Monday, December 22, 2008

Rodeo Beach 50K


It is my birthday today...… YAY…. I cannot believe one more year is gone… (crap, I am on a schedule here and I am not getting any younger)


Once again I had the joy to participate in an amazing run thorough the trails of Marin, The Rodeo Beach trail run 50K.. Another incredible event put together by Wendell, Sarah and Aaron (http://pctrailruns.com). This is my fourth ultra in four weeks, I never thought I could do this. I got to say I have to thank Janet for being such a great running partner/inspiration and Saul J, my crossfit coach (http://www.maddawgfitness.com). This thing really works. Since I started crossfitting I have lost some unwanted weight, my running times have decreased considerably and I feel so much stronger.


The days was simply amazing, the weather could not be any more perfect. The forecast was right on the money… It rained the day before and it rained the day after, but for 24 hours, the conditions were just perfect for a perfect run. Unfortunately Janet, my running buddy was not able to make it, so I ran this race solo.


But there were lots of familiar faces there… including Sabrina Okada, she did her first 50K. She is a seasoned runner, but never had done anything larger that a marathon. This day she went out and conquered… More on that later..


As usual, after getting up and devouring a not so healthy breakfast, I brew myself some tea and got on the road. It was cold in San Mateo and I was a little afraid that the weather was going to be too frigid, but fortunately it was a glorious day. In my way there I missed a turn and ended up in Sausalito. I turned around and in my way back I saw one of the most amazing views I have ever seen. I actually had to stop in the side of the road and just stare… it was glorious.




As soon as I got the the site I went to check in and of course had to say to the regulars. I loved to see the familiar faces and the new ones too. I saw Sabrina and we started to talk. She was a little nervous, but I knew she will have no problem finishing the race, in fact I was watching over my shoulder most of the race. She is a tough cookie.. She will be running the Tokyo Marathon soon if I had some money laying around, I would love to go do that one too..

And we were off!! Of course this is one of my favorite parts of any race, the start. After hearing the usual instructions regarding the course markings we were given the signal to go. I started as usual… S L O W. At any race, this is when Janet and I start our 6+ hour conversations about nothing and everything.. Well, I truly missed her today and she missed out an incredible day.

Check out the trails... beautiful aren't they?


One of the many hills... pretty steep, technical and beautiful



It was déjàvu, just the weekend before we ran many of these very same trails specially coming into and out of Tennessee Valley. Going for the first 30K is fun because you have company at all times. Going out for the last 20K could get pretty lonely and it did. Nevertheless, the views were amazing and it is a really an incredible privilege to be able to see all of this. We ran through what it appears to be some sort of old military buildings. I kept thinking to myself, I wonder how much concrete was used to build this place. Steel doors, tunnels, and watch towers, an incredible spot, I wonder what it looked like in its prime.


Check out those doors, I wonder how many secrets they hold?

Sabrina finished her first 50K in 6:32... you go Sabrina.. woooohooo!

I cannot describe what it feels to run these trails and what does to my soul. As I was running by myself, I did a lot of soul searching. Thought about my life, my goals accomplished for this year and about the next year. I thought about my parents and the fact that I am not going home this Christmas and the reason why I am not.. I thought about what the next year will bring and I think I even had a couple of emotional moments. No, I am not sad just amazed of how my life has turned out to be. This year has been a great year, my life has been a great ride.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Muir Beach Trail run 50K

Muir Beach Trail run 50K



This is why I run the trails... look at the view... Amazing huh?

Another great run this past weekend… Sara and Wendell (http://pctrailruns.com) put together these races that are just amazing. They truly know what they are doing. I guess that is what happens when you love what you do. Amazing organization, they truly have changed the way I see running.

But on with my little report for this race, it turns out that I have been nursing a bad throat for the last three weeks. It all started when I felt I was losing my voice at the end of the days, especially after working out. In fact during the Woodside 50K I was already not feeling well. Janet also was not feeling good; she had some issues of her own as well. We decided to play it by ear… and by Wednesday I got this little note from her.. She simply said… “Ready to sign for muirwods? I got the registration page open” . I remember I was drinking tea and when I got that email I just laughed out loud so hard and I spilled my tea all over my desk... It was hilarious... But on with the story, my response to her note was “lets do it” and that was it... We were on…

Happy kids... we did great considering we were sick. Here we were at the ridge, don't let the smiles fool you... We were damn cold, but it was sooo much fun.

As the week went on, I seriously had doubts about even starting the race. My throat was not getting any better, but I managed to keep a positive outlook. Saturday came and I was up and ready to tackle the trails. Picked up Janet bright and early and we drove to the starting line. It was cold and night before it rained. In fact the forecast called for rain and we were worried about it, but neither of us wanted to be negative about the race.
As always we met a bunch of regulars.. Fred Ecks who decided to dress as Santa and ran the whole race like that.. It was great to see him. We have decided that next year if Fred runs as Santa we will dress up as elves..


Fred Ecks running as Santa... Look at him go..

But back to the story, we got to the starting line and as Janet went to check us in I sat in the car thinking.. Damn it is cold out there.. But hey… we are here and we are going to do this thing. As I was getting ready, I met this guy from France, Olivier Nepomiachty… He was soo excited and happy to be there. Unfortunately, he twisted his ankle really bad, the remarkable thing is that he finished anyway. It took him over 7 hours and change but he finished. He is definitely a real trooper..


The day was cold indeed, thank God I was wearing enough clothes.. Janet let me borrow her arm warmers and I am glad I used them. This run has lots of open spaces and it windy and cold. However the day did not turn out as bad considering the forecast. It was supposed to rain and it did rain for about 10 minutes. As we were getting back to the starting line to finish the first loop it got rainy and cold. We turned around and went for the second and last loop. Sometime after we got to Tennessee Valley, Janet told me that she thought about telling me to call it quits at then end of the first loop. I am glad she did not say anything because that is what I was thinking as well..


Janet at the ridge..

Luis in his way down to the finish line... :)


Went for the second loop and as we were finally making our way back to the end we realized that we were running at a speed that would be faster than this very same run last year. We did this in 6:46 and this time we finished in 6:22 which was fast considering that we were not feeling 100%.

I can see that I am getting stronger I love so much to run in these trails.
As I said in previous posts, this trail running thing has been a blessing for me. We are definitely a pair of tough crazy kids. Janet and the trails have been a blessing..

Hapy kids just before the start... It was damn cold I tell you..


As I prepare for the next one (next weekend) I am going to miss my running partner. But I’ll do my best to make her proud.. She is definitely a very bad influence and I love her for that. Our running adventures for the next year will be amazing.. We have a 100mile race in March and she will be running Western States 100…. Woohooo!!

Me at the ridge... Look at the view.. Isn't this incredible.. Man I cannot believe how lucky I am.




A view of the Golden Gate bridge from the trail... It was an amazing day, look at the view!! Damn.

An view of what Janet called Heart Attack hill.. People were breathing sooo hard here it was almost painful to hear.

What is next? see you on the 20th of December at Rodeo Beach 50K.. Yeah Baby!!

Wanna see more pictures? click here



Sunday, December 07, 2008

Woodside 50K





Damn… another great run today.. I am sooooooo freaking happy and excited about my performance yesterday.. I simply cannot believe how strong I am getting. It must be all the weight I have lost over the last 2 months.. Went from 154lbs to 142, that is right 12 lbs lighter and I can feel them off.

So last year I went to run this race in February. The day was miserable, raining and my IT band flared up really fast. I walked to the finish line after a miserable 30K, Janet drove me to Isabel’s house and I had to wait for about two hours in the cold because a miscommunication with Isabel. So it was not a great day, this course owed me a good run… damn it.

Taking in consideration that we ran the Quadruple dipsea trail last weekend, we were prepared to have a long day racing the Woodside 50K. Janet picked me up this time and drove to the race start. There were not too many of us for this particular race. We saw two people wearing the quad dipsea shirts, we acknowledged each other. Met Brian Harvey, my scar buddy, this guy is also a great runner and he and I share a commonality, brain surgery and a passion for trail running

.

Scar buddies!!


We started slow since we knew we were going to have a long day in the course. Many people passed us really quick and we settle for a nice easy pace. As the day went by we started to pick up the pace without realizing it. We thought we were going slowly. There was this guy who stayed with us for a big part of the race. We talked for a while and shared running stories. My shoe become untied and he took off really fast; we finally caught him a few miles before the end of the race. At that moment we realized that we could go under 6 hours, we could not believe it. What the hell, I personally could not believe it since if I did go under 6 hours it would be probably a PR for me. So with that in that in mind we picked up the pace, really picked up the pace and went for it. At one point we saw a runner in the distance and we were probably doing 8 minute miles or so, we were cruising and I remember her face as we passed her. She made one of those faces that say it all, “how can you run that fast after so long?”

.

Janet and I were so happy, in our way back we could not stop thinking and talking about it. Went to get some Jamba Juice to celebrate, she dropped me home and we talked about doing it again next weekend. Yes, another 50K next weekend, that will be three ultras in three weeks… we are soooooo bad asses.

The highlight of my day wasn’t the fact that we ran a great race, or the fact that I felt good. The highlight of my day was at the end of the race. I was talking to this guy who also did Quad last weekend and he asked my name, I said Luis. He said, “Luis Velasquez?” I was like… wow… he knows who I am. It was a great feeling indeed.

I am excited about this race, I am really happy about the outcome. Yet I see myself humbled by the experience. When we saw the leaders coming back and see how fast they were running it was amazing. 5 hours 52 minutes is a decent time, but when you compared to the winning times it is just a turtle pace. But it does not matter, a PR is a PR and I take that any day.


As the end of the year approaches, and I am about to see another number added to my age, I realize that I am a blessed individual. I have lived a full life and I wish with all of my heart that next year will be better than this year. I have gone through a lot in my life and I know that no matter what, the only thing we have today is today. People in my life bring joy and I hope they always will.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Quad DipSea trail Run


The Quad DIPSEA…




A happy pair just before the race... did not know much what to expect.

Well I did it… The Quad DipSea was an amazing race.. What can I say about this race.. There is no way I can describe it.. Lets see, woke up early in the morning and made my way to the city in a rush to pick up Janet. The day was a little cold, I thought, but I was hoping it will warm up a little. I did not have time to get my usual pre-race “breakfast” so I got a bagel and a banana and ate in my way to the city. Janet was kind enough to brew a cup of tea for me… We were in our way..

I got to say, I was a little nervous about this race. Not only because of the distance and the elevation gain, but because I was afraid that my IT band was going to flare up. I was also nervous because the elevation gain is dauting and most importantly I was afraid that I was not going to be able to keep up and I really wanted to do good. We trained here so we kind of knew what to expect.

And we were off… Seeing all of those racers was an amazing sight. Specially while going up the stairs and looking up or down and all you see is a mass of bodies trying to move up the first flight of stairs, and you knew that this group was amazing. Anybody that attempted this race is a bad ass runner.


Check out the start... going somewhere? I took this picture at middle point of the first flight of stairs.

Same stairs starting our second and final loop..

Janet and I kept a steady pace through the first loop… we made it to cardiac hill feeling relatively well. Cardiac hill is a very steep ass hill that you definitely cannot run unless you want your heart pump out of your chest. A steady walk to the top put us at the first aid station where we ate plenty. I love watermelon and they had it there... I usually dip the watermelon on salt to make sure I have proper amount of sodium since I sweat like a pig. I also got a peanut butter mini sandwich and a gu and we were on our way to Stinson beach.


Before getting there we saw the leader coming back.. Erik Skaggs is an animal He ran the full race in 3:52:16 what It took us 6:21:00. Can you imagine running that fast in those conditions?. It was amazing, that guy was running fast. We finished our second leg (midway point) at exactly 3:08 a full minute faster than our best time in training. Janet said, “Damn, we are going too fast”. I agreed, but it felt right.

We ran a very strong third leg, I was leading coming into Stinson beach and Janet said.. “you got some reserves huh” And I had plenty… I felt really strong and Janet was there with me until Stinson. Going back she took the lead and we passed a couple of people. We talked about catching up at least 5 people in our way back and with that in mind we picked up the pace a little. It was great to focus on somebody and just pass them… Reached the aid station and we were feeling strong that we really did not need to stop for long. We started moving along and we passed 5, then 6, then 7 then 12 and finally the 14th person. At this time we were trucking and not believing how well we were doing at this point of the race. We decided to see if we could make it 15th, but unfortunately we did not see anybody else ahead of us so we literally sprinted to the finish line to make it under 6:30 which was a very lofty goal of ours.


And I feel s good, I think I want to do it again.

All in all I got to say, this has been one of my most memorable races. Felt strong throughout the whole race and with the insane elevation gain and loss I was afraid that my knees or my quads were not going to be happy.. I was afraid that my IT band was going to kill me and I would have to limp to the finish. None of it happened. We ran a great race and I have earned the right to wear the shirt they gave us with a Quad DipSea logo on it.. Oooohhyyyeaa!! We rocked the course.

I have been going through some stuff in my life right now, and this race along with an incredible thanksgiving dinner made me realize that I am a very fortunate individual. I am surrounded by great people that care about me and even after 20 years some remember me quite well. Janet has been a running blessing and I am so glad we are friends..

All in all I think everybody seemed to had enjoyed themselves, but then again If you are running this type of races, and you think that punishing yourself is fun… come and join me in my next adventure which probably be a 50K next weekend.

Wohoo!! What is next… 50K next weekend? Why not?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Double DipSea


On November 29 I will be running the Quad DipSea trail run. The Dipsea Trail is an historic route between Mill Valley and Stinson Beach. The trail is about 7.1 miles long, and it traverses some incredible terrain. There is about 2,200 feet of vertical ascent as well as many, many stair steps!

As preparation for this race, Janet and I did it twice last sunday... That means 4,400 feel of vertical ascent in in 14 miles... It was hard, but fun.. Check the profile below.. It is an insane trail, but it is sooo goood

we started in Mill valley and made to Stinson Beach, took a food break and we started the long treck back.

The trail starts with 675 stairs... just up and up and up... And there is no way to warm up..


It was a beautiful day indeed. Se started with a nice pace... not too hard, but not too slow. The way to Stinson Beach was quite enjoyable. We reached Stinson beach and took a small food break. I had a energy bar and it was sooo good.

I was afraid that my IT bands were going to hurt, but I was pleasantly surprised that they did not bother me not a single time. In fact I felt great until we reached Muir woods in the way back. We took another small food break and then we pushed all the way until the end. I got to say, this is a grat trail.. It is challenging yes, but it is beautiful and most importantly the company was even greater.



Check out the little google earth flyby of the trail..

In any event.. It was a great training run. We are going back next weekend to do a triple and then on November 29 we will be doing the Quad... I got to say, I haven't been excited about a race in quite some time now. I am soooo looking forward to do this race.

For the last few weeks I have been dreading the nights since I haven't been able to sleep. It turns out that I am also immune to sleeping pills of all sorts. They just don't work on me... I was advised to see a vet, maybe if I get some horse tranquilizers. It is funny, I even took double dosage and I simply could not get any zzzz's. I have come to the realization that it is what it is and I am making the best of my little sleep I am getting.

Life is a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get... right? My chocolate box gave me something I thought I already had in the past and I was not looking forward to have it again. Anyhow, I love running.. it keeps me sane and it gives me soo much to think about and to be thankful for. Most importantly I love all the wonderful people in my life..

Wohooo!! Quad dipsea... here I come..

Quote of the moth: Where is the rest of you? (Jthomson)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

What is next

Ok... for the last couple of months I have been trying to come up with a game plan for the future.. I know for sure that there are several things I will be doing this year and probably next year..

I know I will run another 50 miler in the next two months
I know I will run 100 miles sometime between now and next June
I know I will be doing another Ironman next year (I am going to Tempe in three weeks to see Ironman Arizona and sign up for next year's event)
I know I also want to do a bunch of other 50K's, but my A races will be a 50 miler, a 100 miler and the ironman. I will fit anything in between...

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

My last three running adventures

I have been a little busy over the last few weeks with work and I haven't been able to keep the blog going. I am going to compress 3 races in this post...

September 6, 2008 Redwood Prk Trail Run... (50K)

This particular race was my comeback to the ultra running.. I have been dealing with plantar fasciatis for the last few months and I hadn't been consistent with running. Decided to go and try my luck on this one... Lucky for me I picked a race that was great, but the weather gods decided to make it a little difficult. The temperatures rose to the 100's and it was not fun at all. I knew that it was going to be hard... Not only the temperature made it difficult, but the elevation gain for this particular race was of about 4500 feet.

This was indeed a really challenging course...

So my day did not go well... but more on that later...

Going to these runs is really fun. The familiar faces are everywhere... it is like a big family and I love it. I have been out of the trail running for a few months and people remember me and my name... It made me feel good... The sad part about this is that I am bad with names so I did not remember any of their names... but needless to say I feel part of this ultra running family. It is kind of cool if you ask me.

The weather was miserable as I mentioned early, but what made it tougher was the fact that my longest run since the Ironman was about 18 miles, which is a little over half of what I was going to do that day.. The course is multiloop... it had a 20K loop and a 10K loop. The 50K runners were doing the 20K which was open, no shade to hide and then the 10K loop which was pretty nice.. lots of trees and finally we would go back once again into the sun for a final 20K loop.

I started too strong and when I got to the aid station after running the 20 and the 10k loops, my feet were hurting, my IT band was on fire and the weather was sooo hot that I could not imagine going up again. I had signed for the skyline to the sea the following week so i decided to use this run as a training run only... Got to the aid station and decided to call it a day... It is only my third DNf and I hate to do so, but I just knew that if I continue to run under those conditions I would get hurt and most likely I would not be able to run the following race in two weeks.

Last year I used to simply pick up and go run 50K without much trouble, this year it has been a little more difficult... but I am getting my ultra mojo back... I hope....


Skyline to the Sea.. Saturday September 20 2008... (50K)

Now this was a great race.... This was the inaugural PCTR 50K... it was hel in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Started high up in the mountains and it is a point to point race to the sea. This particular race was only 50K so most people in this race were seasoned ultraruners. We parked by the beach and they gave us a 70min ride to the top of the mountain where the race started. as described in the race website.. the course is:.

The popular Skyline to the Sea Trail runs from the cr
est of the Santa Cruz Mountains at Saratoga Gap through Big Basin Redwoods State Park, the oldest park in California (est. 1902), and ends at the Pacific Ocean at Waddell Beach. It travels through tall redwoods and high chaparral along the way (pctrailruns.com)



Check out the elevation profile.... or shall we say quad killing, knee destroying, black toe maker profile of this course. I hate downhills and on this one the total elevation is negative so we were going downhill pretty often and some of those hills were pretty nasty.. My poor knees were hurting bad and I was literally walking the downhills and running the uphills...


Check out the view... it is amazing..

And my god... there were bees.. did I mention the bees... or wasps or what ever.. But these little ones were active that particular day and we got stung pretty well. I know of some people that after the run (of course they had to finish first) had to go to the hospital because the itching will not go away. I was stung 4 times, I was one of the lucky ones. some people got stung 10 or 15 times...

So I finishe this one as I had planned.. I was hurting a little at the end... but hey.. is not this part of the whole thing. It is a good kind of pain... I love to be able to run this far....

Santa Cruz Montains Trail Run (50K)

Report comming up soon..


Running and running... what good is it?
A marathon is long enough 26.2 miles.. Anything longer that that might sound crazy and add the elevation changes and it is definitely insane. You are in pain, your knees hurt, you get black toenails, blisters and most likely you are sore for a few days after the run…. is that fun? People ask that all the time… and the only thing I usually respond to that is… Hell yeah!! It is FUN….

Why do it? Because is hard and because I can. I do it because it makes me suffer and when I sign for these events I know I am going to be in pain. Call me crazy but as I type these words I cannot help but smile thinking about the next run and the high I will get from doing it. There is so much to see in these trails, the magnificent views, the smells; the wildlife, they all make these runs special and a little discomfort (or a lot sometimes) is OK. Running trails makes me feel alive and it makes me feel blessed and appreciate life much more.





Friday, August 22, 2008

Tour d'Organics (97+ miles)

This past weekend Janet and I went to Sebastopol, to do the Tour d’Organics. This is a really great bike ride organized by the Organic athlete chapter of Sebastopol. What a great concept… Each rest stop was well stocked with organic, whole foods, including a substantial lunch. After the ride, there was a vegan meal made from locally grown produce for all the riders.

The course: We did this very same ride last year and I found it very challenging. With 7500 of elevation gain, I was totally unprepared for this ride. However this time, both of us, were in much better “biking” shape.

Check out the profile of the course... the beginning was brutal, but then it got easier...

The beginning of the ride was tougher than last year, but for the most part we climbed the hills without much problem at all. Slow at times, but there was not a single hill that I thought I was not going to conquer. The course took us all over the wine country..



Overall, it was a great ride… It wasn’t my day though… I hit the ground twice in the most hilarious kind of way. Both times I was going like zero miles per hour, that means I was pretty much standing when I lost control of the bike and went down. A little pain on my hip, but considering how fast I was going it was really not that bad.. J

Janet is such a badass, she is an amazing friend, but also an amazing athlete. J

This is one of the most amazing rides I have done so far… specially riding through wine country. Wow, it was beautiful. The beginning of the ride had lots of cows and I kept yelling at them Hey Cow, hoping to get their attention… unsuccessfully of course. It sure smelled like cows, but then the cow farms turn into wine country and it was gorgeous.

The food: Yummy!! I got to say, the lunch was not that great, but the organic fruit was incredible. I feel like I never stop eating. Yummy!! Great food, great company, great ride.

The post-party. After the ride, we had a vegan meal at the Sebastopol community center. They had a vegan meal and some music. Of course this particular ride was about organic farming and conserving the environment, so everything was organic and the ride was supposed to be “green”.

We ate, saw the musical acts and then drove home… I was falling asleep at the wheel, so I asked Janet to drive.

Next year I want to do it again… wohooo!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

My Ironman Experience

This is a little article that was published in my company's newsletter.. HR wanted me to write with some sort of business orientation, specifically about setting and attaining goals.... enjoy!!

___________________________

My Ironman Experience
By Luis Velasquez, Ph.D.

Well I did it! A year ago I promised myself I would do another Ironman Triathlon, and this past June I did it. What is an Ironman triathlon? It is one of the toughest sporting competitions in the world. It involves 3.8 Kms (2.4 Miles) of swimming, 180 Kms (112 miles) of biking and a grueling 42.15 Km (26.2 miles) of running. All this in one day! It only took me 12:57:01 to finish. This was my second Ironman event, and from the first experience I learned a lot. This time however, even before I started to train for it, I developed a training plan, I read books on hydration and fuel replacement, I listened to hours of advice from elite and pro- triathletes. I had a mental picture of what I wanted to accomplish. And then I trained hard, really hard. During my training I biked approximately 3200 kms (2,000 Miles), ran almost 2250 km (1,400 miles), and swam approximately 370 km (230 miles). Some would argue this is borderline psychotic, some have asked me why in heaven I would do something like this. If you are like me, you probably have a long list of things you’d like to accomplish, both for your business and life… what is stopping us?

With the right mindset and dedication, it IS in fact possible to squeeze your training, your work, your social life, your laundry etc. – but it all boils down to how badly you want it. It might be scary, and fear often stops us from pursuing a goal: fear of failure; fear of embarrassment; fear of change. Breaking through that fear is important. Additionally, many times, our overall goals -- or highly desired but not pressing desires (like an Ironman, or that promotion, or the book you wanted to write) -- get pushed aside for the necessary, deadline-oriented tasks. As a result, we often feel unsatisfied even if we’ve managed to check off everything from our daily “to do” list.

How did I become an Inronman? Becoming an Ironman was a goal of mine, thus setting that goal was the first step to do it. You cannot reach a goal that you have not set. Being specific about my goal was important, I knew that I needed to be able to swim, run and bike the distances and those numbers made it more real. As I started my training and kept a log of the miles I trained, I could actually see how I was improving and most importantly I saw that I could measure my progress. Doing this helped me know if I was on track. Looking at my progress and reaching my training mini goals kept me motivated. I knew from the beginning that this was an attainable goal. Even though I would have loved to win the race, I had to be realistic about what I could accomplish. Finally, signing up for that race a year in advance gave me a time frame of when I was going to reach that goal, with a palpable deadline. And when I crossed the finish line… wow… what a feeling!

Sometimes I impress myself, I walk on legs that can do an Ironman or run 50 miles non stop. The funny thing is, when we start to walk as small children, every step is applauded. This constant positive reinforcement is used to encourage our desire and persistence to walk. Thus like learning to walk, the more goals you achieve, the more goals you want to achieve… What is next for me? You’ll have to wait for the next newsletter....

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Ironman Cour d'Alene, Race Report..


Iron man Cour d'Alene was an incredible experience... wow... and I PR this race... finished in 12 hours 57 minutes and 01 seconds.. What follows is a standard race report... not very exciting.... sorry it is a little long...
I went to do this race with a really group of people. Lets see... Jeff from Tampa, Laura from Chicago, Ovetta from Atlanta, Kathy from Denver, Drew from Denver, Jessica from Nashville, Chris from Chicago, Shannon from Denver and yours truly from San Mateo... We rented a house and stayed together... it was great...

Pre-race routine:
Got up at 4:30 am to the sound of other BT'ers eating breakfast. Went downstairs and ate a bagel, soymilk, a cliff bar, and a cup of coffee. Went to the bathroom and put in my pretty racing clothes.. I got on my knees and said a little prayer for myself and for all racing that morning..

"if god gives you lemons.... YOU FIND A NEW GOD"
Event warmup:
Walked to the starting line, got in line for body marking, pumped my tires, delivered my special needs bags and put on my wet suit... that is a warm up...
Swim
Comments:
What can you say about a mass start.... it is simply insane and crazy. two things I did that I am completly sure changed the outcome of my swim..
a) Got neoprene booties, just the day before I could not stay in the water for long, cuz my poor feet were in pain
b) Got ear plugs, when you are swimming in such cold water temps, once the cold water hits your ears you start getting dizzy.. Earplugs changed that and completed the swim with no problems

I could not hear anything simply because I had the earplugs... I only remember people dashing into the water and so I followed. I stayed right in the middle and fought for a little while to get a good pace.. Could not draft until I clear the first corner, then I got into a nice rythm. I actually had to stop, however, a couple of times because I got caught in a very, very slow moving group.

when I finished the first lap, I saw my clock and it says 34 minutes, I was happy with it... turn around and went ahead to start the second lap. finish the lap and when i saw my clock it said 1:12... it actually took me a whole other minute to exit the water because it was crowded...

Swim was good




Ha.... a swim a couple of days before the race... man I thought the water was going to kill me... it was sooo fraking cold.... This is Shannon, a friend of mine, she did IMcDA last year...







Look at my face, .. what the hell.. This was after I finish the swim... exactelly 1:13 ... not bad for an old man..
Look at an aerial picture of the swim... It was amazing..

T1

Comments:
Man Transition on an Ironman Race is incredible. Volunteers from the peelers to the sun-screen people were amazing. I took advantage of them. In my last ironman in Florida I forgot the sunscreen and it was painful for the next 2 weeks... This time, I took my time and did everything slower and it paid off.


Bike

Comments:
I have to confess something... coming into this Ironman I had no nutrition plan. I have been training with gels and a little of the infinit it I had left, but definitly did not have a plan. I was a little nervous about it, but luckily enough I did good. Nutrition consisted of concentrated infinit in two bottles. One bottle for each loop, taking a sip every 15 minutes. I also took some bananas and little pieces of energy bars from the aid stations.
I started well, my firts 20 miles were just shy of 20mph. I knew I was going a little too fast and at that moment I decided to take it easy and cruise. I did so and it worked well. I felt really well throught the bike. The second loop was a confidence builder, cuz I passed like a million people, specially in the hills. I saw a several people walking their bikes on those two hills, glad I did not have to do that.
My goal for this ironman was to make the bike cutoff and finish, well happy to report that I made the bike cutoff with plenty of time to spare.

The highlights of my bike was the scenery, and the HS cheerleaders. They were awesome.


T2
Comments:
Again, what can I say about transition in an Ironman.... it is simply great. The volunteers are just amazing... took my bike and help me change for the run.

Run
Comments:
Ok.. I knew before the start of the race that the run was going to be an issue. I had been suffering from Plantar Fasciatis and I was afraid that I would not be able to run at all. The previous week I did not run anything, got cortisone shots on my bad foot and major massages. I was hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst. I had with me plenty of pain med and I was ready to walk the whole thing if needed.
coming out of the bike I was feeling good, too good indeed. I did the first two miles at arount 8 minute miles. And felt great, a big booster was when I saw that infamous kissing booth that Jess and Whizz had. I owe them 50 cents since I kissed them both. :) :)...
At around mile 3 or so, I started to feel the pain in my right foot, I decided to slow down considerably and from then on it was a struggle. The pain irradiated to the top of my foot, by mile 5 o 6 I was limping and I had taken pain medication. I did not want to take anymore simply because I did not want my kidneys to shut down. I jogged and the pain started to become a little bit more bearable. Then since my foot was in pain I was compensating putting a lot of pressure on other parts of my legs, so my IT bands started to act up and then my hip. I knew this was going to be an issue and I was prepared to deal with it. I slowed down even further and tried to maintain a proper form... when I got to the my special needs bag, I took my knee strap and wrap it around my right knee which provided some needed relief. I wanted to break 13 hours and I did a mental calculation of how fast I needed to run/walk the rest of the mary in order to do so. I thought, at that time, that it was possible.

So I kept on going, in the way there I talked to a blind triathlete and his guide. They finished in almost 18 hours, not official finisher, but still an Ironman.

As I was making my way out of transition I accidently stopped my watch, so I had no idea how long I had been on the course. I only had the "real time" and I knew I needed to finish before 8pm to make it under 13 hours. as I was struggling to the finish line with less than a mile to go 8pm came and I realized that my dream to finish unde 13 was not going to be possible. I slowed down and started to walk to the finish line, at that moment a guy in the crowd said, "wow you are going to break 13, way to go" I said, no way.... and he said you have plenty of time. At that moment I realized that my watch was 5 minutes ahead, so I took off and I crossed the line in 12:57:01, with 2:59 to spare... Wohooo!!

As I crossed the finish line, my legs did not stop running. I kept on running and I was caught, at that very moment, my legs gave up. I collapsed and was taken to the med-tent, which was full. By the time I got there I was feeling good already, so stopped at the massage table and got a a big pizza slice. It was done.


Post race

Warm down:

Walked to the house showered and came back to the finish line to see the rest of the finishers. Stayed there until midnight, went home and got to bed..

What limited my ability to perform faster?
Plantar fasciatis.... it sucks

Event comments:
This race was incredible to me... It reminded me that of the things I am capable of doing. It reminded me that I walked on legs that can do an Ironman and it feels darn good. I also got to meet a bunch of great Bters, the Couer d'Alene BT house was great. And all of the other BT'ers in Cour d'Alene are an awesome bunch..
next... AZ or KY... Whohoo!!