Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Off Until January 4th

Just a heads up that I am on vacation for this week and I will not be writing on my blog until probably after January 4th. No time....actually lots of time, just no desire. Peace out!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Snow Fun

Wow, it has been a while since I have put up a resonable post. I hope that I am not too boring recapping the past week and a half. I am going to try and recollect all of the meaningful events that have happened, some of them quite good in my opinion.

First, my running club's winter series kicked off last Sunday which I have been looking forward to. It was a very hilly 5K run in Tyler State Park in Newtown, PA. During my mile warm up, it started to rain pretty steadily, then it started to ice up a bit, then the race director decided to turn the race into an informal run. Basically points would be awarded to everyone who checked in that day. It was kind of a let down, but the conditions on the course were deteriorating pretty rapidly and they didn't want anyone to get hurt slipping on the ice. I ended up running the 3.1 mile course in 23:01 (7:19/mile), a good steady run on a very hilly course.

Immediately following the race I booked down to Lavallette, NJ to my 'rents house to build some shelves for our new TV. It was a good day, I was able to hand with my Dad and do some woodworking with him. We had fun and the shelves came out great.

As for "work" week, it went pretty smoothly. The highlight of the week was when I decided that I was going to get a drum set for my daughters this Christmas. I started looking on Craig's List and found one that looked promising, but the guy selling it was asking for too much. I lent stumbled upon an listing where a guy in West Windsor was just giving one away. I emailed him right away and I am now in possession of a heavily used, but in decent condition 5-piece drum set. It needs all new drum heads and some of the hardware is busted, but considering it is for a 4 1/2 year old and a six year old....and a 38 year old wanna be rocker....it is more than adequate. I don't know if it is a blessing that there is no hi-hat or crash cymbal.

The end of the week was holiday lunches at work which is always a plus because is means getting out of work early, some good food...oh, and the chance to spend some social time with my fellow co-workers.

That brings me to today....and the snow. I awoke this morning to about a foot of snow, and from what I understand, got of pretty light when compared to points just south of us (I know that my 'rents got two feet). I spend an hour shoveling my driveway by myself as my wife and daughters sat inside our warm cozy house, eating a pre-breakfast snack and watching some early morning TV. When I finished up around 9:00AM, I was informed that the girls hadn't eaten yet and that it would be great if I could prepare breakfast....of course.

After breakfast it was time to get dressed for the elements and head out for some sleigh riding at the park down the street from our house. My oldest daugher helped out by pulling the sled while my little one was getting a free ride via me...sitting on my shoulders. We spend about an hour and a half at the park sledding. Actually, the girls did most of the sledding while I was the human chair lift. I would send them down the hill and if they were too tired, I would go down and drag them back up on the sled. I was a bit tired when we got home.

I finished up the night with a nice 3.4 mile run with my out of shape dog.. We had a good time running through the snow and just stretching the legs out a bit. That puts me to where I am now, sitting at my computer pretty tired and hoping I can get to sleep soon.

Here is my past lame week of training (yes, I took a couple days off):

Saturday: 2.74 mile run, 22:57 (8:23/mile) - I ran with my dog, ended up dragging him the last 3/4 mile. Since I had a race coming up the next day I was just looking to stretch a bit.

Sunday: Covered Bridge 5K - 1 mile warm-up, then 5K (actually 3.15 miles), 23:01 (7:19/mile), 174 BPM - I pushed it a bit harder than a normal training run, but not full on race mode. I could have gone faster if I really wanted to but the conditions were a bit slick.

Monday: 4.22 mile run, 32:17 (7:39/mile), 158 BPM - I ran with Bill and Chris. A good day for us all.

Tuesday: Rest

Wednesday: 4.72 mile run, 36:57 (7:49/mile), 154 BPM - I ran with Bill and Chris again, I was really tired. Still managed to do negative splits.

Thursday: Rest, had my groups holiday dinner, no time to train.

Friday: 4.02 mile run, 32:27 (8:04/mile), 160 BPM - I ran at home before going to work. I do not like running in the AM, but it was nice to be done with my run so early in the day.

Saturday: 14.04 mile trainer ride, 45:01 (18.7 MPH), 150 BPM - I opted for the ride on the trainer rather than a snowy run outside. I was glad I did it indoors because they were showing the 2009 Ironman World Championships on NBC. I was psyched!

Sunday: 3.4 mile run (don't have the stats) - I went out with my dog for the sole purpose of just getting a run in and spending some time with Willie. We had fun. I love running outside in the winter, probably when I enjoy running the most.

Oh well, that is it for now. Kind of a short week for me, two days of work and then the rest of the year off, well you know what I mean. I guess I should go upstairs and help my wife wrap Christmas presents now....ahhhhh, NAH!!!

Peace out!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

No time

I suck lately at this blogging thing. I haven't posted anything in almost a week. I have been pretty busy building things (shelves for our new TV), picking up things (surprise Christmas present for my girls to be unveiled here soon), and just plain working. I have only run maybe four time since my last post. I haven't gotten on my bike in over a week and the pool has been no existant.

I am pretty much just posting something for the sake of posting. I really need to get some sleep. So hopefully I will recap the past six to seven days here tomorrow. Cheers!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Cold & Windy Friday...I love it!!!

It is the end of the week and I am fortunate to have the opportunity to work from home today. I am taking a 10 minute break from building some web pages and writing copy to catch up on my running from the past few days...and consequent lack of biking or swimming.

I must first talk about the change in the weather. The past few days have been crazy. Torrential downpours, snow, freezing temps....all on different days. Today was the first day when the sun is out in full force, but the temps haven't gotten out of the 20s. I am not complaining, I love the cold weather. I feel so much better, so much more comfortable than when it is 90F.

With that said, here is what I have been up to the past few days:

Tuesday: 5.21 mile run, 43:54 (8:25/mile), 152 BPM - This was an easy day...Bill was hurting from a weekend football game. Just as well, I didn't mind going slow, although it felt weird going at such a pace. A good day to talk and laugh with Chris and Bill.

Wednesday: 4.78 mile run, 37:48 (7:54/mile), 156 BPM - The day after the rain and we ran along the creek. It was a roaring rapid, so awesome to look at. The three of us went at a bit better pace today and had a good time.

Thursday: Rest day

Friday: 5.38 mile run, 43:06 (8:01/mile) - I started out strong and feeling good. Then I got to the first hill, then the wind hit me and then I was just struggling to hang on. My time is a bit skewed only because there was a pretty significant hill that encompassed the third mile and I could run no faster than 8:40. Every other mile was under 8:00. I was happy to get home and take a hot shower.

That is it for now....I have to get back to work. I am hoping to get on my bike maybe tonight or tomorrow morning...ah, there she is below, beckoning me to ride her. I still need to find a name for her. All suggestions are being considered.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Wishbone

This post has absolutely nothing to do with triathlon, running, biking, swimming or anything remotely athletic. It has to do with an event that occurred about a week ago at my house that I have to write about.

This year we didn't have Thanksgiving at our house, so in typical Thanksgiving fashion, my wife cooked up a turkey the weekend after the holiday so that we could have turkey sandwiches, basically still have "leftovers". As I was carving up our bird I came across the wishbone, cleaned it off and placed it on the window sill so that it would dry off. I'm not sure how many people do this, but in my house growing up, we always kept the wishbone from the turkey and then once it was dried out enough, my father would have my sister and I each make a wish, a wish that we could tell no one about lest it never come true, then he would have us each grab one end of the wish bone. Finally he would have us pull and break the bone in half (or in some cases it would just shatter if it were too dry). The person with the bigger piece would have their wish granted. After years of doing this I found out that the higher you grab up on your side of the bone, the better chance you would have of winner and thus having your wish come true.

Back to the present....so a few days past and it came time for me to pass this tradition on to my girls. So I explained to my girls how it worked and that no matter what they couldn't tell anyone what there wish was or it wouldn't come true. For about an hour before my wife came home I kept asking them what their wish would be if they won, playing with them in attempt to get them to tell me what their wish was. They were tough to crack and held tight to what their wish was going to be.

At last my wife arrived home from a tough day of work and it was time to have our contest. So each girl grabbed a side of the wishbone and pulled. The battle didn't last long, in fact it was over in only a second or two. My four-year old came out victorious and my six-year old walked away sad and dejected, sobbing about how her wish wouldn't come true. I asked her what her wish was, since she lost it didn't matter if she told me or not. She said that she wished that she could have one of Santa Claus's flying reindeer's. Wow, thank God she didn't win, that would have been an extremely tough wish to fulfill. There really wasn't anything that I could say or do to make her feel better.

It was then that my youngest daughter began to look sad. I asked her what was wrong and she gave no answer, she just sulked. Then my wife asked the same question, this time my daughter said with very sad and pouty lips, "I want to tell someone my wish, but then it won't come true." My wife and I then explained that it would be OK if she told us her wish, that it still might come true. She then told us her wish, "I wish that [my sister] would not be mean to me." My wife and I were dumbfounded. Here was out little four year old daughter who could have wished for anything...a pet kitten or heck a unicorn ora 4' tall Barbie or a giant bowl of cookie dough ice cream. But no, all she wanted was for her older sister to be nice to her. That of everything in the world, that was the greatest thing she could wish for.

Of course we then tried to tell her that her big sister is a great sister and that she isn't mean to her; she refused to believe us and she was still sad. We talked to our oldest daughter and tried to explain to her how much her little sister looks up to her and wants to emulate everything that she does. It went in one ear and out the other. We did our best to try and explain to them both how great it is to have a sister and how they will be the best of friends as they get older (at least we hope they are), but I don't think it worked.

So ended the night of the wishbone. To this day, two weeks later, they still fight as usual and our little one still pleads for her big sister to be nice to her. I guess we learned a very valuable lesson since the night fateful night. That being if you make a wish on a wishbone, you should never, ever tell anyone what you wished for or it won't come true. Or at least that is how my wife and I are interpreting it. ;)

I'll write more tomorrow....very cold and windy outside...should make for perfect running weather tomorrow....or a good day to put an hour in on the trainer. Adios!

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Tree, High School Musical and Snow

I have had quite the busy past few days. They were filled with beautiful views, nature, music and lights. Where to start? Well, I suppose at the beginning is as good a place.

First off, my standard lunch time running group has added a new running partner...oh my gosh....IT'S A GIRL! Yes, we are now coed. It really isn't as exciting as it might sound. She went out with Bill and I on Thursday for our 4.65 mile loop. It was all good, got a female perspective on a male using a poof when in the shower as well as if snot-rockets are an appropriate way to clear ones sinuses while running. We went at an easy pace, will be interesting to see how she does when we run with Chris and the pace quickens.

Saturday morning I decided that I was just going to head out for my run early rather than waiting to figure out what we were going to do as a family. So, I threw on my running gear and headed out of the house by 7:50AM. It was nice and cool out side (~40F) and very little wind. I decided to run my new favorite route and it didn't disappoint. The view of our little valley is awesome, the people I passed along the way were friendly, and my pace was spot on. It was a great way to start the day!

It was after my run that the weekend really began. My beautiful wife decided that Saturday was Christmas tree day, so around 10:30AM it was time to rally the troops and hit the trails to find the perfect tree. It didn't take too long to find one...it might not be the biggest, fattest tree, but it is the perfect tree for us. Once home, I got it into the stand and set it up in the family room. The ladies in the house were so excited and bursting at the seams to start decorating...which would have to wait.

Why? Because my wife and I were surprising our girls with tickets to see High School Musical, the play, at our local high school. So at 2PM it was off to see the show, this despite the protests from my oldest daughter who apparently doesn't like surprises and her demands to know where we were going. She stated that if we didn't tell her where we were going, well, then she wasn't going! After a bit of coaxing, she decided to go and was totally shocked when she saw the posters at the school advertising High School Musical. Needless to say, she was very excited once we were in our seats waiting for the show to start.

I will leave out the details of the show and simply say it was an above average high school production. The dancing was pretty good, the kids could sing pretty well and all in all we really enjoyed it. However, the best part of it for my wife and I was just watching our girls watch the show. They were both so enthralled with everything that was going on. They were just so happy to be there, watching these kids sing and dance to the songs that they both know word for word. One of the best parts was after the show when the cast signs autographs and my six year old was in awe of the performers. She was actually so nervous about getting "Troy's" autograph that she abandoned the task and made her way for the door. All in all it was a great way to spend the afternoon.

Upon exiting the high school, we were welcomed with about an inch of new snow on the ground. Yes, snow! it made for a bit of a slippery ride home, but more importantly it made for a beautiful night. It made decorating the Christmas tree that night all the more special.

As Saturday was a big day for the ladies of the house, Sunday was going to be my day. First I convinced the family that they should accompany me to the opening of my running clubs Winter Series so that I could pay my annual dues and series fees. It was odd being there and not running....I felt like a misfit. Anyhow, I will definitely be there next Sunday for the opening 5K. From there it was off to Best Buy to purchase our new 46" LCD TV for our family room, with a PlayStation 3. Best Buy was having a deal where if you bought a 46" LCD Sony HDTV and a PS3, they would knock a ton of money off the top, which meant we saved around $800 on the total cost. In essence this would be my wife and my gift(s) to one another this Christmas. Yes, I was extremely excited!!!

After that it was off to the food store with a couple of very unhappy little girls. It was a bit of a struggle to get through the store, there was whining, fighting, hitting, yelling and general displeasure on their part. We managed to get through it and couldn't wait to get home (for multiple reasons). The rest of the day was pretty much spent laying around the house doing nothing. Since I don't have the HDMI cables for the TV yet (yeah, I'm not paying $60 for the cables at Best Buy...try FireFold.com for good, inexpensive cables), I couldn't' hook it up.

The one thing that I did before going to bed was get on the bike trainer and did a 30 minute ride while my wife was on the treadmill. It is so nice to be down there spending that time together. I was definitely happy to have her down there with me will I was pedalling no where. It is nice to be able to look over to my left and she her working her tail off to get in shape and occasionally she her shoot a smile my way.

Past couple workouts:

Thursday: 4.7 mile run, 38:09 (8:07/mile), 151 BPM - Ran with Bill and Maureen, felt like we were going in slow motion, but that was a good thing. I did a nice easy run for a change.
Friday: Rest Day

Saturday: 8 mile run, 1:03:43 (7:58/mile), 162 BPM - Ran one of my new favorite routes and just had a good time. Everyone I ran past said good morning and had a smile on their face. I wish every run could be so nice.
Sunday: 8.8 mile ride, 30:00 (17.6 MPH), 125 BPM - Nice easy ride on the trainer in the basement. I got what I was looking for, a nice easy ride, kept the HR down and worked up a sweat.
Today: 4.53 mile run, 35:53 (7:56/mile), 158 BPM - I didn' run too hard, just nice and easy, definitely felt like I could have pushed it a bit.

That is it for now. Getting ready for Sunday's 5K at Tyler State Park and all of the other Winter Series Races.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Everything is Right Again

Today is the first day that I am 100% back to normal. I will spare everyone the details but know that my body is back to working like a well oiled machine. This means that I have gotten back to running again and have had three straight days of solid runs following my five day illness imposed sabatical. I haven't gotten on the bike at all in over a week, but I am hopeful that maybe tonight I can get in a 30 minute spin while I watch either a DVR'd episode of GLEE or Modern Family.

On a totally separate note, I still have yet to join a pool/gym. I had all intentions to sign up on November 1st, but it just didn't happen. Then I was thinking that December 1st would be perfect, setting me up for one year of swim prep leading up to Ironman Arizona. Well, it is December 2nd and I am no where close to joining a pool/gym. With Christmas right around the corner and the cost of membership going to cost me quite a pretty penny, I am not targetting January 1st as the deadline to join one. I have to get in the pool.....that is my weakest point and the spot where I can pick up a decent amount of time in any race that I do.

Tuesday: 4.15 mile run, 32:46 (7:53/mile), 157 BPM - Ran with Bill at lunch and we caught up on Thanksgiving stuff and just ran at a good pace. Started out quick slowed in the middle picked it up a bit at the end.

Today: 4.65 mile run, 36:11 (7:47/mile), 160 BPM - Felt good and the pace would have been faster had I not had a hill for mile 2 (8:23). My legs were a big tight and they are a bit sore right now. I will have to take it easy tomorrow.

That is it for today. I have to get a bunch of work done before heading out. On the way home I have to mail some Christmas presents and then get the girls.

Monday, November 30, 2009


Another rough early morning, but I made it through it. I suppose it was kind of a blessing being awoke with some major stomach pains at 4:30AM. It allowed me to do what I was forced to do, then shave, get dressed, feed the dog, let the dog out and then head for work around 5:30AM. I was in the office at 6:20AM this morning and thus got a very early start on the day.

So yes, I am still dealing with some lingering stomach issues. It is really quite bizarre, I wake up anywhere between 2AM and 5AM, take care of business (not pretty business either), then I am fine for the rest of the day. I have been dealing with some indigestion, heartburn and bloating, all of which have made me uncomfortable, but not so much that it is crippling me. I have a doctors appointment for 3:45PM this afternoon and I am hoping that he can shed some light on my stomach issues. I just want to be able to get a full nights sleep with out the half hour interruptions I have been dealing with since last Tuesday.

On the training front, I did manage to get a run in at lunch today and I felt pretty good. It took a bit of internal coaxing to actually get myself out there....the weather is absolute rubbish (rainy and cold). I went out pretty easy and only for 4 miles. Being I hadn't run in five days and fearing some issues, I chose to go relative slow to start ( I usually do the first mile pretty fast and then slow to a steady pace). When I was all done I was happy that I went out and got it done.

Today: 4 mile run, 31:52 (7:58/mile), 155 PM - Raining, cold and dreary. Glad to finally get out and move my legs a bit. I'm looking forward to a week of good work outs!

That is it for today. I need to get some work done. Oh geez, I can't believe that Ironman Arizona is a mere 51 weeks away!!!

Sunday, November 29, 2009


It is the Sunday after Thanksgiving and I am still dealing with a stomach bug that has limited my daily activity significantly. Aside from some work around the house, I haven't done anything else. I haven't even attempted to run, bike or swim because I feel so weak. I think I have lost about five pounds over the past week which is amazing when you consider Thanksgiving dinner occurred smack in the middle.

Anyway, I am hoping that tonight will be a good night and I can get back to business tomorrow. If not, I am going to have to go to the doctor and find out what the heck is wrong with me.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Bacon Pizza and Regurgitation

Last night sucked! It all started out well and good. My wife decided that instead of cooking we would just order in pizza. I was psyched because that meant I could order bacon as a topping on the pie and basically be in heaven. I proceeded to eat two slices, but wasn't feeling all that well at the conclusion of the second slice. Something just wasn't right, but I didn't think anything of it.

Following dinner I tasked with getting the girls in the tub and shower and making sure they were clean. Not a big deal except for the fact that my stomach wasn't feeling all that great...I soldiered on and got them clean as a whistle, into their pajamas and ready for bed.

By 8:30PM they were both in bed and asleep (thank God!) and my wife was down on the treadmill getting a run in. I was going to go down and watch TV with her, but I just wasn't feeling any better so I opted to just hang out in our bedroom and chill out. Then around around 9:30PM I started feeling horrible and that's when it happened....

Bacon pizza is my favorite type of pizza. It is so much different from the standard fare, it is a bit out of the ordinary. I savored every bite of it at dinner.

....the bacon pizza decided that it didn't enjoy my stomach as much as it normally does, so it reversed direction and ended up in the toilet. Yes, what tasted so good going down was absolutely disgusting coming back up, so much so that the thought of eating it again brings back pangs of nausea. The rest of the night was no picnic as I tossed and turned in bed and made another visit or two to the bathroom to take care of business.

I woke up this morning feeling absolutely beat, so tired and my stomach was aching. Thank goodness that I planned to work from home today, because I was not in any shape to be doing anything strenuous. Needless to say I didn't run or bike today, nor do I have any plans to do so. In retrospect, I'm not sure what made me so sick, maybe it was the turkey sandwich at lunch, or possibly it was the bacon pizza that I so love. Well, whatever it was I think it is gone now, but I am going to take it easy at dinner tonight....I do not want to go through that again.

That is about it for now, time to make dinner for me in the girls. I do hope to get in a run tomorrow morning before heading out for Thanksgiving with the relatives.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Catching Up

Aside from yesterdays extremely brief post, I haven't really put anything up here in a week. It isn't that things haven't been happening, it is more about my lack of time to post anything. The past week has actually been a pretty good week, I'll do my best to recap it now while attempting to keep it somewhat interesting.

I finished up last week with a day off from running on Thursday and then a relatively quick run on Friday. Friday was also the day that the crap hit the fan with some financial issues that caused utter chaos in our household. To state it simply, numbers were not correct, things were said and no one was happy. I ended up working late and thus didn't get home until 6:30PM. Not a fun day. On a positive note, everyone was happy prior to bedtime and I was able to catch up on Thursday night TV that I DVR'd, so I had that going for me.

The next morning the family was up early and in the car bound for NYC for my nieces 4th birthday party. We piled into my wife's rental car....oh, BTW, she committed deer homicide about two weeks prior and we are now driving a Suzuki Forenza until hers is fixed. Yes, it is a sweet ride that has absolutely no redeeming value aside from it will take you from point A to point B (translation - no DVD player, no reclining second row seats, no fun for the kids and thus no fun for the parents). This made for a long and whiny ride into the city as both or our girls were constantly asking if we were almost there (just like in the movies, "Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?"). We did eventually make it in successfully and the girls had a great time at the princess tea party. All in all, we all had a good time, caught up with my wife's family and probably left for home around 4PM.

When we got home, I did have all of the best intentions of either getting out for a quick run or going to the basement and spinning for an hour or so, but it just didn't happen. Instead I made my wife and I hamburgers topped with pork roll and fried eggs. They were awesome and mostly definitely added a few extra points to our cholesterol levels.

Sunday was a beautiful day. My lovely wife had to run some errands so I was on Mr. Mom duty until she got back. I don't really recall what me and the girls did, but it probably revolved around playing in the basement. Once she got home, I cut the lawn real quick and then headed out for a run. I really didn't have any plans on how far I was going to go. I just popped outside and started going. It was so nice out, sunny, ~55F, and no real wind. I felt pretty good so I kept my pace a decent level. Even when climbing a pretty good sized hill near me I was chugging up it at such a solid pace that cyclist came rode up next to me and commented on how fast I was going....he soon pulled off before hitting the really steep part (pansy!). It ended up being a seven mile run, and I enjoyed ever minute of it.

Yesterday I took the day off to spend with my oldest daughter (DD1) who is off from school. So after dropping my little one off at Pre-K, I surprised DD1 with a day of ice skating, something she has never done before. We headed to the closest rink, rented her some skates and headed out on to the ice. As is the case for anyone trying to skate for the first time, it was a bit, well, slippery for her. She did a bit of wall grabbing, she did some "walking" and she did some slipping and flailing. After about 15 minutes she started to pull on some roller skating experience and started to much more confident. After 30 minutes she was laughing and having fun, joking around with me. After an hour she decided to "sneak" on to the ice by herself and do a lap around the rink without holding on to the side boards (she made it all the way around with out falling or holding on to anything). She couldn't have been more proud and I was proud of her as well. Our day of skating came to an end when she took a pretty hard fall on her tushy and promptly told me that she wanted to go home, "I want to go home, I want to go home right now!" Despite the fall that hurt her pride more than anything else, she (and I) had a great time.

[Time for me to be a corny proud father] The entire time that were were at the rink, and as here skating improved with each lap around the ice, I couldn't stop just watching her. Here I was with my little, big girl, just she and I doing something for first time. She was having so much fun learning to skate and being her funny/goofy self, while I just stared at her with a big ole grin on my face. She is fearless, she is brave, she is daring, she is happy, she is funny, she is perfect. I have said it before in a previous post, but I don't think it can be said too much. It is important to cherish the special days you spend with your children. They don't happen too often and they shouldn't be taken for granted. I am doing my best to take advantage of these days because I know at some point in time they will happen much less often.

That about sums up my week...oh yeah, and I friggin' signed up for Ironman Arizona!!!! Here is what my training looked like:

Friday: 4.5 mile run, 34:26 (7:40/mile), 163 BPM - Ran with Chris and for whatever reason my heart rate was through the roof. We had a good run and as usual, Chris pushed me pretty hard for the last mile or two so that we could get our pace under 7:40.

Saturday: Off....but really should have done something since I pigged out on bagels, pizza and a big ass awesome hamburger!

Sunday: 7 mile run, 54:57 (7:51/mile), 164 BPM - Awesome day, awesome run, felt great! This run included a pretty solid hill where my pace dropped to 8:20 for a mile, but I still managed to keep my pace down. Probably ran faster than I should have, but I didn't want to waste how I felt.

Monday: 9.17 mile bike, 30:37 (18.0 MPH), 139 BPM, 87.1 RPMs - My legs were tired and sore from Sunday, but based on my food intake from the day (and days prior...McDonald's for lunch), I really needed to ride for a bit to burn off some calories. I was on the trainer and ended up watching Ironman Monaco 70.3. Good ride, could have gone longer but dinner was ready.
Today: 4.33 mile run, 33:21 (7:42/mile), 162 BPM - I had all intentions to take it easy today but my legs just started going and off I went. I slowed a bit by mile three but then picked it up for the last 1.33 miles. My heartrate is too high, I should probably slow down a bit.

That is it for now. Aloha!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Ironman Arizona 2010 - I'M IN!!!!!

Short post today because I am hanging with my oldest daughter. I just had to say that I am officially registered for Ironman Arizona 2010. It is all real now and I can't believe it. I was shaking when I hit the "Submit" button. I will post later on tonight....it has been a good week or so since I last posted, a lot of good workouts, good times with the family and good week of work.

One last time.....HOLY CRAP, I AM DOING


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Trainer: Round 2

This will be a quick post...short on time but want to get it in here anyway. I wasn't able to run during lunch yesterday so I decided I would hope on the bike (now firmly affixed to my indoor trainer) and do my best to ride for an hour. It just so happens that "The Office" is on for two hours straight on Tuesday nights (TBS), so that gave me something to watch while riding (and also making me laugh). I went in with a different mindset, I was going to find the right gear where I could somewhat comfortably keep my cadence right around 90 RPMs. What ever speed that gave me was fine.

The long and short of my night on the trainer...it went much better than the first night. Here is what I have learned thus far about riding on the trainer:
  • I need to have a fan set up in front of me when riding because I get super hot and sweat like a pig...it is really gross
  • I have to have something on the TV that is either extremely funny or super motivational
  • Getting into the aero position is going to take some practice on the trainer, much different than riding outside (I need to pick up a riser block or make one)
  • I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, how riding this through the off-season is going to benefit me come Spring
  • I look forward to working out with my wife, she on the treadmill and me on the trainer (we were working out together the first night and it was pretty cool)
  • Having 1 - 2 bottles of water on hand and a towel are crutial to making it through a workout
Tuesday (ride): 15 miles, 50:18 (17.9 MPH), 142 BPM, 87.7 PRMs - I found the right gear and rode comfortably for 50 minutes. I know that I got a good workout in because I was drenched in sweat and my legs were the slightest bit wobbly after. A good night!

Today (run): 4.33 miles, 33:29 (7:44/mile), 155 BPM - I ended up running with Rob today. I happened to run in to him about a half mile into my run. I think I have mentioned him before on her, but he came in second in the NJ State Triathlon (Sprint) this past year. He is recovering from a bit of a calf injury so he isn't running too hard, but still fast enough to give me a good run. Good pace and my heartrate was very low for a change! Yea!

That is about it for now. I guess I need to find a pool to swim in soon. Swimming is by far my weakest discipline and I am totally procrastinating. I am thinking that I will try to do a free month at the local YMCA for December and then join HealthQuest in January....maybe work out a deal or something. Hasta luego!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Trainer & Race

I will take this moment to announce that training for my first Ironman is going to be really friggin' tough this winter. I used my Kurt Kinetic Road Machine for the first time on Friday night and it was TOUGH!!! Granted, I probably didn't ride it like I was supposed to, I probably rode in too low a gear, I probably should have had a fan in front of me cooling me down, I probably should have had a plan in mind. Unfortunately I didn't have any of the above and instead just decided that I was going to climb on it and try to bang out twenty miles in an hour. Piece of cake....nope!

In short, I was struggling to maintain 20 MPH and 80 RPMs while riding. When I ride outside on a relatively flat route, I can easily maintain 20 MPH and 90+ RPMs. This is not the case on a trainer. It wasn't until the end of my session that I realized I should drop to a larger rear gear and increase my cadence to try and get where I needed to be instead of trying to muscle a smaller gear and keep the cadence up. It was like learning to ride all over again. I ended up doing 13 miles in 41:55 (avg speed 18.6 MPH). I will definitely be a bit wiser the next time I climb aboard.

Saturday I took the day off from training because of a few things, I had my daughters last soccer game, then a post-game pizza party with her team, and lastly because I had a 5K race on Sunday. It was nice to chill out for most of the day, not something that I am accustomed to doing. Really quick, the pizza party was great and I believe everyone had a good time. I was surprised to hear that a lot of the parents of the girls on my team want me to coach their girls in the spring. This really meant a lot to me. I coach my daughters soccer team for a few reasons: first and foremost to spend some time with her, second to be involved in a sport that I really love, third to share my passion of the sport with young girls in hopes that they too will learn to love it and have fun playing it. The fact that just about all of the girls would like to play again in the spring and have me coach them means that I am doing what I set out to do. It isn't always the case when this happens, and I am really happy that it has.

Sunday morning, after vacuuming the house (yes, you are welcome dear), I headed over to Delaware Valley College to run a 5K, the proceeds go to support the cross country team. I only heard about this race two weeks ago via IamTri.com and decided to run it. I was surprised that there were only about 70 - 80 people that showed up to run the race. This meant one of two things, I would finish near the top 10 or they were all good runners and I would be hanging on to finish in the middle. As it turns out, there was a handful of "good" runners there and I am pretty sure that I finished in the top 10....I know that I did beat the first female finisher. The race was on the schools cross country course which meant it was run on rutted out grass and had some changes in elevation. Despite a pretty solid first mile (~6:50), I couldn't hold on to that pace and I slowed over the next two miles. I did manage to pass a youngun' with about a half mile to go and held him off to finish in 21:41 (6:59/mile pace). I really wanted to get closer to 21 minutes flat, but based on the course I don't think I could have done it. I was happy with my race.

Weekend recap:
Friday: 13 mile bike, 41:55, 18.6MPH, 153 BPM - very rough training session on trainer, heartrate was way too high. I will get better/smarter the next time around.

Saturday: Off day

Sunday: 3.1 mile (5K) race, 21:41 (6:59/mile) - tough course but ran it hard and finished strong.

Today: 4.05 miles, 33:00, (8:10/mile), 154 BPM - a nice easy run today to work out any residual soreness remaining in my legs from yesterdays race. Did encounter a crazy driver in the back roads of Whitehouse Station....drivers can be such pricks!

I hope to have a solid week of training this week, get out an run three or four days and get on the trainer at least two. Ironman Arizona is this weekend, I will hopefully be watching it online!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Ida Be Sick of This Rain Real Soon

I am sick of enduring my fourth straight day of rain. I can't believe that I am also going to have to be a part of the remnants of Tropical Storm Ida for a second time in a matter of days. I was in Atlanta for a business meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday; I went for a run when I arrived and ended up doing something closer to surfing and less like running. At least I think I was at wet if not wetter than if I was actually in an ocean. To try to describe the scene could never do it justice, so I will simply say I was as wet as one can possibly be.

It was great to get home on Wednesday and pick up my girls from school. I think they were both really excited to see me, I know I was psyched to see them.

I really wish that I had more to say right now, but I'm just not feeling it. Probably because I have some much work in front of me. Maybe sometime this weekend I can think of something really awesome to write about....or not. Who knows?!?!?!?
Here is what I have been up to thus far this week....also, had some fun with Photoshop last night and thought I would upload this picture. Yes, it is me behind the mask.

Tuesday: 6.74 miles, 53:42 (7:58/mile), 155BPM - This run took place in Atlanta during the onslaught of Tropical Storm Ida. Around two miles in I just decided to splash and splosh my my through it and have fun. I made a wrong turn and ended up running a bit longer than I wanted but that was OK.

Wednesday: 4 miles, 33:11 (8:18/mile), 156 BPM - a 6:30AM run in Atlanta...I wasn't feeling all that great. The weather was still crap and I was tired from the night before. I am happy that I did get out and get it done though.

Thursday: 4.3 miles, 34:24 (8:00/mile) - Back in Whitehouse Station, I was a little tired due to 4.5 hours of sleep the night before. I started OK, got slower, then picked it up at th end.

Today: Haven't done anything yet....I am hoping to try out my Kurt Kinetic Road Machine tonight and do a 60+ minute ride while catching up on NBC's Thursday night line-up.


Monday, November 9, 2009


Indecision...that is the word of the day. I am working from home today which means that I have the ability to either run or ride. The only problem is that I have run/rode six out of the past seven days and I really need a rest (last rest day was last Tuesday). Being that I really don't have the ability to ride all that often because of lack of light, lack of heat, or lack of motivation, today would be the best day to head out and ride a bit (sunny and 66F). Problem is that my legs are a bit heavy and my lower back in a bit of pain. Well, the smart Jamie made the decision to rest as I originally planned.*

So, it looks like I am going to take it easy today and then run the next few days. I am heading to Atlanta tomorrow and I hope to get a run in soon after getting to my hotel. There is just something about running in a different city that is exciting. I haven't been to Atlanta in a long time and I am looking forward to exploring it a bit.

Friday - 4.61 miles, 35:23 (7:41/mile), 161 BPM - Ran with Chris and it was a quick one...our splits were: 7:55, 7:56, 7:43 (up hill), 7:26, 7:12 (last .61 miles). Amazingly I felt really good.

Saturday - Ride - 17.57 miles, 1:01:47 (17.1 MPH), 137 BPM - Had the chance to take the bike and it was fun. I didn't ride all that hard but I did ride a bit of a hard route. My pace was slowed because the bridge to NJ was closed, which I didn't find out until I was on the other side. Then I had a good climb back up from the river.

Sunday - 9.57 miles, 1:16:25 (7:59/mile), 161 BPM - I really wanted to run 10 but I also wanted to get home and see my family. I pretty much kept my pace at 8:00/mile with the only exceptions being steep climbs or descents. My last .57 miles was at 7:36/mile.

*There is a pretty decent chance that I am going to throw the trainer wheel on my bike and try out my Kurt Kinetic trainer tonight....so maybe a night of total rest just isn't in the cards. We'll see.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Maintaing the Status Quo

Training the past few weeks has been pretty good. Actually, training has gotten to be fun again now that my pace has gotten significantly better. I attribute this change in my running times solely to the cooler temperatures. Despite this rejuvenation in my desire to get out and run more, I still feel like I am running just to run and not necessarily running with a purpose....not that it is a bad thing. I am so used to training for something, a short or long term goal, that I haven't really just run for the sake of it. There is something that is freeing about throwing on my running shoes at lunchtime and not knowing how far or how fast I am going to go. I just decide on left or right and I run until I feel like turning around.

So, I guess these days I am all about just keeping on keeping on or as they say in that High School Musical song, I just have to "stick to the status quo". Note: I have a 6 year old daughter who loves "High School Musical", thus I have been forced to watch it, and its sequels numerous times. I am not proud that I know every song from each movie as well as most of the lyrics, but it is a fact of life and I am OK with the rest of the world knowing this.

Now on to more interesting and less embarrassing things:

Tuesday - Day off - Had to work from home and couldn't convince my 6 year old to run with me (I would have thrown her in the jogging stroller). We did go for a short bike ride to Rite-Aid to pick up some candy for some benefit fairs I had to work. Other than that the only running that happened was when my daughter begged me to let her try running on the treadmill in our basement....it was hysterical. Her top speed was around 4 MPH, although I did crank it up to 6 MPH and stayed behind her in case she went down.

Wednesday - 4.3 miles, 35:07 (8:09/mile), 160 BPM - This was a 6:30AM run that I just had the hardest time completing. I am not a morning runner, at least yesterday morning I wasn't.

Today - 4.34 miles, 34:05 (7:52/mile), 163 BPM - Ran with Chris and as usual he was pushing the pace for the last two miles or so. We saw a girl who works in our building and he was determined to beat her back. We did beat her....thanks to a 7:27 last mile. Bastard!

I am looking forward to a relaxing night tonight, watching Community, Parks & Recreation, and The Office (of course my wife will be watching Greys and Private Practice...yuck!).

Monday, November 2, 2009

Back to Form

I suppose that I should open with some reference to Halloween since it occurred over the weekend. Frankly, I have never been a big fan of Halloween, I never liked dressing up in costumes. I'm not sure why, maybe it has something to do with an event back in 1975 (or 1976) when it was decided I would be a hockey player. Everything was good until it was determined that a part of my costume would include a pair of pantyhose being worn under my hockey pants. Now I'm not saying that I protested a lot back when I was only 4 or 5 years old, but I do recall not wanting to wear them but inevitably I did in fact put them on and then went trick-or-treating. This is a memory that I will never forget, it is burned into the deepest parts of my brain. Is that why I don't like Halloween? Probably not, but I am sure that it doesn't make it any more likable.

As for Halloween at our house this weekend, it was a lot of fun (thankfully I didn't have to dress up). My oldest daughter was a China-girl and my little one wavered between, Tinkerbell (at school), China-girl (pre-trick-or-treating), and Rock Star (actual trick-or-treating). I would post some pictures, but the wife is a bit leery of putting pictures of our kids up on the Internet. We had a party at our house with a bunch of our neighbors and their kids and I believe everyone had a great time (we ordered 7 pizza's one of which was topped with bacon....my favorite....it was gone in seconds). As for the trick-or-treating, it wasn't great because it did rain a bit, but overall I think my girls have more candy than they will be able to eat...this doesn't mean that they didn't try to eat as much as possible yesterday from dawn 'til dusk.

All in all it was a good weekend and despite my unfavorable attitude towards the holiday, I had a good time....due to my girls love of getting dressed up.

I did manage to fit in a couple runs this weekend...my attempt to go for a ride on Saturday morning was thwarted by rain. Honestly, it wasn't so much the rain as the potential for a crash due to wet leaves everywhere. Here's how it went down:

Friday: Rest day....I didn't do a thing.

Saturday: 3.32 miles, 26:00 (7:50/mile), 158 BPM - I felt good and really just went out to stretch my legs a bit.

Sunday: 8.04 miles, 1:02:21 (7:45/mile), 158 BPM - I felt awesome. The first mile was flat and then the next three were slightly up hill and I still managed to keep my pace right around 8:00/mile. The last four miles were in: 7:47, 7:37, 7:39 and 7:21. I felt like I could have kept going and going. Definitely a return to form run for me.

Today: 3.51 miles, 27:50 (7:56/mile), 158 BPM - I just wanted to go easy today, ended up finishing a bit too fast. Oh well, these things happen.

Well, that's it for now. Oh, I did order my Kurt Kinetic Road Trainer on Friday night....I hope that I get it soon so that I can start getting some bike work in. Ciao!

Thursday, October 29, 2009


I am sitting at work, eating my lunch, and really delaying the virtual piles of work that I need to get done. I really need to get moving on redesigning our intranet website as well as put together a plan of action for a branch integration project. I am just having a tough time getting it all together and started. I need some motivation!

On the training front, things are going well. The weather made a turn for the better today, which means it was somewhat sunny and around 60F. Yesterday was not so good, a pretty steady rain and about 55F. I have slowly but surely been picking up the pace of my runs over the past few weeks and finally feeling like I am getting my running form back.

Wednesday - 4.32 miles, 34:57 (8:06/mile), 153 BPM - crappy day to be out running, but made the best of it. Didn't go too hard, ran with Bill and another guy (Rob) who consequently took second place overall in the NJ State Sprint Triathlon back in July.

Today - 4.02 miles, 30:48 (7:40/mile), 160 BPM - great day, weater was solid and despite not feeling great (a bit tired from getting up so early the past couple of weeks), I ran negative splits (7:50, 7:46, 7:45, 7:18).

So, looks like it is time to get back to work. Time to hunker down and get it done....and with that I will stop using cliches and actually do some work. Peace out!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Rain, Rain Go Away, Come Again Another Day

The word of the day is rain. The drive into work this morning was wet and miserable...granted I was in a car, but still it was just depressing. Even though it hasn't been raining every single day, it does seem like it and it is having a negative effect on my psyche. I am somewhat dreading my afternoon run today and as I look at the weather for the rest of the week it seems that there are going to be quite a few dread-filled afternoons of running.

On a more positive note, the past two days of running have been amazing. Not so much because of the running but more so because of the weather and the scenery. I went for a somewhat easy 7+ mile run on Sunday morning and it was just perfect out, 49F and sunny. The leaves are all changing color now, all red, yellow and orange. It was just a great day to be alive and outside. Yesterday was the same, except it was a bit warmer out. I do love running when the temperatures drop a bit and the leaves change colors, it is so energizing.

How do I plan on managing with the weather? Well, I think on Friday I am going to order my indoor bike trainer, most likely the Kurt Kinetic Road Machine.

The more I've thought about going out and buying a kick-ass model, my thinking is now along the lines of keeping it simple and just getting a good price on a solid trainer. ia m actually realy looking forward to getting it, setting it up in my basement and going to town on it either at night while I watch my DVR'd network shows (The Office, Heroes, etc.) or in the early mornings when I can watch all of the classic Ironman Triathlon's I have recorded over the past month.

Past runs:
Friday - 4.62 miles, 36:00 (7:48/mile), 161 BPM - Nice day, ran with Bill and Chris at work.
Saturday - Off....coached my daughters soccer game. It was a lot of fun, my daughter had a great pass to set up our first goal.
Sunday - 7.2 miles, 59:23 (8:14/mile), 158 BPM - Great day for running, I was tired the middle part of the run, but it was just so nice out.
Monday - 4.61 miles, 37:47 (8:12/mile), 157 BPM - Another great day. I was still a bit tired from the previous day, but it was fun running with Bill & Chris.
Today - 4.66 miles, 37:49 (8:07/mile), 155 BPM - Wet, but not rainy run. I was alone and went at an easy pace as my hamstrings are a bit tight.

That is it for now, things are pretty mellow...actually I have a ton of work to do so I better get to that....need to earn a living!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Greatness & Two Obvious Revelations

Yesterday was a great day for me. It wasn't great because I ran really fast or because I was able to take my bike out for a much needed ride. It wasn't great because I won the lottery or found a wad of $100 bills. Actually, none of the above happened yesterday, although I do wish that a lottery win happened. No, it was a great day because I was able to spend a lot of time with my oldest daughter and we had what I think was a great time together.

I was lucky enough to be able to work from home yesterday. The reason being that I was the "mystery reader" for my daughters 1st Grade class and it made no sense for me to drive into the office and then have to leave after a few hours to get to the school. So I slept in until around 6:45am, made the girls pancakes for breakfast and then got DD1 on the bus and then to drove DD2 off to Pre-K. Usually it is my wife that takes care of the girls in the morning, in fact I never see the girls in the morning because I am out of the house by 6:00 - 6:15am on most mornings. So to be able to spend this extra time with them was really special.

Yada, yada, yada....I worked all morning. Around 11:30am I went out for a 5.15 mile run. I don't have specifics, but it was a good one, around 7:58/mile pace HR ~162 BPM. I was a bit tired since it was my sixth day straight running, but it was such a gorgeous day that even if I ran slower, I would have still called it a good run. Obvious Revelation: The longer that I can maintain a fast running pace the faster I will be able to run longer distances. Yes, I know, DUH, that is obvious. But, how often are you out running and just doing your normal pace. You will never run faster if you don't push yourself to run faster.

2:15pm - I was at my daughters school and her teacher announced me to the class. My little girl was so excited to see me, it made me feel so awesome, I was a bit speechless. The fact that my just showing up in her class made her so happy, I guess sometimes I just don't realize how much she really loves me. What was also pretty cool was that I know two of her friends from play dates at our house and two other girls who are on the soccer team I coach; they were all pretty excited to see me as well. I proceeded to read three books ("Imogene's Antlers", "Purplicious", and "Josephina Javalina") to her class with my little girl sitting by my side. The thirty minutes that I spent in the classroom with her and her friends was simple great (yes, I am overusing the word "great" throughout this post). I was extremely glad that I was able to do that and would do it again in a heartbeat.

After the reading, I went home and did some more work before DD1 arrived home via the bus. We did her homework together and just hung out until it was time to go to soccer practice. We ended up getting to practice really early, so we had fun dribbling and kicking the ball around together. She was trying to show off and act all cool. It was really pretty funny, sometimes she can be so goofy.

Well, practice came to an end and we hopped into my car and headed home. I asked her if she had fun and she said she did. If she had asked me if I had fun, I surely would have said yes as well, only I would have been answering for the whole day, all of the time that I was lucky to spend with her. It isn't often that a working parent gets to spend more than a few hours a day with their children during the work week. Typically in our house, I only really see my girls from 5:00pm until about 8:30pm (when they fall asleep), and for a good portion of that time my wife and I aren't able to spend 100% of our time with them. We are usually preoccupied, focusing on getting dinner ready, homework done, baths completed, teeth brushed, stories read, etc. The extra time that I spend with DD1 was something that I won't overlook, that I didn't take for granted.

My last Obvious Revelation: There comes an age at which your daughter or son will no longer think that you are the greatest thing since sliced bread, or even just simply cool. Take advantage of all the years, months, weeks, days, hours and minutes that they do think you are the best think in the world. Yesterday was one of those days and I definitely think I took advantage of it and I won't forget it.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Just Running

It amazes me how quickly the seasons change and I go from training for three separate disciplines to only one. Every year it is the same thing, I swim May to early September, then I pack up the goggles and shorts until the next year; I bike from April to October then clean my bike, and bid it adieu until next season. Then it is only running....running for the next five or six months straight with no real variation. I seem to have entered into this stage already and I am not happy about it. The weather here in the northeast U.S. has been absolute crap the past two weeks which has led to my not being able to get on my bike at all (I did manage a ride last Sunday, but that has been it really for the month).

This is all going to change over the next month or so as I purchase an indoor bike trainer and join a gym (for the pool and swimming). I am actually pretty excited to get the bike trainer because I miss getting on my bike and just spinning away. I have DVR'd about six or seven past Ironman competitions that aired on Universal Sports over the past two months, so I will have tons of inspiration when I am pedalling away this winter. I am very excited to join a gym and get my swimming on track....I also hope to just get fitter by lifing some weights and getting in better overall shape.

I am looking at this off-season not as a way to just work on my running as it has been in years past, but rather to improve my speed on the bike, better my swimming technique, and as a result improve my overall fitness level. I think as a consequence my running will improve as well. Here's to a good "off-season", which will probably be tougher than any in-season I have ever had.

Here's the past couple days:

Friday: 4.69 mile run, 36:49 (7:51/mile), 160 BPM - Felt great!!!
Saturday: 3.33 mile run, 26:31 (7:58/mile), 156 BPM - Would have been faster if my dog didn't tire after 1.5 miles. I had to "drag" him for the last part of the run. He is very much out of shape.
Sunday: 6.06 mile run, 50:24 (8:19/mile), 157 BPM - I was a little tired and decided not to push it. I also really wanted to got for about eight miles but it wasn't in the cards. It was a good day to run and the route I ran was beautiful, all of the leaves changing colors.
Monday: 4.12 mile run, 32:57 (7:59/mile), 158 BPM - Awesome day out there, I could have gone faster, but didn't. Ran with Chris and Bill at work, great weather and lots of laughs.

This should be a good week. I am working from home on Wednesday because I am the "Mystery Reader" for my daughters 1st grade class. I am really looking forward to going in and surprising her....I hope that I don't embarrass her. Happy training!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

No Socks = Day Off

The weather today in a word is CRAP. It is raining out, the temps are barely 50F and the wind is picking up. Despite the bad conditions outside I still planned to head out for a five mile lunch time run. I was looking forward to trying out my new Zoot jacket, to see if is in fact waterproof. Most people here in my office think I am a lunatic for running the weather that I do. I don't thing there has been a day that weather has stopped me from going out and getting in a run. I think this goes back to an article I read in Runner's World where they mentioned how you should run in all conditions. The reason being that you never know what the weather is going to be like on race day and you should be as prepared as possible.

Around 11:45AM, I headed down to the locker room to get changed. It was empty, it appreared that I was the only brave sole (or dumb ass) to head out today. I was just about fully dressed when it dawned on me that I forgot to pack socks. I thought for a minute and then came to the obvious conclusion that this was a sign that I shouldn't run today. Yes, it is a total cop out, but I just wasn't looking forward to cold, wet feet for what would have been a five mile run. So back to my desk I went and that puts me where I am now....catching up my writing here.

A gorgeous day, sunny and cool, but not too cool. Chris and I ran a different route than we have run before, five miles in all. It was a bit hilly and I was dragging a bit, but I managed to keep up (or he slowed down). About 2.5 miles in it started to get a somewhat hilly which used to get to me, but now I try to look at it positively. Hills make me stronger and once I run up a hill, there is always a downhill. Here are the stats: 5 miles, 39:41 (7:56/mile pace), 163 BPM. As usual, my HR is a bit high but that is because I am running with Chris and he is faster than I am and I have to run harder to keep up.

Another great day, a bit cooler but still nice. It was a third day in a row with Chris and today had to be a quick day. He was trying to get me to go farther than the four miles I had planned (my boss is in town from Chicago and I didn't want to be away from my desk for too long). Each time we had a chance to extend the run he would prod me, but I held strong and pressed on with what I had planned. It was around mile two that Chris started to pick up the pace, this was after a mile long climb that slowed our pace considerable (Mile 1: 8:00; Mile 2: 8:35). I brought attention to our quickening pace and he simply said that he was just trying to get me back sooner. Well the next two miles were pretty quick, 7:38 and 7:08, with an extra tenth of a mile at 6:23 pace. I think we both felt pretty good today and it would have been great to go a bit longer. Stats: 4.11 miles, 32:04 (7:48/mile), 158 BPM.

On a non-training note, I had my oldest daughters soccer practice last night and it was a blast. I am pretty sure that everyone had a great time. I know that I did. At the end of practice I had all of the girls line up on one side of the field, then I told that to get on their bellies. Then I had them race over to the side of the field where I was. Then I had them all get on their backs and race to the opposite side on the word "GO" (I did fake them out a couple times before yelling out). They all loved it. Oh to be a kid again and to love doing sprints....how I hated them when I was in college playing lacrosse.

No running today....NO SOCKS! That is unless I get home from work tonight and try to fit one it, but I doubt it. I will probably head out tomorrow instead.

I'm looking to get out and do a eight or nine mile run sometime this weekend. Hopefully the weather agrees. Adios!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Good Days are Here

What a great few days I have had. Seriously, the past four of five days have been really good for multiple reasons. My training has been far better than anything I have had over the past four or five months, I have spent a bunch of time with my family (lots of laughs and smiles), and I was able to watch the Ironman World Championships on Saturday via ironman.com for the first time.

To quickly recap, my daughter had a soccer game on Saturday (I am the coach) and she scored the first goal of the game which just thrilled her. I am pretty sure that we won, but what was more important was that all of the players had a great time playing. All of the girls on my team left the game in good spirits and proud of the job that they did.

Watching the Ironman World Championships was awesome. I wasn't planted in front of my computer for the whole eight or nine hours it took for the men's and women's champions to be crowned, but I was there for a good part of it. I saw Craig Alexander run past Chris Lieto and claim his second championship in a row. I then got to see Chrissie Wellington make history by breaking the women's course record. It was amazing to see it all happen live from 4,000 miles away. I wish that I could have stayed up longer and watched more people finish (some of the Age Groupers and the folks who just gut it out for 15, 16, 17 hours), but it was getting late. Being able to see everyone compete really got me psyched to do an Ironman.

As for my training, I have been consistently running under 8:00/mile pace for the past week and I have felt great doing it. My body seems to be agreeable to faster pace and I have been waking up with out any sore muscles or pain anywhere. I am hoping that this is a bit of a break though!

I decided to spurn a lunch invite from my fellow running partners and went for a 6.2 mile run. It was a good choice as the weather was perfect. Throughout the entire run I just felt so good, it seemed so easy for once. The run took me 48:48 for an average pace of 7:52 and my heart rate was 160 BPM (a bit high but I am OK with it). I pushed it a bit at the end to get as far under 8:00/pace as possible, with the last two miles at 7:50 and 7:30 pace.


I decided to take a break from watching Ironman and went for a 7.6 mile run along some roads that I have never run on. Again, it was a gorgeous day and I was just enjoying the run. I was really happy with my pacing, keeping it right around 8 min/mile for the first 6 miles. I then decided that I wanted to try and finish up the run in under an hour so I picked up the pace and did mile 7 in 7:29 and the last .6 of a mile at 7:05/pace. I wasn't able to get in under an hour but I did finish it in 1:00:16, for a 7:53/mile pace, heart rate was 162 BPM, but that was high because of the last two miles that I pushed a bit harder.

It was my first ride in a week and only my second ride in almost a month. I woke up a bit sore but nothing that didn't work itself out within the first hour of walking around. I got the OK from my wife to go out for an afternoon ride (God bless her!) and off I went. I did a lot of hills on the way out thus my average MPH was only around 15 for the first 10 miles. But on the way back I was able to reap the rewards of 40 minutes of climbing and I was able to just fly. the ride was 21 miles with my average speed finishing at 17.5 MPH. My heart rate monitor reading puts me at an average of 186 BPM, but I think that is a bit off (my max was 253 BPM...oh my).

I ran with Chris today and we just wanted to get out and do an easy run today. Both of us put in solid runs over the weekend and we wanted to take it a bit easy. Well, it was only a 3.6 mile run, but we still managed to run it in 8:12 pace with mile 3 at 7:38 pace (HR 156 BPM). He is such a lying bastard when he says he is OK running easy....he always pushes it.

I have already writing to much uninteresting stuff and I still lack the photo's to make this the slightest bit interesting. I hope to pick up a cheap camera soon and start posting some pictures of where I run/ride and of the important people in my life. Adios!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Trakkers & 1up USA

I think that I am finally back to feeling good running again. I know that I have said this before, but I really mean it this time. I have put in three very good days running in a row and my body seems to be OK with it. Any doubts that I might have had about doing an Ironman are slowly subsiding.

Some additional news, I am going to put in an application for a sponsorship with Trakkers, a web based athlete tracking system used at the Rev3 triathlong this past June up in Connecticut. I have no clue what comes with a sponsorship, but heck I figured why the heck not. I am definitely on board with the GPS movement. I am hoping to get the application in by the end of the week. I hope that they pick me...then again, I have no idea what it all includes, so I better watch out what I wish for.

What a beautiful day for a run, temps in the 60s, sunny and just awesome outside. I went for a run with Chris and he decided to do a relatively hilly route that we sometimes do, but haven't recently. Normally it is around 5.2 miles but we had to make it 4.75 miles due to him not wanting to be seen from our office (we had to slip out the back parking garage). Regardless, we ran a very good pace and he pulled me up the hills (figuratively). Too often I give up and lag far behind him as he strides up the hills, but I decided to stay on his heels and suffer just a little bit to the top. It paid off and I felt really good afterwards. We did the 4.75 miles in 37:29 (7:53/mile pace) and my heartrate was 157 BPM. Considering the terrain, I am pretty happy with the run.

Today was another beautiful day, although the wind was gusting at around 40 MPH. I headed out with Bill today and despite the windy conditions we still managed 8:07 pace over the 4.66 mile route (total time was 37:53 and HR 159 BPM). I probably could have pushed it a bit more than I did, but I didn't want to kill myself just to get our pace under 8:00/mile. As I said above, I am really starting to feel better running. I feel so much stronger out there than I have since around May/June.

A few last words for today, I am getting pretty close to buying an indoor bike trainer by 1up USA. I only need to get reimbursed for my business expenses for my last two trips, then I am going to be spinning away in my basement in the early mornings. I have been trying to get up around 5:45am this week and will eventually be dragging my butt out of bed at 5:00am and getting in a spin workout or swim workout before heading in to work. I need to get used to getting up that early since that is when I am going to get the majority of my training done over the next year or so.

Monday, October 5, 2009


The past four or five days has been pretty blah for me. Everything with the fam' has been great, my wife is back to normal life following our trip and the girls are great. Athletically, I have been pretty uninspired. I just haven't been able to get motivated to get out and put the miles in. Granted, all pool workouts are on hold until I join a gym which will probably be in November sometime. The weather has been less than cooperative so that has lessened any chance of me getting out on my bike recently (aside from this past Saturday). As for running, I have been going, but I have been pretty slow. I need to sign up for a race sometime soon and have something to work towards.

I'm not going to really get into the details of the past few days except to say that I ran last Thursday and Friday; I managed to get my times down to 8:00/mile pace over 4 - 5 miles. Saturday I finally got out on the bike for a quick 11 mile ride. It was a little rough, but I had a good time just going fast. I ran today at lunch with Chris and Bill and it was a good day. Only 3.5 miles, but the last mile was in 7:35/mile pace. I am hoping that this week will be a good week.

Tiem to get back to doing some work this evening. I have been super busy at work the last three weeks or so. Ciao!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

VW Down

Today started like any other day, in fact it started a little bit better. I was up earlier than usual, I was out of the house on time and I could even see the sun gently rising up over the horizon. I had a smile on my face and I was ready to sieze the day. That's right around when my VW Jetta decided that today was not "the" day, that today was going to be a bad day. I was a mere nine miles from home when my cars check engine light started blinking and I knew that I needed to get it in for service ASAP. Cylinder #6 needs a new coil and it is going to cost me $266 to have it replaced. Along with that, it has to go in for its 60,000 mile service (~$260). And as the icing on the cake, I recently had my antenna ripped off of the top of my car in a rain storm and that is going to cost me $224 (that one really blew me away). Yeah, I am not happy, not happy at all.

The only plus in this whole thing was that I was able to see girls (daughters and wife) more than usual. I saw my oldest daughter get on the school bus and then got to spend the day working at home....with my wife who also was at home today. Oh, I was also there when she got home from school and I picked my little one up from Pre-K. I should add that I really should stress that I am very fortunate that I have the ability to work from home occassionally and that I love being able to be there for my daughters immediately before and after school. They always seem to be at their utmost happiest at those times.

As for training, I really need to start getting into a groove (a word I think I have been over using lately), and start putting together my plan for next year. Deep down I secretly would love to qualify for Kona. I know that it is a long, long, long shot to say the least. First, the fact that I have never done an full Ironman distance race does not play in my favor. Second, the only half-iron distance I finished in just over six hours (horrible conditions on a very tough course). Third, I don't know what third is, but there has to be something. I know that I am capable of greater things, of going faster that I have in past races. I have always trained relatively well, but I have never dedicated myself to it 100%. That means, doing all of the things that are necessary to be successful, e.g. put the time in at the pool, follow a solid cycling training program, doing speedwork for the run, eating the right things, getting the proper amount of sleep, etc. The time is now, not tomorrow.

With that said I took off yesterday, but there is a very good reason for it. My father was nearby my office and we grabbed lunch together. It isn't often that I see him and I had told him a few weeks ago that if he was ever in the area I would love to sit down and just catch up. We at big ass hamburgers a local sports bar/restaurant, talked laughed and just had a good time. I really enjoy spending time with him and was really grateful that I was able to spend an hour with him.

I worked from home and was seriously considering heading out for a ride, but I decided to go for a run instead. It was a bit too cold out and I was a little pressed for time. It ended up being a good day to run and even though I was a little tired I still ran pretty well. 4.84 miles in 38:43 (8:00/mile) and my heartrate was 161 BPM. My heartrate is still a bit too high, but that seems to be where it ends up when I run at or sub-8:00/mile pace. It will get better once I drop the excess weight from Disney....and also the bacon cheeseburger from lunch yesterday.

I am working from home tomorrow and a ride is definitely in my future since I am going to have to go and pick up my car. I am really looking forward to getting on my bike (which still need a name, is "Blue Lightning" too cliched? Yeah, it is).

It's getting late and I need to start getting to bed earlier. Peace out!