Winter is here!

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Time to ramp up some posts! After that awesome swim (and bike and run!) at the Bear Lake Brawl on September 12, I took a breather for a few weeks and enjoyed life. Honestly, it wasn’t that enjoyable because I had to do all those tasks that I had been putting off for training time. But it was relaxing and good to get that stuff done.

I started up some unstructured training in mid-October just to maintain some fitness. I got in some great swims and runs while in New Orleans a few weeks ago that catapulted my desire for long workouts.

Now here I am on the cusp of a Sufferlandrian Tour! Yes, I am starting the 2014 Tour of Sufferlandria series today. Why? Just to do it. I will be setting the intensitu at 85% to help me get through it. I have a clean schedule for the next two weeks, and I want to bike consistently….so this is my answer.

Throughout the winter I want to post a few times per week, so hit the subscribe button to get the updates in your e-mail.

Posts will be a mix of shorty-thoughts and reviews of gear and videos and race reports that I haven’t posted yet. I will also write a few thoughts on next year’s race season and race planning.

Here’s to a good winter training season!

Bear Lake Brawl Half – Today!!

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I slept great in my tent last night here at Rendezvous Beach on the south end of Bear Lake. I woke up to 33 degrees at 5:00 am, warmer than 29 in Pocatello.

This is going to be cold today, biking in 35-40 degrees. I have said repeatedly that I am a fair-weather cyclist, rarely riding in less than 60 degrees. I plan to wear a smartwool base layer and wind jacket over my wet tri-kit top…we will see how that works. Add some gloves and socks. I dont have pants, so my legs will have to stay warm from the burn of the turn.

I totally forgot my gel flasks at home! And upon arrival here, I can’t find the new batteries I bought for my cadence sensor, so no cadence today….not all bad because I want to concentrate on heart rate on the bike.

Here are my goals for today. I think they are doable if I don’t freeze up on the bike.


Should be a really nice day. The wind died down over night and aren’t expected to return more than 6mph. Going to be sunny once the sun breaks over the mountains.

My overall strategy is to have a nice warmup swim, a moderate effort bike ride to enjoy the scenery and end of season, and a nice moderate run that builds to a big and strong finish to this season.


One week til Bear Lake Brawl 2014

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I am a week out from the last race of the year. Here are a few random thoughts at this point.

1. It’s going to be cold on the bike. Lows of low-40s expected. Bike will start around 8am, one hour after sunrise. So maybe it will be 45 when I get on the bike. Definitely jacket weather, but I have to figure out how/where to stash it at the halfway mark.

2. I have the beginnings of a cold yesterday and today. Hopefully it will clear up by nexr week. Weather recently changed to early autumn, so that is probably the cause.

3. I am now blaming the sorta-bad run at the Utah Half on my bime leg. After some bike cruises at heart rate under 142 this week, it is clear that an average heart rats of 148 and often spiking to 152-154, I burned out on the bike….even while constantly thinking about it and meeting my planned average heart rate, although at the hugh end. This bike leg is ALL ABOUT HEART RATE but expecting to be able to keep 19.3 mph with heart rate average of 140 with few if any spikes above 144.

3. Bike legs are currently better than expecred. Earlier this week I got a 30 minute badge on The Wretched video on TrainerRoad. Was not expecting it even though was riding the vid at 100%.

4. Run feels good right now. Ran a very good lunch course yesterday and felt great. Also felt really good running 3 miles at 8:15/mile after a 30 mile bike on Tuesday.

5. Swim is comjng back. Its amazing what a few interval workouts can provide. I was up to 1:40/100y averages on long sets (500+) but now am back to 1:30 after a few interval workouts.

6. I might actually hit my goal weight of 178 for this race. I have several pounds the past few weeks amd mow am at 180. Although I often lose weight as sickness approaches, this might be real weight loss as evidenced in looser clothes.

7. Cant help but look ahead to next year already. What races inspire me? Pacific Crest Long Distance in Sun River. Maybe the Rush Tri in Rexburg again (olympic distance). Bear Lake Brawl maybe, but its kind of late in the year and I am having trouble maintaining enthusiasm for workouts right now.  Not necessarily tje St George…although a great race and beautiful, I cant justify the cost and vacation time again. Boise 70.3, maybe depending on Pacific Crest…the weather is such a crap-shoot with that race.

Should You Skimp On Training Fuel To Lose Fat? | TrainerRoad

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A great post from the TrainerRoad blog. Just yesterday I considered the option of trying to lose a couple pounds in the next two weeks to gain some speed for the last race of the year, the Bear Lake Brawl. But I know from experience that lighter is not necessarily faster.

Although most endurance athletes want to be as light as possible, most who’ve tried, know it’s also important to be strong. Unfortunately, the two don’t always go hand in hand. What’s more, oftentimes as athletes attempt to lose fat, they tread between being light and feeling good and being light and feeling lousy, sickly and even undernourished.

Amazing 8-year-old triathlete pushes, pulls brother through second race – Parents –

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Another mass media hit for my friends’ nephews. This is such an AWESOME story and God will make great things happen.

Race Comparisons: St. George v. Utah Half

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I am trying to figure out what went wrong on my run at the Utah Half. I fully expected to run a 1:50 after a 2:50 bike, based on my race-specific rehearsals.

The St George data from TrainingPeaks is below, showing a bike TSS of 260 and time of 2:56 on a very hilly course.


The St Geoarge run shiws 12.7 miles in 1:58.


The Utah Hald I just completed shows 56 miles in 2:44 with TSS of 216 on a flat course (very similar temperatures but Utah Lake is at 4500 ft elevation versus maybe 2500 for St George).


And the Utah Half run on a no-kidding flat course was 2:04 for 13.04 miles.


So what went wrong? I dont know.

Here are some possibilities:

1.  Lack of moto because my family wasnt expecting to see me finish strong.

2. Not enough water / calories on the bike. At St George I felt like I had too much in my belly (6 bottles + 4 gels + 2 bars in 3 hours) when I started the run so I planned to cut back this race. Was planning 3 bottles + 3 gels + 1 bar on the bike but onky got 1.5 bottles + 2 gels + 1 bar.

3. Did I go too hard on the bike? I dont think so. My first mile was 8:15 on the run and I felt great! The TSS for Utah Half bike was 216 vs 260 for St George. But I dont think those numbers can be compared because they are not power-meter based.

4. Maybe I was just tired from standing around all morning waiting for the weather to clear….after battling the storms all night in my tent.

5. The Utah Half was flat flat flat and required constant effort on the bike and run, but the St George courses were hilly and allowed for some resting on the downhills after uphill efforts. I tried to practice on flat courses to train for this difference but maybe I didnt do enough of that.

6. Legs did not recover appropriately after the backcountry trip in Yellowstone. I had a 65 pound pack (kids’ stuff mostly and food) walking four miles very slowly….it was more difficult than expected given my previous ease on much longer hikes with just 40 pounds for me.

7. My hips hurt on the run beginning at mile 3, and they are still sore. I don’t know why but this is entirely bew to me.

8. I had some beer and wine within thred weeks of the race. No alot, but a few here and there might make a difference because this is the first time I have not completely abstained for four weeks prior.

I think it is a combination of all the above!

Quickie Race Report: Utah Half Tri

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Completed the Utah Tri over the weekend. It was an ok day for me, happier that the weather passed through and I didnt have to race in cold rain all day.

Overall 5:33 versus goal of 5:30, which is good considering how far off average my swim and run were.


Pre-Race: somehow stayed dry in my tent that was pounded by rain most of the night and bent over in heavy winds. Had coffee and breakfast in my tent. Got everything into the car so I could happily wait out the rain delay.

Swim:  39:35 = Fail. Terrible. Didnt like the venue much because low water created a mud bath affect. Never got my goggles truly sealed.  Never found a good groove. Just a bad swim. First time without a wetsuit, learned I shouldnt do that.

T1: nice and smooth.

Bike: 2:44 = great day. Bike course was incredibly well-supported. Ate what I planned but only drank 1.5 bottles rather than planned 3. Really nice course through farm country. Turned out to be nice and sunny with just a slight breeze and just warm enough to not be chilly.


Thanks to race directors for a free race pic!

T2:  3:00 another smooth transition. Faster than normal.

Run: 2:04 I should have rested a bit in T2. First mile at 8:13! Held back much more on miles 2 and 3 but the damage was done. I struggled most of the run. I am not going to blame the bike leg for this half-bink. I think it was partly because my legs didnt recover from the backxountry trip in Yellowstone til Wednesday, I didnt drink enough on the bike, and I just never found my motivation pool. Kind of disappointing but not to bad.

Post-race: food was normal fruit plus a slice of pizza; good enough for me. I absolutely loved the girl from Mississippi and doterra oils who provided a full 20-minute (maybe more!) rubdown and a couple of sample oils for decongestants!

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