Friday, September 30, 2005

Murphy's Law #87

If you are short of everything but the enemy, you are in the combat zone.

Still thinking about those lake swims

My mind is on constant swim mode. I can't stop thinking about my limiter. I borrowed The Colonels range finder Thursday and drove out to the lake to get a distance reading. Being OCD on these things can take up a lot of time.

The inlet I normally swim in is 70 yards wide, which is just a tad longer than I thought which is good. I figured the infamous buoy at 125 and found it too be 175 so I did much better than I thought on last Saturday.

All told the two laps the guys do is 2,200 meters or yup you know it, a half ironman distance. Of course one of the gang went out with a fricken angle and calculated it out in his head a few months ago and was right on the money. Damn pointy heads and all their mental abilities.

I had a private swim lesson with my old swim coach and he was impressed with my progression but like any good coach its not good enough. He introduced speed drill and we finished with 10x25 on 1 minute, full out sprint. I was very much out of breath.

This weekend most of the guys I train with a doing an Olympic and I am going to take pictures for them. Yes I know I should have tried to enter but I am not comfortable with my swim progression for the lake swim. Yet.

It will still be good to be in the community, so to speak.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Living In A Group Pyschosis World

We happy few that consider ourselves runners, through lifestyle or extension of training goals, sometimes must deal with the...well lets just say indelicacy of the sport. Today I won't be talking about skin rubbing hot spots near the armpits or more delicate areas. Today I won't be discussing the use of pasties to control nipple bleeding.

No today I will recreate a conversation with a non-runner completely agog at me running ten miles in 105 degrees and then flopping myself under my personal water cooler to douse myself in cold water.

Non-Runner: "Did you just go running?"

Me:"No I laid in the parking lot and took at nap for almost two hours. Here's your sign." (Inside joke-go rent Blue Collar Comedy Tour)

NR: "How far did you go?"

Me: "Ten miles. not far."

Here is where non-runners ask the most self-reflecting question of their doubts:
NR: "When you run that far do you ever stop and walk?"

Here is where anyone who runs any respectable distance mentally or physically rolls their eyes. You see to answer NO, I would have been lying, it was a hard run that day and I did walk a few times to drink and stretch out my calves and hamstrings. Hundreds of thousands of people have completed marathons based on run/walk routines, there is no shame in it, but its the tone, the insinuation in the way its asked. If I say YES, then it validates non-runner that runners really aren't that great, I really am not that great. Its a form of group psychosis that doesn't allow someone in the group to break away and be successful making everyone else in the group feel inadequate and weak. So in good salesmen form, I respond to a question with a question.
Me: "Why do you need to know if I walk some or run the whole thing?"

aha. See no non-runner has to either drop it or reveal the reason of the curiosity in the first place. Answer honestly and you get an honest answer, change the subject and subject is dropped.

One time I had just finished a marathon and wasn't very happy with my time. Someone asked me if I walked at all when I had just finished going 26.2 miles the day before and I was sore as hell. I kind of lost it.
Me: "What does it matter if I runned it all or walked some of it. Its more running in one day than you've done in the last decade. You've never run a marathon, so what gives you the right to question my race? Why can't you just be appreciative of the fact I accomplished something that meant a lot to me? A little pat on the back. "

The moral of the story is people who don't understand endurance running, or triathlons, or cycling a century in a day will subconsciously try to beat you down. "Doesn't it hurt your butt to ride that long?" "Why get up so early, why not just sleep in?" "Your going back out to the lake, I thought you almost drown out there last week?"

They don't mean too, but they can be too mean. Negative energy questions spoil the runners high, demean the accomplishment of a five hour ride, suck you down faster than bad form in a pool. Meet these questions head on.

Don't become a victim of peer group mentality. When you rise up from the norm and start to gain some self esteem because you have lost weight, created a long term goal and chopped up all kinds of personal bests getting there, when you have become a better person through exercise, protect it with all your heart. Don't alibi or dismiss the disciplined, proactive, goal oriented person you have become.

Me: "Yeah I walked a couple of times, you want to go out with me next time I run?"

Non Runner: "No way that's to far for me. Your nuts."

Me: "Yeah thats what I thought."

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Somebody Got His Legs Back...

I'm not sure if I wrote about it on my blog but I know I mentioned it in other blogs comment sections, but my mile pace time has stunk for the last two months. Ever since I went on vacation in July and got altitude sickness and then carried a lung infection around for three more weeks, I have wanted to vomit on myself when I look at my average minutes per mile.

I went out for a 7 mile run last night and was more than pleased when I kept looking at my Polar to see my heart rate down 10 beats per minute and my pace down a full 2 minutes per mile.

I am sure there is all kinds of rationale that can offered up; flatter course, cooler day, mental attitude, whatever.

I am often guilty of my mood being based on my last workout. So I feel pretty good.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Whoah, were'd the day go?

I have been running around like a lunatic today trying to get things at work caught up by the end of the month. It looks like I have finally got a handle on things and can get out now for a 7-8 mile run.
I placed a phone call to my old swim coach who now trains across town and asked if I could get a tune up lesson from him since I will be down the street at one of my clubs tomorrow. I figured its been a few months and my drill form has probably detoriorated. He would also be able to give me some new feedback since I think my swimming has improved a lot in the last two months.
Recovery weeks are nice. It comes with good timing since I will be up late at an employee's wedding reception Saturday night. I can almost guarantee a couple of glasses of wine and a cigar. Which is fine since on Sunday I am photographing the triathlon that some guys from the group are doing. I'll look at it as an active-hangover and a blessing over the normal 60 mile bike ride, 60 minute run I would be doing that day.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Mighty Mo and the EL-Fent

Mighty Mo has a thing for dinosaurs. We own all 11 of the Land Before Time DVD's and dozens of dino-toys. Mighty Mo thinks that elephants are dinosaurs. No matter how many times we correct him, he won't budge. I sometimes think he knows this but still makes the arguement just to get me to laugh. The circus came to town so I took him for his first elephant ride.
Yes he is a ham for the camera but this grin is all elephant envy.

The two Commodore's riding high. Photo by Grampa Commodore (aka The Colonel by me, Bob-bo by Mighty Mo)
One of the few days I was able to get out of my tent from altitude sickness and fish.

Can a brother get a breath?

Ugly, smelly and finally back to the truck after 7 days and 30 miles.

Recovery Week

Things are moving pretty fast this morning so nothing pity or astute right now.

Once I get out of my meetings I should be able to review two CD's of pictures and post some good stuff. One CD is a compliation of my Yosemite backpacking and fishing trip in July and the other is from over the weekend when we took Mighty Mo to the zoo.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

To The Buoy And Beyond

As I left the house for my morning lake swim, I actually considered going upstairs and giving the Mighty Mo a farewell kiss. Some part of me thought that I would not make it if I went to the Buoy. Of course I corrected myself and used a few postive affirmations to put my head on straight but the quick schism in my mental toughness still reminded me of my big triathlon limiter-the open swim.

I met the Green Team at the base of the bridge. Thats my self appointed name for the loose group of guys whose train together. The team colors are green since they are so easy to be seen on the course, not many people wear it. I think I mentioned that the de facto leader of the Green Team is a doctor so he now becomes The Good Doctor for my blog.

The Good Doctor carrys a perma-smile and is a super competitive SOB (SOB in the good sense) and a fast swimmer. He very much reminds me of Tri-Geek Kahuna is manner build and looks. A man who has what I call gravitas, or gravity. He pulls people towards himself with charisma.

As the team did their usual two laps in the lake I busied myself with the new wetsuit and practiced floating and strokes. The stealth suit is amazing. Absolutely zero bind or tightness in the stroke. I doubled my usuall laps but not venturing near the buoy route. I was happy this day to feel like a big fish in a small inlet.

As I hit the inlet point, The Good Doctor had finished well ahead of the group and I could tell he was looking for maybe a third lap. Instead he swam over and after a idle chatting he TOLD ME, we were going to the buoy and back together.

A quarter of the way out I lifted my eyes for a pinpoint and started to have an axiety attack, 'Oh god, its too far away." I trusted myself and kept going. A few minutes later I looked up and could almost touch it. Yes! As I rounded the buoy I made some bad zigs when I shoulda zagged but managed to make back to the inlet point feeling full of confidence knowing that I even swam a bit further than I needed too because of my lack of sighting.

After a few more minutes of chit chat I figured we would head back to the bridge since everyone else had finished swimming. The Good Doctor informed me we were swimming NW to the buoy, then West to the next buoy then all the way back thru the inlet to the bridge.


My sighting was much better and I absolutely did not feel like I was going to drown. Had The Good Doctor not been so selfless I doubt I would have done so well. Every time I looked around he was nearby bobbing or stroking along. Without him I would not have had the courage today to accomplish this big a milestone.

I seriously don't believe I could have done it without the wetsuit which I am so greatful for purchasing.

I kept busy the rest of day by taking the family to the circus and to lunch then going to a Sportmans Warehouse with The Colonel to buy him a new reel for his birthday in a couple of weeks.

A great day.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Murphys Law #77

If builders built buildings the way programmers wrote programs,
then the first woodpecker that came along would destroy civilization.

New Additions

The benefit of unconditional support from Mistress in my training is nice new Shiny Things. Before you all comment on how cool it is to have that, remember it took almost three weeks of negoiations to get it, which include performance bonuses throughout the training.

After my 3 flats and 2 hour wait in the middle of the desert last weekend I upgraded my bike by adding an X-Lab Saddlewing, all black, which holds two bottles, two tubes, two CO2 cans and an adapter. I am still keeping the under seat bag with 2 tire levers and an extra CO2 for emergancy or give away. With the extra water cages I can be more self sufficent in hydrating, rather than conserving water until I come across a store. I will now be starting off with two 28 oz. bottle of water, a full aero bottle and two 28 oz bottles of 300 calories each.

In order to maintain realistic training along with decreasing mental anguish in open swims, I purchased an Ironman Stealth wetsuit. It was probably overkill, but in speaking with the great folks at TriSports they sold me on the benefits of buying up into this suit since it is made to be more bouyant and comfortable for half and full Ironman distances. Plus I, along with the training group, plan on lake swims all year long since the water temperature last year did not drop below 50 degrees.

I will be able to put both to good use this weekend with my Saturday lake swim and Sunday 60/60 (60 mile bike/60 min. run).

Since the rest of the team is either racing this weekend or tapering for next weekend I will be doing the 60/60 on my lonesome. Which is okay since, cycling is fairly solitary as it is. Maybe I'll take the iPod. Oh quite you goody-goody-no-headphones-while-riding-folks.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Training Contract- A Written History

From time to time I relate back to the time Mistress and I hammered out my training contract for Ironman Florida 2006. We are a couple that enter into robust dialogue and get everything out on the table because once a decision is made its important for complete buy in.

Once the 'neogoitations' are over, the bargining completed, the expectations hammered out, there will be no future eye rolling or passive aggressive body language. Its in the contract. In fact now, several months later and completely commited to my goals, she is MORE understanding than ever before.

Part One: Have Your People Call My People.

Part Two: Pyrric Victory.

Part Three: Unexpected Gift or Shrewd Ploy By Racer.

Part Four: Waiting For Notary.

When is summer over?

Today at 3:22 pm in Phoenix is supposedly the official change over to the Fall season. Whatever. Its still going to be over a 100 degrees for a few weeks. The nice thing is that from basically now until late March, the weather will be 70-80 degrees for the high, 45-50 degrees the low. Even though I sorely miss lush green woods, it is nice to have a six month summer while every one else is basically weathered in around the country. I suppose only Kahuna, Oldman and maybe Flatman will be able to get serious training time outdoors for the rest of the year. Lucky us.

Speaking of heat, yesterday was a ten mile run and it didn't matter the time, it just became a 'Gutter" and I think we all have had a few of those. No matter how bad I felt my goal was to run out five miles because there was only one way I knew of to get back. It was another one of those runs that afterwards my head didn't feel right.

Right now I am not so interested in lowering my run times but getting in the distance or time on my feet. Especially with running, there is no conditions I can duplicate in normal circumstances to prepare my body for a marathon after an ironswim and ironbike. So I figure no matter how bad I feel when I start my training run, I am physically better off than I will be during IMFL. So it just becomes a matter of mastering pain and mental anguish.

If I had succumbed to Common Man Syndrome yesterday, I would have turned around at the 2.5 mile mark. That's not getting me to my goal. I realize that part of the training has to be time on my feet, no matter the pain.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Olympic triathlon gold medaist, American Hunter Kemper, the number 1 ranked triathlete in world cup standings won the Bejing World cup last weekend in his usual flair.

This year in ITU events, Hunter has finished on the podium 6 out of the last 7 times, with two 1st place finishes. Last month he became the first triathlete in the world to recieve the Olympic committee, Olympian of the month award based in large part on his great year right now.

Hunter and my friend Joe have been teammates and 'rivals' for almost a decade. Because of this, I have admired Hunter for a long time though I have always rooted for my homeboy.

Great Job Hunter.

Sheila Taormina retires

From: (September 15, 2005 )

Beijing, China: On the 5th anniversary of Triathlon’s debut on the Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia, Sheila Taormina of the USA has announced that Saturday’s Beijing ITU Triathlon World Cup will be her last.

Taormina, 34 of Livonia, Michigan first entered Triathlon in 1999, one year before qualifying for the Sydney Olympic Games. In her 5 year career in Triathlon she has won Triathlon World Cup titles in Cancun, Nice and Madeira, as well as the ultimate World crown that she won at the 2004 ITU World Championships in Madeira.

Prior to competing in World Cup Triathlon, Taormina competed in the World University Swimming Championships in 1991 and 1995 and then qualified for the USA Olympic Team for the Atlanta Olympic Games – winning a gold medal in the 4 x 200 freestyle.

But true to style, Taormina is not going to slip into a quiet life. She has taken on the challenge of becoming the first person in history to compete in the Olympic Games in 3 different sports. She has been training for Modern Pentathlon since competing in the Athens Olympic Games and is on course for making the USA team for the Beijing Olympic Games.

The 200m freestyle swim and 3km run of Modern Pentathlon have been an easy part of her new sport, while horse jumping, fencing and shooting are a lot more of a challenge.

It will be sad to watch Sheila in her last Triathlon in Beijing after everything that she has added to the sport, but we’ll watch with great interest as she pursues her 4th Olympic Games in our sister multi-sport.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Hey Doc, How are you?

Should a two year old know his doctor well enough by sight to run up and give her a hug?

One of the stipulations of my training contract was made very clear at the begining of neogiations with Mistress, family comes first. Although recently all the medical attention has been on Mistress and her medication issues, the true sicko in the family is Mighty Mo and his low immune system and compounding allergys and asthma. Today Mistress had to rush him in, he is a VIP (read: priority scheduling) with his doctor because he can turn really fast. Somehow, lord knows how, he picked up an infection and is on yet another batch of antibotics. It looks like this was caught quickly enough that the normal week in the hospital will not be happening.

The absolutely stupid thing about this is that unless you knew him, you would think he was the happiest, funniest little angel you ever met. Yes he ran up to his doctor and gave her a hug. Two years ago she might have thought we had Munchausen By Proxy but she, and all of his support crew, are smarter now.

To compound my lack of training today I walked into a warzone in one of my clubs today and as a Partner I could not in good conscious sacrifice a two hour run for the two hours of training I knew had to take place instead. Today was not lost to Common Man Syndrome, today was transformed by the Stephen Covey phrase, "First Things First."

The Strugglers


The weather report said the sun would go down today at 7:49 pm. And it did.

Now it is dark.

In the street there is a sporadic, somber procession. It is a black and white picture. There is no color, no pageantry, and no grandeur. The grace is gone and now and it is down to gritty reality.

It is the time of The Strugglers. 11:18 pm, Taupo, New Zealand- the 20th Anniversary Bonita Banana Ironman Triathlon.

The Pros are asleep. Their stomachs are full, their muscles are massaged. Their performances are a matter of record now. They are done. Have been for quite some time. They finished in the sunlight in the front of cameras and microphones racing for paychecks and trophies.

It's easy to understand why they race. They should race. They look like they should. Lithe and toned and buff and tan and serious, the Pros and the other talented athletes reap the generous gift of genetic athletic abundance, meticulous preparation and clear-cut motivation. They are here to kick ass. It doesn't take a psychologist to decode their motives. They're athletes, and this is the big show. It's what they do.

The pros' time is over. Now it is time for The Strugglers.

There are no levels of performance for The Strugglers. You either are or you aren't one. If you haven't finished by now and you're still out under the lights you are a member of this vaunted fraternity, The Strugglers. Just as the stark street lights leave either harsh illumination or black despair for The Strugglers this is a matter of finish or not finish, victory or defeat, do or die, pride or humiliation, success or failure. It is all the chips on one square, all the cards face up on the table, and all the aces have already been dealt today. The Strugglers play high stakes with a bad hand.

It may never have been pretty for The Strugglers. Most of them may not be athletes in the sense that they spend hours and hours every week training, but they line up nonetheless to do this race. The downtrodden, the meek, the ones with something to prove or something to defeat. Whatever it is they bring it here and beat it into ugly submission over 140.6 miles, each one a full 5,280 feet. The Strugglers earn every inch of every foot of every mile.

In a day so daunting and fearful they line up on the beach as if bravely facing the gallows. A cannon sounds the beginning of their trial and there is little known at the onset about how matters will be resolved, except to say it will be hard and uncomfortable and then downright painful. That may be the most frightening part: The not knowing. Some will find absolution, some will teeter and wobble and fall. There will be polite acknowledgement of their ambition, but ultimately, for The Strugglers the only thing that matters is Finishing. It's what they're here for.

So for The Strugglers, this is a huge gamble. Hero or failure. No in between.

And struggle they might, against awful odds and distance and poor conditioning and genetic poverty, but in bravery they are absolutely peerless. Without equal.

The Strugglers know it will not be pretty. They know it is not a sure thing. They do not have the luxury of prediction or past performances or experience. This is not their aptitude. But this is their choice and their bold dream.

Imagine being sent to do something, something beastly difficult. You know in your heart of hearts you are not prepared, maybe not even suited for this. You know the stares of others less brave and more envious fall heavily on your effort. They want The Strugglers to fail. For every Struggler who crosses the finish line it is a failure for those who never dared try. For every Struggler who sadly and reluctantly succumbs to the distance before the finish line and is carried off the course it is a victory for those who never started. They take sick pleasure in that. Shame on them.

Those who never had the courage to try have no right to cast judgment on The Strugglers.

The Pros are comfortable and resting. But the Strugglers have not left their sacred vigil. They soldier on, unswerving in their oath to finish, No Matter What. People marvel at the Pros performance, but I say The Strugglers are the real athletes. Explorers on the terrible frontier of self-doubt, fear and potential embarrassment on a grand scale. They bring less to the start line and they do more. Longer, harder, more painful: It is a different race for The Strugglers.

It is a parade really. A parade of people so brave and tough and fearless that they don't care if it might not work. They bank on the fact that it could. They don't back away from the possibility of failure. Imagine their performance as set against the backdrop of the very best in the world and they are not self-conscious about their version of the very same dance. Ask yourself, would you take the stage at the Kennedy Center after Barishnikov or Pavoratti? Are you that brave?

The Strugglers are.

Their performance is tedious and grinding. It is utterly relentless in its duration. The distance, the time, the struggle cannot be compromised. The Strugglers know this, they accept it- embrace it even. And they never succumb. Under the street lights, through the cool air, in filthy clothes streaked with their own discharge of minerals and fluids and sometimes even tears and blood.

The Strugglers do a different kind of race. A harder one. And they are Elite. It takes longer. It is less practiced. It seems to never end, and it does more damage.

Decode their motives if you will. But I decode yours as trying to explain more why you didn't try than why they are. Instead, I respectfully suggest, salute them. Unless you have walked with The Strugglers until midnight on the Ironman course they stand above you in the athletic arena. Struggle as they may, they mustered the courage to try.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Damn That Murphy

It's been sort of a long strange couple of days. I actually am not sure what I should be blogging about today but hope that something makes sense as I write down my stream of consciousness or unconsciousness as I sit here with fingers on keyboard, mid sentence, looking for the right words or direction to go.

Yesterday for the 60 mile bike and 60 minute run. I woke up early to get to the meeting place on time. I still only just made it, then realized I left my shoes at home. I only lived eight minutes away so I was back under twenty minutes.

At the 75 minute mark in the ride, after completing the hardest hills of the course and making great time by the way, I suffered a flat to the front, one guy in the group, John, stops to make sure there is no surprizes. Over the course of twenty minutes we realize that the spare is punctured and that his spare won't fit my rim. Of course no cell phone so he rides ten miles along our route to call Mistress to pick me up in the middle of the desert, along the side of the highway. Mistress not having the best directional capacity, gets lost and interprid age-grouper, me, sits along the side of the highway for over 2 hours. I got a couple of offers for lifts but really couldn't leave because Mistress was somewhere enroute. It was a terrible experience but I certainly could have spent that time doing something better. We get back just in time for me to catch up with the group. Two other guys got flats as well. I find my rear is also flat at this point. So I now know I wasn't going anywhere.

The whole rest of Sunday I was just really, really sore like I worked out a lot harder than I really did. I felt really off. Unbalanced. Today I wake up ready to move my 10 mile run up a day to make up for yesterday but still I feel like I was in a car accident. I am guessing the hills really did me yesterday and then sitting along the road in the heat, cramped my up nice and good.

Over the last couple of weeks I have come to forks in the road like this where I am emotionally and intellectually motivated to do something but physically lethargic. From my infantry past I tend to just push through these physical roadblocks because I knew that I had to be able to perform while physically exhausted. Thats what war is for a 'grunt', living and performing at a high level when your at your weakest.

Training for an Ironman is not war but is there really that much difference if I go for a run today feeling beat up, since I probably won't feel much better after a 2.4 mile swim and 112 mile bike? Probably not.

At least with a run I won't have any tires to change. Damn that Murphy.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Shhhh, Shhh, Not So Loud

Last night was a lot of fun. Its a good thing I cancelled out on my swim this morning because, well lets face it, after 72 golf swings all with the same bad form on a par 30, 9 hole course, after staying up 3 hours past my usual bedtime, after two pints of John Courage Amber Ale at the authentic British Pub George and Dragon, after eating the biggest piece of battered fish (and chips), after dragging my cigarette smelling body home and snoring my stuffed nose away all through the night (thank you cigarette smoke), I was in rough shape when I got up at 0700.

Though Mistress had to get up at 0515 to handle the Mighty Mo, we all had a breakfast of french toast and country potatoes, family meals always make her feel better. Today, my penance is driving the minivan to the supermall for shoes and clothes shopping. Good Lord I should like Frank The Tank (Will Ferrel) in Old School!
Frank: "I told my wife I wouldn't drink tonight. Besides, I got a big day tomorrow. You guys have a great time."
College Student: A big day? Doing what?
Frank: Well, um, actually a pretty nice little Saturday, we're going to go to Home Depot. Yeah, buy some wallpaper, maybe get some flooring, stuff like that. Maybe Bed, Bath, & Beyond, I don't know, I don't know if we'll have enough time.

I'm doomed.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Charity Golf Tourney

Upon opening my e-mail this morning was a reminder that I am part of a foursome tonight at a Charity Golf tournament for Breast Cancer. Its a night game thing with an auction and dinner afterwards. Lets put aside the fact that I have not golfed in three years and have only half my clubs left in the bag, the rest having been snapped cleanly over my right thigh during my last few months of playing the sport. I e-mailed our team sponsor, Kevin of TribeMultisport and explained that I currently have more CO2 canisters than golf clubs right now but he is unfazed.

The quandry is this. Kevin is a great guy and I am by no means ditching on him. I have been to some of these golf charitys in the past and understand the deal, you pay your money to play, you drink your beers, you eat your dinner, you bid on stuff you would never want to pay that price for any other time in your life. You get home late, tired and in my case sore as heck because I haven't swung a club in years. The biggest part of doing this event is to be with Kevin because I appreciate all that he has done for me since he opened his store and if I can in some small way repay him for his mentoring and expertise while slapping backs and sharing some brews, so be it.

This is going to interfere with my swimming tomorrow. I won't get home until midnight, this course is also an hour away, and get up after only a short nap before having to go face my demons in the lake. I could just as easily sleep in and put in a good run or a pool swim later in the day.

When I called Mistress and told her the deal tonight, she was not excited. I could hear her mentally flipping through her training contract with me trying to find the loophole to say no. We already had 'robust' dialouge about a.m. training interfering with Mighty Mo's swim lessons Saturday morning and the dogs training class on Sunday morning. Now I am throwing out there a golf tourney that she knows in the past has always turned into 'guys night out'.


Murphy' Law #57

If Murphy's law is correct, everything East of the San Andreas Fault will slide into the Atlantic.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Weights/Run/Swim Brick

Did it all a bit backwards today but still great results. Did a 30 minute total body circuit, followed by a 30 minute run, followed by 4,000 in the pool another distance record for me. I don't think I will be doing any great distance in my lake swim this week so I figured to make it up today. Here is the breakdowns:

Life Fitness circuit: 2/15 (dropset heavy to medium, no rest) ab crunch, front lat pull, seated row, shoulder press, chest press, chest fly, bicep curl, tricep dip, leg extension, prone leg curl, calf raise.

Run: 30 minutes

Swim: 1x100 1x200 1x300 1x400 1x500 1x1,000 1x500 1x400 1x300 1x200 1x100

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Not a bad idea

Does this sound familiar? Can't find your drivers license because you left it in a jersey pocket, in your bikes bento box, in your camelback or running belt. I mean obviously you don't want to get into trouble and not have I.D. I have thought that I may be hit by a car and being unconscious unable to have anyone notify my family or know about my medical history. Being the recipent of some doozy head injurys it's not too difficult to imagine me taking a blow and being out of it long term. BTW, I never play contact sports like football, basketball or soccer.

As I was going through my junk drawer I came across an old drivers license with an old address. Then I remembered that I had one of those electric label makers downstairs. So I decided to work up my old lisence with pertinent information so that I could carry that with me instead of my official lisence. I put on it my new address, phone numbers for Mistress and parents and also my big ticket health issues, like my blood type and that I am a prior heat stroke and had multiple head injurys. Most importantly across the top of the card is my medical carrier and group number.

I was able to keep my photo visible, my birthday and the license number. I used a blue sharpie to underline the insurance part and then ran a strip of that thin, clear packing tape over it to protect it from rubbing and wetness.

This way if I lose it or misplace it after a hard workout, I am not really out anything that the cops or an ID checker would complain about if I am carded.

To go one step further I am going to investigate a pre-pay debt card. I was thinking about that at Starbucks (they have reusable cards). I would just put $50 bucks on it and carry that instead of my Debit card and then wouldn't have to destroy my wallet every weekend to be safe. Yes I know a $10 bill would be easier to carry for bikes and runs, but 1) it may not be enough money for something like a round of coffee or drinks post workout and 2) I really don't want to stash a wade of ones on my person after buying a $1.50 gatorade and lugging them around until I get back to the truck.

Which Polar?

Mike asked in my talkback which Polar monitor Chris & I use. I use Polar S625X and believe the same is true for Chris. Chris gave me a link to GIMP, a free software download for putting the graphs online. I wish Polar would get with the program and establish a better tool for getting things online.

I must admit that it is not an easy thing for me to get the graphs online, since I forget steps. In particular in cropping the graphs so that they are cleaned up for review. I have only done a few but hope to get more efficient with each one.

The monitor itself is great. Its spendy but well worth it. Its mostly for running but can be, with some machinations, converted for bike work. Pro's: It calculates sub VO2, resting heart rate, max heart rate and calorie expenditure. With the supplied footpod it calculates distance without needing satelite hookup. If you live for the data and graphs, its the best I have seen. Con's: watch face scratches easily, watch is really a computer so its not as simple to navigate all the functions like say a Timex HRM, cost. If your not mentally strong enough, setting your watch display to Pace and Distance, will totally screw with your head.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Todays Drill

Finished out the day with a 9 mile run.

Mistress is doing much better. She had a mostly continous day of work. Had another doctor appointment to study all her meds and made some changes that should, cross fingers, be the trick. Just a steady day of work, blog, train, family. Wish they could all be this good.

Swim with freakout in plain site

Click on graph for size increase.

As you can see I wasn't exaggerating about my anxiety. The rapid black line represents altitude which when I wear the Polar in water it really goes nuts. Hey like me. The stutter at the peak must have been when I flipped over on my back for a few seconds or so. I guess if the data tells me anything, its that even though I still felt like I was hyperventalating on my back, my heartrate was coming down.

Notice how fast my HR dropped once I made it to the canyon wall. Each time I started my last two swims to get to the launching area, I got anxious but understood I was going to make it, my HR goes way down before I finish the distance. See how the first two troughs are much steeper than the last two. That must mean I relaxed more towards the ends of my last swims than the first ones.

This will all get better. I understand the limitations that I have are all solely on myself, or more appropiately inside myself. I can swim, its calming my mind down long enough to prove my body is capbable of unsupported distance swimming.

Bike/Run bike last weekend

Double click on graph to increase view size.

As you can see the hills hit you at the beginning. Looking at the graph key it shows a 9% grade which is significant. I actually started the Polar five minutes late so it misses the climb up the first hill. The blue squiggles at the bottom right is my pace when we went for the run. It was all up/down repeat and I considered that due to the length of the training cycle and the huge ascent that would be represented as a very small uphill/downhill in comparison. Oh well.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Murphys Law #2

I used to call this "Murphy's Law for Drill Instructors." Now I think I will call this "Murphy's Law for Mainstream Media."
"For every action, there is an equal and opposite criticism."

Thank You

I want to really thank all of you who so thoughtfully left comments regarding my wifes health. Mistress does not surf the web, so the thought that all these people out there she has never met and have enough vested interest in her to leave a thoughtful response is very humbling.

When Mighty Mo was going through the worst of it last year, we would recieve e-mail and letters from people we had never met, friends of friends of friends, telling us that they were praying for us and for him. Asking if they could make us a dinner or come by the room to comfort us and have someone to talk too. A woman we never met sent a stuffed bear that she made herself. Its was crocheted or something like that and she wrote she was compelled to do it upon hearing about our son.

We still have no conclusive results from all the testing. On Tuesday is an appointment with her regular doctor to go over all the notes and drugs and results to see what else can be done to pinpoint the problem. Was the hives last week the problem or was it a symptom of something else that is still afflicting her?

When I told her I would drop her off and then go run 8 miles while she was in the appointment tomorrow, I thought she was going to laugh herself off the bed. "Your a tool." I think that was the response. Well thanks again but I really hope I don't have to put bad news like this up again anytime soon. I would much rather post on my training.

PS. I told her she was an expensive date and I needed to treat myself to a wetsuit this week. She didn't say anything so I am taking no answer as a Yes. I don't think she was asleep when I asked but her eyes were closed.

Going home. No reason for problem. Tomorrow is another day.

Gone thru a battery of tests. Ekg cat scans xrays. She is still nauseous and dizzy and fuzzy. Thank you for all your support.

Mistress is relapsing. All symptoms of last week plus now fainting. On the way to doctors now.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Bike/Run Brick Sunday

Had a great workout this morning. Started with a 60 mile bike route that had very challenging hills in the first 1/3 and then sort of leveled off for the remainder. I got frustrated around 40 miles because I felt I had enough motivation and energy to sustain 19 mph on the bike but could only generate 17, then 15. We took a quick break for water and after that I was good again. I'll have to look but I know I hit 39 mph coming down the last long hill, I may have hit 40.

We followed up with a 40 minute desert trail run. It was supposed to be an hour, we figured we would turn around at 25 minutes, thinking it would take us longer to get back to the cars. Simple physics was forgotton, its faster to go down than up. Since it was mostly uphill the first 25 minutes, it only took us 15 to get back. But everyone else was there already so we just rolled it in.

I started my Polar 5 minutes late into the ride, but total calories burned was 4,000. I'll get this workout and my open swim workout up tomorrow when I get to the office.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

To The Buoy

Okay, you have done your warm ups, its time to swim to the buoy.

Am I ready for the buoy?

Your goal all week has been to swim to the buoy. You swam 2,100 in the pool two days ago, half of it straight, how much more confidence do you need?

A lot more.

Look, see the rest of the guys are already swimming back to the buoy for their second lap. If you don't go now you won't be able to for five minutes so you can stay out of their way. Your warmed up, confident about swimming in in the inlet, go for it.

Yeah your right, deep breath and go. Hey this isn't so bad. Keep the strokes good, legs high in the water, breath. Look up and take a deep breath. Where am I? Oh there it is. Can I grab that thing and hold on or will it slip away if I freak out?

Stop that.

I made it. Ah crap, Todd is coming around, "Hey Todd keep it up your doing great." Okay the hard part is over now get back to shore. Thats how far away the shore is? Why won't my legs come up more.? It feels like I am sprinting? I can't get a decent breath? Confidence where are you?

Theres a bug out point over there you idiot! Get your ass over there or your gonna drown!

That looks like its about 60 meters away. Stroke faster. No wait just relax, relax, RELAX. Crap I drank a bunch of water. I'll probably get samonella or ecoli. Oh why did I have to think that? I can't breath, I can't breath. I'm done. Float on your back. Now deep breaths. Stroke a little, kick a little. My breathing is not slowing down. I'm having a panic attack out here. I'm gonna freaking die out here 40 meters from shore, I'm gonna drown.

No you're not. Think about Mo, think about Mistress. Its 40 flippin meters you have to make it.

My breathing's not slowing down, I thought it was supposed to slow down on your back. Flip over and stroke it out, come on. Oh good I'm a little closer, pull hard to get level then breathe. Good Lord. Side stroke, that sucks. Like instead of going straight down, I'll feel like I'm drowning on an escalator. Doggy Paddle.

Doggy paddle? Brother you don't know how to doggy paddle. Will you flippin catch your breath and swim to shore.

Right, back float. Ahh better. I think I can make it now. Yeah the shore is only 30-40 meters I can make it, I can make it, I can make it. Damn hurry up already. Oh my god. Oh my god. I did it. I'm still alive. Whats my heart rate? Woo! Hit the lap counter.

I almost drown and you have to look at your stupid Polar monitor to see how close to dying a computer says you came. Try listening to yourself hyperventalate here why don't you. Your an idiot. You almost drown yourself and your worried about hitting the split button your watch. Genius.

At least the coroner would know what was going on.
Well that pretty much how my swim went today. The good thing is that all the guys there were very cool about it. They all went through the same thing at one point. One of the guys there, told me his infamous story of his first time going to the buoy and needing a rescue to get to shore. Today he swam the 1.2 mile course. So there is a living shining exampe for me.

Have a great weekend and great races everyone. Especially you Chris at Ironman Wisconsin.
Follow Up: I spent the better part of this day, its well over 12 hours since the swim, thinking about this post. I am actually glad I wrote it this way because this is what was going through my mind in my so called crisis. I'm not exactly glad that I had it but I am glad that I got through it on my own. The open swim is my limiter, I simply just can't stop or pull over. I was asked not long ago what my best event in triathlon is. My response was my Will to finish. It has got to be my Will over my fear of open swimming that creates the opportunity for my successful finish of not just an Ironman, but of any long distance triathlon. I will conquer my fears.

Friday, September 9, 2005

2,150 Swim

Lost out on a ride yesterday but recovered with one great swim. Did a warm up of 2x25 and 1x100. Then a main set of 10x100 on 5 seconds, then 1x1,000. Mentally and physically I knew I had this in me so I felt like I needed to go the distance to calm my emotional side when I do my lake swim tomorrow.

I may stop by a sport store and see what the price is on training fins. I may not get them but it wouldn't hurt to use them as a training tool until I am completely confident in my non-pool swimming ability but can still have meaningful workouts in a lake/ocean environment.

Anyone out there use fins in training?

CH. 3: No Accountablity

Chapter 3: Supplement companies lie.

In Chapter 1, I gave the illustration how a well marketed company can publish a self produced study stating they were better than the competition and you should buy their brand. In Chapter 2, I described a watershed moment in fitness history with passage of the DESHEA Act of 1994. This chapter will describe how and why companies can fabricate outlandish claims and not be held accountable for them.

First let’s sort out the difference between a prescription drug and a supplement. A prescription drug, lets say Prozac, must go through several years of modeling, study, scrutiny, human trials and then approval by the FDA. It takes hundreds of millions of dollars to conduct this research and a decade or more to get FDA approval. Once approved for usage, ongoing and rigorous testing is conducted to ensure every single pill has exactly the exact amount of ingredient as is prescribed on the bottle. The consumer can be sure that every 10mg Prozac pill in existence has exactly 10mg of Prozac in it.

Supplements are a different animal, because there is no regulation. They can make any claim they want. For example if two friends, decided to get into the supplement business all they would have to do is incorporate a business for selling. If their only product was Vitamin C this is how they could make a million dollars. Step 1. Go online and purchase bottles and a pill press. Step 2. Go to Costco and buy as much Tang Breakfast drink as they can hold in their cart. Step 3. Pour all the Tang in the bathtub, add water, mix and then let dry (3a. Drying in an oven is faster). Step 4. Press bathtub Tang into the pill press so they have a uniform shape and size. Step 5. Put 60 pills in every bottle because that’s what it will say on the label that was printed off the iMac on the kitchen table. ‘Organic’ is a good selling word to use on label. Step 6. Market bottles for $10 each on a website. Step 7. Start counting the cash. If the bottle says each pill has 200mg of Vitamin C, as long as a pill has on average somewhere near that number, then no problem. One pill could have 1mg, another 150mg, another 400mg.

Of course all these supplement companies want to make profit. If you look at the amount of money that is dedicated to R&D versus marketing and advertising you would probably vomit. Part of this marketing is to create a result and then fund a study that backs it up, (see Ch. 1). Part of this is to confuse the consumers using terms such as “Manufactured to Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) standard. Another trick is to use similar sounding terms associated with prescription drugs, Pharmaceutical Grade as opposed Pharmaceutically Manufactured.

One product, name withheld, was rocked a decade ago because an outside agency found it to have almost no nutritional value associated with its claims and it’s marketing violated guidelines of guarantees. They are still one of the biggest supplement companies in business today, with the same product name but a completely redesigned and different ingredient composition. They are widely recognized by consumers as one of the best. I have used it very recently myself.

What if I told you a widely successful supplement company, ‘Company XWY’, until it was recently sold, cornered the market on protein powder with the exact same powder sold by another company as a ‘generic’. It was made in the same plant, in the same batches and driven to different packaging and distribution locations.

I will not tell you that all supplements are crap. Most legitimate, high profile companies understand that today’s consumers are so much more educated those ten years ago. You will no longer see ‘Powdered Deer Horn’ listed in ingredients as a muscle builder, guilty of using that product. Consumers because of the DESHEA Act have the ability to choose what they want to take and they are very choosey. The product better work or act like it does.

There are some supplement manufactures that do legitimately follow the GMP and FDA guidelines for their product. When you take them you will notice a dramatic difference between them and similar products you have used in the past. To maintain those standards takes considerable money in processing and complete honesty in purity and testing. They can not compete with the hundreds of millions of dollars larger companies put into advertising. They lose shelf space and distribution rights because they would focus on quality instead of quanity.

For basic health supplementation I am very choosey. Its generally speaking a toss up on everything else, based on taste and preference to consistancy and mixing. I confess I take gels and gu's more based on taste ands consistancy rather than scientific evidence of results. Just by reading nutritional labeling its easy to recognize well tested ingredients.

If you think what your using now works, don't change it. It's better to take something than nothing. But begin to look past the marketing or position on the shelf and begin to challenge the brand. Is it the best you could be using? Not because "doctors reccommend" or "#1 selling brand in America" research the company, do they make the product or does someone else? If someone else, what else do they make and what is their reputation.

Thursday, September 8, 2005


Who knew that Mark Twain was a blogger at heart.
"I would have written a shorter letter, if I only had the time"
Do you get it? Thats. Funny. It took me a couple of reads but...well I guess I failed already.

Closeouts Over

All the work I do during a calendar month culminates with sitting at a desk for several days at the beginning of the next month and scoring a top to bottom audit of our company which I present at a company meeting, held Thursday of the first full week. Today is Thursday.

Generally I am so wiped out mentally that I would skate out for a long lunch to see a movie or go to Gameworks and blow $20. But this year its been all about the training so its a great workout time. Today is no exception, I am looking at a 1 pm bike ride with Kevin and then a swim workout at the gym.
Update 3:30pm: Kevin's employee did not show up for work on time, I left when he was still 30 minutes late, so the ride was cancelled. I asked him to teach me some bike maintenance things which are always nice to know which passed the time. I had to come back to the office to follow up on work anyway so it actually saved me some time. I am now off to another gym to do some work and get in a swim.

Wednesday, September 7, 2005

Mistress Released From Hospital See Below

Or just click HERE.

CH 2: Supplement For All Mankind

Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DESHEA)

A dietary supplement is a product intended to enhance a person’s health by introducing one of the following ingredients to the body: a vitamin, a mineral, an herb or other botanical, an amino acid, a dietary substance to increase total caloric intake, or a concentrate, metabolite, constituent, extract, or combination of any of those ingredients. A supplement must be ingested and is not represented as a conventional food or as a sole item of a meal or the diet. Ingredients in dietary supplements are not food additives, and therefore do not have to undergo a pre-market safety assessment approval process like those required by the FDA for food additives and prescription drugs.

Way back in the early 1990’s the FDA tried to take a bite out of the supplement industry by regulating all supplements. It was part of the plan by the administration to create a Universal Healthcare System. Red flags went flying, supplement companies realized not only would their products double or triple in costs, but a blanket of federal scrutiny would demand proving the claim listed on the package. Dietary supplement companies countered that their products are derived from natural ingredients and therefore should not be patented.

The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DESHEA) of 1994 was ostensibly passed so that the average American could still afford their daily multivitamin and not have to get a prescription for their Gatorade. Imagine having to go to a pharmacist for your Hammer Gel or most likely having to pay $3 a pouch. Politicians said at the time, “Science has shown that optimum nutrition is essential for good health and performance, to prevent disease, and to restore health.” Talk about a political slap in the face to the FDA!

Private business wins because the DSHEA Act limit’s obstruction to marketing and promoting. The government wins because of all the taxes generated from a $40 billion a year industry. The public wins because they have free choice of products, wide availability and ultimately they can control their own health and disease prevention.

Next Chapter: How can supplement companies legally lie to the public?


MONDAY, September 5, 2005- UPDATES BELOW

Well the trifecta training weekend got bust up at exactly 8:15 pm last night. Mistress sitting down after tucking in Mighty Mo remarked about the odds of misquitos biting her underneath both armpits. By 8:20 pm she found 'bites' behind her ears, along the sweat areas of her bustline, her hands, legs and as the night wore on it became worse and worse and worse. And then the itching started.

At midnight there was the shower. At 0100 she filled down all her fingernails because she was drawing blood from scratching. At 0200 a conversation about going to the ER. By sunrise 80% of her body is covered in a red, itchy rash. To me it looks like she rolled in poison ivy or had a reaction to something she ate or a the med's she got based on her allergy test last week.

She is going to spend the day with doctors so, no ride into work, no 8 mile run, no ride home. I suppose I won't be able to write the great American novel today or paint that masterpiece. First things
Update: Mistress went to the ER and their first assessment is an allegric reaction to something. They gave her an IV of Benadryl and a sleeping agent to knock her out for four or five hours since she did not sleep last night and her parents are shuttling her home.
Update 5:00 pm: Mistress called at 3:00 to tell me the Benadryl is wearing off and the reaction is coming back, she is under orders to return to the ER. The overall redness is down but her face and hands are still swollen and she has large welts all over he torso and legs, like raised like scaring. I dropped her off at the ER and picked up Mighty Mo. She took an overnight bag just in case. Having been in and out of hospitals the last two years with Mighty Mo, we have Bug-Out bags packed and ready.
Update 5:17 pm: Mistress is being held overnight at the hospital as a precaution. On a more humorous note, she has given me a temporary reprieve of my kitchen suspension. Tonight Mighty Mo feasts on microwaved dinosaur nuggets and canned corn, I get to make a turkey sandwich. If only we could eat a pizza!
TUESDAY, September 6, 2005

Update 9:05 am: Just got done visiting Mistress. Dosen't look like she is getting out this morning as planned. She is getting IV med's every four hours but the itching, swelling and rashes return after two or three hours. They want her to get through a full dose, plus an hour before releasing her. I watched as the med's wore off and she subconsciously started itching again. I watched as the rash traveled down her leg towards her calf like a sunrise coming over a mountain, it was travelling fast. Apparently last night she would carry a water bottle in one hand, a cell phone in her other and just walk around the ward to keep from itching herself until she could get more med's. I think she is getting 50 somethings of Benadryl through IV, whereas normally at home you drink 12.5 somethings every 4-6 hours.
Update 11:01 am: Mistress called and asked me if I took her bag of personal allergy and asthma medications when I left this morning. No. Well someone came into her room last night and stole them from her bag on the floor. In a hospital she gets robbed. I just refilled all those meds last weekend for a total of $350 bucks. Yes that is for one month, I said before she was a girl-in-a-bubble as a child. Also the Benadryl she has been on since yesterday through IV has failed and they are looking into what else to give her. The nerve.
Update 1:30 p.m: Mistress is not being released today. She won't be releaseed until something controls the symptoms or they find out what the cause is. So far whatever they switched her to is not working or not working well enough. The blood work is done but the Dr. hasn't come by yet in his rounds to give any insight, so that is probably inconclusive.

Update 9:30 am: They tried something new last night and so far its working. Instead of a quick IV of Benadryl and crossing fingers for four hours, their using something new and keeping Mistress on a continous drip. The results are no symptoms since then. The plan now is one more drip bag, take her off the line and play the waiting game. Mistress says this about being on her new meds, "If Sunday night was a 10, right now I am at 1.5." Had breakfast with her this morning. Still no word on the stolen meds. A social worker is coming to see her at out processing to figure something out and fill out an incident form. With insurance they cost $350, insurance doesn't cover more than one script a month so out of pocket it will run us closer to $700-$800, she thinks. Mistress will have time today to call her allergist and see if she can get a month of samples to tide her over.
Update 1:30pm: RELEASED. Mistress was given the green light to go home this afternoon. Mom is cooking up a spagetti dinner so Mistress dosen't have to cook for a couple of nights and her grandson can have a real meal for dinner. Thank you to all who left comments. I will be printing out the entire thread for her to read tonight.

Tuesday, September 6, 2005

8 mile run

I do this big post on supplementing with an aside on calories and low and behold I went for a run, underfed, overstressed and now sustained Bonk.

You know those runs that when you get done you just know your head won't be right till morning? A low grade headache, fuzzy mental functions, don't take your eyes off the road no matter how distracted. Yup, here I am.

I went to McD's and picked up dinner so Mighty Mo and Mistress could eat together. Mighty Mo got nuggets, Mistress a fruit salad and a sundae, depending on her fancy. They ate dinner on the hospital bed together while I tried a power nap in the recliner-it didn't work. Luckily by the time we got home Mighty Mo was out on his feet, so I only had to fuss with the dog who had been alone all day. Sucks to be him.

So now it's two aspirin and off to bed.

CH 1 : Supplements-Accelerade's Misleading Study

I have a healthy skepticism of all supplement companies and working in the fitness industry has given me a certain amount of inside information on how products are developed, produced and marketed. I am going to start a short course on supplement education so the rest of you can walk with open eyes. It will probably take a few chapters but want to start with busting the biggest fraud going on in the endurance community-Accelarade is better than Gu or Gatorade or Powerbar.

I have nothing against Accelerade they are just big fat liars. It's okay though because 95% of the supplement companies are, thanks in part to the DeShea Act of 1994. But you can't open a running or tri magazine lately without multiple pages dedicated to Accelerade saying they are 15% more effective than Gatorade for endurance sports.

What isn't on the pages is that their publishing results from a study THEY funded. Click the study link and scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page.

These are the excerpts of the study that pertain to my debunking.

At 15-minute intervals throughout these rides, subjects received a CHO gel (Gu Energy Gel®, Gu Sports) or CHO+P gel (AccelGelTM, PacificHealth Laboratories, Inc.), which were matched for carbohydrate content (CHO = .15gCHO per kgBW; CHO+P = .15gCHO + .038g protein per kgBW).

No differences between CHO and CHO+P trials, respectively, were observed for VO2…heart rate…RER…blood lactate…blood glucose…or ratings of perceived exertion…which were obtained following 30 minutes of riding. However, subjects rode 13% longer… when utilizing the CHO+P gel…than the CHO gel…

Remember, their study is based on 30 minutes of riding with energy intake every 15 minutes. I assume that would be at minute zero and minute fifteen.

So here is the problem with their study. Accelerade points out that they matched carbohydrate content but fail to mention the total calories were not the same. Don’t you think if their going to claim “subjects rode 13% longer” they would also point out those people took in 21% more calories. The Accelerade testers ‘ate’ more.

On the most basic level, (nutrition content and make up aside) the more energy (Calories) that a person takes in, the greater the amount of exertion that person produces. For example, think about all the times you went for a run and felt it was not as good as it should have been because you didn’t have enough to eat for breakfast.

CHO intake only (GU gel). Changing pounds to kilograms (1lb = 0.4535kg) to fit their scientific model; a 200 lb. male equals 91kg. 91kgBodyWeight (BW) x .15g CHO per kgBW equals 13.65g CHO intake. Multiply 13.65 g times 4 Calories per gram that equals 54 calories of GU taken every 15 minutes or a total of 108 Calories for the total test.

CHO+P (Acclerade). Starting with our 91kgBW subject x .15g CHO per kgBW equals 13.65g CHO intake. Multiply 13.65g x 4 Calories per gram, that equals 54 calories of Acclerade. NOW ADD .038g protein per kgBW, which for 91kg equal’s 13.80 calories per serving, for a total of 67.80 calories every fifteen minutes or a total of 135.60 Calories for the total test.

A difference of 21% more calories taken in during the test. In essence they are saying, “In our test, sponsored our own paid scientists on staff and reported by our multi-million dollar a year marketing department, when you give a cyclist 135 calories of our product they will ride longer than if you give them 108 calories of someone else’s.”

The next chapter will discuss how supplement companies can legally lie to us about their products.
More Info: I was e-mailing with a friend about this study and he made two good points:

"The studies a flawed in a few ways. Too small of a group to start with, and therefore too many other factors can affect the results.

However, they did show an improvement in one study and better fluid retention in the other. Exactly why? I do not know? And neither do they.

"It is not possible, however, to discern if it was the protein, sodium, or combination that added to the osmolality that significantly increased fluid retention with CP compared to CHO.""

Monday, September 5, 2005

Click on graph to expand the size.

Its starting to get easier, getting these graphs online. Again thanks to Chris @ for clueing me in to Gimp. This is the Peco's Road ride that I have been doing on Sundays. As I increase the distance of my rides I will add more loops.


Let me see if you fit this profile. You are a fitness enthusiast who likes to listen to your walkman, iPod, MP3, CD player while you do whatever it is you do. You have bought aftermarket headphones or earbuds because through usage you have found that the one provided with the player sucked because they stay fitted in the ear canal. Nothing wrecks a workout like having to fumble with putting an earbud back in ear every three minutes

Well I fit that profile and furthermore just got tired of my ears acting like a coat rack; running hat/bike helmet, Halo sweatband, sunglasses and then either hard frame headphones, ear buds that have a wrap around the ear or some modified plug fitting that was uncomfortable.

So I bought these waterproof headphone online for $25. They fit like shooting earplugs and due to the ridges will not come out of the ear. I will no longer have to search my workout bag for the missing foam piece to sit over headphones shaped like muffs. I dont have to worry about which color insert matches my ear shape. I no longer have to worry about fumbling with a loose ear bud that slips out of my ear while running.

The waiting, waiting, waiting title is that they haven't arrived yet. I am a victim of Hurricane Katrina, I asked for ground ship from Georgia and they haven't left yet.

Sunday, September 4, 2005

Random Musings

Just some thoughts rattling in my head until the next blog.

1) My in-laws moved back into town for the third or fourth time since we have lived here. Whenever they come over, its always hockey (well not now) or country music through the cable box. I can't stand either (apology's to the Canadian bloggers).

2) I don't like to swim with old people.

3)When I was at the grocery store today, I was watching these two twenty pretty year old girls for lack of a better word, having a conversation about something or other. An older woman, late 40's or early 50's walked by and she when she saw the younger girls the expression on her face changed from placid-thinking-about-groceries to I suppose one of defeat or maybe envy or inevitability. It made me think, maybe the older woman was pretty like that when she was that age. Do young woman look at older woman who are 'mature' physically and think that's what they will look like? Guys have a saying about their girlfriends, "If you want to know what your girlfriend will look like when she's old, look at her mom."

4) I have no memory of being a child, (amnesia from a head injury) so it amazes me to watch my son learn and go and express himself. He says words now and signs things that I know I never thought him. I get to live my childhood again through him and it blows my mind.

5) Driving a new minivan is not that bad, but not something I really want to do all the time. Once per week is fine by me.

6) I love Fall. I lived for it Washington doing more running, camping and hiking than any other time of the year. Halloween costumes and decorations are already up in stores. Today I bought a butternut squash because I love them so much. I can't smell much (same head injury) but pumpkin I can smell because its strong. I love the sound of the wind, a crisp morning chill, an overcast day with drizzle, but I don't get that in the desert. I vow to take my son for hike in Flagstaff or Sedona before the end of the year.


I travelled over sunbaked desert to the Land Of Forgotten Hills for a 40 mile ride this morning. Had a much better experience today although it didn't start very well. I got out of the house late, showed up a few minutes late and then while heading out had to turn around and get my sunglasses. As I was madly making up time to the pack, I was clocked by an old woman in a car trying to find Maricopa County Hospital. Here is my side of the conversation:

No ma'am, Maricopa County Hospital is not around here its downtown.
Yes ma'am you technically are on the 202 West, but as you can see it stops right there, you want the other 202 West.
Yes ma'am they are quite clever here in Phoenix, there are two freeways labeled 202.
Yes ma'am they both connect with I-10.
Yes ma'am, both 202's go East/West.
No ma'am, they are actually two seperate freeways and no they do not connect.
Yes it is very confusing, this is how you get there...
Your Welcome ma'am, whats that?
Yes ma'am I am almost doing 25 mph, I am trying to catch up with my friends.
No ma'am I am not going to fall over the front of my bike, its called the aero postition, its a good thing.
Yes ma'am I know I look like Brad Pitt, I get that all the time.
(I made that last part up)

So I never caught back up with the group, though we past each other going opposite ways down the road a couple times. I really moved through the hills hard today. Off the saddle pushing, never dropped to the last 'oh my god please make up the hill in this' gear.

I used Cytomax and mixed in maltodextros to bulk up the calories. Each bottle was about 300 calories. Tasted pretty good, even warm.

Distance: 42.5 miles
Time: 2:10 (off the top of my head)
Average speed: 17.7 mph
downhill max speed: 31.5 mph
uphill min speed: 10.5 mph

Saturday, September 3, 2005


Just got back from my second lake swim of the year. I guess it would considered a BT since I did so horribly the first time. While the rest of the group, which is doing Soma 1/2 IM in 60 day, pulled out around 2,000 meters, I did not.

I stayed in a bay off to the side out and backs, slowly increasing the distance I moved from shore until I was confident enough to get across the whole bay. The confidence was not that I couldn't swim the distances, or keep my tack, it was swimming without that safety net of the pool. I'm sure everyone can relate from some point in their life.

Ten years ago I did not have this problem. Ocean swims, lake swims, boat to boat stuff, I never gave it a thought. Now coming back around it just fills me with anxiety.

In any regard I am super happy with this new group of training partners. In fact one of them was a nice guy I met at the Scottsdale Triathlon I did back in March. We were right next to each other in transition and talk a lot since we were so early. We both did the Valley of the Sun 1/2 marathon this year and we live only a few miles away from each other. It added instant depth to our conversations, talking about courses we have done together or similiar training routes around our homes.

Tomorrow the bike. But first I'll have to watch two Land Before Time DVD's with the Mighty Mo today. I actually like those movies but thats an endurance event on its own.

Friday, September 2, 2005

This and That

Well there was a monsoon last night so I had to leave all my gear in the office and hitch a ride home. Unfortunately I left my keys at home. So today I was unable to get any of my gear or any of my work done at my desk.

I was fortunate enough to have left my audit folder at home yesterday so at least I had that with me this morning, so I pulled up a chair, scrounged a pen and a calculator and got to work in a conference room. It was a forced rest day.

Tomorrow is a lake swim and then down to the office to follow up on some work, plus get in a short run. Then get the bike racked up and over Tribe for a new Serfas tri-seat. I had one on the Softride and its a much better seat for me. The Itialia Trans Am seat is not exactly right for my butt. So if anyone is in the need a for a back up seat, I got one for sale cheap.

Thursday, September 1, 2005

My take from Katrina

I have been boots on the ground for two events very similar to Hurricane Katrina and want to make a few points about what's going on. First let me point out that my experience did not lead to the apocalypse that is occurring in New Orleans. It's truly become an Escape From New York landscape and I can tell you from some corollary experiences its worse than you can imagine. The struggle for physical, emotional and spiritual survival is as raw as it could ever be imagined.

Over the course of one twelve month period, I lived through Level 5 Super-Typhoon Omar (sustained winds of 175 mph and gusts of 230 mph) and an 8.3 earthquake. In one month alone there was two Level 3 typhoons and the Level 5, literally one right after the other. I have gone 6 weeks without electricity and facilities.

Its reported in New Orleans that not enough is being done in the city to protect civilians from rapes, beating, goods stolen from the needy. They are not getting enough food, water and medicine. Let me tell you all, having been through that, I believe every word of it. Its also completely one-sided, the media preys on suffering. Now it's that theres not enough food and water, next month it will be that the government isn't moving fast enough to repair the damage to the city.

While the news we here from the survivors is related while they are still in the thick of it; tired, hungry, thirty, uncomfortable, we have the luxury of seeing the relief efforts as they unfold. There is millions of gallons of drinking water for the city, millions of military rations ready to be brought in or be distributed. But to get there, clear access must be obtained. Roads cleared and supported. Areas of distribution established. Some model of control for the safety of relief workers.

The military or FEMA is not going to stand on a corner and hand out individual supplies to whomever comes by, they would become over run and their good stolen. They do drops that are big and impactful. The doom and gloom news reports by Big Media will spin this as a government that was lazy, that did not care enough, fast enough. Hogwash. You want to see a government not care or give comfort, we can talk offline.

What will occur is this. Once transportation issues are reviewed for safe passage so vehicles don't get stuck, caravans of 15 ton trucks loaded with supplies will move into the city, there will two dozen triage hospitals up within 24 hours (my guess). Where there was once nothing will become a massive complex of tents processing survivors names, checking them for immediate medical issues, providing food, water, bedding and eventually communication. This will materialize so fast that survivors will complain there is too many people around trying to control them.

Money is not people. Survivors right now in the city are expecting Angels to come down and rescue them. They expect SOMEONE to help them, much like a child needs a security blanket or a stuffed bear. A transitional item. But there is not enough people for that nor is that the best way to help them. Money is what will help them. Money to pay for all the things that they will get for free; medicine, food, water, blankets, gas, counseling, money to pay for the right people to provide the right thing for them.

You think only gas right now is bad. Wait till you go to Home Depot in the future. Every scrap of wood, metal, steel and concrete will be going to the South. I wouldn't be doing any additions to your house for the next year.

But that's just today and next week. Think about next month and the month after. There are 1 million displaced Americans right now. We are seeing a 21st century Grapes Of Wrath here. Remember the book written about the dust bowl of Oklahoma in the early 1900's and all the family's fleeing mostly west and to California. We will see the same here.

Texas has already begun what other states will also do, provide refugee relief. Be prepared to see your community open its arms to people with nothing left. It will make this Christmas so much more special to provide a hot meal and a gift to a child who has lost a home, a pet, god forbid a parent.

Well just my take. If anyone is interested in reading how I 'survived' day to day after my Super Typhoon or earthquake experience let me know in talkback and if the interest is there I'll type something up.

Hi Ho Hi Ho, It Off To Work I Go

I spend basically the first 7 days of the month in the office working on closing out the previous months audits and sitting in on meeting. So I am riding into work for the next few days at least. Its a 15 mile ride in, so I'll add 30 miles a day to my training. Saves me 2 gallons of gas a day or an extra $6 bucks that I'll probably just throw into a 'You Drive/I Buy' run to Starbucks.

I finished my jug of PowerBar Recovery and just bought CytoMax Orange. I liked the PowerBar, it has a good taste, but found it better for end of day or under the weather recovery rather than benefiting from it during exercise. I am going to mix my Cytomax with a pure carb alternative to bulk up the calories. I was looking for CarbPro because they have an Orange flavor that would mix well with the Cytomax, but had to settle for some other brand. Their both still within expiration but had to dust the cobwebs off. I guess they don't sell much CHO (carbohydrate) related items at the muscle head store next to my club.

Get it in and get it done.