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Showing posts from 2008

2009 Race Schedule

Looking at the USA Triathlon MidEast Region, and the MERCRS schedule as well as a couple of other races I wanted to do, I'm thinking about the following races for 09:

5/02/09 Indianapolis Half Marathon
5/16/09 Pokagon State Park Triathlon Angola, IN or
Memphis in May
5/30/09 Terre Haute Triathlon (just to work, not race)
6/13/09 Celina Challenge Half Marathon Trail Run Perry County
6/20/09 Indiana Sprint Triathlon #1 Indianapolis, IN
7/25/09 XTERRA DINO Versailles New Castle, IN
8/15/09 MERCRS Championship Maysville, KY
9/27/09 Ironman 70.3 Augusta Augusta, GA

Four of these races I've done before, with the other four all new to me. Of course that depends on staying health and breathing, neither of which is assured for anyone.

One thing for sure is I need to run better at longer distances than I have the last few years. I rarely run over 8 miles at a time, so my long runs really need to improve. To that extent I've signed up for the Train in Terre Haute …

Interview with Steve Pyle

Rather than just walking away from the USAT Nationals and deciding to race in just my own backyard, I thought it would be both motivating and educational to ask some questions of those individuals who had such outstanding performances. I certainly had nothing to lose and only to gain by the information. Nothing like starting at the top, so I sent off a few questions to age group winner Steve Pyle from Boulder Colorado. Steve was quick to respond, and his answers were well worth reading by the age grouper community. Here is my questions and what Steve had to say:

> Can you tell us just a bit about yourself, including what got you started in multisport, and a few highlights of your racing career?

I began as a bike racer and competed in about 1,000 races between 1974 and 1990. I’ve raced for several corporate sponsors as well as the US National Team internationally. Retired from bike racing and started running when I was 30, then began racing duathlon. Taught myself to swim at age…

Deuces Wild Duathlon of Distinction

Started running with Craig what a feeling. Better go fast or with
trouble I'll be dealing. Go fast in T1 and get a gap, without it my
race will end with a bad rap.

Kept thinking to myself I'm being chased by men of distinction, better
go fast or I'll be passed and head in to extinction. Have Bob to the
front of me, and Craig to the rear, better forget the pain and find
another gear. Oh the pain in my legs is starting to sear, but Craig is
coming better click down on the shifters and forget the fear. Maybe a
flat tire will ease my pain, I'm afraid my energy level is starting to
drain. Got that hunted feeling, men of distinction are chasing me and
with trouble I'll soon be dealing.

Get in quick to T2 out on the run with my new running shoes. Go quick
Paul or you will soon be passed, Craig is coming and of him you don't
want to be passed. See Bob to the front of me and Craig to the rear, we
are all lost I fear. Turn around and head back from the run, Adam is
passing lik…

Damiano Cunego and Drug Free Cycling

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Thanks to Versus channel for covering the Giro di Lombardia which as a viewer looks like an amazing place to hold a cycling event. One of the first things I noticed was Damiano Cunego's "Drug Free" tattoo he was sporting. As the defending champion, as well as a very interesting rider, I was glad to see him win for the 3rd time.

What makes me wonder is when cyclist do long tours and never seem to have a bad day. Damiano seems to have suffered his share of bad days, which makes him seem much more real to me. With the seeming endless parade of cyclists getting caught using EPO or some related drugs, it is most refreshing to see someone race clean and do well. Another rider who I think is also refreshing is Christian Vande Velde along with his team Slipstream riders.

Greg Lemond talked a lot about just who is playing fair and who he thinks isn't, and of course he has to speculate to some degree. While he has been given lots of ridicule for his stance, he has been p…

Race for the Cure & the Corvette

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I participated this past Saturday in the Race for the Cure 5k at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods. First 5k I’ve competed in for a long time, and it was fun. No grueling 2 plus hour race, no transitions, no bike, no swim, it was nice and simple. Turned out to be just about a perfect day and I always enjoy the campus of Saint Mary’s. I ran the first mile with a friend of mine’s 12 year old son Peter Davis. I’ve ridden with his father Bill for more years than I can remember, and rarely ever can stay on his wheel. It was no wonder Peter was a chip off the block, so despite being 12, he did a nice job of setting the pace. I didn’t check the first mile split but it was somewhere around 6:20 or so. Passed the two mile split in 13 minutes flat. Final finishing time as 20 minutes 16 seconds.

Fun to see friends out there I had run with, or had known for a long time. This will give me a nice goal this fall and winter to break 20 minutes again, so I can at least say I can still break 20 minute…

USAT Age Group Nationals

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Age Group National Championships did I come. Portland Oregon, sounded like fun. September 20th I thought it never would come. A spot on Team USA was at stake. If the top 16 you could make. Slim chance I knew. But 2 hours a day I did train. Out in the sun or even in the rain. Yet for the prize I did strain.

Started the day before with a trip to Hagg Lake. Wow what big hills did in my eyes take. Olympians Matt Reid and Hunter Kemper did I see. Just back from Beijing, glad they are not racing against me.


From the dock on race morning I did start. 1500 meters of swimming did I do. Most my peers were way before me, but I tried not to lose heart. Around the yellow buoys and back I went. Then up the big hill did I run. To the transition where my bike did await. Only out of one eye could I see. My contact had messed up on me, all that I could see was burry, blurry indeed.

Peeled my wetsuit and on to the bike. In low gear and up a big hill then suddenly felt sick. Oh don't toss my cookies as …

Taper Week

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With just 5 more days to go before my big goal race of the year, I have to admit I’m feeling good and excited about the USAT Age Group Nationals. My diet has been better than it has ever been, my swimming is reasonable (for a very average swimmer) and my cycling feels decent. Still have some concerns about my run speed, and my lower back which tends to tighten up while riding in the aero position on the time trail bike. With the bike course having 2 laps, the second one may get downright uncomfortable in the lower back area. The bike and run course also have more hills than anything I’ve race so far this year. I may not have prepared as well as I should for the hills.

With that said, I do feel good about my training and prep, particularly the last several weeks, and just feeling really good gives me confidence. A number of factors go into the results of any race, but maybe more so on this one. Considering the quality of field, the tougher course, and a location I’ve never been t…

Powerbar Diet

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I've never been much of a "Diet" person seeing that I can still shop in the "boys" department at a number of stores, but I have paid more attention to it this year. Specifically my breakfast and lunch has been fairly constant all summer, so I thought I might make mention of it.

Just to state the facts, I currently weight about 136 pounds on a 5' 9" frame. My weight in the winter generally goes up to about 146 or so. Since early July I was down to 140 and now a bit thinner. I feel race ready any time I drop below 138.

Most of this I attribute to my lunch time routine of running or swimming and then having two Power Bars and water for lunch. Occasionally I'll do something different, but that is the standard fare. Most mornings I heat up two frozen waffles with peanut butter and syrup along with water. About 3 days a week I ride in to work (about 6 miles) then ride home the long way (about 15 miles). If I don't ride in, I try to ride later …

Tri Indy at 50

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August 17th was the first Tri Indy downtown Olympic distance triathlon, and my 3rd tri race of the season. As it was just 2 days after my 50th birthday, I figured this was a good way to celebrate the occasion. My first triathlon was 20 years ago as I turned 30. I still struggle with swimming, but at least I swim middle of the pack now and not the very last.

The unique feature of Tri Indy is the swim in the downtown canal. It had never been used for a swim venue of any kind before. While it is not exactly clean, it was scenic. The first 1000 meters is a straight shot while the last 500 has several turns and the water quality went downhill. They divided the swim up into around 15 differnet waves of 30 at a time, so it was never crowded. As the water temp was around 75 it was wetsuit legal, and I'm glad I wore mine as it would have been cold standing there before the start.

I came out of the water in 30 minutes and got a bit anxious to start taking off the wetsuit and hit my bi…

Evergreen Triathlon, Mideast Championships

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The Evergreen Triathlon (Evergreen Lake) in Bloomington Illinois was this past Saturday (July 19th 2008) and also served as the USA Triathlon Mideast Region Championships. Since I’m about to turn 50 and wanted to try my hand at the USA Triathlon Age Group Nationals this was the race to be at to see how I stack up in the 50 – 54 age group. The course is a true Olympic distance race, so 1.5k (.9 mile) swim, 40k (24.8 mile) bike, and 10k (6.2 mile) run. Not easy by any stretch.

I met the race director Coleen back in February at the race director certification course, and as soon as I arrived on site and started walking toward packet pickup I saw her. She had that look like, “I can’t believe it is raining”, so I just gave her a hug and a thumbs up to not worry about it. Easy for me to say as I walked on and left her to the directing challenge. I heard a volunteer say in the packet pickup tent a storm was supposed to hit about the start time and no refunds. Seems like every major ev…

Celina Challenge Trail Run

This past Saturday (6/14/08) I did the first annual Celina Challenge Trial Half Marathon or Full Marathon. Got talked into this by Joe and Jeff who are in a bit better shape than I am for long runs, but hey it sounded like a good adventure. Ah, it was!I ran the half (13.1 miles) along with Joe, and Jeff ran the full marathon (2 laps or 26.2 miles). They bill the event as not your mall parking lot 5k, and instead the toughest half marathon anywhere near Indiana. The day before we headed down to stay at a hunting lodge nearby provided by Joe's brother in-law Mark. Mark met us there, and despite a slight detour because of a house fire next door, we arrived safe and sound. It was really a nice place to sleep before the event. No electricity, but comfortable beds and good conversation before the race. Race morning we rolled out of bed around 6:30 am our time, 5:30 local time. Made the 20 minute or so drive to the Celina park in the Hoosier National Forest.The race filled with …

Air Chuck SL - Or just Chuck It!

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So my time trail (triathlon) bike was sitting in the garage looking lonely last night, so I decided to ride it in to work this morning instead of my new Scott CR1. Seemed like a reasonable thing to do. That is until I hit something sharp on the road on my way in to work at 6:30 am. Instant flat, not the kind that goes down slow either, the big bang and your on a wobbly front wheel kind. No big deal, to ride a bike you have to put up with a few flat tires now and again.

So just last night I got my new Genuine Innovations Air Chuck SL and CO2 cartridge and swapped out the old one for the new one in my spare goodies bag under the seat. After a quick change of the tube on the front I pulled out the Air Chuck, screwed in the CO2 and pressed it on the valve stem. Nadda, nothing happens. I try to work the inflater, but it seems to stick. Finally it budges and instantly emptied the CO2 into the air, not my tire where it is so desperately needed. Ah, this is bad. No second CO2, no pum…

In Sync

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Improving your triathlon ability seems for me to be related to just how in-sync I am within the last 4 - 6 weeks. If I hit my workouts on a regular basis, not hurting anywhere and find a reasonable amount of time I seem to make steady improvements. I say this because as of late I'm clearly out of sync.

Each day I think I'm at the start of one of those 6 weeks time frames where everything just goes smoothly. Some how it seems to fall short as of late with small injury and schedule problems. However, today is as good as any to start the "in sync" phase for a good July race. Of course I have a race scheduled in a week and a half so can't think too long of term.

Today I'm feeling real positive. This is the start of something good!

Godspeed

No Cold Dead Souls

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The 3 State 3 Mountain Challenge this year turned out to be a bit more of an adventure than planned. Well, may be a lot more adventure than planned. It reminds me of the famous quote from Theodore Roosevelt, “The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again because there is no effort without error and short-comings, who knows the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the high achievement of triumph and who at worst, if he fails while daring greatly, knows his place shall never be with those timid and cold souls who know neither victory nor defeat.” When the rain was pouring, temperature falling, and the crowd at the start was much thinner than expected, it would only be a day for those willing to steel themselves for what lay ahead.

After waiting an extra 40 minutes for the initial thunderstorm to clear the ride…

Sullivan Triathlon Race Report

Triathlon season kicked off yesterday with my first race of the year. Sullivan is a fairly low key sprint triathlon race featuring an indoor pool swim before heading outdoors for the bike and run. They had a sold out crowd of 300 triathletes with some obvious good competition. I started right in the middle of the 300 registered races as number 150. With the time trail start, 1 swimmer going in every 10 seconds, it gave me some time before I made the running start into the pool. The swim went fairly easy; I passed a couple of other guys early, and then had clear water all the way to the finish. I jumped out in about 8 minutes 40 seconds for the 400 meters. I bit slower than I hoped for, but swimming under the lane lines going from lane to lane is a bit awkward. All in all, the easiest swim I’ve ever had in a triathlon. For such a small town they had a first rate swimming facility.

The first transition to the bike went very smooth, and had one of the fastest splits there. The b…

New Uniforms - Forward Motion Athletics

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New uniform to debut at the Sullivan Triathlon this weekend. We had a team meeting yesterday and got to pose for the team picture in the new LG tri suits. Made for a good laugh as everyone was peeling off what they had over the top. We did the picture at the back of a bank that was just closing, and as you can imagine, got some interesting looks.

Well no one was arrested, so I guess we are okay.
First race on Sunday is a sprint, 400 meter swim indoors, 13.4 mile bike and 5k run outdoors. No pressure, just looking to have some fun.

Will report on just how in-shape, or out of shape I am as the race goes down. Stay tuned.

Spring Group Ride

Tuesday evening ride with the local cycling group turned into a hammer fest soon after leaving Hawthorn Park. With the sudden change in weather for the better all the fast guys were ready to lay down the law. Of course that leaves me working near my max effort for most of the ride.

As a triathlete and not just a cyclist, this was my second workout of the day after a good swim during my lunch hour. Makes for a full day, but a good one. My excuse for laboring so hard during the ride.

The group here usually averages 21 or so on a good day. That used to be easier than it is now. Most of those guys are near my age, so I can't use that excuse. Hopefully it will get easier to hang on, but not counting on it ...

Neither Rain nor Sleet nor Wind

Now that I'm back on the home front and no longer in the sunny south, the training conditions call for a bit more grit. With the upcoming 3 State 3 Mountain Challenge on May 3rd, I'm trying to ride as much as I can. This weekend called for wind, rain and temps around 41. With that in mind I joined a group ride Saturday morning for a 45 mile ride up to Bridgeton and back. It rained about 50% of the time, but not to heavy. The grit part came on the ride back into the wind with several sections into sleet with a 20 mph wind propelling it into our faces. I had to put my hand in front of my face like a visor just to see in certain sections.

It may sound a bit absurd, but I kind of liked it. Somehow you feel like you are gaining an edge on the competition when you are able to endure such testing. My friend Tom Paterson was along for the ride along with Tom Newlin. Tom N is training for a cross country ride late this month that starts in California and ends 27 days later on …

Beach Front Training

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Made the trip to Sun City Center Florida last week for Spring Break with the kids. Got in some decent swimming without too much trouble, and some nice running. Feels great to run when its warm after the long cold winter. We also enjoyed Bradenton Beach where I vacationed as a kid. The gulf water was warm enough to swim which surprised me. I don't like swimming in the ocean much, however the scenery was first rate. Got to run on hard packed beach sand which is a blast. No cycling last week, but got in a good ride after we returned home with the local road bike group. No more excuses, feeling good, and back in the swing.

Neither Sand nor Wind nor Cold

Had a decent ride in this morning with Tom Patterson. Maybe 34 degrees, windy, but atleast the sun was shining. Seems like I was riding fairly hard but only going 15. The wind was blowing more than I thought. We headed into the wind, and had the advantage of it on the way back in. Got in 32 miles and for the day it was a good effort. Had a close call with sand in the corner while making a turn for home. Thankfull I got it stopped before heading toward a ditch. Part of living in the cold where sand on the road is great to deal with ice, but not so friendly toward a skinny tired bike.

Determination is required in this sport especially this time of year. Makes you apprecaite the warm summer days with a gentle breeze. If you don't contain some fair amount of grit, you would stay home and watch spongebob.

Swimming, or oh that hurt!

Well I ran the other night for the first time since my crash with mister boxer dog, and it was okay as long as I ran easy. Just did a couple of miles. Had some sore ribs in the morning, but I can deal with that.

Since running was okay, how about swimming? Yesterday after work I attempted it, but ouch that hurt. Just too much pressure on the rib cage. Got in 500 painful yards, then called it. Guess that means back to the elliptical trainer and bike till it gets better. I also made the mistake of pulling myself out of the deep end like I normally do, I didn't want to cry in public, but came close ...

Live in the spirit, ride like the wind, and don't take out a dog again.

You heard it from me first

Cycling among the Snow Flakes

Brad came over after work and we got in a nice ride to Hawthorn Park and back. As soon as we started snow flakes started falling. It didn't seem cold enough to snow yet it did. I think he was nervous every time a dog was in the vicinity. Maybe something to do with my history of crashing into dogs at high speed. Guess he figured I was a marked man ...

Rib feels a bit better, will likely try running or swimming in a day or two.

Back on the Trainer

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After a easy day yesterday, I hit the bike trainer this morning along with Coach Troy Jacobson. Yeah, the DVD spinerval episode Hillacious. Just for fun I did it again in the evening. Made for a good day of cycling even if it was all inside.

Back on the Bike

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After spending a week on the DL (disabled list) I was back in the gym this week which seemed to help my aching rib cage a bit. Took the brave step of getting the road bike out yesterday evening while Jared was at drivers ed. Gave me about an 1 hour and 1/2 to ride. Took it very easy and got in 24 miles. Had to ride just in the saddle and avoid any bumps as they really hurt. Probably did a bit too much since my rib is sore this morning. However, it was a beautiful evening and didn't want to waste it watching reruns of Ninja Warrior. Of course I like Ninja Warrior, but only so much. Yes, Makoto Nagano is the family hero, but he will be back tomorrow.

Today is Good Friday so I plan to attend a couple of special services both here at ISU and First Baptist. Studying Galatians 5 this week and thinking about Living in the Spirit.

6 months from today ...

On September 20th the USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships takes place near Portland Oregon. Just the month before I turn 50. Seems like a most logical goal is to see if I can be in the best possible shape to finish in the top 8 within the 50-54 age group. By doing so that would put me on the USAT Team for the World Age Group Championships held later in the Gold Coast, Australia in November 2009. My mission now that I have decided to accept it, is to pull out all the stops to make that team.

In the next 6 months I have to run faster, swim faster and ride near world class for my age (to make up for my slower swim and run times). As of now I have a broken rib on my right side from a run in with a kamikaze dog, but otherwise in good health. My training was going well till February when I got the flu and my latest setback. However, all things considered I'm feeling positive.

My thought now is to treat each day like I'm preparing for the Olympics. In a way I guess I…