Archive for June, 2013

PostHeaderIcon Copper Creek Race Report:

Copper Creek Triathlon Race Report: Woke up and headed to the race. The moon was full and not a cloud in the sky. The sun came up so I applied plenty of sunscreen then setup my transition  station and waited to go for a swim. I walked over to the swim course and talked to a helper about how the course looked smaller than it did yesterday during our practice sswim. He informed me they were making it smaller to try and get the swim in before the weather sets in. They moved it from 750 meters to 500 meters.  I told him that I had done the swim so many times in my sleep last night that I thought I was just ready for it and that was why I thought it looked smaller. They got everyone to the start line and then the skies parted and we were in a holding pattern to see if the rain let up.

Due to the rain and storms going through they changed the Copper Creek Triathlon to the Copper Creek 5K rain run. At 9:30 they decided that there was not enough time to get the whole race in so they decided to do a 5k run in the rain instead. Everything was soaking wet from sitting in your transition station in the downpour. So I put on my wet socks and water logged running shoes and lined up for the cannon to start the race. There was no time to warm up and stretch and I was tight from standing in the cold rain with only swim shorts on for 1.5 hours shivering. So I wanted to go out slow and warm up first then start running. I ran the 3.1 miles in 23:03. Over 6 minutes faster than my Pella 5k I did at Tulip Time. I was very pleased with how I felt and it showed that the training has really paid off.  That’s almost 2 minutes per mile faster pace.  So while I am disappointed that I did not become a triathlete today. I walked away with a great result in a 5k race.

PostHeaderIcon The Ah Ha Moment Arrives

I thought I would give a quick update on the swim training for the Triathlon this weekend. I have been in the pool for 1 hour every day since I signed up for the Copper Creek Triathlon three weeks ago. I have found it difficult if not impossible to swim more than 100 meters at a time. Most days I spend my time swimming one 25 meter length of the pool and stopping to catch my breath before going another 25 meter length. If I really push myself I can do one lap (50 meters) but I am totally out of breath and gasping as I touch the wall. I was talking to my mother yesterday and she was thinking it would be a good idea if I did not go this weekend and waited for the next race so I could get more time in the water. I explained that the only way for me to learn how to do this is to jump in over my head and see what happens. It’s the way I learned almost everything in my life.

Last night I was getting pretty psyched out about the swim so I started reading posts on a message board about beginner triathletes. I found a link to an article that changed my swimming in less than 15 minutes and I was not even in the water.  The article is on the web and it shows you how to swim 1650 yards in 6 weeks of training. The swimming 1650 yards is 1500 meters in distance which is a  swimming mile. There was one small sentence at the very end of the article that hit home and stuck in my mind all night.

“I recommend that you not tie yourself up in knots and get discouraged by technical concerns in the beginning. You’re here to enjoy some exercise, not go to the Olympics.”

Full article can be found here:


So today was planned to be a rest day with no exercise at all. However my mind had other plans. I woke up at 5am sharp and could not get back to sleep. I laid there thinking about the sentence above. So I got out of bed and packed my bag and headed for the YMCA for a morning swim. When I got there I jumped in and did a few laps while stopping at each end to chat with the people I swim with every morning. After my warm-up I read over the article as I had printed it out and taken it with me to the pool.  It talks about just keeping going no matter what type of swim you have to do as long as you keep moving. So I started doing laps. I did the freestyle for the first 25 meters and then rolled to my back and did the back stroke for the next 25 meters. 1 lap down and I was feeling good. So I made my turn at the wall and did the freestyle again to the other end. I continued to do every other length freestyle with a length of Back stroke in between. Finally after what seemed like a very short time my curiosity got the best of me so I stopped to look at my lap counter to see how far I had gone. I was not breathing hard. I was very relaxed and could have kept going at that pace. When I looked at the lap counter it read 20. This meant I had just done enough laps to equal 1000 meters and I did it in less than 24 minutes. This is by far no fast pace however it was a major breakthrough for me as I just swam for 24 minutes straight without stopping and I went 1000 meters.

What I learned from this experience was that I was so busy thinking about all the technical things with a perfect freestyle swim that my mind was racing and almost giving me a panic attack with every lap. I was breathing too much and causing me to hyperventilate in the water because that was what I thought I was supposed to do. Once I relaxed and just started enjoying my swim and letting my mind go and not worry about how great my stroke was I started swimming. The funny thing that the lifeguard told me was that my stroke was improving the more laps I did and the farther I went. She said that my stroke looked more relaxed.

I’m not sure that this will work for everyone but it sure changed my attitude about this weekend’s triathlon. Like most endurance sports the mental part is probably more important than the physical training. The Ah Ha Monent finally arrived and it could not have been better timing.


See You at the Finish Line,



PostHeaderIcon Bike test and Fitness Analysis


Today I spent the morning at Zoom Performance doing a bike Analysis and Fitness test. My bike was hooked to a computer and I was wired up and asked to pedal the bike till I could not pedal any longer. The computer raised the resistance and watts output every 30 seconds and record your heart rate, watts output, and Vo2 Max. I was amazed at how quick you can go from feeling pretty good to just dead on the bike. Having the mask over your face was hard to get used to and restricted your ability to breathe a bit. That’s my Zoom Performance coach Nick Mongar pictured.



PostHeaderIcon Dam to Dam Pictures

  Today I recieved my pictures from Dam to Dam 2013. It was a great day and the pictures were fun to see.

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PostHeaderIcon 12 Weeks Training Report

Today is 12 weeks since I started this journey. 7 more days till the Copper Creek Triathlon and I thought I would give you an update on training.


Running: My IT Band injury is healing with the help of Cory Drees at I have been going to a chiropractor for over 5 years but was not getting near the hands on corrections that I am getting from Cory. His knowledge of sports related injuries is outstanding. On my first visit he immediately knew what to do to start the healing instantly. It had been 10 days since the Dam to Dam and I was not able to run more than 1 lap on the track without sharp pains. Within an hour after leaving his office I was able to run 3 miles with very little pain. I ran 7 miles the next day and returned for a follow up visit yesterday and was worked on again to help with long lasting relief. It was great to get back on the trails and logging the miles after the time off.

Swimming: Swimming is going well. Lessons were really helpful to allow me to start working on a new swim technique. I swim every day for at least an hour and I am improving every time I get in the pool. I have found that swimming an hour early in the morning is an excellent way to start your day on a good note. I am not up to more than 100 meters without stopping at a time however I am logging about 1500 meters each session.  I am confident that once the group takes off in the Triathlon the adrenaline and my competitive nature will kick in and I will be alright with finishing the 750 meters. I am making new friends in the pool too as I have met many people who swim with me almost daily.

Cycling: My bike is going great. I can do over 40 miles at an average of more than 20 MPH. I would like to get a little faster but I am having a hard time while riding alone as I seem to fall back into my comfortable pace of around 19 to 20 mph as the miles fly by. Once again having people to chase in the bike part of the triathlon should be a good incentive to allow me to push my speed a little faster.  I have a bike Analysis and base fitness test to do on Tuesday to dial in my heart rate zones and lactic threshold to allow my training schedule to be closely matched to my fitness level. This is to dial in the Ironman training a bit tighter in the upcoming months.

Weight Loss: Well after 12 weeks I am now 40 pounds lighter than I was when I started this journey. I went from 221 pounds down to 181 pounds. I have gone from 35 waist jeans to 30 inch waist jeans. I am not dieting and I eat 5 to 6 times a day. I do watch my proportions a bit and still have cut all sugars out of my eating except for the White Chocolate macadamia nut Cliff Energy Bars. I stumbled on these and think I am addicted. My weight should be stabilizing here soon. However I feel great when I run as I no longer carry Raegan on my shoulders or should I say the equivalent of this in pounds. My knees and feet love the lighter weight. I even just switched to a new neutral lightweight shoe this week. I no longer need the cushioning on the heels as I don’t even run on the heels anymore.

See You at the Finish Line!



My old Jeans at 12 weeks


12 weeks and down 40 pounds


PostHeaderIcon 13 days to Copper Creek Triathlon

Just 13 more days till the Copper Creek Triathlon. Finally got to run a short 3 mile run today and the leg is still sore but not nearly like it was after the D2D. I am going to rest it some more and hope for a full recovery by the race.

Swimming seems to be the thing that keeps me awake at night as So far I have not gone farther than 100 meters without a break. I did over 1200 meters this morning but 50 meters at a time. With short breaks in between. Believe it or not the breathing out seems to be my hurdle as I tend to hold my breath until I come up for air. The race has 750 meters of swimming so I am working on getting up to that distance in a very short time period.

As for the Bike my A$$ is finally starting to adjust to Stella and her new saddle. I am feeling good about this part of the race. I like the new bike and it feels fast when I ride it.


See you at the Finish Line!

PostHeaderIcon Swimming Week 1 Complete

This morning I did my 1 hour swim workout and worked on my drills that my coach has given me to teach me proper technique. Now that my first week of Swimming is coming to a close I still have many things to work on before the Copper Creek Triathlon in 2 weeks. I need to figure out how to clear my mind and just swim as I am way to busy thinking on all the things I was told and I tend to forget to breath until I start to get behind on my form. This causes me to get anxious and then it’s downhill from there as I start lifting my head which causes my legs to drop in the water. I survived 5 hours in the pool this week so mission accomplished so far.


PostHeaderIcon Wow that’s a long way!

So after swimming for an hour in the pool I suddenly realized that the 2.4 mile swim of an Ironman is a lot of swimming. When you look at it as 2.4 it seems like a small number but this is equivalent to 3862.43 meters or swimming about 155 lengths of the pool at the YMCA. And you have to do this in less than 2 hours and 20 minutes. Then if you’re lucky enough to survive the cutoff time they will let you bike 112 miles and run a 26.2 mile marathon to cool down. You gotta love the challenge of it all though!


See You at the Finish Line!

PostHeaderIcon Copper Creek Triathlon 2013: First Swim Lesson

Copper Creek Triathlon 2013: Just completed day one of swim lessons. I had my swimming assessment today and my coach Nick asked me to swim two laps of the pool to see what my swimming was like. I almost died. I was gasping for air and totally used up. Coach Matt joined us and then they started giving me different swim apparatuses to help me change my form and we talked about what each drill is supposed to help with. A very productive day and at the end of the session Nick took me into the yoga room and taught me how to work on my IT band issue to help it heal quickly. During our end of session talk Nick told me that he wished he would have videotaped me because when I started today it looked like I was trying to prevent myself from drowning more than swimming. However by the end of the class I had improved tremendously. It was amazing that after doing all the drills and laps during the class, at the end I could swim the two laps without even breathing heavy. I was using far less strokes and actually swimming faster. I think my decision to join Zoom Performance was the smartest thing I have done on this new journey.

PostHeaderIcon Injuries and Setbacks

Well it’s official; I am a runner now that I have my first running injury. About a week before the Dam to Dam I developed Iliotibial band syndrome. It’s very common among runners and I did not know what it was at the time.  I did not want to tell my coach as I did not want to miss the Dam to Dam. Once I got it the pain just kept getting worse with every run. I finally had to stop running as the pain was unbearable. So the week of Dam to Dam I rested on running except for an Intervals workout on Wednesday night. With this injury you feel like someone is sticking an ice pick into the outside of your knee every time you take a step with that leg. I had hoped to rest it and run the Dam to Dam recovered. No such luck. The morning of Dam to Dam I felt the injury pop up after the first half mile. Then it proceeded to get worse the farther I ran. By mile ten my leg was on fire and now instead of an ice pick it felt like a hot iron was being forced into the side of my knee. As I crossed the finish line I could barely walk. I was helped over to the side by a worker. Later that day I could not walk at all from the pain of the other leg that tried to compensate for my bad knee. I finally consulted my coach and he confirmed what was wrong and now we are working on a plan to correct the problem. Luckily it does not affect swimming and biking so we will be working on those sports until the IT Band gets fixed and my knee is back to normal. My coach explained it was probably from overtraining and not stretching properly before and after each run. I guess I should have hired my coach sooner to avoid these things.


See you at the Finish Line!