Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Run at the Rock + Other Stuff

I haven't checked in a while. Here's what I've been up to.

I did a 14 mile race weekend before last called Run at the Rock. It was a 14 mile trail run that was very challenging for me. We had a bunch of rain during the week leading up to the race and the mud was incredible. All in all though, I did have fun. I saw a bunch of friends from the running club and it was cool to soak in the good vibes. My time was 2:09 (9:16 pace) and I finished 74/169 overall and 13/21 in my age-group (males 40-44).

Also I did a ~4 hour hike last Saturday in the Uwharrie National Forest. I've got a 20 mile trail race coming up there on 2/3, so I thought it'd be good to get in some recon and hike at least a portion of the trail. It was really beautiful, though cold. It was 18 degrees for the low that morning. It did warm-up to the high 40's, low 50's by the time I finished though. Also the leaves were so dense on the trail that it was completely hidden in many spots. I'm sure glad they did a good job w/ marking the trees w/ blazes, otherwise I might still be out there.

I didn't see one person until I was almost finished w/ the hike. That's like 3.5 hours just by myself. I was a little nervous though, because hunting season is open and I could hear rounds going off in the distance. There's something really spiritual and exhilarating in the solidarity I experienced. I thought of so many things and felt a oneness w/ God and a new appreciation for my life.

Here's some pics on the trail I took w/ my cell phone camera.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Back in the Swing of Things

Wow its been a long time since I've posted. Here's some updates:

1) Lisa and I's vacation to Milan and Paris was great. We saw and experienced so many things. Some of the highlights were:
a) The Louve
b) Versailles Palace (home of Louis XIV and Marie Antoinette)
c) Champs Elysees
d) Running in the 20Km des Paris race
e) Attending a symphony at Teatro alla Scala
f) Hearing great jazz in Europe, Kenny Garrett at the Blue Note - Milan and Branford Marsalis at La Cigale - Paris
g) Really good coffee in Milan (loved that espresso)

2) I'm back in the saddle for working out again. I've re-upped for another year w/ my Ironman coach John Hirsch. We're back in this thing to get ready for IM Wisconsin in Sept '07. I hope I can improve quite a bit and get down to a low 12 hour finishing time.

3) Trail racing. This winter I'm going take my first stab at trail racing. I've been doing some of my long runs on technical trails. Its kinda fun, but I've turned my ankles quite a bit.

4) Still trying to get some pounds down. I'm about 183 now and would like to get down to 175 fairly soon. Tri season will be starting back in a few months so I've got to get back in fighting shape.

5) Equipment note: I've finally found the right saddle for my road bike. The Selle SMP Evolution is great. Now my legs will give out before discomfort takes over. Its kinda expensive at $239, but I got a good deal in the clearance section at my LBS at $143.

Thats all for now.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

European Holiday Coming Up

Getting pretty pumped about heading to Europe for vacation. This will be the first time Lisa and I have ever been to Europe. We're going to Milan and Paris. Should be a sweet trip.

I'm taking my running and swim gear to try and keep up some fitness during the visit. It should be interesting to swim at one of the pools in Milan and Paris and swim laps w/ the locals.

Switching gears...
Had a good telecon w/ Coach J. We're gonna get back in the swing of things after I get back from Europe. I need it too. I still can't control my eating and hence my weight is staying up there.

This time of year is pretty cool to try new/fun things before getting back to SBR training. I'd like to start doing some hikes. Which would be very cool since Lisa could join me. Also I've cleaned up my old mountain bike and I plan to get back on that again.

That's all for now.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Biggie Rob

Man, I'm putting on weight. I used to way 176 before IMAZ; this morning I got on the scale and weighed in a 185. I even did a fast-paced 6 mile walk w/ Lisa. We did have breakfast before I weighed in, but I feel really heavy. Being 5'9", 185 is too much. Now's time to get committed to eating sensibly and healthy. First order of business, eliminate late night ice cream.

That's all for now.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

I'm In IMMoo 2007!

I totally haven't posted in a minute. Well couple of big things in my life lately.

I had inguinal hernia surgery last Wed. Recovery is going good, w/ minimal pain. Saw the doc today for my first post-op visit, he said everything is going good and gave me the green light to start easing back into training.

Also I registered for IMMoo last Mon. The race is known as IMMoo due to the dairy farms on the course. I was lucky to get in since the race sold out in 1 hour. On a triathlon forum I frequent called Slowtwitch. com, many people complained about not being able to register. The ironic thing is I registered using a dial-up connection.

I'm looking forward to working w/ my coach John Hirsch again, and rock this IM thing one more time.

The only bummer is that the race falls on my 9th anniversay, 9/9. All these nines! Lisa's deportment has been kinda cool since I registered. Not only is she my wife, but my best friend too, so that bums me a bit. I love doing IM. It really makes me feel like I'm tackling life and pushing my limits. But I its not worth it for Lisa to feel bad. I've got some praying to do for guidance.

Well that's all for know. The game is back on.


Wednesday, August 09, 2006

What's Going On?

Bro. Marvin sang, "What's Going On?". I haven't posted in awhile and thought I'd put down what's going on w/ me.

1) I somehow have gotten a hernia. Tri season is done for '06. I'm kinda bummed, as I was really feeling my speed pick up after IMAZ. I was stuck on long and slow, but in the last 6 or so weeks my speed was getting good, now this. I guess I'm getting old.

2) I'll likely have the surgery after Lisa and I return from our European vacation. I'm kinda psyched about going, but there'a cloud over my head w/ this hernia deal. Oh well.

3) Chad, a kid I was helping out from church w/ speedwork at the track, met his goal of sub 12 mins for 2 miles at the varsity soccer team tryouts. I'm really proud of him.

4) Its been a hot summer. I'm sweating like crazy during w/o's.

5) I just feel kinda blase lately. I need to snap out of it.


Friday, July 21, 2006

Just Checking In

I haven't posted in awhile. I guess its because I haven't done any races for a couple of weeks. I'm starting to get the itch though for racing. There's a tri in Canton, NC in early Aug that I'm thinking about. Canton is in the western part of the state in the mountains and its really pretty up there. I'll think about it.

Since I'm not racing I'll give some shout outs to my peeps who are. My coach, John Hirsch is racing at Ironman Lake Placid. Dude has been doing some crazy training and is primed for grabbing one of those Kona Pro slots. I don't know how he does it since he's a lawyer AND pro triathlete.

Also a shout out to three guys from my tri team; the mightly Fleet Feet Racing will be rocking the team kit also at IMLP. My man Jay, Fernando, and Jeff. I know they'll be putting in work and coming up w/ excellent race results.

Then a shout out to two athletes I've been helping Charlotte and Chad. Charlotte has the heart of a champion and will show big improvements, and Chad is going out for the high school soccer team so we're building up his speed at the track. Big ups to C & C.

That's pretty much it. Not too much going on for me. I can't seem to discipline myself and get my weight back under 180 lbs. I was around 176 for IMAZ, this morning I was 182.5 on the scale. I've got to stop w/ the late night sherbert (Edy's Swiss Orange, umm).

Its been hot lately. We're rountinely having temps in the mid to upper 90's, especially the last two weeks. Hopefully it'll come down soon. It makes me think about Al Gore's movie, "An Inconvient Truth".

Lastly, the Tour de France has been da bomb! Floyd Landis' performance for stage 17th was epic! I couldn't stop watching and ended up being really late for work. I was at hope yelling and clapping at the TV while he was just blowing up the race.

That's all for know.


Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Triangle Triathlon

I did the Triangle Triathlon last Sun. It was a sprint race, 750m swim, 15 mile bike, and a 5K run. Overall I felt like it was a good race for me. Its kinda funny, but since I placed at the 4th of July race, I hung around thinking I may have placed for this one too. My ego got the best of me, 'cause my time of 1:19 placed me 24th out of 63 athletes in my age-group, which is very far from 1st through 3rd. The third place finisher had a time of 1:10. Oh well.

The swim was a big improvement for me. I swam a 15:50 which as a big improvement from last year when I did this same race in 21:35. The bike and run were really similar to last year w/ slight improvements. I had a 39:49 bike and 21:18 run. Last year my overall time was 1:26. I really need to lose some lbs, which will improve my run and bike results significantly, I think.

All in all it was a good race. Who knows, as I get older and hopefully more fit, and less heavy I may place at one of these thing.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Happy Fourth of July

Oh man, I couldn't believe it. I ran a 4 mile race, "Four on the Fourth", here in Carborro and took second for my age-group. My time was 28:38, which was good for 56th overall (336 entered). I've never placed in a road race before. I felt pretty good for the race, but I didn't treat it as anything too special. Dang, I didn't hang around for the awards ceremony. I probably could've picked up a pair of socks or something.

Now if I can just lose 10 lbs. Who knows what is possible!

Next up is the Triangle Sprint Tri this Sunday.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Blood Sweat and Gears

I love the name of this race, BSG. I did the BSG ride last Saturday. Oh that was a tough one. So many hills/mountains. It took place in the western part of the state in the mountain communities of Watuagua County. One of the big landmarks there is Applachian State University (the other ASU, since me and Lisa are totally partial to the real ASU - Arizona State).

We took off w/ the threat of scattered thunderstorms, but the good Lord was good to us and the rain held off until the event was over. There were 672 riders doing the full century (100 miles) and another 335 doing the 50 miler. The ride was billed as 13,000 feet of climbing and also as one of the spots Lance Armstrong used to train in. The race is so popular that it sold out.

At first I felt sluggish then about 10 miles into it I starting getting a little zip to my legs. It was probably that first early climb that woke me up. The initial climbs went good and I just soaked in the awesome scenery of the mountain ranges. Man its really pretty up in the western part of the state.

Throughout the ride I hung on w/ different groups of riders and also spent some considerable time solo. The most streneous part of the ride was a climb called "Snake Mountain". The grade was advertised as 18-20% in the steepest section. I did see a number of riders stop and walk their bikes up this section. I managed somehow to keep the cranks turning and made it to the top w/o stopping.

All in all it was a good day. I finished w/ a time of 6 hours 41 minutes. That put in 369th out of 672 riders for the 102 mile ride. I'm not sure if I'll do this again next year. My weight picked up a bit after IMAZ; I'm now at 182 lbs. Before IMAZ I got down to 176lbs. Although its not a lot of weight gain, I feel it, especially on hilly rides.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

3 Mountain Madness

June 3rd I did the 3 Mountain Madness bike ride up at Pilot Mountain, NC. That was one tough ride. I did the 75 mile version, however there was a 95 mile version as well. The ride consisted of 3 climbs interspersed w/ a bunch of rollers in between. The total elevation climbing was billed as 9280 feet.

The first climb was up Sauratown Mountain. The GPS topo map showed that this climb was ~1500 feet. I had a 12-27 cassette installed on my bike and I stayed in that 27 tooth cog for the complete climb. I had good energy and the weather was ideal so this climb went pretty good.

The 2nd climb was up to Hanging Rock park. This was the easiest of the climbs. I got through this one w/o much problems. It came up at about mile 30 and I was still feeling kinda fresh. I saw my buddy Dave passing me on the way up and he told me that the last climb was more difficult.

I hung on w/ a group of riders that I believe were from Greensboro. There was this one lady that was kinda funny. I had my Ofoto jersey on, and see would keep shouting out "Ofoto" when I'd push the pace a bit on the climbs. I got to the point of looking forward to her shouts and pulling that good energy from here enthusing.

The test. The Pilot Mountain climb. This climb was tough, tough, tough. It came up about mile 62. At this point I'm a bit spent and I still have this climb in front of me. Obviously I dropped down into the 27 and started spinning up the mountain. At first it was good, but quickly I started fading. About 3/4 of the way up, I was reaching the breaking point where I seriously considered stopping, the only problem was how would I start back? I eventually made it up to the top. It started getting pretty warm, so I unzipped my jersey for the climb. I felt like those guys on the Tour with there jerseys flying open for the climb.

All in all it was a great ride and day. I enjoyed myself and I'm looking for the next mountain adventure, "Blood, Sweat, and Gears" this Saturday in Valle Crusis, NC.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Golfer's Holiday

"and pay Moody Jr. 85 cents"

I had a blast last week in Los Angeles playing golf w/ my Dad. His buddy Mr. Cunnigan puts on an annual golf tournament in conjunction w/ their family reunion. We had almost 30 golfers and it was a ton of fun.

My dad played all three rounds and did really well. I'm so proud of my Dad. He's 78 and plays 3 times a week. He plays a good round of golf is really healthy and a lot of fun to hang out with. I joke w/ him that he's going to shoot is age one of these days.

We had so much fun cracking jokes and eating good food at Hometown Buffet. (You got to be careful though at HTB, because that food can easily make you overdo it). My Dad is also really fortunate to have his golfing buddies. They have a special bond and all have fun together. I hope when I get up there in age, I'll have something like that to look forward to.

We played 3 days of golf and the last day was the best for me. There's a number of bets that go on. Greenies (getting on in regulation and making a par or better). Also there's a skins game that goes on. The greenies pay 10 cents and the skins pay 25 cents. I had 1 skin and 6 greenies.

The funniest part of the tournament is at the end of each round when we pay out the bets. Everybody jokes and has a good time. You feel like you've won a $1000 even when you get 25 cents.

All in all it was great fun. Oh I almost forgot. To let you know how much fun it is when the bets are paid, I almost missed my flight. I had a 3:10 flight and left the golf course at 2:25 into LAX. It was close but I made it.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

15 Minutes per Mile

15 mins/mile is the pace I tried to hold w/ my wife during a walking workout today. We went to Duke and did the Al Buehler trail. The AB trail is really beautiful. Its about 3 miles long and goes up and down, up and down, up.... As one can guess its one hilly course.

We finished in 43:03. She dropped me on the last hill. That was kinda humbling since I just did an IM. I've got a whole new level of respect for walking workouts. Since I'm on some down time from workouts, it has been great hanging out w/ the missus and participating w/ her excersing.

Peace, Rob

Friday, May 12, 2006

White Lake Half

Did the White Lake Half last Sat. The race went pretty good. I improved my finishing time from last year's 5:26 to this year at 5:18. I feel really good about this considering I had just did IM Arizona ~1 month prior to WL.

I left the house about 3:45AM and drove to the race. Its about a 2 hour drive that wasn't bad at all. I was pumping the tunes and getting in the zone. One good thing about driving in the early morning is that there are hardly no commericials. I got 50 Cent, "Best Friend" stuck in my head.

The swim went really good. I sighted often and stay pretty much on course. One of our tri team coaches said that sighting is really important and man that was really true. I finished w/ a 40' swim. That was an improvement from last years 47'.

The bike was a blast. I had some good energy for the ride. I passed a bunch of people and stayed strong. The last 20 miles of the ride were into a headwind and also you had to ride over a bunch of road sealing. That part was tough. Those road seals definitely added some discomfort. Last years time was 2:43 and I improved this year w/ a ride of 2:40.

My run was slower than last year's 1:49. I ran a 1:52 this year. My coach told me the run is the last thing to recover after IM, so he wasn't too suprised I slowed down on the run. Overall I felt it was a good race. But now I'm taking some meaningful downtime. 2 weeks w/ no workouts and an additional two weeks w/ unstructured workouts. Nothing hard or long. Thats all for now.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

More Random Thoughts

I haven't posted in awhile. I thought I'd drop a few random thoughts out there:

1) Allergy season sucks in NC. My throat, skin, eyes, you name it has been itchy a lot lately. It should die down shortly though.

2) I'm really blessed w/ my job. I have a totally cool boss and the work isn't stressful. I do failure analysis, so I don't have to worry about meeting a bunch of quotas and things. I've really got it good.

3) I think I made a mistake signing up White Lake 1/2 Ironman. The race is only 4 weeks from IM Arizona. What was I thinking!

4) I go to a pretty cool church. I get a lot of gratitude for my life when I participate w/ the jail ministry. God has blessed me that I'm not behind bars. Who knows if my life went a little different, I could be in prison instead of doing triathlons.

5) I've got to get more rest. Stop drinking caffienated drinks in the evenings. Also I get the serious munchies at night. I'm afraid I'm going to put on a bunch of weight and lose the fitness I worked so hard for when training for IMAZ.

Thats all for know.


Sunday, April 16, 2006

Ironman Arizona Pics

"You Are an Ironman"

Wow its finally over. Here's the race report I wrote. I'll post a bunch of pic too in a separate post.

One of me and my wife’s favorite groups is Maze featuring Frankie Beverly. They’ve got a song called “Joy and Pain”. Joy and Pain is what this Ironman deal was really about for me. Here’s my race report, enjoy.

Coach J took me on this journey of becoming an Ironman. Some of those workouts seemed nuts (120 miles + run for 30 minutes). But in the end, he knew exactly what it takes to get through those 112 miles and still have legs to run a marathon. Bro, I couldn’t have done it w/o your guidance. Big ups to you Coach J.

It’s a good feeling to train for 7 months and then experience the joys and pains, highs and lows of doing this deal. Now I’ve joined the ranks of the folks that have finished an Ironman.

I chose IMAZ since I used to live in the Phoenix area for 10 years and my wife, Lisa was born and raised in Phoenix. It worked out good since I knew the course and it was easy to have friends and family come out for a cheering section. I did have to make some obligatory visits to friends and family before the race, but in retrospect it was a small price to pay in time/energy when I had a bunch of folks pumping me up during the race that gave me back so much more energy.

Pre race
One of the members, Bill from my tri team, Fleet Feet Carrboro also did the race and it was very cool to have him to hang out w/ for the pre-race stuff. One thing about this IM deal is that the race is just one part of the whole experience. There’s all kinds of stuff going on (IM village, registration, bag check, swim practice, pre-race dinner and on and on) so it was definitely good to hang out w/ Bill and meet his lovely wife Melissa while trying to navigate through all of the activities. Also I blew up his mobile a million times asking questions and wondering if I packed this bag and that bag w/ the right stuff.

One thing that also happened is I felt like I had one minor mishap after another leading up to race day. During the Thursday swim practice I stepped on some rocks going into the lake and bruised my heel to the extent that I had some small dark discoloration and could feel pain in the heel w/ each step for the remainder of the day. I also cut the skin underneath one of my toes during that episode. Then the next day, I do another pre-race swim w/ Bill and after that we go for the ART massages (Active Release Therapy) that were free at the IM village. This one dude that works on me asks me what is wrong, so I tell him there a little bit of soreness in my left shoulder. He gets to digging down in my shoulder muscle and doing all kinds of hard pressure applications and I’m feeling some sharp pains while he’s doing this, but I figure it’s cool my man knows what he’s doing. The next day (Friday) I can’t even turn the steering wheel on my car w/o having pains. Then to top it off, I bit my tongue good enough to cause some bleeding and swelling at the pre-race dinner. Luckily everything was minor and I felt fine on race morning.

I attended the Ironprayer service Friday before the pre-race dinner. Heather Gollnick was one of the speakers. She was pretty inspirational. I got to take a picture w/ her which was very cool. I also met a 68 year old lady named Elizabeth Johnson. Her IM story was chronicled in the book, “Becoming an Ironman”. She’s done like 20+ IM’s. What a lady!

Race morning I got up and had oatmeal w/ peanut butter, pecans, pancake syrup and a banana. I went cold turkey on coffee 2 weeks prior to the race (well I did cheat twice) and had a good cup of joe on the way to the race. I couldn’t find Bill, there were so many people, but I did find a couple of my best friends from when I lived in Phoenix 10 minutes before the start. It was so cool, the 3 of us said a prayer right there by the swim start and I then was really to jump in Tempe Town Lake.

The swim
Since it’s a deep water start I was worried about using up energy treading water before the start, but Bill gave me a good tip about leaning back and just bobbing. This worked out good and then the cannon went off for the start. Someone gave me a good blow to my lip just as we were starting but nothing too serious. There was some bumping, getting kicked, and getting grabbed a good bit for the first 10-20 minutes after that it settled down until we came to the turn buoy. The course is basically and out and back, so the one turn at the out portion got congested and the contact was on again. I estimated I would be really happy w/ a 1:30 swim and I ended up w/ a 1:24. I was really happy w/ that 1:24. One thing funny about the swim, this is where I had my greatest anxiety, but it turned out, by a whole lot to be the easiest part of the day.

The bike
Coach J and I talked about a bike plan for the race. My strategy was to break the race into 4 parts of about 30 miles each and stay in Zone 1 for the first part and then increasing my HR through the other parts. The strategy was pretty easy to implement since it was a 3 loop course. I did manage to keep my HR down pretty good for the first part. It was tough to watch other passing me, but I kept it easy. There was this one dude that was 75 and passed me early on. He called out my name (they put your name on your bib numbers) as he passed and I thought to myself, dang I can’t let a 75 year old man beat me on the bike. I finally caught him after a bit, and he told me, “hey Robert, I thought I dropped you”. I saw him again on the run and he gave me some positive vibrations. For the next two sections, I picked it up and started passing a good number of riders. That felt like the bomb. I was staying aero had good energy and rolling.

The course is a 3 loop deal where you come back to the crowds and you get the feeling like you’re a rock star or something w/ all the cheering. I would see my wife, Lisa and some of our friends and I definitely got a boost from them. Big ups to Lisa for spending so much time out in that 90 degree sun and cheering for me. She made a huge difference.

Everything went pretty good until about mile 90 when it was getting increasingly hot and windy. My plan was to go all liquids on the bike. I mixed up 2 bottles of Sustained Energy and chased it w/ water. I also used Endurolytes every hour or so. This was all good until I ran out of nutrition w/ about 10 miles to go on the bike. During training rides the last 10 miles usually isn’t too bad, but during the IM, I wanted to try and keep my HR up and finish the bike strong. I did knock down a couple of Gu’s during last part of the ride.

The last 10-15 miles was weird, because I couldn’t seem to get my HR up. I would try and pedal harder, but my legs weren’t having it. I did manage to finish w/ a 6:15 bike split. I was hoping to be over an 18 mph average, but I take that split anytime. Especially in those hot and windy conditions.

The run
I think it was like 90 degrees or something that day, maybe even a little hotter and I suffered big time for the marathon. I wanted to run at least to the aid stations, but for like the first 5-6 miles I had to run for 3-4 minutes then walk. I repeated this and was averaging a 12-13 min/mile paces. The sun and heat just beat up on me. My mind was playing tricks on me and giving me all kinds of weird thoughts like I could jump off this bridge into the lake, or having my wife pick me up and put a stop to this suffering.

I drank at every aid station, but it was weird, I kept spitting back up liquids. This happened for the whole run. I’d take a Gu, Coke, water, Gatorade or whatever and then spit up some of it for the first minute or two as I left the aid stations. Its like my stomach was rejecting fluids. I also felt pretty bloated which was also weird. Then I had the cotton-mouth big time. I just couldn’t generate any saliva. The last weird thing was my left arm started going numb during like the last 10k of the race. I was getting worried that I might be having some cardiac issues, especially since I take medication for hypertension and I’ve had some episodes of atrial fibrillation in the past.

The last 10 miles I really prayed to God for strength to be able to finish and got my pace down to 10-11 minute miles. I thought I’d never say I’d was happy to run sub 11 min miles, but believe me it felt real good when I looked at my watch at a milepost and it was under 11 minutes. I joked w/ my buddy after the race that I don’t think there’s too many atheists during the run on an Ironman. It was such an amazing feeling to be coming down that last half mile, hearing the crowds/music/the announcer. Then as I got closer to the finish, I could see the big jumbotron and knew I was about to become an Ironman.

Post race
I finished the marathon w/ a 4:59 time. Its weird to say, but that 4:59 felt more gratifying than a sub 4 hr standalone marathon. My total time was 12:53, which I feel real good about. Looking back over the results, the race started w/ 1943 athletes and 1724 finished. That’s like an 11% DNF rate.

A bunch of Lisa’s relatives and my best friend came out and met me at the finish. I was on a high and had a blast hanging out w/ them. Some of our relatives are struggling w/ overweight issues, so hopefully I was able to inspire them to take better care of themselves. I also went to Med tent and the doc told me that I likely had inflammation on the “funny bone” nerve in my elbow. This is somewhat common and is a result of positioning on the aerobars that caused the numbness in my arm..

I’m not sure if I’ll attempt one of these again. Bill is talking about IM CdA for ’07. By the time registration opens, maybe I’ll be fired up for another one.

For me it was a day of nervousness, fun, faith, more faith, joy, despair, strength, self-doubt, but mostly a day where I felt a deep sense of satisfaction knowing I set my sights on goal that was unbelievable a couple of years ago and wound up finishing an Ironman.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

The Last Weekend

The bib numbers are out. I'm number 634. The race will be tracked on http://www.ironmanlive.com. Wow its official now.

Its also all in the books now. All the training is done. This weekend I did my last long workouts. Now its just rest up and let the body recover from the training and feel fresh on race day. I feel some pre-race jitters, but I've got to just trust my training.

Here's my totals for 2006:

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Taper Time

Made it through all the base training and now I've arrived at the taper. My last long ride was 100 miles + 45 min run. I went out to Sanford. Now I get to taper. This is where the workouts all decrease in volume to let my body get rested up for the big day.

I went swimming this morning for 3500 yds. I still felt a little sluggish. I'm guessing thats coming from the effects of my long weeks before. I'm hoping that I'll get that "bouncy" feeling by later this week.

Not too much less going on. I'm trying to watch what I eat, so that I don't ballon up now that my training is decreasing. I'm making a conscious decision to minimize refined sugar. I was/am a sugar junkie, so this should help keep the calories down. Also I've decided to give up coffee for this last two weeks before IM. My coach tells me that when I have coffee the morning of the race it'll give me that good jolt.

Thats all for now.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


What the heck is EIA? This stands for Exercise Induced Anaphylaxis. Its a condition where I get a severe allergy attacked only from running and typically only in the spring/summer months. Tuesday before last, I had an attack after running at Duke University. My eye started itching, and by the time I got home it was swelling up pretty bad. See the pics.

The allergist gave me a Rx for an EpiPen. I have an old one that I keep in the car. I hope to God I never have to use it. I guess if the allergy gets so bad that my airways start swelling up I could suffocate. I hope I'm not being stupid, but I never carry it on bike rides or runs. It just stays in my glove compartment.

I was just thinking about this.


Tuesday, March 14, 2006

MAP Triathlon

Well I got in my first race of the season, the MAP (Metrolina Aids Program) Tri. It was held down in Huntersville. The race went pretty good. I ended up 17th out of 42 in the my age-group. As always swimming was my weakest leg. Also I thought I'd do better on the bike and run, but my energy level was somewhat low. I think all of the IM training is really breaking me down, but I've got the taper coming up and it'll be all good. I can't wait.

But I digress, back to the MAP Tri. Its great to go out to the races and be part of my tri team, Fleet Feet Sports, Carborro. There just aren't too many black folks at these events and I can feel a little alienated. It helps a lot that I'm part of a team and when I show up, so I have folks to hang with and get that good encouragement. Don't get me wrong, the folks at the events I don't know also give off great vibes. I think its just my self-consciousness or something like that. Its almost like I feel out of place. I did see two other Black athletes. One guy and one girl. The brotha gave me a shout out when we passed each other on the course. Of course I gave him big ups too. That reminds me, during White Lake 1/2 IM last year, there were 3 Black athletes and one dude told me "represent" when we passed each other. I was feeling strong that race and he pumped me up even more. I passed off some good encouragement to him too.

It feels like this is turning into a race relations thread, but hey thats what I consider blogs for; an opportunity to record my thoughts. Since I'm on this race thing, I've got to admit that I'm also really blessed to live here in NC. This place feels really liberal in terms of race, even though its a strong red state. I mean the confederate flag is somewhat ubquituous, you can even order it on the license plates for your car. But I feel really accepted, w/ no "feelings" like I'm treated less than. Its my opinion that race relations are better here than in other places I've lived. Like in Phoenix when I lived there a policeman stopped me because he "claimed" people are pulling the registration stickers off of cars and putting them on their vehicles. What a fucking joke! That has got to be the lamest Driving While Black profiling stop excuse. I'd respect the officer if he just said I don't like how you look so I stopped you to run your license for warrants or something. Whats funny is that when I lived in Phoenix, I was a member of a predominately Black golf club and played in a group w/ the Phoenix Police Chief, Harold Hurtt. Hell we even rode in the same cart. Then I got another DWB stop in Beverly Hills. The cop asked me where I was going and basically what was I doing there. Both times I didn't get a ticket or nothing, they just wanted to check me out.

Now out here on the other hand, my first month in NC, Lisa and I were driving to the NC BBQ festival and I was speeding, pretty bad too. I got pulled over by a state police and all the southern law enforcement stereotypes ran through my head. I was even thinking I could turn up missing or something. We had a Mercedes at the time and it still had the CA plates. I probably looked a little thuggish w/ my baseball cap too. Hell I might've admitted to myself I fit the profile of an out of state drug runner. The officer stopped me and instructed me to get out of the car. Damn I was really scared then. He has me sit in the cruiser w/ him in the front seat and runs my license (I think this may be fairly standard procedure). He checked me out was real polite and give me a warning. Man that was pretty cool. Don't believe the hype about the dirty south down here, its an awesome place to live.

I am happy to say that for those two fucking incidents, I've got thousands and thousands of good relationships w/ white folks. My tri team is a good example. I'm the only Black person (I think I'm the only non-white too) and everyone treats me like a long-time friend w/o any condescending attitude. I mean if I can't keep up w/ a group ride training session, my ass gets dropped like anyone else. I can't say enough good things about them. Man I feel lucky to know these guys.

Okay I've really went down a different path than I intended let me wrap up. Here's some pics from the race and my results.

I did a 112 mile ride to the VA state line the next day. What a weekend!