Monday, April 16, 2007

I AM A TRIATHLETE!

Although a slow one...but that is perfectly a.o.k!

I went into this with 4 goals:

  1. Finish a Triathlon. Accomplished!
  2. Finish in under 2 hours. Accomplished! (1:58)
  3. Do not come in last. Accomplished!
  4. Raise at least $2K for Leukemia Research. Accomplished! Over $4K raised!
So, I did not exactly burn up the track. I had a bear of a time during the swim and had to walk a few times on the run. But I DID IT!

Thanks to everyone who believed in me and supported me. This has been a rough ride considering the late start, the crappy weather, vertigo, anemia, a trip to Florida for a funeral, hypoglycemia, our pet dog eating our pet bird, flash floods, non-strokes, emergency trip to Texas, and falling trees. Essentially I did NO TRAINING AT ALL for the last 2 1/2 weeks. But, again, I DID IT!

A full race report will follow once I get some time to get on my laptop.

Final results:
Place Time    No.   Last Name      First Name  Age S Div   Rank Swim    Dash    T1      Rank Bike    T2      Rank Run    
===== ======= ===== ============== =========== === = ===== ==== ======= ======= ======= ==== ======= ======= ==== =======
  136 1:58:16    19 Leschnitzer    Dale         43 M        137   17:37    0:39    3:26   96   49:11    2:46  138   44:39 

Love and Sweat!
Dale (the Triathlete!)


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Friday, April 13, 2007

Off to the race! In a snow storm....

It is cold and snowing here in Los Alamos. The weather is predicted to be miserable for the 200 mile drive to Durango. But the good news is that tomorrow should be nice.

I signed up for the Santa Fe Century yesterday. That should be an adventure....

Well, I will try to find a computer for a race report. If not, wish me luck. Here we go!

Love and sweat (and a little apprehension!),
Dale



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Thursday, April 12, 2007

If a tree falls on the neighbors house, does it make a sound?

Yes it does. CRUNCH.

The weather has been down right miserable. Winds on Wednesday hit 40 mph here in Los Alamos. Our last poplar tree finally went over before we had a chance to cut it down. Part ended up on my neighbor's roof and there is some damage. Luckily no one was hurt and the damage is limited to a few broken terra cotta tiles.

Ah, the weather. Cold, miserable, wet. I drove through a large snow storm on my way back from Texas to New Mexico this weekend. They expect snow tomorrow for our drive up to Durango for the Triathlon. Maybe all of this cold weather training paid off?

We leave tomorrow. Race is Saturday. I am not ready. Hold on, here we go!

Love and Sweat.
Dale



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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

A week of terror and chaos



0404071947b.jpg
Originally uploaded by dalehugo.

Shortly after my sim on April 1, I met my wife and kids in Santa Fe for a little shopping. Linda sounded a bit weird on the phone but I was tired so I did not give it a lot of thought. When I met her in Santa Fe, she pulled me aside and gave me some very disturbing news.

The evening before (Friday) my mom had gone out to run some errands. Her part of Northern Texas was having heavy rains and was under constant tornado watch. As she returned at dusk to Nocona, TX, her SUV went over a low water bridge as it had hundred of times before. Only this time the bridge was under water completely and a flash flood was raging across it.

My mom's truck stalled and slid off of the bridge into the creek. It quickly filled up with water up to her neck. She was able to get the passenger window down and get out of the truck before it sank. She swam with the current and held on to a tree. A witness called 9-11 immediately but it took the local fire department between 30 minutes and an hour to get her out because of the location and strength of the creek's current. She was battered and bruised and swallowed quite a bit of water.

She was taken to the local hospital and treated for hypothermia and mild shock. She (luckily!) sustained no major injuries. She was released Saturday morning at 5am, just as I was leaving Los Alamos to run the sim.

It Gets Worse...

After several calls to my parents, we decided I would not go out to Texas. She was safe and although she had a ton of tasks to complete (new driver's license, the truck was totaled and still missing, etc.) I had plenty to do here.

Sunday morning I jogged lightly, ate lunch with my wife and kids, and took a nap.

As I slept, my dad was feeling poorly. He suffers from congestive heart failure brought on by a heart attack 13 years ago and a heart bypass. He has a pacemaker and is on blood thinners but he looked terrible last month when I saw him at Aunt Adele's funeral in Florida. He was ashen and gray.

As my mom played in the kitchen for a few minutes, my father slumped over in his arm chair and passed out.

My mom found him unconscious. She tried to revive him but he would not wake up. He suffered a mild stroke last summer and it appeared he had another one. Another call to 9-11 and the EMTs were back out to my folks, this time bringing my father into to the ER in Nocona. The stroke team stabilized him, took a CAT scan that reveled nothing, and then transported him to a larger hospital in Wichita Falls, Texas. He never regained conciseness that day.

My mom called us (as I napped) as the ambulance crew arrived to take Dad.

That did it. We packed up and the next day we headed out for Wichita Falls, a 600 mile drive. 2 adults, 2 kids, 2 vehicles, and 4 dogs. A long haul. Along the way my mom called. Dad was awake.

Then Dad was talking. And walking. And going to the bathroom. And bitching about the food. I spoke to him on my cell as I drive through the plains outside of Amarillo, TX. He sounded GREAT. No way he recovered from a stroke that fast that completely.

When we finally arrived in Wichita Falls, we found my Dad sitting up in bed. His color was fantastic. He was alert. He was on NO IV drugs, not even a saline drip. He had complete symmetry in his motion. There was no drooping in his face. No stroke.

The cardiologist also confirmed no heart attack. An echo showed his cardiac arteries were still clear. A pulmanologist said his lungs were fine. A neurologist also confirmed no stroke. In every sense he was fine, better than he was a month ago. Except for that nasty part about him passing out for 24 hours...

He went into the hospital on Sunday. He was discharged on Wednesday with no diagnosis.

On Wednesday evening, I found the truck. I forgot to bring my camera so I used my phone to snap pictures (which are on Flickr). It was about 75 yards off the road in the creek. It was up to the windows in mud and stagnant water. Later, I came back with Linda. The water line was easily 15 -20 feet above the creek bed. One hell of a flash flood. My mom was lucky to be alive.

The both were.

A later visit to my father's neurologist confirmed he did not have a stroke. It is suspected that he had a Bazil Seizure at the base of his brain brought on by stress from my Mom's ordeal and the congestive heart failure. It also turns out that my Dad's Coumedin levels were too low and he now is taking a month test to look at the clotting factor of his blood.

They are both doing absolutely fine! Amazing...

We left for Texas on Linda's 50th birthday. And today is my Dad's 72 birthday.

Naturally, I go no training in this last week. And little sleep and lousy eating. The race is this Saturday. I will train very lightly this week. But the alternative was a lot worse.

We packed clothes for my Dad's funeral as we left New Mexico. I am glad we did not need them!

Love and Sweat,
Dale

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Sim of the Tri The Rim

(For you alliteration fans...)

Saturday was a big day for training. We gathered to simulate the entire Tri.

Swim 500 yards
Bike 12 miles
Run 4 miles

I was up at 4am and did not sleep too well the night before. Also, I was (okay, just SAY it), a little constipated, which giving my internal anatomy is not common. So I was not at peak. A Cytomax shake, some oatmeal, a spoon of peanut butter got me going. Some Hammergel (Hmmm...Espresso!) during.

It was DAMNED COLD when I left Los Alamos, 27 degrees. It dropped to 25 in Santa Fe. It was about 42 in Albuquerque when we got started.

I know, whiney whiney whiney. But it adds up to detract performance.

The swim went okay. At one point I had a very hard time getting the breathing synchronized with the strokes (around lap 4 and again at lap 7) but overall, it was okay. A mad dash out through the locker room in shower shoes across the parking lot to the bike and off. I was pleased with the transition, considering the conditions were improvised.

The bike ride went fine. I overshot the turnaround point by about 1/4 mile but no big deal.

Back in for the run. The run was okay and I did fine for 3 1/2 miles. I did have to alternate walking and running for a bit. My innards were pressing down on me.

At 3 1/2 miles WHAM! My right knee shot in pain and it radiated all the way up my right side. IT Band, I am very sure of it. I literally limped in and got chewed out from my coach for not getting new shoes. But overall, with 2 weeks to go, I am happy. A little ice, a little Advil I was fine.

I did get new shoes. Pearl Izumis. The guy in the running store analyzed my gait, said, "Man, you got flat feet!" had me try on a bunch of pairs (including an ASICS which I normally wear but did not like this time, no support for side to side movement of the foot), and I settled on the Pearls. Hope they help.

Love and sweat,
Dale



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Thursday, March 29, 2007

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

And then Sunday's Bike Ride

With the Team in Training Santa Fe Bike Team. A beautiful ride (will try to post the actual ride on either mapmyride.com or bikely.com). Through the beautiful hills of Santa Fe, out of town into the neighboring communities. Saw Long Horn and dairy cows, Western Movie sets, and Buffalo. Great ride.

I took of my Crank Brother's Candy pedals and got some Speedplays. The Crank Brothers were impossible for me to get into no matter what I did. The speedplay were great. Easy in and easy out.

It was a 56 mile ride. I did fine and was strong and in the top 1/3 for most of the ride.

Until about mile 45. Then I had problems. I did not "hit the wall." I just got tired. I completed the Tri Sim just the day before and did not recover. We were going up a long, steady climb and the pace was all off. Too slow. I ended up have to really shift gears around quite a bit. Then it was over, I fell behind. The coach stayed back with me and she talked me into trying some sprints to catch up. I did pretty well but it tired me out. So for about 5 or 6 miles I was dying.

We finally stopped at the crest of the climb for a short breather, only about 4 or 5 minutes to allow the last two behind me to catch up. That was all that I needed. The rest of the ride was golden. 56 miles total.

It was wonderful.

That night came home and had a hot, hot bath with Epsom salts. Hmmmmm!

Not bad, not bad at all.



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Saturday's Torture! (and Triumph!)

Saturday it was up at 4am and off to Albuquerque for a full Tri simulation with the Team in Training. It was drizzling and yucky all week.

Saturday the sky opened up with moisture. It was DAMNED cold when I left (31 degrees) and it was sleeting and snowing (!) in Santa Fe when I buzzed through at 5:30am.

It was pouring and thundering when I arrived In Albuquerque. We decided to do the bike portion inside on Spin Bikes. I grabbed my gear and headed inside.

Before I left I had a bowl of oatmeal, some peanut butter, and a Cliff bar. I had a gel and had a bottle of Accelerade with me. My sugar was...well, it was too damned cold o get blood so beats me but I felt fine.

Into the pool. 400 yards (8 laps). Decent speed. Then off, going through the locker room, up the stairs (in lousy Corona flip flops...I really need to get some decent swim and shower shoes!), into a jersey and socks and shoes, actually donned my helmet, and on to the spinner for 40 minutes. I took a moment to put on my Pratt Straps to help support my IT Bands. I did not need any more knee pain. Glad I did as you will see.

I cranked the resistance up and down and pushed pretty hard. Up hills and sprinted on the flat ways. Good sim.

By then it was no longer pouring and we decided to run outdoors. At the end of 40 minutes "biking" it was off and onto the next transition. Off came the helmet and the bike shoes. On came the running shoes and the glasses and hat. And I was off running.

Now, I HATE running. The most I have ever, ever run was 5K (3.1 miles). One of the coaches offered to run with me. The Tri the Rim Triathlon has 4 miles of running. She had a course set out where on could choose 2, 3, or 4 miles.

I chose 4.

I warned her that I would probably have to stop and rest a bit. Also, I was fearing knee pain.

One mile and was slow but feeling fine.

1.5 miles. The turn around point for the 3 mile run. She asked if I wanted to keep going. Yup, what the hell.

2 Miles. 3. At about 3 miles my right knee twinged a bit and I walked for about 40 yards (she said I walked pretty fast...I did not want my heart rate to drop). I started up again.

3.5 miles. The finish line in sight. 4 miles running. Actually, 4.3.

I ran 4 miles and only had to slow down once, and not because I needed to breathe or rest. I had never, ever done this before.

Afterwards, my knees felt like hell. But a good stretch and I was doing just fine. About 80-90% of what I will see in competition at the actual Tri.

Wow. I was on cloud nine. Maybe I can actually do this?...

Love and Sweat,
Dale



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Some in between Training

Nothing exciting here, more just a log of what I have done. Will go into details about the weekend in another post.

  • Went for a very short bike ride on Wednesday, 3/21
  • Swam some pyramids and drills on Thursday, 3/22
  • Didn't do much on Friday (later)
  • Full Tri work Out on Saturday
  • 56 Mile Bike ride on Sunday
  • Rested Monday and Tuesday (and stretched and walked)
  • Simple weight training on Wednesday (today) 3/28. A full circuit. This evening I swam drill and pyramids, 1,2,3,3,2,1.
Back to the grind!



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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

But will I win?

Shortly after I told my mom that I was nuts enough to do this triathlon she asked me a simple question:

Do you think you will win?

I chuckled at that and said, no I will not win. I "just" want to finish.

That was several weeks ago and the conversation still rings in my ears.

Just. Just finish. Just. just....just...

"Just" is a strange word. I try to avoid it and also notice when others use it. It seems to diminish some pretty big things.

No, I will not "win" the race by coming in first.

I "just" will:

  • Swim 500m and then
  • Bike 13 miles and then
  • Run (and probably walk some) 4 miles
  • After weighing over 400 pounds
  • And never being athletic in my life
  • And never been athletically competent before
  • And being a couch potato for most of my 43 years
  • And fitting in training between work and life
  • And being able to only eat partial meals due to an altered anatomy
  • And being anemic
  • And being hypoglycemic
My goal is to cross the finish line and (hopefully) not be last. Can I do that?

Hell, yes! I guess that "just" might make me a winner after all.

The point is if I never tried, if I never got out there, if I never signed up, if I never trained, I would not just lose...I would fail. And I do not take failure well at all...

So for the Tri-wannabees, runners, swimmers, bikers, hikers, hell!, water polo players, whatevers like me, Carol, TriBob, anyone else in Team in Training, go out, give it your all, and just be winners.

Love and Sweat,
Dale



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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Five Hundred Fifteen Fifteen

25 yards per length.
50 yards per lap.
10 laps.
500 yards.
Fifteen Minutes and fifteen seconds.

One hyperventilated yet very happy former fat dude!

Lap Elapsed Time Comments
1 1:09
2 2:30 Breathing every stroke
3 3:57 Slow start, stopped in middle
4 5:28 Slow start, stopped in middle
5 7:04 slowing down
6 8:45 paused
7 10:24
8 12:04
9 13:38
10 15:15

Many thanks to Linda for keeping track for me. The hardest problem was keeping from hyperventilating. Tried every right stroke and also every third stroke to breathe. Ever since my surgery, really rigorous breathing is difficult. Trying to play the sax again was disastrous...

I know that 15 minutes may seem slow but I am absolutely thrilled. Who would have ever thought I would swim 500 yards at one time and not be exhausted?

Cool!

Love and chlorine,
Dale



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