Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Powerman/Georgia camp diary

So we arrived in Georgia to very nice weather and went to work right away with a Friday 3 sport day with a run at the river and Sope creek trails of 9miles and a Dynamo masters swim at noon and a spin to Columns driver for 30miles with Angelo from Wilier. Good day perfect weather. Next day it was off to Birmingham for tune up workouts for Powerman and a great funny movie(Hall pass. Race morning it was threatening rain but pretty cool which we were happy about since there has been no heat training in Montana for sure. Team Magic does such a great job of doing races. It was a pleasure to toe the line at a race I have done many times before and I was thrilled to pay homage to Therese and Faye at Team Magic. The course was brutal with a giant 600ft accent in 1mile on both runs! The first run I went out a bit hot and finally settled into my numbers of 145HR. I came in the T1 in 3rd with another guy. On the bike I went again by the numbers and settled into a smooth pace, knowing that a 60k bike and that run again would be very tough in this early season. I was surprised how good I felt on the bike since the outdoor miles in Montana have been limited. I came in the T2 in 3rd place. As I came out on the second run I was passed by the guy that beat me on the first run and I said to myself " see if he blows up and keep him close" well he gaped me pretty good and I was alone in 4th. I decided to shut it down and cruise in feeling good. I was pretty pleased with my 4th place finish and felt much better than I expected to this day. Kevin also did very well placing 7th in his group.

I planned on making this trip a "crash" camp and so on Monday I was off to the N. Georgia Mtns. Since I was not crippled from Powerman, I went to work. I woke up and did some light bodywork at NRG( Patrick and wendy's personal training studio) Patrick and Wendy have been great friends and have taken me in for the week. After bodywork I went to Dynamo masters swim for a quick 3k and then I was off to the mountains where I did 3 gap from Dahlonega(50miles with 4k of climbing).

The first Gap(woody)we used to go up this 5mile climb in 20min today it took me 29min, I tell myself "dont think about the old numbers"

The dreaded sign to" Hog Pen" seven miles of hell--- I passed--- not today with the legs and gear I had.

or the highest point in Georgia--- Brasstown--maybe next time

Sunrise Grocery, we called this the cricket store, this place hasn't changed a bit-- and like 20yrs ago, it was a snickers and a mountain du!

and of course the boiled peanuts

Next my favorite climb "Wolf pen"

In North Georgia there is no doubt on the political lean.

Coming back from Dahlonega I spent the evening with Jon and Jo Adamson in Alpharetta. The fittest older couple on the planet! Jon is an icon and ages up to the 75 age group this year and Jo finished second at nationals in the 60 age group last year. They are great people and great friends for a long time! Thanks to them for putting me up in there great digs.

The next day it was back up to the mountains for another big day. This time I went back to the archives and did the reverse 4 gap from the church(70miles and 6k of climbing) and a 6 mile transition run( the loop) after. The weather was cool so I waited until noon to start so like the old days I finished at dusk. This ride was emotional for me since the start of the ride( the church) was 300yrds away from where one of my best friends in the world fell dead from a heart attack. Dave Freikin
was an amazing guy and someone that I rode this ride with many times(hundreds)I loved him very much and it still pains me to think that he is gone. This quest of mine has him in my heart.

Dave Freidkin's sign, 200yrds from my ride start on Tuesday

I returned to my rent a car at the church and went out for a one loop(6miles) transition run. 44 min. I remember when I did 4 laps of this loop( very hilly) in 36-40min but those days are gone for sure. I was again pleased with getting this done and I have to say that this quest is motivating me beyond what I thought I was capable-- so far-- tomorrow is another day.

On Wed it was an early wake up to a georgia spring T-storm and a masters swim at Westminster with my buddy the "duuude" Bruce Erskine and old clone DJ Fairbanks. Pretty wiped but got r done 3k.

later I treated myself to a massage with my long time therepist Lisa Browning at core bodyworks. We go way back to track practice with Roy Benson. She is the best and her shop space is real cool. Thanks Lisa!

Jeff Galloway and coachjay

At the end of the day I did my first speaking engagement at phidippides in Sandy Springs. Phidippides was my running store of choice in the ATL for all the years I was here. The Store is owned by Olympian and running legend Jeff Galloway. It was great turnout around 25 folks showed up for their weekly run and to listen to my story afterword. What was really great was seeing some of my old clones who showed up for the event. Jeff Lochmandy, Dave Smith, Jim Burt, all where there reliving old times with coachjay's workouts. Tomorrow I do another Talk at the Ansley Phidippides.

Thursday March 31st

Got to sleep in today(8am) and started the day with a yoga class-- boy does my practice need work! then it was off to columns drive for a flat aerobic spin of 30miles, Next its a visit to my Chiro/health healer--Carol Samuels Carol took care of my crazy health as I torched myself in the ATL for years. She knows my body as good as anyone and it was a joy to have her work on me again.

next it was another talk at the other phidipides this time at the ansley location. And again it was a great crowd of 20+ and well received. It feels really good to do these talks and I believe it is helping me stay focused on my goal as well as(hopefully) inspiring others as well.

Friday April 1st

Early wake up today and a 5:30a swim at Dynamo. It was long course meters so that was really nice. I seemed to have lost my mojo a bit and I believe my altitude advantage has diminished since my workouts seem harder the last couple of days, or maybe its due to the 16+ hours of training thus far in the week, hard to say. but I got in 3400m this morning with oodles of 200s.

a bit later it was on to speedwork Dave Scott repeat miles x 6 at columns and I managed to surprise myself on these-- like most of you know sometimes you start out and have doubts you can do something but once you get going and get past that phase of doubt, you sometimes surprise yourself-- 9 miles total. Later this afternoon I made the trek up to "the dude" Bruce Erskine's cabin in Blue Ridge Georgia. Bruce and I go way back to the early 90s and he is a great Triathlete(has won age group nationals) and like myself likes and does many things that most triathletes don't. His cabin is awesome and was the inspiration for me building my cabin in Dahlonega.

The dude's mountain retreat

and the back with the bublin brook

Friday night we went out on the town in Blue Ridge for some very tasty and strong St Bernaird ales at the new Blue Ridge Brewery. We met friends AJ and Cristy and had a bunch of laughes.

Saturday April 2

After a late wake up and a St Bernaird obsorbing waffle house breakfast, it was on to the training of the day. A 67mile ride from Morgantown to the gaps and back. We met our friend Jerve, who lives on the route in Suches. The Duude has not been on the bike much the last 5mo. and recently had torn his groin while skiing in Utah. I did my Dave Scott intervals early on and tried to keep up with Jerve on the many climbs and steep rollers. The ride had 6k of climbing and took nearly 4hrs. I felt pretty good considering the amount of hours I had put in this week. ave 235w for the day.

Jerve and Bruce at the top of Wolf pen gap

And the Duude at the end of a hard, hilly, windy ride

Sunday April 3rd

after a night of college basketball and fairly low key, I woke up in the morning and per Bruce's instructions headed out for a 1hr 40min trail run. This was a great trail to run or mtn bike. I got it done per the Dave Scott's efforts and was very happy to wrap up the week of training with a whopping(for me) 23 hrs of training. Now its celebration time with a night with the band Furthur at the fox theater with the dude!

The trailhead for my long run in North Georgia/TN boarder

An unbelievable show at the fox with further and the set list was a great one. Highlights for me were, time, dear prudence and Terapin. So the week wrapped up with a bang and the
next day wrapped up with a floppy flop swim and easy bodywork at the concourse and on to the airport for a miserable flight(s) home with major delays. but all and all the trip was a success and I was able to get all my work in. I hope this block of training will get me another step closer to my goal. I want to finish this diary blog by thanking, Patrick, Wendy and Ryder Sheehan for letting me stay with them for most of the week. Bruce for some great Blue ridge cabin training and times, Jon and Jo Adamson for a great night of catching up, Angelo, for a Wilier spin to columns,Kevin Welsh for partnering with me for Powerman,Dynamo and Matt Rose for some great swims as well as Westminster masters for a workout. Phidipides and Jeff Gallaway for hosting my motivational talks on weds and thursday. also Peachtree bikes, Jerve, and my wonderful family for the support they always give me with my quest. also my sponsors, The Spoke shop, Time out sports, Wilier, Hammer nutrition, Desoto, Dave Scott, Rotor components, Quark, Billings Clinic, and all of you that have sent nice notes to me along the way. It really helps get me through the next thing.


Monday, March 21, 2011

Sponsors and a trip to the old stomping grounds

This week I will be heading to Atlanta for the Powerman duathlon and a week of training in the old venues I used to develop in the sport of triathlon from 1990-2002. I hope to log in some good miles while in the ATL. I would love to have some company if any of you ATL folks want to join me on some training or just getting together for a beer, give me a shout and let me know. I plan on going to the mountains a couple of times as well as hitting Dynamo pool, and doing some trail running at the river and Kenesaw. I will be giving a couple of talks about coming back from heart surgery and my vision quest at the Sandy Springs Phidippides running shoe store at 6 pm on Weds, March 30, and at the Ansley Mall store on Thursday, March 31, at 6 pm. Come by for a visit and a run!

The last few weeks of training have been pretty good. I ran the Pub Run 1/2 marathon in Bozeman on the 12th and I have to say I was pretty scared that I would fall on my ass in this thing and lose a bunch of confidence going forward. Fortunately, I did OK and got through the longest sustained effort since Heart surgery last spring. I placed 7th in the 40-49 age group in a time of 1:32. The course was pretty hilly, especially in the beginning and at the end there was snow and ice on a path for over a mile to contend with, so the course was 3-4 min slow.

The weather has also broke so I have been outside! Yippeee! No more computrainer and treadmill! I have started working with Dave Scott on my training and this has inspired me on some really tough sessions. You see, Dave has no sympathy for a tired old triathlete that has had multiple heart surgeries. I contacted Dave for some guidance because I find his philosophy and style a lot like mine, work-minded and relentless in his consistency. He is, however, a lot more detail-orientated in setting workouts. There is a bunch of data to organize for one of Dave's workouts.

This brings me to my list of sponsors so far for 2011's quest. I believe in all these companies and I have been promoting many of them for years now.

Wilier Triestina bikes is a storied bicycle manufacturer with a long history, I was sponsored by Wilier in the late 90s and rode a Wilier to a 46th overall finish in the 1998 Hawaii Ironman. I also rode for Wilier as a pro in the XTERRA off-road triathlon series in 1999. I am very please to be riding the Tri-Crono TT bike and the Cento Uno Di2 road bike for 2011. I will be posting pictures of both rigs with specs once the road bike is completed. Thanks Angelo and Wilier Triestina for your support!!!!

Hammer nutrition is an incredible supporter of triathlon and endurance sports for the age grouper. This and its sound commitment to providing the very best in sports nutrition made Hammer a natural fit for fueling my quest for 2011. Not only this, but Hammer is a Montana company with their head quarters based in Whitefish, MT. Thank you Hammer for your products and support.

The Billings Clinic, a world class hospital which has been instrumental in my progress with my Bicuspid aortic valve and series of illnesses and heart surgeries, has stepped up in so many ways. Some of my clients are doctors at the Clinic which has been awesome for me. The special attention and support my team of doctors at the Clinic have given overtime is very unusual. Dr. Sample, Dr. Gall, Dr. Duey, Dr. Gerbasi, and Dr. Ford have all gone the extra mile with my situation. And now The Billings Clinic Sports Medicine side has supported my vision quest with physiology testing. Becky Abrams and Dr. Willis have taken a special interest in seeing my progress through state of the art sports testing at the Billings Sportsplex.

Becky Abrams lactate tests coachjay on the bike in Feburary.

The Spoke Shop of Billings, MT has been in business for 38 years and, since I moved to Billings 8 yrs ago, it has been my home away from home. In fact, Ed Whitfield at the shop was one of the first guys I met when Sarah was interviewing for her job here. I got the feel from Ed that Billings was a great place to bike, as he sent me out for a tour of rides both on and off road in and around town. Jim Downs and the boys at the shop are the most knowledgeable folks in cycling in town. For all your cycling and Nordic ski needs, the Spoke Shop is the place in Billings to go.

Time Out Sports, like the Spoke Shop, has been a fixture in the Billings active community. Cindy Thompson and her crew take special interest in everyone who walks in the store. Not only does Time Out have all the good gear for running and other active outdoor adventures, they take part in the active community by helping organize and put on events. If you need some new kicks or running apparel, then Timeout sports is the place to go.

Desoto Triathlon gear and I go way back. I met Emilio Desoto back at the 1993 Super Show in Atlanta. I was a brash young triathlete and I asked this guy at the booth(who happened to be Emilio) to sponsor me. He looked at me like, who the hell does this guy think he is. The next time, was at the 1997 World Duathlon Championships in Grenika, Spain. Emilio was rallying Team USA to show as much enthusiasm as the Brazilians. We would race together many times after that and have battled in some big races. Not only is Emilio a fun guy on and off the race course, his gear is the best on the planet. I still wear the tri-suit from that 1997 worlds race(when nobody is looking). The Desoto gear just hugs the body and is the best compression clothing in the industry. And the T1 wetsuits are revolutionary. I am proud to be wearing Desoto gear in 2011.

There is so much to say about legendary triathlete Dave Scott. I am very honored to have him consulting with my training for 2011. I have met and talked to Dave many times over the years. I have done his swim sessions and participated in his track workouts. But I was most impressed with Dave at a Boulder Ironman Camp I put on in 2002. My wife Sarah called him to ask about epic bike and run workouts he would suggest in and around Boulder. I said, "He is not going to call you back. He is Dave Scott." Well, a few hours later as we were out eating, Dave left a, I am not kidding you, 40-min message describing in detail the rides and runs he would do. I thought that was amazing!

I like Dave's style of coaching -- it's a lot like mine. It is also nice that he is fairly close to me in Boulder and his two sons go to school at MSU Bozeman; this lets me have the opportunity to see Dave in person.

I wanted Dave to guide my training because of his physiological background and attention to detail; with my unusual circumstances this will be a critical component. This, along with his legendary toughness, should inspire me to do my very best. So far so good, I am working hard on his workouts and they are hard, and I have to say---I don't want to let "the man" down.

I have been using Q-rings from Rotor bicycle components for nearly 7 years now. I am a believer. Not only do these rings take out the dead spot in the pedal stroke, but, for someone with bad knees like myself, the Q-rings simply take the pain out of pushing over the top of the big ring. Kervin at Rotor is the man and has always been there for me with all my crazy questions and requests to get my bike just right for my old body. I just don't have any of my bikes set up without Rotor rings. And now I have their 3d cranks and q-rings set up on my road bike as well. Rock on Rotor!

Training with Power is a necessity in today's training age. I really depend on this data now more than ever to help me with my return to form. I have used every powermeter on the market, and was one of the first coaches to utilize power with clients in the country. Of all the units out there, I strongly recommend the Quarq power meter. Quarq is based in Spearfish, SD and no power meter is cleaner and more reliable than the Quarq. Their customer service is second to none and with the Quark power meter you can use any wheel set you want without dragging a heavy wheel around. The quark is light and as affordable as any power meter out there. When it comes to training and racing with Power -- go with Quarq and think fast!

My most important support group--- My Girls

My Wife Dr.Sarah Keller: Sarah is a professor at MSUB in Communications and works her tail off. She balances a busy work load with being a great mother to our 2 girls Chloe(5)and Cale(1). She is simply amazing with all she balances in our world. I certainly could not try to comeback to competition without her support and love. She understands what I have gone through and having done the Hawaii Ironman herself, knows how hard this quest is going to be. I can think of no one who knows me better and is able to deal with all my faults. In every way she makes me a better person.

Chloe and Cale Marschall: Our first child Chloe is now almost 6yrs old and is my shining light. She is full of vigour and fun. She rides her bike constantly and has become a great skier, having gone off the top of Bridger Bowl this year. We love to play UFC fighting championships in our living room, however she can't handle my leg scissor submission as of yet. Cale just started walking and her smile is infectious. She tries to get into our UFC fights with Chloe but I bet she is out of our weight class for now. When I was in the Hospital in Chicago, I bonded with Cale a tremendous amount and I am convinced that she gave me the strength to fight back. She is a love child.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Gearing up

So, it's been a few weeks now and so far so good. Of course I continue to struggle with being patient with the numbers of training and have to really try to forget the past. I am just trying to stay focused on making small improvements and staying consistent. This is what I am concentrating on right now.

After a brutal week of the flu. Sarah and I took a trip to Steamboat for a teaching conference that Sarah was in charge of organizing and I was able to piggy back on. The trip was awesome! We had an epic skate ski at Catamount lakes the first day. Blue bird skies and perfect skating conditions. Clone Kevin drove up and the next day we did a 3k swim in the outdoor fitness center pool in town all the while it was dumping that famous Steamboat powder. Kevin and I hit the slopes after for some great turns.

The next day it just kept dumping all night and Sarah and I hit the deep powder all day long. We connected with a local musician, that took us under his wing and showed us all the local tree skiing spots on the mountain. And because it was snowing all day the tree skiing was just the ticket for visibility. Tremendous skiing/boarding! We hit another swim, bodywork, run and another day of skate skiing for a pretty productive 4 days of training and fun on the slopes.

Back in Billings, the weather has still been wintery, very weird for around here, its said that we live in the Banana belt but so far this year the banana has gone rotten. So unfortunately, a bunch of my training has been indoors. not much biking outside. I have been doing it but I cant wait to get more miles outside soon! This past weekend I suffered through indoor workouts like never before as the girls went to the cabin, I road 5hrs on the computrainer and even did a 13 mile run on the treadmill, ouch!

my favorite ride from the cabin, much better than the computrainer! please let the weather break!

We have been working hard on trying to get support/sponsors for my quest this year and now this piece is starting to roll in. Sarah has done a great job putting together my story for potential sponsors. I have signed with Wilier bikes, Hammer nutrition and Desoto tri- clothing so far, with some others coming on board soon. I am also excited to be working with Dave Scott on my training. To have someone like Dave advising me on the work I need to do is a real honor and will really help me deal with my challenges as I go through the process.

so just 3 weeks until I tee it up at Powerman Alabama. This race is going to be really tough, partly because it has been a long time since I have done a race like that and because the outdoor riding in Billings as been nil. I will do my best but don't have much expectations here. After the race I will be staying in ATL for a week to get some good training and some climbing miles in. All you folks in the ATL, I would love to hook up with you for some training. Just let me know. I will be swimming at Dynamo, Friday the 25th, Monday the 28th and weds the 28th for sure and will be doing some riding and running as well. probably going the the mountains on Tuesday the 27th depending on the weather. It will be great to be back at the old training grounds. I also will be doing at talk an coming back from heart surgery at the Phidipidies in Sandy springs on weds the 30ths at 6pm and possibly at the Ansley location on the 31st. Come check it out.