Sunday, July 31, 2016

Ironman Lake Placid - Worth Every Dollar (And There Were Many Dollars Spent)

"Cause it's a bittersweet symphony, this life
 Try to make ends meet
 Try to find some money then you die
 I'll take you down the only road I've ever been down
 You know the one that takes you to the places
 Where all the things meet yeah"
Bittersweet Symphony - The Verve

Let me first say, if you ever plan to race Ironman Lake Placid, put more money away than you think you will need to make the trip very feasible. It was well worth it but it is an expensive trip & I am not talking about the entry fee alone. In all, if I were to sit down & calculate expenses for the trip (counting entry fee), it will be close to $2000+ for a four night stay & race but it was worth every penny!

When I returned to triathlons 4 years ago, I can say, I doubted whether or not I would return to the Ironman distance. I have competed at the Hawaii Ironman World Championships in 1995 & 97 with one finish of 10:33 in 1995 & a DNF in 1997. While I tried to convince myself over the years, I always knew I was not fine with DNF in 1997 & I did have to eventually return to 140.6. At the time of my return to triathlons, there were still a few 70.3 triathlons that you could qualify for Kona & I honestly believed that would be the only way I would return the the 140.6 distance & Kona. But shortly after my return to triathlons, Ironman changed that & the only real way to qualify was at a 140.6.

Fuck, what the hell were they thinking!?!?!?

Could I handle the possibility of 2 Ironman distance races in one year?

At the same time, I was thinking that I can't let my last 140.6 (regardless of race) be a DNF. So after some coaxing, I registered for Ironman Lake Placid. Here is my race report:

Ironman Lake Placid

The swim is two times around a 1.2 mile loop in Mirror Lake. After the first loop, you exit the lake & run about 15-20 yards on the beach & return to the water for loop 2. Unlike almost every triathlon I have competed, the swim is not set up in waves by age group. It is self seeding with corals similar to some of the major marathons. The corals were set up in 10 minute increments. Feeling realistic about my swim, I positioned myself in the 1:01-1:10 group. The first loop was quite chaotic & crowded and it seemed impossible to get a steady rhythm going until I turned the 2nd red buoy to return to the swim start. Even though I expected to see a slower time, I exited the 1st loop at 34:24, so all is not lost yet. The 2nd loop felt much easier as the crowds had thinned a little. It was easy to get a good rhythm and maintain it for the entire loop. The time for my 2nd loop was 34:36, so I pretty much even split the swim. While not as fast as I had hope, I was on land so the real race can begin!

T1 - 6:24

As expected, the 112 mile bike course is the toughest bike course I have tackled in a race. Over the two loops, each competitor was challenged by 6000+ feet of climbing! As challenging as the course sounds, I will admit....I LOVED IT!!! Exiting T1, after that slow swim, I knew it was time to fly! I quickly got a good rhythm on downhill out of transition & carried the momentum into the climb out of Lake Placid. Quickly, I started passing competitors & never looked back. So many times on the climb, I wanted to tell some of the competitors it is much easier to climb out of the aerodynamic tuck! It boggles my mind that triathletes continue to attempt to grind up a hill in the tuck! Sometimes it took a lot of restraint to not snicker as I went by them. After the climb, there was a fun & fast descent into Keene where I topped out at 45 mph! With a little more mass, I think I could have easily topped 50mph but I will trade that mass for the killing the climbs & dropping the other riders. The middle portion of the loop was flat to gradual grade climbs. The final 13-15 miles of each loop were the toughest as you headed back into Lake Placid. On the return, you had to tackle the 3 Bears which was a combined 3 climbs over 2.2 miles. After all was said & done, I covered the 112 miles in 5:24:28/ 20.71mph , moving from 430th  to 79th overall. I crushed that course!

T2 - 4:57

Entering T2, my body felt very nourished & hydrated but in the back of my mind I was thinking about how the legs will respond to the climbing of the bike course. The 2 loop run course would add another 1,184 feet of climbing to the day.  My plan for the run was simple, keep heart rate between 148-155. The exit out of T2 & onto the course is a downhill out of town leading you to the early climbs. The legs loosened up very quickly over the first few miles of the run. I settled into a good heart rate & was taking on fluids at each aid station. I started the run with 4 gels attached to my belt with plans to take them at certain parts as practiced in my training. Leading up to an aid station near mile six, I took my first gel out of my belt & water at the aid station. Over the next few miles everything seemed to be rolling along until when I reached for the next planned gel in between aid stations........When I reached for the gel, I realized that at some point between mile 6 & mile 10 all of gels had fallen out of my belt & I still had another mile + till the next aid station. I did not panic as I thought it really was not that far till the aid station. Once I got to the next aid station, I made a point to walk through & attempt to play catch up on the nutrition. I was able to hold things together through the 1st loop with the only minimal walking at aid stations only. The 2nd loop was not as pretty as the first. Miles 13-18 were a combined run/walk but was still holding 9:15-20 per mile. Playing catch-up was not working & miles 19-24 was where the death march was in full effect! Regardless, throughout this stretch, one thing was for certain......finish & hear the call "You are an Ironman"! During this stretch, there was more walking than running but there were a lot of people doing the same but I kept telling myself.....Death before DNF!!! Watching others do all they can to finish kept me motivated to achieve the ultimate goal of finishing. Around mile 24, my body started to feel better & I was able to run the remainder of the course. In all, the combo run/death march took 4:11:44 dropping me 148th overall of the 2700 competitors who started.

Overall 10:56:36 -148 of 2700 competitors

I will admit that I am very hard on myself about my results even when most people think what I accomplished was good. At the same time, while results were not perfect, I am very happy with my  result from Ironman Lake Placid. First, I accomplished the ultimate goal of finishing a 140.6 distance race after years of never thinking I would tackle that distance again & erasing the DNF,in my mind, from 1997. Something even bigger for me was the ability to adjust goals throughout the race & not give up because it was not the perfect race. To many people gave me their utmost support & well wishes to give up because it was not the perfect day. And if you really think about it, a race of this nature, how often will you have that perfect race. I can also say that even without the issues on the run, I was not going to qualify for Kona on this day as the top 3 competitors in my age group broke 10 hours...WOW!!!

What's next?

The remainder of this season will be filled with 4-6 sprint or olympic distance races. So far this season, I have only raced twice & I am itching to race. I may potentially race a sprint this weekend & the next. Obviously the training volume will be reduced & workouts will be  at a minimum until 100% but this past week my legs seemed to return to normal a little each day. Over these next two weeks, the sprint races will be considered my workouts.

My focus for 2017 will be on the 70.3 distance & qualifying for the Ironman 70.3 World Championships, which are returning to the US in 2017. At this point, my plan is to return to the 140.6 distance in 2018. One I need to save up money for it & secondly, at my age, not sure I want to be putting my body through this every year!

Major 70.3's for 2017 are yet to be determined at this point..........

Stay tuned.......

"I am an Ironman" (Again)

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Race Week Is Here! Trust In The Process.

"Where is my mind
 Where is my mind
 Where is my mind
 Way out in the water
 See it swimmin' "

Where is my mind? Placebo cover of Pixies

Well, here it is.....5 days until Ironman Lake Placid!

Hay is in the barn!

Taper is in full swing!

And in typical triathlete panic mode thinking.......I look back on my training and think.....

Should I have gone gluten free or even paleo...can't decide!
Should I have given up sweets!
Should I have given up soda!
Should I have given alcohol!
Should I have given up coffee sooner!

OK.......Now you know I was being sarcastic when I mentioned coffee! Plus the "no more alcohol" would have to start after I finish the beer in my hand (original draft written last night!). Plus I am not sure how safe it would be for all I know if I were to cut coffee and beer completely! 

Going into the final 7 days, I feel confident in my training, especially the final 7 weeks of Ironman training. After what I feel was an up and down first 7-8 weeks of 2016, the final 18 weeks of training leading up to Ironman Lake Placid has been my best stretch of training since my return to triathlons 4 years ago. More than ever I followed the mantra of training smarter not harder and many might think I am under-trained or under-raced going into this week.  

My longest workouts in each discipline have been: 3500 yard swim/ 95 mile bikes (22.2mph - 2198 ft of climbing)/ 20 mile run (8:00 per mile). Aside for the swim, I practiced proper nutrition during the the long bike and run as from experience, nutrition is the key at event that will be as long as an Ironman. For example, my 20 mile run was set so I completed 1 loop three times. As I began each successive loop, I would grab a water bottle with a Cliff Gel (course nutrition) taped to it at to ensure my stomach could tolerate the gel while running. While biking, my Garmin is set to beep every 5 miles signaling it is time to consume! 

My biggest weekly totals during training were 7750 yards of swimming, 220 miles of bicycling and 47 miles of running, but not always in the same week. My highest weekly totals in mileage volume & duration were 259 miles and 17 hours and 34 minutes. Having trained and competed in two Hawaii Ironman World Championships (95 & 97), I learned it is train smarter not harder. As a coach myself, I also understand that the endurance from all three is a cumulative effect, thus the no covering race distance in any training session.

Here are my training numbers leading up to Ironman Lake Placid:

18 Weeks of Serious Ironman Training
Bike - 2719 miles/ 133.34 hours/ 20.39 mph
Run - 567 miles/ 75.57 hours/ 8:00 per mile
Swim - 70 miles/ 33.27 hours
Total - 3356 mile/ 242.18 hours
Per Week - 186.44 miles/ 13.45 hours
(Bike - 151 miles/ Run - 31.5 miles/ Swim - 3.89 miles)

Training Totals Since May 30th (6 Weeks Hard & 1 Taper Week before this week) 
Bike - 1253 miles/ 61.99 hours/ 20.21 mph/ 43727ft of climbing (6246.71 per week)
Run - 222 miles/ 29.61 hours/ 8:00 per mile/ 2038ft of climbing
Swim - 28.5 miles/ 13.24 hours
Total - 1503.5 miles/ 104.94 hours
Per Week - 214.79 miles/ 14.99 hours
(Bike - 179 miles/ Run - 31.71 miles/ Swim - 4.07 miles)

My goal is to not just finish this Ironman but to race this Ironman. Not sure if that will be this weekend or if I am still another good year of training away, but my ultimate goal still remains the same ever since I returned to triathlons four years ago......Get back to Kona! Aside from possibly my last trip to Kona in 1997, I just might be in the best triathlon shape of my life (even at my old age)! But as anybody who has competed in an Ironman distance race, so many things can happen in an event that will take as long as this one. One must be ready to mentally adjust goals and aspirations as the day unfolds. But if everything goes perfectly, you never know what the results will bring.......

Whatever the day brings, I am looking forward to hearing that call of "You are an Ironman"

But hopefully at my goal time!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

I'm Back! Race Report & 26 Days Till Ironman Lake Placid

"Be running up that road,
 Be running up that hill,
 With no problems."
Running Up That Hill - Placebo (Kate Bush - Original)

Holy Crap!!!!

Where does the time go? I can recall shortly after the start of the new year, I changed the blog page to the theme of training for Ironman Lake Placid and here it is just 27 days till race day and my lazy ass has not posted once. Most are probably happy that I have not bored you over the past 5 months with my monotonous daily training regimen!! 

Others may wonder with all that training I do, how can I be considered lazy? Here is how.... First, aside from my training, I am a self-admitted lazy person. I am that person who will drive around to find the closest parking spot to the grocery store. I have a Mio Global Fuse (which tracks my steps) and except for running days, I am lucky if I get 4000-5000 steps a day! My go to defense........I do enough biking, swimming and running that should cut me some slack on the laziness! 

Now it does not explain my laziness with the blog posting.

Have I been training? Yes!

Have triathletes broken some of my unwritten rules of things not to do? Oh hell yeah! Including myself!

Have more stupid professional athletes been caught doping? Unfortunately, still way too many of them for me to ridicule!

Have I thought at times....."Man it has been a while since I have blogged?" Hey, what a surprise, another Yes!

Now, I did manage to get off my lazy ass  to race this past weekend at the Millheim Sprint Triathlon. The race consisted of a 300 yard pool swim, 15.3 bike and 3.1 mile run.

The swim consisted of 2 lengths per each of the 6 lanes with swimmer taking off at 30 second increments. Unfortunately, even though being in 4:15-20 shape, I had to start after all pre-registered and seeded swimmers as the timer had already seeded them. So based on my number I would be the 56th swimmer to start. This made for a fun swim as I had to navigate swimmers and even passed as many as 3 swimmers on some lengths. In the end, I tap the final wall at 4:48 but somehow when results were posted I had the 4th fastest swim.

The run from the pool to the bike was at least 200 yards and my transition was 2:02.

The 15.3 mile bike was basically flat for the first 8 miles with hills over the next 5 miles with a 2 mile downhill to flat return to transition. Once on the bike my mindset was on hammering and seeing how much ground on could make up on those that started well before me. I also knew in the back of my mind that starting 18 minutes after the 1st person, catching everybody would be impossible but it would not hurt to try! I finished the 15.3 mile ride in 40:09 or 22.9 mph. It was the top bike split of the day.

The actual 5K run started at the pool area so my transition time was 1:45.

Once again, not knowing exactly where everybody was I just ran steady off the bike. About a half mile into the run I passed the 1st returning triathlete who started well before me. In my head, I kept trying to figure out how much in front of me and how much time I needed to make up to beat him. While still trying to figure this out, my focus was running down people and passing them all the way to line. In the end, I covered the 3.1 mile in 21:07 or 6:48 per mile. The run was an out and back course with a few small climbs. While I may not have felt fast on the run, I felt incredibly strong and steady given all my training for Ironman Lake Placid. It was the 2nd fastest run split of the day.

Total time 1:09:53.96 - 1st Place Overall

Now back to Ironman Lake Placid Training!

1st Overall Prize - Growler of choice at Elk Creek Brewery

Sunday, September 13, 2015

As They Say ....Better Late Than Never! (OK...Was Just A Tad Lazy!)

"Knights in white lighting shot out of the remote
  They said stand and be reckoned, I begged please, let me go
  They said uh-uh, no way, you've gotta come true
  We can't let you run away"
 "Fields Of Coal" by And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead

At least I am not as bad as the last race report....2 weeks late on that one!!! 

Beware of Barracuda Sprint Triathlon - September 6

A typical start to race day.....4:00AM wake up! 

I had just over an hour drive to the race so had to get up that early with the 7:00AM gun time for the start of the race. The race itself was contested all within the property of Eagle Rock Resort in Hazleton, PA. 

Travel mug filled with coffee...time to roll! 

I arrive at the race site and it is still Dark!!! Having less and less daylight each day is quite depressing! At least 15-20 minutes after arriving at race it was light enough to set up transition.

Transition set up...Go time!!! 

Swim - 750 meters
Going into this race, I was a little nervous about the swim. Now I know I have enough endurance to finish the swim but was not sure how fast I might be. Due to working a running camp the week after Challenge Pocono and pool closure at the university, I only swam two days in the three days leading up to the race and they were the Thursday and Friday before the race. All to report on the swim is I felt very strong the entire swim and came out in very good position. Now the swim time I am about to post includes a 150-200 meter run to transition where you crossed the timing mat.

Swim: 14:02 - 9th fastest

Bike - 15 miles
The bike was a two loop course with a couple of decent climbs but had plenty of flats and downhill to open it up. The first 3-4 miles was a little congested as it was one of the faster portions of the loop and included a 180 degree turn on a very narrow road Thankfully, after the u-turn, four of us started to distance the crowd up a long steady hill. I still shake my head at the number of triathletes who think they can take these climbs in their aerodynamic tucks! WTF? In all the bike had 754 feet of climbing. On the second loop of the bike, it remained the four of us off the pack. First place had a bit on the 2nd and 3rd, who I kept about 15-20 seconds in front of me. Bike done and running into to transition I can see 2nd and 3rd putting on their running shoes! Have a shot at an overall podium!

Bike: 41:04 - 3rd fastest (20 seconds off top bike time - the gap I maintained the entire 2nd loop)
T2:  :39

Run - 3.1 miles
The legs felt good going into the run. I was not sure what to expect in terms of turnover coming off Challenge Pocono and heading straight into the running camp. I felt string over the flat first 1.25 miles but I did not feel fast and I was not making up ground on the leaders. There was a 180 degree turn just before the mile so I could gauge how I was doing against the runners chasing and assured that at least they were not gaining on me. From 1.25 to just before the 2 mile mark was a downhill portion with yet another 180 degree turn to head home. I passed 1st, 2nd and 3rd on my way down and realized they looked as string as I felt so making up ground on them was going to be tough. But about halfway up the hill, I started passing runners headed down and was motivated by the fact I was pulling away from them. Just finish it strong, No letting up regardless of finishing position!

Run: 20:33 - 5th fastest
1:17:32.9 - 4th Overall/1st Age Group

Right now, I am just in a maintenance phase of working out. I am keeping enough volume to stay fit enough if I can be lucky enough to find a race that fits into my coaching schedule of my cross country teams. I am also taking this time to get back into a normal swimming schedule now that the pool is re-opened! I have also got back to my TRX training twice a week.

If I cannot find a race I guess this will be it for 2015 but it has been a successful year so far! I am excited to see what I can do in 2016! What full Ironman will it be???


Sunday, August 30, 2015

Challenge Pocono Mountains 70.3 - A Wee Bit Late

Just a classic from my college days that I came across so had to post!!!

Can't go wrong with Fine  Young Cannibals!

Now that I have been back in the Grove and on the grid for two weeks, it is time for my Challenge Pocono Mountains 70.3 race report!

It is two weeks late, but shortly after the Awards Ceremony for Challenge Pocono Mountains, I had a short ride to Camp Canadensis for a week at RunningWorks Running Camp. This running camp for high school is held in the Poconos where internet access and cell reception is not the best and sometimes even seems like it is non-existent! After returning to the Grove, my cross country teams at Susquehanna University returned for our preseason, making it another busy week.

So without further ado or procrastination.........

Challenge Pocono Mountains - 8/16/15

Race Morning
4:00AM- The alarms goes off and of course my initial thought is why so damn early! As I begin to mill around the hotel and get things together for the day, I turn on the television to check the weather. Unfortunately, the forecast did not change overnight......Going to be a hot one!

The forecast called for temperatures of 90 degrees with very clear skies! Oh well, it will be the same for all..... so race hard but race smart!

I leave the hotel at 4:45AM  to head to the bus shuttle pick up area to catch a ride to the transition area. All the while, I am feeling very relaxed and confident as I get on the bus to head to transition. In my head,  I know that my training for this race had been spot on and regardless of the conditions I was ready for a solid race. Within five minutes of arriving at transition, it is announced that the race start was on a 15 minute push due to fog on the river. I guess they were a little concerned about not being able to see the swimmers!! (Safety first!!!)

Transition set & wetsuit on....Time to Race

Swim -
The first stretch, maybe 400-500 meters, of the swim was upriver and if there was a current I really did not feel it. I started in the 3rd wave of the morning with all males 45 and older. For the first few buoys, I had a clear path with minimal traffic, at least until I started to catch some swimmers who started in the waves 5 and 10 minutes ahead of me. The turn to start head downriver was a little congested but quickly opened up again. Up till now the swim had been uneventful but then we hit a 100 meter stretch where we seemed to be swimming through weeds. Through this stretch, weeds were literally getting tangled in my arms and goggles. Once in a while they even managed to get in my mouth when breathing. After that it was clear sailing to the remainder of the way. I felt strong the entire swim.  Finally to beachfront and finish!
Time - 34:17 - 5th fastest in age group
T1 - 3:09 (400 meter run to Transition)

Bike -
The bike portion of the race was closed to traffic, which came in handy during the first 5 miles of the bike. We had a 5 mile climb to Rt 209 on a road that look liked it had not been paved in decades. I dodged potholes for that stretch. Once we hit 209 it was all systems go.....Big Chain Ring!  209 was a rolling course, out & back course with plenty of sections to open things up. The few rises on this stretch were mostly 1-2% grades at most. Early on during the bike, one could feel the temperature rising quickly, so Plan B was in effect given it will be very hot by time we hit the run. Plan B was very simple....race smart and utilize the heart rate and not become to obsessed with my mph. From training, I knew keeping my heart rate around 155 (+/- 3) would be optimal. Aside for taking water on at the aid stations for hydration, I also used the some of the water to pour over myself and keep my kit wet. The combination of the wet kit and the cooling breezes on the bike helped keep my core temperature from rising to high. Riding towards T2, I felt very strong and refreshed and for now it seemed Plan B was working. Over the 56 miles of the bike, there was a total of 2172 feet of climbing and I averaged 21.13mph
Time - 2:39:00 3rd fastest in age group
T2 - 2:39

Run -
Leaving T2, I kept telling myself...Plan B,Plan B, stick with Plan B! At this point, the sun and heat were baking everybody. My plan, given the conditions, was to keep my heart rate around 160bpm. The first 4 miles of the run were on a gravel path with a decent amount of shade to keep things a little cool (very little!). Over this stretch I was continually checking my heart rate to make sure I was staying at my set goal. I knew if I kept my HR around this number I could complete the 13.1 miles, running the entire way. Knowing I lose a lot of electrolytes in my sweat, I took a couple salt tablets at mile 3 & mile 8. At mile 4, they finally had sponges that I tucked into my kit to keep wet at every passing aid station. The toughest part of the run for me was around mile 7 when we neared the eventual finish line to only turn away to finish the remainder of race. At that moment, I was thinking how much nicer it would have been to have been racing the Olympic Distance race! With both races on the course at this point, it became tough at times to tell who I was passing.  But using my HR plan of 160 bpm, I can say nobody passed me! The run course was a roller coaster rid with no real flat sections after the first two miles. Hitting mile marker 12 and turning into the cottage area along the Delaware, it clicked in my head, I had achieved my goal of running the entire way! No way in hell would I walk in the last mile! I crossed the finish line feeling strong!

Time 1:39:36 - 3rd fastest in age group  
4:56:38 - 3rd in AG/ 26th OA

It may not have been the time(s) I was looking for going into the race, but I was very pleased with the results of the race. Sometimes it can be tough to alter race plans but given the conditions, racing smarter versus racing harder can be the difference between finishing and a DNF! It was the first time that I felt I had the nutrition and hydration worked out properly for a race this long especially given the hot and humid conditions.

I am still wanting to get 1-2 sprint triathlons in before the end of the season with a potential race next Sunday (Beware of Barracuda Sprint Triathlon). The focus of training the past few weeks has been on a lower volume of mileage with a little more emphasis on the quality! Once this race season is over, it will be time to sit down and truly plan next year's venture into a full Ironman distance race! As long as it does not sell out in the next few weeks, I am leaning towards Lake Placid next July! Stay tuned........

Probably the biggest thing I got out of Challenge Pocono Mountain 70.3 was  confidence to put together and execute a training plan for the 140.6 distance!

The rewards of a plan well executed!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Hay Is In The Barn (Boring Post)

And in case you didn`t know
I`ve got a heart made of chrome
It`s been burned,
but it`s still willing to try
And shine
Chrome by Matthew Ryan 

After a six week stretch of intense training......I can finally use the proverbial cliche.....

"Hay is in the barn"

13 Days till Challenge Pocono!

Yesterday's 44 mile rolling spin on the bike, through the Amish farms of Central PA, signaled the end of what I believe to be my best stretch of training leading up to an "A race", since my return to the sport of triathlon several years ago. For the first time in the past 3+ years, every workout each day  had a defined purpose and I did not feel as if I was training for the sake of training. 

Still following my plan of training using the MAF methods for the year, my focus fell more on effort and time versus distance and pace during a workout, regardless how slow my heart rate dictated I workout that day. I am very sure this is what helped me feel strong and recovered each day to tackle what most people would believe is insane training! There is a good chance that the mileage I covered the past six weeks is more that some people drive their car over the same period.

6 Week Training Totals
Bike - 29 rides/ 1083 miles/ 53.27 hours/ 20.5mph/ 30,552ft of climbing
Run - 18 runs/ 143 miles/ 19.11 hours/ 8:02 per mile/ 5445ft of climbing
Swim - 15 swims/ 16 miles/ 8.06 hours
Totals - 62 workouts/ 1242 miles/ 80.64 hours/ 35997ft of climbing
Per Week - 10.33 workouts/ 207 miles/ 13.44 hours/ 5999ft of climbing

Looking at the course profile for Challenge Pocono and knowing my past 70.3 results, my long run and ride times were based on my expected/goal times for the race. Over the six weeks, I completed 3 long runs building from 90 minutes to 97 minutes. On the bike, I completed four rides of 2 hours & 28 minutes or longer including one ride of 2 hours & 45 minutes which included 3000+ feet of climbing. As good as I have been feeling about my swim going into Challenge Pocono, I did complete steady relaxed swims of 2000 yards (30:04) and 2100 yards (32:00) for confidence. 

Maybe most importantly, I worked on my nutritional needs during the bike to ensure that I will be starting the run with enough calories for a high finish. I even completed a sweat test during on of my tempo runs to get a better plan for replenishing electrolytes during the long race, especially given it will be the middle of August when the weather can be a bit on the muggy side. 

While so many things can happen once I am on the course, as it is a lengthy race, I feel this is the best prepared for a race I have been since my return to triathlons. This stretch of training has also given me the confidence that I can finally tackle that daunting idea of full Ironman distance training and venture back into that insane race again in 2016.

Ironman race TBA at a later date!!!! Stay tuned!

Taper is officially on! (Even more scientific in approach than years past)


Sunday, June 21, 2015

Revolution - Time To Claim Back What Is Ours

"We all want to change the world
  But when you talk about destruction
  Don't you know that you can count me out"
 The Beatles - Revolution
Time for Revolution Part 2!
The Revolution where clean athletes & coaches claim back what is rightfully ours....the spirit of clean competition! It is time for us to take our sports back and tell sponsors stop aiding the cheating athletes & coaches and reward those that compete like most of us......CLEAN!
Over the past two weeks while I have mulled over the current situation with the Alberto Salazar and the Nike Oregon Project (NOP), I have been reading a book by Reed Albergotti and Veronica O'Connell titled "Wheelmen - Lance Armstrong, The Tour de France & The Greatest Sports Conspiracy Ever". In the book, through research and investigation they showed that the fraud, as they call it, went well beyond Lance and that pretty much all sponsors were well aware of the doping. In fact, there are reports that Nike paid $500,000 to UCI to assist in covering up a positive test of Lance Armstrong in 1999.

Now in 2015, Nike once again finds itself in a similar predicament. If you have read Wheelmen and then read these articles, you would see how eerily similar both these situations are. 

Here are the articles to get you up to date on the situation with the NOP before I rant:

Reading the Guide, you can see that as of now 17 former athletes, coaches and employees of NOP have come forward speaking of Salazar and his ways of trying to cheat the system. And just like with Lance, Nike continues to support Salazar and NOP despite the number of credible people speaking out. Nike, did you not learn anything from the Lance situation? Do you have the same PR idiots working for you? In fact you have been very quiet through the entire situation, releasing this weak statement shortly after the news broke:

You don't condone use of performance enhancing drugs??? Seriously??? Then please explain to me why you signed Justin Gatlin to a contract. In his career, Justin has been suspended twice, yeah one suspension was overturned on a technicality but the other was severe enough to be a 4 year suspension (potentially a lifetime ban)! And oh yeah, you stood behind Lance for years!!!

Nike, you always claim to be cutting edge, here is your chance again....suspend all ties with Salazar & the NOP until further investigation! They are fine to compete and Salazar can coach them all he wants but cut funding for a bit. The evidence is pretty damning so far that cutting ties seems warranted.  Drop Justin Gatlin and any other former dopers! If up to me, 1 positive test would be a life-time but as the system stands, you do your time you deserve to come back but in my opinion you should not be rewarded with a lucrative sponsorship. Maybe you can start a policy that leads the way for other companies and not sign any doper ever to a contract. Show other companies that the message we need to send to our young athletes  is that there is no short cut to competing and doping is cheating!

What can we do as clean competing athletes??

Be more like Paul Willerton!!!

Who is Paul Willerton? Protestors Implore Nike To Drop Lance

We need to stand up to these companies and tell them to stop standing by these athletes and coaches. As clean competing athletes, we  are tired of the cheats. Like voting,  you might not think your one vote makes a difference but if enough of us speak up, these companies will have to respond! And trust me, I know Nike is not the only culprit here but it just seems they have a knack for being involved with the big ones. If you know of other companies signing dopers, call them out!! Let me know and I will join in!

While we are at it, we need to call out USADA! They have been awful quiet throughout this entire process. Tweet, Facebook or email them and say as a clean athlete, there seems to be enough evidence to investigate. Why are you so quiet USADA? If you are investigating just say so! Show us clean athletes that you are serious about what you do.

You can reach USADA on twitter @usanitidoping
You can reach Nike on twitter @Nike

Send your message that you are tired of Dopers!

For all those, like me, who are truly busting your ass, it is time to say enough is enough! There is no rooms for dopers in our sports, whether professional or amateur. As we all know, this plague is not limited to just the professionals. It is time to call out all these cheats and tell them, you are not welcome here! It is time to start the movement that training & competing clean is the only way!We will not the sports of all cheaters but can sure make them feel pretty uncomfortable!

As a competitive multi-sport athlete and collegiate XC/TF coach, I am tired of being skeptical of any great performance. I am tired of discussions with my athletes and fellow competitors about who is clean and who is not. I know I am not the first but I am gladly joining the movement and will do anything I can but we all need to join......claim back what is ours!

#CleanSports #CompeteClean #DopersSuck #DopingIsCheating

Now I just need a cool slogan for t-shirts!!!