Happy Late Thanksgiving–So Much to be Thankful For!

2013 has been a year of tremendous personal growth and physical growth.  It was something I really wasn’t expecting.  I’m going to start with I’m thankful for my health, my family, my friends, and all that have supported me and given me inspiration this year.  I’m thankful to have broken that cycle of waking up to live to go to work instead of working to live.  I’m thankful for my health that will hopefully continue to allow me to do participate in the sport of triathlon. But most of all I’m thankful that I wake up each morning.

Being a single guy in San Diego on holidays can be a bit rough.  Friends are usually with their families for the holidays and I certainly could have rode the motorcycle up to be with my family and turn around be back down here for work and training all within a 3 hour ride each way.  Six hours in one day going up through LA is hard mentally and physically so it looks like I’ll be up there for Christmas instead.  Thankfully I was able to spend the day with some friends who have become like family down here in San Diego.  It was nothing big, nothing fancy, and certainly not tables full of food waiting to be ate.  It was small, genuine, and it was all that was needed to reflect back and be thankful of your moment in time.   I even got a call from my younger brother, which was very welcome.  My relationship with my brother has been rocky the last few years and I’m always glad to hear that he’s doing ok and getting things done.  

I was able to hit up Dawn’s spin class since HTB’s Peak Finders was cancelled for Thanksgiving.  I didn’t get to do my 6 mile run so I did it this morning instead.  It wasn’t the best run but then again I’ve got to put in more miles and put in the volume to get better.  I can only hope that during that time I can make peace with running and not hate it so much.  I am learning valuable information though during the run like I burn approx. 170 calories per mile I run.  That means in a full marathon I will have burned approximately 4454 calories.  My form has improved along with my cadence but on longer runs my cadence drops and my strides increase. 

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A Look Forward to 2014–An Iron Year

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This week has been nothing short but amazing.  I ran my fasted half marathon in 2:24:50 but I wasn’t really excited about it.  I was more excited for Monday and hope that I had got into Ironman Arizona.  So much that I had called my mom and asked her to help with the sign up process (ultimately she is the one who got in.)  I figured at least one of us would get in, and I did.  Thanks mom!  Earlier in November I figured I’d enter the NYC Tri lottery to see if I’d get a spot.  I figured it was only 10 bucks so why not?  I didn’t think I’d really get in, well I did!  It’s taken me a few days to realize the importance of getting into the NYC Tri.  I thought it was more of a certain spots for sale and then a few lottery spots.  I had no clue the entire race was lottery only because of so many people wanting to get in.  So that just made me even happier to get in and have the privilege to race in New York.

March 29th, 2014 – Oceanside 70.3 Half Ironman Distance.
This race was support to be my warm up towards a full Ironman in 2015.  It was going to test my ability to go where I didn’t think I could go.  It has since changed into a stepping stone to my full Ironman in Arizona on November 16th.  It’s a local race and I couldn’t pass it up.  I knew I had to get a coach cause I didn’t know what I was doing in a long course and I needed some help.  My goal still currently is just to finish but I want to finish around 6 hours which I think is doable.  My run is my weakest and will most likely be a 2:15-2:30 half marathon at the end.   This race is starting the building blocks for the rest of the year.

June 29th, 2014 – ITU Chicago Olympic Distance
I signed up for this race cause it was in downtown Chicago and I love Chicago.  I chose the Olympic Distance cause I felt I needed to focus more on longer courses to build towards another 70.3 in the fall.  Plus Chicago is in the mid-west where I have a lot of family and friends that I can’t always get out to go see all the time.  It’s also the inaugural ITU race in Chicago which is bound to be a blast.  I’ll also get to watch the pro’s race and put my times to shame.  I am not looking forward to the cost of the trip which will most likely be 1200 bucks.

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August 3rd, 2014 – New York City Triathlon
I didn’t know this race even existed and I certainly didn’t know it was a lottery entry only because of it’s popularity.  But after watching the race video they had on their site I can see why.  You get to race along the skyline of the Big Apple and around Central Park.  I entered the lottery not expecting to win.  Well I did, and I am in so you know what that means… I’m racing the Big Apple.  This is also an Olympic Distance which will be good for my training for IMAZ and the heat and humidity will also play a role in things.  This race will be fun I can’t wait and I’ve already notified the people I know in NYC that Holley Racing is coming to town.

Flashback to the 80’s and I remember watching the Ironman in Hawaii and thinking how cool it would to do that race but it seemed impossible and something only professional athletes can do.  That was the mentality I had about Ironman’s up until 2013.  I didn’t think I could ever complete one, that I wasn’t good enough.  After being overweight for so long it seemed like it was just another dream.  But as 2013 progressed something happened inside me.  I started to believe that maybe I could complete a full Ironman.  My friends Scott and Chris both completed full Ironman’s.  Then I read a race report by a fell SD Tri Clubber Steve Smart found here.  Then I read more and more race reports from cities that I’d like to race.  The change happened inside my heart I felt the impossible become possible every time I read more race reports from every day people.  I watched the Ironman World Championships in Kona and I followed Hines Ward in his Become One series and decided I needed to do one in 2014 but which one?   I read race reports from Wisconsin, Arizona, and Cour D’Alene but I was leaning towards Wisconsin.  This would be perfect cause I have family in Wisconsin!   But there was also a large Tri Club presence going to IMAZ in 2014 so it would be great to train with fellow crazies.  Ultimately I waited too long and Wisconsin sold out so that left the stalking of the IMAZ registration page.  Thanks Mom (I really should start calling it Team Chris?)  After watching the Kona telecast and the stories and the age groupers finishing under all the odds that say they can’t.  I wanted to hear those 4 words.  “You are an Ironman”.  Stay tuned for lots of training stories as 2014 will be an exciting/boring year as I work towards achieving a long buried childhood dream.

So now that I have signed my life away for 2014 I apologize if I miss something through the year.  It takes sacrifice and priority to accomplish your goals which are always changing.  Don’t let society or your friends tell you that you can’t do something because it’s not “normal”.  This journey is going to be amazing and I’m so excited to start it come Dec. 1st with training for the Oceanside 70.3

Rock n Roll Las Vegas 13.1–Report

WP_20131119_001I signed up for the Rock n Roll Las Vegas Half back in January.  I didn’t know what the year was going to hold or how it going to play out.  I signed up because I wanted to to see how I’d improve in a year.  This year my unofficial time off my Garmin was 2:24:50 compared to 3:09:00 last year.  I am 60lbs lighter than last year and I was able to stick to my game plan.  Run the race and walk the aid stations.  On the course map they showed aid stations every mile but on actual race day they were more like every 2-3 miles.  In the days leading up to the race I was feeling mixed about it and told myself it’s the last race of a LONG 7 weeks with races on 6 of those.  I didn’t really train for this race as I was already feeling a bit exhausted.  Thankfully I’ve built a solid fitness foundation to where I was able to still PR and keep progressing forward.

 

The Race Report:  Too Many People!

Rock n’ Roll events are huge with 30K plus people.  Managing that many people can be tough but they do the best they can.  Now when I signed up back in January my time was 3+ hours so that’s what I seeded myself at.  Joanne seeded herself somewhere at 2.5 hours since she was in corral 25 and I was in 32.  I jumped up to her corral which had the 2:30 pacers.  Mentally I told myself we are going to beat them no matter what (we did).  As the race got started I expected it to be crowded the first 2-3 miles like last year.  It was and we were running on the dirt center divide because of the amount of people who were walking in groups taking up a whole half of the street.  This kind of stuff just irritates me to no end cause you’ve got people who are trying to run behind you and you’re walking in front of them.  If you want to walk the entire course seed yourself to the back of the pack or at least stay off to one of the sides.  Do not walk in a wall with your friends taking up half the street… It’s rude.  Ok back to the race.  The course runs the entire length of the strip so it’s a good flat course that keeps the energy levels high from all the support and live bands and the finish puts you at the base of The Mirage.  It still really is a fun course even with all the people.  We (Joanne and I) kept a pretty solid pace of 10:30 min/mile through the turn around and we hit mile 9 and we both said that we’re doing great and not going to walk like last year.  Last year this is where leg cramps hit me and I was stuck walking the rest of the way.  But right around mile 10 when I was passing a walker another man was doing the same thing and he stepped on the front part of my foot almost causing me to fall.  Needless to say my foot started throbbing and I wasn’t happy.  But I told myself that I wasn’t going to stop and I kept going.  Now this slowed my pace down to 11:30 miles which really pissed me off but it’s not like I could do anything.  I noticed my steps per minute decreasing as well so my form was on the way down as well.  Around mile 12 the pain in my foot was starting to become intolerable when I pushed off with it so I slowed it down to a walk for a few feet for the last final push.  It felt good to cross the finish line with a new PR by 3 minutes, especially with little to no run training.

After the Race: iI could have done another 5 miles perhaps.

After the race my right foot felt like someone dropped an anvil on it and the back side of my ankle was bleeding from the rubbing but my brain already blocked that out.  All I could really think about is that come March I will need to have completed that after swimming 1.2 miles and biking 56 miles and could I do it?   The answer is yes. 

Preparing for Las Vegas 13.1

Closing out my race season with the Las Vegas Rock and Roll Half Marathon.  I signed up for this race back in January before I knew what this year was going to hold.  Last year I completed the course with a time of 03:07:47.  Right around mile 9 I was having severe cramping in my quads and had to walk the last 3-4 miles.  Inside this was a low point for me, I’d never been able to run an entire half marathon without cramping at mile 8 or 9.  I thought really hard about if I wanted to even keep doing these since I really did hate running.  So I told myself if I wanted to do it next year I need to sign up early and save a few bucks.  So here I am a few days away and a different person.  I’ve ran 2 half marathons this year, 4 sprint triathlons (1 swim relay), 1 Olympic triathlon, a few 5K’s, a swim race and a bike race.  The only triathlon without a podium finish was the ITU in April.  While I haven’t touched a podium in any running event and probably won’t, it’s just not a goal.

So what is my goal for this race?  Have fun and run 10 min miles.  My pace at Las Vegas last year was 14:20 per/mile. At San Diego in June was 12:08 pre/mile, and Utah Valley was 11:17 per/mile.  In just 6 months I’ve shaved 3 min’s off my mile.  During all that time I didn’t have any concept of running or mechanics, but now I’ve taken a quick clinic on running and improved quite a bit of my mechanics on running and was able to bring my 5K times down to 28:11 at 9:04 per/mile.  So that brings us to my 13.1 pace and what should I run.  I am setting a goal pace of 10 min miles.  Honestly if I stick to my 8:1 run/walk I might be able to hit 9:30 second miles but I’m not going to sweat 6 minutes.  I’ve had a race basically every weekend since September 22nd’s Tri Rock San Diego so I’m a little burned out but I still need to have some goals for the race.  I feel that 10 minute miles is a decent pace for me but my biggest challenge will be nutrition.  Staying hydrated and fueled have been a pretty big downfall for me.  I realized one thing from my Utah Valley Half though and that’s keep a water bottle with you that you can take sips from as well as use GU.  This year I’m adding saltsticks to my plan though.  Since I sweat so freaking much, even when it’s cold I think I need to keep these on hand.  I’m not too worried about carb loading since I have a lot of stored energy and I’ve been doing a lot of my running fasted so that I can get my body used to burning fat for fuel.  I have 1 solid Peak Finders training series on Thursday then it will be an easy run Friday morning and Saturday morning probably just a 5K.

Bring on Las Vegas!