Friday, May 30, 2008

Lubed and Spoked

At Matt's behest, I bought some chain lube for my bike. My local bike technician recommended Boshield T-9. This stuff was developed by Boeing to protect metal parts, so I guess the theory goes if it's good enough for them...

If you looked at those pics of my bike a while back, it was apparent that lubing is not something in which I regularly engage, so this was a thrilling experience. My chain and derailleur are definitely quieter and smoother now, so at least I won't bug people as much with that grinding noise as they go by.

I was at the bike store because I had to have them replace two spokes I have been missing for a while. This job requires my cogs to be pulled and I didn't have the tools to do that, so I had to pay 20 bucks to have someone else put in two spokes. Ugh. My rear wheel has 36 spokes. Some of these guys only have 12. Why do I have to have all mine in? Well, it's done, and I feel a little safer, so I guess peace of mind is worth a few bucks, not to mention the possibility that the rules committee at the race might make me replace them anyway. I think I'm feeling pretty good about my old trooper of a bike now. It is chromoly steel, with 36 spoke steel wheels, and 32mm tires, but this puppy is going to carry me like a gust of wind across Mt. Washington, to victory...and beyond.*

*(or 400th place.)

Long may you run.
Long may you run.
Although these changes have come
With your chrome(moly) heart shining in the sun
Long may you run.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Single Digit Countdown Begins!

9 days until Mooseman!!

I went running before swim class last night. I'm certainly not feeling speedy. What I found was that I could run uphill most comfortably. Flat was doable. Downhill didn't feel that great.
Also someone suggested the possibility of a stress fracture to me yesterday. So on my swim coach's suggestion, after the Mooseman I'll get in contact with a Physical Therapist. At least I should have a solid answer of what I should and shouldn't be doing.

So I keep wishing that I could actually see myself swim. I can only imagine that would speed my learning curve. The diving team already has a video system with a delay in place so the diver can watch every dive. I figured that this system could probably be used for swimming as well. With the addition of an underwater camera. So I went looking to see what kind of money something like that would cost the Y.
I suppose that this AquaCam system is likely what they use.
Of course being an audio guy, I also think it would be interesting to see how an underwater speaker system would work for coaching. If the coach could have a mic and he's watching you swim he could give instant feedback. I have no idea how well this would work, sound does travel incredibly well through water tho'.

Our Masters group has about 16 people at the moment. I wonder how many would be interested in financing the video system.

Weather - Race Day

Race Day Weather

Looking up, Mid 20's, cloudy. Of course start time might be a tad cooler.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Ah Man!

We missed it Shawn, the Triple-T. Two local dudes did it this past weekend. I think we talked about it last year.

Sprint- Friday PM
Olympic - Sat AM
Olympic - Sat PM
Half - Sunday


Secret Training

I have secretly been training to get on my bike with the shoes attached to the bike. Also to dismount with shoes still attached to the bike. Sometimes with socks sometimes without, depending on weather conditions. The last 10 rides or so I have done this.

Getting on was the easiest to get, I now find it easier than doing it with the shoes already on. I don' t just jump on the bike. From a stop I place my left foot in the shoe attached to the bike give a push with my right foot and pedal hard with my left a couple revolutions. Then flip the right shoe over, I usually have to reach down to get my foot all the way into the shoe with my right hand. I pedal a few more revolutions and reach down and velcro shoes.

Getting out of shoes was trickier. I have to reach down about 100 meters from where I want to stop and totally undo the velcro and pull it out a little. Then I take my left foot out and place on top of the shoe and pedal to stop point. Lean to left, reach over and pull right foot out. The tricky part was my ankle originally didn't want to bend enough to get out of the shoe this way. It does now.

So, sorry about the surprise attack on learning this technique, but I wasn't positive I was good enough to do it until last nights ride. Went very smooth. I plan to just practice this in a parking lot a half dozen times before I start my Mecca to Moose. The shoes actually haven't left the bike in two weeks, which was my unplanned night ride.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Race Options

Well Shawn mentioned the Happy Valley Tri and our group has been talking about other events as well. So I figured I'd just post these up.

6/7 Mooseman, NH International Distance,

6/29 Spirit of Morgantown WV Olympic Distance

8/2 Kinzua Country Tango, PA Adventure Race Relay

The following are possibilities.

6/14 Ride for Autism

7/20 Anthracite Olympic

8/17 NorthEast Olympic

8/23 Morgantown, WV Sprint Splash and Spin,

9/7 BuckMan, Round Valley

9/20 Make a Wish Olympic Tri, Bethany Beach, DE

9/28 Jerseyman Half Iron

10/4 NH Marathon

11/2 Bermuda Tri

Local tri and basement bike

I just found out about a new triathlon happening here this summer for the first time called the Happy Valley Sprint Tri. I don't know if anyone would be interested, but you can always come and stay here if you want to do this one. For me, this bike would start great, then get progressively worse as I went, ending with a long, though gradual, uphill. But as you know, uphills of any sort are not so good for me. The run also has a pretty big hill in it right about the halfway point. It might be a good challenge, and I should support it, since I was previously complaining that there weren't many good local events. I have to figure out whether I'm even going to be in town that weekend.

On to the basement bike. Greg came up for the weekend, and we decided to go on a bike ride. Well, all my bikes are too big for him, so big that he can't even stand over the top tube. So I started trying to put together something else he could ride. As it turned out, I was able to build two bikes from stuff I had lying around, and I discovered that one of them had tubular tires (the kind you glue on), so that got me wondering what kind of bike I had down there in the basement. The rims are Mavic (sponsor of the Mooseman bike course) and the hubs are Campangnolo, making me think I might have something interesting. These are Mavic Montlery tubular rims, made in france. In my basement.

I went looking, and here is the exact bike I have: Gitane Tour de France. Seems some people liked that bike. Well, it was too big for Greg anyway, so I moved on to another, which turned out to be a Vita Sprint 10 Speed (circa '76, couldn't find much about this one online), also made in France. Those crazy French and their bikes. Both of these bikes are now in good working order, though I would benefit from a few new tubular tires. I have one more bike with tubular rims that looks to be the best of the bunch, but it's rear tire was toast, so I couldn't get it going. I've never used glue-on tires before, so I don't have the stuff to make that happen in my house.

Wetsuit - I'm Sold

Wetsuit will be worth every penny. I went to Mason Lake with wife and kids in tow. I believe in the buddy system, I had no idea how they would help, but could at least tell the divers where to find me. I started to dress in the parking lot with about 4 other cars there. About 8 total other people sitting in lawn chairs around the lake fishing. They gave me notice, but I guess didn't think too much about this guy in a rubber suit, a swim cap and googles. That is until I started into the water. I picked a place not to bother anyone which was away from the small boat dock.

Well, the lake is actually only two years old and the sides are lined with giant rocks. Slippery giant rocks. So, I was going easy in until I slipped with the water about to my mid thigh. I just went for it then and dove forward. Kids cheered, wife looked up from her magazine. I started to swim. Amazing! My legs almost felt like they were out of the water. I was two minutes into the swim and realized I hadn't started my stop watch so I did at this point.

I realized at this point drowning was almost not an option. The only problem would be a cramp, but I felt comfortable enough with the temp that I did not even fear this. People were really watching me, I think mostly to see what this crazy dude was going to do. Amazing! This almost felt too easy. I stopped to look around a couple times. Obviously the surface temps were rising because my feet got plenty cold 6 feet under the water. The rest of me not so cold even with no sleeves. I then tried to breast stroke a little, very uncomfortable. Feet way to high and neck position annoying, so I guess that option is out if I get tired.

I figure surface temp just under 15.5 C. A little deeper probably closer to 13 C or lower. I got out at the 13 minute mark. I swam to the boat dock to avoid rocks. I wanted to swim longer and could, but I was still drawing attention. Also, in the back of my mind the "No Swimming" sign that the kids pointed out was working on me and I didn't want to explain to them why the DNR officer was yelling at their dad and threatening him with a ticket, which I don't think can happen, not the yelling but the ticket, but this was on the authority of people who get yelled at a lot about swimming in the river. Something about a rule, but not a law. Huh? It is highly recommended, but we can't do anything about it.

I am encouraged that the swim will go at least as planned without the net effect of destroying me before the bike. Yea!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Full Weekend of Fun

Three 25+ mile bike rides and a run. YES a Run!! On Monday after the bike.
The run seemed to feel right, my HR was up a bit higher than I thought it should be. Could have been dehydrated a bit from the bike or the fact that it was 86 degrees out. Either way, I'm hoping I'm back to being a triathlete.

We also hosted a Bike and BBQ on Sunday. I think everyone had a good time. I know we ate well, our fridge is overflowing! I probably should have had the party Saturday and then invited everyone to lunch and dinner Sunday and Monday as well.
One of the topics of the night was the Bermuda Triathlon. Could be a fun trip. Genine's work is typically insane at this time of year tho'. This will be a work in progress.

Genine's bike was tuned up last week and she's been itching to get some riding in. Maija led us on a ride late morning onMonday through the Round Valley Area. Not sure I could map the ride if my life depended on it but it was a good Mooseman prep.
Genine finished feeling like she spun about 10x as many times to keep up. (She's on a hybrid bike with small front rings.) The good news is that she didn't feel uncomfortable about traffic and she is talking about wanting a road bike. She said I could buy her one for MY birthday. :-)
I see a sprint triathlon in Genine's future.

The only downer for the weekend is allergies. Today I started taking my 24 hour medicine every 12 hours. This time last year is when I started to really suffer and by the Mooseman weekend I had a sinus infection. I'm not going to let that happen this year.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Cook outs

Cooked out today. Old style charcoal. Propane is for tasteless fast food Americans. Bought the grill last night. I cooked the burgers and dogs for Tamara's whole family. The charcoal was coool it didn't need lighter fluid. Barely touched with match and bam it was burning. Very nice day. I be resting today. Letting my body heal a little before a third big week this week (come on taper).

Hitting Mason Lake tomorrow. Should be plenty cold to test the wetsuit. This is a small 10 acre (sorry I don't know the metric equivalent) lake. Hope to do at least 20 mins maybe 30, but temps might keep me lower than this. I figure end to end about 400 meters.

Got a run workout planned, plus mow the lawn, plant the garden, install new screen door. I wonder how any of this honors veterens. I will have to thank my dad and father-in-law some time during the day.

Keep Tri'ing we are almost there. Hope wetsuit is the magic pill like it is for Shawn. I am hoping about 30 secs per 100 meters worth of magic :>

Friday, May 23, 2008

Wetsuit initiated

My friends, I have taken the suit to the pool. While there, I saw the light. That thing is awesome. I was reminded of the TV movie from our youth, The First Olympics. It was about the American Olympic team going to attend the first modern Olympics. Well, I don't know if anyone else in the world remembers that movie, but there were a couple of very memorable scenes for me. One involved the shot-putter, who practiced every day with a cannon ball, and he kept comparing to what they knew the Germans or some other competitors were doing, and he was way short. He was getting depressed, but his coach kept helping him with his form and he kept working out, getting stronger, and he got closer and closer with his distance, then they went to the Olympics and when he picked up the shot, it was several pounds lighter and smaller than the cannonball he had been using the whole time, so suddenly he was the best guy in the world.

Well, that's how I felt today swimming in the wetsuit. I was shooting across the water like a water skeeter. It was such a cool feeling to move so quickly with so little effort. I have suddenly amended my swim expectations. I don't think I will have to do the reverse butterfly anymore. It was almost enjoyable. No gasping, no wild kicking, trying to keep my feet from being down at a 45 degree angle from my torso. Oh boy. I'm starting to look forward to this race. I even did some kick drills and I moved pretty well. I guess my kick isn't as bad as it could be.

I'm not suggesting I will place higher than 400th, but I will be closer to the pregnant Athena who comes in 399th.

Bristol NH Weather

Promising for Warmer Water Temps, night time still too cold to retain enough heat. I will keep you psoted.

Bristol, NH


I have found mine. It comes in the form of blue foam board. They make you hold it in front of yourself and kick in the water. Yes, my kick sucks, it is worse than I ever imagined. I just came back from masters swim where we started out with 300 stroke, 300 kick, 300 pull. I think all the other swimmers (five people) had about 50 yd left in the pull when I started the pull. About 200 yd into it, I was sitting in one spot kicking, but not moving. The good news is when I started the 300 pull I was able to hold pace with the person in my lane. I think I agree with Shawn that if the wetsuit does what the pull buoy does, things are looking up.

Hmm! I thought, that is strange, why couldn't I keep up with her doing regular stroke. So Meghan in her soft early 20's voice says, do your ankles bend (how old do you think I am?). I respond "usually". She says, I saw you breast stroke a couple times your kick looks strong there. Yea, before triathlons that is the stroke I mostly did. Well we need to work on the kick. Short, tight, extend your ankles. I did a set of 4 X 50 kicks and it went better, but man I was getting smoked.

She also picked up on some small things that really helped my regular stroke. On arm I was coming out of the water with my elbow when I get tired and the other arm my palm was down which was telling her I was not pulling the whole way through the stroke. So we did drills. They were nice, it was 50 drill, 100 perfect stroke (yeah right), 50 increase (get faster as you go). I think I did 1800 yd (yeah a mile), of course this was an hour. I believe the 500 kick time wise was equivalent to over 800 regular stroke, also effort level was high for the kick.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Fundraising Party

The party went very well. We raised $600 and I think everyone had a good time as well.
There were many people that I haven't seen in a couple years and it was really great to catch up with everyone. It's also really nice to see the support that is out there for all of us.
Both the C5 Relay team and the Bloomies Team made it to the party. Alexa's Brother Gabe also showed up. I don't think I've mentioned that he also will be competing the entire Moose along with us. So there will be 10 of us up in NH.
Not to put pressure on whomever is going to be taking pictures at the event, but I'm really looking forward to seeing the first timers finish their events. As we've seen many times before. The perma-grin is just so fun to see.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Swim Waves

I went to the Moose forum to look up some things and they had the start times for the Waves listed.

Mooseman Start Waves

The good news is that SJV, MC & CC are all starting together. The bad news is it appears a lot of people will potentially pass us. We just have to be eight minutes faster than the relay teams, to look good of course.

Green hat to match my new green trimmed wet suit. Same for Shawn.

DNF in Delaware

Sorry to report I took a DNF for the first time in 20 years. Ended up running really well ( 20 miles in 2:49:00) but I did not get enough fluids back in me and by 22 my HR was 186. By 23.5 I knew I was in big trouble as my fingers were tingly and I was very dizzy just walking. I thought I may be able to walk it in, but from 23.5 to 24 I felt like walking, sitting, standing,....just living was going to make me pass out. I teach this stuff but didn't recognize it in myself until it was too late.

**** side note****
Exercise Physiology 101- Cardiac output = stroke volume x heart rate. Lose a lot of fluid and the stroke volume comes down, thus the only way to keep cardiac output high is by increasing the heart rate. ( At 17 miles my HR was avg 179, and I was still running about 8:15/mi and feeling good). I was consuming drinks, but not enough. I believe this is the time my HR spiked, but I just brushed it off because I felt so good.

I took a ride to the finish area, hung out at medical for a little bit and then got the fluids and food back in me, took a shower and drove home. Feel fine now, but disappointed that I didn't finish. I really believe that even if I had tried to walk to the finish I might have had a stay in a Delaware Hospital. After walking the last 1 mile to 24 ( not wanting to but couldn't find any medical help) and then standing by a police car for about 10 minutes, my BP was 90/52 ( not enough fluid to have a higher BP) and my heart rate still 150!!! They checked my blood sugar which took several minutes of "milking" my finger just to get one drop. Oh well, ..... I'm calling this a 24 mile training run in Delaware.

There were a couple of really strange sites at the marathon. 1. A guy who pinned his number directly to himself. 2. I do fell write about writing on here, but it was , by far, the grossest running site I've ever seen!!

All of this leads to the fact that I will not be doing the Tango Solo. I will gladly team with one or more persons, but I'm out for the doing the complete event this year.

Anyone know of a good physiologist??

Newfoundland Lake Temp

Water Temp Moose Discussion

Right now, looks like 10.5 C. They are guessing at least 17 degrees. Should be interesting.

Also, Keith Jordon - Race Director sent me an email on 5/14, so if you got that you already know.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Wetsuit arrival

My ProMotion wetsuit arrived today, at long last. I tried it on immediately. It seems to fit quite well. I'm glad I didn't get the 3XL.

It does provide me with a bit of motivation to lose more weight, as it exposes all my fat quite effectively.

I don't think I can get to a level where I will be proud to wear this thing in public before the Mooseman, but I am still shooting for 250 pounds. It's getting closer every day. Four more days looks promising. I have 18 days left, so I could actually get down a little more than that. I have never been more motivated than right now. Quite awhile ago, I vowed to buy myself a Utilikilt when I sustained my weight under 250. This summer I might be showing off my legs.

That wetsuit is hot! I am not hot in it, I mean I was sweating in seconds after putting it on. I should have nothing to fear in the lake. Can't wait to give it a test in the pool. Maybe I'll go later tonight. Gotta wait 'til the crowds filter out. I don't want anybody to think an aging, somewhat past-his-prime Captain America has come to the Y. Remember Syndrome! Never wear a cape.

Looking for some training inspiration?

Genine found this the other night on You Tube.
From the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Monday, May 19, 2008


I got the race packet from the fundraiser office today. Here is what they look like.

Things I Noticed, not specifically today, but noticed none the less.

Bought a pair of Nike Air Equalon +. I was looking at Dick's sporting goods trying to buy a pair of shoes. I tried on about 5 different pairs between Nike and New Balance, plus they also didn't have my size in about three other pairs. The guy finally said I will be back. He brought out a pair that was not on the rack and said try these. They fit! And were marked down $55. Still $75, so I hesitated, then went "Ok I will take them". This would be the highest retailed (before sale) priced shoes I have ever bought.

At the check out counter the girl told me they were IPOD compatible. Huh, I said. She takes the pad out and shows me a place to put a chip. Oh, that is the thing they were selling for $30 by the shoes. She then tells me how much she loves her IPOD. I inform her my Sony Walkman still works pretty good. I am not sure she knew what a cassette was, but her parents had told her stories (You have to wait for it rewind or fast forward, appalling). Once again, I am still a good solid 1989 in my way of thinking. Levi did get a MP3 player for his birthday. Which is cool, and I even figured out how to get music on it, with a little help from my 16 yr old nephew.

I used the shoes Saturday for my 90 minute run. My feet felt wonderful. They are suppose to move the impact on my foot around based on how poorly I impact my foot on the ground. Seemed good for the first run. I usually have some soreness issues in my feet after long runs. Feet felt great, right knee bothered me a little. 10 minutes on the inversion table last night seemed to help the knee. Should have got on it Saturday, should be a daily routine.

I plan to swim Tues - Fri everyday. Miserable trying to get somewhere. Work is not cooperating, especially with a 10 day vacation in June coming up. Also my wife seems to think she has a life despite my reminders that the focus needs to be on my training and not whether she has contact with people, or time to buy groceries or going on class trip with the kids, or that somehow Levi will remember me being at any of his baseball games, or for some reason she wants to spend time with me. I don't even want to spend time with me, all I do is try to train or am being compulsive over not getting enough training, or complaining about how I can't get anything done because of the training.

Still looking at the New Brighton Sprint. The very minimum it gives me a chance to train, practice transitions, and get to use of their pool for an extra swim. .25 mile swim, 11 mile bike, 5K run.

Did Zone IV training on Friday. Consisted of biking for 16 minutes solid pace, then hammering hard for 20 secs, then 100 secs recovering, then repeat 8 times. No interesting feelings, just tiring. Finished with a 17 or 18 minute cool down.

Memorial day I am planning a trip to IKEA. Fun for the whole family. I know I will get the Swedish Meatball special, with the vegetable Medley, and some Ligonberry sauce (way better than the cranberry stuff at Thanksgiving) at the cafeteria. Ahh, the finer things in life.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Short Run test

Ran about 1.5 miles. I can still feel my left hip flexor. It doesn't feel like something that will improve if I keep running but maybe I'm wrong about that. Maybe I'm being a whimp, or maybe that's just our upbringing. Craig can make corrections on this.

8th or 9th Grade, Gym Class, Wrestling Room

Craig: Coach, I think I broke my ankle...
Coach S: WALK IT OFF!!
Craig: I don't think I can walk coach.
Coach S: Go sit on the side!
Craig goes to the side then hobbles himself to the nurses office on his own.

The other one I remember is JT breaking his collarbone playing football. JT walks up to Coach trying to hold his shoulder in place.

JT: Coach, I broke my collar bone!
Coach: Rub some dirt in it and take a lap!
JT: Coach, I know it's broken, I've done this before.
Coach: Go and sit on the side!
JT: Walks himself off the field, back to the school and to the nurses office.
(It still makes me shudder thinking about what might have happened if he had passed out and landed on that shoulder on the walk back to the school)

In this second case, I can understand why Coach didn't believe JT. Seeing how he would often limp up to the coach saying "Coach I broke my ass, there's a crack in it." The response from Coach being a kick in the ass in question, then "Sit down before I break your goddamn arm!"
(you guys hear coach's voice in your head as you read his lines don't you?)

Anyhow, my point being that I'm questioning my toughness regarding this injury.
Current plan is to ride my bike on the trainer later today (raining). After which I'll spend a bunch of time stretching out. I'll give the run a couple more days before trying again.
Oh, the IT Band didn't seem to factor in at all today. Maybe because it wasn't much of a run.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Things I noticed today

I did all three disciplines today. None of them was as long as what will be expected on June 7th, but I still learned a few things which I will report here. First, I am liking the Pose method of running. I may not be doing it exactly right, but whatever I am doing seems to be working. Going back to my old flat no-cushion shoes and adopting the Pose style has eliminated all knee pain, sped up my times, and allowed for extended duration of the pace. That's all good news for my run. It is a bit tough on the calves, but I am working on conditioning those to handle the new style. I might actually pass someone on the run. Some fat guy who can swim fast. Watch your back, fatboy.

Second, I biked, ran, and swam in quick succession today, and all three of them were faster than I usually do. I didn't lift before them, which is most likely the reason, coupled with my slight weight loss. That was also encouraging. I probably shouldn't do heavy deadlifts and cleans and presses before the race. Just a thought. I think having done the bike before the run actually sped up my run. This was the first time (maybe ever?) that I did not feel like my first mile of running was crap. I was already warmed up. Normally, the right muscles are not warmed up, but are instead wasted. My run today approached my fastest 5K ever (48 seconds off), and I still went another mile at that pace. Just two weeks ago, I was 5 minutes off this 5K pace, so that's a pretty big improvement. I hope I can knock it down a little more in the next two weeks.

Third, I used the pull buoy for the first time ever today. Nothing like learning to swim 3 weeks before the big race. Well, my goodness, that thing makes a huge difference. As Matt has pointed out, pull buoys can do wonders for people with bad body positions. I am obviously one of those. As soon as I started swimming, I noticed how easy it was, how smoothly I moved, how much better and less labored my breathing was, and a new sensation, pain in my triceps. I have never pulled so hard that I had pain in my arms before. It is usually a breathing issue. I am praying that the wetsuit will lift me up like that. Wow, what a difference. This might really change my opinion of swimming. I'm thinking the kettlebell might also be to blame for the triceps pain. That little sucker does pack a punch.

Also, I talked to a guy at the gym today, he was wearing a triathlon shirt, and I asked him if he does those. He said not really, though he did do a couple of sprint tris. I told him what I was doing and he said he might be interested in coming to the Spirit of Morgantown this year. Said he needs a new goal. Just call me the triathlon evangelist. Maybe we'll carpool. I should sign up for that one.

Haven't got my wetsuit yet.

Love my kettlebell.

Aero Bars + Bike Fit = Fun

So today I went up to Sports People to get my clip on aerobars installed. Then be fit to my bike.
I expected a couple things to happen.
1) He would comment that I bought the wrong size bike. This happened. I asked in what way was it the wrong size. He said it looked to be too small but let's wait until I get on the bike.
(for the record if my bike's top tube were a centimeter taller, I would have no standover clearance maybe even negative, ouch!) More on this later.
2) I would be told my biking speed is being limited by my lack of hamstring flexibility. I think this may have been mentioned 5 times. Ha ha.

Once we got the clip-on aeros in place. He got me onto the bike to get a look at my pedaling stoke. He asked "you said that you were feeling out of position climbing hills?" I said yes, that was one of the reasons I had mentioned in our call earlier. He then explained that my saddle height was too low and that I would definitely be lacking power during climbs as a result. So I was out of position on the saddle because I could only get the power of full extension if I were to "stand" another inch or so above my current position.
So first adjustment is higher saddle position.

To get the aerobars in a good position for me, he flipped my stem over. Which I believe made the stem more parallel to the ground. It was angled up slightly before.
He then had me try them out. He then brought up an issue Shawn mentioned in a previous post. Flat back or arched back.
This guy is all about flat back. Bend from the waist, not from mid-torso/abs, that's just going to constrict breathing ability....
In the aero position, it will be possible for me to do this. It will be tougher for me to do this in the hoods or drops. This is because if I didn't add aerobars to this bike and was there for a road bike fit today, he would have put a longer stem on the bike so that I would be able to stretch out further to be in the hoods or drops. (remember he said the bike was too small initially).

I guess I had never looked at what part of your arms rest on the pads for the aero position. So once we had discussed the fact that I'll be a bit more crunched in the hoods or drops. I asked about the pad position. He said it should be a plumb line below your ears. So I looked up some pictures so you can see this. How'd you do setting yours up Shawn?

This is an abbreviated version of what happened. He did a ton of tweaks to get to where we ended up. I was probably there about 60-75 minutes. He also got my bar tape put back together nicely. I had made a mess of my left side, he called me on it.
So after we had it all setup, I asked if he still thought it was too small. He decided that it was fine. If I were to take off the aero bars, he'd put on a longer stem is all.

Unfortunately I'm not going to be able to use my power meter until I come up with something that will fit between the aerobars to put the watch mount. I'll be back to cadence and speed for awhile. Again without a place to mount the watch, I'll just have it on my wrist. Not very useful while biking, it also doesn't always catch the cadence signal as well.
I'd like to have this resolved before the Mooseman. I'll admit I'm a bit of a slave to the numbers. My HR mostly but because that's something I've trained with, it would be stupid for me to change away from that for the race.

After the fit, I went directly to the Y parking lot and did the easy loop there. I figured it would be a safe place to get familiar with the aero position. I didn't find it too different to ride in this position and was comfortable quite quickly. My initial thoughts about it are:
It's now a drag having to move your hands to the shifters.
Man these things had better be on tight. If they were to loosen up, it would be one heck of a wreck.

I didn't have a speedometer, so I can't tell you if it's made an instant improvement.
I can say without a doubt, that the seat height adjustment has made hill climbing less awkward for me.
I did 2 12 mile loops today. So 24-25 miles, often times I've found that when I get to the 15+ mile rides my right hip would start to give me grief. That didn't happen at all today. I'm guessing the saddle height fixed that for me.
Unfortunately, my lower back still complains more than I'd like. That's probably because of my tight hamstrings..... I guess I'd better stop typing and start stretching.

If I get a chance I'll post up some pictures.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Biking Hills

Thought Shawn would like to read this thread about hill climbing.

IT Band Self Test

As I had mentioned Jim pointed out I probably not only had hip flexor issues but IT Band.
So Last night I did this Self Test. Genine was watching me, she says "my trainers always stretch me out at the end of my sessions using that stretch". I then tell her that I don't find that I can get much of stretch out of it because it's so tight on the left side. She hops up and pushes my left shoulder down and my left knee down towards the floor. (opposite side from the picture on the site). Well that is what I needed. It is very tight on my left side but I think if we keep at this I'll be up and running in no time.
It's too bad it took me 10 days to figure out how to stretch this thing out but that's how it goes. You don't know until you do. I definitely learned a few things from this "injury". I guess I'll find out how well I learned my lesson by how well I perform from this point forward.
I should probably summarize my "When to Ice, When to Heat" findings as well. I'm sure that information will be needed for years to come.

Beat by the Bell

So, I did a 10 minute kettlebell session last night before I settled down for the evening, around 10:30 PM. I figured it's quiet, I can stay in one place, and it only takes 10 minutes. Sounds perfect. I decided I would do three moves, the two-handed swing, the one-handed swing, and the snatch, my favorite as many of you know. Now I have been known to snatch 70 pounds or so at the gym on occasion, so 45 pounds doesn't seem overly optimistic, but when you do the 10-minute challenge, you are trying to maximize your reps. In Enter the Kettlebell, Pavel references the U.S. Secret Service snatch routine which involves trying to reach 200 reps with a 24k bell. He also references people doing up to 285 snatches in those 10 minutes, but 200 will suffice if you wish to be a hard man. So that recommended kettlebell is about 8 pounds heavier than mine, but that's okay, this is the biggest one I could get without mail-ordering it, and the shipping on the big ones is so dang expensive that it didn't make any sense. So I head out with my timer set to 10 minutes. How hard can it be?

Okay, I wish I had my HR monitor so I could have seen what happened here, but those 10 minutes were the hardest 10 minutes I have worked since last January. The sweat was pouring off me, which was funny given the duration of the effort. Then, later, I actually got a hamstring cramp, which hasn't happened for years, so those obviously got involved. This morning, I noticed my quads were all beat when I was getting a pan out of a low cupboard for my Egg Beaters omelette. My grip is going to be improved certainly, and my back is noticably sore too; the muscles, not the spine. I'm very intrigued.

I was a little reticent to try the snatches with a kettlebell because it has to swing around and hit your forearm as you do it, but it actually is a very smooth action when you do it right. Swings I dig. No impact. Nice smooth motions. Ballistic, kinetic, functional strength. Well, suffice it to say I am not ready for the record books yet, nor the Secret Service, but I have potential. I made it through 10 minutes and I am here to say that those 10 minutes may be the most productive 10 minutes I can do. I'm looking forward to pushing the limits with this thing.

On a side note, my 5K yesterday was the fastest I've seen since January, so things are looking up. 400th place is mine!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Race Tracking
A couple weeks ago, I decided I'd sign up with this website to keep track of my race history.
When I logged on the other day I was surprised to see someone had marked me as a "Rival". It turns it was some one that I had beaten at Bassman and then he beat me at the Brooklyn Half.

The site seems to do a nice job of including the small races. I entered the race details of that one I did in Florida and within a week they got the results on their database.
There are plenty of events from the past you can search as well. I found a couple that Jim had run.
I'm sure he's got a ton of them out there.
It's got 2 years of Craig's Sprint Splash and Spin on there as well.

Just thought I'd point this site out. Maybe you already knew about it...

It's getting better all the time... I think.

I spoke with Dr Jim yesterday. After describing my symptoms he thinks I've got the double whammy. Hip flexor and IT Band. My IT band issue isn't at the knee but on the side of the hip. (Although my knee still has a bit of odd tendon tracking I didn't have before the Half Marathon)
The good news is I really feel the stretching/ibuprofen seems to be helping. I've found hip flexor stretches which I seem to be able to do well. I haven't had as much success performing the IT Band stretches. I'll keep trying different stretches as I find them.
I'm also thinking that maybe having some ice packs available after the longer events might be a smart move. (Jumping back into the lake following the Mooseman might have similar effects).

I couldn't keep away from Masters Swimming. It's the only "coached" event I have and I can use as much help as I can get. So I went to class last night. I took it easy on the kicking and any time there was a sprint I'd use the pull buoy so I wouldn't be tempted to kick hard. It went better than expected and I'm glad that I went. My shoulders definitely got a workout. It just isn't nearly as aerobic when you don't use your legs.

I'm going to bike tonight, probably on the trainer. That way if I feel that I shouldn't be riding I won't be 10 miles away from where I can quit. It will likely be raining anyhow.

I was also thinking on scheduling a bigger goal event for this fall.
I was also talking to Jim about the NH marathon. (See, I am still quite optimistic about my recovery). This would be a tough marathon to start out with but what the heck, they are all hard.
The other option could be the Jerseyman Half Iron. I can't say how soon it will fill or if that is an issue. Just thought I'd throw this out at you guys for consideration.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Fundraiser above $10,000

It's official! We have surpassed the original goal of $10,000. Wahoo!
I'm guessing we will be closer to $15,000 by race day as there are still a few things in the works.

I've been in contact with the Warren Newspaper this week. I'm not holding my breath but I still hope that will happen for us.
Then there is the party at Red Sky next Wednesday. That's looking good. I'm hoping for a nice day for that event so that roof access will be available. I'm guessing 60 people on the low side estimate. I guess we will find out soon.
Here is another fundraiser I haven't mentioned which is very cool. When Nathan was in the hospital some girls up in Merrimack NH ran a car wash to raise money. They are going to do this again to donate to our fund. How cool is that? I'll see if Eric can get the details about this and post something.


Ides of May eve update

Since everyone is saying what's going on, I'll do the same. It was quiet for too long. Nice ride Craig. Get better, Matt.

Today I started training with my very own kettlebell. Yep, I finally bought one, a 45 pounder. Curiously and without consultation, I also received a belated birthday gift from Jackie and Nathan, my old housemates, which was the book Enter the Kettlebell, by Pavel. I will be employing his recommendations in the coming days. Matt, Pavel says that Americans have messed up hip flexors and he can teach you to walk like a Russian, and have flexible flexors in the process. Kettlebells will help, of course. I have discovered that 45 pounds in one hand is pretty heavy. I think I will be rather powerful if I keep this up. Can't wait to find out. It does get the heart racing, that's for sure. I hope to bring it up with me to New Hampshire, so you can experience the joy for yourselves.

I visited the chiropractor last week and this week, and I am now done. He thinks I am in good shape. Two visits was all it took. Something was up with my clavicle, and now it has better mobility but it's really sore. Hopefully it's all the muscles becoming reacquainted with being in the right places. I'm feeling good.

My weight loss regimen for the month is finally beginning. Had too many restaurants in there at the beginning. I have trouble controlling myself when we go out. Still shooting for 250 or under by June. I think it's possible. Pants are getting looser. I see lots of fruit in my future.

I did the kettlebell routine, log grip flips, rode the bike and ran today. If I can keep this up, I might be well under my goal by race time.

Looking forward to getting together. I wish we had more time up there, but maybe later in the summer.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

In the Dark

Rode 58 km last night. Started around 6:45 pm. Thought I would go 48 km or at least less than 50km. Well, I was slow and knew I was trouble when I made a turn at the 50 minute mark and the mile sign said 6 miles ( about 10km) to the next town and I had anticipated it being 5km. The next turn was an equally mis thought through distance exercise.

So, I knew it was going to get dark, but I thought I will almost be home. Well one of the last segments was on a creek bottom for 8 km or so and the trees hang over blotting out the sun or what was left of the sun. I really had to back off my pace downhill. It rained so I could distinguish, luckily, the potholes (filled with water) from the rest of the road. They appeared as darker spots. The last right turn onto the main road near my house I would define the sky as dark. I had to stop for every car. Clipless pedals were not my friend at this point. No zero mile an hour wrecks, unlike about a week ago when I leaned the wrong way when I stopped at the house. Maddy was impressed, she was sitting in a chair in the front yard and waved to me the second I fell over.

Back to my night story. I couldn't read the bike computer, so I didn't know the time until I got in the garage. 9:00pm. I got in the house and Tamara had gone to sleep, so I haven't had to explain my adventure, yet.

I had ridden about 2 hrs 15 mins. I was tired, hungry and stressed. I also had cramped in my left side pretty bad on a big hill half way through. The cramp came back on every hill that caused a little stress. I hope this was a drinking too much water before I rode.

Hip and lower back, left side hurt, I am sure from the time in the saddle. Used the inversion table this morning. Worked well, it feels a lot better. I also need to do more AB work to help avoid the fatigue in my lower back during the ride. All effort is initiated from the abdominals and I feel it after an 1.5 hours whether I am running or biking. Haven't swam that far yet so I don't know.

I will try to post a pic of the promotion suit. Will take picture tonight, hopefully.

I may try a sprint triathlon over Memorial Day weekend. New Brighton, PA, about two hours away. It will be a training BRICK instead of actually trying to do a tapered event. I have to plan a couple test Tri's before the Mooseman, why not just do a Tri.

I have been practicing pulling my foot out of my shoe at the end of my rides. It is not too easy, but getting better. I don't know if I can do the put my feet in the shoes to start, but if I can get the exit strategy down, it should save some time and avoid that slippery when wet feeling from the bike shoes.

Ran with Jim Roberts Saturday. We did "7 miles", hard for me to get such a concept. Jim might not admit this, but I set the pace. Of course he would tell you that pace was probably 2 minutes per mile slower than what he was use to. All kidding aside it was great to have training partner and to get to talk to Jim. I should find a local hillbilly to run with around here.

That is all. Mostly random.

Monday, May 12, 2008

26 days is a long time right?

I swam Friday night. Did the first part of the coach's workout until I realized I really had better knock off the kicking. After that everything was done with the pull buoy. Which meant I could actually get closer to keeping up with Esther. It was a good swim.

Saturday: Marathon Poker Game at Scotty's. Would have never guessed it would go so late (2-2:30AM) but it was fun. One of they guys I hadn't met before had his Delaware Marathon T-shirt on. I talked to him a bit about his running. He did the JFK 50 miler, said it was the most amazing run he's done.

Sunday: 4 hours of sleep? Back down to Scotty's for Mother's Day festivities. I took a couple naps during the day. I had intended to swim Sunday morning but I missed that.

Monday: Decided not to go to Masters Swimming. I really don't think I can keep myself from trying to follow along in class. He's starting to really turn up the threshold training getting us ready for race season. Which is awesome, but I can't do it.
So after work, I figured I'd check out how jogging would go. Answer: Terrible
I went to the pool and did my pull buoy laps for about 50 minutes. Very tough to get aerobic when you don't use your legs.

Not sure if ibuprofen is going to help the hip issue but I'm going to take it the rest of the week to find out. I won't run while ibuprofen is still in my system. That just sounds like a bad idea. I'll wait until Sunday before trying to run again. I may ride on the bike trainer, I haven't decided if that's safe to do. Would be nice to get some cardio in. I feel like I'm gaining weight as I type. It's been a few weeks since I've been able to do good workouts.

Don't worry I'll be ready for Mooseman. I just need find someone that can give me a shot of Cortisone as a backup plan. (kidding)
It's starting to look like I should make the Morgantown race at the end of June my "A" race. Or maybe the Bassman was my A race, ha ha.

Jim if you have any advice for me regarding this hip flexor thing, let me know. As if you you aren't busy enough getting ready for the Delaware Marathon. Shoot me an email of your itinerary. I might be about an hour away Saturday, maybe we can catch up.

Wetsuit Ordered

Okay people, I ordered my wetsuit today. I was getting a little antsy about not swimming with it enough before the race. If it comes by Friday, I'll have two and a half weeks to test it out. That's still not much, and I guess I'm pretty much gonna have to make it work at this point, as returning it for another will be pushing the deadline. Based on Craig's chats with the guys at the shop and my own similar chat, I went with a size one step smaller than I might get in a full suit, and got the 2XL ProMotion Sleeveless, also in green. Craig and I are going to look like little twinsies. Well, maybe not so little, but still twinsies. We may not be the best advertisement ProMotion ever got coming out of the water in 400th place, so we better talk them up instead. They are definitely affordable. I got my triathlon club discount, which helped a little, and going with the sleeveless saved a bunch, and of course moving down out of the 3XL automatically saved me 40 bucks, so all told I was pretty happy with the price. I hope I am similarly happy with the product. Any word on yours yet, Craig? I might add that perhaps ProMotion will have the most tough guys going bare-armed. We know for a fact there will be two, and since most people have fullsuits, we won't need too many more to be the most well-represented group. Also, ProMotion will be supporting probably the best-looking athletes.

As I was swimming today, I was thinking, like I often do, of ways to go faster. Wedding rings are allowed, right? So what if your wedding ring were shaped like a big hand-paddle? I don't see anything wrong with that. (Okay, I do, but it's fun to think of these things.) "What, you're going to prevent me from wearing this beautiful, wearable artwork that represents my wife's lifelong commitment of love and affection for me? What kind of race is this?"

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Bike pics

Matt wanted to see my jalopy, so here it is. This is the masterpiece I will be racing in the Mooseman. Watch out, everyone!

And my bar set-up:

Friday, May 9, 2008

How to Stretch, links

Figured I'd post some of the better finds here for future reference.

Site 1
Hip Flexor Exercises
Runners Stretches

More will be added later.

Scheduled a bike fit

I spoke with the bike fitter today. I started off by telling him about where I am as a cyclist. Old Low flexibility, can't imagine I'll have too aggressive of an aero position.... But that I'd like to add the clip-on aerobars as an option for my rides.
As soon as you mention clip-ons you get the commentary that it is a compromise and not the fit will reflect that. I agreed and said that I will definitely be thinking about that as we adjust. (Choosing between the roadbars and the aerobars.)

I then mentioned that I was considering a new saddle and asked if I should have that decision made before having the fit.
He asked what saddle I had now and what I was looking for and why.
I explained how when I am climbing I feel that I'm set very far back on my current saddle. I'm not sure if it's a saddle length/ shape or just bad cycling technique.
He said it sounded more like I don't have the saddle setup exactly right and suggested that I wait until after the fit to decide about the saddle, as the fit will likely change my opinion about any saddle.
Fair enough. I think I'd prefer to have fewer variables going into this process anyhow.

I'm scheduled for next Saturday morning. So I have a whole week to think about how he's going to say. "Who sold you this bike? This bike is the wrong size for you". :-)

Master of Nothing!

Went to first Master's swim this morning. I just got back to work, through my emails so I thought I would post. Meghan, who seemed nice enough, is our coach. By far 10 to 15 yrs younger than anyone else there. 6 am Start with 20 laps, go easy. So off I go. I stopped at 16 because everyone else was done. Which in retrospect didn't matter, because she gave them a workout, then said to me put on your fins. Which I thought was great. Well I had to do a catch up stroke for 200 yds. This shows off some deficiencies in breathing technique which I didn't expect. I then did 5 X 100 (25 back, 25 catchup, 50 perfect (right) stroke). So at this point I had done 1100. This is where I think I made her nervous with a blank stare. She said here is a pull bouy do 3 x 100 breathing every 3 strokes the first 100 then every 5 STROKES! then every 3 strokes. I must have looked real confused because she explained how this was going to help my breathing. I pointed out oxygen is problem for me, I need a lot. So, I started off. First 100 not bad, drank a little. Now, I know I am going slow enough that I would be breathing more than most for 25 m, but man did I drink some water. by 75 m I was struggling to hold five strokes before a breath. The last hundred I was dieing and I was back to every 3.

It was 10 to 7 so she said I was done. I swam a cooldown and I was out of there. I am going back. It was nice to get back in the pool and this really pushed me. She did say my stroke mechanically didn't look bad. Based on my work out she was really trying to improve my position and balance.

I am the lonely guy in the end lane. The good news is the pool is awesome. Very fast, I did not even think to look at the viewing window. I will have to see next week.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Not to be outdone.

I can't let myself be outdone by Craig in the training/complaint department. I went back in the blog to see when my hip flexor issue happened last year. Then took a look in our spreadsheets to see how long I was sidelined. It was about 5 weeks or so. Arrrgh!
I didn't go the the chiropractor right away last year. It was about 4 weeks before I decided to see if he could help with this. Maybe because I was quicker to get some help and the fact I'm considerably stronger than I was last year, I can get through this quicker this year?
I'm going to dig in and see what I should and shouldn't do, to help this along.

This costs about the same as a visit to the chiropractor. Chi Recovery
I have a feeling the BioFreeze and Icy/Hot aren't that far off from this. Craig/Tamara any thoughts?


To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Where in there is a time to train for a triathlon? Levi's game was a forfeit by the team they were suppose to play. Luckily I knew this before the game. They still scheduled a practice in place of the game. So, I ran home from work met the younger kids off the bus, called Tamara and Grandparents to tell them about the game. Then had to call Tamara back for suggestion on clothes Levi could wear instead of his uniform. Then I started the push mowing. With the height of the grass it is was PUSH mowing. Maddy got home. Talked to her about dinner she was going to make while I was mowing. Realized everyone had a ton of homework. So, I stopped long enough to help do homework, had one kid in tears about understanding syllables. Jumped back on mower. Fifteen minutes before practice jumped off mower, drove Levi to practice, asked another parent "If it starts to rain could you hang out ten minutes with Levi, for me to get here". Ran home, jumped on mower. Tamara gets home. I talk two minutes with her. Finish, bank and weed whacking. Jump in car, run to practice, stop off to grab a sandwich for my dinner. Get to practice to see last batter in what became a intra team scrimmage in place of game. Jump back in car, run home, clean up mowers. Finish studying for spelling with kids. Get them to bed. Setup Stepper, do a 30 minute workout. Talk to Tamara for about 15 minutes, play with dog 15 minutes, bath, bowl of tortilla chips & salsa, with a lemonade and bed.

Next Week my training program has me doing 2.5 to 3 hrs of workouts on two weekdays. Huh? Where in last night do I find that much time. My schedule is going to have to be regimented. I wanted to do 40 minutes last night on the stepper, but opted to see my wife for that extra 10 minutes. I am not complaining I am understanding why it is so hard to perform exactly like you want to. "Exactly like I want to", has become a function of time, good or bad that is how it is going to be. I cannot wait to start 6 am swim workouts tomorrow. My next post will be about my lack of sleep.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

1 month to go. Too late to make changes?

As I spend more time on the bike, I know that I want to make some changes.
1) Install the clip on Aero Bars (shims will arrive within the week I hope)
2) If I have aero bars. I'm really going to want a new saddle. The Adamo at the bottom of that page really interests me. It may be the answer for Shawn as well.
3) Fit. Maija has a bike tech she has used and was happy with.

So if I make all these changes, am I just asking for trouble?
Or is it going to be a huge help and I'll be glad that I did it?

My overall lack of bike knowledge is making me think I should just leave it alone until after the Morgantown race. They try to get all that stuff done before my NH vacation. I'll have plenty of time to practice on the Mooseman course then.
Opinions welcome.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Bikin' up a storm

I went for a 38 mile bike ride today, following this route. Not quite the climbs of the last two rides, but the elevation looks more like an EKG or something (arrhythmia) with about 10 climbs ranging over elevation changes of about 260 feet. The bike is getting very comfortable. I fixed my rear spindle today, which was a little loose and caused my tire to rub the frame yesterday. I thought I fixed it yesterday, but I was mistaken, so I did it right today. Also pumped the tires back up to 120 psi, which I can't do at home, so that helped quite a bit too. I'm rolling smoothly now. I was in the aeros a lot today, and it felt great. I can't praise those things enough. I wonder why it took so long for them to catch on. Oh, I also bought a couple of Power Gels and squirted one into some water in my water bottle for this ride. This gave me about the equivalent caffeine of 24 ozs of Diet Pepsi without the fizz and bulk. If I stay addicted to caffeine until the race, I will be doing this again. At least one before the start so I don't fall asleep in the water, and another on the bike, in the water bottle. Maybe more, who knows? Is that doping?

Feeling good... not good enough

I was fired up to go running tonight. My hip flexor pain is gone. So I head out the door looking to run 6 miles slowly. I got about 3 blocks away and decided I'd better give it another day or two. It didn't hurt but it wasn't "right" either. Maybe I shouldn't have been so quick to give up, but I figure I can do just as well with a bike workout.

Shawn it's great to see you filling up the spreadsheet with workouts. You might want to start adding a short run right after these rides you are taking. Is your training partner doing Tris? Or bike only?

Quality Swim Time coming

Got an email today! Master swim in Morgantown. Now that the University is out for the summer or finals are finishing up, a woman has got a Master's swim started in Morgantown at the Natatorium. 6-7:30 am MWF. Tough time for me, because I start 7 am work. I am going to try to go twice a week and adjust my work as needed.

They have a coach, a real coach. Not Betty who has taught swim classes to kids for 40 years, but a real swim coach (Betty is a real person at the now closed Waynesburg pool who doles out unwanted advise).

After June 2, it is going to go every week day, but we are moving to a local community pool, actual just across the street from the natatorium.

The Swim is even catering to triathletes. They have deals to get into the class before each triathlon in Morgantown for about a month. She also told me to come try it out for a couple times to see if it works for me. If it is too hard to get there then I can just not come back.

Woo Who!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Chiropractor / Wetsuit

So you all probably think I'm crazy for going to the chiropractor so often but it is necessary. Tonight I got to the chiropractor and explained that my hip flexor wasn't right and reminded him of my jammed foot a year ago that caused that same problem. So he went through the kinesiology tests to try and figure out what was up this time. To be honest I didn't catch what he felt was the most likely suspect. In addition to my normal back adjustments. He adjusted my hip, my knee (which was awesome), ankle and foot. Walking out of the office everything felt right. Money well spent.

The First Wave Pullover arrived today as well. It is definitely thinner and stretchier. My first thought was that it seemed less constricting to breathe in as well. Not that I had problems with the black pearl. I tried each of them on a few times just to get a good feel for the differences. It is definitely more flexible. I'm just thinking about swimming 30 minutes or more in one or the other. I think the longer the swim the more obvious the differences between the two would be. Even though I got the Black Pearl at a nice price, I'll probably be mailing that one back and keeping the first wave pullover. I'll stick with the black pearl bibjohn.

I'm going to keep my workouts low impact for a couple days to give that hip flexor time to get back to normal.
I went to Masters Swimming this AM, I was close to bonking at the end of the hour I need to figure out how to get more fuel in me for those 6AM swims.
Then after work I hit the bike trainer for 20 minutes or so tonight, just enough to warm up then focus on stretching out.

Warren Bound

We are going to Warren this weekend to see my Mom & Dad. It is also the annual birthday celebration (week early), because Levi and Carter share a birthday five days after my dads.

Allegheny river almost 14 degrees C. Wet suit won't be here for Wednesday Open water swim, not a big deal because Levi has ball game at the same time. Suit should be here for me to take to Warren. I was thinking about hitting Kinzua, if I can talk my dad into running a canoe for me. I have a swim shirt I will probably wear with the suit. 15 degrees would be a more comfortable temp.

I also need to get in a run. So any suggestions on a good run. I will probably run up Conewango avenue an back unless someone has a better idea. Zone 1 run so I don't want too many hills.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Bike ride to the clouds

Today my masochistic training partner took me on a killer bike ride. In honor of Matt running the half, I thought I would shoot for 2 hours of biking. This is my route. I'm not sure if I mapped it quite right, but it was literally into a cloud at the top of a mountain. We could see the fog rolling over the top of the ridge and we couldn't see any views, unfortunately. If you click on that link, check out that second climb! Three and a half miles of unrelenting uphill. Sheesh. I made it, though, and that was only one of the three major climbs on this ride. It was certainly a valuable training effort, and nothing in the Mooseman will phase me now. I hope to do something like this three times a week for all of May, so watch out, boys.

I'd also like to add that I started taking Zyrtec, since Allegra was taken off the market, and Clariton wasn't working for me. The Zyrtec seems to be doing the trick, which is a very exciting thing to say, because I had a couple of years there where nothing was working. It's expensive, but I should only need one bottle a year.

Congratulations Matt on a beautiful first Half Marathon. Who woulda guessed that the asthmatic kid back in high school would turn out to be the fastest one of us? You are an inspiration.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Brooklyn Half Race Report

5AM wakeup.
Hot shower, it's only about 50 degrees out.
Eggs and toast breakfast. 2/3 of my normal.
6AM Drive to Kevin's place in Brooklyn. Very easy drive and someone pulled out of the parking space right in front of their place as we turned the corner. If you've lived in the city, you know how awesome that is.
8:10AM We drive down to the race site. Genine and Lara Drop us off and look for a place to park.
Spend 20-30 minutes waiting on line at the porta-johns. Genine and Lara find us in line. Which is cool Genine wanted to see the start.
Walk up to the boardwalk with about 5 minutes to the starting gun. Maybe less :-)
So I didn't have time to walk the lineup to find Steve and Amy (from swimming group).
GU before the start.

5800 racers and we are lined up behind 4500 of them. The first part of the run was on the boardwalk at Coney Island. There was very little room to get around slower people. The gaps in the boards give you a hypnotic pattern to look at, and there are loose and uneven boards. We only saw one person wipe out because of this but it was certainly on my mind as I was running.

Kevin definitely frustrated by the tight conditions on the boardwalk. He prefers to start out quick. It's nearly 3 miles of running on the boardwalk. Map is below. My pace pod is working with the watch but my HR monitor wasn't working at the start. Probably just too many people with them on and I didn't notice right away. You just hold the watch to the strap for it to sync back up. There were many times along the run where I was getting double readings because of being close to others.

This was my first running only event, everything else I've been has been multisport. My last long run was 3 weeks ago up in New Hampshire and that was about 9 miles. Since then I only fit in 20 miles because of the back issue and tapering. So I didn't know exactly what pace I was going to be able to hold for the distance. I've never run this far before. Kevin's goal was to stay under 2 hours. So we ran with that as the goal. I figured I'd just monitor my HR and how I felt and scale back if it was feeling like too much.
Ocean Parkway run was uneventful. Gu at mile 6.
I'm amazed at how many people are in this. We are going to be surrounded the entire distance.

Our worst mile was between mile 9 and 10 and that was just because we were stuck in serious traffic. We had been compressed into a 2 lane road and it was sloped pavement falling away to the left. We tried to stay on the more even pavement to the far right. We hit mile 10 at about 1:30:00. We were feeling confident about the 2 hour goal but the park was the hilly part of the course and much more congested. I feel that one thing I do well running is holding a pace unless the hill is really big. So I started to work on getting us back below 9 min miles. (the polar watch is really helpful for stuff like this). I looked at my HR, getting bogus readings because of being so close to others with HR straps. Not a big deal, I was feeling really good. Hip Flexors / upper quad area was disliking the downhills but nothing awful.
We crossed the finish at the same time. Genine and Lara were right there. Which was very cool. Thank You Lara for fighting the traffic and getting to the finish.
Results: 1:57:48, 3156 out of 5832.

I felt that I could have kept running. Yet as soon as I stopped running. My legs started to get tight. Guess you need to cool down after a run like that, rather than just stopping. There was no room for that. Stretched out as best as I could.
I had been wondering if I would regret running this event one week after the Bassman Tri. I didn't get to train much this week but I'm glad I did this run. Definitely a confidence booster.

Pictures from the event.

Brooklyn Half Marathon- Warren High 5

Looks like you ran a great race 1:57:48. Since I didn't see a post from you yet, I figured I'd put up the data. 3156 out of 5832. Certainly it looks like you could do a sub 5 hour marathon,....maybe 4:30!!

In unrelated news, I ran the High 5 race in Warren today. 5 miles- 32:21 and 4th overall. The exciting part was that I had a dog nipping at me about the 4th mile and the gap to 3 and 5th was large enough that it was only trying to get me!! The dog was small enough, but very focused on my "chicken wing" legs. No matter what I did, it wouldn't leave me alone. I (unfortunately) had resorted to trying to punt it to get it away and that still didn't work. (Have you seen anchorman? "This is how I roll!") I had almost come to to a complete stop at one point. None of this changed the outcome. I would have been the same place either way, maybe a couple of seconds faster due to the unintended feeling of fight or flight that then left me winded for an extra 20 seconds after the incident before I could get back on pace. I was 25 seconds slower than last year, but I'm a year older.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Couple Odds and Ends

In my bike last night I held an aero position more than I have any other ride. Started to feel it in the muscles right above my hips in my back. I am sure it is some form of abdominal muscle that controls this. More AB work to keep this from happening. I don't think more time in the saddle will cure it and it showed up on the uphills worse, so I may need to at least sit up during the uphills rather than trying to stay aero. I am feeling it a little this morning, tender in my lower back muscles. Anyone else noticing this? How about during the Bassman?

Matt, I think you may have signed us up for a very competitive triathlon. I keep looking at the bike times for the Mooseman, and still appear to be fast. So, I thought well maybe the distance is wrong, but your map of the bike route seems OK. So, I compared times of the Mooseman with the Mountaineer Tri. I asked what % of the field did each in 2 hrs 30 minutes. At first the Mountaineer won, but then I adjusted for the longer bike in the Mooseman. Over 15 % of the field at the Moose went under the 2:30. Where as only 11% did it at the Mountaineer. So, my results tell me that the Mooseman is attracting more athletes and better athletes. I know you can't see that from what I wrote, but I looked at a couple other things too and I don't wan to bore you. So, the bike times are fast because the athletes are fast.

I am getting a ProMotion sleeveless suit. I am ordering today. I have been back and forth. ProMotion has a sleeved top you can buy with the sleeveless, I will see how it goes and if I need to order this at some later date. Ultimately, I plan to continue tri's but I will be limited after this year for a couple years and even after getting my tax return and stimulus package I find myself wondering how I will someday pay for four college tuitions and at least a couple weddings. So, the less expensive suit is the way I am going, because I also need some descent tri shorts, something with a little padding in the crouch would be nice.

That is all. Good luck tomorrow at the Half Marathon.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Bassman Tri Pro Pictures are up

The pictures Genine took of me didn't show the guy 3 seconds behind me. That was the guy I was behind for a long time, figuring I'd challenge him to a sprint to the finish. I had no idea he was so close! I thought he really dropped. Guess it was a good thing I kept going strong at the end.

Go to
for the Bassman Pro pictures

Setting the Bar

Vinnie Monseau our local tri hero, I have mentioned before and Matt met him in Morgantown, or at least spoke with him briefly. Well he went sub two hours in a Olympic Tri in St. Petersburg, Fl. I guess over 5,000 athletes. He was flying. He was the 6th place amateur and 31st overall. He lost out being the fastest amateur bike by 17 seconds. He was going 25.7 MPH. The mom of a little girl who plays baseball with Levi is good friends with Vinnie and his wife. She told me Vinnie got a new bike over the winter and was hoping to go near 26 MPH. I guess he has done it.

St. Anthony Triathlon results

He is under the Elite Amateur section just below the Pro's. 35:10 Run for a 10k if you were wondering. His swim was not as impressive only 23:54, I think he was disappointed with this. The fastest amateur swimmer was Adam Weber from Lebanon, PA 18:31. WOW!

Inverted Thursday

Right Shoulder hurt, right foot hurt, and left calf real tight after last nights run. Really felt it when I woke up this morning. So, I went in the basement and jumped on the inversion table, which I was using couple times a week until I had to move it to the basement. This would be the third time in three weeks I have got on it. Five minutes @ 20 degrees low of horizontal did wonders. I stretched my arms all the way above (or below in this case) my head. It also stretches the ankles pretty good even though your foot is locked in. My left calf is still tight but not awful. I may try to make this a morning routine. It's only five minutes. I tell you, some more work on the AB's, a cool utility belt, a cool cape, some wings on my arms like Levi's old pajamas, and getting over the awful fright of free falling off tall buildings while really trusting a launch able grappling hook off a belt while really believing it wouldn't cause a huge weggie even if the cable actually caught, didn't break or become disconnected from the belt, I am becoming BATMAN!

As stated earlier, once this happens I will put an end to open beverage law breakers, and the burning of couches after big football victories at WVU. They put aerosol cans in the couches so the fire is more exciting. Those crazy college students.

I really like me inversion table. Me also think I's am getting taller. Or the rest of you's are getting smaller. I am not sure how this conspiracy theory is effecting me in a negative way, but the voices in my head are telling me it is.

Hey, guess what song they play at the end of each WVU Football game or Basketball game. The artists last name is a state and he is dead.