Saturday, February 21, 2009

The barrel

OMG!  I couldn't wait til the end of the weekend to post this.  I just swam my fastest ever 2400 yards in the pool sans wetsuit.  My half ironman swim split was 38 minutes.  This is a minute faster than my previous best.  I was averaging 1:43 per 100.  That's insane for me.  I haven't seen really anything under 1:50 consistently for a long time.  And it all has to do with this:

It all because of the barrel.  Yesterday, I tried making my arm into a "C" like I was hugging a barrel during my pull.  I noticed it was harder and I got some speed from it.  I had been pulling my arm like an oar.  Perpendicular with a high elbow through the water.  I just thought that a flat arm would direct the most propulsion backwards well somehow a "C" shaped forearm and upper arm pulls more water for me.

I decided this morning to use the "C" shape pull the entire swim.  I had forgot to dry my baggy swim trunks last night so I was stuck wearing just my tri-shorts for the swim.  Shedding the baggy trunks cuts about 5 seconds per 100 for me.  Anyway, I hoped in and swam my first 100 in 1:41.  This is almost my fastest ever 100.  Even when doing intervals I've only gone under 1:40 a few times.  I was excited but the next 100 was 1:47.  Crap, let's get focused and see what I can do.  I just kept busting out 1:42s and 3s.  Towards the end I had a couple of 1:45s but overall I averaged 1:43.  Sweetness!!

Maybe a 35 minute half ironman split is in my grasp at Florida.  Combine that with a 2:30ish bike and then if I can just bust out a fast run split, the high 4:30 something range is in my grasp.  That's right in the thick of things in my age group.  Of course that all depends on my run coming around.  My knee feels pretty good today so I'm going to lay off until the first of March and then come back slowly.  The run base should still be there and if I can just build up a little slow and overlay some speed in April I should be okay.

The run is going to be harder this year because my entire cheering section from last year won't be there.  Amber has a conference the Monday after the half so she, Elena and Joe are not coming.  Of course, Orion is participating so he won't be in the crowd either.  I'll just have to stay mentally tough on my own.

Friday, February 20, 2009

I made it

I actually drug my ass out of bed in time to head to the pool for a swim plus the spin class.  I've even hit the indoor trainer twice this week.   Since I have only run twice in the last 12 days, I need to keep myself stress free by doing something at lunch time.  The riding of my road bike on the trainer has been interesting as compared to the spin bike.  It's nice to get a feel for the old road geometry although I'll probably transfer over the pedals to the Cervelo when I hit the outdoors.  We're under 12 weeks for the Florida half.

Orion's training is hanging in there but he is also struggling nagging soreness from his running.  He's following the beginner's 16 week half training program from Triathlon magazine that I sent him.  We're still excited to do the event together.  Hopefully, I can hang out in the finish holding area to get a finish photo with him.  I'm also hoping for no rain at all and just oppressing heat and humidity.  It's probably the only event I'll be doing with this "economy" and my laziness.

It's still cold here so I'm getting more and more pissed at the weather.  I don't know if I can make it to the days when the temperature high is 50.  It seems like spring is never going to get here.  Frickin east coast...stupid DC area.  Of course, I don't get to run right now as I need to keep resting the knee.  I figure if I give a full 2 weeks off maybe it will be healed enough to get some run workouts in.

I sit here typing this on my old computer since my Macbook Pro is still on a FedEx plane somewhere.  Apple delayed it 10 days for everyone and now finally started shipping them out.  Mine went from Shanghai China to Alaska and now it ended up in Indy before heading back Oregon.  How weird is that?  Talk about a waste.  I guess those FedEx folks really don't know how to route shipments.  How many other west coast shipments from China go to Alaska and then to Indy before heading back to the west coast?  Wild stuff.  Anyway, so I won't have my computer until March.  It will end up at work on Monday and then my AA will send it to me here.  It's going to cost $40 so in the end I'm saving $200 by shipping it to my work.  Woohoo!!

When it arrives, I'll be going to Ikea for a new desk to put it on.  I figure why not get rid of my pathetic folding table desk and step up to a somewhat real one.  I'll buy one for Elena and me.  Elena will help me put it together and organize my bedroom around it.  It's nice having a little slave er daughter that helps around the house.  I really need a new dining table and chairs but I really haven't found a cheap enough one yet. ;)  I should just bite the bullet and buy a nice one.  Maybe with the current economy, I can find some great deals as places drop their prices.

Not much else going on here in DC which means less blog updates.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Feelin better

Well it looks like my diet is coming to an end.  I felt better yesterday.  I was able to eat some food and even have some post dinner snacks.  I did go to bed extra early to see if I could feel rested for today.  I slept well and didn't have to wake up in the middle of the night to blow my nose.  Woohoo!!  It's the little things although I probably only have 2 more weeks before allergy season starts and then the nose will be covered with a tissue constantly.

I can never remember all the cool things that I want to talk about when I write this blog.  It seems I always forget.  Maybe I should switch to Twitter since it seems to be for ADD bloggers.

After this past weekend, you can almost guarantee that the Friday the 13th franchise will start back up.  42 mil, are you kidding me?  I can't wait to see it.  I might think about going to see it this weekend although I'll probably just stay home and watch TV instead.  Let's see spend $15 on a movie and popcorn or just stay home for free.  Tough choice!  Plus I have 4 hours of 24 on the DVR..sweet! 24 mini marathon here I come. I think Watchmen is probably the next movie I'll see in the theater.  It's big enough that it requires some big screen viewing.

It's still cold here so I still haven't taken the bike outside.  I know I'm a wimp but well there is it.  Florida is looking worse and worse.  First, the running injury which basically blows any chance of a 1:25 run split.  Second, the two weeks in Oregon with no swimming drowns the chance of going sub 40 on the swim.  Third, no outdoor cycling and we're 3 months away drops the hopes of a 2:30 bike split.  My training this season has been abysmal as compared to last year and last year I had a mandatory 4 weeks off because of a partially collapse lung.  This year I just have a collapsed motivation.

I'm still bitter about all the sub freezing runs I did to just have it all slip away due to this stupid knee injury.  I could've been a fair weather runner all winter and be in better shape now because at least I still be running 5 miles every so often.  I had to explore a new route.  I should've just kept to my old route that I did all last year.  I should've just did 10 miles instead of 12.  Wow!! I just can't think about it anymore it's too painful.

Hopefully, my new Mac will arrive soon.  It's suppose to finally ship out this week.  It's going to the office in Oregon(no sales tax baby!) and they're going to ship it to me here in DC.  I'm sticking it to the Maryland state government.  I'm doing it because well I can.  I didn't bring back a ton of stuff from my Oregon trip tax free except running shoes, wireless keyboard, and 2 boxes of Clif Bars.  Because of the extra stuff, my luggage was going to go over the alotted 50 lbs.  I decided to put the extra weight into my backpack and then after getting my baggage tags stuff it back into my suitcase.  At Portland International Airport, you have to take your own luggage over to the big X-ray machines after the airline tags it.  Well as I was wheeling my 50 lb bag over to the X-ray, it all sudden acquired some extra weight and my backpack was 2 lbs lighter.  Take that airline!  Overcharging us for bike cases and having to pay for the fatty who's 50 lbs overweight sitting in a middle seat because your fuel economy isn't the greatest.  F that!

Monday, February 16, 2009


This cold/sore throat that I caught in Oregon sucks.  I felt miserable all weekend but at least I tried to workout.  I figured I'd try to drown the cold by swimming.  Hacking flem underwater just isn't fun.  Boy 2 weeks is a long time to be out of the water because it's like I'm starting over from scratch.  I have 3 months to get it all together in hopes with staying on the feet of Orion in Florida.

I tried to run 4 miles on Friday but it was more of a hobble than run as the knee is still trashed.  I get a solid 3 months of training then I get injured.  Although, I thought I figured it out this time.  I wish I could blame the brutal 14.5 mile run with Don's friends but my knee was screwed up before I even went to Oregon.

At least as I was hacking and blowing my nose this weekend, Elena was extra nice and good this weekend.  She's becoming more responsible about things like keeping her room clean and picking up her clothes.  She had all her valentines from school on Friday and gave me one.  I'm sure she'll try to keep all her valentines her friends gave her because she's such a pack rat.  I usually have her clean her backpack out when she comes over because it's full of stuff.  Rocks, papers, random receipts from grocery stores, left over bag lunches, etc.  This time she surprised me with a mason jar full of sweet tarts.  She won this at school by coming the closest on guessing how many were in the jar.  I always remember not even getting close on those types of things when I was a kid.  She guessed 230 and there were 266.  She said most people said around a hundred.  So she has a year supply of sweet tarts.

The only good thing about this dumb cold is I've lost 5 lbs.  I rarely eat when I'm sick so it's easy to shed the pounds.  So bye-bye Oregon pounds...

Monday, February 9, 2009

A disgrace

I failed.  I didn't even show up.  I've let my fans down.  This is the way I feel after eating just one 13" pancake and starting the 2nd at the Stepping Stone Cafe in Portland.  The pancake was quite good.  Nice and fluffy airy even.  This was my downfall as they only had tabs of butter and not one of those big ice cream scoops.  I went through about 10 tabs on the first pancake and it wasn't even close to enough.  The pancakes are about an inch thick.  The real food eater eats 3 of these in a stack.  The kitchen screwed up and only sent me one pancake out at a time.  This allowed for more room to eat but I just wasn't feeling it.  I got to the cafe without feeling very hungry and after the first bite I knew it was going to be almost impossible.  A fellow Ironman Canada finisher, Alanna, went with me and she polished off her pancake without trouble plus had 2 scramble eggs.  She crushed me.  I got beat by a girl. ;)

The weekend started by going to see Pink Panther 2 on Friday.  It wasn't as good as the first one but during the movie I polished off a tub and half of popcorn.  I woke up early even though I was trying to sleep in and decided to go ride for 2 hours on the indoor bike.  At 11:30, I had reservations with Eric & Tracey at Claim Jumper.  I had the roasted tri-tip with cheese potatocakes plus biscuit.  For dessert, I was somewhat conservative only getting the chocolate cheese cake.  I thought about the "I Declaur" e-clair which was the size of a football and the 6 layer chocolate cake but I knew the pancakes loomed so I just had the cheese cake.  Just think double the normal size of a dessert cheese cake.  I said goodbye to Eric & Tracey and stumbled back to my hotel room.  I was full.

The sun was great on Saturday so I decided to go for a run in shorts.  It was awesome even though I knew I would be doing a long run on Sunday.  My knee wasn't happy but I was even though I could feel the cheese cake every step of the way.  I rested afterwards but it wasn't enough to have a chance at pancake history.

Sunday morning I gave my report to Orion who promptly said I was worthless as an eater and didn't even feel like taking me to the any buffets when I come and visit.  I begged and promised to train harder than ever before.  It was just a bad day.  I could find it again.  My only saving grace was Orion saw me wreck the Brazilian steak house in DC.

I decided to run with Don and his group for a reported 12-13 miles.  It would be at a slow pace so I figured my knee could hold up.  We proceeded to run and immediately it was bathroom time.  The pancake wasn't happy sitting in my stomach.  I found one on the waterfront and left the pancake and shame in the honey bucket.  We hadn't even reached the turnaround when I asked Alanna how far we had come.  Just under 7 well exactly 6.38 is what her Garmin watch told her.  I started cursing Don who had dropped back behind us so he didn't hear.  I hadn't brought any water or gels or nothing.  I was thinking at least there would be people around when I bonked.  Paul decided to up the pace when we hit the west side waterfront trail in Macadam.  This felt better on my knee and would also get me done before the dreaded bonk.  I started to feel pretty good and just opened it up a little more.  The knee was throbbing with every step but I wanted the run over with.  We finished at the Athlete's Lounge in NW.  The run stats were 14.4 miles in 1:48.  This was my longest run so far this season and I only went longer once during my Ironman training.  Thanks DON!!

I could barely walk on my knee as I headed off to the Blazer/Knick game later.  This game was quite a spectacle.  The Blazers were crushing it until the 3rd quarter.  We hit 75 points and I was thinking chalupas.  Taco Bell gives everyone a chalupa if the Blazers score 100.  Well right then the Knicks started bombing the 3s and Blazers went cold. For all the gory details head over to Andrew's Blazer Blog as he was the one who invited to the game with his season tickets.  He took some great pictures and I'm sure he'll post them all.  Here's a picture I snapped with my phone:
I was pretty hungry from the run so I had a cheeseburger, 2 orders of fries, and a bag of popcorn.  The Blazers ended up coming back to win with a last second shot from Brandon Roy.  Awesome!
The weekend is over but it was a great weekend.  I probably gained 5 lbs. and have to start getting serious about my eating.  I only have just over 12 weeks til the Florida trip and I need to be ready both on the half ironman course and off the course at the post race restaurant. 

Monday, February 2, 2009

Runner's knee

Yep, I'm pretty sure that's what I have.  I spun indoors on Friday and took Saturday completely off in preparation for the big group Super Bowl Sunday run.  I hit up Portland Running Company for some new shoes in NE.  I decided to forgo the standard support my pronating shoe and go back to finding the most cushy shoe I could find.  I ended up with these Nike Zoom Vomero. I know how they say don't wear new shoes on a long run especially a different shoe but screw it.  My knee was sucking anyway so to hell with that I wore them and boy did they help.  The extra cushion really helped me limp to a super fast past of 8 somethings and then the knee warmed up a little so I could sortof keep up with all the fast folks.  Luckily the old running partners weren't out for blood and even Vera took pity on me.  I'm guessing the only reason though was she hasn't been running that much and was just surviving as well.  I think we ended up with 8.8 miles or so at least that's what Alanna(check out her blog) had on her garmin.  We stopped afterwards at Starbucks for coffee while another group tacked on another 6 miles.  The coffee was good but the legs were tired.

Overall, the knee was okay but I'm going to focus on getting some cycling fitness and let it rest.  I hope it can make a full recovery so I can still get some fast tempo work in late March and early April.  I'll just keep icing it at least twice daily as it's constantly swollen.  I might even take some Aleve but probably not.

I showered and went into work for a bit before the big Super Bowl Party.  The Super Bowl Party was quite good even though the stupid Cardinal defense couldn't save the game by sacking Big Ben in that final drive.  So sad.  I was in charge of chips.  Perfect.  On Saturday, I bought about 10 bags of chips.  You need a variety for people's tastes.  At the party on Sunday, I think I ate the most chips.  Hmm..coincidence.  NOT!  I had a ton of 7-layer bean dip, chili, and about 12 chicken skewers.  I ate so much I felt like the Gluttony guy on Seven.  If someone had punched me in the gut, my stomach would rupture and I would die.  I could barely sleep last night as my stomach hurt from being so full.

After an easy spin this morning on the indoor cycle, I weighed in at 146.  Easily put on 2lbs yesterday.  I had successfully gotten down to around 144 on Friday after lots of extreme starvation dieting.  I probably having an eating disorder where I can eat tons at one setting then eat barely anything the following day until another gorging a day later.  Oh well, it's not like it's hurting anyone.  It is amusing to see my weight fluctuate 5lbs either direction weekly.  The eating will continue though as next weekend is a date with Claim Jumper where they have massive desserts plus a pounding of some movie popcorn when I see Pink Panther 2.

Well I got tons of work to do so I better get back to it and the jet lag is over. Yay!