Friday, March 31, 2006

Family & Friends Friday - Bro

I have one sibling in my family, my brother Rob. Seven years older than I, we were never that close growing up being so far apart in age. I was the jock and he was the artist/performer. He participated in the band, choir, and theater. I did sports; baseball, basketball, soccer and track.

I always enjoyed hearing him sing or act. It provided a well rounded environment for me and I was proud of what he was doing. Since high school he has always had a great voice despite no formal training except in school. If American Idol had been around back then I'm sure he would have tried it. After college he started into community theater where he quickly made a name for himself as first a performer, then a director. The theater crowd is very different. Getting to know his friends has been very entertaining, with their off stage antics and dramatic flair for everyday life.

Even though he is not athletic in the sense of what I do, he exercises and stays in shape. For myself this blog is currently my creative release, and an occasional stab at Karaoke.

Rob is a corporate trainer for an international law firm headquartered in Cleveland. His work schedule has had him traveling around the world training different offices in the use of computer systems and applications. This summer he may be out of town during Ironman USA but he has contributed to my Janus Charity Challenge fund raising.

We are typical siblings. Growing up we called each other names. Fought occasionally but finally found ourselves on even ground when we both settled down with our lives. We are both very busy and find it hard to connect, but the time we do manage to get together for an occasional lunch or family gathering we have a great time.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

How about some Triathlon stuff

Yes I originally started this blog because of triathlon. But I like to mix things up because even though triathlon is a big part of my life, there are other areas I like to share with my readers.

But today it is about triathlon. Where is my training lately? If you recall I had a dry spell with my running because of some tight muscles in the hip flexor, gluteous, ITB area. That sucked because I had to bail on my first marathon, Shamrock. It was a good call and I am getting back on my feet running. I've managed some runs between 45 minutes to 1 hour that have felt good at a comfortable pace without pain. Still trying to stretch when possible. Dr. Zak (ART specialist) says the muscle fibers are like leather and need to be broken up so the irritation goes away. Still working on that. He says things are much better than when we started.

During my repreive from running I focused on the bike and swim.

My cycling has always been solid and I feel great so far. I managed to go outdoors yesterday after work and was flying. Temp was about 56F, or 13C. A little nippy but it didn't bother me. Just being outside on the bike was great. All winter is has been hard deciding if the resistance on my trainer was too hard to simulate road riding. Right now I think the extra resistance has improved my leg strength so the open road feels fast at the same HR.

My swimming has been getting better each week. Little adjustments have helped greatly. TJ made a recommendation about how my left hand enters the water, I'm consistantly doing better with that. TriFrog had a good post about Swim golf or golf swimming or something like that. He helped me think more about my glide, extension and efficient swimming. So this morning I hit the pool for 4000 yards and nailed some race pace efforts. The negative 800, race pace 500 and hard effort 300 each had 100 yard times under 1:40, most under 1:35. Cool thing was that I really felt like I was putting forth a good effort while being efficient. My breathing didn't become labored until the 300 hard near the end, but those were all under 1:30/100 yds.

Mornings at the pool have been crazy lately. Tuesday and this morning were packed. This is 5:45AM people, and everyone wants to swim. Go figure. A four lane 20 yard pool and we are fitting 8 people in, without lane lines. But the spoils come to those with patience and persistance. TriSaraTops and I both started early, or as she says at dark:30 (it is getting lighter earlier, but not at 5:30). Anyways, by 6:15 Sara, noodle lady(Ruth) and I are the only ones in the pool. How nice is that?!?! No dodging people, no collisions, just open water. I can resume focusing on my swim stroke and being efficient.

Things are feeling good and the weather is getting warmer. Looking to get some good riding in this weekend.

Game on, the bike and in the water.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

What's Cookin' Wednesday - PB&J

No I didn't let my daughter write todays post. And no you will not get gourmet meals each and every Wednesday. So let's get back to basics.

Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches. You're in a rush, not enough time to grab something substantial. Yet you have bread, jelly of some sort and peanut butter. Fairly nutritious and yummy. I have often used the old stand by as breakfast after my morning swims during my drive to the office. Doesn't require refrigeration and if it gets smashed, who cares. Still pretty much tastes the same.

Didn't you listen to GYGO #10? IronWils coach even said a PB&J is a good item to eat during the bike. Easy to digest and yummy, what more do you want?

No I'm not going to tell you how to make a PB&J sandwich, but I will describe how I make a sandwich. I picked up this tip from a friend about 10 years ago and I still use it now.

I first put the peanut butter on both slices of bread. This provides a barrier between the bread and jelly. The extra moisture from the jelly is what makes the bread soggy, gross. So with the peanut butter on the bread and the jelly in between you have a sandwich that should stay firm and "dry" longer until you get around to eating it.

One other solution to quick and easy sandwiches is to use Goober. This stuff rocks. Peanut butter and grape jelly in the same jar. Scoop it out, spread it on the bread and you are all set.

Now if you are like Elvis you could skip the jelly and go with sliced bananas instead, I haven't tried that yet.

So next time you are making sandwiches for the little muchkins, make an extra one for youself and enjoy an old fashioned PB&J.

Now that is some good eats.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Two for Tuesday - Let's Get Mental

For some reason I had some trouble figuring out what to write about today. I was having a hard time focusing on a good topic, all of a sudden I realized it was staring me in the face.

There is so much in our lives that are dependant upon our mental focus and intensity. The Trilogy, as I call it, of Family, Work and Triathlon is always trying to pull us in several directions at once. With so much pressure it is easy to lose that focus and intensity in our daily lives. I've been reading The Triathlete's Guide to Mental Training and thought I would share some thoughts about Focus and Intensity. This is just a brief overview of two chapters from the book. I haven't finished the book, but so far I would recommend it to anyone. I'll be reading it several times.

Intensity is one of the harder aspects of mental preparation to deal with. Everyone trains/races with a different level of intensity that works best for them. Some athletes are super serious while others are very relaxed before and during events. As different as the people are in the previous example, they may both finish a race at the same time and set a PR because they utilize the exact amount of intensity required for their personality. Determining your optimum intensity may take some time. Think about past training or racing and see if you can remember how you felt during a bad, good or great race. How did you feel going into the race? What happened during the race and how did you handle it? You also need to learn how to control your intensity and keep it at the right level through self-motivation or relaxation techniques.

Focus is often related to single items or events. People often "focus" by tuning out external distractions and burying themselves in the moment. But this chapter helped me realize that triathlon is about three sports and two transitions that require a different focus during each of the five segments of a race. Your triathlon focus allows you to perform well and block out those external distractions that can derail your attention. As you flow from one aspect of the race, or training, leave what's happened in the past. You can't change it and there are other things to focus on. The book mentions the four Ps of focus.

  • Positive: Focus on positive things and avoid the negative that can impact your performance
  • Process: Focus on what needs to be done during the race/training to meet your immediate goals
  • Present: Focus on the present and forget the past, you can't change the past, but you can influence the future
  • Progress: Make sure you are making progress toward whatever goal you have set in front of you
So there is your Two for Tuesday. Sorry it's late for the day but my "focus" was elsewhere.

So go out and get your Mental Game On.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Bob Roll, Rocks Cleveland

Friday night Bob Roll made a special visit to local bike shop Century Cycles. CC won this special visit at the InterBike show in Las Vegas. The store was packed with people who gave Bob a fantastic welcome to Cleveland. Immediately he had us laughing histerically with his stories. I was laughing out loud with tears in my eyes. After sharing some stories Bob took some questions from the audience. This was like a free comedy show and actually much better than some pro comics.

I learned that Bob felt that each race he participated in SUCKED! He couldn't understand why everyone was going so fast. The peleton was all together and they were all going to the same place. As he would say in the peleton, "Who's the IDIOT up front going so fast!!"

Working with OLN provides Bob Roll with some of the best food on the Tour Day France, better than when he was a rider.

Riding in Italy is preferred to riding in France. In Italy they appreciate tourists and cyclists and way you to have a good time. In France they just want to treat you like crap, especially if you are American.

After approximately 1.5 hours he sat down to sign autographs. I had him sign my copy of Bobke II and also got a picture with Bob Roll himself.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Family & Friends Friday - My Parents

Where would we be without parents. I classify myself as very fortunate in regards to my parents. They were/are a big influence in my life. A recent message board post on the Cleveland Tri Club asked who was your greatest influence while growing up? Without hesitation I said my parents, also my HS track coach.

My Dad:

He is a very motivated and organized guy. His entire work career was with NASA, something like 38 years (launch vehicle project manager). I remember taking family trips to Cocoa Beach to watch some of his satellite launches from Cape Canaveral. Very cool having an inside track on historical flights that eventually reached the edge of our solar system.

Besides his work he keeps busy with many side "jobs". He was Scout Master (yes IronWil, a scout master) for both my brother and myself. He helped form the Westlake Soccer Association when soccer was in it's infancy for my home town and I was just getting started with the sport. He helps any way he can at church; maintenance, committees, etc. Even now he spends two days a week at Habitat for Humanity with his work crew. The man can't keep still, always wanting to help and always there when you need him.

The most amazing thing about my dad is his compassion for humanity. His acceptance of people is amazing. His tolerance nearly flawless. If he sees the need to help he will be the first one to offer assistance. I can honestly say that I have rarely heard him say anything negative about anyone. Even if he has, it doesn't stick out in my mind. I can only hope to eventually have the same attitude.

My Mom:

I've known my mom as a stay-at-home for my entire life. There was a time when she did work before my brother was born. Go figure she was a math major and also worked at NASA on some of the early computers they had. But for as long as I can remember she was usually there when I got home from school. She was active in her things as well: golf league, Garden Club, Womens Club, Library board, College Club, Investment Club, geneology, quilting, type stuff. Of course she was usually stuck schleping me around for soccer, basketball and track. Oh yeah, and she was a Cub Scout Den Mother. The crap she had to put up with dealing with 8-10 boys at a time.

Now my mom is a tell it like it is type of person. Won't hesitate to ask the hard question or voice her opinion, a strong woman I would say. I got busted at school one year for writing something not nice about a teacher, not that I was a troublemaker. Anyways she went to bat for me because of her previous experience with the same teacher through my brother. I still was suspended for 3 days but I think she understood where I was coming from. And she had to do this while my dad was in Washington, D.C. for work. She has done alot for me.

Well my parents are enjoying their retirement years now. Traveling the world (China, Costa Rica, Alaska, Ireland, Germany) and spending winters anywhere but in Cleveland. They deserve it because of the hard work they put into their careers and family.

I'm excited that they will be at Lake Placid when I tackle IM USA. Every once in a while my mom will ask nervously about the race. How long will it take? Are you going to be ready? What type of training are you doing? My dad has seen me race more often and is probably more comfortable with my abilities. Either way I'm excited because they will see me tackle my biggest race to date.

My parents rock and I'm a lucky guy.

Game on.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Whatever it takes - Just Do It

This is how I needed to approach this morning's swim. Looking at the workout last night I mentioned to Aimee that I had a total of 3800 yards to swim. She looked at me, told me to suck it up and stop complaining. I wasn't complaining, I was making an observation about the yardage of my workout. What does she care anyways, she's in taper for her half marathon April 2nd.

So the alarm goes off at 4:50AM and I jump out of bed to get the day started. Pre workout meal consists of a high protein Boost and a small bagel with peanut butter. For the pool deck I have a bottle of Gatorade with Carbo-Pro added for calories.

I finished getting ready and was taking my bags downstairs when it hit me; I'm up at 5:00AM going to a pool to swim 38oo yards in preparation for Ironman USA, and I don't even think about it. I just do it. It's become such a part of my life and routine that it's essentially automatic. Cool.

At the pool:
Warm Up 800 - 15:50
Pull 2 x 400 yards- breathe 3,5,7,9 by 100
7:57 / 7:31 - I forgot to pull and just swam regular, usually got to 8 before needing a breath, sometimes 9. I really need to read my workouts better.
Swim 4 x 200 yards- all negative split
1:45 / 1:44
1:45 / 1:40
1:45 / 1:39
1:43 / 1:41
Swim 8 x 100 yards - all race pace - take 15 sec rest
1:32 / 1:36 / 1:35 / 1:33
1:55+20 yds (I really need to learn how to count) / 1:33 / 1:32 / 1:35
Swim 400 yards - hard - faster race pace
1:28 / 1:34 / 1:32 / 1:29
Cool down easy 200 yards - 6:32
3800 yards - total workout time 1:25:00

When I finished I looked at my watch as saw my total workout time. And you know what, the time just flew by. I didn't feel like I was in the water that long but my pruney hands showed differently. The pool wasn't crowded like the past three days. Monday crowded, Tuesday TriSaraTops got slapped, Wednesday I was told it was crowded, today not crowded. At one point TriSaraTops and I were to only "swimmers" in the pool, noodle lady was water walking along the wall. Tres bon.

New video posted today. I've been thinking about my bloggy friends (IronWil, TriSaraTops) and how they have been handling the Ides of March. Everyone is antsy to get outside, feeling pressures from all sorts of external forces and struggling with the demands of life for an Ironman triathlete. Looks like everyone is finding their peace with their own battles. But sometimes you feel like you are just going to "Just Lose It" which if handled in a controlled manner is a good thing.

So do whatever it takes, even if you have to just lose it and just do it.

Game on my friends, game on.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

What's Cookin' Wednesday - Grilled Pizza

Aimee and I have been playing with pizza on the grill and have become quite proficient. We don't make our own dough, so we buy it from Trader Joe's.

The dough usually has to sit out for 30 minutes to rise or something like that.
After the 30 minutes I fire up the grill on low heat.
Take a piece of parchment paper and spray it with a light layer of olive oil.
Dump the dough on the parchment paper and start spreading it out. We use the bag it came in so the dough doesn't stick to our hands.
Form does not matter. Circle, square, rectangle, whatever shape you want go with it. We usually wind up with an oval more or less. The free form of the dough gives it some personality.
I place the parchment paper and dough on a cookie sheet to help carry it out to the grill.
At the grill I pour some more olive oil on the dough and spread it over the dough with a brush.
Now simply turn everything over straight onto the grill. The cookie sheet was only for carrying the dough out to the grill.
Slowly pull the parchment paper off the dough, the thin layer of oil will help it separate.

Don't leave to grill for very long. At a low heat the dough will only need between 5 - 8 minutes to cook. Check it at 5 minutes and be ready to flip.

Before you flip have the olive oil ready again. Spread a layer of oil on the top before flipping the dough.

On the cooked side you can now place your toppings. Go traditional or be adventurous. Lately we have done a wonderful white sauce pizza with Asiagio cheese, spinach, red onions, fake crabmeat, and garlic. Very yummy with a glass of red wine.

bon appetite

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Two for Tuesday - Tri Gear for the Feet


There are lots of shoe lace replacements out there for triathletes but I am sold on Yankz. Each time I buy a pair of new running shoes I put in some Yankz. Once I dial in the tension my feet are comfortable and I can just slip the shoes on and off. So don't waste time in T1 or T2, get some elastic laces for your shoes.

DeFeet Socks

These are some of the best and funnest socks around. I train and race in nothing but DeFeet socks. The thin layer let's me slip my foot into my shoes with no problems while also moving moisture away from my sweaty feet.

Short and sweet but that's how I like my transitions.

TfT, Game On.

Sunday, March 19, 2006


For those of you that can decipher the title and were affected by the blogger problems this past week, you know what I mean.

At first I thought it was my internet connection or perhaps a virus/spyware was impacting my laptop. But I could browse around the rest of the internet. I was surprised how pissed off I was getting because I couldn't post my blogs. I had two in draft already and I couldn't complete or post them. I want to keep on providing interesting reading for anyone who visits my blog and having a big gap is not a good thing.

So I am finally back on line. I have or will be backfilling my posts for the past week.

Kudos to the guys at Blogger for working hard to get the file servers fixed and operational. Being a computer guy myself I know what a pain those computers can be.

Game on!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

What's Cookin' Wednesday - Beer Can Chicken

Oh this has become a family favorite. My daughter absolutely loves this recipe.

Beer Can Chicken
From: Weber's Big Book of Grilling
Here’s a technique that delivers great-tasting chicken and makes a lively conversation starter as well. We’ve used one of our special rubs, but you can sub in 2 to 3 tablespoons of your favorite one. Bottoms up!

For the rub:
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon granulated onion
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 whole chicken, 4 to 5 pounds
2 teaspoons vegetable oil

1 can (16 ounces) beer (tall boy)

To make the rub: In a small bowl combine the rub ingredients.

Remove and discard the neck, giblets, and any excess fat from the chicken. Rinse the chicken, inside and out, under cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Lightly spray or brush all over with the vegetable oil and season, inside and out, with the rub. Open the beer can and pour off half of the beer. Set the half-full can on a flat surface and slide the chicken over the top so the can fits inside the cavity. Transfer the bird to the grill, keeping the can upright. Carefully balance the bird on its two legs and the can. Grill over Indirect Medium heat until the juices run clear and the internal temperature reaches 170°F in the breast and 180°F in the thickest part of the thigh, 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours. Wearing barbecue mitts, carefully remove the chicken and the can from the grill, being careful not to spill the beer – it will be hot. Let the chicken rest for about 10 minutes before lifting it from the can. Discard the beer. Cut the chicken into serving pieces. Serve warm.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Cook Comments:

  • I use Miller Genuine Draft for the beer. You really don't taste the beer in the chicken, but if I have to drink half the can for the recipe I want to drink something I like.
  • When applying the rub make sure you separate the skin from the meat and get some rub in there as well. If you don't eat the skin you will still have some of the rub on the meat.
  • Try to close off the neck cavity. This will make sure the steam from the beer will stay in the chicken, otherwise it will just come out the neck.
  • I'll try to post a picture when Blogger let's me.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Two for Tuesday - Book Review

Today's twosome is books. I'm always looking for some good reads for bedtime. Reading helps my mind relax before getting some rest.

Once a Runner by John L. Parker.

I think this book is a must read for all athletes. I read this one twice because there were some great moments I wanted to relive. My favorite quote from this book is "Trials of Miles, Miles of Trials". For me that single quote sums up my training, racing, and life. There is also a time when the main character does 20 quarter miles in a row. Complete body breakdown, but he came back very strong.

Iron Will: The Triathlete's Ultimate Challenge by Mike Plant

Iron Will was a disappointment for me. I stuggled through this book as the years went by reading about how Ironman, and triathlon, got started. The characters are popular with some age group stories thrown in.

While the history of Ironman Hawaii is important I was not expecting a history lesson from this book. I was hoping for more information about IM races all over the world. I think I will get that from a different book I recently acquired, Becoming an Ironman.

The link above has some reviews as well and I agree with some of them. I'm sure each person will react differently to this book. I borrowed it from my coach, glad I didn't buy it.

Feel free to suggest some books that you have enjoyed.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

A nice double

It took some doing but I did make it outside for a small bike ride today. The rear wheel of my road bike has had a broken spoke since September. I didn't want to take my tri bike out because the rear wheel was glossy from all the miles on the trainer, too thin and prone to a puncture.

I did 2 hours on the trainer this morning since my coach gave me a specific workout to do. That "ride" went great and it didn't bother my hip. As the day progressed the weather got warmer and the lack of wind was a huge motivator for fixing my rear tire. So I managed to replace the spoke and true the wheel for a quick spin after dinner. It felt so good to get outside on the bike.

Since my leg started bothering me I haven't been able to run outside. I'm hoping to get on the bike outside at least once each week. It will be my main opportunity to get outside.

So I pretty much did a double workout today. 2 hours in the morning and 45 minutes in the evening. It was so worth it.

I know several other Miw-Westerners were able to get outside as well, IronWil, TriSaraTops and CurlySu. Spring is coming soon and this was a nice taste of what is yet to come.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Training injuries have relegated me to the elliptical machine at the Y. I started with 45 minutes on the elip., then tried a short run on the treadmill but only lasted 5 minutes. Finished with 30 minutes back on the elliptical. Now I did manage to listen to Get Your Geek On #8 during my workout. I'll have to listen to it again in case I missed anything. To cap off the workout I did some upper-body weight lifting.

At home we had some errands to run and clean-up in the house. Aimee asked me to clean-out the fridge. You know, throw out the old stuff. Well that turned into pulling the shelves out, tossing old food, essentially detailing the fridge. It's nice and clean now.

So the rest of today is left to do other chores and relax.

Tomorrow the temps will be around 50 but raining. So my 2 hour ride will be on the trainer. No problem, just have to decide what movie to watch.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Family and Friends Friday - Going to the Dogs

This installment will handle all of the individuals living in the house. The two crazy dogs are Snickers and Ruby. Both are Brittany's, a spaniel breed, and are very active, enjoy running, being outdoors and sleeping on our bed.

Snickers (male) will be 9 years old in October, he was born on Halloween (sometimes he seems a little obsessed). Called the runt of the litter, he is a solid 60-65 lbs. Breed standard is 35-40 lbs. so people are always asking us if he is a Brittany. He's very loving and gets excited when we put our running shoes on. Sometimes when I have my cycling gear on he thinks he can go along is a raring to go. Snickers loves to play ball in the yard and will play with anyone who comes into the yard; neighbor kids, family, service people.....anyone.

Ruby (female) we are not so sure of. We acquired ruby 1.5 years ago as a rescue from a local group. She is actually smaller than breed standard, 30-35 lbs. Her spastic nature keeps us entertained constantly with her excited little dance when she wants to go outside. She has learned how to run with us also. Her innocent little face can be misleading because if we leave the crates unlocked she will drag the bed out, up from the basement and into the family room where she will tear out the stuffing. If we don't crate them for a small outing we make sure the crate is locked.

The two of them will sometimes play tug together and run around the yard after birds and little critters, hey they are hunting dogs.

Next week more of Team IM Eric.

This picture is after a 1 mile Doggie Dash. Snickers and I took 1st overall.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Gone Daddy Gone

Lately my head has been spinning so much I feel like I've gone out of my mind. Well tonight I can relax, blow off some steam and enjoy seeing the Violent Femmes at the House of Blues, Cleveland.

I'll be there with Aimee, her sister, and two other female friends. My own little group of violent femmes.

Let me go out, like a blister in the sun...........

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

What's Cookin' Wednesday - Sea Bass

We grill at our house year 'round despite the cold winters. The taste and flavor of food cooked on the grill is something to enjoy all the time. But for those that don't grill, I'll do an indoor recipe next week.

Short on time and hungry, this may be the recipe for you. This recipe doesn't call for the fish to marinade, instead a simple to make paste gets brushed on, then you slap it on the grill. We had this the other night on a bed of mushroom pasta. Yummy.

Mediterranean Sea Bass
From: Weber's Big Book of Grilling

This recipe is all about Provence, and these are the ingredients that make the region’s food sing. Keep it simple and enjoy. (Suitable substitutes: red snapper, striped bass.)

For the paste:
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme
2 teaspoons dried lavender
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

4 skinless Chilean sea bass fillets, about 6 ounces each and 1 inch thick
Lemon wedges (optional)

To make the paste:
In a small bowl whisk together the paste ingredients.

Spread the paste evenly on both sides of the fish fillets. Grill over Direct High heat until the flesh is opaque throughout and starting to flake, 5 to 7 minutes, turning once halfway through grilling time. Serve warm and garnish with lemon wedges, if desired.

Makes 4 servings.

Did anyone try last weeks recipe? Let me know what you think.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

New Video

I posted a new video from bolt but it doesn't autoplay for some reason. Check it out. It sets the mood for my weekend read.

Two for Tuesday - Buffet(t) Style

While swimming this morning in the pool I was flanked by two female sharks, one of which was TriSaraTops. I had fins to the left and fins to the right, so therein lies the inspiration for todays Two for Tuesday.

Jimmy Buffett:

  • Born December 25, 1949
  • Has a college degree in journalism
  • Originally started his signing career as a country artist
  • He has donated $500,000 to Hurricane Katrina relief so far


  • A meal at which guests serve themselves from various dishes displayed on a table or sideboard
  • the modern buffet was developed in France in the 18th century
  • The "all you can eat" buffet has been ascribed to Herb Macdonald, a Las Vegas hotel manager who introduced the idea in 1946
  • In the United States, HomeTown Buffet is a large buffet chain, and part of the larger Buffet Inc. corporation, and also owns "Old Country Buffet", "Country Buffet", and "Tahoe Joe's Famous Steakhouse".

I would imagine that most of us fun loving triathletes enjoy a good Buffett concert like everyone else. However, the last real buffet I ate at was in Las Vegas, juts because it was the thing to do.

Speaking of food, take two and read me in the morning. What's Cooking Wednesday is in draft.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Work, Eat, Sleep...x 4

Yep that was my weekend. Friday - Monday was work/eat/sleep, and even the eating part became optional.

I am a computer consultant for an IBM business partner in Ohio. I help customers migrate to newer hardware when they buy/lease new equipment. This equipment is pretty significant since it often supports very large companies, users and applications. I had to work at two customers this weekend, a hospital and a national distribution company. So this is how my weekend went, too bad I'm not giving you training details.


  • Work during the day with three different customers and a visit to Dr. Zak, ART.


  • Wake up at 1:30AM, at hospital 2:30AM. Leave hospital 6:30AM. Work not injury.
  • Sleep for two hours, get up at 10:00AM, shower, eat, arrive customer #2 12:00PM.
  • Leave customer #2 at 11:30PM.

  • Wake up at 7:00AM, eat, arrive back at customer #2 at 8:30AM.
  • Leave customer #2 at 6:30PM
  • Have dinner with Aimee, first real food all weekend, in fact almost only food on Sunday.

  • Back at customer #2 at 8:00AM for another 5 hours of work. Everything up and running things look great.
  • I also got in another visit to Dr. Zak for my leg.
  • Ran for the first time since my leg started to bother me, 4.2 miles.
  • Decide not to run Shamrock Marathon on March 19.

Which is a good segue to answer my comment about my fitness last week. I've been struggling with a tight hipflexor, tfl, quad, name it, it's probably too tight. I wasn't sure if I was going to be ready by the 19th for the marathon. Dr. Zak was confident about getting me loosened up with enough sessions.

However, after my run this evening I didn't feel comfortable with my leg. I could still feel the tightness, not as bad as before, but it was still there. Aimee and I have talked about it often and she helped me decide the right thing to do. I also talked to Coach Angela and she supports my decision. She thinks it's the right thing to do and is glad I made this decision.

My primary focus this year is Ironman. Do I push through a marathon that may injure me more or bail and continue therapy on my leg? The answer is pretty obvious, rest and recover. The marathon was a distance I wanted under my belt before IM. It would have been nice to do a marathon by itself. I am sacrificing now for the greater good in July.

I have weird emotions about this.

A little bit of disappointment, I was looking forward to traveling to Virginia Beach and run my very first marathon.

A little bit of relief, no pressure to get better quick and worry about the consequences down the road.

A little bit humbled, my training was going good until the hip flared up. I have been sidelined. Not an easy pill to swallow for a competitive athlete.

I've also been reminded of the awesome support group I have around me. My wife was keeping me on an even keel showing her concern for my health, both physical and mental. Coach was trying her best to keep me in shape to run the marathon throughout the therapy and provided constant mental support. I couldn't ask for anything more from two of the most important women in my life right now.

So now I have to make the comparisons between my recent experiences and my Ironman journey. It's kind of expected with this blogging thing.

Like the kids from Southpark, I've learned something today (or over the weekend).

My marathon weekend of work has shown me that I have the mental toughness to handle Ironman. I hit alot of emotions during the weekend as I tried to make things work, regrouped, thought I was in over my head, persevered, tapped into some great support and triumphed in the end. A great sense of accomplishment when all was said and done.

The courage to do what is right by deciding to not run my marathon and save myself for IM. I hope to carry the right mental attitude into IM USA so that I may make the right decisions at crucial times during the day.

To continue to surround myself with a support system that will help me get through all of the training, work and life issues that will present themselves to me over the next 5 months.

Here's to beginning a new phase of my IM training.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Family and Friends Friday - Amanda

This is my daughter Amanda (the blonde not the gorilla). She's a high school student, teenager, creator of grey hairs (on my head), emotional roller coaster, good friend, average student, beautiful girl, snowboarder.......basically a normal teenage girl.

For those of you who have been through the girly teenage years, bless you for surviving. For those of you that have yet to experience these years, good luck.

Amanda is excited about watching me at IM USA. She's been to a couple of my past triathlons but still prefers the mountain bike scene. I think she may be impressed with the venue at Lake Placid.

Next year she will be starting vocational school, digital photography and design. She's excited about her next two years of school so I'm happy with that. I'm going to start having her do my pictures for the blog.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Are you Awake

I changed my video feed today. Nothing like a long day at work (drive 1.5 hours, all day meeting, drive home 1.5 hours) to just suck the energy out of you. Of course I was also up at 4:45AM in order to get a workout in at the Y, which semi-sucked.

But I think about all this crap I'm doing and the current state of my fitness (update coming on Monday) and I'm trying to remember why I am doing this at all. Then I remember one of my favorite pre-race songs, Godsmack/Awake.

The hard driving beat and the refrain, "I'm alive, ass still kickin". I'm training, exercising, working, breathing, eating, living, loving so I can feel alive. I feel alive when:

I feel my chest heaving up and down after a hard swim, bike or run session.
I feel the sweat seeping from my pours and dripping from my arms.
I feel a dull ache in my head from pouring myself into a project at work.
I taste the herbs and seasonings of my favorite meal.
I feel the tender touch of a loved one.
I get goosebumps as I step outside for a run on a cold single digit morning.
Rub my hands on the soft fur of my dogs.
I will feel unbelievably alive and Ironman ass-kickin' when I cross that finish line.

Go out this weekend, wake up and be alive.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

What's Cooking Wednesday - Chicken and Artichoke

It's sometimes hard to find recipes that you like as well as are good for you while training for triathlons. I want to share some of my favorite recipes that I love making. If you "tri" them let me know what you think.

Artichoke Stuffed Chicken Breasts

The active link above is for the original recipe from

Artichoke-Stuffed Chicken Breasts
From: Weber's Big Book of Grilling
A tasty departure from the ordinary. If flare-ups occur, finish these breasts over Indirect Medium heat.

For the stuffing:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 jar (7 ounces) artichoke hearts
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled
3 tablespoons minced sun-dried tomatoes (oil packed)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil

4 large boneless chicken breast halves(with skin), about 8 ounces each
Extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

To make the stuffing: In a medium sauté pan combine the olive oil, thyme, and red pepper flakes. Set the pan over medium-high heat to warm the mixture for 1 to 2 minutes. Drain, rinse, and coarsely chop the artichokes and add along with the garlic, salt, and pepper. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat. Add the goat cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, and basil. Mix to evenly distribute the ingredients and allow to cool.

Rinse the chicken breasts under cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Place each breast between two sheets of plastic wrap and, with a meat mallet or back of a small pan, pound to flatten to a thickness of about 1/4 inch. Place the breasts, skin side down, and spread each one with a quarter of the stuffing. Fold the breasts in half over the stuffing and use toothpicks to skewer the sides closed. Brush or spray both sides with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the breasts over Direct Medium heat until the meat juices run clear and the cheese is melted, 8 to 12 minutes, turning once halfway through grilling time. Remove from the grill and carefully remove the toothpicks. Serve warm. Makes 4 servings.

Important notes/comments/changes:

I could never get the end result to look like the picture. They must use specially grown chickens that have mutant breast meat the flatten out perfectly so the fold thingy works. I finally said screw it. I use two flattened chicken breast that are the same size and just make a sandwich out of it. Place the stuffing between two flattened chicken breasts, forget about the toothpicks and use a large flat spatula to flip the chicken.

I can never find crumbled goat cheese. Usually the cheese is in a tube and when I try to crumble the cheese, it doesn't crumble. The pan is usually quite hot when the cheese goes in and it kind of melts and mixes in with the other ingrediants anyways. So when the chicken is on the grill, the cheese is already melted. I just watch the chicken to decide when everything is done, look for clear juices.

Never forget to spray/brush the chicken with oil before placing on the grill. This helps the chicken release from the grill when you want to flip it. The salt and pepper are very important as well, adds to the final flavor.

I get artichoke hearts that are in a flavored marinade. Adds to the overall flavor. So don't rinse the artichokes when you take them out of the jar.

Try this recipe out and let me know what you think. Yummy.