Thursday, June 30, 2005


In researching a photo for my last post I found several moving pictures that I wanted to use but did not fit my illustration. So I am putting them here. This is not a triathlete post but wildfires affect this state like almost no other every year and the dedication these firefighters, volunteers and smoke jumpers have is amazing and desires recognition. These are first volley of fires and experts agree that this year will be one of the worst in history.
This is the Cave Creek Fire, just north of Phoenix. 300 homes have already been burned down and now 6,000 residents of Pine Top and Strawberry have been given their evacuation warning order.
The sign on this house says simply, "Thank You"

The Day Ain't Over Till The Trainings Done

Had a good brick this afternoon. The weather cooperated quite well, 111* and 3% humidity. So I had that going for me, which is nice. It only felt like 102 degrees to be honest.

I trucked Lucille to the office today and planned for a ride around and through the campus of Arizona State University. Well I learned some things on this part of the brick.
1) Do not leave my helmet on the seat of my truck all day when its 140 degrees in the cab, it leaves a burn mark under my chin from the chinstrap.
2) Tempe buses park in the bike lane when off-loading passengers. Which means I had to sprint past them or get stuck sucking hot exhaust.
3) Breathing 111* air on a busy street with 3 fires polluting the air equals a dry hack.
I am trying a new bike/run brick routine. For the run portion I am running 1 minute for every mile I bike. So today with all the traffic, headwinds, lights and the nice big hill I took, I biked 12 miles in 50 minutes, averaging 15.62 mph. So I ran 12 minutes. I realized towards the end of my run that when I brick a long bike ride, I will be riding, say, 40 miles then running 40 minutes. I may need to rethink this, but for now its good training.
This is what the entire Phoenix Valley Of The Sun (VOTS) looks like thanks to a 200,000 acre fire 20 miles north of town, a 500 acre fire inside VOTS and another on the eastside of VOTS not far from my neck of the woods.

Change to Race Schedule

Little hiccup on what was to be my next triathlon, number two for the year. On July 16th, the first day of my vacation, I was setting myself up for the Fat Tire Triathlon, #3 of the Fat Tire series (750m/16k/5k). This is actually a very cool idea. There are five tri's in the mountain bike triathlon series, each race is a different style and length. When I put this on my list earlier this year the style and race was TBD. Then it was set as a 'Formula One' race of 250m swim/10k mt bike/3k run. (Never heard of a F1 distance before).

I was signing myself up today and in big bold letters it states a longer course set up and Relay ONLY. Well I could still do it but my heart is not in a triathlon that is that short and a I don't do all the events. So I am bailing on it. I'll either meet up with my running group or spend time with the Mighty Mo before I leave the following day for my fishing trip, which I will discuss sometime soon.

He retires after wining his 7th in a row...

No not Lance Armstrong, I am talking about Scott Jurek. Jurek won the Western States 100 Endurance Race for the seventh straight year in a time of 16:40:46. Not his fastest but he's not complaning. To read about his final victory in this terrific and highly regarded race click here.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Why I Am Growing My Hair Out.

I have sported a high and tight military hair cut for the most part of twenty years, well as long a I can remember. But every now and again I get this wild streak to grow it out as long a possible-that equaling what my wife would consider normal hair length.

Anything longer than an inch and I begin to refer to my hair style as hippie. But again its been a month since my last cut, I have wings over my ears and I stashed a comb in my truck because I forget I have to actually do something to it now than just rub it thrice with a towel.

What does this have to do with multi-sport? Well to me there is always something so free about cycling or running..swimming is more about survival..and that freedom for me translates into 'letting my hair down' so to speak.

I look around and see few if any males growing their hair out. They all look so similar to my normal cut or more severe, bald. So I grow my hair out of counter-culture to society's male propensity for short hair. Much like I train like a triathlete as counter-culture to the carb counting set. BTW, never train for a marathon on a high-protein diet, not a good combination.

Triathletes are counter culture people by nature. We subject our bodies to training punishments that are not normal. Normal is using your gym membership twice a week and expecting dramatic results in a month. Not swimming 1000 meters in the morning and a 5 mile run in the afternoon and that's Monday. Or on Wednesday decide to run a half marathon on Sunday because, which in my case and I am being honest here, my sole motivation was, "The finish line was a mile from my house." Normal people look at us and go,"YOUR NUTS". I watched two football games last season, half a Monday Night Raw, no basketball, never Nascar, but caught every triathlon, adventure race, marathon and most of the Tour-de-France. Did you know there is a channel on the internet where you cant triathlon races live? It's called ITUtv. In my circle of friends and in my business this is not normal. Normal is counting sets and reps.

Growing my hair out and no I am not talking 'sensitive-ponytail-guy' length is my way of embracing my running, biking, hiking, climbing, kayaking and survival swimming soul. Its sometimes cool to not be normal (to not be a common man).

In the context of hair growth I owe it to my fitness rebellion to be the one guy in the room who a) is over 30 and can grow hair, b) regularly runs a 10k outside when its 115 degrees and c) wow's the hell out of people by telling them I do so.

Other people may buy new clothes, or get a tattoo when they embrace their tri life, for some reason I grow my hair out.

Straight 1,000 Meter Swim

I'm dyin' if I'm lyin' I pulled 1,050 meters in the indoor pool last night. Break through! I was having a bad day and was going to skip the swim workout, (caught a case of CMS) but decide to have at it. I did my drills and warm ups and decided to finish with a 500 straight. The added incentive to keep going was the three former high school swimmers, now fatties, who each wanted their own individual lane, of which I was in one. So as they splashed and bulled their way 25 meters down the lane beating me each time, I simply turned around and continued swimming while they caught their breath for a minute then beat me again as I came back around. I have never had the sensation of someone actually waiting for me to push off so they could beat me. Interesting...

At 500 meters I decided I didn't want them to have the lane, so I just kept swimming figuring I would go to 750 meters and stop. 750 is a respectable sprint tri distance. One by one they started to leave the lane area and move to the sauna or jaccuzi. I think they realized I wasn't stopping and they weren't bothering me. I wanted to tell them, "Ahh, fellas, I'm a triathlete. Trying to swamp me with your gianormous leg kicks and splash me with your flailing arms from a lane away, don't impress me. Try doing that in my lane with six other swimmers, three kicking you in the face and two others grabbing your ankles." But in reality I never even said a word to them.

At 750 I thought to heck with it, go to a 1,000 meters, make it a great swim. So I got to 1,000 and decide to do 50 meters more; 1x25 to make up for the push's off the wall and 1x25 for the Man upstairs.

So how cool is that. I pull a thou straight and withstand the blistering assault of three fat 20 year olds, using the lanes on either side of me, all regaling each other with how thin they were in high school. "Dude, I was like this thin...really."

My ego going into orbit in...3...2...1...blast off.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Tour Overload

I can tell the Tour de France is getting nearer. It Lance, Lance, Lance. The Discovery Channel last night had a show that scientifically discussed his genetic gifts and how he has used them to his advantage. Alright I can get into that. Next was the boys from OCC building the Lance Armstrong chopper. Actually already saw that. Tonight is the Discovery Channel biography of his mother and how she raised Lance alone. Read his first book and its all there.

I appreciate all that Lance has done to win the Tour, several times in a row, its unprecedented. I appreciate all he has done to encourage people to take up exercise. I think he is an outstanding athlete. He started a cultural movement with his Yellow bracelet.

But when it comes down to it the two things that really stick in my teeth that make me not want to like him is that in his first book he gives no credit to anyone for helping him be a champion. He writes about getting his spirit from his single-mother who worked all the time which allowed him to ride for hours. Is that really a compliment? When he developed cancer he dosen't really thank anyone but himself in overcoming it. The doctors wanted him to do certain things and he stubbornly ignored them and since he didn't die; he's right, there wrong. When he won the first few Tour's, it was all about him, barely a mention of his team. He kinda reminds me of Martha Stewart. Do you really think Martha comes up with all those amazing ideas on her own? Of course she doesn't. Have you ever heard her thank the person she got the tip from? Ever see a credit at the end of a show? Hear here mention someone elses input in the concept? Hell no. Its all her, she wants you to think.

The thing I do like about Lance is that he is competitive. That guy gives not an inch to the press or the French or another cyclist. He makes great press, once because he was a plucky underdog, then a cancer survivor and now the underdog to win lucky number 7. How's that spin, as the undisputed champion of cycling he is portrayed as the underdog to win again. How's that happen?

Monday, June 27, 2005

Enough Posting, Eh

I have posted 4 times, (this makes 5 times) today. Please make sure to read them all.

The Mighty Mo and Topper

This weekend we get to bring this little guy home with us to stay. 'Topper' is a AKC purebred Labrador. His coat is what you call 'Red Fox'. He's a Red Lab, you don't see these much. He is seven weeks old. I took this over the weekend when we introduced the Mighty Mo to him at the breeders home. They took to each other very well.

The breeders don't have a name for him yet and Mistress is terribly uncreative with names so it fell upon me. I tossed the name Topper out to her in a not so slight dig to the fact that I am still terribly missing my dog Buck. Topper is an extension of T.O.P. which stands for The Other Puppy, which was how I always thought of Buck, my puppy. She actually loved it and thought it was a sweet gesture. Not exactly what I was looking for, I was being mean to be honest and that's not fair to her. I apologized and explained the meaning of the name and that I was being childish, but she really enjoyed it and started to teach Mighty Mo the name right away.

He is cute though isn't he, they both have their hands/paws crossed...

Into The Shadows

I changed my e-mail address for online chatting purposes to a hotmail account.

For anyone who has been communicating with me via the old address please continue to do so, this is by no means to deter any single person I know from getting in touch with me. This is mostly for my security when I leave messages on other blogs in the Alliance or when I surf random blogs and leave comments rather than tagging everything with my work e-mail.

If this just doesn't work out for me I will switch to something that does. I may also be able to respond to comments while on the road or blog a post when I am not at my desk. This could be a great thing.

For those of you who think I am being presumptuous with my hotmail name, I was able to incorporate my last name into it, just look closely. You would not believe how difficult it is to use a unique name like mine as a screen name. I know, I know, "Try Brian or Jeff or Bill." Well you would expect that a common name would be difficult to use, how many people have you met with my name...exactly.

Two Common Posting Problems

First, I would like to thank all of you who leave comments on my posts. Its a compliment to me that you take the time to read my thoughts and I guess I do a good job of keeping you entertained.
For some reason however, I am not able to respond to some of you. Instead of your e-mail address I get a [] with the bloggers sending name. I don't know if this is intentional or not. Usually I would just like to respond to a special comment with some additional information on the subject or I am getting questions in the comment area that I would like to answer in a less public method. I checked my settings on CMS and found no area or box in the Settings that addressed being able to receive replys to comments. If any one has any information on this phenomenon let me know.

Second, I e-mailed Polar Customer Service on how to transfer their graphs from their .ppd software into something else, hopefully to be able to post stuff online with minimal fuss. So if anyone would like this info or see if it would work for their other brand software, let me know and I will e-mail it to you, that is if you have a 'reply-able' e-mail address. I am leaving for the day so it will be tomorrow.

BTW, I was thinking of switching my e-mail for this site over to yahoo. Anyone know if this is a HTTP account or a POP3 and how to do that on Outlook. The program asks for a URL sever or in another setting the POP3 setting. I can't seem to find anything on Yahoo to help me.

This Is A little Embarrassing

As a runner I suffer from a delicate condition, Nipple Inflammation Pattern (NIP's). Stop laughing its not funny. When I run long distances the fabric on my shirt rubs my skin and I develop NIP's. Stop laughing I said.

Sometimes NIP's is so iratating that I begin to bleed, like this poor SOB (that's Son Of a Bitch) BTW, that's not me in the photograph.

So a few years back I started to use a great product called NipGuards. They are a great product Basically a small octagonal piece of foam with adhesive on the back. The only drawback is that they are raised up about 1/8 inch, so when you have a sweaty white shirt on the octagonal NipGuards are pretty visible. Its been a necessary evil to wear them in order to not be rubbed raw in a long run and to get a good, bloody shirt free race photo, but they look kinda funny and they do show up in photos if your not careful.

So lat week I got creative. What do chicks use to keep their...well ahhhh...their ahh...well you know what's, invisible when everything they wear makes them...well visible. So with the supervision of Mistress, we surfed the web for nipple covers. Well let me tell you, I had no idea they came in cones and tassled and in shapes of butterflys and sequined and in so many colors. What I couldn't find was a style that didn't make me look like I should change my name to Sapphire and wear my Speedo to work.

Until finally I found this website that sold nude covers. So I bought a package to try them out on my run. Basically they are skin tone and all adhesive, sort of like a band-aid without the gauze, but not as thick, these are a very thin material. They stuck to me very well and I had absolutely no problem with NIP's. The website says they even work in water and I can attest that I was soaked through with sweat and they performed very well. I even wore them into the shower and they were still very much stuck to my...well... me, thank you very much.

So for all you men out there who suffer siently from NIP's, I have gone through all the effort and testing to let you know there is a cure. Order with pride, if not without using your wife's name on the address label, cough, cough, like I did. Totally worth the investment and I have upped my confidence and race ability, not to mention post race recovery sensitivity.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Brick w/ Wind

I was falling asleep on my feet at 9 pm last night and wide awake at 0100. So I read some blogs for about an hour, still not getting tired. Boy you guys are motivating. I thought about a 0200 run. Nah, not that awake!

So I went downstairs and watched The Negotiator with Samuel L. Jackson followed by The Perfect Storm, acknowledging that my morning brick was going out the window every minute my eyes stayed open. But, thank the lord TBS plays movies all night. That channels flippin better than HBO, I tell ya. The Mighty Mo got up at 0530 and we watched Shrek while Mistress slept in.

As the morning progressed I realized that I was getting cranky and frustrated and that Mighty Mo was going to take a nap way early, so I gathered my things and took off on a 40 minute ride followed by a 20 minute run.

At first I thought I was in big trouble, I was heading east and my cadence was at 80 but I couldn't get up past 16 mph for the first 4 miles. I attributed it too the long night and decided to make my trip shorter by turning south and making a loop towards home. I make the turn and Whooosh, I am at 19 mph and 107 rpm. Thank the Lord it was only a headwind that I couldn't detect. So I floor it home, even hit 29.5 mph (Oldman and Flatman, I seeeee you) but the bike lane ended and had to slow down.

I park Lucille in the garage and run down to the local high school, do a few laps on their track and head home. I feel much better.

Again, thank the Lord for my slowness on the bike only being a headwind. I was really having some doubts there.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Been An Eventful Saturday, Torn With Memorys

The weather in Phoenix has been really hot since Satan got back into town for his four month vacation. Does he have to bring the weather with him? Running group was really small, a tad over a dozen brave souls today. There is a fire just outside of town burning 35,000 acres and another in town burning 500 acres so air quality is just as poor as it can be.

My legs felt sluggish from the workouts, the heat and the air quality this week and I struggled to post sub 9 minute miles (8:52).

While Mighty Mo acted like a puppy and eventually feel asleep on the stairs I got to watch Oceans 12 and In Good Company. Both were better movies than I expected. Once Mighty Mo was up we went to the local fire department and they let him play on one of the engines and showed him around the station. He loves fire trucks.

Then the three of us plus my mom, went to see the new puppy Mistress bought behind my back. We have been a dogless family since last summer and Mistress really wanted Mighty Mo to have a companion. Its a Fox Red Labrador. He is 7 weeks old and a pure breed. He is being weened still so we will not bring him home until this Friday. Mistress wanted to show Mighty Mo the puppy (still unnamed) to get him ready for the big adjustment.

I am a bit dog shy right now as the events regarding the demise of our last dog, Buck, are still a very fresh and an ugly wound on my soul. I am reminded daily of the whole situation. You see Buck, who I raised for six years mauled Mighty Mo in a freak accident and I was forced to decide to put him down. Mighty Mo, just learning to walk, tripped and fell on him, Buck was not paying attention and because he was scared bit him 3 times in the face. Mighty Mo was pretty cut up around the face, requiring stitchs and antibotics. Because he already has a low immune system he spent a few days in the hospital when he picked up an infection in one of the wounds. There was no plastic surgeon on call that morning so the doctor who did the stitches did a lousy job and Mighty Mo still has a long scar next to his mouth.

Buck and I were best friends. He came into my life at a time when my life revolved around nothing but 80 hour weeks and starting a new company. He comforted Mistress and I when we needed it and had nothing but unconditional love for us and Mighty Mo when he came into this world. I do not think I will ever care about another dog the way I cared and treated for Buck. Its one of those special bonds that is made once in all the pets you own. His memory is forever marred by attacking my son and every time I look at my sons face I see that scar and my heart just breaks for Buck and for Mighty Mo.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Max heart rate without the 220

Tri-mama asked me to address a very good question,
"Hey will you post info on how to find max HR without using the 220-age equation. My HR is generally 165-170 when I run and my max is 183 by age. "
Max Heart rate is a formula that is simple but wildly inaccurate. It is based on a number, (220 male, 226 female) and then making deductions to it based on age. What it does not do is take into account is individual fitness levels and type of activity it is geared to. For example as triathletes we all understand that riding a bike is 'easier' on the body than running, in a overall sense that is.

There is some exercise level and age indicating markers that can be used to adjust the 220-age formula which now is primarily used for running profiles. Under thirty years old and very active subtract 3 bpm, using the formula for cycling subtract another 5 bpm.

To get back to tri-mama's question. The best way to get your max heart rate is to take, an unfortunately painful, Max VO2 test in a clinical environment. The best place is a performace lab, which can be found in or near most major university's. You could also call a local rehab clinic or hospital and inquire. The test requires a run or pedal (based on a treadmill or bike test) that quickly moves from warm up to flat out sprint which is to last approximately six minutes (if you make it that far). In your mouth is a breathing system and/or you adhese sensors to your torso. Absolutely the best method and worth the money.

I have posted a link for how to do a modified Max VO2 test on a treadmill. You will need someone to run a stopwatch and adjust the treadmills speed and incline, believe me your going to need the help. Go to the link below, print out the page then once the test in completed, plug in your minutes to find your score/number.

treadmill test

Using the Polar S625X I took the Sub-Max VO2 which runs off of a resting heart rate immediately increased by simply standing up after laying down for 3-5 minutes. Its pretty accurate but should be done several times over a few weeks to the msot accurate mark. I have done all three types of tests I have mentioned and the Max test in a clinical setting is the higher number of the three.

The general consenus of most companies that provide sub-max testing (HRM's or health club equipment, for example), is that its not as accurate as a Max VO2 test, but all sub-max tests are about the same in its amount of deviation from the clinical test. Meaning if your not going to take the Max VO2 test in a lab, then pretty much everything else is not as accurate but as good a test as anything else thats not a Max VO2 test. Does that make sense?

Tri-mama I hope this answers your question.

BTW, my Max V02 score taken in 2003 was 58. My sub max on a bike in 1999 was 56, in 2004 on a bike it was 55. And let me take a few minutes here to take my second Polar max HR test......Max HR is 184.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

What do you really want from me?

Okay, okay, I know that I should have gone for my 15 minute brick run after my 30 minute mountain bike ride but we are talking visuals and shiny new toys here. Let me explain...

I decided to go out on the mountain bike today, only 107*, I think its getting colder! Anyway I hooked up the HRM and packed away my little spy camera and took off, again to the utter stupification of my co-workers. To compound their ideas of my lunacy, a co-worker burned his knee while kneeling on the ground to change his flat, while a bunch of us were watching him change the tire. Why was I not helping, you ask? Hey, its hot out there I'm not gonna change a tire in that heat! That Ain't Right!

OptimizeThis is from the highpoint of the route. The lump in the background is 'A' Mountain, my redemption run and the sliver of water you see below it is Tempe Town Lake and the route of the Arizona Ironman. I would love to tell you that I bomb down these hills, but in all honesty folks, I 've had too many head injuries to take a chance at a serious dump. These trails are chock full of loose gravel and fist size stones that love to create unstable riding enviroments. Give me a road bike and asphalt and then we might be talking about something else.

I tried to figure out how to upload the exercise graph but its a No Go. Now no more time, my In(sane)-Laws are back in town and I am late for dinner plus a big storm is rolling into the Valley and it gets crazy on the roads. If any of you know how to convert the graph and could email me, I would greatly appreciate it.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Great Swim

As all of you should know by now, the swim is my limiter. Well on the request of Mistress I did not make today a brick to see how well my swim would improve. Well it improved. I felt much more comfortable in the water and of all the drills tonight, the big drill was a 500 meter straight. And even though I was dead last in my group, I did it. No stopping, straight swimming. No cramping, no survival stroke mid pool to catch to my breath. It felt really good.

I capped off the practice with a timed 100 meter when I was very tired. I did not have any expectations and pulled it in 2:55. I have no idea how good/bad that is in the whole scheme of things but I have got to believe I can improve that by 25% over the next 470 days (thats the days left before IMFL before taper).

Bonus Wednesday Post

Just a quick note while I steal an administators computer in one of my clubs.

I feel a bit dejected at an opportunity lost last night. I was really contemplating a 45 minute run last night but Mistress talked me out of it, something about finishing my, "You-Will-Do" list and the gusting dust storm. Anyway this morning on t.v. they mentioned that the temp. in my area last evening was 118 degrees. 118 flippin degrees! I haven't run in that official temp. for two years. But with they way things are going this summer I may be able to get in a run around 120 degrees (air temp). Ground temps are already in the 120's for running on asphalt mid-day. Call me sick but I love extremes.

An Unfortunate Change In Plans

I posted last week that this weekend I had a training hall pass since Mistress and Mighty Mo were going to her brothers wedding. Well the wedding got called off and now I don't have my long training weekend all to myself. Where is the fairness in that?

Not to get into the sorid details, because quite frankly I am not surprised at this swerve off course, I never met the girl and never thought I would, but I want my training time. Can a 34 year old man throw a temper tantrum?

Of course Mistress is none too happy with said change in plans, but she's taking it in stride. So we are trying to carve out some training time for me Friday afternoon and Sunday morning. As per the Training Contract we ironed out, I think the judges will allow me the continuance of my three day regime, though slightly modified.

I was going to go out and pound the pavement today but its already 90 degrees outside, it hit 114 degrees yesterday. So I am going to rest up and save my energy for swim practice tonight. It seems every day I go to swim practice, I make it the second part of a two-a-day workout and I go into it already tired. In a really cruel twist of fate, its been a week since I last swam. How do I train so much and not get that in?

So the rest of the week looks like this and lets see if I can keep to it.
Wednesday: Swim 60 minutes
Thursday: Run 45 minutes in a.m. / swim team 60 minutes p.m.
Friday: Mountain Bike 45-60 minutes mid-day (forecast 110*)
Saturday: Running Club 50-90 minutes (6 or 10 miles depending on which group I choose)
Sunday: 1m run/30m ride/5k run with Tribe Multisport.

Total minutes including Mondays 40 minute run: 444 minutes or about 7.5 hours. Not enough got my taste.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

HRM Update

This thing is tough as nails to figure out. I have most of testing done, now its just a matter of getting it all to work as a unit and uploading it. I purchased the IR unit for USB transfer and that really seems to be the most difficult part. You would think that there would be a wide spectrum of area to upload from but apparently there is a specific area of 15 degrees for optimum transfer.

What I thought would be a simple process has taken two and a half hours and my swim workout away from me. Well I suppose its progress.

I need to take the tests over a period of two weeks, three times per week. That will help establish my caloric expenditure index, pace, resting hr, max hr and submax VO2. Its a journey.

Till tomorrow my friends...

A Little Tease

Just a quick post as I need to get out of the house with the Mighty Mo. I picked up my new Polar S625X HRM last night and will be going through the set up this morning over coffee. (A boy has to get to know a girl before he can date her ya know)

This afternoon I hope to share with you some of our wonderful experiences together.

PS. This is a double date as I got the IR port as well.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Another Run In The Can

Its not often that I get to run with someone from work. I ask quite often but the response goes from, "Get the hell outta here ya damn runner, I've got a back workout today!" or, "It's 120 flippin degrees outside, no way, you're nuts!" So I was surprised when I was asked by someone if he run with me today. Of course.

BV was track guy, still very fit but hadn't run in quite a while. So going for a run in 108 degrees and 7% humidity was probably intimidating to him.

We took it easy going out, he talked and I grunted, knowing that my throat would soon be bone dry from sucking super-heated dry air.
After about 10 minutes, he was getting it full blast.
At 15 minutes he thought he may not make it.
At 21 minutes we checked heart rates, Comm:150, BV 170
BV hit the wall,we took at 9 minute break under a bridge where it was probably only 95
At 30 minutes we checked heart rates, Comm: 115, BV 165. We started hitting the hill.
At 38 minutes we finished the course.

It was sorta a sick validation to my training that my bpm was low and I was acclimatized to the heat. I take no pride and in no way wanted BV to go down as a heat casualty. I have put myself into heat stroke, (yes the full on diagnosed, big daddy of heat injuries) and spent a miserable time in the hospital because of it. I would never allow someone around me to become a heat casualty if I could avoid it.

Still...glad it wasn't me sucking it up out there.

Good Tips For Training

Here are some excerpts from Tri Mag that I thought was appropriate for the upcoming season. The bold italics are my interjections. click on the above link for the whole article.

Coach’s Tales with Cliff English: Sharpening early-season fitness

By Cliff English/Competitive Edge Training

Tip # 1: Racing is the best training
It really is true. You cannot beat a race for specificity. You get to practice all your skills -- physical, mental, technical and tactical -- under race stress. The more often you race the less stressful it becomes as well. Many athletes only race a couple times in the season, and with all their eggs in only a few baskets they can crumble under the pressure and underperform. Select a few events that you’ll approach not as key races but, rather, as an extension of your training. That way you’ll gain the benefits of an intense race-day effort while still adhering to a structured training plan.
You just can’t find any fault or really add to that statement. I try to race at least once every two months to keep myself motivated with short term goals. String together enough short goals and the consistency will add up to completing the long goal(s). In my case- IMFL06.

Tip #2: Check your ego.
Don’t expect a PR from “training” races. Y
ou needn’t make every event an A-priority race. While you’ll still go hard, note that the purpose of these building-block events is to gain experience and sharpen fitness. In a few key training races, such as that one that is done constantly every year, you know the course and the type of people your racing with, then try to get that PR and go all out. For the rest of the races, train with the end-in-mind. My goal for IMFL06 is ten minute miles for the marathon. I already know as a stand alone event my marathon pace is 8:15 and 9:00 when I am on target, so my goal in my train up marathons leading to IMFL, is to have a serious conversation with myself to reign the ego in and stick to the plan. Will I PRthe marathon in the near future-no. Will I finish IMFL-yes.

Tip #3: Plan a mini-taper
To benefit from the work you put into a training race, you needn’t do a complete taper, but you don’t want to race following a huge week of training. Many people come in too loaded and start back into training too quickly. Immediately following the race, get in a good cool-down and then, if possible, an ice soak or ice bath for two to four minutes to really speed up recovery. A 20- to 30-minute flush massage after the race would be ideal as well. Monday would be a day off or just a light 20- to 30-minute swim. On Tuesday, schedule an aerobic swim and bike. By Wednesday you can have a solid swim and get back to an aerobic run. For Thursday, get back to some intensity with a bike and run and then continue your regular training through the weekend (or drop back down again to the Friday and Saturday pre-race routine if you are racing again).
Racing tapers do not need to be long or conflict with overall training. My problem in the past with planning for a marathon event as an A-race is that there is a three week taper then a four hour race then a two-three week recovery. You may as well just X out two months of training. By putting the 26.2 in perspective to the overall goal it becomes just a long training event under race conditions and not the apex of the cycle.

Tip #4: Go by feel
Races can take more out of some people than they do for others. When it comes to recovery, it’s important to be able to go with the flow and allow your body to help dictate your activity level.
I call this ‘instinctive-training’. Instead of following a set plan, I allow my body and mind (& outside influences like work or family) guide my recovery time. The problem with most athletes is that they overtrain and don’t listen to their body, setting themselves up for a bigger fall or lapse in training later in the season when it can’t be afforded.

Tip #5. Have Fun
If you can’t have fun then don’t do the race. I have paid into a race and then backed out because of a conflict and felt bad about it (should I still wear the shirt if I didn’t run the race?). I have knuckled under and raced when I shouldn’t have to run a terrible race. Wil put it so well in her marathon reflection titled 'Pudding', hugging spectators, saying Thank you to volunteers. When you are not trying to PR and just enjoying the course, you should be very thankful to all the people sacrificing for you’re your benefit. Its hard to be in a bad mood when your smiling and thankful.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Race #5 2005, ARR Series #2, 5k

Well #5 is in the books, thank goodness. Not my best race, placing 257/800+. I finished 25:11 (8:07 pace). Considering that my pace picked up each mile, thats not too bad but I was expecting a sub 24.

There were over 800 racers I am told. The 5k was a loop along a horse trail, so lots of ups and downs through dry washes. The dust really picked up and I had to pull over really quick, twice, to spit as my mouth was caked with dust and dry from the heat. Not as bad as the Cheetah run where the heat caused me to pull over with dry heaves, but I passed plenty of those people today too.

It was just a really crowded race with lots of winding and small ups and downs. I guess in hindsite that extra minute could come from that.

What was nice, was that instead of me having to provide my own Finish Transition, I was parked 20 yards from the music truck and 40 yards from the finish line so I just had to sit and enjoy. SRC was a co-sponsor so I talked to my running club mates and helped them provide food and drink to the runners and then clean up afterwards.

I met some great new people today and saw some old faces as well. That is the great thing about being a regular at local races. You get to have such great company.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Change Your Mind

Just a quick post this morning, as I am rather proud of my near death experience last night and blogged about below.

Today is a rest day as I have a 5k at 0630 tomorrow morning, so I decided to actually dress up for work instead of my usual, khaki shorts, running shoes and Nike Sphere shirt. I know, I'm lucky.

Anyway as I was going through my dress shirts I just couldn't find one I liked that matched my favorite Nordstrom Khakis. Well I did, its my favorite, most expensive shirt, a Kenneth Cole, that I wear only on special occasions. I kept glossing over it and looking for something else.

But you know what, there has been too many deaths around me and my friends lately. A member died this week who was very well known to one of my clubs. He was young, early 50's, healthy, except for a pain in his stomach that when he got checked out, turned out to be late stage cancer and he died just a few hours later. I always wondered why people passed so quickly after bad news, do you think it breaks their heart? Do they give up hope?

Well those are eternal questions not to be dwelled on today, my response is this, Change Your Mind. Now back to finding a shirt. I grabbed that Kenneth Cole and thought, 'Why save the good stuff?'

So my thought of the day to you people, Why save the good stuff? Wear your favorite dress, or shirt or suit to work. Dash on the special perfume or cologne. There is no better occasion than living life.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

I'm Dying Out Here

OptimizeSo I went out on what was to be a quick mountain bike ride and holy smokes I was tuckered out. My flippin heart rate never came below 145. Its a route I am familiar with, I think I just took too much out of myself with the two workouts yesterday and the gym workout this morning. Since I have a 5k on Saturday I used that as an excuse to bail out and go home with a little dignity.

On my way back, after only a few minutes of....catching my breath, I remembered a survival Gu tucked into my camelback. After eating the hot Tri-Berry Gu, wrapper and all, I took a drag off my 100 oz water bladder that was full just ten minutes ago with clean, clear water. There is nothing like sucking on a hot plastic tube of nothing.

As I reached the last hill, I decided it would be a good place to die and assumed a snow angel pose in the middle of the single track. As planes flew over me on approach to Sky Harbor Airport, I wondered if any of the pilots would call in a body laying prone, arms splayed akimbo on a dusty mountain trail; breathing heavily, turning pink in the heat and smacking his mouth as Tri-Berry Gu tried to slide down the throat as everything else he ate today fought for room to come up.

I decided since I left my cell phone on my desk, that I should shoot a flare into the sky so that rescue teams could locate me quickly. Surely, someone would find me before the coyotes ravaged my body? As I drifted off to what would hopefully be a mercifully short heat induced coma, I heard the distinct sound of a baseball being hit by an aluminum bat, 'Tink!'.

Arising from my delirium, I had enough dignity to straddle my stead and coast down the hill to realize I was mere feet from the civilization.

Two Fer Two

Last night I got in my swim just like I said. Its so nice when a plan comes together. It was swim practice, again I was the slowest guy in the lane. That doesn't bother me much as I understand where I am at and I have no problem waiting a few extra seconds on the wall to let the rest pass and continue their drill without having to swim around me.

I would say I am about 25% slower than my lane mates. So for example we were doing 100's on 2:30 for 8. For every two 100 they got in I got 150 because I would let them pass me on their circuit.

I calf cramped, again. But this time it was during the last 25 fast. Afterwards one of my lane mates said I used two much leg in my freestyle, which I was doing because my coach kept telling me to get my hips more involved. Well you know how it goes, solve one problem, create two. So now I will try to limit leg kick and still focus on reach, roll, ear to arm, breath, repeat.

Anyone else have cramping in their calves like that? Was it a similar problem of maybe overkicking? Ah well, the joys of triathlon.

I bought a new pair of goggles a few weeks ago and they keep seeping. They are Socket Rockets by TYR. I will had to use my backups today just to get through. Will most likely have to get another pair, I may go with a aqua mask but most likely I will just get a regular pair of tinted goggles since its an outside pool.

Tally Ho.

Oh BTW, today is 60 minute Rehab and either swim practice again or I am taking a friend through a weight circuit to teach some core exercises and a full body workout. If I can I am going to try to get on the mountain bike course I did last Friday for 30 minutes.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Reality is a little bit closer to vision

Well I said I was going to run and swim today and the run is thankfully over. I did the route around my office that takes me almost exactly thirty minutes.

Today was a HOT 30:07. I justed checked the local temperature and its 103* and 12% humidity.

Last week it was 29:44 / 95* / 10% humidity. So the pace is roughly the same with consideration to the higher temp. and humidity. The calves felt good which I hope is a good sign as they were a bit tight last time and then I had two really bad cramps in swim practice later that night.

Consistancy not Intensity

I have to keep reminding myself that no matter what I have to continue to build my fitness base. I love nothing better than pushing myself through distance or effort into complete and utter exhaustion.

That doesn't neccesarily help me get in all my workout's for the week. In fact I am averaging only 6 per week. Now I suppose 6 workouts a week are great for the Common Man, but I don't want to consider myself Common. Common people don't do Ironmans; focused, slightly disturbed, mostly broke because of upgrading people do Ironmans . So I really feel I need closer to 8-9 workouts a week. So its a constant battle between my Competitive Mind and my Vision Mind to set the tempo and stick to it.

Longer, slower, consistant training in all three disciplines is what is going to get me through IMFL. My goal is to get to the point where I have three workouts per week in each discipline with one of those workouts for each event being a Defining Workout.

Oh, I am sure there is some technical name other than Defining Workout that I should be calling it, but I think I missed that meeting. It was probably the same meeting they handed out the Decoder Rings and taught everyone Bilateral breathing. My Defining Workout is the long workout that I need to that week to keep progressing to a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and marathon.

Todays tasks are a 30-45 minute run in 110 degrees and a solid 60 minute swim team practice.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Delays Delays Delays

Well the pool was this morning, not yesterday. Oh I went there but there was some commotion that I did not want to get involved in so I went and picked up my Mighty Mo and had half a beer with The Colonel, aka Dad, who has been in Kansas for the last two weeks on a defense contract.

But I did get in a monster set, for me, in the pool this morning. 1400 meters. Some 25's, 50's, a couple of 100's. Some good drills. I am much improved from the beginning of the year but still have a long way to go with my endurance. Its the biggest limiter in my tri-game. I say monster because I did actually plan out a series of 100's, in different blocks and then 800 meters of drills. I don't normally do 75's or 100's so to get those in and then only break 10-15 seconds in between is an accomplishment.

I am going to swim practice Wednesday and then planning on Thursday (situation depending) but may spend that time training Kevin the owner of Tribe Multisport because he is such a great guy. Unfortunately if I don't get there on Thursday I won't get back until next Wednesday because I have a 5k on Saturday. So I would be on my own again for a week.

In the better news department, Mistress and Mighty Mo are going to Oregon for a family wedding, no their not already related, next weekend. So I have a 48 hour pass all to myself. Some people have asked me if I want to go to the casino or strip club or bar.

Hell no, I plan on bell to bell training. All that macho man stuff is for those suffering from CMS (Common Man Syndrome for those of you new to this blog-just read the header in the title). A perfect weekend for me is Friday moutain bike and run brick, a group run 6 miles Saturday, then breakfast and then swim practice for an hour, then shower, movie, short bike in the afternoon, the long bike 30-40 miles on Sunday followed by a brick run 30 minutes. We shall see how firm I get this down.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Swim anyone?

I have got to get back in the pool today. Its been four days since my last swim session. I got in a great mountain bike ride and a great run and a rehab since then but no pool time.

I have a race this weekend, a 5k. I have heard this is a fun run, lots of people, its mostly desert and trails. So I will have to taper on Friday and consider cutting my swim practice short on Saturday. 5k races are pretty much the only sprint work I get since I try to focus mostly on LSD runs.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Mountain Bike Ride

On Friday, I know I should have posted this over the weekend, I took the mountain bike out for a little spin. I keep it a work for just the sort of "Get the hell outta Dodge" workout I needed at that day.

Out the back of my office is a really great mountain bike area. In fact I was able to follow the course of a mountain bike tri that was coming up. Talk about a hard course. While most of it was not very technical there was one sick joke of a uphill hairpin that I just can't imagine a lot of people negotiating without getting off and walking through it. There was no one around and I walked through it.

There is a really nice hill that I took and then changed gears and suspension settings to see what worked best, hard or soft. I think softer won out, as the times I did it harder the back end kept coming up because I was leaning to far over the front bars.

I was only out for 45 minutes but man was my cardio kicked. I was probably anaerobic for a good deal of it which is not what I wanted but what I got.

I will probably get into that course a few more times this week as I am doing the sponsor companies third mountain bike triathlon of the season as my next tri race which is the last week of July.

Start, Stop

This has been a really inconsistant period in my training. I am getting good workouts in but only 4 quality one's a week and not the 7-8 I need. I promised Mistress and my mom a afternoon to shop and that through off my training for the day.

I am going to try to put something together here in the house by Mighty Mo is in full play mode.

At least I can plan on a good week coming up.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Return to Normalcy

Have you ever moved out of the old neighborhood and come back to find that nothing, refreshingly has changed much. I had that experience this morning at upon my return to the Scottsdale Running Company's group run.

I used to live in the heart of rich Scottsdale, the Beverly Hills of Arizona. Jenna Jameson lived right around the block. (Ahhhhh no, no link that her website, sorry guys, I try to keep it clean for the ladies) When we moved, the thing I missed the most (other than running into Rick Schoeder at the multiplex and chatting before matiness-he must of thought I stole his day planner because for several months we had the same movie theatre schedule) was moving away from my running group. I still shop the store, I am completely loyal but I didn't have it in me to drive for the runs.

Going back today was really fun, except for the 35 minute drive. I saw several old faces and some new employees. But I have a good reputation there so it was easy to meet people. It was a small group for Saturday, the San Diego Marathon was last weekend so about 15 people did that, plus a triathlon was going on in Tempe. It was a 750 meter swim and I didn't think I had that in me that why I didn't do it.

I set into the six mile group which was to be a 9:00 pace. Mark Yost a young stud who I met at SRC three years ago, who BTW cruises at a below 6:00 pace for hours was leading. It was pretty loose and before you know it he and I have blown through two miles in just under 15 minutes. Whoah there Nelly. So we slow it back down and the rest gaggle up and we hit the turn around with a few others.

I was draggging at such a quick pace going out but around 4 miles my stride smoothed out and breathing came down and things just went well. We lost the rest of the group, they bowed out on us, and we came in at 51 minutes, which turns out to be around 8:30 pace.

I was really happy that I had such a good run but a bit upset with myself for plowing out way ahead of pace. My long course races leading to IMFL I am going to pace out at 10 minute miles which is my time hack I am shooting for in the Ironman. But here we go, I am typing this and my Competitive Mind is telling me, "Buddy, I am doing 4 hour marathons and no more." Thats a 9:09 pace BTW. So obviously I have to sync my Competitive Mind with my Vision Mind.

But the boy is down for the morning nap as is Mistress so I am running out to catch a matinee of Mr. & Mrs. Smith. Later.

Friday, June 10, 2005

How To Stay Cool In a Race

On the advice of a good friend I am posting a proper way to cool down during a race without adversely affecting your outcome. See nothing upsets a race faster than discomfort, either from the weather or self induced (like blisters or chaffing, but thats for another day). I am going to address how to keep your head cool and your feet dry.

For your feet. First things first, you need to use a pair of worn in shoes and proper socks for a race. Its a myth that running shoes need to be 'broken in' nowadays but it does take few miles done over a couple of short runs to 'mold' the insert and footbox to your foot. This limits blistering and goes back to a smart training concept, "never introduce something to a race that you haven't tried at least three times in training". For socks, never cotton. My recommendation is to move away from thick cushioning socks and into Dri Fit, or my favorite DeFeet socks. If your apprehensive of changing to a thinner sock because you feel your feet need additonal cushioning than you either need to change shoes or upgrade insoles to something like Sorbathane, which is my favorite. A high performance sock will move liquid from your skin to outside of the sock, which will prevent blistering. Also the thinner performance sock will be made of a slicker material that will prevent hot spots. (Sidenote: before anyone thought about using polyester or nylon in a running sock we would wear Leggs knee high or ankle high pantyhose under cotton socks so that we wouldn't get hot spots or blisters).

As for the water, always over the back, never over the front or right over your head. It will run down your leg and into your shoes. Never lean over to just hit the back of head and let it run off the front. You may think the 'over the sink' style will work but if your deep into a race your body has compensated to a certain momentum equilibrum and when you lean over you could suffer a major shift of blood flow and pass flat out, (but at least its in a water station and lots of people are there to help you wake up).

The best way to cool off is to take off your hat and soak your hat, shake it out and put it back on. If your lucky enough to get ice, put just a few cubes in your hat. If your in a real hurry, take a drink then splash the small amount left in the cup over the back of your head and back so that most of it stays high and minimizes running down your legs.

Never, never run through a water sprayer. Sometimes at a water point, or a station set up by a fire department or just a kind neighbor living on the course, they will shoot a stream or spray of water over the runners to cool them off. Avoid at all costs as it will soak your shoes and you get the inevitable skin rubbing and blisters. Its better to have hot feet then blistered feet.

Now if its raining and depending on the distance, carry a back up set of socks pinned in a bag under your shirt or tucked into a pocket or utility belt. Its worth the hassle of carrying them and protecting your feet than not. Its a cost to benefit analysis. (Sidenote: If its a long race and in inclimate weather I will wear a water/utility belt. Especially if its cold, I will put in it some lip balm, a small chemical hot pack (in hot or humid marathons I might carry a small chemical ice bag) and just a few other things.)

Thursday, June 9, 2005

A funny thing happened on the way to work today...

So Simon, the best rehab doctor ever, called to switch my Friday appointment to this morning because his pregnant wife is going in for gall bladder surgery on Friday. I know, she's nervous but the doctors are friends and top in their fields so she is confident.

It was good to see Simon anyway since I got a cramp in each calf at swim practice last night and needed some help. But it caused me to not get to the office until 1030. Then Mistress calls with the Mighty Mo update and that she has to take the car into the dealership because it 'freaked' out on her. I told her I would take it in for her and drove to get it then to the dealership.

The funny thing is, I got there right as they were going to lunch and they estimated one hour to diagnose the problem so I had two hours to kill. So I walked across the street and caught the noon showing of Cinderella Man.

What an awesome movie. I love movies but did not actually know how this final fight ended and it really makes a big difference. I seriously suggest not learning about James J. Braddock until you see his story unfold on screen.

But...I left all my gear in my rig and I am way behind in closing out my files from May so the bike ride today is called on account of priority. Which is Mistress, SUV problem, work, me.

So the rest of you have a great training night and I will see what I can do in work clothes in a gym.

Wednesday, June 8, 2005

Death Of The American Man

I grabbed this off of Drudge Report on June 8th. Do I really need to harp more on the French? We already know they are a worthless dynasty of pathetic whiners who are only a country today because of social politics.

Its a shame that Paris, therefore the Frogs, have such a sway on high end fashion. But why do we have to listen to them blather about how they know what we want to wear! Have you ever bought something that was shown on a Parisian runway? Hell no! Nordstroms is your level of couture. If your like me you buy at least a few things every year at Old Navy, Walmart or Target and browse Sports Authority for that perfect dri fit workout shirt that might pass for a work shirt if your boss doesn't look to close. I said it before and I will say it again. I will not willingly step foot in France until they finish the Eiffel Tower. They left the darn thing erected without putting the sheet rock up. Enough! Read and be offended. I am going to go beat my chest and grunt loudly while I get into my Ford pick up .

Macho man is an endangered species, with today's male more likely to opt for a pink flowered shirt and swingers' clubs than the traditional role as family super-hero, fashion industry insiders say.

A study along these lines led by French marketing and style consultants Nelly Rodi was unveiled to Fashion Group International during a seminar Tuesday on future strategy for the fashion industry in Europe.

"The masculine ideal is being completely modified. All the traditional male values of authority, infallibility, virility and strength are being completely overturned," said Pierre Francois Le Louet, the agency's managing director.

Instead today's males are turning more towards "creativity, sensitivity and multiplicity," as seen already in recent seasons on the catwalks of Paris and Milan.

Somebody Said I looked Red

I just came back from a run. Its 95* and 10% humidity. So while I did not sweat much outside, I am sitting on a towel and have one over my shoulders because I am dripping profusely. As a coincidence two people have walked in and asked why I look like my heads about to explode.

I have a loop near my office that I have benchmarked as a 30 minute route. Today I ran it at 29:44. I have no idea how long it is but it has some pavement, so loose gravel, runs partially along the town lake and a fairly decent hill I have to get over at the very end. Its a good run with a reliable time. So anything better than 30 minutes is good time.

In a few minutes I will be off to swim practice. Will probably get in 1200 to 1500 meters.

Great New Online Tool

I found a great calculation tool for swimming, biking and running that I am sure you will all enjoy playing with. I am also putting this on my sidebar in case you don't bookmark it yourself.

Click here

ITU Madrid Triathlon

My friend Joe Umphenour, who is a professional triathlete, came in 18th overall and the 4th American accross the line at the Madrid triathlon last weekend (use the sidebar on the itu website to see photos and rankings). It is amazing to me to see that even at 18th place he was only 1 minute 40 seconds out of first place! One lousy minute. It just shows how competitive it is on the pro circuit. There are only so many sponsors and so much prize money to go around so these guys give it absolutely their all.

Before I give his times let me lay out the course on a ITU race which is called an Olympic or also called an International distance:

The swim is 1.5 km or .94 miles for us Yankees.
The bike is 40 km or 24 miles.
The run is a 10k or 6.20 miles.

Now here is how Joe did.
Overall: 1:57:09 18th place
Swim: 18:06 (1:12 per 100 meters)
T1: 1:12
Bike: 1:04:19 (23.18 mph)
T2: 0:31
Run: 33:02 (5:18 pace)

Joe is in black over the right shoulder of guy wearing RED BIKE SHORTS. Well its a tri-suit but again why do grown men wear tight red shorts? He's French...I must refrain from typing anything else...That's not right!

Good Job Joe. (Who BTW, crushed R.B.S. French guy in the placings.)

Tuesday, June 7, 2005

Decisions, Decisions

So I am reviewing my endurance supplementation, not in relation to daily food intake but hydration, electrolytes and caloric intake on the move. I am fairly up to speed on the latest nutritional supplements on the market and but I need some feedback.

What do you use for your hydration, electrolyte balance and calorie intake on the bike and run and then for recovery? (Other than Gu's and Gel's) Accelerade? PowerBar Recovery? Gatorade Endurance? Solid Foods? Cytomax? Endurox? Optygen?

I need to start experimenting with some new things as my mileage and time go up. Obviously I take a quality multi-vitamin. I use a diluted PowerBar Recovery during and after long training because of my heat injuries. I use organic fig bars on the tail end of long runs in lieu of gels because they have higher calories and the fiber will keep my system from seizing up after the run is over. I just started using Amino Vital on the advice of my friend Joe Umpenhour who is a professional ITU triathlete and think so far its a good product.

Oh, make no mistake I use my far share of bars and gels before, during and after training but I realize I need something with a bit more 'gas' to it other than just dumping a bunch of caffine or adrenial uptake components (like red bulls, taurine, guarana et al).

What say you? What do you use?

My Chakras are all screwed up.

I think the mini-vacation took a bit too much out of me. Mentally I am rarin' to go. Emotionally I want to train so badly. Physically I am exhausted.

I did a late sleep-in Monday, skipping the planned run, so that I could have energy for Monday and the late afternoon swim. I was really beat all day but did get in a short swim of 600 meter, more due to bad timing than anything. It was short but I was able to put in some 50's and a 100 so I felt good that my endurance is getting better.

By the time I got home I was ready for bed. I was nodding off at 7pm and in bed at 8:15. I had planned on getting up at 0315 for the swim but the alarm went off and I there was no way I getting there. I woke up still really beat.

So I have an hour of flexibility, stretching and rehab set for this morning and then that's it. I was going to go for a run this afternoon, but I think if I skip today I will be able to do my a.m. run and then swim team in the afternoon and get back on track.

Monday, June 6, 2005

The Further Adventures of Mighty Mo

So, twenty of us staying at the resort decide to go to Outback Steakhouse for dinner Saturday night. Mighty Mo was full of vinegar and causing all kinds of ruckus while we waited fifteen minutes for the table to be ready. So I did the fatherly thing and went to the bar to buy drinks for everyone.

One of the other gals, took Mighty Mo for a walk around the parking lot, giving Mistress a much needed break to drink her El Patron Margarita. Then around the restaurant to look at decorations. By the time we sat down he was doing better.

thirty minutes later as food arrives he decides its a good time to act two years old and wants out of his high chair and to sit on someone's lap, so Mistress and I pass him between us. Again he decides being a two year old is more fun and begins yelling/screaming at the top of his lungs. But he has a huge smile on his face so its hard not to laugh (Sidenote: Yes I was an adult who cringed at screaming kids in public until I became a father. I still cringe but its different.)

Mistress decides its time for Time Out, so she take him from the table and into the curbside server's area for his Time Out. (BTW, his Time Out is standing up against the wall with his hands on the wall like being frisked by a cop) After a short Time Out they come back to the table for a few minutes. Well, I looked at him and he looked at me, he smiled, I got out one, "Stop!" before another scream. He then gets off my lap and runs around the corner and gets back into Time Out. A new server is wondering why a kid is waiting to be frisked. Oh his legs are spread out, his arms high, head turned around to look for me. So he and I leave.

Now I could be mad, I was mad, but as we walk out the curbside door a couple is walking towards us. Mighty Mo, looks at them and says, "Hi guys!" The woman looks down and then turns to her friend and says, "He has the most beautiful blue eyes I have ever seen on a baby." To which Mighty Mo without missing a beat says, "Thank you" How can you be mad at that?

After a short walk, we come back in time to pay the bill and Mighty Mo decides its time for smoozing with the two elderly couples at the table next to us and he is all flirt and charm and giggles. A perfect little gentleman. Then the customary "Bye" that he must say to everyone which takes another five minutes. He even gets people to say 'bye' back to him that he's never met. It's almost like "Norm" from Cheers. He just yells, "Bye" to the room, waves and smiles and like a dozen people say bye back to him. He then has to be taken over to them to acknowledge their comment. Its so sweet but its every single time we go out.

Then its the goodbyes to the inadament objects like, "Bye, bye table...bye, bye chair...bye, bye door, etc, etc, etc"

At least he has a positive attitude.

Sunday, June 5, 2005

Mini Vacation Lowdown

Staying at a five star resort has definite perks and serious wallet sucking abilities. Who thought a fricken cup of black coffee, one size only sir, would cost $5.00?

Really the resort was a blast. There was five families total that went to stay at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess over the weekend and we snuck a sixth family into the pool on Saturday. I lived in Snobs-dale for five years and got fair accustomed to having the resort experience thrown upon me but this was really enjoyable.

All the kids, ten in all, played and interacted really well. All of them vary in age from two, we rode that birthday pony at two restaurants, up to twelve. Mighty Mo is like a little magnet and all the other kids want him to play with them, so he was being pulled all over the place. Poor little guy gets tuckered so quick because of his immune system that he took two 3 hour naps each day, so we were constantly coming and going.

On Friday, immediately following check in, I did get in 500 yards in the lap pool area before being hauled away for a celebatory Corona by the guys. I would like to say that I got in that long run Saturday morning, but I have a funny story to tell. See the resort has a 'pool and a movie' theme on Friday and Saturday, you float in the pool or sit dockside. Friday night was Grease. The adults decided that Friday was guys night to cut loose and Saturday was the gals. So we meet the other four dads for drinks at the pool to decide the game plan.

I had only had one beer the whole day and was setting up my excuses based on getting up at 0500 for a ten-miler. At 8:30 pm we decided to play poker. One of us had a travel poker set up with great chips and we all chipped in a twenty a set high blinds to make it a quick game. At 10:30 I was winning and thought I could close this up by 11:30, sacrificing one hour for a Benny ($100-Ben Franklins on the bill). At midnight, it was down to three of us, I was still in but behind and going all in on a pair of six's so I could leave with some dignity and still get five hours sleep. I won.

At that point I knew I wasn't making that run at 0500. Not a chance in hell. So I grabbed a beer and the remainder of cigar and for the next two hours played poker and with reckless abandon. It came down the two of us, and I lost. I didn't mind losing the twenty I put in, I was really pissed off that it cost me my run.

So I know I the Mighty Mo gets up around 0530, and there is no way I can survive a Saturday on three hours sleep. So when he stirs at 0500, I make a command decision to sleep on the floor in the closet to get some uninterrupted sleep before breakfast. Little cuss sleeps until 0700 and I spent two hours on the floor in a cramped closet with the door closed.

The massage was really good, but not the $175 good that it cost for the hour. Its a beautiful spa but not that beautiful. I spent an hour before and after using the steam rooms, dry saunas, Swiss showers and aromatherepy rooms. That was pretty good. I spent that time by reading some Ironman Florida race reports that I downloaded for inspiration. I was also a bit disappointed in the apples. Not that fresh. But the prickly pear lemonade was really good. And the staff was fabulous. They really treated me, all the people there, with the utmost care and concern.

Saturday's dinner was trip for twenty to Outback Steakhouse and Mighty Mo got his dander up. I will save that for a future blog post. That's a whole other comedy of events. How does it take four adults and four other children to care for one child? When its Mighty Mo, it just does. Surprisingly, you feel good about though.

By the time we got back it was time for Mighty Mo, and daddy, to get some sleep so Mistress went to meet the gals. The two of us were asleep by 8:30. Sunday we went to the pool to see everyone after a $30 breakfast of four pastrys and aforementioned cup of $5 coffee. Mighty Mo did not last long and I took him up to the room for his nap and by the time he got up we had to leave. Not much of a resort day for me, but I did read several chapters of Going Long and Mistress sunned at the pool.

Total Resort costs including room, spa: $400
Total out of pocket for meals and junk: $120
A weekend bonding with the family: Priceless.

Friday, June 3, 2005

A Much Needed Break

I will be offline until Sunday unless I get a cheap internet connection at the resort I am staying at. Yes that's right folks, the family and I are going to the Fairmount Scottsdale Princess Resort for a three day vacation. We are meeting three other families that I work with and their kids.

It is ranked as a Five Star Resort, one of the finest in the world. I have already scheduled my hour sports massage at the Willow Stream Spa there, voted by Conde' Nast Traveller as one of the best spas in America. I will also be sticking around for the amenities like the dry sauna, steam room, jaccuzi and cold plunge. Plus whatever else they provide. I bet they have good apples. All the good spas I go to have good fruit to eat, like apples.

Not to be deterred I am planning a 60-90 minute run Saturday morning and then I will swim during the day. Ahhhh, not really laps per se but I promise I will be around water. I have a feeling that I will be snockered from all day in the sun, a long run and long spa session so Sunday is for relaxing. My only day off the whole week from training.

So good luck Wil on your marathon, I expect to hit your site on Sunday for the play by play. Good luck the rest of you and have fun with your endeavors, if I forgot anyone's race this weekend I apologize. In a tribute to Nancy's comment on Wil's site and also to repay Tri-Geek Kahuna I will be writing everyone's names down and having an adult beverage for know to get me through the rough parts.

Thursday, June 2, 2005

Alright Back To Regular Programming

I can't leave a depressing post up on top. So lets change the subject.

In my visualization of Ironman Florida 2006, which I am finishing have no doubt about that, I plan out my comfortable times to finish each leg and still have a cushion of time at the end. I am building into this plan a single word-FUN. Even though all this training can be draining, frustrating, enlightening and long, if the race isn't fun then why do it, right?

So tell me what you think and maybe add your own personal goals in the comment box.

Swim 2.4 miles: 1 hr. 15 minutes
T1: 15 minutes
Bike 112 miles: 7 hours (average 17 mph, plus including 30 minutes of tire changing)
T2: 15 minutes (including hamstring rub down by ART tech or massuse)
Run 26.2 miles: 4.5 hours (average 10 minute miles)

With the Grace of God and some good luck, I think is a realistic to finish, still have fun and not visit the medical tent when I am done. If training goes very well over the next 500 days, then a sub 12 hour would be easy to obtain.

Death Is In the Air

I recieved some disturbing news last night that goes on par with the what's been circling the Alliance lately. A good friend of mine overdosed on prescription drugs and died the other day.

His name was Jeff C. I met Jeff 13 years ago at the first health club I worked at coming back home from time I spent in the South Pacific. He was a successful independant personal trainer. Through Jeff I made some great friends. We went to church together, we broke bread together. We took trips together to Canada or camping or rock climbing. He used to host an inpromptu bible study in his apartment for our little gang.

Jeff became addicted to prescription drugs a few years later. He lost most of his clients because he asked them for loans of money, to use for drugs, and would miss training sessions with them. He dropped out of the church and our little click. I took Jeff in to my apartment for a few weeks before he entered rehab, he had nowhere else to go. He was contrite, overwhelmed, scared, frustrated, thankful he still had one friend.

He finished rehab and started to get his life back in order. I got married and was moving up in the company and as things naturally happen we drifted apart. We hooked up as often as we could. He was putting things back together but that took him several years to rebuild his reputation and repair his wrecked past. I eventually moved to Arizona and lost contact.

A few years ago he started working with our sister fitness company in Washington. He was getting a second chance at a career. He did well for a while but the rumor was that he was back to using. The companies had a joint Las Vegas trip in 2002 and we spent a few hours together, him asking forgiveness, me asking him to get more help. The last time I saw Jeff was at a wedding last summer. He was eager to talk but I was torn up inside becuase my son was admitted to the hospital, for what would be several days, while I was in flight to Washington and I wanted to get home as soon as possible.

An addict is an addict. I lost Jeff long ago and this is finally the ending to a sad saga of a good mans life ruined by drugs. I still have vivid memories of his laugh, his walk, he loved a specific brand of Nikes and wore only those.

Today or this weekend don't run, or swim or bike for mourning. Run, swim or bike for life.

Today is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it.

Wednesday, June 1, 2005

Swim update

With a few minor exceptions this mornings swim went well. Swam 12oo meters (yards, whatever) in this set up:
8x25 catch ups(?)- arms straight out, touch hands before next stroke
8x25 fist drill- swim with clenched hands
8x25 finger drag drill

Each drill had a recovery lap, and I paused 15 secs between laps. If any of my terms are not normal lingo or if there is a more universal swim drill term please let me know, I get frustrated when I am using words that don't make sense.

This afternoon to change things up I am planning on taking the mountain bike out for some hill work around the office.