Thursday, February 28, 2008

Back from Holland

I feel like a complete slug! The past three days I did no training whatsoever. It was a Global conference I went too and was in fact one of the organizers so I had to "entertain" almost the whole time. If I was not presenting or attending a mini seminar during the day, in the evening it was dinner and gatherings with people from head office. Little time for working out. Its a recovery week so I was not stressed but I do hate it.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Training in Utrecht

U- what? you say? U-Trek-T. It is a small city in the center of the Netherlands. I am here for a 3 day conference and arrived early this morning. I had a 18 mile run on my schedule but that was not feasable to do here. Its a lovely town but amazingly crowded. Also its an old town so there are very few straight roads. Not knowing my way around I decided to follow a canal that was near the hotel. It was beautiful. But extremely crowded wit of all things bikes. these people bike everywhere. thousands and thousands of bikes. Its awsome.

But none the less difficult to run in. So I switched next weeks one hour run for todays 18 miler. It was nice.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Calorie calculator

Here is a fun tool I found on the website

You can use many of the calculators to figure out calories for different foods or for various activities. For example I used the activities calculator to find how many calories I burned shoveling the mounds of snow that fell on my driveway today. I shoveled twice today since it snowed about 9 inches. total of about 2 hours. The calculator said I burned 882 calories. It lists 1000+ activities just click on the one you are doing and it takes you to the calculator.

Office work for 8 hours: 1058 calories
Watching a sports event for 2 hours: 220
For example moderate sexual activity for 30 minutes: 48 calories
Vigorous sexual activity : 55 calories ( clearly if you are going to do it, then do it right! ;)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Time to take it off

It is an unfortunate thing but the way I operate I need to be totally focussed on something in order to be able to be dedicated to it. This does not mean that it has to be the only thing in my life, but it does mean I need to intertwine it with my day to day existance. So for the case of workouts and losing weight, there is only one way I have been able to really feel like I get into it and that is by tracking it. However I need the right tools for feedback, that is Training peaks.

I just happen to like the way I can enter what I have eaten, it has the nutritional information at hand (that either I have put in myself earlier or is in a database). after entering the workouts and the days meals, is it gives me a complete breakdown of my daily nutrition intake and any calorie surpluss or deficit. Which then allows me to adjust the next day if need be. It takes the burning of 3500 calories to burn 1 lb of fat. As such this comes out to 500 calories a day in order to lose 1 lb a week. Or 1000 cal a day to lose 2 lbs.

My objective for this week is to lose at least 1-2 lbs a week until March 24. Some target dates are:

By March 30 - 160
April 30 - 156
May 30 - 152

This would be a total weight loss of 12 lbs and a new weight low for me in recent history. If I look good enough I may even consider shaving my legs! Fortunatly I will never look that good ;)

Logging and training changes

They say logging is important in order to be able to analyze how well your training is going by being able to see where you have been, and to see what workouts have worked best. This is true I feel. So far I have been using my journal here to log and track my training progress. This was fine during my base phase where I am basically logging alot of miles and meters at pretty much the same effort level. But now as I head into different phases and my training becomes more complex, I feel that blogging is sufficient. I want to be able to analyse my training to be able to judge wether I am acheiving my goals or not. As such I am going to fall back to which is a tool I have used for several years now. It is not perfect but it offers some features that I really like. like teh ability to upload my polar HR information, and second a nutrition tracker that actually provides the ability to compare calories burned vs calories taken in. This is important for my goal of getting down below 150 lbs by June.

Using such a tool is a bit labor intensive, but oddly enough thats what forces me to focus and keep "in" my training. Right now in Base phase to be honest I have not really been 100% behind it. Frankly sometimes its been boring, due to the loooong slooowwww miles. But now my training is starting to Heat up so to speak and Its time for me to get involved.

The link to my training log if anyone is interested in checking it is:

I am still in the midst of setting it up so it may be sketchy looking at the moment.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Ironman Training Center

The other day I was noodling away on my 2 hour commute from work. I decided it was a good time to finish my plans for the training center that I dream of building in my basement. So this is what I came up with:

So as you enter you will see the "recovery Zone" where there will be a cooler with all pertinent recovery drinks and such. This area of course also has a comfy couch to help the sore muscles ease up and a Large screen TV ( for spinerval DVD's of course).

Behind this is the space for the trainers. Of course I only have one but there is space for two others in case some friends want to train with me ( because this room is sooo rad!)

Behind the bikes is my favorite area, first there is a indoor endless pool, complete with Tornado speed settings for a good workout. I figure initially I will end up pasted to the back of the pool but as I get stronger I would be able to force myself to move forward. Who needs Paddle and flippers when you can condition yourself to swim through a hurricane!

This is all rounded off with a treadmill. To be used mostly by my dog Simba who is a duathlete after all. I realize now that this setup is missing a stretching/core work area but I think teh recovery zone could be converted into one with a press of a buton ( ie. by moving the comy sofa) whichever is easiest :)

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Long run

On the plan a 17 mile run.

Time 2:36:49
Distance 14.85 mi
Ave HR 146
Max HR 179

Had to cut the run short due to Stomach cramps. Didn't want to have an "accident".

Thursday, February 14, 2008

double workout day

Workout #1 on the plan- swim 45-60 minute speed workout


40 minute speed workout
Had to keep it short because I did this during my lunchtime in White plains.

200 WU ( 2x (50 sw,50 Breast stroke))
100 x 10
200 c/d

Total 1400 Meters

Note using the bigger "Paddle" seemed to make a slight difference. My spits for the first 100 and last 100 were about 1:38 which is a few seconds faster than a few weeks ago.

Workout #2

Run 70 minutes - HR range 120-150, 165 for hills

Ran 72:22 mins
Distance 6.87 mi
Ave HR 145
Max HR 174
Max Pace 7:05 min/mi
Ave 10:15
Calories burned 716

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Run workout

Workout on the plan 60 minute run 120-150 HR

Time 1:05:48
Distance 6.48 Mi
Ave HR 136
Max HR 153

Due to snow on the ground this workout was done on a treadmill at the gym.

In the News

Wowsa, I was in the Journal news today! They were doing a piece on Race with Purpose. The reporter did a phone interview with me yesterday. The link is

Here is the actual content:

Athletes find purpose to their training

Jane McManus
The Journal News

Javier Gomez and Annette Wills didn't know each other, but a few years ago they had something in common. Both runners were anticipating their 40th birthdays and all the symbolism that comes with it. And both had the same impulse.

"I wanted to embrace 40," said Wills, who lives in Greenburgh.

And they both got up and moving, training for marathons and triathlons that set them on a path to fitness. Gomez lost 15 pounds, and Wills was the the subject of her 10-year-old son Tyler's class essay.

"He wrote about how strong I was," she said.

Independently, both came into contact with endurance coach Adam Krajchir, whose group, Race With Purpose, had been aligned with the New York Road Runners and Team For Kids. And last year when Race With Purpose branched off, Wills and the Somers-based Gomez came with him to train.

"What I liked about Race With Purpose is the target of healthy living," Gomez said. "Having seen the positive effects with me, I wanted to share that."

Race With Purpose, based in Scarsdale, where Krajchir spends his time on the East Coast, is one of the many training programs affiliated with a charity. What this organization does a little differently is it has a board made up of members who invest the money in programs.

Those programs are framed around the goal of preventing chronic illnesses, such as diabetes. One of the projects where those funds made a difference was the creation of a race for kids set at the Bronx Zoo.

Although Krajchir is based here, the members of Race With Purpose are all over the country. A big part of the training is through the group's Web site. There members can find training instruction, a blog from Krajchir and the community forum.

For the coach, an endurance athlete who has been getting others ready for marathons and triathlons for over 10 years, this group is the product of careful planning. In an age where many people use a milestone like 40 as a motivator, he believes the charity aspect is a key to getting everyday people to push themselves.

"To achieve your best you have to be able to sacrifice for something else," Krajchir said. "You have to get uncomfortable."

He also didn't want people who were just looking for guaranteed entry into a marathon like New York City. You don't even need to sign up for a big-ticket event to take part. But the training is high level either way, starting with a personality test to see the best way each member learns.

"We treat our participants as athletes," Krajchir said. "We let you define success however you want to define it."

In the last year, about 100 people have come to Race With Purpose. Gomez and Wills will both be training for a triathlon this year. Gomez is working on getting stronger on the bike, while Wills is, literally, learning to swim.

Wills said the things she learned in the process of preparing for the challenges of marathons and triathlons have transferred to her job as a mother. When she talks to her kids about sticking to things despite challenges, and being part of a community, they know these are principles she lives by.

"I am my children's role model," Wills said. "I don't leave that to other people."

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Swim snowed out!

Well its only about 2-3 inches but its enough to keep the NYSC frombeing able to get a lifeguard in. So the swim I had planned today has been postponed. So instead I hopped on the trainer and did a 45 minute strength progression workout.

Total time 49:04 minutes
Ave HR 149
Max HR 176
518 calories burned

3050 meters

OK so I had an endurance swim workout on the plan. I had picked endurance workout #2 from the "swim workout for triathletes" book. It was for a total of 3000 meters.

I started it out and when done it took me 70 minutes. But it had occurred to me that in the past few months I came Oh soooo close to the 3000 meter mark but did not have the time to continue either because it was late and the pool was closing or because my plans specified 60 minutes and I would blow that by alot. This time I had no such limitation. So I threw in an extra 50 meters just so I can say I broke through that wall :)

More important than that I think I had an even bigger break-through in my swim. I often use the warmup as the part of the workout where I focus on form. Well yesterday I was toying around with the "Catch" part of my swim stroke. I made my hand bend down a bit more than I normally do, to see if it helped. Much to my surprise it did. I mean it was noticable. I was catching up to people swimming in other lanes almost efortlessly. There was this one woman who later on in my workout came in to swim. In the past she seemed to be far faster than me ( as recently as last week). Suddenly using my new found "Catch" I was keeping pace with her quite easily.

I think what happenes is that when I put my hand to face at that steep of an angle during the entry, it forces my elbow to bend, thus creating a bigger "paddle". I was quite excited about this. For years I have felt that my swim could improve always thjought I simply had to become a stronger swimmer. But now I see what has always been said, form makes as much if not more of a difference than strength.

You can see this written in tons of books, so its no secret, but having seen it actually happen Its a revelation to me. I have another swim session tonight. I can't wait to see if it truly makes a difference tonight as well.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Plate is Full

Funny how things work. A month ago there was little going on in my Tri world. Lots of talk from allot of people but little action. I couldn't find a group to ride with unless they were my tried and true training pals, Adam or Phil. So In my desire to expand this and due to a need lately to participate more in the growth of the sport itself I decided to create my own motion by starting a triathlon meetup in Northern Westchester. I figured this would at least stir the pot and bring out more people out of the training alone mode. To a degree it was a success in that within a week I had 15 people join up and express interest in doing something like this. And despite it being February, Actually had a few people come out and ride. So it looks that if I could spend some time this could grow.

But now other opportunities have popped up. My new involvement with Race With Purpose will take up allot of my time. Through them I will teaching newbie's the sport and also working on helping RwP grow in the Triathlon community. Not to mention doing all of this while giving back to the community. Which to be honest that just rocks.

Time being limited for me being that I have a job based in Jersey and my commute simply Sucks, I am training for an Ironman race with the training just now starting to ramp up. All of this while trying to somehow have quality time with my wife at home. Its just too much. So in truth I need to really think about what parts of my Tri life can be consolidated or removed. Must Simplify!

Article is Published!

The article I wrote for beginner Triathlete has just been posted!

Feels weird seeing my name up there.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Boston Buildup 20K

Well did teh Boston Buildup 20 K this morning. I met up there with the Race with Purpose crew and we headed out when the race started. Not really expecting much from this race, I just wanted to get out on a race course. Funny enough this one simply does not seem like one. Its not the most organized race I've been to. Meaning they just moved the starting line from one side of the tracks to the other on a whim.

Anyhow I started off with the crew just chatting along for the first few miles. Then when we hit the 10K mark I figured to turn it on a bit to see what kind of speed I could muster up at the end.

I did OK More stats will come later. I know the pace we had in the beginning was about 8:50

When I finished my ave pace was 8, so my pace in the second half was probably in the 7's

ACtual time for the run 1:43:05 which is roughly 8:17/Mile

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Morning ride

Went for a morning ride today with Phil and Evan. It was suppossed to be a 4-5 hour ride but we had to cut it short due to the fact that snow started to fall in enough quantity that it was starting to collect on the ground. That and the fact that we could not see with our riding lenses fogging up and collecting snow. So we ended up doing only a little more than 30 miles on that ride. Between that and my ride to the start point and back I did 40 miles.

Time: 2:20
Distance: 40 Miles
Ave speed 15.4 mph

I forgot my HR gear so don't have that info.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Early Morning Swim

Well I had a short swim to do today so I decided to do am early morning swim at the club. I have never done it because of time constraints, but since I am working from home today I had some time. So I gotthere about 6:30AM and three of the lanes were taken, but one was available just for me.

Since I am in a recovery week I only had 30-45 minute swim to do.

I did 40 minutes

6x75 WU
300 cool down
Total 1250 meters

Last night I also did a short swim, to try and catch up with my missed workout. I did not have much time because I got home late and was goingto have to pick Up Retno at the Train station.

So I did

300 WU
4x200 ( 150 Sw, 50 Paddles)
300 CD

Total 1400

Forgot to start the time so don't know exactly how long I went it was about 40-45 min

Thursday, February 7, 2008

OPen Water training

Race with Purpose

OK so I am pretty stoked about my future involvement with Race with Purpose. Here is a little blurb from their website:

Race with Purpose seeks to train everyday people to achieve extraordinary athletic accomplishments while they raise crucial funds for youth-wellness charities. This organization is committed to putting our passion for running and triathlon to work, to inspire others to do the same. Through our actions, we create opportunities for both children and adults to live healthy, active, and productive lives.

I have over the past couple of years had informal involvement with them thanks to training with Adam who is the founder of the organization. However last year I was doing fundraising with TNT ( through my company) and so I was not in the position to do more fundraising. However I did participate in the Tupper lake race with them.

They are a great bunch of people who's mission is to build this wonderful organization that IS helping in the fight against obesity and other youth wellness issues. Well this year my involvement is going the next level. First I am training for the IM Wisconsin and raising funds for RwP. And Am naturally going to be doing Tupper again with them. Which will be fun doing the "Musical beds" game where we find out who will have beds in teh house or not. Last year I lucked out and had a sophisticated bed with room all to myself!

But more important is that I have been helping Adam put together a beginners triathlon program to be run out of the gym he teaches spin and core at. I will also be helping to coach them during the 12 week program. I am stoked about that. Of course time availability will always be an issue with me. And Travel too. But I will find a way.

Its nice to be a part of something bigger than you are.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Simba developing an Attitude

My dog Simba is starting to be confident while running. No longer shying away from other dogs as much and generally looks like she really enjoys the running. They say when entering a race it helps to get angry and develop an attitude. Well below is the colar she just got as part of her new "Race Kit" that she will wear during the IAMS Doggie Duathlon Championships. I'd say she is starting to get an attitude :)

Workout Today

Todays scheduled workout was 16 Miles base run

Actual 16.2 miles
time 2:38:30
Max HR 155
Ave HR 141
Max Pace 7:37
Ave pace 9:47
Calories Burned 1543
My Polar Running Index is 60 ("very good" per Polar)

I ran with Simba who continues to amaze me with her endurance. I was worried that going 16 might be too much. I have taken her on long runs before but not 16. Man was I wrong, she led me the whole way from beginning to end. A true running dog. The run was on teh North County trailway which is pretty flat, saw Phil and Kate out there also (WAY TO GO KATE!). I have to ask them about the success of the heated sox that we all invested in to keep our feet warm on the rides. Teh beauty of running local liek this is I was home 3 hours after I left.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Workout today-swim 60 minutes endurance workout

Took a late lunch at 2PM and went to the pool since I am in White Plains today, and have access to the NYSC here. Thinking it would be empty by then. NOT I managed to struggle through and get almost the complete workout I wanted before they kicked me into a crowded lane so they could have 2 lanes set aside for a swimming lesson for one person.

W/U 6x75
1x100 mod
1x100 mod
250 cd

Total meters 2800


Last night a realization simply struck me that just added meaning to my life! I was at a Race with Purpose meeting for new triathletes. I was there because I am a volunteering to help these folks out by I guess coaching them in what NOT to do.

Anyhow, Adam was showing a slide about how to purchase a bike and the discussion turned to cheap bikes and such. Then the term came up "Don't be that guy who buys a bike for $200 and invests $1000 to upgrade it, to end up with a bike worth $500".....I suddenly realized...HEY THATS ME!! They came to the topic of don't do anything new right before a race, because inevitably it will cost you...I DO THAT ALL THE TIME!! They are right you pay a heavy price for doing that! two years ago I decided it would be great to run without socks, I would shave off a good 45 second on T2. Of course I decided to test this out 2 days before the race. I ran for 5 miles without socks and ended up developing blisters. I ran with those suckers during the sprint 2 days later. it HURT!

Anyhow after the meeting, I ran home and picked up one of my Triathlon for beginner books, man oh man! I am all over the place! In the swim..Don't be the person who races off at the beginning only to run out of breath half way through...In the run...Don't buy the generic department store shoes... you will hurt your feet. This is all me! Suddenly I realized I am famous! :)

Now if you happen to swim up in White Pond you may have heard from the local fishermen there about a guy who last fall was having a battle royal with a paper bag in the middle of the lake. That also was me, but they LIE. It was a Target Plastic shopping bag and it meant business. You know one of the gigantic ones they give you when you buy a pencil. I was swimming along nicely minding my own business, I happened to develop a leak in my goggles so I could not se clearly. I swam a bit close to the edge, when suddenly something simply grabbed my left arm and would not let go! I realized this thing meant business when after a shake of my arm it hung on. So I went into evasive action and layed into it. I was into my second Tarzan roll in the water ( you know the one in "Tarzan Vs the Nile crocodile"), when I realized that it was a bag. Now you may be laughing but that was great training for a swim start!

Anyhow, now you know, if you have a potentially knucklehead move you are considerring, shoot me an email, I probably did it already :)