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Prep for Steelman 2015 Olympic

Well I kind of fell off the blogging wagon a bit here lately(again). In my defense, IMLP vs IMCdA post took a bit of time to put together and I also needed to put together my next monthly post  for the iThlete HRV blog too. I have been training fairly steadily the past 3-4 weeks for Steelman Olympic which despite being a shorter distance event still takes up some time.

Ironman Recovery

I gave myself about a week and half of full recovery before starting back into training for Steelman. I was feeling pretty good after the week of vacation we had after the race in Coeur d’Alene, ID. I really took it easy that week and with the ongoing high temperatures out there it was fairly easy to do so. We took a ride over to Glacier National Park for a couple days, which was a bit cooler, and took in the beautiful views of the park.

Once we were back home, I used the first half of the next week to catch up on some home chores like cutting the grass. This provided a bit more active recovery too. By midway through the week I was eager to get back to it again. My bike arrived back to Keswick Cycle from TriBike Transport by the weekend, so I ran down there to pick that up on a Friday morning.


One personal item that has been a bit of a stressor was the recent decline in health of my dog, Yuki. Yuki has been battling Lymphoma for the past 5-6 months. He had been doing quite well up until about two weeks ago. When we returned from our Idaho trip we noticed that his Lymph nodes had gotten larger again. He was still in good spirits for a few weeks after but then we started to notice him get a bit more lethargic. He would pep up though when we went for walks or when his nemisis, “Black Kitty” would stroll leisurely by the front of the house. Actually just saying the words “Black Kitty” would send him into a rage of barking.

Yuki with Tails a waggin'
Yuki with Tails a waggin’

A couple weeks ago Yuki started to turn his nose up at his food. We were cooking him organic, grass fed ground beef or turkey, with some rice and vegetables and he was scarfing it up every meal until the other week. Now he didn’t want anything to do with it. He would take a treat here and there, but that was about it. We talked to the vet they recommended some smelly fish, or canned dog or cat food. We got some of that Little Cesar stuff and the first one he gobbled down and my wife and I were high-fiving each other. That was short-lived because he just barfed it up about 15 minutes later. Ugh!

It wound up being almost a week of him not eating. He was still drinking water though and still walking. Last weekend he really started getting slow and was throwing up foamy stuff a lot. Then he was barely drinking any water. Last Sunday we took him for a walk but he kept slowing down. You could tell he was stuggling to keep up. Monday morning was not good. He had puked a couple more times and was just laying around in strange places. I had to carry him outside to pee. My wife ended up coming home early and we made the dreaded decision that I had not been looking forward too.

Yuki went peacefully in our arms on Monday morning(August 3rd, 2915) at around 11AM. Although it was a very well done process by our vet and as comforting as something like that can be. It still hit me & my wife pretty hard. Yuki was my best buddy and I will miss him. He made me laugh everyday with his antics. He was a very independent dog and his personality was surely unique, but despite that he was still my sidekick in his own way. The house is so quiet now and coming home is so anti-climactic without him around. It will surely take me some time to get over the loss of him.


Despite the issues with Yuki, I still managed to continue training. I did miss a few workouts due to dealing with those issues or just not feeling up to it, but I still maintained some training consistency. The main theme though in the training for Steelman was Intensity! The workouts were much shorter than my typical Ironman routines, but I spent a lot more time with Mr. Zone 3 and Mr. Zone 4. Even had a few wranglins with Mr. Zone 5 too. What a jerk!

Training Peaks PMC Chart for Steelman 2015 Olympic
Training Peaks PMC Chart for Steelman 2015 Olympic

It was probably a good thing though to spend some time in these zones for me to get my speeds up a bit. My biggest weakness these days are my run speed off the bike. I need to work on this more this coming off-season as well. I think this time preparing for Steelman will be a big help here too.

Track Time! Workout speed
Track Time!

Surprisingly though, the increased intensity had a very positive effect on my Heart Rate Variablility(HRV) which I had not expected. Morning HRV readings went up into the high 80’s and 90’s and stayed up there for most of the time during my training.

HRV vs <a href=
TSS-June 29 to July 30 2015(QV)” width=”625″ height=”249″ /> HRV vs TSS-June 29 to July 30 2015(QV)
Lots of Green Dots in the Sweet spot - iThlete Training Guide-2015 Jul 30
Lots of Green Dots in the Sweet spot – iThlete Training Guide-2015 Jul 30

Pre-Race Speculation

My goal for the Steelman Olympic race is to get a top-10 in my age group. Looking at the past couple years results I think I should be able to do that. I would also would like to improve upon my last result there back in 2012. Despite being 3 years older, I think I have gotten a bit faster since then. I would love to get a podium, but there are a few really fast guys in my age group that seem to show up for that race year-after-year. I am not going to get my hopes up for that.

Other Stuff

My wife and I also ordered a couple inflatable Stand-Up Paddleboards a couple weeks ago. I thought this would be a good cross training activity and something we both could enjoy together. Xterra was offering a buy one get one free offer(Use Code: BOGO10) so I decided to give it a try. I have used their wetsuits for years now and they are great and well priced too. Reviews on the SUP’s were mixed, mainly due to a lack of customer service issues, but we gave it a try anyway. So far they have been great! I love the portability of the inflatables and they work just us well as the regular ones. That is according to my wife since I have never been on one until now. We took them out for their virgin tour at Smithfield beach on the Delaware River. It was pretty fun.

SUP on the Delaware
SUP on the Delaware

That’s all for now. Stay tuned for how Steelman goes. Can’t be worse than Ironman Coeur d’Alene right?


Ironman Lake Placid Week 20 – Mini Camp-Travel & Day 1


In order to get an early start on my work day, I decided to work from home on Thursday so we could get on the road to Lake Placid by 4pm. Due to some bad storms that day, Denise got out of work early, so we decided to get on the road earlier. It was a windy, raining drive up to Lake Placid for what would be my own little mini training camp for Ironman Lake Placid. My wife had driven the whole way up, so I had some time to catch up on some blog posts that I had not completed. We did have a bit of an issue at the Sloatesburg Rest Stop on I-87 when we pulled out of the enclosed parking garage and my bike clipped the hanging clearance guards, marked with the lowest clearance possible of the parking garage ON THE EXIT of the garage??? Really, why are these located on the exit of the parking garage?? Anyway there was no damage other than the brief panic we felt as we heard my bike clip them.

Saigon Spring Vietnamese Rest in Clifton Park, NYWe stopped in Clifton Park, just north of Albany, at a Vietnamese restaurant for dinner called Saigon Spring. It was pretty empty when we got there, so we were a bit skeptical about it. By the time we left the place was packed and people were waiting for an empty table. Food was really good. I had the Curried Tofu and vegan Summer Rolls which were excellent. Denise had some Seafood Pho(big bowl of noodle soup)

The sky began to clear as we exited Interstate 87 and drove through the Keene Valley. With the dramatic clouds and the sunset it made for a beautiful welcoming into the Adirondacks. We arrived at the house around 9:15pm, unpacked the car and quickly settled in for the evening.

Sunset entering Keene Valley, NY


After a good nights sleep, we awoke and headed into to town for some breakfast at the Breakfast club, I broke a bit from my plant-based regimen for some Blueberry/raspberry pancakes. I would eventually pay for this later. We then took a cruise around Mirror Lake to find a Stand Up Paddleboard(SUP) rental place for Denise. The plan was she would rent a SUP and paddle around with me while I swam. She had never done it before, so we weren’t totally sure how that would go. We found a place called Placid Boat Rentals located on the narrow strip of land right between Lake Placid and Mirror Lake. Steve, the owner, was putting out a paddleboard as we drove by so we stopped in. He was very nice and gave us a great deal.

Denise getting ready for some SUP!

We then sorted out the transaction details, got changed into our lake gear and headed across the street to the portage trail where we embarked. Denise was on the paddleboard and paddling around the lake rather quickly. I snapped a couple pictures with her phone and by the time I was done getting myself together she was halfway across the lake already. So much for my lifeguard.

This little guy was hanging out on the dock while I was getting ready for my swim. He was pretty tame and let me get pretty close to him.

Senor Frog

I slipped into the water off the end of the dock. It was pretty chilly. Even with a wetsuit on. We were at the far end of the lake, so I had a bit of a swim just to get to the Ironman swim course. By the time I reached the swim course buoys, Denise was pretty far on the other side of the lake already. I began my swim watching the yellow rope that runs below the course. The water was a bit cloudy this morning so it wasn’t as easy to see as I remembered. I was still sighting above the water as usual since I am just so used to doing that. I settled into my rhythm and cruised down the lake.


IMLP Swim Course

The water was pretty chilly. It must have been in the low 60’s(F) . My hands and feet were a bit uncomfortable at this point do to the cold water. I was wishing I could just hold them above the water and let the bright sunlight above warm them up. I pushed on and continued on to the end of the lake. The pancakes began to explode in my digestive system since I am not used to eating that kind of food anymore. I think the “inflation” of my wetsuit provided even more buoyancy than a typical wetsuit provides. Perhaps the USAT may want to outlaw these pancakes along with 5mm DeSoto wetsuits?


Schwind Schwimme


Why does Strava shorten my distance and lengthen my time? My Garmin said 1:24 and 2.44 miles when I was done, but Strava says 2.1 miles and 1:29? WTH? Ripping me off!

Denise finally caught up with me by the time I reached the other end of the lake near the usual starting point for the Ironman. We chatted a bit and then started making our way towards the other end of the lake. Denise tried to take some pictures of me with her phone, but the breeze blew her back towards shore as soon as she stopped paddling. I was in full gear at this point and my hands and feet were no longer cold. Maybe they were numb at this point.  I took a look around when I reached halfway down the lake and she was still down the other end. I continued on.

Denise SUP

I reached the other end of the lake and started swimming back to meet up with Denise who had made some progress now. We then made our way back towards the put-in dock, but Denise kept on paddling around. I glanced at my watch and saw I was ~2 miles now, so I thought I might as well go for the full 2.4 miles now. I then swam around the quiet cove part of the lake trying to catch her on SUP. I ended up with 2.44 miles in around 1:24. My goal for Ironman was around 1:20, so I think I can definitely hit that.

Lunch at the Good Bite Kitchen

We headed over to The Good Bite Kitchen on Main St. for some lunch. I was starving, so I had some Kale and spicy Seitan Sausage soup, a Pinto bean Hand Pie, and then an Arugula stromboli. We enjoyed our lunch on the little 2-person bar on the outside of the narrow eatery. We entertained ourselves while we ate watching the food purveyor delivery man who was dropping F-bombs every other word with whoever he was speaking to on his Bluetooth earbud. Interesting character.  After lunch we stopped down at EMS for some shopping for a little bit.

Heading down Cascade Mountain Descent

We headed back to the house and I geared up for a bike ride. I did a single, basic loop of the Ironman course without the out-and-back to Ausable Forks and Haselton Road. I also turned in at River Road and avoided the section into town. The ride ended up being around 38 miles which was perfect to get the legs ready for tomorrows’ long ride.

This canoe was floating down the Ausable River near the town of Jay as I was riding by. Seemed like a fairly decent canoe and there was no one to be found around it. It also had a branch laying across it.

Abandon Canoe on Ausable River in Upper Jay, NY

I worked up quite an appetite with the days activities, so we headed over to the Cowboy for some dinner. They have a killer veggie burger and sweet potato fries. The only thing I hate about the burger is it falls apart so easily and I usually end up eating the bun and burger separately. Denise had a customized version of the Green Curry entrée which the waitress had given sufficient attitude about her substitution making. Regardless it was all very good.

We got back to the house and after watching a little tube, it was time to hit the rack. Tomorrow was going to be a big day.