A blog for (semi) athletic middle-aged men (and women) holding on to (the last vestiges of) their youth
by training for and competing in running, cycling, swimming and triathlon events!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Boulder, Boilermaker and BEEF, Oh My!

I woke up this morning to the realization that I have just three weeks left until the Boulder Ironman 70.3 triathlon and I’m not feeling at all ready to tackle a 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike and 13.1 mile run all on the same day…let alone within my goal time of 6 hours and 25 minutes (to beat my personal record of 6:28:43 in the 2007 Vineman 70.3).

[Above: That's me at the finish of my first Ironman 70.3 three years ago. I think my first words were "Never again" and here I am three years later getting ready for my second Ironman 70.3!]

So I dragged my butt out of bed and headed to the pool for a 1.2-mile swim just to make sure I could at least finish the first leg! As I swam back and forth 84 lengths of the pool I pondered how I was going to squeeze enough training time in between now and August 8th (especially given that the week-long Cattle Industry Summer Conference falls smack dab in the middle of those three weeks!). One way I can get in my time on the bike is to ride to and from work so when I got home I packed a week’s worth of clothes and loaded my bike on my car. For the rest of the week I’ll be riding the 24 miles each way from my house in Castle Rock via the Cherry Creek and C-470 trails. Fortunately (for my colleagues), there is a shower facility in the first floor men’s room!

As a stand-alone event, I’d be feeling pretty good about the half marathon after running a personal record 1:15:55 (8:04/mile) in the Boilermaker 15K (9.3 miles) on July 11. That put me at number 2,007 of 6,418 male finishers (2,464 of 11,539 overall) and beat my 2009 time by nearly 2 minutes! Most of all, I had fun running with about 100 other BEEF runners including our newest recruit to Team ZIP, Dane Rauschenberg, who finished well ahead of me in 1:01:26 (read Dane’s account on his blog, SeeDaneRun).

[Above: that's me and Dane before the start of the Boilermaker 15K; Below: Hanging out with "Boston Bill" Rodgers at the Boilermaker sponsor dinner]

But running a half marathon after a 56-mile bike is another thing altogether, as I found out at Vineman in 2007 (my first and only half-Ironman distance event). After a good swim and a great bike segment I was 30 minutes ahead of my goal time. Then I lost it all on the run in 90F heat and high humidity. Struggling to stay hydrated and limping on a sore left foot I considered giving up and walking in, but managed to keep moving and finished 1:17 ahead of my goal time.

I’m determined not to die on the run this time so I scheduled an early season half marathon in St. Louis, along with the Bolder Boulder 10K and Boilermaker 15K. I’ve discovered that races always make me push myself harder than I do training on my own. So my logic was that I needed to schedule more races. But when I explained this theory to my former tri coach, Nancy, on a visit to KC this past weekend, she said I just need to train harder (actually, I think she called me a slacker!).

I think Nancy nailed it. When I rode with Nancy and her husband Steve this past Saturday I pushed it a lot harder. But when Steven and I went out for a “brick” run after the ride (in the heat and humidity of eastern Kansas) I felt the familiar foot pain and dehydration sapping my energy. So this week I’m going to focus on ride/run combo workouts (yes, I brought my running shoes to work, too) and staying hydrated during the ride (I need to drink a lot more than I do).

I also got in a good hill workout on my trip to Kansas, riding 25 miles through the campus of the University of Kansas. Anyone who thinks Kansas is flat needs to visit Lawrence. I rode one hill (three times!) that hit 18% grade. They do not make roads that steep in Colorado...at least not that I've found! Granted, they are "hills" and not mountains so they are steep but short.

[Above: I gave serious thought to attending the Veggie Lunch (omnivores welcome!) on the KU campus in my BEEF jersey; Below: Baby Jay rides my bike in fron of the Kansas Union]

I still haven’t figured out what I’m going to do next week during the conference. I may just have to give up some of the late night festivities so I can drag my butt out of bed at 4:30 in the morning to swim, bike and run before heading downtown to the meetings. The good news is I'll get plenty of BEEF during the week to fuel up my body for the following week.

Ride on!



  1. I want to go to the veggie lunch in my Real Men Eat Beef shirt. :)

    Keep up the hard work, watch that foot and crush your 70.3!

  2. So, why didn't BEEF MAN make an appearance at the Boilermaker? After I ran in jeans and a hat??? BTW, I LOVED running along the Platte and Cherry Creek while we were in Denver. Those trails & the dry air could make city life bearable for a KS country road girl. Now I'm back to eastern KS humidity, where the sweat doesn't evaporate.

  3. Thanks, Dane!

    Barb, I never got my act (or costume) together to make an appearance as BEEFMAN. I'm going to have to work on that. BTW, I told the story about the legendary Barb who ran in jean shorts, cowboy hat and spurs, the whirling vortex of poor judgment, the night at Bucky's and the barf cups several times over the weekend. Great memories!


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