Friday, July 28, 2006

I Posted Again!!!

Well I'm back, and boy did a lot happen the last few weeks. So I'll try to keep the review short.

Musselman Half IM - July 16. Well it took me a bit of time to get over my disappointment. 5:44 is nothing to be ashamed of, but frankly I was expecting and know I can do better. What happened? Poor nutrition led to a bonk on the run that I could not recover from.

S: 39:55
T1: 2:14
B: 2:49.33
T2: 1:42
R: 2:10.55
Total: 5:44:19

I actually wrote a recap, but choose not to post it. One of the reasons I decided to blog is to keep track of my own thoughts. I wrote my first post to serve as a reminder when I hit the highs and lows. I don't really doubt my physical ability, but boy do I need some work on that nutrition thing. And probably tweak my attitude.

Wedding in San Diego - July 22. Thursday night I called my buddy who was getting married that weekend. Cashed in some frequent flyer miles and Friday morning was on a plane to SAN. Travel wasn't that fun, but the weekend in So Cal was worth it. My original flight to EWR was canceled so I had long layover at MSP instead. I think the Ms. Pacman machine is probably the same one that almost caused me to miss flights on many occasions. Was able to get into first class on the way back and must admit there are times when it pays off. Instead of the mile long line at the security checkpoint, I was able to get through in under five minutes. On the way to IAH, an overhead announcement in the plane was made that there were only two working lavatories and for security reasons, the one at the front of the plane was reserved for first class passengers. So, 1 toilet for 180 people and the other for 14. Yikes. By the way I think IAH is probably one of my least favorite airports. Oh sorry for the airport code speak. Old habit from back in the days when I was on too many planes and in too many hotel rooms. EWR=Newark/Liberty, MSP = Minneapolis/St Paul, IAH = George Bush/Houston Intercontinenal, SAN = San Diego, and my home airprot = CLE.

Papers and Projects - Ongoing. The biggest reason for my absence is the fact that I am trying to finish school. I finished five projects and papers the last two weeks and have three more to go by this Friday.

Cardiologist visit - July 14. Well I don't have a definitive yes or no on Ironman. I will be tested for Brugada Syndrome, someday. But since I haven't had anything come up out of the ordinary in months, my doc is warming up to the thought of me competing in an Ironman. And since I've trained so much already, I don't think I could pull the plug on this.

Training - So the training has been pretty screwed up mostly because of the school work. The trip to San Diego forced me to move around some workouts and cut short some others. I actually went over two weeks without swimming. And I haven't been in the weight room since who knows when; my boobs are sagging. In addition, the mental fatigue and sleep deprevation are catching up.

But this weekend saw a few decent training days. Two hour run through the humidity Friday, 2k swim, 45 mile bike, 5 mile run on Saturday, and a century plus ride today. I really wasn't concerned about speed at all and on Saturday and Sunday; I just wanted time and volume and I devoted almost 15 hours to my workouts. (On the flip side I have only slept 12 hours the past three nights.)

I don't really want to say much about my century ride today as it started pretty poorly. Jodi, TriSaraTops, and DaisyDuc may have something to say about it though. But to be out in the heat six hours yesterday and for nine hours today and not crumble has to count for something.

Future Training - Well priority one is nutrition. I hope I took a step forward this weekend as I was out there a long time. I know I need to keep sucking down water, but there were some issues with water supply today. Actually I will mention that I forgot my bottles of Accelerade and that really irritated me most of the first half of the ride. So because of what happened at my half IM, I tentatively have another half IM planned for August 13 assuming the flood waters recede and the bacteria count stays low. The purpose of that race will be to see if I actually learned and can apply anything about my nutritional needs during a race.

New Ride - July 26. So yes the new bike is here and some of you have already caught a glimpse. I have been asked why I choose a road bike instead of a tri bike. So 1.) I have never been too comfortable in an aeroposition. Why tinker with it now. 2.) Most of my miles are road riding, not tri racing and not in time trials. 3.) I was replacing a road bike, not getting a new bike. 4.) I am a decent climber, but a pretty poor time trialist. So I wanted a bike to climb not for time trials, although I think I will get a tri bike soon.

The new bike hasn't been pimped out yet, but it has 180 miles on it already. I promise I will post pictures on Monday.

No Name Yet

Born on July 26, 2006 at 16:37. 52 cm. 14.7 pounds. And ready to climb. Pics to come.

Friday, July 14, 2006


A friend and fellow IM rookie is about to make a big splash at IM Lake Placid. He has put in some incredible training and when he toes the line, he won't be racing just for himself. As an additional challenge in his Ironman race, he is raising money for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Head on over to this corner of blogland and look for the Janus Charity Challenge link on his sidebar. Best of luck to this secret superman. All your hard work and sacrifices are about to pay off as you become an Ironman. Great Job and Good Luck, TriEric!!!

Perfect Power

The recap of WIBA from some folks (Wil, TriSaraTops, Elizabeth, SLS, RBR, and others) has got me all excited. Hard to belive 58 days till my race. It's kind of late and there's a lot on my mind, so this post might be not flow too well.

anyways, I'm in a mini taper for my first ever half IM. I have mixed feelings about this. I am confident, but am still afraid of the results. What if they are worse than expected? What if I do extremely well now and set the bar too high for Wisconsin? Will my knee feel all right? Will my bike hold together?

Regarding my training for Wisconsin? Will I have enough time to squeeze out some high volume training days? Will my knee cooperate enough for me to put in the training? Will I be able to get enough sleep?

And for some more doubts, the cardiologist I had been seeing finally called me back in. I had assumed no news was good news; the last time I saw him was in May. I've come this far already and if it's not what I want to hear, do I have the gaul to race IM anyways?

This week I have been thinking about a passage I heard at church. "A thorn in my flesh was given to me, an angel of Satan to beat me, to keep me from being too proud. Three times I asked the Lord about this, that it might leave me, but he said to me: ' My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.'" (2 Corinithians 12:7-9) I should try to do what the apostle Paul did and be content with the irony of our weakness becoming our strength.

Our lives are filled with ironies as is our training. We spin at a higher cadence to save the legs for later in the race, or we take time off so that we can come back and train harder, or the old "run slow to get faster." Wil came to this conclusion recently: "So, what have I learned? That I’m human. That it’s all right to not be perfect all the time. That perfection is being imperfect."

So now what have I learned: Sometimes we stumble across a paradox. Without accepting the ironic truths, we can not continue to grow. So by having to deal with a physical weakness, I have gained mental and spiritual strength. That is how power is made perfect.

Sunday, July 09, 2006


I believe it has finally been conceived and now in its early stage of development. Let's hope it works out.

I initially thought about this

And then this

And this

I decided on this

But the manufacturer upgraded me to this

So now add these

And some pieces from here

And a pair of these

Maybe with a pair of these

Or for special occasions, I can use what I already have too.

So put those together and imagine. Coming soon to a road near you.

Friday, July 07, 2006


I've been going nuts with my school projects lately and trying to squeeze in my training. My computer is not cooperating either. But I've been tagged by DaisyDuc, so I'll play along.

four jobs I have had in my life:
0. Currently retired
1. Tax records say I was an independent consultant
2. Radiotherapy Support Engineer
3. Dorm coordinator for an English language program for non-US folks
4. Kitchen help at the Italian restaurant at Sea World.

four movies I watch over and over:
1. Star Wars, Epsiode IV, V, and VI
2. Major League
3. The Shawshank Redemption
4. Any James Bond movie

four places I have lived:
Spent the majority of my life in NE Ohio
1. Born and raised in Stow, Ohio
2. Several years of living in residence halls at Case on the east side of Cleveland
3. Several years on the southwest side of Cleveland
4. I literally stayed at a Hilton hotel for a few years when I was traveling for work. And I've got several hundred thousand hotel points to show for it.

four TV shows I love to watch:
I don't own a fully functional TV, let alone cable, but...
1. The Simpsons
2. The Amazing Race
3. Iron Chef (the Japanese version)
4. Hmm, I'll go with the cheap answer and say Sportscenter

four places I have been on vacation:
I've been through more airports than I care to remember.
1. Last vacation was - Guam, then Cairns and Melbourne Australia, with a stop in Hawaii (Did New Zealand and Syndey on a previous trip.)
2. Dublin, Ireland followed by work in Munchen then free time in Wien, Austria, and Bratislava, Slovakia. (Praha, Czech Republic was a previous trip.)
3. Hong Kong
4. Madison, Wisconsin

four websites I visit daily:
1. News: and anywhere that gets AP wire reports
2. Sports: and my fantasy league home pages
3. Comics:, and some others
4. Blogland

four of my favorite foods:
1. A big thick piece of NY strip steak, medium rare
2. White rice
3. Ice cream (I tried Graeter's Ice cream for the first time a few weeks ago. Mmmm!!! But I have to give mention to Strickland's frozen custard too.)
4. Swenson's (Beats In 'n Out every day of the week.)
5. Beer

four places I would rather be right now:
1. Out on a run
2. Having dinner with some family or friends
3. I would love to go in to Space
4. In bed (although once I catch up on my sleep that will change.)

four favorite bands/singers:
1. Led Zepplin
2. Sarah McLachlan
3. Miles Davis
4. W. A. Mozart

four bloggers I’ll Tag
I'm breaking the chain. If any bloggers who regularly read my rants wants to be tagged that hasn't already been tagged, you're more than welcome to play along.

Good night now.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Bay Days 5 miler

Well even though it was purely for training, I did enter a race on July 4th so I might as well whip up a quick race report from the Bay Days 5 miler.

Woke up at 6:15, a few minutes before my alarm. I take that as a good sign that my internal clock is still well programmed. Brushed my teeth, drank a cup of water and decided to climb back into bed. Bad move as didn't wake up again until 7:25 - 65 minutes before the race was supposed to start. Luckily I had laid out my gear the night before. So I threw on some clothes, grabbed a bottle of Gatorade, and out the door I went.

As I pull into the parking lot, the rain started to come down in buckets. Said hi to Jodi safely nestled in her vehicle. Then I jogged over to where registration was, gave them a few bucks, and then hit the little boys room. My urine was telling me what I already figured out - I was dehydrated. So now it's about 8:20, I ran back to my car, strapped on my shoes and race number, took a few gulps of Gatorade and then meandered over to the starting line. I snaked my way through and said hi to a few familiar faces. I was talking with one of my former swim buddies and next thing you know a siren goes off and people were running already.

And off I go. I wanted to start out slow since my legs were tucked in bed a little over an hour ago. I started weaving through the masses as I picked up a little steam and crossed the 1 mile mark at 7:18. Crap, that was slow.

So I pick it up into mile two. I'm passing people at a pretty steady rate now as I moved through in 6:33. By now the sun was beating down on the wet pavement and making our lives uncomfortable.

At the start of mile three, I was getting pretty hot. I thought about Rob who pulled out of IM CdA a few weeks ago. I had to shed my technical tee and fumbled a bit trying to tuck it into my shorts. This slowed me down as I clocked in at 6:48, but I was really struggling to control the body temp with the tee on.

Having started the race dehydrated and then cruising through the heat and humidity, I thought to myself at what point does the body start shutting things down to save itself? I just kept putting one foot in front of the other. I backed it off a notch as I remembered I was going biking afterwards. Mile four clocked in at 6:55.

So one more mile to go. This is where I can typically make up some serious ground. I know I can kick from at least 3/4 of a mile out, but kept it conservative. I cruised for a while, kicked it in when I got to the track with 300 meters left and finished with a 6:25.

The posted results said 34:01.07, 5th in AG/74th overall. Decent. I'll take it.

What do I need to do in the future?

Hydrate. Take a crap before racing. Hydrate. Get some more sleep. And Hydrate.

Congrats to Jodi for taking home a pretty sweet looking age group award!!!

Monday, July 03, 2006

The Break Up

To my Baby:

This is so hard for me to say, but I think we need some time apart. Right now I need something more, something that I don't think you can give me. I need to know that I can get through 112 miles without any problems.

I was enamored with you from the first time I saw you in the LBS. Your unique skin color certainly stood out from all the others. We have certainly had our uphill climbs and some beautiful long weekend rides together. Remember the time we took a trip to Texas? We took a nasty spill and your front wheel was tacoed. I came back home, got a pair of carbon race wheels and we were both beaming. The new carbon fork, the shorter crank arms, and the ergonomic pedals were all to make you - make us - better. I know we tried to make our relationship work, but early on I knew we were not a good fit. It was hard for me to admit that and even harder for me to do something about it.

We have been together for over seven years and you were there right from the start. But what I will be doing in a few months is so much bigger than either of us could ever have forseen. I have one chance at this and must do what I can to succeed. So it is with a heavy heart that I must say that I am looking for someone else.

Soon I will need to spend a lot of time with someone new. I promise that you will not be totally forgotten. And I swear you will have much of my attention when the weather turns cold. I know the next few weeks will be hard for both of us, but I hope you understand. You will always be my Baby.