Friday, August 31, 2007


A man stuck his head into my office looking for a bathroom. Funny way to start a conversation. Turns out he loves my office which is wall to wall dry erase boards for me to track the stats of my company by person and statistic. He is a motivational private football coach with 5,000 kids he works with. Tells me my office looks like his minus the projector. I invited him to look through the door on the other side of my office which enters a 1,500 square foot training/conference room with a 42 inch flat screen plasma t.v. and ten foot projector system run through my laptop.

Turns out he and I not only went to the same university but knew many of the same guys. He played for Washington State and I watched them lose and win in the Palouse (where the school is).

In my line of work, I figure myself more a special teams coach and mentor than businessman. My other partners and key employees handle the production aspect; the offense, defense, catching and tackling of the day to day operations.

After several minutes of speaking of the past and in jargon that left the administrator in my office head spinning, we parted ways. My already good day, getting better.

Sometimes it's just the random chance meeting of people that can make your hour better, brighten your day or heck even change your life. Like talking to someone in a line and soon after you have the job of your dreams. Like bumping into someone and a year later you're married to them.

Lets keep bumping into each other.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Finally free of Florida

It has only taken me nine months but I am finally free of Ironman Florida. By this I don't mean I have paid off my swag bill. I bought a lot of swag (Just ask Bolder). I am a swag whore. But I used my usual checking account for that.

No I am talking about a car accident I was in the day after the race? Oh I never mentioned that. Well lets just say I backed my rental into a sign pole in the middle of a parking lot. Funny in most states the sign poles are along the street, not behind and to the left of parking space next to the front door. All of us were just fine, I backed in at about 3 miles per hour and as the pictures show, I had no problem partying at the pool with the rest of the bloggers a couple hours later.

Well of course I didn't buy the insurance. I mean c'mon. The car was $26 per day and the insurance another $23 a day.

Mistress did all the calling and paperwork and such with our insurance and the rental company before we had even left Florida. But when we're 100 miles away a day later and they tell us they want us to file a police report back in PCB in person, she just laughed.

I think she had a pretty small monthly payment to them so as not to disturb our normal life. Ultimately this was a lesson learned.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

But it's a dry heat

The furnaces of hades finally got a zip code, 85205.

Today marks the day that the Valley of the Sun hit 29 days of temperatures this year over 110 degrees. In a unrelated note, there will be no parades and all party's are required to be around pools.

The devil is in the details and while 'official' temperature gauges are used, anyone who watches the thermometer in their own backyard can attest that where they are at can be hotter or colder than what is reported on the news. Mine certainly is hotter.

Happy Place

My rant yesterday was just frustration. Part of my responsibilities at work are to deal with outside agencies and legal complaints. In two days I had received three complaints. Every one of them a potential threat to our good rating in the community if they are not mediated correctly, except that each one takes no personal responsibility for their actions or conveniently dismisses the very clauses that make their complaints void.

Later that day I went for a run and ended up in a happy place in my mind. Funny enough that happy place looks suspiciously like Bolder's closing, I mean Man Couch with cup holders that perfectly fit a pint of Stephen Colbert's AmeriCone Dream ice cream.

Even though last week had its training challenges this week is looking much better and should be a banner time for me.

Have Fun.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


My frustration level right now is really high. I want to write about how lawyers or people in the legal field feel they can write their frustrations down, doll it up with a couple of revised codes and legelese and think they can remove personal responsibility from the equation. Of course lawyers are great at placing blame on everyone but their client and when they are their own advocate well lets just throw up this great big wall of obfuscation.

That was so much cleaner than the first five times I wrote that paragraph. I think most lawyers that send me their demands think I will simply roll over, because you know, their big mean powerful lawyers and the little guy should be afraid of court. And of course they tell me, "In good faith if you don't respond in such and such a time, I will file papers..."When I send them responses that illustrates the ridiculousness of their position and finish with, "In good faith please respond by such and such a date, as to the acceptance of my offer or see you in court..." I don't get many responses back.


On to better things. Got in a good 90 minute trainer ride this morning. Finished up another season of Amazing Race which I DVR off the Game Show Network. They run an entire 13 episode season over two weeks. I love that show.

Mo has the stomach flu but we got him into the doctor fast enough to stop any advancement. He is back in school today.

Run tonight, hallelujah!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Mt. Lemmon trip

Well there was some great and some not so great doings on the Aztriclub trip to ride Mt. Lemmon. We got out of Phoenix on time but due to a rare early morning rain storm our drive time was significantly longer.

We decided before riding that we'd go to Tri Sport's headquarters and see what they claim is the largest tri store in the world. We were all very unimpressed and quite frankly severely disappointed. Perhaps they are a force online but Tribe Multisport in Scottsdale, my store, is infinitely more impressive is size, vibe and personnel.

Due to time constraints we decided to start two miles up the mountain and ride two hours; each turning around where we were at when 4:30 struck, catching the rest on the next morning. Let me just say that I turned around at 1 hour completely knackered. Perhaps it was the 10 mile run the day before, or already being up 12 hours and driving for six, or maybe I was just not far enough into base training to attempt such a climb at altitude so soon. I got to the point where my rpms for 5 minutes were below 35 and another two minutes below 30. I was sort of just waiting to fall over. While I felt fine for the most part, my legs were simply lead. Whatever the reason its never fun to be the only person to turn back in the group.

Everyone else did really well.

When we got back to the camp, I tried to start the fire with the most rudimentary tools possible. Starting off with dry tinder, some moss and my Light My Fire firesteel. I didn't count on five very hungry and tired triathletes clambering for fire and food and to start flicking matches into my fire pile. Their 3 minute timeline, got counted as far as Jeff and Andy could reach for packets of match sticks. I ended up using my lighter but the prep work was spectacular and given a few more minutes feel pretty confident I would have got it going.
I did get some photo's of my sleep set up, the hammock and tarp. Good set up, I was very warm the entire time and pretty comfortable all things considered. The main detraction is that I am a side sleeper and being forced onto my back without the ability to move my legs and body kept my sleep level at the most minimum. Add to that my already stunted sleep pattern in unfamiliar places, so although my eyes were closed and I know I slept it was not recuperative in the least and heard almost every snore and carried voice in the area all night long.

I have this meditative trick of counting backwards from 100 to clear my mind. I start over each time I go from counting down numbers to a thought that pops in. I must have restarted forty times, reaching zero perhaps twice.

Waking up the next morning, we were all quite tired. No one really got any good sleep but who said camping was about restful nights sleep. The rest all slept in a decent size family tent but the snoring, uneven surface, the issue of moving over men to got take a leak outside and just being outside to sleep at all, caused a lack of rest that night.

We decide that instead of unpacking the bikes we would go into town get a good meal and head home.

We all had a great time. The evening spent around the campfire drinking beer and hearing new stories and repeating old. Teasing and pushing buttons in the way chums do. While I thought selfishly and sheepishly that I would be derided for turning around, I don't think it even came up except for my own self-deprecation. If that is because my team mates know that I have been busting my ass training for three straight weeks or because they know that even good people have bad days, or whatever, deep down I was thankful they respected my failure to complete the ride.

To use my new favorite term, That'll Happen.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Pack Out

Well heading down to Tucson for a ride up Mt. Lemmon, the supposed gem ride of Arizona. Its 26 miles from base to peak with recommendation of starting about ten miles out to get warmed up before the incline. Rumor has it and I hope its true that the incline is about 6%. We will see.

We, that would be Jeff, John, Hardcore Mike, Glen and 'Chili' Andy, are also camping 21 miles up the mountain at a State park. So after the ride we will relax and do guy stuff around a fire.

This has given me the opportunity to pack out my camping kit as if I was going out on a much longer trip. Below is my base kit that would last me indefinitely minus food and water. (And of course all the bike and car camping gear I am taking for luxury which would not being going into the backcountry).

In case this doesn't blow out when clicked on. I will describe my gear with hyperlinks. Starting left top to bottom and traveling right top to bottom.

Total base weight, including all the clothes I would be wearing is 16 pounds.

Left Column: Big Agnes Yampa sleeping bag (Outside Gear of The Year 2004), Big Anges sleeping pad (also GOTY 2004). Poop trowel (the campground has bathrooms though) Green 7' x 9' waterproof tarp, ENO single nest hammock with ENO SlapStraps inside (Outside Buyers Guide 2007). Titanium pegs. 150 feet of 550 cord.

Middle Column: Go Lite Race Pack with 3L bladder inside. In the top pouch is a RSK folding knife and Gerber Infinity flashlight, in the pockets is vaseline lip balm, paper, sharpie, wool watch cap, photon freedom micro light clipped to zipper, spf 35, digital camera case, map case with directions to camp ground and Brunton 8096 Adventure Racing compass. On top are Montrail Namche boots (Outside BG 2007) (REI socks inside) and Black Diamond Spot headlamp (Outside BG 2006).

Right Column: Inside clothing bag which is what I will be wearing after the ride- Mountain Hardware Canyon Shirt and Canyon Pants, extra socks, Ex Officio britches, REI base layer, wool beanie, buff, Cool Max base shirt, buff. Next two bags are REI rain jacket, Seirra Design Rain pants.

At the bottom of the right Column is my red EDC (EveryDay Carry) bag. This is with me 24/7 and I use these items on a regular basis, including and replacing items as I use them. It includes an emergency blanket, Photon micro light, generic lighter, Swiss Firesteel fire starter, quart zip lock bag, gallon zip lock bag, button compass, 3 feet of duct tape, signal mirror, whistle, spark lite fire starter with spark lite tinder quick, 4 Gerber Strike Force tinder cubes, list of emergency phone numbers, $50. Calling card. Gerber folding knife.

With these 16 pounds I would have about 11 in the pack and 4 on me in clothes, boots and gear. Its car camping so no water purifier or Nalogene bottles, but I am taking my Naly bottle with Firefly light. A ten day trip would have the same gear above, adding 16-20 pounds of food and stove/gas, remove the hammock system and add another 3 pounds for a tent. Situationally and seasonally dependent I hope the total weight would be less than 40 pounds, closer to 35 making hard choices.

As I get the sleeping shelter set up this weekend I hope to take pictures of how the hammock floats under the tarp. It would be very cool if I can get some video or photos of me starting a fire using the EDC kit and I will first try without the lighters. But hell worst case scenario, which is what I am practicing, I have a flare in the car if I have a real problem. haha.

Saving rubber and also flip turns

Does anyone else have a problem with getting their heart rate up on a bicycle trainer? Man it has never been easy for me. Because of the Valdora’s extreme set up I can only run a Forteza low profile tire, which while bombproof on the road, is shredded down on a trainer after a few hours and Mistress complains of rubber shavings all over her house. My Giant, which I use for the trainer, when its not loaned out, has a sturdy Continental. But that brings me to the question on how tight do you set the bike wheel to the fly wheel of the trainer. To much and you might as well be riding in sand, not enough and the wheel skips and loses tension in the crank.

I have actually asked ‘experts’ on what is proper tension on the rear fly wheel and this is what I have been told many times. Clamp bike into trainer. Spin the back wheel. Adjust the elevation screw on the fly wheel until it stops the back wheel. Tighten screw a quarter twist.

Yesterday I used my Giant and was in my hardest gear, standing up and pedaling as hard as I could for five minutes to get my HR into zone and while I sweated my ass off, I couldn’t sustain the effort in my legs or maintain the elevated HR when I sat back in the saddle. My HR stayed in the 1-teens and 120’s.

Any comments would be appreciated.

Mistress called today after her Masters Swim. She was excited that her TT 100 meter is 1:10. I am excited for her too, though I reminded her mine is 2:06, asked her to, “Take a sip of Shut-the-hell-up juice.”

Which of course she had none on her and she proceeded to make fun of me and taunt me that she can do flip turns and I can’t and all sorts of stuff. I took it all in stride because I know that the dog puked on the carpet and I left it for her to clean up when she gets home at 1pm.

Right now I am going to hit the treadmill for 10 and this weekend, camping and riding hills in Tucson.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Oh and Three

That has been my training streak the last couple of days. Missed two swims and gave up an oh'dark run because my legs were lead. So maybe two pop ups and a sacrifice is more apt. I was a bit stressed out about it but the swims but I just couldn't control that. The run, I just did not have the legs. It happens.

Today I put in a 90 minute ride on the trainer and heading to the lake tonight.

For all those concerned, I have scheduled my ten miler on Friday to be done on a treadmill.

I have 38 treadmills outside my office and as I type this I am looking down at at a dozen of them in another club. But I couldn't tell you the last time I ran on one. When its so nice outside I can't seem to grasp running inside.

This weekend a group of us are going down to Tucson to ride Mt. Lemmon and camp on the mountain when we are done. Jeff, John, Hardcore Mike and Glen, all names you have seen on this blog before. Glen is a fellow blogger. Should be a blast.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Random musings

Lots to think about now that I am back stuck on the saddle or running long miles. I am sure to offend some but I just tell it like it is.

Wedge sandals. Ladies let me the latest to exclaim that a sandal with a four inch sole is Butt. Ugly. You truly look ridiculous. It doesn't matter if you're a tall, super model or a short anti-model. Every man asked, without recourse, will say the same thing.

In fairness I will apologize for all men who wore Zubaz football team pants. (But not the sweet mullet on this guy.)

Mistress asked me to pick up some kind of brush for make up. I am comfortable enough to pick up feminine items, but not so good at the finding the right item asked for. For clarification she said, "Silver dollar size." Do you realize the look on the kids face when I asked her where a silver dollar wide make up brush would be. Has anyone under 25 even seen a silver dollar? How about a $2 bill?

Shemp, of Three Stooges fame, may have been the ugliest actor of all time but you probably remembered the names of his 'brothers' Larry, Curly and Moe. Can you name off the top of your head, just two people who starred in the same movie as Errol Flynn? The point is that looks get you far in life but laughs will get you remembered. At your funeral there will be much discussed about your life, but it will be the laugh you gave or got that will touch the heart of all.

Ladies, back to you and one in particular. Don't get mad at me when I don't notice your new permanent eye liner tattooed to your eye lids. First I often forget to comb my own hair before leaving the house each morning and second I am not looking at your face. Furthermore I am only going on past experience. When I mentioned the newly added 300cc you put into each breast over your last vacation you didn't talk to me for a week. Also if your going to be putting tattoos along your the top of your butt or within a foot of your cleavage, most all men are going to be looking at your butt and cleavage.

State fairs are great if their in another state. On the east side of the Mighty Mississippi they had a state fair where citizens competed in a Breakfast-On-A-Stick contest. Now to me, food on a stick is the highest cuisine attainable. (Why can't Top Chef make that a challenge?) In Arizona, we haveBring-Your-Pit-Bull-day. Show-Your-Gang-Color-day. All-Illegal-Immigrants- Welcome-Just- Climb-The-Fence-Night. This year's Muffin Top contest did have two divisions, Latina and Trailer Trash.

It's an odd world we live in. Told to speak up when we don't care. Don't speak up when we want to.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Not Downgraded

Well Hurricane (I call them Typhoons) Dean may have been downgraded when it reached an obstacle, roughly named Cancun, but this Typhoon is just getting revved up.

A new training week and another test of my abilities. An Aerobic Threshold test at the track. I wanted to see what my mile pace is while sitting exactly on 148, the ceiling of my Zone 2 training.

Just so you know it is, 9'25", 9'13" and 9'24"per mile. That puts me at 9'20" for the average. I think that is pretty damn good for right now, especially considering my HR stayed so low.

This is of course a test and my base training pace out on the road will not drop to this level for quite some time. But sometime it will and thats the beauty of progress.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Sit Rep

Well last week was a great training week with a couple of flubs, namely a lightening storm that rolled over my open water swim and a birthday party.

I lost one pound and half a percent body fat. Not pleased since its off track from my projections but the trend is slowly, imperceptibly in the right direction for my second full week of base training.

Total training hours 11.75 hours.

Swim 4,700 yards, 1.75 hours, 15% of training

Bike 75.25 miles, 4.91 hours, 42% of training

Run 26 miles, 5.05 hours, 43% of training.

Took a swim test in the pool and found my 300 pace is 6:20 and my 100 pace is 2:06. This is comparable to my 1,000 yd OW laps at Canyon Lake in 20 minutes. I know these times are boringly slow to some, but those put me at around an 83 minute Ironman swim which would be a PR for me and in line for where I should be right now perfecting technique and efficiency for a 75 minute swim at IMAZ and beyond. So I am pleased with that. I will take 2 minute 100's all the way to my Ironman finish.

With some corrections to my pedal stroke, dropping the heel and throwing the knee forward when at the top of the stroke, I really felt a difference in my cycling. Also keeping my HR in Z2 and rpms up as opposed to focusing on rpm and speed, my speed went up. Way UP. And actually I felt better with my HR higher than lower, which really surprised me.

Running out of the heat and in the cooler times dropped my HR and upped my pace. Which of course I knew would happen and dropped 50 minutes off my previous weeks long run, same course and distance. Goes to show how heat/humidity/sun all affect training. I am not saying I will continue to do the right and smart thing but I will remember the lesson.

Friday, August 17, 2007

In a good place

My ten miler today was so much better than last Friday. 6am instead of 1pm. 85 degrees instead of 105 degrees. Cloudy instead of sunny. Almost no walking, certainly no death marches. Today I finished the same distance 50 minutes faster.

While using the bathroom at Tempe Town Lake before I started I watched the ASU Army ROTC cadets warm up for PT. One of the cadets jogged over and here is the conversation we had, it came from me naturally but I rolled it around in my head the first five miles out there wondering if I blew his mind.

Cadet: Those bathrooms open Sir?

Me: Hooah

Cadet: How far are you running today?

Me: ten. How bout you guys?

Cadet: Two. A slow two, some of them are not in very good shape.

Me (as I put in my headphones): Do you see those dorms over there? (pointing to campus) Those people will no idea of the sacrifices you will make while they sleep under their covers. The very liberties and freedoms that they have as students and Americans is because of people like you're trying to become and I once was. The people you run with today are no different than those in the dorms or the people you will lead tomorrow; you have to use motivation and leadership to get them to the finish line of two miles today and surviving combat tomorrow and freedom forever.

Cadet: Wow...Thanks. That was awesome.

Me: Only if you remember it. Have a good run.

Cadet: You too.

It seems over the top and maybe it was, but his mind wasn't right for his peers, weaker or not they are a unit. He is only as fast as the slowest.

Many, many years ago, almost twenty, I was struggling on a timed platoon run. A dear mentor of mine pulled me aside and whispered something in my ear that I still hear dozens of times a day, often when I need it the most. I thought it a few times already today on my run.

He whispered, "Do you have the heart?"

Its something I ask myself everyday, every workout, every race, every decision in my life it seems. It has defined a path in my life and caused me to do some very full hardy things, (IMAZ while sick for example) Do I have the heart...

...but thats a post for another day.

Thursday, August 16, 2007


On Monday, Mighty Mo started at a private school that goes from pre-K to 8th grade and has about 500 students. We are hoping that he will stay here until he goes to high school which starts in the 9th grade.

On Wednesday Mistress dropped Mo off for his third day of school at this new place. She was unable to get a hug or kiss from Mo because multiple groups of kids started rushing up yelling, "MO" and pulling him away to play with their group before class.

A bit disappointed she went to the office to sign him in and she was approached by teachers of all grade levels introducing themselves saying what a great kid Mo is and that they really like him, each giving a different anecdote about him.

Teachers up through the 7th grade have interacted with Mo during the first two days of a new school year?

Its surprising this has happened at such a bigger school but we saw the same thing at his last pre-school and really this is par for the course for his whole life. People are drawn to him with a gravity that I have never seen. His ability to interact with all groups and do so with such nice manners, his new teacher says he is the most polite kid in the class, is a blessing in our lives.

Go Mo!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Factoring Facts

I really can not cycle very well.

Some of you might think, "But you're an Ironman. You've done dozens of century rides. What do you mean?"

Well using compu-trainers really allows me to witness the brutal honesty of the effort produced by my legs. Not the flywheel momentum that occurs by spinning through more than enough gears to get through anything but the longest or steepest of my ability. No, I am speaking of the full use of the pedal stroke. Thrusting the knee forward. Dropping the heel down. The "scraping mud technique". Using the hip flexor rather than the calf. All the analytical parts in triathlon books I tended to skim over instead of digest.

Bolder is right when he quotes Lance Armstrong's book title, "It's all about the bike". But the statement is too vague. To ambiguous, Its not about putting in miles but the quality of miles you put in. A more apt statement is, "Given enough time to master pedal efficiency and with diligence applied to output training (HR, watts, etc) and consistency, you will become the greatest cyclist you can possibly be."

I have much to consider in this new, trying to improve, (though not much lighter..yet) training season. Riding for three hours used to be a time to contemplate all sorts of things just to occupy my mind. Now it will be filled with the same sort of self critique that I use in swimming to monitor my movements.

Breakthrough is right around the corner. I know it in my head, I want it in my heart, soon I will feel it in my body.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

It comes wiht th job

This month I have listened a lot. I've sat in offices and listened to people bemoan their position in life or work. I don't mind much as I suppose I have shown to have a bit of a head on my shoulders for explaining or figuring things out.

The crux in all these people is they either take no responsibility for their own actions or are completely self absorbed and have no concept of what has been given them. The bottom line is they have no faith in themselves. They doubt. They fear change. They do not adapt. Trying to put a 2006 square in a 2007 circle or even a June square in a July circle. Many find that responsibility is not necessarily a bigger paycheck but always harder work.

I have to remind these people that talent is not enough in life. Hard work is not enough in life. If it was why do so many hard working and talented people fall so short of fulfilling their dreams?

Luck is a over rated and unreliable.

It makes me think of triathlon in a way. Hard work and talent are tremendous assets, but the moment you lose faith in your ability, or lack consistency in your action; you stop doing the right things in favor of the easy things, you will fall below your ability.

And if in the real world that means that you suffer a pay cut, or get transfered or a new boss usurps your Power Because Of Longevity Soapbox. It happens.

And in the real world it rains on the just and the unjust. Meaning that bad things happen to bad people and bad things happen to good people. However ultimately if you do the right thing at the right time all the time you will have a richer life, perhaps not defined with the biggest check or fame or notoriety but with the most personal success you can achieve.

And always dream to achieve more.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Sit rep

Well as promised I will hold myself as accountable as possible to my goals of hitting 185 pounds or less by next April. Very doable goal.

Last Monday I started at 201.5 pounds and 20.5% body fat. By Thursday of last week I was down into the 198/199 range even hitting a unrealistic and completely based on heat 196 after my long run in the heat Friday.

This Monday morning I am 201 pounds and 20.2% BF. A half loss of a half pound and 1/3% body fat is tastically its no change, but I feel that the weight number is high because I had a lot of salty food yesterday celebrating the birthday of the Mistress and this morning my feet and hands are bloated with sodium.

Today is a rest day and Tuesday is jam packed with training so by Wednesday morning I should get a better look at where I am at after blowing all the impurities out of my system. I will report my weight again on Wednesday. Why not.

Charlie Mike (Continue the Mission)

UPDATE 1142HR- I forgot to mention my numbers for the week. I'm still new at this online accountability thing.

TOTAL HOURS 12:48 SWIM 5,600 yd BIKE 70 miles RUN 21.7 miles OTHER 1.5 hours

Considering off season was only about 3-4 hours a week almost all of that being swimming and running I think was a good first full week of base training.

Friday, August 10, 2007

what did I just write?

Okay I just did a terribly slow and painful 10 miles, averaging a 14:45 pace. But my HR was right on the money.

It was 105 degrees and there was no humidity in some areas and others areas next to the lake were quite high. I suffered. I walked the last three miles. I had my bug out point across Mill Ave. Bridge, which is the structure just over the IM swim start but decided, as I usually do, to finish the distance instead of using some common sense...I am ready for you Nancy. I deserve it.

I had brought my buff headgear and with the available fountains soaked it good and wore it on my neck and around my head.

Its a couple hours later and I still am not quite right. I took in 8 gels, 400 calories per hour and I drank over 80 oz out there but my ears are plugged and I fell asleep in my ice bath for 15 minutes until Mistress scared me awake.

Needless to say I need to eat up and lay down. Tomorrow I will be taking it extremely easy on my three hour ride, it starts early so it will only be about 95 at the finish. Where I was considering getting in about a half iron distance I will now look for about 48 miles.

I told you it would be a wild ride this time.

And all was well

As I survey my week of effort high atop my lofty perch, because I am Master of My Domain, King of the Castle, I realize I have had some great practices. As of Thursday night I had 7 workouts in 3 days.

I know. (Queue Monica Geller)

That sounds absurd but I feel pretty good. Two of those workouts were just unplanned bonuses, team mates that were already doing something and I jumped in with them. Though last night I got home pounded three homemade tacos and past out in bed in less than an hour after I got home. God I love tacos, not as much as PB&J but close. Real close.

Todays Fitness Snack is a ten mile run on the IMAZ course. Keeping my HR in Zone 2 should make this fairly simple though much longer than usual. Got plenty of defensive measure to fight the sun and heat and will just take it easy. My first long run of the base phase and while I want to finish it I will be smart enough to pull the plug if my body is just not up to it.

But lets not think about that too much, shall we. Have fun this weekend everyone.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Waking up early to slow down later

Since Florida's Ironman I have come be adverse early morning wake ups for training. Loath may be to strong a word but figure that if the biggest race of my life has me getting up at 0500 for the race, I really don't want to get up at 0415 for a simple 90 minute mid-week trainer session. But thats what I did this morning.

I feel a bit bad that I could not get the HR past zone 1, and my cadence over 80 but I really don't ride my trainer much and attribute some of that to weak crossover from road work.

But getting up early and getting that workout done, allowed me to sit and relax for an hour and buy a cup of coffee for one of my sponsors. We discussed his training, my training and caught up on the last few weeks. The weather has taken a monsoon break so we sat outside in perfect cool and sunny (read: 85 degree) weather.

Yesterday I had a great interaction with a personal friend and sponsor, Kevin at Tribe Multisport. I had left my running shoes at home and decided I would go up to his store to buy a pair. I don't wear the brands that he sells but I wanted to give him business and it was convenient. They had my size in a pair that I wear for work, but wouldn't run in them 300 miles. Kevin tries to fit me in other models but don't have my size. He tells me, "Go get the shoes in your size, go run in them, what are doing today 10 miles, then bring them back tomorrow and I will wear them for work."

Is that cool or what.

Also found out yesterday that I like the new caramel flavored powerbar gel. Using a gel flask is so much easier then original packaging. I marked out the serving sizes on the flask and each one went down so much easier than ripping open, pushing up, sucking through the opening, squeezing the package trying to get the remainder. Highly recommend it.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Well wishes and doing well

So far so good on the training front. Got in three workouts yesterday. A run, a swim and a core workout. I swear my swim coach is trying to drown me, that is when he is not smirking while I attempt to breath to the opposite side. I swear to God, I will become a more efficient swimmer.

Talked to some of my favorite friends yesterday and want to wish one to get well fast from their cold and the other to be safe on a great adbenture.

Today is a twist twist on hill repeats. I am going to run downhill intervals and walk up. Hey this Zone 2 training has its benefits.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Ironman Goals 2008

Still continuing in the vein of applying my baseline tests for RMR and VO2, I have some very specific goals for Ironman Arizona next year. These are based on windows of time and performance.

A good race.
1:30 hour swim (2:08 per 100 yd)
6:30 hour bike (17.23 mph)
5:30 hour run (12:35 pace)
20 minutes of combined transition.
Total time, roughly 13:50 hours.
Under 14 hours is a good race.

A perfect race.
1:15 hour swim (1:47 per 100 yd)
6 hour bike (18.66 mph)
5 hour run (11:27 pace)
15 minutes of combined transition.
Total time, roughly 12.50 hours.
Under 13 hours is a perfect race.

When dealing with time on race day, its a gross motor skill. Most of us are not trying to beat any one person, nor beat any one minute of the clock. I have created windows of opportunity based on beating hours on the clock. Obviously a perfect race would include any clock time that includes 12. It doesn't matter if its 12:15 or 12:59.

I mentioned not long ago, capacity versus potential. I have accomplished each of my perfect race times in individual practices or previous races. I have roughly 8 months to improve each discipline and put them all together.

None of my goals in any way affects the overall desire to simply complete a course that I was unable to complete a few months ago. Finishing and having fun are my over riding goals of any race. The fact that I am holding myself to a higher accountability this time around is very much about reaching a potential in me that I know is there. A stretching of my stress envelop which will enable me to endure more in the future.

The break I am taking this year in racing is very much a "preparatory" step in my periodization cycle. Ironman next year is not my only race for 2008. I look at my racing season not in terms of when my 'A' race is or when the weather gets bad but in terms of forecasting the races I want and how long my body and mind can stay attuned to keeping the burning desire in me.

I am looking at a racing season of about 12 months bookmarked by PF Chang in January 2008 and 2009, unless I sign up for another early season Ironman in 09. That means with going on-season this week I will not go off-season again for another 18 months, the same amount of time my last season lasted.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Sit Rep

Here is the SITuation REPort for last week.

I took my baseline tests and started to apply them to my training over the weekend. My goal in all my training is to stay between 138-148 bpm. Saturday, I got in a 60 minute OW swim with each of three 1000 yard laps coming in at 20 minutes each. HR was right on the money. Plus ten minutes of warm up and cool down. The a 30 minute run which was hard to stay below 148. It was a hilly course and walked briskly up most of the hills to stay compliant. Average speed was about 11:28 per mile. Which I felt was slow but in the BIG PICTURE would be a perfect pace for me in my Ironman (5:02 marathon).

Sunday was a two hour ride along what I consider a very flat course. I have not ridden two hours since I think Ironman. In any regard, the first 90 minutes it was hard to get my HR up over 138 which I thought was good and bad. But my speed was 19 mph and my cadence 93 so I did what I could with a couple of surges. The last 30 minutes I got fatigued and performance numbers dropped but sat firmly in my HR zone.

I think the hardest part of zone training is that I will not be in the same spot in the pack that I usually am and will take some shit for it. Already have. On Saturday I swam 20 minutes longer and then ran as opposed to riding to the end of the road at Tortilla Flats, which is a monster hill profile and know I would ride zone 4/5 the whole way up.

My weight this morning is 201 and my BF% is 20.5%. Lets watch those numbers drop. And again these numbers are indicative of coming off a 9 week off season. Sorry Bigun, if things go as planned I will have to burn my Clyde card next Monday.

Tomorrow I list my Ironman Goals for Arizona 08

Sunday, August 5, 2007


One of the amazing things about living where I do in the valley is that I am only minutes away from such diverse environments. I have often shown pictures of my runs in slot canyons, swims in Canyon Lake, cycling in the desert, I have not as of yet shown you the farming areas.

We have a great community south of the Valley called Queen Creek. While urban sprawl is encroaching on this tranquil part of town there are still many high quality roads that travel through rural areas.

Todays 2 hour ride took me past a couple hundred acres of new corn crop sprouting for harvest. Camera phones do such a disservice to roadside photos. The stalks are about two feet tall. I am hoping that come October I might be able to clutch a firm tasty ear of corn as some quick energy during the ride.

Saturday, August 4, 2007


I want to do it right this time. This race. My next Ironman. I have this potential in me that is untapped. I know it. I am not speaking of the oft-mentioned Rod Of Iron that iron distance athletes gain through all the time and pain they spend training and then all the forward motion produced on race day. That has more to do with capacity than potential.

No. I touched something in my training for Ironman Florida that I have not touched since. After hours of contemplation and prayer its still alludes me by just a fingers breadth. I think that when people, I speak of and include myself here, get so informed about something, like health and fitness, at some point you become a, "Do as I say, not as I do" personality instead of an informed participant. I have held two hour seminars on nutrition and supplementation and fitness and yet it seems I have painted myself into a corner. While I have the tools and ability, my application sucks.

To capture that Will o' the Wisp I am seeking so badly in my ironman training, I look not for a panacea but for education, motivation and accountability.

Today I went to get a consult. I wanted baseline tests on my RMR, Resting Metabolic Rate, and a VO2 test so I can get some advice on training for the next 8 months. I was not surprised. The official medical test for my RMR was only 65 calories higher than the experiments I've done on myself over many years. So in a since it was validation for my own expertise in the subject since I did not use computers and tubes and such.

The VO2 MAX test which includes, accurate HR zones, Lactate Thresholds and Anaerobic Thresholds was the typical run on a treadmill with a face mask and move through a series of speeds and inclines. After essentially nine weeks of off-season averaging only four hours of training I was still in the upper Good, shy of Superior. A good baseline. I can only go up from there and will.

So what do I do with all this information? How do I use it?

Well I am going to use it in accordance with my goals, silly goose. I know that is ambiguous but I do have specific goals; to go over them in this post would make it too long. So I will go over them the next few posts breaking down how these tests and mentoring will help me reach me my potential.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Health Goals

Part of the education from my recent baseline tests has prompted me to be held accountable to my nutrition. I know what my ability's are and what I can accomplish on my own, (I did win a physique change contest at work), but I also recognize what my weaknesses are. I am but a Common Man.

Now of course I remind you good readers that I took just over two months off from structured training. Now I am going to drop about 25 pounds in the next 90 days. I weigh 202 pounds +/- a pound depending on the scale. Its kept my Cylde creed. At Ironman Florida I weighed 192. I really do believe that I not only will hit below 180 pounds but then maintain it between Halloween and Valentines Day if not continue to drop weight depending on how my lean body mass and body fat percentage morph during the loss of weight. Getting down to and most importantly maintaining 175 pounds would be a perfect execution in this category.

Based on my testing I will ingest 2100 calories a day, not including the nutrition I take in during exercise. This means if I go on a 3 hour ride and take in 1500 calories, I don't count that against the 2100.

I don't want to drop so much weight that I begin to get fatigued or lose power, or go into the race in a depleted state, just for the sake of being at a certain poundage. I want to be in a position to lose the weight in a reasonable time frame and then maintain the weight while continuing to build speed and endurance through the most important part of the training phase.

The point of dropping the weight and maintaining it through the holidays or continuing to drop till the taper in April, is to get as lean as possible thereby increasing my weight to power ratio. Also being leaner with my current abilities will make me faster and more efficient.

Part of the advice I have been given is to increase my nutrition on my runs and cycling. Almost doubling it in my cycling and almost tripling it in my running. I am basing this on performing at least 90 minutes of exercise. I certainly don't need to eat normally through the day then eat 300 calories over a one hour run. Bit of an overkill there since my body has plenty of fat and glycogen stores.

So I will attempt to put out some numbers on a weekly basis or so, some of you may need to nudge me in the comment section though. I am reasonably consistent at tracking my energy in & energy out but often 'miss the forest for the trees'. If you get my drift.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Alarm. Oh its time to...ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

I set my alarm for 0500 so I could go run a couple of miles before everyone got up. It went off on time and as I turned it off, I realized Mo was snuggled up into me sleeping peacefully. Which he normally doesn't do, preferring to sleep across the bed with me getting the legs and Mistress the head.

Well okay, I'll just lay here for a few minutes. That turned into 90 minutes. Oh well I have a swim tonight.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Saving you the drama

I didn't have a very good day yesterday and I wrote a decent post on it for today. But I am not going to post it. You don't deserve to read about bad days from me.

Instead I want to talk about a guy who thought he had it all together a few years ago and came to the epiphany that leaner and faster was better than big and bulky. He lost 40 pounds before becoming a happy triathlete. A guy who wanted three kids and realized his passion and capacity was just raising one really good one. I see a guy every day who loves his wife more than he can communicate and realizes that loving looks and compliments are enough but really not. This same guy can't cook past pasta but loves to show his family he can start a fire in the backyard without matches. A guy with no memory of his youth but enough wisdom to live it through his own wonder every day with the help of his 4 year old son.

Happy Birthday to that guy.