Sunday, September 20, 2009

Ironman Wisconsin

Quite a bit since the last post! First and foremost, Ironman Wisconsin...

On September 8, 2008 I spent almost $600 to register for "IMOO" or Ironman Wisconsin (moo because of the cows and cheese famous for those parts). It was over a year in advance that Anna and I signed up for this race, we knew it was quite the commitment! We began training immediately. Right after we began training, we stopped training... it was way too far in advance, we were going to burn out too quickly. Time passes, we get race ready for the season and have our first few sprint races of the summer. After one of the races my knees began hurting, bad. To the point where I wouldn't be able to walk for a day or 2 after a race or even a run workout, bummer. One race I even had to pull out of the run because I didn't want to hurt myself too much.

Anyway, so race day comes and I'm thrilled about it! I don't know exactly what to expect because I've never run more than 13 miles at one time, but I'm thinking I'll survive. I even rented some VERY expensive wheels for the race, Zipp 404's (which saved me tons of time on the bike course!). I began the swim at 7 am, about 1/2 mile into the swim my knees start hurting (what? why?) so I knew they weren't going to last the whole race. I finished the swim in about 90 min and ran up to transition. Got dressed, grabbed my bike and off I go! After the first turn on the bike course there's a straight section, I was thirsty so I grabbed my waterbottle, then dropped it on the ground and watched it skid across 2 lanes of open traffic... bummer again. It's ok, there was TONS of great support on the course, bottles of water, gatorade, bananas, anything your heart desires while on a bike course! The first 40 miles I averaged about 19 mph, then came the hills... uh oh! They were tough but I conquered! The second 40 I averaged about 16, same with the last 40ish miles... overall I did about a 6:30 bike.

During the bike one of my knees was hurting pretty bad, but I could push through it. The knee that hurt wasn't the worse of the two knees, so I kept going. As soon as I stepped off the bike, the one knee that already hurt began flaring up big time, and the "worse" knee decided it wanted to act up too, so I hobbled my way into the transition area, found a race official and turned in my timing chip. My race was over, I didn't want to even attempt running a marathon on 2 busted up knees when I couldn't even walk straight on them.


I'll do it another time. As of today, I'm not an Ironman :(

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Numero Two'o

It kinda sank in the other day when I said to myself "Self, the Ironman is now staring you in the face. You can't hide behind the time between now and then because that time has grown so thin you can practically get zipped up in your wetsuit now." Of course, there's still 2 weeks before Ironman Wisconsin and I think my boss wouldn't appreciate it if I decided to wear a wetsuit to work for the next 2 weeks. So instead I took myself over to the Chicago Hilton and picked up my registration packet for the triathlon this Sunday.

Here's what I know about the Chicago Triathlon (don't ask me about Chicago the city because I only have a few good things to say about it... it's an "OK" place, but I'd rather be back in sunny southern California):
  1. My race number is 8575. Written on my arms when I picked up my packet... 2 days before the race! Do I shower between now and then and risk it washing off???? Nah!
  2. My wave number is 52. I start three hours and 40 minutes after the first wave of triathletes start, sheesh! 59 total waves (the last 2 being the pro men and pro women).
  3. I'm wearing a green swim cap. If you're at the race site looking for me before I start... I'll be one of the 9300 people wearing a seal costume standing in line to jump in the water... but now that you know I'm wearing a green condom on my head you should have a better chance of finding me (say, one in a thousand rather than one in ten thousand).
  4. Shout out to my peeps at the Element Multisport booth at the expo, I hope you found that helmet you were looking for!
  5. Another shout out to Chris, the brain and brawn behind The Mercury Bicycle Company. Great setup you have on Loopd, on your website and how did you get such great positioning at the expo?? Anyway, I think I just may have found my next bike purchase (the Tridend II, still in testing phase)... just have to wait till he gets them stocked up!
  6. Tomorrow morning is going to be LOOONG! Transition opens around 4 am (that's when I hope to be getting there) and closes at 5:45. The first wave begins at 6, my wave doesn't start till almost 4 hours later. Something inside me wishes I was doing the sprint distance rather than the Olympic.
  7. I'm sure there's more, but I'm also sure you're getting bored... here's a picture to look at to help satisfy your ADD urges to get distracted
You like it? Me too. Ok, back on subject.

I thought about saving this little blog entry for another day and time, but why not now!?! Here's my thoughts on why I'd rather do a sprint or Olympic distance triathlon rather than a longer distance HIM or IM: I'm not an endurance athlete. Sure there's some of my adoring fans that might say "Oh Eric, you're so amazing, you to triath-a-lons, you must be so brave and athletic, you're my hero" but in reality I'm kinda lazy and all I'm really good for is the shorter high intensity stuff. Throughout high school I was a sprinter, hurdler and a jumper (all of which involved goofing off around the high jump pit during track practice while giving Coach Kuhlman a hard time), I placed well in all my meets except for the one time I was thrown in as one leg of a 4x800M. 800 meters was borderline long distance racing for me back in those days, but due to the availability of different race distances to the general public I have been forced to revamp my definitions of short, intermediate and long. Short now includes a 5K race (a distance you couldn't pay me to run during high school), sprint triathlons and my attention span. Intermediate would be a 10K or an Olympic triathlon. Long distance includes an Olympic triathlon (at the beginning of the season if I haven't been training during the winter) half IM, full IM, half or full marathon, or the commitment to get out of bed in the morning.

Now, with these new definitions, why do I prefer the shorter distance? Because of the pain. Long distance races don't hurt enough. I believe I have a high pain tolerance and I enjoy the feeling of my body pushing it's limits. To me, reaching an intensity limit is much more rewarding than finding a more lengthy limit to what my body can handle. The way I've been training for the Ironman is by slowing down and going longer. That is hard for me. I like my heart rate high, my legs pumping, muscles tense and twitchy and my competition around me.

I guess I'm just different than my Ironman friends. Maybe one day when I'm old and tired I'll decide I can't handle the hardcore, but as of now... bring it on. Looking forward to some major interval training and speed thresholds for next years races, but for now I've got 2 weeks before IMOO and 18 hours before the start of the Chicago Triathlon.

Happy reading!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

And So It Begins

I'm here... it's late... I'm going to bed...

But First:

Welcome to my bliggity blog where all your wildest dreams come true (if your wildest dreams include reading about my boring life).

Currently in the life of Eric:
  1. Working full time at Dr Silvia Pelini's office as a lab manager, fixing glasses, cutting lenses, keeping track of lab accounts, working the live long day. Also building a website for the doctor because ours disappeared.
  2. Triathlon training. However, the season is wrapping up. The Chicago Triathlon is this weekend then 2 weeks later is Ironman Wisconsin (my first Iron distance, I'm realizing I'm actually a sprinter and not really a distance jockey... like a dwarf I'm swift and deadly over short distances but I do get bored with the longer stuff).
  3. Sponsor searching. Looking for people/companies that want to give me their products to use and promote.
  4. Modeling. I haven't had any shoots recently but my calendar recently came out and I have them for sale if anybody wants a signed copy.
  5. I have attention deficit disorder. I've gotten distracted like 5 times while writing this so far. My dad and older brother have it too... it's legit!
  6. Getting back into school to finish my degree. Chem major, I've got 2 more semesters before I'm ready to graduate with my degree in chemistry.
  7. Getting into optometry school. This is what I want to do for the rest of my life... be an eye doctor. A professional triathlete can only do that for so long, but an eye doctor can afford the nice triathlon toys to go fast, and with my speed... I'll be unstoppable!
  8. Last but not least... Loving Anna. My wife. This bullet point actually blankets all the others in terms of my priorities and how much of my life is devoted to it.
Here's a picture, because if you're like me (A.D.D) then you like to look at things... helps keep focus.