Tuesday, August 31, 2010

August Review ...

Aside from this August being the Hottest Month in Houston's History  it was a pretty darn productive one  for me!

Here are the numbers via my BeginnerTriathlete Training Logs:

August's totals:
Bike:29h 01m 13s  - 526.37 Mi
Run:15h 32m 51s  - 102.37 Mi
Swim:18h 10m 16s  - 39896.81 Yd

This works out to be 62h 44m - that is a lot of time sweating in the August heat!  Can't believe that I missed the 40k mark in the water by a mere 5 laps?

The legs and body are feeling great today after a 3200yd Master's class this morning and an hour tempo ride.  Tomorrow is an early morning brick session all at Zone 4 and I cannot wait!

Thanks for Reading,


Monday, August 30, 2010

All About the Abs ...

Unfortunately this is not an image of the Mrs. and me.  Nope, it is just some random pic found on google images.  However, in a few weeks months this might be us - except without the 80's looking attire - we are much more stylish then these people.

As a Triathlete having solid strength in the core is an essential component to become more efficient in our three sports.  Unfortunately with all of the time spent sharpening the skills of swim, bike, and run the abdominal area seems to get neglected.  I for one have been guilty of this so-called neglect.

So when the fine people at AmericasNutrition.com contacted me about writing a couple of reviews about some of their Fitness Products this was the perfect opportunity to make it all about the abs ....

I perused the Fitness Product Section of the AmericasNutrition.com website.   They offer tons of fitness related products from weight loss, gear, supplements, sexual health (wink,wink)and body building equipment all at extremely low prices.  I finally came across The Dual Ab Wheel:

Now this was perfect because I had been considering getting an Ab Wheel after viewing a YouTube clip by some smiley girl named Lyzbeth:

For the last week I have been doing these exercises that my new YouTube friend Lyzbeth recommends and it is taking me about 10 minutes per day.  The main reason that I was looking into using an Ab Wheel is because if used correctly, like in the video, then it drastically reduces any chance of hurting your lower back.  When I was doing P90X and hammering off Ab Ripper X three times a week my back would become very sore and now with my Triathlon training this soreness prevents me from getting in the best possible swim/bike/run workouts.  Not an issue with the Ab Wheel!

They sent me the Dual Ab Wheel and it took about 30 seconds to put together and is as easy as it looks to operate.  The best part is that this little sucker only costs $9.99.  If you are looking to add in some Ab workouts then you might want to give this a try. After one week of use I am already able to see a difference in definition in my core and more importantly my back feels great.

I'll report back in about a month and hopefully I will not need to access Google Images and just use my own abs for the next pic!

Anyone want to put together an Ab Wheel challenge with before and after pics I am down? Let me know?

Thanks for Reading,


Sunday, August 29, 2010

Week Ten: By the Numbers ...

Week Ten of the Matt Fitzgerald Level 10 HIM Training Plan is in the books!

For me this has been the most difficult week of training to date. Let me first post up the numbers and then describe why.

Week Ten Stats:

Swim - 4 Trainings - 4h 05m - 8200 Yds
Bike - 4 Trainings - 6h 00m - 110.21 Mi
Run - 4 Trainings - 4h 09m - 28.41 Mi
Totals 12 Trainings - 14h 14m

Longest Swim - 3100 yds
Longest Bike - 33.71 Mi
Longest Run - 10.02 Mi

Here are the actual workouts that were completed:

Monday:  Rest Day/Bike Maintenance Day

AM - Master's Swim scheduled and missed.  I had some severe stomach issues when I woke up at 4am.  Primarily due to a poor choice for my dinner on Monday (Five Guys Burger and Fries). I never eat crap like this and paid for it the next day.  My job is to blame.  Worst part was that my stomach hurt enough that I could not fall back asleep.
PM - Bike Intervals, 1h 30m.  2x16min with 10min active recovery in between sets - 27miles.

AM - Run Speed Intervals, 1h 05m - 7.16mi.  Intervals were 9 x 1min w/ 3min active recovery in between sets.  Did an easy 10min warm-up and cool down at 10min/mi pace.  Tried to hold a 5:30ish/mi pace on intervals.
PM - Zone 2 Spin on Bike.  Went for 90mins, 27 miles and really helped to flush legs.

AM - Master's Swim.  1h 20m - 3100yds.  It was intervals focused with pulls and kicks.
PM - Tempo Run.  52mins, 10min wu - 32min tempo (7:40 pace) - 10min cd.
PM #2 - Easy Swim.  20mins - 800yds.  Legs were sore after tempo so I did this immediately after and it helped.  Pool has water temp of 65-68 degrees and this helped make up some yardage from missed Monday's masters.

AM - Bike Speed Intervals. 1h 15m - 22.5 miles,  6 x 90secs w/ 3min active recovery all in big ring, Zone 5. Sweating buckets during the intervals.
PM - Swim. 1h 25m - 2500 yds, 6x200 threshold, 6x50 threshold.  Ouch.

AM - Brick Day!  Zone 2 Bike.  Did ride by myself and tried to keep HR in the Z2 range for the scheduled 1h 45m.  Did 33.71 mi @ 19.26 avg. Was cornered by the largest white dog I have ever seen, looked like a Polar Bear, ended up being extremely friendly and we played.  --- Locked up the bike to the car and did run.  5mi in 40mins @8:02/mi pace.  Legs felt good during run and sore after.

AM - Long Run - 10.02 mi @ 9:11/mi pace - 1h 32m.  All Zone 2.
PM - Easy Swim - 1800 yds -60 mins.  Struggled in the pool today with focus.  Form went to hell so I stopped a few hundred yards short.

Okay, I have always posted the numbers but usually not the specific workouts so I hope you enjoyed reading the guts of the stats! The cool thing about this plan is that Fitzgerald seems to alternate the weekend end works out between huge volume and moderate volume.  Luckily for my legs this was a moderate volume weekend!

I mentioned that this was a challenging week above and it really was!  This was the second week of the Build Phase (which means intensity is increased) and I expected my legs to be a little sluggish but this was ridiculous.  The Wednesday morning speed interval run was just brutal. My legs never really felt good for the entire run and I kept fighting the dark thoughts that usually accompany bad days.  You know the, "Well, maybe I should just walk for a minute?" or "My legs hurt too bad and I should just stop right now and go home."  We all get the devil on our shoulder from time-to-time but I really had to fight to not let this little devil win.  It happened again during my tempo run on Thursday and I had to slay that little devil again.

But the real reason that it was a struggle is because my legs are tired.  It is quite simple actually!  I spent 8 weeks working on a solid, sustainable Base.  Now the Build Phase is in week two and my body is still trying to absorb the first week of the Build Phase. The increased intensity of the Build Phase is different from the last 8 weeks and the body needs to adapt - and it will.  The only thing that will hinder that adaptation would be a lack of mental toughness and I just proved to myself with this weeks workouts that that will not happen.

Time and time again the old adage, "Listen to your body," is uttered on blogs and message boards.  I'd like to add an addendum to this phrase, "Listen to your body ... unless it is lying!"

Thanks for Reading,


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Happy Blogaversary Carrot ...

The Carrot is 2!

Just because this picture is of a cupcake does not make it okay to eat one -- we clear?  Good, carry on ...

Tomorrow is the 2 year anniversary of the day I decided to stop being a lazy fatass and start up this blog!  In blog years this makes the Carrot like 34-years old (Al Gore confirmed this).

Two years seems like such a long time ago - I barely even remember that guy?

It has been a fun ride so far and since I am always ripping off stats and numbers here we go:

First Post:  August 27, 2008   (explains blog name)
First Curse Word:  August 27, 2008
First Passive Aggressive Comment About Obama:  August 27, 2008
First Follower:  Mike Lott (Former Fatass who did P90X with me)
First Review of P90X:  December 6, 2008
First Time I Mentioned Triathlon:  March 25, 2009
First Triathlon:  August 2, 2009  
First Ultra 50K Trail Run:  December 6, 2009
First Time Someone Sent an email calling me an Asshole:  December 9, 2008  (Really surprised it took this long)

Total Posts: 587
Total Visitors:  50,924
Total Page Views:  97,037
Average Visitors per Day:  172
Average Page Views per Day: 246
Largest Amount of Visitors One Day:  582
Longest Gap Between Posts:  15 Days (Had a shoulder injury)

When the carrot was started the sole intention was to keep myself accountable.  I figured if family and friends were reading then workouts would not be missed and excuses would not be made.  After I slimmed down and reached my goals the blog would no longer be needed and the plug would be pulled.

But along the way something happened.  That something was that I really enjoyed doing a mind dump a few times a week.  It had really helped me release the pressure and stress of day-to-day life and this is something that I never expected.  Then something even better happened and I meet a bunch of other bloggers that share similar interests and have the same perspectives on fitness and health. Then these other bloggers soon became friends!  If you are reading this you are one of those people and I feel blessed each and every day to have meet such great folks here in our own little slice of the interwebs.  So THANK YOU all for reading my mostly incoherent postings and sharing your own stories and experiences along the way.  It has been a wonderful (and active) two years and I look forward to many more!

Thanks for Reading,


Ps.... This is completely unrelated but it is AWESOME so enjoy!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Book Review: OneHourIronMen

 Bob Shuler

"Embrace and enjoy the day"

Still being relatively new to Triathlon and preparing for my first Iron Distance race this May (IMTX) I had been anxiously awaiting the release of OneHourIronMen ($13) by Bob "IronBob" Shuler.  Bob is a fellow blogger who is someone who has years of experience in endurance sports.  Bob has also been gracious enough to exchange emails with me over the last year helping me with nutrition and training numerous times.  He has helped me become better and more knowledgeable at this sport and I really respect his opinion.   So when I heard he was going to take all of his pearls of wisdom and place them in print I knew this was a book I wanted to read.

The subtitle to OneHourIronMen is: An Average Joe's Guide To Having It All In Iron Distance Racing (Family, Career, Spare Time & Training).  This really sums up the book rather nicely.  

The guts of the book is about how the everyday Age Grouper can complete one Iron Distance race per year by following a simple training plan that require no more than a one-hour average of training over 365 days.  Now do not be confused by the title this is not a Six Minute Abs type of sales pitch because hard work and dedication are required in order to reach your dreams of becoming an Ironman. And Bob gives you an easy to follow plan to achieve this goal but you will still need to put in the training.  I am not going to go into detail and give away all the training nuggets - you'll just have to buy the book yourself!

After you absorb the information about training the rest of the 159 pages of OneHourIronMen is focused on the trials and tribulations of Bob and his training partner Arnie.  They are the human guinea pigs in the  OneHourIronMen experiment.  I found Bob's writing style to be very engaging and quite easy to read.  I actually was through the entire book in under two-hours.  

Now this book is not just for the beginner Ironman.  Bob goes on to share information about equipment, nutrition, race day prep, motivation, blogs, the history of Ironman, and a few other miscellaneous tips.  As a novice I will use sections of this book as I prepare for my Ironman race and I imagine veteran Ironman can use the book to compare and contrast their own experiences with Bob's.  

Okay, now that OneHourIronMen has been given the Carrot Stamp of Approval you are probably dying to know how you can pick up your copy?  Very easy  Go to Ebay and type:  OneHourIronMen (plural)

On a personal note, a big Thank You to Bob for sharing his story with us in OneHourIronMan and I wish you the best of luck at Ironman Louisville on August 29th ... and I got the first round of beers after Ironman Texas!

Thanks for Reading, 


(Disclaimer:  This book was paid for by me and the opinions are mine alone.)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Triathlete Magazine Model Search ... Vote for Claudia

Claudia Abreu

This is Claudia Abreu and she is a fellow Triathlete who is among 15 finalists for Triathlete Magazine's Miss August.  Here is the description of the contest from Triathlete Magazine:

We’ve nabbed fifteen women from the hundreds of submissions for this month’s model search. We’re looking for Triathlete.com’s Miss August, a woman who represents the multi-sport lifestyle and can make a bikini melt.

Claudia whole-heartedly represents the Multi-sport lifestyle by completing 7 HIMs (PR 5:06) and is currently training for her first Ironman (IMAZ).  AND from the above picture it appears Claudia could also meet the criteria of making a bikini melt -  she should also get bonus points for posing with a HED Jet 60.  Some damn sexy wheels!

Claudia's story is much more than just being a hottie triathlete.  At the age of 27 she was diagnosed with Cancer and her fight can be used as an inspiration for all of us.  Here is Claudia's own words about her battle:

Facing mortality at age 27 taught me to appreciate every day of life.  Undergoing cancer treatment showed me how strong humans can be in the face of adversity.  Now, I am cancer free, and I carry these experiences with me into every race, as I draw upon this previously untapped source of energy.  I'm healthier, stronger and happier than ever. 

To vote for Claudia Abreu as Miss August CLICK HERE  page down to the bottom of the page until you see her name.

To see more pics of Claudia CLICK HERE.

Good Luck Claudia!


Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Week in Review ...

Whew ....

This was the first week (Week 9) of the Build Phase of my HIM training plan.  It was the first time that significant  intensity (Speed Intervals, Hills, Tempo) was added to my workouts and I was really looking forward to testing out my base.

Here are the numbers:

Swim -  4 workouts - 4h 25m - 10,100 Yds
Bike  -  5 workouts - 9h 37m - 171.50 Mi
Run   -  4 workouts - 3h 59m - 26.52 Mi
Totals - 13 workouts - 18h 01m

Longest Swim -  3100 Yds
Longest Bike -   84 Mi  (108 Degrees on ride)
Longest Run -    13.2 Mi

This is my largest weekly volume YTD.

Overall my body is feeling surprisingly well? The legs have responded even better than I expected to the intensity and that extra gear that has been missing from my running came back.  I have iced and foam rolled everyday and even twice a few times.  The base fitness passed the test!

What I am even more pleased about is how well I have acclimated to the extreme heat and humidity.  Yes it still sucks and is uncomfortable and my running pace is higher but my energy is no longer being completely drained like it was two months ago.  And I have a kick ass tan -- eat your heart out George Hamilton!

I hope everyone has a great week!

Thanks for Reading,


Friday, August 20, 2010

Hill Work in a Parking Garage

On Wednesday I mentioned that I would be doing some "hill training" by running up and down a parking garage.  I was surprised but the comments and the emails asking about this practice?  I mean doesn't everyone do this?  Well, then it hit me ... most people don't live at sea level and have the option of actually running real hills Jeff.  They do not have to seek out man-made structures to get in the training.  So for those of you that that wonder how us flatlanders find hill here is a recap.

Here is the satellite view of the area that the hill work was done.  Along with the assist of some extremely professional looking photoshop editing you can now visualize what this all looks like:

The red scribbles are the direction that I ran.  Basically the training plan called for a 10 minute warm up run.  Then the hill repeats followed by a 10min cool down..  The good news is that the sides and top 2 levels of this 5 level garage are open to the sky so my Garmin 310xt worked the entire time.  From the bottom of the garage to the top was exactly .25 miles (400 meters).  I ended up doing 5 times up and 5 times back down and for active recovery I would just run a loop around the garage before starting back up again.  The entire workout was 38 minutes and I did 4.32 miles.

Some take-ways:
- Running in an empty concrete building is not very exciting.  The first time up was cool because their is a really nice view of Lake Houston (South side of above pic), but the next 4 times got progressively more boring.
- Houston weather sucks in the summer.  Heat and humidity is part of our lives and we just deal with it - I was unprepared for just how hot and humid it would be inside the garage.  Seriously it was like running inside a sauna.  Except without the creepy 80-year old dudes siting around naked.  I actually ran as hard as I could just to get out of the confined garage.
- Parking garages have some pretty decent climbs.  The first couple of times up the ramps wasn't too hard.  The last couple of times I was really feeling the incline.  Excellent workout!

That is about it.  Next week I might chronicle a bike hill workout.  This usually involves riding back and forth on a bridge overpass!!!  Flatlander Jeff signing off ...

Thanks for Reading,


Wednesday, August 18, 2010


My training plan calls for a Brick workout once a week.  On even weeks the brick is rather long and on Saturdays.  On odd weeks the brick is a little shorter and I like to add some more intensity.  Today is Week 9 which makes the brick workout today.

The bike portion was 1h 20m and I did it on the trainer while finishing up the last hour of the 2nd Transformers movie.  Aside from Megan Fox, it sort of sucked but had enough cool special effects to keep my mind occupied - which is all I can ask for!  I added in 8x30sec intervals as well.

After the 1h 20m passed I jumped off the bike and tossed on the Brooks and was out the front door.  I decided to just run a hard pace just to see how my legs would feel.  First mile was 6:20.  The Garmin beeped to show me the split and I realized this was unsustainable for 2 more miles so I slowed a little.  Mile 2 split was 6:41 at the end of mile 2 it began to hurt some.  I slowed a little more and the mile 3 split was 7:09!  That is a 20:10 over 3 miles after a bike.

Super pleased with this brick because it really validates for me that the training plan is working.

Tomorrow is a 4:15am wake-up call for Master's swim and then after the swim is over I am going to stop at a parking garage and do hill repeats up the ramps.  This is a real good option when you don't have hills!  I am supposed to do 38mins - 10min warm up/ 6x1m with 2mins recovery/10min cool down for 38mins total.

Then in the evening I am going to do an easy recovery ride down at Duessen Park.

Thanks for Reading,


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

My Friend just did a 10 Mile Marathon! (For Jon)

Jon at SwiCycloRun ... Tales of an age group Triathlete just put up a post about how most people just do not understand us endurance peeps.  Literally a minute after reading his post my buddy Todd (Bib# 1519), who is doing his first IM at Louisville in 2 weeks send me this little gem.  It is pretty much the animated version of Jon's post  -- enjoy:


Monday, August 16, 2010

RE: To Patrick @ The Road [A Multi-Sport Blog]

This weekend Patrick posted an Open Letter to me at his blog, The Road [A Multi-Sport Blog].  The post was in response to my Fight Club submission earlier in the week trying to reverse-karma myself into blowing out a tube.  Yeah, I know it sounds confusing and that wasn't much of a teaser but click the links if you really want to know what all the rambling on is about.

Anyway, I posted a response in his comments and here is that reply:

RE: What tires are you using?


Yes, I agree the cosmos has somehow been aligned so that the sun has been shinning on my tubes for quite some time. My fear is the streak is going to be snapped during a race.  Hence the reason I tried to Murphy's Law myself with the referenced post.

First, here is my gear: Tires - Bontrager Race Lite 700x23, Hard Case Triple Puncture Protection. Being used on my stock QR Alex 220 Wheels. I also occasionally ride a Zipp 440 Front with a Continental Tubular. Tubes are inflated to around 110psi.

Now as to why have I not flatted in over 2500+ miles? I have no real answer only thinly veiled guesses. I am perplexed and that explains my "Fight Club" post. Up is down and down is left? 

Normally a slight like mine (the post) would lead the cycling gods to strategically place glass and metal shards throughout my bike route. They have let this one pass? Two rides since that post and still no flat so it must be something else? Here are my guesses ...

I am a bike maintenance freak! At least once a week I clean all my components with degreaser and a toothbrush. I take my wheels and rear cassette off and clean as well. I take my tires off and check the rim tape and I have had to replace the tape once too. I always run my hand and a clean towel up and down each side of the rim and check for irregularities or sharp objects.  Surely this would help maintain tube life, right?

Now I showed my wife this post and her guess is that I am just lucky at things like this. She referenced I have similar luck with parking (drives her nuts). We can be at a mall on the Saturday before Xmas and someone will backout of a spot in front every single time leaving it just for me. While most other people will drive around forever looking to find even a decent parking spot.  This irritates her probably the same way the lack of flat issue irritates you!

So to recap: The best guesses is it is a combination of complex planetary alignment, OCD-like bike maintenance, and pure dumb luck!


Tyler Durden

Sometimes it is best to just not over-think good fortune!

Thanks for Reading,


Sunday, August 15, 2010

Recovery Week (#8) Recap ...

First, on Friday I was having trouble finding the motivation to do intervals on the trainer so I asked you guys to sling some mud my way in the form of an insult to give me a kick in the butt.  Well, it work because I got the workout in but my favorite comment was one that was received today:
Your blog followers are TOO NICE!! 
Suck it up patsy! Bike trainer? Crap, that's whimpy. Take the damn bike outside and ride!! I dont care if it's 120F in the shade.. Builds character son....Now get out there and crank out 40 or so miles... you've got 1.5 hours, right??  Shit, my post is two days late, isn't it?  Never mind.... have a nice day..

 - Compliments of Bob @ ONEHOURIRONMAN!

Then you have to check out Patrick's Open Letter in response to my Fight Club post from a few days ago.  It is very entertaining - Patrick has been locked into that elusive Blogger-zone of late. Job well done Patrick!

Okay ... this was Week 8 of the Fitzgerald HIM Training Plan and this was the second scheduled recovery week.  

Here are my stats:

Swim:  3 Workouts - 3h 35m - 7800 Yds
Bike:   5 Workouts - 5h 48m - 105.01 Mi
Run:    4 Workouts - 2h 54m - 18.44 Mi
   Totals:   12 Workouts - 12h 17m

Overall it was a solid week.  I felt like the Bike mileage was a little light per the plan so I dropped a swim workout and added in an extra bike.  The amount of workouts were the same as other weeks but the durations were a little less.  The Saturday long rides are usually 3+ hours and the Sunday long runs are usually double digits.  But during the recovery week the ride was only 1h 15m followed by a 30m run.  Then today the long run was only 7m - which had to be cut a little short this morning so I might go run 3 or 4 more miles this evening, or maybe not, haven't decided yet - it is south of the equator hot again!

Week 9 begins the BUILD PHASE of the training plan.  I cannot wait - the base phase has been good to me and I am feeling very optimistic about my fitness level going into the Build.  The plan calls for tempo, tempo, hills, and intervals - this is going to be so much fun.  Here is the week 9 plan:

(Click image for larger view)

Thanks for Reading,


Friday, August 13, 2010


I got the bike on the trainer.

The water bottles are on the stand next to the trainer.

My bike shoes are on.

An EFS Liquid Shot is sitting next to the water (I might get hungry).

Chuck Norris and The Delta Force are paused on the DVR.

The pugs have been fed and walked.

And yet I decided it would be a good time to write a post?

My name is Jeff and I am a procrastinator.

It has been a good (recovery) week so far:

Monday - Rest Day
Tuesday -  3000 Yd Swim/22.5 Mi Bike (Intervals/Trainer)
Wednesday - 5.01 Mi Run (Fartleks)/13.5 Mi Bike (Intervals/Trainer)
Thursday -  3100 Yd Swim/ 3.65 Mi Run (Z2 recovery)/ 30 Mi Bike (Hill Repeats)
Friday - Zilch (so far)

Okay, off the ass time.  Need to do 1hr 20min of Intervals (8x30sec Big gear all out w/2min recovery).

Please leave a comment telling me to cowboy up and quit being a slacker.  Best and most creative insult wins!

Hope y'all have a great weekend that includes hours and hours of training!


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

It is Kinda Like Fight Club ...

You know the first rule of Fight Club right?  Do not talk about Fight Club.


Keep it to yourself.

Good things stay good by not telling others.

But sometimes you just WANT to get something out in the open. Sometimes you NEED to get it out there, right?

Okay, here it goes ...


Wait for it ...

Wait for it ...

I have not had a flat on my QRoo Tri Bike in 2010! That is over 2500 miles!

Feels so much better getting that off my chest!!!!

Now that I said it the chances of getting a flat on my next ride are 100% right?  Well, that is the plan people.  I know it is gong to happen and my next race is 2.5 months away so my thinking is lets just get it out of the way now.

So happy that is resolved.

Thanks for Reading,


Monday, August 9, 2010

Hard Work is for Losers ...

**Warning: Long Winded Alert**

Dangle the Carrot was originally started a couple of years ago when I decided that being a fat-ass was no longer acceptable and P90X, the fitness routine sweeping the nation, was going to be my guide.  Everyday I would do one of the workouts and put up a blog post about it.  Before you knew it I started to receive a ton of emails and comments from others who also wanted to make a change in their lives with P90X and wanted advice on how to make this happen.  I enjoyed interacting with those people because we were on similar paths with similar goals, much like many of us now in our ever growing triathlon/running/endurance community.

However, it never failed that a couple times a week I would get an email that would say something like this:

"Hey Jeff, Love the blog!  I want to start P90X but I just am too busy to prepare meals ahead of time and have to eat fast food for lunch.  Do you think I can still do P90X but not follow the nutrition plan?"
or this:

"Hi Jeff, I've been doing P90X for 60 days now and my results are a lot different than yours.  Aside from missing two weeks for vacation (who exercises on vacay?) and a weekend for my sister's wedding I have been doing all the workouts.  I think they are recommending too many calories so I am not really following the nutrition plan but other than that I cannot understand why it is not working?"
When I first started getting these types of messages I was very supportive and said stuff like, "Stick to it" or "Just keep working and you'll see the results!"  While the truth was I wasn't thinking these positive thoughts at all.  I was thinking, "Quit making excuses and follow the damn nutrition guide!" or "Why the hell did you even start the plan if you knew you couldn't complete the 90 days consecutively - you are to blame for your poor results!".  Well, after I became a little more comfortable in my blogger-skin that became the type of answers I started sending back to people and the cool thing was that they would thank me for my honesty and the kick in the butt.

When it comes to fitness I hate shortcuts, despise the promise of the silver bullet solution, and want to slap people when they promise others success by doing something the easy way. I believe that most people DREAM of success but very few are willing to put in the hard work to ACHIEVE success.  Maybe I am old school, maybe I am just a dick, but I am not an enabler.

So when I read this article today about Ironman training the BS alarm was a blaring.

New Feature:   Read about it AFTER the JUMP

Week 7 Training: By the Numbers ...

Week 7 of the Fitzgerald HIM Training Plan is in the books.  Here are the Stats::

Swim  -  4h 25m - 10,050 Yds
Bike   -  5h 48m - 105.01 Mi
Run    -  4h 06m - 26 Mi
             Totals  - 14h 19m  

Week 8 is a recovery week and I am not really feeling like it is needed.  But the plan is the plan and and Fitzgerald is much smarter than me so I will follow.

The good news is that after this recovery week the Build Phase begins and I cannot wait.  The Base Phase has me feeling strong but slow. The lack of intensity has stripped me of that extra gear and I really want to find it again!  Through the 7 weeks 95% of the training has been in Zone 2 (hence the "Base" title) but once the Build Phase starts the intensity ramps up significantly.

Thanks for Reading,


Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Weekend Long Run ...

Yesterday I tweeked my right knee and am not really sure how it even happened.  I finished up my Saturday morning ride and the knee just tightened up along with some shooting pain around the kneecap?  Anyway, so I am at home yesterday icing the knee and I read KC's post and the same exact thing happened to her right knee?  WTF?  She describes it much better!  Send her some of your positive blogger vibes!

So with the knee feeling tender I was unsure if I should do my scheduled 1 hour and 40 minute long run this morning?  I decided to get in a nice, long foam roller session last night and hit the sack early and see how it felt in the morning.  The alarm went off at 5am and the knee felt a little tight but after a few quick stretches it loosened so I decided to do the run.

On to the topic of this post:  The weekly long run.  As a triathlete or a runner in the midsts of a training plan the long run is always very crucial to hitting you weekly mileage goals and also to build fitness for your upcoming race.  You can miss an occasional shorter mid-week workout and not lose any fitness (heck, the extra rest may even help sometimes), but the long run is essential to effective training. It not only helps to build your fitness but it instills the confidence in you to know that you can do the distance.  Which on race day is more valuable than words can express!

The funny things about the long run to me is that it has become rather ritualistic.  During my shorter weekday runs it is out the front door of the house with my Garmin 310xt and Brooks Running shoes - simple.

Now on long run day it is a completely different scenario.  I drive a couple miles up the road and park at a Walgreens.  This is centrally located to my running route.  For some reason running in my neighborhood on long run day is unacceptable -- not sure why, it just is?  I use the car as a "rest station" by keeping a cooler and towels in the back seat. The night before I prepare my hydration and nutrition and lay out my clothes on the dresser.  On cooler days (< 90 degrees) I will plan my route to stop back at the car after 8 miles so I can refill my nathan's hydration pack.  On warmer days, like today, the route become 6 miles to refill.  I always spend the first hour on the main roads of Kingwood because with the morning humidity the open space doesn't feel as stifling as the trails.  But once the sun comes up and burns all the morning haze away I hit the shaded greenbelt trails for relief from the heat.  What are the Green Belt Trails you ask?

They are a series of interconnect paved trails of about 75 total miles that weave through the forest of Kingwood. Usually you only come across the occasional runner or dog walker and it is an extremely peaceful place to run.  The cool part for me is that these trails are so wooded that they completely screw up my sense of direction. I am one of those weirdos with a built in compass who always knows which direction I am heading, but not on the Greenbelt trails, sort of refreshing actually.  I usually find an entrance and just run in the direction the trail takes me.  I eventually find a road I know but have had times when a planned 10-miler has turned into a 14-miler.  This little "sense of adventure" always keeps things fresh and when I do actually come out on the trails in an area that was expected it is a little disappointing.

So how does everyone else prepare for the Long Run Day?  Is it different for you or am I just a freak?

-  Oh, the knee held up fine during the run and I didn't even notice it once. However, it is a little tender right now.  Hopefully an easy 2500 yards in the 68 degree indoor pool this afternoon will help with the stiffness.

- Over that last couple of years I have dedicate quite a few posts to one of my favorite shows, "24".  So, when a friend sent me this video of the Unaired "24" Pilot from 1994 I had to share.  This is hysterical:

Thanks for Reading,


Thursday, August 5, 2010

Link Dump and Random Thoughts ...

Screen shot from yesterday:

Notice the Heat Index column - 118 Degrees!  Yep, it is smoking here right now.  The good news is that at least the humidity was only 48%.


  • Ray at DCRainmaker is doing a Giveaway for a Garmin 310XT.  Go over and visit to register.  I currently use the 310XT and it is an incredible training tool.
  • Read Matty O's Race Report of his and Heather's first Half Ironman.  Congrats to you both!
  • Back to Ray at DCRainmaker again.  He did an extremely thorough review of the new Timex GPS watch.  If you are deciding on whether to purchase a Garmin or Timex read his review first (HERE).
  • Patrick and Kovas put together a collaborative blogging effort with this piece:  What's in your closet?
  • I received an email notifying me of an article titled, 50 Informative & Inspiring Blogs for Triathletes”  --- Dangle the Carrot was included on the list, which is cool.
  • James @ Ironman 101 wrote an excellent post on Heat Acclimation and Blood Volume - very good read!
  • And under the heading of, "People are Crazy!" -- Read this article about a woman who discovered her husband's other marriage on Facebook.
  • I am a little under the weather.  Yesterday I missed my first day of training in this being the 7th week of the HIM plan.  I got some extra sleep this morning and am feeling much better and plan on hitting it hard again after work today.
  • I have been even more upset/disgusted than usual at our Federal Government the last few days.  It seems:  States no longer have rights, elections don't matter, judges make decisions on personal beliefs and not the law, the public is now considered to stupid to make decisions on their own healthcare, retirement, home ownership, marriage, and the entire mainstream media seems to bury all this  ....hell - they evenwant to tell us what to eat.  Liberty has been replaced with entitlement.  November cannot come soon enough.
  • That last paragraph just got me fired up again and I realize it is all incoherent jibberish but I feel better.
  • Tosh.0 is an absolutely hysterical program on Comedy Central.  If you have not seen Tosh.0 yet do yourself a huge favor and set your DVR to record all episodes.  You'll thank me later!
  • Thinking about a new TT bike.  Just Thinking so far!
Thanks for Reading,


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

July Stats ...

Out with the old (July) and in with the new (August) ... or something like that!

Here are my numbers for July.

July's totals:
Bike:24h 35m  - 455.66 Mi
Run:13h 10m 53s  - 83.64 Mi
Swim:18h 25m  - 40083.82 Yd

Total Time Training:  56 hours & 10 minutes

Overall I am pretty pleased with how July went with the training.  With a race this weekend I missed a 60 mile bike and a 10 mile run which would have pushed my bike numbers over 500 miles and the run over 93 miles.  But the good news is that I made up the long run today so August is starting out strong.

The swim numbers for me are what really jumps off the page.  I never thought I would ever swim over 40,000 yards in a single month!

Bring on the new ...

Thanks for Reading,


Monday, August 2, 2010

Race Report for Jack's Generic Tri ...

We got Tech T's with this logo - very cool!

What a great weekend!

We made the drive up to Austin on Friday afternoon to pick up my packet at Jack and Adam's Bike Shop.  This is a great Tri/LBS on Barton Springs in Austin and I always enjoy checking out all the bike porn.  Austin has such a great multisport community and it shows in the quality of the bike shops.

I'd like to say that the drive was uneventful but for some reason it appeared all 26 + Million Texas residents decided to congregate in the greater Austin area and everyone of them was in their own car!  Traffic was just awful.  It turned the usually 2.5 hour trip into a 6 hour journey.  Well, after sitting in the car we finally made it to our weekend rental home in New Braunfels and it was worth the drive.

Just a great little bungaloo right on the lake with an awesome 2-level deck on the water with a wonderful view.  We spent the night on the deck drinking beer and telling stories.  Just a great time.  Saturday morning came quick and it was off to the river for a 5-hour float trip. 

Now if you read my last post you probably remember that one of my goals for the weekend was to stay sober on the river.  Well, if I had to give myself a grade for how I did at accomplishing this goal that grade would be a big fat FAIL.  It was hot people, like 100 degrees in the limited shade hot.  One beer led to two beers and two beers led to twelve ... you all know the story.  Yes, I am weak.  But had a great time and since this wasn't an "A" race the next morning I can honestly say I do not regret this failure! (I would not have said that at about mile 2 of the run though).

Onto the race - I figured since I did this race last year it would be fun to do a different kind of race report and  compare the results side-by-side.

Got there a little after 6am and snagged a primo parking spot.  I told Annie and our friend Yvette that no matter what happens in the race it is a good day because of the parking spot. Last year we parked far away and it really sucked lugging all the gear back and forth.  It was already extremely hot outside.  According to weather.com it was in the low 80's and the humidity was about 90%.  I was soaking wet putting air in the tires.  Gotta love Texas in August!

There were around 100 people in my 35-39 Age Group and the swim start is pretty tight.  Last year I hung out in the back and still got kicked in the groin and had my nose a little bloodied.  So this year you would think I had learned my lesson and stayed away from the washing machine right?  No, I am a moron so I started front and center.  It was pretty violent throughout the entire 550 yards.  I was kicked, slapped and elbowed and I also kicked, slapped and elbowed!  I love the triathlon swim.  I never found open water and never really found a groove either but still was smiling like a fool running out of the water despite a fat lip!  Something is wrong with me!  

2009 Swim Time:  13:59
2010 Swim Time:  10:16

It was fun to get to the bike racks and see most of the bikes were still there! The run to the transition area is maybe 250 yards so a 2:00min time would be a solid transition, IMO.   I had planned to bike and run without socks but on Friday night I got bite by something in the right ankle.  I have no idea what it was but the skin was busted and bleeding and pretty swollen.  My guess it that a pretty big spider hit me while we were on the deck.  Because of the tenderness I decided to toss on some socks and this took me a little longer than I would have liked. I just couldn't get them on over my wet feet.  I should have just sucked it up and went without socks.

2009 T1 Time:  3:05
2010 T1 Time:  2:48

I remembered last year that the road conditions were extremely poor and for some reason in my mind it was going to be better this year?  My mind was completely wrong and I was once again guilty of talking myself into nonsense!  The road conditions were pretty awful.  The first 3 miles were decent and the last 1.5 miles were good - The other 10 miles were like riding on cobblestone. The course had a lot more hills than I remembered too.  I am okay at climbing but need to get better at going downhill, especially on chip sealed roads.  I find myself not being very aggressive in the aero position because of my lack of control on the crappy surface and thus I am not gaining the type of speed that I should on the downhills.  On decent roads I have no problems but on crappy roads I am a big wimp.  Also one of the plastic screws popped out of my disc cover during the ride.  The other screws stayed secure but when it first happened I had no idea what the noise was?  I kept looking back and finally saw the little opening in the disc. It did not hurt my time at all but I've decided to stop using the disc cover - it is just one more moving piece that can break and cause you problems on race day.  I was really looking forward to a better bike split but this was still in the top 25% of the field - that is the good thing about poor conditions - everyone has to ride them!  I probably should have let a little air out of my tubes too.

2009 Bike Time:  55:32
2010 Bike Time:  45:52

My rack was at the furthest spot from the bike entrance and run exit.  Last year I was in a different AG so it was right by the bike start/finish area.  I easily found my rack and tossed the bike up.  Grabbed the Garmin off the bike and clipped it to my wrist and switched shoes.  Started to run with my helmet on and realized it after a few steps and tossed it off and grabbed my visor.

2009 T2 Time: 1:57
2010 T2 Time:  1:22

Rather uneventful.  Last year they had us finish right in front of the Texas Ski Ranch. This year they had us finish by coming back into the Texas Ski Ranch and doing a loop around the lake.  My Garmin had the course showing 3.15 miles instead of the posted distance of 3 miles. This makes sense because the the turn around was in the exact same spot as last year but the loop easily added a few hundred extra meters.  My legs were feeling very good on the run but my body was feeling the heat at this point.  I counted a total of one tree giving us shade on the run and the sky did not have a single cloud hanging around.  An absolutely beautiful day if you were going on a picnic or heading to the beach!  I still passed a ton of people and ran down two guys in my age group in the final hundred yards.  

2009 Run Time: 25:56
2010 Run Time: 24:20

Overall this was a very fun race.  Extremely well organized with a good post race party.  My time was decent and I probably could have done better if I wasn't sweating beer but I had such a good time this weekend that I wouldn't change a thing. The results are a little tough to read on the website but the organizers usually clean up the data by the middle of the week.  They said at the start that around 1000 triathletes were participating.   I was extremely happy with the swim (202/overall rank). Slightly disappointed in the bike but happy with my overall ranking on the bike (254/overall rank).  I was okay with my run ranking (119/overall rank).  One of the things that I could really tell was that the vast majority of my training has been base focused.  On the bike it took me to about Mile 9 until I started to find a rhythm and I never found a rhythm on such a short run.  I am actually looking forward to the Build portion of my training which will be starting in two weeks and get to add in some additional speed work.

You are probably wondering where all the pics are that usually accompany my race report?  Well, my lovely wife Annie lost our camera somewhere at the race.  She looked everywhere and even went dumpster diving in a trash can looking for the camera.  She was really bummed because we had a ton of pics from the weekend.  Hopefully someone found the camera and will turn it in but so far it isn't looking good.  Luckily for her I lost a camera in Spain last summer so I cannot even say a word about it.  These damn triathlons sure are expensive (-:

2009 Overall Time:  1:40:32
2010 Overall Time:  1:24:41

Total Time Reduction:  15 minutes 51 seconds

Thanks for Reading,