May 28, 2006

I am an Ironman

Event Stats:
Name Brasil Telecom Ironman
Date 05/28/2006 
Location Florianopolis, SC, Brazil
Event Ironman
Finish Time 13:27:23

May 21, 2006

Playa del Run #2 Santa Monica

Event Stats:
Name Playa del Run #2 Santa Monica
Date 05/21/2006
Location Santa Monica, CA, USA
Event Aquathon
Finish Time 00:49:31

This race for me showed very nicely why it makes sense to train in a group and not as a loner. 

The morning after my bike race. Early. I was tired. I would have never gotten up on my own (especially since I signed up for this race just as training session). But my buddy Doug would be racing. So I figured, I would at least go there and cheer him on. And if I was going out, I might just as well bring the race gear. 

Got there, found Doug, had a coffee, set up my stuff and - yes, you guessed it - got ready to race. 

The swim ist just a big U, basically you swim from Santa Monica beach until after the breakers, a couple of hundred yards to the right, and back in. The you have to run back to transition, which rather sucks, because it is a) long and b) in loose sand. I changed, lost way to much time in transition, and then started for the short run (5km). The run is mostly on the grass of the SM Beach Boulevard. 

I went slow, finished in a little under 50 min, had coffee & a smoke, talked to Doug some more and went home, happy that I had gotten a good workout in and it was still not even 10:30 in the morning.

May 20, 2006

Breakaway San Clemente Challenge

Event Stats:
Name Breakaway San Clemente Challenge
Date 05/20/2006 
Location Oceanside, CA, USA
Event Century Bike Ride
Finish Time N/A

Nice 100km bikeride, untimed, with 2 nasty climbs, apparently at least partly on the Oceanside IM 70.3 bike course.

May 14, 2006

Playa del Run #1 Mission Bay

Event Stats:
Name Playa del Run #1 Mission Bay
Date 05/14/2006
Location Mission Bay, CA, USA
Event Aquathon
Finish Time 00:55:21

Three things are worth noting about this race. First, it is held at Mission Bay, which most people know because it is where Sea World is, but it is also considered the birthplace of triathlon. 

Second, cheaters!!! The swim was held in a little bay with an island in the middle. The idea was to swim around the island and back to the start. The water level was rather low, which meant, that, if you swam to close to the island, you would swim in mud. So what do people do? They simply get out of the water, run across the island, jump back in and swim back. I was one of the very few that simply swam a longer course to stay in deeper water. 

I don't really care about placing. If I wanted to be better, I would eat less. I just think there is something seriously wrong with cheaters. After the race I even listened to a woman, telling that she ran across the island "passing at least twenty others". Oh, and the also mentioned that the was a professional athlete from Colorado. I hope she dies rather soon. 

Third: At the raffle after the race I won a 100$ off voucher for a wetsuit, which is exactly what I need :-) 

Otherwise pretty well organized small race.

Apr 18, 2006

Nutrition Corner: After workout food

Ok, here is the thing. You worked out. You nearly choked on your energy bar. (Can you still say peanut-butter with a smile in your face?) Gulped down your Gatorade. Now the workout is done and you need to replenish your glycogen depots. What will you eat?

Protein shake? Another energy bar? PB/J sandwich? Can you? Still? Everyday? Not me. I need real food. So we do some pasta instead. Problem: you have only half an hour go get your food in to minimize your recovery period. So pasta is out. (Or you cook it in advance and just microwave it. But that, to me, sounds disgusting.

Here is my recipe for the - in my opinion almost perfect - after workout food:
1 can of corn
1 can of tuna (in water)
Peper, Salt, Tobasco and Lea&Perrins Worchester Sauce
Open cans, mix. Spice to discretion (BBQ sauce or A1 will also do for a change). Eat.

The food comes canned, so you can store it, you can even make that dish in your car. It is spicy, not sweet, you get both carbs and protein, as well as a decent dose of salt. And look at the nutritional values (values for my brand of tuna & corn, not counting seasoning):
Total kcal: 385
kcal from fat: 60
Tot. Fat: 6g
Sat. Fat: 0g
Trans Fat: 0g
Carbs: 38.5 g
Fibers: 10.5 g
Sugars: 24.5 g
Protein: 44.5 g

Go ahead, try to find a better after workout food.

Mar 19, 2006

Los Angeles Marathon

Event Stats:
Name Los Angeles Marathon
Date 03/19/2006
Location Los Angeles, CA, USA
Event Marathon
Finish Time 04:17:27

For me, the worst part of a marathon is not the running, it is getting up at 4 AM. But the weather was nice, clear sky and cold. SoCal cold, that is. So I packed my stuff and drove downtown. Here the problem started. Most of the freeway exits that were mentioned in the driving directions to the marathon site were closed; due to the marathon. Asking police and other officials blocking the streets to the marathon were also not very helpful, since they referred me to other roads that were also closed. Finally I got where I wanted to go,without seeing a single ‘Go-here-for-marathon-parking’sign. Is everyone just supposed to know his way around L.A.?

Having signed up with the L.A. roadrunners for training gave me access to a hotel directly next to the starting block, so the time directly before the race was quite relaxed. Drank some Gatorade, had a bagel with turkey breast and a coffee and actually enjoyed watching all the buzz and more-ore-less ridiculous marathon preparations and warm-up around me. Why would anyone do 200 sit-ups before a race, anyhow?

The race went well, I felt in great shape and the splits that my HRM showed me were better than expected. Or so I thought. Since I measure in km instead of miles, it took me until mile 15 to figure out that my speed sensor was somehow off be 10 percent. Tough luck. I tried to make up the time in the next 5 miles, then figured that I would not reach my target of 4:00 h and decided to take the last miles slow, since I don’t really have time for long recovery. Instead I motivated the folks around me that hit their wall and just enjoyed the race. Nutrition wise, I tried something different this time. Instead of the regular Gatorade, I switched to Gatorade Endurance (which was also the official drink) and I used Cliff blocks instead of my cliff bars and power-gel. The blocks aren’t really any better in my opinion, they just have a different taste and I am fed up on the bars. The difference in the drink is noticeably, though. Not so much in the race, but in recovery. A lot less post-race pain. That is definitely a keeper.

Overall time 4:17, which is still OK, although that speed sensor thing bugs me quite a bit.

Somehow the whole race gave you the feeling you were running not in LA but Mexico City, Mexican flags everywhere, and a great atmosphere. The water-stations were good, as can be expected for such a race. Thanks to all the volunteers. What really struck me –first as odd, later as overwhelming was the amount of people standing at the sidewalk, handing out all kind of stuff. Treats, Oranges, bottled water, you name it. These folks were not officials, they paid for the stuff with their own money, just to hand it out to complete strangers. And mostly in what you would probably not call the best neighborhoods. That is something that I have never (at least on that scale) seen in any other race. And I can not describe how thankful I am for that. Gracias, muchas gracias. Lance, there are gifts after all! And to my economics teacher: Can you explain that ‘homo oeconomicus’thing just one more time,please?

Two things about the race do need improvement: First of all,the finish. Dear planners of the L.A. Marathon, did anyone of you ever run a road race yourself? Apparently not. Otherwise you would never have come up with the idea to have the finish on an uphill road! How stupid is that. The last few meters, for so many thousands a dream-come-true. And due to such a grave design flaw they have to basically WALK up to the finish line. There is absolutely no reason for that. Change it.

Also,after the finish line ou have to walk three more block until you are actually let out of the gated area, just so that all the merchant get their chance for a little post-race rip-off. After 26 miles, I have a great urge for a burger and a beer, not for a finisher photo. So I would greatly appreciate it,if I could just get to my car without any prolonged walk and head straight for In’n'out.

Thank you so much.

Feb 21, 2006

Books and crazy ideas

Borders.com Sent me a coupon for 20% off of any book that expired today.

So I went to Borders to look for a book. Got an idea. Since I bough me a bike (which I didn't use so far), it might be good to buy a book on bikes as well. You know, just the basics, maintenance, how to sit correctly and so on.

Went to the sports book section. Found a book on bikes. Also found a book called "Becoming An Ironman" (ISBN 1-891369-31-8) which contains personal stories of Ironman first-timers. Bought the latter. Also bought "Triathlon Training". Did not buy a book on bikes.

At night I read both books about halfway trough.

23.00 Checked the Ironman Website. Almost everything for this year is sold out. Florianopolis in Brazil is not. May 28th. A little under 13 weeks. The last time I have ridden a bike for more than 30 mins was 7 years ago. Swimming more or less the same. Marathon I am currently training on (LA, March 19th).

Hmmmmm, I think I will sleep on it.

01.30 Can't sleep. Read more Ironman stories. Read up to the chapter of the DNFs (Did not finish). Talk to my girlfriend, she is skeptical, but fine with the idea (but she gave me hell about buying the bike). Check the training book again. There is a 12 week training schedule for an Ironman included.

It reads: "You should have some triathlon experience. You need to comfortably swim 1km, cycle 60km and run 12km, and you should be training regularly" OK, forget the first sentence. That's much to vague for me. What does comfortably mean? Given all the time in the world I can definitely do the requirements. Or does that mean all in one day? Oh, what the heck, I think I'll just try.

02:10 Signed up for Ironman Brazil.

Feb 16, 2006

Bought me a bike

Bought me a road-bike at Performance Bikes in Santa Monica.

Great Place, great bike, great price.

I just figured, a bike might help me loose some weight and cycling is probably a nice way to see the area around here.

Feb 9, 2006

Scale

Amazon just sent me my new Body Scale. I refuse to admit that it probably works correctly.

Anyhow, lets face the facts: I am

a) to heavy
b) to fat
c) my biological age is much higher than my real age

See, and I just spend over a hundred buck to get my day ruined. Isn't life great?

Feb 5, 2006

Not in Kansas anymore

Event Stats:
Name Pacific Shoreline Halfmarathon
Date 02/05/2006
Location Huntington Beach, CA, USA
Event Halfmarathon
Finish Time 02:09:22

Went out way to fast, didn't get enough drink in and bonked. End of story. I better adapt to the climate in California.