Wednesday, December 31, 2008

One month later,,,

Ok, I promise updating this blog is going to be more consistent from here on out :)

Have you ever just taken pictures of things that strike you as funny for travel pics? Give it a shot sometime. I normally find that those are some of my personal favorites. It seems that taking pictures of funny signs are usually the best pics...

A few fun pics from my recent trip to Cali for Christmas...

Somehow I'm not buying this airplane blanket as having been sterilized and sealed for sanitary purposes as United claims...

Most intense family reunion volleyball game ever...

I definitely need to visit this casino more... hey, free pie! It's no lie! :)

IMCDA training getting rolling in earnest this coming week... I'm so ready to get started, especially now that I've gotten my bout with food poisoning out of the way. That was a rockin 24 hours, lemme tell ya! :)

Hope you all had a rockin christmas, and have a great new year celebration tonight. Please, be safe... sooo much craziness on NYE. Looking forward to 2009!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Brief hiatus, but I'm back!

Hola :) Sorry for the long delay. For those of you who know me well, life has been more than a bit insane lately, but now I'm back! Thanks for sticking with me.

So, the marathon... what a great experience. The San Antonio Rock n' Roll Marathon was the first marathon distance run of my life, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Here's proof that I was enjoying it... me at mile 25.5... and no, the cop wasn't there for me... :)

There's a few things that I already knew, a few I doubted, and a few I learned on the run about marathoning...

1. Marathons are split into two equal halves - the first 20 miles and then the last 6.2. Trite, I know, but 100% true. The run didnt get hard until somewhere between 20 and 21... then it got pretty challenging. Luckily I held my splits steady for the entire run - T3's training plans really work.

2. Nutrition remains key to any long event. Happy to say I got it right in a big way that day. Here's the plan I used...

- 1.5hr before race - took my sportlegs, had an odwalla protein shake, a bananna, and a 24oz bottle with nuun.

- 30min before race - got rid of nuun :)

- one race started, did one gel (hammer or carbboom) every 40-45min and endurolytes every 60-70min. May have been a bit heavy on endurolytes, but didnt have problems. At water stations, had either water or cytomax depending on how I felt at the time (not critical to my electrolyte or calorie intake strategy).

Nutrition remains a key element to any long event. Trust me on this one. Make sure to train the way you race, even with nutrition.

3. I'm not a fan of race directors putting hills less than a quarter mile from the race finish, but it was a nice challenge.

4. The big question on my mind prior to the start - which is harder, half-ironman tri or a marathon? A solid half-iron time is about 2 hours longer than a solid marathon time... but the marathon is certainly more of a challenge in terms of endurance. Skill, the half-iron is still more challenging, but for sheer physical endurance the marathon is more of a challenge.

The race organizers ran a great event. Hats off to them. If you're anywhere near San Antonio (or likely any of the rock n' roll series events), give it a go. It's a blast. Apparently they had 35,000 ppl participating in either the full or half. Craziness.

Here's proof that I finished :)

I'd be remiss not to give a strong 'what up' to the best race support crew in the world... Chris, Stephanie, Michelle and Stathi. Having your help and encouragement in training, on race morning, through the race, and to share it with at the end made this experience so much more than just a run. Hope I can add to your lives as much as you added to mine that day. Big up.

So, it's been a few weeks of medium to low-key training... have to start getting back to it soon! See you at the workouts!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Tapering is harder than training...

So, I've been informed that my blog has been somewhat lame lately :) hahahah. I'm gonna try to fix that. Life has been exploding lately with new things to deal with, so readers, please accept my sincere apology while I figure out a new routine to get this monster regularly updated within.

Very much looking forward to doing the marathon on Sunday! It's gonna rock. Weather is supposed to be great, been feeling great in the little bit of working out I've been doing lately, ... everything is lining up really well. The touch of plantar fascia problems I was dealing with seems to be responding to the treatment its been getting.

This is funny, but most of all I want to get the marathon past so I can start training regularly again! How strange is that. Training seems to be one of the most regular parts of life these days... tapering just doesnt float my boat like being able to hammer out a run or bike workout does. It's nice to get that super tired but accomplished feeling a few times a week. Yes, I know, I'm sick mentally, but I love it. Something very empowering about it.

Well, that's all for this moment. I'll post again soon - I promise :)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Opportunity knocks...

Change = opportunity.

From my viewpoint, reaction to change is one of the best measures of positivity in a person's character. If change = opportunity (maybe even mixed in with a little uncertainty), you're all good. If change = fear and self-doubt, there's an underlying issue that needs to be understood and addressed. Understanding your reaction to change is a great way to understand where you're head is at.

Change = opportunity.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Ya know what's awesome?

Here's what's awesome right now to me...

- the fact that my brother and his wife are coming to CDA to cheer me on for my first IM
- nothing left but taper prior to the San Antonio Rock n' Roll Marathon
- the fact that I don't always get what I want - gives me something to strive for
- having rockin friends
- My Spartans beating Michigan in dominant fashion. 35-21 was the official score, but we all know they missed the first touchdown call *badly*... to me that game is 35-14.
- swimming more - a lot more lately
- my bike - new fork and all
- having a successful but challenging life
- starting my Christmas shopping

Monday, October 20, 2008

Weekend festivities

What a great weekend... never run so much before in a two day span in my life.

Ran 18 miles. Wow. That's a new longest run ever for me. The fun part? Ran a 8:00/mi average. Had been planning on a race pace at San Antonio of 8:30/mi... if this coming weekend's 22mi run goes as well, may have to drop that goal a bit :) Fun with friends up north in the afternoon, on to lots and lots of football. My Spartans got absolutely taken apart unfortunately, and it seemed Mizzou didn't bring much more with them to play TX than MSU did to play OSU (TX is looking very strong this season... we'll see if they can keep it up). Carrie, thanks for not blogging about the OSU v. MSU game. Ouch.

IBM uptown classic 10k. Had no idea how I was going to feel. Finished my warm-up with my homie Quirk, and started feeling pretty good. Ended up going 44 flat (7:05/mi), which was a new PR for me. Think I could have taken it down around 42:45 or so if I hadn't done the 18 the day before, but that one will have to wait for another day :) New PR for the Quirker too - great job man. Rode the Mt. Bonnell loop with Stathi and Michelle, and then on to a football-filled afternoon (mmmm... chicken nachos... mmmm).

Great weekend. I'm exhausted :)

Sunday, October 12, 2008


Opportunity is an interesting thing, isn't it? Right now, I'm bucketing opportunity into two different categories...

1. Opportunities that you want to have, that you've either created through endeavor or have stumbled upon through blind luck.

2. Opportunities that come your way through circumstances you don't like... example - the fact that I'm not a professional athlete allows me the *opportunity* to learn how to manage many facets of life that all want more than their fair share of my time all at once. This isn't the thing prompting this ramble from me, but hopefully it serves to help describe the category?

Seems to me perspective is everything concerning responding to either #1 or #2; probably more applicable to #2, but certainly applies strongly to both. Seems that the #2 bucket of opportunity can be a great test of intrinsic character... (massive reframe alert)... not getting what you want not only can build character, but also can help to provide a checkpoint as to how we're doing at the moment the category #2 'opportunity' presents itself. I'm happy to have the opportunity to challenge myself to assume/retain the proper mindset, but very much looking forward to a smoother road soon.

So, on to the boring athletic stuff.

Ran a quick 13 this morning with a very speedy T3 friend. Good run, but stomach problems all morning. First half of run was all uphill (kinda continuous, no real recovery) and thank god for the 'what goes up must come down' thing on the 2nd half of the run. Was pretty proud of myself that I stuck to it and finished strong - almost set a new PR for the half marathon. I'll be curious to see how the longer runs go in my prep for the San Antonio Rock n Roll Marathon. Big props to my run buddy and teammate Kevin - great friend and outstanding athlete. Not to mention my great friends Chris, Stephanie, and Ryland - who upon hearing I was having stomach problems got in their car to come find me and make sure I was ok. I'm very blessed - my friends are truly outstanding people.

Sunday night swim was absolutely rockin... it's always fun, but tonight I trained it rather than just got a leisurely swim in. All of the work (resistance, core, mornings at Barton Springs) is paying off. Still there's lots of great training time between now and the first tri of '09...

Note from Saturday night... Dave Attell is hilarious. I've always thought that I have a relatively edgy sense of humor, but wow... I'm sooo in the kiddie pool compared to that guy. Wow.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Great pic...

I wonder if there's another door behind this one...

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

How rockin was this...

Remember how I said that it's just great being part of T3? Well, here's what it looked like running by the team tent on the Longhorn 70.3 run course...

Every time I ran past the team tent, everyone was up and cheering their heads off. That was such an encouragement during a very challenging run. How cool is that? :)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Looks like I can also add Halfmax National Championship qualifier to my 'done' list for 2008! That's kinda fun...

I better keep at the training so I can grab that Clearwater 70.3 championship slot in '09... :)

Longhorn 70.3, Texas Tri Series, ...

2008's tri season is in the books with the completion of the Longhorn 70.3 this past Sunday. Wow... what a race. Course was quite challenging as expected, the run was an absolute bear, but I loved every minute of it.

- New PR for the swim (officially 26:40, but since it was probably ~200m short, I'll call it a 29:40)
- New power PR for the bike - 311 watts normalized over 56mi! Previously best was ~270W, and that was for an olympic distance (~26mi)!
- Solid transition times - ~1:30 combined faster than Vineman 70.3
- Not a great time in the run, but a great effort. No lie, it was the hardest run course I've encountered in a triathlon.

Not so Highlights:
- Run time. Bleh. I know I can do better.
- Having my elbow pads for my aerobar stolen off of my bike in transition. Not so cool. However, the McGyvered duct tape and sponge creations made in desperation did very well :)

- Feeling about 90% of the way there on understanding that nutrition plan, but still some work to do

Can't say enough about how great it was to have done the event along with many of my T3 teammates. What a great group of people, and what a gritty, tough group of athletes. I've seen some of the best come out of people through endurance sports in my life, and some of the very best of it all through my experience with T3. I'm very proud to be a part of the team - from what I've experienced, my fellow T3 teammates are some of the most dedicated, hard working, intelligent and group success oriented people in the sport. Way to rock it, T3.

I am learning this year how much I love the 70.3 distance. Guess I'll have to wait and see what a full Ironman event feels like in 2009 to completely make that call, but as I sit here today, the half iron distance is by far my favorite. It's got such a great balance of different challenges - endurance, speed, pacing, strategy, nutrition planning, ... all have to be taken into proper consideration.

Finishing the Longhorn 70.3 makes it two 70.3 events completed for 2008... had never done this distance prior to this year. Also, finishing the Longhorn 70.3 also completes the Texas Triathlon Series for my 2nd straight year.

It was just a great feeling crossing that line Sunday.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

ACL and gettin my Longhorn on...

ACL wrap up...

Bands that I dug...
- N.E.R.D
- Galactic
- Kevin Fowler
- The Mars Volta
- Foo Fighters (kinda)
- Silversun Pickups
- Gnarls Barkley
- Iron and Wine

Other acts I saw...
- Beck
- Blues Traveler

Dug the music, but mostly enjoyed the people I went to the show with... I've got some great friends :)

Also, now I understand why a bunch of people were going 'bandito style' and putting a bandana over their faces... the level of dust there was amazing! It looks like it's snowing in the pics I took!

Hopefully we can get Lenny Kravitz and The Rev Horton Heat to play ACL again soon, cause I'm 100% IN if they do!

T minus very few days until Longhorn kicks off. In full taper mode now. I'm all kinds of energetic from having a significantly lighter training load this week... can't wait to turn all of it loose on Sunday. It's on.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Long time no speak...

After a busy weekend of training and ACL, I'm bushed :) In short, it was a great weekend. More on ACL shortly.

Longhorn is less than a week away now :)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Marathon Relay

Having a 2009 plan is very motivating... I put out more effort in this past Saturday's ride like I wouldn't normally have without having such clear goals for next season. It was rockin... I'd normally do something like 240-250 watts (normalized power); on this ride I did 292 watts :) Fun. Seems many on the team had a great ride that day... it's so much more enjoyable to get out and put in a hard effort on the bike when it's a bit cooler out.

Sunday's Silicon Labs Marathon Relay was another great experience. Our team of five - The Quirks (Chris, Steph and Ryland), Michelle Metzler and myself were the five members of team 'Blue Thunder' (name chosen by Ryland). Like every race this time of year, I hadn't decided how much effort I really wanted to put into it prior to the start, and then took off at full speed as soon as my leg began :) The race was comprised of five legs - 10k, 11.1k, 11.1k, 5k, 5k - I took the 2nd leg (11.1k). Average pace for me was 7:08/mi - I was very pleased. The first half of the course was quite hilly, and I held a consistent 7min pace throughout both the hilly and flat sections of the course. Ended up with 49:11 for my 11.1k leg of the race. Our overall team time was 3:36:28 (average pace of 8:15/mi). But that's not the important part of the race... :)

Ryland, Chris and Steph's son (all 8 years old of him) ran a 32:35 5k! He's 8 years old! I'm sure he beat at least half of the grown adults on the course - a rockin effort out of him - not to mention the rock star treatment he received from everyone cheering along the way!

Team 'Blue Thunder' ended up achieving 2nd in our division - we were pleasantly surprised :) Very fun event - would highly recommend giving it a shot in 2009!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Spin fun and a rockin volunteer party

I'm digging these morning core and spin sessions more and more... think I might make a habit of the thursday AM spin too. Ugh. Time to find out how to get more sleep - maybe go to bed earlier?

Speaking of going to bed earlier... the Austin Tri volunteer party was a BLAST last night. Wasn't expecting food or an open bar, and they had both - what a great way to show your volunteers that they're appreciated! Also had a bit of luck and won a Trigger Point starter kit! Always pays to know who won the women's overall at Kona last year... :)

Given all of the long course stuff I've got planned for next year and how much fun it was helping out with the transition area at Austin Tri (and swim at the S&T), think I might volunteer my way through most of the TX tri series next year...

Hope you're all having a rockin Thursday.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Fall cleaning

Doesn't it feel great to get rid of stuff? I've been in a minimizing mode for about 4 months now, and it's shocking how much stuff I've donated/sold/trashed/given away/... and honestly I don't think I have that much stuff to begin with! These days, if I own it and it's not bolted down or used on a very regular basis, it's got a pretty good chance of making it's way to eBay/Craigslist. It's so nice living 'lighter'.

I truly do need to get out and swim more. For a while now a group of friends and I have been getting out for Sunday night swims, and I really enjoy them... even when we're out to put in some serious work. It's rockin training (if we're out there to train and not just fool around :)), and the after swim food is probably better than the swim anyway! Think I'll put some thought into how I can add a bit more swimming to my life...

Monday, September 15, 2008

Two completely different runs and a plan for '09

Weekend run fun...

Loop 1: 7:15ish pace, 7mi
Loop 2: 7:45ish pace, 7mi

Loop 2 was a lot easier than loop 1 :) Did a bit of 2009 planning with my T3 coaches this weekend, and one thing I need to begin doing is picking up the paces a bit more on the longer runs. So, no better time to start than now! Ran loop 1 with Joe and Logan, and half of loop 2 with Chris... had a bunch of friend out on the trail getting their distance in.

All in all, a pretty good weekend for training... a bit over 3hrs on the bike on Saturday (around 270W NP) , ~14mi run and a short swim on Saturday. Feel pretty good heading into the week.

A bit more about planning for 2009... I'm very excited about the plans my coaches and I were able to put together for the coming year. Made a few changes to the race calendar I had cobbled together (cut out a few 'for fun' races to focus more on the primary goals), but mostly all is in place.

Major goals for 2009:
- Sub 5 hr 70.3 (expect to get this one done at the Lonestar Half)
- 11:30 or better at IMCDA

... and here's where it gets fun :) If I go 11:30 or less at IMCDA, going to drive to qualify for the 70.3 Championships in Clearwater FL at the new 70.3 in Augusta, GA. If I go over 11:30, will use my time at Lonestar to qualify for Halfmax (half iron distance tri) in Las Vegas.

So, if things go the way I want for 2009...
- Sub 5 hr 70.3 at the Lonestar Half
- 11:30:00 or better at IMCDA
- Qualify for 70.3 World Championships at Augusta 70.3 (probably would mean ~4:37:00)
- Compete in 70.3 World Championships in Clearwater, FL

So 2009 is a 'go for it' year for me in a big way. I'm anxious to get started!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Rest Day

I love me some rest day... this has been a great training week, it's nice to have a day to recover. If the weather holds off from Ike, should be a very intense weekend - 70 on the bike tomorrow and somewhere between 15-18 running on Sunday. I'd be ok with doing the bike indoors, but 15-18 on a treadmill? That's what I call cruel and unusual punishment!

Spent some time looking at what I'm planning to do in 2009 this week... I'm pretty fired up about it. A races = IMCDA, St. Anthony's (FL, olympic), and a late season 70.3 yet to be named (possibly Halfmax, Augusta 70.3 (new for 2009) or Muskoka 70.3 (Canada). Planning on a little more travel in 2009... seems triathlon is a great hobby to combine with travel! Speaking of which, I should add the St. Croix half to my calendar...

College football prediction of the week - Michigan State vs FAU: MSU 28, FAU 24. Should be a great game.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Injury magnet

Let's take quick stock of where my fantasy football team is at... I'm calling them the 'all-injured team'

Tom Brady, my #1 overall pick - out for season, ACL
Marques Colston - out 4-6 weeks, injured finger
Marion Barber - bruised ribs. Going to play, but bet Jones gets more of the carries
Chad 'Ocho Cinco' Johnson - Injured shoulder. Playing, but doing a whole lot of nothing

Seriously. If you want to know who is going to get injured in the NFL this season, just ask me if I drafted them :)

... and I think I'm going to start making a habit of T3 core on Wednesday mornings. It's rockin.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

What do you mean 'that bike doesn't fit you'???

Triathlon version of 'fat guy in a little coat'...

And the winner is...

Winner of 'one of the funniest things I've seen in recent memory' is...


Wearing many hats...

Is it just me, or has this week been pretty intense so far? Whatever it is, it is *really* is kicking it up a notch this week! I need a few more hours in the day. Either that, or I need to schedule a massage badly :)

T3 run was rockin it out yesterday evening. We did partner run/crosstrain sets, where one of the two ran a ~1000M lap (~200M sharp uphill, ~500M flat, ~300M downhill) while the other did sets of squats, jumps, pushups and jumping jacks (and a short bit of recovery while the runner completed the lap). Props to Ben - we did 6 sets and then one more just for good measure :) Rock on homie - way to work.

I came into yesterday's run pretty charged up yesterday... it was a crazy nuts day at work, and there's no doubt that fueled me a bit more than usual. Triathlon is a great release - very productive way to use all that stored up energy!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

IM Wisconsin finish line video and a little football

It was a pretty interesting experience today watching a chunk of the IM Wisconsin finish line video today while waiting to see a good friend finish her first IM. The interesting part was seeing people's reactions to completing this grueling, ~12hr effort - some elated, some nonchalant, some very fired up, some emotional, ... the whole range was represented. The ones I'm always fired up to see are the 50-60 year old dudes/dudettes that are multiple time finishers come across - can't help but be pretty impressed. Don't know if that's what I'm going to want to do when I'm that age, but you never know!

BTW, there's a prize for reading this blog right now :) It's undeniable... I am a big nerd when it comes to working on bikes. I just dig it; No idea why. So if you're reading this and need a hand with something on your bike and want a hand, feel free to drop me a line and we'll see what we can do. Having a chance to work on a friend's bike today reminded me of how fun I find it to be.

On a completely unrelated note, I am fired up that it's football season again! My Spartans took care of business this week and got their first win! Rock on. Hopefully many more to come.

Hope you all had a great weekend, and are looking forward to a successful and productive coming week :)

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Love me some bikin'

Got my first look at the Longhorn IM 70.3 bike course today... fun ride, but challenging. It's got a decent amount of elevation change, and a decent amount of chipseal (love those Texas roads). On race day I think it's very doable though. Glad we rode it today - now I know what I'm training for! :)

I took out a kayak during the team swim to help out in case anyone got into difficulty (which no one did thankfully). I've been swimming a ton lately, and didn't feel like getting more in that particular morning. Really glad I ended up doing that - it was very fun to see how everyone swims, and I learned quite a bit of little technique things I'm going to try out next time I'm in the water. We've got some people who really know how to move in the water on the team. It was impressive. And for those who aren't quite as smooth in the water, I was impressed by their tenacity and dedication... kinda cool to know the people in the water and what's going on in their lives, and to see it play out in how they approached their swim this morning. Maybe that's a had-to-be-there kind of deal, but it was a cool experience to have had.

Super eventful ride. Went out with a few fellas who clearly were looking to blast through it - not my preference this particular day. Rode for a bit with a few different groups (mixing in a few random hill repeats to go tell Brian I accidentally told him to go the wrong way - oops :)), ended up getting in with a few very, very fast fellas on verrrry expensive bikes to pace back up to where I wanted to be (wherever that ended up being). Ran into Erin and Dionne along the way, and finished up the ride with them. We had a lot of fun... I'm going to refer to Erin and Dionne as the 'hammer twins' from now on.

The post ride BBQ was a great time, and very relaxing. Seemed like everyone who came out to ride stuck around for a couple of hours... this is probably one of my favorite things about the people in T3. While it's the training that brings us together initially, its my impression that the people on the team genuinely enjoy each other and like spending time together. That's a special thing.

All that fun stuff, topped off with my Spartans pounding Eastern Michigan 42-10. I'll take it :)

Hope you all had a rockin Saturday.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Early get up

Barton Springs is pretty rockin on Friday mornings apparently. This is new information to me, as this morning was my first experience with getting up way too early on a Friday to visit the springs. As much as the cold water makes for a somewhat unpleasant awakening from the half-awake morning stumbly state, it was a lot of fun (not to mention a good swim workout). Met up with my bro Chris to get in a few 200m intervals, and we went through them pretty fast... pretty much race pace or a couple of seconds below. Doing laps in a 25m pool is near unbearably boring to me, but doing intervals in the springs is a lot of fun... many more elements of being in open water.

One of the other fun things about the springs in the morning is the people - seems there's a good variety. Older/younger, faster/slower, athlete/just for fun, ... but all were very friendly and seemed to be in good spirits. Had a very positive feeling about it.

It's been fun getting in the water more lately - going to have a lot of that this coming weekend, and a WHOLE lot of that prior to IM CDA.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Opening thoughts...

Thinking about starting a blog today moved me into a strangely introspective mood... talk about unexpected. Anyway, here's what came out. Thought this would be a good way to kick this crazy creation off, since most of it from here on out is likely to be a kinda lightweight :) Here's one of my favorite quotes (author unknown)...

"Happiness is not an accident. Nor is it something you wish for. Happiness is something you design."

Certainly there is pure chance that plays a role in our lives, but I do believe for the most part that we are at cause; the effect is largely the result of what we set in motion through action.

Having said that, I truly love what chance brings into our lives. Whether it is people, circumstances, events, opportunities, ... whatever... chance in my opinion has a lot to do with the extremes - some good, some bad. In my opinion, we have to have those extremes to really experience what life is.

Anyway, that's my kick off thought for this blog :) More random thoughts to come.

This marathon thing...

So here's what I'm pondering... why exactly am I doing the San Antonio RnR marathon? :)

Reasons to do it-
1. Haven't yet done a marathon
2. Probably should do one prior to IM CDA
3. First time that there's a RnR series event in TX, and that's kinda fun
4. It's a short drive for what's reputed to be a great event
5. I already signed up :)

Reasons not to do it-
1. 26.2 miles is a long way
2. Training to run 26.2 miles is a lot of running (aka a lot of early weekend getups rather than late nights out with friends)

It's gonna be a blast actually - just working to get my head around what it's going to mean to be trained up for it. Almost done with the training plan. I'm actually really looking forward to being able to focus on only one sport for a little while. It'll be a lot of fun.

Those who want to 'See Tom Tri' :)