Friday, April 25, 2008

Sometimes we just need to...

...HTFU
After my sickness during race week of Ironman Arizona I was feeling down.....REALLY down. Down to the point where I couldn't talk myself out of it. I knew that this race was behind me and that there was nothing that I could do to change my bad luck.
Even with knowing that, I didn't feel like I wanted to train....combine that with my vacation and the effect was magnified. I just wanted to sleep in, eat poorly and bitch about my bad luck....until now.
After acknowledging that my thoughts were just that, thoughts and chatting with my coach, Kurt, tonight. I am ready to HTFU and put the pedal to the metal for 6 weeks to get fast, lose the 5+lbs I gained since AZ and get mentally ready to crush it on June 22nd.
The only other race I am planning on right now is the Rockman Half Ironman on June 8.
Now, back to Survivorman and then off to Wisco to get rollin'
Blake

Monday, April 14, 2008

A "Report," but NOT a "Race Report"

After something doesn't go our way, we are allowed 1 day to analyze, talk about, be down about, tell about, whatever you want to call it. After that you can ONLY look ahead. That is all we can control and sometimes life doesn't go our way.

I trained 15 weeks for IMAZ and prep went VERY well. I was excited to toe the line and confident that I would leave with a breakthrough race and pay check. 4 days out, I found that my stomach was upset. I could not digest anything and it got worse. By Thursday morning I was throwing up and felt like I was going to die. I haven't been sick in a LONG time, what are the chances that I do on race week??

I found out that I caught a 24hr stomach bug that was going around the YMCA here in AZ. It totally cleaned me out and then some. I started to feel better Thursday night, but still felt like my head was in a cloud. By Friday I felt ok, just tired. The only bad thing was that I was eating a low fiber, high sugar diet and my body was not digesting it. I was stopped up and bloated. By Saturday I felt better, but couldn't eat much of anything. I tried to ignore it and hoped that positive self talk would get me through.

Race morning, had 3 Ensures and a piece of toast for breakfast and headed to the race site. I got into the water and felt ok. I lined up on the right side of the big group and tried to stay with a few swimmers that tried to cut the tangent. The effort was too much and I fell off the back. I then tried to swim over to main first pack, but just missed them.

My plan was to swim hard for 800m and see where I was. When I got to that point and was alone, I decided to save energy and shut it down and swam bilaterally for the remainder of the swim alone. At the turn buoy I was exactly in between the first and second pack. I thought the second pack would catch me, but they never did. I came out in 55:xx. For the effort, I was happy.

On the bike I knew something just didn't feel right. During the first loop I started to feel dizzy and couldn't take in any gel just sports drink. My watts were ok, so I just tried to focus. It was tough. After the first loop I was in 17th and about 4min out of 8th place. Not bad.

15minutes into the second loop my power fell into zone 1...I tried to go with each pro as they came past, but I couldn't. I came to a realization that it was in my best interest to stop. My body could not absorb any calories...I was bonking at less than 2hrs into the bike ride.

It was almost surreal to drop out half way through the bike. Like a nightmare actually. It was the dream that you have a thousand times where you wake up and are thankful it is only a dream. I hung out with Sergio Marques, who also had a very good shot at winning today. He was sick and dropped out at about the same time I did. We watched the rest of the race together, which was very exciting. Congrat's to everyone that had a great day out there.

Today, I don't feel much better, still weak and foggy. BUT, now I look forward to my next race which I have decided is Ironman Coeur D'Alene on June 22nd.

Thanks to all who support me, I will check in again soon. Now I am off to Costa Rica for some R&R from the 17th to the 22nd. When I come back, the work starts baby and you can bet I have a fire going inside after what happened here.

****During my time in CR, I will not have any phone or internet access. Sorry for any delay in responses.

Here's to the next race,

Blake

Sunday, April 13, 2008

I AM OK

Hi All,

Thank you for all the emails. I am ok. I was not able to recover from the flu and pulled out at mile 75 of the ride. I will be in Costa Rica from April 17th - April 22nd and then will go back to WI to get ready for Ironman CDA on June 22nd!

Cheers,

Blake

Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Night Before...

Well, I made it. It is the night before and everything is done for tomorrow. I seem to be getting close to 100% recovered from the 24hr flu that I seemed to have picked up at the local YMCA (everyone had been sick with the same thing). I just feel a bit tired...then again, that i probably mental.

For anyone that cares about nutrition, my carboloading included 2 liters of Coke, a box of Lucky Charms and pancakes, which was goooooooood....and made me very sleepy after.

My only goal for tomorrow is to execute MY race. So many times in the past, I have let other athletes change my races plans. No more of this. I want to have a solid day to build on later this year and beyond.

Thank you to all of you who have called, sent texts and emails. I appreciate all the support and will use it tomorrow out on the course.

I will try to post something tomorrow after the race if I am able. You can follow on www.ironman.com starting at 6:45am pacific.

Blake

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Food Poisoning???

"Oh *&^%$ not now!" That is what I thought as I layed in bed this morning.

Starting yesterday afternoon I have had all the signs of either the flu or food poisoning. The last 24hrs have been spent on the can and this morning I got the rest of the symptoms (if you know what I mean)....all over Chandler Blvd on the way back from the store.

It is about 1:00 right now and I feel much better after a nap. I don't have a fever and have gotten my appettite back, so that is good. I now have 3 days to get well enough to race an ironman in 95* heat.

It is out of my control, so I will do the best that I can and hopefully I will ok to race on Sunday. What's meant to be is meant to be.

Blake

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Getting Closer....

Well, 5 days to go and the body is really starting to feel strong. I actually don't remember the last time that I rested for almost 3 weeks prior to a race. If racing the half ironman 2 weeks out yields a good ironman result on Sunday, it may be a staple in my schedule.

The heat is still forecast to build to near record highs...they are saying between 95-97* right now. The record is 99*, set in '74...I think. Anyway, this could turn out to be quite an advantage if I am smart.

Here is an example. Let's say that there is an athlete that is in 8:40 ironman shape. Let's also say that there is an athlete that is in 8:20 ironman shape. If the conditions were mild, there is not a very good chance that the 8:40 is going to cross the line first. BUT, if the conditions are bad and the 8:40 guy is smart, things could get interesting.

I am just glad that I have been in the heat for the past 16 weeks.

BB

Monday, April 07, 2008

Hahahaha

I am now glad for all those days suffering in the heat. First, 12 weeks in Florida and the last 4 here in Phoenix.

The way the temps have been creeping up, it will be over 100* by Sunday. 97* is bad enough. Oh yeah, don't forget about the wind. ;)

NA Sports better bring the ice and IV Bags. They're going to need them.

http://www.accuweather.com/forecast2.asp?partner=accuweather&traveler=0&zipcode=85048&metric=0

++++++++++++++++

Everything is good here, except my back is tight today. I have a MT coming to town who will hopefully work hi magic on it. Check him out here: http://www.thecenterfour.com/

6 days and counting.

BB

Friday, April 04, 2008

It Is Getting Close......

Well, I now have 9 days to Ironman Arizona and I can start to feel that it is getting close!

How do I 'feel' it, you ask??? Let's make a list!! (If you know me, then you know I make a lot of these to cope with my OCD(not really))

1) I am not tired all the time.
2) I can have an actual conversation with someone.
3) I am not cranky.
4) I feel lazy.
5) I am hungry all the time.
6) I don't think I have trained hard enough.

BUT, I know this is how I am suppose to feel.

This year I am confident in what I can do and since Ironman is about 99% mental...or maybe you just have to be 99% mentall ill to do it....I am sure I will do better.

My goals for this race..........

Ha, won't be posting those. However, I will be posting my mission for the rest of the season after this race.

I am bored, so I will probably be posting everyday until the race...maybe 2x a day??

Off to the pool to float around in my wetsuit for a while.

BB

Thursday, April 03, 2008

The Becker Buzz...

“The Becker Buzz”
California 70.3 Race Report
March 29, 2008


This last weekend I raced the first important race of the 2008 season at the California 70.3 Half Ironman. I came into the race with 5 days rest as I started my taper for Ironman Arizona on April 13th.

Training has been going well and I hadn’t been below 20hrs of training per week since the middle of December. Needless to say I was anxious to see what I could do.

Race morning brought cool temperatures in the low 50’s, but not as cold as they could have been. The water was also a chilly 60*, which hurt the face a little bit upon getting in. I had my new Blue Seventy TST Wetsuit which is much improved over last year and I felt ready to go.

We only had about 5-8min of warm-up before the gun went off, which I don’t think was enough for me. I moved to the second row of athletes and keyed off of a few others who I thought were slightly faster swimmers. Today, they were more than that. The horn sounded and the effort was not hard, but I couldn’t get the arms to turn over like I needed. Within 300 meters I was off the back and I thought I was in “no-man’s land”……until the turn buoy when I flipped on my back to check out the situation and saw I was pulling a group of over 20 athletes. As I rounded the second turn buoy, I had NO idea where I was going and proceeded to turn 90* the wrong direction (sorry guys). This actually ended up benefiting me. Lewis Elliot took the lead and proceeded to sit in on his feet, as I had no idea where we were going. We exited in a little bit over 27 minutes. But about 2:30 back from the first pack.

Out of the water and onto the bike. My Trek TTX 9.9 SSL and Wireless Powertap SL was showing me the wattage that I was hoping for. I rode steady out to hills, passing 10-15 athletes on the way. Once through the tough climbs, I was greeted with a stiff headwind back to transition. Normal Power for the ride was 308 watts. This is 28 watts higher than I have seen in the past and a huge jump for me.

I took off onto the run with a few other athletes and found the first few miles a bit tough, but at mile 3 things got better. I was still off of my goal pace, but not by much. I ran the next 5 miles at about 5:55 per mile, but soon I had a few twinges and had to back off a bit. I managed to pass a few more athletes to finish with a run of 1:20 and a finish time of 4:15. It was good enough for 17th place overall.

This was not a bad way to start the season at all and I have been able to gather a lot of confidence from this race in knowing that I can compete with almost any athlete on that start line.

After the race I attended my Timex Team Camp is Carlsbad, CA and had a great time catching up with old teammates and meeting a few new ones. We have a great support team this year which includes great managers and new sponsors including Trek, Powerbar, Bontrager, Powertap(Saris), Rudy Project, Timex and TP Massage Rollers.

I also want to thank my homestay in Cali, Sergio Gurrieri. Your hospitality was much appreciated. Now I had about 10 days to Ironman Arizona. Be sure to check out live coverage at www.ironman.com on April 13th, starting at 6:45am Pacific.