Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Blast Off

Today is my first day back into training or as Mighty Mo will tell us, "Daddy gonna go have fun!" Well fun is realtive to effort is suppose. And for those that think I will be blasting off like a rocket you are absolutely correct. Slow and steady out of the launch pad and envitably reaching significant speeds.

My workout today is what was supposed to be yesterdays, a massage and stretching. Mistress got picked for jury duty on an armed robbery case so I had to get the boy and will have to continue doing that through probably next Monday.

I was listening to endurance radio podcasts yesterday and heard an interveiw with two training partners who have lost 75 pounds and 175 pounds each (this man weighing close to 400 pounds at the start). They are both also Ironman finishers with a sub 12 finish and a sub 13 finish. Among the lots of good information was a nugget to take a strong engine.

They forgo'ed the interval and speed work stuff and just built huge bases. One of them rode 150 miles commuting to work during the week and did another 60-100 on the weekends in longer rides.

I think the point is that I personally don't think Ironman training and weight loss are symbotic but one can naturally leads to the other. Its my belief that if you want to lose weight, significant weight, you need to focus on that. To train for Ironman or a just a marathon, then you need to focus on that.

People can and do lose weight training for endurance events, as evidenced by these two men and my own personal observations, but for the most part if your only trying to lose 20 pounds and want to do it by training for a long distance triathlon or running event, you might be going about it all wrong. Its natural for most of us to flux in weight during the season but I really think that if your losing more than 10% of your body weight, there are certainly easier ways.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

T- Minus

Life is getting a bit more back to normal today. I still feel off but my throat and voice are healed and the headache is gone. All thats left is an upset stomach and a feeling of lethargy.

Up till today I hadn't combined a meal more complex than plain pasta and butter. This morning I had a triple threat and now nursing a PB & Chocolate smoothie. Yeah I know not the usual mixed berry, lactose free yogurt, protien meal replacement that I normally get.

I am sure my energy will be done by mid afternoon. The only thing on my agenda workout wise is to stretch and get some core work done. If possible I may try to get a quick massage for my low back, glutes and ailing left hamstring.

As soon at the 'sky clears' I will be ready to blast off. Only another day or two at most.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Getting There

Thank you all for your kindness. I think I am at about 65% right now. Except for about 3 hours, I was in bed from Friday noon when I was released till Monday morning when I got up. The bad news is I decided to go to work and the driving has made me all queasy and nauseaous and light headed. The good news is that it looks like the rest of my partners took the day off so its an in and out day for me which equals more time lying flat and keeping my stomach calm.

I was scared. I wasn't really sure what to write next and thats what came to my mind. Those three hours when I couldn't stop vomiting. It scared me. I couldn't breath. The wracking my took has left me sore around my torso. My lower back went out on me.

As I was laying (lying) in bed over the weekend, I felt a weird disconnectedness with my left hip and realized that my torn hamstring still has not healed. It sort of tingled or 'felt' different than the other side.

Well I think I will take today off from exercise and tomorrow schedule a massage and do some light weights and stretching. Hopefully by late in the week I will up to full capacity.

Please excuse my absence from the rest of your blogs as I just try to get through the next few days without losing my lunch again.

Keep on Keepin' on.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Laid Out

I woke up a little after midnight on Friday with a stomach ache. For the next three hours I could not stop throwing up. The last time I had done so as violently was when I had heat stroke. Mistress finally convinced me to go to the emergancy room at 0330. I spent the next nine hours getting IV's for pain, vomiting and fluids.

Doctor report: Stomach flu.
Doctor Presciption: antibotics, more nausea meds and 48 hours bed rest.

Mistress and Mo went to do some errands so thought I would finally poke my head out. I have been in bed since I got home 24 hours ago and my back is killing me. I haven't been allowed to eat yet but will try some Saltines later today. My head is killing. My voice has almost returned, the throat was destroyed by all the vomiting I did.

Not the best way to spend a weekend.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

A Boy Having Fun

In a big conference this week. Our Washington State counterparts are down for three days so we can all work on Professional Development using the Stephen Covey's 7 Habits book. I did a year of this about decade ago and it was great, re-reading the book this time and looking at it from my current point of view makes me realize what a great book it really is, no matter your situation.

About 20 of us got together for the dreadded meeting before the meeting to go over the meeting on Tuesday. The meeting ended with a lunch at a nice resturant a few miles away. I decided it might just be the only opportunity I had to catch a workout so I ran changed very quickly, put my work clothes (golf shorts and dri-fit) in a pack and took off sprinting.

I got there before about half of the others. Did a quick shirt changes outside the restaurant and was sitting down dabbing my forehead drinking an Arnold Palmer. Many of the other people, my partners and such, were like, "Did I see you running here. Why would you do that in this heat?"

"I had the time."
Update 11:45 am: Some people have asked in talkback if I am in Seattle right now. The answer is no. The conference is here in Phoenix. All the Washington folks came down here since we have better weather and they have fewer employees for travel costs.


Mighty Mo and Mistress went to the Seattle Center and Mo rode some rides for the first time all by himself. Mistress was beside herself but as you can tell by the looks on his face that he was doing okay on his own.

Isn't funny sometimes when you take the picture of a child that when they are at their absolute happiest it looks like they are losing their minds with fear. Well he is having a BLAST here.

This was at the Seattle Aquarium. Notice if you will the pink polo shirt. I have mentioned before that he perfers the preppy look.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Triathlon 90: Distance

I remember in college that if you were not sure you could pass Math 101 or English 101, you took a refresher course usually listed a level 90, (ie Math 90, English 90).

Well I thought I would write at least one post on Begining Traithlon or 'Triathlon 90'. I understand that if you are reading this and have completed a triathlon this might be repeatively redundant or very basic, but think back to the month or two months before your first race and remember some of the questions you had about this sport.

Today I want to begin with distances. There are set distances and distances that are not set. .

Ironman is a set distance of 140.6 miles which breaks down into a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and then a 26.2 mile run. The story regarding the beginning of Ironman is mythic and good research for the tri newbie. (You have to learn some things on your own.) Oddly enough Ironman is the one distance that uses Standard measure. Almost all other triathlon distances use the metric system.

ITU Long Distance. Used mostly in Europe, ITU (International Triathlon Union) was formed for the sole purpose of putting triathlon in the Olympics. It does not recognize Ironman distance events. This distance is 4 km (2.5 mile) swim / 120 km (75 mile) bike / 30 km (18.6 mile) run.

70.3. This is a set distance which is half the distance of an Ironman. It used to be called Half-Ironman until the begininng of 2006. This distance is 1.2 mile swim / 56 mile bike / 13.1 mile run. Because this distance is labeled by the exact distance of the event and that distance is Standard measure, its one more win for common sense.

Olympic. This distance is a set format, 1.5 km (0.9 mi) swim / 40 km (24.9 mi) bike / 10 km (6.2 mi) run. It is also called an International but this is a slightly inaccurate nomenclature in the United States at least. This is the distance used at the Olympic Games.

International. In the United States, International distance races are not a set format. The distances vary from 750 to 1500 m (.46 mi to .90 mi) / 20 k to 45k bike (12 mi to 28 mi) / 5k to 8k run (3.1 mi to 4.96 mi)

Sprint. 750 meter swim / 20 km bike / 5 km run The Sprint Distance is the fastest growing triathlon race distance in the United States.

There are other racing formats that you may see.

Super Sprint. This distance is not a set distance but in general involves the same distances as Sprint except the swim is decreased to less than 750 meters. Usually you will see 500, 400 or 300 meter swims.

QuarterMan. This is a set distance which is 1/4 the Ironman distance. This is usually the under card on 70.3 distance events.

UltraMan. The first UltraMan was a three day event held in Hawaii and now there is another one in British Columbia, Canada. The distances are 10 km (6.2 mi) ocean swim / 421 km (261 mi) bike / 84 km (52.4 mile) ultramarathon run, one discipline completed each day.

F-1. This type of triahlon is more prevailant in Europe but they pop up in America fairly often now. I have seen F-1 races as both on-road cycling and running and moutain biking and trail running. The interesting aspect of F-1 is that you swim / bike / run /swim /bike / run. You do all events twice. It really tests transitions as much as any single event. The distances vary based on terrain.

Xterra. Also called Fat Tire, these races are done on mountain bikes and run on trails instead of asphalt. The distances vary greatly and seldom use a nomenclature like road triathlons would. For example you wouldn't normally see Xterra Olympic or Xterra Sprint. You would simply see Xterra and the distance.

'Inside Baseball'. (This term applys to obscure matters that would only be of interest to those that care.) Ironman as a name is owned by the World Triathlon Corporation. So if a race director or sponsor wants to put on a Ironman distance event and its not sanctioned by WTC then its called something else, such as Long Course or Long Distance.

Thats the lesson for today. If your interested in more Triathlon 90 posts please leave comments. I think future lessons could include a glossery of terms, transitions and wetsuit usage /triathlon specific clothing.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Fitting it in

This is a picture of the club after the Tempe International last weekend. Below the logo it reads, "Where participating is more important than placing...but placing pretty good too." From left to right is Tony, Hardcore, Me (eating), Big John, Delabio, Jordan Banas (age 13), his dad The Machine, Andy, Andy, Todd.

This race is many things, including Triathlete Magazines Club Championship. In five months we put AzTriClub in the top ten. Had the scheduling of some out of state races been different we would have been even better.

Got a big conference this week so training is going to be a bit off but I'll do my damdest.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Race Report #3 2006: Tempe International Tri

Well obviously I lived to tell the tale. Yeah! Interesting race to say the least. Some very happy points and some revelations. First off, huge mistake in my nutrition which came back on me in the race. I ate a triple threat and drank a gatorade for breakfast and another gatorade before the race and had gatorade on the bike. Way to few calories. I figure I only took in about 400 before the race and another 150 during. I expended 2,500 calories during the race so you do the math. I really should have had a bigger meal before and stuck with my CarbPro mix during and upped my calories to around 800 between waking up and T2.

The Swim: I had absolutely no problems with my swim. The water was 81 degrees. I was in the first wave which was wide bodies (Clydes and Athenas) and geezers (ove 51). Very little rubbing and bumping. There was some but isn't there always? I am not sure of my time so I will wait for the splits to come in but I really do believe I was one of the last ones from my wave to get out of the water. Big deal I finished it.

The Bike: I got past a lot on the bike and I am not sure why. I averaged around 21 mph, I feel that I hit a speed that I could sustain for an Ironman and just stuck with it. I think a lot of people were really going all out. The route had an equal number of hills and flats. It was really wide lanes to ride and there was no jostling for position.

The Run: I blew up on my run. This is where my lack of nutrition came back on me. The 10k course was hot and slighty humid this day. I was shooting for around 48 minutes for this leg but ended up at 63 or 64. Had some problems with tight shins and ankles and my torn hammy came back to get me at the end. But really it came down to me not being calorically ready for the run.

The web results are up but they are way off so I will post them when everything is correct.

I will say that I had a lot of fun. There were over 2 dozen people I knew racing or spectating so I was constantly being yelled at. That was the best part. In transition before the race it was all back slaps and Good Lucks, like a family reunion.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Twas The Night Before

Saturday 9pm

The night before a big race is usually a somber mood. My mind, heart and body all pushing equal amounts of bravado and anxiety. Mental tick marks on what would be great splits followed by the mental admonishment at the folly of the thought. Finishing and having fun are what really matter.

So why do I have this feeling? The feeling is not fear, I have faced the demons of the three disciplines already. Is it anxiety for the race, the challenge? A bit. Maybe my body subconsciously remembers the anticipation and vibration felt in the tranistion area that last hour before the cannon blows. Surely I feel some of that jitteriness now.

Some of it is that I am all alone tonight. It is just me and a dark house and my mind before it finally falls into a restless sleep. Usually Mistress is next to me, telling me, "You'll be fine, your stressing way to much." No Mighty Mo to kiss on the forehead as I leave so early in the morning. I called. Both were distracted by a dinner in their honor at a friends house 2,000 miles away. Its their night and she gave me what time little time she could.

I have no reason to worry or feel strange. Some of the best peace I get daily is during the training I do for races like this. I love this sport.
This is Canyon Lake. See how smooth the water is. In the background is the infamous 'Inlet Buoys' from so many posts. The first one just behind the man on the right and the far one easier to see middle-left. Oh the guys in the picture are from L-R: me, The Machine, Tai.

This was taken around 7pm after a nice brick of 40 minutes running followed by an hour of swimming.

Not a bad training pool, huh?

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Is this thing on?

Its been brought to my attention over the last couple of weeks that CMS has been difficult to get to open. Some sort of Active X command or other caca-rocka thing. Nytro blasted me in a I.M. about not being able to get on the website the other day and today I had a hard time as well.

I have felt that it might be from the music jukebox so I have deleted it from the sidebar. Probably to the relief of many of you.

So if you can read this...great. If you can't...then it doesn't matter now does it.

True Shiny Things

I was going home the other night and was being egged on by my brother over the phone to let loose and play my Playstation 2. I have never mentioned this before but I have a serious videogame addiction that if I indulge, it gets out of hand. So like any stimulus addiction I only indulge it under a controlled situation. My family being gone and the house to myself is not a controlled situation.

So I told myself that if I felt the pull closer to home I would stop and go into a store until I felt confident the urge had passed. I still felt like playing Medal of Honor so I pulled into a Bed, Bath and Beyond. Did you know the Beyond is actually kitchenware?

Nothing cures one stimulus craving like another stimulus craving. So I ended up buying Mistress a new ten piece Emerilware stainless steel cooking set, and a new set of Calphalon untenils with a stainless steel crock.

All quality Shiny Things. Friends of the this blog know that I LOVE Shiny Things.

True, these Shiny Things are not for me but for Mistress and I hope that she enjoys the new stuff. The greatest gift for me though is doing something nice for her and not getting re-addicted to my Playstation.

Crap I am tired

I thought a week of my family being gone would be good for me. I could train all hours, I could work all hours, relax at home.

Not happening. Oh its all happening but not with the joy in my heart that I thought I would have. The runs this week have been brutal as the heat spiked to over 100 degrees and it takes a few weeks for me to acclimatize to it. My run the other day in 105 was slower than I wanted and I was way overheated. I would run to 180 bpm then sast walk until I was back to the high 150's, low 160's then do it again. I suppose it was a blessing that my foot pod was not sinc'ing with the watch so I have no idea how fast or far I was moving.

Thursday was a 30 minute desert run, again over 100. Coming back I saw to people lying on the ground. Turns out it was Hardcore and The Machine waiting for me since they left for their run ten minutes before I arrived, which was right on time. Thanks guys.

I did the long open swim again and shaved two minutes off, which is pretty cool.

My torn hammy is still fighting me by giving me painful cramping. Had a really big one right at the end of my swim as I tried to catch my footing on some submerged rocks. I need to get this looked at tomorrow and maybe get a massage instead of going to M:i:3 like I want too.

Lately I have been very frustrated with the utter stupidity of drivers. So much so that I have regressed to name calling and road posturing. On the freeway this week, there was a lane closure so obviously one lane merges into another. This stupid lady driving her fashionable SUV merges and then slams on her brakes. As I swerved I noticed she had retrieved her precious eye color junk and continued to apply it.

Also a huge duelly pickup (four tires in back) turns on the road I am driving on directly in front of me when there was no one behind me. I had to slam on my brakes and swerve into the other lane to avoid a collision. Before that some driver pulled on the road and with no traffic except me, decided to cross the other two lanes and drive 25mph in the fast lane which I was going fast in. traffic and you have to move straight to the fastlane?

My whole goal Wednesday night was to get home earlier than 7:30 pm to relax. But Noooooo, I had to spend 45 minutes in a back up on the freeway and when I get to the 'accident', its not an accident, its a tall blond being talked to by a cop, on the opposite freeway. No.Way. I lost almost an hour of my life in the car because people wanted to see if this chick was hot.

I finally popped two tylonel pm Wednesday night so that I could sleep. I got 7.5 hours. That is equal to the previous two nights of sleep combined. I hate taking sleeping pills.

All this precieved stress has at least taking the anxiety away from the International triathlon this weekend.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

HotTest run of the year.ran 6 miles in 105 temperature. Was redlining the whole time due to heat. Glad that's over.

A ride and A question

I look forward to the Wednesday morning rides that I do with Big John and Andy. I have put up the graphs before and talked about this ride around Usery Pass. I think what I like most is the feeling of comraderie just bullshitting and spinning before the hard hills come up and we seperate into our own willpower.

As we reached the base of Usery Pass, which is a 4 mile ascent with what I would consider a margianlly steep grade, I decided to take another shot at at PR to the top. Not only did I drop another full minute this week from last (18:25 or 5.5% improvement) I blew buy two guys like they were going half my speed, which from personal experience I know is entirely possible since I used to be those guys.

As we regrouped at the top J0hn says, "
I have a moral question for you. When you come up on a cyclist who obviously has terrible form like the guy we both passed with his knees going left/right instead of up/down, do you say something to him or let him figure it out in six month on his own?"
I thought about it and said that I think if the guy is in the group and you're conversational, then yes its okay, I personally don't mind getting good criticism. If you come up on some riding alone, I say its a judgement call but if he stops to talk along the way, you can mention it in conversation.

What do you people say?

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Alas poor S625, how I knew ye...

I think I mentioned I busted my Polar S625 a few weeks back. By that I mean that I cracked the start/split button and have to send it in to get fixed. I am pretty tough on my gear which is why I will probably never buy carbon fiber wheels.

Using the new Polar RS200 has been super easy. It is not a flagship watch like the 625, its a watch geared towards putting the absolute best of the 625 and other heart rate systems into a watch that the recreational athlete can afford.

What I really like is that it has a function so that when set to a determined distance the watch will automatically lap the watch. Which for me means that I don't have to stare at my watch every .97 miles until I get to a full mile and hit the watch myself to get a split. Or I will get into the grove and totally forget to hit the button and the split is all jacked up.

Another great function is that it has an event countdown. So now every time I look at the watch 1/3 of the screen is a box telling me how days left till 'IRONMAN'. Talk about keeping the goal in focus.

In other news I had another great open water swim without wetsuit yesterday. I was having some difficulty's getting into the grove, not from a mental standpoint I will add, so there were a few time I had to stop swimming, away from shore, to make adjustments to goggles, cough, whatever and I had no issues with it. Other than the effects of race day, I have no fears on the swim coming up.

Last nights dinner was an orange, protien, meal replacement smoothie.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Home Alone Update 2

Lets see Sunday...still no cooking taking place. Got a reprimand from my mother to not use anything but the microwave. She should know, I destroyed her kitchen and almost burned down the house one time and destroyed the 'remodeled' kitchen again.

I went out for sushi on Sunday instead.

No laundry. Good news about that, I did not destroy my running socks.

This sounds so utterly pathetic and I suppose it is, but it is usually me that is leaving them at home for trips and mistress is so OCD about the house that our responsibilities are delegated around me not really doing anything inside the house.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

The Gear Is Here

I will be honest Blogger has been acting up and this is my third attempt at completely having to rewrite this post so I will not be using all the hyperlinks I have been using in the other writings lost to the internet-verse.

My Polar sponsorship gear arrive the other day. Included in the box is a hat, a black cotton short sleeve shirt, a grey dri-fit long sleeve shirt, my welcome book with all the rules and regulations governing the sponsorship and of course two computers, the RS200sd and the CS200cad.

On Monday the whole team is getting together for the first time. A rep is flying in to give us a solid download of information on how to be experts on the two systems. I think the rep is also going over how we track our training online for the sponsors to follow us and how to use the message boards and all the other forms we will be using online as part of our responsibilites.

By the end of the month I will be getting the customized Polar racing uniforms. I asked if they could send the team's stuff out quick, quick, since most of us are in the race this weekend. If nothing else we can all just wear the hats.

AzTriClub will be setting up a tent with drinks after the race and putting up some club banners. The Machine already has a Polar banner, which no other team has so far (I don't know how either) so that will be hanging proudly from the ceiling and we are going to get a team photo to send in so we get some good press from the company.

It pays to be on the ball.

Home Alone update 1

Well I had to go all day without reading the comments left on my last post about my inability to do laundry and my still standing orders to not cook in the kitchen.

One post stood out, I would like to recognize and address. Mipper, a good soul, a favorite read of mine and a long time commenter on this site wrote;
...yes the sock with thestripes can go in either whites or lights)...DO NOT COOK. SO NOT TURN THE OVEN ON. fruits, veggies, sandwiches or take out. do. not. cook. Mistress wouldn't let you if she was home.
Well let me tell you I am 1 and 1 on this. I washed the running socks with the darks. Crap. But I ordered take out from Applebees for dinner. The steak and salmon was de-lish and had the lemon berry cheesecake for desert (only 23o calories). Now some of you may recall I have a strict no-strawberry flavor rule. In this case, based on caloric content, I have created an exemption in my boycott to partake in this wonderful desert.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

When Mistress is away...

Mistress and Mighty Mo are in Seattle for ten days to see friends. So I have the whole house and all 24 hours in the day to myself. I would like to go nuts with some long stuff but I have to maintain a fairly normal week so I am not blown out for the Tempe International Triathlon on the 21st.

I will focus most of my efforts on maintaining my confidence in the swim. Nothing fancy just consistant one mile swims once or twice a day, two or three days next week and one of those out at the lake for at least one more swim with or without the wetsuit. Of course I am still praying for cooler waters so that its a wetsuit legal race in Tempe Town Lake, I'm not stupid I want perfect conditions for me.

But I can get in early workouts, I can get in late workouts, I can go longer in the middle of the day and work late. The world is my oyster. Except...I haven't used our Maytag Neptune washing machines and not sure how to do laundry. I alway sent my laundry out before getting married or it got dry cleaned.

"Just wash darks with darks, and whites with whites and everything on cold. Don't touch the other stuff." Mistress told me.

"What's the other stuff?"

"The. Other. Stuff. Like bleach...."

"I got it. Hey this running sock has black and yellow panels on it, is it a dark or a white? Know what? I am just going to find a laundry and have them do it."

"Don't you dare. Go see your mom and have her do it."

I spoke to Mighty Mo a few times before and after the flight. He was so excited to fly for the first time. Mistress told me he had travellers stopping in their tracks because he was dressed very nattily in his organge polo shirt and blue jeans with his teddy bear tucked under one arm and pulling his toddler sized rolling luggage behind him, with a few dinosaur tails and heads poking out of the top. Looking as if he travelled every week.

And what exactly did I do on my first Friday night of freedom in months? In the afternoon I went to see Poseidon (more drama than action movie, but not bad), I spent an hour in a christian book store and I went home to move into my new bible. I switched from a NIV study to a NLT study for those that care. I cheated and copied all my personal notes and underlinings from the old to new. I know some people who buy a new and different reading bible every year, "To expand learning and not be set in ways." Well you just keep doing that. Me, I write all over the thing so I don't forget I learned something great ten years ago. Its hard enough to try to live a Christian lifestyle without throwing out your notes all the time.

For the next week, can the Intrepid Age Grouper, (Thats me folks) not burn the kitchen? What will he eat? Can the Intrepid Age Grouper master the washing machine that is Neptune ? (I don't know why I linked that, except its a freaking HUGE capacity washer and dryer and cost almost two freaking grand. But she does all the laundry and I know I create a lot of workout laundry, so I didn't even bat an eye and told her I was glad she was happy). What will the Intrepid Age Grouper do with his new found freedom? Succumb to CMS watching what he wants, when he wants OR training for his upcoming races. Will he survive the 1,500 meter open water swim next Sunday and be at the airport by 1pm to pick up his loving wife and son at the airport?

Stay tuned. Even I don't know. But aren't train wrecks fun to watch?

Friday, May 12, 2006

An Hour of Peace

Random thoughts ran through my head all day. "Is my will in order?" "Was the last thing I said to Mo meaningful?"

I am so stupid. The moment I hit the water I had zero anxiety, zero thoughts of drowning. It was the first uninterupted hour of mental peace I had found since my anxiety attack last Sunday.

It was the first official over 100 degree day of the year. The water temp was high sixty, low seventy. Perfect weather, perfect day. There were a lot of AzTriClub members out today, more than ever. Out of respect for me, no one wore a wetsuit. To me it felt like a big birthday party. Much like a birthday party a milestone would be observed this day. The ultimate goal was to swim 1,500 meters open water without a wetsuit in preperation for the Tempe International Olympic next weekend.

Andy yells, "Come on Comm, lets get going already." I am not hesitating, there is just so much going on at the stash area. But almost everyone was already treading water 50 meters out so it was time to move.

The moment I took my first stroke I promised myself to do the full 1,500. As I swam to the group, I swam past them, not wanting to stop. "One, Mo, Two, Mo, Three, Mo..." This is my internal stroke count. Mo is the perfect word that Head Doc asks you to think about in his swim meditation. Mo is my power word.

Before I get 100 meters the real training begins. Andy swims by and grabs my goggles, dislodging them. The Machine, yes with boogie board attached by leash, is like a Mako shark, coming at me at from all angles and throwing hands, elbows and legs and then darting away with a swift kick.

Its several minutes before I realize that I have rounded the inlet buoys and closing in on the bridge. I have pretty much swam completely through the worst of my fears without a recognition of it. Except for a punch or kick or hard push from a teammate, I am firing off stroke after stroke after stroke. Slow but steady.

It seems to take forever before I get to the rock buoy, the official turnaround deep in the canyon. I will come by this one more time. There is an actual submerged rock that the buoy is placed next too, and some teammates are sitting on it cheering me on. The trip back out to the inlet buoy is uneventful except for The Machine, Andy and other occasional teammates doing their best to give me their worst. It is at this point that I finally throw my first counter elbow, hitting the Machine in the shoulder hard. The shark swims off to circle.

I make it to the inlet buoys for the second time and head back into the canyon. It feels like I have been out here forever, but I know its only about 30 minutes. I did not start my watch or wear the HRM, I had too many other things I thought I would think about.

On the last pass at the rock buoy, I know I have this nailed. I have had no panic, no fear. I have only free stroked and not once thought of rolling over or trying something different. I am getting a bit tired and my stroke is getting a bit sloppy but its still moving at the same tempo. I reach out and with a closed fist I punch the buoy as hard as I can, rocking it almost flat. I wasn't angry, it was more a declaration. Annoucing my pressence with authority. Hitting the rock buoy was my official movement past swimming 1500 meters in the water, my Olympic distance next week and I still have to get back to the gear.

On the way back out to the lake its the same hitting and kicking from the team. In a really nice move two of them come up and completely sandwich me as hard as they can. Later on, Andy swims right in front of me and then completely stops, forcing me to stop and move around him, trying to force me out of my zone.

It felt good going back out into the widest part of the swim for the third time, the area that held all my fears. That fear was replaced by the realization that training and base building are the preperation needed for when opportunity knocks.

I make it back to the starting rock and everyone is there to congratulate me. I am humbled. Many of these guys spent much more time in the water than normal to draft with me and though they put in their 'official' practice distance, it was at a much lower output. I thanked each of them and we laughed at the bumping and the hitting and my stupid fears.

I ask anyone if they had a calender to track my time. Andy says 1:03. I tell everyone I am happy because that is seven minutes before the cut off for a half ironman. Big John however has the dramatic moment and declares that my time is not accurate because I swam farther than a half ironman distance.

"What? I thought it was almost 1,900 meters to do all that, thats what I have always thought." "No," he say, " The total distance is almost 2,400 meters. You swam a mile and half in 1:03."

Sot that is the breakthrough. The key workout of the year for me, done today. 1.5 miles in an hour and three minutes. More than a half mile farther than my ultimate desire of a perfect day. A hour of peace today, a thousand minutes to worry about something else for Ironman the rest of the year.


Thursday, May 11, 2006

I am an otter...and obviously alive. More to follow.

Parade for a Fool

Today is test day. Yet unlike all those tests in school that blew off because I was hung over or just didn't care, this test is literally testing my ability to 'survive' in the water. Melodramatic? You bet your ass it is.

Later this afternoon, I am swimming in Canyon Lake without a wetsuit out to the buoy in the open water and then we can figure out how far back into the canyon I go from there. Personally I will look at this as a sucess to complete one lap without assistance (roughly 1,000 yards) but would really be more comfortable with another 3/4 of a lap back into the canyon and then swimming back to the starting rock. Obviously two full laps sans wetsuit would be the ultimate breakthrough since that is a half ironman swim (2.000 yards).

I am the fool and this this is my parade. The Machine, who has a huge giving spirit and has always been there pushing me through swim obstacles will be lurking about with a boogie board lashed to his leg just in case. You know, just in case things don't go according to plan and I need a rest. The boogie board will act as the race day kayak I can rest on. Big John had already planned on bringing his boat out for waterskiing afterwards so he is going to try to get it in the water before hand and hang back on me. But John says he wants to swim real close with me so he can give me some, "REAL ironman swim experience." Ahhh, not sure what that means, can anyone fill me in on that?

Todd, another amazing training pal, and had a cameo in my drowning post last year at this very same lake, will also be there as yet another wingman.

Then add, oh, another probably two to four people clearly stating they want to ride in the boat but always smile when they say that. Like a mob at a gladiator event I tell you.

I being the fool that I am for the stupid and yet overwhelming fear of open water, no wetsuit swimming will be leading the procession in the lake tomorrow. I suppose it goes without saying that if Mistress is posting on here next; please send money, not gifts. If everything goes according to plan, I will have completed a half ironman swim without westuit and enjoying my life.

I very much appreciate all the support and comments I have recieved this week. Very overwhelming and quite honestly makes me feel even more silly for having this sense of dread or anguish. I mentally understand this is a foolish hang up. I consciously understand I can do this

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

New Shoes

I love hearing the following message.

"Hello, Commodore, your new shoes are in and on hold."

I am an Asics fan. Have been for years. I switched to Asiscs when I got tired of blowing out the air sole on Nikes Triax shoes back in the early 90's. They were really the first shoe to have a see through sole, so you could see the air inside, of course they just couldn't keep the air inside at the time. They were known for blowing a seam in the heel. The final straw was when I actually blew out a air sole two days before the Army/Guard Marathon in 1993, I was one of three representing the territory of Guam for the Army.

The guy at the store, who had seen this happen regularly had the Triax swap down to a science but I was suitably shocked enough that he put in an Asics, I think the Cumulus iii. (The new Cumulus viii is seen above. ) So I ran the marathon with less than about 5 miles on the shoe. Whoa, that was an interesting race on so many levels but thats another post. But I loved the shoes.

I wore nothing but Asics for about the next ten years. Then I felt the brand was going a bit stagnant and I looked for a new shoe. I tried Reebok DMX shoes, a horrible month in Saucony Grid Trimuph 3's and a love/hate relationship with Adidas ClimaCools. I can give personal opinions on each if you want.

It took six month before Mike Flynn, owner of Scottsdale Running Company, convinced me to go back to Nike and their solid Air Pegasus line. I trained for and ran the 2003 inaguaral PF Chang Marathon in those and they are a great neutral gait cushioning shoe. But I missed my Asics.

The problem for the last several years is that I can run a 1,000 miles a year and put 350 miles on a shoe in just few months. So even though the shoe still looks good (I take care of my shoes appearance) they are not able to provide the ride or support that is needed high mileage runs or for guys like me way above the 'medium build runner'. I have about 8 pairs of running shoes that look good but not good for much except wearing to the gym or the office for a few hours. All show, no go.

Last year when the 2005 Pegasus came out I was not impressed with the upgrades so I tried Asics hoping they had progressed with the new Cumulus vii. They had. Now I am back in the shoe I was born to love. Long live number eight.

Tuesday, May 9, 2006


I have finally suffered my first major, MAJOR, mental collapse in triathlon. I think about Ironman and Florida almost minute to minute. Its my Dominant Thought. So I was a little shocked that I suffered an anxiety attack on Sunday. Not about Florida but about the Olympic I have in two weeks.

My limiter is the swim. Put me in a wetsuit and I am pretty sure about getting to where I need to go. Sure I think about drowning but I have built enough base and learned enough tricks that I can mentally soothe myself past any doubts.

Swimsuit only, in open water, not so much confidence. In fact none. In fact terrified.

On May 21st is a big 1500 meter open water swim that may or may not be with wetsuits depending on water temps that morning. I think of nothing else right now. I am devoting the remaining time till then to swim confidence. I am going out to the lake on Thursday and swimming with the club without a wetsuit and with a guide. Yah know...just in case. In fact Big John is bring out his boat to waterski afterwards (something else I have never done) and I am asking him to trail me with it during my swim so in case...yah know...just in case.

Now I know the chances of drowning in a race is almost nil. You just never hear of it. So in the race I am not afraid of drowning and dying but not finishing the swim. Not getting out on my own power.

I am going to start listening to Head-Docs swim visualization tape every night to build up my confidence and get positive affirmation in my head.

Have any of you suffered similiar feelings about the swim and how did you overcome them (if you did) and how did you fair at the swim in the race?

Monday, May 8, 2006

Power Question

A question for all you powertappers out there, or just anyone who understands this stuff better than me. Let me give you a real life scenario and tell me which direction the power is going. I am speaking in generals here, lets not try to slice the bologna too thin.
I am 15 miles into a 40 mile ride on a road with a slight incline. I am traveling at 22 mph on my Valdora PHX and have been for a mile with this same terrain. I don't know my cadence but I am in the big chainring up front and half way down on the back. My legs start to get tired and speed drops to 21 mph, I increase my cadence and back up I go to 22 mph. After another mile my mph start to drop more often, so I downshift to an easier gear, my cadence comes up and so does my mph back to 22. Now I am travelling at the same mph (22) but in a easier gear with higher cadence.
I am interested in the wattage aspect of this story problem. Lets say for the sake of arguing that my watts at 22 mph during the mile is 120. As my cadence drops and my mph suffers the wattage is going down, correct?

So does that mean when I stay in the same gear and increase my cadence to get back to 22 mph, my wattage went up?

When I drop a gear and maintain 22 mph, my turnover is higher and resistance against my legs is lower. What has my wattage done, gone up or gone down?

Sunday, May 7, 2006

Off the Hook

Well Seasme Street was fun until it started. The three of us had a great morning together hanging out and getting ready for Mighty Mo's first live concert. I skipped training for this. He played with some other kids but we had to ring him in a bit since he is bigger than most 3 year olds and he roars like a dinosaur as he chases them around. I mean thats what 3 year olds do, they run around and giggle, but Mo likes to roar as well. On that same point, Mistress had to take him to work for a few hours last week, (this entire valley is gripped with the stomach flu it seems, not him the sitter) and he was asked not to hug the girls in there so hard since they don't have brothers and only female cousins they weren't used to being squeezed so hard. I think there both funny things.

The show. We sit down and its pretty cramped. I can do 18 hours in coach on an airplane without a whimper but this was cramped. And then this family sits in front of us and, OMG what twinkie truck did they drive here. All the adults were MASSIVE. The dude is easily 3 bills and a lot a change and the two women at least 250. One woman sat in front of me and thought,"Hey this looks like Hurley from lost. Same hair cut, same nose, same shoulders. Oh look in the light she has the same mustache."

I am trying to be a 'concerned parent' for the two kids sitting behind me, so I am leaning forward and thank god I can't smell because seldom does Mistress make comments about body odor in public but I had my head inches from 'Hurley' head and she was giving me the, "Oh honey, I am so sorry look."

I personally didn't mind the show that much. After every song though Mighty Mo would say, "All done, time go!" I am praying its a 90 minute show. At 60 minutes Big Bird calls a 15 minute intermission. I realize there's another hour of this. I finally say, "Oh God, no more," loud enough that I get looks. Though not from "Hurley' she can't turn around. I'm telling you folks, if I was uncomfortable in those seats, 'Hurley' was hating life. Those arm rests digging a solid four inches into the rib blubber couldn't have been pleasant.

Mistress throughs the flag and the show is called on account of Mighty Mo not really giving a rip about the show and my obvious discomfort.

As were going home we decide to go to REI for their sale and make out like bandits. I picked up a new compass, The Brunton 8096 Adventure Racing model, a mag, some 7/16" rope to play with Mo and some coolmax britches. I know, too much info, but folks when its 115 degrees out I need some wicking action if you know what mean. Mistress gets another pair of Timberland Mary Janes. Between the sale and my dividend from last year I paid $46 for what normal retail is $205.

For those that do not know, REI members recieve a dividend back equal to 8-10% of all their purchases from the previous year. I guess I spent some coin there last year.

Training today was a hellacious hill workout with intervals. Will attempt to post graph tomorrow. Two hours. 36 miles. 1850 calories. Good times.

Saturday, May 6, 2006

Training Paradigm

One of my 2006 vision statement ideals is to be active in my son's life regardless of how silly it is or confortable I may feel.

Well if you want to get better on the bike, what do you do? Thats right, you ride a bike.

If I want to get outside my comfort zone and do things that I don't neccesarily like but make my Mighty Mo happy what do I do? Thats right, I train for it by practicing it.

So Mo-Daddy gets to join Mighty Mo and Mistress and about 20 other mothers and their kids to see Super Grover whatever whatever. Only one other father is going out of all these people. I know him very well so that no problem at all.

Have no fear good friends, after my crackers and nap, I promise to get in my swim.

Friday, May 5, 2006

Group Call

This morning I was able to join in on the conference call for Polar sponsored athletes. I had already recieved the meeting notes from a previous meeting so I knew what to expect but I did learn some great new things.

I did not know this is the first year Polar has sponsored a team. They have worked with athletes before but this year is their first concerted effort to develop a national/regional team visibility. Over 4,500 people appiled and only 100 people from around the country were choosen. I am a numbers guy and that gave me less than one-quarter of 1% chance of making the team. So I feel very blessed about that.

Polar already has tremendous brand name recognition for superior HR products and services and the presense of Polar branded athletes on the course will only increase that visiblity. All the athletes recieve several peices of technical clothing and custom designed race outfits. We need to wear that in our races which we commited to doing at least six races during the sponsorship year.

Mid month a Polar rep is coming to Phoenix for our first team meeting. At the meeting we will be going over reviewing the RS200sd running computer and the CS200cad cyclocomputer so that we become experts on each product. Included in this meeting will be a little run to get live results and feedback.

One of the very cool things about what Polar is doing, and maybe other companies do this as well, but we will have a secure website to log in to so we can upload race reports, pictures, summaries of our team workouts and meeting, the clinics we hold, the demo's we hold, social commitments we provide regionally for the company and things like that.

There is financial incentive to be recognized publically as a Polar sponsored athlete which I did not know about. Wow, I could make some scratch for doing something that recognizes the company.

Anyway, I thought today was going to be a blah posting day but instead I feel like its my most pumped up post of the week.

Man the defense

My head cold was gone as of last weekend but was replaced by the stomach flu.

No. No. No. I don't need comments on feeling better. I already do except for an 'urgent' twice a day and an upset stomach constantly.

I missed my lake swim yesterday. Not for trying though. I had an emergancy at my fartherest west club in the city and left with 90 minutes to spare to get to the lake on the exact opposite side of the valley. It took two hours and fifeteen minutes to get there. So I got to see everyone get out of the water.

How fun.

I certainly will not be missing my runs and rides this weekend. Key training is key

Thursday, May 4, 2006

Polar Opposites

Wednesday was the first round of 'getting to know you' e-mailing among the members of Team Polar-Phoenix. The team captain has been sponsored by Polar for a couple of years and the rest of us I believe are all first timers. Polar is kicking off this week with conference calls we log into to find out more about...whatever I am supposed to know more about.

The nice thing about this sponsorship is not that I get a lot of great Shiny Things and clothing, (but I do) its that I get education from a world class endurance oriented science based organization and in a surprizing twist of fate I know five of six members already. Well of course there is Moi'. The Machine is one and another has trained many hours with he and I. Two are friendly aquaintenses from races and events. The only unknown to me is the captain.

I work on the principle of being around people I want to be more like. Knowing what I know about four guys on the team, I feel slighty inadequete but very blessed to be put in such a great position. You can't beat training and working with four guys who between them have three ironman finishes, dozens of first place finishes in sprint and olympic triathlons, one is the 2005 Arizona State Amateur Triathlete of the Year and another a current 3:13 marathoner cum cyclist.

I'm very thankful.

Wednesday, May 3, 2006

PB&J Nirvana...

I am not one to gush over food, to be honest I'm an unconscious eater and couldn't tell you if half of what I eat actually tastes good since I don't realize it's actually passing through my cake-hole.

Well I went to Bison Witches today and lo and behold a grilled crunchy peanut butter and grape sandwich on thick homemade wheat bread. Holy Crap. You'd think I died and went to heaven.

Good thing I have a 10k planned for this afternoon and I rode this morning. Tonight is, "Salad for one right here please."

She really is that cool

How did I celebrate signing up for Ironman Arizona yesterday? I worked late. I updated my sidebar, IM'd with IronBenny. I did not stick to my workout plan. At 7 pm I called Mistress.

Mistress: "How was your swim honey?"
"I'm still at my desk."
"Your still going right?"
"How do you feel about that? I probably won't get home until 9 o' clock."
"I really don't mind if you come home late, swim if you want to. I will extract my fee later."
"How do you think Mo will feel?"
"Really honey I think he's like me, he won't care. If you miss your workout tonight fine, but if you work late and skip workouts three or four times a week, then I am going to start getting uptight."
"Your too good to me Mistress, I'll call you on the way home."
"Don't bother, I'm going to bed as soon as Mo does, I'm beat. I'm making meatloaf tonight, I will leave some out for you."

This time I didn't consult her about entering Ironman Arizona for next year. I told her after I paid for it. We have come a long way since signing up for Florida and the infamous Training Contract.

I'm off for a 5 a.m. ride over Usery Pass, about twenty miles will a hard twenty minute climb with Big John and Andy.

Tuesday, May 2, 2006

Its Open!!

Ironman Arizona 2007 is now open for enrollment. Common Man Syndrome is banished for the next hour. Holy Crap, I didn't even think twice about this one.

Event 2007 Ford Ironman Arizona
Category Entry Fee
Registration ID 14531227
Registrant First Name Commodore

Register Here.

And His Head Is Out Of The Water...

This series of photos from the Armed Forces Triathlon were taken by the wonderful Wendy aka Mrs. Machine. Official photag for the AzTriClub.

There is a lot of newbies who do this race. Good people who just don't have that much time in open water, as evidenced by this series of photos with an intrepid triathlete who really has no clue about how to swim straight.

From all accounts this 1,000 meter swim, in the same lake as Ironman Arizona, was much more brutal to those who did both. Nothing intentional but googles were lost, nose peices dislodged, groping in bathing suit areas, punches, kicks, roll overs. A true washing machine, not from the churning of water but the colliding of bodies in a tight area.

Monday, May 1, 2006

Ironman Tattoos

This is Hardcore Mikes Arizona Ironman tattoo. Probably one of the coolest I have ever seen. The Tribe logo is a rub on he wore for club promotion at a race.

This is The Machines original Ironman tattoo. I like the size and though I want to put that center mass on the calf belly of my right leg, I may do this instead.

They say getting a tattoo is addicting. Machine decided he like Hardcores so much he decided to put the whole 'Ironman' name around his ankle. I really like this design and will probably do this instead of the calf. It a wrap around with the M-dot slightly larger than the rest of the word. There is a space on the inside of the ankle that was filled with the numbers '140.6' for the Ironman distance. A nice touch.

Rumors to Rest

Let me just state this fact for the record. I purposefully did not participate in a widely popular local triathlon this weekend. Almost the entire team entered this race, the Armed Forces Triathlon at Tempe Town Lake. The rest were vacationing at Rocky Point, Mexico where we were to all entered in the Rocky Point tri until it was cancelled a month ago. They decided to use the rooms anyway and get in some ocean training.

I have many and varied reasons for not doing this race, surfice it to say that no matter how much pressure the Machine put on me, "Hey this lake (Canyon Lake) is for triathletes only" not to mention the dozen e-mails calling me a slacker, to Mark, "Hey Comm I think you like training more than racing" to Hardcore,"Commodore, I am really sore from this race and still recovering from that loooong ironman just three weeks ago...can you get me something to drink?" I am not fazed and stand by my decision. As for Marks comment, I am doing the Tempe International Championship on May 21st and took 2nd place in my division at the Scottsdale Triathlon in March.

I did something really stupid Saturday night. Hardcore and I took our families to a nice Mexican place Saturday night for dinner. When we drove home Mistress asked if we could stop for ice cream. I got a Peanut Buster Parfait, yummy. However, I seemed to have forgot that ice cream absolutely rips my stomach up and I spent the better part of the night and morning not in my bed if you get my drift.

So I showed up late to the race but early enough to see some transitions and everyone finish. Tribe represented really well with their sponsored athlete winning the sprint. Plus they had a huge giveaway and free beer and pop for people. It felt pretty good drinking a beer at 9:30 a.m. and 9:45 and I think another around 10:15. And then another at brunch around 11:30. The life of a recovering triathlete.

Oh I did actually train yesterday. I went for run around 5 pm. Today is the first projected 100 degree day of the year.