Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday Photos - Week 8

2/19/10 - A later afternoon run on a sunny day.

2/20/10 - Frankie lives across the street. He loves the snow. I'm told he often spends the night outside on the porch.....he wants to. Brrrrr.

2/21/10 - This is the pool where I swam 8,000 yards.

2/22/10 - The flowers may wither, but the love lasts forever.

2/23/10 - Another icy morning in Ohio.

2/24/10 - Some reminders of last summers races and victories.

2/25/10 - Somehow I manage to find myself surrounded with beautiful women. Hence a big smile on my face.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Put up or shut up!

It just so f'in easy to stay in bed....especially when the snow is falling, wind is blowing and the warmth under the covers is..well..warm.

Aimee had been up for almost an hour on the treadmill before I dragged my sorry ass out of bed.

I needed to run.

I needed to run outside.

I needed to run outside in the cold crappy weather of Ohio.

I was having a hard time remembering when I last ran outside...except for last Friday with the sun shining. Or two weeks ago at the second winter trail race that I haven't written a race report for (damnit).

So back to this morning. I needed a HTFU moment. I needed to stare the beast in the face and get outside and run. I really haven't subjected myself to any difficult runs this winter. I was wussing out and either not running or using the treadmill.

So I dragged my tights and jacket and mittens and hat out for a morning snowy run.

The roads were covered with a light layer of slushy snow that made traction difficult but overall it wasn't bad.

I overdressed because I have lost my ability to properly gauge the layers of clothing. I got in eight good miles. Some of the running mojo came back and stoked the fire in my belly.

I don't know what I was being a wimp about.

As I entered my last mile heading home, I remembered a friend who has provided me with some inspiration during hard training days. I realized that her anniversary was one week ago. Having left us two years ago she found me again on a cold snowy morning on a familiar route.

I picked up the pace to remember her. To remember how it feels to push my body. To feel the heavy legs move me down the road. To listen to my breathing become labored as I sucked in the cold air around me.

To remember why I do this.......because I can.

That last mile is for you Halle.

Game On.

Route:--Elev. Avg:695 ft
Location:North Ridgeville, OH, Elev. Gain:-3 ft
Date:02/25/10Up/Downhill: [+124/-127]
Time:07:37 AMDifficulty:3.1 / 5.0


28 F temp; 77% humidity

28 F heat index; winds NW 17 mph

Distance: 7.99 miles

Speed:6.6 mph

Pace:9' 03 /mi


MilePace (min/mile)Speed (mph)Elevation
actual+/- avgactual+/- avg
19' 37+0' 346.2-0.4+3 ft
28' 52-0' 116.8+0.10 ft
38' 53-0' 106.8+0.1-6 ft
49' 10+0' 076.5-0.10 ft
59' 25+0' 226.4-0.30 ft
69' 11+0' 086.5-0.1+10 ft
79' 07+0' 046.6-0.1-3 ft
end8' 09-0' 547.3+0.7-7 ft
Versus average of 9' 03 min/mile

Posted from

Monday, February 22, 2010

Early season training status

February. Cold. Snowy. Dark.

Early season base training is definitely a hard pill to swallow. Almost everything is indoors during these winter months.

Ride your bike on a trainer.

Run on a treadmill.

Recover on an elliptical machine.

Swim in a pool.

I can tell the days are getting longer. The sun is staying up later in the day, provided you even see it at all through the clouds or snow.

The real difficult portion of training lately is that Aimee and I are both moving out of base training. We have major events in May, Aimee @ Ironman St. George and me @ Triple-T.

The hours on the trainer are getting longer.

Running outside in cold temperatures is getting longer.

Last week was a recovery week for Aimee. Out schedules are not in synchronicity right now. A forced off week for me has me adjusting my schedule. I'm using this time to test myself and see where my Red-Line is. I thought I wrote about this before but I can't find the post.

The red line is the point at which your training become detrimental instead of beneficial. Pushing ones self to the point of exhaustion where the recovery may be too long or an injury will surface.

It's an overload where the body is being trained to push past barriers and come back stronger. It is a fine line to walk but if done properly can reap huge benefits.

I know I'm close to the line. Last week was some great training.

Going back to Thursday I stayed home for a two hour trainer ride instead of going to the group spin. Time was not on my side but the efforts were exemplary.

Friday I managed to run outside again (damn I have a race report to write). The weather on Friday was great for northern Ohio. Blue skies and warmer temperatures...mid 30's. The best part was running for 1:16 pain free. My right hamstring was doing well and letting me run at a good pace. It was nice to let it open up.

Since I did a longer ride on Thursday I didn't fret about my ride on Saturday. Work had me busy for the morning and I didn't ride until noon. I had some great repeats during my hour ride in the basement.

Saturday was a big swimming day. The Cleveland Tri Club had a swim challenge at Cleveland State University. There was a clinic with a local swim coach or the challenge.

The challenge consisted of completing certain numbers of 100's.
25 x 100
50 x 100
75 x 100
100 x 100

I signed up for the 50 x 100 (5000 yards). I've done 5000 a couple of times in training for IM USA and MOO but typically you don't need that much yardage.

I swam with Mikey Donuts and Mikey Zig-Zag (how bad can you zig-zag in a lane?) for about 4500 yards. We drafted off each other and broke it up in 500 yard sets.

I moved over to another lane and swam the rest on my own. I felt good and decided to push myself to a distance I have never been to.

I swam 75 x 100 and finished with 500 cool 8,000 yards total. I won't be hitting that distance any time soon again but it was a nice boost to the training and confidence levels.

Several people did the 100 x 100 including my Snakebite Teammate Mark. He was in the pool for 3 hours.

I was pretty tired after my swimming but Monday morning I felt pretty good. I had a nice solid 45 minute run and will spin tonight.

Each day I am going to see how close to the red line I am and make day to day decisions about when my recovery period will start. I'd like to make it to the weekend.

My competitive fire is starting to build. I am getting more and more excited about Utah and Triple T.

Big efforts bring big rewards.

Game On.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Friday Photos - Week 7

2/12/10 - I had a great morning visit with the witch doctor. My right hammie was feeling much better after some deep massage.

2/13/10 - Fortunately we don't have any icicles on our house hanging from the gutters. But I liked this small one out the back door.

2/14/10 - Valentine's Day morning I was able to spend with the best group of lovely ladies I could ask for. Spending time with good friends running snowy winter trails....priceless. I love each one of them.

Tina, Mandie, Amy, Gina, Mary, Aimee, Cristi

2/15/10 - No....I'm not the man. I am showing off my retro Snakebite jersey from 2001. The team does a spin session every Monday at Ride + Workout. It's only $5 to drop in and have some fun.

2/16/10 - I went down to Huntington beach to take some pictures of Lake Erie. This is from the beach looking out over the frozen lake. On January 1 we plunged into the icy waters. Today we would have to walk a ways to find open water.

2/17/10 - I took the camera to the pool so I could get video of Aimee and I......swimming. Managed to get this pic as well.

2/18/10 - I walked around the house to make sure everything looked good. Ice, shingles, water damage. Just to make sure. I liked the view of the weather vane blowing in the wind with the clouds floating by.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Race Reports?!?!?!?!

Um yeah. Apparently I have two race reports to write. The only question now is which one to write/post first.

Is it the winter trail run that was four weeks ago and is slipping from my memory?

Or is it the winter trail run from yesterday that is fresh in my mind.

Either way the of accomplishment lasts for days.

Well let's start with the Winter Run for Regis. This trail run was January 17th in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The run used to be on part of the Buckeye Trail but the new location is very nice. The shelter is much better and the surrounding trails are great.

Personally I liked the old course better because it had more of a trail run feel to it. The Buckeye Trail is just more rugged and out there.

Regardless this is a fun run with some great people. The new course is centered around the Virginia Kendall Area. Aimee, Dale and I had trained on the course several times to see what the terrain would be like.

Hills. Lots of them. Rolling hills. Steep hills. Up hills. Down hills. We were in a valley.

Race day the course was snow covered. The temperature wasn't too bad where I wore a base layer, long sleeve shirt and a wind vest. I wore my lightest tights since I wouldn't go with shorts like some of the crazy ultra runners.

We assembled outside for the start and Tanya just says "Go". Not too many people heard her so I started running and yelling at people to go.

Holy Crap!!! I was leading the race. That lasted until we got to the first downhill and I was passed. It was very technical and icy so I was being cautious. Okay so now I was in 3rd place.

No problem. Just running the trails and having fun. Part way through another section I was passed by two more guys. 5th place. Whatever. This is a fun run and placement really doesn't matter. There are absolutely no prizes for this run.

So 5th place is where I would be for the remaining 11 miles. By myself. Running alone. Except for the ultra runners. When I was finishing the 8 mile loop the ultra runners had finished the 5 mile loop and were heading out on the 8 mile loop.

I made it back to the shelter and checked in with the volunteers. They keep great track of everyone for safety reasons. I got some food and water and headed back out. The five mile loop is a lolli-pop with a section taking you out and a big loop. I really didn't see people again until I was heading back towards the shelter. Coming up the last big hill someone took my picture. I had to start running up the hill so it wouldn't look like I was walking.

Great picture though. My glasses are all fogged up. I only had about 1.5 miles to go at this point and I was so done. My right knee (ITB) was starting to bother me but I pushed through it, which I don't recommend, and was happy for any flat section.

I passed Aimee and Dale heading out to the loop and gave Aimee a quick kiss.

At the shelter I finished 2:05:30. This put me in 5th place where I was for the past 11 miles. IF they had age groups....IF they awarded overall places.....IF this was a race instead of a run I would have won my age group because the other 42 year old was second overall 5:30 ahead of me. I guess he couldn't catch the 18 year old kid ahead of him......7 minutes ahead.....and the kid ahead of me was 16. Good for them.

Overall I liked the course. The trails are wider and had a more solid base for traction. The snow wasn't loose like last years race when it felt like we were running in sand. The course still beat us up pretty good. A couple of the ultra guys said they were feeling it several days later.

I still like the old course but that is neither here nor there. I told Tanya I liked the old course because you could see more people because of the out and back.

Her response....."Run slower" I laughed and agreed with her. Unfortunately...or is it fortunately....I learned something that day. I will most likely never be an ultra runner because of the "slow" factor. To run an ultra you need to slow down. I just don't know if I can do that.

My knee is pretty much recovered now. So my next race report will be for the winter trail run I did yesterday. I know I can get it written by the end of the week. I just know it.

I think I can..I think I can....I think I can.

Game On.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Friday Photos - Week 6

Sorry the pics are up late this week. I had a hard time picking some pictures.

2/5/10 - Aimee had a Tri-Camp for the weekend, Friday - Sunday. This was her "baggage" for the first day of camp.

2/6/10 - Saturday night we watched LeBron James and the Cavs defeat the New York Nicks.

2/7/10 - Super Bowl Sunday. Some friends came over for food, drink and fun watching the game. One requirement for Aimee was Lawsons' French Onion Chip Dip. The Lawsons convenient store is long gone but the dip is still available.

2/8/10 - After I left a customer site Monday I snapped this picture of the fresh snow from the weekend across this ice covered lake.

2/9/10 - More snow arrived Tuesday.

2/10/10 - Snickers is definitely in the twilight years. He's 12.5 years old. He's sleeping a lot, his hips and hearing are fading fast but we can't imagine life without him. He's a great dog.

2/11/10 - Instead of driving to a customer at O'Dark Thirty, I was driving home this day in the dark. pays the bills.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Don't you just hate......

those annoying spam e-mails you get from friends. I know they think the information is valid since they got it from a "good" source. But when I see that it's been forwarded ten times prior I immediately get suspicious.

This one I recognized and being in IT I know this is a crock of sh*t. The main focus of the e-mail hoax is:

When you forward this e-mail to friends, Microsoft can and will
track it (If you are a Microsoft Windows user) for a two weeks
time period.

Ummm.....yeah....right. Won't/can't happen.

I like to take a couple minutes to search key phrases in the "e-mail" and see what pops up.

With this one I used Pearlas Sandborn as the search criteria.

Oh look. is the first hit.....along with and

I responded to everyone in the e-mail list stating it was a hoax and that I did a web search.

I mean several web sites said it was a hoax and everything on the internet is true....right? Al Gore wouldn't let his brainchild lie to us....would he?

The entire purpose of this type of e-mail is to waste time and resources. Clog up e-mail servers and have people send it to everyone in their contacts.


I'm not bashing my friends but I feel the need to educate them on these items.



Monday, February 08, 2010

Something worth mentioning.....

Looking back at last weeks schedule I am actually happy at how things turned out with work, training and life.

At the beginning of the week I was out of town at a customer site. I managed to get my stuff done in two days when I scheduled three days for the work. I was able to get home and surprise Aimee with dinner on the table.

While out of town I was able to connect with Big Daddy Diesel. We had dinner at Mellow Mushroom Pizza. Very yummy suggestion, especially since 'za is one of Diesel's favorites. I am totally on board with the pizza thing. I had pizza three times last week.

Anyways, I was thrilled to finally meet the man behind Tri Diesel. There is a lot going on behind Big Daddy. There is a lot less of him since starting his blog. He is a real life "biggest loser". I have read the stories. Watched the commercials. Yeah I've been impressed with peoples weight loss and healthy changes.

But this guy is doing it all on his own. Hearing his story first hand left me speechless. The ups and downs. Trying to motivate other people to join him. Challenging himself to push his boundaries aside. Not making this experience in triathlon a one time thing.

This is why I love triathlon. This is why I love promoting triathlon. This is why I get excited by triathlon. This is why I have such a hard time moving away from the sport.

Each year I enjoy hearing from people who fall in love with the swimming, biking and running. I try to encourage them and push beyond what they consider boundaries, hopefully by example.

I do follow the example of others and remember to enjoy the sport, the competition and the friendships that are created.

It will be good to be at the Rev Tri at Cedar Point in September and see many friends, especially Big Daddy completing his first half distance tri. Get that run under control my friend so you can wear that visor come race day.

As far as training the second half of the week was high quality.

Thursday night I skipped the two hour spin session and hit the Crossfit gym. It was a great workout:

7 rounds for time of

  • 9 reps - 85lb summo deadlift high pull
  • 7 reps - 85lb squat clean
  • 5 reps - 85lb split jerk
Full body workout that left me tired and weak. But in a good way.

Aimee had a Winterfest Tri camp all weekend (Fri - Sun) so I figured I should put in some big training days as well.

Friday afternoon I hit the pool for some 1000's. Just to keep the arms loose and get some big yardage in. Simple workout actually. Three 1000's for time at a steady pace. I was very happy as I nailed each one. Total time/pace per 100 yards - 16:35/1:40, 15:32/1:33 and 16:40/1:40.

Saturday I rode for two hours in the basement with a 15 minute run on the treadmill to complete the brick. I chose two bike workouts.

Workout one is focused on high cadence.

Select a gear the allows for 110 + RPMs for the entire ladder.
Spin/Rest in seconds

Yeah.....that's 23 minutes of spinning at 115 - 120 RPM. The peak of the ladder is the hardest with very little rest between efforts.

I finished the second hour with five sets of 5 minutes at threshold/5 minutes recovery.

I also did this only listening to the music channel on TV. I didn't want to loose my concentration on a movie or show and miss the intervals.

Sunday was a very easy run on the treadmill. I just didn't have it in me to brave the teen temperatures or the narrow snow covered streets. My right hammie wasn't liking me very much so I also managed to see the witch doctor later on Sunday. He stretched and massaged away the first layer of issues.

This past weekend was good for my training mojo and fanned the flames for some good training to come.

Game On.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Friday Photos - Week 5

1/29/10 - Friday is a rest day for me. The laundry was all put away so if I can I put up my feet up and rest the legs.

1/30/10 - We attending the wedding for one of Aimee's ex-clients and friend. It was a very nice time at the wedding and reception.

1/31/10 - The first indoor triathlon for the Cleveland Tri Club was held. I volunteered for the race and took photos. Here are some of the runners getting as far as they can in 20 minutes.

2/1/10 - I managed to get this photo as I got in my car. The crisp clean air provided some great color.

2/2/10 - Why is it that each time I travel I wake up to fresh snow outside my window?

2/4/10 - Can you guess what type of ethnic neighborhood I was walking through? O solo mio...

2/5/10 - I liked the shadow the wind chime cast from the early morning sun.