Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Lance Armstrong wins Ironman Florida 70.3

Last Sunday, Lance Armstrong competed in another Ironman 70.3 event, continuing his quest to qualify for the Ironman World Championship in Kona.  Prior to this race, he was too far down the list to be in a qualifying spot (meaning he hadn't earned enough points yet).  Well, he ended up winning the Florida 70.3, which gave him a 500 point boost!  I tried looking up the current rankings now that this race is in the books, and unfortunately the website was down.  Regardless, we'll take a little look at Lance's results and see how his day went.

In the swim, Armstrong was 5th out of the water, and 1:23 down from the leader.  Not too bad, and definitely something Lance can make up on the bike.  His swim time ended up being 24:52.  The bike was where Lance took control.  By mile 20, he was in the lead, and was making sure to build himself a huge buffer.  He had done well on the bike in his previous 70.3's, but had always seemed to lose a step or two in the end of the run.  It seems as if he was trying to build himself a big enough lead that even if he slowed in the run, he'd still be alright.  He ended up finishing the 56 mile bike ride in 2:01:13.  Holy crap!  And on top of that, he had built himself a little more than a 10 minute lead.

Unlike his previous 70.3's, Armstrong had no issues during the run during the Florida race.  It seems like maybe all of his nutrition and planning finally came together, and he was able to hold a sub 6:00/mile pace for the entire half marathon.  Again, holy crap!  He total time for the day was 3:45:38.

It still unknown just how well he will do in a full distance Ironman.  I think he'll still be just fine.  Lance will be doing at least one full Ironman before he *hopefully* competes in Kona.  And you can bet, that when he's racing in Ironman France on June 24th, that I will be racing him!  That's right, I'll be going head to head with the one they call Lance.  Of course, I'll be racing in IM CdA while he's racing in France.  But in my mind, we'll be racing each other.  So you better bring it Lance!

Monday, May 21, 2012

IM CdA Training - Week 20

It's getting down to the wire now.  Ironman CdA is just 5 short weeks away!  This week is a semi-recovery week.  But don't let that fool you...it's still a tough week.  Especially the end of it!

Monday - REST
Tuesday - 45 minute swim.  1 hour 20 minute bike.
Wednesday - 45 minute swim.  38 minute run.
Thursday - 1 hour bike.  48 minute run.
Friday - 45 minute swim.  1 hour 15 minute bike.
Saturday - 1 hour swim.  1 hour 5 minute run.
Sunday - 6 hour bike with a 50 minute brick run.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Lance Armstrong racing Ironman Florida 70.3

Sunday is the day that Lance Armstrong will win his first Ironman 70.3.  You heard it here first.  He's racing in Ironman Florida 70.3 on Sunday, and he's actually picked as the favorite to win!  Andy Potts was supposed to race, but he has apparently chose not to (I think he is letting Lance take this one so he can earn enough point to get to Kona).
Ok, I don't really think that it what Andy Potts is doing, but that would be pretty interesting if he was, right?  In case you don't understand what I'm talking about, professional triathletes now have to earn enough points in order to get a slot at Kona.  They do this based on the races that they perform well at, with different races being worth different points.  The winner of Sunday's race only gets 500 points, which I've heard is pretty low comparatively to other races.
Anyway, if you'd like to check out the race (depending on when you read this, it may be over already!), you can go here:
According to the athlete guide, the race starts at 6:30 am EST, meaning Lance will probably be done by the time most of us Arizona dwellers even roll out of bed!  But if you happen to get up early enough, check it out!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

6 hours of fun

Smiling, because we hadn't started yet.
This week, my workout schedule called for a 6 hour 15 minute bike ride on Saturday.  Well, the way our schedules worked out, Old Wise One and myself were able to get this long ride done on Tuesday (which means I'm obviously switching around my schedule)!  And honestly, this is actually much better for both of us, because a 6 hour ride by yourself can be brutal.  

We started the day at about 5:45 am or so, planning to go out for a 3 or 4 hours, maybe come back and refill our water bottles and food supplies, and then go back out to finish the day.  The biggest obstacle we had planned was South Mountain, which is a pretty grueling 13 plus mile climb.  As we headed out, we quickly found out that today was not going to be quite what we expected.  It was going to be very windy, and hot.

There was a very steady wind coming from the East, making every flag we saw stick straight out.  We rode for about 2 hours before beginning the South Mountain obstacle.  Thankfully, we made it to the top without any problems, other than huge gusts of wind coming very close to blowing us off our bikes.  At the top of the mountain, we asked another cyclist to take a picture of us with one of our phones.  The guy took the picture, looked at the screen (which displays the picture after you take it), and handed it to us.  Here's that picture:

Nice job, buddy.
Ha!  Nice camera work!  This guy must have been delusional, because he actually took a second picture, went through the same process of looking at the screen then handing us the phone, and he had completely covered the camera lens!  He should have probably stayed up on top of the mountain to recover a little bit longer before he headed back down.  Oh well.

We made it back down the hill without crashing, which is always nice.  Once out of the South Mountain area, we stopped at a Circle K to refill our drinks.  We were at about three and a half hours at this point, so a refill was much needed.

We cruised around for the next two and a half hours, battle the crazy winds that seemed to never let up.  When we finally heard the alarms on our Garmin devices go off to let us know that we had, indeed, reached the six hour mark, we were happy as could be.  It had been a long day of strong winds, and it was now getting to the point of being seriously hot.  We headed home and finished up with a time of six hours and seven minutes.

Still alive!
We could tell it was hot when we finished, but we weren't sure how hot, until we looked at the temperature gauge in the backyard, which is in the shade of the patio cover.  It read 100.4*F.  Wow.  We knew it was hot, but I expected something in the 90's.  And the best way to cool off after a long ride like that, in temperatures like that?  Jump in the pool.  And that's exactly what we did.

All in all, it was a great ride.  We didn't have the average speed that I'm hoping to maintain for IM CdA, but with the conditions, I'm super excited about what we did.  Plus, I've been doing so much riding on my indoor trainer, I'm just happy that I held up for six hours outside!  Only a few more weeks until June 24th is here!

Thanks for reading!

Monday, May 14, 2012

IM CdA Training - Week 19

Finally!  A training schedule update!  Here is what my plan is for the week.  I already know that I've moved a few days around in order to work with my schedule, and so I can have some company on the grueling 6 hour and 15 minute bike ride.  This is just what the original plan was:
Monday - Rest
Tuesday - 1 hour 15 minute swim.  1 hour 55 minute bike.
Wednesday - 1 hour 15 minute swim.  56 minute run.
Thursday - 1 hour 30 minute bike followed by 30 minute brick run.
Friday - 1 hour 15 minute swim.  2 hour bike.
Saturday - 6 hour 15 minute bike.  45 minute recovery run.
Sunday - 1 hour 20 minute swim.  2 hour 50 minute run.
Holy crap!  That's really the only way I could think to describe this week...

Sunday, May 13, 2012

IM CdA Training update

I know I fell off the wagon, and stopped posting my weekly training.  I apologize.  I am planning on resume those posts, with the next one coming on Monday night or Tuesday morning.  But briefly, I'll tell you about what my training has been like.
I've been following my plan pretty closely.  There's only been a couple of weeks where I haven't been able to fit in the long bike or run, which is unfortunate.  However, my 70.3 at the end of April did give me a little confidence that my training is at least pointing me in the right direction.  I only have 7 weeks left before the race, so there's not really a lot of wiggle room left.  I am going to work very hard to make sure that I don't miss any of the longer workouts.
One interesting thing about my training is that I have been doing a huge amount of my training indoors.  Not necessarily by choice.  Again, it seems to be working out well so far.  Other than that, there's not really a whole lot more to update.  Sorry this was sort of a boring update, but it will get better!  Thanks again for reading!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Race Recap - RAGE Triathlon

A few weeks ago (April 24th, to be exact), I participated in the RAGE Triathlon.  This race had 3 different distances to choose from, as well as relays for each distance.  The distances were sprint, Olympic, and half iron.  I opted for the half iron, as I am training for an Ironman in June.  It took place in Boulder City, NV and looked to be a pretty tough, hilly course.  Perfect for training!

We arrived on Friday afternoon and quickly headed over to registration, which turned out to be about 15 miles or so away from the actual race.  When we got there (Old Wise One and myself), we found the registration process to be quick and painless, and the expo to be lame and limited.  In fact, there was a total of 3 tents set up.  No worries though...I never buy anything anyway.  After we were all registered, we headed back to our hotel, which was only a mile or so from the actual race.  We rallied to troops and headed out for a light pasta dinner.

The start time for the male half iron participants was 6:35 am, so I was up pretty early.  We made our way down to the transition area to get ready.

A quick photo before the long, hot day begins!
The transition area ended up being a long, long chute from the edge of the water and up a slight incline for a couple hundred yards.  I didn't think this was a big deal at first, until I realized that my bike was going to be the absolute last bike, which meant I would have to run through the entire narrow transition area, and up this incline, all the way to my bike once I finished the swim.  Oh well.  I racked my bike and got my little transition area set up just in time to head down to the water.

See how far away the water looks?  Yeah, it was a looooooong transition area.
I got my wetsuit on, and stepped into the water to see how cold it was.  Surprisingly, it wasn't cold at all!  As the group of us stood in the water, awaiting our start, we were given instructions from a race representative.  They had realized that their buoys were near invisible with the glare from the sun, and it was very unclear as to which buoys we were supposed to follow (all race distances were using the same swim course, just paying attention to different buoys).  After the course was explained about 5 times, it was time to go!

You can see everyone pointing and trying to block the sun to see the buoys
The swim went a little slower than I had hoped for, but I made it through and felt great.  One thing that was awesome was that I could actually see in this water!  The only other open water swims that I've done have been in Arizona, and have been in quite dirty water....you basically can't see your hand if you extend your arm.  But in this lake, I could see other athletes!

I exited transition and made the long haul up to my bike, which was pretty annoying.  Not because it was so long (which did suck, but oh well), but because all of the other athletes from the different distances were now in the transition area.  I basically played my own version of Frogger throughout the transition area, yelling "coming through" and dodging people left and right.  I had tried to unload some fluids during the swim, without success, which meant that when I got to my bike, I thought about hopping into the port-o-pottie quickly.  I decided to pass on this opportunity and pee out on the bike if I needed to (since I'm such a pro at this now! Ha!).

The bike course was tougher than I expected, with there being basically no flat portions.  It was either up or down the entire time.  I decided to push pretty hard, just to see where I was at in my fitness.  I actually felt great during the entire bike ride and only started to get a little antsy and the very end.  One thing to note was that the aid stations were exceptionally weak during the bike ride.  It was advertised that there would be 3 aid stations.  The first aid station I skipped, as I was still doing good on fluids.  The second aid station had 2 kids at it that were goofing off and after I yelled for some Gatorade about 5 times, finally looked up and scrambled to get something, which ended up being water.  I yelled Gatorade again, but by the time I got to them, they didn't have it ready.  So I ended up skipping that station too.  The last aid station was about the same as the second one, but I grabbed the water that they offered up and refilled my aero bottle.  All together, I was very happy with my bike performance, seeing as I don't really have any hills to train on regularly and I still felt pretty good.

Coming in off the bike
This time, transition was great, because my bike was now the first bike!  But, this also meant that I had to run all the way back down transition to start the run.  Which would have been fine, except there was, again, a ton of other athletes who had finished the shorted distances or were waiting to start and were not paying any attention whatsoever to those of us trying to race.  Oh well.  Anyway, transition was quick and painless.

A quick picture before I head out on the half marathon.  Still feeling good!
The first mile of the run was on pretty big, jagged rocks.  I have a tendency to roll my ankles easily, so I was pretty cautious during this portion.  The next 3 miles were on paved road, which I was really enjoying.  Then from there, it was hiking trail until the turnaround.  My goal on the run was to go out a little slower than my planned pace, to make sure that I could get my legs under me.  I seemed to have come out too early during IMAZ last November, so I wanted to make sure I started slowly.  I also made sure to walk at every aid station while I took in my fluids.  At mile 4, I had to stop moment to figure out where the course went.  Really, this is my fault for not knowing the course well enough.  I had 3 options: left, straight, or sharp right.  The girl immediately behind me opted for the straight.  The guy behind her decided to wait with me, and the next guy up the course said we were supposed to go left for sure.  So we started going left and I saw a gel on the ground which meant we were on the right path!

This is where the aid stations really got out of hand.  There was supposed to be an aid station every mile, which there was a tent/table every mile.  However, they were manned by one person during the first 6 miles, and then for some reason on the turnaround they all abandoned their stations.  At one aid station, the kid apparently took the lids off the water jugs and left the cups out so the athletes could just go ahead and scoop out some fluids.  I chose to wear my water belt during the run, which ended up being a good move.  I talked to a few athletes who said that the aid stations actually ran out of fluids, which is not good on such a hot day.  Also, the gels at the aid stations were not easy to spot, as some of the kids had them on the ground, others had them in a close box, etc.  Pretty crappy aid stations, in my opinion.  But, the race must go on!
I wish I had some pictures of the run, because there were some pretty cool views, and we actually ran through some old railroad tunnels, which were nice and cool.  I made it out to the turnaround and headed back in.  The second half of the run was going to be much faster, since it was basically all downhill (figuratively and literally!).  With about 4 miles left I decided to see what I had left and pushed pretty hard.  I felt great during the entire race and wanted to finish strong.

At about mile 11 and feeling strong!
My daughter looking out to see me coming in for the finish
A high five for my daughter as I passed her just before the finish
Aaaaaand done!
Cooling off in the lake after the race
I really had no idea how I had done, other than what my Garmin told me.  I kept trying to look at peoples bib number to figure out where I was placement-wise, but could see most of them.  After a long wait, and then some more waiting, it was time for the awards ceremony...

So what happened with 2nd and 3rd place?  Well, 2nd place was about an hour after me, and 3rd place was not even close to second place.  And as crazy as that may seem, the guy who was first overall finished just over an hour before me!  THAT's crazy.

I ended up setting a new PR of 5:20:08.  On a course as hilly as this one, and not to mention the temp which apparently reached 102*F that day, I'm super excited with that result!  This course was actually great training for my upcoming Ironman Coeur d'Alene race as I did almost exactly half of the amount of climbing on the bike that I'll be doing come June.

And with that, it's time to move on and focus on the A race of the season!  Sorry if this recap came off a little negative.  I just want to be honest about my experiences!  Thanks for reading!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Plus 1

As I've said on here a few times, The Wife and I currently have one child.  She is a 3 (almost 4!) year old ball of personality.  Earlier this year, we found out that we are going to be adding to our family!  I don't think I ever posted anything on this site about it, so oops!  Anyway, last week we found out if we were going to be having a boy or a girl.

We went to the ultrasound where they took all sorts of measurements of the baby, and after about an hour, checked to see if it was a boy or a girl.  We had asked the nurse to tell our daughter what it would be, and then our daughter could tell us.  And the result is........

So there you have it!  This little guy is due to make an appearance in late September, so I'll be sure to write up a little something when that happens.  Until then, back to the triathloning!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Walmart Price Matching 5/9-5/15, and a preview of the weekend!

Holy frijoles!  The last time I posted was in mid-April.  I can tell from all of the messages that I've been receiving that you are all dying for an update!  Ha!  Well, first off, here's some price matching goodness for your wallet's enjoyment:
Apples (red delicious) .50lb ES *Wed only*
Artichoke .88/ea SPROUTS *Wed only* then .99/ea SFM
Avocados .33/ea BASHAS *Fri/Sat/Sun only* then .88/ea SFM
Bananas .33/lb ES *Wed only*
Bell Peppers (yellow/orange) .99/ea SPROUTS *Wed only* then 1.00/ea SAFEWAY, (red) .75/ea BASHAS, (green) .25/ea FC
Blackberries (5.8oz, Walmart sells 12oz so you can try and double the price, but they may not accept it) .88/ea SPROUTS
Blueberries (6oz) 2.50/ea ALBS
Broccoli .88/lb SFM
Cabbage (red) .50/lb SFM *Wed only*, (green) .20/lb PROS
Cauliflower .99/lb SPROUTS *Wed only*
Celery .49/ea FC
Cilantro .20/ea PROS
Corn (whole) .17/ea SFM (canned, store brand) .33/ea ES *Sat/Sun only*
Cucumbers .11/ea FC
Grapefruit .25/ea ES
Grapes (red) .99/lb ES *Wed only*
Green beans (bulk) .97/lb ES
Green onion .20/ea ES *Wed only*
Kiwi .14/ea ES
Lettuce (romaine/green/red) .88/ea SPROUTS
Mangos .33/ea ES
Oranges .25/lb ES
Onion (brown) .14/lb ES, (white) .33/lb PROS *Wed only*
Papaya .77/lb ES
Parsley .50/ea SFM *Wed only*
Pears (bosc) .49/lb FC
Pineapple .97/ea SPROUTS *Wed only* then .99/ea BASHAS
Potatoes (10lb bag, russet) 1.50/ea FC *Wed only* then 1.67/ea ES, (red) .25/lb PROS *Wed only*
Strawberries (16oz) .97/ea ES *Wed only* then .99/ea PROS
Squash (Mexican) .49/lb FC, (Italian/yellow) .88/lb SPROUTS
Tomatoes (roma) .20/lb FC *Fri/Sat/Sun only* then .33/lb ES, (large) .25/lb PROS *Wed only* then .75/lb BASHAS, (vine) .75/lb FRYS
Watermelon (seedless) .19/lb SPROUTS *Wed only*, (mini seedless) 2.50/ea SPROUTS
Yams .88/lb SPROUTS

Now to the good stuff.  I'm finally going to blog again!  I've actually been super busy (as I'm sure everyone else is too!), so I've sort of neglected this whole thing.  But, I'm going to do a slew of updates this weekend, including a training update for my upcoming Ironman race, a race report for a 70.3 I did in April, and an update on the new triathlon prodigy in my family!  All good stuff, I promise.

So keep your eyeballs fixed on your email, or keep refreshing this site until you see these magical updates appear!