Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Just landed. Still on the plane. Met lots of 1st timers already. Did u know this place is humid?

Turn, Turn, Turn

For some reason I woke to that song by the Byrds (?) this morning. Why is something changing? Let me pull my head out of the sand.

Well the 50 point check list is all marked 'DONE'. I've made my ritual breakfast of PB& Honey and waiting for the shuttle to take me to the airport. All the heads have been kissed and dog roughed up and I am ready to go.

Almost twenty years ago I got on plane and flew to Ft. Benning Georgia for Infantry Basic Training. I remember looking out the window of the plane as it climbed and thinking, "I will come back a man." I definitely came back changed but don't think I truly became a man until my son was born, up until then I still could play it fast and loose with my responsibilities.

I have had some of the same thoughts this week but no I can be no more a man, there is no degrees. I go to test my body and my mind in a ultimate challenge against a tough course and race.

I pray I come back an Ironman and will do all I can to that end.

Thank you all so much for making this journey as fun as it has been. I never imagined CMS the Blog would be such an important part of my life and you people in it care so much about me. I did not think I would care as much about you. But I do deeply.

I think if anything I hope that the path of all of us took to Ironman this year using the Triathlete Alliance will keep going, like next year in Wisconsin but also in other races.

A legacy is all we can ask for.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Running Fast

I leave for Florida on Tuesday. Remember the race is Saturday, November 4th, not Sunday like most Ironman races. I will of course be posting via Blogger Mobile through my cell phone like I occasionally do. Those that have my phone number will be speaking with Mistress on race day since my phone has a longer battery.

I can access my blogger comment email through my cell phone so if you leave me words of encouragement or questions about how to get ahold of me by cell phone, I can respond if your email is attached to your comment on my end, (meaning not listed as 'nonreply-comment@blogger"

Beginning Thursday link over to Ironman Live and on the right side top is a 'ironman live' tab. This will take you to a selection page, type in MANN or bib number 758 to follow my progress. Search around a bit to see if there is a link for text messaging available updates instead of having to man the pc all day. If my directions did not work, then figure it out I have too many other things going on.

Woke up at 0330 to go to the Soma Triathlon Sunday morning. Had a great time, not nearly as restive as I wanted it to be. Without giving away too much information, I saw Nytro and Benny all over the place. Met a very disabled and frustrated TriGreyhound and is very nice wife. Just good people there. Wish there was more I could have done to help. Got heaps of praise and well wishes from my friends in the local tri community.

On Saturday I put my deposit down and turned in my design work for my tattoo. Yes I am getting it here not there. Will go into that in a later post, after I have earned it.

Very busy Monday at work and trying to get the last odds and ends done before leaving at 0445 for the airport Tuesday.

I have maybe 95% of my race gear ready and 75% of my travel gear ready. None of its packed. I figure if I get there without living clothes I'll buy what I need. Go native so to speak. I am spoiling myself financially. As if there was any doubt.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Just so you know...

Big John, my overly gifted in the brain department training partner, cracked the code on Ironman bib numbers for Florida.

After going through the pro men and women then challenged athletes, the numbers for age groupers start from youngest to oldest.

You can make your own comments...

Tactical Patience

Reading the great article on soldiers in the December 2006 issue of Runner's World I came away with two outstanding paragraphs.
At one point an extemely high-ranking officer came through a crowd I (RW correspondant) was in, and all the men stood at attnention and saluted. This left me felling embarrassed and out of step. I didn't wnat to seem disrespectful. "I shouldn't salute?" I asked (Princeton grad, Captain) Bardenwerper. "No, " he said. "You shouldn't salute." "So what should I do?" I thought of bowing.

"You're a civilian,"said Bardenwerper. "We're a democracy. You outrank everybody here."
Another is a great analogy of how I have instinctively trained for this ironman physically and mentally as best I can, using Tactical Patience.
The brigade I spent my time with in Germany is commanded by a fit, humorous officer who was reluctant to be interviewed because he thought the men should get the attention. Cornered, though, Col. Sean B. McFarland spoke movingly of Dave Wottle, who won the gold at 800 meters in the 1972 Olympics. Wottle, he said, "went from last place to first place for the win mostly in the last 200 meters. The famous 'kick' that won the race for him was an illusion, though. His 200 meter split times were amazingly consistant: 26.4, 26.9, 26.4, and 26.2. It was a phenomenal display of energy conservation. In the Army we call that 'tactical patience.'... I sometimes use the race as a metaphor to coach junior officers who want everything right away and worry when they see others advancing ahead of them... Energy conservation, even splits, or tactical patience all amount to the same principle. It's one of the things running taught me about life.
When I manage my tactical patience and all goes well in Florida, I am not trying to catch up to anyone, I am not trying to beat anyone except my own mind and body. I govern my body by perfect execution of my nutriton and form, keeping my body temperature regulated and my HR as low as possible while being as fast as possible. In my mind, I am out of T1 under two hours, I am consistant on my bike at 18 miles per hour and run a average pace of 11'30 miles. What comes will come.

Even. Blessed. Successful. Ironman.

Yeah, I'm kind of a big deal :)

Yeah it pretty much went that way. At least no elk were mentioned in this article.

Better Now

I don't remember if I posted this yet but I had my first full on Iron Meltdown Wednesday night. I was a wreck, nothing went right in my preperation for travel to Florida. I ripped my wetsuit really badly which I posted on that, I missed my run which was to test my bum knee which pissed me off. I went to get my bike from Tribe to take to a LBS for shipment to Florida and they hadn't finished it so I had to wait and that not only caused me to miss my massage but the LBS closed and I thought I had missed the transport deadline. I had a massive headache and my right eye twitched well into the night.

Thursday was better. I got my bike to the LBS for shipment. I walked in and out of Tribe in under 30 minutes in a perfectly good wetsuit that I had already tried in the water there. At the lake I had a faster swim per 1000 yards in the new suit then ran a 8'30" and then 7'30" mile.

I got to test a new Shiny Thing that I haven't posted about yet. Its a super cool multi use lantern.

On Friday I had lunch with Benny, Nytro, Mistress and Mighty Mo. Its been a year since all of us had been together and it was great. Mo has gone through a lot with his routines this week with me being gone two days and going to a resturant when he normally goes to take a nap so he was not the uber-cutey he normally is.

I fiddled with my iPod and created some great songlists that I have cranked in my car. In a pre-emptive strike to Nytro, yes people sing the chorus to Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond.

There was a big mixer at Tribe Friday night and triathletes from all over the city came to pay there respects to Kevin and his business. I don't think I would be where I am today in triathlon without him. After I didn't win anything after repeated attempts to cheat the system ;) a dozen of us training partners went out to watch the end of the World Series and have sandwiches.

I gave a 20 minute interview to the local newpaper about triathlon over the phone while at the mixer, would be cool if I made it in the paper.

Felt strange telling people I am 7 days away from Ironman. It wa really hitting me that I am running a marathon next week. Funny how the mind puts things in perspective.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Biblical meaning of 758

The first mention of my Ironman number in the bible is:

Numbers 7:58- one male goat for a sin offering;


Thursday, October 26, 2006

New Shiny Thing

Okay I got a new suit. I admit I tried to bigshot a top of the line Rocket Science suit but it didn't fit well. Top was good, the legs too loose. I went with a much more mainstream generic suit. I can't even remember the name. NeoSport maybe or something like that.

Its all black. A 5mm front and 3mm back. The legs pull up to lower calf for easy off. The wrists on the other hand are super tight to restrict water seepage. Lower collar. I tried them all out in the Endless pool doing about 2 minutes per suit. Great way to try a wet suit out if you ask me.

Technically its not a Shiny Thing, being all black but it is a Shiny Thing as far as cool new gear is concerned. And as Bolder is fond of saying, "Dress her in black." That is of course if by 'Her' you mean....well...ME.

Wait a minute!!!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

1st rule of triathlon is do nothing new in a race. Well my wetsuit is ripping to pieces, I have been using aqua seal to seam up the tears but then it rips on the edge of glue. Mostly this is occuring in the arm pits and the upper arms. I have also lost enough weight that the suit is not as tight as it used to be so I notice that after a couple thousand yards I am not as bouyant in the water.

I continue to seam up my rips and with getting out of the water at 2,000 meters during the race, the suit will drain out the extra water. I only have another 2 or 3 miles of swimming before the race and the suit does feel natural on me, so I am looking at a total of 7 miles at most before I will most likely get a new suit before the next season.

Mistress not only gave her blessings for a new suit, it was her idea. Most likely, I could have a new suit bought and in the lake by Thursday afternoon.

Would you buy a new wetsuit for Ironman with only three or four swims on it before the biggest swim of your life or do you stick to the old tried and true suit, tremendous battle scars and all?

Story's abound...

I heard tale before I left, from travellers to far away places of things that I need to survive. One man mentioned a secret setting for the air conditioning dial on the dash of the rental car. When magically turned clockwise it would 'heat' the car up. Being from Arizona, I wondered, "Now why would a feller want to 'heat' the inside of car up? They get damn near 200 degrees inside them out here. Sure 'nough it worked, even with the windows down. When I returned home I checked my own a/c dial and sure enough it turned clockwise too. All this time I thought it was stuck. But it got too hot and I had to turn it off.

There were whispers, rumors really, of a hieroglyph on the dash of the car, hidden in a different place based on the year and model to confuse a feller that when pushed would glow an eerie light. I took a picture of the thing to help you all out. Look to yer right. I was told it was a magic button and after a few minutes to look in my rear veiw mirror and all the water spots would be gone. Sure 'nough, worked like a charm.

Did you know that channel 15 in Seattle is not the same channel 15 in Phoenix? I tried to watch that show Heroes on ABC and ended up watching some not very interesting show on coins. Don't know much about coins though my Pappy once told me, "Rub two together and their soon parted." Well I don't know about that but them coins sure was hot. Always burning a hole in my pocket.

What's in a number?

758. I like that number. Not complicated. How did I get so low. I signed up as a Clydesdale actually assuming that I would not lose any weight but low and behold I will be under, maybe that had something to do with it. I don't know.

Here is how the number has faired in the past.

2005-good omen
overall time

swim-1:13:07 bike-5:15:57 run-
2004- good omen
overall time-11:20:24 swim- 1:21:13 bike- 5:22:20 run-4:23:37

2003-no record-uh oh.

overall time-11:04:05 swim- 1:06:32 bike- 5:14:55 run-4:36:48

2001- looking good here.
overall time-12:39:23 swim- 1:08:51 bike- 5:57:32 run-5:17:26

2000- very nice.
overall time- 13:55:13 swim- 1:23:25 bike- 6:17:08 run- 6:02:13

What will 758 do in 2006. Only time will tell....

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


Another rainy fall day in Seattle. I thought I would love it. I don't. I don't miss this place at all anymore. As I drive around I try to figure out where I am, passing old haunts and passing by older ones, I try to imagine how in hell I could put in all my rides and open water swims living here. It truly is a blessing to live where I do.

I do miss the ubiquitous Seattle coffee huts that sit in random parking lots selling coffee and latte's to drive thru's. No one would make money in those in Phoenix, losing all their profit to a/c costs. But the coffee is so good from those little places.

I feel that I am abusing my taper but trying to be smart. I planned on a run this morning but as is my downfall I have a hard time sleeping in a strange place and though I rose at 3:30am I did not got to bed until 1 am. I was awoken by a noise but when I looked outside it was low 40's and rainy. Three days no training. I do have Wednesday to Saturday to train and then do a short run while everyone else is racing Soma.

Have I mentioned I feel like a phobic. Stay away from me with your cough. Lets do knuckle bump instead of a hand shake. Anyone have any hand sanitizer? The last thing I need right now is a cold before traveling to Florida.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Goings On and just going

Its not been a vastly productive weekend. My Saturday workout was an average swim time in open water. Not especially happy with my breathing and mechanics, I felt off, but felt good energy wise.

Went to a party for Ironman Kona and watched several hours of it live on two big screens. It was sort of a Soma half ironman, Florida ironman, were all doing Ironman Arizona 2007 party with the spouses and kids all together too. It was fun.

I took a prescription back pill, from Hardcore Mike who got into ANOTHER truck on truck accident, again not his fault and the damn thing laid me out for twelve straight hours. I needed the sleep but I didn't move at all and my damn back was tighter when I got up, so I bailed on the 90 minute bike ride. Apparantly this was a smart thing to do since Hardcore got into ANOTHER bike on bike accident, again not his fault. Bikes are both okay but the Mike was already hurting from his car accident and the other cyclist just got a cast off his broken foot. Both are penned for Soma this weekend, but no it questionable for them.

I went to see Jet Li's Fearless with my dad. Good thing I suppose since I am trying to limit my drama.

Monday and Tuesday I will be in Seattle for work. Its a quick, quick trip and anyone from Seattle reading this, I wish I had time to hook up but simply can be done. I am flying out Tuesday evening so I can take Mighty Mo to school Wednesday and some last minute things for Ironman need to be done.

Kind of bad timing this trip. On Wednesday I need to get my bike up to a LBS for shipment to Florida, but its not the same LBS I get my tune ups and want to get one more before the race. I had planned to send the wetsuit with the bike but I have some tears that need to be patched before that and its still wet tonight. So I will need to sort that out. Probably will send the suit and patch it in Florida.

I am going to try to get a run in on Tuesday morning but its going to be high 40's. My body is not used to that temperature and don't want to catch a cold this close to my race. I am already on zicam and cold-eze to boost my immune system before the race.

Charlie Mike

Friday, October 20, 2006


If you are lucky or fortunate enough to have bought or rented a new wheelset for an upcoming race like Soma or Ironman Florida, be sure to check your current spare tubes in your kit to make sure the stems are long enough to clear the dish. You would be surprized.

Consistancy (a rant perhaps?)

Let me speak for the Common Man here. Yeah I am talking to you big Shiny Thing Corporations. How about ya'll all find some middle ground and everyone makes money.

What am I talking about? What am I talking about? Compatiablity when making Shiny Thing purchases. Let me give examples from different aspects of gadget life.

For digital cameras there are seven different types of memory cards that are standard, thats not including the specialty cards that are sometimes needed. Do these ring a bell: Scan Disk, Scan Disk Mini, Reduced Sized Multimedia Card, TransFlash, Compact Flash, xD and then Memory Stick.

To take this digicam memory storage one step further, it puts a crimp in the computer industry. Becuase you guys can't figure out what is going to be the market share, they won't include a memory card reader on their pc towers. Wouldn't it be much more simple to have a memory card slot on your computer next to your DVD/CD drive, floppy drive or even your Zip Drive? Then the consumer doesn't need to buy picture bridge components or maintain another worthless USB plug that has become the new desk garbage of the 21st century. Don't even get me started on why USB plugs can't be standardized.

Another consumer misdirection is on the flashlight front. I went looking for a (literally) new Shiny Thing, a flashlight and as savy as I am in the genre, I can't figure out which torch is brighter because some companies use Lumens, some use Watts, some use accessable distance of viewing.

You can't go online to find out how many lumens are in a watt like kilometers in mile, oh no. Their not actually compatible units, except they measure lumination. One box convinced me that 1 watt = 25 lumens but then when I had two competing but 'comparabley bright' flashlights, each using a different type of battery, a cr123 and AAA respectively and there were huge differences in battery life. You can't have that! One company has all but admitted this and given up posting how bright their lights are and instead uses an obsure but internationally recognized method of posting viewable distance.

Bloggers! These things concern me! I want as I am sure you do, only the best product for the money. I may be an impulsive buyer but I do my damn research on what is the best rated, lightest in weight, most bombproof Shiny Thing I can buy.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Step right up

24 AzTriClub members will be toeing the line at Soma next weekend. The list is posted...

Not bad for a club that started as a thought between the Machine, John and I one year ago. Now we are over 80 strong and highly represented at the Soma Quarter and Half Iron distance triathlon.

This race is along the same roads as Ironman Arizona, so if your interested in getting a feel for the longer course in 2008, this is a great pick up race for next year and rated as the best end of year half iron on the west coast by triathlete magazine.

If you are travelling here for the race, be sure to find the AzTriClub tent somewhere around the finish area on race day and check in, look for the banner and the blue topped sun tent. I will be there to greet you since I won't be racing, I have my own little triathlon the following weekend...maybe you have heard of it. We will have water and of course beer.


"Don't drive angry." That's one of my favorite quotes from Groundhog day and hope that I forget it on November 4th.

I have been reading a lot of articles, most recently this one from Peter Reid in the November 2006 Triathlete Magazine, discussing the emotions that need to be tapped in order to win Kona. I do believe a correlation can be made for any person trying finish an ironman.

The thread through all the story's is that you need to get mad to win, not in an angry, frothy way but a deep down you want this more than anyone way. I think a win for me is finishing Florida at all.

But I understand turning off the switch and becoming somthing else. When I competed in strength contests, I always knew I could go farther than most anyone in the leg press competition. At a certain point when pressing 660 pounds (3x my body weight at the time), each rep with perfect 90 degree form, you either quit or you turned off the pain and got through it. I trained myself to turn off the pain and could always crank out another 20 reps. My best set was 70 repeitions at 3x body weight. I once also pressed 1,100 pounds for 15 rep's but that did crazy things to my body and pressurized my eardrums for three days.

In the infanty, at some point on a mission you stop being human and become an automaton; no pain, no illness, no thought except "Charlie Mike", military speak for "Continue the Mission". Its amazing when I think back to those times and how I did such things while at my sickest or weakest.

I remember IronBenny during his Ironman earlier this year. Nytro and I were talking as he came through my aid station on the run and he was mad, internally he was seething. I remember clearly the fire in his eyes. Its what helped him finish in less than 13 hours. He reached his untapped potential.

I know I didn't have or use that gear in my Ironman training and I now take that as a failure. I tried to train as close to possible to race conditons but did not tap into the inner "Iron Will" in me to Charlie Mike.

Knee hurts halfway through a 20 miler. Stop running, start treatment. Do three quarters of a planned iron distance swim and stop because I'm bored. I didn't do that often but I did. I rarely took myself to that place that I became less than me, but more than myself. But

I still don't know if I have what it takes to physically finish the distance, never done140.6 miles in one day. It would be awesome to finish the distance without having to reach deep, have it be just a long training day. But I can't plan on that. So hopefully I don't come up mentally short in Florida, that I have the strength to break through the barrier that oft times is the difference between survival and death, actual or precieved.

When you go there once you don't forget how to get there again but you remember how painful it was to do it. You leave a piece of yourself behind. Peter Reid and other Kona winners say much the same thing.

And in the end whether you come in first or last at ironman you learn a valuable lesson about yourself; did you give it your all, did you give to much or not enough and did you go to 'that place'.

Charlie Mike

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

I'm with Stoopid..

Taper is getting to me. Almost more time getting massages and rehab on my legs than training so far this week. I know I am supposedly getting stronger but feeling weak and less important.

I was told as I healed I would feel all kinds of aches and pains in taper that I didn't have in training. So true.

I have mentioned in the past I have had a lot of head injury's, internal and external, and as a result it sometimes becomes difficult to insert the right word into my conversations, sort of G-rated Tourette's, no cursing, I just use a non-linear words in place of what I really mean. For example when Mistress asked me if I filled up our 5-gallon water jugs at the store, I replied, "The waters in the tent" Instead of saying, "The waters in the garage."

When she asked me if I wanted a peice of homemade pizza, I replied, "I already have pizza on the truck" when I meant to say, "I already have pizza on the table."

It's frustrating for both of us, mostly for me because I immediately understand the words coming out of my mouth don't make sense and neither do the next one or two words I spit out to correct myself, "truck...sofa...chair...table". By the third word it makes more sense but frustrating nevertheless.

So I must be mentally tired...nowMistress just came over to talk to me while I am typing this post and I made no sense at all. I just stop talking and apologized.

In other great news tonight I jammed my fourth toe into a door frame and its black and blue and somewhat swollen. I don't think its broken but its not bending either. I do recall being able to say exactly what was on my mind as I hopped around my bedroom with my foot in my hand.

I have a headache. I am going to sit in my jacuzzi for twenty and hit the sack.

Road ID discount

If you don't have one already, here is a 10% discount code for your Road ID. Why you don't have one by now if way beyond me, its less than twenty bucks and qualify's as a Shiny Thing. I wear the Ankle ID when I open water swim without a wet suit and when I ride or run. You just never know.

Especially with the training that will occur in the darkness of winter, be smart, do something good for yourself. If you have one, buy another, keep it in your car so your never without. I just bought my third today, this time in red. If you have one that has some outdated information you can buy a new placard without the strap and save some money.

BTW, you can also buy a Road ID's, for kids or people that have disabilities or medical conditons. They are much more attractive than those stainless steel med-alert bracelets and hold more information. I'm just sayin'...you got no reason not to, even as a stocking stuffer.


Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Ebb and Flow

Its hard to believe that Florida is my first Ironman race but the second I have peaked for. A year ago in 2005 I was base building for Ironman Arizona (April) 2006 with four buddies. We had a training schedule and as we got within 20 weeks of the race we all got very dialed in and serious about a plan from Beginning Triathlete. It was a good plan and it obviously worked since everyone finished the race.

This time for Ironman Florida, I started on the BT plan but after a month or so my own training philosophy's took over and using my past experiences plus listening to coaches and team mates I stopped looking at BT and started creating my own program. I used Training Peaks to create volume schedules.

Next April (2007) I have my second Ironman, Arizona, which will be my third straight Ironman training cycle in a row. What will I do differently? Well obviously my first training cycle went untested and my second training cycle will be unproven until November 4th, so this might be premature.

I had great improvements in my swimming this summer. While I pool trained last winter prior to IMAZ I feel that I made little if any gains. This winter I will probably hire a swim coach and focus exclusively on drill sets, something I have completely ignored since March favoring long open water swims instead. If I can find a small Masters group that can give me good feedback then I will possibly go that route. So far I have been completely outswam and overlooked when attempting to try Master's or Tri swim programs.

I am going to continue my cycling plan. I had some very good improvement in cycling this time around. Much of this I believe can be attributed to a kick ass bike sponsor, Valdora, which provided me with a awesome kit but I also dropped the volume of my long rides. My mileage is comparible each week between Arizona's plan and Florida's plan but I did more actualride workouts for Florida. Instead of 80 mile rides every weekend we did shorter rides and then a run. This is something I will continue to do. I will not ride the actual IM course so often. Earlier this year we rode the course every weekend for three months. By race day my team mates were completely prepared but sick of the same tired view. This time around we will ride other courses and again ride less and run more.

I haven't done run speed work in a long time but I will this winter. I know that I have in me a standing marathon pace that is mid 8's. I also know that I can only train myself to do that pace when I have a pacer over several workouts that allow me to 'reset my pace clock'. So its to the track this winter for sprint work and out the door for 5k intervals along with my weekly 10-15 mile long distance run.

I do actually think that somewhere inside me is a 175 pound triathlete. Its been harder than I thought to transform this former weight room physique to a lithe triathlete form. At my current weight its all a matter of nutrition during the holiday season and consistant training program. My nutriton for Florida training was good until my finally peak training time where I just couldn't eat enough to fuel my 8,000 calorie expenditure days. So I resorted to fast food and often times days with not enough food and my body hoarded fat and burned up muscle. I have all the technical knowledge inside me to be better at this and my nutrition will take greater priority between now and April.

I had a bad patch of leg injury's during both Arizona and Florida training which shows I need better recovery and stretching programs. I learned nothing so far. I am going to hire a trainer to stretch me out once week and stick to a better routine on my own. If I can get through a training cycle without leg injury I think I can seriously improve my times.

My heart right now is totally focused on the next few weeks leading up to Florida. Afterwards, Lord willing I will have a fast physical recovery because I have lots of goals; short term, long term and incredibly cool stuff coming up.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Another blow to the Metrosexual

Full credit to Fox News for the article. My two bits...I only wear flip flops to and from a training/racing event or around the house in any regard its pretty obvious its not for hours of use. I personally think they are disgusting as everyday wear on Men AND Woman. Woman can wear sandals and open toed shoes and all that, but I see all types of women wearing shower shoes for daily use. I don't think flip-flops are a flashpoint the metrosexual movement (like they define John Kerry) as the author suggests but in fact are a contributor and side effect of the slackness in todays young adults.

Do 'Real Men' Wear Flip-Flops?

Monday, October 16, 2006

A past

Before I was an anything, I was raised by my dad and godfather to be an outdoorsman. I hunted and I fished and drove a 4x4 to hunt and fish with the scratches on the side of the body as a badge of honor. I could load my own ammo and built my own shooting range. Until moving to Arizona, Mistress and I camped about twice a month in a secluded, private forest. I am not a desert camping fan.

I went to a very rural university for a few years and during the season my room mate and I would grab our 12 gauge shotguns after class and drive down the road a bit, shoot a pheasant or a rabbit and have it for dinner along with the ear of corn bought for a nickel on the side of the road and a potato from a 25 pound costing fifty cents.

All that said, I consider myself more a fisher, than a hunter, probably because the line between work and fun became blurred while I was in the infantry. When you keep an automatic rifle within arms reach for weeks at a time and your mission is to train others or yourself to engage the enemy, its hard to look at a day off as good day to go deer hunting.

As I got older, I seperated away from my outdoorsman mentors, my father and godfather, and went out on my own or with peers to increase my outdoorsman capacity. I had found rather than enjoying the experience, I missed their companionship. I truly believe that I was raised in a spirit of old school compassion for the outdoors, yet the people I attached myself too while fine chums in the urban sense, were terrible stewards of the environment and immature in their outdoorsmanship.

My mentors never failed to meet annually for a weekly fishing trip and I was lucky enough for many years to join them. We three have literally fished halfway around this big world. I always took from them the love of friendship and Shiny Things. Oh the Shiny Things.

Which really brings me to the nut of this post. In my current taper, I distract myself with some of the hobbys I had before triathlon, like outdoor and fishing gear. There may be no other hobby with more Shiny Things available than outdoor gear. Much like an ironman, I have a long term goal to complete a week long camping trip with a pack less than forty pounds, including food. I really think I can hit 35 pounds. Last year, my first high country trip in some time, my pack weighed closer to 75 pounds. With my Shiny Upgrades, and lots of mental mullings, (whatelse do you think I do on 5 hour bike rides and 2 mile swims) I am firmly in the low 50 pound range.

I hope next year I get the chance to test my theory. I have two triathlons scheduled in Mexico next year, (a sprint in Rocky Point 3 weeks after IMAZ and Cancun 70.3 in September) which won't be long trips, I hope to get a week or very long weekend in the summer to pack into the mountains somewhere.

I haven't really been putting my new outdoor Shiny Things on this blog, but if a few of you reply you would like reviews on new packs, flashlights and other assorted camp gear, let me know.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Kona Quake

A 6.6 magnitude quake has hit the Big Island of Hawaii and Kona took a hard hit. In fact several after shocks have rocked the island the the state. I pray that everyone is okay and that the Ironman World Championship goes off.

A lot of people will be traveling there in the next week.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Released Upon the world

Mighty Mo knew he was being video'd so the laughs are forced. But the essence of the Mo is there.

Legs go on

What a weird day yesterday. My legs felt like they were on fire. I was constantly fidgety and uncomfortable. At least the massage got rid of the spasms around my knee.

With the cut back in volume, I find its harder to fall asleep at night. I finally fell asleep at 0100 and up at 0530. I need to get that sleep.

Today is a hilly and active 20 mile loop followed by a 5k.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Feel like hit by a car. Muscle spasms around R* knee. Ankle & back locked up.dead legs. Massage scheduled today. Workout questionable.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Copy Cat...

Tim DeBoom, the Boulder CO resident who is America's greatest hope for continued Kona success is out of the race this month. The link goes to the article about his stress fracture of the tibia. Hmmmm? Doesn't that sound familiar? DeBoom, if he had a blog, probably would have posted something like this a few weeks before the fracture occured.

Its taper time so I decided that today I will wear a normal watch. Gasp! I know. I feel naked not wearing a watch that gives heart rate data, pace, distance and calories burned. What good is a watch that can't upload a pretty graph to my computer? Anyone else feel like you turn back into a normal person when you taking your training watch off?

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Ebb and Flow Part 2.

This weekend I am running a Polar Clinic at a LBS. Next door to the LBS is a TJ Max. Mistress is a big fan of the Max. I have never been in one and don't really understand the obsession. For all intents it's a store that sells designer clothing, jewelery and goods from large retailers and designers at massive discount prices. Something about women and a store on perpetual "Fire Sale" status.

I went inside just to call her later and rub it in, but they had some really cool stuff in there. Among all the Polo shirts and designer clothing I decided to get a new pair of pants. Like everyone else that is size conscious, I took three sizes to the dressing room, the 'in perfect world but ultimately I will have to suck in my gut and when I see myself in the mirror my belly will look like a muffin top' pair, the "if I was good on my diet I will fit in these' pair and the 'yeah I suck, same size as the last three years' pair.

Deciding to get the pain over with I put on the smallest pair.

-Crap, they not only fit, their loose.
-Quick check the tag inside to see if its mislabeled. Not mis-labeled.
-Must be stretched, get the same size in another brand. (This forced me to run across the store in the jeans and in my socks praying no one stole my shorts and shoes in the dressing room.)
-Okay don't be surprized, don't be surprized, OH CRAP their loose too!

So not only did I buy a $80 pair of jeans for $25, I got them three sizes smaller than the last pair I bought. Woo-Hoo! ( I had to ask my receptionist if I spelled that right, blame her).

Went for my last big run a 20 miler today and only put in 14. At 10, my knees started to get really sore and limped it in. I believe the damage is just repeative stress to the joints from all the pounding I have been doing on the bike and road with my last two peak weeks. With a good taper, a little vodka and orange juice, some ice (for both the drink and my knee) I will just fine for Florida.

Monday, October 9, 2006

The Cheese, The Wing and The Mo

Heady days in the Valley of the Sun. Not all good news today but some exciting news. I met The Big Cheese at Hooters for some slapstick fun. TBC told me to look for the guy in the Fat Suit, but when I walked in the door, it was like lunch time at a Comic Book Convention, tubs o' lard all. I asked eight or nine of the biggest Losers eating alone if they were TBC and between stealing glances at the waitress and sucking the meat off the leftover wing bones, none said 'Yea'. I decided to sit and have him come to me.

Finally TBC walked in the door and threw me a wave. I didn't wave back at first, because...ya know...I was throwing up in my mouth a little bit, but eventually I built up the courage to shake his hand. He had brought the oft mentioned 'Producer' with him, in case I turned out be some crazed lunatic and he needed backup.

Well really, in all honesty, I did meet TBC today and it was a blast. I have loved reading his blog though it is not a family site to say the least. We tried to meet up when he lived in town but were unsuccessful. We have talked on the phone a few times until he thought I was stalking him and he changed his cell phone number.

I was going to ask for a picture but figured the two of us were ugly enough to make make a momma babboon cry. I mean... he is the The Big Cheese and I am a self admited cross between Quasimodo and the Elephant Man.

But we had a good time, he didn't hit on waitress and then cry. I didn't cry. I didn't hit on the waitresses either but they all seemed to know my name by the time TBC got there. For the life of me I can't figure out why he has such a hard time with the ladies since is he is a really funny likeable guy. Oh wait...ya know you ladies sure can throw some weird stuff at us guys. Always saying you want the nice dependable ones in the movies and yet sleep with all the bad boys in real life.

In a well timed attempt to completely deflate the humor in this post, Mighty Mo just got back from the doctors and with the cheerfullist of voices proclaimed over the phone, "I sick!" Yes, the six minute in-office Strep test came back positive in less than five, no need to send a second sample to the lab. So more antibotics to fight this illness along with the stuff he just got put on for the colitis.

As usual he is aplomb about life and cheerful and positive, even though run down and miserable. If only I could bottle a portion of his goodness for my ironman marathon.

I went home from work to be with him, so Mistress could go back to the office and finish work. I am lucky enough today that I can work from any computer.

Taper's starting just great!! See my big smile! ("F-ing Murphy" muttered under breath)

The hard part

"The only easy day was yesterday." A SEAL buddy told me that every morning we did our workout along jungle roads around his base.

Tapers for me are a tricky thing and remind of that quote. I still don't think I have ever done one right. I think it goes back to the Army. As a light infantry soldier, miles from protective lines and with little in the way of transportation other than your LPC's (Leather Personnel Carriers aka 'your boots') it was constant movement to contacts, working under stress, accomplishing your mission regardless of cost to your physical self. In daily training the goal of our chain of command and cadre was to achieve a high level of endurance while at the same time being completely exhausted for extended days at a time.

Translating into tapers for races, I subconciously train all out until its too late to do any good to rest or I completely shut down like an extended R&R and become the common man. Either way it does me a disservice.

This month I will put as much effort into my taper as I have for any portion of my training. I have to. At last months Olympic was a perfect illustration. My taper week consisted of 100 miles of riding, 4 miles of swiming and 15 miles running; I paid for it by being beat by people who actually did rest extensively.

All On or All Off. Finding the happy medium is not my style. But I will do my damnest to do it right this time. I have too.

Saturday, October 7, 2006

The last six hour workout is in the can. Other than a 20 mile run...its taper time baby!

3000y open swim. 1'06" One loop short of iron. Left bike cals. At home, had to get them before ride.

Friday, October 6, 2006

More than one test...

A confluence of crap has crippled workouts this week. Its hard to believe that tomorrow will be my last blast workout and then taper. I was going to write that my volume would drop and intensity go up but my volume this week was 75 minutes on the bike and a 75 minute massage. Saturdays workout will a be test in so many ways now.

Can I go from zero to hero in one workout? Saturday morning I will be jumping in the lake for a 2.4 mile swim. No time trials here, not even really pushing IM pace, just a methodical get it down workout. Then its down the road to the bike loop 3 hours of faster than IM pace training. Finally a I will run 90 minutes or until 2pm which ever comes first.

At 2pm I promised to be at a jr. high football game which is a mile from the bike loop.

In essense this is a modified half iron distance workout. After this my only goal is to put in one four hour run next week and then it true taper mode.

Hard to believe that after 472 days, I have done all I can do. Will it be enough?

S'cuse Me?

I am pretty vocal proponent of triathlon. Gee you think? (Still wondering if sarcasism translates to blogging). I make no bones about being a triahtlete and trying to bring people into the sport and helping them get tied into positive groups. I perfer they all join AZTRICLUB and shop at the TRIBE, but nevertheless anything I can do.

I as I have done many times, I buy a cup of coffee and drink it at Tribe while jawjacking with Kevin the owner and the two mechanics and if their busy with bike work I will work with customers on clothing and retail items.

I was sitting on a barstool at the counter one day, with my coffee, and talking with a woman browsing the clothes rack, lets call her Athena+++. She was very unassuming and just flipping through clothes, you would think she had never done a triathlon in her life. She acted just like any person without much enthusiasm for what she was doing. She was looking the women's tops and such and had asked me for some advice;

Me: "The Louis Garnaeu stuff comes in European sizes which run fairly small. The Ironman brand is a good choice and Zoot also has a looser cut."

A+++:"I usually wear men's bike jerseys since they run fairly large and then run in technical tops. I wanted to get a XXl finishers jersey after Ironman Arizona but the expo was sold out the day after....."


A+++: "Oh my Lord, are you okay? How did that chair fall out from under you like that? Oh goodness you burned your arm and ruined your shirt when coffee spilled all over you..."

Me: (Quite shaken): You...you did Arizona. (More a statement than question)

A+++: "Yes. I took every minute I could on the course but I finished."



Me: "... Ma'am you and I need to talk, can I buy you a cup of coffee..."

What ensued was a great converstion with a delightful woman. The reason I go into detail on just this one exchange is that I am completely overwhelmed by the ambivalence of some people who have finished Ironman or trainnig for Ironman. Its just a 'ho hum' conversation to them.

You don't understand, I vibrate when I talk about triathlon and reach maximum orbit when it comes to Ironman. I think Simply Stu and I could fuel a rocket to Mars if you bottled our enthusiasm for the sport. So it blows me away when I get blaise responses to my rapid fire questions.

But it does make for some humorous interactions.

Thursday, October 5, 2006

What's in your trunk?

Your actual car trunk not the metaphysical trunk in your head. Before I go any farther I really want to thank those that I already haven't for your kind words for Mo an my resultant nutritional disconnect from reality.

I really only gave up on three meals; I mentioned the ice cream and doughnuts but for lunch, glorious lunch I went to a local brewery and had an Octoberfest beer (perhaps the second time in my life I have drank a beer during work hours), a BBQ bacon cheeseburger, garlic/cilantro steak fries, apple bread pudding with sauce and ice cream and for desert a Venti black coffee from Starbucks. It was a beautiful feast for the eyes and much humor for the peers that went with me.

That being said I didn't and don't remember tasting a thing and by the afternoon I was much more in control of myself. I went to bed early and woke up today with a hung over effect and shot legs.

What's in your trunk? I was putting my workout gear in the car today and had to push aside the extra running shoes, bike pump, helmet, bike shoes and a fuel belt to fit in the swim bucket and an ice chest for liquids. I realize I keep a spare tri uniform and running shorts in my car, a couple of old race shirts, an extra HRM strap, body glide, two pairs of socks and a workout towel plus an extra dri-fit hat. Its all extra's in case I actually forget to put something in the daily workout bag I pack in the house.

How about you?

Wednesday, October 4, 2006


I seem to have a healthly exterior but I am stressed out about this Mo thing, Ironman coming up, closeout business from last month, blah blah blah.

All the comments online and offline have been beautiful and I thank you. I must confess that this stress has affected my eating. Last night I went to pick up his new medicine and also bought a pint of Hagan Daz cookie dough ice cream, then mixed it with honey roasted party peanuts and peanut butter. Honestly I don't even remember if it tasted good.

This morning when I woke up at 0400 Mistress was not in bed. I figured Mighty Mo was crying in the night and she took him into the guest room or snuggled him in his bed. No. She was sitting at the computer shopping on e-bay. She told me she had been up since 0130 and stress had given her some acid reflux.

I didn't really want to ride this morning but I did 75 minutes of hills with John. It was good to talk to him about this stuff and other stressors. He is a good listener with sound advice. When we got done all I wanted was three doughnuts. I don't eat doughnuts very often but when I get that craving twice a year I indulge. I ate four Dunkin Doughnuts going into work. One was an apple fritter the size of a small pizza. Hey I didn't pick em', I just jammed my pie hole with em'.

I'm pretty positive that lunch will be a similiar gut bomb since today I pretty much have no desire or thought to control my urges.

Is this not what the Common Man does?

The Lyrical Poet

Well maybe not, but I can copy, cut and paste like a mutha F-er. BOY!!!!

(internal dialogue)"I pray to god sarcasism translates to the internet. PleasePleasePleasePlease."

Nancy and I bantered back and forth about something and she asked me to re-write the theme song to Smoky and the Bandit sung by Jerry Reed and apply it to Ironman Florida. Its a very familiar melody to those that have seen the movie. I hope that you get it.

After the jump...

Tuesday, October 3, 2006

Biopsy Results

Some unpleasant news to report from the Valley of The Sun.

Mighty Mo, the three year old boy wonder and uber-cute kid has the results of last weeks biopsy. Colitis. Mistress is distraught to say the least. She watched a special friends spiral into the abyss with his colitis, which eventually led to a permanent colostomy bag. But that was not the worst of it. It was the depression and I guess the failure to overcome the enormity of the condition that took a bright happy young man and turned him into a crushed shell who pushed everyone away, got himself fired from his job then committed mental and emotional suicide on his future. No he did not commit physical suicide, though the wall's of anger he projected were the subjective equivalent.

I suppose I am still in research mode and not exactly feeling as dismayed as she, though rightly concerned. The doctor assures us that this is not yet an advanced condition like uleractive colitis or Crohns and the medicine should give us a good diagnosis on future tracks of combativeness. He needs to go through about four months of 3 times a day medicine before the first check up.

The biopsy also fit several pieces of many puzzling facts together about his lifelong battle with rapid immune system failure. Colitis is a sub-category of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), not to be confused with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). The doctors were able to link the biopsy findings with many of his other conditions since birth with a symptom of IBD called over-reactive immune system.

This means that when a normal viral or bacterial infection runs its course through the body, the immune systems hyper reacts and attacks not only the infection but once the infection is defeated continues to attack tissues of the digestive tract. This explains the rapid deteoration from common cold to pneumonia and dehydration in 24 hours. Its explains the constipation, rectal bleeding, vomiting during bowel movements and a whole host of other things that in the past have all be considered seperate from the low immune system.

Mistress is putting up a brave front but I know this woman too well. And though she has not yet said it, she feels responsible for this since colitis is a genetic condition from her side of the family. It's not fair for her to put this kind of pressure on herself and the best I can do is comfort her any way I can over the next few days. I already scheduled a massage for her tomorrow after work. I will work through this by educating myself on the disease and looking for alternate avenues other than just medicine, such as diet changes and probiotics.

Unbelievably this has taken me two hours to write. I have been researching and reaching out to others for advice and now suddenly need to just break this off and get on with the day. My run has been cancelled for today and considering blowing off my alternate workout on the trainer tonight so that I can be attentive to Mistress.

I would appreciate your comments. As I have done with past updates on Mo's conditions, I will print them out and give them to Mistress so she can see the expressions of love, concern and prayer are going on out there in the world. If any of you have experience with colitis in your family I would appreciate some feedback.


Monday, October 2, 2006

Living for the burp and the guzzle

I feel my life going from long distance to taper. While talking about my training volume to people they are mostly amazed, especially non-triathletes. People who have toed the line at an ironman give you the knowing smile that reminds you they were at one point right I stand.

Instead of reveling in my distances I am instead humbled by the small things that occur to me during the training. For instance, I am now a lover of the burp. After spending hours on the bike or hours in a run I find that I really crave the satisfaction of drinking a carbonated drink quickly and savoring the belch that will reset my stomach. I have spoke with many ironmen/women who say the same thing, "Thank god for coke on the course!"

The other thing that is very powerful for me, especially after an iron distance ride, is the the ability, NAY THE CHOICE, to guzzle water. After almost seven hours of nipping thousands of liquid calories from the one 28 ounce bottle and sipping a gallon of water out of my aero bottle, it felt so good to finally crack open a full bottle of water and guzzle as much of that cold goodness as I could with no worry of repercusion.

I have often thought lately about how I will feel once my first ironman is completed, either finish or DNF, hopefully finish of course. I have focused on doing this race for so long, thought about the finish line for so long. But I think that something Benny has told me since April is making some sense.

Esenssially what he is telling me is, "Savor your moments before your first ironman, you only get them one time."

Will my ironman finish be as important to me as the training that lead me up to it? I think about the other amazing things I have accomplished in my life and with hindsight what I took from that episode. But instead the first thing I thought of was family.

You reap what you sow. So I think of Mistress and Mo baking a pie. The reaping is the accomplishment and that is the sweetest peice of pie to eat. But Mo helped Mistress with all the mixing and pouring and rolling and they laughed and they clapped and they cheered. To Mistress doing something with her 3 year old was more important than whether the pie turned out good or not.

I think of all the sunrises I have seen from over my aero bars. I remember all the smells from the side of trails I have run. I consider all the lives I have I touched online and within my own community in town. I can not forget the small victory's that lead to hopefully, eventually an ironman finish.

Not sure how I went from burping and guzzling to putting the memories in my heart above finishing Ironman but maybe I am.

Whats that saying, "Its not the destination, its the journey" Maybe thats right...

Two down, one to go

Sunday was my 112 mile ride. Mission Accomplished. Felt really good up to about 108 miles and then my legs started to get heavy. I kept my cadence in the high 80's but the ole speedo wouldn't climb above 16 mph at that point. What helped me through these literally last few miles was thinking of all the times I had bonked at only 30 miles or dragged my ass in at 50 miles.

For the ride I averaged 17.9 miles per hour and a cadence of 92 rpms. It took me a total of 6hr 45minutes including pit stops and an waiting for other riders.

At 80 miles we pulled into the gas station on the loop so we could all link up again and I ran inside for a Coca Cola. A real honest to God, red canned, sugared up Coke that I have not drank in ten years. I realized that I needed to burp really bad and Coke is provided on the Florida course. It was a good test of race day reality and it felt so good with no stomach issues. Burps ensued.

My large size bike bottle carried all my nutrition for the ride; 2,100 calories, 75% of which was CarboPro and the rest Cytomax and powdered endurolytes. I nipped off the bottle every five miles for approximately 300 calories per hour which has been my personal strategy all year. The only 'mistake' if you will, was that I had to switch to every ten miles at mile 80 since I was running low. The calories from the Coke help off set some of that which is a good battle strategy to remember.

What helped pass the time was the support from the AZTRICLUB. Taizzir and Glen helped start me off at 0500 by joining me for the first 56 miles. Taizzir then went and ran ten miles at a 7'30" pace. A few other members came out to ride their own personal distances, some with me and some on their own. Heather who is also doing Florida this year rode 98 miles after spending much of the last three weeks in Europe on vacation. Some of this we were able to do together but we have different paces so it was hit or miss.

The Machine came out and paced me the last 43 miles. It was a good workout for him since he was able to sleep in and putz around before getting in a good ride and I was paced by an ironman and capable cyclist during a potentially rough patch of mileage.

We finished the ride with a picnic of Red Stripe beer and chicken / lettuce wraps. The Machines wife Wendy came out and Heather finished her ride with perfect timing. Then I went home and took a ice bath followed by jaccuzi.

So I got in my iron swim and my iron bike segment this weekend. All that is left now is a long run next weekend and then its taper time. After that its all up to God and Uncle Murphy.