Saturday, January 28, 2006

Toys make the training worth while

I have to share some of my new toys with everyone. The Creative Labs Zen Micro is a replacement for my Dell Jukebox that was stolen. This thing is so small and lightweight and holds 6GB of MP3. I've even downloaded Get Your Geek On from the Tri-Geek Kahuna and IronWil.

My new heart rate monitor is an early birthday present from my wife and her mom. I've always liked Timex products and this watch is very cool.

The feature/function is not going to let me down.

Had a long brick today, 2.5 hours in the saddle and a 30 minute run. I was originally worried about the ride with the new HR zones I have. Last time I needed to be in this zone it was hard to hold for 1 hour. However, I felt great this morning and the ride went well. The weather in Cleveland has been very mild and if I only had time to get things ready I would have ridden outside this morning. But work kept me busy on Friday and the morning was still a litle too cool for riding outside. My 30 minute run afterwards was great since I could wear shorts.

Now I only hope the rain isn't too bad for my long run Sunday morning, 2 hours. As long as I don't wind up sick like TriSaraTops.

Friday, January 27, 2006


Are we all a bunch of busy people or what. All of the tri blogs I've been reading lately have a fairly recurring theme.......I'm so busy that I don't know how I will get everything done. Train, eat, work, eat, train, work, eat, , sleep.....repeat.

It's that rest of life that starts to suffer, especially when training for that impressive Ironman. The focus is so intent on the training for IM that life literally is placed on hold for the majority of us.

But what about the other people in our lives. What happens to them? Time is always found for kids younger than13. Teenagers tend to fend for themselves and the adult significant other in our lives should be able to cope with the extensive training. Notice how I said "tend to" and "should". They still need us. We need to stay connected to the loved ones in our lives.

No more "kiss, pat the butt, 'see ya after my run', what's for dinner, who are you. These are the people that are making it possible for us to pursue our IM dreams. We are all very grateful for the sacrifices they make for us.

I believe most of the bloggers that I am reading haven't lost touch completely. But when I read about the busy schedules and "life" calling, it makes me wonder. Are we connecting or disconnecting?

So I close with a challenge, Reconnect with those that matter most. Even if you have to schedule time for it, I feel it is important. Aimee and I have scheduled date night on our rest day. I can't wait. It may only be holding each other on the couch, but we will be connecting.

So while we rest from injuries, illness, or just taking it easy for a moment, make sure there is a dial tone and connect with that significant other, child, parent, etc. I'm sure a fresh perspective on life and tri's will come into focus and a calmness amid the chaos will prevail.

One ringy dingy, two ringy dingy.....I have to go, time to make another connection.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

The voices keep saying.........

Blah blah blah....blah blah.....blah blah blah blah...........blah..........

I know I hear ya, kindof. There is just so much static in my head that it's been hard to concentrate all day.

blah blah blah blah.......BLAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH......blah blah blog......

Despite it all I have managed to have several meaningful calls with customers, made some things work, written a small program.

Bluh bluh blah.....bah humbug.....baa baa black sheep.....blah blah blah.........

I'm trying to write things down to keep myself organized but I'm being torn in to many ways to focus on any one thing.

Blah blah swim.....blah blah breath....blah eat blah.......

What are the voices trying to tell me. Seems like the a deficiency in the ability to focus has plague several others in the blogging world. Wil is suffering from a full schedule, Sara is oh so sick ( I miss her at the pool), and Su is still from long runs and freakish collisions with a sidewalk.

Blah? sidewalk......blah tired......blah blah puke.........

Everything from the neck down is feeling great. Had a massage last night that helps my knotty leg muscles unwind and was relaxing overall, thanks Diane.

Now I'm going to tell the voices to take a hike.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Empty Pools and Tables are Cool

First a flashback.....wo wo wo wo wo wo (think Waynes World)........

Monday turned out to be a pretty good training day. Swim in the morning for 2500 yards at an easy pace. When I got home to write down my splits they kept getting faster for each 500. I used the time to work on my stroke. Longer reaches, more gliding. I think I am becoming more efficient, imagine that.

Before dinner I was back at the Y for weight training and a core class. Typically the core class isn't that busy. This time was a different story. All of the stability balls were taken, alot of first timers. I was fine with that an did all of my work on the floor. It was a nice change from using an under-inflated ball. After class I finished my weight training.

Jump back to Tuesday morning. Back to the Y for my morning swim. Three trips to the Y in 24 hours, actually that is typical. I arrive late to swim on purpose, it's not as crowded. I try to start between 6:15 - 6:25, open swim ends at 7:45.

Well I walk into the lobby, where you can see the pool, and the only swimmer is getting out of the pool. THE ONLY SWIMMER. As in no one else was in the pool, just Dave the lifeguard in his chair. So I put my stuff in my locker and head up to the pool.

Dave is almost asleep in his chair. Not a ripple to be seen on the smooth pool surface. I get right to my workout. Unfortunately I only have the pool to myself for about 10 minutes. Not too bad. I have a "lane" all to myself. I say "lane" because they don't use actual lane lines, I'm right on top of a stripe though.

My workout has me feeling strong. Then more people come into the pool. I have a walrus(a rather large man) on one side and a sea otter(older man happily doing a semi-backstroke) on the other. Not too sound mean but I'm just being descriptive. I'm happy that they are in the pool for some exercise.

I'm really getting into my intervals now. 400 easy/hard, 400 build, 400 negative split, 400 race pace. I'm flying at the end despite the yardage and have 6 minutes for my final 400 at race pace. Awesome.

After my workout I putz around with my blog to get some tables to display correctly. Check out my race schedule in the sidebar. I have to do a shout out to Dan for helping me out. I got the table from Wil but missed some code. Thanks Dan.

Check ya out later.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

I'm tired

Hard brick yesterday, 1:45 run this morning, still have a 30 minute run tonight. I'm tired. These new HR zones are one of those necessary evils. I know the zones are better than I had before, but my body needs to adjust to them. So I'll get some extra rest, feed the body and put my legs up.

I'm done. Good brainless TV to watch, I Love the 80's, oh yeah baby.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Happy Butt

Finally bought a new seat for my bike Friday. I've had my eye on the fizik Arione Tri for quite some time. The cover is nice and smooth and the sides flex and it's padded nicely. I slapped it on my bike and did my 2:30 brick this morning in comfort. The only hard part about the workout was the new HR zones I used. These zones are kickin' my butt. Until I get used to the extra workload I know I will be tired.

Long run tomorrow on some tired legs. We'll see how things go.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Everybody in the pool......

Friday morning but I have to think back several days to figure out where I am. A little bit of turmoil to deal with so the thoughts are pretty scattered. Except for the issues at home Wednesday was productive at work and strong at the Y (good weight training session).

Thursday morning was a 3400 yard workout. It looked hard on paper with 4 sets of 300,200,100, all close to race pace. Building endurance and speed in the water. As I got in the pool TriSaraTops told me the pool had only been open for 5 minutes because of a late guard. George (pool manager) had to come to the rescue. As I looked around I noticed the pool was full of sharks. Dave, Sara, 2 Team in Training athletes (one of which is an excellent swimmer) and another swimmer I don't know. I slipped in and started my warmup.

When I started my main workout I felt fast. My splits were showing it. To give you an idea this was my workout.

4 sets of 300, 200 100
Sets 1 & 3 build the 300, negative split the 200 and hard 100
Sets 2 & 4 all race effort with 15 seconds rest between

I set myself up for a hard workout as I started with a 1:37 for my first 100. What was I doing? I still had 2300 more yard to go. I was setting myself up for a workout that I thought would degrade over time. But while swimming with the other sharks I could feel the fin coming out. I didn't slow down. I actually got faster at times. I could feel the motivation and confidence building in the pool. I thought about gliding like a shark. I thought about being powerful like a shark. I enjoyed swimming with my shark friends, all of us at different levels but sharks none the less. My final set at race pace I held a 1:32 average per 100. My confidence for this long swim at IM is strengthening.

Late afternoon was my run workout. Being able to work from home at times does have its advantages. Shorts and a long sleeve shirt as another warm day graced Cleveland. I also had new heart rate zones to work with. The lactate threshold testing redefined my zones. I could feel a huge difference during my run. I'm confident these new zones will help me step it up. I know my test cost $150, but I highly recommend doing an LT test to find these zones. I'll provide updates as my workouts change.

Finally on quick note on the turmoil. The past 48 hours had provided a huge rollercoaster of emotions and I haven't been able to get off yet. Last night as I got ready for bed I've thought about what people have said about Ironman. How people often go through a wide range of emotions during a race. Am I getting a sample of what IM will be like compressed into 12-14 hours? I know my body will be strong, I hope the mind will be also.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Bragging Rights

Earlier this month CurlySu posted her award for an indoor triathlon. It's great hearing about the achievements of others. I commented that if you have done well, why not let everyone know.

So I received my award in the mail yesterday for my '05 tri season. I competed in the HFP Racing/Wheelie Fun Triathlon race series. This series consists of 7 tri/du races around Ohio where you can accumulate points. I was 2nd in the 35-39 age group. This award shows all the hard work I put in last year.

In August I'll post my finishers medal for IM USA and I expect everyone else to do the same thing.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Just Breath

What a busy weekend. So busy it flowed right into Monday, the busy part not the weekend.


  • Work
  • Funeral Service
  • Lactate threshold testing
  • 2.5 hour brick starting at 5:30AM
  • Drive to Ohio University for Dad's weekend
  • Watch OU Men's B-Ball crush Central Michigan
  • Dinner
  • Comedy show, Jeff Garlin is very funny.
  • Beer Pong competition
  • In bed at 2:00AM, didn't realize I almost went 24 hours.
  • 2 hour run
  • Raquetball with my son, Andrew
  • Shopping at Wal-Mart and late lunch
  • Drive home
  • Get ready for Monday
Monday was a morning 3000 yard swim, work, then a meeting for the race team I am on, Snakebite Racing. I finally got home around 8:30 that evening. Then have a bite to eat, pack for the next round of workouts.

I can finally breath. I stretched it out a little longer this morning and bailed on my swim. Over tha past several years I have learned to listen to my body and relax when it tells me to. This past weekend was so packed I was drained mentally and physically. Stay in bed, cuddle with that warm body next to me (Aimee, not the dogs), don't rush to the Y, take your time getting to work.

It's worked. I do feel recharged. With everything that we all try to do in a day, week, weekend, etc.....sometimes we need to "Just Breath".

Take your time out there. Don't freak out about missing workouts. Sit with that special someone and don't miss out on the rest of life. This triathlon thing I love to do is my hobby, not my job. I am not a professional athlete. I put the pressure to perform on myself, but I have to remind myself to have fun with it also.

Just Breath

Friday, January 13, 2006

Call me Carrie

Not literally, just figuratively. My number one fan and supporter, my wife Aimee, was commenting on my blog last night. She said that the rhetorical questions at the end of Wednesday's blog reminded her of Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City.

So now I blog like a single thirty-something woman living in New York? Am I asking questions just to hear myself type? Should I go back to Aiden or search for Mr. Big? (Both of which are oh so hot according to my wife) When did triathlon become "the" sport?

There I go again with those rhetorical questions, when will I ever stop? Now.....stop it......cut it out.

Aw heck. I'm just having fun and Aimee makes the trip that much more enjoyable, I love you Aimee.

This afternoon I am getting my VO2 and Lactate threshold tested at my coaches house. I am pumped about this. This information will change my heart rate zones and hopefully take me up a notch in my training.

Saturday I'm visiting my son for dad's weekend at college so probably no blog unless it's audio.

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. Get in those long rides and runs.

Now is when you are supposed to hum the song from Sex and the, da do, da doddle da do.........something like that.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

That's more like it

So yesterday I was a mental waste land. But I managed to kick my own butt and get into the correct frame of mind. It worked today. My time spent at my customer was quite productive today. I went to the Y for core class and weight lifting after work and it felt good as well.

Starting to get back on track after a slight uncoupling from the IronTrain.

After finding Iron Wil on the web, a specific posting of hers has stuck with me, "I Think". I went as far as printing the post and I keep it in my IM binder for reference. How she relates life to her IM journey is remarkable. I have been making similar links as well. How hard is my workout today, how tough will it be to support my coworker loosing her husband. How boring will work be today, how lonely will that two hour run be Sunday morning.

So I'm a little confused right now. Do my everyday tasks help me endure my IM training or does my IM journey help me deal with my daily events. At this point in my life everything complements each other. Each fills an important part of my daily, weekly, monthly routine.

Oh but how sweet the feeling will be to cross that IM finish line. Nothing will stop us now.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Mental Apathy

After a nice swim in the pool I then went to work at a customer of mine. I'll be there all week working on a project. It's not the typical work I usually do so it's rather boring, mentally draining and not as fun as the technical work I usually do as a computer consultant. But the work needs to be done.

As I drove home I contemplated the rest of my evening. Aimee wasn't going to be home until 9:00PM after teaching Body Sculpting. I also wasn't very inspired to ride my bike for an easy hour. However, the ride was part of my training plan. Even the smallest details of the plan must be followed. Same goes for my work. Even though it may not always be "fun", work is called work for a reason.

After my ride I did feel a little more energized. Those endorphines were slowly pumping through my body. With a renewed vigor I made dinner and decided that I need to focus my efforts on the project at hand for my customer.

Interesting how many simularities there with the emotions and feelings that go into work and this IM journey.

Hang tough everyone.

Hurts so good

When most people think of a massage they think of a nice relaxing rub down. Very soothing. But for athletes a good sports massage is just like any other workout. Last night was my massage with Diane. She does such a good job that she has me wincing in pain trying to breath through the attention she gives my tight muscles.

If you haven't started getting massages on a regular basis please find a good massage therapist, one who understands the requirements of athletes. Diane is a triathlete herself and has many athletes as clients. The massage helps flush toxins from the muscles by promoting the flow of blood into the area.

Make sure you are stretching also. I still haven't learned the value of stretching enough. I have to get on my butt and lengthen those muscles.

Gotta run..............

Sunday, January 08, 2006

What a weekend. I skipped a post yesterday, kindof a mental rest day from the blog. So Friday I rented three movies for the weekend. Aimee and I watched Wedding Crashers and enjoyed a relaxing evening on the couch.

Saturday morning I wastched movie number two, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, during my brick (2 hour ride, 30 minute run). A good action movie is always on tap for a long ride on the trainer. But then the run is always outside regardless of the weather.

Aimee and I relaxed again Saturday evening with a nice dinner and movie number three, 40 Year Old Virgin, again resting the body on the couch.

Wedding Crashers and Virgin are very funny movies and don't require too much thought. Smith was a decent action movie.

Sunday was nice because we slept in. At least as late as our dog Snickers would let us. Nothing like the sound of a dog puking the get you out of bed fast. It was 7:00AM anyways.

We were able to sleep in because we were running in a 10 mile race which didn't start until 2:00PM. How nice is that since we had to drive 2 hours to get there. As we drove west from Cleveland the weather started to clear and blue skies appeared. The only obstacle was the stiff wind from the southeast.

I was using this as a training run for my marathon. Coach said to keep my heart rate in low Zone C and see how I do. Low C felt great. I was keeping pace between 7:00 - 7:30/mile pace and very comfortable. I pushed the last 3 miles to push my legs while tired. I finished with a 1:12:27 for 10 miles. Very satisfied with the effort.

Hope everyone else had a good weekend as well.

Friday, January 06, 2006 day

Yup, it's a rest day today. No workout, no sweaty clothes, no getting man I do have to get up early. Every other Thursday my high school daughter (from first marriage) spends the night. So that means I still have to get up around 5:00AM to get ready and leave the house by 6:30AM and get her to school. It's a nice thought and I get to sleep in once in a while.

Time to ramble:

I was sharing my triathlon story, especially Ironman, with a business friend today and I couldn't help but see the look of disbelief on his face as I described the amount of training I put in, distance, time, money, etc. It wasn't a cocky "why are you doing it" disbelief, but a WOW I can't believe you are doing this, "it's so cool".

I shared with him a short story from two summers back. I just got back from a long ride, 40-50 miles, a neighbor was walking by and asked me how far I went. His comment, "You are a better man than I". That really made me think, am I? Of course not. Maybe when it comes to riding a bike for 50 miles, but not in other areas. He built his own deck on his house, I wouldn't even think of doing that. He earned his pilots license, I don't want to do that. In some ways he is "a better man than I".

The look from my business friend gave me the same feeling, did he think I was better than him because of what I like to do. I know he is a better golfer than I, but we are still basically the same human being, just with different interests.

Okay so what's my point. Point is that we all have different passions. Flying, cooking, triathlon, web design, music, etc, you get my drift. Everyone is so different in their interests and passions it sometimes blows my mind.

My triathlon life over the past four years has changed me so much. Triathlon has become a part of me, it's what I do. I enjoy it immensely. I'm in the best shape of my life. I have friends to share the trip with. But, recently I have noticed that triathlon has helped me open up my mind to different thought processes. Viewing the world in a different way. It's a good thing. Let me know if I'm off my rocker or not.

Look for more misc. ramblings to come. Maybe Friday is a good day to ramble since it's a rest day, obviously not for my mind.

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Too much information driving me insane

One of my favorite Police songs is Too Much Information. Sometimes you have so much going through your mind that you just don't know where to start. I feel that way as I try to decide what to talk about today. Quite a few interesting spottings and just general thoughts today that I will eventually share down the road.

Did a swim workout this morning. Now I swim at the Y and it's a lovely 20 yard pool with no lane lines. Everyone likes to swim in the morning and it can get crowded, similar to a triathlon swim start. The early crew would keep arriving earlier and earlier to make sure they get a spot in the pool. So I've started going just a little bit later. Today I had the pool all to myself for the last half of my workout, approx. 30 minutes by myself. What a productive workout.

I'm figuring out how to add links and photos and other cool stuff to the blog so look out. It will take time but I'll even get a cool header line Flatman.

Time to go to bed, rest day tomorrow then big on the weekend.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Treadmills are Fun

Of course that is what I have to tell myself when I am subjected to running indoors on one. However, treadmills are an important piece of training equipment. This evening I had to run one hour doing 8 x 3 minute repeats at marathon pace. So a treadmill makes sure you are at that pace. Also having a workout like that helps the time go by instead of a straight run.

Now I do my treadmill runs at the Y. And there is always plenty of people to watch. Not like people watching at a bar but still a wide variety of people to watch come in and out and start/end their workouts.

The TVs in front of the mice on treadmills were showing evening news programs and everyone was talking about the 12 miners in West Virginia that were accidentally reported alive. How terrible that must have been. Not only for the family and relatives of the miners but also the miners themselves. To be trapped so deep in the earth knowing that you may not make it out. Simply horrifying.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Missed a day already

So it's the third day of the new year and I've already missed a day on my blog. At least I didn't miss my morning workout. Did 2500 yards in the pool Monday morning before I had to drive my son back to college in southern Ohio. I didn't mind driving him down but it occupies so much of the day. When I got home around 6:30 I had a bite to eat them hopped on my bike for a 1 hour spin. Had to move my legs after so much driving.

Not being a big football fan I was surprised that I watched the entire Fiesta Bowl Monday night. OSU had a great game and was quite lucky at times.

Tuesday was a little bit of a struggle to get out of bed. I still made it to the Y for my morning swim. Little did I know it was going to be such a monster workout. I was in the water for 1.5 hours. I know I was tired but I felt very good when it was all done.

First day back at work after the holidays had me at two customers before going to a memorial service for my co-workers husband who died Dec. 30th. He was only 58 and left behind his wife and daughter. It was a great opportunity to show support for my co-worker and learn more about her husband. He will be missed by many people.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year............

Wow what a way to start the new year. I managed to get alot accomplished today. I was supposed to meet some people for a long run but one couple had to cancel so no one else showed up.....Solo Run. I don't mind running alone but I was out there for two hours. Nice thing is that I can pick the route and I made best use of it. Cleveland has a great metropark system with some bridal and nature trails that are great for running. I enjoyed three loops that I usually don't get on except when I run by myself. The time went fast and I enjoyed the morning.

After the run I made my way home in time to get a quick bite to eat and put on my Speedo for the Cleveland Triathlon Club's Polar Plunge #3. I did this last year and had a blast. This year we had a huge crowd and I hope to post some pictures later. Lake Erie was a mild 36 degrees this year, at least there was no snow or ice.

After the dip, my wife and I started taking down the Christmas decorations and I installed my new satellite radio, it rocks.

I hope everyone had a safe New Years Eve/Day and hope 2006 is good for everyone.