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

Monday, September 24, 2007

Dwell on the good things...

Excellent work, Craig. You are going to be hard to beat for us old fat guys. Matt, you'll get 'em next time. If you can get your bike much faster, heck, you'll be doing 20 mph. Maybe that's why you missed the turn, you were going too dang fast!

I also thought I should mention that I stopped at McDonalds today and got two double cheeseburgers, then Fi wanted to go to Wendy's a little bit later, so I got a chicken sandwich value meal, then I came home and ate a box of pierogies for dinner at 10 PM. And I did not a minute of exercise today. Except for my jaw muscles. Those got a nice workout.

I'm sure I'll be three pounds heavier tomorrow. I'm gonna have to run a long ways to burn this off.

Patriots Results "if I did it"

I took 83 out of 160 on the swim. 14:39 for 650m. 2:15 per 100m (I did go off course a bit here too, did I mention the swim had you looking directly into the sun for all but the 1st and last buoy? Also your split was timed when you entered transition not exit of water. So probably 30 seconds of walk/running). This is 15 sec/100m off what I feel I am capable of but that is why I did this event. To check out the open water aspect of these races.

2:40 in T1. Socks on wet feet still an issue. I need to determine if I can truly bike run with no socks.

OK Speculation time. From my watch 18.2mph 14.4 mile course. So I'd finish the bike in 47:28.
This would be a quicker transition only swapping shoes. 1:09 from Morgantown Results
Then for the 5K I'll use my Morgantown result of 29:18. (I was hoping to improve this...)

So I probably would have finished in 1:35:15. Or 101st place of 160. 3rd Place for Clydesdale was 1:35:27..... I have no idea what the awards were. I left as I was bummin and there wasn't anything left to do.

Speaking of Speculation. I'm reminded that Craig was going to go ride the Tango bike course to get an actual result. Is that still something you are thinking of doing?

5.5 km Makes No Sense

If you were designing a run course on a Rails-to-Trails, why would you make it 5.5 km. The turnaround is not a special event, just a painted X on the trail and this race had no one manning it. You could have made it any distance, which I guess is what they did. Oh well, You take what they give you.

With that being said, and not wanting to have a good news after Matt's bad news, I will lead with my bad news. I wanted to break 27 mins. for the 5.5 km Heroes run. I did not. I was 27:04.

Now the good news (remember I led with the bad), this equates to 7:56 min/mile pace, matching my best pace in a race (a 5k I did last October, plan to do this race again in two weeks). It took me about 20 mins after the race to be able to figure out my pace (oxygen deficiency I believe), but I was pleased once I did. I believe about 70 runners did this race. They had a total of 168'ish, mostly walkers. The race was a scholarship fundraiser in honor of two young military guys who died in Iraq and Afghanistan. Very nice event.

Overall I was 21st. I ended up being 2nd in my age group (35-39). Their are 4 people listed in my age group, but that didn't count the top two guys overall, who were in this age group, but got the big prizes so they left the scraps to me. I got a nice railroad spike painted black with the events name, year, and my age placing. The overall winners got canteens painted with similar info.

You can check out the results at the link below, if you want to see where you might have placed if had done it with me. I was also pleased I beat a guy I knew, Andy Zimmer. He nosed me out at the Rainday 5k, I had him by a minute here. I also hung with a guy I have had trouble hanging with in the past for about 1.5 miles. He has an awesome kick at the end, so he pulled a way pretty easily, but I'm getting closer.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

:-( DNF in Patriots Tri

Very disappointing day. Here is the bike map

Well on that map when I get to the turn just past mile 12. I miss the turn. That area there I ride straight into is corn fields (which is much of the course). So I'm not able to see above it to see the bikers I had been following. Shortly thereafter I'm back at Scenic Drive and there are arrows on the road so I figure I'm ok. Eventually things start looking familiar and I realize I'm off course. I look at my watch and I'm at 16 miles. I have no idea how to go about fixing this problem. I don't know the area. So I just ride it out. I have no clue where I am on the route. Turns out as you can see I'm going to do much of the course again. It was listed at 15 mile ride. I did over 23 miles. Once I was over the 60 minute mark biking I just went into warm down mode.
When I finally got to the end of the course 1:23:15, the race people seemed relieved to see me. (the truck picking up the cones from the course had passed me).
I looked at the time. Getting close to 10AM I believe, I remember they had said awards ceremony was going to start at 10. So I just handed them my chip timer and told them I'm done. The run wasn't going to be the same seeing how I had been riding along no handed (giving the hands a break). The intensity was gone. Which is a shame. It was a beautiful day for it.

I don't know what my swim split is yet. Have to wait for it online. It's probably not great. I had a heck of a time sighting the buoys, we were looking directly into the sun when you would peek. Then the one time I decided just to swim and not look for a bit I went off my line a bunch. So I have no clue where I ended up in the swim portion. I'm prepared to be disappointed there too.

So because my watch keeps all the info I was able to go in and put in a lap marker at the mileage which I went off course. I had averaged 18.3mph up to that point. The split time from that point to the "end" a little more than 11 miles later was 15.3mph (like I said, I dropped the intensity).

Yes I'm disappointed I didn't run. I should have done it anyhow. To be honest on the drive home I was thinking I should have just doubled the run as well and turned the event into a Pseudo International Distance. It was an amazing day weather wise to do that. But I had arrived at the end of the bike about 34 minutes later than I should have and I just didn't think my numbers were going to reflect anything useful at that point, bad frame of mind.

Shawn said "Call it a learning experience". So I've been looking for something I learned.... This is it. I've learned I that I need to work on my "Sighting" during the swim. I've learned that it's probably worth driving/riding the bike course when at all possible. (not sure it would have mattered, corn, soybeans, houses, corn, soybeans, houses...)
I've also learned how disappointing it is to have something mess up your race. Grrrr.

The good news is, It's Sunday, AKA Cheat Day, Even better news, Samuel Adams Octoberfest beer is out. I love that stuff.

Hope to hear more good news once Craig posts his results.

PS: I'm glad Genine wasn't watching this one. I'm sure she would have been very concerned when every other biker was finished and I was still nowhere in sight.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Patriots Triathlon

There are 146 people pre-registered for the race on Sunday. How many do you suppose are Clydesdales? Depending on the scale and the day, I'm 200 pounds. I know I won't place in age group but with this small of a race maybe there aren't many clydesdales? It's funny, because the race is $100 I figured I may as well put myself in the division which I might have a slim chance of placing. (fat chance of placing?)

It's supposed to be a beautiful weekend here, so as long as feel good this weekend, I'm going to go and race. I'll be interested to see how many are in wetsuits. With this length of swim, does removal of the wetsuit negate your time savings? (I don't know how long it takes to get out of these things). I'm not going to have a wetsuit so maybe I'll be at a disadvantage. Ah well, in my mind I'm still racing myself more than anything anyhow.

I'll keep you updated as the weekend progresses.

Craig good luck with your run.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Vinnie Monseau

Dr Monseau was the winner of the Morgantown Sprint Craig and I competed in.

There is a bookstore down the street from where I work. I go in from time to time and peruse the Triathlete magazines. As I'm flipping through, I see Vinnie's picture as October Gatorade Athlete of the Month with a short bio. I'd give a link but you have to be a subscriber, which I'm not.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Cool Run

I wanted to start really working on my running since most of my focus has been on the bike. Last time I ran I couldn't keep my heart rate down and had to call it quits 30 min into it including plenty of walking. This morning I was able to keep my heart rate under control and kept running for 60 min with the exception of maybe 3-4 min of walking near the end and covered a little over 5 miles (G-pedometer). I wasn't fast, about 11.7 min/mile pace, but I wasn't dying like last time either. I'm sure the speed will come. I think the cool weather is helping as well. I was sweating, but not swimming in it like usual. I kept my heart rate in the 150s for most of the run which is better than spiking into the 190s like last time! The trick for me was finding a good breathing rhythm. Six steps for each breathing cycle. Once I put some more miles behind me I'm sure I'll get faster, maybe even catch Matt and Craig! We'll see.

The reason you haven't heard from me in a while is because I've been sick. I suppose the best part of that is that I actually missed working out while I was laid up. The motivation is definitely building as I start to see results. Today the scale showed that I'm down 5.5 pounds since I started getting back into training. 197 and counting.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Nice Work Craig

Glad to see your training is paying dividends. Cruising at just over 8mph or (12.87 kmph, ha). Very cool. I may follow your lead on this program.
If I'm able to do the triathlon next Sunday. I'm hoping to improve my run as well, looking for sub 28 minutes. I ran 29:18 in Morgantown and I walked a few times. I'm hoping that the cooler weather will help enough to allow this to happen. Of course this will be a slightly longer event so I may be kidding myself.

So what are the dates for your 5K races? Looking forward to seeing your results.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Too much information perhaps

I put my bike on the trainer tonight. After 25 minutes "the area" was numb.
I don't have this problem when I'm riding elsewhere. Probably because I'm able to ride out of saddle for awhile. This is difficult to do on a fixed trainer.
I need to get in with one of these group rides at the bike shops, just so I can try out different seats.

NY Times Article
Seat Choices/ Adjustments

Are you a real Man?

Pony up, Get tough, Don't going crying to your mama! I got the fun filled racing experience you can only have nightmares about. A weekend of Pain, no pussies allowed. Yea right!

Check out this link. It is called the Desoto Triple-T. You do a warm up race on Friday (250m swim, 5 mile bike, 1 mile run). Not too bad.

Saturday morning you do an Olympic tri to start your day off. At 3:00 pm, you do another Olympic tri, assuming you are done with the first. They reverse the swim & bike, I can only imagine to trick you into thinking you might finish.

Sunday, that is right contestants the fun is not over, you are the proud participant in a full 1/2 Ironman triathlon. 5-7 hours of Pain.

This whole weekend is closer to what I do in 4 weeks, of training. Registration opens 10/1, the website claims it fills up by December. Insanity running wild.

Feeling the effects

Last night it took me until I was 2.5-3 miles into my run that I finally felt like I was striding well. Up to that point I had tight shins or my lower abs feeling sore. Once I felt like I was striding well all that went away only to have the feeling that my knees were somehow being affected. They definitely felt warm at the end of the run. (no pain or stiffness the next day).

Craig mentioned on the spreadsheet today that he needs to find someplace where he isn't pounding the pavement. I'm guessing he also is feeling sore from stepping up the mileage, (or kilometerage in his case).

Having never trained at this level before I'm curious if this is just very typical symptoms of an attempt to take it to the next level. (Jim?).
Should I expect the beginning of my run to be somewhat tight? or
Should I be "warming up" longer before stopping to stretch and get into the "main workout"?
The one book I have mentions staying in the 60-65% effort Zone for 5 minutes or a warmup. That seems rather short to me.
Are there pre run exercises I should be doing that might help warm everything up so I'm not running tight during warmup?
I have a feeling that I'm lacking in the Warmup department. I walk, jog, stretch, then go into my run.

That book goes on to say not to exceed 70% effort until you are sweating, warmed up, loose and ready to go. That was to avoid the "Dreaded First Wind". Yet it sounds to me like that's just more warmup.?.?

Maybe Craig has something to add. I'm just thinking out loud here.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Swim Class 3rd Session

They've moved class to Friday night. Fortunately most everyone showed up last night and we all waited the extra 15 minutes to get our lanes (8:15 start). Then someone had a printout of a workout and we got our "class" in. You just don't get any feedback on form or technique. So I'll probably sign up for the Friday class, which means if all goes well I'll have 2 group swims each week now. Tues & Friday.
I've been reading Total Immersion for Triathletes. I haven't formed an opinion on it yet.

My friend Doug stopped by work yesterday as well. He dropped off 2 books for me. One was the book Lance Armstrong's coach wrote. The other was a running coach, Roy Benson. I took a quick look at the running book. He breaks down running paces into Zones for training. Probably lines up similarly to HR zones. It should be a quick read.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

New Belt

I can now say I used my treadmill so much I have literally run it to ribbons. I had to order a new belt which showed up today. A replacement of the same quality that I previously had, with padding and fabric top, would have been $550! I went for the cheapo flat rubber conveyor belt type instead. I'll try to install it sometime this week, I hope. Classes are already hitting back. All my workouts are taking place in very small windows of time, usually when I am taking someone else to the Y for a class or something. I have to run as fast as possible for 20 minutes and call it an interval, I guess. Getting my home treadmill working again will be a big help. That'll reduce the time I need to get a good run in. I start and end on my back porch, and I am never too far away if I realize it's getting too late.

I have to add that something has definitely shifted in my eating habits since Europe. My attitude is much more effective. I can't explain it really, but I think a part of it is some kind of competition between my brain and my body. I know for a fact that I don't need anywhere near as many calories as I normally eat, so I have simply stopped eating them. I figure if my brain is dumber than my body, then I shouldn't be in grad school. Willpower does exist. It's just not very powerful. It should probably be called something more like will-inclination, or will-tendency. It is not that I am overpowering my physical urges with my will as much as somehow getting rid of the urges in the first place. Cleansing the mind of "need" is useful. The examples I saw on vacation were extremely helpful in bringing to life the concepts of portion control and eating frequency.

Let's see if it sticks. One pound a week will have me down over 30 pounds by the Moose. I would consider that a pretty big victory in itself.

Which would mean I will need another new belt...for my pants.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Feeiling Good after Hard workout?

I did a nine mile run Saturday. It was blazing hot. The first 7 1/2 miles was fairly flat or down hill. The last 1.5 was up. It was a loop. My only requirement for Saturday was to stay on my feet for not more than 1 hr 45 mins. So, I was shooting for 1hr 30 mins minimum with the 1:45 as the tops. I probably should have taken water with me, but I didn't. I never felt the bonk I have had from low sugar or lack of fluids on other occasions. What I did feel was a 1/2 mile up the hill I just didn't feel like running. So, I didn't, I walked a few minutes. Than I ran, then I walked, then I ran. Finally to the point where it was a little flat. Then ran until I hit the time mark. Then walked about a quarter mile to the car.

No joint discomfort on Saturday, just muscle fatigue. After about 64 ounces of fluid, I was still three pounds lighter than when I weighed myself the week before (214 on Saturday, my Clydesdale status could become an issue by next June). I woke up Sunday with some muscle pain, and an interesting stiffness in my left ankle. I hadn't had this since college. This is the ankle I broke in 9th grade. It bothered me on and off for about 6 years, then has felt fine. Again today it was real stiff. Once I get going it feels fine and pain is not how I would define any sensation in it, Just stiff. Interesting.

After, tonight's run I will have run 46 km (28.5 miles for you American runners) this week. By far my biggest week ever. Next week 35 km and the week after about another 35 km. I could see how this program might make me faster, if I can still walk at the end of it. It only has three rest days out of 21.

Next week I get to do a FARTLEK. Which appears to be an undefined distance run, but you must do "10K pace" time runs between lighter run. Example 5 min pace then 1 min easy, repeat 3X.

I was talking to guy one time, where they did this like a race, but staggered. The lead guy was called the Hare. He ran a defined course following certain rules. The people behind were staggered started and chase him based on their ability (essentially best 10K time). The goal was for the foxes to catch the Hare. The real goal was to have everyone finish at the same time at the finish. I am not positive of all the rules, but it was designed to give the runners a break from their routine and mimic the FARTLEK.

Final note, after my big workout Saturday, I still have no desire to go out hard today, and I didn't feel like doing it yesterday, but the program is telling me to do it tomorrow.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Joined the Y

Well, our family joined the Y this week, and I have had my inaugural visit today. In fact I went twice. Fi and I rode our bikes a couple of miles to her ballet class, then I rode to the Y where I did some of the moves recommended in The New Rules of Lifting (Lunges, Squats, Twists, One-handed deadlifts, pull-downs). Once I had gotten enough of that, I rode the elliptical for about 15, then went to the treadmill for another 10, then had to ride my bike back to pick up Fi (My own little triathlon).

The second time, we went rock climbing. Talk about grip strength! My fingers and forearms are so toast right now. I expect we will be going tomorrow too, so I'll get another shot at the overhang. The rock wall is open 3 days a week, and Fi really seems to like doing it, having gone several times before joining, so I will probably get fairly good at it before too long. I don't know what value it has for triathlon training, but I know it works me over and I burn calories, so it can't hurt. It's good for balance and coordination too, and I bet there is a lot of core stuff going on if you look closely. Hopefully I'll be able to find time to swim and bike in there too. Looks like fun times ahead.

Recovery from the "hard workout" Day

I was chatting with Shawn about how the day after a "hard workout" you might actually feel really good. I've read that this is because your body is cranking out all sorts of stuff to repair the damage you've done. So you have to be careful not to continue to abuse yourself on this day.
I guess the "hangover" happens on the 2nd day after your "hard workout". Then you are back to normal somewhat, but after that 1st recovery day it doesn't feel so good in comparison.

So I guess my question is how easy do you go following the big workout day? Should it be a day off? Or is it better to have a steady state short activity in the activity the big day was?
How about the 2nd day following?

This week. I did my Hard run Monday. Weights Tues (no legs). Then Cadence Bike Wednesday. I'm thinking I should be able to run strong Thursday. We will soon find out.

Just putting this topic out there because I've never really thought about the "hangover/recovery" too much.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

VO2 Max Question for Dr Jim

I was thinking about this VO2 thing. It seems that running to improve VO2max would be the most likely way to injure yourself. So I was thinking that maybe I could find a Swimming to Improve VO2max workout.
Which then made me wonder, is VO2max a heart thing only? Or do the specific exercise muscles play a big part too?
I'm just trying to avoid injury. What are your thoughts on doing "running" VO2 workouts on an elliptical runner instead? (your answer to the last question might be the same for this I suppose).