Wednesday, May 31, 2006

A Tropical Heat Wave

Summer has come and planted itself here in the upper Midwest. The warmer temperatures are nice, but upper 80s and 90s this early is a little bit much. The weather reports show no sign of a cool down for awhile. I guess the one perk will be lots of training in the heat since it seems like every time I race it’s one of the hottest days of the year. Case in point; last year during the Lifetime Fitness Triathlon the temperature was 97 °F, the heat index was well over 100, and the water temperature alone was 85 °F. Now I know that people have raced in harsher conditions, but from my experience this is about as bad as it gets. When the fish start dying because the lake is so warm you know you are in for a long day. I’m not sure where I’m going with all this so I’ll just say that it’s too early to be this hot. Ok, ok I’m off that soapbox.

Last night after work it was a double with a swim and a bike. I figured there was no better way of getting back into the routine then by doing two workouts back-to-back. Besides some of the usual issues that I encounter with my swimming I felt pretty good in the water. My 500 repeats were slightly faster then they were last time I timed myself so that was nice to see. I guess I should start doing some interval work to pick them up a bit more. A quick rinse to get the chlorine off and then I was off for home and then onto my bike. I did an 18 mile loop up and down the east and west side of the Mississippi river between St. Paul and Minneapolis. I changed things up by doing the loop in reverse from how I normally ride that route. It was a nice change. I also picked things up by spending most of the time in my big ring. Intervals, riding in the big ring, it can only mean one thing. We are getting close to the first tri of the season. Three weeks from Friday I will be boarding a plane to Philly.

Quote of the Day: The height of your accomplishments will equal the depth of your convictions. - William F. Scolavino

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Mad Town

I arrived back home early yesterday evening after a great weekend in Madison, WI aka Mad Town. The main purpose for the trip was Sunday’s half marathon. It just so happened that my friend Chris had a wedding to go to down in Madison so we made a weekend out of it. Chris’ girlfriend lives in Madison so we had a place to stay which was nice. After arriving on Saturday Chris and company headed out to the wedding as I headed to the expo. There wasn’t much to see at the expo so I didn’t stay there very long after picking up my race packet. I ended up having dinner with a college friend of Chris’ which was nice so that I didn’t have to spend the rest of the night on my own. After a pasta dinner it was back to the apartment for an early turn in. 5:00AM was going to come all too quickly.

At 5:15 the alarm went off and I stumbled out of bed to start the day. First on the agenda was food. This is the true reason why I get up so early on race day. I’m one of the sticklers who had to eat at least 2 hours before a race. After finishing off my initial meal I went back and forth between getting my things in order and lying back down on the bed. I was in no rush because I as up so early. My only worry was not waking any of the four people who were sleeping in the living room. Finally ready to go I made my way to where the race shuttles were taking people to the starting line and waited for the race to begin.

Things were running a few minutes late, but finally the gun went off for the ½ marathon to start. There were over 2000 people running the half and I was stuck a bit back from the pace group that I wanted to run with. I spent the first few miles getting through the slower pace groups until mile 3 when I finally cleared the 2:00 hour pace runners and settled into a good rhythm. I knew it was going to be a hot day when by mile 2 I was already had a pretty good sweat going. The first half of the race went by without much incident. After mile 5 I saw Chris and Britta. It’s always good when the people you know see you early in the race. At that point you are still feeling good and have a smile on your face.

Shortly after the half way point I was starting to feel the heat. I ran sub 8’s for the first half of the race, but that was soon to change and the temps climbed into the upper 80’s. I also was having some foot issues after the half way point. My left arch was starting to really hurt. This was new to me because I’ve never had an arch issue before so it was a little alarming. One thing to note was that my swimming injuries on my right food cause me no issues during the race, which I was very thankful for. So my pace started to slow as the miles increased. I’m sure the extra time I was taking through the water stops played a role as well. It was just too hot to not make sure I was getting as much water as I needed at each station.

Around mile 10 things really started to break down. My foot was really starting to scream and the whole why am I doing this sunk in a bit. As I progressed I would see more people walking and a few lying along the road getting medical attention. I had stopped looking at my watch a while ago. At this point it was all about finishing. I popped my last Gu right before mile 11 for the last kick home. Hitting the 12 mile mark was a big relief. I adjusted my mindset for the last mile by continually telling myself to finish strong. Miles 10 and 11 really sucked but they were over and it was time to wrap this thing up. I pushed on toward the finish as I wound my around the last bends and curves. Finally I could hear the crowd and my pace picked up a bit trying to give it all I had. I made my way down the finishing shoot and gave out a big sign of relief after crossing the finish line. It may not have been pretty but my first race of 2006 was in the bag.

The heat really affected me during the race and it showed in my times. I main goal was to be under 2 hours, but I was hoping to run about 8:30s. That of course didn’t happen, but overall it was a good race. The volunteers were great as well and all the local people who brought out their watering hoses to spray the runners down as they went by. These people were my saving grace with the temps pushing 90 by the time I finished. So the stats for my first race of the year are as follows:

Halfway time: 51:52
Final chip time: 1:55:54
Final pace: 8:51 min/miles (stupid hot temperatures)

Overall it was a great weekend down in Madison. I’ll have to post more about the non-race events later. Plus I have to get through the 70+ posts that you all have written since Friday. You people have been busy. I hope that means that everyone had a great weekend. Until next time…

Friday, May 26, 2006


I think this is the best way to generally sum up the activities of last night. Things started off with our first open water swim of the season. It was great to get back in the open water. The water temp was very tolerable with a wetsuit, but it did get a little bit chilly as the sun started to go down. Soon after we were in the water we had our first incident. SafetyBob snagged a fishing lure on his foot. I think only a bit of one of hooks stuck him so he just laughed it off. Besides just getting use to open water swimming we practiced starts and going around buoys. Of course the buoys weren’t up yet so we had some “human buoys” for people to go around and site off of. The second incident occurred when my coach and I were demonstrating how to do a race start and dolphin dives. As I was doing a couple dives I hit a large rock with the top of my foot. I felt a bit of sting after we were done, but didn’t think much off it. It wasn’t until I got out of the water did I see the actual damage. It turned out that I had a few cuts and a lot of scrapes on the top of my foot. Even after it was bandaged up it continued to bleed for quite some time. Now it is scabbed up, and a little swollen. This should make the race on Sunday all the more interesting. Hopefully by then it won’t be sore to the touch. Pain killers here I come. Overall it was a great swim and everyone was looking pretty comfortable in the water.

After our swim a few of us headed over to a little Italian joint call Fat Larenzo’s for some eats. Things were going well and we were all enjoying our food when we picked up or a car would drive by. After a couple big gusts it was time to move. We noticed that the clouds were getting a little dark. It started to sprinkle a little bit so we moved our table to under an overhang. We continued to eat when it started to rain a bit more. Being on the outside I was starting to get a little wet but now big deal. I mean what is a little rain to some hardcode triathletes? So the clouds really opened up and the rain was coming down at a pretty clip. It wasn’t too bad until the winds sprinted for the door and Bob carried the pizza. I left what was left of my pasta. It was pretty wet as it was and just not worth it. Though I guess since I was soaked it was only fitting that my good was as well. So we stood in the entrance of the restaurant while they finished the pizza. We were all wet but laughing and having a good time. It certainly was a wild night and we all had a blast.

Below are some pic that SafetyBob took during our swim and our eventful eating experience. Have a great weekend everyone…

The team listening to some tips from the coach

The floating heads shot
Food is here let's eatHmmm...It's getting a little darkWell here comes the rain, but we can handle it
My very unfortunate reaction to a big gust of wind and rain

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Writer’s Block

After a couple attempts to come up with a picturesque description of the crazy weather pattern we have going on in the Twin Cities I dropped that effort, it just wasn’t working. So the short simple version is that the temperature and humidity are on the rise. This is producing some fun weather with sun one minute and showers the next. Case in point the clouds rolled in during the afternoon yesterday. A few drops fell as I headed to the pool after work. After a short swim it was off to the lakes to meet the TNT crew for a run. Short 5 minute showers came and went as I was driving. By the time I arrived at Lake Calhoun the rain was gone and the sun was starting to peak through the clouds.

Besides the ever-changing weather the run last night was pretty enjoyable. We went a little over six miles around the lakes. I stayed in the middle of the group to keep a moderate pace. I wanted my last main run before this weekend to be solid and it was. It wasn’t too fast or two slow, it was just a good steady pace. My legs felt good and I’m looking forward to the race on Sunday. I just hope the day starts off cool, because they are calling for temps to be about 90.

If the rain holds off enough today we will do our first open water swim of the season. With the warmer temps the water should be pretty bearable with a wetsuit on. We’ll see how our nubies handle the switch to open water. My guess is that they will do fine. They have met and exceeded everything we done to date. I’m looking forward to getting back in the open water. Simply for the benefits of wearing a wetsuit; me without a wetsuit = slow swimmer, me with a wetsuit = slightly faster slow swimmer –feeling like I’m cruising through the water…

Quote of the Day: The individual activity of one man with a backbone will do more than a thousand men with a mere wishbone. - William J.H. Boetcker

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Pretty Fine

Yesterday was about as nice of a day as you could ask for. The temp was in the low to mid 70’s and the sun was shining. Its days like that when I really wish I didn’t sit at a desk all day. I went out to grab some lunch and I nearly didn’t come back. It was almost a shame that I had to swim last night after work. I would have much preferred to be out biking or running but in the pool is where I needed to be. With the warmer temps the pool didn’t seem quite as cold as it normally does. After my swim I paced a bit around my apartment debating. It was truly too nice out to not get a little bit of a bike or run in after my swim. That said my legs were a little stiff from the weekend and with the ½ marathon approaching I’m in rest legs mode. After some more pacing and mumbling to myself I changed and headed out the door for a nice “easy” run. At least I tried to keep it easy, but the nice weather always seems to go against the easy vibe. To not over due it I kept it to only 3 miles which was the smart thing to do, but not exactly what I wanted to do.

Tonight we have another TNT meeting. The first part is designed to go over USA Triathlon rules and stuff like that. Since most of the team in new to the sport this is important stuff to know. I just might happen to miss that part, darn. The rest of the time we will spend going over transitions. I think transitions are a lot of fun, but they do take some practice. Of course this means that I have to lug all my gear to the meeting, which if I remember right is on the opposite end of the Twin Cities from where I live. doh Speaking of gear I suppose I better try my wetsuit on when I get home from work. Hopefully the thing still fits. Not that its real important for tonight besides demonstration, but we have our first open water swim on Thursday and it will be needed for that. We’ll see how much sucking in of the gut I’ll have to do to get the thing on. I mean the material will only stretch so much…

Quote of the Day: In hindsight, the runs we struggle to finish are more impressive than the runs we fly through. - Nic

Monday, May 22, 2006

Weekend in Review

My weekend was pretty full with things happening on both the training and social side. As much as I didn’t want to do a workout Friday after the work week finally ended, I did drag my ass to the pool. I think Friday afternoon workouts are about the hardest to get motivated for. The pool wasn’t too crowded so that was a plus. My swim was so-so, nothing special but I was there swimming and that’s what counts. Friday night was pretty chilled. We had some of the fellas over to hang out and watch a movie. Shadoweyes is heading out to Oregon for the summer and he wanted a chilled night so that’s we had. Ya need to lay low from time to time.

Saturday morning came early as it always does. I have to admit that I moved my workout back a bit so I didn’t get started til around 9:30 vs. the normal 8:00 AM. On the agenda was a 12 miler to make sure I was ready for the ½ Marathon that I have coming up next weekend. Normally I would have preferred to do this run a week earlier, but it just didn’t work out that way. Oh well I hit lakes area Minneapolis which was busy as always. The sun was starting to come out behind the clouds when I started, and was in full view after only a couple of miles. It felt great to be running and my legs were feeling light. I listened to 1.5 episodes of Get Your Geek On podcast as I ran in the warm sunny weather. I even saw a few people I knew out of the trails. Overall I felt really good while I was running. I was getting a bit tired during the end, but that’s suppose to happen I guess. I finished off the 12 miles in 1:44 or 8:40 min/miles which I was happy with. It’s not my best nor worst time every. The important thing was that I felt good while I was running and I think next weekend will be a lot of fun. I guess that’s one of the benefits of just running a race to run it vs. to get a certain time or set a new PR.

After my run it was time to rest and recoup. I did spend some time on the couch just chilling and relaxing afterwards. My Saturday afternoon also comprised of the fun chores like laundry and cleanup the apartment. Oh the amounts of fun that were had. As the day progressed into evening it was time to head out for a little celebration. One of the fellas had received his MBA earlier in the day so it was time to go have a few. We met up in the Uptown area of Minneapolis. There we sampled a few establishments as well as a few cocktails. Being the responsible triathlete and driver, I had my two drinks (long island and a jaggie-bomb) before turning to the water for the remainder of the evening.

With a swim on Friday and run on Saturday, Sunday was a bike day. SafetyBob organized a group ride for the team. The location was I ideal, because we started at a trail head so people could road bike, mountain bike, or trail run depending on their mood. I lead the road riding group while another bunch hit the trails on their mountain bikes. The ride was great once we kind of got through the city part of intersections and lights into some longer stretches of open road. We were a little pressed for time, so we only ended up doing 27.5 miles. I was hoping to do about 35, but that will wait til next time. After the ride SafetyBob and his wife hosted us all over for dinner. The grill was full of brats and the glasses with beer. They also had plenty of fixings and other munchies. Of course after eating more then my fill they brought out the angel food cake, strawberries, and whip cream. Needless to say everyone left feeling satisfied, but tired after a good workout and a very nice meal. Thanks again Bob!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

For The Cause

From time to time certain situations arise where one must purposefully subject themselves to embarrassment, humiliation, laughs, stares, and unavoidable questioning. This is the position I found myself in last night as I reluctantly joined my TNT group for our workout. The reason for my reluctance, as some may have already guessed, was because I was not dressed in my usual attire. Last night I fulfilled my part for the donations that were made to the LLS. I do appreciate every donation that was made, and maybe these pictures will spur a few more. I have to say that this ranks pretty high up on the most embarrassing things I’ve ever done list. I’m sure there are several of my teammates who are convinced that I’ve just completely lost it, (they might be right) but I think the hardest part was that we were in a very public area around Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis. The lakes attract a ton of people who are walking, running, biking, or just driving along the lakes. If only I could have made everyone who I caught watching me with a questioning look on their face make a donation we would have really cashed in. So again thanks to everyone who made a donation, Nic for being apart of what started this whole thing, Mouse and the Running Blogfather who inspired the outcome, Kim for actually coming up with the female attire, and SafetyBob for being so so eager capture the evidence that is below for your viewing pleasure or perhaps displeasure. So I will not procrastinate longer and allow you to scroll down and view one of my most embarrassing hours, but all for a great cause...

(You may want to remove small children from the room)

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

A Taste

In a previous post I wrote about the Ironman being the pinnacle of what I want to accomplish as a triathlete. Over the last few years I’ve watched the World Championships in Hawaii on TV. I’d sit there watching all these people pour out every ounce of energy to complete one of the toughest events man has ever created. The whole time being flooded with a gamut of feelings and emotions as I sat there and watched. I get the feeling that things will be all the more intense when I make the trek down to Madison, WI this fall. I have joined the likes of veteran Trimama as a volunteer for this year’s Ironman. I’ll start out in the gear bag area for the first four hours and then meet up with Trimama and the tribe over on the run for a second shift. I figured there was no better way to see what it is really like then by being involved in my Everest. Plus this will allow me a great venue for cheering on the likes of Iron Will, TriSaraTops, and everyone else racing.

Yesterday was the first day in over a week where we didn’t have any rain. I think the weather lady said that we had 8 days in a row of measurable rain. With the pavement dry it was time to saddle up and get a bike in. My legs left fresh last night and I kept a pretty good pace. It was great just to be riding again and the roads, trails, and paths were busy will people enjoying the warm dry weather. I started out along the river (Mississippi) in St. Paul before heading into Minneapolis and riding around a two of the several lakes the city has within its limits. Then it was back to the east side of the river to finish off a 27 mile ride. Hopefully this weather trend will continue because I need to spend some more time hammering the pedals.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Join the Crowd

This was my only option as I arrived at the pool last night. The place was packed. There seemed to be about 5 to 6 people in each lane. Even in a 50 M pool it felt a little too crowded for my taste. I guess that’s mainly because I’m not the fastest swimmer and sometimes it hard not to feel like you are getting in someone’s way. Then of course there are times when you know you are as the person behind you is wearing fins and waits for an opening and then zooms past you. I felt pretty tight for most of my swim, but it is always good to grind out some laps even if you aren’t feeling the best. I stuck to just doing 100 repeats because of how busy it was, which allowed me to make sure I wasn’t holding up the show too much. The best part of the session was that one of my friends from my hometown came with me. He’s one of the best swimmers to come out of that place and he took some time to watch me swim and had several very useful things to work on. Since I’ve spent so much time coaching this season I haven’t really had much of a chance to have my own stroke looked at. For a guppy like myself I’ll take all the advice and pointers I can get.

After our dip in the pool we headed out to get some eats at one of the many local establishments near the U of M. After some good eats it was back to St. Paul and to the bar a short walk from my apartment. Now I don’t normally head to the bar on a Monday night, but we had to go have a couple celebratory drinks. One of our friends is finishing off his MBA this week and had spent most of the day at a job interview before they made him an offer for a job he’s really excited about. So we went out and had a couple while playing some pool and darts. Not a bad way to spend my after work hours. Now if it will only stay dry tonight so I can ride. Cross your fingers peoples...

Quote of the Day: Never be afraid to do something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark; professionals built the titanic. - Unknown

Monday, May 15, 2006

A brief moment

When I’ve looked to the skies the last few days the only thing I’ve seen is gray. At times it might be a lighter or darker shade as it prepares to rain once again. Even with the strong winds the clouds are backlogged as they continue to roll in one after the other. Cold, windy, rainy, and just plain blah is my description of our weather of late. As I sat on my couch like a bum on Sunday around noon I leaned my head back to see if by chance things had changed. As I peered through the window I noticed a small speck of a different color. It was blue. Though it was only a matter of days it seemed much longer since I’d last seen that beautiful color in between the clouds. As glad as I was to see a break in the clouds I couldn’t help but wonder if Mother Nature was just jerking me around and that the blue would be swallowed up in a matter of minutes.

I checked back again in a bit and it was still there and I could see the sun shining of the leaves of the trees. This time I got to my knees to get a better look. Is this for real? Could this be the break in the weather that I’ve been waiting for all weekend? Am I really going to be able to get out and train like I’ve been meaning too all weekend? After a little more time had passed I was convinced that there was going to be a long enough break in the weather to get my long run in. I had a banana and changed as I got ready to head out. I was a little nervous because I’d had a bigger breakfast earlier when the weather had been crappy and I was convinced that it would be many hours before I was able to get out if at all. The plan was 10 miles. I decided to take the iPod, strapped on my watch and I was out the door.

The first 20 minutes were shear bliss. The sun was starting to really break through the clouds and it felt great. I was starting to wonder could this really hold up and why hadn’t I brought my sunglasses. The answer to both came only a few miles into my run as the clouds did overtake the sun once again. Almost like clockwork the sun departed and my stomach worries returned. I felt like I was carrying a brick in the pit of my stomach and it was a constant reminder of my earlier stupidity. After a bit of water at mile 7 my stomach pains eased a bit as I pushed towards the end. I picked up the pace over the last couple miles including the two hills that awaited me before the finish.

I came around the last bend that is slightly downhill feeling as if it was a race. It hadn’t been an easy run, but I was done and that’s all that mattered. I grabbed some more water and sucked down a Gu before walking back to my apartment. The walk back was quite and peaceful as I had turned off the music. I was tired, but yet content with my efforts and smiled most of the way home. The sun may have left the sky but I was still beaming. It wasn’t the fastest or greatest run that I’ve ever had but I finished and some days that’s all that matters…

Quote of the Day: Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm. - Winston Churchill

Friday, May 12, 2006

Kids Play Pics

Here are some of the pictures that were taken at last night's swim. Thanks again Bob...

Eric, Matt, Andy, and I

Bob and I (never gets old I guess..hehe)

Andy and Kim

a freak


It's called a razor

Andy and polite Kim

Something else that nevers seems to get old

1/4 of Eric, me, Andy doing I don't know (not sure I want to)

I'll try and get the vidoes clips linked up this evening or tomorrow.

Kids Play

This is the best way to describe the end of our group swim last night, but more on that in a bit. I wasn’t exactly sure how the swim was going to go last night. It’s so much easier to stay up on the deck and coach then gut it out with the rest of the team, but it was time to splash around with everyone else. After a warm-up and a stretch I was feeling pretty good and I’m sure the ibuprofen helped in regards to the shoulder. The main set was going to be about a ½ mile (800). To ease the congestion that happens with many people swimming at different speeds we used three lanes but only swimming in the outer two. So you would swim up one, duck under two lane lines and then back down in a big circle. It actually worked pretty well and it helps people learn how to pass and things like that. That said I think I tired myself more from crossing the middle lane then anything else.

After the ½ mile we did some drills to allow people to get the sense of open water swimming. First we did some drafting laps so people could feel the difference by following right behind a couple of people. Next, and a total blast, we had the ladies swim by twos and then the guys would follow behind and grab their legs a couple times as they swam. Of course the ladies didn’t now what was going to happen. Some freaked and some just came up laughing. It’s a good drill because you will get grabbed at some point in the open water. Don’t worry the ladies got they chance as the guys swam the ladies were about half way down and then would push down on our backs sending us to the pool floor as we swam by. The final drill was the mass start. We all huddled treading water is a small area and then we would have to sprint down the lane. Having experienced this before I did my best to thrash around and swim over as many people as possible as I went down the lane. Not to be mean of course, but to show them how some people actually swim during a race so that they don’t freak out if it happens.

This ended the workout but play time wasn’t over yet. Safety Bob had brought his underwater camera so took advantage as the 2nd group started their workout. We took a variety of shots and videos of us swimming over him or posing underwater. Hopefully he will send me the pics soon and I’ll get them up. Even better is if we can get the video linked up. So in the end it was an entertaining workout and a nice way to break back into the group swim. I get the day off today and I’ll head out for a DTM after work. Tomorrow morning starts off early again with bricks at 8:00 AM. Oh the joy.

Have a good one ladies and gents…

Quote of the Day: Behold the turtle. He makes progress only when he sticks his neck out. - James Bryant Conant

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Get your tickets to the gun show

I couldn’t just waste the comments that people left about my arms, the massive guns that they are. Actually they are not that big at all, but they do have some shape which is always nice. I think most of it comes from swimming so hitting the pool is one way to tone up the arms if that’s your vibe.

Last night was another round of boot camp with the TNT crew. In between the recovery jobs there were; hills, stairs, lunges, transition drills (pushups followed by spins and then a short sprint), jumping jacks, squat lunges (we looked like waddling ducks as we went up the path), running in the sand, and a few other fun exercises. Overall it was a good workout and I’m pumped that the body doesn’t hate me today. That will be later after the swim tonight. It will be strange because I don’t have coach or help out tonight and that hasn’t been the case in a couple of months. Tonight I’ll be swimming with everyone else. Hmm…not sure how I feel about this, it’s been solo mission for most of the season.

If you are looking for a little motivation/inspiration head over to the Kahuna’s site and read the story about Mama B. This lady is simply amazing. Go check her story out…

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Small World

At the beginning on the TNT season one of the new members came up to me and said that I was in a picture that she had. Ummm…That’s a little strange but ok. The picture was taken at one of the sprint tris that I did last year and she was doing a relay. I was soon to find out that she works with one of the guys who did TNT with me last year and also returned as a mentor this year. Ah now it’s starting to sound more feasible. So the other day JG sent me the picture and sure enough I’m in it. So below we have BS (new TNTer) Mrs. P (wife of fellow mentor) JG (new TNTer) and me seemingly looking directly into the camera for a picture I’m not suppose to be in. Small world...

Quote of the Day: Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending. - Carl Bard

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


It was a warm and a bit muggy out today here in the Twin Cities. The clouds would roll in and it would get dark and maybe you’d get a couple of sprinkles, but it would never let loose and then the clouds would go away. Things looked pretty dark as I headed out for a run after work. Over the course of 5.5 miles things cleared up and the sun came out. The pace that I kept was faster then I wanted to be going. Unless it rains tomorrow night we’ll be running again and I wanted to take it kind of easy, but that just didn’t happen as I was still at a sub 8 min pace. Slowing down is one of the hardest things to do sometimes. I wonder if I can work that in somehow the next time I get pulled over. Ok now I need to go find some wood to knock on to make sure that it doesn't really happen. (knock, knock) Ok good, that's taken care of.

I finished off my run, stretched, showered, and headed to the pool. I wanted to get back in the water after cutting my workout a bit short yesterday because of my shoulder. Things felt better tonight, or maybe it was the painkillers. Either way it felt good to get back in the water and get in a 2nd workout. Besides it just won’t be a normal day if I didn’t have to shower 3 times.

No luck on the skirt hunt yet, but I can only hope to look as good as Mark did in his. :)

Sorry about the short post, but I still need to ice and then get some ZZZZZZZs. Take care folks…

Monday, May 08, 2006

The Highlights

The weekend has come and gone and it was quite busy. The highlights of the weekend are as follows.

Friday night was the Cinco de Mayo fundraiser for fellow TNTer Amy and Katie. These two ladies know how to throw a party. They had a great turnout and had plenty of food, snacks, and booze to go around. I’ve never seen so many jello shots before. I haven’t found out what their total amount was yet, but I’m sure they pulled in a great amount for the cause. As much as I wanted to fully partake in the festivities I kept things pretty low key knowing an early morning awaited me. Which wasn’t exactly easy, I’m such a sucker for jello shots.

Saturday came way to early with me turning the alarm off sometime before 6:30. I packed up my bike, running gear, and food for a long morning. We had a group brick workout starting at 8:00 AM. This was the first major brick that we had done with the group so it was nice to see a good turnout. Our bike was a little on the short side but everyone managed pretty well. I decided to pick things up on the run portion. A group of us headed out and pushed the pace over the 3+ miles. We held to a really good pace somewhere around the 7:30 min/mile mark. After another mile or so cool down it was back in the car and off to the pool. I was coaching a group swim about 45 minutes after the run ended. The swim went well with a couple of people even showing up after the brick workout. They defiantly got the hardcore awards for the day. After letting everyone else go I stayed late with one guy to help him one on one. He’s been struggling with the swim and really needed someone to work just with him. So we went over drills and things to work on for another ½ hour or so. When that was over I finally made it home about 5 hours after I had left earlier in the morning. I was pretty wiped after the long morning and didn’t do a whole lot the rest of the day.

Shadoweyes had people over to grill Saturday night which is always fun. He picked up some great brats from the local meat market, which are the bomb. Now I know that brats aren’t the best training food, but sometimes ya just have to enjoy the summertime food. So I indulged in the brats, but left the chips and beer alone. Get a little, give a little.

Sunday brought with it some warmer temperatures, which made for another nice day to be out riding. The only issue during the ride was that it was quite windy at times. I broke off from my one of my normal routes to try a new one, which was great. Though it is always a little strange trying a new route and wondering if you are going the right way. You usually don’t ride as fast just to make sure you don’t miss a turn or anything like that. It turned out to be a really nice route with a couple of big hills. Know I must say that I do love hills when I’m running, but it’s a different story on the bike. I still have some work to do when it comes to biking up hills so in that sense it was good that there were some. It was a good ride on a new route that I’ll be doing again. Next time I just need to make it a bit longer.

Well folks those are the very very exciting highlights from my weekend. :) Hopefully after tomorrow I’ll have had time to read through the 44 and counting posts that I’ve still have to get through since Friday. You all have been buys, or maybe I’ve just been slacking. Anyway I hope your weekend went well and your week if off to a great start…

Friday, May 05, 2006


Last night it was back to the 5th level of hell, aka the pool. I guess that might be a little harsh, but the swim will always be my nemesis. I headed to the pool right after work so that I could get my own workout in before the TNT crew showed up. I of course watched the Ironman video I linked to a couple of days ago before I left work. I arrived at the pool is pretty good spirits with technique and slow as the themes of the day. Hoping that by slowing things down I could continue to work on correcting my stroke and getting some longer distance in with my sub-par endurance. My main set was 3-500s with a good amount of rest in between. The entire time I was really trying to listen to my left side (shoulder and elbow) for what was working and what was not. For the majority of the time things felt good as I slowly rolled through the repeats. There were a few ouch, doh, nope moments, but overall things left pretty good. This was the first workout is a while where I felt that I made progress. I’m crossing my fingers and hoping that this trend continues. I mean my first race is less then two months away and its time to get down to business.

Tonight after work it will I’ll be heading to a Cinco de Mayo partying being help by some fellow TNT teammates as a fundraiser. It should be fun to have a cocktail and hang out with some of the team in a non-training atmosphere. Of course things won’t get too out of hand with a long brick scheduled for 8:00 AM Saturday morning. We’ll see how many are at the party, but don’t make it to the training session.

Well the lunch break is over and it time to finish off the last few hours of the work week. Have a great weekend…

Thursday, May 04, 2006


Tis the drug of choice today. Our group workout last night was boot camp style. This meant a variety of exercises broken up by recovery jogs. We started out with some beach running, then push-ups and spins to work on the feeling of transitions. I think that was followed by leg lifts and a long stretch of lunges. Then there were the tri dips and some football drills like quick feet and squats. This was followed up by some core work and finally some sprints. I actually felt pretty good during the workout and was a little upset that our coach passed on the hills. (Yes I have issues) Of course today is a different story and the legs are complaining and a bit stiff. This is actually fitting since I’ll be in the pool tonight and your legs aren't responsible for much in the water. Plus there is the added benefit of having access to the hot tub afterwards. Hot tub (said in Homer Simpson’s drooling voice)

Just a little fundraising update, after the hugely successful punishment poll and bowl-a-thon I’m up over 75% of my goal. Only a little over $800 to go. woot woot Thanks again to everyone who has made a donation to the cause!

Quote of the Day: No pessimist ever discovered the secrets of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new heaven to the human spirit. - Helen Keller

Wednesday, May 03, 2006


I think Mother Nature and the Weather Man have some shady deal going on. Case in point; yesterday as I churn out the hours at work it is amazing outside. That sun finally made a showing after 4 days of vacation. Then during an afternoon meeting someone mentions that it is going to rain again tonight. A silent scream reverberates through my body. This can’t be, not again. I had planned on riding tonight after missing out this weekend. After the meeting I check the weather and sure enough they are predicting rain. This just can’t be, look how nice it is outside. On my drive home a few sprinkles hit my windshield to confirm that it is going to rain. So I hoop on the trainer for a good hour to get a ride in and avoid being out and then dumped on. Of course I step outside after I’m done to find the ground still dry. I sense of rage rolls through my. Damn you weather man.

I search my cupboards for something to eat so I can stop my stomach from growling. I can’t eat a ton because it is off to the pool in less then an hour. I settle on a marathon bar and watch an episode of Las Vegas before heading to the pool. My swim wasn’t nearly as good as my swim on Monday, but just getting to the pool is sometimes half the battle. Finally after a ride and swim I get to eat some dinner and ice before calling it a night at a relatively decent time. Tonight it’s a group workout with the TNT folks. No skirt tonight, I still haven’t found one to wear yet. Hopefully I can take care of that this weekend so that I can get this over with and you can get your pictures. Just don’t expect me to shave my legs for this. :)

Happy hump day everyone…

Quote of the Day: The only reason I would take up jogging is so that I could hear heavy breathing again. - Erma Bombeck

Monday, May 01, 2006

Chills, goosebumps, excitement, fear, and tears

Leave it to blogland to once again come up big when I’m in a crunch. Flatman had a link on his page today to this amazing video. The video is part of the coverage of the 2003 Ironman World Championship in Hawaii. As I watched this video the waves of emotions rushed over me. It’s amazing how a 5 minute video can have such an effect. Like many triathlete the Ironman is my Everest. The Ironman is the pinnacle accomplishment in this sport that I hope to one day achieve.

During the video they had small bits about pain and how it is apart of every Ironman and its something that just has to be dealt with. This struck a huge cord with me today as I once again was not looking forward to another session at the pool. I knew in the end that I would end up with a shoulder that was painful and bothersome. Watching the video was just the kick in the pants that I needed. It set firm in my mind that pain is just something that I will have to deal with this season. That my shoulder is just something I will have to deal with and its time to stop being a baby about it. Now I’m not talking about being reckless, but not allowing things like this to turn into excuses.

To me this season is just part of the process towards my Everest. That it is not just another season of training or racing, but that my efforts will have an effect on my future as well. How can I expect to someday race an Ironman if I’m defeated by small ailments? Now I know everyone has their good and bad days, but it adds ups. Each training session or race is just another building block towards something greater. I was amazed by how a long term goal can aid a short term problem and it works both ways.

Through this great community of people I’ve been lucky enough to be surrounded by people accomplishing goals all the time. It’s amazing to read about the ups and downs that we all experience along the way. I consider myself lucky to be able to follow the lives and progress of so many great people as they reach for their own goals. It doesn’t matter whether it’s someone training for an Ironman, someone working towards their first triathlon, or someone trying to qualify for Boston. I size/subject of the goal doesn’t matter. What matters is that each and every one of you has made the statement that you can and have set out to achieve your goals. I can, you can, we can, and we will. There are NO limits!

Rain, Rain, Go Away

Let’s recap the weather report from the last few days. Friday rain, Saturday rain, Sunday rain, and today we have more rain. Seriously! I think we’ve had enough rain for one shot. Of course the weather people will make statements like we need the rain, which is probably true but it sure puts wrinkle in my weekend training plans. Those long rides and runs will just have to wait until Mother Nature stops crying. Would someone get her a tissue please?

In other news Kim and I hosted our bowl-a-thon fundraiser yesterday. We had a really good turnout which was great. I think that’s the worst part about holding a fundraiser is you never know if people are going to show. It was a little slow in the beginning, but within a half hour of the event starting we had people bowling on every lane we reserved. When everything was tallied up we raised over $550 for the cause. I call that a successful fundraiser.

I hope your weekend went well and hopefully it was a little drier then mine. It wouldn’t have taken much. :)