Thursday, April 30, 2009

More reason Leslie couldn't resist those eyes

Like I promised a few more pictures after a couple days of settling in. She has come out of her shell now and really likes to play and run. I'm sure we'll have more next week as the yard training gets in full swing. The other two have accepted her pretty well, especially Salida. On Tuesday Leslie was starting to get Maddy used to the yard and Gretchen wanted to play with her and might have been a little rough. Salida came over and put her paw around Maddy and basically stood over her to protect her from Gretchen. Salida used to do the same type of protecting when Trixie would get into the invisible fence a little too far since she had lost her hearing.

Til next time, Drew

Monday, April 27, 2009

How could you resist these eyes?

I couldn't!
Spending alot of time on my bike...
OCN: 4344 this year...

Our new addition

So Leslie has been squerming for a new dog ever since we had to put Trixie to sleep. It was looking like this summer after her Race Across the West might be the perfect time. Well, of course she can't stop looking at websites and found BigDogsHugePaws. We now are the parents
of Maddy Anna (formerly Anna), she is half Mastiff/half German Shepard, oh yeah she's going to be big. She currently is fascinated by snow and it just so happens to be snowing again today. The other two (Gretchen and Salida) are still not sure what to make of her but are tolerant at this point. Maddy is still quiet shy with them and growls a little. The cats (Kisa and Shu) are having nothing to do with her at this point. So all in all not to bad for 12 hours into her new home, oh and only one accident so far. I'll put up more pictures as she gets more comfortable.


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Boston '09

This years' training has been going pretty well, the weather has been cooperative and for the most part warm. I've only had a couple long runs that didn't go to well but they were 2 months back. This all changed with 2 weeks to go, it snowed 4 times in the last 2 weeks either on track days or key days. So nothing new when the predictions were snow on Friday and Saturday, except we were to leave on Saturday. Our flight was supposed to be at 11 so we figured we'd leave around 8 to anticipate problems. Checked in way early and we were cool..........nope, flight showed on-time on the departure schedule but was really an hour behind by the time we actually took off. Suck, because we had an hour layover in Cincinnati, that turned into 3 hours of waiting and we finally got into Boston 2 hours late.

Sunday, the plan was get up and head downtown to get my number and check out the expo and get back for the brunch and get off my feet. Came close to doing that although it took longer than planned. Joe wasn't running on Sunday so I thought I'd follow his lead and not bother with the 2 miles I had planned on besides I had been on my feet longer than I wanted already.

So the race........my goal was 3 hours or under if possible. The last thing Julia said was go out slow, hold back. I kind of had no choice this year since I was in the 4th corral and last year I was in the 1st corral. The long story short I went out slow, 7:10, but made up for it and hit 2 miles in 13:45. Some how I hit 5k in 21:00 and 10k in 42:00. I felt pretty good at this point and tried to get through the miles without over extending myself since I knew how mile 15 up through heart break hill and mile 18 or so killed me last year. Got through but my quads were starting to ache. At 20 miles (2:18 or so), my quads were screaming, but some how I kept gutting it out from there. If I could hit a 42 minute last 10k I would be close to breaking 3 hours. Well, 47 and some change is what ended up happening, closer to 8 minutes a mile, but wayyyy better than the walking I did last year in the last 10k.

It's the Friday after and this is the 1st day my quads aren't sore to the touch, definitely sore deeper in the muscle. I been on my bike 3 days and in the pool twice, so I would say that is some kind of active recovery. This weekend looks to be cool (50 or so) and some rain, so not sure if I'll be getting alot of long miles on the bike this weekend but I'll try. I may start running real easy Saturday but not real long yet.

Plan now is to ramp up the miles for the month of May, then I have the Deuces Wild Tri Fest May 30-31st, which I'm doing an Olympic distance one day and an Xterra the next. The next weekend I'm doing an Xterra in Farmington, NM and then 2 weeks to fine tune and taper for Ironman Coeur d'Alene. As demoralizing as 70.3 New Orleans was, Boston was encouraging. I feel like if I get my climbing legs on the bike and I get my nutrition right, Coeur d'Alene could be a good race.

Sorry I don't have more pictures. I should have pictures after the weekend of the house with most of the snow melted maybe even our new addition to the pack.


Friday, April 17, 2009

Bonding with Artemous

Ride report…

Since Drew is running Boston this weekend, I took Wednesday off to get my long ride in. I was planning to do it Friday, but the weather forecast was grim (snow) for Friday and 70's for Weds. A no-brainer!

I picked up Artemous last week (a beautiful new Kestrel RT-900) and had gotten 180 miles on him but this was to be our big bonding day. (Pictures will be posted here whenever we manage to get me, Artemous, and a camera to gather at the same time… a picture of her frame is a few posts down). Tuesday night I installed her fancy seat post, mounted headlights and a taillight, packed a bag to give to Drew, and tried to think of anything I was forgetting. To bed at 10…

The alarm went off at 3am and up I go. Ate a muffin and drank some decaf coffee (I'm caffeine tapering for my race May 2nd) and hit the car. Drove to a park n ride in Aspen Park, which is between my house and Denver at 7600 feet or so. Put on a ton of clothes, turned on the lights, and headed out at 4am. It was chilly, but not too cold. A bit spooky to be out on the deserted roads. A few lights on in houses as people were beginning to stir but mostly quiet. I cruised down the hill, but pretty cautiously because there's a lot of gravel left from last week's snow, plus the faster I went the colder I felt. Down to Denver and then looped out to Parker. Watched the sunrise, and ate some Gu chews (blueberry pomegranate, YUM!). Saw my odometer as the sun came up and I was definitely cruising slowly… under 14mph. Picked up the pace. At 9:30 I was definitely getting warm so I stopped by Drew's office, drank a Boost (sorta yuck but okay), dropped off my outer layers and lights. Had pulled my average to 14.5, so 5:30 in I was at mile 80.

I added a second pair of bike shorts. On Saturday's ride I tenderized my bum (new bike seat, not quite the same position) and the second pair really did the trick. My bum was tired by the end of the day, but not raw.

Headed South for my next leg. Unfortunately the wind had come up, straight from the south. 3 hours later I was barely 30 miles in. Stopped and ate a nutter butter, pushed another 30 minutes then decided to turn around. Flew down the road barely pedaling. Got a bit sleepy actually since I wasn't working hard. Stopped for a drink and Resse cups and kept on. Decided to do some laps on the road around a state park so that I could at least phase the wind… phase 1: easy pedaling, phase 2: stiff crosswind, phase 3: work as hard as I could, phase 4: stiff crosswind. Did 2 laps and then back to Drew's office. Stop by McDonald's for a Southern chicken sandwich (a gift from the bike gods… would never touch it in real life but it is the thang on the bike) and chocolate chip cookie. I was 11:05 in, so I grabbed my lights and agreed to meet him at 8:30 in Morrison.

Had the wind at my back for awhile but then it switched up and came out of the West. The rest of the ride was wind, hills, grr… repeat. The sun went down and I put on my lights and knew I was less than a half hour to go. Had to make a few little laps in the parking lot, but I managed to hit my 15 hours… only 214 miles but they were hard fought and I'm pleased with them. 16:30 including stops.

Artemous is a champ! We went full carbon (the frame of course, but also seatpost, handlebars, and all…) and he dampens out the road noise beautifully. Decided to not put on aerobars (which looks weird to me) which gives me a lot of nice positions on the bars. I'm learning to ride in the drops too… All in all I'm pretty tired today, and somewhat ravenous, but I have no real aches and pains.

I know these long rides are supposed to be tough, and it was in a good way. But, I have a real hard time wrapping my head around doing it 6 times. I expect RAW to take around 90 hours… I can’t quite fathom that today. Next week is a pretty long training week (the highlight on the schedule says "LONG WEEK ALL WEEK" in caps and everything) and then I've got 24 Hours of Davis on May 2nd. May looks to be a doozy, and hopefully by the end of it I can truly envision crossing the finish line strong.

Snowing like crazy here today… glad I did this on Weds!


OCN: 3757 miles this year

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

70.3 New Orleans and the state of affairs

Well.....been back from New Orleans for a little over a week now. Getting set to run the Boston Marathon for the 2nd time, running is going well although not necessarily according to plan. Oh yeah, how did the race go? Well as they say "a picture says a thousand words" so here is about 3000 words, a photo with about 10 miles to go and maybe 1 mile to go. A more appropriate photo for how the day went and how I felt is something more like the third photo.

After evaluation and assessment on the way home we have decided this was the perfect example of how not to prepare to race. It all started out getting packed up on Thursday night, this turned into being late leaving for work on Friday. Then the boss wanted to do a site visit on a potential new project which took me out of the office until the time I was planning to leave to meet Leslie to go to the airport. Dragging our stuff into the airport and getting it checked (Leslie brought her bike as well since she needed to get some miles in) it dawned on me I forgot my goggles. No big deal just need to buy some new ones. We get into New Orleans smoothly and Leslie got a pretty good deal on a hotel right on Bourbon street, pretty cool. Ouch, no parking anywhere. So we check in and find the hotel has parking but it's $25 a day not including tax, so much for the deal at the hotel. The front desk lady doesn't have a room for us and ends up pulling strings and puts us in a suite, how Sweet!

We get up the next morning put the bikes together and then head over to the race hotel to get my number etc., miss the 1st meeting by 10 minutes, so we have to wait for another 45 minutes (mandatory meeting to get your number). We get some coffee cake at Starbucks and wait and pick up some goggles in the expo. Back to the hotel, pack up to head out to the lake and check out the race course. Have to call down to get the car pulled around, that will take 20 minutes, so wait some more. We get downstairs and no car. Tell the dude we need our car and he takes off running across the street to get it, so much for calling ahead. Long story short we get out to the lake after taking a few wrong turns maybe around 2. Leslie is going to get in 4 hours of riding so I decide to ride 1st since she has the map of the course then I'll do a run and swim and wait for her at transition. That all works out pretty well. Feel real strong on the bike, the run felt good not lethargic, and the water was beautiful just the right temperature. Check my bike in and I think I'm set.

We head back to the hotel to clean up and try to eat a semi early dinner. Drop the car with the bell boy and try to schedule a time for the car to be out front in the morning, we scrap that idea and decide I'll take the shuttle in the morning and Leslie will ride out.

Now at this point it really hasn't occurred to me that I had planned on getting something for breakfast as well as put some GU on my bike and part of the point of eating semi early was to get in a snack before I fell asleep and we hadn't done any of them as well as had no lunch.

Anyway, I think I slept 2 hours, we had a false alarm on the smoke detector at 2:30 am which basically scared the livin' S..t! out of me. I don't think I slept after that. Well, I had thought I might be able to pick up some little donuts on the way over to the shuttle, no such luck. Get to the transition and all set up and make the walk all the way to the swim start (about 1 mile), I happen to be in one of the last waves this time so I start over an hour after the pros. Long story short, I have an okay swim, a spectacular 1st 30-35 miles on the bike but it is very clear at this point that there weren't enough aid stations on the bike let along Gatorade. In fact, I ended up getting water bottles that other people had discarded and had been refilled. So I had not had enough liquid or food (Gu or otherwise) and the trip back to transition just crushed me, the wind normally something I can get through pretty well just kept slowing me down and had nothing to fight back with. I hit transition with a chance to salvage things if I ran even just a little. Pulled out of transition and made it about 1/2 a mile before I was just done. I gutted out what I could but because my electrolytes were all jacked I just never had a chance get enough in on the run to recover.
So we learned: must have drinks on bike and must have Gu or gels on bike especially if there is any chance it will be hot and humid (which it was, in fact warmest day of the year so far for them). Nothing new here, knew all this before but I guess things just worked against we and I wasn't focused on what was needed.
Moving on, this coming Monday is Boston, I feel good, running is progressing nicely, and I guess you can say I'm tapered for it. 3 hours is the goal.
After Boston, I have a few races (an olympic and a couple Xterra) to try and get the itch out and around a month and a half before Ironman Coeur d'Alene. I always want to kick ass at my Ironman races but this one in particular I'm feeling like I could get it all figured out. I need to if nothing else. Besides Leslie is going to be finishing as the 1st woman finisher in RAW (Race Across the West) on Saturday and what would be a more perfect way to end the week than to end it with me qualifying for Hawaii on my umpteenth try.
Ciao for now