Tuesday, January 1, 2019

fall and winter 2018

As 2018 comes to a close I am reflecting on the year... I can see that I have taken a step backwards in fitness. I had 2 job changes that took a huge demand of my time and energy. In Nov. I had a military school that took more time and a lot of energy. However December has given me the opportunity to refocus on me and the training I need/want. I took part in the Bigfoot trail race in Ohio at Salt Fork State Park, its a fun trail race in early December put on by Western Reserve Racing. I ran well and felt good.

The last couple years have brought me a passion for duathlons and triathlons. So much so that I have signed up for a half Ironman. Knowing this is a huge undertaking I went out and hired a coach to help me swim more efficiently and guide me on a path for success.

The last couple years also have shown me that introducing dairy and red meat back into my diet has hurt my body and my energy. In 2019 I will move back away from dairy in all forms and same goes for the red meat and back to more of my smoothies and protein from whey. I will also be playing with diet ideas from Matt Fitzgerald's book Racing Weight.

I am also reading and listing to everything I can find on how the mind works and why it tries to stop us from doing things that are beyond what it thinks we can do. The person who keeps coming up is
David Googins. I have listened to all I can find of his, and recently just got his book in the mail. I am implementing what I have got from his message each day. Just a few things I have found are - find your why.... why are doing what you are or want to do, - do something that sucks everyday in order to get out of the "feel good" zone. 


My events for 2019 are a lot lighter on ultras and more multi-sport events.


Just a Short Run half marathonlate march
Southern Tier Duathlon4/20/2019
O24 Ultra5/4/2019
Dam Tri6/23/2019
Muskoka 1/2 Ironman7/7/2019
Findley Lake Tri8/3/2019
Lake Erie Duathlon8/4/2019
Race for Recovery 5kSept
Tour De TamarackSept
OC100k ultra10/12/2019


In closing I am looking forward to training harder than the last 2 years and learning new types of racing. To date I am going to be sponsored for a 4th year by Hammer Nutrition. I am still waiting on an answer from Swiftwick Socks and Suunto. Columbia should come due in Feb. So 2019 hope your ready kolo 2.0 is coming in hot!!


#howihammer #chaseadventure

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Race for Recovery 9/22/2018

The annual Race for Recovery benefits Gaudenzia Erie, Inc. and their mission to help people affected by chemical dependency...Saving lives, families and communities. 

This is my favorite 5k and its local to me. It is run at Presque Isle in Erie Pa. On this day it was cool and very windy. I went into this race not knowing what kind of speed I would have. I knew i was heavier than past years and I didnt do any speed work. The last 2 years I was able to capture 1st and 2nd place and was hoping at least for a top 5 this year. I felt good and was well fueled for the race thanks to Hammer Nutrition.

As the race started 4 of us pushed to the front and by the first turn a guy had pulled a head of the other 3 of us. by the 2nd turn we had dropped the 4th guy and seemed it would be a 3 man race. By the 1st mile marker 1st place was about 30 steps ahead and myself and another guy were going back and forth for 2nd and 3rd. At some point i realized that the other guy was not challenging me for 2nd place any longer and found him tight behind me, using me to block the wind and save energy. I moved all the way to the left side of the road since he seemed to like to run near the center of the road. As he passed me I tucked in behind him for a while. 

As we past the 2nd mile marker we were gaining on 1st by a lot. and as we got to the point were we had about 3/4 of a mile left there is a sharp turn. We caught 1st at this turn and for a second i moved into 1st place but we were 3 wide coming out of the turn. The other 2 guys had more than I did on this day and were able to pull away from me. I was just trying to keep what I had at this point and watched those two go back and forth for a few moments. Finally the guy who was running with me most of the time took over 1st and kept it.

In the end I took 3rd but this was the funnest 5k I have ever been in. Racing close like that and having 3 people put it all out there was a great experience. I do love this sport and how even though I am 44 years old I am still able to get out there and race in top spots. 

Fuel:
Hammer Gel pre race
Hammer Endurance Amino pre race
Hammer Race Day Boost pre race
Hammer Sustained Energy during race
Hammer Tissue Rejuvenator after race
Hammer Recoverite after race


Gear:
Hammer Running kit

Topo Magnifly shoes
Swifwick socks
Suunto Ambit 2










Monday, September 24, 2018

Mighty Moraine Man Super Sprint Triathlon 9/16/2018

On my quest to improve as a swimmer as well as train and gain experience as a triathlete I went out and hired a triathlon coach. His name is Mark Wilson, he also has a tri club in New York and he is a race director for many triathlon events. With his guidance, along with help from friends I am trying to get this open water swim thing down, which is MUCH harder than it looks.


The date of this event was originally set for 9/9/2018 but due to heavy rains the event was moved to 9/16/2018. I give massive kudos to the race director and the entire staff/volunteers that pulled off moving the event date and had it go off with out any problems that I could see. The only real issue I had was for the super sprint it seemed like we had lack of direction at packet pick up, but this information could have been put out before I got there and just missed it.


The weather was perfect and water had small waves. The atmosphere was awesome, watching as these athletes race their specific distances was amazing. Watching the human spirit in action is incredible!  I picked up my packet and placed the tags on my bike and my helmet then started laying things out in the transition area. I was stressing a bit due to running later than I wanted and was not sure of where I needed to be, heck I could not even find where my bike was supposed to be so I ended up just claiming an area and made it mine. As I walked to the beach I started chatting with someone else that had started warming up and realized he had his marking on his arms and legs, I had forgot to get mine, I didn't even know where to get mine..... I did ask and went right off to get that done then got back to the water and started to warm up in order to calm my nerves.

As the race started I made sure I was last to start the swim, I know my week spot in this sport so I did not want to get in the way of the folks who were much better. The swim out to the buoy wasnt bad and I felt in control but when I turned to swim parallel to shore, the way the waves hit me made me uncomfortable and I started to struggle. I took a break and held on to a kayak to gather myself. I watch as most of the field was heading to the finish. I got started again and finally got to the 2nd buoy and turned toward shore. As I was heading back to shore the swim was easier again. I got to the point where I could stand to exit the water and as i stood up I remember looking around and seeing no one. This crushed me and I kind of slowly walked out of the water but as I got closer to the shore I started thinking about how strong I am on the bike and some how flicked a switch in my mind and started to run to the transition. As I got on the bike I focused on just mashing the pedals as much as possible. within a mile or 2 I could start seeing some other people, this got me going faster. At one point we had a hard left turn but it wasnt marked well and I missed it then turned around but still managed to come in 3rd on the bike. I had a great transition followed by a fair run to finish, I know I had passed a couple more people before the finish. I was very happy to find out that I finished 11th over all.

This was a great event and a good way to gain more experience in the triathlons.


Gear:
STTC kit
Hammer visor
Topo Magnifly shoes
Swifwick socks
Specialized Roubiax

Suunto Ambit 2


Fuel:
Hammer Gel pre race
Hammer Endurance Amino pre race
Hammer Race Day Boost pre race
Hammer Sustained Energy during race
Hammer Tissue Rejuvenator after race
Hammer Recoverite after race








Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Lake Erie Duathlon 8/5/2018

This race supports the Girl Scouts and they are all out there cheering, handing out water and draw the age group winner awards! The race is held at Presque Isle State Park, beach 10 in Erie Pa. The event consists of a 5k, 13 mile bike ride and another 5k.



This was my 3rd year doing this duathlon. The first year was great and I learned alot, the 2nd year I forgot my helmet out of transition, this year I wanted to fix all of my mistakes from the first 2 years and do well.


As we lined up to start I looked around and had seen a lot of the same faces from the first 2 years I had done the event. When we started I fell into the top 10 or 12 and ended up running there a lot of the first 5k. I quickly felt the lack of speed work and realized this was going to be a tough event, the only thing I didn't know was how many of the folks a head of me were part of teams, since they would not be considered for the over all. Just over half way I got real tired, not sure if it was the heat or what but the 5k became a lot of work.


I came into the transition, changed shoes put on my helmet and glasses and sipped on my Hammer Sustained Energy. As I crossed the line I jumped on my bike, put my head down and hammered the pedals as hard as I could. I was able to pass a few people but just after the turn around I was passed by someone who looked like they were barely working.... a mile or so later another passed, I looked down and I was going 22 MPH I tried to keep up but they were going way too fast, shortly after that a 3rd passed me. When he went by he made the comment "I just wanted to try and catch you, I am about used up" he did finish a head of me though.


I came into transition and swapped out shoes, went out for the last event. I got about 150 yards into the run and my hamstring knotted up.... it was very painful but I kept going until the turn a round. There I tried to massage and stretch it a bit. I was passed by 2 people at that point and just could not make up time and was barely running.


I did finish 9th over all and 2nd in my age group. I was happy with that!

Gear:
Hammer Tri kit
Topo Magnifly shoes
Swifwick socks
Specialized Roubiax
Suunto Ambit 2


Fuel:
Hammer Gel pre race
Hammer Endurance Amino pre race
Hammer Race Day Boost pre race
Hammer Sustained Energy during race
Hammer Tissue Rejuvenator after race
Hammer Recoverite after race












Sunday, July 29, 2018

EVL-9 Trail Race 7/22/2018

This race is held on the "mountains"of Ellicottville NY at Holiday Valley Ski Resort. On this day it was warm but raining, I had never run this event before but from what I was told we were to run up and down the ski slops for 9.7 miles. This race was well run and had a great atmosphere. I could easily tell it was full of local people who all knew each other. The event had both  4 and 9.7 mile events. I ran the 9.7.

I jumped into this race on a whim and did not at all have this race on my to do list. As the race started I got caught up in the moment and went out harder than I thought I wanted to. We climbed up a dirt road that lead to the ski slope and along the wood line, at about 3/4 mile we went into the woods on single track that was pretty tame and kept climbing up. at some point we were sent out to a dirt road for a bit then crossed over into another section of single track that had some rocks and roots but still pretty smooth. I was very surprised at how good the trail was, it is a mountain bike trail plus that area got a lot of rain the night before.

I had been training fairly hard a couple weeks before including the weekend of ( trail run and bike ride the day before) and by mile 4 my legs were getting tired. glanced at my watch and realized that I was running at a sub 9 mile pace, needless to say I was pleased to see this but didnt think I could keep it up. I had got passed by a few people and didnt know where I was in the over all but thought i was doing well. Around mile 7 we hit a dirt road for around a mile or so with a large hill and then back to single track for a bit. the last mile and half was tough on tired quads, it was switchbacks down the ski sloop, it was fun but tough. It was great to hit the finish line and see that I was still under 9 minute miles for the race but then found i was 25th over all, and this blew my mind.... 11th in my age group.

I will definitely do it again but will taper a bit next time. I am very thankful to Hammer Nutrition helping me feel great during the run, Swiftwick socks for keeping my feet happy in wet conditions and Columbia for great shoes and shorts!

http://www.buffalorunners.com/results/2018/EVL18_9.htm


Gear:
Hammer running kit
Columbia Montrail Rouge shoes
Swifwick socks
Suunto Ambit 2


Fuel:
Hammer Gel pre race
Hammer Endurance Amino pre race
Hammer Race Day Boost pre race
Hammer Fully Charged pre race
Hammer Sustained Energy/Fully charged mixed during race
Hammer Tissue Rejuvenator after race
Hammer Recoverite after race







Sunday, July 15, 2018

Tri in the Buff

     This event is near Buffalo NY and has distances to chose from. I liked the Try a tri distance ( 200m swim, 8 mile bike and 1.8 mile run) since it was my first triathlon and first open water swim. I had somewhat of an idea what to expect from racing duathlons but the swim had me a bit concerned.

     As the swim started I started to struggle right off the bat. Swimming into waves and having others around you was a new and crazy experience. I came out of the water near last place but past a few folks on my way up to the transition area. As soon as I mounted the bike I just put my head down and mashed the pedals as fast as possible. the route merged with the other distances a few times which was fun and by the time i had finished up the bike I was pretty sure i had passed everyone in my class. As I got into transition for the run i heard them say my name and said I was the first one in. The run was tough! It was HOT, I was tired and legs felt like rubber bands. I just kept pushing forward to the turn around and glided back. I did see a few people from my class along the way but I was pretty sure that they would not catch me.

     I finished 1st over all with just under a 5 minute lead. This was a great experience for many reasons: 1st open water swim, making up time on the bike, all of the craziness of a huge event. etc. I cant wait until the Lake Erie Triathlon and to go back to Buffalo next year.






Gear:
Hammer Tri kit
Topo Magnifly shoes
Swifwick socks
Specialized Roubiax
Suunto Ambit 2


Fuel:
Hammer Gel pre race
Hammer Endurance Amino pre race
Hammer Race Day Boost pre race
Hammer Sustained Energy during race
Hammer Tissue Rejuvenator after race
Hammer Recoverite after race







Thursday, May 17, 2018

Outrun 24 (O24)

O24 had never been on my radar but a friend of mine has had this on his list for a while now. we decided we would get on the wait list and do it together. We both made it into the event but life happens and he was not able to come on race day. This years hard winter and spring made it a challenge to get ready for this event plus I had no idea what to expect out of my Achilles. The event was awesome and though I did not reach my personal goal I was very happy to get 65 miles with NO pain in my Achilles! The following is from my Hammer blog. I know its kind of lazy to just cut and paste it but with a new job I am struggling to find time to document my adventures. I am confident life will even out and my blogs will improve
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I went into this event after a great duathlon and Army Physical Fitness test. Given I have fought an Achilles issue for about 2 years I was excited to see how my body responds.

The event is a 24 hour 1 mile loop style race. I had a goal of at least a 100k but really wanted 100 miles. I was not willing to relapse my Achilles though, so I decided that with any twinge I would stop. I took a bunch of Hammer samples to the race director and had him put them in the race packets, he seemed happy about that.

The day was unseasonably warm but clear. I felt good and was fueled well. Really my only concern was that i had not had enough quality long runs. After chatting with a bunch of folks I started getting focused on the task at hand and at 8 am we were off for a long adventure.

I felt great on the first few loops, my crew even gave me a few stern talks about pace, I didnt feel that I was putting in much effort I was just fueled real well. along the way I ran with one of the race directors and a Hammer team mate, which was very awesome. I was on pace for the goal of 100 miles and feeling great.

By late morning the temperature had risen a lot, due to the tough long winter we have not had any warm weather training and the heat took its toll on the field. I was able to stay steady until around the 50k point where my hips started getting really tight. I stopped for a few minutes to stretch and see if I could get them loose but nothing seemed to work. I had only fueled on gels up to this point so I had a Hammer raw energy bar to get a few extra calories in.

The hips didnt get better and as evening set in the temperature cooled but I it was getting harder to take steps. I stopped for 10 minutes to elevate my legs to get blood flowing and took the time to take a nap. When I got moving again I knew 100 miles was not in the cards and decided to get to the 100k point and see how things looked.

At 100k my energy was good but hips were not working well so I did 3 more laps and called it a day. It was a great early season event and I used about 17 hours of the 24 so I was happy. Hammer fueled me the entire way until about mile 55 when it was clear my day would be ending a few hours early, thats when I enjoyed some pizza.

My fueling plan was to have 2 gels each hour and if I need more calories I would use the Raw energy bars. I drank Sustained Energy and used 1 Endurlyte an hour. I also took 2 Endurance amino's, 1 race day boost, 1Tissue Rejuvenator every 5 hours. I used Recoverite and Tissue Rejuvenator.

I am in the 2nd week of recovery since O24 and about 3 weeks out from the Duathlon and I feel great. I will be right back at it on Tuesday to start another training block! Thank you Hammer

#howihammer
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Gear:
Hammer race kit
Columbia Montrail Rogue FKT
Swifwick wool socks
Columbia Titan Ultra shorts
Amphipod handheld
Sunnto Ambit2

Fuel:
Hammer Gel
Hammer Sustained Energy
Hammer Raw Energy Bar
Hammer Tissue Rejuvenator
Hammer Endurance Amino
Hammer Race Day Boost
Hammer Recoverite
*later in the race Pizza

























#Howihammer #Chaseadventure #hammernutrition #swiftwick #columbia