Sunday, July 29, 2007

Thanks for Asking

After my last post it was suggested that maybe I should stop the smackage about the 101 and focus on a little race I have coming up soon, Ironman Louisville. I know I haven't posted much about my preps for Louisville and mave mostly been either doing race reports of talkin' smack but I have been training and my mind is in the right place, I believe. Let me recap some of the things I've been up to regarding IMKY.

I've been putting in some decent training mileage, not huge but decent.

Swim: 21,000 meters
Bike: 485 miles
Run: 93 miles

Swim: 23,000 meters
Bike: 610 miles
Run: 108 miles

I have not worked very hard on my bike but have spent a lot of time in the saddle trying to help the GRRKGRL get her mileage in. I have been working on my run and swim though and have dropped my half iron swim from about 37 minutes to 34 minutes. I also have noticed improvements in my run. About a month ago I did a 16 mile run at an average pace of 10:15 min miles and just yesterday i did a 16.7 mile run at an average pace of 10 min miles with a negative split. (sorry I am temporarily sans Garmin data because i spilled a cup of water on my lap top...we are still hoping it works in a couple days).

My major goal this training cycle is to try and dramatically improve my nutrition and pacing. I think I have accomplished that to a great degree. My pacing at Buffalo Springs was very good but I still felt kind of bloated off the bike and that caused me some trouble on the run. At the Mountain Man I came off the bike with my stomach feeling fine and if my legs would have been in better shape I probably would have had a very good race.

My goals for IMKY are simple, good nutrition, good pacing, finish feeling good. With respect to time, I don't have any goal. This race is kind of like pushing the reset button, a chance to get my head on straight at the Iron distance. Of course I will need some kind of pace to follow so I will probably be aiming for something in the mid 13 hour range.

Worry not sports fans, I am focused. I am clear about my goals and feel ready. I am more excited about the GEEKGRL and her first attempt at the Ironman so I guess i just haven't had much to say about my own race.

Oh, and I do have a bit of competition going on. Fellow Outlaw, actually the Outlaw team founder Wiz will be at IMKY and he and I are pretty evenly matched. This will be his third IM and it will be my third. His best IM time is better than mine but we do tend to go back and forth at the races so I'll be on the lookout for him and I'm sure he'll be on the lookout for me.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

A Rejoinder

I like to think of myself as a helpful guy, a friendly guy, the kind of guy who strives to make the world a little better for my passing so imagine my distress when I discover that I have inadvertently rocked the Bigun’s world to its very core by adopting the GEEKGRL’s name for me.

I know the Bigun is a man of character, a stand up guy, a person to be emulated even but he may be a tad forgetful whilst caught up in a dither regarding what to call me. In his “All Aboard to Ironman Coeur d’Alene” post he referred to me as Sweet Baboo well before I changed my moniker. In a post “Deer in the Headlights” he referred to me as “Baboo” and in an even earlier post, I believe, he referred to me as “sweetness”.

So, methinks he doth protest too much…I’m just sayin’

Now, regarding the competition thing at the 101 the Bigun is a big guy but don’t let the size fool ya, he’s a fast guy. Ok, Ok, I’m not slow either and I do weigh less…219.5 this morning, I still always gain weight during IM training.

From what I understand weight reduces speed by about 2 seconds per pound per mile and though that is probably a rough estimate I’m not sure what else to use. So if the Bigun is 20 pounds heavier than me he should be 40 seconds per mile slower, 720 seconds over 18 miles – 12 minutes. Unless the 101 has a very hilly course I wouldn’t expect any advantage on the bike for our size difference and nothing on the swim either. I’d give the Bigun 12 minutes, 15 minutes even because that’s just the kind of Baboo I am.

Disclaimer: competition is great but there is nothing more important than having a good time. Speaking as someone who has blow up on an IM because I didn’t resist the urge to push I can assure you I would not want to play party to wrecking someone’s day.

I’m Fat! I’m Phat! Which will it be?

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Train Like You Race, Sort Of: Mountain Man 70.3 Race Report

Today was supposed to be a hard training day for me and not specifically a “race”…there is no question that I accomplished both of these goals. Training straight through a half with no taper is not the most fun thing I have ever done as a matter of fact I think it ranks right up there with being force fed liver and Brussels sprouts by an enthusiastic leper with severe halitosis.

First of all I must say that I really enjoy Mountain Man Events, the group that puts this race on in addition to others in Arizona and Nevada. The GEEKGRL and I did the Mountain Man Sprint last year and this year she did the Oly and I did the half, they run all three events on the same day. While the Oly has been going for 23 years this is the second year of the half. If I were to say one thing it is that the half could be better supported. It was supported about like you would expect a good Olympic distance race to be supported but there were just a few more aid stations. I’m sure with time the RD will master support for this event as well.

The 70.3 took of at 6:10 am with a swim in beautiful lower Lower Lake Mary, a moderate sized body of water sitting in a mountain valley flanked by tall ponderosa pine, buffalo grass and wild flowers in full bloom. The air was fresh and clean after a good night’s rain and the water temps were right at 70 degrees. The swim course is a one loop affair and is shaped like a trapezoid. I took off somewhere close to the front of the middle of the pack and passed a couple people right away and then basically spent the next 1.1 miles swimming alone. I could see a lead group well ahead of me but nobody near me which made it kind of difficult to tell if I was doing well or not…I was just swimming along. If people are all around me I usually will throw in a few sprints to get around folks who seem to be fading or to prevent someone from passing me when, for perfectly arbitrary reasons, I decide I don’t want THAT particular person to pass me. I felt like I was swimming well, not pushing too hard but swimming well. It was easy to see all the buoys to about ¾ of the way through until you turn back to shore…at that point there are no buoys and you just head for the boat ramp. The only problem was I could not see the boat ramp as my goggles had become fogged, which slowed me considerably. I ended up with a time of 35: 25, nothing special but a good enough effort. T1 felt like it took forever because it is so long but I got though in 2:50 and was on to the bike.

The bike course is just as beautiful as everything on this race but it is definitely a challenge with 2470 feet of climbing that seems to come in long sections, this is not a Clyde friendly course. The lay out of the course was like a lolly pop with a short out and back at the top and two loops around the circle. I was hoping to get the bike under 3 hours but again was looking at this as a hard training day. I was feeling pretty good and found a couple people to play leap frog with, which probably kept my average pace a little higher than I had planned from time to time. The course was in excellent condition but was open to cars and cows, yes C-O-W, cows. I came across one of them in the middle of the road at about mile 5 and didn’t really know how to respond. When I’m on training rides and I see a dog I usually yell out “Good Doggers” in a friendly and excited manner and that usually stops them in their tracks so, I yelled out Good Doggers to the cow and the animal seemed unimpressed but did not advance in my direction and I was soon by and on my way. The traffic was light and I never really ran into any trouble. Somewhere near mile 20 I caught the youngest Outlaw at this event, Matt “Kid” Hoffman. This guy is 19 and this was his third ever triathlon. He is fast…fast fast. He finished the race in 5:09:17 and he has no experience and no real cycling ability, he’s always been a runner and a swimmer. Anyway, I caught him and we played leap frog most of the rest of the way into transition. The amazing thing about this is here I am decked out in about 5Gs worth of cycling paraphernalia and he is riding a friggin hobby horse, quite well I might add. Oh to be 19 and 128 pounds…I hit T2 with a bike of 2:55:56, an average speed of 19.1, which I’ll call good considering the climbing. I moved through T2 in 2:43 and it was on to the run.

My run began well enough but my quads were feeling all the climbing I had done but I still felt like I had some legs left…exactly what this RD does not want on his course so he throws in a mile and a half climb beginning at mile 1.5. This killer hill has the sprint turn around at the base so all the sprinters can yell for joy and praise any and all deities who may be listening, the top of the hill is the turn around for the Oly, which makes it a tough run for an Oly but whatever, your half way home. For the half, well, it is simply there to suck the life out of you before you move on to the remaining 10 miles of the course…I suppose that is unless you are a bird person then I gather it’s just somewhere else to run. I approached the hill very conservatively and actually took some time to look around because it did provide some spectacular views of the lake valley. Once I was at the bottom I took a brief walk break to lower my HR and then I was on the go again. It was my goal to try and keep my HR somewhere at 160 or slightly below to see how far I could get at that intensity. The answer is still unknown because around mile 5 I began having the dreaded stomach trouble. This was not the sloshy, bloated feeling but actual stomach pain. It was bad enough where I had to fall into intermittent walking and then my left leg began to hurt a little in the calf and the hamstring and that was that, I was walking. Mind you, this was a training day and I have now injured myself plenty to take a clue and back way off. I’m pretty sure I could have pushed it had this been an A race but no siree, I wasn’t risking a thing so probably beginning at mile 6 or so I started mostly walking with a few little test runs thrown in and by mile 10 it was pure walk because the running hurt my stomach and my gait felt uneven so I didn’t want to stress my legs with a wobbly run. The walking was interminable but it gave me time to think about what I would probably need to run this race better if I were going for it. I have decided that I will probably not do well on the run portion of a long course triathlon without the aid of carbonated soda, not that flat junk, and ice. Even though the temps were mild I was getting awfully hot a few times out there and chewing on ice and having some carbonated soda usually keeps me cool and my stomach operating. I did not have access to either of these two essentials and I found it difficult not to have them. I did finally run most of the last 2 miles when I was feeling better and completed the run in 2:47:36…dismal but hey, I protected the leg and it should be smooth sailing between here and Louisville.

My total time was 6:24:27, almost as slow as the Deuce Man fiasco but get this, it won me second place in my age group…yes, age group…they don’t have a clyde division at this race. What can I say, the half here plays second fiddle to the Oly, which draws the real competition and for whatever reason my AG here is slow. Oh well, it’s Bling Baby! and no, there were not only two in my AG though the fields were particularly small…mine had 7.

So this is my 4th 70.3 and I am keeping a list of relative difficulty. So far the easiest is Soma in Tempe, AZ, next would be Buffalo Springs outside Lubbock, TX then this one, the Mountain Man, Flagstaff, AZ and then the Deuce Man in show Low, AZ…however that assumes equal weather conditions. I think if Buff Springs had one of it’s high heat or high wind days it could move to the top of the list.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Changin’ My Moniker

I’m going a little consolidating and have decoded to change my profile name from Myles to S. Baboo. Myles is my Tri team nickname earned when I was laying down 800+ miles on the bike every month last year and it was cemented with a 1000+ mile month.

S. Baboo a.k.a. Sweet Baboo a.k.a. Sweetness was earned for some unknown reason but it was bestowed by the GEEKGRL and if it’s good enough for her it’s good enough for me…besides it has grown on me in a way Myles hasn’t.

Since there isn’t much else to this post…the money shot from this years Buffalo Springs 70.3.

Now it’s off to do the Mountain Man half-iron!
I am a lucky, lucky man.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Taking it to the next level

I love the tri community! It has given me so much more than I would have thought when I first began. It’s ironic that such an individual sport produces such a strong community of people who are not only committed to fitness but also committed to each other and to the sport.

I am big on reciprocity…when I receive something I always want to give back. Along those lines I took up the mantle to captain the New Mexico Outlaws Triathlon Team when asked and it has been a labor of love to bring in new members, try to get sponsors and try to rally support for fellow teammates at all the races.

Still, I think there is a little more that I can do to give back to the sport we all love and to that end I’ve decided to become a certified USAT race official. I’ve been talking to the head ref in New Mexico for a couple weeks now and have taken the plunge and will be attending the USAT race official training clinic being held in conjunction with the Prairie Man HIM. My training will begin with some home study and then it is off to some classroom work the night before the race and then the day of reckoning on September 9th when I will be an assistant race official at the Prairie Man under the supervision of a senior race official. If all goes well I “graduate” after the race and receive my USAT official’s uniform!

I think this is a pretty good way to give back. To keep up your certification as an official, at the basic level at least, you have to officiate at two races per year and take a recertification course once every two years. The gigs don’t pay at first but when you gain head ref status you get some allowance for travel, you get our hotel and you get a small fee like $75. However, you don’t have to accept all of the compensation. I’m thinking that I might ask for some of the moola and then get comped an entry into the race for next year.

Besides, if I become an OFFICIAL official I can just penalize everyone racing against me until I have the winning time…that’s how it works, right?

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Slag Man

Oh yeah, this is what Ironman training is like at its peak…I had forgotten. Everyone knows that in the course of making iron you smelt it and get various by products like slag…that’s me right now…slag.

This is my third iron distance race that I am training for and it is still a mystery how exactly it all works. When I train for short distance races I usually end up feeling stronger and stronger, faster and faster. Every time I have trained for an Ironman I end up feeling weaker, more fragile and slower. It must really be a meltdown process, a process of separating out impurities, a process of completely breaking down and building back up from scratch.

To be honest the process can be a bit frightening as well. You train to the edge of breakdown and then back off just in the nick of time for a bit of recovery and then you turn around and drag yourself right back to that sore and tired place. Go too far and you are injured, not far enough and you will pay on race day.

At this moment I am sitting on that razors edge hoping that I don’t, or didn’t, fall off. The past two weeks of training have been difficult at best. Yesterday I did a reverse training triathlon…no not a race…I started out with an 80 mile bike that had a little over 4150 feet of climbing, a six mile trail run off the bike with temps in the low to mid 90s and then a 2000 meter swim. This morning I did a 14 mile easy run. I was running along pretty well but my left leg was tightening up, mostly in the calf but also extending up into my hamstring. I stopped a couple times to try and stretch it out but my calf just seemed to keep getting tighter and tighter. I took a bit of a walk break and then started running again and then I felt a quick pull in my lower calf and my run was over at mile 12.

I honestly don’t know if I have just strained it a bit, if it’s nothing or if there is actually a pull but I wasn’t taking any chances and I walked the rest of the way in and have it on ice right now. This next week is definitely a no running week. I believe I can easily afford a week without running and I hope that whatever happened out on the train today was just a warning and not an injury.

At times like these I keep one thought in mind and that is I know how beaten up I begin to feel during peak Ironman training and I also know that as I start backing off and heading into the taper I will start feeling better and come race day I will feel fantastic. So long as I can stay injury free, and assuming I didn’t just injure myself today, I should be right on track.

Now to e-mail my massage therapist.

Monday, July 09, 2007

As A Matter of Fact Bigun…: A Bottomless Lakes Race Report etc...

I did race this weekend and I did PR.

Now I likes me some good trash talkin’ now and again but let’s face it, it’s talk. Sure, you have to have some powerful jaws to keep them flappin’ all the time and you need a set of lungs like bag pipes but hey, don’t men in skirts operate those things?

If you will allow me a moment I’d like to present some of that paper the Bigun so despises.

My weekend began bright and early at 5:00 am for breakfast…yes, I slept in because it was Saturday…and then it was down to meet the crew for our scheduled easy ride. We did a bit of an out and back with a few intervals and a couple climbs. We rode pretty hard but since I never stop my Garmin, a habit I picked up in those early season brevets, my log shows total time including a couple flat fixes and waiting to pick up stragglers.

After the bike it was time to pack up the Fam and head for Roswell, yes…that Roswell, the home of the space alien crash site. While this year happens to be the 60th anniversary of “the crash” we were not in for those festivities but were headed for the Bottomless Lakes Triathlon. This race is a real grass roots effort but very well run never the less. The way you can tell it is grass roots is that you can never quite tell what the distances will be on the swim and the run. The races bills itself as 400 meters – 14 K – 4 K but it is really ABOUT 400 meters – the bike is a changeless loop that is NOT exactly 14 K and the run is ROUGHLY 4 K. In any case it is a fun race.

Despite enjoying this race the one thing I dislike about it is the fact that the Clydes take off in the second wave with the women and men over 55. I’m not embarrassed to swim in a pack of women and YES they can hold their own but as many will understand it just doesn’t feel right. It’s like fighting for a spot on a life raft so I just try and steer clear and don’t swim as aggressively as I would in a pack of men.

When the air horn went off I had positioned myself far to the inside and to the front away from all but the fastest swimmers. I figured that I would approach the swim allowing people to swim over me if I couldn’t keep up but I was going to try my best to make sure that did not happen. I took off and swan hard for the buoy, which was also the turn around point. I surged ahead full steam and never looked back. By the time I hit the turn around I had only one other swimmer at my side and knew that another had just rounded the buoy. I tried a different buoy rounding technique that I’ve been thinking about as a possible time saver. Normally I just sort of work my way around the buoy swimming sort of flat as if I were going straight ahead, which is awkward and jerky especially in a hair pin turn but this time I “banked” the turn meaning I kind of rolled into the turn, buoy at my back and kept swimming hard in that rolled position. It worked great! I then dug in for the home stretch and was the 4th person out of the water just a few seconds behind fellow Outlaw Miguel “Sharkbait” Sanchez.

I was probably a little slow in T-1 but I got out still on Sharkbait’s tail and there were no other Clydes in sight. I caught Sharkbait about 1.5 miles into the ride at the top of the one big hill and just kept blowing on by. The bike course is an oval that circles the lakes (sinkholes full of water), first climbing up onto the bluff and then dropping back down to the river bottom for a relatively fast and rolling return to T2. I felt like I had a good ride but the splits are pretty random as to whether they put your T1 and/or T2 into your swim, bike or run so it’s all guess work. I hit the run and ran with everything I had left; at least as much as I could give figuring on the distance I had to cover. My Garmin doesn’t tell the story well either because I didn’t hit the buttons correctly but I got a graph.

Total time 54:21 - I won first in the Clyde division and would have taken 3rd in my age group. I also beat my PR for this race by about 4 minutes. I know Bigun hates the paper but there has just been too much uncertainly in this race report…to much for him to seize upon so I’ll just state the following - go to the website and look at the race results for yourself.

Ok, ok...small race right? What can I say, the Bigun will always have me on that one because he races in an area that has like 30 people per square foot and I live in an area where you could swing a dead cat and never hit anyone but hey, what's to be done. Just for insurance I went ahead and drove home and polished off the day with an 18 mile run along the dirt trails through the Bosque. I ran well the first half of the run but the wheels fell off the second half and i was chased all the way back by biting horseflies. No,, ACTUALLY...wanting to perfect my seceret Texas weapon I went ahead and got in some good practice moseying...take that Bigun, read and despair. I bet you've never seen any graphs with such a proficient mosey. Yeah...mosey practice.


Next up on the race docket, the Mountain Man half in Flagstaff, AZ on June 22nd in which I attempt to throw down a 70.3 time sans the pattented mosey. The GEEKGRL and I will head out a day early to spend some time poking around the Grand Canyon.