Sunday, January 31, 2010

The three R's - Resting, Ranting and Raving

So let me get three things off my chest......out of my head.....clear the mind.

I totally abused my body last week with a heavy Crossfit workout Wednesday followed by a hard bike session Thursday night. I'm a wreck. I haven't seen the witch doctor in a while either so that doesn't help. My right leg is screaming at me for relief and my upper body is tighter than a snare drum. My work schedule and travel hasn't helped either. I've become sort of a weekend warrior since work has limited my ability to train well this month.

Aimee and I were watching some ESPN Sportscenter the other day and Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner was in the news. The way people were talking about him I had to ask Aimee, "Did he die?"

Everyone who was being interviewed kept saying things like...."He was a great guy"......"He will be missed"......yadda yadda yadda.

It sounded like the guy had died the way people were talking about him in the past tense. COME ON PEOPLE.'s not dead yet. What a bunch of schmucks.

However, Kurt Warner was possibly the most understated quarterback in the NFL. If you have paid any attention to my previous posts you know I don't care much for mainstream professional sport like NFL, MLB or NBA. The players just piss me off.

But then there is Kurt Warner. He seems to be one of the nicest players to have ever been in the game. Whenever I have seen him in the news it has usually been because of family, charity, good deeds, etc. Apparently his football career is a great story also.

I'm sorry to see him retire but it sounds like his future will keep in the public a good way. After 12 years of getting beat up on the field I don't blame him for retiring.

Jef Mallet is one of my favorite cartoonists. His characters in Frazz are awesome. I saw this one and loved it, especially since my Snakebite Racing Team consists of triathletes, roadies, mountain bikers, duathletes and cyclocross riders. If you can't view the cartoon well enough go see the original on

Game On

Saturday, January 30, 2010


Back in October Aimee and I attended a Crossfit workout with one of our friends. I wrote about it as a "Moment of Weakness".

I have really been enjoying the workouts. I have been pushing myself pretty hard during these training sessions. This past Wednesday the workout left my arms heavy from the rowing (2000 meters), squats (50) and pullups (160). Two days later the soreness in my biceps prevents me from straightening my arms. I need to work on my pullups some more.

So it urns out we knew a couple other people who were working out at the Crossfit gym as well. A fellow triathlete and someone Aimee used to work with.

Christine is the person Aimee used to work with and I see her at the gym on occasion. She is fully into Crossfit and you can read her story on the Crossfit Cleveland website. I love seeing how strength training can make a difference in a persons life. Increasing the metabolism, increasing strength and stamina, building confidence.

Bill and Stacy own Crossfit Cleveland and they take a no-nonsense approach to the WODs (Workout Of the Day). There is no f'in around during the WOD. He continually tells you to stay the hell out of the way when others are working hard. This mentality allows me to focus hard on my efforts and give it my all.

Love the video Bill made.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Rest Day

I'm pretty sure I have posted this before but I was reminded of it today since my arms and legs are trashed from workouts on Wednesday and Thursday.

Sit down instead of standing.

Lay down when you can instead of sittting

Rest those muscles, joints, and bones.

It's a rest day.

Be ready to get your Game On after your rest day.

Friday Photos - Week 4

1/22/10 - Aimee and I went to Wal-Mart for some quick shopping. Yeah....another fun filled Friday night. I was on a roll and was cracking myself up. She didn't appreciate my stupid humor and walked away. I was looking for "the people of Walmart".

1/23/10 - The temperature got above 40 degrees so I got out the road bike and bundled up for a ride. I managed to get in 46 miles that day. It was the most glorious winter ride.

1/24/10 - We celebrated my father-in-laws birthday at my sis-in-laws place. Her fiance has this photo of his grandfathers or great-grandfathers hardware store. They are going to mount it on the wall.

1/25/10 - Yep. I was traveling again for work. Cold and windy. Three trips in January that involved staying in a hotel. Racking up those points.

1/26/10 - It was a short trip. Back at the airport picking up my car.

1/27/10 - Here is Ruby sharing her toy with Snickers. They play well together.

1/28/10 - There are times when I feel like the mouse. This little guy was going nuts at the pet store.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday Photos - Week 3

1/15/10 - Back in November, pre-Thanksgiving, I had traveled to a customer location. While at the hotel I forgot to re-pack several items when I checked out. I called the hotel and asked them to retrieve the items so I could pick them up next trip. Next trip and no items. They couldn't find them. Fast forward to January and I get a call from the head housekeeper at said hotel. She had my items locked up where no one could get to them. She sent them to me. I got everything I expected. As you can tell there were some pricey items in there.....Nike running pants, Oakley sunglasses, running socks and shorts. There is probably over $250 of gear in that box.

1/16/10 - Gina (left) and Mary (right) came over to ride their bikes with Aimee. Mary is actually on Aimee's old bike that we loan out to wanna-be triathletes. We are helping them get ready for a sprint. It will be Mary's first tri. We think she could do an Olympic easily. Gotta start somewhere.

1/17/10 - The Run for Regis winter trail run. I did the half-marathon option. These people are going out or heading back from the 5 mile loop. You just never know who is going to show up at these things. I need to write a race report on this race.

1/18/10 - My racing team, Snakebite Racing, is having a spin session every Monday night. This is the first night and I got a pic of people doing single legged drills.

1/19/10 - I've been traveling so much this month. I have probably seen the face of the speedometer more than Aimee's face.

1/20/10 - I pulled out of my customers parking lot and pulled up behind this guy in his truck. His plates said New York but his tailgate speaks for the region I was working in. Depressed, blue collar area of Ohio where steel used to reign supreme. His Chevy isn't "Like a Rock".

It's "Like a Freakin' Rock!"....just like the USA

1/21/10 - Leaving the house at O'dark thirty to drive to my customer I do get to see the sunrise. For once the clouds moved out and I was able to watch the sun rise in the clear blue sky as I drove east.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Friday Photos - Week 2

Wow this past week went by fast. Let's see what happened.

1/08/10 - I look out the back door of our house and I can see my neighbors flag pole. It's always good for judging the wind before going for a ride or run. The Italian flag beneath Ole Glory represents the foreign exchange student they are hosting this school year. There is a story behind it that I don't need to get into. All I will say is that the circumstances reinforces what great people they are.

1/09/10 - The cold weather in Ohio has provided some beautiful scenery. I don't think I quite captured the beauty with this picture. From a distance I could see the sun shine off the ice coated branches. It was in the middle of a parking lot so I couldn't spend the time I wanted with this picture.

1/10/10 - On the road again. This was day one on my work near Pittsburgh. There is nothing like having a cold, snow covered car waiting for you outside.

1/11/10 - There is nothing like having health issues when traveling. My eye was bothering me Monday so I saw my eye doc and she gave me some anti-biotics. My eye had an ulcer of some really should stop drinking so much. Once the inflammation kicked in I was really uncomfortable. It sucked. More drugs followed.

1/12/10 - I tried to get creative with the shelves under the TV in my hotel room.

1/13/10 - Each day I would leave my customer as the sun was setting. Watching the sun set was a good sign because my eye was becoming sensitive to the daylight. Combine that with the snow on the ground and it was terrible.

1/14/10 - Ruby gets so excited when I return home after being gone for several days. She dances around and gets hyped up. Of course I do the same thing with Aimee after being away.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Workout Music

Damn-it....I almost did it again. What did my previous post talk about? Sitting here with a blank page in front of me I almost forgot what I wanted to say.

So during my travels for work I need to find some way to workout. A majority of hotels have "fitness centers" that have much to be desired. Last week I worked out in a room with two crappy treadmills and a cable machine. It was very hot but I got the workout done anyways.

This week the treadmills are better but there is no method of performing weight training. So I checked the Crossfit Cleveland WOD list and pick, modify and perform a workout.

I warmed up with some lunge stretches jumping jacks and leg swings.

The workout I created was a modification from Mondays Dirty Dozen.

12 pushups
12 squats
12 pulls on the rower, max effort

12 rounds, for time

Since I don't have a rowing machine in my hotel room I opted for dips on the side of a chair.

My workout was

12 pushups
12 squats
12 dips

12 rounds, for time

Cool.....looks like a good workout. Only problem was I wasn't getting into it. I opened up my laptop to play some music. I selected the Blue Man Group. It's good stuff. Only problem was thta the music wasn't very motivating. After 4 rounds I couldn't take it anymore.

I changed it out to some Prodigy instead and everything started to click. I completed my 12 rounds just seconds above 20 minutes. Very happy with the workout.

Workout Music experiment completed.

Game On.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Writing or Reading?

So which do you do lately. I've been reading blogs much more than writing on my own.

Every time I browse through my Bloglines I think about how I should be writing my own post.

I stare at the computer screen and know I have many things to talk about. People to mention. Thoughts and opinions.

But by the end of the day I'm just too tired to remember what I want to talk about or too lazy to put forth the effort to write.

At least I put something out here.

Game On?

Friday, January 08, 2010

Friday Photos - Week 1

1/1/10 - Tim and I at the CTC Polar Plunge diving into the cold waters of Lake Erie.

1/2/10 - Aimee running on the treadmill in the basement. Her 30 minute run followed her 2 hour bike ride.

1/3/10 - Aimee and I went running with our friend Dale in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. It was 12 degrees when we ran. A bite to eat at Panera and Dale snoozed on the drive home. Good times with a good friend.

1/4/10 - Of course it was snowing like crazy when I left home and headed to my customer for the week. I did manage to take a picture while driving past this church.

01/05/10 - Day two in the middle of nowhere Ohio with temperatures in the 20's and snow on the ground. Do a Google map of Bucyrus, OH and you will get an idea of where I was this week. Good thing I really like the people I was working with.

01/06/10 - This is the computer system that I was working on at my customer. Just to give an idea of what type of work I do. I installed and configured this beast over 3 days. Still more work to do. I mean...what else was I going to take a picture of when I spend 8 hour days in the computer room.

01/07/10 - The snow has been coming down all week in Northern Ohio. Thank you very much Lake Erie snow machine. It will be nice when we can sit in that Adirondack chair again during the summer.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Cold Running

It was a cold morning run today with temperatures below the teens when we started. We managed to get in a good 1:20 run. I put in 8.5 solid miles.

Afterward I needed to get a post run picture a la Steve in a Speedo.

I really don't know where that Elvis sneer is coming from though.....thank-ya very much.

How about a close up shot instead.

Game On.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

St. George Training Weekend - Run Review

We drove and ran the run course while in St. George. Hopefully the pictures and comments will help with planning for this run.

This is the view looking south toward the round-a-bout that will be the finish line. Athletes will need to loop around this rounder as they head out for loop two of the run. If they are done with the race they head straight into the finish line.

After running north on Main Street the course goes through a round-a-bout and heads northwest. Diagonal Street is a wide residential street which is relatively flat. We didn’t notice any uphill grade along here. Based upon where the sun will probably be located there will be no shade during this segment.

Turning right onto Bluff Street the climbing begins. The incline isn’t very steep at this point so a good pace can be kept. A short out and back on 1250 North takes you up to the local Elks Lodge

I would imagine the Elks will have an aid station here. There are two steps going up to the lodge which are short and steep. Some people may want to walk these short bumps to save some energy for the big stuff. But powering over them is just as easy. Of course the bumps on the road send you downhill back to Bluff Street.

Another right turn back to Bluff Street and the climbing continues to Red Hills Parkway. This is the main out and back for the run course. Rounding the corner on to Red Hills Parkway you will be faced with the first significant climb of the day.

The snaking road climbs for a good quarter mile before letting up. This is a 7.5 - 8% grade for just under half a mile.

The hard part will be making sure to hold back during the first loop and not attacking the hill too hard. The hills will definitely consume some calories.

As with most big hills I run I try not to focus on the top of the hill. Instead I drop my gaze down to the road and concentrate on the 10 – 15 feet in front of me. Using this method I can make sure I have good footing and not get discouraged with the task in front of me. Keeping your head down also prevents you from leaning back. You need to lean into the hill. The curvature of the road also prevents you from seeing the top of the climb. I really didn’t know I was done climbing until the road straightened out and you could see the open fields.

While the road is a good surface, I was running on the gravel shoulder instead. On the day we ran the course it was the safest option. The low clouds made it a little difficult to see with visibility down to about a half mile but it was still clear enough for people to see us. The gravel, more like small rock, shoulder was actually comfortable to run on. I can see it as a good alternative to running on the road. The shoulder could provide some relief from the pounding of the road.

At the top of the first hill the course flattens out for approximately one mile. We were on top of the plateau and it was wide open. Once again I looked around and there is no shade. If the day is hot it would be a scorcher for all athletes. This flat section will allow you to get into a decent pace until the next set of rollers.

After a couple of rollers the course reaches its peak and the downhill fun begins.

The course is predominantly all downhill to the turn around at 1000 East Street. With no rest the return trip begins immediately with the uphill climb to Pioneer Park.

We looked at Pioneer Park and couldn’t figure out exactly how the run course will flow through here but it will be a nice scenic quarter mile section. Don’t forget that this park in located in Utah. Parks in Utah are filled with rocks and cactus, neither of which provide any shade. So I will simply offer another reminder that there will be no shade on this run course.

This the uphill after Pioneer Park looking back to the top which is shown two pictures above. From this intersection to the top is approximately .5 mile. With an elevation gain of 170 feet this calculates to a 6.4% grade.

This run course will be a true test of running ability. Not only will a person’s physical condition and preparation be challenged but their mental focus and race strategy will be tested.

Physically someone will look at this run course and know they must prepare for hills. Yes hill repeats will be required during training. I would recommend long repeats. Aimee and I usually do 90 second repeats. Those won’t suffice this time around. I have a 1 mile repeat in mind for her to train on.

However, uphill repeats are only half the training needed for this course. Downhill training is a must as well. The steep grade of these hills can wreak havoc on the quads and hips. If proper running technique is not held during the downhill’s the quads will tire quickly and the hips can become sore from all the impact.

I found two articles I liked that talked about downhill training/running. article to improve downhill running

Runner’s World article with Ash Coach Jenny

It will be interesting to see how they do traffic control. Red Hills Parkway is a nice by-pass around downtown St. George. But based upon how the athletes will start this section and the short loop through Pioneer Park I am anticipating the entire road to be closed to traffic. This will make it nice for the runners but also lonely. Spectators will be most welcome on the parkway but I can’t see family and friends walking or cycling this section.

The next three pictures are from the viewing area across from Pioneer Park. Each picture is centered on the Bear Paw Cafe with the red awning. The first picture is a 10x zoom. The third picture is pulled all the way back. The Bear Paw Cafe is on Main Street where athletes run out from T2 and in to the finish.

The course is up that high.

Did I forget to mention that there will be no shade on this course? Athletes will be on top of the red hills. A plateau….mesa…ridgeline. No matter what they call it out there in St. George, it will be exposed. Take the time to get a good coating of sun screen when coming out of T2. Skip it and the sun can steal your energy away and/or leave you with a good sunburn, ouch. Let’s just add some tender skin to the already sore muscles the day after the race.

Here are two more pictures to give reference to the elevation. The first picture is where the course turns left onto Diagonal Road. The "Dixie" painted on the rocks is right above the run course.

This picture of Aimee is across the street from Pioneer Park. In the background you can see part of the "Dixie" sign.

Below is the results from the BimActive capture from the run. I like this profile chart better since it is 1/4 of the marathon. I did a manual mapping as well and confirmed that there is a 485 foot elevation change from Main Street to the highest point of the course. The 803 elevation gain listed below covers the entire route (excluding the out and back to the Elks Lodge).


Route:--Elev. Avg:2998 ft
Location:Saint George, UT, Elev. Gain:+137 ft
Date:12/12/09Up/Downhill: [+803/-666]
Time:09:46 AMDifficulty:4.3 / 5.0


31 F temp; 82% humidity

31 F heat index; winds CALM calm mph
Elevation (ft)

Project365 and Friday Photos

I was reading a friends blog and he is starting a Photography Project365. The purpose is to take a photo each day of the year and post it. I like the idea and think it is plausible for me. I'll be posting a weekly selection of my favorites from each day.

I'll post the pictures on Friday Photos.

This will be an interesting "experiment". I suppose.

Something different for the new year.

Photo On.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy New Year: Plunging and 10's

Happy New Year readers. Here's to the start of a new year of blogging. I really want to write more often this year. So I might as well start with today's work-outs.

My Running Rock Star (Cyndi) suggested doing something in 10's for 2010.

So this morning I:

  • Rode my bike on the trainer for 10 minutes
  • Did 10 reps of 10 different Crossfit exercises.
  • Ran on the treadmill for 10 minutes.
Then I joined over 100 of my newest friends, and quite a number of current friends, taking a quick dip into Lake Erie.

Here are a couple of pics from the plunge.

Believe it or not the water was warmer than the air.

Ever the media whore I was interviewed by Cleveland News Channel 5

Getting ready in the snow.

I was ringleader this year. Here I am getting everyone lined up and ready to go.

Yes I'm wearing my bathrobe.

We estimate that there were between 125 - 150 people who went into the water.

As I was heading out of the water I saw my friend Tim running in. I couldn't let him do it alone. We dove into the water as Aimee took this picture.

Some of the gang went to Panini's post plunge for some food, beer and friendship.

Game On.


NewsNet5 in Cleveland showed some video coverage on their 11PM newscast. Here is a link to some of the raw footage. I'm leading the countdown and ringing the bell. Then I high-five Tim and dive in a second time. I'm in the orange and blue shorts.