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 Ironman.com, 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,