Monday, December 14, 2009

How to Combine CrossFit and Triathlon Training



Well folks, I'm a bit bored of training over the holidays, so I've decided to inject a bit of variety and intensity into my triathlon training plan. Specifically, I'm going to begin combining the popular intensity of CrossFit training, straight from http://www.crossfit.com with just barely enough triathlon training to keep me fit enough to do the indoor YMCA triathlons over the winter, as well as a bit of detail work to keep me injury-free.

So are you curious what a weekly fitness routine that combines CrossFit and Triathlon Training actually looks like? Here's what I'll be doing (only doing the weekend workouts if I'm not snowshoeing or skate skiing):

5-10 minute elliptical or bicycle warm-up before each workout:

Day 1: - (Saturday for me):

-Rotator Cuff Detailing 1 (4x25 reps elastic band or cable internal rotation, external rotation, standing rows)
-Cross Fit (whatever appears at CrossFit.com for that day*)
-5K run OR 45-60 minutes sport of your choice

Day 2: - (Sunday for me):

-Gluteus Medius Detailing 1 (4x25 reps hip hikes, fire hydrants, elastic band or cable external rotation)
-Cross Fit (whatever appears at CrossFit.com for that day)
-Swim or Bike Workout of Choice

Day 3: - (Monday for me):

-Core Detailing 1 (4x20 reps side plank rotations, front plank reaches, bridges)
-Cross Fit (whatever appears at CrossFit.com for that day)
-5K run OR 45-60 minutes sport of your choice

Day 4: - (Tuesday for me):

-Rotator Cuff Detailing 2 (4x15 reps dumbbell front raises, side raises, empty cans, upper-cuts)
-Cross Fit (whatever appears at CrossFit.com for that day)
-Swim or Bike Workout of Choice

Day 5: - (Wednesday for me):

-Gluteus Medius Detailing 2 (4x25 reps elastic band front walks, side walks, backward walks)
-Cross Fit (whatever appears at CrossFit.com for that day)
-5K run OR 45-60 minutes sport of your choice

Day 6: - (Thursday for me):

-Core Detailing 2 (4x20 reps cable torso twists, bicycle crunches, low back extensions)
-Cross Fit (whatever appears at CrossFit.com for that day)
-Swim or Bike Workout of Choice

Day 7 - (Friday for me):

-Workout Make-Up Day, Off Day, or Play

*If no workout appears at CrossFit.com on any of these days, then you get to do 1 hour of aerobic, fat-burning cardio in it's place.

I'm going to be posting some more workouts like this over at http://www.rockstartriathlete.com , so stay tuned to that website, and heck yes, that's my tattoo!

NO COMMENTS ALLOWED ON THIS PARTICULAR POST, AS I GOT SOME OFFENSIVE COMMENTS WITH BAD LINKS.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Clearwater Race Report




As you may have guessed, the Clearwater 70.3 World Championships are the world championships for Half-Ironman triathlon. And since most of my efforts this year have been focused on speed in that distance, this race was probably the most important of the year in terms of milestones.

Clearwater Beach is a fun and small collection of cool restaurants, fancy hotels, and gorgeous waterfront. I was lucky enough to stumble upon a real gem of a hotel - the Tropical Isle Motel By the Sea - nestled just near a 5 star resort at a fraction of the price. The owner, Steve, really took care of myself and my roomate, and as a bonus, he also happened to know all the best places to eat!

The day before the race, the organizers actually canceled the ocean open water swim. Hurricane Ida, bless her heart, had left behind some lingering inclement conditions, so the entire swim venue was moved across the island to a small bay with much less "chop".

And since there was no big beach on the bay for a traditional running beach start, the plan was to simply have all athletes enter the water one-by-one, tripping a timing mat with an ankle chip as they entered the water.

We left in the approximate order of our race number, and as athlete #1604, I had a bit of a wait before entering the water. As it was, the long wait led up to a rather anti-climactic swim start.

The normal affair for these type of events is for a cannon-boom or airhorn to send hundreds of athletes flurrying in the water at once, in what amounts to an overwhelming feeling of being thrown into a washing machine full of bowling balls. You then kick, punch and claw your way forward in an all-out sprint for 200 yard before the pack thins out.

In contrast, the Clearwater time-trial swim scenario went like this:

Race official: "OK, step forward please."

Me: "Me?"

Race official: "Yes, go ahead and get in the water."

Me: "Just get in?"

Race official: "Yes, don't dive though."

Me: "So when do I start swimming?"

Race official: "Now. OK, next person step forward please."

So I just basically started swimming. It was...boring. The swim was uneventful, a bit slower than expected (due to less salt in the bay water, and maybe less current pushing me in), and involved an enormous amount of self-motivation without the churning crowd of swimmers pushing me along. It was a good two minutes into the swim before I actually felt like I was *racing*.

Coming out of the water, the swimmers were directed into a narrow, single-person wide ramp that had us lined up nearly thirty swimmers back. Just standing there, waiting to exit the water. As you recall, my race number of 1604 dictated that 1603 other athletes (some very slow athletes) were lined up there in front of me.

Moo. Moo-ve. Please moo-ve.

29:00 on the swim. My goal had been 25:00. I kinda shrugged it off when I saw the high number on my watch, since there was really no way to compare this swim with last year's swim due to the completely different course.


------------------------

Finally elbowing my way through the crowd of sedated swimmers, I took off in a dead sprint to transition, bypassing the wetsuit strippers, where a literal line of athletes were waiting patiently to have their wetsuits "stripped".

Transition to the bike felt pretty good and quick, but with the size of the transition area at this huge venue, this still meant over 2 minutes spent weaving my way through the maze of bikes to finally exit and start my favorite, strongest leg of the sport.

------------------------

My bike felt good. Fantastic actually. With a smart taper, a chance to train in both Hawaii and Jamaica in the last few week's leading up to the race, implementation of the recommendations from my Bioletics testing, and continued pre-race use of Enerprime and delta-E, my body felt 100% primed, my legs were fresh and the heat was a total non-issue. I've also been using a brand new recovery product that I'll be able to reveal soon, but it is made by Mt. Capra (same company that makes the double-bonded whey protein that I use) and it has some serious beneficial effects, especially in the heat.

I left the disc behind for this race, but even with the Zipp 909 wheelset, the Specialized Transition is a very fast bike, and I spent a couple hours before the race tuning it perfectly.

The first 15 miles SAILED by (again, zero fogging in my new Zeal sunglasses), and I was literally powering through the entire field of cyclists. With hundreds of riders to navigate through, it was a bit like driving on a busy highway, but I was seriously focused.

Usually around this time, I have to begin gritting my teeth and painfully digging in for the next twenty miles or so, but my legs just never went stale. Of course, I was using my usual fuel - GU Roctane combined with Millennium Sports Athlytes.

***BY THE WAY, Millennium Sports actually OVERNIGHT SHIPPED ME my Athlytes when I informed them I accidentally left Washington without their proprietary blend of electrolytes and lactic acid buffers. This company literally gives you the best service you'll find, anywhere. Check them out.***

In the shift in direction at South-North turnaround, about mile twenty-five, I glanced behind me and realized that I was towing a group of about a dozen cyclists. Once we made the turn, over the next 5 miles, this group morphed into a peloton of well-over twenty riders.

Three times, I made a very concerted effort to ride off the front and leave the group behind, but I was gradually wearing myself away, and the pack swallowed me up after less than two miles every time.

I can confidently say that I was one of the best riders in the field on Saturday, and despite these damaging momentum surges from the large draft-packs, I would have easily posted close to a 2 hour bike split, if what had happened next did not happen.

--------------------------------



Just a few minutes after the mile 45 aid station, I rode up into the back of the largest pack of riders I have ever seen in a race. The Clearwater bike course is such that they allot ONE narrow lane to the entire field of athletes, and this lane is lined with a curb on one side, and large cones on the other.

As such, there was absolutely no way for me to pass this pack of riders, which appeared to be primarily comprised of female, middle-age cyclists, riding around 20 miles per hour. In total, I'd estimate this super-peloton to have been comprised of 90-100 riders. For the next seven miles, I tried countless times to pass the group, but it was literally impossible.

It was during those miles that I lost a good seven to eight minutes, and also lost any chance of clinching a podium spot. Just a few minutes into my "collision" with the back of this pack, I realized more me to make up this time, I'd have to run close to a 1:15. Realistically, I knew this wouldn't happen and it was disappointing.

Bike goal: 2:01; Bike actual time: 2:09.

-----------------------------------------

At this point, mentally for me, the race was over, and now it was just about putting together a good run and enjoying myself. Plus, there was possibly a chance that other guys in my division experienced the same momentum suck on the bike, and I could still place decently.

As I ran into the transition tent and emptied my "run gear" bag onto the asphalt to change, I realized that I had actually been handed my "swim gear" bag. Don't get me wrong: the Blue Seventy Helix wetsuit and Element goggles are a great combo, but I'm usually not wanting to wear a wetsuit and goggles for a half-marathon, so I ran back out and grabbed my REAL run gear bag with my Avia Bolt racing flats. Not a big deal, but I lost perhaps thirty seconds in transition.

The Clearwater half-marathon run is a fairly straightforward double 10K out-and-back, and I managed to negative split with a 45 minute first run and a 43 minute second run.

Interestingly, I expected to have more energy on the run considering my unfortunate chance to rest and recover for the last 10 miles of the bike, but I think my mental motivation was not where it could have been. Again, a bit of a let-down, but if this sport was mentally and physically "easy", it wouldn't be a challenge.

When you're having trouble with motivation, that third 5K of a half-marathon is probably the toughest spot. You're tired, but not close enough to the finish line for the "almost there" adrenaline rush to take over. I felt a bit sluggish during this part of the race, and may have lost a couple minutes there.

Run goal: 1:25; Run actual time: 1:28

-------------------------------

My goal going into this race was to podium. I knew that would take at least a 4:05, and my goal time, realistically based on my fitness, was a 4:00 to a 4:05 (this would have placed me somewhere between third and fifth at World Championships). If my bike split would have been "on", I could have easily posted a 4:05, and probably closer to a 4:02.

As it was, my final time was a 4:13. 20th place.

Psychologically, I was a bit down after the race and actual sat on the beach and had a bit of a cry for a little bit afterwards, because I put a good amount of fitness, training and focus into this culmination of the race season, and felt like a large part of the race was outside my control.

Nonetheless, this turned out to be quite a successful race season - and my major goal of dominating at Half-Ironman was achieved. I used a model of quality over quantity in my training all-season and NEVER trained more than 15 hours in any week, with an average of 10-12 hours. This allowed me to devote more time to family, work and hobbies, and still end up with some of my fastest races ever and a total of 15 triathlons in the 2009 race season.

I also have the best sponsors in the sport. I am very picky with gear and nutrition, and feel that I literally train and race with the creme of the crop when it comes to endurance sports.

Those names include:

Mt. Capra (recovery fuel)
Millennium Sports (racing fuel)
Impax (health fuel)
Avia (shoes)
Zeal (sunglasses)
Specialized (bike & cycling gear)
Blue Seventy (wetsuit & swim gear)
Bumblebar (energy bars)
GU (gels)
nuun (electrolytes)

If you EVER want to use any of the same products that I use in your training and racing, please e-mail me and I'll be happy to tell you exactly how I use the products from the companies mentioned above.

Thanks for reading.

Will I compete next year? You bet, and I'll be faster. Keep your eyes peeled for my 2010 Road to Kona.

Monday, October 12, 2009

I Lied...

...*this* is the final video:

Friday, October 9, 2009

Still Even, Yes, More Kona 2009 Fun Videos

Interviewing Bevan and James from the IM Talk Podcast...



Checking out the New Blue Seventy Point Zero 3 Skinsuit...



And making a post-workout delicacy...

The Kona Underwear Run 2009: Photos and Video...





Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Monday, October 5, 2009

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Grand Columbian Grinder

I camped at this race. I am a real mountain man, actually. As if you didn't know that already.

And I especially felt like a mountain man as I sat in the back of my car (where I slept), surfing my campsite wireless internet, just after jetting down the street to grab a prime rib. Camping can be rough, but I survived - sandwiched in between a couple giant RV's in my cozy Honda Fit "tent".

;)

Grand Columbian is one of those race weekend "festivals", with an Olympic, Aquabike, and Half Ironman all shoved into one giant triathlon party. Ironically, the course is a bit like Wildflower festival (a much bigger party) down in California - relatively calm and easy open water lake swim, followed by a steep bike climb out of transition and lots of wind and rollers, and finishing with a run that takes you off-road with several energy-sucking up's and down's.

I've never raced this event before, but my plan was to go for the Half-Ironman and make it a good "last local race" of the season. There were definitely some contenders at this race, and I knew that to do anything special, I'd have to hurt.



I took in my customary GU espresso flavored gel 5 minutes before the swim start. The swim was smooth and simple. With a buoy line clearly visible, sighting was barely ever necessary, and I have to admit that I did not feel even slightly winded during the swim. I was surprisingly easy, especially considering that I barely drafted. It appears that I came out of the water fourth, just 60 seconds off the leader with a swim time of 26:54.

My plan was to quickly consume a gel, some electrolytes, and a big swig of water, before hitting the big hill, since I knew I'd be climbing hard and wouldn't have a chance to fuel at that point. I rode into first place, but about halfway up the hill, I was passed by Team Timex pro Kyle Marcotte, who actually just came of a seventh place Ironman Canada overall finish.

The rest of the bike, I put some time into the rest of the field (except for Geoff Heureux, who just placed as one of the top amateurs at Ironman Coeur D' Alene and was chasing me a few minutes behind in this race) and attempted to keep Kyle in my sights. He consistently stayed 3-4 minutes ahead of me during the majority of the ride. At this point, I knew I was out of my league, and I'd have to have the breakthrough run of my life to chase him down. I came of the bike in 2:32 and change...

Knowing I was sandwiched between an 8:44 Ironman pro and a speedy amateur who just posted a 9:30 at Ironman Coeur D' Alene, I knew that I couldn't afford to make any mistakes on the run.

But recently, I've been studying and beginning to utilize the "walk-run" method of racing distance, and this was my game-plan going into Grand Columbian - to place strategic, very fast 45-60 second walk breaks at 4-5 points throughout the half-marathon. This would theoretically 1) allow me to take a quick sip of water, fuel, and swallow one of the Millennium Sports "Athlytes" salt capsules without the typical choking and gasping for air that happens when you try to do this stuff while you're running; 2) let my core briefly cool and my heart rate come down just slightly; 3) keep me mentally motivated to have a faster pace *between* each walk break.

So this is what I did.

I'll have to say that this felt like a great way to approach the half-marathon, and despite feeling like I was grinding through the entire half, my last two miles were sub 6 minute splits. In the end, I ran a 1:31, which is not a fast half-marathon, but on this course, it was actually one of the faster splits. Kyle also ran 1:31 and held me off to win by about 2 minutes and 40 seconds. My goal time going into the this race was to post somewhere around a 4:30, and my final time was a 4:34.

But I can still run faster. I know I can...it'll happen!



After a race like this, I especially realize how much I owe to my sponsors and how impossible the journey of a triathlon season would be without them...

Post-Race Magnetic Clay Magnesium Oil combined with Recoverease. I am not sore at all after this race. Crazy...

Specialized and Wheelsport East, who provided me with a very special bicycle that has consistently outperformed 99% of other racers out there on the course...

Avia, for the outpouring of cutting-edge shoes, support and "soft gear" for running, riding and racing...

GU, who has literally raised the bar through the roof with their new flavors and their scientifically rock-solid pineapple Roctane, which is officially now the favorite thing I eat during training and racing...

Millennium Sports Technologies for their high quality supplements Cordygen VO2 (lungs) and Somnidren GH (sleep) that I can take without worrying at all about what I put into my body being "laced", since all their compounds are WADA and cGMP certified...

Impax for the immune-boosting, high performance Enerprime superfood multivitamin, Delta-E energy powder and EnerEFA fatty acids...

Mt. Capra nutritionals for keeping me recovered and giving me high-quality and healthy proteins with CapraMilk and Double-Bonded Protein...

Zeal Optics for their sunglasses, which I discovered late this season and realized that I had no clue how light and comfortable sports performance optics can actually be...

nuun electrolyte tablets for keeping me hydrated and giving me the best alternative ever invented to soda and unhealthy "electrolyte" drinks...

Blue Seventy wetsuits for the Helix wetsuit and Element goggles, both of which fit like a glove...

Tim at Therapproach and Brian at Spokane Sports Chiropractic for keeping my body put together!


Well, folks...this was it. Pretty much the last race of the season other than the November 14 70.3 World Championships in Clearwater.

Up to this point, here's how the season has gone down so far:
  • Half Ironman Chile 2009: 17th overall, 2nd division
  • Snake River Sprint 2009: 2nd overall, 1st division
  • Half Ironman New Orleans: 90th overall, 10th division
  • Walla Walla Onionman 2009: 6th overall, 2nd division
  • Half Ironman Boise 2009: 21st overall, 6th division
  • Tiger Triathlon 2009: 2nd overall, 1st division
  • Troika Triathlon 2009: 2nd overall, 1st division
  • Coeur D’ Alene Triathlon: 4th overall, 2nd division
  • Portland Triathlon: 4th overall, 1st division
  • Grand Columbian Half Ironman: 2nd overall, 1st division
How do I feel about my performance?

Bittersweet. I've felt incredibly strong swimming and cycling in nearly every race this season, but the run has really haunted me. Between now and November, I'll be continuing to focus on becoming a better runner by doing more speedwork, run-walk strategy practice, barefoot training and gluteus medius strengthening, as well as including cyclocross, tennis and basketball for cross-training. I truly enjoy life's challenge of finding the "weak links" in my physical chain and making them stronger.

So after this week of relative rest and recovery, and one more week of easy training, I'll be headed down to Kona to watch the Ironman World Championships, attend the Hawaii Ironman Medical Conference, and put in a week of hard training to prepare for Clearwater...

Until then, keep your eyes posted on http://www.bengreenfieldfitness.com for some very cool updates that will keep YOU going strong...

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Rock On, GU.

In this video, I reveal a tip for using the new flavors of Roctane most effectively during 70.3 and Ironman triathlon...

Zeal Bluetooth "Confidant" Sunglasses

So where can you get them? Aside from stealing my super-cool pair, just go to http://www.zealoptics.com

Monday, August 24, 2009

Portland Tri-Where-The-Heck-Am-I?

Let me begin by apologizing for the readily apparent lack of photography in this race report. My personal photographer Jessa, to whom I trade sex for photos, happened to be volunteering on the race course.

I was up in Toronto speaking at Can-Fit-Pro on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday (and traveling with the new "Cucumber-Mint" flavored nuun - holy cow!), but after flying home and getting a solid eight hours of sleep on Friday night, Jessa and I packed up the car, dropped the kid's off at Grandma's and rolled into Portland on Saturday afternoon, rushing into the downtown Marriott just as they were closing down packet pickup.

When I picked up the packet, I decided it would be prudent to ride the three loop bike course, which promised to be technical, as it was an "urban" race through downtown Portland and the university district. Sure enough, I counted six nearly 180 degree changes of direction in just one eight-mile loop of the 40K bike, not to mention several very fast descending corners. I do not consider myself a skilled bike handler, so this made me a bit nervous.

At the end of the ride, I tacked on a preview of the two-loop run course, which was a more basic "rectangle". Seemed pretty simple.

We spent the night at our gracious hosts and team members of the Ironheads - Dave and Ann Ciaverella. Not only did Ann have my stand-by sweet potatoes ready to cook on the counter, but Dave gave me a rundown of my potential competition the next morning.

I slept well. I've been using topical magnesium oil prior to bedtime before races, and literally sleep a solid eight hours easily, with no waking. It's especially effective combined with Millennium Sports Somnidren GH.

My plan was to attack this race by staying in the lead swim pack, and riding hard for the first loop, since I knew the course would be congested with both Sprint and Olympic distance athletes on the second and third loops, and it would be tough to sight my competition. With the cluster that was sure to happen on the run (over a hundred Sprint triathletes would be out on the run course by the time the Olympic athletes finished the bike), the trick in this race would be to know exactly who you were chasing and who was chasing you.

Fuel would be light - just 300 calories of GU Electrolyte Brew on the bike, with Delta-E, Enerprime, Cordygen VO2 Ultra, Hammer Race Caps, and a few sprays of magnesium on the legs 30-60 minutes prior.

This was a six wave start, and my wave was first. From the get-go, my plan worked pretty well. Near as I could tell, I was third out of the water, and basically drafted second place the entire time. I didn't even feel like I worked *at all* on the swim, but my rule is that if I have to sprint to pass someone I'm drafting, there's no use wasting energy swimming side-by-side for 1500m.

Rather than running 200 meters to transition from the dock, I sat down on the dock immediately out of the water and stripped my wetsuit, then carried it to my bike. This was my first mistake. By transitioning apart from the rest of the field, I had no clue who was "transitioning with me". So when I headed out on my Specialized Transition, I was a bit bewildered about my overall standing in the field.

When I passed Jessa, she gave me a 2 minute split on the leader, but not an overall placing, But it didn't matter - 2 minutes was the rabbit to chase, and I felt like I was riding strong, descending well, and avoiding, for the most part, the surprsingly high number of vehicles on the race course. Beginning lap two, even with the congestion, Jessa managed to give me a 90 second split. If I kept this pace, I could come off the bike 60 second behind the leader, and run them down.

Unfortunately, the rest of the bike ride turned into a series of failed attempts to pass swerving cyclists, avoid oncoming bike and vehicle traffic, pass cars on the left side of the yellow line, and place all my focus on "not crashing". I had no clue who passed me or who I passed, and whether they were Sprint or Olympic athletes (suppose this could be remedied by adding a simple "S" or "O" to the calf during body marking). My weakness and lack of experience in group bike racing really showed through in this race, and my bike split was weaker than usual compared to the other leaders in the race.

By the time I got off the bike, I didn't know where the heck I was in the overall standings, so I just shrugged my shoulders and decided to turnover my Avia Bolt running shoes as hard as I could and see where things stood when the smoke cleared. As expected, the double-loop run course was literally packed "shoulder to shoulder" with athletes. Another weakness of mine during a race is self motivation. If I don't have someone to chase or someone chasing me, I tend have a hard time pushing myself, and this was indeed the case.

Quick note: I notoriously throw my sunglasses aside in transition due to fogging and discomfort during the run, but I'm using the new Zeal Optics out of Boulder, Colorado, and I honestly cannot even tell I am wearing them. Zero fogging, light as feathers....

My 10K time, although 45-60 seconds faster than I've been running this year, was nowhere near fast enough to catch a 35 and 36 minute, 1st and 2nd place, although I came close to catching 3rd place. Since I'm writing this report in the car, I don't remember most of their names, but a fast fella named Grant Folske won, even more impressive based on his stellar performance in the Hulaman Half-Ironman the weak prior.

When the smoke actually did clear, it turned out that was 4th place overall and 1st in my division. My only consolation is that the next fastest overall athlete was 5 minutes back, and the next fastest division athlete was 11 minutes back! So I was able to hang with most of the big boys...but I'd rather they have been behind me.

Post-race, I fueled up with Recoverease, Mt. Capra protein powder, and, in this case, a ginger doughnut dipped in cafe chocolate gelato. My overall impression of the Portland Triathlon is that they're doing a fantastic job with sustainability, offering bamboo t-shirts, biodegradable cups, and even the opportunity to "buy off" your carbon credits from traveling to the race.

I actually wouldn't mind having another shot at this event, once I get a chance to work on my cycling skills, which could probably be accomplished by hitting the cyclocross circuit this fall and winter, then trying to work in a few crit races. Seems like every event this year I'm learning more about how to make it to the top of the podium. But with a growing handful of second, third and fourth place overall finishes, it appears I'm gonna have to keep learning those hard lessons, which ultimately helps me become a better coach and athlete!

Thanks for reading.

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Greenfield's Attack Couer D' Alene...

This is one of those races that people who aren't from around here really don't even know about, but for all of us locals, it is a "Main Event", kinda like Hoopfest, Pig Out In The Park, or growing a mullet.

Hence my double excitement when *I* decided to race and found out *my wife* also wanted to race! With luck, we could sneak off at 4am, throw down an Olympic distance triathlon, and make it back to the house before the sleeping babies even realized we abandoned them.

We ended up getting a babysitter anyways (thanks Grandma and Grandpa Casebolt!).

Since Jessa raced "team runner" for the Troika Half Ironman on Sunday, and I raced the full distance, we both woke on Monday morning not terribly confident about this event. Her toe was swollen like a red pepper, and I was just...tired. Two days before the race, Jessa told me she didn't think she could do it (her first triathlon of the season). I told her that not only could she do it, but she could easily pull off a 2:40.



The night before the big day, I took her out to the river and helped her put on/take off her wetsuit (which she'd been in ONCE) and showed her how she should swim in it. Nothing like last minute preparation.

That evening, we both felt good, rested, and ready to rumble. On the way over to the race on Saturday morning, we must have played the new Black Eyed Peas "I've Got a Feeling" three or four times. Good "pump you up" song.

Oh, and by the way, thanks for eating my morning sweet potato breakfast, babe. I took my second favorite stand-by: a chocolate bumblebar with an iced coffee and GU Espresso Flavored gel.



Transition set-up went smoothly, although I was a bit nervous about racing with a disc on my Specialized for the first time. As I found out later during the bike split, it actually isn't as hard to handle in crosswinds as I would have imagined.

I lined up behind Roger Thompson for the swim, not only because he's a friendly, familiar face to greet before a race, but because he's damn fast and it's always a lofty goal to try to stay on his feet. The swim start sounded about 800 of us were off to the races!

Having had a somewhat sluggish swim last year, with a 4th place finish, I really wanted to push it this year. I was using a new "breathing style" (super secret weapon method), and it seemed like I had a much faster and better swim, although later I found out the course was a bit short, and I didn't actually swim 1:05 100 meter splits. Darn.

In transition, somebody shouted that I was 0:40 down on Roger. This is not a good sign, especially since it appears they gave me that split based on the time he was *leaving* transition and I was *entering* it.



At the first turnaround, I split myself about 2:10 down on Roger, and realized at the same time that a very fast pro triathlete was also racing: Adam Jensen. Having come to this realization just before the big series of hills on the bike course, I realized I would have to really push if I wanted to "hold him back" before we reached the flats again, at which time I would have a small chance of "hanging with him", vs. getting dropped on the hills.

I was pretty happy that Adam didn't actually pass me until the top of the very last hill, but still split 1st place Roger a good 3 minutes up at the next turnaround. That's pretty much bye-bye territory in an Olympic distance event, unless that cyclist absolutely crumbles on the run. I kept hammering, which is what you always should do if you're way behind, because YOU NEVER KNOW, maybe those two guys ahead of you cut off some old lady in traffic on their way to the race, and they have karma comin'.

Anyways, I looked for Jessa on the bike, but never saw her. Later, I found out she had a SMOKIN' 21 minute swim and came out of the water way ahead of almost every girl in her division. So much for being nervous in a wetsuit.



Here I am arriving in transition, about 25 seconds behind Adam Jensen and who knows behind Roger. Although my bike split was nearly identical to last year, I was MUCH less tired and biked much more conservatively in the last 5 miles of this race, so I was pretty confident heading out on the run.

Do you ever have one of those runs where you FEEL fantastic and fast, but when you look at your watch, it's saying just the opposite? That was my run in this race, a little over 39 minutes. I never really felt that bad, but was actually passed twice (one guy was later DQ'd, still giving me 4th place) and ran almost 90 seconds slower than last year. I can't blame it on Troika, since I also did Troika 6 days before last year.

I just didn't run as fast as I thought I was running. Weird.

Not only that, but that makes it three times this season (Onionman, Tiger, CDA) in Olympic type races and thrice in Half IM's (Chile, New Orleans, Troika) where I JUST DIDN'T RUN WELL.

Since I have only three races left this season (Portland, Grand Columbian 1/2, Clearwater), I'm going to have to pull out some decent run splits or else I'll be disappointed. It's not a matter of putting out too much on the bike (I've been feeling very fresh in transition), as much as it is the "stroller runs". I'm serious. The majority of my runs have been stroller runs at tempo pace with the boys.



As of today (literally as soon as I finish this blog post), I am not QUITTING the stroller runs, but we are instead going to switch to stroller intervals. No joke. 1/4 mile and 1/2 mile repeats, because Daddy obviously needs some speedwork.

So...4th place finish, 2nd place division, similar time to last year.

And Jessa?

She ROCKED the swim, biked a 1:20-something despite forgetting to take the kid's trailer hitch off her bike and ran a fantastic 10K for an overall time of 2:34 -SIX minutes faster than what she had planned, with blood pooling in the shoe of her torn-up toe! Here I am running her into a 2ND PLACE division finish!




Way to go babe. I'm proud of you. Here we are on stage, with our one child. The other one will wonder forever why his parents only took his brother up there, and will wonder if that is why he is living in a jail cell for blowing up an animal shelter.



Thanks to my awesome sponsors...Specialized, GU, Avia, Zeal Optics, Millennium Sports, Mt. Capra Nutrition, Impax nutrition, WheelSport East, Therapeutic Approach Massage Therapy, Spokane Sports Chiropractic.

I would probably still be panting up a hill somewhere in Coeur D' Alene if it weren't for you.

Thanks for stopping by...

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Have You Seen This Wheel



First of all, let me say that the Troika Half Ironman was a BLAST and for the first year with the new race organizers, the event went swimmingly, no pun intended.

I lined up on the Medical Lake beach with some other dudes from Tri-Fusion (Ken Collins, Rick Phillips and a few other familiar faces) and within about 5 minutes after the start I was...

...overheated! The weather was predicted to be 95+, but feeling like you've lost your radiator just a few hundred yards into the swim is not fun. It didn't slow me down at all, but I have to say that's the warmest I've ever been inside a wetsuit. Water temp was 76.

I decided to draft the final 800 yards to keep my core temp down.

Coming out of the water, I *thought* I was in third place, behind the other two guys who came out of the water directly ahead of me, but as I pushed my bike out of transition, somebody shouted, "You're 4 minutes down!".

4 minutes?

This is not what you want to hear just a half hour into an event. One thing I was happy with, however, was that I threw on my brand new Zeal Optics sunglasses and not only were they incredibly light and face hugging, but I had ZERO fogging...

So I didn't really know who I was chasing until the out and back portion, where I clocked an unfamiliar face and bike about 3:30 ahead of me.

Although I rode my Specialized Transition nearly 5 minutes faster than 2007, with a 2:18 I was still nearly 4:30 back by the time the 56 miler ended in Riverfront park.

During the bike ride, I used GU Roctane and Millennium Sports Athlytes, then I switched to "course gels" for the run. I ran conservatively to the 10K mark, where I once again clocked first place (who I still didn't recognize) about 4 minutes ahead of me.

Troika is known for being notoriously warm, and if it weren't for the well-stocked aid stations with ice, ice water, and sponges, I'm not sure I would have avoided running off-course to take a dip in the river. My run was a bit disappointing at 1:34. If I could have run the 1:28 I was shooting for, I would have won the race, but, as it was, I was down by about 5 minutes by the time I crossed the finish line.

The winner was gracious, cool, and fast. His name was Chris Bordreaux, and he also happens to race as a pro for Avia...so Avia had a strong showing at the race, since they're my sponsor too!

So I'm happy with my time and my race...

But why was it a bittersweet event?

Because my front Zipp 606 wheel was STOLEN from Riverfront Park. It was entirely my fault, as I left it near the parking lot for nearly 10 minutes. But since I get to race in Coeur D' Alene again this Saturday, I'm pretty disappointed and desperate.

So if you see a Zipp front wheel (that could have had the WheelSport East stickers removed by this point), then let me know! You can see it right there in the picture at the head of this post.

Thanks...

Friday, July 31, 2009

How I Tested My Body For Six Key Athletic Performance Factors

For more details on these videos, listen to podcast episode #53 at bengreenfieldfitness.com by clicking here.




Saturday, July 4, 2009

Get To Be a Faster Open Water Swimmer With This Workout.



Ready to have some brutal fun? I actually assigned this workout to a few of my athletes this week (you know who you are!) This is a perfect race season workout for dialing-in power and speed...

Warm-up: 500m freestyle

Push-Ups to 50m Sprint Superset: On deck, 15 push-ups, directly into a 50m all out sprint. 60 second rest intervals. 5 times through.

50m Sprint Plus Time Trial: 50m all out sprint taken directly into 250m tempo effort just below race pace effort. Recover 1 minute and repeat 1x.

3x100m No-Stop Intervals: 100m at race pace intensity, but instead of resting at wall, swim 50m slow freestyle for recovery

3xLadders: Start away from the wall. Without pushing off the wall, swim to the center of the pool, turn 180, swim back towards the wall but turn at the T, not at the wall (no push-off). Now swim all the way down to the other end of the pool, and again stop at the T, not at wall and reverse direction again. At the center of the pool reverse direction one more time so that you end at the far end of the pool. Recovery is very easy breastroke or backstroke back to start.

10x25 Hypoxic Sets: No breathing. 15-20 second rest intervals.

Enjoy!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Boise 70.3 Race Report - Camel Toes & Gelato



So of course, the big deal about this race, the Boise 70.3 Triathlon, was the unique 2:00pm race start. As a matter of fact, I think the race announcer must have mentioned this fact about eleventy billion times during the pre-swim announcing. The World Triathlon Corporation must figure this will up-sell race registrations to all those non-morning people triathletes.

Unsure about how to handle such a late start, I spent the day clicking through TV channels, checking my e-mail, drinking water, checking facebook, watching Hulu, dressing up as a woman in skin-tight white nylons, and generally just whittling time away. I had alot of time to cook up my pre-race specialty - yams. It goes like this: put them in the oven for about an hour at 375, then eat them when they cool off. Eat your heart out, Martha Stewart.


And at one point, I actually took my bike downtown and gently rode the run course, just to shake out the legs and do one last check-over on my Specialized Transition. Where else in the world can you go check out the entire run course on race day before the race starts? But FINALLY, 12:30pm rolled around and I headed out to Lucky Peak Reservoir in the boon-docks of Boise. Here's a video shot just before I took off.




Since my age-group wave would be the last to depart (at 2:55pm), I got to sit and watch all the other participants begin their swims. During this time, the weather became less and less friendly, the black thunderclouds began to roll in, the water became choppy and cold, and they actually began "yanking" hypothermic and exhausted racers from the increasingly difficult lake swim. What began as a nice sunny day turned pretty crappy, pretty quick.

When I got in, I immediately felt that the water temperature DEFINITELY dropped from my practice swim prior day, likely from the wind churning up all the cold water. Race organizers said water temp was 64, but I suspect it was 58-59. No wonder they were pulling people from the water!

But personally, I was pretty happy with my swim, even though I COMPLETELY swam off course in the first 500 meters. I thought I was being a smart and sneaky racer by cutting to the inside of the yellow buoys in a direct line to the first turn buoy, but I actually mis-sighted my line and swam a good 200 meters too far to the inside. I believe I was looking a red kayak rather than the red buoy.

However, with a focus on high stroke turnover and a lower head than usual, I really felt like I made up tim and fought the chop pretty efficiently, despite swimming like a drunk driver for those first few minutes.

I ended up exiting the water with the second "pack" of 18-29 year old division age-groupers, about 2 minutes behind the lead pack. My goal was to beat 30 minutes in the water, and I had a 29:18 on my watch as I was sprinting up the transition mat, so that was good. And a nice steady downhill out of transition let my heart rate settle down and gave me a chance to dine comfortably on my blueberry-pomegranate GU Chomps.

Most of the bike was...wet and windy. Very wet and windy. This was the most inclement weather in which I've ever raced in six years (perhaps aside from a snowy sprint triathlon in Lewiston, ID last year). There was sleeting rain, lightning, thunder claps and heavy crosswinds. I really had to push to make my goal time of riding the course in 2 and a half hours. On the bike, I went through two bottles of water, plus whatever rain ended up in my aero bottle, along with 4 Roctane's and 4 GU's.

So I A) rolled into town almost exactly 3 hours and 2 minutes after the official race start (fist pump: once again, I was almost right on the money with my goal time) and B) was successful in not exceeding a heart rate of 171 during all but the steepest hills (after "blowing up on the run" in my last two halves, I decided to hold back on the bike and not exceed lactate threshold). In sunny conditions, this bike course would not have been incredibly difficult. I haven't compared the bike times to last year's, but I imagine they were slower overall.

I was passed by two division age-groupers on the bike, and from what I could tell upon exiting the swim, there were three division age-groupers in front of me. So that would put me in sixth place starting the run. In addition to wanting to finish the race in 4 and a half hours and finish the race in the top twenty-five age-groupers, I also wanted to podium as a top three in my age-group. I knew at this point that the last goal was going to be tough.

However, my objective was also to stay aerobic for the majority of the run, until about 5K remained, at which I knew my training would allow me to push a bit to the finish line. From experience in my other two half-Ironmen this year, I knew that if I went anaerobic too soon in the half-marathon, my race would be over. The last thing I wanted to do was ruin a great race by having to stop and throw-up, walk, or drop out.

So by focusing on high cadence, forward lean, controlled breathing, and ignoring the single age-grouper that passed me, that's what I did. Rather than destroy my race by trying to run down rabbits, I just had to hope they would fade before me. And at 10 miles, I grit my teeth and dug in, passed one of the guys that passed me on the bike and managed to negative split the second loop of the run by 1 minute, pulling off a 1:28 half-marathon and my first "respectable" run of the year, at a 6:50 pace.

My goal for this race was four and a half hours, and with a 4:31 at the finish line, I was pretty satisfied. I don't have the official results pulled up, but I believe I was 21st, so I also broke the top 25. I would have been a bit happer if I would have to been able to pass another three guys on the run and podiumed, but I would have needed at least 5 minutes, and I'm not sure where I would have found that much time, as I really gave a solid, 100% effort as it was.

This is my first Half-Ironman this year where I felt like I had a really great time, enjoyed the race, and gave everything that I could give. So maybe there really is something to this afternoon start...

After a post-race massage, a cuddle in one of those silver space-age blankets, and a few Recoverease pills, I felt good enough for lettuce wraps at PF Chang's and...of course...my post-race treat whenever I can find it...GELATO.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Pre Boise 70.3 Frolicking in Seaside, OR

On vacation in Seaside, Oregon...will be following up soon with Boise 70.3 course preview and pre-race report...but in the meantime, here are some videos that involve a cute little green tandem bicycle...

My wife's biggest concern seemed to be that I might fart in her face. I don't know where she thinks of these things...







Monday, May 25, 2009

Walla Walla Onionman Race Report


Synposis: 7th place overall, 2nd place division.

Legs are bit sore today. I soaked in magnesium oil and epsom salts, took 4 Recoverease capsules, and went for a good walk. One day off, then back to prep for Half Ironman Boise on June 14...

The sun was shining, which, for the Onionman, is almost like a solar eclipse or a virgin birth. But it happened. Absent a dark, dreary sky, sleeting rain, or a fierce wind, it was actually a pleasant race environment.



Pre-race nutrition: 2 Delta-E and 6 Enerprime, 2 Hammer Gel Race Caps, 3 Cordygen VO2, 1 Bumblebar, 1 banana.

During the race: 1 GU Roctane pre-race, 300 calories GU20 sport drink on bike. Nothing on run.

Prior to the swim, I lined up behind Roger Thompson and beside Michael Gordon, two previous race winners. A few other really recognizable speed demons were scattered into the crowd - David Gettle, Jeff Smith, Jason Jablonski - kinda a Who's Who of the Northwest triathlon scene. I figured as long as I could hang with this crowd on the swim, I'd have a decent chance at staying in the game on the bike and run.

Initially, I ended in a pack *behind* the lead pack after losing the leaders at the first buoy. Then, on the second lap of the two-lap swim, I actually strayed inside and swam the remainder of the race solo, coming out of the water in 21 minutes and change, and about 60 seconds behind 4 or 5 leaders.

The bike was fairly windy, but didn't seem quite as bad as previous years on the way out. My Specialized Transition really performs well on flat or slightly rolling courses, so I felt comfortable for the first 1/4 or so of the bike.

But something just didn't feel *right* at about that point, when I'd really been pushing the wattage for about 15 minutes. Post-race inspection revealed my seat to be about 1-2mm low - a simple assembly mistake but enough to give me "Princess and the Pea" syndrome for most of the 40K bike. Ultimately, the quads just felt a bit over-utilized. I'm glad this wasn't anything longer than an Olympic or this could have really hurt me.

As it was, I don't believe it slowed me down at all. It just felt different.

On the bike, I passed two team racers and one of the individual leaders on the bike and settled onto the run in 6th place, after biking around 1:03. I had committed not to "lay it on the line" like I usually do in an Olympic distance bike split. This means that I tried not to exceed my lactate threshold heart rate by more than 10 beats. Post-race, I wish I would've pushed a bit harder going out on the bike, as it was relatively fast coming back (though still a bit more of a headwind than previous years).



The run was just tough. I was hot, my legs were heavy, and I wish I could say this was a race that "clicked" for me, but sometimes the body just feels a bit off. Despite having a "half-week" taper leading up, which is usually enough to have a little blast in the legs, I was simply a bit sluggish during the entire run. I'm going to go ahead and Blame it on Boise, and the fact that I don't really start my official race taper for another week and a half.

I passed one fella, but got passed twice, once just a hundred yards before the finish line. My 10K time was 39:35, a good minute slower than when I raced this same course in 2007. As a matter of fact, my overall time was 4 minutes slower (part of this could have been a bit different wind on the bike, and an assuredly longer swim).

As a "low-priority" race, I'm happy with what I feel was a solid performance against a stellar field. Hats off to Michael Gordon for taking the overall win with a speedy run.

Post-race wine tasting in beautiful downtown Walla Walla involved meandering through seven different tasting rooms and one fine cheese and salami purveyor. After filling our tummies with the reds and whites of one of the best wine regions in the United States, Jessa and I sat in the town centre and feasted on a New York pepper salami, peppercorn and herb encrusted goat cheese, a crunchy demi-baguette, and a dark chocolate, Kahlua truffle.

I'm spending Memorial Day in Moscow, ID, hanging out at my favorite coffeeshop and playing on Facebook (look me up!). Over and out!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

My New Avia Bolts

Shh...don't tell my wife.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Monday, April 6, 2009

Blood-Sucking Caterpillars: A New Orleans Race Report




I awoke with a jolt on race morning when Chris punched me in the back. I rolled over and realized I'd slept through my alarm twenty minutes. Not that big of a deal, really, since we were primarily getting there early for him, since his wave left thirty minutes prior to mine. So off we went, with a quick stop off at the refrigerator to grab my pre-baked sweet potatoes, and wash them down with some Millennium Sports supplements, Hammer Race caps and Impax Enerprime. And of course, I grabbed my precious GU Espresso-flavored gel with some delta-E for that morning caffeine jolt.

Transition set-up went through without a snag. This race was a point-to-point swim, so we had to set-up transition, then walk or take a shuttle bus 1.2 miles down the rode to the swim start.

Sorry for the severe lack of photos, but after I set-up my transition area so beautifully and had my GU nutrition tattoos placed so strategically across my body, I grabbed my camera to snap a photo...and it was dead. But it looked good, I promise.

And you can purchase a professionally snapped race photo for the special price of 199.99 (three hundred dollar shipping charge applies). ;)

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Since I had time, and my wave didn't go off until 7:34, I opted to walk twenty minutes to the swim start. When I got to staging area, I slipped into the porta-potty and took a nice long poo, strolled over to the chip area and got my timing chip, then stretched awhile. I glanced at my watch.

Still 12 minutes left.

With my wetsuit hanging around my waist, I wandered off in search of some water, and heard the announcer give the "Silver Caps" the 60 second count-down.

I looked down in my hand. Silver cap.

Oops. Must've read something wrong.

Fumbling with my Blue Seventy Helix and yanking the swimcap over my head, I made a mad 50 yard sprint for the swim start, leapt over the gate and had a race official quickly zip me up. As I ran down the stairs into the water, my wave was literally doing the ten second countdown.

But somehow, arriving at this moment put me in a perfect inside jockeying position that allowed me to push off the stairs, glide underwater, and lead the entire pack to the first buoy. Three of us led the swim for the next 200m or so, then we started to swim into the wave that started ahead of us.

Everything broke up at that point (basically like swimmming into a mine field) and the next 25 minutes were spent swimming "around people". And yes, the lake tastes like a mix of sushi and metal.

Nonetheless, I felt like I came out of the water in a good position, and only saw 2 other bikes when I arrived at my transition towel. The swim was somewhere around a 29, and I crossed the timing mat at about 30, as it was a fairly long transition chute.

---------------------------------------

From the minute I hopped onto my Specialized Transition, I knew I would have a pretty solid bike split. I had a great taper for this race, and for the days leading up, was feeling some real power in the legs. They were poppin', so to speak.

The first 10 miles or so of the bike was ultra-bumpy, and on the first real teeth-rattling speed bump/pothole/volcanic crack (still not really sure what it was), my special-made Profile Design downtube gel holder device thingy spit out all my GU Roctane and scattered it across the road.

Here I had to make a quick decision: lose momentum, stop, and gather my nutrition, or push on and survive on aid-station Gatorade and the one packet of GU Chomps I had shoved up my shorts. I ended up making a stupid decision, and for all the athletes that I coach, do as I say, not as I did on this one. It would have cost me maybe 20-30 seconds to stop and gather my nutrition off the road, but I didn't stop.

And this was knowing that Gatorade messes up my gut, which I learned after a similar incident in Hawaii. Take away lesson: in the heat of the race, listen to your brain, not your emotions.

Fortunately, it turned out that there were "unadvertised" Powerbar Gels at most of the aid stations. These things don't hold a candle to the caffeinated, branched chain amino acid/maltodextrin blend of GU Roctane. But I can tolerate them, unlike Gatorade.

So, surviving off a bit of an unanticipated nutrition plan, I continued with what I consider to be one of my better Half-Ironman bike performances. My heart rate was dialed in the entire time, and I literally sailed through the field. I came out of my aero position just a few times.

Interestingly, I realized after the race that my seatpost had slipped nearly 3 millimeters when I went over the speed bump! This may have been why my quads were more sore than usual the day after. I was pushing pretty good wattage with a high amount of weight on the pedals and "hovering" over the saddle most of the time, so this didn't hold me back too much. My bike split was around a 2:20, and I felt great coming into transition.

And the blood-sucking caterpillars? Something resembling a caterpillar (that I can only imagine fell out of a tree) gave me a big nasty bite on the thigh at about the 60K mark, as we were biking through what appeared to be a wildlife refuge. I at first thought it was a wasp, which would have probably resulted in a DNF, since I am allergic, but it just stung like hell for awhile, then disappeared.

-----------------------

The first 5K of the run, everything felt great. It was pretty hot, but I was very pleased that everything was going as planned. I typically don't eat for the first 30 or 40 minutes of the half-marathon in a 70.3, as I shove some extra fuel and hydration down the hatch on the bike.

After about 5K, there is a turn-around on the run, after which we head down towards the city park for 10K or so. My plan was to stay relatively aerobic for the first 10K, then really open up and attack hard to the finish.

It was at this first turn-around that I started to feel very, very warm. Afraid that I might be overheating, I stopped at the next aid station and took about 6oz of cool water while slowing to a walk to catch my breath and cool. Ice or ice sponges would have been nice, but these weren't available.

I glanced at myself in the reflection of a car window and I didn't look so good, but I'm pretty used to a bit of suffering, or what I call "dark places", here and there in the race, so I took off again, hoping I'd come around. Usually I do.

I never did.

My heart rate began rapidly pounding out my chest every time I pushed any faster than about an 8 minute mile. I couldn't catch my breath, ever. All I could think about was ice and cold water. My skin felt like it was burning up.

I began to walk every aid station, and then I began to walk a little bit *after* every aid station.

By the 8 mile mark, I was ready to quit, and at this point was running 500 steps, then walking 100 steps to cool down. That kept me going for another couple miles.

When we turned onto Espanade, which signals about 5K to the finish line, I was very disappointed. I'd been passed over a dozen times, and my body had never felt like this in a race.

I'd experienced gut distress in Hawaii.

I'd experienced run ending knee injury in Hawaii.

I'd experienced completely fatigued and useless legs in Chile.

But I'd never experienced the inability to even do a light jog without feeling like my head and heart were going to blow up.

So basically, I think that for the first time in my racing career, I really, truly "blew up". Like, smoke coming out my ears, blew up.

The last bit down Espanade avenue was pure hell. I couldn't smile, I couldn't enjoy myself, it was every shred of determination to even move. I was audibly groaning with each step.

When I took a right on the last 800 meters down Decatur, I still wasn't sure that I was going to make it. People's cheering was sounding very faint, and I wasn't hearing right. A couple of New Orleans cops began walking beside me like they were getting ready to catch me. I could see the finish line but I couldn't mentally gauge how far away it was. I was shutting down.

I really don't remember crossing the finish line. All I remember is just standing there while they took my chip off. My hands were tingling and I couldn't understand what the race volunteer was saying. The blood was pounding in my head and my ears so hard that I couldn't hear properly. I felt cold and clammy.

Two nurses helped me into the med tent. I collapsed on a stretcher while they stuck an IV in me and covered me in ice bags. Then I just lay there, staring at the white tent ceiling while the world spun around.

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So after the smoke cleared, it turned out that I ended up about 30 minutes off goal pace for my half-marathon, running something like a 1:55 and finishing somewhere around 4 hours and forty five minutes, give or take (that's what you get when I write a race report on the plane - no solid numbers). No awards or special placings on this one. Out of three thousand people, I came in somewhere around 90th place.

I grabbed a slice of pizza, a massage and caught a shuttle bus back up to transition.

------------------------------------

What did I learn?

A) "Acclimatize". After thinking about it, this was really my first warm weather race where I didn't pay attention too much to heat acclimatization, and did not do my usual heat fan/humidifier indoor sessions on the bike. I think this was because the weather was getting nice in Spokane and I ended up riding some of my key sessions outdoors in the cool Spring air.

B) "Slow Down to Speed Up". I probably could have completely stopped when I began to overheat, and literally taken five minutes to go soak in the lake, which was only about 50 yards off to my left. Instead, I pushed through and it cost me a half hour and alot of misery.

C) "Ice Is Magic". At 3 aid stations, they had ice in cups. For about a half mile after each of these aid stations, I had some of my "bright spots" in an otherwise miserable half marathon. There is no doubt that my body was burning up, and ice or ice sponges can really turn that around, so get your hands on it whenever you can.

I've had two chances this year at some serious Half-Ironman PR's, and both times, training or preparation mistakes have simply nailed me on the run. My goal is for this to be a breakthrough year in 70.3, and with Boise, Lake Stevens, and Clearwater on the horizon, I think that I can learn from these mistakes and really have all cylinders firing.

--------------------------------

New Orleans is known for good cuisine, and after the race and a quick rest-stop at the church, I was able to consume, in the following order:

1) A pint of locally brewed Abita draft beer.

2) A 4 inch high Bacon-Mushroom-Cheeseburger from one of the best burger joints in New Orleans, slathered in heart-stopping mayonnaise, melted mozarella and pure grease. Hey, if my heart didn't stop during the race, nothing could kill it now.

3) A giant side of sweet potato fries, drenched in ketchup. Non-organic, regular old ketchup from lots and lots of little packets.

4) Two more Abita beers at the post-race party.

5) On the way home from the party, a double scoop waffle cone with bananas foster and white chocolate cake ice cream, topped with an oversize dark chocolate bar. The chocolate was organic, OK?

6) Three hours later, prior to dinner #2, a giant Silver petron margarita.

7) A second dinner started off with meat pie appetizers, charbroiled oysters dipped in butter, a bowl of jumbalaya, two giant smoked sausages and a side of red beans and rice.

8) Finally, a double-dessert order of homemade bread pudding with caramel topping and pecan cobbler served over vanilla ice cream.

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And to any of my critics and nutrition coached clients, who want to know why any of the aforementioned items are not in your diet...

...complete the race and meet me at the finish line of the New Orleans 70.3 next year and I'll buy.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

New Orleans Triathlon 3

Here we are out to breakfast at diner (Russell's), where, courtesy of Neale, our host, I feasted on sweet potato pecan pancakes with bananas. FANTASTIC!

Here we are at breakfast:


And here we are attempting to eat "Cracklin" which is pig skin on pig fat that has been fried into tiny cubes.


Stopped on bike course and snapped this video...

Friday, April 3, 2009

New Orleans Triathlon 2



So I've decided that rather than write, I'm going to do a type of "video collage". The clips are short, but entertaining, I promise. Just some HIGHLIGHTS from the Friday before the New Orleans 70.3 Triathlon.

Also, check out the post AFTER this one (Thursday's post). I thought I posted it this morning, but just put BOTH of the posts up at the same. So you get a little blog double dip, for free of course. You may even want to do Thursday first, if you're into chronology (oops, just used up my one big word).

Pre-Swim:


Post-Swim:


Lost Car Keys:


Lost Car Keys 2:


Drunks on Sidewalk:


Pre-Race Meeting:


Conversation with Macca:


One day left until the big race!

New Orleans: Day 1

Nothing like leaving a few good inches of snow...

...for what we all know is the sunny paradise hot-spot of all vacationing Washingtonians...

...who want to get drunk on Mardi Gras.

NEW ORLEANS!



Here are some videos!





After finally arriving at Lakeview church and having a fabulous feast at a local parishioner's home, I collapsed into my tiny bed.



Five miles from Bourbon Street in the attic of a Presbyterian sanctuary is more than enough to block out the sound of piano bars and reveling drunks. I slept tight...

Tomorrow: checking out the race course...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

My Secret Weapons



Above is my pre-race, pre-workout nutrition protocol for Ironman 70.3 New Orleans. Some of these supplements I take year-round, and some I've just been taking for the past 5 weeks leading up to a 7 week build for the race...

Left to Right:

Recoverease - Branched Chain Amino Acids/Proteolytic Enzymes, take 4 after the day's toughest workout.

CreO2 - The world's only enteric coated creatine, ATP, O2 utilization matrix.

Carnage - Beta-alanine, to boost intramuscular nitric oxide levels.

Mt. Capra goat protein - Rapidly absorbing, organic, natural daily protein needs.

Enerprime - Basically like eating 10 salads. I take 1 tablespoon of powder every morning, year round. This is probably the one I would take to a desert island with me.

EnerEFA - Omega-3 fatty acids from a vegan, flax seed source.

RaceCaps - CoEnzyme Q10 to boost cardiovascular endurance.

ProstElan - Natural prostate anti-inflammatory for those longs days in the saddle.

The little packets in front are Cordygen VO2 Ultra, a super concentrated, rich source of cordyceps, for maximum oxygen absorption. It's so freakin' new I can't even get it in bottled form!

Most of these supplements you can find by clicking here. Just leave a comment if you have questions about anything you can't find.

Countdown to New Orleans:
11 days!