Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Return..

Well after getting back on Tuesday I have been in recovery mode. Totally in recovery mode. I've been on the couch more time this week that total time since I have owned the couch! I have been eating pretty good too and sleeping well. Today is the first day that I don't feel any soreness and although I have felt like doing some sort of exercise I have refrained.

On a great note, I have signed up to volunteer for IMAZ 08 in Nov and look forward to going down and seeing Momo and family as well as some of the Outlaws cranking it on the course. Humm.. and maybe JT will be looking to sign up for Nov. 2009!.. we shall see.

I have finally downloaded some of my pictures and will look to post them in a day or two. So what's next for Iron JohnnyTri.. In reflecting more about my race day the first thing is obvious. I need to get faster everywhere. The swim part I will take to the pool with a local masters group. This will probably be my main focus for the next few months leading up to Soma! Oh! Did I say that out loud? Ya, I am going to look to sign up for it in a few weeks if it doesn't sell out and also look to sign up for the Disney Marathon in Jan 09. 

There is lot's to do and although my Ironman is done I really think I have been bit by the IM BUG as I'm wishing I would have signed up for Cda 09, like a few other bloggers have but I wont mention any names just yet until they reveal themselves! Hint:
They are local to my area. HA!

This coming week I will also be looking at some iron in the weight room. Something that I have not seen for a long time and should enjoy the change of pace.

Have a great weekend...


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

I'm Back..with the Recap.

YAHOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!! I am an IRONMAN!!!! I MADE IT!!!

Many thanks to all you watching and cheering me on! It was a long day but I got the job done in 15 hours 26 mins. 

Once getting there on Thursday night, it was simply check in in to motel and get to sleep. Friday, morning I was up and down at the Gatorade Swim. As I got in the water it was really cold, temp. then was 55*. As my hands were totally frozen, I realized this was going to be more of a problem as my body and face adjusted quickly to the water and I was able to swim a little. I was in the water about 30 mins and was fine. The rest of Friday I basically put my bike together and did packet/registration pick up. Later that day in the afternoon I meet up with S. Baboo and the gang and had waited so long to eat that I was Starving and we all stopped in at Outback and had a great dinner! Afterwards, I went back to the motel and I feel asleep from 5:30-9:30pm! I woke up for about an hour and slept till Saturday morning.

Saturday, I was back down at the Gatorade swim with the water a little warm, about 59* which was better. After swimming I found S. Baboo and Misty and was able to meet TriGreyhound, a fellow Texan and area Houstonite. Soon after we were walking around and ran into Bigun/Di and a few of the other New Mexico Outlaws. After a hanging out for just a little, I had to head out as I was hungry again and I had to get all the stuff ready for checkin.

I got things ready and  I headed down to bike check in and once all situated I headed to catch the WORST MOVIE EVER!
so do not waste your time or money on The Happening, because it was NOT! Worthless. Enough said. After the bad movie we got some noodles for dinner and it was off to bed around 9pm. 

Sunday, morning I was up at 4:30am eating pre-race PBJ's. I think I have done this so many times that I was kind of burnt out on eating them. I got down to the race site about 5:30am and of course it was busy. I got body marked and went to get my bike settled in and repack a couple of things in the bike and run bags. Then it was off to get ready for the swim. I got my wetsuit on and had minor freak out when I thought I forgot my Neoprene head cover but then found it on the bottom of my triathlon bag, whew. 

SWIM: 1 hour 56 mins

I got in the water and got used to it with no problem. I then came out of the water with about 3-4 mins before the start. I aligned myself WAY Right of the swim buoy, I mean I was like 100 meters off the main swim line and let me tell you it was the best thing! The gun goes off and everyone crashes into the water! Amazing! Music going, Mike Riley calling the scene! It was truly amazing, I only wish I could have seen it from the spectator side. As I went into the water I started swimming and aimed for the "v" in the mountain side and just kept swimming. I didn't really run into any other swimmers or them into me. I was actually an easier swim than some of the sprints or Olympic I have done! Once making the turn to come back in I was thinking, Hey, not too bad. As I approached the shore and stood up, Mike Riley yells "John Vigil from Las Vegas, NV" and I make the turn and head to the 2nd loop, which I wasn't able to swim as wide b/c the kayaks kept the swimmers a little more close together and therefore created a little more bumping at the turn points. Overall not bad at all though, I've had way worse Sprint and Olympic swims. (I talked to a few guys on the plane and they swam the main line and said it was a complete Washing Machine Effect with the ability to Survive!) As I approached the shore the Ford Ironman Arch could not come quick enough. As I got out there again was Mike Riley yelling, "John Vigil from Las Vegas, your on your way to becoming and Ironman!" and as I went past him on the beach he leaned out and gave me a Knuckle bump! Yeah!!!! My Swim time was right within my projected time frame. I would have like to have been about 10 mins faster but I figured with the calf cramp I swam with on the 2nd loops for about 1000 meters slowed me down but no worries, I am happy with my Swim!


T1 was great with wet suit strippers. Just lay down and yank! Off the suit came and I was off to get my Swim-Bike bag which was already waiting for me as the volunteers saw me coming, had yelled down the line to others and had the bag ready. I grabbed it and headed to the tent only to notice several people sitting in the Hot Tubs trying to regain warmth from the swim and unfortunately they did not look good. As I got the entrance of the change tent I heard Jenn yelling at me! It was great to see her there and I smiled and went it in. Again another volunteer was there who grabbed my bag, asked me about my swim and basically dumped everything on the ground and started handing me stuff. It was Great! "Anything you don't need leave in the bag and leave right here, we will pick it up and put it back for later." How great is that? I got dressed and headed out to my #8 rack where my bike was. As I was almost there I heard Jenn, Di, Dwayne and others all yelling!! Go Johnny, Hurry Up. I was so excited I saw the #8 rack and turned in and next thing I know I am on the wrong side of the rack looking for my bike, LOL. So I ducked under the rack and grabbed my bike with everyone still yelling and LOL at me, HURRY!!!! I take off to the mount line and I am on my way, Kinda. 

Bike: 7 hrs 8 mins (avg.15.7 mph)

As I hit the mount like I clipped in and pushed off only to notice the chain fell off! So I quickly fixed it and was all greasy. I pushed off and went around the corner only to realize that I had not put my Garmin on my wrist as it was hanging on my aerobars so once again I stopped and put it on my wrist and took off. Once on my way I was began drinking some Gatorade and tried to settle down into my rhythm. I made the turn around was back in town heading out to the far end of the course where the fun really begins. I was steadily drinking and eating my Fig newtons but they were just going down smoothly so I switched to all the shot blocks which seemed to be working. Once the rolling hills started I tried to make sure to keep drinking Gatorade on the recovery part as I knew the next one was coming. There were a couple of really climbers and made you work to get the top or crest of the hill but only to find it somewhat levels off and begins a gradual climb to the actually crest, yikes! After the first round of rollers I was heading back into town and feeling great as I made the last little dog leg turn by transition and came upon the TriBlogger Group which included Jenn. I am glad they all wore the same shirts as this made it easy to find them on the course during the day. I yelled at them as I passed, made the turn and quickly came back upon them as they all lined the street taking pictures. It was nice to see them and hear them cheering but it was quickly back to work on the 2nd loop. Once at Special Needs I stopped and ate my Pringles, basically took a couple of minutes to eat and stretch. I had to goto the bathroom but there was a line so I went up the road where there was a couple of port o cans on the run course and a couple of volunteers held my bike while I ducked in and went, no lines, no waiting! I was off and pedaling again through town and back to the hills. By this time my legs were a little more tired and I noticed the hills were not coming as easy as they were the first time but I was still hanging in there. On the nasty climber hill I could see some people walking up the shoulder and as I approached I told myself I was not walking/pushing my bike up that hill so SUCK it up and crank it. Whew, it was work the 2nd time but I made it and then started counting the last of the little climbers till I was back heading into town. At one point around mile 80 me and others got passed or lapped by the leaders like we were standing still. It's amazing how fast they bike!! As I enjoyed my last few miles on the bike I was working on the fig newtons and a couple of gels to make sure I had enough going into the run. I made the last little dog leg turn and was looking for the TriBlogger team but they had moved so I pushed it to get off the bike. It was really interesting how on the 2nd loop my HR had came down and I was running in my low Z2 which was great going into the run. At one time I even thought about pushing my HR up to the top of Z2 and riding faster but the legs were comfortable working at that pace/speed. End of the bike and glad to be done as I had to use the bathroom again.


Pretty easily in and out. Used the bathroom and changed. The volunteers once again were right there to help with EVERYTHING! I took just a little time to clean my face and as I started walking out of the change tent my right foot was numb and not wanting to walk but more of that on the run. 

RUN: 6 hrs 9 mins (pace avg. 14:06/mi)

The run course is completely beautiful along the water and through a little part of the town, it's amazing. I started down the park right out of transition and my right foot was basically asleep but hurting while walking. I tried running and it felt better but coming off the bike my legs were not really ready to run. As I went by Special needs on the run I say TriBloggers all sitting on the wall and they started cheering. I continued to run and made the short turn around by the park and picked up my special needs run stuff; sports run, red bull, band aids, and Pringles! I came upon the group again and everyone cheered! So right before this I hit the aid station and you catch this first station fast and twice as its a short turn out of T2. I was pretty hungry coming off the bike and so I grabbed a lot of stuff through this aid station but only to realize I over did it and started to pay the price for the next several miles. By now my foot was working fine but the stomach was not. It wasn't bad really just a little upsetting as I ran, so I would run for a short period, than walk, and run. I did this for basically the 1st half of the run. I saw Bigun and we were both playing the stomach upset game but making head way. As I finally made the 13.1 miles I decided to drink my red bull as coke was working for me. Just after drinking the Bull, my stomach settled and I was off and running at a nice steady pace. I felt great! Miles 14-21 were really good. The sun went down and it was totally beautiful on the run near the lake. I really looked around and I remember this well as I knew I was going to finish so I wanted to remember as much as I could. After mile 21 I had to start really thinking about running and keep moving. By mile 24.5 I came upon a group of partyers that were in the middle of road, drinking beer, dancing and having a blast cheering us back of the packers on. I was excited to be this close to the finish so I stopped and said "Hey, you guys have a beer I can drink? The guy goes, are you serious? I said hell ya! So he hands me a beer and I start drinking it right there! It was so GOOD! They are all yelling and saying, this guy is an Ironman!!! I go to hand it back to him and he said to just take it so I said thanks and started running. Just around the corner there was an aid station and I finished up the beer and pitched the bottle with a couple of the volunteers asking Where I got that from and laughing! with a Way to go! Just after this I caught up to a gal I had been playing the run-pass game with over the last few miles and we decided to walk a little and then run the last little bit to the finish line, however, by the time she was ready to run wasn't so I told her to press on and I would be coming slowly. At mile 25.75 the volunteers were saying "Just around the corner and there's pizza at the finish!" I even told them, you better not be lying or I am coming back to get you, lol.. I was so FREAKN` Hungry!! As I made the left turn I could see the Finish Arch but it was still a little ways off. I walked just another block and then started running!


As I started running I could hear Mike Riley yelling and the crowd cheering. It was exciting but almost like a dream. I have watched it several times via web cast and remember the lights, the people, the cheering, the voice of Mike and now it is all so REAL. As I approached the end of the chute where everyone was lined against, it go so LOUD! I mean really loud! I started smiling and was feeling amazing, someone stuck there hand out on my left side and I went to slap hands and next thing I know EVERYONE DOWN THE ROW had there hands out!! Amazing! I looked to my right but there was so many people I the cheering group on the edge yelling at me as well. I saw the finish line tape and just completely smiled as I crossed. I was so excited about everything I didn't even hear Mike R. say Your an Ironman but I remember the volunteers grabbing me, giving me my finishers medal and saying how great I was to be an Ironman. I then got my finishers t-shirt and hat and was at the end of the finishers area. I then walked straight to the FOOD! I grabbed a lemon lime soda and 2 pieces of veggie pizza and a couple of cookies. I was so happy to see the fellow bloggers at the food area. They gave me lots of big smiles, high fives and hugs! I then was able to meet Duane and take some picture and then had to leave as I headed for more pizza and my bike run gear. 

I am sure there will be more thoughts but Overall this race Kick ASS!! The course is beautiful and the volunteers are wonderful. The area is amazing and I would definitely recommended this race as a first time Ironman for many reasons!

I Want to Thank everyone for being out there all day! The Triblogger crew was up at 5 am and was there at the finish. They Rocked!!

Below is another pictures that Duane took, more to come as Di took some as well.

I'm tired, gotta go nap.. 


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

It's down to the wire.

In just a few short hours, tomorrow; Jenn and I will be heading out to Coeur d'Alene. So we go from the picture of Vegas to nice Pine Tree's and Mountains.

Everything is pretty much laid out on my floor and ready to go into the suit case. The goal for tonight is break down the bike and get it pack and finalize everything in the suit cases. Then head over to Jenn's and help her with packing!

But before I pack up the bike I have to show you my newly borrowed wheels!

Thanks Liz!! I am looking forward to the Extra 2 gears on the cassette as well for this course!

Work is busy so I am trying to wrap things up and make it known that I am leaving tomorrow at 2pm!! I feel great. EXCITED, NERVOUS, SCARED! But I am as ready as I can be. It will be exciting to just be at an Ironman event! I will be taking all kinds of pictures. And Speaking of pictures, here is a nice picture from Bigun` who is already up at race site, taken this morning: I think Bigun' might be eating at that PANCAKE HOUSE!!

I will have a laptop and will try to update on Fri/Sat. but no promises... so hopefully the next blog will be from CdA..

See you all soon, or maybe you'll see me on !!!!!


Sunday, June 15, 2008

One week from today.

This time next week the race will be on!! and we will all be out there doing our thing or others will be watching online and checking in on there special race athlete.

Taper has been everything as expected. Feeling cooped up and resting all week does have it's disadvantages. It gives you lot's of time to think if you have done enough to make it to the finish line of 140.6 miles. I guess this could be looked at as a positive thing as the mental game of Ironman must be considered. There are types of situations to think about and realize that you must handle them with calmness and patience's. Keep moving at all costs! I have actually enjoyed Taper, maybe, too much as my workouts this week were really short or non existent but either way the time has come and no amount of training, either short, long, intense or easy can make me any more ready for next Sunday!

As I am checking the weather forecast, it seems it keeps changing and now there looks like some rain is possible, 30% on one forecast and 60% on another. Can we really predict what the weather will be, humm, probably not but does it really matter in the grand scheme of Ironman? No. B/c just like all the other athletes out there we will all enter the water, rain or shine!

This week I will look to finalize my packing and lists to make sure I have everything. I will pack up my bike on Wednesday and come Thursday it will be time to go. The week will be short but also long in anticipation. I will be looking to hit Lake CdA on Friday to really get a feel for this cold water.

Today, Father's Day, I enjoy the time with my dad and talking about the race and listening to the last minute mental strategies and any advice he can provide. He and Mom will be watching that day and I know he will be glued there all day!

until next time...


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

And my Number is..


Hey, isn't that Houston Area Code, Yup! Sure is .. Ha!

10 days, 15 hours.. and counting...


Monday, June 09, 2008

Say What...

it's tapering time.. yup as this is the start of the 2nd week of taper and things are looking and feeling good! (don't believe anything Formulaic says, wait, it's pretty much all true!! Dang! and yeah I also got good practice on looking over my should and holding my line to see him checking out my bike form from afar, hehehe.)

I was able to get a 2 OWS swims in with Formulaic and the Mrs. and what a great experience as the first one brought nice big waves and the 2nd brought smaller faster waves. Rounded out the 1.2 mile swim in 52 mins swimming with the waves and against so it was great experience and a nice slow time, wait, I am slow! HA! And I was also able to try out the Neoprene head cover which really worked even though the water was only about 64-65*.

On Saturday morning Formualic came over nice and early and we were out the door on my side of town heading to Red Rock for a nice easy 60 miles. The wind was kicking from the left for the first nine miles which made the gradual grind it out uphill climb not as fun as it usually is, yes, it's FUN! But when we made the turn onto the loop we had a little push through that part of the course. There were some of the Las Vegas Tri club peeps out riding and I was able to talk to a few, one who gave me a few ideas/suggestions for CdA as he took the Dave Scott Seminar when he did IMFL07. At one part of the loop where we have some nice down hill I pushed the HR and was able to catch a guy that had dropped me earlier on one of the climbs. Soon after Form and I made our way back to the house and quickly performed a T2.

As we set out on the run it was feeling nice and hot and even with sun block it didnt take long to start playing the HR game. Run until the HR gets too high and than walk to bring it back down. I started with 6 mins runs and 1 min walk but again with the heat I wasnt able to keep cool long enough to keep my HR down. So anyway, Form was nice enough to run with me and once finally over heating and getting sun burned I stop at 5 miles. Oh, Form had these DeSoto White Arm Coolers (compliments of Mrs. Form, ur so spoiled Form) that were pretty neat and he said they totally kept him cool, although I am not sure how as the boy didn't even have a hat! Dude, get a hat!! lol..

Well what can I say, I am overheating and inside and Mr. Badass Form with the DeSoto Arm Coolers went outside to run up and down my streed like 7 1/2 times!! to round out his mileage to 8. Way to go dude!!

Sunday I rode on the trainer for about an hour messing with my seat again and my aero bars and I feel finally 85-90% comfortable! It will have to do for CdA and now I am worried that when i break the bike down for plane shipping I'll be back at 60-70% cuz I wont be able to get it back in the right spots. But I am going to mark every freakn` angle and distance there is!

This week finds more cut backs and rest! Yes!

And as posted on the IronmanCdA Peeps bloggers site, I had to order these b/c I figured if we can use them why not get them before I get to CdA and pay 2-3x as much!


Thursday, June 05, 2008

Bring on the Chop!!!

AS you can see by the pictures below this Open water swim was just a little Choppy!! lol

So Formulaic texts me and says I should get to the Lake for some practice in the chop as CdA might bring winds and swimming in Lake Mead's chop will give good experience. Now one thing he didnt think about was Sure I could go do this but I needed Safety and he just got asked to come along. He and Mrs. Form came on out to the chop which was totally great and I thank you both super much!

So as you can see it was no smooth glass swimming here. The water temp was listed at 67* but felt cooler and we determined it was about 64*. Warm compared to CdA.

We get set and away we go. It took just a little to get used to and then Form and I were off and swimming toward a buoy while Mrs. Form was swimming parallel to the shore. It was a little crazy timing the waves of 3-4ft. but we managed to get a little swimming in and experience swimming with, against and along side of the waves.

Now if CdA is anything like our swim, I doubt it will even happen, it was pretty rough although some of the pics dont really appear so but if it happens to be like this than at least I wont be totally freaked out and panic.

16 days!!


Monday, June 02, 2008

it's TAPER

THE TAPER!! Is that what we all work for weeks on end to get to in the last step to Ironman? Well, JT, has officially made it there and I wonder just how well prepared I am?

This comes from a long day in the saddle on Saturday when I went over to Dave’s house and got set up on his computrainer. I set everything up just like race day will be and started plugging away at the 1st of 2 loops but only planning on doing the 1 loop. Inside Dave’s garage it was getting a little warm, although out of the direct sunlight I timed my bottle refills and bathroom breaks with the actually course and only stopped where there were such things. I did have to stop a couple of extra times and mess with the damn seat again as it was totally uncomfortable and giving me problems! I don’t think I ever got it 100% but it stop bothering me for short periods of time and I was able to “deal” with it.

As I cranked through the 25-40 miles where the Hills are for this course my avg. speed dropped as expected and by the time the last 15 miles came I was ready to crank it back up but kept my HR where it should be and finished the 56 miles at 3 hrs 33 mins. I decided I should keep going as Dave as not back from his ride so I restarted the trainer and away I went for the 2nd lap. Dave showed up when I was around mile 68 by which time I had started up the tv with the Tour de France of Lance winning #7 and was just cranking away. We chatted a bit and he went inside to do what he had to do. By this time I was ready to feel what I was going to feel like come the Hills and soon I was finding out! As I went into the just pedal and watch tv zone I really began to get tired but next thing I knew I was out of the hills and heading back into town.

The last 15 miles are pretty flat with mild down grade and I was ready to get off the bike as I was out of Gatorade and my seat was still bothering me! So the end of the 2nd loop, time: 3:45 mins. Total 112 miles = 7:18 of Actual Moving time, but with seat changes, bathrooms and stretching just cause, it was 7:45.

Thoughts: This course is a little tougher than I was expecting but if the trainer provides a harder bike than I will be more mentally and somewhat physically prepared. I was not looking to be on the bike this long but again if I am than I know not to panic as I will be within all the cutoff times even if I come out of the water 2:18 mins and get on the bike by 9:30am, worst case scenario.

I will make it to the run and from then on it will be just get to the end, so SWTRIGAL I will be looking for you.

But what an accomplishment, 112 MILES ON THE FREAKN` BIKE TRAINER!!!!!!! YEA!!!

I was so tired on Sunday that I didn’t even run, I slept and ate and slept some more. Today I feel better and will look to get some short runs and swimming in as the bike mileage drops out and we get closer!