Monday, December 7, 2009

2009 Reindeer Run

Wasn't the most enjoyable Reindeer Run ever, but at least I went. Ran a 23:50 in the sleet, rain and 36 degree weather. A lot slower than last year (2:25 slower), but considering my lack of running this year and the weather, it wasn't all that bad. Detailed report and pictures once results are up.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Down Time

It feels good to have some down time every once in a while, but I am starting to feel guilty about having no workout results. Looks like my goals for volume for the year will only be met in 1 of the 3 sports, but at this point who cares. Not too motivated to ride 100 miles a week for the next 4 weeks just so I can say I went 3,000 miles on the year. If it happens, then great, but I seriously doubt it. My birthday was Wednesday, Thanksgiving was Thursday and then I went fishing for 2 days with my daughter, dad and brother. So needless to say, I had zero miles of running and biking last week. One swim held down the training record for the entire week.
After thanksgiving dinner on Thursday, we went fishing at the camp in Venice. Emi, my dad, my brother and I headed down around 2:30 pm. Got to the landing around 5:15, met dad's buddy Tony in his boat and headed 16 miles down the Mississippi River to the camp just after dark around 6 pm. Got unloaded and ate some more turkey for dinner. Hit the hay around 9 pm.
Up early and down to the end of the Mississippi River at South Pass on a cool crisp morning. Got set up and the first 45 minutes produced 29 trout.
Emi and me with a nice trout to start the morning.

After the first 29, they just shut off. From 8:30 until about 12, we only put about 10 more in the boat. we then took a break and made some sandwiches for lunch. Emi had been eating all morning, but she put away her sandwich in a matter of minutes. We moved down the beach a little bit and proceeded to find the bite again. We put another 25 in the boat in about 30 minutes. Emi even caught 8-10 trout by herself. Paw paw would cast it way out there, she would set the hook, crank them in and paw paw would net them. It was awesome watching her have so much fun. She even got to reel in a redfish in the midst of all that.

Emi and her redfish.

Moved again and finished off our 3 man (2 men and a little girl) limit of 75 trout. Final count for the day was 75 speckled trout, 7 white trout and 2 redfish. My brother and Tony in his boat added 40 specs and 9 redfish. Total for the day was 133 fish. That translates to a ton of fun.

Our box.

Their box.

Got back to the camp and got cleaned up. Built Emi a fire in the yard and started dinner, which was ribeyes. After dinner, we ate some fresh baked chocolate chip cookies from the oven. Hit the sack early at around 8:30. Not a lot to do at the camp after dark. No TV or internet 16 miles down the river. Got up early again Saturday to do it again. Conditions were even better, but it wasn't meant to be. Managed around 30 speckled trout, 5 white trout and 5 redfish. All in all, a great fishing trip. Especially since Emi caught some fish. Can't wait to bring her back again next year. Hopefully, a few times with her and Austin.

Emi driving the boat on the way past the South Pass light tower.

Emi with the biggest trout of the day Saturday that she caught all by herself.

Emi and the birds. Paw Paw let her feed them bread.

Saturday's catch.

Did get in a good 5 mile run today at lunch at an 8:08 pace, which felt suprisingly easy. All may not be lost. Doing the Reindeer Run 5k on Friday. That run today gives me hope that I can at least put down a respectable time. Maybe even a sub 24. We'll see. Won't come anywhere near my PR from last year in this race (21:25).

Friday, November 13, 2009

Pool is Fixed

Finally, the day has come. The Y got their act together and got the pool fixed for good, hopefully. Got up at 5ish and headed to the Y. Only soul there to swim. Air temp was around 45 and water temp was around 82-84. I can't stand it when I get in the pool in the winter and it feels hot. If you don't feel a little chill when you first get in, then it is definitely too warm. Couldn't shed any heat during the swim, so it got hot quick. Put in a medium effort for the 2,000 yards. Workout was the following:

300 warm-up
5x200 on 3:40
4x50 on :55
1x300 on 5:45
300 cool down

Finished somewhere around 38:30, can't remember exactly. Came home and got the kids ready for school after getting the wife a cinnamon dolce latte from FourBucks. If a coffee has three words in the name, then it ain't coffee. Then $3.72 for a "tall" (small in common sense descriptions of size) is freakin' ridiculous.

Had to go to a meeting in St. Francisville, so I got to go play golf at The Bluffs. A couple of weeks ago at a golf tournament up there, I won the grand prize drawing for a six month membership. Today was my first round and the start of the 6 months. It was great. Quiet and relaxing to play by yourself with hardly anyone around. Shot a 99, which isn't bad considering I have only played 3-4 times a year for the last 3 years. I only have time for one hobby and triathlon is it. Was glad to get out and hit the old sticks again though. It is nice to be away from the hustle and bustle for a while. Just me, my thoughts and screaming at myself for all of the bad shots. Hopefully, I can get some of my old stroke back from when I used to play at least once a month before the kids came along. Would like to get back into the high 80's/low 90's on a regular basis. Feels so good when you get in a groove, kind of like when you are swimming or biking and just get that feeling that everything is going right.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

No Workout Again

The freakin' YMCA is killing me. The pool that I normally swim in was shut down for like a month because the heaters were broken. So I had to swim at another Y that had an indoor pool, but it was 23.5 yd long. Made it fun calculating splits...Anyway my regular Y finally fixed the heaters last week. I was going to finally go train after my 3 days off from Ironstar. Just called them to make sure the pool was open. "Sorry sir, there was a gas leak and Entergy hasn't made it out to fix it yet. The pool is currently closed." Freakin' Y, that pool is closed more than it is open. I wish Baton Rouge had some public pools like other big cities. No I remember, we screwed that up way back with the whole segregation thing. Bunch of morons.

Day 4 of no training down in the books. 17 more days and this becomes a habit...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Ironstar Half Iron Race Report

Nobody reads this anymore since I haven't posted since the beginning of time, but I am going to try to bring it back. No promises, but we will see.

Once again, I decided to do this late season 1/2 to keep my training going late into the year. It was a good plan if only it had worked. My bike and swim training stayed fairly consistent, but my run training has been down all year including in the run up to the race.
My wife decided to go this year, so that I would have someone to cheer for me this year. Last year I drove up by my lonesome, stayed with a friend, did the race and drove home. Made for a long two days. We stayed at the Ramada Inn in Conroe, which was 30 minutes from the race site. We drove to the race site and picked up my packet and then headed to the hotel to watch the LSU game. So after that disappointment, we headed to dinner at Pandera Bread. Wish we had one in Baton Rouge. Ate a good dinner, got everything ready and hit the pillow early.

Got up just before 5 am, loaded up and headed to the race site. Got there around 6 am, got set-up in transition, hit the port-o-let and it was time to walk to the beach for the start. Got in a little 200 m warm-up after getting the suit on. They had women 30-34 and athena as the first wave, which was kind of different. Men 30-39 and clydes were in the second wave. It was a running beach start. Didn't go too crazy on the run, dove in and started the swim. Got punched and swam into a couple of times at the start as the first part of the swim was in a little marina cove for the resort which was fairly tight for 75 to 80 swimmers. After getting out of the cove, it opened up into the main part of Lake Conroe. There was a light chop that was in our face for the first few hundred meters as we were headed out. Not that big of a deal, but altered my stroke just a little. The swim was point to point and the middle portion was with the chop so stroke got a little better. About midway through, I came upon a big pack (12-15) of ladies from the prior wave. Picked a poor line and it took me a while to get through them. After that, it was clear sailing to the swim exit. Swim took 37:41 which was a little slower than I anticipated, but decent enough and better than last year. Some have said it was long, but who ever knows when it is open water. The wetsuit strippers were very close to the exit, so it was a rush to get the top down and then jump on the ground to have them pull it off.

Transition was in a grass field, so it made the run over easy. However, they had just cut the grass so I got grass all over my feet. Had to wipe some of it off before getting my shoes on so that wasted 15 seconds. I may not swim, bike or run that fast, but I pride myself on transitions. Fairly quick T1 considering the grass.

The bike is fairly hilly. Just about like St. Francisville, but there aren't really any flat portions. It is all up and down, but nothing too big. Plan was to keep the HR in the low to mid 150's for the first 35-40 and then pick it up at the end. Had a tough time on the uphills keeping it that low, but for the most part it stayed low enough. Knew it wouldn't be fast, but wanted to pace myself for the run. Looking back, I should have just freakin' hammered it since I had no run fitness anyway. After mile 40 it was mostly downhill so I was able to let it fly and pick up some time. Dropped my chain about mile 35 at the bottom of a hill and had to grind up. The bike course for the most part is out in the country. The leaves were changing colors and it was a very nice ride. Rode into T2 just a few minutes past were I wanted to be. After a 0:48 T2, at least I'm fast at something, I was out on the run at 3:44. All I had to do was average 10 min miles and I had my sub-6.

Wasn't meant to be. The first 4 miles were fairly flat, with just a few rollers thrown in. It was uphill on the way out, but not that steep. Felt good for the first 5. There was a loop that had to be run twice starting at about mile 4.5. The loop had two fairly steep hills, at least for my flat course running self. The end of the second loop and the first portion of the way back to the finish was between mile 8 and 9. I had held about 10 min miles up until about mile 8 even with walking the aid stations. However, the hills between 8 and 9 killed me. After that, it turned into a death march. Run as much as possible (2-3 min) and then walk for a minute. Wasn't helping. Got to mile 10 and had 29 minutes left to the 6:00 mark. My mind was like, "Dude, you have run 22 minute 5k's, you've got this..." My body had different plans. Couldn't get it in gear. Ran the last 0.5 mile for pride and crossed in just under 6:09. Of course, Guillory and Primeaux had been finished for over an hour, so they were there to wave me in as was my lovely wife. Ended up second clyde, so I got my first and probably last hardware for a while. I don't plan to be over 200 for much longer and those AG guys are just too fast.

Brandon, Mark and the LSU guys all had great races. They all looked like they were flying the whole time and they were. Haven't been running more than 12-15 miles per week all year, and that killed my run. Going to make that a priority in the off season. This race is a great venue and is very low key. The race is at a resort which makes it nice for the spectators. Plenty of restaurants and nice grounds to hang out. My wife says it was the best spectating experience she has had. I don't like huge races, and with only around 300 racers this is perfect. May be back next year, we'll see.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Week in Review

Monday: 2 mile recovery run at 6 am

Tuesday: 19.5 mile "speed" workout on bike at 5:30 am. After warm-up, did my 13.5 mile loop in 21 mph. Cool down on the way home.

Wednesday: 2750 yard swim which was a struggle. Ran 4 miles with a one mile tempo thrown in at the end at 7:50 pace.

Thursday: Half recovery, half moderate ride with riding partner at 5:30 am. Went 19.5 miles. Then rode that afternoon with my wife around the 13.5 mile loop. Ran a 2 mile brick run with her after the ride. I locked our keys in the truck and had to ride home to get them, so got in another 3 mile ride.

Friday: Cut the grass

Saturday: 47 mile ride at 6 am. Did the first 15 solo and then picked up with the BR Tri crew and rode peleton for the next 20 miles. Finished the final 12 solo. Did a 2 mile brick run to finish it off.

Sunday: 800m open water swim in a friends 40m pond. Half training/half fun with the kids. Got in 8.35 miles of running at my parents house. First 2 was with my wife and remainder solo. Went 10:30 pace with the wife and finished it off with 9:00 pace for the remainder of the run.

This week is an easier run week, so going to try to concentrate on swimming and biking. hope to get to 115 miles on the bike this week. Training is focused on getting in enough base for concentrated effort on Ironstar. About 13 weeks out from Ironstar, but getting ready in about 5 weeks to go all out for it. Meat pie tri is in there about 7 weeks out. Have a challenge from a fellow BR Tri buddy, so trying to do some short fast stuff to kinda be ready for the pain of a sprint. We'll see how that works out. Main goal is to get to sub 6 at Ironstar.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Where have the miles gone?

Won't bore you with the details of the past however long it has been since I posted. My two readers are probably long gone by now. Just been steadily working my way through the grind. Slowly increasing my run mileage back up and so far, no heel problems. Did speed work yesterday for the first time in at least 4 months and had no ill effects this morning. Heading out to do a 6 miler in the morning. Will be my longest run since New Orleans Half Ironman. Of course, I don't know if I actually ran 6 that day either...

Have really been enjoying my swimming. Not getting faster mind you, but still enjoying it. I have been trying to get out of the pool and get some more open water in. Did an open water a few weeks back with BR Tri. It was more like a beginners clinic, but they opened it up to whoever in the club wanted to come swim at a nice lake in BR. It was in the neighborhood of one of the members. It was exactly 800 m long, so it made it nice. I biked from my house, swam around 2400 m and then biked home. Made for a great training day. Then one morning, I went over to a friend's house. He has a small pond in his front yard that is 40 m long. It's not very long, but it beats swimming in the pool everyday. Especially with how hot the pool is these days.

This past Sunday morning, I got up early and met a group in St. Francisville. We went 50 miles in the hills. Need to do some more of that before my showdown with my buddy Jeff at Meat Pie. This is his second year of tri and my third. I beat him consistently by a minute or two and he is getting kind of sick of it. It used to be that I would get him in transition time, but he has recently gotten better at the fourth tri discipline. So Meat Pie in September is going to be the showdown. Need to keep the pressure on. Got up this morning and biked from the house for 37 miles. Left the house at 4:40 am and it was pitch black. My headlight decided to go out (batteries) about 5 miles in. Was really fun after that until the sun came up. Had to get in a long bike before the weekend because I am going fishing off the coast for the weekend. Couldn't miss a long bike ride, so had to at least get close to 40 in even if it isn't my normal 50 to 60. Going to be swimming and running in the morning.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Hot Ride

Can it freakin get any hotter? Rode yesterday afternoon at 6:15. Temp was 98 and heat index was 104, brutal! Got in 20 miles at around 19.5. Did some intervals in the middle with an average just over 20 for the middle 13.5. Swam and ran this morning. Water was in the upper 80's and the run was miserable. Tell me again why I do this crap in the middle of the summer. Hopefully, I can lose this 10 pounds I have gained since November. My weight is headed in the wrong direction. Going to go for a short 45 minute ride in the morning and then swim/run on Friday.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Heatwave Race Report

Convinced my buddy Luke to give in and do the race, so we rode up together. He has friends who live about 20 minutes from the race, so we went to their place after packet pick-up. They cooked ribeyes, pasta, and grilled vegetables for dinner. Not sure that ribeye is the best pre-race meal, but it was delicious. Watched the end of the LSU baseball game and hit the hay around 10:30 pm. Sleep comes easy, so pre-race jitters aren't a problem for me. Was out in a few minutes and slept till my alarm went off at 5:10 am.

Got dressed and got our stuff loaded up. Had a bowl of runny oatmeal since I added too much milk and didn't have time to cook it off. Hit the door since we were running a little late. Race start was 7 am. Made it to the parking lot at 6:30. Hurried up and got set up, since we were literally the last people to arrive. Was in the first wave, so quickly got my chip and got in a quick warm-up in the water. Got around the middle of the pack and got ready for the start. Weather was awesome with a race time start temp of 60. About 10 degrees below normal for this time of year.

Swim (800 m):
Swim was supposed to be 800 m, but turned out to be somewhere in the neighborhood of 900 to 950. Last year's race was short, with the fastest swimmers out in about 9 min. This year's fastest time was around 12:30. Pretty uneventful swim except for getting swam over once and swimming over two guys myself. Also took a little detour between the two buoys that were out at the farthest point out on the swim. Swim was U shaped and for some reason, I went way wide on the part between the two legs of the U. Came out of the water at 18:59, which was 6th in Clydesdales.
I am in there somewhere...

Fairly smooth, but a little long for me. Time was 1:29, which could have been due to the fact that I was way at the end right up next to the fence due to the fact that we were late to set-up.

Bike(24.8 miles):
Bike was nice with it being on the Natchez Trace. No wind to speak of with rolling hills. Tried to keep my hear trate down, but it just wasn't meant to be. Couldn't get it below 160-162 the entire ride. It was up in the 170 range for a good portion. They had three large packs of 15-20 drafting peletons. Stayed out of them and made sure to ride a clean race. Tailed another BRTri member about 200yd back for the entire race. I would get closer on the uphills and he would lengthen his lead on the downhills. Finally took him with about 2 miles to go. He passed me in the first mile on the run though. Ended up biking 19.7 based on the official length of the race with my time. Bike computer had 19.5 since the course was a few tenths short. Hit T2 with a bike time of 1:15:31.
I'll let you decide if there was drafting or not...

Back down to my spot by the fence at the end of the row. Time of 1:18 which was disappointing. Anything over 1 min in T2 is unacceptable. Did put on socks though since I haven't been running and knew that my feet would not hold up on the 10k. Even with socks though, I can usually make it out in under 1 min.

Run(6.2 miles):
Settled in for a long run and was just hoping to come in under 1 hour. My run training since N.O. Half has totaled 24 miles. That is 8 weeks at a 3 mile average per week. Needless to say, I didn't expect much from my run. Run was nice, with only the first and last miles being in the sun. The middle 4 were on an asphalt running trail through the woods. Run was a little hilly. From around mile 2 to the turn-around was all uphill. Made it nice on the way down though. Got to see lots of BRTri folk and give some high fives. Beating another BRTri member, Jeff Crow, kept me going even though I didn't feel like it. With about 0.5 mile to go, Stephen Hollinger passed me and let me know that Jeff was gaining. Had just enough kick to keep him at bay and beat him by about 40 seconds. Run time was 58:27 for a 9:35 average. Not good, but not terrible for the lack of run training I have done. 2:35:42 which was good enough for 12th in Clydesdales out of 35. Missed my goal of top 50% though, but this race field is always fast.
View of my rear. I am the one in the middle with no shirt on.

My nemesis, Jeff (left), and Stephen.
It is something about the "Olympic" (swim wasn't Olympic distance) distance that brings out the fast people. Don't really know why. Always finish top 50% in sprints and both halfs I have done. However, haven't been close in the two Olympics I've done. Maybe it is too long for the beginner types, but not the allure of a big accomplishment to beginners as the Half distance. I know this, all you beginners need to put Olympic distance races on your calendars so I can finish top 50%...

Heatwave is a great race and one I will certainly do again. Also, Deanna Favre was out there racing and I missed it. Don't know if Brett was out in disguise on the course, but if so, then I missed it. Didn't realize until after the race that a Hall of Famer's wife, who is a cancer survivor, was out on the course. Bet she has the best bike and some nice gear though.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Century (Metric) Ride

Did a Metric Century on Monday in the hills of St. Francisville. Wanted to do the full century, but with it being a holiday and all, I couldn't convince my significant other to watch the kids for 5.5 hours without me. The metric ended up being 65 miles due to some re-routes because of some construction.

The ride started out nasty as miles 5 - 15 were ridden in a steady downpour. Riding 6 inches from some one's tire in a paceline at 23-25 mph in the driving rain is not the most fun thing in the world. However, it does make you focus just a little bit more than normal. Stayed with the pack through the first 45 minutes and then about 6 of us broke off the front until we got to the first SAG stop. Re-fueled and then took off again with the 6 off the front. Got to the second SAG at mile 37 and we were down to 4, but we picked up 4 more who were bailing on the century. Well, 5 of them take off without too much notice and three of us are left to try to pick up with them. We three took turns pulling a mile at a time and finally caught the lead pack right at SAG stop number 3. Well, I pull in to get some food and I hear them say they are stopping and they are going to keep going. Great, they pull out and I am stuck trying to catch up. Takes about a mile, but I catch up to the 5 of them (we lost 2 somewhere along the way, can't quite remember how or when, maybe when the three of us were catching up). We set up in a paceline with everyone taking about 3 minutes. We are averaging 21-22 on the flats, 14-16 up the hills and 25-27 on the downhills. We make it to SAG 4 at mile 50 and I am about dead.

After SAG 4, where they finally let us stop for more than two minutes, I don't take any more pulls. Me and a lady from New Orleans just ride the back and let the other 4 pull. Without the group, I surely would have died somewhere in between miles 50 and 65. Just didn't have the legs for it. However, in the paceline it wasn't so bad. Almost lost them a couple of times, but each time I pulled out just enough to hang on up the hills. All in all a good ride. I think we averaged around 19 for the 65, which in the hills of St. Franny is respectable, at least for me anyway. Especially after putting in 50 miles two days before on Saturday.

Doing a brick in the morning to kind of see where I stand for Heatwave. It ain't going to be pretty that is for sure. With my run mileage hanging around 5-6 miles per week, the race next weekend is going to be brutal. Maybe I can pull a rabbit out of my hat...See you at the race Tri-James.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Don't Call it a Comeback

After 4 weeks of taking it easy after New Orleans Half IM, I finally hit a "decent" week of training. I have still been staying off the feet by not running, except for the one 5k two weeks ago and the 3 mile run I did this week. I actually got in a consistent week.

Monday and Tuesday I slouched and skipped my swim and bike. However, I got back in the groove on Wednesday. Got in 1750 in the pool and then went for a three mile run. Heel didn't hurt too bad the next day, so I may try to run some more this week. Thinking of getting the "boot" to wear at night to try and beat the plantar fasciitis. Thursday was supposed to be bike, but some BR Tri buddies wanted to ride on Friday. So, I got back in the pool on Thursday and wimped out after 2100. Friday am was a 31 mile bike ride with 4 other peeps. Good ride, couple of pick-ups, but it was very humid and miserable. Saturday was a "rest" day. Took the kids to see Mike the Tiger, to play at the Louisiana Arts and Science Museum in downtown BR and then to the BR Zoo for the Keypoint Credit Union member party. Came home around 2 and we all crashed for a 2 hour nap. Went out early this morning since it was supposed to rain and put in an hour of riding before I met some of the BR Tri crew for some paceline stuff. Ended up riding 56 miles for the morning.

Hopefully, I can continue the training the next couple of weeks. Signed up for the Heatwave Classic, which is almost an Olympic distance taking place on June 6. Bike and run is Olympic, but the swim is only 0.5 mile instead of 0.9 miles. Looking forward to it, if I can get some run miles in. Going to be a miserable run if not.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Race Report Continued (Finally)

Race Day:

Got up around 5 so we could head over around 5:30 to transition. My ride was late and we end up not getting to transition until 6:15. My wave is the third wave, so this is going to be a rush job. Organize my stuff real quick and start heading over to the swim start. Had to walk the mile to the start because the line for the bus was way too long and I knew I would never make it on time. Ended up jogging the last 1/4 mile. Got in the port-o-potty line at 6:45 and my start was at 7:12. Did my business and heard them sending off the second pro wave (women). The physically challenged athletes were next, then my wave. Got my chip and started to put on my wetsuit. Got to the start line just as they are sending my wave into the water, not how I wanted to start my day. Then I can't get my wetsuit zipped because of the tri top that I had to wear because of the nipple rule. Had to ask a volunteer near the start to zip it up. Get my goggles on and get wet and then they send us off.


Ran what seemed like the first 150 m until it finally got too deep. Let the fast swimmers get out ahead and then settled into a groove. Swam near this one guy for what seemed like the whole race. Drafted off him a few times, but he wasn't quite fast enough to stay ahead off me when I was in his draft. I would pull beside him, but could never leave him behind. Got out of the water and my watch gad around 37 minutes. Let them strip off my wetsuit and got to transition. Official swim time was 38:40, which includes the trek up to transition.


My bike was on the opposite end of transition from the swim. Had to run what seemed like a 5k across the parking lot that was transition. My feet were getting hammered by little rocks. Finally got to my bike, got ready and headed out. T1 was 3:09, but that was due to the long run across the lot with no shoes.


Nothing eventful except for slight quartering tailwind on the way out and large headwind on the way back in. I checked the wind report the day after and confirmed. We had a 7-8 mph quartering tailwind for about the first 1/3 of the race and then the last 1/3 had a 16-18 mph headwind. The middle third was a combination of the 16-18 mph as tailwind and headwind. Needless to say, the last 1/3 sucked. Going into a 16-18 mph wind on the last 16 miles was not fun at all. Tried to keep my heart rate down in the 150 range, but couldn't manage it on the headwind portion. Finished the bike in 2:58:34. 18.8 mph average which is right below the 19 I was hoping for. Think I could have done it without the headwind. Hit T1 with a heel that was already hurting from the bike. Got off the bike and immediately knew my heel was not going to hold up.


Now I had to run the 5k back across the parking lot to get to the run exit. At least this time I had shoes on. Still took me 3:12 though. The wife was waiting on me at the exit and I told her it was going to be a long run with my heel.


Made it to about mile 1.5 before I had to stop because of the heel pain. That was the story of the run. My heel combined with my fatigue made it a fight. Did a combination of walk run the entire time. Not much to say except that people passed me by the hundreds. After that first 1.5 I only ran one other section from aid station to aid station and that was mile 6-7.5. After that I was screwed. Resorted to running 10 minutes and walking 2 minutes. That got me about a mile each time. Was never so happy to see a finish line. The number of people was amazing and the finish was electric. Wish I just would have felt happy coming down the chute about my race. Ended up with a 2:34:26, which blows. 11:47 average sucks for the training that I did. Even though I only ran like 10 miles a week the last 4 weeks due to my heel, I should have been able to run sub 10 min miles. Race total was 6:18. No goals met except for my "C" goal of finishing. Had so much promise to start. Came out of T2 in 3:43 total for the day to that point. With a 2:02 half mary I had my "A" goal. With a 2:17 I had my "B" goal. Sucks the feeling right out of you as you realize you will not make it.

All in all, despite my heel and run issues, it was a great first race for New Orleans. At this point, I don't think I am going to do it next year, as the price is a little steep. May just volunteer and go do lonestar in Galveston. About $50 cheaper and way less people. We'll see.

Monday, April 13, 2009

N.O. Half Iron Race Report

I better write this before I forget everything. Not that there is much to remember except for my sucky run, more on that later. Total finish time was 6:18, same time as my first half iron. That first half iron, I had a flat and wasted 16 minutes on two stops to change it. So needless to say my time was worse.


Went down Friday to do packet pick-up to avoid the crowd on Saturday. Took the kids to the New Orleans Zoo where we are members. The kids had a fun time, even if it was rushed so I could make it on time to the 5 pm race briefing.

After the zoo, we went down to the convention center and parked. Mel took the kids down to the aquarium, while I did a race warm-up by running to the Marriott. The website said if you were 2 minutes late to the briefing, then you would have to go to the next one.

Got there at 5 pm on the dot and the briefing was packed. Sat with a friend, Mulkey Way, who happened to miss the 4 pm session and was at the 5. She was 4 minutes late to the 4 pm! Typical pre-race stuff except for two things. First, he asked how many people in the room that this was there first triathlon ever. About 6-8 people stood up! Half Iron as your first race, braver than me. The second curve ball was the fact that WTC has a torso rule. In other words, you must were some type of top that covers your torso. Basically, it is a nipple rule. I hate wearing freakin' shirts in races. Only have done it twice and both times it was because the temp was in the 40's and I wore one for the bike only. I was not a happy camper. Got my stamp and then went and picked up the packet. Packet was sparse and just had the essentials. Found the wife and the kids, who had went to I-Max since the aquarium closed at 5 pm. Headed home to try to get a good dinner and a good nights rest. Neither happened. Got to bed late and woke up the next morning at 5:30 and couldn't go back to sleep.

Hung out with the kids for the morning on Saturday and then dropped them off at my parents around lunch. Headed over to my buddy Jeremy's in-laws house to catch my ride to N.O. Mel was working, so she was coming down later.

Was going to try and do this report all at once, but life keeps getting in the way. Will finish later, but the later it gets the less I remember. May be a good thing for all you readers out there, both of you...

Monday, March 30, 2009

Race Week

The week has finally come, N.O. 70.3 is upon us. I feel so ill prepared. My running has not come along with the heel issue and it has gotten only slightly better. Still hurts pretty bad after a long run or any kind of reasonably fast speed work. We'll see if it can hold up for 13.1 miles.

Last Wednesday we took a trip to New Orleans to swim the course. Forecast had thunderstorms and 25 mph winds, but we went anyway. The only saving grace was that the wind was out of the south. Got down there and it was perfect. The wind was blowing about 20, but since it was from the south the water just had a slight ripple. We ended up swimming 0.5 mile to the start and then swimming the 1.2 mile course. The water was actually too warm and my full sleeved wetsuit had me extremely warm. Every 5 minutes I would pull the neck down to let water in to cool me off. I could feel it coming out by my feet very warm. Ended up swimming around 38 minutes, which would be great come race day. Will be a little more crowded though, so I will be happy with 40 although not excited. Bad news is that some peeps from BR Tri went down Saturday and the wind was out of the north at about 20 mph and the waves were crashing to the top of the sea wall (3'-4'). A north wind or east wind will not be fun. The forecast for now has SW wind, which will be perfect for the swim.

Friday, I did my last longer brick before the race. Rode 40 miles in north Baton Rouge and then ran 5 miles. Went 19.2 on the bike and managed 8:50 pace on the run. That is not going to cut it for my goal. I need to hit around 19 on the bike and 9:00 pace on the run to have a chance at 5:45. The run is going to be the tough part...

Sunday, we loaded up Boggs' truck and 6 of us headed to Lake Charles for a quick "warm-up" race. It was a super short sprint of 500 meters/10 miles/2 miles. My buddy Jeremy was doing his first tri, which is the only reason I committed. The air temp was 40 at race time and the water temp was 66 due to the recent rain showers. Left my wetsuit at home so I wouldn't be tempted to swim in it. The swim was miserable and I only managed to go 9:11, which is only 1:50/100 m. Couldn't get my legs going on the bike and missed the 20 mph standard. Went 19.7. The one shining moment was my T2, 37 seconds. Second fastest T2 in the race. Executed the flying dismount perfectly, hustled in and racked my bike flawlessly, slipped on my shoes with my Yanks laces and hit the run course. Was happy with my run, especially considering my lack of speed work over the last 2 months. Managed 7:42's. Best of all, a fellow age grouper, Br Tri friend and caravan member got beat by my excellent transitions. We had the same swim time and run time, but he beat me on the bike by a full minute. However, my transitions were 2 minutes faster total. He passed me on the bike at mile 6, but I caught and passed him in T2 and never looked back. I knew he was lurking on the run, but I saved a little for the last 1/4 mile and kept him at bay. Got 5th in age group and 37 overall out of 119.

Doing low volume, speed work for this week. Swam 1,000 yds this afternoon and going to do a short 5k tomorrow at 8:00 pace. Going to swim another 1,000 yds on Wednesday with a short run and then bike about 15 miles on Thursday. Short run on Friday and then rest Saturday. Race day early on Sunday. Good luck to others doing the race and to my buddy from Houston doing the Lonestar 1/2 this weekend in Galveston. Wish they weren't the same weekend because I enjoyed Lonestar and was looking to do it again. Maybe next year.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Bricks 'R Us

Finally got a freakin' run in. After not having run for another week straight, I finally got my feet on the pavement yesterday. Went for my normal Thursday morning bike ride, but decided to start a little earlier so I could do a run after. With the time change, it was dark for the entire workout.

Started out with a 15 mile ride on my normal route. It was pretty windy, so I only averaged around 19.5 for the ride. I hate freakin' cross winds. Give me a headwind and tailwind any day over a cross wind. Felt like I was fighting the wind the whole ride. At least with a headwind, there is a point where you know you'll get a tailwind. Got off the bike and transitioned right into the run. I try to keep it under 3 minutes so that it is truly race conditions (No, I don't take 3 minutes for transitions in a race, matter of fact, my T2 times are normally under a minute so shut up).

Wanted to run for 30 minutes. Went out fairly easy to make sure the heel was feeling good. Picked it up on the way back in. Negative split the run by 5 seconds, woohoo...Guess I wasn't taking it as easy on the way out as I thought. Ended up going 3.6 miles for a 8:30 pace. Pretty decent for me for an easy run after a bike. Probably could have been in the 7:45 range if it was actually a race. However, the heel is still not good. Had some light pain in it the rest of the day and it felt sore after sitting at my desk all day not moving it.

Going to try and run 8 to 9 miles today and see how it holds up. Don't want to go into the half iron only having run a 10 miler 2 months before the race. If it doesn't do well, then I am going to just have to run a bunch of short runs for the next 3 weeks leading up to the race. That will make my race goal be very tough to meet. I need to be able to go sub 9 minute pace on the half marathon to have a shot at my "A" goal.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Of course as soon as I say something about making all my workouts last week, I miss the rest of them. Ended up skipping my run Friday, never had a chance to make it up on Saturday and Sunday was shot.

Saturday afternoon, we took the kids to see the LSU women's gymnastics meet. Emilie loved it, Austin loved it for the 30 seconds he sat still. After that it was a fight with him until I finally took him outside to see Mike the Tiger. Mike was swimming in his pond and running around the cage, so that occupied Austin until we left for St. Francisville. We went to spend the night at my grandparents house on Lake Rosemound and spend the next day up there. I was volunteering for a road (term used loosely) race called Rouge Roubaix on Sunday.

It is a 100 mile road race across some of the worst roads in St. Francisville and up into Mississippi. About 25-27 miles of it is on gravel roads up huge hills (huge for this area of the world). 35 mph descents on gravel ain't no joke. I rode wingman in the lead vehicle for the "B" race which was cat 4 and masters riders. It is a race modeled after the 160 mile race from Paris to Roubaix over in France. There was a reporter and photographer from the NY Times and there story can be found at Roubaix story. A short video of the race can be found here. I'm glad I was in the truck and not on my bike. I would consider doing it one year, but not now. I'll stick to the leisurely bike club century rides on paved roads.

After the race, I headed back up to the lake to enjoy the afternoon. Played with the kids until their nap time. Got them down for a nap and went on a short bike ride with my wife. Her first time back on the bike since last year. We went 10 miles at 13 mph through some decent hills. After she went back to the house, I did an up and down twice on a large 0.75 mile hill right by the lake. It is only about a 5% grade, but it stretched the quads. Spent the remainder of the afternoon fishing with the kids and then I took a swim in my new wetsuit.

The wetsuit was great. A little restrictive feeling on the breathing, but I figured that would be the case the first time I wore it. It won't be a big deal once I swim in it a few more times. Kept it short since the lake has all these rules about staying 25 yards from your pier. So I made my mom and kids follow me in the boat for a 150 yds out and back for a total of 300 yds. It kept me warm and semi dry. Neck is a little big, so I got some water in it, but not enough to worry about. Figured out a big secret though, make sure to pee before you put it on. As soon as I was ready to get in the water, I had to pee. The wetsuit is not conducive to peeing, so I had to hold it until I got out. Made a mental note to pee 10 times before I put it on for the Half Ironman. Just what I need, a pee filled wetsuit for 1.2 miles...Swam at the Y and lifted weights on Monday. Swam a 1800 yd straight swim with 200 warm-up and cool-down. Went easy because I was sharing a lane due to the obscene number of people in the pool. Every lane was full with at lest 3 or 4 lanes with doubles. Popular day for swimming I guess.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Training Pics

Here are a few pics from training over the last month:

Looking excited on my 60 mile ride one Sunday morning. Rode from Pride to Clinton.

View of the road in Clinton.

Another road in Clinton.

My riding partner, Jeremy, on a ride in Gonzales.
Jeremy looking like he actually likes training...
Got on the bike this morning for around 45 minutes before work. Got in 15 miles before I had to get back and get ready for work. I have hit all of my workouts so far this week. It is going to be tough to make them all this weekend, but we'll see if I can finally have one week that goes as scheduled. The running is the most important right now.
My wetsuit came in today. Going to give it a try in my friend's pond at his house either tomorrow or Saturday. Hope it fits...Might be going to Lake Rosemound on Sunday, so I'll give it a try there too. Going to be volunteering for Rouge Roubaix on Sunday. Supposed to be riding in the lead vehicle with a friend from BRTri. Rouge Roubaix is the local mother of all bike races. It is nearly 105 miles long in St. Franciville. It runs up some "big" Louisiana hills, over some nasty gravel roads, nasty chip seal asphalt roads and even a few timber road sections. I've heard it is brutal and not for the faint of heart. Especially Sunday since it will be a cool 81 degrees in freakin' March. Louisiana weather, gotta love it.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Daily Grind

Back again after a long layoff from the Blog Nation. Have been too busy with other things, i.e. facebook, to come over here and post. There is at least a couple of people who read this occasionally to know how much or little I have been training. One of them reminded me that I actually have this thing here and that I needed to update it. I've taken some pictures while training, but they are all at work and I am at home at the moment. Maybe I'll post them tomorrow for two posts in a row, but I wouldn't hold my breath...

My training has been going okay. My swimming has been fine. I have been averaging around 4600-5800 yds per week spaced over 2 workouts. Monday and Wednesday are swim days. Monday is shorter in total volume (1800-2200), but I do a warm-up, then a long straight swim (1400-1800) followed by a cool down. Wednesday is longer (2800-3600) consisting of some shorter distance intervals to work on some speed. Still only averaging 1:40's on 100's, but that is good enough for me. I would be happy swimming 1:45 average for the 1.2 mile swim at the Half Iron.

Biking has been good, except for being cold. Hard to get motivated to ride my bike in the mornings when it is 35 degrees out, but I haven't missed a weekend ride yet. Been going 45-55 miles on my Sunday rides and doing a Thursday morning "speed" workout for around 15-20 miles. Sunday this past week was brutal. At 9 am the temp was 38, but there was a 20 mph wind. The wind chill was 29 and it was freakin' cold on the bike. On the way out, there was a section directly into the wind. I was doing 13 mph with a heart rate of 162 (almost 90% of MHR). Then I finally got to a section with the wind at my back and I was doing 27-28 mph with a heart rate of 150 (around 80% MHR). My bike is coming along and I have ridden the half iron course twice. Thinking I may be able to go around 19-19.5 mph for the race if the wind is light. The course could be tough though with any wind since it is pretty wide open through the marshes along the lake.

My run has been my weakest link. My weekly mileages have been 15, 12, 11, 11, 20, 5.5 and then looking at around 14 for this week. My run has been sufferin'. I finally got motivated and got up to the 20 mile mark, however that was a big mistake. That big increase in mileage killed my heel. I believe I have the beginning of Plantar Fasciitis, which is a very painful condition. My heel hurt a little after my 10 mile long run on the 20 mile week, but nothing I felt concerned about. Then last week I went on Tuesday to do my 5.5 miles of speedwork and that did my heel in. That night, I got up to use the restroom and had to literally crawl to the bathroom. My heel could not have any weight on it. I iced it and stretched it for the next two days and it finally starting feeling better Thursday afternoon. Decided to stay off of it until this Tuesday. Did 3 miles yesterday and then iced it. Did 3 miles this morning, but skipped the ice. It hurts a little bit this evening, but not too bad. Going to take it easy for the rest of this week (4 miler on Friday and 5 miler on Sunday) and see how it feels. May throw my long run back in next week and maybe some speedwork the next week.

My upcoming plans are pretty much focused on the New Orleans Half Ironman. I am doing a local race in Lake Charles the weekend before since it will be one of my best friends' first triathlon. It is 400 m, 10 miles and 2 miles, so it should be around an hour. Should be a good final tune-up the Sunday before the half iron. Plus I can work out any kinks with my new wetsuit in a race prior to the big race. Want to do the Fast Boy 5k the day before the sprint tri, but I am undecided. It will probably depend on how my heel is feeling.

I finally bit the bullet and bought a wetsuit since Lake Pontchartrain will be in the upper 60's for the race. That is a bit chilly even for me. Lonestar last year was around 70 and Ironstar was around 72 and I did them without one. This will be around 65-68, which could be a little problematic. I ended up getting an Xterra Vector Pro X2.

Also bought new tires, a chain, flybag for under the seat, new riding shirt, tail light and tubes for my bike. Bought a helmet for the wife so she can look "cute" while riding her bike.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

New Orleans Half Ironman Course Ride

Made the trip down to New Orleans this morning to ride the New Orleans Half IM course with a bunch of peeps (about 15 of us) from Baton Rouge Tri. This was my second time to ride the course, so I already knew what to expect. Of course since it is south Louisiana, the only elevation changes are overpasses or bridges. There are three of those on the course. The Senator Ted Hinckley Bridge is the biggest. At the apex of the bridge there is some metal grating that gets very slippery when wet. It was wet this morning, so we had to walk it to avoid the chance of slipping out. On the way back in, the group of three I was with decided to ride it, and I tried to track as true as possible but could still feel my rear wheel getting squirrely. They are supposed to carpet it for the race so we don't have that problem. Two of the overpasses/bridges are within the first couple miles, which means they are also in the last couple of miles. There is one other small low bridge at mile 22/34 that shouldn't be an issue.

The course overall is very flat. When you leave the start, the first couple of miles is along the lake shore, then over the bridge and overpass. Then you have a few miles through some neighbor"hoods" along the levee.
Neighborhood on the course
The levee near the neighborhoods.
More levee and course.
You then get on Hwy 510 for about a mile and then on the service road for about a mile. The service road on the West side is pretty rough, but the one on the East side is great. Hopefully, they are using the one on the East side. After the service road is Chef Mentuer Highway. There is commercial business and gas stations until you get to mile 13ish. After that, it is all desolate except for some fishing camps along the marsh. The course if very low traffic and should be great for the race. However, if it is windy it is going to be miserable. Since it is out in the marsh, there is not a lot of trees or structure to break up the wind.

The first time I rode it, we had a 8 to 10 mph wind out of the west which meant tailwind on the way out and headwind on the way back in. We averaged 21.5 on the way out and 15 on the way back in. That sucks. Today, there was a light wind (4-5 mph) out of the NE so it was a little bit slower on the way out, but not that much of a difference. I went there intending to ride 80% heart rate for the entire ride, and I accomplished my goal. My average heart rate for the entire ride was 144 which is right at 80%. Every thirty minutes I did a 2 minute pick-up and the last 6-7 miles we rode at about 21 mph. I ended up averaging 17.8 for the 56 mile route. I want to get that to where I am close to 19 mph at 80% for the route, so we'll see how that goes. Would like to be able to keep it at 80% on the bike for the race so I can have some gas left in the tank for the run. When I finished today, I did a short 2 mile run at 9:20 pace just to start to get the feel of running off the bike. By the end of my training, I will increase that to 45 min to an hour of running after riding . The race is only 10 weeks away, so it is getting time to start getting serious.

Me trying to figure out what I am taking a picture of. What a dork!

Dork picture #2. The crooked helmet just frames the whole thing...

Friday, January 9, 2009

Year in Review

Wow, it has been almost a month since I have been here. That is just ridiculous. Of course, going on the family Christmas Tour does kind of kill any time that I have available during the month of December. I had 9 separate "events", parties and gatherings, during the 2 weeks leading up to Christmas. It was crazy. It went down like this:
Friday, December 13 - Office Christmas Party, held on the River Terrace at the Shaw Center overlooking the Mississippi River. Nice party and pretty low-key. Only about half the office showed with their spouses/significant others, so we had like 50 people.

The wife and I, looking spectacular.

Friday, December 19 - Christmas party for my dad's side of the family

Saturday, December 20 - Christmas Party for my wife's extended family

Sunday, December 21 - Wife's office party at Portobello's, had a great rib eye at this one

Monday, December 22 - Christmas Party for my mom's dad and his family, 6-8, then on to a birthday party for a married couple of ours who both have birthdays in late December, 9-11

Tuesday, December 23 - Christmas Eve Eve shopping with a bunch of guy friends, annual tradition to get out of the house 2 nights before Christmas and get any last minute gifts that we need

Wednesday, December 24 - Christmas Party for my mom's mom, same people basically from the party on Monday except for the grandparents, 3-6, presents with my parents at their house since they got my kids a trampoline to stay at their house for when the kids come over, 6-8

Thursday, December 25 - My parents and my mom's mom and step-dad over on Christmas day to see what my kids got for Christmas

That my friends is what is referred to as the "Christmas Tour". Exhausting and over rated. Next year, I think we are going to set one day up the weekend before Christmas and invite all family over to our house for different times of the day so it can all happen at once. I spend more in gas for those two weeks than I do in any other entire month.

So needless to say, training has taken a backseat at the end of 2008. I still tried and did the best I could, but I still managed to gain 8 pounds since the Half IM in November. I know how hard it was to lose those 8 pounds, and I am not looking forward to the next couple of weeks. Need to get on top of it though because New Orleans Half IM is just around the corner. Only 12 weeks to go. I have some lofty goals for that race (5:35) and for 2009, so I need to get started. Did only my second long run since November this morning, 9 miles. Did not feel good at all. Only went 9:15 pace, which is not going to cut it.

Being an engineer, I keep track of every single workout in a spreadsheet. So it is pretty easy to get my totals for the year. In 2008, I had the following stats:

Running - 852 miles (16.4 per week, 2.3 per day)

Biking - 2,509 miles (48.3 per week, includes 18 miles per each one hour spin class)

Swimming - 82.3 miles (1.6 per week which is 2800 yds per week)

Workout Days - did some type of exercise 242 days this year for an average of 4.7 days per week

I set PR's in all distances that I raced. Set a new 5k PR, 10k PR, sprint tri and half IM. Had a pretty successful year. Finally got below 200 pounds and stayed there until after my last race of the year. When I raced the half, I was 35 pounds lighter than I had been in May of 2007. 35 pounds in a year and a half is a great accomplishment considering I did not change my eating habits that much. I still eat a bunch. If I could just get disciplined on the food part, then I think I could drop another 10 to maybe around 185. Need to get back to 195 though before we start moving lower. Hard to do in South Louisiana though. Every meal has the potential to kill all the calories you burned training that day.

My goal for this year is to run 1,000 miles (19 miles per week), bike 3,000 miles (58 miles per week) and swim 100 miles (2 miles per week, 3500 yds). It is a lofty goal, but I think I can get there. Started off good so far. As of Sunday, I will have biked 110, ran 30 miles and swam 2.2 miles in the first 11 days of the year. Well on my way. Only 50 more weeks to go.