Saturday, January 31, 2009

Great Lakes Sports Expo show notes.

Well, the 2009 Great Lakes Multi Sport and Running Expo was a blast. We spent about 5 hours there today, and I must say it was the best Expo I've been to, hands down. There was a great turn out, great vendors, great hands on events.

Some of the bikes they had were awesome, like the Specialized S Works TT:

The Scott Plasma TT was HOT, sporting SRAM Red componenets:

I talked with a sales rep from Zipp, we talked about wheel durability and what would be a realistic wheelset for myself. I told him I was weighing in at about two bills, he said he was 260, and he hammered on his rims. He said he rode Flashpoint FP80s all the time, training and racing alike, and he had no problems with them. He said the only time he swapped them out for the CSC aluminum rims was when he hit serious hills. He also gave us an up close and personal with the Scott Plasma TT bike, WOW was that thing a work of art.

And, possibly the best part of going to the Expo was the great deals on products. I wish I had more spare cash, I could've thrown around a lot more than I did today! I mean, a Profile Design wetsuit (normally $249) for $99. Zipp, SRAM, Flashpoint and other mid to upper end wheelsets on sale and most included tires, tubes (if you bought clinchers) and a cassette! The clothing deal was perhaps the best of all, as you see here:

I got the one piece tri suit and the tri shorts for $30(yes, you heard right-2 for $30!). I paid about $100 last summer for a two piece set; the socks I got for $5, normally $10. I also got a pair of 2XU calf tights, for $40, reg price was $50.

The level of participation events was also excellent! There was a bike corral, where you could park your ride (or dump your coat and bag), there was a TT challenge where you raced against a bunch of other riders, with results shown on a large screen display, a endless lap pool (which, unfortunately, was out of service, as the heater was broken. One girl tried to swim in it, with a wetsuit, and she lasted all of 90 seconds). It was cool, there was a video from below and from the front, showing your stroke. There was a runner gait analysis vendor, but they were backed up 2+ hours, so I did not get a chance to get my new shoes. Oh well, Fleet Feet here I come. They had rollers, with some bike shop guru riding a Cervelo SL fully loaded with SRAM Red grouppo and Zipp wheels; he was hammering it, the sound of the shifters from the Red was AWESOME as he jammed through the gears! That would be a dream bike, wish I'd shot a pic of it. I told my wife, one day, I'd love to build up a Cervelo with Red, but I'd have to sell all my bikes (and probably my Harley) before I could afford it.

The freebies at the show were simply great; we took home a load of free stuff, including:
4-water bottles, 4-packs of Biofreeze (this stuff is amazing for some muscles and my aching back!), 4-Clif bars, 2-packs powder Clif Shot recovery drink mix, 4-Clif Builder bars, 2-Power Bar Gel Blasts and a free towel. Plus, our friends had extra tickets for the Expo, so we got in for free. What a deal.

The VO2 test was a bit disappointing; they had nice equipment, seemed like they knew what they were doing to run the test. But the results were a bit baffling, and they did not explain the meaning behind much of the print out we received. Plus, my printout was missing half of the raw data that my buddy got on his, so they was no way we could compare #s.

Also, they only got my HR up to 163, running at 6+ mph at 10 deg elevation. The mask was a bit odd, and it felt as if you were not getting enough O2 towards the end of the test (they told you this would happen). I thought they would have ramped up the warm-up period a bit longer, but they just give you a minute or two, then start increasing elevation every 30 seconds. They increased the speed at the very end, trying to simulate LT, I guess. I felt as if I could have hammered more. They also had problems with the HR monitor when my buddy did the test immediately after I was done. He said it felt as if something was amiss as well. Oh well, what are you going to do for $30?

All in all, a well run, well organized Expo. I would pay to go to this one, and I will return next year for it, for the good deals alone. But next time, I'm bringing my bike and racing in the group TT event! Everyone participating in that looked like they were having a blast!

Oh, and I got my Mavic Aksiums on Friday too! Less than 7 days from time of time of order to drop at my door. Not bad, coming from the UK!

Now, I'm waiting on the Conti GP4000 tires, and I need to figure out what to do about the cassette. Hmm, should I get a new one, take one off my Bontys, which will see little service, ah yes, decisions decisions!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

More new gear.

Yes, I think I am addicted to I ordered new tires yesterday from them, some Continental GP4000 with the famed black chili powder, supposed to make them grip better and last longer. I don't know if that's true, I guess I will find out soon enough. But the price, well, I cannot believe the crazy good prices at PBK. Two tires, free shipping across the ocean, $48. You can hardly find ONE good name brand tire for that price domestically. Hmmm.

The Mavic wheels I ordered last Friday have shipped, should be here in a few days (probably early next week I think). I'm still in shock at the deal I got on those.

I procrastinated on doing my workout today, I just did not feel like doing it. I was initially going to ride outside this morning, go for a quick 15 mile double loop around Wind Point, but it started snowing, so I poured another cup of coffee and sat at the computer. At least I worked on some of the 20 year reunion plans, made a few calls, and did not buy anything else from PBK!

So I waited until 4:58 pm to work out. I didn't feel like spinning for an hour, plus it was getting close to the dinner bell, and the kids were getting hopped up for eats. So I dressed quickly and went for a 5k. Yeah, it was getting dark. Yeah, it was cold. Yeah a little snow was still falling. But, it felt good to get out, despite not really having my heart into the run.

The totals:
27m 10s
374 kcal
158/164 HR avg/max
35% fat cal

I think my Polar F6 was a little off again, which has been a reoccurring theme while running in the cold weather (it was abut 15 deg F). I even soaked the HR strap in hot water prior to heading out, but it still gave some erratic (high) readings at the start of the run. I looked at my HR when I pushed the start button, and I was barely in the mid 110-115 range (a short pre run warm-up before the start line). But, I looked again, about two blocks up the street, and I was suddenly up to 157 bpm. I think the average listed is high, not the max. I want to get some of that contact gel to try on the HR monitor strap, see if maybe this helps with the problem.

The other thing I want to take a close look at are compression socks this weekend at the Multi Sport Expo. I wear a pair of black neoprene-like material knee high socks for winter biking, and I've worn them for the past half dozen or so winter runs. I think they make a difference in my legs, especially in my left leg, which has historically been bothersome. It's not a knee, joint or a muscle thing, but I think it is the start of varicose veins in the lower part of my leg, specifically my calf and left side under my knee. The leg does bother me more in the cold weather, especially at work or when standing on my feet for long periods of time. I have read a few articles that claim compression material does help with circulation and helps to speed recovery; I would think there would be more intense research on the subject, given the fact that there is a potential for a huge sale target group involved in running and Tri/multi sport. There might be some ongoing right now.

I plan on spending some more cash at the expo this Sat. I am hoping to get a pair of new running shoes, as well as a pair (or two) of compression socks. Plus, that VO2 max test should be, well, interesting!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Day five

in a row on the trainer. Legs feel pretty good after riding, here are the totals:

75 min
760 kcal/55% fat
132/148 HR avg/max

A good spin, felt more like a recovery day, which is OK after back to back to back to back rides. I tweaked my handlebar height and saddle height, raising the latter, lowering the former one spacer. Results? I felt an immediate benefit to the legs; I felt as though I was able to power through the pedal stroke more efficiently, much smoother, and almost as if there was less resistance. I will try this position a few more rides, get more feedback from my body, and then transfer the measurements over to the Giant.

I still need to start looking for a 90mm stem for the TT bike, to make a more compact cockpit and somehow get a little more comfortable on that rig. The Racine 70.3 is going to be a long, long hilly 56 miles, so comfort will be top priority. I'm sold on the Fizik saddle; this one on my Trek 1500 will go to the TT bike, and I'm going to order 2 exact Fizik Ariones for both road bikes (exact, well, except for the fact they will be the road Arione models, not the TT model!).

Thats it. I'm going to get ready for my last assigned 2nd shift work day for a long time, at least, as far as I can see (yeah, I will probably do a trade or two over the summer to help the guys out, but, that will be by choice, not mandate!).

Monday, January 26, 2009

Some things to look forward to.

I've got several things I'm really looking forward to. The first, probably the biggest, is the fact that tomorrow (well, today now) is my last day of working 2nd shift. After 10.5 years of working nights, I am finally going to the world of the day shifters! My first day on days will be Feb 1st, and I've got 4 days off between now and then, which is a bonus. This is going to be weird!

The next thing I'm looking forward to is that I'm getting tested for VO2 max and HR zones on Sat 1/31. My buddy and I are doing this at a multi sport expo being held at the WI State Fair Expo center. It sounds cool, and the test will be done on a treadmill for approx 15 minutes. The expo itself looks pretty cool, there are many different multi sport vendors and events you can participate in. There is a 3 mile ITT sponsored by Emery's Cycle, I might do this one too (I know, I'm going to fry my legs good!). There is also an endless swim tank; you can have your swim technique video taped and they will analyze it and give suggestions to improve form. They have a runner gait analysis area, and I think I might pony up for some new shoes (my Adidas Supernova are shot, they are squeaky in the cold!). They have massage, PT sessions, break out groups, guest speakers, I think I even saw Frankie Andreau was talking one of the days. That would be cool to see, I would like to hear his take on things.

Monday was the 4th straight day on the trainer, another 70 min spin session. I pushed it hard the last 5 minutes, WOW, that was a burner. Legs felt good, though, so I'm shooting for day #5 on Tue, another 60-90 minutes. I want to condition my legs for an 8 day straight stint when the weather finally breaks and it warms up past 8 deg. I still have ZERO road miles in for 2009; this is sad, the weather and road conditions have been horrendous so far. My buddy and I were talking about logging miles on the trainer versus just logging time; I've never counted miles on the trainer, only time and kcals burned. He logs miles, but I don't agree that trainer miles are real miles. Don't get me wrong, the trainer is tough, but road miles are road miles. Spin class or trainer time is simply time, not miles. With that being said, I'm still hoping to hit at least 3k miles this year, which is very realistic, seeing as I will ride over 1k miles between May 1-13. I'm hoping to have at least 500-600 in before heading out east. It will be a nice training base for the Racine 70.3.

I will shoot some pics at the expo and post them here!

Sunday, January 25, 2009


Some days, you've just got to feel satisfied after a good workout. Today was one of those days.

Today was the 3rd day of trainer rides in a row, and I was feeling it. It's hard to describe what it feels to ride a bicycle on a trainer, versus riding on the road. You are much more stationary (at least I am), and your rump seems to get that little bit more irritated from sitting longer. You do not coast on the trainer like you would in a real world ride. You spin, and the resistance remains the same (like Led Zepp, right? The Song Remains the Same). You spin, you mash, you grind out those seemingly never-ending minutes and seconds, trying to remember why the hell you're sitting on you bike in your kitchen, sweating like all hell despite the fact that you've turned the heat down to 60 F. Even a fan offers little relief. After all, you are riding a bike in the house (or basement, or attic, or wherever).

And the feeling in the legs is hard to describe. For me, it's an initial stiffness, sort of a built in resistance unit in my low body. There's that ever-present dull ache in my low back, reminding me of the two times being cut open and having been probed at the L5 S1 level. This will never go away, they (they, being the doctors) tell me. Thats fine, I can handle a little dull ache and occasional pain, sometimes a full scream of stiffness and just plain hurt.

This lasts maybe 4-5 minutes, as my heart rate begins to slowly rise. I'm usually at or near 70 bpm when hopping on the "fixy" in my kitchen, and I watch my Polar F6 start to count the seconds, as my heart begins to pump more blood. Look, it got up to 100 in no time. The next five or so minutes, the legs loose the stiff feeling and begin to flat out hurt, the large muscles screaming at me for being on the bike for the 4th hour in the past 3 days.

10 minutes go by, and we're up to almost operating temps. The HR has steadied out near the low 120s, and the blood flows a little more freely. 15 minutes, starting to sweat real good now. I increase my cadence, and the HR continues to creep up, 130...132...135...140.

30 minutes, how many songs have I listened to? 45 minutes, feeling pretty good now. Legs don't hurt, HR is 150s and I'm having some fun. Before you know it, I'm at the cool down, and easy 5 minute spin, then shake those legs out and time for a snack. Today was a little Taco Dip and hummus with chips.

Totals today:
60 min
145/165 HR
718 kcal
45% fat cal

Friday, January 23, 2009

New hoops! And, it's time for lunch.

I just ordered a new wheelset for my long ride in May. (Pro Bike Kit, for those not aware of the site) has simply awesome prices, when they have things in stock. I got tipped to this sale on (another awesome site for bike junkies like myself!), and I'm glad I didn't wait until after my trainer ride to pull the trigger, I ordered the 2nd to last set left in Shimano drive. So within the next week, I should have a set of '09 Mavic Aksiums dressed in black, complete with skewers, for $148 shipped! I could not find them domestically for under $250; yeah, I know I should keep the cash flowing inside the US, help stimulate the economy, yada yada, etc. But, for this price, forget it, the UK gets my green this time! The shipping time from PBK is not bad, based on the reviews I've read online. Time will tell, and I will tell as well.

As a side note on wheels, I have a slightly older set of Mavic Aksiums on my '06 Giant TCR (see the pic on the top of my page, that's it). These wheels have proven almost bomb proof; I have just shy of 3,500 miles on them since new, with only one rear driveline spoke broken during that time. They have stayed true, despite hitting many large potholes, riding in all sorts of weather and even shipping them to Virginia in 2007 for the 250 mile PUT bike ride. Oh, yeah they've managed to hold up to my weight and serious pounding during training, and by weight, I mean my 186 to 204 lb fluctuations! I will post pics when I get them. Now, almost time for some new tires for those hoops...I'm thinking of going with the Conti GP4000 in black, but I love the Michelin Pro Race 2 (now PR 3), so we'll see what I can find a deal on.

Since yesterday was a R&R day, complete with nap and wrestling time with Abbey, today was trainer time. Temps here are again dropping like the stock market, so getting out on a road ride is pretty much insanely impossible. So here are the stats from my spin:

90 min
1055 kcals
143/158 HR avg/max
in zone 84 min/45 % fat cal

Lunch was a soy (chicken simulation Boca) patty, crumpet, yogurt and a homemade iced coffee. Good stuff.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Parties, leg pain and weather blather.

Been busy of late. This weekend, we had our friends' "Christmas" party (we couldn't get everyone's schedule together for Dec.) and we were out very late Sat into Sun AM. After driving back from the hotel, I had just enough time for a quick nap, then off to work. Man was I tired last night. Now back to work today, and tomorrow will be a long one, probably a 17+ hour day at work. Hopefully this won't turn into a 3 day affair, back to back to back 17 hour days are the pits (I did one last March, it took me 4 days to recover from it). Needless to say, I won't be training tomorrow due to the double at work.

I did ride 60 minutes on Sat, pre party, so at least I burned 720 kcals prior to eating and drinking badly! Actually the food and beer was very good, just not good for my training program. But I'd rather do it now instead of in April. The weather is somewhat improved, temps climbed to mid 20s today, 30s in the next few days. I hoping the slush and hard pack snow on the roads will melt enough so I can get a real ride in, maybe on Friday, as I'm off. Low back is feeling better; the one day I worked when it was -25 with -40 WC, my left calf froze up, felt hard as a rock! It was tight for 2 days after, but is feeling better now, and it never really hurt while spinning at 100 rpm on the trainer. Weird, hey? I've got to schedule some pool time this week as well. We did swim a little on Sat at the hotel (more time was spent in the hot tub), and at the time, I talked to my buddy who is an awesome swimmer. I tried some laps with five strokes before breathing, instead of the typical two strokes I do. I was thinking about the benefit of holding the breath in a little longer, to attempt to draw more oxygen out while keeping the HR low. I'm going to have to try this and do a little research online to read more about this theory of mine. Oh yeah, that means I'm going to have to learn to breath on each side, instead of only using my left side.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The view.

Today's view from my little window on the world looks like this:

So, I'll be stuck sitting here for a 60-90 minute spin o' rama:

Looking at this

And this

I can't wait for this weather to break. Man, I really want to go for a ride on the road.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

20 Years.

Thats how long I will have been out of high school, come this June. Thats a long time, at least in my mind it is! A group of us has started planning a "reunion", which is a lot of work. I'm getting email, texts, and FB messages all day (and night) it seems. Oh well, I guess it might help my time management skills; one more thing to juggle in an already crazy day.

No workout today, stomach was upset all morning. The low back is still stiff, but riding the trainer doesn't seem to bother it. Hopefully, it is muscle related and it will work itself out in the next few days or so.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Instead of going to work,

I went snowshoeing with my wife and kids. We ended up getting less snow than was predicted, but we got enough to go hiking down the creek behind our house.

I did swim today, 22 laps. Felt good, less tired than the last swim workout. Now, I need to get up to about 42 laps for the 70.3 in July. Yikes, I better keep on swimming! I tweaked my low back at work last night, just walking and turned/twisted, then felt like the wind got knocked out of me. It felt OK in the pool, no pain to speak of. Tomorrow, I'll see how it feels, stretch it out good, and try it on the bike/trainer for 60-90 minutes.

Tomorrow night, I'm meeting some friends to start planning for our 20 year high school reunion. 20 years out of HS, thats hard to come to terms with some days. The older I get, the faster the time seems to go by. This 20 year thing should be pretty cool, though!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Wisconsin winters.

If you have lived in Wisconsin all your life, as I have, you grow accustomed to the bad weather, the snow, the icy roads, the crashes (I see a lot of them) shoveling and snowblowing, hurting your back while you are shoveling and snowblowing, and the dreaded arctic cold blast following the massive snow dump.

Well, as I grow older, I must be getting less tolerable (or capable) of dealing with the Wisconsin winters. I just looked over the next 24 hour forecast on, and I do not like what I see. The snow is coming, not fast mind you, but real slow. It is supposed to start snowing at around 5-6am on Friday (the 9th) and it will probably continue until Saturday (the 10th) at around 6am. The weather man (or women, or men?) is forecasting between 4-8" of the white stuff, maybe more, depending on how the storm tracks or if the front stalls over the fine state of WI.

So, what did I do to cope with this latest weather impediment (it is an impediment; it is impeding my ability to get my bikes out on the road and start cracking off some miles)? I took the day off from work. There are several benefits for this; one being I will have a 3 day weekend. Two, I don't have to struggle with the drive in to work and then struggle again later in the night to get home, plus drive around in the snowstorm all night. Three, my wife is off, so we can have a family night and enjoy a fire, maybe a family movie night, some popcorn and maybe even get some snowshoeing in with the kids (they got new showshoes for Christmas, at which time, all the snow melted, go figure).

Oh and # four in the list of benefits, I will have all the time I need to dig out my mom's house, her neighbor's house and my own place! More back breaking shoveling with lots of snowblowing, grand times. Tally ho, bring on the snow!

Rest day!

Hey, rest days are important too! Besides, I've worked out 7 straight days in 2009. So, today was haircut and oil change on the van day. My little helper, Abbey, came with. Just had a crumpet with Hummus and carrots. Yes, I'm still logging all my food. Yesterday was a good eats day, not hungry at all, and less caloric intake than the previous day. I was a bit tired/crabby this AM, but that was from staying up too late, chatting on Facebook with Mike 'till 1;30 AM.

Tomorrow is swim day, another 20 (at least) laps. Now, is nap time before work (hey, Abb is napping too, I might as well while I've got the chance!). I'll post more on my thoughts on my diet (not diet, per se, but choice of foods, portions, breaking down meals into smaller bits/more frequent times) in the next day or so. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

More snow!

The National Weather Service said we were only getting a dusting! Well, looks more like 2-3 inches, but who's counting? Shoes got wet today, glad I haven't bought new ones yet (I need new shoes, these have about 300 miles, and the squeak!).

And the weekend forecast, COLD is coming back. Great.

If I could eat

like Tuesday everyday, I'd bet I would lose that 10 lb surplus in no time. Here are the totals from 1/06, and this included everything I ate from waking until going to bed:

calories: 1,958
carbs: 269.2 g
fat: 36.6 g
protein: 78.4 g
sugars: 145.1 g

Now, I was surprised when I saw the amount of sugars I still consumed this day (I can only imagine what my sugar totals were some days over this winter, with all the crap I was eating!). But in looking at some research online, I see the #s and %s of recommended daily sugar intake are all over the board. From, there were some recommendations for roughly no more sugar intake than 30% of your total daily caloric intake. So, from a 2,000 calorie day, you should not consume more than 600 grams of sugar (which to me, still seems like a huge amount!). Based upon what I ate yesterday, I had less than 1% total intake of sugars. And you have to remember, some of the naturally occurring sugars, such as in milk/dairy products, are much better than processed white, brown or corn syrup sugars.

Also take into count that I worked out for about 1 hour, and burned about 793 kcal (based upon the #s from my Polar F6). I think this method of writing down my daily menu will help my early season training. I'll be interested to weight myself again in a few weeks and see where I'm at.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Its what we eat, not how far we run.

This is something I am giving much more serious attention to, after weighing myself yesterday. Now, I'm not panicking, nor am I jumping on some fad crazed diet. I don't feel bad, and I don't think I eat that bad. I think I've just slipped, and started snacking too much, or having that 2nd big helping at dinner. And soda, well, I had gotten away from soda entirely a few years back. Lately, I've noticed I will drink one at work, or one out at dinner with the family, or one after a run, get the picture. TOO much soda=bad mojo.

Now, from what I've found online, I'm supposed to consume roughly 1800-2200 calories per day, with 40-50 grams of fat at the most (this might have to slide up a bit, as my workouts begin to increase both in duration and intensity). I used to write down my diet, scheduled meals, etc. but this was when my wife was doing the Weight Watchers thing. She's not doing that anymore, so I'm going to need to be thrifty and do it myself! I started writing a complete, all telling list showing exactly what I've eaten today. I'm going to continue to do this EVERY day until I start to see some of those rogue lbs coming off. I will post back later on what exactly I ate today (yes, I will include that medium cup of coffee w/cream from Starbucks too!).

Oh, and I just got back from a 10k, 57m 59s, 793 kcal, 157/164 HR avg/max. I felt good running today, neck is a little stiff afterwards, but I felt in the zone, just moving along.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Today's workout.

Swimming at JMBA, Beck also went with her mom. I did a full 20 laps, for 914 meters/1000 yards, with rest breaks. I think I figured out (partially) what I was doing wrong last summer; at that time, I was pushing really hard, trying to swim to fast, causing my breathing rate to increase, thereby increasing my HR. SO, today I concentrated on form, technique and breathing, while going at an easier pace. I kept my breathing much more controlled, even, and took deeper breaths.

I was able to swim for just over 45 minutes, HR avg/max of 132/148, 475 kcal. I am going to swim again this Friday. The shoulders are a little sore (enough so to warrant some tylenol tonight!), especially the left one, which I jacked up at work about one month ago.

I have also sworn off soda, much of the sweets I was eating, and also eating later at night, which is one of my bad habits I have developed while working second shift the past ten years. JMBA has this cool machine that will measure height, weight, BMI and body fat. Well, lets just say I put on almost 10 lbs since I last weighed myself. My BMI is not acceptable now, even though my body fat % stayed in the "good" range. I was going to clean up my eating soon anyways, in prep for the long FLETC ride in May. This is just the kick in the head I needed, it should serve as great motivation and my goal is to lose that 10 lbs I put on the in the past few months. The funny thing is, I really don't feel that I've lost that much of my fitness level. I'm still running a good pace, and my time on the trainer has been good, I don't feel that I'm behind like I felt last winter when I started base training.

So, I picked up the 100 cal popcorn and tea for the night snack time. It better work!

Thoughts on ultra endurance events.

I was reading in one of my Tri magazines today about the UltraMan World Championships held in Nov 2008 in Hawaii. This was the 24th year for the event, but I had never heard of it prior to this. I thought IM was the ultimate ultra endurance event out there (or just about the ultimate, at least!), and one that I hope to be able to include on my life list one day, god willing.

But, the UltraMan is run over three consecutive days, and I cannot believe what the event entails. Here it is:

Stage One: 6.2 mile swim, followed by a 90 mile bike leg with 7,600 feet of climbing.
Stage Two: 171.4 mile bike with 8,600 feet climbing.
Stage Three: 52.4 mile run (back to back marathons).

The winner, a guy by the name of Alexandre Ribeiro, from Brazil, took top spot in 21h 49m 38s. I just sit here and think of the distances covered each day, and what an accomplishment any one of them by themselves would be. And to do them all together over three days, well, that blows my mind.

I an off to swim a few laps in the pool now. I'll be thinking of this UltraMan while I struggle to finish my short swim.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

I didn't get the iPhone

still thinking that one over. I did learn how to take apart, clean and reassemble my mac might mouse, which has worked like crap for months. It beats having to buy a new one. Tomorrow I will phone shop, and maybe get a kettlebell or two.

Today's workout

was some core strengthening. Sit-up sets , push up sets. Medicine ball circles and twists, some stretching and low back exercises. Whooow, I'm going to be sore! Plus, more swimming for tomorrow at 11 am. I'm shooting for 20 laps.

I think I'm going to look at some kettle bells, for weight training. They look pretty cool, and they're compact. Besides, I need to go get a new phone (the iPhone, yee haw!) so we might stop and pick 'em up today! I will post some pics of the kettle bells (and the iPhone) if I pull the trigger today!!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

My other bike.

Today's workout

consisted of a swim (1st in a long time!!). I went to JMBA with my father-in-law, who is cool and invites me to go along. So I swam 14 laps (25 yard pool), found out I need to be able to do 40+ laps for one mile. I figure 42 laps will be about the distance for the 1/2 IM in July. I'm excited that I've actually started to swim this early this year, last year, I procrastinated big time on it, and did not swim much at all.

I also just got back from a 5k run, 26m 21s, feeling good. I'm going to start a log showing my swim/bike/run totals YTD somewhere on my page, TBD!! Now, off to work.

Friday, January 2, 2009

I did an 80 minute trainer ride today. I will probably run tomorrow, unless the temps go up, then I might get a road ride in. I'm going to start to develop my training plan for the long ride, leading up to May 1; then I need to incorporate some training immediately after the ride to prepare for the Spirit of Racine Tri in July. This should fit into my training plans for running the Milwaukee marathon in Oct '09.

I need to get some pool time in during this early base period. Yippie, swimming!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

2008 totals.

Ok, finally got to do this, while I'm loading some pics up to Facebook. Here are the totals for 2008:

Bike: 119 rides/129h:15m:29s/93,256 kcal/1,638.8 miles (way down from '07, where I had 150 rides for 2,458 miles!)
Run: 64 runs/29,278 kcal/281.09 miles
Swim: well, lets just say I didn't swim much!

I did not run at all in '07, so running as much as I did is what held my bike mileage down in '08. I was also sick for most of Sept '08, as well as Oct/Nov, going in 3 times for upper respiratory/sinus/bronchitis issues. This shot the hell out of the end of my race season; I missed the Dousmann Duathlon, and missed a bunch of training time due to being so sick. And, I'm going to need to get in the pool A LOT more in '09 if I'm going to even have a shot at finishing the 70.3 in July!

I ran today, did my 5k (roads were crap, snow/slick) in 26m 10s, not bad for this time of year. 397 kcal burned. I don't think I've let my fitness (base fitness) slip as much as in previous winters. I think I will be able to become a little faster this year, hopefully in my run and overall bike split. I need to get to work on my TT bike; I need a shorter stem (90mm vs the 100mm on there now), I want a new crankset (Bonty is junk), and I want to try some straight "S" horns, instead of the J-bend Profile Designs on there now. I need to get my upper body position more tucked and compact; I also need to put more miles in on my TT bike, but this will have to wait until later in the season. I've got maybe 175 miles on her in '08, and I'd like to get about 250-300 miles before racing the Spirit of Racine in July '09.

But, first things first. I need to keep riding the bike every other day, mix in runs, and keep training to get my base up there. THen, when the weather comes around, I'll need to ramp up the long rides and endurance/saddle time for the long bike ride in May '09. I'm going to draw up a training plan, leading into April, so I can peak about 2 weeks before the ride starts. I'll need to fit in a stretch of about 7-8 days riding, straight/no rest days, with some LONG rides tossed in on days off (from work). Each day in this lead-up time will require at least a 3 hr ride; days off from work will be 4-5 hrs. Then, taper the last two weeks leading up to May 1st! Pretty simple, right?

It all started today!

Reflections on 2008.

Looking back on 2008 now, it was a good year for training and racing, a good year for the family, and an average to maybe below average year for my career. A recap, My Year in Review:

Family: the kids are getting big, love to ride their bikes, play outside. Maddie is still enjoying the piano, and Abbey, well Abbey tries to be like her big sister even if she doesn't want to admit it! Kids make your life so much fuller, I could not imagine not having at least two running around the house (that's why last night was so weird!). Beck started running this past year, fell short of some of her goals, but I think she is more motivated for '09. She is planning on running a 1/2 marathon, and I think she will do it. I told her many times in the past, she needs to find the motivation herself, I simply cannot do that for her. Work has been, well, OK for her, not the best in terms of hours, but it pays the bills. I think she still likes her work.

My career: well, there really was no change in '08. Same shift, same job, no movement or improvement. As we say at work quite frequently, "Same shit, different month". But, up the upside (remain positive, now), I do have a very stable, decent paying career. Some of my friends in the private sector, not so much on the stability thing. So in that regard, I am very fortunate. I make decent money, have good health benefits and (so far) a decent pension, although this might be subject to change in the near future. One other positive for the end of '08, and looking ahead to '09, is the distinct possibility of change at work for myself. I am hoping one of two things will happen by the end of January:
#1) I will get moved to dayshift. I am close, and have been for the past year os so, to being moved, but I still do not know if this will happen or not. This would make the family category above so much more fun, more time together, dinner at home, etc.
#2) The powers of high on up have decided to start a motorcycle division, yes, with real Harley Davidson MCs, full dresser Ultras from what I've heard. Now, to be qualified, you have to meet certain criteria, including having had experience with riding a motorcycle and have your motorcycle endorsement (hmm, go figure on these two!). Well, on my current assignment, I am one of those that fits the bill, seeing as I own a HD, and have been class M endorsed for the better part of 20 years. I am hoping that if case #1 in this here scenario does not come to fruition, then I will be appointed to work the motorcycle division. This would be AWESOME, riding a full dress HD around and getting paid for it! It would be a great change of pace, probably open some other doors for my career, and be an excellent chance to network with other HD LEOs. The downside (there;s always a downside, don;t you know that?); I would say there is probably a 98% chance I would have to remain on 2nd shift, at least for the next two years. Man, two years, hard to swallow, that would put me at 12+ years on 2nd shift. I've got to mull this one over...

Training and Racing: this is getting a bit long in tooth, so I'll post my '08 season totals later today. Kids are up, I'm going to get them now!