Week Two Off of Running

It's been a tough second week off of running. The foot still hurts so it's going to take at least a couple more weeks to heal. This is the best time of year to run but there's just no way.

What a Shame

I'll let you form your own opinion on this one. It's a shame the race is now suspect as it raised $18 million for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Arien O'Connell, the real winner of the race, is not recognized on the official site. I should be cheering for the Austinite that was recognized as the winner, but the whole thing leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Is this enough for you to switch brands?

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Sidelined From The Run

I'm on the sidelines for a period of time until my plantar fasciitis in the left foot gets better. I ran 10 miles on Sunday and then iced the foot, massaged it, stretched it and could hardly walk the rest of the afternoon. Rather than do permanent damage, it's time to lay off.


Xterra and I Need New Bike

So it's official on two points.
  1. I hate riding long distances on roads. Let me restate that. I enjoy the fast pace of the sprint or Olympic triathlons. I dislike the slow pace of the 70.3 triathlon, 56-mile bike portion in 88-degree heat. But then again, I hated the century race when I did it, the 80-mile tour when I did it and also last year's 56-mile portion of the half iron race. So, I've done a couple 40-mile races that were enjoyable. Shorter is better, even if the bottom bracket is working or not (see the race report below).
  2. Off road trails have always been more enjoyable to me. The exception being the Ho-Chee-Min Trail in Memorial Park in Houston where I missed many one-foot bridges on a 100-foot-7-degree-descent, tumbling my bottom, end-over-end into a body of water. I don't think I'll enjoy the same today, 15-years later but if the trails are less sloped on the descent, then I'll definitely enjoy it more. I also enjoy running on dirt more than asphalt or concrete.
So, it's a done deal. Get a new/used mountain bike to try an Xterra. Or if you know me, build one. The Frankenbike swap meet is this weekend. ;)

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Two Weeks After the Longhorn Ironmn 70.3

It's been two weeks since the Longhorn Half-Ironman 70.3 race. Each day of the last two weeks I've meant to sit down and write a race report but haven't. My heart wasn't into it. My heart wasn't into the race as well. The last month before the race I missed a lot of my workouts as I was taking care of my mom, who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. She passed the Wednesday before the race. Each day after her passing I went back and forth in my mind whether or not to show up.

I showed up not knowing what to expect. Last year, I went through all types of emotions. I was happy, sad, mad, elated. What would happen this year with so much that happened in the last week? Nothing happened. I was so emotionally drained by the time of the race I felt nothing for the six-plus hours on the course.

I finished which was the main goal of the day. Get out there and complete. But it wasn't easy. While the heat was a little less than last year, the temperature was still in the 80s and the UV Index was intense.

Nutrition-wise, I changed course a little this year. I downed gels on the bike with water and they seemed to work. They caused my stomach to be a little upset but it usually subsided within minutes. On the run I took between 2-4 endurolyte tablets each aid station. This really helped with the cramps. Those things worked fast. I also didn't take Gatorade but instead took water and flattened cola. For the run this worked great.

The swim was faster than last year and without much time in the pool. The run was faster as the nutrition was better. The only problem came with the bike section. My bottom bracket started to fail at mile 40. It would make a grinding noise. When I stopped where a bike support wagon was the guy sid by the time he could get me a replacement bike or fix it the race would be over. It was best if I could continue so I hopped back on and grinded out the last 16 miles.

I think I may have experienced my last 70.3 half ironman race. It's not that I'm displeased with the race. The organizers and volunteers do a fantastic job. I'm getting to where the bike portion of the race is my least favorite, even if the bottom bracket holds together. For this reason I'm going to switch over to Xterra-type events in 2009. Trail riding and running suit me more I think. I'm hoping for a more organic feel to the race.

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