Sunday, November 15, 2009

MS 150 2009

I finally came back to this page and couldn't believe how long it has been since I updated this.

The weekend after Redman I did the MS 150 ride from Tulsa to OKC on historic Route 66. It was really just going to be a "fun" ride since my legs were still pretty dead from the half ironman. We drove up to Tulsa the night before and stayed at my brother in laws apartment. I tried to stay awake and watch a little football but I think I was out by 9:30. I was up by 5 and headed to the start. It seems like I just dropped off my luggage, picked up my packet, met up with my friend Diana and we were off and riding.

The first few miles are always a little sketchy with all the riders close but we made it through with no problems. Diana and I tried to meet up with the group we had from work but it turned out they were behind us. We finally met up when we stopped at the second rest stop and they caught up.

We all rode off together until the lunch break. It was starting to get a little hilly at this point so the rest break was welcomed. Two other riders and myself left a little before our main group in hopes that we could take it easy and they would catch up. Turns out the hills made everyone go slow. We were hitting every rest stop to try and recover. If anyone tells you Oklahoma is flat they are flat out lying.

We finally made the halfway point, took a shower and grabbed a beer. We hung out the rest of the night as a team and had a few beers and hit the hay.

The next morning came early and it was hard to get on the bike again. The combination of the long ride the day before, hills and beers were a tough sell to keep going. But we finally packed up camp and hit the road again.

The second day was the same as the first, lots of hills and sun, but with the added fun of lots of wind. We took it really easy and hit all of the rest stops and just tried to push through without killing ourselves. We finally came towards the end at the capitol building and it seemed like we kept making turns and each turn was more headwind. I swear it was 30MPH going up the last two miles. Once we crossed the finish line it was time for some grub, shade and cold water.

It was a fun ride overall despite the tough conditions and the fact that it is all for a great cause made it all the better. I'm looking forward to next years already and hope to be in a little better hill riding shape.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Redman Race Report

Woke up about 4:45 took a shower to wake up and eat a bagel with peanut butter. Picked up my friend and made it to the race site at 6 but had to park a ways away, so we had to walk. I got my transition set up no problem since I was at the end of a rack, I had some extra space.

About 30 minutes before the race started it started pouring. The 20% chance of rain was all of a sudden 100%.
I found a canopy to wait out the rain so it wasn't too bad but i was still pretty cold. For a while the race staff was talking about canceling the bike portion due to flooding on the course and making it a swim/run/swim. Luckily the rain let up and they decided to just make everyone get off their bike at the flooded part and just run and carry the bike through. The rain let up and I went back to my bike to make sure everything was still there. Some jerk set his stuff up right under my rear wheel, but I laughed when I came back after the downpour to see his helmet filled up with water. I must have been on a slight bump because my stuff was not under water. I had a towel over my stuff too and it kept it fairly dry.

Before we knew it we were headed into the water for the start. The swim went pretty well for me. I did get in a group and veered off to the right a little so I had to break off from them and get back online. I only got hit in the face once when I caught up to a full distance swimmer on the back half of the swim. That was fun. I was out of the water in about 34 minutes.

T1 was just fine. I grabbed a quick bite of a cliff bar since it had been a while since I ate due to the delayed start.

On the bike and felt really good. I almost fell in the shin deep water where we were carrying our bike through. I could have sprained my ankle pretty easily, but luckily I didn't. The rain stayed with me for a while but once it cleared up it wasn't too bad. I ride that road all the time, so the chip seal and pot holes aren't really new to me (I could almost ride it in my sleep). The mud that washed on was annoying though, but volunteers were shoveling and sweeping it off where they could. That is a pretty bad area after a heavy rain with the open fields off Waterloo. On the way back a big group of cyclists formed and I backed off a little so I wouldn't be in them. I wanted to avoid that for 1 - didn't want a penalty and to do it all on my own and 2 - I didn't want one person to fall and take us all down. I finished the bike in about 2:52, just about where I wanted to be. I would have taken a few minutes faster but oh well.

T2 was pretty good too. I walked through transition to get everything situated.

The first part of the run went pretty well considering the lakes we were running through. I wore my Zoot shoes since they drain water a lot better than my New Balance and that was a great decision. They drain water like nothing else and my Under Armor socks dried really nicely. The first loop went by really well, about 54 minutes for the 6.5 miles. Then I made the mistake of taking a quick walk break. I don't know what I was thinking since if I start walking it is hard to get back going again. After that I couldn't go half a mile without a walk break. My quads just wouldn't allow it. The second loop took like 1:18. My over all goal was just to finish in under 6hr and my better than anticipated swim gave me enough buffer to do that.

I crossed the finish line in 5:50 for my first HIM.

When I crossed I didn't know what to do. Sit, walk, eat, bathroom, cry, die? I was miserable for about 10 minutes in the tent drinking a coke and eating a cookie.

I got a massage afterward and waited at the finish line to watch my friend Diana come across. I should have gone to get sunscreen because I got torched. I looked like a red raccoon.

Now that I have done my first HIM, I am ready for the next. I am heading to Galveston in April to do Lonestar.

Maybe a full in a couple years. I really need to work on my cycling base to make it through.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

One More Week

Well all the workouts are in. One more week till the Redman Half Ironman. 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run. I think I have put in as much work as I could so as long as I don't get sick this week I am ready to roll. The weather is looking pretty good so far. High of 81, low of 60 and only a 10% chance of rain. If that sticks around I'll be happy.

Also the week after I'll be doing the MS-150. I still need to raise a little more money so if you want to donate, just click this link to my page.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Pikes Peak Ascent

Finally sat down to write this up before I forget.

I woke up pretty early on race morning, I was actually pretty nervous. I knew it was going to be a long race and tough but I really had no idea what to expect above timber line. I ate a bagel with peanut butter with some Gatorade and we headed out the door.

We got to the start area and it was buzzing with runners ready to hit the trail. A quick trip through the bathroom line and we were moving our way up to watch the first wave go off (ie the really really fast people).

Before we knew it we were lining up to go. The gun went off and so were we. The first part of the race was "flat" and were were all running. I felt pretty good at this point and was just trying to bank a little time. Before the race started I wanted to run about a 4 hour race. That is about twice as long as my regular half marathon time but I had never been in a race at this elevation or grade.

About a mile in we hit the first really steep grade. Everyone was slowed to a walk at once. It was a general fast paced walk from here until mile 6. I had done this first part of the course the day before and knew there wasn't a place to run. It was all pretty steep. The best you could do was walk as fast as you could and pass the slower people when you could. Any attempts at running just lead to about 10 seconds of running and 2 minutes of trying to get your heart rate down.

About mile 6 (about an hour and forty minutes into the race) there was finally a break in the uphill. Most people broke into a run and I tried to back a little more time. It was about a miles worth of running and I was feeling pretty good. I was at 7 miles in about an hour and fifty minutes so I was pretty well on pace for a 4 hour race. Then we hit a hill at mile 8. Wow it was eye opening. I felt like I was going straight up at times.

I was taking my gels and drinking at the aid stations but I was still starting to fell a little lack of energy. Not dragging but just a little tired. It was on and on like this for what seemed like forever. Never ending uphill. I was thinking to myself about how this was never going to end.

Little by little we would catch a glimpse of the peak through the trees and it was a little heart breaking. Once you got above tree line it seemed like it went on forever.

Finally we made it to "A-Frame" and we were out of the woods. It started to get a little windy up there but it felt good to cool off a bit. It was kind of cool to see everyone just going back and forth up the face of the mountain. No running just slow moving. You could tell the air was thin and we were feeling it.

Here we were about 10.5 miles in. Just 3 more miles. I was at 3 hours so a 20 minute mile would get me to the top in 4 hours. As I kept plodding along I was going slower and slower. Each step was hard. Climbing over the rocks was tough since it was like climbing stairs at 13,000 feet after walking up hill for 3 hours. My quads were burning. I tried to eat some jelly beans with some caffeine in them but nothing was tasting good and it was hard to get down. It was at that point I saw 4 hours going out the door.

Mile 11.5 came and I was starting to "hit the wall" I had felt that a little bit in my first ever marathon. Every part of my body was telling me to knock it off. But what can you do at that point? It was 11 miles down and 2 miles up. I just had to keep moving along.

Mile 12ish came and I was at the wall and it was pushing me back hard. I had to stop walking a few times to catch my breath and rest the legs a little. I tried to keep it as short as possible since I knew I would seize up. At this point I was at what they call the "Golden Stairs". I now hate the color gold. Those things were terrible. It was more mental at this point. I could hear the announcer and could see some spectators lining the course. Just a little farther.

Finally I came around the last switch back and saw the finish line. It wasn't anything huge but it was one of the best things I have ever seen in my life. I saw my buddy Michael (who had long since gone ahead of me) cheering me on. I shouted up at him "I hate you" since he told me about sign up, I was blaming him. I got to the finish line finally in 4:30:09. Off my goal time for sure but I was happy none the less.

I had my medal draped around my neck and met up with Michael, his wife and my wife Kim. Next stop was picking up my finishers jacket (it came in handy since it was pretty cold, like 40 degrees)

I was done. Spent. Tired. Hungry.

I spent four and a half hours making my way up that mountain and stayed up there about 15 minutes. The views were amazing, you could see forever.

Here is the elevation profile for the race

We got in line to ride the bus down to the parking lot (while eating a doughnut) and made our way down. At the base I had a slice of pizza and a cold beer. We headed back to the house and just crashed for a while and tried to recover.

That night we went out for some good mexican food (honestly anything would have tasted great) a couple beers and hit up the penny arcade in Manitou Springs.

It was an amazing race. It hurt like hell but it was worth every step. To date this was by far the hardest thing I have ever done. The marathons I did were tame compared to this race, but we will see how the half ironman goes in a few weeks.

The next day was a long drive home back to OK. A couple times stopping for gas my legs didn't want to go completely straight, but we made it.

Great trip, great race, great friends.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Colorado Springs trip

Somehow this spring I was convinced to do a race up Pikes Peak. I thought sure, it wouldn't be that bad. Wow, was I wrong.

I went up to Colorado Springs a few days early to get used to the altitude as much as I could and also just relax a little. The first thing I did was do a little ride from my friends house through Garden of the Gods. It was amazing. The red rocks, steep hills and terrific views.

On my ride I saw this and thought it was pretty cool. In the background is Pikes Peak. Wonder if it was telling me to stop and not go up...

I rested up the rest of the day, driving around downtown Co Springs and playing with my friends dogs.

The next morning we woke up and went on a trail run pretty much right behind their house. I could get used to that. I wonder how anyone in that town can be stuck in front of their TVs. If I lived there I may never be on the couch.

After that I cleaned up and went to packet pick up and decided to hike a little bit of the trail that we would run the next day. When I got my parking spot I hit the trail, pretty much straight up. I went off to the right a little to see what is called the "Incline". Basically a series of steps on what used to be a cog railroad.

I decided to forgo that hike and went back to the trail.

I could tell right away it was going to be a long race the next day. I went about 2.5 miles up the trail and then back down. The best thing I saw on the day was a couple mountain bike riders actually riding up the trail. I can't imagine doing that. Crazy.

In this pic you can see the towns way down below. Ugh...

I made it back down safe and sound in about half the time it took to get up. It was a lot more fun going down than up :)

That night I went to Denver to pick my wife Kim up at the airport and had dinner with some more friends in Denver. We made it back home, got the gear ready and hit the bed. I knew it was going to be a tough next day.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Du Draper Twice

July is one of my favorite months for races because there is a weekend where I get to do two races in a weekend. On Saturday is the Lake Draper Off Road Duathlon. A 5k trail run, 20k mountain bike ride and another 5k trail run. All spring I had wanted to get out on my mountain bike to practice but it just didn't happen. As it turned out the last time I rode the mountain bike was last years race. I used to ride it all the time but it turns out if you don't use it you lose it. The first run went really well. I was able to get towards the front and didn't have to struggle to pass people on the narrow trails. The first 5k went by in 26:58.

Then the bike. I struggle with it for an hour and twenty two minutes. I am used to not getting passed much on the road so it was frustrating seeing so many people go by me. This year was better in the fact that I didn't crash. I was happy to get off the bike in one piece and headed off to the second run. Goal for this winter and spring, ride the trails.

By this time it was getting hot again. Luckily I took my water bottle with me so I was able to pour it on myself and stay a little hydrated. I ran down a few people but for the most part I was alone. I just kept telling myself not to walk and it would be over soon. I finally got to the finish line in 27:33 and a total time of 2:18:06 good for 26th over all and 10th in my age group. Apparently 30-34 year olds love to mountain bike and are a lot faster than me.

I was about 9 minutes faster than last year but 13 places lower overall. Looks like this race is getting bigger.

The next morning I forced myself out of bed and made my way back to Lake Draper for the on road version of the race. This was a 5k run, 24k bike and 5k run.

For some reason once I started the run I felt really really good. I was really pushing my pace but my heart rate was real low so I kept it up as long as I could. There were some fast runners out there but I didn't lose too much time to them.

I finished the first leg in 22:41 which was almost equal to my personal record for a 5k. I couldn't believe it when I saw that.

I hurried out of transition and hopped on my tri bike. There is a hill at the start of the course that some people were having problems getting cliped into their pedals and going so I passed quite a few people there. I was able to get into a nice pace and was moving right along. There wasn't a lot of wind this year which was a nice change. I was back and forth with a few people along the back side of the lake and that kept me pushing the pace. I finished the bike in 43:39 .

I hopped off the bike, threw my running shoes back on real quick and went out on the second run. I felt like I was plodding along but my pace was pretty good and I was passing the people that I was jockeying with on the bike. Towards the end of the run I spotted a guy from my age group up ahead and focused on pulling him in. I caught up with him with about a quarter mile left. After drafting behind him for a few seconds I pulled in front. He picked up his pace but I was somehow able to pick my pace up even more and he dropped back. I was able to finish the second run in 23:49 and beat him by 30 seconds overall. My finishing time was 1:31:48, a couple minutes faster than the previous year.

After the race I was wiped out. I grabbed a beer, my cooler for doing both races and headed home to veg on the couch. A great weekend of racing but I am starting to like tris better, just because of the whole less pounding on the legs thing. Too bad my next race is running up a mountain.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Vacation and a race

After our quick stay in Texas we were on the way to Ohio for a family visit, mini reunion and relaxation.

The first day we were in Ohio I found out that there was going to be a triathlon in a neighboring town, Napoleon, that I of course immediately signed up for.

Part of my relaxation was using the farm as a training farm. The roads are great for biking since there is so little traffic and it is nice and flat. The weather made it nice too since it was in the 80s (coming from the 100s in OK and TX) and I was actually cold a little. Nice.

The other way to relax in Ohio is playing cards, and we did a lot of that. It seems like if we aren't eating we are playing cards. It is a lot of fun to hang out like that even though they pick on me for winning all the time ;)

While we were there we decided to build a deck for my grandma's house. The first day my dad, uncle and I got it all framed out. That really was the hardest part of the job, trying to get everything square and level. The next day was pretty simple job of putting the decking down and screwing all the boards.

The fourth of July was just around the corner so my aunt and uncle had a BBQ over at their house. All of the aunts and uncles and cousins and second cousins were over and it was great to talk with all of them again. When it started getting dark we took the quick walk over to the river bridge and watched the fireworks.

The next morning came real early though since it was race morning. 750m pool swim, 12.4 mile bike and a 5k run. I got there pretty early and got a bike spot right on the edge of the rack and started talking to a couple people around me. Really friendly and we saw a lot more people showing up and it turned out to be a lot of first timers. It wasn't like one of the races I am used to. There were a lot of mountain bikes, not many road bikes and even a recumbant bike. I have never seen that before.

The pool swim went pretty well, even though it was really wavy. Usually on a pool swim you swim up and down lanes but they have lane ropes that keep the waves down. It was almost like swimming in a lake. I made it to transition in 16:03, which was pretty good since there was a long run from the pool to the bike area.

I had a little trouble getting my shoes on but soon enough I was on the road. The bike was awesome. Very flat and not much wind at all so I was able to settle in and really get in a rhythm. I was passing quite a few people and didn't see anyone gaining on me. I had the 4th fastest bike split which surprised me. I'm never that high up.

The 5 k hurt. I was trying to push as hard as I could and was able to hold a decent pace. I passed a couple people and a couple passed me but it was a pretty uneventful run. I finished the run in just under 25 minutes with an over all time of 1:19:16. I was 5th over all and 2nd in my age group. All in all a great time and I was glad to see my family come out and cheer me on, even through I didn't really see of hear them. I tend to get into my own little world.

After the race we went to a good buffet called The Barn and I promptly refilled all my calories on fried chicken. So good. We then went over to my other grandmas house for another family get together. After more food and fun I had to get back home to load up the car for the long drive home the next day. It was a great vacation and I had a lot of fun.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Vacation time!

This summer we made our annual trip to Ohio but this year we made a "side" (down?) trip to Texas for a wedding. We left late Friday night and ended up in New Braunfels pretty late so we didn't go out or anything. That next morning I got my bike out of the car and went on a great 45 mile bike ride. Nice wide shoulders, great scenery and no traffic made it a great ride. The even better part was that it meant I could eat pretty much what every I wanted. And since we were in Texas, that meant Mexican food.

Every time we are in New Braunfels we eat at a place called Adobe Verde right near historic Gruene Hall.

I had some delicious enchiladas that I had no problem taking down.

After that we spent a few hours at competing outlet malls and a few new shirts we headed back to the hotel to get ready for the wedding. It was a very nice outdoor wedding and despite being over 100 degrees we were comfortable in the park since it was so shady. It was nice and quick then on to the reception. I ended up going back to the hotel early since we had a long day of driving the next morning. On to Ohio.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Route 66 Sprint Tri 2009

I went back to the location of my first triathlon to do the 2009 edition of the Route 66 Sprint Tri.

This time I have a lot more confidence in the water (practice actually does work!) so I was hoping for a much better race. Since my first tri I have a couple more open water races and I have hit the lake a couple times. I was doing this race with a couple people from work too so that made it a little more interesting.

Last year my swim time was 16:21 so that was my main focus. Last year was mostly swimming on my back and weaving all over the place. This year I was out in 10:09. I felt so much better coming out of the water this year since I was able to swim freestyle and just use my arms, thus saving my legs for the bike and run.

The bike was much better because of my swim. Last year I did the ride in 41:54 and was dead. This year the weather was even better (ie not much wind) and I was able to push a little harder even into the wind. It was a pretty boring ride, not really much to tell. I passed a few people and a few passed me. I think biking is turning into my weakest leg now that I know how to swim. I finished this year in 38:32, almost 3 minutes faster.

The run was the run. It is never much fun to try to run hard right after riding. My legs always feel like jello and I feel like I am just plodding along. I was on the look out for people in front of me that had my age group on their leg but I never did see anyone. That was almost a blessing because I'm not sure how much I could have pushed myself. Last year I struggled through the run with a few cramps and came in at 25:35. This year I felt a lot stronger and finished in 23:31.

All in all this was a great race for me compared to last year. My time this year of 1:14:09 was almost 13 full minutes faster than last year. Biggest lesson learned is practice, practice, practice and you will get better.

Monday, June 1, 2009

OKC Half Marathon

It has been way too long since I last updated but I have been super busy with a new job, training and fence building.

The OKC Half Marathon was kind of in a weird spot for me. I handing really trained for in since I was in a post Houston Marathon recovery period for training and pre Half Ironman training. I don't think I ever did a run longer than 9 miles leading up to it. The weekend before the race was pretty nice, a little windy but not too bad. Unfortunatly race day wasn't like that at all. Lots of wind and hot. Probably the hottest day of the year up to that point.

I got VIP passes from work so I was able to park right next to the start area. I felt like I was running late but I was able to hit the restrooms and make my way up to the start corral to where my pace should be. Not long after the gun went off and we were moving. It was wind from the south so we would have it kind of at our backs for the first part of the race. I wish it would have been a straighter route so we would have it at our back more but we wound past the capitol building and through neighborhoods. About the time we were at mile 3 I knew I wasn't going to make my goal of 1:45. It was just too warm and I was laboring too much. I made it to the 10k in just over 52 minutes. Not too bad but off of what I wanted to hit.

Then came the fun part. About mile 8 we started turning south right into the wind. It was blowing about 20mph and felt like 50. The temps were up in the upper 70s and there wasn't much shade. I was so glad that I was only doing the half this year. The full would have killed me. I just kept moving along as fast as I could. I ended up finishing in a new best for me, 1:53:44. I may try again for a half marathon on 1:45 in Dallas in December.

Now it is triathlon training full time. It is almost a job in itself.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Lone Start Sprint Tri

The beginning of April took me down to Houston to visit family, go to Astros opening day and do a triathlon with my sister. We headed down to Galveston early Saturday morning with me, my sister, my mom and a family friend. I love driving in Houston at 5 am since there is no traffic at all. Once we got to the island it was easy to find the race site by following all of the other bikes on cars. We made it to packet pickup, got body marked and into transition just fine, although it was a little close on time. I showed Lindsay around transition area so she knew where to go. It was pretty big and could be confusing especially on your first race.

About 10 minutes before the race started (I was in the first wave) we got into our wetsuits and made our way down to the swim area.

We got into the water and it was COLD. We heard 62 degrees and it felt colder than that. Once I finally started moving my wetsuit started warming up a little. Before I knew it, it was time to go.

We were off and I was making decent progress with freestyle. I turned over to catch my breath a couple times and I noticed I was off course. I tried to correct but I was still all over the place. I finally slowed down a little and sighted a little more to get back going the right direction. I was making my way back now and mercifully made it to the last bouy. I was out of the water and on my way into transition in 13:14. Better than my last sprint, but slower than I would like because of all the extra yards I swam by going off course.

T1 went just fine. I got my wetsuit half way off on the run. It was really easy to find my bike and slipped my wet suit off. I put my shoes, helmet and GPS on and I was off. The bike was very short so I pretty much just pushed as hard as I could while leaving a little left in the tank for the run. I was passing quite a few people that killed me on the swim and that gave me a burst of energy. The wind wasn't too bad on the way out but coming back in on the sea wall there was quite a bit of crosswind. Not real bad, but I heard it got worse as the day went on (sorry sis). It was pretty fun when we got back into Moody Gardens because there were a lot of turns which made me feel like I was riding into town in the Tour de France for some reason. I finished the 12.5 mile bike in 36:22, fourth in my age group.

The next transition was super fast. I had my shoes on in no time and was off running. My legs felt pretyt good considering the hard ride.

The run was fairly flat, but there were lots of turns that messed with my stride a little. I was still moving pretty well and the miles went by without too much worry or pain. I was able to keep most of my age group competitors away but was passed by a couple. I did pass one on the last hill in the last half mile though. That felt good. I came around the final corner and could believe how many people were out there cheering us on. Pretty cool. I finished the run in 24:12 (the course was about .15 miles long) and a total time of 1:17:19. Just over my goal of 1:15. I was 11th in my age group (out of 68) and 102 over all (out of 973).

The lesson learned was to get more open water swimming in so I can cut down on the mistakes of swimming all over the place.

Lindsay started about a half hour after my wave went off so I had time to get some food, a massage and we found a good spot to watch. We saw Lindsay come in out of the bike transition and she looked good. Not too tired. I was pretty proud of her to make it through the tough swim and windy bike. We then saw her come back in on the run and cheered her in. She finished her first tri in just over 2 hours. Not too shabby for a cold swim and riding my road bike.

It was a great race and I think we have a new triathlete in the family.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

March In Okarche Du 2009

Well it has been a while since I updated this thing again, so time to catch up.

A couple weeks ago I did the March in Okarche Duathlon (5k run, 18mi bike, 5k run). It was supposed to be on Saturday but a rare snowstorm blew through and the race was moved to Sunday. What a difference in days. Saturday was in the 30's no sun and miserable. Sunday started out nice and by race time it was in the 60's. The only bad thing about the day was the wind that really started picking up as the race started.

The start gun went off at 1:30 with about 200 people racing. The first part of the 5k was nice because we had the wind at our backs for most of the time and the course is generally downhill. I was running a comfortable ~7:30 pace. Then we turned around at the halfway point and were faced by the 20 MPH winds. The 2nd half was a struggle to keep the pace and I was worried that I was going to blow up and ruin the rest of the race. I finally got into transition at 22:31, very respectable.

I grabbed my bike and headed out for the bike. You could really tell the winds were picking up (30mph by now) but it was mainly a cross wind. This was OK, but it was a struggle to keep control of the bike at time. My neck, shoulders and arms were getting very tired from the
constant steering corrections I was making.

We made one turn north and got the wind at our backs for about half a mile and I was doing close to 30MPH without even trying. The bad part was turning around and going back into it. Oh well. I made it to the end of the bike course in just over an hour, not too bad considering.

The second run I could tell I was getting fatigued. I failed to take any nutrition on the bike other than gatorade, so I was missing some calories. I wanted to walk a couple times but I could feel some people catching up to me and I didn't want that to happen. I pushed though and caught up with a couple people and passed them. By now the wind was really a factor on the 2nd half of the run again and I guess I had more in the tank that the guys behind me because I pulled away from them. I finished the 2nd run in 24:52 for a grand total time of 1hr 50 min 3 sec. That was 6 seconds slower than last year, but much worse biking conditions.

Last year I was 64th overall, this year I pulled out 34th with pretty much the same time so vs the field I have improved quite a bit. If I could have had a little better time on the bike I might have been able to place in my age group since I was only a couple minutes out. I have something to focus on now.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Spring is here

Ahh, spring is here. Great weather, green grass and racing season is about to start. My first real race of the season is this Saturday. I look at the weather and what do I see? A low of 30, high of 43 and snow. Huh?

Rain / Snow Showers / Wind

It is going to be a fun day.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Bring on Pikes Peak

Yesterday I was minding my business at work when all of a sudden I get am email from a friend saying along the lines of "Hey you want to run up Pikes Peak?". I must have had a weak moment and after a few minutes I decided, yeah, that would be a good idea. So this August I will be making my way to Colorado Springs to run 13.1 miles up the tallest mountain in Colorado.

From the website

The Pikes Peak Ascent® and Pikes Peak Marathon® will redefine what you call running. Sure, they start out like a lot of races on Any Street, USA. But your first left turn will have you turning in the direction of up! During the next 10 miles, as you gain almost 6,000 vertical feet, your legs, lungs, heart and mind will be worn to a ragged nothingness. But it won’t be until your last three miles, with still over 2,000' of vertical to go, that you will realize where the Marathon got its moniker—America’s Ultimate Challenge.

There’s a reason trees don’t bother growing above 12,000' on Pikes Peak. They can’t! Makes one wonder if trees are smarter than runners. Above treeline most runners take 30 minutes or more, some much more, just to cover a mile. What little air remains can’t satisfy the endless stream of zombies hoping only to survive their next step—a death march right out of a scene from Dawn of the Dead. Adding insult to injury, it might start to snow!

What was I thinking?

Monday, February 16, 2009

Frigid 5

I just realized that it has been a while since I updated this thing. Not a whole lot going on around here, just the same old going to work, run, sleep, eat...

I did do a 5 mile race this Sat up in Edmond called the Frigid 5. All week it had been wonderful, temps in the 60's, lows in the 40's overnight. Then Friday night came and a nice cold front moved in. Woke up Sat morning and it was about 25 and windy. Great. I got to the race picked up my packet and started wish I had worn long pants. It wasn't real bad though since the crowd of runners started gathering around and blocked the wind. Before I knew it the gun when off and we were running. The race itself was pretty uneventful. I had hoped to break 40 minutes, and I finished at 38:55 and outkicked a guy that tried to sprint down and pass me in the last few meters. Ha. Overall I finished 94th overall out of ~950, so I am real pleased with that.

The other running thing I am working on is the 100 runs in 100 days challenge. I am at 61 days and have 55 runs in. I should be able to make those missing runs up and get back on track.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

My Upcoming Season

I thought I would take a few minutes and put down the races I plan on doing, so I am a little accountable.

Feb 7 - Dan Man run. This is a free trail run that you can do laps until 50 miles or until you want to quit. This is a maybe and I would do two laps for 13.1 miles.

Feb 14 - Frigid Five. This is a 5 mile race that is right around the corner from me so I pretty much have to do it.

Feb 21 - Sooner State Games. Another maybe race and another trail run. I would do the 10k. If I don't do Dan Man, I'll do this one and vise versa.

Mar 28 - March in Okarche Du. 5k run, 14 mile bike, 5k run. This will officially kick off my season.

April 4 - Lone Star Triathlon. If my sister signs up for this, I'll be headed down to Galveston to do the sprint race, 500m swim, 12.5 mile bike, 5k run. If I do this I will probably stay around Houston and go to Astros opening day.

April 26 - OKC Memorial Half Marathon. I am just doing the half this year just because I want to focus on more of the multi sport and not just running this year.

May 17 - Boathouse Olympic distance tri. 1500m swim, 40k bike and 10k run. 50% I am doing this one.

May 30/31 - Route 66 Sprint and Olympic Tri. Not sure which one I am doing, I may end up doing both who knows...

June 27 - Warsaw Sprint tri in Indiana. If we head up to Ohio this summer, I'll probably stop by here again.

July 11/12 - Draper Lake Duathlons. The 11th is an off road duathlon and 12th is an on road. I had a lot of fun last year doing the off road, so I'll probably do them both again.

Aug 16 - Hillapalooza Tri. Another course that is close to home, so I have to do it. 1500 m swim, 40k bike, 10k run.

Sept 19 - Redman Half ironman. 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run. This is the race that all the others will be building up to.

Oct 17 - Fall Classic Duathlon. Last multisport race of the year. Short 2mile run, 12 mile bike, 2 mile run.

I will probably end up doing the Tulsa half marathon in the fall, but we will see then. Looking at this I am going to be pretty busy.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Ice Run

Today we got our first winter storm of the season so I decided it was a good idea for a run. On my way home from work today I stopped by a sporting goods store and picked up some Yak Trax.

Basically they are a cleat type thing that you put over any type of show that turns them into snow shoes. Man, they work great. I was able to run a little over 3 miles with no sliding at all while cars and trucks were sliding to stops and around corners. It actually took me about 25-30 minutes to get my truck into the driveway after sliding out and around a few times. Good times.

It doesn't look like anyone is going to work tomorrow, so I'll get to put them to the test again on a fresh layer of ice.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Houston Marathon

I am finally getting around to writing about the Houston Marathon I did last weekend.

We left OKC the Friday before and headed down right after work. The 7 hour drive got us in at about 11pm, so it wasn't too bad. I slept like a rock that night. I'm not used to staying up that late and I was ready.

Saturday morning I went for a nice easy 3 mile run and then headed down to the expo and picked up my bib, chip, got weighed and picked up my t-shirt. I did a little browsing too at all the shops. Luckily, I only picked up a new race belt with a little pouch to put race day stuff in. I headed back home for a great meal of cube steak, mashed potatoes and gravy, and some jello. Man it hit the spot. The afternoon was pretty laid back. I just played some cards with the family and tried to stay off my feet as much as I could. For dinner I had my usual spaghetti dinner and not long after that I went to my sisters place that is pretty close to the race start. That allowed me a little longer to sleep in (about 90 minutes) and not worry about traffic around the race site.

Morning came quickly and I was up at 5am. I took a quick shower to wake up, ate a banana and a bagel w/peanut butter. By 5:30 I was in the car and my sister was dropping me off. I sat in the expo center for a while drinking some gatorade, surfing the internet on my phone and just tried to relax. When 7 rolled around I drank a Red Bull and headed out to the start. When I signed up for the race, I had never run a marathon and had no idea how fast I would run so I put down 4:45 which put me in the second (last) group. I knew I was going to be closer to 4 hours, so I made my way up to the very front so I wouldn't have to pass as many people. As soon as I made it up there, we were off and running.

The first few miles went by and I was a little off pace, but not by more than a few seconds. Once I made it to mile 2, I was getting into my rhythm. I skipped the 1st water stop like I normally do because there are so many people slowing down to get a cup. At 2 miles in I don't really need a drink.

Things were pretty boring for the next few miles, which was good. A little before mile 8 I found out that my parents, sister and grandma were waiting for me at mile 8.5 so I looked forward to seeing them there. I was having an issue with my MP3/Cell phone holder so I was anxious to get rid of that. I saw them there on the side of the road cheering for me and it lifted my spirits. I felt a little bad because they were there for a while and then I was gone in a couple seconds.

Not long after that the half marathoners hit their turn around. It was a little harder than I thought it would be to go past that. They only had ~4 more miles. I had ~15. Ugh.

Right after that, the crowd thinned out quite a bit and it was kind of lonely. I did get a surprise at about 11 when I saw my family again. I guess my sister saw my compression socks as they were driving by and they got out. Pretty cool.

I was at mile 13 at 1:54 so I was feeling pretty good about my time. I saw my family again not too long after that and my mom handed me a bag of sliced oranges. I found those to be a great pick me up when gu and other energy things just don't.

Mile 16 came and my GPS finally lost it's signal. Without that I didn't have a good guage of my pace, but I was running by feel more at that point. I did keep hearing the pace callers at the mile markers and I was right at a 8:55-8:58 pace.

At mile 17 I saw my wife and a couple friends on the side of the road cheering me on and holding signs. I felt like a celebrity with all the cameras they had pointed at me. That lifted my spirits up seeing them out there.

Mile 20 came and I was still feeling pretty good. I ate a couple orange slices, shot of Hammer Gel and kept running. We were in the shade still so the heat wasn't too bad, but you could tell it was warming up. At the start of the race it was about 55, which was warmer than the highs I have had in OKC for the past 2 months.

Mile 22-23 was where I started to feel the heat. I just kept dousing myself with water at the stops to cool down. It helped, but I was slowing down a bit. I never really hit a wall which means I hit the nutrition pretty well.

Mile 24 and 25 came and all I was thinking about was finishing so I could get out of the heat. It was maybe ~70 but I don't really like warmer weather almost 4 hours into a run.

Mile 26 came and I was so close. I was just barely off the 4 hour pace and I wasn't sure I could make it up, but I was going to try. At the last turn I could see the finish line, but it seemed like it was miles away. I tried to really push the pace but my hamstring was telling me know. I just went to the point it hurt, but not bad enough to stop. I saw my family and wife and friends right at the end and tried to smile, but I'm not sure if I did or not. I crossed the line in 4:01:14. Not too shabby for the training I put in and the heat at the end.

I was disappointed to find out that the chip I had was a dud. I didn't receive an official time, but I know I finished.

I finally got inside the expo center again and tried not to pass out. I got my medal then went into the restroom and washed off and cooled down. I was almost in a daze. I had some ice cream (that was delicious) while I made my way over to get my finishers shirt. After that I met up with my group and we headed out to eat.

The perfect post race meal. Three enchiladas and a tall Shiner Bock beer. I think I had about 3lbs of chips too.

All in all it was a great time. Loved seeing family and friends out there cheering me and the other runners on. I just need to verify my chip next time.