did this year. My heart goes out to his family, especially his wife and kids, but that is just not enough...
- Nutrition. The 4th sport. I did it right at GCT, at least for me. No doubt, being fully hydrated and maintaining my electrolyte balance was the absolute KEY to beating my goal by 34 minutes. I felt great the entire time, and actually had to keep pushing harder during the second half of the run to make sure I was tired when I finished. What works for you may be totally different, but here's what worked for me:
- Breakfast: 2 granola bars
- 20 minutes before swim start: 1 Expresso Gu w/caffeine
- Fluid On the Bike - Gatorade Endurance, a little more than 1 bottle per hour, with some water here and there as desired.
- Food On the Bike - 1 Fig Newton after 15 minutes, then 1 Clif Shot Block every 15 minutes for a total of 9. That fig newton was good, but I was afraid to eat too many, so I stuck to 1.
- On the Run - no real plan here except to grab Gatorade, water or both at every mile and drink what felt right. I did take some cola around mile 10 or so, and I don't know if it helped or hurt. My stomach started to rumble a bit around mile 11, but I told it to STFU and it obeyed me like a good stomach should. Oh yeah, and I did a Power Gel at miles 2 and 7.5, and they worked nicely.
- Post Race - Pizza and Beer...if that don't getchya recovered then there's just no help for you.
- Fun in the Sun - maybe it's just the redneck in me, but I heart the Redneck Riviera. I swear I have been other places on vacation, and they are nicer and fancier and all, but there's just something to be said about drinking margaritas in the sand, the laid-back atmosphere, the little beach bars with live bands, dress however you want, and my southern drawl is not even noticed, nor is it even the worst around.
- Killing your goal time is awesome, but good friends are even better- having a lot of my training partners and friends there was just too cool. Seeing them out on the course was even better. I'll probably never forget this trip. I'll never forget worrying and discussing the "waves" with Tim, Lee, and Mike the day before. I'll never forget walking out of the lobby with my bike, headed to transition on race morning, and seeing Kevin...he saw the fear in my eyes, and knew there wasn't anything he could say...but just seeing a familiar face helped. I'll never forget seeing my support crew (Holly, JT & the boys and Mary Beth, Craig and her boys) on the beach before the start. I'll never forget seeing Chris C. as I walked to the water's edge - we exchanged a look of 'this is it - Goodluck' and it pumped me up to go out and dive into that water without fear. I'll never forget Gina yelling for me all excited as I exited T-1. Or seeing Holly on the bike course, looking strong. Or hearing Tim yelling for me as I got off the bike. Or seeing Lee and Heather out on the run course. Or examining the results with every one while partaking in post race carbs. Or BS'ing with my Excel friends over beer. Or chatting with Tom and his wife. Or getting all pissed at some Choo-Choo Chicks whole stole the 3rd place relay award from my girls(inside joke). Sometimes its all the little things that really make it special.
- I am not afraid of swimming in the ocean. This race was beneficial for a million different reasons, but the #1 most important is that I now look forward to the IMFL swim. No more fear. We can do so much more than we think we can.
- The Foot. It's hurt. It got me through the race, but yeah...In my not-so-secret desire to be a doctor, I have diagnosed myself with Peroneal Tendonitis. I am going to a sports medicine orthopedic foot/ankle doctor tomorrow to get his confirmation and suggestions on how I should proceed. I ran 3 slow miles last Friday and it started hurting after 1 mile. I laid off...continued with Ice and NSAIDS until this morning when I gave 3 miles another shot. This time it hurt after 2 miles. Progress, I guess, but not exactly what I was looking for. And the fact that I was sucking major wind for 3 miles at an 8:46 pace is. not. good.
Briar gets his cast off one week from today. Did I ever mention his cast is waterproof? Yep - the doc gave him his blessing for swimming in the pool while in FL. He also told him to stay out of the sand, but I didn't have much luck with that. An 11 year old boy with 4 or 5 other 11 & 12 year old friends on the beach...uh, yeah...we brought back half of the beach sand with us. It's still falling out of that cast.
Good luck to Amy, Don and David at the GJCC Triathlon on Memorial Day!!! I signed up to be a volunteer at the first water station today...I can't wait to go up and cheer them on.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
From Coffee County - Me, Mike, Tom and Chris C. and Chris P. were all doing the triathlon individually, and there were two relay teams: Tim, Kevin, and Lee were competing as a male relay team, and Holly and Heather were originally competing as a mixed team with Joe as their swimmer, but Joe had to back out because of a work assignment, so they had recruited a swimmer from Panama City(Pam).
Pam, Holly, Heather "Here For The Party"
Kevin, Lee, Tim
From the blogosphere, there was Patrick, Missy, and Ryan…and I found out after-the-fact – Kathleen.
We also saw Abby, Dee, Ryan(Gran Fondo), Lynn(also Gran Fondo), Jerry P., Ashley (swim coach) and many others that I kinda/sorta know. And…I met many more. This thing was one big party with a half-iron triathlon thrown in for good measure, I tell ya.
Let’s just cut to the chase – the waves were big, and I was terrified. I took a practice swim out into them Friday evening after Holly and I checked in at the expo, and I couldn’t get passed the second breakers without being completely out of breath and almost in a panic. I went out twice to get the feel of it, and then I went back up to my condo. Nervous. I had visions of seeing the lady pulled out of the water and rushed off as she passed away at IMFL ’07 - I was a volunteer. I thought about my kids, and I second guessed my ability. I worried as I got dressed for the “mandatory athlete meeting.” I met Tim, Lee, Mike, Holly and Heather for the pre-race dinner and athlete meeting, and I hashed it out with them…and I worried. I wasn’t worried that I couldn’t swim the 1.2 miles – I’ve done twice that tons of times lately. I wasn’t even really worried about the sharks any more, being as though there were going to be many others swimming around me. It wasn’t that I couldn’t handle being hit in the face with a wave as I turned to breathe, either. It was the unknown. It was the unknown of what was swimming with me, who might or might not kick me, and how I would feel or react as I made my way to each buoy. Would there be an undercurrent pulling me back out as I tried to swim in like Friday? Would the water be clear or murky? I haven’t been in the open water since last November, and then it was crystal clear and calm as could be. So I let the worries run their course, and then in perfect Lana-fashion, I threw my hands up in the air just before I went to bed, and said “Just go out and do the freaking swim, you pansy. You signed up for it, you paid for it, you trained for it - now shut up, get some sleep, and go do it.” And that is what I did…
Connie, Tom, Me, Holly at the pre-race pasta dinner
Connie, Holly, Me, Mike
Mary Beth and I just before I started
Support Crew minus Holly (Holly was snapping the pic) Left to right:Kyle,Craig,Nicholas,Matt,Bo, Mary Beth, Briar, Me, J.T.
The next morning, I found my family and friends on the beach and Holly snapped pics of us. I put my little blue swim cap on, and I told Abby and
I was pretty much on top of the world in T-1…just happy to be alive and donning the bike gear and setting out for my favorite leg of the race. I saw Gina (Kevin’s wife) cheering for me as I left T-1. T-1 Time: . The bike course was flat and fast, and other than the fact that I felt great the whole time and was very pleased with how great the volunteers were at the Gatorade/water handoffs, I don’t know what else to say about it. Yeah, there was a little drafting here and there, but there always is. I leave that stuff to the officials and just keep cranking. I followed my plan of drinking mostly Gatorade Endurance and a little water, and I ate a fig
T-2 was quick because I had been practicing getting out of my shoes at the end of the ride and dismounting like Bigun…so I rode in with my feet on top of my shoes, swung my leg over the seat, and just kept going as I pushed the bike back to the rack. T-2 Time: .
I had no idea what to expect on this run, so I started out conservatively…I thought. My splits were all less than 9 minutes, though, and I felt great. Just like swimming from buoy to buoy, I only thought about running from one mile marker to another. My #1 goal was no walking, and my #2 goal was to run the 13.1 miles in around 2 hrs.
Me and Holly celebrating
We celebrated the good times afterwards, and found out that Tim, Kevin, and Lee’s team got 6th place and Pam, Holly, and Heather’s team got 4th place. Actually, the preliminary results showed that they were 5th and 3rd, but somehow they changed between the time we looked and when they gave the awards at the ceremony that night.
Congrats to all my friends – you all did great!! And I can’t wait to see you again at more races this summer!!!
Lee finishing the run
Heather finishing the run
Tim, Me, Kevin, Holly
Me and Patrick
Me, Heather, Holly
Lee, Tim and Kevin checking their results
Mike, Al, Me...deep in discussion
My dad keeps asking me why I do this stuff...why I risk swimming out into the ocean...why I put my body through miles and miles of riding and running. My only answer lies in the infamous quote:
The aim of life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting WOW! WHAT A RIDE!
Sunday, May 11, 2008
The ocean was rough, but hardly not as rough as Friday afternoon, and not as rough as it is today (double red flag, no swimming allowed.) I fought the waves and had a surprisingly good swim! The bike course was a little windy, but it was an out and back, so you can't really call that good or bad. I felt great the whole time on the bike, and I average about 20.7, I think. I had cloud cover during the first 8 miles of the run, and the sun came out and starting roasting everyone after that - but not before I ran a 1:58 half mary to seal the deal and cross the finish line in 5:26:08.
My goal was to be under 6 hours, so needless to say, I am quite ecstatic. I had no idea that I could possibly get any where close to what I did. I also had no idea that I would be thinking about how great I felt halfway through the run. I'll have a full report soon...until then I'm icing my hurt foot, drinking pina coladas, and thinking 'Bring on IMFL!'
Friday, May 09, 2008
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Thursday, May 08, 2008
Oh - except for the fact that I feel like I have broken my left foot. I have not mentioned this because I kept thinking if I ignored it, it would go away...but it hasn't. I could barely walk on it Tuesday, so I have been taking Aleve and trying to stay off of it - no running since Monday, and only 1 easy 10 mile bike. I really have no idea what the problem is or how I hurt it, but it hurts on the outside and back close to the heel. Could just be strained tendons, I guess, but it almost feels like a bone. I don't know...anyways...we're not going to talk too much about it or think too much of it. Swimming shouldn't bother it, biking won't be too hard on it, and as long as I can make it through 13.1 miles of running, we'll deal with it after I cross the finish line. I don't think it will bother me once the gun goes off...the adrenaline will set in, the endorphines will be flowing, and I won't feel a thing. It's my self-generated pain medication...the best and cheapest kind out there.
It's time to rock and roll...
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
Well we did the 3 state 3 mountain Saturday. We get to Finley Stadium and the bottom falls out. Rain, Thunder, Lightning, Wind, it was terrible. They delay the start to 8:30. The first 30 miles was nothing but rain and after that the sky was overcast. First mountain wasn't to bad. 4 to 6% grade about 5 miles long. The second mountain definitely harder as far as grade but not as long. I would say the second mountain was like climbing old Sewanee mountain through Alto. The view from this mountain was great.
Mile 50 and I'm thinking man we're just halfway home. From here to mile 70 wasn't much fun. My heart wasn't in it, I was suffering, the weather wasn't great, but from mile 70 on the sun finally came out.
From this point the miles were flying by because you knew what was coming up at mile 82 "Lookout Mountain." Before you even get to the mountain you climb a short hill but the grade starts at 10% and then goes to about 20% . Pretty intense and some people crashed because they couldn't make it up.
Lookout mountain is definitely the hardest mountain I've ever climbed. Starts out at 8 to 10% and seems to go on forever. People are walking,dieing, lots of suffering for sure. Then it flattens out and you think its over. WRONG. 16 to 18% straight up. People are walking but I tell myself I'll fall over before I get off my bike and walk. People on the side of the road cheering you on. I'm asking how much farther and they act like the don't even hear me, just keep cheering me on. My legs are trying to cramp up for the first time and I think man cant be much farther. Then I see the top and accelerate to the end.
Smooth sailing from here but still plenty of work to be done yet. A few more big hills and then finally head down the mountain.
I tell you what. The people make you feel like your a Pro Tour rider at this ride. Police at every intersection blocking traffic, People on side of the road ringing their cow bells, Pull into the Stadium and the place goes crazy. You see this big clock counting the time, everybody yelling and clapping. It was a great feeling.
Have say it was one of the best rides I've ever been on.
Monday, May 05, 2008
- Two weeks ago, on a Monday morning just like this one, I was sitting in my cubicle working quietly as always when someone came around the corner asking "Does anyone know CPR?" Being that I had gone through CPR training just several weeks prior, I stood up, and said "I do." I was led to an executive office where a man was lying on the floor, unconscience with no pulse and no signs of life. I administered CPR giving rescue breaths, along with another coworker who did the compressions, and we were able to revive him after two full cycles. I'll post more on this later.
- The Country Music Marthon weekend was a blast. My boys ran the CM Kids Marathon and did great! They completed 25 miles in the weeks leading up to the event, and then they ran the last mile on the course and through the finish line. I've got lots of pictures to post from this. Oh yeah, and when it was over, Jeff Fisher and I made eye contact. ;)
- Briar has been having a great baseball season. Check him out throwing some smoke:
- Now check him out in the emergency room with a broken arm the next day... ...a product of horseplay with friends in the church parking lot...it will bring baseball season to a screaming halt if you aren't careful. Suffice it to say we are all heart broken. Going to see the orthopedist tomorrow. If you are the praying kind and you don't mind - pray for short healing time, please. No, it's not a big deal in the grand scheme of things...but to an 11 year old who was having the best season he's had in 3 years, it's a big deal.
- Trying to get ready for Gulf Coast. The training has gone really well. I've been able to incorporate it into my life almost seamlessly with a little help and understanding from J.T. and the kids. I haven't missed any ballgames or anything, and I haven't been overly tired. I did, however, experience a bit of burnout this past weekend. I took 2 consecutive rest days because I couldn't get motivated to do anything. Finally, on Sunday, J.T. pushed me out the door, and I did a 2hr bike/3 mile run brick, which turned everything around. Later I went on to the pool and did my 4,000 yd swim too. Did a 5 mile run today with HollyJane, and I'm ready to rest up for this weekend. I'll be heading down to Panama City on either Thursday or Friday, racing on Saturday, and soaking it up until we have to come back on Monday.
- I've been worried about sharks at Gulf Coast after hearing the tragic news of Dave Martin. I know it's a different ocean, but I also know their are sharks in the Gulf. I started a thread on slowtwitch.com that didn't exactly ease my fears. If you wish to read it, it's here:http://forum.slowtwitch.com/gforum.cgi?do=post_view_flat;post=1774486;page=1;sb=post_latest_reply;so=ASC;mh=25;
- Yesterday was mine and J.T.'s 12 year anniversary. We celebrated at Olive Garden - me, him and the kids...and that's about all we had the time or money to do this year. Ahhh, the days when gas was $.99/gallon and I drove a little Nissan Sentra. It cost me $12 to fill it up. This gas thing is a big deal. The trip to PCB for Gulf Coast this weekend and the trip back to PCB for IMFL in November is it for us. Instead of another big vacation, we are going to camp at some places fairly close and enjoy watching MLB games on TV. Which reminds me that I need to call Charter Communications and tell them how bad their cable service sucks. Ordinarily, I wouldn't know that every channel above 30 goes in and out constantly....but since we've been parking the car and staying at home, I've noticed.
- Happy Belated Birthday TriMama!! I will be on time next year!
- Congrats to Greyhound, Tac, and Curly Su who all conquered the Wildflower Long Course!!!