Friday, April 28, 2006

Family & Friends Friday - Coach Angela

Today I introduce you to my Tri Coach, Angela Forster. This is my third year of being coached by Angela. My wife and I started with her in 2004 when we trained for a half-iron distance tri (the 3 of us at the finish, Angela on the left). Last year she took me through an Olympic distance season where I raced in a series of races and she coached Aimee for the Columbus (Ohio) Marathon. This year she is putting me through the ringer with the IM training, but I'm loving it.

I first met Angela during swim clinics at the local fitness center. She would be the on-deck coach for a group of triathletes. It really helped my swimming. I liked her approach to the swim, which is what I needed the most work on. She was a collegiate swimmer at the University of Kentucky and is super fast in the water. She also has the knowledge and experience to coach. She has finished Ironman something like 8 times at Florida, Lake Placid, Wisconsin and Hawaii. In 2005 she had her first baby, then came back to race at IM Wisconsin (13:07) then followed that up with IM Florida (11:15). Both races she swam 57 minutes being out of the water as part of the top 100 people.

She is very knowledgable about recent training techniques and makes sure she is up to date with nutrition, heart rates, VO2, etc. She keeps learning so she can help her athletes become better.

Today we rode together. I was doing the 14 hill route and she wanted to see what the roads were like. She hosts a tri camp in the Cleveland area and was going to use the route for a training day. I was eager to show her the hills. I would power up the hills and wait for her to catch up, she hasn't had much time to train herself, but man she still looked good while riding. The bonus for me was that she could see me ride. She has done Lake Placid several times and knows the course very well. She knows how the hills that we were riding compared to the bike course at LP. Several times she commented on how strong I looked and that I would "tear up" the bike course.

It's great to hear that from your coach. The mental aspect of coaching is important as well and Angela tries her best to get that across to you. When I made the decision to back out of the Shamrock Marathon she supported me 100% and agreed that it was the best thing to do. She also trusts my judgement about how I feel and if I decide to skip a workout because of being tired or too busy. I pay attention to my body and won't push if the body says no.

Angela is excited about my IM debut. The training so far has been great and she puts together some awesome workouts. I keep on learning more about myself through this training.

Angela is a great coach and a wonderful friend. She is one of many special women in my life.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

What's Cookin' Wednesday - Puddin'

Keeping things simple today, we all like simple.

As triathletes proper protein intake should be on the top of our nutritional list. I buy my protein powder supplement at GNC. Good flavors, mixes well and seems to work well for me. But drinking it straight or making the same shakes over and over can get boring.

So how about some protein pudding? Follow the directions on the box and add two scoops of protein powder. I would recommend preparing in a blender so the powder mixes well. Pour into bowls chill and serve.

Experiment with different flavors of pudding and protein powder.

You will feel like a kid again.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Two for Tuesday - Pain and Suffering

So what is a little pain and suffering during your triathlon training or racing? We have all experienced the dark side of triathlon. The endless yards and miles that seem to never end. The muscle cramps that pop out of nowhere due to dehydration or poor nutrition. How about that strained muscle when we tried to squeeze out one more interval during training? Or that insidious IT Band that protests about the overtraining with pins and needles.

In The Triathlete's Guide to Mental Training there is a chapter about Pain. The authors help to define pain, suffering and discomfort, yes I know I have thrown in a third term on with it, I'm trying to make a point.

Everyone has a different perception of what pain is and their threshold to said pain is just as unique. But I liked the definitions they use in this chapter because I feel they hold merit.

What are the differences between pain, suffering and discomfort? Pain is a general term to express the physical feeling we have and how we deal with it. The fear of pain may prevent us from doing that extra interval or pushing our legs to run 5 seconds faster. We know it will hurt and be painful all the way through to the end.

But are we suffering or experiencing discomfort? Pain is the common factor between the two. The differences lie in how we deal with the pain mentally. In the book the authors differentiate suffering and discomfort the following way.

Some people suffering through pain caused by a life threatening disease or physical ailment that may be severe, long lasting, life threatening and possibly not under their control. A cancer patient puking their guts out after chemo knowing there are more treatments to come. The police officer run over during a routine traffic stop that now has to learn to walk again because his leg and hip were crushed. These people SUFFER.

As triathletes, or athletes in general, we place our bodies in uncomfortable situations. We accept the discomfort of training and racing. But we really never suffer. We can control the discomfort. We can slow down, walk, or even stop. We can see the light at the end of the 8th track interval. We can see the top of the incline and are glad to have a downhill on the other side. We know that the finish line is the end of this particular race and the immediate pain and discomfort will stop.

I use this comparison during my training. I'm on the bike doing big gear pushes. I'm into the wind. It's cold out. My legs are burning with lactic acid. I am not comfortable. I can stop. The "pain" will go away. But I don't stop. As long as I am not doing anything to cause an injury I keep moving forward. I remember the story of Blazeman, the ALS Warrior Poet as he was featured during Kona 2005. He never gave up. I think of my friend Tina who is battling breast cancer. She has not given up. I am not suffering like they do. I am simply uncomfortable, so I keep moving forward and pursue my IM goals.

To make sure I remember what I am doing I am raising money through the Janus Charity Challenge. Yes you will hear more about that later. My charity is the Susan G Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. I think of the many women that have had to suffer through their cancer. Some have won, some have lost. I train and race Ironman for them

My favorite inspirational quote is from Steve Prefontaine.

"To give less than your best is to sacrifice the gift"

I have an athletic gift that permits me to train and race triathlons, this year an Ironman. I am not going to give less than my best because I am experiencing a little discomfort. I will move forward in memory and honor of those that suffer.

Have you given your best today? Have you sacrificed your gift?

Do your best, expose your gift....Game On.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Breakthroughs, Recoveries and Insights

I hope everyone has me listed through bloglines so they weren't checking back to see a new post. I extended my mental recovery period into the weekend partly due to a hectic work day Friday and a bigmongous training day Saturday. Let see how far back I need to go in my training.

Tuesday was my next training day. I was pleasantly surprised that my coach didn't schedule a swim workout for Tuesday morning. Slept in a little and felt great in the morning. My evening workout was a one hour run. Now my running has been slowly getting better. As usual I decided to just go with what felt good. Feeling good this time meant a 7:45 pace. I was cruising by the 1 mile mark so I just went with it. I was in Zone 2 for the first time in months. After 25 minutes I backed off a little to recovery slightly, then I picked it up again. I finished in 43 minutes. Since I added some intensity to the run I felt vindicated to cut things short. Still trying to be smart about the recovery on the leg.

Wednesday brought out the bike. A 90 minute evening ride was on tap. I was working from home all beautiful day. The dogs loved it since they could be outside as well. Somewhere in the afternoon Ruby decided to break through the Invisible Fence and have a little adventure. She was gone for around 4 hours and got nice and dirty. Some nice people that live not too far away rounded her up into their fenced in yard. Her tags have Aimee's cell phone and our address. I didn't think I was going to get my ride in since she was gone. Around 5:30 the couple drove over to tell me they had Ruby. I followed them back to their house and retrieved my dirty dog.

I did finally get on my bike, thank goodness daylight sticks around longer. I rode to my mechanic to pick up my truck after service. This ride was to be a easy Zone 2 ride. I felt great on this ride. The heart rate was right where it needed to be. Average speed was between 19-20 MPH and I held a high cadance 95-100 RPM. What a great ride.

Thursday I was back in the pool. Another 4000 yard workout. I struggled early on with getting my body started. I felt a little sluggish. My form was on but my focus was a little askew as my splits were all over the place. Too fast, too slow, a build which increased in time instead of decrease. It was an insightful day to realize that you can loose focus even within the confines of a pool.

Thursday evening I had a 45 minute run. I didn't double check my workout and was positive that I should run 60 minutes. I had a movie to return to Hollywood Video so I ran it up there literally instead of using the car, in case people haven't noticed gas prices are up. Another awesome run for me. 8:23 pace through streets I have never run on before. So the new scenary was an added bonus.

Friday was a typical rest day and I managed to get a massage in from Di. She's great because she tries to fit me in whenever possible and this time it meant going to her house for my massage.

Saturday was a big brick. Total time scheduled was 4:45:00 bike/run brick. Again I rode out of the house because of gas prices and I wasn't disappointed. The day started with a dense fog alert in the Cleveland area. I put on a wind vest and arm warmers to fight any chill, yet I could take them off when things warmed up. I also put my blinky butt light of the bike for safety reasons. Fortunately there isn't much traffic at 7:30Am on a Saturday to deal with, but still the fog was thick. The Cleveland Metroparks is similar to the Cuyahoga Valley National Park as they are both in a valley created by the rivers that feed Lake Erie. So in the Metroparks you have to climb a hill to get out of the valley. This worked well as I needed to do some hill climbing to get ready for my next tour of the Death Ride route. I hit almost every hill, 16 in total when I was done. Now these hills are nothing compared to what Bolder has been riding, most only lasted 2-5 minutes but I take what I can.

My coach said the ride should be 3:30 - 4:00. I went for the 4 hours instead. I like riding my bike. I had fun. However, I couldn't wait to get off the bike, but not for the reason you think. I could have gone another hour. I couldn't wait for my run after the bike. I was feeling so good I wanted to get my running shoes on for the 45 minute run that was waiting for me. as I turned into my development I saw Aimee waiting for me in the driveway. She was going to join me on her bike while I ran. I was hoping she would be up for it as she already did a 1:40:00 run with her friends earlier, I saw them in the park.

My run was feeling good as well. We went 6.6 miles in 53 minutes. I was at a perfect 8 min/mile and I didn't even feel like I was pushing it that much. Total workout time was 5:04:00 with 73.65 miles of biking and 6.6 miles of running. Man I feel good.

Finally on Sunday I did a 90 minute run in the morning. Legs were a little tired but that's how coach wants it. You have to know how to run on tired legs in Ironman. Regardless I did 12 miles at an amazing 7:55 pace. I'm so happy my running is coming back around. Coach says I'll start getting some hill repeats soon. To finish out my weekend I have a 30 minute run that I will hit as soon as I post this.

I know that was alot of reading above but I needed to get the great news about my training posted, especially my run. My excitement level is high as I far within 90 days of IM USA.

Tomorrow I'll provide some deep thoughts. You have lots of time to think while on a 4 hour bike ride.

I hope everyone else had a weekend that allowed them to get their Game On.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Recovery Week - For the Mind

I've decided that my mind needs a small break from blogging. You know, 3-4 weeks heavy then a recovery week, it's called periodization.

So I leave you with my training recap from the weekend.

Saturday I had to stay close to home in the morning due to work committments. I finally made it to the Cuyahoga Valley National Park to get in my 3:35 brick. The CVNP is the best area in northeastern Ohio for hills. There is a ride route called the 14 hill ride; aka the Death Ride. Granted it's nothing like the mountains that Bolder has been riding in Colorado, but it's what we have available.

I did the northern portion of that route which allowed me to swing by the car and top off my water bottle. It was a glorious day. About 65 degrees F, slight wind, blue skies, plenty of sun.

I mapped the route and I have to do some final calculations for vertical gain but these climbs are short and steep. All said and done I rode for 3:10 and 56 miles. Not bad for a hilly route. After the ride I had a 35 minute run. I wasn't sure how I would feel with the hip. It took about 1 mile for the hamstrings to realize I was running. I pulled in 4 miles at 9:00 minute/mile pace. I was happy with my run as well. Things are feeling good and my confidence is returning in regards to my run.

Sunday morning I had a long run of 1:15. This is the longest I have run in a long time. My route put me at 8 miles. Before that I was up to around 7 miles. Slowly but surely I will get my run volume back up to speed. Easter dinner was at my parents house where we feasted like royalty. Later in the evening Aimee rode her bike while I got in another 4 miles.

Monday morning I swam 4000 yards. This was supposed to be a steady pace. Pace was around 3:25 per 200 yards. I was tired from the weekend and wasn't sure how I would fare. The last 600 yards were supposed to be race pace effort. I used some psych up techniques from my mental training book. It must have worked. I was surprised how I was able to increase my intensity. May last three 200's were 3:17 / 3:20 / 3:06. I couldn't believe the final 200 was that fast. I was happy to finish like that.

I finally saw my first sign of spring. No not the birds, bees, or flowers. Nor the short skirts or bare legs running. I'm talking about tan lines. My biker tan line is starting. I tried to take a picture but the line still isn't dark enough. I'll get a picture when it shows up better.

Have a good week everyone, I'll get my Game Back On this Friday.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Family & Friends Friday - Beyotch-in-Law

I say that lovingly about my sister-in-law, Becky. Just don't piss her off or else she will get beyotchy all up in your butt.

Aimee and her sister as like water and oil, respectively; and I'm not talking about water from a mud puddle and extra virgin olive oil. I'm talking black crude oil (Becky) and Aquafina bottled water (Aimee), at least that's how it was when I first met them 15 years ago. Both very precious but also very different.

Becky is 5 years younger than Aimee and followed quite a different path than her older sister.

Vocational school to get her beauticians license and cut hair for 5 years.
Attended Kent State for fashion merchandising while working.
Currently working as a buyer for DOTS clothing stores.

It's been weird watching her change during that time. I still can't believe the words coming out of her mouth when she starts talking cost, margins, inventory, fashion trends, and accounting. But she is very good at her job and works hard. She also plays as hard as she works.

These sisters do have some simularities.
They both like to ride their bikes: Aimee has a nice Bianchi road bike and Becky has a big Honda 750.
You don't want to piss them off: Even hell get's scared.
They love their pets; Sig, Snickers, and Ruby
They both have great husbands.

Becky is one of our biggest supporters for our athletics. Becky and her husband drove down to "watch" us compete in our first Half-Ironman distance event in 2004. They decorated our hotel room door with balloons and streamers. Becky will be at IM USA with an unlimited amount of energy to share with all of the competitors.

Becky makes our lives interesting and I wouldn't want her any other way. Variety is the spice of life and Becky is hot cheyenne pepper. The new video is dedicated to this Metallica fan and the song is for all of us triathletes who follow our own path.

Game On for the weekend.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Thank-you Madam Pele

for moving the severe thunderstorms through northern Ohio quickly
for providing sunlight after the clouds drifted away
for not cooling the temperature down after the rain
for providing a stiff wind in my face for my big gear intervals
for providing a stiff side wind that forced me to work on my bike handling skills while in the aero position
for providing a beautiful orange sunset as I rode my last few miles home.

I had a 90 minute workout on the bike last night. Watching the skies and doppler radar on the Weather channel I knew the storm would move through fast. I waited long enough that I never got rained on. However, I did have the road spray to deal with, mainly on my legs.

Big gear pushes went well especially with the stiff winds coming at me. Eight intervals when I only needed to do six.

I finished almost 32 miles of riding in 94 minutes. I was happy with that.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

What's Cookin' Wednesday - Bacon Wrapped Salmon

I know some of you out there cringe about thinking of eating fish, but it's very good for you. Properly prepared fish shouldn't smell "fishy" or have bones in it. Salmon is a great fish for the grill or oven.


4 (5- to 6-oz) center-cut pieces skinless salmon fillet (about 1 1/2 inches thick)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 teaspoons whole-grain or coarse-grain mustard
4 bacon slices
2/3 cup sliced shallots (2 large)
2 tablespoons olive oil
10 oz baby spinach (16 cups packed), rinsed but not dried

Special equipment: 4 (10- to 12-inch) metal skewers

Preheat broiler and put broiler pan under broiler so that its rack is about 4 inches from heat.

Pat fish dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper, then spread curved sides with mustard. Lay 1 bacon slice lengthwise along top of each fillet, tucking ends of bacon under fillet (ends will not meet). Thread 1 skewer through length of each fillet, entering and exiting fish through bacon to secure it.

Arrange fish, bacon sides down, on preheated rack of broiler pan and broil 3 minutes, then turn over and broil until fish is just cooked through and bacon is crisp, 3 to 4 minutes more.

While salmon broils, cook shallots in oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Add spinach and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until spinach is just wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve salmon with spinach.

Makes 4 servings.

I use whatever mustard I have a taste for. I used French's Bold n' Spicy last time. Not much else to say because this recipe is so easy.

Food on!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Two for Tuesday - Quotable Quotes

I get a Page-a-Day Calendar e-mail everyday and I wanted to share two good ones:

“You will never ‘find’ time for anything. If you want time, you must make it.”

How true is this for triathletes that strive for physical and mental well being. No matter what distance triathlon you intend to do, you must put in the time. Time which is already valuable and limited. I sometimes wonder myself where do I find the time to do everything. Unfortunately you cannot do everything and some tasks must fall by the wayside.

“My son, observe the postage stamp! Its usefulness depends upon its ability to stick to one thing until it gets there.”

I guess my one thing right now is Ironman. And I have no doubt that I have the ability to stick it out and cross that finish line. No matter what that one thing is, the work day, long training ride, track workout, hard swim intervals, stick to it and get it done.

Game On.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Adverse Conditions

The way to learn to react positively to adversity in races is to train and respond positively to those challenging conditions. Quoted from The Triathlete's Guide to Mental Training.

Saturday morning weather along the North Coast of Ohio:
Temperature: 30 degrees
Wind: NNE 15-20 MPH gusting to 29MPH
Skies: Partly cloudy
Roads: Dry

The plan was to ride my bike to the start of the Spring Classic Half Marathon. I needed to get in 3 hours of riding and this was a good way to do it. Ride to the race, run my leg, ride back home. I was recruited to run a co-ed relay with some friends. Despite the cold weather I was bound and determined to ride outside, challenging conditions and all. I bundled up and hit the street with toe warmers in my booties and hand warmers in my gloves.

I was heading east before I could head south and the wind was stiff. Overall the bike ride was great. I anticipated the ride for 1:30 but it turned out to be 1:50 for 30 miles. I missed the start of the race but I was running second half anyways. I found Aimee's car, put away my bike and changed into new clothes for running. I found Dale and Aimee at the relay exchange and didn't have to wait too long for my relay partner Deb to come in. She was running with Gina, Dales relay partner, and Dale and I started off for our 6.55 mile run.

I was treating this as a good, fun run with Dale and an easy pace to see how the hip would respond. I felt very comfortable. After the first full mile we were holding an 8:15 pace. I was surprised since I was originally planning on a 9:00/mile pace. I decided to just go with how I felt and see what happens. I was pleasantly surprised that we kept that pace the entire time.

After the run I was going to ride my bike back home for the last hour of my planned training ride. Aimee was concerned that I would get too cold on the bike since I had already expended over 2.5 hours of energy already. Our group wanted to get some breakfast so I decided to join them.

I'm glad I went to breakfast. I hadn't seen Gina and Deb in a long time and I enjoy their company. The social aspect of my training day was just as important as the final hour on the bike, only warmer and it put food in my belly.

I did get my final hour in after dinner. Tomorrow I am part of a relay at the first duathlon of the year. Alot of friends and teammates will be there. I am only doing the bike to see how my race level is. Still looking to have some fun.

Spring is here and all I can say is.....Game On!

Friday, April 07, 2006

Family & Friends Friday - Father-In-Law

Oh yes father-in-laws. I've never had problems with f-i-l's. Always managed to get along with Tom and we share some common interests. We can talk computer systems with interest and he has even started cycling and running to keep healthy. I try to provide good input whenever he asks.

Last year he lost his wife to liver disease. It was a rough time for everyone since Susan was only 54 years old. It was hard seeing her in ICU as her body started to shutdown. Tom was good through it all and was by her side everyday hoping for the best. I visited with him whenever I could to provide support.

One of Tom's hobbies is photography. He went with us to Utah for Aimee's first marathon and took some pictures. He will be going to Lake Placid as part of Team IM Eric. I'm hoping that he will get some good photos of me during the race.

More about the freak of a sister-in-law to the left of Tom next week, Aimee is on the right.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Make the most of a situation

Tuesday I made last minute arrangements to do work at a customer in western Ohio. I like when I can visit customers that are within driving range because I can take my bike or other gear for training. I decided to take my bike this trip since I was going to be surrounded by country roads and the weather was forecasted around 50 degrees. I was also able to take advantage of a great setup that my customer has. The company bought the house of the founder and turned it into a guest house. I have a four bedroom century house all to myself tonight. It is a great setup and more comfortable than any hotel. I'm fortunate to be able to use it.

I drove out this morning and it turned into a long day. Didn't leave the office until 6:00PM but with the time change I was able to get in a 1.5 hour ride. This was an awesome ride. I needed to be in Zone 1-2 for recovery so I was able to enjoy the scenery.

On the way back I stopped by Casa Rodriguez for some take-out Mexican. I rode home with my bag of food and ate my dinner. Very yummy.

Thank-you Madam Pele:
For the winds in my face that reminded me to keep my exertion low.
For the winds at my back that helped me fly with little exertion.
For the riding partner as the setting sun cast a shadow of me on the fields.
For the sound of the wind rushing in one ear and out the other.
For the only other sound being the whir of my tires on the pavement.

I almost thought my day was not going to have a ride, but just when you think all is lost the Game is back on.

What's Cookin' Wednesday - Marvelous Mini Meatloaves

Marvelous Mini Meatloaves

This is a great variation on a old time favorite. For busy triathletes these little guys freeze great for easy heating up later.

Follow 3 simple steps:

PREHEAT oven to 375°F. Mix meat, stuffing mix, 1 cup water and the seasoning until well blended. Press evenly into 12 medium muffin cups sprayed with cooking spray; make an indentation in center of each with back of spoon.

SPOON 3/4 cup add-ins evenly into indentations in meatloaves.

BAKE 30 min. or until meatloaves are cooked through (160°F). Top evenly with 3/4 cup cheese; continue baking 5 min. or until cheese is melted. Let stand 10 min. before serving.

1 tsp. Italian seasoning
spaghetti sauce
KRAFT Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

2 tsp. chili powder
KRAFT Shredded Mexican Style Cheese

1 tsp. dried oregano leaves
chopped roasted red peppers
ATHENOS Traditional Crumbled Feta Cheese

1 tsp. garlic powder
KRAFT or BULL'S-EYE Original Barbecue Sauce
KRAFT Shredded Cheddar Cheese

To reheat, thaw, reheat at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.

Hit the link at the top for the original recipe.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Two for Tuesday - Training Gear

Swim Gear - Goggles

When I first started swimming for triathlon I was terrible. Aimee and I would go to the pool and I could barely swim a length without being out of breath. Part of what I felt was my problem was the goggles I was using. The standard small eye socket with the foam gaskets. I never felt comfortable. Then I bought the Aqua-Sphere Seal Mask. They were comfortable and allowed me to have a wide range of vision. I felt better in the water immediately. Since then I have progressed to even smaller racing goggles like the Tyr Socket Rockets.

I would highly recommend the Seal Mask for newbies or anyone else that needs more vision in the water or comfort around the eyes.

Bike Gear - Toe Warmers

I know the weather is getting nicer but there are still some cool days ahead of us, especially in the northern states. So I have broken out the toe warmers to place under my toe booties when I ride in the morning. My toes always get cold and I need the extra warmth, especially since my tri and road shoes are well vented with mesh.

Thank-you Madam Pele for the winds today while running. You breath kept me cool and challenged me to keep moving forward during my run.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Bear with me......

this may be a big post. I'm usually not about big my little post and move on to the next blog you want to read.

This past weekend Aimee and I went to Athens, OH for her spring half marathon. She had been training hard for this race and it all came together on race day. Perfect weather and her body was ready for action. I rode parts of the course and was able to take pictures during the race. At the end she finished with a 1:49:52. She had been struggling with breaking 1:50 and she did it and I am very proud of her.

Thanks goes to my massage therapists husband Rob for running with her for the first half of the race. It helped her stay focused and on pace.

When we got home that evening I went for a run to stretch the legs and it was also part of my workout schedule. I kept it easy since I pushed it on Saturday and things were tender. I ran a nice 9:00/mile pace and did 5.6 miles. That is the marathon pace I want for IM USA so I'm happy I can at least run that pace without pain. Things will come around, I just have to be patient. I have to keep reminding myself of that. My coach isn't worried because she knows I am a strong runner and will ramp up quickly.

My Monday morning swim was 4200 yards with 3 x 1000 yards decending in speed. Final 1000 was race pace. My 1000 splits were 16:56 - 16:15 - 15:30. I think 16:30 will be more of a race pace, I felt like I could have held that for a long time. I had set my watch alarm for 4:50AM since Aimee was going to be sleeping in. I was a little puzzled when her alarm went off before my watch. I thought I had slept through it, however I quickly realized that I had forgotten to set the watch ahead one hour. It was 5:45 now. I did a quick mental calculation and decided I could still do the workout and get to my customer at a decent time. It really didn't matter when I got to my customer anyways.

When I arrived at the Y there was only one person in the pool. When I hit the pool deck the water was calm. No one in the pool. I asked George the guard if it was light today and he said I was the fourth person in the pool. I had the pool to myself for about 5 minutes. That's when Marge got in the pool. I doubt that her name is Marge but she sure is large, so large she's like a barge. Now I usually don't make fun of people like that and I'm happy that she's even in the pool and being active. BUT IT SURE PISSES ME OFF WHEN I AM IN THE MIDDLE OF MY 3RD 1000 GOING AT RACE PACE AND SHE WALKS RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME TO TALK TO A FRIEND!

I was approaching the wall and I notice her right in front of me talking to the lady that was swimming next to me. I pulled up short 2-3 yards and simply turned around to continue swimming. I thought of what I could have done, plow into her or just stand there and yell "Excuse me!!" I did neither. I brushed it off. Why burn precious energy being mad. That is the type of attitude that will see me through Ironman. But boy was I pissed.

I don't have a swim workout for Tuesday so I will be able to miss the masses in the water.

Finally, I have to share a picture of our team uniforms for 2006. In case you haven't visited my teams website, Snakebite Racing, this is what we will be wearing. These turned out so much cooler than we first thought. So I am going to pass on the Team Tri-Geek Dreams apparel because I have cool stuff of my own. If you are able to wear custom clothing like this please do so. The Cleveland Tri Club has cool stuff as well. Wearing a uniform makes you feel good about yourself and people will cheer for you even more by shouting out your team/club name.

Everyone go out there a get your Game On. Two for Tuesday tomorrow.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Winds of Change

Yes it's windy in Cleveland. Every spring the change of the seasons brings warm weather but also strong winds. I was determined to ride outside for my morning brick. Two hours was all I needed. The morning temperature was 50 degrees, but there was that stiff wind coming from the west. My neighbors flag was flying straight out. The ride still needed to be done and I didn't want to do it indoors.

I am a strong proponent of training in all weather and conditions. You never know what will happen on race day. Two years ago my wife and I started a long ride WHILE it was raining. Who starts riding when it's already raining, those that are preparing for their first Half IM. It turned out to be the best ride of the summer.

Back to today. I picked a route that would have me riding primarily south. To get to my southerly road I had to head west, directly into the teeth of the wind. I manage to spin through it knowing that on my return trip the wind will be at my back. Heading south I started to feel the wind from the side. I enjoy the wind. Today the wind is my training partner.

Heading into the wind I remember to keep the cadance high and not burn out my legs. The sudden, unexpected gusts of wind from the sides help improve my bike handling as I have to adjust my position as the wind tries to push me into the middle of the road.

I road 34 miles today for my two hour ride. Then I did a 30 minute run to complete the brick. It was a good training session.

The rest of the weekend is all about Aimee. We have traveled to southern Ohio for the Athens Half Marathon. We love coming down to Athens and walk about the campus of OU. We also visited with my son Andrew. Sunday morning is the half marathon. I will see her start and then ride my road bike to the turn-around point to see her make the return trip. I should be able to make it back before she finishes. I'm excited to go out on the course and see her run.

For Aimee, tomorrow it's Game On.