Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Outside is different

Today, I tried another outdoor run. This one was very short because I didn't have a lot of time, but I wanted to do an experiment. I've been doing a lot of that lately. I set out to run a half mile at the high school track (which is closed due to construction, but can be gotten into in the evenings) so I could be sure I was correct with the mileage and I could benefit from the fact that it was flat, which resembles the treadmill, except my treadmill has a minimum incline of "2," whatever that means. What exactly is 2? 2%, 20%, 2 degrees, some randon number assigned by a treadmill guy? I don't know. What I do know is my treadmill is never flat; I am always running up hill. So I wanted to run around this track at what I consider to be my normal treadmill pace several times and see how it felt. My first lap was a little too fast at 2:15 (setting me up for a 9 mile), so I slowed down on the second to a more comfortable 2:30 lap. For the math challenged, that is a 4:45 half mile. I'm suggesting I can keep up the 2:30 pace, but not the 2:15 pace (I know, it's still pathetic, and I used to be able to do a quarter mile in 60 seconds...but those days are long past...so bear with me here), which means that I am now looking at a 10 minute mile outside, possibly sustainable. All I have to say about that is "That's incredible!" Either my treadmill is way faster than is says it is, or it is way easier to run outside on flat earth. I'll still be training on the treadmill, but I am simply going to take the speed with a big grain of salt and focus on HR and time running. Getting the feeling of my pace on the track took a while. I can hardly make myself go as slow as I need to go to be in the sustainable range. It feels so dang slow to run a ten minute mile, but if I go faster, I start to spike the HR. I'll definitely need to take the monitor and run outside a lot before the Moose. If I end up maintaining a 10 minute mile pace in the real thing, I will be very pleased. That wasn't even on the radar last week. I figured 12 was the best I could hope for. Feeling better about how well the training is working now.

Anyway...I'm ready to swim like the wind this weekend. I don't care how delusional I am, I'm going for the fastest swim split in the race. I just read Dean Karnazes' book Ultramarathon Man, and if he can run 226 miles in a row (10 marathons without stopping!), I can surely swim my guts out for 2.2 miles. Pain is weakness leaving the body. If it doesn't hurt, you're going too slow. Yes, I am slightly insane right now, but I've never felt better.

Applications are in

My dad was supposed to drop them off at the Y Monday afternoon. I haven't heard from him so I'm guessing we are in.
Should we come up with a team name?
How about Echo, Charlie, Sierra, Mike.
1st initials of our first name in radio code.
Every time I hear Tango, I think Echo, Tango, Alpha.... I'm brainwashed by something.
Anyhow, if someone thinks up a good team name, let's hear it.

Bike, Flat, Jog, Bike

You can tell I'm at the start of my exercise campaign because after another night of wakeful baby syndrome I still felt compelled to strap the bike on the back of my car for a ride this morning. All excited that I had brought my bike to work I set off for a ride on the D&R canal. On my way there I came up behind two young ladies jogging along and had to pass to the left of the path. Unfortunately the small cluster of weeds that I was going to run through was actually a small stump. I nearly flew over the bars and onto the trail in front of them. Fortunately I stayed on board and with a bruised ego I pedaled off to the sound of their giggling. I got to the canal and started paying attention to my HR with the goal of keeping it around 145-150. No sooner did I get into my zone when something didn't feel quite right. My front tire was flat as a pancake. D'OH!!! It's a pinch flat from hitting that damn stump. I'm about a mile and a half from the university without a patch kit or a pump, but at a crossing of a road that I know (Harrison). So I took off my tire, ditched the bike in the bushes and jogged the half mile to the Sunoco station where I usually get gas. Still without a patch I pull a McGyver and used electrical tape to patch the two small holes and pump up the tire and pray that it holds long enough to get me back. Fortunately it maintained its pressure well enough to get me back to the gym and then some ... actually it was still pretty firm, so keep that in mind if you are in a pinch for a flat repair. I got a workout, but it wasn't the one that I had planned. C'est la vie.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Post Race Party?

My Dad has offered to have us down to the cottage for Burgers & Dogs if that is something everyone would like to do. Family is welcome. It would be good to get an idea how many folks will be down if we decide to do that.
If anyone else has another plan for us that evening let me know. I was just thinking my Dad's cottage has some room to run around. Croquet and Canoes....

Fi's Triathlon

Since we're in the kid-story mode, I thought I would update you all about Fi's first triathlon experience on Saturday. This tri was broken up in age groups by year, and there were 19 9-year-olds in it. That was the biggest group. The pool only has six lanes, so even with sharing they had to have two heats. Fiona looked acceptable in the swim, despite trying to do 4 different strokes by the time the 100 yards was over, but she came out the water in 6th place (out of 9 or 10). She passed at least one kid in the transition (no socks!) and took off on the bike now in 5th place. The bike portion is a mile long, so the kids all disappear around a corner into the trees and all the parents wait like Mission Control watching for the Apollo mission to come around the dark side of the moon. Imagine my surprise when Fiona comes streaming back toward the next transition in second place. T2 took but a second as we grabbed the bike and she tossed off her helmet. This was a fun place to watch kids as some didn't even stop their bikes, they just jumped off and the bike went rolling away. Anyway, Fiona then puttered along in the half mile run, waiting for her friend (girl) to catch up, and letting another kid (boy) pass her. She picked up the pace a bit toward the end, but her friend went faster (ungrateful little...), and neither of them could catch the boy who passed them. So she ended up in 4th place in her heat, second girl in. She says she wants to do it again, but I think we need to work on the running (surprise, the family curse!). It was a fun day.

First Real Run

I went for a leisurely bike ride on Saturday afternoon with Kryste (my wife), Ian, Matt and Genine along the Delaware / Raritan canal path in Princeton. My bike computer isn't really working, but Matt's said that we went about 15 miles in ~1:17 for an average of about 12MPH. Not too fast, but we were really just puttering along and enjoying the scenery. It really is a nice path with Lake Carnegie on the left and the canal on the right and beset by poison ivy the whole way! Fortunately I haven't had any ill effects from the ivy. Ian really liked it as well, but I don't think I was going fast enough for his tastes because he kept hitting me on the butt like a little jockey. It's a good thing I didn't give him a riding crop!

Then on Sunday I worked around the yard and didn't really get a proper workout in. The bad thing is that Ian caught his finger in the door of the shed. Ouch! His middle finger now looks like E.T. and he was up no less than 6 times last night. Needless to say, it was pretty hard to get motivated to go to the gym this morning, but I made it. Armed with my now functioning heart rate monitor I hopped on the tread mill and after a couple minutes of fast walking (~4mph) I ran for 30 min at 6mph. My heart rate quickly climbed to 160bpm and sat there for about 20 minutes. Then in the last 10 min it slowly creeped up to 170. I was sweating pretty good and was definitely tired by the end, but it wasn't all that bad. This is without any hills programed in mind you. During the cool down my heart rate went back to 150 in 1 min, 140 in 2 min and was flirting with 120 by the end of 5 min. I'm not sure if that is very good or not, but I'm pretty happy with it. One of the perks of the treadmills at my gym is that they talk to the heart rate strap so I can see my HR without even looking at the watch.

Race & Bike Ride

Rainday 5k, the good news is all three kids ran faster than last year. Maddy was 10:03, Levi was 11:15, and Eleanor was a 11:50. This was a minute & half faster for Maddy (5th place in her age group), this was 1 minute faster for Levi (4th in his age group), and this was almost 2 1/2 minutes faster for Eleanor, who defended her title in the 0-5 year old girl category. She has brought home metal two years in a row. I thought this might be inspirational for us.

I didn't break any records on Saturday. My strategy was to go hard in the beginning because of a big hill. Well, when I hit the first 1/2 mile marker, I was 3:30. I thought wow I feel good. I hit the first mile at 7:54, not bad, big hill. My heart rate then hit the roof. I hit mile two at 16:40. I started doing the math and 25 mins was about the best I felt I could do. Well, mentally I was upset with myself for going out so quick, even though that is what I wanted to do and I ended up 25:31, not meeting my goal of under 25. It was hot, but that is no excuse. The mental part is as much as the physical. Just something to think about. I should just relax and enjoy the race.

Big ride yesterday on the bike. 22.5 miles. I did it in 1:26 minutes (16 MPH). Had two pretty large hills, plus I went in the middle of a rain storm. Sprinkling when I started, but the lightning and the rain came hard. It rained hard a good 15 minutes, then on and off for another 20 minutes. It felt good. I think I ride better in the bad weather but my times don't usually show this. Luckly I didn't have to do any big down hills during the rain.

I will probably work out tonight (run 45 mins easy), then a bike ride Wednesday (10 miles), and a short run on Thursday. Rest on Friday or just walking a little around Rimrock area, if I get there early enough.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Orienteering Prep Run

I was hoping to run outdoors today but I was rained out. So I fired up the treadmill and varied the incline often. I was keeping close track of my HR. So on the biggest inclines I would only be doing a quick walk. Although even when I flattened out I never pushed over 12 minute mile pace.
The good news is by watching my HR I was able to cover 6.5 miles in 90 minutes and was never out of breath the entire time.
Running conditions were rough. 90 degrees, 100% humidity. I couldn't have been more soaked even if I jumped into a pool.
What's the suggested workout volume a week before a race? I figure my toughest day this week will be my swim class.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Tango Start Time?

I can't find it on his website. I found this link which says 7AM.
Tango Start
I'm guessing it's somewhere on the forms, I'm just not seeing it.
If it's 7AM start. I'll meet you at the end of the swim around 10, gotta get my sleep. Ha!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Tango Arrival

So when is everyone going to arrive in Warren? I'm hoping to arrive late on Thursday night. So I'll be there all day Friday.
Is everyone going to attend the Friday night meeting? I will just to get a clue about the orienteering.
Has everyone sent their forms in?

Looking forward to seeing everyone. Should be a fun day.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

More HR stuff

So, I decided to run today, after doing a pretty hard swim with fins and paddles, and I wore my HR monitor. As a reminder, according to Mark Allen I should be keeping my HR around 142 while running to train my body to burn fat. If I go much above that, I start burning glucose, of which I only have about 2,000 calories worth to burn, whereas I have about 500,000 calories of fat available. Okay, so I get running at a leisurely pace of about 4.6 mph (according to my treadmill), and I get my HR up where I want it. Keep in mind I'm pretty heavy (around 265 now), so it takes a lot of work to keep that mass moving at any kind of speed. Okay, so a song that really gets me going comes on my iPod (Dropkick Murphys doing Amazing Grace), and I speed up to a blazing 5.5 mph, which for me is pretty fast. It's a short song and I am using it like an interval or a hill or something, and I get my HR up to the 180's, then the song ends, and I want to get the HR back down in the zone quickly, so I drop the speed back to 4.6, and my HR won't go below 160. So I drop it further until I am walking, and it eventually gets to 142. Then, I leave it at 3.8 mph (still walking, though quickly), and my HR stays in the zone. I can walk like this all day, and keep it there (which is what Mark tells me to do), so as an experiment, I pick up the 20 pound dumbbells and walk with those for a while like I used to at a very comfortable 3.0 mph, and it goes backs up in the 160's. This is no problem for me to maintain, not nearly as much of a problem as running in that HR zone. Then after an hour at or above the zone, I did some standing kettlebell work, and my HR went up in the 170's, yet this was even more comfortable than the walking with weights. I think I could do K-bell work for an hour with much less difficulty than running for an hour, even though they put me at the same HR. My questions are: Is there any benefit to doing HR work at anything other than running, if what I really want to be able to do is run? Is walking in the zone eventually going to lead to running in the zone? Should I just be patient, or should I do glucose work (intervals, higher HR stuff) until I can run in my zone? Is the whole issue here that I need to lose weight? Can somewhat overweight people be exceptionally aerobically fit, or is that just not something that goes together? And if I want to lose weight, isn't burning fat the way to go anyway? I'd love to know what you guys think about all those questions based on your readings and experience.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Back in the Mix

Hi Everyone. You're all probably saying "Who the heck is this?" Matt's brother-in-law is ready to throw my hat back in the ring. With just over 300 days left till Mooseman '08 I think it's time to get my act together. I'm feeling a little ashamed of my current weak conditioning. After a week in New Hampshire watching Matt tear up the road on his bike and drown small children with his wake in the lake I'm feeling a little flabby. Traditionally I've been the one to be able to hike Mt. Cardigan with minimal effort, but this year I didn't even attempt it. "Old Man Carlson" showed me up big time.

I renewed my gym membership here at the university yesterday, so I'm all set with every bit of equipment that I need. I just need the appropriate motivation ... Oh yea, the scale says 202.5 pounds. That should do, as if the burning legs and lungs when I run weren't enough. I think that a competitive race weight for me will be about 175-180. We'll see if I get there or hit a plateau like Matt has.

Work out timing is tricky for me since I have a 30-45 min commute and a 1.5 year old son to keep me busy (his name is Ian and I'll probably refer to him often). I'm planning on working out in the morning after I get to work. I'm a biologist and typically come in in the morning and start experiments, then wait for a bit while they finish (incubate, hatch, react, whatever). This should be a great time to workout. Traditionally I have been playing squash (sorta like racquetball) during this time, but my partner has moved to Hong Kong and won't be able to make our morning games any more. I should be able to fill this void with plenty of running, biking and swimming in preparation for the Mooseman. In addition, I'll be able to bike a bunch in the evenings with Ian on the back of the bike. That should be like swinging a bat with weights on it before being at bat!

I'm a little behind on all of the trends in heart rate training that you all have been posting about, but I'll see what I can glean from your posts and try to let you know what I'm thinking. My wife and I have a 2 profile Polar watch that needs a new battery, but I'm planning on fixing it up tonight and setting up my profile. Hopefully the battery in the strap is still functioning.

I went for a run on the treadmill this morning, but I messed up the computer in mid run so I don't know how far I went. I started out slow (5.5 MPH) but it was really awkward and I got tired fast. Interestingly when I kicked it up to 6.6MPH it was much more comfortable and I was able to maintain it for a while. No Heart Rate info this time. But that should follow soon.

Glad to be back in the mix. I'll try to post with at least some regularity.

Todd and Shawn Canoe?

I got an email from Todd yesterday. He will be in Warren the weekend of the tango. He's willing to Canoe or just help out where he can. I'm not married to the canoing and I believe Shawn will be the powerhouse for that event anyhow.
What do we want to do here? Or because it's "Shawn's event" should he decide?
Also where is the finish for the Canoe Race?

Craig were you going to road bike? This was from the FAQ on the Tango Homepage.

What type of bike should I use? The bike course is not technical. A couple folks used road bikes last year but most felt it was a little too rough (gravel roads) for a road bike.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Out of the loop

I have returned from an educational conference and am now getting back on the ball. I didn't eat much at that thing, but did have one pretty big meal every day, and then just a few all-bran bars and pop-tarts in between. I lost a little more weight. I went to the pool this evening with Fi and one of her friends where I swam with paddles and fins for an hour straight. I have no idea how fast I'm going, but with those hand paddles I can really motor. I showed them to the lifeguard and he was like "Those are huge!" In reality, they are only about the size of a piece of paper. Anyway, the problem in the pool is that it literally takes about 5 or 6 strokes with my arms before I hit the other end, so I can never really get into any kind of rhythm before having to coast or turn around. I have to be vigilant because if I hit my head on the wall right after a two-handed thrust, I will have a serious concussion. I can't tell how long I will be able to maintain any kind of form or how often I will have to switch from arms to legs or really anything! But when I have both arms and legs going, I can go faster than I ever have...which still may not be saying much (Hah). I can tell you that I will not struggle in this event. I will simply swim until I am there, and it shouldn't take that long. I hope to be faster than average, unless it is really longer than Thad says, as Casey proposed. We can probably tell by looking at the online maps at somewhere like http://www.topozone.com
It looks more like 2.6 miles or so to me, but I am not "orienteering," and I am trying to measure over multiple screens rather than printing them out and checking correctly. This site might be useful for the orienteerers to use as a preparatory tool, though, unless someone has found a better alternative. Whatever the case, I am going to do my best, and I feel pretty good about my ability to persevere. I hope I am not deluding myself.

If we come in second, I will buy a round of beverages for everyone that evening.

Matt, what are we supposed to do for your Dad? Is there a way to e-mail the forms?

Okay everybody...get one more good week in, then we have to taper!

Back From NH

I'm feeling a bit better about the swimming and biking parts of the Mooseman. It's not that I think I can do it right now. It's just that now I've been on the bike course and did a couple of long open water swims, I'm sure I could do each part separately. I'm glad I still have time to work on putting all 3 together.

Casey sent me a note regarding the 20 year gathering up at the farm next year. I keep meaning to bring this up. I'm not sure how family friendly it would be up there early June. As we know, the lake is going to be 62 degrees (on average). The mosquitoes are likely to be thick from wet spring. So for all out family fun, maybe we should think about picking a week in July or August.
Maybe that's out of the question. We should probably think this stuff through a bit. A good time to do that will be right after our Tango Win in a couple weeks. Ha!

Rainday 5k

Got the big Waynesburg Rainday 5k on Saturday. Longest continuous Race in Southwestern Pa (whatever that means and what defines southwestern PA is questionable, we will take them at their word). This was my first 5k race back in 2005. I hope to bring my time down again this year like I did last. This has a bad hill in it about the one mile mark. Yikes! It burns.

The kid's are signed up for the 1 mile fun run. Eleanor is the defending 5 & Under champion with a blistering 14:26 mile with her closet competition being over two minutes behind. Levi was 12:30, & Maddy was 11:13 last year, but they did not place in their divisions. We only hope they are happy when they finish.

The race is actual the day before the festival. Here is a little history of the festival:

A most notable small fest, Waynesburg's Annual Rain Day Celebration, is also held in PA. It all began in the Daly and Spraggs Drug Store in Waynesburg when a farmer walked into the store and mentioned to the owner that it would rain the next day, July 29. The owner of the store asked the farmer how he knew and he replied, "It's always rains on my birthday." The next day it rained just as the farmer said it would. Out of curiosity, the owner of the drug store kept a July 29 Rain Day Journal for many years. It's been documented that it's rained on July 29th 109 times in the last 131 years!

The only festival in the world that hopes for rain to make the festival happen.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Application and Waiver

OK. My dad said he would submit our forms for us if we send them all to him.
Jon Carlson
106 Orchard St
Warren Pa
I'll send him a check for the whole amount. We can Square up later on.

The weather improved in NH. I got in a bike, run and a bit of swim in today. Toes were cramping on the swim. I can't escape these swim cramps.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Competing for 2nd Place

I don't know how to break this to you guys, but we might be competing for second place in the Tango. I know, I know that is a shock to most of you.

After talking to Thad the other day and hearing Toby Angove's name, I checked out an adventure racing site, called Grass Roots Adventure Racing, Toby is involved with. So, I dropped Toby an email (if I didn't mention in previous post, he was my tent mate at the 1985 Boy Scout Jamboree, plus ran into him all the time in Boys Scouts). I told him we were competing and wondered if he was going to compete also, that I would love to catch up with him. He replied and said he would be competing and was glad I dropped him a line. Some other pleasantries were exchanged.

I believe he is pretty big time into this sport. He designs courses for other racing outfits. So, back to the original statement we are competing for no better than 2nd. Thad had told me Toby did the Tango in just over 7 hours last year, the only leg I remember his time on was the 1/2 marathon, 1 hour 20 mins. What do you think Casey, hang with him, after I stay even with him, Shawn can wear him out during the swim.

Just food for thought.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Pseudo Brick

So I climbed Mt. Cardigan today, easy hike HR never went over 130 until I decided to do a bit of running for a few minutes. I remember having to work quite a bit harder making the same climb last year.
So because the hike was feeling kind of easy.... (3 hour hike). When everyone went to the beach. I pulled my bike off the car and took a lap around Newfound. I had thought "Cardiac Hill" was along the west shore of the lake and that Genine and I had climbed it yesterday. Not the case. It's not until you are going along the north shore. I'm happy to report that I didn't have to stop and walk anywhere on the ride. the 39/26 crank combo worked.
So I made it around the lake 16.5 miles in 64 minutes.
The weather is taking a turn for the worse unfortunately. It may rain the rest of our vacation, Ugh! I'm still hoping to make another ride around the 2nd half of the Mooseman bike. I'd like to have biked the entire course before next year. I might be back up later this fall, so if it doesn't work out this trip. I'll just bring the bike up on the other trips.

Tango Info

Spoke with Thad about two hours ago. For some reason his emails are not getting to me. Shawn told me he had no problems. I sent two to Thad and nothing. He told me he had replied to both, so we just talked about my issues.

Canoe - we need a real canoe. No tandem kayak. So, my parents have the fiberglass. Not super fast, but works. The problem with my brothers is the bottom is smooth. It is lighter than my dad's but the smoothness slows ya down. Double sided paddles (Kayak paddles) are legal and I have two of those available.

I am using my road bike on the course. It doesn't sound rough enough to just use the mountain. I will use a little lower pressure tire to keep myself from getting flats.

Orienteering - 1:25,000 scale map with six points marked. You have a compass and go. It appears that the goal is not to go directly from one point to another in a straight line but to find, topographical the easiest way to get from one point to another. So pacing or distancing is not as important to making sure your map is oriented right and you understand the terrain. The compass's most important function is to orient the map. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orienteering a link explaining orienteering a little.
Finally, times. The person who won it last year was just over 7 hours. You may know him, Toby Angove, that is correct the son of Mr. Angove, our physics teacher. He is bordering on world class. I ran into his brother Scott three years ago. Scott also does adventure racing. Toby is good (wins lots of races). Toby may not be there this year, he is currently active duty in the military. By the way he beat the best relay team by an hour.

Updating the chart based on Thad's average times he gave me for each event:

Goot News is the Caone looks shorter & if Shawn can Finish the swim in an hour, we have a huge lead. He did say the swim is an average and some people really struggled. Also, the orienteering time had one team that was on the course for 6 hours before Thad went looking for them. I would be shocked if my bike time was average, that is only 12 MPH. I hope 15+ is not dreaming, I usually don't drop under 17 MPH. He said the best bike was sub 70 minutes. Runs were right about what I thought. The wild card is the orienteering. The best time was around 2 hours. Much slower than I realized, sorry about that.

May need to bone up hard on that map. A walk about about a week before should have been the plan, but I can't squeeze that in now.

Hope this helps.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Hand paddles

I got my hand paddles. They came quickly. I have yet to put them in the water. They seem as if they will be quite helpful in propelling me forward, but only practice will tell, and my arms need to be conditioned. I have been doing more high-rep weight lifting but I really need to hang upside down or do cable pulls or something, which I don't have access to. I guess I better just go swimming. If I am doing the canoe too, I think I will be having some sore muscles two days after the Tango. Oh, well. I'll take it for the team.

In looking at the orienteering section of the previously-posted time chart, I am thinking that 10 minutes per mile is extremely ambitious, considering you have to navigate, the terrain is terribly steep, and I know I can't even run that fast when I know exactly where I'm going, on a flat surface. If he makes you go up to Rimrock from the beach, there is no way you are going to go 10 minutes per mile. That is merely my opinion...I may be mistaken.

How are we doing the application?

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Here is the chart again. Looks like Casey & Shawn are trying to drive us to the good pace. The only thing I am not sure about is the canoe pace. Now that I see it, it looks too slow, but I lack a real reference point. Remember, Good is a set pace, Not as Good is 25% slower.

By the way Casey, good job. I ran 8.00 mile/pace on the 4th of July for only 3.1 miles. Not sure if I could have held for 5.

I think I am ready!

I won't lie...I had my doubts about whether I would be in shape in time. I have been following the Hal Higdon training plan, but I was struggling. I felt really out of shape and not impressed with my progress. Fortunately, I have noticed significant improvement over the last few weeks. The first few weeks of the plan only call for shorter 2-3 mile runs. I had a hard time with those distances because I didn't have my wind yet, which made a much longer distance seem unattainable. However, now that I am up to 5 miles three days a week and a longer 7-10 miles on the weekend, I am feeling much more confident. I did 8 miles comfortably last Sunday and am planning for 9 or 10 this Sunday. This is slightly ahead of Hal's plan, because he only takes you up to 10 miles. I really want to have at least one 11 or 12 mile run in prior to the race. Now that I have the mindset that 5 miles is a "short" run, the longer distances don't seem too daunting.

My next phase is to work on my pace. I finished 5 miles this morning with an 8.06 minute/mile pace. My goal will be to finish with an 8.25 minute/mile pace, which puts me across the finish at just under 1 hour, 50 minutes. My stretch goal will be an 8 minute/mile pace, which gets me there in under 1 hour, 45 minutes. All that said, I will consider any time under 2 hours a success. After all, a lot can happen between the Y and the beach.

I am planning on driving up to Warren next Friday for a weekend with my family. I will be solo because I need the space coming home. My sibs and I will be helping my mom clear my dad's things out of the house. It has been almost 5 years since he passed and she is finally ready to take that step. Anyway, while I am there, I will check out the first leg of the race. I thought I heard from somewhere that we will be running up Hemlock and crossing the damn, but I can't say for sure. It makes sense, because I can't see them closing down or otherwise impeding traffic on that stretch of Rte 59.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Tango Refresh

I just want to prepare for any eventuality. Here is the way I see the four man team. I will lay it out, you let me know if you don't like it.

1/2 Marathon: Casey
Bike: Craig
Swim: Shawn
Orienteering: Casey & Matt
4.5 mile Run: Craig
Canoe: Shawn & Matt

I am not trying to leave anyone out. We can fill in where needed. This appears to give Casey a lot of time running and I believe the most time doing something. I can orienteer if Casey wants to run the 4.5. I thought it would be best to not make someone do two events in a row. Of course I hope Shawn isn't blown after the swim. I know he is Spartan/Ninja, but it's like my cats. They can only do amazing feats for short periods of time. Ha Ha!

Also, is Genine still interested.

Safety Canoe - I could talk to a nephew for some help. I know he has football, but probabl not on Saturday. Any spouses interested in doing it. Tamara would but she can't come because she has to work that day.

Just some ideas.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Back from Warren

A simpler life on that boat.

Met up with Shawn on Saturday. He brought Fiona, a friend Franz (sp), daughters Rosa & Merle (I couldn't pronounce it very well so I'm sure I didn't spell it right). Had a great time, Kids all swam. This would be the second year in a row that Shawn introduced the Kinzua-Wolf Run Marina to international travelers. Took a speed boat and house boat ride. Also partook of the Hotdog buffet bar a fellow boater set up on the dock. It was like a tureen diner with Hot dogs and toppings as the provided meat. Of course most of them were not drinking lemonade or tea like most Churches serv, as the beverage of choice.

Shawn did a good 1/2 mile plus open water swim. I ran the kayak for safety. He looked good. The fins definitely help him motor. If he keeps up a pace like he was on Saturday, he will make us look good.

It was nice seeing him.

I didn't ride the bike course, because I left the bike at home. I did drive some of it. It won't be too bad after the first hill.

I also took an open water swim after Shawn left. Tamara ran safety boat for me. I jumped off the dock and swam over to the Casey Bridge's east bank and back, about 1/2 mile. Went well. I just wanted Shawn to know the water was like glass when I did my swim. It was pretty rough when Shawn did his.

My dad has a canoe & my brother does too. I forgot to ask my dad about a fast canoe we could borrow from somebody he knows. I don't know if it exists, but he knows a few people who owns boats.

Just a side note, my parents house will be empty except for me the weekend of the Tango. So anyone coming on Friday, if you need a place to lay your head, let me know.

Matt, I could not find topo maps at my dad's house, but he didn't think he had that grid in the big map. Sorry.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Tango practice?

Craig, if you are gonna be at the boat all weekend, would you be available to spot me on a two mile swim? I would really like to see how that feels. Of course I don't know if I can make it up there, but it seems like a hard opportunity to pass up.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Swim 2.2 and a brick

Well at swim class last night, I couldn't find my rotation for about 30 minutes. I kept trying to drive from the shoulders instead of the hips. Once I got it going, I maintained it for quite awhile. Still have a ways to go at figuring it all out I suppose.

Today Genine and I went up to Mountain Park again. Not many people around so I walked a couple laps, then pulled the bike off the car and started riding. I'm guessing I was on the bike about 30-40 minutes, then I hopped off and tried to run. That transition is a trip. I would run most of a lap, then walk my HR back down. Then start running again. I think after the 2nd walk my run was finally something that felt somewhat normal.
I'm hoping that park continues to stay that wide open, it's an excellent place for a beginner biker and easy to transition into a run. Once I get the computers on the bike I'll Know what kind of distances I'm doing. Should be great practice for the Morgantown Sprint.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Going to Warren

I keep forgeting all the things I am doing. Heading to Warren Thursday morning, staying to Monday Morning. Up on the boat almost the whole time. Will check out the Tango.

Matt any news on the sign up.

Mountaineer Triathlon

Volunteered this past Sunday for Mountaineer Tri in Morgantown. Big turn out this year. I bet they had at least 50 participants mor than last year, maybe more. Total would be close to 400. I did bike transition stuff. I started out writing numbers on contestants. Then when they finished the swim, I stood in the transition area directing them out to bike mounting area. The leaders don't need help, but it is pretty funny to watch normally intelligent people who surveyed this area before the race try to reason out what they need to do. It should be hilarious when I do it in a longer race. After everyone got out of the transition, I stood on the road letting the Half people know they had a second lap and the Olympic (International distance) where they needed to dismount to go back into the transition. I was there a total of 8 hours. Last hour I spent walking around talking to people, not that I didn't talk to others during the whole day. One girl was originally from Wisconsin, now living in London, England and came over to do the Tri with a friend. Had to borrow a bike from friends in the area.

I met the ultimate Clydesdale. A guy from Kentucky. He was at least 6' 5" (Shawn's Height). He did the half tri. He was trying to qualify for a half ironman championship thing in Missouri. I mentioned how tall he was and he wasn't the typical triathlete. He said he had been biking for an Olympic tri two years ago with a training partner who was going to do a half. After a training ride of 50 miles with his partner, the partner said what are you doing an Olympic for. You look better than I do after the 50 mile bike. So this guy started doing half ironmans. He told me he felt he needed to break 5 1/2 hours. He did 5 hours 19 minutes. He took first in the XL2 Division (200-225lbs). He was the second place Clydesdale overall. An XL1 (185 -200)beat him. Of course Shawn, he was skinner than me and I think I probably had him by 5 pounds.

The most impressive dude, and I mean dude was the winner of the Olympic race overall. Mainly just his bike. He is a 19 yr old college student form Virginia. He was clad in all University of Virginia clothing. He was noticeable because of this. I know he wasn't the first guy out of the water, but he was flying leaving on his bike. We started to debate when the first Olympic person was coming in off the bike. I told everyone, we got about 5 to 10 minutes. A minute later here he came. He had a 6 minute lead on 2nd place. He had done the 24.8 mils in a hour and 2 minutes. He was riding 24 MPH. No one else in the Olympic race was over 23 MPH. I ran into this kid after the race and I asked if he won. Man he was excited. I asked him details of how he ran and biked. "I don't know man, I just know I won by 7 minutes". He has only been doing tri's for a year, and biking seriously for 1 1/2 years. I think he said only his third Olympic Tri.

I ran into a girl who had a Mooseman 07 shirt on. Her and her husband had done the Mooseman the last two years. Love the race. She said they will be back to the Mooseman next year. She said the hills aren't too bad, she felt the one on Sunday was probably worse. She was from Lancaster, PA.

Fun to be around a race like this. I ran into my now buddies from Michigan. They have come all three years this event has existed. I have talked to them every year. I sat with them for half hour in the hospitality tent talking Tri's. The better of the two of them, Alan, was only going to do some Olympic tri's for the rest of the summer than go to Lake Placid Iron Man. This was Gary's only Half scheduled this year. He had some Olympics and a marathon scheduled.

Fun time.

5K Race Tomorrow

5K Race at the Big Fairview, WV 4th of July Celebration. I ran a 25:17, last year. I definitely want to go under 25, I would be ecstatic with a 24:30, but I don't feel like I have been running much, I could go way slower, not a good feel at this point, especially since I haven't went for a run in five days. The race is free, and the first 50 to sign up get a T-shirt. Only 46 people did it last year. If you don't get your time at the race, they never post them anywhere else. I am excited to run hard. My runs lately have been longer for me, but I have not opened it up since Rocky Gap focusing on the heart rate stuff. I am hoping I respond well. I'm struggling with strategy. Go out hard, or lay off and end hard. I will have to think about. A lot of high school kids do this race. It is funny, they all go out hard, but only half have trained and can keep it up. The half that didn't train you pass at the mile mark & they are shot. Of course I have had them pass me at the finish in races, so I believe they recover well.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Newton's Running Shoes

Just wanted to share this site.

Shoe Technology
Run Better
Click the boxes beside where it says lower stress. I like the stick figure showing the difference between the two styles of running.

June workouts

I decided I'd look to see how many workouts I got in. 15 workouts but I was sick for a few days early in the month. I should probably write a training schedule for July and try to stick to it. I'll let you know how that goes.