Mid-Week Workouts

Tuesday's are always about the BLT's. We usually head out at a nice warm-up pace and then slam the hammer down and go anaerobic back to the houses. Today was a nice break from the norm. Today I rode with Jessi, Tiffany and Katey. This was the maiden voyage for Tiffany's new bike and she was just a little scared. It was exciting to see her work through all the nervousness and even did a great job working into aero position. The ride was not the usual speedfest but it was still a great workout and it was fun to ride with some new people. As usual I rode home and even stayed in aero up the Francis hill. I am really trying to get my shoulders and back use to that position and each ride seems better and better. It is great to have an addition to TEAM Cervelo.
Wednesday was all about running. I was going to join Tim for a easy 4-5 mile run but since he felt like a day off was needed I had to motivate myself. After sitting at home really wanting to just relax I pushed myself out the door. This was my first real run since last Wednesday and I knew it was going to be important to push myself and see how my ankle would feel. After running for a bit and thinking every small ache was something serious I began to feel pretty good. When it was all said and done I had just over 4 miles under me and was at a respectable 7:30 pace. This is quite a bit slower that I would like to run this Sunday but I had to get out and see what I could do. The leg was a bit sore afterwards but nothing that will keep me from running this weekend.


Needs a Name!!

So you are a triathlete. You know you are a triathlete #537- When you push yard work to the day you don’t have to train.
After the long weekend I was pretty sore and a bit woren out. I was looking forward to allowing myself to relax. Then I had the opportunity to borrow a power rake and finally give my lawn some longer awaited TLC. It was something that had to be done and with the crazy training schedule this was really the only time I could get it done. I am always amazed to see how much dead grass comes out of a lawn after you power rake.

Since I now own my new bike I thought it would only be fitting to give her a new name. Now I am completely open for suggestions, so I am going to leave it up to you for a new name. Please feel free to be creative. The more the merrier. Thanks for the help. Isn't she BEATUIFUL:)


Long Day!!

This morning started out with the weekly Sunday morning swim. After last week I was pretty excited to see if there was any improvement. Last week I was swimming on about 4 hours of sleep and last night after a good night’s rest I should have been ready to go, right? WRONG! This week we started out with one of my least favorite pool activities, kick drills! There is just something about my kicking technique that is just not on par with the rest of the group. I feel like Nemo except instead of one bad flipper, I have two. After finally making it through all the drills we were off and swimming.

We did some unique sets of 200 and I quickly realized that I was not feeling near as fast as I had hoped. I had to sit out 50 on each of the final two hundred sets. Count: -100m. Next we did some crazy 100 meter sets on 1:30. That means that if you can swim a 50 in 45 seconds you get absolutely no rest and since that is my typical pace I was pretty much going to have to swim 1000 meters at a sprint pace. Unfortunately I had to sit out the frist 50m on two different occasions, not my idea of training. Count: -200m.

After the 200's we had a nice cool down and then started the picture session. If you have ever made it to a Sunday swim you know Jessi will always have the camera out. Today’s photo shoot included some awesome handstands by Jessi and Tiff and some rather pathetic attempts by me. I think the fact that I am almost a foot taller they had a huge advantage but at least I gave it a try.
After the pictures I was able to finish up on my final 200 meters and finished the 3,400 meter swim. I really would like to thank Jessi for all the encouragement throughout the swim. She could definitely tell I was struggling but was always trying to push me along.

I would also like to throw a quick shout out to all the Tri-Fusion people who rode in the Lilac Century. The picture below was taken in honor of all who completed the 10(2) mile ride. When I first started these swims it was Tiffany, Tim and Jessi who welcomed me into their little group and I really can’t remember the last time we all swam together. I guess that is what happens during race season. After another long day I finished my side job and got home in just in time to jump on my bike and go for a short ride. After getting so excited about the new bike this was only the second time I was able to ride it this week. I was kind of nervous to see how the Achilles held up and was pretty excited to see it didn’t bother me to much. I could feel some discomfort on the hills but overall I was back in action. Afterwards I joined Tim, Andy, Matt and Jessi for some great food and conversation at the Onion. It is really great to hang out with everyone and talk about their rides. Another great end to a crazy and busy week.



FINALLY, I woke up and my ankle was feeling quite a bit better. There really was no irritation while I was walking. SWEET. I still didn’t want to go to crazy but I was nice to feel normalish again. After working all day putting in the patio on the landscape job I was working on I headed home and decided I would head out for a slow run just to see if I was feeling as good as I thought I did. I really didn’t know how far I was going to go or even if I would be able to run at all. After about 15 minutes I was beginning to feel some irritation and walked for a bit but in the end I was able to run just over two miles and as I am writing this it feels much better.

It was really weird to run even though I have been running all winter long. I just was so sure something bad was going to happen. I was fortunate to get though the run and still feel good. It is amazing how such a simple thing you take for granted every single day can be taken away and you just don’t know how to react. With everything that goes on in other people’s lives I have quickly realized that my life and the small things that happen to me are just that SMALL.


Tak'er Easy

The last couple days have been spent try to relax my foot. When I woke up Thursday morning there really was no improvement. My ankle was tight and it was still a bit difficult to walk normally. I iced throughout the day hoping to make my workout I scheduled with Tim. Early in the afternoon I knew there was no way I was going to be able to run. I thought about trying to jump on the bike for a bit but rest would be the best thing I could do. I decided I would not workout at all and try to let the ankle heal. After Tim and Andy’s workout I joined them for some Gorgonzola fries at the Downriver Grill. This was the first time I have tried these and have to admit they were pretty good. Word of advice, get the smaller portion unless you are feeding an army. We then needed to fill our weekly sweet tooth and got some awesome shakes at Maggie Moos.

Since there seems to be no running and probably no biking in the near future I woke up early Friday morning and headed to the pool. I met up with Sheena and explained to her how to read the Sunday workouts. I have lately been neglecting the pool and with this darn injury I will have made it into the pool three times after Sunday. SWEET!! Maybe I will get back into the swing of things this weekend but only if the achilles decides to cooperate.


Tale of Two Workouts

Today’s plan was to get some speed work in. I have been neglecting this part of my training and after today I really wish I would have continued. After not being able to meet up with anyone due to scheduling I headed for the Mead track to do my workout. After a nice 10 minute warm-up, I started some ply metrics. It had been a while since I had done these but I really wanted to work on quick feet. After a few minutes and some stretching I began my speed work.

The plan was to do alternating 400’s. I would sprint a lap and then jog a lap. My first 400 sprint was a bit faster but the final three 400’s were all within a second or two of each other, which I was pretty happy about. Somewhere in the last 400 I noticed a bit of irritation in my left achilles tendon. I still wanted to do some alternating 200’s but after starting the first 200 I knew something was wrong. If I have learned anything over the last couple of years, is that your body will let you know when you need to stop. I quickly stopped my workout hoping to catch the problem before it got worse. After a quick stretch I decided to call it a day. This is not good but I hope that I caught it before it was too late and I can heal quickly. Definitely frustrating after all the running I have been doing and so far I have been able to stay relatively healthy.

Still needing to get a workout in I decided I would head for the pool. You really don’t need you achilles tendon to swim. I didn’t arrive to the pool until a few minutes after 9:00 and was glad to see only a couple people in the pool and the lap lane was completely clear. I started my workout by swimming ten 50 meters sets on the minute. I was glad to see the stroke change from Sunday was really working. I usually finish in about 45 seconds per 50 meters slowing dropping to about 50 seconds. Today all ten of the laps were between 40 to 43 seconds. Doesn’t seem like a huge drop but over a long race the time can really add up. After my set I decided to it was time check my overall pool endurance.

With the new lingering pain in my achilles I decided to use the pool buoy and swim until my arms were going to fall off. The new stroke was using different muscles and I wanted to put them through the ringer (and release a bit of frustration of earlier). When it was all said and done I was able to swim for about 30 minutes without stopping. I was really excited about this because now I know that when it comes to the swim at Boise, I can make it. My arms really never felt like they were going to fail. I did swim the final 250 without the buoy and notice a bit of a slow down but it was nice to leave the pool and end the day on a positive.

After arriving home I began to ice my injury and hopefully it feels better tomorrow. I am supposed to go for a nice ride and then run 6 miles with Tim. Let’s hope it all works out.


New and Improved BLT

Today I test rode the bike I have been interested in buying. I was really excited to get out on the bike and see what it could do. I was so excited I totally forgot my heart rate monitor and watch. I didn’t have my bike computer on it so I was riding on nothing but feel. I look back on all the times I use to ride with nothing but the bike under me and now with all these fancy gadgets you think you are lost without them. I know they are extremely important for training but I actually really enjoyed the ride today just pushing myself as hard as I could go and just trying to keep up with the group.

I left my house and headed down the hill to Dave and Jaime Lawrence’s place to meet up with the group before we started the loops. The 5 mile ride there was nice because of these crazy bar end shifters were going to take some getting use to. I should up a few minutes early and was able to catch up with a few people and then we hit the road. Since I had no idea how fast I was going, I just tried to ride at a good pace and see what happened.

The first loop was pretty good. I tried to latch on with Roger, Jessi and Greg but the quickly dropped me so I joined Jeff Blackwell to finish the loop. He is a great rider and it was nice to push myself on the new bike and it felt great. I really wanted to test out all aspects of this bike and was excited to be able to climb the two Death Hills in aero position.

The second loop started out a bit easier and once again when we hit TJ Meinach the hammer was put down and we were off. For some unknown reason I was once again in the lead passing the golf course. My legs were exhausted because of such a radical position change from my old bike to the new one and once we hit the same hill, I was passed like I was JOGGING, not standing still, WHOOO WHO. I actually realized that I have hamstrings and they can be used while you are riding a bike. I was still a bit behind and since my legs were tired I wasn’t sure if I was going to catch up. After a quick mishap with Jeff’s computer I was back with the group and we headed for home.

I was about 1 mile from Dave’s house when I tried to shift and dropped the front derailleur cable. I am amused on how much bike lingo I am beginning to pick up. Derailleur, cassette, chain ring. . . . . . Ok well maybe I don’t have that much of the lingo down but I am sure working on it. After a quick fix we road back to the house and I decided I was buying the bike. I really can’t wait to get out and race. Here’s to taking another big step in my triathlon life and let’s hope it pays off. Sorry for not having any pictures but I was just going to fast for the shutter to pick me up :)

Thanks to the Thompson's for the ride home. I am pretty sure it would have been a miserable ride home as the temperature dropped like a rock. I even had a doctor check-up. Emma made sure that my ears had no infections, my mouth was good and she even did an eye exam. Thanks for the healthy food tips too. When I was four I am pretty sure all I thought about was candy, she is naming of one good food after another. Darn Cute!!


Sunday Swim

After getting only a few hours of sleep I was off to the gym to join my Tri-Fusion group for our Sunday swim. There were a bunch of races this weekend so we had less people but the same great workout. Normally I am at the back of Lane A with about 8-10 people ahead of me. With so many people I can usually keep within a few lengths of the last person. These are some amazing swimmers and it is all I can do to keep up. Today we only had four people total so I knew it was going to be a long day.
Roger, Greg, Jessi and I started off with a nice warm-up and then it was off to the races. We had some super fast 50's and then a recovery swim. I was able to keep these speed demons within reach for the 50's but as the distances increased so did the distance between me and the group. It was all I could do to keep Roger from catching me and I only think he was able to once.
When we reached the 200 meter sets I was falling behind quickly. By the end of the first 200 meters I was a complete length of the pool behind. There is really nothing more lonely then swimming the entire length of the pool as the rest of the group gets to watch me come in enjoying their well deserved break. The next set I thought it would be best for me to sit out the first 50 and then jump in finishing with the final 150 meters. I was taking this time to recover since I was so far behind they were ready to start as soon as I finished. I also took the time to watch the swim stroke of Roger and how his hands were entering the water. Realizing that my stroke was quite a bit different and he is such a much faster swimmer I thought I would give it a try.

The next set was much better. When we finished the set I was only a few meters behind Jessi. This was very encouraging since I was able to make up such a big difference. The next set I decided to try the new stroke and do the entire 200 meters. When I finished I was again only a few meters behind. I am not sure if this is the best way to learn how to swim but it was quite a big improvement in such a short time, so I will take it. My shoulders were definitely more tired from the stroke but I can't wait to work on it and see if it was more than some fluke happening.
We always miss the our friends when they are unable to make the swims. Sometimes we miss because of races, sometimes it is because of last nights fun, and others have to miss the workouts to make sure they can heal from some injurys. Since my friend Tiffany is unable to swim because of a hurt shoulder Jessi and I decided it would fun to send her a picture showing how much we miss her and want her to return. Do remember Jessi and Tiffany are the two who did the WTF pose for me when I didn't show. After the swim I continue the work on my side job and took advantage of a friend helping me get fit to a new bike. I am not sure if I want to buy it but it is a triathlon bike and is a great step of from my current sliver bullet. I am super excited to get out and try the bike and see the difference between a road bike and a tri bike.


Saturday Events

This weekend began with a great Saturday morning run with TEAM Superstahh. I met Phaedra at here house around 8:00 for the St. Georges trail run. This was my first experience running this trail and boy was it a treat. We started off at a nice warm-up on the road on our way towards the trailhead. This trailhead starts not with a nice welcoming sign but a long steep hill of sand. For a second I thought I might have been dreaming because it felt like I was running on some beach in Antarctica, will this weather EVERY change?

It was a really great run that lasted about 1:15. There are many steep hills and quick descents throughout the run. I had forgotten how demanding trail running is on your ankles and the ground is not near as flat as a road. I was also amazed on how fast Phaedra is running downhill. I could barely keep up with her. She kept saying “stride out” and I was amazed on how fast she would increase the distance between us. She is one heck of a runner.

The first half of the run we were able to talk about our racing experiences and realized that we are going to be doing much of the same events over the next couple years. Right now we are both focused on half-ironman distances and next year we are graduating up to the big one. The second half was a bit quieter due to the negative split and the fact that I was trying to keep up but it was still a great experience and I am looking forward to the next one.

When we got back I was treated to a great breakfast and if this happens every time I run with Phaedra you can count me in. YUMMM!! Thanks P.

The rest of Saturday was spent working on a side landscape job and then I went to a friend’s house to watch the UFC. I am not sure how many of you are interested in MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) fighting but over the last few years we have really enjoyed the monthly events. Some people feel the sport, and yes I said sport, is barbaric but if you have an understanding of how technical each discipline is you have a real respect for the time and commitment these guys put in. I really like to compare the mental and training of MMA to that of the triathlons. Technique is such a key in both sports and how the smallest flaw can cost you minutes on a swim and the bike or give your opponent the second he needs to win the fight.

Afterwards we headed out to a local watering hole and lived up the night. It was great to get out and forget about the week and clear the mind. I should have gone to bed a bit earlier but whatcha gonna do.


Back in the Water

So I set my alarm a bit later this morning and was up and out of bed by 5:20 am. I was off to the gym to get my long awaited swim in. I really didn’t think about it but I am pretty sure this is my first swim since last Wednesday. This is way too long and with a big race coming up, this can not become habit. As I walked through the doors I thought something was extremely wrong. I looked around the entire pool, it was so quiet, the swim lane was open and there was not a single person anywhere. WHOA, WHOA! How could I be so lucky?

Thanks to Kathi and her Sunday workout, I had myself a plan and I was ready to go. After getting all ready I hit the water and was struck by this foreign feeling of liquid surrounding my body. Had it really been this long? Did I even remember how to swim? After a quick warm-up I moved through the sets and felt pretty good. I was pretty consistent on my splits throughout the entire workout and hopefully that can carry through to my longer swims. The workout was only about 2300 meters (I didn’t do the entire Sunday workout) but it felt great to get back in the water and I am looking forward to joining the group swim again this Sunday.


Rough Roads!!!

There is always something nice about riding a new route on your bike. You get to see some new scenery and ride some different roads. I only have one suggestion; please drive the road before you start your ride.

Today I decided I would skip the Greenbluff loop and head out towards Elk. I have ridden this road in the past but I really do not remember it being so DAMN rough. I made the mistake of continuing to ride out thinking it would get better but this tough winter has had it toll on the road.

Beside the road the ride was pretty good. I could definitely tell I road my bike 133.5 miles from Saturday-Tuesday and my legs were a little tired. The way out was pretty good but I was pretty slow heading back. I was still able to average 18.5 mph but the roads were pretty flat and I feel that should be a bit higher. The ride was 31 miles and it was nice to get going again after taking yesterday off. I am glad the weather held out for me today and hopefully this weekend will be the same.


Tri-Fusion Meeting

Well this morning I was suppose to get up early and head to the gym for my swim. New plan, do not schedule very early mornings swims! I was so good over the winter getting to the gym in the morning and now it is all I can do to get out of bed for work. I think I just need to let myself wake up and if it happens to be early then I will go and get my swim in before work. Sorry Sheena.
After work today we had the month Tri-Fusion meeting. It is really great to see everyone but there is definitely not enough time to say hi to everyone. You would think that you could make your rounds but this is just not the case. After briefly talking to a few before the meeting and enjoying a great meal provided by Twigs the meeting was over and it was off to the pool for the swim I missed, right. WRONG. I guess today is going to be my day off. It had been over a week so it was nice to let the body heal.

I would like to thank all the Tri-Fusion board members and everyone else who helps get the meetings together. They work extremely hard and they do it because they love the club. Without their help this club would not exist. Thanks again and I can't say it enough but I really love being part of such a special group. GO TRI-FUSION!!!


BLT- Finally 2 Loops

The second BLT was a success. The weather from last weekend stuck with us just long enough to enjoy a two of our loops. This week we met at Tim’s house and I am pretty sure they weren’t’ waiting for me but as soon as I got there we were off. As I left I realized my heart rate monitor was not reading correctly or if it was is was heading to my death bed. When I looked down it was over 200 and I wasn’t even working hard. After a quick rewetting of the sensors is was good to go.

On the first loop we all started out at a nice cruising pace. Everyone was catching up about last weekend and just getting their bike legs under them. I thought mine would have been sorer after the long weekend but they really felt good. There are few step hills, Death Hill #1 and Death Hill #2, and on the first loop they were a bit of a struggle. At least for almost everyone except for Martin, who on his new steed went flying by like I was walking. As soon as we made it across TJ Meinach it was time to put the hammer down. In years past this is where I would really enjoy my time all by myself. This is where everyone takes off and I am left in the dust. Well that was last year and now I am able to hang on to the rear tires of these speed demons. It was definitely not easy but it was a ton of fun riding down the road at those speeds. We were all there for the workout but it was like racing. Guys are weaving in and out and passing, it was way to much fun.

The second loop started much like the first except for Tim and I had a small bet to see if we could ride up the death hills in seated position. This is definitely not an easy task but we both did it and I was even able to climb both in aero position. I think Sunday’s ride may have paid off. When we passed the bridge I just happen to be pulling everyone pass the golf course. This is one thing that I am definitely not comfortable with at this point. I always feel like I am going way to slow because of the speeds we average when anyone else is leading the group. So I am out front pushing to keep the pace up and feeling OK. We round one of the corners and up ahead is a small hill. I know that everyone is going to pass me but all I can hope is that I can latch on to the last tire and start drafting. Sounds like a good idea right?

As soon as the hill started the first bike went flying by and then the second, third and so on. Before I new it everyone was past me and pulling away. I was supposed to be hooked on the last tire and trying to recover from my pulling session. That idea was out the window and now it was all I could do to not let everyone leave me behind. I finally made it to the top of the hill and started to push and catch up. I had to draft behind a 4-Runner, a really nice wind break, until they felt comfortable to pass the riders. By the end of the loop I had caught the first group and we were doing out best to catch the leaders. I think we may have but ran out of road. It was awesome to ride with the big boys and maybe I can pull more in the future.

Afterwards I met Tim and his wife Andy for some ice cream at Maggie Moo’s. I ordered an awesome Peanut Something (Reese’s peanut butter ice cream, Reese’s peanut butter cups, Reese’s pieces, peanut butter and fudge) or heart attack in a cup, but it was delicious. Down with another BLT and looking forward to next weeks loops.


Change of Pace

So after a long weekend of working out you would think I would just want to sit and relax. I was in no hurry to get home and even stopped at the grocery store for some needed shopping. After getting home and eating some dinner I really felt guilty that I hadn’t done a workout today. My legs are supposed to be sore and tired, I am supposed to enjoy this day off. Well that was just not the case today. After sitting around watching a little TV I decided I would head to the gym.

I really didn’t feel like biking, surprise, even running or swimming didn’t sound to exciting. I decided to jump on the elliptical for some good old fashion cardio. After 30 minutes and a really good sweat I headed down to the weight room to work my rotator cuff exercises. Since my shoulder has not been bothering my when I swim, I have really neglected these workouts and try to get them in whenever I can. The change of pace workout was great and now I am looking forward to getting back to training for my races.


Spring Thaw Du

Today I raced in the spring thaw duathlon. The weather was perfect, so it was a great day to get out and race. I really didn’t know exactly how the race would go but I knew that I was going to push myself. The first two loops felt good, I averaged 6:28/mile which is dang fast for me. As I headed into transition my legs were feeling good and T1 went smoothly.
So off I go on the bike. Last year I was passed by about 10 people and was definitely not happy about that. This year I think I cut that down to about 5 and I think I even passed 2 or 3. My legs were feeling pretty good even after the long ride yesterday. It was awesome to see my SUPERSTAHHH teammate, Pheadra, pass me on the bike. She is such a strong rider and her words of encouragement really helped me push to the end.
On to T2. In my first race this season my legs felt pretty good coming off the bike, something that never happened last year. As soon as I got off the bike I knew my legs were ready to run. After a quick transition I was off to try and catch as many people as possible. The first loop was good but I think I could have run it a bit faster. As I stated when I started the day, I was going to push myself. The second loop was a bit of a struggle but I just kept pushing. In my second two loops I was able to aver 6:46/mile which is something I am very pleased about. I finished in 25th overall and 5th in my age group but most importantly I was able to shave 6 minutes off my last year time.
After a weekend of riding 40 miles and doing a race you would think a person would call it a day and head home to enjoy the great weather. As we were sitting down relaxing after the race a few of my Tri-Fusionites asked I would like to join them for an additional workout. Tim was planning a 10-mile run and the Scates’ were heading out for a 3-hour ride. What should a boy do?
Well, the genius in my decided I would head out for another ride, at the time it sounded like such a great idea. The group consisted of the Scates, a “PRO” triathlete, and like 4 more extremely fast cyclist. As I headed out I knew this was going to be a long day. We headed out at about 25mph which is way above any pace I have ever average. It was great riding with some of the strongest cyclist in the area but this was not going to be my day.

After making through the first half of the ride at the back of the pack, Mark Wyborney, decided he would hang back with me and finish the ride. As we struggled with the heat and long climbs, all I could think about is why would I put myself through this. I was so tired and all I wanted to do was go home and lay down. We finally made it back to the cars with some words of encouragement from the speedy group I did feel good about my ride. I really need to thank Mark, if it were not for him I might have been out there for another hour.

When I got home I did the ICE BATH event for about 10 minute. BRRRRRRRRRRR. It was extremely unpleasant but I knew that it would help in the recovery process. Once I was done with my bath I was amazed that I didn’t feel so tired. I was actually able to accomplish a few things around the house and was able to relax before hitting the sack. This was definitely one of my longest weekends of training and I am glad it was complete.


Coeur d' Alene Ironman Loop

So the weather this weekend is supposed to be amazing. Tim and I spent the week trying to figure out when we were going to meet in Coeur d’ Alene to ride the Ironman loop. Tim wanted to ride two loops, crazy guy, and the rest of us were going to ride just one. When I woke up the sun was shining and the sky was blue, a perfect day for a ride.

I spent the morning watching Emma play in her first soccer game. Those little kids are hilarious. They all run around chasing the ball, picking it up and falling down. Emma’s team, the Green Bombers, won the game and she was so excited. After her teammate scored one goal she was jumping up and down clapping, SO FUNNY.

After the game I headed over to Coeur d’ Alene for my very first loop of the Ironman course, kinda. The ride turned out to be Tim, Matt Cusack, two of Tim’s friends Cary and Brian and myself. We left the city center and headed out around 12:30. The first half of the ride was great as we made it through town and headed out towards Hayden. Brian and my pace were a bit faster than the rest of the group, so we spent a few times trying to guess which way to go.

We almost did the entire course except for the fact we forgot to turn down Lancaster and cut off about 2 miles. Overall it was a great day and I really enjoyed my first loop. I ended up riding about 40 miles and felt pretty good throughout the ride. After this experience I am even more excited about next year. After the ride I headed out for a quick 20 minute brick and the legs felt pretty strong. I can’t wait for a real triathlon race, even if it is going to be a half-ironman.

Afterwards we headed to the CDA Brewery for some burgers and beers. It was great to listen to many stories about past training experiences. Even Tim’s story about the excellent hot chocolate and the hours spent inside a gas station. You keep raising that finger man:) One beautiful day down and I looking forward to the race tomorrow.


Sqeeze in a Run

I think I took another step of becoming a true triathlete. After leaving work a few friends invited me to meet up for some dinner up on the south hill. Since this morning was spent sleeping in I had yet to do my workout. Originally I was going to go home after work and head out for my run. My entire drive from the north side to the south hill was spent trying to figure out how to fit my run in.

I arrived at my friend’s house up near Manito about 20 minutes early. The weather was great and with the sun shining I decided I would head out for a quick run. Now in the past I would have just skipped the run and figured out how to make it up in the following days. I knew if I would have skipped the workout and tried to do it after dinner it was never going to happen. I had a nice 3 mile run around Manito Park, which by the way is beautiful even if the flowers and lilacs are not out yet. If anyone wants to meet up there this summer for some workouts please let me know, I will definitely join.

After the race we headed up to Two Seven Public House for some dinner and a few beers. Supposedly this place is the new hot spot on the south hill. As we walked in the door one guy told us to not expect anything less than an hour wait. WHAT!! An hour wait for dinner in Spokane. I was pretty sure the Arby’s down the street wouldn’t take an hour. Well, we just happen to walk through the bar section and there were three seats at the bar. The food was great and I would probably go back once the newness wears off. The place is a family atmosphere during dinner time if anyone wants to try it out.


Greenbluff Loop

After work today I went for my first solo Greenbluff loop. Last year I would ride this loop at least once a week and will try to continue that this year. Today I rode the loop backwards from the way we did on the group ride a few weeks ago. I can definitely tell that all the winter rides and early season outdoor rides are paying off. My overall speed on the bike may have improved a little over the end of last season but my endurance is leaps and bounds ahead.

Last year I would be struggling after a few of the climbs. This year it is so completely different. I definitely feel the burn but shortly after cresting the top of each hill I am ready to go. I can definitely pick up some speed throughout the ride but I am pretty satisfied with the fact that I seem to recover so quickly.

I was also able to climb quite a few of the hills in aero position which is something that would have never happened last year. I rode the loop about 10 minutes faster than some of the rides in the past but when I was done I still felt strong and since in a race I will have to run after the bike I know I am on my way.


Run Test Torture

I woke up this morning and was able to get my swim in. Sheena and I met at the pool just after 5am for our workout. This week I did a few drills but focused a bit more on trying to increase my swim endurance. I feel I am in good shape for about 400-500 meters but soon there after I start to feel a dramatic drop off. Next week I am going to do a one mile time trial and continue it for the weeks leading up to Boise.

So all day long I was regretting the run test I had planned after work. Apparently some exercise genius thought that if you run for 8 minutes around a track as hard as you can that you can figure all your heart rate zones for working out. Each zone is used to help you during your training and can also be used during longer races. I met Jessi there and after a quick warm-up the test began.

The first two laps were pretty good. Since there were a bunch of kids practicing running in lanes 1-6 I was forced to do the workout in lane 7. This plays some mind tricks because 4 laps in lane 1 equals a mile but in lane 7 it is much more. The first 5 minutes or so felt pretty good and then the legs began to get tired. With each lap Jessi would yell out my time and I could see I was a few seconds slower each lap. On the last lap I had to have looked at my watch every 5 seconds waiting for it to reach 8 minutes. At one point I could have sworn that the clock was actually going backwards.

The run test was well worth it. After some fancy calculations I have my heart rate zones and this should help me get ready for the season ahead. I should have probably done this a long time ago but there is no time like the present. I figured out my pace for the 8 minute torture and it came to 5:55/mile. I am really excited about this because I have never really been a runner and for me that seems pretty fast. I wish I could have held it for more than 1.35 miles but that is a work in progress. Maybe next year I could average that for Bloomsday, you never know.


Bike Loop Tuesday (BLT)

Today was the first BLT (Bike Loop Tuesday). The loop consists of riding from 7-Mile bridge up to T.J. Menach bridge and then back. The loop is about 16 miles. I have scheduled to get off work at 4:00 so I can get home and then ride down to where everyone meets. This week Kirk Wood-Gaines allowed us to meet at his house and garage. After arriving it was great to see how many people showed up. Last year I went to quite a few of these rides and there were never 17 people. It was awesome to see everyone so excited about riding the first loop of the season. I was excited about using my new bike computer and tires. On the ride down I could definitely tell a difference on the tires but the computer cadence reader was not working. Apparently the dang magnet has to be even closer than that. So much for it working on this ride, maybe I can get it fixed by the next ride.
The first loop was pretty good. I was riding with the front group until Death Hill #1. This is when the group began to break apart. Jessi and Roger took off leaving the rest of us to catch up. I rode with Tim, Vicky, and Steve R. for the remainder of the loop. As we were pulling into Kirk's house to wait for everyone to start the second loop it started to rain. This was not your normal rain, but more of a spring downpour. So we all sat in the garage waiting and waiting and waiting for it to stop and in the meantime wondering what happen to Martin (doing the second loop all by himself). After about an hour of waiting everyone decided to head to Red Robin. Since I rode down to the ride, I made my way home and headed to the restaurant.
It was great to get out with everyone and enjoy their company. All I have to say is "ROOKIE MAGIC". Enough said.


New Tires and Computer, Whoo Hoo!!

Since I had no workouts schedule for a day, it was nice to relax. Last week after my flat, I decided it was time to purchase some new tires. After looking at all the freaking tires available and some quick advice from Roger, I had made my decision. While I was at it I also purchased a new bike computer and I spent the night putting it all on the bike. After a few phone calls making sure I wasn't doing anything wrong and a trip to REI, I had it all ready for the BLT (Bike Loop Tuesday) ride tomorrow.

One thing about bike tires they come off a lot easier then they go on. After struggling to stretch the new tires to get on the rim and breaking the crappy plastic tire lever, the new tires look sweet. Seeing the difference in the old tires and the new, I really don't know what took me so long to buy a new pair (knowledge). I HAVE SO MUCH TO LEARN!!!! The bike computer wasn’t any easier and after putting it on and taking it off a few times, I think I am ready to go. The new computer has a cadence reader which should really help me from the bike to run transition, keeping my muscles ready to go.


Sunday Swim and Run

After skipping out on the last Sunday's swim there was no way I could miss two in a row, right? I was a good kid last night and decided to lay pretty low because I knew I had a tough day of workouts ahead of me. I went to the swim and we had the largest turnout so far. I think there were 29 people all together and 11 people in our lane. I was the last swimmer (still) and had to do all I could to keep from Roger catching me. I think he slowed up near the end of a few to make sure he was able to finish the entire set. It was great to get back to swimming with the entire gang and I am hoping the work will payoff in the open water swims.
When we finished the swim workout a few of us (Jessi, Roger, Tim, Vicki and I) went out for a 1:30 run. We really didn’t have a route or pace but we all needed to get the miles under us and it went pretty good. We ended up running ABOUT 9.813 miles, thanks Roger, which was about 1:25. I felt pretty good throughout the run. I fell behind heading up Mill hill towards Whitworth but by the end my legs felt surprisingly strong. This is not close to the 13.1 miles I have to run in less than 2 months but it was nice to get out and run with the group. After yesterday's long ride I probably would have cut the run short or not done it at all if I was by myself. Thanks guys.
Getting home around 12 and having all my workouts done it felt pretty good. Since yesterday's ride was a mudfest, I knew it was time for a thorough cleaning. This is the first time I have really needed to clean my bike from a ride and decided to give Roger's technique a try. If you remember from an earlier post I had my own method but since it was not raining that wasn't going to happen. It definitely took me some time but boy was it clean when I got done. Bling, Bling!


Saturday Ride

This morning began like most of my December mornings, ohh wait, isn't it April. When I pulled the curtain back this morning it was snowing. There was a nice inch on my car and I am supposed to go for a long ride this afternoon with a few of the Tri-Fusion gang. So after getting out of bed around 7 am, and only because I could not sleep in, I finally cleaned my house and tried to get laundry done so I had some clothes for the ride. After a short call to the Thompson's to make sure we were still goin, and a few smart ass comments :) about manning up, I headed out for the ride.
At 1:30 we all met down at Wandermere for a 2.5 hour ride. The ride started off pretty wet and when you are drafting off someone you get a little mud on your face. About halfway through the ride the sun came out and the rest was pretty nice. After we reached Riverside the fast riders (Roger, Jessi and Jeff) took off at a crazy fast pace leaving Tim and I to try and pick up our jocks and try and catch up. I watched as everyone pulled away on the hill heading out of Riverside and finally caught Tim just before Deer Park.
Roger, Jessi and Jeff waited for us a few miles from Wandermere and it was all I had left to stay with them all the way back. I really wanted to take it easy and cruise in at a nice pace but I wanted to push myself and ride with the best. They were probably going pretty easy but for me it was a struggle. I made it back in one piece and had a nice 2:15 minute ride and 45 miles under my butt. Overall this was a good day and I was glad I didn't let the weather keep me inside.


Mini-Tri Friday

I crawled out of bed this morning heading for the pool to get a nice early morning swim in. I hadn’t swam since Monday so it was time to get back in and work on some drills and technique. I called to see if Sheena wanted to join me and I am thankful she did. I think it help me get out of bed knowing she was waiting on me. Before I left I had to make sure that I packed everything for a bike ride and run this evening over at the Gallaghers. I am not sure what is more stressful. The few hours before a race or trying to make sure you have everything packed.

The swim was nice. We really didn’t go for much distance it was just a day of working on the stroke and kick boards. One of my weaknesses in the pool is my kicking. During a race you don’t want to rely on the kick but if you have the endurance then it is just that much more speed during your race.
After work I headed over to the Gallagher’s to meet up with Roger and Jessi for a short ride before our Friday Pizza Run. The ride was great except for the weather and the hill we had to tackle on the way back. Roger was off and gone like usually but Jessi and I were able to push each other on the way back. The roads were pretty wet and my bald tires just barely hung on.
When the ride was over we started out on our brick run. Tonight I ran with Tim Swanson. We both run about the same pace and we are able to push each other to help us improve. The pace started out pretty slow but at the end we were cruising. According to his fancy watch we were sub-6 minute pace on the run to the finish. It was a great 5.5 mile run. The pizza and brownies were awesome afterwards.


Triathlon Tips

Today I attended the Thompson's triathlon clinic. I was a bit late but it was great to sit and hear about all the experiences they have had through their careers. When I went to my first clinic a few years ago I was just there listening to the stories I really couldn't relate too. I would watch people laugh when the speakers would bring up funny(sometimes stupid) moments during the race. Now that I have competed in quite a few races myself it is no me who gets to laugh and realize that it is not a matter of if you are going to make these mistakes, it is only a matter of when. In hind sight you get to laugh but at the time they were happening, it is really not funny.

Probably my most memorable experience, it was not a good one, was when I decided I would put on my bike jersey after the swim. Now I can't image what was going through my head to make that decision but at the time it seemed right. So when I get out of the water I run up to transition and spend the next, 12 minutes, maybe not that long but it sure felt like it, trying to get my jersey on. I ended up getting on the bike with it half on and had to finish as I was riding down the road. Dry clothing and a wet body really don’t work well together especially if you are in a hurry.

I am not sure if this experience will help anyone in their races but it was the last time I did that and my transitions have been getting smoother ever since. I would like to thank the Thompson's for taking the time out of their busy lives to share a few of their experiences. I like to think that any information is good information if it comes into play at least once. So after hearing them talk about all the little mistakes that they have made and makes me feel a little better knowing that I have made them all too.


Always Be Prepared

Today was an EXCITING day: So one problem with trying to ride after work and leaving from your work is that you need to pack everything the night before, get it loaded in the car and make sure that you have brought everything. So after work I decided I would go on a 1:20 ride out Highway 2 and then head back to work and go home.

So when I mounted my ALWAYS reliable bike and headed off I realized that I didn't have my bike pump for those extremely rare times I get a flat. It is been many miles and rides since I have flatted and was pretty sure I would make it back ok for just one more. Yeah, not so lucky. I had left the Mead area and decided to ride out to Riverside. I think it was about 15 miles out and that seemed like it would be a nice workout.

So after a pretty fast pace out, I am pretty sure I had a tale wind, I turned around at Riverside and headed south. Three miles from Riverside I looked down and felt the awesome feeling of knowing I have a flat and that I jinxed myself by saying earlier that it would be ok that I didn't have my pump. Thankfully after a few phone calls I was able to reach Greg Gallagher and he saved the day. The ride back in the car was way better than having to walk 10 miles in cycling shoes or bare feet.

So the great workout was cut short but in the end, the event just shows how important being part of such a great club like Tri-Fusion. There are so many people that will drop what they are doing to help each other out. Tri-Fusion Rocks!


Speed Work and Thai Food

Today was the first speed workout of the year. These workouts are never really fun but they are extremely important in order for you to improve in your overall run speed. Jessi and I started out doing a real nice 15 minute warm-up run away from their house towards Wandermere. For some strange and in hindsight not so smart of me we decided to head towards Mill hill. After are warm-up we started our 20 minute speed work. The plan was to do 30 seconds at 5k pace and then 30 seconds at a slow recovery jog.

Well, we both started out pretty good and were recovered after the first few 30 second sprints. At some point the 5k pace we were suppose to be running at during the sprints turned into all out runs and then slower jogging between. I have done similar workouts like this in the past but usually always on a track. As we reached Mill hill we were on our 8th interval and decided to head down the hill. The only problem was once we reached the bottom it was time to turn around and head back finishing up the final 10 intervals. Sprinting down the hill was pretty dang hard but was easy in comparison to sprinting up.

All I could think about was that I just want to get to the top and start running on flat ground again. After three of the most painful and difficult intervals we finally reached the top. At about this point the 30 second break reached about 45 but we were back at the sprinting. It was difficult to finish the last few but the great thing about working out with someone is that each of your push the other person and in the end you both get a better workout. Thanks Jessi.

After the run I joined Jessi, Emma and Mark Hodgson for some Thai food. This is my first experience and I have to say it was a good one. The funniest part of the whole night was listening to little 4-year-old Emma know everything about the menu and I was just sitting there we a confused look on my face. She is far more cultured then I am, boy I have to get out more:).

We started out with some fresh rolls that were very good, and for dinner we had Pad Thai Chicken, Gang Panang curry and I think Chicken Pra Ram. I wish I could tell you what my favorite was but they were all good and I am not quite sure which was which. Anyways, first Thai experience was a success.