Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Push Ups Done .... BRING IT!

  • Day 2 of the 2nd week of Push Ups is D-U-N.  -----  20,25,15,15,30
  • It hurt, but it hurt so good (don't worry I just hummed some John Cougar Mellencamp too!)
  • We picked up Annie a used Trek road bike.  It is in very good condition and we got it at a solid price.  I'll put up some Pics tomorrow.
  • Also, I will recap my month and quarter volume to date.  

This month my job damn near killed me. I am mentally exhausted right now and can barely type let alone have a complete thought.  Stress builds character, right?

Good night!


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Recovery Week = Brick!

Soooooo .....

It is my recovery week and my plan called for a 30 minute run (RPE 1-2) and a 30 minute bike (easy spin).  It didn't specifically say to do one in the morning and one in the evening so I decided to just do a brick when I got home from work.

It was 75 degrees and sunny so I grabbed the QR and stayed in the neighborhood for my ride.  I ended up doing a little over 10 miles in the 30 minute ride.  I was in the small ring for most of the ride and still had a nice 20mph average.  Then I parked the bike in the garage and put on my Brooks kicks and ran for 30 minutes.  I wanted to do this easy but sort of got lost in thought and when I looked at my Garmin I was at 30 minutes and a little over 4 miles. This is about a 7:30 pace - little too hard for an RPE 1-2.  My legs felt really good switching from bike to run and I think all the brick work I have done in my training is really paying off.

Well, I signed up for the Gateway to the Bay Sprint Tri on April 10th.  Looks like it should be a fun race at a cool venue.  And as BDD mentioned in yesterday's comments I really should do the race for all of my blogger buddies up North!  All of you guys had the same thought as me in that racing 3 out of 4 weeks is a good thing.  The Olympic Tri on April 24th is my "A" race  for the first part of the season but I am still going to go pretty hard for the Du this weekend and the Sprint next weekend.  Why sign up if you aren't going to race, right?

Thanks for Reading,


Monday, March 29, 2010

Open Water Swim + New Vortex Wetsuit = Success

Above is a picture of my new Vortex 3 wetsuit.  That is not me.  I look much better in my Vortex 3 than this man...hehehe.

Yesterday my Tri Club sponsored an OWS on the San Jacinto River.  It was at a fellow members house.  They live right on the river and have a boat which was able to follow us just in case anyone had any problems.  

So there are 8 of us standing on the dock in the 20mph winds and we are told the water temperature is only 65 degrees.  We are all warm blooded Texans and this water temperature is what we would refer to as FREAKIN COLD!  Well, we all say screw it and jump in and start swimming.  The water was cold but my wetsuit was keeping me really comfortable -- it was just glorious!

Now for the fun part!  We all begin swimming and we are in a part of the river I never even knew existed.  It is deep and wide.  Very cool.  We are supposed to swim a 1/2 mile to a white house and I just figure I will follow the guys who were in front of me.  Well, we are swimming directly into both the current and the wind.  I have no idea how long I had been swimming for but it felt like a lot longer than the 20 or so minutes it should have taken me to get to the white house?  Finally, we turn around and start heading back towards the starting point.  I am still feeling really strong and after a little getting used to the new suit period I was in a nice groove.  The trip back took us like 10 minutes!! With the current and the high winds at our back we were flying!!.

When we got back to shore Annie told me that when we first started it looked like we were all swimming in place.  I told her it just didn't look like that it actually happened.

All in all it was a really good training day.  My wetsuit is awesome.  The extra buoyancy it gave me was amazing.  I actually felt like it was cheating wearing the suit, just gliding along on top of the water!

This is the always needed RECOVERY WEEK of my training program.  Today was a rest day and I took the free time to take my Quintana Roo apart and clean up all the components.  My garage has become a bike shop (Steve predicted this BTW).  I cleaned and degreased everything and the bike looks incredible right now.  I almost do not want to ride it!

Despite the recovery week  I am still going to have some fun.  Thursday evening I am going to go with a group to Lake 288 and do another OWS.  Then on Saturday morning my Tri Club is having another Duathlon (2mi/12mi/2mi) and after that a couple of us are going to go for another OWS.  Good times this week!

Voice your Opinion Time:

I am thinking about doing a Sprint Tri on April 10th.  It is a saltwater swim -500M, 12 mi bike and a 5k run.  My only concern is that it would be 3 races over a 4 week period (April 3rd - Duathlon/April 10th - Sprint Tri/ April 24th - Olympic Tri).  So fellow bloggers and Triathletes what say you - you have followed my training - do ya think I should do them all or should I skip the April 10th Sprint?  Thanks in advance for your thoughts!!

Thanks for reading,


Sunday, March 28, 2010

100 Push Up Challenge Recap and Sunday Morning Ramblings ...

Sunday Morning Ramblings:

  • How are we all doing with the 100 Push Up Challenge?  Annie and I are both sore from the 3 days we have done the required sets, but we both already seem to be seeing some more defined definition in our arms!  This challenge is a little more challenging than what I thought it was going to be.  By the time I get to the Max Rep set at the end of each workout I am toast. However, the majority of the 50 of us who are doing the challenge are  athletes and not afraid of hard work - If it was easy everyone would do it, right?  So, let's all dig deep and get ready for Week #2. If you are on Week #3 or Week #4 they are linked up on the left sidebar <------.   Here is the Week #2 Chart:

  • My blogger buddies from the north probably won't like this but damn was it hot yesterday.  I got home from work around 6pm and put on my Brooks and went for a 6.5 mile run.  It was 80 degrees and humid and by the time I got back home I was soaking wet.  It has been cold for so longer here in Houston that I forgot just how uncomfortable the heat and humidity can be!  I know, I know someone right now is looking at my blogger pic and is crushing my head between their thumb and finger!
  • I have received a few emails from my readers about the Healthcare Bill.  I cannot even write about it right now.  Just too exhausting.  I really just want everyone in Washington voted out.  All of them.  The system is broke and the only way to fix it is to take a wreaking ball and demolish everything and start from scratch.  That is all I got.
  • This afternoon my Tri Club is having an Open Water Swim about 20 minutes from my house in the San Jacinto River.  I am excited to try out my new Vortex 3 Wetsuit
  • This week's episode of LOST was one of the best ever.  You really didn't get many answers about the Island or Jacob.  But we got to see the Man In Black again and Richard's back story was AWESOME.  This sucker ends on May 23rd and I have no idea how they are going to wrap it all up.
  • Hows 'bout the NCAA March Madness!!!  I completely crapped the bed on both of my brackets but some of the games have been great and upsets are becoming the norm.
  • We are going to look at a used road bike for Annie this evening.  I found a guy locally who is selling a bunch of roadies and one is a 50cm Trek 1000.  Annie wants to start riding with me and this would be a great banger bike to see how she likes it.  And if she becomes a hardcore cyclist she can get a better bike and this one can be relegated to trainer duty.  If we get it I'll throw up some pics and you roadies out there can tell me what you think?
Okay, that is all for this morning.  Wish me luck so that I do not drown later today in the river.

Thanks for Reading,


Friday, March 26, 2010

Daily Trainings and a Thursday Morning 1/2 Mary

Training is going okay this week.

On Monday I was able to swim for an hour and then get in a 55 min/5.5 mi run with my wife.  Tuesday came and I was scheduled to do an indoor trainer ride and I could not.  I had the time but my body was exhausted. I went back and looked at my calendar and realized that a rest day was last used 18 days ago.  No wonder I was beat.  So I took Tuesday as a recovery day and then started Wednesday morning feeling rested and got in a hard 45 minute swim.  Then yesterday morning I got up and went for a 13.41 mile run in 2:00.  I looked at my Garmin and my 1/2 Mary split time was 1:57.  So I had a nice sub-2hr 1/2 Mary on a training run.  It was a beautiful 58 degree Texas morning!

For tonight and Saturday I have to work a CE seminar downtown.  I plan on a nice 2hr spin later tonight and then another 2hr spin on Saturday night (Annie is working - so Jeff gets to train on Sat night!).  On Sunday my Tri Club has an Open Water Swim scheduled in the afternoon so I am in for that but will also try to get a ride in on Sunday morning before the swim.  If I am feeling okay I might go for a run (30 minutes) after the swim as well.

In a nutshell, that is my week so far.  I hated taking the rest day but in hindsight it was the smart thing to do.

Also on Tuesday night I did my Fantasy Baseball draft.  My pitching staff is just dirty.  The offense is going to be average but the pitching should pick us up!

Thanks for Reading,


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Week 15 in the Books ... How'd I do?

Here are my training totals for Week 15 of my HIM Training Program:

Planned Volume:
Swim - 2hrs 45 mins
Bike - 3hrs 15 mins
Run - 3hrs 35 mins
Total Planned -  9hrs 35 mins

Actual Volume:
Swim - 1hr 45 mins (4200M)
Bike -  5hrs 5 mins (87 Mi)
Run - 2hrs 53 mins (17.95 Mi)
Total Actual - 9hrs 43 mins

This week called for 9 1/2 hours of volume and I ended up a 8 minutes over that.  My swim was down because my Sunday OWS got canceled due to poor weather.  The bike is, once again, higher than planned because I am seeing very strong gains on the bike and this is where I can get faster.

When I began this blog it was done primarily as a way to motivate myself into following through with my P90X workouts.  One of the side benefits is that this blog has become a journal of my progress starting with P90X and then venturing into the world of endurance sports.  Every now and again I like to assess how certain aspects of my  workouts are progressing by going back and reading over some older posts and then doing an honest assessment of my current abilities.  I like to do this in my professional life as well - keeps me sharp - yes, I am that guy.

This being only my 2nd Tri season I have a much better understanding of my abilities than when I began last year.  My year was over in October and to honestly assess myself at the time my abilities were as followed -  an extremely poor swimmer, a poor cyclist, and an average runner.

After 6 months of increased volume and focused workouts here is how I break down my abilities today:

I spent most of the winter months focused on increasing volume and entering a bunch of races to learn how to pace myself and how I responded to the stress of increased pace and distance.  I completed a marathon training plan and ran slow as molasses to build my base for 20 weeks. I put in a few 100 mile months and learned how to run.  The results have actually been even better than I expected.  I ran in a 50K, a 5k, a 5mi, two 10k's, and two half mary's.  I got faster and stronger in each event.  When I first began to run last year I could barely run 3 miles without walking.  Now I run 3 miles and barely break a sweat.  The running focused training has paid off and I plan on doing more run focused training again this winter to get even faster.  I have gone from an average runner to a pretty good runner.

Once December rolled around I purchased an Indoor Trainer and began really focusing on my cycling endurance.  When I was on the trainer I did a lot of intervals and hard spins (and watched a ton of movies).  Since the middle of December I have put close to 1000 miles cycling on my legs and lungs.  Last year I had trouble riding in the aero position and really focused on that this off-season as well.  During my last outdoor ride of the season in October I averages 16.8 MPH over a 25 mile ride.  A couple of weeks ago over that same ride I averaged over 20 MPH.  My bike base and fitness have improved but I still have a lot of work to do. The hardest part for me is my inexperience at knowing how hard to push or not push on the bike and still leave something for the run.  I have gone from a poor cyclist to an average cyclist.

Last year I did my first swim in June and I could do one 25 yard lap consecutively.  After each lap a recovery of a couple of minutes was required.  I have always been athletic and pretty decent at any sport I have ever tried.  Not so with swimming, it has been humbling to say the least!  Swimming is still my Achilles Heal but since I have been working on drills and intervals it has been becoming increasingly more enjoyable.  I took a couple of lessons and they have helped.  I am still not good but am slowly seeing improvement and plan on joining a Master's program in May.  I have gone from an extremely poor swimmer to just a poor swimmer.

To recap where I am today: Poor Swimmer, Average Cyclist, and Good Runner.  The positives are that 2 out of 3 sports have seen decent improvement and this improvement has been noticed over a relatively short period of time.  The negative is that my swimming still sucks.  That was fun!

Thanks for Reading,


Monday, March 22, 2010

Gateway to the Bay Triathlon & Day 1 of Push Up Challenge

First a PSA for Houston Area Triathletes:

Volunteers are needed for the 1st Gateway to the Bay Sprint  & Olympic Triathlon being held on April 10th & 11th.  Here is a message from the website for Volunteers:

Individual & Group Volunteers Needed! 
Great for aspiring Triathletes to get their foot in the door! 

Come help out at Gateway and see how it all works. 

We are in need of volunteers for Gateway. If you’ve never done a triathlon before but have always wanted to this is a great opportunity. Come help us out at Gateway and get a first hand look at how a triathlon is done. It’s an easy first step towards your first triathlon and it’s a lot of fun cheering & helping the athletes out.
We need everyone’s help, even those of you racing, to make this first year a success. If you can find time to spare on the day(s) you’re not racing we would greatly appreciate it. Remember groups are eligible for financial donations as long as they stay for the duration of the race and are organized and provide rosters at time of check-in/out. All volunteers (group or individuals) get a event shirt, food, and are entered into our raffles.
Click the black button below to register online free of charge. Those that register online will have already signed the USAT waiver and are good to go when they show up on race day. If you have a group that’s interested and you would like to learn more about our donation program please email us at Thank you!

This is a great early season event that is offering slots into the Escape from Alcatraz Tri and more importantly it is a new Triathlon to the Houston area and really needs the support of local Triathletes. So if you can do it please volunteer.


So today was a good day.  Got in 2000M in the pool and a 5.5 mile run and 5 sets of Push Ups.  I am one  tired puppy!  Now it is time to admit something, "I think I made a terrible mistake!"  These push ups were HARD!  Okay, maybe it is not that bad but these push ups were killer.  Annie and I did our sets together and we were wiped out afterwards and we still had to go run. Since I did 41 I started on Wk3 and did 5 sets - 14, 18, 14, 14 & 20.  The 20 was the minimum max and it was all I could do.  My arms felt like two pieces of spaghetti hanging from my torso.

***FYI - If you need the Push Up Workouts/Calendars they are post under our names on the left ***

The good news about making this "terrible mistake" is that 45 of you have made it right along with me!  So we are all in this together people, let's HTFU and get all ripped up over the next 6 weeks!

Let me know how you all are doing with the push ups and if you experienced the pain I did today.

One more thing - KC @ 140 point 6 miles is having a Road ID Give-away.  Both my wife and I wear a Road ID when we are outdoors training and I am a big believer that everyone should have one.  So go over to KC's blog and put your name in the hat.

Thanks for Reading,


Sunday, March 21, 2010

100 Push Up Challenge ... Start your engines ... Week One

It is time to officially kick off the Dangle the Carrot ... 100 Push Up Challenge.  We have about 40 die-hard fitness freaks stepping up to put themselves through a 6 week program.  This will undoubtedly make us all so buff for the upcoming summer that last season's swim wear will deem itself unworthy to be worn on our newly ripped up bodies.  With out further adieu - lets get to it!

Here is our schedule for the first week:

It is pretty simple.  The sets are down the left hand side and wherever you ranked in the initial test is across the top.  For example:  If you did 9 Push Ups you would fall into the 6-10 Push Up range.  So, go right down the five sets until you finish.  As you can see you will do this workout 3 days a week - that is it.  Probably 8-10 minutes max on those 3 days!

Now if you want to print these out click HERE for the Pocket Print Out.  This is a handy little calendar that lets you have your workouts viewable wherever you may be!  So, if you are in line at the DMV - pull out your schedule and drop and do your Push Ups.  Waiting to pick your kid up from school - grab the little schedule and viola!  Making pasta and waiting for the water to boil?  Boom - on the floor!!  Okay, I think you get the picture.  This is easy and we should have no trouble getting the workouts in, right?

Now many of you did more than 20 Push Ups in the initial test.  If this is the case the program recommends we begin on Week 3.  My suggestion is that you do the Week 3 workout for 3 straight weeks and then once everyone catches up we move onto Week 4 as a group.  If you want to start on Week 3 and then keep going please feel free.  Even though we are doing this as a big group each and everyone of us needs to set our own individual goals and if you can get to 100 Push Ups in 4 weeks we will be your biggest supporters!

So how are we going to track our progress over the next six weeks?  That is a little tougher to measure since we are all at different levels.  My suggestion is that every Sunday evening (the end of a week) I will post a recap of how it is going for me and then in the comments we can all encourage each other to work hard.  If you have a good story to share about your individual experience send me an email and I will post the story.

Here is an example:
Dear Jeff,  I was walking my dog at 5am this morning.  And Spike was taking his sweet old time to do his business.  Normally I would stand around and wait for Spike to finish up --- Well, not today!  When Spike headed off to poop in my neighbors front yard I decided to get in some push ups.  So I dropped down right on the sidewalk and ripped off 5 sets.  After I finished Spike was standing there waiting on me for once - talk about turning the tables on my dog!  And the best part is that when my neighbor came out to yell at me for not cleaning up Spike's poop I just flex my biceps and he turned around and ran back in his house.  What a great day.  Thank you Push Ups!
-- Jenna from Texas

And in return for a story like this you will be awarded with all the glory, praise, and notoriety that comes from having a story posted on this blog -- and believe me my friends when I tell that really none of those things really occur.  So you will have that going for you.

We are ready to rock the heck out of this challenge people - drop and give me 20!

That is all.

Thanks for Reading,


Friday, March 19, 2010

Deep Fried Twinkies and Mutton Bustin' ...

*** Programming note - if you have not given me you Initial Test Push Up results please do by this Monday.  i will have a post on Sunday morning highlighting the important points of the 100 Push Up Challenge.  Check back for details. ***

Last night night Annie and I went to the Houston Rodeo with our friends Jim and Elizabeth.  The Rodeo is a 20 day event that features big concerts and over 2 million visitors each year.  It is the largest rodeo in the world.  We had a lot of fun, ate like crap, watched Five- year old kids ride sheep, ate like crap, watched Fergie shake it, had too many beers, and ate like crap again!

Here are some pictures of our excess to get you through the weekend:

This is where the Texan attempt to play football.  It is one of the nicer NFL Stadiums and the Rodeo is held inside.

Here is the Astrodome, once known as the 8th wonder of the world.  Now it is our red-headed stepchild of stadiums.  Look how beautiful the sky is!  It was a wonderful 75 degree South East Texas Day!

Annie and Elizabeth standing in front of a huge carnival - bad eats are here!

This is a Deep Fried Twinkie.  I ate it and it was GLORIOUS!!!

Annie enjoyed the Deep Fried Twinkie too! I look on in disgust ...

This was like a 30 lb rabbit, really!

Cowboy Up!

I ate this.  It is a BBQ Turkey Leg.  It was awesome.  My eyes should tell the story as too why.  

Now this video is of something called Mutton Bustin'.  Five and Six year old kids are placed on the back of little sheep and whoever holds on the longest wins. It is one of the most hysterical things you will ever see.  This is the second year we have watched this and the primary reason (aside from Fried Twinkies) that I go to the Rodeo.  Enjoy:

It is now time to go train.  A lot.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A Couple of Things ...

First, Happy St. Patty's Day to everyone -- stay away from the green beer!

We are up to 35 hardcore peeps for the push up challenge.  It begins on Monday the 22nd.  Do your Initial Fit Test and let me know the number and it will be posted on the left sidebar.

If you aren't sure how you want to do your push ups and you are looking for something a little more challenging than the normal push up then check out this video I pirated from my good buddy Boomer at  This is how I am going to roll:

When I was a kid the movie "Clash of the Titans" was one of my favorites.  I used to watch it over and over again and loved every minute of it.  About 2 years ago I saw it again for the first time in probably 20 years and like many of my favorites it was extremely dated.  I remember thinking that this would be a really cool movie to remake because of what can be done with special effects today.  Well, being that Hollywood is pretty much out of ideas and will recycle any old movie they can I should not have been surprised when I saw the trailer for the remake.  And it looks awesome!  I cannot wait until April 2nd.  Enjoy:

Thanks for Reading,


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Training Recap and 100 Push Ups Update ...

Last week my HIM plan looked like this:

Total Planned Volume (3/8 - 3/14):
Swim -- 2hr 30 mins
Bike --  3hr 45 mins
Run --  2hr 30 mins
Total Planned Volume --  8 hrs :45 mins

Total Actual Volume (3/8 - 3/14):
Swim --  2hr 30 mins (6000M)
Bike --  3hr 55 mins (69.50 Mi)
Run -- 2hr 42 mins (18.72 Mi)
Total Actual Volume -- 9hrs :07 mins

Not a bad week at all.  All three sports were right on and I did not miss any workouts this week.  Pretty much followed the plan.  Also, in the mail this week I received a bunch of new gear from Brooks that is going to get me through the summer for shoes, shorts and tech shirts.  AND I bought a pair of Tri shorts from TYR that were on sale for $23 about 3 months ago at  Well, I wanted to get the matching top and it was unavailable everywhere.  But I found it on last week for $18 - marked down from $62 - so it was worth the wait.  New Tri Suit for the season for around $40 is pretty decent in my book!

100 Push Up Challenge Update:
Thanks to everyone who has stepped up to take the challenge.  As of right now we have 31 32 badasses participating and if you want to get in just let me know by either comments or email (  To see who is on the list look to the left side bar ( <<<<<). So far we got some rather awesome numbers coming in and it will be cool to see how many of us can get to 100!  If I missed your name please let me know because they were coming in fast and furious yesterday.  The challenge begins on Monday, March 22nd - that means you have to do the Initial Fit Test before than and let me know!

Thanks for Reading,

P.s.  -- KC over at 140 Point 6 Miles is doing a give-a-way for Ryders Eyewear.  Go check it out and get your name in the hat!

Monday, March 15, 2010

100 Push Up Challenge ...

Yesterday I posted about putting together a team in which we would all attempt the 6-week 100 Push Up Challenge.  What is the 100 Push Up Challenge you ask?

Well, the Reader's Digest description is that you will do sets of push ups for a 6 week period (3
X/week) and then at the end you will try a one set max to see if you can do 100! This should take only about 20-25 minutes a week to complete.  So, if you look to your left <--------- you will see a list of people that are going to be doing the challenge.  We will be starting on Monday, March 22nd, so if you want to be part of the team let me know in the comments - ALL ARE WELCOMED!!!.  So far we have 10 people stepping up to the challenge (Go Team!).

Here is how it will work:
1. Leave a comment or send me an email ( that you would like to join.
2. Some time this week do the Initial Fit Test and report back to me your results.
3. On 3/22 begin the program and at the end of each week we will all comment on our results.
4. After you complete the 100 Push Up challenge walk/strut around with flexed arms and expanded chest and brag to your friends and co-workers about what a badass you are!

- Q:  I cannot do regular push ups but still want to play!  Can I do a modified push up?  A: Absolutely! You can do the modified "knee" push ups.  Annie did it this way!
- Q: I did the fit test and did about 30 reps - the program recommends me starting on week 3 - should I do this?  A: I did 41 reps and should be starting on week 3.  I am just going to do week 3 for 3 straight weeks and then pick up with everyone else until the end.  If you want to start on week 3 then go for it and you can inspire the rest of us to get to 100!
- Q: I am a very busy person and not sure if I can make time - what do you recommend? A: I recommend you HTFU and 3 times a week just hit the snooze button one less time. (no one asked that ...hehe, I just like being dramatic)

 Now that the criteria is established the next thing to do is commit.  Drop a comment and I will add you to the team!

Have a great week everyone!


Sunday, March 14, 2010

A Challenge, Ramblings, and Gear Recaps ...

Sunday Morning Ramblings ...

  •  When I did P90X my upper body was pretty ripped up.  I went from this:

To this:

  • I am still very lean but the upper body definition is not what it was after I completed P90X.  So, in order to find a happy balance and not lose any time training in swim, bike, or run I am going to begin the 100 Push-Up Challenge.   Basically, this is a 6-week training program to get you to do 100 push-ups consecutively.  The program has you workout only 3 days a week (Mon-Wed-Fri) for about 10 minutes a day. This week I am going to do the "Initial Fit Test" and see how my fitness ranks and then on March 22nd I (along with my wife Annie and our friend Elizabeth) am going to officially begin the program.  Any of you out there that are suffering from the same disproportional lower to upper body ratio as me are welcomed to join us!  Post in the comments that you are in and we can all report back to each other every week and track our progress. I will post a list of everyone in one of the sidebars to keep us all accountable.
  • Do you guys remember my post about the H20 Audio Swimming Headphones?  Well, after using them for a little less then a month I have to report back that they - ARE AWESOME!  Occasionally they fall out of my ears but for the most part they work perfectly.  With music I just get lost in my swimming.  The best part is that when people try to talk to me I just point at my headphones like I can't hear them and just keep swimming ...LOL ... don't mess with my training people - we can chat when I am done!!!
  • Yesterday's 10K race was a lot of fun for Annie and her friend Ruth Ann.  They both ran hard and finished better than expected.  Ernie was a celebrity pug and gained the attention of children and women all morning long - if I was a single guy Ernie would be an ass magnet!  Here is a pic of the ladies before the race:
Finisher shot before the race - they were quite confident!

  • This mornings OWS got scrapped so I will have to wait to try out the new wetsuit, but not for long because my Tri Club is planning a group OWS next Sunday!
  • In the blog-O-sphere:  Big Daddy Diesel posted a hysterical survey call Who DO you Love?.  Check it out because it is funny, but make sure your spouse/SO is not looking over your shoulder!!!
  • Getting ready to go to the Dog Park and then for a run.  Happy Training everyone!
Thanks for Reading,


Friday, March 12, 2010

Weekend of Training Fun!

Saturday - Hi 71 F, Sunny
Sunday - Hi 75 F, Sunny
Lots of fun planned this weekend folks!

Tomorrow morning Annie and her friend Ruth Ann are going to run in the Bayou City Classic 10K.  This will be her first race since the marathon and I think she plans on taking it easy.  No racing for me, I've done 5 already this year and need a little rest. So I am going to be the chauffeur, cheerleader, and photographer for the ladies, along with my oldest pug Ernie:

Ernie is very excited to watch the runners tomorrow!

After we get back from the race I am going to load the bike up and go to Deussen Park for a couple of hours and get in some hard riding.  Already have everything packed and ready to go.  When I get back from the ride I am going to do a nice RPE 2-3 run in the neighborhood for 5-7 miles.

Then on Sunday the new Xterra Wetsuit is going to get it first field test in the open water.  There is a lake on the other side of Houston that is designed for divers to practice.  They also offer Open Water Swims for Triathletes so Sunday morning I am going to this lake.  My training plan calls for a 3 sport brick day.  So after the swim I am going to come home and run for a half hour and then will probably get in an easy spin in the late afternoon. 

Should be a good weekend and I can't wait to get started!  Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

*****OHHH ... update on today's "yard" dilemma!  So, I decided I was going to be the responsible homeowner.  I went to The Home Depot and found the broken gasket for the sprinklers and as I was repairing the valve the guy who cuts my grass came driving by with his crew. I haven't seen this guy in three months( quite serendipitous)! He speaks zero English and I speak extremely broken Spanish so we did some pointing and hand signals and for $30 he took care of all my lawn work!!!!  The Triathlon Gods were on my side today so as to not disappoint them I was on my bike 5 minutes later!  It sucks riding in my neighborhood because of all the stops and traffic but I was able to get in 24 miles and enjoyed the beautiful day.  I love it when everything works out like that.  

Thanks for Reading,


HELP!!! .............

........ screams my front and back yard!!!!  What to do, what to do?  It is 71 degrees out and absolutely gorgeous.  I have long workout days planned for tomorrow and Sunday.  But when I pulled into the driveway and opened the garage door my Quintana Roo was waiting for me with that, "Hurry up and change!  Let's go ride..." look on her, wheels!?!

My front yard is in disarray and the backyard looks like a weed farm has decided to take up homestead.  Oh, and the sprinkler system from this winter froze and cracked a gasket so that needs to be replaced.

Soooo .... should I be a responsible homeowner, neighbor, and husband and take care of the yard.  Or should I be a responsible Triathlete and mash until my legs want to fall off?????

What says you blogosphere?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Spring and Fantasy Baseball

I had a great 2500M swim yesterday evening.  As I have mentioned time and time again I struggle with my swimming.  I do not particularly like it, probably because I am slow.  BUT something happened last night while I was sludging through the water:  A light bulb went off!  Yep, I had the "Ahhh Haaa!!" moment in the pool.  This is when everything comes together at one magical moment and all the drills and laps of the previous months culminate in your brain and body and you declare to yourself, "I know how to swim!"  Last night about 30 minutes into my workout this happened.  It was glorious.  Now for the rest of that workout I was effortlessly gliding lap after lap, somehow I channeled my inner Michael Phelps and can only hope that "feel for the water" will still be with me tonight.  Fingers Crossed!

Okay, got up at 5:30 this morning and went for an RPE 3-4 run.  It was 67 degrees and a little humid out.  Birds were chirping, mosquitoes were fluttering around, and I saw two road killed snakes on the road.  All signs that Spring has arrived in Texas! 

Now this means that Baseball season is also about 4 weeks away.  I am the commissioner of a Fantasy Baseball League.  We have been doing this league on CBS Sportsline for about 6 years now.  One of my owners is going overseas for work so he had to back out and I am looking for another.  SOOOO .... if any of you (Steve) are interested in being in my fantasy baseball league send me an email (  The league is $75 to enter (pay at the end of the season).  We do an online live draft.  It is a Head-to-Head league so you set your rosters on Sunday and play a different team each week.  No waivers.  Most of the owners are a bunch of sarcastic a-holes (just like me) so you might need a tough skin to be in this league.  Let me know who is interested!

Off to work ....

Thanks for Reading,


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Brooks ID Sponsor

I received and email yesterday from Brooks welcoming me as a sponsor to the Brooks ID family.  This is very exciting because I love my Brooks running shoes and Brooks gear and this will mean many more Product Reviews for the blog.  More importantly they are a wonderful company that goes above and beyond to promote living an active lifestyle and I will be proud to represent Brooks.

In honor of this recent event here is a funny video from Brooks that I pirated from fellow blogger buddy Big Daddy Diesel - enjoy:

Thanks for Reading,


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

47 Days and Counting ....

... Until the LoneStar Oly Tri in Galveston on April 24th!  Just booked the hotel last night and am starting to get excited.  I also am signing both Annie and I up to volunteer for the 70.3 the next day.  This is a really big event for Triathlon in Texas because the 70.3 has been designated an official Ironman race and is also a championship race.  That means it will be a huge field with a bunch of pros racing.  Should be a really good time.

Well, after a sluggish start to my Monday I was able to bust out 2000M in the pool after work.  I used some speedo paddles for about 500M and they are really a great training tool.  When using them I was flying through the water -- 1:20/100M  But when I took them off I could still feel the pull on my forearms and it forced me to keep the elbows up!

After the swim I made some dinner and relaxed until 8pm.  Then I got on the bike and watched Jack Bauer.  I did the hard interval for every commercial and it kicked my butt!  "24" has a TON of commercials!  After that is was quick shower and then off to bed.  Good day!

Thanks for Reading,


Monday, March 8, 2010

Rainy Monday and Training Recap

The alarm went off at 5:30 am today as a reminder that I was going to get in a brisk 45 minute run.  I got up and went to let the pugs outside and that is when I heard the crash of thunder.  That was quickly followed by some heavy rain.  Normally, I would jump on the trainer and get in a bike ride, but for some reason I went back to bed and did not get up until 7am for a work conference call.  Not the best way to start a new week!  Oh well, after work I am going to hit the pool and then watch Jack Bauer on the trainer - this should get me back on track!

Last week was a scheduled recovery week and here is how it shaped up:

Planned Trainings:
Swim - 1hr 30 mins
Bike -  1hr 45 mins
Run -  1hr 45 mins
Total Planned -  5 hrs

Actual Trainings:
Swim -  0
Bike -  4hrs 37 mins (83.30 mi)
Run -  1hr 13 mins (9.32 mi).
Total Actual -  5hrs 50 mins

The volume was good but I over did it on the bike and put up a goose egg in the pool.  This is mostly because the weather has finally changed for the better and I was dying to get outside and I also did the Duathlon on Saturday at the last minute. 

The funny thing to me is that the more time I spend on the bike my run conditioning is improving.  However, when I was putting in 120+ mile months running in the fall it really did not do much for my bike splits.  So, with this little bit of knowledge about myself if I can get extra time in the saddle than that is what I shall do!

Found this video today on  It shows some Triathlon specific swimming drills.  Not real sure how I feel about a couple of them?  Let me know what you guys think?

Thanks for Reading,


Sunday, March 7, 2010

Club Duathlon and Sunday Morning Ramblings

I joined a local Triathlon Club last month and this was the opening club event of the new year.  It was held at Deussen Park in NE Houston and this was my first Duathlon and also my first time at this park.  First off, the park was just awesome for cyclists.  It had roads that were in decent condition and separate bike lanes outside the park.  Not once did I fear becoming roadkill by the distracted soccer mom in the minivan! 

More importantly, the members of the Tri Club are some very nice people.  They have members who are multiple IM Finishers and then newbs like myself.  And they are all extremely open to sharing  and helping other improve.  I'm going to really enjoy being in this group.

Okay, onto the race.  We had about 15 or so people participating.  The distances were a 2 Mi Run + 12 Mi Bike + 2 Mi Run.  According to my Bike computer the bike distance end up being over13 miles but I did take a wrong turn once so it just might have been me!

The initial run started out fast.  Three guys jumped up to the front pretty quick, I was one of these meat heads.  I figured it was only 2 miles so why not red-line this sucker.  My Garmin had me at 12:47 after 2 miles and hitting T1 third overall. 

Jumped on the bike and followed the markings the club had placed up.  As I have blogged about, this winter has seen me put a ton of time on the indoor trainer.  It has paid off!  At the end of last year I was averaging about 16 MPH on the bike on any distance over 10 miles.  Yesterday I averaged between 19-20 MPH and when I got off the bike realized I could have pushed a lot more because I was still relatively fresh. 

After T2 I grabbed a bottled water and took off down the trail again.  I was hopeful to do the last 2 miles in 16 minutes (8min/mi pace), but as I mentioned above, was feeling good.  The final time on my Garmin was 14:30 (7:15min/mi pace).

Overall I was the third finisher with a time of 68 minutes.  I had a really good time and look forward to training with this group of Triathletes!

Sunday Morning Ramblings:
  • My wife Annie recently competed in her first marathon in Austin (Click HERE for RR).  Last night she commemorated the accomplishment with some body art on her hip - I think it is pretty cool:

  • Today is the last day of my "Scheduled Recovery Week" and I am glad.  My body is feeling pretty fresh so it was probably needed, but I get so antsy doing short workouts and taking rest days. 

  • Couple of good Trainer movies that I have recently watched:  1) Gamer - this one isn't for everyone.  But if you enjoy fast paced and extremely violent sci-fi flicks then check it out.  Gerald Butler is the star but Michael C. Hall (the guy from Dexter) steals the show.  2) Law Abiding Citizen - This is another Gerald Butler movie that also stars Jamie Foxx.  This is one of the better movies I have seen in awhile.  Gerald Butler is the main character.  His family is murdered during a home invasion and Jamie Foxx is an up and coming DA in Philly who strikes a deal with the man who murdered Butler's family.  Butler's character does not like this very much and the action begins 10 years later ... go rent it, you'll enjoy!

  • With the Olympics over, our favorite TV Shows are back in full swing.  Some better than others:  IMO, American Idol has officially Jumped the Shark.  We have not seen one performance so far where you just went, "Wow!".  It's not that the kids aren't talented, it is that we have seen it all before.  AI is no longer fresh.   The Biggest Loser is back!  If you can get over all the product placements in this show it is extremely entertaining.  I am really pulling for some of this seasons contestants - except for Michael, he is a freaking slacker.  This guy started out at 530 lbs and just doesn't seem to grasp the opportunity he has to change his life - Jillian needs to make him cry like a baby.  LOST  is down to only 10 episodes remaining until the series finale and last week left us with more questions than answers (AGAIN!).  I have no idea how they are going to wrap this puppy up in a couple of months, but in the history of TV no show has ever sparked more conversation, debate, anger, and emotion than LOST.  If they end it and all of us loyal viewers let out a collective, "WHOA", then this will go down as one of the top shows ever in TV history.  If they pull a Sopranos ending on us then it will be a waste of 6 years of our lives - seriously, the line the creators have drawn it that thin!

  • Saw that the new hero of the GOP, MA Senator Scott Brown, was at a Suns basketball game with John McCain sitting in the $800 courtside seats last night.  McCain is up for re-election and it is not a sure thing he will win.  So, he brings in Brown and make sure he is seen around AZ to help his lackluster campaign .....  Seriously, I hate politicians.  Brown has already been sucked into the political machine of back room handshakes.  Think Brown is still driving around in a truck?  I voted for McCain in 2008, it was not a vote for McCain as much as a vote against Obama.  McCain is a large part of the current political establishment and he needs to be voted out.  John, you have served your time, move on and let someone else take over and quit poisoning the new guys like Brown and Ryan. 

  • Lately, every time I see a politician on TV I want to puke.  I really think our country is about to explode politically.  People seem to be aligning themselves less with Democrats or Republicans and are just sick of the way Washington works.  Obama promised a Change of this type of politics but since he has been in office it has been business as usual and people are pissed.  Obama voters are feeling lied to and Obama detractors are walking around uttering the,  "I told you so" mantra.  As messed up as things seem in our country Democracy does work and come November the people are going to speak very loudly through their ballots and we are going to see incumbents voted out of office at a historic rate. 
Alright, I am done rambling.  My wife is on her way to St. Louis for a funeral so I will be living the bachelor life until Thursday.  Two years ago this would have meant late nights, mass quantities of beer, and pizza three times a day - today it means more training!  Love this life!

Thanks for Reading,


Thursday, March 4, 2010

A New Wetsuit, a Brick, and a Fatty

So much for that Recovery Week I had scheduled.  I was scheduled to do a 30 minute RPE 2-3 bike ride for today's workout.  I got home from work and jumped on the trainer and started watching The Biggest Loser on DVR.  Next thing you know I am one hour and fifteen minutes into my ride.  And it was a hard ride too.  Big ring, high cadence.  Then for some reason I tell myself that it would be fun to do a brick.  Then for some reason I tell myself it would be even more fun to see how hard I can run for 2 miles.  Do some speedwork I tell myself.

After the bike I toss on some running shorts and my Brooks kicks and pretty much sprint from the front door.  The first mile was done in 6:08.  My heart was a pumping so I slowly jogged for 2 minutes and then sprinted mile # 2 home.  This was done in 6:38!  Now I am wondering if I can do a sub-6:00 mile?  BTW - this hurt.

Some other cool news - My Wetsuit came today!!!  It was quite and effort to get this sucker on but it fits great.  It is a Xterra Vortex 3 Full Suit and here it is:

 I feel like a superhero in my wetsuit!

Yesterday Annie was going through some old photos she had saved on her computer and came across a bunch of me when I was a huge fatass. This blog used to be primarily about my P90X workouts and I realize many of my new Tri Blogger buddies probably have never seen me as a fatso.  Here is one from about 3 years ago when I weighed about 200lbs:

Here is from Day 1 of P90X, check out the spare tire! This was about 18 months ago and I weighed 190lbs:

Compare the above to this pic from 2 weeks ago,  looks like a different person - weighing in at 148lbs:

Public humiliation is always fun!  Always motivates me to work hard when I see pictures from a few years ago.  You should see the ones of Annie -- she'll never let me post those online!

I am thinking of doing a Dualthlon on Saturday morning: 2 mile run - 12 mile bike - 2 mile run.  It is with the new Tri club I just joined.  I have to be in Katy for an implant surgery at 1pm and the race starts at 8am - pretty sure I can do both!

Thanks for Reading,


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Product Review: The Right Stuff

So a few weeks ago I received an email about The Right Stuff from the President of the company.  The email was asking if /I had heard of the product, which is a NASA developed hydration concentrate.  I had not so I told them if they sent me some freebies I would try it out and write a review on the blog.

They were nice enough to send me some Wild Berry and Citrus flavored concentrate to demo.

So, What is The Right Stuff

It is Elite Hydration for Elite Athletes.  A hydration concentrate Developed by NASA.  Yeah, that sounds intense.  But it is pretty much like one of those Crystal Light Iced Tea packets that you put into your water bottles.  Not complex at all.  Here is what the packets look like:

These packets are actually easy to use.  The top twists off and the concentrate quickly and easily pours out.  This could be a very good feature when refilling your Aero bottles during the bike portion of a Tri.

Some beneficial features of the product is that it contains ZERO Carbohydrates and ZERO Calories.  For us endurance athletes this is a huge benefit because it allows us to separate our nutrition from hydration intake.  When I am planning my nutrition for a long day of training or racing there is no need to figure how much of that is coming from my drink.  Also it contains 1625 Mg of sodium so it could conceivably replace salt tablets for us guys who perspire like crazy.

I tried the right stuff a couple of weeks ago when I did 3.5 hours of consecutive training and I also tried it during the Austin 1/2 Marathon.  It works!  I did not suffer from any of the side effects (cramping, nausea, headaches..etc) of dehydration during either time I tried them.  What was really noticeable to me was how good I felt immediately afterward and how well I recovered.

Now this product is not perfect.  In my opinion, it does not taste very good. It isn't bad, just not good either.  More sharp than sweet.  It leaves a rather salty after taste in your mouth.  I would never drink this as a beverage like Gatorade or Powerade.  That being said, I usually do not use Gatorade or Powerade for hydration purposes either.

The cost of The Right Stuff is $8.99 for 3 packs or $26.99 for 10 packs.  For me this makes the product prohibitive for training purposes.  If money were not an issue then I would use The Right Stuff for every intense workout over an hour.

Overall my summary of The Right Stuff is that it lives up to the product claims and is a beneficial product to Triathletes for hydration.  Amazingly I could feel the difference when using The Right Stuff so I am confident saying it really works.  I would choose this over Gatorade everyday and twice on Sundays!   However, for me I feel it is too costly to use in everyday training but I am going to purchase it to be used on race days.  If it was priced more in line with Gels ($1-$1.50) then I would consider using it for everyday training.

I'd like to thank David Belaga from Wellness Brands Inc for letting me try The Right Stuff.

Thanks for Reading,


Monday, March 1, 2010

Week 11 Training Recap and 10 Things About Me ...

Here are my week 11 totals:

Planned Volume:
Swim - 30 mins
Bike - 7 hrs 30 mins
Run - 1 hr 30 mins
Total Planned Volume - 9 hrs 30 mins

Actual Volume:
Swim - 1 hr
Bike - 6 hrs 45 mins (121.5 miles)
Run -  1 hr 15 mins (10.23 miles)
Total Actual Volume - 9 hrs 00 mins (121.73 miles)

Overall a good week of training.  Being that my profession is an outside sale manager with a monthly quota the last week of each month is usually challenging for me. The last week of each month is long days with tons of stress and this is pretty much the norm but if I can continue to get this type of volume in I will be happy.

This week is a lesser volume rest week built into my training program.  I am debating on following it or adding more workouts?  I am feeling really good right now but am afraid I might get worn out if I do not take it.

Julie from, Julie's Running Blog, tagged me to list 10 Random Things About Myself.  So here are 10 Random Things:

1. Favorite food is Pizza, which I rarely eat.
2. The best vacation I ever had was in Bradenton, Florida during Spring Training for the Pirates.
3. I teach Doctors how to surgically place dental implants and also know how to do a Root Canal.
4. My favorite all-time band is Led Zeppelin.
5. I have been happily married for 8 years.
6. I have a Real Estate License.
7. My Blackberry runs my life.
8. Have been a Texas resident for 5+ years now.
9. Hate country music.
10. I was an Intern with the Pittsburgh Penguins during my Junior year of college.

So that is all I got today.  Time to watch Jack Bauer waste some baddies!

Thanks for Reading,