Saturday, August 1, 2015

@LYFEKitchen - AWA Ironman Athlete - #GelQuantum360 by @ASICSAmerica - #IMBoulder 2015 thoughts going into race day

So tomorrow is it.  Ironman race of 2015, Ironman Boulder.

Pretty much my whole multisport year has revolved around getting ready for Boulder.  It's going to be a long and hot day.

I'm trying not to get sucked into the hype that the bike course is fast and easy.  I'm also focusing on hydration and nutrition early on the bike before it heats up to get as much into the system before it starts shutting down due to heat.  It's going to happen.  Lets just hope for plenty of shade on the run!

Training for Boulder, I had a minor setback for a month with Plantar Faciitis.  I went to the elliptical and was sent the ASICS Gel Quantum 360 shoes in perfect timing.  While the elliptical allowed me to take some stress off the foot, none of my go-to ASICS models were relieving the pain of just every day walking around.  That was until I was sent the Quantum 360's.  They worked wonders and I'm pretty much 95 percent pain free.  I've been back out running this week, granted nothing at race pace or high intensity.  Aleve and patients will be my best friend on the run... and will probably serve me well to pace myself in the heat.  Probably a blessing in disguise.


Packing... how did I get all this junk to Lake Tahoe in 2013???  It was a mess, but ended up only to be three bags and a bike... and a bag of food.  Not bad, but it was a mess for a good 8 hours.


What's the best way to save money racing these events?  Stay with family.  I have been blessed with some great in-laws that live in Denver and have graciously opened their home and pantry.  Very open to let me come and go and fixing great chicken quinoa salads and awesome healthy dinners!  SCORE!


Yes, racing at altitude causes issues, but being in Boulder, Colorado for an Ironman race does not suck.


Volunteers are great!  Just don't get a card and have to stop at the penalty tent... they aren't as happy to see you.


Watching on IronmanLive.com?  I'm bib 427 (low number for All World Athlete Bronze) and will be wearing some neon... helmet home paint job to match!  Son, you got to coooooordinate...


Speaking of AWA.  It's a strange side deal with IM races.  Based on your performances in past IM events, IM KS in 2014 and IM Chattanooga in 2014, you get AWA status based on your point total.  Some how I earned enough for bronze.  So far the non-paying benefits are a sticker, express line in check in and a lower bib number that got me closer to the bike racks in T1.  You could go wild and order AWA gear online and if you get gold or silver, you get early chances at IM entries than the regular participants.  It's cool, but doubt I will qualify for 2016.

Boulder has some sweet eats!  IM decided to give meal vouchers for 6 or so Boulder restaurants and have an outdoor welcome celebration at 7pm, skipping providing food.  This was my first with this setup... and I found LYFE Kitchen and AWESOME!  Healthy.  Nutrition Facts readily available.  TASTED KICK ASS!  And, the $25 voucher covered my entire meal.


So far the pre-race highlight has to be getting Rinny to sign an IM Boulder poster and pose for a picture!  Who knows if I will ever be in the same air as her again, so I jumped on the chance.  We are now besties.


I'm trying to soak it in this race.  Taking time and doing things intentional and not be lost or in a hurry.  This could be the last full IM for a whole due to some home front changes (in a good way), so I'm taking lessons learned from Texas and victories from Chattanooga and hopefully putting a nice bow on this chapter of triathlon racing.  Stay tuned and good luck to everyone else racing!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

2015 Ironman Boulder on the horizon : thoughts : @AsicsAmerica updates #GelQuantum360

I'm down, but not out.

Plantar Fasciitis... I have it going wild and it sucks.  It started right as we left for vacation after a long run and has been bugging me ever since.

What I have I been doing to get rid of or minimize it before IM Boulder in 1.5 weeks?

Of course I ran on it a few times before realizing I was causing more issues and making it a lot worse.  Stubborn.  Bull headed.  Whatever.  I tried some trusted shoe models.  Stretched more diligently before runs, but ultimately it's a factor of not running to heal.  I've done some damage from not dedicating enough time to warm ups, using improper shoes and using shoes with too many miles.  There's a laundry list of factors, and I'm addressing them in the weeks leading up to Boulder.

For the past 2.5 weeks, and the week leading up to Boulder, it's elliptical only.  It's not the same, but it's the closest to running I can get without pain.  I couldn't even pool run.  Just pushing off irritated the PF.


Aleve has been my friend.  Large dose in the morning, very small dose before bed to get some good sleep.  As time has passed, the pain has subsided to non-existent for normal daily activities.  I'm reducing pain meds to minimum as possible in order to get maximum benefit on race day.  Yes, Aleve will be in my transition and special needs bags!

Straussburg sock at night before bed.  I cannot wear those things at night when sleeping as it wakes me up, but I try to hang my feet off the bed to not put them in position that shortens the achilles and promotes improper healing.  I can wear it for the few minutes between putting the kids down and going to sleep.

Proper warm ups and cool downs.  Warm up gently, dynamic stretching and then go after the workout.  After the workout, ample time stretching statically and getting some length back in the calf and achilles.  I have been better about doing this as opposed to not at all in the past, but it's been too short of time and not warmed up gently enough.  I'm getting old...

Massage.  My dude Kent at Thoroughly Kneaded Muscle Therapy has beat me up.  He's brutally attacked the heel and calf to get recovery stimulated and have the healing align with the tendons and not criss-cross which makes for a weaker structure.  Look it up.  ART is not hot air.  It's real and if you keep injury a certain body part, this could be key to get it to heal effective and be stronger in the long run.


I've messed around with shoe inserts and they just aren't doing it.  I figure if it hurts my feet just walking around, it's probably not helping.  I've been blessed with a blitz of ASICS shoes to try and while I have my staples, I might have used the new models a little too overzealously in my training runs.  Traditionally I go with the Gel 1100 series, GT 1000 or 2000 series or the Tri Noosa's.  Sadly I'm out of 1100's and GT's.  I don't have enough time to break a pair in with elliptical runs, so I needed an option I have already broken in.  That left me with the Gel Kayano 21's, Tri Noosa 8's and the Gel Quantum 360's.  Unfortunately the Kayano's weren't feeling good with the PF and the Noosa's are too rigid in the heel for the PF.  BUT, the new Quantum 360's are EXCELLENT!  They feel great just wearing for every day and for elliptical work.  Since I have had them for a few weeks and wearing them, I feel comfortable they are worn in enough to tackle IM Boulder.



So that's the plan.  Hit the bike and swim hard, run on elliptical only til race day, pain management meds full force for the race and a lot of prayer and rest and recovery / therapy.  I'm crossing my fingers that I have enough miles in the bank to get me to the finish line and enough Aleve to get me through the run.  ;)

Monday, July 13, 2015

@openoptionskc Shawnee Mission Triathlon Race Recap - 7/12/15

So at the last minute, I won a free entry to a race!

As I was on vacation with the family, I randomly entered a Facebook drawing for entry into a local triathlon, knowing it was the day after we got back and figured it was a long shot to win.  Wouldn't you know it, I won the free entry!

I'm all about free race entry!  Thanks to Open Options of Kansas City (http://openoptionskc.org/) for sponsoring the event and giving a random entry into the Open Options Shawnee Mission Triathlon!

A little bit about Open Options:

Our Mission
At Open Options UCP, we are guided by our mission to support people to realize their full potential.

Our Vision
We seek to become the premier provider of supports and services for people with disabilities, signifying quality, innovation, and person-centered principles. We are committed to ensuring the sustainability and growth of our organization and are driven by a ceaseless desire to improve. The people we employ will be engaged, dedicated, and invested in our mission.

Our Values
Every day we are given the amazing opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives. We are a catalyst for growth, supporting others to see and pursue the many opportunities and options a meaningful life presents, and contributing to the happiness of those around us. The people we serve are our priority and the people we employ are our greatest resource. Our interactions are guided by three core values:
  • Demonstrating an unselfish concern for the well-being and happiness of others
  • Being open, authentic, and truthful
  • Respecting the dignity of every person and every role

But I am "injured"

Lately I have been suffering from plantar fasciitis, and anyone that has had a case flare up, it sucks.  It started the weekend we left for vacation after a long run and got worse as I tried to work out over vacation.  I shifted to spin bike, weights and elliptical to let it rest, but the damage has been done.

So, the last thing I wanted to do was run a race with IM Boulder coming up and in serious need of recovery.

That's when I sent the call out to my local group of tri peeps and found a ringer, I mean runner, for a relay team!  I swam and biked, and my pub crawling, potato-ole eating friend ran.  Problem solved.

It was ugly

The swim was ugly from the start as I went out too hard and it was the worst swim ever at this event.  I have been spotty in my swim training over the past month and coming off vacation with no swimming, it showed.  Unfortunately I'm not the type that can take time off and show up and kill it.

I had to gingerly walk the 0.10 miles to my bike on a paved parking lot since there was no running going to happen with my foot.

After mounting the bike, I produced the worst bike split ever for this race as well.

And then it turned around

My runner busted out the 4.5 mile in sub 7 minutes and propelled us to the 3rd best long course team out of 10 teams.  We actually got some hardware out of the day which made me feel a little better about my crap times.



I would like to think I contributed to the results, but in actuality it was all due to my runner.  If he can bail me out like that again, potato-ole's on me!



SWIM 1000 METERS : 21:17
T1 : 3:16
BIKE 18 MILES : 57:57
T2 : 0:33
RELAY RUNNER 4.5 MILES : 31:00
TOTAL TIME : 1:54:02
3 of 10 LONG COURSE TEAMS

Thanks again to Open Options and Johnson County Rec for the free entry!  If anything it was great to get an open water swim in and try and bust my butt on the bike for an hour.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Garmin Vector Pedal based Power Meter Rebate before they sell out!

If you're into power meters and cycling, this is your chance to get in for an affordable price.

I've not dove into the power meter market other than the CycleOps PowerCal that's a poor man's power meter measured from heart rate.

But, I've been dieing to get into the pedal based meters like the Garmin Vector.  Well, the original Vector system is going off market since Vector 2 came out and Garmin is offering rebates to get rid of all Vector original stock.

So, follow the LINK here for the rebate form and check out Clever Training for great deals!

Garmin Vector S Pedal Set Single Sided Large 15-18T and less than 44W

Purchase a qualifying Garmin Vector or Vector S from May 1st, 2015 through July 31st, 2015 and receive either a $150 or $300 USD via mail-in rebate. Rebate submissions must be postmarked by August 31st, 2015. Limit two rebate submissions per customer. The product must be purchased in factory-new condition.

They are also sporting 20% of CycleOps trainers!  Get in while the getting is good before next winter for those indoor rides.

Cycleops Fluid2
Cycleops Fluid2
ENJOY!

Monday, May 18, 2015

2015 Atlas Race Obstacle Course Race Report - 4/25/15

What endurance season would be complete without at least one Obstacle Course Race (OCR) mixed in?

I found the Atlas Race OCR series on Facebook, and the timing, distance offered and early bird pricing was just right.  The race offers the "Boss" (3 to 5 miles) or the "Ranger" at 7 to 9 miles.  I was looking for something a little longer than the Warrior Dash or Ruckus Run to make the time to drive out to Lawrence worth the effort (named Atlas Race Kansas City, but actually held in Clinton Lake State Park).
 
So, Atlas Race KC it was for 2015 racing the Ranger course.
 
 
 
This will be a more about my experience racing the course, if you're interested in more of an event review, check out my Examiner article for the Event Review.
 

IT WAS AN ENDURANCE EVENT JUST TO GET TO THE START

Previewing my event review, I expended a lot of energy trying to track down check in, race bib pickup and event logistics in general.  Had a been a lesser driven person, I might have just chucked it.  The short of it was, the Altas organizers ran a loser ship than I'm used to with endurance events and organization.  It was a process just to track everything down and find a parking spot when I got there.
 

AND THEN IT RAINED 40 DAYS AND 40 NIGHTS

Not really... but we had some significant rain the days before the event and mist off and on race day.  It made for some sweet mud at the event, of which we would have had none without the rain.
 

WE'RE OFF

After figuring out what the order of events were, I made my way to the start at the 10am wave after some well timed port-a-potty stops.  All you endurance people know how key that can be when not swimming first off...  It was also disappointing to learn I could have raced an earlier wave and got back home sooner to miss less on the home front since I didn't see the need to drag the Mrs and the kids to this event.  But hey, it's all a part of the experience, right?
 
After racing 4 or so OCR events, I have learned it pays off to start in front and at east get out ahead of the large groups.  After you get 6 to 7 people waiting at an obstacle that only allows 2 at a time, you spend a lot of time standing around.  I wasn't interested in that.  I'd rather race unencumbered at my own pace.  So, I sprinted my ass off for the first 100 yards to get over the wood walls in the few first guys and pretty much stayed at the front for the entire heat.
 

THINGS WERE GOING SWIMMINGLY

I was doing well only trailing to one guy after the first mile.  Was I an OCR rock star?  No.  This race lended itself to cross country endurance runners more than OCR warriors.  There were only maybe 15ish real obstacles with only the end really involving any upper body effort.  Again, reference my event review and you'll see how most of the course was about trail running, which favors a long course runner more than an OCR meat head (no disrespect, maybe).
 
I took the lead after two miles and eventually got passed on the second loop.  What's ironic is that I passed the same guy because of confusion at the second lap entry and I think he did some obstacles he shouldn't have... or the volunteer told me to go the wrong way.  Either way, I was back in front and eventually he caught me again at the finish line.  Good competition.
 

IN THE END

I ended up coming in under an hour.  Pretty sweet for a 7-9 mile OCR event!  Too bad it was only 6 miles on the 910XT GPS.  So, I either skipped some course or someone got a little lazy making the course.  Even if I went around some extra obstacles, there's no way I would have added another mile.
 
 

BY THE NUMBERS

Here's how I stacked up vs the competition.
 
59 : 24 official time
17 / 186 Ranger Course Racers
3 / 28 Age Group
 
I kind of wished I would have signed up for Elite waves.  They were racing for money and I was pretty competitive with their results.  It was also key that attendance was probably throttled due to a first time event, questionable marketing outreach and the race was the same day as Warrior Dash.
 

FINAL THOUGHTS

I enjoyed getting out and doing some endurance outside of the normal swim, bike and run.  Trail running is good cross training, and OCR makes it even better.  I wished I would have gotten more course in.  9 miles for a 50 minute drive to the race would have been a fair trade, but at least I got in early bird and avoided paying an outrageous price for a short long course.  My review and this recap would have taken a different tone had I paid over $100 at race day reg.
 
I'm happy with my "performance".  As I mentioned with Rock the Parkway, my focus is Ironman Boulder and getting the work done for that.  I did not come into Atlas with any real goals other than a hard run and wasn't tapering or resting for a race effort.  Something to mix it up.  I wanted to get the heart rate up and not get hurt.  Those goals were met, no problem.  I do wish I would have looked at Elite a little harder, but since this was the first time racing Atlas, I wasn't sure what to expect.
 
Stay tuned for more recaps and previews as race season is in full force!
 
 

Sunday, May 3, 2015

2015 Rock the Parkway Half Marathon Recap - 4/11/15

A few weeks ago was the first official race event for me of the 2015 season... Rock the Parkway Half Marathon in Kansas City, MO.

I posted my preview thoughts a few days before the race, and to recap, the race just kind of snuck up on me with life going on.  I'm to the point where completing the race wouldn't be an issue, but I was not really focused on improving performance, setting a PR or anything resembling being competitive with myself or anyone else.

Mostly I just like the event, been in it one form or another since inception and they have a nice early bird pricing deal.  ;)

OFF TO THE RACES...

So, decided I would brave the race myself and leave the fam behind so the Mrs and the kiddos wouldn't have to sit around to see me at the start and umpteen minutes later at the end.  Kind of anti-climatic at this point for spectators.

As I have dialed in my eating habits, which translate into eating smart and not being a pig, I allow myself a day of the week to pretty much stuff whatever I want into my face.  This was that day and I delighted in trail mix with extra Reece's pieces mixed in.  Delicious.  So there I was munching mutant mix on the way to the start, not really paying attention to the fact I ended up eating too much that close to a race.  I had an hour to let it settle, but I didn't pay attention and ended up with too much to digest that quick.

So, I cut off the food after parking and sipped some gatorade while milling about the pre-race port-a-potty routine.  Hydrate, dehydrate, re-hydrate with some #2 mixed in.  Glorious.

Too bad I ate too much and didn't time my last pee break good enough before the race.

AND WE'RE OFF

Mile 1, feeling good.

AND WE'RE NOT FEELING IT

Mile 2, had to pee and trail mix was giving me problems.

AND WE'RE STOPPING

Mile 3, pee break at the first aid station port-a-potties.  Break for the tummy as well to stop sloshing at 165bpm heart rate.

AND WE'RE RUNNING AGAIN

Break neck speeds and 165bpm, just holding on for as long as possible.  I actually did not stop running again for entire race, opting to jog and sip at pit stops for hydration.  That's pretty rare for me.

It was a balancing act of aggressive running and gurgling trail mix in the gut.  Around mile 11, on the final stretch, I let it all hang out and drove for the finish line.  I've been more taxed after an event than I was at RTP 2015, but I've never been more happy to stop running with a stomach of half digested food.  I didn't barf, either, so there's a winner right there.

AND WE'RE DONE

So, my PR at the half marathon distance was 1:35:53 last year at the same race, same course.

2015 results were : 1:35:34 - a 19 second PR.  Not bad for not really paying attention to a training plan and overeating before the race.  I'll take it.


In all seriousness, I do believe the more attention I have paid to eating a better diet and eating to live instead of living and working out to eat has helped in my running.  I've permanently dropped a few LBS and that's made me feel a little quicker and lighter on my feet.  My philosophy is the less weight I have on me, the less punishment my joints take with workouts in general over the years.  I'm going for longevity, not the short term.

So, if I can come out and consistently stay close to my PR's in races, I'm pretty satisfied.

Glorious.