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June « 2009 « Zach Ruble's Blog


Archive for June, 2009

Ironman Coeur d’Alene

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

First I want to thank the Jensen Family, the homestay has been great.  You guys made me feel like I was at home, and allowed me to race the best I could out there!

Not finishing an Ironman is something that sticks with you until you get your next finish, even if that finish is walking to the line or not having your best race.  I didn’t finish my last race in China, and it has been annoying me ever since.  I was going to make sure I finished CDA, and finished it as best I could with my current fitness.

I was getting mixed signals from training and racing as to where I was at.  I was abou 15 minutes off of my 125 mile Time Trial ride from what I was doing at the end of last season;  BUT, I did have a nice ride 2 weeks before CDA at the Rockman Half Ironman.  I was doing some good runs in training, but then at Rockman I didn’t run super fast.  So it would be good to race, and see where I truly was for Ironman distance, and could go from there as I began working toward the Ironmans I plan on doing later this season.

For the swim the water was rough/choppy,  and was great for the good swimmers.  They were able to exaggerate their leads, and shell off the slower guys/gals.  I still managed to come out a bit ahead of some swimmers I normally swim with, and closer to a swimmer I would normally be well behind.  So it was good and bad, b/c the lead swimmer was still well ahead.

Onto the bike, it was a cold day, around 55 F (14 C) for the start of the bike, and maybe 60 F (17 C) by the end of the bike…but it was okay.  I began riding with S. Curry, but he ended riding outta sight midway through the bike, and I got pretty weak the 2nd half the ride.   It could have been really demoralizing when quite few more guys went right by me, and I couldn’t respond as I was seeing stars for a while out there.  I put down more calories and the headwind coming back to T2 actually was good b/c the road was flat, and I could just grind in and recover a little.  For the nutrition people, I think I had about 2000+ calories on the bike, maltodextrin, gels, gatorade, and some clif bar.

Onto the run, I accidently looked at the clock as I exited transition and saw the race time was 6:02…its a bad omen to look at the clock during the race :-) .   I felt pretty wobbly out on the run, and knew if I missed any calories I would bonk and would be walking.  So I had atleast one gel per mile, and took a cup of coke and gatorade at every  mile’s aid station.  It can be tough in some races to put down this much food, b/c of the nausea and what not, but it was a good reminder to me that you can keep going if you just eat.  I ended up losing ground to some guys, and gain on some others.  I was seeing though some friends I had made on the plane over(Dave), and at the pre-race dinner(Jon), and they were both doing well, so that was motivating.   Also would see/hear people yelling “nice beard” so that was funny.  With 5 milesto go, at the last turnaround, I saw I was closing on 5-8 spots a little, and try to pick it up, but above certain speeds my hamstrings would lock up, so went as fast as I could to the finish without cramping. 

I ended up in 9th place, swimming 56:xx, biking 5:01 :-( , and running a 3:04 —for a 9:06.  Not my best race, not my worst, just the best I could do with the shape I had.  Its always satisfying to give it your all, and do everything you could out there…and it was Fathers Day, so in his words I had to “give ‘er all I had, and try and catch those f’ers up ahead”

In Coeur d’Alene for Ironman & The Beard continues

Thursday, June 18th, 2009

I’ve arrived in Northern Idaho, with Ironman Coeur d’Alene coming up this weekend. I’ve never been to this part of the U.S., but I really like it so far. Jonny has always told me how much he loves Penticton, and I can see why. I am not far from Penticton, and I would imagine its a similar place. I have a great homestay here with the Jensen family, and look forward to a predicted high temperature on race day of 68 F (20 C) and light rain :-) )….really though I just want a solid finish, that will give me confidence for Ironman races to come the rest of the summer.

My beard still is growing. At the Rockman race last week my friend Chip said only this: “The Beard is Weird”. Here’s a picture as I am typing this:


Rockman 1/2 Iron

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

I raced this Sunday at the Rockman 1/2 Ironman in Rockford, Illinois. Its a great race with a challenging run course, and a bike that reminds me alot of a mini Ironman Wisconsin. I stayed with Chip Griffen, the race director and he was a great host and did a great job with the race. Before the race I thought the guy to beat would be Chris McDonald. I had raced him three times at Ironman distance last fall. He had been coming out of the water ahead of me most of the time, and putting time into me on the bike, and then more on the run. So the goal was to come out of the swim with him, and go from there.

After taking my 5 hour energy :-) , and a little bit of coffee, I was onto the swim and I felt strong. I have been doing all my swimming in my blue seventy helix wetsuit in a pond for the last 2 1/2 weeks, with lots of 100 yard sprints across the pond (which really hurt!) and it has helped. I came out with Chris, and onto the bike and after back and forth for a few miles and lost me about 30 seconds up the road. I was suprised that I was able to hold him at that distance most of the ride, so it was a clean effort. By the end of the ride I was still in 2nd about 1 minute back .  On the run the course was winding and hilly, a tough run. I didn’t have the strength to catch the lead, and at every turnaround I could see he was gaining more time. In the end he was about 3’15″ ahead of me, and I remained in 2nd place.

I was happy with the race, really happy with my swim and bike. My Cervelo P2, with Oval Aero Bars, Single Bends, seems to be perfect and will help me ride faster this year.

After having my last three races go as “Skateboarding Accident”, “Blew up in China”, and “Ran off Course”…it was good to be back on the track of improvements!


Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009


I was looking at my stuff, and I found a receipt from Kroger Grocery store in Troy, Ohio….that had the word TROY!! written in permanent marker on top of the receipt. Upon closer inspection, the receipt was from 9/26/03…at 5:26 P.M (about a year after my obsession with Ironman training began). There was a charge of $4.06 for two powerades, and a box of Little Debbies Donut Stix. This was the fuel, that would aid me in making my return trip home to Muncie that day…4+ hours away. I remember how it started, I walked home that Friday from my last class of the day (that I actually planned on attending :-) . I walked in around lunch time to the house, and “The Price is Right” was on T.V. Two of my 5 roomates Hinkleman, and Hoover were watching and cooking lunch. Hoover used to yell “Cccccccmmmmooooooooooooonnnnn doooowwwwnnnn!!!!” at the top of his lungs everytime a new contestant came on, and of course I would get energized from this. I guess one of his yells got me really excited. So I said, “guys, where should I ride to today?” I wanted to do a longer ride that day….Hinkleman said “Ride to Troy!” which was his hometown. So after giving me some directions, I was on my way! I took the back roads most of the 4 + hour ride to get there, and finally arrived at I guess sometime around 5:26 p.m. I remember being pretty bonked out at that point, and going into the grocery store for fuel. I got my two powerades and my donut stix and was on my way back to school. It got dark quickly, and it started to rain :-) ). I made it back home around 10 p.m. after 8 1/2 hours of riding time, I walked in the door soaked, mud sprayed on my face, & with a big grin on my face. Hoover saw me, looking shocked, “are you just now getting home!” YEP! :-) I had to show the receipt to Hinkleman the next day b/c he didn’t believe me. So now I keep the receipt, just to remind me of all the fun stuff I’ve done training for Ironman.

And now looking at my training log I was out the next day for 3:11:00 ride to New Castle + Resevoir Loop and a 10 mile run that evening…then on sunday a 2:13:00 ride and a swim of about 3500, that was cut short b/c according to the log “Cold water, freezing, couldn’t warm up”…love those old training logs :-)