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2006 Recap & Update

Hi Everyone,

It has been a little while since I have posted, so let me bring you up to speed. Since IMFL I decided that I needed to come way down. My 2006 season was almost 10 months long.

Post race I took 2 weeks almost completely off, then followed those two weeks with 2 of doing whatever I felt like. The only structure that I added was in the weight room.

I have also being giving free triathlon clinics around the city of Madison, which have been held at the Fleet Feet Running Store, The Trek Bike Shop and SBR Coaching Facility. The turnout for the clinics has been great, with between 50 and 65 in attendance.

On the work side of things, I moved from Starbucks to a new brewery in town. Things have started slow, but I am now putting in over 50hrs per week and the business is picking up. Hopefully, this will 'line the pockets' a bit before I head down to Clermont, FL again for 8 weeks.

Between 50+ hours per week at the brewery, 20 hours of training, coaching and running the seminars…

IMFL Race Report

Ironman Florida Race Report

After a chilly day at Ironman Wisconsin , I thought I would go for redemption in Panama City Beach . I flew to Houston a week out and made the 10 hour drive over to the beach with my training partner, Justin( www.justindaerr.com).

As race day got closer I felt strong, rested and eager to line up on the beach. After arriving down at the start, it was obvious that we were in for a bit of an adventure. The temperature was 43*F and there was a stiff wind that was blowing parallel to the coast. This meant that there would be swells and waves to deal with for the entire swim.

The cannon sounded and I expected to get pummeled at the start, but to my surprise there was very little contact. I managed to get into the group and the hardest part was not the pace, but just dealing with the conditions and not swallowing too much salt water. We rounded the turn and somehow my part of the group decided to head out to sea….after about 30sec or so, and finally being ab…

"The Weatherman is an idiot!

It has been a loooong while since I have posted, so I wanted to check in. I wasn't sure how training would go after my recovery from IMWI or if it would be hard to get back into things. Well, it hasn't been hard at all and I am more motivated than ever to do well.

Yesterday I had one of my biggest training days, or should I say hardest training days, of the year. It started off with a threshold morning swim and then went straight into a ride of 5hrs, the ride was 60min building to IM power, then 60min @ IM power, 10min easy, 4 x (5min Big Gear/2min LT/ 3min IM), 20min easy, 40min IM power, 10min easy, 3 x (12min IM/ 3min HIM) then steady home. Off the bike I ran 2hrs with 90 min at a HR of 157-62, around 6:30 per mile.

The ride started great, it was cool and cloudy(like all days lately) and forecast called for a mix of sun and clouds, PERFECT......or so I thought. I got about 90min into the ride and as I made a turn back into the wind, the sky was BLACK! "Awesome! 50* and r…

Blake Defends & WINS the 2006 Muncie Endurathon

“The Becker Buzz”

July 15, 2006

Blake Defends & WINS the 2006 Muncie Endurathon

Swim: 30:09 Bike: 2:11:52 Run: 1:26:38 Finish 4:10:47

After 8 solid weeks of training, it was time to rest and then test my fitness at the 2006 Muncie Endurathon Half Ironman in Muncie, IN. This year was different then last. When I won the race last year, no one really thought that I would be in contention for the win. This year I was the defending champion and wore the number one. I tried not to give it much thought and though I had only been training at Ironman intensity I was confident in my abilities. I just told myself to trust my fitness and race my own race.

The race started off on a high note with the non-wetsuit swim. I knew that the swim was usually a bit long and thought it would be a good pre-IM test to see if I could stick with the lead group of faster swimmers by taking the swim out hard. The gun went off and I held my ground and stayed with them for about 1k of the swim. Thoug…

Update

Well, I am sitting here in a hotel in Muncie, IN waiting, waiting, waiting until tomorrow morning when I will try to have another good race here at the Muncie Endurathon. The race organization has done an awesome job again this year in putting together what looks to be another great race. They also were nice enough to put me up in a very nice place.

This year will again be competetive with the athletes, but there is an additional challenge of heat and humidity forecast for tomorrow. I have not rested like this in a long time, so I hope that means that I will have a good day.

After the race I am hoping to be able to recover well enough to do a local sprint race on Sunday...I know, if you are an athlete you know that this is not the BEST idea, but you have to do what you have to do, for a shot at a paycheck!

I will post results and a report after the weekend. Hope all is well with everyone. Time to get some rest.

5430 Sprint Triathlon - The Becker Buzz

The Becker Buzz

June 2006 Training Update

· 5430 Sprint Race Report
· Training Update
· Ironman Wisconsin

5430 Sprint Triathlon

Yesterday I race the 5430 Sprint Triathlon here in Boulder, CO. It is the first race in a series of three for some great prize money. Though doing well in the overall series is important, so is the big picture (Ironman). I showed up to the race at the end of a big week that included 20km of swimming, just under 700km of riding and about 90km of running.

To hopefully compensate for my high volume, I started the day with a long warm-up that lasted almost 2hrs. In hindsight, it may have been a bit too much.

The race started and I missed the group I would have liked to swim with. As a result I didn’t have a swim to write home about. Whoops! You have to play with the cards you’re dealt, right!?! I got on the bike and rode hard up into 4th and entered T2 about 20sec down on 2nd and 3rd. I pushed the first hill and managed to move up into 3rd, with j…

The Becker Buzz...

The Becker Buzz!
http://www.blakebecker.com/

This Edition:

- 2006 Apple Duathlon -
- USAT Coaching Certification -
- Training in Boulder -
- Upcoming Races -
- Season Sponsors -


2006 Apple Duathlon

I headed back to Wisconsin for Memorial Day weekend to visit family and to race the highly competitive Apple Duathlon in Sartell, MN. After getting food poisoning, missing my flight and sleeping in the Chicago bus station overnight, I finally made it back to my home town of Madison, WI…..3hrs before I had to leave to drive to MN. “Control the controllable,” I thought. You can read more about the fun if you visit my blog. http://blakebecker.blogspot.com/


I drove with my buddy Brian up to the cities where we stayed with another friend, Jesse, for the race. We arrived just in time to catch a bite to eat and head to bed. I woke early and ate my usual pre-race breakfast of coffee, Boost, a banana, Hammer HEED and did I mention coffee? J I have found that a liquid diet the day before and morning of a race …

Where Do I Start???

Ok, firsts I want to apologize for being terrible about posting my blogs. There has been a lot going on in the last month, so stick with me and I will try to summarize the best that I can.

#1

First off, I have been doing most of my training solo as of late. JD, my training partner, had to go to be with his dad who is having some difficulties in the hospital. It looks like everything is going to come out alright, but my best goes out to their family.

#2

Training has been going really well. I have gotten in 500 - 600 km on the bike, in the mountains, in each of the last 4 weeks and have been running 85-95 km each of the last 5 weeks.

One thing that I have learned about altitude is that is NEVER gets easy. I am realizing that you just have another set of numbers up here and that you are always slow! :)

#3

This last weekend I headed back to the midwest for a visit to the family and to race the Apple Duathlon in MN. I was scheduled to fly out on Thursday morning in the middle of the morning…

Boulder Baby!!!

Well, I made it. I am finally in Colorado and it is everything that I thought it would be...So far. Since I haven't written for a while, I will cover a few different topics.

Before I left Florida, I raced St. Anthony's in St. Pete. This is one of the largest Olympic distance races in the country and it was a great test to test my fitness. In short, we had 3 foot waves throughout the swim that made many turn back, I had to fight to keep from getting sea sick on the first leg. I came out of the water just under 21 minutes and crossed the timing mat, just over. I was very pleased with how things were going thus far. The bike was windy and I felt strong, I knew that I wasn't riding my best, but I came off feeling pretty happy about things. Onto the run. I just couldn't get it going, I felt a bit flat and that my blood sugar was low. I just pushed through and ran the best that I could. I managed to snag the 5th amateur spot overall and a solid race before leaving Florida.

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Testing Where I am at....

The title of my post could represent many different things. Since it is late I won't go into detail about where I am at in my life and I'll just stick to racing. I will tell you that I am in a great place. Meeting many new people, seeing....well, so far just FL(not awesome), but I am leaving for Boulder on Monday. I am sure there will a lot to write as I drive 2,000 miles across the country (any takers:). I will get to drive through where Katrina hit last year. I am looking forward to a first hand experience of where that part of the country is at. Anyway, I get one life...and I am living it. I just have to remember the stories to tell my kids someday.

Where am I at in my racing and training? I'll get to find out this weekend against some of the best. I am racing at St. Anthony's (www.satriathlon.com) this Sunday. I have had a good start to the year down here training with JD and with only a few weeks of speed work in me, most of my fitness will come from bas…

Keeping it all in perspective...

I was having a conversation with my mom the other day (one of many, as we are pretty close) and we started talking about various things going on in our lives. After a few tangents in our conversation, I said something like, "Ok, now on to a brighter subject..." (If you know me, then you know that I sometimes avoid conflict, something I am working on.) We both laughed and agreed that our lives are Pretty_Damn_Good compared to most in our world.

Then, we somehow found ourselves talking about how easy it is for people in general to complain about life, people love to tell you how terrible things are for them. More specifically, about things that are out of our own control. Topics that I have heard more than once, include; the weather(heat/humidity), events that have taken place in the past, not having a lane at the pool, traffic jams, competition at races, flights being cancelled, missing an opportunity, etc., you get the point...

Sometimes, I find myself complaining to others ab…

A Few Early Season Training Pic's

Image
Here are some early season training pic's from Clermont. Marc & I before Escape From Ft. DeSoto. (Marc kicked my ass!) From left to right: Marc, JD, BB. Pre-swim at the Training Center. (That is Tim in the background, he the Ironman North America Swim Course Director). "It's BLUE I tell you, not pink!" (JD and Marc giving me crap for my drag suit) I was forced to wear it after losing my square legged suit. The suit blue, until the chlorine bleached it pink!


The Becker Buzz....

The Becker Buzz…

April 11, 2006

As the 2006 season is getting underway, my time here in Clermont, FL is quickly wrapping up. Starting in May I will leave my home here and travel to Boulder, CO where I will train for the rest of the season.

I have been and will continue living and training with another athlete, Justin Daerr (www.justindaerr.com). Justin and I decided to get together to train, not only because we are close in age, but also because we have similar athletic backgrounds, goals for the future, as well as the same drive and determination to be the best athletes we can be.

Training started off great, I have been setting PR’s in the pool and have over 100 training hours logged in both February and March. Along with the great training, racing has also gone well. I pulled out a win at a local 10k, a 5th place finish at the Tampa Bay Half Marathon, and a 3rd place finish at the Escape From Florida Triathlon, a race that draws hot competition!

After the good start, I encountered a l…

Back on track...

Well, I am finally back on track...and online, for that matter. I had to be fairly cautious with my training for about two weeks, due to an old overuse injury. Lots of ice, stretching, epsom salt baths and massage have gotten me back to my usual training self.

Anyway, time is flying by here in Clermont. I have about 4 weeks left until I head to Boulder, Colorado to train for the summer. This is something that I am really looking foward to. Boulder is sort of the Hollywood of triathlon. This is where "it" is at. I am looking forward for the opportunity to meet as many people as possible and learn from the best.

For the rest of my time here I will race quite a bit since my overuse injury didn't allow me to race the past few weekends. I am heading to Birmingham, AL this weekend for Powerman Alabama, it is an event that every multisport athlete would like to do at some point in their career. It has been around for a long time and has some history that goes with it.…

Patience My Friend...

Sorry that I haven't written in a while. Between training, racing and traveling, time to write has been limited.

This last weekend CJ(Justin) and I raced the Gate River 15 k in Jacksonville. I have come off of 3 weeks pretty hard training and racing every weekend, so needless to say, I didn't have the legs that I wanted. I did manage to run 53:22 and considering everything, I have to be happy.

CJ had a great race and came in under the time goal that he had set for himself. Even more impressive was the fact that he set his time goal based on a "flat course." The race would have been flat, except for the 2 bridges that we crossed. Now most people might say that a bridge is not a big deal to run over. Well, those people should run the bridge that came at mile 7 and I would bet that their opinion might change a little. The climb was almost a mile long and was fairly steep for the last 800m.

Other highlights of the weekend included watching the elite runners part…

Off and running...(not skipping)

Well, another week of training has gone by down here in Clermont and everything is coming together pretty well. Here are some highlights of the past week:


***On Wednesday I rode with Joanna Zeiger and had a blast. Hopefully we'll do it again this summer, when I get to Boulder.


***Earlier in the week Justin and I had our run workouts at the NTC. I just worked out that we were there at the same time as a few local cheer/dance teams who were doing their thing on the track to the tune of "YMCA." After my workout of an hour of aerobic running, I came back to the track and asked how Justin's skipping and sprinting drills had gone, he said that the sprinting went well and that he couldn't bring himself to skip in front of the little girls. I told him that they would have loved it...if those girls had seen an elite athlete skipping around the track, he would have been the coolest runner that any of them had ever seen. In fact, they may have even come out to join him! Oh we…

Thankful for...

This afternoon was really the first "easy" ride that I have had down here since I arrived about 10 days ago. I really took notice to a lot of things.

First, Florida can be really beautiful when you are away from the sprawl that seems to be everywhere. It seems as though there are lakes in every direction and down every road. If you are away from traffic, it is actually quite peaceful. There are citrus groves ALL_OVER down here, it adds a color to the country side and an aroma to the air.

I have also notice other things that really make me thankful for what I have. Florida, is probably one of the hottest and most uncomfortable places in the country for much of the spring/summer/fall months. There are some houses here that aren't any larger than some people's living rooms. The houses are falling apart, the yards are not kepts up and I doubt whether many of them have even a window air conditioner. I remember growing up and feeling uncomfortable(sleeping with a wa…

One Week Down...

Well, I just finished up my first week of training down here in Clermont with a little over 33 hours in the books. I have to say that I was bit tired through a lot of it, but have started to feel better as the week went on.

On Saturday, JD and I decided to race the Clermont 10k. We both ended up having good days for racing through a higher volume training week. I took first in 34:21 and Justin came across second, making it a solid 1-2 finish. We decided that going 1-2 as often as possible throughout the season, regardless of order, would be pretty sweet. After a post race bagel or two we found some nice trails that we will definitely be back for. Results for the race can be found at:

http://www.buttar.com/events/results/index.htm

Coming up I have the Tampa Bay Half Marathon next Sunday and then Florida's Great Escape Triathlon on March 5.

Let The Games Begin...

BB

Ohhh The Sun...

...finally I feel like I have arrived in Florida. Our hardest day of training so far, but the pain was eased a bit by sunny skies and temp's in the mid 70's. The morning went well even though my arms were no where to be found during our 3,000 yard time trial as our mainset. When you aren't swimming well, it is NOT a fun workout...but you don't think, you just swim.

After an ice cream cone at Baskin Robbins to help the re-coop, we had a 14k run which ended with a few strides. Our ride this afternoon was flat and I actually felt quite good. About 90-100 minutes of steady (230-260 watts) riding inserted in the middle.

Tonight we took a trip to Outback Steakhouse to use some of Jeager's (Justin's) b-day goodies. It was a nice mental break in the middle of our week. Also nice not having to cook on a night when you a tired. Tomorrow the fun begins at St. Leo University with the swim team. It is nice swimming with faster swimmers and a coach on deck.

Not much …

Clermont, Wisconsin ?????

If you would have told me that after I left Wisconsin I would still need my arm warmers on the bike, I would have laughed. It is a good thing that you didn't, becuase I have had to wear them the last 2 days. We rode 100k yesterday with the temp in the 40's and winds that were gusting well over 40mph. Our ride was a bit better today, but tonight the temps are suppose to dip down into the 20's. No worries though, 80*F may be possible by Thursday.

I am starting to get into the swing of things and feel like I will be able to get a routine down by the end of the week. The National Trianing Center's pool will hopefully open in the next day of two, I should know a few solid bike routes and the orange groves are becoming my favorite place to run.

In other news, I met Joanna Zeiger and Sheila Tormina lastnight at the neighbors. For those of you that don't know them, they are both olympians and training here in the area for the season. When you see athletes of that qu…

Orange, oranges and more oranges

Today we had a long run on a dirt road that ran through endless groves of oranges, really refreshing...literally. It was fairly windy and probably about 65* when we finished our run. I made the comment to JD that the back stretch seemed a bit warm. He gave me a strange look and said something to the extent of, "that isn't warm, just wait dude." 65* isn't warm, but it is 60* warmer than the running I had been doing in WI.

After our run we met a few other local athletes who are going to join us on our long ride tomorrow. It is going to be cool for FL, probably 50's, but anything is better than the 30* I had to deal with back in WI.

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After a few days here I am starting to enjoy things more and more. The National Training Center is just up the road and it cool being able to train close to athletes that are currently at the top of our sport. As soon as the pool at the center re-opens I have a feeling I will meet many others...as many…

Chocolate Milkshakes and Unicorns

Sorry to anyone that has tried to call...the first morning that I woke up down here my phone died. I have to send it back to Wisconsin and wait for a new one to be shipped down. Until then, it is email.

Yesterday was a JD's 25th and we went to Universal for a little roller coaster entertainment. We went with 2 friends of Justin, Stacy and Sara. It was quite entertaining with highlights that included cramming into a unicorn roller coaster car that was designed for 6 year old girls. The idea of going to Universal was to get to know J a little better, which was good...but next time we'll leave out the unicorns. The second highlight included returning to our car only to find a chocalate milkshake poured over the entire left side by a guy who decided that he didn't enjoy the fact the Stacy had pointed out he parked a bit too close in his tank. The best part was that he was there with his wife and two kids.

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Today was the first day of training w…

A New Beginning

Well, I have finally made it to "Land of the Palm Trees." I am living in Clermont, FL with elite triathlete and friend, Justin Daerr(www.justindaerr.com). We will be here until May 1, when we will leave for Boulder. After a short homestay there we will go up high, and I mean high as in the house is at 9,550ft, in Crested Butte, CO with Justin's parents. We are both in similar situations with similar goals and should be able to contribute to and push each other to the next level. He told me once, "This sport is hard enough, we are better off working together, than against each other." BTW, thanks to Justin for setting things up.

So that is the plan...and how do I feel about it? You know how you felt before something really big in your life? Your first Ironman, or your first day at school or on a new job? That's where I am at. Excited, anxious and nervious, but also confident, calm and relieved put together.

This is new for me. I have always done my …