Tuesday, October 30, 2007

So busy...ack!

I'm losing all kinds of slacking TV watching time so I can workout because work is killing me. I'm still getting my workouts in though so at least I don't go postal at work.

Not much time to blog these days. My swimming has been off and on. Today was a totally on day as I really swam strong...for me. I was busting out some decent times without soreness. The other day was a sucky one where my arms hurt before the first 100 warmup and it was just ugh. I talked to a guy at work who son swims on the high school team. He is also getting ready for some triathlons. Anyway, he routinely swims a mile in 34 minutes. He's been reading the Total Immersion book about technique and such. I had him ask his son how many strokes he does per length. He found out that when he's in distance mode it 9 FRICKIN strokes. I almost died. That's amazing and during sprints its 15. Since I started breathing every other stroke my stroke count has gone up a bunch. I definitely would like to watch him swim with 9 strokes. I think it would be interesting to see. I wonder if he kicks really efficient and just pulls like a monster?

Must go to sleep...

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Things are so busy at work I didn't get a chance to write about this first time event for me that happened at the pool yesterday morning. I had a planned breakfast before work yesterday so I figured I'd go for a long swim before in order to be nice and hungry.

I decided to try for an actual "mile" in the pool. It's basically 70 laps or 17 100s with an extra 50 tacked on at the end. I got up and went to the pool. The first 300 or so is always a pain in the ass. I swear I go faster at the beginning because my body is so cold I'm shivering down the entire length of the pool. I tried my best to keep good form as I did my best to keep track of each 100. I took splits so I could see where I was at post swim.

As I was counting 13, I knew I had it in the bag. I could tell that I had seemed to slow down so I really did my best to focus on good form as my arms were getting tired. I finished the mile in a lightening slow time of 37:40. Ugh....oh well I still have 10 months before Canada as I hope to get to about 34 minutes. I was pretty tired once I finished. It was like a body fatigue and of course my arms were crazy sore. I had this pain in my left triceps that made it difficult to lift my arm.

I only have to be able to do 1.4 more miles after that. I'll just keep slowly building up to it.

Work has been so crazy that I skipped my pool workout this morning. I figured it was okay to take an extra day off from swimming this week.

Well I got get to it here at work...

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Snack mania

That's how today has gone. I've been snacking on food ever since I got back from my workout this morning. At least it hasn't been Cheetos, Pringles, Doritos and KC Masterpiece Lays, I've stuck with grapes, jerky, and "smart" popcorn. Since I only swam and ran today I had lots of time to sit in front of the TV and snack. I swear I could easily be sponsored by Frito Lay before I went chip cold turkey. I used to bring home about 6-8 bags of chips when I went grocery shopping. So far so good with the will power as I just skip the chip aisle. Once I finish the Ironman, my treat to myself will be a bag of Doritos as soon as I can stomach food. Just sitting probably in the hotel room afterwards with a bag and TV. I can smell the nacho cheese already...

The weekend has been pretty good workout wise. I rode 4 hours on the trainer while catching up with my DVR shows and barely noticed. I had a great swim on Saturday morning where I worked on some consistency. Today's swim didn't go so well but I was really just messy around with various stroke stuff to find some extra seconds here and there if possible.

I started to clean out my office at work in preparation for the move. I've narrowed it down to 3 apartment high rises in downtown Silver Spring Maryland. There within a mile of where my daughter will live and within 1.5 miles of her school. Plus we're close to downtown where there are shops and stuff. Not that I'll be able to buy anything since the cost of living in the DC area is quite expensive when compared to here.

First thing to clean up at work was my empty soda can collection which had basically taken over my entire bookcase. It ended up being around $20 in cans. It's not like I can use it to retire but it's a decent chunk of change.

I just turned off the Red Sox/Indians game as the Indians are gonna lose after failing to capitalize on 2 runners with 1 out in the top of the 8th.

One thing about doing all these base workouts is it helps relieve all the stress going on right now. I can forget about preparing to move which I absolutely hate. I can ignore during that time the important project I'm hastily trying to finish at work by November 5th. Work had been pretty laid back which is why I figured I could do an Ironman but not now. It's crazy and with this move....all I can say is ugh!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The junk is free

It's amazing the stuff you can forget when you try to pack up clothes for 5AM workouts. Commando isn't so bad except for when you pants keep feeling like they might fall off. My current set of jeans are bagging on me and one less layer doesn't make them any tighter.

It's mid October and I've started heavily looking at apartments in DC. It's frickin expensive. Holy crap. I need to find a decent place since I'll be there 24/7 because I'll basically be "working at home". I might end up in an apartment tower in this downtown suburb to be close to Elena and her school. I also started looking at moving options. It looks like I'm gonna drive cross country as it will be cheaper than having my Escape transported and paying in addition to that a plane ticket. I'll do the blitz across the US as short as possible since it will be in the middle of winter. Hopefully, I'll be able to find a non-snowy window to get across quickly.

On the good side, my swim has been going well. I was able to kick the fastest 50 yards yet in my drill. I'm gonna try to incorporate some of the kicking while actually swimming but that's tougher as it's really hard to get into a rhythm. Practice, practice and more practice.

I thought about doing a half marathon downtown this Sunday as a training race but it costs $45. I need to save every last dime so I'll just workout on my own. The weather looks like it's gonna suck anyway. More trainer time for me. I'd be fine with the trainer if it felt more like road riding. I just can't find that magical gear that feels just like a day outside. It's going to be an interesting 3 hour ride at least on Saturday.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Mysterious Bruise

So I'm sitting here thinking about what of any signficance went on with my life today and my leg feels sore. I had a decent trainer ride for 90 minutes but it feels like a bruise instead of typical workout soreness. Sure enough it's a bruise the size of half dollar. I have no idea how it happened. I'm usually very sensitive to things bashing into my legs, arms and other appendages. No dice on this one. It started bugging me after I dropped Elena's bag at the house. Maybe I clunked my leg with it. It was massive.

Elena was all happy to see her mom again. She even told Amber that we got along for our time together and it wasn't too bad afterall. That's my daughter. Tells it like it is. Doesn't hold any punches. Straight to the point. She's like me in that regard.

Where do these mysterious bruises come from? I guess if I woke up with a bruise I could come up with an impressive story about being abducted by aliens and being experimented on. They had heard cats always landed on their feet when dropped and wanted to see if 30 something engineers had that same ability. Or if I woke up with a hangover and bruise, it would've been caused by smashing into some table stumbling back from the bar with a fresh beer. Everyone's had beer bruises, beer cuts and even beer gashes. They happen and come with drinking too heavily while roaming the city streets with a few of your buddies.

Well I better get to bed so hopefully when I wake up tomorrow I'll have a mysterious good swim instead of a bruise.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Ironman World Championships

Well today was the 2007 Ironman World Championships in Hawaii. I watched some of the live webcast when the site was working. I guess it was getting slammed by people watching the coverage. It was cool actually to have workout with a person who was competing as well as knowing of a few others via the Slowtwitch forums.

Spoiler Alert: Chris McCormack ended up winning the men's race. The women's race is still going on right now as I write this. The woman's race wasn't as predictable. The men's race had a couple of the favorites go out right at the beginning. Crazy stuff....it's just amazing even at the pro level things can happen to ruin their race day. The defending women's champ had a preforated ear drum. I'm not sure how that happens but that doesn't sound fun at all when it comes to swimming. The defending men's champ basically threw up right after the swim and dropped out. The heat looked like it was taking its toll on most of the other folks there as their split times were nowhere near previous times they ran earlier this year.

My goal is to not only complete Ironman Canada but qualify for Hawaii as well. It would just be a great experience to do the course where it all started. It's like when the Olympic marathon was basically the exact course that was run in Athens. I'm not sure I'll be able to do but I'm gonna really put it all there next year.

The OSU Beavers are playing California right now. Since the LSU Tigers lost today if Cal wins they'll be #1 in the nation. I'm hoping for a nice upset by my Beavs kind of like the Stanford win over USC in LA. I got a coffee on it so we'll hope for the best.

I had a decent treadmill run today and tomorrow I'll get back in the pool as well as doing another treadmill run.

Friday, October 12, 2007

More travel

Well it looks like I'll be traveling more for my job. In 3 weeks, I'll be going to Rhode Island. I hope it's not super cold but it will probably be snowing. I'll have to time my training to deal with such travel. I trained for a marathon when I was traveling internationally. It was tough but not impossible. I haven't swam in a couple of days and we'll how my swim on Sunday goes. Maybe my muscles will be all built up and I'll just hammer out some fast times and feel great doing it.

The cycling this week has felt pretty good but not great. It's weird as early this summer I was able to ride for a short distance/time pretty fast but not now. My body is all about just sitting at a nice tempo. Overall, it's okay because come spring there will be time to really start pushing some fast intervals.

It seems a lot of the top wetsuits are going on sale because the 2008 models are coming out. I should be able to get a nice 2007 for almost half price. I might buy a Nineteen suit, Blue Seventy, or Zoot. I wonder if it really will help streamline my body in the pool/water. Of course I won't be able to use a wetsuit at the Florida Half. I could if I didn't want to be considered for qualifying. I don't think I'll do that well because people's bike legs will be super fast compared to mine. I'd probably be able to hold maybe 21-22mph while the top cyclists will be well over 23. I'll make up some time on the run as I expect to go under 90 minutes. I still need to find a tri-suit for this event.

At least the weekend is upon us and the weather is supposed to be good.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Some days you have it and some you don't

Today's swim was a chore. I just couldn't get going and didn't feel smooth or comfortable. My pace was similar but I just felt like crap. I felt like crap yesterday on the bike but today's ride felt comfortable. Go figure..tomorrow I'm running so we'll see how that goes.

I was lucky to get a ride in today as we saw the doppler radar and there was this huge storm coming off the coast. We decided to leave earlier than normal but as of 8pm the storm still hasn't reach Portland. Wild stuff...I just can't seem to win this fall with predicting if it's going to rain or not.

I carted over Elena's suitcase for the 5 days she'll be at my place. Here's a picture of it upright next to a normal chair:

It crazy she's only a 5 year old. I can't believe she packed so many clothes. Plus I find out that mom got her a makeup bag with lip gloss, nail polish and some other stuff. Argh!! I have no idea how I'm going to survive her teen years. I better start saving now for all the fashion she's going to need to "fit in" at school.

The fall TV season is in full swing so my DVR is working overtime. I was able to catch up on some shows while riding the trainer this past weekend. I think my favorite new show right now is Kitchen Nightmares on Fox. It's hilarious and scary to think about dining out with some of the restaurants Gordon Ramsey has discovered. If you have a weak stomach, I'd skip it but if you don't it's well worth the entertainment value. The whole shock and awe is right up there.

Welp I'm hitting the hay with another 4:30AM wake up coming...

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Arms are tired

Friday's swim really took it out of me. The new technique has made my arms really tired from doing the first consecutive swim with it. However, it was my fastest swim for 1000 yards yet so I was pleased. I'm slowly getting the hang of breathing bi-laterally. I did it for the whole swim and I've done it during this weekend's workouts.

I just could get the weather figured out on Saturday. It kept looking like it would rain but never did. I ran from the pool to get my haircut and then ran back. It was a 12 mile run split with a haircut. So it wasn't difficult but my legs felt dead on Sunday's run.

I finished all my grocery shopping in preparation for 5 days with Elena starting Wednesday night. Her mom and step-dad are going to DC to scope out the area for the move this winter. I've been looking online and renting an apartment is quite expensive luckily I don't really need to buy anything but food so I should be able to survive. I'm actually quite pleased with myself as I've been able to save money quite well. Maybe it's easier to save as you get older and wiser.

The Portland Marathon was today and the weather was perfect for 90% of the people who do marathons, overcast and mid-50s. There's a lot of blood, sweat and tears going on during that event and I can still remember all the suffering I did on the course. The Ironman marathon leg is gonna be a totally different experience and challenge. I won't be out on the razor's edge of aerobic/anaerobic which I've fallen off on 2 of my 3 marathons. The Ironman marathon will come after 7 hours of constant exercise. I still think once I get out of the lake my Ironman will be all gravy from there. I'll be so happy that I didn't drown that it will make the rest of it fun. The Ironman is setup perfectly for me. The swim is my greatest weakness, then the bike is so-so, but when I hit the run I'll be in my element. So I'll gain more and more confidence as the event goes on rather than dreading the next leg.

It's only October but I'm still stoked for the challenge ahead.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Thursday Humor

So I got this picture from a guy that kicks my ass on a daily basis on the lunch time rides.

Good stuff. If the training was only so easy. It seems the weeks are clicking by now that fall has arrived. The trainer is becoming my best friend right now. I figured I pass time faster if I'm reading while spinning away so I'll have to find some good books to read during the winter months for those 3 hour trainer rides. If I can keep my long ride of the week right around 3 hours throughout the winter that will really give a good base for starting the real Ironman training come January.

I got my first issue of my Triathlon magazine subscription. It's a cool issue because it's right before the World Championships in Kona so there's all kinds of cool little tidbits. I also like oggling over all the cool advertisements for equipment.

I still have to figure out which wetsuit, triathlon suit, and triathlon bike to purchase. I'm probably going to go either Cervelo or the new Specialized Transition because of a good team deal I'll get with River City Bicycles. River City Bicycles is the bomb! It's amazing because I read today in the Road Rider Newsletter that cycling is down because normal people are just hating their local bicycle shop customer service. River City has awesome service and the place is always hoping with racers, commuters and just people wanting to ride. I guess I'm a little worried that I won't be able to find such a good shop in Washington DC after the move next year.

The move is getting closer and closer. Amber and Joe are scouting out places next week so I'll have Elena for 5 days straight. Hopefully, she'll be able to deal with me for that long. We've definitely been battling here and there recently. I think it will go well and it should be a good change of pace. I'll have to cut back on my workouts a little but that's okay. It is only October.

The fall TV season is in full swing and my DVR is working overtime but I'm glad to have so I can see great shows like My Name is Earl and my favorite show of all-time The Simpsons. But I'm already behind on Heroes. Hopefully, I'll be able to catch up this weekend during some rest and relaxation time.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Is it Monday?

So I get to work this morning and the powers that be decided to change our mail client? Oh joy, so I spent about an hour just trying to get it setup and work. Ugh...luckily I had a nice warm chocolate chip hazelnut scone to keep me motivated. I figured I would indulge since I'm planning on still running my normal miles during my rest week. I'm low on running miles anyway so each running workout is pretty easy.

Rain and more rain. A common theme around here but at least driving hasn't been too bad commute wise. They just repaved a big section of the main freeway(I-5). It seems that the new pavement is not only like butter when driving but has nowhere near the tire spray as normal pavement. I wonder if its some special draining pavement or something. It's weird. Maybe it's perfectly crowned right now that everything runs off of it. It makes seeing while driving not so bad when it's pouring.

The pool was warm this morning so it made getting in and starting my workout a lot easier. I'm still trying to figure out the new stroke and my arms are tired but I'm definitely faster. I just need to see how my swimming endurance is with the new stroke. Next week we'll try to swim 40 minutes for my long swim.

I still can't get my routine done as far as waking up and being ready to go. 4:30 still is hard even after 6 weeks. Tomorrow I get to sleep in because I take my daughter to school...woohoo I'm looking forward to it.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Relaxing week

So it's Tuesday morning, I've started my kick back easy week before putting in more base miles next week. A perfect week to start because the highs this week will be 60 with scattered showers throughout the day. The average in Portland for this time of year is 70. We totally got screwed on nice weather this summer and early fall. I really feel for the marathon this Sunday as it could be raining. I'm sure everyone will love the 60 degree high but if its wet I can see some painful bloody shirts come Sunday afternoon.

I've been doing the swimming drills for the last two mornings. Its hard but I'm feeling like I can go faster just from swimming correctly. I'm still trying to get the rhythm down and sometimes I'm so focused on my stroke that I forget to breathe when I pop my head out. Of course this almost kills me because I realize when I face is back in the water that I forgot. DOH! I keep trying to swim straight but I'm all over the place. Open water swimming will be interesting for sure.

It's October already. Amazing...I definitely have to really work on my diet this winter so I don't put on a bunch of extra pounds. I also need to get miles in so I don't spend all spring trying to get in shape like I've done the past 2 years.