Thursday, December 15, 2005

Cold and Wet Run

Today my coach had a 2 hour run on my training schedule. Today was rainy, windy and chilly. I knocked out the run though, because I really wanted a day off tomorrow. This works out good having an off day before my long bikes on Saturdays. This Saturday I'm scheduled for 95 miles.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Long Ride - 90

Did my 90 miler today. Man was it cold, I don't think it got much above the upper 40's today. I when against my plan for about 10 miles and pushed the pace again, my heart rate got up aroun 160. Whew. Luckily we took a break and I stayed w/ the pack for the pretty much the remainder of the ride. As usual did my 30 min brick run too.

I felt pretty good throughout the workout today. I'm really looking forward to IMAZ.


Friday, December 02, 2005

Off Day

No workouts today. 90 miler tomorrow. I've got to stay w/in myself and not get caught in a high intensity ride /w the group.

Picked up my Zipp 404's today. One of my tri club members sold them to me for $500. Hopefully they will make a difference on the bike leg.

Not much to write about tonight.


Saturday, November 26, 2005

Long Ride

Did my long ride today. 80 miles w/ a 30 min brick run. Hooked up w/ one of the rides from a LBS. I let myself get sucked into a faster pace than I really wanted. But, overall I got a good workout.

I've been reading Gordo's "Going Long", specially the mental training section. I'm going to start thinking like the IM is a reality and I will do well. Here are my goals:

Reasonable finish time: anything less than 13 hours. I may be able to go low 12 hours. I will have a good swim.

I will stick w/ my training routine. I will stretch consistently.

Saw a post on Slowtwitch about another cyclist killed. The cyclist was killed by a 17 year old who was text messaging while driving!

God, please protect me and all the other cyclists out there.


Friday, November 25, 2005


Thanksgiving yesterday was nice hanging out w/ friends and family. Friends and family are really an important part of life. Sometimes w/ IM training, one can get myopic and lose focus on the important parts of life. Not that 6 months of training are unimportant, but friends and family are so important especially in the long run. This season I'm grateful to God for the good people he put in my life.

Had a nice swim this morning. Got in 3900 yds and I didn't feel wiped out. Its amazing how a year and a half ago, I could barely swim one lap. Now I'm preparing to swim 2.4 miles.

Lisa is gone shopping w/ her girlfriend, so I'm home alone. This will give me a chance to clean up the house. It'll be a nice for her to come home and I've taken care of the housework. I may even up together a nice, healthy dinner tonight too.

Planning to run an easy 45-60 min run on a hilly route. I'll probably head over to Duke Forest. That is such a nice place to run. I'm really fortunate where I live has so many nice running areas.

I've got an 80 miler for tommorrow morning. I'll get in 15, hook up w/ one of the bike shops here for their weekly 50 miler and then 15 back to the car. It'll be cold in the beginning. Low temps will be in the upper 20's w/ a high in the mid-50's.


Saturday, November 19, 2005

More Random Thoughts

  1. IM Coaching - I signed up for an IM coach last week, John Hirsch. Coach J is a pro-triathlete. He took 23rd at IMFL this year. I'm looking forward to his expertise and knowledge to guide my training. A part of me feels like I could've used the money differently, but I'm hopeful that following Coach J's plans will get me through IMAZ successfully.
  2. Lisa and I are getting along really good lately. What a blessing! She even told some of her co-workers about my training. I think she used to shun on this thing, but I feel her support. Just yesterday, she asked me if I wanted to buy some race wheels w/ part of a bonus she's getting from work.
  3. This holiday season is making me reflect on how grateful and blessed my life is. Man, God is really good. My marriage is going good, I'm able to train for an IM, I have a really good job, I like living in my community, I have a really cool Rottie (King von Moody), my health is going good, my parents are both alive and doing well.
  4. I really feeling an attitude of gratitude.
  5. I want to live such that accomplishments, blessings, good stuff is lived as demonstrating God's love and glory.
  6. I don't want to have "big head".
  7. Alicia Keys song, "Unbreakable" is da bomb! I can't get that tune out of my head.

That's enough for now. I'll head off to my volunteer work at the Durham County Jail and then an easy 2 hour recovery week ride.



Thursday, November 17, 2005

Pics and more pics

Kinda bored tonight. Thought I'd post some race pics. Check 'em out.

Friday, September 23, 2005

LA Triathlon - Olympic Distance

Its been awhile since I posted... Did the LA Triathlon 2 weekends ago. It was nice seeing my family. I was born and raised in LA. Also it was good seeing old friends from back in the day. It reminded me how relationships are special and should be nourished. All of my buddies I connected w/ seem to be doing really good. Wow everyone's property is really appreciating out in LA. I'm happy for them.

Now for the race report. I was really pleased w/ my performance. The race went really good for me. I actually finished right near the middle of the pack for the swim (65/122 AG ranking males 40-44). I tried to concentrate on a good stroke w/ high elbow recovery, streamlining, and sighting. I felt like I stayed on course pretty good. It helped that it was a rather large race so I had plenty of swim caps to sight on. Also I felt very buoyant due to the salt water and wetsuit. My swim split was 31:55 (1:56/100 yd pace), which also included running through the sand to the transition area. I've never swam under a 2min/100yd pace in a race. Looks like my swim coaching work is showing some good improvement in my races.

The race was a point to point course where we started at Venice Beach and finished in downtown Los Angeles. The bike and run also went good. We had a bit of a cross-wind for the bike, but I felt pretty strong for that leg (25/122 ranking). I was motivated on the bike by another guy who stayed just in front of me. He had a really nice Litespeed and so I was doing my best to hang w/ a guy on a titanium rig. My bike time ended up being 1:10:59 which was a 21.0 mph pace.

I slowed a little for the run 48:39 which was a 7:49 pace (30/122 AG ranking), but had good energy and never felt any onsets of a bonk. I ended up finishing 26/122 in my age-group and 264/1093 for overall males. My complete race time was 2:36:40.

That's all for now.

"Your attitude determines your altitude"

Monday, September 05, 2005

Tour Des Gaps

Well I survived the Tour Des Gaps in Mt Airy. It was advertised as over 10,000 ft of climbing, and it was all that and a bag of chips! The ride was definitely beautiful w/ some of the most gorgeous scenery I've experienced since living in NC. I think I'd like to make this an annual event for me.

The ride started fairly mellow, w/ the pack being led out of town by local police. The front pack stayed fairly cohesive until the beginning of the first gap. Gap is the name given to some of the roads that lead up these incredible climbs to the tops of ridges in the Blue mountain region of northern NC / southern VA. I took a brief stop before the first gap (too much coffee during the drive up from Durham) and then the first gap was underway. I quickly realized that I didn't have the correct gearing in that I have an 11-23 on the back and 53-39 on the front. This made it impossible to spin up the climbs. The first gap went okay, since my legs were fresh and the scenery took my mind off of the struggle.

The 2nd gap was the most difficult, the climb was extreme (not using this term lightly either). I was climbing and my speed was like 5 mph. Good thing for the cloud cover and moderate temps. I made it too the top. That was so hard. I kept trying to avoid looking up at the road and just looked down at my calves bulging w/ each stroke. Oh man what a climb, then some sport bikes flew by us and the fumes were not pleasant. Coming back down the gaps was an adventure as well. I'm sure I'll need to replace my brake pads, because I pretty much rode the brakes on the descents.

The 3rd and 4th gaps were not as hard as the 2nd. However, the 4th was so hard due to having 60 miles of climbing under my belt. I literally had my lips quivering because of the effort I was putting out during the climb. Also I was kind of slobbering at the mouth and I had snot coming out my nose. I know it was gross, but it was just so hard. I've never come close to doing something so hard, including marathons and my HIM.

Well I finally made it to the finish 82 miles later. I think my time was like 5:30 or something. I did a short 13 min post-ride run and enjoyed the post-ride fare. They had Subway sandwiches, fruit, chips, drinks. It was really first class w/ the food. Also the rest stops were awesome and I felt really good vibes from all the riders and volunteers.

Today I'm totally wiped. I feel so lazy. I need to get my behind in gear and start some housework or something. No working out today (well maybe a very very easy recovery ride) but nothing else.

"Your Attitude Determines Your Altitude"

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Easy Training Day

Didn't do much today. Went to visit w/ the inmates at Durham Co Detention Facility in the morning. I always feel pretty good when I do that volunteer work. Its really good that my church and some of the other churches send folks out to minister to the people that are in jail. I am reminded when Jesus said, "As you treat the least of these, so you treat me" (my paraphrase, I don't know the exact biblical quote).

Left the jail and went for my swim workout. Did 2950 yds today. I felt pretty good. I'm still very slow but I feel like I'm making improvement. Between following the workouts and my weekly sessions w/ my swim coach, I'm hoping for a good swim at IMAZ.

Tinkered w/ my rear derailleur this afternoon. Trying to tweak the shifting so its smoother. I hope I didn't screw anything up though. I'm not much of a bike mechanic and I'm doing the 82 mile "Tour Des Gaps" in Mt Airy tomorrow morning. This is my first year doing this ride. Its supposedly over 10,000 feet of climbing. I'll be giving my Seven Axiom a real test.


"Your Attitude Determines Your Altitude"

Friday, September 02, 2005

White Lake Half-Ironman Race Report

My White Lake Half-Ironman Race Report

This is my first year at Triathlon and it was my first HIM race. I've done two sprints previously (MAP & Azalea). I was really nervous before the start. I tried to ride for a few minutes just to calm down and loosen up, but it was cold in the morning and I seemed to get even more nervous as race time approached. I probably got in and out of my car 20 times setting up. My wife Lisa was trying to get a little rest and I was probably driving her nuts. Anyhow I eventually got my transition area setup, Lisa and I said a little prayer, and it was off to the cold waters of White Lake.

When I first got in the water. I was shivering, I don't know if it was from nerves or the temps, but I swam for a couple of minutes to warm up and was still shivering. I saw other people shivering so that gave me some comfort that it wasn't just me. Finally we started and I was off and going. I started in the back and basically relied on seeing other swimmers for sighting. I got bumped a couple of times especially near the buoys, but nothing too bad. I did get off course once inside the buoys but a lady on a kayak got me going back in the right direction. I told her thanks and kept stroking. Overall I felt the swim went pretty good. I took it easy and had good energy afterward. The crowds at the swim exit were awesome. Lisa and the people around her were cheering for me and yelling out "Go Robert". That really pumped me up and brought a silly looking grin on my face. My swim time was 47:43 (392/466). Which was a big improvement for me. To put things in prospective, I swam 500 yds in 12:16 at MAP (BTW which was 35/37 in my AG). After MAP, Dave gave me a couple of lessons which helped me a bunch. Last summer when I started swimming, I couldn't complete one lap.

T1 went okay. I brought a 5 gallon paint bucket and sat on it to pull off my wetsuit. That part went fairly smoothly. Getting on my race jersey was another story. I was wet and it kept getting twisted up trying to pull it down over my neck. I think next time I use a wetsuit, I'm going to wear my jersey underneath. I finally got it on grabbed the bike and was off. T1 was 4:24
At the start of the bike, my toes were cold and a little numb, but that was okay, nothing too bad. I took it real easy early on the bike. I had no problems staying steady-state on the bike since we had a tailwind and nice roads for the first half of the course. I watched my HRM frequently and kept my HR around 130. At about mile 20, I started to pick it up and got the HR up to around 133-137. Then as the race progressed we left the tailwind and nice roads and ended up on rough roads w/ headwinds. I really concentrated on my HR then and kept it around 140. I passed a bunch a people during the bike. With being a slower swimmer, I had a lot of folks in front of me. But one good thing about being a slow swimmer is passing people on the bike, I got a nice little energy boost each time I passed someone. For nutrition, I used Sustained Energy and Hammer Gel from a gel flask. I didn't have any stomach issues at all (thanks Bobby for that suggestion). I started w/ 2 full bottles and ended up w/ probably 1/2 of a bottle at the finish. My bike split was 2:43:38 (158). Doing that Good Friday century and the 90 miler a few weeks ago with Adam paid off. I felt I had quite a bit of energy after the bike.

Got into T2 and felt like that went really fast. I found my rack really easily and got my running gear on. Danny gave me advice to learn the T.A. before the race. This helped a lot w/ finding my spot and getting in and out smoothly. As I was leaving T2 I stopped and got a kiss from Lisa and was on my way. T2 was 1:35.

I followed a pacing plan I found on the Internet which says basically to approach the run as 4x5K. The first 5K should be easy, the second and third 5K's should progress in intensity gradually and the final 5K go all out. I took it easy for the first 5K and kept my HR right around 130. I had a few people passing me early on, but I kept my cool and stayed focused on keeping a low HR. For nutrition I kept taking little Hammergel shots from my gel flask and following it up w/ water. I also got some advice about not mixing Cytomax w/ my gel and stuck w/ water only. That was good advice, because I didn't have any stomach duress. For the 2nd and 3rd 5K's I let my HR creep up gradually to 140. I started passing some folks at this point. For the last 5K, I basically went all out and didn't worry much about an elevated HR. I passed some more folks along the way and finished strong w/ a good pace at the end. As the race was getting to the end, it almost felt spiritual/emotional and I threw my fists up as I crossed the finish line. My run split was 1:49:34 (151).

I finished w/ an overall time of 5:26:52 (192). It was great seeing the other folks in the team FF gear. I feed on that for energy, especially during the run. Now I think I got the tri bug. I haven't committed to a full IM yet, but IMAZ would be a pretty cool race, especially since that's Lisa's hometown and she has bunch of family there.

That's all folks,
"Your Attitude Determines Your Altitude"

First Time Ever Blogging

Well this is my first time ever blogging. It'll be great to look back and read my random thoughts as I prepare to hopefully complete Ironman Arizona in April 2006.

Random thoughts
(1) My wife, Lisa, doesn't seem to keen on this IMAZ thing. I guess I spend too much time talking about it and this likely makes her feel like our relationship is low on the priority scale. I've got to work to help be a better husband and see to her emotional needs and balance that w/ training.
(2) Heading out to Los Angeles this Thursday to compete in the LA Tri. The trip is kinda expensive, but since I'm from LA, it'll be a chance for my Dad to see me race. He's almost as pumped up as I am. I love my Dad, in many respects he's my best friend.
(3) Triathlon sure is expensive. Did I already say that?
(4) I currently suck at swimming. But I'm committed to swimming ~10K yards/week. I'm working w/ a great coach weekly. So I've got some confidence that I'm going to get better. My best sprint (750m) swim was 19:26 at Lake Norman YMCA Tri here in NC.
(5) NC is a really beautiful place. Specifically Durham as well. There's really good diversity, the weather is pretty good, we have good resturants (Cosmic Cantina - best burros!), people are friendly, traffic isn't too bad, and I only have to go like 6 miles and I'm out on country roads w/ little traffic and no lights. I forgot Duke Forest is one of the best places to run ever.
(6) I feel lucky to be a member of Carolina Godiva Track Club and Fleet Feet Tri Team. The endurance athletics community here is good.

That's all for now. We'll see how this blogging thing goes.

"Your Attitude Determines Your Altitude"