Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Another victim of Soledad

You might remember me interviewing my buddy Dan back in March on how he felt about climbing (or walking) Mt. Soledad in La Jolla, but yesterday I had the fortunate experience of interviewing my good friend Greg Kurras after he first attempt at climbing Mt. Soledad...


It was good to catch up with Greg since he moved to Seattle over a year ago, and it was definitely good to get some saddle time again because I definitely need it!

I got a nice welcome back to training reminder the other day when my flight landed at BWI at 745am in gate A1, and I needed to be at B14 for my 8am connecting flight back to SD. So, the 5 min tempo run through BWI with a full laptop bag kinda hurt. eesh :)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays!

to everyone out there in blog land... Happy Holidays! Enjoy the downtime, and eat a lot of food!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

You know you're a triathlete when...

... you walk into a nice, warm cozy house for a Christmas party after walking outside in the cold air, and when your glasses fog up, you actually say "Oh damn, my goggles are fogging up."

Seriously. I was glad no one heard me when I said that. NERD!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

How to pee on the bike

Chris - like Beth said - careful what you wish for!...

When I first started in triathlon, my TNT coach Gurujan Dourson, would always talk about peeing on the bike. It was weird because TNT usually attracts a lot of newbies – most of whom don’t care about peeing on the bike in a triathlon. He would always preach “practice, practice practice!” and all the girls would go “eww eww eww!”

I however immediately caught the triathlon bug, and always made note about the severity of his tone whenever he discussed said subject. You could say I was curious and intrigued by this concept, but felt that I would do it only when necessary, rather than going out of my way to perform such act.

He always made a point that this “natural process” is as important as quick transitions in a race, since if you have to go and CAN’T, you are either going to be miserable, or have to stop. If you stop, you better stop at an approved place, or if you don’t, you’ll get fined and have minutes added to your time! I don’t care if you are FOP, MOP or BOP – minutes are minutes, and minutes are the enemy!

I first learned how to pee on the bike during WF 2008 (twice). I had no idea what the “correct” method was, but I found something that worked for me, so to me, it’s correct! During IMLP this year, I damn near received my pro-card in the practice.

The Act

The key to letting it all go is a downhill, some relaxation, and a carefree attitude. Once you crest the hill, stop pedaling, stand up on your bike, and try to relax a bit. Personally, I find I can’t relax while seated, and I definitely can’t relax while pedaling. Once gravity has taken over and you start descending, let loose. It might take a second or two of concentration, but once it starts, there is no stopping until it’s done. Also, don’t worry about other people behind you. Once they realize what is happening, they will get out of the way very quickly.

Let me also say that after doing it once, it becomes so much easier to do it again. At WF, I peed at miles 40 and 45! At IMLP, I simply lost count.

Now, some say “Gross – now you’re covered in pee”. Listen people, it’s all about getting to the finish line ASAP, not smelling as good as possible. But realistically, it can’t smell all that worse how everything else smells. Not to mention you’re doing it on the bike, which means the wind (not to mention the wind from going downhill) will help evaporate things very quickly. Oh, and if you are properly hydrated, it is probably closer to evian than anything.

If you have other ideas or better ways – let me know!

Monday, December 15, 2008

How to launch a snot rocket successfully & efficiently

(Beth, you said you wanted more posts - so here you go - enjoy!)

As seen on amateurendurance.com:

Some might view this article as divulging a potential competitive advantage, while others may get a laugh out of it, but the bottom line is that you will no doubt benefit from reading this.

I was inspired to write this article when, about 10 months ago, I performed the rather natural motion of a single-handed-consecutive-double-nostril-snot-rocket, and received a compliment from my good friend Pat. After witnessing this act, he said “Whoa, Denner, that was amazing how fast and efficiently you did that.” I was of course honored and gave Pat some pointers for the next time he had some drippage.

As we approach the winter months, you will no doubt notice that while on your bike rides or runs during the colder temperatures, you will have to deal with the runny nose.

Because riding a bike takes considerably more coordination than running (for most people anyways), this “trick” may help you continue to build your aerobic base, while not putting yourself at danger for crash (although I can’t speak for anyone behind you). Without further adieu, here is how the act is performed.

First and foremost - make sure no one is behind you when you do this (unless they are your competition).

Take one hand (I prefer my left), and with your thumb and index finger, create a “chopstick” looking configuration:

Now, place your index on the opposite nostrol, and give a small tilt of the head towards your open nostril side. Pay close attention to not dropping your thumb into the trajectory path of the launching nostril.

Index Cover, Thumb Open

Index Cover, Thumb Open

Now, give a quick, yet forceful exhale.

After the snot has left your nostril, immediately, give a quick movement/flick of the wrist, and cover your other open nostril with your thumb.

Just as quickly, give another quick and forceful exhale.

Thumb Cover, Index Open

Thumb Cover, Index Open

If necessary, feel free to repeat. (If you notice, yes, that is a 140.6 sticker in the background, and this practice no doubt helped me get there).

With practice, you should be able to execute this maneuver in under half a second.

Best of luck!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Off Season

Paul at AmateurEndurance.com wrote a great article this week on the off-season. It echoes a lot of what I said before in this article (note the image in the article and you'll get it!)

I share a lot of the sentiment in this article. My typical off-season usually includes at least one month of " ", as in NOTHING.

Nada.
Zilch.

Zero training.

Although I had my 3 week vacation back in August, I start cycling again, with the occasional run, and completely avoiding swimming :) I started up again because I had a goal to hit in September (more on that later), and training was "kind of" fun. It was fun b/c there was no structure, and I had gobs of base to play with. I was also feeling a pressure to succeed next year, so I felt I had to keep it up.

But then I started going back to school for my master's, and realized I wasn't enjoying training that much. Training became a stress, where it normally provides an outlet. So, a few weeks ago, I finally hit the point where I said "No More", and the only things I have done since then have been 1-2 long bike rides, the occasional easy run, and lots of yoga and stretching. I needed to re-prioritize. I need that balance. Balance is something that I strive for on a daily, weekly and yearly basis.

I know that when January comes around, things will be different. I will need focus, and to be mentally and physically rested. For some reason, December is always a hard month for me mentally, and I just need to get through it.

One of the main reasons for my month de nada is to want to get back into training. Now that I am getting stuff straightened out, and doing things I don't normally do during training (like going out for a few on a tuesday), I am going to enjoy the rest of the month, enjoy the time with my family, and get ready to hit it hard come January 1st (err.... 2nd :)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Eat with your hands post on marksdailyapple.com

Wow, this actually made my day, if not month!

A number of months ago, I emailed Mark Sisson about "Primal Utensils" - ie. eating with your hands. We went back and forth a few times, and this latest post on eating with your hands is the best!

Check it out!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Barefoot Running


Let me be the first to say I don’t know much about barefoot running, but there certainly was a buzz about it for the past 2 seasons. Some of that buzz was created by a local athlete, Yoshi, during his graduate thesis. I was a little intrigued by this at first...

Click here to read more!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Alive

I am alive, and enjoying my "off season". I probably won't get back to blogging much until after the new year, so stay tuned for the big news next year.

ps- Sorry for not contributing to your work procrastination habit :)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Killer Week


Sunday, I flew up to San Fran for Oracle Open World - Oracle's big 35,000 person conference.

In the interest of keeping this blog G rated, let's just say my presentation went very well, and the rest of open world was spent "networking" - and it's safe to say it was an extension of the killer weekend. I also did get a chance to catch up with my friends Moog, Jeff and Garuna too. Here we are throwin down on some thai food at osha:


I got back on Thursday with a major itch to get on it. So, I grabbed my steed, and started heading down the coast with no set plans or anything. 90 minutes later, I had already done 3 repeats up via capri. The first time, I literally thought my eyes were going to bug out of my head. I was kinda spent after that, so I decided its time to head back and get some sleep. I ended up chatting with another cyclist and the next thing I know I am up in carlsbad! So, what I originally wanted to be a "detox" ride, ended up being a 3.5 hour jaunt up and down the coast!

It is good to be back, and now it's time to stop blogging and log some more time in the saddle. Git it!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Killer Weekend

Thursday: TCSD Aquathon

Second one ever, first one this season. What the hell, right?

Swim: All I am gonna say is that this was the first time I have swam since 7/20. It was funny, during the first 100m or so, I was like "Man, this is easy, I can't believe that I haven't lost any swim fitness". Yeah right. The next 900m or so were just plain awful. I went completely off course at least twice, and in general, it just hurt. I got out of the water, got to my transition area, and I was just dizzy. I am not saying I was dizzy to make a joke, but seriously, I almost fell over 4 times ... for each leg I had to take out of my wetsuit. My vision was just not straight. When I looked at my towel afterwards, it looked like there was a wrestling match that just took my place. I put on my Vibram's, and then it was off on to the run:


the run was fun - I definitely pushed it, and it definitely hurt.

Chow time:Post race grub: Leucadia Pizza and Salad


The BEST cookie/muffin things I HAVE EVER HAD!! these things went fast! I think they were called aussie bites

Post Race, I met up with my boy's Kenny and Bassam from NYC who were in town this weekend for street scene. Bassam is good friends with the manager at Ra where they had $1 PBR's (!!!!), and they were having a sick 80's party.

Friday: Grant and Bello rolled into town from OC/LA, followed by Beach Volleyball all day, then Street Scene Volume #1

Bassam and I had "Kids" by Mgmt stuck in our heads all day, so it was only fitting of what song was on when we first walked in:


How to keep both hands busy for half the night:

The crew (minus Greg):


Saturday: Beach Volleyball all day, followed by Street Scene Volume #2

Hydrating via coaster:


The crew (+1 unknown):


Sunday: Regroup, pack, and get on a plane for Open World in San Fran. I flew Virgin America for the first time, and I have to say that it is BY FAR, the coolest airline ever. They have this little media center computer thingy for each person (and its free), where you can listen to music (good music at that!), watch music videos, watch news, sports - pretty much everything. This allowed me to see the video for one of my fav songs: Pork and Beans by Weezer. This video is hi-lar-i-ous! Dig it!

Monday, September 15, 2008

MTB

2 straight weekends in a row of rockin the MTB in PQ Canyon.

2 straight weekends of me realizing I need to MTB a hell of a lot more.

You see, the MTB and I have a love/hate relationship.

I have had my MTB for almost exactly 4 years now, and it rarely gets ridden more than 4 times a year. It's not because I am a road snob, it's because I normally can't find many people to go mountain biking with. To be frank (whoever frank is), eating shit by yourself just isn't nearly as much fun as it is to eat shit and laugh about it with someone. Eating shit, of course, is having the ability to completely fall off or crash your MTB at any given moment doing anything from going way to fast to conditions, or simply, doing nothing that could cause any type of accident.

The love/hate relationship extends past the consumption of shit, in that I always have a blast mountain biking, and I always get my ass kicked. Mountain biking is so much different than road biking in a number of ways: the jarring of rocks and bumps, the intense focus on the technical ascents and descents, the pure joy of downhill singletrack, and ass kicking climbs that require tons of power to make it up. You see, MTB's aren't exactly featherweight, and mine my is not exactly an exception to that, in anyway shape or form. So, the winter training will definitely call for plenty of MTBing, and plenty of ass kicking.

Ok, so enough of that. Saturday, I went riding with my homeboy James, and it was def a killer ride. Climbing Black Mountain is very rude, and will definitely be done quite a few times over the course of the next few months. Riding through "The Tunnels" was also just bad ass - I could probably spend all day in there! Riding with better cyclists always makes for a great workout, and this was no exception. James is just going to KILL IT at nationals and world's this year!

Monday, September 08, 2008

Just Good Training, Fun and Articles

Nothing structured (as if I ever did anything "structured"), just good, fun training going on here.

During the week, I am usually doing Cross Fit(ish) 1-2x/week (usually once since I am sore for days), and of course, spin.

Labor day weekend, I went camping with Erin, Jay, Paul, Carrie and Damian to get off the grid, and so I could do a TT up AND down the E grade of Palomar Mountain (more on that later). If you ever thought about camping at La Jolla Indian Reservation: don't. It's expensive, and it's freakin loud until all hours of the night with screaming lunatics who don't speak-eh-any-english. Well, at least it was in our section, but regardless, is camping ever a bad time?!?! Nope - all in good company!

Here are some pics...

Vibram's in full effect (Review to come soon):


Beautiful Lake Henshaw at the start of the climb...


Me asking Paul why he wore the same thing I did (kidding)... Post Ascent/Descent discussion and analysis (of course):

Never let Jay setup your tent while you practice descending a mountain...


and a vid of me grinding up the mountain (not exactly happy):

video

This past saturday, I broke out the MTB for the first time in months (it still works!), and Damian and I hit up a 2.5 hour ride in Penasquitos Canyon for some exploring. I knew there were some good trails off the beaten path (north side), and I wanted to scope out more. I know someday soon I am gonna just go on a 4(+?) hour ride out there and just rip every trail. I forgot how much fun downhill single track is, and am stoked to get out there again soon. I also plan on doing a fair amount of mountain biking this winter since it always such a killer workout.

Total times I ate shit: 3 (2 because I am an idiot, another because I was blazing through 6 inch wide singletrack!)

Sunday, Paul, Damian and I did the Great Western Loop - my favorite ride. I definitely crushed the hills, flats and downhills, and felt like a million bucks afterwards. And, I ran for the first time as a T-Run for the first time since LP! I was on cloud 9 for the rest of the day.

I cooked up a serious feast sunday night (japanese curry), and just kicked back livin and lovin...

I also posted two articles on amateurendurance.com this week (with a little help from someone), so go check 'em out...

My Daily Stretch Routine
Pass the Fat!


ps- I just cracked open a beer, and oh man is it good!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Barbara Warren

Most of you in the endurance community have heard of the passing away of local San Diego resident, and superstar endurance athlete Barbara Warren. Slowtwitch did a great write up on her story here.

The reason for this post in particular is because I am reading a book about her and her twin sister, Angelika. Although I am only a mere 30 pages into the book, I am pretty gripped by the story so far. If you don't mind a little deep thought, inspiration, the handling of adversity, a touch of spirituality and a little push out of your comfort zone, this is definitely a good book, and is a very easy read.

I received this book from my buddy Damian, who was actually given this book by Angelika, Barbara's twin sister. Some months ago, they both were leaving costco one day where she saw Damian's tri bike in the back of his Jeep, started talking to him, and then gave him a copy of the book (ie. their life story).

It's a small world people...

Friday, August 29, 2008

Gym Culture

Pure Fitness just keeps getting better and better. Seriously!

So, back in college, and for the first few years after, I was a gym rat. And then I moved to San Diego (from the northeast), which reconfirmed my need to be outside. Prior to joining Pure Fitness, I went to a gym all of ONE time here in 4+ years. Now that I am doing some strength training, it made me realize how funny the gym really is.

First off, there is definitely a different clientele that congregate at the gym. I gotta say, I really feel bad for these people, who spend their time doing the vast majority of their physical activity inside when they live here, in San Diego. I mean, seriously, we get more sun than just about every city in the united states. At first, I was like "what's wrong with these people", but then after some time, I realized they just about everyone who goes could easily be considered metro, so I gave up the fight. Or maybe I should refer to the gym as a meat market? Going to the gym is like going downtown on a Saturday night. Everyone puts on their game face, and walks around like they are the shit! Couple the fact there is a HAIR SALON at my gym, and all I can do is laugh. But, in reality, it is a pretty bad ass place, and it does have TWO pools (inside and outside).

Here are some of the more entertaining personalities:
  • Big Buff Dude: Is easily twice as big as a normal human being should be. When he walks, he walks like he has a stick up his ass, and is so bulky, he barely moves. If you were to try to get his attention, he wouldn't be able to turn his neck to look at you because it's so swollen with muscle tissue - he would have to rotate his entire body. Besides, watching him use his arms to do anything is hilarious because his chest easily takes up 33% of his volume, which completely restricts his arm movement.

  • Flex Boy: Most likely going to be in his 20's, where's sleeveless shirts every time at gym (I admit, this used to be like this guy, but the rest isn't), and spends half of his time looking at himself in the mirror. He usually spends a solid 2 hours in the gym, but really only working out for about 30. The rest of the time he spends walking around making himself look good, flexing, and looking at himself in the mirror.
  • Huge Fake Breasts Woman: I admit it, this woman walked by me the other day, and I was completely frozen staring at her HUGE fake breasts. She could have looked at me, stopped, and smacked me and I still wouldn't have budged. Half of the gym probably was looking at me (and thinking "I don't blame him"). I mean, there were HUGE. She is completely disproportionate. This woman had to wear TWO sports bras (and no, I am not kidding).
  • I still have fake breasts, but not as big as hers: There are so many women in their 30's and 40's who have fake breasts at this gym, it makes me feel like I am in the pretentious OC. When the F did carlsbad try to be like our attention whore-ish northern cousin? Get real people, this is carlsbad-freakin-california, the home of legoland.
  • My life sucks: I feel so bad for these people. They go to the gym after a day of work, and what do they do? They either walk/jog/"run" on the treadmill, or barely spin the pedals on a stationary bike... and watch TV. What do they watch? Probably something like the news, which hasn't reported anything positive or good since it was created. What a great way to end the day - the world sucks, now back to Ken in weather ("Go outside, it's freakin beautiful out!!!")
  • The smartest man alive: One of maybe 3 men who go to an aerobics class, and workouts with a bunch of hot women that wear skimpy clothing. See video from my spin class post, or this guy. 'Nuff said.
I also gotta say that I thoroughly enjoy going to the gym, doing a cross fit (or variation of), being drenched within 20 minutes, and then I am done. And people look me and think "Wow, that guy actually came here to work out!".

and then I drink beer at home or with friends after. aaahhhhh off season - nothing but fun!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Drinking beer brings home the gold!

This past sunday, I did the Imperial Beach Triathlon in Tijuana, errr Imperial Beach. Paul and Carrie asked me a month ago shortly after LP if I wanted to do it, and my first reaction was "Dude, a 15K* bike? I won't even be warmed up by the time I finish!"

*Distances are approximate, per Koz :)

Given the amount of beer I have consumed over the past few weeks, I was curious how much this ride was gonna hurt. Realistically, I wanted this ride to hurt. I missed doing the intensity workouts in training for LP (mainly due to time constraints), and was looking to go balls out. So, because it was such a short distance race, I decided to bring my trainer to get warmed up before the race. Apparently, I wasn't the only person who had the idea - there were 2 dudes in the next rack, and another guy next to me who was spinning as well. It was fun because he seemed like a cool dude, and we exchanged some friendly trash talking! I literally got off the trainer about 90 seconds before Carrie showed up.

Carried did really well on the swim, got out of the water, Paul grabbed her chip, throw it on my calf (not my ankle!), and I was out. When I hit the mount line, the guy who was ahead of me also left his shoes clipped onto his bike, and was having some serious trouble. He was all over the place - shoes, cranks - everything was spinning, and I hate to say it, but I had a shit eatin grin on my face b/c thats something I have practiced a million times, and have it down solid!

The ride was very flat, with some head/tail winds, and a few very very sharp turns, but it was SO MUCH FUN. I roasted it. No one passed me (but then again, we were the last wave), and I flew by so many people, which in turn made me want to go that much faster. I had a monster high cadence, while pushing a decent gear, and it was such a good hurt. Definitely a teeth grittin ride for sure.

I finished the bike, Paul grabbed the chip, and all I could say was "DUDE THAT WAS SO MUCH FUN!!". I repeated that for a while, and finally calmed down. Paul ended up killing the run.

Here are the splits:

Swim Rank: 65
Swim Time: 0:10:05
Bike Rank: 13 (I beat 2 elite's, and tied another! booyeah!)
Bike Time: 0:26:14

Run Rank: 19
Run Time: 0:20:04
Total Time: 0:56:24

Results

So, Team Amateur Endurance took first place in the mixed relay, and second overall relay. Big shot out to Paul and Carrie for kicking ass, and everyone else out there!


And of course, how did I follow up the race performance? By heading over to my buddy's Jim's birthday bbq and proceeding to drink beer and eat ... all - damn - day :)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Spin Class; The Instructors, and Denizens of

As I noted in my last post, I have been attending spin class at pure fitness, and let me tell you, it's a trip.

First off, it is freakin hard. It might be because I never did any spin classes or workouts in my lead up to IMLP, it might be because I have done nothing since LP but drink beer (as of today, I can't remember the last time a day passed where I haven't had a drink - or three - its easily been over 2 weeks) , or simply put, because spinning on a stationary bike in a hot ass room with psycho instructors just isn't easy. Let me explain.

Me

Within the first 5 minutes of class, I am already drenched in sweat. I mean, it's like I am doing yoga in 105 degree temps like this guy (whom I trying to emulate the theme of this post after). I look around, and although I am not exactly laboring, being the only guy dripping 5 minutes into class is just odd. After another 5 minutes, I have already questioned why I do this voluntarily during my off season - in addition to questioning my sanity. I mean seriously, who needs to hurt this much after only 10 minutes, when I have another 50 to go. Usually about 1 second after 10 minutes, my towel, which is used to wipe sweat off my face, is already worthless because it is drenched - from wiping my face, and the amount of sweat dripping from my face. I could easily solve the socal drought problem through desalination of my sweat.

Denizens

As anyone who has done a spin class knows that no matter how hard you concentrate, you look around, and you look around at other people to see the look on their faces, especially during the hard sets. That is, when I don't have sweat dripping into my eye balls. Anyhow, there is usually an ample amount of personalities - let me explain:
  • Clueless Young Girl: a girl in her early twenties who goes to spin class to be in shape - nothing wrong with that, right? Except she has no water, no towel, and hasn't even attempted to move her seat around, which means she literally BOUNCES with every pedal stroke. Oh yeah, she obviously has never heard of sports bra before, but I am not complaining.

  • Type A Triathlete: This guy obviously lives his life under stress, trains to reduce stress, but is so stressed about his training, it only adds to his stress. You should see him during class - he looks at everyone as if they are going to pass him ... on a stationary bike. I am thinking to myself "Bro, this is NOT a race!" and I almost want to say to him "ON YOUR LEFT!!!" to see if it could dare break his concentration and grilling.

  • No sweat girl: WTF, thats all I gotta say. This woman is easily 40 years old, works just as hard as I do, and only glistens on her forehead. I mean, I probably have more sweat on any given hair follicle on my calf than she has on her entire body.

  • Scared to sweat woman: This woman spends her life not working, watching wives of OC, or whatever stupid show I would never watch. She walks into class with those stupid big ass sunglasses, and everyone is like "You aren't outside honey - stop looking like a freakin idiot". Once class starts, its obvious that this woman didn't come here to work. I don't think her cadence ever gets over 30. The instructor might yell "ok, two more turns to increase resistance", and this women will go two full turns - easier. Afterwards, its guaranteed that she will pat her forehead with a silk cloth, and say "wow, that was great!". Shut up.

Instructors.


A different breed of human - no doubt.

The first time I went to spin, the guy there had done two IM's, so he kinda "got it". He wasn't psycho or anything, he just wanted to do a hard workout, which I am all about. Definitely a cool guy too.

The second time I went to class, the instructor was very different. When I walked in, I noticed that he was latin. And I don't have anything against latin people, but he was almost so latin, he came across as ... whats the politically correct way to say it? flaming. Sorry. Immediately, I picked up that this guy is gonna be psycho. Within a few minutes, he started making noises. Now, I want to be clear - I never heard one word out of him - all I heard was noises. Every time we had to switch an interval, all I heard was "EP!". And every time he said EP!, he would make his eyes really big. Another thing he wants you to do is change your hand position on the bars. So every 10-15 seconds, he would say "EP!", make his eyes really big, point at the bars in a very excited manner, with his eyes still big, yells EP! again, and then continue. Meanwhile, his legs are like pistons easily at above 110 rpm for cadence the entire session. EP!

And then tonights instructor - wow. Now, when I go to spin, I go for a leg/cardio workout, not a full body workout. I don't care about doing push ups, yes push ups, on a stationary bike. I don't care about standing out of the saddle with only one hand on the bar, I don't care about target heart rate zones, I don't care about alternating between seating and standing every other second. It also seemed that the higher her heart rate got, the more excited she got, and the louder she yelled. But the thing is, she jacked the music so loud, all I heard was ... nothing except U2's beautiful day and 50 cents in the club. Keep yelling to do push ups hot spin instructor, I am going to keep ignoring you!

But realistically people, it's not all that bad, because there are external motivating factors at spin, which can be compared somewhat to the following video :)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

3 week vacation - DONE

Since LP was my last race of the season and there was ZERO rush to get back into ANYTHING - I knew there was going to be a mandatory vacation period. I consulted with the man himself, and he confirmed exactly what I was thinking!

So, what did I do on vacation? What normal people do (except work a lot): go to the beach (a lot), and drink beer (a lot), work on my tan (a lot), with the occasional frisbee toss and body surf session or two.

My homeboy Moog was in town this weekend, and we taught this NYC boy how to surf (well kinda...)
Greg and Josh...

Greg showin us how it's done...

video

Moog, what do you need?

video

Now that my 3 weeks of glory are done and over with, I started actually doing physical activity again. Monday, I hit the gym for some strength training for the first time this calendar year. The workout was:

* 4 x 20 of power clean and jerks (2 just using the olympic bar, 2 w/ the bar + 5 lbs on each side)
* 5 x 25 of leg lifts with 45 lb plates on each side
* some ab work
* 4 x 20 of close grip bench press

A pseudo crossfit workout, yes, all done in about 20 minutes (short rest), leaving me soaked. When I got out of bed on tuesday morning, I almost fell over! I hit up some yoga later that day, and yeah, I was toast.

Tonight, I hit up my first studio spin class and it was pretty cool. It was my first spin workout in months, and it left me DRENCHED. What was cool is I saw Craig Zelent there, and the spin instructor has done a few IM's, so we actually rocked the aero position for a few intervals. This was not a popular position with the non cyclists/triathletes in the class!

I am not exactly getting "back into it", but just having fun and staying in shape!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Recent Health Data Figures

Nerd Post...

Back in June, my company put on a "Health Fair", and I had some tests done:

Blood Glucose Level (non-fasting): 91
< 150: Normal
150-170: Pre-Diabetes
>200: Abnormal

For comparison, Mark Sisson is at 90! Damn, and I haven't even read the paleo diet for athlete's!

Cholesterol: 153 (don't have the HDL/LDL Distribution)
< 200 is desirable

***
Day before IM, courtesy of this thing:

Weight: 157 lbs (currently 154)
Body Fat: 10.3%
% Total Body Water: 61.9%
Muscle Mass: 133.8
Physique Rating: 5 (Avg Muscle/Avg Fat)
Basal Metabolic Rate: 1853 Calories (# of calories used by the body at rest)
Metabolic Age (my favorite): 12!!!!
Bone mass: 7 lb/kg
Visceral Fat Rating: 2 (1-12 is healthy)

Monday, August 04, 2008

Getting work done...

Yeah right!!!!

Really, the only work I did this past weekend was on my tan.... :)

Oh, Friday night was plenty of beer and billiards with Paul, Jay and Carrie down at the meownge. After that, it was fun, sun, and plenty of good food!

Friday, August 01, 2008

IMLP Pics and THE Finishing Video...

Here are some pics to show the nuttiness that was Ironman Lake Placid 2008...

The start coral...


I am not in this pic because I am fixing my goggles...


I am the guy not swimming again :)...


Somewhere towards the back at this point...

Get me outta here!!!

Oh my gawd - is the bike really gonna be like this???? GRRRRR (note the amount of people in the proximity)


In a much better state, hydrating via tongue hanging out ...


Another rain shot... (stolen from this guy) INSANE!


Mustering a smile on the first half of the run... (check out that heel strike! eesh)


Splish Splash, someone's taking a bath!


Smelling it down the finish chute!

Hoisting it overhead...


Done!


My $14.95 worth of glory (what, no "Ryan Denner" in this ish?)

video

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Aftermath and Random Thoughts from IMLP

Lot's of daydreaming and reflection happening here.

Tons of thoughts going through my head...

Sunday Night

* Only 4 hours of sleep - WTF

Monday
* Ordered TWO breakfast meals from McDonalds
* Walking, sitting down and getting up were huge chores, and required lots of arm strength
* Lots of moaning and "Oh my god"'s came out of my mouth
* Another only 4 hours of sleep. This marks 2 straight weeks of inconsistent sleep patterns
* Never really hungry - just forcing myself to eat
* The race replays through my mind about 85% of waking hours

Tuesday
* 3 words: DELAYED ONSET FATIGUE - OW! Legs are incredibly sore!
* Ate a Double Whopper meal at BK without thinking twice
* As soon as I got back to Solana Beach, I jumped in the ocean and splashed around a little bit
* I barely have a voice, and most communication is done as a whisper
* Still not very hungry - and still forcing myself to eat
* I was a zombie on Tuesday night - I almost fell asleep during a conversation with someone
* The race still replays through my mind 85% of waking hours (especially on the flight back to SD)

Wednesday
* Walking has completely returned to normal, but stairs are still a little challenging
* Still no voice
* Cold sweats while sleeping
* Still forcing myself to eat, and when I eat, I get VERY warm and actually start sweating (weird)

Thursday
* Legs are barely sore anymore
* Still not hungry, but forcing myself to eat. I just threw down a rather large meal, and could easily eat more
* Zero voice still! Makes for funny conversations at work...
* I still haven't taken off my IMLP bracelet yet.
* Cold sweats at night still (annoying)

Friday
* Voice has returned!
* Eating anything makes my body temperature fluctuate a lot
* Had to see a doctor this morning - eesh!
* I feel like I could go for a run, but I won't

Random Thoughts:

Race Soundtrack-

* Weezer's "Pork and Beans" was stuck in my head a number of times during the bike course - mainly when I was having a ton of fun, in the zone with a smile on my face

* Had a few helpings of Weezer's "Dreamin'" during the bike too

* An excerpt from Beastie Boys "Intergalactic" was stuck in my head on the run ..."I run the marathon to the very last mile" (I'm such a nerd)

* Random songs from VHS or Beta were stuck in my head during the race at various points

* From Dave Matthews 'Gravedigger' - "dig it shallow so that I could feel the rain" was in my head during the swim and the first part of the bike.

Other-

* Mental Barriers (and Demons) were broken down during this race (especially on the second half of the run)

* My tri shoes have probably seen their last days. They never smelled good before, and they never completely dried from the race. I had to put them in a plastic bag to bring them back to CA so they wouldn't stink everything else up. I just opened the bag - it was not pretty.

* Every time I saw someone off to the side of the road relieving themselves, I had a devilish snicker - the clock stops for no one or nothing baby!!!!!

* Because my bib never really stayed on the front of me on the run (it moved around a lot), about 97% of people who were cheering for me called me "Dennis". It was rather annoying.

* Applying chamois butter to the undercarriage mid run garnishes a few weird looks from unsuspecting people ("Oh my, what is he doing?")

* Applying chamois butter to the undercarriage is ABSOLUTELY USELESS in the rain, and provided ZERO chaffage protection (definitely hurting a bit today still). In fact, it not only doesn't stick, it actually just drips off of you... through your shorts. I had to wipe the stuff off from between my legs a number of times so people wouldn't think any weird thoughts (Man, he must be really happy to be doing an IM!!!)

* If you ever do an IM, don't let ANYTHING take you down from the high - ride it as long as you can.

* I put a lot of my personal life on hold for this event for the past 9 months. Thank you for those that understood, and I am sorry to those who don't. Live and Learn I guess.

* I will NOT be getting any M., Ironman, 140.6 or anything like that as a tattoo. It's all about the memories for me!

* After thinking about it - as loud as it was when I crossed the finish line - I couldn't hear the crowd, I couldn't hear Mike Riley, I couldn't feel the rain. I was almost desensitized and boiling over with emotion at the same time! It was SURREAL. Just thinking about it is ... just ... wow.

* I know I said this before, but I am really glad I didn't wear a watch, and stopped paying attention to mile markers. I felt like I could focus so much more on myself and the race, rather than the time. In others I talked to who wore a watch - they felt the same. Food for thought for your next race.

* I have probably re-read my own race report 15 times just to keep reliving it!!!

* It may sound cheesy, but I think this Ironman changed me a little bit. Not really sure how though. See next bullet.

* My friend Bassam asked me "What now? can you even go out for a jog anymore or is no workout good enough? god, i couldn't imagine how you follow up an iron man." You know, those are great questions - I hadn't really thought about it. How does one follow up an Ironman, and Ironman in the rain no less? The good news, is I may have something waiting in the wings for next year that just might be on par with IM - more to come on that later. Until then - beer me!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Ironman Lake Placid 2008 Race Report

WOW. What an absolute incredible day! I am still beside myself at what just happened.

Quick Summary

It POURED, and I mean, POURED POURED POURED all day during the race. Tough swim, extremely fun bike with descending splits, my first marathon had descending splits too. Final Time: 12:10:18 - EXACTLY when I projected to finish.

Race Strategy

Treat the first loop of each leg as a warm up to the second loop. Treat each leg of the race as a warm up to the next. DON'T allow myself to get caught up in "it". Also, on the bike, if I think things are easy, then go one gear easier. Fellow Iron Teammates Mike Hartnett who did this race last year, said he passed 300 people on the second loop last year because he rode the first loop conservative.

Also, be prepared to completely throw my race strategy out the window when/if necessary.

I also realized that I was going to have to dig deep into the Pain Cave, and that it would be a total new experience for me.

Pre-Race

4:15am EST wake up call, followed up by a 15 minute very hot shower. Threw down some oatmeal and coffee, and we were out the door to catch the shuttle. As I was getting off the shuttle, the woman behind me mentioned that there was a 60% chance of rain, with the potential for flooding. I figured there were going to be some passing showers over the course of the day.

We got down the transition area, did the normal pre-race stuff (including gawking at Ms. Ficker), make sure I had everything in my bags, and then I headed over to the lake to greet our support team and families. It was good to relax a little bit, and then all the participants started heading to the water. The swim start is a floating start, and all athletes are basically in this large coral just off the beach. I was lucky enough to find an area without a ton of people around me, and spent the next 5-10 minutes just absorbing it all. I can honestly say that this was one part of the race that I was looking to the most - the 5 minutes before the start: the energy, the anticipation, the nervousness, the cheering, the chaos, the helicopter - everything. I was just spinning around in the water taking it all in. It was really cool. I said my thanks for being able to "toe" the line, and within a few seconds, the cannon went off, and all 2500 or so athletes were making there way.

Swim: 2.4 miles; 1:12:56

I made sure there was no feet in front of me kicking, and put my head down to start swimming. Within 3 seconds, my goggles completely flooded. This is the FIRST time all season that this happened. So, I pulled them off, drained them, and put them back on. 3 strokes later, they were completely flooded again. So, I decided to pull the straps one notch tighter, which resulted in the strap coming completely unhinged to the locking mechanism.

Great.

So, I pulled them off, and floated there trying to get this small piece of rubber, in an even tinier space. This went on for a solid 3-5 minutes. Meanwhile, half the racers just passed me. I finally got it to lock, put them on my head, pulled the straps to make them tighter, and they came undone - again. I toiled with them again, this time a bit quicker, and was on my way.

As a side note, there were so many people generating so much current, that I was actually pulled forward while fixing my goggles.

I thought my goggles were fixed, but they really weren't. I would take about 5 strokes, and then they would be near flooded again. I considered just throwing them, but wearing contacts while swimming is a recipe for not being able to see anything on the bike.

This went on for the first third of the first lap. As you can imagine, I was kinda beside myself at this point. I was already planning on asking any spectator/volunteer when I got out of the water at the end of the first lap if they had any. I finally just took them off, tightened each side by 3 notches, and slammed them onto my face. It worked 100% for my left side, but there was a little bit of leakage on the right. I took solace in my belief that everything happens for a reason, and just got on with it. I figured I would just deal with the slight leak for the remainder of the swim. I quickly found my stroke, and realized that since 80% of the competitors had passed me, I was swimming an uphill battle. I also realized that I am by far NOT the worst straight line open water swimmer out there :)

I finished the first lap, got back in the water, and just got angry. Anyone who was in my way was essentially man handled: swim in front of or across me, and I grabbed your legs and pushed you out of the way; if you were in front of me, I swam over you; if your head was where my arm was going for entry, then you got dunked. I also realized that people were swimming like 7 wide to the right of the buoys, so I took the inside track and actually swam on the left (something the announcer said we could do). This generally worked out really well.

I finished the swim, and noticed two things:
1. It was pouring out
2. My right eye was very cloudy

I found myself a wetsuit peeler, got peeled, and ran down to transition.

T1 - 8:00

I took one look at the changing tent, and the amount of people waiting in line, and said "No Way", so I just changed outside. Because my right eye was all cloudy, I actually took my contact out to let my eye clear a bit, and it ended up being a huge PITA to try and get the contact back in (in the rain). I finally did everything I was supposed to, and was on my way.

Bike - 112 miles; 6:13:08 (18.01 mph)

The strategy for the bike was to negative split the course. I have been doing a lot of big gear riding lately, but drawing from Marty's Tri 101 experience last year where his front derailleur broke and couldn't shift into his big ring, resulting in him saying that he had fresh legs for the run, that was going to be my plan for at least the first lap of the bike - stay in the small chain ring as much as possible, unless on downhills. My 39/13 and 39/12 were very popular combinations as it allowed me to keep a fair amount of tension on the chain, and still keep a high cadence.

My nutrition was 2 water bottles of very concentrated infinit. I definitely want to say thanks to Mike, the president of infinit, for bending over backwards to get the product to me! So, I basically put 7-8 scoops of it in each bottle, with just enough water to keep it liquid (more like, very thick). I would keep one nutrition bottle in a bottle holder, and just water in my aero drink. So, for every sip of concentrated infinit, I would take 2-3 sips of water to allow my body to absorb it all.

The first hour of the bike, I was just kinda pissed. I mean, seriously, it was POURING. Plus, the bike course was very convoluted. There were people everywhere, and with the slick conditions, safety was primary concern, and I just didn't trust the other people on their bikes. The 9 mile downhill to Keene was very congested, but once we hit the flats to Jay, things thinned out a bit.

There were quite a few people that were passing me, and some other guy and I were amazed at either the amount of good cyclists, or the amount of people that we were gonna end up passing on the second loop. I mean, some people that passed me like around mile 15 were just hammering. I mean, gritting their teeth in way too hard of a gear. Meanwhile, I just switched to easy gear, kept it spinning, and just shrugged it off.

Then, a lady passed me, and said "Are we having fun yet?", and I thought to myself "I like her attitude - this sucks big time for everyone, and it doesn't look like it's going to let up anytime soon, so all I can do is have fun with it". My attitude went from "this sucks", to "I'm doing an Ironman in the pouring rain - this is gonna make for GREAT stories!!!!" The change in attitude immediately resulted in an increase in speed almost immediately. I also realized that I was going to earn this race - and then some, with these weather conditions. I took the left at Jay and went up and down the rollers, and then onto the out and back section to Black Brook. This was a lot of fun, since I was in total time trial mode now. There were a lot of people, so drafting was inevitable in certain spots. The out and back is flat to rolling, and generally, a ton of fun.

Once I finished that out and back, that puts me at about mile 40, and coming up on the most challenging portion of the course. The next 16 miles are generally uphill, with no aid stations, minimal crowd support, and this section really separates those that can climb, and those that can't, so you generally have quite a bit less people. You are pretty much left with just your own thoughts. Finally, I hit the final hill, Papa Bear, and it was like the Alpe D'Huez. People and noise and drums and cowbells line the entire hill, and then you take a right to head back to town. The crowd support in town was unreal, and it felt like Le Tour to be TT'ing through town with people screaming. My nutrition strategy seemed to be working very well for the first half of the bike, which was extremely pleasing since I never did this in training (nothing new on race day, right? :) :) :) I stopped at my special needs, and picked up my second bottle of drink, and some tylenol for my throat. Overall, I was pleased with the first lap.

The second loop was generally less crowded, which meant I actually was able to crank on the downhills (within reason of course). I was feeling like a million bucks, and felt like it was time to turn it up a bit. I kept it in the big ring for the flats to Jay, and was cruising. When I took the left, I saw an old college mate Ben Knight, so I yelled "Knighter!!!!", and he is like "Denner! What's going on?" "Eh, you know!" I felt like I may have pushed the flats a little too hard, so I took it a bit easy on this roller section, but by the time I got to the out-and-back TT section to black brook, I was feeling really good again, so I started to crank. I also realized that I had pee'd 7 times already (all on the bike of course, which as a side note, was actually kinda nice because it ended up warming my feet up a little :) ), and realized that I may be over-hydrating a bit, so I decided to cut back a little. I was just so pumped on the way back from black brook - I was FLYING. I actually said to myself "I [expletive] love time trialing!!!". Plus, Marty's 606's just sound so f'n bad ass when you get those things moving - they just sound like thunder rolling down the street. I also dropped a "I [expletive] these wheels!!!"

On my back from blackbrook, I was well into "the zone", and then all the sudden, I hear "RYAN DENNER!!!" I knew most of my friends were behind me at this point, and didn't recognize the voice, so I looked back, but there was like 3-4 people around. Here is how the conversation went:

Mark: "IT'S MOONPIE!!!!!!!!!" (I just recently stumbled upon Moonpie's Blog through a fellew blogger a few weeks ago)
Me: "MOONPIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Mark: "AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Me: "AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

It was totally unexpected, and a HUGE rush! I put my head down and just continued to crank crank crank. I hit the notorious 40-56 mile stretch, and could tell that my legs were starting to feel it a little bit, but overall, I was happy with how I felt. My taper went really well, and I think having a high cadence for the first 90+ miles or so was paying dividends. I went in and out of feeling good and feeling tired, but I knew it was all going to be over soon. I cruised through town, and prepared to get off the bike.

T2 - 7:19

I knew before the race that I would need a few extra minutes in transition to just kinda sit and relax a bit after the bike. I felt like I paced my bike really well, with a healthy dose of pushing it.

I jumped off my bike (shoes still on the bike), gave it to a volunteer, and started running/jogging/shuffling/bouncing to my bag and changing area. Let me tell you - those first few steps after 112 miles are SO AWKWARD!!!!! I hit the changing tent, sat for a few minutes, gathered myself, dried myself off, and realized that the outside of my right foot was hurting quite a bit. I think it's from using race wheels, which are significantly stiffer than training wheels, and all that added pressure just caught up on my foot. I guess that just means I need to get a pair of my own (again) :) I tried to stretch a little bit, gathered myself, grabbed my salt pills (I put 20+ inside a nuun bottle, which doubly served as something to grip while running), and walked out of transition. I really wanted to ease into the run (with emphasis on ease), and walking out would allow my heart rate to fully recover and start finding my legs.

Run: 26.2 miles; 4:28:55

Although I was very happy with my bike split, I am most proud of the run - my first marathon, which I negative split my almost 14 minutes. My longest run to date was 13.1 miles, and this run can easily be broken up into 2 sections - the first loop, and the second.

Strategy: Walk every aid station, run in between them. Lather, rinse and repeat.

I got some cheers from spectators right out of transition to the tune of "Take it one step at a time man!", and "I like it!! way to prepare for negative splits!!!" I walked for about 100 yards or so, and once I moved in my shuggle/jog, I got quite a few cheers for picking it up. Once I started "running" on my right foot, I knew it was going to give me issues. I kept it at an easy pace for the few miles so I could ease into things. I kinda cruised through the first few aid stations, and knew that it would take me probably 20-30 minutes to really find my running legs. I made it to the out and back section, and was feeling OK. The good attitude that I had on the bike quickly left, and I was in an OK state mentally. The out and back is tough - it seems like you have to go to the end of the adirondacks just to hit the turn around point. Further, to complete a loop, you have to go back into town, and then go on another out and back, which means you have to pass the finish area to do another out and back, so I was kinda out of whack with miles and so forth. I quickly realized that I shouldn't be doing math, so I pretty much stopped paying attention to mile markers in general. The first 10 miles were OK. I definitely ran them conservative, and when I saw my dad at mile 10, I gave him a "Do I really have another 16 miles of this?" look. The last 2.5 miles (which, to most people, we think is measured extremely conservatively - ie. it seems more like 3 or 3+ :) ), is just about all up hill, with 2 steep sections.

By the time I got to the uphill portion on the out and back, I was walking quite a bit. I was miserable. I hurt, a lot. The motivation wasn't there, and the mental aspect was starting to get defeated. Of course there was thoughts of walking the rest of the 16 miles. At one aid station, I pretty much stopped, grabbed some cookies, some water, some gatorade, cola and fruit, and just chowed. When I hit the turn around, I basically said to myself "This SUCKS. I don't want to do this, I don't want to feel this." I was urging myself to do something. Then I started getting philosophical with myself. I asked myself:

"What is pain?"

Was I feeling pain, or was this discomfort? I thought about it for a few minutes, and I came to a few conclusions:

1. Pain prevents someone from doing something
2. Discomfort doesn't
3. Running a marathon with sore feet is nothing compared to my homeboy Jeff going through cancer. Twice.
4. Running a marathon with sore feet is nothing compared to what Jeff's (#232) family has had to go through.

So, I started running. I completely bypassed the shuffle and jog, and just started running. I was probably running at 8 and change minute miles. I kept this on the downhill to town, and then something weird started happening.

It felt good.

My cadence, my foot strike, my body - it all just flowed. It almost felt effortless. It didn't hurt. I didn't feel the need to stop at aid stations. I started getting into the zone, and I was feeling good. I couldn't believe I was doing this on the second half of my first marathon. I started gritting my teeth (and squeezing my nuun bottle), and told myself I wouldn't stop until I hit the turn around at the mid way point on the run. I saw one of our Iron Team Member's Erik a few miles in, and he gave me some words of encouragement. I passed an aid station, and figured that I would like to get calories and hydration at the same time, so I was looking for fruit. There was a woman who was standing with a box of fruit, and I was calling out to her, but she wasn't responding. I finally came right up on her, stuck my hand in the box, and grabbed a HUGE bushel of grapes - easily 1.5 handfuls full - still on the vine. I think I scared her because no one within sight was running this fast. I was feeling good, and I knew that our support crew was about a mile up the road. Not wanting to put the plethora of grapes to waste, I kept a few so I could throw them at my friends. I totally caught them by surprise!!! I was feeling great, cruised on the downhill, and was able to keep my pace all the way to the turn around, which is about mile 18.5.

At this point, I knew I had to take a break. I realized that part of my second wind came from some advice I read in a Gordo article. He basically said that if you are feeling bad on the run, stop at an aid station, take in more calories than you would normally take in, walk for another .5-1 miles, let your body absorb them, and then start back up again. The discomfort in my body was being replaced with pain, and I had to stop for a bit, stretch, and gather my thoughts. One of my thoughts was that I was actually doing this. I was ~132 miles into this thing, and I was cruising on the second half of the run. I gathered myself, and started back up again. I definitely wasn't feeling as fresh this time around, and the next few miles were a struggle. I hit the mile 20 sign, and remember someone told me "a marathon is a 20 mile warm up to a 10K", and I cursed them at this point.

Then I started walking. I couldn't take it anymore, I was hurt up. I stopped and stretched again, and realized that I may have gone to the well just a little too early during the race, and started coming to terms that I may have to walk the last 5 or so miles. Because I wasn't running, I started getting cold. I saw a lot of people with the space jackets/blankets, and I was jealous. All in all, I realized that I could be happy with the effort I put in on the day.

Then some people started passing me. And they just kept coming. 1 by 1, 2 by 2, people were passing me. And although I don't ever compare ages in triathlon (since the older people get, the faster they get), most of them were almost twice my age, and I started getting pissed. I said F-it, and started the iron-shuffle. About a minute or two later, I heard "There's the big dog!", and it was Jeff, all smiles, running in two space coats. It was huge! About a minute later at a checkpoint, I saw on the sign up ahead "R.DENNER, Pick up the pace, cracka!" I knew it was from Jeff, and found it quite ironic. Then, the music was blasting Bruce Springsteen's "Dancing in the Dark", which, again, ironically, is a song I had stuck in my head at Vineman last year, EXACTLY one year previous to the day.

It was on.

I had 4 miles to go, and it's time to HTFU. Pain is temporary, Pride lasts forever. I started passing people like they were standing still. I grabbed a gatorade cup at an aid station and crushed it so I could squeeze something in both my hands when I had to dig deep. As I was getting into town, I started getting excited. I was about 3 miles out, and a smile was on my face - I was close. As a side note, you get SIGNIFICANTLY more cheers from people when you smile, rather than looking like crap :) I had to walk the steep hill getting into town, and then came the out and back section - it was tough. I had to walk once or twice - it hurt, a lot. But, I was slapping hands with people to sap every bit of excitement out of them. I finally hit the turn around, and then all the sudden without thinking about it, I just picked it up. Cadence, turnover, speed - it all just jacked up. I was cruising. I gritted my teeth. "Suck it up Denner" I said to myself. Even though I was about .6 mile away from the finish, it took so much mental will power to just put one leg in front another, and push through the 139 miles of pain.

I started approaching the downhill, and I just started smiling from ear to ear. There was nothing that could have taken it from me. Once people saw what was happening, I swear I had 200+ of my own personal support crew cheering me on. People were just absolutely screaming at me! I saw my Mom right before the entranceway to the olympic oval, threw my cup, charged the oval, made sure no one was behind me (Hey, I want my damn glory), stopped as soon as I hit the finish chute to slap hands with everyone, walked up to the finish line, grabbed the banner, and raised it over my head at 7:10:18 pm.

Post Finish

A volunteer greeted me with a space jacket (it basically looks like a big piece of aluminum foil), a finishers medal, a hat and a t-shirt. I responded by putting my head on her shoulder and giving her a hug. After she (I?) let me go, I took a few steps, stopped, looked up at the sky, raised my arms and just screamed "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

I had just about everyone with 50 feet of stop dead in their tracks and look at me with a concerned. So, I of course smiled back at everyone. My next few steps were so emotionally charged. I had a death grip on my finishers jacket like no other. I felt like a warrior who just went to battle, and came away victorious.

I made my way over to the food tent, chatted it up with some people, and then got a massage.

As I was making my way over to the shuttle, crew support chief Adam and Moog found some groupies who apparently really wanted to hug and Ironman finisher, so I helped fill their void when I saw them. Because I was "walking" in funny, I received quite a few smiles and congratulations from other people on the sidewalk. It was amazing - I felt like such a superstar. I came back to the Iron Pad, took a shower, called Paul Jesse in a very loud way, and chatted with my Mom and Step Dad for a while.

I made my back over to the race to watch Jeff finish around 11:15pm. I saw Erik and Dan, and Mike just finished, and we were all a little worried about Jeff. We knew he was about 4 miles out, with 45 minutes to go, and those are a tough 4 miles. Honestly, we were all a little worried that he might not finish. Around 11:55(ish), I made my out of the transition, and decided to walk in the opposite direction of course to find him. As soon as I made my way towards the out and back, I saw a huge crew of people running with someone, and then realized that someone was Jeff. It was insane. They were screaming and Jeff was smiling. I went ballistic!!!!! I started screaming at the top of my lungs, and started running with him - we charged through the oval, and I scooted out before the first IM sign. Everyone cheering knew what was at stake, and everyone went nuts. He finally crossed the line at 16:56:32, and was the last official person to cross the line. I personally feel like it was scripted this way. 15 months removed from his second battle with cancer and a stem cell transplant, he closes the books on the 10th anniversary of one of the most wild, insane Ironman events in history.

Notes

* Am I an extreme geek for thinking about writing this blog post during the race? All points lead to yes.
* It's a long day - it's hard to keep focus for that long, but I think I did pretty good
* Pretzels and cola on the run are MONEY
* Crowd Support was incredible at this race
* Just as everyone says, there are good points, and bad points - you just have to find a way to get through the bad points
* Crossing that finish is something that can only be experienced
* I can't believe I am writing this, but I can see myself doing another Ironman in the future
* I went up to a (42 year old) woman towards the end of the run when I was in a good mood, and said "excuse me, but I have to say that you are extremely hot (because she was)" She was a bit surprised, but extremely appreciative!!!
* Bragging rights: I had a faster marathon than professional triathlete Bjorn Anderson (might have had something to do with a 4:42 bike split though)
* I did not race with a watch or a bike computer, and was SO glad that I didn't. I realized that those gadgets take my focus away from racing.
* Even though the weather conditions were what some would say "less than optimal", I WOULD NOT HAVE WANTED IT ANY OTHER WAY. I thought the weather added SO MUCH to the experience - one that will stay each and all of us forever. I feel like I earned that Ironman title.
* I am glad that I stuck my strategies ALL race.
* One of the best parts about doing this race in the rain - I NEVER got hot!!! (always an issue on the run)
* Although there was a passing T-Storm around noon today, it's been sunny and beautiful ALL day
* Fortunately, even though I ran 26.2 miles in the run with shoes that were essentially sponges, I somehow managed NOT to get blisters or lose toe nails!!!
* Walking is rather laborious today, and my left and right groin muscles feel like they are going to detach themselves from my body. It's not really comfortable :)

Data

TOTAL SWIM 2.4 mi. (1:12:56) 1:55/100m

FIRST BIKE SEGMENT 56 mi. (3:09:37) 17.72 mph
FINAL BIKE SEGMENT 56 mi. (3:03:31) 18.31 mph
TOTAL BIKE 112 mi. (6:13:08) 18.01 mph

FIRST RUN SEGMENT 13.1 mi. (2:21:07) 10:46/mile
FINAL RUN SEGMENT 13.1 mi. (2:07:48) 9:45/mile
TOTAL RUN 26.2 mi. (4:28:55) 10:15/mile

Swim Rank: Overall - 1080; Division - 75
Bike Rank: Overall - 819; Division - 71
Run Rank: Overall - 806; Division - 66