"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.”

Monday, December 20, 2010

Getting the fire to burn....

So it's 5 days to Christmas, a little over 4 weeks since Ironman Arizona, and 291 days to Ironman Kona....hard to be motivated right now!  The table at work is covered with sweets, coffee is back, but at least the weight is staying off!  Not that I'm concentrating on my weight, but I'm sure I could gain 10 pounds in a week if I didn't watch it!  Yesterday was my biggest day of training since IM...75 mile "base" ride and 3500 yards in the pool, and I felt it (on the bike...).  I've been prepping for PF Changs Marathon here on January 16th, and I think the running is wearing my ligaments thin...I must be getting old!  I've added a lot of stretching and rolling into the mix over the past two weeks (including a couple trips to Physical Therapy for hip alignment issues); maybe some of this is post IM stuff, but I also haven't been taking my First Endurance Products as religiously as I should...duh!  I did a 12K race last weekend---didn't feel my best as I ran the night before and was not "fresh," but I managed to finish 5th overall (out of 1022), won my age group by 5 minutes...so I'll take it!  That in itself may be why I've been sore...duh again!

So it looks like we are ramping things back up on the training calendar...I've been running often, but not necessarily long (most runs are 45-60 minutes).  I think this next week we will see a big jump there as a final "prep" for the marathon on January 16th...although part of me wants to bow out and do the 1/2 marathon...we'll see.  I'll be busy in February with a 5 day training camp in Tucson (did this last year...awesome!), then following that up with the Ragnar Relay Ultra Race 4 days after...nonetheless a huge training block with no less than 300 miles on the bike and 50 miles running in 9 days...ouch!  I guess I'll get an idea of what kind of shape I'm in, and if I'm not, I will be after!

Looking forward on the calendar...I wonder how I will be with IM Hawaii then IM AZ 6 weeks later...I hope I'll be "fresh and loose" enough on November 20th.  I think the 6 weeks in between will be all about recovery, but how do you re-set to peak while in recovery?  They seem like opposites, but I'm sure I will find a way!    Maybe it will be a 6 week taper.

Monday, December 13, 2010

What I use for Nutrition Products...and my love For First Endurance!

I've had a few people ask me about the products I used for IM nutrition and how I used them, so I thought I'd get all fancy and take pics...the product line I use is by First Endurance...they are the nutrition suppliers for many pros and elite amateurs out there, and they are the supplement of TEAM BMC and TEAM HTC on the "BIG BIKE CIRCUIT", as well as triathlete pros I admire, two being Jordan Rapp and Michael Lovato...so they must be good.  Everything I have ever read about their products has always been praising, and I cannot argue one bit.  I actually think that without these types of products (I have tried others, but First Endurance hit a home run from the get-go for me), I would be on the couch, 20 lbs heavier, watching football all weekend depressed that I was a lazy oaf.

So here is what I use and when I use it...(click on the underlined text to link to the product @ www.firstendurance.com), I use them daily!

MultiV: think if it as a multivitamin complex made specifically for endurance athletes...for anything more specific, go to their website.  I take 3 tablets daily religiously.  As with most of these nutrition lines, they work together much better than they do alone---I wouldn't take a Centrum, then use the rest of these products .  It's patented and most significant ingredient is Carbogen, which is clinically proven to increase time to exhaustion by 43%, reduce lactate levels by 58% and improve carbohydrate utilization...it's good stuff, but this is only the first step...

Optygen HP:   I wonder what this product doesn't do when it comes to endurance training.  Everything I list next I believe is 100% true from my own use of Optygen HP...increases exercise capacity, muscular strength, increase the body's ability to adapt to high levels of physical stress, increase anaerobic threshold, reduce lactic acid, improve power output.   I take 4 capsules pretty much daily, sometimes taking a break from it when I am in a "off" period.

EFS Drink:  This is my "Gatorade"...but worlds better.  The picture on the right shows the comparison to other product lines.  The question is "how concentrated is too concentrated" when it comes to electrolyte replacement.  For me, I have a high sweat rate..combine that with the dryness and heat of Arizona, and I am losing TONS of electrolytes when I work out (and in the summer...yikes!!!)  I use this product exclusively (no salt tabs) for my "fluid with calories"...otherwise I just drink water.  I never cramp, and I used to always cramp!  I use 2 scoops (200 cals) per 20 oz bottle, and that concentration seems to work great "for me."  Some people I know go with a more concentrated mixture, and others do the opposite...it's just a personal preference.  This is in my bottle poolside, on rides, and in my fuel belt...and I'll use it any time I am "loading hydration" for a long day...just drinking water ends up "rinsing out" your electrolytes, so avoid hyponatremia and use an electrolyte drink before long training days (especially in AZ, and especially if you have a high sweat rate).  EFS also has Malic Acid and Amino Acids as well...all good stuff for endurance!

Ultragen:  For every one of these products, I want to write "this is the highlight of their product line."  I really think that is true!  They all work so well, and the Ultragen was the first product I used from First Endurance...so I obviously love it if guided me toward the rest of the product line.  I use this for recovery...the "within 30 minutes of exercise" is the time this should be used, just mixed with water and ice, and I have to say they are pretty tasty!  Well, the Cappuccino and the Creamsicle are, the Fruit Punch is simply awful.  So after rides and runs of higher intensity or longer length, or after every workout in a tough build block, this is what I use EVERY TIME.  I could do a tough run in the morning, then have a shake, and jump on the bike in the afternoon and feel full of energy---it's crazy how well these products work for me.  One serving has 60g of carbs (dextrose) and 20g of protein (whey).  It also has a ton of amino acids, glutamine, and other good stuff (techincal term).

So those are my most used products...I use EFS Liquid Shot as my gel...100 cals per swig, and used as my "fuel" on long rides (a 5 oz flask holds 400 cals/100g carbs)  I don't use it all the time, but when I got close to IM, I use it exclusively on the bike to get my stomach on board with race day nutrition...focusing on 300 cals an hour (through trial and error, this amount works for me at race pace).  I count on Liquid Shot and EFS for my calories exclusively on the bike in races, nothing else.  I stay comfortable, fueled, energized, and feel I have total control over my nutrition with these products.  Whenever I take in Liquid Shot, I wash it down with water only, and when I use it on longer runs, I dilute it with water (it mixes very well!) so I can get it down easy when running.  They just came out with a Berry Flavor which I haven't tried, but the Vanilla is still great (I probably will try the Berry, but the Vanilla agrees with me!).  It has tons of electrolytes and amino acids, all of which keep you well fueled through workouts and racing.

Pre Race:  This is the "Spark"...I'll use it before a tough workout as a "pick me up" and to keep my body used to it.  It's in my "pre race" water bottle, mixed with a serving of EFS.  I also used it in IM AZ off the bike.  Once I settled into the run, I had this in a fuel belt flask, again mixed with a bit of EFS more for taste, and it kept me focused, energized, and feeling strong throughout the marathon.  I had another dose in my special needs, but I didn't use it.  Think of it as caffeine, but without the side effects (GI emptying, diuretic...).  It's main ingredients include  Quercetin (the same stuff that is in FRS), Taurine (the stuff in some energy drinks), Malic Acid, and a "neurostimulant blend".  All of this increases mental acuity and focus...especially after 6 hours in an Ironman, I never wavered from what I was focused on..

I almost feel like I should put a disclaimer on here that I have nothing to gain by writing this...I write it for friends that have asked and want more information, and I feel I provide an unbiased opinion on anything I recommennd, and I use it because I have researched it, it's competitors, and have chosen the product because it is the best... TEAM FIRST ENDURANCE BLOG is a great resource...there's  a forum full of useful  information---successes and failures, how to use,...join it if you want more information, and with a motto that states  "Our goal is to have 100% of our members complete ultra endurance races with no bonk, no cramps, and no gastric distress,"  what more could you want??  I would only add the benefits of fast recovery (Ultragen and Optygen HP) and mental focus (Pre Race)...now, really, what MORE could you want??

I do eat regular food, and lots of it...maybe that will be next!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

2 Weeks Post Op

So I am 2 weeks removed from the IM AZ course...it seems like it was a month ago.  I've managed to squeak in a workout here and there, suffered a bit with a cold (runny nose!), and eaten A TON!  I can't go in the kitchen anymore...I have an eating problem.  Add in the time of year, and I've been up to no good---lots of stuff I haven't eaten all year.  So tomorrow starts the comeback...and it starts with my diet!  No more ice cream, pizza, hamburgers (last night was the BEST....Roaring Forks Big Ass Burger!), candy...you get the idea.  I've been off my First Endurance products since the race, and I can honestly say I can't move forward without them.  After running two days in a row, my quads ache, my calves are tight, and I had zero soreness through the heavy training blocks setting up for IM...they simply are amazing products that allow me to constantly push my envelope without suffering from the "old" effects of heavy volume...they are my drug!!  The good news is I haven't gained a pound...I think Ironman Arizona is perfect for the holidays...next time I'm going to eat to my hearts content and see what happens, although I don't think I can eat any more than I have the past two weeks!  I tried to curb the hunger today by making sweet potato chips, but because I was in the kitchen, the pantry and fridge were calling me, and they won.  Here's my sweet potato chips---not too appetizing, but food is for nutrition, right?  Well, I did put honey and cinnamon on them.

I'm a little concerned on how I will get back into it...Sunday I rode for 40 miles, and felt like I rode around the block--hardly a workout.  It is the "offseason," but I wanna GO!   Chris has always led me right, so I'll follow his lead.  Chris has put my workouts in for the next 2 weeks: 11.5 hours this week and 13.5 next week...all focused on building for PF CHangs Marathon on January 16th, but it is definitely going to be cross training with swimming and biking to break it up.  The sound of "just" running just doesn't sound appetizing at all, so we will see how it goes!  I'm going to do a 12K this Saturday, and Chris okayed it reluctantly, saying "if you blow a hammie I'll be pissed"...I can't let him down!!!  So if my time is less than fast...I have a built in excuse.  After PF Changs, I have Ragnar Relay--a 202 Mile running relay.  Our team has 6 runners, basically doing 3 half marathons over the course of 2 days, uninterrupted...gonna be psychologically challenging living out of a van in constant motion keeping up with the race...but should be a great team experience in a sport that is otherwise solo.  Our team is basically 5 guys who just did Arizona Ironman, and "fleet footed" Ben, who has run close to 15 marathons this year...FAST!!!  Last year a high school participant was killed when he was hit by a car, so we are running in support of his endowment fund...it's really great to have a cause to run for.  The week after Ragnar, I head to Tucson for training camp...where I feel it all started last year.  I came into that camp not knowing where I was...how I would "rank", "compete", or even "can I keep up?"  I left there energized, feeling like I was shot out of the canon.  Then March 31st came (crash = broken clavicle), then April 15 (surgery), and then July 15 (starting from scratch with training).  So this year, I'm going to skip the drama....and race pretty consistently, all focused on October 8th (Kona) and November 20 (Arizona).  I have 3-4 Olympic Races set, and 3 Half Ironmans as well.  We will be busy!!


January 16: PF Changs Marathon
Feb 17-22: Tucson Training Camp
Feb 24-25: Ragnar Relay (3 half marathons over the 202 mile relay)
April 10: Marquee 1/2 Ironman
May 7: Rio Salado Olympic
May15: Tempe International Olympic
June 4 Deuceman 1/2 Ironman
July 17 Mountain Man 1/2 Ironman
Sept 25: Nathans Olympic
October 8: IM Kona
Nov 20: IM AZ