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' :)