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

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.....