"I like you. I'll gladly sit down and have dinner with you after the race. But when the gun goes off, I pretty much hate you, and I want to stomp your guts out. That's racing." -J Rapp

"the best night of my life.....
...in the most beautiful place on earth"

"It's just one, long, tedious conversation with yourself" -Paula Newby Fraser

"Have faith- trust in the plan - the breakthrough will come. I promise. " Woo

"You can keep going and your legs might hurt for a week or you can quit and your mind will hurt for a lifetime.” -Mark Allen

“The only time you can be brave is when you’re afraid.”

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Sticking to my guns....fitness update!

16 weeks and 3 days to Ironman AZ...I know I will be ready, but the $20 million dollar question is...will the lake be ready?  $20 million because that is Tempe's projected loss if the race doesn't happen, and I'm sure a bunch of people are not excited about doing an Ironman Duathlon.   Because of the potential financial gain/loss, I am sure Tempe will get the lake done!  

So for me, I am in the zone...the 16-18 weeks leading up to the race are the where I determine how well/comfortable/competitive I will be on November 21.  Since I started back "on the program" about a month ago (2.5 months post-surgery) from Chris, I've regained my fitness by leaps and bounds!  

Here's where I am at:  SWIM:  I swam a total of 11,400 yds over 3 workouts from last thursday to sunday (3600, 3800, 4000)...I was sooo happy that I completed these three workouts, you have no idea.  I looked at the log last week and thought "yeah right, I think he forgot I injured myself."  It seems like all of the sudden my shoulder (outside of soreness) is a non-issue.  My stroke is back to 90% of extension with my right arm, and I honestly think I will come out of this a better swimmer, because now my shoulder tells me when I am not pulling through correctly (using shoulder muscles versus the lat and trap)...perfect!  With 16 weeks to go, I imagine we can get my swim to where it used to be years ago...I'm shooting for a 60-65 minute IM swim (a tall order, but that's what goals are for...attainable with hard work!).        BIKE: Riding has taken a bit longer to get back to where I was, but over the past week I have felt some good improvement.   For the bike section of an Ironman, the goal is to balance speed with cost---by cost I mean HR.  My HR on recent rides has come down at least 5-7 BPM for the same exertion (speed), which tells me my fitness is steadily improving.  Most rides are at 130 BPM with very short periods over 130 (hills...).  My goal is to ride IM just over 130 BPM---if that means a pace 20 mph or 22+ mph, it is all in the work I do between now and race day.  I'm not going to ride at 140+ BPM and expect to enjoy the race, and especially the run.  Chris has a philosophy that "the bike sets up the run,"  I couldn't agree more as running separates the great race experiences from the horrible "I never what to do this again" ones...I've had many experiences on both sides of this fence, but in an Ironman, pushing too hard on the bike = DNF for me (I won't walk a marathon and call myself a finisher)      RUN:  I've always been able to rely on my running (except maybe for Wildflower...too tough!), but I think this is where I have the most to improve.  Everything I've read about clavicle fractures is that running is always the toughest to get back into.  I agree 100%!  I've been riding (on the trainer, on the road) for at least a month and a half, but haven't really been able to run without thinking I am doing damage until very recently (maybe 2 weeks).  The good news is my legs feel fresh, the bad news is that as the mileage adds up through the week, my running stability muscles are worn out (core!).  Before the crash I was running comfortably at around 7 min/mile with a HR below 140, but this past sunday I was in the 140-145 range at 7:30 min/mile on a "test" run.  It is 20+ degrees hotter and it was humid on sunday, but no excuses...i was hydrated and energy loaded.  So this means Chris is pushing the running (note to self: tell Chris something is not going well, and that's where he hammers you...).  Yesterday, for example, I had 2 runs---one in the a.m. (meaning: up at 4:30!), and one in the p.m. (meaning: 7pm trying to avoid the heat)...I totalled a little over 13 miles over 1 hour 40 minutes, but it was a struggle.  I run again on friday, and I'm sure I'll notice an immediate gain in running fitness.  Then saturday I ride 5 hours, and sunday is a "tri" workout---all three disciplines...let's see how beat I am on sunday afternoon---a nap will be in order for sure!

So that's where I'm at---I going to keep pushing on and not let the dam issues distract me (remember it's the journey not the destination!)...Ironman Cozumel is the next weekend....it is a thought in the back of my mind!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Is 2010 just not the year for me?

So, training is picking up...last night I completed my first "full" swim workout (meaning: regularly scheduled, full distance, good stroke, felt normal!), so I am 100% a go for Ironman AZ barring any natural disasters or other injury.  So talking about natural disasters, the damn dam at Tempe Town Lake broke!  I'll keep my opinion out of it, other than stating that one of the rubberized dams blew up...see photos at this link: Tempe Town Lake Slideshow  They say the lake will be open by November 1st...this race is one of Tempe's main tourist events, so I am sure they'll make a huge push to get the lake ready for the race.  I was planning of competing in 2 races in the lake--one in September and another in October, but those are turning into duathlons...totally different from a triathlon, but we will see if I end up in these two races.  Something competitive will be better than nothing going into IM...I may even have to travel to a far off race to "test" my fitness.

If it's not one thing, it's the other (I can't believe the forces in play this year...geeze!).  Otherwise training is going well...I am back full swing with a sense of urgency, and this dam thing happens...I've told myself to not let it distract me...it's the journey not the destination!  I'm having no problems at all on the bike now (other than the 100+ degree weather) and am in the middle of re-building my base so I can last on the bike for 5 hours...the run is coming back, and I think my legs are very thankful for the rest they've been given over the past 3 months!

t-minus  17 weeks and 2 days to go!

Monday, July 12, 2010

It's a good day!

So it's been a while since I checked in on here...but not because nothing has changed!  I've been staying away from swimming because I felt like it was not doing me any good to swim the wrong way--swimming the right way was not possible without some pinching and mild pain, and I did not have the "OK" to push my range of motion with freestyle swimming.  I've been on my bike a lot (except fro a 2 week period where the bike shop took forever to get me a replacement crank--at which point I caved and am now riding a 175mm crank versus a 172.5mm crank.  I notice the increase in diameter in the rotation, but hopefully it is a good move??!!  One new good thing is I've been riding in the aero bars without any problems with my shoulder--it's great to be in the aero bars again and I didn't realize how much I rode in them before until this happened---another good thing!  Running has been without issue as well other than some soreness from the impact of running...I ran 7 miles in San Diego over the weekend and held a 7:08 pace, so that, along with the bike improvements, made me feel that I can recover from this!  I also rode a lot over in San Diego (about 200 miles in 7 days), and I think the hills of San Diego really boosted my riding endurance---awesome!

Anyways, the big news of the day is my 3 month post surgery check up was this morning--I went in holding my breath because lately I had the feeling that I may have had a non-union from that way things felt (lots of pinching and unable to move in certain positions without it feeling like it was in 2 pieces still).  My scapula is still "winging" a bit, but  I can raise my right arm straight up in the air (but with slight guarding/blocking).

After x-rays and evaluating, the news is good!  (x-rays below)  Dr Amit is seeing a good size callous forming between the two pieces---the massive amounts of Calcium with Magnesium and Milk have done their duty!  He said the pinching is pretty normal, as is the tightness due to the increase in bone mass in the area (the skin over the site is TIGHT!).  He said "let pain be your guide" at this point, and restrictions are lifted but not to overdo it (sure!).

So off we go on this journey to see if I can get into "my" idea of great shape for November 21st...a sub 10 hour time is still the goal and we have 130 days to get there!  I know I can get there physically, it's the mental side of the race that scares me---the "just walk" voices need to be conquered!  One step at a time though..let's see how brutal the road back is for swimming...I'm going to have to learn how to swim all over again, and maybe that's a good thing.