I've upped my "training" a notch and have actually been putting on some miles on my Newtons! In preparation for the Miami Beach Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon in December, I've been waking up early and running around the local lake. I'm definitely a sore and probably should be stretching out more. Here's my latest run where I've actually achieved two miles pacing ~9 mins each! That's fast for me. Of course I tapered out but still came in at under 50 minutes for 5 miles! Today is going to be a 10-miler! I'm just not sure if I want to run around the lake twice or come up with a random run around the neighborhood.
I really thought that 2011 would be the break out year for me after my first Sprint Tri, but seeing where I was going in my lack of motivation and training, I ended up sticking to the sprint distance instead of racing the Olympic. My biggest hurdle is yes, still the swim portion, and I thought that the bike and the run would be easy...I was wrong. I'm also just going to keep this a "short" race report. Pre Race: Leading up the race, I wasn't able to get any swim lessons in and before the Wednesday prior, the last time I went for a good swim was about a year ago during the last Sprint Tri. I felt good in the pool at 24 Hr Fitness and actually even "trained" a bit in breathing every three strokes technique. I was loose and pretty confident. I was running here and there but a 5K to me is just not that daunting to where I felt the need to train. I also had a good 25 mile bike ride the Labor Day Monday before w/ my Uncle Romy and once again, I was glad to have my legs still with me. I only completed one training brick and that was all indoors at a hotel gym so no, nothing indicative of road conditions. The expo was about 20% the size of last years which was disappointing and the vendors had little of whatever inventory to sell. From what I was over hearing, the prices were just too high for this race so many didn't care to participate. Shame on Competitor because I was really looking forward to it. I did happen to find another good tri top and short from Zoot replacing my 2XU stuff from last year. I spoke to Stephen from One Tri in Orange County, CA and he was awesome. Full of information and knowledge, he was fun to talk to. What ended up in the swag bag was a lot less than last year's goodies. =(
I prepared well the night before by laying everything out but unfortunately, contracted the pre-race jitters resulting in 55 mins of REM sleep.
The Race: Driving down to the start was a breeze without traffic. My wife and I arrived with plenty of time and a good parking spot. I setup my transition area, met some new friends and started to prepare mentally. I was happy to have my family there with me for the start and even have the little one wake up for the event!
I was in the third wave and after some pretty awesome 9/11 ceremonies, off we dove in. I got into the water feeling good but once I started stroking, I found myself exerting too much effort. Either my wetsuit wasn't on all the way or what, but I couldn't get a descent stroke in with the suit forcing my arm ahead of me. Frustrating as it was, I was going nowhere. It's the same Xterra suit I used last year and haven't put it on since and it was rough. Once again, I did a combination of strokes and got out of the water almost 5 minutes later than last year. The transition was a lot faster with getting my wetsuit off and bike equipment on, but I found out that I should actually put on the bicycling gloves on first rather than fidget with them while riding so that slowed my down greatly. I also forgot to turn start my Garmin Edge 500 until .5 into the bike. I didn't train with aero bars so I wasn't going to put them on last-minute and still regret it. Cycling the last-minute updated 2 lap course, was "easy," but I couldn't find a good groove to really start mashing. Transition to the run was easy but even then, I must have started with my left foot because what I had in mind wasn't what my body was doing. Disappointing but it was a great race, I finished, and my wife, mom, sister and niece were there to celebrate the finish with me. I promise to make it worth while for them next year! Thanks for waking up early and coming out!
Conclusion: The theme to this year's sprint tri... Elijah couldn't get his groove back. From a lack in form, cramping and no good motivation, I wasn't prepared. I knew that going into it, but I didn't think I would suffer that horribly. Yes I still came in under my goal of 1:30 but the course was shorter this year. Yes, I'm also one year older, but it was frustrating. I'm definitely going to sign up for the 2012 San Diego Spring Tri Rock, not only because I have a 50% off coupon, but because I know that I'll be in a different mindset and want to perform. I'm still contemplating the 2012 Oceanside Half Ironman which gives me a good 6 months to train, but the only open slots are for those than can fundraise $650. Till then, here's to the Cow Harbor Day 10K Race on Saturday!!!
I might have forgot to mention that the night before, I had an awesome pre-race dinner at The Tractor Room with a Gage Caudell from Range Traveler. He'll tell you how we first met. I just know that I want his Leica M9-P but I'll have to may e just settle for the Sony NEX-7 in November for a fifth of the M9's price!
Here's a "candid" pic that he took on the fly.
And for those that do care, here is my Garmin Edge 500 Data. It's not accurate what so ever but maybe when Garmin releases an update to their 310xt, I'll have some better data.
Sometimes it takes a quick lapse in reality to begin questioning the present and renew the future. When eating dinner last night at Rubio's and enjoying the $1.49 fish tacos, I ended up casually ordering a Corona with my meal. It was the first time that I've done this at Rubio's but I find myself drinking just a tad more than usual. I bet I can attribute my spike in weight to this new found casual drinking attitude as well the fact that I've raised my normal dinner consumption to two beers or so per plate when just over a year ago, one beer would have been just fine! What the heck is going on?
So, when I got home last night, a light bulb came on and I made a promise to myself and Adelle that starting the day after my 30th, I'll be giving it up...until after my next Sprint Triathlon. Trying to get healthier has been a bit difficult but so far, I've held off on sodas for almost the entire year with some exceptions of an occasional Seagram's Ginger Ale to quench the urge of bubbly. When I finally move in September, I'm already certain, that it'll be a battle no more. I'll be working outside in the yard tending the garden and doing it up farmer's style!
I've linked the picture of "No Beer," to a great article that listed these bullet points. Read 'em and then check out the other referenced article aftewards.
Alcohol is a metabolized differently than other foods and beverages. Alcohol molecules diffuse through the stomach wall and reach the brain and liver in minutes. The liver then focuses primarily on the alcohol, leaving the carbohydrates and dietary fats to be changed into body fat. Changed into body fat?! After all those extreme jacks? No, thank you.
Alcohol is a diuretic. When your body loses water and becomes dehydrated, it loses important minerals that are vital to the maintenance of fluid balance, chemical reactions, and muscle contraction and relaxation. Right now, that glass of wine is not really as relaxing as you think.
Alcohol contains 7 calories per gram and offers NO nutritional value. Alcohol only adds empty calories to your diet. I don’t know about you, but when I’m busting my booty at camp, I want my calories to mean something. No vapid calories.
Alcohol lowers your inhibitions. After consuming alcohol, people are more likely to do things they would not normally do sober. Now stop dancing on that table and get your dirty mind out of the gutter, this is a fitness blog. Alcohol stimulates appetite and reduces willpower. Many people tend to overeat when they are drinking. At least that’s all we’re talking about today.
If you're in town tomorrow night and down for a good old fashioned BBQ and free beer, give me a call or hit my up on facebook or twitter @eejay! Nothing like free beer to celebrate the next decade of fitness, life and family!
I've definitely fell off the wagon in terms of not only writing, but working out. There was a good period where a Captain and I had a good time working out two of the three nights at an overnight and where I actually felt good, but I'm gaining weight, and falling behind...fast! I'm still at the hefty 185 lbs, with just under 50 days left until my second sprint triathlon but at least August is set to be a record month in days off. With that, looks like I have to put my flights of fancy (read: Vietnam) on hold for a swim class and two-three bricks a week. August is also lined with moving back to suburbia, celebrating my first year wedding anniversary and whatever other distractions so definitely not a prime month, but I will make the best of it.
Either than that, the Pitficks' and Nicolas' have officially become part of a Ragnar Relay Race in 2011 which takes place in the Florida Keys joining up with another team from the East Coast. Should be fun once all the logistics are planned out! I can't wait.
Fifty three days before my 30th birthday, I completed my first full 26.2 on Sunday participating in the San Diego Rock 'n' Roll Marathon. It was awesome. Signing up a couple of months ago, my wife chose to run the half (13.1) while I convinced myself that this was something I would need to do before "growing" old. If you're not interested in reading the details, you can scroll down to the bottom of this post for my Garmin data as well as the official Rock 'n' Roll Results.
Training: None...more or less absent in terms of distance. It was definitely a bad idea and not a bright one to say the least. I had planned on running at a lighter weight (165 lbs. compared to my current 180 lbs. ) and even planned out a running schedule. Those "plans" didn't take. The longest run I would have done would have been the 10 miles the previous Wednesday while using Gu once at the half way point. A couple of weeks of ago, I completed running ~16 miles on the Ragnar Relay but that was during a 24 hour period so I guess that didn't count?! Next time...(if there is another one) I will definitely train appropriately.
Day -1: Drinking lots of water, picking up Runblondie26 and her husband, hanging out at the Expo (buying my first pair of Newton Running Shoes from Ryan, buying some 2XU Calve Guards and officially signing up for the San Diego TriRock), attending a Padres game followed by some carbo loading w/ Bronx Pizza and carne asada fries. I got the gear together, set the coffee maker and went to bed early.
Day 0: Waking up w/ around 7 hours of sleep, I took a shower, dressed and got ready. Eating a peanut butter & jelly sandwich, drinking a can of FRS, and sipping some coffee was it for the pre race meal. Adelle, Lindsay and I walked 1.7 miles from the downtown apartment to the start line arriving a little later than originally planned but it worked out after checking in our gear bags which by the way was really quick and easy. Lining up and finding my 4:45 pace group in corral 23, I awaited the starting gun. About 30 minutes later, looking down at my heart rate monitor on my Garmin Edge 500, I noticed that my adrenaline was pumping 100 bpm. Trying to slow it down and calm myself...it was time and off we went!
The pace leader took off to a great start and I purposely lagged behind. The first four miles flew by like none other and when the fork in the road was coming up for the half marathoners to turn north, I'll admit that it did cross my mind, but on I went toward into Downtown. Running in familiar territory was exciting and easy and when I came around mile 9 onto the 163 freeway, I was feeling like a champ! I happened to run into my sister who was just approaching the four mile marker on her way to completing her first half marathon so that was nice. Now this part of the course was pretty awesome in that the marathon closed both sides of the freeways. Running under the bridges were amazing because I actually got to see and appreciate the structures. Running on the freeway was fun up until the downhill portion came up. The road was uneven and sloped towards my left causing a imbalance in my legs and ankles and it only got worse. That's when I can remember first time thinking about the hot spots and ankle pains. Finally getting back towards on Friars approaching my half way point, I once again felt like I could keep on going. Nothing was going to stop me. I was drinking and maintaining hydration along with Gu's, salt packets and FRS chews...things were dandy.
Did I forget to mention that the sun was now beating down and the heat was picking up. Passing by Rose's Donut Shop, (yes I did think about grabbing one to go) Morena Blvd. would prove to be my nemesis. Around mile 18, the walking would start. It probably started around 16 as my feet just started to feel heavy. With 10K to go, I looked down at my watch and was still on pace. Then, it happened... the pace group passed me. I found myself walking a lot more then finally getting over the bridge towards Mission Bay, I knew I was going to finish it.
Motivation was found all along the course. I ended up walking next to a guy that has been doing the San Diego Rock 'n' Roll Marathon since the inception in 1998 and was telling me that only 101 runners remained of the original 20,000. He had a pace watch and he told me that we were still good to go even if with a target of 13 minute miles. Easy right?
I just couldn't get comfortable anymore. That's the bottom line. My calves were fine (thanks 2XU), but my quads, hamstrings as well as feet were just about done. I would force myself here and then and it wasn't until right before Fiesta Island did I give it another go. I got a call from Lindsay (who ran a PR 1:36 half marathon) saying that she was waiting for me at the 5K to go mark and would run with me. That was just awesome. She met me at the beginning of Fiesta Island and off we went. Then I came to a halt. I just couldn't do that much more. I was falling far behind and next thing you know, I'm aiming for 5:30. With .2 to go, my fan group cheered me on, Lindsay broke off and I finished strong. Coming in at 5:24, I can say proudly that I finished. Taking my "official" post race picture, I witnessed a couple getting engaged which was pretty awesome. In face, the guy carried the ring w/ him the entire time while running alongside and finishing with his girlfriend. I walked at a very slow crawl grabbing my gear bag and hopped on the bus back to the trolley then over the car. Good times.
Post Run: Once I got home, I took a shower, changed and off we went to grab a Smash Burger. It was good but I couldn't really eat that much. My appetite wasn't all there as my stomach was full fo Gu Gel and whatever other things I was filling up with along the way. When I got home, a little post race ice cream then I crashed for an hour and half. Waking up with a massive, what it felt like hangover associated headache, I hydrated with Gatorade, another can of FRS and got ready for dinner at couples night. I put on more KT tape around my quads and around my feet, and set out. Good times!
Day +1: I woke up feeling good. Sore for sure, but better. Sleep was good, lunch was great and I'm walking again. I hear that I'm suppose to hurt a little more on day +2, but we'll see! I got some great seats for the Padre game, even got a pedicure and ate some good pizza. Yes I said pedicure. At the Padre game, on the way out, I also got a chance to shake hands and snap a photo with the Woz. Yes, the Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple and who is a Padre fan through and through! Exciting weekend for sure!
EEEkkkkkk.....that's all I can say to my upcoming San Diego Rock 'n' Roll Marathon. I was suppose to lose 15 lbs for my "ultimate racing weight" train harder and longer, but not one of those goals really were attained. I know I'm going to get my butt kicked, but if I can keep well nourished and hydrated, I'm sure to finish under 4:59:59 right? One of my best men and his wife, Mrs. Runblondie26 are flying in from Atlanta to run the half marathon. Matt is going to cheer us on and drink beer while Lindsay is going to rock the crap out of it. She recently got sponsored by Snickers Marathon Bar and will be meeting her teammates for the first time here in San Diego. She said that she'll back track and find me along the course and pace me to the finish and that alone is motivation. How awesome is that?! I can't wait for them to come to town! It's been a while since we all hung out together.
Here's a shot from my wedding back in August. Matt is second from the right along with his wife in front of him and standing behind me. Good times are a coming!
After yesterday's 30 minute run on the treadmill, I felt good for another, longer run. I figured out a good route along the bay and plus, Adelle and I could enjoy some San Diego sun. Running from our apartment and finally getting on the Embarcadero, we set out at a good relaxed pace for 3.1 miles.
When we reached our turn around point, we took a quick break, then started our way back. Watching the Garmin, I noticed that Adelle and I ended up running the second half at a slightly slower pace which was a let down, but hey, we have nine weeks right?! I was able to snap this quick pic of Adelle wearing her San Diego Dodge Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Long sleeve training tech shirt and the awesome weather that we got to enjoy! Check it! I was also able to take a quick picture of the Petco Park from the new pedestrian bridge that goes from the stadium to the Hilton. Good stuff all around!
Now what stinks is the GPS readings and recordings. Compare the two maps below and you'll notice that the Garmin Edge 500 didn't "find" me right away even though it said that it captured my location and the sporadic mapping through downtown is a little off. More or less, with the data from Google Maps, my Garmin Edge 500 and my Nike+ Pedometer, I ran a solid 10K.
View Larger Map
Feels like March came rather quickly this year and with that, it's always a good excuse to update and tell you what's been going on. This year, I've been motivated more than ever to to finally get into shape. It has, maybe a little to do with me turning the big three-oh, but I've noticed the fact that my metabolism, eating habits and general lifestyle is slowing down, getting worse and rapidly evolving when it comes to priorities. I have officially signed up for the San Diego Rock 'n Roll Marathon on June 5th and the Tour de Cure San Diego Century Ride which takes place just one month earlier on May 7, 2011. I can't say that I've officially setup my fundraising website for the Tour de Cure but I will have it up and running in the next few days. I promise.
Competitor San Diego just updated, revised and released the official race route for this year's marathon (PDF) and included an elevation map too! As you can see, there's a good climb / gradient starting at mile seven which, if you think about it, after you've finished the uphill battle, could reinvigorate you signaling that you're awesome done! I can assure you that's the way I'll be thinking about it.
Thinking about other races, I'm seriously considering the Carlsbad 5K where I'm aiming for the All Day 25K (Five 5K) Challenge. I'm in it really just for the medal but I guess by Sunday April 3rd, I'll already be within 60 days of the full marathon so running a half should be alright right? I even get breaks here and there between each 5K! I'll know how I feel about it after today when I run Miramar Lake for the first time. If I can do it without bonking out, I should be alright.
I'm also thinking about Bay to Breakers 2011 being the 100th anniversary on May 15th. It's calmed down considerably with the removal and strict policy of no alcohol, but hey, it's a family deal right? Should be safer and cleaner and... they also have a medal! A 12K race isn't that bad right? Who wants in on this one?! With that, I better get back to my other job at adellelijah.com.
I still haven't done any official swim lesions so until I feel comfortable swimming 1500 meters, I will be holding off on the decision to race San Diego TriRock Olympic distance.
So far, 4 days into 2011, I've already logged two good workouts, bought some new running shoes (Nike Lunarglides+ 2) that I think I'll be training and running my first marathon with and have posted both on adellelijah.com and elijahnicolas.com! It's a constant barrage of staying busy and trying to utilize the time I have whether laying over at an airport or working while commuting using Gogo's Inflight WiFi. It's a bummer that the free WiFi, sponsored by Google's Chrome over the Holiday Season, has expired so I'm back to paying for it but count it as a business expense right? I'm currently working on more write-ups and reviews for the next few days and my wife even has a couple in the pipeline. I couldn't be more excited to finally get things going again. For now, here's my bucket list for 2011.
1) Run a Marathon before I'm 30 (San Diego Rock 'N Roll is in June and my birthday is in July) 2) Work up towards an Olympic Triathlon distance for the San Diego Tri-Rock 3) Ride a century either for the Tour de Cure of San Diego Century 4) Continue to post from 3-5 entries a week for either elijahnicolas.com or adellelijah.com 5) Focus more in the future on my cloud based endeavors 6) Eat healthier and less 7) Get down to my racing weight by June which is actually 20 lbs in 6 months
Check out the new Nike Lunarglide+ 2s! A little loud as they didn't have the Wolf Grey / Blue combo at Road Runner Sports, San Diego.
Here's a quick pic of New Year's Eve 2011 celebrating it with great friends at Stingaree San Diego. Over priced at $50.00 presale and nothing included. Never doing that again.
Preface:I knew that I wanted to participate in a triathlon ever since I started cycling. The idea might have actually been planted in my head when I first found out that my AP Biology teacher, Mr. Rankin, was rumored to be an Ironman contender. Maybe it was after I completed my first 10K (Cow Harbor Race 2006), but that's all history. I will admit, that from couch potato to 10K taught me an important lesson in how sore one can get after a race like that, but it also started a chain of events that led to me to this.
First and foremost, I never really enjoyed running. Dating back to fifth grade, I was always a middle of the pack runner panting and breathing heavily and was the guy that insisted on walking around each of the four backstops that made up our track. I knew that I could swim since I was in the "advanced" swim class in high school phys ed. but it's been a ages (~14 years) and cycling extended distances with my Uncle Romeo and friend Ryan Espiritu forged the thought that hey, I just might be able to finish a sprint triathlon. My roommate for a short 2 months, Michael Mangan, another tremendous athlete, provided a little bit of encouragement to sign up, so I said, "Why not?" I also had another friend Kristen that was considering the goal. For my first triathlon, I set out two goals: To finish under 1:30:00 and not at the end of the pack; second to last would suffice.
I bought a book entitled Your First Triathlon by Joe Friel and began reading. I should have probably finished earlier than 1 week prior to the race and followed the 12 wk plan (being that I had a full 14 weeks before the race when I took delivery) but I guess I do what I do best; procrastinate.
Training: I did a couple of bricks (bike workout followed by a jog or a swim followed by a bike) and began the slow and steady journey to getting into shape. That is until the month prior to my wedding when things started really piling up, I fell off the face of the earth. In other words, my training went from semi-existent to non-existent. I never really swam that much (laps in an apartment complex pool) or trained for that particular event and sporadically the occasional light treadmilling. I knew that I was just doomed from the start but I didn't give up on the idea. Essentially, you might as well just say that I did not train.
Day before: I decided that I needed a wetsuit primarily for the water temperature but more importantly, I knew that it would provide extra buoyancy. It's more than awesome that Xterra Wetsuits happen to be not only one of the best triathlon wetsuit companies but the fact that it is headquartered in San Diego fits into my procrastinating habit! I set out, tried one on and decided to rent last minute as the price tag proved to be a little steep. I missed the 40% off sale by one day and it was my first sprint tri so I settled on the Vector Pro. That same Saturday was the TriRock Expo and packet pickup so I went back downtown, grabbed my bike and I decided to head over .5 miles to the Embarcadero Marina Park.
I felt good after watching the him set up his mock transition area using my bike as his example and then that night, I laid everything out. I don't usually go that far but my nerves got the best of me so setup my own mock transition area. Every piece of clothing and race equipment I would be using, I checked it off using the checklist provided by Joe Friel with my wife calling out each item. I was a definitely nervous and then I found out that a buddy of mine, Renato Villena, was also racing! I had a buddy and that alone makes things a lot better. I put on the race tatoos (I got the age group one upside down, but I rocked it like it was intentional) and then went to sleep.
Race Day: I woke up, already packed and just threw on some clothes. I threw on my new 2XU Tri Comp Short and Vest which ended up being a little tight and as Ryan Espiritu would later say, it make him feel like he wanted cupcakes! I was lucky to have my wife drive me to the race where I met up with Ryan and we set out to find our cubbies in the transition area. We got there rather early but it was relaxing. Near the time of the race, we put on the wetsuits and made our way to the start. The swim portion was starting off in the water already along with a band on a catamaran to entertain (as part of the Rock 'N Roll experience) but I would later find out I would be able to pay any attention to them. My nerves were calm, the swim didn't look too bad, I was ready.
Swim: I would just sum this portion up by saying, I need to find a coach and go at this with A LOT more training and effort. If it wasn't for the Xterra suit, I would have probably drowned or panicked but there were times where I was just floating there and near the end, since there were others backstroking, I started to backstroke too! I got out of the water and was definitely exhausted. I didn't come out last, but definitely near.
I also recently read that I could train or find a coach at the UCSD Swim pool and am excited to venture out that way and see what kind of training schedule we could come up with.
Transition 1 into Cycling: Lightly jogging to the cycling portion, I saw and excitedly waved at my wife along the sidelines and got to it. I couldn't take off the wetsuit that easily and had to eventually sit down hence my really slow transition time. I got on what I needed and started to jog out with the bike. I got on thinking I was going to hammer, but then started to feel a light muscle twitch on my left calf. Along with that, my Garmin cadence monitor decided that it wasn't going to work either (off by 1mm???)! Oh well, but I did see my mom on the way out and that gave me yet another boost of confidence! Thanks for the support guys!
I could feel my rhythm but it definitely wasn't fast enough. I was getting passed up by some of the ladies in the 25-29 group that was in the wave behind me but the last thing that I wanted to do was cramp up. The course was longer than I thought but I got through it and then made my way to the running portion. There were quite a few bands along the way to keep me entertained at the rather slow pace. I also made a decision that day that I should at least get some clip-on aero bars. I could have really used the more aggressive position or at least the "rest" position.
Transition 2 into "Jogging and Finish:" As I made my way to the cubby, I saw my fans (Ryan and Adelle + mom) grouped together and was able to start running. Handing them my bicycling gloves on the way out, I started to see the light! My legs surprisingly felt good and off I went. I neglected to put the watch strap adapter for my Garmin Edge 500 so I just ran with it in hand. (I've lost it since) Around 1.5 miles is usually when I start to tire a bit, but I was on pace with a couple of individuals that made it a pleasant run. One young lady told me that I was setting a good pace for her but I insisted that it was her that I was following. She eventually finished before me, but I was proud. Apparently, I would end up with a pretty good 5K time. When we reached the turn around point at the USS Midway, I could feel my mind take ease and my body start to relax but I kept on chugging. As I continued on, I kept on the lookout for the tatoos of people in my age group and felt relieved knowing that there were at least a couple of people behind me. Coming to the finish, I pushed it a bit more and saw my supporters cheering me on. I thought that I was done, but I still had yet to go around the bend for what felt like an eternity! I finally crossed the finish line and eagerly grabbed my first Rock 'N Roll medal, some coconut water, hugged it out and took some pictures. It was a great experience and I cannot wait for the next one wherever it may be. You can count on it to make this my yearly event!
Here are some links and pictures to the festivities!
To see my official times, check it out in the gallery! [gallery columns="2"]