Sunday, September 29, 2013

Family Swim Day

We decided since we had a brand new pool in the back yard that it was time to start going back to the pool in Tipton and start practicing for next year. Around 2 o'clock today we all piled in the car and headed down for a family swim. While it has been a long time since we had swum last both of the boys we're still quite good in the water. Marshall must have went off the diving board about a dozen times and Clancey was jumping off the side of the pool like and old pro. Marshall convinced me to jump off the board so I decided I would try to see if I can still do a one and a half, I was shocked to find out that I still could. We had a pretty good time swimming and ended up staying at the pool for around 2 hours, we're thinking we are going to try and make this a Sunday routine again.

44 Weeks To Ironman Boulder

And so it begins anew. With 44 weeks until my next Ironman training officially got started today. To be honest it felt good to have a training plan to follow and some organization to my workouts. For the next 4 weeks it's low intensity 5-8 hours a week and then the 20 after move into high intensity intervals for about the same amount of hours a week. Then it's the final 20 weeks of long workouts leading into Ironman Boulder. Going to be a tough year but I'm looking forward to it.

Marshall Playing Ode To Joy

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Lunch At the Cafe

The girls at Mill Creek Cafe decided to be open Saturday so after we went to Clancey's game this morning we headed over to the cafe for lunch.  The place was packed and they were serving one of the their specialties, the tenderloin.  I sure wish they were open more often on weekend so I could enjoy it more often.  As it stands I'm only able to have lunch here just a few times a year.

First Spotting of Christmas Stuff

Seriously it's not even October yet.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Golfing Las Paloma

Today I managed to get my meetings done right around 11am and was able to sneak away with one of my other travel companions to play the golf course connected to our resort.  The golf course turned out to be one of the hardest golf courses either of us have ever played so after about 5 holes we decided that playing best ball was probably the way to go.  After we did that we ended up playing a damn good round.  Turns out that my travel companion was bombing it off the tee, 300+ yards, and I was putting my mind out.  Between the two of us we ended up shooting par over the remainder of the holes we played.  All in all it was a great day of golf, the course was dead, we golfed well and had a great a time, I'm glad we decided to go out and do it.  Makes a week of travel and meetings worth it when you get to enjoy a little of the local fare if for only an afternoon.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Awesome Morning Office

View from my work space this morning here in Mesa. Nothing like having an office with a view for a couple hours.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Morning Run

This morning I got up and went for an early morning run here in Mesa. When I headed out the door at 5:15 it was pitch black out but by the time I got back the sun was starting to peak over the horizon and made for some pretty neat scenery. Of course my phone can't do it justice but trust me it was a spectacular morning.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Spectacular View

Here is a little better picture of the view from out hotel restaurant tonight.  It was getting a bit dark when I took the picture so it still isn't the greatest but it should give you the idea.  To bad I have to actually do work this week because I not only have a great view of the mountains, some pretty awesome pools but off my balcony there is view of a great golf course.  Wish that I could spend the rest of the week playing golf and laying by the pools.   

In Arizona

After a long day of travel I finally made it too my hotel in Mesa, Arizona for the week.  The resort ended up being at the base of a mountain so we have a hell of a view while we enjoy our dinner tonight.  

Headed To Arizona

Well today I'm jumping on a plane to head to Arizona for the week for some work stuff.  It's been a few months since I traveled last so I'm looking forward to breaking away from the daily grind and seeing something new.  Turns out that I'm staying the week in a fancy spa/golf resort which should be pretty nice.  

Sunday, September 22, 2013

First Swim in the Pool

Driving The Skid Loader

My neighbor was really getting after me to give the skid loader a try.  He kept telling me that I should give it a try but I told him that while I had an idea of how I wanted to dirt to look I had zero ability to actually make it look that way.  Finally after he got all the dirt moved I told him I would drive it back up to the shop.  I'll say this it was kind of fun.

Moving Dirt

This afternoon I had the goal of getting my big mountain of dirt moved.  My original plan had been to use a shovel and wheelbarrow to move it all but, clearly it was way to big for that.  Well I went across the alley to talk to my neighbor to see if I could use the skid loader he had access too to move it.  Well not only did he say that the skid loader was available but he moved the dirt himself and took it to his property since he had a use for it.  This is why I love living in small towns!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

First In The Pool

70 degree weather, pool full of water fresh from the hose, and some sun the kids are officially the first ones in the pool. At first they weren't sure they wanted to get in but once one got in the other had to follow. Not sure how long they will play in the pool but either way they got brave did it.

Clancey's Individual Picture

Clancey's individual picture

Clancey's Team Picture

Clancey's flag football team picture.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Living The Dream

It's time for an obligatory post about the dog. Tonight as I was getting into bed I noticed the dog laying on it as if he owned the whole bed and I had to take a picture. I say this a lot but this dog is living the dream. A dog that goes from living on the streets of Washington Iowa and being within hours of being euthanized now spends his nights sleeping on a warm cozy bed being cuddled by Jen. Pretty good life if you ask me.

Pool Is Installed

The pool has been officially installed and is being filled up, probably going to take a couple days to get it all the way full. Now we can't wait until next summer to get here so we can start using it! I'm pretty excited for the boys get home to see the pool, I'm not sure they actually believe we were going to do it.

Coming Together

Like they said it's only been a couple hours and the pool is nearly installed. They started right around 8:30 and after a couple hours of grading the yard they started on the install. I was surprised by the amount of dirt that they dug up but I'm sure that we will figure out a place to put it all. Based on the progress they are making is looking like they will be done in the next hour or two. Jen and I are excited to see how it looks when it finally gets done.

New Pool

So I never actually mentioned it on the blog but a couple weeks ago, on Labor Day if I recall correctly, the family all piled in the car and headed to Davenport to look at pools. After we went to our friends house for a pool party and we saw how much the kids enjoyed the pool we thought that we would look at buying one. Jen and I don't normally spend our money on what some would deem a frivolous purchases but we thought that it would be a nice addition to our yard plus we figured the kids would get tons of use out of it in the summer. Well finally today came and they came to install our pool. As you can see they aren't very far yet but they started. They told me that it should only be a few hours and they will be done. 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

DQ Trip With The Boys

At the DQ with the kids for some boy trip treats

Video Games

Here we are at Best Buy checking out the video games and trying to figure out which one we should get. It's been a long time since we've bought a new video game so if we can find the right one for the right price we will probably pick one up. We're thinking Halo 4 but we're not sure yet.

Panchero's For Lunch

On a boy trip with the kids, probably head to Best Buy and go bowling before the big game this afternoon.

Bakery After The Game

After the game we stopped over at the bakery to get some donuts as a celebration for Clancey. While he didn't get any tackles or touchdowns he had a couple good runs.

Clancey Running the Ball Again

Clancey's Big Run at Football

Clancey's First Football Game

Here we are at Clancey's first flag football game and, since he's planning to be a professional football player, the first day of his career. Hopefully he play good and gets a touchdown.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Getting Fall Started

With Ironman over, the busy travel season for the family coming to a close, and weekends slowing down some I pretty much consider this week the unofficial start of fall for us. While it's sad to see summer go it's nice to be entering into football season and then very quickly heading into the Christmas season. Plus this is about the only time of the year I don't have Ironman training hanging over my head.

Monday, September 09, 2013

Instagram Photo

Did we move to Death Valley, I'll tell you what I'm sure glad it wasn't like this yesterday at Ironman Wisconsin.

Ironman Wisconsin 2013

Finished Ironman #5

Last night about 9:20 I finished my 5th Ironman triathlon I'm happy to be a finisher once again but yesterday was a tough race.  It started off in the morning when the wind had picked up some and made water pretty choppy.  Not like it was at St. George but I knew it was going to be a tough swim.  The first 3/4's of a mile went pretty well when we had the wind at our back but when we turned the corner and headed back for over a mile into the wind and the chop it was tough.  Now while I may be a slow and, to be honest, not that great of swimmer I didn't let the waves get in my head.  I've had tough Ironman swims before I knew if I just kept stroking away I would get there eventually.  I looked at my watch at the halfway point and knew unless I totally fell apart in the last 1.2 miles I was going to make the cutoff.  I kept after it but as I reached about 1.7 miles I started to really get tired.  Let's just say the amount of swimming I did this year was no where near the amount I should have been doing.  I think I averaged somewhere in the vicinity of  one swim at week for 20 weeks which isn't enough and I was starting to feel my lack of swim endurance.  Still though I kept stroking away turned that last corner, looked at my watch and knew that I was probably going to be bringing it home right around 2:00 hours.  When I finally did emerge from the water I must have looked pretty rough because the volunteers helping people out of the water kept asking me if I was alright.  I assured them I was just tired a little bit dizzy.  When Jen saw me she was ecstatic, I was 15 minutes longer then my projected swim time and after St. George she just doesn't have the stomach for the swim when I don't come out of the water when I should.

After my tough swim I headed up the helix ran into transition and knew that I had some time that needed to be made up.  I could tell by the lack of people in the transition changing room that I was clearly one of the last people out of the water.  By this time I was feeling a little bit less dizzy, happy to be done with the swim and ready to head out to my best event the bike.  I ran out of the changing room, headed out to the bike racks, stopped briefly to give Jen another hug and a kiss and headed out onto the course.  Now the way you are supposed to ride an Ironman bike is "just ride along" for 40 miles and then hammer it for 70 miles.  Well given how poorly my swim went I through caution to the wind and started to hammer down.  While I knew at some point I would probably bonk I figured when I did at least the other people around me would have too and I would just maintain my position from there.  The first 56 miles went spectacular I passed more people then I could count I had pretty much made up all the time from my poor swim at this point.  I got to special needs got my food for the last half, note to self be sure to bring some solid food next time, took a pee and was off.  For about the next 10 miles I was feeling pretty good but right about mile 65 I hit my wall and slowed down.  For about the next 40 miles I just didn't have it in me.  I felt a bit sick, I didn't have the same power I did and I was riding along.  At mile 80 the rear derailleur on my bike started to my horrible noises but there really wasn't much I could do except keep riding and hope it didn't break.  While I was in the midst of my bonk the hill the second time didn't got too bad, my legs were acting like they wanted to cramp on my but never did.  Finally on the way in to town if about 7 miles to go I started to come out of my funk and was able to hammer it all the way into town.  I'm not sure what my exact bike time was but I would say it was probably my best Ironman bike ever.  Besides a couple tough hours in there, I didn't fight crotch pain, neck pain or cramps at all on the bike so clearly my biking is Ironman quality.

Once I got back to the helix it was into to transition to prepare for the run.  I have somewhat of a love/hate relationship with the run.  It's my favorite part of the Ironman because the crowd support in Madison is spectacular but it never fails that it is the most painful part too.  For me it ins't the fatigue that gets me its the blisters and bruising of the balls of my feel that get me.  None-the-less I transitioned and this time instead of a traditional triathlon jersey I wore a T-shirt in honor of my nephew of passed away of a severe asthma attack in February.

I made my way out of transition and within in the first half mile I saw Jen and the rest of family waiting to cheer me on.  I told them that the bike went well I was feeling good and was ready to tackle the marathon.  The first 5-6 miles of the marathon went alright but as I passed into miles 7-8 the telltale sign of foot pain started to rear it's ugly head and I knew I was in for some pain.  I figured out that running made it hurt less and since I wasn't to fatigued yet I was able to jog for a majority of the time at least through the first lap.  When I got back to to the square I met up with Jen again and told her that my feet were freaking killing, I would make it but probably not as fast as I would like.  She told me that was alright just keep putting on foot in front of the other and "Find a Way".  The second lap was a hard fought slog for me.  By this time my feel hurt like hell, I was tired as hell, my stomach was totally sick of sugary food from the aid stations and I was ready to be done.  I managed a combination walk/jog for most of the second lap.  By about mile 18 of the run my feet had finally decided to not continually hurt more and maintained a constant level of pain which was good because I had figured out the walk/jog amounts that made it bearable at this point.  Finally after a pretty tough slog and what was not a very enjoyable run I got to the finishers chute.  Normally I really live it up in the finishers chute but I was feeling pretty beat up so I kept it pretty reserved this time.  When I finished I held my T-shirt tight so they could get a good picture of me finishing in it.

All in all today was a pretty tough Ironman for me.  I had a great bike sandwiched between both a tough swim and tough run.  It was clear from today that I need to spend more time at the pool if not for me for my wifes sanity.  I was able to finish the swim today but had the conditions been much worse it's possible that I could have missed the cutoff.  Second I need to run more.  I really felt like I had ran a ton this year but it's clear from today that I need to be getting more long distance runs in of 10 miles and greater.  Third it seems that after all these years I finally gotten the bike here at Wisconsin nailed.  Next year with back to back Ironman races I'm going to really need to focus on making I come out of the first Ironman with minimal damage so I can get back to training for the second one right away.

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Ironman Wisconsin Tomorrow

Here I am once again the night before Ironman and I'm excited to get started. Hard to believe this is the 6th time I'll be attempting the 140.6 mile distance and assuming I execute like I know I can will be my 5th finish. I've had a few tough lessons at this distance and have learned to respect it, especially after my race last year in St George, Utah. Tomorrow the mantra is "Find a way!". If the wind picks up on the swim "Find a way", if I cramp on the bike or run, "Find a way" and when those blisters kick in and my legs are killing me "Find a way". No matter what happens I plan to enjoy the race and take it all in. Lastly I would like to give the wife a big thanks for being my biggest fan and an awesome Ironman sherpa.

Instagram Photo

Bikes are all in transition ready to rock #imwi

Ironman Race Information

Race Number: #1767

Tracking Information:
On race day there will be a number of ways to track my race progress the best will be MyAthleteLive.  I have a tracker I wear on my race belt from the time I get out of the water to the finish line.  It live updates my progress every few seconds so you can see where I am at any given point on the race course.  You can go to the website or download the Android or IPhone apps to track my progress.

My Athlete Live:

Google Play Store Link:

IPhone App Store Link: On raceday this is the place to get the live streaming video of the event for most of the day.  Not sure what the race coverage will be like but for the most part when people start to finish they will have a station webcam pointed on the finish line and if you use the information from the My Athlete Live tracker you should be able to see me finish.

7:00 am : Race Start
8:40-8:50 am: Swim Completed, Enter Transition 1 (Look for me on the Helix)
9:00-9:10 am: Start Bike Portion/Tracking Starts
3:30-4:00 pm: Bike Completed, Enter Transition 2
3:45-4:15 pm: Start Run Portion
9:00-10:00 pm: Expected Finish Time

With Ironman less then a week away I thought it was time to create my Ironman information site again for those who are interested in tracking my progress either at the race site or online all day.  Last year at this race I had a PR because of a spectacular run or 4:40, this year it's hard to tell how it will go.  I think key was that I took it pretty easy on the bike and, while I didn't get my goal time of 6:30, I think it translated into a way better run.  I was hoping my half Ironman a couple weeks ago would give me some better indications of how I would do but it really left me with more questions then answers.  I got a PR on the bike and felt good pressing it hard all day on the bike but fell apart on the run and fought some bad blisters.  I guess it's going to come down to the run again and we will see how it goes.

The swim is by far my worst event of the three and where I could stand to make the most progress to improve my overall Ironman time.  This year, much like last year, I really haven't done a whole lot of swimming.  I did utilize my time in Beaver Island to do a bunch of open water swims and get my mileage up but I'm still not expecting this to really improve from any of my past years.  Really I just have to be smart swim my speed stay out of trouble and try to make sure I have something left for the bike and run.

This year I would like to press it a bit harder on the bike and really try to get my 6:30 that I talked about last year.  My half Ironman showed me that I have the capability to bike even a 6:00 if I stay disciplined and stay on my bike after the halfway point, which is way easier said then done.  For the most part getting through the first 56 miles isn't too bad, no back pain, no neck pain, no crotch pain and no cramps to fight.  It's the last 56 miles that are the tough, when you get mile 70-80 that is when staying on the bike and in the aerobars becomes tough.  By then you've been on the bike upwards of 4:00 hours and stuff is starting to hurt.  This year at special needs I'm going to pop a few ibuprofen to see if that staves off some of the pain.

This is where the big question mark is for me this year.  I've ran a lot and feel like I could have a good run but it's hard to know how you will feel at this point.  Generally the first 13 miles go pretty well, for the most part I've been able to run it in sub 2:30 and work through any problems for the first half.  It's that second half that really defines how your race will go.  By this point you will be at a 10-11 hour race time, your getting tired, cramps are being an issue, blisters are an issue, leg pain is an issue and just general tiredness is an issue.  If you can fight through all of that and keep running a majority of the time you will have a good race.  If you can't and end up walking you go from a 2:30 half marathon to a 3:30 to 4:00 half marathon really quickly.  I guess we will see race day how it all goes.

Bike Racked

My bike is racked and gear in transitions so that means I'm officially ready to rock this race.  Up until today I was feeling pretty anxious about this race but finally today,I've switched from anxious to race ready.  Being among the other athletes and seeing the outward tension on them for some reason eases my tension.  None-the-less I'm taking the rest of the day to hydrate and rest, probably take a walk a little later.  Less then 24 hours until I get the opportunity to race again and I WILL FINISH THIS RACE!

Signed Up For Next Year

Normally I would post a picture of me posing with my registration sheet but this year they moved to email only so there isn't any sheet to pose with.  After signing up for Boulder a few weeks back and now Wisconsin I'm going to be attempting the Ironman double header once again next year.  I'm hoping next years double header goes better then last years attempt at it, where I missed the cutoff on the bike.  Given the races are only 5 weeks apart it's going to be a tough double header but as long as I train right I should be fine.

Friday, September 06, 2013

The Passing Of The Claim Ticket

Just like every year Jen was not impressed by the passing of the claim ticket, or what I lovingly refer to as the "Found On Road Dead Ticket".  The reason this is always a big deal is pretty much the only reason that Jen would need to use the reclaim ticket is if I have a problem and am in no shape to get my bike myself.  I always try to get Jen to promise that if I end up in the hospital or something she needs to make sure my bike and equipment get picked up.  This year she just flat out told me that if I'm in the hospital she will be at the hospital with me and will not reclaim my gear.  :p

Ironman Wisconsin Gear

Here is a picture I took of all my gear bags before I started loading them tonight.  Tomorrow after I get my bags put in transition time to relax and get ready for my big day on Sunday.  

Checked In

Here I am outside Monona Terrace posing for my annual Ironman Wisconsin Expo picture.  This year check in took longer then it ever has for me, I was in line for over an hour before I finally got through everything.  I think the difference this year was the fact that I got in line later then I normally do which put me right in the midst of the large check-in crowd.  After a few days of feeling very neurotic and acting like a bit of a nut I'm starting the settle down a get ready to race.  Like every year I'm a bit nervous about the swim, its my weakest event and  I didn't really swim as much as I should have this year.  I did have a lot of good open water swims on Beaver Island so I'm feeling confident about my ability to get through the swim assuming there aren't St. George size waves.

Now that I'm checked in we move into Jen's favorite part of Ironman, a whole bunch of sitting around the hotel and Gatorade day.  After I get signed up for next years Ironman tomorrow and get my bags and bike dropped off it's back to the hotel to relax and consume large amounts of Gatorade.  

Athlete Check-In

Standing in line at athlete check in. #imwi #1767

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Packing For Ironman

Today I cut out of work early to head home and start packing for my Ironman race this weekend.  Just like every year the last day of work before Ironman weekend is very hard to concentrate and I end up having to leave early.  To calm the nerves I spent some time finishing packing, rocking some Dubstep music and having a beer.

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Ironman Wisconsin One Week Away

I am officially one week away from my 6th Ironman and ready to get going. Hopefully next week at this time I'm into the last lap of the marathon and not fighting any cramps or blisters. I suppose even better I would be looking at finishing in the next 30 minutes in the day light for the first time ever. This last week leading up to Ironman is the worst week of the whole training period. This is the week I turn into an absolute basket case worrying about things that can keep me from starting the race and fight "phantom pain". It is so freaking dumb to get stressed out about things you can't control but I do anyways and the next 7 days are going to be tough. I'm pretty sure I've told this story on my blog before but if not here goes.
The second time I did Ironman Wisconsin on the Wednesday of race week I woke up with a horrible cramp in my neck. About 4am in the morning I woke up and the muscle on the right side of my neck tightened up and when it released I could barely move my neck. For the next few days I walked around Ironman barely able to turn my head left or right. By race morning it had started to hurt less and I was able to race but since that day I've been scared about it happening again, which I'm sure just makes it that much more likely. I guess I just need to relax, realize I'm the one who chooses to do these races and if something prevents me from starting it's not that big of deal.

Golfing With The Boys

On this nice summer day, after Mike, Michelle and Olivia left to head home, the boys and I decided to head out for a round of golf. It had been a long time since we last played so we thought it was about time to get out and get a round in. We surprised how dead the course was today, in fact when we got there, there was probably only 4 other cars in the lot and that was just fine with us. It's nice to have the course to yourself so you don't get pushed and we can all get a chance to hit. I didn't golf that great but we had a good time and that is what really matters.