Friday, December 12, 2008

Last Weekend's Races

Quick recap of last weekend. I ran the Reindeer Run 5k on Friday night in downtown BR. Set a PR of 21:25. Knocked almost 3 minutes off my time from this same race last year. Then Saturday morning, Melissa ran the BR Beach Half Marathon. Her goal was 2:45, and she came in at a blistering 2:27. The sad part was that the kids and I missed it since Emilie had testing for her new school that she will be attending in the fall. Melissa was very sad, but understanding. Sorry we missed it honey!

Tomorrow morning, I am doing a mountain bike race here in Baton Rouge. I gues we should actually just call it an off-road bike race since we all know that there are no mountains anywhere near here. We'll see how it goes, might be kind off slippery and mucky from all the snow and rain.

Let it Snow!

In a rare event for south Louisiana, we had almost 4" of snow at our house on Thursday. It had been 20 years since we had this much snow in Baton Rouge. It was the first time that either of the kids have seen real snow fall from the sky. They saw some fake stuff the other night in Downtown Baton Rouge at the light festival, but that doesn't count. They loved it.
I woke up at 5:30 a.m. to get on the trainer for an hour of biking indoors, woo hoo...When I got up, we had snow flurries, but no accumulation. I woke up Melissa and we decided to wake up just Emilie so she could see it just in case flurries was all we got. I took her outside and she tried to catch some flakes in her mouth and got all excited.

Emmi and I in the flurries
They went back to bed and then I went in the garage and got on the trainer. 45 minutes was all I could take on the trainer, so at 6:30 I headed inside. When I walked in and looked at the backyard, all I could see was white. It was really snowing!! I got Melissa up, we got both the kids up and went outside to play.

The kids and I getting ready for the fun

Emmi's Snow Angel

Our snowman with M&M smile!

Melissa and the kids in the backyard

We made snow angels, snow castles with our sand castle toys, a snowman with an M&M smile and took pictures. After about an hour of that in the front yard, it was time to heat up and eat some breakfast. We cooked pancakes with M&M's cooked in, and made some hot chocolate. The kids loved there marshmallows in their hot chocolate.

We then went in the backyard for some fun. It was 4" of untouched powder. It was great. We rolled in it, hit each other with countless snowballs, made more snow angels and had an all around good time. After I finally went to work at lunch, the kids played for another hour or so in the afternoon. Most of the snow was gone by nightfall, but our snowman held on until this afternoon. He was still half there when I got home today, but some teenagers took care of the rest of him. Hopefully, it won't be another 20 years. I love the snow. Wish I would have had some skis. I could have skied down the 6' hill in our backyard...

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Racing Weekend

The wife and I both have races on tap for the weekend. Of course, mine is just a 5k, which is the Reindeer Run. It is Friday night in downtown Baton Rouge. Then Melissa is racing the BR Beach Half Marathon on Saturday morning. It is a single loop course around LSU, the LSU Lakes and some neighborhoods near the lakes. She is going to be running it with two of her friends. She is hoping to go around 2:45, so we'll see.

It will be her first half marathon, actually it will be the first half marathon in the family. I did one as part of the Half Ironman, but that doesn't count apparently. This will be the first straight up half marathon that either of us have ran. I'll be there to cheer her on. Hopefully I can get under 22:00 on Friday night. Not looking good, but we'll see how that goes...

Went down to New Orleans on Sunday with a couple of BRTri guys to ride the bike course that will be used for the New Orleans Half Ironman. The way out was nice, since we had a 12 mph tailwind. Averaged 21.5 mph for the first 25, then we turned around. The now 12 mph headwind sucked. Averaged 15.5 mph on the way back in, for a 18.5 mph overall average. The course is fairly nice. A couple of overpasses right at the start, which results in overpasses right at the end. The roads are surprisingly in great shape for New Orleans. There is a short stretch, 3-5 miles through a rougher neighborhood, but once you get on Chef Mentuer Highway it is nice. Nothing but marsh and open land from miles 12-28. We only went to mile 25, but the last 3 are just as open.

Not to bash on all roadies, but would it kill you guys to be a little friendly to the Tri crowd. Passed 5 or 6 packs of Giro ride roadies. Gave them all waves or the two finger "what's up" salute and got nothing in return. Pass the one tri group that was riding, and at least half of them waved back. Not that my life is over now, but why do roadies have to be so elitist. Just because we have aero bars on our bikes doesn't make us inferior.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Turkey Trot

Did the Turkey Trot this morning with my wife, a friend of hers and some peeps from BRTri. Wasn't feeling it and I went out a little too fast. Ran a 6:35 on the first mile, which didn't feel good. Died at around 1.5 mile mark and limped in. Finished in 22:58, which isn't even a PR. That is only a 7:25 pace, terrible.

The wife however, cut about tree minutes off her 5k time. The last race she ran was a 3 miler where she went 32:15 for a 10:45 pace. This morning she went 3.1 in 30:11, which is a 9:44 pace. She knocked one minute per mile off in just over two months of training. I am so proud of her.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Taking It Easy

I haven't been on my road bike since Iron Star. That makes two weeks, is that bad? No desire yet to get back on it. Maybe after Thanksgiving. I have been on my mountain bike though and really enjoyed that. Have still been swimming and running with no pressure of course. Have been running with my wife and some friends who are doing the Baton Rouge Beach Marathon in a couple of weeks. Been taking it easy with them and just enjoying running.

I am so proud of my wife, she ran 11.5 on Friday. Her last long run before the Half Marathon. She ran with two of her friends for the first half and then I met her with the kids and I pushed the kids along while running to keep her company for the last 5 miles. It was fun. Of course, she has taken over the Garmin and is addicted. I may have to find her one for Christmas. Don't know if we can keep sharing the one we've got.

Going to do the Turkey Trot 5k on Thursday and then the Reindeer Run 5k the night before Melissa does the half mary. Trying to get a good shave time for the Shave Your 5k Challenge.Would like to go 21:42 for a 7:00 average, but don't think I am going to make it. Just haven't been motivated to do enough speedwork since the race. Definitely didn't have the speed after all the long and 80% heart rate runs I was doing for the Half Iron. See if I can throw down a 6:30 for the first mile and then hold on after that. Didn't work last time...

Think I might do a mountain bike race in a couple of weeks if I can get my bike fixed. Got a loose crank arm that I need to get replaced. We'll see.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Iron Star Race Report

The morning started off with a chilly temp of 40 at race time. They had the race at the resort even though it was still under construction. Was in the first wave so I got to hit the water early. The water temp was 73-74, so it actually wasn't that bad for the handful of us without wetsuits. The first leg was straight into the sun. We spread out pretty good, so there wasn't much jostling for position. The long stretch parallel to the beach was nice except for the widely spaced small markers. Made it hard to sight, although somehow I managed to stay within 10 yards of them the whole way. Turn into the finish had the sun on your right which made it tough, but the shaded goggles (got a tip on the sun from a fellow BRTri guy who had done the race) made it bearable. Finished in around 39-40 min, which is just about right for me.

The first 20 miles on the bike through town and the national forest were nice. Hilly, but nice. The 5 mile chip seal portion just before the turnaround was bearable on the way out due to a slight tailwind. However, that made it terrible on the way back since it was now a moderate headwind which would continue for the remainder of the bike. Started to slow considerably around miles 32-35, which I thought was due to the hills, fatigue and the wind. However, I had been hydrating well and taking in enough fuel so I was kind of ticked. At about mile 40, I realized what the real problem was, a slow leaking rear tire that had finally made it to where I could feel the stem hitting the rim. I stopped and made the bad decision of just filling it up hoping it would hold for the last 16. 3 miles later I was stopped again changing the rear tube. Lost around 16 minutes to the 2 stops. Finished the bike around 3:20 I think, which had me really disappointed since I had been going so good until the flat.

The run starts off on the main road to the resort, but after mile 1 turns into a private neighborhood for the next 7 miles. It snaked through there with aid stations at every mile with some small rolling hills. Felt good for the first 8, until the run gets back on the highway for two miles. Those two miles had two nice sizable hills that just took it out of me. Ran the first 9 miles, but had to start the run/walk combo after that. Mile 12-12.5 was one last major hill. The final stretch into town (run was point to point) was flat, so I made myself run it in to finish on a high note. Finished the run in around 2:15. Went 6:18 overall. Would have loved to be sub 6 for my first half and felt like I could have easily made it without the rear tire issues. Let it get to me mentally some on the run once I realized there was no way I could make 6 with my pace.

The race was well run, lots of helpful volunteers, not too many people and a nice course. A little hillier then I would have liked for my first go at the distance, but it was a good experience. Can't wait for New Orleans. I know how hilly that will be...

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Ironstar Half Iron

Finished, not nearly as fast as I wanted, 6:18, but I made it. Should have been under 6, but had a slow leaking rear tire that I had to stop twice to fix. Wasted 16 minutes simply in filling the tire up at the first stop and then actually changing it 3 miles later. Don't know how much time I wasted in riding on a low tire. Pretty sure it was more than 2 minutes though...Race report to come later this week.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Getting Closer

T minus 6 days and counting to the Ironstar Half Iron. After I go vote tomorrow morning, it is going to be a rest day from the taper. Five straight days of training have me ready for a day off. Swam and ran last Thursday, ran on Friday, and ran 10k on Saturday morning before Melissa went to work. Then I did a bike/run brick on Sunday consisting of a 31 mile bike and 30 minute run at half marathon pace -:45/mile (8:15). Then I swam 2100 yds this morning (in a sauna, I'll explain) and then ran 3 miles. Going to hit the trainer on Wednesday morning and do some short but fast runs this week. Taking Friday off from work so I can get prepared to leave on Saturday.

The sauna, otherwise known as the lap pool at my local Y. The new Aquatics director at the Y has some asinine reasoning that the pool should stay at 87 degrees during the winter. Something about the afternoon youth swim team complaining about the temperature of the water. Hello, what about the freakin' adults who pay their hard earned money to come to the pool at 5:00 am only to have to cut their swim short because they can no longer breath and swim since it is so freakin' hot in the pool. A pool should be kept at 80-82 degrees if you are going to be swimming laps in it, which is kind of the point of having a lap pool at the Y. If the kids can't handle it for 30 minutes in the afternoon, then they don't need to be swimming. I personally would like the pool to be 75 degrees, but understand that some people like it warm and will compromise at 82 degrees, but not 87. Forgot to fill out a complaint form, but rest assured I'll let them know about it this week. National swim organization says 79-82 is the optimum water temperature for competition swimming and the Chinese argued that it is actually 80.6 degrees which is what they kept the water temperature in the cube at the Olympics to promote world record times. Seems like they should know what they are talking about, but apparently they don't compared to the Aquatics director...

Looking forward to getting to Houston, watching LSU beat 'Bama, and then heading to the race on Sunday. Friends are taking me to lunch on Wednesday to wish me luck. Hoping my buddy who just completed Ironman Florida will come to offer some helpful tips from his experience this weekend.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Taper Time

Got my last long brick in today. Put in 3 hours on the bike followed by a 45 minute run. Ended up going somewhere around 55-56 miles and 5 miles. Rode the first hour on the trainer since time hasn't changed and it doesn't get riding light until 6:45. Needed to be finished by 9:45 so I got on the trainer around 5:45. Got off the trainer and got the bike outside and it was freakin' cold. Due to the fact that I had been riding the trainer indoors, I was sweaty and that made the first 20 minutes of the ride outside miserable. Couldn't get warm even with my cycling jacket on. Sun finally came out enough to knock the fog down and it got less miserable.

Finished the 3 hours and took off on the run. Two mistakes, 1. Didn't have enough fluids for the run and 2. Garmin ran out of battery at 3 mile mark. Ran the first 3 at about a 8:30 pace and finished up somewhere just over 5 miles for the 45 minutes. Felt pretty good and hope I can hold 9:00 pace for the entire 13.1 miles in 2 weeks.

Yesterday morning was my long run. It was supposed to be 12-13 miles, but I got derailed. Got up late, had bathroom issues before I left and had bathroom issues on the run. Found a port-o-potty to hit, so no front yard squats this time. Only got in 9.5 due to the fact that I had to be back at 6:55 so the wife could go to work.

Going to go ahead and put some goals for the Half Ironman in writing. 'A' Goal - 5:45, 'B' Goal - 6:00, 'C' Goal - Finish. I am pretty sure I can make 'B', but with my swim, 'A' is going to be tough. I think I can go right at 3:00 for the bike and around 2:05 on the run, which gives me 55 for the swim and transitions. That is definitely doable, but this will be my first half, so I don't want to get over confident. We'll see...

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Garmin Forerunner 101

I am now the proud owner of a Garmin. I know, it is not the fanciest of the bunch, but it does what I need it to do. It allows me to run without mapping out a route every time and it gives me pace as I run, what else do you need. Have used in twice already and it was a great purchase. Got it barely used for $40 from a guy in our local BRTri group. Someone gave him a 301 so he no longer needed this one.

Starting to get nervous about the Half IM. Only 2.5 weeks to go for my first "long" triathlon. I know, it's not a full, but 6 hours of racing is long in my book. Doing one more long ride this weekend and then going to start tapering next week. Only problem that I have at the moment is a slight injury.

A couple of weeks ago I ran in the hills of Syracuse, NY and got a strange pain in my heel a few days later. I just blew it off as fatigue. Well, it has gotten worse. It started hurting worse after mountain biking last week and now it pretty much hurts 24/7. Especially in the morning and after I run. It has the classic symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis, but I hope not. It started hurting after running in hills, it hurts worst in the morning and it in my heel. Based on everything I have read, that progression fits the bill. I am praying that I just bruised it and all will be better with some icing. Did 7 miles today with 3 - 1 mile repeats at 7:00 pace. It is bearable during the run, but painful as soon as I get home and get back on my feet from the car. It's too close to the race to stay off of it for a couple of weeks, so I am just going to have to tough it out until after the race. If I had any readers, I could ask your advice...

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Camping and Mountain Biking

Don't feel too much like posting (ran 12 this morning and bike 35 this afternoon, then ran sprints in the backyard with my 3 year old), but if I don't I'll miss the chance. Went camping and mountain biking at Lake Kincaid in Alexandria this past Wednesday thru Friday. Weather kind of sucked for camping, warm and rainy, but we had fun anyway. Got in about 30 miles on the mountain bike on Thursday and did a 1 mile open water swim while the wife read a book. Put in 10 miles Friday morning and headed home after lunch. Here are some pics:

View of the lake from one of the trails.

My bike taking a break on a bridge over part of the lake.

Contemplating the significance of Mountain Biking...

My riding partner, i.e. my wife, crossing another bridge.

Me and the chipmunk look (10-12 grapes shoved in my mouth).

Only three weeks left until my first half ironman. Training has not been going as planned due to interruptions like working out of town and camping, but hopefully this week will be better.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Century Ride

Completed my first Century ride today in the hills of St. Francisville. Actually went 101 by my computer, but most of that extra mile was due to backtracking occasionally to make sure my riding partner was okay. Reeb had bike issues for most of the morning, so we didn't get to go as fast as we would have liked. Ended up at 16.2, but felt we could have stayed with the pack and went 18ish if not for the bike issues. It was a great time anyway. Learned to wear cycling shorts if I ever do one again. The mini-pad on the tri-shorts did not help at all. After the SAG at mile 84, I thought I wasn't going to be able to sit on my bike again. Reeb said I stood up for like the last 5 miles. Sure felt better than sitting on my butt on that seat.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Hills Suck

Whenever a New Yorker describes a run on Map My Run as " Rolling Hills, Rolling To Flat", don't believe them. Ran this route this afternoon Maybe to a New Yorker it is rolling to flat, but to someone from Louisiana, it is freakin' steep. I lengthened it to about 5.2 and ran the thing at a blisterin' 10 min pace. That is 1:15/mile slower than my recent easy runs. Hills blow. Oh yeah, I'm in Syracuse, New York taking a training seminar on Pumping Systems Design, how exciting...Of course, it is better than being behind my desk and it is something that I will be using soon in my work.

Last Saturday night, my wife, a friend of hers and I all ran the Oktoberfest 3 miler at Mockler Beverage in Baton Rouge. I ran a 21:45 (7:15 pace) after having run 9 miles (8:50 pace) that morning. Felt like I could have been around 21 if I hadn't run that morning. Mel ran a 32:45 in the longest run she has ever done to date. I was proud of her. Her friend ran a 41 in her first race ever. Signed up last week for the Iron Star Half Ironman on November 9. I had intended for the New Orleans 1/2 Ironman to be my first half, but I just couldn't see throwing away all the training I had done for Holy Toledo, so I groveled to the wife and she was okay with me doing the half. It is going to be a "suicide" trip. Going to leave on Saturday, head to Houston, pick up my packet, crash at a friends place, do the race Sunday morning and then drive home that afternoon. All solo. We'll see, hopefully I don't regret the solo part.

Doing the Baton Rouge Bike Club Century ride this weekend with Reeb. We are doing the full Century. Longest ride I've ever done has been 70 miles, so we'll see. Longest Reeb has done is 65, so at least we'll be in the same boat. There are 5 SAG stops, so we should be good and we have 7 hours to do it. Don't see a problem since that is only a 14 mph average. Even with stops that should be doable.

Pics from the 3 Miler:

Austin kicking it in the kids 1/2 mile race.

Emilie doing her thing in the kids 1/2 mile race.

Melissa starting the race with a smile.

My wife Melissa's friend.

Me talkin' to a fellow BRTri member and looking like I'm on drugs...

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Meat Pie Race Report

Meat Pie unfortunately became my last triathlon of the year due to the unfortunate canceling of my "A" race for the year, Holy Toledo. It was once again the State Club Championship for Louisiana and BRTri was focused on winning the state trophy back after missing out last year because nobody showed. BRTri won it the first three years and Lake Charles Triathletes won it last year. I think we ended up having 42 BRTri members show up.

My crew, Ed, Reeb and Double M were going to be coming up late on Saturday so I hitched a ride with some other BRTri folk. Got to the hotel around 3 and checked in to one of our free BRTri rooms. One of our members traded in some travel points for 10 rooms and donated them to the club as incentive for everyone to come up and do the race. Hung out in the lobby for a while and watched Florida put a butt whippin' on Tennessee even though they then go get themselves upset this week by Ole Miss of all teams. I mean, freakin' Ole Piss with Houston Nutt as their coach. Really, you got beat by them, I digress. Left the hotel around 5 to head down and pick up our race packets. Got the packets, hung out for a few minutes and then walked over to Mama's Oyster House to eat and watch the LSU vs. Auburn game. Got a nice bowl of Gumbo and a plate of blackened chicken past and settled in to watch the game. First half went by quickly as I downed about 8 waters and had to pee at least 40 times. The crew showed up around 6:30 and we all hung out until half-time. Left the restaurant to head back to the hotel.

Got back to the room and watched the end of the game. Nice way to start off the race weekend with an LSU win in Auburn's house in the last 1:00 of the game. Went to bed happy for the moment at least. Before we turned out the lights, the girls and Ed were complaining about how cold it was, so I turned the air down. Big mistake for me. Woke up about 1:30 sweating like crazy. Had to get up and turn the air on cooler or I was going to die. Did not have the best nights rest. I am used to sleeping with the air on around 73, the fan on high above my bed, no clothes, i.e. in the buff and just a sheet. Needless to say I was hot all night and had to get up to pee 3 0r 4 times due to the excessive amounts of water I had drank at dinner. Luckily, the amount of sleep you get the night before a race doesn't matter or so they say.

Alarm went off at 5:30 am and we got our stuff together and headed out the door. Race site was only 10 minutes away, so we didn't have to rush and we got there about 15 minutes before transition closed. Got my chip, got bodymarked (race number 69) and set up my transition. I am a minimalist when it comes to transition, so this process does not take long. The most tedious part was putting on bodyglide on my feet since I wasn't going to be wearing socks. Have been training with socks since I was going to be doing a longer race, but didn't want to waste the time in transition for a sprint race. Got down to the water for a little pre-race swim and pee in the largest bathroom around. Unless you need to take a crap, it is beyond me why people wait in the long lines at the port-o-potty before a race. Just go in the freakin' lake.

Swim length was supposed to be 800 m, but it ended up a little long, say 850 to 900. The start was a time trial start at the end of a pier. Being race number 69, I was in the thick of things fairly quickly...Got into the water and got off to a good start. It all went downhill from there. I had brought my tinted goggles and with all the fog at 7 am, I could hardly see 50 m ahead of me. What I did see were the 10 guys in front of me doing breast stroke about 100 m in? What the freak? Maybe they couldn't see either or just were having a tough time already. Took forever to get to the turnaround and made it back unscathed. That is one thing nice about a time trial start. Not much kicking and hitting since you are fairly spaced out. Only got passed by a couple of people, and I passed my fair share. Swim time sucked at 19:32. That is slow, even though it was a little long. Fastest times were in the 13 minute range and they have historically been in the 12 minute range, which is why I keep saying the swim was long. Puts me at about 2:10/100's, which is very disappointing.

Uneventful. Got my cycling shoes on and took off up the hill right out of transition. Was in my big chainring, which I had warned the others not to do with the hill starting right after the mount line. However, I mashed it up without falling over, just barely.

I knew it was going to be hilly and luckily I had been training in the hills because Holy Toledo is also hilly. It was cloudy and overcast still, so the bike was nice and cool. Got passed by a few people, but I passed more people than I got passed by. Since the time trial start for the swim was based on age group, got passed by a couple of the fast guys in the age group just behind me. Roads are nice and smooth except for a couple of short sections. Only hit 38 on the big downhill this year, which was disappointing since I hit 42 last year. I think it was because I was riding faster on the way out hammering up the big hill and just didn't have the legs to push it down this year. My chip screwed up, so I did not have a T1 and bike time, just a T1/bike time. It was 1:02 for T1 and the 20 miles. Also forgot to reset my bike computer until I was 5 miles into the course, so I have no "official" bike time or speed. So my bike was somewhere around 19.8 to 20. Felt like I was in and out in T1 so it was probably more around the 19.8 range. An improvement from last year, but still not over 20 like I wanted to be.

Hit the flying dismount on the way in from the bike and got in and out of T2 fairly quickly. Took too much time putting on my visor when I should have just carried it like I did my race belt to put on at the run start. Probably could have shaved 5 seconds off of T2. Of course, losing 5 pounds may have made me faster on the bike and got that same 5 seconds. Anyway, was out in under a minute.

Felt great on the run. Wanted to run a negative split, but missed it by about 30 seconds. Shouted out to everyone from BRTri that I passed and most were looking great. Hoofed in the down the hill and ran sub 8's, which was one of my goals. Feet did great with the bodyglide with no socks. Shoes did feel a little squirrely with the bodyglide. Just felt like they weren't as secure as with socks. Didn't affect my running though. Knocked of almost a full 5 minutes from last year on the run alone.

Didn't meet my goal of 1:45, but came close. A little more oomph! on the bike and a better swim that was the correct length and I could have gotten it. Can't be too upset though with a 9 minute improvement over last year. Hope I can make the same improvement next year!! Splits below. Picked up about 50 places in the standings this year and finished in the top 1/3. I think that justifies FOP status, at least for this race. A lot of slow first timers, but racers are racers no matter how slow or fast.

142 Chad Stevens 28 I M 20:55 1:28 1:03:49 18.8 1:07 29:05 9:23 1:56:23
96 Chad Stevens 29 I M 19:38 1:02:03 19.8? 0:53 24:27 7:54 1:46:59

No pics since the event photographer has decided that in order to stop people from using the images on their blogs and websites that he'll make the proofs so dark that you can barely tell it's you and unavailable copy the image from the website. Don't have any of that photo stealing software, which I am sure is easy to get, but I am not that techie. Since my swim and run photos did not get put with my number, since the number isn't visible in the photos, I can't even find any run photos. Don't have time to go through 4400 pics 40 at a time. No family or friend support for the race, so besides the results, there is no proof that I did the race except for the event photographers lame excuse for picture posting. Big Shot Event Photo Bib #69, if you care.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Freakin' Hurricanes, the latest one has now gone and gotten my 'A' race for the year cancelled. Now what do I do. I've trained all this time and now nothing. One little sprint Tri to end the year is not going to do it for me. I'm currently in a serious mood of depression, looking kind of like this

Tried to scramble and find a half-iron to do the same weekend or maybe the one after, but there are only two. They are both more than 8 hours from the house and at least double the cost of Holy Toledo. One is in Austin, TX and the other one is in Tennessee. Tried to get another BRTri member to do the one in TN, but he couldn't commit. Now what do I do? I am about to go crazy. Our Tri season down here ends way too soon. Just when it starts to cool off, no more races. What is up with that? This weekend will be the last race in Louisiana for the year. What a bummer?

I think I'll go run over my bike now, put it out of its misery...

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Hurricane Gustav

Names to never name your child: Gustav or Ike. Been dealing with the aftermath of Gustav until today. Finally got power back today, 6 days after it went off. Spent some long days and nights with my entire extended family at my parents house. It was quite a test just for some A/C. Spent Wednesday, Thursday and Friday cleaning up my grandparents in St. Francisville. They had three trees fall, one of them on the carport, breezeway and on a small portion of the house. We were able to get everything waterproofed on Friday and ready for electric hook-up once the power company gets there. They may have another 7 to 10 days of no electricity because of all the trees and power lines down in their area.

Finally got to train some yesterday when I was in Morgan City to visit my wife and kids. They have been staying at my wife's parent's house since they have electricity. Got in 7 miles yesterday afternoon while the kids napped. Slept at the office last night and worked until this afternoon. Got in a 40 mile ride and a one hour run. Only 2 weeks to go until Meat Pie and Holy Toledo the week after that. Hopefully, Ike stays away so that we don't have any more damage and so the races can be held.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Weekend of Firsts

Don't you just love firsts? Your first crush, your first kiss, your first car, your first house, your first flat tire on a bike ride, your first case of burnt feet on hot asphalt, your first runner's bathroom stop on the side of the road in the bushes...Bring back great memories.

Experienced the last three all in this past weekend. Friday I skipped my early morning ride that I had moved from Wednesday. So when the opportunity to ride in the afternoon presented itself, I of course said yes. WE were supposed to meet at 2:30 pm, but of course Big Poppa and Reeb were running late. Reeb had a flat front tire that they had to change. So finally around 2:50 we take off. The ride went downhill from there. Big Poppa's chain kept coming off if he would try to switch to his big ring in the front. So 3 or 4 times in the first 10 miles he had to stop to get his chain on. Then at mile 12, Reeb has a flat on her front tire. Word is the only smart one so we use his tube and co2 to fix the flat. 5 minutes later we are off again. Mile 14 and I get a flat, my first one in 2 years of riding. No more tubes so we call a friend of Mickey's who is on his way from BR to our side of town with their kids. We decide on a meeting point and I take off my shoes and start to walk.

If you have ever heard the analogy about putting a frog in hot water and he jumps out vs. putting him in cold water and heating it up and he'll boil, then you can relate to my burnt feet. Since I took my shoes off, but left my socks on, the asphalt didn't seem all that hot. Then about half a mile down the road, I feel blisters forming on the bottom of my feet. Oh yeah, my feet were burnt. They hurt for about two days and made me skip my long run on Saturday. Lesson learned. After my ride finally got there, we take off and I get a call about 2 minutes into the car ride. Reeb's front tire has flatted for what is now the third time in one day. No more tubes of course, so we had to go pick her up. Not the best bike riding day, should have stayed home...

So then Sunday evening rolls around and since I skipped my long run on Saturday, I had to do my 6 miler on Sunday. My feet still hurt of course and it was raining due to this little Tropical Storm called Fay, but I had to tough it out. Actually the rain and wind were kind of nice. Besides the wet shoes and no MP3 player, it started off as the perfect run. Then about 2.5 miles from home, it hit me. You know the feeling. The feeling of, if I don't find a place to do this it is going to be a long and nasty walk home. Other times in the past I had been blessed by near by port-o-potties due to home construction. Not so lucky this time. Ducked in behind a local neighborhood sign that had me hidden from the road on three sides. Only one direction could produce a car that could ruin my already miserable experience. Just thankful that it didn't have to end up being some one's front yard. Did my business and was actually helped by the rain. Didn't even have to sacrifice a sock. Had all the oak leaves I needed right at my disposal. Finished off the 6 miles at 9:15 pace.

Monday I swam 1400 yds (recovery week) and did core workout, Tuesday I ran 6 miles at lunch and today I bricked 15 miles and 1.5 miles before work. Needed to get in another 4.5 miles running tonight, but alas I didn't feel like it. If the hurricane holds out, then we are heading down to Morgan City for the weekend. Going to be tagging along with TriCajun for a 60 mile ride in south Louisiana. He was nice enough to offer some company for my long ride which I am having to do near his normal riding territory. Just hope I don't bonk and embarrass myself...

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Longest Ride Ever

I guess these things will keep happening as I get further along in my multisport "life". Got in 65 miles on the bike on Saturday morning. Had two birthday parties this weekend, my mom's surprise 50th and my son's 3rd. That made my Sunday morning ride impractical so since the in-laws were in town Saturday was an option. Word and I toughed it out with me doing some wheel sucking for the last 25. Last week for the 60, I felt great, but this week it just wasn't there. Maybe it was the 11 miles I ran before work on Friday. Don't know, but I had a tough time on Saturday morning. Averaged just 18 mph, was hoping for around 19, but I'll take whatever I can get I guess for my longest ride to date.
Mom, Dad and the kids at the Surprise Party, Just before my mom gets her Convertible PT Cruiser in Red

Austin getting excited for his Thomas the Train Birthday Party

Last Thursday was a farthest day also. Swam 3400 m in 1:06. I know it's not fast, but at least it is below 2 min/100. That is a long way to swim. It wasn't a straight 3400, it was a ladder starting at 50, but the time includes rest and swimming. Doing my 100's in about 1:35-1:45. Hopefully, I can hold 1:45 pace for my one mile swim at Holy Toledo.

Got a comment (it's like a party when someone actually reads this boring crap that I write occasionally) last week from Lisa Parsiola. Lisa, if you have come back to read again, I got your email. However unfortunately, since you posted and do not have a google account, it did not leave me your email address or anyway to get in touch with you. I emailed your friend Steve in a Speedo, but he did not respond (probably busy with his other thousand readers, since he is actually funny and witty). So, if you would like me to recommend some biking routes here in BR, I definitely can if you could just send me your email address. Lisa, by the way, my wife grew up in Morgan City and her parents still live in Stephensville on Doiron's Canal. We are actually coming down there for Labor Day to go to the illustrious Shrimp and Petroleum Festival. I was actually going to see if there was anywhere down there where I could get in 70 miles on that Saturday morning. Please get in touch with me.

Last weekend we spent some time at the balloon festival. Here are some parting pics of the balloon glow that they have each evening.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

We've Got the Sickness

The whole house is sick. I don't normally get it. I usually just carry the germs and give them back to get them sick again later. No this time, I have the summertime cold. It isn't coming on strong for me as it has for the wife and kids, but it is draggin' me down just a little. Hopefully nobody noticed the huge snot slick that had formed in my lane this morning while I hashed out my 3K yards. I actually felt a ton better after swimming and running 2 miles, but that didn't last for long. The wife left me a voicemail telling me to get home instead of going to work.

Got home and she went back to bed. Hung out with the kids on the couch until it was time to take them to kid gymnastics at the Little Gym. After gym, there mother took them home so I could go to work. Did not feel like being there, but I made it through. Once again, let's put it in perspective. It is just a freakin' cold. There are plenty of people who wish that it was just a cold and not the something worse that they have.

With that being said, I do not feel like running my 10 miles in the morning. I am going to give it the ole' college try anyway. May be some walking and may be a trail of snot, but I'm going to make it. I can rest Saturday while I watch the kids. Wish me luck and I pray that you are having a great day!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Daily Grind

Training is wearing me down. Do I really have to do all of this stuff and do it 6 days a week? Can't I just train each sport once a week, maybe all on the same day, and that be enough? I'm getting pretty tired of the 6 hour nights of sleep, brick workouts twice a week and the freakin' speedwork. I mean, isn't there an easier way to get fast without having to actually work at it. I guess I could do like some in the Tour De France and just drug my way to being speedy. What am I thinking? I can barely buy myself a new helmet, much less spend thousands on drugs. Can't wait for my races to get here so I can have something to look forward to besides the training regimen. Getting tired of it. Then again, I thank the Lord everyday that he has kept me safe, gave me two arms and legs, my eyesight and my other senses intact. My plight in life is a piece of cake compared to others. Just sometimes wish I didn't have to work as hard to get some results. "No pain, No gain" I guess, I hate that cliche...

Did a 55 mile bike on Sunday at 19 mph. One of the better rides I've had in a while. The sun stayed behind the clouds all morning and the temp stayed in the lower 80's. That is a dream ride in August in Louisiana. Skipped my 4 mile post ride run and then swam at lunch on Monday. Ran 4 miles last night and then had speedwork scheduled for breakfast. Met two H.O.T. peeps at the LSU lakes and stayed with them instead of doing the speedwork. Got in 4.5 before calling it a day.

Hopefully I can survive the next 6.5 weeks until Meat Pie. I think I might go insane...

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Spillway Trail Race

Here are some pics from the trail race that I did Sunday, a week and a half ago.

Post Race Shower in the two fire hoses. Ladies should rethink the white bra tops for this race...

The start of the second largest trail run in the nation. Some race in Iowa is the "largest", but their race is run in some cornfields, not a real trail. This race is run through the swamp and some mountain bike trails in the woods, not some cornfield "trail". We all know who's the biggest...1,400 racers this year.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Bonking isn't fun

Had my first ever Bonk this past weekend. The wife was working on Saturday and I needed to get in a 50 mile ride for the weekend. So, I figured I'd drop her off at work and then ride to my parents house with the kids. That way I could get a ride in on a Saturday instead of trying to do the long ride and run on the same day. Got to my parents around 8:45 and instead of immediately hitting the road, I hung out for a bit, first big mistake!

Got on the bike around 9:30 and headed off to the north. The route out was all "uphill", 300' over about 25 miles. So I planned on heading out for an 1:20 and then cutting 10 minutes off on the way back for a 2:30 ride. I had 2 24oz water bottles. A little on the light side, but I thought I could stop at the church at the main intersection I was passing on the way back in and fill up again, second big mistake.

The ride out was eventful. Got about 16 miles out and hit LA Hwy 63. For the next 8-9 miles, a state trooper and I played leapfrog. I would pass him while he had someone pulled over and then he would pass me back when he was finished writing their ticket. That happened about 6 times during that 8-9 mile section on the way out and on the way back. Then after I passed him the first time, I saw two dogs up ahead in the road. At this point, I knew my water was getting precious, so I took my empty bottle out and got ready to whack one in the nose if they got too close. I passed them and one started to give chase. I was so focused on the dog that I ran off the freakin' road. Somehow, thank you Lord, I saved it and got back on the road without falling or going in the ditch. Got to the turnaround and ate a bar and got ready for the "downhill" back with only 12 oz of fluid left at this point and the heat index somewhere around 102 at 10:50 am.

Got to the church at the turn off of Hwy 63 and pulled over, since I now had no water. Found the faucets and wouldn't you freakin' know it...They have the handles taken off so that you have to have a wrench to open them. I was now ticked off and quickly realizing that it was going to be a long trip home. There were no stores until about mile 44 and I was at mile 32. Not good when it feels like 103 by this point. Got back on my bike and headed on in. It only got worse from there. I could feel myself dehydrating and I had slowed to a crawl, bonk. After what felt like an eternity, I finally made it to another church at mile 43 that had faucets that worked. Water never tasted so good. Filled both bottles up and limped in. 1:40 for the way back in, not as I had planned. My 2:30 ride had become a 2:50 ride and I was on fire. Jumped in the kids plastic pool and let them run cold water from the hose over me for like 5 minutes. They got a kick out of it. Got some food in me and started to feel somewhat better. Remind me please never to leave home without enough water...

After being out of water for 10 miles, I wasn't too happy.

My shady route had turned downright scorching at high noon.

After I recovered from that experience, I went for a 9 mile run on Sunday morning. Ended up only going 8.1 @ 9:36 pace, but it was too hot even at 6:00 am in the morning after still feeling the effects from the day before.

Monday I swam at lunch, Tuesday I ran at lunch, Wednesday I biked in the morning for 18 miles before work, Thursday I swam 2750 and this morning I put in 8.7 miles @ 9:32 before work. The new rearranged schedule to separate my long bike and run seems like it is going to work better. Only have hit it for one week, but once I work the kinks out, I think it will be fine.

The wife has been at a church conference for yesterday afternoon, all day today and has to work tomorrow, so I have been playing Mr. Mom. Dropping the kids off at my parents tomorrow afternoon to get some fishing in and so the wife and I can do the Spillway Classic Trail Race on Sunday morning. I love to play in the mud. I'll post a race report after the race.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Back to Running

Only hit 4 miles last week after skipping Tuesday's, Friday's and Sunday's run. This week has been different. Hit 3 on Tuesday, the full 5 on Thursday and planning on 3 or 4 tomorrow after I ride 50 miles. Then hope to get in a 9 miler on Sunday a.m. Swam twice this week for a total of 4300 yds, but have not done any biking. Thinking of buying some lights so I can ride some mornings before work.

Nothing exciting this week (like there ever is), just a typical week. Work, home and some training.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

First Pack Ride

Still wondering where you people find the time to post everyday or even every other day or even every third day! Not going to go back through the weeks, don't have time. Let's just say I have been training consistently getting ready to start my 12 week plan starting tomorrow for my "A" race for the year, HOLY Toledo.

Baton Rouge Tri group had a group ride scheduled for today, so Word, Reba and I all rode up together. Got to the starhill fire station in St. Francisville at 7:00 am, and there were about 35-40 bikers, roadies and tri peeps, getting ready to roll. It was supposed to be about a 3-3.5 hour ride. Never having ridden with more than 3 people, I was a bit nervous, but ready to hit it hard. We got ready quickly since everyone was ready to roll.

Started out slow (17-18) for about the first 20 minutes. Then they got down to business. With that many people, there were two "pacelines" and some stragglers moving around. Ended up dropping around 8-10 people after about the first 15 minutes of picking it up (20-22). Reba wasn't feeling the group thing, so Ed hung back with her, while I went ahead with the front group. I hung with them until about the 1 hour point at which time we hit the first big hill of the day. They had been taking it "easy" by staying around 20-24 on the flats, coasting the downhills and only climbing at around 17-18. Well, we got to the first big hill and they decide to hammer it up the sucker at around 19-20. I couldn't hang and dropped off the back. Was feeling kind of lethargic, so I hit a gel. Should have done that earlier. Rode the next 30 minutes by myself.

It was an out and back, so I caught up to the pack at the turnaround. Had a short 5 minute break and it was off again. By this time, I had taken a second gel and was feeling pretty good. The first 5 mile section after the turnaround was pretty much all downhill with some slight rollers thrown in. It was a blast. We stayed in the groove and rode 25-27 through most of that five mile section. Ended up hangign with them for about the next 40 minutes until we got to the Bluffs on Thompson Creek. I was fourth or fifth back in a group of about 15-20 at this point. The three lead guys just take off on this slightly downhill piece of the road. I decide to see if I can hang. We are going about 30-32 on a slight downhill and I hung for about 1.5 minutes. Having basically blown it out, I can't hang on and fall off the back. Two of the tri guys slow down to take a side paved trail off of the road. They talk me into it, actually it was either that or ride alone, and it was awesome. It was this little 5k asphalt paved trail with these huge steep drops. It was about 8-10 feet wide through the woods with these quick little turns and drops. The first mile was climbing and then you got to the fun part. Was only hitting 22-24 on the downhills, but since it was so closed in, it felt like 30.

After that, it was only about 3-4 miles back to the car. Ended up right at 50 miles in 2:30. 20 mph pace is not too shabby in all of those hills for 50 miles. Even though most of it was pack riding, it still felt good. I really enjoyed the pack ride. I have a road bike with aero bars so that is maybe why I felt so comfortable, but I was never worried once the ride started. I also formerly raced motocross, so riding in close proximity to other people isn't that new to me. Matter of fact, it made the ride go by that much faster being so focused on what everyone was doing around you. Definitely going to do it again as soon as I get a chance.

Swimming and weights for tomorrow. Skipping my long run tonight.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Back in the Saddle

Been back for a week and a half, but have had no time to write. Vacation was a blast except for the last two days. The wife and I both got sick eating some bad buffet food. Trip was awesome anyway. Did a ton of snorkeling, hanging out with the wife and relaxing. Definitely a well deserved trip that came at just the right time. Below is a couple of pics. The day before we left, there was this water spout that came within like 200 yds of the condo pool and ended up coming onto the beach right next door. I have seen water spouts before, but never that close.

Me at the entrance to the Tulum ruins.

My wife and I at Tulum.

The ginormous pool at the resort. About the size of 3 football fields. This is just one level. It had two swim up bars, three "islands" with palm trees, two volleyball nets and a bunch of concrete lily pads to be able to cross without going all the way around. Top notch!

The water spout.

My wife and her new friend.

Got back on a Saturday and haven't stopped since. Sunday after we got back was Father's day. Spent that out at my parent's house in Central. I barbecued since none of the girls wanted to do it. I cook for them on Mother's day, but then they decide to barbecue on Father's Day and I have to do the cooking. Such a scam! The kids have been taking swimming lessons in the afternoons since we got back and are doing great.

As planned, I have been hitting the training full speed ahead since we got back. Here is a run down of the last week and a half:

Monday: Swim 1600 yds and lift weights, Tuesday: Run 4.5 miles @ 9:15 pace and 1 hour spin class, Wednesday: Rest, Thursday: Swim 1500 yds and run 5 with 3 mile tempo @ 7:55, Friday: Run 3.7 @ 9:06 pace, Saturday: Bike 25 miles @ 18.3 in the hills of St. Franny, Sunday: Run 5.8 miles @ 9:44 pace, Monday: Swim 1700 yds and lift weights, Today: Ran 3 miles @ 9:13 pace then 1 hour spin class and run 1 mile @ 7:55 pace

That's 8 workouts in 9 days. It only gets tougher from here. This next week is just kind of the warm-up for my 12 week training schedule for HOLY Toledo. It is going to be brutal. It is in some ways worse than a half. The swim is just a little shorter, the bike is 16 miles shorter but up hills that are monstrous for this part of the world and the run is 10 miles of agony. The run is hilly, off-road for a while and has sections know as the pit of despair. People who have done it say the run is equivalent to 15 to 20 miles on paved flat ground. The winners are running 7:30-8:00 pace, which are guys that normally run 6's and 6:30's in normal races.

On to the only real excitement I have had besides my family and all of their shenanigans of day to day life. After reading every one's blog, it seems like everyone has some annoying swimmer at the pool that they frequent. Well I met that guy on Sunday at our local Y. The teen pool was closed for the day due to a "filtration" problem, whatever that means. So that meant that everyone who brought their kids to swim on Sunday had to use the 25 yard lap pool. The lap pool normally has 2 lanes available for lap swim and the other 4 lanes open for play swim on Sundays. But with the other pool closed, there were a ton of people in the lap pool. Four people were sharing the 2 lanes to get in their lap swimming. I show up with my two kids around 4 and got in the pool. We were there about 30 minutes when this guy in one of the lap lanes start to make a scene. Some kids start playing with the covers on the skimmer basket openings and this dude starts whining to the lifeguard. He starts yelling from the center lane across the pool to the lifeguard in the loudest voice possible, "Hey lifeguard, don't you see those kids pulling the cover off the skimmer basket opening, they're not supposed to be doing that. Someone could fall in and get hurt if they leave those covers off. You need to stop them from pulling of the covers." First of all, no kidding and second, you sound like my 4 year old telling on her brother. Then some kid rested on the lane divider for about 10 seconds. "Hey lifeguard, they are not supposed to be holding on to the lane marker, you need to make them stop. They aren't supposed to be doing that." Once again, no kidding and again you sound like a 4 year old. Then the one that ticked me off. About 30 kids had kick boards and were swimming/playing with them in the pool. One of the kids got on the side of the pool, tossed his kick board in and proceeded to jump on it like a surfboard. The kid fell back and came about a foot from hitting his head on the side of the pool. So the pool police decided that no kid was allowed to have a kick board. He got out of his lane went to the first lifeguard and pleaded his case once again in the loudest voice possible for everyone to hear, "Hey lifeguard, kick boards are only for lap swimming not recreational swimming. All these kids should not be allowed to have kick boards." She either didn't care or thought he was just being a bully (as I did) and basically did nothing about it. The second lifeguard basically had the same attitude. He finally got some action out of the fourth lifeguard. She decided that the only way to get this guy off of their backs was to take all of the kick boards away from kids. He jumped back into his lane and commented to the guy sharing a lane with him, "Its about time one of them listened."

Now the Y may have some policy that kids aren't supposed to have kick boards, I can't see why if they do, but at that point it wasn't about policy or safety (I have kids and they can make flat ground unsafe). It was about him bullying the lifeguards till he got what he wanted. Me being the non-confrontational, accommodating person that I am(couldn't be farther from the truth), I scream out "Just swim and quit killing all the fun for the rest of the people in the pool." That got him hot. He turns to the guy in his lane and says "Who said that?" The guy tells him someone from my area and he turns and I am looking dead at him (while trying to catch my kids jumping off the side of the pool). He swims over and gets about a foot from my nose and proceeds to explain to me the dangers of kids having kick boards and swimming safety in general with steam coming out of his ears. I proceed to politely (if you believe that, you'll believe anything) tell him that it is not his job or the lifeguards job to make sure that kids don't act like brats and the whole pool shouldn't be punished for one kids lack of forethought, since kids are always worried about what is safest. And that additionally, if the lifeguards thought kids having kick boards was unsafe than they would have not allowed the kids to have them in the first place and that the kids parents were around and they should handle it not him. I smiled, turned to the side and continued to catch my kids jumping off the side. He rambled on about safety and the lifeguards duty and some other stuff until he finally realized that I didn't care. He got in his lane, grabbed his kick board like a badge of honor and swam about 100 yds more. Flustered with the whole situation, he finally got out of the pool and left. Two people that had been waiting for 30 minutes finally got a chance to swim in the lane after they had waited on this guy who had actually only swam about 5 minutes during that 30 minute period because he had been worried about everyone else but himself.

Could my attitude have been better, was I being just as big a jerk as him and was what I did right? Yes, Yes and no. Sometimes though you just have to be a bully to deal with a bully. Was the kid doing something that was unsafe? Some would say yes, but if we stopped kids from doing anything that was a little unsafe, than they might as well stay inside and play video games their whole life. Hey wait, that is what a lot of them do anyway! Would I do it again? Yes. Soapbox moment over.

Looking forward to finishing out the week and spending some time with the family this weekend at a juvenile arthritis camp for my daughter. She is looking forward to it every day.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Vacation Time

Off to Playa Del Carmen in the morning. No regular training, but there will be some training. At least some runs and definitely swims. Glad to have a week off to recooperate. Especially since I have gained 5 pounds over the last week and a half. This will be one more week of bad habits and then hitting it hard when I get back. Want to lose 15 pounds (was 10 before I gained 5) before my race in September. Adios!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Weekend Summary

It did not include any training, so it will be short. Friday, I had kid duty in the afternoon since the wife was working, my mother-in-law had to do some shopping and my wife had a bridal shower to get ready for after work. The kids and I napped and played.

Saturday morning was more kid duty since the wife and m-i-l had to leave at 8:30 to go set up for the shower and then attend the shower. The kids and I went to the spray park to kill some time. Then it was time for lunch and an early nap. My daughter had her end of the year dance recital that we had invited the whole family to, about 11 of us. After the recital was back to the house for barbecue and cake. Everybody left around 8 so we could get the kids down and then we bummed around until bed time.

Sunday was church in the morning and then more kid duty for me. It was my wife's birthday and she wanted to spend it shopping. Her and her mother went shopping from 11 to 1:45. They came home so I could go to a memorial for a client who died. Got back from the memorial at 3:30 and they were off again to shop. More kids and daddy time. We played in the pool until the women got back. Got dressed and took the wife out with a couple of friends for her birthday dinner. Finally had some down time without the kids and some intelligent conversation with other adults. Had a good time.

Woke up this morning to a sick wife. Asked her if she wanted me to stay home from the Y, but since the m-i-l was still here, I got to go get my swim in. Swam around 1800 yds and then lifted weights. Had to come home at lunch since the wife was still feeling bad. Let her nap while I got the kids down for their naps. Have work training all this week until we leave for Playa Del Carmen, Mexico on Friday. I can't freakin' wait. So ready to get away.

Doing run and spin in the morning. Oh yeah, I gained like 5 pounds this weekend. Stepped on the scale at the office and the bad boy said 205! Holy crap. I was expecting maybe 201 or 202, but 205??? Need to hit it hard after the vacation. Would love to be around 190 for my 2 races at the end of September. Need to get the eating in check. Check out the wife's birthday present, her first bike of her own.
It's a Giant OCR3, already has aero bars and a computer. Now I just need to pick her up some aero wheels and some shoes.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Sign Me Up!

Just signed up for my first Half IM. The New Orleans 70.3 is now on the schedule for next year. It is in April which means an early start to the training year, woohoo!! Wish I could race it tomorrow.

Week in review:
Tuesday: Run 2 and 1 hour spin class
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday:Run 2.5 @ 7:30 pace and 1 hour spin class
Friday: Swim 2200 yds and skip a 4 mile run

Lots going on this weekend. My daughter is having her ballet recital and we are having a party after. The wife has a bridal shower for her good friend before the recital and then Sunday is her 30th birthday. At least I get to relish in her turning 30 before I get there.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

First Place in A Race!

Man it feels good to win something. Even if it was the smallest organized 3 mile race ever to have been run. Took the family up to my grandparents house on Lake Rosemound in St. Francisville for a holiday weekend of some R and R. Went up Saturday night and spent Sunday and Monday hangin' out. My brother and his wife were there on Saturday night and Sunday. The brother and I spent some time fishing. Took the kids to the beach at the lake on Sunday morning and had a blast. I forgot my swimming trunks, so I had to wear my Tri shorts to the beach. The wife was lovin' that let me tell you. She can't believe I wear them with no shirt on at a triathlon where the 150 other people have on the same attire. Wearing them at a lake just hanging out, is just not cool. The wife and I took turns doing some open water swimming while the other watched the kids. I put in about 1000 yds over the course of a couple of hours. Nothing like working training into family time. We brought the bikes, but never found time to ride them. Ran into a couple people I knew including Rocketboy who is one fast swimmer, a fast triathlete and one great race director.

On to the race. On the way in Saturday night, the banner for the memorial day celebration said "Fun Run" on it in addition to the other announcements. The wife said "We ought to do that on Monday morning". Sure why not? Got up Monday and the wife sent me down to the beach/pavilion area to see if they were going to have the run. Sure enough, they were setting up and passing out numbers (sheets of white lined paper with permanent marker, very low cost I must say). Got back and everyone got changed real quick and we headed down for the race. The wife signed up for the one miler and me for the 3 miler. 9 am rolls around and it is time for the one-miler to start. I give her an atta girl and off she goes. My 2.5 year old son and I run a mini one-miler, about 0.2 miles over the bridge and back. He loves to say he races. The large crowd of 10 cheered him down the chute on the way back in, he loved every second of it. When he finished, he put his hands on his hips and in a serious voice said "Where's the water?" It was hilarious. Got him some water while me, his sister and my mom waited for Melissa to finish. She ended up getting 4th out of about 25 people in a time of 8:25. As soon as she was finishing, they lined us up for the 3 miler.

We were all at the front, since it was only about 15 of us. There were two other triathletes in the race. We had all struck up a conversation due to me wearing my Lonestar race shirt. Anyway, didn't know how fierce the competition would be. They sounded the horn (screamed Go!) and off we went. I was in the lead with 2 teenage girls about 13 years old. I ran an easy pace to start and we all ran side by side. One of them stopped at about the 0.5 mile marker, I tried to convince her to keep going, but she said she couldn't go any further. The other girl made it to about the 1.1 mile point and had to stop. I felt bad because I was going to let them win if they could have run the whole thing, but they just didn't have the endurance. Tried to slow down for them, but they couldn't run at all after they stopped. Ran a 8:00 first mile, about a 9:00 second mile (trying to wait on the girls) and about a 8:20 on the third mile for a 25:18. Not impressive I know, but good enough to win by 6 minutes. 2nd and 3rd place were within 5 seconds of each other and would have made an awesome finish if they had been running for first place. Bummer...Third place was a woman who has only done two triathlons, but is going to do the New Orleans half next year. Talked to her and her husband a bunch later in the day at the memorial day celebration. Got my first place ribbon and went to the house to get changed for another morning at the beach. Took these pics back at the house.
3/4 of the family with the first place ribbon.

Austin with "his" ribbon. Since he was the first down the chute, he won the race!!

Spent the rest of the day having fun. Back to reality today. Got up at 5 am and headed to the Y. Most people were still draggin' from the weekend, so the parking lot was expectantly light. Put in 2 miles and spin class. Ready to finish out the next two weeks before vacation and then hit the training hard after our trip to Mexico. Only the wife and I, no kids!!!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Race Report

Everything went off without a hitch. Got to BP's at 4:10, loaded up the bikes and headed out. Got to the race site at around 7 ish, got signed in, set-up and ready to go. Did a short 200 yd swim warm-up and then it was time to start. Now that I am in the 30-34 age group (turning 30 at the end of the year), I am always in the first wave. That's because all the fast guys are in the 30-40 year old range so they stick them (I am not fast by any means) first.

The start was on a boat ramp, so it should be pretty uneventful, right? Of course not. I am about midpack at the start and some fruitcake decides he is going to dive instead of just starting to swim like the rest of us. Well, he dives right on top of my head and knocks the suction off my right goggle lens. It fills halfway up with water. Being the stubborn person that I am, ain't no way I am stopping, so I swam the loop with water in my right eye the entire time. It sucked. After that, got to the first turn and some guy had gotten of course. He was swimming at a 90 degree angle to the rest of us, and t-boned me in the side. Do you people know what you are freakin' doing??? Sheesh! Finished the swim in 9:48, under 2 min/100 m. That is the first time I have swam open water in under 2 min/100 so I felt pretty good about that. T1 was slow for some reason. Felt like I was in there forever. Don't know my exact time since transitions were just included with your bike time, but I think it was around 2:45, ridiculous.

Got on the bike and started rolling. About 0.5 mile in was a bridge over the Red River which wasn't very nice. Then on the downhill you start to pick up some good speed and then immediately have to make a turn killing all the speed you gained. Then you get to an overpass at mile 1.5 and the same thing. Turn right at the bottom of the hill, how terrible is that. The bike course was well marked, they had shut down one lane of traffic down on each side of the four lane highway and had cops about every 0.5 mile. Couldn't have been better manned. The road was concrete and on the way back in, it was kind of uneven, but besides that it was pretty smooth for the majority of the ride. Bike computer said 54:30 for a 19.8 average over the 18 miles. Not what I was expecting. Wanted to be in the 20.5-21 range, but I was trying to keep the heart rate around 85%. In Galveston, I think I went out too hard on the bike which hurt me on the run. With transitions, the bike time was 58:30 for a 18.6 average. So I had 4 minutes in transitions. Normally, I am around 2:45 or 3, so I don't know what I was doing in transition, but I obviously wasn't hurrying.

It was getting warm by the time we got on the run. Got passed by about 3 people, but had a good run. Ran a 25:12 5k (8:11 pace), which is the fastest 5k I have run in a triathlon to date. Felt good on the run and I think it was because I kept the HR lower on the bike.

Ended up at 1:33 just short of my goal of 1:30. What was I rewarded with for a 1:33? Nothing. Missed my goal of being top 50% in all my races this year. Was 48th out of 89. My 8:11 run was 55 of 89. Normally that kind of race would have easily got me top 50%. There were a ton of fast guys out today for some reason. Wish they would have all stayed home. Where were the fat slow guys to even out the field? Oh wait, that was me. Should have entered Clydesdale, there was only one entry. I could have at least taken home some hardware.

These are all of the Baton Rouge people who made the trek. As you can see, they are all thin and fast. They are the reason I missed the top 50%. Fast suckers. Maybe I'll be there one day...

Friday, May 16, 2008

Race Day

Tomorrow is race day. Mini-sprint distance, 500 m, 18 miles, 5 k, but at least it is a race and not training. Waking up before the butt-crack of dawn at the unthinkable time of 3:45 am. Getting to Big Poppa's house for a 4:15 departure. Race is 2.5 hours away and transition closes at 7:15, hope no one has to go to the bathroom on the way because they will be out of luck. Six of us going up, three of us racing individually and the other three doing a relay (slackers). Temps in the upper 60's and sunny skies. Should be a great race. Race report will follow when I get back.

Week recap:
Tuesday - 1.5 miles at 9:03 pace, 1 hour spin class, 1.5 miles @ 7:35 pace
Wednesday - 1400 yds, 200 warm, 5 - (2x50's + 1x100), 200 cool
Thursday - 0.4 miles at 9:15 pace. 2.5 miles @ 8:30 pace, straight to the bathroom before I crap in my run shorts, skipped the cooldown after the deposit
Today - pack stuff, clean bike, replace rim on my son's bike that my wife backed over and crushed

Monday, May 12, 2008

Injuries Suck

Especially when you don't know why!!

My mother in law was in town for mothers day this weekend, so I was able to do my ride on Saturday morning. Hit the road early at around 6:40. Since I am racing this Saturday, I decided to go short and hard and then do a short faster run. Went 25 miles at 19.8 mph (fastest training loop ever, not very impressive I know) which is encouraging since I normally race about 0.5-1 mph faster than my training. Some mental block I have where I can't train as fast as I race. At Galveston, I rode 28 miles almost 1 mph faster than I had ever done a 25 mile training ride. Anyway, got back to the house and put on the running shoes immediately for a real brick. Headed out feeling good at about 8:30 pace. Got about 1 mile in and the rumblin' started. Pace got considerably slower from there. Got to the turn around at 1.25 and had to stop or I would have had an accident. Walked it off and then started again. Did the start/stop thing about 3 times before I finally made it to a port-o-potty at the corner about a 0.5 mile from the house where they are doing some construction. Felt much better after making a deposit, but the pace was already shot. Finished up the 2.5 miles with a 9:03 pace. Not what I am looking for next weekend. Hoping to run in the 8:15 range, we'll see.

Took a nap with the kids Saturday afternoon and woke up with a sharp pain in my right leg. This has happened the last three weekends after my "long" ride. My buddies tell me it is my IT band or hip flexor, but neither of them really fit the symptoms. Hurts the worst when I try to roll out of bed. For whatever reason, that motion puts the most torque on it and causes the most pain. It actually hurts on the right side of my right leg from the hip all the way down to my knee. I thought the hip flexor was more on top of your quad and that IT band injuries were normally isolated to just around the knee. I could be wrong on one of these since there was this one other time where I got something wrong, but I doubt it...Skipped my long run Sunday in hopes of it getting better, but it has been slow.

Swam today at lunch since I didn't feel like getting out the bed with the sore leg. Mornings are worse for me since my arthritis already has me sore in the mornings. Although, it has gotten way better since I have dropped 30 pounds. Lunch swim went great. I love swimming in the sun. Stayed short, 1400 yds, since I only had 30 minutes. Tomorrow is run and spin class. Hopefully the leg will feel better.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Fast Short Run

In trying to make sure I keep my speed up in order to win the Shave Your 5K Challenge, Thursdays are speedwork days. Normally the work is done in a neighborhood across from the YMCA at 5 am. Didn't feel like getting up to my alarm this morning, so I turned it off and went back to sleep. Best decision that I've made this week. I was due for a 9 hour night of sleep and it felt good. Since I missed my run and swim, I decided to do the swimming at lunch and the running tonight after the kids went to bed.

The swimming went great. Knocked out my 1500 yds in a nice sunny lunch time dip. The water was awesome, and I had new goggles.They worked great, except for the fact that I didn't take the time to properly tighten them and anytime I would push of the wall too hard, they would lose suction for a second and let some water in. Will make sure to tighten them before next time.

Got home tonight and played with the kids, bathed them and got them to bed. Set out for 5 miles total with 4 - 800 meter repeats in the middle. Realized about 1/2 mile into my warm-up that I forgot my visor. That sucks. Luckily I was in my hood and doing my speedwork right by the house, so I just got it after my first interval. Numbers are as follows:

1 - 8:44, 0.5 - 3:16, 0.25 - 2:20, 0.5 - 3:35, 0.25 - 2:25, 0.5 - 3:28, 0.25 - 2:26, 0.5 - 3:34, 0.25 - 2:30, 1.05 - 8:50

Total: 5.05 in 43:03 (8:31 pace), Intervals: 6:56 pace average

If I could only run a 5k with that type of pace, then I would have something!!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Finally, A "Long" Run

After what seemed like a gazillion weeks of skipping my long run, I finally got it in on Sunday night. Never mind that it was only 4.1 miles, hardly long by running standards, but I think anything longer than a 5k can count as a long run. Especially after biking 42.5 miles in the mid afternoon sun. It all started Sunday morning when I got the kids up to take them to see their mother race in the Rocketchix Triathlon. We stopped for doughnuts at Mary Lee donuts, and got 1/2 dozen chocolate covered and almost 2 dozen doughnut holes. Each of the kids had a chocolate covered and I had 3. They each had about a half dozen doughnut holes. Payed for it later in the day when they became uncontrollable on their sugar crash. Anyway, back to the race. It was a ladies only race, like the name doesn't give that away, held at LSU. It was a 350m swim, 12 mile bike and 2 mile run. She did great. Came in 10th in her age group out of like 25 ladies and knocked over 3 minutes off her time from last year. She really improved her bike going around 1.5 mph faster than last year. She really had a great time.

Can't beat that kind of smile post race.

That afternoon, I got the kids down for a nap and took off on my ride about 1:45 pm. Knocked out 42.5 at about a 18.3 pace. Not that great, since I felt like crap and it was windy. It is getting to the point in the year where you either finish your ride before 11 am or you start after 5 pm. It was only in the mid 80's, but the humidity was ridiculous. Got home and was going to do a brick run, but the fam wanted to go to Sonic and get ice cream. So we did that instead. Ended up running after they went to bed. Did 4.1 miles @ 9:15 pace.

Monday, I swam 2400 yds with a long set of 1500 yds. Tuesday was running 3.6 miles before spin, one hour spin class and then 1 mile after spin. Today was a rest day and tomorrow is speedwork and swimming. Next week is a slight taper week since I am racing next Saturday. Not that I am training for anything particular, but I at least want to be a little fresh when I race. Then I have to pick a plan for the rest of the year to keep things interesting. Racing in south Louisiana in June - August is no fun at all. May do one race in August before the two big races in September.