Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Yay oh YAY!!

I'm so happy right now it's unbelievable and it's all due to something that I found out late last night about work.  Yeehaw!!  I can't tell right now until it's official but it's going to make my work life so much more enjoyable.  Can't wait..

On to the more mundane, my workouts.  I got my fancy new watch yesterday and it's looks weird.  I wasn't expecting it to be so small but that's a benefit for my dinky wrist.
The other odd thing is it has a screensaver.  The display can automatically turn off after 6 hours or 12 hours to save batteries.  Awesome!  The thing that currently bugs me is the back light comes on for every split I take with the watch.  My previous Nike watch had a mode like that but you could turn it off.  I can't seem to find the "off" for this mode.  It's cool that even the numbers are tilted where as in the first incarnations of Nike watches they just tilted the entire dial.
I've started my fasting for T-day.  I've slowed my food intake but I've upped my workouts as I swam, ran and did the hard spin class today.  I should head into the T-day dinner with a nice calorie deficit and be able to gain 5 lbs easily.  I'll be like one of the hobbits from Lord of Rings and be eating at least 5 times during the festivities.
My run is slowly coming around.  I feel pretty comfortable muscle wise on most of the runs and I feel my legs are adapting to the daily pounding.  If I can keep a nice weekly mileage and be ready come January to put some hill work on top of it that will set up nicely for the half Ironman.
I'm all set for some serious slacking during the next 4 days of holiday.  I've got 5 DVDs from Netflix plus on top of that I can stream movies via my Xbox 360 from Netflix as well.  We got some decent football games on Thursday and of course Saturday is the big OSU/Ducks game.  I'm awaiting a nice mold of my ass on the couch cushion by Sunday evening.
Well here's to everyone and hoping you all have a good T-day... 

Monday, November 24, 2008


I can't believe they pulled out the game on Saturday.  The whole game I was the supreme pessimist even up until the point where Straughter got behind the AZ secondary with 40 seconds to go and us being down by 1 points.  Of course we had blown the PAT yet again in a close game to be down by that 1 point.  After the win, I was thinking that usually we'd lose that game so maybe it is our year.  We have to win at home against the Ducks to go to the Rose Bowl for a rematch with Penn State.  It's going to be a great game and could rival the triple OT game in the rain at Reeser Stadium back in the day.  Our last second field goal win in Arizona made the ESPN Pontiac Game Changing Performance voting.  Pretty cool...and we're sure to move up in the rankings.

It continues to be bitter cold. I don't think it's been over freezing for a week or so.  Well maybe yesterday.  I've been running in high 20s with wind chills for the last few runs.  Brutal.  I did put in my first 6 miler since returning from my calf injury.  It was perfect.  I'll continue to slowly increase the miles to get in a nice base.  I have absolutely no speed and it seems a struggle to bust out 7:30s these days.  I have a nice winter coat which probably is helping with those slow running times.

I barely made it out bed this morning for the run-swim-spin class-run workout today.  I love me some sleep and its so hard to suffer by waking up.  I ate tons of junk food this weekend so I needed the workout.  It's almost December and I really need to get my act together as I spent yesterday on the couch.  It's been dry so I could've road the bike outside but I'm such a cold weather wimp I haven't been out on the bike for weeks.  And unlike last year I haven't been getting on the indoor trainer either.  I just chalk all this up to the extreme work ethic I had leading up to the Ironman and it just wearing me down mentally that I'm like a teenager rebelling.

Time to look for flights to Pasadena...

Friday, November 21, 2008

Old and forgetful

The other day I received not one but two current issues of Bicycling magazine in the mail.  It had my address on it and looked all official.  I have no memory of subscribing to this magazine.  I've read the magazine at gyms and Eddie's in the past but it's pretty fluffy.  It's a cool airplane distraction but I really don't remember actually spending money on a subscription.  Weird huh?  Maybe it was a gift but again no one has come forward?  I guess I must've just forgot about it or I got suckered by a banner ad somewhere.

I know it could not have been one of those down on there luck kids who came by selling magazine subscriptions because our building's exterior door is locked.  This requires a key even from our mailman to deliver.  No unwanted solicitors at these condos.  It should've been a selling point as I'm sure most people hate having to answer their door in the middle of the evening.  You got have you found god folks, the aforementioned magazine kid trying to go to summer school program, and the classic neighborhood girl scout schlepping cookies for the man. 

I mean seriously $4.50 for 18 mint wafers.  Really?!?!  Where's all that money going?  Maybe it's turning girls into leaders of the free world but still it's seems like some serious filling of the coffers for the higher ups in the organization.  It's a dot org for f-sakes. Basically, non-profit but still making the officers of the company some serious dough.

On top of this nowadays, the girls aren't even the ones selling the cookies.  Their parents are running around doing the selling for them at work and in social settings.  Back in my day, you walked miles and miles through neighborhoods knocking on doors, putting on your best sales pitch, runnning scared from dogs as you approached fenced off doors, getting stink-eyes, and being offered to come in, have a conversation with an old lady who hasn't seen anyone in months while only selling 1 item for a half hour of your time.  Kids have it way to easy these days with their fancy internet, HD TV, and gaming consoles.  Back in my day, we'd have to go outside and play and had to squint at the TV to see through the fuzziness because the rabbit ears weren't just right.  Those were tough days!

It's Friday and the big Beaver game against Arizona is tomorrow.  We win this game against those Wildcats and we're one away from the Rose Bowl.  I think I'll be watching the game from the comfort of my home rather than heading down to the alumni sports bar.  The sports bar that the alumni gather at just doesn't have that great of food or beer.  It's just so-so.  It does so well because it has a ton of HD tvs and gets all the games no matter what.  It food just is mediocre.  It reminds me of the Kitchen Nightmare shows in how the food can be a killer to a restaurant.  I love that show.  Last week's mexican restaurant episode was classic.  Cockroaches, week old refried beans and rice and the waiter throwing un-eaten chips from a table back into the chip pile.  Awesome!  I've eaten at enough sketch mexican restaurants to relate.

Go Beavs!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Mmm...cold pizza

I'm munching on cold pizza right now as my post workout breakfast.  It's just simple cheese pizza from Elena's birthday.
I know it doesn't look all that great but hey it's carbs and fat so what can I say.  I'll eat anything.
It was a balmy 34 degrees out this morning at 4:30am when I took off on my run to the pool.  It felt amazing as compared to yesterday's 28 degree run with a wind chill around 20.  I got to the pool and just did some drills.  My arms felt tired which I thought was odd since I hadn't swam since Tuesday.  I finished up my drills and did the spin class.  It only had about 8 people as compared to the Saturday morning class which had at least 20.  The workout ended up being only 45 minutes as compared the normal hour.  I wasn't complaining as I still had to run home.  Luckily the run is only 2.8 miles so no big deal.
I'm home, showered, drinking coffee and eating cold pizza and it's only 7:30ish.  All my workouts are done for the day.
Last night I watched Lady in the Water by M. Night Shyamalan.  It was an odd movie but pretty straightforward which made the movie seem even stranger considering M. Night Shyamalan is know for such major twists and turns during his movies.  I'm surprised after seeing that it got such bad reviews.  I mean it wasn't great but it sortof had an interesting story.  Although it was the worst in regards to him pimping himself as an actor during the movie.  He had a major part in this movie and it was ugly to watch.  His career is quite interesting.  Basically, he's riding The Sixth Sense for 9 years.  It's like hitting a home run in the bottom of the ninth to win game 7 and the series your rookie year, signing a 10 year multi-million guaranteed contract and then batting .205.
So far the oddest movie I've seen this entire year is A Scanner Darkly.  Not only is the movie shot in a real animation style but it's totally bizarre the whole way through all the way til the end.  It's an entertaining movie and Robert Downey Jr. and Woody Harrelson do a pretty good job throughout.  Keanu is well Keanu.  I'd recommend it if your looking for something totally different.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

It's dead

My watch that is...the main display just disappeared during my run yesterday in sub-freezing temperature.  Who knows maybe it was the cold that did the watch in but no such luck.  I even replaced the battery hoping that was the reason but it's dead.  It was the first model of the Nike foot pod system.  I bought it after my marathon in 2002 and then it sat while I exclusively cycled until 2005 when I started doing duathlons. I guess it had a decent life the best part of the watch was the band never broke.  My previous Nike watches and Timex watches have always had the bands break.

I immediately started looking for a replacement watch.  I had started my search a little before the Ironman when the watch face fell off in the pool.  The watch still worked fine after I superglued the face back on but who knows maybe all the water got in there and somehow screwed it up.  I'm just thankful it didn't fail during the Ironman.  Overall looking back on it most everything went right for the Ironman.  I didn't get sick leading up to it and the watch hung with its problems and even the batteries in the cycle computer and watch made it.  I ordered a Nike Vapor watch because I got a decent deal on it from and it has a memory of 300 splits.  Sweet...I was looking for a watch with at least 100 splits.  I love my splits.  50 splits just isn't enough because if you forget to record workouts for a couple of days the splits are gone.  I still don't know my splits from first ever and fastest marathon because they got accidentally deleted due to the watch only having only a 50 total split memory.  I still curse not documenting them sooner. This was in 98 before the Portland Marathon went to chip timing.  I think my watch time was 2:49:something where as the official time was 2:50:something.  I started a few rows back(big mistake) and started my watch when I crossed the start line.

Today's run will be on feel.  That's okay I guess since it's probably going to be a whopping 30 degrees when I go.  Right now it's 25 with a wind chill of 20.  Joy!!  The sun is out so no snow.  This will make it feel like a warm 30 when I run.

The benefit of working at home is I get to roll out of bed and be working in about 5 minutes.  The disadvantage is I have to pay for heat and air conditioning which I'm notoriously cheap about.  So right now it's probably under 60 degrees in my room because it's on the north side of my condo.  This is great for the summer as it's cooler but sucks in the winter.  I think I'll be investing in a space heater soon as my fingers are slowing down due to numbness from the cold keyboard.  I guess typing with gloves can't be too bad...maybe I'll test it soon.

8 more days til some serious turkey eating...I can't wait.  I've been preparing myself by waking up with stomach pain each morning due to the amount of junk food I'm consuming the evening before.  Just replace junk food with Doritos and it makes more sense.  They're so good but they hurt my tummy so much and on top of that make me fat.  Who knows maybe all this extra weight is allowing me to float higher in the water during my swimming therefore making me faster?

1 more month til the shortest day and the start of winter...UGH!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Video

So I finally got my finisher video of Ironman Canada.  It's a montage until they show about 10 seconds of the finish area when I'm going through the finish line.  I guess I wasn't going as fast as I thought. ;)

I had Elena last night as well so I got to swim again this morning.  I was trying to keep up with lady who had these monster fins on during my 100.  She crushed me but I posted my fastest time in the 100 for awhile.  This new stroke is really working.  Next month I'll start the intervals back up and we'll see how that goes.

Winter has really begun out here in DC.  The high today will be 45 and the low just around 30.  Ugh...the bikes are just hanging on the rack as I really don't want to strap one to the trainer just yet.  I think I'll keep running instead.  I just hope that I can keep away from the injuries.

Is it just me or does Thanksgiving vacation seem like forever away?  I'm really looking forward to that 4 day weekend.  Gluttony and slacking are perfect.  It appears that Elena's karate class is going to be part of a local Thanksgiving parade so that should be fun for her.  She's probably going to freeze although she quite adept at wearing about 4 shirts and 2 pairs of pants.  I guess she doesn't like her big winter coat that much so she wears extra clothes so she can just leave it in the closet.  My little fashion diva.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Prepare for a mega post

So much cool stuff happened since my last post.  I can't believe it.  Well it seems cool to me at least.  Here's the cliff notes version.  Elena's Chuck E Cheese party, signed will, Beavs win, Doritos rule, Facebook fun and 2 frickin seconds.

First on Friday, I signed up for Facebook.  I have no idea how to create a link so anyone interested in "friending" me can do so.  I'm not even sure how you could find a fellow blogger in Facebook.  Here's a link to my profile but I'm not sure it will work.  Send me a friend request.  The best thing about Facebook is I can upload pics and video straight from my phone to the site.  I couldn't do that with my Webshots account, Google or even this blog.  Sweet.  So expect more random photos in this blog.

On Saturday, it was Elena's birthday celebration at Chuck E Cheese with her friends.  Here's a picture of her and Chuck E Cheese.
The phone is blurry sometimes...oh well.

While I was at Chuck E Cheese, I was able to finally get my will signed.  I had to have 3 adults sign a document stating they watched me sign the will.  I don't really see anyone and certainly not 3 people I know so I was able to use Elena's friends parents to accomplish this.  So it's official everything goes to Elena if something happens to me.
We finished the festivities at Chuck E Cheese and it was time to go home.  Elena got in trouble on Thursday and was grounded from TV for a week starting on Saturday.  So she groaned and groaned all weekend because she couldn't watch TV.  She basically figured she couldn't continue.  All in all pretty dramatic.  Hopefully, it will be a good lesson for her and she'll not break anymore rules. 
Later in the day, the OSU Beavers beat the Cal Bears to keep their hopes and my hopes of a Rose Bowl alive.  We have Arizona this Saturday and then arch rival Oregon on the Sunday after Thanksgiving.  This is the problem.  Oregon has a bye week this week so they get a full 2 weeks of preparation while the Beavs have a short week because of the Thanksgiving holiday.  This really sucks and could have a negative affect on our team.  Just one more hurdle to overcome in order to make it to the Rose Bowl.  That damn Stanford loss at the beginning of the year looms big right now. 
I woke up Sunday late as usual.  Elena was already up, playing and reading books in her room.  It was time to go to Costco.  I had pretty much eaten most of the food I purchased during the mega Costco run of September.  We got there and it was crowded.  I guess people were starting to get ready for Turkey day.  We proceeded to load up on all the food I needed.  Fries, chicken nuggets, pasta, jerky, etc.  They didn't have the tortilla chips out in the front area so we made our way finally to the chip area in the back.  I rounded the corner and I saw them.

OMG!!  I freaked out.  Yes, they're back.  I immediately threw 2 bags into my cart.  I knew that 20 pages letter I sent to the Costo East Coast Regional Manager would help.  Okay, I didn't send a letter but I thought about it.  It was like Christmas had come early.  Of course I had a few or 15 chips last night right before bedtime and paid dearly when I woke this morning. 
We got back and went over to the park because it was super windy.  Elena wanted to fly her kite.
I took her to UMAC this morning and stopped by the pool for a workout.  During Saturday's swim workout I had found a couple of seconds per 100 with another tweak to my stroke.  I worked on it some more this morning and it rocks.  I'm now down to 1:49s for the 100 in the full swim trunks.  Take off about 5 seconds for drag as compared to my tri-shorts and it's now 1:44s.  Sweetness!!  I haven't even started doing speed work yet and really don't feel in the best swim shape as compared to right before the Ironman.  I'm totally pysched.  With all this speed, I might be able to keep up with Orion afterall. 

Friday, November 14, 2008


So I registered on the facebook site and boy is it a weird networking site.  I thought it was basically like Myspace but it's not at all.  I did find news on my 20 year high school reunion.  How wild is that!  My high school graduating class were major party animals and basically fought all the rules.  We elected class presidents who bought beer for the class party.  I was surprised there was a 10 year reunion which I totally forgot about and missed even though I could've made it.  Now there's a 20 year one in the planning stages which again I'm amazed that someone from our class cares enough to plan.  Of course I'm way out in DC so I'll probably miss it as well.

Back to Facebook, I'm totally lost on how it works but a couple of people I know are on there so I sent a couple of messages.  Oh well, it's there and I'll probably neglect it more than most but I have one.

I must be sick as I went to bed early and couldn't get myself out of bed until just before 7am.  I did wake up about 10 times during the night to blow my nose because I couldn't breathe.  It could be allergies but I'm usually not tired during any allergy bouts.  I'm sure it will linger for awhile especially with the cold weather.  I ran in torrential rain, wind and cold yesterday.  It was pretty miserable.  I just gotta keep running so I can really blast some runs during the spring.  I long to get back to my old running form where I just felt fast as compared to know where I just feel slow.

I finished watching the final table of WSOP last night.  It was sad actually. I only saw good poker for like 3 hands.  The overall winner won because he was on this mad luck streak.  He river'd two people on their all-ins and turned another and then hit a few other hands amazingly as well.  Just overwhelming luck.  Each time it wasn't that much to stay in at first and then just called with sad pocket pairs which hit every time.  It was shocking how lucky he was.  Of course maybe he's a good player but it was hard to tell at the final table.  Actually the final table was an all-in fest constantly.  Rarely did you get past the flop without someone going all-in.  I guess there was quite a large discrepancy between stacks so most of it was short stacks trying to double up at all costs.  I guess it makes for a decent strategy but I just wonder how they determine chip stacks before they get to the final table.  If they went through the same number of tables, they'd all be the same at the final table.  I don't understand that but oh well.  All in all the final table was pretty sad.  Who knows maybe ESPN skipped normal hands in editing and only showed the all-in knock him down or out hands?  Hard to tell.  The funniest and saddest moment at the final table was when a guy went all-in without looking at his cards.  He ended up with pocket Kings I believe after they were flipped over as he had one taker.  It's the final table where each person you get past is worth about 1 million dollars and you're not looking at your hand.  Are you kidding me?  Of course he won that hand but F-IN poker for the fan enjoyment.

The big college football game is tomorrow.  Cal visits Corvallis.  My Beavs(okay they're not mine but I am an alum) go for another win to keep their Rose Bowl hopes alive.  A running buddy at Mentor back in Oregon is a Cal alum and we've had numerous bets over the years.  I've lost a few and he's lost a few.  We don't bet money, we almost always bet pride.  Like one time I had to buy and hang a "blue" shirt in my office for entire year which of course required numerous explanations of "why".  The best was a year of him announcing "Cal sucks OSU rocks!" before every run when his Bears lost to Stanford and my Beavs beat the Ducks during rivalry weekend.  Both Stanford and the Beavs were big time underdogs.  He's traveling in Europe this week so we didn't get a bet in place.

Go Beavs!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Swimming less = Faster?!?

So I did my typical drop Elena off at her morning before school program and stop by LA Fitness for my swim.  I was messing with my stroke some more and was able to run off some decent times in the middle of a 30 minute swim.  I really haven't started any speed work at all.  I think I'll just put in "base" like running until January then start some speed stuff.  Who knows maybe I can get faster this year on my swimming.  I'll have a chance at keeping up with Orion at the Florida half in May.

My running has been well just there.  Nothing earth shattering with keeping my mileage low and slow.  Again, I'll probably start doing some hill repeats in January and then some tempo sessions in February.  There's a virtual challenge on Slowtwitch to see how fast one can run 1600m.  I haven't tried to push a mile since before heading to Oregon and suffering through a 5:45 on the trail.  A fast mile time would be helpful in my prep for the half.  I'm not sure I have any speed left in my legs though.  I was doing 800 repeats in the summer of 2007 at 2:35ish so I should be able to go under 5 but I'm not sure how far under.  It would be cool to do a 4:40.  Either way it's going to be fun to try over the next season.

The last sport cycling is suffering.  Its been cold and windy lately so I've been ignoring the bike altogether.  I'll do a spin class on Saturday for a little work but I really don't feel like getting on the trainer this winter.  We'll see how the spring shapes up in building to the May race.

Anyone out there interested in poker?  The World Series of Poker happened this past weekend in Vegas and some unknown amateur won.  I DVR'd the final table on ESPN and started watching it.  The first few hands were quite humorous and you could definitely tell that most of the players weren't professionals.  I read a Bill Simmons article that mentioned they should have a pro-only tournament.  I have to agree or something like 5 seats at the final table should be filled from professional only bracket while the 4 others could come from an at large amateur bracket.  Overall it's also funny watching the players appear more sponsored out than NASCAR cars.  I'm amazed that they can actually move in those jackets with all those patches sewn on.  I see a future Halloween costume.

I also watched the first quarter of the Blazer/Heat game last night as Oden made more of an official debut.  He had a dunk and a block.  It was against the Heat's(we have no real center) team.  I looked at the box score and he only had one additional field goal for the rest of his 16 minutes.

I've been extra tired for some reason.  I can't tell if I'm still battling a cold as I seem to blow my nose a bazillion times a day or if my body just likes being under my warm comforter.  The 2nd warmest comforter they sold at Macy's.  I love that thing.  Flannel sheets + comforter equals sleeping warmth without having to heat the condo.  The nightly bathroom visit which is about 2 steps from my bed is major body shock.  If I could get a bed pan, I wouldn't have to leave the warmth of my bed.  Eureka!!

As Black Friday approaches, we inch closer to Xmas.  I'm undecided about Xmas cards this year.  The tradition has been a Elena on Santa's lap since 2001 but I feel little motivation to even bother this year.  I'm already in my Scrooge mood and Xmas hasn't even hit.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy 7th Birthday Elena

My daughter turns 7 today.  Wow, 7 years.  It seems longer to me but overall it's just amazing that she's 7.  2001 was a crazy year considering 9/11 happened during it.  Luckily for Elena she was born in November and not on that day as it would be hard as a birthday.  I do remember going to birth school at OHSU that night.  Kindof I'm sure most people remember what they did that day.  Onto to more happy things during that year...I competed in my 2nd marathon that October.  I was in awesome running shape probably close to the best ever in my life.  Earlier in that year I had to travel a ton due to my job but then with the pregnancy complications I stopped all travel after an epic trip in May to Europe.  A few friends got married that summer and we even had to leave one reception early and race back to the hospital.  We practically lived in OHSU during those months.  Elena was born after an epic 5 days of on/off labor for Amber who held on as long as possible but she was still 4 weeks early.  Luckily, the steroids worked and her lungs were fine.  She was super small but she's pretty normal right now.

Here's the latest picture I have from this September:
 I bought her Kung Fu Panda, 2 pairs of PJs, and makeup/hair Sleeping Beauty head.  The Sleeping Beauty make-up/hair head is one of the things she picked out when we were at the store.  She really likes to create so I'm sure she'll spend hours putting makeup and doing Sleeping Beauty's hair.
Elena has a half day at school due to parent conferences today and tomorrow.  Our conference is at 4pm so I'll get to hear how she's doing and if it's bad NO GIFTS.   Hehehe...I hope things are going well at school.  It looks like from a picture I saw that her classroom size is pretty small so I hope she's excelling so she can get a scholarship.  More money for my retirement!!
Winter has started here.  It's frickin freezing out right now with the temperature under freezing.  I'm all bundled up as I haven't turned on my heat...yet.  It's not too cold, 62 in house but the sun is out so the living room will be up to 70 easily by noon.  My coffee and my new fleece robe is keeping me warm.  My office/bedroom is cold all the time and my living room is warm all time.  I guess I should migrate like geese for the winter into my living room or just turn on the heat.  Hmmm...electricity expensive, 5 layers of clothes cheap.

Monday, November 10, 2008

The First Nog

As predicted, I didn't make it out of Target on Saturday without stopping by Starbucks for my first Egg Nog Latte of the year.  It was good but it wasn't great.  I'm not sure what happened...maybe not enough nog or the coffee was old.  Something because it wasn't how I remembered.  I guess this is good because the venti w/ tax cost $4.63.  I can't afford drinking those often at all.  I can get a full deal meal at McDs for that money.  I may go poor man nog coffee by buying some Egg Nog at the store and using it as cream for my coffee at home.

I had a couple of okay run days on Friday and Saturday.  I'm still taking it easy with just 4 miles or 30 minutes of running.  I'll go another week of just 4 miles and then the following week throw in one 6 mile run.  The calf soreness is still there but I'm hoping it will just work itself out.

I decided to stay with LA Fitness and just drive down there 3 times a week.  Overall, the quality of the facility won me over and paying $400 up front for a year at Bally right now just isn't worth it.  I woke my sorry ass up this morning and made my way to LA Fitness for my first 5am workout there since I got back from Canada.  It wasn't bad but my awesome stroke that I found didn't provide the fast results like last time.  Ugh...back to my futile attempts at finding the miracle stroke.  I've got 6 months til Florida to find some swimming speed.

I'm in the midst of an internal struggle on getting a coach for training.  I think it would be good to have some focus and experience a coach could provide but it would also make me actually get serious about my training.  I just going by feel right now.  No structure at all.  I didn't even workout on Sunday even though the weather was good just because I was lazy.  I drank a few beers and had a greasy burger at the sports bar watching the Beavers win on Saturday night because well it's no big deal.  Of course, if I pay someone each month to give me workouts all that would change.  My cheapness would overtake everything that didn't help my training.  I wouldn't be skipping workouts because I actually paid for them.  I'd make sure to get enough rest and give my body healthy food in order to achieve the best performance for those "paid" workouts.  On top of that, I'm sure the workouts would be hard.  I'd have to suffer.  I'm getting used to finishing workouts and not feel like puking, being able to walk straight, not wishing for a car to run you over so you can stop the workout, wondering what would happen when you heart explodes, and thinking if it's normal for your legs to burn as if they were being dipped in acid.

Friday, November 7, 2008


I hit up the Bally pool this morning and it was crowded but since it doesn't have lane lines it really makes swimming easy with a bunch of people. I went about swimming with the new found technique from yesterday. I was averaging 7 seconds per 4 lengths slower than yesterday. I say lengths because I'm not sure if it's a 25 yard or 25 meter pool. The person who gave me the tour last Sunday said 25 meter but I figured he was wrong. I finished my workout and walked off the edge. I came up with 26 strides so it could easily be 25 yards with just the "chop" slowing me down. It would cool though if it was meters.

I had a tough run yesterday. Well not too bad but I was trying to make sure my calf was good the whole run. My quads hurt but that always happens after a long run layoff for me. I know I'm getting good running miles in when my quads no longer hurt from the pounding. Today, it's clear and suppose to be 70 so I'm going to hit the road with the bike. I'm going to ride my road bike. I haven't been on it since early May. It should be interesting. There are a lot of leaves on the ground so I have to be careful. I might put in a brick run after the bike. My muscles would be warm so it might make the run easier.

A funny thing I realized this morning as I was waking up, I never feel I can run "fast" in my dreams or nightmares. Isn't that odd? I swear each time I try to run in a dream it's almost impossible to get my legs moving. I don't remember many dreams but the ones I do it always seems impossible to get running fast if I need to. I can fly like Superman..nah just kidding. Although I always loved that 80s movie about dream fighting with the snake guy. I can't remember the title and of course you have the Nightmare on Elm Street titles as well. But damn if I can't run in my dreams. It must be some subconscious thing. Maybe I should get one of those dream analysts to help me understand. They'd say something like, "Not being able to run in your dreams mean you feel trapped in your life" or some bullshit like that. Maybe it's just because my legs are tired and my brain is trying to save them for the following day workout.

Oops forgot to add the thing that I put in the title. I looked at my Runner's World training log yesterday and notices some interesting information. YTD, for my cross training, I've bike 130 times and swam a 129 times. Wild that they're so close. I have 3500 miles of cycling and 137 miles of swimming. Holy crap, I've swam a 137 miles this year so far. That's crazy when you think about it. The duration of swimming has been just under 80 hours. Baffling which averages out to about 37 minutes per session of swimming. I have a 186 miles of swimming since I started swimming back in mid August '07. My running hasn't been as good with 723 miles for just 89 hours for 2008.

Egg Nog: 0 Al: 5

Thursday, November 6, 2008


Okay so I was doing my morning swim at LA Fitness after dropping Elena off and boy is that pool nice compared to the Bally pool.  Ugh...oh well convenience trumps everything.  I was just swimming along struggling as usual.  I decided to try kicking a little bit just to see if it would matter.  It's the off-season so why not kick if nothing else but to use those muscles a little bit.  I was kicking and dropped about 2 seconds per hundred.  Not bad I thought but not great.  I don't what caused me to do it but I just started looking a little more forward than down with my eyes.  This lifted my head and shoulders and I started pulling my arms through the water at a more shallow depth.  Hard to explain but I kept kicking hopefully counteracting my more upright face/shoulder position.  I first noticed that since my arms weren't so "deep" in the water, it became easier to pull faster.  Also it seemed that I was gliding on top of the water.  I clicked my watch split and about died.  I went from a 1:59 to 1:51.  Shocking!  I was keeping 1:51, 2s and 3s for the rest of the swim with this new position/technique.  I'm guessing it might be all wrong since my head is up and I'm not pulling as much water per stroke blah blah blah but I'm faster for sure.  These splits are comparable to my fastest consecutive swimming splits in normal trunks.  It might be all wrong but I'm faster so maybe it's not too bad.  It does require a kick to keep that speed.  I'll keep it up and see if I can even get faster.  Stay tuned...

Onto the run...argh!  I had a pain free run yesterday.  I ran 4 miles in 30 minutes.  The sole inserts felt okay.  They need some breaking in but I think they might help my foot.  My foot is totally healed after all this time off as well as my hamstring.  The calf felt fine and it wasn't tight at the end of the run BUT it was tight this morning.  I'm debating on another 30 minute run today or take today off from running.  Hmmm...I'll probably run just because I really do love running.  It just feels so natural to me.  I guess it's really all mental because I had so many good feelings from running through my younger years.  Either way, I'll start going full assault on this injury which means constant stretching and icing throughout the day.

I've made it through another day without a scrumptious egg nog latte.  Although I may fail that test on Saturday when I hit up Target for Elena's birthday gift.  There's a Starbucks right in the mall on the walk to Target.  I'll keep you updated..

Egg Nog: 0  Al: 4

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


So I'm tired because I stayed up a little bit past my bedtime watching the election coverage.  Once I saw Ohio and Pennsylvania go to Obama I knew the election was decided and hit the bed.  Of course at 5am this morning, I slept instead of swam.  Maybe it's too easy to take Rich's advice from Endurance Nation and skip a few swim workouts.  Hey, I've been battling a cold since I got back from Europe so...there's another excuse.  I am planning to run today for the first time in 10 days as I hope my calf is recovered.

I stood in line to vote which was weird since it was just after 10am.  I was in line for just about 30 minutes.  Wild stuff...but it looks like the popular vote went to Obama as well.  In some of the battleground states, it's looking like every vote matters as there is only about 20,000 votes separating Obama and McCain after over 2 million were cast.  Amazing...

Since I'm in DC, I might go watch the inauguration.  It's a historic event with the first African-American being sworn into office.  Maybe if you're white, it's not that big of a deal but as a minority with my daughter being a minority it is a big deal.  It's like all of sudden, "Whitey likes us!".

Lots of good emotions on that but I immediately start worry as I'm sure lots of people are worrying about the A-word.  I mean it's not like you won't see Obama not walk down a line of folks and shake hands anymore.  Sure probably not as elaborate as a 2hr In Line of Fire Eastwood movie, but more like the Reagan one.  There was already two knuckleheads who were arresting for planning an attempt.  Definitely scary stuff and worrisome.

Back to the lighter side of things, Elena's 7th birthday is coming up in less than a week.  I'm planning on hitting up Target to get her gifts this weekend.  I really don't have any idea what I'll come out of there with but at least as I mentioned before she gave me some ideas.  As always, I'm torn from spoiling her to making her understand that she can't have everything and will need to work for things.

On another Elena front, she'll be 7.  It's time to start thinking about developing her into a world class distance runner.  Okay maybe I'm dreaming but this would be the time to start something like that.  She did run a 7:30 mile as a 5 year old after training for a couple of months.  She might have something there.  There could be something else as well.  I guess she likes messing around on the piano at a friends house so maybe she's pianist.  Although you don't get a scholarship for playing piano to most schools but there are lots of cross country and track programs. ;)  The problem around here is the lack of kid races.  Everything just a 5k and 3.1 miles is a little long for a 7 year old.  Hell back in my day high school girls weren't even competing at the 5k distance in cross country.

On a social note, they re-opened the theater across the street from condo.  It's now a beer and movie place I guess with 6 screens.  They even run first run movies and have happy hour $3 movies at 6pm.  Not bad...if I could get any forward motion on actually going over there to see a movie.  Sure Saw V is tempting me but...I could just wait til DVD as it's not like I know anyone going to spoil the movie for me.  For $3 though it might be easy to catch a so-so movie without much worry like Quantum of Solace...nah that movie looks like its going to ROCK!  It requires a full blown sound system which I don't think this theater has.  Of course if I find out that this theater has Black Butte Porter,

I'll be there at least twice a week.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Open water simulator

That's what the pool at Bally's feels like.  It's 3 "lanes" wide but has no lane plastic do-dad separators that keep the waves down.  They have the lanes painted on the bottom of the pool but they didn't put any anchors in the walls for lane separators. Wild stuff.  I was only one swimming laps this morning at 5am so I was creating my own wake.  I wasn't moving very fast more of a slow tugboat wake than a speed boat wake.  I guess it'll get me ready for sloshing of open water.  Every so often I'd breath in some water because of the extra turbulence.

The facilities are definitely just older at Bally compared to the relatively new LA Fitness.  I'm going to swim the rest of the week to see if it gets crowded then cancel my LA Fitness membership and start the Bally one.  It's about 5 minutes from my condo walking.  Even with the older stuff, it's just too convenient to pass up.  Although, there was a big thread on Slowtwitch that the Endurance Nation coaches recommend just biking and running in the off-season and no swimming.  Of course this was there recommendation for an hour Ironman swimmer.  I guess they say it should be easy enough to get to an hour.  Oh my, I really do suck then..argh I swam my butt off last year and just pulled out a 68 swim.  I must still be doing some technique thing totally wrong or a bunch of little things just slightly off.

I'm heading over to vote at about 10ish with the hopes of avoiding the lines.  The news is talking about all the long lines and Orion said he was waiting in a long line in Florida.  Crazy stuff...I wonder if there were long lines last presidential election.  I was in Oregon which is a total vote by mail state so no polls and no lines at all.  Definitely more convenient and easier in that respect but tougher on candidates as there is no climax to build for TV ads and such.

So has anyone changed their spending habits due to the economy?  Christmas is just around the corner and I wonder how many people will cut back big time this year.  I'm cheap year around so I really haven't changed anything.  I am buying chips again so the Frito Lay line item in the Pepsi quarter results will continue to be healthy.  Google says Frito Lay in North America accounts for 30% of the Pepsi revenue.  Not bad.  I may cut back a little because I've been waking up for the last two mornings with a stomach ache from the previous nights junk food binge.  Luckily, the junk food from the infamous Costco run has been slowly diminishing.

Well back to it..

Monday, November 3, 2008

Are they out yet?

Anyone know if the Egg Nog Lattes are back at Starbucks?  I almost made my way to a Starbucks yesterday but I decided not to chance it.  Once I know the Nogs are back, I'm a slave to picking me up one.  The closest Starbucks is a bit of a walk but I'd brave the weather for it.  The nog is a major weakness during the holiday season.

Elena and I saw Beverly Hills Chihuahua on Saturday.  It was a pretty fun movie.  The rat and the iguana were the best I thought although the voice acting for the dogs was quite good as well.  I rented the Pirates Who Don't Do Anything Veggie Tale movie and we watched that at home.  Elena really likes that movie and saw it in the theater.  It was pretty good for a kids movie and the Rock Monster video at the end was hilarious.  Definitely two good kid movies to watch.  I tried to rent Tinker Bell but Netflix had it as a "Long Wait" so no luck there.

How about the fall back?  Wow, my clock is all messed up.  I woke up at 3am this morning and just catnapped until 6 when I tried to wake up Elena.  She's always a major grump in the morning.  I tried to stay up late enough to watch the entire Texas/Texas Tech football game on Saturday but didn't make it.  I thought Tech would win but it looks like they need a desperation drive at the end.  The Beavers pulled out a win to stay in contention for the Rose Bowl.  We still have 4 more games to go with 3 of them against teams with winning records.  I'm crossing my fingers but we'll see.

I went over the Bally Total Fitness to check out their facilities.  It's pretty small and the pool is 3 lanes wide but no lane lines.  Weird...I guess it makes for more space should it get crowded.  I got a week pass so I'm going to try to roll out of bed tomorrow and hit it up to see if it's crowded.  I'm going to try the spin class too but the spin bikes are the old knob resistance ones unlike the ones at LA Fitness which are magnetic resistance.  The monthly dues are similar but slightly more.  If it's not too crowded, I'll switch just for the convenience factor.

I actually did a swim workout this morning.  I did some intervals and it was tough but not too bad. I swam for an hour on Saturday as well so I'm slowly getting back into the pool.  I'm still way slow compared to summer.  I'll start hitting the pavement on Wednesday to see if the calf is healed.  I bought some insoles for my running shoes.  The podiatrist suggested I do that after looking at my foot injury in June.  I waited until now just in case it causes trouble.  Maybe that combined with slowly bring up the miles will result in pain free running?

Tomorrow's the big day...Everyone might as well make the effort to vote even though it never seems like it matters.