Thursday, February 28, 2008

How NOT to Start a Day

This morning I rode into work.  Before I got out the door I made a final pit stop and ended up dropping my glove into the toilet. 

On the way to work I got a flat, fixed it and as soon as I pumped it up (yes, I use a pump) the core of the tube blew out and I had to put in another one. 

I put in another one and rode through some glass about 3 miles later and got another flat. 

I think I would have rather had a cat throw up on my bed.

Poopie Shoes

In fear of being on of those dreadfully boring amateur triathlon blogs - I won't write EVERY post about my last workout (which BTW was hard but delightful - I saw 192 HR). 

So for those of you who think their cats are problematic, meet my cat Shoes (and while you're at it, meet Fellini - whose name comes from Breaking Away).  This is Shoes looking at Ben - just after this I took the picture that Ben uses on his blog header (or used to) - so that must indicate something.


She looks sweet and harmless - but like Saddam, she's really not this benevolent creature loved by all. 

Shoes has IBD, Irritable Bowel Syndrome. 

This cost us $2,000 to find out and at the same time we discovered her version is not curable. 

What does this mean?  We'll, when the moment hits, she poops where she stands (visualize turkey gravy).  This was particularly enjoyable as we tried to sell our home in Seattle - like during an open house where prospective buyers are wondering with they should really spend a ton of money on this beaaaaaaaaaautiful home - whoops, it stinks in here and holy crap - there's crap all over the stairs - we'll let you know about the house later....

After TRYING to deal with this, we simply had to make her an outside only cat.  She gets about 5 mins a day inside where she is loved and then kicked out.  Because we made her an outside cat, she got fleas which she gave to Fellini. 

So there Ben and Courtenay.  My cat is worser than either of your cats and yes, I said worser.

As the kids say 'Shoes out!'.

Your Stupid Hybrid

I'm not a big fan of these cars - mostly because I think people believe they're doing the 'right thing' for Al Gore, their kids and the earth but it seems like they don't really think it through. 

  1. You just got a new Prius or other ugly hybrid
    1. What did it take to build that car?  A whole lot of energy.  A lot.  What did you save by creating the demand for another car?
    2. What happened to the other car you drove? I don't think you had it crushed and turned into solar panels or a windmill. 
  2. What's the gas mileage on that new car - based on a realistic commute - 30-40 or maybe 50 mpg? 
    1. Do you carpool - I bet you don't.  Most of the greenies I see in their new hybrids don't. 
      1. In Marin (and probably elsewhere, you get to drive in the carpool lane with a Hybrid). 
      2. If you did carpool - then effectively, you just doubled your mpg per occupant - but I bet you didn't. 
  3. In your old car, what was the mpg you got?  In my car (either 26mpg BMW 3-series or 17mpg BMW X5)
    1. If you did carpool, then effectively with 1 more person, you are getting 34 mpo (miles per occupant) in the X5 with a 4.4 liter motor or 52mpo in the 3-series.
    2. If you didn't carpool then you're a fool. 
  4. PS - when those batteries go bad in your hybrid - what happens to them?

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I'm just on this rant because I ride a bike more than I drive, even when I drove I carpooled with my wife or friend - I figure I can because I do this.  I also live in Marin, the hypocrite capital of California - tons of Hybrid & Range Rover/911/Escalade/Mercedes 500 series households.

I just wonder why people don't consider MPO as opposed to MPG?  I think that living green is likely more effective by changing one's lifestyle rather than buying what is considered 'green' - make investments in long-term, low impact ways. 

For instance:

  • Is it better to make your own bread than to buy it at the store and throw out a plastic bag a week? 
  • How about getting milk delivered in glass bottles - or is the delivery a greater carbon footprint than buying it each week? 
  • How about solar panels (this is CA after all) on your roof?  What is the heating source for your home - we had central air in a home that had no insulation and now have forced hot water which only has to be on for about 3 hours a day.
  • There are many obvious other ones that I won't even get in to (carpooling...)

I also have run to work- about 13-14 miles round trip if I ferry it in (I should have kayaked!) - but I wouldn't advise that.  It made for a very tiring day and I probably put out as much C02 as a V8. 

Above is the sunrise on Monday AM.  That's something nice I had to say.

Here's a new blog I started for my kids:

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

I Can't Pass This Up

Nor can words do it justice.  Brilliant.

Are Bike Riders Really Babies in Spandex?

I sort of thought so based on the blog that I've been sucked into by Courtenay.  Lately, she's been ranting on about not being a Levi fan and what a whiner he is.  I sort of agreed after reading a few posts.  Then on my ride home last night I noticed how perfect the winter weather was at 7pm riding along the ocean towards the Golden Gate bridge.  It was probably 55 out and not a hint of breeze - the riding was effortless and I was zipping along on my TT bike.  Then I realized that bike riders are probably some of the best people for appreciating everything from the humidity, the wind, the smells, the quality of the tarmac and being in tune with how they feel.  With that said, it's no wonder bike riders complain a lot - they're basically critics of the outdoors and if they're professionals, then the likely have a some leeway there. 

I don't think triathletes appreciate the outdoors quite as much - I say this because I'm in the pool which is not outdoors, when I get out of the pool the chlorine has killed nearly everything in my sinuses and I can't smell anything for a few hours and if I'm on my bike or running - I'm probably going too hard to appreciate much except for a tall glass of Clif recovery drink.  Last night was an exception - I had a super EZ ride home and I've really got nothing to complain about.

(I will complain about the tourists who don't look when the cross the street in the Fisherman's Wharf area ALL SUMMER LONG.  Most will run, but some leave grandma struggling for herself.)

Bike riders, in my opinion are happy babies. 













Today is also my wife's birthday - so happy birthday Greta!


Sunday, February 24, 2008

Mountain Diarrhea

What do you get when you cross 6 days of rain a mountain and a fool?  You get a super-fun trail run on the sloppiest, coldest, wettest 'trail' all by yourself.  It was pouring rain and windier than I've seen in a long time (until today).  Since the weather was NOT going to clear (which is usually does) - I had to stop putting it off and just run.  For the first time in a long time - it was an easy run, one where I could keep my HR below 163 (which is the top of Z2).  I had planned on running up and then down Ring Mountain (it's really just a big hill) - enjoying the train and not having to worry about sustaining some insane per mile pace. 

The last time I ran this with Ben my HR was pegged at 185 for most of the ascent, but yesterday it was pretty easy to keep it in my target zone.  The trail was  a mess - so it made for slow going if I wanted to keep my feet from under me.  For most of the ascent, I thought that it would have been a run that Chris Tremonte would have really enjoyed- it was a trail run, it was hard and the weather was terrible.

For 70 mins I ran in solitude except for the rain and wind that made it quite painful when it hit you in the face.  I didn't even see a bird who was foolish enough to enjoy the views from the top that have been published in various running magazines (you can see 360 from SFO, to OAK, to Mt Tam....).  It was nice to get out, enjoy and easy run and suffer a bit from the weather.  It was still better than anyone who has to train through an east coast winter.  


Friday, February 22, 2008


I wrote a post but I accidentally deleted it.  So just for that, I give you this.

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That's Levi, providing me feedback on the training I've been doing this week.  I should get artistic points for the angle at which I took this.  I should then lose them for actually posting this.  It's natural.

How Fast are Triathletes as Bike Racers?

Chris Lieto aside, I wasn't sure how fast some of the pros were in a bike race setting (Lieto is fast).  Here's a cool thing Macca did.  Macca was invited with 8 other athletes to experience the prologue on the Tour of California course before the pro mens field left 10 minutes later.

"My race start was set for 12:58pm. I headed over to the start 10 minutes before my scheduled departure and drank in the atmosphere. It was huge. The place was pumping. Once up on the starters house I got my countdown and took off.

The course went 400 meters down before taking a hard left turn and then another 200 meters before another hard left. After these two turns, it was all a false flat to the finish line.

my legs were screaming for a while after and my lungs were sore from breathing

I roared out of the blocks as hard as I could, and before I knew it I was turning a hard left. I accelerated out of the saddle again and then took the next left. It was here I saw the huge crowd and thought, WOW. I was pushing a relatively nice cadence of about 95rpm and sitting in my 53:15 gears. I felt great and rode the bike as hard as I could. Like the guys said, I really started to taste the lactic acid about 2 minutes into the effort and was at maximum effort.

I simply could not push the bike any harder, even if I had tried. I came around the turn with about 200 meters to go and really enjoyed the buzz. I was in pain but it was a nice pain. I did not have the fast twitch fibers to get any more speed out of myself, and this really limited the ability of myself to go any faster.
I stopped the clock at 4:24, which was cool. I was content but definitely not as fast as I have been when I was a short course boy. I really got the buzz but my legs were screaming for a while after and my lungs were sore from breathing in so hard to capture the air needed to feed my muscles.

The overall race winning time was 3:52, so it is amazing how quickly these guys can ride their bikes. Fabio Cancelara who won the day, rode 8 seconds quicker than the rest of the field. He was amazing to see.
I really enjoyed the experience and had a great time. These boys really earn their money, and I have to say that the sport of cycling is cool. Everything about the day was awesome. I loved it. I had a great weekend in Northern California and will enjoy watching the rest of the Tour of California on TV.
I am now off to Valyermo and a clinic with bike fitting guru Dan Empheild to look at my bike position and take part in an accreditation course to add to my knowledge about bike position. It will be really interesting".

Macca would have finished around 123rd place (out of 132) - but I bet if each rider had to ride each stage as a TT followed by a 10k or longer, he'd do a little better.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Seattle Lady on the Loose

I forgot to write about the lady who I presumed was from Seattle - because like a great percentage of Seattlites - she was insane.  While a small group of people waited outside the Quick Step RV for the Tour of CA there was a lady who made her way to the front of the 'line'.

As each rider came out of the RV to grab their bike or a bottle she would yell in what sounded like Annette Bennings' voice:

"Welcome to Sausalito, welcome to California - you are an inspiration to all cyclists everywhere, thank you for coming to California"

After the 2nd or 3rd time I asked the kid next to me why his mom was there - which was funny to a bunch of people.  She didn't hear me, because she kept going - getting 7 out of the 8 riders.

The lady in front with the blond hair - that's her.   Crazy lady from Seattle issuing disingenuous tidings and welcoming world champions to Sausalito.

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You'll see below that Tom Boonen is smirking because after she yelled it at him, someone said in Dutch or Flemish that she was crazy.

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Sea Lions Don't Eat Bread and How Crest Whitestrips Can Save You

My day yesterday started off with a half-dozen or so sea lions just hanging out off of our front porch.   I think there must be a massive school of fish that (as a result of the tides) end up right in front of our home each morning around sunrise.  Also in attendance are pelicans, sea gulls and hundred of duck-like birds.  I told my wife that they were out front and she ran to the kitchen to get some bread - because after all, every other animal in the water will eat it.  We found out sea lions don't eat bread, directly. They just sort of look at you, blow their nose at you and swim around.

Feb08 010 That wasn't a bad start to my day (actually, it started earlier with a pretty lame swim).  I forgot that the forecast said that it could rain, but since it's been so sunny and warm - I figured that I could ignore the forecast. 

Fast forward the whole day where it rained....

About 6pm when I left work for my ride home - choc full of some not-so-tasty intervals, it was a light rain.  Then it got heavier and it got darker and I began thinking

that riding a TT bike, in the rain and dark was something I'd prefer not to do.  Left with no other way home - I continued onward -looking at things positively: there were very few tourists to dodge, the number of other cyclists competing for the fastest commute home was next to nothing and Ben said I needed to be 'more comfortable' in the water, so riding in soaking wet clothing would probably help me get there. 

As I began my first little test of 2 mins at 350w, I began climbing up to the Golden Gate bridge.  After the 2 mins ended I heard 'whir whir - pop'.  My back tired blew - which was less fun because my HR was a bit high from the effort and it was dark, pouring rain and I had no rain gear on.  I pulled out the tube, put in a new one (after checking for glass and other objects that likely pierced the tube).  After putting 30 lbs into it - I noticed that the cause of the flat was a massive cut in my sidewall (which was my first in over 12 years of riding).  I must have rolled over a collection of steak knives I thought to myself.  Remembering that I could fix a sidewall with a $1 bill- I began to dig and then sadly remembered that my $1 bills were in the pocket of my jeans at work.  I was in no way going to use a $5 to fix a tire - so I dug into my bag.  Behind the Paris metro map, a subway ticket for that same metro system, 11 pennies, a book of Tiburon ferry tickets, Bandaids and Tylenol I found a Crest Whitestrip packet that I put in my bag for the trip I made to Europe over 1.25 years ago (because when you're traveling from London to Paris to Brussels to Madrid, there's a lot of extra time to whiten your teeth). 


The package is made of foil (really good stuff) and the whitestrip itself is plastic.  It worked just great and I was able to get about 70 lbs of pressure into the rear wheel and down the road another 5 miles in the pouring rain where I would meet my wife who could rescue me.

They were Whitestrips Premium - so be sure to spend the extra cash just in case.

I was then able to stop in Sausalito at 'A Bicycle Odyssey' - a wonderful shop who opened their doors 30 mins after they closed so I could get a new tire and tube.  I ended my day with a slide of chocolate cake that would nicely fuel my recovery run at 5:30am.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Best Run Ever

As I mentioned previously, I've made some adjustments in a number of areas: nutrition, supplements, training volume, intensity, etc... I made a few more on my long run this week.  It definitely paid off as I ran 1:40 and well past the 13.1 mile mark in addition to climbing 1,100 feet along the route.  I didn't run nearly as hard as I had the previous week and I the tweaks I made in my fueling/hydration strategy definitely seemed to work.  I've got another 1-2 more tweaks that I'd like to try over the next few weekends before locking my plan for Oceanside 70.3 - but I was definitely happy.  I managed to knock about 16 seconds off per mile than I did on my previous fastest run at this distance.  All of this the day after my hardest ride ever

I thought for sure that this weekend would be a terrible one given the intensity and volume I've been given (though Ben will tell you that my day off last week with an optional swim was actually spent working all day while eating a bowl of chips and salsa followed by a Bud Light). 

Because my wife is sort of a good sport (sometimes she doesn't hide her disdain for my training) - we took half a day with the girls and hit Sonoma (about 20 mins north) to go visit Valley of the Moon and BR Cohn wineries.  The Pinot Blanc at V ot M winery was excellent - perfect for a warm "winter" afternoon (it was 60 and sunny there).  Also grabbed a few bottled of their bigger reds that I'll look forward to trying soon - I think we brought home some Pinot Noir, Sangiovese, Zin, Cab Sauv and their Port.  40% off on cases this weekend - so I had to fill up!

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Also new to me was the Clif Recovery Drink - Ben had left some here (he's sponsored by Clif) and I'm sold on the stuff.  I've never had a recovery drink that tasted good and worked as well.  I was impressed and will be buying some in the future.  The Orange/Mango was what I had. 

Tour of California Photos

Here are some photos I took of the Tour as it passed through Sausalito.  The race start was about 25 mins from my home in Tiburon, so I took advantage of my rest day spin to go over and play groupie for a day over by the Mapei Quick Step bus.

The Slipstream Bus:

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Jonathan Vaughters (the inspiration behind my sideburns):

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Tom Ritchey:

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One of my favorites: Tosatto!

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Word Champ Paolo Bettini - he's a little guy with a 49cm bike frame. 

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Tom BOONEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Patrice Hagland (on the right):

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From Seattle, Johnny "the cat" Sundt:

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The peleton (about 30 secs after they passed, this guy pulls over right next to me and takes a nature break in the shrub), it was Levi.  I felt compelled to take a picture, but can't post it. 

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Neutral Support:

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Rest Week

I've been so excited to get through this brutal weekend (remember I'm a big baby and like doing sprints because more people show up with mtn bikes than in other race distances) because THIS week is a rest week.  Here's a rest week:

Mon: easy ride 1 hour

Tues: Run 45, Ride 2 hours

Wed: Swim 45, Ride 2 hours 

Thurs: Run 45, Ride 2 hours

Fri: Swim 45

Sat: Ride 3 hours

Sun: Run 1.25 hours

Total: ~14 hours

Then I go into my final build before Oceanside 70.3   Over the past 2 weeks I've made some adjustments in my nutrition, supplements and I've been messing with my TT bike position.  I've had to raise my saddle about 3 mm and move it forward about as much in addition to dropping my front end by about 2.5mm.  It feels a little better and hopefully my legs can adjust in the next few weeks. 

PS - here's the sunrise from my kitchen:

Feb08 001

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Hardest Ride Ever

Yesterday I had the single hardest ride of my life - including races.  I think.  The plan was to do about 4 hours, pretty hard doing everything in Z2,3 and some Z4 (all hills in 4).  I rode up north over rolling terrain - through Nicasio, over to Pt. Reyes and then back.  After getting to Pt Reyes I headed on course and then decided to take the scenic route along the ocean.  At this point I had ridden about 2,220 ft and 45 miles holding about 275w-300w for nearly the entire ride. 



I knew that I was in for a climb - but I guess I forgot how much of a fun one it is.  I started climbing with some pretty tired legs but after having been on the aero bars for 2.5 hours straight - the change of position was welcomed.  After about the first 15 minutes I began to look for the top - as I had never ridden this side of Tam, I wasn't really sure, every corner felt like the peak should be just-around-the-bend. 

I died at least a thousand deaths in the last 15 mins of the climb (it was slightly less). 

The good news about going the route I did was that I was likely going to see very few cyclists climbing (and possibly passing me) on the way up - with only a half dozen or so who were flying down in the other lane.  The embarrassment was spared!  I did finally make it home - with even a few efforts on the way home allowing me to fly past a few triathletes out on the road.  By the time I got to my house, I couldn't stand upright and every fiber of my legs were sore.  At the end of the day I had ridden about 65 miles and climbed over 4,400 feet.  I figure that after a ride like this, Oceanside 70.3 should be a piece of cake. 

This morning I ran the fastest half-marathon of my life. 

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Because I'm Not Average

I figured I should continue my thoughts on triathlete blogs.  As I mentioned in my previous posts, triathletes (the one's whose blogs I read) tend to be above average in every way.  In doing a LITTLE research, I realized, I'm probably selling these folks short (research was limited to the blogs I read):

Greg Remaly: UNC Chapel Hill, English degree, well written and well read.  His music tastes aren't even suspect despite actually owning up to having tunes from the Karate Kid soundtrack.  Pro Triathlete.

Courtenay Brown: University of VA, well written and likely well read.  I know one of her teammates and her DS, Lisa Hunt fairly well.  Might as well call her pro, she just needs to make it official with a top 7 I think.

Ben 'Huli Chicken' Collins: don't need much here, if you read my blog, you know Ben.  Talented wonderboy with the engineering degree from Columbia who thinks that being a post-bac Medical School student is a good way to balance out his pro triathlon carrier.  Pro triathlete.  Ulgliest blog this side of the Mississippi.  I think I'm to blame for some of it when I said 'make the font Ariel. 

Chris Tremonte: I knew Chris from Microsoft - he introduced me to Ben.  Chris knows more about the physio side of triathlon than anyone I know - if you've got a question he'll give you a page long response that is incredibly well thought out and choc-full of advice.  He went to Carnegie Mellon, I think has a CS degree, full-time employee at Microsoft and professional triathlete.

The list goes on with guys like Chris McCormack (accounting degree and law student in the off season), VIctor Plata (who I think was a law student or is)....  I could write another few blogs just about the guys I get to train with like Ian Charles, Chris Berry, etc... even Soda (even though she's a tiny little baby, she's smart, well above average and despises her LiLo (Lindsay Lohan) look-alike sister).  I raced bikes for a LONG time and typically, the fastest guys were forklift operators, warehouse workers, construction workers, and shuttle drivers. 

That's all, not sure the point of all this - because I'm likely preaching to the choir, except that I notice that we're in a special sport with some pretty amazing people. 


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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

So What

I can't even think of much to write - I'm smack in the middle of the hardest week (week 3 of the 4 week cycle) of my training cycle (3 hard, 1 ezpz - crediting Katie Mac).  It started with Ben giving me crap on Monday for working instead of swimming - I didn't have the heart to point out that my 3k swim was listed as optional.   Ran hard, rode hard, swam, rode and will ride again (that was yesterday and today).  I also tried eating an entire bag of Swedish Fish, I think there's protein there but I'm not sure.  It didn't help my run with mile repeats. 

I woke up 2x last night swearing that the alarm had gone off, it was dark - so I figured it was 4:55am, time to get up and go swim.  I got up (I did this twice now) at 11:28pm and noted the time on my watch as a began walking downstairs.  Dozing off again into a deep sleep, I woke up again to go swim, (repeat previous line) and noticed it was almost 3am, went back to bed.  I did make it to the pool - somewhere around 5:45am. 

Also reading a few new blogs because Ben and Christine and completely unreliable to write.  Not sure why I read blogs so much, the life of the pro triathlete is not glamourous, exciting or anything I envy - I suspect that with the great volumes Ben spends driving our BMWs - that it's the other way around in some ways.  I suspect that it's because triathletes are generally well educated, well written, Type A freaks and get more out of life than your average American Idol-watching-American.

Some well written blogs I got into from friends of friends (my friend Katie rides on the same team as Courtenay who is dating Greg who races against my friend Ben). 

In short, Courtenay and Greg's blogs are both well written, humorous and mention swim, bike or run in nearly every post.  Courtenay talks a lot about pets.  My cat peed on my freshly washed cycling kit- right before I was heading out for a ride.  I thanked Greta for putting the cat box OUTSIDE.  This morning I found that same cat locked in a guest bedroom where I'm sure she took a big fat messy poo.  I didn't bother to look.  Take that Courtenay for a pet post. 


I'm selling 2 pair of wheels I got from Macca that I don't really need.  Check em out.

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Lonely IHOP Ride and a Few Tan Lines

Ian's House of Pain (IHOP) was there on Saturday - it wasn't the same being the both the producer and recipient of pain - but I made every attempt to honor the IHOP.  This was to be a long ride as directed by my coach as a 3.5 hour ride doing some Z2/Z3 with some additional precisely portioned helpings of Z4.  The day was perfect, 50+ degrees and sunny.  I haven't ridden my TT bike in quite a while and since I will be putting about 60 miles on in at Oceanside, I figured I should ride it.  It felt great - I had to tweak the saddle and after an hour of riding  - I got it nailed.  It's a treat to get off the brake hoods and just point forward and go.  I sensed I was riding pretty well for February and found out that I had indeed never rode further or faster than I did on Saturday (faster only in races with a disc wheel).  I was happy with how I felt and followed up the ride with a 30 min run of pain.  I simply haven't done a brick in a while and certainly not after having moved a house the day before nor after a ride quite like the lonely IHOP. 

One of the highlights of the ride was stopping at Point Reyes Station at the mid-point and being able to take off the leg warmers for the cruise home.  Yes, there were tan lines in February.

Here's tentative 2008 schedule - some of the races I have registered for:

Tentative 2007 Schedule
March: Oceanside 70.3

April: Sacremento Triathlon (sprint)

May: UVAS South Bay Triathlon (long sprint)

June: San Jose International (Olympic)

July: Vineman 70.3 & Tiburon Tri (if around)

August: Folsom International Triathlon & Santa Barbara Triathlon

September: Big Kahuna Half-Ironman

October: 70.3 Worlds?

I'll probably fit 1-2 more races in there but not sure if I'll have the motivation.  I know I got pretty tired last year by the time September rolled around and since I took not much of a break except for illness, I may not go past September OR I'll take some time off between UVAS and San Jose. 

Making Waves

That's right kids.  I was in the pool last week with my swim coach getting some help with the worst leg of my triathlon.  Luckily, it's the worst leg for many others as well.  I was just hoping to get a few pointers about my killer stroke, kudos for how small my kicking was (not kicking my legs 1 yard apart) and some ego stroking for my strong anchor and easy recovery. 

I was lucky Ben didn't just walk out of the pool, pee in my lane or throw up on me. 

orca It was bad.  For the first time ever, I got videotaped in the pool - I'm sure you've heard a million times that you should get video'd in the pool.  I thought it was silly to do -but Ben brought his water proof camera to our session and taped me a few times. He saved the videos with titles such as 'booty roll', 'making waves', and 'you're going sideways more than you are forward'.  I just wish there was a nicer coach out there or at least prettier one.  It turns out, my hips are tight, which makes my legs drop, which I then compensate for by massively  kicking like I'm in a cage fight. 


In short, I have a few specific things to work on before Oceanside.  Luckily, I've got a decent bike going and my run is fair.  I think I just put almost 1.6mph onto my fastest avg ride ever on Saturday for the longest distance I've ridden in about 4 years followed by my fastest run over 11+ miles - 14 sec faster per mile.


I'll write more about that this week - I'm still sore from being on my TT bars for over 3 hours straight.  I'm also addicted to swedish fish - they apparently have no protein in them.  I'm sure they'll help me in the 3rd week of my build.  This week is going to be chock full of hurt. 

Thursday, February 7, 2008

A Tale of Two Runs

I haven't been very consistent with my running - partly because I keep feeling bad and because it's been really rainy.  The rain is gone now and I'm feeling much better - still ramping to 100% though, so I'm not hitting all my training goals just yet.  I've got 2 more weeks in this cycle - with next week being the hardest by far - culminating with a 4-5 hour ride + 30 min run and then 140 mins of running the next day (broken into a long run w/tempo and then 100% tempo for 40 mins). 

I do the same run - 60 mins along the same route.  Here was my run from 2 weeks ago:


Then here is the run I did Tuesday morning - the only difference is that I pushed things to get to the tempo I was supposed to run at rather than the HR I was supposed to run at:


You can almost see that I ran almost identical pace for the entire run- 7:35 week 1, and 7:33 week 2.

Both runs had 2 miles easy, 4 hard and 2 easy.  Week 1 had an avg and max HR of 169/183 and Week 2 had an avg and max HR of 173/190.  If you can see my mile times, I'm incredibly consistent on miles 1 & 2, then as planned, ramp up for miles 3-6 (I got a little tired and slowed down 5 beats on mile 6) and then coasted up the hill (131 ft) - avg grade of 7% and then floated home.

I'm looking forward to finishing out this week strong - focusing on my swim stroke tomorrow and a solid bike home tonight (lots of Z4). 

Many thanks to Ben who took some time (at 5am) to come coach and video my swim.  Still tons of things to focus on.  I'm lucky and grateful to have a top swimmer like that help me out so much.  He even gives me feedback on how dorky it is to swim in my old tri-suit.  After all, this feedback comes from a guy who wears brown plaid pants, back running socks, running shoes and a North Face jacket. 

Monday, February 4, 2008

Transition Weekend

My wife was gone this weekend - down in San Diego.  To fill in, Ben flew down to help out, move a few things with me and to help me get my band started.  That's right - with no wife around for the weekend, it was Rock Band on the xbox once the kids were asleep (they can sleep with a lot of racket going on).  I think the game is a training killer - much like wine/beer - except worse because you can't ride through 5 hours of sleep.  The name of our band is a pretty good one: Young Kids andMen of All Ages (the missing space is intended).  You'd think the name is a bit sketchy but it comes from a response from Ben when I said that women don't think gas is funny. So those who do this gas is funny are 'Young kids andMen of all Ages'. 

Since Greta was gone, I didn't feel great and chose to move a ton of boxes to our new home - I didn't do anything this weekend.  I did get my TT bike out for the AM and PM commute.  It's been a long time since I rode it - so it's fun to get back on it. 

That's all.  I'm glad Greta is home - she was missed.