Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Two for Tuesday - Paper or Plastic....bags

Paper or Plastic....what the heck as I talking about? Basically two types of bags....treat bags and Ironman bags.

In honor of Halloween I wanted to show everyone what will be handed out at our house. Each little treat bag, primarily for the neighbor kids, will have one of each in the picture.

Now for the meat of my post. Some people have asked about all of the baggage used during an Ironman. In honor of those racing in Florida this Saturday, here is my write-up on Ironman Baggage. Hope this clears things up for those asking.

Ironman Baggage

Dry Clothes Bag
This bag is used to store your clothes before the swim. In case you do not have anyone to take your stuff for you, this bag will be placed on the racks with the rest of the transition bags.

Where the Bags Are
The transition bags at Lake Placid were hanging on a rack like this one. At Wisconsin they were placed on the floor in a meeting room. Either way everything is numerical and should be easy to find.

Swim to Bike Bag

Grab this bag as you make your way into the changing tent. All of your bike stuff should be in here.

This includes but is not limited to:
Bike shoes
Socks – if you wear them
Towel – for a quick drying
Race number on belt – You MUST wear your race number on the bike
Baby Powder – in case you want to powder your feet before socks
Extra nutrition – to stuff in you bike jersey pocket

The following if the temperatures will be cool:
Arm warmers
Leg Warmers

When you are done with your bag either you or a volunteer will stuff your swim gear back into the bag and place it in a pile to be sorted and placed back on the transition racks. I was ahead of the masses so the volunteer took my bag for me.

Bike Special Needs Bag
This bag will be waiting for you at the halfway point of the bike course. With some of the two loop courses out there you will hit the special needs area close to transition. Originally the special needs bag was for athletes with special needs. Perhaps a spare set of glasses, medication, asthma medicine, a syringe…..anything that you couldn’t do without. Now you can pack whatever you want in it, including the following:

Extra (replacement) water bottles – these bottles should have your bike fuel, like perpetuem or carbopro.
Extra (replacement) gel and food – you should be eating a lot on the bike.
Spare Tubes/Tires/CO2 cartridges – if you have flatted twice so far you will need the extra gear.

As you approach the special needs area a volunteer will call out your number and someone will retrieve your bag and bring it to the side of the road. They wait until you are done with the bag and then place it back in line. What service.

Bike to Run Bag
Grab this bag as you make your way into the changing tent. All of your run stuff should be in here.

This includes but is not limited to:
Running shoes
Socks – maybe you want to change into different or dry socks
Sunglasses – sometimes changes glasses is good if they are water stained from dumping water on yourself
Fuel Belt – Loaded with whatever nutrition you need
Baby Powder
Body Glide
Extra nutrition

The following if the temperatures will be cool:
Long sleeve shirt

Run Special Needs Bag
This bag will be waiting for you at the halfway point of the run course. Now you can pack whatever you want in it, including the following:

Long sleeve shirt – if you are out there after dark it may get cold
Dry socks – in case it’s raining dry socks will feel great
Extra (replacement) water bottles
Extra (replacement) gel and food

As you approach the special needs area a volunteer will call out your number and someone will retrieve your bag and bring it to the side of the road.

that's about it for the Ironman Baggage. If you have any questions about the bags let me know.

Now for all those getting ready for IM Florida.....GAME ON!

Friday, October 27, 2006

I've been traveling most of the week. My last stop was Indianapolis and I would finally be able to "do" something. I've been taking it easy as of late. Between work and the weather I haven't been on the bike or swam. An occasional run is all I've been fitting in. Rain moved into the area but I didn't want to run on a treadmill. By the time I left my customer the rain had stopped. It was still cold and windy but atually perfect running weather. There is a fitness club near my hotel and as I headed out on my run I was reminded of this Frazz cartoon. On my way back after a 50 minute run that's exactly what I did. I ran right by the glass windows where all of the treadmills were lined up. What a shame for all of those people to waste a great day.

Game On.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Two for Tuesday - Old School

I was in high school during the 80's.....class of '85 to be exact. I liked listening to rap and would even write down the lyrics. Jam On It was one of my favorite songs. I guess you could say I was a little freaky at night. But I had friends I could depend on.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Bold Butts are Beautiful

I have to say I have never seen So I Married An Axe Murderer or The Burbs, but Bolder in Boulder had to post a movie showdown. I didn't vote and I'm not going to watch either movie...so Bold says a gratuitous butt shot is in order. In honor of Halloween I offer my tender tush for the masses.

And for the guys........ This is all I could find on the internet.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

From Ironman to Gardenman

Aimee and I waited until after her marathon in Baltimore before doing the landscaping in our front yard. Three years ago we did our back yard. It was a major change for our house. Aimee's cousin Christi does landscaping on the side, very good at it, and she planned our new garden in the back.

It used to look like this.......

Now it looks like this........and this....after three years.

The above landscaping was a full days work for a crew of 6.

So after three years, numerous olympic tri's, 2 Half IM and 1 IM for me AND 3 marathons, 1 Half IM and many miles of trials for Aimee (essentially ignoring the front yard) we new something had to be done. So we contacted Christi again and she designed a new front yard for us.

In one day we went from this........maybe not one day. We did alot of prep work over the course of two months the bushes and tree were taken out, stumps removed, soil turned (each on different days)

So today.....using this....... a big 10 yards of top soil and a big 7 yards of mulch........

and a full day with a crew of 6 we wound up with this........

I think I pushed a wheelbarrow the distance of a half marathon today. Each time I dumped a load the next load was ready to go. We had 6 wheelbarrows going. We had extra mulch so we covered the back garden as well. I think we are set for spring as well.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Get out and Ride

Last night I rode. This was the first physical activity since Baltimore. I've been pretty busy and haven't been able to do anything but this is my down time right now. Taking it easy and recharging my mental and physical batteries after an awesome racing season.

Now while Bolder had to deal with this, I only had to deal with the darkness. Fortunately for me I have accumulated the necessary equipment for riding at night. During my days of racing mountain bikes I participated in many night races and 5-6 24 Hour team races. So I put my light on the handlebars of my mountain bike and a blinkie red light hooked on the pocket of my jacket and headed out.

I stayed on the side streets where there would be street lights and less traffic. I left the HR monitor at home and just rode. I had a blast zipping through the streets in stealth mode. After an hour of riding I managed to clock 16.25 miles.

For now my Game is Off, but there are many people getting their game ready for IM Kona and IM Florida. Getting excited about tracking people during those races.

So for everyone else.......


Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Two for Tuesday - Videos

Something quick and simple. Check out these videos.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Baltimore Half Marathon

Here is a quick recap for the half marathon in Baltimore.

I totally underestimated this course and the hills that would be involved. However I managed to break my 1:30 barrier and left it all on the course.

bib number: 5576
age: 39
gender: M
location: Avon, OH
overall place: 51 out of 3869
division place: 5 out of 267
gender place: 42 out of 1686
time: 1:29:08
pace: 6:48

Details to follow.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Race Strategy

Miles 1 - 3 = Start running fast
Miles 4 - 7 = Start running faster
Miles 8 - 10 = Start running really fast
Miles 11 - 13.1 = Run Really Really Fast

Game On

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Random Thoughts Are Good

Seems like alot of people have been posting random thoughts and I'm not one to avoid the trend. Lots on my mind lately.

Baltimore Half Marathon/Marathon:
Aimee and I leave for Baltimore tomorrow morning. We will be driving and I am looking forward to it. Aimee mentioned that we should be able to see some good falls colors in the trees. I have already been driving on the turnpike this week back and forth to a customer in eastern Ohio. It wasn't until the second day that I actually looked around and noticed the colors in the trees. Very beautiful. I will make a point of it to watch the trees along the side of the highway tomorrow. It's one of those "don't let life pass you by, stop and smell the roses" moments. How often do we get into the rut of driving, walking, running, cycling, living, surviving that we forget to notice what is around us.

Fall turns to Winter....For A Day:
The first signs of snow have not only hit Bolder in Boulder but also Cleveland. It was not anything to accumulate but little snow showers. Cold temps were made to feel colder with the wind chill. When the weather guys start mentioning wind chills....it's not good.

The Dreaded Treadmill:
With the upcoming race in Baltimore I have been in taper and taking it easy. I just didn't have the motivation to run outside in the windy cold weather for a lousy 30 minutes. So succumbed to running on the treadmill at the Y. I haven't been on a t-mill since March so I hated getting on now, especially when I saw people running outside. Anyways I had a good 30 mninutes with some pick-ups to race pace. I walked a couple of laps around the gym watching the little guys, 5 years old, running around and having absolute fun. Ten minutes in the sauna before hitting the shower did the trick. At my locker a guy asked me if I worked for Ford because of my bag I got from IM USA. I explained it was from Ironman and he tells me he did Ironman in Hawaii 1996. How cool is that, you never know when you will meet an Ironman. Turns out he was also a professional baseball player, catcher for the Cubs in the late 70's, early 80's, I think. We had a good talk and it made me smile sharing Ironman tales.

A New Blogger Worth Checking Out:
Eric Hodska has started a blog to detail his build-up to the Ironman Championships in Kona. Coach Hodska was in Cleveland for the summer tri camp I did in early June. He coaches my coach Angela as well as several other Cleveland area triathletes. He is a great guy and has some awesome insight that he has already shared on his blog. He qualified for Kona at the Half IM in Lubbock, Texas....I forget the name of that race. Anyways, I will be watching Eric, what a cool name, during the race and know he will kick some major Kona butt on that course.


Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The numbers game

September 16th seems so long ago. Oh yeah, I guess it was four weeks ago that I was on campus at "The" Ohio State University undergoing a "stress" test to determine my max HR, VO2 max, LT threshold and body composition. I know I've been slow in getting the information out but I wanted to digest the data thoroughly before posting anything. Of course I am posting it right before racing in the Baltimore Half Marathon this Saturday. So here goes.

The tests. Body composition consisted of three tests to determine body fat. The skinfold test with calipers, dunking in the hydrostatic tank and a trip in the space age Bod Pod.

The skinfold test is the most popular test and I was pinched three times to get my averages on the chest, abdomen and thigh.

The hydrostatic tank required you to exhale all of the air in your lungs to get a good reading while submerging yourself under water.

The bod pod measured your air displacement, I think. I like the bod pod because it provided the best numbers.

Skinfold: 15.6%
Hydrostatic: 15.6%
Bod Pod: 10.9%

I think the variances on the skinfold and tank bring it down to the 10% range. Interesting.

The stress test was performed on a treadmill. Officially it was a maximal Graded Exercise Test. The treadmill was put at my marathon/half marathon pace, around 8 MPH starting at a .5% incline. Every two minutes the incline was raised 2% and blood was taken. I was hooked up to an EKG machine, wore a HRM strap and had this cool breathing mask on to measure oxygen intake and output. The video was taken by Aimee while I was on the treadmill. I lasted about 14 minutes and the grade was up to 10.5%.

Here are the raw numbers:
Max HR: 188
VO2 Max: 65.8 ml/kg/min
Lactate Threshold HR: 168
LT VO2: 59.2 ml/kg/min
The LT numbers are 90% of my max HR.

Now the professor conducting the research and Coach Kara have all sorts of formulas and training information that I will share in small doses. The formula she gave me below is to estimate your finishing time based upon your VO2 max.

VO2 mlkgmin = 0.2(speed)+3.5 mlkgmin

This formula helps you determine your race speed when divided by 26.8 meters/min = 1MPH. You also have to figure out at what percentage of your VO2 max you will be racing at. As a general guideline Kara was using the percentages below for different distances.

Marathon = 70 - 85% max VO2
Half-Marathon = 85-89% max VO2
5K = 90+% max VO2

Here is my calculation for my half marathon "potential".

Assuming 85% of my VO2 max = 55.93

55.93= 0.2(speed)+3.5
262.15 = speed in meters/min
262.15/26.8 = 9.8MPH
Distance / speed / 24 = time
13.1 / 9.8 / 24 = 1:20:21 at a 6:08 pace.

I have a spreadsheet that I have put together if you are interesting in seeing it. I think the numbers are acurate from a formula perspective. So leading up to my half marathon in Baltimore that number will be in the back of my mind. My coach and I have done some speed work leading up to this race. I have the base from ironman training but the speed is only halfway there. We will also see how well I rest during taper and what race day conditions will be like.

My plan is to wear my HR watch and take splits but not look at it during the race. Race how I feel. Coach has sent me a race plan that I will take under advisement. I guess we will see what happens. If you want to place your guestimates in the comment section or a sealed e-mail to be delivered on 10/14. My best time so far at the half has been 1:31 in crappy conditions. I'd like to go sub 1:30 and possibly be near 1:25. These numbers are a confidence boost to say the least.

The Baltimore Running Festival will have live tracking during the race and TV coverage during the Saturday morning Today Show. I'm mainly looking to have a good time and enjoy being with Aimee all weekend.

It will be time to get my Game On. Booyah.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Two for Tuesday - Bike Porn (A New Era Begins)

Who loves bike porn? Raise your hand. Okay, you can put your hand down now. You don't want your co-workers thinking you are any weirder than you really are.

Anyways, more pictures to enjoy.

After Aimee and I got married in '97, yeah I think that's right.....married '97, new job '98, new house '99.........yeah '97.....Aimee's dad bought us mountain bikes for our wedding present. We checked out a couple of different shops and test rode some bikes. We selected the ones pictured here (Aimee's bike below). Specialized Rockhopper FS. A great entry level bike for just getting started with mountain biking. We decided on bike because my co-workers were always talking about these 24 Hour relay mountain bike races they were doing. This was the early years of Granny Gear Productions and the 24 Hours of Canaan.

So I wanted to get in on the action and race with them at the 24 hour race in '98. So the new bike was my new racing machine. I trained with my friends and we raced. It was an awesome time and I knew I was hooked on the mountain biking scene. I've raced that bike on the local trails, 5 24 Hour races, adventure races, training rides, all sorts of places.

I pimped my ride (shown at left) a couple of years ago by upgrading all of my components....crank, shifters, brakes, derailleurs, wheels. It was a great way to learn how to take it apart and fine tune it. I haven't raced much on my mountain bike lately because I slowly switched to road racing and triathlon.

But that "first" bike is still an important part of my stable. It got me back into biking and competition after being out of it for too long.

Oh, those rocks in the driveway are for a gardening project in front of the house.

Game On.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Ridin' Dirty while White and Nerdy

I've hit the trifecta. Three versions of the same song all here for you to enjoy.

Ridin' Dirty

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Ridin' Dirty

This video-link was posted on the Cleveland Tri Club message board. I watched the video then went out to pick up my daughter from work. My son had left one of his CDs in the car so I started to listen to it and the song the video is based on started playing. All I could do was sit there and chuckle.

So is this guy rippin' on Floyd or supporting him and rippin' on the French?

Enjoy the video.

Here is the original song from Chamillionaire......

Friday, October 06, 2006

Family and Friends Friday - Diane

Today I decided to post to my blog instead of reading everybody elses.

Today's friend is Diane Mastnardo. She is not only my friend but my massage therapist. I found her through Coach Angela. Diane rubs me the right way and when needed puts the hurt on me as well. She has a wide range of people she works with from athletes to work rehab to general massage. It's not uncommon for me to be leaving and see another triathlete friend going in.

I look forward to my hour sessions with Di. My muscles really appreciate the attention. After a hard workout some hands on therapy to get the blood moving through my legs or arms helps with recovery and flexibility. My hamstrings are always a trouble spot and she knows where to place her fingers. Di knows when she has hit a good spot because I will stop talking and may even hold my breath. At that point she reminds me to breath and relax. It's not easy when the pressure of a single thumb on that sore spot shoots into your brain.

In addition to muscle therapy I find that our time is also like going to mental therapy. We can talk about anything and it allows me to open up, just like I do with Aimee. You never know where our conversations will go.....sports, my kids, her son, spouses, etc....I feel real good when I leave Diane's massage room. That's what friends do.....right? Make you feel good.

Game On

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Two for Tuesday - Bike Porn (The Early Years)

Everyone seems to like bike porn. So here are two pictures of early bikes I had as a kid.

Bike #1 - Schwinn (1975)
I believe this is a Schwinn Stingray, but I could be wrong. Love the raised handlebars and banana seat. I didn't go for one of those sissy bars. I rode this bike everywhere, especially with my friend Mike who delivered the afternoon paper, The Cleveland Press. Mike was awesome at wheelies and I could make a skid 30 feet long. Mike swears he saw flames one time I generated so much heat from the skid. Of course the skids meant replacing the rear tire alot. I got good at taking the tire off and fixing flats.

Bike #2 - Trash Heap (1977)
My dad and I pulled this bike out of the garbage pile of a neighbor. This was a five speed with emergency brake....on the top tube. Small wheel up front was so cool, big chainring to handle the 5 speed derailleur, funky handlebars that curved all over the place, and a banana seat of course. Nevermind the pantleg strap.

I just had to share.

Game On.

Monday, October 02, 2006

I'm still standing......

Just wanted to blast out a quick post so everyone knows I'm still around. I have things to post about but have trouble finding time to post because sometimes it just takes me too much time to compose a single post. If it's a detailed post it may take me an hour or more to get my thoughts out in a way that even I can understand.

I saw this quote on an e-mail signature line and I liked it.

To be free of destructive stress don't sweat the small stuff and realize that all stuff is small.

Author Unknown

I think we have all read something similar to this but the part that sticks out for me is the beginning.......to be free of DESTRUCTIVE stress. How true that we often find the stress in our lives to be destructive mentally, emotionally, physically.

Lighten up people......Get Your Game On.