High Performance People Think Differently


Troika 70.3 Race Report


Why? A girl I know who I will not name by name in this report (she who shall not be named or swsnbn) is in training for a 140.3 race in July. This event was to be a test of fitness and weakspots as well as a training event. Our buddy Mark Casey, swsnbn and I did what we could to prepare based on our time and drive.

In my past I have been known to be a little on the arrogant side when it came to racing. I was verbally intimidating on purpose to gain a mental edge on my competitors. My favorite tactic was to ride up behind someone and pretend to be super tired and have a conversation about how tough the day is. I would try to talk them into having a bad day. Then I would say something like “guess I better get some exercise now” and drop them like a hot potato. Swsnbn has taught me to be polite and humble, which is not my natural me. Furthermore, swsnbn gets very upset when it is pointed out that they are one of the most fierce competitors I know, even though they put on this kind sweet face. This person even had me believing the race is not about winning, but having a good time hanging around with your buddies. Racing should be “just for fun!” Yay for eutopia.

Until I was riding my bike at Troika minding my own business when I passed swsnbn at about mile 30. I gave them a little push and after a short chat said “by the way, there are 2 girl riding behind you” I heard “I just passed them up. I am going to follow you and bury these girls”. Uh….OK..

I was doing my own thing when at about mile 40, I was getting a bit tired because I did not bring any food on the ride. I figured it was only 56 miles, no big deal and they would have food on the race course, which they did not. I then got passed by a girl wearing pink with a “44” on her leg. Huh I say to myself. Same age group as swsnbn. Then I got passed by another girl drafting off her with a 27 on her leg. I was totally shocked! Then I got passed again by swsnbn and got a sharp rebuke.

“Listen Buddy, you just got chicked twice. If you keep this up you will get chicked again one more time. What is your problem?” I explained my poor tummy was hungry and needed some food. Swsnbn was kind enough to give me a pack of shot blocks and said “Now, get up there and chase those girls down”. After a few minutes of grazing I felt better and started to move again, and passed up the 27 YO girl and asked her how she was doing. “Tired” she said. “I have never done this before. Am I doing OK?” I congratulated her on doing so well and that she was doing just fine, when I heard swsnbn say  Get to work and go get the girl in pink. I am going to stay on your wheel so get rolling”

At about mile 50 I chased down the girl in pink and rode about 100 yards behind her…Stalking her.. I told swsnbn to stay back. The race is not won by who leads the longest but by who crosses the finish line first. swsnbn should wait, beat her out of transition and chase her down on the run. After a few minutes I heard “I can’t take this anymore. See ya” and proceeds to beat her into T2. Competitive people cannot stand getting beat when there is something they can do about it.

Last I saw of them swsnbn was in and out of transition way before the pink girl.

Of course, I have no idea what happened between the 2 of them on the run. I was sucking wind listening to my legs scream at me because what they wanted to do was take a little snooze.

I did end up having a reasonably solid run with even splits. I ran with a excellent heart rate profile, indicating I did the best I could do.

Mark Casey went on to have a fabulous day by establishing a new PR.

Swsnbn obviously won their age group.

I was lucky nobody fast showed up in my age group, so I also won first place.

The next day I was looking at the pictures taken on race day. “Look, the gal who almost beat you was riding a P5” “No matter” swsnbn says with a smile. “I out ran her”

What did I learn?

I need to take my racing intensity up a notch like the winners do.

Mindset and determination trump ability and circumstance.

When you think you are tired, shot worn out and need to quit, you are really only about 40% shot. You still have 60% to tap into.

troika pic

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On Getting Older

Don’t worry…be happy!

I met a guy a long time ago that was working on a sub 3 hour marathon at age 60. And he was a bigger guy, probably around 190 pounds. Last I knew, not too many 60 year olds run that fast much less big guys. The question I had for him was “Shouldn’t you be wearing out by now?” His reply was “your body will adapt to its environment provided it is done over time and within limitations of matter”

Big answer if you ponder that.

Here are the common effects of aging. http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/healthy-aging/in-depth/aging/art-20046070

The Mayo Clinic seems to think the human body is at its most prime at around age 30 and deteriorates from there. But, in the pro ranks, the most outstanding athletes are in their 20s. Dissection of the races I go to shows the highest volume of tough guys live in the 40-45 age group, and the most popular winning women are between 30-40.

Then there are the freaks of nature, which seem to be getting more common. I was quite discouraged when I ran a half marathon earlier this year and finished 21 of 2500 entries. That was the good news. The bad news is I was also 7th in 55-59, with the 2nd place guy in my age group. How do you explain that?

Freaks of nature. Good for him!

In addition to aging working against us, here are a few more. Working 50-60 hours a day with 3 hours commuting each day. Injuries that sideline us. Unexpected accidents or other health catastrophies. Then there are those who’s full time job is to train to race.

To beat ourselves up over a lack of performance is not wise.

The lesson is be happy you can show up. Not all can. You can only control yourself and nobody else. So, if you get passed by one of those freaks of nature, celebrate that they have that ability.

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It’s just an anti-inflammatory

Medications are for the sick and/or injured, not as an enhancement to perform better.

I found that out the hard way when I wanted to ride STP really fast in one day, but my knee was holding me back. I asked a pal of mine about it, and he suggested I take an anti-inflammatory every 50 miles. The good news is I did get through the day in an amazing record time. The bad news is I screwed up my knee even worse not knowing it until the next day when it looked like an elephant moved into my leg.

It took about 5 years for that injury to go away. Given the same choice today, I would have sacrificed my great time, rode to a level of tolerable pain (or maybe not at all) and lived to set the record another day.

Pain is your bodies way to telling you there is a problem. To cover up symptoms is as smart as putting electrical tape over the red warning lights on your dashboard. You may not notice the problem, but the problem is still there. Sooner or later you will have to deal with it.

Furthermore, 2 of my pals in the last year have had thyroid complications from the over use of anti- inflammatories. Their reasoning is “without it I would not be able to do what I do”. I hear from others things like I hurt every day. It keeps me going. My Doctor said it was OK. It’s only ibuprophen. I purchased it over the counter, how bad can it be? If it were harmful, they would not be able to sell it in this country.

That is right up there with a guy I know who was sucking on an inhaler before a run. I asked him if he had asthma, and he said “No, but if I didn’t take it I would run like you”. I wonder what the effects of that is over 30 years.

I get asked questions about taking medications frequently. Not having a license to practice medicine, I am on no position to comment. However, I can refer people to a Physician’s Desk Reference” (pdr.net) and search whatever you are wondering about. There you can read all about the effects, good and bad, and the safety of the medication. Often it changes people’s mind.

It is OK to work out being uncomfortable. In fact, the older I get the more I expect it and am surprised when I don’t hurt! Pain (greater than a 7/10) is unacceptable and should be discontinued. Below that threshold is training. Above that is damage.

So, take medications only when you need it, and as little as possible, and for the shortest time. Be smart, and let your body have the time it needs to heal and strengthen itself. That can also stop your body from dependency and nasty withdraw symptoms.

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10 commandments of training

I stumbled across this a few weeks ago and the writer of this article thinks just like me!
1. Have a Plan. Winging it is fine sometimes, but it doesn’t quite cut it when you want to achieve something great. Truly remarkable accomplishments, whether finishing your first century (100-mile) ride or lining up for your first race (yes, it could happen), require careful planning and execution.

2. Be Prepared to Scrap the Plan. You’re scheduled for three sets of high-speed spin-ups, and your legs feel like they’re churning through wet cement. Try a couple efforts to see if they come around. If they do not, your body is telling you it hasn’t recovered from your latest effort. Take the day easy and hit it hard tomorrow instead. Your plan should be etched in clay for molding it to your needs, not in stone for hammering yourself with.
3. Ride at the Extremes. Many cyclists never go hard enough or easy enough to make big gains. Instead, they spend most of their rides going comfortably hard. Once a week, go so hard your eyes hurt. Follow it with a ride so slow the snails yawn. The combination makes legs strong.

4. Be True to Thyself. Most cyclists are pack animals by nature. Enjoy the camaraderie, but don’t let your training goals get trashed by the constant KOM (king of the mountain) contests, town line sprints, and all-hard, all-the-time mentality of the group. If you can’t trust yourself to sit in and go easy when you need to, ride alone.

5. Do What Sucks. You hate climbing because it’s hard for you. You should climb because it’s hard for you.

6. Think Progressively. Do more than log miles. Don’t leave behind the drills just because a training plan has ended. Do intervals, cadence rides, and other specific workouts designed to progressively challenge your body in different ways from week to week. Give every ride a goal.

7. Maintain the Human Machine. Keep strengthening your core and other stabilizing muscles. Keep stretching. By keeping your supporting muscles strong and joints flexible, you can avoid an achy back, tight hip flexors, and other overuse injuries that can weaken even the strongest cyclist.

8. Train Your Brain. Your body can do more than you think. Convince it using your brain, through positive self-talk and visualization. You’ll be surprised by what you accomplish when you say you can.

9. Eat. Fuel is everything for accomplishing big goals like 100-mile rides or multiday charity rides. Train your belly like you do your legs. Fuel your workouts with the same foods you eat on event day. You’ll ride faster in practice and digest better when it counts. Don’t be afraid to experiment. There are dozens of different energy concoctions for a reason. No one diet works for everyone.

10. Enjoy the Ride. You have a job. Presumably, riding’s not it. Work hard at it. But never make it work.

This text originally appeared in Bike Your Butt Off!

by SELENE YEAGER in an article from Bicycling Magazine, March, 2016

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Be Careful on Bicycles

Riding bicycles is no doubt dangerous. You might think it is safe due to relatively slow speeds, but that is not true at all. Even with a high tech helmet, you have no protection upon impact with the ground or an object. There are no airbags, crash bars, or body armor to help.

It disturbs me greatly to see what one intended to be a good thing for you resulting in being maimed for life.

It has happened recently in our circles at RTB as it has for as long as I have been riding bikes.

When you choose to throw your leg over the seat, you also assume the risk.

The Hazards

Big Gulpers: What? Who? Us “southies” named aggressive drivers Big Gulpers. Big Gulpers typically are young males driving lifted, usually older Ford 4 door pick-up trucks, wearing camo, chewing tobacco, and have a problem with older guys riding in lycra at dawn on a rural road. Sometimes they toss the last of their big gulp on you as they pass, thus the name. The situation is made much worse if there is a teenage girl in the car they are trying to impress. That is a recipe for disaster. Most of the time they would deserve a ticket for vehicular assault.

Other Cyclists: It is easy to get wheels tangled up and down you go. I love inviting new riders into our group, but unfortunately many do not understand the complexities of riding in a group or a pace line. And if one goes down in front, the rest of the innocent riders pay the price.

Obstacles: Road ruts, tar snakes (tar used to fill in cracks in the road), potholes, rocks, glass, all pose a common hazard. Don’t forget about curbs and other fixed objects like guard rails, stopped cars, ditches and fire hydrants. Any of those can lead to a 911 call.

What to do? 

Big Gulpers: Not much. I have lost my temper and told the Gulpers what I think both verbally and using hand gestures. Usually that does not end well. I have seen riders pack guns..not a good solution either. Stay out of their way and avoid provocation. Avoid Carbonado. It seems to be the Mecca of Big Gulpers. And, I am very much looking forward to using on of these new high tech gizmos. https://cycliq.com/product/fly6 Then turn them into the cops (who in Pierce County appear to be impotent in taking action)

Other Cyclist: Before someone gets to ride up front in one of our groups, they have to prove their worthiness as a rider. They need to ride steady, not weave, call out obstacles, and not suddenly jump up off their saddle, throwing their bike backwards into the rider behind. Until then, they can ride in the back or give them a 4-5 foot gap.  And, while riding in the center of the pack, keep an eye on the rear brake of the bike in front. The caliper compresses before the bike stops.

Obstacles: Always pay close attention to what is going on, more when you are getting tired. Stuff does happen. Watch the wheel of cars on your right. The wheel turning is easier to spot than a moving car. Because they look at you does not mean they “see” you.

Final Comments: We usually pray for safety before each ride. Consider mountain biking or ride a trainer. Or, decide the risk is not worth the benefit, and choose the consequences of the couch over the bike seat. As long as your at it, you may as well grab a doughnut.

If you do crash and hurt yourself, call Kriss Chiropractic at (425)432-4621. We do well with whiplash injuries. Also, I have had a lot of training in trauma when I was working with the rodeo (true story). And if you feel your rights have been violated, give our buddies at hester law a call

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Neck Pain Riding?

Don’t Ride Like a Turtle!


Many triathletes are uncomfortable riding their bikes for long distances. Not the expected too much time off the bike or I ate too much for the last several months uncomfortable, but the really uncomfortable stuff. Like, lots of neck and mid back pain. Inability to eat, drink and breath deeply.

Bad rider

This is the turtle ride! Notice the humped back and the kinked neck? This turtle probably will have a sore butt, neck and mid back. It would be hard to eat and breath because all the tissues in the front are compressed.


Notice this styling peep! Their back is flat (also more aerodynamic). There is much less acute angle in their neck. Breathing and digestion are much easier.

As long as we’re at it, avoid scrunching your shoulders up towards your ears by allowing tension in your trapezius muscles. Force your shoulders down and pinch your shoulders together…let’s see your neck!

As an extra additional benefit, this person’s butt feels much better and the pressure is shifted off the tail bone. If there is continued discomfort, a seat such as an Adamo can solve that problem.

In the worst case, if the curve in your neck goes backwards and you have a buffalo hump, good riding posture will not help that. If that is the case, call 425 432-4621 (that would be Kriss Chiropractic). X-rays may be necessary to determine if that condition (a kyphosis) can be helped.


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Plantar Fasciitis

Another by-product of being born prior to 1970 or a good reason not to run?

Observation of patients in my office and association with my running/riding buddies determines this is a very common issue that is certainly no fun!

Instead of boring you with details about it, I did some research and it appears the Mayo Clinic has a very accurate description of the cause. I do not support the medical treatment of it (steroids, surgery, and other anti-inflammatories) and will comment on that later. The link is here: https://www.gstatic.com/healthricherkp/pdf/plantar_fasciitis.pdf

The brief explanation of it is over time and due to pronation your arch falls causing the tissues on the bottom of your foot to over stretch.

The simplest test to see of you have it is to press at the base of your arch in front of your heel. If it tender and/or feels bruised….Bingo!

Here is what I found that does not work. These are my opinions based on experience with it and various articles I read over the past few years.

  • Running or not running.
  • Stretching (re-tearing it) makes it worse.
  • Poking on it or forcefully massaging it with something like a golf ball also aggravates it.
  • Casting or immobilizing is a poor choice due atrophy (also it is really hard to race with a cast on)
  • Injections may have a symptom relieving effect, but the long term destruction is harmful.

Therefore, most people that have it feel stuck and frustrated. Compounding it even more is the wide difference of opinion on the treatment, especially on the web!

Here is what I found that works best and where to get help

  • Superfeet. Get them at most podiatrist offices, your local chiropractor (yay Kriss Chiropractic!) (Yay The Balanced Athlete) REI, and most running store
  • A good pair of running shoes. Getting just 2 more months out of your old shoes is a poor choice. See your favorite running store. (I love my Hoka’s for long runs)
  • Adjustments to your foot. See your local chiropractor (Yay Kriss chiropractic!) Sometimes a misalignment of the cuboid bone in your foot can cause it.
  • Swim more.
  • Adjust your pedals back to the back of your heel. See your local bike shop if you can’t handle that yourself (Yay NWTB)

If the worst case, gut it out and do what you can do to keep going. It won’t kill you, and usually it goes away over time.

Chiropractic does not have all the answers, but many times we can help. There is never a charge for a consultation and brief exam to see if we can help.


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