Friday, May 22, 2009

The Juice and the squeeze...

Last week I knew we would need some extra room for the results and pictures and I was right!!!

What a race weekend!!!

1st to the shaved leg tough guys - The State Crit was this weekend and we had some really strong showings

Congrats to Curtis, Karel, Jeff, Michael, Will and Rad – way to go guys!!!

For the tri-geeks – the BFAS #1 was Saturday.

Congrats to James, JC, Marni, Jim W and Billy Hart and the rest of the crew – awesome job!!!

Ironman Florida 70.3 was Sunday in Disney and the Ironbutz were in attendance.

Great races by all – Congrats to Kerry, Juan, Peter, Will, Kelley and Michael.

Also congrats to Greg, Danny and Carl – Greg won his age group and was 25th in the overall ahead of a BUNCH of Pro’s – Way to go!!!

With the spring season done – it’s time to relax and unwind for a bunch of the crew. With all the miles logged you earned a few weeks of whatever you want…enjoy…then back to the grind.

Rich, Susan and I are very proud to have the chance to work with you all – it’s cool to be a small part of your success!!!

If you have anything better to do – stop here – you have been warned…
Your time might be better spent cleaning your shower curtain

I read somewhere a saying that asks “Is the Juice worth the squeeze?”

For me, last Sunday, it was not – more on that in a minute.

While I am not unhappy in my training, my fitness, my equipment or my goals – (Alan got me to a perfect place and Bianca was firing on race day) - I am really unhappy with my execution.

There is another saying that an Ironman is not won in the swim but it can be lost and I never really understood it but now I do…and that saying also applies to a half ironman.

What happened?

I swam my usual pace – not too hard – just cruise it and save energy for the rest of the day. I watched the lead pack go away and thought to myself – I am going to race my own race and I will be fine. I finished the swim in 14th position which is actually a little behind where I would have thought but I figured the course was long and I would make it up.

I started the ride and really felt incredible. My new bike and fresh legs from a perfect taper let me fly through the field and I was at 28 miles in 1:09 and on track for a 2:18 split. It wasn’t quite a “no-chain” day but I was feeling really good. I was lucky to have a 28 year old age grouper that was flying to pace off of and I stayed 3-4 bike lengths on purpose. I went through the aid station at 30 miles and I lost contact and I started to chase. I chased HARD for 30 seconds and decided he was too far up the road and “I would be fine” by myself. I was WRONG!!! At mile 40 I turned into a BIG headwind and I was in no man’s land. No one to pace off of – no one around at all. It sucked. I did my usual – rode steady power and settled in but my speed was falling off big time.

At the time I didn’t know it but the swim pack from my age group that I let go was up the road and all together (legally) and working less than I was.

I ended up with a 2:22 ride time – 2:24 on the race clock split after the run from mount / dismount but my 2:18 turned into 2:22 and that 4 minutes would come back to haunt me.

On the run I felt great. 1st 2 miles in 14:03 and I was not worried about the pace but I knew the heat would be a BIG factor as it was getting close to 95. I used all the tricks straight from the start to keep cool – bunches of sponges and ice in the hat and I even froze “my boys” again with ice shoved down my shorts. I settled into a slightly slower pace and still was handling it pretty well telling myself I do well in the heat – lap one was low Zone 4 HR and I felt good.

Through the 6 mile mark I was comfortable and then I decided I need to “press” to bridge the gap to the lead. I “pressed” a little to a 7:00 pace and it hurt and I eased up worrying about how the heat would smack me hard if I went redline too early – I decided to wait until mile 7.

At mile 7, I “pressed” again and again I started to hurt a lot and decided to wait until the last lap. I was now at the high end of Zone 4 and it was probably getting too high for too long. Zone 5 is reserved for the last 2 miles.

On the course which is really a Goat trail with no wind and no shade, I was hard to find a “steady” pace. I was able to get splits off of Kerry Mowlam at the turn arounds. He is really a great athlete that I work with and I knew he was ready to have a fast day. It was cool to have someone on the course to mark and I was focused on Kerry thinking that if I stayed on track for him – I would be in a good spot in the overall. I got the gap down to 10 seconds but Kerry has MAD GAME and bore down for the last lap and he pushed the finish and left me behind by 13 seconds.

All the while this was happening - the conversation I was having with myself was absolutely classic:

“You said medals or medical!!! Go man – now!!!”
“Yeah – but a DNF is neither – I need to hold back”
“If you hold back you’re not going to close”
“If I go now I am not going to finish – I’ll decide what I will do later…”
“The more you wait – the harder you will have to go”
“Yeah – I know – I’ll be ok – they will fade”

Man – I wish I would have known how close it would end up.

It’s not that I didn’t go hard – I did – just not hard enough – not soon enough to make a difference.

When I talked to Alan, my coach, he pointed to the swim as the 1st domino in my missing my goal and I agree.

At the pointy end of the arrow – the tactics and marking your guys becomes much more important and I was not paying attention – I failed to execute. By the time I knew I had to go – I was in a hole and managing an implosion – too little to late – I was asleep at the wheel.

The really bad part - I believe in numbers.

My effort was a 99.27% of what I needed. That’s not bad but not good either.

The juice (10th place in my age group- I wanted podium) was 2:00 minutes off of my goal of Top 5 THAT was not worth the squeeze…

323 hours of training…123,199 yards in the pool, 2,882 miles of cycling, 531 miles of running all to be 2:00 minutes from my goal…

Definitely NOT worth the squeeze – NOT HAPPENING AGAIN!!!

Next time – execute!!!

So - What’s next…?

Overall – get back to balance. Play and hang with the kids a LOT more. I try to train a lot in the morning before anyone gets up but even still I feel like I miss things. Not for the next 6 weeks – I am the “YES” man :)

Slow down a little and watch others speed along…

Last weekend, Shane turned 17 and I said to his Mom – “Oh my god – where did all the years go?”

It actually makes me get choked up when I think about it. I used to have him on my hip on Saturday afternoons strolling around Huntington Beach and now he is grown. It was a BIG wake up call. The years go way too quick – time to slow down a little.

Work is busy again now and that is good. Two new products and I have a good focus again which I enjoy. Traveling to Germany for a quick trip in a few weeks and then settle in to a surfing summer with the boyz.

As for my training – I am “off plan” for the next 6 weeks – it is a mental and physical break that I need.

Two off seasons (one summer and one winter) has allowed me to continue for a string of years without getting hurt – knock wood.
I do plan on addressing a few weaknesses:

Swim - need to get faster with less effort – Shane is coaching at Selva so I may have him work with me.

Bike – I enjoy riding and Josh is starting to ride so it will be a good thing to do together.

Run – maybe that can wait a few weeks but Bone will keep me company when I do :)

Equipment – can’t buy anything faster or sweeter – Bianca and Marisol are AWESOME – thanks Jeff!!! Shameless plug :)

Orthopedic / Strength – I am going Gym Jones!!! More on this later but I am going to go caveman this summer – Marjorie (my massage therapist – really knowledgeable and incredibly strong – she is tiny but can bring the pain) said I have Pillsbury Dough Boy transverse abs and that is causing my back to hurt. Core it is.

Drew said that she liked Cross fit so I may try that or MMA - she does like to fight :)

Other than that – I plan on sleeping, eating, playing and laughing with more and more of all.

Life is short, kids grow up too quick, it all can end unexpectedly and without warning so I plan on making the most of everyday…

I may even take my Mom’s advice – she said she rides her bike slow enough that she can not only stop to see the flowers – she can smell them too…I liked that…

This was worth the squeeze :)

So Kia Kaha if you race and if your relaxing like me – Enjoy…“The wanna be” Tao of Pooh and Zen Master Yogurt :)

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