Saturday, September 28, 2013

The High School Runner and a little Ironman Lake Tahoe Redemption

Last night was the High School Time Trial. A little fun for the team and the families. It's a 5K on the home course (Nasty little course that it is) where the kids race each other and the parents and faculty join in on the fun.

Marco ran well actually faster than last week on a tougher course and placed 4th. That's a great result considering 1st and 3rd are seniors and 2nd is a Junior. By the end of the year, I'm predicting right now he'll be third on the team and may even make it to 2nd barring injury and burn out. But he doesn't know I'm predicting this. He only knows that he keeps getting faster and that he loves the team dynamic.

For me it was a bit of competition 5 days after the Ironman. Not really what I wanted to do but I'm glad I did it. I was conservative on the big down hill start. Stayed out of the middle and eased into the hard pace. There were three men ahead of me at the turn. After the turn I eased my way up to the three men and as the first of the big hills started I eased my way pass them. Once on the really big, steep, nasty hill I hammered away knowing I could created a large gap which I did. At this point I have roughly 1.5 miles to the finish and it was hang on while trying to maintain a high tempo. I started racing the boys at this point trying to hang on to feet as best I could. I got killed by the boys on the long uphill finish but it was ok. I was first adult and in the top 15 overall. Felt great to go hard and and survive. The legs were really heavy most of the way which is to be expected but they responded quite well. Good times for sure.

It's a good life....

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Ironman Lake Tahoe: 10 Things I will Never Forget

  1. Snow falling around the area the day before the race. 
  2. Getting in the water for the swim and finally feeling warm. Not knowing it was the last time all day I would feel warm
  3. Ice on my bike seat coming out of T1 or Swim to Bike Transition
  4. Keeping my speed down in the fast section because faster meant colder. 
  5. My front wheel shaking vigorously on the down hills and finally realizing it wasn't the front wheel but my body going into heavy duty shiver mode. 
  6. Stuffing my Tri Top with Grass to keep warm and having a volunteer stuff grass into the back of my suit for added insulation. 
  7. The laugh from the huge crowd in the village when I asked "Has anyone seen my wife?" 
  8. The volunteer who gave me the space blanket and the hug I gave her when I came back through that aid station for the last time. 
  9. With 400 meters to go I was done with being cold. I took off the space blanket and put my legs in gear. I was not suffering from the effort but my body could not function and shiver at the same time. But with 400 to go my mind took over. I ran fast and got the largest cheer ever. I was a rock star for a minute. 
  10. Rolling across the finish line for ALS and my brother Bob. It's what made me stay in the race. The front wheel shakes scared me and that was 30 miles into the bike. The long super fast hill was yet to come. But I said to myself "This is not hard, ALS is hard" That was my mantra all day long. I knew I would be warm again but someone with ALS only knows that there is no cure. So I rolled across that finish line. 

It's a good life....

Saturday, September 21, 2013

The High School Runner: Mt Carmel Moving Shoes Invite

Although I'm in Lake Tahoe to race an Ironman tomorrow my thoughts and energy have been focused on San Diego. The growth of the High School Runner not as a runner but as a young man is so much more important than any race I do. Today was about running though and he absolutely nailed it. 

All week he's been working hard. Monday during hill repeats he was the first to the top on every one. Tuesday during PT testing for the Cival Air Patrol he ran 4:48 for the mile. He's simply was working hard. So today was a test. 

The invite races are by age/grade. So it's a test for today and it's a test for things to come. He lined up with the Sophomores. No teammates to pace off he was on his own. Reports were that he was confident in the morning but nervous as race time approached. His coach gave this advice "don't go out with the leaders, go out with the second pack and finish strong". I was getting reports via text during the race. Top 10 was what I heard which to me means he's closer to 10 then to 1. Then as the lead runner was coming to the finish I got a live play by play. 16:14 (3.1 miles) won the race, then second and then third and then with incredible excitement in her force Marco came up over the hill in 4th. Only 100 meters to go to hold on. Hold on he did 16:49 (5:25 pace) 4th place. 

 Here he is (on the right just in the picture) chasing two guys. 

4th Place! 

It's a good life.....

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Ironman Taper

Although I don't wish to go through life as a zombie I do wish to go through life in a constant Ironman taper. Coming off a huge week, last week I cut volume almost in half (all on the legs)  but kept the intensity up. I buried myself, could barely function and was on edge mood wise. This past Sunday on plan I swam. I did not ride 3 hard hours or negative split 90 minutes of running. I swam an easy 1000 in the morning and 40 minutes in the ocean late afternoon.

Monday dawned a new. No dragging feet. No foggy head. In the pool I led the lane during the 2000 meter main set and it was 'easy'. Yes I was breathing hard on the fast 200s but my stroke was smooth, fast and in control.

I woke. Up this morning more refreshed than yesterday and I am excited to get in the pool this morning and to test the running legs tonight.

Love me some taper.

It's a good life.....

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Why Do You Still Do this?

I've been asked many times and I've asked myself many times, why do you want to go do another Ironman.

  • Is it the brand Ironman - No
  • Is it because I want to Qualify for Kona - I think I can still do that but it's not the goal. 
  • Is it because I can't get it out of my system - No, I could drop it and not miss it. 
I do this: 
  • To Prove to myself that I still can
  • Because I can
But I really do this because these people can't. 

Larry "King" Solomon: The Rock Always in my thoughts. 

I'm going 140.6 Miles on September 22nd and these three will be on my mind and on my Arms all day. Cancer took Larry,  a predator took Chelsea and as my friend Mike Rouse said last week "There are three words you won't hear "I survived ALS" So I ask you to contribute to something on behalf of the three above and the many others like them. If it so suits you contribute 1 penny or one dime or one dollar.  

Contribute to Cancer get out and Pedal the Cause

Volunteer or give to Chelsea's Light

Or Fight ALS 

It's a good life.........

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Ironman Lake Tahoe - You Should be Nervous

That was the quote given to me today "You should be nervous, I am nervous for you".
Here is what I know:

  1. It's going to hurt 
  2. Shit will happen that I can't predict
  3. There will be a point where it will be easier to stop then it is to continue
I have done the training I believe I need to do. Or at least 80% of what I set out to do. I've tried to manage it through being a father, a husband and do my job. At some point I've failed at everything and that's where the 80% comes in. I was 80% in line all the time. There was 20% of the time where I was an utter mess. 

I will post my training after I finish the race. 

What would I have done differently. 
  1. I would have dialed in bike fit sooner. As it is I'll be riding 112 miles on a bike fit I have roughly 100 miles on. Not very smart. 
  2. I would have done more swimming - But I always say that. 
  3. I would have done more riding - But I always say that. 
What have I done
  1. lost close to 15lbs since this time last year. 
  2. Gotten my running back - I feel like a runner again. 
  3. Ridden my bike really hard and I like it that way. 
  4. Dialed in my food. I have no sugar crashes any more. I'm never super hungry. I enjoy food again. 
The all important race day nutrition plan. Here it is. 

  1.  Water - At least one two bottles to any one bottle of anything else. 
  2. Generation Ucan - I like it because it's a slow burning carb. It's tough to mix though. 
  3. Race Day - This will be mixed in a bottle of Ucan and Bullet Proof MCT before the race, on the bike and on the run and at both feed zones. 
  4. Salt Stick - 1 per hour
  5. MCT Oil - I plan to burn fat
  6. Amino Acids on the bike and on the run
  7. Tums just in case
My race plan. Swim - Bike the fist lap steady - Bike the second lap at or slightly faster than the first. Run a comfortable pace for 1.5 laps. Give everything I have left on the last 1/2 lap of the run. 

Until then, I will slow down, ease up and let my body recharge for the effort at hand. 

Monday, September 9, 2013

The High School Runner: Bronco Invitational

The first race of the cross country season was this past weekend. There was a strong tension in the house Friday and Saturday morning. The first time stepping on the line for a season will do that.  We arrived at the venue about 3 hours early so we could watch the D-1 boys race. Marco has a bunch of friends in other schools and he wanted to watch them race. It was good to see these boys race but it made for a long day for Mom and Dad.
This was only the 3rd Varsity Cross Country race from Marco. He started last year as JV and made the Varsity team at the end.
I love the line up at a cross country race. Each team finds their spot on the start line and burns tension by doing drills and strides. When the starter gets all the teams back in the corral and gives instructions it's a beautiful thing to see. 120 or so boys bunched together ready to explode. For this race teams could only put three runners on the line. In theory the top 3 on each team get that spot. Marco was in the second row. The gun wen off and it was madness as usual. This particular course funnels down rather quickly and then 200 meters or so after the start there is a 180 degree turn. So the start is everything. At about 400 meter I caught the leaders coming through and sitting in a bunch about 3-4 from runners from the front was Marco and the boys. They had a great start. The next opportunity to see them was just before the 1 mile mark. The bunch was broken up a bit and a great deal more runners had moved into the front. I'm guessing Marco and his Senior running partner were now in the top 25. After the 1 mile mark they have the hill. Most people struggle to walk up this hill. It's beautiful to see all the heads bobbing up and down from afar. We caught the boys coming down and it was amazing to see that Marco and his running buddy were still side by side and now sitting 10th and 11th. It pays to be small on the big hills. That unfortunately works the opposite on the down hills. The big boys made there move with 1/2 mile to go on the slight down hill and Marco lost some ground. He finished 19th overall and 3rd on his team. He was only 2 places and 1 second behind being second on the team. It's hard to tell because they don't post grade at the results table but looking at faces I think he was in the top 3 for underclassmen.

A couple other ways to look at the results. He ran with a group of boys for 3 years before high school on a club team. He was always the 8th or 9th runner on that team. 6 of the boys from that team ran in different races on Saturday and Marco had the 2nd best time of the group.

It's clear, when the light came on last Spring it has stayed on this fall. He is into this running thing and showing what we've always seen in him. A natural flow for running.

But that's not even the cool stuff. What's even better to me the father is to watch him after the race. He spent the rest of the morning giving fist bumps and encouragement to the JV boys. Being a great teammate is just as important as improving as a runner. It's fun to watch his leadership grow on the field.

To cap off the great day he went to a party that night. It was at the house of a runner from a different school. He and his teammates were invited as were 3-4 other schools. They hung out until 10pm eating pizza telling stories and just continuing the cross country bond.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

High School Runner: It's Cross Country Season

The boys are 5 weeks into cross country training. The first two weeks were camps. One in the mountains with kids from all over the South West. Lot's of hard running and fun at that camp. Then in week 2 it was the team camp. Some hard running but mostly fun on the beach.

The training consists of 3 main workouts and then 3 days of easy running.

Workout #1: Hill Repeats - Each week it's a different hill and it's consistent from year to year. They know what's coming.

Workout #2: Core Work - You have to be strong for Cross Country.

Workout #3: The Long Run - For this one there is no coach. Only you and the team. Marco and the boys meet Saturday mornings. This past Saturday in the heat they ran 13 miles in 90 minutes. The longest our High School Runner has ever gone. All he could say is "It Hurt" That morning he came home ate some food and fell asleep.

As a parent you worry about the workload. You worry that this run may be his last run. I was worried that maybe the 90 minutes broke his spirit. He was a hurting kid and we all know what it feels like to hurt after a long run. But no, Monday morning came around and it was a special day. Goat Hill and 9 times up it. Smiles all along.

It's Cross Country Season! Yipee!

Monday, September 2, 2013

The Long Run

People always ask me "what are you training for?" My answer is always "for the rest of my life"  Saturday was specific and it was the long run. The only run all year that had a distance tied to it. The distance was 20 miles. This run is much like life:

  1.  Show up - feeling good or poor, show up
  2. Set a pace you can handle
  3. insert surges regularly because you will slow down if you don't
  4. Find a good place to concentrate when it starts to hurt -  Saturday it started to hurt and each time I thought of my brother Bob who has ALS. Nothing hurts that bad. 
  5. Finish Strong