Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Heads up regarding the Tango

Maija is working on putting together a super women's team for the Tango this year. KB2 is looking to improve. Here's a link to her post.

While I was in Warren, Craig and I spoke about our plans. Both of us have a big triathlon just a couple weeks after the Tango. I'll be doing my first Half Iron at Timberman and he will be doing the Spirit of Morgantown. So he thought maybe we need to work on recruiting for the super men's team.
Craig, Matt, Shawn, Jim, Marty, Chris.... Casey (I know you are out there, and you saw the pictures of your brother I posted from last summer.... you are itchin...)

Just wondering if we put a team of 6 of us together. What do you think the best lineup would be?

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Tango Pictures

Here is a working link to view the pictures of our teams from this summer.
I'm trying out the method where the photos are not available to browse unless you use the link above to get to them. Or if you are a flickr "friend or family" member of mine.
Let me know if it proves to be problematic for some reason.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Tango Pictures

This Link Doesn't work very often. But there are some nice shots.
I've got all the pictures from it tho'.
When we go to the Y tomorrow, I'm going to see who I need to credit so I can post the pictures of our group on my flickr site. There are some good ones.

Morning workout then driving back to NJ tomorrow.

Hope all is well with everyone.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Need a post holiday event!

There needs to be a post Christmas/New Year's Triathlon or something, because it would seem I can't stop Carb and Fat loading. It would be nice to have a really good excuse for it :-)

So Thursday afternoon, Genine and I ran 5K of hills. It was the worst feeling run I've done in quite awhile. It wasn't until I upped the pace and ran up the hill to the lower parking lot at the High School that I actually felt stretched out.
It reminded me of something Kevin had said regarding one of his half marathons. He felt that for whatever reason the slower pace he was initially running with a friend, was actually more difficult than running his faster pace.
Not sure that is exactly what happened here. I think the 8.5 hours in the car and the bad back are more of the cause.

Friday: Over to the Y for a swim. Genine picks a workout from the swim book and it was just like swimming with Majia and Esther, because I started modifying the workout pretty quickly. My left shoulder is either still recovering or it's just much more weak than my right because of pulling improperly for the last 18 months or so. UGH!
Anyhow, I kept it easy, tried to focus on form and worked on stretching out my back.

The fun part of being "home for the holidays". 2 lanes over I see someone get in the pool that looks familiar. With a swim cap and goggles it's tough to recognize people but I realized it was Marisa. I don't think I've seen her in about 20 years. I said hello and of course she had no chance of knowing who I was either. So I told her who I was and then Genine swam up and said hello. Marisa swims with a large Masters group in China about 40 people I think she said. Fun stuff!
Didn't get to talk with her much as she had a printed workout as well, so I didn't want to interrupt. Would have been cool to be able to figure a time to catch up with her. Would be interesting to hear what life in China is like.

Well it looks like it's going to rain from now until Monday. Hopefully it won't be awful and we will get to run with Craig and Jim at some point this weekend.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

With the greatest of ease....

In case there was a doubt in anyone's mind out there, let me just clarify something for husband rocks!! Not only did I get 2 new swim suits (which he patiently waited 1 1/2 hrs for me to decide on at the swim shop) and new goggles, I got TRAPEZE LESSONS FOR CHRISTMAS!!!

That's right, I will soon be flying through the air with the greatest of ease (well, maybe not the greatest). I am sooo excited! What great cross training for triathlon...don't you think? It probably will not happen until Jan/Feb. I will be going with our friend Lidia from C5 who has been taking lessons for a bit of time now. I'm sure Matt will be there to document the event, so stay tuned for fun pictures in the future. Wahoo!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Ice Storm

Heck of a drive this morning. We left at 4AM. Driving in freezing rain and the temperature was between 25-30. That was our driving speed for the first 3 hours as well. Our car was slowly being encased in ice. It was 1/4" thick at least.
At one of the rest stops I was able to free up the sheet on the hood and lose that. Pieces of it had been breaking off from time to time and hitting the windshield. I'll admit it, I ducked when it happened.

So 8.5 hours later we make it. That's 3 hours longer than normal, but I'm not going to complain, we weren't involved with any of the dozen or so accidents we drove by today.

The 8+ hours were certainly uncomfortable though, becuase I tweaked my lower back yesterday afternoon. I have no idea how. So the first thing I did when I got to Warren was call the chiropractic office, hoping they might still be open. Nope, they can see me on Monday. (we go back to NJ Monday).
Guess if I'm still feeling badly on Friday (likely) I'll call one of the massage places. I really don't want to be lame with this for a week.

Well that's enough crying/complaing. Time for a nap.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Xmas favorites

Here is a bit of "Naughty or Nice" in tribute of Maija's Swim Suit

Tom Petty

This takes us back to our Italian neighborhood in Brooklyn.

Just for fun, Don't miss this one

Friday, December 19, 2008

Roads are a mess....

So we decided to workout at home.

Genine hit the treadmill for 4 miles.
Then joined me for pull-ups. I switched to doing sets of 3.
10 sets overhand 5 sets underhand. 45 total
Genine did 10 sets of 2. 20 total

Then onto push-ups. I did 265 tonight! Better than last time!
Oh, and Genine did 289! Awesome! Had she known she was so close to 300, she probably would have made it there.

I think the push-up plan is a twice a week thing. It's not very fun and it takes quite a bit of time.

It was getting late so the abs workout was quick. Then we stretched out the hamstrings and called it a night.

Week Review

Week in review:
Saturday AM. Woke up late had to rush to meet Todd for our hills run. 7.3 miles of hills on 240 calories of cliff bar. Then join Esther in the pool for about 40 minutes of swimming. I started to bonk and was going to go to the locker room to see if there was a GU in my bag somewhere but she said that was the end of the set and only had the cool down. Whew!
I still need to learn to wear less for these cold runs. I was soaked at the end of the run. I have to suck it up for the first 10 minutes. I’m sure I’d be fine once I get going.
The swim bonk reminds me that I should probably have a GU ready to go at the midpoint of these hills runs. At this time of the morning, I don’t have enough nutrition to really do my best. A GU would probably help me get more out of this workout.

Sunday: Swim with Esther and Maija. I got a good 90 minutes in. Towards the end of the session I timed out a couple 100's. 1:39 and 1:40. I guess the 1:40's aren't a fluke.

Monday: Masters Swimming. Only 4 of us. I was having a great night of swimming but I started out being lazy on my turns. Once she mentioned it, I made a serious effort to try and do the open turns properly. They certainly aren’t perfect but they are less awkward feeling. She also mentioned my fly kick looks decent technically but I’m not putting any power behind it. So I’m working on making it powerful, if I’m going about it the wrong way, she will let me know next week.
The 100's on 1:35 were the highlight for me.

Tuesday: Morning 5:40 swim because Genine had a holiday party after work and would be home late. Genine left for work and Maija and I finished out the set. So I got another 1:20 in the pool.
Evening. Pull ups Push ups and abs

Wed: Slushy/ Icy morning run w/ Todd. 6.75 miles w/ 3 hill loops. I have extra vacation days left. Genine had the day off because she’s going to work Saturday, so I took the day off as well. We went to TEST to do strength training in the evening for probably 90 minutes. I hit my legs pretty hard. Leg Extensions, Leg Curls, Walking Lunges, Curtsey Lunges, Squats. Also did, Hanging Abs. Lat Pull Down. Under hand Pull down. Triceps Presses and Stretching.

Thursday: Morning Swim. Not as sore as I thought I’d be following the weight lifting. Still I started out easy long warmup with 25m kick/ 25m Swim trying to get everything going.
Then I figured I’d see how the Fly Drills would feel. Fly w/ PB. Surprisingly, this went well. Still dying just short of the wall on 25s. Bad technique is making this harder than it should be I’m sure, but it makes it a great strength builder for the time being. I then worked on fly kick w/ fins. Then put it all together with fins. Not too bad.

Friday: Didn’t get to sleep until 12:30 last night. We had a dinner party with Genine’s co-workers Thursday night. Extra credit for being at the pool at 6AM. Bob and I did some warm-ups until Maija showed up with her “SNOWMAN” Set. I did well until the 500m. My left shoulder is either very fatigued from all the workouts, or the new pull is using a new muscle group which isn’t ready to do 500s.
The 4x25 no breath w/ fins, I stayed very relaxed and made all 4 of them without much discomfort.
The 10x25’s on :30 tough on the left shoulder but I kind of enjoy the sprint workout. I need to learn to push myself a bit harder on these, or maybe pace them so that each 25 gets faster. That is how Bob does them.

My glutes and hamstrings are feeling Wednesday’s weight lifting. I wish I could have run last night to get them warmed up and stretched out a bit. It’s likely to be a snowy mess out tonight. I may end up going to the gym and running on the treadmill for 15 minutes just to stretch out before hitting the weights. Abs, back and arms should be the focus tonight.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Pushup Plan is back

I can't seem to find the time to put together a decent blog post but I want to have something going on here...

Last night was Pull ups/ Pushups and Abs.
I decided to try a modified version of the pushup plan for pull ups.
I did 5 sets of 4 then 3 more. I should have moved to sets of 2, just to get 10 sets in. Next time.

Then the pushups. I'm not sure where I left off earlier in the year when I was doing this. I'll have to go digging in the spreadsheets...
Well I did 239 pushups last night. 10 sets of 7, 3 times. then I bonked on the 3rd set of 10 on the last pushup of the set. I have a feeling I won't make it that far if I do them again on Thursday. Trying to decided if this is a twice a week or three times a week thing.

Abs: Genine was at a party and I still did the abs workout... I hate doing abs.

Here is the pushup plan again if you are feeling inspired.

7 push-ups-rest 30 seconds-10 sets/ 1 minute rest.

after you've done 3 sets of those (70x3=210) 1 minute rest.
-then 10 sets of 10 push-ups with 30 second rest. total of 310.
- then 10 sets of 12 push-ups with 30 seconds rest. total of 430
You'll feel like superman in a month or so
-start slow
-it works everything-especially if you tighten your core. squeeze your triceps as well.
-you get to a point where you stop from boredom
-Once you have built up to the full set. Doing them once a week is enough. Rest is important.
-keep a log of your totals while building up just to see the progress and set some goals

Monday, December 15, 2008

Seeing improvements is also motivating

Just got back from masters swimming. We worked on fly. She said we look better than we did a few weeks ago... I'll take it.
Then she had us do 10 x 100 and we had to finish each 100 at 1:40 or under with 2 minutes rest.
Of course last week was the first time I've even hit 1:40, so I guess this will be a good test.
1:35, 1:35, 1:36, 1:35, 1:35, 1:36, 1:36, 1:37, 1:37, 1:38.


Friday, December 12, 2008

How to stay motivated

Some might wonder how it is I'm staying so motivated in regards to my training.
Simple answer. Training partners.

For example:
I got an email from Todd asking if we are on for Saturday 6AM hills run.

I reply:
Oh Yeah! Should we do the new loop and repeat the 1/2 mile hill a few times?

His reply:
Yes!..... I may also bring a few 45 lb weights we can carry while we run the hill repeats. Maybe we push the jeep up the hills just to wake up the legs a little? Big question is break on or off?

Ha ha! Fun right?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Swimming Breakthrough #2?

If you’ve been to the training spreadsheet, you’ve noticed how much time has been spent in the pool. It’s my favorite part of the triathlon and I keep hoping that it will become a strong event for me.

It’s been about 7 weeks since that coaching session which moved me from 2:00/100m to 1:50/100m. The big fix being the depth of my hand at the start of the catch. My hand depth was above my shoulder, which prevented me from getting good rotation. That fix seemed to happen quite easily.
Since that time several people, including our new coach, have told me that my stroke on the left side is “funky”. Crossing over being the most obvious problem.

Well last night I was swimming with Genine and we were just working on fixing our “problems” rather than swimming intervals or following a workout. I was giving myself lots of rest so I wouldn’t fatigue and fall into “whatever it takes to get you there” mode.
Since it would seem that my right side is doing the right thing, I was trying to focus on matching the movements with my left arm.
At first I felt that I was rotating less than I should but it actually felt more similar to the right by doing this. So I was able to let go of that thought rather quickly.
The more important part was this. I’m fairly certain I’ve got my left hand entering the water wider (away from my head). Which leads to a pull that is also away from my body. (It was kind of under it before). I think this solves the fact I would short stroke that side because my body is no longer in the way of the finish.
As I practiced this, I kept thinking of the underwater boulders, reaching over them and pulling myself forward using them as an anchor. This helped me realize how awkward my left arm pull really was when I was crossing over.

So how significant was this fix?
I may be jumping the gun with this but I’m going to write it anyhow.
This morning I did 6x100 on 2:15 (yes that’s a lot of rest).
1) 1:43
2) 1:42
3-6) 1:39-1:40

Then when Maija showed up, we did 4x75 on 1:30. I think she was a little surprised when I finished the first one a couple seconds behind her and didn’t lose too much ground on the next few. Wahoo!

Obviously I’m hoping I can keep this fix in place. I'll be curious to see how it holds up on longer distance intervals. It may take awhile for the new stroke to build up strength.

Don’t ask how the Butterfly is going ;-)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Side by Side / Comedy

Because with the beard I seem to look like other people...

Click on any of them for the larger image.

Here is Jim's comparison. Wolf Blitzer

Greg's suggestion of Brett Favre

And finally George Clooney

I'm guessing everyone is now thinking... hmmmm not so much. Ha ha!

Rutgers Swim Meet

First off: It’s official, Genine has found her inner Dory and she’s putting the pressure on. (Of course that’s not her point of view at all.) I say this because on Sunday afternoon Maija timed Esther, Genine and I for a 1500m time trial. Esther on her first day back after weeks of recovering from an injury finished in 26:20 (I think). I finished in 28:40 and Genine finished in 32:xx. As you can see she’s right there and she said she was just swimming easy... What can I say. Genine is awesome.

Now let's go back to Saturday:
Saturday was a fun day. Todd and I started the day out with our 6AM Hills Run. We had mapped out a new course and because my hip is still somewhat tweaked (Piriformis too tight), had an easier hill day than normal. (no hill sprints). We aren’t getting a break with the cold, it seems any time we get together to run it’s under 25 degrees. I try to remind myself that 25 is easier than 95.

After running I hopped into the pool where Esther was already swimming. The highlight of our workouts typically involves some “all out” pull buoy intervals. No exception today. We did some 50s’ and 25’s and in true Esther fashion, she reduced the recovery interval after the first couple and then added more repetitions to the set. Ha Ha!

After our swim we headed over to the Rutgers pool to watch Maija compete in the Masters Swimming Meet. Her morning event was the 1500m. She had some friends in the lanes next to her so there was some friendly competition. Santa…. I mean Maija did great, she beat her seed time and was pleased with the result. The other perk was I got to play around with the camera and take a ton of pictures. (Note: don’t leave your camera in a cold car, then go into a hot humid event and expect to use your lenses any time soon)
IMG_0416 edit.jpg

After her 1500m, she and Esther had the video stroke analysis done for $10. Me? I learned to always have my swim bag packed and ready to go at all times. I figured I’d just have it done after the evening events but he ran out of time… ah well.
Maija and Esther

Genine worked in the morning. Then went for a swim at the pool. Immediately followed that up with a run as soon as she got home. Then we headed back over to Rutgers to watch/photograph Maija’s 2 evening events.

I guess after watching all these different swimmers, the one thing I took away from it all is this. Time in the weight room isn’t going to improve your swimming nearly as much as swimming with great position and technique. Obviously having both is awesome but reducing resistance has to be first.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

To offset the last post....

A bit of random surfing landed me at this blog.
It explains how aerobic activity is really bad for you.


Bad Habits: Pavlov’s Bell/ Conditioned Response.
After my morning swims, I’m off to catch my train to work. Once I’m on my train, I finally have a chance to eat my post workout snack, typically a Balanced Energy Bar and an apple. That’s a good habit. Problem is on the way home, I get on a train and feel the need to eat something. Stupid right? Situational Habit/ conditioned response. I guess. Ring the bell Pavlov.
Nothing to do here other than be aware of it and make it stop.

In the same field, I have been feeding my Starbucks addiction again. Bad in a few ways.
1) Expensive
2) No nutritional value
3) Even though it’s decaf there is enough caffeine in there to cause some “side effects” for me. Heart Palpitations, Makes me feel more hungry, then of course the possibility of headaches if I don’t feed the addiction. I know it’s decaf but there is still caffeine.

I was completely off coffee for a while, it’s just that my will power had to triple in order to fight it. A year ago, I would pass 1 Starbucks on the walk to work. Now I pass 3. This is walking from 34th St to 22nd. Fortunately I don’t care for Dunkin Donuts coffee, I’d have to add 3 of those as well. As for the countless Delis and coffee/donut carts along the walk, I’ve just convinced myself that their coffee is terrible, even though’ I’ve never tried it.
Anyhow, I now have 3 reasons to keep walking past each place I walk past every day.

Waking up early enough to exercise in the morning:
Making this happen took quite a number of weeks. I take the law “an object at rest, tends to stay at rest” very seriously. Yet I eventually adjusted my evening schedule to accommodate my morning workouts. Well our morning workout schedule has changed up a bit lately and it was very easy to start ignoring the early alarm because there was no workout scheduled.
Well we just got a few Yoga DVDs, they are now my fill-in workout for any weekday morning that I don’t have something planned. This will help keep my sleep schedule in place and add strength & stretching to my weekly schedule.
Wednesday morning was my first DVD yoga session. It was laughable. Flexible isn’t an adjective anyone is going to use to describe me. I’m just going to keep in mind that “swimmer”, “biker” or “runner” were not words people would have used to describe me a couple years ago.

Okay, all that up there was health/nutrition related. Let’s look at some other stuff.

My lack of attention to keep my office organized both at home at work. This one will take some serious effort. At both places, I feel I am handed physical things all the time which I really don’t have a place for them. I’ve got to figure out how to handle that problem.

Money, Budget/Investing: A couple years back, I realized that I wasn’t being disciplined enough with my investing. So I decided I should find an advisor. After many emails and phone calls I found that I would have to double my salary before these people would even be interested in talking with me. I might have the minimum portfolio value they were looking for when I retire. At which point I probably won’t need an advisor…
One guy finally did meet up with us. It was a 2 hour meeting, we thought it went very well. Following that meeting his office never returned an email or phone call. After that I lost all momentum on that project.
Of course my portfolio has been beaten down badly lately, I don’t feel badly about this. Almost everyone is in the same boat, you just take notes and learn from the situation. There is a saying “there is money to be made every day in the market, you just have to know where to look”. That’s very true and optimistic but really not very helpful. I’ve only been investing for 13 or so years, but one thing has become obvious to me. There are times when investing is easy. We are likely very close to the beginning of one of those times. I really need to put some effort into making this a priority for the next 18 months. I’d like to think I’ve learned some hard lessons and that it’s time to put those lessons to good use. (I’m guessing my stock blog will be back up and running soon).

The budget is another thing which I need to spend some time with. We’ve made attempts at this in the past and the plans have never worked. We either never stuck with it long enough to create the new habit or perhaps the “system” we created required too much effort. I’ll try keep this in mind as we take another shot at this. This time around at least we have an “Incentive”. We have been wanting to have some work done on the house. I believe if we were serious about our budget we could make this happen.

I feel I’m going into all this a bit more optimistically that I may have a few years ago. After all, I’ve made some significant changes in my habits the last couple years. Eating/Exercising/Sleeping. The things on this list can be approached in the same way, schedule time for it, make it a priority, make it happen.

Finally, here is the catch phrase for inspiration. Along with a link.

It's about Our Need to Change, and Desire to do so. When want meets willing, there is no limit to how high we can climb.

Thinking vs Music

I love music but have never listened to it when working out, I tend to think more philosophical.  So, I thought I would share some things I think about:

If god is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent, then why does he allow evil?  Does he author evil (I conclude no)?  Does he just allow it?  Where does my free will work into this?  Is good the donut and evil the hole?

Did I just step in Dog Dodo?  I can still smell it, so I am pretty sure I just did?

If the universe if infinite, how can it be expanding?  If it is expanding, what is it expanding into?  Is it expanding infinitely, into nothing and at what speed?

I wonder how many days that deer has been dead?  It didn't smell like the dog Dodo?  I think it was fresh?  Is it fresh enough to Keep :), only in West Virginia.

I hurt, I hurt, I can't breath, I am going to die.  People do die from this, God I hope it is not me, because I forgot to give Tamara a receipt for my new biking clothes and I would hate for Tamara to have to find that and be upset at what I spent, wait I am dead, why would I care?

Are things really relative?  If things are all relative then why does Einstein's theory have a constant in it?  The cosmic speed limit, "C".  Maybe, they will break this like in Star Trek.  Warp speed, give me all she gots, Scotty.

Music:  Here was a couple thoughts of three songs I like to listen too, that motivate me.  I heard the Mighty Quinn on the radio.  Here it is on You tube:
"You'll not see nothing like the mighty Quinn"

Then I thought man I always loved AC DC - TNT.  But Thunderstruck always got me moving:

I have an infinity for Italian restaurant Music, being that I am Italian and my Grandparents owned an Italian restaurant.
Here is a favorite of the kids and I, (Tamara thinks I am crazy, Dinah hasn't let me know yet):
"When the moon hits your eyes like a big Pizza pie, That's Amore." Hey, Lady!!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Monday, December 1, 2008

Food Tracking is Back

After a weekend of massive calorie consumption, I've realized it's time to get myself back on track. I'd allowed some bad habits to creep back in. So I'm back tracking on, so far so good.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

There may be hope yet

Over this past Thanksgiving holiday weekend, I crossed a couple of milestones in my physical fitness. And I wanted to share them with you.

First milestone: I completed my first ever 5K race! Although the race came and went with very little fanfare, I can't help but think to myself, "Wow! I actually did it!" And in what what I think is a pretty respectable time. Would I like to be faster? Yes, but I am confident it will come. One step at a if I can only get my lower back/hip to understand that!

Second milestone: I rode my bike by myself for the first time ever. It was a course that Matt & I ride often, so it was familiar - but it felt really good to be out there on a beautiful sunny afternoon knowing that I can do this on my own! (even though it is fun riding with Matt & Maija!) I love riding my bike! It is such a rush!

Third milestone: I swam today at the pool for 35min straight - no stopping! This is an amazing first for me. And as much as I hate to admit it...I think I may have enjoyed those 35min. It was after my planned workout (from the book that Maija has been kind enough to lend me) and I figured instead of getting out of the water, I would just swim easy until Matt & Maija were done with their workout. Well, I guess I found my inner Forest Gump and I just kept swimming. It was a smooth, steady pace. Nothing too speedy, but very steady. It felt good. I was in the "zone". The even better part is that I felt as though I could have kept going, but Matt came over to tell me they were finished. Wow! How do I recapture that feeling to be able to do it again?

Since deciding to do these races next season, I have committed to doing my very best. It feels good. However, I sometimes forget that I am the new girl on the block when it comes to training. I often times feel like Randy (Ralphie's little brother) from "A Christmas Story" - always running behind the rest of the kids yelling, "Wait up, guys! Waaaiit uuup!!!". Now mind you, this is only my own perception and the furthest thing from the truth. In reality, I am so fortunate to be surrounded with incredibly talented, caring and experienced people who are also committed to doing their very best. And happy to share their advice and wisdom. For that I am thankful.

So for now, I will be content to swim in the slow lane and run with my Ipod. I am getting there - little by little! And it feels so good to know that I have so many people cheering me on, especially when I may be doubting my abilities. Who the time the snow melts I may be swimming in the "middle lane" and running behind Frito...trying to keep up! Maybe there is hope for me yet!

Morgantown moved...

Has anyone noticed that the Spirit of Morgantown has been moved to August 9th?

Getting stuff done

Because we didn't travel for Thanksgiving, instead of finishing out the holiday weekend feeling exhausted and even further behind in our to do list, we are ahead of the game. Which is a good thing. Genine has a big "visit" at work on Wednesday, the President of Marketing, Visual, Store Design.... will be evaluating the store (her work). Can you imagine working to have the store look great by Wednesday after all the holiday shopping this weekend?

My job is also going to get much busier for the next 4-6 months. Our company will be moving once again. I'm looking forward to this one. I think it's going to be a very nice upgrade to everyone's work environment. I'll just be very busy making plans for getting everything moved: Phone Systems, Internet/Servers, Editing Systems... Then of course there is the researching of potential upgrades to all this. It should all go well, as I said, I'm looking forward to it. I wish there were a set schedule but that's just not possible. I'll just be pushing to get everything done as fast as possible.

So what did we get done around here?
My office/trash heap. You can actually see the floor in there. It's amazing how much stuff you can have and if it's electronics/computer related how quickly it's obsolete.

New tires for Genine's car. Always important to have good tread through the winter months. The price for that tread is still somewhat surprising to me. $450 for the set of 4 after an $80 rebate. But really I can't justify buying cheap tires when it seems that 95% of our driving is at highway speeds.

Outside decorations. Genine loves to decorate but she is usually so busy/exhausted from work she doesn't get to do as much as she'd like. So she put up some pine roping and wreaths up and it looks nice.

We also got to spend some time with friends.
Wednesday night we went out to dinner with Claudia and Maija. The resturant's "on tap" beer selection was all regional selections, which of course I loved. It was nice just to hang out and visit. So often our conversations are limited to a 20 second rest inverval at the pool. Ha ha!

Thursday: 5K race in the morning then in the afternoon we went to Kevin and Lara's place in Brooklyn for Thanksgiving dinner. We appreciated the invite, food was great and it was a very fun time.
Of course we got our workouts in as well. Todd and I were running hills at 6AM Saturday morning. It was good that I forgot my watch, we were both still feeling the 5K race. We got through it, actually we added an extra lap this week. Next week we are looking for a killer hill just to mix things up.
Maija has been planning our swim workouts. I am horrible at sticking with a workout if I go to the pool alone. So I really appreciate the effort she puts into planning these workouts and adjusting her schedule to include us. :-)

Lastly. Shawn made a comment on another post. A Wall-e Reference I didn't understand entirely. So I had to look it up.

Entertaining as always Shawn.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Flemington Turkey Trot 5K Results

Full Results Here.
Link to the Pro Photos Here.
Todd: 111th Overall and 8th in his age group. Male 107/1549 Time 20:19.
Matt: 169th Overall. 8th in age group. Male: 155/1549 Time 21:15.
Chaz: 781 Overall. Male 603/1549 Time 26:15
Genine: 881 Overall 26th/132 AG. Female: 213/1389. Time 26:46

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Flemington 5K Turkey Trot 2008

I guess I should have looked at the details regarding this race a bit more closely. I didn't understand until the morning of, that there would be about 3000 runners. Which isn't that big of a deal except I couldn't find Todd or Chaz before the race.

Race start, completely packed. I don't think there were mats to run over at the start, so my time is going to reflect gun time and finish line. I could be wrong about this.

Here is the quick report. The start was way crowded. The chart I'm going to post, I didn't start my watch until I got to the "bank" at which point I was still practically walking.
Last 5K I got to the mile mark in 6:30. I think he said 7:15 when I went by. Ugh! Ah well, keep pushing see what happens.
I forget what time they told me at the 2 mile mark, it still sounded slower than I wanted to hear.
Keep pushing, when I can finally see the clock as I approach the finish, I can't believe it's saying 20:50 or something like that. I think I crossed the line at 21:15. I forgot to stop my watch at the line.... no matter.
They cut the chip off my shoe. Todd comes over congratulates me. He's smiling because he just beat his previous PR by 45 seconds! Go Todd!
We walk back to find a spot to watch for Genine. We see Chaz run by with his Ironman FL hat on and headphones in. So he doesn't hear us yell "Go Chaz!"..... We never see Genine run by. We walk back to the car she is there. She thinks she finished in 26:15 but isn't sure.
Todd, Genine and I look for Chaz. No luck. We have someone take a photo of the 3 of us and we head for home.
Here is the graph. I can't figure what happened at the end of my race. I certainly never slowed to an 8:30 pace. I put the vertical line at what may have been my "Watch time" Finish? 20:30?

Edit: I put the post up in a hurry. Taking another look at the graph. My HR doesn't drop off until the 21:00 mark. That's likely the end of my run. Of course now I'm looking at the 1:45 of "jogging" at the start of the run. Ha ha!

The other few photos can be found here!
Full Results can be found here!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

2009 Built in Excuse - Baby Girl!

A collective AAAAH! for Dinah Russell Cerra.  11-21-08,  8 lbs 10 ozs.

Baby is very good.  Mommy is doing well for having a C-Section.  Nobody cares how dad is doing, but I am fine.

I will state it now, any triathlon I bomb in, was due to the lack of training I could get in due to my new child.  One year window, I call it now, so Shawn if you want to get on the wagon you better jump quick.  Amy might not be so quick to give you an excuse.

Oh to be able to kick well...

The way you get better is to focus on your weaknesses. Well I hope that I don't have anything weaker than my kick, because it's pathetic.
I don't spend a ton of time on my kick because honestly, I have a hard time knowing what I'm doing wrong to begin with. So I end up practicing something which is totally useless and ineffective.
Fortunately, our new swim coach realized as a group we are weak kickers and is taking steps towards changing that for us. Last night's workout was basically an hour of kick drills. I'm glad she didn't tell us that at the beginning of class, because my motivation to finish each set was the hope of doing something different when it was done.
The funny thing is, now think I should do a set like that at least once a week. I'm a long way from being good and I'm not going to catch up with everyone else without doing some extra homework.
Actually, I doubt I will ever catch most of the people that were at class last night, but I'd be happy with holding some sort of respectable interval rather than just finishing... whenever.

350 wu
4x50-25 kick, 25 swim
4x75-50 kick, 25 swim
4x100-75 kick,25 swim
4x100-25 kick, 75 swim
4x75-25 kick, 50 swim
4x50-25 kick, 25 swim
100 easy free cd
200 choice cd
300 easy free
2750m total

Monday, November 24, 2008

Matt's Weekend

Saturday: 6AM Hills Run with Todd. 22 degrees out. I take a bunch of optional layers of clothing so that I can try to figure out what it is I need to wear. It would seem that I over dress and end up sweating even in cold weather. Today was no different. First Lap with a warmer jacket on. 2nd lap I switch to my thin running jacket and switch from my hat to headband/ear warmer. I stayed with that and I was still too warm.
Maybe after the 1st lap I should have gone without a jacket. It’s just that in the wind, I feel that the UnderArmor isn’t going to be enough. Also I don’t mind being warm when I run, it’s post run that’s a problem. I always have to make sure I have something dry to change into, otherwise the evaporation from the tech clothes turns me into an ice cube in a big hurry.
At the moment I’m thinking I need to suck it up and start the run colder than I prefer to be and then add layers if I don’t warm up after a couple of laps.

The workout: The first 3 loops are the gradual uphill. We push hard to the top but we have a tendency to coast the downhill. So on the 3rd lap I make sure we push to the finish. Then we have our 4 repeats of the steep incline. The first one went well, Our time was within a couple seconds of our average. So on the 2nd one, I decide I’m going to go out hard at the beginning and see if I can’t get a few seconds off that average time. Well when I hit the steepest part of the hill, my feet turned into lead. No power left. I was very surprised to see that I was only about 5 seconds slower than the first, it felt like it took forever. So the 3rd I go back to pacing the run. No luck, I was done, I died at the incline. Now I’m off by about 8 seconds. I repeat that for the 4th interval. Todd on the other hand powered through all 4 of them on our typical average.
During the run we were discussing the fact that we need to make some changes to the course and our workout. We’ve gotta give the legs some variation. So we will modify our workout when we do this loop in the future. Todd also suggested we go find a monster hill which will basically crush our spirits. Figuring that if we run something tough like that every so often, when we get back to our “normal” hills they won’t seem so difficult.
I spoke with Maija about our need for variation in this workout. She agreed and suggested a course. I need to get a map from her, I’m not sure how far off it is. We do these runs so early on Saturday because Todd needs to get back home to the kids. So travel time is a factor.

In the afternoon, Genine and I meet up with Maija, Paul and Esther at the pool. Diving Competition is going on so there are limited lanes. So we don’t get to swim as a group which takes some of the fun out of it. My left shoulder was bummin’ anyhow, I could swim about 200 before it would start to ache. It may have been a good thing that I kept it somewhat easy. Other than the left shoulder, everything else felt better as a result of the swim, it’s a good way to stretch out. My swim ended when my foot started to cramp up, at which point I flipped over to my back and sculled my way back to the top of the lane. Maija was laughing, she didn’t know what it was that I was doing. She said I looked like an otter. Any mention of otter always brings this YouTube clip to mind.

Sunday Slacker: Genine got up and went to a spin class. I eventually woke up and made some breakfast. Craig called and we talked for quite a long time. It was good to catch up with him. Then Genine got home with the fixins for some French Toast. So I made a 2nd breakfast with real maple syrup, real butter, cinnamon bread…..mmmmm. Well now I’m seriously carb loaded, so I had better do something. Genine wants to go running to prepare for the 5K on Thursday. I should probably do an easy run, so out the door we go. We jog about ¾ of a mile and we stop to stretch out. I ask her if she’s interested in doing my loop rather than hers. This would have her run about 4 miles total with a bit of a hill in there. She agrees, so off we go. I figure I’m going to push her a bit so she gets a feel for what this 5K on Thursday will be like. Early on we get to a long gradual downhill, I think this is good because it helps get her into the feeling of moving faster. Then when we double back on it, it’s just a matter of trying to hold onto that pace. She’s running hard and is determined to stay with me. I ask her how she’s doing and she says her legs feel like lead. I assure her that her pace is much faster than she normally would run and she keeps going. We finish the 4 mile run and I feel like I should now turn around and run it fast, but decide that probably isn’t the best thing to do. So I walk with Genine as a cool down and go download the run from the watch. It would appear that Genine ran 5K in about 26:30. I tell her this and she tells me that under 30 minutes is still her goal time for Thursday.

I ran across a forum topic that was asking for motivational quotes or methods to stay inspired through the off season. I found it interesting to see how differently people are motivated.
Since I was already adding gadgets to the blog, I figured I should grab a bunch of the quotes that I liked and create a random quote gadget. I haven’t found one that lets you provide the specific list yet. (I didn’t look very hard). So for the moment I picked the one that I liked the best and posted it. Feel free to send me quotes that you like. Once I find the code to create my gadget, it will be on the list.

Mooseman Conflict

Alright, it has been quite a while since I last wrote anything here. This is mostly because I have nothing Tri-related to mention and we tri to stay on topic in this blog. Well, I have some news now, though it isn't very encouraging, at least from an athletic perspective. The news is that, if all goes according to plan, which has not always been known to be the case, I will not be able to do the Mooseman in 2009 because I may be returning from Africa that weekend, probably Sunday or Monday, June 7th or 8th.

In addition to that, I am hoping, though not overly hopeful, that I get accepted as a presenter at a conference in Greece, June 8th-13th, which would probably necessitate a flight directly from Kenya to Greece.

Neither of these things is set yet, though the Africa project is definitely going to happen. It's just a matter of whether I choose to go (and pay for my flight) or not. I will get free food and housing while there, so it isn't as pricey as it could be.

I really don't know what that means for me as far as my triathlons go, because if by chance I do both of these things, that will be four weeks of challenging conditions for training. I'm not sure running off the compound in Africa would be wise, and the 45-pound kettlebell puts my luggage awfully close to the 50-pound limit. Might have to do some rock-tossing and ditch-digging.

I could probably run around the island of Rhodes without hurting myself too much (except my neck from craning it to see everything), and of course the last time I traveled abroad, I lost a ton of weight, so maybe I would be better than ever when I got home.

Of course this is all totally premature, and maybe none of it will happen, but it is requiring me to wait to sign up for anything until I am more sure. I can't afford to spend the entrance fee, since I might need three grand for plane fare that month. Sheesh.

Maybe Morgantown will still work. I have to defend my "crown," right?

And of course the full Tango.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


As you can see, I added a slideshow to the side of our blog.
Let me know if this makes our blog really slow to load. I'm not married to the idea of having it there. I just had some time to try a few different features out and I kind of liked this one.

OK. I found another picture "gadget". I'm curious, which do you like better?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

More catching up on the week.

5:45 AM track workout 24 Degrees 6x800.
The times weren’t awesome . I was glad to have done this because now I know my lungs can handle a fast, hard run at this temperature.
It was just Todd and I. We figured even if the times were slow, we were getting extra points just for showing up.
Todd wants me to come up with a goal time for a 5K one year from now. I’m going to need some advice here. I can’t even guess as to what is realistic. My brain is still telling me I should retire right now, that I’ve already peaked!

1st 800: 1:44.5 + 1:43.9 = 3:28.4 (still waking up I guess)
2nd : 1:41.3 + 1:37.9 = 3:19.2 (getting there)
3rd : 1:35.1 + 1:35.2 = 3:10.3 (have I mentioned it's 24 degrees out?)
4th : 1:36.7 + 1:35.5 = 3:12.2 (And sorta windy...)
5th : 1:32.8 + 1:38.3 = 3:11.1 (Unzipping jacket in one direction...)
6th : 1:36.9 + 1:36.3 = 3:13.2 (Zipping back up as you make the turn..)

Total mileage with wu and cd. 6.3 miles

8PM: Masters Swimming. Have to say, doing a track workout the same day as a Masters Swim might not have been a good idea. I had my concerns going in.
More work on kicking fly/free. She tells us that we are improving. I'll have to take her word on that. I'm definitely trying to work with her suggestions.
Fly w/ Pull Buoy... Not pretty...Funny maybe.
Fly... There was probably an interval. I'm not sure having a stopwatch on me at this point is going to help. :-)
Then we got to hop on the starting blocks. Can't say how good my start was but it was something new. I'm sure there is plenty I could work on there.
So after class I'm standing pool side talking with the coach. Trying to understand the fly pull. So she is guiding my arms through it once. Then I try to repeat it. Easy right? It took me a minute or two to realize that my brain was off. I had been working at doing stuff I'm not very good at for the last 90 minutes. I guess thet had exhausted me mentally. Of course it's now 9:30 or later and I've been up since 4:45, that could be a factor as well. Anyhow, once I realized how saturated my brain was, I didn't feel so badly for not being able to "get it".

Thursday: Neck and Shoulders are tight. Day off... I did go shopping with Genine for workout gear tho. :-)

Friday AM: Neck and Shoulders are feeling good. Morning Swim with Esther, Claudia and Bob. As I was doing the fly with fins. Kick 6/1 stroke. I hit the lane line with my right arm, now my neck and shoulders are really bummin'. Kick and freestyle the rest of the workout.

That afternoon, I went to my chiropractor in the city about 5 blocks from where I work. I haven't been since August. That's a long time between adjustments for me. He hit me with some electrostim up near my neck along the top of my shoulders. Then did all the adjustments afterwords. I'm always amazed at how much differently my walk feels after an adjustment. The neck and shoulders are going to take a day or so. I didn't expect it was going to be a quick fix. Everything else feels great.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Better late than never

I had been writing my post on the train but never having time to post it. So here is part of my catch up post.

I’m going to go back to the weekend. I never did get a race report up. I just wanted to mention a couple things about the 5K for future reference.
1) I had set 2 alarms. 6AM & 7AM. Of course I turned off the 6AM alarm and got up at 7. Unfortunately, that meant I had less of a clue as to what I wanted to eat before this race. At 6 I could have eaten just about anything and not worry about it. At 7 I decided to eat some oatmeal. It was probably too much oatmeal…. Doesn’t matter, I think the mistake was not waking up at 6.
2) I need to think about how far and how fast I need to run before a race. I can see how it would be good to have a pre-race warm-up planned ahead of time.
3) That night I decided to try out the icy/hot. Just to see if it helps out at all. It’s hard to gauge it’s effectiveness. I had no trouble running the next day tho’.

Saturday afternoon, Genine and I met Maija and Paul at the pool. We put some good distance in 5x200, 10x100, 20x50. Well I got to 15 of the 20 before my lower abs and my calves let me know that was enough for the day. Genine was swimming shorter distances but kept with us. It was a good workout for her as well.

Then we went out to dinner with Maija and made plans for Sunday.

Kryste and Ian stopped up to visit on Sunday. So we shifted our morning trail run to late morning so that they could go to Jockey Hollow as with us.
Genine took Maija’s dog Cooper and went off with Kryste and Ian. Kryste had the “kid carrier backpack”. She joked that I could take Ian with me on the run and it would simulate my running 2 years ago. (Ian weighs 40 pounds, the backpack a few more I suppose). As you can imagine Kryste’s shoulders got a good workout. As Ian yelled "Go Coopy Go" from the backpack.
Maija and I ran with Frito. I slipped on the rocks and leaves early in the run. Fortunately I landed it well, just a bit of a cut on my arm and a sore hip the next day. It was cold and windy at the tops of the hills but a very nice day to be out running.
We added some extra distance this week. My watch measured 6.4 miles.

In the afternoon, Genine and Kryste made up a batch of split pea soup from a recipe given to my by a co-worker a few days ago. I met Maija at the pool and joined in on her IM workout. (less the fly strokes). My arms and shoulders were feeling pretty beat up from all the swimming this past week. It was good to go and get a shorter/varied swim in to loosen everything up.
The soup was fantastic. Thanks Jamie B! I’ll include the recipe at the bottom.

Monday: Masters Swimming at 8:15PM. It would seem that it only took one session for our coach to realize that the easiest way to help us improve, is to teach us how to kick. I shouldn’t say that we are all poor kickers but most of us need all the help we can get. So we did a ton of kicking. Freestyle and Fly. We did Vertical kicking. We worked on Fly with our fins on… It was tough. I was impressed that our coach didn’t fall over laughing watching us try to do some of this stuff. It’s too bad the session isn’t on video. It would have been funny to watch a year from now when we are all good at this. (At least I hope I will be good at it by then)

Tuesday: 2nd Lesson with my swim coach. Started off with Freestyle. I guess the major fix has been corrected because we ended up working on a ton of other stuff. Oddly enough, one was my open turn at the wall. I know I give up a ton of time at the wall, it just hadn’t mattered much to me. He went through the whole thing, explaining, demonstrating, it looks simple enough. The trouble is I’ve done it my way so long, anything different is going to take practice. We spent quite a bit of time on it and I don’t think my last try was much better than my first. I felt very learning impaired for the rest of the session.
Fortunately, we moved onto the Total Immersion drills. At least I have done these on my own and it was familiar. The TI drills seem quite basic and I’m sure many people would say they are useless. My opinion of them before class tonight was that they were helpful. Now that I’ve been coached through the drills, I can see what a great coaching/learning method the system is. Having the coach make adjustments/corrections as I was doing the drills took these drills to a whole new level.
Then we moved back to my freestyle. My right hand exit before recovery is good. The left hand is awful. My arm recovery is causing rotation/balance issues as well. Again, now that I’m aware and I understand it. My brain is working overtime to try and break the old habit. Yet as I finished a lap, I’d ask is that closer? His response was “um no, it’s exactly the same”. I’m not surprised making changes can be tough. It’s going to take time and focus.
I mentioned to him that we had worked on Fly the night before at masters. So he asked me to swim 25 Fly so he could see it. So I did my 25 Flounder down the pool and then he shows me what the stroke/pull/recovery should be. Then he shows me what I’m actually doing. Then he tells me if I continue to do it the wrong way I’m going to cause myself some serious shoulder damage. UGH!

Vegetarian Split Pea Soup:
3 cups dry split peas
7 cups water
1 bay leaf
2 tsp salt
1 tsp dry mustard
2 cups diced onion
5 cloves of garlic, crushed
3 stalks of celery, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 potato, thinly sliced
ground pepper to taste
4 tbsp red wine vinegar to taste
place split peas, water, bay leaf, salt and dry mustard in kettle. Bring to boil, lower heat, simmer, partly covered, 20 minutes
Add onion, garlic, celery, carrots and potato, simmer partly covered 40 minutes. stir occasionally.
add black pepper and vinegar to taste
serves 6
per serving: calories 370, total fat 3g, saturated fat 0g, fiber 23g, sodium 420 mg, cholesterol 0 mg, carbohydrate 67g

Thursday, November 20, 2008

No Baby News - YET!

Looks like we are going to the hospital this afternoon.  Maybe some news about mystery baby #4 by this evening.  I will let you know.  I might not blog it but I have phone #'s.

My training has been less than adequate, so I have no comments in this area.  

Heat Pump update.  Looks like my total electric for November will be around $100, this means I heated the house for less than $50.  Woo Hoo!

Trek Chainless Bike

Here's a link to a story on Trek's Chainless Bike.

I'll have to go check one out when they arrive. Interesting idea for sure.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Blog Tag. Matt's Post

Ah blog Tag…. It was just a matter of time I suppose.

Tagged by Maija’s blog

Here are the rules:
1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Write six random things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them.
5. Let each person know they’ve been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

We are modifying the rules 4,5 a bit here. We are just tagging all of our readers.
This way nobody feels left out. Wahoo!

6 Random things about Matt.

1) I once took 2 tickets to a Knicks / Bulls game at MSG as payment for a job back when Jordan was playing for the Bulls. The Bulls won more games in the history of the NBA that season. We watched them have their worst loss of the season. 72-104. The Knicks fans were going nuts.

2) My “voice” can be heard on the Beastie Boys Video Anthology. Or watch it here. Robot vs The Octopus Monster. I'm the "voice" of the bald guy in the robot's head. (not very audible). My friend Wyatt's Voice is the Octopus' scream. Which is much more amusing.

3) I’ve met 100’s of famous people while working in Music, Advertising and Film the last 15 years. I’ve only asked one person for an autograph. (Which I’ve kept for myself.)
Prince Be (PM Dawn). More because of who he was as a person than because of his music. Although I'm a fan as well. Check it out. Lyrics. Song Preview

4) I know that if were to be injured in a way that I had to take a break from training. That I would be equally happy sitting in front of the piano trying to get better at that. Or maybe I’d buy an electric bass….

5) Have been a fan of the comic “Peanuts” since I was a kid. It would be awesome if there were a cool Peanuts Gang Tri top to race in. I’ve seen bike jerseys.

6) On more than one occasion I have purchased 2 identical lottery tickets. One of which has gone into a Salvation Army or similar charity’s collection bin. Obviously that hasn’t paid off yet.

Now that you've read all this. You've been tagged. Go back to the top grab the rules and have some fun with it.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Colonial Park 5K Photos

I should label this picture. "Notice the 50 and over crowd, is ahead of the young punk in the back."
Matt 2
Matt 3

Damian 1
Damian 2

Our Friend Bob With the megaphone. Leading the race.
Bob 2
Bob 3

Because of the rain, we left the camera in the car for this event. We might have to look into options of how to deal with rainy situations with the camera.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Colonial Park 5k complete

Well I knew I wasn't going to win my age group. Believe it or not, there was someone from our hometown there. Damian Kellogg, that was a nice surprise. He won our Age Group and he said it was a slow run for him, 5:50 pace, or something like that. Can't wait for my bad day to be sub 6 min/mile..... (I won't hold my breath waiting for that to happen).

Link to results

I'll write more of a report later... my time. 21:04. 6:47 pace. I'll take it.
Avg HR: 191
Max HR: 200

Friday, November 14, 2008

Not sure I should even post this

Seeing how I have a history of bailing out of the majority of the running races I mention. I was considering not even posting about this Saturday's 5K race until I had finished it. The weather is still making it questionable for me. I’m going to sign up the morning of the race because of that. (I know, lame excuse)
I have some things on my mind about it though, so I figured I might as well post.

Earlier this week, I was actually feeling kind of tense about the race. I realized it was because I was placing expectations on myself. I guess I don't handle that well.
It took me awhile, but I think I've got myself back to my normal approach. Get to the race, be confident that I've trained and tapered well. Stay relaxed mentally and enjoy the race.
Here is one thing I’m going to do differently from my last race. I won't be looking at my watch to check splits. I did that at Tewksbury. All it did was make me think I was going to fail at any minute because it was faster than I thought I was capable. I guess I don't know my capabilities? Maybe that's a good thing. I wonder how many people line up and think about the pace they are expecting to finish in, and then do exactly that and no better.
Or what if you look and it’s slower than you were expecting. It’s not like you can go back and fix it. I suppose you could run harder the rest of the way out to make up for it, but that doesn’t make sense to me either. I would think that if you are already giving your best effort, pushing harder might just lead to an even less desirable result.
Then there is the fact that you really can’t trust the placement of the mile markers anyhow. I’d trust my Polar watch/ footpod more, unless there are a lot of hills.

I just figured I’d write that all out because I’m guessing after I run my first 5K race, I’ll then have the experience of it and my point of view may change completely.

Lastly, How am I feeling physically going into this race? After last Saturday & Sunday’s hill runs, I’ve taken it very easy. 3 miles on both Tuesday and Thursday, very easy pace with a few very brief faster runs. I just wanted to feel how the legs were going to respond to a faster pace. I seem to feel the best I’ve been in a month. Still a little hesitant to accelerate but able to hold a good speed once I get there. My other concern was that after my Tuesday run in the cold. I had a bit of asthma. It isn’t going to be cold Saturday. I don’t expect it will be a problem.
Even as I wrote that last paragraph, I started to think about the fact I haven’t practiced properly for this race. Hey. Brain. Give it up. The race is tomorrow, we are going to take what we can get. Don’t be upset with results that don’t even exist yet. Besides, it’s my first 5K, I can’t help but have a Personal Record at the end of the day. Ha!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Shawn's Perfect Race?

Uber Man!
10 Elite Men
10 Elite Women

250 Meter Swim
4 Mile Bike Course
1 Mile Run

The first ever sprint that makes Triathlon a true spectator sport.

Now for the fun part...

All prospective entrants should be able to meet all of the following criteria;

1. On the swim leg of this race You should be able to swim under 3.0 minutes.
2. On this race you should be able to average 30 mph on the bike.
3. On this race you should be able to race at sub 5 minutes on the total run.

All prospective competitors must submit
official race results from (3) USAT sanctioned multi-sport races.

Obituaries from Warren Newspaper

Coach Scordo
He provided countless unforgettable moments. Tossing kids out from their hiding spots in the wrestling room. Helping with pushups. Telling JT to walk off his broken collar bone....

There are many teachers that I don't remember a single thing about anymore. I doubt that anyone who had coach as a gym teacher will ever forget him.

Now "Sit Down! Before I break your goddamn arm!"

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Monday To Do List

Saturday and Sunday were plenty busy this past weekend. The funny thing is, I had intended to do even more than I did. Unrealistic? Perhaps, considering the growing To Do list I have at home. I’m good at keeping up with the stuff that is essential to making it through the week. Laundry, Groceries, cooking up food for lunch… It’s the less regular projects that fall through the cracks. Rake the leaves, Mow the lawn, Winterize the house, Patch the roof….

Fortunately for me, I had Monday off and the weather was going to be perfect…. To go out biking… After I get my morning swim in. That's what I would have liked to do. That isn’t what happened though. My Monday was influenced by one of Genine’s favorite Triathlon Bloggers, Maggs. Maggs had written a post about “Let’s make a Deal”, in which she was making deals with herself. If you do this, you get that. I thought to myself how I might be the type of person that could work on that system as well.
Although, I guess this past weekend, I kind of reversed the system. I gave myself the reward of having fun Saturday and Sunday, knowing that I had to hold myself accountable to complete the majority of my To Do list on Monday.

So as I was eating breakfast Monday, wishing I had a Starbucks coffee, I decided that was going to be the reward for the day. No Starbucks until the list is done.
I didn’t get to Starbucks until about 5PM but I got there. Genine will be impressed.
Thanks Maggs!

After picking up my Starbucks, I then start to think of my workout options. Biking? Too dark, it would have to be on the trainer. Bleh! Short run? Saturday/Sunday were both hill runs, give it a rest. I guess whatever we happen to get as a workout after we meet our new Masters Swimming coach tonight will have to be enough.

There were 7 of us at class, and we had 3 lanes. I decided to try and hang in the fast lane with Bob and Maija. I was counting on being helped by drafting, like I did this past Saturday. Sadly, there was no drafting, they were uncatchable but I did hold most of the intervals. I just didn’t get much rest in between. It was a good workout for me.

Side note: Whatever chemicals are in the pool seem to work well as a solvent. The roofing tar that was on my hands at the start of the night was gone.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Sorting and posting pictures

How many 1000's of digital photos do I have? Honestly I don't know. I'm just trying to post as many as I can so that others can enjoy them. Here is a funny set.
Vash and Milo the Dentist...


Weekend Update

Start the day off with our 6AM Hill Repeats. It’s just Todd and I this morning. Todd competed in the Bermuda Triathlon last weekend, so I got to hear all about that. He really enjoyed it and says that I really need to consider doing it next year.
I haven’t downloaded the workout from my watch yet so I’m not able to compare previous weeks. I’m expecting that I was much slower but I’m really not sure. It was a good workout, we really pushed the uphills but definitely relaxed more than normal on the downhill.
When we did the short steep repeats I was surprised that we finished all 4 of them within 2 seconds of each other. We both commented that there had better be some payoff in race times for putting ourselves through the “super suffer” hill repeats. I would think that if you were looking to find your max HR. There is a good chance you would find it running this hill as fast as you could.

Next up, load the bikes onto the car. Get more food into the system and wait for Genine to get back from her IntenSati class. She also had to fuel up when she got home. The weather kept looking more wet. By the time we hopped into the car to go, it started raining. So instead of going out and getting a ride in, we ended up taking a nap. (all or nothing I guess...)

I had a swim lesson scheduled for 2PM. Unfortunately, there was an event that the coach wasn’t told about at the pool. So it was canceled, he might be able to fit me in Sunday. By the end of the day, I found out Sunday wasn’t going to work either. Ah well.
Instead of my 2PM lesson, Genine and I went to the pool to meet up with Maija and Paul. We get there and there is a girls meet going on. Fortunately we were able to get a lane or two and we kept shuffling around to get our workout in. The noise of the meet made it a bit chaotic but we got a good workout in. Because we were circle swimming I got to draft for a change. So I’d try to close the 5 second gap somewhat quickly and not be on their feet but at least I was able to hang with these people that usually are pulling away from me. 20x 50 on 1min we did that twice.
Genine swam for a bit more than an hour and then headed out. Swimming is currently her least favorite part of tri training. Our masters swimming program is beginning again. I’m hoping the schedule might allow her to swim with us once a week. I think if she had some direction on how to improve and the fact that it’s a fun supportive group of people, she might come to enjoy swimming.
At the end of the main set, Maija was going to practice her flip turns. I hadn’t ever decided that I should even bother with flip turns because typically I’m so out of breath, it’s the last thing I need to add to my list of problems. Today though, perhaps because of the drafting I was feeling pretty good about my swimming. So I figured what the heck. The observation deck is filled with “fans” hopefully watching their kids and not me, ha ha. I didn’t butcher the attempt anywhere near as badly as I thought I might. I’m not consistent enough with my swim times, so it will take awhile to know for sure if the flip are actually speeding me up at all. If nothing else, it will be fun just to be doing them.
It was a good swim workout. How do I know? Because I was cramping up big time towards the end. Ugh! I probably should have taken an endurolyte before I started…
Because the girls meet finished at the same time we did, Maija wanted no part of the locker room until it thinned out a bit. So she was leading me through some Abs work and stretching. I’m weak in both of those departments. When I get to plan out an official workout schedule, I need to make sure I include both of these, very regularly.

Nice sunny day out. Genine had to work a half-day. Maija stopped by, picked me up and we went out trail running with her dogs. Her dog Cooper was a good match for me. He would go slowly on the downhills and stay behind me, then race to catch up with Maija and Frito on the flats and uphills, pulling me along. Frito on the other hand was always leading Maija. We ran 5.5 miles or so. Frito would have run a 2nd loop. The rest of us on the other hand were done. There was a 2nd workout planned for the afternoon. No need to go crazy on the running.
I really had it in my head that I was going to swim today. I think I’ve been in the pool for 7 days straight tho’ and Genine is going to want to bike when she gets back at 3-3:30. So I guess I'm passing on the swim.
Genine had an easy commute to and from Long Island, which is amazing to us. It did cost her $14.30 in tolls plus gas to go 140 miles round trip…
Anyhow, she got back in time for us to go riding. Oddly enough, Genine always has a tough start to her rides. We get 7 or 8 miles out and we have to decide if we are going to do the short or long ride. She says it’s not feeling good and we do the shorter ride. Then when we get back to the car. She now feels she could go do the entire ride again without a problem. I wonder what it is we could do to speed up the “warm-up” for her?
We called it a day, which was probably good, the wind was going right through her jacket so she was cold, and the temp is going to be dropping quickly as we get to last hour of daylight.
I knew I should have packed our swim gear just in case we had a short ride! Ha ha!

Fun weekend!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Power Plate Update

So yesterday I commented that the vibrating power plate machine I used Wednesday, "seems effective". Change that to "is effective".
I guess I forgot about the 2 day rule about recovering from a tough workout. My legs this morning were feeling it. Kind of a different feel to be honest, 2 things.
1) I felt that every part of my leg muscle was fatigued. I guess nothing escaped this machine. I'd say this is a positive thing.
2) I didn't put it together yesterday when my arms were sore. (we did pushups and side plank exercises on it as well). Anyhow, in addition to the fatigue, there is/was a bit of soreness, arms yesterday and legs today. What I think is interesting is that the soreness is at the last bit of muscle before the knee and the elbow. I can't say whether this is a good or bad yet. It's just something I'll have to pay attention to as I continue to use it more.

So swimming this morning, I was on my own. Actually for about 10 minutes, I was the only person in the pool. I went in planning on being very focused on sticking to a workout. I was going to warmup then do 10x100 on 2:05.
My 2nd 100 was terrible so I decided instead of practicing bad swimming. I'd take a longer break. 3rd was ok. 4th was pretty bad again. Long rest... 5th not great. Time to change the plan.
I went to my balance and kick drills, then finished with some slow good laps. It's good to leave the pool swimming well rather than flailing.
I quit early and caught an earlier train to work.
I was in the pool a bunch this week, I'm not surprised that I didn't have much left. Kind of a good feeling actually.
Oddly enough, I'm going to the pool again in a few minutes. I won't be swimming much. I'm going to work with Genine on some of the TI balance drills. (Let the blind leading the blind jokes begin).

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Strength, Stretch, Swim..

I've been going easy on the running for over a week. No biking either. I've had a bit of a hip flexor tweak on my left side. I ran a few miles tonight, it seems better but I was pretty slow tonight legs were feeling kind of heavy. Probably because of this thing.

Genine and I went to the gym last night and I was doing squats on this with no extra weight. This thing vibrates all over the place, which causes you to use a bunch more muscles than you typically would doing the exercise regularly. I hadn't used it before, it seems effective.

I've also been working on doing some "Active Stretching". Good article in the NYTimes.
The Scorpion Stretch seems to be a good one for the hip flexors.

Here is a whole series of stretches.

The spider stretch looks like a popular one as well, I can't find a video of that tho.

I have been swimming a lot. Wednesday morning I was swimming with Maija and Claudia. After our warm up we were going to do a 1500m time trial. I had decided that instead of pushing really hard, I would try to stay relaxed and hold form as best I could.
I finished in 29:20 which is my first time under 30 min. The cool part is, not only was it my fastest 1500m to date, it was the most relaxed.
We will be doing this time trial monthly. I feel confident that I will be faster next time.

After the swim I got to the locker room only to find my brain had stopped working. I couldn't remember my combination for my lock!! I have a train to catch, so there is a bit of a time crunch. I seem to remember numbers easily, I can still phone most of my friends from High School without looking up their numbers. Only they don't live at home anymore. So it would be nice if I could forget those. I also have a couple checking account numbers, I can rattle those off.... Because I'm the "buyer" at work I can read off our credit card account number off the top of my head, plus dates and security codes... I don't try to memorize these things it just happens.
Anyhow, so here I am standing at my locker thinking I'm going to have to go wait in the lobby in my swim suit and ask Claudia or Maija to drive me home so that I can change and go to work. Oh man that would be embarrassing!
Finally I remember that I had some sort of word association that went along with the combination that I hadn't even thought about since I first bought the lock. It worked. Whew! All is good, I made my train.

When I tell Genine about this, she reminds me that she doesn't have any trouble remembering her combination to her master lock. She's had the same lock since 7th grade (1982). I think Master Lock should be calling her for an advertisement of some sort right?

Monday, November 3, 2008

Funniest Sign at NYC Marathon

I forgot to mention this one.

If Palin can run, So Can YOU!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

NYC Marathon 08

Too late to write much now...
We were in Brooklyn and Manhattan today to watch Kevin run his first marathon.
The pictures from the day are here.
Kevin did great, he made it look easy. The picture above is less than a mile from the finish.
I believe his time was 4:09. He was hoping for under 4:00. Maybe that will make him want to take another shot at it. :-)
16,031st place of 37,750 participants

Friday, October 31, 2008

Losing Training, Family Stuff

We have a baby coming in about 22 days and I have done nothing but go, go, go on kids school stuff and activities.

In the last two weeks:
Nutrition Meeting with Board of Education.  
LSIC (have no idea what it stands for), otherwise known as PTO.  County wide meeting with BOE.
Actual PTO meeting at Eleanor's school.
Became the Pack Leader for Levi's newly formed Cub Scout Pack.  
Drove to Grove City (Outlet malls) to shop and see family.
Went with Tamara to midwife appointment.
Dentist appointment which turned out to be just a sensitive tooth
The Bank mis-charged a $12 check (from my haircut) as $1,949 out of my account.  I went negative and then $400 in lack of fund fees. (Remember the the Grove City trip, lots of transactions for small amounts, fees was greater than what I bought).  Since being married we have never gone negative in a checking account, took them two days to correct.  Not stress free I might add.
Trick r' Treating tonight.  Tomorrow trip to Pittsburgh to buy more stuff.  Sunday relax and bake pepperoni rolls with the kids after church.

I can't wait for the baby, because then I have an excuse not to leave the house.

Good news on the baby front even though you never heard the bad news.  The baby was not head down until this week.  It should have gone head down about six weeks ago, but wouldn't.  We heard about chiropractors who do an adjustment on the hip area and it gets the baby moving.  It is called the Webster technique.  Tamara found a doctor and went to see him Monday.  He told her he only had one patient who's baby did not turn due to this procedure.  Chiropractors on a whole have a 85% success rate.  Sometimes takes 3 or 4 adjustments.

Tamara's worked on the first.  This is awesome because now we are looking at a vaginal birth instead of a planned C-section.  We have been praying about this for some while.  If you don't know Tamara had two C-sections before our third child was vaginal.  The worst part of the story is we went to the same mid-wife all three times and this time also, she felt bad about the first two.  Two C-sections, then vaginal is very rare, so we have that going for us.

Just wanted to post an update you all.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


It's been nearly a month that I've been dealing with sore legs. Looking at October's workouts, I guess I only had 2 days completely off. In my defense, many days were swim only. Maybe those aren't as easy on my legs as I think?
I keep thinking I'm going to ease up and give myself a nice break and try and recover. But fun opportunities to workout keep popping up. I figure once the weather turns nasty, it's going to come to a grinding halt. So I'm taking advantage while I can.

Of course I wonder if I'm actually gaining strength by continuing as I am. Or if I'm just putting on junk miles as a result of not being able to push hard.
The other thing I've been wondering about is my diet. My current mix is 15% fat, 20% Protein, 65% carbs. Great for having energy but of course when you look at weight lifting/strength building stuff they are always pushing massive amounts of protein for their recovery. Maybe I should give up some carbs for protein? Maybe some weight gain 4000?