Thursday, May 29, 2008

Peaking

NO, not through Momo's new front door....well, not that I wouldn't...but I digress (as usual).

I'm frigging beat! I've got to get some serious sleep tonight. 8.5 hours done trained (and I took Monday off) this week, with lots on the horizon - and it's been damn HOT too!

Sorry all you podcasters out there; I've been doing all my training this week, and next, sans I-Pod. I need to get back in touch with my own thoughts - "train like you race" and all that. Century this weekend with whatever I can do runoff will be just me and my own mind. Don't you feel sorry for me already?

Ohh...almost forgot - racing this Sunday in our favorite sprint tri - Mad Beach. Best thing, besides racing....BEER TENT!

Unfortunately, to "round out" my training week, I may have to get in a little workout after we get home - I'm figuring on needing a little more running and a little more swimming. NOT MUCH...just a little...

Hey, look at how much fun we had last year at this event. Too bad "Li'l Clyde" isn't coming down for a rematch!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Poll

TrisherpaDi, whom we all love dearly, didn't like what she saw when returning home from a week in North Carolina.

No, the bathroom was spit shined...

No, the floors were vacuumed...

The.Bigun has a tendency NOT to shave whilst the wifey is away, and managed, with his meager facial hair growing abilities, to get to here:




Now at first I kinda liked it, and was going to poll the illustrious readers of CHBB as to whether or not the next "shave rave" should include the face.

Then I did that long ride, and noticed something weird about facial hair...your sweat kinda builds up in it. Just that little amount I have there in that picture, held enough water to keep me hydrated for 30 minutes.

Well, it was freaky, so yesterday when I got back from the ride (and finished my Arby's Reuben Sandwich...), much to TriSherpaDi's delight - I shaved it off. So no poll necessary. It was fun to look sorta "bad" for a week. Another week of growth and people may have been able to actually see the hair!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Trained Anyway

Yea, yea, I know I said this would be a recovery week - hey, I guess my training this weekend would be recovery for some of you. I just got tired of hanging around while all my bloggie peeps busted their asses this weekend! 10 mile run Saturday, 77 mile bike on Sunday. Both in scorching 92 degree, high humidity and heat. Pools' closed.

Some CdA developments:

  • I flipped my stem - it raised my elbow pads a solid 2 inches. Wow! I'm not entirely sure it's less aerodynamic, but I was able to hold the position for the majority of my 78 mile bike this weekend. Bigun likey.

  • Thinking of renting wheels for CdA. Ship my bike sans wheels, hopefully in a smaller box, thus saving some shipping money. Maybe get some Zip 808's. Clydesdale version. Jetpack graciously offered to let me borrow his 404's, but if I broke one, I'd never forgive myself. In the hills, with my MASS, Clydesdales are the way to go.

  • The lake is still cold. And for the cold water uninitiated, yes - get the insulated swim cap thingy. Also, swim, even for short durations, as many times as you can at CdA before the race. You definitely get used to the cold water. The race guide said no footwear on the swim, BTW. Another thing - get some big goggles. Cover as much of your face as possible. It works. Trust the Bigun (who happens to be an Alcatraz vet...).

Well, under 30 days now. 4 more weeks. 2 training weekends. I'll tell you. For me, it's an advantage training in the heat (90's) like this. If race day temps are warm, I'll be ready. If they are cold, I'll do that much better. I trained all summer for my first Marathon. Race day, in November, was the first weekend cold snap of the year. I ran at a pace that was way faster than I ever did in training, or that I could have expected. Big guys have a harder time cooling themselves than smaller folks - any help I can get is welcome!

Friday, May 23, 2008

TriSherpaDi - Where are you?

Sniff, Sniff....

Bigun miss TriSherpaDi!

We all know TriSherpaDi
She's married to a really great guy...
She sets out a tip jar
and her 6-pack man-sack bar
Then mixes drinks at the next local tri!

Have a safe drive home tomorrow, honey!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

12 Like Me

Here I was, minding my own business, when all of a sudden, out of nowhere, Supalinds sends me a Yahoo instant message. It was all down hill after that.

We talked about Benny's "pee-color hydration plan", alternative methods for obtaining triathlon gear (ie, putting out), and Greyhounds' constant haranguing of our inability to get the "meter" right on our limericks.

We realized that we definitely have something in common: we act like we're 12 years old. Most of the time. She posted the present I made for her on her blog, and since she's still new to all this, I thought more of you might like to see the Bigun acting "the fool".

I guess I just had to show Supa that the meter was A-OK. Sorry about the lapse in the audio to video. And if you are offended. Well, not so much that.

Mom....Dad - you probably don't want to watch this. Or read below the video for that matter.





It may be hard to understand:

There once was a girl named Lindsay
Who was having trouble with her kidney
Her Hubby said from the rear,
"...I'll make you pee clear!"
...he had a big one, didn't he?

Training Ride

Well, this ride is about the best I can come up with for my next two Centuries before CdA. Maybe I can add another 6 miles to the turnaround, which is in the hills, to get some more elevation out of it.









Looking at the www.Mapmyride.com version of the CdA route, I'm not sure that this training ride of mine isn't all that bad after all. Well, it is what it is.
What I really need is to get a few buckets of ice and fill my tub up - acclimatize myself to this cold water swim we have coming up. Warming up on some Idaho hills after that freeze-fest will be welcome!








What am I talking about? Here is the water temps for Lake CdA for the past 31 days. For all of us living below the Arctic Circle, 16 degrees Celsius is 61 degrees Fahrenheit....and even that sucks to swim in.

We got a long way to go, and a short time to get there. Record snows and a cold spring have made for a late snow-melt up there. I guess the prognosis is that even once it starts warming up temperature wise, the cold water runoff will still keep the lake perfect for a 6-pack of Corona, but bad for a two hour swim.

Unless you are built like a polar bear.

At least I have that going for me.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

More Limericks

Rated R

Caution...the middle one is very Limerick-like....ie, dirty-ish...which is perfect for Blink...


There once was a girl named Lana
Who's header once resembled Madonna
Her one brush with fame
was in the Tomb of Shame
Drinking cocktails with her jailer TriMama


There once was a man named Blink
Who's balls, when he rode, they would clink
Women gathered around
to listen for that sound
And as he rode by he'd just wink -


There once was a man named Sweet Baboo
Who ran down the sole of his shoe
Now brothers and sisters
He got some big blisters
And he tried to anoint them with Gu!

Bigun Limericks

Greyhound's at it again - so I had the pleasure of doing the Limericks today. This is a couple hours worth:


There once was a man named Bolder!
Who preferred women a little bit older
He loved BMC
Who’s bikes he had three
But his swim suffered from a bad shoulder

Eye, yei yei yei,
Tri-Dummy wears his bike helmet backwards!
Oh sing me another verse, that’s worse than the other verse
And toss me around by my willy!

There once was rich man from New Orleans
Who showed up to a race in cut off jeans?
He said, “beg your pardon”
My bike’s made of Carbon
But his legs were like two little string beans

Eye, yei, yei yei,
Roman sued himself twice for plagiarism!
Oh sing me another verse, that’s worse than the other verse
And toss me around by my willy!

There once was man called Tac Boy
Who loved products made from Sugoi
Pad up or Pad down?
His whole family did frown
When the smell rivaled that of a dead koi!

Eye, yei yei yei,
Excel Man got chicked again by Tracey Parker!
Oh sing me another verse, that’s worse than the other verse
And toss me around by my willy

There once was a man named Greyhound!
Who used to have a belly that was so round
But he worked and he strained
Now he’s so over trained
That he can’t lift his feet off the ground!

Eye, yei, yei yei,
Nytro drinks Mojitos at breakfast!
Oh sing me another verse, that’s worse than the other verse
And toss me around by my willy

And yes, "willy" is what you think it is. No, it's not tri-related, unless you are in a really, really, realy rough swim start.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Ironweek 6

Good grief...it's been a while since I've posted an Ironweek report. Probably because I've not been pleased with the way training is going. No change for that this week either.

Swim: not as far as I'd have liked. 2x in the pool, 2k and 3k - woop-tee-do!

Bike: got in an early week century which was cool. Then I busted my chain, and my knee, which made the weekend really blow. 123 miles total. Not great, but I did get the long one done. Check.

Run: Crap. 2x on the road. 6 miles and 11 miles. A psudo long run. Made the most of my banged up knee, and probalby shouldn't have run as far as I did.

Total training time: 12 hrs.

It is what it is. Will I tear up CdA? Not likely. Will I finish? Damn skippy. Will we have a blast with all our bloggy peeps? You betcha.

I've extended my training cycle one week in order to attempt a 15+ training hour week so that I feel at least somewhat worthy of being ready to do this event. At least no one can accuse me of being overtrained for this puppy!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Bad things happen in Threes....

Don't worry...in the overall scheme of things, my bad things are minor. First, Friday - flat tire on the truck. No biggie - got out the flat kit, put in a plug, used some "fix a flat" and my bike pump to get the tire over 20lbs, and limped to a gas station for the rest of the air. Easy fix.

About 2 hrs later, some chick in a '04 Caddy CTS or something like it thought I was going to stop at a phantom stop sign, pulled out in front of me, and while I swerved and missed her with my Avalanche (with my cat-like reflexes...) I clipped her front end with the bumper on my trailer. Spun that car like a top! She was uninjured (somehow her fragile IPhone survived the incident unscathed), my trailer still rolls with just some cosmetic damage, but her car got creamed. So that was bad thing #2.

Heading out this morning, I grabbed a flat tire kit for my bike , 'cause I just knew that the rule of 3's would get me out on the trail. It got me alright - 23 miles away from my truck (feeling awesome, btw...HR under 130 bpm the whole way, averaging 18mph, just starting into the hills, on my way to 100m...), cranking up a little hill, my chain snapped. I think I was pushing down with my left leg when it happened, because my right knee (the quad head, not the kneecap) slammed into the aerobar elbow rest pretty darn hard. I tried to get the chain back together, but the links were bent, and me, without a pair of pliers, well, I was pretty screwed. The broken link would not pass through the rear derailleur. Note to self: get smart on fixing a chain in the field. This is my second broken chain in 3 years....

I called TriSherpaDi when I knew I could not limp back to my truck (I'd still be limping, barefoot...) and she came out and got me, my Sherpa saviour (it was an hour drive away just to my truck - then another 25 min up the road)! As I was waiting, my knee started to swell up. I hobbled over to Wendys and got some ice for it, but it's looking and feeling pretty rough. Totally screwed up my big workout weekend (and my first time over 200m for the week - CRAP)!

So the bike's at the shop getting the new chain I should have got a while ago. I'll be staying off my feet to allow for the maximum healing in the shortest amount of time. Looks like I'll get my swim on tomorrow, at least. Who knows, I could wake up and be all better! "Don't laugh, it could happen!", he says with the optimism of Commadore....

Friday, May 16, 2008

Poetry

Two point four, hundred ‘n twelve,
Twenty six Miles onward
Along the banks of CdA
Swam the 2600
“Forward the Lean Brigade!"
“Toward Ironman!” he said:
Along the banks CdA
Swam the 2600

“Forward the Lean Brigade!”
Was there a one dismayed?
Not though the athletes knew
This day would continue:
Theirs not to make reply
They know the reason why
Theirs but to do and tri:
Along the banks of CdA
Ran the 2600

Sun shone above them,
The hard ground below them,
Hills rose a front of them,
Rising and rising;
Encouraged with yell and bell
Boldly they rode and well
Into the mountains of green
Along the path of Iron
Rode the 2600

Flashed all their muscles bare
Flashed as they turned in air
Cranking pedals there
Charging a mountain while
All the world wonders
Plunged in the heat and sweat
Right over the hill they broke
Men and Women
Reeled from steep grade
Shattered and sundered
Then they rode back, but not
Not the 2600

Sun shown above them
The hard ground below them,
Hills rose a front them
Rising and rising;
Beaten by pain and thirst,
Though Heroes all some fell
That they had fought so well
Came through the mount of green
Back from the path of Iron
All that was left of them
Left of the 2600

When can their glory fade?
O the valiant effort they made!
All the world wonders,
Honor the charge they made!
Honor the Lean Brigade
Worthy 2600!

Of course, this is adapted from the Charge of the Light Brigade by Alfred, Lord Tennyson written in 1854 about the Battle of Balaclava. Greyhound is credited for stirring up my "creative" juices in his poetry contest. Five weeks and two short days until 2600 of my new best friends and I toe the line and charge up those hills....towards Iron!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Century #4

Well, the Big'nDummy 1/2 looks like it may have been moved to Monday now. I thought that I wasn't gonna get a long ride in this weekend, so I did a century yesterday, and was pretty pleased with the results.

The goal was to keep the HR between 130 and 140. I did have to take a potty break and refill water a couple of times - but it was nice, again, to do a non-drafting, lonely Century.

That is, until other bikers started showing up. With 20 miles to go, the roadies arrived - particularly Mike, who's training for 6-gap, and doesn't understand that slow for me is painfully slow for him. I kept on having to say, "um, Mike, my HR is 150" and then he'd back it down.

For the final 6 miles, a peloton of riders rode past the water point (yea, I had 6 to go and was filling up - I was that parched...) and I guess it was on. We mounted back up and rode after them - caught the first group in 2 miles, and the second a mile later. I pulled them for about 2 miles (my last 2 miles) and totally blew up, but was really surprised of what I still had in my legs for that last 6 miles. Usually I'm a mess at that point.


Speaking of messes....I was threatened to be "outed" last night amongst spouses of Ironman trainees. TriSherpaDi's got a blog and she ain't afraid to use it! Yes, even the.bigun was too tired to put out. I can hardly believe it myself. Is there some support group I can go to?

Monday, May 12, 2008

Big'n Dummy Half

A turn of events puts the.bigun in the sights of a great week of training and pseudo-racing. No longer bound by 18 hrs of driving and a 4-day class this coming weekend in Charlotte, I'll be working and training as "normal". This weekend is the Florida 70.3 Half M-Dot in Orlando; we have a few friends racing and one in particular who is not. You guessed it - Tri-Dummy.

The Dumster and Family are coming to Disney for a few days of the big Rat. TD was intent on doing the race on Sunday, but waited too long to enter - hence - Tri-Dummy - so the Bigun will host the Big'n Dummy Half IM here at my year-round outdoor training center on Saturday morning.

The plan will be to meet up early, sneak him into my pool for 20 laps and then spend a long T1 heading out to Flatwoods, a 15 mile drive away. Obviously the faster swimmer gets a longer break - not sure how to time the T1 for each of us...may just call that a wash.

Once we get to Flatwoods, we'll have 12.5 mile loop to do 4 times, and a just under 7 mile loop to do once, for the 56 (and change) mile ride. It is what it is. Flat. Paved. Car-less. Should be pretty fast.

We'll get off our bikes (Dummy will have to borrow TriSherpaDi's 53cm Lemond road bike - she's been gracious in allowing a man to mount her...) and run that just-under-7-mile-loop twice - two full laps will probably be a bit longer than the official half - but this is the Big'n Dummy Half....

They don't call this Flatwoods 'cause there's any hills. It's oh-so-nice and flat. The only obstacles are little kids and their silly parents learning to ride their bikes or roller blades.
Of course, there are other bikers our there as well. Oh, and Dummy, please don't forget sunscreen. I'll bring plenty just in case you forget.

Flatwoods is awesome in that there are 4 water cooler points along the main 7 mile loop, as well as one at either end of the 12.5 mile loop. Bottom line: plenty of high quality H2O. Jetpack rode out here with me last week and had a hard time visualizing the park, and since TD will probably will hauling butt - I thought he could get a good visual with these pictures.

Hey, anyone else in the AO not racing on Sunday should feel free to meet us on Saturday morning for all or part of this.

No Medals. No Age Groups. No Clydesdale Division. And since TriSherpaDi and Mrs. Dummy will likely be at the beach while we sweat this half out, there will probably not be many pictures. But we'll try.

This taint the Iron Nut.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Hurricane Man 2008 Swim Race Report

I promise...I tried to keep my HR for this past ride at or under 140bpm. Then the evilness of these disgustingly strong winds kicked in, not to mention the thermometer rising above 90 degrees (every day so far since April 30th!)...I wish I would have gotten up early and started this ride at 6:30 or so. Nice and calm then. No, I had to start at 9:30 and finish at 12:30. 3hrs was all I had to give today - 58 miles of fun in the sun!



This is gonna take some getting used to. And just when I do, I'll be going to Idaho where the high will likely be 80. Water Temps in the low 50's.


Which reminds me. Yesterday I had the pleasure of doing the Hurricane Man Swim - 2.4 mile point to point swim in the Gulf of Mexico. Water was 79 degrees. Winds were steady, 10 mph, giving us a 2 to 4 foot chop.


So I'm thinking 2-4 feet, no big deal, right? Well, 2.4 miles in that crap makes for an upset stomach to say the least. Why anyone would want to suck down 2.4 miles of sea water is beyond me. Note to self: IM Florida, um...no thanks.


My intention yesterday was to swim it at a pace I felt comfortable for IM CDA - right? Kind of a practice run. Going point to point is kinda freaky, especially when it's the first time. I could not see the finish from where we started, and even at what I thought was the half way point, I still could not see the finish. Bummer. So I just swam, until finally I could see the little orange ball in the water, which, after seeing took forever to reach, and moseyed up on shore to the lightning quick time of 1:50:20. Yea, I know. (BTW...I beat 2 men and 10 women with that time; the cutoff was 2 hrs.)

Couple of Open Water Ocean Swim Lessons Learnt:

  1. grease up...salt water under the arms starts to rub raw after a while. Excel Man didn't have problems at all, so it may be a "body type" issue. If you are massive, like the.bigun, then lube up before getting in salt water. If you are puny, like Excel Man, disregard.
  2. being able to swim bi-lateral was an awesome help, as the non-looping swim kept the waves coming from the right the whole time. If you could only breath to the right, well, you were S.O.L.
  3. any knots (or bumps) in your goggle strap, if placed under your swim cap, feels like a nail being driven into your head after an hour. In an hour and a half, your ready to tell the world who really shot JFK. Not sure how to fix that....other than to try.
  4. Once you get salt water up your nose - that's it. Your done. No amount of blowing, squeezing, squinting or swallowing will get that burn our of your sinuses. Maybe those gay looking nose plugs aren't such a bad idea after all....

video

So after this "race", The.Bigun, Excel Man (1:32:27) and Huah Ben (1:28:10) went to the Hurricane Grill for their post-race breakfast buffet. Bleahch! The race was well organized, with shuttles to the start (do ya think we walked 2.4 miles in bare feet on the beach?), kayakers along the way, diesel-spewing police boat off shore, water and Gatorade at the finish line, good check-in and timing, but that breakfast was pretty dang rough. TriSherpaDi and GEL were at a different race doing kayak support (yea, they were having a tri-affair) so there aren't any pictures of this colossal achievement in aquatic endeavors. Nor was there any cowbell. Pout.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Ironman Florida '08

This is out of the Archives of IMFL'07...I was told to wait until Bolder got out of his funk - remember the funk d'Bold from the end of last year?

So this is Iron Girl Nyhus, Iron Jenny, Taconite Boy, TriSherpaDi and The.Bigun sitting around the pool post-Ironman Florida 2007 waxing poetically about blogdom and other heady subjects. Well, not really.

Drinking heavily is more like it.



It's hard to even think about another Ironman - what with The.Bigun's big show coming up in under 7 weeks - but looking at this video, even in it's poor YOUTUBEish quality, has me looking forward to IMFL'08. Lana, Iron Jenny, Michelle, and Excel Man (I linked his wife's blog just to piss him off - oh, what you say? No, he has no blog of his own...) are the short list of folks I know are running the race. Greyhound seems to be on board for a visit to the picturesque Panama City, with some crazy intentions beyond volunteering that day.

Oh yea, TriSherpaDi and I will be there again in support of those mentioned above. We'll be staying in a condo with Excel Man and GEL...so I'm sure we'll be awake at 2am on race day morning so we can get to transition on time for the 7am cannon. Can't be too early for Ironman. Who else will be there for us to cheer for?

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Greensboro Half Marathon

Mom and The.Bigun did the Greensboro Half Marathon together this past Saturday. This whole weekend was a whirlwind - I guess it's best to start at the beginning.

My 89 year old Grandma has pretty bad Alzheimer's and was just recently diagnosed with breast cancer. Ug. An even more recent trip to the hospital with severe bleeding made it pretty clear that we needed to see her again soon! Mom coordinated the weekend in which my Gram's Brother and his kids would drive down (note: Video is family stuff - definately NOT triathlon or running related - most will find it boring...)

from Ohio, while TriSherpaDi and I would drive up from Tampa. We met at the Nursing Home for lunch with that whole crew and my Uncle and his wife - the time we spent was really fantastic. I think Gram was "with us" for a good majority of the time we were there; she seemed to know everyone, and although she was typically quite, her eyes were following the conversation around the table. That time alone was worth 22 hrs in the car over the weekend.

So before the main event...lunch with Gram...TriSherpaDi, Me, Big Bob and Moms got up at 5am for the start of a long day: The inaugural Greensboro Marathon/Half Marathon. Mom's goal was to finish under 2:30, but she really didn't count on the relentless hills. Crimeny! Motion Based has the course pegged at 1050 feet of elevation in 13.6 miles - yes, the course was long - this sucker was never, ever flat.

Disappointingly, the aid stations were few and far between. At least 2.5 miles separated the start and the first two aid stations, and it wasn't until the middle and end of the course until they started to space them a mile apart. By mile 5 we were ready for some fluids...luckily it wasn't hot out, or we would have been in a world of hurt. The extra half mile or so at the end, with an up-hill finish, really let some of the wind out of Moms' sails - but she finished strong and coming in 8 min over her goal on that course was a real accomplishment.

I got in a nice long run for the week at what I can only hope would be my Ironman pace and heart rate. I averaged 135bpm at our pace of 11:40 per mile.

After the race we did the lunch with Gram and then went to my Sister's house for some awesome dinner. The whole darn family was there again - kids included this time. (Again, family video...b.o.r.i.n.g.)


I'll admit that the beer and the great chow helped the time pass; I fell off that wagon before I even got on it! It was dark before we got back to my Mom's, and it was about 10 seconds before our heads hit the pillow. Mom cooked up some awesome pancakes in the morning, and at 10am, we said our goodbyes for the 11 hr trip back home.

Driving still sucks. Just in case you were wondering.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Podcast Milestones

Without us looking, we've actually had one of our episodes (Hallowed Hall) roll over the 200 downloads mark. Granted, some of those folks googling Hallowed Hall are probably thinking they are going to hear something biblical or church-like. I'll bet that was a shock.

Our numbers are now pretty skewed...we produce two versions of each episode, in different formats for folks with different music devises. We try to accommodate. We can't really add the two together...I often see the same computer downloading both versions of the same episode, one of which I'm sure gets deleted.

It also looks like the MP3's get downloaded, at least in the newest podcasts, twice as much as the Steve Jobs version. As great and awesome as Mac is, this was a huge surprise to me (could you read the sarcasm there?).


It's also neat to see the spikes in downloads associated with the release of a new show. The unusual spike for Episode 6 coinsides with the publishing of all the "back" MP3 versions.

A big "Thanks" to all of our now approximately 200 listeners. It's cool to put this product together for you folks - and to get your feedback, which, by the way, is 99% positive. See'ins how you are as much a part of this show as we are, I thought you'd be interested in it's progress. Sorry about the chart, Nytro - hope you made it to a bucket or the bathroom on time.

The "feed" numbers are the important ones - those are all downloaded from our only feed; I-Tunes. When our ultimate goal is total domination of the Triathlon-related podcasts in I-Tunes, well, we have a long way to go, since #1 has 14,000 "feed" downloads per episode, granted, he's on his 61'st episode....do you think we'll even last that long?