Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Asthma / "waves of warmth" / comedy

I seem to be complaining about everything lately. So why stop now?
Last night at the beginning of my 5k my lungs decided to revolt. Definitely an asthma attack. Very short lived. Lungs became constricted I just kept running, they warmed up and I was good to go. Then I had to deal with the junk in the lungs that an asthma attack leaves behind. TMI, sorry.

I haven't had any type of inhaler since Jr High School, or somewhere there abouts. I've had very few issues with asthma over the last 20+ years. My most recent attacks have always been coupled with exercise during times of very high emotional stress.
So what am I so stressed about? All I can think is my work schedule and personal schedule are both in high gear right now. I've also been driving to our NJ facility, (Traffic Stress) a couple times a week. Maybe that long train ride into the city is actually good for me?

I'm not concerned about it. I'm just documenting the fact that it happened, so if it starts to become an issue I'll have a journal of it.

On another note. This might be directed at Dr Jim.
Shawn was asking how I felt after the race Sunday. The one odd condition I seemed to be having was I would suddenly become very warm for short intervals. This continued to happen through Monday afternoon. I suppose I should have been taking my temperature, could have been interesting.
I've read other race reports from Bassman and people were complaining of frozen feet on the bike and such. As you saw in the pictures, I didn't put on any cold weather gear for the bike. I didn't really feel any ill effects, but I find that once the race starts, I don't notice much of anything.
Anyhow, I'm guessing I was just adjusting from the cold or something like that.

Because this post is so incredibly boring, I feel compelled to add some humor to it. Fortunately Kevin whom I'm running the Brooklyn race this weekend with has provided me with material.
The Kevin in this news story is in fact the same Kevin.

Another Birthday Approacheth

I finally got to the gym last night. It's been a long time. It was surprisingly successful, and I might even say enjoyable. I'm feeling pretty good today too, so I must not have totally destroyed all my muscle fibers. I feel so dang good today that, for some reason, I am hopeful that I will not embarrass myself at the Mooseman. At this moment, I think I am going to run like the wind, bike like Armstrong (you can call me Legstrong), and swim like Spitz.

Okay, each of those efforts will probably last less than 50 yards (downhill in two instances), but there will be a moment in each event when that will happen.

I am going to at least try to give Craig a run for his money.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I'm Lonely

I understand Matt not doing much training, but Shawn I'm looking pretty lonely on the spreadsheet. I know your are going to come out with some end of the semester Blah, Blah, Blah. Six weeks Buddy. The mistress of Newfoundland Lake is calling you like the sirens at United Refinery during a full tar pit fire. SHAWN, SHAAAAWN, SHAAAAAAAWN cough, hack, gag, gag (Phelm sounds). She is not as young as she use to be and it is hard for her to yell loud enough for you to hear her in State College.

VIZZINI: (shrieking)Faster!
FEZZIKI: thought I was going faster.
VIZZINI: You were supposed to be this colossus. You were this great, legendary thing. And yet he gains.
FEZZIK: Well, I'm carrying three people. And he's got only himself.
VIZZINI: (cutting through)-- I do not accept excuses.
(shaking his head) I'm just going to have to find myself a new giant, that's all.
FEZZIK: (hurt) Don't say that, Vizzini. Please.

This is how it will feel during the Triathlon with those scrawny athletes bolting around us! On the lighter side:

Fezzik: Inigo?
Inigo Montoya: What?
Fezzik: I hope we win.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Bassman Bike Graph

HR top red line
Speed in blue
Cadence pink
Altitude shaded area
Text underneath gives info Avg/Max

From a number of weeks ago a guess at my Bike HR Zones.
Zone 1: 137 or less
Zone 2: 137-150
Zone 3: 151-156
Zone 4: 157-167
Zone 5A: 168-171
After putting this list together. Climbing Devil's Hill in NH my HR hit 178. I was out of saddle climbing, that is my highest HR on my bike so far. As I get more ride time in, I'll be able to adjust these if needed.

From Craig's comments:

Craig: I do have a a couple ?'s about the Mooseman, it appears to not be flat, but the bike times seem fast. A lot of 20+ MPH bike times. I think it would compare to the normal rides around the house

I think you are very right about the mooseman bike expectations. Likely similar to your rides. I would think you would want to find something to simulate the following.
Check out mile 16-22. That has to be the zone where you find out who's for real. 16-19 you are likely to have a head wind and full sun as well. Once you make the turn you are back into the trees.
I've found it very hard to push myself after that section. So not only do I have a tough time with 16-22 I finish the final miles poorly as well.
Knowing this you now have everything you need to know to crush me at the race.


I really thought the suit performed great. So that should be the end of that, right?
Well I called them up today. Their First Wave stuff is available now. I asked them if they would send me the First Wave pullover. So I could choose between the Black Pearl and the First Wave. I'd return one or the other. They were fine with that. Why wouldn't they be? It's not like I'm asking them to send their cheaper model!
This will satisfy my curiosity. Obviously this isn't about shaving time off the clock. It's about the comfort and ease of motion.
I guess I'll be posting more about my wetsuit in about a week.

Mooseman is getting close enough that if you are going the rental route, it might be time to get the order in.

Wahoo!! Bring on the MOOSE!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Bassman Complete!

Wakeup at 3AM
Eat my standard Eggs and Toast breakfast.
Rolling out of Somerville at 4-4:15
Arrive at Race location 5:30
About 49-50 degrees, Water Temp 63. Very cloudy and just a sprinkling of rain.
Transition area is a beach. Very sandy. When you leave the Transition area you go across the timing mat. The bike start is still say, 3oo yards away through deep loose sand. That isn't going to be very fun with bike shoes on.

Setup transition. The big question we all have is what to wear on the bike. My options are a cotton long sleeve crew, or my fleece windbreak jacket. I leave both of them out and available.
Bike option, socks or no socks. I decide to have a pair of socks in both my bike and run shoes because there is so much sand. I might want to swap.
My wetsuit came in 2 big plastic bags which I had with me. They were useful to use in the setup to keep my shoes & socks dry if it should start to rain harder.
2 Gels taped to my bike. Taped in such a way that it will tear open and leave the top on the bike.
Forgot to put the body glide on at first. I need to add that to my race site checklist.
We all got into the water to "warm up". Being in the water actually wasn't too bad. Getting back out and standing around waiting to start got chilly.

I'm going to be in the 2nd wave of the swim start. I try hard not to think of the total distance of the swim and how far it appears. This one had many buoys so I just thought about swimming to the first one which looks very easy to do.
I started very much in the center of the lineup. I won't do that again. I felt that I was constantly being taken out of my stroke by running into people. It got somewhat better as we got further into the swim because of the spacing. I was sighting for open lanes as much as I was sighting for my direction. I'm unsure of my swim split at this time. I have a feeling I'm going to be disappointed I certainly never got into a really good groove.

T1: Wetsuit removal, very simple. Toughest part, keeping balance and not falling over. I decide to go without socks for the bike. Feet are going to be sandy anyhow, even if they are clean going into the shoes, because of the long sandy trek to the bike mount area. I did decide to put on my bike gloves, that takes too long. I need to work on a better plan for my gloves or get so I don't want them. I'm looking at my shirt and jacket. At the moment I'm not cold, I've been in T1 too long already!! Go without! Get going!

Bike: I have my polar watch mounted to the bike for the Power Meter info. My HR is high from the swim. I try to pick a pace which feels right and should allow me to get back into my zone. I'll look at the graph to see how that all went down.
I remember that I need to lightly apply my brakes to get the sand cleared from them so they will work when I need them.
I'm guessing I'm 5 or so miles in and I've already seen at least 3 people working on changing tires. Then I get to a grated deck draw bridge (Think old 5th street bridge in Warren). As I hit the decking, I start that old Left/Right shift. I make sure not to pedal at all. It's probably all of 25-30 yards. Midspan, there is a guy laying off to the side with someone over them telling him he's going to be alright. (I didn't know it at the time, He crashed hard and we think he had a gash down to the muscle) Man! There are a ton of people having problems! Another mile along a guy carrying his bike on his back walking towards us, a local is offering him a ride back to the start. Sheesh!!
The ride is very flat, I feel like I'm moving along well. Once we get to the "hills" a couple people had just passed me. I kind of hang behind and pace off of them. Eventually I realize I should be going back by these people. Dumb!
Around mile 15-17 Maija catches up with me and says hello as she and two others from her wave cruise by me. (I believe she started 6 minutes after me, Wave 4 .) As far as I know there is only one other woman ahead of me. I think she passed me in the first few miles of the bike. So Maija and the other 2 are (2,3,4) as of right now. Awesome!
(Edit: Maija was wave 5 and started 9 minutes behind me. Again, Awesome!)
As I get back within 5 miles of the finish, I start digging in a bit more. I move further back onto the saddle and start pushing harder. I start to pass some people again. I'll have to look at the graph to see exactly when this really happens. I finished the bike thinking I should have started my dig earlier. Now I have to run back across the Sahara to the transition area.

T2: I was really leaning on my bike to keep me steady running with my bike shoes. Legs are feeling plenty funky. Now to get some sand off my feet and get some socks on for the run. Again, I feel like I'm in transition forever. I'm thinking of having multiple towels for future races. It would have been nice to have one to clean my feet today another to stand or kneel on to get socks on.
I get the socks on, there is a ton of sand in between my toes. This could get ugly.

Run: Back across the sand dunes. I didn't really get where I was supposed to go for the run. Follow the cones... at the end of the cones they are pointing the way. Thank you.
I check my watch for HR and pace. I am running way too fast, low 7 min pace. I seem to always do this. I slow myself down and keep chugging. Guy behind me says "The first half mile of the run is awful". No kidding, it feels so wrong. Eventually I get the feel for running back. I'm trying to keep under 8 min/mile pace. HR is 175-179. I know I should be able to run 4 miles in this zone. My watch beeps at me. "Memory full". I'm such an idiot. I didn't erase the old workouts before starting today. Add that to the checklist. Fortunately, the watch continues to work, it just doesn't record. I eventually get behind a guy from my age group and we are running 7:30-7:45 pace. I keep checking my HR. It's looking good. I'm close behind him. He can definitely hear me breathing. I'm thinking to myself if we get close to the finish in this position, we are going to have a fun footrace at the end. I should have enough in me for a sprint to the finish. He drops pace after the section of "sandy trail" running. So much for the meaningless sprint to the finish. Once I get an idea of how far I have left, I gun it anyhow (as much as someone like me can gun it.) I finish feeling good, I think I probably beat my Florida pace. If I didn't it's because of the fact the run started as soon as you left transition, which meant the sand dunes were part of the run time.

I finished 114th overall. Time 2:28:09
The rest of team F.A.S.T:
Maija finished 26th overall, First in her age group, 2nd overall female. 2:08:15
Todd finished 100th Place 2:24:41
Esther finished 120th 2:28:48
Armando finished 162nd 2:37:14
This was Esther and Armando's first Triathlon, impressive!

Thanks to Genine, we got some fun photos from today.

Oh, one more tip. Things you don't think about until you have to think about it. What do you do with the empty gu wrappers? Well here I am trying to stuff them into the tiny pockets of my tri top. I mention this to Todd on the way home. He says. "just stuff them under the cuff of your bike shorts". Now he tells me. Ha!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Getting Psyched for the Bassman

I'm definitely excited for the race Sunday. I have been training very cautiously though.
I just got back from being a total slacker at the pool. The swim definitely helps get me stretched out but I really was fearful of tweaking something.
I guess my current mode of thinking is, if I'm going to get hurt, do it at the race.

It hasn't even been two weeks and I'm already missing doing harder workouts. I'm feeling soft!
I can see how people give up on doing something if they can no longer perform at a level they once could do.
Reminds me of a lyric from a Rush song "Losing it":

Some are born to move the world
To live their fantasies
But most of us just dream about
The things we'd like to be
Sadder still to watch it die
Than never to have known it
For you, the blind who once could see
The bell tolls for thee...

Way too dramatic for what I'm talking about.
Me being the Jack of all trades, Master of Nothing, will likely never have anything to which that will apply. (maybe that's a good thing?)

Be careful

Just thought you guys should be aware of this.


This sport is dangerous.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Gear Ratios Craig/Matt

Click on the picture above for a bigger view.

I was curious. I'm not very good knowing the ratios so I looked them up.
So did you do that whole climb in saddle then?
I might have to do hill climbs every day in NH during my July Vacation. I plan on riding the Timberman course at the very least.
Speaking of the July Vacation, any chance of the Vashaw's stopping by? I believe we are looking at July 12-21.

I also realized my Triathlon season kind of ends in June. Nothing on the calendar in July. Tango and perhaps the Morgantown Sprint in August. (I'll admit I'd like to repeat that race, just to get an read on improvement on the same course.)
There is a sprint in Bangor ME in September. Would be a good excuse to see Jason and Anne. Maybe get Jason going on this Tri thing again.
Finally if I stay on track, join Jim and his gang at the NH marathon. Any excuse to spend time at the farm I suppose. Am I crazy to make that course my first marathon?

Now that Jim is back from the Boston Marathon and his other trips. I'd like to bring up Tango teams again. Is this something we should put off until after the Mooseman? We can use that race as a reality check? Or is that not necessary? I think I know where Jim and Shawn are regarding the Tango. Craig what were you hoping for?

If you didn't look at the spreadsheet, I ran 5 slow miles tonight. Left Hamstring is tight but I'll keep working on that. Basically from the time I tweaked my back until my adjustment Monday, that muscle has been in some sort of spasm/cramp. It's going to take some time to get it stretched back out and relaxed.
My Chiropractor wanted me to stop in for another visit before the race this weekend. I would have done it if he were there for the adjustment. He's not going to be there and the other Dr. has never adjusted me. I'm not going to go with an unknown Dr at this point. I canceled the Pre-Race adjustment. I'll see the Dr I like on Monday for a Post-Race adjustment instead.

Net Zero Work

In physics if you take an object and raise it 10 ft, then drop it back to original starting point that would be a net effect of zero work. Mass X distance. I think I have that right. So, I have determined you could argue from a purely theoretical sense most triathlons are net zero work being done. You take a mass and move it over some distance, but in the end you net out at distance zero.

I bring this up because last nights ride and I thought some work had been done, but the net effect is zero distance. I had no idea what I had done once I started the hill. I had been up it in the car a couple years ago, but I had no idea. Then if I had realized going down the back side was so far, I would not have done it. Well I was stuck I had to get back to Levi's practice so he wasn't the lonely kid waiting for his dad. You would have thought that the ride downhill would have been fun, but the switch backs were so intense I was standing on the brakes most of the way to keep it under 35 MPH. Jakes Rock Hill is 600 ft vertical in 2.25 mile. Breezy Heights is just under 400 ft in 1 mile. This baby was 500 ft vertical in about 1.25 miles. I did it both ways. The way shown in the picture was definitely harder. It felt worse plus the back side was done after doing the front side so I wasn't as fresh. Also, no guardrail with cliffs on the way up. I don't remember drawing out a ride that had me do a 1000 ft of climbing in an hour before. As you can tell despite my stupidity in underestimating this ride, I am glad and proud I did it. NO I did not stop. The new bike plus my lighter carcass was definitely an advantage over climbs from last year. Even though Devil's Hill looks steep, I may have found a training ride to prepare for it, because Devil's is no way this long.

One day I want to ride Breezy Heights, Klondike, and Blue Goose hills all in the same ride. I got it figured out so I only do each once. Kind of the Hat Trick of Bike climbing hills in Fairview, WV.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Wednesday Workouts

I ran 3 miles after work. For the first mile or so I thought about every single step. Analyzing how it all felt. It did feel odd, but eventually I was warmed up and I just ran easy. 3 miles in 26:20.
I guess what still feels odd is my right calf and my left hamstring. Not sure what to make of that.
All that matters is no pain, no muscle spasms and I have full range of motion.

So I went to Masters Swimming as well. It went well but I bailed out after about 50 minutes. We weren't even being pushed hard tonight. It was just that my right calf was heading towards a cramp. Sometimes I can feel those for a few days, I don't need that right now.
Kind of lame I know but I'll get back to working hard soon.

Pool Upgrade

So I was talking with Aaron at the Y last night. He was filling me in on why the Y was closed for that week. Apparently the filter running our pool was the original 1970's filter. How gross is that?

The good news is, it has been upgraded. The new filter/pump turns over a much higher volume of water and of course is much more effective. There have been times our pool has looked pretty nasty so this is a big deal.
For whatever reason, the Y's in our county are nowhere near as nice as the ones I see elsewhere. I think it's lack of looking for Corporate sponsors but I really can't say that for sure. All I know is I would love one of the facilities to have a nice cardio / weight room. Maybe I should try to get onto the board and get involved, instead of just complaining about it. (like I have the time).

Monday, April 21, 2008

Back Tweak update

I skipped masters swimming this AM because I didn't want to get caught up in doing something that might cause a problem. The back is feeling better but I know it's still locked up. It's just the inflammation has been reduced.

My main Chiropractor had office hours tonight. So I went in. He verified the hip tilt, which was making my left leg short by about an inch. Obviously this causes you to adjust how you walk/run in a big way. As predicted, he freed me up on his first try. I think I actually laughed when it popped and said "That's what I'm talkin about".
I'm still disappointed that this didn't happen on Friday but there's nothing I can do about that. Hopefully I'm back on track and moving on.

Now it's after 8PM and I'm torn between hopping on the bike trainer or giving it one more day off. I think I'll just lift some weights do some pushups and abs and hope I feel great tomorrow.

Notes from Shawn

I just thought I toss up a few notes from the last couple of days. One thing I have discovered, which of course should be no surprise but nonetheless is, is that using the aero bars requires muscles in the back of your neck to tilt your head up. If you are planning on using the aeros at all on race day, I suggest practicing to acclimate those muscles. Mine are feeling it today. Also, my experience on the road with aeros was somewhat different than on the trainer as far as muscle recruitment goes, because there is steering involved. I would also suggest wearing your helmet on the trainer (or in the real world) once in a while so your head gets used to carrying that extra weight and you become accustomed to what happens with your sweat. I found steering with the aeros to be a little funky for the first minute, but it all came together quickly. I'm comfortable with them now, although as I said on the spreadsheet, I am not yet confident that I want to go around sharp corners at 30K/h.

Yesterday, I developed a new exercise routine I am calling "Toss the Boulder." All you have to do is pick up your personally chosen rock, toss it as high as you can and catch it on the way down. It's a lot like working with a kettlebell, only cheaper, and in my case, I have to use both hands to toss and catch the boulder rather than the one hand with which I normally juggle a kettlebell. Today, I can tell I did some major work. You don't have to go anywhere, so it's a tidy and quick workout and gets the HR going quite effectively. Everyone, go find your boulders!

The Stork has Landed

Some may find this Shocking, others may think me crazy, but my beautiful wife is pregnant with our fourth child. We have known for a little while. She is 9 weeks. She had an ultrasound done last Thursday, we told the kids Saturday, pretty fun stuff, they were excited (they all want a boy, especially Levi, he faltered a little when speaking of sharing a room with someone, but feels the benefits out weigh any downside). We got through parents and brothers yesterday, so I am now cleared to let you know.

The story is we did not want this big of a gap between Eleanor and this child, but God in his infinite wisdom (or his humorous irony) did not allow us to conceive before now. That being said, it was still a little of a shock that we did conceive. We had tried as along as five years ago, even did a couple tests to see why no results. No good reason, just not working the doctor told us. So, to avoid a Kate plus eight situation, we decided to just not worry about it.

We did not mention until after the ultrasound because I think we were in disbelief or shock. Tamara has attributed it to going off wheat. She feels that wheat was so depleting her system of nutrients that her body couldn't conceive (I was glad to use this reason, because it doesn't put my manhood into question). Eight months ago she went off wheat. Her health has improved so much that we are convinced this is the reason.

I have been blessed by God with this and thought you folks would want to know, also I didn't want you to think Tamara had let herself go when we see you in June. The irony I mentioned above is that we had discussed a few month ago about how this wasn't going to happen, and my next move was to look into adopting a baby from either China or South America. I think I am not going to do this now.

The only bad news is, I may not be very "competitive" next year. Ha!Ha!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

If you can't run, what do you do? / Wetsuit suggestion

Well swim of course! As you can see on the spreadsheet, I did plenty of that.
But what then? Sit around thinking "man this stinks". No Way!
OK, I lie, It does stink and I did sit around a bit thinking that. Ha ha.
But then I decided to revisit some funny stuff online, and in case you haven't ever seen "Flight of the Conchords". I figured I'd better post a link.

Now on to something useful.
When buying your wetsuit, order up some wetsuit shampoo. Especially if you plan on doing any pool swimming. I didn't think about this. Fortunately, Maija brought some in for me. So my suit should be in good shape now.
I know Ruth has been concerned about freezing during the Mooseman swim. I believe they sell this swim cap at SBR. They also sell the booties.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Chiro / Y / Wetsuit

Sat in traffic on the Garden State Parkway for 1.5-2 hours. I guess everyone is heading to the shore already. It's going to be a nice weekend.
Fortunately, the Chiropractic office stayed open just for me. Which was very nice of them, I haven't seen this doctor for over a year. I was an hour late and they stayed late. I was not an easy adjustment.
As I said in my previous post, the other doctor is the only guy that can successfully adjust my lower back. That record remains unbroken. That's not to say my adjustment tonight wasn't helpful. I definitely felt better than I did. He also said that I should absolutely be taking NSAID's of some sort until this problem is gone. So I'm taking Ibuprofen, I'm not much for pills so I waited for them to tell me it was the right thing to do. I'm also going to ice my lower back each night before going to bed.
This makes it sound like I'm in a world of hurt. I'm not, in fact I went to the pool tonight. Our pool is finally back open!! So I took my wetsuit to the pool to give it a try. Wow is this thing buoyant! I now understand why the guys in swim class don't work very hard at their kicking. You don't have to work to keep your legs up at all.
I did a bunch of laps with the full wetsuit on, stopped often just because I'd get so warm. Then to get a workout in, I lost the pullover and just kept the bibjohn on. Which makes it feel like I'm swimming with a pull buoy but I'm still able to kick.
So is this wetsuit the most comfortable suit? Am I going to keep it? I don't know. I'm going to the pool again tomorrow. The wetsuit is going with me. I'll spend a bit more time getting into the suit, making adjustments from what I experienced tonight and make sure it's as good as I can get it. Then I have a feeling I'm going to be back up at SBR trying that Zoot again. This time I'll have a better idea for comparison.

This probably reads terribly. It's late. I'll edit later.

Running Speed Article NYTimes

I often dislike these NY Times Articles, I enjoyed this one.
Watching her drills video, makes me think, "man my legs are short" and "I'm not that flexible".
Other than that, I thought the drills looked good.

After reading this, I've found my excuse of the year. "I haven't found my distance yet".

New Visitors / Commentary

Genine's Swimmer from the Bloomingdale's team is moving to Chicago. So over the last few weeks we've been scrambling to find a replacement. Eric was more than willing to do it but it was my feeling that he's got his hands full already. Tammy is expecting and due in June and of course Ryan is starting to have many weekend activities that Eric is involved with.
So I sent out an email to team F.A.S.T (Shawn corrected me grammatically after the last post, it should read): Fanatical Aquaholic Super Triathletes.
Surprisingly enough Esther responded that she would be willing to swim for Team Bloomingdales. Surprising because the Mooseman is the weekend following her first Half Iron (Black Bear). Once again, I'm amazed at how this whole event keeps evolving. She hasn't commented or posted yet but I'm guessing we will see something soon. (I'll be curious to see if she starts talking trash, ha ha).

Maija is also aware of our blog and has commented already. She is also a blogger, check it out, she is a serious competitor. As you guys know, I always have a ton of questions. She has been a great source of advice, and I get to see what it takes to get to the next level.

So you all will get to meet Esther up at the Mooseman. As for Maija, maybe I can convince her to join a relay team for the Tango. Actually between her and her husband, I'm guessing they could do the 2 person relay and make the podium.

Back to the Chiropractor / NYC Fundraiser Party

Well my back is tweaked. It's been a long while since I've last said something like that. I'm very pleased to be writing it a week before a race. Grrrr.
It isn't even a training related injury. It's typically caused by too much sitting in a bad chair. Long Road trips in the car, bad seats on the train... I actually carry a back "pillow" for the train. That often gets me an odd look but I guess I've been doing that for 6-7 years now, I don't even think about it.

I didn't workout last night because I didn't want to inflame the nerve and make this worse. I'm not going to take any ibuprofen or anything unless the Dr. tells me that I should. I'd hate to mask the problem, only to make it worse.
I think I'm misaligned so that my hips are tilted, left/right. So some nerve is somewhat pinched causing the glutes on the left side to be tight. Which then causes a chain reaction of range of motion issues. For example, sitting in a chair, if I extend my left leg straight out, I get complaints from my hamstrings, through the glutes and into my lower back.
This would probably get better on it's own if I take it easy in about 4 days. I don't have 4 days!

I'm hoping when I call the Chiropractor today Dr Mark will be available. He is the best, worth the drive to get to his office. I wonder how many times I've mentioned him on the blog so far?

Even with the adjustment, I'm guessing I shouldn't run any sooner than Sunday. As for swimming and biking, I'll just have to see how it feels and decide. Maybe I'll be doing a ton of no kick swimming in the wetsuit this weekend. (my kick is pathetic anyhow, it won't be missed).

Well, I'll let you know how it goes. I haven't been there in awhile. Maybe if I explain to him I've got 2 races in 2 weeks he will hit my lower back with the electrostim after the adjustment to get rid of that cramp. It's sad that I'm so familiar with these therapies.

The time I wasn't training last night was well spent. I have scheduled a fundraiser at Red Sky, a bar in Manhattan on Wednesday May 21st. (Yeah, I'll miss swim class. That is if the Y is open by then). I worked on putting together an evite for that as well. I have no idea how well attended this party will be. I am hopeful, it could be a very good time. It's also great motivation to physically see how many people are supporting this effort.
Genine sent $900 in checks to the fundraiser today. We will see that added to the total on the website sometime next week. Our $10,000 goal looks more within reach every day.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Shrink Wrapped in DeSoto

I should have taken the wetsuit to the pool tonight. We practically had the place to ourselves.
I did try it on after the swim. Just to make sure it was close to the right size. It seems to fit well. I'll have to work on getting it on without the creases. Of course the real test is in the pool. I need to make sure water doesn't pool within the suit. Doesn't seem like there is room to do that, but I'll reserve judgement. More later.

Water Temps

A few links for Water Temps.
Shows Mon River as well as the Allegheny. Just about 10 degrees C, both places.

Pemmigewasset River @ Plymouth, Nh just a little north of Bristol. No Water Temp at Bristol. 4.4 degrees C.

Couldn't find the temp for the Bassman. Hope it warms up quick because it probably still has a 5 in front of it.

I give you this because I am slated to start swimming in the Mon River May 7, then every Wednesday there after. Hoping to gain about 4 degrees C to make bearable even with wetsuit.

I got a connection to the WVU Rec Center. I have to pay for guest pass, but this should be nice.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Genine's Tour de France

Genine also did the Mooseman bike this weekend. Only she wasn't as sure of the route. I figured she and Eric would stick together and everything would work out. Well that didn't happen.
Genine added a climb to the route. Check out the elevation map!! Devil's Hill (mile 14-15) is a bump in comparison!!!
So she put in a seriously long ride on Sunday. She was hurtin' at the end of it but has no ill effects the next day. She thinks the cold was probably the biggest cause of the pain.

I'd thank her for finding a hill climb for me to practice on, but I don't think I could attempt it with a double. I'm guessing I'll find out in July while we are on vacation. I'll have to give it a try.

Speaking of Devil's Hill

Previously posted forum topic on the Devil's Hill in question

Previously Posted bike loop for the Mooseman. Two up hills next to each other mile 5 to 6.
The Mooseman Bike

Sunday, April 13, 2008

NH Trip

It was a beautiful Saturday. It was about 70 degrees. I ran 9 miles late morning. Nice to have some different terrain to run on. I probably should have done a few more miles but knowing that we were going to do the Mooseman bike tomorrow I figured it was enough. As it turned out we took a bike ride later that afternoon, definitely took advantage of the nice day.

Sunday, not so nice. 42 degrees and mostly cloudy and it could rain. Well, it didn't rain. It snowed a bit instead.
Well here is the picture you guys were looking for. Devil's Hill

And even better. Newfound Lake. Still looking a bit cold.

Because of all the snow in NH this year. We were concerned that our barn might not have made it through all the snow. I wonder how much was stacked up when it was at it's worst, if this is what it looks like now.

Enough with the slide show. 27 mile bike. 1:43:00. Frozen toes but I still put on my running shoes at the end and ran a mile or two to work through the crazy bike legs. To be honest my lower back was more of an issue. (bike fit issue or just bad back strength?).
That is not an amazing bike time. I am not an amazing biker. Could I be faster for the race? Probably. How? Three things come to mind.
1) Warmer Weather.
2) Stand up to stretch out my legs a bit more often. I went from the north end of the lake all the way to Cass Mill without hopping up out of the saddle. I'll have to look at the map later to figure out the distance.
3) Gu, Gels, Calories. Gotta keep those legs fueled up.
Sadly, I didn't remember to delete the old files off my watch before this bike. So I ran out a memory on the watch when I reached Bristol and started on the RT104 section. Seeing the power numbers for the 2nd half of the bike would have been interesting. Sharp fall off for sure.
I probably pushed too hard on the first half my average was 180 watts and 18mph. As we've seen from my trainer rides 155 watts seems to be more in my zone. No biggie. Gives me something to work on.

Just to get some perspective, I looked up results from last year. It looks like if I can find this 70 year old guy named Fred from last year. He could pace me. And I should be able to watch him cross the finish line about 100 yards ahead of me. Him and 450 others. Ha ha.

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Watchmen

I'm currently re-reading the "Watchmen", which will soon be a movie.
You might have read this 20 years ago when we were up in NH, I'm fairly certain Bill or Dan brought a copy.
Going back and forth between wetsuits and watchmen made me wonder. What would an open water swim start would look like if wetsuit manufacturers started adding designs.
(This is where if I had time, I could photoshop some Captain America's and Mr Incredible's into a swim start photo). I suppose some would be intimidated by seeing all these "superheros".
There would be a market for them don't you think? I've seen people that go so far as to match bike, jersey, helmet and tires.

Anyhow, if you find yourself nervous before the swim start. Think of this post, look around and visualize some as superheros and try to name them. I'm sure some would be quite comical.

Classic SNL: Superhero Party

Antman: [high-pitched voice] You don't remember me? We met several times. I is Antman. A-N-T-M-A-N.

The Flash: Oh, right, right.

Antman: Yeah.

The Flash: Uh, Antman.

Antman: Yeah.

The Flash: What are your super powers again? You - you - you talk to the ants, is that it?

Antman: Well, partly. But, mainly, I shrink myself down to the size of an ant while retaining my full human strength.

The Flash: Really?

Antman: Yeah.

The Flash: [sarcastic] Oooh, that's really impressive. Size of an ant with human strength. You must be able to clean house on those other ants, huh? [chuckles] Hey! Hey, Hulk! Hey, check this guy out. He's got the strength of a human!

The Hulk: Oh, better stay out of this guy's way.

Wetsuit Links

How to choose a good wetsuit.
Wetsuit and Swim Stuff
Storage Suggestions
Body Glide Use (Anton's Post)
Getting in, Getting out

Thursday, April 10, 2008

They Did IT . .. . GRRR

The local high school pool was closed last night when I got there. Sign said "Closed Until Further Notice". They could have told me this last week. It messed me up on working out at all. I have been swimming while the two older ones are at art class. I only had swim stuff, so I was hanging out waiting for Art Class to end.

My best option is the river. Of course the best water temp I could find was the Ohio river, it is 53 degrees F. I assume the Mon River is cooler, lets say 49 degrees. A couple more degrees needed to jump in, with or without a wetsuit.

I need to find something by next week. I will update you.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Tango Sponsor

Well this might make us act a bit earlier than we were thinking. Genine's Dad called me up to tell me that he's got someone that will pay one entry fee for the Tango.
So where is everyone regarding the Tango? Who is going planning on going?
Shawn, Craig, Jim, Casey, Todd, Genine and anyone else I'm aware of I guess it's time to get some ideas together.

Here are my ideas. I'm going to go with the premise of there being 4 of us.
1) Two, two man relay teams. Jim/Shawn, Matt/Craig. I'm guessing you can pick the events each person would take. Not sure we'd be competitive but would be a challenge. To be competitive we might need to add a couple people but we might be able to be the core of 2 teams?

2) Relay like last year. Each of us with 2 events. If we did this we should definitely choose by our strengths and see if we could actually be competitive. I'm also willing to add people to improve the team if we think we are close to placing.

Just some thoughts. Shawn's been talking about full tango. I'd be willing to give it a shot as long as I have pain killers ready for the next day :-)

What do you think?

Monday, April 7, 2008

Weigh in

Today's the day right?
Sadly my long run yesterday got cut short. That will teach me to drink/eat too much before a run. So instead of 12 miles I got 2.5 run/2.5 walk. Ha ha.
Then it was taxes the rest of the day. They are done. I can afford my wetsuit now.

Anyhow, yesterday AM I weighed in at 176. Today 177. The long run would have helped with that extra pound I think. Not that it matters. I'm just glad I'm off of 180 and dropping.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Bike Trainer Graphs

This is Suffer O Rama, after my 5.5 mile 5K pace run yesterday. If you would follow along with the DVD looking at my graph. You would find there are two places where I just dropped out, I was considering not finishing the workout. Obviously I got through it.
Because I'm still clueless on my biking skill, what do I get out of this graph?
1) HR Max for the workout was 168. If I use that for my zone 5A, my Bike zone are as follows:
Zone 1: 137 or less
Zone 2: 137-150
Zone 3: 151-156
Zone 4: 157-167
Zone 5A: 168-171
From my Aero builder trainer rides and my perceived exertion, I would think this is a very good measure.
The Bassman is a 29 mile bike. I'm going to be out there 1:40:00 or longer. To be on the safe side, I think I should try to keep my HR Zone 3 or lower. I know I'm going to have to focus to make this happen. I'm going to want to push harder right out of the gate, which will just lead to a burn out and a weak finish.
2) I'm more than a little surprised by the speeds I'm hitting on intervals. It is just a trainer ride, not sure how that translates to real life. Probably very much like my swim sprints, I've got a long way to go before my distance speed is closer to these sprint numbers.
3) I didn't put power on the graph. Max power was 419. Average was 157. This 150ish power is what I been seeing on the long steady rides as well. (not awesome I'm sure).
Now that it's warming up, I need to get into some group rides and start to get into the Bike focus. I think I've been saying that for about 12 months now. Ah well, that's why triathlon is so fun. Only 3 events but it seems like there is a ton of stuff to learn and work on. Training with power is on the list.

Trying on wetsuits

Okay, the goofy stuff first. Our NJ Tri Club Name.

F.A.S.T (Fanatical Aquaholic Super Triathletes). It's a work in progress, what do you think?

6 of us went to SBR in the city to try on wetsuits and try them out in the endless pool. Here is what I learned. The staff at the store were good at looking at your body shape and matching which brand was going to "work". Orca and 2XU are not going to work for me. They said those suits are built for the "European athlete" body type. Shawn assures me this is a thin build.
So they suggested Zoot as the most likely and potentially the Blue Seventy.
So I tried on the Zoot first and got into the pool. First time in a wetsuit, very buoyant, very cool. Unfortunately swimming in the endless pool was kind of lame. Not sure if it was because he didn't turn it up high enough or what. So I kept hitting the front of the pool, which didn't make it easy for me to think about the feel of the suit enough. (edit: endless pools commented on this post, check it out) So I guess my overall opinion was based upon this one thing. I didn't really notice being in the suit. Torso length did not seem to be an issue. (So I wasn't speaking in a higher voice when I was done). Shoulders seemed to move quite easily. With some body glide on, it probably would have been even better. Here is the one potential downside. One of the guys that has had a few wetsuits mentioned all the sewing. Take a look at the Zoot. All those shapes which appear on the outside are individually sewn panels on the inside of the suit. He was warning me that he has had stitching go bad, once it starts a little bit, it doesn't take long for the whole panel to be out. Something to consider.

So I dried off for a bit before trying to wedge myself into another suit. I figured I had to at least try on two otherwise I have no basis for comparison. The Blue Seventy Helix I believe. I didn't even bother getting into the pool with this one. I could really feel some pinch in the armpit/shoulder area. (proving to me that the sales guys knew what they were talking about).

So where am I with a wetsuit purchase? That Zoot is dang expensive but was a good fit. I'm guessing their cheaper line would fit the same with fewer bells and whistles. Zoot is on the list.
I'm going to find a place to try on Quintana Roo and possible other brands, now that I've had a couple on I have a better idea as to what's going on.
I'm also planning on ordering the DeSoto. It's a 2 week trial and they expect that you will swim in it. It's the only way I'm going to be able to try one out it seems, I've called everywhere. I'll gladly pay the shipping costs if I have to return it.

I need to make sure I spend time learning how to get in and out of these things. Going on you have to be very careful because you are handling the outside of the suit. Getting out the guy kept telling me to be aggressive and grab the interior of the suit. Step on the suit. Stuff like that. I will need to practice. Trouble is once the inside is wet, putting it on again for another trial run is a bear.

3 out of 6 people bought a wetsuit, so the store did well for the 2 hours of time. We definitely took advantage of the facility. As much of a pain NYC is, this was another nice perk.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Functional Strength

Shawn, you would have loved it. I went to the kids school last night and a girl from a place called Body Workz in Morgantown was doing one of the sessions for Family Fun Night - Health and Nutrition. Her brochure states they are the only MAX KETTLEBELL Certified Studio in West Virginia. This woman was only about 1.57 meters tall and weighed about 50 kg. She started talking about Kettlebell and the exercises. She had a full sweatsuit so it was tough to tell how well she was built.

She started to throw around a 9 kg kettlebell. She got my attention when she said she usually works out with a 13.6kg or 16kg bell. I asked a question about core strength and she started into explaining core, functional and grip strength. She then took off her sweatshirt and had a sleeveless shirt on. She was ripped. She laid down and did some abdominal exercises. She had the kettlebell in some positions I would be afraid of breaking my nose.

Her son (8yr old) started doing stuff with a 4.5kg Kettle. Also,

They did jump rope demonstrations and her oldest son did Tae Kwon Do.

I approached them after the session to check out the kettlebell but also ask some questions. Her 8 yr old proceeded to show me his six pack abs, he was cut. He also told me about the one armed chin ups and the three finger chin ups he was doing.

She also told me about getting certified in the Max Kettlebell program in January. Guess where, only an hour north of you in Williamsport, PA.

After I told her about your interest she gave me two websites: You can find this guys on You Tube under dieselcrew.

I also checked out the Max Kettlebell website:

Racing Flats

I realized I am carrying these 10 ounce barbells on my feet, when during races I could be using a lighter 4 ounce speed inspired injury creator.

Anybody? I have read a little about using a racing flat and essentially the concept is lighter helps you move faster. Of course lighter means less protection or cushioning. But some people say I should be barefoot anyways.

Do I buy new trainers and use them for all things, or do I buy a racing flat and use my current trainers (I have two trainers now, one is not working on long runs, so I am in the market) for majority of the training. Actually I am not opposed to having two trainers and a race pair, but is it worth it. Potentially two to five seconds, some say.

AnyONE know, I need led!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Warren Newspaper / Fundraiser

I'm not sure if I've asked you guys about this before. I'm thinking of contacting the Warren newspaper to see if they are interested in a "Local News" story. Maybe we aren't local news anymore?
I'm guessing you guys are cool with that? I figure I'll try to work in the Tango '07 was a training race for us. Also that this is the 20 year WAHS reunion for Craig and I. Just to get some more "local" into the story. Of course I expect they will write what they want. I'm just hoping that they will list our fundraiser link without a typo. It might be the easiest way to contact much of the Warren crowd.

Not sure if you've checked the fundraiser site lately. I feel it's going rather well. I think I've only contacted half the people I intend to send to. I still have work to do there.
Genine / Bloomingdales is doing well too. I'm not sure there is an easy way for me to add that to the fundraiser page. If you are interested in details let me know. I'll have Genine comment on that project.
As you can see, Ruth has a bunch of support on the site as well. It's all very cool to see how many people are on board with us. At some point I should put together a list of the people that are planning to go to NH that weekend to watch, cheer and "Post race" party with us.

Lastly: Racing Singlets from the fundraiser. I would like to get mine early for the races later this month. Should I request 2. One Large, One Extra Large? Should I find out if they go bigger than that? I just figure it would help us out deciding on fit for everyone else if I get a couple and find out how big/small they run.
Depending on the fit. I may only wear the jersey on the run portion. Just pull it on over my tri-top in T2. We will see.

Go Team!

Swim Test

Ran a test last night to see how long it would take for me to swim a 1,000 yds non stop, staying within myself and keeping good form. Non-stop worked out, staying within myself was happening, my form may not have made it the whole way, I hope I didn't do any permanent damage to my muscle memory. 23:48 was my time. That would be 2:22 per 100yds. This is really only 914 meters, so that translates into 2:33 per 100m. I could keep this pace for a long time so I have determined my 1500m time would be 38:25. Not good, but at least I am out of the water.

I have now went to the Mooseman results and found the first person who swam slower than this. Placing 340, a guy (I won't name him because he may not want to be known for this) swam a 40 minute swim. He was the first. There was not even a 37 minute until him. The next person slower than the time I listed was at position 358, he was over 48 minutes, he looked a lot like a runner who did this on a drunken bet. The first 37 minute person was the next position 359 @ 37:42.

Now, I didn't kill myself in my test, but I was not doing backflips afterwards either. I want to do a sub 30 minute swim without destroying my bike/run, but that is 8 minutes. That equates to over 30 seconds faster per 100m. Only one trip to the pool per week is not going to get it. My form is coming, but I still lack the speed.

Was it 7 or 9 seconds faster with the wetsuit. This means I am down to about 25 seconds I need to trim per 100. Of course that is a 16.5 % improvement. I am only talking a 5% improvement when going from 32 to 33.6 KmPH on the bike, and only a 5% improvement going from 5 minute/km to 4.75 mins/km. I have my work cut out for me.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

HR Checkup 2008

I keep meaning to check my resting HR first thing in the AM. Maybe if I post this I will actually get it done. If I have time maybe I'll run on the treadmill to check these other numbers as well.
Last Year's HR stuff

I'm just going to add on to this post.
I woke up at 4AM not sure why, was dehydrated, so I went down to get some water. Figured I'd put on the HR monitor and go back to sleep. I haven't looked at the graph yet. Should be interesting. Average was 50, Max was 90.
Okay. Looked at the graph all the spikes were me hitting the snooze. Ha Ha. Lowest reading was 45.
Still need to add the treadmill test.

Didn't Work

It didn't work. I typed in Matthew McConauhey (appears to be a spelling error) and I got a picture of this guy. Well since it was my wife's birthday I thought I would print this out and slide it into her card, take any subtlety out of it at all and give her some eye candy as you mentioned. It appears this guy is some other actor and is not Irish at all but Scottish. And when I went on about how I wanted to look like him and swimming would get me that way and how much she might enjoy me looking like this . . .I thought his chest was superb!

Well it appears for her birthday I am now purchasing a bedroom suite for the basement (which is now my private bedroom) and lots of jewelry and I swear I heard something about not being able to touch her until 2015, but she was walking away from me and a lot of other things were said that I can't currently repeat.

I think I did this wrong. :) I may need to reread the post.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Girl in the rubber suit

So I finally did it. I bought a wet suit. It will arrive in a few weeks and I'll share how it goes.
But after reading the trials and tribulations of you fellahs as you ask your wives if you can buy one...well I felt I had to make a suggestion.

1st. Find a photo of Matthew McConaughey . Find one where he's coming out of the water (should not be difficult to find), make sure he's topless (chances are he is topless AND wet.) Make sure the photo shows off his superb chest (chances are it does)

2nd. Post it on your refrigerator.

3rd. When your wife asks you "what's with the picture?" Here's where the suit comes in.
"Honey, I am using this picture as inspiration. This is what I'm shooting for with all these strenuous workouts, all these moderate meals, all the running, the biking...the SWIMMING (make sure you EMPHASIZE the word swimming and maybe stretch your arms and shoulders here for effect) and all this GEAR that I need will make me leaner and stronger and faster and will give me endless endurance...
Of course by this point she may have stopped listening and is simply staring at Matthew McConaughey but maybe, just maybe, in her subconcious she'll hear the words SWIMMING and GEAR and next thing you'll look like Matthew McConaughey in your rubber suit, suck that stomach in! Good luck!

oh, the REAL reason I decided to post was that I found this link which will probably we useful down the line... Happy swimming :)