Friday, November 30, 2007

And Now a word from our sponsors...

Unwittingly, I asked my wife what I should write about for the blog and coming up with a blank, I asked her write something for me. Without further ado....

Ladies and Gentleman, I bring wife!

(isn't she a Hottie!!??)

Ok, here it goes…

This is coming to you from the better? Or worse? half of formula-ic (definitely the lazier, not a good writer half) – his wife. I wanted to share a little about Izaac from my point of view…

Let’s start off with his blogger name. Izaac came up with this because of what the word formulaic means. Adjective: being of no special quality or type. Average. Mediocre. Unexceptional. It’s his way of teasing himself about how much he thinks he sucks at triathlons.

First off, anyone that can do a triathlon does not suck! Even if you’re last, you have accomplished so much more than most people will ever do.

He also fails to tell you that for every event (I think) that he has done so far, he has decided close to the last minute to participate, therefore, he had very little training time. Something he should probably work on :-D

He also trains with me (remember the lazy one). I absolutely love our time together running & biking (as he drags me out of the house kicking & screaming) but I have recently come to terms with the fact, I might just be holding him back.

So maybe it’s time for formula-ic to show himself what he is capable of, and for me to either kick it up a notch (doubtful) or learn to enjoy my own company. (Not this weekend though, I still need him to get me through the Las Vegas Marathon).

Here’s to Izaac and all the rest of you triathletes who are not average, mediocre or unexceptional


Disregarding all the nice stuff she said about me...what do you think??

I think that we have another blogger on our hands! And a pretty good writer of one at that. Add to the fact that she's gorgeous and we have a WINNER! (Sorry fellas [and ladies], she's taken).

Little did you know but she's also an aspiring triathlete (hmm...that may be something she doesn't know either, but it doesn't mean its not true!).

She trains just as much as I do and I don't think it will be too long before she is a threat! Look out ladies!

She'll be making her marathon debut at the Las Vegas marathon, which according to my widget is only 1day and 12 hours away!!!

Hopefully, following that she'll be making her Tri debut at the Rage-in-the-Sage (she's already done the Du there before).

And finally, this may have been her debut for Blogs!

Damn! That's a pretty good year!

Sickness has become SICKNESS

I’ve been fighting it for a week now. I’ve been denying it for even longer, but I think that it’s time to admit it.

I’m sick!

I’ve got a cold or a runny nose or whatever else you call it. Point is: I feel like $h1t!

Perfect timing too. Right before the Las Vegas Marathon!


My 'taper' week has become 'sloth' week. I haven’t done an official training all week.

I’m sure (or at least I’m praying) that it’s just the cold but with every cough and sneeze, I feel a little more of my muscles getting weaker. Cough! There goes my legs! Cough! There goes my breathing! It has to stop before I become a wet noodle on the floor unable to walk to the door let alone run a half!

I’m freaking out!

To better compound the issue, I’ve decided to sneak in a few exercises to help the body "remember who is the boss".

A quick 3 mile jaunt around the University before my friends’ dinner party seemed like just the ticket. To be fair, it was an easy walk, but the next morning my cold (which I swear was almost gone) seemed to come back with vengeance. It was either the walking or the over-indulgence in the whiskey! I’m certain it was the walking.

Due to my debilitating "cold". I was forced to stay home that next day. As you may know, I suck at being home alone. After a full day of reading, sleeping, eating and slothfulness, I HAD to do something.

Something, turns out to be a 10 mile bike ride. Hey! The bike needed some work and so did I, so all I did was ride it down to the local bike store. How was I to know that I would decide to buy a floor pump and spend WAY too long there and end up riding back in the dark with no lights, in the cold, with one hand holding the bike pump (no backpack )!?

Could have happened to anyone! OK. So maybe the bike pump wasn’t such a good idea and I could have waited until I had a car or a backpack or midget who could hold it for me, but I was in the throes of sickness; There wasn’t a whole lot of coherent though in the first place.

Regardless, I’m home, I’m alive, and I’ll be damned if this cold beats me!

Another sign of my sickness

Now that I have accepted that I dream about training, it’s becoming a recurring thing now, it seems that it’s starting to manifest itself around the house.


My entire top row of the dishwasher is full of training bottles. I didn’t even think I owned that many bottles!


When did it become socially acceptable to leave my training clothes ALL over the house! When it’s time to train, I spend the first ten minutes running around just trying to find my missing shirt. (Now if I could just calculate how many calories I burned doing that!)


Every dinner date or social outing seems to interfere with a planned training session. I find myself trying to squeeze a ‘quick’ workout in before dinner. Or a quick run around the block during lunch. Got a few extra minutes between the meetings? Damn! That’s a mile I could be running! Wasted time!


It happens to everyone. We have to do laundry. It’s (typically) a dreadful task. We all hate it, but it’s a necessary evil. Pick up laundry; throw into machine; throw into dryer; put away; repeat; and repeat; and repeat. Right?! Apparently not. I washed the training clothes, realized that was all I cared about and was DONE!
I think that is a sure sign.

I have a dream

Sorry this won’t be nearly as inspirational as that speech…but it’s true anyway (I mean I DID have ‘a’ dream ;-] )

I think it’s a sign that I have gone off the deep end. I am starting to dream in training for Tri’s.

The other day I dreamt that I won the Izumi’s “running shoes for a lifetime”. I.was.ecstatic! It’s weird (for me) when in your dream you actually try to imaging running enough to out wear the shoes in time to actually ‘use’ all the shoes [4 per year].


That’s a lot. A lot for me. 4 shoes = each shoes is 200-300 miles = umm...carry the one; divide by pie….OK it’s a lot.

800-1200 miles!

Per year!

I don’t think I’m worthy! Try telling that to yourself in your dream.

It seems even my dreams are unattainable seemingly impossible … Perhaps that’s why they call them dreams. You think!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Just because I can...

With the recent Silverman event, I didn’t get a chance to do the typical relaxed Sunday bike ride. So come Monday I was jonesing.

As it happened, Monday was Veterans Day. Meaning for me at least, this was a holiday.

Now I don’t know if you remember back to those high/middle school days but I remember skipping school with some friends (ditching). It was great! You hung out with your friends doing exciting, most likely stupid, things when you should have been at school. Perfect! I was hooked. I also recall waking up for school and just not wanting to go. So I ditched, by myself. Fun right??


The most boring time e-v-e-r! Nothing to do, because all your friends are in school. Nothing to watch (all soap operas). No one to talk to and nothing to do. Total boredom.

This is how I look at most holidays. Often I find that I am the only one of my friends who gets the holidays off (its Las Vegas, everyone has a funky schedule), so I dread these holidays.

This time my love took a half day off, which I felt extremely guilty over, while I was happy she was there, I felt like I was stealing her away from work. While she there, boredom was kept at bay. However, the second she had to go to work, boredom reared its ugly head.

I was faced with two choices TV or exercise (typically I would read, but for some reason that wasn’t appealing to me). Rather than veg away on the TV, I decided to do something productive.

I quickly got a wild hair up my wazzoo and decided to ‘race’ an Olympic Tri [minus the swim, so I guess that would be a…what?..Not a duathlon…so a…??...whatever!)

Now normally, I race Sprints. In fact I had never biked more than 15-18 miles before, so this was a big leap. But I figured I had some time and I wanted to see if it could be done.

Once on the bike I quickly learned that 25 miles is a LONG distance. I did the typical trail, then took another trail then hit the road, then the major roads, the side roads, the back roads, everything!

I’m sure the experienced riders have a few great roads they know and have a path all planned, but what I learned just stumbling around, is that every road ends too quickly or takes you too far away.

Next time, get a good route planned before.

Bike – 25.80 miles – 1:46:31 (14.5 mph)

The run was pretty much the same thing. Without a clear plan, the path I thought would take me 6 miles only took me 5 miles so there was a mile where I wandered around my neighborhood trying to make up the distance [and that’s why my last mile is so long…and that's the story I’m sticking too! ;-) ]

Run - 6.1 miles – 1:08:34 (11:00/mi)

Mile 1 – 10:33
Mile 2 – 11:21
Mile 3 – 11:05
Mile 4 – 10:16
Mile 5 – 10:54
Mile 6 – 11:47
Mile 7 (0.10 mi) – 1:24

Now before you start thinking that I’m good at running and can negatively split my run, let me explain that there was a slight bit of cheating involved here.

My shoes started bothering me after mile one and by mile two, I was dying. At mile 3, I stopped and readjusted my shoes. When I stop, my watch automatically stops too (convenient when at a stop light or forced to give directions). Of course while adjusting the shoes, I also caught my breath, brought my heart down – basically rested. As soon as the shoes were fixed, I took off running, but the damage was already done, I was cheating time. Of course this was further compounded by the fact that I did it several times (damn shoes kept killing me), until basically they were almost untied and I was barefoot.

So there you have it! I did an Olympic Tri (or whatever!).

Total time: 2:52:41 – 31.90 miles (2395 calories spent!!)

Now I didn’t time my transition, because it was pathetic. I went in checked on the animals, did a load of laundry, and had a glass of water. So it was probably 10 minutes. Not close to real race conditions but, at least I did it.

If I take my times and add in my normal T2 time, I get 2:52:41+1:30= 2:53:11. Compare that to 2007’s Rage in the Sage (which coincidently, because of weather, didn’t have a swim either, so it perfect!), that puts me in 206th place.

Which is …exactly where I’m always at. Back of the pack. Doesn’t matter if it’s Sprint or Olympic.

So the good news…I suck just as much on Olympic as I do on Sprint!

Other good news is that I have 4 months to train for my next Sprint (and I’ll be damned if I’m back of the pack then)!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Silverman Weekend

What a weekend…

First off, I won’t sully this post by talking about my workout; I’ll save that for another post.

I’ll start off by saying that this past weekend, I volunteered for the Silverman event.

In a word it was great. I had never volunteered for a triathlon before. In fact one of the main reasons for doing this was that I wanted to see how it was done. My entire experience before this was just jumping in and doing them. I’ve never actually seen what the “good” people do during transition or how they look at the end of each leg. I’ve always been concerned about myself and making sure that I didn’t make an ass out of myself falling down or getting stuck in my wetsuit. (Nothing like a little embarrassment to add to the already enlarged stress).

So rather than go straight to the volunteer post, I went to go watch the swim. It is an amazing thing to look around, see 400-500 people milling (lazily\nervously) about and know that in a few minutes they’ll all be struggling for their lives doing the impossible. As I looked around I noticed the nervous people who check and double check their equipment and then check and double check everyone else equipment to make sure they don’t have some secret advantage or check out their bike. I recognize it, because that’s me when I do events. [Check; double-check; look around; what are they doing? Should I be doing that? PAM?! What’s that for? Damn! Should I do that too?, etc]

The full wave had already gone out so there were only the half people in the area. I got to see Macca. He looked cool and calm, but I guess he should be right? There weren’t a lot of people asking for his autograph or pictures which I thought there would be. But then perhaps they were like me, trying to be ‘cool’. Like you dream about being when you meet Angelina Jolie or Brad Pitt. Just nod your head, barely acknowledge their existence. Prove that you’re ‘cool’. Or perhaps that just me.

As it turned out, this wasn’t a very good event for me to compare it too. This is built on the foundation of Ironman. That includes the big changing tents and the transitions bags. Heck, even the bike racks were better. No pipes to hang your bike on but rather full bike holders that were specially built to hold tri/road bikes. Where was the mad rush to your bike and the grabbing at your clothes while the guys next to you do the same? Is that your shoes or mine? Hey you’re wearing my socks!

After the first few people came back from the Swim, I watched them go into the bike. Or at least I tried to. The first person out of the water was already gone by the time I got up to the bikes. That boy was FAST! I watched the next couple people hop on their bikes and go, but it wasn’t as climatic as I thought it would be. I expected people to sprint to the line barefooted, leap through the air and hop on their bikes and ride, only putting on their shoes after they have hit 30 mph and are a few miles into it. (I know REALLY Hollywood). As it was I did see a few people like that but most did what I do and get everything ready and get up to line and slowly take off. I think that fact that the transition leads right into a 4-6% hill helps slow everyone down.

After watching a few people go off, it was time to go to the volunteer spot. We happened to be at the ‘feed zone’, which is basically the turnaround point.

Let me just say “Holy Crap!” I didn’t realize how FAR that is! I know that on paper it reads turn around point so right around mile 56 (actually it was 53). But I didn’t realize how far that REALLY is. It took forever to drive out there. That’s in a car. A nice climate controlled; music enabled; no effort required to move forward – Car. I can’t even imagine doing this on a bike. There are so many hills and turns and emptiness that I would give up.

I like to play a little game when I drive a course (which I try to do before the event so I ‘know’ what it’s like). I like to say “here, I’m flying along”; “here, I feel the hill”; occasionally I say “OK, now is about when I want to give up”; sometimes it’s even “I think I would be dying here”.

For Silverman…almost the whole drive I thought “Either I’m dead or I’d be puking my stomach out, then I’d die”.

I am so not ready!

Once we got to the post it was great, we had a great crew. So much support out there. The riders were great and everybody was positive. All in all, I had a great time. Even got to meet Sweet Baboo. Afterwards we drove into town (almost ran out of gas, it was so far away), went and watch the run for a little bit, called it a day and CRASHED at home.

I mean, I was exhausted! As a volunteer! I can’t even fathom how the actual triathletes felt.

Things I have learned:

1. Originally a friend had said that volunteering for this event will inspire me to want to do an Ironman. Boy, were they wrong! It was a great reality check for me and really showed me how tough an Ironman is.

2. Got to say that people look so much better at the end point of a race. When you look at people finishing their bike or finishing their swim or finishing the race people look great. There’s smiles; they're happy; it’s all good. But watch them during the event. Ugh! They are living a personal hell. No one looks happy, everyone looks about to die and it’s very sobering.

3. For your special needs, don’t pack canned beverages. Almost every bag that had a can was soaking wet as the can punctured sometime during the transport and now you the athlete have to deal with everything else in the bag being sticky and wet plus there’s this huge let down because the drink you’ve been fantasying about is wasted. I saw many an athlete look on the verge of tears when their drink dreams evaporated in front of their eyes.

Lastly, I’m going to finish this post off with something sacrilegious. Something that I am sure will get me banned from future tri’s forever. But…

Let me start by saying that everyone gave their all. Everyone out there looked great and you could tell that no one ever wanted to give up. I know that some people had to give up. Either for technical reasons or because their body gave out on them. There was one person in particular that I recall. He had to be dropped off by a RV. Somewhere along the line, an RV (hopefully not the same one that gave him a ride) edged him off the road. Now I hope it was done out of ignorance and not malice, but either way the RV ‘pushed’ the bike off course. Good news was the rider was fine, a little road rash but otherwise the rider and the bike looked good. Later on my honey said how much that would have sucked and I agreed and disagreed.

How many times have you been out on the course, especially when the course got impossibly tough and just wished that something ‘bad’ would happen? Not bad enough to hurt you or anyone else, but something bad enough to make you have to stop. It’s not your fault, you wanted to finish. You would have finished, you will finish next time, but this time something bad happened and ended (saved) your race. Outwardly you’re pissed, but internally you’re thanking the heavens.

That was what happened to this guy. Just a little road rash, nothing bad enough to scar but enough to leave a mark for a few weeks. Something to show to the guys and commiserate around a beer about. Something to push you harder next time, better prepared; tougher and more determined. Next time…you’ll be ready.

UPDATE: After ready S. Babboo's race report, I truly understand how much I underestimated the toughness of this course.

Friday, November 9, 2007

A rose by any other name

Not that this is about a rose nor is it really about a name either, but yesterday I was at my kick-ass spin class.

The instructor is great, always works us hard, plays good music and really motivates me. I thoroughly credit her with my past performance during the 9th annual Triathlon. Just prior to this she had us working on hills and visualizing passing people. While it wasn't as smooth as she had us pretend it was, it was great when in the event I was able to pass people. It felt very surreal, like a 'this is what I'm training for' moment.

She announced to the class that she'll be taking the weekend off (which is no big thing to me as I train outdoors on the weekend), but got me thinking about the Silverman. It’s this weekend, and I was curious to see if that was the reason she was going to take class off. She is in good enough shape that it's plausible.

I mention this to her and she's says no, she camping; never done a tri before but is thinking about it, then she sheepishly says she’s never actually been on a “real” bike before.

I understand the no tri before; it seems that a lot of people specialize in one aspect. Runners are strictly runners and bikers are strictly bikers (swimmers are insane, so I don't count them!). What struck me was the "never been on a real bike".

Holy Cow! This is my “role model” telling me that she has never rode in a real world environment. That's like a marriage counselor telling you the tips for a good marriage but never being married themselves. It's easy to throw stones when you live on the outside looking in (I think I butchered several sayings there).

But maybe I'm being elitist. Maybe it's not the same as having no practical experience in the field in which you teach.

I mean what am I looking for? I want to be motivated to cycle [check!]; to raise my heart rate [check!] and sometimes to be driven to the point of death [check! (sometimes double-check]. So really, she is meeting all the 'basic' needs. Plus I get to listen to some great music, stuff I would have never thought of (BTW: Celtic music is GREAT hill climbing music!), I get to visualize the race environment, and I get some good stretches in when it's all done.

Now I'm sure, I'll have a voice in the back of my head that tells me "this isn't really how it is on the road". And the sad thing is, it’s true, there is no way you can simulate the road experience. But it’s an awesome workout and the instructor does their best to push you to your limits.

All in all, I guess it's a great thing. I just wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Some Ideal Thursday

Well the cross training class went off without a problem. It seems that the faster I ran the less it hurt. Somehow (magically) the instructor must have ‘sensed’ this and therefore made us run more sprints then I have in my life! (Either that or he’s a sadistic bastard…I’m hoping that it’s the former rather than the latter)

If there was ever a time to find my Max heart rate, that was the time. I started the sprints great and flew by people like I was running with the wind. However come round 10 or so, I was dead and my sprint wasn’t much better than my fast walk. Perceived effort was through the roof. Of course…I left my HRM in the car!

Thursday is my “relax in bed with my honey” morning. Meaning that we sleep-in until the last minute then run around like headless chickens to get out of the house in time for work. Friday is the same; expect that it’s a total rest day (we’ll be doing spin tonight).
It’s amazing to me, but I feel like I should be doing something during these mornings. I feel that I’m wasting valuable training time. I get up early on the other mornings and go work out, so I feel like I should be doing the same now. It’s hard to remind myself that this is the “off season” and I’m taking it easy and enjoying time with the Mrs. while I still have it.

Which brings me to the next subject…Upcoming events. Currently, we’re training for the Las Vegas Marathon. We’re looking at doing the half so I’m not overly concerned (hence the taking it easy part). We’re more in the mode to ‘just finish’ rather than do it under a certain time. This will be the Mrs.’ first half so she’s worried about finishing, but I already know that she can do it (probably with her eyes closed). If we take it nice and slow (run/walk) we’ll be finished in 2:30-2:50. I’m thinking that we could really push it and be done in 2:00 but that would require a 9 min/mile and we wouldn’t be enjoying life (read partying) then. Hell, I don’t know if I’d be enjoying anything after that. We plan on partaking in a few beers and we need a strong energy supply to handle that; I can’t let something like a race and sore muscles interfere with our drinking!

I know that the Las Vegas Great Santa Run is coming up also. In fact it’s actually the day before the marathon. What better way to race then dressed as Santa? The race sounds great, get a 5 piece Santa outfit included in the race entry fee as well as help break a World Record. How perfect! The main question is will the honey be up to running a 5k then running a half the next day?

I just found out that some Bloggers are going to be in town for the events. That great! I’ve never met JohnnyTri or Sweet Baboo, but I’ve read there blogs for a while now. Hopefully we’ll be able to meet up and have a beer or two.

It’s late and it’s time to head to Spin class.

Update: I forgot that I walked a few miles during breaks at work. But now that I've entered the new workout schedule widget at the side, I guess this is kind of a moot point.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

First Post... first post!!

Hmm...the lack of applause is deafening. Well being as I'm the only one in the world who knows about this blog (not counting all those bits and bytes of search engines), I suppose silence is expected.

So without further ado, I'll get to the point of this blog and talk about training.

Early Morning workout was a quick run with my gym running group. The leader wasn't there so we relied on number 2 to lead us, and while she's great she's also slow. I still haven't worked up enough nerve to set my own pace on the run (besides the whole point is to run 'with' the group, right?), so we started off at a 14:00 pace. Things picked up later on and we finished the run with an average 12:28 pace. I'll take it.

Run - 3.42 miles - 42:40 (12:28/mi).

Actually, I should be glad we went slow. I must have jinxed myself about my running health because this morning for no good reason my calf/Achilles is killing me. Luckily no one noticed during the run but I was dying. It eventually worked its way into a dull numbing sensation but once I got to work it was back with vengeance.

Walk - 1.04 miles - 18:58

Now it's off to the gym for my awesome cross training class. Hopefully my Achilles doesn't rip itself out of my calf.

Wish me luck!