"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went" - Will Rogers

Thursday, July 31, 2008

a few more pic's...

She is ready to roll the 56 miles...


shake-down to 70.3...

Thursday early morning:

After three straight days of complete rest from any sort of exercising to get my body recovered properly for this Saturdays half IM I was happy to get outside this morning at 5:30am to get in a short 3.2 mile easy run. It was 75 degrees with 100% humidity and calm winds...a sauna which was good prep for the race. It took me 28:53 to cover that easy mileage at a 9:01 pace with an average HR of 117bpm (elevated due to the weather conditions) and a max HR at 131bpm...

...immediately after I finished the short run I loaded the tri-bike in race trim on top of the Yakima car rack and headed over to the local park district 1 mile loop path for a race-day bike shakedown. I started this at 6:15am and the path was quite crowded as people were trying to beat the heat of today...I checked all the vitals on the tri-bike such as smooth shifting, braking, etc and everything is a go! I rode only 3.2 miles due too all the people on the pathway in 12:36 for a pace of 15.2mph. My average HR was high due to just finishing the run at 102bpm with a max HR at 113bpm plus my average cadence was low at 84rpm...

Thursday at lunch time:

Went over to the health club across the street from work to get in a 840 meter freestyle swim just to make sure I remembered how too swim...all went well :-)


70.3 race trim...

the 'ole dinosaur is ready to roll...

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Nutrition plan for the Steelhead 70.3 Half Ironman on 08.02.2008 for b…


Race days for triathlons start super early which won’t be a problem for me since I’m an early-bird anyways. The first thing I’ll do is mix 2 scoops of Carbo-Pro (112 carb’s & 224 calories) and one capsule of Thermolyte (sodium, potassium and various other electrolyte ingredients) from SportsQuest http://www.nvo.com/sportquestdir/sportquesthome/ with 10oz of water and drink it immediately. After that I’ll eat some natural oatmeal with honey and a banana to top-off my fuel tank on race morning. I might eat a half a peanut butter and jelly sandwich while getting ready in the transition area and another banana but at that point I will stop with the solid food intake as I will always have water with me especially if it’s hot out.

Transition closes at 6:30am and all racers need to walk 1.2 miles (nice warm-up) to the swim start area for the day for which the first swim wave starts off promptly at 7am. I will have at least a 28oz bottle of water mixed with ~one scoop of 1st Endurance EFS (electrolyte & more) http://www.firstendurance.com/, minimum 2 scoops of Carbo-Pro and two capsules of Thermolyte dissolved in the water to keep my body topped off & ready for the swim. I might carry a bag of lemon-lime sport beans in the back of my tri-top pocket incase I need some more food.

Swim portion:

When unfortunately during the 1.2 mile swim I won’t have time and/or ability to eat & hydrate so hopefully my pre-race fueling carries me through the swim as I anticipate it too.

Bike portion:

My body & metabolism require a lot of calories & carbs per hour (and other stuff) so on the tri-bike I will be carrying 2 -24oz bottles on the HydroTail mount behind the seat each one being filled with one scoop of EFS, 2-1/2 scoops of Carbo-Pro and two capsules of Thermolyte dissolved in the water – so each 24oz bottle will have about 380 to 400 calories in it with about 180 carbs and other vital electrolyte, etc components within it. I will carry a 3rd 24oz water on the bike seat downtube with one scoop of EFS, 2 scoops of Carbo-Pro and two capsules of Thermolyte dissolved in the water. On my main down-tube from the bike headset to the cranks I will carry a 4th bottle with just 22oz of water in it incase I’m needing to flushdown a extra pill or two of Thermolyte due to heat & humidity. Below is the Arundel Chrono aero-bottle:

On my steering stem I will have a 5oz of highly concentrated solution bottle of a 1/4 scoop of EFS, 2-1/2 scoops of Carbo-Pro and one capsule of Thermolyte dissolved in the water so this ratio is thicker like a gel product for a boost when needed. Below is what it looks like:

Also I will carry a pack of lemon-lime sport beans in my pocket of my tri-top along with an eGel for that "just in case" situation. Plus I electrical tape individually small baggy wrapped Thermolyte pills taped to my cables just under my aero-bar armrests – total amount to be determined race morning.

I have trained for the last 6 weeks on all my bike rides with just the liquid nutrition and it works great for me. Plus you might think that I’m carrying a lot of nutrition for just 56 miles but I would rather be safe than sorry out there…

Run portion:

On the run I will wear my Ultimate Fuel belt which has two 5oz bottles and two 10oz bottles similar to the one below:

The two 5oz of highly concentrated solution bottle of a 1/4 scoop of EFS, 2-1/2 scoops of Carbo-Pro and one capsule of Thermolyte dissolved in the water so this ratio is thicker like a gel product for a boost when needed and the two 10oz bottles will have 1/3 scoop of EFS, 2 scoops of Carbo-Pro and one capsule of Thermolyte dissolved in the water.

Over the course of the half marathon run they will have hydration stations every mile to mile & a quarter so I can grab water as needed after I take a swig of my elixir drink to make it last the 13.1 miles to the finishline. Also I will carry a pack of lemon-lime sport beans in my pocket of my tri-top along with an eGel for that "just in case" situation once again that might happen while out on the run.

Post race:

After I finish I will take within 30 minutes my usual 1st Endurance recovery drink which is 2 scoops of the product with 10oz of water. I will repeat this process 4 hours after I finish the event also.
At the post race party zone I munch on the healthier food and keep hydrating to help with the total recovery process…dinner will be the good foods as a reward :-)


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

steelhead goals...

Goal for Steelhead Half Ironman:

Tea asked me this question about a month ago and told me not to reply "just to finish" as a race time at the half IM I haven’t posted anything yet but I have been focusing on finishing under 6 hours for my first attempt at a race of this nature…

I broke down my three discipline semi-goals below:

Swim 1.2 miles - since swimming is my weakest link of the three sporting activities my plan is to focus on being smooth and consistent during the swim as I chug along at my own rhythm. Since you swim with the current in Lake Michigan I hope to make the distance in less than one hour but my secret swim goal is 50 minutes…

Biking 56 miles - well, well, well…this is my most favorite event of the triathlon disciplines of them all and my strongest sporting ability by far…my most difficult challenge of this portion is having to hold back my cycling Time Trialing ability that I absolutely love racing to an endurance mode so I have energy in my body to finish the run portion strongly…I will be watching my HR routinely during the biking portion since I do not have a wattage system on my tri-bike…so I would at least like to average 20.3mph which is a 2:45:00 bike time…I would like it even better if I could average 21mph for a 2:40 bike split…I would love an average pace of 22.4mph for a bike split of 2:30:00…

Run 13.1 miles - I can hold my own in a half marathon run but after the bike it takes a couple miles for my running legs pace to stabilize…I would like to run the half in sub-2 hours which is a 9:10 mile pace but secretly I would like to run at a 8:30 mile pace which is a half time of 1:51:24…

Also the two transitions need to be calculated in there but whatever those are they are at this point…I’m really not going to rush through them like I was going for the win ;-)

Also a big variable in human performance on this race day is out of our control and that is Mother Nature and what weather she brings us on race day…

So that’s my goals for the Steelhead 70.3 race this coming Saturday :-)


Ready to race...

well at least when i get the right rear cassette on the hub...

Monday, July 28, 2008

Sunday average ride to run...

Sunday morning:

K & I choose to do a long ride at 8am out of Long Grove, IL with the Wheeling Wheelmen roadie club as one of the Sunday weekly rides is a ~33 miler through the hilly Northwest suburb region of Chicagoland. As always Kristen paced the ride at her abilities through the rolling hill’s since not a lot of club riders choose the short ride route for the day. It was warm & humid out which is fine for Steelhead training as the half IM will most likely be a warm, hot and muggy day.

The ride was un-eventful (thank goodness) as the total distance worked out to be 36.9 miles in a cruiser time of 2:20:14 for an average pace of 15.8mph thru the rolling hills. My average HR was super-low once again at 96bpm with a max on a hill climb at 118bpm. My average cadence was at 90rpm with a max cadence at 110bpm. It was a good endurance ride during the taper cycle…

After bike we loaded the bikes in the car and went for a short 2.1 mile hilly run together to simulate a brick workout…

I took an ice bath later in the day as I will for the next several days during my taper/recovery cycle…


Saturday, July 26, 2008

B's Steelhead 70.3 race number...

in wave 8 of 17...Kristen's bib number is 442 and she's in wave 4 of 17.
We picked-up our Steelhead 70.3 race packages at a tri-shop in Chicago Running Away Multisports after our CARA long run bt the lake front. I must say it was a great feeling picking up our race packs...seem's official now ;-)

tapered long run...

Saturday morning:

We headed down to Montrose Harbor for our usual Saturday morning long run with our CARA training groups by the lakefront. I planned on a cut-back taper mileage of only 8 miles since the half IM is next Saturday already and Kristen ran 9 miles for her taper week run.

It was warm & muggy during the run duration but the rains were not present this weekend. I ran 8.1 miles in 1:06:13 for a mile pace of 8:10 with an average HR of 132bpm and a max HR of 150bpm towards the end due to the humidity.

After my run I strolled out into Lake Michigan for about 25 minutes for a semi-cold water bath as I waited for her to return from her run...afterwards we both went out for breakfast in the city which was greatly needed ;-)


openwater afternoon...

Friday mid-afternoon:

K & I had early out Friday today so we headed down to Oak St beach on Lake Michigan to get in our last openwater distance swim before Steelhead next Saturday. We wetsuited up and swam together starting at about 1:30pm heading out to the farthest turn-around buoy point just at about a half mile and turned back to the beach for the last half mile of the swim. We swam pretty much side by side the whole distance as our swim abilities are almost the same. It was a great confidence builder as we headed ashore knowning that we got in a proper openwater swim before the half IM in 7 days time now :-)


Friday, July 25, 2008

nice to bike...

Thursday evening:

I headed out to Elk Grove for the cycling group repeats for the evening a little early last night to get in about 13 miles solo effort before the group showed up to ride to get in my last quality ride in before the serious taper kicks into effect. The temps were quite nice with a strange wind that seemed to be always changing direction but I was up for the extra resistance challenge of it. I noticed the roadway paths were re-paved over the course of the week so now the Tour of Elk Grove is all set to go on smooth roadways. The weekend of August 1st thru 3rd next month and they use this park of the roadway area for the Friday early evening Time Trial and some of the crit races are held here also. http://www.tourofelkgrove.com/

Back to my biking training it was actually a very good ride night for me especially when it came to the repeat portion plus I kept my pace up on the recovery portion to maintain a good overall pace for the ride time. I got in 14 repeats that ranged in distances from ~6/10th of a mile to one mile which my repeat pace range being anywhere from ~23.5mph to 28.1mph. Below I have listed 3 of my top repeats for the night which includes distance covered, time it took, average & max speed, average & max HR values plus average cadence:

.939 of a mile – 2:10 – 25.9mph average – max 30.6mph - AHR 134bpm – MHR 145bpm – 101 rpm
.694 of a mile – 1:29 – 28.1mph average – max 31.9mph - AHR 139bpm – MHR 153bpm – 103 rpm
1.025 of a mile – 2:20 – 26.2mph average – max 30.9mph - AHR 136bpm – MHR 145bpm – 104 rpm

My total ride time out their last night was 1:46:02 as I covered 35.5 miles at an average rate of speed of 20.1mph with a max speed obtained during a repeat at 33.6mph. My average HR for the ride was at 125bpm with a max ride HR of 154bpm during a repeat plus my average cadence was great at 98rpm and a max of 119rpm at one point.

I held back my intensity during the whole ride duration since its really a taper week for me as the half IM is approaching quickly but I still got in a quality workout on the bike. I maintained a good average speed and great cadence to help flushout my running legs from the previous nights mile repeats and to help simulate climbing hills at the Steelhead bike course.

Now I feel prepared especially for the biking portion of the half IM…plus above I have included my techy Polar graph chart from last nights ride :-)


still tapering...

Thursday high-noon:

Headed over to the health club during lunch to get in a tempo style taper short swim workout in for mid-day today. I used the pull-buoy straight through for 21 laps which is 840 meters in distance. Felt good to be done with it quickly…

Tonight pending weather is the biking group repeats ride night…


Thursday, July 24, 2008

tracking it...

Wednesday evening:

Track workout night out with the group at Harper College in Palatine, IL after work for myself during this taper time as I focused on quality of running and cut-back the quantity. The group was running 5 one mile repeats with a 3 minute recovery walk/jog in-between each as I choose to run only 4 one mile repeats at what was my required cruiser pace, not LT pace. After I ran the one mile warm-up I also only did 4 – 100 meter stride-outs as the group did six of them. Before are my mile repeat times with average and max HR values per each one:

1 mile – 6:53 – AHR 148bpm – MHR 156bpm
1 mile – 6:53 – AHR 152bpm – MHR 158bpm
1 mile – 7:00 – AHR 151bpm – MHR 160bpm
1 mile – 6:58 – AHR 148bpm – MHR 161bpm

The first two repeats were run clockwise with a favorable wind on the track but the last two mile repeats were run counter-clockwise with the Northeast wind in your face for at least ½ of the 400 meter lap which was a challenge for a tall guy like me. I like to run my mile repeats with a negative split on the final 800 meters of that repeat which I did last night but on those windy ones my legs didn’t start moving until the finally 600 meters of the repeat…learn something everyday :-) also one other thing I noticed as I ran in my Newtons which I don't think I'll wear again to a cushioned track workout again...my left toe front is still healing from the injury skin cut as the Newtons really do not have much toe box protection & stability...

I covered 6.6 miles with my warm-up, strides, repeats, recoveries and cool-down mile…


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

cool runnin...

Tuesday morning:

Woke-up to 64 degree cooler temps this morning but the humidity was still present when I went out for my neighborhood recovery run. Since I have started my taper process this week for the half IM on 8.02.08 I ran a evenly paced 4.4 mile run in 37:46 with an average HR at 119bpm and a max HR at 129bpm. The run was un-eventful which is always good as I ran in my Newtons for the first time in a very long time since I plan on wearing them in the half marathon portion of the 70.3 triathlon…the shoes felt good as ever :-)


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

pic of the new training wheels on the tri-bike...

I thought I'd share a picture of the 'ole cannondale Tri/TT-bike in training trim with the new Bontrager Race Lite rims I purchased earlier last week to replace my destroyed front rim during the Steelhead TriFit training ride on 07.13.08 on the bike course that is to be used in the half IM...I really got a steal on the new 650cc rim set from a local tri-shop for $150 total...even k couldn't believe it ;-) I have had the chance to ride on the new rim/tire set-up twice since replacement and I gotta tell ya the ride is sooo much better than my original wheels!!! I have Conti Triathlon clinchers on the new rims which add to the better performance also :-)
Next week after I set-up the bike for raceday trim for Steelhead 70.3 I'll post up some more pictures then...plus I will make sure the bike is clean for those photos ;-)

swim lunch...

Monday at lunch:

Went to the health club pool to get in a quick upper-body workout. Below is my mini-workout:

10 laps with pull-buoy
10 laps with pull-buoy and hand-paddles
10 laps with pull-buoy

1200 tempo paced meters covered during the lunch timeframe and then back to work. My neck felt sore from the long bike ride on Sunday but it didn't effect the workout :-)


Monday, July 21, 2008

cornfield bikin...

Sunday morning:

After yet another strong night of t-storms and heavy downpours of rain I woke-up early to load up our car with our tri-bikes & stuff for K & I to head out to DeKalb, IL for our usual long bike ride together which we choose this week at this staged event: http://www.kish-kiwanis.com/beanzie/general.html "Bikin with Beanzie". We choose to ride the 64 mile loop which works its way through the county roads of cornfields from DeKalb down to Lake Shabbona State Park and back to the starting point at the DeKalb High School. With the overnight cloud cover very low in the air the humidity was 100% thick throughout the ride duration except for the last 90 minutes on the bike ride when the sun finally broke through and baked us till the end of the ride.

As always with our long bike rides together as we train towards the half IM on 8.2.08 Kristen is the lead rider as I follow at least 4 bike lengths back per the USAT no drafting rules but I always make the offer to lead if she needs a break from the wind. K did a fantastic job once again Sunday on our long ride as she led the way from start to finish and picked-up the pace over the last 15 miles of the ride. We both had our bikes and ourselves loaded up with our half IM race day bike portion hydration & nutrition so we only stopped very briefly at two of the rest stops along the way of the ride route. For both of us this course provided a new challenge to us as the course was mainly straight & flat which is a lot different than are other long bike training rides which were hilly compared to this. This course required you to remain focused on your ride since in rarely had any topography changes to it…just cornfields, cornfields and more cornfields as the sun baked upon us.

Once we were done we were done for the day like we had been grilled. Any thoughts of a short run after this tough bike ride dissolved away from our minds as we stopped by our car. We compared our Garmin 305’s to each other, k’s said 66.5 and mine said 67.5 plus our bike computers each showed 67 miles…so 67 miles for the day was the final verdict based on data.

We covered that distance in 4:05:13 which is an average pace of 16.5mph all led by Kristen…great job honey! For me my average HR for the ride was an endurance burn low of 100bpm (was I alive?) with a max HR reaching 122bpm as we climb the bridge over Interstate 88. My average cadence for the day was spot-on at 90rpm with a max cadence at one point of 113rpm to flush out my legs…

Now that was a solid day and weekend of half IM training :-)


soaker day...

Saturday morning:

Woke-up really early Saturday morning because of a thunderstorm system that was rolling through our region with lots of rain. K& I headed down to Montrose harbor hoping that CARA wouldn't canceled the long marathon training run now two weeks in a row. Kristen ran 3 extra miles before her pacing group left at 6:30am When we arrived there for the 6am session I run with the thunder/lighting had left for the last 45 minutes but still raining constant so CARA let us run at 6am.

We only had 6 people in our 8 minute mile pace group as we ran southwards through the consistant rain that fell all morning. The path was completely soaked with mini-lakes & streams so you were always dodging then constantly. I would say by the end of the first mile I was completely soaked from head to toe even with this dodging technique. The group was only running 10 miles today as I needed to run a 14 miler as the half ironman race is only two weeks away now so I said my goodbyes to them as they turned around five miles into the run.

As I continued to head southward along the lake I noticed by the Ohio St beach that some sort of organized openwater swim was setting up that moring in the lake. I continued southward past Navy Peir and beyond to my 7 mile turn-around point as the rains continued to fall at a steady rate. On the way back north I stopped for fluids by the Ohio St beach and asked an organizer of the race what was happening here and if us triathletes could get in our openwater swim. He informed me its the Swim Across America event and that their start was delayed due to the lighting plus no one that was not racing the event would be able to swim in this area till after 12pm - noon...bummer...so much for K & I geeting in our lake swim for the day :-(

The rain continued as I headed back north to Montrose harbor to finish my 14.1 mile run in 1:56:26 for a mile pace average of 8:15 with an average HR of 139bpm & a max HR of 148bpm. Event throught the rain made you feel cooler the humidity was 100% thick during this run which affected breathing properly besides all the rain. The front of my left big toe survived ok as my feet were pruned from this soaking run.

Also today I was trying my race fuel belt with my mixtures in prepartion of racing with this set-up at the half IM during the 13.1 mile run portion of the race. I'm happy to say the weight of the belt didn't affect my lower back so the run was painfree In the water bottles I carry my electrolyte fluid - EFS by First Endurance with Sports Quest Carbo-Pro & Thermolyte mixed in them...the test worked perfectly as I did not have to take any eGels during the run...

Saturday mid-morning:

Since K & I weren't able to get in a Lake Michigan openwater swim per my previous morning running note we were forced to head over to the health club to get in a lapped pool swim. Kristen has really become a strong swimmer as she was able to get in 65 laps as I stopped at only 50 laps of pool swimming. Below is what I did workout wise:

10 laps pull-buoy
10 laps freestyle
10 laps pull-buoy with hand-paddles
10 laps pull-buoy
10 laps freestyle

So I swam 2000 meters that morning after a strong 14 mile run...done for the day!


Friday, July 18, 2008

bicycle, bicycle - i want to ride my bicycle...

Thursday evening:

Last night immediately following work I headed out to Elk Grove for the cycling group repeats for the evening. The temps were hot & humid once again this evening with a very strong SSW which made it feel more like a blast furnace. As I rolled out on my warm-up lap to find the main rider group I noticed several sections of the asphalt roadway ground up for patch work, great I thought another ride on roads being repaired…go figure. Anyways once I caught the group during my warm-up the group of about thirty riders was using the far left lane both on the repeat & recovery side of the roadway. Then I remembered the Tour of Elk Grove is on the weekend of August 1st thru 3rd next month and they use this park of the roadway area for the Friday early evening Time Trial. http://www.tourofelkgrove.com/ The Mayor of Elk Grove is a roadie and he rides with us just about every Thursday evening.

Back to my biking training it was actually a very good ride night for me especially when it came to the repeat portion plus I kept my pace up on the recovery portion to maintain a good overall pace for the ride time. I got in 14 repeats that ranged in distances from 6/10th of a mile to one mile which my repeat pace range being anywhere from 25.8mph to 29.6mph. Below I have listed 3 of my top repeats for the night which includes distance covered, average speed, average & max HR values:

.925 of a mile – 29.6mph average – AHR 142bpm – MHR 155bpm
.865 of a mile – 29.6mph average – AHR 142bpm – MHR 149bpm
.982 of a mile – 29.6mph average – AHR 153bpm – MHR 154bpm

My total ride time out their last night was 1:26:52 as I covered 29.6 miles at an average rate of speed of 20.5mph with a max speed obtained during a repeat at 33.2mph. My average HR for the ride was at 131bpm with a max ride HR of 156bpm during a repeat plus my average cadence was great at 96rpm.

Oh yea…the new rims/tires on my tri-bike are AWESOME to say the least…the ride is so much better now it’s incredible!

I feel sooo much better now after a fantastic bike ride :-)


pool time...

Thursday high-noon:

Went across the street from work at lunch to go get in another quick tempo style swim in at the health club where I was able to log 1200 meters in during a short timeframe. Below is the swim routine which was focused on upper-body strength training:

10 laps with pull-buoy
15 laps with pull-buoy with hand paddles
5 laps with pull-buoy

That half IM is approaching quickly in only about 15 days time now…


Thursday, July 17, 2008

back together...

Last night after I returned home from the track workout I re-assembled my tri-bike back together with the replacement rims & tires/tubes I needed to purchase after the disastrous training ride I had on Sunday over in the Benton Harbor, MI area. I got a really good deal on a set of front/back Bontrager Race Lite 650cc size rims since no shops will sell you just a front or rear rim separately. I also switched over to Continental Triathlon tires for both front and rear on the bike from the Vittoria’s I had on my destroyed rim(s)…never did like that tire much anyways. I’m happy to say the tri-bike is all back together again and looks much better with the new black color Bontrager rims on the Cannondale…gone are the purple anodized SUN rims…yeah!

Tonight is the cycling group repeat ride which I plan on attending to get in some very much needed cycling miles…

sizzilin' heat...

Wednesday evening:

Last night after work I headed after a quick stop to the bike shop for still more repair parts I went out to Harper College in Palatine, IL for our training group’s coached track workouts. On the plate were scheduled 9 – 1000 meter repeats with a slow walk/jog 200 meter recovery time in between each repeat. But due to the coach and most of our runners choosing to race a 4:30pm? 5k race and with the temps at 91 degrees with smothering humidity the heat index was too high to run proper 1k repeats. For those of us that showed up at the track we made a group decision to run 12 by 400 meter repeats with 90 second rest in between. So I ran a one mile warm-up session and after that I ran 4 – 100 meter stride outs with the group. Below are my 400 meter times with average and max HR info also:

400 meter – 1:37 – AHR 136bpm – MHR 150bpm
400 meter – 1:37 – AHR 136bpm – MHR 151bpm
400 meter – 1:36 – AHR 136bpm – MHR 155bpm
400 meter – 1:38 – AHR 134bpm – MHR 150bpm
400 meter – 1:39 – AHR 135bpm – MHR 153bpm
400 meter – 1:36 – AHR 138bpm – MHR 154bpm
400 meter – 1:40 – AHR 139bpm – MHR 155bpm
400 meter – 1:37 – AHR 144bpm – MHR 158bpm
400 meter – 1:38 – AHR 142bpm – MHR 157bpm
400 meter – 1:38 – AHR 143bpm – MHR 157bpm
400 meter – 1:40 – AHR 140bpm – MHR 155bpm
400 meter – 1:39 – AHR 144bpm – MHR 156bpm

To be honest I never really felt in the groove last night because either it was due to exercise fatigue and/or the hot weather. My feet felt like they were glued to the track with no stride capability.

Total mileage for the night was 6.3 miles which included warm-up, stride outs, repeats, recoveries and cool down. This was more than enough speed workout for me for the night as the weather really took its toll on me…


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

recovery run and a swim...

Tuesday morning:

Woke-up and went out for a lite 3 mile recovery jog after the hilly 12 miler yesterday in Michigan. My legs and body were still tired from the long weekend so I finished the short 3 miler this morning in 28:40...I was tired indeed...

Tuesday evening:

K & I went to the health club after work to get in some pool lap swimming since we were not able to swim in Lake Michigan due to severe wave & under-tow conditions.

Below is my swim rountine for the evening:

10 laps with pull-buoy
10 laps freestyle
10 laps with pull-buoy and hand paddles
10 laps freestyle
20 laps with pull-buoy

So I covered 2400 meters during this swim workout and felt better knowing that I finally got in a decent water workout...


just what the doctor ordered...

Monday morning:

Since K & I were still in Union Pier for the weekend we planned on heading to the Lake Michigan beach about a half mile from where we stayed to get in an early morning longer open water swim...the problem was the same as the day before that very strong winds still from the WNW were pounding the shores of this side of the lake with 3 to 5 foot white cap waves that were breaking on the outer sandbar and then onto the shoreline...as we cautiously walked out into the lake you could feel the under-tow rip tides at work and they were even strong farther out beyond the outer sandbar...we both decided that life was more important than a silly swim that could be done at a future date...

As we got back to the place we were staying K told me to GO OUT for a run since I was having a bad exercise weekend...and it was the best advice I got in an awesome 12.3 run in the Union Pier area as I headed SW along the majestic homes that were on the lake front view down to New Buffalo...it was a very peaceful run indeed...just what I needed to vent off some frustration. The hillyness of the region was a great change of pace also and to run podless was awesome...

My run time in the hills was 1:43:00 flat with an average pace of 8:22 miles and an average HR of 132bpm with a max HR on a hill climb of 143bpm...

That was just what I needed :-)


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

just forget about it...

Sunday morning July 13th 2008:

K & I have been looking forward to the Well Fit coached 56 mile bike training ride on the exact same course that will be used during the Steelhead Half IM race on August 2nd 2008. The group of about seventy of us riders met-up at the race transition area parking lot and attended a very short meeting and headed out on the open roads by 7:45am. Kristen rode with the pace group #2 which was to ride in the 15 to 17mph zone as I rode with group #1 which was to pace at 18 to 20mph.

The skies were pure sunshine without a cloud to be seen anywhere but the winds were a constant 20 to 25mph out of the WNW which we knew we were all going to have to challenge on the last 26 miles of this ride. I was cruising along up-front with an average rate of speed of 19.9mph with a max speed of 31.9 plus an average HR of 103bpm & max HR climbing a hill of 129bpm. Average cadence was spot-on at 92 rpm when…

…my training ride was absolutely deflated all too soon at minute 39:55, mile 13.4 into the course which was about two miles into the recently re-done/re-graveled road section of the biking course.

My front tube burst like a gun as I was riding 21mph through this horrible section of rode way just behind our 1st group pace leader. In this dangerous situation especially on this terrible gravel road you have to coast out to a stop with only using your rear wheel brake, I was very lucky I did not go down on the gravel. After I coasted to a stop I changed my inner tube and set-off at a more cautious pace of 12mph by myself on the gravel road as everyone from the ride was well past me at this point.

Then the unthinkable happened just about 1.1 miles from my 1st tube blow-out as my front tire tube burst once again causing me to stop for a second time to replace my front inner-tube once again. I then set-off once again at an easy 12mph pace on the gravel road since now I was really far behind everyone from the Well Fit training ride group.

Then at mile 16.9 on the gravel road when I was within 300 feet of the normal, good style roads beginning again my worst nightmare happened…my front tire burst not only the front inner-tube again but actually burst through my front tire itself destroying it completely. As I coasted to a stop my day was already done only 16.9 miles into what was suppose to be a 56 bike training ride for the Steelhead race I registered for next month. Even though I had a spare 650cc - 26" tire itself I had used up all my back-up spare 650cc - 26" inner-tubes plus I notice because of the 3 tube/tire blow-outs on this gravel road section the gravel destroyed my rim also. So there I sat on the side of the country road before the SAG wagon finally showed up to retrieve me the stranded cyclist about an hour later.

The gravel had very sharply machined down to jagged edges the rim assembly beyond usability & repair-ablity. Yesterday when we returned home to the Northwest suburb region of Chicagoland I had to scramble in a very big way to possibly find a unique size 650cc - 26" front rim so that I could continue training properly towards Steelhead 70.3. I was very luckily to find a replacement new Bontrager Race Lite rim that would work with my tri-tt/bike properly at Mission Bay Multisport yesterday which I purchased for $150.00 dollars.

I hold no fault to Well Fit which ran a top-notch training ride at all but I would like to see the Steelhead 70.3 IM organizer communicate with the city/county/state of Michigan about not only how dangerous/costly this gravel road section was for myself last Sunday but the possibility of this happening to others during the race day biking ride portion on August 2nd 2008. I would hate to see other racers have such a devastating day on race day as I experience last Sunday July 13th 2008.

This Steelhead bike course in its current state is absolutely totally un-acceptable for a 56 mile bike portion for anyone whom is racing that day. I was looking forward to my first Steelhead Half IM race on August 2nd 2006 but to be honest after last Sundays bike training ride disaster my motivation is very low at this point due to the poor quality of the biking roadways especially since cycling is my strongest ability.

On a totally different note K had a fantastic ride time about 3:12:xx timeframe. She said that the wind was the toughest part of the ride but other than that she felt trained properly for the distance and hills in this region of Michigan :-)


it all started last thursday evening...

Exercise for myself since last Thursday night has not been to optimized for the quickly approaching Steelhead Half IM...on thursday night I was setting up the car for the trip with the Yakima bike rack & Yakima Space Cadet aero box on the car when the massive rains hit...I made a foolish mis-take by having my Adidas sandals on due to the downpour and when I stepped from our driveway to on slippery concrete garage floor my toe on the left sandal caught and caused me to slip forward on the front of my left big toe which in turn perfectly shaved off about a millimeter thick, nickel size worth of flesh off the front on my left big toe...after we cleaned away the wound blood with antibiotic dis-infectant luckly in was only a flesh wound and not a gash/cut to the toe...

Needless to say I now had an open wound that needed to heal properly but last Friday I gauze pad protected the open toe wound and bike rode actually quite comfortably during the whole ride duration...

Swimming & running are different thought especially where my toe wound is at hence even though CARA canceled the Saturday morning long run due to t-storms & lighting I could of went with K down to the lakefront to run an hour later which she said was very soggy due too all the rain...k's shoes and feet were like sponges as she to returned home and verified it was a good move to skip the run to help heal up my left big toe...

I will report on my nightmare of what was suppose to be a great organized Steelhead Half IM biking training 56 mile ride on the race course Sunday...I'm still fuming from the situation

but at least Kristen had a awesome training ride :-)


The fields of Vino grapes at...

Round Barn Winery from the deck at the taste house...

After the bike ride it was time to tour the several Southwest Michigan wineries...

with the Round Barn Winery being our favorite for years...

Monday, July 14, 2008

Just a de-briefing from the coach before we head out on the Steelhead Half IM 56 mile bike course...

...training ride on Sunday. Well at least Kristen finished the ride...more to follow later...

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Steelhead Half IM beach...

at Lake Michigan 3 weeks before the race.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

payback & payback once again by mother nature...

Friday mid-afternoon:

I needed to get in a solid training ride since last nights cycling group repeat ride was canceled due to strong storms in our region. Since this was my summer hours Friday I headed out solo to Busse Woods Forest Preserve to get in a 90 minute tempo ride. I started out at 1:30pm when it was the hottest part of the day and realized the foresty path was still wet & damp due to the amount of rainfall we receceived overnight so I had to be cautious with my pacing out there.

I rode for 1:32:07 and got in 30.1 miles during that time duration at an average rate of speed of 19.7mph and a max speed during a TT push of 31.8mph. My average HR was perfect for a bike tempo ride for me at 130bpm and I had a max HR during a TT push of 146bpm. My average cadence was where I wanted to ride it to flushout my running legs at 96rpm with a max cadence of 109rpm.

I felt really good during & after the ride which was a great biking workout...

Saturday morning:

A very strong thunderstorm system rolled through our Chicagoland region for the hour before, during and after my supposed 6am CARA lakefront 14 mile training run which forced me to make a wise decision not to drive all the way downtown to fined out the 6am group was canceled...the right decision was made but now I need to find time this weekend to crunch in a 14 mile run solo somewhere...

We are heading over to the St. Joesph/Benton Harbor, MI area later to partake in an organized group training ride tomorrow morning on the 56 mike bike course for the Steelhead Half Ironman. We have been looking forward to this organized ride very much so keep an eye on my blogspot for updates & images: http://colkuv.blogspot.com/ also below I have provided a link to the training ride program...



Friday, July 11, 2008


Thursday mid-day:

Once again at lunch today I swam 1240 meters focusing all on upper-body routines at the health club pool at a tempo pace. Below was the routine:

10 laps pull-buoy
5 laps pull-buoy with hand-paddles
5 laps pull-buoy
5 laps pull-buoy with hand-paddles
6 laps pull-buoy

Another mini-swim workout in the books today...


Tonights cycling repeats are not going to happen because of the massive strong t-storm alert till 10pm in our region doesn't Mother Nature know that I really like to bike ride at speed...



Wednesday evening:

Last night after work I headed right out to Harper College in Palatine, IL for our training group’s coached track workouts. On the plate were 9 – 800 meter repeats with a slow walk/jog 200 meter recovery time in between each repeat. So I ran a one mile warm-up session and after that I ran 6 – 100 meter stride outs with the group. Below are my 800 meter times with average and max HR info also:

800 meter – 3:28 – AHR 145bpm – MHR 151bpm
800 meter – 3:30 – AHR 144bpm – MHR 153bpm
800 meter – 3:19 – AHR 148bpm – MHR 157bpm
800 meter – 3:23 – AHR 146bpm – MHR 157bpm
800 meter – 3:22 – AHR 146bpm – MHR 157bpm
800 meter – 3:24 – AHR 148bpm – MHR 157bpm
800 meter – 3:22 – AHR 148bpm – MHR 159bpm
800 meter – 3:20 – AHR 149bpm – MHR 158bpm
800 meter – 3:18 – AHR 149bpm – MHR 161bpm

It seemed like to me it wasn’t till the 3rd repeat that I started to hit a consistent groove with my 800 pacing. I was able to push the pace a little more on the last two 800’s which was a good sign to me.

Total mileage for the night was 7.8 miles which included warm-up, stride outs, repeats, recoveries and cool down. This was more than enough speed workout for me for the night as I skipped the one mile time trial afterwards that most of the group did after the repeats…

We had a total of 4 different pace groups during the workout as I choose to run with a quicker group #2 last night to push myself further with my running speedwork to hopefully get a little quicker at running especially for the half IM event…it felt good to push it to the next level.


Thursday, July 10, 2008

back to training...

Tuesday morning and mid-day:

After taking a much needed day of rest on Monday I woke-up early on tuesday morning to get in an easy recovery run in our neighborhood region. My body felt tired still from the long weekend of exercise but my legs felt good while I ran at a comfortable pace. My run distance worked out to be 5.3 miles in 45:33 for a mile pace of 8:35 with an average HR of 121bpm and max HR of 131bpm...that run felt good!!!

At lunch I swam 1200 meters focusing all on upper-body routines at the health club pool at a tempo pace. Below was the routine:

10 laps pull-buoy
20 laps pull-buoy with hand-paddles

A solid workout day in the books...


Blast from the past...

The badge of honor from Powerman Zofingen May 1995...

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

long bike day in the saddle...

Sunday morning July 6th 2008:

Sunday has become the long bike day for Kristen & I over the numerous weekends for our endurance training in preparation for the Steelhead half IM on August 2nd next month. I was able to find a group (Wheeling Wheelmen) ride that was riding two distances on Sunday; either 50 or 100 miles so we choose the 50 miler group bike ride that left from a NW suburb of Chicago know as Long Grove which we then rode NW to McHenry and back. The ride started promptly at 8am with 10 riders as K & I were the newbie’s of the group and too boot the other 8 riders just returned the previous weekend from an organized 7 day bike event in the mountains of Colorado in the Telluride, Durango and Ouray region for some high altitude work. Everyone was super nice which was great as we made sure we had que sheets in case they dropped us out there.

As always I let Kristen control the pace that felt proper for her bike training for which she once again did fantastic today! The terrain was rolling hills the whole way during the complete ride distance. The humidity, heat and very strong southwest winds were back out in force during this day which made the ride even more challenging. We were able to stay in touch & sight through the opening 15 miles but then they dropped the throttle in their mini-peloton and the next time we saw them was at the halfway rest stop where we all chatted for awhile and off we all went as a group SE to our starting area. It was only a couple miles into the return trip portion and they pulled away from us rather quickly mainly do to the hillyness of the return roadways plus the wind pushing us in the face the whole way back. Kristen pushed on and into this wind the whole way back per her choice since its greater training towards the half IM biking portion where drafting is illegal.

To be honest I was pretty fatigued during the last 15 miles of this ride but I did not let that be known until we were done with the ride. The long weekend of half IM training had did me in bigtime because when we pulled into the parking lot I hopped off the tri-bike and sat in the shade of a big tree trying to cool off in the warm breeze…I was spent at that moment but after a few minutes of relaxing we loaded up all the biking stuff, changed into running clothes as K & I ran together on the hilly Cuba Rd route for a simple brick workout 2.1 miler. Believe it or not the run actual felt good to me, it felt refreshing in a strange way. After the run though when we both stopped we were absolutely wiped out!

Below are my stat’s for the bike ride and run afterwards:

Bike – Time 3:03:xx - 50.3 miles – average speed 16.4mph – max speed 28.7mph – average HR 103bpm – max HR 124bpm – average cadence 91rpm – max cadence 112rpm

Run – Time 19:16 – 2.1 miles – 9:10 pace – AHR 122bpm – MHR 134bpm


run then a swim...part two

Saturday morning July 5th 2008:

So after my CARA 13 mile training run I unloaded the old mountain bikes from the car and re-hydrated up as properly as I could as I prepared for the open water swim that K & I planned on doing after the training runs. Once she returned from her run we road our bikes down the lakefront path 6 miles to the Ohio St beach where all the swimmers train at which has proper swimming buoys set-up at quarter & half mile distances. After we arrived there I realized that I forgot to pack the "Suit Juice" which helps you get in & out of a wetsuit much easier & quicker so body glide had to do for the day. We drank some more fluids since by now it was pretty warm outside as we then heading into the water to start the swim.

The lake was calmer today and perfect for a swim which felt great after a long run. As we headed out together towards the ½ mile turn-around Kristen and I worked on a couple techniques especially open water swim visual siting. K is a much better swimmer than I but we kept chugging along towards the buoy with having to swim turn some floating vegetation every once in awhile. After we reached the turn-around buoy we headed back along the break wall towards the swim start beach that’s when K actually started swimming stronger with the current pushing us now.

My only problem out there was now I was getting slight, random leg cramps in either hamstring and/or calf at different times which had mostly to due with the lack of proper hydration from the run earlier in the morning. Luckily the nice thing about a full-body long-sleeve wetsuit is the neutral buoyancy float I get while wearing it in the fresh water so I do not have to use my legs almost at all. So I had to deal with these things during the whole swim back as K was strong as ever in the water.

We ended up swimming the mile distance in 39:27 with my average HR being 105bpm. I was more than happy when this swim was over because by now all the training I have done in the last three days had wiped me out. Afterwards we peeled off the wetsuits, packed up the backpacks and rode back north 6 miles to our car.

Another solid day of half IM training in the books…and thank goodness the swim at the tri is the first event of the race :-)


run then a swim...part one

Saturday morning July 5th 2008:

After only a couple hours of sleep due to 4th of July celebrations the evening before with friends at their homestead K & I headed down to Montrose Harbor to run with our Saturday morning Chicago Marathon CARA training groups for our long run by the lakefront. My 6am start time arrived much too quickly that morning!

As I started running with our 8 minute mile pace group I didn't feel to bad but the sun was strong that early morning on the lakefront. Today we were on a 13 mile training run so the pacing by the group leaders was spot-on for the early miles. As we headed southward along the lake the path that goes from North Ave beach to Ohio St beach is asphalt with concrete breaker walls to hold back the lake so this region is always the warmest region to run on. I was able to hold onto the group through the turn-around but I noticed on the way back northward they were surging the pace several times for which I was able to reel them in twice but by mile ten several people dropped the pace bigtime as I just continued to run at an 8 minute mile pace.

I finished with 3 other people from our group as our run time for 13 miles was 1:43:39 for a mile pace of 7:58 with an average HR of 138bpm and a max HR of 151bpm. I was happy that I stuck with my own proper pace especially after just racing a hilly 10k the morning before and cycling repeats the evening before that. I had to run with fatigued legs but it was a good mental learning challenge as I chaulked it up to experience for the half IM run in race coming up all too soon

Also I will have to wear my hydration fuel belt for the next run because we did not have enough fluids this morning...

More to follow later about the swim portion of the morning...


Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Barrington Hills 10k Race Report card...

Friday morning July 4th 2008:


For what has become a 4th of July tradition for Kristen and I we ran the Barrington Hills "Run for the Arts" 10k race at 7:30am on a perfect weather morning. Our good friends live about a half mile from the start so we arrived at their house bright and early as Kristen was running as a Sherpa with our friend Bridget whom was running her first 10k event. We then met up with some other friends at the starting line as I knew a lot of my track workout friends like racing this hilly event also. I wasn’t really planning on "racing" this race but using it more a good base building hilly tempo run especially since the night before I rode a lot of hard biking repeat miles plus we still had a lot of challenging half IM training left to due on the weekend. Also I was using this event as a test to see how my legs had recovered from the night before after only 12 hours of recovery.

As the race started I controlled my pace at a comfortable level since the first two miles are the smoothest of this hilly 10k race. Once you pass the mile two clock it’s a left hand turn up the 1st steep hill and they continue on from that point thru the finishline. So from miles 2 through 4 I slowly picked up the pace as I can hold my own on the uphills but on the downhills I can pick up the stride comfortably and pass a few runners. It was just at about mile 4 that I finally pulled along side a couple of my track co-runners and cheered them on with motivation. At mile 4 thru the finish is when I picked up my pace to the maximum speed I wanted to run at for the day and this is where most of the runners whom go out quickly usually fade towards the last hilly miles so it allows me to pick-off a few more runners. At the mile 6 sign I decided to kick it into a 200 meter track workout mode to cross over the finishline.

My run time was 46:18 at a 7:28 mile pace in the hills of Barrington with an average HR of 148bpm and a max HR crossing the line at 162bpm. I was happy with the time especially how well my legs recovered from the hard workout the night before on the tri-bike. Plus then I cheered on Bridget & Kristen to the finishline as they ran a great race also together :-)


just kept riding...

Thursday evening July 3rd 2008:

Ok so I had a lot of energy since today’s open water swim workout did not basically happen and the night before I missed the track workout due to the t-storms, winds and rain that raced through our region so I decided to start the group cycling repeats earlier in the late afternoon before the bike group started them…I was on a mission to burn up some energy!

I started riding on the 2.2 mile loop at about 5:30pm solo as I immediately noticed the strong northeast winds would mean our mile repeat zone would be the southbound stretch of road with a slight uphill portion in the last half mile of this roadway. I got in about 12 miles before the group of riders had started to show-up so I was properly warmed up by that time and had already done several repeats. As always with the pack of riders I stay about 300 feet back while doing the repeat itself and during the recovery portion also to get the most from this workout as I need to push my own air for proper triathlon training.

I had several goals for the ride tonight as the two most important were to get in 40 miles and average 20mph for the ride duration. I was able to get in 25 repeats during the time I was out riding this evening which is too much information to list here so I’ll sum the info up below:

My repeat distances ranged anywhere from 6th’s of a mile to a full mile with my average rate of speed during them being anywhere between 26.4mph to 29.5mph.

My total ride time was 2:03:57 and I covered 41.8 miles in that timeframe for an average rate of speed of 20.2mph as I was able to hit a max speed during one repeat at 33.1mph. Heart rate average was at 131bpm with a max HR during a repeat being 157bpm and my average cadence was at a perfect 92rpm with a max cadence being 110rpm. The other good thing about the ride is I did not have any leg cramping at all as that probably had to due with me not running repeats the morning of the ride, I felt strong throughout the ride duration.

Goals were achieved and that sure was one satisfying workout :-)


Monday, July 7, 2008

the mighty lake...

Thursday afternoon July 3rd 2008:

K & I had been looking forward to heading down to Lake Michigan to get in a good open water swim since our offices closed early for an extended Fourth of July holiday weekend. We drove down to the lakefront and unloaded the old mountain bikes for the 5 mile ride south to the Ohio Street beach as we noticed the lake was very, very wavy & choppy since the winds were strong out of the northeast. Once we got by the swim start area even the outer harbor lake break walls couldn’t hold back the big roller waves which were amplified twice-fold since they bounce right off the lakefront concrete walls…the best way to describe the lake at this time was imagine a super-duty industrial washing machine on the agitation cycleyikes! But K & I were bound and determined to at least try it especially since it took us 90 minutes of commuting just to get to this point.

As we walked into the water we attempted to swim out to the buoy line which we did but it took a ton of energy with a few stops along the way to catch our breath from ingesting too much lake water. At the buoy line area we deemed this situation just too challenging for our abilities and we turned around to head back to the beach to safer, sandy ground…afterwards we took off our wetsuits and headed back via the MTB’s to the car into the strong headwind.

3 hours of commuting via car & bike ride to swim 200 meters…we learned our lesson!


computer at home is...

Sorry for the lack of posting over the last week but it seems that our "old school" Dell PC at home has finally had enough and has stopped working for good...this started last Monday as I have tried everything in the books to fix it with no luck at all...it's a total bummer not having a PC at home...BIGTIME :-(

I will try and update my journals during the week so thanks for your patience during this timeframe ;-)


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

ez swim...

Tuesday evening:

K & I went for a pool swim at the health club across the street from work today after work. Once again I focused most of the swim on the upper-body strength training in the pool to de-activate my legs and the pain in my lower back. Below is the swim routine I did for the evening:

10 laps with pull-buoy
10 laps with pull-buoy and hand paddles
10 laps freestyle
20 laps with pull-buoy and hand paddles

So I swam 2000 meters during this workout…done for the day once again


Tuesday, July 1, 2008

I should have stayed in bed…

Monday morning:

With all good intent this morning I woke-up bright and early this morning to go out for a simple, no frills 5 mile run especially since I was feeling guilty for not getting in all my required half IM training disciplines in over the past weekend. So at 5:30am I started my run as I normally would but I noticed after the first mile my body was not warming up to this running thing like it normally would do and that feeling continued throughout the whole 5 mile run till I finished the run in front of our house. Plain and simple is I was not recovered at all from the training I have been doing recently, my legs were like leaded concrete anchored to the earth and they absolutely refused to work as they normally would. I finished the 5 miler in 46:24 with an average HR of 107bpm…tomorrow I plan for a much needed rest day.