Friday, July 29, 2011

Vineman -1

Great day of scouting the course, meeting and registering. My brother who lives in the area and did vineman 70.3 last year was my guide which made the day easier.

Here are somethings that stood out today.

1. Weather here is perfect. This is an amazing area. I must be part grape because I love being here.
2. The roads are rough. I will be jostled tomorrow and knowing my the way I put off potty stops until the last minute, I will experience some pain.
3. There are a lot of triathletes who don't appear to understand the value of a taper.
4. There are a lot of triathletes who don't know wearing the race shirt before completing the race will jinx their race.
5. Three bike lengths is measured differently by officials and athletes.
6. I need to sleep to tonight and be ready for tomorrows reality.
7. I'm blessed to be able to do this.

So T2 is set up. Strange to be racking based on age group rather than bib number but I have a great spot and will be back to see how many bikes
Are there before me.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Vineman -2

Training is in the bank. Fitness is what it is. Tapering feels horrible but I know racing will feel worse or maybe better.

Bike is clean and stuff all organized. My brother and I will be scouting tomorrow and the goal is to resist the urge to judge pass judgement on how stupid or crazy a person needs to be to race 140.6 miles.

Will write out my plan more when I'm no longer racing in the car through the mountains.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Feeling twitchy

Ignorance is bliss.  I like the word bliss and think it should be used more.  What is your goal for today?  Bliss!

So I was on a blissful 5 mile run in Idaho which is one of my favorite.  I love this run because of the views, and how quiet it is.  Just me on dirt climbing and going down hills.  This is the only run that my wife and I have ever named and we call it "Take 5". 

So I started out at 5:00 PM and it was in the high 80's.  Perfect weather and I'm tapering so I just took things easy.  Within 1/4 of a mile, all the houses and people are gone and it is just me on a dusty road.  I run without music because it is just so nice to hear the woods, animals and my gasping.

I had gone about two miles when I remembered something from this past weekend.  Let me digress...

I got two calls, both left voice-mails  and were about the same thing.  My wife called to let me know that a Mountain Lion was spotted walking from our side of the street to between our neighbors house.  The second call was from our neighbors letting me know of the same lion. 

We live in the city, and Mountain Lions are supposed to be wary of people.  You noticed that I carefully referred to the creature as a Mountain Lion rather than Cougar.  The main reason for that is that cities are known for their Cougars in the tacky connotations and I didn't want my few remaining readers to think I was trying to be clever.  I am talking about a large lion which can pounce and go for the jugular, not the other kind that does the same thing but is easily avoided.

So I'm running in the woods, by myself, and I remember that there was a Mountain Lion near our house, in the city, in non-mountain lion area.  However, I'm now running in what zoologists refer to as "native habitat" for lions.  It is at this point of my run that I become twitchy.

I reacted to everything, whether it was a twig breaking, grass moving, or phantom lions appearing in the trees.  I couldn't decide whether to scan the trees or the shadows.  I just kind of ran along trying to do everything.

The run ended, I was surprisingly in a blissful state given my twitchy run.  We'll see how I feel mowing my lawn.

Monday, July 18, 2011


Alert - triathlon is full of smug people. 

I'm discovering certain people get great deal satisfaction from passing expensive carbon bikes with race wheels.  I get passed and I occasionally make passes during a race.  I hope to pass those in my age group and try to not look when I get passed.  However, I am used to it and typically give a "Great ride" which is my way of saying, "you are having a superhuman ride to be able to pass me." 

So as a person that wants to gain even more satisfaction from triathlon, and "suck the marrow" from the experience, I'm looking into the benefits of focusing on how I am better than strangers.  Here is my plan for smug thinking during my next race.

1.  When swimming - I will minimize my training and exaggerate how much everyone swims.  I'll smile as I reflect that my wetsuit was purchased used on Craigs list and lacks the modern  features on the suits used cheaters who train too much.
2.  When biking, I will focus on my lack of a power meter, expensive pedals, not having dimples on my carbon wheel and my cheap sunglasses.  I'm kind of frustrated that all my other bike equipment is unbelievably awesome.  I'm considering assuming that all the other people ride 500 miles a week because they don't love their families as much as I love mine and they don't have a real job.  I also will assume they are the few that take PED's.
3.  When running, I will assume they all raced on college scholarships and have never been injured.  I'd feel best if they either wear Newtons and are sponsored.  I'll also assume they have been coached and that their mom packed their race nutrition.  Once again, I love my family more and have sacrificed at a greater level for the good of all mankind.

I kind of feel smug already and I'm only planning my thinking errors.  If I can learn to do this sort of thing faster and verbally, I could maybe have a career on talk radio...

Friday, July 15, 2011

I am that guy

Life is pretty busy right now and I just kind of grab and go in the morning when I'm packing my running hear.  So I finally carved a few minutes to run late yesterday and rushed to get ready to go.  I raced out the office door and down the block and suddenly got that "something may be terribly wrong" feeling. 

So here is my checklist:
  • Shorts - Yes
  • Fly - thank God running shorts don't have one
  • Am I wearing dress socks?  No - not today
  • Do I look like an idiot - egomaniac - YES
I was wearing my Boise 70.3 race shirt and my Boise 70.3 race hat and I didn't look but I think I was towing a banner that said, "look at me, I raced Boise IRONMAN 70.3" and wearing my finisher's medal.

Nothing wrong with advertising past accomplishments.  If I thought it was taboo to wear race shirts, I would end up running shirtless most of the time since I'm too cheap to buy tech t-shirts.

My issue is that one item is cool, more than one item is just bragging. 

The problem with being "That Guy" is that now that I've identified myself as one of the worlds premier athletes as referenced by the abundance of race gear and have to back that up by not getting passed. I also have to make my run appear effortless.

I did have a good run but ran about 30 seconds per mile faster than I intended.  I occasionally turned in shame to hide my shirt of hat as I passed other runners and generally tried to overcompensate by being overly friendly.

I'm thinking about running in jeans today, maybe with boots and a cowboy hat.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

My compass disappears when on the bike...

I rarely get lost.  Mostly because my wife has this uncanny ability to constantly know where we are, which way north is, and the best road to take. 

I don't get confused when driving a car and can typically navigate without GPS or sheets of Google Map (need new feature that you can click "Yes, I know how to leave my neighborhood"). 

I can run and magically find trails that meet my time or distance requirements and rarely get lost.

However...I can't seem to bike and navigate at the same time.  On Sunday''s ride, I got lost finding a friends house, I ended up being one street off.  Then he took me on his typical route which wound through these nice, paved, small farm roads.  We started way north of my house and ended up South East but I though we were still north. 

He said, "I think we are now on Fourth Plane"  and I pulled out my I-phone and said, You are right.  At this point he started to ride to my house and I followed but at every turn, I wanted to go the opposite way.  If it had been up to me, we would have ridden into the wilderness.

I've gone on some great rides with friends and during those rides I see parks or farmers markets that I want to go back to with my family.  I try to take them there and end up on the wrong side of town.  I try to re-create rides that I've done with a local club and can't seem to even remember the first turn. 

So, is this a permanent problem?  Can I get help or do I just need to bike with friends?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Sorta Race Report: Two Hour Massage

Before Race:

I ate a Trio bar and spilled crumbs all over myself.  Finished my coffee and used the bathroom.  I drove to the office early and then sat around waiting looking at FaceBook on my phone.

I filled out a bunch of paperwork, signed away my life and tried to describe what hurt and why.  Took a potty break.  I listened to the pre-massage directions and chatted a bit about what I hoped from the session before getting into my race outfit.  I kind of wished for the protective modesty of spandex.

It hurt, a lot, I don't mean a little, I mean a lot.  Grande pain!  Venti pain!  I think I go to Starbucks too much.  Most of the pain was in my calves and right above my knee.  He wasn't mean, I just have some really sore muscles and am kind of a wuss when it comes to massage.

The good news is that my joints and ligaments seem great, not swelling or major imbalances, just a need for recovery, more stretching and to be worked on once in a while. 

One of the things that I really had to work on was relaxing.  I tend to tense up really had to focus on breathing through the discomfort (a politer word for muchos pain).  It took a lot of focus but I found that I could relax certain areas of my body and think that will come in handy in life.

Post Massage:
We talked a bit about vitamins, stretching, and some different ways to run and then I paid and left.  I drank a ton of water and took a light 50 minute run that evening.  I feel sore but great.

Take away:
Glad I finally got over my cheapness and fear and had the work done.  It really was what I needed at this point in my training for Vineman.  I feel more confident about how my body is reacting to training and much more confident about my knee. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

One of these groups is not like the other

In the past month I have been at Boise 70.3 and Pacific Crest Endurance Weekend and the Fourth of July Celebration at Fort Vancouver.  All of these events included large crowds, cheering, lines for porta potties and people baring way to much skin.

Being at Boise and Pac Crest had set a subtle new stereotype for me that was completely smashed at the 4th of July event.  I'm not trying to be judgmental, just observant but I find that as I type, erase, and type the following sentence that you'll have to decide for yourself what kind of person I am.

I thought people in general were getting thinner and more fit but the reality is appears that people in general are way more fat,/obese than I ever imagined AND they appear to be multiplying. 

I know there are many reasons for being obese and that certain skinny people are just as unhealthy under the skin, but it is clear that there is a problem.

I think what made it hard is that after several weeks of being around a bunch of generally healthy people, it was hard to be in a crowd of people that apparently didn't care about their health or the health of their kids.  The fourth is also a time for families to be together and it wasn't uncommon to see three generations frolicking in the grass together and then struggling to get back up. 

So, I'm not sure what the point of this observation is, other than that it was really eye opening.

It also caused some fear and I don't like to be afraid.  Not fear that I would be smashed but fear about how this will affect my family, country, health care.  Something needs to be done in our communities to help these kids who seem destined for a life of challenges brought on by being overweight.

Any ideas on what I can do other than watch?