Sunday, May 30, 2010

Astros Race to the Pennant 5K Race Report

This was a 5K race that was scheduled for Saturday morning at 7:45AM.  In most other cities this early start on a late May morning would usually be rather cool and crisp, not Houston my friends!

The temp was probably in the low to mid 80's but the humidity was outrageous.  I was already sweating walking from the car to Minute Made Park! Training in this is going to make me so strong once the weather gets cool again in October.  Okay, onto the Race Report:


Annie and I got out of bed a little after 5am.  We had some coffee and a whole wheat bagel with peanut butter.  This has become our staple pre-race breakfast.  I let the pugs outside and could already feel the thick humidity when I opened the back door. Even the pugs didn't like it because they did their business and came right back inside.  My wife Annie has been running with our friend Elizabeth for the last few months.  Elizabeth just began running at this time so this was going to be her first official race.  Here husband Jim also decided to do the race. They are good people and it was fun to have running partners for the day.  They live a couple of houses from us so we all jumped in one car and made the 20 minute drive to Minute Made Park.

The organizers had booths set up outside the stadium for race day registration and packet pickup and they had the stadium open so racers could use the rest rooms indoors ... very cool!  Jim and I walked into the men's room and there appeared to be a long line but we came around the corner and at least 20 urinals were empty?  ohhhh this was the line to the stalls ...hehehe ... lots of race days nerves today folks!

We all did maybe a half mile warm-up run and went to line up at the start.  We ran into Diane from the Tri Club, she is very nice and it is always fun to catch up with her, and we all just stood around and talked  until it was go time.


Both Annie and Elizabeth were trying to run under 26 minutes.  They had both been talking about it for awhile now and they have put in the hours training so they were both ready.  They decided they would try to stay together for most of the race.  Annie had asked if I would be her Rabbit because she always pushes herself harder when she runs with me.  I agreed but we both knew this would be difficult for me since I tend to be an extremely competitive ass and once people start passing me the urge to run them down is pretty fierce.  So, when Annie put her Garmin 305 on and the battery died I knew she was going to need me now even more since she didn't have her pace watch.  So I promised to be the pacer and run an 8:20 mile pace so both the girls could follow and obtain the sub-26 minute goal.  I later found out Annie had text this to my mother and sister and they both thought I would not be able to handle the responsibility of being a pacer -- thanks for the vote of confidence guys!

The race begins and it is HOT.  I am talking Africa hot people!  We take off and I start out a little fast to try and find some open road for us to run and we have 2 hills on the out and hit them again on the back.  Over 3000 people were in the race so this was difficult but it did loosen up about a mile in.  Mile One was done in 8:15 and I could tell Annie was struggling a little. We held the pace for the next mile and it was done in 8:30 due to the two small rollers we had to run up.  At about the 2.5 mile mark Annie was starting to fall back a little and Elizabeth was holding firm right next to me.  With about 600 meters to go I told Elizabeth to give it a final kick and she took off -- she is speedy!  I slowed and waited for Annie who was about 25 yards back at this point.  I told her we needed to bust ass to make it under 26 minutes at this point and she dug down and picked up the pace. I was proud of her because she was definitely hurting and she hardened up and gave it a final kick.  At this point we entered the stadium and ran through the concrete service entrance and crossed the finish line which was located by the right field wall.

Annie finished with a time of 25:59, hitting her goal with one second to spare.  Elizabeth had an awesome first race and finished with at 25:47. They finished 11th and 12th, respectively, in their Age Group. They both did awesome and ran great in the Houston soup. My time was the same as Annie's.

Post Race:

Now the real fun began because they had a freaking spread for the post race party!  Beer, breakfast tacos, Pei Wei lettuce wraps, bananas, apples, popcorn, bagels, Powerade, coffee ... pretty much whatever the heck you wanted.  Jim came in a couple of minutes behind the girls and we all sat down on the first base line, we were all sweaty messes but so was everyone else so it didn't matter.  Very good race and one of the best post  race spreads I have ever seen ... especially for a 5K too!  After relaxing for a bit we all left and found a trendy little breakfast place in the Heights and ate like kings, again.  Overall it was a fun time and Annie set a new PR and hit her goal of going under 26 minutes and Elizabeth is hooked on running and was already talking about running a half marathon by the time we left the stadium.

Pre-Race - Jeff, Annie, Jim, Elizabeth

Sweaty Post Race

My baby girl Pug Bailey in the morning

Thanks for Reading,


Friday, May 28, 2010

Housekeeping ...

It has been 12 days since my last race and I have done a total of 4 runs, 1 ride, and 0 swims.  As many of you probably remember this is all part of my plan to let the body recover before the next Half Ironman training begins on June 21st.

I was reading Jon's latest post at SwiCycloRun and he was talking about how his body is feeling all the hard hours of training he has been putting in and how he was ready for a taper.  It got me thinking because I was at the same point about 3 weeks ago when I decided to go on this self imposed lock down.  So how is it going you ask?  Just wonderful!  Really, really good.  My body is feeling incredible and I am actually itching to get back at it.  I have put on about 10 lbs (161 lbs this morning) and my dress pants are actually fitting again.  All of you Endurance Vets out there that advised me to rest up were spot on -- thanks to you all for the excellent advice!

Happenings this weekend:

  • Big Daddy Diesel is doing an AquaBike tomorrow morning, stop by his blog and wish him luck!
  • MissZippy is hosting an awesome give-away for a Somnio Running Jacket.  Go over and register for a chance to win this cool looking gear.
  • Jason at Tri-Tech is doing his 2nd Sprint of the year and could use the positive race vibes sent his way!
  • My wife Annie and I are running a 5K on Saturday morning.  She is going to crush it!
  • This will be the first running race ever for our friends Elizabeth and Jim so best of luck to them!
I have a couple of fun Product Reviews and Give-aways coming up so check back often.  One of the Give-aways crack me up every time I look at it and the other isn't here yet but will be very cool.

Thanks for Reading and I hope everyone has a great Memorial Day Weekend. 

And when you are out on Monday enjoying the day off of work take a moment and remember the brave men and women of our armed forces  that gave the ultimate sacrifice for their Country.


Thursday, May 27, 2010

5K this Saturday ...

Annie and I, along with our friends Elizabeth and Jim, are running the Astros Race for the Pennant 5K on Saturday morning.  I completely forgot we even signed up for this until Annie told me to go pick up the packets for everyone today.  It should be a fun race - we start just outside of Minute Maid park and then finish on the field.  That should be a very cool finish!

Annie wants to run the 5K around the 26 minute mark and wants me to stay with her to help push her along.  Being that I really don't like the pain of a hard 5K effort in 90 degree heat and am fat right now I agreed to do this with her.  Hopefully we will have a Race Report on Saturday with Annie getting a new PR!

Thanks for Reading,


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Top Ten List ...

Yes, I  love lists.  Mainly because I have the attention span of a gnat and numbered lists makes it very easy for me to stay focused.  With the conclusions of LOST and 24 a couple of buddies and me got into a debate over the Top 10 TV Shows of this Decade.  The only rule was that the majority of the show had to be in the years 2000-2010.  Here is my list:

1.  The Wire
2.  The Sopranos
3.  Friday Night Lights
4.  LOST
5.  Mad Men
6.  Rescue Me
7.  The Office (US Version)
8.  24
9.  Arrested Development
10. Curb Your Enthusiasm 

* Notable admission - The Shield, Survivor, American Idol, Deadwood

They are all linked to their respective IMDB page for your enjoyment - that is just how dedicated I am at bringing you blogging excellence!

If you haven't seen any of these shows then bookmark this post for after the season because these will all make the Trainer sessions much more bearable.

What is your list?


PS -- If you enjoy stories about crazy people at the gym read THIS by my buddy Boomer at Project Exercise.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tuesday Track Day

It was a fun weekend in the Pittsburgh area spending time with my family.  I always love going back to my hometown!  Annie and I were able to get in a 3.5 mile run in my sisters neighborhood on Friday morning.  It was 62 degrees and extremely hilly!  We both enjoyed the temperature but the hills were hard.  I wish we had some hills around here like that to train on because both Annie and I really liked the change in terrain.

On Saturday morning we went to my sister's gym and the girls did a spin class and I hit the treadmill for 5 miles of interval fun.  I did quarter mile pace increases: For the first .25 miles it was an easy 10 minute/mi pace.  Then I would move up to an 8:30/mile pace.  Then a 7:00/mile pace and finally a 5:00/mile pace for the final .25 miles.  I repeated this 5 times, hence the 5 miles total.  That dang treadmill was ripping at over 12mph over the last interval of each set.  People were looking at me like I was a crazy man!

Sunday and Monday were so busy with visiting and eventually flying home that we were unable to get in any workouts.  I was very cool with this because I am supposed to be taking a few weeks rest and it gave me more time to spend with the family.

Well, it was fun to be back in the Burgh but we were happy to be home in Houston and back into our normal routine.  For me that meant it was Tuesday Track Day!  I love track day.  I was built for this type of running and each time we go I can feel myself getting faster.  The 4:30am alarm comes early but it is worth it.  Today it was already over 80 degrees at 5am and extremely humid -- summer has come to Houston my friends!  That did not deter us any as I was joined by Mike, Jennifer and Steve from the Tri Club.  Thanks guys for getting up so early and joining me in this craziness.

Today's workout was an easy 4 lap (1 mile) warm up.  Followed by 4 laps at 10K pace.  We would then break for a minute to hydrate and then do another 4 laps at a little faster pace.  Followed by another minute or so hydration break and then another 4 laps at a 5K pace.  This one had us all feeling pretty darn good and then the real fun began.  Mike and I are about the same speed and run together on track days so the last set called for 4 total laps - 1 lap at a 7:15 pace, 1 at 6:00 pace, 1 at 5:30 pace, 1 at sub-5:00 pace.  So that is what Mike and I did and it hurt.  It hurt bad.  We did the last lap at a 4:40 pace which would be about  1:10 400M.  We really HTFU'd the final lap.

We then finished with an extremely easy 2 laps and called it a morning and my Garmin said we did 4.71 miles.  Good training day.  Nothing is better than having in a hard workout before 6:00AM even rolls around!

Some other updates:

- My weight gain is progressing nicely.  I am currently sitting at 158 lbs (7 lb gain) and have been a relentless eating machine.  On Friday at dinner after I finished off 8 pieces of whole wheat pizza and was still taking food off everyone else's plate my Brother-in-law called my eating, "Quite the exhibition!" .... I should be in the 160's in no time!

- I just found out the gym that hosts the Master's swim program I was planning on joining next week has been sold and is being turned into a private school.  So, we are going to have to figure out another option.  A Lifetime Fitness opened up about 20 miles away from us and they have morning and evening Master's programs.  The only problem is that traffic can be brutal at the rush hours in that direction and my fear is that I will use that as an excuse to blow off my swims.  I also don't like the "GloboGyms" but really the only other options is the YMCA and it is sort of a shithole.

- ABSOLUTELY LOVED LOST!  By far my favorite finale ever.  For the last 6 years all I ever wanted was to know what the island was and to have the question surrounding the island answered.  On Sunday night I found myself not caring at all about the island and just rooting for the characters.  The first 2:25  were absolutely perfect and the last 5 minutes were, well, confusing -- but would you really want anything else other than confusing from Lost?  It just wouldn't be right if they answer all the questions! If you have not watched LOST pick up the 6-season box set and it will make those long winter hours on the trainer so much easier.  Oh, BTW, Matthew Fox was brilliant in this last season of LOST.  He deserves an Emmy, it was that good.

-  Jack Bauer has officially walked off into the sunset - or rather stumbled, bloodied.  "24" jumped the shark two years ago but it was still entertaining TV nonetheless.  In typical "24" fashion it had lots of baddies getting wasted and the extremely thin line between immoral and moral being weaved around.  They ended the show well and looks like they left it open for a movie.

- Picked up my Zipp Front Tubie today from the LBS.  It looks fast and tonight I'm going to order a rear disk cover from  Can't wait to see how the carbon feels on the weekend ride!

- Watching The Biggest Loser right now and Koli just busted out on stage with pink pants on?  Dude is skinny as hell but the pink pants make him look like Steve Urkel.  Really Koli, Really?

Thanks for Reading,


Sunday, May 23, 2010


Dear LOST Writers,

We all started this journey with you in 2004 and it has been a great ride.  PLEASE do not make those 6 years a waste.

That is all.

Thank you.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Mid-Week Ramblings ...

I hope everyone is having a wonderful week!  All is going well here.  The recovery from Sunday's race was far shorter than what I anticipated.  After driving 5 hours on Monday morning the legs were a little tight but nothing 10 minutes with the foam roller could not fix.  Other than that I am feeling great.  Tomorrow evening Annie and I are flying to Pittsburgh to visit my family for the weekend.  We are going this weekend because they are having a birthday party for my niece Ava, she is 3 years old.  Here is her 3-yr old picture:

Isn't she adorable?

My sister, Liz, is a BeachBody workout freak and loves P90X, Insanity, and Chalean Extreme. We are staying with her Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.  She is excited to have us to workout with on Friday and Saturday but I am not too sure what I am going to do?  Maybe bring the kicks and get in some hill running in the Western PA mountains? 

Onto the Ramblings ....

  • I hear a lot of Triathlete's complain about the World Triathlon Corporation (The company that does Ironman) because of how "corporate" and "for-profit" they are.  On some message boards I even read people who say they prefer to not do WTC events and go to smaller races.  Well, after going to a WTC (Galveston 70.3) HIM and participating in a local HIM (TexasMan HIM) I have to say I completely disagree with the boycott-ors.  The WTC ran a first class event for both the athletes and the spectators. Everyone involved had a memorable experience.  The  TexasMan HIM pretty much sucked ass for the athletes.  I was pretty easy on the organizers in my RR but after talking to other participants over the last few days we all agreed that this event was poorly done and will never do it again.  If next year you are planning your race schedule and you coming across this post do yourself a favor and cross the TexasMan HIM off your list.
  • Speaking of Boycotting!  How about the feud between Los Angeles and Arizona over the Illegal Immigration Bill?  Los Angeles said they were going to stop doing business with AZ and suspend all city travel and spending to AZ, essentially enacting a boycott of AZ.   I love Activists, they are so cute when they try to make a point.  Well, AZ responded by informing the proud Mayor of bankrupt Los Angeles that if they proceed with the Boycott then AZ will no longer send power to Los Angeles from their Nuclear Reactor.  Los Angeles receives over 25% of their power for AZ.  Well played AZ, Well played!  You can probably tell that I personally am in favor of the ILLEGAL Immigration Bill.  If you would like to debate this with me feel free to comment or email me.  But make sure you at the least read the bill (Here), unlike Eric Holder, and maybe watch this - HERE
  • LOST .... WOW!  The finale is going to be great!  Last nights episode just set everything up for us and it is all happening on Sunday starting at 7pm and running until 11:30pm.  Dad, if you read this can you go ahead and set the DVR for LOST on Sunday night?
  • How about Daris running a 4:02 Marathon on The Biggest Loser!  He was damn impressive and should win the show just for that alone, but then he went and ate like a crazy man and gained 2 pounds.  He seems like a good kid and I hope he figures it all out and is able to maintain the weight loss!  Now as for Michael ... not sure what to say here?
  • The Pittsburgh Pirates beat Roy Halladay and the Phillies 2-1 last night. I'd be happy with ending the MLB season right now with that memory!
  • Some strong posts in our little slice of the interebz:  Amanda @ MissZippy  put up some interesting thoughts on Obesity in America;  Fatty over @ is giving you a chance to win some great prizes - including a Lance Armstrong Autographed Jersey! - with a small donation to help fight cancer; and Scott @ TriDiesel wrote about a real cool event that is going on tonight in memory of Cyclists that lost their lives while riding.
  • OHHHH ... my goal of GAINING 10-15 pounds is going strikingly well.  On Saturday morning I was at a very skinny and lean 151 lbs.  About an hour ago I was at a much beefier 157 lbs.  My clean diet is not changing.  I cannot go back to ever eating fast food or garbage again and the thought of a McDonald's cheeseburger makes me feel nauseous. That means my weight gain will be done healthy and not with saturated fats or complex carbs.  I am just not going to be doing double s/b/r workouts for a few weeks and that means I am going to go from calorie intake neutral to calorie intake positive.  I am also going to lift some weights and get the upper body buffed up some until the next HIM Training Plan begins (June 21st).  So if anybody wants to join me for a Weight Gain Challenge speak up now (KC already politely declined)!
So that is probably going to be it until Monday when we get back from Pittsburgh.  I'll try and take some fun pics to post up of the old stomping grounds.  

Happy Trainings!

Thanks for Reading,


Monday, May 17, 2010

Race Report: Impulsive HIM

Another Very Cool Texas themed Finisher's Medal

First a shout out to KC @ 140 Point 6 Miles and Mandy @ Caratunk Girl for having great races this weekend.  Do yourself a favor and check out their Race Reports!

TexasMan Long Distance 70.3, Lake Ray Roberts, Denton Texas, Race Report:

Okay, this was my first HIM which I registered for about 2.5 weeks ago (hence the header).  I didn't train specifically for this race and new very little about it since it was the first year this group was holding a half iron distance along with the normal Sprint and Olympic distance.  As a matter of fact, I have never even been to this part of Texas before.  But I had a buddy doing it and it was cheap (for a 70.3) AND I am by nature, Impulsive. Here we go:

Saturday Before the Race:

After a nice little 5 hours in the car listening to XM radio I finally arrived at my hotel in Denton.  **Minor Rant Sidebar - I know Kelly Clarkson is a major recording artist and all but she must have nude pics of the XM Radio President because she is on every freaking station.  At one point she was on 4 stations at one time.  Enough XM, Enough!  End Rant **  My buddy Bobby (He has done 4 HIM and 2 IM) from my Tri Club was also doing the race so we decided to make the 20 mile drive north to check out the bike course.  I had read earlier in the week that the bike course had been recently chipped and sealed.  Well, after our ride we realized this report was accurate.  The RD seemed to do a good job of cleaning off the shoulders of debris but it was going to be a bumpy ride. And did I mention the hills? We ain't used to those in Houston!  Then we turned onto a 6 mile stretch of road called North Hemmings.  Oh.My.God.  This road was an extremely rough ride in my car and Bobby and I actually started to laugh at how bad it was going to suck on our bikes.  Here is the bike map with some very fancy photoshop work by yours truly describing the road conditions (N. Hemmings is in Red):

After we got back to Denton we went to the Olive Garden to carb load and meet Bobby's cousin, Vicki, and her mother, Julie.  Vicki was doing the HIM as well and it was also her first HIM.  Very nice people.  After a nice dinner it was back to the hotel early to get some shuteye!


Forecast One Week from Race:  79 Degrees, Overcast, 40-60% Chance of Rain 
Forecast One Day before the Race:  79 Degrees, Overcast, 40-60% Chance of Rain
Forecast Three Hours before the Race: 79 Degrees, Overcast, 40-60% Chance of Rain

Bookmark in your mind until later!

I had a power bar, coffee, and a banana for breakfast.  This led to the most important part of every triathlete's pre-race routine.  This part, which I will not mention, went very well!   Drove to the race site and took in a bottle of Infinit to start the nutrition early and got a great transition spot.  I checked my bike over for any maintenance issues and all looked fine.

Bobby, Vicki and I got into our wetsuits and headed down to the swim start and got in a little out and back to warm up. The water temp was around 68-70 degrees and felt really good.


This was a mass start swim from the beach, but since only like 200 or so people were doing this race it wasn't all that violent! After the singing of the national anthem one of the RD's walked down to the front of the pack and told us that they were going to send off the handicapped athletes first and then we would start a few minutes after.  He did a quick, "3..2..1...go" and about 20 or 30 people started who were not the handicapped athletes.  Everyone sort of looked around at each other and the guy (RD?) up front was yelling to the guys (RDs?) in the back and they finally just said go.  I started my watch and jumped in.

I was feeling very good when about 300-400 meters out I looked up to sight and saw a guy walking next to me???  I slowed down and realized my feet were touching and about 20 other were walking.  We hit a sandbar!!  It was sort of funny and we all made some jokes and before you knew it the sandbar was gone.  I started towards the back of the pack in the swim and passed a few people and got passed a few times but for the most part I had open water and it was very nice.

After the final turn buoy it started to get crowded in the water.  The Olympic Distance began 15 minutes after the HIM Distance and our waves began to intersect probably 500-700 meters from the finish.  I got hit a few times here and did some hitting.  My sighting was good up until this point.  I think I felt the others coming from my right and drifted a little to the left.  I looked up when I was about 300 meters away and realized I need to get back on course.  This probably cost me a minute or two but overall the swim when well.

I ran out of the water and found the closest wetsuit stripper and headed up the trail to my bike.  It was a good  400 meter run and I was feeling great. A couple of people were saying the swim was 200 M long according to their Garmins ... I'd like to believe that (-:.  I looked at my watch and it said I had done the swim in 47:03.  According to the timing results it said my swim time was 50:03?  My guess is they started the clock at the first gun when we all stood around looking at each other on the beach?  Either way I was happy with the swim and still felt really good. Here is the swim map with the sand bar and Oly folks illustrated:


Now the fun begins!  After a quick 3:35 transition I was off and on my way.  I looked down at my bike computer and NOTHING was registering?  At this point I realized that I need this data to help me pace myself over the 56 miles and made the decision to unclip and fix the computer.  I jumped off and checked the connection on the spokes and it was perfect?  WTH?  After a second I toggle through the settings and the whole thing goes dead ... battery is out.  Damn, that battery is only a couple of weeks old and was working fine when I checked it earlier.  Oh well, nothing I can do so back on the bike and it will be riding blind using nothing but RPE!  I should have put on my garmin 305.

The roads were rough and beat the hell out of me.  At times I was really wishing I had dropped the extra coin on a carbon bike and wheels. A couple of miles in I got a horrible pain under my right side rib cage.  It felt like a knife was stuck in me. I think it was because I needed to pee and figured I would stop at the first port-o-potty.  The hills were tough but I actually enjoyed them as they broke up what was an otherwise uneventful ride. Until I got to N. Hemmings, man was this brutal.  My average speed couldn't have been more than 13-14 mph on this broken down excuse for a farm road.  They need to bulldoze this sucker and start over.  At this point I was dreading coming through here again.  Everything was going fine as I finished the first loop and all the Oly people left the course. It really spread out the field after that and a lot of the ride was done alone at this point. It was here when I realized not a single port-o-potty was on the bike course and decided to go pee on the bike.  I tried, it didn't happen - I refuse to practice this - and the pee would have to wait.  I passed a guy shortly after that and he told me it was 9:30am and we were at mile 28ish.  I did some quick math and figured that was about a 19mph average.  My legs were feeling good and I figured if I could keep this place it would put me in around 3 hours.

Then it happened.  Remember that "Forecast" I mentioned above?  Well, they missed it, they missed it bad.  The sun came out and it came out with a vengeance I tell you.  It started to get hot and humid.  To the tune of 90 degrees.  Well, this wasn't the worst part.  I was on that yellow part above on the bike map labeled "Bad" and I dropped my last bottle of Infinit as I was putting it back. Just slipped right out of my hand.  It was only about 2 miles to the turn around and the bottle could be picked up on the way back.  Yep, you guessed it - the bottle was not there?

I still had enough water but I knew with the heat that I was going to be hurting for sodium and electrolytes.  About a mile before the N. Hemmings Rd turn I was starting to feel a bonk coming on.  N. Hemmings road just destroyed me.  I granny geared the entire part.  Even the flats.  I was wasted and needed some nutrition.  I struggled back to T2 and figured that I had Gatorade and GU packs in my run belt and could slowly get my energy back.  I was also starting to feel the lack of sodium as my quads were getting tight (foreshadowing).  I was hoping for a 3:06-3:10 bike and ended up with 3:19.


Okay, my ass (literally) was extremely excited to be off the rocky roads and my Brooks felt so great on my feet.  I strapped on my Nathan's Hydration Belt and grabbed the GU pack I had sitting in transition.  I was down but not out.  According to the race packet they were going to have Powerade (Electrolytes), Salt Tablets (Sodium) and water at all the aid stations.  Right outside of T2 they had the first aid station set-up.  I ran up and the nice volunteer informed me they only had ice but another station was a mile up the trail.  I asked her where a port-a-potty was located and she said she did not know.  A girl next to me was upset about this and we ran off together.  She said, "I really have to go!"  I replied with, "Me Too!!" She replied in a sarcastic tone, "It is a lot easier for you, go find a tree!"  I ran off the trail into the woods and took the best pee of my life and the pain in my ribs went away!   Go figure?

Now I am passing Aid Station #2 and my quads are getting really tight and of course they only have water.  WTF?  Mr. RD it is 90 degrees out and you have 200 athletes on the course in need of some nutrition! I needed Electrolytes and sodium and I needed them bad.  It was about at the 1.2 mile maker and my quads had enough.  They didn't just cramp they went into a complete spasm and it hurt like hell.  I actually sat down on the side of the trail and stretched.  This happened at least 4-5 more times and at every station I stopped and poured ice water on my quads.  It helped a little. My first 4 miles was done in 50 minutes ... ouch.  Aid Station #3 - No Powerade or Salt.  Aid Station #4 - No Powerade or Salt.  Aid Station #5 - Powerade, Salt tabs, pretzels and some tunes to boot!  These guys saved my race.  I took two 400mg tabs and filled my bottle with powerade and took off.  About 5-10 minutes later my quads started to feel better and I ran miles 5-8 in 23 minutes.  Then the quad cramping started again.  I ran up along side another guy and he was walking one of the hills and we started to talk.  His name was Jerry and he offered me a salt pill.  He was my hero!  A couple of minutes later I was able to run at a pretty good pace and made it back to the #5 Station for some more salt and caught up to Vicki.  She passed me on the run when I stopped to pee in the woods and I was trying to run her down the rest of the race.

Vicki and I ran the last 3 miles together and pushed each other until the finish.  Total 13.1 Mile Run Split: 2:30:27.  Garmin time: 2:08:xx ... auto-pause was on so the Garmin shows how much time I wasted (22 minutes) stretching and at Aid Stations!

Total finish time was 6:46:41.   Followed by the best slices of Pizza ever!


- Finishers T-shirts (tech) and socks.
- Cool Finishers Medal.
- Really great and supportive Volunteers.
- Decent Post Race Party.
- Good Swim Venue.
- Jerry and his extra Sodium Tablet! Jerry if you read this - You are the man!

- Poor Bike Course Road Conditions especially N. Hemmings.
- Weather and Forecast.
- Lack of PowerAde and Sodium Tablets especially with the high temps.
- No Outhouses on Bike or Swim Course.

What did I learn about racing a 70.3?
- Never Trust a Weather Forecast.
- Never Trust a Bike Computer Battery.
- Bring Extra Nutrition on the Bike and if you drop your last bottle stop and pick it up.
- When you think you need to Pee, then stop and go Pee, or learn to do it on the Bike.
- I sweat a lot.  Up my Sodium on my Infinit mix and add Sodium to my Hydration.
- Never do Another Long Course Triathlon in Texas after the Month of April - Gets too Damn Hot Here!

This was an extremely difficult race mainly because of the heat and humidity BUT I had a great time? I am beginning to think I am a little sadistic because the races that I face the most adversity (aka: pain) are the ones I seem to appreciate the most (50K Trail Run)?  Even though my performance was not as good as I wanted I still had an awesome experience.   The frustrating thing to me is that I still had a lot left in the tank when I finished. My legs just broke down.  And I actually feel pretty darn good today as well. I believe my limiting factor was not conditioning as much as it was my nutrition intake.  Does dropping the one bottle of Infinit make me not Bonk?  Does having PowerAde or Sodium on the run course prevent the quad cramps?  Only way to find out is to nail it next time!

Anyway, Would I do this race again?  No.  Mainly because of the roads. The lake is a great location for the swim and the run was a good course but the roads are just too rough.  I'd probably do the Sprint at this location but nothing longer.  Overall, it was a pretty decent put together race but the RD must have put to much faith into the weather forecast and the lack of nutrition on the course was disappointing.  I saw two ambulances during the run taking athletes away and many others really struggling because of the heat and lack of nutritional support.  Lots of complaints on the run from people about this.

Wow, just looked at the preview and I apologize for the length of this race report.  Time to wrap it up.

June 21st is when I begin training for the IronStar 70.3.  That is about 5 weeks away so my goal until that time to gain 10-15 pounds!

Thanks for Reading,


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Impulsive HIM is Almost Here ...

I just finished up an easy 6 miles on the dreaded treadmill at the gym.  This is the first time I have been on the treadmill in a long time and I can honestly say I did not miss it at all.  I chose the treadmill today because with the HIM Sunday morning I figured the soft surface would be better for a quick recovery. Well, that and it was getting ready to thunderstorm and I didn't want to get caught up in a SE Texas summer downpour!

I am doing a mini-taper this week, sort of:   Monday was an easy 1500M swim to just get the feel of the water and recover from the long Sunday run.  Tuesday was a track day which ended up being 5.8 miles and then a 27 mile bike ride at an easy 18 mph average.  Yesterday Annie and I went for a ride in the rural rodes in Huffman.  I wanted to do 25 miles but after we got out there we were hit with 30mph winds and ended up only doing 13 miles.  It was the first time Annie has been out on the "open" roads and she had a good time despite the hard winds.  She really liked the last 5 miles back to the car when the wind was at out backs!

Tomorrow is going to be an easy AM swim and then it will be an early bedtime on Friday night.  On Saturday I am going to get up early and drive up to Dallas to pick up my packet and then head over to the hotel.

The race on Sunday begins at 7am.  The good news is that the water temp at the lake is between 68-72 degrees right now, so it looks like the wetsuit will be legal ... yeah!  The bad news is that a majority of the bike course has recently been chipped and sealed.  Now my first Tri I ever did had a section of the bike course that was literally chipped and sealed a couple of days before the race and it was awful.  Tires were blowing out all over the place and the constant vibration from the road made the ride not to fun.  Hopefully the RD will have a road sweeper in there taking care of the road, but if not it might be a real slow bike split on Sunday (And a bunch of spare tubes being used).

Being that I wasn't even aware of this race 3 weeks ago AND was planning to be taking some time off from training before I signed up.  My expectations for this are not what I would call grandiose.  I figure if I can do the swim in 1 hr, bike in 3-3:15 hrs, and the run in 2 hrs I will be able to come in around 6-6:15 hrs.  My strategy is going to be to go about 80-85% on the bike (chipped road should make that easy to do) and then save something for the run where I have a chance to make up some time if my body is feeling good!

My one concern is that it might be hot on the course.  We have had a very cool winter/spring by Houston standards up until the last 2 weeks.  It has been in the upper 80's and low 90's with high humidity recently and it has been hard to acclimate.   By July I will be used to it again but right now it has been hard (KC and IronBob living in FL probably can relate) and my performance is feeling the heat!

Couple other things:

  • My weight was down to 152 lbs this morning!  3 lbs loss in 3 days - should be at 150 by Saturday!
  • LOST was frustrating.  The episode was cool seeing how Jacob and the MiB came to be on the island but as usual with LOST every answer created a bunch more questions. This felt more like an episode we should have seen like 2 years ago.  I have no idea how they are going to wrap this sucker up in 3.5 hours!
  • Treadmills are the creation of the devil himself.
  • If you are a neutral runner when Brooks releases the 2011 Defyance 4 Trainers go out and buy them immediately.  By far the best shoe I have ever used.  And unlike the Defyance 3 they are super cool looking.
  • About 9 total people in my gym today at 5pm.  Guess the resolutionists and the "fit in swimsuit" crowd has bowed out.... not bad they made it to the 5th month of the year!
  • I am staying at the hotel on Sunday night after the race so check back then for a what is sure to be an  epic (and probably alcohol influenced) race report.
Thanks for Reading,


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Track Day and TV Updates ...

Today was the the second time Annie and I got up at 4:15am and headed over to the High School track to get in a speed workout day!  Annie is not a morning person and I am.  Usually I spring out of bed and am very talkative, she hates me anytime we are up before the sun.  Here is how our conversation went this morning:

Jeff: "Annie, c'mon get up we gotta go run."
Annie: **blank stare, one eye closed, the other half open**
Jeff:  "Babe, get up, this is what it takes to be a champion (said in sarcastic tone)."
Annie: "I don't want to be a champion I just want to stay in bed."

She is a saint for putting up with me! See rolled out of bed and we left!

Thanks to Jennifer, Jama, and Mike for meeting us at the track and getting in a butt-kicking workout.

The workout goes like this:  3 lap (400 meters) warm up at very easy pace.

Then - 1 lap @ 10k pace/ 1 lap @ marathon pace/ 1 lap @ 5k pace/ 2 minute rest/hydrate then repeat the sequence.  We did this 6 times.  Annie, Jama, and I then did a 2 lap cool down and then it was time for me to try my 400 Meter Dash (440 yards).

So, Annie and Jama worked the stop watch and I took off.  Back in my football days I used to have the perfect sprinter technique nailed down - now?  Not so much.  I wanted to lean forward and dig in with my toes but ended up with my head and chest up and back like a kite!  About 300 Meters in I started to hurt real bad and could feel some acid starting to come up my throat.  Since I am a meat-head I put my head down and ran harder and crossed the finish line at 59 seconds on the dot! Let out a big burp and the puke taste passed.

So who guessed 59 seconds?  The prophet Jennifer at TheRunningArtist guessed exactly 59 seconds - spooky!  Hey Jennifer got any suggestions on lotto numbers today?

I am going to try it again, the next time it will be before the track workout on fresh legs.  I think it can me done around 54-55 secs!


LOST is on tonight!!! When the alarm went off at 4:15 this morning my first though was, "Yes! LOST is on tonight!"  ... The description for tonight's LOST on the DirecTV guide says:

"Across the Seas"  Locke's motives are finally explained.

All you other LOST junkies are probably as excited as me when words like, "Motives" and "Finally Explained" are used in a description!  I mean we have been waiting six freaking years for these words to be listed in a description.  This is epic and I am stoked.  A couple of my buddies have already called me today because they are like a bunch of giddy school girls waiting for 9PM EST.  My only hope is that it doesn't suck, I don't think that is too much to ask for?  

Is anyone other than me and my father still watching "24" ?

The only reason I wonder about this is that last night's episode was quite possibly the most violent and disturbing torture scene that I have ever scene on network TV. And considering I haven't heard any extreme lefty groups proclaiming outrage at the Fox Network I am just assuming only my dad and me are the only remaining viewers.  Even by Jack Bauer standards this was brutal.  Now I'm not saying it wasn't cool and the Ruskie terrorists definitely had it coming but it was graphic!

Okay, I am off to get in 25 miles on the bike!

Thanks for Reading,


Monday, May 10, 2010

Feeling like a Fish ...

 I weighed myself yesterday and I was 155 lbs.  That is a 5 lb gain since I weighed myself last Sunday.  Five pounds in one week is some crazy weight gain, I think?  I guess that is what happens when your body is used to an hour or two of cardio per day and then it get shut off for 4 straight days?

Anyway, my goal is to be back to 150 by Saturday morning.  60% Protein for the rest of the week!

 I used to talk about nutrition and eating all the time on my little piece of the interwebz and realized after my little weight gain maybe I should track my nutrition again and you can all see what works for me.

My meals today were nice and clean:

Protein Shake (48G)
Whole Wheat Muffin w/ Peanut Butter (Organic)
1 Cup Coffee

The Zone PB Bar

Subway 12" Turkey w/ swiss, honey mustard, lettuce and whole wheat bun
Apple slices

Whey Protein (24G)
Handful of Roasted Almonds

Grilled Turkey Burger on Whole Wheat Bun (No cheese)
Grilled Parsley Red Potato Slices

Hydration - About 2 Gallons of water -Peed like 50 times today.

The Feeling like a Fish header not only came from all the water that I had but also because I got in a nice 1500 meters at the pool.  I have not been to the pool in 2 weeks and was afraid that the "feel for the water" would be hard to find.  Well, that was not the case at all because I felt great in the water and am looking forward to doing the 1.2 mile swim at the race on Sunday!

After a nice long run yesterday and a swim (and some push ups) today I am right back in the groove of this multi-sport lifestyle!  Tomorrow is our 5am track workout and then a 25-mile bike ride in the evening.  The track workout will be at a bust ass pace and the bike will be an easy aerobic effort.

Okay, I have never been a track person but have always been pretty fast.  When I was 18 years old I ran a 4.48, 40-yard dash for college football scouts but have never been timed in a 400 meter run (once around the track).  Tomorrow I am going to bust ass and see what type of time I can put up on the 400.  According to Wiki anything under 1 minute is pretty decent?  My 16-year old cousin, Erika, just qualified for States in the 400 M and we are all proud of her! This is why the 400M talk came about and since we have a track day scheduled anyway this should make it interesting.

Today's Question:
So fellow blogger and readers with any type of track running knowledge ... what time do you think I should/will do the 400M Dash in?

Thanks for Reading and participating in my dorky little games!


Sunday, May 9, 2010

Home Sweet Home ...

Happy Mother's Day to my Mom and all mothers!

I am back home in Kingwood sitting on my couch drinking a cup of coffee and enjoying every minute of it!

Got in from San Antonio yesterday evening and promptly crashed out in bed until about 8am this morning. When I was younger I really used to enjoy going to these big conferences but now being a little older they are very taxing on the body. It is fun to hang out with all of my work buddies and see many of my clients in a non-formal setting but man does it beat me up! My feet and legs are sore as hell from the last 4 days of standing at a booth on concrete floors and my ankles are actually a little swollen. The schedule was pretty much get up around 5:30am go to bed around 1am and then repeat. I had a few beers but did a decent job at keeping the alcohol and crappy food consumption low. The good news is that I figure since my legs are tired and sore it will be a good day to get in a nice long run of 15 miles or so to see how I perform on a beat up body. See what I did there? Making lemonade out of lemons!

The Texas Man HIM is one week away. Many of you experienced HIMers mentioned I should focus on my nutrition and I really appreciate the advice! The cool thing is that I have been working on finding the right nutrition over the last few months (Thanks to Mike at 26.2 is my Cooldown! for the help with Infinit!) and seem to really have a good plan dialed in using a customized blend of Infinit.  Here is a screen shot of my HIM blend:

My body seems to respond very well to one serving per hour of the above blend.  On the bike I will carry 3 servings (20oz bottles) of the 281 calorie mix above and on the run I am going to carry 1 serving and mix with 2 GU packets (100 calories each).  Sometimes when I drink too much liquid on the run I feel  a little bloated and this slows me down so mixing in the gel with the Infinit seems to work perfect for me.

You may notice that the sodium intake is a little high and this is by design.  I perspire like crazy and when I did the review for The Right Stuff a few months ago I realized that my performance increased with more sodium intake.  So, I fooled around with the sodium level on the Infinit and this seems about right.  Especially since I live in Texas and it is getting warmer everyday!

That is about all I got for today.  Normally I like to do my Ramblings about what is going on in the world and with the Stock Market Crash, Oil Leaks, Lawrence Taylor, Muslim Extremists, and Incumbent Senators getting the heave ho - I just do not have the energy.

Instead I need to go get caught up on how my blogger buddies have been doing and get back to normal.

Have a great week everyone!

Thanks for Reading,


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Badassness Galore ...

Congrats to KC @ 140 Point 6 Miles for crushing out 100 push ups tonight.  She takes the center of the podium as the first female victor and we are all very proud of KC for ripping it up!

Here is your badge, post it with pride:

The real reward though is being done with this freaking challenge!

Okay, I am leaving for San Antonio for a convention the next 4 days and will not be back until late Saturday night.  It is going to be hard eating and drinking on the Riverwalk for 4 days but I will somehow manage to get by!  Plan on doing some early morning runs around the Alamo and the Riverwalk.  I love running in cool places.  But the blog will more than likely be MIA during this time as I will be quite busy.

Did a track workout this morning (Got up at 4:10am, yeah!) with Annie, Jennifer, and Mike from the Tri Club.  They are some good peoples and we had a great workout.  The track is your typical 1/4 mile high school track and our workout was:  1 lap 10K pace, 1 lap marathon pace, 1 lap 5K pace ... Repeat this sequence 6 times. I absolutely love running on the more "cushioning" track surface and feel so darn fast.  We are going to try and make this a Tuesday morning staple.  I could have pushed harder today but was instead social.  Next week I am going to push until I puke on the track .... seriously, that is my goal.  Then after that it will be a mini-taper for the HIM.  

During yesterday's post I revealed that I enjoy campy B movie, SyFy flicks.  I know they are horrible but for some reason the more far fetched they are the more I enjoy the utter absurdity of the movie.  Since I am going to be AWOL for a few days I figured I'd leave you with the Trailer from the movie I watched on Sunday, ENJOY:

Thanks for Reading,


Monday, May 3, 2010

Alert: I must now turn sideways to walk through doorways ....

Here is my 100 Push Up, ahem,  Race Report:

Okay, so I woke up yesterday after tossing and turning all night long because of a mixture of fear and anticipation.  The focus for the day would be nutrition. Well, nutrition and focus.  So my focus would be to focus on being focused and nutrition.  You know the body cannot properly perform unless it is running on solid petrol.  Whole wheat bagel and turkey sausage along with a protein shake.  Then to relax the nerves I sat down on my couch and commented on a bunch of blogs and watched a movie on SyFy about a giant Hydra that was killing people and could only be killed using the mythical sword of Hercules.  Because apparently the sword would cauterize the wound and new little hydra heads would not grow back.  Makes sense to me!  Seriously, I cannot make this up.  It was perhaps the most awful movie ever made and I enjoyed every single moment of it.

Now I had been hydrating all morning and was feeling good but as every athlete knows you need to, "be the ball." So I began visualizing actually doing 100 Push Ups, and as we all know if you can think it you can do it! I was exhausted after this mental exercise and decided to take a pre-event nap while watching the Penguins game.  And being that I was still in the clothes that I slept in this worked it out wonderfully.

After being lazy the short slumber, some light stretching and a variety of jumping jacks and loud grunts occurred because ladies and gentlemen, it was GO TIME!

I have been using push up handles for the last six weeks.  These help your wrists stay stabilized but also make the push ups a little harder since you tend to go deeper in the move if you were not using them. Since today was the big day it was time to scrape the stands and go old-school.  Palms to the floor!

The push ups began while "The Final Countdown" (Click HERE and continue reading ... much more epic this way) from Europe was blaring in the background from my iPod. I made it to 60 reps a lot easier than I even visualized, I was thinking that 120 reps was a possibility at this point.  Then I hit 70 and the pain train came to a screeching halt in the station.  At this point I paused at the high point and decided to just do 10 at a time.  I slowly got to 80 and my arms were getting shaky.  Ten more and I was now at 90 and my arms were screaming, I was out of breathe and was feeling dizzy..... 91, 92, 93, 94 ....9555555.... pause...breathe .... 96. 97, 98, .... 2 more Nancy .... 99, 100 ..... Ding, Ding, Ding .... collapse in pain on carpet for probably 10 minutes.

So, good day.  I set a new PR with 100 push ups.  Nailed my nutrition plan.  I'd like to throw out a big thanks to the band Europe for writing and performing, "The Final Countdown".  To my family and friends for their encouragement.  To all my fellow bloggers who pushed me to reach deep down inside myself and strive to achieve perfection,  to my shirts which have been burdened with being stretched out in the sleeves from my big ass arms.  To my Pugs for not jumping on my back for the first time in 6 weeks while attempting push ups.  To all the haters who said this could not be accomplished - eat it biatches!!


Alright I am done with the foolishness.  The real story is that I did the program as followed and did the 100 before I went on a run. It hurt and I'd be happy to never do another push up again.   But the above version seemed so much cooler. And I may or may not have actually been listening to Europe.

Congrats to Scott at Tri Diesel for hitting 103 Push Ups this week to join Boomer, James, and me in the Badass of all Badasses club:
Please let me know if anyone else has hit the goal or has completed the  challenge.  One thing for sure is if you are following the plan you will see some pretty incredible gains.  My wife started out with 16 pushups and is well over 60 now and her arms look great.

Send in your success stories!

Thanks for Reading,


Sunday, May 2, 2010

"I've Made A Huge Mistake"

Back in the day Annie and I used to watch the show "Arrested Development".  We loved one of the main characters, Gob, played my Will Arnett:

He used to screw up and do something ridiculous pretty much every episode and once he realized it he would say:
First, if you have a bunch of time of time to kill on the trainer or treadmill rent the Arrested Development DVD's because this is a hilarious show.  Second, How does this little diddy relate to me?  Well, I signed up for a HIM .......... wait for it ............. wait for it ............. in two weeks!

I did this a couple of days ago and for some reason when I think of the event this quote from Gob keeps popping up in my mind. Which is actually pretty cool because it make me laugh.

In reality, I am not super concerned (just a little) and think I will do fine at the race.  My main reason for signing up is that the cancellation of the Swim portion of the Oly Tri last weekend has been bothering me. Really bothering me.  The work that I put in to get better at my swim was not tested and with a Nov 7th HIM scheduled I was going to use that Oly swim as a measuring stick.  The other events I have coming up are all Sprints and with the heat and humidity in SE Texas the Tri season goes on a bit of a hiatus for a few months.

Now the race I signed up for is the Texas Man Triathlon and it is on Sunday, May 16th about an hour North of Dallas (5 hour drive for me).  They also have a Sprint and Olympic race on the same day. Signing up for the Oly Distance would probably have made more sense and that is what a rational person would probably do.  BUT I rarely get accused of being "rational" so I irrationally choose the Long Distance Course!

All the above being said I have actually been doing a generic HIM training program for the last 20 weeks and before that was running 40+ miles a week for 3 months. So the last 8 months have been extremely tight in terms of base training.   But since this is my first year of training for longer distances I have only been doing base training.  Most of my harder effort training has only been done on actual race days.  The good news is I have already done 8 races since January but the bad news is that I know my training has not been specifically geared towards completing this race. So my time may not be as good as I am capable of with more specific training - which is planned for the Nov 7th IronStar HIM - and I will just have to be okay with that.

The type of training however is a minor concern because my goals in the race will be to just have fun on the swim and let the bike and run portion come to me.  I am hopeful I can pull a 50 minute swim, 3hr 10 min bike, and 2 hr run for a total of around 6-6:15 with transitions.  This will be a great test to see how my fitness compares to where I think I am and where I actually need to be - sometimes that line gets blurred!  Once this is done I will have better knowledge of what needs to happen for the IronStar HIM training.


Today is a BIG DAY for the 100 Push Up Challenge!!! It is MAX Day and I am going to try to get to 100.  I smashed the workouts on Wednesday and Friday and am confident I can do the 100 this afternoon.  It is going to hurt and I am trying to mentally psych myself up for it by typing this.

If anyone else is attempting the 100 in the next couple of days let me know!

Thanks for Reading,