Friday, December 21, 2007

Friday, December 07, 2007

5 Things About Myself

Its Friday, work is winding down so how 'bout 5 things Rob:

1) I actually enjoyed swimming last night's 3K workout during master's practice. To top it off there were a bunch of drills. I took a week off after my November challenge of 75K yards (um-um later revised down to a much more realistic 50K). I ended up w/ 52K. I felt really good in the water. I'm still the slowest one there, but I'm optimistic for improvement.
2) My Dad is one of my heroes. Dude is pretty cool. He turns 80 this coming April, and isn't slowing down a bit. He golfs w/ his partners 2x/week and they get at it. He usually always scores in the mid 80's to mid 90's. Plus he's a helluva dresser. He'll pimp out a brim and a suit and show up real fly. Him and his girlfriend vacationed in Spain last Sept, and they went to Austrialia/New Zealand the year before. He's looking at going to Africa next year. Then he really has a good heart and cares for people. I hope I'm doing that good at 79.

3) As you can guess, I enjoy working out. Especially w/ a big goal like Ironman to motivate me. I've been running for a bunch of years. I was one of those one marathon a year types and then did smaller races throughout the year. I got into this triathlon Ironman thing a few years ago, and I'm feeling it. I've got to give a shout out to my kick-ass coach John Hirsch for helping get to an 11:45 IM Wisconsin (I'm still on a cloud about that race). Plus dude lives in Harlem World, so he gets extra props.

4) I'm one of those athletes that typically finishes in the top 25-30% of most of the races I enter. At IM Wisconsin I was 494/2209 (22%) overall and 81/346 (23%) in my age-group. Every now and then at a small race I'll place in my age-group. Its only happened a couple of times in a road race and once in a tri, but I'm hoping for a couple more this coming season. I move up to a new age-group, males 45-49 so the competition will hopefully be a little bit more on my level.

5) And the best for last, I'm married to a super support crew, Lisa. Much props to you. It really goes w/o saying, but I couldn't have done all this Ironman stuff w/o that support. This thing costs! Some of those funds I know that could've been used for us (another vacation, fixing the master bathroom, I could go on...) went to selfish tri stuff (my Calfee tri bike, my new DeSoto wetsuit, my Seven road bike - which got pimped out w/ new Dura Ace 10 spd components, my fixed gear conversion project, and so on...) to support this mid-life adventure I've been on.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Makes Me Wanna Holler

"Make me wanna holler,
The way they do my life,
This ain't livin',
This ain't livin'

No, no baby, this ain't livin'

Inner City Blues (Makes Me Wanna Holler), Marvin Gaye

I don't know if its because its Monday, or just so much is going on in the news these days, or maybe I was thinking about Sean Taylor's death, but I was thinking about this song for a minute this morning. Bro. Marvin was so talented and insightful. This song of his was on my mind.

I swim at one of the local community centers here in Durham. The price is right, its only $2 for swimming, they have 8 lanes, and its convenient because its so close to home. I only have to drive, maybe 5 minutes to get there. The staff is real friendly. There's a bunch of programs for youth, seniors, and sometimes its fun to watch the fellas get down on the ball court. And to top it off the best master's swim team, Durham Area Master's Association (DAMA) has their practices there (I'm a member, so I'll confess I'm biased).

While 99.9% of the time its all good, there are some times when it "Makes Me Wanna Holler". A week ago, last Monday night to be exact, a gentleman was an armed robbery victim in the parking lot. This happened, like 5 minutes, before I was heading to the parking lot myself after swimming. Two punk-ass thugs stuck a pistol in his back and took his money.

Then about 2 weeks ago, one of the team members' had his locker broken into while he was swimming and another punk-ass went through the parking lot and stole his car. Again, makes me wanna holler.

I like the pool I go to. Its in a struggling community, but its a community where the folks care and take pride in their neighborhood. Its a place where seniors, youth, ballers and come and add to the quality of their life. They keep the prices more than reasonable, hell you can even use the weight-room for free. I think hoops is free too, and its a nice indoor court.

But, this predatory element of society is taking away the peace and joy that the place brings. I know when I was a kid, I did some stupid stuff, but to stick a pistol in somebody's back. Ah come on. I bet the dude didn't even have $20 in his wallet. Hell I rarely carry more than $20 myself.

I'm just thinking back to Jay Chapman, who I grew up with. Who lived around the corner. We used to ride our BMX bikes together, and play ball all-day long. Sometimes all the fellas in the neighborhood would go on long rides. I remember riding to the airport once, when we were kids and it was over 10 miles one way, on BMX bikes. A while back Jay was shot to death like 3 blocks from our neighborhood. I still don't even know why somebody killed him. I think it was over an argument.

Then I think about my cousin Nate, who did 9 years of a 12 year bid on a 2nd degree murder charge. Nate grew up in the projects and just fell out of the family. I used to go by and see him, infrequently, but he just got further and further out of the mainstream. The Grape Street Watts Crips, became his family. But where was GSWC when he got released? He ended up living w/ me and Lisa for a minute (which was not a smart thing to do, I must say). Sadly Nate died a couple years ago, from an overdose.

I know there's systemic things that hold back poor black people. I mean the days are pretty much over when you could come out of high school and get a good factory job. Those jobs are pretty much all dried up w/ outsourcing to China, India, and everywhere else. I know it can be discouraging, but black folk can't keep going around robbing and killing each other. I know its tough these days, but my moms grew up in a foster home, cause my grandmother couldn't afford to keep all her siblings. I definitely didn't grow up w/ a silver spoon in my mouth, but my parents stressed getting an education. My dad would buy extra math workbooks for me to complete on top of my regular homework. Summer school wasn't an option it was a requirement. We had to go to summer school.

I don't know the answers. Maybe its education, I don't know. I just know we need a change. A person should be able to go swimming or go to a karate class at the community center and not worry about having a pistol stuck in your face. I used to volunteer at the local jail here w/ my church on Saturday mornings. We'd talk w/ the inmates and have a little bible study. I haven't been in a long time. Honestly, I got sick of going and I'd much rather head out for a trail run w/ my friends or get in a group ride. I also used to mentor a couple of youth at my church that had a tough upbringing. I have to admit, I could of done a better job with that. I could've spent more time w/ them and try to show them the right way to navigate growing up. They moved back to California. Their dad was (maybe still is) in the penitentiary. I hope and pray the time I (Lisa helped too) did spend w/ them keeps them on a path for success.

I need to think about how I can give back. Sometimes I volunteer at our local races and that's all good, but I need to really think about how can I give back to my community. Maybe I can touch one young man and he may even turn out going to college, get into endurance athletics and becoming an Ironman some day.


Sunday, November 18, 2007

Having Fun

This morning I did the "Misery Run". It was put on by the club I belong to, It was advertised as:

Things you Need to Know about the Misery Run 2007
What: 5.75ish miles of grassy pastures, rooty, rocky and slippery when wet or muddy single track hiking type foot trails, itchy hay bales and cow pies. This is a time prediction race, you will predict your finishing time prior to the race, and then you will run and sweat.

And I've go to admit, it lived up to its billing. We had to run over haybales (its true about them being itchy) and through a mudhole 3x. Then to top it off the last mudhole had some dark gooey slime that I'm sure was filled w/ pathogens yet to be discovered by scientists.

All in all it was a lot of fun and I got a chance to hang out w/ the running buds. Who could ask for more. Gotta run, me and Lisa are going out for a nice long hike w/ King.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

10 Things

I was sitting around and thinking about what to post. So I thought I'd post a "10 things" list of stuff on my mind...

1) Swimming sure makes me ashy.
2) I'm going for the November fish challenge, 75,000 yards. Oh boy, I'm gonna get really ashy now.
3) Cold weather does not motivate to get on the bike.
4) But I really want to get out and sport my new Giordana thermal jacket.
5) Selling stuff on Ebay is cool, but its still a lot of work.
6) I'm glad I've settled down, and lost that "chip on the shoulder - something to prove" for my training.
7) Running on trails is fun, but looking down all the time gets to be mentally taxing.
8) I did a couple of hikes and I'd like to do more. My dog enjoys it.
9) Speaking of dogs, I have a Rottweiler named King that ways 126lbs. He looks scary, but he is really loving and fun.
10) When walking the dog, I've got to remember to bring a plastic bag. King seems to always do a #2 when we go for long walks/hikes.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Lake Royale Tri

Last Saturday I did the Lake Royale Tri in Louisburg, NC. That was a nice little race (5oom swim, 15 mile bike, 5K run). There were less than 100 finishers, which in a way was a good thing. Sometimes the big races can get almost too crowded.

The race went really good for me, even though I was still getting over a cold. I finally got a podium finish for a triathlon by coming in 3rd place in my age-group. They even had a little awards ceremony setup w/ a staggered podium stand and everything. I wish I had a camera, who knows when that'll happen again. I ended up being 14th overall and there were 9 athletes in my category.

What else is going on? I've started running again, somewhat regularly. I did a couple of group runs last week and it felt good to hang out again. I think I'm pretty much over the post-IM funk. It helped to get around other folks working out. I even got in a Master's swim yesterday.

I had a consultation w/ Coach J and next season is one for speed. Uh-oh, there I've went and admitted it. But like the rest of us, there's a big desire to get faster. I imagine there'll quickly come a point where I'll just do this stuff for the health benefits, but I'm hoping to get a bit more speedy. I'll focus on some running in the winter, short-course tris in the spring, and some long stuff after that. My target race is the new Beach to Battleship iron-distance race in Wilmington, NC, Nov '08.

Well not much else going on. It feels good to be getting back to a normal state of mind. It was somewhat trippy for a while there right before and after IM Wisconsin. Now time to go out for a trail run!


Friday, October 12, 2007

Time to Get Back on Track

Its been a minute since I last posted. I took some time off after IMMoo and did unstructured workouts. I did get in a 10K race called the "Carrboro 10K". It was a pretty good race for me as I came in 2nd for my age-group. I ran a 44:09 which is a 7:06 pace. It was a small race, there were only 15 folks in my age-group, but getting to the podium felt good.

While the 10K race went good and I was absolutely stoked about my IMMoo race, I've been a kinda funk lately. I understand that many people good through a down time after IM. I was so focused during training and had this sense of being on an epic journey, that now its over I'm somewhat lost.

I've been just plodding along and putting on weight, ugh. I had got down to 176 during my training and this morning I weighed 184. Ouch! Okay now its time to get back in the game and get back to being active and eating healthily/sensibly. I'll let you know how it goes. That's all for now.


Thursday, September 13, 2007

Sub-12, My Ironman Wisconsin Report

Today is Thursday after the IM, and I'm still feeling the good vibes from what was a great race for me. The soreness in my legs is dissipating, but my back is still pretty stiff. I've got an appointment w/ my Chiropractor today so I'm sure he'll crack me back together.

IM Wisconsin was the race of my dreams. I would fanatize about going faster than 12 hours, but really didn't think it was possible. Hey I'm a slightly overweight 44 year old w/ high blood pressure. Plus I knew how hard it was when last year at IM Arizona I went 12:53. I mean sub-12 is like an hour improvement.

If you've been reading my previous posts, you know that leading up to the race, my personal life was getting a bit out of control. Along the way, with the training, I developed into someone who had the zero patience for just about anything that didn't fit in my IM plans. I guess you could say I got pretty complusive w/ this thing. But its all good now.

Training for this race was definitely more intense than IMAZ. I had a full year w/ my coach, my main man John Hirsch http:\\, and he came up w/ some sick workouts. I think the hardest was a 4 hour hard ride + 2 hour brick run. To top it off the high was something like 95 that day. At the time, actually right up to the day before the workout, I was telling myself, "ain't no way I'm doing this". I figured I'd just get in a long ride w/ some friends and get in an easy 3 mile brick run. I messed up and asked my coach about me change of heart and dude talked me into sticking w/ his training plan for that day.

IM training is always difficult, but this year it was even more tough, because of all the hot temps we've been having. I remember seeing a news report that said this previous August was the warmest in NC recorded history. I didn't do as much running this year, and really focused on cycling. I even went as far as converting my old Tequilo into a fixed gear and mixed that in w/ my training. Going downhill on a fixie will really teach you to be a good spinner.

Coach J would often write in my training plan to find some hills. I looked up some reports on for folks GPS downloads for the bike course and the elevation gain for IM Wisconsin is something like 7000 feet. So for many of my training rides I sought out steep, challenging hills and did repeats. For the locals, Lystra did it for me. Also Yates Store Rd. in Morrisville has this one short, but steep climb.

I also mixed in some bike events in order to mix up the training, but also to get that intensity in. I would always try to hang w/ the lead group of riders. Most often I got dropped, but I'd hang as long as possible. This took me into anerobic levels that I know I wouldn't have reached going solo. I just couldn't push myself that hard on solo rides. But I guess when a pack get going, that natural aggression comes up and everyone takes up a notch. Lastly, the other thing I did for my bike prep was to get in a couple of mountain rides (Blood, Sweat and Gears + The Big Walker Century). That BSG ride had over 13,000 feet of elevation gain. Now that was tough. Then my training plan called for a 3 mile brick run. Now I now why during IM, I never felt bad on the bike. I had good energy throughout.

A couple of more tidbits on training. To stay healthy, I saw a chiropractor once a month. Dr. Josh Stevens, http:\\ is my Chiro and he's a multiple IM finisher. That helped a ton. He knows what its like to be on a bike for 6-7 hours and the right adjustment to keep my back and neck in line. That was definitely worthwile.

Also I bought the TP Therapy kit, http:\\ The price is high ~$120, but hey we spend all that money on equipment, so comparatively it isn't too bad. TP stands for Trigger Point. They have a ball and a couple of rollers that I would use to massage my soleus and quads muscles primarily. There's more uses, but these two muscle groups seemed to need the most work for me. I was fairly diligent with the kit.

Now, on to the race...

I remember talking w/ friends who did Wisconsin in 2005 when they had 90+ temps and then last year when folks were getting hypothermia and thought this could be real interesting for 2007. I guess the weather odds were in our favor because the high was in the low 70's and we had an overcast for the run. It was a bit windy, but not too bad. To let you know how lucky we were blessed w/ good weather, is that on Monday the high was in the 50's and it rained all day.


For the swim I thought to myself, even though I'm a mediocre swimmer line up on the buoy line a few rows behind the front swimmers and go for it. I figured if I started on the right and in the back I was going to get beat up anyway so I might as well line up w/ the fishes. I did encounter a bunch of contact, even at one point somebody grabbed my watch and the strap broke. I had just bought that thing at the Timex booth in the expo and wasn't about to lose it, somehow I grabbed it and stuffed down the collar of my wetsuit. I wasn't trying to lose that $130. Other than that, the swim went good for me and I ended up w/ a 1:18 time.


My bike prep paid off because the bike went really good for me. I never felt like I was in trouble at any point. Not too sound cocky, but I felt like I could surge and pass riders pretty much whenever I felt like it. I had my motivationg going w/ "I can't be killed. I've got the heart of Kunte Kinte". I had to keep reminding myself to keep my pace in check, so I'll have something for the run.

There are a couple of significant climbs and the crowds were off the hook. It felt like I was riding in the TdF, because the crowds line both sides of the roads and create a narrow opening for the cyclists to go through. They wear all these crazy costumes, beat drums, ring cowbells just like at the tour and run alongside you as you ascend. It was definitely a rush. One other thing that helped on the bike was a tip I got from my coach and put 2 Red Bulls in my special needs water bottle. That stuff is the real deal and I had some good energy for the next 20 miles. During the bike I was thinking I could go sub 6 hours but I purposely dialed it back a little bit near the end to prepare for the run. I ended up w/ a 6:01 bike split.


At the start of the run, I felt surprisingly good unlike IMAZ where I couldn't even make to the first aid station w/o walking. A good part of the run goes through the UW campus and the crowds were awesome here too. I was suprised how well I was doing on the run. It almost felt like a training run, even though I had just did a 112 mile bike at a 18.6 mph pace. I was staying on my mantra about "I can't be killed, I've got the heart of Kunte Kinte".

I was able to get some good energy from them and stayed pretty much trouble free until about mile 18-19. At this point the wheels started coming off and I got into the run/walk mode. I tried to stay w/ my mantra, but my energy was fading fast. I just got real tired. I didn't have any bad cramps or stomach problems, I just got tired. Even though I was real tired when I hit mile 25, somehow a burst of energy appeared and I was able to come in somewhat strong and finished w/ a 4:12 marathon and an 11:45 IM.

Here's some tips that worked for me: (1) Red Bull halfway through the bike; (2) don't take too many calories during the bike - I avoided bloating this year; (3) its about the bike for training - my longest run was only 17 miles; (4) endurolytes - even on the run, I didn't have any muscle cramping issues nor stomach problems; (5) joined Durham Master's swimming - I know this contributed to a 6 minute improvement; (6) HTFU - if you frequent you know what this means, (7) a good bike fitting - Victor ( hooked me up nice.

If anyone is considering their first or next IM, I definitely recommend IM Wisconsin. The crowds are nothing short of amazing and the bike course went through some beautiful farming areas.

Oh one funny thing I almost forgot, at the awards ceremony the men's winner is from Germany and he struggled a bit w/ his english. During his speech he commented about the beauty of Madison, the people, and then he said in a strong German accent, "oh, yea, the bike, oh yea f**king hard". You should've seen Mike Reilly's face, everybody cracked up.

By the way, my Fleet Feet jersey is da bomb. When you wear that thing you're always going have people yelling "go Fleet Feet". Plus you see other athletes sporting FF jerseys from different parts of the country and you get some kind of connectedness. It was very cool.

I'm still wearing my IM bracelet. I think I'll wear it until it falls off.



Saturday, September 01, 2007

IMMoo Fo' Rizzle

But that is not what gives me the heart of Kunte Kinte
I'm tryina give us "us free" like Cinque
I can't stop, that's why I'm hot
Determination, dedication, motivation
I'm talking to you, my many inspirations
When I say I can't, let you or self down
If I were of the highest cliff, on the highest riff
And you slipped off the side and clinched on to your life in my grip
I would never, ever let you down
-Kayne West "Never Let Me Down"

I was in the car listening to the "Democracy Now" radio program and they were broadcasting from New Orleans for the 2nd anniversary of Katrina. One of the interviewees was dropping some heavy philosophy, on how she and the others from NO are survivors. She broke it down about how they tried to kill them w/ the floods, but they persevered. They abandoned them and left them to die, but they survived. Many lost everything, but they still have life.

And then what really got me was that she related her strength and the strength of the others to the strength of my forefathers and foremothers who survived the Middle Passage holocaust. She talked about how the DNA in her is the same of these people, so the floods couldn't kill her and the rest of NO. Her blood is from the stock of ancestors of the historical survival test, these people who couldn't be killed.

That got me to thinking, like Kayne said, I've got "the heart of Kunte Kinte". My coach John Hirsch put me to the test this year. He helped me to believe that I could survive the workouts. I owe that brotha big gratitude. J, its on now, time to put it down w/ a vengeance.

I trained my ass off. I survived. The month of August was the hottest in the history. I survived. I did century rides in the mountains, not hills, but mountains of NC and Virginia. I survived. One of my bricks was a hard 4 hour ride w/ a 2 hour brick and the high that day was 95. I survived.

So when I wake up on 9/9, I will be ready. I will leave it all on the course. There will be no fear. I cannot be killed. I have the DNA of survivors from the Middle Passage. There will be no fear of the water. I will bike w/ a passion. I will run strong. I will finish. I will be an Ironman.


Sunday, August 26, 2007

Taper Week 1

Ugh, I feel crappy, low energy. I got my last workout in this morning for the end of Week 1 taper. I thought I'd be bouncy and energetic now that the real long stuff is over, but it isn't the case. I sure hope I feel a lot better at the end of next week.

I got in a hard 64 mile bike ride w/ a short, easy run off Sat. The bike ride was a fundraiser for the MS150 group. I wanted to test my bike fitness, so early in the ride I went off the front a few times and gapped the group. It didn't last long, but I felt strong so I did some hard pulls. There was a bike racing team, Simple Green, doing most of the leading, and I felt confident I was hanging w/ them.

Things unraveled though around mile 45, there were a series of hills and I got dropped. I still finished w/ a 20.6 mph avg, which kept the second group from catching me, but I couldn't hang on w/ the lead group.

I'm still having this angst thing going on. I'm feel really impatient w/ people these days. I've got to chill. The week 2 taper workouts are only about 30% of my peak distances, so perhaps I'll get out of this funk I've been in. I don't feel too healthy being this way.

On a brighter note, big ups to my coach John Hirsch, whose racing IMLou today. I hope he grabs that Kona spot as a pro. Dude does some sick workouts and is inspirational w/ his regimen. Gotta run so I can see how he's doing on IM Live.


Sunday, August 19, 2007

Three Up, Three Down

I finished the last of my Final Prep workouts yesterday. It was a 4 hour race simulation ride + 2 hour brick run. Man that was hard. I tried to talk my coach out of doing this workout and just subbing a 112 miler w/ 3 mile run-off. He was like I need this workout, to run the marathon and not walk.

I walked a bunch last year at IMAZ. In fact, during IMAZ, it seemed like as soon as I came out of T2, I couldn't run even to the first aid station w/o walking. I want IMMoo to be different. I'm coming off that bike and will be running.

The high yesterday was 90F and it took its toll on me. I tried to run the whole 2 hours, but I have to admit I stopped and walked for a little bit. My stomach wouldn't absorb a large gulp of water/sports drink and I walked so I could get some gastric emptying. I felt pretty good on the bike, even w/ this being the last of the 3 hard weeks.

Mentally, I should be relieved, but I feel an inner angst that I can't seem to get rid of. Its like I'm just angry so much. Its weird, cause I'll be nice and calm, peaceful and then any little nuisance sets me off into anger. I don't know if its the training or what, but I want my serenity back. I'm afraid I'm gonna end up divorced if I don't chill.

Well enough of that, that crap is depressing. On the other hand, its taper baby!!!! I am so relieved it finally here. IMMoo I'm ready. Now its time to let me body recover and heal up and get strong.


Sunday, August 12, 2007

Two Down, One To Go

The 2nd week of the Final Prep phase is in the books. Yesterday I got in a 120 miler + 3 mile brick run. I rode 100 of it as part of the Carolina Tarwheels Bikefest.

I hung on w/ the lead group for about 40 miles and then at one of the water stops we got all separated. I ended up riding w/ the 2nd pack for most the remaining ride. Got in some good paceline work, which is triathlon specific since you can't draft, but it did serve good to force me to push my extertion in order to hang on.

The course had ~5K of climbing so it was a good test for the Wisconsin course since I think is is also about 5K of elevation.

Gotta hang in there for 1 more week then taper! Yes!


Saturday, August 04, 2007

One Down, Two to Go

I'm in the final prep stage for IMMoo. This is where the knife is sharpened and getting the last long workouts happen. My coach, John Hirsch designed the last 3 long weeks as:

1) 100 miles + 7 mile brick
2) 120 miles + 3 mile brick
3) 4 hour ride + 2 hour brick

I got the first one done today. It was tough though, today the high was 92 and I felt it. I figured if I could do this one, it'll be a huge confidence boost for IM. Even though the heat got to me I felt good that I was able to ride the full hundred and then be able to run.

Man I want, not hope, I want a good strong Ironman race at Wisconsin.


Friday, July 27, 2007

Racine is for Racers

I got my last tune-up race in for IMMoo in Racine, WI last Sunday. The race was called the "Spirit of Racine Half". Here's some thoughts from the race:

1) Racine is a great town. The downtown area and the area near Lake Michigan were real nice. The locals really came out to cheer for the racers. Some people even ran their water sprinklers to cool down the racers. Very cool.

2) My swim did not go good (44 mins). This is the first race of the year where I didn't set a PR. My goggles kept leaking and I seemed to always be in traffic. My coach told me goggles are cheap and to get new ones often. That's true, because the goggles I wore were the same ones I used at IMAZ back in April of 2006. I've already thrown them away.

3) My bike split was off da chain (2:33). I ain't trying to brag, but I had the 10th fastest split in my age-group; and my age-group was pretty big w/ 122 athletes. I had held a average pace of 21.9 mph.

4) The race was crowded on the bike. I kept running into packs and did my best to avoid them, I even had to cross over the yellow line a few times to get around people. I started in a later wave start and it was just a bunch of people out on some narrow roads.

5) All in all, I feel good about this race. My coach and I talked about pulling the plug on the bike and going for it. I went really hard and based on my performance, I gained a bunch of confidence for a good bike split at IMMoo. I'm going to need it there because that course is hard. I still had some legs to finish w/ a 1:51 run (8:29 pace).

Well that's all for now.


Sunday, July 08, 2007

Back In The Mountains

What a weekend for cycling. Yesterday I went up to Wytheville, VA and did the Big Walker Century Ride. That was tough, though not as hard as BSG. The ride was billed as 8000' of climbing. I struggled though, pretty much after the first 35 miles. There was this climb of something like 1K-1.2K feet. I was hanging w/ the pack until that climb. Suffice it to say I was dropped like a sack of potatoes. But it was beautiful up there. We climbed up this winding road w/ all these awesome trees. I finished w/ a time of 5:46. Which was middle of the pack.

Today I went out for a 4 hour ride and got in 70 miles. This was the biggest week I've ever had cycling. My total for the week was 259.6 miles. I don't feel too bad, though my energy is somewhat low right now.

I've got a really good feeling about my IMWI prep. I've put in some serious work, much more then I did for IMAZ. John Hirsch my coach really pushed me this year. I think its going to pay off. I'm about 2 months out, and I feel myself peaking. Especially my cycling.

Well thats all for now.


Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy 4th of July

Right now I'm just lounging, checking out some other blogs about IM training. SimplyStu has a good one. He's doing IMMoo also, so I've got to check in on him a bit more. I like the training tips and knowledge he has of the course.

Today was a good day for training. I got in a 2500 yd swim at 5:30AM, then did the Firecracker 100K bike ride. That ride was some fun. It was advertised as over 1000 riders and we had a beautiful NC summer day w/ low humidity. I started down the street from the start as too avoid getting stuck in the back and rode w/ the lead group the whole way. We averaged 23.8 mph. I didn't go to the front I just stayed in the pack. My fitness felt good in that I never felt like I was gonna blow up. I did this ride back in 2005 and it took me 3:26, this year it was 2:40. I do have to admit that I got lost in 2005 for a minute and didn't ride in a huge pack the whole way.

All of my bike training must be paying some dividends. I've gotten in 5 rides of 100+ miles, including a 120 miler last weekend. This Sat I'm heading back to the mountains to do the Big Walker Century in Whyteville, VA. Its billed as 8000' of climbing. I got get ready for IMMoo 'cause its a hilly course.

That's all for now. Big ups to my niece Lauren. Happy birthday girl. Your uncle loves ya!


Monday, June 25, 2007

BSG - Again

I did the Blood Sweat and Gears bike ride last Sat. Oh man was that hard. This is my 2nd year doing this ride and it was still as hard as last year. The ride is 102 miles and advertises 13,000 feet of climbing. Yes, 13,000 feet. The hardest section is called Snake Mountain, you basically grind up this gap until you get to this crazy section at the top of the climb where the grade is 18-20%.

I made it in one piece and improved from last years time. This year I did it in 6:24, last year it was 6:41. In terms of where I placed. This year I was 284 out of 633 riders and last year it was 369/672.

All in all is was a great day. That is truly God's country up there, so beautiful and green.


Saturday, June 09, 2007

I Escaped!

I completed the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon last Sunday. That race was a blast. I mean it was fun, hard, but still a really fun race. The swim, bike, and run were unlike any race I've ever done. I'd do it again in a heartbeat. I ended up w/ a 2:50 finishing time which was 393th out of about 1545 competitors. I was nervous about that swim, but it ended up being good for me at 37 minutes. There was even a celebrity racing, dude from "The Batchelor" reality show finished. My wife told me everybody went crazy when he came down the finishing chute.

Well here's some pics from the race. Now thats over, I'm going to get real focused on my IMWI training and start logging some SBR hours.



Thursday, May 17, 2007

Going Back To Cali

That's the title from one of Biggie's joints. I'm heading out to LA first for a golf tournament w/ my Dad. Its an annual thing we do w/ his buddies. Its a bunch of fun and I'm looking forward to it. The only thing, I think I only played 1 round this year, so I don't think I'll do to good.

Also I'm doing the Escape the Alcatraz Triathlon after I visit LA. Lisa is flying into LA and then we'll drive up to San Franscisco. That's going to be a trip, swimming in SF bay. In a way it seems scary, but also it seems fun. I'll be looking up at the Golden Gate Bridge during the swim, wow.


Sunday, May 13, 2007

Long Time Since I Posted

Its been a minute since I posted. Here's a few things I've done since my last update

1) I did the Kinetic Half Triathlon. I had a good time up there. The race was in this Virgina state park named Lake Anna, and I camped out the night before. That was actually pretty fun camping. The water was really cold for the swim. It was 53F. Burr. I did set a swim PR for myself, although they shortened the swim to 1500m instead of 1.2 miles. My swim time was 28:41. This turned out to be a 1:44/100 yd pace. That put me right in the middle of the pack for my age-group 17th/31. The bike went good too. I pushed myself and finished 20/31. And then on the run I really moved up and finished 11th in my age-group. I wound up w/ a 5:24 finishing time which was good for 14th.

There were a couple of cool things at the race, one of having the mayor of DC race. I beat him, he finishe w/ a 5:30. He was a good athlete though. And also there was a contingent of US Marines that were amputees. They did the race, some as a relay; I also think some of them completed the event solo. Those guys showed me a lot of heart that day.
2) I've been ramping my training miles/hours. My coach has got me on a bike focus and I got in a little of 200 miles this week. I'd like to hit 250 for a couple of weeks in my IM prep.

3) I converted my old tri bike into a single speed. That's been fun to ride. I've got it setup as a 42/16. You've got to be a bike geek to know what that means. I had a wheel built as a fixed, but haven't installed it yet.

Well that's all for now, plus I'm getting sleepy.


Monday, April 02, 2007

Training Ramp

I'm back into some serious bike mileage again. I got in a 4:20 ride last Sat and then a 3+ hour ride on Sun. My weekly mileage was at 176. That's like my peak during my IMAZ training ramp-up. If I can hold, and increase my weekly mileage to the 250 range, I think some good things are going to happen at IMWI.

Lately, I've been feeling really good. I did some fun stuff related to training like the Hyco Lake tri. I ended up next to last, but it was a lot of fun. About half of the folks were in an elite tri team. We had a killer cookout and I just soak in the good, positive vibes.

Also last Thursday, during my group run, Curt Clausen joined us. Curt is a former Olympian in the race-walker event. It was a trip because I was killing myself to hold a 7:50-8 min/mile pace and he was race-walking the same pace. That was something else.

Well not too much else going on. The pollen is fierce here in NC this time of year. A yellow dust covers everything.


Saturday, March 17, 2007

Back in the Saddle

Its been a week since Umstead, and I felt my recovery went pretty good. I didn't do much in terms of working out. However I did get in a Bikram yoga session last Monday which I think aided my legs getting over the marathon.

I went on a 40 mile bike ride today. I felt good in spots and fatigued in other spots (mostly hills and headwinds). Man the wind was blowing today. But I shouldn't complain 'cause NY is about 8 hours north of here and they're having crazy ice storms. Today I don't think the high was much above 45.

Well that's all for now.


Monday, March 12, 2007

Umstead Marathon - Recovery Time

Wow, I finished the Umstead Trail Marathon. The official results aren't out yet, but my finishing time was around 3:58. That was a tough marathon. Umstead Park is a beautiful wooded area Raleigh, however there are hills, hills, and more hills.

The race was cool from the standpoint that there was a single track section for about 6 miles and the remaining 20 were on bridle trails. There is this one section of trail named Turkey Creek. Oh man, it was just up and down, nothing flat at all. This is where I saw a bunch of people walking.

I did meet some goals I had in the back of my mind for this race. One was to run the whole race. Next was to finish under 4 hours. I was able to do both which was a great feeling.

The whole vibe of the race was really a good experience. Since it was a local race, I knew a bunch of people and getting the shouts of encouragement were a huge boost of energy. This race while it was really tough, was in a strange way a joy to participate in. It just felt good.

Then to top things off the post race refreshments included Mexican food from Moe's. I tore up a couple of burros. Also the chiropractor I used to see during my training for IMAZ was there. He hooked me up w/ a post race neck and spine adjustment. I was able to stand up straight after that.

My legs are still somewhat sore. I bought 2 bags of ice on the way home from the race and took an ice bath. Whew, that water was cold! I could only last about 2-3 minutes at a time. I was so cold I was shivering. An ice bath is supposed to help your legs recover faster by reducing the swelling from all the micro-tears in your muscle fibers. I did better yesterday w/ another ice bath. I put on my wetsuit top and a beanie and lasted about 20 minutes. Much better. I'll probably take one more ice bath today as the recovery effect lessen over time.

Well that's it for now. I'll post some pics and the official results when they're available.


Sunday, March 04, 2007

Triathlon Superhero

This is pretty cool. Marvel comics has a black superhero named "Triathlon". They even have him in a red, black, and green costume.

Training is going good. Eating habits are not. I seem to have lost the ability to control sweets and high carb foods. If I'm going to get into a good form for IMWI, I 've got to get a handle on this.

I'm currently tapering for the Umstead Trail Marathon this Saturday. I'd love to break 4 hours, but based on what I hear about the course it may be overly optimistic. There are some crazy hills in Umstead Park and the marathon course has just about all of them.

Well that's all for now.


Wednesday, February 28, 2007

10 Thoughts

1) Yoga is pretty cool. Me and Mrs. Rob's Endurance World have been going to Bikram Yoga for the last few weeks. Bikram is where the room is heated to 105 degreess and then you do the course. Man I sweat a lot, but feel so good afterwards.
2) My schedule is nuts lately. I've got to manage my time better in order to have more effective training and inner peace.
3) I'm happy winter is on the way out. Yesterday was 62, and it felt so good.
4) I joined a Master's Swim team. I'm in the slow lane but hopefully I'll improve and move up.
5) The Desoto T1 First Wave wetsuit is da bomb. I got one for my birthday and tried it out at the pool. My 100 times were 10 seconds faster.
6) I would like to break 12 hours at IM Wisconsin this year.
7) I just registered for Escape from Alcatraz triathlon. This should be a blast. I'm so looking forward to the swim in SF bay.
8) Next year I think I'll take a year off of IM racing.
9) I'm really glad Mrs. Rob's Endurance World is supportive of my quests. This stuff can get pretty expensive, but she lets me still participate.
10) Today is the first day of the rest of my life. I want to make the most out of it and live for having a fulfilling existence. Not only for myself, but to let God's light shine through me to others as well.

That's all for now.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Geezer Pleezer

Last Sunday I ran in the Geezer Pleezer 4 mile road race. It was hosted the running club I belong to, Carolina Godiva Track Club. It was cold, I think in the 30's, but fun to see friends and hang out.

A little about Geezer Pleezer. This race is a staggered start where you're given a starting time offset based on your age/gender. Since I'm 44, my offset was 1:45. I think the biggest offset was to a wonderful lady that is 71 years young , she got a 16 minute headstart.

I ran a 28 min finishing time (7 min/mile). I was happy about that, especially since the week before I ran the Uwharrie race. I ended up in 23rd place out of 50 runners. I'm inspired in that the lady I mentioned earlier finished in 16th place. She ran a 40:34. What a lady!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Uwharrie, Uwharrie, Uwharrie

U-R-Wee, I think its pronounced that way. Well today is Sunday, the day after the Uwharrie Mountain Race. It was a 20 mile trail run that was really tough. My finishing time was 4:01:25. That put me in 61st place out of 115 males. That race took a bite out of me, and then just kept chewing me up. I was so glad to finish. Some people were doing the 40 mile version. I got big respect for those folks.

I guess if you're gonna do a trail race, this one had it all. The route was all single track. The trail was MUDDY, since there was a snow/rain storm that hit the area like 48 hours before the race. I bet there were at least 10 water crossings. The trail was rocky, and it was 21 degrees at the start.

All in all it was fun, on a sick level. But I made it. I got kinda demoralized a few times when I couldn't run the hills or some of the more technical portions of the trail. My legs wouldn't go, or I was mentally beatup by having to watch my footing.

One of the cool points of the race was when I was going up this insane hill, where everybody walked that was around me; I passed an Asian lady and she told me it was great to see another person of color. She passed on some positive vibrations to me, and hopefully I inspired her to push on as well.

I ran in a new pair of Montrail Hurricane Ridge XCR shoes. Those things held up pretty good. They're somewhat heavy, but the traction was good and most important, they provided great protection from landing on the rocks.

All in all I enjoyed myself. I got to hang w/ my friends in the running club I belong to, and I experienced one of the most beautiful trails I've ever been on. Now I'm gonna get an ice bath and hope that it shortens my recovery.


Tuesday, January 16, 2007

It's My Birthday!

Today is my birthday! I turned the big four-four today. As I move into the middle ages here are some random thoughts:

1) Life is good. Really good. God has given me all I need, and a whole bunch of my wants.
2) The companionship of my best friend, my wife Lisa is really important.
3) I am so fortunate to have my parents alive. My Dad, my Mom are such inspirations to me.
4) I hope I can be an inspiration to my family, my sister, my niece, my nephew.
5) Training, racing, working out help my health. Plus its fun!
6) One of these days, I hope to qualify for the Boston Marathon. It may take until I hit the 50+ age-group, but one of these days...
7) I really am enjoyng this trail running thing. The serenity, the connectedness w/ nature, camaraderie w/ fellow runners is so much more enhanced w/ trail running.
8) Today I will have an "attitude of gratitude".

Monday, January 01, 2007

A Whole Lot of Running

Uwharrie Mountain Run 20 miler race prep:

I've been on a run focus lately. Its kinda fun, especially since my long runs have been at this really awesome park named Umstead. There are miles and miles of single track trails that I've been running w/ my club, Carolina Godiva. Sometimes on Sat mornings we get about 20-25 runners. Got in 50 miles last week. My long run was 3:10. I'm trying to get ready for the Uwharrie Mountain Run 20 miler in Feb. Here's the course profile:

Then here's a description from the race website:

TRAIL WARNINGS!Running the Uwharrie Trail is a true adventure that requires intense concentration. The national forest terrain is hilly and the trail is treacherous. Fallen leaves conceal rocks, roots, sticks, and holes. Expect to trip and fall at least once during the day. If you turn an ankle, keep moving. Dutchman's Creek flows along part of the trail and runners will enjoy numerous stream crossings, which may mean wet feet if you aren't careful. The creek water is not safe to drink.

The trail is well marked with white blazes painted on trees at frequent intervals. Two blazes indicate an approaching sharp turn. Disregard yellow and red blazes. IF YOU STOP SEEING WHITE BLAZES YOU ARE OFF THE TRAIL. Retrace your steps to the last white blaze then circle around until you find the trail. If you find yourself in a part of the forest posted with hunting signs YOU ARE OFF THE TRAIL. Don’t follow other runners into unblazed territory. Don’t become discouraged if you get lost. Even experienced trail runners occasionally lose their way.