Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Ironman Wisconsin Journey

I barely slept, but managed to get about 2-3 hours of sleep, got up and took a shower. I ate a PB&J on wheat bagel for breakfast around 4am, and then caught the hotel shuttle to race site at 4:30am. Lots of nervous pacing and walking.

I seeded myself in the far right rear of group (possibly the last person) in order to avoid the washing machine effect, because a kick to my face or any other parts would have negatively impacted the way I felt the rest of the race, and I wanted to avoid that. I managed to catch-up to and pass some slower swimmers, which put me into the washing machine effect I was initially trying to avoid and survived without injury; only to have to make up extra yardage, because I was too far right of the first red buoy. My sighting was decent, but I still tended to zig-zag a bit. I felt it was a good pace to conserve energy for the rest of the race, and was satisfied with my time.

I forgot to pack a towel. So many details to this race.
Volunteers were wonderful and very supportive and helpful.

Experienced neck pain prior to bike start (which I normally don't experience till after riding 80+ miles on my tri-bike). Sinuses started acting up, and I ended up with a runny nose for the rest of the race. I wear a nose plug on the swim to avoid this problem, and normally it prevents the runny nose syndrome. Unfortunately, it didn't work for me this time. Mile 10, got a flat. I began to start questioning my decision to use my tri-bike versus my road bike, but knew I needed to stay positive and keep moving forward. I had the wheel off and bike support showed up very quickly to help me. While he helped change the tire, time seemed to stand still as I watched other cyclists pass me by. He cautioned me not to go fast on the turns and downhill because the glue normally takes 2 days of non-riding to cure. My bike computer indicated the time spent changing the flat was about 12 minutes. I stuck to my plan to pace myself and conserve energy for the run. After 4 energy bars and 2 goo's my stomach rebelled, and couldn't handle any additional nutrition. Around 1pm, I could smell burgers, steaks, and chicken the spectators were grilling along the course. It made me sooooo hungry I wished I was doing a HIM instead. On a positive note, I wasn't cramping on the bike. The last 2 hills, there were many cyclists walking their bikes, but I had trained and wasn't having any of that! The sun beating down on my head drained most of my energy. I ended up crashing my bike into another cyclist riding at 9mph at mile 100. I started to seriously doubt my ability to do the run and complete the marathon portion. Many seasoned athletes had recommended that I have several centuries under my belt (which I didn't have) before doing the race. Put in more mileage on bike Re-evaluate nutrition

I was feeling like I was ready to quit - but then I heard the crowd cheering which gave me a burst of energy and I managed to pass a couple of cyclists on the helix. The volunteers were encouraging, and motivating and inspired me to continue on. Both my feet were numb and I wasn't sure how I was going to be able to run (or walk for that matter), but my new mantra was "can't stop till you get enough". (tribute to Michael Jackson)
I wore my tri-shorts, and the elastic rubbed into my skin. I would wear running shorts next time.

My initial plan was to run/walk since I had 7 hours to complete a "walk-a-thon". The first aid-station I saw food (which I wanted to eat a lot of fast). I had several orange slices, pretzels, and finally COLD gatoraide. After that, I was too full to run. The sun continued to beat down on my head for the next couple of hours, which drained me of most of my remaining energy. I couldn't wait for the sun to go down so that the cool air would revive me. Once again, I changed my strategy. On my way back from the first loop, I saw my wife (who I was hoping to see at the beginning of the first loop). Never-the-less, she was a sight for sore eyes. I asked her to get me a 7-Up from the convenient store as I took a little nap on the concrete waiting for her to return. She walked with me for about 1/2 mile while I calculated how little time I had left, and drank the soda. Once she left, I began the walk-run cycle (but mainly walked). As I reached mile 13 I got a cramp in my lower-left calf and had to start walking again. I saw Kelly and Linda at the turn-around but didn't have any energy to wave, so just nodded their way. While at the special-needs bag location, a volunteer asked if I needed medical attention as I fumbled with my new compression socks. I know - never try anything new on race day, but I figured at this point - what harm could come of it. As I continued my "walk-a-thon", I saw my good friend Kelly who started asking me a serious of questions (none of which I can remember). She noticed the dazed look in my eyes at the turn-around, and was concerned. She suggested that I slowly sip some chicken-broth since I hadn't taken in any nutrition for the past couple of hours. After a few cups, she encouraged me to start running and helped pace me (because I started out running too fast). I was cramping from time-to-time, but mostly we ran. at mile 22, I felt nauseous and Kelly pointed to an area that I could throw-up at. I told her I'd prefer not to. I thought I could walk-off the nauseous feeling without throwing-up. My inner thighs were extremely sore, and were preventing me from running. At this point, I had about 1 hour left. Kelly continued to motivate and inspire me, encouraging me to walk faster. At mile 25, Kelly split off from me and I managed to run with pain across the finish line. I was told that my wife, Kelly and other friends were on the side-lines cheering me on, but all I could focus on was crossing the finish-line to stop the pain. I didn't look to the left or right, just plowed straight ahead. I had so many emotions running through my head. At first I felt like crying, then I felt estatic, and then, I just wanted to finish - to be done and have it over with. When I crossed the finish line, the volunteer at the finish asked if I wanted to go to the medical tent. I said no. She asked me if I wanted a blanket. I said no. She asked me if I wanted my picture taken, I said no, I just want to lay down. I am extremely grateful to Kelly for her fortitude and kindness in helping me achieve my goal of completing this huge accomplishment. Without her help and support, I might not have finished. Thank you Kelly! Time 16:40

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Heat is on/ Chicago Marathon 2008

My bro was suppose to run this race and I was going to pace him. We with my busy schedule I was not checking up on his progress and he became injured. A couple of things may have happened.
To many miles and no stretching. Planters does a body no good. Anyway I trained in the heat and was hoping for cooler weather but no luck. I wore my fuel belt and carried heed, endurolytes, gels and tums. The event had plenty of water this time and also added sponges which was nice.
Last year I hit the wall at mile 21 this year mile 23. I tried to stay at a low HR but a friend from work ran with me and he was running faster. He tried to slow down but was still to excited. Finally around mile 13 he slowed down and my HR was at Z2. At the faster rate I was at Z5 and would have problems in the end if I kept it up. I tried to stay in the shade as much ass possible but there were lots of areas that were in the sun. Last 3 miles I walked since I had no energy. The sun had zapped every ounce of energy out of me. I found a tiny bit to run through the finish line.
I felt like vomiting and hung onto a big garbage can. Finally someone from the medical staff notice me and told me to get in the chair and he would take to the med tent so they could help me.
The doc came up to me and asked me what was wrong. I told her I had to vomit, she told the other person to put me in the shade. I hung out there for 10 min and left. I met my bro at a city parking lot which he gets to park for free since he works for the city. Again I felt like vomiting but could not. I made it home and my wife gave me sprite and a bucket.
After a while I was finally able to take in fluids and the recovery began.

I will not do another marathon in the heat. It takes alot out of you and does not allow for acurate finishing time.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

IMWI Volunteering

Wow, I never knew how much fun it would be to volunteer. I met a lot of nice tri athletes.
It was good to see how different people get water on the bike and pulling over to mix their drinks.
I was at the cross plains aid station with a bunch of pirates. We stocked the water and handed out lots of water. Everyone worked hard and had a good time. I arrived at 7am and left around 3pm.
I would have stayed longer but I had a family party to attend. I came back the next day to sign up.
I brought my new wetsuit to sell but I did not have any luck. I'm sure I will sell it in the spring.
While registering I received a call from my wife about my son is at home sick. I tell her I have my reservation and will head home. I get home and go online to make hotel reservations and all the good hotels are booked. Oh well, I may need to find a coach or buy a training plan from training peaks. Anyway to soon to get excited but I am telling everyone that I am doing an ironman in 2009.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Racine again

Swim was cold and short. I kept my hr down on the bike and was able to have some energy for run. No cramps except towards the end but I slowed down or walked. I made some mistakes but overall still god.

Sunday, May 25, 2008


I had an early bike ride on the schedule but I decided to do it on the trainer.
All day I was noticing what a sunny day it was. I made it home early and decided to take the bike out for an easy ride through the woods. Filled up the water bottle and off I went. I had been experiencing some hip pain but I believe it was gone. As I completed the first route of the forest preserve I decided that I would do the other side. By this time it is rush hour, cars are flying everywhere. Myself and another cyclist stop at the light. I noticed we had the green light but there was a motorist trying to cross. He was looking the opposite direction and I assumed he would look towards me before driving off. I took off and so did he. I flew a couple of feet and my 3 month carbon bike was under his car. Some how I no longer had my bike shoes on and one was completely under the passenger wheel. The drivers gets out and apologizes, the other cyclist calls 911. They tell me not to move that an ambulance is on its way. I move my toes and my fingers slowly. I tell them I want to stand up. They try to tell me not to but I am not taking no for an answer.

The police arrive and I know some of the guys. They ask me if I am alright. I tell them I think I am okay but do not know for sure. I want to walk around a little to see if I have any pain anywhere. I have scratches on both knees and my elbo. I have a bruise on my left thigh. The ambulance I arrives and I tell them I do not want to go to the hospital. They make me sign some papers and they leave. The state trooper highly recommend that I go to the hospital. I tell him that I have an important meeting in Dallas and cannot take the chance of staying in a hospital. I tell him when I get back I will get myself checked out. Mean while the motorist is apologizing and tells me he will replace my bike. I tell him its not a cheap bike, he says how much can a bike cost. I tell him a couple of thousand dollars. The stat trooper give him a ticket and tells him pedestrains have the right of way.

Trooper offers to give me a ride but the motorist who hit me live several blocks down from my home. He offers a ride too and I accept. We get to my home and again he tells me he will replace my bike and pay all medical bills. I ask him if I can get that in writing and he agrees. As a former realtor we always wrote up agreements of various sorts. I ask him if we can go Friday to buy a bike and he agrees. Accident happen Wednesday. I get a call from his insurance company Thursday. We went to the bike store Friday but I am not at ease until I get the bike.
My neck, back and left arm have pain. It is tolerable but will see my ortho next week.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Galena Hills

First time in Galena. I have heard its a great weekend get away.
I called Rique and confirmed I would arrive around 3pm.
I also heard from Jim's buddy Eno whom I met last year.
Eno called me while I was in route and mentioned they had a 5 br home.
He asked if I would be interested in renting one of the rooms.
I told him I would pass. I like my privacy and don't want to share a bathroom.
As I was driving in I had to call into a conference call for work.
It started late and I was not enjoying the discussion so after an hour and a half I hung up.
If its important my boss will fill me in on Monday.

I checked in and headed to registration.
Once at registration you take your bike to T1 and setup. I noticed the bike route was the road I just drove to get to registration. It was very hilly, I had heard the course was hilly but these were hills I had never ridden. Anyway on the way back I found T2 and dropped of my running shoes and other gear. By the time I was finished it was 6pm. I called Rique but no answer.
Then I called Eno and he said he was waiting for the rest of his friends. He said they would probably go out to dinner after 7 or 8pm. I told him I was going to dinner now and would see him at the race. I had a healthy dinner at a nice restaurant. It was not crowed for a Friday but the food was great. I had some healthy pasta with roasted vegetables and lots of water.
Got back to the motel and noticed my start time was 9:48am. I had forgotten the race did not start till 9am. I was in wave 17, curse of being old and racing. At least everyone is mature and friendly.

Parked my SUV in some parking lot and the shuttle took us to the lake. I arrived at T1 around 7am and bumped into Dave and Kevin of EBC. Then I took the bike out for a test drive up some hills. Right away my HR was in Z4. I racked my bike up and found Rique. He is an X-Marine and likes to talk a lot. This is fine with me because it helps the time pass. I was drinking lots of fluid so I do not have issues with cramping. Cramping is a big problem with me and races. I do not know if it is due to hydration or muscles not getting enough blood. In any case I was prepared and took my endurolytes and calcium supplements. I decided to test the water and boy was it cold. Temps were around 59 degrees. Terre Haute 3 years ago was very cold and shocked me when the race started. I did not want to have the same experience, so I swam till I was somewhat use to the cold.

Then the race began and before you know it my wave was up. I position myself in the back so i do not get clobbered. I guess I was not the only one with this idea. I swam towards the right, away from the pack. I notice I had caught up to the lead pack but was to far right. I had to draft for a while but taking my time. I had a talk with Coach Brett before the race and we went over my pace and other strategies.
I kept my cool when I was with the lead pack. I could have gone faster but wanted to make sure my HR was not high. I get out of the water and notice I am 3rd out from my wave. Later some of my wave would catch me on the bike.
I look at HR and it is low. I needed to pee before the swim leg but could not go in the water. I jump on my bike and off to the hills I go. They were hard but I climbed them one at a time. I still had to pee and had a conversation with some tri-mates about peeing in a race while on the bike. I guess I needed to experience that for myself. Finally I was going down hill and it was fast. I was enjoying the downhill when my front wheel started vibrating. I had to apply the brakes. I wanted to play it safe and finish. I guess next year I will not use my zipps. My HR was high and I could not control due to hills. When I hit the flat areas or downhill I would allow my HR to come down. I needed to save energy for running. I heard there were hills on the run too. Off the bike and onto running.
I had a fast T2 and was on the road quick. I notice lots of people walking up the hill. I started to run but then I notice my HR was going into Z5, so I walked. Then finally the hill leveled out and I started to run in Z4, trying to gain time. After mile 2 I decided to kicked up a notch. I was in low Z5 until mile 3 and I took it up another notch. I had caught up to some of the cyclist that had past me and now I was passing them. High Z5 for the balance, most of the balance was downhill and it was fast. My knees could not handle full speed so I had to slow down a little.
I ended the race with some energy in the tank.

After waiting around I got my gear and headed home. Great race, I will do it again next year in place of Terre Haute.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Let the Cycling Season begin

The SCTC had their first bike ride of the season. We had a decent turn out. We were able to create groups which helped big time with pace. Of course I was in the B-Group. I can only hang on to the fast guys for a little bit and then I get dropped. I was hoping people might be up to a 2.5 hour ride but most only wanted 1.5 or 2 hour ride. Well we rode out to Water Fall Glen and met up with the A-Group. Miguel cracked a joke on me and I laughed, of course I replied with a joke of my own.
Before we started I ask group A leader how far they were going. He said only to Lemont. My group only wanted to do the same. Luckily everyone new the way back and I could continue on further. I reached Lemont ave. and off they head back to Brookfield. There were plenty of other cyclist out so I did not feel alone. I also rode whatever route I wanted to do. On my way back about four girls passed me. I caught up to them on a stop light. They told me I could tag along if I was heading back east. I said sure, off we went. Towards the end of were I was going to turn off I offered to lead the pack. They said sure but make sure you keep it at 18-20 mph. I was riding with cadence so I do not know what my speed had been. I switched over to mph and notice my speed go beyond 20 and had to slow down. Going up hill I had trouble keeping 18mph but I survived. Off they went and I made a right to tackle the Madison hill for a 2nd time. I switched to the big gear to get momentum and up the hill I go. Going down is a little scary. To many potholes. I continue on about 5 miles and I see another group of 5. Mixed with 1 women, so I turn around hoping they are going up the Madison hill. They are going up the hill and I follow. Three of the guys do pretty good going up hill. Myself and 2 others slowly make our way up the hill. We survive and they make a right and I go straight. I see 2 of the girls I was riding with earlier and they are heading towards the hill but I am spent. I already have 40+ miles on my bike and need to conserve some energy to make it home. I started heading back and remember most of the route except I get lost in Hinsdale. I stop a runner and asked him how I get out of the area onto 47th. He gives me good directions and it comes back to me. I thank the sweaty runner and he thanks me back for giving him a rest. I find county line and then 47th just like the runner mentioned. I take 47 to some other street which I always forget the street name but I know were its located. As I am riding I see an old neighbor who now lives in Western Springs. I yell out to him, good job on the running. He shouts back that he is training for his 1st Triathlon. I tell him great and keep up the good work. I make it home 3.5 hours later and 58 miles or so. Somehow my butt is not sore. My hand is a little sore since I do not have Aero bars on the bike. I plan to buy some and did not want to put the old crappy ones on. It looks like I may have to until my order comes in. I look forward to riding long and easy.

Sunday, April 13, 2008


Around the middle of March I started to do some research on what do for anniversaries.
Every year I ask my wife what she would like and she saez nothing. So I buy her nothing.
This year I researched on the web and found a great idea. Personal Chef, so i started emailing a bunch. Lots were replying that they were booked for that date. One person emailed and said they were available. Chef's name was Dustin, I had emailed male chefs since men are better cooks.
Thats what I am told. I had a meeting with my kids and they were ready and had there part in the surprise. I could not trust my 12 year son's to place 2 candles and not catch the house on fire. So I recruited my mother in law. She was excited and also volunteered to bring a nice table cloth.

The plan was evoling. I looked around our home for old pictures of our wedding and other events.
I took them to work and scanned them. I them made a banner about 25 by 72. I asked the boys if they would be able to hang it up. They said with the help of gra ma it would be cool.
I communicated with Dustin and agreed on a menu. They were coming along smooth.

Saturday 4-12-08. I made sure we did not have any plans with boy scouts or family parties or band etc ... We had to take the boys to the dentist in the morning and my needed to go to the hospital for some testing before her operation. I told her I wanted to take her out on a date.
Normally we go to a movie and that it. Tonight I told her we would go to a fancy restaurant afterwards. I told her we needed to get dressed up. She asked me what I was wearing and I told m her my suit of course. So after the movie I slide into the bathroom. I call the kids and they its a green like but there is a little hitch. I tell him not to worry I will be home in 15.

As we get closer I pull over and tell my wife I have a surprise. I tell her I have to blindfold her and she has to trust me. She agree's and ask me if I bought her that VW bettle she wants.
I tell her no but she will like what is in stored for her.
I go around the block a couple of times to throw her off. I don't pull into the drive way and walk her to the door. My son answers the doors what a french accent. Do you have reservations?
I say yes the Ruiz couple. We walk in my home and the banner is up. The chef is standing there greeting us. I find out that Dustin is not a man but a women. This is the little hitch my son was talking about. She provides us with a menu dedicated to our anniversary. My son sits us down at our candle lit dinning room table. My son had classical music playing in the background.

My mother in law and my kids are eating at a different table by the kitchen. My wife request that they come share our anniversary with us. I tell her its our special day and we could do as we wish. Her mom tells her what a great idea and they both start to cry with tears of joy.
Luckily my son's and I were cracking jokes or else I may shed a tear too.
Any way the dinner took about 3 hours and was great. The female chef was awesome, she even had an assistant. whom cleaned and washed. I don't if I can top this next year but was sure a good felling.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Another bike?

I have a knee injury nagging me since the Cary half marathon.
I have been swimming a lot and riding on the trainer for an hour.
The doc said to take it easy but thats up to interpretation if you ask me.
Last year I bought a new tri-bike and it was carbon and rode like the wind.
This year I did not look forward to jumping on my old giant bike with junky components.
I poured on the latin charm and my wife agreed to buy me a cheap bike for my b-day and anniversary.

In return I have hired a personal chef to come in and cook us an anniversary dinner.
Its a surprise and she is going to love it. Back to the topic at hand, bikes.

I ask my local bike guy about a cheap carbon bike and he give some recommendation.
He tells me to at least get Ultegra components. He also informs me of the various types of carbon.
Basically you get what you pay for. I find a deal at bike performance and what sold me is they give you points on every purchase. So I pay the bike and I am able to get the wide Sidi shoes I need for free. It was still less than I was expecting to pay. I almost traded my giant in at a different bike store but they did not want to give me what I wanted.

Every warm day I can get the bike out I am there. I had to wipe her down real good because there was still salt on the ground. This past week I rode Saturday and Sunday, it was great.
I took it easy on Saturday working on my base and enjoying the warm weather without a group of riders dictating the pace for me. Sunday was fun too, it was a small group but fun.
We head out our usual route and the fast guys decided we were going up the madison hill.
I jumped on the big gear to get momentum and powered up the hill. It was as hard as I recall it to be. Forget about zone 2 or 3.

We bumped into other friends at Water Fall Glen. We also took a potty break of course. I was hoping to continue but many only had planned on a 2 hour ride.
Which only gave us 30 miles. In any case it was fun and can't wait for warm weather to take out the new bike.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

March Maddness/Hill Striders

I received an email from my from Kelly about the March Madness half marathon.
She is wondering if I would be training on the Cary course. I informed her I have not started training at all.
I figure I have 4 weeks to go. I tell Kelly its a great idea and off we go. We meet up with Chris and Laura after the training run for brunch. I only ran 1.5 hours since my longest run had only been 1 hour on the treadmill. We ran at a 9min pace which felt good. Next week Kelly had a 5k race but I was motivated to run the course again. I dragged my bro to Cary( a newbie runner).
I ran for 2 hours at a little faster pace 8:50's. The following week I dragged my brother out again for a less distance and time(taper time). I did not have time to hang with Chris and the gang for brunch but I heard it was a good time with Scott and family.

Derrick picked me up at 6:00am. I convinced my bro to be a ghost runner for half the course. Of course he used his own water and only ran about 10 miles. I bumped into a lot of people. Kelly, Steve, Chris, David, Kevin, Jim, Laura and her sister. We warmed up for about 10 min and then stretched. I looked for Kelly since she offered to pace me. I wanted to beat my time from last year. This time I had a plan and a great pacer(Kelly). I find her at the 9min sign and we get in the crowd. We start out at about 8:40 and through out the 1st half of the course we push sorta fast and hard with 8:30 and sometime 8:00 pace. After all we were going downhill most of the time. Then we catch up a rabbit (Derrick). I tell Kelly I want to stay behind him and pass him at the last mile. However after going downhill at mile 9 I was running to fast going downhill that I chatted with Derrick for a few seconds.
Then Kelly and I took off. Derricks pace was a little slower than we had planned. Then mile 10 the big ass hill was upon us. I think I was running out of gas. I did not see my rabbit till we were almost on top of the hill and he passed me. I was in front of him for at least 5 min. He said I motivated him to go fast since MJ was not around. Of course he was only kidding. The next water stop I had to stop and catch my breath. Kelly normally stops at the water stops anyway. I took a couple of extra seconds to recoup. We started running and about mile 12 my right lower calf was tightening.
I also noticed that I had been redlinning for about 30 min. I brought my fuel belt and took several endurolytes. I beleive the pills were making me want to vomit but luckily I did not. I think my muscles were not getting enough oxygen. Don't really know but I had to walk it off for a min. Then Kelly kept calculating the finish time. Kelly always offered words of encouragement. I did not have any energy to talk but kept running and into the finish line we went. I could hear some our friends cheering go Griz. I beat my last years time by 2 min.

I called my bro and Derrick was ready to go home. I said good bye to all and off we went.
I thanked Kelly and told her that I probably would have slowed down a couple of times of she was not pacing me. I guess this was her way of paying me back for going shopping with her during the winter for a new bike. I told her I felt bad because she probably could have ran faster and finished with a better time. She said next year she will sign up and have a fast race.

Sunday, February 10, 2008


My kids martial arts instructor kept bugging me to join the class.
My kids have been participating for almost a year. My son is always wanting to try different sports and had asked about martial arts lesson several years ago. We finally gave in after both kids trying soccer, basketball, football and some other sports.
Anyway the instructor corners me in September. He ask when my season ends. I tell him I was running the marathon and maybe I would give his class a chance in November.

I sign up for November and yesterday I was on the fence about moving up to the next belt.
I will be starting some training for Cary half mary and will be dropping out at the end of February.
Last week I failed the forms and practice all week with my kids to memorize them this week. Yesterday I passed but have not decide if I want to pay and then drop out.

I may come back in November but I do not like bruising my shins on purpose or any other body parts. I always pick the 60year old black belt to spare with so I can run away. I tell them right off the bat that I am not wanting to get tossed around like a rag doll. To old for that and don't want to create any injuries. I am pretty sure they think I am a wimp and sometimes I get teased. I challenge any of the macho guys to a quick 5K race but I get no offers.
My kids have also spared with higher belts and did not do well. I told the instructor that my kids did not want to spare anymore. He told me he would not force them to fight if they did not want to but he wanted to challenge them since they were beating up all the yellow belts.

I know not all martial arts classes are taught like this one but my kids insist on attending.
They also passed there next level and will be receiving there belt as soon as I pay.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Off Season

Well I joined the community Martial Arts class along with my kids. They are yellow belts so I have to get directions from my kids. Also I join the church choir. Dang singing church music is hard. I also had some time to post a couple of video's on you tube. One is music and the other is my kids 2nd Triathlon. Enjoy

Monday, November 19, 2007

IM at a distant

Well after a long hard look back at the Tri season I have decided not to compete in an Ironman next year(2008). I would like to work on my nutrition first. I think I am close and would like to compete without any cramps in a long distant race. I competed in a couple of sprints and no problem. My first race of the season(Terre Haute) I noticed I cramped slightly on the bike and then the cramps stop me from moving completely on the run portion. This is frustrating since I enjoy running the most. I believe I should hydrate right after the swim and continue through out the race. This is a challenge since I cannot hammer on the bike if I am fueling all the time.
I get caught up on the bike that I do not hydrate as much as I should. Discipline is part of the key but also hydrating with the right fuel. I will compete in the same HIM that I competed in 2007 and hope not to cramp out next year(2008). Some of the training I will do different is more outdoor swimming and a centurion. Of course hydrate more often in my training. I have experimented with electrolyte pills and some calcium supplements but they do not appear to be effective. I would also like to get to a point were I am not drained from swimming. This season was my first time swimming over 3K meters and it was not easy. The workouts took me over an hour and some close to 2 hours. I will take some more swim lessons from my coach and hope to get my stroke efficient. So many time i hear others say they found a grove in the swim and swam on. I can get a grove on the bike and in the run but the swim is always a battle. Marathon training had gone great and even at the race at mile 19 I felt great. Mile 20 I hit the wall and all my hopes of finishing strong went out the window. Next year I will start my training right after my last HIM and stay on track. My 20 mile practice went well and I even recorded great time but the Sun gods were not cooperating with me the day of the marathon.
I enjoy everything about the triathlons and marathons and hope to get better by practice and training.
Some day all the training will pay off but for now I will continue to pay my dues.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Chicago Marathon 2007 / Death March

Last year at the marathon I cramped out at the end of mile 18. I cramped out in many Triathlons this year. Fine tunning my nutrition I thought I may have figured it out. Then the weather reports hot and humid for the race. Last year it was in the 30's, this year in the high 80's.

My brother decided to run the first couple of miles with me and then drop out and meet me at mile 23. After my 6 min. warm up I stretched, next thing I know I can't line up in the 9 min pace. Dang, that gonna be a problem. So finally after 25 min. I started my race.

My first clicked at 9:30's which was my plan and then my brother at the end of mile 2 told me he was running out of breath. I decided to give him a break and walked for 30 sec. We started again and he could not keep up so he dropped out. The next couple of mile were around 10 min pace. One of the early stations did not have enough volunteers or cups or both. Luckily I had my fuel belt with heed in one bottle. I am not sure but at point the tables were not setup and no fluid was available. I got lucky one time and stopped at an empty table were people were giving away empty water bottles. I asked the girl if she had anything to put in the bottle. She then pulled out some cold gator aide and poured the free bottle full. I also had pedialite which I drank from time to time. After my heed ran out I refilled the bottle with water and had a little baggy of sustain energy. Something was making my stomach sour so I carried my fuel belt, the pressure on my stomach was painful. I also was slowing down in pace and was walking more frequently. At mile 13 Eileen jumped in with her happy face and immediatley I ask her to carry my fuel belt. Eileen is so helpful and encouraging telling me I was looking good and doing fine.
I reminded her that at the end of mile 18 last year I cramped up and told her I was feeling good.
Mile 19 my family and friends were waiting for me. I stopped and chatted with my wife, kids and friends (Brett, Chris). I had to remind Eileen that we were in a race and we had to get going. Between mile 20 and 21 the Chicago Police were telling people to stop running and walk. The fire hydrant was turned on so I figured the ground was wet and the police were warning us not to fall and walk. Then somewhere around mile 22 rumour were floating that the race was cancelled. I told Eileen that my brother was jumping in at mile 23 and I would the balance with him. She said that was fine and had her friend Joe meet her at mile 23. She jumped out and he jumped in. Rafa motivated me to run and had planty of energy. I would run 3-4 min and walk 1 min. Then mile 24 the police informed us that the clocks were turned off and to stop running.
I told my brother I wanted to run but at this point my pace was shit. Then mile 25 I had nothing left the heat had finally gotten to me. My head was pounding and my legs were aching.
My brother tried to motivated me but I was not having it. I took some motrin but it was to late.
Again the police ask us to stop running and walk. All clocks are off no times are being recorded.
With this news I decided to sit down and try to recover. 5 min. later I started to walk real slow, my brother said I did not look good and maybe he should get some help. I told him we had a half mile to go and then i would seek medical attention. We saw the finish line and caught to my friend Derrick. He did not look good either, he barely spoke and was sun burned. I told my brother it was time to sprint and we started to run but all I could do was a slow jog. As i got my medal and exited out my brother reminded me I would seek help. I told him i was fine but would like to sit for a couple of min. We finally got back to the car and turned on the air and made it home. On a good note I did not cramp but felt completely drained. Like the Cubs, there is always next year.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Chicago half Marathon

It was my brothers first half mary. He was nervous and did not have confidence in himself so I ran with him. We have been training for about 6 weeks but he could have used more training. I had been busy with triahtlon training and could not help him out. When my season was over we met on the weekends for the long runs. I gave him some training plans from Hal Higdon and Jeff Galloway. Told him to try to follow something close to those plans but make it fit his level. We had a couple of long runs and he was having a hard time with the legs giving out on him, but I kept pushing him and figured his body would get use to the long runs. I think he was skipping to many runs during the week because of work or family. Anyway I trained him the best that I could and told him to go online for more info since I am not a coach but play one on TV.

Sunday morning around 4am, i cannot sleep. I do not know why it is not me that is racing but I am excited for my brother. I call him at 5am and tell him we can leave at 5:30am to find good parking. I tell him to call my cell so not to wake my family but he calls my home number anyway. I scold him and he tells me he is nervous and apologizes. I ask him if he wants me to drive and he says yes. He is on empty so we stop for gas but still make good time and arrive around 6:30 am. I find parking on the streets but my brother argues with me that we should park at the free big parking lot. I tell him its a nightmare and we will have a hard time getting out. He finally agrees with me and we park about 4 blocks from the race start. We walk around and he is getting excited by the minute. There are over 12,000 runnners and it is crowded. We see the police wrestle a young drunk, they have there foot in his face but he is still mouthing off to them. Around 7:00am I tell my brother we should warm up, so we run for 10 minutes. Then we stretch for about 15 minutes and we walk towards the 12 minute pace area. I tell him its just another long weekend run and to put positive thoughts in his head and imagine himself finishing strong. We run for about 10 minutes then we break for 1 minute, we do this for about 10 miles. Run, walk just like we trained. Then somehow after mile 10 at a water break we separate. I am getting water into my water bottles from my fuel belt so I can give to my brother when he is thirsty. I can't find him anywhere, I sprint ahead to the 2:30 pace runner and he is not with the group. I then heard an ambulance and ran back but it was someone else. Then I ran ahead again but did not find him. finally at mile 12 I caught up to him and he is asking me to give him the shot blocks that I am carrying on my fuel belt along with water.
He tells me his legs fell like cement. I tell him to rest 30 seconds but we need to finish strong. We can see the finish line about 200 meters and I tell him if he has anything left to sprint in. He sprints in and he is happy with his finish time. We are only 8 minutes off from our goal but we are both happy with the outcome. We don't stick around for the post party and head home. I am straving so my brother treats me to breakfast at a restuarant close to our home. I tell him we need to figure out when to start training for the full marathon next year. He tells me he does not think he can complete a marathon. I ask him if he thought he could do a half marathon a year ago. I tell him with the proper training you can do it.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Accenture 2007

I almost did not compete this year due to power outtage for several days amongst other issues. I wanted my kids to compete in the Mcdonalds kids triathlon but because we had no power and flooding we put everything on hold. Power finally came on Saturday morning around 2AM. I could hear the sump pump going for hours. Then after we get a clean up cure in to clean my wife lays a bomb on me. She had gone to the doctor Friday and needs to go to the hospital. I tell her we should have gone Friday but she did not want to leave the family with all the issues going on. Finally I take her to the hospital and it is around 7pm. My wife tells me I should go and compete at the Accenture Tri Sunday. I tell her I should stick around for the kids. She tells me they will be fine if they need to they can go to my brohters home. He lives a couple of blocks away. I decide around 9pm to do the race. I get my gear, put air in the tires and off to bed.

I can't l;eep so I get out of bed around 3am, I eat get ready and leave my home around 3:30. I arrive downtown around 3:55 am and find a parking lot. I did not realize that you can park for free on Sundays. I grew up in the city and worked downtown for a while I should know this stuff. Anyway I paid $14 to park and find another Triathlete from Oak Park. She is early to, she did not know where transition is and wanted to make sure she had plenty of time. I walk with her to the transition since I know where to go and then we spilt up. I had to go to the trouble tent. Last night I noticed I my packet number was different than my number on my bag. I ask the staff there and they want to give me a new number and timming chip. I tell them no, since there is no way of testing the chipp. They say i should be fine.

I see Jim Q at transition, he is wave one and I am in wave five so we are close. I walk over to the swim area and I spot a SCTC jersey. Its Christina and her friend, she is excited and we start to chatt. I ask what time it is and she tells me its 6am. Yikes my wave starts at 6:15M. I run into the wave line up and we are next. I put on my cap amd goggles, we jump in and the water is freezing. I was not prepared for the cold and I start to freak out. next thing I know I hear the horn, but I need to start my watch. I think I hit my watch but later find out I did not. 50 meters in I can't see a darn thing. I sprayed my goggles with the anit fog spray. I have used it before but it does not work this time. I think because of the cold and my warm body. Of cours my form goes all out but I think I catch up to some of wave 4 then later I see some of wave 3. Then I remember this is the race of the newbies and the people that can't swim.
I had put my slippers on the end of the swim so I put them on and off I go. Get my bike and don't put on socks for a first in this season. I had my bike in a low gear and I put my feet on top of my shoes after I get past the little hill I put my feet in my shoes. I feel good and pedal as hard as I can I was only passed by 4 guys this race. Usuallt its about 10 guys and some ladies. I catch up to alot of people and feel good. Off the bike and T2, I put on the socks since I do not want blisters. I run but I am out of breath I need to slow down. I wore my HRM but have not looked at it since my timer was never on. I get tot he first water station and I stop and drink and off I go. I finally get in a groove, but I start chatting a young lady around mile 1. We are both about the same pace and we talk a little. Then mile 2 marker and I have to shift inot a higher gear. I start to redline but I keep going and then i sprint in. I go find my time at the tent and find out I was 2 minutes slower than last year. I guess all the HIM training has made me slower. On one good note my bike was faster by 2 minutes. Must be the new tri bike(tina). Started at 6:15 and ended at 7:41. I called my kids and they put their order in for McDonalds breakfast and I was home by 9am.
Time for marathon training, I better not get injured like last year. I will take it easy with the speed workouts, that what got me into trouble last year along with to many miles to quick.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Tri Masters

Well last year my kids competed in their first triathlon. It was the McDonalds kids triathlon at foster beach. I was not impressed with the race. First the adults get to race first, so the kids have to wait till all the adults are off the course. This could take all day with some of the slow pokes we seen. Anyway around 10 am they finally started, it was about time since we were there around 7am. This year we decided to try the Tri- Masters triathlon for kids on 63rd and LSD. The start was delayed for about 30 min. but then they began with the adult race. Then the kids. So the kids finally started around 8:35am. This was better than last year I guess.

I forgot to warn my kids last year about all the kicking and slapping in the swim leg. So this year I told them to get in the back like I do. We convinced our 12 year old nephew to compete and he was about the 10th kid out of the water. He is taller and more aggressive than my kids so he did not have a problem pushing the small kids out of his way. My kids caught up to him in the transition area and my son that was almost last out of the water was pretty quick out of T1. They took about 17 min. on the 4.5 mile bike course with their mountain bikes. Then off to the run, my son Teo was still ahead of my nephew and my other son by about 1 min. On the run my son Teo kicked it up a notch and ended up 14th and my other son was 16th. My nephew ran out of steam on the run and had to walk most of the run leg. I tried to get my kids to train but they do not like any type of structured training. They say its to much like school. Overall they had fun and now they would like to enroll in the Mcdonalds kids Tri at the end of the month.

Sunday, July 29, 2007


Finally have time to write in the blog. I did however create a race report on BT. One of my tri-mate had a cancellation for her hotel so she offered a room. At first I said naw I will catch a ride with my other nutty buddy (Big D). Then my wife said I would be better rested if I had spent the night. I told her okay you talked me into it. I had to drop of the bike the day before anyway. I though she would have a problem with me staying in the same room with a young lady. She was cool with it. All I had to do was wear my flannel PJ's. Thats not fair since I like to sleep in the nude. Anyways back to the race, we woke up about 4am, but i did not get much sleep. i think I slept 2-3 hours tops, I would have been better off at home. At home I can relax in my own bad and my wife can read me a bedtime story so I can fall asleep. I take a nasty dump then Kelly takes a nasty dump. We fuel up with bananas and bagels, Kelly eats her cereal with soy milk. Then we get to the transition before 5am. We walk around chatting about the race and how much fun it will be. Finally it opens and we get marked and we put our stuff by our bikes. We get into the chipp line but no one is moving. I go and ask the guy at the table if they will open up on time. He tells me to get back in line and they will open when they are ready. Other words Fuck-off. So I get back in line and they finally start passing the chipps out. I find my nutty buddy Big D. We take a pix with the SCTC. Big D and I go for a small warm up run and then we go for a little warm up swim. Then the race begins, wave after wave until its my turn. I stick in the back so I don't get hit but have waited to long to draft anyone dang. I am playing catch up and do so but the main pack is gone. I finish my swim around 44min but by the time my chip hits the mat its about 46. T1= 1:35 Thats okay I was saving energy for the bike. My shoes are on the bike and I jump on. I ride a little before I slip into the shoes. I start to hammer away and it feels good with the new bike fit. I am passing people but I am also being passed. I catch up to Kelly and then Linda. I was only averaging 18:5mph. Oh well ,work to be done for next year. My neck started to hurt around 2 hours from the aggressive bike fit. My coach warned about that. I kept my heart rate at a decent place around zone 3 sometimes 4, but for most I was at a good place and felt strong. Drank alot of fluids and took a lot of endurolytes along with tumms. I did not however eat any gels which may have been my downfall for nutrition. My coach recommended a liquid nutrition for me but that may not have been good enough. Bike 3:02 T2 / 2:01
On the run I started nice and easy and keeping my HR low zone 3. I felt ok until there was a hill to climb which I did not want to take any chances and decided to walk. Not far from there I felt a cramp creeping up and I took another endurolyte along with a gel. The run was better than Rockman but still cramping during the run. I know I can do better on the run so I really need to fine tune the nutrition part of my HIM races. Run 2:23