Sunday, October 22, 2006

My infrequent postings...

I hope all of you are enjoying your weekend...

It rained this morning, and that coupled with 55 degree weather with a slight breeze was enough to keep me off of the bike for the day. Oh well. At least I am in my "off season" schedule, even if it is only for 5 weeks.

My postings have been fewer and far between as of late, and this is due to the fact that I am in the process of moving to another part of Atlanta. With respect to my triathlon training, it could not be in a better spot. I will actually have to drive now if I want to find a good bike course that has hills, but now the Silver Comet Trail is about 2 miles away from my house, and LA Fitness is about 1.5 miles away from my house. I could have not planned it better from a training perspective! Only problem now is when next spring/summer comes, I will have to drive far out of my way for my group rides during the week.

I moved alot of the smaller stuff and clothes I did not need this weekend, and I might move a few more things. Now all I have left is the large stuff, and my work clothes, and I am probably going to get a 10' moving van for that next Sunday...

I do not know how many days I might be out of commission, but I am going to call the cable company to try and have them come out ASAP when I get moved in 100% with my computer equipment, so that I can be back up and running within a few days or so.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend,


Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Back up and running!!!


My internet is back up and running!!! Actually it was up last night, but I have had lots going on, so I did not get to this until late tonight. It was pretty interesting, I told my boss that I would be totally shut down at home if I did not have internet, and when I did get it working again last night, I just shut my computer off and then went to bed.

I am feeling a bit better, although the cold is still lingering. I will wait until the end of the week, and if it is not gone, I will go to the doctor next week. I will say that i have the upper hand on it at this time, around 70-75%. For those of you who have not heard of Airborne, you should definately get that stuff, especially if you are beginning to feel sick. It was created by a 3rd grade teacher who was tired of getting sick all of the time when her kids were sick. It is all natural and is designed to spike your immune system. So if you are traveling, work with lots of people, it tends to help out as well.

I went and had a small base run yesterday at Chastain Park. The weather was kind of crappy, but once I got one mile under my belt, I could not even feel the cold. I felt pretty good, and felt as if I pushed myself, but attempted to lay off. My time was 23:58. Not too bad for a sick "o" like myself.

I wish that you could have some sort of pseudophedrine IV drip that you could take around with you when you had sinus problems. When I was running (and for about 45 minutes afterwards), my sinuses were clear as a summer day! I could breathe easily and I was not stuffed up. Thank you adreneline (is that how you spell it?)!!! If I had some sort of injection or drip to carry around with me, I would have the same effect. Oh well...

Did not do too much tonight since I am still in the never ending attempt to get stuff packed up for the move. I am going to try and get a whole bunch of stuff moved this weekend. Thursday night Jackie and I are going to the Thrashers game. Atlanta is having their best starting season since there was a NHL team (2001), and they are the best team in the leauge right now (6-4-1). Period. Now watch them suck the rest of the season because I said that.

I wish hockey was during the summer or something, because I like it more than baseball and I hate that it is during football season (or at least overlaps it).

Tomorrow, I am going to put in a light run and workout at the gym. Somewhere in between I have a load of laundry and attempting to fill up 3-4 boxes towards my parital move this weekend.

Going to check out all of your blogs now, I will talk with you later...


Monday, October 16, 2006

Down (but not out) in More Ways than One...

Happy Monday to you all,

Well, I would first like to give a BIG THANK YOU to everyone out there who visits, reads, and comments on my website!!! Saturday evening sometime I hit my 1,000 visitor. If you look at the very bottom of my page, there is a counter there since I have begun counting people who would visit my site!!!

I have gotten some very good advice and feedback from you all, as well as comments and cheers for events I have completed. Thank you for supporting me!

Now, onto my post for the day.

My first down, I am sick. I have a head cold. It is that thing where you are clear everywhere but your sinuses, and when you get up and walk around it goes away temporarily. I also hate that one minute my nose will be running, and the next it will be stopped up for no apparent reason. I have taken two Airborne (that stuff is awsome if you have not used it yet), and I am working on some Tylenol Severe Head Congestion. I hope this thing goes away quick. Not that I have anything important going on in the next week or so, but I just hate being sick (who doesn't?). I am going to do a light workout tonight, and that should not affect me one way or the other.

My second down, my internet is on the fritz. Last night I was attempting to direct connect to my friends computer via the internet for a game, and it was not working properly. In doing so, I accidentally set up my wireless to be WEP secured. Well that is good, right? Yes it is, if you have the encryption key to type in (or preloaded if you have the computer do it for you) when you turn on your computer and the network prompts you to enter one in. Oh wait, I did not get the key set up to auto-fill........ Sucks for me. So I was on the phone with tech support (John was his name, sounded British), and they were very helpful. I could not fix it last night though, even though they game me directions. In order to fix it, I need to hard wire the computer into the network, and I do not feel like paying $60 for 100ft of CAT-5 Cable to connect them. So tonight when I get home, I am going to unplug the network from the living room, and reconnect it in my bedroom, since there is a coaxial cable connection in my bedroom. I have a cable long enough that will stretch from one end of the bedroom to the other. Once that is done, I will follow the directions they give me, and then Voila!!! Internet will be fixed.

So for those of you where the weather is already 30 degrees or less, I am going to start playing my "violin" (due to the fact that I live in the South). I really started getting cold down here the last few days. It seems we have 2-3 days of mild weather, followed by 2-3 days of cold weather. Sat morning it got down to around 35-40 degrees for our FALL weather. It warmed up a bit yesterday. Tonight and tomrrow we are going to receive all that rain that Texas and the other gulf coast states got over the weekend.

I have been working out a bit more indoors as of late, but i hate to do so since my gym is always full (lines for cardio and you can never get on the weight machine you want). I guess I will have to go out and purchase some winter training clothing, damn that stuff is expensive.


Friday, October 13, 2006

2006 Emerald Pointe Triathlon Pictures

Heading to the finish...I was sprinting my butt off!
2nd half of the run...
heading out on the run...
Ascending "Mount T1"
Water was warm, now it is damn cold, but no shrinkage...
This hill actually clamied many people coming into T2, I saw 2-3 people fall because they were not in their "granny gear."
Yes I know, I am not completely aero. Let me say that those are a borrowed set of aerobars. Toe warmers were clutch though. Thanks Jackie. Somehow my rear tire blows after I leave T2 while on the run. Still don't know how that happened.

I hope you enjoy the pictures. These are probably the first ones I put up. Tomorrow I will put up the 2006 PTC pictures, because I just realized that I did not do that.


Thursday, October 12, 2006

The Often Forgotten Realm of Strength Training...

Hello Everyone,

I should have some pics from the Emerald Pointe Triathlon up tonight. These are pics that my friends wife took while she was at the race.

Now, onto the post. In 1999 I went home to Fayetteville for the summer to work and make some money while I was off from university. While I was there, I got a membership at the new local World Gym location in town. Our schedule was 3 days on, 1 day off, and usually we were doing something active on that one day off. During that summer, I had lost some of the weight I had gained from the "Freshman 15" (for me the freshman 45-50, I was skinny in high school). I also had great muscle definition and I was somewhere around 9-10 percent body fat. Needless to say that I felt much more powerful and faster in the sports I was playing at that time. I actually got my bench press up to 245lbs, and weight that months before was way out of my reach.

Fast forward to today, my second official season as a triathlete. Yeah, weight training has not exactly been a part of my life. I am fighting with my weight (not that I am unhappy with it, I just know it could be lower and I would feel better and be faster), and my body fat is hovering closer to 15-17%. I have seem to hit some plateaus in my training/races, especially on the bike. I have also lost some of the muscle definition that I had in my upper body (my lower body is looking good due to all the running and riding that I am completing).

There are many benefits to weight training in your general life, as well as your triathlon training. If you are a triathlete like myself now, you need not borrow my 1999 training schedule, unless you are a semi-pro/pro and you have the extra hour or two a day to workout on top of your other training.

Some suggestions for those of you who want to implement this in your training and/or have not brought the intensity and frequency of weight training to your workouts that you would like.

1. 3-4 days a week (I would suggest 3) consisting of chest and back, then legs and shoulders next, and then finally bi's and tri's. If you are to bring a 4th day into the mix I would probably suggest legs and shoulders again, since you use them the most during your race. Completing it in this order will give you different muscle groups time to heal before they are worked out again. Some muscle groups are not only their own primary muscle group, but some are secondary to other groups you will workout (i.e. biceps support back workout, triceps support chest workout).

2. Calves and abs can be done at every workout. They tend to repair themselves the fastest after a workout, so you can afford to do them every workout if you wish.

3. There are two different schools of thought when you are doing race specific training. One is lighter weights with more reps for endurance, and then heavy weights with less reps for strength. I tend to try and find a happy medium, but I personally stray to the side of a bit heavier and a few less reps. My line of thinking is that I have the endurance to do the distance, I just want to get stronger and faster. (i.e. trying to ride bigger gears.)

4. Make sure that you implement your workout to "compliment" your triathlon training. I see people in sport specific training ruin themselves on their event day or hard training days by putting a workout too close to that day. Example, do not put legs on Friday before your 100mile group ride Saturday morning. I would suggest; Sunday chest and back, Tuesday legs and shoulders, and Thursday bi's and tri's. You could even get away with Mon, Wed, Fri if you want, as long as you are keeping a few days for legs to recover for your brick/long ride on the weekend.

5. Make sure you find someone who knows what they are doing. If not, then stick to the machines at the gym (Bi's and Tri's would be the only exception). People who do not know what they are doing have more problems with free weights despite their benefits, and will end up not progressing or even injuring themselves if they are not watched.

6. Work on form first, then add weight later. If you are not doing the exercise properly, then not matter how much weight you add, it is not going to help. Acutally in most cases it will be to your detriment, usually via injury. Last night I was at the gym and someone was next to me on the lat pull down machine, and he had WAAAY TOOO MUCH weight and had to pull the thing down like he was on the rowing team. I am sure that he woke up this morning with a really sore/injured lower back.

7. Mix it up! Do not use the same weight machines every workout! Try to implement and rotate at least one different workout into your routine! It will help out a lot!

8. When you start your routine (or starting over again), make sure you are starting out with less sets in the first few workouts and then build up sets. Your muscles can fatigue just like when you first started your triathlon expierence and could not run/bike/or swim a mile. Arm/Chest and back days should have no more than 12-14 sets total. Leg days should have no more than 15-17 sets (more workouts to do on legs) for the first few workouts. You can go up from there.

9. Cardio warmup. I suggest 15-20 minutes, but you can do whatever you want, as long as it is at least 10 minutes.

10. Cooldown/Stretch. I personally do not do cooldowns to often except after leg workouts, but make sure you stretch!!!!! Stretch!!! Should be at a minimum of 10 minutes of your total workout time.

I am not a professional body builder or strength trainer, but I have worked out with two different certified personal trainers (both of whom owned supplement stores), as well as Harold Houge(is that how you spell his last name?), who was a WWC wrestler in the 1980's. Man Harold would tear you up and make you cry during your workout! Learning from these guys, I have never sustained a strength training injury and was very satisified with my results.

I hope you are able to use some of these suggestions to your advantage as I have over my life, and I am going to start taking my own advice and using the suggestions above once again.

Talk to you later,


Monday, October 09, 2006

2006 Emerald Pointe Triathlon Race Report

Happy Columbus Day!!!

Man, I love Federal Holidays! I can really appreciate them considering I had jobs most of my life where they were open everyday, including holidays. I worked nights, weekends, holidays, all the time at one point. So I think I have the right to celebrate today. But now for my race report...

Pictures will be here as soon as I get them from the company as well as friends who took pictures.


So I woke up around 5:15 in the morning. After a late night of watching the Dawgs lose to Tennessee, I could have left when the first half was over and get some sleep if I knew what the second half was going to bring. Jackie spent the night, so we left together around 6:15am to head to Lake Lanier. I had a Espresso Love GU and a Snicker Marathon Bar. More on the Snicker Bar later... I stopped off at McDonalds and picked up some breakfast for her. Got to the parking area of Lake Lanier Islands Beach and Water Park, and found that there was not enough parking for all of us... Good thing we brought her Jeep!!! Went straight to body marking and then proceeded to get my chip and unpack at transition.


After unpacking at transition, I went down to the lake to check out the water temp. It was around 75 degrees. Yeah! But the air temp was around 58 degrees and a slight breeze. Booo! I headed to the back up to the transition to get my cap and goggles and then headed to the bathroom before the start.


So I am up in transition, and who do I see two bikes down from me, but Josh Nickell, a friend from high school! I have seen him on Facebook online and he had asked me questions about triathlon stuff since he had started training for one, and it turns out that this would be his first event. I thought that was great, and I hoped that he would do well during the race. He ended up finishing in about 1:37:?? not too bad for his first race.


My age group consisted of about 30 guys and we were the first to go promptly at 8:30am. Swim was 400M, and was point to point. Yeah! No rounding turn bouys and then getting caught up in the tri-swim blender (with me being the fruit). I got in the the water for the start, then the horn went off. I started off in the back as usual to get out of the way. Again I had some problems getting into a three stroke rythm, and I did not do it too often, but I was a bit smoother, and felt a bit faster than the previous two lake swim races. Water temp helped out alot compared to the air temp.

Time 9 min 30 sec


We might as call this section... "Climbing Mount T1." The distance to get inside the "pen" (transition area), was about 200 yards away from the water, and you basically had to run straight up a 25 degree embankment to get up to the top near the pen. Finally got into my area and quickly put on socks and shoes, helmet and glasses. I decided not to go with arm warmers, which in the end was ok. My arms got dry quickly on the bike, so that was a good choice. I would say that my "real" T1 time without the 200 yard uphill summit would have put me at 1:30-1:45. However, everyone had to do this, so that keeps everything relative.

Time 3min 02 sec


Damn that was a miserable experience, but I got my mind focused on the ride, and that got rid of the cold weather feeling. Please do not berate me if you are doing triathlons up north right now. I know it is colder up there, but I live in the South, so it is all relative. Because of the cold and the hill summit in T1, it took me 5 minutes to get my legs going!! 5 Minutes!! That is not good at all if you are in a Sprint Triathlon. After that I got my legs going. Lots more hills than Tri-PTC in August. Mile 7-13 was pretty much false flats and downhill with the exception of 2 decent hills. Finished pretty strong but early hills and my first slow 5 minutes kept me averaging 17.1 mph for the entire ride.

Time 45 min 43 sec


There was a no pass zone going in and out of the bike of about 20 yards, and it was really steep. You basically had to be in your granny gear or be Jan Ulrich. After the race when people were still coming in on the bike, I saw multiple people fall coming up that hill, they just lost momentum, and it was worse for the people who were clipped in. The pen was small, although there were 630 competitors and my rack was #2 on the left when I came in from the bike. I was quick on the transition and took a bottle with me so I would not have to negotiate in and out of the water aid areas on the course.

Time 1 min 15 sec


The run course did have elevation changes in both directions, but there were never any major hills or anything. I had a problem getting my legs going. #33 and I had spent the 2nd half of the bike together and got out of T2 about the same time, so we hung together for about the first mile or more and then he pulled off after the water station.

I really needed some water to pour over my head (Gatorade Endurance was in my bottle) and I got caught up in traffic of people trying to get it. I tried to catch up with him, but it was not working. I was trying to save a bit for a stronger finish towards the end. When we made the halfway turn, there was a man right behind me, and I decided since I was in front of him I would swing wide and let him pass since he seemed faster than me. When he got up next to me he started talking about some kind of cheating on the run and I could not understand what he was saying, so I was like "whatever" and let him pass. I don't know what he was talking about, but I know that I was not violating any rules or regulations on the run course, so he can just shove it for all I care.

About 400 yards from the finish I picked it up and finished strong with my small cheerleading squad cheering for me.

Time: 29 min 22 sec

Total Time 1hr 28min 50sec (17th place in age group)

Soooo, what does this mean overall. Well first off, I busted my Ass at the end of August with some really good training ( I thought) and pulled about 1hr 22 min and a half, and here I slacked off the last three weeks and pulled a 1 hr 28 min 50 sec race. Now in a sprint tri, that is a lot of time, but it leads me to believe that I was plateauing late in my season. To be quite honest, this race was like randomly waking up one day without any training and then completing the event, only 6 and a half minutes slower than your fastest time. I should nock off about a minute for that damn hill, but there is nothing I can do about that.

I was happy with my finish. I am happy that I had people there to support me. Thank you Jackie, Melissa, Charlie, and Bharat. Josh, great work on your first Tri! I hope that there are many more races for you to come in your future, you will do great I am sure.

Now I have the next 5 weeks off. I will be doing some strength training and some base work, but other than that, no serious schedule and no serious training. I think I am going to go online and get one of these training programs. I have looked at some, and I think I am going to choose Crucible Fitness's 16 week HIM training program. Please let me know if you have any suggestions in this area. I also want to set some goals for next year, since I am upping the number of races, as well as the variety of distances that I am tackling. After I figure out what those are, I will post them on my blog so that we may see how I progress through the next year.

Well that is about all for now, I will talk with you guys and gals later. I need to finish this Miller Lite on my day off, it is beginning to get warm...


Saturday, October 07, 2006

Bolder's Late Show Top 10....

I was reading through the blogs this morning, and I had not looked at Bolder's in about a month. I was reading through and I thought this blog was awsome (and humorous) as well.

Race tomorrow, I am really excited, as I am sure most of you are, when you have a race coming up. I am going to brick it today, and then get a swim in tonight. Race report out on Monday with my bank holiday.


Friday, October 06, 2006

Thanks for the Feedback!!!

Hello Everyone,

I just wanted to thank everyone for the feedback!!! I think the great thing is that there are multiple differing opinions and all of them are backed up by experience and knowledge that they have gained throughout their training and racing.

I will just bite the bullet for this race, especially since it is not an A, B, C or even X race for me. I just wanted to do one more before my "season was over." With that in mind, I will just put the quality, expensive wetsuit that I will purchase on my wishlist and get it at a later time.

So my race is on Sunday. And it is even better because I have a three day weekend! How do you ask? Columbus Day. Yes I am one of those "bank people" that all of you loathe so much. Yes we have a holiday almost every month, but the Federal Reserve has to get their days off, so they give them to us as well.

I think I am really going to like this course. I think there are a few small rollers on the bike course, but the rest of the course is flat as a pancake. The run actually takes you around a very small portion of the lake, so there will be a bit of scenery on the run. On this race, I think I am really going to focus on the swim and the run. I seem to have "plateaued" on the bike, and I am not going to sweat trying to go any damn faster for a race that I am not even putting on the priority list. I was clocked an average speed of 20.2 mph in my last race, and it should have been faster if it was not for the .1 mile "No Pass" coasting zone in and out of the bike start/finish area. I understand it is for the saftey of the riders and volunteers, but .2 mile total going in and out, come one! I know that you could cut that down to .1 or even .05 mile and I think it would still be deemed safe for everyone. Even if it was no pass zone, as long as you could go fast until you hit that shortened coasting zone I would be fine with that. However, I am excited that I broke the 20mph average barrier, even if it is only a sprint triathlon.

Anyways back to the swim/run. Have I slacked the last few weeks on my workouts since returning from vacation (where I did work out thank you very much)? Yes. Has it affected my overall performance of late? Maybe just a bit. However, there should be no excuse for how I can bust out a sub 8:00 min 400M split and then I get into a lake or other body of water and swim it in 13-14 minutes... What in the F@(# is going on with that? Seriously....

The run is just getting the leg transition from bike to run earlier in my run. I think I am going to brick today and tomorrow. Since I am not looking for a blockbuster performance on Sunday, I think I can get away from bricking both days before the race, it is just a sprint, and I have taken enough days off lately where my body deserves to be abused a bit.

I have been reading Steven's blog a lot lately. A good post that he wrote the other day talked about progressing on the run and to do so, you have to mix it up. You can read it here. and although I have not really mixed up my runs much yet, I have been varying distances, courses, and intensities. That is a start. I need to find a "public" high school that is not going crazy over security right now so that I can get some early morning or late night track workouts until football season is over, and then I can switch to afternoons. When I look at my times from other races, I know that swimming and running can definately improve. If you compare my transition times from previous years, I have shaved over 2 minutes off of them over all in sprint distance races. I am going to shoot for sub 1hr 20 min, that is just over a 2 min improvement for last race. I just need some kind of goal to shoot for. If I do not beat it, then I am not going to sweat it.

I got really down about the last race, due to the fact all the hard work I put in only netted me 2 minutes better than last year. I am not going to let that affect me this time. I think that some of us set hard goals because we want to improve faster, be better, etc... than what we are actually doing to preform at the time. Not that our preformance is subpar, but that we are expecting more than what our body is producing at the time. A good analogy fits here. Think of your triathlon as a buffet, and how many times, "your eyes are bigger than your stomach."

Oh and yes, I signed up for the raceAthlete registration to be on the team, along with every other tri-blogger out there. I do think that it is a bit unfair that they are limiting by wanting all team members to compete in IMWisconson after it has already sold out, but hey, they made the rules, not me. When I was signing up, I was like, why do they only have 1 IM event on here this upcoming year? Then I read the "fine print" (which was actually 12 point font) and it said that they would like to culminate the teammates experience by having all of them compete in IM Wisconson. I hurriedly went to to check and see if the event had sold out. Yup. My heart sank. I submitted my application with the hope that they can look past that and let me sign up for another IM event, such as Florida.


Monday, October 02, 2006

Wetsuit anyone???

Good morning,

Up early today! That is a change. Well I was at all3sports this weekend (for those of you who only order from them online, yes they do have an actual physical location in Atlanta), and I was talking to people about the upcoming race I have this weekend. One of the guys in the store told me that he had sold 9 wetsuits for the event just that day, and that more had bee purchased in previous days.

So my next question was, "Do you know how cold the water has been up there?"

"Around 75 degrees the past couple of days."


I have been trying to find a website or phone number to where I can call and find out the daily lake temperature for Lake Lanier for this stupid race, but to no avail have I found anything. So this begs the question, " Should I get a wetsuit, even if a cheap Sports Authority (or whatever sporting goods place in your city) Body Glove wetsuit, or not?"

I swam in the Gulf Coast Triathlon earlier this year, and the ocean temp was 76 degrees. I was fine, I was not cold or anything. Also it is supposed to get into the middle and upper 80's through Thursday, which should warm up the water a bit before the weekend.

Really the only concern I have is bouancy(?) for swimming in the lake. I have no problem swimming in the ocean, and I have no problem swimming in the pool, but for some reason I just cannot get it together in the lake. The last two lake races i have swam have been terrible. In the pool for a sprint race I can average 1:45/lap and the only time I have raced in the ocean was a half - iron distance event, and I swam that 10-15 minutes faster than anticipated.

Oh well. Any suggestions from anyone on lake swimming would be helpful.

Sunday is my last race of the year, and for some strange reason I am ready for it. I think it is due to the fact that I have had a lot going on for the past 6 months, and it will be nice to take off the next 5-6 weeks and just do light workouts. Not that my schedule will be getting any easier, that is not going to happen until March or April, but at least I will have one less thing demanding time from my life for a small period of time.

Signing off for now,