February 13, 2011

Time to raise the bar ....... Feb 7th - 13th

  Last week my total training hours were 4.5 so I wanted to pick that up a bit but going to 6.5 hrs may have been a little too much this early because my end of the week run was pretty tough. I labored from the start but it felt as though I may break out and finish strong but it didn't happen. At mile 2.2 I finally succumbed and had to walk it out for a 20 count and that really seemed to be the beginning of the end of that run. Even though it was a recovery run I still had nearly a max effort to just finish. I still haven't really pinpointed the cause as it may be over training,bad nutrition for the weekend, or maybe it was cause I haven't run outside in over 3 weeks.

Well for at least the next 2 weeks all my runs will be outside and if that is impossible the treadmill will be set to 4% incline as it's at 2% right now. I am defiantly going to monitor my diet the next two weeks and probably bring my hours down to 5.5 to see how it goes. Here is last weeks schedule

  • Mon the 7th - 6.51 miles on the Dreadmill = 61 minutes
  • Wed - Brick - 60 minutes on the Trainer @17.7mph avg and then 60min on the TreadMill for 6.62 miles (Running after riding seems so much easier then the other way around)
  • Fri  - Hot run on the treadmill 3.55 mi in :30
  • Sat - 60 minutes at spin class followed by 60 min high intensity Plyo and core workout aka Boot Camp by Mr. Greg Clausen at the Body Logic in Lake Geneva
  • Sun - Outside recovery run for 5.30 mi in :49 minutes
Now, being I am pretty new to this running thing and I have been gauging my progress by the 5K. My early attempts at a fast 5K was just over :30 and this week on Friday I hit my best of 26:40 (but it was on the Treadmill) and on Sunday even with me laboring pretty bad I still hit a 28:20. So I feel good about the strides I am making but sometimes impatience gets the best of me and I tend to get discouraged if I don't improve every time out. But losing almost 90 lbs over a 18 month period I did learn one important thing. Improvements are made over the long haul, and not over night. I really look forward to this weeks work load and see what happens....

Weight is still at 195 and I hope it moves one way or the other soon so I can gauge my daily diet a little better. I did increase my proteins last week and will continue this week. Now, I didn't take away any fats or carbs, I just added a 135 calories to my daily intake and 30 grams of Protein

February 8, 2011

Training for everything, it seems

   I am trying to train for two sports that I now love to do (cycling and running). My first MTB race this year is coming up in May at Iola, the first in the WORS series. And my first big running race this year is the 1/2 Marathon in Kenosha (I will do a couple 5K's or 10K's for warm ups, Crazy legs in Madison maybe). Well I tried something different last week with my training schedule and I mixed my run days and cycle days together with fairly good results.

  • Monday the 31st I ran 5.25 miles and only put in :40 on the trainer
  • Thursday the 3rd I did a tempo 5K then :60 minutes on the trainer
  • Saturday I did :60 on spin bike followed by :50 HIIT core/plyo workout
  • Monday the 8th I ran 6.5 miles and for once it felt very easy
This allowed me to have an extra day off for last week and still put in my hours but what I really liked about it was the no rest between the run and ride. It pushed me to maintain a tempo for much longer then if I did each one separately . I am still working my base for cycling so for now it isn't too bad combining the two but I am sure once the intervals kick in it will much tougher. I can't wait for the weather to break and get outside to get my runs/rides in. I see lots of hill repeats and track workouts in my future. My rides will also ramp up to 3 times a week for 2.5 hrs in the saddle and a 4hr ride on weekend. I just can't stomach that right now on the trainer...

My running training is still early into my 13 week HM plan but my approach on my first half isn't to just "finish" the race but do it in a respectable time (2hrs or less). I joined the Dailymile website to help me track my progress and maybe get some pointers from fellow runners and cyclist. It has more then meet my expectations. Try it out....

My weight has plateaued again but this time it is @ 195 and it is getting frustrating, but I figured this would happen because I am getting pretty close to my goal weight and those pesky few pounds are the hardest. With all this training I have to ensure my diet is up to the task. I am still on a 400 calorie deficient cut and my energy levels are pretty good. My Macros were 50% carbs 30% Proteins and 20% fats but it seemed as my strength wasn't building fast as I had hoped so I changed to the 40-40-20 split and that has been noticeable so I am going to keep it there for a few weeks and see how that goes.

January 21, 2011

New Low Weight

Well at the end of Cycling season (around October 30th) I weighed in at 220lbs and after reeling in my diet and counting the cals I have been slowly dropping the weight. This morning I weighed in @ 195.4. I am happy about this, but more for breaking thru the plateau I was stuck at for about 5 weeks. I will continue to drop until I hit my target weight of 185lbs and then find my maintenance BMR. I will have to tweek my macro nutrients to suit my endurance sports, but I think I'll be ok. I am excited to see how the drop in weight will affect my performance...

For tonight's training I am going to try another brick but cycle first and then run. Tomorrow I am going back to Lake Geneva to do another spin class and Boot camp. Gonna see how back to back training days feel

January 20, 2011

Time has come for my first Brick,

Being that I am a rookie at running, I have to just try things and see if they work for me. While I harbor no ill will towards Tri-athletes, I have no desire to attempt one myself. However the Trail  run/MTB race at the end of the year at the Stump farm has gotten my interest and doing a brick every once in awhile can only be good for me right?

Well I figured I would start off with a run and with the weather being pretty crappy (snowing fairly hard that night) and the other issue with cooling off after the run with the change of clothes, I decided to do my run on the Mill (it is also a little easier to control conditions).  I was set in my thinking that a 4 mile run would be sufficient and a Cadence program uploaded to my Garmin would keep me more then honest on my trainer ride. So I turned on my favorite Political pundit show, set the Mill to 3% incline and a initial pace of 10:00 or 6 mph and started my run to 4 miles. Well, after about .3 miles my left quad and hamstring, and both calves were really tight and some discomfort. I can assure this is the fault of one Greg C. from Body Logic and his body killing Boot Camp. It is :45 minutes of pain and high tempo and a 1 hour spin class proceeded that torture fest. I have been doing quite a bit a running and cycling and also mixing in weight training 3 times a week and I assure you that this nice program he set up hit muscle groups I didn't know where there. See ya Saturday morning Mr, Clausen .....

So I finally pushed through this after the 1.3 mile mark and increased my tempo to 9:14 minute miles and with the upcoming ride in mind, I figured this would be the speed limit. Well around mile 3 I was feeling it and speed it up to 8:35 minute mile and then it happened, I could feel the belt acting up and I slowed it back down to 8:45 and that held until 3.45 and the belt really started sticking (started to loosen) so I ended it at 3.5 and fixed the mill the next night.

I quickly changed into my cycling shoes and re-directed the fan from the mill to the trainer. Grabbed a fresh water bottle and started the Garmin up for a cadence ride. Now with my nifty Garmin 305 , I can easily write a running or riding or use the Garmin supplied program and send it to the device. It was kinda like having a coach with me at all times. So this is how I set my first Cadence Brick ride...

Start program:

  1. 5:00 warm up at any pace or HR (timer just counts backwards)
  2. Spin @ 80-90 rpm for 5:00
  3. 5:00 of free spin
  4. Spin @ 90-95 rpm for 5:00
  5. 5:00 of free spin
  6. Spin @ 95-105 rpm for 5:00
  7. 3:30 of free spin
  8. Spin @ 90-95 for 5:00
  9. 5:00 of free spin with HR in zone2
Well ,it didn't take long at all to think HOLY CRAP!!! this is going to hurt. I prayed that my warm-up was 10 minutes instead 5. My quads just above the knee were the pain culprit in which I never did recover from on the entire ride. This is obviously something that I am going to have to just get used to and it will get better over time..( Rule #5 right Tread Headers?) . Well into my first cadence ramp up it was fairly comfortable and when the timer ran down I continued the cadence through my 5 minute "rest" period. It all changed when I hit the 95+ rpm portion of my cadence ride. The pain was really getting up there (good pain) and the lactic acid was flowing as quickly as the sweat.  I tried in vain to not look at that damn timer and just watch TV and spin till I heard the beeps of mercy, but all I heard was the "you're going to freakin slow" beeps. (cyclist reading this, do you ever cheat on the trainer by using your hands pushing down on your knees?) Let me tell you that was a fairly long 5 minutes and the entire time I am thinking "stop flippin whining because it won't be long from now and those will be :20 cadence intervals)

Well I finally finished my first brick and total time was 1hr 15 minutes. Cardio wise I felt great, but between still recovering from the Boot Camp 48 hrs earlier and trying the first brick, my legs were pretty tired after. I am excited about trying my next brick and I will reverse it and maybe do running intervals and just a base ride. I guess the only reason I am doing this is so I can get in a longer cardio workout in without the boredom of a 2 hr trainer ride or 2 hrs on the mill. I may get up to Ray's this weekend after my Bootcamp workout for some MTB riding...... Or maybe some XC sking at La Grange. Gotta mix it up

January 16, 2011

Where it all began Part 2

My weight at the end of 2009 was hovering around 230 and I knew I needed to drop a few. Unfortunately I didn't take the off season seriously enough and only dropped 10 pounds by the first race. I was weight lifting 4 days a week and hitting the trainer twice a week for a couple months then the trainer was down to once a week, then once every two weeks but I did stay lifting until spring when the weather was nice enough to ride outside and then the bug hit me. I was riding 7 hrs a week and averaging 100+ miles.

 2010 Racing season starts
I thought I was gonna rock at the first race. Needless to say I took 5th and wasn't too happy with my fitness. I did even worse at the Big Ring Classic in taking 14th. I was pretty dejected at this point, I had figured everyone had passed me by in fitness and I had ended 2009 so well.....

TreadHead Cycling:

I knew I needed training help and I joined Tread Head Cycling out of Lake Geneva. Mike Gorka whom I had met through the WORS forums helped me out with this, the best single cycling decision I had made to date. I had just bought a used Trek road bike from Tyler Welnak. I found the bike on Craigslist and go figure if it wasn't a fellow WORS clyde (comp) rider selling it. So with new Bike (well new to me) in hand I showed up for me first road ride with the gang... I started off pretty good and was starting to get a little cocky. But after I figured out we were just warming up I knew i was in a bit of trouble. So when the fast group broke off to get an extra 5 miles in I stayed with Gary and Shannon to meet up with the fast gang ( LanceKrista etc..) down the road. This is the point in which I was hoping a cow or horse would hit me. I was dieing a slow painful death. I was dropped so often I thought I would be the first guy there ever had to fire from a cycling club. Thanks to Butch for dropping back to save me on many occasions. I am now educated in lack of proper training and the effects of it......

Things are starting to improve:

The next 2 races I get two podiums. 2nd place at Sunburst (the race I bailed on my first year) and the WORS National race Subaru Cup. In this race I blasted out to a big lead and held it for most of the first lap. I ended up with 3rd that race but I knew I was getting close. The hard work was starting to pay off. The next race was the Border Battle and again I took the lead and was only followed by Scott Krueger. I had started to pull away and felt very strong and I suddenly no body was behind me. I could feel it, was this the one. A small power climb was coming up and there was another racer off to the side with a broken chain and I felt bad for him and as I powered hard up this climb  "BAM" I exploded my chain. RACE OVER!!!!!

Enter the new ride:

Reforestation ramble: I knew this wasn't a race style I was going to be good at so I tried to start easier then my new normal ground and pound and I payed for it. The single track (my savior) was almost 2 miles from the very long starting shoot and I entered it about in 4th. it took a mile or two but I had got my wind back and was flying through the single track and the leaders where in sight, I was getting excited. I could catch them at the big climb. NOT!!! here comes the first timers entering the trail right in front of us and I get caught up behind them for the next 4 miles. Needless to say I finished 3rd only 40 seconds away ( Side note. Thanks to Jon Holcomb for the awesome racing that day, and if he hadn't flipped his ride he may of gotten 3rd)

Alterra Coffee Bean Classic:

Second time racing this course and I felt it all weekend, I knew this was my chance for my first win. I blasted as hard as I could from the start and entered the single track all alone. I rode my ass off and never really tired. The entire time out there I never did see another Clyde and I was getting very nervous that something would break or a flat. Never happened. First Podium WIN. Wire to wire.........

Tread Fest:

Wow the pressure was pretty intense. I had just won my first WORS race the previous weekend and I was with a few points of taking over 1st place in the points series. By the way it was also my home course. I couldn't eat that morning the nerves were killing me. I knew my game plan. Attack the first two climbs and get to that single track first but don't blow up doing it. With my nerves about wrecked and heart rate at the line was 105 sheesh... Well I took off and got the hole shot first up the short climb and first up the long climb. But it was on the long climb were I took a break 80% of the way up after I gave a quick glance back and saw everyone in a single file. I was trying to save some for later and then I noticed someone pulling up next to me and I figured it was someone in the 40-49 group. So I wasn't too worried until I noticed it was Paul, the guy currently a couple points a head of me first overall. HOLYCRAP!!! I turned on the burners again and told him Hi Paul...Gotta go.. He just sighed and hung his head. I was first to the single track. Paul stayed in 2nd the entire race and I just kept a close eye on him while just making sure I didn't make any mistakes or burn out.

Every time he got within :20 of me I would just put a comfortable distance between us and attack the climbs. What a fun race, I thought my heart would explode. Paul is such a great competitor and a great guy. Wire to Wire again for my second Win in a row. Felt real good winning at home. Man I am hooked on this WORS thing..............

Wolf River:
I am now within striking distance of Paul in the points chase and all I need is to podium the next race and 1st place is mine and if I win again first place is a lock. Well easier said then done. Nerves were getting the better of me again but I did get the hole shot and lead for most of the first lap but felt gassed and the guy who eventually won was on my tail the entire time. He didn't care if he ran into you or a tree. He was just all over the place. When he passed me he yells out "I gotta pass dude" and then ride into the woods to get the pass and then proceeds to crash in front of me, twice lol... I figured I would just let him go as he will either gas out or kill himself. Well that ultimately didn't happen and he took first and Scottie K got 2nd and I finished 3rd but took over 1st overall in points with one race to go........


Wow Nerves are wrecked at this point. I knew I just need to finish no less then 2 places behind Paul to keep 1st overall. Now the big picture came down to one race. I again got the hole shot but was caught just meters before the Money tent by Nyland and the biggest guy in the race...WTH.. Needless to say Paul was right there and we fought it out for a few miles then he just stayed no more then 10 seconds ahead of me and that's where I felt comfortable. I would have liked to win my Last race of being in Cat 3 but the Point series was more important. I finished 4th and Paul finished 3rd ... ......... Satisfaction!!!!!!

Cliff notes:
  • First place overall in Cat 3 Clydesdale
  • 2 Wins
  • 7 total podium finishes
  • Earned a ticket to the ICEMAN Cometh National race


Wow was I excited to be part of this huge race. I was riding for the state of Wisconsin in competition with other states. I was also riding the same exact course as the top Pros in the country. But I was also very worried. My longest race to date was 12 miles and this one was 29 miles, in the cold snowy weather none the less. This is also the time when the Tread Head cycling group rides were ending for the year. So I started a new training program and was hitting a 40 mile loop 3 times a week and getting out to the Kettle and doing the 30 mile loop (remember wasn't long ago when the 10 mile loop was a day trip lol). I also started running again this time outside. No treadmill. OMG I ran a non-stop mile, my first since high school and I did it under :12. Thanks god for cycling because with in a month I was running 5 miles.

Morning of the Race it was 18 degrees for our wave to start. FREAKIN BRRRR. I wasn't prepared for this and I thought I was... I started off fine and stayed with the pack for the first 5 miles or so but my feet from the ankles down were completely numb. My hands were frozen and hurting pretty bad. Body was fine though. I slowed a bit to pace myself and to try and warm at least my hands. 3/4 of the race over and I was hurting because of the cold. Fitness didn't fail me until the last 3 miles then I struggled pretty bad. There were a few killer hill climbs near the end that did me in.. Finished 46th out of 121 in the Nation. Not too bad for a Cat 3 rider

Now I kinda got the running bug going which is good. I have spoken with quite a few of winning riders and most of them talk about running in the off season, so I figured Hmm, gotta be something about the running. So I dove in with the same intensity as cycling. My firs run was a grueling 1.3 mile run and it took 4 days to recover. But after the initial pain fest it got way better. 2.5 on my second run, 3 on the next run then 4 and before I knew it I had signed up for a 10K. What a fun race I started off strong and not knowing if I can run the 6.2 miles which would be my longest run ever. I did finish the race without stopping or walking and finished in the middle of my age group Sweet.... After the race I have been training for longer runs and did complete a long run of 10 miles and now my avg run is a 5 mile run. Since OCT 20th I have racked up 150 running miles and it feels awesome. I am now training for a 1/2 Marathon. I don't know why I want to but I just do.

Cliff Notes:
  • ICEMAN Cometh race 46th out of 121
  • My first 10K run/race  36th out of 49
  • Dropped my weight from 219 to currently 197

Where it all began

This was me in 2008 with my step son Chris, at the Kettle moraine blue loop. At this point I was down 35 lbs from my heaviest weight of 280lbs. Funny thing about this photo is for me at that point riding the Blue Loop was a 2 hour with a lunch break type ride. It would take me 2 days to recover. I took a full 100 oz camelback and two full water bottles, a couple cliff bars and all finished off by the end of the loop.

At this point I had never heard of WORS or knew of any MTB racing in Wisconsin. I started riding MTB's again for the first time since 1995 and the first rides consisted in a single mile ride through the hood three times a week. Chris and I then ventured out to a 5 mile ride and he was on a BMX bike yelling at me to hurry up. It was a painful ride to say the least. I started using Mapmyride to find new and longer routes and on one of our longer routes (10 miles) we even had stopped off for lunch at McDonald's. I know pathetic right? But this is the point in which Chris and his BMX bike were slowing me down. So I treated myself to a brand new Giant Rincon and passed down my Old, trusted, well used MTB. (which fit him better then me)

But this is where I started and I pushed to progress farther and longer each time out until we found a great 20 mile loop. At this point it was about completing this loop faster each time out. But I started to get bored with seeing the same scenes and trails so I looked for ambition or motivation. I also started running (treadmill running) and for the first time since my teens I had run a uninterrupted mile. And over time I was up to 6 miles on the ole mill and feeling good about myself. At this point I decided I was ready for a 5K... HAHA ..A buddy I work with is a Marathon runner and pleasantly told me I just may want to try running outside first before signing up. hmmm Can running outside be any harder then the Mill? HELL YA, I made a 1/4 mile and wanted to die. I was discourage in running so bad I pretty much had stopped after this eye opening moment.

It was also at this point I had found WORS during my searches for 5k's. Needless to say I was very intrigued and the 2009 SunBurst showdown was my target ride after not a lot of preparing. Maybe 400 miles of riding under my belt at this point. I had signed up for Citizens 40-49. I was way to tough for the first timers right? So I showed up on Saturday for my very first pre-ride. 1/2 way through the lap I was like WTF!!!! I do 20 mile loops 3 times a week and I am gassed 3.5 miles into a flippin Pre-ride. So I see there is a Learn to ride Clinic with Claire Cannon. This clinic restored my belief that I can do this and that I have a lot to learn first. She was more helpful then one can imagine.  Needless to say on race morning I failed to make the trip and decided to try my first race at the Alterra Coffee Bean Classic.

My plan was to hang back on the start so I didn't mess up anyone's race. Turns out I didn't have to try, I was just left by my age grouping (man these guys are fast). I was about 1.5 miles into this race and coming up on a group when someone crashed up ahead and bottle neck the trail. So the rookie that I am fell over (damn clipless pedals) and broke my toe cleat. I finished the last 9 miles with one clipless pedal..Even though I placed 27th (5th from the bottom) I was hooked. Awesome side note (on my second lap I was riding behind a fellow older then me when he tries a smooth pass but clipped a branch and he did this incredible flip. I used this oppotunnity, after he told me he was fine to just go ahead, to stick around to make sure he was ok (I was beat and needed the break) He and I finished the race and a my first MTB friendship was born. Hello Mr. George Doty

George and I climbing on the start

I liked that race so much I went the next week to there Wednesday night races and tried my skills (or lack of). HA only the fast need apply to those races as I got destroyed. But as I was on that last climb this fellow wearing a green Mr.Tree jersey whom passed me already once that night flew by me, going uphill too mind you like I was walking. He jumps off his bike at the finish and turns to me and others climbing offering his unbelievable support. I mean this cat don't even know me and he is patting me on the back and telling me what a great job I did. This night I met MTB friend #2 in Nathan Guerra. On an Ironic note my wife was watching the race and when the race was over she come walking up with another women whom I didn't recognize and it was Lindsey Guerra. What a very nice couple. If you don't know them introduce yourself.

So my next race was Reforestation Ramble and I was 238lbs still so I had signed up for the Clydesdale group. The race was Long (12 miles) but I did much better. I placed 8th out of 19. Yup Clydes is were I belong.....

Next was Treadfest. WOW what an education in hill climbing and MTB'ing it was this race that told me I had to train for real and learn what ever I could about cycling I finished 9th out of 19 but I was hurting bad.

Wolf river Rendezvous - I started a little stronger in this race and when we got to the first climb nearly everyone bailed but Geroge Doty. He yelled "Rider coming through" I just followed his tail up and over the two first climbs. He left me after my slight misread on a sharp turn caused me to eat dirt. So for most of the race I had no idea what place I was in and really only saw one other rider in my grouping. We traded spots a few times until I met a tree, in which he stopped to make sure I was ok. I finished the race a little mad at my 4 crashes and thinking I had just earned my first DFL when I spotted my wife holding up the peace sign. I am like WTF is that, you're not a hippie. The nice ladies who took my race tag and signed me in told me I just earn 2nd place.... I was like Ya , right stopping messing with my heart. The just laughed at me and then it dawned on me, Wife's peace sign dummy wasn't for peace. My first Podium baby!!!!