Monday, July 20, 2009

Race 4 Recap

I'm skipping my Race 3 recap and doing Race 4 because I didn't really feel like blogging Race 3. That will be incorporated in this recap.

Race 4 was the 2nd in the Fort Lewis Triple Threat triathlon series which are three identical races close to my house. I did Race 3 a month earlier. I was happy I finished because time was very tight with a newborn and family and work responsibilities. I hardly trained for Race 3 and I was very slow. The positives were that I raced, I practiced transitions, and racing conditions, and all the intangible stuff that can make the sport really hard.

This race I concentrated on getting a solid three weeks worth of work. My focus was on staying above 90 cadence, staying in the swim draft, and finishing "all out". I was able to rejigger my schedule around enough to get my training in. Instead of going to bed at 10:30, I would hit the trainer for 30-40 minutes of speed work. I snuck a few long rides in as well. In addition I ran a few times and employed "transition runs" after my bike rides to get used to race conditions. Finally I focused on simple acheivable goals that would guarantee improvement.

The race went really well. On Race 3 I somehow lost my line in the lake and wound up swimming by myself for the final few hundred meters. This race, I sighted towards the end to make sure I was always with someone. My swim last race was a disappointing 16 mins while this race I was a satisfied 15 mins over 800 meters. Out of the water I had a very good transition and smartly brought a tub filled with water to wash off my feet because they were filthy coming out of the water.

My bike started off pretty fast. Fort Lewis is flat and straight and ideal for practicing smooth, fast cycling. I maintained my 90 cadence which guaranteed me a much, much faster bike time. Psychologically I found myself hanging with some guys out there, which boosted my confidence. I finished the 15 mile ride on 49 minutes, thus besting my previous time by 11 minutes.

With two enormously successful legs finished, I could have hopped the three miles and been happy. But I wanted to put together a complete race that included a fast run and hunting down some of my competitors. I remember reading an article say that the last few miles of the run are all about guts. The three miles flew right by and I worked myself into my legs. I was tired but I wanted to finish "all out" just to understand the feeling of leaving everything on the course. I crossed the line at 1:30:ish with a full on sprint and found my way back to my gear.

Overall the race was a huge success. I trained hard, I stuck to my prerace goals, and executed them as well as possible. I came in 53 out of over 200, was in the middle of my age group and have a lot to build on. I can shave about a minute off my swim time, I can conceivably take 5 minutes off my bike, and there is always ways to run faster. I realize the only difference between below/average performance and very good performance is some good work prerace and an executed plan in the race. I'm not sure if I will get to do the third race in this series due a planned vacation, but I will get one or two more races in by the end of the season.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Race #2

My second race of the year was this past Sunday May 17th. Heading into the race I was still up in the air about my seasonal plans. I still could probably pull myself together by my A race in September which is the Black Diamond Half Ironman. I could also pull it back and do an Olympic that day or a few others if I wanted to. An additional option would be to do some sprints and work on my skills at the sport.

There is a lot more to the sport than running swimming and biking long distances. Most top pros started races many many times per year on short distances, progressed into the Olympic/International levels, made their names at half-Ironman and eventually had what it take to win Kona. Last year I skipped a few steps and slowly trudged my way through 2 halfs with a low level of success.

Doing the second race of the season was a perfect way for me to continue working on the sport even though my time is limited with the new baby. I hadn't really trained much other than a few swims and a few runs, but since it was a sprint, the distances are not a problem.

The race was a tiny tiny field at my home gym, but hey, it's triathlon. Not every race needs to be Kona. Perfect place for me to work on the sport for the sake of the sport.

My swim was excellent. I came out of the water 2nd out of ten. I focused this time on going slow and pacing myself. I had plenty of energy at the end and was able to kick it nicely on my final lap. The bike was easier than before and I went faster than before, while pushing more power. I held my position, hydrated well and got myself ready for the run. The run was a quick two miles on an outdoor, dirt track. The footing stunk, and my first lap or so as always was difficult. But I settled down and went kicked it decently as I finished.

My times really mean nothing because of the way the race was set up but I averaged about a 1:36 in the pool per 100. That might be my best swim so far and while it is not very fast, I merely wanted to swim smooth and position myself for the rest of the race.

Moving forward, I am back in full gear for the season. Sprint races work well for this year because I can skip a workout and not worry about my race condition. I can miss a week for travel, or family, and not freak out. I can race close to my house and not worry about hotels, parking, race checkins, and whatnot. And, just like Sunday, my Saturday night can be all messed up and it will not force me to toss and turn all night. I have other races in June, July, August and most likely September so I will get plenty of work in this summer. I will also be doing some 5K runs and perhaps a long, 2 day bike weekend if time permits.

My bike is still of course my Achilles heel but I am working through it. I plan on getting out there much more and working in the saddle. More on that later.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Race #1 and Baby Girl #3

April 19th was my first race of the year. Most spring races in the places where I have lived have been indoor. The water is just too cold and the weather in unpredictable. Since my January high, my February low, and my March rest, I had done a few workouts but nothing major. I had been focusing on work and family. The race was a layup because it was at my gym, it was short and was using a stationary bike.

I fully expected to have the baby before the race so I was a minute by minute decision. I woke up that morning, grabbed my gear and headed off. I took a couple gels, a six pack of Gatorade, and my swimsuit. Other than that no prep. The swim was 400 yds, bike was 8 mile on a trainer, followed by a 2 mile run.

I am always nervous about the bike. I had not been in the saddle since January and felt a little uneasy. I got a decent warmup on the swim. When the gun went off I pushed off like my life depended on it. At 200 yds, I was totally out of gas. I felt like someone was pulling on my suit. I finished the leg in second place but I was pretty tired and a little dizzy.

The bike was 32 minutes of boredom. My only goal was to stay in a good gear, avg about 16 mph and get off the darn thing. I lost some ground to some folks on the bike. With a two mile run, there is pretty much no hope to catch anyone so I finished nicely at around 17 minutes and was satisfied with my times of around 6:45, 32:30, and 17:00.

The victory here was that I got off my butt and did the race, as small as it was. In addition, I was totally pumped by the day itself. It felt great to do a short, doable race to get my blood flowing and heartrate up. It was a tremendous boost to come out of the water before most of the field. Overall a real success.

The next day baby #3 came, healthy and everyone is doing very well. I absolutely love being a Dad and would welcome many more. It had been a long, challenging 9 months and I was just thankful the pressure had been lifted off my wife physically and we can begin the next chapter. The first month has been a little tiring but I have been able to squeeze a few runs in with th kids and a few swims. I will follow up tomorrow with a report on Race #2 and some thoughts on where I am headed this year and next.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Singing Sweet Home Alabama All Summer Long

Ultimate hack song by an ultimate hack musician. But so catchy.

Yesterday I had a very good swim. I did a 400 warmup, then a 100, 200, 200, 100 pyramid. After two months off I still feel like someone is dragging me from behind but my endurance is decent so I am happy. I still have not committed to the race this weekend but it would be a good race to get done...even if it is my only race of 09.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Short Birthday Run

For my birthday I ran a mile and a half very fast. I was short on time while waiting for my daughter's gymnastics class to finish. So I hit the track and did a few warm-up laps and then tried to chase down some kids that were doing a fitness test ahead of me. I was able to go a mile at a pretty hard pace. It was a really good speed lesson to raise the endorphins.

There is an indoor sprint race on Sunday. I am a gametime decision. My fitness is fine. But the baby is not here yet and its 35 bucks for a race that should be much cheaper. I'll play it by ear and decide the day before or the day of.

Got a Garnett Celtics T-shirt as a present which was pretty cool.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Good Week So Far

After my March hiatus I am back at this working out thing. Today I swam for the first time in a while. I have gotten my work stuff out of the way and got some other stuff taken care of so the only thing left to do is start training. As mentioned on Monday, I ran on Sunday. I ran a couple miles again on Tuesday and today I swam about 1000 yds. Pretty easy workouts but who cares? There is a triathlon at my gym next week I am thinking of doing. It is really easy and would be a nice break to see if I have any fitness at all.

I am getting an idea of how I want to proceed this summer. I am thinking of doing a weeks worth of sessions over a two week period. That would allow me to train every other day on sport specific stuff and do alternative stuff such as weights, yoga or rest. I complained to my coach about needing more rest each week and he felt I would not be able to get my sessions in with more rest. But I thinks it amounts to over training, at least for me and my lifestyle, to crunch in 6 days over working out a week.

I am going to give this a shot and see how it works. But I feel great getting back out there again, I am pain free and stress free.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Baby Stepping back on the Horse

The last two days had beautiful weather so I got back at it. I did some backyard stuff with the kids hanging off me on Saturday and I ran a few miles yesterday while pushing the stroller. My muscles had atrophied to the point that I was nearly dead so I am sore today. But I am ready to get back in it. No more hip pain and no more stress. I am going to follow a one on, one off schedule and keep it simple. Hopefully I get my smile back.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Not April Fool's

Ok I am going to run either today or tomorrow. Its been a long enough time, I don't want to lose fitness and I need to get some fresh air. More on that later...

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


My training for 2009 is officially off the tracks. I have not posted in about a month, I can't remember the last time I cycled, I have not run anything meaningful since mid-Feb and have been bothered by some hip soreness, and I quit using my coaching service because I don't have enough time to get my workouts in.

I think my problem was the stress associated with getting the workouts in each day, family, work, tax season, and a million other things. I was pretty sick yesterday and have been feeling really depressed and stressed out. I have a trip back to Boston next week and a few other work and family obligations to get settled before I re-evaluate.

My training had stopped being fun and started really bothering me physically and mentally. I'm going to see if I can get past this low and get back on the horse. But not for a few days.

Friday, February 6, 2009

What You Get Is What You Seek....Desire!!!!

The first person who knows the 80s glam band that sang those lyrics and sends it in the comment section...RULES.

Today is Friday and I really don't feel like working out today. The baby is sick, I've been up since 5, went to bed at 1, work is bothering me, its tax season and on and on and on. I skipped yesterday to get stuff done. I have to do the same today and tomorrow is normal Saturday workout.

Monday is a big day however. I have a 30 minute time trial at race pace. I have no idea what race pace is. All I know is I need to be 100% for it. I might try to work a swim in today and a ride tomorrow though.

Tomorrow is the Cycle For ALS. It is the yearly Spinathon for my charity, The Blazeman Foundation for ALS. There is no event in my area but I will probably donate on my own or try to schedule a ride by myself. In any event CLICK HERE to learn more about Jon "Blazeman" Blais for he is the inspiration for this blog.

Song in my head - I was thinking about the War On ALS and figured Don't Stop Believing was most appropriate. Currently ALS has no cure and very little has been discovered to be effective in fighting ALS. The War On ALS is here to raise money but also to raise awareness about this horrible disease which is an automatic death sentence to anyone who gets it. Team Blazeman is currently funding a research grant and also raising awareness in the Multisports community. My personal goal is to keep Jon Blais' misson alive while he is no longer with us. Thank you for supporting my efforts by reading my blog.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


I went to bed last night thinking yesterday's post was a little moody and overblown and preachy. I considered taking it down or at the very least heavily editing it. However I woke up this morning with a call from Robert Blais, the father of Jon Blais, founder of Team Blazeman. He got to my blog through Facebook and wanted to reach out. It was a great conversation and really boosted my spirits tremendously.

With that, I set out on a 45 minute "easy" run today. My typical route is pretty hilly and by no means easy. I wanted to pick up the pace a bit so I decided to run to a marker about 2.6 miles away and run back home regardless of how long it took. My goal was to do it in 23 minutes. I ended up hitting my mark at 24, turned around and made it back by 46 minutes or so. I figure I ran at about a 9 minute pace. I felt really good, and I ran fast enough to make me think my season goal of running at an 8 minute per mile clip is attainable.

My workout routine is run-focused so I have a lot of opportunity to improve. I think this focus is good for me because I neglected my run last year almost entirely. It resulted in injuries and lack of fitness. This year, my goal is to build a strong run base and to get some speed in as well.

Song in My head - This Song by Kings of Leon. I have always been meaning to get into this band. I know they are really good, have awesome hair, and are multi-dimensional. Now I am into them.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

What Have I Been Doing For 33 Years?

This may be a long post folks so strap in. The title of this post sums up my overwhelming thought process during my 1 hr ride this morning. I was riding along and thinking about how far I am from where I want to be. Professionally, I am not there yet and had to dust myself off after falling off the horse last week. Training-wise I am working my butt off, but my progress is so slow I can hardly comprehend where I was to begin with three years ago.

Let me take a step back. In 2002/03 while bored in a Business School class I started one of those "Bucket Lists" of things to do before I died. I sensed a freedom after two years of business school, preceded by three years suffocating in New York City, and four years drinking in college. I had a decent list going, some are obsolete - as they no longer mean anything to me, while others have been attained. One of those items was to do a triathlon (I had no idea how long, how hard, or whatever). I spent the next year and a half in a similarly suffocating environment in Boston while traveling each weekend to New Jersey where my wife was. Finally I moved out of downtown and had the freedom to swim and run and knock off that triathlon thingy.

Three years later, here I stand suffering through another week of workouts in an attempt to reach my new goal of getting 5:30 in a half-Ironman. In the interim, I have taught myself how to swim pretty much from scratch. Now I am at the point I feel strong in the water over any distance between a mile and probably 2 miles. Similarly I can perform flipturns, do the backstroke, and a lot of other things. I no longer feel self-conscious in Speedo and I regularly pee in the pool with no qualms.

On the bike and run, I am still babystepping my way to proficiency...and it sucks. Yesterday I ran for an hour, but my pace is so slow, I am practically walking at times. Today I am on the bike dreaming about a real live tri-bike. But the whole time I am thinking to myself that I can barely clip in/clip out, I know nothing about road cycling, and could barely make it through one day of a two day endurance ride.

This whole experience left me wondering, if this is where I am after 4 1/2 years of working out religiously, three years of triathlon prep, and 33 years of living, then WHERE THE F*** WAS I BEFORE???? Back in 03, I thought doing a tri and knocking off a slot in Kona was as easy as doing it. I guess my point, is, setting goals is really important, but the followthrough should not be delayed for even a second. I am just starting to realize that because the process is so gradual, it's sometimes hard to even quantify.

If I was to impart any advice on any readers with similar unstarted goals, I'd say, "START WORKING ON THEM TONIGHT, YOU ARE NOT GETTING ANY YOUNGER".

Song in my head - Another bucket list item was to learn to play guitar. I started playing in November (a full year and a half after buying one). I am killing myself for not learning it sooner. It's freaking easy. I am a huge Rock fan and always dreamed of kicking ass on stage. I have no real desire to play stadiums, but it would be awesome to know I was good enough to play anything I want. The two songs I have been practicing recently are the very simple but gorgeous Oasis classics Wonderwall and Live Forever. I have been practicing these like crazy for the past few days. I hope to be as awesome as Noel Gallagher one day. Til next time

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Babe I'm Leavin' (not really)

After a rest day which everything except babysitting my kids, went wrong, I woke up today and felt somehow energized. No idea why, makes no sense, I went to bed at 3AM and for some reason felt great. I guess today was a bootstrapping day where everything fell apart yesterday so there was no other choice today but to start from scratch and move on.

Okay the entire previous paragraph needed to be expressed. I realize it makes no sense to anyone but, hey, no one is reading this anyway. I know.

Today was a longer swim day than I had done in the previous two weeks. After a 300 warmup, I did 500 nonstop with flipturns, followed by 5 sets of 300 (150 moderate, 50 kick, 50 backstroke, and 50 hard). The 500 nonstop was easy, but as I got to the end of my 5 sets I noticed I was very much out of gas. I blame my nutrition.

A good breakfast for me is a bowl of Cheerios or Oatmeal and maybe a banana with a good dose of water with coffee. I only had coffee and almonds because I was distracted all morning. I didn't bring any Gatorade or anything to the gym either. I also didn't eat well last night and went to bed hungry so my tank was empty. This has happened before and I suffered in the workout today. I still finished and did fine, but I learned the important lesson of sticking to good nutrition before and after training.

Song in My Head - Best...Song...Ever. I was in the supermarket after the gym and heard Desert Moon by Dennis DeYoung, former lead singer of Styx. I swear to God I had to stop myself from turning to the guy next to me and talking to him about this song. We had just got MTV when this came out in 1984/85 and they played this song ALL THE TIME. Awesome video as well I think I have heard this song three times since it was on the radio. Watching it again rules. Thank goodness for Youtube. Today is looking much better than yesterday.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Long May I Run

Hey new and old readers. I am expecting a little bump in traffic. Hopefully the Blogspot servers don't crash. According to Google Analytics the vast majority of my hits come from me, but I am getting the word out there gradually and mingling in the blog world a little more, so perhaps I will have a few more regulars. For those of you reading for the first time, please come back, also leave a comment. Its nice to get them. In addition, a good way to keep up with additional posts is to feed it into Facebook or to get a reader such as Netvibes. Once you get hooked up you can add my blog and be notified whenever there is a new post.

Monday was my long run day. I have been complaining for the last few weeks on how much my long runs have been killing me. Today was going to be a 90 minute run so I was expecting a little more of the same. Fortunately it was a great day. I set out of the house on my usual, hilly course. My heartrate was a lot lower than usual, I got pretty far out and found a golf course to run around, by the time I exited, I was a lot further out than expected and made my way back home. I arrived home in 105 minutes, which I am guessing was about 10 miles.

My legs were sore but strong. I even kicked it pretty hard for the last half mile so I feel my legs are starting to come around. This was the longest training run I have ever completed and amounts to just under the distance I have to run in the race. With that as a guide I think I am in decent shape for at least finishing with nine months to go. I was certainly encouraged by today.

In addition, my 6 boxes of Mallomars. For those of you who have never been to the Tri-State Area, Mallomars are the greatest cookie ever made. They are popular in New York and the surrounding suburbs and virtually nonexistent any where else in the country. There is a good article on them here. In Washington, they are impossible to find. So I had to go onto to get them. But they are here and I have 6 boxes (whoops 5).

Song in my head - "Down About It" by Lemonheads. This is off their 1994 album, Come On Feel The Lemonheads. I am learning this on guitar now so I am getting closer to learning all of the songs from this album on acoustic. My life then will be complete.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Resting My Case

Today is my official rest day of the week. When I last posted, I was not looking forward to Friday and dreading my Saturday workouts.

They actually went very well. To back up, I think I was suffering from some winter doldrums, which I am still in. It is cold and miserable here in the Pac Northwest, the sun rises at 7:30 and sets at 5 and there seems to be no time or energy to do anything. So to change my perspective, I threw on some Hawaiian music, swam, and basically had a little summer in January.

The swim went great. I had two sets of 500s plus 1000 in various warmup sets and whatnot. Did the 500s with flipturns with no problems. I have the timing down pretty well and I am learning to execute the turn with the perfect body position and streamline out properly. It is still tiring over 500 but any other distance is cake.

The next day I got up at 5:30, stared at the wall for 45 minutes, put my clothes on, and hit the Foothills trail for 2 hours followed by a 15 minute run. The ride went very well for my second time outside this winter. I was bundled well this time so no worries. My fitness was sluggish at first, but the second hour called for a few pickups so I sprinted on virtually every straightaway. It really made the ride fly by and I was happy with my speed.

To say I am beyond my fitness from last year is an understatement. I am doing well and trying to recover as best as possible. We'll see how next week goes.

Song in my head - Luchini by Camp Lo. This was a big song when I was DJing in college. I must've wasted $1000 on worthless CDs back then, easily, before Itunes. This was one of them.

Friday, January 23, 2009

When Will The Pain End?

If you read this paragraph you are required to leave a comment. I am trying to figure out who reads this blog beyond just the basic Google Analytics. I don't care who you are and if you want to remain anonymous. Just leave a few words (in any language). Feel free to suggest a band (preferably melodic and pop-y), a cool product or anything to let me know this blog is not an internet black hole.

This a pre-workout posting because I am having a difficult time getting into the pool today. Very sore from yesterday. The muscles around my hips, and quads and everything are killing me. I am beginning to wonder if this is what my training experience will be like forever.

In my younger days when I trained for hockey or boxing, I would have a few weeks of soreness while getting fit for the sport, but then I would reach a plateau of feeling pretty good. That plateau has not come yet. I keep telling myself that I was in horrible shape last year and this base-building period is necessary to acclimate my body for the new level of fitness I am pursuing. If so, I apparently was very very far away from Half-Ironman fitness.

Today I swim. I wish my lifestyle would accommodate midnight workouts because that seems to be the time of day that I am most ready to embrace a workout. When I wake up again, my first thought is usually related to skipping or how I will fit the workout in around family, or whether I can hit the snooze again. It's now 9:30 and I am gradually getting around to embracing the idea of fighting with obnoxious kids in the pool's locker room, the frigid temperature of the pool the first 5 minutes after you jump in, 2 500s with flipturns which sap my oxygen, and the sleepy feeling I have for the rest of the day. And swim days are my easiest days.

I've been trying to get my head into a different space...more of a winner's headspace I guess. To paraphrase Lawrence of Arabia, the key is not so much the pain it's "not minding" the pain. Either that or I could tell myself its just a f*cking movie. I read a cool article by Mark Allen talking about the mental aspects of the race and how to think like a champion. So maybe I just have to spend a little more time on this in my own head.

Song(s) in my head - To change pace a bit I'm choosing a couple songs from 70's Hawaii band Kalapana. If you ever go to Oahu, you will most likely hear some really cheesy Hawaiian easy listening music kinda like Somwhere Over the Rainbow by Iz. A really good band in that genre is Kalapana, whose great songs include The Hurt, Nightbird, and the Hall and Oates cover When the Morning Comes. Check out KINE. At least once an hour is a Kalapana song. Puts you in that relaxed, Hawaiian state of mind. I certainly need it today. Well if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go get some Hawaiian Sun Lilikoi and a bowl of Saimin and go swimming.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Riding Alone Where the Buffalo Roam

I took yesterday off and rested and worked. Trying to squeeze as much rest into the base building phase without killing my fitness. So I have been resting outright on mild days while I am still pretty much constantly sore.

Today was a bike run brick which I was by no means skipping. I had been dying to get outside but hadn't been able to for one reason or the other. Once I get my bike on my car I am set, it is just a matter of getting from couch to car that is the problem.

Today was damn cold and nearly turned around about 10 times in the first 15 minutes during the ride. But I gutted the warmup out and was left with the final 45 minutes back to the start. The trail I used was really cool. It had been damaged in the flooding we had last week but the sights and sounds were awesome especially near the trailhead. I saw buffalo, rode through ice and moss and mud, and had a blast. One day I will write about how much more fun it is to ride outside.

I followed that up with the run, which, as well, was damn cold. I ran four miles. The first was basically me dragging myself at a pace not much faster than walking. I finally got fed up with myself and started moving out of sheer boredom and an urge to finish the run. I am pretty sure I was running in the 8:30-9:30 range when all was said and done. That's a good pace for me and I am going to use that as a guideline.

I go outside on Saturday as well and am very much looking forward to it. The roads are still dodgy and it is freaking freezing but well worth it in the end.

Song in my head: None, it is just ice. I'll think of one later.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A New Day

Today was Tuesday and I am in the middle of a busy week at work and home and in the gym. I got a good swim in today. It was very short at 1800 yards but the reps within the main set were longish at 300 yds each. I did them with flipturns, which, as all of my reader(s) know, scare, intimidate, annoy, and nearly kill me. The 4 300s went very well and I had some good energy and completed them quickly. The flipturns are starting to get tighter and faster. I am starting to think about my form and improving them. That is exciting because my goal in the pool is to get really strong in training.

I've touched on this before, that I realize flipturns mean nothing in the race. yes I get it. But I am not interested in getting faster in my race this year. At least I am not interested in killing myself to beat my 42 minute time. I am interested in becoming a better swimmer wholistically. To me, that means getting better in training and in the pool. I feel that an improvement as a swimmer in training will translate to better performance in the water. Besides I would like to avoid the pool as mch as possible this summer. Therefore I am sure I will have plenty of time to work on my open water speed.

That was a little bit of a rant and probably made no sense, but hey, no one reads this anyway.

Song in my head: For posterity sake, they inaugurated the new President today. I thought the speech was really good although I usually don't lean too much one way or another. But I will recommend Bring It On Home To Me by Sam Cooke, the best song R&B ever written, bar none.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Model Numbers

Back at it after some scheduling conflicts that made it difficult to shoehorn in my workout this weekend. Briefly, I skipped Thursday because I was tired but did it on Friday because Friday I could not cycle outside and was sick of cycling inside. Saturday I had to furniture shop all day and all night in Hell among other places because my daughter's crib has been recalled. All you childless readers prepare yourself for recalls, refunds, and store credits by saving your model numbers. Something I own apparently kills someone like once a month.

Hey that's a great idea for a website. A place to register your product so you are notified when they inevitably gets re-called.

Today was a 60 minute run of a little over 6 miles. I finished it pretty strongly. Last two miles were tough, other four were simple. Legs are getting there. I am actually starting to look forward to the 13 mile run now. I am doing a run focused routine now, which is exactly what I needed.

Tomorrow I swim. I'm looking forward to it.

Song in my head - It's About Time by my hero Evan Dando and Lemonheads. Be sure to check out a very young Angelina Jolie at the beginning of the video. I've been leaning it on guitar. It's easy. Buy their 2006 self-titled album, it's awesome.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

My, My, My, It's A Beautiful World

This post is not about triathlon training. I am going to talk music because, sarcastically speaking, I feel that my one or two readers NEED to know my thoughts.

If you are between the ages of 33-45, the day your town got cable was the greatest day of your adolescence. In my case I was about 7. It usually marked the day you watched MTV around the clock. MTV was all videos back then with few commercials. When you would watch a show, people would immediately turn to MTV during commercials and then back to their show. In the early days (pre-84), 3 bands dominated MTV: The Police, Duran Duran, and Men At Work. The last one, seems to have developed the image as a joke because their videos were a little wacky. Well after seeing a tape of them headlining 83's US Festival, I have revisited The Men and Colin Hay and can highly recommend his solo stuff.

My favorite album for the past year has been Once Again by John Legend. With the exception of a couple blah tracks the album is as strong as can be. There are classic hits such as Save Room, PDA (We Just Don't care), Again, a very cool Motown-sound with Each Day Gets Better, and many others. I enjoyed it so much he was added to my shortlist of "artists whose albums I buy the second they are released no questions asked". It's a rare list that includes Evan Dando and Lemonheads, J. Mascis and Dinosaur Jr., and Badly Drawn Boy.

That was until I bought and listened to his new album Evolver which pretty much sucks. He better watch out because there is no more fickle a consumer than Hip Hop/R&B fans. Name one artist aside of Jay-Z (and Puffy doesn't count) that was big 10 years ago that still has a huge following today. Apparently he was too busy being famous or being a pretty lucky guy. Well anyway, Evolver was really rushed out and could have used another year of polishing. And why not? People were still being turned on to Once Again, they were still releasing videos. Bottom line, the album was very clumsy, unremarkable, bloated, soulless, and just whatever. My guess is they wanted to release something in 2008, had a couple hits in the can with Green Light and Obama's puke-inducing-Man-In-The-Mirror-WannaBe campaign song If You're Out There so they felt they needed to release the album and all would be well. Well it's not. Avoid Evolver and listen to Once Again, once again.

Song in my head - One of the one's above.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Only The Lonely Can Play

I read somewhere that Tuesdays are the most productive day of the week. See on Mondays, you are just getting into the swing of things, and all the other days everybody's workin' for the weekend. My training schedule is no different, so it seems. My biggest area of improvement is the run, and thus have my long runs scheduled for Tuesdays.

Today was 90 minutes of going around in circles at a "conversational" pace (i.e. 10 minute miles). Today I had the added pleasure of watching my daughter's gymnastics class as the track had a window into the gym where she trained.

I am gradually getting my legs back. I am sure experienced triathletes and anyone else reading this would be thinking "enough already". I am seeing slight improvement week after week, but my "in-shapedness" is coming slower than expected. I guess I have to think of the winter as a sloooooooowwwwwww build of strength and endurance. I will see improvement eventually but it will take time, perserverence, and patience.

Good news is, I am really happy with my swim progress from yesterday. I don't get winded in the water whatsoever anymore on long sets and my flipturns are just something I do now. They are no longer extremely difficult. I think have the opportunity to be really strong in training and in the water this summer. Looking forward to the journey.

Song in My Head - Harden My Heart by the Pacific Northwest's own Quarterflash. Do you think the guy on the far right is mad at the cameraman or te person that made him wear that outfit? For the life of me I will never know whether they were a ripoff of The Motels or vice versa.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Long swim and Chris Daughtry

I took it easy this weekend. Friday was a skip day. Saturday was an easy ride and Sunday was another skip. I think I was pretty stressed out physically last week. I'd like to think I recovered nicely this weekend and am ready for the week. Today's swim was nice and long. I hit the pool warmed up nicely and did a bunch of long sets of 400s and 300s with a pull buoy and without. I used flipturns on my sets and felt great doing so. One of the sets ran into the other so I did it as a long set with flipturns. Therefore I did a 400 into a 300 with all flipturns. Normally that would leave me winded, but I did it with little problems.

My swim is coming along great. My shoulder is a little bit of a concern. All you long time fans of this blog will recall I had lots of shoulder pain last year and skipped a few months because of the soft tissue pain. I am trying to avoid that problem this year by focusing on proper form, and stretching out the muscle.

Song in my head - Right Now by SR-71 for for some unbelievable reason couldn't find a good youtube clip for learning this on guitar NOR a good photo of the band. But lead singer Mitch Allan wrote songs for Chris Daughtry who has plenty of awful pictures of him.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Spazzing Out on the Swim

I'm not doing my scheduled run tomorrow. There I said it. My coach has been looking at my workout log and suggested that I might not be recovering from my workouts as quickly as I should be, since I am complaining of my legs being "mushy" etc. I think I am walking the line between "pushing myself to get in better shape" and "overdoing it." Yesterday was really tough, and followed another really tough day. Today was a tough swim and easy bike ride. But tomorrow is a skip (it should be a 30 minute run). I got a busy work day anyway so I am going to back of, rest, do some pushups and core and get ready for Saturday.

Today was a 2500 yd swim consisting of a 400 yd warm up, followed by a pyramid of sorts. I started with 3 50s, 3 100s, then 2 150s, 2 200s, and 2 150s followed by 3 100s, and 3 50s. All at a hard pace and with flipturns. The swim for me is my strength, but the workouts leave me very sleepy. I am proud of myself for pushing through the workout. Although my muscles were staring to spaz out in the water. It was weird. I felt my left foot seize, the my right, and then some kid came in my lane causing me to stop short and both my legs tightened up like crazy. Regardless, it made me very fulfilled at the end to finish.

I think with a little rest tomorrow, I will be able to head into Saturday fresh and tackle next week with a good level of commitment.

Song in my head - "You Are My Sunshine" and More Than Words because I am learning them on guitar. I am "EXTREMEly envious of Nuno Nettencourt's hair I will accept all suggestions of songs to learn.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Old Man is Snoring

Long day today. My daughteralarmlclock went off at 5:30. So I got up, changed diaper, made bottle, stared at the TV which was off, made coffee (or maybe I didn't) I forget, and headed into the office. I am taking of a few new projects at work that are really exciting but scary at the same time so my mind races like crazy at night. Today was a 30 minute run in the pouring rain, and an hour long bike ride that I did inside.

I was able to get hooked up with Google Chrome and Netvibes today. It's like a whole new world has opened up for me.

Yesterday's long run was great on one level. I finished it. But my routine is really challenging so nothing is coming easy. The good news is, I am training for the run harder than I have before, I am getting great swims in with little stress, and I am learning a lot more on the bike. Bad news is really just the constant level of fatigue in my legs. I am pretty certain that this is all just contributing to a greater base of fitness. As long as I stay injury-free I should see the other side of this fairly soon. If this works, I see nothing preventing me from working on my speed this spring and being ready to race this summer.

I read a great article on my favorite triathlon-related site today Slowtwitch regarding preparing for the winter months. It really focused me on what I need to accomplish this winter. Today I put that to good use and worked on my cadence for the bike. I made the gear really low (or is it high? basically I made the gear easy) and tried to sustain a high cadence throughout. It felt awesome, I went much faster than I was used to with less effort. I am going to start focusing on cadence, form, and my revolutions on the indoor trainer from now on and use my stopwatch to keep time. A really eye-opening experience.

This blog is starting to get good so stick around and feel free to leave comments. If you have a blog let me know and I'll go to it and do the same.

Song in my head - Just Got Lucky by JoBoxers. I saw the video on an old MTV clip of a Motley Crue interview and had completely blocked any memory of this song out of my head. I can vaguely recall this from MTV though. I remember when we first got MTV, I used to watch it morning, noon, and night and they played a lot of great obscure stuff like this. How this is never on one of those One Hit Wonder compilations? I love the "Come On Eileen" wannabee video. What was up with the video directors back then?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

In the poo

Woke up a half-hour late today. No reason. Other than couldn't fall asleep last night. Work is getting ridunkulously busy (good). So my mind is racing. I am very much a night person. Always have been.

This blog may pehaps be getting more better so stay tuned.

I ran an hour today on the indoor track. I felt really good for the first 45 minutes. I was at a conversational pace. I must be really slow right now because I was passed by everyone else running. Granted very few people were going 5-6 miles, but I certainly would have like to pass a very people who were, you know, running. Instead everyone walking and over 70 had to eat my dust. My legs are starting to come around slowly but surely. I have reached the point yet where I feel I am in shape. But I guess that is the way everyone feels at this time of year. The more in more in shape I get, the more I realize how out of shape I was last year and before that.

I like the routine of a long Tuesday run. It is my most productive day of the week (and everyone else's statistically speaking). And the run is the area that has the biggest room for improvement in my racing. My mindset at this point is, I have the potential to turn in a very fast swim. I should be "in shape" for my ride, and if all goes well, I should be able to running strongly and steadily. I was watching Kona 2009 again and Craig Alexander looked so fluid and strong running. That is what I hope for.

Song in my head during the run - some awful Christian pop/punk garbage (sometime I hate living in urban sprawl Americana). That music is not heavenly whatsoever, so therefore I will substitute it with a punk band that has a singer that can actually sing so I choose Rise Against doing "The Good Left Undone"

Monday, January 5, 2009

Day 2: MUP

Day 2 7:54 - I'm up. 'mup. MUP!!!! Thanks to my lovely almost ten month old daughter, I did not need an alarm clock today. Instead I was able to feed and change my Ainsley twice between 6:36 and 6:46 AM. I was able to get up, get some Cheerios, make some coffee, watch a few seconds of the 2008 Kona telecast, and make a few calls to the East coast all before 8. With all three girls back in bed I can now get into gear. Now I just don't know what to do with myself.

Today is a relatively easy day, but not that easy. I have a 2500 yd swim and nothing else before my hour long run tomorrow. It appears that this may be a lighter load than previous weeks in preparation for more stuff next week. I am still very tired physically. My legs are dead, and every day is a new area of soreness. Today my groins are sore as hell and I have no idea why. I usually feel that way after hockey. Maybe it's just the morning and I'm cranky.

If anyone in triathlon-land has a legal, non-chemical way of recovering from long runs and bikes and swims that take place six out of seven days per week I would appreciate it. If your suggestion comes in powder form and is produced by a company called "such and such Nutition" don't bother, I tried it and it doesn't work. I wonder what the pros do (other than genetic doping).

This may be my last day doing a morning post. I am in such a better mood at the end of the day.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Day One of New Year's Resolution

7:23 AM So my first day putting the Resolution of getting up before 7 is in full effect...and I'm a mess. It's such a simple, dumb goal but it has been a long time coming and is difficult (as witnessed by the shock that I am in right now). Today is best day to start this because it is a Sunday (my rest day) and everyone is not supposed to be up for a few hours so I have a couple hours to mope around the house like a zombie.

The goal is really about getting the balance back in my life as a Dad, real estate guy, and age group triathlete hoping to break 5:30 this summer. I've noticed trying to balance all three of these has become impossible and 1 or 2 of these has suffered. Dad always comes first for certain. But I have been have a difficult time shoe-horning my workouts in during day hours especially since runs require daylight and it begins to get dark at 4:30. There are a thousand other reasons but the simplest is there are just not enough hours in the day to complete long triathlon workouts if they are done during the middle of the day between work and kids, etc. Finally I have a few work things to get going and now is the best time, so I need a few hours to myself during the day without the kids running in and out of my office all day.

Well I am starting to get all my workouts in anyways and my body is just starting to get acclimated to the workload. I write this at a time however when I can't move a muscle. Yesterday was the culmination of a hard week where I did an hour long bike followed immediately by a 30 minute run. I am just drained today and need to get some energy in my body ASAP. The day before I completed my longest swim of the season so far and did fairly well the same day that I did an hour and fifteen minute bike ride. Good news is, my legs are getting there. Bad news is. I need about six days worth of sleep. I hope to catch up today with Ainsley asleep this afternoon and would like to get to bed early tonight. If that goes as planned I should be ready for another week of workouts.

No song in my head because my head is still asleep.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Happy New Year

This blog is not dead. It was only resting for the holidays. In addition, my 2009 training plan is not dead either. But just barely. The races are so far away I haven't even signed up for them yet. But I will, trust me. Thanks to the good people at and D3Multisport, I am now emailed my workouts each and every day and I get feedback and input from their coaches. It falls into the category of "keeping me honest" and will really help me in the upcoming season. Some of the workouts are really hard and kill me the next day, but in this "base-building" time of year I am glad to be putting in lots of miles so that I will have plenty in the tank this summer.

New Years resolutions are: 1) get up early (7 at latest) and either begin work or workout - This really escaped my grasp as the kids started staying up later and the holidays took hold. I was forced to workout during lunchtime hours which filtered into worktime hours which killed my days. This sounds like a simple resolution but everything in my life that I need to adjust filters through this. Therefore if I can prioritize this I will be on track to accomplish all of my other personal goals. 2) Blog at least twice a week. The blog has always been a good diary for my training. It really helps focus me. If I procrastinate the blogging it usually means I am procrastinating in all other areas of my life.

A little bit of training housekeeping - I am all set for the winter since I bought myself some heavy winter running/cycling pants, a refelctive jacket for outside running and a Polar RS200 heartrate monitor. These are important training tools that help me get out there in the winter months and keep an eye on how hard I am working. I am thankful I have them and plan on putting them to good use.

Today is a tough Saturday brick that I must complete after a tough swim/bike day yesterday and in advance of my day off tomorrow. Looking forward to the rest tomorrow and I will update you on how I am progressing tomorrow. Happy New Year.

Song in my head - It's a Mistake by Men at Work. I saw the documentary of them at the US Festival this weekend. They headlined in front of 300,000 people. Unreal.