Monday, October 31, 2005

Begin with the end in mind.

I plan on putting up about 4 shots a day this week from Soma half Ironman. Much of this course is on the Ironman Arizona Course. These are pictures of 4 of my teammates at the finish line or just coming into the chute. Tomorrow I will put up some more running and biking shots, then finish ultimately with wide views of the swim.

I am hoping to put all the 125 pictures I took on CD for those that want it. A shout out to Todd, another team mate, that ran Soma but I didn't know he was out there. Good Job buddy.

What a great picture of John crossing the finish line with his two boys.

The Good Doctor in the chute.

Tai in the chute.

Mike finally resting after the most inspirational race I personally every witnessed.

The experiments is (are) over

Well I cut my hair. I know, I know this has nothing to do specifically with triathlon but for some strange reason I was equating my growth in triathlon with a sort of 'rebirth' of my life and I felt a new look would help. It didn't. Excluding one bet in 1999, which I won, and the last six months, my crewcuts been a part of image for the last 20 years. There were years where I felt I could control nothing but the legnth of my hair and I kept it short. Ten years in the infantry didn't hurt that image.

So apart from me looking like a cross between Quasimodo and the Elephant Man, here is the before the after of my haircut this weekend.

The other experiment that is not over yet but may soon be is drinking coffee. I haven't had a cup in over two weeks but not a day goes by that I don't wish I had just a sip of the black gold. I am tired all morning long. I think about dressing up as a coffee drinker for Halloween.

I have so many awesome pictures from Soma that I can post one a day for the rest of the year. I think instead I will just pepper some of my favorites in twos or threes this week. As a result you get to see some of my training partners doing their part on the course.

Mike, my partner who crashed literally at my feet finished the last 20 miles on my mountain bike for the bike portion and then ran the half marathon in terrible pain. He finished in 7:45. He was taken to the ER from the finish line and had a bruised rib and some contusions.

He had enough determination in him to ask his girlfriend to marry him at the finish line and she said yes. She didn't know if she should cry for herself or for Mike. So she saved both for later to be there for him.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

How lucky is that

No not for me, but for my teammate Mike.

I had to rush back to my office, which is just off the course so I thought I would do a quick summation of Soma Half Ironman so far.

I have some good pictures of Tim DeBoom and Chris Leigh. Lewis Elliot the number one Arizona triathlete is showing well.

Back to Mike. I had postitioned myself at a spot for taking pictures that got triathletes coming up a step hill and coming down into a left turn. Mike crashed his bike right at my feet, hard. I was taking his picture and I very well may have snapped the exact moment of his impact. He landed on his back and shoulder on the curb. His adrenaline was really high but his rear tire was taco'd.

He is going to propose to his girlfriend when he finishs the run and was really upset. Some other spectators helped get his bike upright but he was bleeding from some nice cuts and were telling him to rest a bit. Still he refused to give up with one more 15 mile lap and a 13 mile run. So I gave him my mountain bike and my running shoes (no clip in on the mtn bike) and off he went.

I brought his bike back to my office, I felt kinda like the guy from Kona a couple years ago, and grabbed my extra shoes. Now I am off for more film for the run. I have blown through 3 rolls already.

I'll post more later.

BTW, IronBenny is doing super. I missed him coming out of the water but have 3-4 shots of him on the bike. He is probably averaging about 23 mph based on my estimation of the course and his pace with compared with friends I have on the course.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Meeting New People

Today I had lunch with one of the newer members of the Triathlete Alliance, IronBenny. IronBenny came into town to race the Soma half Ironman on Sunday. Triathlete magazine calls Soma, "The World's Best Year End Triathlon ."

IronBenny is a really nice guy and we got along great. If he lived in Phoenix we could definitely train together. His wife Nytro is also a blogger and triathlete and I must admit, I can't get enough of her stuff. I kinda wish she had made it down here so I had someone to hang with tomorrow.

IronBenny and I had a carbo load session at Olive Garden and then drove some of the course going to the expo. Honestly it was a cluster of an expo. The registration booths were crammed together and the expo booths were on the other side of the walkway, so it was just a gaggle trying to get a 6 lines of 50 people to fit where only 20 should be. Then the body marking line was not set up very clearly and no one was told to get their swim cap and ChampionChip actived before going to body marking and...well we wanted in a couple of lines for two hours.

While we waited around I ran into many friends. Even though I am not racing it still felt like good community. IronBenny and I took in many of the sites, however I must confess that the superfit IronChicks were upshadowed by the super expensive tricked out bikes. For those of us who have participated or witnessed a big race, man what a rush to see all those investments toodle on by. Even the guys with Cervelo P3 Carbons were putting their eyes on other bikes and their frames alone are $3, 200.

By tomorrow night I hope to be able to post some good photos from the event.

This was on my race schedule before I cleared out the last part of the year to devote to training and recovery. In hindsite I wish I had the opportunity to race it. I was so damn motivated while I was there. It just soldout so damn fast and next year its too close to Ironman Florida to enter. But my goals are bigger than my ego, so tomorrow I spectate.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Murphy's Law #58

Murphy's Constant
Matter will be damaged in direct proportion to its value.

New Look

Did you notice my countdown to Ironman Florida clock has been removed from the heading?

Never fear, if you scroll down just a tad you will see I now have an Official Timex Ironman Countdown Clock in my sidebar.

I must thank Robby B for his immense and tireless aid and patience in helping this Intrepid Age Grouper with html code. Much blessing heaped upon his head, may it never go bald. His Year in Review Post and 2005 Ironman Wisconsin race report are superb and I highly recommend you read them for the first time or again. I read them often for motivation.

I hope to make some more changes to the site by New Years. I have an idea for a new header with some graphics. Flatman has inspired me and blown me away with his new header and if I could just copy Shelley's whole site I would. They have made me as jealous as seeing someone new road bike.

I am in the process of doodling it out and then I will get outside assistance.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

My Pool

This is Canyon Lake, my new training pool. The photo is taken just above the outcropping of rock we use as a staging area. Its 70 yards to the tip of land sticking out into the water. For the first two weeks I swam from staging area to tip and the water just right of it. Just beyond the point is the right inlet buoy and far left the infamous left buoy which is about 100 yards from the tip of land. The right buoy is where I almost drown last month after swimming out to the far buoy.

This is tight shot of the back buoy, which I call the 'Rock' buoy since its a warning for a submerged rock. Yes I am quite clever. You can just make it out on the edge of the shadow in the middle of the picture. In between the two buoys is a bridge that we swim under. The rock buoy is further away from the bridge than the inlet buoy and when you swim into the canyon its a dog leg right. The picture is actually taken on the bridge way off the swim course so I could sight the actually buoy.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Good News

Well I have a new iPod mini. Yeah! There is an Apple store in Phoenix and stopped by to have someone look at my unit. After a twenty minute wait for my name to come up in the queue I was treated very nicely and ten minutes later I was walking out with my new mini. I am actually really glad about that since I prefer the 6gb of the mini over the 4gb of the nano.

I was having a morale dilemma about having to tell them about it falling out of my pocket at 20 mph on my bike, which I am pretty sure invalidates my warranty. But when she asked me what was wrong I told her, "I turn it on and the screen freezes up, then gives me a support message." Apples warranty policy is so strong, she just turned around grabbed a box, changed the serial number in my online registration file and out I went. Maybe too much information for this blog but I am glad its over.

Today I am planning on getting in my 15 miles. I still don't feel very good, these 'ghost' cold symptoms are still plaguing me. I will just head out and see how far I can get. I don't want to lose a week of training.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Shiny Things = Corporate America?

I was responding to Flatman about ‘liking’ the iPod while at the same time thinking about William commenting on looking at other brands. This made me think, when did I fall in love with ‘Corporate America?’

I must admit when the movie Fight Club came out, I didn't really get it. I grew up in Seattle and watched the birth of grunge unfold before me. I would make you sick with the names and seminal events I could drop but I never felt that Gen X hopelessness and passive-aggressive attitude towards the government and global corporations so perfectly portrayed in the movie.

Being from Seattle, it was very much an outdoor life of hiking, camping, hunting, fishing and conservation, I consider myself an 'green' Republican. Being in that environment you realize that much like my trancendence to triathlon, quality gear, 'Shiny Things', usually come from either a big cutting edge company or the complete opposite a self starter that customizes gear, like Red Oxx and Feathered Friends.

While I normally have a slight recoil to Corporate America, I must confess I like Microsoft. I worked on the main campus and met Bill Gates, (I have been to his house), Nathan Myrvold (1st Chief Technology Officer at Microsoft), Paul Allen and Steve Balmer. I went to Starbucks when there was only a dozen stores in Seattle. I used to drink coffee with the John D, the owner of Tully's coffee. I actually owned a 286 computer running Windows 3.o way back when memory cost more than gold. While I abhor AOL, my first internet account and surfing ability was as a 'guest' on my roommates AOL version 2.0 way back in 1995. Love Nike.

While it does take me a while to get on board with trends, I buy quality stuff. I am such a big fan of iPod that I won't even consider other brands. iPod is cutting edge. The beauty is the simplicity of the trackwheel. I am a bit dissappointed that the mini was discontinued in favor of the nano but only from a storage capacity point of view.

A nano holds 33% less in storage but the offset is its a fraction of the size of current iPods, weighs 1.50 ounces, but has the same battery life of 14 hours and the screen is color. Its memory allows photos to be viewed.

Honestly, I have cut and changed and recreated this post a few times now trying to find a way to end it, spending way more time than I wanted to but I am glad I did this. I jumped all over the place but the jist is that I appreciate quality gear. I do a lot of research and debating on what I want and choose wisely.

Maybe I should create a gear review/opinion area?

I am not feeling very well the last couple of days. Do you remember that first day you feel like your coming down with something, you wake up and your mouth 'feels' different, your heads a little woozy? Sunday and Monday I felt like the day before that morning. Like Ghost symptoms. Oh well. I am run down enough to realize that between that and my hip there is no way I can force myself through 15 miles today and not pay for it the rest of the week. Its not a retreat in training, its more of a movement in another direction.

On the iPod front I struck out at four places. I am looking for the 4gb nano in white and they are all sold out. Well I walked into a Circuit City and they had one left but exactly four seconds before I asked the guy if he had one, I watched another guy walk up and ask him and he bought it. Bastard. I wanted to pound the guy since he probably had not spent as much time as me looking for one that day but then I thought I would be portraryed as Sinbad in Jingle All The Way and this fat, balding Asian man would be Arnold. I will not be a Sinbad. If I am anyone in that movie its Phil Hartman, God rest his good soul. You guys know what I am saying.

So today is a trip to the Apple store in town to pick one up. You would think that official store would have them in stock. I did almost consider getting the 30gb video iPod but after some debate I really don't need it. I want something portable not something I can watch twenty movies on a 2.5 inch screen. Every store I went to today all told me the same thing, that they can't keep the nano on the shelves. They sell out every time. Which is fine, I loved my 6gb mini, in fact I am a bit dissappointed I can't replace it. I would certainly give up a color screen for 2gb more room.

I am still going to register my mini over the phone and see if they will replace it. I really did think I registered it when I purchased it but who knows. In any regard, since they no longer make them, IF I am lucky enough to get it fixed under warranty they would just send me a new one. So IF I get it replaced, I may get a refurbished mini, which would be great or I would get a new compatable nano, which would be a 4gb.

I have considered buying the 30 gb video iPod for The Colonel and seeing if he would give me his 6gb mini in exchange. Its only $50 more than the 4gb nano and that would cover my cost in new accessorys for the smaller nano. I may ask him that when I go over there today. Hmmm? He would probably say yes because its more memory. I'll keep you posted.

Mistress was not happy with her pumpkin bread, so getting the recipe may take some massaging. I love it. Of course it has 3x the sugar that I am used to getting so maybe that has something to do with it. Much like Rachsel Ray she doesn't really measure out as much as go by feel, which is probably why she is such an amazing person in the kitchen.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Mighty Mo and the Pumpkin Patch

While it looks small, Mistress made some delicious pumpkin bread out of it.

Notice no one is around? We didn't plan on it, figuring a Saturday night would be busy but we pretty much had the place to ourselves which was great for playing with dinosaurs in the hay.

Lessons learned

Lessons learned from yesterdays ride:

  1. iPods do not survive falls from a jersey at 20 mph. BTW it happened on mile 3 of 55. Once I get it registered, I missed that step somehow, I will send it in for a hopefully new unit since they replace instead of fix if possible. The bright side is that Apple discontinued the mini in favor of the nano. So today I get to go and buy a new iPod nano. No I am not very happy about that. Yes I could send my unit in and play the wait or see game. Yes I like to buy new Shiny Things but not in this manner.
  1. I had a rear tire flat on the same freeway that I did a few weeks ago. However unlike last time when I waited on the side of the road for two hours, I had two tubes and three CO2’s with me. This time I decided to see how fast I could change the rear out and get back on the bike. In my haste to change out the tube I failed to visually or physically inspect the tire and I had to stop every five miles to fill up the slowly deflating tube until I could limp home. Luckily I only had fifteen miles left.

  1. Wear a base layer. Yes this is a desert I live in. Yes the daytime highs are 86 degrees. That does not mean that I can wear a singlet without arms and still stay warm if the sun is not up. I froze my ass off and in between my mental flogging I was giving myself over the iPod and my teeth chattering, I remembered the UnderArmor that I purposefully put out and just as purposefully disregarded as I got dressed.

Well all things considered it was a learning experience which will only get better today as I get to spend $250 on an iPod nano and probably another $50 on set up since nothing from the mini will swap over, specifically the car radio adapter and belt clip. Hell I could buy some really cool Shiny Things for $250 but instead I have to file this under- ‘Stupid Tax.’ Is that better than a ‘Flat Tax?’
Follow up: Yes I know all the heading are labeled 1. I typed this in Blogger for Word to save the post offline, since blogger only saves the most current 300 posts.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Weekend Update

Yesterdays full lake swim of 1.1 miles is yet another vindication of overcoming my limiter. I even cut some time off.

My right hip, more specifically my Quadratus Lumborum has been locked up for a few days. It has hampered my running a bit but more so the recovery. I went to my favorite rehab doctor, Simon, and much to his dissatisfaction he could not adjust that area or bring me relief. So I have another appointment next week.

I only mention that because this morning I am riding alone and not sure how 60 miles is going to treat my hip and allow me to run afterwards.

One benefit of training solo today is I am taking my micro-camera out and will snap pictures along the route for everyone to see next week. I already snapped several driving in and out of the canyon yesterday since I had some extra time. I figure I should have five or eight good pictures to filter into posts this month.

Friday, October 21, 2005

"I am an Otter"

It took me 90 minutes of driving across town in midday track but I was able to make the lake swim practice yesterday. I did the entire 1.1 mile loop all on my own, with no back up. It took me 54 minutes. Yes that is painfully slow but I do believe that consistancy and confidence will drop that closer to 40-45 minutes within the next year. So that is good news.

There were only a few moments of panic during the swim, non that wrecked me but enough for me to remember. So I used an affirmation:

"I am an Otter."
As you can see I was celebrating the finish of my swim, my hands are up in celebration.

If you have recieved this months copy of Triathlon Times as part of your USAT membership, flip to page 16 and look at the picture. No it is not me, its my friend Joe Umphenour racing in the Baker Cookie World Championships last August. Just a little plug for one of my tri mentors.

Murphys Law #56

If it jams - force it. If it breaks, it needed replacing anyway.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Never Before

Such an onimious heading for weird deal but I officially rescheduled my first workout ever for a...get this...a haircut. I paid $25 for a real beautician to tame my growing locks. I have never paid that much money for two haircuts in one month let alone a single cut.

Backstory: I have had a Army High & Tight for twenty years. As part of my Training Contract with Mistress, she asked me to grow my hair out for her. If your new to the blog link HERE to read my installments on my Ironman Training Contract.

Its been bothering me since I am not used to anything longer than an inch and now it was in my eyes and ears. I was threatening to call it off and cut it off. Mistress hooked me into her person who only had one appointment all week, right in the middle of my swim workout.

The sacrifices I make for the training. So today I plan on making up for lost time by going out to meet some of the gang for a lake swim. Not as much distance but another full workout in open water is great training and a mental boost.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Slow But Low

I knew last nights 14 mile run was going to be a bit of a grind. My legs were still a bit weak from the pounding I gave them on Sundays 50 mile TT and 6 mile run.

Well my body’s natural cadence put me at 10:30 miles and wouldn’t budge. I was not very happy about that but my heart rate averaged only 146 bpm so I looked at the bright side of this training run. Ultimately the goal is to run a marathon at around 9:30 a mile with my HR that low, then with the few water breaks that I take my overall time ends up around 10:00 miles. With my HR in the mid range it doesn't even feel like a cardio workout.

Today is a 3,500-4,000 yard pool swim. Not sure yet how I am going to mix it up today but I have a 3 hour meeting coming up so I can figure that then.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Tying Up The Year

I suppose I will bore ya'all with my sad details of my training plan for the rest of the year. My next peaking race is P.F. Chang Rock n' Roll marathon on January 15, 2006. I consider myself an intermediate runner so I adjusted a plan I did before that works up to 20 miles at the end of November then alternates 20,15,20,15 thru December, then a two week taper. Its not my 'A' race of the year so I won't be taking an extended recovery after.

During this timeframe I also plan on getting my cycling miles up over 100 miles per week and my swimming up over 8,000 yards (4.65 miles) a week. That moves my total training time to around 15-17 hours a week.

I really think that if I can manage that through late spring, then cut back for a month then ramp up again early summer I will have a solid base for Florida in November.

Its all just planning right now. The real test is making these goals a reality through my iron will and the fear of turning into just another 'Common Man.'

Monday, October 17, 2005

Race Reports

Triathlon bloggers are a very rare species I have found. The deeper I become immersed in the tri culture and come into contact with triathletes the more I find that they don't have nearly the resourses I do at my disposal for training tips and information.

Triathlons are not like football or baseball with ten minute blocks of highligts and scores on every newscast. Much like the settlers of this great country in the 18th and 19th century it can take weeks or months for important triathlon information to reach the masses, or just someone who cares about it. Which is why our little Alliance is so important.

We are the Paul Revere's of the triathlon information superhighway. Often enough I am asked by triathletes or just interested people, "Where do read race reports online? Where do you find them?"

Lucky enough we, the Alliance, is big enough that we have our own eyewitnesses and participants to triathlon races and history. Its not too hard for us to find reports on how someone did or is doing.

I came across this website that I send out to people who ask me those two questions and hope you enjoy it too.

With that being said, I came across a good race report website

Sunday, October 16, 2005

What a Week

Is it wrong to say that I am going to enjoy a cigar and a glass of wine this afternoon? Well I am.

This mornings workout consisted of 50 miles of riding on the Soma 1/2 Ironman course which also takes heavily from the Ironman Arizona route. Then bricked that with a 10k run, oh wait I meant 6 mile run. Since the route was in a metro area this was much more of a time trial course than a long, hilly course; lots of turns, some 180 degree turns, only one hill that was crossed over 3-4 times. Consequently my mph were much higher than normal for my l0nger rides.

It really was a great week of training. 75 miles on the bike, 25 miles running and 3.4 miles swimming. The breakthrough workout this week was definitely the 1.1 mile open swim on Saturday.

I need to start moving all those number up, double the bike miles or even more, the running is on autopilot due to Rock n' Roll marathon in January but its not an 'A' race so little taper and recovery, and move the swiming up to around 4.5-5 miles a week. I think if that can be sustained for 5-6 months, especially during next summer, then I will have done all that I can to be prepared for Ironman Florida. Its in God's hands after that.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Into the canyon...

This is a picture of the infamous first buoy, at the inlet to the canyon.

I woke up a half hour early this morning to pray and go over affirmations I created to become a better swimmer. My heart was no longer trying to beat through my chest but I tried to eat a bowl of cereal and thought I was going to puke, I was nervous. The best I could muster was a bit of orange juice.

As I drove out to the lake I kept going over my affirmations, thanking the Lord for this amazing day and giving me the ability to swim. As I reached the base of the canyon road, my teeth started to chatter. Knowing that its 70 degrees at 0615 I had a feeling it had nothing to do with the weather.

From where we start its a bit of scramble down to the lake edge and my legs were shaky and weak, but I was the second person in the water. As we moved as a group to a rock grouping in the water about 70 yards away I focused on good breathing and stroking but a couple of guy told me to relax it looked like I was mad at the water and was slapping it hard.

We decided that the rest of the team would do their own thing and The Good Doctor would be my wingman as we swam deep into the canyon to the rock buoy. As we pushed off I had a hard time with my tack and swam for a bit in the right direction but not the best line, I didn't look up enough since I was more concerned with breathing. I passed under the bridge and felt relaxed. Very relaxed. I knew I had the strength to make it, it was all a matter or mentally making it.

FINALLY. I made it to the rock buoy. My longest open swim. As I sat on the rock for a minute we talked about proper sighting and relaxing then we took off. Originally I was going back to the starting rock but The Good Doctor said lets go to the right inlet buoy. I agreed. As we got the bridge we stopped for second in the water and he said, "Lets go to the left inlet buoy." (Its further out), I agreed. It looked so far away but I was finally relaxed.

As we made it to that first buoy in the inlet that caused me so much anguish and pain, I was elated. Only a month ago, I almost drown swimming a fraction of the distance I just did to this spot.

The Good Doctor said, "Let's do it again." I said "Hell Ya!"

The second lap was relaxed and I sighted much better. Instead of taking a break on the rock next to the rock buoy I turned around in the water and swam straight back out to the left inlet buoy. Maybe you should read this paragraph again.

I was so excited when I got back out to the left buoy I screamed a word of joy. While the Good Doctor decided on a third lap I decided to head back to the rock grouping but thanks to my wonderful since of aqua direction I found myself heading deadset for the start rock where all the clothes were. It was 70 yards further away than where I wanted to go but I decided I had come so far today, I'll go a little further.

Two of the team were already changing out of their wetsuits when I swam up and all of us gave each other congratulations. One swam faster than ever and one had added his second lap to his distance.

Today I swam 2,000 yards non-stop in open water. That's 1,860 meters. That's 1.16 miles. That's a half Ironman swim. That's breaking my barriers into little pieces and smashing them on the canyon wall.

That's me smiling while I swim.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Good Samaritan

Thursday was sort of a forced recovery day. I was heading home to get in some riding miles before the sun went down and as I was taking a back road home to beat traffic I saw a truck on the side of the road.

He is a muscian who works for a 4x4 business taking tourists out into the desert. They do a big BBQ and he strums the git-tar. Its pretty common around here. Remembering my 2 hour penalty out in the desert waiting for Mistress to pick me up after both tires went flat on my road bike, I figured I would Pay-It-Forward for the two couples that offered me assistance that Sunday morning not so long ago.

He was really flustered, thinking he is going to be fired and clients are waiting, his boss is waiting, its getting dark. I let him use my cell to talk to his boss. But his jack doesn't work in the spot we put it because the suspension is made for absorbing more stress than normal. Then it breaks. Mine is too small. I drive down to the auto store to buy a new jack and they sell him jack oil. The jack is still busted. So I drive him back down with the jack, they tell him, "Oh those jacks suck, they break all the time, let me replace it and maybe you can get this one to work once." The first place we put it, doesn't work, so he puts in a unstable place, I pray, and it works.

Total time to change one tire, 90 minutes. I felt sorry for the guy, there was no lights anywhere around him and it was three miles to the nearest store, which happened to be the auto parts store. I am sure someone would have stopped before too long, it is a busy road, but you never know how long they would stay or commited they would be to help him. I ended up using my lights to illuminate the work area. We both ended up cutting our fingers up because it was a massive blowout and the steel cable from the tire were poking us as we used the jack.

So I didn't get home until well past dark and I hadn't eaten in seven hours. I had enough time to put Mighty Mo to bed but missed helping Mistress deal with a massive asthma attack that left the little guys lips blue and him gasping for breath and freaking out. She took him to the park down the street since he has been couped up all week and he got carried away running around.

Today that missing bike ride from Thursday and Saturday late morning I will report how my swim to the buoy inside the canyon went. The team is going to change their routine to help me out. We will all go into the canyon as a group and the whole goal is to get me to the buoy and back, a total trip of probably only 800 meters, without a complete mental collapse.

I really think I have the ability to swim that distance, its just that little matter of not having any safety around like a bottom or a wall or a line to follow or that if I stopped and had some horrible immediate need that I would be able to make it to the shoreline safely. I know, what a ninny.

Murphys Law #2

If its stupid and it works, it ain't stupid.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

LSS- Long Slow Swim

Built up a good swim workout yesterday.
All on 20 seconds rest


10x100 on 2 minutes, (about 2-10 seconds rest)

10x25 on 1 minute, sprints. Adding lap time plus total strokes I averaged around a score of 39.

Total workout a little over 90 minutes. The 1,600 felt really good and is my longest non-stop swim to date.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

An odd thing happened on the way to a 1/2 marathon

I ran 13 miles last night.

I won't say that it was perfect but I will say its the best long run I have had since my 1/2 marathon back in March.

Compared to last weeks run, this week I ran a mile further and finished ten minutes sooner. Thats good progress I suppose. Other than a walk at mile 5 and 10 just long enough to suck down a gel and pop endurolytes I didn't stop for stretching or running pains. Other than those two walks, lets call them water stations, I clicked off almost exactly 9:54 miles.

When my pace is on, you could put it to a metronome. What I have failed to learn in all my years is that finishing kick for the last mile or two. When I am in a rhythm, I have a real hard time picking the pace up unless I just flat out sprint which is not a long distance strategy. If the pace is 7:30 for a 5k race or 9:54 for a marathon, I get stuck. I blame it on all the formation runs I did in the military. That is of course as long as I am not blowing up and losing time, which occurs much more frequently than picking up time. My ultimate stragety with each run is to log negative splits from the halfway point.

Today a 3,500-4,000 meter swim. I am going to finish with a new drill I learned from my sometime swim coach: 10x25 meter sprints on 1 minute. Take the time and add the left arm stroke for a total score. If it take 21 seconds and 22 strokes the score is 43. The goal is to lower the score like in golf.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

The real weather is back

It looks like Phoenix has broke the back on 100 degree days this year. We had our last one Monday.

So from now until Halloween the high will in the low 90's then by Thanksgiving it will pretty much be 75 degrees straight through St. Pattys day in mid-March.

Whats your 2005 yearbook say about you?

No matter kind of label you had in high school, the notes in the annual all looked the same.
“Have a great summer, see ya at the beach.”
"Your Cool, Not a Fool, get laid this summer will ya."
“Were going to Motley Crue, Rock On!”
“It was so awesome getting to know you in Science class, see you at the mall this summer.”
“Next year were SENIORS!”
With everyone closing down their triathlon season I think about what others would write in my triathlon yearbook.
“Hey it was great knowing ya, learn how to open water swim ya
“Great Job on your cycling this year, see you at the
“Ironman Florida next year baby!

In looking at some of my old annuals I see who I was one year, then hear the story's of who I became over the summer and how that projected in my next year of school. For example, I went from ending one year of being a thug to over the summer becoming a skateboarder and then the next year of school I was part of the Cowabunga crowd.

So as our individual graduation ceremonies commence on our past year of tri's I wonder who was I last season, what will I become in the off season and how will that project for next season.

Just like in high school most of us are committed to graduating on time next year, or in our case, finishing an Ironman. We put in all the hard work and sacrifice to go out with a bang. If the senior year is the year that someone truly reaches the zenith of their adolescence, how will you want to be remembered in your annual.

“We did it, all A's in Swimming, Biking and Running. Thanks for helping me
with Nutrition, I couldn't have made out there without you. See you
“Man you crushed Florida, see you at the beach.”

Yeah that last one is the one I want to see.

Monday, October 10, 2005

KIA Triathlons

Triathlons are not a mainstream event, which makes this seem so much more odd.

We all know that Ford took over sponsorship of Ironman events. I have been waiting for the offical 'Ironman' version a Ford SUV or pick up. Like a F-150 with a built in, locking bike clamp, waterproof seats and wet storage.

This morning I saw that KIA has a car commerical with triathletes. Its got a car guy selling a KIA vehicles to them as they get ready for the swim start. Not specifically a car made for triathletes but triathlon as the backdrop.

I like that. I wish there were more commericals, more plots on television shows, more fanfare on sports programs and news shows that used triathlons. The more the merrier.

Sunday, October 9, 2005

A Blessed Day

Its always good to start the day off with $10 of pre-paid gas in the machine. All I had to do was pick my octane and filler up. I don't know how, I don't know why. I was there long enough to be challenged and yes I feel good about myself. A little 'Favor' from the Man upstairs.

We did the Pecos Ride today (48 miles) which is three loops of varying size and hills of varying grade and length. I did great. On the rollers or straights I was averaging 19-26 miles per hour and on the hills I was between 13-18 mph. There is one spot on the route that I use as a landmark, I ride over it at my best speed. Not top speed, not sprint speed, but the purposefull speed I am riding at. My speed per loop was 27-28-29-28 miles per hour.

When The Good Doctor and I finished, we were the only two riding, except for a new person The Good Doctor brought, but he was trailing a good distance, we ran a solid 5k. I overheated a bit in my jersey and coming back I shucked it off. Man do I need to do more bricks like that.

So I believe I had a little 'Favor' in my training today too. It was a strong ride for me.

Doing What Can Be Done

Had a great breakthrough swim at the lake. I swum out to the buoy and then across the channel and down to the bridge. The breakthrough in this is that I swam out across the channel rather than hug the shore. Now I originally concepted that I would swim around the buoy and hug the other side but as I stroked to the bridge I realized that the other side opened up and the bridge became my closest dry land.

Mental freak out session ensued and I needed to control myself or I would have had a serious freak out session. Luckily I had faith in the wetsuit that I could float if I needed but I never broke stroke.

I did sit at my new destination for about five minutes. Mostly to calm myself down, somewhat to digest that I now had to swim across the channel again to get to the starting rock, which was only I would guess 200 meters straight ahead.

I watched as the other three swimmers completed their first of two laps and then a couple of canoes went by and then started for my destination. This time I really had no problems. I was able to look at a set of power lines that crossed the lake in the same direction so I didn't have to do any real sighting. I suppose these were similar to the black lines I have in a pool.

I was set for a 3 mile run but Mistress and Mo had gone to a car appointment and Mo was not doing well so I had to rush out there and pick him up. The rest of the day was taking care of him.

Friday, October 7, 2005


The Mighty Mo is back from the doctors. Pneunomia. Because of his low immune system and early pnuenomia she has put him on lock down through the end of January. We are to avoid putting him in any group of kids or playing with kids who could be sick which is pretty much any kid in the 'toddler' catagory.

As a bonus (sarcasism) he is back on all his meds. Back to the 30 minute sessions twice per day. Great.

Its just the reality Mistress and I live in. You would never guess by the way he is playing and acting that this little boy had a problem in the world. Unfortunately the world is his problem. Well thats a bit mellow dramatic. As long as we keep him segregated from kids that could be sick or could be carriers were good. We pretty much live like that now anyways.

Keep smiling folks.

Murphy's Law # 97

"The force of the headwind is directly proportional to the grade of the road."

or said another way,

"The higher the hill the lower the headwind, the the flatter the road the higher the headwind."
The United Nations will soon be the setting of perhaps THE fight of the century. You see for the last 11 days America has been getting its teeth kicked in by friend and foe alike over control of the internet. At a summit of world leaders next month and faced with international consensus, there might not be much the US government can do but acquiesce. Read whole article HERE

No, Al Gore did not invent the internet, the Department of Defence did and they gave control of it to the Department of Commerce who in turn created the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers. So as you can surmise, the root of the internet is under control of the U.S.

The problem is that other countries like China, Iran and Cuba are now demanding that the U.S. give up control of the internet and instead give all its root servers and addresses to a 'cooperation model' run by a group of countrys that are decidedly not pro-American. The kicker is that England is now leading the charge for this turnover.

The war against democracy is fought on many fields of battle. I believe the majority of these are fought and won in the political world and know from first hand experience they are fought in they physical. It has now come to the blogesphere?

To quote Paul Revere, "The British are coming, the British are coming."

Thursday, October 6, 2005

The Last Addiction

Today begins an experiment in severing the last tie to physical addiction I have-COFFEE.

It's been most of a week since my food poisioning thing and my GI still isn't 100%. I feel like I have a good deal of acid in my gut. The Good Doctor, the de facto leader of my tri-team, put me on some digestive enzymes last month and when I take them on time when I eat (when being the operative term), I think I notice a good difference.

I think what I need to focus on is lowering the acidity in my stomach. Coffee is pretty much the most acidic and frequent substance I put in my body that could do this. So as of the 4 sips I had this morning on the way to the 7-11 for rolaids I am no longer inbibing coffee.


If you drink more than 20 oz of coffee a day your addicted. Getting off that addiction is painful. Trust me I have done it before. Headaches, body aches, moodiness. The devil is in the details, I am not just quitting coffee but all caffine.

I stopped drinking soda on January 1st. Cold turkey and had no problems. I drank12-100 ozs a day for many years.

Early this summer I stopped taking in dairy unless it was lactose free and I do feel much better.

I can honestly report I have never drank a Red Bull, Monster, Rock Star, et. al.

But this coffee thing is my last vestige of being a somewhat normal guy. I don't drink soda, I don't eat doughnuts, I don't eat pizza, I don't eat cheese. Yeah I have a couple of beers every now and then but I don't go to bars.

This may not last more than a couple of days. Hell it may not last past today. Wish me luck and I will keep you informed.

Fighting the Tide

I look at all the accomplishments I have had in base building this year. Living in the desert SW, there is no training downtime due to weather, its year long baby. Maybe thats part of my problem with my impatience I can keep going and going and going as long as I want.

I am getting in some great workouts. Long runs, long bikes, good pool distance, overcoming my open water limiter; but I feel its not enough. I still see a vast arc of improvement to finish Ironman Florida next year.

I don't think I am working out enough.

I am getting in the important breakthrough workouts each week but feel like I am not getting in enough base level stuff, the progress sustainment stuff. Whats the point of running 20 miles a week if its all in two runs? How much improvement will I have only getting in one 60 mile ride a week?

I have carte' blanc from Mistress to train, its the other stuff that gets in the way. Is 10-12 hours a week enough right now? I don't think so. I'd like to think I have enough time and planning to not be overtrained but be overprepared for Florida. In my mind, which might be totally whacked out, I don't know if I will be happy with my progress until I am consistantly hitting the 18 hours or better mark each week and not seeing a plateau.

Thats only what...3 hours a day with one day off a week?

Wednesday, October 5, 2005

Race For A Cure? Try Walk...

This weekend is the local Race for the Cure Breast Cancer 5k. I decided last year that I was not going to do it anymore. I support the cause, I support the people..but the run sucks. Specifically its so overcrowded that its impossible to get a decent time. The schedule is for the non-competitive 5k walk to start ten minutes after the competitive 5k race. Yet every year the competitive starting line is left unprotected.

I remember one year, when I was still looking at the event with glossy eyes, trying for a PB, being entertained by several corporate employees at the starting line. These were good natured office employees who dressed in their company colors had taken to one-uping each other for corporate pride. I became concerned when the announcer started the countdown clock and these people were not moving to the sidelines but lining up behind the tape. They were not rabbits. They were not gazelles. The horn was blown and these good-hearted people started a spirited WALK forward which created a three deep wall of immovable and now unhappy, jostled, jeered at corporate people by the runners trying to get by.

A year later and wiser, I again lined up ready to fight through the crowd. My concerns now weren't for the entertainment but for the people lining up in the front not paying attention to the race infront of them but the cell phone to their ear. Everyone had a cell phone. The horn goes off and as the front wave of people, myself included, sprints forward; a collective education on the law of gravity occurs as a dozen people fumble, then drop their phones and unsecured keys to the ground. Snap judgement says, "Stop. Pick up what was dropped." This of course recreated a pile of bodys, again myself included, that would make a rugby scrum proud.

By the time I had extricated myself from that mess, I now had to make up time which was impossible due to all the rec-runners and walkers. Dodge a stroller here, wait for gap between the four abreast there, sprint, shuffle, side step, sprint, slow, dart.

While I will miss what was really a good, flat, fast course, and the great swag post race like loaves of bread, yogurt, fruit, lots of Propel; I won't miss the crowds.

So maybe I am not the kind hearted philanthropic person you all think I am. I appreciate the cause but if there is a competive component to the race day, protect it.

Tuesday, October 4, 2005


"What would you do if you knew you would be dead in five years from a terminal disease?"

Jason Blais figured out he had ALS or Lou Gehrigs disease before his doctors did. Instead of rolling over and awaiting the envitable, he decided to define his life by completing the Kona Ironman.

His story is partially published HERE

This isn't a sob story. Its a reveiling of character. Its a desire for a man to be bigger than himself.

Salvaging The Week

Its only Tuesday but already feel like my great training week is slipping away.

Yesterday was a bust because of a too long meeting. Today should be fairly normal and see little problem getting in my 12 mile run. Wednesday I going for a swim.

Thursday I go to the dermatologist for a check up on some scarring on my foot which tends to worsen when I put in a lot of miles on my feet. If I get the 'procedure' which involves Lanacaine, a soddering iron and my flesh, then swimming could be out for couple of days while the wound heals.

But thats all speculation. Right now the most important event is getting in the long run today. I'll keep you posted.

Monday, October 3, 2005

Run Its Course, But Of Course No Running

I think this morning was the last of the GI issues thanks to my fabulous cooking skills. As far as cooking, Mistress was not involved as I was doing this for a work related event. She has the good horse sense to never let me BBQ. I still have a twinge of ache in my gut but thats it.

While I couldn't go out and do any training, or anything for that matter, that had me further than 50 yards from the latrine, I went about fixing the house up a bit. I patched a puppy created hole in the wall and repainted it, I replaced an outdoor sentry light and put in a new low voltage light system around the pool. Consequently my low back and hammys are pretty tight today.

Its the first of the month so that means a week in my office compiling numbers. I would normally ride my bike in today but there is a meeting first thing today so I needed time to get stuff done. I am going to attempt to get out and run 11-12 miles today but if my gut does better, the meeting dosen't run long or I can't get my legs stretched during the meeting I may opt for a weight circuit and stationary bike.

Saturday, October 1, 2005

News Flash-Don't Let Me Cook...EVER

I know, I know, I have blogged on this topic many times but my complete inadequacy in cooking is only eclipsed by my ability to be self-deprecating.

I gave myself food poisoning.

Go ahead a laugh. That's right get it all out, there you go.

I helped out a manager at a corporate enrollement event Friday night and ended up being the one, under protest mind you, running the BBQ. Well I think you can figure the rest out.

The part that really sucks, other than not knowing which way to approach a toilet tonight is that Mistress and I had a mid-afternoon date, then would roll into a wedding reception being held by two key employees who got married and honeymooned on Maui a few weeks ago.

I also called off traveling to the Olympic tri tomorrow to take pictures for the team.

Keep me out the kitchen PLEASE. I beg you, no more.

Spring, Summer, Fat, Winter?

October is a busy month in many ways. Sports for instance. Baseball ends, basketball and hockey begin. Nascar and Football are mid season. Not much different though is holidays. Browsing the local Wal-Mart I found Christmas trees, Halloween costumes and Thanksgiving decoration all on the same isle.

The one thing that brings all these multi-divergent lifestyles and occasions together is overeating. I think the average American finally breaks down and buys their first bag of 'trick or treat' candy around October 15. Its been on the store shelves for two weeks and...well we can only hold out for so long. Of course the first bag is really good candy, the stuff you want to eat as opposed to hand out, so its opened and eaten by weeks end and then like after every frat party, your scared straight... until just a few days before Halloween when you go out to buy the cheap stuff, you know so you don't dip into it yourself, stuff like lollipops and Almond Joys.

If the overeating cycle is not controlled by Hallowen it continues quitely and uncontrollably through Thanksgiving. See most eating binges at this point are individual failings of willpower; a handful of chocolates here, a couple cookies there. From Thanksgiving till Christmas, the madness is in firm control. There is no mental anguish of dieting, no self respect, its who can jockey the best position at the table. It Christmas parties and family dinners, co-workers bringing in junk food and of course our own sweet release to our base eating desires long denied during our season of triathlon training.

The bottom is hit somewhere around December 20th.

At the zenieth of holiday frenzy the murmurs begin of New Years resolutions, of splurging a bit too much the last few weeks, the impending large family meals on Christmas Eve and Day. The reminder of laying on the floor after Thanksgiving dinner with your 'fat pants' unbuckled and a pillow over your stomach watching Star Wars on TBS and moaning about eating too much. The rationale mind says, "We have to get control of ourselves....after Christmas."

Christmas comes and goes but the leftovers remain. December 26th and 27th consist of a breakfast of pie ( pumpkin, pecan or apple) and a cup of coffee. Dinners are doused with leftover gravy and dinner rolls. The rationale mind says, "One more week, get past New Years and its all good."

New Years is anti-climatic. At somepoint between ages 23-27 we finally figured out there's calories in alcohol and consequences of mixing different alcohols. There is only so much boozing that can be done until midnight when we polish off half a bottle of cheap champagne and have to drive home. From that time forward, New Year's is a big mental milestone but physically your already on the couch, or in bed asleep. At this point, if the rationale mind has not been kidnapped, beaten and tossed roughly into the recess of your subconscious, then self control returns and the eating monster goes back to sleep for another ten and half months.

However, if gluttony has taken charge, its only needed excuses are bowl games and a few extra left overs and we are doomed through the first weekends of January. If we are not careful, if we have had a complete mental breakdown, our despair goes straight through the Super Bowl and smack into Valentines day.

So friends BEWARE. Sheild yourself from over eating. Take a diet pill so you feel full. Drink large amounts of water before social gatherings. Workout. Put post-it notes around your kitchen about not eating. Put your 2005 finishing medals around your kitchen as a reminder of all your hard work and show off to your friends and family.