Monday, October 22, 2012

SOMA Half Ironman 2012

So I set a personal record yesterday at the SOMA Half Ironman in Tempe.

5 hours 17 minutes and 15 seconds of cardio action.

Official Results

More likely, it was like watching paint dry. Not for me because I was working - but for the spectators - they were probably like "speed up man". I was trying.

++ Swim was measured too long.

++ The wind picked up massively on the third loop on the bike course ...

++ I was hot and bloated on the run. I always eat my way through this race. Plus, the course was closer to 14 miles than 13.1.

The honest truth is that there isn't all that much to say about this race ... and what there is to say is more philosophical than race related.

I've raced in 30 or so races since February 2011. These are races of various lengths and disciplines.

It's time for a break - or at least to slow down a bit.

It's not for lack of interest in fitness. It's not for lack of motivation. It's for my wife.

She's been injured. She is on the mend. The time is now to help her get back to 100%.

But Bryonman ... what about Ironman Arizona?

1) I am boycotting WTC (Ironman branded events). They have still refused to list me as "DNF" for Ironman St. George. I did the course. I have the medal. They pulled me from the water - but yet they will not even give me the credit of toeing the line that morning.

2) Carrie and I were supposed to do IMAZ together and cross the line together. There will be other races down the line where we can achieve this goal.

3) I don't want the desire to compete to take away from the specialness of the event(s) I enter.

4) I have had TWO fantastic events in the last two weeks. This is a great time to take a break.

...and the list goes on and on.

What's next?

Well, Carrie and I are going to do some backpacking and get some mileage on her feet. Then we have the Las Vegas Half-Marathon in December. Then I have a 5K race on December 8th - my first standalone 5K since 2010. I will be on the hunt for a 5K PR in that race. It would be fantastic to come in under 20 minutes.

I will probably take a short break from the Bryonman blog over the next few weeks.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Cochise County Cycling Classic - 2012 - Douglas, AZ (165 Mile)

The race is complete! The Cochise County Cycling Classic - 2012 - Douglas, AZ (165 Mile) event was probably my favorite event yet.

Here is the output from my Garmin.

Here are the official results.. I was 6th overall.

Sally, Carrie and I headed down to Douglas, AZ (on the Mexico border) on Friday afternoon. We toured a bit of Benson and then we drove the back half of the course. We arrived at the famous Gadsden Hotel at about 6:30pm. Brian Folts was there waiting on us. He and I agreed to team up on the race.

The Gadsden is historically interesting ... but not the best place in which I've rested my head. I guess I had framed a different type of hotel in my brain.

We went over to the race meeting and pasta dinner on Friday night. It turns out this is the 25th Annual Cochise Cycling Classic. They gave out special pins to the riders AND their support crew -- so Sally and Carrie freeloaded a pasta supper and got some swag. Bonus!

We woke around 4am and the usual pre-race whirlwind began. Coffee. Food. Sunblock. Gear. Water. I actually managed to remember EVERYTHING. Folts and I rolled up to the start line just in time to catch the national anthem.

Section 1: 1 to 33 miles to Bisbee. The biggest climb of the day.

Brian and I were out in front of the 25 brave souls that decided to take on this course. We were out there for the first 30 miles. I let him pull because that was the plan. For one of the miles I led the entire crew. I pulled them at 23 to 24 miles per hour on a decent little incline. I broke off soon and let some of the other guys pull. Folts and I got back together and resumed our plan. At mile 22 ... the incline increased and the speed decreased. Brian was pulling the whole crew at 17 mph on a very steep section. I hung with him but my heart rate was surging. It is tough to eat when you are in a pack of cyclists like that ... but I managed to get two gels and two salt tablets during the melee'. Keep going. At mile 31 the incline goes SUPER steep. It is a category 2 climb. The 5 fastest guys dropped me and those guys included Folts. I made a decision. I could have kept with them for those last two miles of intense climbing but I figured that would spend me for the entire day. It would suck to get a DNF just trying to keep a pace that I couldn't manage.

Section 2: 33 to 90 miles to Benson.

Having made the right call in backing off the Bisbee climb I knew I was set for the day. I also knew at this point that I would get a platinum finish (under 9.5 hours) barring any mechanical problems. How did I know this? The pace was so fast coming up the hill (22 mph average for the first 33 miles) that I knew I could just maintain a comfortable 20 mph and still secure the platinum medal. The descent from Mule Pass says I went 70.6 mph. This is not true. My bike spedometer said 56 mph one time. I think the Garmin picked up a car that whooshed by me a little too closely. I was on the course alone after passing a few of the lighter guys on the descent. I caught up to a very fit looking dude and we started swapping leads. This was at about mile 45. He could not stay with me. He told me to go on. I tried to keep him with me because it would have worked better to have both of us working in this section of the course. After I left him this tandem bike comes out of nowhere. They were in the 92 mile race. They were like "hop on". I have NEVER seen a tandem climb like these dudes. Holy Moses! I usually can hop on a Tandem on a downhill for a draft. Now I can say I have used one for a draft on a steep uphill. They actually dropped me before turning off on their route. Somewhere around Tombstone or St. David I found another crew of 4 or 5 cyclists. These would be the guys I would ride with for the rest of the day. We rolled in to Benson way ahead of schedule. My Garmin was still showing a 21.2 mph average even after all the up and mileage to Benson.

Section 3: I-10 to Dragoon. Mile 91 to 105

I saw Carrie and Sally at the time check in Benson. I think they knew I was going to be fine when they saw me there.

Sidebar: Without the logic and love of Carrie and Sally - Brian Folts and I would have struggled. We saw other support vehicles being MUCH less than supportive during the day. Thanks a billion.

Riding along a freeway sucks. This is possibly the worst 14 miles of cycling I've ever experienced. 1) It was scary. 2) Debris everywhere. 3) I saw not one but two different types of knives lying on the shoulder. 4) I had to pee. 5) There were two super annoying hills to climb. 6) It was hotter on the free than it was out in the open. You get the point. I made it. Whining session over.

Section 4: Dragoon to LaFrieda mile 106 to 135

I stopped to pee. I didn't care who or what saw me. It had to be done. I also had a chance to see what had been bothering me in my shoes since about mile 60. Both of my custom insoles had broken in half and the plastic was cutting into my sock / feet. I think they were just worn out. I pulled them out of my shoes and then hopped back on the road. I caught up with my group again at about mile 108. I pulled them down the hill to highway 191. I accidentally dropped them. I looked back once and they were there. I looked again and they were gone. In hindsight I suppose 26 or 27 mph was a bit much considering we were over 100 miles into the race. I saw Carrie and Sally two times during this stretch and it helped a ton. I was chugging water and eating as often as I could. Eat to stay in the race. Drink to stay alive. Dang. I have to pee again. Where is the downhill that the course map promised? There was a border patrol checkpoint that had a 15mph speed limit sign. Let's just say I was following their speed limit due to the hill that was there. I was bummed out for a few miles. Not because it wasn't nice scenery but because I had been tricked into believing that the climbing was over.

Section 5: ElFrida and back to Douglas mile 135 to mile 165.

After my second pee break, my crew members caught up to me again. We were to remain a group of four all the way to the finish. My feet are bruised up today from the lack of padding against the carbon fiber soles of my cycling shoes. I was literally limited to what my feet would bear. You can tell by my heart rate on my Garmin output. I was sort of lying back and just letting things happen at the end of the day.

7 hours 55 minutes total time. Moving time 7:51:38. Average moving speed 20.8 miles per hour. Total climbing - somewhere around 5000 feet. It was not flat. The weather did cooperate. In some years - this course is a DNF travesty.

Definite and unquestionable platinum status for me by over 1.5 hours. No more "special" platinum list from the 2011 Tour de Tucson. I am stoked.

Next up - Sunday October 21st - SOMA 70.3.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Time to go ride my bike

In less than 24 hours the Cochise County Cycling Classic begins.

8 hours after that I might be finished. Nearly 170 miles of hammer-down action. You can bet on a full report right here on

I am going to thank - in advance - Carrie and Sally for being the best road crew a guy could have. And to Brian Folts ... no matter how it turns out we will have fun. That said - I hope I can log in tomorrow and see us at the top of the results sheet.

Everyone have a great weekend.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Solid weekend -with perks

Carrie and I rode 31 miles on the canals on Saturday morning. Then she headed back to the house and I struck out on a hill climbing adventure. I did repeats on Scottsdale Mountain - which is steep. Most importantly it is nice pavement and there is very little traffic. I think I did the half mile ascent 8 times. I think the average grade is about 8% on that thing. It is not an easy hill. It felt good.

Yesterday I ran my second fastest 13.1 to date ... my fastest was in race conditions. I ran a controlled 1:45 13.1 with a negative split. I controlled myself for seven miles and then started quickening the pace. Each mile got faster as I went. I believe this is a first for me. I started with 8:20 pace and then dropped to 8:05 then 7:50 then 7:20 then 6:50 and finished with with 6:40. Funniest part of all this is that the ending was uphill and the pace still got more intense. There was more in the tank throughout the run too! It made me smile.

Training 13.1 Moderate Effort

Our new carpeting was installed on Wednesday of last week. It is such a nice upgrade. We are close to getting the inside of the house finished. It looks very nice and is much different than when we bought it back in February.

What lies ahead.

This week I will try and avoid any "all out" efforts. I will still train to keep everything fresh.

The 157 mile Cochise County Cycling Classic is now 165 miles.

165 mile route

My friend and speed demon - Brian Folts is riding with me. I am fast on a bike but he is just STOOPID fast. We should make a decent duo. It's going to be fun.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Interesting Fact ...

From September 2011 to September 2012 - I ran 900 miles. In that same span I walked 259 miles. Big deal, right?

That is 3.175 miles per day.

A 5K per day on my feet. I am fortunate to have the ability to do this.

On toward the weekend!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Intensity and distance ... last week's training

The updates to the blog are less frequent nowadays. I don't have any less to say. I do feel like I have said most things that are related to the journey. I want to avoid repetitiveness.

Last week was a very solid week of training. I hit all but one of my weekly goals. I did spin class two nights which completed the goal of five days straight with at least an hour of cycling with super good intensity. This goal served two purposes. It rested my feet after a 130 mile running month in September. It also reintroduced my legs, abs, back and neck to the idea of being on the bike quite frequently.

We did yoga two times last week. That was helpful. We lifted weights twice which was also helpful. I ran a treadmill 10K at lunch on Thursday. I swam three times last week - with one of the swims in the current of an infinite pool. Talk about an odd and challenging workout. 30 minutes in that thing and I was ready to do something else. I liked it ... just mentally fatigued.

On Saturday I rode 121.3 miles with over 5,000 feet of vertical climbing. This is my longest ride outside to date. I averaged around 18 miles per hour. The average speed wasnt the goal. The goal was to get the climbing and the mileage. Done! I have enough in the tank for the Cochise ride and I have a couple of weeks to lighten up and work on some speed work too! It should be a fun day in southern Arizona on Oct. 13th.

I wanted to do a long slow run on Sunday. I did not get up out of bed in time. Then the day got started and we were too busy for that to take place. No big deal. I had an 18+ hour training week last week ... and over 6 of that was on Saturday. I probably needed a break.