Sunday, December 27, 2009

A month off

Well, it's been a month since I have posted....go's been a month since I have done a lot of stuff.....

I have ridden (once and a couple of laps in a parking lot), I have run (a 5k supporting juvenile arthritis in support of a friend's daughter). That's about it. I have a half marathon in 2 weeks with Serpa Deb....she has a long training run tomorrow...I should run too.....oh well.

I also am going to post more on here this next year....

See you at the finish line.

Friday, November 27, 2009

My Ridiculously Long IMAZ 2009 Race Report

Ironman Arizona 2009 Race Report

What a year!!! Bear with me as this will be long – hey, it’s a long race. We start the year with my first full marathon, announcement of a corporate merger, our daughter’s college graduation and subsequent job search and relocation. Then it was a Half Ironman that rained the ENTIRE race, a bike crash the next weekend, after three weeks of limited training I got a staph infection that lasted another three weeks. In the interim I was interviewing to keep my job, took a new role with the firm and started traveling again. Then it was an attack of the back on my long ride on Halloween (I rode again that Sunday and then could hardly walk on Monday) and if that wasn't enough, I got sick a couple of weeks before my race. So, I went to Arizona coughing and wondering if my back would let me race. Now, finally, the setup is complete.

Although it was my first Ironman, since Deb and I had gone out and volunteered last year, I had a good idea how the week would play out. Here's my week in review....

Wednesday evening arrival complete with all bags. Relax and early to bed.

Thursday - up early, and over to the race site. We had lunch with a friend who provided us a parking card for the building garage at the race site. This was HUGE as we never worried about parking (nor did we have to pay for parking!!!). Thanks Jim!!! After lunch there was a short line at athlete registration so I rolled in, signed all the releases, got my numbers, swim cap, etc and was on my way. Then we made our way down to Tri-Bike Transport and picked up my bike. I, personally, don’t understand why anyone would not use Tri-Bike Transport. For about the same cost as putting your bike box on a plane, they drive your bike, fully assembled, across the country, insured and deliver to you at the race site. After your race, you return your bike (across a sidewalk from transition in Arizona) and they drive it back to your home bike shop. In my book, that’s a deal. Debbie and I then drove our to the Beeline Highway as I wanted to do a short ride on Thursday afternoon to shake down the bike and be sure all was right. The bike was perfect and the ride was nice. Warm with very little wind – the same forecast for race day. I rode the section that is on the profile as “more of a climb”. Dinner with the Endurance Nation folks (it was awesome to put some faces with the postings online) and then to bed early.

Friday dawned cool and crisp. A perfect day for a swim. I arrived at the Gatorade swim and climbed into the wetsuit trying to prepare for the cold water mentally. After a few minutes of procrastination, as well as meeting a few folks from the book, I walked to the stairs, walked down them, said “what the heck” and dove in the water. Holy Toledo that is COLD water. Breathe, remember to Breathe. Level out the body, reach, catch, recover, roll to air, the sooner you are swimming the sooner you will relax and warm up a bit. Breathe. I had never had my forehead hurt from the temperature of the water. My feet were not numb, I couldn’t feel them. Needless to say, I had never been swimming in water this cold. I swam about 30 minutes or so and actually got used to the water and felt it wouldn’t be a problem on race day. Out of the water, dried off, changed to some running gear and went for a short 20 minute run with Jacques and then it was about time for the 4 Keys Endurance Nation talk. It was great to reinforce the 4 Keys again and to get Rich and Patrick’s tips for race management and execution. I spent the afternoon getting my bike ready and going over my list (again). I also began to lay out some of my transition and special needs stuff to give me a head start on Saturday morning. Late afternoon Debbie and I went over to the race site and I got a massage for my lower back pain. This was a stroke of genius as it really helped my back. Then we moved down to the location of the Athlete’s Banquet so we would be sure she could get a ticket. If you are going to go to the banquet, pre-pay for your guest tickets (athletes don’t need a ticket, your wristband gets you in).

The banquet was great – Mike Reilly did a great job as emcee and he gave us quite a few interesting facts, including recognizing the people who lost the most weight in training (I think three lost more than 100 pounds), he also recognized the first timers, there were 1300 or so, and he introduced the Ford Everyday Ironman Hero, Rudy Garcia-Tolson. His goal: to become the first bilateral above-knee amputee to complete an Ironman. He had not completed the bike portion in Kona and was in Arizona for this second attempt. Oh by the way, Rudy is 21, he made the decision at 5 that he wanted his defective legs amputated so he could get on with his life. Google Rudy and read his story. You will be motivated. He is an amazing young man. After the dinner, Paul Huddle, the race director, conducted the competitor meeting and then it was off to bed.

Saturday, the goal is to sleep in as this would be the last opportunity for a decent night of sleep until Monday night. I was so fortunate. I slept very well every night including Saturday night which I didn’t expect. Saturday morning Debbie had a volunteer meeting so while she went to the meeting, I visited the Active Release Therapy specialists for some more work on my lower back as well as my hip flexors and watched some folks freezing in the practice swim. After her meeting, we ate a big lunch and then went back to the hotel to finish my transition bags. I had the stuff all laid out on top of the bags so I read the list and Debbie loaded the stuff in the bags to be sure I didn’t miss anything. I was short a race belt and had to improvise but it all worked out fine. I turned in my transition bags and racked my bike – at this point I realized race time was upon us. Then we headed to the airport to pick up my brother, Bruce who was coming in for the race. After collecting him, Debbie took Bruce on a tour of the expo area while I got another quick massage. I could get used to this. I think Bruce was most amazed by the sea of bikes and the total amount of money sitting on those racks. Then it was off to a quick dinner and back to the hotel to lie in bed and stare at the ceiling. My goal was to fill all my drink bottles, set out my clothes and finalize my race morning list so I didn’t have to think at all on Sunday, just do. I was in bed at 8pm as I had hoped.

Sunday morning – 2am. Up for breakfast – an Uncrustable, some Infinit and a banana. Then back to bed. Up again at 4am. A quick shower, dress, a few more calories – Cheerios, Infinit, banana and Diet Coke. Wrote “BELIEVE” on my left arm with a picture of a man in a box to remind me to race my race, no one else’s and wrote “EXECUTE” on my right arm. We left for the race at 5am. We were fortunate to be able to park in VIP parking thanks to the Janus Investments people. These folks were absolutely wonderful to us all week and especially to Bruce and Debbie on race day. We were parked mere steps from transition and I just worked through my list. First, air tires. Then fill aero bottle, put other bottles on bike, fill bento box. get body marked, put run bottle in bike to run bag, drop off special needs bags and then get to a quiet spot to calm down and talk with Debbie and Bruce for a while before the ice bath. I was surprised that I was very calm. I started to insert myself into my wetsuit about 6:20 and while I was doing that, Debbie and Bruce had to leave to go board the boat from which they got to watch the swim start. I told them bye and continued to adjust the wetsuit. I got all set and then Brian Massey from EN wandered by so I had someone I knew to hang with prior to the start – that was great instead of listening to all those voices inside my head. As we were moving toward the water’s edge, there was some commotion to our right, two men were carrying Rudy down to the water for the swim – all of the competitors clapped and showed their admiration for this young man’s courage. Before dawn we were on the dock and then I was in the water…..SHOWTIME!!!

The Swim

As the sky began to lighten all 2500 of us were anxiously awaiting the starting cannon in the cold water of Tempe Town Lake. After the practice swim, I had a good idea what to expect. Cold. However on race morning the adrenaline was coursing through my veins and it didn't seem as cold. I took a few strokes and then breast stroked under the bridge and hung onto a paddle board for a few minutes. Mike Reilly asked who was going to became an Ironman and my hand went up in the air. Listening to the National Anthem while bobbing in cold water was a new experience and very emotional. And then the cannon fired. I was swimming. Everyone talks about the washing machine effect and I must have missed it. I seemed to be in a great spot, a bubble of water around me and I just swam, and swam, and swam. A few times I was jostled or bumped but it was much more similar to a big wave start than a 2500 person all-in start. I took a minor kick to the left ear and at one point found my wrist between two kicking legs. I got it out of there quickly as I was afraid of getting my wrist snapped by a vigorous kick. So much time in a sensory deprived environment gives one many varied thoughts like, there is our firm’s office in Tempe, I wonder if Bruce and Debbie are cold on the boat, there is the ASU Sun Devil football stadium, this part of the swim feels uphill, I wonder how many strokes I have taken, wow the sun is bright, did they move the bridge, oh, here it is and look there’s the turn buoy – halfway there, check the time. I was at the turnaround in about 40 minutes which was a little fast for me so I took it easier on the way back. The swim back was really uneventful, I sighted pretty easily and just kept moving. My body did it's best to stay warm throughout the swim and I was very fortunate in that regard. Seeing some hypothermic folks at the end made me very thankful. Several were shaking uncontrollably. The stairs out of the water are a unique exit device. The trick is to swim onto the lower steps, not to reach up to the handrails and try to pull yourself out. Volunteers were very helpful and there were a lot of them. I carefully moved off the stairs and into the wetsuit stripping area, hands pulling down my wetsuit and then I was on my back on Astroturf and my wetsuit was off my legs. I rose and started the walk to the Changing Tent. I had decided not to run here as the few minutes would not impact my overall time. Stay in control. I saw Bruce and Debbie, again in a preferred, non-public location due to the Janus VIP treatment. They were hanging out with pro Michael Lovato who was not racing and he was very kind to Debbie with all kind of reassurances and assistance in trying to find me. By the way, Michael has several top three finishes in Kona at the World Championships as well as Ironman victories at Cour d’Alene and Arizona – how cool is that? I am convinced that would not happen in any other sport.


Nothing can prepare you for the pandemonium of the tent in transition. My plan was to be smooth and take my time but not dawdle. When you look at my time you may think I grilled a steak or baked a pie in the first transition but my hands were cold and it took a while before I could operate my fingers to dress. My plan was to dress for comfort so it was a complete costume change. Bike shorts and jersey, socks, cycle shoes, arm warmers, helmet and sunglasses, then out of the tent to go get my bike – stop – get some sunscreen – now go. I had an awesome rack near the pros with my low bib number so I was very close to the bike exit. I went down the entire length of the bike racks, got my bike, moved to the mount line and got on. It was cool too that I got to see Bruce and Debbie at the exit.

The Bike

As I rode out Rio Salado, I saw Seth – Seth is one of the book guys who is undergoing cancer treatment and has a very tough time with cold. He was shaking like crazy. I talked to him for a couple of seconds as I went by – it wasn’t long until he warmed up and passed me like I was standing still. The bike is three out and back rides with each loop totaling a little over 37 miles, so I looked at it as 6 x 18.5 mile rides. You ride an “in town” section with several turns and then you get to the Beeline Highway for a long stretch out of town. It is usually windy on the Beeline. 2009 was no exception. Forget the forecast of very light winds – the Beeline was cooking. As I rode the outbound first loop I was looking at my wattage vs my speed and I really put my faith in Endurance Nation and said “I’m going to do it like you said”. I saw some low digits on that first leg. At the turnaround of Lap 1, I heard Bruce yelling for me (Debbie had already lost her voice), so I told them to meet me at the Port-o-Lets and took a quick break and talked to them for a few seconds. Then it was back into town – screaming fast downwind. Total first lap was dead on my predicted time. All three laps were between 15 and 16 miles per hour, even though the wind had shifted and the Beeline was different the second and third time around. The third lap had really thinned out and there was some carnage out there. I saw several folks stopped along the side of the road, bent over, stretching or puking, or just laying flat on their back on the shoulder of the road. It was on this loop that I saw Rudy for the first time since the swim start. He was pedaling out the Beeline as I was heading back to town. Go Rudy Go. My plan on the bike had been to execute with conservation of resources in mind. As I approached the ending sections of the bike I felt very good about how I had ridden. The emotional swings are very interesting and deserve some mention. At some point during all three disciplines, I felt a marked shift of emotions. There were numerous, very positive moments. There were also, from time to time, dark places. The darkest were on the bike for me, I really expected them more on the run but I think I stayed focused on relentless forward movement and didn’t let many negative vibes through. While I was focused on smaller chunks of the ride, there are times when you realize you still have 40 or 50 or 60 miles to go and that is a long way and you can never totally forget that a marathon awaits you at the completion of your ride. All through the bike I felt I was consuming ample calories. Looking back, I think I was short by several hundred calories. My strategy was sound and I feel it was spot on, I just didn’t execute to the best of my ability. I wanted to be on the run between 4 and 4:30 and that was accomplished. The bike is ending as my mind begins to think about 26.2 miles to run – don’t think that way. One step at a time.


Easy pick up of the bag and into the tent I go. I feel good, better than expected. I get in the tent, change clothes and realize it is time to get after it. Again there were numerous helpful volunteers and they were helping everyone tirelessly. A small drink of water and then out to get sun screened. Across the timing mat and I am on the run. As I check the time I begin to feel that if not goes catastrophically wrong I should make it but I don’t want to take anything for granted as a lot can happen and probably will over the next seven and a half hours.

The Run

The run is three loops. But it is really six. There is a 3.5-4 mile loop and a 4.5-5 mile loop that when combined make up one loop of 8.5-9 miles. I really wanted to run at least half way through the marathon using a run/walk method and I started out pretty conservatively as planned. After the first sub-loop, I realized I had started a bit hot so I slowed on the second part of the first full loop. There is a hill (and it seemed really big) about halfway through the second sub-loop that I planned to walk each time I got there. It is the only hill on the run. As I started to run the second full loop I wanted to really be careful. I wasn’t able to take in many calories and my stomach was doing weird things so I went even more conservative. I took it really easy on the second full loop and upon reflection think it was a good decision. The third full loop began with me feeling good (notwithstanding the weird stomach) and ready to get this done. I was running a bit more – if you can call it that – and walking faster when I was walking. I was beginning to let my head and my heart start to think about the finish line and hearing Mike Reilly call my name. It was a very emotional time as I knew I had only 2-2:30 hours left and would finish with plenty of time to spare barring anything really crazy. As I started the last section, I KNEW I would be an Ironman that day. I KNEW nothing could stop me. I KNEW I would crawl if I had too. Every section I ran I knew that would be the last time I would run that section. I told all the volunteers they wouldn’t get to cheer for me any more that night. I was almost back to the bridge for the last crossing when I looked up and saw Rudy – moving doggedly through the night. I stopped and applauded. I am amazed at this young man. I knew he would make it – I could see it in his eyes. Then I realized I was in the last mile….it is amazing how much better I felt realizing that….the legs had energy….the posture got better….I was able to run more. I passed some people….I was going home. I saw Debbie and Bruce about a quarter of a mile from the finish and told them I would be there soon…they took off to the finish line to meet me. I had to go around a corner, through a parking lot, turn left and then I would be in the finishing chute. Oh my….here it comes….

The Finish

I talked to a guy walking as I passed him as I wanted to be sure if he was going to run I was going to wait. I wanted him to have his finish line and I wanted mine as well. He told me to go ahead as he was going to be awhile. A few more steps and then I was turning left into bright lights, jam packed stands, people going nuts jumping up and down and screaming, I was high fiving people to the left and right of the chute like I was winning the thing instead of being a back of the packer but hey, it is MY finish line. Then I hear, Bryan Reece, San Antonio, Texas…..YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!!!! About that time, I hear Bruce screaming at me from the VIP tent and I high fived him steps from the finish line. Then I was across. Right into the arms of my amazing wife, waiting for me, supporting me, being the incredible partner she is – Sherpa Deb. Words absolutely could never describe the feelings. The emotions crashing into you at the speed of light, the absolute lack of pain at that moment, the insane love for those who got you to this point, the intense desire to share this feeling which cannot be shared. One very cool thing happened right here. Debbie had me look to the side and there was Brian Massey who had come back to the finish and we got to celebrate each other's finish. That was awesome. Then you move through the finish area, getting your finisher’s hat and shirt, your medal, your chip removed and have some pictures taken. Then you move to medical if necessary, go get some food and/or get a quick massage. I did all three – medical for no other reason than to get my blood pressure checked (it was normal) and let them tell me I was fine. Signed up for a massage and got a piece of pizza. I was on a massage table before I could eat the pizza and wow, it felt good to lie down. While I was laying there Mike announced Rudy was coming in. The crowd went nuts. Rudy was an Ironman. Stud.

The Wrap

As I lay in bed Sunday night I tried to reflect on the journey that got me here. What a long, strange trip it has been. Where did it start? It all started with Julie Moss and her collapse in Hawaii in 1982. I saw it on Wide World of Sports and was amazed by this thing called Ironman. I could NEVER understand it but it was cool. I have watched the World Championships year after year and never had an inkling that I might be capable of completing this challenge. It all started then, I just didn’t know it. Then a medical issue in January of 2007 pushed the process along and a conversation with a guy in the locker room one Saturday in June, 2007 germinated the seed. I remember after my first triathlon in August of 2007 telling people I would NEVER do a Half Ironman, much less an Ironman – those people are crazy. Then after doing an Olympic in May of 2008, I thought a Half Ironman was possibly achievable. After completing Longhorn 70.3 in October of 2008, Debbie and I went to Arizona to volunteer and for me to sign up. What had begun 27 years ago now had a clock on it. What a journey….what a year.

A couple of words of thanks – thanks Rich and Patrick and all my EN teammates. Also, thanks again to the Janus Investments people, sponsors of the Janus Charity Challenge and wonderful organizers of a great VIP experience for Debbie and Bruce. To each of you reading this, thanks. You have all played a role in this journey. Finally, thanks to all the volunteers – there couldn’t be a race without you.

Three Things I Learned – check that…..Four Things I Learned

Never limit yourself. The only limits on you are those you place on yourself.

Believe. I believe, with faith, you can accomplish your goal. Whatever it is.

Execution is the key. There is a supply of resources, use them wisely.

NO ONE DOES THIS ALONE. It may be an individual sport but no one does it alone. It takes the love, support, and reassurance of family, friends and even strangers. I prove this by simply asking any competitor, “who isn’t bolstered by the clapping of a volunteer in the middle of no where on the bike course, who doesn’t feel at least a little better when you roll through an aid station and strangers are yelling for you, who isn’t jazzed when a small hand reaches up for a high five?” If none of that gets to you I don’t know if you are human.

I know there are so many more things I learned – some are not yet revealed I am sure, I do know the journey continues….

If this is the end, it is the front end….

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Ironman Arizona Recovery

We just got home and I wanted to say I am really sorry I didn't post much from AZ. Typing on my iphone is still a challenge for me.

There is so much to share. I am going to get a RR together but I can assure you it will be long....very long.....just like the race.

I felt good yesterday and feel really good today. Very little pain or stiffness today after initially getting out of bed. I am fully in support of compression wear as I think it helped recovery a lot. I think it is kinda geeky to race in but afterward I am a big fan. I wore 2XU compression pants to sleep in on Sunday and last night about 2:30 my calves told me I should have worn compression again so I got up and put on 2XU compression socks. Calves were happy and I went back to sleep. After walking around a bit this morning I have felt very good. I am surprised. It is amazing what the body can withstand and then rejuvenate.

Folks, that was the most incredibly accomplishment of my life. As I talked to a friend as she was getting ready to register I told her I was jealous of her. She has her finish line to look forward to....mine was now a memory. But a precious memory it is. And there is another finish line to look forward to - it just won't be my first Ironman.

RR coming soon. Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Time for me to be a little less selfish for a few days.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Wow!!! Mission Accomplished

Can't begin to describe the feeling of the finish line but will try later. Have a great day.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Hello from arizona

A great day. All checked in. Bike ride today. Swim and run tomorrow.
The water is cold. Weather predicted to be about perfect. I am bib 122
if you want to follow me at

Pray for me. See you at the finish line.

Sent from my iPhone

Monday, November 9, 2009

Bib numbers and fear.....

Bib numbers are up and the fear is beginning to really assert itself. I am bib 122 if you want to follow at Ironman Live....

I am 12 days from the start.....

What a long strange trip it has been....

See you at the finish line.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The hay is in the barn....

Well, as they say, "the hay is in the barn". The work is done. All that can be accomplished for Ironman Arizona has been banked. For the next two weeks, it is take care of myself, don't do stupid stuff, don't get hurt, try to stay healthy, etc.

I had to cut today's race rehearsal short due to some really bad thunderstorms this morning. I really wanted to get the work in but the slippery streets and crazy drivers did not warrant the risk.

I have a plan for execution at Arizona, I will work through the day and get the job done. The missed workouts, the missed family time, the missed sleep - it will all just have to work together to get me through 140.6 miles. I am not expecting any age group records but it will be a PR for me as it is my first. I want to enjoy the day as much as possible and just finish (I keep telling myself there are no time goals for this one except to finish in less than 17 hours).

From work issues, to stock market issues, to a corporate merger, to consolidation of offices, to new positions and work responsibilities, to bike crashes, to staph infections, to messed up backs.....the road to Ironman is paved with life. Please send good vibes my way and may God smile upon me November 22 as we work our way through the day.

See you at the finish line.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


Well, it seems I have moved from one nagging injury to another this whole year. My back has hurt all week but it is much much better today than it has been throughout the week. I am hoping tonight will be a comfortable night of sleep and a healthy feeling back in the morning. I have my last race rehearsal this weekend. Hopefully it will go well.

See you at the finish line.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Oh my aching back...

Woke up this morning with some lower back pain.....rode and ran this morning....slowly and gingerly....didn't really hurt too bad except for a few times....when I finished it really started to act up. Doing the ice and ibuprophen thing to try to get past this...whatever it might be....go away...I have no time for this.

Hopefully this is just a bit of discomfort after yesterday's long stuff.

See you at the finish line.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Three weeks to go....

Long ride today....finished with a flat....about 200 yards from the house....I was actually going to ride another 4-5 miles but the flat ended the my third new tire in two days.....I had new rubber put on the ride this week and the flat split the side of the tire....I don't know whether I hit something or not but the tri shop replaced the tire for free.....I paid for the tube.....good deal if you ask it was just shy of 5 hours on the bike followed with a 30 minute run.....tomorrow is a 2 hour ride with a thirty minute run.....I have one long bike left next weekend with a brick run after and I am DONE>...I cannot believe it.....thanks to all of you for being along for the trip.....

See you at the finish line.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

First Race Rehearsal Complete

Considering a corporate merger, new job at the firm, bike crash a month ago, staph infection for the last three weeks (new prescription on Friday before swim), travel last week taking me out of town and sleep cycle...enough of the goes:

Swim - I took it easy as I have not swam much since the bike crash (been doing the band thing) but was able to swim 3100-3400 in 1:15....missed a couple of laps on my swim but I don't know exactly how many...I was mainly shooting for the 1:15 swim. Felt great getting out of the pool. Not fast by any measure but got it done. The mental thing was much easier than I imagined.

Because of sleep deprivation I slept in a bit on Saturday morning and started the ride/run a little later than I wanted. Here are the ride stats:
Entire workout (126 watts):
Duration: 5:35:32 (5:46:52)
Work: 2536 kJ
TSS: 259.4 (intensity factor 0.681)
Norm Power: 150
VI: 1.19
Pw:HR: 22.86%
Pa:HR: 25.82%
Distance: 85.224 mi
Min Max Avg
Power: 0 604 126 watts
Heart Rate: 81 151 133 bpm
Cadence: 31 196 74 rpm
Speed: 2.2 37.2 15.3 mph
Pace 1:37 26:49 3:56 min/mi
Crank Torque: 0 1276 147 lb-in

Felt good on the ride and good getting off the bike although I think I was a little deficient in water intake....more on that below.

The run was 11:28 pace for 50 minutes resulting in 4.38 miles. That pace is a little faster than my EP but I felt fine. I was glad when I was done...

Nutrition: I think I was right on with 2.5 2 hour bottles of Infinit consumed on the bike which was about 1400 calories plus an Uncrustable at 210 calories. I also took in about 100 ounces of water - I was somewhat dehydrated when I finished and I think I was slack on water intake - I think I should have consumed about 36 ounces more water. On the run I took in about 100 calories of Infinit and 10 ounces of water. Probably needed a little more water here too.

Any advice/thoughts would be appreciated.

See you at the finish line.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Long Swim Race Rehearsal Tonight

Longest continuous swim ever for me tonight at one hour and fifteen minutes. I covered somewhere between 3100 and 3400 yards. I know I missed a lap or two but I don't know exactly how many. I now have two more long swims left before we swim in Tempe Town Lake.....

Less than a month to go.

Now it's off to rest up for a LONG ride and run brick tomorrow. Five and a half hour ride followed up with a 50 minute run. Should be an interesting Saturday morning.

See you at the finish line.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Three more long rides

I rode long on Sunday - 4 and a half hours....the sit bones were happy to get off that saddle....It was 70 miles and actually a lot of fun...I was ready to get off my bike but I really enjoyed the ride and felt good.

This weekend is my first race rehearsal. A 5.5 hour ride followed by a one hour run. That should be interesting. I am thinking it will be somewhere in the 85-90 mile range....mmmmmm.

The arm feels good. There is still a little fluid on the arm but bit by bit it seems to be getting much better. Tomorrow ends the antibiotic treatment.

The days on the calendar continue to fall away as I approach November seemed the days went by much more slowly when that timer was at 100 or 200 days....they seem to go by as minutes now instead of 24 hour periods.

The race execution plan seems to be coming together...more on this later.

See you at the finish line.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

35 days....oh my

The little counter on the right is at 35 days....where did all the time go. I was in Connecticut this week for a LONG meeting. We went long and hard every day. I got a little training work in this week but not as much as I should have. No more excuses. We are getting too close. Just gotta get the work done.

The medical seems to all be cleared up finally. I have a few more days of pills to go and will diligently take the entire course. I do NOT want that stuff back...ever. But it is gone. I am looking forward to a long ride tomorrow and then next week is prep for a race rehearsal next weekend. It will be the first of two. Hopefully everything will be dialed in and work well but now is the time to find out.

The bike is going in for a tune and some new rubber this week as well so I can break it in before AZ. Most everything else is ready to roll. Let's hope so.

The anxiety begins to build.....

See you at the finish line.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Some Nasty @%&*#!

I don't know exactly what it looks like in there but there is some nasty @&^$!) growing in my arm....but the battle is on. Yesterday I was a short way into my ride, my left arm was bothering me a bit but it was bearable and then I realized it was swelling. I turned around, got home and looked at the underside of my arm. I had a pretty nice divot that mirrored the pad on my aerobar. Now I am no medical professional, but I play a doctor on TV (that is a totally inside family joke that some day I may explain) so I knew that was NOT normal. Deb looked at it and we both agreed that we needed to seek medical attention.

Well, it seems the "minor" infection I had from the recent road rash took steroids or something....the doc says it is either a staph or strep infection he thinks. He said he did not think it was MRSA but we should know after about 48 hours on the antibiotics. So I started a course of 10 days worth of pills yesterday. It doesn't hurt as much today but it is still full of fluid. I just hope by the end of today it feels better.

So it seems I will be running a lot this week. At this time, I cannot put my arm in an aerobar - no way, no how - and I don't want to get in a public pool with this stuff so, it will be a running week. Oh well, I need that the most anyway.

See you at the finish line.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Minor setback

Had to cut today's ride short due to pain in my left arm. Learned after a visit with the doc that the infection is pretty bad. Got Antibiotics and should be better in a few days.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated

Got a call today from my friend Jacques wondering if I was okay. Sorry I haven't posted since the wreck. I am healed pretty well. Still fighting a bit of infection - let me tell you - the road is not a sanitary place....and just when you think you have scrubbed enough in the shower....scrub some more....infection is bad juju....

Long run tonight....two hours and 20 minutes after a full day of work is a tough run...then I come home and look at stinking little countdown widget and see 44 days and go OMG!!! I should go run some more. Follow the plan - follow the plan - follow the plan.

The time in Arizona is rapidly approaching and the plans are beginning to come together. All travel has been arranged for months. Last equipment purchases (including a new helmet after the crash) are being completed. Only a few weekends remain.

By the way, Giro has a crash replacement program....with a generous discount.

Also, I have to say WOW!!! to GARMIN...I crushed my 310XT - it was about the 5-7 time out for it and it was smashed. I will post a pic later. Well, get this, I emailed Garmin and they said something to the effect of, well, we are sorry but we can't warranty it but we have a $99 repair policy. So, into a box it went and about 7 business days later a box appeared...with a BRAND SPANKING NEW 310XT....GARMIN, I LOVE YOU!!! If you are going to buy a GPS enabled heart rate/power/timing training device, you should buy a GARMIN. These folks ROCK!!! (I was not compensated in any way for that endorsement).

Have a great training weekend and we will meet at the finish line.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

La Vernia Hammerfest

Well folks, I went down today....took a corner about 200 yards from the end of the 65 mile ride of the La Vernia Hammerfest and hit some gravel...nasty it's time for a new helmet - actually I was wearing a new one (my birthday present next weekend) and now it is Garmin 310 longer waterproof.....and taking inventory of the road rash...knee, calf, hip, forearm, elbow and shoulder.....after 45 minutes in the ambulance they had me cleaned up, my shorts cut off (although I maintained some amount of modesty), checked out my head (the hardest part of my body) and then I was sent on my not have concussion symptons in the past 8 hours so I am feeling pretty good about the head. The shower was !#^*($#ing ridiculous....OMG that hurt....finally got it all numb and was able to wash it out.....then some Neosporin and some crap hurts.... So I am bagging the run tomorrow, I will see how I feel when I wake up and then go for a short run at could have very easily been much, much worse.....

See you at the finish line.

Monday, September 14, 2009

PrairieMan = SoggyMan

My half iron distance tune up race on the way to Ironman Arizona - PrairieMan in Grand Prairie, Texas near Dallas.

Let's just say I am still rained for three days before the race...a four and a half hour drive to Dallas took Debbie and I 7 hours due to the rain. It rained all day Friday and Saturday as we were running errands trying to find some rain gear to use as we didn't really plan for rain on Sunday - the forecast was for a 20-30% chance of rain. The hour by hour forecast showed the rain in the afternoon and evening. Well, they lied. It was raining at 4:30 when I woke up, raining at 5:30 when I arrived at the race site, rained for the WHOLE race - hard enough during parts that reminded me of hurricanes, tropical storms and tsunamis, you could actually feel the rain during the swim. The swim felt LONG - my time was 51 minutes. There were white caps and big waves throughout - really we started in pretty flat water and about three minutes into the swim I thought a power boat was going back and forth in front of me. The waves were that big. I thought they would be a big help after we turned the corner but they were actually quartering you so they were pushing you further out into the lake so you had to swim back in to fight their effect. There was some feel of body surfing which would have been good if it had been in the right direction. Did I mention it was still raining? T1 was pretty slow - about 4:20. The bike was treacherous with flooded streets and HUGE puddles - when someone passed you - you virtually drowned in the spray off their back tires....while it didn't happen much (ha-ha) it was wet....they cut the bike short in the pre-race meeting due to the conditions - they said they didn't want people to try for a PR or for people to take chances on the bike - I saw several people down and almost went down three times myself....once really close - my back tire was sliding right and left and I really don't know how I saved it - I think it was just luck and instinct - there was NO time to think. As I finished the third loop of the bike, I actually was thrilled to be going to the run - I was very tense the entire bike. The bike was 42 miles according to them...just under 44 according to Mr. Garmin. Bike time was 2:26 for a 17.2 avg speed assuming 42 miles. Extrapolating to a 56 miles ride would have been about 3:15. T2 - Did I mention it was still raining??? EVERYTHING WAS WET - my cycle shoes were full of water, my socks were soaked, I looked like a drowned rat - How about this? When you bent your head down on the bike, water had collected in the air vent holes, trapped against your scalp and it just ran out all over you, it was like you dumped a glass of water on your head. I had kept my run shoes in a plastic bag so they went on dry...that lasted about 4 seconds....I had another pair of dry socks in a zip lock bag....again they were dry for about 4 seconds....grabbed the hat and off I went...T2 was 3:07. I wanted to try to run a good half marathon - I usually fry myself on the bike as some of you know, and then just survive the run....well yesterday was a bit different. I ended up running a 2:25 half marathon....just 10 minutes off my half marathon personal best. I felt GREAT....used Galloway's run/walk method as always and was running past people in the last three miles. I didn't know how the run would go as my longest recent run has been went better than I could have thought....I was actually calculating and running scenarios through my head throughout the run trying to get to an eleven minute pace...I ran 11:06 the way, the last two miles were in a monsoon. Yes, it was still raining. By the way, less than a quarter of a mile into the run you ran through a puddle/river that was 4-5 inches deep and about 15 yards wide...splash...splash....splash...and your dry socks and shoes were full of water and weighed a lot more. Then, so you could continue the fun, for the next 1/2 to 3/4 of a mile there were several more unavoidable big puddles, then you came out of the park and on to the dam to run about 3.5 miles additionally out across the dam and back and then you got to do the three miles in the park again....complete with puddles....with new additional puddles and depth as ---- all together now --- it was STILL raining.

As I was walking to the truck dreaming of being dry, a person walking by Debbie and I asked if it was my most miserable day in triathlon - after thinking a bit I told her it was actually a pretty good day...yeah, it was wet, yeah, it was trying, yeah, it was mental, yeah, it would have been easy to quit or not start....but that is not what we do. We deal with what comes - and we adapt and improvise. We realize transition times are not so important that we can't use ziplock bags for a moment of dry sock feeling. We realize that we are fortunate that not EVERYONE in the world thinks we are crazy for wanting to play in the rain. We also realize how important those around us are in a new way.

Debbie was there - all day - she stood soaked to the bone - she was outside from 5:30 until almost 9 for the pre-race stuff, the swim and T1...then she sat in the car, tried to sleep, read a magazine and was back outside as I left the park on the run (she missed me coming in on the bike as we didn't think I would ride that quickly given the circumstances), went back to the car for about 1:45 and then came out to get wet and watch me finish. She was a trooper yesterday and in addition to Sherpa Deb duties had to deal with a lot of wet crap to try to get home.

I would like to say that there were about 100 spectators or so there yesterday (that is a wild guess but there weren't many). Each of those people deserve applause. They did NOT have fun. Also, there were volunteers who stood in the rain to hand out water and Gatorade Endurance - I tried to thank as many as I could but I would like to go on record saying a BIG THANK YOU to each of them. To the race organizers, they did a great job with what they were dealt. It was a well run race and I would do it again, hopefully dry but I would do it again.

Overall time was 5:51 - I was very pleased. Adding in the additional bike time would have been about 6:36 or so....that would have been a PR for me by a long shot. I felt great about the time and also about the recovery so far. I feel pretty good today, will be back in the gym tomorrow.

See you at the finish line.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Labor Day Olympic Distance Triathlon

The Avia Austin Triathlon was held on Labor Day. This is an Olympic distance triathlon run by the folks at Jack and Adam's Bike Shop in Austin, TX. It is a GREAT race to say the least. Very organized, nice expo, cool technical t-shirts, a race hat and a water bottle (but no medal - I guess they think we all have enough and I have found I wear a hat a lot more often than a medal).

Time was 3:09....treating everything now as training and only training....pacing in line with IMAZ pacing....really try not to overcook the bike so I have something left for the run....swim was 35-36, bike was 1:15-1:20, run was 1:00-1:05 with about 6 mins in two transitions...there was quite a bit of distance in and out of transition....there were over 2500 was really cool....Here's the brief report....swim was a cruise...caught a little draft and hung on it for a while - focused on form a bit, counted strokes, etc....really pleased with the "straightness" of my swim. Worked through T1 - it is so dry here that the little bit of water on your feet and the dirt made for nasty mud in the bike shoes....with rocks and all sorts of other stuff. Rolled out on the bike - focused on pacing and nutrition (these were the absolute needs of the day - practice for Arizona). Rode what I thought was a smart race which was actually pretty fast (for me). Rocketed through T2 and out on the run - legs felt really good (well done on the bike power consumption) but I had overdone the calories - I took in about a half a bottle too much which is 150 excess calories - doesn't sound like much but I think with the volume of liquid it filled me pretty full. After a couple of miles the stomach felt better....I was not hungry through the race after about 1/3 of a bottle on the run. Run was good - had a fun finish with another guy in my age group - I passed him with about 1/4 of a mile to go and held him off. I finished ahead by 10 seconds - that was a fun way to end the race. I was also very pleased with the lack of recovery time needed. I felt great Monday afternoon and after a day off Tuesday was ready to train again today.

Now it's on to Prairieman half iron distance this Sunday. For the record, I don't think 70.3 miles under your own power should ever be referred to as HALF of anything.

See you at the finish line.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Lollygagging before a long ride

I was late out the door this morning due to stalling before a long ride.

Big brick today of 4 hour ride - about 63 miles and then a 2.5 mile run....ooooohhhh that run was FUN....this IM plan is pretty cool but also intense. The ride today had 2 x 15 min intervals at a Z4-5 effort. While that doesn't sound like much when you know you have ridden over an hour and will have 2 more hours after the intervals, it really makes you think.

Wildlife today included a deer running across the road about 15 yards in front of me and then jumping a barbed wire fence - this was very very cool. Second wildlife sighting was a snake cruising across the road - I hit his tail and then carefully looked at my wheels to be sure he wasn't up in the spokes....I saw him too late to totally avoid him. Then there was all manner of road kill - deer, possum, skunk and even a stalking buzzard (big sucker too) looking for something to eat. Dr. Seuss had it right - Oh, the places you'll go.

Now the taper is on for the Austin Triathlon on Monday. It should be an interesting day with the fatigue in my legs.....

I also took advantage of the end of summer sale at Performance Bicycle today and got a great deal on a Giro Ionos helmet. I hope it is as cool as I think it will be. There are a lot of vents and I hope the air flow is big to keep my melon cool.

See you at the finish line.

Monday, August 31, 2009

A whole new workout world

Well, the 12 week build is on. Day one was a long swim set and an interval run. Tomorrow is a long swim set and easy run. It is two workouts a day for me for the forseeable future.

All encouragement is welcome.

See you at the finish line.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

12 weeks....

Tomorrow begins the 12 week push to Ironman Arizona. The volumes continue to rise. The work builds. It should be an interesting three months.

Three hour bike ride yesterday with a run today (today's run was in 97 degree heat). Note to self: run early, don't be stoooopid.

See you at the finish line.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Jacques' first visit to San Antonio

I had the pleasure today to host Jacques on his visit to San Antonio. He is a NY Times reporter who is writing a book on first timers attempting to climb the Ironman hill in Arizona in November. Debbie and I met him last year in Tempe and he came out today to spend a day with us. We rode a spin class this morning...he said it was quite different from the NY spin experience. He was blown away by the utter coolness of our Lifetime Fitness club, and then we rolled around the countryside in the car while we talked about my triathlon journey. There are some who would say I got to talk about my favorite subject, me. We covered a lot of miles looking at country roads I run and ride as I train. It seemed to surprise him that Texas was not flat....everyone thinks it is I guess. I also drove him by the Alamo - everyone needs to see the Alamo during their life. Then at his request, Debbie and I took him to a favorite Mexican food dive....his friend from Houston had told him that he had to eat a puffy taco.....he got to eat two....

So Jacques, if you are reading this, thanks for coming to visit - it was a great day and you are welcome anytime.

See you at the finish line.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

70 miles....a lot of sweat

Wow it was hot in Texas today. I rode with a group from Lifetime Fitness - every club across the US was supposed to do a metric century outdoor ride today. Our 62.5 mile ride was a little over. We rode 70 miles. It was wretched hot at the finish but it was a great group of people riding a great ride.

I will definitely ride the same route again - hopefully when it is a little cooler.

My next event is The Austin Triathlon on Labor Day. This is a great event. If you haven't ever done this one and you can - DO IT!!! The folks at Jack and Adam's put it on and they rock. It is a very well run, fun triathlon in a great (fast) city.

See you at the finish line.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Long run....and an iphone

Had a nice 8 mile run this morning. Laid in bed longer than I should have and paid for it in the heat. At least it wasn't a billion degrees when I was only about 80 million degrees. Man this has been a hot summer in San Antonio. We have set a record for continuous days over 100 with no end in sight. Hopefully we can get some rain soon. I have dust in my front yard that I used to call grass - the lawn guy still bills me for mowing it.....what is he mowing???? We can only water every other week for about a minute and then that's it. It will be amazing if my grass comes back....hopefully about thirty more days of this heat.

Got an iPhone yesterday - finally broke down - I was a late adopter on the ipod - it changed my life....a late adopter on Tivo - it changed my life....and I am thinking the iPhone may be the next gadget that is too cool for school. This little thing is amazing. That test post from yesterday came from my iPhone after about 2 hours of ownership. It is that user friendly. Pretty doggone cool. Let me know your favorite ap.

See you at the finish line.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Test too

Testing mobile

Sent from my iPhone

New fit....

Got Retul-ed this afternoon. What a cool system, you are connected to many sensors and a computer taking continuous measurements. Very very cool. We moved some stuff around...raised seat and lowered bars a bit. Also a great visual way to see how your technique rolls. You can see how consistent you are pretty quickly.

Also scored a new set of Blue Seventy goggles.....

Long run in the morning...

See you at the finish line.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Back to the Grind

We arrived back from sunny Florida last night to be greeted by HOT Texas. Wow, it is hot here right now. Off the beach and back to work tomorrow.

Also, now the real work begins for Ironman Arizona. I think all year I have been looking at November saying, it is SO far away. Well, folks, the counter today is below 120 days. It's really time to get to work. The training is really getting ready to ramp up.

If anybody wants to ride or run sometime, just let me know.

See you at the finish line.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

A little humor...

Saw this somewhere a while back. I still think it is funny and I hope you do too.

The Top 10 Ways to tell an energy bar from a dog turd...
1. Energy bars cost about $2. Dog turds are free.
2. Energy bars have shiny wrappers. Dog turds don't.
3. A fly will eat a dog turd. I've never seen a fly eat an energy bar.
4. Dog turds get slippery when wet.
5. Energy bars come in many delicious flavours. Dog turds only come in 1.
6. Energy bars hold their shape in a jersey pocket much better than dog turds.
7. Dog turds won't damage a lawn mower blade. The jury is still out on energy bars.
8. You won't find an energy bar sitting on the ground in the park.
9. Dog turds are made of naturally occurring substances.
10. Dog turds are biodegradable.

Hope you enjoyed....see you at the finish line.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Happy Birthday USA

As we celebrate this weekend with long bikes, long runs, long swims and the like. We really appreciate all the service of the fine folks in all the armed forces and remember especially all those currently serving away from their families. Thanks for your service and all you do.

God bless America!!!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Training Day

Good day of training today with an 8 mile run and a hour and twenty minutes of riding. Tomorrow is a long ride - looking at a couple of hours.

Heard about Ironman Coeur d Alene from a friend of mine today. He had a good race in very difficult conditions. A lot of rain and wind on the run. Chop on the swim and wind on the ride. But Marco perservered and he is once again, an Ironman. Congratulations, Ironman Marco.

Also, I have celebrated the completion of a Half Ironman with a friend from Boston. Marianne just finished 70.3 miles under her own power in the last week. What an accomplishment - wait to go Marianne. Next year....Ironman. You go girl!

I stand amazed at what men and women can do when they strike a goal - create a plan - and execute on that plan. I am really looking forward to Arizona....but much work to be done between now and then. About 147 days of work.....thanks for all your support.

See you at the finish line.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day

Good day to all the dads out there. I hope all your Father's Day dreams come true.

A big training weekend. Started on Friday with a long swim, 2000 continuous and then a few hundred more for fun. Then on to Saturday morning with cycle (spin) class. It was anaerobic intervals so a great workout. We also had a substitute teacher who was certfying instructors so she was killing us all. Then I rode for another 30 minutes and wrapped it up with another hour of intervals with our normal instructor for the 10am class. All total - about 2 hours and 45 minutes of intervals and my legs are toast and my bike it sitting in a big puddle of sweat. Then today I woke up and hit the road for a was about 80 degrees at the start so not too bad but it was terribly humid and windy. In other words, a tough 8 miles on tired legs. Glad to finish.

Congratulations go out to Marianne who finished her first Half Ironman yesterday up in the northeastern US - great job!!! Another friend is getting ready to be a guide for a blind triathlete at a race in Canada. Check out his site if you want to donate to the cancer hospital they are racing for....

Again, happy Father's Day and good luck to all our friends at Ironman Coeur d Alene.

See you at the finish line.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Early Morning Training

Got up early this morning and hit the 5:30 spin class. Really felt good to get to work and know after work I could go straight home. Can roll right by the gym after work....sweet. However, I think I may do it again tomorrow. A little sleepy during the day but I liked getting it done early.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A Swedding

That is not a typo....if you were in Ft Worth, TX over this past weekend, you know what a swedding is an outdoor matrimonial event held from 6:30pm until midnight in a sweltering, oven like swamp of humidity. To say I was drenched with sweat within 2 minutes would NOT be an exaggeration. It was probably the nastiest humid night I have EVER felt in my life.

It was dubbed a "swedding" by the groom, the next morning at the outdoor brunch. His words were "thanks for coming to my swedding". Note to self: think twice before attending outdoor weddings in June in Texas. Man it was hot but it was a beautiful wedding.

Now it is back to training...

See you at the finish line.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Big Training Weekend....and a new agent

A big weekend of training. Not really a big one on the plan but I really had a fun weekend. Friday night I went and swam after work - not really long but pretty intense for almost 30 minutes and then rushed upstairs at the gym to a Pilates class. I really need some core work so this is one way I will get it and it is mentally much easier for me than weights. Saturday morning it was up early to get to spin class - it was "hills" so it could be as tough as you wanted it and then I went ahead and rode the 30 minutes between classes and rode the second class as well - all told it was 2 hours 55 minutes of riding so it was a good ride. Then capped the weekend today with a hour and 15 minute run. I feel really good especially considering the humidity and decent wind this morning. The temp was okay but the air was thick.

The new agent - the spin instructor yesterday announced to the class that I was doing Ironman AZ this year and raising money for the Lance Armstrong Foundation. She even passed out the cards I had made to make people aware and to give them the website address to donate. (If you need it, just let me know....hint...hint...or if you want some cards to pass out just let me know). So "D" - you are my new agent...thanks for the announcement and all of your encouragement. Hopefully I will get some new readers as a result of your efforts. As you all know, I am compiling a list of people currently battling cancer as well as a list of those who have lost the battle to carry with me on race day. If you have a friend or loved one who has dealt with this disease, I would love to have them along for inspiration - their battle has been a lot more difficult than mine. Please send their names to and I will add them to the list. I would be honored.

Also, if you are reading this, feel free to tell everyone you know about it.

See you at the finish line.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

LiveStrong - first goal

Today, I went over $1000 in fundraising for the Lance Armstrong Foundation in conjunction with Ironman Arizona. Hopefully I will make my goal of $5000. If you are interested in helping out just let me know and I will send you a link.

See you at the finish line.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Pics from Tour de Cure

Tour de Cure 2009

A beautiful two days of riding in Texas. The weather was just about perfect yesterday and today. Not much wind. High 60s overnight, in the low 70s at the start and finishing each day between 80-85 degrees. Don't get me wrong, it was well into the 90s yesterday afternoon at the party/lunch but I was off the roads and out of the direct sun.

This was one very well done ride. A tip of the helmet to the organizing crew. You all did a great job. One of the best marked courses I have ever ridden. Many rest areas, very well stocked. Great volunteers - they even cheered as you finished.

As you probably know, this is a charity ride for diabetes and I have a good friend in Canada who is diabetic and one of my spin instructors is diabetic as well. I was thrilled to ride with my spin instructor and her husband yesterday....maybe next year FreddyBeachPete can come down too. I will definitely do the ride again next year.

We are very fortunate to have the hill country to ride through on a regular basis. From San Antonio to Austin is some great riding on lightly traffic'd roads for the most part. The organizers did a great job finding us some great roads to ride on both days.

Overnight is in San Marcos at Texas State....we grabbed a hotel room as my dorm days are fond memories and that is where I am trying to keep them. Got to have dinner with mom instead of the dinner party associated with the ride so that was great too.

Tomorrow starts week 2 of the Ironman Arizona training plan. The journey continues. See you at the finish line.

Friday, May 29, 2009

This is week one

This is week one of Ironman Arizona training. I can't believe the plan has begun. I started my training plan with the CapTexTri Olympic on Monday. A long 50 mile ride tomorrow for Tour de Cure with another ride on Sunday of probably 25 since I have some family's my daughter's birthday.

By the way....SHE GOT A JOB....SHE GOT A JOB....SHE GOT A JOB....she is gainfully employed full time as of 3 weeks from now. I am very proud of her and looking forward to watching this next step in her life.

So, it is up early tomorrow for the Tour de Cure and then up early again on Sunday for the second part of the ride.

More to follow....and as always, see you at the finish line.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Deja Vu all over again...timewise

CapTexTri done today....Olympic distance....three thousand did either Oly, Sprint or MyFirstTri. This year's time was 15 seconds faster than last years with light training. I really felt undertrained going into this one but I got through it. I pr'd the swim, rode almost the same ride as last year (even with a course change with a couple of short but very steep hills) and then a warming run. It was about 85 degrees when we finished so much cooler than last year and much less humid. I feel very good right now. A little sleepy from the 4am wakeup but okay regardless. Getting ready to run an errand at Lowe's and then grab some dinner.

Friday, May 22, 2009


Tapering for the CapTexTri....well, you really have to train to taper. My training has not been really structured so far this year but that is about to change. Monday really kicks off my season....more to come on that subject.

Planning to swim tonight but the pool was closed due to lightning. An hour and forty five minute spin class in the morning, then off on Sunday and race Monday. Should be a fun weekend.

I said this last year but if you have never done the CapTexTri, it is one you should try to get to sometime. It is a great race, in a great city. I just wish we raced on Sunday to have Monday as a recovery day but apparently it is easier to close the streets on Monday.

See you at the finish line.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Graduation Day

Yesterday was graduation day for my daughter. It was a wonderful day with grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins. We all had a celebratory lunch and then Debbie and I packed Taylour up and she came home to "job-seeking central".

I am back to training after a nice Mother's Day with my mom, wife and daughter. What a great day.

I am 2 weeks and one day away from CapTexTri and I am not really well trained yet. I have taken it pretty easy so I don't overdo it before Ironman Arizona and get burned out. I am just planning to enjoy the day....I know I will pay on the run.

IM plan starts Memorial Day - the same day as CapTexTri.

Happy Mother's Day.
See you at the finish line.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Watching Swimmers

Watching others....I try to realize their mistakes but focus on the really good form swimmers, subconsciously I hope their effortless swimming burns into my brain so that I can be more fluid. I swam this morning early and was finishing up as another guy was in the pool...I watched him struggle and struggle and realized it was silly to sit and watch him. He came to a stop - yes a stop - to breathe, and then tried to get himself going. I really wanted to recommend that he get a lesson or two but didn't think it was my place. I am not a great swimmer as we all know but I looked like Ryan Lochte compared to him....made me smile....notice I didn't say Michael Phelps....he's a pothead....LOL!

I went to pilates class tonight with Debbie and I think the old abs will be sore tomorrow...I really need to work on my core and maybe this is the way to try to consistently do it.

Have a great week and I will see you at the finish line.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

May week to graduation

My daughter graduates from college in one week.....I cannot believe seems like only yesterday we dropped her off at college and next week she graduates.


There is absolutely nothing I would change about her college experience....she made some mistakes.....haven't we all.....but those shape her and make her into the amazing young woman she is....

Of course, I am probably a bit biased.....just a bit....

See you at the finish line.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter

Had a great week of training. I am really ready to get it ramped up again. I have intentionally kept this spring pretty light so I don't burn out prior to November 22. That is still a long way off.

Looks like next weekend I am going to run the Fiesta 10k on Saturday and then follow it with the Fiesta Wildflower ride on Sunday. For those of you unaware, Fiesta is just another of San Antonio's excuses to have a BIG party. And a big party it is, it runs a couple of weeks with parades, fancy balls, an oyster bake, parties all over the city, The River Parade, The Battle of Flowers Parade and another parade I can't remember the name of right now. If you work downtown, you dread the next few weeks because it can get crazy traffic.

There is even a run on one of the parade routes before the parade....I think it is about a 5k - I am planning to try to run it just to say I ran a parade route....sounded like a good idea and something fun....maybe there will be crowds along the way.

Fun 3 hours of workout yesterday and a 50 minute run today after a swim/bike brick on Friday. Trying to figure out what I want to do tomorrow.

I am looking at buying a new seat for my road bike from There policies look awesome with a 6 month money back guarantee....I have also been very pleased with the response to several email questions. I will keep you all posted.

See you at the finish line.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

CapTexTri not too far off....

Just about 7 weeks to Cap Tex Tri - one of the biggest and best in the state of Texas. If you are close to Austin or can get there, this is definitely a great tri to do. It is on Memorial Day and is run right in downtown Austin. A great triathlon.

I have been swimming quite a bit lately and riding some as well as doing some spin classes. I have kept the running pretty light trying to let the hips/gluts loosen up before I start putting bigger mileage on them again.

My daughter had her next to last college golf tournament yesterday and today - they finished second. I can't believe she is 4 weeks from graduation. Just the other day she was......oh wait, that's a dad thing.

Shortly I will be beginning the IM training plan for IMAZ. I have friends doing IMCdA and they are all over long rides while I am doing almost nothing....I feel bad but I don't think they are going to worry about me during my long rides/runs in Sept/Oct.

Can't wait for the season to get rolling....I am doing the Fiesta Wildflower ride next weekend in San Antonio. Another well done event if you are in the area.

See you at the finish line.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I'm back....

It has been a while since I have posted....several weeks actually. Seems the world has gotten in the way. I will be back regularly to update with a minimum of brief posts and some longer stories as they apply.

I have also noticed we are getting some more regular podcasts posted can tell the season is on the way.

Here's a few of the podcasts I should check them out too:
Tacboy and Bigun
Zen and the Art of Triathlon
The Age Grouper
Tri Talk
Running at the center of the universe
Average Bloke Triathlon
Tri the Mango
Imultisport radio

if you have some others, let me know in a comment....always looking for something new to listen to.....


Sunday, March 1, 2009

Windy Cowtown

We went to Ft Worth for The 2009 Cowtown Marathon this weekend. My brother was running his first marathon and I wanted to be there to be supportive. I had planned to run with him from time to time throughout the day and was able to do that as planned.

I had laid out a logistic plan with turn by turn directions for my wife and daughter so they could drop me off at one spot and pick me up at another and then we would shuttle ahead a couple of miles to await his arrival. This worked really well except for once and it is how we went around the course.

The start was at 7:30am which sounded great...temps supposed to be in the upper thirties....well, they were in the lower thirties and the wind was HOWLING...blowing about 15-20 with some gusts over was pretty well brutal. It was supposed to climb to the 50s in temperature but I don't think it ever got there - if it did, it was overshadowed by the wind. At one point, we almost stopped - okay, we weren't running that fast but still - we almost stopped.

His nutrition plan worked very well, he was slightly dehydrated about mile 22 or 23 but he took some more water and really didn't seem to suffer any. The last mile or so into downtown was downwind so that was really nice. I had been cold all day and it seemed warmer running with the wind.

A great finish line for him. A wonderful achievement. His first half in November and a full mary in February. Congratulations to him.

It was a surprise, he didn't know we were coming. We decided to catch him about mile 3 and I was planning to run about a mile and a half with him that time (more on that in a minute). So we are standing out in the cold wind watching these folks run by with my wife and daughter wearing out a cowbell and yelling their guts out. They were having then we see Bruce approaching and I started to cross out into the field (it was a relatively small marathon crowd wise) to join up with him for a he tells me he was running along thinking wow, that is really cool that someone got up early on a cold Saturday to come out here and ring a cowbell and yell for people and ooooh, the neighbors may not like how loud that cowbell is this early and look at that, that guy is going to get in big trouble running out of the crowd like that....hey he looks like my brother, holy crap, that is my brother - so when he got over that shock, then he realized that was his sister in law and niece ringing that silly bell - needless to say, he was very surprised.

So I ran with him about thirteen and a half miles around mile 3, 8, 12, 17, and 21 to the finish...each run from one to two and half miles up to 22 and then I ran with him the rest of the way peeling off right before the finishing chute.

It was a great day even with the wind. I had a nice run too.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Sounds a little fishy

I got back in the pool this week. For the first time since October. I don't really want to say that I know that much about swimming but I swam 1500 meters today in a time that was only one minute slower than my 1500 meter time last year. So, I guess for me, my swim is always about the same no matter how much swimming I do - I think I will continue to swim but not stress about working that much on my time. It confirms my theory that so little time is spent in the water relatively speaking, that it is not worth the investment to speed up when you are not a gifted and talented swimmer.

As I have said many times, my swim speed is "on". I am either swimming or not...that is it. I think to open my swim time and improve it dramatically would take a LOT of time and effort. It seems that the time would be much better spent on the bike and/or the run.

Strangely enough, last year I realized just how much I liked the long swims. They really let me disassociate and zone out and go.

I also ran 6 miles today. My longest run in a month. I have been a bit of a slug since the marathon....but I have been riding and going to spin class.

See you at the finish line.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Riding Weekend....

It was a great holiday weekend. A couple of great rides and a wonderful Sunday off. It was my first Sunday off from trianing in quite some time. What a nice break.

I am beginning to ramp up the short work for the CapTexTri on Memorial Day in May. If you are anywhere close to Texas and you have never done this race, do yourself a favor and go register right now.....stop reading....go is a big, well-run event. You should be there.

Planning the calendar for the year is taking some work since there are a lot of LONG workouts for an IM. I love to do know, someone else carrying the water is cool.

In case you are unaware, I am doing the Janus Charity Challenge during IMAZ raising money for the Lance Armstrong Foundation - one of my employees is going through chemo, my mom is a survivor and my dad, father in law and mother in law all died of cancer. Additionally, I am going to carry a list of names of cancer survivors and victims with me during Ironman Arizona - they will help get me through 140.6. If any of you have names of anyone you would like to add to the list, please email me at

Finally, if you are compelled to make a donation and would like the link to my site, it is

Thanks for considering a donation....see you at the finish line,

Saturday, February 7, 2009

San Antonio Stock Show Stampede

Ran the San Antonio Stock Show Stampede this morning. A warm, humid morning for a 4 mile fund-raising run. The proceeds go to provide scholarships for kids affiliated with the rodeo. They have given $87 million for college tuition over the years and the goal this year is over $8,000,000. The run was pretty simple, no fancy aid stations - just water at one and water and gatorade at the other. A cowboy breakfast after the run and what made it complete???? A cold Lone Star Beer!!! It was an early beer, even for me.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

A new season...

So, it's been a while since I posted anything, it's also been a while since I have done anything too. But I am ready....ready to kick up the activity and the season.

So it looks like the plan for the year goes like this....
1. Running several miles, from time to time, with my brother in his first marathon.
2. Lifetime indoor triathlon
3. CapTexTri - hopefully it is not as hot as last year
4. TriItInSpanish
5. Jack's Generic Tri
6. The Austin Triathlon
7. A Half Iron in here about this time
8. IMAZ....wooohoooo

I am sure I will stick another sprint or two in here and hopefully some organized rides.....I really like someone else to carry my water.

Looks like it will be a full season.

Two races already planned for 2010: Disney half marathon with Sherpa will be her first half marathon. Also, the Texas Independence Relay...a 200 mile team relay in March. Should be a fun next 14 months or so....welcome aboard for the ride.

It will be mid-70s here all weekend with lows in the 60s, so it is outside runs and

See you at the finish line.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Pics or it didn't happen...right?

Finish Line...26.2

Houston Marathon 2009....what a day...

Temperature was mid 60s before 6am with pretty high humidity - it is Houston you know - and it warmed up into the mid 70s. Pretty hot for me to be pounding concrete for 5.5 hours...well, 5:28 to be exact...

I woke up about 3:30, laid around until 4:45 or so and then finally got up to get the day started. A bagel, peanut butter and a gel started the day. The gel was apple cinnamon - my favorite, it tastes like apple pie - thanks, Hammer. We left the hotel about 5:45, Taylour ready to run the 1/2 and Mark, Ray and I ready (??) to run the full marathon....a first for all of us. As an aside here, the three of us talked at dinner on Saturday night, I asked if they were nervous, they both said yes and asked if I was, I said, "no not nervous, I am SCARED". We walked outside and quickly realized we would not need long sleeves or jackets or stocking caps or gloves, even standing around before the was plenty warm.

National anthem, prayer, wheelchair start, elite start and then....SHOWTIME! Off we go - Mark and I started together but got separated within a couple of minutes - they did not really corral the start - it was one elite wave and then the rest. The first few miles were congested and difficult to get into a regular rhythm but the feeling of getting off to a cruising start was very good. My heart rate was low and under control...after the pre-race heart pounding acceleration prior to the start...once we got moving it settled down. The crowd was amazing - there were spectators ALL along the course - they spread out a little after the half runners turned back toward town - that was about mile 8 or 9 - I had been watching the returning 1/2 runners for Taylour but hadn't seen her - so when I got to the edge of the turnaround, I looked back and yelled Go Taylour as loud as I could - another runner asked me if I saw who I was yelling at - I replied no, but I know she was out there somewhere, either I missed her or she was still on her way to the turnaround but I was supporting her. The I realized I still had 18 or so miles to go...bummer, dude - that's a long way. There were bands along the way including a Blues Brothers act that was great, a spectator dressed up like Winnie the Pooh - he was old - that was a little There was also a banana (there is always a running banana, right?), Elvis impersonators, a freakin' HUGE Saint Bernard, an Old English Bulldog, a Minister blessing runners with Holy Water, two different bagpipers and a LOT of concrete.

The course was basically MinuteMaid Park start, go a little north, then west to Rice University, then through West University to the Galleria, along the Post Oak/Galleria area (can't believe they closed those roads), down through Tanglewood, and then through Memorial Park back to downtown.

I felt really good at the halfway point considering my hips had been giving me trouble since mile 3 or so, they were tightening up...seems to be an issue where the gluteous maximus attaches with the gluteous minimus....likely that I have too much gluteous maximus. I was running under a 12 minute pace at that time and felt pretty good about that. My pre-race goal was just to finish, but we all know that is crap, we try to come up with some estimate. I was hoping for 5:15 but would be pleased under 5:30. I am not a fast all. I hooked up with the 5:15 pace group about mile 18, I had actually been in front of them but was starting to fade. The miles from about 15 to about 18 seemed to go on FOREVER...I still felt good and the attitude was strong but I was slowing. When the pace group caught up, I decided to run with them for a while. They were doing a 5/1 run/walk strategy and they were great. Rick was one of the leaders, it was his 70th marathon...I told him at the end of the day, we would have 71 between us. He made sure I knew not to stress about time, just to finish. I carried the balloons on a stick (2 x 4-5 inch balloons on a 1/4 inch dowel) for about 5 minutes and thought I was carrying a bridge column...that thing was heavy...LOL! and it wasn't aero either. I got rid of it as soon as someone else said they would carry it....thanks, Julie (I think that was your name - if not, I apologize for forgetting).

Then the muscle behind my left knee began to assert itself. It had been nagging at me for a few miles but at about mile 20 it was not to be denied. It knotted up like a monkey's fist knot. It hurt if I walked, it hurt if I ran, it hurt if I stopped for a few seconds to rub it. I thought beer was about the only cure so the faster I got to beer the better, so I ran as much as I could. The grind through Memorial Park was beautiful, with great spectators who were shouting encouragement all the way but it was a grind. About mile 23, I cruised into a "Try our water" aid station and looked up to see Mark about 20 yards in front of it looked like I would have a Partner In Pain (at least for a little while). We continuously did the math to try to make the 5:30 number. Running when we could, walking when we had to...and then there was BEER - like an oasis in the desert....over to the left....spectators handing out small cups of BEER...the elixir of all things....

Shortly after the beer, we spotted Mark's wife by the side of the road, it was not an alcohol induced hallucination, it really was Patty so she started walking with us and I had to run or my hips were going to lock up - about 10-15 stride up, Mark yells for me to wait, he had been getting cold so he was going to run too. We ran a while and looked over on the sidewalk to see Patty even with us...she had easily kept up as we ran. She came back onto the road with us and from there on she ran when we ran until we got almost to the finish line. We were running a block, walking a block at the end, unless there was a camera of course, in which case we ran for sure. I saw Debbie and Taylour right before the finish line so that was cool too. Crossing that line with Mark was really a special moment. We have done a lot of this endurance training "together" with him in Ft Worth and me in San Antonio so it was neat to cross the line together (Ray "The Rabbit" had finished earlier and was laying on the floor of the convention center relaxing at this time).

I really believe "it takes a village" to accomplish something like this....Thanks go to my wife for her support and understanding of long runs and painful legs, to my daughter who never laughed at "the old man" when he was going to do a triathlon or marathon - and congratulations to her on finishing her first half marathon during her senior year in college. She is quite an inspiration to me to have the discipline to train for an endurance event while in college..... Taylour, You Rock! To all the volunteers, there's no race without you - thank you for giving your time. Many of you gave a whole day and while I couldn't thank all of you, I did try to thank as many as possible. Spectators - WOW...whole neighborhoods were out in their front yards (maybe because they couldn't get their car out, but I am going with the idea they wanted to see You all were great. If you yelled, "go Bryan" and I didn't acknowledge it, please forgive me...there were moments when I was in my own little cocoon of shock and awe...a pain cave if you will, and I just may have missed it, but you all took me on your shoulders and helped get me through 26.2 miles....actually 26.36 according to Garmin...but I got the medal....and some more beer.

What a day....I have already been asked, "will you do another?" - I don't know about a stand alone marathon, I know I will do another 26.2 at Ironman Arizona in November but that is for another, it's about recovery.

Thanks again for coming along on this ride....

See you at the finish line.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Marathon Time

Well, it is here. Finally.... Marathon time.

Race report to come....

My finish line awaits.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Less than a week...

Next Sunday is my first marathon ever. I know it will be a long day. I did 6 miles today and was thinking the whole way about going long. It was a nice change of thought pattern for me. You see, I work for a major financial instition, in the brokerage arm and things have been really tough for a while. It's been that way for anyone in the financial services industry.

It has been great to have fitness and training as a distraction from the realities of stress of the real world. So for anyone out there with a lot of stress in their life......start training for some event and it will change your outlook.

Train for some event - I find I have to have something on the calendar or it is very easy to bag a workout quite regularly. If I have a finish line approaching, it seems much easier to stay disciplined. If you need encouragement, just let me know, I will ping you from time to time to keep you moving....remember, it is all about that first step out the door.

See you at the finish line...

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Sayonara 2008

What a long, strange trip it has been.

I have to say I am very pleased 2008 is officially in the books. It was a tough year professionally and personally. However, even though it was a tough year, it was also one that saw fitness remain in front of me regularly. I continued my streak of never arriving at a race over-trained. It seems every time I got close to one of my A races, I had some nagging injury or a cold or something. Regardless, I made it through every race I had planned so I am thankful for the accomplishment.

A quick review of the big 2008 deals for me...
~ Ran my first half marathon
~ Did my first Olympic triathlon
~ Did my first organized 43 mile bike ride
~ Did my first 70.3 triathlon

And....signed up for Ironman Arizona in November of 2009. Training starts soon, but first, there's a little issue of 26.2 miles of a marathon in a couple of weeks...16 days to be exact. What was I thinking?

Should be a fun 2009....see you at the finish line.