Monday, March 31, 2008

Impressed?

At Oceanside I didn't swim well.  This meant I was around the 35th percentile.  On the bike I passed 1,028 people.  Paula Newby Frasier was one of them.  Except she was on the side of the road.  I also passed Shari Kain.  It's not a good thing when you measure success by the number of pro women you've passed -one not racing and the other not racing mtn bikes.  It doesn't really matter.  When I got home - here's what my family made for me:

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Oceanside 70.3

I've almost felt guilty for taking 24 hours away from my computer - a whole 24.  I was tired of nearly everything by the time I got home.

Stuff I learned:

  • even though you think you'll complete the race before the sun really gets out, you should use sunscreen
  • 59 degree water isn't really that cold
  • blisters will not heal in 5 days, expect to see them appear again in the form of pain during a half-marathon
  • race plans are really good to follow but hard to do

Race Recap:

Thursday:

I left for Oceanside about 8am on Thursday AM - I avg about 75mph on the way down until I hit LA where I drove 15 miles in 1.5 hours.  Total drive time was about 7-8 hours max.  It wasn't too bad - I drank lots of water, stopped to stretch, and listened to: Led Zepplin Remastered, Motley Crue's Greatest Hits and some massive playlist from the 80s which had a disporportionate amount of Ace of Base songs.  It went by quickly and I amused myself by calling Greta to share some of the local sites and observations: I saw a truck's motor explode in a cloud of smoke and fire at 60mph, I saw a PT Cruiser roll over into the median, there's a town called Pumpkin Center - nary a pumpkin in site but they had a Sizzler, and San Juan Capistrano which is only funny if you've seen Dumb and Dumber about 200 times. 

I got into Oceanside and immediately went out for a 30 min run as per the race plan.  I knew I was close to race day since the slight 'efforts' I made had my HR in the 197 range. 

After showering and unloading the car - I headed south a few miles to meet up with Scott and Darcie Fairchild.  Darcie is my wife's cousin and is an incredible cook - steak, twice baked potatoes and salad were all fantastic.  Scott and I spent the next few hours boring his wife to death as we chatted about triathlon for hours.  After dinner I was shown the sponsorship shrine for Macca - where all of his sponsors send stuff.  The booty in that room was amazing - carbon everything, Dura Ace, frames, helmets, food, clothing, you name it and there was a bunch of it.  I think the highlight was getting to mess with one of the 'pro's only' Specialized TT helmet that you saw Macca struggle with in Kona.  Scott offered it to me for race day and I jumped at it.  After all, I had to try SOMETHING new on race day.  I got home around 11pm or so - not very tired but I knew I had lots of time to sleep.  I also now own about 200 more water bottles in case you need one or a dozen.

Below: Darcie, Scott and Riley Fairchild

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Friday:

On Friday I went out as per the plan to do 45 mins of efforts on the bike followed by a 10 min run.  I saw 197 again on the bike and 202 hr on the run - I was definitely ready to race.  I finished up my efforts and went down to the expo where I ran into Jim from Beyond Fabrications and Steve from Kestrel where we had a great and lengthy conversation about sponsorships, marketing, etc...  Grabbed lunch and ran into Ty from TriBike Transport where we had another good conversation about racing, marketing and sponsorships (it's a good thing I don't dare drag my family to these things).  I also went and picked up my registration kit and went through all the required steps - made all very efficient by the US Marine Corps who essentially staffed the entire event.  More on that later...

Because I had such a bit and late lunch - I didn't think I'd be going out for dinner, so I got my bike together, put all of the nutrition into the various nooks and crannies and laid in bed for basically the next 12 hours. 

Saturday:

I woke at 3:18am, not on purpose but that's how my head wanted it to be.  I ate around 4am and was at the race site by 4:30 and into transition at 4:50am -about a 1/2 mile walk from the parking lot.  I wasn't really ready to set up my transition in the pitch black but made due since I had 2 hours or so to get it all done.  I walked the transitions to ensure I wasn't one of those people searching for their bike for 3 mins.  Also got a few mins to chat with race winner Andy Potts who is simply the nicest guy I've ever met - especially for a pro right before the race! 

My wave started about 30 mins after the pros left -so they were done with their swim before I even got my feet wet!  It was pretty chilly but not freezing -it helped having about 2,000 people around you - all wondering how cold the water would be.  Turns out, 59 isn't that cold.  There were 3 mins in between waves and you had to swim about 100 meters from the ramp to the start line.  All of my concerns about freezing were gone as the 2 caps I had on were plenty warm - even too hot towards the end.

The Swim:

It's a narrow harbor - so not much need for sighting - if the boats are next to you -you're going straight.  The course went out of the harbor and towards the ocean.  After about a quarter of the way into the swim -the swells began to pick up and I found my hand grabbing air more than a few times.  I hit the 1/2 way point with not a single yard swum off course  - but my goggles were fogged beyond use - so I took 10 seconds to clear them.  Turns out I should have done that sooner and I was able to swim a bit more confidently.   I wasn't sure how I'd survive the swim since I only swim 2,000 yards max.  I could have gone a lot harder and been just fine.  In the end, I had a good swim (no issues) and know I can push it a LOT more.  Courtenay would have been proud!  I also wasn't last and even passed a bunch of people in the 2nd half - but not enough, I'd soon see many of them on the bike. 

The Bike:

After getting out of the water I had to run down the length of the transition area which was about 100+ yards long.  Since I didn't know how cold it really was, I erred on the side of warm and put on my SS bike jersey and arm warmers. The goal for the bike was to stay settled and ride in my Z3 for the duration - saving it for the final 10 miles and then the run.  So much for a plan.... (more later).

Monday, March 24, 2008

Final Blog

It's a busy week as I prep myself for Oceanside as well as my CA driver license written test.  I'm not going to write anything this week but will instead focus on resting, thinking lots of positive thoughts and working hard to stay out of the kids chocolate bunnies. 

I've done approximately 264 hours of training for this.

I'm swimming, biking and running better in training than I did in racing all last season.

I'm ready for anything.

I'm going to have fun.

I'm going to hurt.

My tires hold over 160psi.

Others will hurt worse.

I'm going to have fun.

See you on the other side...

 

- lorpeedo 70.3

Saturday, March 22, 2008

My Dad Can Beat Your Dad

Ok, so I wasn't a swimmer.  I wasn't really a runner or biker - so the recent conversation got me thinking about how I got into this mess.  So, here's the first time ever documented sporting history of "THE LORPEEDO". 

1-4, not sure I did much - rode a tricycle and ran around.  Unlike Ben's parents mine didn't put a swim cap on me at this age - so I had to do stuff like chase our dog.

5 - I said that when I was 5 that I'd start riding a bike.  I did.  My bike had a removable top bar, so the neighborhood kids knew that under that removable top bar, I had a girl's bike.  It didn't skid well either - so I lost the skidding competitions too.  I wouldn't recover from either of these for years.

6 - see 5 above, break first bone, thumb.

7 - little league, I was a catcher because that required less running and for some odd reason I'm not scared of things being thrown at me.  I'm actually ok.  Neighbor throws large rock at me and knocks teeth out fractures head.  Not allowed to play with neighbor any more.  This turns into a 'hatfields and mccoy' like escalation, culminating in rock throwing and homemade Nunchakus flashing between houses and rival gangs 'the pokorny's vs the neighbors (known by my mom as 'thooooose people''.  They ended up being the kids who smoked in high school, so in God's eyes, I won.

8-11 - more of this baseball.  I started skiing when I was 8.  I skied a lot.  I also had a hockey pond where I decided that I like to play goaile the best.  It's a lot like being a catcher, less skating and you don't get checked much.  I can only skate backwards and turn left.  Break multiple bones during this period - hands and fingers mostly.

12-14 - more baseball where I make regional teams where you have to try out.  Continuing at catcher.  Break thumb as catcher trying to impress girl - perform double play by myself.  Hit triple with broken thumb in same game, basically the single greatest sporting day for me ever.  Girl had boyfriend.  Break both legs and ankle.  Re-brake ankle.  Break knee.  Enter high school at 5'2".  Age 13, I'm basically 1 year younger than everyone - I hit on Junior woman on swim team.

14 - try bowling, but since I'm wearing a cast from my ankle to my hip, it's difficult.  Coach says 'bend your knee!, bend your knee!' - after a few weeks they figure out I've got a broken leg.

15 - still playing baseball, skiing, hockey and soccer.  Break more bones, get knocked out in gym class before dodgeball.  Date the state diving champion.  She's eventually stolen by the quarterback of the varsity team, it's ok because he ends up waiting tables after high school and I date 2 more girls in a row with the same exact name for a grand total of 3 Jessicas.  I do believe this record still stands today.  Tried playing football but liked everything except getting hit, so I join the soccer team and earn the glare from football coach every time I see him for quitting the team. 

16 - that's right, Junior in high school.  Total 1st car only weeks into having my license.  Grew 8 inches over summer though and most people think I'm a new kid at school.  Play soccer, ski and lots of Van Halen.  Whoops, also broke my neck.

17 - Get out of neck brace and start first public lacrosse program where I become goalie.  Lose first game 19-1 against Phillips Exeter.  Single worst experience ever (except when I had 'the scoots' and a bird poop on me during a first and only date).  End up actually winning games as goalie, this is better. 

040715_greg_lemond_vmed_11a_widec17.5 - Given a bet that I can't beat someone in a local duathlon (he was a 55 min 40k TT guy) with a 10 min buffer.  I buy a Cannondale with Shimano 105, first ride is 40 miles.  I still remember the pain.  Win the bet, despite transitioning from running shoes to soccer flats because I think they fit the pedals of the bike better.  I also wore salmon colored Ralph Lauren shorts.  There's a picture of me in the newspaper in my first race, not bad, luckily it's in black and white.  Keep racing....

18 - Train and go to college at the University of New Hampshire where I continue to play lacrosse and run and ride (at this point in triathlon all you need was talent in one sport to do ok, swimming wasn't necessary because swimmers could run or ride).  Keep racing and training - lots of 2x a day runs of 4.89 miles (which is a loop around my block).  Race and win my age group a lot.  Buy disc wheel that is pink.  Only known picture from this time period has me in white, black and pink Nike running kit (my girlfriend got me hooked up with Nike) along with a sweet pair of Oakley Factory Pilots (see Greg LeMond). 

To be continued....

Friday, March 21, 2008

Offenses and Becoming Mr. Limpet

After only mentioning 3 of my 754 users by name, I've offended pretty much every one of my regular readers - so for that, sorry: Soda, Chris, Ben, Ian, Sarah, Chris (a different one), etc...

One of my favorite movies as a kid was the Incredible Mr. Limpet (found on obscure DVD in the Disney area).  It's about a guy who loves fish so much that one day he jumps into the ocean and becomes a fish.  He eventually joins the navy and turns the war (WWII) around for the US Navy and is a hero.  How does this fit into today's post?  I basically hate swimming.  I don't like swimmers and I don't like being wet, never have.  I grew up on the ocean and liked playing in the water, I even liked lakes but I really only like pools with slides and hot tubs.  Every time I swim, I hear the voice of Ben Collins telling me that I need to be comfortable in the water - so I work on this for 2.5 hours every week.  Now I find out I not only have to be comfortable but I'm wearing the wrong outfit (I can't wait for open water season here when I can wear my wetsuit for every swim for 5 months)!  This is how swimmers keep their sport elitest - 'you got that figured out, well you're wearing the wrong clothes'.  It's ok because I took 10 seconds off my 500 time, so take that 25th percentile swimmers! 

So until I do all of these things right, I've discovered that I will NEVER EVER make up a workout I skip - I could do this when I was in school, but my schedule is pretty much fixed 100% these days, so I'm only lying to myself.  I thought about it today and came to this realization.  No more. 

I'm also trying to like the water more.  So I'm even excited about watching the Olympics where I believe there is some water-based sports.  I even listened to a good podcast today from Micha Burden.  Micha Burden (pronounced Meeka) is one of the favorites to make it to Beijing as part of America's first ever 10K open water swim team. How tough is that event? Imagine a solid two hours of swimming averaging about 12 minutes per thousand meters.  I should get some prize for taking 20 mins to listen to this in my attempt to embrace all things swimming and water. 

For now, I'll just drink it since I'm near electronics. 

Regards,

Limpet Pokorny

Thursday, March 20, 2008

WOWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

I usually drink espresso.  I even mix decaf beans in with regular to keep it toned down and to mess with my wife.  Our daughter decided to put some water in the grinder and made our $2,000 machine about as functional as our old $120 machine.  So, while it's not working and undergoing the minimum charge of $256 to fix it, we're using a coffee maker - a drip one.  I found out the hard way over the past 2 days that drip coffee has WAY MORE jet fuel (caffeine) than espresso.  For my brick run yesterday the easy pace had my HR around the high 160s, the harder pace had me in the 180s - luckily I don't max out until after 200 which isn't bad for someone in the 35-39 age group.  It's very exciting but it's making for a very difficult work day. 

The good news is that I've slept like a baby for the past 2 nights.  Though last night I had a dream I was doing a group run and someone showed up with some early version (which were flo-green or yellow) of the Zoot Ultra Race shoe - that sort of looked like the early Nike Free product.  This is disturbing. 

Because I have 3 readers, Greg, Courtenay and Ben (3 readers who aren't afraid to comment) - I basically have to write FOR you and of course, for me. 

So when Greg asks questions like, how much do you weigh I have to answer it, otherwise I risk losing 30% of my readership.  For you, I weigh 170 and am 5'10" and 3/8ths (which are important because in high school I was told I was 5'10" and 7/8ths, which meant I told people I was 5'11").  My race weight (ideal) for Vineman is 160 and I suspect I'd be strong racing in the 155-157 range.  My 5k PR was set when I weighed 149lbs and I raced bikes well around 153lbs.  For more background, I met my wife when I was 153lbs and 18 months after dating her, I was 210lbs.  I was not racing well then. 

I recently found a digital camera with a bunch of Christmas pictures on it.  For Christmas this year we went to Seattle - where it rarely snows (except for the past 2 years).  On Christmas day it snowed, sort of.  I had to get my kids out in it to sled because as a kid in NH, I was basically a professional sledder.  Any normal dad would put their kids in a sled and push them down.  Not this dad.  I tell my girls that it's more fun to go downhill backwards - because it is.  So I found a bunch of pictures of kids going sledding on a barely-snow-covered-hill, backwards because that's how a real Pokorny would sled.  I did this for Courtenay who is my other reader who said she hates age grouper blogs who write about their training. 

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Zoot Ultra Race Follow Up Review...

As I've mentioned in past races I'm racing for Zoot and GU in 2008.  I have been doing my hard workouts in the Zoot Ultra Race shoes prior to the race season to see if they do everything they promise. 

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I've had successful long runs (10-13 milers) in them wearing socks at a sub 7:30 pace for all runs.  They're light and comfortable with no issues initially. 

Here are my nits:

1) They're about .25 of a size too big.  All of my shoes are 11.5, but in these I should wear an 11.

2) My feet sweat and despite the lack of seams - my feet got hot and wet and I got massive blisters today doing an 8-9 mile run around 6:30-7:10 pace.  The blisters were so bad I had to walk the last 1.5 miles.  They were the size of a 50 cent piece (which for those of you under 30, a 50 cent piece is something you could be sure your grandparents would give you because you typically had to go to the bank to get them special.  Grandparents have little to do, so they go INTO the bank to get these.  They (the 50 cent pieces) are not gangster rappers, it's a currency -which means it's money bigger (size) than a quarter.)

3) blisters running in them with no socks, even my Brooks can get me 8 miles with socks or blisters.

4) racing flats should not be $130.  A decent dinner yes, but sub-9 oz shoes, no. 

5) there's a lot of heel for racing flats for people who heel strike, those people probably don't run fast enough to need these (do they?)

Here's what I LOVE about them:

1) The high heel and toungue along with some tacky coating on them make them VERY easy to get on

2) the laces can easily be snugged up or loosened and they don't slip, the lace lock works awesome

3) they feel great with a very thin sock

4) I'm guessing chicks dig them. 

 

PS - why would a triathlete have to train with a butterfly stroke? 

 

UPDATE 4/14:

I raced a triathlon with these shoes with 4 mile run and these shoes performed much better.  The run was a trail run with limited pavement - it was essentially an Xterra off-road run.  No blistering and my T2 was incredibly fast - no fumbling with a tongue or laces.  I was much happier with these shoes on the short course.  I'll be racing again in them again with a 5 mile run in 2 weeks.

UPDATE 4/29:

Here's another review I found from inside tri: http://www.insidetri.com/article/71114/zoot-ultra-tempo%2B

Aug 5, 1988 Follow Up

Questions from my readership:

  1. goggles is the correct spelling. ugh. too much google in my life obviously: there is too much Google in everyone's life.  After nearly 12 years at Microsoft, I could stand to see less Google.  Since my daughter calls goggles, googles, I know what you meant.
  2. but you did leave out some juicy details - for example why didn't it work out with Seattle Girl #1? I think you meant the girl that I was trying to impress?  I grew up in  NH - which is where I assume she still lives since very few people who grow up in New England ever leave.  I dated her from 1988-1992 where after I got more complaints about 'why do you have to train so much' that I gave up.  In between dates with her I had other dates with other ladies - which is sort of funny because one of them actually visited me in the hospital and left me some cologne along with a card.  The cologne spilled and I was in a hospital room with a card, spilled cologne and a girlfriend who wanted to know who 'Stormy' was.  Her name was in fact really Stormy, who I believe, went on to marry a New England Patriot.
  3. Next I'll find out you use a mask instead of goggles:  no greg, I'm a slow swimmer, not retarded.  I wear goggles, courtesy of Tyr and Ben.
  4. Ben, you're partly responsible for this, having enabled Loren for so long. I have Courtenay swimming lots of yards each day with a band around her ankles, after just a few months of swimming - now that is pro.  Actually, I have 2 bands in my swim bag that he made me make.  I tried it and my legs didn't work and fell to the bottom of the pool.  Since he isn't there to watch me, I don't use them.  I use swimmies and a swim noodle when no one is looking.
  5. i'll always think of you as "paddlewheel pokorny" from now on whenever you're swimming. You think that now, but isn't it funny how your girlfriend and I had similarly slow swims at Tinley's, perhaps it was the quality time we spent around buoy #2 in the fog.  While you're out training we're online chatting.  ALL DAY LONG.  I'm also training to be a cage fighter. 
    1. Actually, I think what you said was sort of a compliment.  Ben just laughs and mocks me and video tapes me and names those videos cruel names like 'orca boy tight hips' and 'plow stroke - bird wing recovery'. 

Thanks for the feedback.  I'll try to be more complete in the future.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

August 5, 1988

On August 5, 1988 I became a quadriplegic, injured in a swimming accident (I tried to flip into an above ground pool to impress a girl J).   I hit the bottom of the pool, crushing my 5th cervical vertebrae (it’s one of the ones that allows you to shake your head ‘yes’).   My parents were told their 17 year old son would be lucky to walk again but even luckier that my spinal cord was not cut – severing the connection between my brain and lungs.  In this case, if I was a in a wheel chair I’d be lucky.  No one told me.  I remember a 6 inch (it at least looked this large as it loomed over my eyes) needle move into the side of my head followed by two bolts that would screw into my skull – connecting a wire and some weights to effectively pull my spinal cord as long as possible – hopefully avoiding the swelling that typically causes paralysis.  I don’t remember much after that – except a lot of morphine and even more visitors. 

Surgery was performed to release the pressure on my spinal cord (there were bone chips causing the numbness and paralysis) which would allow me to walk but likely not much more.  Bone was removed from my hip and fused to my neck. 

I left the hospital just in time for the first day of my senior year in high school – the good part was the key to the elevator.  I suppose even better was that the swelling disappeared and most of the feeling returned to my limbs which meant I was going to walk. 

After 3 months of wearing various devices and using a lacrosse stick and ball to work my arms – I was free.  I went for a run and my arms went numb.  After a panicked call to my neurosurgeon he let me know that I wasn’t really supposed to be running and that it was the scar tissue on my spinal cord causing the tingling sensation but that it would disappear in time.

Fast forward a few months to end of the school year and I was running.  I began to ride as well – challenged by a friend to beat him in a duathlon which lead to more challenges from other friends to race a criterium, time trial or 5k.  I soon found myself pursuing triathlon, road racing, mountain biking, and running.  If there was a finish line I was up for it and I won.  I continued to race and train through college where most of my friends from that time will remember I was never far from spandex or my bike. 

After graduating college I moved to Seattle, WA (from Portsmouth, NH) where I joined Microsoft and ended up marrying the 2nd girl I met there.   

Life and work got the better part of my time and I soon was married with 2 daughters and 220lbs (a far cry from the 150 I was racing at in 1990) – living in Seattle and working for Microsoft and it was 2006.  I visited a friend in Austin over Memorial Weekend 2006 – the same weekend as the CapTex Triathlon was held – just outside our hotel.  I poked my head out the window and watched the race – hearing the whirr of the disc wheels fly by and the colors of a few hundred triathletes.  I suddenly remembered what I loved doing for so many years.  I put on my sneakers and went out to run 5 miles in Austin’s 90+ degree heat.  I did it the next day and sometimes 2x a day for the next few weeks.  I called my friend Scott Fairchild (owner of the Fairchild Management Group and Chris ‘Macca’ McCormack’s agent) and he had a Kestrel Talon SL for me (he actually asked me for weeks and weeks if I wanted it). 

I rode, ran and logged everything in my laptop.  I ate a lot of salad, yoghurt, chicken and drank a lot of water.  I called the swim director of our local health club and set up lessons.  I also hired a triathlon coach.  I entered a few duathlons and sent an e-mail to the race winner of a big local race (Kirkland Triathlon) asking to train with him (Chris Tremonte).   For the first time in a long time I was ‘healthy’, 180 lbs and finally back in love with a sport I had forgotten about.  I got my V02 Max, Lactate Threshold and cholesterol tested for the first time.  I got tired of training in the cold rain of Seattle and moved my family to Marin County in March of 2007 where it’s 70 and sunny more often than not. 

Most of you know the rest.  If not, start here.

And Another Thing

I was swimming hard today.  I was going to fast and focusing on keeping my chin down that I simply had no blood available to allow my eyes and brain to work together.  This meant I smashed my hand into the wall and split my pinky right down the middle.  I stopped and turned around.  The good thing about swimming is that people can't see your tears.  I'm also grateful there are no sharks in our pool, otherwise the blood from my nearly severed hand would have caused quite a frenzy. 

Taunt for those who thrive swimming in the 25th percentile: I lapped a lady in the pool today about 21 times.  She doesn't swim with goggles, so that might be something of a handicap, but then again I've got holes in my suit (which Ben will tell you, is a tri suit).  A win is a win in my book. 

T minus 10 (days till Oceanside 70.3)

I did it again, the alarm went off and I laid in bed debating whether or not I should get 45 mins of sleep or go swim for 30-35 mins as I had intended.  This time I made the right choice knowing that if I didn't, I'd be mad about it all day. 

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I had a good swim and even got my teammate Chris (former college water polo guy) to watch my swim.  For fun he counted my strokes, 22.  That's right - Paddlewheel Pokorny was cranking it out.  Apparently there's this whole glide thing I'm not doing - so I did some drills and found I could actually catch my breath and cover the same distance with about 5-6 fewer strokes.  Regardless of my strokes, I actually felt great today.  I'm guessing that the so-called swimmers who read this blog will mock me and will then offer up some advice on the proper number of strokes per length.  I'll remind one of them I can out-sprint them on the bike regardless of their massive wattage abilities and I'm negotiating a sponsorship deal for you. 

It could have been the raw dinner (I was promised an out of body experience) I had last night with my friend Natalie who is the head of Garmin's Fitness sales and marketing - she ONLY eats raw food, all the time, even on Thanksgiving.  So anytime we have dinner, I'm guaranteed to go to a restaurant (this time it was Cafe Gratitude) I would NEVER have gone to in my normal travels and I'm always impressed.  Luckily wine and beer are considered uncooked.   

The other fun thing with Natalie is that you can be sure that she'll have a bag of Garmin goodies.  Sure enough - I got to see the new Edge 705 and the Forerunner 405. If you're running an SRM w/wireless, the 705 easily hooks up with that to provide you with all the data you can handle and the 405 is VERY different from the other, more girthy units they've got.  It's an interface that is a cross between an iPod and a stop watch.  I was impressed with both and have them on my Christmas list.  I hope to have at least the 405 in the near future to use in my training and will blogging about it soon.

When I got home from dinner Sada asked who I went to dinner with and I said Natalie.  She said 'I have a friend named Reily (I think)'.  Then she asked is Natalie a girl or a boy?, I said 'a girl' and she responds with 'does she love you?' and since she didn't give me an Edge 705 or Forerunner 405 after dinner I had to say 'no, she does not love me'.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Le Weekend

My training isn't even worthy of a post but since there are people in cold climates sitting on couches somewhere needing something to read, I feel compelled.

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I sort of have felt like Shoes does in this picture (replace Sada's headlock with Matt Dixon's training schedule).  I'm feeling a bit more motivated (really a fun issue to have only days before a half) and am sleeping slightly better. 

On Saturday I exchanged a climb up Mt. Tam for an 8am, 90 min class over at the Mill Valley Endurance Performance Training Center.  I should have gone for the climb - as it was a bruiser of a class.  In 90 mins my HR was in Z5 for over 80% of it - feeling like a really long Olympic distance TT.  I made the mistake of thinking I could hold 28mph as my base speed and started my power at 250w.  It was good to take this on mentally as I went through a bad patch mid-way through the class and knew enough to keep on going.  I felt great towards the end and left off the bike for a quick 15 min Z5 run or just around 5k.  Ian also did the class with me and did incredibly well for someone who has a torn hammy and had his ACL replaced only 8 weeks ago. 

Sunday was to be a nice tempo run but after taking the kids hiking and having lunch in Larkspur (I think it was the Left Bank Cafe) - I threatened my wife with getting her a respectable Sauvignon Blanc. I had to follow through and reluctantly tested one or two (1 oz max tastes!) to ensure they were in fact, respectable.  I settled Greta into her lounge chair (which means she won't ask me to do stuff around the house) in the sun with a Kim Crawford Sauv Blanc, an Eric Claptop biography, and washed my bikes, organized ALL of my race stuff and ate a Ben Collins helping of fruit (which is equal to about $37 only sale of course).  It made me remember the days when Tremonte would take pictures of the produce he'd buy every week. 

It's fruit season I guess as everything at Safeway was 10lbs for $10.  Ben, you'd be in heaven.  I also got a new flat screen TV and a DVD player with R/W capability so I could rip the 20 hours I've got recorded of triathlon and the TOC. 

I'm off to read my mail where I can guarantee to find a motivational e-mail from Mr. Collins or Mr. Fleischmann...

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Friday, March 14, 2008

T3

Ok there isn't a T3, but if there was one, it would be finishing the run and hanging out with my girls.   Sometimes they get mad and here's what I got this week for that:

I asked Sada (age 4) 'what do you want to be when you grow up?'  years ago she said the following

    • Age 2: A fire truck
    • Age 3: A duck who works at Microsoft (I was an analyst, so a duck isn't much different)
    • Age 4: Pregnant with a baby (this was last night)

Then because I had asked her to do something like 'don't run around in the parking lot' - she got really mad and stewed for a few seconds and lashed out with

"I'm gonna cut your wheel off"

Greta thought that was hysterical and laughed and laughed.  I've been checking my fork and steertube a bit more carefully lately....

The wheel cutter (and future mom):

March08 200

TGITH

Yup, thank goodness it's thursday (ok, it's now friday now that I'm posting).  I got my training and taper plans for the next 2 weeks - little bits of pain, lower volume. 

luckily matt (dixon) will be down at the race so I'll see a friendly face or two on race day - even better when it's your coach who also gave you a mile by mile race plan - he's awesome.

alton-brown-knivesI've been going hard for 2 months and for the past two weeks getting terrible sleep.  Lastly night after 2 tylenol pm's, I had a nice slumber - in addition to dialing back the intensity a bit as there is no sense in trying to cram in any more killer workouts.  from now on it's keeping the 'knife sharp' with a bit of intensity but about 30-40% less volume over the next two weeks. 

I'll get in a few efforts climbing mt. tam tomorrow plus a short but fast brick run and then off to see 'Horton Hears a Who' (I can hear the jealously OOOOOzing out of http://bencollins.org blog right now) with the monkeys. 

Sunday is an easy (hear that Courtenay - EZ!) build run and then a big fat pile of shuffling around the house Ozzy-like doing stuff that helps remove the 60 boxes of stuff in the garage.

Dilema of the season: San Jose (triathlon) is June 8 - same day as Escape from Alcatraz.  I really want to race SJ but the biggest race of Ben's career is that same day.  He's like a little brother (except he doesn't hit me) - so I'm torn.  Plus he'll leave less Clif stuff for me if I don't see it (Gu only makes Gu and Gu2O, no bars, blocks, recovery drink...)  Either way, he'll stay in the luxurious guest suite we have and I can even drop him off for the race on my way down to SJ.  I don't have many races this season and want to get in some of the good ones - June/July is pretty empty because of my ramp up for Vineman. 

jesusdino2I don't have anything to say except that Jesus did not ride dinosaurs.  He totally flew when no one was looking. 

Scott Fairchild also got my tri team a deal with Under Armour.  He rocks.  UA rocks, I'm sponsored by Zoot though - but they won't get me my stuff until APRIL!. 

Ye Gods! (sorry, I've been watching two movies for the past month 'An American in Paris' and 'The Music Man').  I swear I love women (and not men).  I mean specifically my wife (who is real and whom I love) and my girlfriend (who is not really my girlfriend, but I know she loves me just a little).

 

Today I also learned that a 20oz water bottle was about a 1/2 liter.  I think.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

So Tired

I'm jealous:

sleepy

Complaint Department Working Overtime?

Is it Wednesday or just a bad day on the schedule for me? 

I'm cooked, could be the people at work with colds or it could be week 3 (the hard week) in my programm(e) - but I'm tired.  My 10 mile run at the 6:20 pace (which is my favorite workout) was not going to happen - it was dark and I slept terribly.  When this happens I hear the following things as I lay in bed at 5:05am debating what to do...

Ben Collins: 'Get up, if you're tired, you'll just have to work extra hard' (of course you can call him anytime and you're guaranteed to get the following 'man, I was trying to take a nap and EVERYONE has called me')

My Coach(es): 'if you're tired then you need to listen to your body' (then gives me 2 runs at 6:20-6:40 miles for 210 mins total). 

Macca: 'recovery is the 4th discipline' (easy to say when you can rip off sub 5:40 miles in a marathon)

Lorpeedo: 'when am I going to make this workout up... (lays in bed trying to rearrange schedule in head to figure out when 10 mile run fits), maybe I can do a 30 min hard run after swimming tomorrow...'

Greg Remaly: 'Little known fact: On average, Lions sleep 20 hours a day...'

Then I get up, check in with work and read the news and always find a reason to be happy.  Today's news made the 4 hours on a TT bike seem relatively comfortable - though not nearly as comfortable as that lady.  Between this and Elliot Spitzer, it makes me glad to be happily married (see the genuine smile below) and live in a home with 4 bathrooms.  Tomorrow I'll swim and do a 30 min brick run after at a Macca-worthy tempo.

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And now for something completely different....

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

One More Time...

I love daylight savings - because it means no more commuting in the dark!  It's always nice to see those potholes I've been hitting all winter in the light - sort of like meeting someone you've had many conversations with by phone, but never met face to face. 

This is the final week of my prep for Oceanside 70.3.  I'm riding, running and even swimming faster than ever (my riding and running are at my race pace from last season!) - so testing it all out on race day will be welcomed.  A big help I've already noticed is the Base Performance Nutrition stuff I've been using.  The Base water helps drive hydration - which I can attest to now that I ran my fastest half marathon (in training) with only 12 oz of water for the whole run.  I'm also recovering faster and have significantly less fatigue in my legs and the only change I've made is with the Base products. 

Today I made reservations for 3 whole days at Disneyland for early May (call it a 4 day mid-season break) - sandwiched between  the Sacramento and UVAS triathlons. 

March08 249

I also have to thank Scott Fairchild and Macca for sending me a brand new Orca Men's Pro Killa Triathlon Suit which I'll likely need for Vineman if the water is near boiling and definitely next season at Honu 70.3.  In the meantime, it just looks fast and comfortable hanging in the closet.

Monday, March 10, 2008

ATHLETIC FOOTWEAR AND RUNNING INJURIES

I got hooked into a few blogs courtesy of Chris Tremonte.  He himself is a wealth of knowledge about just about anything related to triathlon except for bike maintenance.  One of my favorites he's got me hooked on is the Science of Sport blog which covers everything from running to cycling to drug testing and is written regularly by Dr. Ross Tucker Dr. Jonathan Dugas from South Africa.  They then got me into this article about footwear and running injuries the article comes with a suggested reading list of 22 different sources and is itself quite comprehensive that covers the history of footwear from bark to Nike Free.  I personally find that mixing my footwear from my new Zoot thermo-molded Recovery Sandals to my Cole Haan driving mocs to my Zoot Ultra Race flats to my Brooks - keeps my feet and legs both protected and stressed appropriately with each footwear giving me different levels support, cushion and flexibility. 

Friday, March 7, 2008

2 More Fat Ones....

I'm sort of glad that I've only got 2 more big weekends left - though I do enjoy ripping off a 1/2 marathon on Saturdays, I'm getting a bit tired of training and no racing (I love to race a lot more). 

This weekend is a half marathon in the AM at a decent pace - goal pace is in the <7:30 min mile pace range (I'll get to test out the Zoot shoes then too).  In the evening is a 10k that I'll try to get done in the <7 min mile pace timeframe.  In between is a morning at the beach with the kids, some shopping for a very skinny 4 year old and maybe a nap. 

Sunday is a good 4 hour TT bike effort with much time in Z3 and about 4,500 ft of climbing - followed by a 30 min brick run and a lot of Ben's Clif Recovery drink.

I figure if I can survive this training then a half ironman is going to be fun to race. 

Yet again, here's another sunrise before a run (I used to see this on the way back - but now I get to see it before I leave!). 

Feb08Late 114

Base Performance is here:

I got my new products from Chris Lieto's Base Performance Nutrition.  He gave me a lot of good tips for usage and I'll be working with him to get some FAQs answered - I'm really excited by some of the testimonials he's already getting and am planning on using the Base Water and Base Amino in all my training from here on out.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Readership Response...

It's not really much of a post, it's mostly to answer Cortenay's questions:

When are you going to re-post your schedule?

2008 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 (it's like 4 miles from my house)
  • August: Folsom International Triathlon & Santa Barbara Triathlon
  • September: Big Kahuna Half-Ironman
  • November: 70.3 Worlds?  If not, maybe Tinley's again - though racing in November means I will have been training with no break for over 13 months (except for being sick).  I think 90% of my posts last year had the tag 'over-training'.  I'm hoping to improve on that this year.

I'm sure I'll put a few more in there but 10 are pretty good considering that 4 are 70.3, one is over distance and the early ones are sprints. 

*Note: there are no tri for fun races.  I got picked on for doing those.  I know you (courtenay) were at one of them with a famous california-based male triathlete.  I was like who's the chic with an SRM at the tri for fun? 

Did i meet you at Vineman last year? 

...Though I did see a VAC girl there who I told that I was friends with Katie, friend until Mr. Henderson is out of the picture. 

No but I was there with Ben where I met Sam McGlone and all the rockets.  See -I even wrote a post about it.  The best part of that race (as a spectator) is to watch how many people have no idea that there's a short and fairly steep hill at T1 - you don't even have a chance to mount up.

We too were at Tinley's where I had a pretty good detonation. See part I and part II.  I must have kicked you during your hide out period cause I was looking for a buoy to hide behind.

Pick, Lick, Flick...

That's something my sister would say (in regards to dealing with boogers).  My daughter will bring one to you on her finger.  I'm generally at a loss for post titles, so I'm really reaching with this.

Pick:

  • Inside Tri's new site - it looks so much better, readability, UI, etc...  I'd still say there are too many ads on the home page though (I'm an online advertising analyst and have been for about 8-10 years... I forget now, this sort of makes me a Tri Lam member - btw, I have a signed picture from Betty Childs who says I'm the hottest cyclist she knows).

revengeofthenerds

  • Chris Lieto's new company: Base Performance Nutrition.  Chris built this company by himself - which is hard enough to do, let alone deliver a solid product and do that whole triathlon thing!  I'll have my Base Water and Base Amino before the weekend (he promised me).  If you're interested, I'm sure I can help get you a discount if you ask me.  So far the feedback I've seen is VERY promising that this is a breakthrough set of products.

Lick:

  • Zoot's new Ultra Race shoe.  I got it last night and ran 5k in them this morning (barefoot) at about a 6:19 pace.  They are about a quarter size too big I think - so I'll get another pair that are 11 and will try again.  The right shoe feels much larger than the left one.  (did you know if you're right-handed your left foot will be bigger and vice versa?  it's true).  I'll probably run my half marathon on Saturday (not formal, just a training run) in them with socks to see how they feel.   They felt good when I snugged up the laces (which is a really nice feature).
  • My road bike.  I haven't been on it for about 6 weeks as I've been getting my TT bike dialed in.  It's a hoot to ride and like Mr. Remaly, it's a Kestrel Talon SL with the cool carbon seat post.  Except mine was Macca's until he signed that Specialized deal.  Macca spanked Faris on my bike last year at a race at the Dubai International Triathlon.  I just hope to spank a few age groupers but not like, on their bottoms - in the race.

    I'll even sell you the wheels from the bike, cheap.

Flick

  • I'm riding home last night and like every night, I pass by this spot every day (though there are rarely women's cycling teams hanging out there, though I really care about the ones with Aussie accents).  On my right is a skunk who is running right at my front wheel.  Since I'm in the last part of a 20 min Z4 interval, I'm a bit too wonky to say 'hey, move' - nothing comes out and I'm at the mercy of this animal's keen sense of self preservation.  He stops about 2 feet from my wheel and fires up his tail (insert near soiling of TF-3 chamois) and sprays.  He missed me.  I think.
  • The mess with the UCI and ASO. 

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

My Favorite-est Tri Site

Here's my favorite tri site, the site of truth: http://bayareatri.com/index.php?action=search-races-results 

You can go and look for anyone (but start with yourself) and see how you've done in many of your races.  You can use me for an example to see what a age group hack I really am - my first season, 2007.  Not every race is there - but most are.  Click on your name (or the person's name) to see their results or results for the race by clicking on the name of the race.  It's a good site for stats nerds.

You'll note that looking at any of my races I'm basically a duathlete who tries to swim.  If I finish in the 35th percentile for the swim - I consider that a good swim. 

From the Santa Barbara Long Course:

is1-2007082501-105

Then you can view your progress along with a number of other comparisons:

is3-2007072901-18

Both charts are pretty typical of all my races - which means I lollygag through the swim, transition very quickly (I think I'm usually top 10 for those in both T1 and T2) and bike/run like hell (biking slightly faster than the run, percentile-wise).  This season, I'd really like to see my swim in the 45th percentile (I've been lower than 15th and no higher than 35th), the bike in the 95th or better and my running in 95th or better. 

It's mostly fun to see how you're improving (they'll have stats going back years) and how well the guy/girl who says he's a triathlete really is. 

It's All My Fault

It really isn't - but it's perception that matters. 

  • I looked at the date and Oceanside is 24 days away.  I should probably find my race stuff.  It's going to take me that long to get organized. 
  • Apparently Mr Remaly, like all good pros, don't actually get up at 5am and I stand corrected - though I think Peter Reid used to swim pretty early and my point was that I'd rather be in happy place instead of on a hard run but now that I give it some consideration, a cat-pee couch at altitude where it's cold outside isn't a happy place.  Take that!
    • PS - Ben gets up at 5am to give me swim lessons.  That's a friend.
  • I also complain too much, probably because I train 95% of the time by myself.  I tried to draft off of someone last night on the way home for a super ez ride, and he tried to drop me for an hour.  I'd let him fly through red lights while I'd wait and chase him down, hopefully crushing his ego with each catch.  It wasn't an ez ride as I had planned but I wasn't bored. 
    • Non complaint: it's like May in New England here, tons of blossoming apple trees, flowers - at least my rides and runs smell nice.
  • I'm sort of bored with my training - probably because I haven't told my coach I'm bored and I opted to do the same training for 2 months - except with swimming, since the possibility of getting eaten by a whale or freezing to death at Oceanside is a strong possibility for me - so I'm motivated to swim a little and with variety.  If there was a lobster in our pool, I'd never get off and it would distract from swimming - but I'd be more motivated to get to the pool. 
    • I guess I need to make my training more fun and run with red meat in my shorts (I'm sure there are bears or coyotes - I know there are a ton of cougars (hahaha). 
    • With no Huggy Bear to run with - it's just me and the clock (how's that for an animal post?)
    • I got new sneakers but that wasn't too exciting, though I did change my iPod interval playlist.  Way more Kenny Loggins now.
  • I watched the 3rd quartile of the Never Ending Story (aptly named) and the Karate Kid last night.  I taught the girls how to karate punch and yell a good 'key-ahi".  Sada said she was going to show her friend Macy at school how to karate punch.  I'm sure we'll be getting a call from the school director today.  Piper kept asking during the movie 'is he dead'.   She's very concerned with anyone on the ground being dead.  At 2, I'm not sure where she got this from. 

Basically the hottest girl ever in 1984, still not so bad.

karate_kid_04

  • Today is my (our) 1 year anniversary in California - after moving from Seattle where I, in a 2-month period prior to moving: sprained a thumb, broke my leg (stress fracture), broke my nose, wrecked on my bike 2x (once with Ben) and was on anti-biotics twice (thanks Chris Tremonte).  The insurnance company didn't believe I wasn't in a car accident - they kept calling with different people asking about the car accident.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Oh Me Oh My

I was not motivated to run hard this AM.  I still got up at 5:05, moped around, showed the dumb cat where her food was, got dressed, drank coffee and went outside.  Luckily I have about 15-20 mins of going from 8 min to 7 min miles in order to change my attitude.  It wasn't working.  I tried and started running hard, my HR at 175 but that lasted for about 10 mins before I started thinking about how Greg Remaly would probably just stop and return to his couch and cookies.  I decided to enjoy the sun and the fact that I was 30 mins from home and proceeded to run home easy.  I guess I'm either 1) tired 2) pooped 3) not recovered from the weekend. 

Keeping the reminder I from Scott Fairchild on Friday about Macca ranting about the 4th discipline (recovery) - I went home, had some eggs and rode to work.  I'll just putter home tonight and will hop in the pool tomorrow ready to wreak havoc on the slow lane!

webanalyticsteam

I also now have some good feedback from Tyler on Oceanside: 'It sucked and there was a whale in the harbor during the race, I'll never do it again'.  I'm psyched now. 

Monday, March 3, 2008

Zoot and the ULTRA Race Shoe Review

I'm racing for Zoot and GU Sports in 2008.  Part of the lure was that I'd be getting a pair of the new Ultra Race shoes (at a discount):

S8MRS01-1-md-yangtze_silver

The other part was that I had to wait until they were released to the public on March 1. 

So I waited, really enjoying the fact that I had to race in them in < 4 weeks.  Nothing like trying something almost new on race day. 

It was about 5:30am on Saturday - March 1 and I was ordering my shoes. 

I used the code they gave me, it didn't work. 

Crap. 

Then I figured I'd just pay for them - full retail ($130) and then have them fix it.  I added some of the Ultra Recovery sandals and a race belt too. 

I went to pay and it didn't work. 

I know my credit card works but for fun, I tried a debit card (no) and then another (ARGGGGGGGGGH).  Nothing worked. 

I got mad and just got them from Road Runner sports - followed by a fairly heated mail to the Dir of Marketing at ZootSports. 

So much hype, advertising, press and the site doesn't work!  It could have been a number of things - after being a MSFT employee for so long, I do have Vista, IE7... and so on. 

Who knows. 

Within 24 hours, I get an email back from her (Elisette Carlson) along with what I believe are brand managers CC'd from Zoot and Gu.

Elisette writes:

...we apologize for your frustration.  ...

Please send us your address.  We hope you accept this as a “sorry” and “thank you” from us.

They're sending me the Recovery Sandals as a 'sorry' ($65) and a race belt ($8).  I fully wasn't expecting this and was delighted enough to write this post.  I'll be doing a review of these shoes as soon as I get them - as well as the recovery sandals. 

If you are looking for a small(ish) company to give your business to, consider Zoot.  The treatment I got from them was enough for me to recommend Zoot as a company who wants to keep their customers. 

I'll be running in the Ultra Race shoes in a 1/2 marathon I'll do on Saturday (just my normal Sat run) to see how they work with my feet (the Brooks are my regular running and racing shoe).

Be sure to see future posts with reviews.

 

UPDATE 4/14:

I raced a triathlon with these shoes with 4 mile run and these shoes performed much better.  The run was a trail run with limited pavement - it was essentially an Xterra off-road run.  No blistering and my T2 was incredibly fast - no fumbling with a tongue or laces.  I was much happier with these shoes on the short course.  I'll be racing again in them again with a 5 mile run in 2 weeks.

UPDATE 4/29:

Here's another review I found from inside tri: http://www.insidetri.com/article/71114/zoot-ultra-tempo%2B

How Not to Start a Day: Part II

I worry a lot about getting injured (and ruining my season) so I don't do things like ski (Ian Charles and Lara Brown injured) or mtn. bike (I've put myself off a cliff while racing).  So I try to be careful and even commute in the city where I see a minimum number of cars - I even descend pretty conservatively. 

I get to work this morning, climb off my bike and proceed to unlock the office door.  My bike then falls on me (it was leaning again me) - leaving a massive cut and golf ball sized bruise on my knee and shin. 

At least I didn't lose a tooth and I don't live in the Gaza Strip - so I shouldn't complain.

Feb08Late 014

I Got Hurt

That's what my daughter Piper said when she came home from the park covered in blood - missing a front tooth.  She looks the same, just with a missing front tooth now - for the NEXT 5 YEARS.  Poor kid.  She's a trooper, barely even cried and was eating like a champ all weekend. 

Feb08Late 007

Despite the missing tooth, I still got out even after going out for a great dinner with Greta for her birthday - also with Ian and Sally Charles.  We had a few bottles of Pride Mountain Merlot (2005, though the 03 and 04 are MUCH better). 

On Sat I did 80 mins of a trail run which was basically running up Ring Mtn, then down, then up again and then down.  I need to download to see exactly what I did - but it was around 9 miles.  The backside of the mtn is a 20% grade for about 1/3 of the run - so it was slow going in places. 

On Sunday I had a good ride with my friend Rich who brought along Matt Dixon of Endurance PTC and Tyler Stewart (owner of the fastest women's ironman bike split).  I bailed about 1/2 way though the ride so that I could end the ride by 3:30 and get in a 10k hard run after.  They did 4:17 and I did 3:10 plus 42 mins of running.  I had a nice sunburn by the end of the day.  Here's the motion based version.

sunride