Wednesday, February 28, 2007


You remember that scene in Highlander when Ramirez is rowing the boat, and McCloud is standing, and Sean Connery is singing...of course you do - Highlander (the first one...) is one of the best movies ever made - anyway. Ramirez is singing about balance.

There's been some talk recently about which part of triathlon is more important - swim, bike or run. There's argument about putting time into swimming so that you are fresher for the other events, and then there's counter argument that fitness in swimming does not cross over to the other events. Some folks use the mantra, "its all about the bike", and there are many who aspire to save their legs on the bike so they don't crack on the run.

Personally, and I'm no coach or fitness expert, I think it's all about balance. We should balance our workouts to the effort required on race day (with an exception I'll bring up later). I think it relates to the concepts of specificity - train like you race. I've read about guys and gals who spend time in the gym doing squats and leg presses arguing with the guys who say it's best to press big gears in steep hills to build leg strength...just for one example.

For an average age grouper, I guess, in an Olympic, a swim time might be 35 minutes, a bike would be around 1:10 and a run in the neighborhood of 55 minutes, for a 2:45 time. Of course the times would vary, but in this set of "ifs", the swim accounts for 21% of the overall time of the race. The bike is 42% and the run is the 33%. (interestingly, pro-triathlete Normann Stadler's percentages at the Ironman World Championships were 9% swim, 52% bike and 36% run) This means that if you have time for 10 hrs of training each week, you should be spending about 2 hrs swimming, 4.5 hrs biking and 3.5 hrs running. This assumes that you are not relatively "weak" in any one area, and does not account for your natural abilities. If you are weak, or feel that you are, then concentrated blocks of time - weeks - spent with more focus on the weakness makes sense. For planning purposes, however, the balanced approach makes sense to me.

As a Clydesdale, in the first year or so of training, I spent as much time off my feet as I thought I could get away with. As the exception I alluded to above, I figured that I would lose as much weight as possible spending more time on the bike and in the pool so that I would lesson my chances of injury while running. this approach worked pretty well for me - aside from the the obligatory plantar fasciitis on the right foot, I've stayed injury free. After losing the weight, and becoming more "competitive", I've switched to a more balanced approach with running as well. If you compare my running volume to my recent history, it would look like (and it feels like) I'm focusing more on running now. I'll bet that for anyone (like me) who's weak in a certain area, they probably have spent less time training in that area and the challenge would be to be more balanced. I don't know where that point would be for your training - for me it was at about the year mark, after a couple of Olympic races and a couple of disheartening "death-walk" finishes.

Most of us like one event over the other two. We probably came from a particular sport where we were good at what we did - unless you were a Linebacker or Shot-putter - but even big guys, since we can swim pretty well compared to our run, and we can bike, on the flats, pretty well compared to our run, have parts of the triathlon we like better than others. Once the inequity between ability in one sport compared to another becomes too great, that period of "off-sport" focus becomes essential to achieving that necessary balance. You can bet that the weeks leading up to Escape from Alcatraz, I'll be having a swim focus period...big time!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Highlight of my day (so far)

Not that it's been a bad day - it hasn't. I've been clicking on that Cycle Ops link for a week now, scrolling through the clothing section a few times a day, just waiting for that cool rA jersey to show up. After all, we all saw it on Stu's site - he casually threw it over his bars without even a mention in his blog - as if anyone cared so much about is Power numbers when the real topic should have been the glorious jersey! There hasn't been a more highly anticipated clothing item since the Victoria Secret Miracle-bra (yes, tempted to insert picture here...)

So my day is made, now that I've ordered my rA jersey. I even managed a lunch swim - a short one, but it's done. I'm usually pretty much a slouch on Mondays - so any calories burned today are bennies. Last week I did a really cool bike workout - cool because I made it up - even cooler because not only did I dream up this doozie, I actually completed it:

It was a 12.4 mile warm up at 20mph average, then 8 x 1mile intervals with a 2m spinning rest. I managed the first 4 intervals well over 23mph, closer to 24 actually, then the last 4 I was just hanging on, trying to stay over 22.5mph. Since I only had water to drink - too lazy to buy a bottle of gatoraide at 6am on the way to the ride - I pretty much bonked during the last 12.4m cool down. This workout was prompted by me being worried about all the even-paced base workouts done this year so far, and wondering if I had any speed left in these legs.

I also noticed that I went under 70 days before the 101 race - I missed the fan fair, the bugle horns and the cymbals - what I really need is a swift kick in the butt! This morning the Bigun's weight was down to 249 - after a hearty dinner the night before - and the cool thing was that last week, keeping track of my meals, I had a 6,030 calorie deficit. I hope that means I lost some weight last week. I'll try and match that this week - maybe better since I've got some good efforts planned, and get a foothold in the 240's again. Weight goal for end of March - get to 240 even.

For those of you who don't know the system well, Training Peaks has a neat tracking system for logging your meals and seeing what you are eating in regard to calories, carbs and fat. Your logged workouts automatically transfer into that section, so you can see the calories you spend vs the calories you take in. Finding the exact food items can be a little tricky, especially if you are not eating branded foods, but I'm thinking I've been picking stuff that's close to what I'm eating. I'm finding that I'm a horrible eater - I eat way too much fat. Knowing that there's a problem is the first step, right?

Friday, February 23, 2007

Hot Steel on Fabric

"There's nothing that makes me feel quite like a man as hot steel on fabric" - ever since I saw that clip from Will and Grace, I think of it every time I iron. I get up every morning and press my clothes for the day, and that 15 minutes it takes to iron up a tie, shirt and pants (I don't dry clean) gets me to thinking about...stuff.

Lately, there's been lots of chatter about why we do what we do. Folks have goals that they've set for the year, people are fighting with finding the time to train vs. time with family and work, and there are blogs with lists that explain a few things about their authors. It seems to be a time to reflect and try and figure out why we endure the pain and suffering. So I've been doing some introspection myself, and this morning I finally hit the nail on the head when it comes to explaining this part of ME - I don't get satisfaction from my job.

Some people complain that they hate their job. I don't hate my job. Some folks hate the people they work with or for - not me. I have moments where I like my job a lot. There are many things about my job that I really like. I just don't get satisfaction from it. It does not define me, like it does many people, especially those who gain deep satisfaction from their career. I used to have that, years ago, when I was in the Army.

By having a job define them, I'm not implying that it's the only thing that defines them. A Doctor can be a doctor and a parent and a spouse, in fact anyone who loves what they do can have their career or job be an integral part of who they are. I think one major test of your feelings about your job is when you are at a party and folks start talking about work, do you actively participate, or do you just say, "I'm an RV salesman" and leave it at that?

I was talking recently with a good friend from college, Roger, who's at a huge crossroads in his life and career right now, and he has one last opportunity to do something special that he feels he was meant to do. He's lucky in that not only does he truly KNOW what it is but he also has the opportunity to do it. This road definitely defines him, and in taking it, he'll forever be able to say, "I'm Roger C., and I'm a United States Army Special Forces Officer and I served in Iraq, etc, etc (stuff I can't talk about...)". He'd be turning down huge financial opportunities to follow this path, spending time away from his family and friends, and risking his life in the service of others - but it defines him.

Being an RV salesman in no way defines me. With few exceptions, I don't trust the people I work with and for, I'm tired of letting down my customers with inferior products and incomplete service, and most of my attempts to make this work environment better have been thwarted or abandoned at some point by my leaders. Its pretty frustrating at times, yet there are some good things.

Even in a down market (the RV industry as a whole has been "off" 15 - 20% for 2 years now) I can make the money I need to do what I want and pay my bills. The hours are long, but they are easy hours. I have NO responsibilities other than my sales quotas, so my work stress is, compared to my Army days, pretty low. I come home and sleep in my own bed every night, and I am supervised very little - I can sneak out of here pretty much at will. I've been a salesman going on 9 years now in varying industries selling different stuff - so it is what I do. And for you other salesman out there - I'm not knocking the career, just how I, personally relate to it.

Thankfully, Triathlon found me. The physical challenges, the discipline of it, learning about training and physiology, the gear - it all was new yet familiar. Being in the Army and especially Special Forces was very much physical - and I missed that. There's a camaraderie in Triathlon that is similar to the trust formed in the Service that's based in sweat and purpose - and I missed that too. There's honor in Triathlon - it's very much about doing your own work, and it's difficult to corrupt what Triathlon is. It's unique and select - there's a right of passage in Triathlon that few people commit to. I've found something, again, that can help to define me. It gives me a sense of worth - I'm proud of being a Triathlete, and at parties, I can talk for hours about it (to the chagrin of my wife...).

I'm approaching my own crossroads in the realm of Triathlon, the thing that helps define me. Ironman. One word says so much. Commitment. Pain. Suffering. Pride. Honor. Of course I mean the distance, not necessarily the brand. Becoming an Ironman. Joining the exclusive club - club's the wrong word - joining the brotherhood of Ironman finishers. Sharing that moment and moments with the special people who also find meaning in the accomplishment - my wife, my family, my friends, my fellow triathletes.

I'm jealous of my friend Roger and any of you who can find definition, satisfaction and/or meaning in what you do for hours and hours five or six days a week. For now, every stride, every stroke and every cycle gives that feeling to me. Very easily, one or two changes at work could change the way I feel about my job - it's funny how it happens that way - but for now, I'm thankful for the way things are. Hi, nice to meet you, I'm Marc - let me tell you about Triathlon!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Idol Chicks

At the risk of losing my "Man Card" forever, I'll comment on the Idol Chicks from last night - and say that they were awesome. Hands down, the next AI will be a woman. Who goes tonight - there were a couple of stand-out crappies - the Aerosmith Butcher Chick would be my first vote.

Di aka Mrs. Bigun wants to blog about this topic, so that's all I'll write. Thankfully, there are some singers now, so it's worth a watch, at least on girls night.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Idol Boys

Ok, so I'm a little, what's the word for it, juvenile? I'm an Idol fan - been one for 5 seasons now (I skipped the first season with Kelly Clark-whatsherface), and Mrs. B and I look forward to this time of year for our late night sit-in-front-of-the-TV-and-veg mode. With baited breath we sat and watched the beginning of the good part of Idol, the actual competition - the singing - and were wholly disappointed.

Many folks enjoy the auditions - we watched, but how many times can you watch Simon make fun of someone that they put in that room on purpose - just to have us watch them get ripped up by the judges? At least this final 24 are supposed to all be able to sing - they have talent - and that's what I like to watch.

I can't sing. I like to pretend that I can - when I'm alone in my car on the way to work is usually when the fantasy comes to life the most. But I do have a decent ear - I can play guitar and pick up songs pretty easy - and what I heard last night, in a nutshell, sucked.

I looked at Mrs. B and asked rhetorically, "don't any of these guys watch the show?"! Out of 12 dudes, there were only 2 that did anything decent and didn't' completely bore me to tears. One of them just won't make it too much further - the jokester - Funny Chris (Chris Sligh) - with the giant hair and belly to match. Decent singer, and has some personality, but probably not good enough (plus, he really pissed Simon off last night - between him and Seacrest, granted, Simon deserved it with his "darling" remark or whatever he said - it will be interesting to see how that plays out, if at all...).

The only one that showed ANYTHING last night was the Beat-box Boy (Blake Lewis) - cool song, good voice; as of last night, he's the only male with any long-term potential. I really don't like the sound effects, so I was glad he showed that he could sing, and that he's not just a gimmick. I'm not calling him my favorite - still have the girls tonight - but I'm picking him as a contender (looking at them again, JT Clone Guy (Chris Richardson) had a good performance - nothing great vocally, but he'll be able to ride his "look" for a few shows...)

So, who's leaving the show on Thursday? My pick would be the show opener - Slurred Word Boy (Rudy Cardenes) - well, his nickname says it all for me...enunciate, ya jerk! I mean, unless your singing Nervana you don't have an excuse. He'll have competition with Gross Goat Boy (Sundance Head) who didn't sing a single note in tune and picked possibly the worst song he could sing. No, I don't vote, so I can't complain (too loudly) about the results. I just hope there's a girl or two that can bring it, or I'm going to have to find something else to watch.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Gasparilla 1/2 Mary Race Review

It is pretty cool to finally set a fitness-related goal and meet it! My primary goal for this race was to finish under 2hrs. Done! My second goal was to run under a 9min/mile pace. Crushed it. This was a PR race for me by nearly 15 minutes - and the conditions were perfect for it.

The Gasparilla Distance Classic is in it's 30th year - they run a 5k and 15k on Saturday (Heather Gollnick ran the 15k yesterday in 55:08...) and on Sunday they host the Half and Full Marathon. There were some heavy hitters from the Marathon world here today (see picture to the left - those are the guys lined up in front of the barricade) - since we all started together, and the half and full courses split and then came back for the finish, I got to see, if only for a moment, the lead group of Marathoners at their mile 13. "Wow" fast.

The course is flat - only 863' of elevation according to my Garmin. 52 degrees (that's good old fashion American Fahrenheit for those of you wondering...) but very windy - 14mph average wind, which made it feel pretty cool, especially later in the race. The route is gorgeous - as soon as the sun came up and we could see, we were running over bridges and next to water for nearly the entire course. The course was closed, so no worries about cars, and there were well-stocked water and Gatorade aid stations every mile without fail. Along Bayshore Blvd, the long road with the water to the east, there were small bands rocking out, guys with guitars and banjos playing and singing mixed in with the aid stations. It made for a cool atmosphere.

I rarely run with anyone - no partners, no one else around; so this was a freaky start for me. For the uninitiated (like me) there were folks holding up cards on sticks that said, "4:00" and then one said "9:45 pace"...I got in there right at that 9:45 pace setter and figured, if I felt good, I'd catch up to the folks shooting for the 4 hr marathon. We wound up about 50 seconds back from the starting line once the race started - and my Race Sherpa, Mrs. Bigun, said there were folks going by her for a minute or two after me - there were a bunch of folks at this thing. Running amongst all those people in the dark was interesting - luckily I didn't cause any crashes.

I started my Garmin right at the start banner, but of course forgot to stop it for a few seconds after crossing the finish - my typical race ending. Using Motion Based's Map Player, I was able to get my mile pace splits:

Mile 1 - 8:34
Mile 2 - 8:50
Mile 3 - 8:43
Mile 4 - 8:44
Mile 5 - 8:56
Mile 6 - 8:23
Mile 7 - 8:38
Mile 8 - 8:57
Mile 9 - 8:52
Mile 10 - 8:55
Mile 11 - 8:56
Mile 12 - 9:21
Mile 13 - 9:07

Right out of the starting gate, I looked at the pace compared to how I felt, and I got pretty scared. I mean, I was flying for the Bigun, but I felt pretty darn good. Then I checked my HR - it said 172 - I thought, "must be a glitch". Well, the HR never dropped below 170, at least while I was checking it, so I pretty much ignored that metric and just kept on running. From the first step, I had to use the bathroom. Nothing too serious at first, but by the third mile, I had to GO! I kept looking at that pace and I just couldn't bear to lose any time. The whole time I was thinking, "man, your doin' it, don't mess this up!" - so I held it. All the way to the finish. That was the only unpleasant thing about this race.

Official results are not posted yet, but unofficially, according to the Garmin and extrapolated from Motion Based, I finished at about 1:56:40 at an average pace of 8:50 per mile. After the race, Mrs. Bigun and I went up to our friend Hope's condo to watch some of the Marathon finish and to recoup with some bagels and coffee. The last picture is the view of the finish line from her balcony - she's got a great view of the bay and the city from her place. It was really nice of her and Mrs. B to get up early like they did and cheer me on. Thanks!

Edit: Official results are in! 1:57:36 was my official chip time, for a pace of 8:58 per mile - still very much a PR for the distance, and the accomplishment of both time and pace goals!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Under 80

Damn, under 80 days now until the big race. It's not even an "A" race - but it's still a major event for me. 1.86 mile swim, 80.6 mile bike and 18.6 mile run. That's a long way. I know all you Ironman out there are thinking, "not quite", and you're right. It's a step. A big step, but a step nonetheless.

80 days seems like a long time, but really, it's only 2 training cycles. That's it. I've got a big 5 week block, an easy week with a century ride at the end of it, a race week, then a 3 week block, with a two week taper (oh, and throw in another race - St. Anthony's - during the taper). The 5-week block will turn into 3 or 4 hard weeks, then the last week will pear down to the last week taper for my first race of the year (yea!).

My weight loss has been disappointing at best so far. More like non-existent. After Gasperilla this Sunday, I need to increase my focus on my diet. I'm easily distracted - I love to eat. I think what I need to start doing is tracking my calories and what I eat - keep a food log. Just like anything else - it's hard to fix if it ain't being measured...

I'm not sure if I've set realistic goals for the 101 yet. Initially, I was planning on swimming in 1:10, biking under 4:00 and running under 3:00. So that's about a 2:06 per 100yd swim pace - reasonable - a 20.2 mph bike - reasonable - and a 9:40/mile run - which is the biggest challenge of them all for me. I've been getting used to a volume of 15 - 20 miles of running a week - nearly double last year's average weekly run volume, and over the next few weeks I'll up that ante to the upper 20's (I've got to push my average run volume to over 20 miles per week - ha!, to do that by week 22 - 8 weeks from now, I'd have to run 29 miles each week...).

It's staying lighter later now - and daylight savings time is only 3 weeks away. That will mean more after-work workouts, and on Feb 25th the pool hours change back to early morning hours. The more convienient it is for me to workout, the more I do it - I'd like to get to where I'm running and swimming in the mornings and then biking on days off work and after work for some short sprint-type stuff.

I hope ya'll had a great Valentine's Day - mine was awesome! Mrs. Bigun made my favorite chicken dish and finished it up with an awesome chocolate cake - way too much food and sweets, but what's done is done ;-). While she was cooking, we watched "The 13th Warrior", again, for the umpteenth time, but still an awesome movie - one of my fav's. We'll be going to see the musical "Wicked" soon - my gift to her - which will be the first time I've been to the theater for anything other than a movie in, like, forever. I just hope they have popcorn.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Next Bike...

I just really like the idea of this bike. It's the new Giant Trinity Alliance Tri-bike. I just think for a big guy, it's the perfect bike. Of course, Giant's just started shipping them, and this is the first real picture I've seen from an owner (some guy on Slowtwitch posted it), and my LBS doesn't have any yet. This is the upgraded version - the less expensive one is red...which isn't bad either.

I could do without the Zipps - I just don't trust a wheel with spokes mounted into carbon (even clydesdale zipps...) - and I don't like the way he routed the shift cables. I guess I'm really worried about carbon over time, on one hand, and would really like to have a better ride than the all-aluminum bike I have now. Since this one has carbon mixed with aluminum, and the aluminum seems to be in the places I'm worried about (chainstay and bottom bracket) - and - it's got a 78 degree seat post angle, I really like it!

I'm always finding myself riding on the tip of my seat - and I have a long Profile Design Stryke saddle that's mounted as far foward as possible. My Felt has a 76 degree seat angle - who knows how much a difference 2 degrees would actually make, but it can't be a bad thing. I really should invest in a new seat post that extends foward a little - I've read somewhere that the ride on the seat is better when it's mounted in the center of the rails, like it's supposed to.

This bike is also priced right - $2k - and I like the colors, which really is the most important thing. I'll have to keep it on the wish list for a while, since I'm trying to save for a PowerTap setup. Maybe I'm crazy, but I want to get the hub mounted to a tubular rim - and get a matching front tubular for training. Then, I'll get a wheel cover for the PowerTap wheel, and on race day I'll put on my Hed Jet 90 up front, which is also a tubie. Why tubular? If it's good enough for the Discovery team on the tour, then it's good enough for me. I've glued one on my Hed Jet, and it really wasn't that hard - next time I'll try using the tape.

But then again, who knows? This bike, once I get a chance to test ride it, may not fit very well. For now, it's nice to just dream about a new bike.

Friday, February 09, 2007

The Windy City

Just signed up for the Chicago Tri - so it's official. I've got a few folks who have committed to coming over to meet and race with me:

Lil Clyde - a sleeper - Lil Clyde's got legs, and a tattoo, so that makes him dangerous. If he shaves his head, and his legs, I don't think anyone in the 55-59AG can touch him (we'll overlook his real age for the time being). It will be his second tri - his first will be in May down here in Florida at the Mad Dog sprint tri. If eats a lot between now and then, and never goes to the john, he has a chance of being a real Clydesdale. Also, his wife can kick his ass.

Doctor Drew - when you're ready to crack like a walnut, Doctor Drew will be there to crack your back as well. A Chicago resident, the Doc will most likely be hosting a pre- and/or post-race dinner or breakfast or two. D.R. goes about 6'15" - so he's likely to be a Clydesdale competitor unless he goes bulimic over the spring. I don't think his wife can kick his ass, but if she were to get really angry, who knows?

The Romanator - need I say more? Big Roman will be chasing bumblebees and cranking out huge watts on his new black and red beast, laughing at how measly all these Olympic distances are compared to his daily Ironman routine. The Romanator is out to win it all - take no prisoners - last man standing - lets just say that when the fat lady is singing, Roman will be on his 3rd or 4th pint. His wife could mop the floor with him.

It's still a long way out, but Chicago is one of Mrs. Bigun's favorite cities, and I've never been there, so we are both really looking forward to it. Plus, I've never had the pleasure of meeting Roman - so that will be very cool as well. How 'bout some more for the party?

Thursday, February 08, 2007


Did you ever have one of those days where the wind was always in your face? Today was one of those days! I was feeling adventurous and board of my Flatwoods 12.5m-loop routine, so I ventured out the the Suncoast Trail. I waited for it warm up to about 60 degrees, which took until about 11:00am - by 11:30 or so I was wheels up.

A change of scenery sure made it nice. The friggin wind in my face, however, kept my head down for most of the 35m trip out. I started out at the Lutz Fern Trailhead and headed North, right into the 5-10 mph wind (it sure seemed stronger than that - the trail is very exposed, running right along the parkway) The last few miles were in some nifty hills (a nifty hill is one that does not require shifting from the big ring, but does require some standing up) which blocked the wind a little. I stopped for a minute or two to hit one of the two bathroom facilities that are on the trail, and refilled with water and got back out on the trail.

The first thing I noticed on the way back was a lack of relief from the driving, in-your-face wind that I had to deal with on the way out. I remembered reading Myle's 300k brevet report on how in Arizona the wind blows one way in the morning and then the other in the afternoon. Well, I started before be fair, the wind didn't do a 180 - more like a 90 degree shift, and instead of wonderfully at my back, it was now blowing across the path.

I also realized I need a bunch of work with the new pedals - the Looks - those are heck to clip in and out of! The old Speedplays I had let me twist out of them completely - these require a twist and then a pull, and while I haven't fallen yet, I've been close a few times while flailing about trying to get my foot unclipped. All those road crossings today shed some serious light on the joys of owning one-sided pedals.

As far as hard bike rides go, this one was the second hardest I've ever done - the long century still tops it, and the Hilly 100k is just behind it. I'd certainly recommend this route for someone visiting or living in the Tampa area - the path was well paved, the road crossings were busy, but they were at lights at the busy intersections, and there was plenty of rest stops and water points, should you need them. Having just over 80 days until the 101 with it's 80 some-odd mile bike, I've got to put in a few more of these over the coming weeks, and change my perspective on what an "easy" ride is. Looking at my GPS download, I got pretty close to the end of the trail - maybe next time...

Monday, February 05, 2007


Ok, I deserve it. Somehow, I saw this Superbowl commercial, thought I heard "Timberlake" when I really heard "Federline" (I know, it even says KF when it opens...). I just watched and listened again - if you're not a fan, and wouldn't know either of them if you ran into them with your Avalanche (wishful thinking...), the bossman could have said "Timberlake" just as easily as what he did say, "Federline..." An easy honest mistake, but a mistake nonetheless.

Retribution has been demanded of me. For too long now I've been riding Bold on his taste in music, namely his obsession with JT. For the life of me, I can't understand why someone in our Age Group would groove to the beat of JT, even if said person was handicapped by, say...nationality or hairstyle. Different strokes for different folks - but still, a grievous error has occurred by me, and an act of retribution is necessary to bring the stars and planets back into alignment. So what could I do?

Something physical perhaps - some pushups or situps? No, too military. Give up something I love, like beer or pizza or pop-tarts? No, just too hard. How about a little self-depreciation? A picture of myself at my first multi-sport event, nearly 30lbs ago? Now there's a handsome fellow....thankfully there are no shots of me coming out of the water.

Something else, music related, perhaps? Ok - very few people know about this - you know the cell-phone commercial with the "Come and get your love" song as it's tag line? Well, until those commercials started to air, I always thought that song went, "garden guitar love" - yea, I'm a dork. I like ELO - yea, I'm a dork. Dr. Hook - I'm a fan. I've got issues, I'll admit it - just not too loudly.

Bold, I'm with you on one thing - massages. I've yet to ever get a massage. Not even the freebies after a race. Don't touch me - hey Ray, hey Sugar, Tell 'em who we are....(now there's a famous yet obscure reference...). I may come around to massages some day - I promice you, however, that I'm not going to rush out any time soon to buy a JT disc. Cameron Diaz, really? I know, old news - I'm such a dork.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Good Intentions

I had every intention of biking this morning. I got up when the alarm went off - 5:30am. I wrapped a blanket around my shoulders and turned the news on just in time for the weather report. Currently 51 degrees in Tampa, windy with bands of rain. Doppler radar showed rain right over my bike loop, and out in the woods, it's always a little colder. I turned off the TV and climbed back into bed on my way to sleeping in to 8:30. Nice. So much for 3 x bike rides this week.

Got me some new running shoes yesterday - the local Sports Authority was running a deal with the Gasperilla folks and I got half off my entry fee with my Nike purchase - saving $20. Nike's really run small - I had to get a size 15 - but they fit just fine. Ran with them last night and they felt great. It sure is nice running in new shoes. About 7 mile in, it started raining - crap! Not on my nice new Nikes! So instead of 10 miles, I ran 8.8 miles. Small sacrifice to keep the new shoes looking and smelling good for a while.

I got the Nokon cables in the mail this week - the brake set came missing a part. The place I got them from, ICYCLES, made me mail the whole kit back instead of just sending the part I needed. None of my LBS's carried the Nokon cables, so I had to order out - hence the aggravation. I bid on Ebay for some used Profile Design Sonic Stryke aerobars, but didn't win, bummer. I want some bars that will allow for internal cabling, so if not these, I may have to opt for the Ironman Carbon Strykes. Either way, I'm tired of wrapping my aerobars. I also got a set of replacement brakes - Kool Stop - for my new (used) Dura-Ace brakes.

I also modified my workout plan for next week. It would have been an easy week, but with my hamstring nagging me 2 weeks ago, it was like an easy week. Plus, I'd like to taper a bit for Gasperilla - and put out a good effort at that half marathon. So next week's a big effort week, to round out the cycle, and then it's a week taper for the half mary. When I registered yesterday, I got their race shirt - really nice cool max, tight, light weave, and a neat design - I tried it out on my long run last night and no nipple bleeding, so the shirt is a "go" for Gasperilla.

My running's improved with the focus and increase in intensity, and my bike seems to be hanging in there - biking is so time-intensive, and lately my work has been getting in the way of everything else. Swimming has been taking the biggest hit; I've been to the pool only once in 2 weeks! That's got to change - I'll try and take small bites out of that next week with 3 lunch miles and at least one long swim on a day off. Just hope the weather cooperates. All of our pools are outdoors, and the slightest bit of rain or cold air and it seems like the pools are closed for half-hour blocks until they can "re-evaluate". Feb 25th the schedules go back to normal at the YMCAs - right now the pools are only open during my work hours (and until 7pm - get off at 6, drive to the pool, change and I'm left with about 30 minutes...).

I'm really enjoying reading about raceAthlete's team trip to Temecula for the bike camp with Mel and Floyd and crew. Sounds like it was a great trip with some awesome people. Thanks for keeping us posted on it.

Only 8 weeks until my season-opening Triathlon - gosh the "off season" went quickly. I hardly feel ready to start up again. Two more training cycles to ramp up for that race - granted it's a "C" race, but it's still a race. It will be my litmus test for St. Anthony's - my "A" olympic and early season race - the Tri-America Triathlon has some different distances - 2k swim, 37mile bike and 9 mile run - and it's in the hills of Cleremont - so I'd better be ready. It's time to crank it up a bit.