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.