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.