Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Iron Week 21 - Peer Pressure

Oh...you guyz....you guys! I needed to bike on Sunday. It was 57 degrees. 3 below my "don't bike below 60" rule. Since the sun wasn't up yet, I figured it would warm up, and I was tired of everyone thinking I was such a big baby. Well I am a big baby, and should have stayed that way.

It never warmed up above 58. One lousy degree. Remember, I don't have toe warmers, leggings or some nifty hat that fits under my helmet. This is Florida. We don't need stuff like that here. Right. After 50 miles, I could not feel my toes anymore, and my body objected my riding decision so badly that it gave me this nasty cold/flu - thanks guys and gals - last night was NOT pretty!

So Iron Week 21 is dedicated to you - my bloggie peeps - this wonderful concept called peer pressure. HA! It's the same pressure we've come to rely on to get us out the door when we don't feel like training. It's the same comments and support we get for good workouts or races. It's the good natured ribbing and smack talking that keeps the competitive juices alive in each of us. I can't believe I'm going to write this....thanks for 4 trips to the bathroom last night! Sincerely. From the bottom of my heart, which, by the way, I think I flushed at 3am.

For your enjoyment, we took some video of the Fishhawk 10k:

Kind of a light week last week. Horrible swim - one time, 1500 meters. Just couldn't get into the pool last week, for whatever reason. Bike - not too shabby; two 50 milers and a 24 miler. All very "base". Lots of wind. The run - well, the Bigun PR'd this week at the 10k distance with a 50:08 - and just had that one other run of 11.6 that was preempted with a bathroom stop. Story of my life. 10.66 hrs of training total, with one week left in this base cycle. Feeling like I do now, it's hard to imagine that I'll get any quality training in - it's supposed to be a swim/bike week, tapering the run for the marathon in 2 weeks. We'll see.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Fishhawk Ranch 10k Race Report

Ta-daa! 2008's first race for the Bigun on the chart. Done. Completed. A nifty little 10K road race with a couple hundred competitors - a great way to start a Saturday morning. Temps in the 50's....while that breaks my biking rule, running has a much lower temperature threshold before the Bigun says no.

No need to really get into too much detail. My goal for the race was a PR and sub-50. PR - check. Sub-50....not so much. Garmin time was 50:12 - we'll soon see what the chip time was. I went out WAY.TOO.FAST! But it was fun...my Dad and nephew came out to cheer, and Excel Man's wife Green Eyed Lady (GEL) ran the 10k as well to her own PR. So it was a great race all around.

What I found most horrific about the whole experience was that GEL actually grabbed a couple safety pins for her race number. I know! Excel Man has to have a couple of extra race number belts floating around the casa, don't ya think? If' I'd have known, I'd have grabbed one for her, but in the registration line, it's a bit too late. Now in his defense, Excel Man is in Iraq for a week, so he may have intended to take care of her before his hasty departure thwarted his plan. Right.

So, it's good to know my HR can get above 147 and I won't explode. Base Training is still awesome - even pure base training, at a heavier weight (I was 250 lbs this morning...) than my previous 10k PR - netted a 1:35 improvement at this distance. On legs with an 11.6 mile long run and 2 bikes totalling 75 miles in them. I feel pretty good about the whole experience.

Edit: Chip time was 50:08. I ran nearly the last 3 miles with a guy who beat me in the last mile...well, came across the finish line 3 seconds ahead of me. But my chip time was faster then his. Yea, baby yea.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Sherpa Salute!

Folks, Episode 3 will feature the venerable Sherpa! That trusty support, untiring, unwavering, and ever-present at races around the globe. We'll be interviewing some dedicated Sherpas and speaking of the topic - we could use some input from you, our loyal fans!

Call the Tacboy 'n Bigun hot line - 813-990-0951 - and enlighten us with your comments about Sherpas, sherpa-ing and any other hawt Sherpas you may have seen out on the course. Wildflower stories are more than welcome.

Of course if you have other comments, say, you want to tell us how great we are, how much better looking we are compared to other podcasters, etc...etc...by all means, please do!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Tacboy 'n Bigun!

Episode 2 - Hallowed Hall is done and ready for your workout entertainment pleasure. If you are new to our Podcast - just click the logo to the right and it will take you the right spot in I-tunes (of course, you have to be an I-tunes user).


  • Poptart/Fig Newton Discussion
  • Trimama's on-the-scene reporting of PF Changs with Commadore
  • Hallowed Hall
  • Our Sponser's new Commercial
  • Tri-Dummy interview (part 1)
  • Adventures of Taconite Boy
  • Clydesdale Corral
  • Cda news
  • Outtakes!

Especially cool is that now the show is listed when you search Triathlon in the I-Tunes store. Technically for this podcast, I lowered the compression rate to 32 kps - cutting the file size in half, without noticeably changing the quality of the audio. Tacboy added our logo so that it is displayed on your I-Pod throughout the show, like album cover art. Also, I didn't use noise reduction so that annoying "click" from Episode One is gone.

Here is the link to download or listen if you don't have I-Tunes.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Iron Week 22

All things Iron in the life of Bigun. Last week had the makings of an epic week...then Mr. Poopy Pants came to town on Saturday and ruined everything! A little lower GI stress. Put a damper on things. I pussed out of Sunday's bike ride - hey, I know my Superhero weakness - the Thing (ie, the Bigun) doesn't ride the bike below, say, 60 degrees. Alright, definitely not below 55. Under no conditions (unless it's a race) do I strap on my business shoes when it's cold. Granted, my definition of "cold" is probably different than my northern brethren, but hey, deal.

Still knocking out 30+ mile run weeks. Who'd a thunk it. Didn't break my best week, but came close with 33 for the week. Missed the mark by 3 miles.

Swam a nice 9,077 yards, with the long swim being 3500 yards - had a chance to really have an "Iron" swim week, but the GI issues hit me early in the pool Saturday, and only could muster 2k meters. Still, most yardage ever in a week for the Bigun.

Biked an unimpressive 75 miles. Even with my planned long bike on Sunday, I would not have had a "best" week, but I'd have come close.

Total training hrs: 12.35 - which is the longest this season. So really, I've no room to bitch, since a longer bike would have set me up for possible injury...I guess I'm trying to say that I'm pretty happy with the week.

Other Week 22 news: Well, it didn't exactly happen last week, but Episode 2: Hallowed Hall is in I-Tunes and ready for your listening pleasure. Same sort of format - we interview Trimama and Commadore at PF Changs, we joke around a bit, we interview TriDummy, we have a couple skits, and we have the Clydesdale Corral - plus outtakes.

How about a Tax Tip - the Bigun Tax Tip of Iron Week 22 is.....wait for it....

Since Triathlon is a hobby to 99.9% of us, you can only write off Triathlon related expenses to the extent of the INCOME you earn doing Triathlon. So, if you won your age group at the local OLY and won a $200 prize - since you have to claim the income, you can certainly claim that races' entry fee and any other's up to the $200 "earned" in that race (or any other winnings for the year).

This has been Bigun's Tax Tip of Iron Week 22.....echo, echo, echo...

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Train to Standard

All of us have been in this situation (yes, even you, Blink)...be it in school, a work training program, in the military, etc. The lesson is done, the points were made, the mission is accomplished - but the block of time allotted for this instruction has not yet expired. The bell hasn't rung yet.
The instructor, or leader of the group, in all their infinite wisdom and time-honored toe-the-line glory, either babbles on with one eye on the clock, the other on his or her sleeping students, or simply states, "we still have 15 minutes - are there any questions?". Train to time. Paid by the hour. One of the most inefficient systems the world has ever seen. How much time have you wasted waiting unproductively for a bell to ring?

This is why the concept of Training to Time, and not to distance, bothers me so. I know, deep down, that it's all the same, really. Anyone can look at their training schedule and see a planned hour run, knowing their training pace, and say to themselves, "ok, lets do that nice, flat 6 mile route...". Feeling slow today? That 6 miler may take 1:02. Or - and perhaps more likely, you'll run for exactly 1 hr, and walk in the remaining distance.

But if you are feeling good - if you worked hard and are enjoying the benefits of a series of awesome training days, your reward is, well, you get to look forward to tacking on some distance to your run or bike to make up for your greatness.

Being uncoached, I have the luxury of doing or training however I damn well please. If I ever do get fortunate enough to be able to afford some needed help and advise with my training, I'm sure it will come in the form of training blocks disbursed in time increments, not distance. Except for swimming, of course. Somehow the "train to time" standard has not yet been found to be important in the pool. You don't see too many, "do 8 sets of 2 minutes, followed by 4 sets of 1 minute and then finish up with 4 sets of 30 seconds going all out..." - no, it's still distance and pace in the pool.

Hey...it works. I know it works - the "train to time" standard that is. Hundreds if not thousands of athletes each and every day wake up looking forward to a 2.5 hr bike with a 45 min run off. Those athletes are successful and so are their coaches. My angst boils down to the "mindset" - the frame of mind that is being ingrained every day with each training session.

With very few exceptions, the mission parameters of a race are set by distance, not by time. 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.4 mile run. Not a 1.5 hr swim, 6 hr bike, 5 hr run. Your reward comes at the completion of distance, not when the clock strikes hour X. I have no evidence to suggest that athletes coached in "training to time" perform any better or worse when they race compared to folks training to a distance standard. Somehow, it just makes sense to me that mentally, when you get to that time goal in a race, and you are still miles from the finish line, the person who, in training, is used to making up that distance will have an advantage over the person used to stopping at an arbitrary time.

Perhaps this is a minor point, hardly worthy of this many words and paragraphs in my already hectic day. I don't even hope to accomplish any sweeping changes or influence any of you reading this, be you athlete, coach or both. Maybe I just don't want you to think me "unread" or "behind the times" when I lament of my last 10 mile run, awesome century ride or brick denoted in miles instead of hrs. Crap! I just realized that I'm turning into "Mr. Super Elitist Old School Triathlon Guy"...please don't pee in my water bottles.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Bigun the Slacker

Bigun the Slacker is no more. The big guy is officially working 2 jobs now with my first night as a Professional Tax Preparer with HR Block successfully completed. Knocked out 3 returns, no errors, and called it a night at 9pm.

I'm also on the cusp of an epic training week. If all goes as planned, barring injury or emergency, I'll have my best swim and run volume training week, and pretty darn close for the bike too. So far, my best swim week was 9k yards, my best bike week was 180 miles, and my best run week was 35 miles. None of these occured in the same week, of course.

On that note, I did notice an awesome jump in run fitness this week. Significantly lowered pace over 6 miles at my "high base" running HR of 143. It's a great feeling to see some results without actually racing. Dropping to 10:15 per mile felt great; makes high 9's at a 140HR seem possible now.

We've been working on Episode 2 of the podcast, and with any luck and some free time, we'll have that published on Monday. Again, it's fun, but a lot of work. Hats off to you consistent podcasters out there.

The Evolution is making waves through Blogdom - it's pretty exciting that "they" are selecting 3 new team members.

So that's all I got for now - a bunch of half ideas and partial statements. Weird that all I have time for right now is a soundbite or two. All this training has me thinking of cool post-worthy and podcast-worthy stuff - and then by the time I sit, half of it is forgotten. Sucks getting old. Old, but still able to kick Johnny Tri's ass.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Iron Week 23

A day late on my weekly update of all things Iron in the life of Bigun. Last week was a recovery week. An absorption week, as Greyhound so aptly puts it. Like a sponge, I sat around and did hardly a thing all week, absorbing all that good training I did over the prior 3 weeks and doing some "over-training avoidance".

Yesterday, on a 10 mile run, I felt like Sweetness beat my legs with bats and Tri-Dummy had jumped on my back - it was rough! Hopefully it was just me getting the cobwebs out.

In short, I swam once for 2k meters, biked twice for 25 miles each, and ran once for 6 miles. Just under 4.5 hrs of total training. Yay.

On a fun note, in case you haven't been to the land of the Big Bike lately, we did release our first episode of the Tacboy 'n Bigun Podcast. Today will mark it's first week in existence, and we should go over 100 total downloads, which is pretty darn cool. Episode 2 is in the works...I doubt this will ever turn into a weekly deal - but if we can put one out every 3 - 4 weeks, we'll be doing great. Thanks to everyone who's listened and given words of encouragement - and as far as my CdA peeps - everyone will get mentioned: that first go around was very disorganized. We promise to get a better take on our CdA update for the next show.

Friday, January 11, 2008

New Sunglasses

I'm stoked about these new sunglasses:

I got them at Nashbar.com - for like $4.99 - they are frameless. I don't know about the rest of you, but when I'm in an aero position, the top of my sunglass frame is always in my field of vision.

These are cheap-o-beep-o's....I hope they work without getting too fogged up. I may even try the anti-fog solution for my swim goggles on them.

I got them in yellow too. This way if there are any deer, hogs or terrorists out on my bike trail, I could shoot them much easier, that is, if I biked with a firearm.

Biking whilst packing heat. Might add a new factor in the whole "share the road" equation. A slung AK47 or Mossberg may cause the aggressive motorist to think twice before running me off the road or beep just behind me. A scared biker with an automatic weapon is not going to be "motorist-friendly"...I'm just saying.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Podcast Phone Number

There is a new Tacboy 'n Bigun Podcast phone number where you can leave your comments or respond to Blog Questions that Tac and I put out there.

The number is (813) 990-0951

The current message is, "this is the Bigun, leave a message" - sorry so trite, I just can't figure out how to change it at the moment. It's a new-fangled (to me) computer phone and the answering service is on the computer too...it's all way cool, but will take some getting used too.

So call in, leave us a message, and tell us what you think!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Tacboy 'n Bigun Episode One!

Trying to make this podcast happen...learning lots about what all it takes. This file is a bit long...I'm trying to make it smaller and easier to download - especially for I-tunes. So far, no luck. Every time I try to make it a smaller file, it speeds up the audio. Oh well.

Show Notes:
- Intro
- Bigun Background
- Tacboy Background
- Ironman Coeur d'Alene meetup
- Tacboy talks smack to TriDummy
- Adventures of Tacboy (oops)
- League of Triathletes
- The Thing - Tac calls Bigun a Commie
- Rainbow Right!
- Iron Trimama Interview
- Amaising Adventures of Taconite Boy Part 2
- Wrap up
- Outtakes!

Download this episode (right click and save)

I've submitted the podcast feed to I-tunes; once I see that it is made available there, I'll post an update. This is fun and exciting, but a lot of work. At least the first on is done; I'm sure they will get better and easier to produce with time. I hope you guys enjoy it! It looks like the name of it will be, in I-Tunes, Tacboy 'n Bigun - so that's cool. I've read that it can take up to a week for I-tunes to accept a submission, so you may have to wait for that.

If you load in http://bigun86.podbean.com/feed/ - ie - when you are in the "Podcasts" part of I-tunes, then go to "advanced" - then drop down to "subscribe to podcast" - a window will open up for the URL - put that "http" in that box, hit "ok" and our podcast should load for you. Like a big dummy, when I set up my account for storing the audio, I used my "normal" account login name - bigun86 - not knowing that it could not be changed and would tie in to the RSS feed. Oh well.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Iron Week 24

New Years Bye. It's official. I've decreed it...we all get a bye for last week. Pool closings, cold weather, family in town, partying (not me..you young people out there) all contribute to a lackadaisical first week of the year. That is, of course counteracted with the plethora of New Years Resolutions out there to lose weight and get in better shape. For me, however, those resolutions would be redundant.

We are far enough along now that a casual mention won't jinx the project. Taconite Boy and I have been working on a podcast. It's nature is completely conversational, with an interview and some well-written comedy "bits". Yes, it's a triathlon podcast. NO, you probably won't glean any big tips or earth shattering knowledge about training from it. Yet. More on the podcast at a later date.

For all my pre-excusing, Week 24 wasn't that bad. I got back on the stick and ran 31 miles last week. I thought that was good until reading Blink's blog - where he casually mentions his three 20 mile runs last week. My one long run of 15 miles hurt bad enough, thank you very much. Blink's an animal.

Biking...well, not so much. I got in 2 bikes for a total of 82 miles...my longest was Sunday, after Saturday's long run, of 46 miles. Remember....think "New Years Bye".

Swimming...not so much either. One swim this week. 2k. It was cold. I'm a Big Floridian Baby. 'Nough said.

So I got in a total of 11:08 of training this week - not too shabby.

This coming week is an easy recovery week, but I'll try and get some better frequency at the pool. Only 2 more "hard" running weeks before tapering for the Gasparilla Marathon - it should be interesting.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

A New Year Story

So we are in the truck heading to our friend KoJo's house on New Year's Eve to have an adult beverage and share our Christmas gifts, and Mrs. Bigun asks me to call her and tell her that we are on the way. KoJo lives with Gary - a great guy, who has a dry sense of humor and struggles with laughing at our jokes and maintaining the persona of responsible dad to his teen-age son. Mrs. Bigun and I test his mettle every chance we get.

I hit the "contacts" on my cell phone, find KoJo and press send...(and no, I just wish I had an I-Phone)

Him: Hello...(great! Gary answered...it's so on...)

Bigun: High! Can I interest you in some Amway products?

Him: ....ahh...no....

Bigun: (thinking for sure he's checked his caller ID and knows it's me) Well then how about some Viagra?

Him: No....I'm good-to-go there....

Bigun: Well, we're on the way over, and this is a courtesy call; we're doing an inspection and I think you should hide all your drug paraphernalia and prophylactics (I'm trying to use big words).

Him: What a jerk....(Click)

Bigun: He hung up on me! That's strange...I think he called me a jerk!

Mrs. Bigun: What? No way! Call them back!

Bigun: I'm gonna call them back.

I hit redial, and a woman answers....

Bigun: Hello, Kathy?

Woman: No, this isn't Kathy ya jerk! (Click)

Bigun: She said it wasn't Kathy, called me a jerk and hung up...weird! (I'm thinking she's playing with me now...too funny...)

Mrs. Bigun: Let me call her...

Mrs. Bigun dials the number on the phone instead of hitting redial or going to the contact list.

Mrs. Bigun: Hello, Kojo? Hey - were you just talking to the Bigun? No? You've been on the phone the whole time? Ok, well, we'll be there in a couple minutes...see ya then.

Bigun: What number did you dial? ....6506, lets see, the number I have is ...8506....

The realization hits me like E. Coli-laced Taco Bell in a German Pro Triathletes' Stomach -

Bigun: Holy Crap! I'm 44 years old, and I just made a crank phone call!

I actually think Mrs. Bigun might have peed, just a little. She's still laughing about it.