Friday, February 29, 2008

First Iron-Nightmare

I've seen a couple of fellow CdA Bloggers posting about M-Dot nightmares, and I just knew it was only a matter of time!

I'm out of the water just fine, and on the bike. Right out of the gate, something's weird - I've got no speed! I look down - a flat....well, low pressure at least. I stop, pull out a CO2, and low and behold, my front tire is a knobby off road tire...WTF?!?! I try to put some air in, but the valve is loose (?) so I screw it in until it stops leaking air - which it doesn't completely. Argh! I'm less than a mile out, so I limp the bike back into transition and find the mechanic tent.

The dude there was awesome. Well, too awesome. He starts tearing my bike down, pulling my cables off and re-installing them correctly. Then he starts putting on new tires - they are a weird kind of tubless glue on - not at tubular, mind you, but some black-tar-like-sticky-mess glue-on clincher. I remember the tire was a weird color, and it was called a Trek Lemon. I'm trying to help, he's telling me to "hold here" and I'm just watching the minutes tick by.

I woke up to a cold, sweat-filled pillow. I hope this isn't going to be a regular occurrence. I miss my "normal" dreams, you know, the one's with Nytro and SupaLinds holding up "Vote McCain" signs at one of those bikini-car wash Republican fund raisers. Good stuff.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Ironweek 17

Time now for another boring edition of Ironweek....

Wow - has everyone gotten that flu/cold this year or what? These things seem to get harder and last longer every year. Peeps are gonna start die'n from this one of these years, I'm afraid to say. To all of you trying to train through it, I can only say this, "be careful".

A week after my Marathon, my HR's are back in the normal range for a given pace...pre-marathon normal that is. I made it a point to hold back a little on my running last week, just to give my legs one more week of recovery. So while I only did 16 running miles in 3 runs, the "long" run on Sunday of 8 really felt good. I'm ready to get back into the necessary volume! (yes - that's my weak, early-Monday-morning attempt at "Blue Steel" )

Biking was fun this week. I got in 3 bikes (for 136 total) for the first time in ages. Again, where I could still feel the fatigue of the Marathon on Tuesday's 25 miler, Saturday's 74 miles were a breeze. Except for the 3 hours of rain. I actually thought of all of my bloggie peeps in Northern states, cooped up inside on trainers and instead of bailing with my soggy shoes, I finished the ride. Thanks, guys and gals!

Only 2 swims. Short ones. Seriously way under the standard. Those were the first two swims in nearly 4 weeks - no wonder I felt like someone tore my arms off and beat me with them. Week 16 will be a much better swim week. Actually, it would be hard for it to be any worse...

On the horizon:

This Saturday's long ride will include none-other-than Jetpack! He tells me he's quickly assuming the shape of a pear, and desperately needs to get out and ride. Coolness! I'll have some good company for 82 miles as I share some quality time with a fellow blogger, podcaster and Triathlete.

Meetup with my 'ol College roomie and stud Ironman Wisconsin Finisher-Triathlete -TA- on March 5th - he and his boy are running a marathon up in Cheesehead country and while he's here at Disney, he'll humor me with a run. I say humor me 'cause he goes about a buck thirty soaking wet, so our run velocities are sure to have a high Delta. If my memory serves, which it usually doesn't, TA may be the originator of my "Bigun" handle.

West Point Founder's Day on March 7th - the one year anniversary of our meeting Exel Man and Green Eyed Lady - if it weren't for the fact that we were both scheduled to do the same race later last year, we may have never became fast friends. Another reason why Triathlon is so cool.

1st Multisport event of the season, the Florida Escape to Alcatraz on March 9th. 1k swim, 15m bike and 5k run - it will be fun to go fast!

Dang, that week is going to be busy! TrisherpaDi just informed me that we may be going to a Steeplechase with horses and whatnot on March 9th instead. If that's the case, then there's a 7 mile bike Time Trial I can do on the 8th here in Tampa, and a 15k run on the 9th that may get me done early enough to enjoy the day with my favorite Sherpa!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Tacboy 'n Bigun are at it again! Episode 4 is out...and in I-tunes for your workout pleasure.

Show notes:

Laughing at ourself
We still suck
Marathon Blues
Tape to the top tube
Tongue tied
Tomb of Shame
Commadore loves us!
Comment Vault
Pad in vs. Pad out (gross!)
Blink Interview!
Tac rips Bigun for no M-dot
TriDummy comments on the Rules of Bling
Clydesdale Corral - Marathon Before Ironman?
Jumper2point0 awesome comment!

Be a bit careful with this podcast - we talk about sex a little bit. No "Adventures", No Commercials, just us this time. We got a bit wordy, sorry....

Thanks for listening!

edit: not sure why it's not listed in I-tunes yet, but if you are a subscriber, it will download, at least it did for me and 66 others yesterday (which is a new, first day record for the Tacboy 'n Bigun Podcast!)

Monday, February 18, 2008

Ironweek 18

It's been a while since my last Ironweek update - I feel like I'm starting from scratch! In that vain, I'll post my spreadsheet pic and just leave it at that. Week's across the board.

I do feel great as far as my heart and my recovery from the Marathon last Sunday. I've gotten a short run in and a swim, and both went off without too much of a hitch. Tomorrow's bike will be telling.

This is all getting very exciting now. I just threw some workouts into my Training Peaks calendar, and with the races I have scheduled there is very little time left for training blocks. I think it's going to work out perfectly with rest weeks ending on race days, and the races are spaced out just right to cycle the training. At least that's the plan, barring any more setbacks, sicknesses, etc...

No, The Bigun's video submission didn't make the Evotri top 10 - like that was any suprise! I hope the next two skills tests don't revolve around technology and/or computer skills. Either way...I've been looking for a rear race wheel on e-bay (I know, left field...) and haven't been very lucky in my bidding. Folks think those HED Jet 90's and Deeps are worth more than I do - but that's the beauty of e-bay. I certantly haven't been shopping very victoriously.

Tacboy 'n Bigun Episode 4 - as of yet unnamed - will hopefully air tomorrow or Wednsday. It's way long right now (68 min), and we still have fun stuff to add, so the parring down process is difficult. Look foward to the interview with Blink and some great comments by some of your favorite bloggie peeps. Oh yea, and TriDummy...

Friday, February 15, 2008

No Jinx...

I certaintly don't want to jinx myself, but last night, possibly due to some Valentine related extraneous internal electrical stimuli (sans race bling...), my erratic heart beat stopped beating....erraticly. The skipped beat is no longer there. Today - no shortness of breath just walking around the house, no thumping in the chest - so while I was very scared my IM hopes and dreams were dashed due to a crappy Marathon decision, I can prematurely state that I will soon be back in the saddle. And pool. And on the road. Yea!

Crapcakes! Have you seen just how horrible my Evotri submission is compared to the likes of Commadores? He's the only one I know that's in the mix...I doubt I'll even make the top 10. Good luck put a cool submission together.

This heart thing is wierd. All of a sudden I feel like I have a new lease on life. Well, a new lease on my training anyway. I'm excited, again, to get out there and do it. I'll give it the weekend, to really let my cardiovascular system recover, and next week...ease back into it. All I can say is,

"Lookout Tampa, The.Bigun is Back!"

edit: now I see TriBoomer, Shirly Pearly, and Steve in a Speedo are in the mix - and yes, my submission still lacks any refinement....good luck to all!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Post Marathon Excitement

Ok, ok...I was warned. All of you can say, "I told you so!" - go ahead. I deserve it. It's been 2 days now, and my resting HR is still over 90 bpm. Luckily it's raining today, again, and I've got no lawns to cut. So here I sit, blogging, worried that I won't get better quick enough to start training again any time soon. I certaintly feel better. If I had the heart for it, my legs could go out and do a jog or a bike ride right now... I can feel it.

The legs are still sore, but I had a good race for lower-extremity injuries - no blisters, no sprains, no phantom pains. Yea me.

So this weekend's 12 Hrs of Sebring is not going to happen. That's for sure. Nice donation to the Sebring fund. I feel bad about leaving Curt, aka Excel Man high and dry for the race - but I'm totally not healthy.

Anywho...on the brighter side, I submitted my video for the Evotri Team today. It's totally HORRIBLE! Ha! It's comical how crappy it is, especially compared to some of the other submitters that I parused. For example, there's a woman who's putting together a team of folks with diabetes to finish an Ironman. Nice. There's another woman who's lost a hundred and some odd pounds who put together a top-notch video production. Great stuff. Then there's The.Bigun:

I had to cut 11 minutes out of the video I made to parry it down to 3 minutes or less. I've only got Quicktime Pro - undoubtedly the most useless video editing software known to PC users. I had a version with music added...I did figure that out, but youtube would not accept it for some reason. I tried putting in text, but that just didn't work either. Oh well. But, really, sincerely, I think I'd be a great addition to the Team, granted, if I can ever train again.

PSA to all you Neanderthals out there (and you know who you are) - tomorrow is Valentines Day! 'Nuff said.

Does anyone else have NO SPELL CHECK on thier Blogger, like me? I'm possibly the world's worst speller, except for, perhaps, the dude who accused Wintzy of streatching the "trooth". What a maroon!

And hey, we need callers for our podcast - so we are starting up a new feature called the Hallowed Hall Library, and in the Library, we have the Hallowed Dictionary - in it, we will store new words and thier meanings as told to us by fellow triathletes. These should be words not normal in usual circles - they can be made-up words, but we have to have the specific meaning.

Also, not yet approved by the League of Triathletes Tri Councel, but an issue nontheless...our esteemed collegue and tri-partner Commadore has expanded the rules governing the wear of race Bling (brought to us initially by TriDummy in Episode One) to include times of intimacy with the opposite sex (or in some instances...well, lets not go there Kahuna). There are a miriad of issues surrounding this contravercial rule expansion - we want to hear your side! The Tacboy 'n Bigun hotline is 813-990-0951. Weigh in, people!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Gasparilla '08 Marathon

Ug. It was Clobberin Time alright...'sept the Bigun was the one gettin' clobbered. Super-huge thanks to Diana and Bob for getting up early with us and coming to watch and Sherpa. I'm sure watching a Marathon is about as exciting as watching paint dry. My Sis Allie and her hubby Sam came out later to watch the finish as well. Thanks!

It was pretty ugly. All notions of sub-4:30 were out the window at mile 18. At that point, I was just hoping to come in under 5hrs - which I didn't do. 5:05 was my time. It was a long day.

I guess there's a difference between just getting over a cold, and being better from a cold. So lesson #1 from this experience - when your HR is in the hight 150's and your only running 10:30's - you may still have some lingering problems. Before I got sick, I could run 10:30 - 11:00 at a HR of under 130 in warmer temps than we had on Sunday. So that was a red flag that I should not have ignored.

Lesson #2: Don't try to make up time on a Marathon. There were NO porto-potties at the start of the race, so at mile 1 I had to wait in line 3 back for the first blue bucket I saw. I had hydrated well enough. Mom kept running, and I told her I'd catch up. I didn't think I'd have to wait so long! When I got out of the john, my average pace had dropped to 12:00. I cought back up to my Mom in around a mile and a half, right at the 10:45 pace I had left her at. But I had to run hard to catch her. So that was dumb.

Lesson #3: Even when sick, use your HR as your tachomoter. I should have seen right away that my high 150's and 160's HR was gonna keep me from getting that 4:30 goal and I should have adjusted. Instead I plowed ahead, from mile 7 to mile 13, running sub 10's to try and get my average pace down to 10 per mile; the pace needed to reach my goal. I got down to somewhere around 10:11 average pace, but I really paid the price. I was cooked, done, stick a fork in me, kaput, shoot me in the face at mile 20. It was a suffer fest for the last 10k....and for what? A crummy 5:05, when I could have slowed it down early and possibly had the same outcome but without the agony for the last 10k.

Lesson #4: Landmark running. When it really got bad, I was walk-running for as long as I could stand the running, and I think sometimes I walked too far. For the last 2 miles, I remembered to pick a light pole and run to it, then walk the next set of poles....I made some serious ground on the group of fellow sufferors I had been walking with by doing that, and concentrating on the landmarks instead of the pain was a great help.

Lesson #5: More run volume. I was averaging just at 30 miles of running a week in the 10 weeks prior to this race (not counting recovery weeks), and I don't think that was enough. In the time I have left for CdA, I'm going to try to up that to 40 miles per week. On the flip side, it is very true that of the three events, the run is the one event in an Ironman that if you have to, you can walk. You still have to bike the whole bike, and swim the whole swim.

Mama Bigun did great - busted her 2:30 half marathon goal with a time 2:27. I took some video along the way - of course it's disjointed and hard to understand...I wanted to film more at the end, but just didn't have the heart left for anything but finishing. I'll tell you what - half marathons are WAY more fun than the full. I've heard from more than one person that running the marathon after swimming and biking, for some reason, is easier than a stand-alone marathon. We'll see about that....

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Clobber Time!

So the marathon is in 2 days, and I've thankfully stopped blowing my nose every hour. Actually, I didn't have to drain the sinuses once today. No headache. No fatigue. I'm just about there.

Before the sickness, my goal was a sub 4:30 mary. Can't say as though I've changed my goal all that much. Using the Merv Scale and subsequent servey from 1997, revisited in 2003, my predicted Marathon time based on a 50 min 10k and 30 miles average running per week is 4:34 (using a factor of 5.5). Not sure if the folks in the survey took 2 weeks off prior to thier marathons, but hey, what the heck!

Looking forward to seeing my Mom run her half marathon, and Excel Man's wife Green Eyed Lady running her first half marathon with Team in Training. They'll be undoubtedly enjoying a cold one or two before I cross the line a couple hours later. The weather is supposed to be perfect - 50 or so at sunrise, highs in the 70's, clear and low humidity.

One of the cool things about this race route is that the last 6 miles are run along Tampa Bay, and from 21.5 miles out you can probalby see the finish line across the Bay. There's nothing soft about that road, however - it's all concrete, if I remember correctly. I had wanted to (planned on) getting some new running shoes 2 weeks ago, before I got sick. I've got 407 miles on these puppies now - I know, I know - but I'm not about to wear new, unbroken-in shoes to run 26 point 2.'s time to take on the persona of my alter-ego - my personal super-hero - The Thing, put my head down and HTFU! I'm fighting the residual cold, the historical data, and my 250 lb belly to break into my sub 4:30 goal. The race plan - go out slow and steady with Mom; I think her plan is to run 11 min miles. I'm kinda hoping she can go 10:30's, but if it's 11's, so be it. Then pick up the pace after 6 miles when we go our seperate ways to 10's for a while. Somewhere in that mix, I'm going to have to run a few 9:30's. I'm planning to have to back it off at the end to 10 again.

The feel good plan is to drop it in gear and hang at 9:45 or so for as long as I can hold it. When it all goes to s$it, I'll be happy to finish under my 1st Marathon time of 4:55.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Tacboy n' Bigun Episode 3

Here's another one for you - Episode 3: Sherpa Salute. I really wanted to call it MetroSerpual, but I think I was the only one who thought that was funny. Anywho. It was fun to make; hopefully you'll have fun listening! Everyone we poked fun at this Episode has got thick skin and hopefully realizes that we fully expect to get it back with both barrells. "Don't dish it out...." and all that.

Thanks for listening!

Show Notes:

Cold riding
TriSaratops man crush
Dress for success
Project Runway
Biking metro-sexually
Spokane Al blast from the past
Poo shuffle
Sponsor the Funny Show!
10k PR or "Earthquakes rock Tampa"
Boots in Bed
Commodore Eviction
KT suggests "Bling for Dummies" book for the Hallowed Hall Library
Comment Vault!
Blink condemned to the Tomb of Shame
TTK thinks we royally suck
Experienced beyond our episodes
More charming than the Kahuna!
What's a Sherpa?
TriDummy Speaks (grab some coffee...)
TriSherpa extraordinaire - Di
Wrap up
Amaising Adventures of Taconite Boy
Vato speaks from Las Vegas
TriDummy interview teaser

That big picture logo on the right side of my blog will take you to the I-Tunes download or subscribe window.

If you'd just like the MP3 file, well, you can get it here:

Monday, February 04, 2008


I've been a bad blogger. I've been sick. Sorry. I've had this crud in my sinusus now for a week and I was hoping for a reprieve today, Monday, but such luck. Still not quite 95% - I got to doing some lawn work and got winded pretty quickly, so the prosopect of a swim or run is just not in the cards.

I'm a bit worried about the Marathon scheduled for this Sunday. I'm keeping in mind Iron Jenny's probable cause for her heart issues; ie, endourance event on the heels of, or actually during a sinus infection. Her head cold may have lead to a virus attacking her heart, and she's had issues ever since IM Switzerland becasue of it. I certaintly don't want to go down that road for a "C" race like this Marathon. If it ain't CdA, BTW, it ain't more than a "C".

So if it seems like I've been in hiding - not much comment love lately either, sorry to say - it's just temporary, due to the constant running of my nose, and not my legs.

As a teaser, Episode 3 of The Taconite Boy 'n Bigun Podcast is due to hit I-tunes soon....most likely tomorrow...entitled "The Sherpa Salute". Or "Metro-Sherpual" - but probably not the latter.

So this is a big week. Marathon decision. Mom coming on Friday - she's running the half marathon race the same day as the full for me. Still doing taxes. Still cutting lawns. Life goes on. Diana's really pretty sick too - as these things tend to be household affairs, so we may need to fumigate or quarantine the Bigun house!

Oh, and like a dumb-ass, I signed up for the 12 Hrs of Sebring scheduled for 6 days after the Marathon. 12 hrs on the bike. What was I thinking?