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.