Monday, August 31, 2009

Does it have to be monday again?

Turned out to be an incredibly nice weekend. Saturday got hot, but I got a ton of yardwork done. Remember that huge tree that snapped in half back in june? Got the last chunks of it chopped up and tossed out. That sucker was 20" in diameter and I cut through it with an axe. Now it's time to fix my grape trellises and bring in some rednecks to climb up and cut down the rest of that tree. Got some other odds and ends taken care of too. Trimmed some other trees, spread some mulch, etc.

Friday the roofers came back looking for more work. They were having trouble making their rent and wanted to do anything else for a buck. They are a couple of decent guys, so I really wanted to help them out and I needed some gutters hung on the front of the house. So I paid for materials and labor when I really didn't have that much cash to get the job done right now. Still, it's good to help out those less fortunate, right? Turns out they bought cheap materials (vinyl gutters? really?) and it turned out looking like shit. So now my lovely revamped exterior with a new roof and paint job now has white plastic gutters on the front. I'm out $240 that I didn't have to begin with and can't get back, and I'm going to have to tear down that crap and hang aluminum gutters by myself. Nothing like paying twice for something I didn't want to do myself anyway. Still, the point was to help out others who were looking for work. Maybe the vinyl won't look so bad if I paint it to match the trim.

Saturday I also got in a 10 mile run! Broke it down into (2) five mile sections. Did the first one in 46:21 and the second in 46:31. That's just over a 9 minute pace. It was the first time since the marathon in June that I've put up a double digit milage run. Felt really good at the time, but now there are tons of sore muscles. Lactic acid is a good thing here, right? It felt so good to really get some quality miles in again, I can't wait for tuesday's speedwork. But at the same time, I had enough sore non-running muscles (I think from swinging an axe at that tree) like back, arms, chest, so I skipped the normal sunday long bike ride.

Kelley and the girls made it back from Raleigh late saturday, with her dad. He left early sunday morning to head home. They had a really really good time up there. Kelley found a house she wants to buy up there, so who knows how we can make that work out. It really was a good week for them up there. Bigun didn't want to leave. Evil Genius was a little homesick. I think she had wreaked all the havoc possible in the new house and was ready to get back to her unfinished work here.

We all know I don't show much discretion here, but this story really puts the * in F*ck. Yesterday (sunday) Bigun started saying Holy F*ck. Repeatedly. We told her not to say that, but she instantly replied about how much she liked saying Holy F*ck. Then she started singing it like the NBC chimes, which if you are musically inclined are the notes G - E - C (as in the parent company GE Corp - Trivia!) as in Ho - Ly - F*ck. I had a very difficult time convincing her this was a bad thing while I was laughing my ass off. The worst part about it was she started doing this as we were in the car DRIVING TO CHURCH sunday morning. That's just my luck. Our second time going to this church getting the kids to stay in the nursery, and my 4 year old walks in singing Holy F*ck. Thankfully, she did stop before we got there. OMG I was laughing about that for the rest of the day.

At least until EG topped that. Oh yea. Evil? Can you really have an Evil 2 year old? Kelley was unpacking the suitcases when EG grabbed a bra and ran off laughing. Then she came back in a few minutes later and did her best Dr. Evil impression yet, screaming "NEVER FIND BOOBIES AGAIN! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA" in an incredibly evil tone. Then she turned and ran out laughing while Kelley hit the floor. I mean it was perfect. Her voice got really low and throaty with the hahahahaha part, it was amazing. Later that evening, Bigun found the bra and ran back in screaming "I found the boobies!" Classic stuff.

Today I am still jaw dropping amazed at the Ironman Louisville folks yesterday. Big congrats to all the finishers. Ryan (Caught on the Run) finished in 9:38 3rd in his AG and qualified for the Kona championships. A-freaking-mazing. Coach Katie just ran Ironman Lake Placid on 7/26/09. She's had the goal of a sub-11 hour Ironman for years now. She was supposed to be taking 2009 off from racing herself, and instead she does 2 just a few weeks apart? She finished yesterday in 10:50, finally making her goal. She also went to Kona a few years ago. This was her 17th Ironman. Also Marni broke 11 hours. This is incredible! She finished in 10:54. She also went to Kona in 2007. I don't know if there were just favorable course conditions or what out there, but wow everyone was fast. It's truly inspiring to me to see these bloggy peeps and friends do so well.

Too bad we all have to go back to work today. It's a rainy cool last day of august here in SC. It's supposed to be cooler than normal all week long here, I think thanks to the hurricane off the coast. Next weekend is Labor Day weekend, it's supposed to get back up to 83 then. Much better than the typical 93 degrees we see this time of year. Makes me wish it was actually fall. But normally a cool week like this is followed by 9 more weeks of summer before it finally gets cool. Seriously, the last time this happened was a few years ago, and I ended up wearing shorts to thanksgiving dinner that year. So I want to enjoy it while I can and hope for the best. Hope your week goes well too!

Friday, August 28, 2009

I'm sore?

First, sorry bout the whiny post yesterday. In my defense, I checked the horoscope at the end of the day and found:

August 26 could turn out to be quite difficult, due to Mars in ..., so we have to anticipate problems. For you, a partner or ex-partner will be much too forceful, asking you to accept certain terms or a way of dealing with an issue, but in a highly unfair way. This person won't be easily deflected. This would be no day for a negotiation..., making for a very nerve-wracking time.

So it seems it was going to be a stressful day no matter what I did. And yes, wednesday 8/26 was just as stressful as what I wrote on Thursday. Thurs did not turn out to be any better, really. However, I did knock off of work slightly early (6:20 instead of 6:30) and get a run in. It was so nice to leave the gym at 8:30 instead of leaving the house to go to the gym at 8:30! I ran 5 miles at a nice pace right around 9 minute miles. I pushed it like you should for a good tempo run, but the speed just wasn't there last night. slowed it down to long run pace and felt like I could go on forever.

Stopped after 5 miles instead of planned 6 miles so I could get out of there in time to hang with Morgan some. We enjoyed many beers and hung out watching football for quite a while.

But then today my legs are sore? I knew only one run in the last 2 weeks was going to leave me picking up the pieces a little bit. Maybe I would be slower than expected, or maybe not have quite the endurance I was looking for. but I certainly didn't expect sore leg muscles. I've lost a little flexibility in the last couple of weeks too. Got to do more yoga.

Have a great weekend, and good luck if you're doing Ironman Louisville tomorrow. There are so many people to track!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Good thing I'm not training for Ironman

OH WAIT! It's only 71 days away!

I have a list of frustrations a mile long today. But they are nothing but excuses. It is time now to put all excuses aside and get miles done. I have a very effective training plan and it's time to follow it more closely. We were out of town for the weekend, I got back home tuesday night late so I missed my speed run. I haven't been keeping up with the yoga and tri power workouts this week. I did get 25 miles on the bike last night. It was great.

First, the frustrations are not only sourced in training. There's work/job problem, I'm sick of living in Greenville, house trouble, even my garden is full of weeds and the bugs are so thick I can't get out there and do anything about it. The heat is opressive, humidity makes the bugs stick to you, and you can't be outside for more than 3 minutes at a time. My grass is knee high, and Kelley found a house in Raleigh she wants to buy. I want to buy it too, it's such a cool place. But it's over 1000 sq ft smaller than our house now and I have no idea how all of our crap will fit in there. Moving is incredibly stressfull, I'm ready to dump the mountain house, I think we will have to dump the mountain house to get the mortgage off of our credit to qualify to buy this new house. The new house is in Raleigh, NC a good 4 hour drive from where we are now. Did I mention job instability? Working from home we can live anywhere. It's all frustrating.

Sorry for the verbal flatulence there. it just kind of came out. I usually take August pretty hard, and I'm glad it's almost over. Every year August seems to get worse and worse.

Kelley and the girls are still in Raleigh with her dad. With my few days of freedom, the nicotine demons showed up to play yesterday, and they showed up in force. My deepest desire was to blow off the bike ride, get some chicken wings and a pack of camels and blow through them both. Work ran late yesterday, so I grabbed a sub instead, then headed out to the gym at 8:30. Demons ran away after 25 miles on the bike. Usually I leave for the gym at 8:30 because I've just gotten the kids in the bed. It was frustrating to have to wait that long thanks to late work and dinner. Tonight I want to do a 6 mile tempo run, but I know I will want to stretch it out to 6.2 just to register a 10k time. Since a short run sunday was the only run since the 2 races 2 sundays ago I have no idea what to expect tonight. Morgan wants to hang out and drink beer. Given my current freedom I really want to blow off the run and pound some brews with my brother. Good thing I'm not training for a half Ironman or anything. Damnit!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Sunday Brick

I finally got in a decent workout sunday morning. Got in almost an hour on the bike and ran for about 25 minutes after. Logged it all on the streets of Raleigh and have been too lazy to get the exact numbers off of the garmin. Still, a helluva good workout. Found some strong hills.

I'm in Raleigh to drop off the fam. FREEDOM!!!1! Leaving Kelley and the girls here with her dad for the rest of the week, and I'm headed back to g'town after work one evening. The girls have been breathing hellfire since we got here. Took dang 7 hours to make the normally sub-4 hour drive on saturday. So they were quite wound up with no nap when we got here, and stayed wound up until well after midnight! Left me dragging my ass on the ground all day yesterday. The workout wasn't nearly as fast or clean as it should have been. But it was the only work (besides 45 mins on the trainer friday) that I got in all week, so I wasn't surprised that it sucked.

Freaking Monday. Got to crank out some code. Congrats to all the racers this weekend. I know there's a few new triathletes out there now.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Been a whole lotta nothin going on since the races on sunday. I done found me a mid-cycle case of the lazy's. Sure, I'm keeping up with the yoga and Tri Power workouts, but I haven't logged a single mile in 4 days. That doesn't happen for me.

Tuesday night I blew off the speedwork for Big Brother. Wow, it's turning out to be a really good season! And the Showtime2 BB After Dark stuff shows a lot more than they put on the regular show. I'm so ready for that drunken biatch Lydia to be gone; soooooo glad Chima is gone [HATED her]; Kev is an idiot for voting to evict Jesse instead of Nat when Jesse actually won competitions; and Nat is just plain annoying. These whiny sore losers are so annoying you'd expect them to be hanging out with Glaven. But the other side of the house is just boring. Jeff seems cool. Jordan is enough of an idiot to enjoy living in Charlotte. it's shaping into a very good season!

Last night I blew off the bike ride to eat chicken wings. I have been craving wings since about a week before the races, so I just indulged. No guilt, just wings.

Today I want to spin the bike on the trainer for a while around lunchtime, then get in a tempo run tonight. The weekend is almost here, and it's promising to be a fun one.

Final Q: anybody (local) done this ride before? The Tour de Peach is a 60 mile ride through the country here. Looks like fun, but I can't find anyone who's actually done it before to tell me anything about it.

Monday, August 17, 2009

3 Race Reports

Wow, THIS WAS ALL INCREDIBLE!! I don't know where to start. I finished the triathlon in 1:31:16, way below overall goal time of 1:45. Then I did the 5k in 26:00, way below the 28 min goal. Kelley did her first 5k in 30:13, and Bigun finished her race (untimed) and showed off her finishers medal to everyone!

First, the cute. Saturday was the Grandmother's Tea Party, and this year both girls got to attend with my mother.

Evil Genius was only "mildly Evil" for the party. Mildly Evil but totally cute!

They both had a really good time. My mother's good friend started this years ago for her granddaughters, and has invited other kids with their grandmothers since then.

The whole crew. How incredibly Southern is that? Girls in white dresses (except Bigun) with big hats on? Sooooo cute! I think the girl pointing in the front row is Madeline. She ran her first triathlon earlier that day at Furman. Then her mom and dad ran the Greenville Sprint with me on Sunday.

Greenville Sprint Triathlon

On to the triathlon Sunday morning. I finished 259 out of 345 men with an overall time of 1:31:16. Again, I'm the back of the pack guy who never beats anybody else at an athletic event. So this was amazing. There is no age group breakdown available online (dissapointing!) but it does list overall placements for each event.

Everybody lining up before starting the swim. Why this race needs to start at 7 AM? I think it's the heat. At the awards ceremony at 10:30 it was already up into the high 80's. But wow I hate having to be there at 6 am to get TA setup.

Hanging before the swim start. Tri folks are the best. The SUGOi tri suit is rockin! It really came through for me in the race.

The Swim: Last year 10:50, Goal 8:30, Actual 8:22, 161/354

Starting the swim. I put in the wrong 100m time at registration, so I thought I was going to be flogged in here. Instead, I saw why most people prefer an open water swim over a pool swim. I passed several people, and then got caught up behind a group of 5 bastards who were clogging up the lane. Open water? go around. Pool swim? get kicked in the stomach. I kept hitting this guy's feet, normally that means hold up at the next turn and let me pass you slow shit. He didn't get it. I think I could have cut another 20 seconds off the swim time if it was in open water.

That's pretty good form! Might have my head a little too high out of the water, but still feeling good. You can see the splash of feet in front of me.

I'm starting to pass this guy in the white cap. Again, decent form. That's me in the blue cap.

Exiting the swim, then I had to run about 100 yards into transition. Notice the other guys waiting on me to get out before they can exit the pool. Slow bastards. I had to wait behind a few other people too.

T1: Last year 6:17, Goal 2:00, Actual 2:45, 252/354 FAIL

This is my one real logistical failure. I had 2 gel's sitting out on the towel next to my bike shoes. They did not make it into the 2 pockets on the back of the SUGOi, so I had no gels to take on the bike. I did have a bottle of Gatorade and a bottle of water on the bike, and the nutrition plan was to take one gel in the first few miles, then another one near the end so I would be fueled up for the run. Instead, I threw on the bike helmet, socks & bike shoes, grabbed a sip of gatorade and water from the bag and took off.

Bike: Last year 1:10:39, Goal 50 minutes, Actual: 49:38 Holy SBJ success!

Heading out on the bike. This is where the biggest time gains were made. Last year I remember seeing the sign "entering Greenville County" and thinking that I had already been on the bike for hours. This year, I was shocked how fast that sign came up. I left jenny in the big chainring most of the time, only dropping back on 2 of the 4 climbs. I was passing people riding uphill, I came out of the saddle to speed up for a pass, I got passed a few times towards the end. But overall I was loving the bike ride. I knew when to push hard and when to sit and spin. I did not get chased by 2 pit bulls like I did last year. I did have one car incident. Big pack of bikes, 2 cars, me, then another car. So I spent a good 7 minutes sucking exhaust before the pack got right and the cars could pass. That wasn't fun. But overall, I turned that bike leg into my prison bitch.

Coming back in from the bike leg. My quads were shattered and I was missing that gel. Check out that sweat!

T2: Last year 2:47, Goal 2:00, Actual 2:28

WTH? That wife of mine, she do like the eye candy. In T2, I had to change bike shoes for running shoes. I did get some stretchy shoelaces at packet pickup, so no tying the running shoes. Just slide on and go. BUT I had to take the time to take a gel, and shot down a bunch of water. My new camelbak hasn't come in yet, so I was relying on the aide stations alone for hydration. Hence the extra time in T2. Oh well, that's what I get for not putting those gels in the SUGOi for the bike ride.
Run: Last year 32:00, Goal under 30, Actual 28:06 PR

Holy crap I cannot believe I actually finally broke 30 minutes in a 5k in a triathlon! My legs were incredibly fatigued from the bike, I knew I wanted to push the bike hard and that might mean sacrificing some energy on the run. I just let my form carry me, walked when I needed to (this run course had some killer uphills!) and let my time fall whereever.

Out of T2 and on the course. That's a decent forward lean, but I'm still coming down with a slight heel strike. The HeadSweats visor you guys recommended kicked ass! It just came in last week, so this was my first time running with it. You know you're running in a triathlon when they put 8 aide stations on a 5k run! actually, it was 2 aide stations on a 2 loop course. so you hit each aide station coming and going on both loops.

Finish: Last year 2:02:30, Goal 1:45, Actual 1:31:16 PR

A great runner once said, "if I cross the finish line with a smile on my face, hit me in the stomach with a 2x4. It means I didn't put everything I had into the race." Staring down at the mat arms pumping isn't exactly the best finish line pic, but holy shit I had my eyes on the prize. Even after setting my individual sport goals, I thought there was no way I was going to be able to make the 1:32 overall time that they added up to. It's only fast people that finish in an hour and a half. The top 3 in my age group finished in 1:05, 1:07, and 1:08 so I was nowhere close to the awards. Still, absolutely amazing. I had no idea this would actually be possible. There was also 3 people this year who finished the race in under one hour.

In case you forgot, this is what happy looks like. After the finish line. The TOA sprint tri I did in Raleigh in April took 1:42, and it had a 10 mile bike instead of the 15 mile bike yesterday. How I can ADD 5 miles to the bike and finish 11 minutes faster I have no idea. but I like it.

5k, Kids Run, baseball game

Bigun is ready to race! the outfit is so cute with the pink tank top and pink running shoes. She got so excited!

The girls had a ton of fun playing around before the race, and we were off! My dad snapped this shot of me starting the race. It ended up being the only pic we got for the 5k. I slept a litte bit Sunday afternoon while the girls were napping, but my legs were still feeling a little fatigued after the triathlon. This race started at 5:30 pm. There was a decent hill at the start, then a second really steep uphill. I was channeling The Gazelle and her love of uphills to get me up that sucker, but I think I pushed it a little too hard at the start. After the first half mile, the rest of the course was flat or slightly downhill. Awesome! If I had gone a little easier at the start I could have hammered longer at the end. I walked once in the first half, then it started raining about the one mile mark. At the halfway point there was the only aide station, I walked and drank. So thirsty! My shoe came untied during the second half, and I had to stop and tie it again. I wished I had the other pair from the tri on. With about a quarter mile to go I walked again so I could make a stronger push at the finish. Then pushed it really hard. I totally chicked this huge guy at the finish line b/c he had taken off his shirt and had to show the officials his number. HA! this race was gun timed, not chip timed. So when I stepped on that finish line and saw 26:00 on the clock my jaw just dropped! That's an 8:22 pace, or 7.2 speed on the treadmill! I've never gone that fast that far even in tempo runs, and I even slowed to a walk 4 times. so my pace while running was even faster. Each walk break was less than 10 seconds I think, but still. that's insane. The winner finished in 15 minutes, I have no idea where I was in the age group. Results should be posted online soon.

I waited around for Kelley to come in. Knowing when the clock hit 30 minutes I had to get on the trolley to head back to the stadium and catch Bigun's run. Kelley came in at 30:13! She was amazed. I'm really proud of her. this was her first 5k ever. She's done 5 mile, half marathon, and full marathon distances, but never a 5k. So 30:13 is a great PR for her too. Even if it is a PR the Glaven way.

We both made the first trolley back to the baseball stadium, and Bigun wanted both of us to run with her in her race! It was one lap around the ballfield. She flew out of the gate, then started breathing hard around center field and asked "where is the finish line?". Kelley did the same thing in her first race, so we had a great laugh about that. Coming into 3rd base my parents were taking pictures with our camera.
Check out that smile! That form! That's my girl.

She hasn't taken off the medal yet.

Kelley and EG enjoying the ballgame. The rain we got during the race delayed the start, so we only got to see the first 2 innings. I got in the hot dog, but the beer had to wait until we got home.
Overall, it was an amazing weekend. I can't believe I did 2 races in one day. I don't think I will try that again. But I PR'd the Greenville Sprint by 31 minutes, NOBODY makes up 31 minutes in one year! 10 or 15 minutes maybe. but wow. That included a PR in the 5k (28:06) and my anytime sprint triathlon PR. Then I PR'd the 5k AGAIN? that's nuts. And Kelley got a 5k PR and Bigun finshed her first race. So what did you do this weekend?

Friday, August 14, 2009

2 Race Previews

Last night was my last workout before the races. I've been taking a taper/recovery week and it's been nice sticking to shorter distances. Wednesday I went 15 miles on the bike in like 48 minutes. Not bad. I had the hills working pretty hard against me, so I feel good about that. Last night was a 5k tempo run, and I did it in 26:36. I just set the treadmill to 7.0 speed (8:43/mile pace) and let it roll. It seemed like I wanted to go faster than that at first, but by 2.5 miles in I was ready to drop it a bit. But that's why it's called a tempo run, right? Got to maintain a consistent pace for the entire distance. Plus I got to watch football on the treadmill tv, so I was pumped up anyway.

Today is a rest day. It's also my grandmother's 89th birthday, so we're having dinner with the folks tonight. Michael's coming into town for the weekend too, can't wait to hang with my brothers again. It's been a while since I've seen him.

Tomorrow is also a rest day, but I'll end up doing lots of gardening and yardwork. The girls are going to a tea party that one of my mom's friends puts on every year. It's an incredibly girly affair, they all put on little sun dresses and white gloves and sit outside for tea and crackers. The photos are hilarious! Bigun really looks forward to it every year. This will be Evil Genius's first time attending.

But Sunday is the day. Sunday's what I've been waiting for for a solid year now. Here's the goals and expectations:


Last year I ran this race; it was my first triathlon ever. I ran a 5k in high school, some cross country stuff, and I was on the track team freshman year. This was my first race since then. When I decided to stop smoking, I joined the gym. That was in December 07. They give you 2 free session with a trainer when you sign up, and I sheepishly admitted that maybe I might be considering thinking about attempting and then backing out of a triathlon. The trainer also ran tri's and she told me to look into the Greenville Sprint. It's local, very beginner friendly, and I had 8 months to train for it. I set the goal = finish. I could do 20 minutes on the elliptical machine before passing out.

I got into training. I had a car accident and training got sidelined for 2 months. Then I picked it back up and kept on training. I could do 3 miles on the treadmill and I thought I was hot shit.

My big huge pre-taper workout was a brick, 15 miles on the stationary bike, and 3.1 miles on the treadmill. Then I knew I could cover race distance and had the confidence to go ahead with the race. After the packet pickup we drove the bike course and kelley started to freak out. She tried to convince me to keep the t-shirt, tell people I did the race, and we could just go out for breakfast instead. I bought Jenny, my first road bike, just 2 weekends before the race. Reset a super secret don't want to tell anyone goal to finish within 2 hours. The race cutoff time was 2 hours 15 minutes. I was in the novice category.

I finished last year in 2:02:30, 10th place out of 10 novices. I was pissed about missing my 2 hour goal, but absolutely addicted to triathlon. I was more pissed about having to wait until the following april to run another one. But at least now I get to set this year's goals with last year's numbers.

400 Meter pool swim: 10:50 last year, 8:30 this year
It's 8 laps in a pool, hit the wall, under the lane rope, come back. Last year I swam with no goggles or swim cap, my form was horrible. I've done 400m in practice in under 6 minutes now, so I think 8:30 is a respectable goal. Time includes running outside from the indoor pool and down a hill into T1.

T1: 6:17 last year, 2:00 this year
Last year I put on bike shorts and a tech shirt, running shoes and socks, took a gel and some water, strapped on the CamelBak and walked to the mount line. This year I will have the tri suit on, so just throw on bike shoes and helmet, and hit the road.

15 mile Bike: 1:10:39 last year, 50 minutes this year
20 minutes faster? really? I didn't know how or when to shift gears last year. I didn't have clipless pedals last year. I didn't get it out of granny gear for the first 5 miles last year. This year I really want to push myself on the bike. I know there are 4 big climbs on this route, and for every uphill climb there is a downhill to coast. Last year I turned a corner 10 miles in, and found 2 large pit bulls chasing me. That scared me enough to slow down I'm sure. This year I expect to make my biggest gains here on the bike.

T2: 2:47 last year, 2:00 this year
I had to take off the bike shorts, refill the CamelBak and head out. This year I'll have to throw on the race belt and change shoes.

5k Run: 32:00 last year, under 30 minutes this year
It's a 2 loop run course with some trail and some roads. The finish line is inside a baseball field. There is no way to tell how my legs will feel after pushing it through the bike course. I'm not going to wear the garmin, I don't normally do that on short tri's. So I'm just going to keep a steady pace and try not to walk.

Last year: 10:50 + 6:17 + 1:10:39 + 2:47 + 32:00 = 2:02:30
This year: 8:30 + 2:00 + 50:00 + 2:00 + 30:00 = 1:32:30

ACTUAL overall time goal is 1:45, and I want to see improvement in every area. I know I'm faster in every area. The SUGOi tri suit will slash my transition times. Clipless pedals, speedy running, and swim goggles have got to help out. The race winners will finish in uner an hour, middle of the pack is around 1:20 - 1:40, and back of the pack thank God I finished is 1:50 + for this race. After my middle of the pack marathon finish, I have high hopes now.

I'm not going to be carrying a camera with me, but Kelley will be there as my race photographer. I know you skirts are all big fans of her work. So monday morning I will post lots of pics I'm sure. Race starts at 7 am, my swim time is 7:22. I must have entered my swim time wrong when I registered. I thought I was going to be near the back of the line, not starting 217 out of 574 swimmers. This is the largest event (# of participants) that this production company puts on.


My official race 5k pr is 30:53, but I have only run 5k's in triathlons. Well, at 5:30 sunday night Kelley and I are both running a standalone 5k. The course is "net downhill" whatever that is. it should be a fast course and I'm expecting a pr. I don't know how I will feel after the triathlon sunday morning, but this is going to be a cool race. It starts at the baseball stadium downtown, and finishes at Linky Park, whatever that is. We then take the trolley back to the stadium. My goal is to be around 27 minutes. I will wear the Garmin, and I'm going to try and keep my pace around 8:30 per mile. This is Kelley's first race since the Myrtle Beach Marathon back in February, so she's just getting scared to be running outside in august.

At 6:30, Bigun is running in her first race. It's the kids fun run with our 5k. She will take a lap around the inside of the ballfield, from home plate to home plate. She gets a finishers medal at the end of the run. She's got pink running shoes all gassed up and ready to go.

The kids run is right before they start the baseball game, so the crowd for the game will all be there to cheer on the kids. The race registrations also include a ticket for the ballgame, and Kelley's mom and my parents will also be coming to the game to cheer on Ella's race.

During the ballgame, I expect to eat hot dogs and drink beer. Lots of beer. After doing two races in one day drinking beer outside and watching a baseball game is a great reward. I can't wait.

I will leave you today with pics from last year's Greenville Sprint. It's amazing how much you can change your body and your mind in only one year.

Starting the swim.... no goggles or swim cap and my whole head is out of the water.

Exiting the swim, slightly dazed.

Exiting T1 on my new bike. I had no idea what I was doing.

This was the end of the bike route. Notice the tennis shoes, I ran in those as well. And I was wearing my only tech shirt.

Crossing the finish line. At the time, I was too nice to chick that guy in the yellow. Now I would gladly blow past him at the finish. Git outta my finish line pic!

Healthy Ashley asked me to guest write a post for her about my proudest moment, and it was crossing that finish line. It's a short but very touching story if you want to give it a quick read.

Have a great weekend everyone! Good luck if you're racing. I know there are a ton of other short races this weekend. Stacey's got a triathlon this weekend. Good luck girl!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Paint Pics

Got in some decent speedwork last night. I ended up working late and a thunder cloud came through, so my planned swim went out the door. Instead I did quarter mile speedy intervals at 8.2 or 8.3 speeds, 3.5 miles total. I did yoga and weights yesterday too. Nothing unusual there, felt fine.

Got a before and after picture of the house, now that the painters are done.

This is a very before picture, as in before we moved in. Kelley is still pregnant with Bigun here, there's not even a garage door hung. We put $20k in interior renovations before moving in, and I am so freaking glad we're finally (4 years later) able to start working on the exterior.

Notice the brown shingles are original 1973 I think, and the brown siding, brown brick, and brown trim. All of this brown made the house look like shit, I think.

The after pic shows the new black shingles on the roof (thank you hail damage and insurance), and the green paint and Toasted Almond trim color are the same colors we used on the mountain house. Now I'm finally ready to start landscaping the front yard. I'm sure the neighbors are ready for that too.

Monday, August 10, 2009

The end is near

FOOTBALL!!!!! Last night was the Hall of Fame game, the traditional first NFL preaseason game. I love football. In particular this game, because it signifies nearing the end of summer. Yes it was 95 degrees outside yesterday. But football starting means I can see flannel shirts and sweaters ahead. This heat will break soon. I can see the glory of autumn inline. So the HoF game is a small glimmer of hope, it should be enough to get me through these final days of hell (I mean August [I mean summer]) geez.

Thursday night I had a crappy run, bagged it after only 3 miles. I know better than to run 3 days in a row, but I did it anyway. Should have just gotten on the bike instead. Crappy run left me with hip, knee, shin, and ankle aches. Typical overuse injuries. So I also bailed on Saturday's long run to allow more recovery. Sunday I knew I wanted to get in a long bike ride, and I did 54 miles in about 2:45. It was a good but boring ride. I knew I needed to work on muscular endurance on the bike, so going long was the key to the workout, not going fast.

This week is a recovery/taper week. Really, nothing longer than sprint distance in prep for Sunday's races. The Greenville Sprint triathlon sunday morning is a 400 meter pool swim, 15 mile bike, 5k run. That is going to be followed sunday night by the Go Drive Run 5k that Kelley and I are doing, then Bigun's kids fun run. She's got her pink running shoes all ready for her race. Then we are all going to the Greenville Drive baseball game afterwards where I plan to pig out on hot dogs and beer.

So the plan is for tuesday night to get in a pool swim, wednesday night is 15 miles on the bike, and thursday night is 5k run. Friday and saturday rest up for the two races on sunday. it's going to be wild.

Saturday Bigun and I both got haircuts. She got about 3" taken off. The cool part is that I took her to my barber, who's been cutting my hair since I was her age. My dad also was in there this week, and Morgan went to see him last week. It's amazing to have the same guy cut hair for that many people in the same family. And Bigun did very well getting her hair cut. She had a little trouble keeping her head still, but for the most part things were ok. Here's the before pic:

And the after:

Also on Saturday we pulled an incredible harvest from the garden! Check this out:

A full half pint of raspberries, some tomatoes, the last of the squash, some peppers and cucumbers. It's insane. I cannot believe how well the berries are doing. We have got to dig up the potatoes (long overdue), and I've got a yellowjacket nest in the ground that I cannot seem to get rid of. I got stung in the middle of my back on friday. Ouch! I forgot how much that hurts, I haven't been stung since high school.

Finally last week the house got a refresh. They finished putting the new roof on (thank you hail damage/insurance!) and it came out great. The painters got started, and they should be finished tomorrow. I'll put before/after pics up once they are done. We're changing from brown shingles to black, and from brown bricks/paint/trim to green wall paint (over bricks and siding) and almond trim. It looks great under the black shingles.

Have a great week! Can't wait to read all the race reports. I did notice on saturday that my B2B countdown was at 90 days! GAAAA!!!! let the anxiety begin. 88 days today is scary! I have so many more miles to put under these bike tires before that race.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Book Review

First, I got in some speedwork last night. It's about time to change up my speedwork routine, I need to read back through some older posts and see what my last few session have been. The speedwork this time was a half mile fast with 0.2 mile recovery. I did the speed at 7.7, 7.8, 7.9 and 8.0 speeds on the treadmill. Then I pulled out a quarter mile at 8.5, and it felt like my stride got much shorter. I think I need to do more shorter faster intervals rather than these 800's again. I tend to do half mile or 1k (0.6 mile) intervals, and skip out on the quarter mile or shorter speedwork. The key to balancing speedwork is to do a range of distances and speeds, not just the same thing every time. With the warmup and cooldown, total workout was 4 miles.

Book Review - Master your Metabolism by Jillian Michaels

Overall, I liked this book. The science is sound, practices are very grounded, and the basic outline of the plan seems like it could work. I sound skeptical because I've already been doing most of the plan without the intended results. It did give me some ideas for small tweaks and it really makes me want to see an endocrinologist.

The Plan: basically, she purports to get rid of all crap and only do things organically. Don't eat HFCS, no soda's allowed, stick to the powerfoods, and get everything organic. If it doesn't have a mother or grow from the ground, don't let it into your house. This includes abandoning traditional kitchen cleaners for a simple vinegar/water mix. Think of it like you speak english your whole life, then wake up one day and everyone around you speaks russian. You don't know how to interact with anything else anymore. So your body automatically wants to store it as fat, thinking that it's a language you can learn later. If you get foods and your environment to only speak english then everything can work in harmony again.

The entire book is based around stabalizing and balancing hormone levels, and that's something I can really get behind. I get the doctor to check my teststosterone level every time I'm in his office. I have no idea why I like monitoring that stuff, but I just do. She talks a lot about diabetes, PCOS, tons of women-specific hormone stuff, thyroid function.... really geeky details, and I love learning about that stuff.

The funny thing is, as much as she wants everything to be organic, she also talks about taking supplemental hormones prescribed by her endocrinologist. Seems contradictory.

The EXTRA sugar free gum on my desk right now, that they promote heavily on the Biggest Liar contains the ingredients: Sorbital, Gum base, Mannitol.... I have yet to see a sorbital tree so I don't think that gum qualifies to be on her own diet plan. Seems contradictory. Ever seen a mannitol plant? Maybe it really does exist.

My primary basis for comparrison has to be weight watchers. I've also used the Men's Health Abs Diet with good results, and there are some similar components here, but I still think WW would be the better comparrison. The basis behind WW is to get everything low fat, high fiber and eat tons of whole and healthy foods.
  • MM says to only eat organic whole foods.
  • WW say if it's labeled Fat Free or low fat it's going to be lower in points, and healthier for you.
  • MM has never seen a bell pepper labeled "fat free". Fat free labels indicate that the fat has been replaced by a foriegn language speaking man made product and it should be avoided.
  • WW wants high fiber foods like oatmeal, but not the high sugar flavored instant stuff
  • MM wants high fiber foods like oatmeal. Whole oats, steel cut please
  • WW wants only extremely lean protein like boneless skinless chicken breasts of any kind
  • MM wants free range hormone free chicken, grass fed beef, the leaner cuts are better but organic is really the only restriction
  • WW wants 60% carbs (veg), 30% protein, 10% fat
  • MM wants 40% carbs, 30% protein, 30% fat
  • WW wants points
  • MM wants balance

In my last post, I detailed a lot of my current eating plan. If you've been reading for a while, you know I already do everything possible organicly, and even keep (and love!) my organic garden. I already exercise regularly in triathlon training. I eat 6 small meals a day at 6, 10:30, 12:30, 3:30, 6:30 and 9:30 (or post-pm-workout) every day. My half ironman training requires enough fuel to push my body through the workouts, and I tend to maintain weight around 190 - 200 lbs during training. I actually got down under 190 (for the first time since I got married 10 years ago) after the marathon in june, and once this half ironman training started in early july, went right back up to around 200. I still have some belly fat, and my summer goal was to get rid of enough belly fat to look good wearing white pants and no shirt. That goal has not been achieved yet - but I still have until labor day.

The book really tries to promote balance, and that's something I am really big on. Balance between work and family, training cycles, macronutrients, fast time and slow time, everything has to stay balanced. Jillian approaches this from a hormonal level as well.

Cortisol is a stress released hormone, when it is raised (your stress level is out of balance) you add body fat. If you don't get enough sleep at night, you will feel stressed. Sleep is very important. Manage your stress to control cortisol.

Grehlin is the hormone that makes you feel hungry. high levels of grehlin indicate hunger, and when you are not hungry anymore (but not over-stuffed) grehlin levels go back down. It's directly paired with insulin, which rises right after you eat and drops as you get hungry. Insulin and grehlin have to stay balanced all day to keep your body fat in check.

To keep the 30% fat, 30% protein, and 40% carbs in check requires balance. When you eat each macronutrient is just as important as what it is. She wants 4 meals a day, eat every 4 hours, and nothing after 9 pm. Eat your biggest meals earlier in the day. Big breakfast, normal lunch, afternoon snack, small and late dinner. I guess the only way to make this time out is to have breakfast at 7 am, lunch at 11, snack at 4 pm, dinner at 8 pm. You could back it up another hour, but who wants to have lunch at 10 am? We eat dinner at 6:30 and the kids go to bed at 8, there's no way we could have dinner at 8. I take in around 2000 calories a day in 6 meals every 3 hours or so, and burn off 600 - 1200 calories per workout 5 days a week. I'm about ready to start adding some days with 2 workouts, so I don't see how her plan can adequately fuel my workouts without creating huge meals that throw off the insulin/grehlin balance. So there's one adjustment.

I really like how she wants more carbs earlier in the day and more protein later in the day. Growth hormone is only produced in a deep sleep cycle called stage 3 or stage 4 sleep. My last meal of the day is always a large bowl of cereal because after the workout I want a mix of carbs (cheerios) and protein (skim milk). Late night carbs trigger insulin, and high levels of insulin prevent deep sleep. I do have trouble sleeping through the night. Just last night I woke up at 2 am, then again at 3 am before the alarm went off at 6. And since no deep sleep prevents the largest production of growth hormone, I suspect a deficiency there. Jillian indicates a GH deficiency can lead to increased belly fat. So in theory, if I switch to an only protein last meal instead of a large bowl of cereal I should sleep better and lose the belly fat. The biggest problem is, I don't know what will fit the bill. The kids are asleep by then, so smoothies get tricky unless I make them up in advance. There's not usually time or patience then to cook something like eggs. I could keep boiled eggs in the fridge. 2 salted boiled eggs is a favorite snack of mine, and less calories than cereal. I've also been really into poached eggs lately. Since Jillian says dinner at 8 and nothing after, she did not provide any ideas for late night munchies. What do you like to snack on late at night?

Go buy this book if you have a little nerd in you and want to learn about hormone levels and balance. She has her own set of powerfoods that I already love and eat all the time anyway. Again, the late night stuff is the best thing I got from this book. But learning in general what to eat to keep different hormone levels balanced made this a really interesting read.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A day in the life of

First, the workout last night. I had a very distracting, distressing afternoon yesterday. The kind of afternoon that makes you want to really get a hard workout in that evening just to correct your stress levels. So I got down and dirty with an early brick last night. 15 miles on the bike, 3 mile run. Mission accomplished, stress relieved. I couldn't decide if I wanted to bike or run yesterday, so I just did both. it was awesome.

I had the resistance cranked up on the bike so my speed was a little slower than normal. I only stopped at 15 miles because I finished the book I was reading and got bored. But I'm trying to ramp the hill work on the bike this week to setup a recovery week next week. I was supposed to do speedwork on the treadmill last night, I think that will be tonight instead. In bike/run bricks I prefer tempo style runs over some kind of drill or speedwork. So I just cranked it up to a 6.9 speed and did my 3 miles. I actually wanted to go 6 miles on the treadmill, but it was cut short thanks to poo. Another perfectly good speedy run cut short by poop. oh well, happens to everyone I guess.

Bill Clinton is a badass, officially. The plane with those 2 journalists just touched down in California, he got those girls free. Still, since it is Bill Clinton, I have to wonder if he used the phrase "bang these two asian chicks on the plane ride home" as a part of the negotiations. Of course, if he did, and it worked, and he did, then his badass status just rose yet another couple of notches. Something tells me Hillary was not on the plane to supervise. And if Bill Clinton just got me out of a 12 year sentence in a North Korean prison, I would be pretty appreciative. That's all I'm saying.

So have you ever wondered how I can work full time, keep the family placated, keep regular triathlon training, and still keep my sanity? I wanted to spell it out for you. You see, every day is exactly the same. It's getting incredibly boring, repetitive, and I'm trying to figure out what to change with this schedule. Remember I work from home, so the wife and kids are always here and my commute is walking down a flight of stairs.

  • 6 am: up and at 'em
  • breakfast: oatmeal, rasins, banana (I love this breakfast, and I eat the same thing every day)
  • 6:30 or 7 am: yoga twice a week
  • sometime between 6:30 and 8 am: Downstairs into the office. Other office people start filtering in around 9 am, so I like to get an early start on work. and by work I mean posting and reading blogs.
  • 10:30 am: morning snack, usually a small bowl of cereal, or eggs, or leftovers
  • I also usually get the Tri Power workouts done in the morning from behind my desk
  • 12:30 pm: shower, get dressed, make lunch. Lunch is usually a lean cuisine and some costco organic animal crackers. I'm addicted to those dang winnie the poo vanilla animal crackers. Sometimes I'll make a turkey sandwich instead of a lean cuisine
  • Back downstairs to the office, eat lunch at the desk while "working"
  • 3:30 pm afternoon snack - I've been cutting this down lately. Sometimes it's leftovers if I'm really hungry, sometimes just a handful of almonds. lately, it's been nothing at all.
  • 6:30 pm: stop working, dinner is weight watchers friendly and on the table.
  • 7:30 pm: get the kids into the bathtub.
  • 8 pm: get the kids in bed
  • 8:30 pm: kids are down, head to the gym. It's too dark at this point in the day to workout outside. plus this time of year it's still too hot outside here.
  • 10:30 pm: get home from gym, evening snack/recovery meal. This is usually a large bowl of cereal
  • 11 pm: finally go to sleep. End of the day is a good thing.

So the typical eat times are 6, 10:30, 12:30, 3:30, 6:30, and 10:30 6 small meals a day, each one 200 - 400 calories. I'm still trying to lose the last bit of belly fat. I finished reading the Jillian Michael's book last night, so this information will be important for the book review coming tomorrow.

Gym time is once a day, late at night. Kelley hits the gym early in the mornings, so I have to stay here with sleeping kids. I need to find a way to work a second workout in sometime during the day. I take monday and friday as rest days, but I end up needing a higher frequency of workouts without doing bricks every day. Maybe I can squeeze some bike time on the trainer in my office before lunch? Gawd that gets boring. Got any ideas?

Happy hump day! Book review coming tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

I've gotta see.....

...... a man about a horse. If you were unaware of why I am looking forward to moving back to NORTH Carolina.... may I present:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Thank You, South Carolina!
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorJoke of the Day

Thanks to my brother Michael who lives in Charleston for finding this little gem. In an unrelated story, THIS HAPPENED, and I think I might have done the same thing. She's in the next county west of me.

Sometimes I don't mind being from SC. Then you see something like this.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Dang Communists

Kelley's mom and stepdad are communists. They may claim to be typical SC ultra-conservative republicans, but I can see through that crap. They were supposed to keep our kids for 2 - 4 nights. instead they brought them back after 24 hours! Anyone who takes away our freedom like that is a commie in my book! So yes, the kids came back about noon on saturday. We got nothing done that could only be done without kids. Well, we did go out to dinner friday night. But FREEDOM gone.

I still got in an 8 mile run saturday in around 1:10:something. Good pace, good sweat, felt great.

I also got to work on the tree saturday morning. The girls don't like it when I run the chainsaw, so I wanted to do that before they got back. Got about half of it cut up, but the chainsaw is bound for the repair shop. Morgan borrowed it for a few months, now it won't cut through a stick of butter. Instead, I just started ripping the tree apart by hand. It felt like a very manly way to cut through the "my wife thinks I'm gay" thing; no axe, no chainsaw, just grip it and rip it. Got to flex a little muscle. I got the tree down to just a trunk on the ground, and used an axe to cut off the top 8' or so and drug it away. That let me have my first look at the muscadine vines since early June. They have already started to come back! I still have to rebuild the trellis, but the vines are growing nicely along the ground right now. I thought for sure I was going to have to replace the plants.

There is still 20' of trunk on the ground I need to cut up and dispose of, but this is great progress. I can now start working on the fence repair and rebuilding the vine trellis. Good weekend projects.

Sunday I got to attend my first spinning class! Everyone says it's a good workout, and it was. I got a good sweat on, my legs were sore at the end, it seemed like a good calorie burn. It's good to mix up the bike training I guess, I'm getting tired of just putting in mindless miles. But I'm not sure if it will help my muscular endurance or speed on the road bike. Any of you guys do spin? I can't decide if it's something I would want to do again or not. I tend to not like classes b/c it's tough for me to commit to being somewhere at a certain time. This class went for an hour and 15 minutes.

Today the roofers are here putting the new roof on our house, and the kids are still asleep! I know it's going to freak them out when the hammers start swinging. This is why we wanted the kids gone through tomorrow. Dang communists.

July's totals:

Swimming: 4 swims, 5250 meters (3.28 miles)
Bike: 6 rides, 113 miles
Run: 9 runs, 45.6 miles
Strength: 16 workouts, 6 hours total
Yoga: 7 sessions, 3.5 hours

161.88 total miles.

It was so cool to finally get some swimming in. I feel much better going into the sprint tri on the 16th. My mind and body I think are ready to get into 2 a day workouts like so many other tri guys do. I'm still trying to find a schedule for that. 113 miles on the bike is a good month, and 45 miles running is appropriate. This was my first month of tri training. So by october, all of these numbers should be doubled at least.

Assuming there are 4 weeks in a month, there should be 8 swims, 8 bikes, and 12 runs in every month. that's swim and bike twice a week, run 3 times because I like to run 3 times a week. So if I can get in the right number of workouts, then eventually the milage will catch up. I only did one brick workout in July, getting back to my regular thursday night brick will help a lot.

I also geared up some this week. I've been looking around locally for a Headsweats visor after some of you reccomended it, and finally ended up ordering one online. I also had to toss my Camelbak for bacteria problems, so I ordered another one of those online. I did a little research to, and found that the Hydrapak is the easiest to clean, the bladders' flip inside out to clean and can be replaced easily. Also it's easy to replace the tube and bite valve if they get moldy. Kelley's been complaining about how filthy my Camelbak was (but was also unwilling to clean it for me) so I tossed it. I also needed a new bike helmet, so I got the Hydrapak and helmet both from amazon and got free shipping. I'm a sucker for free shipping. My old helmet was a mountain bike helmet I bought back in college (ouch - 15 years ago).

Speaking of 15 years ago, I also got to see an old friend from high school this weekend. Jami was in town (she lives in alaska now - husband in the military up there), and it was great to see her again! Moving to alaska limits the visitation, but she's awesome to just hang out with.

Hope you all had a good weekend. Now it's back to that daily grind.