Friday, March 28, 2008

Oh Snap

I've been called out AGAIN by that New Kid On the Block, Factory Rider.

He's unrelenting. He's merciless. Face it....he's bored while on spring break.

If I was concerned about proper modeling of the Bike Bit I could have called my good friend J.P. Prewitt.

It was J.P. who reminded me, "We think differently than the face and body boys... we're a different breed." Yes we are.

I'll cut him some slack. He's young and still learning the ways. His dad and step-mom are super cool so he has that goin' for him. He also has a good blog going.

So here's to you Factory Rider, Real Man of Genius.

Oh and what's up with wearing those Rudy Projects......indoors......on the trainer?????

SNAP. . . . . oh yes I did!

Game On.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Bike Bits

Little things can mean a lot. I was replacing the brake levers on Aimee's tri bike. She didn't like the ultra aero Vision Tech levers. I had a spare set but was missing this part. I went to Bike Authority to pick up some parts I ordered and showed Mike what I needed.

It's not that big. He knew exactly what I needed. He had one in the parts bin of the workshop.

This little piece of metal, not medal, saved me anywhere from $20 - $40. That is why you should support your local bike shop (LBS). You can't get that type of service from the internet. I would have had to order a complete set of levers.

That little part has solidified my support of Bike Authority. They not only sponsor my team, Snakebite Racing, but they also make sure my......

Game Is On

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Two for Tuesday - Double the Workouts, Double the Fun

Two-a-days. I sound like a high school football player during pre-season. However, with triathlon training, two-a-days are the norm. How else do you fit in quality workouts for three disciplines?

I've had two a days since the beginning of the year. Usually Tuesdays and Thursdays because I can swim in the morning and either run or bike in the evening. Today was a typical two-a-day.

I went to the pool in the morning to get my workout in.

600 warmup
10 x 50 drill/swim by 25
5 x 100 with fins concentrating on good form - 15 seconds rest
5 x 200 negative split with the second 100 at race pace - 15 seconds rest
600 pull breathing 3,5,7,3,5,7
100 cooldown

I made it to right before the 600 pulling when my friend Jason walked into the pool area to chat with me. He's just getting into triathlons this year and is working through a bad hammie. So we chatted for a bit, 20 minutes. I was too cooled down to continue my workout. He was excited to talk about his training and I couldn't cut him short. If I was in the middle of a main set I would have blown him off, and I know he would have understood. I don't like to be interrupted during my workouts. I have a limited amount of time to get in quality workouts and I'm focused on the task at hand. No worries Jason. It was good talking with you this morning.

The evening workout was run focused. Check this out......

Run 1:00 total
Warmup 15 min - easy
10 x 20 sec - 6% Grade- or decent hill/ Hill Bounding with 40 sec recovery- think power
15 min steady
10 x 20 sec - Hill bounding- 40 sec recovery
10 min easy jog- Zone 2

Bounding? Then Coach Angela added these comments:
"easier to do on treadmill - take the rest..walk around..leave treadmill running"

I called her about this workout before. I prefer to do my hill workout.....on....well.....hills. Walk around leaving the treadmill running?????? She said yes you may get weird looks from people but if you do the workout indoors it's the best way to get it done. That part I hate is controlling the incline and speed to simulate the bounding that will reap the benefits of the workout.

I was forced inside this time due to the weather. Windy and rain was starting to come down.

So I went back to the Y for this workout on the treadmill. I warmed up and hit the first set of "bounds". I started at 6% but it just didn't seem step enough. I increased the incline and settled at 10% for the last 5 bounds.

For the second set of bounds I started at 10%. For the final 5 bounds I increased the incline 1% each 20 seconds. I finished the last bound at 15% incline.

Overall doing this workout on the treadmill was better than I thought. I didn't look around to see who was watching me walk around while the treadmill was running. No eye contact, I don't know people think I'm nuts.

When I got home I mapped the hill that I usually do my hill repeats on and it is a 10% grade. I knew 6% wasn't enough. I'm glad I upped the incline on the treadmill. The theory behind hill bounding is that the legs aren't abused as badly as regular hill repeats, especially the downhill portion. Not sure about that but I'm willing to give it a try.

So two good quality workouts for Tuesday. These types of days help me get my....

Game On.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

New Male Model in Town

I got called out on The Factory Riders blog. Looks like I have some young competition showing off his wares. Somehow I feel like Zoolander.....

It's so Game On

Friday, March 21, 2008

F'in Cancer

Some of you may have seen this already but I just came across it.

That lump I had in my throat because of's back.

F'in Cancer.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Just Another Sunday Run

This weekend was filled with more good training. To get a recap of the entire week go to TrainingPeaks. Saturday's brick was a solid 2:35. The two hours on the bike trainer went fairly quick due to the workout and the French Foreign Legion show Escape to the Legion on the Military Channel. Warming temperatures allowed me to finish my brick in shorts and a long sleeve top. It's nice getting outside without bundling up but my pasty white legs are not pretty.

Sunday's long run was a solo effort. I trekked out to the popular Hinkley Reservation for a loop of hills. I really like running out there. It's very peaceful and quiet despite running on the roads. The traffic is minimal for a Sunday morning and the animal sounds take over. The only other sounds are my breathing and my feet hitting the pavement.

I thought about two things during my run: technology and mental toughness. On the surface these two topics don't seem to related, however they do impact each other.

Technology - We live in a world of technology. Without it we wouldn't be blogging, training in "zones", riding carbon fiber bikes, knowing our location instantly. We have watches that talk to iPods, satellites, our shoes, computers, and sometimes even ourselves. Speed up...slow down...start your interval.....end your interval....turn left.....turn reliant upon technology have we become. How much is too much when we train our bodies to swim, bike and run? Yes each tool is designed to improve our performances, make sure we don't overtrain, get enough rest, push hard when we need to. But are these tools really necessary? None of these tools were available when the 4 minute mile was broken. Hard work and dedication was used.

I use a heart rate monitor. I also use my cell phone with to map my runs and provide cools charts like those below. But I also don't rely too heavily on those tools. I listen to my body and feel what it's telling me. When I listen to my body I don't like having any interferance with the communication. That's why I don't train with an MP3 player. I've never liked them. First I don't feel safe with one and second it makes me loose focus on the task at hand. And this leads me into the mental aspect of training and technology.

Mental Toughness - I've always felt why train with an iPod when you can't race with one. Yeah I know a lot of people still put on their headphones during a marathon or take that extra time to grab it in transition. Read the rules people. There are reasons why music players should NOT be used during events. I don't because I think the music is distracting. I want to focus on my training and get away from all the technology. Get to mile 20 of an Ironman marathon without the MP3 player you trained with and that wall may be bigger and thicker than expected. What is the battery drains during an events, still out of luck for the remaining miles. Train like you race. Train your mind to withstand the lonely miles with nothing but your own inner dialogue. Reach deep within to find that motivation and courage to keep moving forward. Don't rely upon Metallica, Fatboy Slim or Eminem to get you through to the end. Yes they are great songs but use them for inspiration prior to, not during an event.

Okay, time to step off the soap box. Do what you want to do, that's just how I feel.

Back to Sunday's run. I had my HRM and cell phone handy. I never looked at my watch, only hit the split button when the phone beeped at each mile. I felt comfortable with my pace, effort was where it needed to be, solid effort was being put forth.

It wasn't until I reviewed the information on my watch that the numbers told an interesting story. I changed the table below to show my average heart rate during each mile split. The run was supposed to be in Zone 2 (143 - 153 BPM) with an allowance for Zone 3 (154-160) on the uphills. As you can see I barely made it into Zone 2. But that's okay, the perceived effort was on spot.

If I had been looking at my watch and pushing to get my heart rate into Zone 2 I probably would have bonked and cut the run short or slowed way down. By NOT paying attention to the available technology and listening to my body I still ran a solid 13 miles. The low heart rates indicate a tired body. I'm feeling good but the big cycle is starting to tear down the body just in time for an easy week to allow for the rebuilding process.

Feeling good......Game On.


Distance:12.80 miles
Speed:7.5 mph
Pace:8' 03 /mi
Elevation (ft)
MilePace (min/mile)Ave heart rateElevation
actual+/- avgactual+/- avg
18' 43+0' 40130-0.6+112 ft
28' 44+0' 41136-0.6+157 ft
37' 55-0' 08135+0.1+6 ft
47' 38-0' 25131+0.4-191 ft
57' 46-0' 17137+0.3-30 ft
68' 09+0' 06140-0.1+65 ft
78' 33+0' 30140-0.4+86 ft
88' 30+0' 27139-0.4+98 ft
97' 31-0' 32130+0.5-250 ft
107' 45-0' 18135+0.3-46 ft
117' 55-0' 08141+0.1+3 ft
127' 45-0' 18146+0.3+39 ft
end7' 33-0' 30146+0.5-62 ft
Versus average of 8' 03 min/mile

Posted from

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Momma Said Knock You Out

Um......yeeeaaaaahhhhh.......something like that.

Aimee and I rode our bikes in the basement the other night. Monday I believe. She wanted to swim.......I don't like swimming in the evening.....I wanted to spend some quality training time with her.....we rarely get a chance to do any training together.

I set her up on the trainer and I pulled out my road bike and rollers. I had an easy ride scheduled and the rollers are great for that. They also make sure my balance is fined tuned and my pedal stroke is smooth.

The one thing that isn't smooth is the front derailleur of my road bike. I have to work on it. It gives me all sorts of issues when trying to get into the big chain ring. So I'm trying to shift up, slowing down....speeding up....I guess not paying attention.....I start to tip over. I managed to un-clip but not before I knocked over the the CD rack we use for towels, food, water bottles, remotes, etc TOWARDS Aimee. Then I force Aimee.....on her bike.....on the tip over as well.

We came out of it okay. I got a small scratch from the CD rack but otherwise we were able to laugh about it. We got everything up-right and finished the ride without further incident. Don't loose your focus on those rollers or else it will bite you in the ass.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

You know you're an athlete when..... get cranky. I was talking with a friend of mine this weekend. With all of the snow we have had in Cleveland, come on I know you saw us on Weather Channel, it was very difficult to get any good training in. That is unless you feel pushing a snow blower around or shoveling snow is conducive to a good tri workout.

Regardless, my friend was getting cranky because his running game was shutdown. All the snow outside was forcing people to stay inside. It was so bad all the area YMCA's were closed all weekend. No treadmills, no running. Of course there is the, "ride the bike on the trainer for 2 hours in the basement" option. I even had to do that.

Anyways my cranky friend was at wits end. I told him to expend his stored up energy in alternative ways. Maybe he needed to "get some". That's when the conversation slipped into the "too much information" mode and he quickly responded, "What do you think I've been doing the past two days!" WOW. I didn't need to know that much. He apologized while in my best Napoleon Dynamite internal monologue said, "Lucky!"

So let's see know. He's cranky because he can't get in his run work-outs but manages to have "relations" with his hot wife two days straight because of the snow. Now that is a dedicated athlete. A little mis-guided but dedicated.

Aimee and I managed to get in our runs outside today after the final clearing of the driveway. The roads actually weren't too bad save for the slush and hard packed snow. I totaled 10.5 miles in 1:30. I was happy with that considering there were streets much worse off than our own.

So the snow has stopped falling, the sun was out and the forecast calls for warming temperatures reaching the 50's by mid-week. Where the hell is all this snow going to melt to? One problem after another.

Have a great week and get your Game On.

Friday, March 07, 2008

White People Run Marathons......

Check this out at......

Stuff White People Like

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Something worth posting about....

February 23rd was my last post?!?!?!? Wow. I guess I was lucky to get that posted. So now it's March 4th. How about a recap since I last posted?

I started this blog for logging my triathlon training. I know I don't post much about it but I just don't seem to be a numbers guy like Bolder or want to bore anyone about riding two hours in the basement. Yet there are times when a recap of the training and what I have learned from it just might benefit others.

So going back to the 23rd of February, a Saturday, brick day. Ride 1:45 followed by a 30 minute run. I will say this, Coach Angela puts together good brick workouts that offer variety and help the time pass. This one had 8 minute intervals spinning 90-100 RPM, 7 minute easy spins, 3 times. Then 6 intervals with 2 minute standing climbs. Legs were a little heavy after the 1:45 ride. Hitting the road afterwards was quite rewarding. 4 miles in 29:50. I have been pushing the final half mile to really feel the effects of running AND finishing on tired half mile was in 2:50. Oh yeah.....I was moving. Felt great at the end to be doubled over sucking wind and then have your heart rate drop 40 beats in 60 seconds. Fitness level is good.

Sunday was a 1:30 run. Legs were tired going into this run but a nice steady pace kept my HR where it should be. I finished 10.6 miles in 1:25, 8 minute pace. Again great way to finish the weekend.

Monday I did hill repeats. I moved up the hill run because bad weather would be coming in for Tuesday, a lot of snow. Really glad I did because my legs still responded well to the training. Six repeats followed by 25 minutes of high Zone 2 - low zone 3 running.

Tuesday, learning day. Schedule called for a swim workout in the morning. I had actually switched the hill repeats and swim. I hit the pool uncertain how it would go. Three solid days of training under the belt and I was starting to feel the effects. I did my 600 warm up. Still didn't feel ready for the main set but I had another 600 of pulling that should get me ready for the main set......6x200 negative split and 6x100 race pace.

After the 600 with the pull buoy I was toast. There was no way I was going to have a quality workout. My form would have fallen apart, my times would have been slower and that would have affected my mood seeing how slow I was. I put the pull buoy away and hit the showers.

Driving to work I left Coach a voice mail telling her I was taking the remainder of the day AND Wednesday as rest. I think the most important lesson I want to share here is having the ability to listen. Listen to your body and most importantly pay attention when the body is getting tired and over trained. Once that wall is hit it's time to get some rest. Pushing through the workout and furthering the level of exhaustion can only lead to injury, illness, bad form and frustration.

Taking that extra day rest would prepare me for the following weekend of training.

Picking it up again on Thursday I had a double, Swim (morning) and bike (evening). I bailed on the swim again and did the bike in the morning. I needed the bike more and I was able to spend time with my daughter that evening making some awesome pannini sandwiches for dinner.

Friday I got home from work not feeling too motivated. I was driving in rain most of the way home and it had been a long day. The run scheduled was 45 minutes at a steady pace. By the time I got home the rain was gone and I was more encouraged to hit the pavement. I backed it down to 40 minutes and did a 20 out, 20 back route. Talk about steady. I had perfect splits of 20 minutes. Total mileage was 5. Exactly what I wanted to do.

Don't fade on me yet. The weekend was just starting and there is another lesson to be learned. Have faith. But then again I wouldn't blame you if you were bored by now. Go HERE if you want something different. Please come back.

Saturday offered a new brick. This had two hours on the trainer and a 30 minute run. Still great variety on the trainer, went through two bottles of Gatorade/CarboPro while sweating my ass off. The run was a solid 4 miles in 30:50. Nice little sub 8 pace while most importantly staying in Zone 2....high zone 2 but still where I wanted to be. I finished around 1PM.

Sunday. Oh Sunday. Time for the Catch a Leprechaun 5/15/30k. I always do the 15k. This is a great early season, see where you're at, training race. I needed this one to stoke the competitive fires. Coach and I agreed to break it up in 3 parts, 3 miles each, and just increase effort during each stage. The start is always the hardest during a training race. Everyone is going out fast to get settled into a pace. I made sure I held back because the first 3 miles were supposed to be a warm up. I kept my HR in Zone 2 and if felt comfortable. I got passed by some other runners but I didn't let it get to me. I had my own plan and I wanted to make sure I could follow it.

At mile three I increased the effort and had a PowerGel around mile 5. At mile six I was still following the plan and increased my effort accordingly. I did pull in one runner ahead of me and almost caught another one who finished 3 seconds ahead, and he won my age group. I wasn't there for the win anyways. I had a training race to run and a plan to follow. It tested my fitness and showed me that I am on track for the Columbus Distance Classic in April. My final for 15k, 9.3 miles, was 1:06:21....a 7:08 pace. I want to be sub 6:40 for Columbus.

Lesson number two, The Giveaway Race. The Fall 2007 issue of Triathlon Life magazine had a great article by Shane Alton Eversfield about The Giveaway Race. This type of race is supposed to be low key. A training day with other athletes that you may or may not know. A time when you can encourage others to pass you by and cheer them onto a great finish. Where the metals, oops...medals, are nice to have but you feel joy for anyone else who receives them. A day to experiment with race tactics, nutrition, pace anything that is hard to try under normal training conditions. With this attitude of giving away we also shed our anxiety, fears and feelings of low self esteem that sometimes is part of the competitive package. I would encourage everyone to hop over to Shane Eversfield's website and see what he's talking about. I have not read his book yet but I'm all over the mental aspect of triathlon.

Thanks for sticking it out and reading. I felt it was important to share my most recent training experiences with you. Hopefully you got something out of it.

Game On.