Friday, December 25, 2009

Happy Holidays!

Hello Dear Readers!

Just wanted to pop in and wish you all a very wonderful Holiday Season. Hope it is joyous and safe for all of you. Be thankful for your health and fitness and keep it up throughout the holiday season! No slacking off allowed!

A Note About Safety

Remember that this time of year there are a lot of drivers out there who may not be the most sober, so be careful when training outside. Runners should always run against the flow of traffic and on the sidewalk if possible. Remember to always assume the drivers cannot see you. Bikers, don't ride alone, group rides are always safer.

Bandera 100KM Ultra Preparation

Did a 12 mile run yesterday. You can see my training data on my training page or directly here.

I have a 30 mile run coming up on Sunday (Saturday is just going to be too busy for me to do it then). That should be my last long run before the race taper.

Anyway, that's all for now and thank you all for your support!

Tri your best,


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Bandera Training and Another Race Added to My Calander!

Hello Dear Readers!

Bandera 100KM Race Training

Wow I had a really long weekend. On Sunday I ran 26 miles at ultra racing pace. This translates to AS SLOW AS POSSIBLE. Not quite running, but not walking either. I uploaded my stats to my Garmin training page (shows you map and lap splits, etc.):

Garmin Connect

Here is the overview:

Distance: 26 Miles
Time: 05:09:14
Calories Burned: 2,747
Average Pace Per Mile: 11:53
Elevation Gain: 2,694 ft
Elevation Loss: 2,748 ft
Min Elevation: -28 ft
Max Elevation: 99 ft
Avg HR: 135 bpm
Max HR: 162 bpm

Race News

I am officially registered for the Ironman Lonestar 70.3 race to be held on April 25th, 2010 in Galveston Texas. Information about the race can be found here.

Otherwise, training is going pretty well. Knees are holding up pretty well. I am completely not worried about speed at this point since my goal is just to complete the distance within the allotted time.

I'll keep you all posted as the Bandera race gets closer. Until then....

Tri your best!


Friday, December 11, 2009

Race Announcements and Other Stuff

Hello Dear Readers!

Happy Holidays! I cannot believe this year has flew by so quickly! I wanted to drop everyone a little update and of course to wish all of you a safe a joyous holiday season!

Race Updates

Well I have officially entered the Bandera 100 KM Ultra-marathon. Race information can be found here.

Some of you may recall from one of my earlier blog entries that I tried to do this race last time around and fell around mile 20 and had to pull out. So it's been bothering me all year that this one race is the only race I have never completed.

My strategy for this race is simple: FINISH! I have 24 hours to complete this race. So if I keep an average of 3 MPH, I should have plenty of time. This is like walking speed. So I will lightly jog the flats and gentle rolling hills where the ground is easily navigable. But when it comes to the steep inclines and declines, or any part of the ground where there is the slightest possibility I could fall, we are going to walk it!

Working with Kevin has been a great blessing. We have changed my routine to be very running oriented. Of course this time of year is the worst time to train long distances. Family visits, holiday shopping, etc. make it really hard to put the time in. I must admit I have had to skip some workouts here and there but the long runs are still getting put in. I have to run 25 miles this weekend and have a 30 mile run in a few weeks.

I've been getting used to wearing a Camelback hydration system on my long runs. Remember there are not water stops every mile but every 7 to 10 miles.

Another issue I am dealing with is my knee pain. I have been forced to run on treadmills here and there and I am finding that it kills my joints. I also need to get more cold weather running gear.

Anyway, I'll post some more as new developments occur. Until then....

Tri your Best!


Friday, November 13, 2009

Iron Star 70.3 Race Pictures available!

Hello Dear Readers!

I received my race pictures for the Iron Star 70.3 Triathlon yesterday. Check them out in my Gallery section of my web site.


Starting to gear back into training now. Did a 20 mile bike ride on Wednesday and have a 1.5 mile swim to do today. You will start seeing more of my training being oriented towards running. I will have some race entry announcements over the weekend to let you know what I am going to be doing in early 2010.

That's all for now.

Tri your best,


Monday, November 9, 2009

Iron Star 70.3 Triathlon Race Report

Hello Dear Readers!

Wow what a race! As I sit at my computer, my legs are still sore from my swimming, biking and running yesterday. I feel pretty good about my progress this year and my resulting performance in this race. Let's get on to the race report!


I decided last minute to get a hotel room near the race site on Saturday. Booked a cheapo hotel room and drove out to Conroe area that afternoon. I justified to my wife that I needed the extra hour and a half of sleep in order to perform at the race. Lovely woman agreed with me (Thanks honey).

Checked into the hotel and got all my gear secured. I saw on the horizon the glowing mantle of heaven called "IHOP"! Mentally I said "YES!!!" and got in my car for my pre-race ritual dinner.

As some of you may know, I like to eat a HUUUUGGGGEEEE breakfast as my pre-race meal. So I had eggs, bacon, pancakes, french toast, coffee, orange juice and wheat toast. Here are some before and after pics for you:

And we are done!

After my meal, I rolled myself out the door and back to the hotel where I organized my race gear and settled in for the night. Drank Gatorade and water to make sure I am fully hydrated for race morning. I think I finally got to sleep around 11 PM.

Race Morning

I had my three alarms (yes I am paranoid about those kinds of things) wake me up at 4:30 AM. Had some coffee, a muscle milk and a banana from the hotel. I continued to drink lots of Gatorade and water to keep hydrated. I got out the door around 5:30 AM and arrived at the race site 15 minutes later or so. The weather this morning was kinda nice. Overcast and in the high sixties. I could tell it was going to be a windy day so that could figure into the race some. This race was hosted at the Del Lago resort over on Lake Conroe. The parking area was about a mile from transition so it was a but of a hoof to get to the race site and settled in before they closed the transition area off at 6:45 AM. I was a little rushed but did get a chance to visit the porta potty at least once before I got my wetsuit on. As I walked to the start I chatted up some Bay Area Multisport members I recognized and that always eases the nervousness at the start of a race. My new Garmin 310X was charged and set in multisport mode. My heart rate was pretty elevated (85 BPM) but that was pretty normal since I get gitty at the start of a race.

The Swim (1.2 Miles)

The swim is a beach start with swimmers going off in waves. The first wave started at 7 AM sharp. This was the women's division (white swim caps). We were next at 7:05 (the mens 35-39 + Clydesdale). Funny that the last thing I thought about before the gun went off was that this was the last triathlon I would be doing in that age group. Starting next year I race in the 40-44 age group. Maybe I will be more competitive?

This is a pretty small venue with about 400 racers (Triathlon and Aquabike). Not a huge number of people in my age group, so the start of the swim was not as frantic as at Lake Placid Ironman I did back in July.

The swim course is a little cooky in that you have to keep the buoys to your right instead of your left like normal. This is due to the clockwise course you have to take. Below is a picture of my swim as shown by my GPS. Note that I did not do as much side to side swimming (this is a good thing), but my GPS did not work all the great when it came to the distance it said I swam. But you get the idea (Click to make bigger):

The swim went pretty well for me. I passed quite a few people and I knew I was doing well when I caught up to some of the white swim capped ladies. Of course, ton's of people swam past me I'm sure since I am not the fasted guy out there. It was windy and the seas were choppy, but it didn't bother me that much. Had a few collisions like normal, but nothing too bad. I finished the 1.2 mile swim in 39 Minutes and 47 seconds. Still a little slower than I would like, but I felt good throughout.

Transition 1

I exited the water and a few nice ladies stripped it off me and I ran into transition 1 (T1) to get my bike. I was sort of surprised at all the bikes that were still in T1 but then again I was in the 2nd wave so there would be plenty of people behind me. I took a little extra time to wipe my feet off so that I don't get any chafing or blisters for the bike and run. I exited T1 in 3 minutes and 18 seconds.

The Bike (56 Miles)

The bike course was pretty challenging. Not Lake Placid challenging mind you, but by no means was this a flat course. Had lots of rolling hills. Add the head wind and you legs are hurting! Here is the course as seen by my GPS watch (click to make bigger):

I passed a few people here and there and was passed in turn. It's funny how they put your age on the rear left calf of your leg. I think this is to taunt you into pedaling faster when someone in your age group passes you. Of course, I got mad when some 20 year old would pass me and I would utter under my breath (hey buddy, let's see how fast you are 20 years from now with a job and family!).

I know I hydrated correctly because about 20 miles in I had to go make a call to nature. Of course, if I was really a pro, I would just go as I rode (liquid of course) and not lose much time. But I just could not do it. So at the next water stop I got off the bike and went to the porta potty. I lost a few minutes there, but the relief was great!

The ride was very beautiful. There were sections where overhanging trees would turn the road into a green tunnel. There were some very fast downhills where I hit about 35 MPH. I finished the bike in 2 Hours and 49 minutes. I averaged 20 MPH. Not as fast as the last 70.3 race I did, but that course was very flat.

Transition 2

I got to T2 feeling really good and raring to go for the run. I still had a lot of pep and I was not dehydrated. Got my bike stowed and threw on my running shoes and race belt. Grabbed my running hat and off I went! Pretty fast time through T2 at 1 Minute 53 seconds.

The Run (13.1 Miles)

I started out the run going at a great pace. As usual I started faster than usual, but that is just who I am. First mile was done in 9 minutes and 17 seconds (GPS said so). I still felt good so my second mile was in 8 minutes and 58 seconds. After that it was all gravy. No walking, not even at the water! The run course was pretty gentle with some slight gradual hills (Click to make bigger):

I never hit a wall and I was pretty consistent with my speed. Had a few miles where I did slow down a but and reached the 10 minute per mile mark, but made up for it during other miles. At mile 13 I picked up the pace because some dude was trying to catch me (that was soooooo not going to happen) and did it in 9 minutes and 8 seconds. I ran through the tape with a run time of 2 hours and 6 minutes.

Summary and Race Place

My total race time was officially 5 Hours 40 Minutes and 54 Seconds. I placed 10th in the 35-39 age group (out of 42) and I placed 67 overall! That put my in the top 23% of my age group and the top 28% of the racers. I was really happy with that. Now if I had done the Lone Star 70.3 (which is totally flat) at this fitness level, I am thinking I would have been 20 minutes faster.

Anyway, it has been a great year and this was a great race to finish it off with. Keep tuning into my website for further blog updates as I will be switching to some running races till April of next year. Until then....

Tri your best!


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Iron Star is Almost Here! Also new web features at!

Hello Dear Readers!

2009 In Review

Well the Triathlon season is winding down. In just a few days I will be doing my last race of the year. It's amazing how my journey has unfolded. My fitness has gotten better and better. Of course, there is still MUCH more improvement that I can do. Thanks again to Kevin and the folks at Tri on the Run for coaching me and being a sponsor for my efforts.

Once this race is over, we go into off season training mode. This means a bit more cross training and a more focus on running. I am pondering doing the Bandera 100K race in January. As you might recall, that was the only race I ever DNF'd (Did Not Finish). If I do the race, I will be very very focused on the training and taking this race seriously.


I still love my new Garmin 310X GPS watch. Since it is waterproof, I plan on using it during all portions of this weekend's race. I am now uploading this data to the Garmin Connect page and sharing the details with all of you.

I have been in taper mode the last few weeks so my training log is a little easy and I am enjoying the few days I get off per my training plan.

Website Updates

Big news! I have added a "Training" tab to

This makes it much easier for you all to see my GPS training data and it also makes it easier for me to share the info without having to update the blog all the time.

Keep coming back to the site often to look at the GPS data. That's all for now.

Tri your best,


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

New Garmin Watch!

Hello Dear Readers!

Well I got my birthday present this week. I cannot believe I am going to be in the 40 age group next racing season. Anyway, I bought the Garmin 310X watch. It is totally awesome! Now I can use it during the swim, bike and run portions of my races.

Here is the link to the product itself:

Now I can post my activities more easily to Garmin connect. For example, I did a indoor session yesterday and followed that up with a 3 mile transition run. Here are the links to my data:

This is the data from the indoor trainer. Note that there really isn't any distance since I stayed in one place. But I tracked my heart rate.

Here is the data I did immediately afterword for my run. Felt really good and did some awesome paces.

The race is quickly approaching and I feel pretty good. Had my last long ride and run on Sunday. Here are the links to that workout:

56 Mile Bike:

4 Mile Transition Run:

That's all for now!

Tri your best,


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Where's Bill?

Hello Dear Readers!

It's been a while hasn't it. The fourth quarter is such a busy time for me. Long hours at work, not much time to train (unlike the summer when I can train almost as much as I want). So suffice it to say, I HAVE been training, but it's been a little spotty the last three weeks or so. On top of that, my right knee has been bothering me AGAIN. I went to my coach to see what he can do to help and when he inspected my knee, he saw that I must have injured my right quadricep. He said it was so tight, that it was pulling on the ligaments of the knee on that leg and that is why I had pain when I ran. So we started doing the foam roller every other day. Oh man, does that hurt! But it is doing the trick.

Yesterday I ran 8 miles at a pretty good clip and I had very little pain and was really excited about it! Of course today I am supposed to ride 70 miles. Guess what, I got called into a work situation and it looks like it may be all day. So I guess I will do some kind of ride this evening on the trainer indoors.

I think I am still basically ready for the race in November. I have not trained as consistently as I would normally like, but I am confident I will get through the race fine, barring any mechanical issues on the bike.

Other things that are going on with me these days:

My Teeth

I am really bad about taking good care of my teeth. My job doesn't offer dental insurance so I rarely got them cleaned. I noticed a few weeks ago that somehow I broke a tooth and decided to bite the bullet and pay for personal dental insurance. I went to the dentist expecting to hear that I had lots of cavities etc. Oh yeah, the cavities were there, along with multiple root canals and crowns. Had the major work done last week and am going to have more done tomorrow. So on top of all this, my mouth and jaw are very tender.

Lone Star is now officially a Ironman 70.3 race!

This is from's press release:

"World Triathlon Corporation (WTC) continues its expansion of the Ironman 70.3 Series, with the announcement of two additions to its 2010 event series. The former Lone Star Half and Mooseman Half Triathlons boast new names as official Ironman 70.3 events. The races, now known as Ironman 70.3 Lone Star and Ironman 70.3 Mooseman, will continue to be produced by Race Director, Keith Jordan and Endorfun Sports and become part of a series that includes nearly 40 races worldwide. Each Ironman 70.3 qualifies athletes for the Foster Grant Ironman World Championship 70.3 taking place each November in Clearwater, Fla."

That's all for now.

Tri your best!


Monday, September 14, 2009

Iron Star Training 9/1/2009 -9/14/2009 Plus Ultramarathon Thoughts

Hello dear readers!

It seems that I am getting into the habit of posting my workouts in every two weeks. I apologize. Work has really started to get crazy and by the time I'm done with work, then my training and family time, it's well past midnight and I have no desire to post. Of course, if I just posted daily, then it would be a lot easier. We'll see what we can do about that! Anyway, after the Iron Star triathlon in November, I am thinking about entering some 50 mile and 100 KM running races. I'll see how I feel and if my coach is up to keeping my training focused on these races, I just might do them. Next year, I would really like to do a 100 mile running only race. Now THAT would be something. With that said, on with the training logs:

Bike Trainer/Run Session Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

This workout was a 25 mile bike session on the trainer followed immediately by a 4 mile run. The bike session was done as:

6 min. at middle Zone4 / 3 min easy
8 min. at mid to high Zone 4 / 3 min easy
6 min. at hi Zone 4-5a / 3 min easy
8 min. at Zone 5a / 3 min easy
10 min. cool down

The run was done at a 9:35 minute per mile pace.

Swim and Bike Session for Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

Today I had two separate workouts. The first was 20 miles on the road with the aero bike in heart rate zone 2 (140 beats per minute). Then later that day I swam 2000 meters in the pool with the pull buoy.

Run and Weight Training for Thursday, September 3rd, 2009

Today I had a 6 mile run. This was done as:

1 mile warm up
3 x 1 mile in 8:30
w/ .5m rec. jog between each
1 mile cool down

Then that evening I did weight training for my lower body.

Swim Session for Friday, September 4th, 2009

I swam 2500 meters today in the pool. This was done as:

Warm Up: 500 easy
Main Set: 5 x 300 all on 30 sec. rest, moderate to hard
Cool Down: 50 kick/400 choice easy pull/50 kick

Run Session for Saturday, September 5th, 2009

Today was a long run. I ran 12 miles at a 10:10 minute per mile pace. It was really hot by the time I got going, but felt pretty decent.

Bike Session for Sunday, September 6th, 2009

This day was a long bike ride of 60 miles, followed by a 4 mile transition run. This was done as:

Zone 2-low3
@88-95 cadence
w/ 20 miles in low Zone 4

Run Transition
4 mile at 9:40, 9:45, 10:10, 10:10 minute per mile paces.

Swim Session for Monday, September 7th, 2009

Today's workout was a 2500 meter swim session done as:

Warm Up: 5 x 200 as: 2 free/ 1drill/ 1 kick on 25 sec. rest
Main Set: 8 x 100 free on 15 sec. rest, 4 x 100 drills on 20 sec. rest
Cool Down: 300 choice easy

Then I did a upper body weight training session.

Bike/Run Session for Tuesday, September 8th, 2009

Today I had a combo bike/run combination workout. The bike was done for 20 miles inside on a trainer and the run was mixed with it. This was done as:

12 min at Hr#4 low
Run 1-2 miles at Moderate pace (30-40 sec. under easy run pace)
10 min at Hr#4-5a middle
Run 1 miles at Moderate pace
8 min at Hr#4-5a high
Run 1 miles at Moderate pace
15 min. cool down

Bike and Swim Session for Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

This was another day of 20 miles on the road biking in heart rate zone two. In the evening I swam 2000 meters straight with the pull buoy.

Run session for Thursday, September 10th, 2009

This was a tough workout. This was SUPPOSED to be done as:

6 miles as:
1 mile warm up
3 x 1 mile in 7:40
w/ .5m rec. jog between each
1m cool down
w/ drills at end

I had to run 6 miles but at a very much faster set of paces. It killed me and I couldn't keep up the pace after the first few miles. Still ran faster than usual though.

Swim Session for Friday, September 11th, 2009

This day was scheduled as a Swim. This was done as:

Warm Up: 600 easy to moderate free
Main Set: 30 x 25 (5 drill, 15 free, 10 free fast w/ 10 sec. rest),
20 x 50 (alternate 5 drill, 5 free fast w/ 15 sec. rest)
Cool Down: 200 cool down

Long Run Session for Saturday, September 12th, 2009

Today was another really long run. It was for 14 miles at a 9:25 pace. It was pouring rain so I went to the gym and did it on the treadmill. Felt OK, not great, but OK.

Sunday, September 13th, 2009

I felt like garbage today. I was supposed to ride 70 miles and do a run afterwords. I got up late, it was raining, the plant in the field needed to be harvested, then my cows milk went sour, there was a fire, an wasn't my fault!!!!!!

Well you get the idea. I slept in, relaxed. Did some weights at the gym with an hour of the elliptical trainer. Sometimes, when your body says to rest, you have to listen to it.

Swim Session for Monday, September 14th, 2009

Felt much better today and I went to the pool and did 2500 meters of swimming as:

Warm Up: 600 easy to moderate free
Main Set: 30 x 25 (5 drill, 15 free, 10 free fast w/ 10 sec. rest),
20 x 50 (alternate 5 drill, 5 free fast w/ 15 sec. rest)
Cool Down: 200 cool down

Felt really good today and in hindsight, it was a good decision to basically skip Sunday. Well that's all for now!

Tri your best,


Monday, August 31, 2009

Time Trial (with graphics!) and Iron Star Training 8/18/2009- 8/31/2009

Hello dear readers!

Wow! Where has the time gone? I was getting ready to blog today and I realized that I missed an entire week of workout blogs! Yikes! Training is going well for the Iron Star triathlon in November. I'm fully recovered and back into the full swing of things. Since this race is only a 1/2 (as if a 70.3 mile race is easy!), the distances are much more manageable and I actually have gained some weight with the reduced amount of super long distance training. Here is a recap of my workouts:

Tuesday's Bike and Run Transition Session 8/18/2009

This was a combination of a bike workout on the indoor trainer and a run immediately following after:

Bike Session

2 x 1 min fast spin/ 30 sec. easy
4x (2min. Zone #3 to high 4 w/ cadence 80-100 / 2min. easy
4 x Hills = 1min big gear (80rpm)w/hr#3/1min. standing (70-75rpm) w/ hr#4 / 1min fast spin (100+) w/hr#4-5) w/ 2min easy between sets.
4 x 30 sec. SLD
10 min. cool down

Run Session

4 miles at a 9:35 minute per mile pace

Wednesday's Bike Session 8/19/2009

Twenty mile road bike training in Heart Rate Zone 2

Thursday's Run and Weights Session 8/20/2009

Ran 4 miles in the morning at 10 minute per mile pace.

In the evening I did a lower body weight training session at the gym.

Friday's Swim Session 8/21/2009

I swam 200 yards at the pool. This was done as:

Warm Up: 8 x 75 w/ 15 sec. rest as: 4 free / 4 stroke / 4 kick
Main Set: 4 x 200 free, 8 x 25(1stroke/1free), 8 x 25(1kick/1free), 5x 50free all w/10-20 set rest
Cool Down: 300 pull buoy swim

Saturday's Run Session 8/22/2009

I ran 10 miles on this day at an easy pace. This was done in about 1 hour and 45 minutes. It was a really hot day that day.

Sunday's Bike Session 8/23/2009

I rode 50 miles this day. Felt really good and rode with the Tri On The Run team as usual. Average speed was 19 miles per hour and was a little tired but otherwise pretty happy with this.

Monday's Swim and Weight Training Session 8/24/2009

Swam 2500 meters today as:

Warm Up: 12 x 50 as: alternating drill/kick on 15 sec. rest
Main Set: 2 x (300 free easy, 4 x 50 back on 20 sec. rest) 200 pull easy
Cool Down: 16 x 25 choice easy on 5 sec rest

In the evening I did a upper body weight training session.

Tuesday's Bike and Run Combination Session 8/24/2009

I did a combo session of biking and running today. The bike session was performed on an indoor trainer as:

6 x 30 sec. SLD / 1 min easy
8 min. steady at 100+rpm and HR#4 / 3 min easy
6 min. steady at 100+rpm and HR#4 / 3 min easy
4 min. steady at 100+rpm and HR# high 4-low5 / 3 min easy
6 x 30 sec. SLD / 1 min easy
10 min. cool down

This totally kicked my butt!!! Getting into a high 4 and low 5 heart rate is very challenging for me that is a heart rate of 158 beats per minute sustained!

Of course I immediately ran 4 miles afterword at a 9:15 minute per mile pace.

Wednesday's Off Day 8/26/2009

This was an off day in preparation for my Thursday time trial.

Thursday's Running Time Trial 8/27/2009

I had a tough day today. I had a time trial that was supposed to be done on the track. Unfortunately, no track was available due to school now being in session and two football games occurring after school. So after driving around to 4 different schools I gave up and went home to do the time trial in the neighborhood. This is bad because now I have an inconsistent surface AND I have to watch out for cars. All well, I did the time trial as:

2 Mile Warm Up
2 Miles at 100% effort
1 Mile Warm Down

How did I do? Well I did improve on my last time trial by over a minute. I was happy with that. Took a total time of 14 minutes and 17 seconds. Here are the graphics for my heart rate and speed as seen by my GPS watch (click image to make it bigger!):

This graphic shows the speed (blue) and my heart rate (red) over the entire 5 miles. Need to work on keeping my speed consistent.

Friday's Swim Session 8/28/2009

I swam 2500 meters as:

Warm Up: 5 x 200 as: 2 free/ 1drill/ 1 kick on 25 sec. rest
Main Set: 8 x 100 free on 15 sec. rest, 4 x 100 drills on 20 sec. rest
Cool Down: 300 choice easy

Saturday's Run Session 8/29/2009

This was a easy 8 mile run. I ran it at a pace of 10:07 on average. Not bad for a slow run day.

Sunday's Bike Session 8/30/2009

I was supposed to ride 40 miles this day. I wasn't feeling all that well in the morning and decided to do a full body weight training session at the gym instead. As my cool down I did 30 minutes of the stair climber at a very difficult level. Felt really good to change things up a bit.

Monday's Swim Session 8/31/2009

Today I swam 2500 meters as:

Warm Up: 12 x 75 w/ 15 sec. rest as: 4 free / 4 stroke / 4 kick
Main Set: 4 x 200 free, 8 x 25(1stroke/1free), 8 x 25(1kick/1free), 5x 50free all w/10-20 set rest
Cool Down: 500 pull buoy swim

And now you all are up to speed as to what I've been doing lately! Until next time...

Tri your best!


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Ironman Training and Lake Placid Photos!

Hello dear readers!

As I said in my previous entry, I am back in the swing of things. Here was my swim workout information:

Swim Training 8/17/2009

Had a pretty good workout this day. My shoulder was bothering me a little from sleeping weird I guess, but got through it fine at the prescribed effort levels as shown below:

Warm Up: 2 x 300 free w/ 10 sec. rest;
Main Set: easy, aerobic – 2 x 100 / 2 x 200 / 1x400 / 2 x 100 all easy free on 10-20 sec. rest
Cool Down: 8 x 50 (3free/3drill/2kick)

Ironman Photos and Gallery

I have finally received my photos from ASI () and they look pretty good. With this being a non-profit site and with my efforts to raise funds for the CCFA, they are kind enough to work with me as long as I give them credit on the photos themselves. You can find the Ironman Lake Placid 2009 photos in the Gallery page at .

That's all for now!

Tri your best,


Sunday, August 16, 2009

William Choppa, Back Online!

Hello Dear Readers,

Wow, what a time! Since the Ironman Lake Placid race, I have been laying low, recovering, recuperating, rejuvenating and renovating! As most of you may already know, recovery is very important, especially after a extreme race such as Ironman. So my workouts have been short, light and infrequent for the first week back from New York. Don't worry I DID take a few days off here and there, but as you all know it is impossible for me to completely turn off my addiction to exercise and triathlon.

Sunday 8/16/2009

Today is the start of my third week back since the race and now we I am full on back into training. I will start posting more regularly again, now that I am back on my normal schedule.

As stated in the news section, my next race is the Iron Star 70.3. It's a half Ironman near Lake Conroe in Texas. Unfortunately that distance is as long as they for for Triathlon in this state. Hopefully some day, there will be one, but until then halves is where its at!

In any case, thanks for reading!

Tri your best!


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Ironman Lake Placid Race Report

Hello Dear Readers!

Whew what a race! I have to tell you, this was the hardest race I have ever done. It kicked my butt up one side and down the other and then it came back and kicked me in the head again! Let's get started...

The Swim (2.4 Miles)

The swim was really interesting. Everyone had to line up along the beach and go through the timing chip station at the start to get in the water at around 6:30 AM. The pros started at 6:50 and we started at 7 AM. The water was cold, but I knew from my swim there a few days earlier that I would warm up once it got started. The sky was pouring buckets of water on us and we thought we were in for a repeat of last years race. I could see from the looks on people's faces who was a first timer and who was experienced. The air was totally electrified with nervous and excited energies. I spoke with a kid from Canada (who was a first timer) and he was really nervous. He asked me for some pointers and I let him know to keep calm and relaxed and don't think of this as a race but a really really long training day. He told me a little about his preparation and I didn't have the heart to tell him that he might not be prepared for what he was in for. But hey, the guy was in his early twenties so he may have made it fine. You could see people bobbing alone and some huddled together holding o to each other for buoyancy. And yes just about everyone went pee in their wetsuits so a rule of thumb is to not get water in your mouth at the start (oh gross!). It's a mass start so imagine over 2200 people in the same section of a lake all starting at once when the cannon went off. It was beautiful chaos!

I positioned myself somewhere in the middle and did my best to fight my way towards the buoy line (which you could conveniently see under the water). Yes, you get hit from all directions and surprisingly people were pretty cool if they hit you. I've been hit and kicked and pulled on a lot harder in much smaller races. It is hard to get into a swimming rhythm at the start due to all the stopping and starting when you run into someone. I just always kept sighting the buoy line and looking for a open line to swim in.

One thing that was interesting was that as I went along I saw that they had divers below us watching for swimmers in distress. Kind of creepy to see someone staring up at you while you swim above him/her. It doesn't happen often, but there have been some deaths during the swim. Something about getting a cardiac arrhythmia due to the cold water and heavy exertion. The divers make sure the people who need help can get it quickly. Also there are several kayaks all over the place with watchers keeping an eye on the swimmers on the surface.

I did the first loop in 40 minutes and we exited the water and then went back through the timing chip mats and back into the water for another loop. I finished the second loop in pretty much the exact same time. As I exited the water, a volunteer stripped off my wetsuit (of course I had my racing outfit on underneath, the skies started to clear and I thought to myself that this may be a great day after all! I finished the swim in one hour and twenty minutes.

Transition One

The run from the swim to the bike transition is really long for a Ironman. You have to run up the beach, along a sidewalk and across the street to get to the Ironman Village (see pics from my previous blog post). I grabbed my bike gear bag and went into the changing tent. I felt really good and took my sweet time making sure my feet were dry before putting on my socks and bike shoes. There were tons of volunteers there helping us get from point a to b. It was a little chaotic getting my bike out with all the other racers doing the same thing, but again the volunteers were there to get your bike when your race number was called when you exited the changing tent. I got to the mount line made sure my helmet was already on my head and bucked (there is a major violation for not doing so). I got out of the transition area in twelve minutes and on we went!

The Bike (112 Miles)

The road was still wet from the downpour, so you had to be really careful at first. A newbie was walking her bike to the side and I almost hit her because she didn't realize she was blocking everybody coming out of transition one. She had the deer in the headlights look about her, but I did successfully maneuver around with no issue and started to hammer out of town.

Everyone I spoke to about this race warned me that it was a very challenging ride. I thought to myself, "Eh, I grew up in the mountains, it will be tough, but I am tougher!". Oh boy, they were not kidding when they say this is a tough bike. In fact I even heard some say it is harder than the Hawaii Championship due to the long steep climbs. This bike course is two loops of 56 miles each. The same loop twice basically. The first big hill was pretty steep but I didn't think it was a big deal and it was followed by a really long descent that scared the caca out of me. I looked down at my bike computer and it said I was going over 45 miles per hour! That's the fasted I have ever been on bike and it was even faster than the posted speed limit. And guess what, I wasn't even pedaling! My crushed time trial helmet must have made a difference because I kept catching up to people ahead of me. I even had to brake a few times to avoid first timers who were riding their brakes during the descent but not realizing that there are other people on the course who may need to go by on the left. I got upset but didn't really say anything since I was there once myself. I did see one bad crash. A woman was across the road being attended to by the ambulance, I heard she was put in the ICU, not sure what here status is, but I hope she was fine.

After the long descent was a series of climbs and flats for the next 30 miles or so. The only issue I had was my chain falling off during one of the steeper ascents. Not really a big deal, had to stop and put it back on, but no matter. Some hills were steep some not so much, ALL took their toll on my flat lander legs. Remember, I have been training in Houston, Texas where the only mountains are the overpasses and bridges in the Houston area.

Once I turned left on route 86 to go back into Lake Placid, I thought to myself, "That wasn't bad". Oh was I wrong. The last 20 miles or so of the loop was basically ALL UPHILL ALL THE WAY!!!!!! I guess it makes total sense since we had that long descent, there had to be a corresponding ascent with it to get back into town. This is where the suffering happens. I remember chatting with other people and we kept joking about how we would look down at the real wheel to see if we had another gear to switch to. But unfortunately, you can only gear it to the last set of teeth and that is as easy as it is going to be. So I just dug in and tried my best to keep going at a reasonable speed and not let my heart rate get too high (uh, not going to happen). In fact, for those of you who tracked my at, you will notice that the first 36 miles of the loop had a great average speed and the last 20 miles....well let's just say not so much. When I rounded back to Lake Placid, I stopped at the special needs station and got some Muscle Milk, nutri-grain bars and so forth. It was then that I realized that I was going to have to go through this all again!

So we all got going again for loop number two. One interesting thing I learned from this race is that it is really hard to drink and eat your salt tablets while going up a steep incline. So now I had to start worrying about getting dehydrated. The sun stayed out and it was starting to heat up. A lot of racers were complaining about how hot and humid it was and I just laughed and let them know about my 112 degree heat index rides and runs in Houston.

The 2nd loop went similar to the first, but a little slower this time. I could sense the toll the hills were taking on my body. I have been racing enough years to know that my gas tank was going to be really close to empty when I got to the marathon portion of the race. I saw a few heartbreaking scenes during the second loop of the bike. One that is still in my mind was of a guy on the last long ascent into lake placid, with his bike leaning against the guardrail and the guy sitting there with his hands over his face sobbing. I don't know if he had had enough or if he was just trying to gather himself to get to the finish. I hope it was the latter. Anyway, I kept plugging away at it though and kept focused on my form, nutrition and now that I had done the loop once, I even enjoyed the scenery. If it wasn't for the pain I was enduring, this would have been a really sweet touring ride, because the sites we went by were some of the most spectacular I've ever seen. Rivers, water falls, majestic mountains, trees over a hundred feet tall. It felt wonderful to be alive and competing and despite the suffering, I was really having fun! I finished the bike in six hours and fifty six minutes.

Transition Two

I finally got back into town and successfully dismounted at the proper line. A volunteer took my bike and I ran into the transition area to get my bike to run gear bag and headed into the changing tent again. A volunteer sprayed my now very sunburned shoulders with a new layer of sunscreen. I correctly judged that the marathon was going to be a tough one, because I had expended so much energy during the bike. I left transition two in seven minutes.

The Run (26.2 Miles)

This is always the hardest part of Ironman for me. It's also where most people drop out and get the dreaded DNF (Did Not Finish). As I said before, I knew I was running on empty at this point. The run course is two loops of 13.1 miles. I originally had a goal at the start of the race to finish between thirteen and fourteen hours. From the way I was feeling at the start of the run, that goal was now to finish in under seventeen hours (the official cut off time).

I knew I had to pace myself and started out at a nice and easy trot. At this point your joints are all starting to hurt and it takes a bit of effort to remind yourself that you have done this before and that the pain is only temporary. I knew that I was a little dehydrated because I only had to go to the bathroom once during the bike. This is usually bad news, so I focused on getting as much water and Gatorade in me as possible during the first few miles to get myself back in balance. The first 6 or so miles went fine. They were hard, but manageable. At about mile seven, I hit the proverbial "Wall" spoken of fondly by marathoners. Unfortunately, instead of the wall hitting me at mile twenty, it was mile seven.

I have been here before and I knew what I had to do: WALK! Yes, dear readers, the man who is made of Iron had to walk part of the marathon. Hey, even pro's do it. I took the time to gather myself, hydrate, eat some more calories and soldier on. I ran into a guy from New Jersey (Scott) who was in the same boat as me. Actually at this point in the race, almost everyone had to take walking breaks. They call this the "Death March" for a reason. It was still pretty hot outside and while I was used to it, it still was taking a toll (people passing out, etc). So we walked and talked about all sorts of things. Family, training, jobs, you name it. We just had to keep our minds off of the pain in our knees, hamstrings, calves, shoulders, you name it, it was hurting.

This was Scott's first Ironman and he was really motivated to finish before the cutoff. I was starting to feel better and since I knew that my original goal was shot to pieces, I decided to make sure Scott was going to make it. I made a deal with him to walk a while and then run a while. This is a great strategy to keep your energy, allow yourself to recover and make your average pace better. He was a trooper I tell ya. We did this for quite a while and finished the first loop and again stopped at the special needs station to get our special foods, etc.

Scott had lost all his salt tablets and I had more than enough so gave him some of mine. That helped him a lot during the second 13.1 mile loop. It was starting to get dark and he got to hurting worse. I told him my story from the first Ironman I did where my good mentor Thomas told me that as long as there is life, keep putting one foot in front of the other.

At around mile 15 I was really starting to feel better and hydrated and more recovered. Based on Scott's current pace, I knew he was going to get in under the 17 hour mark with a lot of time to spare. Of course, there was tragedy all around us as well. Ambulances carrying people off the run course, people who were forced to quite when their body just wouldn't cooperate anymore. I remember a guy sitting in one of the race vehicles looking at us go by knowing that all his time and preparation just weren't enough. It's such a tough race and I respect anyone who even attempts it, regardless if they finish or not.

Another buddy of mine from Connecticut (John) ran by and I decided to make up time and run with him. It took me a few miles to catch up, but we planned to run the last 7 miles together to the finish. At around mile 22 he started to slow down, but told me to keep going since I was "in the zone" and had me go on at my current pace. I told him thanks and ran ahead and on to the finish area.

The last few miles of the Ironman is what makes all the pain and misery worth it. Imagine thousands of people cheering you on as if you were a rock star. That's what it feels like. Your name is printed on your race bib so people were yelling out things like, "Bill, you are awesome!" "Bill, your pace is great!" etc. Men, women, even children holding their hands out to high five you as you run by. I think I ran those last four miles or so at a under 9 minute per mile pace and at that point I had such an adrenaline rush, I was feeling no pain and was even accelerating!

When I hit the 26 mile time chip area, I was sprinting past tons of people. I crossed the finish line at 14 hours and 46 minutes. Considering that the marathon took me around 6 hours and 9 minutes, that was pretty good. Imagine if it was a flat course and I was fresher for the run and not trashed from the bike!

I crossed the finish line and was immediately wrapped in a thermal blanket, given my finishers medal and taken to the photo area for my "trophy" picture. I saw my wife right afterword and she was really proud. She said she was worried because people were throwing up and passing out at the finish line. I was tired, dehydrated and feeling the pain, but most of all I felt really really happy that I completed one of the hardest courses Ironman has to offer.

Thanks to everyone who helped me prepare for this race (Kevin and the team from Tri On The Run) and of course my wonderful wife Denise. I also wanted to say a special thank you to all who donated to the CCFA in my name before, during and after the race.

I will post pictures to my gallery once I get them from the photo company. That's all for now!

Tri your best!


Saturday, July 25, 2009

Ironman Pre-Race Week Training and Race Preparation

Hello Dear Readers!

Wow! This week has been a lot busier than I thought it would be. I am here in Lake Placid and it is the night before the race. Got lots to tell you about so here goes.

Monday's Swim Session 7/20/2009

Had a nice and easy 2000 meter swim today. It was the last scheduled swim workout (yeah like I was not going to swim the course before the race, more on that later). Swam nice and easy. Felt pretty good and got done in under 40 minutes.

Tuesday's Trip to New York (also known as the travel day from hell!) 07/21/2009

Denise and I decided to work this race into a personal vacation to go visit with my parents in the Lake George area. Everything started off fine, my brother and sister in law got back from Honduras (they have a home there) and were all set to babysit our dogs while we were gone. Her sister wasn't feeling well and was coughing a lot (more on this later). Arrived at the airport fine, the flight from Houston to Newark was great. I thought things were going really well so far. Then when we arrived in Newark for our connection to Albany, we were informed that the flight was canceled due to weather. Funny thing, there wasn't really any bad weather! I think the airlines canceled due to lack of seats being sold on the plane personally. So Denise and decided to rent a car and drive it to Albany. I go to the Hertz counter and they inform me that they don't do one day one way rentals. I asked if they would rent me a car the whole week and let me drop it off in Albany. She said she would and before she told me what the price was she ran my credit card. I get the paperwork and it was for over 600 dollars! I said no way and decided to look for other rental companies who would do a one way rental. She said she would void the charge and I thought it was over and done with (we will return to this later). I then got a one way rental with National and it was much cheaper to go one way to Albany and still get the other rental I already had waiting there. The one way rental was still highway robbery, but combined with the charge for my Albany rental it was still cheaper than what Hertz offered. We drove to Albany and that trip actually wasn't too bad. We arrived in Albany about 90 minutes later than if we had flown, so that's not too bad really. Everyone arrived safe and sound to my parents (about a hours drive towards Lake Placid from Albany) and had some great Chili and went to bed early. I was pretty stressed out for the day.

Wednesday's Bike Workout 7/22/2009

I did a 20 mile ride on my Dad's mountain bike. If someone took a picture of me, it would look like a giant trying to ride on a clown bicycle. I was supposed to do this ride yesterday, but due to the travel fiasco, I had to move it to this day. Felt wonderful to ride in the mountains again with cool weather. I miss this area very much (the winters no so much). Denise, my parents and I had lunch at Capri Pizza (the best pizza in the world) and we ate at Massies Italian Restaurant that night (best Bragiola you will ever eat).

Thursday's Run and Drive to Lake Placid 7/23/2009

We got up late and had some breakfast and I went on a 4 mile run this day. Kept my heart rate in control and the pace easy. I did notice that the higher altitude made my heart rate higher but I still felt really good! Denise and I packed up the car and drove to Lake Placid. Took about 90 minutes or so. It is such a beautiful drive. We checked into the Crown Plaza in Lake Placid with no problems. Nice room and very comfortable bed. We stayed here the last time we took a vacation up this way. I traveled down to the race site and got my transition bag and bicycle. TriBike Transport did a great job, except for one thing. They crushed my helmet! The tear drop end isn't so much of a tear drop anymore, something more like a tear ripple. I will have to call them and make a claim when I get back to see if their insurance will get me a new one.

The view from our hotel is spectacular! Here is a view from the front of the lake. Note the swim buoys for the race (click to make bigger):

Here is a view of the empty transition area. I cannot believe it will be jam packed with biked by Sunday!

Friday's Swim and Race Preparation

I had a really nice and restful sleep and woke up to a beautiful morning. I was starting to get really pumped up about the race and decided to swim the race course in my wetsuit. But first I had to officially get my registration and check in over with. The line was long, but I eventually got my blue Ironman wrist ban that showed I was a racer and this allows me access to the "athlete only" areas of the Ironman Village. Once I got that done I had some lunch and went down to the beach. The water was very chilly at first, but I got used to it after a while. I noticed that the water was so clear that you could see the line connecting the buoys. Used it to site and got done in a little over 40 minutes. Not too bad considering I wasn't pushing it, but just getting into a rhythm. Here is a picture from the beach. I had to zoom in a little so you could see the buoys clearly (click to make bigger):

Denise and I had a nice pasta dinner in the village and got to sleep early as well.

Saturday and Tomorrow is GO TIME!!!!! 07/25/2009

Had a lot going on today. Had to get my bike and transition bags checked in. In a Ironman triathlon, you cannot just place your stuff in the transition area next to your bike. You have to have your bags in a different area hanging from hooks with your number (by the way, my race number is 742!). There are four bags. You have your swim to bike bag (this contains all your bike gear (shoes, helmet, gloves, etc.) when you exit the swim, you get this bag and go into the changing tent. There you can dry off apply your anti chafing products and place the wetsuit in the same bag. You then have a bike special needs bag. This bag is available to you halfway through the race and you put food, whatever you want in there so that partway into the bike you can get more stuff. You then have run and run special needs bags. You guessed it, they contain your running gear and special foods for use partway into the run. Here are some pictures from the transition area (getting full now) and the bag area (click to make bigger):

Here is a picture of my bike in the rack. Note that I covered my handlebars and bike seat with bags because they may get rained on all night. Unfortunately, the forecast is for crap tomorrow (click to make bigger):

So there ya have it. If you want to track my progress tomorrow go to:

click on athlete tracking and you can track me by name or bib number. Mine is 742.

Thanks everyone for reading my blog and a special thanks to my wife and family for putting up with the long hours away and my "occasional" irritability! I will post a race report later. That's all for now.

Tri your best!


Sunday, July 19, 2009

Ironman Training 7/6/2009 - 7/19/2009

Hello Dear Readers!

Wow it has been a crazy last few weeks and I have lots of workout updates for you all. I have been busy preparing for my trip to Lake Placid and have not had time to put my workout logs online. So here goes:

Monday's Swim Training 7/6/2009

This day I swam 3500 meters at the gym pool. This workout was done as:

Warm Up: 10 x 100 as: 4 free/ 3drill/ 3 kick on 15 sec. rest, 4 x 100 fast on 20 sec. rest.
Main Set: 4 x 200 free on 15 sec. rest, 4 x 100 drills on 20 sec. rest, 2 x 200 free on 10 sec. rest
Cool Down: 500 choice easy

I felt pretty good during this workout. Kept my pace controlled.

Tuesday's Bike and Transition Run 7/7/2009

This workout was a 20 mile trainer workout follwed immediately by a 4 mile run. the trainer workout was performed as:

4 x 45 sec. SLD (single leg drill) on 1 minute
12 min. at Hr #low 4 / 5 min easy
10 min. at Hr #High4 / 3 min easy
8 min. at Hr# High 4-5a
10 min. cool down

The run was performed at the following paces (minutes/mile):

Mile 1: 9:28
Mile 2: 9:12
Mile 3: 8:56
Mile 4: 8:18

I felt really strong during the run and note the very fast last mile. Really happy with this one!

Wednesday's Bike Workout 7/8/2009

This was a nice and easy 30 miles on the road. I finished it in 90 minutes with an average speed of just under 20 mph.

Thursday's Run Session 7/9/2009

This was a 6 mile run performed with a 10:00-10:10 pace with 6 x 45 second accelerations with full recovery. I did this at the gym on a treadmill to change things up.

Friday's Workout 7/10/2009

I was supposed to take this day off, but decided to go to the gym and do some light weights. It always feels good to press some Iron and not be going anaerobic for once!

Saturday's Long Run and Swim Session 7/11/2009

I had two workouts scheduled for this day. A 14 mile run in the morning at a pace of 10:10 - 10:25 minutes per mile. The breakdown was as follows:

Mile 1: 9:56
Mile 2: 9:42
Mile 3: 9:56
Mile 4: 9:56
Mile 5: 9:54
Mile 6: 10:03
Mile 7: 10:00
Mile 8: 9:58
Mile 9: 10"09
Mile 10: 9:49
Mile 11: 9:52
Mile 12: 10:01
Mile 13: 9:57
Mile 14: 9:50

Note again that the last mile was at a consistent pace. It was really hot and I had to do the ice thing, but I felt pretty good that I was able to keep within or under the assigned pace.

Later that afternoon, I swam 2000 meters at the pool. Did it in about 40 minutes which is pretty much as expected.

Sunday's Long Bike Ride 7/12/2009

This was a 60 mile bike ride. I rode with the Tri On the Run team and we went at a awesome pace for the whole ride. I think there was 10 of us in the group so we all took turns pulling. Finished the ride in 2:58 with an average of over 20 mph.

Monday's Swim Session 7/13/2009

This was a 4000 meter swim. I did this as:

Warm Up: 16 x 50 as: 2 free/ 1 back/ 1 drill all on 10 sec. rest, 6 x 50 as: alternating 1 kick/ 1 free easy on 15 sec. rest.
Main Set: 800 pull – 1 min break, 800 as: 8 x 25, 4 x 50, 1 x 400 all with only 5 sec. rest - 30 sec. rest break, 4 x 250 pull on 15 sec. rest.
Cool Down: 5 x 100 as: 2 drill/ 1 free on 15 sec. rest

Felt really good still and finished in a great pace.

Tuesday's Bike and Transition Run Session 7/14/2009

This was a 20 mile bike trainer workout followed immediately by a 4 mile run at a scheduled 9:35 minute per mile pace. The bike session was done as:

4 x 30 sec. SLD (single leg drill)
4x 45 sec. fast spin/ 20 sec. rec.
5/4/3/2/1 min. Big Gear(75-80rpm) w/ 2 min easy between each, HR Zone 4
3 x 40 sec. SLD (single leg drill)
3x 30 sec. fast spin/ 30 sec. rec.
10 min. cool down

I did the bike and run session at the gym because earlier in the day I dropped my bike off at the local bike store to be shipped to New York. From now on, all my bike workouts will have to be done at the gym.

Wednesday's Bike and Swim Session 7/15/2009

This was a slightly different day than usual. I had a swim session early in the day of 2000 meters and a bike session later of 20 miles at an easy pace. Since I had already shipped my bike to Lake Placid, had to do this at the gym.

Thursday's Run Session 7/16/2009

This was a nice and easy 4 mile run in the neighborhood. Keeping the mileage really low now since I am about a week away from the race at this point. The run breakdown was:

Mile 1: 9:37
Mile 2: 9:31
Mile 3: 9:04
Mile 4: 9:07

This was a lot faster than my assigned workout pace, but I was feeling so good and rested I decided to push it a little.

Friday's Weights Session 7/17/09

I was supposed to take this day off, but I was so jittery I decided to go to the gym and do some weights. Felt really good!

Saturday's Run Session 7/18/2009

Today's last long run was for 8 miles at a assigned pace of 10:10 - 10:25 minutes per mile. I ended up doing it as:

Mile 1: 9:37
Mile 2: 9:24
Mile 3: 9:35
Mile 4: 9:46
Mile 5: 10:00
Mile 6: 10:08
Mile 7: 10:22
Mile 8: 9:48

This was a great run even though it was really really hot. I got a late start and was really regretting it, even though it was only 8 miles. Still, I ran a great last mile so the taper is definitely working!

Sunday's Bike Session 7/19/2009

This was my last long bike session. It was for 40 miles. I had to do it at the gym on the cycles there. I kind of like doing it, because I can look at my wattage and I seem to go a lot faster there. Of course, it helps that there is no wind.

My wife and I will be leaving for Lake Placid on Tuesday and I will do my best to blog daily while we are there. My bike should arrive at the race site on Thursday, so hopefully everything is intact and there are no issues.

That's all for now!

Tri your best,


Sunday, July 5, 2009

Ironman Training 6/29/2009-7/5/2009. Now I am officially in the taper!

Hello Dear Readers!

Well today was the last long day of my Ironman training before the taper starts. I can't believe we are just weeks away! I will do my best to blog about the race itself and my trip up to Lake Placid, but we still have some great training to do in the weeks ahead, but now I am done with the really really really long distances. Here is a recap of the weeks training.

Monday's Swim 6/29/09

Warm Up: 3 X (2 X 100 free/ 4 x 50 choice on 10 sec. rest, 200 back)
Main Set: 4 x 600 as: 2 x 300, 600, 4 x 150, 600 all on 10-20 sec. rest, and 1 min after each 600 straight.
Cool Down: 300 choice easy

Felt like crap this day and was fighting the water. But I fought through it and got it finished.

Tuesday's Bike/Run Combination 6/30/09

This session was a 30 mile bike ride immediately followed by a 4 mile run at a planned 9:35-9:45 mile per minute pace. It was a super busy day at work so I did this workout at the local gym. I rode the 30 miles in 1 hour and 15 minutes and then I ran the 4 miles at some very quick paces on the treadmill. My last mile was a 8:30 pace.

Wednesday's Swim and Run Sessions 7/1/09

I got myself up early that morning and ran 6 miles. The following times were my paces:

Mile 1: 9:57
Mile 2: 9:54
Mile 3: 9:48
Mile 4: 9:46
Mile 5: 9:39
Mile 6: 9:16

I was really happy with this run since I felt really good and kept my heart rate fairly low.

That afternoon I swam for 2000 meters. My legs were a little tired so I used the pull buoy for half of the workout.

Thursday's Bike Session 7/2/09

Today I rode the bike 40 miles. Houston is still in the grips of the heat wave and I couldn't get started till after work. The ride started out at 106 degree heat index, but finished in the lower 90's. Still too hot! I finished the ride in a little over two hours, averaging 19 mph.

Friday's Swim Session 7/3/09

Today was a 3500 meter straight swim. That's right, I swam the entire distance straight at IM race pace. I finished in 1 hour and 5 minutes. Not too bad. Took a short break here and there to take a sip of water.

Saturday's Bike and Run Session 7/4/09

Oh, boy this was a doosey! I got up at 5 AM and met Kevin (my coach) and some of the other Team Kevin players for a 115 mile bike ride! We started with eight people and no one was going the full 115 except for me, but I was glad to have some company for part of the ride. After 50 miles, some of the members went home, then the rest hung with me for an additional 25 miles. I got back to the house at mile 75 and refilled my bottles and went right back out for 40 more miles. Once I was done with that I then ran 3 miles immediately as a transition run. The bike took about 6 hours and 30 minutes and my run was absolutely awesome. I was supposed to do the three miles in 10 minute per mile pace but instead did it in 8:58, 9:16 and 9:03! I was so proud of myself that I was able to stay hydrated (yes it was over 100 degree heat index again) and still kept up a great during the run. Here is a map of the route I took (click to make bigger):

Sunday's Run Session 7/5/09

Today was a tough day. I got up late and I don't really think I was recovered from my workout yesterday. I planned to do 16 miles at a 10 minute per mile pace. With the late start, I was already running in the hotter part of the day. First 6 miles actually went really well but as I kept going, I was really hurting and slowing down. I still did the ice trick of putting ice under my hat and in a towel around my neck, but it was still really tough. I decided to call it a day after 13 miles, I didn't see any more benefit coming from getting heat exhaustion.

So there you have it, my last long week of workouts. Let the taper begin!

Tri your best,


Sunday, June 28, 2009

This weeks Ironman Training 6/22-28/2009

Hello Dear Readers!

It's been a long week of training and the heat in Houston has not helped. Pretty much every day we broke a heat record. Work has been pretty crazy so I finally have some time to blog about my training exploits. A lot of people have asked me how I train for these events and also find the time to work and be with the family. I tell you it isn't easy sometimes but it breaks down to these things:

1. Great Time Management
2. Flexible Work Hours
3. Have Support from your Family

I cannot stress enough how important item three is. I am sometimes gone for 6 hours at a time on the weekends and it takes a angel of a wife to put up with my absences, aches, pain, crashes, cuts, bandages, well you get it.

Anyway, on to the training sessions!

Monday's Swim Workout 6/22/2009

This day's session was a 4000 meter swim. It broke down the following way:

Warm Up: 3 x 300 as 1 free/ 1 kick 1 choice on 20 sec. rest, 9 x 100 free or pull easy on 15 sec. rest.
Main Set: 14 x 100 as: 25 drill/50free/25drill on 10 sec. rest.
Cool Down: 15 x 50 as: 4 free/ 4 drill/ 4 kick easy on 10 sec. rest.

It was a terrible workout. I felt like poo poo and struggled the whole time. But I got through it.

Later that night I did a weight lifting session.

Tuesday's Bike Trainer and Transition Run 6/23/2009

This was a combination of Biking on the indoor trainer and then running 4 miles right afterward. The bike session was as follows:

6 X 5 MIN. AT HR#4 HIGH to 5a with first 2min in aerobars, 2min standing and 1min fast spin/ 3 MIN EASY BETWEEN

My 4 mile run was done at a 9:30 per mile pace. Felt pretty good actually and things seemed to be clicking in place.

Wednesday's Bike and Run Session 6/24/2009

This day was a doosey. I had two separate workouts. The first was a 6 mile run in the morning. I did the first five miles at a pace of around 10 minutes per mile and then I ran the last mile in 9:36. It was really early in the morning and so I didn't overheat.

After work I did a 40 mile ride. It was so darn hot. heat index was about 107 degrees and I felt like I was riding in a oven set to broil! About 20 miles in it started getting a little cooler and I felt much better. Finished the 40 miles in just over 2 hours at a 18 mile per hour pace.

Thursday's Run Session 6/25/2009

I only had to run on this day. I did 8 miles with some really great times (minutes per mile):

Mile 1: 9:52
Mile 2: 9:27
Mile 3: 8:33
Mile 4: 9:37
Mile 5: 9:50
Mile 6: 9:28
Mile 7: 9:57
Mile 8: 9:09

Later that night I did a weight lifting session.

Friday's Swim Session 6/26/2009

This swim session was 3500 meters performed as:

Warm Up: 4 x 400 as: 1 free/ 1 pull/ 1 free/ 1 kick on 30 sec. rest
Main Set: 2 x 500 at IM pace on 1 min. rest, 4 x 150 pull on 15 sec. rest
Cool Down: 200 choice easy

I was really really happy with this workout. I had my 100 meter splits in about 1:45 and that is very fast for me.

Saturday's LONG Run Session 6/27/2009

I had a very long workout that day. Ran 22 miles. Started a little later than I should have and by the time I got done, the temperature was over 100 degrees again. I did 4 loops on this one as:

7 Miles in 1:10:27
6 Miles in 1:03:19
5 Miles in 1:02:27
4 Miles in 0:47:50

Note I was doing great for 13 miles or so, but the heat really started getting to me. The last miles were agonizingly slow. At the end of each lap I was putting ice under my hat, in a towel around my neck and (yes this works) in my pants!

Sunday's Bike/Run Combination Session (and they call me the sprinkler and water bandit!) 6/28/2009

This was a really great day for me. I got up extremely early this morning and rode 80 miles and then immediately ran 5 miles after that. I kept myself as hydrated as possible (which still really isn't enough) and got the ride done in 4 hours and 25 minutes. I then threw on my running shoes and ran the 5 miles in under 50 minutes. This is what really pleased me the most because that shows I was not too banged up from Saturday's run and I was not overheated. Did I mention it was over 100 degrees again? Since I was overheated the day before, I took advantage of the people who were watering their lawns. I am sure there was some kid looking out the window saying "Mommy there is a scary man standing in our sprinkler system!". Just kidding, I asked the owner who was moving the sprinkler around if I could stand in it for a few minutes. He was very cool and said sure. Then at mile four, I ran onto the local golf course and poured water over my head from the bucket at the first tee. I am a member there so I don't think they will mind.

This coming week is my last hard week before the taper for the Lake Placid Ironman. We are almost there!

Well that's all for now!

Tri your best,


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Ironman Training for 6/20-21/2009

Hello dear readers!

Will this heat ever go away? We haven't had rain in weeks and the temperatures have steadily been over 100 degrees every darn day! In fact as I write this at 5 PM the heat index is 103!

Saturdays Run Session 6/20/2009

Had a great run on Saturday. I left early enough that the first hour was bearable, although it still was extremely hot by the time I was done. My coach wanted me to run 14 miles at a 10:10 to 10:25 minutes per mile pace. I was feeling really good so I pushed the pace a bit every other mile or so. I recorded the data with my Garmin watch so here it is below. Note that my last mile was in 9:15 which showed that I wasn't too tired and didn't wear myself out.

At mile 12 I was cooking along and dummy here triped over a piece of the sidewalk and layed myself out. Guess what? I cut my darn hand up again and it was just getting healed nicely. Also tore open the same finger that was sliced from my pool mishap. Are the Gods of Triathlon trying to say something to me? Anyway, I still finished strong so that was that.

Sunday's 60 Mile Bike Session

I rode 60 miles with my coach (Kevin) and some of the other team members. We went on a route I had never rode before and I really really liked it. We rode along a feeder of the Highway and it was smooth as glass. There was a wicked headwind for 20 miles or so, but it became a tail wind at the end so I didn't mind too much. I graphed the route with my GPS so you can see it (click to make bigger). Contact me if you want a turn by turn map. We got done in under 3 hours so we definitely were cooking.

Tomorrow I have a really long swim and I am little worried with my hand all cut again, but I will persevere somehow!

That's all for now.

Tri your best!


Friday, June 19, 2009

Ironman Training from 6/15 through 6/19, 2009

Hello dear readers!

It's been a great week of training. Kevin (my coach) gave me some lighter workouts as a recovery week since last week's training was pretty harsh.

Swim Session for Monday, 6/15/2009

This was a 3500 meter swim done with the following sets:

Warm Up: 10 x 100 as: 4 free/ 3drill/ 3 kick on 15 sec. rest, 4 x 100 fast on 20 sec. rest.
Main Set: 4 x 200 free on 15 sec. rest, 4 x 100 drills on 20 sec. rest, 2 x 200 free on 10 sec. rest
Cool Down: 500 choice easy

It was a pretty slow swim. Couldn't kick worth a darn! My legs were like noodles. Or at least more noodly than usual!

Bike and Transition Run Session for Tuesday, 6/16/2009

This was a bike/run combination workout. The bike session was performed on a indoor trainer the following way:

4 x 45 sec. SLD (single leg drill) on 1 minute
12 min. at Hr #low 4 / 5 min easy
10 min. at Hr #High4 / 3 min easy
8 min. at Hr# High 4-5a
10 min. cool down

After this was done, I did a 4 mile run immediately at what was supposed to be a 9:35 minutes per mile pace. Felt really good and actually went a bit faster. Here is the breakdown:

Mile 1: 8:47 minutes per mile
Mile 2: 9:06 minutes per mile
Mile 3: 8:54 minutes per mile
Mile 4: 8:13 minutes per mile

2000 Meter Swim and 30 Mile Bike Session on Wednesday, 6/17/2009

I had a really busy day at work and could only get my 2000 meter swim in during the day. Again I swam kind of slow and got it done in 40 minutes or so. I could not get out during the day so I did the 30 miles on the bike at the gym. I kind of like to change this up from time to time. I kept my wattage at 250 and was finished in 2 hours and 10 minutes.

8 Mile Run Session on Thursday, 6/18/2009

This was a fun session because I still was feeling OK from earlier in the week. As you will see in the breakdown, I had a few miles that were a little slow. This workout has six 45 second accelerations and each one was pretty fast. When not doing the accelerations I needed to keep the pace at 10 minutes per mile or so.

Mile 1: 10:02 minutes per mile
Mile 2: 10:00 minutes per mile
Mile 3: 9:02 minutes per mile
Mile 4: 9:31 minutes per mile
Mile 5: 9:59 minutes per mile
Mile 6: 10:01 minutes per mile
Mile 7: 9:33 minutes per mile
Mile 8: 9:50 minutes per mile

Most of my accelerations were at 6:30 minutes per mile.

Friday was supposed to be a rest day, but I was bored and decided to go to the gym and do some weights. Felt pretty good!

That's all for now.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Training and the Tour De Braz

Hello Dear Readers!

After my Bike crash last week, I had to immediately go on Business travel. This would normally, not be that big a deal for me to train while away, but I had ZERO time! I returned on Wednesday evening and started back to training on Thursday.

Thursday's Run Session 6/11/09

It has been so hot here in Houston, that I decided to do my run indoors on the treadmill. It was 6 miles as (Minutes/Mile):

Mile 1: 10:00
Mile 2: 9:30
Mile 3: 9:20
Mile 4: 9:00
Mile 5: 9:00
Mile 6: 10:00

I was really rested from my time off during the travel and did the last mile in 8:30 pace. I then went and did a little weight lifting.

Friday's 3500 Meter Swim Session 6/12/09

This was a tough workout, my legs were a little tired from the run on Thursday, but I still did pretty well. This workout was done as:

Warm Up: 10 x 50 as: 2 free/ 3drill / 2 free/ 3drill on 10 sec. rest
Main Set: easy, aerobic – 3 x 200 free on 20 sec. rest, 600 on 1 min rest, 4 x 150 free on 15 sec. rest, 400 on 1 min rest, 3 x 100 on 10 sec. rest, 400 on 1 min rest.
Cool Down: 6 x 50 drill on 15 sec. rest

Saturday's Run Session 6/13/09

I got started a little late on this one and suffered in the heat (this is Houston you know). This run was 16 miles at 10:10 to 10:25 per mile pace. I did the whole run in 2 hours and 45 minutes. That was a average pace of 10:22 per mile. I started really well, but ended running very slow just to get through it. I am not a great runner when the heat index is over 100 degrees!

Tour De Braz 6/14/09

I had a 120 mile bike ride on my schedule for this week. Sine I crashed the week before, I wanted to do this ride with someone else. After checking my local triathlon club message board, I found out that there was a 100 mile race in Alvin on the same day as my scheduled ride!

I got up this morning at 4:45 AM and had a little breakfast and fed the dogs. I was out the door at 6:10 AM and was freaking out because the race started at 7 AM and I still had to drive 30 minutes to get there. I drove fast and got there just after 6:30 AM. There was a pretty good turnout, over 300 riders. There was a mix of distances so not all the riders were doing the full 100 miles.

The weather started out beautiful in the seventies with a light wind. We got started during the sunrise and it was truly a wondrous start to a long day. I met some nice folks and started the race at a great clip due to the tail wind. I think we were averaging 23 MPH with little effort. About two hours in we went into a headwind of 20 MPH. This caused me to slow WAAAY down. I kept it at around 18 MPH or so. This was fine by me, I was not really racing this event, just taking advantage of the SAG support and water stations ever 12 miles or so. This also gave me a chance to practice my hydration and food strategy.

About 40 miles in I was making a right hand turn and I almost crashed again JUST LIKE LAST WEEK! But I saved myself and checked my tire. Guess what, it was flat again! Now this really made me mad, since I had that tire replaced while I was gone. It was a slow leak again so I used a CO2 cartridge and made it to the next water stop that had mechanical support. They replaced my tube and I was good to go.

I hooked up with a young kid from Houston and a guy from Norway and we rode together most of the way for the last 40 miles or so. There was one bad crash that I know of. Someone's tire blew in a group and they all went down. One guy may have broken his shoulder. That's why I don't usually do these events, because everyone drafts and that means if the guy ahead of you goes down, you don't have much time to get out of the way. Of course, in Ironman, you cannot draft so that doesn't typically happen.

After mile 50 it started getting REALLY HOT! The Norwegian guy had all these gadgets on his bike and one of them measured temperature. He said it got as high as 106 degrees! I felt like I was riding in an oven!

The last 20 miles we had a tail wind and it was wonderful. I had a last burst of energy and kept it above 20 MPH the rest of the way in.

Post race I indulged in the great BBQ they had for racers and lots of liquids. Overall I was pretty happy with my performance. Of course, during the Ironman I won't actually be stopping at the water stops, but you had no choice here since you had to refill your water bottles from a jug.

Below are a few interesting graphs. The first is the analysis of my speed zones. Note I kept it pretty much around 20 MPH.

The next picture is the map of the course. Lot's of loops!

That's all for now!

Tri your best,


Sunday, June 7, 2009

Training and Crashing! OW!

Hello Dear Readers!

It's been a very busy week and I haven't been able to keep up with the blog. Our youngest graduated from High School (way to go Ryan!) and work has been crazy. But I still had some great training sessions. I also had my first major crash of the season (more on this later).

Wednesday's Run and Bike Session (6/3)

This day I had two separate sessions a run in the morning and a bike in the afternoon. The run was 6 miles at an average of 9:42 minutes per mile.

The bike session was for 30 miles. I couldn't get to it till the evening so I went to the local gym and rode it on one of their standing bikes there. Felt really strong and finished fast with an average of 23 MPH.

Thursday's Swim and Run Session (6/4)

This day was another set of two separate sessions.

In the morning I did a 2000 meter swim. I was allowed to choose whatever stroke I wanted,so I used a Pull buoy and did it all in one single set in 38 minutes. A teeny bit slow, but considering I wasn't kicking at all, not too bad.

In the afternoon I ran 8 miles with 6, 45 second accelerations. I ran a average pace of 9:37 minutes per mile and each acceleration maxed out at between 6 and 7 minute mile pace. It was super hot, so I was pretty pleased with that.

Friday's Swim Session (6/5)

Today's swim session consisted of 3500 meters swum the following way:

Warm Up: 3 x 300 free w/ 10 sec. rest; 12 x 50 w/ 10 sec. rest as: (3 free/2 stroke/1 choice); 4 x 100 pull buoy
Main Set: easy, aerobic – 2 x 100 / 2 x 200 / 1x400 / 2 x 100 all easy free on 10-20 sec. rest
Cool Down: 8 x 50 (3free/2drill/1kick)

Saturday's Run Session (6/6)

This was a long run of 20 miles. I started out going pretty well (10 minute pace for the most part, but the last 6 miles were just terrible. I was really feeling the heat and was very fatigued. I still got the distance in and sometimes running while tired really mentally prepares you for the Ironman because it will be like that during the race. So at least you know what you are in for, I finished that run in 3:37 (hours and minutes).

Sunday's Bike and CRASH!!!

OK, here is the fun one. I had planned to do 80 miles today, followed by a 4 mile run. Best laid plans, as they say, went arry. About 20 miles or so in I was making a right hand turn and my bike went out from under me. I wasn't going too fast, but I ripped up my hands, right leg and shoulder. Also ruined my nice riding shorts and shirt (darn it!).

Physically I am OK, the cuts are mostly superficial but a bit painful and bled a lot. I also bent my gear shifter, so the ride was cut short.

Here are some pics:

For safety reason's I always bring my cell phone with me and I called my wife and she came and picked me up. Funny thing is right when I crashed a female rider came along and asked if I needed help. Turns out it was Johnny Zepeda's wife and he came along a few minutes later. Johnny is the co-owner of Tri On The Run here in Houston and that's where I get a lot of my Tri gear and coaching.

He was the one that pointed out the damage to the shifter. So now I have to bring the bike in and get it fixed. I guess the timing on this was fortunate since I will be out of town for the first half of this week and it will give them time to take care of the bike.

Now everyone, don't worry, I will be fine. These things happen and physically the damage was more superficial than anything else.

I'll let everyone know how this all turns out when I get back from my business trip this week.

That's all for now!

Tri your best,


Monday, June 1, 2009

Ironman Training for 5/27 through 6/1

Hello Dear Readers!

Here are my latest workout results from the last few days. I ended this recovery week with some strong performances. I had Wednesday and Friday off from Ironman training. I took advantage of this to play a little golf and goof around a bit!

Thursday's Training (5/28)

This day's workout was a 4 mile run with a two mile time trial. I did the first two miles in a nice easy run pace. The time trial itself wasn't all that spectacular. Did the two miles in a little over 15 minutes which frankly was slower than I expected. When I looked at the graphical results, my first mile looked like this:

Note how consistent my pace and heart rate were. This is exactly how it should be.

Now lets look at mile 2:

Note how the heart rate and speed wildly vary. This is not too good. I did really push my speed and heart rate into zone 5, which shows I had some energy left over for sure. Of course, it was over 100 degrees at the local school track and I am sure that has some affect, but I was still a little disappointed.

I then did a easy 2 mile cool down. Now that school is out, my next time trial will be done early in the morning when I am fresher and the weather is a little cooler. I hope to go in under 14 minutes.

Saturday's Run (5/30)

Did a 14 mile run in the morning. Felt pretty good though I was a little tired due to lack of sleep. I kept the pace under 10 Minutes per mile and finished in 2 hours and 16 minutes. This is a pretty decent pace for me.

In the afternoon I did a 2000 yard swim. Did 500 freestyle then 500 with pull buoy and then repeated. Took 10 second rests between sets. Time was really great.

Sunday's Bike Workout (5/31)

This was a short 60 mile ride. Averaged 19 miles per hour. It was really hot and I got dehydrated at the end. Need to really watch out for this. Dehydration on the bike is one of the worst things that can happen.

Monday's Swim Workout (6/1)

This was a 3500 yard swim. The breakdown was as follows:

Warm Up: 4 x 400 as: 1 free/ 1 pull/ 1 free/ 1 kick on 30 sec. rest
Main Set: 2 x 500 at IM pace on 1 min. rest, 4 x 150 pull on 15 sec. rest
Cool Down: 200 choice easy

The longest set was the 400 meter kicking drill. It took me a whole 13 minutes! Imagine just kicking for 16 laps. It was MURDER on my legs!

Even with the slow kicking and including my rest times, I got done in 1 hour and 15 minutes. That is really great for me. My race goal is to get the whole 2.4 miles finished in 1 hour even. Considering I will have my high tech wetsuit and no rest during the race, I think this is possible. Of course, that is assuming I swim in a fairly straight line!

That's all for now.

Tri your best,