Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Display Idea

I came up with an idea for displaying some of my medals. I need to locate my medals from my previous triathlon history but come to think of it, I might have hocked them to buy those Speedplay pedals. Anyway, I wanted a simple way to display my recent medals without having to work hard with opening a display case and then setting the medal just so. When you are as 'old as dirt', as The Boy® believes, time is a commodity to be cherished.

So, one morning when I was staring at my tie-rack wondering whether I should wear the Mickey Mouse or the Looney Tunes tie it suddenly occurred to me a very simple system for displaying medals. Behold!

One can locate these types of tie racks just about anywhere. Again, time being of the essence and not wanting to drive all over town looking for it I opted for Amazon.

How does everyone else display their medals? Feel free to pass along other good ideas.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Whilst riding the TT bike the past few weeks I'd noticed a 'thump-thump' from one of my tires. Felt like I had a piece of gum stuck to one of the tires so on every rotation I would get a steady 'thump-thump-thump' on each revolution. I couldn't figure it out. And I had been too busy to hit the bike shop to have them look. It was really bad during the event this past Sunday.

I'm running tubulars, ZIPPS with a rear-disc. I had to put an end to the mystery so I hobbled to the bike shop Monday. Soon as we hoisted it up on the rack it was plain as day. It was a defective tire. One area was sort of flattened out. So, the bike is in the shop as they swap out the tire.

And that will be that.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

I'm Still Drying Out

"There is no such thing as bad weather, only soft people."
Adam Beston

Well, I must getting soft. Then again, you be the judge.

The weather was a bit apocalyptic for the Winter Be Gone! duathlon held in Oronoco, Minnesota on April 26. In no particular order, there was rain-thunder-lightning-hail and then it really started to pour. Oh, and it was hovering around 42-degrees at the time.

In all, the weather was pretty awful. When I left the hotel, it was cloudy but still dry. As I drove to the course it started raining. I arrived about 80-minutes prior to the scheduled start and I knew something was up as there were only about twelve bikes in the transition area. I surmised that most people were waiting to the last minute, seeing what the weather would bring, before heading out the door.

The rain became steady and I just corralled the bike and headed to the outdoor pavilion where everyone was gathering. No one was warming up. Just standing around and talking. My shoes and socks were soaked just walking from transition to the safety of the pavilion.

I met Jeremy from the Tri-Talk forums and fellow blogger Jon and we started to chat up the conditions. More people came and immediately made a bee line for shelter as well. Much of the talk was now whether or not the race would be cancelled or if one would even race in the horrible conditions.

The it started to thunder and hail. Yep, it was getting better!

Bill Nevala, the race director, made a announcement that he was going to wait to make a call on the race. He had gotten word that we might have a window of opportunity in which to make it happen. He had some guy watching radar. He was communicating this as it started to hail, thunder and lightening. Some people started to leave. I was close to just bagging it as well.

Bill announced that he wanted to wait 30-mins as the radar still showed a window to get 'er done. I thought this was reasonable. Keep in mind everyone is still under the pavilion and no one is warming up...just trying to keep warm.

It was then announced that there would be no long-course event, and everyone would run the short course. So we're all standing around digesting that and then came the announcement, "Ten minutes to the gun. You have ten minutes to get to the start line". Christ, I hadn't even laid out my gear yet.

So I'm like, 'sod it all, I'm going home'. I go to take a pee and then decide, 'why not'. It's my birthday and it could be fun. I quickly lay out my gear and head to the start line, realizing I forgot to lay out this and that. Thank God some people had not picked up their timing chip so we had some time to warm-up.

Mind you, its like 42-degrees. Gun goes off and I'm doing OK on the first run. I was hoping to run 15-mins (2.25 miles first run) which would have been 6:40 pace. Per the results I did 14:25 (6:24). Actually the results show pace for 2-miles but the course was an announced 2.25 miles. In any event that first run was not too bad for a guy who had run a total of twelve miles for April. My right Achilles and heel were acting up a bit so I had to back off.

Note - For those using a Garmin, I show run One as 2.15 miles, the bike as 13.06 miles and run Two as 1.86 miles. What did yours show?

The bike was stone cold awful. 20mph+ wind into our faces straight off and it was a hilly course. I'm just trying to stay steady, let alone trying to master an effort since I was riding with a disc rear wheel. We hit the turn-around and the sky opens up and it's pouring rain straight into my face. I'm soaked, my shoes are totally soaked, and I'm miserable but I muster on. It was akin to riding in a bathtub. I hang in there anyway. Was shooting for 20.5 mph which I should have easily done and ended up at 18.4 way off pace. But like I care at this point. I slowed waaaayyyy down for each turn. Damned if I was going to break a collarbone or something.

The second run was a 2-mile out-back. I start out with my bike helmet on...doh!..and have to turn back to throw it back into transition. My right Achilles/heel had reduced me to a steady limp. But I ended up with a respectable 14:11 (7:06 pace). I won my division (45-49) which is all one can ask at this point of life!

I figure between taking my time in both transitions to put on more socks, fumble with my shoes as my hands are cold, and the bad bike split I should have been 6 minutes faster. I had a lot left for the runs but the bad leg held me back. I gotta resolve that soon. Next race (tri) in 3-weeks.

All the fellow tri-geeks I met did well. Jeremy had a wardrobe malfunction, however. He was ahead of me on the bike and I see him suddenly pull off. As I pass him on the side of the rode he holds up his chain in both hands. It had broken on him. That was too bad as he had a good one going.

It was great to meet Jeremy, Jon, Stevel Stenzel, Mario Minelli and so many others.

Mario stated that Bill was considering not doing the event after this year as there has been bad weather the last two years. Too bad as the race is a good lead off for the season. Maybe he changes it to a single course (no dual long and short course)?

Send Bill an e-mail to thank him for putting on the race and if you want it to continue. Bill can be reached at

I had a nice chat with race winner Scott Penticoff who is shooting for IM Wisconsin and another shot at Kona. My congratulations to everyone who came and conquered the weather. Here's to ideal conditions at the next event!

Results here

Wet Wild and Wacky

First (out of five) in 45-49 age group. Soaking wet. Detail later. Did I mention soaking wet?

Update Two (7:00 am) - April 26: Race Day, Winter Be Gone! Duathlon

Time to go to war......

5:30 Update

42-degrees. With 15 mph wind it feels like 35. The wind is stiff and steady out of the east. So far, it is fairly dry although it has rained some. There is now a Flash Flood warning for the area starting this afternoon. I can see green on the radar about an hour away but it seems to be straying south of here.

Time to fuel.

7:00 Update

Couple of Middle-Aged Man secrets.

For my problem Achilles and calf's I have been using Salonpas patches which are imported from Japan and readily available at chain pharmacies (and Costco!) nationwide. They contain 6.3% methyl salicylate for inflammation along with menthol & camphor (think Icy Hot). I slap several on the problem areas.....

...then slap compression socks over them. I'm good for six hours.

Since today is going to be raw....currently 42, but with wind gusting from 15-21 mph it feels like 35...I'll be using both hand and toe warmers inside my gloves/socks. This should help keep me feet and hands from going completely numb. Especially the feet as they'll be wet as well and no amount of layers will help.

That's it for now. Time to load up and head to the transition area. Further updates via Twitter (see Twitter box on the right hand nav bar).

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Saturday Evening (Hey Graham! Pay Attention!)

Updated Noon Saturday: Raw With a Chance of Rooster Tails

We had some beautiful weather here in The Tundra this week. Sunny skies and temps in the mid-80s. Yep, it was great. Just in time for Sunday's race at 9 am in Oronco, MN comes this latest forecast.


Sprinkle in expected winds gusting to 20 mph and you have a raw, brutal opening for my season. The bikes will be producing some massive rooster tails so I expect to be drenched front and back by the time I make it to T2. Hopefully the road conditions aren't as wet as predicted.

Until Sunday!

Update: It just keeps getting better and better. Bike helmet may be a necessity for other than cycling safety as there is now a chance for hail! Stil looks like temp at the gun will be around 45-degrees with 70% chance of rain.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Race Week Inspiration #3

Goal Three for the Winter Be Gone! Duathlon (4/26)

It's going to take guts to run on two Bad Achilles, limited running mileage, and your expanding waistline. Invoke memories of Prefontaine...

& Dave Wottle.....

Weather Watch

Too bad the race can't be moved to Friday morning. At 9 am Friday morning the temperature forecast is for sunny skies and 66-degrees. Ideal conditions. Instead, at 9 am Sunday the forecast is for 46-degrees and showers. Quite a swing in the ol' weather pattern the next few days. I'm just giddy over racing in weather that, I'm absolutely top-hole with an ying and yang and yippiedeedoo.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Congrats to Buckwheat

Congrats to former Texas training partner Tim "Buckwheat" Carroll on his success in the IRP Striders Duathlon Long Course held 4/19 in San Angelo, TX. This du was a 5-mile run/45-mile bike/5-mile run.

As Tim wrote in an e-mail to me this week:

You missed a golden opportunity to score hardware. There were only 26 entries less than half of what usually enters, so nearly everybody placed. I was the only one in my age group, I did a good job of kicking my ass and taking name. It was hilly as expected, but the wind was atypical out of the NNW at 15-20 mph that made for a head and cross wind all the way to finish. The wind is usually out of the south so you get some tailwind to the finish but this time. You'll notice my run splits suck I stopped at all the water stations to stay hydrated the humidity wasn't quite negative like it is in AZ but close. I think it was around 25% and was sucking me dry like a sponge. I'm used to like 80 - 90% humidity. No big names at this years race either, last year Micheal Lovatto and Todd Gerlach were there. All in all I had fun and that's what really counts.

I hope the weather up there gives you a break on Sun. for your race. Nothing worse than racing in crappie conditions. I wish you good luck in your endeavor and may the race gods be with you.

Like I told Buckwheat, his run splits did not 'suck' and that was a very hefty du to tie on so early in the season. That's the third friend I had contact me this week about having 'poor performances' and 'disappointing times' in recent events. It's as thought everyone wants to be primed and ready for an A-Race every time out now. That will lead to unhappiness and then to burnout and then, WHAM!, you'll drop out of the sport for 15-years like someone I know very!

Like Tim said at the end "All in all I had fun and that's what really counts." You're darn tootin'! Participate and enjoy the times you have training and racing. Set only a few reachable goals at first and work into setting the bar a bit higher. Know that you will have set-backs. But just have fun!

Speaking of fun, I had to ask Tim about a upcoming du in Texas in November. Here's what caught my eye...the Bronda's Run/Bike Du. Promoted as the fastest venue in Texas, this du is set at...get this...the Texas Motor Speedway. It is a 2 mile run-15 mile bike-2 mile run course and it is flat and fast. Man, that would be a great way to end the year. The run course actually takes place on the speedway infield and the bike course circles the speedway. This is one I have to do some serious thinking about traveling down to my old stomping grounds!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Race Week Inspiration #2

Goal Two for the Winter Be Gone! Duathlon (4/26)

Have fun. The gun goes off at 9:12 am and you officially become 48-years old at 9:55 am. Your high-level competing days are over. Just dominate the 45-49 age group and be happy as a clam that you can still do these events!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Watch and Smile

I interupt race week for a video that will make you smile.

And, I hope this changes before Sunday. Low 40's and rain is not my ideal setting for a duathlon!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Race Week Inspiration #1

Goal One for the Winter Be Gone! Duathlon (4/26)

Show up to the course mid-afternoon the day prior to the event. Drive the bike course. Because being the idiot you are, you missed the short-bike turn-around last year and ended up riding the long-course.

Friday, April 17, 2009

I Love Warm Weather

The scenery is not as pleasant as Arizona. The people have shedded clothing and are so white that no lens can prevent blinding my eyes. And there is always a chance for more snow. But today, the temperature rose to a sweet 72 degrees and I took advantage of it.

First thing I did was load up the Cervélo and head out to the country where I could blow out the to speak.

19.26 miles
55:40 / 20.8 mph

Then I came back home, put on the LunaRacers and went out for a very warm run. Can you say 'cotton mouth'? I was dry as a bone. I would have worked it harder but I was overheating like an Edsel on Route 66.

3.42 miles
24:50 / 7:15 pace

Overall it was just fun to feel hot and sweaty while also having loose muscles without having to stretch and stretch and stretch. I do need to recalibrate the Cervélo's computer, though. I thought I was absolutely flying as per the bike computer I went 21.18 miles and averaged 22.4 mph. This was not consistent with the Garmin (values show above).

After I got back home I went into the settings and I'm guessing the bike shop set the cycle computer for a 700cc wheel when mine is a 650cc wheel. So, I think I fixed it via a rolling test to determine the circumference for my Continental Competition 650cx22 tubular tire. I mean, you have to trust the Garmin, right?

Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Passing the Torch

One of the reasons I started this blog was to focus now and then on kids & triathlon training. Let me put it this was: When I visit my local health club to do my swim workouts I see young kids....we're talking 10 and under here...that have a need for a mansiere. A mansiere is defined as a brassiere for men, aka a "bro". They can't put on their little swim trunks without having to take a breather. My son is not going to fall into that category.

Last year The Boy® did his first triathlon in Park Rapids, MN last year and is signed up again this year. He is a few weeks out from his continuing duel with neighbor Sam to be the fastest kid in 3rd grade, this year choosing to run the 480-yd dash at the school track & field meet. Unlike last year, we have started a training program.

Tonight we run a loop on a walking path near our humble abode. The result was not too shabby for a boy just turned nine. Per the Garmin, we covered 1.79 miles at 9:57 pace. Let's say we have a few pacing issues that need to be worked through with the pupil as someone started out at 7:40 pace and became aware he could not sustain that, oh, about 1/4 of a mile into it despite pleas from his coach to 'slow it down'.

Nonetheless, despite several temporary stops (Whoa Dad! That's a huge hill!) The Boy® enjoyed his workout, remained somewhat talkative, and even outsprinted me on the last block back home (for real). I mean, he finished the last segment at 6:38 pace! The entire run can be seen here.

Note to self - A 2-miler with The Boy® and your avg HR is 138?!? You are getting old, coach!

What is doubly nice is seeing this played out across the country. It really tickles me to no end to see the next generation come along!

In Rochester, MN fellow tri-geek Mario Minelli's 8-year old son won the 1-9 age division in a local 2-mile race. Jace's time was an astounding 15:14 which is a 7:37 per mile pace! Like I told Mario, he has a Steve Prefontaine in the making. Note - Mario is the current course record holder for the upcoming Winter Be Gone! Duathlon on 4/26. The apple didn't fall far from the tree. I'll be seeing and racing with Mario that day. More on that race next week.

Another local tri-geek, Jeremy recently ran a 5K with his daughter, Anastasia. She ran a 30:18 and set a course record for her age group. Let me ask you all something: How many of you would actually 'throw away' a race and instead, slow down and race it with your son or daughter?? Sadly, not many would. And that's a tragedy. Kudo's to both Jeremy and Anastasia!

Farther north, Canadian tri-geek, cdnhollywood, often takes time to reconnect with his family, trains with family, and is certain that his daughter is the only 4yr old that can tune her bike!. Which is beyond my skill!

And a tad older, but still showing that triathlon is not becoming a 'old man's sport' as Mr. Chris McCormack recently stated in an interview with Triathlete magazine I wanted to give a shout-out to Adam Beston of Missoula who is just eight weeks out from the Kansas 70.3. His training schedule has been intense, he stats are killer. And I'll be watching from afar with vested interest. Adam's blog can now be found here. I'm trying to talk him into coaching me!

To everyone, please keep working with your kids. Keep it fun. And most importantly, if it comes down to fitting in that long brick versus taking time to do something with your son or daughter...the choice should be very clear and very simple to make.

Gotta run, someone wants to watch The Day the Earth Stood Still.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Monday Picture

August 1988. Coors Light Biathlon (nee Duathlon) outside Houston, Texas. Pay special note to the rear disc. It was nothing more than stretchy fabric that you attached to the rim. High-tech!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Fun

As far as today, it will be family time. But the afternoon clears up a bit for me. Which then begs the question:

Create your own Animation

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Saturday Shorts

Busy couple of days for us. The Boy® celebrated his ninth birthday Friday. Early onwe got the call that my in-laws had decided to forge two swollen rivers and make the trip from NoDak to help celebrate. So, I bowed out of work in order to quickly get the house in order, get supplies, and pick up things ranging from dog toys to soccer balls strewn around. I also got the patio stuff out. Very nice to see that in use again!

On Friday I also found time to swim 2100 yds and go for a 90-minute bike out to Baker via the Luce Line trail. The trails were full of people who hadn't left their houses in five months so I got to play Evel Knievel dodge-em and my voice became hoarse from yelling, "ON YOUR LEFT" before realizing the idiot had head-phones on. Sigh.

There was some good elevation on this least for Minnesota. See below, click on thumbnail for larger view.

This was on my Cannondale Bad Boy (pictured below). It's considered an urban bike. I have the Ultra edition which means it has disc brakes....which is pretty cool. It's fast for a upright bike but I can't wait to take the bad-ass TT bike out on Sunday (last seen during my Retul fit) and see how much work I have to do before the first du of the season on 4/26 (my 48th BD). I hope to be near a 22 mph average for the race. Sunday will tell me how close I am.

Today after my massage I hope to go for my longest run yet (distance TBD) since coming back from Achilles injury and squeeze in a bike before heading off to The Boy®'s official BD party. We're heading to a cooking school where the boys get to make their own pizzas. Sounds great.

Kudo's to former Texas training partner Tim Carroll. You will remember Tim from my Blast from the Past blog entry and podcast from March 22. Tim recently competed in 'dansby's duo Run-Bike-Run Duathlon' in Bryan, Texas. He finished 2nd overall in the men's 50-59 age group. Good stuff! I just hope to be competing when I graduate to the 50-54 bracket! The way my running is deteriorating, I'm not so sure!

Tim is partaking in a 8k-74k-8k du next Sunday. Good luck Tim!

And thanks to Tim, I just signed up for the Texas region "Runner & Triathlete News". Lot's of fun looking at race results and upcoming races. Started me thinking I should sneak out for a boy's vacation in the Texas area sometime in October or November and get in a nice race before the, gulp, snow starts to fly again.

Quote of the week comes from one of my direct reports (thanks DeAnna): My Karma just ran over your Dogma.

Have a great Easter weekend! May the weather be great wherever you are.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Live Replay

I have no idea if this link will work for everyone or not but here we go. Click on this Garmin link which will take you to my bike workout last night. You should see something like this:

Click on the 'play' button at the top and watch the map as you see me cycle around my local lake. Pay special attention to the bottom where you see Total Time, Total Distance, Elevation, Speed, and Heart Rate all play out in real time. You can see when I'm climbing and fighting the wind and when I'm descending and have the wind at my back.

Pretty neat stuff! The technology....not my ride!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Building Up the Library

Five years ago we blew out the back of our humble abode and added on 1200 sq. feet of living space. Part of this remodel was to turn our then dining room into a library.

Having a library was a wish of my wife and I for a number of years. We knew this would instill reading into our son and also serve as a place for all of our books. The Boy®, who will turn nine on Friday, is reading at a sixth grade level. And the oldest whippet likes to laze on the recliner...and added bonus.

I've got my own section. It contains my prized Gardner Dozois Year's Best Science Fiction Series. Every single volume that began back in 1984 is at my finger tips.

I also have a plethora of training guides. Probably too many. But there's always the need for more, right? So I have ordered three new tomes to give me some light reading on how to address the three disciplines of triathlon. They are:

  1. Workouts in a Binder for Indoor Cycling - Wes Hobson
  2. Run Workouts for Runners and Triathletes (Workouts in a Binder (TM)) - Bobby McGee
  3. Workouts in a Binder: Swim Workouts for Triathletes - Gale Bernhardt

Triathletes who hope to improve their disciplines too often mix and match workouts or workout segments with no particular goal. With the Garmin purchase, I now have the ability to track my heart-rate zones. In that regard, I hope to stave off recurring injuries as I think I've been too often training in Zone 3 and 4 when I should be having an 'easy' day and training in a Zone 2 zone.

I also plan to get my VO2 Max tested. VO2max is the maximum amount of oxygen in millilitres, one can use in one minute per kilogram of body weight. Those who are fit have higher VO2max values and can exercise more intensely than those who are not as well conditioned. Numerous studies show that you can increase your VO2max by working out at an intensity that raises your heart rate to between 65 and 85% of its maximum for at least 20 minutes three to five times a week.

At least, that's the plan. Until something shinier comes along to grab my attention. Look! Squirrel.....

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Trail Run Courtesy Garmin

Did my first trail run with my Garmin 405 on Wednesday evening. The weather wasn't bad as the horrible winds we've had the last three days finally died down. Wind bothers me much more on the bike, of course, but still on a run you don't want to fight it either! The temp was 52 when I headed out so I only had to wear two layers! Those who live in The Tundra know of what I speak!

Below is the map of my trail run. We live very close to French Regional Park and it's wonderful for the lighted wooded trails they have. Ton's of them. The dogs love to be walked there, The Boy® loves to roll down the grassy hills, my wife looks at wildflowers....and I get to run there and recall my glory days on the cross-country team!

Anyway, the mapping feature is pretty cool. I just need to figure out how to show a elevation change map as well. There are some good climbs in the park! The Garmin, if it is to be trusted, showed a 13.9% maximum grade for this run.

The Achilles issues seem to be dying down a bit. Still not 100% or anywhere near it. And now there are some low-grade shin splints as well. That's another reason I wanted to run on grass and dirt. Every spring when I first start to run outside, shin splints seem to occur. Can't figure that one out. Not like I don't run outside during the winter or on the tread-mill. But like clock-work: spring = shin splints.

'Cause I've Got Nothing Else

Jane Curtin: This past Thursday was the great American Smoke Out, a day that everyone in America was encouraged to stop smoking cigarettes for a 24 hour period. Here to comment further is Update Health correspondant, Roseanne Rosannadanna.

Roseanne Rosannadanna: Thanks, alot, Jane. A guy from Forlayden, New Jersey writes in and says, "Dear Roseanne Rosannadanna, Last Thursday I quit smoking. Now I'm depressed, my face broke out, I'm nauseas, I'm constipated, my cheeks swell, my gums are bleeding, my sinuses are clogged, I got heart burn, and I got gas. What should I do?" [Sarastically]

Roseanne Rosannadanna: Well, you sound like a real attractive guy. You belong in New Jersey. But I know exactly what you're going through, cause once, I, Roseanne Rosannadanna quit smoking. To get back in shape, I had to join one of those fancy shmancy health clubs. You know, the ones where it's really expensive to join but it's worth it because you get to see alot of people that you don't know naked. Like some people got them bulgy, bulgy thighs, the ones that get chafed just 'cause they're always scraping together. And there's other people there that got them funny bellybuttons. Like some go in, and some go out, some are like a ball, or curl around, or it's like a little knob on it like a door. Some people even got little pieces of their sweater still in it. Some of them even look like a little shell or a clam or something you don't know what they are. But personally, I, Roseanne Rosanndanna, don't like to walk around with no clothes on in front of other people. Not that I don't have a great body, but why should I waste it on a bunch of fat ladies in a health club? Anyway, they got this thing there that's a little room that's hot inside and you go in there to sweat like a pig. So I go in there, but before I sit down, I put this clean towel on the bench 'cause there's alot of people been there and you don't know where they been. But who do you think is sitting next to me but Dr. Joyce Brothers. That very smart pixie lady who thinks she knows everything. But what this nude psycologist didn't know was that she had this little, teeny, tiny ball of sweat right here, hanging off the tip of her nose. It was just hanging there! It wouldn't fall off! Like if she turned her head, it wouldn't fall off. If she stood up it didn't fall off, if she stretched it wouldn't come off, and when she picked little pieces of her sweater out of her bellybutton it wouldn't fall off. That little sweat ball just wouldn't fall off. So I yelled at her, I said, "Hey, Doctor! Flick that sweat ball off your nose! What are you trying to do, make me sick?"

Jane Curtin: Excuse me, what do health clubs, sweat, and steam baths have to do with cigarettes?

Roseanne Rosannadanna: Well, Jane, it just goes to show you. It's always something. If it's not one thing, it's another. Either you smoke or you have a sweat ball hanging off your nose. It's just like a song we used to sing on Thanksgiving when I was a little girl. Everybody would come over to my house all dressed up pretty and everything, and my mother would make the turkey with stuffing and for dessert, we'd have the traditional Banana Rosannadanna cake. Before we ate, we'd bow our heads, bow your head, Jane, come on, bow your head. Bow it. BOW YOUR HEAD!! And we'd all sing: 'We gather together to ask the lord's blessing. Please love down upon the Rosannadanna folks. Bring peace to our fathers, good health to our mothers, and please don't make me sweat like Dr. Joyce Brothers.'

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Quiet, Please. Another Family Member in Training

We had a Dalmatian. It was our first baby. She was wonderful. I may have to let the whippets go and get another Dal so we can train together.

Monday, April 6, 2009

More Good News on Java

Good news, coffee drinkers, said Bill Hendrick in WebMD Health News. According to a new study, “coffee might literally be a brew that promotes health.” It turns out that caffeine dulls the pain from exercising, potentially allowing people to work out for longer periods of time. The results were true for both habitual coffee drinkers and those who generally avoid caffeine.

The study took in 25 fit men who were put through a series of different intensity trials on a stationary bicycle.

The riders abstained from caffeine for 24 hours before the tests and they were then given a nondescript tablet -- either a pill containing the equivalent of two to three cups of coffee or a placebo.

Oxygen consumption, heart rate and their work rate were monitored as the cyclists were also quizzed on their "perceptions of quadriceps muscle pain" during the trials.

"We've shown that caffeine reduces pain reliably, consistently during cycling, across different intensities, across different people, different characteristics," said Professor Robert Motl of the University of Illinois.

The riders were also selected to represent heavy coffee drinkers - an intake of three to four cups daily or 400 milligrams of caffeine -- and those who drank little to no coffee.

Prof Motl said this was designed to show whether a higher tolerance to the stimulant would, as anticipated, dull any other effect the caffeine could have on the riders.

"What we saw is something we didn't expect - caffeine-naive individuals and habitual users have the same amount of reduction in pain during exercise after caffeine," he says.

"If you regularly consume caffeine, you have to have more to have that bigger mental-energy effect but the tolerance effect is not ubiquitous across all stimuli."

In the study, Prof Motl said the caffeine was known to affect the adenosine neuromodulatory system in the brain and spinal cord, and this system was heavily involved in pain processing.

The study was published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism.

Prof Motl, a former competitive cyclist, said the research would come as no surprise to the many cyclists who have a coffee before a gruelling training ride or those people who down one on the way to the gym.

"I think a lot of people are taking caffeine before a workout and they don't realise the actual benefit they're experiencing," he said.

"That is they're experiencing less pain."

Many runners already “swear by the dark magic beans,” said Mark Will-Weber in Coffee wakes you up for the morning run, and “keeps you perky for mile after mile.” Too much coffee, of course, can mess with athletes’ insides, causing “the sudden urge for bathroom breaks”—not good for races. Still, the study does give new meaning to the slogan “America runs on Dunkin’.”

Remember that Frank Shorter drank some flat Coke and water mixture en route to winning the Olympic marathon gold medal in 1972, with both the sugar and caffeine providing some lift in the late miles.

And keep in mind that Hammer Nutrition has many products that contain caffeine such as their new flavor of Perpetuem, Caffe Latte.

Time to head to the local java shop!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Back To Reality

Our recent vacation in Arizona was one of the most relaxing, unrushed, and pleasant vacations we've had. I'm going to miss it!

While there, I bought some nice personal things such as Minnesota moccasins (imagine going to Arizona to buy those!) which are great for being a bum, lounging and driving. And some new copper jewelry...the authentic Navajo stuff. Not the stuff from Japan.

When I got back to Minnesota I made one last vacation purchase: A Garmin 405. I was not necessarily looking to purchase it but after looking at the reports and very clean summaries of a friends, I was convinced to make the purchase.

It took me a few hours to learn the intricacies, the nuances, and that was after I programmed my VCR. OK, bad joke but the set-up was a bit daunting and I don't daunt very easily from technology. Fast forward and I have the basics down and have saved a few workouts.

I have opted, so far, to ignore the uploads to the Garmin site and instead am using SportsTracks, touted to be the best GPS-enabled exercise logbook software in the world. It's pretty cool. I can list everything by day from weight to resting pulse to the mood I'm in. It syncs with my 405 and I can upload into either running or cycling categories and further define as trail, speed, race, etc. I can list the equipment used which I really like as I switch between two bikes and two pairs of shoes. Now I can track the mileage for them and know when it's time to update the running shoes, for example.

Here's an early look at an activity for my Sunday cycling (click for larger view).

This was a test of the watch for cycling and it turned out pretty fair although there is a discrepancy between what was captured as max speed between SportsTracks and the Garmin site. Nothing major.

I also like the reports feature. It even divides my HR into five Zones. Here is a example (click for larger view).

Yeah, that time off in Arizona kinda killed me. Ninety-five percent of my ride was spent in Zone's 3 & 4. Ooops!

The other thing of note for this blog entry is after three weeks off from running due to the left Achilles tendinitis, I seem to be back in the saddle. Probably at 80% right now but I can run jog now. It's like I've been off for a friggin' year. My two runs jogs this weekend were just under 3 miles each and at 8:10 pace. Pretty ugly. But at least I'm on foot again.

If you are a Garmin user and have tips and such please help out an old guy and leave a comment with your tip. I'd appreciate it. Yeah, and the bezel sucks. I've finally learned to adjust the pressure as well as lock it out. That seems to be helping.

New Orleans 70.3 Shout-Outs

I had three four buddies compete in the New Orleans 70.3 today. First, I greatly admire anyone doing a half IronMan. It's a major feat. And one I hope to do some day. So, my sincerest congratulations to these three people.

Bill Nevala: Bill is a local triathlon race director. I don't know how he finds the time to do it all.

Patrick Allen: You've heard Pat on this very blog in podcast four. Patrick set a PR today for a over an hour!

Steve Stenzel: Steve is a local who also is crazy enough to do this blog stuff.

Nate Pearson: Nate, along with myself, is one of the admins of the Tri-Talk Forums. Nate really excelled today beating his long-time friend and arch-nemesis. He had a ball-buster of a bike leg.

Way to go you guys! My heartiest of congratulations!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Arizona Slideshow Recap

Video Description: Our recent trip to Arizona for spring break.

Location: Westin Kierland Resort in Scottsdale, Phoenix area, and Sedona.

Duration: 21 minutes, 44 seconds

Date Last Updated: Fri 03 Apr 2009 04:17:47 PM CDT

File Size: 58.6 MB