Thursday, May 29, 2008

My Daily Diet

I received a blog topic suggestion from my friend Brian on what I eat everyday, so here is whats on my menu:

Early Morning
1 Fruit Smoothie/Shake:
  • Handful of Frozen Mixed Berries
  • Handful of Frozen Pineapples
  • Maybe a banana or Orange
  • 1 Tbsp of Almond Butter
  • 1 Tbsp of Peanut Butter
  • Maybe a serving of flax seed oil
  • 1 scoop of whey protein
  • half scoop of soy protein
Since I switched my workouts to mornings (topic of my next blog post), this actually serves as a recovery drink as well.

Mid Morning
1 Toasted Everything Bagel (my vice)
1 Serving of Ham
1-2 pieces of Cheddar, Colby Jack or Chedarela cheese
[Obviously, these are all put together to make a sandwich]
Cup of tea or half regular/half decaf coffee with H&H and some of that maui golden sugar

Late Morning
1-2 handfuls of trail mix
And/Or 1-2 Tbsp's of almond or peanut butter (straight out of the jar, utensil not needed)
Maybe an Apple

Lunch
Yoga, stretching, or maybe a light physical activity, which may happen at lunch time, or later in the afternoon

Early Afternoon
1 plate of a chicken/rice/beans concoction that I brew up. Basically, throw chicken, oil, seasoning, your favorite bean, and a 50/50 mix of white/brown rice into a pot, bring to a boil, then let it simmer. Add in peppers and/or onions for taste. I can't do 100% brown rice since it makes my stomach a little upset.

Mid Afternoon
Huge Mondo Salad - Grab a 1.5 quart container, and add in the following:
  • Lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Cucumbers
  • Carrots
  • Maybe a handful of trail mix
Topped with some olive oil, balsamic vinegar, a little salt & pepper. Sometimes I will buy the packets of salad dressing, or the bottled stuff.

Occasionally, I won't really feel satiated after the salad, so I will wander over to the nearest admins' candy bowl, grab a small snickers (or two), come back and dip in my jar of peanut butter (on my desk for easy access of course).

Early Evening (Dinner)
Lately, I have been rocking a serving of meat (chicken, burger, steak, or pork), with a frozen veggie mix, and then my favorite - french fries. My fav brand of FF is Alexia (can be purchased a Henry's).

Notes:
  • I don't count calories - if I am hungry, I eat
  • Most meat I consume is organic
  • Note no eggs or fish (I don't like either, but wish I did)
  • After a few days, I feel my diet can be a little lean, so I might hit up a dark chocolate bar (my other vice) or something that packs serious calories
  • Occasionally, I will have a glass of wine (anti-oxidants what!) or beer with dinner
  • Most veggies are purchased organic and cheap at the solana beach farmers market, every sunday at 2-5pm on rios ave.
  • Below is a pic of what $12 got me last sunday

I am still definitely willing to listen to suggestions since nutrition for most people can always be fine tuned!

mmmmm fooooooooooooodddddddddddddddddd

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Special Needs Bag Consideration

Saturdays workout was a brutal 80 mile, 10K of elevation gain ride in cold, wet and windy conditions. I am not gonna lie - it wasn't fun. There were times where I was downright miserable. I broke my sunglasses while changing a flat. I was cold, tired, and hungry. Gels and Bars and anything else I could buy at Circle K just wasn't cutting it. Finally, at mile 60, I made a suggestion to Damian that we make a special fuel stop, and there was no resistance from him. I present to you, the savior of my ride, and possible consideration for my bike special needs bag at Lake Placid:


Wendy's Extra large fries, fresh out the fryer, with plenty of salt and Ketchup to garnish. Not gonna lie - it was freakin' heaven. It was noted that I wasn't even breathing when I was eating these things - all one could hear was munching, and the sound of salt being brushed against the sides of the carton.

To put in perspective how much this ride "hurt", note Damian in Wendy's...


... and after the ride ...


I even had to pass on a ride the following day (sorry B&J!) I was so spent.

But seriously, Paul, after your post about potatoes in EVOO and salt - I am seriously considering putting some sort of spud in my special needs bag at LP.

That night, I cooked up some dinner and relaxed on the couch. Then, Top Chef came on for the next hour and a half, and all I kept doing was eating and eating and eating... right up until 9:15pm when I passed out (with blaring music from the fairgrounds next door no less.... Damn).

It continued on Sunday. I did get in a 10 mile run, but the eating didn't stop.... at all. I was full bore well into Monday in terms of eating. Speaking of eating, my next blog post will be about my daily diet (just for you, Brian).

All in all though, a solid weekend of training: 115 miles on the bike, and 13 miles running.

Friday, May 23, 2008

I'm not a business, man - I'm a businessman...

Yes, I realize that those words are flip-flopped from when Jay-Z dropped them in Diamonds from Sierra Leone, but the truth of the matter is I'm all business now from here to LP.

I just got back from a nice trip back to Massachusetts for my sister's graduation, hung with the fam, and had a nice physical and mental break. Hell, I even took a (gasp!) 3 full days off. End Result: The batteries are fully charged, the fluids are topped off, and its time to focus and get down to bid-nass.

Word.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Early Morning Masters


I never thought I'd be one to get up early and do a swim/master's workout, but I was up at 5:30am for a 6:30 workout at the Solana Beach Pool, and I got 3 words: I am sold.

I might even start doing the arse-crack-of-dawn workout at an ungodly 5:15am on some days.

I was watching CSI reruns this weekend (do those ever get old?), and Stokes (is that not the coolest name ever?) was a little overwhelmed on case, and was about to tell Grissom that he wanted off. He mentioned to Warrick that he had two options: #2 was to tell Grissom that he wanted off, and #1 was his first thought: Sack Up.

See you bright and early.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Burritos & Swimming...

Somethings in life go very well together...

* Oreo's and Milk
* Women and shaved Legs (note: I didn't say Men)
* Triathlon Training and Triathlon Blogs

Tonight I confirmed that eating a burrito before swimming are not meant to be together.

Just a little FYI.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Recovery + Weekend

Recovery from Wildflower Half has certainly been different than recovering from Vineman last year.

After Vineman, I had never been more sore in my life. Every muscle hurt. On the drive home, when I got out of the car to get gas, I actually yelled/yelped/whined out loud (with an emphasis on loud) because it hurt so much. It was so audible, I was drawing attention from other motorists filling their tanks (back when gas was a modest $3/gal or less). It took probably a full WEEK to stop being sore, and I couldn't even think of stretching during that time. Every time I walked up stairs, I was cursing something/someone. Looking back, I was really sore because:

* One can never do enough heat training for that race
* I trained with enough volume, but not enough intensity
* I rode the bike like it was an olympic distance race (see previous bullet)
* I left it all, and then some, on the course

ps- A little advice: don't drive home 10+ hours the day after doing a half ironman.

After wildflower, my recovery has marked a stark contrast to last year's HIM.

When I awoke sunday morning after the race, I was a little bit sore. When I moved around, I didn't really feel all that stiff. While walking down to the olympic start, I actually felt better. I am going out on a limb here, but I almost wished I took up Marty Taylor's offer on his Olympic race spot (but looking back, I am GLAD I didn't). Monday and Tuesday came, and I was feeling GREAT. My left knee was a little tight, but I got in a few recovery type workouts during the week. However, I definitely wasn't fully recovered because every time I put my muscles under any type of load, they reminded me of the 70.3 miles I just went through a few days previous.

In stealing Jameson's idea of recovery, the work week marked the recovery stage, which opened me up for the weekends workouts.

Knowing that I still wasn't 100%, I still ventured down to Southbay to do the honey springs 50 mile ride with a TCSD group. The hill was pretty brutal, but the fact that I won a free pair of brooks running shoes at the grand opening of Pulse Endurance afterwards made it all worth it, along with SIX slices of FREE pizza - it all turned out to be a fantastic day.

Sunday's workout was supposed to be a 90 minute run through San Elijo. Long story short, it turned into another 50 mile ride, with just a short t-run afterwards (thanks beth!).

Bike Volume? Check.

I didn't mind the more than expected volume because this coming up weekend will be a true recovery weekend since I will be back home hanging with the fam, and seeing my sis graduate from college. I won't be bringing my bike home, so there will be some swimming and running, a mental and physical recharge, before the big volume push for LP!

Train safe!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Experience Wildflower Triathlons: Photos, Videos and Shenanigans

I am still kinda riding the high from the past weekend, so below are some fun items from the weekend...

The crew...


Natural surroundings...


An interview with Homa and Erin before doing Nasty Grade a few days before the race



For clarification, yes, that is a CHICKEN on Homa's helmet



The interview post Nasty Grade, where Homa declares his dominance over Nasty Grade (which I later learned he actually did repeatS (yes, thats plural) UP NASTY GRADE DURING THE RACE (what an animal!)



My best friend and I on Thursday night/Friday...


Marty's "Save a horse, ride a triathlete" Ass...


Want to qualify for Kona? Love your bike...


Marty's Texas size aerodrink bottle...


Kassie charging her cell phone while camping (loser!)...


Got bikes?
The "Denner, are you really putting your camera in my tent prior to 6am on race morning while I am getting changed" picture...


The "Denner, even though its not 6am, your camera is still taking me by surprise" picture... (as a side note, this man is 14 months removed from his second bout with chemo, radiation therapy on top of a stem cell transplant and finished the long course with a smile on his face)...


Post Race Interview with Pat Drain and I...



Gurujan "Penalty" Dourson at his finest...



Post Race Interview with Damian...



mmmm Campfire...


Kassie significantly happier than I post race...


Nacho Libre (do you think he raced like that?)...


You're damn right he raced like that!



What happens when you leave it all on the course...



The BIG ASS BURRITO at Rudy's in Santa Barbara on the drive home (I am not sure what took longer to recover from - the race or the burrito [and yes, I finished it])...

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Wildflower *Race* Report

This blog post will try to be as much about the *race*as possible, with the intent of blogging about the wildflower experience in a later post.

Goals: Good Execution, Good Nutrition Practice, Good Pacing, Minimal suffering, DON'T leave it all on the course (and extend recovery time), Maintain composure and focus throughout (especially on swim), Have fun. Note: There were no time goals in this race.

Pre-Pre-Race:
For the first time ever, my two days leading up to the event was relaxed, and mostly stress free. Actually, on Friday, it was a little weird since after a Thursday night of minimal sleep (you know how that camping thing goes), I wasn't really hungry, or eating much. I practically had to force myself to eat and drink water. It was a little weird, but I was ecstatic to be camping with a huge group of friends (25 to be exact), so I was in good spirits. I fortunately got a good nights rest Friday night.

Pre-Race:
The usual wake up at the arse crack of dawn, shovel down some food (oatmeal & trail mix, coffee), make sure I have everything, and get on my way.

Transition/Setup:
Got things setup nice and early, got in some good stretching, a little run warm up, a double caffeinated gel, a quick 2 minute warm up on the swim, and some good land based, pre-swim stretching/warm up.

Swim:
Goal: Maintain composure and focus, don't let things bother me like other people, and not swimming in a straight line. If I can draft off someone, great. If not, then fall into a pace and go.

I seeded myself at the right/front side of the pack, and when the cannon went off, I went between head down and head up. Hearing of horror stories of getting goggles knocked off, whenever I sensed any other body part around my head, I immediately picked my head up above water. Those head up sprints in the pool were starting to pay dividends. I easily navigated through the pack, went in and out of drafting people, and quickly found my stroke. I never felt as great as I did on this swim. As a side note, the 65 degree water temp in a wetsuit is about as good as it gets.


I approached the turn around, and was amazed at how great I felt. I kept my head down, with the occasional sighting (but never stopped my stroke), and came out of the water feeling fantastic. I looked over at the clock, and figured the timing must have been off.

Come to find out, I swam a 30:59, which I am absolutely ecstatic about. Last year, I swam a 36:15 at vineman half, and a month earlier, a 29+ swim at superseal - a 400m shorter course.


How did this happen? Maintaining my composure, and my swim from boulder. I felt amazing!

T1:
Off with the wetsuit, on with the garmin and helmet, and out I go.

Bike:
Gorgeous scenery, less than ideal roads, not as hilly as I thought, but hardly flat.

Things started out a little rough. At about the 6 mile mark leaving the campground, I started feeling the thud of the road. My stomach dropped...

"Oh no, I have a flat"

I exited the park, and to my surprise, a bike mechanic was there, I got off my bike, and literally let him do all the work. Remembering my goals, I didn't let this get to me. He changed the flat, and I was on my way.

I made the right turn at mile 20, and grabbed my water bottle of concentrated mixture of infinit. I went to put it back in the bottle holder, and I hit a bump, the bottle was jarred from my grip, and off the bottle went onto the side of the road.

"Here we go!" I said to myself with a laugh ... "Time for improv!"

The next 10 miles or so were spent eating a gel, and drinking water through the rollers/flats of the east side of the lake. I was in no mans land - there was a group of 10 or so a mile up, and practically no one behind. Honestly, it was kinda nice to ride solo, and take it all in. I approached a downhill, and I started feeling the road thud again.

"You have got to be shitting me - another flat".

So, I pulled over and assessed the situation. I had 1 tube, and 1 CO2 left. I had to do my absolute best in changing this, even if it meant taking a little bit more time.

The one cool part about changing this flat, is a lot of the top M30-34 and M35-39 started to pass me, and the sound of about 40-50 bikes with race wheels & discs pass you at 30+mph sounded pretty bad ass - pseudo F1 racing!

I was back on my bike, and paranoid. I grabbed another water bottle and a little gatorade endurance at the next station, and having rested my HR changing my flat, I was feeling great (aside from worrying about my damn tire!)

As I approached Nasty Grade, I noticed that nature was starting to call. Not wanting to stop on NG, I pushed through and made it to the top. However, during the climb, nature was starting to bang on the door. So I answered...

On of my proudest moments in triathlon - I pee'd on the bike. Of course, I did this on a downhill standing up so the wind could help keep things moving along.

There were a few more rollers, and nature forgot to say goodbye, so being the good host that I am, when I hit the next downhill 5 miles later - pee on the bike #2 happened! I was ecstatic and laughing this point, and was ready to get off the bike and start the run.

Side note: my TNT coach Gurujan had always talked of peeing on the bike during races, so of course, his lectures came to mind as I was letting it all go.

Mechanical Attempt to slow me down: 2; Ryan: 0
Physiological Attempt to slow me down: 0; Ryan: 2

As I came down Lynch Hill, I passed Macca en route to his win, and screamed a few words of encouragement.

T2:
Grabbed some gels, and a packet of salt tabs, and here we go!

Run:

I quickly settled into a pace, and the first 4 miles were great. I maintained a nice 8 min pace, and coupled with the trails hugging the lake, I was enjoying myself. At about mile 3, I noticed some dude *trying* to walk up a hill like he had a huge load in his pants, without the huge load in his pants. He was obviously cramping. I came up behind him and said "Brother, you need some salt or what?" He was beside himself - he could barely talk. He mumbled a few things, and I gave him 2 salt tabs. The funny thing is 15 minutes later, I heard him behind me again. He was telling/yelling someone "Man, I feel great - thanks to the salt man up there!" He passed me (what!? thats not supposed to happen), and thanked me again, and I trudged up the dreaded mile 4 hill. Before he was out of range, I negotiated a beer for every salt tab I gave him.

Everyone hears of the nude aid station at WF, and I was so ready for it at the top of this hill. Much to my surprise, it was a bunch of dudes with their shirts off - not college age girls without bikini tops. I yelled a few words of dismay, and thought "maybe its later in the run".

The next few miles were rolling, and a little tough. The flats became recovery from the hills, and a little bit of fatigue was setting in. My 8 min pace turned into an 8:30-9 min pace. I stopped once to stretch out the legs, and take some salt. I started feeling great again.

I started through the TNT section, and it was a god send. There were people EVERYWHERE screaming and yelling.

As I came around the hill, Paul Jesse started screaming, and jay motioned for him to hold something.


I knew it was coming. I so knew it was coming.

Jay walked a solid 5 feet into the run course, turned around, undid his shorts, and completely mooned me. It was hilarious. I felt great, was pushing a 7min pace, smiled, yelled, and kept on trucking. Shortly after, I saw a bunch of other friends screaming for me. It was the ultimate adrenaline rush. That kept me going solid for another 2 miles at 7 min miles.

Shortly before the mile 9 aid station, I saw another dude having some serious cramping issues. Salt man to the rescue again. I gave him my last salt tab, and told him to make good use of it. I turned the corner at the mile 9 aid station, and saw the uphill. I looked at my watch, and I was 1:20 into the run. I thought I was making good time. I looked at the hill again, and knew I was gonna hafta walk some of it. Fatigue was setting in. I got to the bottom, gave myself a good hamstring stretch, and ended up running most of it. This of course crested, which started the .75 mile-ish downhill, only to turn around and run right back up the hill.

It was everything everyone said it would be. I would run down, look at my left, and see everyone else suffering/walking/shuffling back up it. It never seemed to end. I finally belted out "Man, this is gonna suck!" to anyone that would listen. Apparently everyone in a 50 ft radius agreed. I hit the turn around, and said Here we go!

It was tough. I "ran" most of it, with a few bouts of walking. My hamstrings and calves were FRIED. Trey saw me walking as he was running down and called me out, but I couldn't respond - all I could do was laugh because he had no idea what was coming. Damian ended up passing me on the uphill, and I was happy for him - he was having a great race, but he looked like he was hurting.

The next mile after cresting, but mostly flat, and there were times where it was hard to maintain a 10 min pace. My hamstrings were burning. I crested the top of lynch hill, and it was all downhill.... the hill, not me :)

Post-Finish: I crossed the finish line, gave a solid fist pump, and walked over to the Orange/Banana Bin. I literally was grabbing oranges with my right hand, putting them in my mouth, removing them with my left, and throwing them in the garbage. I was barely breathing my intake was so high.

I walked over to the powerbar tent, grabbed a chair, and before I knew it, Pat Drain woke me up out of one DEEP slumber. We chatted for a bit, and went back to the Orange/Banana table again, and started just manufacturing these things into my mouth. I must have put down 5 oranges and 4 bananas in the span of a few minutes.

I spent the next few hours going back in the lake, eating burritos, and reliving one of the best races/events EVER. If there is one thing every triathlete has to do, it is the wildflower triathlons.

Lessons Learned:
* NEVER lose composure and focus - you just might surprise yourself with how fast you can really go
* Learn how to improvise your nutrition if necessary
* Crowd Support is SO KEY!
* Do wildflower every year possible, with as many friends as possible

I will have another post on the wildflower experience with photos, shenanigans, and of course videos coming soon!

Final Times-
Swim: 30:59
T1: 2:31
Bike: 3:11:04
T2: 2:17
Run: 1:55:30
Final: 5:42:23