Sunday, May 29, 2011

What are you waiting for?

It didn't really mater what we expected from life but what life expected from us.... Victor Frankl - Man's Search for Meaning

There really isn't much else to say after you read that quote. We can sit around and worry about what life gives us or hasn't given us or we can go out and get it.

It's a good life....

Thursday, May 26, 2011

No Kidding!

Like this couldn't be seen coming from miles away. I've shared my experience often of seeing runners on the side of the road stretching furiously in what appears to be the middle of their run. Looking down at their feet and they are covered with so called barefoot or natural running shoes. There is no magic pill here folks. There is no shoe that will make running easier and their is no shoe that will prevent injuries. Only smart running prevents injuries.

It's a good life...

Monday, May 23, 2011

Sports - Drugs and the Media

I have some thoughts on the recent Tyler Hamilton interview on 60 minutes. The interview caused great discussion in the household and among friends. From those discussions I form my opinion.

1. Tyler Hamilton - I feel sorry for you. It took you this long to admit what you did. To finally admit that the drug tests were correct and that you were doping. It would have been nice if like David Millar you admitted your wrong doings and moved on. What was the cost of all this. I feel sorry for you because I have the feeling I know what the costs were.
2. The best thing you said in the interview was when you asked Scott Pelley  from 60 minutes "what would you do" when you were referring to reaching your life long dream. Mr. Pelley was totally stumped and later said he hoped that if he were in that position to make such a decision that he would not choose to dope but admitted that he didn't know what he would do.
3. Scott Pelley and 60 minutes - You had plenty of time to edit and fact check the story. You chose to put in the part about a failed test at the Tour of Switzerland for Lance and the following cover-up with the UCI. It is your responsibility to fact check when you are talking about the life of an individual. You know the Innocent until proven guilty thing. The UCI categorically denied any positive test. In fact they came out and said that in fact Lance has never turned in a positive test. So instead of fact checking you lead Hamilton down a path saying that yes he tested positive and that he then covered it up. Shame on you 60 minutes for not checking with the UCI before you ran that part of the story. But then again this does not surprise me. The media gets away with this all the time. That's why I hate the news.

Aside from that, Tyler you lied to me before. I believed you then. I simply don't believe everything you said the other night. I'll let the courts decide on Lance. I will not let your stories sway my thoughts. You simply are not credible any longer. It's too bad because you were an inspirational cyclist in your time. You were the guy we all wanted to like.

It's a good life....

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Hit The Wall

Track Meet Today! 
Marco Running the 1500. Is it over yet?
A bit out of order but it was a large field in the 1500. That's Marco in the bright green shoes. 

Stupid track set up. Yes, the stands are inside the track. Who does that?


This is the first full weekend home in 3. It's a trend I don't like to keep. Luckily there is nothing until June 18th. That's a good thing for sure. Today after the track meet and getting some stuff done around the house I hit the wall. I laid down and the next thing I knew it was 2 hours later. I guess I needed it.

It's a good life....

Friday, May 20, 2011

Bike to Work Friday

I ran with Marco the other day. Somehow he needs to figure out how to race. If he ran on race day the same way he runs with me, he'd crush. I told him to race me the next time he's on the track. Maybe that will work.


We have a short time on this earth. Sitting in and watching that time pass doesn't seem to make sense. But going after it also can cause problems. I'm not sure where I stand right at this second.


Nice to see all the folks riding their bikes to work today. Now that summer is here and track season is relatively over, it's time to do this at least twice a week. One of the things I loved about living in Germany was riding my bike to work daily. As I road today I was reminded of those days. Interesting enough the commute time is roughly the same here. The distance is greater but I'm on a road bike not on a mountain bike on trails.

It's a good life...

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

St. George 2.0

I've been thinking a great deal about the event that was Ironman St George. The thoughts that I wrote the day after are still clear. I made some mistakes on race day that could have made things easier had I done them right. The coach had me well prepared physically but maybe I could have done more or less based on my experience. This brings me to the post today. My meltdown on the run started at about mile 4. At first it was just a nagging pain in my heel. I knew I was rubbing my heel raw but I also knew that this was Ironman and things like this happen. By mile 9 it was becoming so painful I tried over and over to relieve the pain by adjusting my sock, to going super duper tight with the lacing. By Mile 12 my head switched from racing to keeping my foot comfortable. By Mile 14, walking was the most comfortable. I ran when I could but stopped often to relieve the pain in my heel. This more than anything limited my intake of fuel on the run. I was more concerned with moving forward pain free than drinking and eating.  When I finished the race all I wanted to do was take my shoes off. The heel was ugly for sure. Marco and Mary were a bit blown away by all the blood and hanging skin. To be honest I didn't want to use this as a reason for my meltdown. I think I set it aside as being weak. On Monday of this week I opened the bag and pulled out the shoes. It all came rushing back to me.  Here's the thing. I knew in November which shoes I was going to race in. I ran in this model over and over and over again. The only thing I did differently was order a fresh pair of production. As a product guy who is sample size, I don't normally run in production. In fact it's been years since I ran in a production shoe. For this race I really wanted to run in production because quite frankly that's what everyone else runs in. I ran in the shoes twice before the race which is not abnormal for me. I can usually tell right away if a shoe is going to be good or bad. But not this time I guess. On the positive side, this little incident is going to help us build even better shoes. We're already working on a fix. The morale of the story I think is you are better off racing in a shoe you've got some miles in. I think 20-30 miles in this shoe would have either broken in the heel collar or would have told me to find a different shoe. I surely don't blame the shoe. I made the decision so it's purely my fault. 

It's a good life.....

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Where Do You Work?

 The day after Ironman St. George, we made the 7 hour drive home. The next morning I was on a plane to Europe for our Zoot Sales meeting. It was a rough turn around. My head was still trying to digest what I had done or not done on Saturday and then with very little rest I was at work.
 As the week wore on I slowly but surely forgot that I had even done an Ironman. I'm tired but nothing hurts. I found myself itching to ride my bike. But the time away from my bike was probably good for me.
 On about Wednesday or Thursday after a number of trips into the city center of Annecy, France it hit me. I get to do this for a living. I travel to some great places to work. Annecy is in the middle of the French Alps. Beautiful!
There are people who actually hate going to work every day. I'm not one of those. I get paid to build running shoes and I get to sell those running shoes in beautiful places like Annecy.

It's a good life...

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Sunday, May 8, 2011

St. George

On Saturday May 7th I did Ironman St George. It was my first Ironman in 10 years and it was great to be back in that realm. The experience of accomplishing something like that is still just as amazing. I had a rough day out there. It was the slowest I've ever gone by a long way. The old Dave would feel bad about this for weeks. I'm in a great mood today.  I went in trying to qualify for Kona. But I went in with the through I was either going to do it or melt down trying. I melted down. I spent a good part of the day catching up which is normal for me. I was in position maybe too far back but in position and I melted.

Although the pictures are not in the right order, they are the story. The first picture is me coming into the finish line. It's downhill and I look fairly good. The second picture is of me going up the steepest of the hills on the run. I have good arm swing and seem to be powering up the hill fine. What happened between these to pictures where I turned in a 4:45 run split is the big question.

I have no excuses, just stupid mistakes on my part.

Mistake #1 - I relied on my old bike fit for the new bike. I should have had the new bike professionally fit to my body of today. When I got off the bike my low back was totally locked up.

Mistake #2 - Nutrition - Mike Reilly stressed before the race that Nutrition was the 4th part of the Triathlon. I was confident I had it right. How wrong I was. I have three bottle holders on my bike. I use Sustained Energy and Heed in all my races. I calculated my calorie needs on the bike at 1200 calories. I had 1500 calories. The problem was this. In a 70.3 or in training I put 2 scoops of Sustained Energy in a large bottle. I chose for Ironman to put 3 scoops. With 3 scoops you have to wash a drink of it down with  water which meant I carried a bottle of water. Stupid mistake that killed me between mile 75 and 90. At this point in the race I was out of Heed (or Perform), out of water and only had Sustained Energy. For 15 super hot miles I suffered and waited to get to that aid station. What I should have done is either gone with 2 scoops of Drink and carried two bottles if Heed. Or gone with three scoops drinking just prior to each aid station and using their water to wash it down. Carrying water was the wrong thing to do. To me this is what cost me lap #2 of the run.

Mistake #3 - I relied exclusively on coach. For the most part I did his workouts without question. That's not what a coach wants you to do. A coach wants you to bring your head to the game too. I'm not sure I did that enough. I have Ironman and Ironman training experience. I've qualified for Kona numerous times but I didn't bring much of that to this program.

Mistake #4 - I didn't find out all I needed to know about the course. Coach urged me to go visit before the race to check it out but 3 trips to China killed that option. But I had plenty of other options, I know people who did the race last year and I know the two guys that designed the race so I should have had all the information. If you ask me the perfect boring long ride training ground here in San Diego is multiple laps of Del Dios to Elfin Forest with a ride up Double Peak each lap.

Some thoughts on Ironman St George.

- If you've done an Ironman you have to do this one. It's worth every penny. It's hard, it's hot and it's fair.
- If Ironman is on your bucket list don't do this one. It eats people up. It is one mean beast if you are not prepared.

My Notes:
- One day I have to figure out wind. At 50MPH a heavy cross wind scares the hell of me yet guys were flying by me in their aero bars.
- Don't enjoy the swim too much. It was too easy which to me says I didn't race it I swam it.
- Stay in the game. I was in the game for the Kona slot after the first lap of the run. The guy who finished 6th was about 2.5 minutes in front of me. I would have been there at the finish. I let thoughts that I was out of the game creep in. I probably would have collapsed harder if I continued to push but I was in the game.
- Once you know you aren't reaching your goals you have to set a mini goal. I was walking with a guy early in the second lap of the run. Clearly we were both finished "Racing". He said "I hope we make it to the finish by the cut off". I looked at my watch and said "Cut off, Dude, I'm breaking 12 hours!" He fell off my strong walking pace and I had a new goal.
- Experience it. I had a great time with the volunteers. They gave me so much energy and hopefully I gave them something to laugh about. The popsicle was the highlight for sure. Ok, finding a $20 bill on the ground might top that but I'll still go with the popsicle.
- I'm simply amazed by the mind over matter thing. I'm dying. Struggling to put one foot in front of the other. I get to mile 24 that has a nasty down hill to start. I look at my watch and notice I've got 20 minutes to break 12 hours. I start running hard and somehow I'm running again, just blowing by people. It was in my head, it sure wasn't in my legs.

I must apologize to my wife. I came around on lap one and told her to take our son back to the hotel to play in the pool. I would be awhile but I was going to finish. I should have known this would send her worry nerve up. She sat there for 2.5 hours wondering if I was going to die out there. I'm sorry dear.

Again I have huge thanks and praise for Mary and Marco for sticking by my side. For Gordo for guiding me and to all my friends who encouraged and supported my dreams.

It's a good life...


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Oh No!

Shoot, I was all calm and ready to go until late today. Then the enormity of it all started to sink in. These events are just a bit crazy. Here is a list of simply the water bottles.

In the morning
1 - Large Bottle - Sustained Energy - I've been a Hammer guy since day #1 of the company.
1 - Large Bottle - Heed

On the Bike
1 Large bottle - Water
1 Large Bottle - Heed
1 Large Bottle - Sustained Energy

Feed Bag
1. Large Bottle - Sustained Energy

Run Bag
1. Small Bottle and hand carrier - Heed

Feed Bag
1 Small Bottle for hand carrier - Heed - Just in case.

Post Race with Marco
2 Large Bottles - Recoverite

These darn races are a mastery in pure preparation.

So I'm feeling a bit nervous making sure I have everything I need. Packing my bag, checking it twice, packing the car, the bike etc. Then my beautiful wife says "Promise me you won't put yourself in the Hospital again". You know that saying "you're only as good as your last race". Well to Mary that last race was Ironman Florida 10 years ago. In that race I felt great the entire way. It poured down rain on the bike which I figured out later is not a good thing. When it's hot, humid and then raining, the rain acts as a coolant and also curbs your "Need" for water. Basically I wasn't drinking. I got on the run, ran fast and came in under 10 hours which was the goal. When I crossed though I didn't feel quite right. In fact I started to shiver and felt faint. I tried to eat, but I couldn't. I tried to drink water but I couldn't. I went to the medical tent and they said "You'll be fine, we have people that are going to fill these beds that will be way worse than you are." Mary and I hiked across the beach to our condo. She made soup and bought me some chips. Nothing. I could get nothing down. By this time she's worried sick. 9pm rolls around and I've still had nothing to eat and very little to drink. I say to her, let's go to the Hospital. Not something I'm going to say unless it's getting serious. We get to the hospital and they do their series of tests. Yep, you are severely dehydrated. Essentially your body has resorted to eating itself. They admit me into the hospital at 12:02am. Under Florida Law I'm  their through the next night. 9 IV bottles later and I'm like new. The only problem is Mary is already on the plane for home.

So this weekend Sunday is Mother's Day. For Mother's Day Mary has floor seats for her and a friend to see Ricky Martin. This is not just any show for Mary it's the show. I think I better stay healthy on the run Saturday.

It's a good life....

Monday, May 2, 2011

Real Running

My wife is just on it these days. This is her latest post about her Sunday Long Run:

"1 perfect Spring day-2 dead snakes-3 fat guys in Speedos+lots of happy dogs at the beach-1 disgusting Gu flavor+plenty of fit people enjoying life-1 migrating muscle cramp=a pretty decent long run on the coast this morning."

It's a good life....

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Who turned on the Furnace?

Today we went straight into summer and summer heat. It was a good day to get a taste of the St. George weather to come. My workout called for 3 hours of race pace effort. 2:15 on the bike and 45 on the run. I chose to do the effort in the afternoon because Marco wanted to run late. At 3:00pm I headed out and decided to go east. The oven was turned on full blast and the blaster fan was blowing. There was a point on the way home through Elfin forest that the chicken farm smell hit me 2 miles early. That's when I knew I was in for quite a fun time in the forest. If that stench is hitting you that early it's windy and the wind was directly in my face.

Off the bike Marco went out for 45 minutes. In the middle we hit the soccer field for Tabata Sprints. It's his mile work and well what the heck I'll do them too. The last one is always a race and finally I beat him. The first time in 5 weeks. It's always fun. I'm sure he'll clean my clock on the next set. It was a good day for Dads because in the middle of the Sprints we hear, Go Marco! It was Enge and family after time on the basketball court.

This was the end of a very good week. The goal of the week was quality bike work and lots and lots of swimming. 5 times in the pool close to 20,000 yards. Before I looked at my schedule this is what I had in mind so it's good the coach was on the same page. 5 nights of sleep before the test.

It's a good life...