Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Camping Trip Up North 08

Every year for the last three years I have gone camping with 3 friends (Matt, Kurt, Dave) from high school. The first two years we stayed on Kurt's land up near New Auburn, WI. He built a tree stand of sorts, a very large tree stand. We would spend the day hiking, canoeing, doing outdoorsy stuff, and then spend the night in the tree stand. Sleeping under the stars, in sleeping bags, with many layers. Usually it was only about 20-30 degrees at night.
Last year we went hiking on the Ice Age Trail, 14 miles on Sat and 7 miles on Sun. The hike was a little taxing, and Kurt received some flack for it, but the camping was fun.
This year we went to Temperance River State Park, about 80 miles north of Duluth on Lake Superior. It is incredibly beautiful. Matt brought an 8 person tent for the 4 of us, which was great. Matt made both dinners and breakfasts, which were great. Dinners were Pastes (meat, potato, and vegetable wrapped in a dough crust and cooked on the fire wrapped in aluminum foil), and bison meat burritos. Breakfast was sausage, biscuits, and gravy the first day, and omelets (I did not eat them) and hash browns the second day.
Saturday we went on a trail run, about 7.3 miles total, on the Superior Trail. Really beautiful trail, what an amazing park. The trail varies from grass, to hard-packed dirt, to rock, to broken rock, stairs, roots, etc. The elevation change is about 850ft.
Kurt got sick Saturday night\Sunday morning for some unknown reason, seemed like food poisoning. He ate the same as us, except for lunch on Friday, could have been the undercooked chicken he had, or maybe he could not handle Saturday's run. I guess we will never know the truth
Saturday night was pretty neat, it was windy and you could hear the waves on Superior hitting the shore as you went to sleep.
It was a great weekend with great friends.
Below is a short video of Matt and Kurt making the gravy on Saturday morning.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Season Done - Season Summary

So with the completion of the Longhorn 70.3 this long, satisfying, fantastic, educational, etc (nothing negative to say) season is over. I am a little sad, and happy, about it. I am sad (and angry, confused, frustrated) about a number of other things also. Those things are for a different discussion, a discussion about relationships, corporate greed, and politics. Above is a summary of my triathlon results for the last, and only, two years. I am pretty happy with the results. Also is a summary of my workouts broken down by month and run, bike, and swim.

I plan on doing not much for the next 3 weeks, maybe a little run and bike. I am not sure if I want to write really personal, unrelated to triathlon and workout stuff, on this blog. Something I need to think about.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Longhorn 70.3 - First Half-Ironman Done

So here I am sitting in a coffee shop\bar (Halcyon) in Austin, haveing one of my favorite beverages. No not a Maker's Mark Manhatten, a large vanilla latte. Mildly recovering from the number of beers I had last while enjoying an awesome blues band at pretty cool bar (Friends). Oh yeah, and recovering from the 70.3 I did yesterday. I actually don't feel too bad today. Some pain the left lower back, a little neck and shoulder pain, some pain in the left knee (nothing to worry about) and my hamstrings feel weird, not cramped, just not right. I am very thirsty, probably the beers last night did not help. So to the race.

I was up at 3AM, actually about 2AM from the sounds of the bars getting out and traffic. I am on the 11th floor of the Hilton Garden Inn in Downtown Austin and I could still hear a ton of street noise, mainly honking horns. For breakfast I had the normal bowl of oatmeal , banana, and coffee, no donut, which I might have needed today. I picked up one of my fellow club members on the way to the race site and we got there by 5AM. Luckily, because as I understand it people who got there around 6AM had to wait almost an hour to park and get to the race site. That is why the race started about 20 minutes late. I get everything setup in transistion pretty fast, helps to put the bike there the night before. It was a pretty cool morning (65), the water was much warm than the air, barely wetsuit legal. Said the water was about 77.5. The swim went very well, I was surprised at my time, my goal was to go under 40min and I went well under that. Only issue during the swim was traffic and about 3/4 way through my left shoulder starting bothering me. Fairly long run from the water to the transistion, uphill run, of course. Bike course was fairly hilly and it was windy. The heat did not pick up until over halfway through. 4 aid stations, skipped the first, got water at the other 3. Dumped half the water on me and then took some in. Had a bottle of water on the bike and a bottle of gatorade, drank almost all the water and 3/4 the gatorade, plus two bloks. I felt pretty good coming off the bike. Like in my long training ride the only thing that bothered me was my lower back and neck a little. Once I got moving off the bike that pain went away. Of course coming into transition was the largest hill of the bike. It was a good bike course, I was surprised at how crowded it was. I definitely would have been faster if not for the crowding. I don't have the balls or the bike skills to manuever like some people in that kind of traffic. Now to the run. I felt pretty good for the first 4 miles or so, then things did not go well. It was hot and the course was extemely hilly. By far the hilliest course I have ever been on. It was two loops and there was 6 aid stations on each loop for a total of 12. They were life savers. I used everyone, they had sponges and towels, which was also a life saver. At about 5+ (near Quadzilla, truly a hell hill) I just stopped being able to turn over. It was not mental, nothing really hurt, not more than expected. I felt the tank of empty, no energy. For the rest of the run I alternated jogging and walking. I think I ran out of gas, I just did not take enough calories. I think I took on plenty of water and other fluids. The last couple miles I felt sick, like I was going to vomit. When I finished I went by the med tent near a garbage can, did not vomit. Nurse came out and asked if I was ok. Told her a felt like vomitting. Took me in the tent, sat me down, took my blood pressure (90 over 70) said I looked pale. Laid me down, gave me an IV and after that I felt wonderful. The tent was packed with people getting IVs The race was great, I great learning experience I can take into next year when I do more of them. Swim was great, bike was very good, the run was, well, the run. Last race of the season and I was very happy with it. After the race they had a party at Hill's Cafe that was buffet style with BBQ (Chicken and Pork) with live music. That was really good. So far Austin has been good to me. Off to Lance Armstrong's bike shop, Mellow Johnnies. Later I will post my stuff for the whole year. Well, another great season in the bag and looking forward to next season, and more half-IMs, olympics, sprints, and duathlons.....
Overall - 741/1929
Age Group - 97/219
Total Time - 5:46:43
Swim (1.2 miles) - 29:23 (1:31/100yds, second fastest split of the year next to Escape from Alcatraz current assisted swim)
T1 - 4:27
Bike (56 miles) - 2:50:48 (19.7MPH)
T2 - 2:26
Run (13.1 miles) - 2:19:37 (10:39 min/mi, ugh, what are you gonna do?)

Friday, October 3, 2008

On the Way Out to TX Soon

I am writing this from work (don't tell anyone). In a few hours I am going to the airport and not shortly after that I am will going to Austin with all my crap (Bike case, tri bag, laptop bag, bag with clothes). I am excited and nervous, excited and nervous to do my first half IM. Nervous about getting everything there, setup, and organized before the race. Hasn't been a problem this year yet. This is my 3rd fly-to-race this year and there have been no issues with the other two. If anything was going to happen it was going to be Alcatraz, and that went off pretty well.
I think I am well prepared, training for almost 10 months, 17 races prior to this one, and pretty good taper. Sleep has been not good this week, some soreness, pain in neck and back, not sure where that came from. Some stress from work. Once I get out of here and get going I think things are going to be good (great!). I just have to keep my eye on the goal, focus, not psych myself out (have not done that all year, not worried), and everything should be good.
The plan is to settle get comfortable at each event and then pick up speed, since I have not done this distance before, not sure how to attack. For a sprint or olympic distance I can pretty much go full bore and not worry about pacing, especially the sprint. Here, especially the run, I should come out a little slow and then build speed. Hopefully negative splitting.
Time to stop writing and get back to work. Ugh.