"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.”

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

9 Weeks to Ironman Arizona

So there hasn't been an update about the lake in a while, but we just keep on truckin'!

Monday, September 20:
Chris gave me the day off, but I jumped on the trainer anyways for two hours, with some intervals to start waking the legs up coming out of a recovery week...my body is eager for more building!

Tuesday, September 21:
1) 75 minutes running....
We are adding run intervals back into my program!  But instead of track workouts, we are doing hill repeats (fun!  track workouts on a hill basically!).  I have the perfect hill for these over in McDowell Mountain Ranch...3 reps of 5 minutes each in Zone 4 HR (right around 140 BPM for me).Hill Repeats on Garmin...Chris has been telling me to think like a Diesel rather than a Ferrari, so I am trying to keep my pace/HR down, but my body wants to take off...gotta stick to the plan!  I ended up running between 7:30-8:00 pace...not fast...DIESEL!!!  I am now really focused on training right...I don't care how fast I am through my workout---Chris says it's not about beating yourself to a pulp, it's about conditioning your body...and he knows best!

2) I followed the run up with 90 minutes easy on the trainer to "shake the legs out" 150 watts which had my HR at 115...DIESEL!!  this was a recovery spin...

Wednesday, September 22:
1) I started my afternoon workout with a swim as follows:  3700 IM Prep - 400 wup, 300 free with middle 100 FAST (3rd 100) - 800 Free steady, 50 ez, 600, steady, 50 ez, 2x400 faster than 800 was, 50 ez, 2x300 faster than the 600, warm down.  My swimming is really coming along well as of late...speed is increasing, endurance in the water is where it needs to be, and I am feeling pretty comfortable!  I have a Swim Analysis with a local coach here (Frank Sole) tomorrow..I can't wait to see what I look like from every angle and get some valuable feedback to make me more efficient!
2) 90 minutes of Intervals on the Bike Trainer: just like above, I have a lot in reserve at the current zones, and in this workout my wattage varied from 170 to 240---not tough at all, but I know that is the goal---IM bike is not about pushing high wattage, it's about keeping a constant wattage/Hr throughout that allows the body to maintain its endurance throughout---NO LACTIC ACID BUILDUP!

Thursday, September 23: aka my 38th Birthday!
very easy "training day", basically all I had was a "recovery swim" which turned out to be my swim analysis videoing with Frank...nothing else really to say other than I am excited for the video...I'll post it on here when I get it!

Friday, September 24: bike, run, but I wanted more: started with open water swim!
1) I headed up to Bartlett Lake for an Open Water Swim with the group, but didn't get the memo that meeting time was 5:30 am....I headed up by myself (as planned anyways), threw on my wetsuit, caught up with the 8 or so people out there, swam my two laps around the buoys, and headed back in, jumped in the car, and sped home...no messing around on days like these! I swam about 3000 yds...I think!
2) After the drive home, I prepped and jumped on the bike for a 3 hourZ2 ride with 20' at Z3 HR (IM pace) built in. I headed down to Shea, out to the Beeline, down the top half of the IM AZ course, back up to Fountain Hills, then through RIo Verde, up 9 mile, and then home:  64 miles in just over 3 hours 20 minutes HR average was 116, temp was pretty hot at 96 average, and averaged just under 19 MPH...followed the new motto--DIESEL!!
3) Straight into a brick run for 75 minutes with the following description: "medium run with the last 15 minutes on feel and fast"
Sometimes I just have to figure out what things like that mean...HR zones are easy to follow, but medium run to me means a pretty good level of exertion, so that's what I shot for during the first 60 minutes.  My self-designed cues for the run were as follows: run at 7:30 pace unless my HR was creeping to 140 or above.  Some spots were 7:00 pace (slight downhills), while others were 8:00 pace (slight uphills)...so I ran according to what my HR would let me.  I felt great off the bike--almost like I didn't even ride (actually, sometimes I feel better running off the bike than running cold).  For the final 15 minutes, I went all out on a slight incline, getting my HR to 152 in 104 degree heat average pace: 7:15.  My body said " this is not right" when I hit 152, so I coasted home from there for recovery.  totals were: average pace 7:30, Distance: 9.61 miles, average Hr: 135.

Saturday, September 25:  6 Hour Ride Zone 2
Well, I rode in the Tour de Scottsdale "pre-ride" to start...and that obviously means I was not in zone 2 through that ride.  I kind of wanted to test the zones a bit too, so I let it go through the ride until I reached the Gas Station at the top of 9 mile.  Once I reached Shea, I was on my own, having averaged a little over 21 MPH to that point---not a DIESEL!  I was feeling really strong even after fridays workload---great!  I then headed out the Beeline up to Bush HIghway, then took that down into Mesa, back over the the Beeline, then up to Shea, and back home.  Had some mechanical issues, including a shredded rear tire, but that only failed as I literally pulled into the driveway---super lucky!!  The tallies for the day were: 115 miles, just under a 20 mph average (took it easy on the Beeline and Bush Highways---sight seeing as I was bored riding by myself!), HR average: 116, elevation: 4300.  I learned on this ride that I really need to start focusing on nutrition and hydration!  It is still hot out (average temp was 93.5), but I get lazy when it comes to following a "plan" for hydration and nutrition---BAD Erik!!!

Sunday, September 26: 90 minute Z2 super steady, especially the second half!
I ended up running on the canal with the ONE group at 5:30 am...my goal today was to get a good feel for a decent, sustainable pace and to follow the rules!.  I ran a total of 100 minutes (1:41:34),basically to get in a half marathon.  Average HR was 127, pace was 7:45. I kept it super steady, never really tired significantly...AWESOME!!  My best long run since I have been back---it couldn't get much better than this (okay, other than pace!)  I could have gone faster, but, DIESEL!!!  7:45 pace for a marathon is a 3:20...I'll take that on November 21 all day long!!  Easier said than done, I imagine.

So the week is done... and I feel great and ready for more!  Totals:  Swim 9500 yards, Bike 279 miles, Run 32 Miles.

Until next week!!

Monday, September 20, 2010

10 Weeks to Ironman

So I am going to start logging my daily workouts from here on out so anyone can see what I am doing during the "Home Stretch!"  I have a buddy (Dan Thomas) who is also doing IM AZ (his first IM as well) who is doing the same thing in a blog, so see my list of Blogs I Follow.

Sunday: September 12, 2010
After the Coast Ride from Mill Valley to Santa Barbara (380 miles in 3 days), I luckily got to spend a day with my family in San Rafael---thanks to my sister throwing a BBQ!  Food and company was awesome, but very short-lived.  I also had the day off from training!  I flew back to Jenny and Sophia sunday night---I missed them tons!

Monday: September 13, 2010
Believe it or not, 2 days in a row of no training!  This all stems from my testing last wednesday (blood lactate testing).  The results of the testing showed that my zones are lower than we thought, but also that I was "fried" as Chris told me.  Craig (who administered the test) told that I need a break--but heck, I was there to ride the Coast! So for the Coast Ride I didn't press my HR---I was out to enjoy the ride at a decent pace without worsening my "fried" condition.  I monitor my resting HR and weight every morning...normal is 42 BPM, and lately I've weighed in at 175ish.  From saturday to yesterday, my resting HR was around 50, so that only backed up the need for rest!  My weight also went up to 179, which is expected with the muscle gains along with the immense number of calories I took in to help me recover every day.  So, I got to enjoy the day catching up on things around the house and spending time with Jenny and Sophia!

Tuesday: Back into the workout routine!  Chris gave me a non-descript swim workout today of 3500 yds, with a focus on low exertion, long stroke, and plenty of rest between reps (= active recovery swim)...I ended up doing 400 warm up, 3 x 400, 200 kick, 3 x 500, 200 warm down...easy!  Swimming is going well, and seems arbitrary at this point!  The 2nd workout of the day was 90 minutes on the trainer at sub zone 2 HR (below 108)...so I sat in the aero bars watching Planet of the Apes spinning at 85 RPM and 140w..."shaking the legs out"...no biggie here either---it's a recovery week; the first one since we started the IM prep 6 weeks ago.

Wednesday:  Just one workout today, and it was another 90 minute spin on the trainer with some zone 3 work thrown in at my discretion, but with a focus on spinning still as I continue to "absorb" the Coast Ride workload.  the zone 3 work is there to "wake up" my legs, and they are feeling fairly well recovered.  I basically did some mile repeats stepping the wattage up and down from 140w to 220w every mile for the middle 2/3's of the workout.   With the lower targets for my zones, I have a feeling my workouts are not going to feel to difficult.  I am hoping this makes me much more efficient at the same pacing as before in the very near future...with the zones switching downward in exertion levels, I am worried that my goal pacing for IM will be lower than I care to go (I was going off of my previous target numbers for IM)...over time the answer to this mystery will be answered!

Thursday:  Working all day and then having a Continuing Education Dinner don't bode well for todays planned workouts:  90 minutes of intervals on the bike trainer and a 45 minute run...so I moved them to later this week and took a rest day.  I think after being in the cool weather of the coast, my body is taking its time recovering and is going to need some time to get heat acclimated again.

Friday:  The first of 3 big swim days: today is the shortest at 3500 yds: main set 10 x 200 with 20 second rest.  No big deal there!  I jumped on my bike before dinner and rode easy for an hour trying to keep to my new zone 2 (aerobic) Heart Rate:  I had to keep telling my legs to knock it off!  They wanted to fly, but I kept the HR below 115 as much as possible (supposed to be below 108, but we think the testing done under a sluggish HR may have made the HR zones lower than they are now that I have recovered a bit from the "fried" me.  I also had a 45 minute run in there--EZ.  I felt great and had to tell my legs (again) to stop trying to go faster than my HR was supposed to.  All in all it was a great first run in a while, Average Heart Rate was 125 and pace was 7:42...not fast, but at 125, that's about as fast as I can get!

Saturday:  The first "somewhat big" test for Ironman and more importantly, my shoulder in a wetsuit for the first time.  4000m Open Water Race with DCB Adventures was held at the alternate swim site for IM AZ, so I had to go "test the waters!"  My goal was to take it easy and see how it felt...i haven't swam this distance in open water since about 1997 (Waikiki Rough Water Swim).  4 laps of a 1000m course was psychologically tough!  Overall, the 1st and 4th laps were easy, but the two middle ones were draining and boring, again, more psychologically than anything.  I gave myself a "C" because I lost my focus at least 10 times and switched to a quick rep of breast stroke or backstroke even, and I didn't breathe bilaterally, so those two things took me down...this time.  I have 2 more of these before IM, so I will get them worked out by then!  My time was 1 hour 11 minutes...better than I thought it would be, but I am glad I have things to work on to get it down hopefullly to somewhere in the 1 hour range for IM (IM swim is about 3800m, so my adjusted time for IM on this race was about 1:06ish.  I see lots of room for improvement, which is better than swimming my best and getting that time.

Sunday:  Another longer swim 3900 yds: main set 8 x 100 on 15 sec rest, 16 x 50 on 10 sec rest, 20 x 25 on 10 sec rest.  The lats are tired!  I also had an EZ trail run in for today, but with the heat and being lazy and sleeping in, I ran in the 108 degree afternoon heat, and ended up making it a jog/walk to keep it in my new zone 2.  The goals was to reintroduce the legs to running again, and that's exactly what seemed to happen!

I have a feeling next week is going to see my workout load double....I was only out there for just under 10 hours this week, but I have been averaging over 20 for the weeks prior (23 hours 40 minutes last week!)--it was a much needed recovery week!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

T Minus 10 Weeks to AZ Ironman!

We are in the final push to Ironman Arizona!  I'm excited yet a bit nervous about being prepared for November 21st...all you can do is train your best and hope that you are prepared for what you are presented with race day.  Will it be in Tempe Town Lake or Saguaro Lake? Windy? Hot? I can't control those things, so they are the same for everyone, so I'll roll with those punches.

My worries revolve around pace and nutrition, and I think that will be the focus of my training from here on out.  The things I need to figure out:

Pre-race nutrition: Pig out on carbs, reducing fiber in the days before...load that glycogen and fill the tank!

 Swim pace...I don't swim with an HRM on, so I've got to swim smooth and not "blow up" due to swimming too aggressively.  I have a 4 km open water swim this weekend, so I think I can work on it there.

Bike pace: all driven by HR---I jsut had testing done while I was in California for the Coast Ride (see below)...the testing tells me I have been training on bad data---my zones are lower than we anticipated, so my zone 2 HR is actually my zone 3 HR now.  So this means all of my base training has been in zone 3---there's good and bad with that issue, but I am corrected now, and lets see how it unfolds in the next 10 weeks!

Bike nutrition:  all the science says you can eat 300-700 calories and hour, but in the "field" that number is very close to 300 cals/hr before stomach issues arise.  I will pretty much be a mathematician when it comes to race day, but between now and then, I am going to work on what works for me specifically...I want to eat as much as possible to have me fueled for the marathon (this isn't a weight loss program!).  For the bike, everything is based on the principle of "riding to run"---the race ends after the marathon, so my bike pacing and nutrition are geared for what comes after the bike, not on the principle of how fast of a bike split can I do.  The answer to this is the million dollar question in Ironman Racing...you only learn this with experience, of which I have none (which is why it is soo hard to qualify for Kona in your first Ironman).   I've adopted the philosophy of eating calories and drinking water (with a little bit of EFS thrown in for electrolytes, but not going overboard).  Calories will be EFS Gel Shots, Clif Shots, Honey Stinger Shots, and Gu Roctane Jet Blackberry (gotta keep the taste buds entertained!

Run pace:  I have a feeling that when I get off the bike I will feel good, to the point that I will want to run faster than I should out of the gate.  I don't know this part of the plan yet, but I imagine I will hold back slightly until I reach somewhere in the area of mile 13-16....then, prepare to be passed if you are in front of me (that's my mentality---kill or be killed!).  Recent runs off the bike after 100+ mile rides have been going well...almost as if I have not been on the bike once I have settled into my run pace.

Run Nutrition: EFS Gel Shots that are loaded with calories--sipping on them every other mile or so, and washing down with water.  When the going gets tough, regular Coke will be the savior!

I could be in the best shape ever, but avoiding the "rules" could spell disaster!  My focus is controlling what I can control...everything else I have to adapt to, just like everyone else!

To make this entry even longer, I just wanted to say the Coast Ride was phenomenal!  380 miles in 3 days with a little running thrown in.  Awesome group of people, beautiful weather, great roads!!  This is a link to the Day 2 ride:
Marina to Morro Bay Coast Ride Day 2 by esvans at Garmin Connect - Details.

That's it for now!  I'm going to start posting my daily workouts and notes at the end of each week, so stay posted!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Coast Ride this Week!!

So it's 76 days to IM AZ and all seems well...I just completed a pretty big week of training in the 100+ degree weather here, and it looks like cooler weather is heading our way...awesome!!!!   It seems like lately it really doesn't matter what the workout is; I just put on my goggles, helmet, or shoes and hit the workout...the distances don't phase me at this point anymore...it could be a 4500 yard swim, 100 mile bike, or 2.5 hour run, I just get it done and move on, eating and drinking as much as I can along the way.  I have kind of figured that I have put a lot into this race already, and now it's GO time to make it all pay off...I approach it like it's kind of a second job and go about my business, knowing that the more I focus on getting more efficient, better fueled, and just raise my ability to go further faster and longer, the bigger a celebration November 21 will be...I have put "just a little bit" of pressure on myself ;))  Regardless, I daydream about the finish, seeing everyone there who has supported me along the way, and being able to turn my body "off" once I cross the line--for the first time in recent memory, that will be one of the rewards I receive at about 5 pm on that Sunday before Thanksgiving!

So back to reality of what's going on today!  I am heading to ride the coast from SF to Santa Barbara this coming Thursday to Saturday...a map of each days ride is here:Mill Valley to Marina...Marina to Morro Bay...Morro Bay to Santa Barbara.  So we are right at 400 miles in 3 days, including a run after the first two days to do more IM prepping...I am thinking I'll get a huge boost doing this as the temps will be 40 degrees cooler and the miles will make this the biggest build week yet--another awesome!!!   They'll be 9 of us riding, including about 6 of the guys and gals that I trained with in Tucson back in March...it should be a blast!

The unfortunate side of the ride will be that Chris will not be riding with us...he pulled a me, breaking his clavicle at the Escape from Alcatraz (there are 3 of these now!).  He had a marshall motorcycle in front of him, and while he was descending a hill going about 40 mph, the motorcycle wasn't going fast enough, so he had to brake hard, then hit a pothole, and went down hard...check out this link to see the damage:  Chris Hauth Bike Crash...OUCH!!  Luckily, no surgery for him as it stayed pretty much together, with 2 clean breaks.

While in the Bay Area I'll get to see the family...only for a day, but I'll take anything I can get!  Oh, and if I'm not busy enough already, I have my 20 year high school reunion to hit up on saturday night if we get back into town at a decent hour....I may catch just a bit of it, but it would be good to see a few of my old friends from back in the day!

I'll try to take some pics along the ride...maybe I'll find myself in one or two for once!!!