Friday, March 28, 2008


Long can describe my first massive workout of the year this past Sunday or how long it's been since I wrote a blog or even the pool I was able to swim in when I was traveling on business this week.

Let's start with my pathetic ride part of my mini-triathlon on Easter Sunday. I decided to go long because I was going to be traveling for business starting Monday night and the weather was sunny and a decent temperature. I started off in the pool and proceeded to rock 2200 yards in a new personal best. 40:32 with a 40 minute flat half-iron split. I was using a jammer for a swimsuit since my previous swimsuit was destroyed. Basically no drag at all so I was rattling off 1:50s on the money the whole way. I hoped out of the pool and changed into my cycling clothes and was off. It was pretty cold about 40 degrees but sunny. I went out to this area with some rolling hills. I really didn't have good legs at all. I did a couple of decent climbs but nothing spectacular. I was trying to keep my nutrition up. It seemed that I had a cross-wind the whole way. I forced myself to make it a 73 mile ride even though I wanted to turn around earlier. My overall pace was horrible. It seems ever since that one Friday a week ago I just can't hammer out a good bike. I reached my car and stowed the bike. I changed into my running clothes and I was off for just a simple 30 minute run. I miscalculated my course and only got to run for 23 minutes. I did average sub 7s for just a little over 3 miles. I love running off the bike because at the end of the bike my body just hurts. It feels good to cruise at a nice run pace. I could feel that I was getting hungry so I'll have to make sure I bring nutrition when I start uping the time to 60 or more minutes.

I was pretty tired afterwards so I had a relaxing early dinner with Elena, Amber and Joe. I took it easy in the pool and on a trainer ride on Monday before flying to Rhode Island. I was able to get a list of pools to hit up while I was there. It ended up being a cold 25 meter pool. It was freezing but it just made the warmup a real warmup. I did swim/run bricks for the past 3 days and ate like a pig at restaurants. I probably gained a couple of pounds. I swam 1600 meters yesterday and it was great because I didn't have to worry about converting. My times were slower as I still had a full tummy from the previous nights "endless enchiladas". I had 10 enchiladas plus some community table ice cream cake. I was swimming like a bloated whale and the run didn't go very well but I finished.

Business travel always equates to massive calorie intake. As it gets close to the big events, I'll be more careful. I'm traveling to Germany for a couple days in mid April. I'll probably only be able to run outside as hotels in Europe rarely have gyms and driving isn't going to happen so no just driving to a local pool.

Pretty soon I'm going to have to longer than 2200 yards in the pool to get ready for that full ironman swim distance. The next big number will be 3000. I'll need to figure out a good week to hit that number. Maybe the morning of my flight to Germany, that way I should be so tired I'll be able to sleep on the plane.

4 months 27 days...

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Egg Sausage McYummy!

About a week ago, I received a coupon book to one of the greatest grease cholesterol clogging fast food restaurants in America. Although, I'm not sure using the word "restaurant" is the right word. It just doesn't seem to fit when you consider Ruth Chris is a restaurant as well.

Mcdonald's my daughters favorite place. She loves the fries as do I. I'm still pissed at Spurlock for his awesome movie Supersize Me affect on McDonalds. No more super-sized fries!! Of course allows me to get salads when Elena gets a treat to a chicken mcnugget happy meal. All for love of training and staying healthy....well that's out the window this morning. I've been beating my brains out this week in workouts and decided why not use one of the many coupons for a 99 cent saugsage mcmuffin.

One problem is that there are absolutely no McDonalds with a drive-thru anywhere near me or the gym. There's one in the mall but that doesn't count. The one by the gym really has no parking lot as it's by the Metro station. I parked in the handicap spot ala George Constanza on Seinfeld and ran into to get my grease breakfast sandwich. It took the staff forever to figure out how to enter the coupon all while they asked me what I wanted about 10 times. Good times. At least I didn't come out to have a mob of angry people surrounding my car in the handicap spot.

Overall, I've been real good about my diet. I haven't had a Dorito or any other garbage chip since August. I still eat popcorn which is about it for my junk food intake. This is major compared to before, I'm not drinking any caffeine either or drinking alcohol. I keep seeing those Jared 10 year anniversary Subway commercials. I think after the Ironman I'll be doing the exact opposite. I'll go from Ironman to 325 lb shut-in on a steady diet of Doritos, McDonalds, Pringles, Lays, Cheetos, beer, and Rockstar. On big training days, I easily put down over 4000 calories and that's without chips. I could easily top 6000 calories by including junk food. I can easily see a new max weight for me after the Ironman topping my 155 in the winter of 2007.

I'm lovin it...5 months 4 days

Friday, March 14, 2008

Shreds and Ladders

My arms are tired and I have to get a new swimsuit. I was going so fast today that I shredded it. Actually, I think the last 7 months of swimming in chemicals destroyed it. I got this huge gash from the crotch all the way to the leg seam. Basically, everything was in full view. Luckily, there's no one at the pool at 5am.

I was trying to figure out what workout to do as I laid in bed waiting for the time to actually get up and head to the pool. I always wake up just after 3am and then take little catnaps at 10 minutes a pop until I actually get out of bed. It's weird but it actually gets me used to the idea of actually waking up. It's like a built-in snooze alarm. I feel more refreshed if that happens compared to sleeping straight through til 4:35am when I wake up.

I got out of bed and proceed to put my stuff together. It's quite easy since I don't have to worry about going into the office after swimming. On top of that, I'm not running to the pool right now due to letting my calf rest so it's pretty simple. I put on my trunks, sweats, and pullover, grab my towel and I'm off to the pool. As I was doing this I was contemplating my workout fate. I thought I could go long like last week and do 2200 yards again. I'd try my best to keep it under 2 minutes per 100 just like last week. I thought maybe I should only go long and slow every other week as I keep reading and hearing speed workouts are good for ya. I did a 10x100yd on Monday and a 5x200yd on Wednesday. The Wednesday workout about killed me. I was thinking I could do 4x400yd today. I've done this workout once in December, the day I started my trek across the country. And then it popped into my head from out of nowhere, I'll do a ladder workout. I'll do 100, 200, 300, 300, 200, 100. This will be 1200 yds of intervals and with my warmup and cooldown I'd get some decent yardage. Perfect!

Since, I didn't swim yesterday I was well rested and proceeded to do my warmup. I started the workout and I was moving. I hit the 100 at 1:48. I was thinking not bad. I blitzed the 200 at 1:49, 1:52. This was my typical 200 yard interval time on Wednesday. I was thinking during that rest that if I can hold that pace for the 300 I should do a 400 as well. I'd add the 400 in the middle and then finish with 300, 200, 100. Basically, push myself and see what'd happen. I did the 300 in 1:50, 1:54(I was mentally slacking off), 1:52. Things are going great let's do that 400. This is where amazing happens. I hit the 400 at 1:49, 1:51, 1:52, 1:49. I saw that last 100 time and was stoked. I didn't feel like I was tired at that pace. During the rest, I started to think about how fast that would be in the wetsuit. The following 300 was tough and the euphoria was wearing off. I just wanted to finish. I still managed 1:49, 1:52, 1:53. Now I knew I was home free with just a 200 and wimpy 100 left. I finished up pretty strong with a 1:50, 1:50 for the 200 and a 1:47 for the 100.

I know these times for real swimmers are super slow. I look back at my first couple of weeks of swim workouts and see 2:20s and 2:30s for 100 yards as part of a total of 800 yard workout at the beginning of September. It wasn't until mid October that I was able to do a 100 under the 2 minute mark. I just gotta keep working. I might be able to go 1:10 in the water for the Ironman. That's 10 free minutes as my original goal was 1:20. Anything faster than that is free and gets me closer to that 10 hour mark for the entire thing.

5 months 10 days...

Monday, March 10, 2008


There it computer's power supply came back to life today. Not sure how long it will last but I was able to upload the pic.

I got into the pool today with the old school beach swim trunks and boy the 100 yard repeats were brutal. I was busting ass just to hit 1:49s as compared to yesterday when I was cruising 1:42s.

Overall, my interval swim workout went quite well. I was able to hold the 1:49 for all 10 of the intervals. This is my fastest 100 yard repeat workout to date. I'm getting faster. I think the high elbow drills are really helping as I notice I'm keeping the elbows up during tired times during the stroke.

The weekend cycling workouts consisted of 5.5 hours on the trainer. I watched "LOTR: Return of the King" and some CSI episodes. I was surprised to like Return of the King more than the first couple of times I watched it. Anyway, the LOTR movies are quite good for trainer workouts. I stayed inside away from the cold and wind. It was wet on Saturday and it was cold yesterday.

I'm still waiting for warm weather and still no luck.

I watched 10000 BC on Saturday night while I was down in Virginia. I figured I'd give an AMC theater a try. They stink. No bucket of popcorn, self buttering station...ugh. I was able to burn through almost 2 large bags as they did have refills. Now the movie was trying to be like a good movie instead of just an action fest. I mean it had an Apocalypto story-line mixed with Pathfinder. The special effects didn't do much as you see them all in the previews. I was robbed.

I did see a cool trailer for a Jet Li/Jackie Chan old school mythical kung-fu movie coming soon. It looks cool and I'm going to see it when it comes out. I saw the full blown Ironman trailer and it looks like its gonna be real bad.

I will be seeing Horton Hears a Who this weekend with Elena and a bazillion other kids. It should be complete chaos but Elena doesn't really care if we get good seats.

5 months 14 days...

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Draggin ass

I got my new wetsuit yesterday in a whirlwind trip down to Falls Church Virginia. It's a Blue Seventy Helix. It fits quite snug and the zipper is bizarre because you have to thread it at the neck and it zips down the back. The sales guy at Bonzai Sports said it was strange that they still kept that design where all other wetsuits zip up the back to close I guess.

I thought about getting a Profile aero bottle while I was there but I'm still not sure which bike I will be riding come Ironman time. I've ordered a P2C 56 but they're hard to come by and I have no idea when it will arrive. My shop, River City Bicycles is working hard to make it happen. They're awesome.

Anyway, back to the wetsuit. I decide to take it for a spin in the pool this morning to make sure everything fit right. I got it zipped up which wasn't so bad but definitely takes work. I hopped in the pool and was going to swim an easy 1000 yards.

Off I went and boy did I go. I was like a torpedo well at least I felt that way. I was motoring through the water with barely any effort. It's amazing how fast you can go when you're aero and dragging your ass through the water. It's skimming the water instead as were my legs. I was busting out 1:42 hundreds with ease. Friggin amazing. The suit just wants to float. The only bad thing was it's really compressed on my shoulders. I feel a constant pressure so I'm not sure but that will take some getting used to. I'll take it for the easy 13 seconds per 100 improvement. That's going to come out to about 4 minutes and 30 seconds faster in the half iron and 9 minutes faster in the iron.

I would've posted some snap shots but my frickin power suppy in my Windows desktop died again. The power was going out a bunch yesterday so I'm thinking that could've fried it. This is the 3rd power supply that's died in my desktop. Argh and I don't Fry's just around the corner to get a new one easily. I'll be hitting up Ebay although I can't update my paypal information because it has an old phone number and old address in the system. Paypal has gone so overboard to prevent ID and account theft it won't let me change it. I have no idea what to do.

5 months 15 days...

Friday, March 7, 2008


I made it through the long swim this morning...2200 yards. My triceps are really sore but my shoulders feel fine. This is positive and maybe means I'm doing something right with my stroke. My half-iron swim time was about 40:16 which puts me on track for a 80 minute iron time. The last 200 yards wasn't too bad. I slowed down a bit but not much. I'm thinking I could've went probably another 1000 yards but not sure if I could've went the entire way at that pace.

My form is coming along and definitely helping my time. I tried to stay comfortable throughout the swim. It worked pretty well as I got into a nice rhythm. Of course since I'm such a swim novice, that at each wall turn my rhythm would get all screwed up. I'm hoping that the "open water" will help with that.

The only problem that I'm worried about is nutrition. I feel totally hungry coming out of the pool just after a half. I'll need to start trying to figure out what to eat before race.

I feel that I'm back to where I was before the pneumothorax as today's time was 30 seconds faster than my December 2200 yard time. I did go with tri-shorts which have way less drag than my normal beach swim trunks that I've been wearing. This bodes well for getting into the full wetsuit for some bonus speed.

5 months 17 days...

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Daylight Saving

Well, I just found out that this weekend we lose an hour of sleep. Argh...why do we still do this stupid time change? I mean really they say it saves energy. Don't people just stay up later now that it stays light longer? I know that it doesn't matter much to me since I will still be getting up in dark and going to bed early. It's just my internal clock is going to have troubles getting up at 3:30 am instead of 4:30 am.

It seems after a query for a flat uninterrupted smooth 10 mile road out here...there isn't one except for like 50 miles away. Oh joy, I'm screwed for getting any quality flat intervals. I'll have to make due with the rollers.

I had to buy gas this morning. It sucked but I need to go pick up my new wetsuit and the gauge was running really close to "E". I'm driving to the pool so that's taking a little more gas than normal. Overall, I haven't bought gas since the middle of January so it's not bad. I think that will help the budget since food is going to cost more with the lack of Costco.

5 months and 18 days according to my Google countdown...

Stay tuned tomorrow for my long swim results..

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


I forgot to mention that on Sunday I found frozen chicken in the state of Maryland. I had been to numerous grocery stores well okay 4 stores and never could find any frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Chicken has been a staple of my diet forever. The Costco chicken was definitely the right price for protein. I had been looking for it out here since I arrived but never found until I walked to the Safeway which is like 2 blocks away. They didn't have chicken breasts but they did have thighs so I got those instead. It's not perfect but it's something. Of course it's more expensive than Costco but smuggling Costco frozen chicken into the state wouldn't work too well via the airlines.

There was a massive rain thunderstorm out here on the East coast yesterday and my internet is all fubar'd. I had a super fast connection now it's really slow and I can't even get to half the websites. Weird...maybe it will get better but who knows.

My neighbors are going to California and have asked me to watch their pet beta fish. Fish sitting should be interesting. I have no idea what to do but hopefully they'll give me the lowdown. They'll drop it by today. I hope beta's have strong constitutions so it just doesn't drop dead while they're gone. Speaking of neighbors, it appears that there are a few other residents in the complex. I have kept my prime time parking spot since I never have to drive anywhere.

I sent out an inquiry to one of the local tri-clubs out here for a 10 mile uninterrupted flat road. I've gotten only 2 response basically saying you have to go at least 50 miles to find anything close to this.'s gonna make those long miles hard to prepare.

I plan on attempting to swim 2200 yards on Friday for my long swim since the lung collapse. With my new found technique, I'm hoping it goes well.

5 months 20 days...

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

I'm back

So I'm back from a busy 10 days in Oregon, I was able to get some training done but not much. I got a great pool workout with Jeff & Don and then a nice easy 13 mile run. The weather in Oregon was great although the forecast had predicted showers the entire time. Because of the shower prediction, I didn't bring any outdoor cycling stuff which was a mistake.

I was able to secure some tax free luggage, winter jacket, 2 pairs of running shoes at 25% off, jerky and trail mix. I didn't feel like packing away more Costco snacks. I should've bought some dishwasher detergent oh well maybe the next trip. You gotta be careful so the airline doesn't charge you extra for an over 50lb bag.

Even though I missed a bunch of nice weather in Oregon to ride, it was 65 here yesterday and I got a nice 28 mile ride done. My cycling legs are slowly coming back which is good. I just need to increase my endurance so I can easily do 75+ mile rides without much trouble.

I had been taking it easy in Oregon on my calf during the runs and then I took a complete 5 days off running. Today, my calf started bugging me on the run back from the pool. I wonder if it's just the terrain plus the lightweight backpack which is causing my gait to be just a little different. I'm going to take a full week off from running to see if I can just get rid of this injury. I had the same calf problem last year about this time and took 3 weeks off. I was able to run strong in July and August so I'm hopeful that this will solve it.

I put my 2 peak week and race week workouts on the calendar. It's under 6 months from now which is just amazing. I'm already nervous. I'm not too nervous about the half-ironman in May. I still need to get a bike carrier. I also have just decided to order the P2C and wait. They're in high demand so I'm not sure when I'll actually receive it. My Blue Seventy Helix wetsuit has arrived at Bonzai Sports. I just need to go pick it up. I'm hopeful that it will some free time in the water.

5 months and 21 days to go..