on Thurs 7/29 I played hooky from work and did Big Training Day with some friends in preparation for my first iron distance in september. It was going to be a test to see how I was preparing for the race by swimming 1 hour, riding 5 hours, then running 2 hours. I failed. the swim went fine. 3,000 yards in 1hour 1 minute with only some minor foot cramping. The ride was another story the first two hours was a walk in the park. Until I flatted no problem quick tire change minimal cursing and I was back at it. a quarter mile down the road I flatted again. We ride on. I'm a type 2 diabetic so I am consntantly drinking eating and checking my sugars. Around 3 hours my sugars a little high but not bad. I am more fatigued and sore. We keep riding. at a pit stop I check again and my sugars are more elevated-not dangerously so but defintiely heading in the wrong direction. I keep drinking but forgo any more gels. I am sweating like a pig and keep losing power. about 4hours in I have to stop on top of a hill. my sugars are in a 'not good but not dangerous' territory. I regroup and we ride on. 30 minutes later my friends notice I am swerving a bit on my bike and slurring my speech. they pull the plug on my ride. I pull out and hit the air conditioning and rehydrate while they ride on. I call home and freak my wife out by slurring my speech. I recheck my sugars and they are thru the roof. Not bad enough for ambulance ride but it is the highest reading I've had in years. I take more of my meds and after over an hour my sugars go to a safe level. At this point I run 20 minutes to burn off some anger. No Major issues besides a small headache at the beginning that wears off. I woke up the next day feeling relatively fresh and did a good 80 minute run saturday feeling great. So I am assuming that dehydration wasn't the problem but rather my sugars. My doctor is a marathoner and triathlete but have spent the last couple days playing phone tag with him. my initial response was that I was done w/ iron training but am now thinking that it may just be a matter of more testing my sugars and not being afraid of using my meds during the event. But till I have a talk w/ my doc and sitdown with my support crew I'm not sure where this season will be go.
anyway another crisis yesterday and no training for me but today I was very happy to make it to the pool today with no distractions. had no real plan except to swim. and after I lost count of laps after a couple minutes i decided it would be a slow easy swim. Then HE showed up. no idea who HE was but he was in the lane next to me and swimming a pace similar to mine except HE was better at flip turns and would gap me so i would motor a little bit to catch up to HIM and then we'd hit the wall and the whole cycle would begin again. It was great fun but after 10-20 minutes I figured I had enough and my goggle were starting to leak so I pulled out and did a couple minutes cool down and headed for the showers
up before the dawn again. missed my long run over the weekend so I got in this morning. it was hot and sticky even before the dawn and by the time the run was over it looked like I had been swimming. NASTY. I wanted to take my shirt off for the last loop but my neighbors already look at me weird. speaking of looking weird saw a guy last night running with hand weights and though how silly that looked and how much that would hurt after a while. well this morning I decided to go with my leftover Infinit from Sunday's ride as my run nutrition. that sucker got really heavy after an hour and a half. This apparently is the part of my training journey story where something on me breaks and i have to over come it. at the start of my run the left Achilles was throbbing. by the end of the first loop my achilles felt better but my right ilitolial band started hurting but then the pain wandered over to my left knee by the end of the 3 loop. hopefully the fact that the pain wandered around my body instead of hanging out in one spot means that it isn't that serious. 12.75 miles in 2hrs 1st loop 38 min, 2nd loop 37 minutes, 3rd loop 39 minutes Avg Hr 150
Tuesday crazy heat, crazy life means another rest day
Wednesday busy day at work that killed my plans for a lunch run. Wednesday is Denise’s volleyball night so after dinner and pajamas I set up the kids to watch their show so I can do the elliptical for an hour. Not ideal but it is at least easy on my knees. My four year daughter comes in to check on me after a couple minutes and sits down in a chair. She begins to pretend to read a story to me. It is a long wandering tale about three friends being locked in a bathroom and eventually they end up flushing one down the potty. I really wonder what goes on in her head. She looks so normal. But she tells the story with such enthusiasm that we are both cracking up. After about a half hour of this it’s time for Hannah Montana dance party. Poor girl has a not so great taste in music and my sense of rhythm. My hour on the elliptical ended and the kids went to bed.
Thursday I was up before the dawn and did a 3hour ride. The longest ride of year to date and only issue I had was that it was boring. I had no route laid out beforehand and was making the ride up as I went. Dull – which I guess is a good thing.
Friday woke up before the dawn again to the sounds of my daughter throwing up. We spent the early morning watching her expel the contents of her digestive system out both ends. My lunch she was very close to being back to her non-gross self. I got lucky in the afternoon and was able to do a quick 30 min run. I added in about 10 minutes of fartleks to try and keep it honest. Nothing much else to add except everyone thought it was a good idea to let their oversized dogs off the leash. Most of the time they just wanted to say hi or put on a show but I didn’t want to take any chances with the german shepard and turned around to avoid him.
Saturday was a washout and we were busy entertaining a friend who came in from outta town.
Sunday did more entertaining and no training. At around 2:30AM we get The Call. There was a time when calls at 2:30AM were a great thing. It meant a drunken friend somewhere wanted to catch up. Sadly at my stage of life a call now at 2:30AM only means bad news. Denise’s grandmother had slipped and fallen. The voice on the phone did not give her long to live. Denise rushed out to be at her grandmothers’ side. She passed away early on Monday morning.
Denise’s grandmother is not your milk and cookies kind of grandmother. She was TOUGH. She was known to have pop errant soccer balls that ended in her yard in front of their owners. When Denise took me to meet her family I was warned to high tail it out the front door if I saw her grandmother grab her broom, her weapon of choice. She was TOUGH because She had to be – she raise three children by herself during the Korean war and had to depend on herself to protect herself and her family. This an trait that she carried over to this country. Denise didn’t recall any happy moments with her grandmother but does credit her with instilling a fighting spirit in her that won’t let her back down from any fight and strong sense of family and a need to protect the family even the stupid Ahole uncles. So the last couple days have been a mix of tears, anger, and Korean food. We are pretty exhausted but are prepared to take up our lives again.
Thursday - run day so 5 hill repeats at unisys hill. great little hill and it was a beautiful day but I was rushed so I only got about 30 minutes in
Friday- another life induced rest day
Saturday - up early to face down some person hobgoblins of doubt on the bike. haven't ridden Bloo at all lately and first couple miles were getting reacquanted. After warm up I decided to ride to New Hope. This is a country backroad ride with 3 good climbs at the base of the second hill a small voice in my head starting talking smack. ' you're not going to be able to finish this ride...somethings off you don't have it today' instead of calling this voice a little b!tch or worse yet giving in I negotiated - just keep going as long as we can as long as nothing is wrong and nothing is. this is what it is supposed to feel like doing a long climb. i kept climbing and eating and eventually made the turnaround where a quick check showed my blood sugars was in a good range. so off we went again I took on the last and worst climb off the day and I owned it. the rest of the ride was fantastic - me and bloo were sympatico and the little voice was vanquished. all together it was about 41 miles in 2:50. I got back home started the coffee maker and switched into my running shoes and did a quick mile.
later that day we drove down to the beaches of lower delaware
Sunday - after a long day of sun and fun I got permission to do a long run before dinner. perfect timing it was still light and very warm and about the same time of day I will getting off the bike for my iron distance in sept. The first two miles i pushed the pace too hard and the heat, lack of shade, and buffallo wings I had for dinner last night quickly turned the run into a death shuffle. I was overjoyed! This was a fantastic race simulation. tired, hot and a stomach on fire doing loops around the house where I could quit at any time. I kept going. I guess i could have used a portaloo out there to further compliment my race simulation but I figured I should leave some mystery for raceday. I finished with a sour stomach and a huge smile. 90 minutes
Monday - first ocean swim EVER. did a warm up of body surfing w/ the boy and saw a dolphin out in the waves (or at least I thought It was dolphin might may been a mutated deranged anchovey) so suck it kona I can swim with dolphins on the east coast. I got out past the breakers and swam to the jetty and back. the current was a lot harder on the way back. no sighting issues. Did have the taste of salt pretzels for the whole swim though. one incident to report where a person swam under me and I touched their back. It was a bit of a suprise and I freaked for a second fearing that I found a dead body luckily they popped to the surface and started swimming. about 25 minutes to cover around 800 yards.
The plan called for a swim today and I've avoided the pool for the last couple ,um, weeks so on this beautiful sunny temperate day I'm off to the community pool to stare at a black line and bubbles for 30 minutes. 1600yds in 32:30 a little more than 4 minutes per 200. Same as my swim pace two months and two years ago. doesn't matter how many laps I do and what condition I'm inI swim 4 minutes per 200 is my pace. I'm a little tugboat - slow and steady. Alas, with less than 90 days before my first iron distance I have to start taking this task seriously. So I've signed up for a Master swim program. This won't be pretty. In preparation for this colossally bad idea I dusted off my old friend the flipturn. Haven't seen him since I last swim in a speedo over 18 years ago. We parted on good terms but it has been a while - I hope he still recognized me. As I closed in on wall I reach out and touched it w/ my hand (am I supposed to do this?) held my breathe and stuck out my arms as some ancient muscle memory threw my body in a spin under the water. i opened my eyes and noted I was facing an open lane and pushed off the wall and was on my merry way. good to see you again my friend.
Thursday and Friday turned out to be nothing days was way too busy with family stuff going and was dead tired so I promised myself i'd be good this weekend. Saturday came quick and I really didn't want to get out of bed but luckily the car had to get to the garage by 7AM so that at least got me out of bed. I brought my MP3 player for motivation cause my tank was empty (as was my stomach cause I forgot breakfast) It was already plenty warm and sticky. I shuffled along looking for something good on the local radio. no luck. By Byerry Hill I found my running legs and Guns N' Roses was on the radio. Things clicked into place after that. 90 min run avg hr 148 probably around 8 miles all together.
Sunday is a day I promise to sleep in with the family and we had our big breakfast and I ate more of daughters leftover PB chip pancakes than I expected to. Around 10PM when everyone was asleep I crept into the pain cave and did a quick 30 min spin/15 min ellitpical brick
Monday had to do some errands so lacking any common sense i figured this would be a good time to get a run in. The Heat Index is 97. small dogs have burst into flames. 60 min run all together probably 9 minute/mile pace. Really a miserable run but feel great now that it is over and the AC in my office is working so wonderfully.
I haven't done anything really stupid in a while so I decided today would be a track day at lunch. When I left my car it kindly stated that it was 91 degrees. About 45 minutes previous I ate my lunch of trail mix, fignewtowns and pepperoni (with a couple diet cokes) So i would get a chance to train my stomach as well as my legs today. the warm up was hilly but shaded. the track however was wide open and the heat waves coming of the black track surface was less than inviting. Overriding my common sense I headed to track and started my first 800. I restrained myself the first half of lap (pretty easy to do when you have a science experiement brewing in your abdomen) the first lap was an even 90 seconds. NICE. the second lap my stomach settled down and finished in a total of 3:08- faster than my 5k pace. Double NICE. the first half of rest lap I struggled for my breath and questioned if I'd be able to continue. The second half of the rest lap I was recovered and debating on doing four 800's instead of my planned three. The second 800 was smoother and my stomach was much more agreeable. 3:02. repeat of my schizophrenic recovery lap first half doom and gloom, the second half insanely optimistic. Now however I am leaving a disgusting trail of snot and spit. This is a close I can come to a blood sacrifice to the gods of the track to keep me safe. The third 800 was very hard and hot but somehow smoother. 3.01. I bargained with myself that I'd do a fourth. If I went over 95 for seconds for the first lap I'd call it quits. I think I was sabotaging myself but I completed the first lap in 95. oh well too bad 1 lap more to go. the fourth 800 was compete in 3:08. I know this workout pales in comparison to my race in September but definitely a confidence booster. If I can do this and not poop myself I think I can handle 140.6. I returned to my car with some time to kill so i hit the trails/steeplechase and woke up 3 fawns from their nap and saw a red tail hawk up close. fantastic end to a great run.
Denise developed an ear ache and was up most of the night in pain and awake so I got to play Mr. Mom hustling the kids downstairs for breakfast and clean their teeth and get my daughter dressed for dance camp. So I arrived at work very late and spent the rest of day playing catch up. After work we had a fabulous BBQ and red wine w/ friends. By the time we got home it was late and my inner cry baby was not in the mood to spin in the pain cave for an hour. After a long discussion with myself the cry baby was given a time out and I rode the trainer for an hour. To help w/ the boredome I watched a couple episodes of the Daily Show and threw in single leg drills and out of the saddle time during commercials. I was back in bed by 1AM feeling tired buty very pleased w/ myself. I'd be dead tired tomorrow morning but I would also bit that tiny bit stronger on raceday. a good trade in my book
overlsept this AM in honor of the longest day of 2010. At Lunch I ran a little over 5miles in 47:30 avg HR 149. heat and hills were a factor today. I hit the trio of hills by wings field again and attacked as my plan says I should for 5 1/2 minutes. The whole time the Voice in my head (today played by oscar award winning Louis Gossett Jr. a.k.a Gunnery Sargeant Foley) yelling at me go just 1% harder. Near the top I alternated visualizing the finish line clock at 12:59:59 (my iron distance goal) and 19:59 (my 5k run time goal). nothing like mental games to get you through a tough day.
When you are running at midnight on a dark country road and recalling every disembowelment scene from every horror movie ever made it is very important to not be wearing headphones with the music jacked up to 11. There are two reasons for this:
Because it is vitally important that you hear the chainsaw wielding maniac as he primes his weapon and not be surprised by his sudden appearance
Because you need a long run in the pitch black of east bumblef#$k PA with only the sounds of your feet clomping as your only companion to be able to hear yourself answer the question ‘Why am I out here doing something so monumentally stupid?’
It’s a question all triathletes have asked themselves since the dawn of the Tri-Age. That is what I was seeking Friday night. The big WHY will become vitally important when I am at Mile 18 of the marathon of my first iron distance tri and my left ITB burns and my right foot feels like falling off and my stomach is bloated and about to reverse gears. The WHY will be the only thing to keep me moving forward. Mile 18 is no place to start asking why. I need to have that answer long before I reach the starting line.
‘To Who?’ Mile 18 would reply ‘you could call a cab and go back to bed and tell everyone at work you won the damn thing and they wouldn’t care.’
‘It’d be for me proof that Diabetes can’t stop me. It may slow me down but it won’t stop me from doing what I want with my life. That at the end I made my days count and didn’t shrivel up and hide from life because of my lazy arse pancreas not working hard enough’
That seems to be the WHY for now. I’ll keep pushing and prodding myself to try and be sure but we’ll see if that answer is enough on a dark lonely country road in September.