July 26, 2011

Still in shock....

So this is a quick little post to say that Ironman Lake Placid is done and over with and I had a good race (not a great race - which I will explain in detail later) but prior experiences helped me out a TON on Sunday.   
Enough so that I was able to get on the podium for the 2nd time in the 6 years I've been racing Ironman and this was for 4th place in the M25-29 age group.  (that's me on the left end) And was finally able to punch a ticket to the big island of Kailua-Kona, Hawaii for the Ironman World Championships in October.  
I'm still pretty much in shock with the entire thing because this has been something I have tried to chase down and DREAMED about for the last 6 years and I finally get a chance to get to Hawaii.   I mean, I didn't even think it weas really possible for me to qualify, and here I am heading to race.  I thought it was realistically a really big pipe dream.  You know when you are a little kid and you pretend that you are rounding the final turn of the track and breaking the tape at the Olympics?  For the last 6 years, I've dreamed about running down Ali'i drive and stepping foot on Dig Me beach to swim in the crystal clear waters without a wetsuit.  (it will be a welcome change from the brown lake water around here!) But for me, this is my Olympic dream being realized and I cannot believe it...

A later report will be for my race report and I'll throw that up as soon as I get some good pictures sent to me.  But a heart felt thank-you goes to everyone that was there cheering me on, helped me out in the days prior, sent a text, tweeted, emailed and said HI out on course and gave words of encouragement along the way.  They were all heard and appreciated immensely.  It sounds cliche, but I couldn't have done it without everyone's support.  Thank you Mahalo.  Cheers and I'll get the report up soon.

July 21, 2011


I'm slowly starting to get the jitters about competing this weekend and I think it's mainly from the amount of support that has been pouring in from everyone.  I got to work this morning at The Employment Store and our homepage (that we use internally) was revamped with a little "good luck message" just for me, which was awesome!
I cannot tell you all how much I just want Sunday to come and to actually be out on the course.  I can tell already that it will be an incredible day and a good friend and training partner commented to me, "just worry about getting to T2 this year and the rest will fall in place" Sunday fun-day is almost upon us and I cannot wait to get out there and execute on race day :o) Just gotta tie up some loose ends at work before we head up to the North Country...see you up there friends! Cheers.

July 15, 2011

Operation: Try not to become a fat ass

So the title of this post was coined by a good friend Steve Gonser a while ago and it was in reference to taper time.  In the years past I've always inevitably gained some pounds over the weeks of taper.  Maybe this is just me relaxing and my body knowing that it would soon be finished, or maybe it was me over-indulging in several things (ie - food, beer, etc) but I've always come to the starting line a few pounds over my fighting weight. (not necessarily a bad thing, but you work so hard to thin out over the year that it seems counter productive to gain it back in a 3 week taper. 
But this year, I'm cutting the length of my taper down a little bit, I'm existing on about a 10-12 day taper and I'm finally feeling pretty good about it. I know that the work has been done and I'm just ready to get to race day and execute the plan that I've worked so hard to perfect over the last year or so.  (Really started training in about November of 2010 for IMLP)  So race day is always a fun one in my books. 
The other cool thing is that I haven't really gained a bunch of weight back.  I've been watching what I've been eating and keeping tabs on the scale and even with this crazy weather that we've been having lately (hot and humid) the scale's been really nice to me and I haven't seen that increase.  I'm thinking that maybe this has something to do with portion control, but also with the shorter taper. Maybe my furnace is still running hot.  Regardless, I'm not complaining. 

I'm still waiting to feel that pop in my legs, but I know with the schedule really low for next week and a solid weekend of sleep ahead of me, I'll feel that they'll come around in no time.  A weird thing for me is that I haven't gotten those Ironman freakout dreams quite yet.  I mean I had a good one last night that was IM related and I just haven't had those nightmares (you know the ones where you forgot to put your tri suit on under your wetsuit, or forgot your bike shoes...) yet this year.  I'm thinking it has a little to do with the confidence that I am bringing into this years race.  This is going to be a good year and I'm anxious to get it under me. No taper city blues for me yet, just anxiously waiting for next Sunday to come.
So that's pretty much it, I know that I'm going to rip the race of my life if I just stick with what I've been doing over the last few months and just execute come race day.  It's going to be a good day and I already have friends apparently betting on my finishing time.  (Seriously they have a pool with a $5 buy in set up...ridiculous) I've got some lofty goals, but as my good buddy Tim (who has been incredibly ABSENT from blog comments lately.....ahem.....) replied in an email yesterday, "I think Earley is going to uncork one this year....Solid bike followed by a smokin' fast marathon"

But until then, the name of the game is #1 SLEEP, #2 rest, #3 get everything situated and organized, and #4 EXECUTE on race day.  My big nemesis has been sleep lately because of the Tour de France being on later at night, but I'm going to start recording them so I can just watch whenever.  So here's the decree and competition; See who can sleep the most from now until race day.  Since there's only 9 more wakeups until race day and average people get 8 hours a night, that works out to 72 hours of sleep from now until race day.  I'm going to try and make a goal of ~80 hours of sleep over the next 9 nights and I'll check back and see how I do.  Until then friends, limit the food intake, wait for taper to take effect, rest and get some good sleep, cheers!

July 7, 2011

Brighton 5K race report

I hate 5k's....I haven't actually raced a 5k in about a decade on the roads and I'm just not a short course athlete.  I've popped into road 5k's in the last 10 years, but according to the results I can find online I haven't actually raced a good one since 2001.  (as a disclaimer, the ones I have done in the last decade, I've been dressed in a SUMO suit and also in a 3 piece suit holding a briefcase - or they've been snowshoe races)

Either way, I'm not a big fan of going out fast, holding onto a pace and hoping not to fade in the final miles of a race.  I'm not a big fan of "red lining" let's say... I've always had an idea that's struck a chord with me in the past several years - "the longer the race, the better" and maybe that's why I've delved into Ironman training so much and gotten myself mixed up in the endurance aspect of racing? Who knows...

Regardless, I wanted to test the legs one last time before Ironman Lake Placid and I just kind of came up with the zany idea to hop into this local 5k a few days before the race.  The start was literally 2.1 miles from my house, so I knew I could wake up, roll out of bed, and run down to the start as a warm up.  I was coming off a rest week and feeling a little spry so this would be the perfect opportunity to see what I could pull out of my butt and see what kind of time I could post.  Secretly, I wanted to get back down to sub 17 and I think I could've done that if I raced a little smarter, just things didn't work out exaclty right this race.

I knew that a sub 17 performance would require an average of ~5:30/mile pace, but my calculations were a little off.  The gun went off and we were blazing.  I spied an old racing buddy from my high school days in the 800m on the starting line and chatted with Steve for a minute before the race.  He's got a little one on the way in August, so I congratulated him and we were off.  I checked my Garmin as we were about a half mile in to the race and it read 4:40/mile pace and I knew I needed to back down. 

We split thru the first mile in 5:11 and I knew this would hurt.  The leader was already 15-20 seconds up on me and I was sitting about 7th or 8th in line.  I backed off the pace, got immediately passed by a few runners and started to feel a little bad.  I hit mile 2 in about 10:55 and that split out a 5:44 for the 2nd mile and I knew I was racing this wrong.  Anytime you positive split by 30+ seconds in a 5k, either means that the elephant has jumped on your back, or you started out too strong.

I momentarily had the thoughts of, "maybe I should just bag this race, stop and do another test again later" but as with any short races, you are going to have moments of doubt.  But the thing is, they pass.  Moments of doubt are fleeting and if you can just hang on thru them, you will be okay.  I did just that.  Powered thru and kept on trucking.  I wasn't feeling great, but I had just been passed by the 1st overall female and focused just on catching up to her. 

I split the final mile in 5:36 and caught the 1st female and zipped past her in the last 1/4 mile.  I hit the line exhausted and my effort was good for a 17:09 total time for the day.  I know if I had raced it a little slower in the first mile, I probably could've been closer to 17:00 or maybe possibly under.  But that will have to wait for another day as that was the last test before Placid. 

I had a chance to cool down with an old roommate and his brother and got to cheer on another SUNY G roommate to the finish line.  It was a good day overall and I feel like I just have to get thru this week and then it's to the taper for IMLP.  Big ride this weekend and then REST is the name of the game.  Train hard, race smart my friends and I'll see you on the roads.  Cheers.