Thursday, July 31, 2008

Desiree Ficker

The tri club I am a member of had a great speaker the other night, Desiree Ficker. She recently tried out for the US Olympic marathon team after she ran a marathon in 2 hours 40 minutes. The marathon I ran I did in 4 hours 15 minutes. Yeah she is pretty fast. She is always coming in 1st or 2nd in some of the biggest triathlons around so it was really cool to meet her.

She came and talked to us about her story about how she got into triathlon, her quest to make the Olympics as a marathoner and her typical training. What amazed me is how down to Earth and normal she is. She really does have the same struggles training and racing that we normal people go through. She just does it while going really fast.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Week in Review

Nothing too exciting went on this week. Kim is in Houston so it is just me and the cat hanging out. I did commute by bike 4 days this week for a total of 88 miles (11 miles each way). The mornings were pretty easy, but afternoons were really hot with a couple days over 100.

I took a couple days off of running, so during the week I only tallied up 8 miles. On Saturday I went trail running with a group that I joined up with. I ran with a couple other guys and got in 10 miles. I think I am going to most of my long runs out there. It is such a change of pace from the normal sidewalk running. That afternoon I went to see the new Batman movie. That is a great movie, the Joker is crazy good from Heath Ledger.

Sunday morning I got up early again and went out for a long bike ride. I felt pretty bad the first few miles but got into a good rhythm after that. I got a new seat and it helped out a lot, I felt much better. All in all I got in 52 miles. I need to do a couple more of these long rides to get ready for the MS150. The good thing is I'll be able to draft in that so I won't have to work nearly as hard.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Draper Lake On Road Du

Sunday morning Kim and I went back out to Draper lake for another duathlon, this time the on road version. It was a 5k run, ~15 mile bike and another 5k run.
I was surprised that my legs felt as good as they did after Saturday's race. We got there fairly early and I was able to get a decent spot in transition area, close to the bike in/out. I downed some Gatorade and Hornet Juice (best stuff ever) and a couple pieces of toast. Before I knew it we were starting.

I started out at a decent pace (about 7:30 min/mile) and slowed down a bit as we hit the long gentle hill. The pack thinned out into the fast, average and joggers. I was in the middle of the average people. We got to the turn around and for some reason just about everyone stopped for water. I didn't so I passed quite a few people there. I came into transition in 23:49 for the first 5k and felt really good. Transition was nice and easy and I was into the bike.

There was a slight uphill start and I was able to pass a few more people as they struggled to get on their bikes and clipped into their pedals. We turned the corner and started another long gentle climb. I seem to be decent at those and I passed a few more people and got comfortable and into a good rhythm. There were a couple good downhills where I was going over 34MPH and that felt great. Some rolling hills that I eased up and we were onto the flatter part of the course. I was chugging along at about 19-20MPH for the rest of the ride and it was pretty uneventful. Didn't really pass anyone and just a couple people passed me. The end of the bike really snuck up on me. For some reason I thought it was an 18 mile bike so just under 15 was nice. Got into transition after 43 minutes on the bike. Got off the bike and headed on the run.

My legs felt fine and I didn't have any of the "jelly" feeling. I was able to settle in right behind a woman doing an 8min/mile pace. I kept right behind her until the turn around where I passed her. Just about the end of the run (about mile 2.5) a guy came flying by me on the run. I am amazed at how fast some people are even after a bike. No one was behind me or close enough in front of me to try and catch so I didn't sprint in but I finished strong. The second 5k was 24:46, just a little bit slower than the first run.

Over all time was 1:33:49. I was 6th in my age group out of 12 and probably 50th overall out of 150 men and women. Last year it took me 1:31, but the runs were a total of 2 miles shorter so I was very pleased by that. My bike was 8 minutes faster than last year.

This is probably my last race until October (Fall Classic Du) unless I find a 5k or something. Now I am just ramping up my training for the NYC and Tulsa marathons and my MS150 bike ride. I think that will be enough to keep me busy.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Du Draper Twice Duathlons

I had a pretty busy weekend.

Saturday I did the Draper Lake Off Road Duathlon. This was a completely off road race with a 5k trail run, ~12 mile mountain bike ride and another 5k trail run. There were about 40 of us that started the race. I have never done a trail run race so it was a bit different to run in the woods with a bunch of people. It makes it a lot harder to pass and you have to go quite a bit slower since you are always looking at your footing. After the first rush of people jockeying for spots, we really started to space out. I was running toward the front of the middle group of runners and I was not hurting too bad. The weather in the trees was warm, but not hot and just a touch of humidity. Nothing real eventful in here, and I finished in 28:11.

I hopped onto the bike (with a new fork) and I was off into lap one of three. I used to ride mountain bikes all the time but I have not been on much lately. When I have been on, I tend to fall. I made it through lap one upright but I was working hard and still getting passed. Frustrating. The second lap I heard a guy coming up so I pulled off the side and was trying to stay clipped in. I thought I would have enough space to keep moving while he passed. Well I was able to stay clipped in, but not keep my balance so down I went. It was really just more embarrassing than anything. Later on in the lap I got caught in some loose sand and went right at a tree. Luckily I hit it straight on with my front wheel and didn't fall. On to lap three. I was really working hard (mountain biking is A LOT harder than I remember) and I am getting tired. I passed a couple people, and wrecked a couple more times. Once I just hugged a tree and got a nice scrape on my arm and another time I got a nice scrape on my knee. Nothing major though. As I was coming up the last road part I passed a guy who ran the 3rd lap with his bike. I finished the bike in 1 hour 28 minutes.

The third run started and I was beat. It was starting to get really hot out and my legs were toast. I had to walk quite a bit but so did a couple guys in my age group that I passed. I got to the 1.5 mile and there was a water stop. Was that great to see. I took two cups of water and I was walking away one of the people threw a cup on my back. Quite a surprise but man it felt good. I drank one and a half and poured the other over my head. After this I was able to finish out running, passing a couple more people. I finished the second run in about 32 minutes. Total time was 2:27:56. It was good for 3rd in my age group and 14th over all.

All in all it was a great time and good experience. I will be back next year with some more mountain biking under my belt.

On road duathlon report to come later.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Well I am finally able to do a MS150 bike ride. I always wanted to do the one from Houston to Austin, but when I was in school it was always on the march to the Brazos weekend. Then after school I got a little lazy when it came to biking. Anyway, there is a team forming at work that I am a part of. The ride is a little over 150 miles over 2 days around the Tulsa area.

The event takes place on September 13-14. Day one is 78.3 miles and day two is "only" 68.7 miles. The farthest I have gone on a single ride is a little over 50 miles, so I need to get a few more long rides in. Might be tough when I am training for my fall marathons, but I think I can do it.

If you want to support me, visit here. I put $500 as a donation goal, but I hope to raise more than that.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

River Run 5k - July 4th

Earlier in the week I found out about a 5k in the Defiance area from my aunt Catherine (check out her blog). There ended up being a big group of us that ended up running. My wife Kim, Lindsay, cousins Ashley and Eric and Lindsay's boyfriend Chad all came out. Most just wanted to finish, Eric wanted to beat his ex girlfriend and I wanted to break my personal record and get under 23 minutes for the 3.1 miles.

I was up at the starting line with all the cross country guys that looked a lot faster than me. We started off and it was pretty much a sprint. I got to the half mile in under 3:15, so I knew I had to slow down a little if I was going to last the whole run. I finally got settled in at a ~7-7:15 per mile pace. Got to the turn around and saw Eric coming up, so he was having a good run too. About 2.5 miles in I caught up to a 17 year old kid and we went back and forth. We passed one other guy on a slight uphill at mile 2.75. Right at mile 3 the kid slowed a little and I passed him (woo-hoo). Then as we came into the home stretch I could hear his footsteps and I was in a dead sprint. He ended up passing me right at the end, I finished in 22:20, crushing my 23 minute goal.

I ended up being 2nd in my age group (male 25-34), my first real placing. My aunt also got 2nd and my cousin Eric got 3rd in his (and beat his old girl friend). Kim beat her old 5k record and Lindsay, Chad and Ashley all finished strong, and Chad did it in borrowed shoes that were a little too small.

All in all a fun day and maybe a couple more people running.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Cedar Point 6-30-08 & 7-1-08

After my 50 mile bike ride 6 of us treked up to Sandusky to go to Cedar Point. In the car were my mom and dad, sister, her boyfriend Chad and Kim and I. It was a tight squeeze but it saved on gas. When we got up there Kim's parents met us at the hotel but stayed back a little bit while the rest of us went to the park. We got there a little after a storm passed through so there was really very little wait at all the coasters.

We started off on Raptor and it was great and onto Maxx Air. Even my mom rode. I think we were all a little queasy after that one, but I still love that free fall feeling. Got a little bit to eat (Kim had a corndog of course) and we were good to go again.

Next we went back to Mellennium Force my favorite ride.

Everything about it is fun. It is fast, steep, smooth and everything else a coaster should be. After that we hit up Maverick, the newest coaster. If it was a little longer, it might move past Millenium. Lindsay, Chad and I went on Mean Streak next. That might be my last time on that one. Just a little too jerky for me.

It was starting to get late so we headed over to the Top Thrill Dragster to end the night off. On our way, we stopped at the Magnum since the line was so short. We got through that and got in line at Top Thrill. If you haven't heard of this ride, it is basically a coaster that shoots you off, takes you almost straight up in the air, over a hump and back down at speeds up to 120 MPH. The ride lasts about 17 seconds.

Here is a pic of it I took from Power Tower.

We (Kim and I, Kim's mom and my dad) stood in line for about 45 minutes and we got up on the platform. Almost there! And then the ride breaks...Just when we were about to leave they shot a car off, alright we are going to make it! Well, not so much. After that car it was done for the night and pretty much the next day and we never did get to ride it. Oh well we had been on it before.

We stayed the night at a Cedar Point hotel so we were able to get into the park an hour early and start hitting the big rides again. I think Kim and I rode every one we wanted to do except for Top Thrill. That day we also met up with my aunt and uncle, a couple of my cousins and their friends. It was a good time but we were worn out. We ended up leaving at about 4 and headed on back home with a stop at a Bob Evans for dinner. Yum.