Monday, December 8, 2008
Run training has been very consistent as we have continued to run every day. I am now doing more of the runs on my own so more of my weekly miles are at a faster pace while we still have "family runs" on other days. Unfortunately, my swimming and cycling have not been nearly as consistent, which is something I want to work on in December and January as I build towards California 70.3 in April.
In early November we made a road trip up to Santa Cruz and the Bay area for a wedding and visited with Kylies family.
A couple weeks later we went to Arizona to cheer on a number of friends that were racing Ironman Arizona. It was fun to catch up with friends I hadn't seen in many years. I swam with Scott Curry at the Gatorade swim the day before the race. Scott and I used to race against each other 10 years ago, he has continued to progress in the sport and is a phenomenal athlete. We also reminisced about the Trisport Series with Graham Fraser as I raced in his series throughout most of the 90's. We were also cheering for Marky V who is Kylie's coach. We brought Gracie with us and she loved it all - the drive, getting petted by tons of different people, walking for hours while we cheered and especially getting to sleep on the bed.The next day after watching the race we headed out to Tucson to visit Kylies brother and his family. Coincidentally her dad and bonus mom Wendy were also visiting that weekend as well so we got to have an early family Thanksgiving dinner! We had a great time and a great meal but it sure was difficult keeping my eyes open on the drive back to California with that tryptophan in my system. ;-)
Friday, October 31, 2008
After those couple weeks I began a new running regime. I ran frequently but for short periods of time and at an easier pace. I want to allow my legs to build up their strength slowly to avoid injury. Since the beginning of October I have run every day. The first week I ran only 10 minutes, the second week 15 minutes, etc. I am now doing 30 minutes every day and my legs feel GREAT. Not a hint of discomfort.
Typically my running speed will be in the 7:00-7:30 range for almost all of my runs. In this build though I have been enjoying running with Kylie and Gracie for all of the runs and have thus been running around 9 minute miles. Not only have we been able to enjoy a lot of family time on our runs but the runs have benefited us in different ways. The reduced speed for me has allowed me to increase my run frequency while allowing my shin to heal. At the same time, Kylie has enjoyed the the company on her runs and has benefited from the consistency.
While I will start to increase the speed on many of my runs as I build towards next years races, we will keep a couple family runs each week as we both love them so much.
Monday, October 6, 2008
A month or two before the race we were contacted by one of writers for the local newspaper and he did a story about us coming to the area from California to do the race on our honeymoon. http://www.huntsvilleforester.com/article/114750
As this race was on our honeymoon we raced in bride and groom jerseys that Kylie's mom had bought for us. Our running visors and our shorts had "just married" logos and Kylie had a veil sewn into her visor ;-)
On race morning we drove to Huntsville in intermittent light rains, still hoping it would not get any worse and maybe even clear up. Kylie and I set up our transition areas and then headed down to the swim start. Our trip to the swim start took longer than expected as we kept bumping into people and chatting. I all of a sudden realized I needed to HURRY to the water as I was in the first age group wave and the pros had already gone off.
I made it to the water with only a moment to spare so I did not get the chance to get a warm up of any kind. The horn sounded and we were off! Within about a 100 meters or so I started to hyperventilate, due to the lack of warm up and then going out hard at the start. After almost coming to a complete stop to catch my breath and let what seemed to be the whole wave pass me by I was able to start swimming again. Once I got going I started to feel really good in the water. After turning at the the second buoy we had a very long straight to the last turn buoy, which was very difficult to see. Fortunately I had made a mental note during our practice swim of a white boathouse on shore behind the buoy that I could swim towards. Almost everyone I was swimming with started to drift very wide here while I was able to hold a straight line to the final turn. After that last turn we swam toward the exit at a set of stairs they had built for the race. We got out of the water on the golf course and had to run about 300 meters up a big hill around the hotel to get to the transition area. As I got to transition I heard the announcer say that the first age grouper had just started the bike which was a very pleasant surprise because I figured with my problems at the beginning of the swim that I would have been further back.
I immediately felt pretty good on the bike and began to pass some of the pro women who had started a few minutes ahead. About five miles in I passed someone from my age group and asked how far ahead the leader was and he told me that I was it! I hoped he was right but, I still asked each of the next three or four pro women I passed just to be sure. We certainly were not mistaken about the difficulty of this course, it was unrelenting! Up, down, up, down, corner, up , down...fortunately it was as beautiful as it was difficult. Around mile 40 I started to tighten up a bit and felt a bit rough over the next 10 miles or so. During this time three age groupers passed me and on one of the last hills I dropped my chain and one of the pro women I had passed earlier passed me back. The bike course was about two miles longer than a normal half ironman as the course circled Lake of Bays, so the only way to shorten it to the normal 56 miles would have been to build a bridge. So while it was one of my slowest half ironman bike rides, with the hills and the extra distance, it was actually a very solid ride. This was one of the first times I have gained the age group lead on the bike and held it into T2. My normalized power on the bike was 230 watts, while my AP was 220 watts. Basically one watt higher than I had done at California 70.3 in the spring.T2 went by quickly and I started the run pretty strongly but I had to make a concerted effort to slow myself down as I had been doing very little running this year due to a persistent shin injury that I had never given the time to properly heal.
Despite the downpours there were still a lot of spectators out cheering us on. My groom tuxedo jersey really got the crowds going and Kylie said she had the same reaction to her bride jersey and veil! Around mile 8 the wheels slowly started to come off. Around mile 9 I lost the age group lead and I was unable to respond. At mile 10 as we started to run on the golf course trails the eventual winner of my age group passed me. I could see a couple more runners behind me at that point and I had to dig REALLY deep for that last three miles to maintain my position. Between the unrelenting hills on the bike and run and the extra weight of my waterlogged socks and shoes my legs were trashed by the time I got to the finish line.After crossing the finish line I made my way to the ART tent and had my legs worked on. When I was finished I noticed that the massage tent looked pretty empty so I was able to get a massage as well! I picked up my dry clothes bag from the morning, and put on everything I had in an attempt to stay warm. I then tried to figure out where Kylie was on the course so I could cheer her on. I finally found her as she came by the finish area with three miles to go in her race. She looked GREAT! While everyone around her seemed to be struggling with the hills and the rain she was running strong. I headed back under a tent in an attempt to stay dry while I waited for her to finish. Once again I bumped into people I used to race against 10 years ago. I always enjoy catching up with people in the sport that I haven't seen for a long time.
Kylie finished really strong, she actually had a half marathon PB on THAT course in THOSE conditions! And her best overall placing in a race of that size. AWESOME!
We headed inside for some food and then headed to the awards ceremony. When I went up for my age group award Kevin MacKinnon noticed my tuxedo race outfit and asked me about it. So I was able to share that Kylie and I had just gotten married the previous week and that the race was part of our honeymoon!
The award was really cool, rather that a typical plaque or medal they had awards designed by a local artist. They were etched glass on pieces of local granite - very cool.
I would really recommend this race. Muskoka is one of the most beautiful places in the world, the course is challenging and Trisport has always been one of the best race organizers anywhere.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Once we finally did wake up we went for a walk along the beach. We enjoyed the sand dunes that are are actually protected in the area, checked out the surf fisherman and everything that had washed up onto the shore, including this jellyfish!That night we went into Monterey and had dinner at one of the seafood restaurants on the pier. The following day we got up early and rented kayaks to explore around Monterey Bay. We paddled around the pier and in front of the aquarium where we had stoppped with my family just days earlier. We were able to see a LOT of different sea life including sea otters, sea lions, seals and even dolphins! Initially we just saw the dolphins jumping a little ways off, in front of the jetty by the harbor, but on the way back we decided to kayak into the harbor and ended up coming across two dolphins. One actually jumped within 10 feet of my boat and VERY cool. Here is Kylie in front of a number of sea lions sleeping on the jetty.
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
The day before we had a rehearsal at McNears Beach Park where the ceremony would take place the following day. Here is Kylie and I standing in front of where we would be married less than 24 hours later.
To respect the tradition of not seeing the bride until she comes down the aisle I stayed at the hotel that night with my mom and Kylie stayed with her mom and Dennis. The next morning I got up and went for a run before getting ready for our big day. (Kylie was out running about the same time, so its a good thing we didn't bump into each other ;-) Here is my mom pinning on my corsage. And here is my brother Richard who was my best man, my dad and myself.
Then we got word that Kylie was on her way down to the park so Gisela finished with our pictures and I went to the Beach area so I wouldn't see Kylie while her pictures were done. After what seemed like a long time Richard came and got me so the ceremony could begin.
Kylie's nephews Ethan and Luke were our flower/ringbearer team. Luke had a little difficulty navigating the runner that was on top of the long grass, so he went down a few times, but they were awesome! Here Kylie is coming down the aisle with her mom and dad. It was an amzing wedding, a beautiful day, a fantastic setting, wonderful friends and family and a gorgeous bride! Presenting Mr. Michael and Mrs. Kylie Donia:Gisela got some beautiful pictures, I love the lighting as well as our expressions in this one:
Here is a picture of all of our new complete family that was there:
After pictures everyone sat down to eat:
There were a few and toasts including a very funny one by the best man:
Afterwards we had our dance:
We both LOVE ice cream. It is definately better than regular wedding cake so we asked a local ice cream shop if they could do a wedding cake. They had never done one before, but said they would buy the molds and make one for us. Each layer was a different flavor: strawberry ice cream with angel food cake, mint choclate chip ice cream with chocolate cake and cookies and cream ice cream with chocolate cake. IT WAS AWESOME! Our theme for the wedding was tandem bikes "Pedal Together Forever" so our cake topper was quite fitting:
We definately left the ceremony in style:
We first had lunch on 3rd Street Promenade, here Maria displays the beer Rich and I each enjoyed with our food. We then headed over to Venice Beach to do some people watching and let them onto the sand and see the Pacific Ocean for the first time. As it turns out we all ended up in the ocean ;-)The next day we were up VERY early to avoid LA rush hour and began our drive north. Our first stop was just north of San Simeon to check out the elephant seals.
We then continued further north to Big Sur to check out the Redwoods, here's Kylie and I in a hollow in one of the trunks of the trees.
Then we jumped back into the car to get to Monterey where we had lunch at Bubba Gumps and checked out the Monterey Aquarium. Here is my mom, Rich, Maria and Kylie at Cannery Row in Monterey.Once finished there we drove the remaining hours up to San Rafael. After a night of sleep we headed out the next morning to do some wine tasting in the Sonoma area where Kylie grew up. Here's Kylie and I at one of the winery's we visited.
The following day we took the ferry across from San Rafael to san Francisco to have lunch at Fishermans Wharf and check out Golden Gate Bridge. We of course had Clam Chowder in sour dough bread bowls! Here is a picture at Fishermans Wharf with my mom, Me, Kylie, Rich, Maria, my dad, GiselaAfter this we got married, which this trip was all about in the first place ;-) Stayed tuned for that post!
Friday, September 26, 2008
On one of my last days in Monrovia the Chamber suprised me with a good bye lunch at Rudy's (some of the best Mexican food you'll find anywhere).
I will miss everbody from the chamber and I appreciate everyone who helped me along the way. I will definately get involved with the Redlands Chamber of Commerce and if they are half as good as Monrovia, I will be very fortunate.
Lots has happened since I last posted. At the beginning of July I gave my boss notice that I would be leaving at the end of August. Later in July Kylie and I moved from Monrovia to Redlands, meaning I had to commute just over a 100 miles per day, but at least it wasn't for long. We got a dog. At the the end of August I finished working for Budincich Chiropractic. In the first week of September my family came to California for our wedding. We did a road trip up the coast with my family to show them some of the sights here. On September 6 Kylie and I were married in San Rafael, CA. We honeymooned in Monterey for a couple days. Flew to Canada. Had a wedding reception with Canadian family and friends. Raced a half ironman in Canada. Flew back to California. Now I am doing business planning to get a small business loan, looking for office space and doing everything else required to get my own office opened!
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
It is another reverse order sprint triathlon, the distances are 5km run, 11 mile bike and a 150 yard pool swim. There is also a 5km race run concurrently with the tri. While it has a small race atmosphere with many first time triathletes there are also a few fast pros every year enticed by the $5000 prize purse.
The gun went off and right away a number of people flew to the front, some that should be at the front, and a few that fell off the pace within a couple hundred yards. I built into the run and ended up coming into transition in just under 17 minutes in 4th place overall.
I had a VERY poor transition, knocking one of my shoes off my pedal exiting transition. I have used the shoes on the pedal method for over 10 years and well over 50 races and this is the first time that has happened. While I was laying my bike down, going back to get my bike shoe and getting on my bike I was passed by Kate Major and Julie Swail (a week after she qualified for her 2nd Olympic games).
The bike course consists of three laps of a rolling course that has very little flat ground, so you are climbing or flying downhill at 27+mph. While nobody passed me on the bike I felt very flat and was not able to make up any ground on those ahead and did lose some time to those behind me.
Coming off the bike I was too far back to catch anyone in such a short swim so I got through transition and did the swim with very little pressure. I ended up going 51:25, 6th overall and first age grouper.
I was also taking a three day continuing education class this weekend so when I finished the race I grabbed my clothes, watched Kylie finish (3rd in her AG), showered and drove out to Palm Springs for the last day of my class. Kylie stayed for our triathlon club meeting and I picked her up after my class and we headed home in time for me to meet with my boss for a business meeting.
A VERY busy weekend, I was almost looking forward to the work week for a bit of rest ;-)
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
It was a local race held at Bonelli Park in San Dimas, CA. It was a half mile swim, 15 mile mountain bike ride and a 3 mile run. After the race we planned to head out to Redlands to watch the Redlands classic bicycle race so we also brought our road bikes to ride around the course and watch the pros. Between two mountain bikes, 2 road bike, wetsuits and other tri gear plus "normal clothes" the CRV was packed.
It was a smaller race so there was just two waves: men and then women plus relays. It was the first beach start I have done for a long time and the running in and dolphin diving really got my heart rate up. So much so that I had to take it really easy for a couple moments to get my breath. I ended up coming out of the water in second about 15 seconds down on the leader but was first out of transition onto the bike.
Within a couple hundred yards I missed a left turn as the kids pointing us in the right direction weren't ready yet - oops! Fortunately they had a ribbon across the finish line so I turned around. I rode the beginning of the first loop with another rider but lost contact on the first steep section of single track. Over the next lap and a half a number of other riders passed me as well. I was cursing myself for not checking everything on my bike more closely as my seatpost kept slipping and I had to stop to adjust it a couple times each lap.
The course went through some beautiful fields of wildflowers that were taller than us and right to the edge of our handlebars on the singletrack trail. Unfortunately, it was very easy to miss corners as you couldn't see the markings on the trail until you were on top of them due to the tall grasses.
Coming off the bike I was down in about eighth position. The run started with a very steep uphill run and did not get easier as the entire course was continuous uphills and downhills. It was tough but fun. I managed to pass a number of the people who had passed me on the bike and ended up in third place overall and won my age group.
Mountain bike tris are definately require a different type of fitness. On the road you can maintain consistant heart rate/watts/effort. On the mountain bike, your heart rate is skyrocketing on the steep uphills and then on the downhills you can't just coast because there is so much more techincal bike handling skills needed.
Kylie also had a great race, even after setting a Personal Best in a 5km the previous day! She was 2nd in her age group and 5th woman overall. No pictures of me but here is one I took of her near the end of the bike.
They had a computer glich so the awards never happened, but we are looking forward to getting our awards in the mail. They had these cool pint glasses, I like these much better than the standard medal that will just sit in a drawer somewhere.
Afterwards we went to Kylie's work to shower and then rode our road bikes through Redlands to meet up with some of Kylie's friends to watch the bike race.
On a sad note Kylie's grandfather passed away this weekend. We visited with him this past Thanksgiving and I am glad I had the opportunity to meet him. He was a wonderful man and will be missed by all.
Friday, April 4, 2008
Friday morning I went to the pool for an easy swim. Unfortunately, walking from my car, still half asleep, I slipped in some water from the lawn sprinklers at the Rose Bowl. I kind of did the splits and I caught my toenail on the concrete and tweaked my back trying to stay upright. Moments later when I dove into the water my back REALLY went into spasm.
I had to cut my workout short because it hurt to swim. I then had to bear with the pain while treating patients at work that morning.
After lunch Kylie and I headed to Oceanside to register for the race and walk around the expo. We were also able to chat a bit with a number of friends, including ironclm and a few slowtwitchers, MarkyV, and a couple friends of mine from Canada who Kylie had met at Cervelo brainbike recently, Tereza Macel and Chris Bastie.
Afterwards, I called John Martinez from Coastal Sport and Wellness to find a chiropractor to work on my back because it hurt any time I rotated my neck or upper back. His chiropractor was not in the office that day so he recommended Elite Care in Encinitis. Fortunately, Dr. Rich was able to squeeze me into their schedule and provide some relief.
We then headed to our host extrordinaire's John's house. We had a good evening hanging out and eventually heading off to bed.
After much tossing and turning I finally fell asleep lying on an ice pack. In the morning we got up and headed to the race site. I made the final bike preparations and rode to the transition area and got ready to race.
I was in an earli-ish wave so very soon it was time to head to the water. As a pleasant surprise the water wasn't as cold as anticipated so I actually didn't really need the neoprene cap I wore. I had also worn arm warmers under my wetsuit to help keep me warm on the bike. I didn't anticipate though, how heavy the arm warmers would be when they were wet. Despite my heavy arms I had a decent swim of 27:21.
After a quick transition I headed off on the bike. I wore my arm warmers, and a pair of 99cent gardening gloves on the bike and was never cold.
I had been wooried about large packs on the bike as the first three age groups were M25-29, M40-44 and M35-39. Fortunately, this was one of the lonliest rides I have had in a half IM.
Just before the tunnel I heard a noise as my water bottle containing my spare tubular, C02 and pitstop came loose. I stopped and grabbed it so no one would hit it and crash. Fortunately, just past the tunnel there was a tent belonging to our tri club Inland Inferno. I threw the whole thing at the tent and yelled for someone to take it home with them.
I continued along the the front side of the course and soon realized that we had a much different wind than normal. I was heading north at 27+ mph at an easy effort on low watts. Sure enough once we turned south onto the hilly backside of the course we had a headwind into our faces the whole way. I developed a couple shadows here that stuck with me for the rest of the ride but there were less people around than I had seen earlier in the course.
On Vandegrift where there is usually a big headwind it wasn't so bad this year. Overall I felt consistent through this ride. My average watts were 219 and my normalized watts were 237. Going back just now, I checked and my watts up to the first climb were 221 and 237NP, so I held exactly the same NP on the first and second half of the bike ;-) My time was 2:39 which was about 10 minutes slower than I expected due to the wind.
I got off the bike and immediately felt my run legs beneath me. I actually had to keep slowing myself down as I knew I did not have the run miles recently to hold that pace for 13 miles. Despite trying to get myself to slow down I knew the second half of this run would be tough when I went through the turnaround at 42 minutes - oops ;-)
The second lap did slow down some but the worst part was how sore my feet got due to the concrete surface combined with my wornout race shoes. I want to thank everyone who was cheering me on out there, you all helped greatly. I probably didn't acknowledge very many people on that second lap as I was digging down and focused on finishing that lap. Run time was 1:29.
Overall I went 4:41, about 4 minutes slower than last year but I moved from about 30th in my AG to 6th, showing how much tougher it was out there this year.
Kylie got a few great photos including the one above of me at about mile 7 and the one below where Craig Alexander had moved ahead of Any Potts with about half a mile to go before Andy outsprinted him at the end by only seconds!
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Had a good swim workout at lunch today, swimming 3000 lcm with a main set of 2x400 on 6:00 and 5x200 on 3:10. Was coming in on 2:40 on the 200's so at least I know my swim is coming together for Saturday.
Last week Kylie was in Palm Springs for a conference and since I have Thursday morning off I drove out there Wednesday night. We went for nice ride together Thursday morning. Here's a self portrait of us somewhere around where Ramon turns into Washington north of the 10 freeway:
Yes we are geeks in our matching IM Louisville jerseys and matching R3's ;-)
You know you are in Palm Springs when the bike lanes are actually shared bike/golf cart lanes:
Monday, March 17, 2008
While I haven't got the amount of training in I had hoped for, I feel pretty fit. I recently started adding a bit more intensity to my workouts and am feeling some fatique. So, I am definately ready for the taper and hope to show up to Oceanside rested, sharp and ready to race.
I have some time goals in my head, one probable goal and an other "if everything goes right" goal. Of course, time goals can go out the window based on weather or other things so as long as I race up to the level of my current fitness, I will be quite happy.
While I have been very busy with work and other things, this race provided me with the motivation to keep fit this winter, so really it is already successful.
Good luck to everyone else racing and we'll se you out there!
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
I usually just do a short run on Tuesdays but my left shin is bothering me a bit so I decided to get in a bike ride today at lunch instead.
I rode out San Gabriel Canyon up highway 39 to East Fork and back. While riding through the windy canyon, each time I rounded a corner I thought about that if a car came from the other way and did not negotiate the corner properly that there was no way I would be able to avoid them.
It was ironic to be enjoying a beautiful day in a beautiful mountain area and to realize how fragile everything is and the inherent risks we must face to enjoy our sport.
Be careful out there people.
Sunday, March 9, 2008
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
We would not be deterred however and headed out to enjoy the race. We rode the last part of the course backwards up to Angeles Crest Highway and then headed back to the Rose Bowl. Specators were already starting to line up, and of course everyones joke as we came through was that we were leading the race, we even got cowbells to go along with the cheers.
Lead group - lap 2
Once back at the Rose Bowl we decided to put the bikes into the car, and put on dry clothes as we were soaked to the bone and would freeze once we stopped riding. As soon as we changed and walked back the lead group arrived with the Peloton a couple minutes back. The lead group was 9 riders initially but 4 of them got spit out the back and were engulfed by the peloton as a lone rider TT'd in the lead by himself for about 4 laps. At the final lap the 5 came back together and George Hincapi won it in a sprint.
Seeing them ride multiple laps around the Rose Bowl including some of the surrounding climbs in approximately 12 minutes really put into perspective just how fast these guys ride.
The Peloton lap 2