Friday, January 30, 2009

My core is sore

Great core routine Here thanks to Chistine ( HolisticGuru ) for showing me this page.

As the article states, a strong core is essential to help your body transfer power from the upper to lower body efficiently. The fact is as athletes the traditional way to workout, focusing upper body(arms, back, shoulders) lower body, abs etc is not really efficient. When you are racing or training you are engaging muscles that are not being trained by the traditional means. When you are cycling and hit a hill that requires you get out of the seat. You are not only using your legs to push harder, you are also using your upper body to pull yourself up and hold you there, to help rock the bike side to side as you push up the hill, and you core is engaged through out. Helping with the transfer of power. A good strong core will help you maintain this position longer and help you keep good form while doing it. A weak one will force you to sit back down and slow down.

Anyhow, and lets face it the awesome abs do look good, when you can see them :)

Here is are soem other links to good core exercise

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Things happen

Sometimes it takes a dog to get you going

Lately work stress has made it hard to get workouts in. Even when I have the time for something like a run, which I do day or night cold or warm. The other day I was home a little late from work, and I had a run to do. No matter how much prep I did something seemed to get in the way of getting out the door. Finally it was 8:30 PM and although all was clear to go, I just lost interest. ITS COLD! I just REALLY wanted to stay sitting on the warm cozy sofa and nap out. Then, just then,

Simba puts her head on my lap.

I shoo her off.

She starts tapping me with her paw.

"Get away"

She then resorts to the Nuclear weapon in her arsenal...The squeeky ball. She must know I hate thatthing

I take it and throw it

She brings it back "SQUUEEEEK SQUUEEEEEK ....... SQUEEEEEEEK!!"

"OK!!!! DAMNIT!!! Get your freaken leash!!!

So I go run with Simba, an hour later I feel great having gotten my workout in, Felt awesome on the run once I warmed up, and Simba is satisfied having yet again manipulated the situation in her favor.

Freaken Border collie mixes, too damned smart

However I did get the workout in, that dog is a great coach.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Training week of 1/26/09

Monday: off

Morning- run 60 minutes.
Evening- swim: endurance.


Morning- indoor trainer workout strength progression keep hr low 120-145
Evening- run easy hr 140 range 60 minutes


Morning- cycling workout 60 minutes pyramid/
Evening run 60 minutes. hr 120-150 capped at 165 for uphills.

Friday: swim 60 minutes. Use early season workouts from data base endurance.

Saturday: BRICK ride 3 hours (can move indoors with weather sucks) hr 120-145 easy easy easy , small ring. run 30-45 minutes

Sunday: run 2.5 hours

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Digging the Garmin

I have to admit, I really like the thing. Mind you its not really necessary, but it is a quality product. ie it seems to work.

It maybe has too much information, and I'm not talking about it reporting on me farting or anything like that, (altho I would like to see if there is an HR spike when that happens ;)

What I mean is the interface on the device is not the most intuitive. Spending time with Phil He showed me shortcuts that I did not see in the instructions. like a quick way to go from outdoor where it looks for a GPS signal, to indoors where it doesn't.

None the less, it is pretty neat to be able to replay the run on a map in and also it appears you can race others on the site by uploading the information and replaying. using their "dot race" feature.

SO although I still believe it is not a necessary tool, it looks to be a real added value. so for all of you folks that saw me roll my eyes up at you whenever yo went to check your watch and yell out the elevation gains per segment of the run. Sorry.

In truth it was just GPS envy. I always wanted one too.

Now you power meter guys with all of your make me sick! ;)

Saturday, January 24, 2009


As mentioned before my cats have developed a not so charming "catch-and-release in the bedroom" program of rodent control. This forced us to take direct action. First we called Orkin, out exterminator that we have a contract with. The guy came around and laid a dozen glue traps all over the place. When I got home I went around and removed them.

Glue traps are just plain EVIL in my mind. I would rather use the old fashioned snap trap that kills instantly rather than have this little thing stuck on glue until it dies of hunger or rips its guts out trying to pull itself free.

So instead we got these live catch traps that lures the mouse in and with food and once their weight is on the lever the door shuts. I got 2 from PETA seen below in a successful Capture. And one from Home depot that is actually more successful since the spring is more sensitive.

It took a little experimentation on seeing what works. First I followed Marmalade since he knows all the good "fishing holes". And placed the traps there. Then to find good bait. Much to my surprise cheese is not that great of a bait ( All of that Tom and Jerry education was a WASTE!). It seems they prefer grains. I would leave cheese there and it would just go hard over a few days. Put a piece of bread on the ground though, and its scooped up pretty fast.

Since using these we have not seen a single mouse alive unless its in the trap. We really didn't have a major problem, in fact we did not know of a problem at all until Marmalade brought it to our attention. I release them down by the reservoire, they probably die from exposure but at least they have a fighting chance. This little dude immediatly ran out and started to munch on some old pumpkin that someone tossed out.

Anyhow here is the latest Catch:

In case you are wondering I put the trap ontop of "Going Long" by Joe Friel in case he wanted some reading material while he waited to be released. I mean there is no need to be cruel right? :)

Friday, January 23, 2009

Triathlon Recession proof?

Recently I saw this same article in Triathlon life ( the USAT magazine). Its about how triathlon as an industry seems to continue to grow despite the bad economy. In one paragraph they said the following:

"It helps that the Ironman competitors have an average income of $161,000, according to WTC research, and that triathletes in general have higher incomes on average than the general population. They're not immune to shifts in the economy, of course, just perhaps better equipped to deal with financial adversity."

I think they are missing the whole point in this article. It doesn't really matter how much money you are making, when the economy is bad, everyone freaks. And those same people spending on triathlon may very well be cutting back on other areas of their lives.

I think the real reason Triathlon is not suffering yet is that triathlon has a tendency to become a way of life. Meaning its the gateway to better health and fitness for most of us. Think about it. You play golf every week. It serves as a mental escape, and probably a social environment. So when hard times hit, guess what? you can achieve all that by other means that do not require spending hundreds of dollars in green fees. Plus you can still go golfing but less frequently.

Triathlon on the other hand requires that you incorporate working out and eating better to your daily life. It offers more than just a mental break, or as a means to get together socially ( which it does do) it also requires that you find the time to workout at the very least once a day for probably 6 days a week. If you did more than one triathlon then you have probably already incorporated this into your lifestyle. PLUS at the end of the training you get this adventure called a race. Once you incorporate any activity into your daily life it becomes difficult to get rid of.

Dont get me wrong me I think the triathletes are in fact cutting back. Use me as an example, I cut back on activities that do not directly relate to triathlon such as I am signing up for less running races as part of training. I choose to NOT get the latest and greatest gadgets if it requires I spend money on them, and continue with what I have. ( note the Garmin I paid with frequent flyer points) BUT I will still sign up for my triathlons.

So in general I think they missed the true reason Triathlon seems to be resisting the economic downturn Its not about money, its because we are freaks. ;)

How I got my Garmin Forerunner for 17 dollars

OK so I have been salivating of late since the Garmins have been down to a alltime low of $159 (from 200's) Its funny but seeing that made me start thinking that I NEED ONE.

The truth is I was really wanting one since last years self supported marathon where I discovered that my footpod although calibrated was still off by about 10 percent. In it over estimated the distance coverred by 10 percentwhich over a mile distance is no biggy, but it adds up over a marathon. AT the haflfway point of the run, my Polr was sayin I had run close to 15 miles when I knew it was 13 becaue I had mapped the course out on mapmyrun, and also Phils Garmin said 13.

So you may be wondering whats the big deal? It m,eans my 18 mile runs were actually closer to 16 miles. It means I undertrained, when I thought I was doing the correct distance. I have since corrected it by calibrating it so that the distances are short by about 2-3 percent, so it works out. But since then I had Garmin envy.

So this new low price is being flaunted in my face, but right in the middle of a budget crunch.

What to do, what to do.

Well I happen to have alot of frequent flyer points laying around in allot of different programs. In each just enough to look good but not enough to actually get a free flight from them.

So I remembered I website I had signed up with a few months back. It was suppossed to be a place to swap out points from one FF plan to another. But when I checked it out before there really was not much.

However they have evolved a bit. Now they have a rrangements with these plans to exchange points for services and gift cards. And guess who is one of teh vendors they are working with....AMAZON!

I was able to convert my points from 6 different programs into $250 of amazon gift certificates!

Amazon set them to me by email, and I ended up getting the Garmin, the Garmin bike mount, cadence sensor as well as a couple of books and gifts for my Honey( must make sure not to look tooo selfish ;). Fortunatly she has a wishlist on Amazon ;)

I ended up having to pay 17 dollars for shipping charges for stuff that came from independant shops selling through Amazon.


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Week of 1/19

Monday: off

Tuesday: swim: endurance. / run 60 minutes.

Wednesday: Trainer workout from data base, workout should be 45-60 minutes-do strength progression series keep hr low 120-145 / run easy hr 140 range 60 minutes

Thursday: run 90 minutes. hr 120-150 capped at 165 for uphills./Trainer 60 minutes Pyramid workout.

Friday: swim 60 minutes. Endurance workout.

Saturday: BRICK ride 3 hours (can move indoors with weather sucks) hr 120-145 easy easy easy , small ring. run 30-45 minutes

Sunday: run 2 hours

Total Training Hours for week 12.5

Saturday, January 17, 2009

8 Below zero

It was friggin cold this morning. But 8 Below zero was just not enough to stop me from Running. Luckily my pal Phil is just as crazy. So at 7AM We headed out accompanied by super-dog Simba for a 1 hour run on the trail near Phils house.

It was a great run on packed snow, which is like running in sand. we held a pretty good pace the first half which helped warm us up. But it was so cold outside that our sweat and condensation was freezing up. Phil was wearing a black cap that was literally iced over by the time we finished the run. Our eyebrows were frosted like you see in the movies when someone gets stranded in some barren Ice wasteland. Simba had an ice beard growing ( See Below). Overall a great run, but I dont really recommend doing this for any longer than we were out. I seriously think we would have ended up with frostbite.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Because being an Ironman is just not enough

November 20, 2008 -- Germany’s Andreas Büscher, 47, is the 2008 winner of the men’s division of the Quintuple Iron Challenge in Monterrey, Mexico. Büscher completed the 12-mile swim, 560-mile bike and 131-mile event in an unofficial time of 103 hours, 40 minutes and 1 second.

What the? I wonder what the annual training plan hours are for this thing? If you took my 700 x 5 thats 3500 hours.

Hmmm...I think I'll pass

Here is the article

Monday, January 12, 2009

Training week of 1/12

Monday: off

Tuesday: swim 30-60 minutes

Wednesday: indoor workout from data base, workout should be 45-60 minutes (anything BUT strength ) keep hr low 120-145

Thursday: run 45-60 minutes.

Friday: swim 30-60 minutes. Use early season workouts from data base

Saturday: ride 2 hours (can move indoors with weather sucks) hr 120-145 easy easy easy , small ring.

Sunday: run 60 minutes

Friday, January 9, 2009

Talking Trash

Lets face it folks its important to admit that triathlon or any athletic endeavor is a Competition. We are competitors! On of the best ways to compete with someone is to fight the mental game. Thats where TALKING TRASH ( also known as SMACK Talk) comes into play.

Don't know how to do it?

Here is an example of "Smack Talk through 3rd Party Imitation" brought to you by Ryan Tapp:

If are really in need of help with this, you can get the whole instructional set for FREE here

Now get out there and talk some TRASH!

Online training instructional videos

Here are some online resources for training instruction that I think are pretty useful:

**** Swimming:

Fingertip drag drill

Catchup Drill

Alternating Side drill

Pool turns including flipturn

***** Cycling:

Single leg drill

Pose cycling Drill

**** Running

Running Drills

Run Mechanics

Smack talk: ( a critical skill for any athlete)

How to talk trash


I decided to take a day off today. I am almost exhilarated about it. I think that says allot about how I feel about work in general. My job is actually pretty decent at the moment, last year there were some pretty stressful times but I think that just is part of the normal annual cycle. Early in the year there is that perceived "no worries we have a year to finish stuff" feel, making for a nice easy environment. The as we approach the end of the year it starts to become a festival of torture and death threats if a project goes over budget, possibilities of not making our annual targets etc. ( NOTE: There aren't really death threats...well most of the time there aren't. the torture that's for real)

So after the end of last year I was very pleased to find that I had somehow managed to find that there was a whole week of vacation that I somehow managed not to take. So being that I am allowed to carry over 5 of those days, I did. The beauty is that I am required to use these in the first quarter of the year or lose them. So I made a decision to plan these suckers out Waaay ahead of time to make sure they happen. This is really the best time to take a day off because I am home actually enjoying it instead of sitting around worrying that a project is falling behind because I am not actively working on it.

So today I will in a very leisurly fashion mosey on over to the pool. Get in, maybe say hello to someone for a change, and do my one hour workout. And you know what? I will enjoy it.

I may even have a beer today...During LUNCH!!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Humanitarian Cats

Looking at the photo below it looks like marmalade, one of my two cats would would have a score to settle....

It seems in the winter the field mice come in to the house cause its cold. Well Marmalade lately he has taken to catching little field mice in the basement, and bringing them up to our bedroom and letting them go. There does not seem to be many we in fact have not seen a single one except for the ones Marmalade shows us.

Anyways his little habit got wife just a little freaked out!!.

She is terrified of mice, rats whatever rodent you can think of. However she is a PETA member and does not believe in Glue traps.

Figures Marmalade would be one of HER cats, he has his own little "catch and release" program going on.

Training week of 1/5

Monday: off

Tuesday: swim: endurance. / run 60 minutes.

Wednesday: indoor workout from data base, workout should be 45-60 minutes-do next in strength progression series keep hr low 120-145 / swim 45-60 minutes: speed workout

Thursday: run 80 minutes. hr 120-150 capped at 165 for uphills.

Friday: swim 60 minutes. endurance.

Saturday: ride 3 hours (can move indoors with weather sucks) hr 120-145 easy easy easy , small ring. run 30-45 minutes

Sunday: run 15 miles

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Jack of all trades

Sometimes I surprise even my self at what I may take up and learn to do. during the last two weeks my mom was visiting and she happens to have been professionally trained as a seamstress. She only did it for a living briefly many years ago, but she keeps up her skills.

Anyhow, while she was here we planned to put her to work to earn her Holiday meal ;) Well that was the plan, but somehow it backfired. She needed a sewing machine so we went out and bought a cheap Singer at Target. Somehow despite my original devious intentions and after much negotiating and haggling, with a smattering of guilt, I ended up learning how to sew and ended up making the following pillow cover, along with freaken curtains!

Look at the trimmings on the back!

I have to say, with this addition to my arsenal of skills, I am quit handy to have around. Need a diamond ring set? I'll whip out my jewelers bench kit that I have tucked in the basement somewhere. I was the "metal smith" that put together allot of my wife's earlier jewelry designs.

Have a leak in the basement? Don't look anywhere else! I'll break out my plumbing box that has the pipe cutters, and solder supply and I'll switch out the pipe in a jiffy! Need a Blanket? WHy I'll spit out a blanket that I create by taking your old jeans and sewing them together to keep ya warm!

I am pretty handy to have around! yes sir!

In fact I think if I were a woman I would be pretty turned on by myself right now!

OK now that I am over myself, here is a gratuitous "Cute" picture of the Cookie monster from this morning ( I can even take pictures!)

Friday, January 2, 2009

Its Official!

According to the BMI Calculator found HERE I was rated as a "Fat bastard":

OK maybe not Officially a "Fat Bastard", but thats pretty close wouldn't you agree?!

Of course the standard BMI calculator is flawed for athletes because it does not take into account Amazing muscle tissue and such. Also, Lets not forget I have a Metal Plate on my shoulder that is STAINLESS STEELE!!! that must add weight also. Rat bastard surgeons! I asked for the ultra low-weight Carbon Fiber plate but Noooo....

Anyhow, although I am sure the BMI calculator is WRONG, because really my Ideal weight could be as low as 116lbs? Please thats the weight of my steel plate alone!

But none the less the 170.5 lbs is real and my own best performance has come when I was under 160. So I have 10 lbs to lose before IMLP. Guess no more cupcakes for dinner ;)

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Years!

Well its 2009 and we still do not have flying cars as expected 40 years ago! Bummer.

But anyhow despite that I am still hoping for a good year, for me my goals are pretty simple ( NOTE: I said Goals NOT "resolutions", I am a triathlete after all and there are no "resolutions" in a training plan :))

My goals are:

1) BE an Ironman, Last year I was supposed to have accomplished this in IM Wisconsin, but my unfortunate Cycling accident in July of last year killed those plans, SO no wits IM Lake Placid in July. I have a Plan and I am sticking to it!

2) Start a very small coaching practice. I started coaching last year for beginners on behalf of Race with purpose, I liked it. This year I will continue with that but maybe take on a few private clients. No more than 3 or 4 and my focus is on folks starting out and doing races no higher than Half IM's. This is not to replace my current job but to really enhance my coaching skills and also help subsidize my triathlon related expenses.

3) By IMLP I want to be back below 160 lbs. I feel my best performance will come when I am down to around 155lbs.

4) Continue to truly enjoy the great adventure that being a triathlete has brought to me. This is really why I do this, there are other ways to stay fit and healthy, but few that bring you the completely awesome friendships that are built on shared adventures and common goals of doing crazy things like taking a long swim in freezing cold water, or running 20+ miles for the hell of it.