Monday, June 30, 2008

Crazy like a foxx!

It’s done! It has settled in. I have written my will and made peace with God. I’ve settled my debts (YEAH RIGHT!). I'm ready.

I’m in. I’m in way over my head!

I don’t know what took me so long to post it but maybe I was in denial!

I feel like a gigantic weight has been placed on my shoulders.

We are planning on having a party in October for all my friends and family. An official

“The last day you’ll see Izaac” party!


On a foreboding note: I told a friend that “I’ve got to run 10, today.” Remember when ‘10’ meant 10 minutes??

Crazy Stupid! or is it Stupid Crazy!??

Take a minute. Close your eyes. Imagine the hardest, craziest, most bodily destructive thing you could possibly do.

Running a marathon? No, too easy! Running a 50k. Getting closer.

50 Miles! Bingo!

Wait, we said the hardest thing. Hmmm...

50 miles in 110*+ heat!

Now THERE’S a winner!

NO! Not me, I didn’t risk life and kidneys. But I watched people do it!

I volunteered for the Running with the Devil event. This is a brutal event where the RD purposely makes it as difficult as possible for a racer (while still being safe). It’s run as the opposite to the sister event.

  • You race MID DAY when it is the hottest
  • You must run along the Silverman bike course, (one of the Hardest Ironman’s out there (ahem…JT)) with LOTS of hills
  • For the die-hards, there is a ‘late’ start where you start 2 hours after the regular 50 milers but you still have to make the same cutoffs.
  • You can choose your poison: 50 miles; Marathon; Half-marathon; 10k or 5 k. Just so you don’t think that it’s too easy the half Mary’s doesn’t leave until noon (104*+)

I manned the 9 mile stop (mile 17 for marathoners and mile 41 for the 50 milers).

We had the greatest booth! LOTS of ICE, LOTS of Water, even a spray device to hose off the runners. And to top it all off, we had an ICE BATH. Just lay down and we flood your core with screaming cold ice and water! I think I saw steam coming off the bodies!

Turns out that a lot of the 50 milers were ‘tapering’ for badwater. (Lord, I know I am crazy when I taper with a 50 mile race through the desert).

Most of the runners looked like they were from the test site. Clothed head to toe in white, with only a few inches of skin showing. I didn’t know whether to give water or run from them.

I will mention that not everyone was in a mummy suit. There were a couple people who were barely clothed at all. One guy went shirtless and waterless the entire way. I think he even shunned sunscreen. Needless to say he didn’t make it the entire way! Don’t know if he didn’t ‘respect’ the distance or just a ‘tough’ guy.

How sad to have to give up after 41 miles of running. Just 9 more! Of course 9 more miles means another 2-3 hours out there. Most people were walking/running at 15 min/mile.


Not to be out done in our level of craziness, Stef and I went out to Lake Mead.

I had on the books to swim 2100 and bike 35. I rode down to meet Stef (who was SO gracious to wait for my late butt) and we went out for a l.o.n.g open water swim. For the details, you’ll have to go to her site (expect remember that I’M the innocent one).

Suffice it to say that it was a monster swim of 1.5 miles. We went way over time, but it was great and the best part was I did it all naked!! Well ok, I did it sans wetsuit. But I felt naked out there. It took a lot of courage to get out there without my safety blanket. Thanks to Stef, I had a swim belt. That was a major relief. But now I know that I can do it.

After the swim, the plan was to ride back home (up the pumpkinman course) take a quick nap and then bike back to the volunteer post. But after my lateness and our epic swim, there was no way I could get back to home in time. So I ended up volunteering for the whole day.

After my time at the post was up I tried biking home and had NOTHING in the tank. NOTHING!

Exhausted, I headed back to the race and volunteered MORE! Finally around 10 pm I was SPENT.

A BIG THANKS to the Mrs. for picking up a smelly, tired and useless biker!

I ended up getting in the 35 that day but I was hoping to get in 50 or more. The next day I was beat! I laid around the house and vegged.

I was the same way after the Silverman event. That volunteering is f%&*ing exhausting!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Stupid is as stupid does

If your friend offers to go out on a bike ride with you on a hot 110* day, do me a favor and just ‘say no!’

Of course with JT out of town (doing something silly, Like ROCKING his first Ironman!), I was left to myself to figure out how I could torture myself.

My first thought was to ride the Pumpkinman course. But that didn’t seem evil enough, so I had to add something more, how about riding the long way it, that would give me close to 50 miles for the day.

Good start! But still not EVIL enough.

How about doing the whole ride with a bare minimum of nutrition?

BINGO! We have a winner. If you’re going to suffer, might as well s.u.f.f.e.r., right??!

Admittedly, I have a problem with time. For some reason, I can never remember to add ‘travel’ time onto anything! I cannot WAIT until teleportation is here.

So, when I decided to leave the house at 6:00 and the mini-tri starts at 7:00 and it takes me 1:30 to get to there, I should have realized that I have a problem.

The first 22 went without a problem; I flew down the trail until it merged with Lake Mead, and got to the site just as the racers were coming out of the swim and onto the bike. I stuck around and cheered everyone on and after about an hour of standing around and cheering everyone on, I realized that ‘huh, it’s getting hot! I should really finish this ride).

Now it’s a beautiful 8:30 and the mercury is climbing, I’m climbing, and my internal temperature gauge is climbing, the only the going down is my energy level.

I had forgotten how much I luv the hills at Pumpkinman. When my HR was pegged at 180 and my speed was pegged at 5.0 mph, I knew that I arrived!

Still some of the hardest hills ever, but damn! That’s good training.

Everything was going great until mile ~35 and my right adductor seized up!

OUCH! That crap hurts! Nothing I did made it go away, I straightened it, I shook it, I punched it, I did everything short of get off the bike ( I know that I ‘should have done that’ but I was afraid that if I did that would be IT). Finally, in the end I just decided to power through it.

And you know what? It worked, every down stroke tightened it up but it got better and better until it went away!

I quickly smashed some shot blocks into me in vain hopes that it would keep the cramps away. And it seemed to have been the answer

Until the left adductor hit! UGH! Same pain, so appeasement and finally the same solution.

Finally at 40 miles, my right leg seized again. I'm DONE!

Problem: I still had to get home.

Here I was about 1.5 miles from home and I didn’t know if I could make it. I didn’t want to get off and walk the bike home and it seemed STUPID to call the Mrs. to get me.

In the end I negotiated.

“OK, leg, that’s it. You win. We’ll go home. But I have to pedal to get there. I promise no tricks; no extra distances; just straight home. “

“In a minute, I’m going to put my foot on the pedal, and I’m going to pedal home.”

“Does that sound ok to you? I need you to cooperate with me. We HAVE to pedal to get home”.

Here, I am negotiating with my leg in the middle of the street.

Great! I’m the crazy guy who talks to himself

But you know what? It worked. I lived up to my promise and rode straight home.

After a nap, some food and lots of salt, I finally went out again later that evening to finish the 50.

Lesson learned: bring Salt and Gatorade when it’s 100+. Water and gels are not enough!

On a side note:

BIG CONGRATS to all the CDA finishers. Especially:

JT who finished his first Ironman, looking strong and smiling at the end.

Dave Carlson, who finished his 2nd Ironman in damn good time (not bad for an ‘old man’)

Baboo who smoked the course and finished with a 2 hr PR!

Friday, June 20, 2008

We all have our own special needs

I don’t know what it is about swimming, but I suck at it!

I don’t "suck" suck, but I 'suck'.

I’ve learned that I can swim now (which is a BIG improvement), and I’ve learned that I can swim in rough water, and I’ve learned that I can swim for a long time. But I have always known that I suck.

I am SLOW!

Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with being slow. I am very happy just to be able to swim period.


I just wished that I didn’t get lapped so easily. Ugh..there is nothing more dishearting then getting lapped by the people doing backstroke.

BACKSTROKE! They’re not even watching where they are going and they pass me. They don’t have a care in the world, there they go, floating on their back, slowly (lazily) swinging their arms over their heads. I think that one is asleep!

And he is still passing me!

Dear god,

I am not asking for much, just please don’t let me be beat by Mr. backstroker!

On a side note,

CDA is here! I know how I’ll be spending my Sunday! At the Las Vegas Mini Tri but after that…Ironmanlive or Ironmandelayed or ironman(what the hell reception is this??).

Las Vegas has a whole slew of people going including the infamous JT.

Good luck everybody and all those bloggers out there too!

If you’re looking for inspiration, check this out:

Yes, that is correct! That is a afro wig! And that is a pink bathrobe!

Aaron Schwartzbard – you're my hero!

Check out his RR here.

Best line:
….She found the appropriate pile, and found my bag. She held it open in front of me, while I pulled out a large afro wig, and put it on. She looked a little confused, so I explained, "We all have our own special needs." With that, I took the remainder of the contents of the bag: a pink bath robe I had put in there, and a package of pork rinds some friends had snuck in there

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Danskin Disneyland CA Race Report

Before I get into the nitty gritty details of the race I would like to share some background info. I was one of the unfortunate people that never learned to swim. In fact, for 34 years I have basically hated water. I hate having it on my face, I hate being over my head, I hate being in a lake, you get my point. (I blame it on being a Leo…cat’s hate water :-D). I have a very healthy fear and anxiety over water. Not really sure where it came from because I have no traumatizing almost drowned as a kid story but nonetheless, it’s there. Anyway, when my honey started doing tri’s I thought it was really cool and wishfully always wanted to do one also, but no way no how because I HATE WATER.

Then this past January, I finally decided to grow up and not let a fear get the best of me without actually trying to overcome it. So we bought the Total Immersion Happy Laps DVD and my journey began. BTW, a fantastic DVD for anyone that has a fear of swimming and water. We spent a lot of time in the pool allowing me to just become comfortable in the water and under the water. From there I progressed to my first tentative lap to finally swimming multiple laps!!

I decided to sign up for the Iron Girl Tri and started training. It was all going great until it was time to swim in open water. Needless to say, my first few attempts were horrible. Every time I made it about 50 feet from shore, I had a panic attack. Hyperventilating, crying you name it. Well crap, this is not good with the tri only being a few weeks away. I was discouraged but nothing I tried stopped the panic. Luckily (and this is the only time I’ll ever say that) I injured my hip flexor and could barely walk. I took this as a sign and an easy way out and did not do the tri.

Then, about a week after that I signed up with a coach training newbies for the Disneyland race and in the next 8 weeks managed to calm down that panic and start swimming in the lake. And that brings us to…

Packet pickup
We get to the hotel and holy cow, there are so many people in lines to get their packets. Women of all ages, sizes and shapes everywhere. If you didn’t know, this is a women’s only event that caters to 1st timers. We attend a speech by Sally Edwards who is the race’s spoke person. She is so funny and entertaining. She said two things that really grabbed my attention. 1st, anyone can do a triathlon! Look around at all the women here that are showing you that it’s possible. And that we have a goal to recruit one more lady for next years race and prove to her that she can do the impossible. Then she told us our mantra for the whole race was “I am a fabulous swimmer, biker, runner.” Then she made us get up and pretend to swim and repeat I am a fabulous swimmer over and over. Then without warning, I am crying. Actually, just writing this makes me cry. I am doing my impossible…swimming!

Oh, and I find out that the water temp is around 78-80 instead of the mid sixties that we thought. Most of the racers opted not to wear a wet suit at that point. But I needed my safety blanket!

Race Day

We are up at 4:15 am to be at transition around 5. They want swimmers lined up by 5:40 for a 6am start. This is very, very early! I struggle to eat something, and Izaac and I are off to transition which is just across the road. Bike racks are assigned by numbers and mine is 3rd from the bike in/out. Great!! I get everything laid out, go potty and get ready to swim. I am calmer than I expected. Hmm…

The swim is in California Adventures Lagoon which is man made. The start is “back stage” as they call it. The swimmers all went behind this big door and the spectators went to a viewing area. Bye Bye honey!! From that point on, it was nothing that I thought or had practiced. There is no warm-up allowed. WHAT!!?? Basically they call you up in your wave of about 100. You go down this boat ramp for about 30-40 feet and you hop in and start swimming. The course is in, what felt like a very narrow, clockwise direction around the outer edge of the lagoon. The thing is, you can't see the water until you’re called up, then you have about 3 minutes to assess the situation. I never got to see the course until I got in the water! The main problem I had was there wasn’t enough space. We were crammed in about 7-8 across and 10 deep and when it was time to go it was just swimmer after swimmer entering the water.

This lead to a lot of congestion in the water. There were bodies and people everywhere. I have never been rubbed or touched more in my life and this never eased up during the entire race. Every time I tried to actually swim face down, after 5-6 strokes I ran in to someone. WTF! I have no idea how to swim like this and the panic started to creep in. Then the wave behind me is off and already catching up. Great, another 100 girls to try to swim through. I finally found a swim angel and just relaxed on my back for a few. Then off I went. I’d swim a little, doggie paddle my way around people, float on my back till I get hit, then repeat until I was finally done! There was no rhythm, no mantra, nothing. It was a blur. The one image that stands out is at one point I’m looking around at all the heads in the water and about 5 or six women hanging on a surfboard looking panicked and I felt like we were straight out of the scene in Titanic when the boat sinks! So the end of the swim was no less congested than the start. You had to swim up to the boat ramp and get yanked out of the water. Problem is they were only taking about 2 people out at a time so I felt a little trapped. But I DID IT!!

Very, very slowly. No laughing or wincing at my time… 18:43 (.3 miles). Ouch! But it is actually exactly what I predicted. I can only get better!

And the water was hot! I was hot. It was also very brown. You couldn’t see anything. They say they put coloring in it to make it look like a real lagoon. Hmm?

We have to run .23 miles to transition (almost as long as I just swam!)
T1 4:05. With the distance and getting my wetsuit off and saying hi to Izaac ;-)

By far the best experience of the race. I felt like the racehorses must feel right before the Kentucky Derby starts. I was just ready to ride and ride fast. It was probably all the adrenaline and frustration from the swim. It was flat 5 mile loop done twice (turns out to be closer to 11 miles). They had the streets shut down with traffic cops everywhere. It was awesome. We had 2-4 lanes to ride in. Turns out, most people didn’t know the “rules”. Everyone was everywhere, all over the place. There was no riding to the right unless passing, no single file. These girls took up all of the road. So again, it was trying to pick your way through the crowd. And yell on your left a lot. Although not many listened. Basically if you were faster, you just weaved your way through people. I didn’t get frustrated though. It is a beginner race, and they were trying. I had just acted the same way in the swim :-D

Bike time: 33:26 (17.9mph) WOO! HOO! (I like flat! I had never ridden on a flat course before, it sure improves your time)

Transition time: 1:36. Not bad. We ran through California Adventure both behind the scenes and in the common areas. No spectators were allowed but there were a lot of employees out cheering us on. Again, it was very much a blur. Just weaving around the park until we pass around the lagoon we swam in, around the corner and there is the finish shoot!!
Time: 20:07 (2 miles very flat except a slight uphill at the end)

There were so many people yelling and shouting. I was so excited. I did it! Interestingly enough, no tears from me (Izaac may have shed a few!) I just had the biggest smile in the world. Today I became a triathlete :-D

Total time: 1:18:26. That put me 87 out of 153 in my age group and 537 out of 1332 overall. Not bad! I was 1130/1332 in the swim (but not last!); 208/1332 in the bike; 515/1332 in the run. Overall, this was a great experience and a great venue for the first one. The only thing that would make it better is more space to spread out for the swim.

I owe so much to Izaac. Thank you for believing in me constantly, even when I doubted myself. Your confidence in me is amazing. I love you!

Danskin Disneyland Triathlon RR

Well…not really a RR. It turns out that Danskin is a girls women only event.

It also turns out that despite my man boobs, they wouldn’t let me in!


So the Mrs. did it!

That’s right; the MRS. did her first triathlon.

Now you’ll get to read her RR in the next post but in the meantime, I’ll give you a spectator’s RR.

A lot of women!!! Holy cow! I think that originally there was something close to 1600 women signed up for the event, it sold out two months in advance and the hotel package was full three months in advance.

Moral of the story: if you’re going to do the event sign up early, because Danskin events are hot commodities.

Now speaking from a spectators view is something totally different for me. This is the first event I have ever spectated at! I’ve never actually seen an adult triathlon from start to finish. I’ve done ‘em but never seen ‘em.

And I don’t think that Danskin should count as my first. The organization of these events are huge! They are very well organized events and everything is taken care of. They have a HUGE expo area; lots of different lines spread throughout so there is no crowding; they spread the vendors throughout the venue so there is no cross competition of vendors.

Each Vendor you visit knew that you were there for them and not the next guys so they spent more individualized time with each customer. And with so many people the vendors were busy! It took me a few minutes just to flag the sales people down. No high pressure here, I practically had to be them to take my money.

During the expo, they have two meetings conducted twice. One session in the morning and one session in the afternoon. Each session consisted of an overview of the course and also a welcome speech by Sally Edwards.

Sally is a funny gal! She’s done 15+ ironman’s and while older she is full of spirit and comedy. She really knew how to speak the women. She instantly got on their good sides and spoke right to their hearts about their fears and their worries. I think that she put a lot of people at ease.

Her presentation was very funny and she had everyone laughing at all her silly reenactments of past race mistakes.

Her end goal was to relieve the woman and to teach them the rules. I think that she did a great job at both. And when she spoke, the girls listened. She recommended a certain goggles and they sold like hot cakes.

Later in the session they had a girl come out and talk about clothing. BORING! I blanked out and thought nobody would be listening. WRONG! I looked around and all the girls were rapt. I think I even saw some taking notes!

Apparently I don’t know the women psyche at ALL!

On Race day, the venue was out on the Disneyland parking lot. There was a huge collection of ‘A’ frame bike rack but each row was really spaced out so it was nice without any claustrophobic feeling.

Really makes me wonder about my tri’s. I never realized how clustered we all were. Everyone stepping on everyone. This race was nice and spread out. Very relaxed environment.

That’s not to say that the women were taking it easy. Most everybody was there to race. This wasn’t a ‘take all day, smell the flowers’ race and the women brought their game faces with them. I even saw a couple of disk wheels out there.

The athletes swam around in the California lagoon. It looked gross from up above but, come on this is Disneyland, nothing there is gross. They said that the water was dyed brown to give the illusion of a true lagoon (are there REAL lagoon’s in California??). I was skeptical at first, but when you looked around you noticed that there was no trash anywhere in the water. In fact, it Disneyland! There is no trash anywhere!

The bike went through the streets of Anaheim and I’m told they block off the entire road (not just the one lane they do for my triathlon)! Must be nice!

The run was through California Park itself, but they blocked off people (so there was no sneaking into the park for free! DAMN!). But we got to see everybody running down the finishing shoot and the announcer did his best to keep up with all the athletes’ names.

The other nice thing about this race was the proximity to the hotel. They have you staying right next to the venue so when the race was done, we still had 3 hours to shower, nap and rest before check out time! Talk about nice!

Definitely a nice race

I realized that I’ve lived in this sheltered world of Vegas and the variety of tri’s it holds. I’m curious to see how other cities tri’s are?

The Mrs’ real RR is coming up! Let me give you a little warming; bring a box of Kleenex!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

I hate the word Can't

First off I want to wish "GOOD LUCK" to Stef and my Mrs. as they each have a race this weekend!

GO and KICK A$$!!


I stole this from G Whitlock from DRS. I thought you might find this inspirational, (or you might hate it, either way!):


I HATE the word CAN'T

by Glenn Mills

The title of this article ALONE gets me 20 push-ups, and I figure by the time I'm done writing this, there's gonna be a LOT more where that came from. But I'm willing to pay the price for my friends (I'll do the push-ups after my meet this weekend).

For years, at our summer camps, we've held swimmers AND coaches to a standard policy of positive thinking. We do this to encourage everyone to stop reacting to things with an instinctive, negative response, and to start thinking like athletes. The rule is simple: If anyone says "CAN'T" or "HATE," s/he must jump out of the pool (or drop to the deck if it's a coach) and perform 10 push-ups. While it doesn't sound like a big deal, it does stop swimmers from hearing a set, and responding with an automatic, "I hate that" or, "I can't do that."

We instituted this policy many years ago when I started coaching. As coaches, we strive to give interesting and challenging sets that inspire, motivate, teach, and intrigue our swimmers. Every once in a while, however, the necessary 10 x 400 creeps in. Or how about the 10 x 200 fly? Come on, admit it. Many of you read those sets and instinctively groaned on the inside. Not yet? How about 3 x 1000 or the ever-fun 100 x 100?

Whatever your set of choice is, as athletes, you'll eventually be asked to do something you don't want to do. It's the coaches JOB to get you to do things you don't want to do. If all your sets at practice were things that felt good, were smooth and easy, and you were always in control... then you wouldn't really be training, would you?

As a coach, nothing deflates me more than spending time and thought to write practice that I, as an athlete, would have appreciated, only to be met with comments of "Ughhh... I hate that," when I give it to a group of swimmers. In designing practice, my goal is to NOT write standard sets, but to create sets that make swimmers think, that will probably hurt, and that will be challenging and difficult to complete. Even the standard 10 x anything is a challenge IF the athlete meets it head on -- with the understanding that this one set, this next task presented to him/her isn't an assignment, but rather an opportunity. That set will NEVER be here again. The chance to do it well is lost. The opportunity for that set to move you closer to your goals on that day is gone.

Athletes, especially swimmers, sometimes feel that because they swim 8, 9, or 11 times a week, there is always plenty of time to have a good practice.

Because there are SO many practices, they can pick and choose the ones they like and the ones where they want to work hard. Because of that, too often when a set that isn't a favorite comes up, those nasty words creep out... or instinctively FALL out of their mouths.

When presented with a new set, a new interval, or something that is DESIGNED to be an extreme challenge, that negative thought too often is the first one that comes in, "I can't do that." Just because you've never done something before doesn't mean you'll not be able to do it TODAY.


Just maybe. Or, if you're unable to complete the ENTIRE set... how much CAN you do?

Case in point. Let's say your BEST sendoff interval to date for 10 x 100 free is 1:10. Coach stands over your lane and says... "OK, group, we're going 10 x 100 on 1:05... GET AFTER IT!" More than likely, your FIRST response is panic, or fear, or a sinking feeling that failure is inevitable. That's instinct. And while it's not good, it's not bad; either. It's human nature. As an athlete, you have to combat that. You have to talk yourself IN to accomplishment, and replacing the word CAN'T with the word CAN is the first step toward maybe... just maybe... meeting the challenge of this set.

Try it now. I dare you to say the words "I CAN DO IT" with a negative connotation. You can frown, furl your brow, grit your teeth, do whatever you think you need to do, but I bet you will not be able to turn "I CAN DO THAT!" into a negative-sounding phrase. Can't do it can you? (DOH... 10 MORE!) Try this experiment when thinking of 10 x 200 butterfly: Say, "I LOVE THAT SET!" Come on, more negativity this time... "I LOVE THAT SET!" Tough to be negative when you say that, isn't it?

Back to the set of 10 X 100 on 1:05. While your brain is screaming... "IS SHE KIDDING? THAT'S RIDICULOUS. I CAN'T DO THAT," say out loud the words, "I can do this." So what if you don't make them all? What if you make 5 of them? Cool... it's a start. And next time, maybe you'll make 6, or 7, or who knows... maybe all 10. You HAVE to give yourself a chance to succeed, and one way is to talk yourself IN TO success.

When a team adopts this type of philosophy, it's actually very fun. While it's not really like tattling, it's fun to watch an entire lane erupt in laughter and point at a lanemate screaming... "HE SAID THE "H" WORD!" When done with the proper understanding, the swimmer will realize the word just popped out, and s/he will hop out, do the 10 push-ups, and hop back in the lane. It actually becomes contagious and, in a very simplistic way, begins a more positive atmosphere to train in.

Now, I'm always presented with challenges from swimmers on this one. Do statements such as, "I'm unable to accomplish this" or "I really don't like doing this set" still warrant a push-up penalty? No. While they don't thrill me, it's not instinctual to say those sentences. They don't just come out, they're thought out, and that's really what it's all about.

Life is filled with things we don't like to do, and it's been said that successful people are the ones who DO the things they don't like to do, but NEED to do. I mean, heck... sometimes I HATE trying to come up with an article, or I CAN'T think up a drill or some focus point to make a short video on.

Barbara and I will debate whose turn it is to come up with something, and she'll be typing on the IM screen... "I HATE doing that... I don't care...I'll do the push-ups... YOU do the drill." And I'll write back... "I CAN'T... I'm too busy doing push-ups!" And then we both end up volunteering to do the drill.

OK... I think you get the point. If you can learn to approach every seemingly impossible task with a positive, can-do attitude, you're well on your way to accomplishing the impossible. It you can learn to view each hurdle as an opportunity for greatness rather than as an obstacle that you're destined to trip over, then life (or practice) becomes something you look forward to every day.

Sometimes our brains and our "self-talk" are our biggest enemies. But with the flick of a switch -- by doing something as simple as saying "CAN" every time you want to say "CAN'T" and "LOVE" every time you want to say "HATE," you can talk yourself into just about Anything. And it's not just swimming... it's life.

In the words of Stuart Smalley, "You CAN do it. I CAN do it. I AM somebody... and darn it... people LIKE me." :)

Monday, June 9, 2008

Hippolytus de Marsiliis

First off I want to say I blame JohnnyTri. It’s his fault.

Sure, he'll claim that I was the instigator. He'll allude to the fact that I initiated the idea of working out together. He may even go to such ridiculous lengths as to say that he was going to do the workout anyways without me and that I just tagged along.

Don't believe him!

Sure, he may be training for CDA (which he is more than ready for). Sure, the distances he does now, make my workouts look pathetically small in comparison.

But if you set facts aside, what have you got? Me! And being as this is my blog, ME is what you get!

Now, for the Real truth (as told by Me!)

There I was minding my own business, working VERY hard (in case anyone asks) when out of the blue JT BEGS me to do an Open water swim. After listening to him cry and whine, I finally relented and agreed to demonstrate proper form for him on the swim.

When we arrived at the lake, and saw the slight chop, I had to drag him into the water. Disregard his previous post.

1.2 miles later, I arrived back on shore, fresh revived and eager for more. I was 'thrilled' at the idea of another lap out there, but JT whimpered something about taper and we called it a day.

Seeing as I was SO fast and had perfect form on the swim, I decided that I would school JT on proper bike form.

The next morning we left from his house out onto the Blue Diamond loop.

Knowing how easy it was for me last time, I decided that I would take the lead. After 100 feet, I had enough.

Let it be known, that it wasn't the relentless wind, nor was it the inexplicable fatigue in my legs, that made me decide to let JT lead. Rather, I realized that it would serve him no good if ‘I’ pulled him through the ride.

So, again to reiterate, I relented the lead after 100 feet and by 100.0001 JT took over.

I decided that I would observe form to ensure that he had correct riding posture, so I fell back a few hundred feet. Then I realized that he may be self conscious and won’t fall into his ‘natural’ flawed form while I was there, so I decided to fall back a little bit more, just out of his eyesight.

If you happen to be riding by this past weekend and noticed JT and then wondered what I was doing a mile or two back, now you know. I was biding my time.


After the ride, I decided that now would be the perfect time to explain proper running form.

After the first four miles it was evident that JT already had a very good understanding of the proper run form and I allowed him to retreat into the house while I spent more ‘individualized’ time working on mine.

Those times I was walking? Um…I was working on my powerwalking form.

You know a good powerwalking form can pay dividends later on in a race. Right??

Now, to the reason why I blame JT.

When I first met JT, I was averaging around 20 miles on the bike. He suggested that we go out for a nice easy ride. 30 miles of some of the most brutal hills every, I was done.

It took me 4 months before I decided to ride with him again. He conned me into doing the 80 mile ride on the tour de Summerlin (again, listen to me and not him. Remember the “facts” are not important here). 80 miles, when the farthest I’ve ever done was 35 and before that 25. ALL JT’s Fault.

And now this! My fourth* time above 35+ miles and JT is involved. Conspiracy! I think so. Here lies the culprit. And what’s worse? He acts like he had nothing to do with it. He goes as far as to say that it’s all in the name of Training! Ha!

Torture I say. Torture!

So now you know why I blame JT for everything! Global warming, floods in Iowa, missing socks! Blame JT.

And whatever you do don’t call him up for a workout partner. Errr, I mean, Don’t listen to him when he begs you to school him on training.

Friday: OWS - 1.12 miles - 50:06
Saturday: Bike - 60 miles - 4:15 (14.1); Run - 8.1 miles 1:39 (12:17)
Sunday: Rest - Yard Work (ugh!)

*There was one time I rode 35+ miles without JT's intervention. For the Tour De Cure ride. But I'm pretty sure that I can find someway to pin it on him. just give me time!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Group politics

There’s got to be something wrong with me!

I mean seriously though and not just my looks. Something is wrong with my head.

I’m secretly fast!

No, I am not!

But, I harbor fantasies that I’m really fast.

I know I’m faster than 10 min/miles. I know this because “I was in High school” (despite the fact that I ran 100m not 5000m).

I know I am faster than 10 min. Despite what my half marathon times say. I KNOW that I could have run faster. Like a minute or TWO per mile faster.

I didn’t because … because I didn’t ‘feel’ like it. Yeah! That’s it. I could have but I CHOSE not to.

I know I’m faster than 10 min. Despite the heavy breathing and the effort and the struggle to maintain that 10.

I know I’m faster than 10 min. Despite that I can’t run less than that at any race and in reality end up running much slower than that.

OK. Maybe I’m not faster than 10.

I am a 10 min mile kind of guy. I am! I know it.

I accept it. I’m coming to grips. I am me and that is fine.


What’s up with the group runs?

Three times, I’ve run with a new group. A F-A-S-T new group.

Three times I have run faster than 10 min/miles. From the start. Right from the beginning I have always run faster. Because the group runs faster.

Group Run one - 9:44
Group Run two – 9:37 (one mile was actually 7:53!!)
Group Run three – 8:22

Three times, I have done what I could never do by myself! And just to prove to everybody that it’s not me. That it’s the group:

On group run 3, I left early and headed from the park to the car.
Mile 4 = 9:08 (with the group)
Mile 5 = 11:21 (all by myself)

WHAT THE CRAP! Same effort; same HR and two minutes slower!


So what does this mean?

One thing’s for sure, I’m going to keep running with this group. I may be the last; slowest; most ungraceful person there, but I am a better runner when I am with them then without!

Does this mean that I have to pick up group rides and swims??