Before and After

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The week before

The week before a race is always the hardest! It is a combination of lack of physical activity and nerves.  Aaron my coach calls it “Taper Madness” Athletes go thru this all the time.  Your mind plays tricks on you; minor aches and pains become more noticeable you become more irritable.   My wife and family do well putting up with me.  This weekend we will be going traveling to Austin to race the Longhorn 70.3 Ironman, this is a race that I have been training for since May.  Your body gets used to training 7 days a week and then all of a sudden the level drops and you are not sure quite how to handle it.  You would think that after 7 years you would get used to it, but every time it is the same. This last weekend I took the downtime to check out my new wet suit, I got an Xterra Vector Pro.  I wanted to get a swim in with it before race day.  Henry heard me talking about getting in the pool and wanted to come too.  I really did not think that he would put his suit on and then feel the water and not go through with it.  While I was working up the courage to get in I heard him yell from behind me “Cannonball” and away he went.  He popped right back up from the water eyes as wide as saucers and I just knew that he was done, but little did I know he only wanted his goggles.  I could not let him show me up so after a little more stalling I dove in and we swam together for a little bit and then I made him get out and he was not very happy about it, I just felt the water was a little too cold.

My Coach Aaron also took this time to do some testing, we did a Lactic Acid test and a Vo2 Max test.

 Lactate threshold (LT) 

is the best indicator of performance known in endurance athletics. Scientifically, a working definition of LT is the point during training or racing at which blood lactate begins to accumulate above resting levels, where lactate clearance is no longer able to keep up with lactate production. For our purposes, LT is the upper limit of your forever zone. As mentioned above, this is the pace that you could maintain all day (theoretically) if nutrition and hydration were kept at a steady state. You will conduct field tests to determine your LT and then work backwards to create training zones that maximize training time and push the upper limits of your LT.
 What tests can I use to determine my lactate threshold? The best tests for LT are conducted in a laboratory or at least with equipment that literally measures the blood lactate levels by drawing blood. This can be cumbersome, expensive, and not readily available for many of us. In the place of these scientific tests, you will conduct field tests using time trials on the bike and run. Swimming can be more difficult to gauge, so it must be handled differently. The objective of these tests is to determine your heart rate training zones as a measure of LT.  By taking field measurements you can determine the exertion level at which you reach lactate threshold and thus identify your ideal training zones.

 What is VO2 max? 

It’s basically the maximum amount of oxygen that can be used by the body for maximal sustained power output (exercise). Since the body uses oxygen to convert food into energy (ATP), the more oxygen you can consume, the more energy, power, or speed you can produce. VO2max defines an endurance athlete’s performance ceiling, or the size of his or her “engine.” Research has shown that VO2max significantly determines performance in endurance-based events such as cycling, triathlon, running, and Nordic skiing.

 This weekend I will be racing with some friends one of them Drew will be doing a 70.3 for the very first time.  Please keep us in your prayers as we travel and race.  I look forward to giving a race recap afterwards.  Good luck to everyone out there racing this weekend.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Change of Plans!

 So I guess I haven’t gotten much better about posting more often.  In my last post I talked about all the races I wanted to get done if my body held up.  In October I ran a 5K with Anne and did my 2nd 70.3 Iron Man. In November I ran the DRC 1/2 Marathon, and in the beginning of December I ran the Rock N Roll 1/2 in Vegas again.  Well I must have jinxed myself because my body didn’t hold out for the rest of the season. 

   I had my gallbladder out in December and had the chance to go skiing a couple of times, once in January and then again in February. On the trip in February, two weeks before I was suppose to run the half marathon at Cowtown, I fell and injured my knee.  Skiing with a 3 year old is tricky business.  I thought it was pretty bad when it happened but I was able to ski the rest of the day. By the next morning I couldn’t walk on it.  I called my Doctor on the way home and he saw me that night.  In the end it was not as serious as I had thought but running the half in a few weeks was out of the question.

My recovery took a lot longer than I had expected but it gave me some time to think my about decision to run 40 marathons or half marathons by the age of 40.  After many conversations with Anne I temporally changed my goal! For the next year I am shooting for my ultimate test of endurance the 140.6 Ironman.  This race will take the better part of 16 hours to complete.  I spent some time looking at the race schedules and tried to find the perfect race that would fit into our busy lives.  I ended up picking Ironman Texas in the Woodlands.
This race is really early in the season and that means a lot of indoor winter training.  I also came to the conclusion if I was going to try and conquer this distance I was going to need some help.  A friend on mine, Drew Carnes, was using a company called Playtri and coach Aaron Patel.  Aaron came highly recommended by Drew so after a few phone calls I signed up to be one of his clients. He promised to get me through Ironman Texas. 
First order of business was testing that needed to be done down at Playtri’s facility.  We made a weekend trip out of it.  I was very curious about the way the programs works but Aaron informed me that he could tailor the workouts to my schedule.  Once a week I send him the days and hours I am available to work out for the following week.  Then he creates my training schedule with a mixture of runs, bikes, swims, and some weight training.   I have been on his workouts since May and I can tell that my body is stronger than it has ever been before.  As part of my training I will be running 70.3 Austin Ironman in two weeks and then I hope to pick up some half marathons this winter while I am training for Ironman Texas.  I will also be attending a training camp in April that is set on the course for the swim bike and the run for Ironman Texas.  The 70.3 Ironman Galveston is also on my schedule for the middle of April.  This will be one last tune up for the big one. 
I will try and post more often, when things come up and probably some of my training schedules just to give you a glimpse into what goes into getting ready for a race like this.  

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Blog Catch up!

It has been a while since my last post! We have had a busy summer, with family vacations and with my new job. Since my last post I trained for and completed the Triple Threat at Hotter Than Hell. This is a three-day race comprised of a 13 mile mountain bike ride on Friday followed by the 100 mile road race on Saturday and finally a 13.1 ½ Marathon trail run on Sunday.  It was different than any race I have trained for in the past.  Race weekend was incredibly hot and each race was difficult in a different way, but I really enjoyed the change of pace.  I did sacrifice a toenail to this event.   

That catches you up to August. September was busy with my new Job as the Director of Technology for Wichita Falls ISD.  I was already committed to doing the Austin 70.3 IronMan in October and with the new job on my plate it was hard to focus on my training like I had done the year before. Two weeks before the race I had to test myself to see if it was even possible for me to finish the Ironman. I did a 40-mile bike ride followed by a 10 mile run. The day of the race the weather was perfect almost too perfect. The water temperature was just right for the use of wet suits and the bike was great, not a ton of wind but more hills than I had remembered. But when it came down to the run the temperature had reached 89 degrees. For me that is almost too hot to be running on asphalt.

So here is the rundown of how I did.   The swim went better than last year.  I improved my time and surprised my family.  They weren’t even looking for me when I ran by. I also improved my time on the bike. (I am sure that is because of all the road training I had just done for the triple threat)  Now the run took a little longer than I would have liked, I stepped in a hole on the first mile that made for some slow going for the last 12 miles. I was glad to get this one behind me.  My family really enjoys this race and it was great to have their support.  2 days after the race I was still nursing a very hurt foot and had an x-ray just to make sure there wasn’t a fracture.  Then even over a week later my foot was not improving…this means cortisone shot….let’s just say OUCH!!! But know worries…that fixed me up.

I followed the 70.3 Ironman with a Half Marathon at the DRC half in Dallas in November. That brings my total up to 23. I am traveling to Las Vegas this week to run the Rock and Roll Las Vegas. That will make number 24! I hope to compete in at least one Half Marathon every month from now until April. We will see how my body holds up.will be

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Oklahoma City Marathon and # 20 in the Books!

For the last 18 weeks I have been training with one thing in mind, pay back on the OKC Marathon.  Two years ago (just two weeks before the race) I dropped a computer on my foot and fractured 3 toes. I had to pull out of the race just a little over 13 miles in.  This time around I have been doing my long runs with Rusty Sons and they have been great.

   We did 3 runs of 22 miles in this 18 week program.  I have always used Hal Higdon's website and his training programs.  This time we used the intermediate 2 program.  We were both really happy with it.  I also started running a 10-1 program for any mileage over 15.  I run the 1st 4 miles then run 10minuets walk 1…run 10 walk 1….it has been a welcome change.  I really like the small goals.  Sure makes time and miles fly by. 

Rusty and I decided to do the early start for OKC which is one of the only Marathons I know of that has an early start.  To be able to do the early start we had to be at the starting line by 4:15 am on race day.  My alarm went off at 2 am after breakfast and getting all of my running stuff together I met up with Rusty and Steve who drove us to the start.  The 1st 6 miles went flawlessly then the phone call came from Steve telling us huge storms where on the way.  Within minutes it was pouring and lightning all around.  Rusty and I talked about it and decided to carry on. Rusty was doing great especially since just a few days before he hurt his shoulder and back.  He thought he would not be able to run at all. 

With the rain came the wind and cold.  We were completely frozen within minutes (numb arms and fingers) .   Anne and Steve were going to meet us right after mile 13 and it was a good thing because Rusty was having some serious issues because of the weather.  When we met up with them, Rusty had to pull out.   From then on I was on my own.

 We had ran the 1st half in 2:45 min.  Anne had planned on meeting back up with me at mile 18 after I went out by lake Hefner and then back towards down town.  I made up some time during those 5 miles and was feeling great at mile 18.  I climbed in the back of the Sequioa and changed socks, refilled bottles, and grabbed some perpetium from Hammer products before I hit the road again.  Anne and the kids followed along beside me for the next mile. 

The next few miles went pretty fast I was catching all the other runners that started in the early start.  About mile 22 the full marathon route joins up with the half marathon route so at least I had some company running in.  The pro's caught me about mile 23.5 and the 1st place female caught me around mile 25.  The finish came up fast and before I knew it I was coming down the home stretch.  I ended up running a PR by 27 minutes when the race was over.  I have never finished a Full Marathon and felt as good as I did that day.  I felt strong enough I think could have probably done an Ultra (31 miles) but maybe next time.  Here’s to number 20 being in the books.  Thank you Rusty for training with me and I look forward to you getting revenge on OKC next year.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Dallas Rock and Roll 1/2 (Race #19)

Race #19 in the books.  I am posting this a little late, I ran the Dallas Rock and Roll 1/2 on March 27th.  This is the second annual Rock and Roll in Dallas.  Rusty picked me up at the hotel and we headed to the start.  We met up with some friends from church Marsha, Margie Ann and Christy they were running the race to help raise money for the Susan G Coleman Foundation.  Marsha and Margie Ann had planned on run walking the race and Christy was going to run,  I ask Christy if she wanted to run together since it was her 1st half marathon.  She did great and you could really tell that she had put in all the miles during training.  Race # 20 is in just a few weeks I have completed three 20+ mile runs and I feel really good about the Full Marathon at OKC the 1st weekend in May.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Cowtown 2011 and #18

Three years ago the Cowtown Marathon/Half Marathon began giving away a unique metal to finishers.  This medal not only stands alone but when joined with consecutive years you will be able to create a TEXAS star.  3 years ago I earned my 1st piece.  Here is my star so far.  I am determined to finish this STAR!
This year Anne had to go to New Orleans early Sunday morning (the same day as the race) I decided to get up and drive down the early that morning  run and turn around and come home.  Rusty and Joe went with me and we left from the house at 3:50 am.  We arrived in downtown Fort Worth  around 6am. Rusty, Joe and I met up with Jason and went to the Convention Center to stretch and get ready for the start.  They changed the course this year so that we would run down through the Stockyards and then back down town.  It was a nice chance of scenery until mile 9 which climbs 170 feet in less than half a mile.  I had been running with the 2hr pace group since the start of the race but during that climb the whole pace group fell apart.  It was a tough race and in the end Joe and I  ran it in 2:01:26.  I was pretty happy with the time considering the course and the hills.  Jason and Rusty did well too. It was a good day.  I will post some pics of all us on race day on my website.  The next race will be number 19 in Dallas on March 27th, Rock and Roll Half Marathon.  Rusty and I are training for the Full Marathon in OKC in May which will be my 20th Marathon.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

My 1st set back of the season.

Every race season, without fail I have some sort of setback.  Whether it is some sort of cold, strained muscles or broken toes it always seems to happen when you least expect it.  About a week and a half ago I had a free Saturday, so I decided to do some work in the yard.  After raking all the leaves in the backyard I took it upon myself to clean out some flower beds.  All went well until the next day I woke up with a rash.  I knew right away what it was last year I got the same rash from our back yard. ( I really need to get someone over to check it out and help me find what we have growing back there. ) Monday morning I woke up and got ready for work but when Anne came into the Kitchen just as I was getting ready to leave she stopped me.  She said I looked like Will Smith from Hitch, so off to the Dr. I went after a brief consult I got a shot of Steroids and some instructions on how to take care of the Poison Ivy.  Tuesday blisters began to pop up.  On Wednesday I woke up with both my eyes swollen shut.  Back to the Dr. I went and this time I got a shot and some oral Steroids to take for the next twenty days.
 When I am training for an event it really does consume me.   I think about my workouts all the time, from what I need to be running, riding, or swimming to when can I get them done and not interfere with my family time.  So now I have huge blisters all over my arms and neck and on my ankles too.  For the last week I have not worked out once.  This normal would really have made me pretty grumpy but all I can think about is my arms itching and burning (I have thought seriously about cutting them off you may laugh but I am not kidding.) The workouts have taken a backseat to life.  But luckily this happened just a few weeks into my Marathon Schedule and not a week or two before Race Day.  For now I keep my head up and my rear out of the backyard!