Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Bad blogger! Sit.....Stay.....Write.

Just a little bit of guilt about not posting. I want to post. I have things I want to post about. Work, training, the holidays, books, travel.....there is always something to talk about. However, I have been so busy with work and now we are into the holidays that the ideas keep building up and never get published.

I need to be a good bloggie and put some stuff up here. I'll try to write more often.

Remember, I prefer quality over quantity......unless both equal a big fat zero.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Christmas Comes Early

I got two pieces of mail the other day. I was expecting both. The Fedex on the left is from Splish Custom. The envelope on the right is an important piece of mail from my employer.

If I had to choose, the work envelope was more important. But the package from Splish was exciting. Actually they were both exciting. I thought about which one to open first.

I opened the Splish package first. It had my custom designed swimsuit inside. Amanda Lovato had posted a discount code on custom suits that I took advantage of.

I'm no Michael Lovato but I had to model the suit I designed.

I can't wait to swim in this suit. It's actually very comfortable and fits similar to the Nike suits I'm wearing now.
Because of this new suit....Amanda Rocks!
Game On.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Playing tag

I was tagged by JK2 while I was on vacation....hence, Jenni, the slow response to post 5 random things about me.

1) I played soccer in high school. After watching my son run cross country I wish I had run on the XC team as well.

2) I worked retail at TJ Maxx while in college. It motivated me to get my degree. Never again would I work retail.

3) I learned to whistle in the middle of church when I was 6 or 7. My family likes to talk about that brief interruption of the service.

4) There is still so much to learn about life, people and the world, at the age of 40 I still feel like a kid.

5) It was hard coming up with these random facts. Probably because I had posted 40 things about me on my birthday.

I'm tagging:


Game On.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Inspiration, motivation, dedication - call it what you want

In case you are in need of additional inspiration for training or racing or making it through the day.

Check out this story about Claire Markwardt.

Her Game was On.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Grand Rapids Marathon - Race Report

Grand Rapids Marathon Race Report
October 28, 2007

Unknown. Uncharted. Unbelievable. Three words that I can think of that best describe the Grand Rapids Marathon or GRM. Unknown, the feeling in the pit of my stomach prior to the race and the feelings that I would encounter during. Uncharted, the territory that I would venture into for my first marathon attempt, physically and mentally. Unbelievable, the results.

As a preface to the race report I had been training for the Wineglass Marathon since the end of June. I completed my best ever half iron distance triathlon and was recovered and running strong. My mileage was up and speed was increasing. Long runs were increasing each weekend appropriately. In the middle of August I had a long run which included a 10k; run to the race, participate, run home. Heading into the weekend my right quad was bothersome. I ran easy that day in hopes of the muscles warming up and getting loose. At the end of the day I may have done more damage than good. I had to shut things down. In review I had increased my weekly mileage too quickly and the intensity may have added to the problem.

I was reduced to swimming, cycling, and elliptical workouts. I had to get my head around the injury and see if I could heal in time for Wineglass. It was recommended that I get some acupuncture so I went under the needle almost immediately. After several weeks it was clear that Wineglass was out of the picture. Once I verbally made the choice to pass I was free to concentrate on the injury and my recovery. The recovery was progressing nicely with the help of acupuncture. By mid-September I was starting to run again. Slowly at first, but still running. I had felt like a part of me was missing when I couldn’t run. I couldn’t walk out the door and do 5 miles. I had to retreat to the YMCA and “run” on an elliptical machine. So when I started running again I was cautious. I started with 3 miles and worked my way up to 12 miles for a long run. I signed up for GRM feeling that my leg would be heeled by then and I would still have some fitness to carry me through 26.2 miles. Aimee and I kept things quiet and planned on showing up under the radar. We knew some people who would be up there and didn’t want to raise a big fuss about it. This was my first marathon and Aimee’s second in a month. Aimee decided to give GRM a try since her Wineglass Marathon didn’t turn out as expected.

This is my running mileage leading up to the marathon. The first grouping is after the Half IM, empty space is the beginning of my injury, then the mileage leading up the the marathon with the big spike being the marathon.

Fast forward to race day. October 28. Grand Rapids, Michigan. Aimee and I drove up on Saturday for the packet pickup/expo. I had made contact with a Grand Rapids blogger and was hoping to meet Vickie at the expo. We got our numbers and were able to talk with Vickie for a while about the race, surrounding area, how to get to our hotel and other miscellaneous things.

We checked into our hotel and had a nice pasta dinner at Fred’s Pizza. Next time I’m in GR I will get some of their pizza, it looked so good. Back at the hotel we watched some TV and readied ourselves for the next day.

When we woke up Sunday morning the temperature outside was 27 degrees. The clear night brought the temperature down and left a layer of frost on the cars. The cold temperatures would be a benefit for the days run. Not to hot and we could layer-up and peal off items we didn’t need, like the tube socks with the toes cut off and the throw away gloves. We ate our pre-race meal and packed the car for the drive to the start area.

Leading up to the marathon my best runs had been after riding my bike, sometimes for 3 or 4 hours. The cycling would help warm up my muscles without any pounding on the pavement. Besides, being a triathlete this is what my muscles expect. In the parking lot I setup my bike on my trainer and warmed up for 30 minutes. I did some easy pedaling, some high cadence spinning and some big gear mashes so all of the major muscle groups would be warmed up. I did get the occasional weird look and finger point while I warmed up but it didn’t matter since I knew it would help me out.

About 20 minutes prior to the start, Aimee and I said our goodbyes and she left for the start line. I put the bike away and put on my race gear. Sunglasses, headband for warm ears, tube socks on the arms, gloves, Ohio University Under Armour shirt, and my Cleveland Tri Club tri shorts. Everyone must have been jealous or knew I was serious about this marathon because I got several looks and finger points. Oh well, what did I care….I really didn’t know anyone there.

Near the bag check area rootsrunner called me out and we chatted for a while. If I had kept up with my blog reading I would have known he would be there. So we chatted for a little bit before the race. He was running his second marathon in three weeks, Steamtown in Pennsylvania. He was hoping to finish around 3:08 or something insane like that. Hey….he’s an awesome runner and person.

I made one last pit stop and headed to the start line. There were 3000 people on a two lane road waiting to start. I milled around and decided that hey…..it’s chip timed……I’ll start when I want to. I was one of the last people to cross the starting line and so began my marathon.

Race plan summary:
Miles 1-4 Take it easy and warmup. Hold back.
Miles 5 – 12 Increase pace but still feel like you are holding back
Miles 13 – 20 Get into higher effort but not full blown
Miles 21 – finish Leave it on the course

The first 4 miles it was easy to hold back and go easy. I was working my way up through the field. The course is on bike paths 75% of the time and road the remaining 25%. The bike paths tended to be full and it was hard to pass people, but that did help with me keeping the effort under control. I remember passing Aimee with the 3:56 pace group between miles 4 & 5. I caught two more friends before mile 7 when I took a PowerGel prior to the aid station. I then caught Dale (doing the half marathon) by mile 8. I was still under control heading out to the half-way point. Oh, the aid stations were awesome. I saw a gazelle, Thing One, Snow White, real doctors, nurses and EMTs and eager kids handing out water, Gatorade, gels, pretzels, Oreo cookies, gummy bears, etc. They were great.

I had my Ohio University shirt on but it only says Ohio. I got a lot of encouragement from people yelling “Go Ohio”. Near the halfway point, someone returning yelled “O-H”, so I responded “I-O” even though it’s not an OSU shirt. Aimee also had her Ohio shirt on and said she received some of the same encouragement. Knowing there was an aid station at 13.1, I took another PowerGel at mile 12 so I would be ready for water at the aid station.

I hit the halfway point at 1:44:??. This was the only timing clock I saw on the race course. I liked where I was time wise because I know it was gun time and I started well after the start gun. I wasn’t wearing my heart rate monitor so this was my first indication of my status. I was feeling good so maybe I would be able to negative split the run and go sub 3:30. I tried not to let the numbers get into my head.

On the way back out on the course I saw Aimee for the first time. She was still with the 3:56 group and looked strong. Before the race I told her that we didn’t need to talk or yell words of encouragement. We were there for business and would preserve our energy for the task at hand. As we passed we would simply point at each other and keep going.

Since the majority of the race course was on the bike path we were well covered with trees. It wasn’t until the mile 15 that I took the tube socks off my arms. I dropped them at an aid station before getting some water.

At mile 16 we headed out towards an industrial park that served as the second out and back section. Miles 17 and 18 were back there. I remember that it was here that I started to feel the effects of the race. Mile marker 18 was my wall. I had to fight through and tear down the wall. I used the people around me to pull me through. I tried to stay with some people passing me but I didn’t have the energy to stick. I took off my headband at an aid station and let it fall to the ground. I could tell I was sweating underneath so off it came. The crowds and volunteers were still cheering us on as I struggled with this section of the race. As I was heading out from the industrial park Aimee was heading in still hanging with the 3:56 group. We pointed again and kept going.

Back on the bike path I had to pee, second time. I finally found a tree that would work for me. It was off the path enough that I wouldn’t be offending anyone. The 3:29 pace group went by. I tried to latch onto them but again, nothing was there. It was becoming a marathon of survival. The lack of training and mileage in the legs was starting to take its toll.

At mile 20 I said to myself that I only needed to hang on for another 10k. I mean 10k should be nothing. I’ve done that before. That’s a training day. Keep moving forward and things will be okay. Just ignore the pain, fatigue, tightness, lack of energy, loss of focus, aching feet….you get the picture. JUST KEEP MOVING FORWARD!

And I did. Slowly, I think. I didn’t know my pace and that was probably a good thing. Keep moving forward, take some water. Keep moving forward, take some Gatorade. Keep moving forward, wave to the nice spectators cheering for you. Keep moving forward, turn your number around for the photographer. Keep moving forward, turn the corner. Keep moving forward, there’s the YMCA. Keep moving forward, there’s the finish line.

When I finally reached the final straight I spotted Dale and Patty on the side of the road. It was finally time to reveal myself to the race and my friends. I slowly drifted over the side of the road. About twenty yards out Dale recognized me and I gave them both high fives. Someone was there to watch me finish. I continued on towards the finish line and was so relieved I could stop running after 3:33:10.

The race director was standing at the finish line to congratulate each and every person who finished. I shook his hand and thanked him for a great race.

I was given my shiny medal and blanket then headed towards the fluids and food.

I ran into Vicki again, she ran the half marathon. It is great to have someone to talk to after finishing a race. We chatted about our finishes and put another notch into our racing belts. I also ran into rootsrunner again. You may know already but he ran 3:04. We were both happy with our finishes. rootsrunner looks too happy while running.

I had grabbed my stuff from the gear check and got dressed to stay warm. I went back to the finish area to wait for Aimee. One of the great things about this race was that I could be right there to watch her finish and give her a big hug. Two more friends, Mary and Gina, finished before Aimee. I surprised them being at the finish line, much less being at the marathon. I gave them both huge hugs to celebrate the finishes.

We didn’t have to wait long until Aimee came across the finish line. I was pumped to be there for her PR 4:04. We chatted more with our Cleveland friends before we had to part ways. We showered at the Y and finally started our drive back home. Aimee was/is an angel and drove home the entire way so I could move around and keep stretching my legs. I knew the stiffness would settle in by day two.

In summary, several important lessons were reinforced during this race. ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE. I learned it more from this marathon than Ironman USA. At IM USA I was totally prepared and ready for the day. I was severely under trained for the marathon, yet I was still able to complete the 26.2 miles.

Don’t wear anything new on race day. This rookie mistake was costly and I still can’t believe I did it. Remember those Cleveland Tri Club shorts I decided to wear. Yeah, those shorts. The ones I have never raced in. The ones I have never run in. Bad choice. Very bad choice. The under regions were raw. The chafing began around mile 11 and didn’t improve no matter how I tried to re-arrange the shorts. I even had chaff lines from the padding up on my butt cheeks. Without being to descriptive, it was the worst chaffing ever. EVER.

Having a great support system around you during injury recovery is important. Aimee was rock solid the entire time. She listened to me complain about being injured and assured me things would be okay. Angela kept feeding me workouts that didn’t involve running. Scott provided the friendship and support that athletes desire late in the season. Tod provided the needles and mental training to help the muscles recovery and be ready to run. And it doesn’t stop there.

On the back of my race number I printed the following.

Aimee, Tina and Beth were there at the start of my marathon and they were there when I finished. I re-read my post about Beth and her letter to Running Times. Boston was always in the back of my mind. I may not have reached that goal but the changes during the challenge were significant.

I know I didn’t have any technical or numerical details, but does it matter? It’s all about the finish. And that 3:33:10 is a mighty fine number if you ask me. Another marathon is in my future. And I will be healthier and smarter next time......yeah......next time will be different.

Game On.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I am my father

Has it been that long? This is my first post in November?!?!?! And I still need to finish my GRM (Grand Rapids Marathon) race report?!?!?!? OH BOY.

I've been traveling alot lately. In fact I've been working in one way or another everyday since the beginning of the month.

My latest trip is 8 days in Georgia and Virginia. I packed conservatively so that my bag wasn't over stuffed. The hotel in VA said guest laundry available. Cool. I could short myself some items, do some laundry at the hotel and finish out the week.


There is nothing on-site. Send it out and get it cleaned. I wanted to do laundry, not send stuff to the cleaners.

So with two days left I grabbed a couple of items, mainly unmentionables.....okay socks and undies, and washed them......in my room......in the sink.

I had become my father.

During my father's career at NASA he traveled alot. My senior year in high school I drove his car more than he did, maybe an exageration, but he was gone alot.

On more than one occasion he washed items in the bathroom sink at the hotel. I'm not sure of the reasons for doing this but hey.....he did it none the less. We would always get a good chuckle from that.

So as I am driving around looking for the self service laundry down the street and realize it is closed, I can't help but laugh out loud and realize that I am my father.

I never knew how or when it would happen, but regardless it's happened.

And I'm smiling on the inside and out, because of all the people in the world to "turn into".....well let's just say it couldn't get any better than this.

Dad, I love you and thanks for everything.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Grand Rapids Marathon - Flash Race Report

I've been trying to get a race report written today but have been torn in several directions with "stuff". So I'll give you flash report with more good stuff to follow.

Finish 3:33:10

Details to follow....and I do mean details.....you know I love details with my race reports.

Thanks everyone for checking in, wishing me good luck and sending congrats if you found the results from the website.

Aimee went 4:04:15, which was a PR by 1 minute. She had a great day and I'm so proud of her double marathon effort in 30 days.

More to follow. Game was on.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Coming clean and race ready

It's time to come clean. I posted that Aimee is running the Grand Rapids Marathon (GRM) this weekend. That my marathon season is a bust, again. When we decided to run the GRM we made a conscious effort to stay under the radar. Drive in, run, drive out. If we have a good day.....great. If we have a bad day, mums the word.

Well I was handed a big plate of guilt when Aimee accused me of throwing her under the bus regarding GRM. "Sure, throw me out there and you keep on flying under the radar." That's what she said more or less.

So I have to come clean. I'm running......26.2 miles....this Sunday......and I'm so flippin' excited about it. I don't know how clean I've come because I may have lost my audience during my blog break but it still feels good to let it out.

My recovery has been great thanks to the help of Aimee, Angela and my acupuncturist. The three have helped my mental, training and physical recovery.

And this marathon is going to be fun. The race director keeps a blog and has a great sense of humor about the days leading up to the race. Check out the race website and click over to the blog.

I'm also excited about some possible blogger meet-ups. Vicki at Living and Tri-ing in River City and Great Lakes Running Gal.....L*I*S*A.

I don't know what will happen on Sunday. I'm trying to go in relaxed, confident and open. I've decided to NOT wear a watch or my heart rate monitor. I may still have some goals but fun and finishing is most important.

I leave you with this video. I picked it to be my Marathon anthem in July. Enjoy

GAME ON!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Music....spanning the years

If you have ever looked at my profile you will see that under music I have listed three distinct styles and "anything else". And I do listen to many types of music. In my collection I have Herbie Hancock, The Who, Charo, big band, chanting monks, Pink Floyd and many others. But my favorites are those with an upbeat tempo and cool electronics, hence the electronica, techno and dance.

I have my brother to thank for finding some of these artists. I remember finding his albums of Pink Floyd and listening to the tracks in stereo with headphones. I can recite the instruments from Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells. Most of all I remember when he introduced me to the B-52's.

We are seven years apart and I was still in junior high while he was in college. During one visit to Miami University he played Rock Lobster because it was the best song. That was 1978. Know what? He was right. I was hooked on the B-52's as well. They are scheduled to release their first album in 16 years on February 26th, 2008, the day before my birthday. I'm a little excited about that.

Fast forward to 2007. My daughter and I have similar yet different tastes in music. However, we can agree on some things. The Ramones are the greatest punk band ever. Pink Floyd has a great sound. Some of the new wave songs from the 1980's are just a popular today as then.

I recently introduced Amanda to one of my favorite groups and a single from their new album. The Chemical Brothers' "We are the Night" has two great songs. The first, "Do It Again" is my anthem for Ironman Wisconsin....along with some other songs.

But for Amanda and I it's all about "The Salmon Dance"

Dance On.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Marathon Season - well almost

I know it's been a long time since I last posted. I'm still letting my leg recover and get better. A little frustrating since we are in the middle of marathon season. Aimee did her Wineglass Marathon September 30th. It wasn't the marathon she was hoping for. She was on track at 13.1 for a going sub-four hours and if she kept pace would have been close to a Boston time.

Unfortunately the wheels started to wobble a little, never fully came off, and the pace slowed. I mentioned it to her and she had already thought about it as well, back off the rest of the marathon, recover, taper and run another marathon. So Aimee's going for it again one month after Wineglass. I'll write details later.

So like I said we are in the middle of the marathon season. We tracked three friends at Chicago. Another friend is going Marine Corp this weekend. TriAl did Columbus Marathon. Akron Marathon, Towpath Marathon, Detroit Marathon.......so many races.

But I'm on injured reserves watching from my laptop. I'm excited as friends hit the pavement, hopefully not with their face, and go for goals. Whether those goals are time or finishing, they are wonderful goals to have.

I can't help but wonder what could have been. Next year I'm back to Ironman training. IM MOO on September 7, 2008. I'm excited about it. That marathon may have to wait until after IM. Maybe that elusive marathon won't ever happen. I'm fine with that. Maybe some day.

For those that are getting ready to run 26.2 this Game On is for you.

Toe the line with confidence in your training and preparation. Stick to your game plan and have a wonderful day.

Game On

Sunday, October 07, 2007


Amazing what you can learn, or think about, during a 3 hour bike ride.....with friends.

I had an opportunity to ride with Scott again. He should be entering taper for IM FLA soon.

Anyways, we rode yesterday. Chris joined us as well. I managed to map out a ride that would provide some variety from what Scott was used to.

So we have three strong cyclists clipping along at 20MPH average. On the return trip we were hitting speeds of 24MPH. We are flying. Tucked in on the aero bars wheel to wheel. I felt like a team time trial.

Then it dawned on me. I trusted these guys. 24MPH, six inches apart, hands nowhere near the brakes levers. I didn't even think about what we were doing. I wasn't worried, nervous or concerned.

We trusted each other. We trusted the lead person would get us around bad sections of road. We trusted that no one would get left behind. We trusted that the person up front wouldn't be slamming on his brakes for no reason.

I guess it's just unspoken. If the trust wasn't there you would be riding alone.

Regardless if you are the squad leader or a wingman, earning that trust is important and binds friends together.

I'm lucky to have found that type of trust. I think about where else I may experience that level of trust. In business it's very hard to find and earn that deep trust. I'm fortunate to work closely with some co-workers that I do trust...after 9 years I would hope so.

I wish more people would be able to find the trust I have found. It's precious and should be cherished.

Game On.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

When Good becomes Great

Two weks ago I touched base with my Coach's husband Scott. Asked him about his weekend ride and if he wanted some company. He's training for IM FLA and is ready to rock the course. I knew it was going to be a good ride. I hadn't ridden my tri bike for several months.

He had four hours on schedule. He's been riding alone. It gave me a good excuse to finally get my bike put back together.

I knew we were going to have a good ride. Jeff was going to join us for part of the ride. He was still recovering and taking it easy after IM USA where he laid it on the line.
Here's Jeff:

...and his big guns:

The weather was great for a fall day. The roads in the Cleveland Metroparks were fiarly empty of cars. We talked about many things, most of which I have forgotten. But I definitely remember laughing. Joking around about crank lengths and looking like Darth Vader.

I even managed to show Scott some new roads with great views of Lake Erie. At the end of our ride we not only had four hours and 80 miles to show for it, but a good ride had become a great ride.

Scott is so strong he pulled my butt all the way back home for the last 20 miles.
I'm riding with him again this Saturday and can't wait to go along for the ride.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Sometimes you just gotta say.....

"What the Fudge!"

I was training for a fall marathon, became injured, and bailed....what the fudge.

Sometimes other committments take precedent over a good workout....what the fudge

Monday was a "What the Fudge" day. There were so many reasons for me to have a good workout at the Y. My right leg is bothering me and I really can't run. Elliptical running and cycling are the main workouts to keep my aerobic fitness up to par. My workout called for 40 minutes elliptical, 45 minutes spinning, 30 minutes elliptical or pool running. Just under two hours for a workout that would be done inside watching the local news and listening to my MP3 player. Bags were all packed. I headed to the car and as I placed the bag into the car and turned around I stopped in my tracks to look at the beautiful blue sky. The warmth of the sun touching my skin. The neighbor's flag barely making a move. Seventy-five degrees and not a cloud in the sky. What was I about to do?

I just couldn't subject myself to being inside on this gorgeous day. But my tri bike was dismantled. New bars, derailleur, and cables still waiting to be installed. My road bike was in the basement having been put on the trainer for several rides. I'd have to change the rear tire again. Or I could use the Shimano wheels from the tri bike..or..I could use the FP60s that have been hanging from the hooks in the garage since the end of July. I could hear them calling me. Wanting to feel the open road. Wanting the cobwebs removed from their spokes.

I was off like a shot to don my Snakebite Racing team kit and bring my road bike up from the basement. I changed the wheels and had the tires pumped up in no time. I called the wife so she knew about the last minute changes, put the dogs in their cages and set out for a two hour bike ride.

It was so wonderful to be out like this. Leaving the neighborhood behind I was excited to make my way out to the countryside for some good riding. I had forgotten how awesome the Flashpoint wheels are. Despite the harsh ride on the bumpy roads, I favor the wheels because they are so smooth. The hubs spin with no effort and once I get the bike up to speed it's easy to maintain the speed, even going up small inclines. I was in cycling heaven.

I took one of my favorite routes through the countryside and even made a detour to visit a friend and check out their new pool and hot tub. I would have loved to enjoy the hot tub but I still had 12 miles to ride back home. I made the right decision going for the ride. The mental freedom of the road, enjoying the scenery (even the road kill) and doing something you truly enjoy deserves a great big "what the fudge".

Game On.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Happy Birthday - OU Style

Aimee is an alumni of Ohio University. Andrew is a current student at OU. So what do you do when your birthday is on the weekend and there is someone on campus to visit?

You make quick plans for a one night trip to OU. I don't need to share too many details so I will simply post some key phrases.

Natty Light


Beer Pong

Slap the Bag

Keg Stand


Burritto Buggie


Saturday, September 15, 2007

Happy B-Day to....

Aimee has a birthday today. I won't say how old but she doesn't look it that's for sure. This marathon training has kept her young for sure.

We've been trying a website for fun. It asks you questions and gives you your "real" age and life expectancy.


Aimee tried it and this was her response........

My ‘real’ age is 23.7 and my life expectancy is 90.3. Forty isn’t just the new 30, it’s the new 23.7! So you all can kiss my 23.7 year old a$$ on Saturday!

Okay so now you know how old she is....but she is more like 23.7.

My results have me at 20.8 and living to be 94.2.....that's a lot of triathlons.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Recap of the last 10 ten days

The previous post was started on 10/4. I didn't want to miss posting the workout.

So where am I now? I've been going to an acupuncturist and that has been helping. While I am lying there on the table with needles in my legs and back I've been thinking about where I am athleticly an where I should be going. I finally had an epiphany about the Wineglass Marathon.

I wasn't progressing along as fast as I was hoping and I had to make the hard decision to back out of yet another marathon attempt. Aimee thought I had made that decision a week earlier but I finally came to grips with it on the 10/7.

As soon as I let the race go in my head I felt a great relief in my body. I made the right decision.

So I entered into the weekend with a good attitude and some good things to do. I was watching the Ironman Wisconsin race unfold from my living room and at my father-in-laws house. While having dinner at his place my mother-in-law told Aimee and I that the trip she wanted to take with us in July would be scheduled for October instead so we could avoid peak season. Immediately Aimee and I thought about my plans for Ironman Florida and her plans for the Nike Marathon in San Francisco.

Oh that would not be good for my training for IM FLA. Almost immediately I thought about my friends at Ironman Wisconsin and how I could do that race instead. Question was, could I get in. Work plans would be tricky to be on-line when registration would open.

I tool the chance and managed to be on the website right when registration opened up. So at 12:02PM EST I became a participant for Ironman Wisconsin, aka. IM MOO.

I know of a good crew from Cleveland going next year and my friend and teammate TriAl V2007 will be there as well. I needed something like that to fire me up for the 2008 season since my 2007 season will go out with a fizzle.

So there is a quick and dirty update. I'm still rehabbing the leg and waiting impatiently for it to come around. But for now I have IM Moo to look forward to. And a big vacation after Thanksgiving.

Game On.

On the Mend

I started this post 10 days ago. I'm finally getting back to finish it...........

I've been trying to take care of myself and heal my leg. I saw an orthopedic doctor and he doesn't think it's too serious. Probably an inflamation of the bone and tendons. On Friday he said one more week of cross training before hitting the pavement for a test run.

He gave me a water running workout to try. I've always hated water running but I never had a structured workout. So why not give it a try.

It's a ladder workout.

Warm up 5 minutes

Follow this ladder twice

15 second sprint / 15 second easy
30 second sprint / 30 second easy
45 second sprint / 45 second easy
60 second sprint / 60 second easy
90 second sprint / 90 second easy
90 second sprint / 90 second easy
60 second sprint / 60 second easy
45 second sprint / 45 second easy
30 second sprint / 30 second easy
15 second sprint / 15 second easy

This was harder than I thought. Oh yeah....don't use any flotation. No belt or anything.

The workout your arms get is intense. Doc said that I shouldn't be able to lift myself out of the pool. If I could I should do another ladder.

It actually makes pool running tolerable.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Inspiration(x2) over Injuries

I've been injured. That is partly why I have not been posting much/taking sabbatical. I had to get my mind wrapped around the injury and how it was going to affect my chances for my fall marathon, The Wineglass in Corning, NY. I'm waiting to see how things go with recovery before committing to the race. This is supposed to be a Boston qualifier for me. I had my sights set on not only the BQ time but a time better than that.

Training has been going so well I was starting to put extra pressure on myself for an awesome finish time. I'm not sure if my body was starting to reject the preconceived notion of pushing to a goal beyond BQ or what. My right leg just didn't want to do the work anymore. I had to refocus and move away from such lofty goals and remember to enjoy the process of training and running.

I may have been putting too much pressure on myself. I think it was an internal pressure. I'm pretty easy going so I'm surprised that I am even saying that. But I've managed to let go a little and it has helped. If I am able to run this marathon great. If I am not able to then that is okay also.

Aimee helped me with getting my mind straightened out. Isn't that what an Ironmate is supposed to be. She helped pull me back together and look at the marathon for what it is. She's the marathon veteran in our house. I'm officially a newbie to the distance. She has been my rock and reminds me that no matter what she is there for me. One of many reasons I love her.

I was also finding myself lacking/loosing motivation to train at all. I still had the ability to ride the bike and swim. I also forgot about being on the elliptical trainer. I almost let it all go and say to hell with the marathon completely. But then I reconsidered. This was a small setback. I've seen this before in my son and I've dealt with it during the spring of '06.

Inspiration came in the form of my son. The summer prior to his senior year of high school he was diagnosed with a stress fracture. He was looking forward to a good season of cross country that would propel him to an even better track season. When he learned of his injury he was depressed that his senior year would not be what he had envisioned.

He went through rehab and was able to start running again half way through the season. He joined the junior varsity team for a couple of meets and finally made the varsity team near the end of the season.

During the awards banquet, his coach made special mention of the hard work and determination Andrew showed during his period of rehabilitation. The coach was impressed with Andrew's recovery and ability to rejoin the varsity squad.

I have resolved myself to push my training on the bike, on the elliptical and in the pool so that I may be ready to run on September 30th with Aimee. If I am not ready I will continue to train so that I may be able to attempt another race in October or November. Only time will tell.

Game On.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Quotable quotes

You don't love a woman because she's beautiful,

She's beautiful because you love her.

'Nuf said

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


I think it happens to all of us at one point or another. You reach that point where things slow down, new projects or events pull you in different directions and all of a sudden your plate if overflowing.

I've reached that point. I need to cut loose some extra fluff and find some focus, find some direction, find something. Release some things and see where everything falls.

I guess I've been taking a break sub-consciously since my posting has been sporadic at best. I'll post when the mood strikes me. I think I'm going to turn off comments, but my e-mail will still be open.

I'm trying to find a balance like Frazz.

If this is hard to read go here.

I'm going to leave you with this post from Phoenix. Listen to what she says about heros.....smart girl.

See you on the flip side.

As always.......

Game On!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Whiteface Mountain and Me

For all of the chart and data geeks out there here is the details on my ride up Whiteface Mountain. You may also appreciate the equipment selection as well.

Clothing kit included arm warmers and wind vest tucked into the back pocket of my jersey. I need these on the ride down as the air was still cool and the speeds caused the sweat to chill the body.

GT ZR3000 road bike with Flashpoint 60 wheels, 11-23 cassette and 53/39 cranks.

I was in the 39/23 combination for the entire climb....no way around it. What do you expect when the average grade is 8.4% for 8 miles. I used Google Earth and the BIM Active data to figure out the average grades per mile. I changed the table to reflect the grades for the climb.

The data doesn't show it but I topped out at 4585 feet elevation after starting the official climb at 1040 feet. That's 3545 feet of pure non-stop climbing.

Route:--Elev. Avg:1984 ft
Location:Jay, NYElev. Gain:+9 ft
Time:06:19 AMDifficulty:4.6 / 5.0
63F temp; 83% humidity
63F heat index; winds Calm

Distance:32.92 miles
Speed:12.3 mph
Pace:4' 53 /mi
Elevation (ft.)
Speed (mph)
MileGRADE Speed (mph)Elevation
actualactual+/- avg
111.0-1.3+174 ft
213.0+0.7+142 ft
324.1+11.8-114 ft
412.4+0.1+206 ft
516.0+3.7-92 ft
64.011.2-1.2+210 ft
79.47.0-5.3+495 ft
89.05.5-6.8+475 ft
97.17.8-4.5+374 ft
109.56.7-5.6+501 ft
119.06.6-5.7+475 ft
129.46.4-5.9+495 ft
137.37.9-4.4+387 ft
145.5-6.8-298 ft
1511.5-0.8-436 ft
1625.3+13.0-521 ft
1724.0+11.7-518 ft
1827.8+15.5-410 ft
1936.0+23.7-446 ft
2036.8+24.4-508 ft
219.1-3.3-331 ft
2216.0+3.7+147 ft
2326.9+14.6-151 ft
2417.5+5.2+49 ft
2520.0+7.7-105 ft
2626.1+13.8-193 ft
2722.6+10.3-20 ft
2819.7+7.4-27 ft
2918.9+6.6+42 ft
3014.2+1.9-7 ft
3121.9+9.6-36 ft
3219.9+7.6+26 ft
end14.3+2.0+23 ft
Versus average of 12.3 mph

Posted from bimactive.com

Friday, August 03, 2007

Ironman USA Spectator Race Report - Friday/Saturday

Ever since I finished my first Ironman at Lake Placid, Aimee and I have been excited about returning. Returning to this magical place in order to enjoy the scenery, do things we didn’t get a chance to do last year and cheer our friends to the finish line. We were also fortunate enough to get our dream volunteer job as wetsuit peelers. We wanted to volunteer early so we could then be on the course to cheer for not only our friends but all of the athletes.

We drove up to Lake Placid on Friday with a misty rain obscuring our view of the mountains all the way from Watertown. The drive was uneventful but I enjoy the time we spend together confined to the car. We both had workouts to do in the morning and were hoping for good weather. I wanted to ride the road up Whiteface Mountain and Aimee had 10 miles to run. We grabbed dinner at Caffe Rustica since we had to drive through town on our way to Jay.

We would be staying at the Book and Blanket Bed & Breakfast for the weekend. Only $75/night and not to far from Lake Placid, the lodging was very nice. Aimee’s mom stayed there last year and really liked it. The other guests at the B&B consisted of an athlete and her parents. Deborah Powell was competing in her second IM having completed IM Canada the prior year. Deb was on a 40 person team called Race 4 Kids. They each raised money to Pediatric Oncology Group of Ontario. We chatted briefly before heading to bed.

I needed to get up early for my ride up Whiteface Mountain as this would be an “illegal” ride. The Veterans Memorial highway that goes up the mountain has a toll booth that controls the final four miles to the top. The booth doesn’t open until 8:00AM so I needed to be there before that. I left Jay around 6:15 to make the 6 mile ride to the starting area and climb to the toll booth. I had plenty of time since it didn’t take me long to get there. As I started the 8 mile climb another rider headed up the road as well. I noticed it was a female as I approached her from behind and said hi. Nancy and I chatted for a while and she had started before her husband Rick of Zone3Sports. I had to stop and fix my rear derailleur since it was not shifting into my largest cassette, something that I would need for such a steep and long climb.

I had put the FlashPoint 60s on my road bike and the 11-23 cassette wasn’t properly lined up so I couldn’t get into the 23. A quick turn of the low limit screw and I was all set. I would be in the 23 the entire ride. I continued on with my ride behind Nancy and Rick not sure if and when I would catch either of them. I rode the first 4 miles in 23 minutes. No guard at the booth so I slipped under the gate and kept going.

The more I climbed the more beautiful the scenery was. Another rider passed me going up and two riders zipped by me going down. So I wasn’t the only person riding the mountain that morning. I alternated between standing and sitting during the climb. I was happy how my legs felt when standing, it was almost like running and my legs felt strong. My best estimate was that I was averaging 7 MPH. After the final hairpin turn and 1 mile from the top I joined Nancy for the rest of the ride up. Rick came down to join us and re-ride the final mile, Nancy says he likes climbing on the bike.

Once we made the top Rick and Nancy descended while I took some pictures of the area. Lake Placid was covered with low clouds. I was above the clouds.

Very cool. I put my wind vest on and pulled up my arm warmers because the temperatures in the shade were still cool and the descent would be fast. After I stopped one more time for pictures it was a straight shot down the mountain. However the road was not in the best of conditions so I didn’t open it up like on the Keene descent. I held things back between 25 – 30 MPH as I maneuvered bumpy patches of road while looking out for potholes and possible animal crossings. My computer had a max speed of 45 MPH when I was done. At the bottom I caught up with Rick and Nancy and chatted about some of Rick’s athletes that were competing.

I made my way back to Jay to grab some breakfast. Before I had much of a chance to put my bike away Aimee said she lost an ear ring during her run. I grabbed a scone from the breakfast table and started to ride my bike out on the road she ran on. I turned around because I was riding too fast on the bike to see anything. I put on my running shoes and ran the 3.5 miles to Upper Jay to see if I could spot it. I felt good the entire 7 miles but came up empty handed. Bonus was the impromptu brick workout totaling 3.5 hours.

We finally ate breakfast, showered and headed into Lake Placid to meet the swim captain. On the way into town we stopped at Mt. Van Hoevenberg for a ride on the 1980 Olympic bobsled run. We did the 1 mile portion of the track in 42 seconds. It is quite a rush zooming down the concrete run banking on the turns a full 90 degrees.

We continued our way to town so we could meet the swim captain. Brandon is a veteran IM volunteer. He had some great advice for peeling off wetsuits. I stopped by the ART tent to say hi to Barry Horpestad. He fine tuned me before IM USA ’06. I sent him a picture via e-mail and he was apologetic about not responding. I was just happy he got the message and it was great to see him again.

We walked around the athlete village and Aimee bought a cycling skirt.


I was getting turned off by all the people around and didn’t need to buy anything. When Aimee was done we got a bite to eat from the hotdog vendor and people watched along Main Street. People were dropping off their bikes in transition or returning from making purchases. We made our way to the shopping area of town and popped in and out of different stores making random purchases.

During the entire time in town we only saw one person from the Cleveland area. Mark had to pick up his wetsuit after getting a quick repair and he was heading back to the hotel. It was good to know that everyone was staying out of town and resting for their big day.

Aimee and I finally left town and headed for dinner. We made a quick stop at the store to buy some water and ice. In the parking lot we found this truck decorated. Those crazy Canadians.

We needed to make a return trip to Tail ‘o the Pup for a lobster clam bake. Sitting outside we enjoyed the music and fresh air. The food was great we finished dinner with a milk shake.

During dinner a woman walking by and wished me good luck for the race, she must have seen my Ironman hat I was wearing. Instead of trying to explain that I wasn’t racing I simply said “Thank-you” on behalf of all the athletes who would be competing. Right before we left two women walked in that looked very familiar. I was pretty sure I knew who they were and had to make sure. I walked up and ask if her name was Jen…….sure was. Jen and Bethany were vital in my success and overall IM experience in ’06. I had pictures that I wanted to send but didn’t have her e-mail address. They were hoping to see me this weekend and ask about the pictures. I got Jen’s e-mail address and have been corresponding ever since…..she has her pictures now…..a year later. It was still fantastic to see her and Bethany.

Aimee and I finally made out back to the B&B. We still needed to make signs for our friends and hang the Cleveland Tri Club banner along the bike route.

Aimee went to bed while I chatted with Deb about some details regarding the bike course. She hadn’t seen the exit from transition to the main road out of town and I warned her about the steep downhill section and to take it easy. I made it to bed since we would need to get up around 4:00AM.

Friday and Saturday were busy days and we weren’t even to race day yet. However, we were very excited about the race and watching our friends on the course.