Thursday, December 27, 2007

No Tri Christmas for me...yet

I got nothing tri related at all. I did get one pair of workout pants, but I took them back. My wife and I decided not to give each other much, although I seemed to take this idea further than she did. Nonetheless, I expect I will buy myself a bike computer like the one Craig got soon. Amy was looking at some online, and I suggested I wanted a number of features including cadence speed, so it sounds like Craig got what I wanted. Of course Matt's doesn't look too shabby either. I'll wait 'til we get paid again and try to join the trend. I think I would like a nice pair of cold-weather running/biking pants, but I'm not sure I want to lay out the cash for those. Although I think I could easily save that much money by turning down the heat in the house and wearing my new pants all the time. What else do I need? New running shoes, new bike would be cool, and time to manufacture my swimming apparatus for the 2008 Tango. That's all I want! I guess I will have all summer to work on the swimming stuff, so I'm really only talking about three things. Santa? Where are you now?

Tri Xmas

The coolest new toy is the Polar Power meter for the bike. Works with my current watch, bought used on eBay.
Along the same line I got a couple Spinervals Videos. Between these two things I hope I will become motivated to sit on the bike in the basement staring at my watch or TV while spinning away. I have #1 No Slackers Allowed and #3 Suffer o Rama. Sounds like fun right?
I also upgraded from my AquaSphere mask to some normal speedo goggles.
I wore these goggles to Friday's swim class. I took the mask along in case the goggles didn't work out. There were no troubles, hardly noticed the difference to be honest.
My Lycra/spandex "superman" Speedo Jammers were starting to wear out (I'll spare you the details). Chlorine was too much for it I guess. So this time I decided to buy something I hope will last longer, although I don't think it's as slippery a suit. Endurance Jammers. These are polyester and feel rougher but this won't be a race suit anyhow.
I'm also guessing I got about 3 pounds of unwanted weight but those shouldn't stick around too long.... I hope.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

I will go First - Best Tri Present

Cycle Computer, wireless, hope it works well. Km/h, Total time, pace, etc and Cadence. I will be very excited to get it on the bike and check out the Cadence piece.

Nice seeing Matt & Others at his Genine's Mom & Dads. Big news was wedding date for Jerry. Thought Shawn would want to know, August 9 for Jerry & Michelle. Of course if we don't get wedding invites this may be premature celebrating. :)

Scott, sorry it was your year in Pittsburgh. Looked forward to ribbing you. Hope you had a Merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

PSU Tri Club

I was looking at ways to amp up my training next semester so I could do better in the Mooseman, and thought my best bests were to join the Master's swim and the PSU Triathlon Club. I was hesitant to join last semester because I didn't have any extra time, so I wasn't sure what I could get out of it. But I looked again today, and I discovered that the coach of the club is Paul Fritzsche. He's pretty good. Here's his website: He normally does the MedExpress Mountaineer too, Craig.

He's a professional triathlete, and a Penn State grad, so I am thinking it would be cool to have access to such a knowledgeable guy for a mere $20 fee of joining the club. Maybe I could go on some rides or runs too, though looking at the pictures of all the kids, I fear I will be left in the dust. Then again, maybe they will push me. I think I have to at least go to the meetings next semester and maybe do a tri or two with them. They take the whole group to things. It would be cool to expand our knowledge acquisition activities so we might benefit further.

I am beat today. Did the weightlifting, running, biking triathlon of my own design. It kicked my butt.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Giving Season

One thought before Christmas and since it is the giving season, we had discussed doing the Mooseman not only for our own self satisfaction but as a money maker for a charitable donation. I think we have a fairly unique story about this journey. I think our friends and families would be honored to sponsor us in such an endeavor especially if we have a good charity to help.

I guess I will ask two questions:

Do we have an interest (I volunteer to organize)?

Secondly, who or whom may we want to do it for?

If you have strong feelings, let me know. I think we should get moving on our homework in January to give us and other time to think about supporting us.

Here were two links Matt wrote about the idea back in January. Gives you a little history about the idea.

Matt has a point in the blog about donating directly to a Dr. If he doesn't have a tax ID as a charitable donation it may be tough to get companies to donate, but I like the money going more directly to a cause we believe in.

Please let your thoughts flow free.

Gifts / Warren / Thanks/ Final third

Looking forward to hearing about the gifts next week.
I know I need to upgrade my goggles and Jammers but to be honest I'm waiting to see a post from Craig with "NEW BIKE" as the title.

At the moment we are planning on being in Warren from Saturday afternoon until Thursday. If you have some free time, give a call at the Johnson's or try my cell (spotty service in Warren). I'm hoping to do some swimming and running while we are there. Gotta offset the cheesecake!

I also wanted to thank everyone for an awesome year. I've got to be in the best cardio health of my entire life. I appreciate the camaraderie on this forum, it's been very helpful keeping my focus and interest.

Mooseman is less than 25 weeks away, 1/3 of the original countdown. Keep focused and don't let the weather slow you down! Plenty of time left to improve! Rah Rah Rah. Har Har Har.

Happy Holidays

Monday, December 17, 2007

Seasonal topic

Since it seems like all topics are a go on this blog,......any of you suffer from runner's nipple? That's right. I ran 10 miles last Tuesday in 34 degree temps with a persistant drizzle/rain and wind that provided optimal conditions for the bilateral runner's nipple.

This must be one of the most painful injuries of the sport. Showering,...ugh!!!

There's a study for you? Do women get this type of pain form breast feeding? I certainly hope not. My friend asked if I'd heard of the new invention called Band-aids? But as some of you on this blog know ( i won't mention names), when you have a hairy chest, there is not a band aid
in the world that will stick.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Marathon Training

Craig you might want to get in on this
Marathon Training


I was in Morgantown Wednesday for a Math Field day for Maddy, so I took a walk down to the bike shop. Had him pull the GIANT Trinity off the wall. Very cool. It is the 2008 Time Trial Bike. I also looked at the GIANT TCR. Same frame style but not a Time Trial geometry. The dude at the shop said I would be happier with a non-time trial. We were talking and he asked How good of a biker are you anyway question. I think to see if it was worth his time to show me a 1,713 Euro bike. I told him my speed in the Tri in Morgantown, and what bike I was riding. Without even a hesitation he said "Man, on this bike you could 40.23 Kph". I said no, I probably could not do that. He came right back with "You would be amazed, especially if you are cranking almost 32.19 Kph on that Schwinn." So, He is one of three things, a liar, way to optimistic, or he wants to sell me a bike at all costs. Of course he was talking me into a 959 Euro bike, so I am confused about his motives. Ultimately, he said if I came back when it wasn't raining and 3.33 degrees Celsius that I could test ride and choose the Cannondale anyways.

This all being said, I went to EBAY to try to find my dream bike. Not as easy as you would think. I did find this link.

I know the pricing is confusing on this link. He is asking 649 Euro for the bike, so don't work too hard to convert the whole US $ thing. It comes in a box, so I am assuming some assembly may be required. Of course I don't feel complete unless I own things that need worked on, so this is brand new and needs worked on, perfect. The Ultegra components and DuraAce stuff is what has me intrigued. The frame is only Aluminum, but does have Carbon forks. I guess even if I don't like the frame, I could always move the components over to a different frame. I don't think I could buy all the parts minus the frame for this price.

We will see. I really like this whole Metric thing. Speeds look faster, my weight looks lighter, cold temperatures seem more extreme, and Tamara is going to love the prices I quote her.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Insurance pays for Gym

Here is the deal through my Health Insurance:
Type of Service - General: We will partially reimburse the subscriber and the subscriber's covered spouse for certain exercise facility fees or membership fees but only if such fees paid to facilities which maintain equipment and programs that promote cardiovascular wellness.
This is only covered for the subscriber and the subscriber's spouse. In order to be eligible for reimbursement, the member must complete 50 visits in a six-month period.
Type of Service - Inplan: The member will be reimbursed the lesser of $200 or the actual cost of the membership per six-month period.

You would think I did that and more. Sadly no. Vacations and being sick took a few weeks out, and I only go to the Y to swim. Maybe I'll add running to the Y to my run plan. I'll run in just to sign in. I don't think that would be cheating the system. Would it?


I finally took a few minutes to check out Craig's 2Peak data, and saw these guys cranking out over 300 watts for the entire bike of the Ironman, which is over 4 hours long. I wanted to see what that felt like. I forgot to add that the guy Craig references did this while maintaining a steady HR of around 140, right where I want to be for my race pace eventually. Well, suffice it to say that I am not going to be setting the bike course record at the Ironman. I put the exercise bike at the Y on Watts and tried a number of different combinations of cadence and resistance to see what kind of wattage I could generate. I was able to get up to nearly 400 by pushing hard with pretty high resistance, but that was not something I could do for long. That's essentially sprinting on the bike, though I was still seated. What I ended up doing was averaging around 210 watts for the 36-minute bike ride, maintaining an average cadence of about 100. I did a section later in the ride where I held an 85 cadence with higher resistance, which output about 240 watts continuously. I'm not sure if I could've kept that up, but it felt okay. This would be fun to do day after day, trying to find the perfect combination, as this would answer the cadence + gearing question, assuming, of course, that we all have the same crank length, which Craig and I shouldn't by race time (although we probably still will). I suppose there is a kinesiology study to be done here (hint Jim?), if no one has actually answered the crank length + cadence + resistance question yet. Since different crank sizes are hard to come by, it may be kinda moot for real world application, but maybe we could change that by showing that there is an advantage to longer cranks for people with longer legs. Makes a lot of sense to me. This would change bike geometry and soon the world!

Anyway, I would like to up my average output on the bike, but we all know that running is where the action is, so I have to keep plugging away at that. Losing weight will not aid in increasing power output on the bike, but it will reduce the required watts needed to move my wide load up the hills. 240 watts isn't gonna be close to the good guys, no matter what I weigh, so I guess I need to improve that too.

The good news in all this is: I am feeling confident I can finish the race. And that is a victory in itself.

The Zen, Chi, & Yoga approach to Tri' ing

So I looked up Total Immersion website too see if I can get some more info. I have determined that I have to go to the pool for six hours and not swim. At the end of this time I will be World Class or at least NCAA Divsion 3 All-American in the 1000Meter Free. :)

So, TI guy is constantly referring to Yoga and Yoga Breathing. So I have thought that my Presbyterian (Puritan) view of the world would make me a hard enough worker to achieve something in triathlons, but it appears the Far East has something to say on that. I apologize in advance if I inadvertently offend your religion, remember I didn't have my kids name a Teddy Bear or something (isn't funny no one ever writes a book about the Islamic way of working out). I did not know I would have to become an expert in World Religions to finish triathlons.

The TI book uses Yoga pretty good. He talks about Yoga breathing. Which is fine. He also talks about balance and essentially finding inner peace about being in the water, which can kill you, so anxieties could come up. So from Wikipedia (which is my current expert on all unknown areas in my life) , "There are numerous opinions on what the goal of Yoga may be, although generally they involve some kind of union, either of a personal or a non-personal nature". Pretty good I can handle that.

Well the TI website also has Tri Training seminars in conjunction with Chi Running. From the ChiRunning website "ChiRunning combines modern physics with the ancient wisdom of T’ai Chi to create a running form that is easily learned and makes running more effortless and enjoyable." Well that is great, what is T'ai Chi. Unless I got it wrong, it is, once again from WIKI,"In Chinese philosophy the yin and yang (simplified Chinese: 阴阳; traditional Chinese: 陰陽; pinyin: yīnyáng) are generalized descriptions of the antitheses or mutual correlations in human perceptions of phenomena in the natural world, combining to create a unity of opposites in the theory of the Taiji."
Ah, the paradoxical opposite philosophy with Harmony as the core, or union.

They also are trying to set up TI seminars with Zendurance for cycling. Zen, now isn't that the same as Yin & Yang. It's not taught in school and not in the bible. So, back to Wiki, "Zen ( or ) is a school of Mahāyāna Buddhism notable for its emphasis on practice and experiential wisdom—particularly as realized in the form of meditation known as zazen—in the attainment of awakening. As such, it de-emphasizes both theoretical knowledge and the study of religious texts in favor of direct individual experience of one's own true nature." Oh, Buddha. not so much harmony now, but more about how I feel about it or relativism. I may read too much into this, so here is my theory.

Swim - Yoga style - means breathing in union with my stroke which is in union with my hips as my arms are weightless and my buoy (lungs) are being forced down to make the rest of my body rise, in harmony.

Bike - Zen Style - Get a big gut(may be the offensive part), practice or experiment how to ride my bike, don't pay any attention to theory (Shawn likes that, Mr. Honharts chemistry class), but ride on my own true knowledge (nature) of my own experiences, it still burns and hurts.

Run - Chi Style - If my left leg goes up my right leg must go down. Right arm forward, left arm back. Blink my left eye, eyelid open on my right, just kidding. Do this with the right motions to avoid injury. I can't figure out what the Yang of my running fast (Yin) would be. Is it running slow or is it walking. Maybe it is lying down.

In conclusion, I probably have helped no one, but I was toying with getting ChiRunning, & Zendurance, but if the books have me astro projecting I am out of there.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Google Search

Try these searches:
mooseman 2008
Kinzua Tango

Yes, our blog is near the top of the list for these searches. About a month ago I put a site meter on our blog to see what kind of traffic we get. You can check it out. It's at the bottom of the page.

Let me know if anyone ever prefers to make this blog private. It's simple to do.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


Question for Jim or others, I think you mentioned a definitive book on running. I am looking for efficiency stuff so let me know about books on running.

I am going to use physics to win the Clydesdale division at the Mooseman, and I don't want to leave anything on the table. I figure Swimming without my hands and legs will save 30% of my energy, I have calculated by being more stream line I will increase my efficiency by 20%. So a total of 50% more savings in energy. The next calculation is I will gain about 20% by getting a Time Trial bike, and another 10% by riding my bike slower.

So this totals me to 80% more efficient. If I can squeak 20% out of the run I can quit training altogether. Based on the article I saw the other day I use less energy running fast so it appears I will have excess energy at the end with a faster time. At very most I may have to train 10% of the time I use too just to make you guys feel good about yourself or have something to talk about.

Don't pooh-who my math, I know it is sound and will not listen to you naysayers.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


I was reading my Total Immersion (TI) Book last night. The whole concept is use less energy to go as fast or faster than you could before you learned to be more slippery. So, I learn this to have more energy to bike & run.

So, how do I keep the energy to run after the bike. I told you about the big dude in the IM, Torbjorn Sindballe. He is a hammering fool on the bike. In 2005 he broke the bike portion record. Above is an article showing his output during the IM and other pros, just for run and bike. It gets complicated looking at the charts, but the paragraph under the first chart sums it up. "Going super fast on the bike is a waste of energy unless the superior speed is the result of superb aerodynamics. "

This essentially what TI is saying. It is a waste of energy to try to swim super fast unless it is the result of better aero(water) dynamics.

It's all physics for the first two stages, then hammer it home on the run, which goes back to my other comments about great bikers/great swimmers only hold their own in tri's, running is the key. This doesn't mean I won't work on the first two, it just means the bang for the buck is in learning to run fast or saving energy for the run.

By the way this is how Mr. Sindballe performed in the two Hawaii tri's he completed. Obviously he theoretically would do better in his second one, but you see he backed off the swim and bike, and got an hour better on the run.
I am looking at the buying a time trial bike. I will use the old schwinn for now, see how the bonus check works out this year and see what I can get.

Monday, December 3, 2007

IM Hawaii on TV last Saturday

I watched the Iron Man Championships on TV Saturday.

I kept track of the the stories.

The Winner, Chris McCormick, 6th year he targeted this race to finally win it. Took 2nd last year. Last years winner dehydrated on the bike and went out early in the run, you got the impression from pre race comments these two guys didn't really like each other, but the guy who dropped out was at the finish to meet the winner and give him a hug.

Women's Winner, can't remember name, had been a British sponsored missionary before picking up tri's, ironically she taught people how to get water to their village, she looked good and was built more feminine than most pro-female triathletes. I say this because looking at her you would not have picked her to win. Her first Hawaii trip.

Third place guy. Big dude by Ironman standards, said he weighs 8 to 10 kg more than most competitors. I assume most competitors are close to 160lbs. This makes him 180+. He was tall and skinny, built a little like me with less in the mid section. He talked about not being able to get the heat off. He wore all white. His shirt was long-sleeve, some type of special material that kept him wet. He also wore what appeared to be knee high socks, he looked a little weird in his get up.

List of human interest:
  • Early 20's kid that almost died five years ago from a nasty car wreck. He finished.
  • Navy Seal doctor, 30 yrs old, finished his 6 IM. He looked the best of the non-pro's they showed.
  • 65 yr old woman. She made it, I believe also won her age group.
  • Dude who had been a rugby player, had lost his legs(below knee) in a car accident. Very stout fellow. Had tried other IM's, finally made it under the time limit. I still think those springs could be an advantage, I also get the impression that good paraplegic athletes are sponsored and have a huge support group, with coaches and such.
  • 65 yr old legally Blind grandfather. Had a young guy with him the whole time. Bicycle built for two, and strapped to the other guy during the run. He almost tripped as he came up the finish ramp, forgot to tell him about the incline, I guess.
  • The pro who finished 4th last year, locked up at mile 10, but refused to quit because he said he would finish unless for a medical reason. He walked the last 10 miles saying that it would show disrespect to the age groupers by not finishing.
  • Heart breaker, when a 40ish Japanese woman didn't make the bike cutoff, by three seconds. They were screaming at her to run across the line but she couldn't get her legs moving after biking. The poor volunteer(race official) that had to tell her she couldn't start her run.
  • Other heart breaker was the 77 yr old nun who didn't make the bike cutoff. I remember her from last year. She has done it 20 times. She opened up the 75-79 age group two years ago. She was the last person to be in before midnight last year.
  • Finally, our inspiration. They showed a guy coming out of the water. I think the term is man-boobs, a lot of flab around his chest. He easily had to be the biggest guy in the race. He was very excited just finishing the swim. The final person they showed finishing this race was him. He was big. I assume over 250lbs, but probably only 5'10". Incredible, because he looked good coming across the line.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Weekend of Workouts

Friday night, Masters Swim Class: I was looking forward to getting back to class. I had missed 2 weeks. Sick/Thanksgiving. Also I had thought I had made some improvements and was looking forward to a good night of swimming. The coach had a different plan. He had us do 10 x 25 sprints 4 different times during the class. Some he wanted us to go "no breath". I learned the hard way you can't hold your breath AT ALL if you want to swim well. So that is my newest focus, relaxed breathing.
This was the hardest class we have had. I left feeling beat up.

Saturday: Tried to run 12 miles, got in 10. I started to tighten up (hamstrings) somewhere about mile 9. So I just ran home. I stretched out and everything was feeling ok, except my legs were very fatigued. I ate a ton at dinner. Then I crashed and was asleep by 9-9:30.

Sunday: Back to the pool. This turned out to be a recovery swim. I put the fins on early and did some kickboard drills to get the blood into the legs. Once they started to feel a bit better, I decided to focus on my breathing and working on the high elbow catch from those videos in the previous post. I also put on the Hydro hip belt and worked on rotation for 200yds.
Lastly here is something new. Sculling for 3 minutes. Basically this is treading water but no legs. Keep them still below you and keep your breathing relaxed. Doing this at the end of class Friday and near the end of today, big time triceps burner. Also oddly enough, the pinky side of my hand is pushed very near to cramping.

So here is the main point of my post. On many of the triathlon forums people ask "what do I need to do differently to run a half iron vs sprints and olympic distance?". The response is usually "You need to be diligent with your diet." Which always sounds to me like you have to watch your weight and not eat junk.
Well after this weekend, I think I now understand what they mean. They mean you need to know how to feed yourself in order to train well and recover well. I guess Jim is the only one on here that has done endurance events. I'm curious to hear how he manages his diet as he ups the mileage.
I mention this because I know Shawn has his eyes on the Tango which is similar to Half Iron, I suppose.
I feel that now that my weekly run mileage is increasing, I'm going to have to start messing with the diet to handle it. That being said, there is snow on the ground today. It might become tougher to become inspired to run outdoors, in the slop.

Also I sent an email to Thad regarding the Tango, I forwarded a copy to the team. Let me know if you didn't receive it.

Swim Videos

These definitely show the stroke. It doesn't seem to be helpful for proper recovery from what I can tell.
High Elbow Catch
Power Stroke
Race Pace Tempo

Now that I've looked at this training Device. I now see what this Video of Ian Thorpe is showing.
Ian Thorpe 1
Ian Thorpe 2
Ian Thorpe 3
Michael Phelps Some of the footage after the race is helpful. I'm trying to find some above water views, to see the high elbow / hand low.
Popov Video
Popov Video 2
Popov Video 3
Popov Video 4 Around the 3rd minute, is a drill where he just keeps his head up. I'll have to look into what that one is all about.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Friday, November 30, 2007

Base Training Article

I felt this article brought some good ideas into focus.
Base Training

Signed UP

I am all signed up for the Mooseman. I don't know if this constitutes the commitment to do it, but now I will lose money if I don't. You can type in the last name of a contestant to verify they are signed up. Matt, you were in there. Shawn & Scott, you were not. The rest of you reprobates (not counting Casey because he has a legitimate excuse), we need to see some action from ya. Of course I only searched myself and the other three people mentioned by name here, so I may have prematurely accused you of things you did or didn't do, but I apologize for nothing.

I am delusional with the euphoria of entering a 16 digit number, with an expiration date and three digit security code after giving them my name, address, phone numbers, age, and division preference (Big Boy division) into a web site that I am pretty sure, probably not the most secure site in the world. They gave me an option to mail it in, but then I have to write a check, address an envelope, ask Tamara where we keep the stamps (1,000th time), have a five minute fight with her about how I don't listen or pay attention, drive to the post office in Pennsylvania because my trust of the West Virginia postal service is quite low, worry that the check makes it and that some person doesn't stick my entry in the top drawer of their desk totally negating the fact I entered with plenty of time and finally hear it from Tamara about wasting a stamp/check, why didn't I just use my credit card, but at least she is glad she doesn't have to pack for a trip to New Hampshire.

So, the way I see it, the identity theft that was caused by me signing up for a triathlon in reality will keep me from going insane, if you can define that I am currently sane, because remember I am doing triathlons. Those that suffer the most do the best, and all will suffer. Inspirational isn't it.

Geo thermal update. Loop is in the ground. Waiting for actual Heat pump, projected delivery before the 15th of December. Still have to run electric to intall site, flush loop, and hook up circulating pump. Hunting season is getting in the way now. Going tomorrow to see if I will be able to get a buck or not. Then next week hunt for the anterless type. I don't shoot Bambi or Bambi's mom because they are fictional characters, plus the meat is good and fits into my whole all natural, non-hormone, antibiotic, free ranging theory. Of course being a vegitarian would save me some cold feet and the cost of clothes and firearms.

All right enough about me, even though I could go on.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Swim Breakthrough?

So I've been trying to figure out what it is I do so well during the sprints vs the distance swims. Coach keeps telling me I get flat and lose my rotation. That may be, but I think that could be part 2 of my problem. I think the first part that goes wrong is my balance point.
When I am fresh, I feel that I am really leaning forward in the water. That keeps my hips and legs up, which allows for much less drag. I think it makes rotation easier as well.
Once I get tired, I lose that feeling of leaning forward and I haven't figured out how to get it back. I do have a couple of ideas tho'. I'll let you know if I figure this out.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Caffeine Free -- Again

Well, I decided to use the week I had off from school over Thanksgiving to get myself drug free again. Matt tried to convince me that Nutrasweet isn't good, and I am inclined to agree, so I decided to go off both caffeine and aspartame, as well as Splenda and any other non-nutritive sweeteners. Surprisingly, it worked. I have felt like tipping over and sleeping where I lie almost the entire week, and still feel like that today, but I do think I'm better off. In an effort to squeeze any remaining toxic molecules from my musculature, I ran 7.4 miles on Saturday, which I think is a new record for me, but that was the extent of my running for the week. I need more regular shorter runs.

I was considering coming up to visit the boys on Saturday, but as Matt mentioned, the gas prices are causing me to reflect on short jaunts like that a lot more. Not only that, but I ran out of heating oil yesterday (Sunday) and they don't deliver on Sundays so we froze all night. At $3.05 a gallon, and with a 500 gallon tank, you can imagine my excitement at hearing this news. Any word on that bio-diesel refinery we're going to build, Craig? Given that it is the Christmas season, every dollar we spend is precious, so I decided to stay at home and try to get some homework done. Sucks to be adults. When did that happen?

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Back From Warren

I'll start by saying, it's disappointing to fill up a VW Diesel Golf and have it cost $40+. Diesel in Warren was $3.65. Amazing!
Fun Weekend of workouts. Went to the Y with my Dad got some laps in. Nothing big but I'm still recovering from that cold. After that I went running with Scott and Jim on the North Warren Trail.
Next day I met up with Jim at the Y to try and give him a few swimming tips. He was with his son once they left I stayed and put some laps in. Did better than the previous day.
Sunday AM I ran the North Warren trail again. This time I made a point of checking my watch against the Stenciled 1/4 mile marks on the trail. I think at the 1.5 mile mark my Polar Watch was at 1.53 miles (not too shabby for accuracy). After that the stenciled marks disappeared.
I had a stop a few times during this run. I was 180+ HR because I was really trying to open up my pace. I was closer to 8 min/mile much of the run but as I said after spending too much time above 180HR I'd walk to get my HR down to 170 before running again.

The other good part of this weekend was I avoided a ton of deserts. I made an exception for my Dad's cheesecake. I also didn't hold back on the Yuenglings!!

Anyhow, Hope everyone else had a great Holiday week!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

8K Day!

So I ran the Philly 8K race today. The weather was pretty cold at first (45 degrees), but once I got going it was fine. The worst part of the morning was waiting in line at the portapotties. The line must have taken 25 minutes to get through. At least I wasn't doing the "gotta go" dance alone. The marathon and half marathon were scheduled to start at 7:00. They had a great announcer whipping everyone into a frenzy for the big start. The Rocky theme was blareing over the PA system. It was a really exciting scene. I'll tell you, those elite runners are incredible. They were like deer running across a field ... effortless and super fast.

So on to my start. There were maybe 2000 8K runners. Just a guess, I really don't know. (I just checked. The total finishers were 1281) Overall there were about 16,000 runners in all three events. I was just over a minute behind the official race clock by the time I crossed the start. It was still pretty congested, which made running at the pace I wanted to kinda tough. Needless to say, I might have been able to shave 30-45 seconds off my time, but we'll never know. The start of the race is a quick down and back around a circle at the end of the Ben Franklin parkway called Logan Circle. I was just 2 minutes into the race when the elite runners were passing me on their way back. BTW, the winning times for the 8K were 24:18 for men 26:18 and for the women. When I got to the 1 mile mark it was already past 10:00 on my watch and I got a little freaked that I had lost too much time in the pack at the start, so I turned it up a bit. My heart rate at this point was about 170, my normal rate for running. I started feeling pretty good by mile 2. Lungs working fine and only minor stiffness in the legs. I'm sure the stiffness was from not running for two weeks. The second turn around was just after 3 miles. In retrospect I wish I had paid attention to my splits, but my watch isn't that fancy and I wasn't paying that close of attention to it. I was a little tired by this point, but when you turn around and see the city in the distance it kinda motivated me to keep going. It was at this point that I picked out a pacer that was a little faster than me. She had overtaken me about a minute ago, so I made it my goal to real her in, or at least keep up with her. By mile 4 I had caught her and sighted another runner wearing a red shirt to chase. He was quite a ways ahead of me and I never caught him. Around 4.25 I switched to 2/2 breathing and my heart rate went to 190. I'm pretty tired by now. For the final quarter mile I was breathing once per step (1/1) and really digging in, but couldn't go that much faster. Final time was 45:25 on my chip. Not quite the 45 min time I wanted, but I'm happy with it. In retrospect I probably could have gone a little faster during the first two miles, but live and learn.

Here is the link to my race results: Results

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Health Benefits

Last trip to the Dr's office was the beginning of June. Of course they always check your Blood Pressure and such when you get there.
Well back in June I think my numbers were 120ish/80 which is considered normal. I think the top number was slightly higher than 120 no higher than 130.
Anyhow my BP yesterday was 120/66. That lower number is the lowest I've ever seen for myself.
Of course I was somewhat medicated. Not sure what Mucinex-D does to the system but I was probably taking that back in June as well.
Craig probably has a BP of 90/40 or something impossible, ha ha.

Anyhow, as I sit here feeling miserable with this cold, I figure I would write about something positive.
"I'm positive that all this exercise is doing wonders for my cardiac health"
"I'm positive that I would have destroyed Scotty in the 8K tomorrow"...... Ha ha ha
Well I did go back to a 10K training race I did 10/15/07 just to see what kind of time I might have posted. Taking 80% of that 10K time. 43:28.

For the record I'm already tired of posting these "if I did it" messages.
Good Luck Scott

Friday, November 16, 2007

Illin' A.K.A Throwing money away

I stayed home and went to the Dr this AM. I was hoping for an antibiotic. Of course they want me to be sick for at least a week before giving me one.
So I'm stuck with my respiratory infection for the weekend, unless by some miracle it improves over night. (very doubtful)

I haven't felt like I could handle anything aerobic the last few days, as evidenced on our spreadsheet. I may take a shot at swim class tonight just to test the system, or maybe hit the treadmill. I'm not very optimistic tho'.

Anyone out there have any advice about deciding to race while sick?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Indoor Triathlon

Genine being intimidated by the swim had talked about how an event like this might be more her speed. Indoor Tri.
We even thought of a couple names for the race.
"Goin' nowhere fast" or maybe "Where do you think you're goin'?"

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Four Days to Philly 4.96 mile run

Hey, Scotty how is the leg doing four days before your First Race? Are you tapering or plowing through with the training? Any expectations on time?

Make sure you don't damage your leg too much. I don't want any excuses next June about rehab, or surgery kept you from doing the MOOSEMAN. I'm sure by then you will want a big piece of me. As winter comes I get bored and may take it out on you.

Do your best man. We hope you do well.

Also, heard Matt will be running too.

I hope they both do their best, injury free of course.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Night Off / Watchin' You Tube

Counting on Mucinex D to get my lungs cleared quickly... Since I can't swim tonight I was checking into some swim training videos. Here is one preparing for the beginning of an Open Water Swim.
Here is the IronMan Inspirational Video

Knee & Shoulder Update

It has been a while since I have chimed in. Since I actually have an update on my various injuries, I thought I would share.

First the knee. Last week my doc confirmed ilio-tibial band syndrome of my right knee. Nothing to do about it right now except what I have mentioned before, which is to stretch and strengthen and not run for a few months.

Now for the shoulder. It has finally gotten to the point where I need to do something about it. I am scheduled for a subacromial decompression on December 11. The link below is to a site that has an animation of the procedure. Scroll down a bit and click 'play'. You have to make a few selections to get to the right one, but it is pretty easy. The procedure seems pretty straightforward to me. The doc said I can expect to be back at work the next day, in a sling for 2-3 days, back to 90% normal non-physical activity in a week and back to the gym in 4-5 weeks.

The family and I will be driving up to Warren on either Tuesday or Wednesday. I have class scheduled for Tuesday night, but I don't know if we are actually having it or not. My guess is yes. In any event, we will be in town after that and will be available for a visit to the Cornerstone. Friday or Saturday works for us. However, we are having Thanksgiving dinner with my family on Friday evening, so we may not be able to get away until after 9PM.

Monday, November 12, 2007

VINNIE 10th in the World!

That is right! Vinnie Monseau, who is our local triathlon hero in Morgantown, took 10th in his age group over the weekend in Clearwater, Fl. It was the Ford Ironman 70.3 World Championships (Half Ironman Distance). Of course this is not counting the Pro's. He was 133th overall. His time with splits, the rank thing is where he was ranked after Swim/Bike/Run:

ATHLETE Monseau, Vinnie
RANK 504/321/133
AGE 38
SWIM 00:31:20
BIKE 02:17:41
RUN 01:21:56
TOTAL 4:16:41

I didn't know the overall Male winner, Andy Potts, but the guy I did know that was one of the favorites (pro) got DQ'd for drafting on the bike (I think twice, usually once you lose a little time, if you don't heed the warning you get DQ'd). The overall woman was an Aussie that I had met three years ago. Her overall time was 4:07:25. She was 57th overall. She can run. She had a 1:18:40 half marathon at the end (<6:00/mile).

Just keeping you updated on the inner heartbeat of the elite triathlon world.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Thanksgiving Weekend

Just curious who might be around Warren for Thanksgiving weekend. Would be nice to get together and undo some of our training at the Cornerstone perhaps.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Inspiration for Shawn

Genine has been asking me to post this picture for awhile. She figures this is the goal for Shawn. We are thinking we can take a "re-creation" photo to put beside this one next summer. What do you think?

Cold Weather Gear

It was forecast to go below freezing Wednesday night. So after work I stopped at another sports store to try to find some clothes to keep me going through the cold.
I tried on other brands at the Manhattan stores that were having Marathon sales. Most of the others were incredibly long. I've got short legs. Anyhow, This is what I ended up with.
Long Sleeve Shirt I bought that in Steeltown Gold.
Running Tights Figured I had to go with the Steelers Theme and go with black.
As long as I don't pass any mirrors before I leave the house I'm good. Then once I'm outside it's dark out, so it's all good. Nobody is hurt.
Not sure if you've seen the Peyton Manning commercials. The one where he tells you unless you are younger than 22 or a professional athlete, you probably aren't ever going to have washboard abs. Buy a bigger Shirt..... Sad that I think of that as I'm putting this stuff on.

The other news for the night is that the cold air doesn't seem to trigger my asthma. I had been concerned about this, as this was a problem when I was younger. I'll be curious if I'll be just as successful if/when I do intervals in the cold.
(for the record the last asthma attack I can remember was in 2001).

Running Man

Nothing major to report, but I thought I would let you all know that I completed a run of what G-map pedometer claims is 6.8 miles tonight. While this is not unusual for some of the people on this blog, I believe this is the furthest I have ever run at one time. And I don't just mean since we started training. I mean ever. In my life. Not only that, but I did a 6.3 mile run on Sunday, and 2.5 on Monday so my week is looking to shape up as the most mileage I've ever done too.

I feel surprisingly good at the end of these runs; not really good, I should say, but I feel able to continue. It has been very encouraging because I now know I am able to run the running leg of the Mooseman. I wasn't sure I would ever get to that point. I assumed I would need to walk here and there to keep going. Well, I still may, since I will be much more tired when I start running, but I now know it can be done by me. And if I keep doing these runs, I will be all the more able to do it when the time comes.

On a gear note, I also found that my running shoes have been much more comfortable outside, where the terrain is varied, and the ground is unforgiving. I think my dedication to using them has finally paid off. I don't think I would want to try a six mile run in the soccer shoes, though I am still going to wear those during the other parts of my days.

Anyway, Thanks for the encouragement, people. Even though I'm still a tad overweight, I may be in the best shape of my life. The Tango could be within my sights.

Monday, November 5, 2007

newbie looks forward to mooseman 08

Hey folks:
Wanted to introduce myself , I'm Ruth a friend of Matt's and after hearing Matt talk so excitedly about all the racing he's been doing I decided to start training for Mooseman '08.
I only plan to do the swimming portion (enough for me!) My goal is to finish without harming anyone or myself for that matter, to NOT drown in the middle of the lake and try to get down to a mile in 50 minutes (now I swim a leisurely hour and a half mile.) So I look forward to tips and advice and maybe I can enlighten somebody too as I go on this journey. Best of luck to all of us.
So far I have learned this: Breathe in the mouth- out the nose. Close that mouth underwater!
Best advice I've gotten in my strokes mechanics class. Who knew?

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Running vs Biking

Shawn and I were talking about this subject today. I found this post on the trifuel forum. Here's the link

Sunday Swim Workout

I've decided that I don't do enough distance swimming. At class and club 400yds is typically the longest we swim. Then the day I swim by myself I typically get hung up on doing technique stuff and never do much over 100.
Well that is history. My Sunday workout will now start with the Total Immersion Drills. Perhaps a few other technical drills and kickboard. Then I will always finish with a 1600yd or longer swim. I figure this will just totally eliminate any lingering doubt about the Mooseman swim distance.

I did the 1600yds today. It has already brought a few new thoughts to mind.

1) I always breathe on the right side. I just haven't made myself breathe left as breathe every 3 just isn't enough air for a distance swim. (for me anyhow).
So the fix is going to be to breathe right on odd laps, breathe left even laps. As for the open water swim where there is no lap. I will probably switch every 20 strokes. I will attempt to make this coincide with my sighting stroke.

2) I felt more out of breath during the first 400 than the last 1200. I feel that this is due to the fact the blood just isn't loaded into your upper body yet, so you have to compensate by breathing a bit harder. (or feeling like you need to). So I'm thinking at the beginning of the Mooseman realize that this is going to happen, don't lose confidence, just relax and it will probably even out after about 8 minutes.

3) I really wasn't out of breath at the end today. Which makes me think that it's possible to put more into it and get a better time. I'm not sure how to go about this though. Is it better to just go at it harder right from the start and keep at it? Is it better to turn it on at the half way mark? Or maybe every 40 strokes?
I'll ask the coach to see what his answer is but I'll probably just try them all out and keep a record of the times.

Lastly, my total immersion balance drills were a disaster compared to last week. I actually went back to the original drills instead of moving ahead. Just goes to show how different your feel can be I suppose. I look forward to the day that I find these drills completely effortless. To see some of what I'm talking about check out the videos on their website.
TI Website
Choose your bandwidth at the top. Then choose Hand Position and balance.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Tendonitis and broken finger

Well, I'm out of action for a while. I tripped and fell out the door while handing out candy on Halloween and landed on my hands. The doctor thinks that it's just a hyperextension injury of my wrists and forearms resulting in acute tendonitis. It hurts like a sonofabitch! Oh, and I broke the pinky on my left hand. I re-set that myself. Surprisingly, it's not that painful, considering that it's already in pretty intense pain so setting it actually relieves some of the pain.
BTW, I didn't land on any kids. The ones that witnessed the fall were pretty concerned. They were very nice and even helped pick up all the candy that I spilled.
So, the upshot is that I won't be out on the road again for a while. I can't even imagine how painful it would be to hold the handgrips right now. I'll try the exercise bike in a few days and see how that goes.

Workout Calendar

Check out this Post from July 1

Well I started the Hal Higdon Half Marathon schedule near the beginning of October. I counted 29 workouts in October. Whereas without a plan in September I had 19.
I was much this same way last year when I started the 5K training schedule. I made it part of my day and I got it done.

I'm going to make sure I've got a schedule from here on out. It seems to work for me.

What a week

Wow, this is a great time to be on the blog. Sure, training may not be foremost in our content, but dang is it fun to read. Craig, that post was terrific. I'll have to try documenting the conversations I have during the day. I haven't discussed bullets in years, and I doubt that will come up much in grad school.

Scott, I am going to agree that you may have taken on too many miles too quickly, or that you do too many at one time, irregularly. Aren't you the doctor? Matt's hypothesis was also astute. Downhill running, even gradual hills, are killers on that part of your leg. I have similar feelings when I have to wear heels (dress-up shoes) to class and I walk across campus. About halfway through, I acquire a gait that sounds exactly like what you are describing. I can't hold my toes up, and my feet slap the ground like a bad baby's bottom. I also recently described a similar intense shin pain from my running shoes, which also tilt my feet forward. I have decided to use them every time I run instead of the soccer shoes which are more comfortable in the hopes that I will develop the required muscles to properly use them and benefit from the added cushioning and million-dollar design. It seems to be working.

Also, my diet is going great. I feel very positive about my ability to get under 250 now. I think I will run for an hour today and see how far I can go, which I hope to be farther than ever before. Then I will lift. Gotta turn this week around.

ITB Injury

Well now I've done it. I mentioned that I was having "shin" cramps two weeks ago. I took a few days off then ran 5 miles. Last week I ran a little over 5 miles, but it felt like my left leg was not working as efficiently. I couldn't put my finger on what was wrong, jut that the side of my leg from the knee to the shin was tired. On Monday I planned to run a shorter distance because of time constraints. After about 2 miles the pain on the outside my knee and shin started to get worse. It was as though I couldn't lift my left toes up fast enough and my left foot would slap down with every step. The jarring made my knee hurt worse. So after shambling down the trail for another half mile or so like a zombie in search of fresh brains, I slowed to a walk. Very shortly thereafter, the pain in my leg subsided, but if I tried to run it flared up after about a minute. Presumptive diagnosis illiotibbial band pull/weakness/inflammation/(cramp?). From what I've read, it seems like rest and lots of stretching is the key to recovery. I'm still not totally convinced that this is the problem, but from what I can tell it makes sense. Have any of you dealt with this? It's probably from upping my mileage way too fast. I guess I'll just try to swim and do the eliptical machine for two weeks till my race. I really wanted to do some more running before then, but it'll only get worse if I don't rest.

How does this happen?

Shawn's last post was concerning a tick bite (very real concern), a commentary on Shawn's current build (he offered it, not me), then the potential disease this tick might carry, the business of his schedule, leading to the loss of time or conflict that keeps him from trick or treat, a small lamentation about his favorite holiday being taken from him and finally a kudos to Matt for a good run with a desire to do the same for himself. The comments then go to a work incident that caused an injury that is predisposing Matt to the potential of not repeating his heroic effort and trying to make a decision on course of care. Contemplating his current situation, while his $$$ boiler is being installed.

This causes me to point out a potentially better alternative and probably make him think if he is making the right decision. I feebly try to explain how this other alternative works while really the point of no return has occurred. Which leads to final comments on the need to do more work on the house and previous excavation projects and if I had to do it again. With a final note (implied) that if we really had to do it all over again we would just be heavy equipment operators, because it is fun.

How does this happen?

I will list a couple discussions I had with people yesterday:
  • 223 caliber ammo
  • The wisdom of fixed annuities over straight investment in the stock market.
  • Better to pay off mortgage early or invest extra principal payment in investment that makes a marginally better rate of return then the interest rate you are paying.
  • Elderly Parents in ill health. Better to leave them in the home they grew up in or to get them into a nursing home or at least assisted living.
  • Better to be a scary monster with blood and fangs for Halloween, or to be a M&M.
  • Is it more important to have the bullet you are using for deer hunting cause a large exit wound upon pass through (so the deer bleeds out two holes) or is it better to have the whole bullet stay in the deer (hence transferring all the energy to the deer from the bullet).
  • What was the name of the machine Wallace used/invented to suck all of the Bunnys out of the yard for Lady Campanula Tottington in the Curse of the Were-Rabbit.

See how less random a day can be than a post on a Blog. Just an observation.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Tick Attack!

Yes, I had myself a parasitic arachnid for a friend today. I discovered it as I was preparing to take a shower, and I felt an itch in my belly button. I felt an odd lump of belly button lint that wasn't like my normal belly button lint, and looked in there and was surprised to see a pretty big bug sticking out of my chubby gut. I didn't have much luck pulling it out, so I called a doctor and went later in the day and had it removed. It feels kind of weird to know there is some foreign creature making a living off your blood. But it's gone now, so hopefully I can remain free of such things for the winter. Unfortunately, I had to take a megadose of antibiotics to prevent Lyme disease (hopefully), so I am not feeling too well right now. Side effects of nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and other good stuff. I only have the first, so far (thanks for asking!). I don't think I'm gonna run tonight. I was hoping too. Maybe it will pass and I'll go do a half hour. Doesn't seem likely. I have a presentation due tomorrow. Plus the Halloween Parade tonight put a damper on the free time. And because of this class, I am going to miss trick-or-treating tomorrow! My favorite holiday. It truly does seem like it's always something.

All this and Matt is putting me to shame. You're a running fool! I look forward to a day when I can run 10 miles at any speed.

10 mile Run.

I'm pleased to say that I finished 10 miles. Although the last half mile my calves were locking up pretty good. Not cramping, just tight to the point of not being able to stride well. Which made it feel like going much further would be risking injury. (Temp at start of run 54, end of run 41, wearing shorts, didn't eat or drink anything during the run)
I also was interested to see that Sunday's 5 mile run at 9 min/mile HR AVG was 168.
Monday's 10 mile run at 9:30 min/mile HR/AVG was 159.
Both of these HR's are much lower than my Tango run, which I was probably between 175-185 much of the time.
I feel I'm starting to pace myself better. I think back in August I was just going too fast for "distance" running.
As for the muscles locking up at the end of the run, I think that's just a reminder I have to keep at this to be ready for Mooseman.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Odd's are

Here is an article about death's in marathons. Very interesting after the bad press the Chicago Marathon got on that hot day a few weeks ago.

Pretty much saying the race won't/doesn't kill you, the pre-existing heart/medical condition does. I have been at a race where a guy died and did the Waynesburg 5k the year after a guy died. One guy was in great shape, the other was getting back into shape. The first died of unrecognized heart problem due to an infection, the second died of an unrecognized heart condition, he probably should have found by going to see his doctor before he started to work out after a few years hiatus.

When I started to work out in 2005, Tamara suggested I go see the doctor. I did. He checked out my heart, did blood work, and poked around at my knees. He told me I was fine, but a guy my size might want to assure I take care of my knees.

Just a little info.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Ground Heats my House (or Will!)

I am getting ready to take the plunge of a geothermal Heat pump. It seems now, I will have to get it in at least before next June to handle the air conditioning load on the house due to company for the Mountaineer.

I have a guy set up to dig my 6' deep trench. I will be doing the residential slinky to the right. I am going to run about 1,000 feet of High Density polyethylene plastic pipe (black iron size opposed to copper size). This is 1" pipe. It works as the radiator. You can see how easy this will be by the very technical drawing.

The heat pump is going to be, I think, a 3.0 ton FHP (company name) water source heat pump with a desuperheater (this heats your hot water). I can order it as a unit, hook up the electricity, slinky ground loop, and the duct work and BAM! I am saving money. Of course not counting the thousands spent for the unit. I am treating this like the school district treats a new building when telling me how much it costs to send a kid to school, they ignore it (I digress).

I have concerns my 49 year old furnace may only have a few good years. The CO monitor has not gone off yet nor do I see flame in the duct work, so I feel safe. The only safety device on this furnace is a thermocouple, which can be by-passed in an emergency (previous owner was thinking!).

I bring this up because my work outs have suffered due to planning for this, in addition to some responsibilities at work that have become larger. So, I may not be posting too many workouts, but I want to maintain some training, because I want to do a Half marathon in January.

Another cool thing. I am trying to talk Tamara into a Yurt as a guest house/playhouse (mostly for us adults, not the kids).
I was looking at the 16' package. I think it is cool. I wouldn't mind living in it. She talks about space, it doesn't go with the style of the current house, and something mumbled under her breath about how weird I am and how she may have done things differently if she hadn't been blinded by love and the only thing keeping her here is the kids, something else about how to make a murder look like a suicide, Blah, blah blah. She usually wonders away from me at this point. I pretty much turn her off when she doesn't enthusiastically tell me how great my ideas are. I do this because I create a voice (female, very sultry) in my head that is telling me how wonderful I am for discovering such magnificent items. Once again I digress.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Mountaineer, anyone?

I was looking around for another International Tri to do after the Mooseman, and Lo and behold up popped the MedExpress Mountaineer Triathlon three weeks later. The thing I like about this one, aside from not being too far away is that there is an XL3 category there (for lithe and supple athletes who tip the scales at a dainty 225 pounds or more). I looked through last year's list and there appear to be 2 other guys who did the Olympic distance and weighed enough to be in that group. So I have the bronze locked up! There were 5 XL3's all together, but some of them did the Half (impressive for the big men) and several of them are over 40 (different group, I'm not quite there yet), so the pickings are pretty slim with my preferred combination. And on top of that, I am going to be in rare form by June due to the Mooseman training, so I might as well take advantage of it and enter everything I can. Craig, are you ready to join the fray this year instead of just volunteering? You can be an XL2, unless you make it under 200. Having two triathlons in June might really force my hand with the training. I will have to hit the bricks or taste the agony of defeat (not to mention de feet). I need more motivation. Technically, I am not happy with my grad school situation right now. It's a bit too much to do, and not enough rest, almost no relaxation, and training seems excessive when homework (a.k.a. career-work) is due. I really want to train more. I prefer that over homework any day.

Anyway, since you guys were posting your race schedules, I thought I'd stick one more up there for me. This will give me three at least. If I do Craig's early duathlon, that'd be 4. Starting to stack up. Looking forward to a fun summer. I hope I don't get fat over Christmas break.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

My First Race!

I've finally taken the plunge and registered for my first race. An 8K that is being run at the same time at the Philly Marathon. Here's a link to the Rothman Institute 8K. It's on Sunday, November 18th. The distance is about what I'm usually running and will give me a good baseline for how I'll do in actual competition. There is also a half-marathon distance if anyone is interested. Wish me luck!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Mooseman bike

I rode the Mooseman loop today! It's a tough ride. There's no warmup. It's maybe a mile or so on the flats then it's right up the toughest hills. The good news is that the hard stuff is over quickly. The only extended downhill is the ride from the lake into Bristol and it's over too soon. The hardest thing for me was that my fingers and toes fell asleep about 3/4 ths around the loop.
Be ready for a bumpy, hilly ride.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Bike Seats

Here is an article I ran across while looking for bike seats to try out.
Azoto Bike Seat
I've been told there is an online bike shop which you can order a number of seats. Then return all but the one you decide is the keeper. I have yet to find which company this is. If anyone else finds it, let me know.

Races 2008

Matt listed his wish list of races. I was wondering if we could get a spreadsheet started or I guess maybe I can get a spread sheet started that shows what races people are doing.

My list includes:
  1. Run to Read half marathon, Fairmont, WV Jan. 5
  2. Lock's to Docks Run 5k, Rices Landing, PA May
  3. Unknown Duathlon, I want to do one as warm up for Mooseman in April\May time.
  4. Mooseman International Triathlon, Bristol, NH Jun.
  5. Mountaineer international Triathlon, Morgantown, WV Late Jun.
  6. Rainday 5k, Waynesburg, PA July 29ish
  7. Kinzua Tango (relay team, I have thought through the reality of doing the whole thing, my mind may change in a emotional frenzy and stupidly decide to do the whole thing) August
  8. Splash, Sprint, Spin Sprint Tri, Morgantown, WV August
  9. Hero's Run 5.5km or possibly 10k (10k may be in the works), Fredericktown, PA September.
  10. Waynesburg Homecoming 5K, Waynesburg, PA October (2005 35-39 champion, 2006 35-39 Runner up, 2007 35-39 Runner up despite my Potty Break. I have also received 4 short sleeve T-shirts, 1 Long sleeve T, 1 sweatshirt, and a nice Nalgene Water Bottle as my spoils in three years, not including my moms killing this year)

Wow that is a lot of races.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Ford Ironman World Championship

The big boy was this past Saturday in Hawaii. I knew two guys doing it. Vinnie Monseau, who I always talk about and Chad Holderbaum, who I have run into at races.

This link will take you to the track an athlete place. I put in Male 75 to 79. France Cokan, 76 yrs old did it in 14:55:19. Not bad for a guy who essentially has lived to the age most people would be dead by. Five guys in this group finished, five did not.

Check it out.

By the way the usual suspects finished 1 and 2 only 3.5 minutes apart. Chris McCormick, 8:15:34, and Craig Alexander 8:19:04. Looked like Mr. Alexander lost it in the run.

I don't know when it will be on TV, but you can bet the 8 month pregnant mom with diabetes, will be nosing out the 75 yr old nun with alziemhers, while the paraplegic orphan that grew up on the street and was raised by rats (that is why he swims so well) tries to finish under the time limit while pulling his 90 year old surrogate father who always wanted to do the Ironman. Man! I always cry during this part.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

NY Marathon

One of the Tri Guys in my swim class ran the NYRR Half Marathon Grand Prix this year. He wanted to make sure he could run the NY Marathon next year. So he ran the Staten Island Half Marathon this past weekend.
I'll have to talk to him more about all the races he ran.
It seems to me if you really want to do the NY Marathon the best way is to sign up very early with a fund raising group.

This was the info I've found regarding "guaranteed entry".

Members of New York Road Runners, who completed at least nine NYRR-scored, qualifying races during the calendar year.

Those who have applied but been denied entry for the last three years in a row

Runners who meet the following qualifying time standards:
Open (Age 18-39)*
Marathon Half-Marathon
Men 2:50:00 1:21:00
Women 3:18:00 1:34:00

For the record. Although I would be amazed with myself if I could run a marathon. I don't think it's a good idea for me to even try something like this until I lose a bunch of weight. I was just curious about this "automatic qualifier" for the marathon and figured this was a good place to take my notes.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Follow up on NY Times Article

TriFuel Forum talking about the article about what size you are and the sport you are participating in.


1 year ago

It was a year ago today that I hopped on the treadmill with the 5K Training CDs. I was probably 220-225 lbs. A half hour workout on the treadmill with a top speed of 12 min/mi was difficult (sad but true). I would have to slow the speed down to a walk often to keep moving for the time they wanted me to be "running".

Now 5k's are a "short run" and done at 8:30 race pace. My weight is just about 200. (It's time to take my diet as seriously as my training.) My training is mostly running, followed by swimming and an almost non-existent bike. (gotta get a bike plan).

The goals sure have changed a bunch since then. If anyone would have even suggested a sprint triathlon to me a year ago, I would have said "no way". Now I'm looking at Half-Marathons and International Distance Triathlon as do-able events.

It's been nice to have everyone's support along the way. It's much more fun getting ready for an event knowing you all are involved too. I can't thank you all enough.

I hope that those who can't race the Mooseman with us for whatever reason, will consider joining in on any of the other races. Or suggest a race that is of interest to you. The satisfaction of finishing is fantastic.

2008 Possible Race Schedule:

Jan: Phoenix Half Marathon
March: Zephyrhills FL Sprint Tri
May 17th: NJ Pine Barrens Sprint Tri (gotta try out the wetsuit prior to the Moose)
June: Mooseman
July: New Jersey State Triathon
August: KC Tango, WV Sprint, Splash, Dash
September: Black Bear Tri, Orono ME (U of Maine)

I'm already curious what my post a year from now will look like.

Sorry for the diary-like post. Makes for a nice journal and I hope that it shows that even starting from "couch potato" that if you start now you can be in shape for races next summer. Just in case someone out there is actually reading this.

Experiment complete

Okay, I executed my experiment today. I haven't run or lifted for a week, though not really on purpose. Things just worked out like that. I went to the gym for Fi's swimming lessons and I got on the treadmill as soon as I warmed up. No lifting first. So I made my 5K in 30 minutes and 40 seconds, which I think is my fastest ever, though obviously I didn't set the treadmill on fire or anything. But this is good information, as most other variables haven't changed for the good. I haven't lost any weight, I didn't eat a tremendous meal and I didn't consume any extra caffeine or anything, so I am assuming the reason I normally can't run is my lifting. This would suggest that if I would like my running to be at its fastest every time I run, I should run first and lift after. Previously, I was trying to blow through my glycogen stores by lifting first, then running to get my body to focus on burning fat for fuel. That may be working for all I know, but I haven't lost weight doing that, and I normally can't run fast, so it doesn't encourage me to do it more often. I think running first and lifting after will be more spiritually rewarding, especially since I have no real goals with lifting other than to get or stay strong, whereas I do have specific running goals.

You guys still got me by 4-6 minutes in the run alone, assuming Craig can hold his liquor, so nothing to worry about yet. Especially since I haven't practiced the bike at all except my one-mile rides to class several times a week. Maybe all those lunges and squats will pay off there. No swimming either. Somewhere in here, I'm gonna have to get serious! Six workouts per week. Two disciplines per day. Right now I'm lucky to get one. But I'm still more fit than I have been in years, so I'm pretty happy.

Time is ticking!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

NYTimes: Running Efficiency

NY Times Article

Not an incredibly helpful article but interesting.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Public Service Annoucement: Sleep

Interesting Article Regarding Sleep for Kids
Doesn't really apply to us directly but you guys have kids, so you might find it an interesting read.

Monday, October 8, 2007


Okay, people. What's going on here? I am getting heavier and slower the more I exercise lately. Obviously I am not eating right, though I have been eating healthy food for the most part; apparently just too much of it. I am so dang slow when I try to run. I am hoping that this is due in large part to the fact that I do a rapid fire crossfit-style weight routine before I run, almost every time. That means in about 15 minutes, I attempt to exhaust all my major muscle groups with my 6 movement dumbbell circuit training. I usually don't feel bad after this, but I'm thinking I am actually bad. I guess in order to determine whether this is in fact the problem, I have to run with no lifting first, and probably won't really notice unless I don't lift for at least three days. I am quite curious how this will work when I try it. I guess the good news is I'm pretty sure I am getting stronger, so whenever the Highland Games Triathlon starts, I will be sitting pretty. My muscles are sore every day, so clearly my workouts are getting them to work out of their comfort zone.

I really want to lose weight though, even more than grow muscles, so perhaps I should tone down the lifting and run longer and faster. If I maintain what I have and lose some fat, I will be quite pleased. Unfortunately, this fat is rather stubborn. It has nothing to do with the cereal I eat at midnight, so don't even bring that up!


Incontinence, odd word isn't it. Once again I have a bizarre racing story.

Side Note: The good news is Matt did a kick butt time in a 5k. Great Job. He actually beat me by 3 seconds in my latest run. Good job.

That is right I ran a 26:28 5k in the Waynesburg Homecoming 5K. It is nasty course with a nasty hill. Last year I ran a 24:37. You ask, how could you drop almost two minutes. Well, I could give you a bunch of excuses about how busy work has been the last two weeks, how I got sick and couldn't kick it for 5 days, how I flew to Philadelphia Friday (there and back) for an all day meeting and had a 1.5 hour delay on the tarmac, or how my parents came in Friday night and I stayed up too late talking with them, but none of those excuses could match the real reason I did not finish under 25 minutes. "Incontinence". That is right folks, a 37 year old man in above average health could not hold his pee for 25 minutes.

Now I could cover my pre-race bathroom agenda and how I thought I had covered myself 15 minutes before the race in "all" areas. I still can't tell you why it happened.

I was moving pretty good. The first half of this race is mostly downhill. The second have mostly uphill. I was moving along great, until just before the two mile mark. I was probably about 14th to 15 th place. I felt the urge start. As the hill steepened the urge increased. I thought it is only eight minutes to the finish, I can make it. The hill really steepened and I thought, "what would be the real consequences of peeing, I already stink and am wet". Then I think I actually felt a little come out and I said I can't take it.

This course was set up to pass one intersection 3 times, which also was right next to the start/finish (kind of a three nested loop). Well, to my luck the college's gym was right there. Of course so was my wife, kids and dad. Levi yelled you are going the wrong way as I veered to the left to go into the gym. I couldn't find a men's room so I used a women's room. I won't bore you with the problems of going, except in this case you would have thought it would have been a lot stronger.

It took longer than expected and I then started again. I know I lost a minute with going to the bathroom. I am not sure how much time I lost going up the hill prior to the potty break, because I was definitely slowing down and pinching hard. Also, I felt pretty good the last half mile, but my spirit was broken a little.

Two people had passed me just before I made my break. They finished 24:40 something and 24:58. So, I assume I would have stayed with them. So, I will say I lost 1:30 with my issues, of course my time is my time despite my ability to run 8 min/miles.

The good news is I finished 20th overall and 2nd in my age group. I won a short sleeve Waynesburg College T-shirt for this. I also got the race T-shirt everyone else got, plus a special T-shirt for finishing 3 of the 4 running races in Greene County PA. Not bad for the $15 entry fee because I ate my fill of bananas, apples & cookies (chocolate chip).

My mom is the one who really made out. She signed up to walk. She did a 44 minute 5K as a walker. She won first in her age group (she was the only one in this group, but she also was 2nd for all the woman over 50, which was 5 total, she was the second oldest in the race at 62). Her booty consisted of the race T-shirt, a long-sleeve Waynesburg College T-shirt as a door prize, and a Hooded sweatshirt with Waynesburg College on it for 1st in her age group, plus all the cookies, fruit, water she could drink.

So, all told I was disappointed with my time, but happy with my running. We got 5 t-shirts, a sweatshirt, and a Pirates Baseball cap (friend John won as a door prize and gave to Levi) for our combined $30 dollar fee.

Wow, that was a long, uncomfortable story, but I told everyone so basically I have no pride.

Final side note, I came across a link to the Franklin, PA, Apple Fest 5k. I typed a search for "Warren" and found in 19th place was a dude named Jim Roberts, 37 yrs old with a time of 19:05. You are slumming it hanging around on blog site like this, unless you are looking to be a big fish in a little pond. Nice Run Jim.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

What a difference 8 months makes

October 3 2007
Decided to "race" my workout last night. I needed to find my 5K race pace for other portions of my Half Marathon training schedule.
I hit the 5K mark at 26:25 (If my watch/footpod is to believed). About an 8:30 min/mile pace overall. Average HR 177. I definitely had lost my breathing towards the end of the run. I wasn't able to go much further at that pace.

5:35 minutes faster than I was back in February. That was on a flat treadmill in Feb. This was at the Park which is not flat.

Old Post:
Saturday, February 3, 2007
Wahoo! 5K at 6mph 10:00 min/mile
I did it! I ran 32 minutes at 6mph. My polar watch died on me during the cool down so I don't know what my average HR was. I do know it started in the 172bpm range early on and got to 185 at the end of the run.
Obviously, with those heart rates 6mph is near the top of my range. I'm going to need to work those numbers down. Intervals and hills I suppose.

Monday, October 1, 2007

I'm Registered for the Mooseman

It probably won't fill for months but I'm not going to chance it.
I registered to compete as Age Group, if I'm still a Clydesdale in June I'll be disappointed.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

No Mooseman For Me

Unfortunately, I think I am out for the Mooseman 08. I still haven't been to the doctor for the knee yet. I had an appt., but a major last minute thing at work forced me to cancel. It is tough to get in with the guy, and I haven't even tried to reschedule. I am 99.5% certain it is my IT band, so I am treating it as such (if you can call "doing absolutely nothing" treatment). I have been running short on sleep since the beginning of the semester, so getting up even earlier to go to the gym hasn't been sounding all that great to me lately. Who knows, maybe I will find the motivation somehow to at least get back into stretching and strengthening.

In the meantime, GO STEELERS!!!

Friday, September 28, 2007

NY Times Article

Shawn vs Matt

Evoulution Video

A video from Youtube by Ken: Evolution Running

Pose Kind of.

Cold, Runny Nose

Tough to run when you can't breath and are dead tired. I ended up with a cold Wednesday. It is killing my program. I squeezed in a run Tuesday after an all day training event in Pittsburgh. I was beat that night, but thought, I'm busy and woke up earlier than usual. Wednesday, I sneezed all day and felt tired when I got home. I did not work out hoping to avoid anything worse. Thursday, it was full blown. Stuffed up nose, groggy feeling, and tired all day.

So, no training last night either. I did go to sleep at 8:40 and never moved until the alarm went off at 5:15. I feel much better, but my nose is running. The program said if you miss a day do not make it up, so I am not going to. Today is a rest day, so I am going to rest. I will pick up the workouts tomorrow.

My real question is how important is the rest. When I get sick, my body forces me to get 8+ hours of sleep, which is rare, the sleep as well as the sick part. Why am I not doing it all the time? A study shown on the news two nights ago, said people who don't get enough sleep (whatever that is) are twice as likely to die of a heart attack. Could this go for cancer as well? I am a 6 1/2 to 7 1/2 hours a night sleeper. I feel better when on rare occasions I get 8 for a week solid. I tried to track it one time for a month. I did no better than 56 hrs of sleep in a week (8hr average per night) and I was trying. Most of the time I am below 50.

I just wonder how much better in shape I would become by sleeping right. Also, I am convinced the weight may come off quicker too. Just some thoughts. I always evaluate my bad habits when I'm sick. I always say if I didn't eat this way or got more sleep, I wouldn't have gotten sick.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Run Training

Here is an interesting Thread on the 2 major "Schools" of running.
Trifuel Forum
Be sure to read post #9 by KenMierke if you have looked at both Pose running and Evolution running. He does a nice job explaining the differences.

I think about how much having a swim coach has helped me and would like to have a similar experience with running. I've looked for running classes but have never found anything other than a beginners class which lasts a couple weeks during the summer.

Reading the books only gets you so far in my opinion. The immediate feedback from a coach as you adjust how you are doing something can't be matched.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Mooseman Registration Opens Oct 1st

Last year there were 667 Individuals in the international distance race. 19 Relay Teams. I can't find anything telling me what max number of participants is.
I'm going to sign up early as I know this is the race I want to do.

Of course we had mentioned a NH Reunion as well. Early June is not the best time for this. Mosquitoes are still thick and the lake is cold. I'm not sure what everyone is thinking about this. Make a 2nd trip up with the whole family in July/Aug? Find a different race in NH? Just curious what everyone is thinking.

Mooseman International Distance:

USA Triathlon members: $85.00 (if post-marked after May 1, 2008: $95.00)
All non members (includes a 1 day license):$95.00
Relay teams (USAT members): $140.00
(Any non-USAT relay members must add $10 per member, each relay member must
complete a single form and mail all forms as a packet.)
There are no entry transfers or substitutions, no exceptions.

A partial refund will be made of $50 for the International Distance, if requested, in writing, on or before May 1, 2008. After this date, no refunds, no exceptions. No entry transfers. (Contact for further information.)

For information on joining USAT, call the National Office at 1-800-TRI-1USA or via their website at