Having been a long time fan of Dick and Rick Hoyt I’m so happy this story of 8 year old Noah who pulls and pushes his disabled brother during a YMCA triathlon is spreading like wildfire. Noah calls his 6 year old brother his best friend.
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I train hard by most standards, which is normal by Ironman standards. My training volume is at the bottom of the rung for those finishing in under 17 hours.
As I was coming into the end of my Ironman Texas training a month before the event I headed out for my last tough run. I scheduled it during the hottest part of the day so I could prepare for the heat that would come May 19 2012.
The run started well, nice and slow with the heat hitting me hard right away. I run 9 minutes then walk 1 minute. This worked well but the heat was working on me and I could see my heart rate rising as I got hotter. My route is a 5.5 mile loop at Cullen park here in Katy. On my second loop I could feel stomach starting to crap up. My legs were already starting to get tired and I was drinking often as best I could. Stomach issues faded, hooooray!
I finished two loops and thought about taking a potty break, but I really wanted to just finish. This turned out to be a big mistake. After my water break I started my last loop to get about 2 additional miles in the can. Once I was about half a mile from the rest area, my stomach started talking again. It was at this point I remembered that gas during a run, is always a warning sign that the colon apocalypse is about to arrive. It happened again, I ignored it and kept at my slow run. This was also mistake. 30 seconds later I knew I was in trouble. I dropped my hydration belt, moved to the side of the path and dropped my shorts. Explosion followed. I didn’t have anything to clean up with so I grabbed some leaves and acted like a caveman. I had to hurry because I feared a group of people running up and finding me butt naked hunch over. Lucky for me I was all alone.
I headed back with hydration belt in hand, with my head hanging low and feeling spent. I was happy with the work I did but bummed I didn’t get the full workout in. I was very thankful that I didn’t fully crap my pants and thankful I had a towel to sit on in my truck. As I walked back I knew I did all I could do for the day and that it would have to be enough. Turns out it was.
Spartan Boulder WorkoutNew type of “brick” workout. In triathlon a brick workout is when you combine two pieces of the triathlon into a single workout. As I prepare for the Spartan Beast race at the end of the year I’m trying a different type of “brick” workout. The work is simple, pickup a heavy boulder, throw it, pick it up and repeat. The boulder in this video is a piece of concrete trash I found that weighs 37.2 pounds.
Usually this time of year I train for the MS150 by riding in a lot of the supported rides throughout Houston. I still plan on attending some of the hillier rides but I’m getting back to basics and riding in some of the smaller groups here in Katy. I did this yesterday and had a blast. I rode with the local Lifetime Fitness ride group for 44 miles. Tons of people ride this area which was a bit of a surprise to me.
The highlight being when I lead a long section that had the strong wind at our back. I wasn’t going at max effort, but pushing it pretty good. The route leader was behind me at the turn said we should wait and make sure everyone was with us. Turns out we dropped the rest and once they caught up one of the younger ones said “Wow you guys were really hauling it”. Indeed we were. We hit 27mph on a flat road, aided by the wind.
It was a good group. Everybody was really friendly. I’m looking forward to doing it again.
Houston Triathlon 2011 And Getting My Ass Kicked
A couple of weeks ago I participated in the Houston Triathlon produced by onyourmark productions. I signed up for this event due to my friend Kevin signing up and giving it rave reviews when he raced it last year. The race had sprint and olympic distances. I was in for the olympic distance (1 mile swim, 25 mile bike, 6.2 mile run). I almost dropped out of the event when I learned Kevin wasn’t racing but since I had already paid the entry fee I decided to give it a shot. I was on the fence about dropping down to the sprint distance earlier in the week, when I received an email that swapping was no longer an option.
I knew I wasn’t in tip-top shape for this event. Besides having pulled my back a few days before the race, I had been working out at the gym, but I hadn’t been doing any triathlon specific training. I had zero expectations for my performance and was looking at it as a great workout day. 1500 people had signed up for the two races and the race was sold out.
Houston Triathlon Path from 2010
Right off the bat I noticed some changes from what took place last year. While the bike racks were labeled based on wave start, they didn’t have assigned numbers on the racks. Last year they did. This is of note because a couple of people showed up late to the bike rack I was on, and started cramming their bike regardless if they had a spot or not.
The second item I noticed from last year was the path that lead from the swim exit to the transition area was a fraction of the width last year. Last year the path could hold several people side by side, this year could hold about one. I don’t run on concrete so as I walked on the red path, I heard several grumbles about having to go around me. Oh well.
The swim was a two loop course and it was pretty windy. The water was very clean for Houston and the course was well marked. I got banged up a bit since I’m a slow swimmer and had several waves starting behind me. I exited the swim with my head down and feeling pretty tired. I was happy the swim was over but I knew for certain at that point that it was going to be a long day.
Onto the two loop bike course and it was WINDY. The bike route is pretty much a square but you really only felt a tailwind on a small part of the course. I don’t mind looped bike courses but this one had a S loop near the end of the route that I wasn’t a fan of. Basically they had a street blocked off and took you down one side of it that was split in two, then back the way you came, then out the other side of the street to the end of the first loop. This enabled more wind in your face and the worst part was it had a lot of dust blowing up due to the wind. Two thumbs down for having an S track in a looped course. The course had at least one lane blocked the entire time which was very good. Very safe.
I'm jogging so it must mean it was early in the course!
The run for this event is somewhat famous for taking you into a stadium via the ramps at each side of the stadium.
This gives you some incline (a hill for Houston) and was the ONLY part of the run that had any shade. The fact that this part of the run was at the end of the course made for a hot day. One of the first drink stations was out of Gatorade and the drink wasn’t Gatorade but some other brand which I wasn’t a fan of. Nice energy from the volunteers at the aid stations but not a lot of people cheering on the course. Of course I was at the back of the pack so I didn’t expect a lot of people.
About halfway through the course the Houston Racing (HRTC) folks had a improv aid station that was a life saver. They had tons of ice and asked if you wanted cold water squirted on you from a watergun. Very cool. I was so over heated I didn’t mind grabbing handfuls of ice from a source that I’m sure had a lot of other hands in it. I needed some ice BAD. When I heard it was a HRTC station I was proud to be a member.
After about 3 miles of the 6.2 mile run course I turned it into a walk course. I was beat and couldn’t muster a run. I was exhausted and was getting some major sun burn. I was hanging on by a thread. Alone and walking is a tough place to be during a “race”. I saw several medics on the course and each time faked a big happy smile and tried to look normal. It worked as I never got stopped. The path through the stadium was pretty cool and broke up the course which was nice.
I finished in 4 hours and 30 minutes which is pretty dreadful. I was happy I could hand in there but it was a wake-up call. This was my first Olympic distance event and the mindset of it being a longer sprint was a bad one. Later I realized that I never though of it being longer than a half marathon, and I know I’m not in half marathon endurance shape yet. I finished without any injuries save for some ant bites which all things considered is a good thing.