Wednesday, February 24, 2010


So this past week has been fun.

It was a rest week, so I dropped my training hours from around 13 down to 8, maybe less. I also did all my baseline testing.

Saturday I did a 2:30 ride all at easy aerobic levels. Typically I'd hit the first hour of that ride pretty hard and do intervals...but not this week. Sunday I followed it up with another 1:30 aerobic ride. I ran on both days, nothing hard.

Monday I did my swimming baseline test. I averaged 1:14 for 10x100's with 10s rest. I was somewhat surprised by that result as I don't really feel as if I am in good swimming shape. It typically takes me a little while to get to these speeds. During the test I was going hard, but I was holding back a little because my shoulder and endurance. I didn't want to blow up on my first day of testing. For some reason I have this fear of blowing up. Sometimes to do great things you have to run that I'll have to work on that. All things considered the swimming test was very good. I won't use that test data for too much while I work on my shoulder, but I'll be re-testing every 4-6 weeks and want to make sure I don't lose anything in the water either.

Tuesday afternoon I did my running test. This consisted of a 3.5 mile run in my neighborhood. The course is hilly in that there are 4 climbs. At mile 1 there is a quarter mile section of a light uphill climb...maybe 1-2%. (I don't really have any idea, that's a guess.). then there is a little break and at the 1.5 mile mark there is a shorter steeper hill. Once I get my Garmin I can quantify grades and distances. After that there's about a half mile break until the next hill which is maybe .3 miles and maybe 2-3%, I then loop around the neighborhood, come down the hill and go up my main street to my house which is another .3 mile hill but a bit steeper.
Since this is the first time I'm doing real testing for running I'm not as concerned with the hills or distances as I am about consistency. I'll be using this course for all future tests and can compare overall times to see if I am getting faster.
I finished the course in 25:18 which equates to 7:14min/mile assuming the distance is truly 3.5 miles.
Assuming that is accurate, it is my second fastest run ever. At the end of last season I did a small sprint Tri and hit 7:07min/mile for a 5k. That still stands as my fastest.
But this test certainly proves that I am in really good shape right now as that sprint Tri was dead flat on the run. If I had done a 5k test on a track or flat stretch of road I think I might have been able to break 20min. One of these days I may have to try that.
Maybe there is something to this running 6 days per week afterall.

Bike Test:
Sometimes you can tell that things are just going to go your way. Thus was my functional power test.
I planned this test to be last because I knew it would force me to rest during the week...and rest I did. This was easily the most rested I've ever been for a FTP test. Typically I'll do some really tough workouts a couple days before and then just do some easier stuff the day before. This week I worked out very little other than the tests. I think I got on the bike Sunday and briefly Tuesday.

My previous test was Jan 6. I was completely unrested and didn't complete the test. I was very worn down and could tell I wasn't able to hold my wattage. I redid the test on the 10th and held 314 watts for a FTP of 298. (subtract 5%).
So it has been almost 6 full weeks since my previous test and I was looking forward to this. I also had a really good idea that my wattage had increased. I was hoping to hold 325 watts for the test itself.

I started the video as normal (spinnervals). warm up easy for a bit. But this time, since I am really trying to be more detailed I started tracking my warmup. I did the 1x3 min hard at about 350 watts. Took the rest and did the 1x3 minute efforts at about 360 watts. I wanted to make sure I put in a really hard effort I could quantify.

Then for the test. For those that don't know, an FTP test is a measure of your power/endurance over a 1-hour period. in many tests however you'll only do a 1x20min all out effort. Only because it is challenging to really do the 1-hour test and maintain concentration throughout. Based on the results of the test you can then determine all of your wattage training zones. If used properly it is much more accurate and meaningful than heart rate or percieved exertion. If you can't hit specified matter what your HR says you didn't do the work.

So after my 5 minute recovery from the warmup efforts I started the test. Based on the initial efforts I knew it was going to be a good day. My goal was to hold start at 315-320 and bump it up at the 10 min mark. At about 5 minutes into the test I was at 322 watts and my heart rate hadn't broken 150 yet. My HR is typically lower, but 150 was a bit low for this type of effort. My legs were feeling really good. I told myself I'd dial it up at the 10 minute mark.
At about 7:30 my body adapted and my HR hit about 152 and my percieved exertion went up as my breathing got a bit labored. At 10 minutes I said "to hell with it" and shifted down to a heavier gear. At that point my average power started ticking upward and I was near 329 by the 15 minute mark.
I backed off one gear and brought my cadene higher as that is a bit more comfortable for me. My power stayed the same for those 2 minutes...and for the final 3 minutes I cranked it back up.
At the end of the day my wattage was 332. Instead of an improvement of about 11 watts, I improved 18 watts or 6% over those 6 weeks. I was extremely happy with those results as I had been hitting the bike really hard.

A lot of people don't understand let me convert this into speed.
So if everything else remains the same the difference between 314 watts and 332 watts on a 25 mile course is 24.76mph to 25.29. Over that distance I would be almost 1:30 faster. Overall that is a pretty impressive improvement for me.
If I hold 25.2 for an OLY bike will be one of the top splits depending on the race.
I did notice that now my interval rides are going to be REALLY HARD. Even my aerobic rides are at a decent wattage. Should be interesting to see how my legs react to the added work.

So overall the week has been very successful. The next four weeks will have a bit less training because of a class I have to talk all day on Saturdays. But my goal is to continue with the run/bike program and let my swim stagnate a bit. I think I'll be making an appointment with an ortho next week. Perhaps an MRI is in order...if the tear in my rotator cuff is worse, it could cause some of this pain.

If so maybe I can get a shot of cortisone for this season and do the surgery in the fall. I've heard shoulder surgery sucks big-time. But I've tried just about everything and relief has only been temporary. I think this has to be caused by the tear.

As far as diet and nutrition...the last two weeks were basically eating by that i mean I didn't really track what I ate. Typically that means I overeat...and to a degree I did. But because I was still working out a lot I really just at more calories but was still in a small defecit. This morning I checked and was 210. So that was a nice surprise.

So that's it for the moment.

Monday, February 22, 2010

New and Exciting ways to hurt myself

So last week was an interesting week for me.

The Beach clan got one bigger with the addition of a new cat. Her owner decided (after 7 years) that he didn't want her and was going to give her back to the humane soceity. And since he had gotten dogs that terrorized the cat, she may not have passed the personality test...thus being put down. So it was a valentines day present.

She is a black cat, just like out other two cats. Yes we're freaks. I used to think our first cat Cassie was shy. Not compared to this cat. You make a noise and this one goes diving for cover. We're trying to get her acclimated to the house and other cats. It's going to be a very looooon slooooow process with her. And it isn't like Cassie is a very welcoming cat. She's growling and hissing with every step. It's pretty funny how worked up she'll get herself. While Lilly (cat #2) wants to be friends and is very social. The different personalities these cats have is really funny. The new cats name is Diva/Olivia/Ziva...we haven't quite decided.

we have a gate up in the hall to keep the cats separated while we're at work. I keep tripping over the thing...I halfway expect myself to trip and fall right over the railing onto the TV on the lower level. I can be a putz like that.

Well onto the training.
My weight didn't really change. I checked on Friday when I was all worn down...had actually gained a pound...went on an "I have no will-power binge of pizza hut, b-day desserts, bagels, home-made eggrolls, jelly beans, cake, etc. Weighed myself this am and I dropped that lb over the weekend.
I am very odd that way...sometimes I really think my body needs the junk in order to lose weight. I paid the price by feeling crappy most of the weekend. But it was my b-day weekend...eating like crap is my right.
Tomorrow is my actual weigh-in day. I wonder if I'll have actually lost a pound by then. I wouldn't be surprised. Now and then the body needs to be shocked. And the good news is that I am sick of crappy food and look forward to eating better this week. Funny how making yourself sick makes you want to eat better.

I got in three swims. I went to swim on Friday for my fourth swim...but was so worn down the only swimming I did was in the hot tub. I thought about getting into the arthritis pool to dance with the grandma's...but just couldn't do it. I was in the hot tub for a good 30 by the time I got out I was ready to pass out. It felt like a workout anyway.

It was a pretty light swimming week because Monday was a holiday. I don't typically go to the gym in the morning to swim on a day off. In any case my shoulder is still bugging me and I may be going to the orthopedic surgeon to have it looked at. I know there is a tear in my rotator cuff...the only question is how bad I've made it. Perhaps I'll take a shot of cortisone until after this season and then get it fixed in October. That would give me plenty of time to recover in the off season.
I've heard shoulder surgery SUCKS. Not looking forward to it.

I got in all 6 runs for 2:45. Overall I was very happy with that. My legs are a little tight from no orthotics, but nothing major. Overall feeling good. My oddball toe is still bugging me...but a little tape-job fixes that right up.

I got in 5 bike rides. It was supposed to be 6, but I just couldn't do it. It wasn't the saddle time that was wearing me down. I hadn't taken a full blown day off since Feb 2. But I did take a few real easy days in the month. But I had also been pushing myself really hard on the bike. And in fact, to a certain degree I was pushing too hard.
On some sets I was doing reps well above my functional power thresholds and only taking 60s rest instead of minutes of recovery that were needed.
If you look back at my last blog you'll see a set that I attempted and failed at. I have come to realize why I failed...someone was screwing with me when they gave me that workout. There simply isn't enough rest built into that workout to recover and be able to repeat those efforts.
It's all a learning experience for me, so it's good I didn't injur myself or completely burn myself out.

Looking back I had 2 really solid back to back weeks of training. I was right around 12hours for each week. In February that's pretty solid, especially considering the amount of higher intensity biking I did.

This coming week is now a rest week and re-test week. I've already done my baseline test for swimming. 10x100's w/10s rest - all for time. I ended with a 13:55 which translates into an average time of 1:14's I believe.
I was a bit surprised by my speed in the water at this point. I was only slightly faster at my fastest last season. I think the added fitness is really making the difference.

Tomorrow I do my run baseline. I don't have my Garmin pacing won't be exact. I have a course by my house that I run. It is about 3.5 miles and has 4 climbs that I'll call significant. So I'll take the time from that and use it for the remainder of the season...or until I find a better, flatter course I can use with the Garmin for pacing.

Thursday I am doing my bike test. I am really looking forward to that one as I've done a lot of harder bike work and believe my functional power has gone up. I am really hoping I'll be in the 310 range. Maybe even a touch higher.

This week I am starting a PMP study group for work. It is all day my weekly hours are going to come down for a month. I'm not too worried about it since Feb has been a real tough month.

I am signed up for a time trial in late march. 45 minutes on the bike. I'll be working with that in mind.

Until next time.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The long winter...

So it's becoming a long winter and it's only February.
I don't mind the cold at all, in fact for the most part I like it. But snow on the roads and sidewalks gets me upset because it makes running outside tough. I'm always afraid I'll fall and hurt something...which is pretty typical for me.

A couple updates.
Weight today was 211. I dropped 6 pounds last week. Not exactly sure how I did that. I did cook all my meals and only had 1 bad dinner (gyro). I had almost no soda or diet soda and did some really solid workouts. Overall I felt really good considering the amount I lost. If I can manage another week or two like that I'll hit my goal weight way ahead of schedule. During IM training I got down to about 208, so I could just be losing the easy pounds right now and 208 - 195 will be tougher.

My workouts went really well.
I got in 4 swims totaling 2:05. Nothing compared to my college days, but I got in about 7,000 yards. I'm sure that will go up once my shoulder is fixed.

I got in 5 bike rides for 7:45. I got in 3 solid interval rides. 1 endurance ride and 1 recovery ride. Saturday was a 2:30 ride of mixed intervals and endurance sets.

I managed 6 runs. Short runs were 20min, medium runs were 30 min, long run was 35 min. Still breaking in the legs and feet without the orthotics. Next week I will only bump this by 10 minutes making the long run 45 minutes. After that I'll be bumping up 10% each week. I can feel the calves and hips tighten up without the orthotics, so I did take some extra time to stretch and use the foam roller. Seems to be working itself out pretty well.

Overall not a bad week, got in 11:40 of total training time. For the off season that's not too bad.

Originally I was going to take this week (14th - 21st) as a rest week and do some basic testing. I know my bike power is higher based on my sets. But I decided to make this week a longer training week (15 hours) instead. Starting next Saturday I have to take an all day Saturday class for 4 weeks. So I'll have to shift around my longer rides. Won't be able to do the masters swim either.

I am doing this week as a longer week because yesterday I had a holiday. I thought I'd get in a longer day of training since I'd have the house to myself. My plan was to do the following set.

5x3min @110% FTP - 60s rest interval.
3min recover
3x5min @110% FTP - 90s rest interval.
3min recover
4x1min @130% FTP - 15s rest interval.

So on Saturday I did a long interval/endurance ride. Then on Sunday I did an endurance ride at the upper end of my aerobic power. So when I got to Monday for some reason I thought I could manage to do a set like that.
For those that don't understand FTP here is a brief explanation.

Power is a measurement of the watts you produce when biking. It is a very quantifiable measure unlike HR. You get instant feedback...and it is very simple to figure out your sustainable power output. An FTP test when done correctly essentially tells you the wattage you can hold for a 1-hour (40k) Time Trial. It is an all-out pace and extremely hard.
My current FTP is 300watts. So 110% of that is 330watts and very challenging to maintain. Especially when your legs are already beatup from hard workouts the previous 2 days.
Unfortunately I was unable to complete the set as written. But I did learn a LOT. First it showed me just how much impact rest (or lack thereof) can have on upper end power. Second, it really showed me that my upper end power needs some work. Sure I can hold 260-280 watts for 20 minute sets no problem...but my legs are suffering after even a couple minutes when above my FTP (and tired legs).

Since I plan to take next week as a rest/testing week I am going to spend this week doing upper end power intervals like that. I'll be doing them more often as historically I haven't done them as much. I need to look up some more sets like that to make it work. Especially since that set above has very little rest and I'm not sure I could finish it even fully rested.

Alright, that's it for now. I will have much more to say next week once I've done my testing. I don't know that I've ever really focused on swim or run testing, only biking. Typically I just swim and run. To get faster I'll need a little more focus.

For the run testing I am going to be using my normal loop in my neighborhood. It's about 3.5 miles and hilly. I am going to use that time to guage progress over the next few months.
For swimming I'll be doing 10x100's with 10s rest and taking the cumulative time. Over time I'll bump that up to 15-20 100's.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Training Plans

Well it turns out I will have some time today to get these posts finished, and after this I'll be posting every week or every couple weeks. Something like that depending on what's happening.

For the season there are multiple goals...some goals require other goals.

1. Have an injury free season.
2. Drop to 190-195lbs
3. Qualify for Nationals.
4. Win my age-group at a race.
5. Do the run portion of an olympic disance race at a 6:45 pace. (flat course)
6. Average over 24.5mph on an olympic distace bike course. (flat course)

Goals 1 & 2 will go hand in hand as losing the weight will help prevent injuries.
Goals 3-6 essentially require goals 1 & 2.

So the plan of attack is simplicity.
The first step is two-fold. First improve overall fitness and strength by working through the offseason. Roughly 10-15 hours of training per week. Second, maintain a steady diet and calorie defecit. Two weeks ago I started to really watch the diet and get serious I was about 220lbs at that time. Today I was 212. That is more of a loss than I expected, but I have been eating healthier and more than enough calories so I am not worried. I try to keep my defecit within 1,000 calories per day. More than than and I can lose energy. I have 17lbs to lose from today...I plan to lose 2lbs per week. So I should be down to race weight by the end of April. That leaves me with all of May to increase my calorie load to a maintenance level.

For the other goals I have to bust my butt. Allow me to summarize my overall workout plan.
Running = 6 days per week.
Biking = 5-6 days per week.
Swimming = 4 days per week.

Here is the weekly breakdown for this week.
Run: short run AM
Swim: 40min AM
Bike: Intervals PM
Run: Short Run AM
Bike: Recover/aerobic ride PM
Run: short run AM
Swim: 40min AM
Bike: hard intervals PM
Run: long run AM
Swim: 20min swim AM
Bike: Recovery/aerobic ride PM
Swim: 40min AM
Bike: Recovery Ride PM
Medium Run - AM
Optional 90min masters swim
Long Ride 2:30-4:00 - AM
Short Run immediately after

So that is the basic plan. I feel I need to outline some key points.
First, this plan will change as my running milage increases. At the moment I am following a 6-day running plan in an effort to improve my run. Running is easily my weakest event due largely to injuries. As I talked to several people, one of the keys to injury prevention is to run MORE, not less. Running 3 days per week with one of those days being a long run puts undue strain on many ares of the legs because the body isn't ready for that long run.
Many training plan writers say you can finish a marathon on a 3-day plan, and that may be true. But you won't finish it strong, and probably not injury free.

So my running days consist of 3 distinct workouts.
1. Short run (currently 20 minutes)
2. Medium run (currently 30 minutes)
3. Long run (currently 45 minutes)
I do not do any speedwork as it takes too long to recover from. And fundementally the key component to running a 40min 10k vs 50min 10k is endurance, not speed.

The goal is to increase my weekly mileage by 10% most weeks unless I feel worn down. I will do this until I am running roughly 300 minutes per week. (30:60:90) The goal is to also keep the runs in a 1:2:3 ratio. So if my short run is 1min, then the long run is x3 or 3min.
So far so good as I have come to realize I do NOT need a recovery day if I only run 20 minutes. Nobody does.

Once my runs start getting a little longer I will no longer have time to swim and run in the AM. As a result I will mostly swim in the AM and follow my evening rides with the run. I prefer running outside to the treadmill at the gym anyway.

For my bike training in 2009 I did all longer slower rides. I got in a lot of miles and showed great improvement. I used a power meter, but not correctly. This year I am changing all that. Now I am doing regular power tests to quantify my overall bike improvement.
At Tri-ing for childrens I did not have a PWM on my bike, so I will do some estimating.
I weighed roughly 215lbs. I was riding tubular tires, the course was flat, no wind, and I was in my aero bars (although probably not very aero due to my fit for ironman)
I rode about 22.5mph which equates to roughly 230 watts.
Given what I know about power and myself last year, that sounds reasonable to me.

Based on my current training this off season I am much faster now. My functional power is currently 300w. Last season it was much less because I never truly pushed myself in training...and didn't really know how to on the bike. Now I know that 230watts is an easy aerobic ride for me.

If I do the same basic calculations based on my current Functional power I can hold an average of 25.3mph. Personally that's where I lose a little faith in the calculations as 25.3 is awefully fast. I believe it would also give me the fastest bike split at that race, and I know I am not that fast. At least not compared to the gear-grinders I know.
If I had to guess, based on my current fitness, if I were to get a 40k pancake flat time trial...I think I could hold 24-25mph right now. Time will tell.
I have watched my power go up from 250 watts to 300 watts this offseason. Mostly from learning about myself and how to suffer on the bike. But also by building strength and putting in a lot of miles. I also try to do harder intervals 3x per week. That's been a key component of getting my power up. In fact I suspect my FTP is a bit higher than 300 based on some of my training.

My plan for the swim is pretty simple. In previous years I have slacked. I am one of the faster swimmers at races even while slacking. This coming season I need to be one of the top 2-3 swimmers. That means dropping from about a 23 minute swim to about an 18.
My plan to do that is very simple...swim more. In previous years I'd swim 3x per week and do 2500yds MAX per practice. This season I am going to swim 4-5 days per week and try to keep 2500 as my minimum. I am also getting a new wetsuit for my b-day. Check it out:

I'd like to thank Xterra for going out of their way to get me a 50% discount on that bad-boy. I would not have been able to pay $700 for it.

The other thing I am going to do come race day is swim HARD. Typically I take the swim pretty easy so I don't flame out on the bike/run. I am going to take the swimming out quite a bit harder this year simply because I know I can. Plus there are a couple swimmers on my team and I am looking to draft off them.

Well, that is my basic training plan. Ideally on the bike I'll be able to get up to 330-350watts as my FTP prior to the season. I suspect I am at a 310 right now. I will retest some time next week to find out.

Thanks for reading and I'll post more as I have more to report.



So I discovered someone is actually reading this already. How cool! But I also heard they couldn't comment. If anyone else is having that problem, please let me know. I added a test comment and it worked, so I am not sure what the problem is.

So yesterday I got us up to a few months ago. Now I will bring you up to where I am right now and my plans/goals.

As I may have mentioned last year was my first serious year of training to race. As a result of that training (despite injuries) I showed some pretty dramatic improvement. And in all honesty I was only just starting to learn how to train properly.

In 2008 and 2009 I did a couple common races and the conditions were similar, so I'll draw some comparisons between the years.

In 2008 I did the following:
Lake Mills Sprint - 1:25:12 - 302nd place overall
Elkhart Lake Olympic - 2:53:46 - 135th overall
Tri-ing for Children Olympic - 2:39:22 - 56th place (getting better)

In 2009 I did the following:
Lake Mills Sprint - 1:16:55 - 79th place
Elkhart Lake Olympic - 2:43:42 - 65th place
Tri-ing for Children Olympic - 2:16:00 - 28th place

Allow me to put some of this into context. As a general rule in 2008 I was swimming olympic distance races in about 22-24 minutes.
I was riding just under 20mph.
I was running 8-9min/mile.

In 2009 I started training seriously much earlier in the off season...however I did almost zero speed work. Instead I did a lot of volume and built a really strong base.
My swim times didn't do too much. I dropped a minute or so. But I really haven't worked hard on swimming since college.
My bike splits improved to about 22mph on average. It depended on the race and conditions.
My run also improved. Early in the season I was running closer to 8min/mile. Towards the end of the season I was doing 7:45's at Oly races and 7:10's at sprints.

For the sake of being consistent and understandable I am going to use times and comparisons with one race, the Tri-ing for childrens race. My specific splits are below.
swim - 23:43 Bike - 1:15 (19.88mph) Run - 57:14 (9:12 pace)

Swim - 18:55 Bike - 106:32 (22.54mph) Run - 48:09 (7:46 pace)
In 2009 the swim course was short by a couple hundred yards.

Back to Nationals for a second. In order to qualify a person must do one of two things. In any USAT sanctioned race you must finish in the top 10% of your age group.
There are bigger national qualifying races in which you must finish in the top 33%.
I have not decided which way to go at this point. I don't know that there are any really close regional qualifiers. I will have to take a look.
there is also the possibility that if someone goes to nationals and does well, they will qualify for the world championships. For me...this year...that isn't terribly likely. We'll see.

So the question becomes...what will it take for me to finish in the top 10% at a USAT race. First, it depends on the race. I will continue to use Tri-ing for childrens as an example. It is a flat and very fast course. Last year it was a team sponsored race for me (read: free). As a result many Gear-Grinders were there. If I had done a 2:16 in 2008 I would have finished 10th. In 2009 it was only good for 28th.

In order to qualify I estimate my overall time will need to be closer to 2:02:00 on a similar course that means dropping a full 14 minutes this year. Is that possible? I'm not sure. But I'll have fun trying. From 2008 to 2009 I dropped over 20 minutes while only putting in volume training. This year I am doing the volume and the hard work.

Here are the times I figure I'll have to go.

Swim - 18:30 on an accurate course.
Bike - 1:00:00 24.5mph for 25 miles
Run - 42:00:00 6:45's for a 10k
-Add transition times.

So those are my goal splits based on a flat/fast/accurate course in good conditions. Actual times will vary based on external factors, however the external factors impact everyone.

This has gotten long enough, I'll add my actual training plan tomorrow. (or later today if I get time.)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Getting Older

So yesterday I went up through college.  Today I will get caught up with where I am today.  Tomorrow I will cover my plan and training.  After that I am sure everyone will be thoroughly bored with me and never visit this site again. 

After I got out of college I began lifting weights.  I had never done so in college because of recurring shoulder problems. Medical knowlege of shoulder rehab was not what it is now.  Proper lifting and strength work may have eliminated much of my pain.  Did a lot of power lifting, almost got myself up to a 300lb bench.  As I have stated before, getting big was never my issue.  Getting smaller was the challenge.  I did that for a few years and was happy to never touch a swimming pool in that time.  I wouldn't even go in on nice days to cool down.  If I wasn't going to swim laps, I didnt' see the point.

At some point in 2001 I went to a party in Minnesota and saw a few college buddies.  Greg Worm was doing triathlons and directed me to  I read some articles and got a training plan and went to work.  My bike was a Trek hybrid with big tires.  I knew nothing about running form or shoes.  But I could swim.  I ended up doing a few races, finishing them all.  I was towards the back of the pack.  But you have to start somewhere.  I saw it as a challenge and was hooked.

The next year I can back and was much faster.  I had my eyes on a 1/2 Ironman in August, and trained for that.  I did well that year in shorter stuff.  (for me).  And went to Pigman in Iowa where I got my ass kicked.  My swim went well, my bike went well...but it was about 105 that day.  There was NO shade of any kind.  And I had no nutrition or hydration plan.  I had maybe one bottle of fluid on the entire 56 mile ride.  I made it about 3 miles on the run and started staggering around like an idiot.  Started walking.  thought about not finishing.  Worm caught me around there and walked with me for quite a while.  I am not sure I would have finished without him.  Thank you Sir Worm.  That was in 2003 I believe.

After that I took a few years off for business and injury reasons.  I floundered and gained weight.

Fast forward to October 2007.  Got word that I won a bike.  Ended up paying a little extra and getting a Trek Equinox 7.  (  I figured it was time I got back into shape.  Started swimming and running again.  Did some trainer riding...mostly ineffective as I still didn't really know how to train properly.

2008 comes and I start racing.  I realize I am faster than I was before I took the break.  Considering I was 40-45lbs heavier I was surprised.  That year I lost 20lbs and finished the season strong and injury free.  At that point I started getting a little more serious about racing.  I made the decision to sign up for Ironman Wisconsin 2009 and began training righ then.
I got a computrainer and started to ride a lot in the winter months.
In November I stupidly decided to be a more forefoot runner instead of heel striker.  Cause major injuries throughout my right foot.  So I focused on swimming and biking.

Despite that I got much faster and was finishing in the top 15% of most races with little run training.  I'll find a way to post results at some point.

Despite the foot injuries and residual shoulder issue (and Crohns) I steadily improved over the year.  I signed on with team Gear-Grinder which is a very fast group.  It makes training and racing a lot easier when there is a group of people that you know will be at the races.  I found it very motivating despite the kick in the ass they all gave me.
Ironman came and I finished.  I will post the entire race report at some point.  It is lengthy.  I finished with a 13:43.  I had to walk a majority of the run.  But it was my first try and it takes years to get good at that kind of endurance event.

After Ironman I took a look at where I was and decided I wanted to be competetive at this sport.  I took some time to heal and started looking at my goals.  I knew I wasn't going to do another IM this year and decided I wanted to qualify for USAT Age Group Nationals.

Tomorrow I'll start going into a little detail of my training plan, diet, and plans for well as the times I think I'll have to hit to qualify.

Thanks for reading. (assuming anyone is.)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A history lesson

So normally I am not going to post this often.  But I wanted to give people something (interesting?) to read instead of just a short little blurb.

So I thought I'd start with a little background.  For the most part I'll stick with athletics.

As a kid I played tennis and baseball.  I enjoyed baseball, tennis was okay.  I didn't really have the patience for either.  Nor did I have the control or the willingness to work on technique.  I always wanted to "go".  Where, I have no idea.

As a freshman in school the swim coach noticed me in swim class.  I had never swam competitively, but I knew how to swim.  I had been cut from the HS volleyball team.  I figured why not, they had a no-cut policy.  So as a fat kid I got into a speedo and swam.
Unfortunately I did not know anything about proper diet.  So for most of school I stayed pretty big.  However I did start to get faster in swimming.
Kids made fun of me for being big, and I vowed to beat them.  So I trained.  And I trained more.  By my sophmore year I was a varsity level distance swimmer and swam year round. 
By my junior year I was doing the 500 scy in about 5:20.  Considering I was 6'1 or so and probably 200+ pounds that was pretty good.  I was #2 or 3 on the team.
By my senior year I was #1 on the team and swimming under 5:10's.  Unfortunately shoulder troubles kept me from breaking 5:00 at was a tough year as I didn't improve nearly as much as I thought I should have.
During that year coach Prior at UW-Eau Claire called and recruited me.  So based on that I decided to go there to swim.
Started as a freshman and was shocked at how good that team was.  I was no where near starting on that team.  But the training was good.  Unfortunately because I am an idiot...over Thanksgiving I blew out my knee playing no pads football.  Had reconstructive surgery and swimming that year was finished.
I trained HARD that off season.  Swam every day in the summer.  Got back in the water with the team and was dramatically better.
If memory serves I ended up swimming a 4:58 in the 500 that year.  Swam the mile and 200 fly as well.  In the 1650 I believe I swam a 17:30 or something like that.
Junior year was a really solid year for me despite not training as hard in the off season.  Ended with a 4:50ish and a 17:15ish.  I really can't remember my times.

Senior year was different.  I got home for summer after my junior year...within 2 weeks had surgery and was diagnosed with Crohns Disease.  I dropped from about 225lbs down to about 200.  I did a ton of walking for rehab.
Got into the pool that year and was WAY faster than I had ever been.  My mid season 500 time was 5:02.  At least 10-15 seconds faster than I had ever swam untapered.  And I kept getting faster.  B-cuts for nationals were a 4:40 and based on how I normally tapered I really thought I had a chance to do it.  Typically I dropped 15-20s by tapering. 
Unfortunately I didn't know anything about Crohns Disease.  I wasn't taking proper care of myself and was about to pay the price.
In December I had blood drawn for testing and then went to Hawaii on a training trip and got more and more tired.  My arms were heavy and burning while swimming.  I had no energy.  At a meet down in Hawaii I swam the 500 in 5:30.
In January my times got steadily slower.  I had no idea what was happening.  Late in January coach pulled me aside and told me I wasn't going to go to the final conference meet as a senior.  I was crushed.
2 weeks after that my doctor called me and told me my blood tests (from December) that I was anemic.  I was immediately put on Prednisone and given a blood transfusion.
Thanks doc.  As Adam Sandler would say...that was a piece of information I could have used a couple MONTHS AGO!!!

So there is my basic history in athletics.  Tomorrow I'll talk about how I got into triathlons and past results.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, February 8, 2010

First Blog

Well, I've never blogged before, but I figure it is about time.  I've been training for a few years now and it's time I kept better track of my overall training, racing, eating, etc.  I can go back and see what has worked as well as what has not worked.

It will also allow friends and family to check up on me.  I post on a few message boards, so I'll end up posting this there as well. 

Over the next few days I'll be adding a little information about me and what I am trying to accomplish.