Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The New Year's "Resolutionists" ....

This was posted on the BeginnerTriathlete.com website by marmadaddy and I thought you fellow gym rats would appreciate it:

As happens every year around this time, over the next few days we should
start to see posts from people making observations about their gyms,
particularly how crowded they are with new people. A couple of years back I
posted the following in response to some of those observations. It has become
something of a tradition that I re-post it in order to add a little perspective
to what will surely be stressful and inconvenient in the coming weeks for many
of us.
We're endurance athletes. We train all year not only outside, but also at the gym and the pool. We can expect some serious crowding in both places for
the next few weeks. It happens every year.
Suddenly we have to add 30 minutes
to our scheduled gym time because of the "resolutionists". There are no parking
places. When you do manage to find one and get to the locker room 10 minutes
behind schedule, there aren't any lockers available and the door is blocked by
someone trying to remember the way to the weight room. In there, the machines
you need to use are all occupied by people in new track suits pushing too much
weight with truly horrible form. The bubbler is blocked by someone who is trying
hard not to look totally out of their element. You can't get in the pool because
it's jammed with people using pull buoys on their arms and kickboards as
flotation devices. Half the lanes have people with no goggles and baggy swim
trunks down to their knees who can't swim an entire lap.
The whole freakin'
place is filled with...with...
It's one of my favorite sights.
I've never been in a place more full of hope than a gym during the first week of
January. It's a place full of people giving action to their dreams. People who
for that day are making an effort to be fit, to improve themselves, to live a
better quality of life. The effort and courage it takes them to get there that
morning is huge. It certainly exceeds what it takes me. I know where everything
is. I know the pool etiquette. I know what my workout is going to be and how to
use the machines. I'm not the least bit embarrassed to take my shirt off
in the locker room. This is routine for me. These new people will be showing a
lot of courage and determination by going to the gym in the next few weeks and
they'll deserve my respect. They'll get it.
It wasn't that long ago that I
was one of them. During the next few weeks I'll be making an effort to help some
of these people feel a little less uncomfortable. Maybe make eye contact with
some of them, be ready to give a nod or say hello.
Once we're halfway into
February, the crowds will be gone. Parking will be easy. Machines will be
available again. The wait at the pool will go away. We know this. We're
endurance athletes. We know the reward that comes from sticking through the hard
And from helping others through them.

Week Three, Day Two: 1hr Bike + 30 min Run Sick Day

Last night after the run my nose began to run too. When I woke up this morning I had a sore throat and some minor aches. About 1 pm I was driving down the road and all of a sudden my body felt like it was hit by a truck. By the time I got home I was shivering and could barely muster up the energy to change clothes and collapse into my favorite chair. That is where I have been since. Annie picked up some vitamin C and I have been trying to hydrate like crazy. Not a good day. Hopefully this will be over quick and I can get back to training tomorrow.
Thanks for Reading,

Monday, December 28, 2009

Week Three, Day One: 40 min Swim + 40 min Run

I just realized that I have become, "That Guy!" You know the guy you see walking around in speedos and lycra? Yep that is now me. And the best part is I really do not care because the stuff is so darn comfortable!

What got me thinking about this is that I went for my 40 minute run at 7:30 tonight and it was 42 degrees out. I put on my form fitting long sleeve DriFit shirts and then put a yellow tech tee on top of that for the bright color (gotta be vi sable at night!). And without even thinking twice I tossed on the Under Armor running tights. These things are just awesome at keeping you warm while wicking away sweat. So, I am about a 1/2 mile into my run and I come across a neighbor/buddy of mine on the sidewalk. We talk for a few seconds and as I am jogging away he says, "Nice tights!" thinking he is one funny guy .... now Jeff of a year ago would have been embarrassed. Heck, I never would have worn tights a year ago! But tonight I just turned around and said, "Your just jealous I pull this look off so damn well!

Anyways, I did an nice RPE 3 paced run this evening. It was 4.62 miles in 40 minutes. Quick math tells me that is an 8:40 ish pace. Around 4pm today I went to the gym and got in 1500 meters in 40 minutes. I did less drills today and focused on my form and bilateral breathing while swimming moderate paced laps. I am now doing most of my swimming using bilateral breathing. If only I wasn't so slow!

About an hour ago Annie and I found a 1/2 Marathon in Sugarland, TX (about 45 mins from our house) on January 10th and signed up for it. Since she is doing the Higdon marathon training plan anyways this will be good for her long run day. My long run is supposed to be 1 hr 30 mins that week so it works out good for both of us. For me I am planning on running an easy 9 minute pace and using this as a base training day. The idiot in me will want to run a lot harder but I'll have to fight the idiot when the gun sounds. The reason is that I do not want to run a hard pace and then not be able to give my all in the next week's training. If I run hard my body will need some time to recover! I plan on running the Austin 1/2 mary hard and have that built in to my training plan already.

Tomorrow is a 30 minute run and a 1 hour cycle. I have a very early morning scheduled with work so I will probably do the run around 5pm and then hit the bike around 9pm!

Thanks for Reading,


p.s. - my fantasy team lost! I am bummed!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Week Two, Day Seven: 1.5 Hr Trainer + Week Two Recap

Week 2 Training Recap:

Planned Training for Week Two:
Swim: 1 hr 40 mins
Bike: 3 hr 15 mins
Run: 2 hr 10 mins
Planned Totals: 7:05 hrs

Actual Training for Week Two:
Swim: 40 mins
Bike: 3 hr
Run: 2 hr 20 mins (15.12 miles)
Actual Training: 6:00 hrs

After ripping off 1.5 hours on the trainer this morning I decided to look at my training calendar on BeginnerTriathlete.com. I ended up missing two swim workouts this week due to the reduced holiday hours at my gym. The first one was my fault because I completely forgot to change my schedule around on Christmas day, of course the gym wasn't going to be open! But the one I missed on Saturday the gym had reduced hours again. Usually they are open until 10pm but they closed at 6pm yesterday due to the holiday schedule. I will plan better with the New Years week.

Overall I am pleased with the 1/2 Ironman Training program that I am following. Already after two weeks I can tell a difference in my bike performance and stamina. Not to sure with the swimming yet because I have been doing a lot of drills to improve my form. But I am a little concerned with the lack of run miles per week. Before starting this plan I was doing 35-40 miles per week running and this last week I only did 15 miles. Not sure if I should increase the miles myself or just keep following the plan until it calls for an increase. Maybe during my runs if I am feeling good I will just continue running a few extra miles?

Oh, I need a big performance out of the Dallas Defense tonight to win my fantasy football league. Freaking Addai getting pulled in the 2nd Qtr just crushed me and Aaron Rodgers only tossing one TD didn't help either!

Tomorrow is a 40 minute run in the morning and then a 40 minute swim in the evening.

Thanks for Reading,


Fantasy Football C-H-A-M-P-I-O-N-S-H-I-P

Here is my Fantasy Team (All Wee-Weed UP) if anyone would like to put some positive mojo on the squad:

QB - Aaron Rodgers
RB - J. Addai
RB - R. Mendenhall
Flex - Greg Jennings
WR - Andre Johnson
WR - Wes Welker
TE - Tony Gonzalez
K - G. Hartley (saints)
DEF - Dallas

This is a Point Per Reception (PPR) league which explains why I am loaded at receiver and TE and not so much at RB. Wes Welker is invaluable in a league like this with all of his catches!

My opponent (Talk is Cheap):

QB - Big Ben
RB - Cedric Benson
RB - Jerome Harrison
Flex - Beanie Wells
WR - A. Boldin
WR - Kevin Walters
TE - Dallas Clark
K - N. Kaeding (Played Fri - 6pts)
DEF - Falcons

As you can see Mike's team is crappy when compared to mine. But he has excellent matchups with his running backs this week and that is making me extremely nervous. His backup QB is Vince Young and I almost talked Mike into starting him on Friday morning. Vince crapped the bed so it would have been awesome. But Mike knows my loyalty to the Steelers and thinks it is funny that his QB is Big Ben.

Super Bowl Champ gets $600, Runner up gets $350. Not a bad take either way but I care more about the title than the money and being able to mention I won our league in every conversation with my friends until next year. You cannot put a price on that!

So all I ask is if you are sitting at home say watching the Packers game and you see Aaron Rodgers drop back. Maybe just scream "Throw it to Jennings!!!" because that is what I will be doing and if a bunch of us scream at the same time maybe Rodgers will hear us ... just maybe!

Thanks for Reading and Go Stillers,


Saturday, December 26, 2009

Week Two, Day Six: No Workout at all

I had a bunch of housekeeping to do for my Real Estate company today: contract signing, pickup keys, signs, and lockbox in MidTown, pay some bills, pay ourselves. Nothing extremely time consuming as a single item but as a whole it took most of the morning and afternoon. But I had my bag with all my swim gear in the trunk so I could just stop at the gym when I finished up. It was about 5:45 when I walked into the gym and I saw the "Holiday Hours" sign that said they closed at 6pm on Saturday. Just great! I think they are taking liberties with the Holiday Hours thing. Last I checked the day after Christmas is not a holiday?

So now that my swim is not going to happen I go home. I was thinking about jumping on the bike but 1.5 hours is scheduled for the morning so I passed. Not a good training day.

And I did pretty good with my nutrition up until Christmas Eve. We went to a friends house and they had tons of homemade comfort food which I indulged. Then yesterday we went to another dinner and once again I ate everything. Even worse then the food was all the beer I had. Before I started with P90x I used to drink a few beers a night and that was probably how I gained most of my weight. Once I started this new lifestyle I pretty much just quit drinking. I'll occasionally have a beer or wine every now and again but for the most part I just quit.

Well, I am paying for it today because I just feel like garbage. Not a hungover garbage more like how my body used to feel garbage! But that is all behind me now because today was back to eating clean. The good news is I weighed myself this morning and my weight was 150lbs even. So I didn't gain a pound!

Tomorrow is a ride on the trainer for 1.5 hours. I plan on watching the NFL pre-game shows and get ready for the Steelers vs Ravens game. I am also in the championship game of my fantasy football league so I might be making some last minute roster changes. First place is $600 so I am going to be sweating this out all day!

Thanks for Reading,


Friday, December 25, 2009

Week Two, Day Five: 45 minutes on the Trainer

Merry Christmas!

What a great day to be off of work and have an indoor trainer ride scheduled! It was 32 degrees when we woke up and just cold.

After Annie and I made a nice breakfast I jumped on the fluid trainer for 45 minutes and watched, "A Christmas Story" and then "Steven Segal: Lawman".

Mindless shows like this are great for the trainer. I'd have to say the trainer is actually more boring then the treadmill. I have been mixing it up as I ride to get the most out of my time. Today was a 10 minute warm up in the small ring and then I did 4x 5mins of RPE 3-4. I'd take a 1 minute in between intervals to get the HR back down to RPE 2 and then repeat. I cooled down in RPE 2 and have spent the rest of the day on the couch! We are off to our friends house for Christmas dinner and I am expecting my nutritional intake to take quite the hit tonight!

Thanks for Reading,


Week Two, Day Four: 7mile Run

This was a very nice was the spend Christmas Eve morning! Annie and I went for our run with the high winds that gusted up to 40mph! Usually I hate running in the wind but for some reason today it did not bother me at all? I mean it made it harder when it was blowing in your face but it really didn't aggravate me like it has in the past.

My run was supposed to be 1 hour today but we ended up being pretty far from the house at the 1 hour mark and just ran home. I think we finished a little shy if 7 miles - haven't sync'd the Garmin yet!

Tomorrow is Christmas and 45 minute ride on the Trainer. I am supposed to swim for 30 minutes tomorrow but just realized the gym is closed so I have no place to swim.

Thanks for Reading,


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Week Two, Day Three: 30 Min Swim Rest Day

I have done a workout for 10 straight days and doubles for 6 of those days. Well, the lack of rest and recovery hit me pretty hard today. Normally my meat head self would pretend it was fine and push through and make it worse. But today I used reason and common sense and decided to take a break. Well, that is what I am telling myself but the fact that traffic was freaking awful and my gym is next to a mall really helped me decide. Now I am not going to skip a day. That would be too much for me to handle so I will just replace today with the scheduled rest day on Saturday and get my 30 minute swim in then!

Okay now I have some random thoughts I need to get off my mind:

  • Kudos to the congressman from Alabama Parker Griffith for switching parties to now become a Republican. I would have been more impressed if he switched to an Independent or Libertarian but at least he is taking a stand against the astronomical spending in our Congress.
  • I used to think that a 3rd party (tea party, conservative ... etc) would be a bad idea and just divide Republicans the way Progressives have splintered the Democrats but now I think it might be needed to define where the Republican Party actually stands on anything.
  • If I see one more story about some Special Interest groups being upset about Christmas displays including/excluding their religion/cult/whatever my head may actually explode. Really, this might happen. We have become such a soft PC nation.
  • "Inside the NFL" is still the best football related show on the air today!
  • I am feuding with my older Pug Ernie. He acts like he is always hungry and his new thing is whining. I have to break this or he will never stop. We have been avoiding each other.
  • I really want to see "Avatar" at the IMAX. I know it is probably cheesy but those special effects just look so mind numbingly awesome.
  • I was in the barber shop the other day waiting for my turn and started to read a Sports Illustrated. I used to love SI and had a subscription until my early 20's and never renewed after many different moves. It made me think of being a kid and how much I loved sports when I first picked it up. I actually found myself smiling at the cover. Then I opened it up and and began to read and felt bad at the piece of shit this magazine has turned into. Even go sports journalism has turned into a Tweet ... very disappointing.
  • My mother sent Annie and I some homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies yesterday. Ever year I ask her not to do this because they are one of my few vices. Every year she still sends them and every year I eat every single one. This year is no different. Thanks Mom!
  • I finally got around to watching the Ironman World Championship on the DVR. I have watched this for the last few years and have enjoyed every minute of it. Some of the stories from the Age Groupers are so inspiring! There was one guy who was 79 years old doing his 20th IM, just amazing. They had another story about a women who had a stroke and was unable to walk but fought back to compete at Kona. Then they also show some of the people that have incredible stories but are unable to finish the race. These always get me because you can see how hard these people trained and they failed but it is also humbling because it shows you just how hard doing an IM actually is. If you haven't seen it search for it on YouTube - it is so good!
  • The Steelers vs Packers game last Sunday was one of the best games I have ever seen. The had a recap on NFL Network and the number of good plays in that game were absolutely amazing. Big Ben has his flaws as a QB but the one thing you have to say about the guy is that he is just clutch. Time and time again he makes the big throw and just puts this team on his shoulders. Dude dropped 503 yards passing last week. Amazing! Steelers are still on life support and if they can get by Baltimore this week they could be dangerous.
  • I am very excited that both "Lost" and "24" are returning next month!
I feel much better.

I want to wish my readers a Merry Christmas and remind you to try and be sensible in your food selections!

Tomorrow is a 1 hr run.

Thanks for Reading,


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Week Two, Day Two: 45 min cycle + 30 min run

Being that this is my second week of the 1/2 Ironman training program I have a little idea of what to expect. And last week I felt like Tuesdays were going to be the most challenging days for me, well today confirmed that suspicion ....

When I say challenging I mean physically challenging. Here is my reasoning: Sunday is usually a long bike day, Monday starts of with a run workout and finished with a swim workout. Then comes Tuesday which is usually a shorter run day followed by at least an hour bike. So today when I woke up and my legs felt a little stiff I thought to myself that it must be Tuesday!

This morning I got on my trainer and watched FoxNews. My workout called for 1 hour but due to an early work start and me losing track of time on email and sales data. I had to cut it to 45 minutes. I was very antsy today and the 45 minutes felt like it last forever. Maybe it was because FoxNews has a clock on the corner of the picture and I could see it the entire time. At any rate, I got the time in and logged a good workout. I jumped in the shower and as I was eating breakfast and hustling out the door I noticed my legs were feeling beat down. Not good knowing I had an evening run scheduled.

After driving about 180 miles throughout the day I made it home and Annie was right behind me. My scheduled called for a 30 minute run in the RPE 2-3 range. Even though I was feeling tired after about a mile I started to feel pretty good. The first mile I did in 9:30. As I heard the mile beep on my Garmin I decided to pick it up a little. My second mile was done in 7:40. At about 2.5 miles I started to feel a warm spot on my left heal and slowed down. I remembered that was the same spot I had that nasty blister from the 50k and it isn't healed up yet! I was just wearing thin liner socks since it was a short run day and decided it was probably a good idea to not rip that heal up anymore than it already is. My total mileage was 3:35 in 30 minutes.

So I guess this Tuesday wasn't so bad. My legs feel better after the workouts than before!

Tomorrow is a 30 minute swim which I am going to do in the evening to give myself a full day to recover.

Thanks for Reading,


Monday, December 21, 2009

Week Two, Day One: 40min Swim + 40min Run

With the start of Week 2 of my Tri training upon me a big question was going to be answered ... Are my legs recovered enough to run?

Well, the question was going to have to be answered later in the day because I was too tired to get out of bed at 5am. For some reason I could not fall asleep last night and ended up finally dozing off around 2am. So I ended up sleeping in to 6:30 and that extra time was really needed!

After work and a haircut I made my way to the gym and decided to swim first and run second. Yes, I did a swim - run brick! First off I got in the pool and they must have fixed the heater because it was no longer cold. I was very excited about this! I did an easy 200 meters to warm up and then another 200 meters doing the drills from the Swimming DVD. Then I did 4 x100 sprints at a pretty hard pace. In between each 100 I would rest for 45 seconds. I finished off the swim with another 200 meters of drills and then an easy 200 meters to cool down. Good swim. I can feel the drills are really helping with my form. However, I am still slow!

After the swim I showered off and changed into my running gear and headed for the treadmill. I did some light stretching and started off at about a 10min/mile pace. At this point my legs were feeling really good and after a mile I cranked the speed up and ran at a harder pace. I ended up doing 4.8 miles in 40 minutes. That is an 8:33 min/mile pace and more importantly my legs felt great and I have no more stiffness or pain. Yeah me! After I finished on the treadmill I did a few laps on the indoor track (I am using the term "indoor track" rather liberally because it takes 13 laps to complete a mile!) and ran at a hard pace and did some longer strides to see how the legs would do and everything still felt great! I am pretty confident now that my legs are fully recovered and I can resume my running without fear of injury. Good Day!

Tomorrow morning I have an hour ride scheduled on the trainer and then after work Annie and I are going to go for a run in the neighborhood. The run is supposed to be for 30 minutes but if I am feeling good then I might go a little longer - I'm afraid of losing all the running endurance I have gained over the last few months. With my next race being a 1/2 Mary in Feb I need to keep the weekly miles higher than what my training plan calls for.

Thanks for Reading,


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Week One, Day Seven: 1:30 Trainer + Week One Recap

Here are the stats for training week one:

Planned Training:
Swim - 1hr 40 minutes
Bike - 3hr 15 minutes
Run - 2hr 10 minutes
Totals - 7:05

Actual Training:
Swim - 1hr 55 minutes (4400 meters)
Bike - 4hr 45 minutes
Run - 1hr 10 minutes (6.5 miles)
Totals - 7:50

I was scheduled to do 9 workouts this week and ended up doing 10. Since my knees were sore I skipped my final hour run and replaced it with a bike workout and then added an additional bike workout on my rest day. After week one my body is feeling really good and my knees are feeling much improved.

Today's workout was on the fluid trainer for an hour and a half. I was going to watch the Ironman World Championships but decided to wait until noon so I could watch football. I am in the semi finals in one of my fantasy football leagues so I wanted to ride and jump from game to game on the DirecTV Season Ticket package! As for the ride it was very good. The games passed the time and I spend a good portion of my ride in the aero position. My program called for an easy workout so I spent most of the time in the small ring but would bump up to the large ring for 5 minute intervals just to get the HR up. Not sure how I am going to do these long Sunday rides when football season is over? Oh and I am up by 53 points in my game going into tonight's CAR vs MIN game. My opponent has Adrian Peterson but 53 points is a hell of a lot to make up - so it looks like I am headed to the championship!!! Thank you Andre Johnson and Aaron Rodgers for great days! Oh and if you did not watch the PIT vs GB game you missed a gem. One of the best games I have ever watched and Big Ben just stepped up and carried that team on his back - amazing performance!

Tomorrow is a 40 minute run and a 40 minute swim. I am going to do the run in the morning and am a little nervous. I think my knees feel better but will not know for sure until I get out there and run. I am even more nervous about the swim! Not sure if I can handle another 40 minutes in that cold pool. I hope they got it fixed and warmed up because I might have to raise hell if they don't!

Thanks for Reading,


Saturday, December 19, 2009

Week One, Day Six: Rest Day 30min Swim + 30min Trainer

Today was supposed to be my rest day according to my BeginnerTriathlete.com Training Program. I was unable to find time to get my scheduled swim in yesterday so I decided to do it today instead. I went to the pool a little after 5pm and got a solid 30 minutes in the pool. I worked on the drills from "The Essential Triathlon Swimming DVD" again for about 60-70% of the time. I ended up doing about 1500 meters in the RPE 2-3 zone. Nice and easy, working on form.

The pool was absolutely freezing again. I have no idea what the temperature is in the pool but something is wrong. Two other guys were swimming and they said the same thing. I guarantee the pool temperature is cool enough to be Wetsuit Legal! I couldn't find the manager so I talked to the front desk and they said they will look into it ... whatever that means? Monday is my next pool training day and I am not looking forward to going back -- might have to go back to my old gym that has crappy pool hours and availability.

Anyways, after my swim I came home and Annie is at work so I settled in to watch football - Dallas @ New Orleans. Right now it is 24-17 Dallas and it is looking like the undefeated season for the Saints is about to come to an end. The only thing the Saints have going for them right now is that Tony Romo is the opposing QB and 4th Quarter choke jobs are his specialty and The Boys kicker has been awful this year and in games like this that could help the Saints!

But I started watching the game and my bike starting calling to me. So, I tossed on my padded shorts and decided to get 30 easy minutes in on the fluid trainer. A good football game make the ride go by in no time! I rode for 10 minutes in the small ring and then did 5 minutes in the large ring and then repeated. Good workout. Good day of training. My plan is to stay on the trainer for the next two months. Usually in late February we get some nice days and the plan will be to take the bike out on the open road and see how much better the trainer has made me.

I DVR'd the Ironman World Championship from Kona on NBC today and I plan on watching it during tomorrow's hour and a half trainer ride. If that ain't motivation then I don't know what is?

Thanks for Reading,


Week One, Day Five: 45 Minutes on the Trainer

Today is my wife Annie's Birthday -- Happy Birthday Annie!

Yesterday evening we went out to dinner with some friends to celebrate so this meant I only had time for a morning workout on the trainer. My plan was to cut out of work early and get 30 minutes in the pool but it was to busy to do that so the swim workout is going to happen today. Even though today is a scheduled rest day I really feel like I should go do the swim. Since I have limited my running my body is feeling quite strong so if I was to ever skip a rest day this would be the day to do it!

I finished watching, "21" on the trainer yesterday and it ended up being a decent movie. The ending was a little predictable but overall it was entertaining enough to take my mind off of the mindless pedaling on the bike and really that is all I can ask for!

Today I am going to focus on the Drills from "The Essential Triathlon Swimming DVD" again. I will do the drills for a few hundred meters and then do some intervals. Nothing real intense, just a nice easy spin.

Also, if anyone is interested, NBC is airing the Kona Ironman at 4:30 EST time this afternoon. I have watched it the last few years and really enjoyed it - even before I started doing Triathlon. If you are finding yourself in a bit of a workout "rut" with the wacky holiday season upon you and need some motivation to get you going then watching this is an absolute must! The stories alone are enough motivation to get you through Spring!

Thanks for Reading,


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Week One, Day Four: 1 HR on Trainer

I woke up this morning and had the itch to go run. I logged onto the computer and saw comments in my email from yesterday's post about my recent trouble with recovering. One of the comments was from my buddy Boomer (ProjectExercise) and he suggested that I give the legs a little more rest based on his experience when he was doing marathon training. Normally, I am a meat head but Boomer is a meat head too! So if he thinks I should give it a little more time that is pretty good advice!

So instead of a joint bashing run I got an hour in on my Fluid Trainer. I kept my heart rate around 135 bpm and worked on a higher cadence in the small ring. At the 30 minute mark I shifted to the large ring and mashed for about 15 minutes and then cooled down in the small ring again. I had two fans on my today and it really made a big difference. I started to watch the movie, "21". It is about the MIT students that came up with a system to win at blackjack in Vegas. It is a half decent movie so far. I will finish it off tomorrow morning as I have another 45 minutes scheduled on the trainer. The first movie I watch on the trainer was "Terminator: Salvation" and it was shit. Very disappointing -- basically it was Christian Bale talking in his batman voice about a plot and screenplay that were just ill conceived. I hated it it!

Tomorrow calls for 45 minutes cycling and 30 minutes swimming. I am going to cycle in the wee hours of the morning before work and then hit the pool before we go out to dinner for my wife's birthday.

Thanks for Reading,


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Week One, Day Three: 30min Run + 30min Swim

Got up early this morning with Annie and went for a run. It was cold and wet and I really wanted to stay in bed but as usual we got up and ran!

The training plan calls for me to do 30 minutes at an easy RPE 2 pace. I did some stretching and when I walked out the door my legs just felt like crap. In particular my knees. This is the first time since my 50K trail race that I have ran on concrete and not a treadmill. I learned, rather quickly, that I am not completely recovered yet. As a matter of fact, I am far from recovered!

Over the 30 minute run my distance covered was only 2.8 miles. That is a pace of around 10:40/mile on completely flat sidewalks. That is a slower pace than when I first began running. The problem isn't that I was running slow. It was that was as fast as I could go without pain. I was hopefully as my body warmed up my legs/knees would loosen up but that was not the case. My options now are to take a few days off from running or just keep running slow and let myself bounce back that way. According to my training plan I am supposed to get an hour run in tomorrow. As I sit here right now I am unsure on what I am going to do?

In order to help with recover I have upped my daily protein intake substantially since last week. When I was doing P90X my daily diet breakdown was 40% Protein/40% Carbs/20% Fat. I maintained these ratios for most of the year. Then I started doing the marathon training and was burning tons of calories (and energy) so I changed the ratio to 60% Carbs/20% Protein/20% Fat. Since last week I have been consuming 2 scoops of Whey Protein (48G) and Recoverite after each workout. Recoverite also has 3G of glutamine, which helps with joint soreness.

After work this afternoon I went to the gym and got in the 30 minute swim. I practiced the first four drills from "The Essential Triathlon Swimming DVD". I did about 500 meters worth of drills and then tried to work them into my stroke for the rest of the swim. I did 4x75 at a warm up RPE2 and then did 2x400 at RPE3. My cool down was a very easy 2x50. My totals were about 1900 meters today. The drills focused on balance and swimming on your side and I felt like they really helped! My workout after doing the drills felt much more smoother than usual. So far I am digging this DVD.

Tomorrow's only workout is the 1 hour run at an RPE 2 or 3 pace. I am going to try and use some heat on my knees tonight. I have been using ice and the results have been crappy as described in today's run! See if the heat will help? As I was typing this I decided if I can't run then I will ride the trainer instead and swap out the Sunday long ride with a run. And as I think about it more, when healthy, the run is my strongest sport anyways so it isn't like it will hurt my conditioning to ride instead!

Thanks for Reading,


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Week One, Day Two: 1 Hour Trainer Ride

This is going to be a long 20-weeks of training. Got up early this morning and hit the trainer for an hour. I was starving so a whole wheat bagel with peanut butter and a coffee was needed before I began. It was either eat breakfast or have a GU gel because I needed some energy.

I have discovered that the trainer is mind-numbingly boring. I watched some Tivo'd shows while riding but it was still difficult. And the trainer is freaking hard. It seems harder than actual biking outdoors. Maybe because the scenery doesn't change?

Anyways, I got a solid hour in and feel great! I was getting ready to go do the scheduled 30 minute run but Annie has as run scheduled for tomorrow morning so I decided to do the run with her then.

So Tomorrow is a 30 minute run and then in the evening a 30 minute swim!

Thanks for Reading,


Monday, December 14, 2009

Week One, Day One: 40m Run + 40m Swim

Today was the first day of my new Triathlon training program. It is one of the many programs available from my favorite Tri website: www.BeginnerTriathlete.com.

This plan is a little different from plans I have used in the past because the training is done by time as opposed to distance. It also uses RPE to gauge the intensity of the workouts. This is cool by me since a lot of my bike training will be done on the indoor fluid trainer which I cannot track distance anyways.

My plan for day one was to wake up at 5am and get my 40 minute run in. After not falling asleep until maybe 2am I moved the alarm clock up to 6am a few minutes before it went off at 5am. Still plenty of time to get my run in. Well, yesterday my car battery decided to die on me. It is a company car and we have a leasing company that handles all repairs and roadside assistance. I spoke with them last night and let them know the car seemed to have a dead battery. I told them I would try to jump it. Well, that did not work so I figured I would try the booster box I bought last year before Hurricane Ike. It was drained of power so I figured I would let it charge and then "boost" the battery in the morning. So, I got dressed for the run and figured I would try the booster since I was already outside in the rain. It didn't work. The battery was fried. To make a long story short, I had to wait for a tow truck and then wait for a new battery to be placed in the car. No run happened in the AM.

I got home from work around 6pm and ate a Subway 12-inch turkey sub and then drove down to the gym. I did the 40 minute run on the treadmill first. This was my first attempt at running since the 50k Trail run. My legs still are not 100% back to normal. Very sluggish and some minor pain in the knees and ankles. I decided to run in the RPE 2 zone like my training program suggested and this was good because after about 2 miles I did begin to loosen up a little. I ran for 40 minutes and only did 3.70 miles. It was killing me not to crank up the speed on the treadmill but the plan calls for an easy, base building run and I still had to swim.

After the run I changed into my jammers and went to swim some laps. The bad news is that I forgot my darn goggles at home. The even worse news is that my gym uses a heck of a lot of chlorine in the pool. My eyes are killing me right now!

Okay here are my baseline times:

100M = 1:52
200M= 3:58
400M= 8:25

Pretty Slow, I know!

Over the course of my 20 week training plan I will compare these times and see how I am doing and if The Essential Triathlon Swimming DVD is working!

I ended up swimming for 40 minutes but only did 1000 yds. The lack of goggles was not fun and the pool was absolutely freezing. I jumped out a couple of times to warm up. I hunted down the manager afterwards to let him know the pool was freezing. He is a good guy and it is fun to bust his balls. So this is how the conversation went:

Jeff: "Dude, I know that you are intimidated by me wearing these Speedos but I am appalled, appalled (with emphasis)! that you would stoop to the level of setting the pool temperature at Arctic levels!"

Manager: "haha..." Weird stare at me ... "What the hell are you talking about ...?"

Jeff: "I know I am impressive in these speedos but making the pool so cold that my boys hide up in my stomach is just mean!"

Manager: *trying to think of something witty to say*, "You could have just asked to turn the heat on...." walks away shaking his head, looks back and says, "ass!"

I am enjoying this gym!

Tomorrow is a 1hour bike in the morning and a 30 minute run after work. Both are to be done at a very easy level. RPE2.

Thanks for Reading,


Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Essential Triathlon Swimmming DVD

My Triathlon abilities from best to worst would be: Run, Bike, and finally Swim.

This off-season I have spent the last few months really focusing on the run with marathon training and this focus is really paying off. When I first decided I wanted to do a Triathlon last May I could barely run 3 miles in under 30 minutes. I haven't timed myself in a while but I can now probably do a 5k in around 21 minutes and on top of that I just completed a 50K trail run last week!

I want to see these same gains in biking and swimming that I have in running. To accomplish this in biking I got a Fluid 2 Indoor Trainer which will help me log the hours needed to become stronger. And for swimming I am going to follow, "The Essential Triathlon Swimming DVD ", and get in a nice Review as well!

First off, my swimming background is limited at best. I spent last summer reading, "Total Immersion"
and practicing all the drills and finally the TI technique. TI gave me the ability to complete the swim
in my triathlons but it did very little to make me faster. I am a Back of the Pack athlete when it comes to swimming.
So, I could continue with TI or I could try something more tailored to Triathlon? Easy decision.

This morning after my trainer session I watch the entire DVD by Swim Coach Kevin Koskella. My initial reaction to the DVD was that Coach Kevin made it seem so easy. This dude cuts through the water with the greatest of ease! But then he got into the "How" section of the DVD and it began to make a lot of sense.

This training DVD is broken down into three sections: #1 - Technique. This focuses on Drills and the how to get a perfect freestyle stroke. Coach Kevin describes the drills and then gives you multiple views of how it is supposed to look in the pool. He did them at regular speed, slow motion, underwater ...etc. These different angles really gave me an idea on what I am supposed to practice when I hit the pool! #2 - Workouts. This focuses on how to actually go to the pool and train. It went over the workouts from start to finish and gave me a plan of action. This is something I have been lacking and this should help make my training session much more efficient. I'd go into more detail but I don't want to give away all the helpful nuggets on the DVD. #3 - Open Water Swimming. This is essential to us triathletes and Coach Kevin takes us on an OWS and gives us the "know how" to get it done. He also goes over preparing for your races from nutrition to the different types of starts. If you are new to Triathlon this would be a great way for you to see what the swim start is actually like. If you are a vet is gives you some suggestions on how to adapt to the chaos that is the swim start.

My initial impression to the DVD is that it is going to be an invaluable tool to help me improve my swimming. I plan on viewing the DVD periodically as I am learning each new drill! The thing I really like about it is that it is Triathlon focused. When I was doing Total Immersion it was mostly just swimming focused and talked more about Master's swim classes and swimming in the lanes of your local pool. This DVD takes all the nuances of being a Triathlete and then shows you how this swim instruction relates to your sport. This was probably the most important and relevant point of the Essential Triathlon Swimming DVD for me.

Now I can talk about how wonderful this DVD is or I can put it to the test. So, what I am going to do is take some initial lap times tomorrow at the pool. I will post these lap times on the blog. Then I will start to use the drills from Coach Kevin in correlation with my Triathlon training program over the next 20-weeks. I will update my lap times once I feel like I have mastered the drills and we will compare. And also on week 20 I have an Olympic Tri scheduled so I will put Coach Kevin's DVD to the test in a real race!

I am excited!

If you want to check out The Essential Triathlon Swimming DVD - CLICK HERE

Thanks for Reading,


30 minute Trainer

My wife was scheduled to do 20 miles today for her Higdon training plan. I decided I would do between 5-10 miles with her. So we got ready to go and decided to take 2 cars so I could come back and watch football while she finished off the rest of the run. She backed out of the driveway in her car and my car decided it did not want to start, lovely - Dead Battery.

This is a company car so Annie went to run and I went in to call the leasing firm who handles repairs and roadside assistance. After all that was done and reported it was getting closer to NFL time so I decided to watch the pregame shows and ride my bike on the trainer.

Tomorrow is the start of my new triathlon training program so I want to be fresh going into that so I only did 30 minutes on the trainer. Once again I had an awesome workout on that thing and sweat like crazy!

Tomorrow is a 40 minute run and then a 40 minute swim. I will do the run in the morning and the swim after work.

Thanks for Reading,


Friday, December 11, 2009

New Trainer gets a Ride

It is now 5 full days after the 50k Trail Run and I am finally feeling like myself again. I almost went for a run yesterday but decided to give it one more day. Sometimes I need to reel in the desire or antsy-ness and give my body the rest in needs. Bottom line is that I probably did some damage to my legs and they need a little break.

Well, that is now over so I went for a quick get-to-know-ya ride on my new CycleOps Fluid 2 indoor Trainer. I have it set-up in my upstairs game room and found a stupid movie on TV and went for 25 minutes. Man, the amount of sweat one can generate on that trainer in amazing! I had an overhead fan on and still was dripping by the end. I am going to love the trainer and feel pretty confident that the improvements are going to be substantial! My right IT band was tightening up some so I stopped and stretched for about another 20 minutes.

I am beginning to have some concerns about the IT band. Over the years I have always healed up rather quickly from a numerous amount of injuries. This thing doesn't seem to be responding to ice, heat, or stretching. It does not really hurt but it is more of an annoying tightness. Oh well, just going to have to be aware that it is tender and try and not push it to an injury.

On Monday I am going to begin a 20 week Triathlon training program leading me right up to the April 24th LoneStar Triathlon. I am really looking forward to getting back in the pool and on the bike. As weird as it is to type this I am going to miss the 100 mile + running months. I have really grown to enjoy running! The good news is that I can always add extra running miles to the training plan especially since I have a decent base now. And with the Austin 1/2 Marathon coming up on Valentine's day I don't want to lose all the running conditioning I have gained!

Tomorrow Annie and I are going to do the P90X Stretch X video. I am hopeful this will get me back to 100%. Then on Sunday she is scheduled to do 14 miles (Higdon Plan) and I might tag along for 5 or so of them miles.

Thanks for Reading,


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Recovery Day 3 + New Trainer

Today was a good day. I was actually able to walk - which is something I used to take for granted! In all seriousness my legs are feeling much better. I've only taken 8 Advil so far today so that is a huge improvement. I am still moving pretty slow but nothing like Sunday or Monday. I had a good nights sleep and have been periodically stretching my legs throughout the day. Hopefully by the weekend I can get a run in with Annie as she continues her marathon training.

As I am out working people keep asking if I am okay since I am a gimp right now. I tell them why and they all either tell me I am crazy or give me that look that I am crazy. Here is how the conversations all have gone:

Client: "Jeff, you okay? Did you hurt your leg?"
Jeff: "I am fine. I did a 31 mile trail run and my legs are just a little beat up."
Client: "You did what?"
Jeff: "31 mile trail run."
Client: (response #1) "That is amazing ..... You are crazy!"
Client: (response #2) "You are f***ing crazy!"
Client: (response #3) raises eyebrows, squints eyes, stares at me for a brief period, slowly walks away shaking head ...

Since I was able to move a little better today and I didn't exercise after work I needed to spend my time productively doing something. Soooo ... I put my CycleOps Fluid 2 Trainer together and hooked up the Quintana Roo to it!

And since it didn't really happen with out pics here is my Trainer setup that will get me through a lot of my winter training:

The Top pic is of the CycleOps Fluid 2 Trainer. The middle is the side profile of my bike in the Trainer. The bottom one is the view of the TV from the the saddle - not sure who the heck that is on the TV?

Now even though my legs are in major recovery mode I still had to try it out. I slid on my shoes and clipped in for a couple minutes and it felt awesome. It was amazing to me how realistic it felt to be on the bike. The trainer is going to be great. Boring, but great!

It is going to sit for a few days while I let myself get better. I might even take the bike out of the trainer so I am not tempted to jump on!

Thanks for Reading,


Sunday, December 6, 2009

Full Race Report: 50K Texas Trail Run and Recovery

The official results are in and the Garmin data has been uploaded. To see the Garmin results click here.

Official Time: 06:18:33
Overall Rank: 71/184
Age Rank(30-34M): 5/10

Garmin Time: 6:10:12
Total Calories: 3,645
Distance: 31.53 Miles
Avg Heart Rate: 148 bpm
Best Mile Pace: 9:13/mi (mile 5)
Worst Mile Pace: 16:46/mi (mile 27)

I woke up at 4:15 am. I had a solid 6 or so hours of sleep and felt great and ready to go. I had a whole wheat bagel with peanut butter and a big mug of coffee. I had about an hour drive so I took some water for the road. I walked outside to the car and the first thing I noticed was that it was freaking freezing. The second thing I noticed was that my car was covered in frost. So, I started the car and went back in the house for 10 minutes and had another cup of joe.

After an uneventful drive I pulled into the parking lot and went looking for the packet pick-up area. It was inside a lodge and I was thankful because it was even colder as the park is right next to a big lake. The race director told us it was 24 degrees! I got the packet and went back to my car to relax and get the gear ready. I decided to ditch my fanny pack since the aid stations were loaded up with Gels, HEED, and Gatorade. I also decided to ditch my wind pants and just run in the Under Armor compression pants (aka .. man tights!). Both of these ended up being good calls. It was about 10 minutes to race time and I found the drop bag area and headed down to the start.

First Loop: 6.5 Miles:
The gun sounded and we were off. The first mile was on the main road leading into the park and I found a nice mid-9 pace and a bunch of people doing about the same pace. I meet a lady who lived in Kingwood and she was an experienced trail runner. She had done this race before and gave me the lowdown on the terrain. We ran together for maybe the first 5 miles. Through out the day I meet a ton of extremely nice and helpful people... just a great overall experience. I ran past the first aid station since I had my nathan's hydration belt with Gatorade. I finished the first loop and was sweating like crazy despite the fact that it was still freezing! So I hit my drop bag and tossed my knit hat and gloves into one of the compartments and immediately began to shiver!

Second Loop: 12.3 Miles:
The course had us run back the same way we just came fr about a 1/2 mile and then we crossed the road and got into the heart of the trails. This loop offered a wide variety of terrain: Step uphills, steep downhills, narrow trails, jeep trails, rocky trails, sandy trails, wooden bridges over wetlands .... It was such a great place to run! At one point you went up a steep incline and when you got to the top you were looking right at the lake. Then you continued for a few miles around the lake. BTW, this lake has gators in it! I was told they have over 75 gators!

It was on this loop I meet a guy, Steve, from Dallas at maybe a mile in. Real nice guy, he had done this race before and also 50 miler so it was cool to talked to another Trail Runner. We ended up running together until the 2nd loop - I hit the can and he kept running. At this point having someone to talk with really helped. So about mile 19 we hit the starting area again and I was feeling good. I stopped for some salt and a banana, which I slammed down as I ran to my drop bag. I grabbed 2 more GU Chomps at my bag and was on my way!

Third Loop 12.3 Miles:
This loop was the exact same one I just did so at least I knew what to expect! As I talked about in yesterday's post this is where I got a little banged up. I was right around miles 21-22 and I slipped on a root and my right heel slammed into the hard ground. My IT Band basically got plucked like a bass guitar string and it immediately began to hurt like crazy. I stumbled up to the next aid station and a volunteer help me with some leg stretches on the IT band. It seemed to help and I went on my way. Well about a mile or so after that it started to hurt very bad again. I tried to walk it off and stretch a little more but it wasn't going to help. I could not get it loose. The weird thing was when I walked it hurt, when I ran it was tolerable. But if I tried to up my pace it hurt even more. If you look at my splits you can see where it all began to fall apart.

From miles 22 to 25 I managed to move okay. Not ideal but it was about a 12:30 to 13:00 minute pace and the IT band was still aching but I was getting used to it. About halfway into mile 25 the real fun began. Now for over 3 miles I had basically been dragging my right leg with my left leg. My right leg looked like Kevin Spacey's character in "The Usually Suspects". Well, my left quad and knee decided they had enough and just tightened up on my like you cannot believe. They did not go into full cramp mode but it felt like it would happen at any moment.

Now I still had over 5 miles to go and my legs were toast. Miles 26 and 27 were absolutely brutal. I can't say I was running or jogging at this point it was more like a shuffle. At this point I gave myself a stern talking too and said I was going to finish even if I had to crawl across the line. I detailed this fun journey in yesterday's post so I won't do it again. It was just brutal. I made it across the finish line, grabbed my finishers hoodie, and damn near collapsed but my legs couldn't bend so I was unable to even fall! I just slowly walked towards the pizza.

Post Race:
Housed 4 pieces of pizza and a bunch of Gatorade. I wasn't all that hungry but I knew I needed some food and still had to drive home. I ate standing up because I was afraid if I sat down that it would be too painful to stand up. I walked/shuffled out of the lodge towards my car and my left knee and quad were just screaming. They were screaming so loud that they drowned out the barking coming from my IT Band! I could see my car, it was about 200 yards away! It literally took me over 10 minutes to get there. I tossed all my stuff into the back seat and slide myself into the driver's seat and it felt so good to sit. I sat there for maybe another 10 minutes drinking water and letting the heat kick in - was only about 40 or so degrees. Made it home and took a shower and then an ice bath.

Final Thoughts:
It is 11pm the night after the race right now and my legs are still completely trashed. It is still painful to walk and I am seriously considering taking off work tomorrow. I am on a hydrocodone diet right now and they are barely helping. The IT band in my right leg is feeling better but my left leg is going to take some time to heal up. I was planning on starting training for my next Triathlon tomorrow but that is not going to happen. Hopefully, I will be able to go by next Monday.

Now all that being said I will do this race next year! Aside from all the pain at the end the first 4 or so hours were just awesome. I had a great time. I ended up finishing 71st out of 184 racers and that was with a bum leg for 9 miles and 2 bum legs for 5 miles. If I wouldn't have slipped and got hurt I was on pace for a top 20 finish. When I hit the finish line I was in pain but I wasn't at all tired. I still had a lot left in the tank. Now even if I wouldn't have gotten hurt I may still have hit "the wall" somewhere along those last 9 miles. But I really will not know until I give it another shot, right?

Thanks for hanging with me on that rather long winded post!

Tomorrow and the probably the next few days are going to be used to recover. My indoor trainer came on Friday so I will take the down time to get it set up (assuming I can walk tomorrow).

Thanks for Reading,


Saturday, December 5, 2009

Mini-Race Report: 31.1 Mile Texas Trail Run

I am absolutely beat and need a nap something fierce so I am going to give a quick recap and then I will do a more detailed Race Report tomorrow. Sorry! But to start off the picture above is what I found when I got home and took of my shoes and socks! Good Times!

The temperature at start time was 24 degrees. My HR was 160 BPM because of my shivering. The course was a 6.5 mile loop which we did once and a 12.3 mile loop which we did twice. The first 22 miles were a lot of fun and I was running along nice and strong. Legs felt great and I had a lot left in the tank. Then around mile 22 I slipped and my right foot slid off of a tree root and sent a stinging pain all the way up to my shoulder. IT Band ... hurt like hell! It probably would have been better to have just have fallen hit the ground because I think the awkwardness of me trying to keep my balance is what contributed to the injury. It probably didn't help either that my IT band had been a little tender anyways.

I dragged myself to the aid station which was luckily only about a 1/2 mile away. A volunteer (Thanks Dude - very cool of you!) helped stretch me out and it felt much better - for about a mile. Then it tightened up and I was in pain again. I just could not get it to loosen up and the fact that the temp only reached 44 degrees didn't help with that either. My pace dropped dramatically when this happened for the next 4 or so miles. Then right around mile 26 my left quad became so stiff from favoring the right leg that it started to hurt. At this point I tried to walk some but it was even more painful than running so I ran, if that is what you call it! Picture me as one of those fast walkers that go to the local malls every morning because that is what I looked like!

The last 5 miles were excruciatingly painful. I was not going to quit so I hardened up and tried to shuffle my beat up self to the finish. Long story short: I made it (-: . I feel like I have been hit by a truck. I took an ice bath (thanks for the suggestion Todd) when I got home and I have ice on my knees, quads, and IT band right now. And I can't wait to do another Trail Race. Seriously, aside from the injury I had an awesome time. The scenery was beautiful and I met a bunch of really cool people. I'll detail all the good tomorrow. Hell, the injury builds character - that's how I see it! When you see my numbers below you will understand why I might need to do this again!

My Garmin is in the car and I cannot drag myself out to get it but here are some of the split numbers I remember from the Garmin (I'll link up the splits in tomorrow's post):

First 6.5 Mile Loop - 1 hr 5 minutes
13.1 Miles (Half Mary) - 2 hr 8 minutes
15.5 Miles (halfway point) - 2 hr 30 minutes
26.2 Miles (Marathon) - 4 hr 44 minutes
Last 5 miles - 1 hr 26 minutes

Total Time to Finish - 6 hr 10 minutes

Now, I forgot to turn the auto-pause off on the Garmin and it paused every time I used the porta-potty (4), stopped at Aid Station (5), and stopped to stretch (2). I am guessing that will add another 20-25 minutes will be added to the time.

If I would not have got banged up I think I would have finished under 5:30 and probably under 5:15.

Thanks for Reading,


Friday, December 4, 2009

50K Trail Run - The Day Before/Gear Review

I keep calling this thing a 50K trail run. Which it is but I got to quit the whole kilometers thing. Dammit I am not a Canadian (although it is snowing right now) from now on it a 31 MILE Trail Run!

Yes, you read that right. It is snowing in Houston right now and it is actually sticking to the ground. Probably only a 1/2"-1" tops but still this ain't supposed to happen here!

Anyways, tomorrow is the big day. I have been getting all my gear together over the last couple of days and have it spread out on the dining room table. For those of you that are wondering what the heck one needs for a trail run I snapped some pics:

This is my nutrition for the day. The GU Gel is 100 calories per pack and the GU Chomps are 90 calories. I plan on taking these while in between aid stations. At the add stations they are going to have fruits and salty foods.

This is my Nathan's hydration pack. I am going to fill these 10oz bottles with Gatorade. The Gatorade is 70 calories per bottle.

Here we have the fanny pack - for carrying my GU. My Garmin 305 and Heart monitor. My Road ID with all my contact information and a race number belt.

Next we have my Nike compression shorts. They are awesome. Some body glide and a first aid kit. All necessities!

Next is my clothing. First at the top is a pair of Injini Socks and a backup pair just in case the first ones go bad. Then I have a Nike knit cap because it is going to be about 28 degrees in the morning with a high of like 42 ...burrr. I am going to wear three shirts: Under armor for the base, Nike Dri Fit over the UA, and then finally a long sleeve breathable cotton shirt as the final layer. If I get warm I can strip of layers as I go!

Next is a pair of Nike windpants, some towels, and my Drop Bag. The Drop bag is what I usually use for transition during Triathlon. I am going to pack this sucker up and then we will have a bag drop area near the stop to keep this. I am passing this area three times during the race so I can access my gear if needed.

Finally a pic of my Salamon Trail Running Kicks and my Pug, Ernie. Ernie will not be placed inside my drop bag!

So there is everything. Well almost, I just picked up a pair of under Armor compression pants and a pair of light weight gloves. With the frigid temperature these will hopefully make the run much more comfortable!

If you are reading this and thinking, "Why doesn't he have _______ on his list?" please drop me a comment. I also have a separate bag with some clothes to drive home in and a cooler with a post race sandwich and more Gatorade and green tea.
This is going to be an interesting event to say the least so wish me luck and if I am up to it I will post a race report tomorrow night!
Thanks for Reading,

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Mini- Taper: Part Deux

Did another 2 miles on the treadmill this evening. It was freaking cold and crappy this morning and Annie is sick so it was a sleep in morning! Well I guess if 6am is considered sleeping in!

BTW - if you are not watching Friday Night Lights (TV Series, not the movie) do youself a huge favor and go out and buy the DVD's or put it on the Netfilx queue. This show is one of the best on TV right now. I cannot recommend it enough - it is that good!!!!

Anyways, I stopped at the REI on my travels today and picked up some GU Chomps and a fannie pack to wear at the race. It is small but made of heavy duty nylon so it shouldn't hinder me during the run too much. My wife thinks I look like a dork with a fannie pack on. I told her I wear spandex and lycra in public now so the fanny pack is pretty much par for the course!

Next two days will be nothing but rest! Unless my New Trainer shows up tomorrow (-:

Thanks for Reading,


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Mini-Taper Day: 2.2 Miles

My wife and I are watching The Biggest Loser right now. For some reason neither of us like Amanda. We can't really pinpoint why we can't stand her but she is just annoying and she cries ALL THE TIME. And she has gone '3rd person' on us way too often. She said, ... "Amanda doesn't do marathons!" or "Amanda is in the final four!" Jeff does not like that!

With my 50K race coming up on Saturday I need to reduce my volume this week so that I am at full strength at the starting line - this is called a taper! So today I did just 2.2 miles on the treadmill. It was enough to get my legs lose but not enough to really exert myself. After the run I went over to the open area at the gym and stretched for about 15 minutes. It felt great and my legs really needed an extended stretching session. My IT band has been a little tender and this helped!

Also this was the first time I have been to the gym in about a month. The "people watching" at the gym is freaking awesome. You see all types! There was a group of 5 guys all wearing jean shorts and knock off Ed Hardy shirts. It was like they all called each other ahead of time and coordinated their clothes. They were taking turns doing max lifts Bench presses and were screaming at each other for motivation. At one point I almost fell off the treadmill I was laughing so damn hard. But then again who am I to make fun of people at the gym? One of those jean shorts guys is probably typing on his blog about the goofy looking skinny guy on the treadmill wearing Lycra with 6 different tan lines!

Tomorrow morning I am going to run with Annie and do maybe 3 miles. She is doing 9 miles but that would be too much for my legs. It is raining and cold here in SE Texas so if we wake up and the rain is still coming down we may have to make it another treadmill day.

Thursday and Friday will be rest days and I will go over my nutrition/hydration plan for the race. Not real sure what I am going to do yet but my normal "just wing it" approach may not work!

Thanks for Reading,


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Hal Higdon Training: 12.24 Miles

With today being my last run of the month I can post my total run miles for November: 125.37 Mi

Today we were scheduled to do a 14 mile long run. We didn't quite make it to 14 and ended up finishing up at 12.24 miles.

Our average pace was 10:24/mile and we completed the run in 2 hours and 7 minutes. I burned 1514 calories and can tell because I am still hungry even after a big dinner. This run was hard on my body. My legs, hips, and knees are aching right now. I soooo enjoy running in the morning over the evening.

(See my Garmin Map and Splits: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/19835082)

We stopped at 12.24 miles because we ended up running this evening and got started a little later than we wanted. It got dark fast and it was actually dangerous out. Our little town turned into a freaking race track tonight and we had a couple of close calls with cars tonight. Even though we were on the sidewalks and I had on a reflective shirt and shoes we were very uncomfortable. So when we made it to the parking lot where we were parked at 12.24 miles we decided to call it a night.

This week is going to be a taper week for me going into the 50K Trail Run on Saturday. I plan on doing 2 miles on Tuesday and 2 miles on Wednesday just to keep myself loose and used to moving. I might even try and get in a few minutes on my new trainer on Tuesday or Wednesday but Thursday and Friday are going to be rest and preparation days. I am getting nervous and excited all at the same time for this race!

Thanks for Reading,


Saturday, November 28, 2009

New Toy and Future Training

Today was supposed to be a 14-mile run but we needed to get some Christmas shopping in so Annie and I went to the mall this morning and will do the run tomorrow morning instead!

The reason for this post is to talk about my new training tool! Yesterday I found the CycleOps Fluid 2 Trainer on Amazon for a great price and Annie decided it would be a nice Christmas present for me:

The way this works is that I place the back wheel of my Quintana Roo Tri bike onto this device and it allows me to ride indoors. Think stationary bike but with my own bike. This will help me acquire the necessary volume required to do the upcoming Triathlon Training plan since I can ride while catching up with the Tivo. It should be here on Tuesday or Wednesday.

On Saturday, December 5th I am running in the 50K Texas Trail Run. This is 31 miles and I am pretty sure my butt is going to get completely destroyed - I can't wait!

The following Monday I am going to begin a 20 Week Triathlon Training program that will lead me up to the April 24th LoneStar Olympic Triathlon in Galveston. To view the training program click here.

This Tri is located in Galveston, TX, which is right on the shore of the Gulf of Mexico. This means the swim portion will be in the ocean! Since swimming is my weakest of the three disciplines I am going to be using The Essential Triathlon Swimming DVD from TriSwimCoach.com and will do a review of the DVD compared to my performance. From what I have watched it looks to be a great training tool and if I can follow it then my swimming should become a strength.

Good times to come and I can't wait to start the training but first I need to get in the 14 mile run tomorrow and focus on the 50K next week.

Also, I found a way to import my Garmin data online and then I can link it to the blog. So here are my Garmin Splits from the Turkey Trot: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/19744514

Thanks for Reading,



Thursday, November 26, 2009

Turkey Trot - 5 Mile Race

Happy Thanksgiving to all ....

Just a quick update on the 5 mile Turkey Trot Annie and I did this morning. First, it was cold -- 41 degrees!!! The organizers said that they had over 5000 people racing and I believe them because it was some crowded running!

At the starting line a young girl held up a sign that said, "6 minute mile pace or less start here." So, I was planning on doing about a 7:30 pace and went about 15 yards or so behind that. I was guessing maybe 100 to 150 people were in front of us. Seemed about right. I overheard some guys talking about all the marathons they did and saying they would do this race, "Around 35 minutes .." Perfect, I thought, I can run behind these guys and it should be good. Annie started right next to me. She was hoping to do a 9 minute/mile pace but by this time it would have been very hard to fight to that area since the starting area was already elbows to assholes!

Our local Congressman, Kevin Brady (a vocal opponent of all the wasteful spending going on in DC), was the official starter and he wasted no time in firing off the gun. So the race begins and it takes us maybe 30 seconds to cross the starting line. Once we cross the pace is incredibly slow, like a 10+ minute/mile pace. We were right in the center and were getting sardined from the sides - hundreds of people were passing us and with that many people we were stuck in the middle. At this point I had to make a decision: Either slow it down and just do a 5 mile training run or put my shoulder down and pass a heck of a lot of people. Well, if you read this blog you probably know what I did next!

I made my way to the outside and jumped up on the grass between the road and sidewalk and passed a ton of people. I didn't even say goodbye to Annie, I was so frustrated with the people in front of me I just took off. In hindsight, I probably should have just reeled it in and enjoyed the run but as usual I am an idiot meathead that cannot control my competitive nature!

I never really found any open space but was able to bust some butt for the rest of the run and zig-zag my way through the rest of the race.

Here are my splits according to my Garmin 305:

Mile 1 - 7:25
Mile 2 - 7:14
Mile 3 - 7:17
Mile 4 - 7:17
Mile 5 - 7:08

Total Time - 36:27
Avg Heart Rate - 177 BPM
Max Heart Rate - 194 BPM
Total Calories - 611
Average Pace - 7:16/Mi

Overall I am quite pleased with my results and actually a little surprised. On Tuesday I ran 5 miles pretty hard and did it in 38 minutes. This was with two days rest and I was very fresh. Today I was coming into the race after 13 miles running the previous two days and my legs were not feeling top notch because of those last two days. As you can see from my Garmin stats above I ran pretty much the entire race in the Anaerobic Heart Rate Zone with an average of 177 BPM. A year ago I would have been able to hold this zone for maybe a minute before I had to considerably back off. Today I was able to hold it for 36 + minutes and could have done another mile or two. It was uncomfortable, actually at times I was hurting. I kept saying to myself, "Pain is just weakness leaving the body ..." and this got me through.

I am very proud of Annie. This was her first race and she did it in 43 minutes. That is a pace of around 8:30ish. She has been doing the Higdon marathon training and most of her runs are in the 9.5 - 11 minute/mile range so she really ran a great race today! She said her legs felt a little rubbery around mile 3 because the initial adrenaline rush was wearing off but she was able to HTFU and keep her pace for the next 2 miles. She wants to do a couple more races like this before her marathon so she can get used to that initial rush. All the long hours she has been logging during training is definitely paying off! I am very happy for her!

After we finished we ate some pancakes and sausage (complimentary!!) and a banana and then went to find the car so we could warm up. They had some unofficial results posted but the line was very long to see them and we were freezing (yes I know I am a wimp). So once they are posted online I will update the blog.

Annie and I both had a great time at the race. It was very well run and a they had a ton of volunteers! We may make this a Thanksgiving tradition!

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your friends and family!

Thanks for Reading,


***Official Results: Finished 293/2300 + and 25/143 in Age Group ***