Memorial Day Weekend Sleep-a-thon

05/28/2012

I’m hoping I can stay awake long enough to complete this post.  My body has taken full advantage of a slower schedule this weekend and reminded me that it needs rest…a lot of it.

I’m on the tail end of two of the biggest training weeks since my last Ironman in 2010!  I’ve put in nearly 38 hours of training in 14 days in prep for Eagleman on June 10th.  While I’m sad I won’t be able to race at the “Charlotte World Championships at Latta Plantation,” I’m finally feeling prepared, excited, and ready to taper for the distance!!  It has felt great to put in some serious, focused volume; the end result is a fit Kim, who is apparently very sleepy.  🙂

With the temps for Eagleman having reached the 100’s in prior years, my goal was to spend quite a bit of time outdoors in the heat this weekend acclimating and preparing myself for the run.  There isn’t much shade on the course and the baking sun can be carnage for those not prepared.  I’m doing all I can in hopes to not be apart of the carnage.

I left work a little early on Friday and it was a gorgeous (hot) day here in Charlotte.  I needed to do an hour of recovery and since I opted to sleep in Friday morning vs. get up at 5:45 and go to yoga, I decided to take a walk.  Yep, a long walk.  I brought the pups along for the first 25 minutes; however, Foster, my big buddy, is not much of an “endurance athlete” (he’s much more of a sprinting squirrel chaser) and my little dog really doesn’t enjoy walking, he’d just rather go for rides in the car.  After dropping them home, I proceeded to walk for another hour.  It was pretty amazing!  I walked by stuff I have been running by for 7 years that I’ve been in this neighborhood, but given the blazing speeds I’m usually running, I don’t actually take the time to notice much of anything (:: insert sarcasm ::).  In all seriousness, it was great to slow down and pay attention to stuff, check out houses I’ve never noticed, landscaping, new restaurants, much more than if I was suffering running right on by.

I needed an nice bath when I got home.

Who knew walking (pretty fast) for ~90 minutes could be such a hard leg workout!?

Following my walk was my first nap of the weekend….a solid 2 hours.  It was blissful and I woke up feeling refreshed and ready for a 3-days ahead!  Despite the nap, I was conked out by 10pm Friday night excited for a long training day ahead.  Two friends and I planned a ~4 hour ride on the Collier Lilly route in Davidson and a short run after.  We planned to meet at 7:30; however, setting your alarm for 6:30 PM doesn’t really help you wake up in the morning.  When I awoke, it was 7am, yikes!  Leigh Ann and Jim were understanding and we pushed our start time out just slightly.  The ride was awesome!  It was very hot, the course was great, rolling with some long flat sections and a few nice climbs and the company was fun.  We got in just over 80 miles in right at 4 hours and I felt great the whole time.  No random leg pain, fueling was spot on, no issues what-so-ever.  The run after was brutally hot as expected; I was just so thirsty.

Despite a long nap on Friday and oversleeping before the ride, I was exhausted after the long day out in the sun.  I hit the shower and the sheets immediately after getting home and awoke 3 hours later.  Yes, THREE.  I awoke feeling, well, dehydrated, but also rested…I would hope!  The rest of the day Saturday was quiet (a.k.a. boring) and my big outing included a trip to Target.  I felt like I needed a nap after….so I went to bed at 10!

Sunday included a log run which I planned to do around 11 am in the heat at McAlpine Park – flat, hot and pretty windy, to mimic Eagleman.  Dawn agreed to ride along with me to keep me company and provide hydration and fuel.  She’s awesome.  The run went pretty well.  I’ve revised my goal run pace for Eagleman and it felt comfortable running at that pace.  My original goal was to run sub 1:40 and although that’s not blazing fast, I’m just not there off my bike.  I got in just over 11 miles in just under 1:29 and I I feel good about that with 36 hours of training on my legs!

After the run, you guessed it, I was feeling tired…AGAIN!  I slept from about 1:30 till almost 4 without budging.  I can only imagine the look on my face when I roll over and see the clock after these long naps; I think my eyes might bug out of my head!  My sister and I enjoyed a cocktail at my house that evening before heading to Pisces for sushi for dinner.  It was delicious and a beautiful night to sit outside.  We wrapped up dinner with some yogurt from the new place in the Metropolitan.  Yum!

Memorial day for me entailed an open water swim with Leigh Ann and one of her friends and an hour long “recovery ride” after.  The water was beautiful and the lake was quiet this morning and it was nice necessary to get out in the open water sans wetsuit before Eagleman.  Man I missed my Aquaman 😦  Our 1-hour recovery spin after the swim was hardly a recovery at 20 mph!  I think Leigh Ann forgot to mention to her friend we intended to spin vs. ride, but we certainly rode much harder than I would have rode for recovery.  Thank goodness for being able to sit in.

Now THIS is some dedicated heat training! Leigh Ann is also prepping for Eagleman!

I could NOT stop laughing at Leigh Ann in her winter gear in 80+ degree weather.  People were doing triple takes as we rode by!  I was  plenty warm in my bathing suit and cycling kit.  🙂

I hung out at the lake with my friends Karen and Chuck for a while after the ride and it was nice to catch up with them.  I was their kids nanny TEN years ago and their oldest, who was 6 at the time, is driving and will be a Junior in HS next year.  Talk about feeling old.  😦  Post visit, you guessed it, I took my 4th nap in 4 days.  Another 2 hours.  Approaching ridiculous.

So its Monday night.  The recap of this weekend seems to be sleep, train, eat, sleep, eat, sleep, train, repeat.  Though I hate that I didn’t make use of every hour, minute, second of every day, as I normally do, I feel rested and that is priceless.  I was complaining to Dawn that I was bored on Saturday and her response was “Please stay bored, you need a few nights of being bored”.  I’m glad I listened and so is my body!  2-week taper starts now!

Happy Memorial Day to all – it goes without saying, I am very very thankful of those that spend their days fighting for our country.  Thank you!


More Cliff English!

05/20/2012

I have been so blog-slack lately that I realized I hadn’t even notified my readers that I’d be in Hilton Head training ALL weekend with the one-and-only Cliff English (again!). Cliff English is a very well-known, likely one of the best, coaches in triathlon. He coaches several well known professional trithletes including Tim O’Donnell, TJ Tollakson, Hunter Kemper (who just qualified to compete for Team USA in his 4th Olympics in London last week) and our very own, Kelly Fillnow (among others)! I was honored to spend a week with him in Tucson this past December and it was such a treat. He hosts several camps in AZ, but last year, he hosted a camp in Hilton Head and when I heard about it, I knew I would do my best to try to go this year – and I am so glad I did.

When I decided to do this camp, I asked one of my friends / athletes that I coach who is also doing Eagleman if she would like to join. I can’t think of a more appropriate Eagelman race setting than Hilton Head. We arrived Friday afternoon, got our stuff settled in my Aunt and Uncle’s condo and headed to the pool for our first meeting with Cliff and first swim of the weekend. The swim session was great. There were only ~10 people at camp including lots of familiar faces from Charlotte (and Tucson!) so there was lots of individual attention, especially in the pool. Cliff is obviously very good at what he does and was a very, very good triathlete himself before he retired in the late 90’s. He’s very laid back and so easy to get along with and is so good at picking up on the “little things” that are lacking in the water. After a ~3000 yard swim, it was time to head home and Devon and I spent the night eating a big yummy dinner, sharing a glass of wine and chatting until much later than we should have given our early alarm on Saturday.

The plan for Saturday was a 3-4 hour ride with a 30 min run off. We rode ~1 hour together as a group to warm up and we ended on a ~5 mile long street with little traffic where we began our “workout”. We were instructed to do 3×10 mile sets with a few min spin in between at descending race efforts. The first was to be Ironman race effort descending to Olympic distance race effort. The road was generally flat, wide open, somewhat windy and PERFECT race like conditions for Eagleman. I felt absolutely great during my intervals and rode very very strong. I opted to only take about 1 min spin in between and remain in aero position so I could simulate how it would feel on race day. I stuck with my exact race day fueling strategy and was pleased with my energy and power output. I basically picked a power number for each lap and aimed to hold it there or slightly increase by the end of each 10 mile loop. My last 10 miles were just under 25mph and I was very pleased with how my legs felt after 80-90 minutes being aero with minimal breaks. No “White Lake phantom leg pain,” just comfortable. Thank god.

The worst part of camp was on the recovery spin back to the parking lot where we started. Kelly and another guy were riding up front, he somehow just swerved wrong, locked handlebars with Kelly and 4 people went down. Luckily no one was too badly injured and everyone got up and walked away, but it surely was scary. One guy has some lasting hip pain that will require a bit of rest, but that was the most serious injury. I was directly behind the guy who went down and I am thankful for my cat-like reflexes (hehe) and being able to get out unscathed. Bike wrecks are NEVER good and they’re always very scary to witness up close and personal.

We spun very easy after the wreck back to the parking lot and prepared for our run, which included a 5 min warm up together with 4×3 minutes building to 10k pace. The first two intervals felt great. I was hitting mid 6’s pace and my legs were feeling fabulous. The last two kinda sucked, not gonna like, and my pace was hovering more in the low 7’s. Nonetheless, I pushed hard for this workout and that’s what counts.

We showered, housed some food back at the condo, and laid on the couch for a few minutes before having to muster up the energy for swim session #2. This swim was much more technique focused and I’m delighted with how good I felt. Considering I was dozing off on the couch 25 minutes before we hopped in the water, I was happy that I actually felt like a swimmer. Cliff corrected two things for me on Friday – my left arm swings when I breath to the right (which I have always been aware of just not sure how to correct) and my left hand enters a bit at an angle – and it seemed as if everything I corrected on Friday really clicked on Saturday. Our set was a bit shorter today and I would be lying if I said I was upset about that. I was ready to be done working out for one day. We scurried back to the condo, showered and met the group at Bonefish Grill for dinner. Phew, long day. We hit the sheets in the 8’oclock hour totally wiped out.

We awoke Sunday morning to overcast skies, which turned into raining skies the minute we stepped out the door for our run. The plan was ~90 minute run starting down by the beach. We got out of the car, chilly, raining and under-dressed, and were less than pumped about our run ahead. Regardless, it was taking place whether we were happy about it or not so I decided to not focus on the misery of the rain, and instead focus on my long term goals. It helped occupy my mind.

Cliff led us through an easy 10 min jog down by the water, followed by some dynamic stretches and some strides, before we regrouped for the start of the run. There is a nice 3+ mile loop that goes around the island and it was perfect for the run today. Obviously there were a wide range of abilities at camp from pro triathletes to people who have been racing about 1 year. There were 2 high school boys, one had never ridden more than 30 miles but can run a 17 min 5k. And another who is running 4 something minute miles. All over the board. The run distance / time was optional up to 3 laps but I planned to run all 3. The goal, which seems consistent with all workouts, was to descend pace from lap 1 to lap 3. I decided to try to run all 3 starting at my 1/2 IM goal pace which is right around 7:35 and then descend slightly. No, not blazing fast but its where I am right now. My other goal was not to let seeing some of the girls take off on their first “easy lap” at 7:15 get in my head. I am proud that I continued to run my pace and never let anyone else bother me, which is one of my biggest weaknesses. I finished the first 2 laps right at, literally, 7:35 pace and the last 3 miles I picked it up ever so slightly to 7:26 pace. I felt good about that. It poured the whole time and I refused to let it bother me. People ran faster than me, and I refused to worry about that. I’m making progress with my mental game. 🙂

We ended camp with a nice 2,000 yard recovery swim to which I also surprising felt good. Cliff said that my left arm and hand entry looked much better which is nice to hear after focusing on something for 3 days. After a quick question and answer session with Cliff, we were on the road by about 2 and heading to Charlotte for the week ahead. Boo.

I am more focused than ever, and truly excited, for Eagleman and this weekend has given me a lot of confidence that I needed to begin to find for the race. I refuse to let my DNF at White Lake hold me back and I’m determined to continue to use it as fuel to hit my goals at Eagleman. Working with Cliff this weekend is such an honor; I learned a lot from him not only as an athlete, but also as a coach and I’m already looking forward to next years’ camp! Thanks Devon for joining me; I couldn’t have enjoyed the company any more! T-3 weeks till our big day!!


Lowe’s TT #2

05/20/2012

It occurred to me this weekend I hadn’t updated my blog in a while.  I’ve been a super busy girl, though y’all probably get tired of reading that every week.  But it’s true!

A quick recap of the TT this week as I stated I’d update monthly with how it went.  I was skeptical all day of doing the ride since the weather was crappy and I didn’t find it necessary to ride all out, wet roads, about 3 weeks from my first big race of the season (or ever, for that matter).  About 5:20 I looked outside and it was actually pretty nice out. I decided on a whim, after leaning all day towards not going, to just HTFU and head to the track.

I’m happy to report this past weeks TT was a big success.  The wind sucked at the April race so I thought I’d be dramatically faster at this race, but turns out I was only ~1 min faster.  I rode 23:55 (25.2 mph) in April and 22:57 (26.1 mph) this month but I’m happy that my power which improved about 10 watts over last month and ended at 4.4 wpkg, which I’m pleased with at this point in the game.  I think the main reason my speed / time wasn’t as improved as I’d have liked it to be was because I was generally rested for the April ride and this month I decided to partake in my normal Wednesday morning computrainer session in the morning followed by a straight 2000 recovery swim to flush my legs out.  So, needless to say, I wasn’t truly rested.  Given the longer distance race I have looming, I decided my morning workout was more important than being rested for a 20 min TT.

I am pleased with a 1st overall female and hope to continue to improve my time week after week once I continue to get a better feel for pacing and such.  Love these rides because I love benchmarkers to measure my fitness.


NYC and Dr. Oz

05/16/2012

So I’m a little late getting this up here but I guess it’s better late than never! Check back next week for pictures 🙂

Last Thursday my best friend Emily and I flew to NY as I had won a free trip to see a taping of the Dr. Oz show from a contest that my friend told me to register for at WSOC TV.

The 2 days were a total whirlwind but we ended up having a really really great time! We arrived just after 8pm and took a cab to our friend from college’s house, Allison, in the West Village. We downed a quick glass of necessary wine and headed to a late dinner at Joseph Leonard which Allison’s boyfriend owns and is a chef and happens to be downstairs from their apartment! After a long dinner, we headed to our hotel to get some shut eye for the busy day we’d planned Friday. Thank you so much Deiboldt for ALL of your help and accommodations!

I got up about 6:30 (after a 1pm bedtime, zzzz) and squeezed in a good 4 ½ mile tempo run and some strength before waking Emily up to head out. We were out and about by about 8:15 and on the train to Battery Park! There, we saw the Statue of Liberty and then toured the World Trade Center Museum after seeing other sites along the way. The museum brought tears to my eyes remembering not only all of the victims, but my high school friends father in particular. Thank heavens for sunglasses. We both had a hard time picturing what the streets we were walking on were like the day the buildings were attacked. Still such a sad event.

After a delicious, very-appropriate NY bagel for breakfast, we were back on the train heading to 42nd Street which brings you to Times Square, Rockefeller Center, Fifth Avenue (Saks, Trump Towers, Tiffany’s, Harry Winston, etc) – somewhat the “heart of NY”. We were also able to stop by the CNBC Experience store, where we would later pick up our tickets for Dr. Oz. I was glad to scope out the pickup location as to not be too rushed pre-show. Around 12:30 we hurriedly headed back to the hotel for a quick shower and to get ready. Of course, we had to stop on the way for street hot dogs! You can’t do NYC without a trip to the hot dog vendor. We were both less than impressed with the type of onions used on our typical favorite dog with ketchup and onions, but they sufficed as a quick lunch nonetheless.

So my “Dr. Oz” debut goes something like so.

Last week, I received an email asking if anyone would like to participate on the show and offered 3 potential topics. I told them participating would be fun but the topics, chest acne, cankles and something I can’t remember, didn’t apply to me. They asked me to send a picture and some info about myself and then responded with a 4th potential topic, people who have tried every fad diet to no avail, which also didn’t apply to me. When I replied that I had not, in fact, tried a fad diet, the producer called me about 10 minutes later. She stated that they wanted to make it work to get me on the show and would think of a topic that would apply. She asked for a few more tidbits about myself and we hung up.

Fast forward to picking up tickets, I am approached by one of the guest-coordinators for the show who says she was told to look out for me. She asks if I’d like to participate in a quick, non-speaking yoga segment with Dr. Oz at the end of the show. Perfect! Non-speaking being the key element – I get very shy on camera and my voice sounds like a mouse. After being told I had to leave Emily and go back stage, I was in hair and makeup (ha) and learning my “yoga dance” within the next hour. What felt like forever later, I was able to re-join Emily in the crowd, who had been seated front and center for the taping of the show. I mean FRONT and CENTER.

In the back of lots of footage!

They filmed 7 segments which will air on 2 separate shows (Dr. Oz had to change shirts). My segment was the last to be filmed and trust me when I say, it was very quick. I might be on stage for 20 seconds, at most. I got to stand next to Dr. Oz as he demonstrated a quick yoga sequence that can be used to de-stress at night or in the morning. To demonstrate, he asked for some help from “these two lovely ladies in the audience”. Myself and another volunteer went through the 5 poses two times totaling 10-20 seconds. Nobody get too excited.

Thankfully shaving armpits is part of my daily shower

Our show was supposed to air in the next “1-2 weeks” per the producer, and based on the schedule on the Dr. Oz website, it doesn’t look like it it’ll be this week. I don’t have a clue when the 2nd show that they filmed segments for will air because I don’t know what the “main topic” will be. Look for Dr. Oz in a peach shirt for that one. 🙂 The topic of ours will be Foods that Fight Cancer.

We left the studio about 5:30pm and had to scurry quickly to the airport for our 8pm flight; we were both so wiped out from the long morning and sitting for a long time at the taping. I wish we could have stayed longer but all in all it was a really fun experience and Emily was the perfect candidate for it. She loves touristy stuff and what better place to do that than in NYC! She couldn’t get over how BIG the city is and how many people were everywhere, at all hours of the day and night. She got to hear lots of honking, ride the train at commuter hour, see steam out the subway grates, experience taxi drivers at their finest, eat bagels, street-vendor hot dogs AND even a slice of NY pizza for dinner (how appropriate!), and see lots of the famous sites that NYC has to offer. Even though I’d been there and done it all before, it was still great to do it again, especially with a first-timer!

So that’s my TV debut in a nutshell. It is much less exciting that I decided to make it out to be, but still a very cool experience.


Leg Disaster Update

05/07/2012

So two days post White Lake debacle and my leg is feeling 90% better.  In fact, it felt 70% better about 30 minutes after I quit the race as the Advil I took in T2 started kicking in.  It was stiff and sore Sunday but nothing like mile 35-56 during the race!   It felt good enough when I got home from White Lake on Sunday afternoon to try it out for a ride.  Surprisingly enough, it felt 100% fine while riding…for 2 hours!?  I put tape over the valve on my wheel cover and I have no clue if that  contributed Saturday but I didn’t feel a bit of pain yesterday.  I even did a 2 mile t-run to further test it and had zero issues.  SO VERY WEIRD.

However, I went to yoga this morning and I could definitely feel it.  I took it very very easy in class and skipped a few poses that were not feeling right.  The rest of my body thanked me for some good stretching; I haven’t made it to yoga in 2 weeks and my tight muscles were reminding me daily!

I saw Dr. Kahn today as my buddy Dr. Greenapple is in Boulder; he did wonders for me!  The entire left side of my adductor / hip flexor / glute / psoas are a total disaster.  They are so tight he could hardly get any movement during A.R.T., but after some laser therapy and some work with the “jackhammer,” as I like to call it, I left with a go-go-gadget leg feeling much less stiff and tight.

Very, very sexy

I ran ~7 miles tonight and felt no pain at all.  I took a nice long ice bath after (actually, it was short, but it felt like an eternity) and I think I’m gonna pull through.  🙂  I think Saturday was simply just a fluke.  I’ll be doing a 3-4 hour ride this weekend so I’ll be curious to see how it will feel with some longer distance.  More to come!  Thanks for checking in everyone 🙂


White Lake 58.2

05/06/2012

So here’s the skinny on White Lake since I’ve gotten lots of texts and messages. It’s awesome of everyone to reach out – thank you so much!

I have felt generally unprepared for this race. Life has just gotten in the way lately and my long distance training just hasn’t been where it needs to be. I’ve been out of town or had reasons I could do a long ride / run it seems like every weekend since March. I’ve managed 10-12 hour training weeks, at best, but that’s just not enough for the distance on my plate.

That said, the weekend went something like this. Arrived in plenty of time Friday night, got packet, everything organized, body marked very reluctantly by Dawn who thought it was “breaking the rules” to self-mark (more about this later), chilled out, in bed at 9pm. Out cold in 5 minutes, slept pretty good after the party in the RV next door shut down.

Slept too good. Learned the hard way that iPhone alarms don’t work if your phone is off. Forgot my phone charger so I just turned my phone off, with the alarm set, to be sure I had enough battery in my phone for the alarm. I’ve had a Blackberry for years prior which will turn on, despite being powered off, when your alarm is scheduled . Clearly not the iPhone. Lesson learned the very hard way. 😦

So I awoke on race morning to “Kim, it’s 6:30” – when in fact, it was 6:32 when I looked at my phone. My wave start was 7am. O. M. G. With a couple “F”s mixed in. Second lesson learned, have your sister set a backup alarm.

I was up, brushed my teeth, put on my kit, ate 2 bites of Dawn’s left over pizza, took a gel, and were out the door in ~8 minutes. Our RV was about 1.5 miles from the race site, so we hopped on our bikes and I got my “warm up” for the race in (a.k.a a 1.5 mile all out time trial). My transition was set up in ~2-3 minutes, thankfully I was body marked (I said a big “I told you so” in my head to Dawn that we had “broken the rules the night before and did it ourselves”) and I went to grab my chip down by the water.

“#12 please” I say to the chip people. “We ain’t go no #12 they replied” – in those exact words. “You doin’ a relay?” Um, you’ve got to be kidding me at this point. I’m about ~5 minutes from my wave start, no breakfast, not one second to “gather myself” and mentally prepare for the day ahead, and now, no chip. Lord have mercy. Thankfully, saint-of-a-sister to the rescue, as always. She was in the building getting a new chip assigned within 2 minutes and I was on my way to the water. I got to the water just as the National Anthem was wailing “aaaaand the rockeeeets reeed glaaaare” which gave me just about 2 minutes to get my act together. And boy did I have to go potty. (TMI, sorry).

Potty break wasn’t on the agenda, so I just went on with my race. Gun goes off.

Swim: 36:08 / 22nd/172 / 1:42 per 100

One of my best half IM swims! Actual swim time when I hit the ladder was 35:22 but I slipped coming up on some goop (and almost busted my tooth, which would have fit right in with how the rest of the day went) but overall pleased with this swim. Previous fastest 70.3 swim was 36:48 (excluding Augusta, which doesn’t count) so getting faster. Very, very slowly. Did I say very?

Transition was fine. Nothing to report there, but could always be faster.

Bike: 2:37:49 /4th / 21.3 mph

Shitty. Ass. Ride. Nothing else to say about this. First 20 miles or so were golden. Felt great, power was spot on, averaging in the 23 mph range at sustainable watts. By 25 miles in, left leg pain starts creeping in. Wind is picking up. Horrific road surfaces are starting to wear on me. Course is flat, don’t get me wrong, but to my surprise it’s not pancake flat, as proven by my Garmin. A few barely noticeable long very slight uphills, coupled with some nice wind, 80-90 degree weather, and road surfaces that include cracks every 10 feet to make for a nice jostle every 1-2 seconds is enough to make anyone want to quit. Throw in some excruciating left leg pain, and you have my ride at White Lake. By mile 30 I was more than just uncomfortable. I was sitting up, wondering why on earth my leg hurt so bad. I was taking in tons of water because I couldn’t tell if what I was feeling in my leg was pain or cramping. I stopped peddling to “stretch” no less than 50 times. Can’t be good for your bike split – or your mojo. By 50 miles in I was honestly wondering if I would make it back.

I’m one of those people who is very strong in the beginning and an end of a ride/run/swim, etc. I am good when I’m fresh, and I LOVE the idea of the end. The middle is my usually my struggle…usually. By mile 50 at every other half IM I’ve ever done, I’m jazzed, ready to get to running, ready to get to the finish. By mile 50 at White Lake, I was ready to be a spectator. At one point, I saw a sign than said “White Lake – 6” and I thought I might cry. I pulled into transition with cheers from all around. My sister was going nuts, and a few friends/clients were also there cheering strong. The announcer notified we had our 3rd female in off her bike. I chuckled in my own head – I knew how I would feel standing up. I was right – I could hardly move. I was beyond stiff, beyond uncomfortable, and the muscle that runs through your inner thigh was tugging HARD.

I transitioned and headed out to run. I knew deep down I would not make it. I didn’t have it in me.

Run: 1 mile. DNF

I ran about .5 miles before I had to walk. My leg was killing and I just “didn’t have the suffer in me today”. There’s no other way to say it. The minute I walked I knew I would not finish the race. Could I have walked/jogged the next 13.1 miles? Yep. Would it have absolutely sucked, dehydrated the hell out of me in that heat, and perhaps made whatever going on in my leg worse? Yep. So I opted to be smart and call it a day.

Afterthoughts:

Calling it a day and “quitting” is NOT something I take lightly. My Dad has taught us since about 5 years old to “finish what you start” and I’m 100% certain I am the way I am because of that. I hated it at the time, but it’s part of who I am now and I appreciate it. I ran 24 miles at IM Louisville after throwing up for 5 1/2 hours on my bike…cramping, dizzy, with zero calories in my body…just to finish what I started. And I ended up in an ambulance. I don’t like to believe that I am a quitter.

What I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on is two-fold however. First and foremost is why on EARTH my leg hurt so bad. I thought for the entire ride, it was simply because I haven’t ridden my new bike (with a new fit) more than 35 or so miles and haven’t ridden any bike, for that matter, further since March. I have since somewhat revised those thoughts. Maybe.

My buddy Jim pointed out after the race yesterday that my wheel cover (that makes my back wheel a disc) didn’t have the “cover” that goes over the nozzle, which is left open so you can pump your back tire. I tried to get a picture of it below.

The opening has clear tape on it right now, but was open at the race.

Given how windy the ride was, coming from the left side rather often, and how flat the course was, I’m staring to think the constant pressure, over and over on my left leg to compensate for the increased resistance from the air seeping in to the disc (rather than around it, thus making you go faster), may have caused my left leg to just “work its ass off”. The pain I was feeling was 100% muscular in a very odd place that I’ve never had pain before. I have no idea truly what caused my leg to hurt, nor will I ever, and I’m certain it is a compilation of lack of fitness, the course, etc, but I think this might have contributed.

I will honestly admit, there have only ever been 2 other times when I’ve been in such deep dark hell on my bike. One was after a long 6 hour ride in 100+ degree weather totally bonking and having to pull over just to sit down and not pass out. The second, much more prominent, was at Ironman Lousiville in 2010 when I vomited for 80 miles wondering why on EARTH I was so sick, and how on EARTH I was going to run a marathon. That day ended in a DNF, which did not make me feel that great about the outcome of how White Lake.

That said, I think I’ve learned my lesson with pushing my body to the absolute limit (IN Lville). This wasn’t my first half Ironamn, it won’t be my last, it wasn’t going to be any sort of “PR”, there was no Vegas, no Kona, no anything on the line, really. It was a “B” race on my calender and was planned so I could gauge my fitness before Eagleman.

Fitness gauged. Gauge reading – LOW.

DNF’ing at White Lake, in a sick way, is exactly what I needed pre-Eagleman. I’m more excited for the race, now that I have something to prove to myself. My schedule is a bit more manageable over the next 4-5 weeks so my focus can shift a bit more back to my training. I even have a 3-day training camp planned at the beach with the one-and-only Cliff English that will be ideal timing and conditions for Eagleman. I’m excited!

My fire is lit and if your are looking for me for the next 5 weeks, I will be off training somewhere. 🙂