Nov 24, 2010

New Post

Don't know why really but I haven't been so bloggy recently.  Still working out, everything going well, just not into writing about it.

Hope all is well with you and that you have a great thanksgiving and a lot to be thankful for.

Oct 10, 2010

Do I really have to title all of these things?

Don't really have much to blog about here except to keep my last post from getting too stale.  I know, I know, too late.  Maybe I'll blog on a few little items.  Like do I add the miles biked to and from the gym for swimming into my totals?  1.75 miles each way but it is in no way a workout even though I try to do them moderately hard.  Could be I'm just inflating my biking numbers with it though; that works out to be 10 miles per week.  40 miles per month.  Does it even matter if I count them or not?  Am I obsessing about nothing?

How about those bumps on the sides of the road that make your car go r-d-d-d-d-d-d-d-d-t (or is is r-r-r-r-r-r-t or r-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-t or r-l-l-l-l-l-l-l-l-l-t?  I'm pretty sure it starts with an "r" and ends with a "t" whatever it is.) that alert you when you are driving on the shoulder of the road?  What about them you say?  Well, just make sure you are standing up on the pedals if you happen to drift over on them if you know what I mean.  Men, you'll probably know as it provides a severely uncomfortable experience for your johnson and his neighbors.  Don't know what it does for women though.

Don't like seeing so much roadkill either.  Sure you get the occasional dead bird when running but out on the highways on a bike bring in much bigger varmints.  I'm always sure to hold my breath when going by them.  I mean, c'mon, they are dead.  They must be giving off some type of bad vapors aren't they?

I did have kind of a big week last week.  I hit 9.2 hours after only hitting 6.15 and 7.44 the weeks before.  I think I kind of felt it on Saturday as my run was slow and I fell asleep at a get together with family friends in the evening.  Such is the life of a triathlete.  Just need to pull off one more week of this before we head to Florida on vacation next week.  Sure I'll get in a little swimming and running then but I'll be on vacation and will take full advantage of having a down week.  Just not quite there yet.

10/4 1800m with 10x100 at 1:54-2:00; 42.3 miles at 17.8
10/5 5.67 miles at 7:49
10/6 2200m at 2:14; 3.5 miles on bike to and from pool
10/7 43.3 miles at 18.1
10/8 1800m at 2:05 (fast for me), 6.8 miles to pool and lunch
10/9 6 miles at 7:58

Oct 3, 2010

Swim To The Music

In case you were wondering, yes, I did get my waterproof Ipod holder in time for my swim last Wednesday.  I got it in the early afternoon and less than an hour later I was in the pool doing my little dog paddle.  It definitely helped the time pass more quickly.  In fact a few times I got so lost in just going through the motions and listening to music that I lost count of my laps.  That is another dilemma I face.  Must be my limited mental capacity.  Maybe now I'll have to buy one of these.  I'm already spending all my birthday money and I still have over a month to go.

Last week after one of my swims an older guy in the pool asked me if I was serious about triathlons.  He could probably tell I wasn't a swimmer by my form and so the obvious assumption is triathlons.  Of course he was correct.  Anyway he gave me some pointers, like keeping my feet closer to the surface, having a shorter stroke and breathing more often because more breathing = more oxygen = more ability to do work.  I tried this stuff out on Friday and you know what?  It worked mostly.  See workout summaries below.  Still getting used to some of the changes but I think they are all for the better.  I'll have to keep going to the pool at that time to get some more tips.

9/29 2100m at 2:17, 3.5 miles on the bike to and from the pool
9/30 35.1 miles at 18.4 mph
10/1 1700m at 2:11
10/2 4.71 miles at 7:48 pace

Sep 29, 2010

The Waiting Game

Today I'm playing the waiting game.  I've ordered this.  I'd like to use it for my swim that I have scheduled today.  Should be swimming for about 45 minutes and it would help the time fly (if not me).  Usually I'll workout late morning but today it might have to be in the afternoon.

I've already done my laundry, gone grocery shopping, ran an errand to the I'm eating lunch.  Fedex says it is on the truck for delivery.  Will it get here in time?  Should I just suck it up and go?  Will I ever find the perfect fan to put next to my bike trainer?  Nobody knows.

9/24 1400m at 2:13
9/25 4.05 miles at 7:54
9/27 1600m with 10x100 in 1:55-2:00; 36.1 bike at 18.0 mph
9/28 4.69 at 7:44

Sep 23, 2010

Rain + Bike Workout = Bleh!

Today I had a bike workout on the schedule.  Of course I should be more flexible with these things and could have done a swim workout instead but I stubbornly held to my well-intentioned plans.  So that meant I had to hook up this
to this
Hooking them up is no problem.  Riding them together is.  I mean OMG! (I know, I know, too old and too male to use the abbreviated things.  But seriously, OMG!)  The bike trainer is way worse than I ever remember.  It is hard, it is slow, it is boring and it causes chafing.

Recently I've gotten the speed up to 18-19 mph on average outside.  Not bad.  This thing wouldn't let me do that though.  I had to work hard just to get to 15 mph!  WTF!  Really hard too not just sort of hard.  And there was no coasting.  Ever.  At least outside if I have to struggle to get up a hill I get a rest on the downside.  Oh no, not on the trainer.  If'n I work hard and get the speed up and then try to coast it pretty much just stops within seconds.  I didn't want to cry so I could only LOL.

AND it was hot.  No nice breeze cooling me off as I cruise through the countryside.  I was stationary.  In my basement.  Sweating like a pig.  I guess this isn't the time of year to buy a fan either because I went right out to Target to get one and they didn't have ANY.

AND for some reason I was irritated down there in the nether regions more than normal.  Seems like that wouldn't change for any reason but it did.  Maybe because more hotter = more sweating = more chafing.

Even though I had a computer, TV, music and cell phone all at my disposal this was waaaaaaay more boring that a treadmill.  Way.  Unfortunately I'm afraid that this is a small glimpse of my future from November (I can only hope) to March (again with the hoping).  Dread.

9/20 1400m (10x100, in 2:00-2:03 with 10 sec rest)
9/21 29.3 miles at 18.3 mph
9/22 4.05 miles at 7:46, 1800m at 2:20 and 3.5 miles on the bike to and from the pool
9/23 27 miles on the Bore-a-lator 2000 (What I'm calling the bike trainer.  Bike is named Kuro-san which is Japanese for Mr. Black but even after 2 years I'm still not sold on that name.  Let me know if you have a better one.  Oh yeah, I actually rode for 90 minutes at about 15 mph but I was definitely working hard enough to be going 18 mph outside so that's how it's going into my log and blog.)

PS:  As for all those initial thingies.  I really never use those.  In fact I insist on proper grammar and spelling in all my texts.  Don't want to get too lazy.

Sep 19, 2010

Blogging While The Blogging Is Good

Why is the blogging good you ask? Well, just because I had a couple good workouts this week is all. My swimming, close to 2:30 per 100m a couple months ago and about 2:22 per 100m a couple weeks ago is now around 2:15. I'm happy with the progress. Still not fast, still short distances (1,200m-1,600m) but progressing and that's all I'm looking for at this stage.

The bike is getting better too. Usually I've been around the 17 mph range (although the 50 I rode last weekend was 16 mph but that is because I'm not trained to ride that far yet (oh, and the wind)) but last Thursday I rode 23 miles at 19.2ish. I say ish because my bike computer fell off when I went over some bumps at the 19 mile mark so I had to keep time on my watch from there. Not a long ride but if I just stay at that speed I'll be happy. If I ride at 18.67 mph for the Ironman I'll hit my goal of 6 hours on the bike.

Now you want a good laugh? Check out my running totals for the week. All of 6.6 miles at an average pace of 7:46 per mile. Cutting back on the miles to increase the speed and to allow me to do my swim/bike workouts. I'll be building those miles up too.

9/13 1200m swim at 2:18; 24 mile ride at 17.8 mph
9/14 3.3 run at 7:46 pace
9/15 1600m swim at 2:16
9/16 23 mile ride at 19.2 mph
9/17 1200m swim at 2:15
9/18 3.3 run at 7:47 pace

Sep 12, 2010

First Week

I guess I jumped back into it pretty well; I worked out the last seven days in a row but today I'll be resting. This week I swam three times, ran twice and biked twice. Just hoping I didn't do too much for getting back into it. Some triathlete guy that I can't remember who it is but I read his quote once said something or other like this "Do as much as your body can absorb, not as much as you can. There is a difference." Biggest danger of doing more than I can absorb was yesterday's 50 mile bike ride. I haven't ridden that far since June of 2009. Fifteen months ago. I haven't ridden more than 23 miles at a time since. Yeah, likely it was too much.

I rode with my ironman training buddy, Jason as part of the Jesse James Bike Tour. A well run event with lots of little candy bars at the pit stops. Riding in the wind wasn't so much fun, I just wanted to turn around and get more candy bars.

9/8 16 mile ride, 18 mph
9/9 1000m swim, 2:17
9/10 3 mile run 7:51, felt better than Monday's run at least and not so sore later
9/11 50 mile ride, 16 mph
Weekly hours: 6.32 (Triathletes often track their training by hours per week since you can encompass all phases of your training with that. Did you know that? I didn't before I started doing triathlons.)

Sep 8, 2010

Working Out Again

Two and a half weeks since my last run and I headed out on Monday. Tired of running slow, I sprinted (ha!) off at a 7:30 or better pace. Yes, I'm tired of running slow. I let a close to 9:00 per mile pace creep into my long runs a couple years ago and somehow it stealthily made it's way into all of my runs. I believe large part of my problem is that I not longer to speed work. Something that was left in Tokyo along with a great group of running friends. Speed workouts are hard to do by yourself. I know I need to but...but...but nothing, I know I need to do them.

Luckily I couldn't find my HR monitor so I didn't have to see how hard I was working to keep a moderate pace. It didn't feel so bad but I was working way too hard. I didn't care if I only ran 3 miles or even 2. Actually the less the better was how I was feeling. I finished 3 miles at a 7:55 pace and 24 hours later I was feeling it a lot more than I should have been. I guess that's what so much time off will do to you. I guess that's what only 51.21 miles a month (exactly; for both July and August. Strange isn't it, I didn't even try to do that.) will do to you. Oh well, I'm going to do it again and again and again until I get it right.

Two swims already this week and I'm heading out for a short ride later today. On Saturday I'll be doing an organized 45 mile ride with 1,300 of my closest friends. Really only one friend that I know of and the rest will be going anywhere from 10-100 miles. I'll be doing the 45 though and having a hard enough time with that.

Okay, that's my blog. Off to make up some reading on all of your blogs.

9/5/10 1200m OWS; much straighter and slower because I sighted more than usual, 2:31 per 100m
9/6/10 3 miles at 7:55
9/7/10 1000m pool, 2:22 (kept it short, I'm just getting started afterall)

Sep 3, 2010

Checking In

No not dead. Yet. Summer schedule just isn't as easy for me. Getting back into it (working out and blogging) next week. Promise.

Aug 20, 2010


After my little sprint triathlon last Sunday I was presented with a medal. Of course I took it, but it doesn't really mean anything to me. I guess I'm asking for your perspective. In my opinion I really don't think a race needs (should?) give out a medal unless it's at least a marathon and at least a half iron triathlon. Maybe a half marathon? Maybe. Or not. I made this statement to my wife and she said that is an elitist point of view and that even people who can only do shorter races deserve medals. Really? I say, inspire them to go further.

Does this go all the way down to the participation award trophies that every little boy or girl in America gets when they play any kind of organized sport regardless of their win/loss record? I don't know. I know I didn't receive any thing unless we won the championship game.

Anyway, I made the statement and I stand by it. Most people can do more than they think they can, maybe a medal out there will motivate them to do it. Am I way off base?

By the way, this cold I have is really putting a buzzkill on my running jones.

8/18 3.33 @ 9:00
8/20 4.33 @ 8:46

Aug 15, 2010

Again I Tri'd

You know, I really need to start training if I'm going to keep doing all these triathlons. The problem is, even if I only swim or bike once every 2 weeks, I can still finish comfortably. Sure I'm slower than I would be if I trained but I guess I'm too lazy to do that. Actually that's not entirely true. I would definitely train more if the kids were in school. A few more weeks I guess.

The tri I did a couple weeks ago was weighted toward the bike and the next had a longer run. Well this one had a longer swim, 800m versus 400m. Nothing that would trouble me but not good since that is probably my weakest event (could be the bike too, cuz I'm not so swift on that either).

Besides the training I was sufficiently prepared behind the 8 ball in other respects. I spent last weekend at a cub scout camp with my son complete with nutritious plenty of food and old canvas tents. Think of a mosquito breeding ground in a greenhouse. Ever since I've been feeling under the weather. Then yesterday the family went to the county fair which means lots of walking around and lots of fried foods. Meh, if'n I was serious about these I'd be better prepared so it's all just for fun.

It's pretty normal for me to question why I do endurance sports when I stand in the early morning chill waiting for the race to begin and today was no different. Well, maybe a little different; I was freezing my ass off. The wind was pretty cold and was mucking up the lake too. The start of the race brought relief from the cold since the water temperature was actually higher than the air temperature but also caused breathing problems. Seems like every few times I tried to breath I caught a mouthful of a wave. Not just a little, a MOUTHFUL. It's hard to swim/cough/burp/breath all at the same time and underwater. Try it once. Also the wind and waves conspired to blow me off course by several thousand meters (at least). Relieved I was to finish the swim in 22 minutes. Yes already, I know I'm slow.

The bike portion solved my breathing problems but not the wind. But what are you going to do? (Bike more readily comes to mind.) I took one gel on the bike. Usually I take two but I just couldn't force myself to do it this time. Just couldn't handle the nasty wad of sweet stuff in my mouth again. My bike was just a bit slower than the ride I did two years ago on this same course on a 20 year old 10 speed. Yes, I was riding my state-of-the-art, carbon fiber triathlon bike this year. So what was the difference? Try the engine.

I took off on the run forgetting my race number and having to retreat for it, obviously that cost me several hours seconds. I fell into my 7:45 pace that I've been hitting lately and that lasted for two miles. I finally figured out that, for some reason, I've been afraid to push things. Afraid I'd blow up on the run. So I just decided to push it and see what happened; it was only a mile or so anyway. I finished that last 1.1 at 7:16 pace so I was happy with that. It's either be happy or cry and since I'm such a manly man crying is not an option. What I wasn't happy with was coughing up a gallon of phlegm every few hundred yards. What was that I said about a nasty wad?

At the end of the day I once again realize why I do endurance sports and why I'll continue to do them in the future. Already looking forward to the next one.

8/11 9 miles at 8:50ish
8/12 1,200m at 2:27
8/14 3.33 miles at 9:00ish (full affects of the cold)
8/15 Lake Marion Triathlon

Aug 4, 2010

Kicking It

I got to do another triathlon on Sunday. Sort of a whole kick off to my year of training for next year's Ironman. Of course it was a sprint since that is pretty much all my swimming training could handle. Bike and run wise I could handle an Olympic distance. That's about it though.

Again the swim was painfully slow. Even slower than last week, somewhere around 11:30. Jeesh. I know I'm definitely not that slow. Long course maybe? I'm desperately starting to need some excuses. Bike was good the first half but then I started to slow and get passed. Run was mediocre even though it should be a strength. Well, it's not. All in all it was fun to do though. I really have to say my transitions are improving. Averaging a minute or less for all of them. Maybe that's how I'll make my name, focusing on the transitions.

Anyway, the good news is that I got 2nd in the 40-44 age group. Bad news is that they went by decades for the age groups and I got like 7th in the 40-49 age group. No prize for me. I did hit the random goal of 1:30 though. That's one thing about sprints, all the distances are so variable that you really can't compare them. Like this one had a 400m swim (same as last week), 14 mile ride, about normal but much shorter than last week, and a 4.4 mile run which is a fair bit farther than the normal 5k. I don't care about all that though, right? I'm concentrating on my transitions.

8/1 sprint tri 1:30:28
8/3 8 miles at 8:50

Jul 30, 2010

Taking The Plunge

Registration Confirmation for:
2011 Ford Ironman Coeur d'Alene
Dear Anthony,
Congratulations! You are now registered for 2011 Ford Ironman Coeur d'Alene. Please check the event's official website for updates:

Jul 25, 2010

Race Report(s)

Time to get writing on a few race reports. Not exactly what you think though because most of them aren't for me. Yes, once again I turn proud parent to tell you about the exploits of my children.

A couple weeks ago I gave my son a choice between a nearby kids triathlon, a little farther away 5k or a much further away 10k (with a 12 and under age group). He chose the 10k, hoping to bring home the gold. It was another warm morning on a very hilly course but he was able to finish just 90 seconds slower than his last time at 63:30. Unfortunately he there was another boy in his age group that ran the 10k too and beat him (I must say he looked older). So, he took home the silver.

Then, last Saturday both my kids took part in a triathlon. The swim was not so much of a swim since the water was only about waist deep for all the kids. Most ended up running/diving/half swimming there way through the water. The swim could be a strength for my son if it were done in a fashion that really resembles a triathlon. My daughter not so much. In fact she was quite near the end of the 7 year old group exiting the water but she did have a smile on her face; made me happy. My son seemed to do okay on the bike but my girl just looked like she was out for a ride in the neighborhood. She just cruised around the course, pedalling away but not exerting too much. On the run though (that's their specialty) they were both working real hard. I was cheering them on, urging them to pass the people just in front of them. The smile was gone from my daughter's face, but only until she finished. My son finished 5th in the 10 year old boy category and my daughter finished...First! We were so surprised and never would have expected it (see swimming and biking portions). In fact we didn't even wait around for the awards but just saw the results when we returned to pick up my race packet. I think the key is fast transitions, doesn't take any time at all to put crocs on. So I'm still beaming today, for both of them.

I do have a race report of my own to write. I did the sprint triathlon associated with the kids event. It was just a short 400 yard swim followed by a longish (by sprint standards) 22 mile bike and then a 5k. I was hoping to get through the swim in about 9 minutes but it was closer to 10:30. I don't know, I'm just a slow swimmer? Not enough sighting? Too wide a route around the turn? Probably all of the above. Luckily it was a pretty short swim. My transitions were way slow because I had terrible bike placement in the transition area. I guess that's what I get for signing up the Thursday before the event.

The bike went pretty well. The one nice thing about going off in the last wave is that I was able to pass more people than passed me. So there were a lot of people already out on the course, I was able to pass a lot of them but because it was so crowded sometimes I couldn't help drafting. I kind of fell into a group of four, one guy from my wave, one guy from the wave 2 minutes in front of us and a very fit, very fast woman. We cruised along, passing a lot of people and taking turns in the lead. I know, kind of illegal but it was pretty crowded and hard not to be around other people. First the other guy from my wave dropped, then the other two got away from me. There was a short grass section to get back to the parking lot and coming out of there another cyclist bumped my shoulder. This was right at the end of the bike so even if he passed me he could only get a few second lead before we transitioned. Stupid move. Averaged about 20 mph on the bike, not bad, not great.

On the run I was passed by the guy who bumped me but then caught him again when he started walking. He passed me again but I caught him and told him I was going to beat him if he walked anymore. Turns out he was a young guy in his first triathlon and the run was his worst event. I decided to talk him through it as much as I could talking about fueling up, stuff on the course, whatever was a distraction. I was able to pull him through about 2.5 miles until he couldn't take it any more and had to walk. I kept on going but saw him at the end. I finished the run in 23:58, 7:44 average pace. Overall, the race was pretty middling which is where my training has been lately so I can't complain. I really wasn't enthusiastic to do it before the race but I drew inspiration from my kids and how hard they worked the day before. I did have a lot of fun with the tri so I'll be back for more.

Jul 14, 2010


Ways an open water swim is better than swimming in the pool:

No chlorine smell
Out in the great wide open (kind of like running outdoors versus on a treadmill)
Better simulates race conditions
Not swimming in kiddie pee

Ways swimming in a pool is better than an open water swim:

Don't need a boat escort for safety
Nice little blue line to follow, no need for sighting
Much more convenient to get to the pool than to a lake
Not swimming in fish pee

I'm sure triathletes will give you more. These are just a few I was thinking about a couple weekends ago when I got in a couple good swims in both conditions. Also ran and biked that weekend but haven't done anything since. But I'm kind of sort of feeling my motivation coming back around.

7/2 1,000 meters in the pool at 2:23 or so per 100
7/3 10k at about 7:47 per mile
7/4 18.7 miles at about 18.7 mph (actually pretty good)
7/5 1,100-1,200 meters in Lake Wissota. 2:25-2:30?

Jun 30, 2010

The Alternative

Well, giving up on my marathon last weekend did give me one thing, I got to run my son's first 10k with him. In the end, I see that as a far bigger event than my marathons. I mean, I have the rest of my life to do those things. He only has one "first" 10k. Also I got to share my daughter's first 5k, seeing her run out as we were running in from our race and then cheering her on at the finish.

My son wanted to beat me and I told him I'd let him sprint ahead of me at the end if he didn't walk at all. We went out slow, around 9:40's per mile but I had to keep telling him to slow down even more. Good thing I did too. All the volunteers and spectators were great and really cheering him on. It made the day really special for him. Around miles 3-4 he really wanted to walk. I slowed it down a bit for him but kept him going. In the end I let him sprint ahead and beat me by 10 seconds. He finished in 1:02:02. Probably my slowest but most rewarding 10k ever. Did I mention that he is 10 years old? If there was an under 14 category he would have won but as it was he had to compete against boys in the under 19 category so he didn't really have a chance.

My daughter was suppose to run with my wife in the 5k but right away she decided that was too slow and went off on her own. I was able to see them about a half mile into their race when we were on our way back. She looked so good and was smiling ear to ear. I was really nervous/interested in how it would go for her. With her personality it could have been really bad or really good. Fortunately it was really good. She, like her brother, ended up running the entire way. She beat my wife by about a minute. She is only 7 years old. Did I mention how proud I am????

As for me, a little running here and there. Throwing in some swimming when I can but still need to get on the bike. Wanted to see if I had absolutely anything so I did a fast little 3 miles the other day. One warm up and a couple at 7:00-7:10. Not bad but the HR was too high. Oh well, still working my way back.

6/26 6.2 miles at 10:01
6/29 3.31 at 7:41

Jun 25, 2010

And the verdict is...

I decided to run a 10k and 5k last weekend as a sort of test of my fitness. Also it was put on by my brother-in-law as a charity fundraiser so it was a good cause. My wife did the 5k and the kids did the half mile so it was a fun family event, but I digress. I expected just to run it real slow, since my training runs didn't seem to indicate that I'd be able to run much faster than 8:30 miles or so. I ran into a friend though and we decided to run the 10k together and he went out a bit faster than that. The pace was very comfortable and I chatted with him the whole way, sensing that he was pushing it a bit and I wanted to try to bring him along. We finished a bit under 50 minutes at about a 7:57 pace. The 5k was about 20 minutes later and I did that one at 8:06, just over 25 minutes. After I finished I backtracked to find my wife and did another mile at over 11 minutes but it was a good warm down.

So I was glad that I was able to hold that pace for a good distance but really disappointed that I had to be happy with a 10k and 5k that were really several minutes slower than they should have been. Still thought it was a positive indicator that I could finish another marathon comfortably.

Going through the week though I just decided it wasn't there. I want to do it, I hate giving up on a goal I've set especially since I know I could continue it but I'm skeptical if I'd be able to keep the streak alive for the rest of the year so I might as well cut it off here. Streak is dead.

So this frees me up to do some triathlons this summer (if I can get myself to the pool) and to do a race this weekend. My son, 10, is going to do his first 10k and I get to run it with him. My daughter, 7, is going for her first 5k and she'll run with my wife. I think my son will be fine but my daughter will be the interesting one. I'm kind of glad that I'm not the one running with her.

8/19 6.2 at 7:57, 3.1 at 8:06 and 1.06 at 11:21

Jun 16, 2010

Status Update

Thanks to everybody for your support and sticking with me even though I haven't been blogging/commenting AT ALL. Sort of reflects my running. Anyway, just an update here to let you know what's been going on and what I'm planning.

Last week I had a stress test, lung test and more blood work. Got all of the results back and they were negative. Negative in terms of medical issues but I think the stress test results were positive as far as how well I performed. Make sense? As clear as mud? I had to lay down and pedal, not unlike a recumbent bike. My target HR for my age was 150. My starting HR was 47. Most people are done in 6-10 minutes. After about 6 minutes in she said I was in the 90's. I might be here awhile. The nurse and technician said one a week or so somebody might go for 15 minutes before their HR gets high enough. I was at about 135 at that point. They also said they remember somebody going for 21 minutes once. Well, I didn't quite have to go that long, by 18 minutes the pedalling had become quite difficult and my legs were burning much more that the effort my heart was putting forward. Finally at 19 minute I reached my goal. THAT was a workout.

The next day I put in a solid 5 miles that felt good and I was optimistic and thinking that I turned a corner. Of course my next 4 miler was incredibly difficult and slow and I was back at square one again. Ugh.

So now I might abandon my streak of marathons. My wife thinks I might regret it if I do and thinks I should struggle through another one in a week and a half. By struggle through I'm thinking 4:30 or more. I'd love to hear all your thoughts. Do I keep it up, try to get through a couple marathons in hopes that things turn around or do I just rest up and get back on track when I feel ready for it?

5/8 5 miles at 8:21
5/9 4 miles at 8:59

Jun 3, 2010

Medical Attention

Dypsnea, COPD and hyperextended lung; all terms thrown about by my doctor. More tests next week including a stress test and ekcocardiogram (sp) and something else. Hmm, wonder if they'll find anything.

I've done a little running, a little biking and played some basketball. Not sure if I'll get the 12 marathons in. Not sure if I'll get the 6th one in.

5/23 10 at 9:30 (or so)
5/31 3.29 at 8:45 (I think)

May 22, 2010

Doctor Visit

At your urging I decided to go visit the doctor. I called the clinic to make an appointment and as soon as I said "chest pains" the nurse wanted me to immediately go to the emergency room. I assured her that, as I had just recently completed a marathon and had no shortness of breath, it wasn't my heart. So she let me go to urgent care instead.

So it was pretty much listen to my lungs, listen to my heart, take some sort of blood oxygen level test and then tell me I had an inflammation. She stopped short of calling it pleurisy. Blah, blah,'ll take care of itself in a few weeks...yada, yada, yada...take some advil or aleve and see you later. Basically just what I was expecting. I think the more clever of you would be able to insert a humorous comment here but I'm choosing to be more cynical.

Anyway, chest still hurts, running still sucks.

5/18 3 at 9:00
5/21 7 at 8:44

May 17, 2010

Green Bay Marathon

I came into this race in the middle of my biggest running slump ever, with a mysterious chest pain, having to try something new on race morning and needing a haircut. I came out of it with another marathon in the books, albeit slow for how the year has been going. I'm completely satisfied though, check off May, check off Wisconsin and move on.

I have seasonal allergies but they haven't been too bad this spring. I never had to take my medication before running but when I woke up on Sunday morning and my eyes were quite irritated I decided to do it. I mean, it's just another marathon right? As for the pain in my chest, still don't know what that is. Dull ache most of the time except when I cough, sneeze or breathe deeply, then it is a crushing hammer blow. It's over on my right side, like in the pectoral muscle or lung or something. Started last Thursday and still hurts.

So I went into the race just wanting to get out of it actually. Not get out of running it but get out of the back end of it less than 4 hours later. With the current slump I didn't have a clue as to how I'd feel. No idea. Started out way back in the pack, that way I'd have to start slowly and maybe could pass somebody. My first mile felt okay but when I looked at the Garmin and it said 9 min/mile I was really disheartened. It didn't feel that slow. Ugh, if this was what I had to look forward to the rest of the day I was going to be out there a loooooong time.

Fortunately the race opened up and I fell in with another runner and chatted with him. The miles started to tick by in the 8:20's and that was comfortable enough. Still faster than I wanted though, just because I knew my training has been so bad lately. I wanted to make a pit stop but ALL the port-o-potties were full, at every aid station. Finally at mile 7 I just had to say screw it and wait in line. It was only a few seconds anyway and then I was off again.

There were a lot of twists and turns through the city for the first half of the race so I really didn't know where I was. After the half runners turned off at mile 11 we started along the river and I liked that better because I knew it was just a long stretch on a path. Miles 15-21 really seemed to fly by for some reason. I remember looking forward to mile 16 because after that there would be less than 10 miles left and then suddenly we were past mile 20 and there was less than 10k left. Probably because that was the most scenic part of the course and because my family was able to see me several times in that stretch.

I was able to keep the walking to a minimum, just through the aid stations, although the running was slow. Just wanted to be around or under 9 min/mile because I knew that would keep me under 4 hours. Miles 22-26 seemed to take a long time, I was just counting them down, 4, 3, 2, 1...and finally Lambeau field came into view. I'm a lifelong Packer fan and this was the whole reason for doing this marathon. I perked up and headed into the tunnel, the same on the players use on gameday. Just like my son who ran his race the day before, Lambeau field pumped me up. At one point I stopped and reached down to touch the Frozen Tundra. Oh my, don't try to kneel down at mile 25.5 of a marathon. I continued through, saw my family in the stands, gave high fives and ran out through the tunnel.

Down the finishing chute I raised my hands to the crowd and they responded with a big cheer and lots of high fives. That's always a good feeling. My son asked me why I always raise my hands at the end and I told him that I wanted the people to cheer for me. It always works.

I finished in 3:56:03. Maybe not a great marathon but any finished one is a good one.

It was a great weekend; they people really do a good job there. My wife and son did the 2.62 mile event the day before and then my son and daughter did the 1k kids event. A lot of stuff going on for the whole family and the venue for all the events was great. Of course, it was Lambeau field.

5/16 26.2 (26.6 by Garmin) at 9:00

May 13, 2010

Car Wreck

It's gotten bad enough that I've started playing basketball at the health club just to get out and get some exercise. Interestingly enough playing basketball was how I got in shape enough to start running 5 and 10k's in the beginning. So now I'll play for an hour or 90 minutes and then sometimes hit the treadmill for 5 or so miles afterwards. Sometimes not.

I'm wondering where this slump is coming from. It could be mental but it sure feels physical. Just doesn't seem like I have it in me to run much of any distance at all. Overtrained? I don't know; doesn't seem like I would be given the mileage I was doing. It'll definitely make for an interesting marathon this weekend in Green Bay.

(Oooh, bunny outside the window right now. I'm vacillating between letting him sit there and be cute or scaring him to keep him from eating my wife's plants...)

Back to the marathon. I'll be taking it out slow and keeping it there that's for sure. Just trying to keep it under 4 hours so maybe in the 8:40's. Maybe 8:50's if need be. Walk the water stations to get enough fluid. Still kind of looking forward to it in a driving-by-a-car-wreck sort of way. How much can I make it hurt?

5/10/10 10 miles @ 8:38
5/11/10 5 miles @ 8:41

May 7, 2010

St. George Marathon

Motivation for today's run was provided by the fact that I was chosen in the lottery to run the St. George marathon. Favorable course...maybe that will provide a PB attempt.

5/7/10 8 at 8:12

May 6, 2010


Lately I just haven't had "it". Honestly, it feels like someone hit the "reset" button on me. Like the "couch-to-5k" reset button. Also, no running = little desire to show myself in the blogosphere. So today, inspired by this video recommended by a friend and this video, I got myself out for a little run. Only the second in the last 12 days since the marathon.

5/2/10 - 10.02 at 8:31
5/6/10 - 8.31 at 8:26

Apr 25, 2010

Earth Day Challenge Marathon

The Earth Day Challenge Marathon is as small as the town of Gambier, OH in which it is held. The first four miles goes around and through the town, and is quite hilly. Maybe that is why I couldn't find any comfortable pace or rhythm. The first hill is about a half mile into the race and is MASSIVE. As big a hill as I've done in any marathon (or even any race) that I've run. All the way through the start of this marathon I was getting passed and passed and passed some more. Even two first-timer coeds left me in the dust. I knew they'd all come back though. Well, of course not all of them, but a lot. Anyway, all these people going too fast made me go a little faster than I wanted too. D'oh. The first 5 miles went by at a 8:06 pace. I didn't even know I was running that fast, just couldn't find the pacing.

After that we started on the Kokosing Gap Trail; a converted railroad bed that is now a paved bike trail. Utter bliss to run on. Really, it was fantastic, at least for this small marathon. Oh, did I mention there were only 200 marathoners and 500 half runners? It did get a little crowded on the first out and back when there were people coming and going and passing and running together. I fell in with a few other runners and we started talking marathons. They had done 86, 75, 50+ and 3. The guy who had done 3 was hoping to break 4 hours but was up running with us at a 3:35-3:40 pace. His big idea was to bank minutes so when he tired at the end, he'd have some extra time for walking. Riiiiiiiiight, that always works. Not. So we told him that but he didn't listen and stuck with us anyway. Second 5 miles were still a bit too fast but not bad. Second 5 miles in 8:17.

I'd been having to pee a little bit and thought that it was a good idea to stop just before half so as to increase my chances of running negative splits. Unofficially my half time was 1:47:58; 3:36 for negative splits. Doable, but I'd have to just see how I was feeling. The second half of the race is another out and back along the trail but in the other direction after we dropped the half marathoners. Unfortunately that direction did not have nearly as much tree canopy to run under and the sun came out in full force. It was pretty warm and humid. I'm kind of using that as my excuse anyway because I started to slow down. Third 5 miles was at 8:20 pace. Somewhere in there I passed the coeds who started out so much faster than me. They said their goal was 3:39. First timers, aren't they just great?

Around about 15 miles I went into the mental doldrums. I hadn't experienced these in the last few races but know they are always there. I just kept running; what else could I do? They always pass anyway. Even though I was not into it at all I decided to count the number of people in front of me that were now on the back portion of this out and back. I think I got to around 25 but can't remember for sure. Even though I was slowing down, I was passing some people. In fact, I only remember 1 guy passing me the whole second half of the race (doesn't mean more didn't though). Fourth 5 miles were at 8:31.

Pacing started to get in the 9:00 range and I took a couple walking breaks. I kept telling myself (and still am) that it was because of the heat and humidity because I refuse to believe that going out at 8:15 pace for the first half is that much too fast. Maybe it is though and my ego just won't let me admit it. At one point I had to stop and turn to go back to my daughter for a high five because we missed our first one. I'm sure that added several many minutes (or just a few seconds). I told myself to just keep plugging along at whatever pace and as long as I did that I'd still have a finish right in line with my other marathons this year. The miles rolled on by interrupted by a few short chats with other runners. Fifth 5 miles was at 9:21 pace (ugh, I'm cringing just to write that).

Suddenly the finish was there, right where it started, on the track of Kenyon College. I was given a choice of a medal or a mug; of course I chose the medal. All about the bling right? My unofficial finish time was 3:44:37.

Turns out we had a nice day to run. No rain (at least until about an hour after I was done. I suppose some people got wet). Wind was there but minimal. Actually running into it in the latter stages of the race was quite cooling. I'd definitely recommend this race if you don't need large crowds and constant cheering to keep yourself going. After four miles the trail was a pancake flat affair lined with trees (well, at least the first half). Quite casual but with enthusiastic volunteers and fans (my family). No expo to speak of but a nice spread after with food and massages. I didn't partake though, I'm never in a mood to after running. The ice bath that my kids love to make was torturous but did help.

Right now I'm sitting in a Columbus, OH hotel room writing this because we were shut out of the flights we were trying to catch. Hopefully tomorrow will be better. I never did meet up with Psyche even though she ran it too. Be sure to check out her account of the race though because undoubtedly it will be more entertaining than mine.

April 22 15.84 at 7:57
April 25 26.2 at 8:33

Apr 21, 2010

April Marathon Coming Up

Congrats to all you Boston finishers. It is such a fun marathon to partake in.

It seems like it's been such a long time since my last marathon (5 weeks!). I'm kind of looking forward to another one this weekend. Only problem? Supposed to be windy with thunderstorms. That = not so good. Well, I've done sub-freezing and moderately nice, I suppose this is just another bout of weather to deal with. Hmmm (<--indicates thought bubble), I expect I'll have hot and humid to look forward to sometime. At least I can be thankful that it isn't a triathlon, swimming in those conditions can be bad.

Running has been moderately better lately. Still haven't gotten a long run in but I am doing kind of middling distance runs of about 14-16 miles at about 8 minutes per mile. I might not be able to run the speed I'd like to yet but I can pick it up a bit from what I was doing. I think I slowed my long runs down to 8:30-9:00 minute pace and somehow that creeped into my other runs too. I'll have to be wary about that in the future.

After getting my bike out and all ready to go on Sunday, I took it out for the first ride of the season on Monday. Nothing real big or real fast, just about 20 miles in a little over an hour. Didn't want to push it or anything. Don't want to take too much away from my running legs, not just yet anyway. Felt good to ride though. Kind of funny, my long run route is a short, easy ride route on the bike. It's such a slog when I'm running but goes by so quickly on the bike.

Also got another swim in today. 800 meters in just under 20 minutes. Nothing to brag about but a start. I did 1x400 meters and then 4x100 meters. The second I swam faster but took about a 15 second rest between reps so the total time for each 400 was about the same. I think I like the shorter reps better because that lets me swim a little faster but a real quick rest lets me keep the speed up. Hmmm (thinking again), maybe I should apply that to my running a little more (read interval training). Somehow it seems easier in swimming.

April 16 14 at 8:02
April 18 15.73 at 8:05
April 19 19.6 miles biking at 16.9 mph
April 20 15.82 at 8:01
April 21 800 meters at 2:27 per 100 (I know, I know. I'm not much of a swimmer)

Apr 12, 2010

We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -Joseph Campbell

March was supposed to be lower mileage/faster pace than February. Fail. It turns out that I was not only slower but ran more. Not really much more though, only 13 miles but I had 5 more workouts so my average run was way lower. So now, since I've been unable to hit the pace that I'd like, I thought I'd go back to the higher mileage. I should be able to do that right? Well, maybe not. After getting in a good week last week, 66 miles on 4 runs including 20 on Monday and 16 on Tuesday (got to be my two day PB) I set out for my 20 miler today. Uh, not happening. Legs felt terrible after a mile. Stopped at 4 to reassess. Turned around at 5. Don't know what that was all about. Better luck next time.

Total Miles: 203.26
Total Runs: 13
Average: 15.64
Pace: 8:25

Total Miles: 213.09
Total Runs: 18
Average: 11.84
Pace: 8:26

Hmm, can't run faster, can't run further, maybe I'll be able to run less. Since January I've been pointing to the Green Bay marathon for a PB attempt. I'm abandoning that. Actually not that bad a thing, it'll take the pressure off and there are still 7 more marathons left in the year. Now I just need to maintain what I do have. Maybe I'll cut back on a run or so and pick up on the bike riding and swimming every week. I'm thinking one 18-20 miler and two 10-12 milers (plus the cross training) would allow me to complete a marathon every month.

Well, that's the plan anyway. Things tend to not go as planned so I'll tell you about my new plans in a few weeks.

April 8 16 at 8:27
April 10 14.07 at 7:58
April 12 9.03 at 8:29

Apr 6, 2010

Run With The Wolves 5k

I took my son to a Minnesota Timberwolves basketball game (they are a professional team, honest) a few weeks ago. Well, when they advertised a "Run With The Wolves 5k" with a free game ticket on the big screen, he latched on to that right away. So last Saturday we ran another 5k together and he was going for his PB of 28:26.

I paced him to a 9:07 first mile, right on target. The second mile started with a couple hills that took a little out of him. A little later he asked to slow down, so we did. I gradually worked our pace back up but then he asked to slow down a bit again. We went through the second mile in 9:18. We'd have to pick up the pace to make the PB. Then he told me he wanted to walk. I wouldn't let him. I just encouraged him to keep running as much as he could. Towards the end there was a slight uphill and then a couple tenths of a mile downhill to the finish. Mile 3 was 9:07 and he was sprinting hard towards the finish. I thought we were going to make it but we finished in 28:31. He was so funny; he immediately laid down on the ground. He stayed there awhile and got up only to drink some water but then plopped back down again. He worked really hard, I really enjoyed running with him.

Nice, small race. No official timing but lots of food, t-shirt, Timberwolves hats for the kids, massages, lots of coupons for $$'s off massages and spa treatments. Even full size deoderant in the goody bags. And I can't forget the game tickets.

All in:
March 28, 2010 7.37 @ 8:19 (4x1/2 mile hill repeats)
March 30, 2010 10 @ 8:18
March 31, 2010 5.68 @ 7:46
April 1, 2010 12.7 @ 8:25
April 3, 2010 6.48 @ 8:30
April 5, 2010 20.15 @ 8:42
April 6, 2010 16.01 @ 8:50

Mar 27, 2010

No Go For Mojo

The running mojo hasn't returned yet and it doesn't seem like it will anytime soon. Just feel like I'm not able to keep my fast paced runs fast paced and if I try, I can't keep the pace very long. Last Monday I had a decent run, the workout part of it was 9 miles at 7:07 but I was working waaaaaay to hard for that. Had a very slow run the next day and then on Thursday I couldn't only get 4 mile at that pace.

My slower runs have been okay, just can't seem to increase the pace. Like today I ran with friends for 18 at about 8:18 pace and then went home for a bit more with Hiroo (the dog). I guess my plan will be to slow my fast pace down, maybe 7:25-7:30, in order to get the distance I want. After all I am marathon training and miles are at a premium.

This week seems like it will be lower miles. Heading to Florida on a Spring break vacation with the family. Should be a great time, just not conducive to running maybe. I'll have to see how much I can get in.

All in: Monday 11 at 7:22
Tuesday 6.54 at 9:01
Thursday 10 at 8:00
Saturday 19.68 at 8:22

Mar 22, 2010

Shout outs

Thanks for all your responses to my last "scaredy cat" post. You've inspired me. I'm all ready (maybe not?) to sign up for an Ironman triathlon. I liked your comments so much I'm going to respond to each one of them in this post.

Julie: Thanks for having faith in me. You are right, it's all in the training.

Bill: The Florida course is real flat but can be windy. Most concerned about the swim in the ocean. I've done two open water swims in the ocean and puked after both, one in a triathlon in Japan. Too many waves.

Karen and Jean: Thanks for all the confidence in me!

Jill: Thanks for the vote of confidence. The mojo might be coming around, have to see what today's run brings. Hope yours comes around too.

SDRunner: Baby steps, good idea. I think I'm ready for the big step now. You'll get there, I just have experience (read as older) than you.

San: IM Florida is in November so I'll have the Minnesota summer to train in. Usually not too bad. Hey, you'll get that marathon, keep moving forward!

Beth: Mike did a great job and had a great race report. I'm sure he put a lot of time into it. I've heard good things about IM Florida.

Meg: Tough love! Perfect. Inspiring.

Lindsay: I think I've wrote in in your comments before, we're runners cut from the same mold. If I haven't I've thought it.

Glenn: The swim is the hardest part! If I get through that I'll be doing the rest on my own.

All in: Thursday 14.06 at 7:51
Saturday 20.02 at 8:27

Mar 16, 2010

Somebody can title this one for me.

My last few runs have so pathetic that I'm not even going to blog about them. That'll teach'em. Give me a bad run will you; I won't even tell everybody about you then.

So a running blog without running. Could be pretty boring but then a lot of people would think a running blog with running would be boring. Those people aren't going to be checking out this place though so I could call them names without them even knowing. I could.

Maybe I'll write about something diametrically opposed to running, like triathloning. Okay, so they aren't diametrically opposed. In fact, they are a somewhat complementary but they are opposed in that if you want to do well (maybe we should say "your best" here as "well" is somewhat relative) in either you really have to sacrifice the other.

I have a friend who really wants me to do Ironman Florida in 2011 so we can go visit her and her future husband (who will likely do the race also). Interesting story, (at least to me, you might find it less so) she was one of my best girl friends in high school. So good in fact that she stood up for me in my wedding (my wife has 3 brothers and wanted them in our wedding so we each had 3 couples that stood up with us). We kept in touch some but then sort of lost touch (when I say sort of I mean didn't communicate for several years in a row) which I firmly take the blame for. I've never been good at keeping in touch and unless you live with me (or read this blog) you might not know I've died for several years.

So anyway, she got back in touch with me a few months ago to tell me that she is engaged and getting married. Yay for her. Not only that but it turns out she ran the Myrtle Beach marathon that I did last year. I was blown away! Too bad we didn't see each other that weekend. She is a runner now and does half marathons and marathons and I'm so jazzed about that. Of course I think it is great. I wouldn't have expected it from her.

So back to the triathlon. Her soon-to-be husband is big into Ironmans (Ironmen?) and since it is my goal to do one in 2011 it all fits perfectly. I'm right there with her until it comes down to actually signing up for this thing. I don't mind saying I'm as scared as hell and intimidated beyond belief by this thing. I've done several marathons and two half iron tris but this scares me. And you know, the worst part about it isn't really that I'm scared of failure or of not finishing but that I'm scared of not doing as well as I want to. It's an Ironman for heaven's sake, why can't I be happy with just finishing it? No, I must have some deep-seated insecurities that causes me to compare myself to other competitors with a need to be faster. What's up with that? I mean, just do your races and be happy with it. The only comparisons I should be making is against myself.

Okay, I'm done publicly psycho-analyzing myself now. Sorry you had to witness this.

All in: Saturday 11 at 8:44
Monday 14 at 7:42
Tues 5 at 7:47