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!


Saturday, March 04, 2006

120 Mile Bike

Man oh man, I did a 120 miler w/ a 3 mile brick run today. My legs are pretty trashed now. My coach's plan called for alternating 20 mile base pace w/ 20 mile IM pace.

The training went pretty good. It was cold in the morning 28F then warmed to low 50's. I had pretty good energy for the complete ride. But wow when I started the brick run, the first 15 minutes I kept feeling like I was going to stumble over. I'm having a hard time wrapping my mind around running a marathon after cycling for 112. But hey the words easy and Ironman just don't go together.

Well thats all for now.


Friday, March 03, 2006

LA Tri Pics

I know it was last year, but here are some pics taken by my Dad's girlfriend at the LA Triathlon.

This one is of me stretching those lats, getting ready to swim in the Pacific Ocean. Go Sun Devils!

This is me and Dad at the Bike Transistion.

Here's Dad's girlfriend Mary Kay. This picture makes it look like she's part of the Med crew:

I like this pic. It looks like Dad is giving me some last minute coaching tips before heading off to the transistion area.

Finally out of the ocean and heading to the Bike transistion.

Made it to the Finish! Me and Dad probably a few minutes after the race. Man I'm beat, but it was a lot of fun.

Umstead Park Run

Been a minute since I posted.

Yesterday, I got in another 2:30 run. I did it in Umstead park. Man that is a beautiful place to run. Great hills (though manageable), solitude, peace, awesome running surface (my knees appreciate that), just a good place. I skipped out of work early and started at ~4:15, finishing a little before 7. Twilight was turning to darkness and the experience was a little surreal. I'm really blessed to live here and have these nice running places (Duke Forest, Umstead) so close.

Today will be an off day. Finally I got a decent forecast for tomorrows long bike. Its supposed to be a high of 55. The low is 28, so it'll be cold heading out, but I've gotten pretty good w/ the layering thing. My coach has me doing 120 miles, w/ some IM pacing intervals thrown in; 5k brick run afterwards. We'll see how it goes. At least now I don't have to ride the Friday after my long run, due to heavy rain forecasts on the last 2 Sats my long bike was scheduled.

Well thats enough for now.

Peace, Rob