Thursday, September 17, 2009

Halfmax bound...

All my stuff is packed, in the car, ... ready to go. Leaving for OK tonight. Fired up.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Big weekend...

Heading to Oklahoma this weekend for the edman Triathlon, in which I'll be doing the half iron distance. This is sort of a special race for me, in that it's the age group national championships for the half-iron distance; if I do well at this race, I can potentially get a spot on Team USA for the 2010 Half Ironman World Age Group championships. Wow. Rewind 5 years, and this was inconcieveable... I weighed ~250lbs, couldnt run a mile without stopping at any pace, and wasnt even on the road to having it pulled back together. All that, after having raced bikes for years prior to that and been in the best shape of my life. Needless to say, i'm quite fired up about this weekend.

Triathlon has not only brought fun into my life in terms of the challenge and fitness, but also some outstanding people. Heading up to OK with my friends Dionn, Kevin, Carrie, Tami, Dina and Maurice (all teammates as well). Really looking forward to that trip.

Who would have thought OK could be so exciting!

Stay tuned for more.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Packed in weekend...

Who's ready for some more racin'??? That'd be me.

Friday - Zilker Relays
Monday - The Austin Triathlon

Fired. Up.

Seriously, I love racing. The getting up when its still dark, playing your fired up music in the car, body marking, setting up transition, the always-way-too-long-wait-for-the-start-even-if-it-is-only-5-minutes, and then bang! You're off. Then, you get to enjoy the payoff for all that hard work. It's such a blast.

On another note... anybody else fired up about the start of college football season? I am so IN.

Go State.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Spending energy...

When I made the transition from college life to being out on my own (and REALLY out on my own - moved out of my home state not having more than a handful of acquaintances in my new state), it became quickly apparent that I was going to have to increase the amount of things I could manage at any one time - family, friends, job, housing, money, hobbies, ... we all know what the list looks like for each of us. This of course was years and years ago... so why write about it now? I was thinking today about how that process never really ended :) I've got a bunch of great things going on in life right now, and they all want my time/energy/resources/... and i'm having to prioritize like never before. It's kind of fun actually - going through periods like this is very clarifying when it comes to understanding your own priorities.

Maybe this is what kicked off the thought process... I had the opportunity to have dinner and play games with some very close friends last night, and seeing how deeply and quickly their son was able to immerse himself in the game we were playing was amazing. It made me consider the delta between the life of a 9 year old vs. that of someone my age. Wow!

So, having said all that, the next level of thinking brings me to how awesome it is to have such a full life. I've got so many fun, challenging, rewarding things in life all pulling for my attention... what a great problem to have! If I only had any passion for keeping my home in more consistently orderly shape... :)

Just for fun, here's a pic of just a small bit of the crew from this past friday's Austin Duathlete's 'dress up as a douchebag' pub run... enjoy.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Shifting the focus

One of the most fun things to me about triathlon is the continual challenge concerning focus... what sport to focus on for what blocks of training. I'm entering the part of my season where running should be my focus, but recently I've rediscovered my love of cycling and I just can't seem to get the running focus to supplant my desire to be on the bike. So, time for me to get some discipline and start running like I should be! Maybe I can work in more bricks... :)

This concept doesn't just apply to my athletic pursuits... last week my group had a week long training effort, and the ramp to that event (as well as the delivery) required a bit more of me than previous. It was a blast... I'm fortunate professionally in that I really enjoy my industry and the people I work with. Given that we primarily serve non-profit, our firm (while for profit) has a tendency to take on the persona of our customers, and it makes for a very fun environment. So, the focus last week had to shift towards work life a bit, and that's fine... it was time well spent.

Who's coming out to join in on the Pure Austin Splash 'n Dash this weekend?

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Pre-race music...

Think I may have come across the best pre-race get fired up music yet. Don't need quantity, just quality...

Down Rodeo - Rage Against the Machine
L'Via L'Viaquez - The Mars Volta
Broken, Beat and Scarred - Metallica
Can't Truss It - Public Enemy
Mountain Song - Jane's Addiction

Winner winner.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Getting back after it.

Going to the gym last night was a significantly different experience than last week :) My legs work again - even ran at a pretty good pace for a short distance. Looks like I'm successfully shaking the Ironman funk off. Very much looking forward to re-engaging in training.

Luckily, the post CDA celebrations continue... I'm guessing this week will be the last significant week of out and aboutness for the T3 crew before the training regimen begins to ramp back up (depending on who is doing what upcoming events). Next big thing for me? Longhorn 70.3, closely followed by the pre-CIM tuneup San Antonio RnR Half Marathon, and then, the final 'A' event for me in 2009, the California International Marathon. I've got my work cut out for me.

Life's been a lot of fun lately - some unexpected fun surprises, and a few very much expected fun times with friends enjoying being post-Ironman. My crew of friends is very loose and looking to have fun - it's kind of like December in June. I'll take it.

A few of us are starting to look into 2010 and see what fun lies ahead. With family moving to Seattle, i'm quite confident the Lake Stephens 70.3 will be on my calendar. There's been talk of the St. Croix 70.3 and the Hawaii 70.3 as well. It'd be great to get back on a beach for a few days. We'll see how it pans out!

So long IMCDA '09. Time to move onwards and upwards!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

One week ago I became an Ironman...

Back in real life for one week now. It's wild how much of a transition it's been to get back to the normal pace of life. There are some perks to being through the race... sleeping in, staying out a little too late, having one beer more than is sensible when training :), ... everyone's been in a celebrating mood since the race.

So, a few post IM thoughts from IMCDA 2009...

- I have the best brother anyone could ever have. It's quite a hardship on him professionally to be out of the office, and to have Juli and Matt prioritize being there for this event meant more to me than I could express in a blog. Wow. I just can't imagine what going through this experience would have been like without having their love and support before, during, and after. Going through the finishers chute was super emotional for me, but seeing them there screaming their heads off in the front row (probably having had to fight their way in to get such a great spot) was amazing. Matt, you have no idea how special your being there made the whole weekend for me.

- My friends are rockin. Chris and Kevin are not only super rockin dudes in regular life, but we also share a passion for the sport of Triathlon that enables us all to have shared experiences that just can't be had any other way. I'll remember how rockin it was to run the marathon portion of the race with Chris, my homie who I did the greater majority of the training to get there with (and not to mention his wife Steph and son Ryland, who both were there to share this crazy ride with - you are both rock stars!). I'll remember how Kevin was there for me to do whatever I didn't have hands to do myself (and some stuff I did!) all weekend long, from leaving Austin through the race and then returning to Austin. I'll also remember how fun the warm-up swim the day before was... just such a cool experience. Fellas, you kick major azz, and I'm a lucky dude to have such rockin friends.

There are a ton of people who were a huge part of this experience for me... I'm sure I've left a few thank yous out. There were so many people who played a role I'm sure that's the case. For you, please know that every moment of encouragement, help, motivation, companionship, ... that you were there for was there with me as I crossed the line in CDA, and will continue to be with me as life moves forward beyond there.

I am an Ironman, and I didn't get there alone. To my friends and family, I love you all very much.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

4 more days...

All the training is done. Wow.

I can remember...

- Being pretty tired after just a few lengths at barton springs.
- Wondering why people took ice baths and if they helped at all.
- Thinking yoga was kind of silly and I could just stretch more instead.
- Massage feels great and I'm sure helps in recovery, but is more of a luxury than a need.
- Thinking the water at the ski ranch is kind of dirty, but its ok I guess...


A few things I've learned (and relearned) so far in 2009...

- You can go as long as you want with the proper nutrition and pacing. Big shout out to Infinit and Thermolytes.
- Ironman training is not meant to be completed alone. Big shout out to my teammates/training friends. No way would I be as ready without you.
- My body just barely made it through the training injury free, thanks entirely to proper rest and recovery - big shout out to yoga, ice baths, and massage/PT at Performance Wellness.
- No matter how much multisport you do, there's always new technique to learn/distances to conquer/training focus areas/people to meet/destinations to visit/...
- The water at the ski ranch is flat rancid, and I will be a healthier person if I never come in contact with it again.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Serving the world of non-profit through software...

So here I am at the end of the 2nd week of my new career of providing the world of non-profit with tailored software solutions. So far, it's been great. I think the opportunity for this career to be rewarding above and beyond anything I've previously done professionally is definitely there. I am confident that this position is also the next step I was looking for to continue to make a larger strategic impact professionally. All good thus far!

This coming weekend is the Capital of Texas Triathlon... I'll be competing for the 3rd straight year at the olympic distance. Went 2:40:01 last year, including a flat tire, pretty below average transitions, and a horrible run. All prep has been great to this point, and I'm feeling great going into the weekend. I've got a pretty aggressive goal for 2009, so wish me luck!

And a tribute to the remaining weeks prior to Ironman Coeur d'Alene 2009...

Ironman taper
It will be great to sleep more!
June twenty-first is close

Monday, April 20, 2009

I love me some Flight of the Conchords...

Monday Haiku

Future thoughts
Want to travel a bit more
Warm ocean beach

Endless training fun
No need for a social life :)
More Triathlon

Note: Viewpoint of author not entirely reflected in above haiku... :)

Friday, April 17, 2009

Winner winner

Due to the sheer amount of entries into the 'haiku as tattoo' contest, I've decided to segment the entries into a few categories...

1. Overall Winner
2. 'Relationship' based, using that term quite loosely
3. Non-'Relationship' based

The winner in the 'relationship'-based category is... Blythe!

Oh the men I've dated
Tom, Dick and Harry
Who the hell are they?

Tattoo Location: Posted on your left rear end cheek to cover up the heart with Tom's name in it.

Next up, the non-'Relationship' category winner... Kevin!

Tattoo on my face.
Wish it were written backwards.
Then I could read it.

Tattoo Location: Assuming the face based on the 1st line

Honorable mention in this category goes to Shorey - check the comments for the contest posting to see her outstanding Haiku.

And, the overall winner... Matt!

I am a commie
Also I like Frosted Flakes
Kick me in the nuts

Tattoo Location: This should be tattooed on the forehead.

There was a close second by Erin and Alisa... see the comments for the contest posting. It's a winner.

So, Blythe, Kevin, Erin, Alisa - I owe you a drink :)

Thanks to everyone for getting one in there! More contests to come. Haiku rocks.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Contest - please comment on this with your thoughts...

Alright, a friend and I were talking about haiku tonight, and agreed that one of the worst tattoo ideas ever would be a really awful haiku. Hence, a contest was born.

Here's the contest. Please submit a comment to this thread with your idea for the worst possible haiku to have as a tattoo... and if you want, you could also include the location for the tattoo to be placed. The winner will get something food related - details to be announced.

The more the merrier - please give it a shot! :)

It's Business Time

Happy Feet

Monday Haiku

Rainy morning
Do my long run later?
Monday :)

Sunday, April 12, 2009


Happy Easter everybody - I hope you all had a blast with your friends and family. I'm quite sure that not everyone who reads this is of the Christian persuasion, but all the same I hope today was a great day of reflection whatever your existential viewpoint may be. Personally, I celebrated Easter with attending church with a good friend, enjoyed a post-service BBQ, and had an outstanding dinner and game night with friends covering the entire spectrum of religious viewpoints. Variety was the order of the day!

Also, it was nice taking a step back from training for a day. Heavy day for me tomorrow, since I was set back by this morning's rain - Long run still requires my attention :)

Hope you all have a great Monday, and had an opportunity today to consider the existential bits of life...

Friday, April 10, 2009

Thoughts from Lonestar (brief race report)

And now, for the obligatory medal picture...

The Lonestar half was fun, and will be a fixture in my schedule moving forward. Fun.

The race...

Swim: Ocean swim, two turns, as straightforward as a swim gets. The saltwater was an issue for some, but other than getting a salty taste in my mouth no issue there. I really enjoyed it, and had a good swim split. Not a PR for the half iron swim distance for me, but close.

Bike: The most accurate thing I could say would be that the bike was almost exactly like riding a trainer for 56mi :) There were very few turns in the course, and it was near dead flat. This is a course that was built for speed. There were some big numbers posted for average speed. Big time PR for me for the half iron bike leg.

Run: This is where things fell apart for me... wasn't aware how far I was behind in my hydration until I got a short bit into the run - it quickly became apparent to me that not only was I dehydrated, but I had lost a ton of salt. I'm not normally a salty sweater, but I was that day! Not even close to a good time for me in the run, but a great learning experience and certainly something to build on.

All in all, a great weekend and a very fun race. The run was a good character builder, and a good reminder that I need to re-examine my nutrition plan; I think it's time for me to make my nutrition plan as automatic as possible and end the ongoing experiment.

Many, many thanks to all my T3 friends and other fellow competitors - even for those who had a tough day, there was a great feeling of camaraderie on the course.

Short and sweet today - more to come on life as well as tri :)

Monday, April 6, 2009

Monday Haiku - Tribute to the Lonestar Half-Iron Triathlon

Ocean swims are great fun
Maybe next time I'll drink more water
Salty clothes

Monday, March 2, 2009

Monday Haiku

Quarry swimming,
I love the open water!
Wow, that's cold.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Deep Thoughts

"I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it." - Jack Handey.

Reason why the internet is awesome can be found here.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Random thoughts...

- There are very few Saturday mornings that aren't windy in central TX in January and February.

- The honeymoon isn't completely over with Obama, but it looks to be headed that way.

- I love craigslist, ebay, ... anything internet-based peer to peer.

- Facebook status lines = everything twitter has to offer. There's no way twitter is here to stay.

- Thank god for massage, yoga, chamois creme, ...

- First impressions are as accurate and inaccurate as they've ever been.

- Can't wait for Barton Springs cleanup to complete, and can't wait for the quarry lake to warm up.

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Austin Half Marathon

The Austin Marathon (aka the AT&T Austin Marathon circa 2008)... that course is no joke. We took it at about 85%, but I can imagine how I'd feel if I'd done the whole marathon or if we'd done the half at race pace. Wow. In a way, it makes me want to do the full next year. Maybe if I do the RunTex Distance Challenge... ;)

Anyway, it was a blast. Ran it with Chris, Matt, and Ben... who all kicked mucho ass (and not to mention also had 60 miles of cycling in the hills in their legs from Saturday, just like me). Very well run event - aid stations were well staffed, start was (relatively) on time, drop off/pick up was easy, and there were lots and lots of cheering fans... that's the best part. Conspicuous lack of sponsorship this year; what is normally the AT&T Austin Marathon was simply the Austin Marathon this year. C'mon big companies... get on it. Everyone knows we are in tough times, but I'm sure maybe just one of your underperforming executives can take a little lighter bonus so that thousands of distance athletes can get some nicer swag! Hahahahah

All in all, here was the weekend...
Saturday: 60 miles on the bike with ~3800ft of net elevation gain = 3122 calories
Sunday: 13.1 (more accurately 13.17) miles running = 1570 calories

All in all, time to get some pizza.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Running speed work = hungry.

So, here's last night's workout... T3 wednesday night track runs are one of my favorite workouts of the week, and are also by far the hardest of the week in terms of intensity.

Warm Up
Set 1 = 3min @ half marathon pace, 3min @ 10k pace, 3min @ 5k pace. rest 1:30 between each rep.
Set 2 = 2min @ 10k pace, 2min @ 5k pace, 2 min @ faster than 5k pace. rest 1:30 between each rep.
Set 3 = 1min @ 5k pace, 1min @ faster than 5k pace, 1 min all out.
Warm Down

Paces I used for the workout...
Half Marathon = 7:20min/mi
10k = 6:40min/mi
5k = 6:00min/mi
Faster than 5k = 5:35min/mi
All out = as fast as the legs would take me :) Managed to get under 5min/mi on this one... but man did it hurt.

I love track days. We worked it pretty darn hard last night.

More yoga for me today :)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Yoga, yoga, and more yoga...

I've been on a massive yoga kick lately. Went to yoga class last week tuesday, sunday, and then again yesterday. It's a bit of a surprise to me how good it is for post-run recovery, even with it being a bit exerting. I was having some achilles issues with my right leg, went to a 60min yoga class, and bam! gone. The stretching didn't work nearly that well after the run. There's definiately something to this yoga stuff. Maybe it'll make me into the flexible gumby I aspire to be :)

One thing I find really interesting about yoga is the variety in methods of instruction, especially as it relates to the strength of attachment to eastern religion. Some seem to go pretty deep on the religion ties, where others seem to place less focus there and more on the movement and position. Have to say I have a strong preference for the movement/position focus... I find myself squarely in the Christian camp, but still can appreciate the origins and benefits of the practice. Ultimately I find a great deal more in common than different in their lines of thinking, but normally I'm not looking to the gym to be the place that religious instruction is given, ya know? :)

The fun thing is that now, I can do this...

... all sorts of craziness is coming in the future for me. Cirque d'Soleil here I come!

Monday, February 2, 2009

One month down, five (or so) to go...

I ran one of the more fun Austin races on January 25th... the 3M half marathon. It's a really fun course - there are long sustained sections of downhill running, which makes for a fast course. Downhill running is a pretty specific skill - it can be an easy way to get some free speed, but also can beat you up pretty good if you don't know how to do it efficiently. This is my second year running the event, and I made a very large improvement over last year's time as well as setting a new personal record for the half marathon distance. There were a bunch of T3ers out there to give it a go, and some very impressive performances! Thanks to all who came out to run and a special thank you to those who came out to cheer us on!

This past weekend was a tough one for training... Saturday's plan called for 50mi on the bike (mostly hills) followed directly by a 30min run, and Sunday called for a 15mi run. I just didn't feel all that good through the workouts, but I did get through them - Having gotten through them feels pretty great. Even when workouts don't go all that well, they still accomplish their purpose, and have the added benefit of building mental toughness as well. All considered, I'll take it.

I seriously need to start getting some yoga in - as I get more flexible I'm realizing there's some serious benefit there in terms of being comfortable on the bike, and that's clearly something I want. So, off to yoga classes more often for me starting this week.

Now, a completely unrelated topic - In helping my homie Chris work on his son's Pinewood Derby car this past week, I began to remember how much I enjoy woodworking... that's something I used to spend a great deal of time on before moving to Austin, and something I will certainly get back into when life settles a bit more and I have a more suitable place to do so.

A few pics just for fun...

Here's what the bottom of the car looked like after we'd made the cutout for the weight... most peeps who do the pinewood derby use additional weight to make their car go faster. To make it look nice, Chris wanted to hollow out a section and place the weight inside the car. Here's what it looked like before we filled it...

Note the two cavities in the car in the pic above - large and small. The intent of the smaller cavity was that if the car was over the max weight, he could just dig that weight out with a screwdriver prior to the race. Turns out we could have added even more weight and been legal to race :)

Here's a pic of the bottom of the car after adding the filler material, prior to sanding and painting...

The Pinewood Derby is a bunch of fun. For those of you who have never done the Boy Scouts thing, take a look at this page for information on the Pinewood Derby.

Hope all of you are well! Talk to you later!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Last night's run and a need to swim more...

Last night's run was a blast, and a pretty nice butt kicking all at the same time.

Warm-up and drills
3 sets of the following - 3min 10k pace, 2min 5k pace, 1 min all out with a very short rest between each.

... but here's the thing... we went way faster than we should have for all of the suggested paces. It was invigorating. Something about doing that work in a group setting with people you know and respect makes it hurt less and able to push myself harder. We were hauling butt for pretty much every iteration.

I've got to get a plan together to get in the water more often... seriously. My 'fall back on previous experience' plan had awesome results last year, but I know I can go faster. Maybe I'll get back to pinballing around in the pool with T3 soon... or maybe the quarry will warm up beyond 55F :)

Went to Vivo (Austin Tex-Mex restaurant) and Juan in a Million this past week... both were pretty good stuff. I can vouch for the fajita tacos at Vivo, and the migas plate was enormous at Juan. Mmmmm... migas...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Welcome back to speed work

1.5 mi warm-up run and drills...
6 x 800m @ 3:35, 3:30, 3:15, 3:08, 3:08, 3:07
1 mi warm down and stretching

Welcome back to the season of speed work for me. I'm going to sleep like a baby tonight.

Tomorrow - 2hr spin, core. Maybe a swim if it's nice? I need to get in the pool more.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Pajama pants

I used to be one of those 'no pajamas' people. I don't know why. Now that I was given Homer Simpson pajama pants for Christmas, pajamas have completely taken over my life. I'm not quite going to wear them in public, but being totally honest I have considered it. I now also have Super Mario Brothers and Playstation pajama pants.

Seriously, they're taking over.

Off to bed for me... core workout class comes early tomorrow morning.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Stretching and massage implements

Isn't multisport fun with all of the gizmos we use to keep from getting injured? Here's a sampling of some of the often used implements of health in my arsenal (listed in order of how much use they enjoy from me) ...

- Triggerpoint Kit - all of the painful goodness that it brings to bear...
- Foam Roll - aspires to be as painful as the TP kit, but falls just short
- Yoga Toes - if you don't know about these, look into them :) they rock.
- The blue plastic calf stretcher thingy
- The Stick Massager
- Strassburg Sock

... and I'm sure there are many more that I'm not aware of that get a great deal of use out there. Wow. I'm in the wrong business.

Anybody watching the UT-OSU game tonight? For you non-midwesterners, OSU can also mean Ohio State University (not just Oklahoma State :)). I'm calling this one UT by 14 at least. Hate to say it, but my Big Ten teams really underrepresented this year... I believe the only Big Ten team to get a bowl win was Iowa. Ouch.

And now a brief pause for Charles to contemplate the strange naturally occurring hole in his toast... and why consecutive pieces of bread with the same naturally occurring hole werent used to make his breakfast...

See all of you T3ers for some spin and post-spin burritos (the fastest growing Austin tradition :)) tomorrow night. Chipotle and Freebirds must miss me big time...

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Getting the training season rolling again...

Kicked off the training season for IMCDA this weekend with a 2 hour ride yesterday (hills, hills, more hills, and throw in some headwind for good measure) and a 7mi run today (7:30/mi pace)... whew! Its nice to get it rolling again - the good old metabolism is running a bit higher and the sleep is a bit more coma-like these days! Felt like hard work for both, but also felt good to shake off some of the dust.

Starting training in earnest this week with the T3 IMCDA training plan. Here we go!

P.s. - Have a favor to ask please... if you read this thingy, do me a favor and leave me a comment when something strikes you as noteworthy... I seem to only get comments from friends (verbally) when I don't write for a while :) It'd be nice to hear your thoughts!

Friday, January 2, 2009

The Rev and Texas weather

Hope y'all had a rockin new years eve. Michelle and I went to see one of my favorite bands, the Reverand Horton Heat at La Zona Rosa. Rockabilly just seems more fun in Texas. I always love his shows; there's such a wild variety of people that show up to see the rev. As expected, they put on a great show, and we were also lucky enough to be smack dab in the middle of the sea of balloons the club dropped on the crowd to celebrate the passing from 2008 to 2009 at midnight. Cool.

Hope everyone got a chance to get out and enjoy the beautiful morning! Got in a relaxed 5k with Michelle and Stathi this morning, followed up by a brief swim at the springs. Wow, was i a complete train wreck in the water for that first length :)

As I see it now, I'm carrying a lot of the results from all of 2008's hard work into the beginning of 2009, and I'm fired up about it. Still working to get my head around starting up the hard sessions again - especially the track and hill work - but the hard sessions were some of the most productive. Time to become best friends with dietary discipline and structured life again :) And just when I found out about the $6 pizza deal at Little Caesars...

Those who want to 'See Tom Tri' :)