Monday, September 21, 2009

Seems Like a Lifetime Ago....

since I updated my blog. No real answer as to why other than I have been busy training in preparation for this thing called Ironman.

Since Ironman has been the biggest thing that has gone on since my last post I think I am best served to give the details of that above all else for right now. Obvious to most is that the Ironman I competed in was Ironman Louisville. Louisville is a beautiful place and I really enjoyed my time there. It was so refreshing to be in an area that no matter where you turned everyone was sincerely polite and helpful. I guess southern hospitality does exist.

So, on to the race. As anyone who has done an Ironman would tell you, hardly ever does everything work out perfectly and my race was no exception. Starting with the swim, as I was getting ready I started to pull on my speedsuit and all of a sudden I heard a pop. That pop was in fact the zipper on my speedsuit shredding. So scrap the speedsuit and time to swim in just my tri suit. Now alot of people make a big deal out of how bad the Ohio River is to swim in and yes, it is absolutely not the cleanest water I have ever been in but I didn't find it to be as bad as people made it out to be. So I figured going into this thing that I could go out and swim what I felt I was capable of but having never swam that far I didn't want to get into a situation where I over did it in the swim and put myself in trouble that early. That in mind, I decided that I would more or less put it in cruise control for the swim and then try and hammer the other two events. End result swim wise was that it ended up being the easiest part of my day but also way slower than what was possible for me.

Next was the bike and this is where the problems started. Leading up to the race I had been having some pretty serious neck problems. So much so that I still have times with little feeling at the base of my neck. Anyway, I was fully prepared to hammer the bike as everything in my training lead me to believe I could do. I got out of transition and hit the first mile at about 21mph and then problems. At almost exactly the 1 mile mark into the bike my neck all of a sudden had a really bad burning sensation and then went numb. The end result of which made it so I could not ride in my aero position and I ended up having to ride 111 miles in my base bar. This in turn not only made it so I was catching all the wind head on but I also was putting more strain on my legs than needed. By the time I got off the bike my legs were pretty much shot.

By the time I started the run I could barely hold 9 minute mile pace for the first couple of miles and I knew it was going to be a pretty miserable marathon. By the time I had reached about mile 10 my stride had changed so much that I developed large blisters on the balls of both of my feet. All put together I ended up having to walk most of the marathon which was pretty upsetting.

Its a funny thing, I constantly see footage of people crossing the finish line at Ironman and they are very emotional. I have to say, I didn't have that same feeling. I was really upset that everything went so wrong for me. People have been constantly telling me to be proud of the fact that I finished, and believe me I am. However, my answer always is "I didn't train just to finish". Now don't get me wrong, I whole heartily believe that it is a great and commendable thing for people just to want to finish. I personally just happen to have large goals for myself and when I put the kind of time in that I did and to not only not hit that goal but to have a pretty miserable race, well that it pretty disappointing to me.

All in all the experience of Ironman itself was terrific and I would 100% recommend Louisville to anyone considering an Ironman. I would also like to thank the many friends and family who gave me their undying support throughout this entire process. I would especially like to thank my Ironwife Angela who not only was a spectator for 15 hours that day but has also been very understanding when it came to all the time away for training I had to do. Also, to my super Cousin Sarah, who flew in from Phoenix to cheer me on, it meant more to me than you know. Guess what? You're next Sarah!

Finally, just wanted to give a quick note regarding the mileage challenge that I had going on. I have decided to cancel it for the remainder of the year as many people have fallen by the wayside as the year has gone one. For those of you that took part I just wanted to say thank you and I hope you have a great remainder of the year training.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Another Year Older...

Yep, 32 years ago today this son, husband, father, grandson, cousin, nephew, marathoner and soon to be Ironman was born. As well as training I am spending the day with my wonderful wife, enjoying the Tour, enjoying great food and watching some movies. Thanks to everyone who sent well wishes this way and I am looking forward to this Saturday when we have the B-Day party with friends. Also the current mileage for the year is 2154.47. Take care all and thanks again.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


One quick comment..... thanks to the guy who ran me off the road today. Be aware out there my cyclist and tri friends alot of drivers don't care....

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I Know...I Know...

Yes everyone, it has clearly been quite a while since I have updated my blog. The good thing is that the reason is that I have been training a ton lately and quite honestly have not had the time to write here. So without sitting here and writing out what could only be called a novel, I will try and update everyone on what has been going on.

First, yes I have been keeping track of the mileage challenge. We are now sitting at 2021.95 miles everyone! Great job and thanks to everyone that keeps sending in their weekly totals.

Next was the Cleveland Marathon. This was my fourth marathon to date and my training went really well going into it. It was also my wife's first half marathon ever. At the half marathon check I was right on time for where I expected to be and was still feeling really good. Then at about the 20 mile mark I just started getting really tired. Not the typical bonk that alot of people get but just tired. I ended up finishing with a time of 3:38.37 (I stopped my Garmin at my 26.2 mark and it said 3:36 but oh well) which was another personal best and 4 for 4 when it comes to personal bests in marathons. The best part of it all was that my wife went into the half thinking she was going to struggle to go under 4 hours and she did a 2:26. I couldn't have been more proud and she loves her medal!!!!

The next was my first tri ever. My cousin Sarah came into town for it and I have been coaching her for it. She is an excellent swimmer so I knew I was going to have my work cut out for me. I pretty much went into it with the idea of using it as practice more than anything since I had never done one and for sure had never done open water swimming or swimming with others. The swim was pretty much what I expected, in other words slooooow and Sarah had me by 10 minutes out of the water. With that kind of gap in a sprint tri it is very hard to get someone back. The bike went ok and was more hilly than I expected it to be and I still hadn't caught her. Then on the out and back run (which was on trails) I saw her at about my 1.5 mile mark and I thought there was a slight chance I could reel her in. In the end though she ended up beating me by 30 seconds in the overall and I sooo didn't care. It meant more to me that she raced so well and to top it all off she placed second in her age group in her very first tri ever!!!

Lastly, training has been going well and I have upped my time in the pool simply because I have felt that I needed it. My bike to run brick has been getting stronger and stronger and I am actually looking forward to getting to the longer distances.

I hope all is well with everyone as the racing season is now in full swing. Take care.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Remember When....?

Remember when it was cold and miserable here in Northeast Ohio and I was able to blog on a consistent basis? Well the mostly 60 and 70 degree weather along with some 80's thrown in for good measure have put me off track blogging wise of late. The good news is that as a result of the good weather, I have really started to feel like I am putting in some really solid training! Swimming seems to still be getting better everyday and I am still feeling better on the bike every time I ride. Running had been coming around slowly but I am happy to say that I did my long run yesterday at a pace of 6:52 a mile! This really surprised me as it came out of no where. I am starting to feel more confident about the possibilities of my time for the marathon on the 17th but at the same time trying to keep myself in check because (and anyone who has run one will agree) anything can happen on race day, most of which are out of your control.

I am also looking forward to the weekend after the marathon as my cousin Sarah will be coming into town from Phoenix, Arizona to compete in her first ever tri with me. I have been coaching her for it and she has been training her butt off so I am excited to see how she fairs on race day. Not to mention it will mean some vacation time for me as well.

Finally, the Challenge keeps rolling on and everyone is still sending in their weekly totals. Everyone is doing great as the numbers keep piling on. The new total for the year is, 1884.41 miles! Great job everyone.

I hope everyone is enjoying spring and getting out there for some racing. I for one will be doing a 5k at the Cleveland Zoo this Saturday and hope to see some of you there. Take care.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Keep it Coming!!

I say this because two things have been going really well as of late. First the mileage challenge is going really well as we are now up to 1765.55 miles for the year and we just keep climbing. Great work there everyone and keep it up.

Second, my training has really improved over the course of the past couple of weeks. Swimming wise, it seems like every time I step into the pool I am not only getting more and more comfortable, but my technique is improving with leaps and bounds and I am definitely getting faster every time. Bike wise again, I am feeling more and more comfortable in the aero position and I am getting stronger on the hills as well as faster over all. When it comes to the run, it seemed like I was going through a tough patch for a while there were I just couldn't string together solid runs. In the past few weeks though, I have really started to feel more like myself and the runs are finally starting to get where I want them to be, which is a good thing considering I have a marathon in 3 weeks!!

Other than that they are calling for great weather starting tomorrow for a few days anyway and I am really looking forward to going really hard over the next few days outside and seeing where the chips lay at the end of it. I hope everyone is training well and that everyone is having a great time out there. Until next time......

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Countdown Is On!!

As of today there are officially 37 days left until my first big race of the year... The Cleveland Marathon! I will always have fond memories of this race as last year at this race was my first marathon ever. I am definitely looking forward to having a really solid race this year. From what I understand, they haven't finalized the course for this year yet so I am looking forward to seeing what they come up with. My wife is also walking her first ever half marathon so it will be really special when she finishes. It will also be interesting to see how all of my cross training will transfer to race day. As far as training goes, my swimming seems to be getting better every time I get in the pool which is very reassuring since I knew it was going to be my weakest event starting out. My biking also seems to be coming around nicely and we have made a slight adjustment to my fit to get me a bit more comfortable. It has definitely been nice to get outside with the nice weather as opposed to putting in 3 hour sessions on the trainer. My running seems to be a little behind right now but not so far that I wont be able to put it all together for the marathon.

Speaking of running, the 100,000 mile Challenge keeps piling up and the new total for the year is 1570.30 miles.