The Ironman Hangover

Sadly, there has been almost no Tri training this year.  I almost always  have trouble keeping the motivation to training going after an IM race, but I had hoped to do better than this. There have been a few rides and a few runs but nothing that could be considered real training.  As it heats up here in Arizona it’s time for me to get back at it!

Newton 2013I just got a new pair of Newton running shoes, and would really like to get back to some serious running. I just have to make it part of my daily life again! My cycling endurance has fallen off terribly. My recipe to fix this, lots of hill repeats.  In my neighborhood there is a great hill loop than should get me back at it pretty quickly, as long as I’m able to stay committed to it! I have been through this before and I know that once I’m back on the horse I love it, just have to make it a habit again and that is the challenge.  Feel free to visit my training blog and give me some grief if I’m not getting in 3 or 4 training days a week!

So that’s the goal – get back to Tri shape and PR this fall’s SOMA 1/2 Iron!

And now I’ll leave you with a video of Jumpy, the aptly named dog!

Ironman Arizona Race Report

This was a great overall experience,  I got to train for the race with two really good fiends, we had nice weather and the IM people put on another great race!  I headed down on Friday to get checked in and hang out at my friend’s booth at the expo.  It was fun to just be down there and soak up the scene.  We cruised around Tempe Beach Park, grabbed some food and hung out, a pretty good day.  On Saturday I made it down about 10:15 to check my bike in and jump in the lake for a bit.  When I got there the bike check in line was huge, I wrestled the wetsuit on and went for a 15 minute swim, it was nice to get a feel for the water.  When I got finished swimming there was almost no line to check in the bike!  After a getting the transition bags checked in I headed for home.  Amy and I went out for a quick bite to eat and made it to bed around 9:30. I slept pretty well and woke up about 4 am, had a bagel with peanut butter, got dressed, grabbed my gear and headed out.

Found a good parking spot pretty easily, I had to put some food in my T1 bag and filled up the water bottle on the bike. After getting body marked, I met up with my friends for a bit and we all went over our plans for the race. Had a little extra time so Amy and I laid down in the grass for a bit. She brought her sleeping bag and I had my big red WKU Diving parka, made for a nice little nap!

Swim  1:15:34

The start of an IM race is always a cool experience, the helicopter flying overhead, the national anthem playing, the excitement of what’s to come! The gun went off and the day began! I settled into a pretty good rhythm and tried to keep calm. It seemed like there was a lot of contact in the water, I bumped into some girl a couple times and she must have gotten mad because she kicked me in the side pretty hard. If you get mad about people running into while swimming in the murkiness of Tempe Town Lake you’re probably going to be mad most of the swim.  I set a good pace and felt solid the whole way. Got kicked in the goggle about 200 yards from the finish, fortunately it didn’t hurt too bad or knock my goggles off! Swam to the stairs and I was out of the water!  Good IM effort swim, about 1 minute faster than my previous races.

Swim to Bike Transition 8:08

The strippers did great, got me out of my wetsuit quickly and I ran off to get my T1 bag. I usually just change in the grass outside the tent, it’s too hot and crowded in there and since I wear the same thing the whole time it’s just easier and nicer this way. Grabbed my bike and away I went!

Bike 6:02:13

Felt great leaving transition and had a solid first lap, during the second lap the wind picked up a little. I tried to keep my heart rate down and spin my way up the hill and then roll down at a good clip.  On the third lap I backed it off a little to ensure my legs were ready for the run.  I could have pushed it a little more but I feel like I rode a smart ride.  I did a good job taking in calories and ate 3 bananas from the aid stations.  It’s a great feeling to get to Shea Blvd on your 3rd lap, all you have to do is roll on back into Tempe and you’re done with the bike ride!

Bike to Run Transition 5:54

Handed off the bike to the volunteers and headed into the changing tent to get a little break from the sun.  Ate some pretzels they were handing out in the tent, got the shoes on and got slathered up with sun screen!

Run 4:36:18

Pretty happy with my run.  In the past it has been my undoing in IM Races and this year I was determined not to let that happen.  I started out a little fast, but settled into a comfortable, sustainable pace.  The first lap was probably the toughest for me, the end seems so far away and it’s been a long day already.  About 1/2 way through that 1st lap my right foot was feeling numb, this worried me because I didn’t want to have to start walking.  I sat down and took off my calf compression sleeves and this totally fixed things, from here on out I just started feeling better and better!  I walked through the aid stations and ran to the next one, these little respites from running gave me just enough rest to keep cranking out some good miles.  I wanted to finish under 12 hours and knew it would be close, I picked up the pace about 4 miles out from the finish but just couldn’t make it happen.  I was bummed I wasn’t coming in under my goal but dug deep to get as close as possible, while I was hurting pretty good those last few miles it felt great to be pushing that hard. It’s awesome to make the last turn on to the lake path and run past all the cheering people, really helps you keep going!  I made the turn towards the finish and the feeling, like usual, makes all those hours of training worthwhile!

This is my best IM run by far, and I’m pretty happy with it!

Total Time – 12:08:07

Post race

Found Amy and my parents, grabbed a few sodas and sat down…
Had some time to kill while I waited for my friends to finish, actually had a post race cocktail (something I’ve always tried and failed to do post IM), it didn’t taste that good.  Met up with our cheering section and watched my friends finish!

Could have been a little stronger on the bike.

While I didn’t come in under 12 hours it was still a 31 minute PR, I’m happy with that.

They always put on a great show and this race was no different.  I think this will be my last IM for awhile, it just takes up so much of your life, but the whole thing was a great experience.  I was lucky to have some of my best friends to train with and my wife to support me during the long summer of endless bike rides and runs.  Like usual the AZ Tri Clubs folks were great out there, they had an awesome cheering section that kept me going! The support from the volunteers and fans really pushes this race over the top, the energy out on the run course is awesome!
Most importantly the 3 other people I signed up for the race with  all finished, so it was a successful day and 2 first time ironman finishers got to hear their name called by Mike Reilly!

…and another great race in my @XtenexUSA laces!

High Altitude Training Days

While I had planned to go on RAGBRAI for vacation this year, I just couldn’t make it happen.  Since I had already scheduled my vacation time and wanted to get some good miles on the bike, my friend Len and I headed up to Flagstaff.   It’s a great place to go for some riding in nice weather and the altitude.

We headed out Wednesday morning, the drive wasn’t too bad just a little rain on the way up.  We made the turn out Lake Mary Road and settled on the Dairy Springs Campground.  It’s a few miles in on the Mormon Lake Rd.  After choosing a campsite towards the back we got the trucks unloaded and started to move in!

Here’s a pic of the campsite all set-up:

Knowing that we would get rained on during our stay, we set ourselves up pretty well.  We had a tarp over the picnic table and an easy-up to give us a dry area for the bikes.  The first few days the campground was completely empty, it was great to have the whole area!  One great bonus, as I was looking around for a suitable fire poking stick I found the Arizona Trail not but 100 ft from our campsite.  Trail  running all taken care of!

Around 2:30 we were all moved in and it was time to ride!  We just rode a quick loop around Mormon Lake and a little more, about 18 miles.  I really felt the altitude on the hills climbs, it was nice to do a short ride to help with the acclimatization.  After that we got in a nice 4 miles on the Arizona Trail, some really nice single track running.  While there were a few places that were kind of rocky, most of it was nice soft dirt in a beautiful ponderosa pine forest!

That night we built a nice fire cooked up some food and had a few beers.  When car camping I’m a fan of living well, after we entertained ourselves with the fire for a bit we busted out Len’s laptop and watched a movie.  Better Off Dead was the night’s movie, a classic with the best skiing advice ever: “Go that way really fast, if something gets in your way – TURN!”

The next morning we woke up to clear skies, but they wouldn’t last all day.  We started the day with another 4 miles on the Arizona Trail, cooked breakfast and chilled for a bit.  After some nice campsite relaxing we headed out for a ride down Lake Mary Rd.

Lake Mary Rd is a great ride rolling hills and an excellent bike lane.  Especially headed back towards camp there are some quality climbs!  That night we went to the Mormon Lake Saloon for a couple of drinks then back to the campsite.

Friday we woke up to a pretty good thunderstorm and just hunkered down in the tents until it passed.  After that is was back out on Lake Mary road for another 50 or so miles, got rained on pretty good but it didn’t bother me at all!  Later that afternoon we headed in to Flag, met up with some friends of Len’s for a drink.  It was nice to cruise around the town, I really like Flagstaff!

Saturday was our last day, after cooking some breakfast we tore down camp and loaded up the trucks.  The last ride of the trip was a fun one, the climb up to Arizona Snowbowl Ski Area!
We drove into town, parked the trucks at Len’s friends house and hopped on the bikes.  It was 5 miles of rolling hills out to the ski area road and then 7 miles and over 2400 ft of climbing to the ski area.  The road isn’t that steep, it just doesn’t let up the whole way!  I was feeling the past few days of riding and my heart rate was pretty high but I just kept on pedaling until I finally saw the Snowbowl sign.  Unfortunately, Len popped a spoke on his back wheel half way up, so he chilled by the side of the road while i finished the climb.  After I got to the top and caught my breath, it was back down the hill to the truck and back out to pick Len up.  It ended up being a great trip, I had hoped to get a few more miles in but all in all it worked out well and I had fun!

Had to take a bike pic up there:

And a nice pic of the road we got to ride:

After grabbing a bite to eat in Flag, it was back down the hill to spend my last few vacation days with Amy!

Psyched on the @Strava App

Not sure how many triathlon people out there have been using the Strava App for biking and running, I love it!  It uses your phone’s GPS to track rides or runs and uploads them to their website.  The website is really cool, it shows your ride on a map and compares your time to others riding/running the same course.  It also keeps track of PR’s for numerous distances, showing your “achievements” for  different routes.  I have found it to be super motivating and that it adds interest to my standard routes.

The “Segments”  are small sections of a ride that you or any user can set-up.  After it is set-up any user that rides the segment is judged against the others, the goal being to become the “King of the Mountain”.  It keeps you cranking it out on every hill to get a PR or move up a spot in the rankings.

While sometimes I feel like I do a little too much logging of training, I enjoy seeing all the data.  It might be a little anal, but oh well.  I log stuff on the Garmin Connect website that is downloaded from my 405, the Beginner Triathlete website, and Strava!  Each one has it’s positives, it doesn’t take too long, and being able to see my time spent training reassures me that I’m getting in the time to get across the finish line respectably!

Here’s a screen shot of the segments from one of my standard rides:

If you’re on Strava feel free to follow me: Travis Moore

One Month In!

So it’s been about a month now that I’ve been back at the committed triathlon training.  So far everything has been going pretty well, there have been a few bumps in the road, but that always seems to happen!  I feel like I have made training a habit again,  missing my workouts if I don’t get them in.  I have been getting in 6 training days a week, resting on Tuesday.  My job in the restaurant industry will always make the early mornings a challenge, so far I’ve been doing pretty good, getting up and getting the runs in!  This will be more challenging the hotter it gets and the earlier I have to get up.  Beside making the training possible, it also allows me to spend a little time with Amy in the morning before she goes to work.  We usually don’t get to spend a lot of time together during the week, so anything helps!

Basically the training schedule has been:

Monday: Morning Run, Afternoon Swim

Tuesday: Rest

Wednesday: Bike

Thursday: Morning Run, Afternoon Swim

Friday: Morning Run, Afternoon Swim

Saturday: Long Bike or Long Run

Sunday: Long Bike or Long Run

I thought about racing this weekend at Tempe International, but decided to just keep at the training.  Race days are really cool but I need to just concentrate on the main goal this year, IMAZ!  My biggest concern is to be fit enough to have a solid sub 6 hour bike ride and get off the bike for a no hobbling, calf cramping free marathon.  My past two IM races have been severely effected by calf cramping issues on the run. In 2008, after a wind tortured bike ride I couldn’t even point my toes to run the cramping was so bad.  In 2009 I battled slightly better cramps and was able to get rid of them after 2 laps of eating just about every banana I could find!   The third lap was just about the most enjoyable running I  have had in a triathlon.  That feeling is what I want to replicate for the entire run.  This means being in even better shape than last time, and being smart about taking in enough of the right nutrition during the race.  And running, a lot.

If I can keep this up all summer I can have a great race come November 18th!

Here’s a pic from 2009, just starting my 3rd running loop.

The goal is to feel like this the whole run!

Long Overdue Ragnar del Sol Post

Yep, took me forever to write about this super fun experience, don’t know why.  This is a race I had wanted to do for a long time, when a spot opened up on one of Amy’s co-worker’s team I jumped at the chance.  I was a little skeptical about not knowing the people I would be trapped in a vehicle with for 30 hours or so, but the group could not have been better!  All five other people were totally cool and fun to be around, being up all night in a truck with a whiner would suck so this was very important!

Ragnar del Sol Relay is a 12 person relay race from Wickenburg, Az to Tempe, Az.  You are divided into 2 vehicles of 6 people, as the “on” vehicle each runner completes their leg and passes the baton (wristband) to the next runner at the exchange.  The major exchanges (where one van takes over from the previous one) are quite big and have a lot of cool energy!

We met up at Tempe Marketplace about 4:30 am and loaded up for the trek to Wickenburg.  We had to put some of the bags on top of our vehicle, a Chevy Tahoe.  The limited access to our bags was about the only negative of the whole experience.  During the early morning drive we talked and got to know each other, all 3 guys were Ironman finishers and all 3 girls were Crossfit buffs, seemed like we had a pretty solid van.  After getting to the start area we went through the safety briefings and waited to start, trying to stay warm.

The Start Line:

The first leg was pretty tough, 9 hilly miles first thing in the morning! Our first runner, Crysti banged it out like a champ. After that we were rolling along with our runners, stopping every mile or so to cheer and support them!  We’d throw the frisbee and ring the cow bell to pass the time. Cow bells are popular motivators at many races, one guy that ran past our cow belling had a perfect Christopher Walken impression!

At the runner exchanges we’d get our next runner ready and talk to the other teams while we waited.  It’s fun to see how creative people were with their team name/themes.  Also, on our first legs we saw 3 guys doing the race by themselves! I ran about 16 miles totally, each of these guys ran around 65-70 miles!

A random exchange:

As a safety precaution you have to wear a reflective vest between 5pm-9am, the runner must have headlamp and red butt lamp as well. When it’s dark people bust out glow sticks and all kinds of lighted vehicle decorations, makes for a pretty cool scene.  I totally understand and support the reason for the vest and headlamp, but  the 9am time seemed a little too long (it had been light for and hour and a half at that point).  Here’s me sporting mine the first morning:

Here’s a few pics of my first running leg, started to get a little warm.  Overall it was a nice, easy first leg for me.

After our first legs we grabbed some food and chilled out in a park for a while. We all took a nap in the grass and then had a pretty solid frisbee session.  Our other van had to deal with a few injuries and some heat, so they came in a little later than planned.  After a some hanging out at the major exchange, our van was back on the road.  I think our night runs were all our favorite. I had a cool leg, running from about 1am to 2 am.  The leg went along New River Road and into Anthem, felt great running and finished strong!

After finishing our second legs, we got to crash out for a few hours in a motel room in Cave Creek that our team had rented. It was awesome to not be trying to sleep in a truck!  We all crashed out in the room for about 3 hours until we had get back at it.  The next major exchange was at the Boulders Resort, fortunately right down the street from our motel!  Ours last legs seemed to be our most challenging, but were very beautiful.  My final leg went from McDowell Mountain Park into Fountain Hills.  The last hill into Fountain Hills was tough, but it was a great way to finish the race!

Jason, Me, Candie, and Melissa after our van’s last running leg. Time to head to Four Peaks for beers!

Amy came to meet us at Four Peaks for some food and drinks, after that Amy and I headed home to hang out.  She had a week long work trip coming up and we wanted to spend some time together.  I’m bummed I didn’t get to cross the finish line with my team, but I do love hanging out with the wife!  Amy’s co-worker Candie was nice enough to pick up my medal (which seems to be a beer opener as well):

Stoked for the coming weekend!

This coming weekend is a race I’ve been wanting to do for a while, the Ragnar Del Sol Relay!  It is a relay race from Wickenburg to Tempe that takes a circuitous path to make it 200 miles.  You do it with 11 other people divided up into 2 vans of 6, alternating runners until you get to the finish line at Tempe Marketplace.

We start Friday morning at 6:30 am in Wickenburg, which will make for an extremely early morning to get there from Ahwatukee! I’m the last runner in the first van so my first running leg of 4.6 miles should start around 11 am.  I’m pretty happy with the legs I get to run, I get some quality distance and relatively challenging terrain.  You pretty much are up all night, sleeping when you can as we leap frog through the desert. While I’ll have to conserve my phone battery, I’m going to be tweeting pics and updates through out the race (@thm74).

My running legs are:

#6    4.6 miles      Difficulty: Moderate

#18   6.5 miles     Difficulty: Hard

#30   5.6 miles    Difficulty: Hard

Excited for the race and hope to have some greats pics and stories to share afterwards!

So far in August

So far August has flown by, I can’t believe my birthday is tomorrow!  It’s been a pretty chill month so far, got in some quality workouts but I have been slacking a little!  Overall I have kept up my treadmill running and that is the main goal, everything else will come around once it cools off a little.

Wedding Plans:

We’re making good progress in the wedding planning: Invitations ordered, got a quote on tables and chairs from Classic Party Rentals (very nice to work with),  Amy designed a great backyard layout and we found and purchased my suit for the wedding.  Pretty happy with the way things are coming together, hopefully we’ll get everything pretty much finalized by the end of the month!

Wedding Specialty Beverage and a fun afternoon:

A few weeks ago I had heard that a restaurant downtown was carrying my favorite Ginger-Ale like soda from Kentucky, Ale-8-One.  Usually I only get to enjoy it back in Kentucky so when I heard it was available here in Phoenix the thought of a Maker’s Mark and Ale-8-One was in my head!  Amy needed help setting up the booth for her work at the Phoenix Convention Center and the restaurant, District Kitchen is right around the corner.  Unfortunately we arrived downtown right as the Diamondbacks game was starting, parking and navigating down there was a challenge.  After finding the correct place to park and unload and a quick but sweaty booth set up we adjourned ourselves to the comfy bar area of the restaurant.  Besides getting a drink I rarely get to have we had a fantastic lunch!  I had the Grilled Short Rib Sandwich on a nice Brioche with some excellent Tater Tots.

The whole experience was very nice, downtown Phoenix has some cool places and we just don’t get down there enough.  Since I now know Ale-8-One is available here we decided to make Maker’s and Ale-8-One our Specialty Drink for the wedding. I thought it would be cool for the Kentuckians that are traveling here for the wedding as well as introducing our friends here to a part of Kentucky.  Twitter was very useful in interacting with the District Kitchen folks and they got me the name of the company they get the soda from, a few phone calls later we’re all set to get in a few cases for the wedding.  Maybe I’ll order some sooner than that just to have…

The coming weekend:

As I mentioned earlier my birthday is this weekend so we’re taking advantage of some nice summer rates at The Boulders up in Cave Creek.  We head up there tomorrow and come back on Monday, should be a nice relaxing time – pics to follow!

And finally: I’m all for this log-in screen for the internet!

The weekend and Must Go Running!

Pretty much slacked off in the training department this weekend.  On the upside, Amy and I had a pretty relaxing weekend together!  On Saturday night we were at a house warming party for one of Amy’s friends.  Amy’s friend and her husband are from Alaska and there were some other Alaskans there, they were discussing how you seem run into others from Alaska all over the place even though the state has a relatively small population.  I told them about a guy who I went to Western Kentucky University with, who is a triplet from Ketchikan, Alaska.  One of the girls from Alaska asked “Was his name Brad?”, he had been her high school swim coach in Valdez.  Sometimes the world is pretty small!

Running:

I’m going to make this week a run focused week.  I feel like I’ve done a good job easing my way back into running but now it’s time to get in some distance!  Most of the runs will probably be treadmill runs but I would like to get in at least one decent outdoor run.  Feeling the need to do a running race sometime soon, maybe one of the ARR 5Ks, that always helps with the motivation!

Also, my friends  Len and Bill and I got registered to volunteer for IMAZ coming up in November.  This will guarantee us a spot for 2012 (sub 12 hours will be the goal)!

Someday this man will lose a limb!