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

Friday, August 29, 2008

well...at least its not a stress fracture?

The main reason I'm not able to run right now is due to my left heel severe pain. Other problems have a-raised from this issue as both feet now have severe PF and achilles tedonitious(sp?). I have been icing, stretching and ibuprofening non-stop since this first started with no relief at all hence why I went to the doctor yesterday. My running shoes are all of low mileage nature so thats fine there. Mardi hit the key note as one of the main reasons this has happened to me is because of all the racing that we have done over the month of August (training too for Chicago!). Another reason I believe I'm going though these feet problems is due to the Newton running shoes for which I have broken in properly over the year and adapted myself to their feeling but I wore them at CDC half and the next weekend at the 10k run at the Olympic Tri race plus I'm sure there is other things that added to my feet problems I'm currently experiencing...

So yesterday afternoon I went to our Sports ortho clinic we have been using for years and i visited with the Foot specialist after they took numerous x-rays of both my feet. One of the main reasons I went to see the doc is to see if I had any bone pronlems with my left heel and the x-rays came back negative...whew...no heel spur or stress fracture...thank goodness. The doc verified all my conditions I stated above as my feet also are both inflamed & swollen also for which he prescribed a RX drug named "Naprelan (control released 2 tabs once a day in morning 375mg naproxen sodium)". The doc told me continue with the no running, no biking routine, icing, stretching and to listen to my body...but he gave me no timeframe which is mentally frustrating as Chicago approaches quickly...

At this point my conditioning is already fading away quickly with the lack of exerise. I don't want to push back to exercising too quickly and risk injury further so it's still up in the air whether I will be able to run in the Chicago Marathon and/or New York Marathon...as you can tell as a competitive person this is driving me crazy.

I guess time will tell so I will have to be patient with this injury set-back...I shall keep you posted.

Thanks again everyone for your kind words :-)


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

looking for some answers...

Tomorrow afternoon I have an appointment with the sports ortho doc whom specializes with feet/foot problems...so tomorrow I shall have some answers what has been bothering both of my feet (in various problems) which started slowly last Thursday (out of the blue) and progressively has gotten worst since this past Sunday morning...

Hence why I have not updated my blog since last Saturdays run. I gave my feet & body some extra rest days to see if that would help with the healing process but it has not as I attempted last night to run a very, very easy run in three different types of newer running shoes with no luck...it actually worstened the pain to both feet. I sat watching TV alternating my feet in a ice bath the rest of the evening for short-term relief...

I will post-up the results of my Doctor visit tomorrow as I will have some answers then...thanks for your patience as always :-)


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

the tour of spain starts this saturday...

for the Pro's that is...not for me ;-)

The Vuelta ESPAÑA is the last of three - 3 week grand cycling tours on the calender for the 2008 Pro season. The race starts on August 30th and ends on September 21st 2008. My favorite cycling team will be there - Team Astana with this 9 rider line-up: Assan Bazayev, Alberto Contador, Andreas Klöden, Levi Leipheimer, Dmitriy Muravyev, Benjamin Noval, Sergo Paulinho,Chechu Rubiera, and Tomas Vaitkus.

Keep an eye on the three names I have highlighted in red above as the major players from Team Astana. Below is a link to their website race line-up info...


Can't wait for the start of this classic cycling event :-)


Monday, August 25, 2008

high heat index...

Saturday morning:

K & I were down by Lake Michigan for our usual Saturday morning long run towards the Chicago Marathon training with our CARA groups. As the temps & humidity was already high when we started to run at 6am I choose again this week to run with the 8:30 minute mile pace group for my first 20 miler of the fall training season and in the long run I'm glad I did. The weather only worstened (high heat index) as the sunrise finally showed up sometime shortly after 6:15am and cooked all the lake front runners like we were in a skillet...

I wore my fuel belt and brought with plenty of thermolyte tabs to stay as nutrionally hydrated as possible during the run duration. I was comfortably running with the 8:30 group sharing the pacing duties until my body was telling me to slow down right at about mile 17 of the run when I was melting from the heat plus my HR got way too high for me during a long slow distance run. I dropped off the back of the pack to a slightly slower mile pace as I controlled the damage of the tough training run...

My 20 mile time was at 2:51:40 for an average mile pace at 8:35 with and average HR for the run at 132bpm. My max HR was at the end of the run (at a slower pace) of 152bpm which told me my body was cooked...actually when I reviewed the Polar HR graph at home later in the day I saw a sharp jump in my HR from mile 16 till the end of the run. Not a good day for me with a weaker finishing pace but the run is in the books and it was the best I could due on this challenging weather day...the run kinda reminged me of the Chicago Marathon in 2007...a scorcher indeed.

After I finished I headed out into Lake Michigan for my usual cold water bath for about 40 minutes which refreshed me right away as I felt much better after doing that :-)


Thursday, August 21, 2008

some recovery running...

Tuesday evening:

After a recovery day and a-half from the weekends activities I decided last night to go out for an easy recovery run in our neighborhood region to access how my body was feeling. I ran a distance of 4.7 miles in 41:47 for a pace of 8:53 and an average HR of 120bpm. My body felt taxed & tired during the whole run duration but I really needed to get out there to flush out my legs...

Now I can focus solely on Chicago Marathon training once again Tuesday evening...

Wednesday evening:

Track workout night out with the group at Harper College in Palatine, IL after work for myself during this return to track time as I focused on recovery mode of speed work running and cut-back the quantity. The group was running 9 - 800 meter Yasso repeats with a 3:39 recovery lap after each so instead for me I jogged 200 meters to recovery in-between each since I was still recovering from all the racing events recently. After I ran the one mile warm-up I also only did 6 – 100 meter stride-outs with the group.

Below are my 800 meter repeat times with average and max HR values per each one:

800 meters – 3:44 – AHR 133bpm – MHR 142bpm
800 meters – 3:40– AHR 132bpm – MHR 152bpm
800 meters – 3:36 – AHR 138bpm – MHR 152bpm
800 meters – 3:32 – AHR 138bpm – MHR 151bpm
800 meters – 3:33 – AHR 141bpm – MHR 152bpm
800 meters – 3:30 – AHR 142bpm – MHR 156bpm
800 meters – 3:26 – AHR 146bpm – MHR 154bpm
800 meters – 3:25 – AHR 144bpm – MHR 161bpm

The first 4 repeats were run clockwise on the track but the last 4 repeats were run counter-clockwise. I choose to run the repeats slowly going quicker after each one as my running legs got better after each repeat I ran. I really didn't want to push-it last night as my glutes/hamstrings were still feeling the weekends running/racing events. By the last repeat I was feeling good once again about my speed work :-)

I covered 7.6 miles with my warm-up, strides, repeats, recoveries and cool-down mile…


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

B's Olympic Distance Triathlon Report...

Last Sunday K & I did a Olympic Distance Triathlon in Pleasant Prairie Wisconsin as payback for the Steelhead Half Ironman turned Duathlon...plus we had a group of 8 friends racing the same event also so it made for some good fun.

For Kristen this was only her second triathlon event and first time racing this distance. For myself the last time I raced an Olympic distance triathlon was way back in July 1994...The distance for this race are Swim 1.5k - Bike 40k - Run 10k...which is in miles - Swim .93 of a mile - Bike 24.8 miles and Run 6.2 miles...much less daunting than a half Ironman ;-)

The big challenge for K & I was the morning before we ran 17 miles with our respective CARA Chicago Marathon training groups so we didn't know how we would feel on tri-race morning plus we raced a half marathon the weekend before and the half ironman duathlon two weeks earlier...thats alot of training & racing in 3 weeks time!

Anyways on to the triathlon stuff now as we drove up to Pleasant Prairie on Saturday afternoon and loaded our bikes in transition that afternoon so we won't have to worry about that aspect race morning. We stayed about 4 miles away from the race event area right next to the morning shuttle bus pick-up area. Early Sunday morning arrived much too soon as we headed to the transition area when it was opened at 5am to get everything organized for the race. The first swim wave was set to go off at 6:30am and every wave after that in 3 minute increments so we had plenty of time to meet up with all our friends and watched the first couple swim waves start. As my wave 8 was called up I hugged (& kissed) K good luck as she was in swim wave number 10.

My AG had 60 racers that finished so at the start of the swim I hung off the back before going over the chip mat with clear running in front of me because swimming is my weakest link in tri's. The course was a triangle formation with nice large corner buoys so spotting was easy for me. I'm glad to say from the moment I hit the water till the time I exited the water I swam a very constant freestyle pace. I was amazed at how comfortable I felt out in the lake especially with my full-body 2xu wetsuit on which I only used my legs about 5% of the swim time, saving them for the bike & run ;-) I passed people from my wave plus the waves before as the faster swimmers from the waves behind me passed me as only a few people got near me in the swim. I exited the swim in 34:35 with energy is reserve now for the bike and run...not lighting fast but I survived the swim :-)

My T1 transition was ok at 2:45 which felt like forever but I took my time get set for my favor discipline...the bike! As I ran/trotted in my bike shoes & bike to the allow get on your bike area I realized I forgot my garmin 305 in the transition...oh well. My legs felt ok on the bike but I was feeling some fatigue from the long run the day before but that didn't effect my desire to do well on the bike as I was passing alot of riders out there on their first loop of the international distance course. I did get passed by a couple riders on the first loop but the sprint distance triathletes started after our wave 11 so these were the really fast guys! On my second loop I'm proud to say that no one passed me here as I pushed my fatigued body toward the dis-mount area for transition number two. I did the 24.8 mile bike course in 1:02:01 which translates to a 23.99mph average rate of speed...

As I racked my bike in T2 I changed into my Newton Motus running shoes, grabbed my coolmax hat & fuel belt and off I was thru the chip mat in 2:36...not blazing quick but good enough for me. Right from the get go of the running my running legs were there which is a really good sign for me ;-) In the opening couple miles of the run I was able to pass people whom were struggling after the bike portion of the race even with my sore legs as maybe only a handful of people passed me on the whole run duration. Just as I passed the mile 3 sign heading out to the turn-around point my buddy Jim who started in the wave in front of me high-fives me heading the other way. It was a pursuit at this point to catch him before the finishline so I turning up the pace as much as my legs could handle. I saw Kristen headed out on the run just as I passed the mile 5 sign and she told me to go get Jim :-) I did my best but came up about 300 feet short of catching him as I sprinted the last 200 meters into the finishline with a total time of 2:31:21...my run split time was 49:26 for 7:58 mile pacing.

As I congratulated Jim on holding me off on the run we cheered on all our friends as they came into the finishline area especially Kristen as she finished in an outstanding time of 2:57:31...way too go honey!!! Afterwards we all hung out at the post race party sharing racing stories for the day. K really enjoy the event...I think she's hooked ;-)

In my AG I finished in 23rd out of 60 racers as my proudest accomplishment is being 7th quickest bike in my AG...Overall I finished 189th out of 625 racers and once again my proudest point is having the 54th quickest bike split :-)

K finished 29th out of 44 finishers in her AG...Overall she finished 472nd out of 625...very well done Kristen in your very first olympic distance triathlon & 2nd ever tri :-)

I'm happy to say that K really enjoy the triathlon racing as a new challenge plus now I'm re-addicted to it also!

Thanks for stopping by and reading the long winded report :-)


International AG & Overall Results:

Mini race update...

Sorry I haven't posted my Oly Tri race report yet but last night when I got home later from work I was just too exhausted to do anytime but become a total couch potato and check-up watching all the TIVO'd Olympic broadcasts we have on the recorder...I needed this sooo bad to re-charge my batteries :-) above I included a snapshot of my Polar HR graph from the whole Olympic Tri distance to carry you over for now ;-) check out how my HR spiked up climbing the soft sandy uphill out of the lake and into transition though...interesting...

Monday, August 18, 2008

Pleasant Prairie Oly Tri quick note...

Sunday morning:

K & I competed and finished our Olympic distance we are happy to report...I will write-up a proper race report later tonight about our races...thanks for your patience ;-)

For now here's some stat's: K finished in 2:57:31 for an overall of 472 out of 625 finishers...yeah!!! B finished in 2:31:21 for an overall of 189 out of 625 finishers...not bad at all for both of us considering we both ran 17 mile Chicago Marathon training runs the day before :-)

Above I provided a picture of my Polar HR data just from the bike portion yesterday at the Oly distance tri...

Here's the official (look under International Distance Overall) results link from the race:


Thanks again for your patience while I work on a proper race report :-)


Sunday, August 17, 2008

long run morning...

Saturday morning:

K & I headed down to the lakefront for our usual Saturday morning CARA Chicago marathon training run group sessions. We both decided to just run the 17 mile distance instead of the 19 mile advanced group was running as we needed to save a little energy for Sundays Olympic distance triathlon. I decided also to run with the 8:30 mile pace group instead of my usual 8 minute mile group once again because of the race tomorrow and because I have raced distance events over the last two weekends already.

I felt good during the lakefront 17 mile run as dropping down in pace give me a chance to access my current endurance training abilities. I felt strong the whole distance and picked-up the pace over the last couple miles on the run. I finished solidly with a run time of 2:22:09 which is a mile pace of 8:21 with a nice average HR of 127bpm and a max HR near the end of the run of 147bpm.

After I completed the run I went out into Lake Michigan to cool off in the water to simulate an ice bath for about 30 minutes. I found K after that as we headed home where I took another 30 minute ice bath with 14lbs of ice to help speed up recovery.

After that we both headed up north to get set-up for our triathlon on early Sunday morning...


Friday, August 15, 2008

biking repeats...

Thursday evening:

Last night after work I picked up my tri-bike at the bike shop after I was notified by them that a new bottom bracket was installed and the bike was repaired. I decided to join to cycling group for some biking repeat mileage to make sure everything was ok with the bike. It felt good to get on the tri-bike again as it has felt like ages since I last rode the bike. My other plan for the ride was to just get in some base mileage for the week and to access how my body felt during the ride towards this Sundays Olympic distance triathlon. I purposely held back on the intensity & distance of the repeats as my body appreciated the recovery effort.

Below are my top 3 cycling repeats for the night by time, distance, average & max mph, average HR and average cadence:

1:40 - .777 mile – average 27.8mph – max 32.1mph – average HR 128bpm – average cadence 104rpm
1:34 - .714 mile – average 27.3mph – max 33.3mph – average HR 131bpm – average cadence 103rpm
1:40 - .760 mile – average 27.4mph – max 31.3mph – average HR 136bpm – average cadence 104rpm

So I biked for 1:01:47 for a total mileage of 19.5 miles with an average speed of 19.0mph. My average HR for the ride was 117bpm with max HR being 154bpm during a short repeat. My average cadence was at 94rpm with a max cadence of 113bpm. All in all it was a really good bike ride, the bike felt good as my body felt good also on the bike…


bike is back...

Yesterday I got the call from the bike shop that my tri-bike was repaired with a new replacement Shimano bottom bracket so I picked up the bike afterwork.

K bought me this really nice b-day present way back in 1994 for my Cannondale which at the time was the top of the line stuff made by Grafton. She bought me the Grafton titanium bottom bracket shown below and the Grafton aluminum 177.5mm crank arms to go with it. The bb was super smooth, much better than the stock Shimano bottom bracket...

Since the bike frame is so old they could only use a Shimano economical bottom bracket as a replacement since they can't modify the bike to work with modern technology BB's...but the bike is rollin' again :-)


Thursday, August 14, 2008

thick air...

Thursday morning:

I woke-up really early this morning to get in a run before heading off to work. I started running at 5:30am and immediately notice the humidity was 100% thick with no wind what-so-ever as we received a lot of rain last night & throughout the night time. As I ran my 2.2 mile warm-up I noticed my body was still exhausted from all the racing I have done over the last two weekends, this week I have been really tired every day since Monday morning.

After the warm-up I attempted 400 meter repeats with 90 second recoveries after each but after the fourth repeat I canned the speed work since my body was telling me "No Go!". My 400’s were in the time zone of 1:44 to 1:43 which is about 10 seconds slower than where I normally run them at plus the other signal was my max HR was only 140bpm which means my body is recovering still.

So I then decided to just run at a comfortable pace to get in some mileage for the day. My legs started to finally feel better after the 5th mile but I contained myself from turning this now into a tempo run…my body just needs some recover miles right now. I ran a total of 6.3 miles in 55:08 with an average HR of 118bpm…I’m glad I ran this morning though!


back to the pool...

Tuesday evening:

Headed over to the health club pool after work to attempt some recovery swim laps. After about 10 laps I realized I just wasn't into it this night so I kinda did a very un-structured 30 minutes worth of slow swimming. After that I headed to the whirlpool to help with recovery from the half marathon on Sunday...


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

lacking motivation...

Maybe its because I have raced too much this 2008 season?

Maybe its because I'm tired of swimming laps indoors in a pool?

Maybe its because my tri-bike is in the bike shop with no updates yet on whether I'll get it back in time for this Sundays International Distance Triathlon since my bottom bracket is wasted after the sandy Steelhead course?

Maybe I'm just plain'o exhausted?

but one thing is for sure...

I will return to training soon...


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

B's Chicago Distance Classic HM race report...

This year I had a relaxed attitude going into CDC because the weekend before we raced in the Steelhead Half Ironman (where I ran a terrible half marathon split for myself) event in Benton Harbor so I choose to run CDC as a recovery LSD tempo training run towards my Chicago Marathon training. The other two focus points for the race were to run a negative split and most of all to have fun especially at the post-race V-team gathering!

I'm glad to say I accomplished all three objectives :-)

K & I checked in our stuff at the CARA tent as Tom M spotted us, it was good to see Tom again because the last time we saw him was at the Indy Mini in a boot! I wished K well as she was running with a friend as Tom and I headed to the starting area, then I wished him well as we workout our ways into our starting area corral regions. I purposely choose to run with the 1:45 half pacing team as I didn't know how my legs would reacted today but after the race started it was an amazing feeling that my legs felt as though I had not raced a 70.3 tri the weekend before. I stuck with the perfectly paced group until just about mile 5.5 where I saw the race was heading off Lake Shore Dr. and on to a bike path so I slowly surged ahead as my legs were itching to go quicker.

As we hit the turn-around point the wind was strong as I anticipated but I did not let that get to me. Being a tall guy like Martin VW also the wind really attacks us as it were a main sail on a sailboat but I was able to pick-up the pace as each mile went by towards the finishline. This was the first year at this event I was able to consistantly pass alot of people whom went out to fast as we ran northward on the lakefront path and it was a great feeling. As I was using my Polar HR monitor to keep my mile splits in line I noticed that mile 7 and 10 were way out of line if you look at my data I posted below.

I finished the race strong with a nice track workout sprint during the finishing chute area haul. I crossed the finishline per my watch at 1:42:53 but the Penguin's results have me finishing in 1:42:45. My Garmin 305 had the distance at 13.48 (and k's was 13.51) but no matter what the distance was I felt great. I saw Scott K handing out water bottles so I stopped by him for one and thanked him for volunteering today. I got my penguin medal and headed over the V-Team gathering area as I spotted a few fellow racers that were much quicker than me. K's ran a solid training run event at 2:10:xx after running 11 miles pacing her CARA training group the day before...great job honey!

All us V-teamers had a great time hanging out after the race sharing stories and friendships built up on the v-team forums here. It was great to hang-out with everyone after the race in a perfect weather day...it couldn't get any better for an August day in Chicago.

My confidence was boosted after this race that yes I can still run a decent half marathon especially so soon after a half ironman...this is a good sign as I continue to training towards my goal at the Chicago marathon...the bq ;-)


Polar HR info from CDC:
Lap Time Lap Time HR Max Avg Min
1. 0:07:47.4 0:07:47.4 132 121 82
2. 0:15:44.2 0:07:56.8 137 130 124
3. 0:23:27.2 0:07:43.0 140 135 132
4. 0:31:27.6 0:08:00.4 141 137 133
5. 0:39:26.8 0:07:59.2 144 140 134
6. 0:47:03.7 0:07:36.9 147 143 138
7. 0:56:23.5 0:09:19.8 149 146 143
8. 1:03:55.4 0:07:31.9 150 147 142
9. 1:11:36.7 0:07:41.3 149 146 143
10. 1:19:41.4 0:08:04.7 149 146 142
11. 1:26:51.1 0:07:09.7 149 147 142
12. 1:34:23.9 0:07:32.8 151 147 144
13. 1:42:10.8 0:07:46.9 149 146 142
14. 1:42:53.2 0:00:42.4 149 149 149

Monday, August 11, 2008

some training over the last week...

Tuesday evening 8.05.08:

Headed over to the health club pool to test out my recovery from the HIM and I'm happy to report all went well with the 1200 meter swim workout...but I used the pull-buoy & hand-paddles to de-activate my legs and foceused 100% on upper-body strength building. Below is the short swim routine:

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

Weds morning 08.06.08:

1st easy recovery run since half IM and surprisely my legs and body feel fine. Ran 3.7 miles around the neighborhood region at a recovery easy pace of 34:29...

Thurs morning 08.07.08:

Another easy recovery run on a nice cool morning run at a slightly quicker pace for 4.7 miles in 40:28...body feels good :-)

Thursday evening 8.7.08:

Went out to the bike shops usual Thursday evening repeat night with the group to loosen up my cycling legs. I was forced to stop riding after just 12.3 miles due too my bottom bracket on my tri-bike making some serious grinding/creaking noises...none of this was happening at Steelhead so it just hit me out of the blue. I just forced to get my bike into the bike shop later Friday evening because I'm most likely going to have to replace the bottom bracket...parts would need to be ordered so the Tri I'm signed up for on August 17th is now possibly a no-go...time will tell.

So the 12.3 miles I got in were in 39:33 time wise for a speed of 18.7mph and average HR was 109bpm with an average cadence of 93rpm...

Friday mid-afternoon 8.8.08:

K & I headed down to Lake Michigan for an open water swim off the beach at Ohio St. at about 2pm. The winds were strong from the northeast as the chop on the lake was strong plus the waves bouncing off the concrete walls made for some unique cross-wave action to swim in...The swim out to the half mile buoy was intense & rough and as we turned around to head back the waves were strong but it was slight push current. We finished the one mile swim in 42:47 with my average HR being 107bpm. It was a good day for open water swim class...

Saturday morning:

K & I headed down to Montrose Harbor for the CARA marathon training roup run that we were both attending at 6:30am this day. She paced her group for the whole 11 miles as needed and I decided to run with the 8:30 pace group and only run 6.1 miles for the day since I was running CDC the next day.

My run was comfortable especially since I moved down to the 8:30 pacing plus my legs felt fine. After I ran out with the group I turned around just pasted the 3 mile out and then turned the pace on slowly but at a comforatble level. I finished the 6.1 mile run strong in 50:05 for an average pace time of 8:12 with an average HR of 128bpm and a max HR near the end at 146bpm.

Went home and took an ice bath to prepare for CDC the next day...


Friday, August 8, 2008

some new news...

K & I have decided to squeeze in an International/Olympic distance Triathlon soon that would fit into our schedule during marathon training. We will both be racing the the Pleasant Prairie Triathlon on August 17th 2007...see the link below for info:


It's a 1.5k swim / 40k bike / 10k run event...we felt dis-satisfied after Steelhead so at least we shall get in one tri before the seasons end ;-)
The other bigger news is I'm officially registered to run the New York City Marathon this November 2nd 2008 I won't go into the details of how I received the invite but rest assured it's all legitimate so since Kristen is already in the race we shall run this wonderful marathon together for the great experience! the last marathon we ran together was Maui back in September 2006 and she PR'd then so let's see what happens this time around :-)

That's my big news for the day!!!


Thursday, August 7, 2008

the last post about steelhead 70.3...

Ok...I promise this is my last post about the 2008 Whirlpool 70.3 (duathlon)...been there, done that...

My blogging friend Steve has been kind enough to me to allow me to post some of the great pictures he took last Saturday at Steelhead as he was cheering on his wife whom raced also and the rest of us participates...thanks Steve!!!

Here's a photo he took as all us racer's as were walking back to the transitition after the call was made by the RD to cancel the swim portion...the waves, whitecaps, chop were bad but the under-tow/rip-currents were really bad :-(

the masses as we left the beach area...

alot of triathletes during the final 13.1 mile run...

and the picture of the quarter mile finishing line chute...soft sand is not what you want to see at the end of a 70.3 race...plus we had to run this stretch of sand on the opening 2.1 mile run...sadistic it was for us racers :-)

and my favorite shot he posted (taken by his friend) was the one of Steve "high fiven" me as I started my second loop around the corporate Whirlpool campus...it was great to see Steve out there for motivation during the half marathon run portion and you sure couldn't miss him by his outfit...classic...

Hope everyone enjoyed these photo's Steve allowed me to post-up in my blog :-)


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Whirlpool Steelhead Half Ironman 70.3 (duathlon) Race Report Card...

K and I raced what was suppose to be our first ever half ironman last Saturday in Benton Harbor, MI known as Whirlpool Steelhead 70.3 but once again due to Mother Nature (murphys law lately for us) the swim portion was called off due to the very strong Northeast winds causing large waves, chop, whitecaps and most of all rip-currents. I have heard from many that the call to cancel the swim was ultimately made by the Coast Guard after one of the kayak life guards before the race had to be rescued and rushed to the hospital...they made the right decision. Also we all did get a nice 2.4 mile sandy beach walk in before we started racing ;-)

So the race was turned into a Half Ironman Duathlon which consisted of these three phases; a 2.1 mile run then your 56 mile bike portion and finish it off with a 13.1 mile run. All 1998 starting racers walked to the race start area from transition about a mile away to the race run start area. People were sent off ever 4 minutes in their age group wave as it would have been in the swim. I wished K well as she was in wave number 4 as I was to start in wave number 8. She smiled as I shouted words of encouragement as K went by as I waited in the little starting corral.

Run 1:

I ran the 1st 2.1 mile run at a nice cruiser pace as I knew it was gonna be a long day out there. There were some hills and sand we had to run on during this portion as we worked our way to the transition area via a sandy boardwalk area. My first run time was 15:55 as I went over the transition chip mat and onwards to my tri-bike...


As I changed from my running shoes to biking shoes, then helmet, gloves, etc and a quick bite of a PBJ sandwich I walked/ran with my tri-bike thru the bike out chip mat in a time of 2:02...not the quickest transition but it worked for me. From the transition chip mat you had to run in cleats with your bike for at least 300 feet to the roadway where the officials allowed you only then to get on your bike and start riding...I didn't like that false biking split 40 seconds that took worked into my bike time numbers but we all had to deal with it that day.


At the start of the 56 mile bike you head straight Northeast into the headwind on a gradual climb for about 10 miles before turning eastward on the bike loop. I controlled my biking pace to a comfortable endurance burn HR zone. It was at this point I realized just how competitive this Ironman midwest race was because age groupers were battling for limited qualifying 70.3 World Championship slots for the November Championship race in Florida. I was getting passed like I was sitting in a lawn chair that's how fast some of these racers were...anyhow I finally caught up to K at about mile 17 on the bike course as she was riding very strongly as I cheered her on and wish her well, great job honey!

At each of the four aid stations on the bike course I was able to grab a 700ml water bottle from the great workers (always thank everyone helping) of the race and cool off my body by pouring the water on the front & back of my body at 20mph. I noticed (k noticed also as did our friends whom raced also did) throughout the bike portion that a certain demographics of racers were riding in peloton "wolfpacks" as I call them which is totally illegal per USAT rules for tri/du's...I would say I was passed by at least 50 riders riding superfast in various pack sizes throughout the bike course...this really pi**ed me off as I pushed my own air the whole 56 miles. But the organizers & USAT marshalls are the ones to blame because I only saw 3 motorbike marshals the whole time I was out there and they were on really, really loud motorbikes...fools!!!

As I came into the bike dis-mount area and then ran in cleats with my tri-bike for 300 feet to the bike-in transition chip I stopped the bike clock at 2:31:04 for an average pace of 22.24mph...


I hung up the tri-bike on the rack and changed to running shoes again with my fuelbelt in hand and coolmax hat on my head I crossed the transition two run-out chip mat with a time of 2:10...an average T2 time.

Run 2:

As I headed out onto the 13.1 mile running course my legs felt pretty good as in the beginning I was running a 8:30 mile pace comfortably but as the hills approached and then by mile 6 on the Whirlpool Corporate campus my hip flexors just started to not work...I didn't have any cramping issues during the run at all its just that my legs had had enough of this for the day as they were tighting up on me all the way to the finishline. I was very unhappy about my run split of 2:09:34...I should have easily been able to run a sub-2 hour half ;-)

As I crossed the finishline with a total time of 5:00:44 I was more than happy to get this event over with because the distance, winds and intensely strong sunlight beat me down bigtime. As I recovered by the finishline area I watched for K to finish as she spotted me first while running to the finishing line with a total time for her of 6:05:00...she did great in her first 70.3 event :-)


below is a couple of my Polar HR graphs; one for the whole event and one just for the biking portion...click on the link for the bigger chart image...


Tuesday, August 5, 2008

still digesting saturdays 70.3 duathlon the race...

I hope to have a full Steelhead 70.3 race report written up and posted later tonight as I'm still thinking about the events that occured last Saturday in Benton Harbor...thanks for your patience & understanding...

Above I have posted my Polar HR monitor graph just from the Steelhead 56 mile (?) biking portion...I'm a techy guy as I like to analyze this information after the fact for future training/racing purposes. The one variable I watched during the biking portion was my HR zone to make sure I wasn't pushing too hard on the tri-bike so I would have energy left for the final 13.1 mile run. I rode the whole course well within my comfort zone not pushing it like I was racing a cycling Time Trial event...I would say that I rode the distance at approximately 65 to 70% zone of my cyling ability. It was a great ride portion of the event :-)

According to my Polar HR monitor biking information my ~55 mile bike split was 2:31:27 for an average pace of 21.8mph and my max speed was 35.9mph. My average HR was at 145bpm which is my biking endurance zone with max HR climbing a slight hill into the wind (windy all ride!) 155bpm. My average cadence I rode by perceived effort level (PEL) which was perfect for me at 98rpm and a max cadence during one of the rolling hill climbs of 116rpm.

One thing though about the Steelhead bike in/bike out section of the course from transition chip mat till where you could actually get on our bike and off your bike was about a 300 foot walk/run with your bike...didn't like that!


Monday, August 4, 2008

Ah...no waves or rip currents on Lake Michigan as we lounged on the beach Sunday in St. Joe's...

Just a quick update on what happened at Steelhead 70.3 on Saturday August 2nd 2008...After all us triathletes made the 1.2 mile walk on the beach to the swim start for the 1st wave to leave at 7am the organizers were forced to drop the swim portion due to massive under-tow, white cap waves and alot of chop...they then informed us to walk (1.2 miles) back to the transition because now we were all going to run a Half Ironman DUATHLON...
Here's the link to the Ironman website Steelhead race report:
Also it was great to see fellow blogger Steve out there on the run twice cheering us all onwards...Thanks Steve plus here's a great link to his sherpa race report from Steelhead:
Also here's a link to the Steelhead Active.com race results for everyone:
That's it for my brief report at this time as I need to get to work :-(
More to follow though at some point...

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Lounging on the St. Joseph beach this Sunday morning in conditions that would have been perfect...

for a half IM swim...i'll report some notes tonight about yesterdays Half Ironman DUATHLON... :-)

Saturday, August 2, 2008

B got the tri-bike all...

...set-up for it's overnight stay...

Friday, August 1, 2008

K prepare's her tri-bike...

.,.in it's overnight pajama in transition...