A vision for my life - Because what we focus on expands

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Health Care Rant

Admittedly, the title is a bit misleading, since we have sick care, not health care.

I was stunned reading some of the highlights of the recently released Health, United States 2007 Report http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/hus.htm

According to the highlights, we spent $2 Trillion (yes, trillion with a T) on health care last year, and the United States spends more on health per capita than any other country, and health spending continues to increase. The United States spends a larger share of its gross domestic product (GDP) on health than does any other major industrialized country. In 2004, the United States devoted 15% of its GDP to health.

Are we getting our money's worth?

Well...here are some of the highlights...I'll let you be the judge:

First, the good news: Life expectancy in the United States continues to increase. In 2004, American men could expect to live more than 3 years longer, and women more than 1 year longer, than they did in 1990

Now the bad news: Yet, even as progress is made in improving life expectancy,
increased longevity is accompanied by increased prevalence of chronic conditions and their associated pain and disability.

Between 1988–1994 and 2003–2004, the prevalence of overweight among preschool-age children 2–5 years of age almost doubled, from about 7% to 14%.

The prevalence of overweight among school-age children increased more than 60% between 1988–1994 and 2003–2004. Among children 6–11 years of age, overweight increased from 11% to 19%. The prevalence of overweight among adolescents 12–19 years of age grew from 11% to 17%

Among adults 20–74 years of age, overweight and obesity rates have increased since 1960–1962. These increases were driven largely by increases in the percentage of adults who were obese. From 1960–1962 through 2003–2004, the percentage of adults who were overweight but not obese remained steady at 32%–34% (age-adjusted). During that time period, the percentage of adults who were obese increased from 13% to 34% (age-adjusted)

In 2005, 28% of adults 18 years of age and over had any low back pain in the past 3 months

Between 1988–1994 and 1999–2002 the percentage of adults in the civilian noninstitutionalized population who reported using an antidepressant drug during the past month more than tripled, increasing from 2.5% to 8.0%

And now my personal favorite....

Wait for it....


In 2005, almost one-third of adults 18 years of age and over engaged in regular leisure-time physical activity.

Really? Almost 1/3 engaged in regular physical activity?

I'm only a CPA, so please excuse my math skills, but 2/3 of the country is either overweight or obese, and only 1/3 of the country exercises on a regular basis?

Hmmm....something to think about....

Monday, December 3, 2007

Winter Cycling

A few people have asked me about spinervals dvd's lately, and ironically I just received this article from Coach Troy:

Spinervals Article

As much as I despise being indoors on the trainer, the spinervals dvd's make it almost tolerable. The aero dvds are good for base building, and I like the time trial dvds for a good, old fasioned a$$ kicking.

Live with purpose....Enjoy the adventure

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

11/28/07: Need Your Help

The votes were counted and verified, and the winner to the What Should Andy Do Next Poll had a clear winner: Do Another Ironman Faster was a clear victor. I'm grateful that got the votes, since hiking 2000 miles of the Appalachian trail didn't sound too appealing.

As far as doing another one faster, I'm in for 09, since our little girl is going to take up much of my time and attention in 08, since she's due March 27.

Speaking of, we need your help my voting blogger peeps. Help us choose a name.

We've narrowed it down to our favorite 6, and would like some input.

Live with purpose....Enjoy the Adventure

Monday, November 26, 2007

11/26/07: You'd think I'd Learn

aka: A Painful way to a PR

If you're looking to set a PR in a 1/2 marathon, and would like it to be VERY painful, here's what to do:

1. Run 2 x since IM FL on 11/3
2. Make sure one run is only 20 minutes on the beach at sunrise, and don't run very hard
3. Make sure the other run is two laps around the downtown bridges 2 days before the race
4. Go out WAY too fast for the first few miles

This is a perfect strategy for making sure the last 3 miles of the half marathon hurt like a son of a *&$%

By now you'd think I would have learned to go out easy in the first few miles...it worked SO well in the IM....oh well.....

The good news is that with virtually no training over the last three weeks, I did manage to take almost 5 minutes off of my open half marathon time, crossing the line in 1:47:38.

Note to self: go slower in beginning = much less pain at end

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

11/21/07: Thanksgiving Workout

AM Workout: 1/2 Marathon

Should be interesting, since I've run two times since the IM, totalling around 5 miles....hmmmmm.....funny thing is I still want a PR....Hmmmm

PM Workout:

1. Eat
2. Drink
3. Watch Football
4. Sleep
5. Repeat Steps 1-4

I hope everyone has a great thanksgiving

Saturday, November 17, 2007

11/17/07: For the 1st time in almost two years

I went for a run this morning

Because I wanted to, not because I had to.

I saw the most stunning sunrise over the ocean. My god that was worth getting up early for.

It was about 35 degrees, not a cloud anywhere....crystal clear....steam was coming off of the ocean....I saw a total of 2 other people in the 25 minutes or so that I ran...

No heart rate zones, no pace, no distance or time limits.....Perfect.....

So that's what it feels like to relax and enjoy a run.....

Friday, November 16, 2007

11/16/07: Quote of the Day

From Common Man Syndrome.com

Obstacles face us all the time in life, it doesn't give anyone the right to use that as an excuse to not give it your all at what we do. Its not okay to be unprepared for something and then indignant when there's consequences when doesn't go right.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

11/14/07: What Now?

For the first time in 5 years or so, I have no huge goal in front of me that requires a consistent schedule. First it was my masters degree, then training for my first marathon, and then another...then it was training for my first HIM...then the full....

So now what. I know myself well enough that without a huge goal in front of me requiring consistent focus and effort, I'll actually do very little.

The poll votes are in, and doing another IM faster won. I'm down with that, but not until 2009, since obviously Lori and my little one on the way are going to need (and deserve) most of my time and attention starting in March 2008.

But what the hell should I be doing in the meantime?

I promised myself I was going to take a break from training after the IM, since I haven't really had an off-season since I started training for the first marathon in Jan 2005, but I'm starting to go stir crazy. I know I need a break both mentally and physically, but there's got to be a happy medium somewhere, right?

And to top it off, I'm fortunate to have it VERY easy at work right now, which is of course a double edged sword. I like having a certain amount of pressure/stress professionally. I operate best when I have 5 or 6 balls in the air, all of which are priorities. I always find a way to get it all done....

I've been fine without that kind of stress for the last several months, since I've been so focused on IM FL....but now that the IM is done, I'm BORED.

There's a 45 miles group ride this weekend, which I'll probably drop in on to see some friends. And there's a 1/2 marathon on Thanksgiving Day, which I may do just for fun. But with no goal out on the horizon, those kind of things don't seem to serve much of a purpose...I'm just doing them to do them....just going through the motions.

So my question to you, my blogging peeps, is now what?

Live with Purpose....Enjoy the Adventure

(Which is by the way the problem - I need a new adventure between now and March)

Friday, November 9, 2007

Tragic News

By now many of your have probably heard about the tragedy of Dorothy Barnett-Griffin.

Please keep Dorothy's family in your thoughts in prayers:

By ROY APPLETON / The Dallas Morning News

Exercise helped Dorothy Barnett-Griffin move beyond the death of her husband.

With her first Ironman triathlon, she wanted to raise money for a support group that had helped her three children deal with the loss of their father.

Now the pain has returned.

Five days after collapsing during her competitive swim in the Gulf of Mexico, the Collin County woman died Thursday in a Panama City, Fla., hospital. She was 43.

"It's bizarre. It's wrong," said friend Carla Blatney. "I go from being sad to mad."

While Ms. Barnett-Griffin's family privately mourned their stunning loss, Ms. Blatney and others this week spoke of a bright, caring, upbeat and inspirational woman – a former nurse with a remarkable passion for her husband, three children, exercise and the Journey of Hope Grief Support Center in Plano.

"You never saw Dorothy without a smile on her face," said Jody Gunsolus, a friend and occasional training partner.

And "you've never met two people more in love," she said of Ms. Barnett-Griffin and her husband, Mike Griffin, whom she met on a Christian singles ski trip in Utah.

After a car crash killed her first husband, Dr. John Barnett Jr., five years ago, she began bicycling to escape the sorrow and find inner strength.

"It was great therapy for me, and I found out that you can cry and ride at the same time," she wrote in a recent online posting for Journey of Hope, detailing her support for the center and her "Journey to Ironman."

Ms. Barnett-Griffin and her children – Kim, now 15; Derek, 11; and Zachary, 8 – turned to the group, finding comfort there by sharing their grief with others, she said.

She joined the center's board of directors and became an active fundraiser for the program that helps children and their families confront the death of loved ones.

"She was so generous with her time, financial support and passion," said Susan Tucker Williams, executive director. "Everyone's loss is terrible, but for us this is huge. We are grieving, too."

A resident of Lucas, Ms. Barnett-Griffin hoped to raise $10,000 for Journey of Hope through donations to her Ironman effort. It was to be her biggest physical challenge, the next step after advancing from bicycle rides to rallies to the swim-bike-run combo of triathlons.

She competed in her first triathlon last year and finished two half Ironman events this year before going for the full 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and 26.2-mile run with her husband Saturday in Florida.

"So ...we will do the hard part," she wrote in her Journey of Hope posting. "We will swim, bike and run all day and train very hard to be able to make it."

Gerald Jackson, a triathlete and coach for the Dallas-based group Fit2Train, said he met Ms. Barnett-Griffin at a workout camp this summer.

"It was going to be a difficult challenge for her," he said of the Florida race where a swimmer died last year. "But she was going to go out at her own pace and knock it out."

On the day of the race, her husband had advanced to the biking phase. Ms. Barnett-Griffin was one of two swimmers left in the water, talking occasionally with escorts in kayaks. And suddenly she "rolled onto her back, said 'help' and passed out," said Helen Manning, spokeswoman for North America Sports, owner and manager of the Ironman events.

Ms. Barnett-Griffin was briefly underwater before being rushed to shore, where her children and mother were waiting to cheer her on, Ms. Manning and others said. Water conditions for the race were ideal, she said.

Revival efforts failed, and Ms. Barnett-Griffin never regained consciousness despite two surgeries to ease swelling of her brain.

The cause of death is unknown. Funeral arrangements are pending.

Contributions to Journey of Hope in Ms. Barnett-Griffin's name have almost tripled since Wednesday and exceeded her $10,000 goal.

The woman who spent her life working, encouraging and leading others would have relished the news, her friends said.

"Dorothy was one tough cookie," Ms. Blatney said. "She's the type of person that you fight your demons. You step out there, out of your comfort zone."

Just as Ms. Barnett-Griffin did Saturday.

"One day of pushing your body beyond any limit that you thought possible," she wrote in her Journey of Hope posting. "Sounds crazy? Most of you would agree. So call us crazy!"

News Aritcle

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Race Report (LONG)

Thanks for being patient...at long last...here's the day...

The morning started at 3:15 with 3 bottles of boost (750 calories total) and a quick shower to wake up.

I had followed some really good advice and scheduled out the 24 hours leading up to the 7 am start, so was on autopilot following my plan. In creating my schedule for the morning, I spent a bit of time visualizing race morning, as well as the race itself – an exercise I find invaluable. The visualization and creating a plan for the morning was definitely paying off now.

A quick look in the mirror at the message I had left myself last night:

Slow is smooth…smooth is fast.
See how far your can push yourself. Be the man your dog and daughter think you are :)
Andrew Hariton, You are an ironman.

What a great way to set the tone for the day – Thanks for the idea Rich Strauss.

After a bit of coffee, I LIBERALLY used body glide, threw on my tri shorts and top, and checked the weather one last time. I couldn’t help smiling when I saw a low of 54, high of 75 with little wind expected: PERFECT

Lori and Mark (a friend of mine who made the trip down to watch me suffer for 14 hours) dropped me off at transition at around 5:15. Got body marked, tires pumped up, garmin on bike, gels on...uh oh – where are the gels...oh well...I can grab them at the aid stations....I spent the next 1/2 hour or so slowly sipping Gatorade and trying to stay calm.

With so much nervous energy around me, I was grateful to have my Ipod, and could ignore most of what was going on around me. Finally 6:30 came and I met Lori, Mark and my mom and headed down to the swim start. Had a gel, sipped some water, got my wetsuit on.

Paula Newby Fraser was wrapping up an interview right next to me, and I was able to get one last hint from someone who really knows what she’s talking about: “Treat the race as a very long training day with 2200 of your closest friends.” I can do that...

We were waiting for the pros to start and BOOM...the cannon went off with no warning and scared the shit out of us...10 more minutes...At this point I found myself completely nauseous...most likely from the unknown of the swim, being that I could barely swim 50 yds a year ago.

I remember going to my first swim practice, getting ready for an Olympic and the coach saying to do 200 as a warmup...a 200 WARMUP? For me that’s going to be my entire workout...Yet here I was only a year or so later doing a 2.4 mile ocean swim.

I put myself about 4 rows back, 20-30 yds outside from the buoys. In my mind, the best way to deal with a fear is to face it head on, so I intentionally put myself right in the middle of the washing machine...and I’m so glad I did – the swim was an absolute blast...

For all of the talk I’ve heard about the beatdown, it really wasn’t any worse than most of our local sprints. There was certainly some contact, but nowhere near as bad as I expected. Gotta love a wetsuit swim with 2200 people...you can really feel the draft pulling you along. I got to the first turn buoy and had to stop and tread water until I could dogpaddle around it. There were swimmers coming from all directions: inside, outside, straight...and no one could go anywhere...It was pretty funny being in the middle of it.

Things spread out a bit after the first turn, and I found a bit of open water. The other nice thing about the mass start is that there are always feet to follow, even for a slow swimmer like me. I enjoyed the swim in, finishing the first lap in 45 minutes – right on schedule. My “realistic” goal time for the swim was 1:45...anything under that and I’d be thrilled....so far so good....

I got out from the first lap, sipped some water, and headed back for lap two. I knew this lap would be slower with everyone so spread out now, and knew the 2:20 cutoff was no longer an issue, so simply focused on long clean strokes and staying on feet in front of me. The second lap went by quickly, and I was out of the water and to the strippers in 1:33, having used very little energy. PERFECT.

Everything’s relative. Although a 1:33 swim is slow by comparison, It was a GREAT swim for me...I was truly ecstatic getting out of the water.

A lot has to go right to make it to the finish line, most of which is out of my control (avoiding flat tires, nutrition issues – even though it’s been practiced dozens of times, crashes, etc), and it’s a VERY long day. To me, the day was already a total success having such a great swim, no matter what happened the rest of the day.

I took my time through T1 – Slow is smooth. Smooth is fast.

I was out on the bike and settling in for the next 6 1/2 hours or so. I looked down for just a second to turn on my garmin and...WHAM...I hit a HUGE hole coming out of transition which sent me straight towards deep sand...I stayed upright after hitting the hole...not so much after my front tire hit the sand...I went down pretty hard on my left side, but no real damage done to the bike or to me...fix it and move on...I hope that's not a sign of things to come the rest of the day....

My plan for the bike was simple...setup a great run. I once again followed Rich Strauss’ advice and went incredibly easy for the 1st thirty miles to get my heart rate under control and start my nutrition. A ton of people went flying by me and it was hard to let them go, but I knew I’d see them later...I started sipping water with NUUN at 10 minute intervals, and after a 1/2 hour I started alternating perpetuemwith NUNN every ten minutes, adding in a gel every 45 minutes..

At thirty miles I started actually riding a bit, pushing my hr up into low zone 2, where I planned to keep it until mile 80-90. I rode steady for the next 50 miles or so, enjoying the high points and just maintaining through the low points of the emotional rollercoaster that I was warned about.

I stopped for just a few minutes at the bike special needs to stretch and enjoy a couple of uncrustables. It was nice having some solid food for the first time of the day. I got to the short out and back at mile 70 and was glad I had driven the course the day before. Having driven the course, I at least knew that the really rough road only lasted for a few miles. Along with the expected yellow thingies that fell out of aerobottles, I was a bit surprised to see more than a few bottle cages having gotten ripped off of bikes. I got to the turnaround and wouldn’t you know it, I got to enjoy a headwind along with the rough road for the next few miles….oh well…..no one said this would be easy.

At mile 80 I was still feeling really good, so pushed a bit harder on the bike, keeping my hr at the top of zone 2. No bonk was in sight thank God. My focus was still on having a great run. At this point I wanted nothing to do with gels or perpetuem anymore, but knew I needed to keep taking in calories if I wanted a good run, so I sucked it up and kept going with my nutrition plan.

I don’t remember the mileage, but two things cracked me up on the bike:

1. The pirate aid station – you guys were awesome.

2. Seeing the sign saying “Andy You Bitch You Slut You Whore.” A big thank you to the Southwest Texas Tri Club!! :)

I was SO happy to see the bridge at around mile 100, knowing that in just a few more miles I’d be off the bike and to my strongest part of the day...Making the turn onto Thomas Drive, it was great finally having the wind at my back for the next few miles...Thank god I had paced myself on the bike so well for the first 80 miles...since I’m still not a very strong cyclist, I definitely needed the energy I had saved up for dealing with the headwind the last 20-30 miles. I felt really bad for the woman who got a flat with only a few miles to go on the bike – what a tough blow mentally to get a flat SO close to being near the end….

I got off of the bike at just under 7 hours….about a 1/2 hour slower than expected...no worries since I picked up so much time on the swim. My goal of breaking 14 hours was still intact, as long as I didn’t blow up on the run. At this point I got a bit tearful, knowing that I was going to become an Ironman.

After a smooth T2, I felt REALLY good starting the run. My hr was incredibly low (zone 1) and my legs felt surprisingly good. I found out later that Lori saw me coming out of transition and remarked to a friend “OH SHIT – he’s going to do another one.”

A lot of people were walking already, and I started passing people instantly. I looked down and saw an 8:30 pace...too fast...gotta hold back for a while...I kept myself at a 9:30 – 10 minute pace for the first loop, running from aid station to aid station, which were about every mile. Speaking of the aid stations, the thought of Gatorade or gels was completely repulsive...so flat coke it was...

For the record, flat coke is the greatest thing ever, along with chicken broth!!!

The volunteers and crowd support was amazing. The triathlete girls gone wild ROCKED!!! I think everyone looked forward to going through that aid station on the way out and back.

The first loop was pretty uneventful, other than I was surprised at how many people I was passing. I grabbed a long sleeve shirt out of my bag at the turnaround and headed out for the second loop, wondering what awaited me at mile 20, where I hit a MASSIVE wall in both of the standalone marathons I had done.

I kept my pace consistent on the first part of the second loop, sticking with my plan of running aid station to aid station, and stopping for water, coke and chicken broth. I had some great conversations with people on the way. I definitely got a boost from seeing a lot of friends from the Hammerheads on the run course...everyone looked strong and like they were having good days.

I got to the turnaround still feeling good, with my hr still in zone 1, so picked up the pace just a little, still expecting to hit a wall, passing people the entire time…Miles 21...22...23...still no wall...little faster...24...no wall.

On more than one occasion I head some of the people out cheering for us say Holy Shit – he’s still RUNNING...what a great mental boost, since at this point virtually everyone around me was walking. I guess it proves the saying...it’s all about the bike.

At this point I could hear Mike Reilly’s voice just a couple miles away and new I was going to shatter my goal time of 14 hours...I passed under the arch right before the finish line and couldn’t believe the number of people cheering for me and all of the other athletes...it was absolutely electric!!

Coming through the finishers shoot I glanced up, saw 13:10 on the clock, and finally got to hear the words I had worked so hard for over the last couple of years:

Andrew Hariton from Jacksonville Florida, You Are an Ironman.

What an absolutely amazing feeling.

Stay tuned for LOTS more pictures and the post race report...

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Race Week

Since my race report is going to be ridiculously long, I'm breaking it up into two parts (or maybe more, we'll see when I get there). For now, here are my memories from the days leading up to the race:

Race week started with the trip down to Panama City on Tuesday. Since this was my first IM, I wanted to give myself plenty of time to de-compress and for all of the logistical stuff all week. I see no point in heading to the race on Thursday morning. I can't think of anything worse than rushing around and being stressed getting ready for a day I've worked so hard and so long to get to.

Putting things into perspective, I started thinking about doing this three years ago, and started training for it in January 2005, when I started training for my first marathon. So why not take a couple of extra days.....

Fortunately we had found a townhouse about a mile from the race site that was dog friendly on vrbo.com, so we packed up the dogs and all of my race gear I had fortunately started packing the week before. It’s amazing how much you need for an ironman.

It was an easy drive, and we had some time to relax and for me to get in a quick 45 minute ride before picking up my mom from the Panama City airport. Note to Panama City government: PLEASE put up signs to the airport. The only reason we were able to find the airport was that I had printed directions from the house on yahoo.maps. There wasn’t a single sign to the “International” airport on the way there from the beach.

Anyway, we got there right when my mom did, since her flight landed a few minutes early. We got crabs at Dirty Dicks (I know, a bit cheesy, but they picked the name, not me), and relaxed at the house later that night. The house was great, except for one minor issue – the windows/insulation in the master bedroom SUCKED, and the traffic noise was so loud, I though the window in our room was open. Hmmm...that should be fun the night before the race. Scratch that…who am I kidding, there’s no way in hell I’m going to manage to get any sleep the night before the race anyway.

Wednesday morning I got up early and headed down to the race site for one of the morning practice swims. The water was perfectly clear and flat. WOW. I remember thinking I hope it’s like that on race day. I put on my wetsuit and headed out for a ½ hour swim. I swam out for about 15 minutes at a nice easy pace and headed back in. Mission accomplished: my wetsuit fit perfectly and I was able to focus on my stroke and relax a bit. I wonder how well that's going to work in the midst of 2000 other totally obsessive type A personalities on race day....Hmmm.....

It was about 10:00 and registration had just opened, so I headed over to hopefully beat the lines. There were already a couple of hundred people there, but things moved quickly and I got my chip, number, transition bags and special needs bags.

Then I noticed half of my swim watch was blank. After spending an hour driving to Wal-Mart and a few jewelry stores to finally find someone to change the battery, since I was hoping the problem was the battery....I found out the problem wasn’t the battery. Fortunately there was a Timex tent setup at the race site. A HUGE thanks to those guys for hooking me up with a new watch for the race. 1st glitch of the week solved.

When we got back to the house I started packing the transition bags to get a bit of a head start. At this point I realized that my taper must be going perfectly, because I was edgy as hell. Ahhhh....the fun of taper madness....I next switched my attention to my bike and was thrilled to see a few cuts in the rear tire. Nothing like brand new race tires that need to be replaced. Uggghhh....Glitch number two.

I took my bike over to the race site to get a new tire put on....better safe than sorry. The folks at the bike shop took a look and were absolutely positive that the cuts were nowhere near the puncture barrier on the tires, and told me not to give it a second thought...so I took their advice and put it out of my mind….glitch number two solved. God I hope I don’t get a flat in the race...

Thursday I took the day completely off from any workouts and tried to relax as much as possible. We drove the bike course, since I HATE bad surprises, and spent quite a bit of time packing and re-packing the transition bags, making sure I didn’t forget anything. I’m a bit surprised I don’t read about more people driving the course. If I’m going to spend such an enormous amount of time and money for an event like this, I want to eliminate as many of the unknowns as possible. 112 miles is a long way to go, and I want to know what’s coming.

Speaking of unknowns, I of course spent quite a bit of time in front of the tv obsessively checking the weather. What else are you gonna do when you’re edgy as hell and have WAY too much pent up energy.

We headed to the athletes dinner and meeting and came back to the house to watch one of my favorite movies: RUDY. Gotta love a guy with, as the coach put it, not a spec of athletic ability, who keeps getting the crap beat of him, but hangs in there. It’s all about heart. I can relate to it I guess. I have ZERO athletic ability (especially when it comes to swimming – just check my swim splits for proof), yet here I am getting ready to become an Ironman.

By the way, thanks to Susan for getting to the dinner early and holding a bunch of seats for the rest of the hammerheads. Also, thanks to the person who gave me their extra dinner ticket for Lori, saving me $25. Good karma – I hope you had a great race :)

Friday gave me one last chance to make sure everything was ready for the race, including the most important piece of equipment: ME. I headed out for a quick 10 minute swim in my race gear and wetsuit, a very easy 20 minute ride (mainly to shift through all the gears and make sure everything was in order), and a 10 minute run with a couple of quick pickups to stretch out a bit. Everything seemed to be in working condition, including me, so I checked my transition bags one last time and headed to the race site to drop off my bike and bags.

One little problem – they won’t let my bike into transition without the bike numbers on it....duuuhhhh....how many races have I done? Ughhh....Quick trip back to the house, his and hers 15 minute massages (gotta do something nice for Lori for putting up with my edginess all week), some significant $ damage done at the expo (once again, gotta do something nice for Lori for putting up with my edginess all week), and I had nothing to do but wait for 7 am the next day, except be nervous as hell and continue checking the weather obsessively. By the way, we found the CUTEST swim bike run shirt for out little girl who's on the way...pictures to follow.

Friday night I had my usual pre-race pasta w/ pesto and garlic bread dinner at around 6, put one one last inspirational movie (Rocky), packed my special needs bags, got all of my morning gear laid out, and put a quick message on the mirror for the morning.

I’m a big believer in giving yourself positive messages at critical times. I got this idea from Rich Strauss at Crucible Fitness, as well as many others I’d use on race day. I put a couple of things on the mirror so that they’d be the first thing I saw when I woke up:

SLOW IS SMOOTH…SMOOTH IS FAST. (perfect for my pre-race routine and transitions. The point here is to take your time. Things are going to go wrong. Fix it and move on)

My one thing: See how far I can push myself. Be the man your dog and daughter think you are :) (OK – so I had two things. It’s a LONG day and is going to be an emotional rollercoaster with lots of highs and lows, so I’ve been told. When you hit the lows, it’s time to remember why you’re doing the race)

Andrew Hariton You Are an Ironman (just for good measure)

As luck would have it, I felt tired and had no problem falling sound asleep. I woke up at 3:30 for the adventures of race day to begin....Hopefully between 3:30 am and 12:00 midnight, I’ll hear Mike Reilly announce those magical words: Andrew Hariton, You Are an Ironman.

Stay tuned....

Monday, November 5, 2007

The Reward at the End of the Journey

Thanks to everyone for all of the great comments and supporting me along the way for the last several months of training leading up to this event...It was an unbelievably amazing day that I'll never forget.

Now that this part of the journey has come to an end, I definitely understand a couple of things much more clearly:

1. It's not about the race...the race is the reward for all of the training.

2. Ironman is 80% mental and 20% physical. Those of you who have gone the distance understand that comment. Those that are that are training for your first will understand it soon enough....

I have a long list of thank yous that will rival any oscar awards speech, and probably a longer race report...please be patient....I'll post both in the next few days.

In the meantime, this will have to suffice:

Monday, October 29, 2007

One last post....

I'm not sure if we'll have an internet connection in PC Beach, so I'll say farewell until after the race....We're heading down tomorrow morning.

I hope everyone follows me on raceday at:


I'm #1058

The race starts at 7 am CST.

I look forward to sharing the experiance through my race report with everyone when I get back next week....until then.....

Live with purpose...Enjoy the Adventure....

10/29/07: Coasting into the Race

Last week was another light week, coasting into the race....The last few weeks are no longer about building fitness...they're about recovering from the last several months of training and showing up at the start line injury free.....which I thankfully am....

Last weeks plan was for an easy 8.5 hours (it's amazing how short 8.5 becomes after doing 15-16 a few times)

Swim: Plan 4.5 hours
Actual: 2.92 hours, 3.3 miles

Even though I had planned on doing an hour wetsuit swim in the ocean yesterday, the weather had other plans - the wind was blowing 15-20 out of the northeast with 6-8 ft breakers...unless I was planning on testing my wetsuit out as a flotation/survival device....no ocean swim...such as life....

Fortunately one of my race wishes has come true: 77 is WAY too warm to be in a wetsuit....but there's no way I'm giving up the buoyancy advantages....fortunately for me, the water temp in Panama City has dropped 6 degrees in the last week down to a nice comfy 71 :)

Run: Plan 1.5 hours
Actual: 1.5 hours, 10.19 miles

I've definitely noticed an increase in pace while keeping my heart rate low over the last few weeks...let's hope that continues through the race

Cycling: Plan 3 hours
Actual: 3 hours, 53.47 miles

I'm as ready as I'm going to be....one of my biggest challenges on Saturday is going to be taking it VERY easy for the first 50-60 miles of the bike - ESPECIALLY if I feel good...feeling great and going too hard on the bike = BONK a few hours later at mile 20 or so of the run...something I'd rather not have to experience...

This week's workouts are extraordinarily minimal: 1/2 hour run, hour ride, 1/2 hour swim over the next few days...Then a very short 30 minute swim/bike/run brick on Friday just to stay loose...and then....


Live with Purpose....Enjoy the Adventure....

Thursday, October 25, 2007

10/25/07: The Surprising History of the 220-Age Formula

Let's assume for a moment that you need to know your max heart rate, even though it has very little relevance in endurance training. It's commonly accepted that 220-age = max heart rate, right? And since it's so commonly accepted, and in textbooks, and taught to most trainers, it's certainly based on proper testing and scientific evidence, right?

Ummmm...not so much....

Although common sense tells me that age based formulas wouldn't be capable of predicting hr training zones with any accuracy, since we're all so unique, I had no idea that such a widely accepted formula could possibly be based on only 11 data points.... Quoting from the study:

"Despite the acceptance of this formula, research spanning more than two decades reveals the large error inherent in the estimation of HRmax (Sxy=7-11 b/min). Ironically, inquiry into the history of this formula reveals that it was not developed from original research, but resulted from observation based on data from approximately 11 references consisting of published research or unpublished scientific compilations. Consequently, the formula HRmax=220-age has no scientific merit for use in exercise physiology and related fields. A brief review of alternate HRmax prediction formula reveals that the majority of age-based univariate prediction equations also have large prediction errors (>10 b/min)."

Emphasis added

The study concludes:

"1. Currently, there is no acceptable method to estimate HRmax.

2. If HRmax needs to be estimated, then population specific formulae should be used. However, the most accurate general equation is that of Inbar (17) (Table 3); HRmax=205.8-0.685(age). Nevertheless, the error (Sxy=6.4 b/min) is still unacceptably large.

3. An acceptable prediction error for HRmax for application to estimation of VO2max is <±3 b/min. Thus, for a person with a HRmax of 200 b/min, error equals ±1.5%. If this precision is not possible, then there is no justification for using methods of VO2max estimation that rely on HRmax prediction formulae.

4. Additional research needs to be performed that develops multivariate regression equations that improve the accuracy of HRmax prediction for specific populations, and modes of exercise.

5. The use of HRmax is most prevalent in the fitness industry, and the people who work in these facilities mainly have a terminal undergraduate degree in exercise science or related fields. These students/graduates need to be better educated in statistics to recognize and understand the concept of prediction error, and the practical consequences of relying on an equation with a large standard error of estimate (Sxy).

6. Textbooks in exercise physiology and exercise prescription should contain content that is more critical of the HRmax=220-age or similar formulae. Authors need to stress the mode-specificity of HRmax, provide alternate, research substantiated formula, and express all content of items 1-5, above. Similarly, academic coverage of HRmax needs to explain how this error detracts from using HRmax estimation in many field tests of physical fitness and in exercise prescription."

All the more reason I'm in favor of using a combination of RPE and HR, or better yet, doing a time trial and determing lactate threshold with some amount of accuracy.

Here's a link to the study: href="http://faculty.css.edu/tboone2/asep/Robergs2.pdf">

Live with purpose...Enjoy the adventure....
Live at cause....not effect....

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

10/24/07: Panama City Beach Athlete Safety and Information Guide

Fortunately a southerner was kind enough to offer the following information about doing an Ironman in Panama City Beach:

"Well, here in the Redneck Riviera they do speak a dialect of English, "I rekon" You won't need to worry about currency exchange because we do accept the US dollar, personally I would like to be paid with British pounds or the Euro.

You will be swimming in the Gulf of Mexico or as they call it here, the "guf" Watch out for: red tide, jellyfish, dead fish from red tide, 800lb mako sharks, and rednecks swimming in cut off wranglers.

The bike portion is relatively flat, there is one mountain stage, the Col du Causeway. You will have to climb this beast twice, early and late into the day.

There is a phenomenon here in the south called the hillbilly, redneck, or just white trash trailer people. They engage in a sport called cyclist harassment.

Their mode of transport includes large diesel trucks or cars that were produced in the late 70's to very early 80's that supplement air conditioning with rusted roofs, floorboards and doors. For your safety I recommend you wear a cycling jersey that the entire back is a NASCAR logo, Dale Jr's logo, or the American Flag. Hear in the South it is heresy to run over or throw anything at those three national treasures."

This week the taper continues...YAY....and so far no taper madness....YAY

Last night was the normal group swim. A relatively short night at 2650 yds, with some good intensity thrown in...perfect for tapering....

wu: 200 x swim, kick, pull

3x50 on 1’10”

4x50 on 55 – 1 (5 sec rest)
4x25 on 45”
3x50 on 55 – 1 (5 sec rest)
4x25 on 45”
2x50 on 55 – 1 (5 sec rest)
4x25 on 45”
1x50 on 55 – 1 (5 sec rest)

200 kick easy

lactate threshold set (all out w/ lots of rest)
75 on 3’
50 on 2’
25 on 1’
25 on 1’
50 on 2’

400 neg split under 8 (actual 8’ 3”, although I did a negative split by 5”)

200 swim

The rest of the week remains light, with some short bursts of intensity thrown in. All that remains is an hour bike ride, another swim with the masters group, and a 1/2 hour run. This weekend is a three hour brick (2 hour ride, 1 hour run) and an hour'ish ocean swim on Sunday with a few others doing the race.

With the race numbers up, the race just got a bit more real and nervous energy is certainly starting to build.

Live with purpose....Enjoy the Adventure
Live at cause....not effect....

Monday, October 22, 2007

For Immediate Release....

It's a girl :)

And less importantly, I'm #1058 at IM FL...

That is all...carry on....

10/22/07: One More - The Week in Review

Plan: 11.25 hours; Actual: 11.2 hours

Swimming: Plan 3.5 hours
Actual: 3.33 hours; 4.42 miles

I got in a great distance swim Thurs night on my own with the masters group being cancelled, and suffered through an ocean beating in my wetsuit on Sunday...all in all a good swimming week

Cycling: Plan 4.75 hours
Actual: 4.63 hours, 83.64 miles

I really enjoyed Saturdays "short" 3 hour ride. Just remember, it's all about running off of the bike...

Running: Plan: 3 hours
Actual: 3.24 hours, 22.04 miles

I turned Wednesday's bike ride into a short brick by adding a 10 minute run onto the end. Same after Saturday's ride adding a 15 minute run.

Sunday's long run was great, with the 3 higher intensity zone 2/3 intervals.

Weight: 177...lost 4 during the week - just 7 more to go

Overall taper week number 1 went right according to plan :)

Live with purpose...Enjoy the Adventure...

10/22/07: Rounding out the weekend

Last but not least for then end of taper week 1 was an ocean swim and a 1 1/2 hour run.

The weather was NOT conducive for an ocean swim, but so what? I really needed to get in some time in my wetsuit, so....off to the ocean....

I dragged Lori along (begrudgingly) to keep any eye on me, squeezed into my wetsuit and hopped into an ocean that was MUCH rougher that is comfortable for swimming. The current wasn't too bad, although the waves were - very choppy. More conducive to surfing than swimming, although I didn't see any surfers out there either.

In the end, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. After getting completely pummeled for 15 minutes, I turned around and started heading back, which only took about 1/2 the time. I had planned on swimming for a 1/2 hour. The 20 something minutes I did swim felt like double that....

Fortunately last nights run went a little better. I spent the 1st 45 minutes taking it easy, and getting warmed up. The next 45 minutes I alternated going 10 hard and 10 recovery, with the hard sets in hr zones 2 and 3, with the recovery sets in zone 1, once again adding a bit of intensity to the lowered volume.

Overall pace was 8:45 / min with a 147 avg hr. My average for the harder intervals was sub 8, which is a HUGE leap for me. Hopefully my fitness continues to INCREASE through the next two weeks of tapering, as I continue decreasing volume and letting my body recover from what I've put it through over the last 20 weeks....

Live with purpose....Enjoy the adventure....

10/22/07: A short 3 hour ride?

Never thought I'd find myself saying that....

This phrase seems to be showing up a lot: EVERYTHING'S RELATIVE

After doing several 5-6 1/2 hour rides, 3 suddenly seems short. Kind of like running a 5k after a marathon.

I got off to a very late start on Saturday, since I could. Planning for 3 hours is SO much easier than planning for 6+.

I spent the 1st two hours taking it easy in zone 2, and pushed the pace a bit getting my hr up into zone three for the third hour...one of the keys to a good taper: a bit of intensity to keep the legs fresh for the race, given the massively reduced volume

Overall everything felt good, even into the wind, and I hit a new speed benchmark: 18.32 average...Woohoo...I guess this tapering stuff really works :)

Just to keep myself honest, I did a short 15 minute run off the bike...I managed 8:37 pace keeping my hr in zone 2 and 3....

Overall a great workout...

10/22/07: Catching up....

...on the rest of last weeks workouts....

Thursday night's masters swim was cancelled, so I headed to UNF for a swim on my own = distance night. Ended up at 3900

Warmup was the typical 200 x swim, kick, pull

Time for a ladder set, which I hadn't done in a while (all on 10-15" rest between sets):

100, 200, 300, 400, 500, 400, 300, 200, 100 = 2500

8x100 on 10" rest

Friday was an hour recovery ride, keeping my hr in zone 1 the whole time. Nothing too exciting here....

Friday, October 19, 2007

10/19/07: Train Heavy.....Race Light.....

Going 26.2 miles with 10 or so less pounds should make for a much easier race. Over the last 5 months or so, I've been consistent about eating everything and anything in sight - consistency is after all what get's you to the IM starting line, and hopefully over the finish line.

Starting this week, with three weeks to go, it's time to drop 11 lbs to get to 170 for the race. Fortunately I'm way ahead of schedule :)

How am I going to do it? Simple - stop eating crap that is pure poisen to our bodies, which is unfortunately most of what comprises our diets these days.

Fortunately the Paleo Diet for Athletes by triathlon coaching god Joe Friel is a phenomenal guide, and is VERY consistent with what I learned works years ago.

Here's a great summary: http://www2.trainingbible.com/paleo.htm

The Paleo Diet for Athletes is NOT about losing wieght. It's abouting eating for peak performance. Funny thing, ironically enough), is that when we start eating for peak performance, weight takes care of itself. Everyone who knows me already knows that weight is an effect, not a cause.

Starting this week I went back to a much more cleansing and alkaline diet, geared specifically towards peak athletic performance.

What is that you ask?

First and foremost, good hydration. I've been consistent about this for years now anyway, so no changes needed here. Simple formula - 1/2 your body weight in oz of WATER a day. There is no substitute and really no way around this one. This, by the way, is THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT THING ABOVE ALL.

Next, elimate processed foods, fried foods, dairy, and whites (white flour, sugar, salt, etc).

Now onto the good stuff:

Fats and essential fatty acids (omega 3s and 6s) come from
Udos (my personal favorite, as it's designed for health, not shelf life), extra virgin olive oil, and avocado (YUMMY).

Protiens come from grilled fish and lean meats. This means real meat, not the lunch meats or other processed crap that's pure poisen to the body.

Carbs come from steamed basmati or jasmine rice, spelt bread, whole wheat wraps, sweet potatoes, etc...lots of good choices here...EXCEPT immediately before, during and after workouts...then sports drinks, gels etc still play a big part...no change there.

One or two botteles of Boost a couple of hours before a workout (250 - 500 calories, good ratio of carbs and protien), typical gels, perpetuem and Nuun during workouts, recoverite and some real food after worktouts.

Fruits and veggies also play a BIG ROLE. Lunch and dinner has typically been some sort of salad...grilled tuna or chicken salad....udos or olive oil as dressing...simple...plain...effective

Last but not least, to make sure things stay alkaline, green drink 2x per day. Altough several exist, my favorite is Barleans, since I like the taste and can get it locally.

Now that I've gone into way more detail than you ever probably wanted...the results?

Since Monday I've lost 5.5 lbs....WAY ahead of schedule.

I'm always amazed at how quickly our bodies respond, once we stop poisening ourslelves with all of the dairy, fried foods, bread, processed foods, and other crap that seems to make up the majority of our diets these days. (Please excuse my rant).

Since a few people have asked about it, here are my favorite resources, since I don't have the time or space to go through all of the information here:

The Paleo Diet for Athletes: A Nutritional Formula for Peak Athletic Performance

The pH Miracle: Balance Your Diet, Reclaim Your Health

Fats That Heal, Fats That Kill: The Complete Guide to Fats, Oils, Cholesterol and Human Health

Living Health

Thursday, October 18, 2007

10/18/07: Tapering?

So far, it doesn't feel like I'm tapering, since my mid-week workouts haven't changed too much. I mentioned in a previous post that I have to work out pretty hard now-a-days to get my heart rate up into zone 2 on both the bike and the run. Seems like my aerobic fitness has surpassed my muscular fitness, which is probably a good thing for going 140.6.

Tuesday was the normal run and swim. I ran 3.45 miles in 30 minutes with an average hr or 141. WOW - massive progress from where I started, although I think part of the reason my hr is much lower at a slightly faster pace is the lower temps and humidity.

Did 3300 yds with the masters group Tues night:

Warmup: 200 swim, 200 kick, 100 pull


Two things of note: 1. I kept my pace UNDER 2' for all of the 100's - GO ME - swimming is finally starting to come together - I'm getting the concept of a strong pull with a high elbow, using my lats and delts to do most of the work - gotta love using big muscles instead of small muscles.... 2. I was the only one in the lane that actually enjoyed that set - leave it to the token triathlete in the group.....

8x75 kick So much for enjoying the set......

cd: 200 swim

Again, MASSIVE progress in the pool - I struggled getting in 2500 yds not that long ago - now 3300 isn't a problem

Wednesday was a 45 minute ride, followed by a 10 minute run. Like Tuesday's run, I managed a higher speed with a lower heart rate, having to push myself to keep my hr in zone 2. I went 12.46 miles in 41 minutes with an avg hr of 141, for an average speed of 18.23 mph. The run afterwards was as much about breaking in my new shoes as anything else.

I went 1.25 miles in 10 minutes with a hr of 147. An average pace of 8 / mile off the bike? WTF? That's WAY faster than I usually run, much less keeping that pace off the bike, which was a bit faster than usual....and all this keeping my hr in zone 2 on both the bike and run...not that I'm complaining....too bad I won't be able to keep that pace in the IM, which would be a 3:30 marathon...Instead, I'm hoping for more like a 5 hour marathon in the race :)

Live with Purpose....Enjoy the Adventure....

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

10/16/07: Training to Date - 19 weeks in review

When I first started this training plan shortly after the 1/2 IM in May, I remember thinking that IMFL seems so far away. The last 5 months went by in the blink of any eye, and Nov 3 is only a short 19 days away :)

Since starting on June 4th, I've trained for 219.38 hours and gone 2002.33 miles

I've swam 72.84 miles, ran 351.69 miles and cycled and unbelievable 1577.80 miles.

Was my training perfect? Absolutely not....

I missed a few swims and other mid-week workouts here and there, and with only one exception hit EVERY SINGLE ONE of my key workouts and all of the milestones along the way, including the 90 something miler in the unbelievable wind a few weeks back. The one exception?

4 flats = no 112 miler :(

Milestones? According to coach extraordinaire Rich Strauss, whose advise I trust implicitly (along with a few others such as Joe Friel), there are three key milestones to hit at least once on the way to ironman:

1. 4k swim - check...did it twice, once in the ocean and once in the pool...
2. 100-112 mile bike - check...I did one century, although would have preferred to hit 112...oh well.....
3. 2.5 - 3 hour run...check...I did one 3 hour run, plus several others in the 2.5 - 3 hour range....

Let's just hope that I got all of my flats out of the way.....

Starting in January 2006, when I began training for the Rock n Roll marathon, it took me a year and a half to build up a good enough base to START training for a full ironman...WOW...IT's so easy to lose track of where you were and how far you've come sometimes. Now that I'm under three weeks to go, all I can do know is hope that everything I've done over the last 19 weeks was enough, and more broadly, over the last 2.5 years was enough.

My training hours peaked at 16 hours, and now they're MASSIVELY reduced for the next few weeks, getting in 11.5 this week, then 8, then just 2-2.5 the week of the race. No more 6 hour rides, three hour runs, 6 hour bricks....no more eating like crap knowing I'll burn it all off anyway....

The next three weeks are to give my body exactly what it needs to recover from all of the training - REALLY good nutrition and lots of rest - and to let my fitness hit it's absolute peak on one specific day: November 3.....

Live with purpose....Enjoy the adventure....

10/16/07: The week in review

The plan was to up the hours a bit, since my supposed peak week the week prior was a flop due to all of the flats on the bike. Out of a planned 16 hours, I ended up with 14.86

Swim: Plan 4 hours
Actual 2.75 hours, 3.04 miles

I got stuck in traffic on Tuesday, so arrived 15 minutes late. After Saturday's long run and Sunday's long brick, the weekend swim got left out. Having done two 2.4+ miles swims, I'm not going to sweat missing a swim workout at this point. I've come a LONG way swimming with the masters group and am totally confident about making the cutoff, at least based on the factors under my control....as always, I'll need some good karma from the open water swimming gods on race day...

Run: Plan 4.5 hours
Actual: 4.5 hours, 29.61 miles

Saturday's long run was a little bit of a mental challenge...Quite frankly I didn't WANT to run for 2 hours; however, there comes a time when you train the way you NEED to, instead of the way you WANT to. So it was with the long run....

I was probably thinking more towards how my legs were going to feel on Sunday's monster 6 hour brick, which brings us to....

Cycling: Plan 7.5 hours
Actual: 7.58 hours, 138.29 miles

Is it all about the bike? I think it's time for a revision...It's all about being able to run off of the bike....which was exactly the purpose for Sunday's brick from hell.

My legs were a bit tired when I started the ride from doing a 13 mile 2 hour run the day before. But that's what makes triathlon so much more demanding than marathons....you have to recover from workouts much more quickly.

Although it was a bit windy, the bike ride went well, and my nutrition really seems to be dialed in, alternating sipping water with Nuun every ten minutes with Perpetuem + some water, and a Powerbar gel every 45 minutes. No stomach problems at all :)

I intentionally took it VERY easy on the bike, wanting to have a good run afterwards. I got in a bit over 85 miles in 5 hours, which is about what I expected.

Starting the hour run, my legs felt like lead weights, also expected. After about a mile I fell into a rhythm, and just kept reminding myself that this was the last hard workout of my training.

One thing I've noticed lately is that I have to run pretty hard to get my heart rate up into zone 2, which bodes well for the race. In fact, I would LOVE to be able to keep a 9-10 min / mile pace on the run with my hr in zone 1.

I pushed the pace a bit in the last 30 minutes, getting my hr up without going overboard. I went 6.44 miles, for a 9:19 / pace....not bad

And that leads us to....drumroll please....Training to Date - 19 Weeks in Review

Sunday, October 14, 2007

It's all downhill from here.....

That's right...after yesterday's 2 hour run and today's monster 6 hour brick....it's taper time!!!

Aside from the expected moodiness, I'm definitely looking forward to letting my body recover and showing up at the starting line healthy, rested, and peaked!

Check back in a couple of days for the week in review, and as an added bonus, a review of the last 5 months of training to date....

Live with purpose....Enjoy the adventure....

Friday, October 12, 2007

10/12/07: This Just In....

Gotta love finishing in the mud:

My shoes "were" white before the end of the 1/2 last weekend.....

Now back to our training, already in progress......

10/12/07: Today's MUST read....

In the Beginning... from Iron Wil at http://www.throughth3wall.com/2007/10/in-beginning.html

Thursday, October 11, 2007

10/11/07: Peak Week - Part Duex

Can you imagine training for the most part non-stop for two years, focusing on Ironman Florida for 22 weeks, training your ass off, and having your fitness peak two weeks BEFORE the event? Me neither......

Since last week's hours were so rediculously low (it's amazing how 11.86 hours has become a rediculously low number of training hours), I re-wrote this week's schedule to push my volume back up to at least 16 hours to avoid what would otherwise be a 5 week taper.

So....this week kicked off with a 1/2 hour run on Tuesday and a relatively short 2300 yds in the pool. Unfortunately traffic was backed up and it took me 20 minutes longer than usual getting to the pool, so I missed the warmup :(

Still had a good swim, doing:

9x100 descending 1-3x3 on 2'10"

5x200: odds negative split; evens 50 easy 50 hard

Misc 50's

Last night I avoided the dreaded trainer once again and hit a spin class for 50 minutes and then immediately spent 40 minutes on the rollers. My balance has most definitely MASSIVELY improved on the rollers....I had them in the middle of the room and other than having a chair next to me to get started, I'm riding without a safety net

This morning was an hour zone 2 run with 6 30" strides thrown in to ensure I'm keeping up good form. So far so good this week.....

Live with purpose...Enjoy the adventure

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

10/10/07: The Week in Review

I think I've been procrastinating putting last week's numbers up because they were so bad. Although it was supposed to be the peak week of my training, it was anything but.

The original plan was for 18 hours....the revised plan was for 17 hours...actual hours were less than my last recovery week: 11.86....

Swim: Plan 3 hours
Actual: 3.1 hours, 3.98 miles

After missing Tuesday's group swim, I did a continuous long swim on Saturday afternoon, after doing my 3 hour run that morning. GO ME!! The long swim was 4300 (2.44 miles) in 1:36, with only a 30 sec break at the 45 minute mark for a few sips of water.

Running: Plan 4 hours
Actual: 4 hours, 24.4 miles

Adding an hour onto the 1/2 marathon made the long run fun, especially getting to cheer for all of the people still finishing when I ran the course in reverse for a few miles at the end.

Cycling: Plan 10 hours
Actual: 4.75 hours

Here's where the wheels came off, both figuratively and literally. I wasn't feeling good on Friday, and certainly didn't want to get sick, so I skipped the hour recovery ride...no big deal...better to rest sometimes.

4 flats = 48 miles in 4 hours (3.25 riding time) = disaster of a ride on Sunday. Instead of doing 112 miles over ~6.5 hours, I obviously fell well short.

The bright side, if there is one to the train wreck of a training week, is that my focus had been much more heavily towards cycling the last several weeks, so at least I've developed a reasonable cycling base, with an 80 mile ride, a couple of 90 mile rides and a century ride, even if I did miss hitting 112 this week.

Here's a look at my training to date. It was supposed to be 4 week blocks, three up, one back...Hmmmm....

To avoid what would essentially become a 5 week taper, I'm going to re-write this weeks plan and push the volume up a bit to 16 hours by adding in a two hour run this weekend and hopefully an ocean swim on Sunday, and start my taper as planned next week. This weekend's big workout is my last: a dreadful 6 hour brick (5 hour ride and an hour run).

Live with purpose....Enjoy the adventure...

Monday, October 8, 2007

10/08/07: This just in.....

Apparently I wasn't the only one who had a bad day yesterday. In fact, by comparison, mine wasn't so bad:

Runner dies, 300 treated as heat ravages Chicago Marathon
Story Highlights
Marathon run in record 88-degree heat, high humidity

At least 49 people taken to area hospitals due heat-related ailments....

.....CHICAGO, Illinois (AP) -- Organizers shut down the course four hours after the start of Sunday's Chicago Marathon because of 88-degree heat and sweltering humidity that left one runner dead and sent at least 49 to area hospitals. Another 250 were treated at the site.

Chad Schieber of Midland, Michigan, 35, collapsed while running on the South Side and was pronounced dead shortly before 1 p.m. at a Veteran's Affairs hospital, the Cook County medical examiner's office. An autopsy was scheduled for Monday.

George Chiampas, the race's medical director, said witnesses reported seeing Schieber collapse and become unresponsive. "It sounds like he lost his pulse very fast and died on the race course," Chiampas said.

There was another running death Sunday in Arlington, Virginia. An unidentified runner from Virginia died during the Army Ten-Miler, collapsing near the finish at the Pentagon. The race started in 70-degree heat and high humidity.

The Chicago race was run in record temperatures, topping the mark of 84 degrees in 1979....

Runners were diverted to the starting area, where they were provided with medical attention and cooling misters. Shortages of water and energy drinks were reported along the 26.2-mile route.

Race director Carey Pinkowski said organizers were concerned that emergency medical personnel wouldn't be able to keep up with heat-related injuries.

"We're seeing a lot of our participants slowing," Pinkowski said. "It was a contingency plan we had in place and we decided to implement as a precautionary measure."

At first, organizers hoped those who passed the halfway mark could complete the run. But eventually even those recreational runners were told to turn back.

Still, some runners persevered, although organizers said they didn't know how many completed the course.

Helicopters hovered over the race course while police officers shouted through a bullhorn and warned runners to slow down and walk.

Lori Kaufman, a runner from St. Louis, said she was told to start walking at mile 14. She said the fire department turned on hydrants to hose people down along the course.

Paul Gardiner, a runner from England, said the weather made for a "brutal" run.

"We were at about 18 miles and we heard they canceled it and that kind of sent a little bit of concern through the crowd," he said. "It's just it's impossible to run."

Almost 10,000 of the 45,000 registered runners chose to not race in the heat despite more mist stations, cooling buses and water-soaked sponges.......

10/08/07: 112 Ride? Not Exactly.....

The last thing I wanted to do yesterday morning was to get up and ride 112, after doing my peak 3 hour run on Saturday, although that's what makes triathlon training so much more challenging than marathon training (I mean no offense to marathon runners by that statement, as I've done a couple).

In marathon training you get to recover for a couple of days after a long run; in triathlon, the day after the my longest run of my training, I find myself doing the longest ride of my training, or at least that was the plan. The ride seemed to be doomed from the start.

Want to know if god has a sense of humor? Just tell her your plans.....


I started out with the velobrew b ride for a 55 mile ride, and was going to do another 57 on my own. Not 5 minutes into the ride we had our first flat of the day; unfortunately, that was a bad omen of what was to come. 10 minutes or so later the flat was fixed and we were on our way again.

About an hour later we had our second flat, and this time it was me :(

No big deal....change it and keep going.....and then 10 minutes later another flat....me again....UGHHHHHH....

After the first flat I felt around the tire and didn't see or feel anything, so I replaced the tube and kept going. After the second flat, I looked VERY carefully, and found a TINY piece of glass that had lodged in the tire.....No big deal, except I had only brought one tube with me.

The smart thing to do would have been to borrow a spare tube from someone else in the group. Unfortunately for me that's not what happened. Instead someone suggested patching the tube, which I did....I few minutes later we're rolling again.....and a few minutes after that....Yep, you guessed it...another flat....the patch didn't hold....

So of course this time I borrowed another tube, right? No, that would have made way too much sense...the person who suggested patching it the first time suggested patching the old tube....so I did, and so I flatted again a few minutes later....This time we did finally put in a new tube and the rest of the ride was uneventful, other than the group was LONG GONE...

I'd like to thank Richard for staying with me, giving me his spare tube, and making sure I got back to the start ok.

4...yes 4, F&^$ING flats in one ride.....I managed to go just over 40 miles in 4.25 hours......UUUUGGGGHHHHHH.

Since it was now 12:30 and the ride was pretty much shot for the day, I headed over to the bike shop a couple of miles from my house to get some new tubes, CO2 and to get the speed sensor for my computer fixed, since it was already 12:30 and the day's ride was shot. To make the day complete, so was the sensor on my computer. Although I could have grabbed a new tube and CO2 and kept riding for an hour or two, sometimes it's best to live to fight another day.

Needing to drop my bike off for it's pre-race tune up anyway, I drove down to Ponte Vedra Beach, planning on leaving my bike at Bike Fitters. Just to make the day even more fun, they're no longer open on Sundays.....just one more annoyance for the day and another hour and a half wasted.....not that I was mad at them, since the last time I checked they don't need to check in with me when they change their hours....just one of those things.....

After a 4 hour ride (3 hours of actual riding time), only 42 miles, and a wasted trip to PV Beach, I headed home, Dos Equis in hand to at least try to enjoy the afternoon......

I've already gotten in one century ride, a couple of 90 miles rides (including the 6.25 hour ride in the wind last weekend) and a couple of 80 mile rides, so I'm confident that I'm ok for the race....I have one more long training day left before my taper: a 6 hour brick this coming weekend (5 hour ride, one hour run).

Fortunately the weather was REALLY nice early in the evening, and we were able to take the dogs for a walk to the lake for Kramer to get his swim on and Sophie to...well...watch Kramer get his swim on.....she's a pug, what did you expect?

Live with purpose....Enjoy the adventure.....

Saturday, October 6, 2007

A good, although wet start.....

to IronWeekend....

This weekend started out with the Marine Corps 1/2 marathon, plus an hour tacked onto the end, making my 3 hour run reasonably entertaining. It was raining throughout the whole race, but what are you gonna do?

My plan for the race was to keep my heart rate in zone 2 for the first hour (155ish), zone 3 for the second hour (165ish), and after the finish, to run another hour in zone 2 again.

My plan worked perfectly, giving me a great negative split for the race. I really enjoyed the second hour, passing LOTS of people. Although this was a training run for me and not a race per se, my competitive spirit kicked in the last few miles and I broke two hours.

Although I finished a few minutes slower than last year, overall the race was much slower. Last year's time was 1:52:08, which was good enough for 34/81 in my age group and 275/606 overall. This year's 1:58:41 placed me 22/82 in my age group and 177/550 overall.

I'm admittedly a bit surprised at how well I did, since my focus has been on biking and swimming much more than running, and I went so easy for the 1st half of the race. I guess it really is all about the bike.

I really enjoyed the hour I added to the end, as I did the course backwards and got to encourage all of the BOPers that were still finishing. That was probably the highlight of the race, and made the last hour go by pretty quickly and painlessly.

After watching Maryland hold on to beat Ga Tech (FEAR THE TURTLE), I DRAGGED myself to the pool.....1:36 and 4300 yds later (2.44 miles, ever so slightly farther than the IM swim), the day was at long last done. I did a continuous swim, stopping after 45 minutes for a quick drink of water. The plan was for 4250; somewhere I added an extra 50. Better too long than too short.

Tomorrow Ironweekend continues with a 112 mile ride followed by a 1/2 hour run...should be thrilling after trashing my legs breaking 2 hours today....in hindsight that may not have been the best idea....I guess I'll find out in the morning....

Live with purpose....Enjoy the adventure....

Friday, October 5, 2007

10/05/07: This week so far...

I didn't exactly get off to a stellar start to Ironweek.

I was scheduled for a run and a swim on Tuesday, neither of which happened....I enjoyed being lazy Tuesday morning and missed the run, and we got home way too late from Naples, and I missed the swim.

Originally I had scheduled a massive 18 hours for this week, which isn't going to happen. In an attempt to at least get to 17, I'm changing today (Friday) from a day off to a 1.5 hour easy brick (1 hour ride & 1/2 hour run). The downside is that the weather once again sucks (a technical term) and it's going to be an indoor brick...welcome back to the rollers.....

Speaking of, Wednesday was a 1.5 hour ride, 40 minutes on the rollers and 50 minutes on the trainer. Yesterday (Thursday) was an hour run in the morning and 1.5 hours in the pool. The pool workout got cut a little short by lightening at the beginning, although we still got in 2700 yds:

100 swim warmup

9x150 pull on 3'10"

4x50 sprint on 1'5"

6x150 swim on 3'15"

150 cd

I'm praying for the weather to cooperate for ironweekend, as I'm planning a steady 4225 swim, 112 ride and 3 hour run, although not all together.

Tomorrow I'm mostly likely going to do the

and add an hour onto the end of it. I'll hit the pool later in the afternoon, and hopefully get plenty of sleep for Sundays LONG ride.

Live with purpose....Enjoy the adventure....

10/05/07: Last Week in Review

At long last....I know you've all been patiently waiting for this :)

Last week's plan was for 16.25 hours, and I came very close, although traded some cycling time for some running time, getting in a total of 16 hours and 155 miles....

Swimming: Plan 4.5 hours
Actual 4.5 hours, 5.28 miles

Good swimming week. Not too much to add, other than thanks again to Kevin and his masters group in Naples for letting me drop in for the day.

Cycling: Plan 7.75 hours
Actual 8.41 hours, 130.72 miles

It's all about the bike. Extra time was mainly from fighting the wind on my long ride. Great training for the race in case it's windy (let's start praying now that it's not).

Running: Plan 4 hours
Actual 3.08 hours, 19 miles

Moving my long run to Wednesday worked out great; unfortunately moving Wednesday's short run to Saturday not so much, since I didn't do it :-(

Although I've been great about hitting my key workouts (e.g. long runs), which I've NEVER missed, I haven't been so great with a handful of the shorter runs. Even though they're filler to a certain extent, they still play a part in overall training volume. I promise I'll be better in the next few weeks....

Live with purpose....Enjoy the adventure....

Thursday, October 4, 2007

10/04/07: Catching up on my Blog

Lot's of catching up to do, starting with the trip to Naples.

As all trips seem to go, we left later than expected, and it took longer to get there than expected...we got in around 2 am on Friday night, which definitely took a toll on me 4 1/2 hours later went the alarm went off for me to get up and swim.

A huge thanks to Kevin Erndl, the masters swim coach, for letting me drop in for the day. Kevin has not only put together a great masters group, he's competing in the 70.3 Championships in Clearwater in November. Best of luck Kevin.

If you're ever in Naples, and in need of a swim, check them out. We did some interesting drills including some with a longer stretch cord, which made it VERY difficult to get to the other side of the pool....overall it was a good workout and enjoyable to do something out of the ordinary.

Sunday was time for my long ride. I had been warned over and over about the lack of bike lanes/shoulder and the prevalence of older drivers, the combination of which is every cyclists nightmare come true. Fortunately for me, the snowbirds don't show up in Naples for another month or so, and I had absolutely zero issues on my long ride.

My initial plan was to meet up with a 6:30 group at Clint's bike shop; unfortunately, no one from the 6:30 group had the same plan. Their 7 am group was sizable, although had a very different agenda for the day (shorter and faster), so after getting their thoughts on my route, I set out for a century ride on my own.

I followed the route I had created on mapmyride, going through Fort Meyers beach, over the causeway, and through the very beautiful and very remote Sanibel Island and Captiva. If you've never been there, do yourself a favor and go. It's absolutely beautiful, with spectacular, unspoiled beaches.

The downside of the ride was the wind, which was blowing HARD out of the east. I knew I was going to be in trouble on the way back when I was going 30+ with virtually no effort once I was on Sanibel....on the way back I was going ~10, and that was a struggle. I was going pretty much straight into the wind the entire way back, so much so that I was only going 10 mph on the way DOWN the causeway.....hmmmm....good practice for Hawaii one day....

(just kidding Lori)

At my usual pace, a century ride should be right at 5 1/2 hours. Well.....this definitely was NOT my normal pace.....I ended up with 91 miles in 6:10, giving me a pace under 15mph....I was good for the first hour or so back into the wind...after that my attitude went downhill FAST (even though my speed was anything but).

Riding into a wind like that just wears on you....needless to say I wanted off the bike badly....and finally I got my wish after a very beautiful and thankfully uneventful ride. Thanks to everyone from the Naples velo group and the Naples triathlon club for all of their input. I would have been much more lost and nervous without their help.

Of course after every long ride, no matter how miserable the last couple of hours were, it run time. I put in 20 minutes, which actually felt pretty good, considering...

After a MUCH needed shower, I enjoyed the rest of the weekend with Lori and her mom exploring Naples and their favorite sport, SHOPPING, along with one of my favorite activities outside of tri, EATING.

Coming up is the week in review and this week's posts, which I'm already behind on. Speaking of, this is IRONWEEK....the peak of my training....all of my training over the last 22 weeks, and indirectly over the last year and a half has led up to this week....The weekend alone has me doing a 6+ hour ride, a 3 hour run, and a long swim....The good news? It's all downhill from there....

Live with purpose....enjoy the adventure.....

Friday, September 28, 2007

09/28/07: So far so good....

So far I've managed to get in all of my workouts this week. Doing my long run on Wed night made it a little bit tougher to get in my two rides, since I had to do them on the trainer on Tues & Thurs mornings, and everyone reading my blog know exactly how I feel about my train.

Speaking of feeling, Lori's feeling good these days, as the morning sickness from hell is gone for the most part (thank god!)...stay tuned for a quote from konamommy (ps...don't tell her that's her new blog nickname)

Last night was a solid 3500 yds in the pool:

warmup: 200 x swim, kick, pull

12x100 on 2'15", sprint every 4th....I've gotten to the point of swimming 2 minute 100's very consistently...the sprints were consistently 1'47"

6x150 pull, descend 1-3 & 4-6

8x50 kick

4x75: odds - 50 hard, 25 easy; evens 25 easy, 50 hard

cd: 100 swim

This weekend I'm taking my training on the road to Naples...we're heading out to see Lori's mom. I was fortunate to find a masters group to swim with on Saturday, and a group to at least start my ride with on Sunday. Unfortunately Naples may be one of the most unfriendly cycling places anywhere, since there are practically no bike lanes or shoulders, combined with lots of old people.

I'm planning on doing a century ride while I'm down there, which tentatively has me doing an out-and-back up through Ft. Meyers beach to the very beautiful Sanibel island:

Check in early next week to read my thoughts on sharing the roads with Naples' q-tips...

Live with purpose....Enjoy the adventure

Thursday, September 27, 2007

09/27/07: Stress

Actually, a better title for this post would be Staying out of Stress, but then it wouldn't have captured your attention as much....

I see a lot of people around me constantly stressed, especially at work....They're like hamters on a treadmill, always running around getting their to-do lists done, feeling like they're taking care of things for everyone but themselves, and going nowhere, FAST. The harder they run, the more stressed they get, and the less they move.

Fortunately I was introduced to a fantastic time management system a few years back (actually it's a life management system), and I've had VERY little stress in my life since I started using it....this does have a tie-in to triathlon, so indulge me for a bit.....Triathlon is a great model for approaching "real life."

First, a couple of models for looking at how we spend our time.

The first is called time targets, and there are four of them, based on a combination of importance and urgency:

1. Distraction: Not important and not urgent. Escape time: watching tv, surfing the internet, reading the latest celebrity trainwrecks.....Feel like you have to spend time here? It's mainly a result of spending too much time time in delusion and demand and not enough time in the zone (keep reading)

2. Delusion: Not important, but urgent. Drain on fulfillment...why stress about something urgent if it's not important? Comes from poor planning - mainly became urgent because it wasn't taken care of upstream - A lot of people I work with LIVE here.....in the end, is it really that urgent?

3. Demand: Important and urgent. Firefighting = STRESS...some things just can't be helped sometimes......Great questions to ask: Is it really as important and urgent as I'm making it? Could I (or someone else) have planned for this better up front so that it it wouldn't be urgent now? Poor planning on your part doesn't constitute and emergency on my part, nor does it ensure compliance....enough said.....

4. THE ZONE: Important and NOT urgent = fulfillment - not stressful since it's not urgent. Eg. Planning/brainstorming, exercising, reading and learning, time with those important to us BEFORE they're begging for our attention

One more quick model and I'll get to my point (yes, there is a point to all of this). We can focus our time and energy in a few different areas:

1. Things we can control
2. Things we can't control, but can influence
3. Things we can't control or influence

Now to my point: training for an ironman creates lots of time in the zone and keeps me focused on things I can control.....

For most of us, perception is everything when it comes to training, since we're doing this for fun. Last time I checked I wasn't a professional athlete (that would take speed and athletic talent, both of which I'm lacking).

Even though I occasionally complain about "having" to go on a 5-6 hour bike ride, or 3 hour run, or any time I "have to" go to the pool, it's a choice. And it's a choice that has long term consequences.

Fortunately they're really good and positive consequences.....long term health benefits, consistent and focused effort, doing things even when I don't necessarily feel like doing them, determination, meeting lots of other athletes, both locally and through my blog...

All of these things are most definitely important and not urgent. IM training gives me somewhere between 10-20 hours every week in the zone. It's time for me. Training is most definitely important, yet certainly not very urgent.

As a side benefit, training forces all of us doing this crazy sport to focus on what's in our control, like it or not. Can't control (or even influence) the weather, getting a flat tire, whether I feel good or bad in a particular day (like last Saturday)....What I can control is my focus: I'm doing this because I choose to and enjoy the challenge....I can control my pace and intensity....I can control my nutrition both before, during, and after a workout.....and I can control how many different options I create for myself when life doesn't cooperate (indoor pool, spin class, training early in the morning or late at night)....

I was watching the Biggest Loser this morning while on the bike trainer (thank god for TIVO), and was laughing when a few of the people were bitching about how they didn't like running, and didn't like the food, and didn't like getting up early, blah blah blah....Finally the trainer told them to shut up and do it anyway....Because in the end, when somethings important, the excuses go out the window and you find a way to get it done.....

I guess my point here is that triathlon training is a fantastic model for life in general:

1. Take time for you for things that are important and not urgent...with a bit of planning and taking care of things upstream, a LOT of urgency can be avoided entirely....

2. Focus on things that you can control. If you can't control it, or at least influence it, skip it and find another way....

3. Speaking of, it it's important, find a way to get it done.....

Now that I'm done philosphizing, workouts have been good this week so far. Tuesday morning was 1.25 hours on the trainer, "enjoying" one of Coach Troy's Spinnervals DVDs(sadistic bastard), and Tuesday night was 3k in the pool.

Last night was this week's long run. 17 miles in 2:45, for a pace of 9:42 / mile. It was my first really good run in a while. I went easy for just about the whole run, keeping my hr at the top of zone 1 (145 ish), just jogging along. To work on building some good muscular endurance (and mental endurance), I threw in a hard 10 minute interval every 30 minutes, getting my hr up to the top of zone 2/bottom of zone 3 (165ish). The last interval was definitely a bit of a challenge, since I had already run over 15 miles at that point, which means I got a BIG payoff from sucking it up and running through the pain of that one.

Needless to say I DID NOT want to get up at 5:30 this morning for another hour on the bike trainer...as always, I felt MUCH better after the workout than I did before it....makes getting up early at least a bit more manageable....and besides, it was time well spent in the zone....

Live with purpose....Enjoy the adventure

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

09/25/07: The week in review

Another big week gone by....

The plan was for 14.75 hours

Actual ended up at 13.84, just under an hour short

Plan 4.5 hours
Actual 4.2 hours, 5.25 miles

Great workouts with the group. The TI clinic definitely helped me with timing, balance, my recovery, and relaxing. I'm easily swimming 2' 100's now, which is still extremely slow by comparison to a half decent swimmer, but is major progress for me nonetheless.

My plan was to swim ~4000 yds on Sunday, but the pool closed a 1/2 hour earlier than I thought, so I was only able to get in 3100, missing my swimming goal by 20 minutes for the week. Bad planning on my part.

Plan 4 hours
Actual 3.33 hours, 19.15 miles

The good news: I hit my key workout...the bad news....not a great running week....I forgot to bring my running shoes with me to the pool on Tuesday, so instead of my usual Tuesday bridges run, I had to settle for 30 minutes on the treadmill....which I HATE (although not quite as bad as the bike trainer).

Unfortunately the combination of bad thai food and chlorine on Thursday night left my stomach in complete knots, and I ended up skipping my hour run that night. I would have thought that my legs would have felt great for Saturday morning's long run...not so much....

I started my 2.5 hour run Sat morning at around 8 to beat the heat and the expected rain. For whatever reason my legs felt like lead weights the whole time, and my heart rate was in zone 3 for almost all of the run, a bit higher than I'd like it. Some days "it's" there, some days not...Saturday was a not.....

My legs being so tired on Saturday definitely left me concerned about my long ride on Sunday....

Plan 6.25 hours
Actual 6.31 hours, 113.77 miles

I went just over the distance of the race...YAY...in a couple more weeks, I get to go all 112 in a day instead of a week.....

For Sunday's long ride I joined in for the Swampman, a local fundraiser for the YMCA. I jumped in with some friends and others I knew from the local velobrew cycling group, most of whom were planning on doing 70.

Since most of the details are in Sunday's post already, I won't re-hash the ride here. Suffice it to say I went too hard for the 1st 50, although at least was able to draft for the first part by doing so.

The next 35 miles was a good workout at a relatively easy pace, similar to what I'll need to do in the race. I kept my heart rate at the top of zone 1/bottom of zone 2, and spun easily at a cadence of 90-95. Every ten miles or so, I got of the bike just for a minute or two to stretch.

The last 5 miles was the mental workout of the day, since I got back to my car at 4:45 and had another 15 minutes of riding to go.....

The 20 minute run afterwards was reasonable, and was more about being used to running on tired legs (especially after Saturday's 2.5 hour run) than actual fitness. I'd be lying if I didn't mention the thought of running a marathon after a 112 mile ride (and 2.4 mile swim) is a bit intimidating right now....I just have to trust my training and upcoming taper...I know I'll be ready when the gun goes off....

This week is a monster 16.25 hours. Lori & I are going to Naples to see her Mom this weekend, so as an added bonus I'll get a change of scenery and get to ride with a different group for my long ride....

Live with purpose....Enjoy the adventure....

Monday, September 24, 2007

09/24/07: A 91.76 deposit into my IM account

As I'm writing this on Monday, I am ever so grateful today is a day off.....I'm wiped after this weekends workouts. Before I get to the workouts, thanks for all of you recent comments....I definitely appreciate them......

Saturday afternoon I headed to the pool, planning on getting in 4,000ish yds. The pool closed a bit earlier than I thought, and the workout became 3100 (1.76 miles):

30x100 on 2'15"

100 cd

Sometimes simple works.....

Sunday was my long ride, planned for 5 hours. I did the Swampman, knowing that my legs would be dead after Saturday's run, and that lots of drafting would be a much welcomed help.

I knew I had to go around 90 miles to get in a 5 hour ride, and the 70 mile and 100 mile groups started off together. For the first 30 miles or so I was in a pretty good sized group, moving along relatively effortlesly at 22 mph or so. When we got to the 70 mile turnoff, only 4 of us kept going....22 in a big group is pretty easy....22 with only 4 of us was a bit more of a struggle....I stayed with the other three until we hit a rest stop at around 50 miles, where we joined up with a few more people.

Leaving the rest stop, the group was going 22+ mph straigt into the wind, and my heart rate started to skyrocket...there was no way I was keeping up that pace into the wind for another 50 miles, so I dropped off the back and hung out on my aero bars for the next couple of hours.

I knew I was going too hard the first 50, and now I was paying for it. I intentionally took it VERY easy coming back, hopefully simulating the kind of riding I'll need to do on Nov 3. I was spinning in a very easy gear, keeping my HR at the top of zone 1 and bottom of zone 2. Not sure about speed, as my computer went bye bye for the rest of the ride...no biggie, since speed is nothing more than a function of cadence and effort (as measured by heart rate).

Nutrition seemed to be working well...every 10 miles or so I stopped for a minute or two to stretch, have a gel, and then continued. Fortunately the course offered me a shortcut back to the start, so I could keep my ride to my planned 5 hours; unfortunately, I got another lesson in mental toughness for the second day in a row.

I got back to the start with 15 minutes to go yet again....As bad as I wanted off the bike, a 5 hour ride is a 5 hour ride, so I turned around and kept going. Total ride time was 5:03 and just a hair over 90 miles.

Since I commited to always running after my long rides, I put my bike back in my car, sipped on some water, and put on my running shoes. I ran for 20 minutes, running for 9, walking for 1, getting in just over 2 miles.

All in all a good weekend of workouts....Stay tuned for the week in review.....