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Friday, July 30, 2010

Running - psychological preparation

Last weekend I went to a RRCA Coaching Clinic. And after 16 hours of lecture and an examination I am now an officially RRCA Certified Coach. I enjoyed the clinic and found it rewarding. I also learned quite a bit about the science, art and craft of coaching.



As part of the class materials we received Marathoning Start to Finish by Patti & Warren Finke. There is no flash to this book.  It has a lot of basic information.  But as was stressed in the clinic, many times the basics are forgotten. There is a chapter on psychological preparation. Let me share the bullet points:

TOOLS

Have a training plan
  • Long term goals
  • Short term goals
  • Strategy

Keep a training log

  • Daily plans and goals
  • Daily results
  • Comments
PRE-WORKOUT

Revisit plan and goals
  • How far 
  • How fast 
  • What is the purpose of this workout 
Plan rewards
  • For major workouts 
  • For achieving goals
Visualize workout as a positive experience (2-3minutes) 
  • Yourself exercising 
  • Your route 
  • What you feel, see, hear, smell and taste 
  • Completing as planned 
  • Any post workout reward 
DURING WORKOUT

Develop self awareness
  • Listen to body 
  • Listen to thoughts 
Develop self control
  • Generate positive thoughts and relaxation 
  • Deal with negative thoughts and tension
  • Focus on the present
  • Visualize yourself in the present

AFTER WORKOUT

Log results

Log any positive / negative influences

  • Plan means of using positives in the future
  • Plan ways to minimize negatives
Reward yourself for accomplishing major goals

I have never seen a list this thorough. I do like to plan my goals and make my plans.  I also make sure my sessions have purpose.  But have I been missing some of the quality? I have always just taken a cursory look at the workout and then immediately jumped in head first. This works most of the time. However, could I have greater success if I really read the workout, planned for the workout, thought about its purpose and then executed? Would that allow the workouts to have more quality – for the workouts to become breakthrough sessions? I have started planning my goals and making my plans. Now I need to make sure I get the maximum out of out of each workout.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Running mileage and the Wednesday Night Ride

I am already signed up for the Mardi Gras marathon at the end of February and I will soon sign up for the Boston Marathon on Patriot’s Day (April). So I have started to increase my running mileage. I have really been slacking in the mileage. And on top of that all my runs have been at intensity. I have been running stadiums, tempos and intervals exclusively. I have enjoyed the intensity but I have dwindled my base.

So, over the next 3 months I have going to increase my running mileage to approximately 50 miles per week. After that I am going to cut back for several weeks and then resume training. I would like to run all of the build races that I did last year leading up to the Mardi Gras marathon. However, this time I would like to max out at close to 70 miles a week. If I can accomplish these goals progressively and injury free then I truly believe a sub 3 hour marathon is possible.

The heat has been overwhelming but I have managed several runs at the noon hour. The heat has taken a toll on the pace but they have been solid runs. My mileage this week is at nearly 20 miles.

Now back to the current. I have received so many positive responses’ regarding http://hattiesburgmultisport.com/ . I have added a calendar of standing group rides, runs and swims. The calendar has really filled out. Just a little bit of PR has gone a long ways.

The Wednesday Night Ride Race had a huge turnout! There were 13 people who showed up and the race did not disappoint. The peloton was primary pulled by only two people and everyone else was holding on for dear life. The group did eventual get split in half but it was a lot of fun for everyone. I do not know the exact mileage or speed but there were several stretches at 28 – 29 MPH. It was challenging, brutal and a whole lot of fun!

When I got home I looked like I had just gotten out of the swimming pool. I was soaked to the core from the intensity.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I have a good friend, Billy McWilliams, that is doing IM-Louisville at the end of next month. Not only is he tackling an ironman but he is raising money through the Janus Charity Challenge.



Last year I had the opportunity to visit a boy's school in Belize. After spending time with the boys at Belize Vo-tech and seeing the great things that the school is able to accomplish, it was an easy decision for me to try and raise money for them. If there is one thing I have learned from my IronMan training, it is that dedication pays off, and I am determined to further the cause of Belize Vo-tech.

If you would like more information or to make a donation, please click here.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Bring on the FUNK!

A couple of weeks ago I went for a spirited bike ride on a Saturday morning. It was hot. It was humid. The ride was challenging. Now, normally I only ride from my house so I don’t have to pack up the bike and gear. But these Saturday morning rides are off of the trace.


It is not a big deal to have to drive to get to the ride but I hate the idea of driving to ride. But that is not the point of this post.

Immediately following the ride I loaded up my bike and stowed my gear in my car. I put my flippy floppies on and walked over to chew the fat with the other cyclists. We chatted for a few minutes and then it was time to drive home. When I got back to my vehicle the smell from my cycling gloves and my cycling shoes was horrendous! I actually put the gear in the bed my truck they were so bad.

You see, I rarely wear socks when I ride and often I do not wear socks when I run. The entire funk of the session eventually ends up in the shoes. There is no avoiding it. But what do you do?

Rinse out a 5 gallon bucket.


Gather up the funk - gloves are soaked through!

Filly shoes - they should be more silver than grunge.

Add your detergent of choice - this is Oxiclean

Add gear to bucket and agitate


Notice the sparkling white!

The funky water - it was worse last time.

This guy was helping out in the garage!


I later placed the gear inside next to a fan.  The smell was gone.  The shoes were clean.  Order was restored with the cycling gods.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Road ID Contest 01 - We have a winner.

First I would like to think everyone who entered the contest. I have enjoyed reading the blogs of all of the new followers! Good stuff. 

Regarding the selection process - I did the excel copy / paste thing and printed out all of the entries. I then cut them out and put them in a container. The winner of the Road ID gift card is:

The names all printed out.

Closest container I could find.

Well, I had a "double blind" picture (I know what a real double blind method is - I live with a scientist) - but the original picture had me looking at the camera so that I could show that I was unbiased - but during the editing process I 'saved' over the picture - oops.
And the winner of the Road ID gift certificate is "mommaof3ontherun"!  Check out her blog and follow her weightloss and running journey - click here.  From her profile:

I am a busy wife and mom of 3. I work full time in the school system as a school psychologist. I woke up in April 2009 and realized I was out of shape and unhealthy. As a mom, I found that I put everyone else's needs in front of my own. I decided to do something about it. I saw someone's reference to the couch to 5K program and started. Official start day was 5/7/2009. I've since "graduated" from c25k. I'm working on increasing my mileage, fitness level, and continuing to lose the weight. I'm always on the run either with the family or in my running shoes. Follow me on my journey to taking control.
Well - I am tired.  I have been out of town all weekend.  I'lll tell you where I have been tomorrow. 

Thank you all for participating in the Road ID giveaway.  Even if you did not win I believe that the Road ID is very valuable.  I was running out of town this weekend and it gave me peace of mind.

I will be having another contest in the coming weeks!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The penultimate stage of the Tour de France.

I have been reading "Tour de Lance" by Bill Strickland.  I always read books about cycling this time of year.  I thought the following discription of the tour was fun.


Tour de Lance: The Extraordinary Story of Lance Armstrong's Fight to Reclaim the Tour de FranceA popular way of trying to convey the magnitude of the Tour de France to a general audience is to compare it to the Super Bowl happening every day for a month. That’s not a bad start. It’s actually as if the Super Bowl were played for twenty-one straight days in the middle of the summer, starting each day in a new town and ending in another as it traveled across the United States like a barnstorming circus. And each Super Bowl would be held not in a stadium where only a lucky eighty thousand or so could attend and the athletes were physically sequestered from the fans, but right out on the streets – the players running their patterns close enough to the daily millions lining the road to be smelled, heard, touched, doused with water, and sprayed with beer, the fans able to leap out in the road and run beside their favorite players, screaming into their ears and patting their backs. Occasionally, a player would catapult off the side of a cliff.



Friday, July 23, 2010

H.A.M.R - Hattiesburg Multisport - First Meeting - WOW!!!

Don’t forget to enter for your chance to win a Road ID bracelet - click HERE !
 
Triathlon Club –  HattiesburgMultisport.com- follow us on Twitter - Click Here
 
 
The first ever H.A.M.R. Hattiesburg Multisport meeting was a huge success. We had over 40 people attend the meeting at the Keg & Barrel! I knew most of the people in attendance but I also met a lot of new people! I know that the people at this first meeting merely represent the core of the community. There are a lot of people that wanted to be at this meeting but were out of town or had other commitments. In addition, I believe that most of us represent more than just ourselves. We can make this club great!


 
I presided over the event and spoke about what I wanted from a club and then we opened the meeting to discussions. Wow, there are a lot of great ideas and, even more important, passionate people behind these ideas!

 
Also, a lot of people said that they do not know what to do but that they were willing to help! That is exactly what a club needs. Looking around the room it was obvious that we have a huge pool of talent and skills from which to draw. I am sure that we will be able to bring many of our goals to fruition. This club is going to happen and it is going to be great. Here are some of the amenities that we would like the club to offer:

 
  1. Website and members forum
  2. Official club events with published results
  3. Team gear – cycling jerseys / tri kits
  4. Organized swim / bike / run events
  5. Club library – books
  6. Club library – multimedia
  7. Group bike box rental
  8. Access to coaching / training plans
  9. Group gear swap meets / pay it forward meet ups
  10. Club clinics – training / theory / mechanical
  11. Prize purse / sponsored athletes
  12. Local race representation – provide a meeting place at events
  13. Camaraderie – club organized social events – annual banquet
I will elaborate ion each of these initiatives in the coming weeks.

 
In the coming weeks we will vote on our priorities and delegate the initiatives to individual committees. These committees, consisting of two or three members, will be the owner of their tasks. Whether the initiatives happen will rest entirely on their shoulders.

We have the passion, we have the numbers – now is the time to put these attributes together and make a great multisport club!

 
I would really appreciate it if you would leave a commit on what your tri club offers or what you wish your tri club offered. I think we have a great group of athletes and they will make this club first class.

 
We have only taken the very first step but the club will be up and running in no time!

 

  
Jessi and Jen
 
What a great group of atheletes!
 
Dan demonstrating something PT
 
The Keg & Barrel also holds the Beer Club.  Great food also!
 
Me - in between local legends John and Butch.  If I keep training
with these guys maybe I will be a legend in a few years!
 
 

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The STADIUMS strike back!

Don’t forget to enter for your chance to win a Road ID bracelet - click HERE !

Triathlon Club – First Meeting Tonight and the Keg and Barrel - 6PM -  HattiesburgMultisport.com- follow us on Twitter - Click Here

There is a buzz in the air about the first ever triathlon club meeting. Once again, it will be more of a meet and greet to understand what people want in a club and what they are willing to do for the club. I have I been in a number of clubs and organizations and it almost always the 20 / 80 rule (or even less). 20 percent of the people do 80 percent of the work. I would like for our club to me much more of a community! I am going to bring my ideas and I hope that everyone brings their ideas. We have a special group here in Hattiesburg and I think great things can happen!

Exercise:

On Wednesday I rode into work and ran into a number of people on the ride. It was a comfortable pace and I enjoyed the conversation. I jumped in the pool for a few laps. And it was just a few – I was running late. In addition, I have not been in the pool much and my swim fitness is all but gone. I am excited about Master’s Swim starting up next month. Butch has been giving a group of us grief about our lack of swim fitness and is telling us to get back in the water now so that we don’t have to spend a month getting up to speed. He is right – it is like having to straighten up the house before the maid shows up!

At lunch the STADIUMS loomed overhead. I was tempted to skip the workout but I got the best of me. I cranked down the interval time. My previous best was intervals on 1 minute 30. That makes 20 reps in 30 minutes. I only dropped of 5 seconds but that coupled with the heat – mid 90’s and heat index of 104, it was grueling. After about 12 reps I really started to feel it. I thought I was going to throw up several times. However, I was able to keep the intensity and I completed 21 reps! This was by far the hardest STADIUMS that I have ever done!

After work I was planning on doing the Wednesday Night Ride Race. My legs were dead from all of the intensity the past few days. And then I got a call from my buddy Charles. He wanted to know if I wanted to go mountain bike riding. I jumped at the chance. I still needed to ride my road bike home and I stop at Jackson Station. I caught some grief from the Wednesday night group but I continued home. Charles got to my house just after I got home and we hit the trials. It was a lot of fun. We wore ourselves out going up and down the trails and then enjoyed a beer on the back porch. Next week I will hit the intense Wednesday Night Ride Race but I enjoyed the break.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Hard morning rides and following the program.

Don’t forget to enter for your chance to win a Road ID bracelet - click HERE !

My weight was up substantial after the weekend but it is correcting itself!

Tuesdays morning ride started out hard out of the gate. We road easy for our usual warm up – NONE. Well, we did ride easy for the first one mile and a quarter. Then Keith took it out hard. He was pulling at around 25 MPH – and this part of the trace is at a very slight incline. Stephen (Purdue) then took his turn at the pull and kept the pace up. Our B-Team group was strung out all over the place. I was blowing up just hanging on.


We regrouped at Epley Station and decided to head towards USM. I had already made up my mind that I would call it quits early. I took a pull at around 23 MPH – I was keeping everything in check so that I would not just completely blow up. Keith then took the lead and he, for once, kept it reasonable – also at about 23 MPH. This was not fast enough for Lance and he passed us like we were standing still. Stephen was on his wheel. They created a substantial gap between Keith and me. Keith picked it up attempting to bridge the gap. I was holding on to dear life at 29 MPH for what felt like minutes. Keith finally gave it up and was not able to bridge. He told me to lead it out and I gave it my all for about half a mile at 28 MPH.

Thoroughly spent I rolled home with 14 miles clocked for the day.

I had a workshop during lunch so that put the kibosh on exercise. When I got home after work I decided to do an easy run. It was hot in the late afternoon and I ran by pace. No heart rate monitor. I pushed out 5 miles at an easy pace. The pace was much slower than I ran my marathon 4 months ago. Being off of your running peak and the added heat and humidity really make a difference. There is no way that I could run a marathon – FAST – right now!

After the run I made myself on of my premade meals and fired up the grill. Since there was a running club meeting last Sunday my grill work did not get accomplished. No worries – I should be set for another week.



On a side note, I seem to have lost my Garmin Heart Rate strap. I had it on the group ride this past Saturday but I have not seen it since. I have some bids on used ones on eBay. Does anyone have an extra one lying around? 

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Back in the Kitchen!

Don’t forget to enter for your chance to win a Road ID bracelet - click HERE !

In other news – I have been asked for years to get this started – the Hattiesburg Multisport Club. So this Thursday, 6PM at the Keg & Barrel will be the first ever meeting. This meeting will really just be a feeler to know what YOU want in a triathlon club. I don’t know if there will be 7 or 70 people but please bring your ideas! This club will not be successful unless people are willing to participate. Ben (who puts on the former Eagleman Triathlon – now called the Mighty Magnolia) has registered the name H.A.M.R. (Hattiesburg Area Multisport and Racing) with USAT and I have put up a rudimentary website – http://hattiesburgmultisport.com/. If you have any questions, concerns or ideas – shoot me an email – james AT hattiesburgmultisport.com .

Back to the diet:


I knew this was going to happen – I got off of the diet program this weekend. We had a running club meeting and – well, there was bar-b-queue, tons of sides and Bops (frozen custard) with waffle cone bowls. I thought I was doing okay but I got so many comments about – we will have to hear about how many pounds he gained on the blog tomorrow. Well, I did put back on all of the weight from the kickstart last week. But, that always happens on the weekends. That even happens if I follow a plan. You see, the weekends are usually bigger exercise days and for whatever reason I put on a couple of pounds just working out. The pounds will fall back off in the next day or two.


Kitchen disaster!


Assembly line style!


Kitchen scale - I weigh everything!


More salad - cucumbers from the farmers market.

The finished product.

I had my five 400 calorie MUFA loaded meals today and they were great. I was not hungry at all – I was just eating by the clock. Tonight, after work I got busy in the kitchen. I started preparing about a dozen meals for the rest of the week. I made 3 breakfasts consisting of 2 egg farm fresh omelets, 3 grilled chicken spinach salads, 2 ham sandwiches, 3 half natural peanut butter sandwiches for snacks, 4 containers of sliced yellow and red peppers. This should be a good start. For dinner I will be having grilled chicken spinach salads or grilled chicken with sweet potatoes. I am enjoying the variety!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Contest 01: Road ID Giveaway and review

First, I don’t watch a whole lot of news. I believe that they promote fear. We have enough of that in our society. That being said, bad things can and do happen – every single day.

A couple of weeks ago my friend Raland told me about one of his friends. This friend of a friend if you will lives down on the coast and was out running. And a bad thing did happen. He was hit by a city bus. To make matters worse he was unconscious for several hours and even when he came to he was very confused. He was out running, very much in the same manner that I do, without any identification. No one knew who he was. It was more than 5 hours before the medical personal could contact anyone that knew this man. This scared Raland.

I can image that Raland thought about all of the activities that he participates in and what would happen. Who would contact his wife? Can you imagine the concern of your loved ones if you were out on a run or ride and did not return?

Now, if something happened on one of our group rides - I mean, I know Raland – he is a friend of mine. I know his bike, his car, what kind of job he has, his email address and his cell phone number. But I would not be able to contact any of his family. Raland bought a Road ID bracelet that night. He has been wearing it ever since. I thought that was a pretty good idea.

When I ride I carry my driver’s license and my insurance card. However, when I run I do not carry anything. I normally don’t have any pockets. I have always run this way – here in my own backyard and when I travel. Thinking back, this is not very smart – running around a strange big city where no one at all knows who you are.

Like I said, I am not trying to promote fear in any way shape or form – but I am trying to promote safely! I contacted a marketing company and told them that I would like to review the Road ID and give one away. They agreed wholeheartedly. Just to be clear – I ordered a Road ID bracelet free of charge. I only agreed that if I reviewed the item that I would be completely honest. They did not encourage me to write anything positive or negative about the product. Here is my experience.

The Road ID come in a nice tin.

There are actually quite a few products on the Road ID website – click here. They have the original Road ID which is a made from a nylon strap type material. It also has two reflective stripes. This was the Road ID that I had seen before and the type that Raland purchased. However, I sweat like a son of a gun – I mean when I am done with a bike ride my gloves are soaked through – and the next day they don’t smell so sweet.

So I found another Road ID product – and this one is said that it might be the sexiest Road ID in the lineup – The Road ID Elite. Well, I am always down for more sexy.
I quickly received the bracelet in the mail. It arrived in a neat metal tin – like a fossil watch tin. There were also easy to understand instructions on cutting the band to fit. The bracelet constructed with a hard rubber band material and a metal watch clasp. The rubber material is wider than a livestrong bracelet but not stretchy at all. There are grooves on the back of the bracelet that you use to cut to size. The directions say to cut one section at a time and try the fit. This was not difficult. The website says that it is stylish enough from the bike to the board room. Since I am not in the boardroom very often I opted for the Road ID in RED.

Well written instructions

The give you 6 lines of editable text on your Road ID bracelet. They have several templates that give you ideas of the types on information that you should include. I include my name, year of birth, city, two personal contacts, an allergy and I still had run to promote a website. They also had some humorous examples for the last line like – “NEVER GIVE UP” and “IF FOUND TREAT WITH BEER”. I considered one of my running mantras but went with a website. You can also opt for an Interactive Road ID. The interactive version lists only your name and location. Below that there is a toll-free telephone number for Road ID as well as a website. This is an updatable secure Emergency Response Profile (ERP). The ERP can contain a lot more information than the 6 lines of text on the Road ID. The first year of the ERP profile is included with the purchase of the bracelet; however, after the first year it is $9.95 a year. Pretty cheap but I hate reoccurring costs so I opted for the regular Road ID. I believe that the information is sufficient in an emergency.

The laser engraving on the Road ID is crisp and clear. They also claim that it is extremely durable. In fact they offer a “ROCK-SOLID, USPER DUPER GUARANTEE”. If you are tough enough to wear out the stainless steel, laser engraved ID, just return it and they will send you a new one (same text).

Now, I am not much of a jewelry type guy- no rings, necklaces, bracelets, piercings, etc – but I have been wearing this Road ID everywhere. The buckle operates easily - I have only been taking it off for showers and sleep. The engraving seems durable and the bracelet is comfortable.
The Road ID Elite - numbers blurred to protect the innocent.

I do have one major concern. Last week, since I am playing and not training right now, during a racquet ball game the bracelet flew off on my wrist! Now, I am the type of baller that swings wildly and with very little grace. I did not even notice that it was gone. The person that I was playing with handed me the Road ID. There is a watch pin that holds the clasp together. It was gone. We looked for a few minutes around the court but could not find it. I am a resourceful guy. When I got back to my office I used a paper clip to replace the watch pin. I cut it to size and beveled the ends of the paper clip with a file. Now, this Road ID is going nowhere. However, this did make me think about an accident. Would it stay in place? Was the flying off of my wrist just a fluke? I know that the nylon bracelet with the hook and loop fastener would stay put. I mean, I have stuff attached to my bike and it says put. I do not think it is a flaw in the product but a watch clasp is more vulnerable than a strap. I am not trying to blow this out of proportion – I think the chance of the bracelet coming apart is very low. But if this is a concern then you might want to consider the original Road ID.

Road ID on the wrist

Here is how to enter the contest (you can receive up to 4 entries)

1. Leave a comment on this post prior to midnight (CST) on Saturday, July 24th

2. Be a follower or become a follower of this blog. There is a button to the right on the side bar.

3. Mention this contest on your blog.

4. Tweet the following on your twitter account - click here:

I just entered the @RoadID giveaway at http://hubcitytri.blogspot.com
Let me know the number of entries that you qualify for in your comment. You can still leave a comment even if you do not have a blog. So that I can identify you, comment something like – “I don’t have a blog yet but I did leave a comment and I tweeted about it – I am good for two entries – Dan the Man from Hattiesburg”.



The fine print: (taken from and revised from Steve in a Speedo)

- Contest open to US and Canadian residents.
- You may comment now (on THIS post) through midnight Central time on Saturday, July 24th. I will post the winner on Monday, July 26th.
- The winner will be chosen at random by a random number generator, drawing numbers out of a hat, or other random selection process.
- Check back this Monday (July 26) to see if you won! (Especially if you don’t have a blogger account because I have no way of contacting you.)
- If I don’t hear back from the winner within 2 days after posting that they’ve won, I’ll draw another name and give the prize to someone else.

Road ID is also also having a contest. Check it out to win a 2011 Team RadioShack replica Trek Madone 6.9SSL plus a whole lot more - LINK.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Flat Belly Diet - end of the Kickstart


I have lost 5.2 pounds this week! I have been following the 4 day Flat Abs Kickstart program pretty close. Exercise is optional in the diet; however, exercise is not optional in my lifestyle. Therefore, to keep myself from getting into too much of a deficit I have supplemented the program. I have added a couple of post exercise recovery shakes following intensive exercise. Everything else has been spot on – well – the program did call for cutting out coffee – and – well I just not willing to do that at this time.  Regarding the kickstart: 
“Just like a professional athlete preparing to “make weight” in his weight class, you’ll be shedding water and dropping pounds – fast! IN just four days, you’ll lose several pounds and inches, which will start a cascade of motivation and energy that will immediately set you up for success on the rest of the plan.”

Flat Belly Diet! for MenThis is the only diet book that I can recall that says the weight you will lose in the first few days is primary from water. We all know that is true but most books do not spell it out. I have no unrealistic expectations and know that I am getting back to my preferred weight by shedding water. I wish I would have followed a similar program when I was cutting that last week for the pump and run. It would have been a lot easier than sitting in the sauna at lunch before the race.

After the kick start I will begin following the standard program. The only real difference is that now I will be consuming five 400 calorie meals each day. This will not be as easy as it sounds. I’m not awake enough hours in the day to spread them around. I will have to work out a schedule.

There are only 3 rules for this program. I keep catching myself calling it a program and not a diet. I guess that is because I don’t believe in diets. The word diet has taken on the connotation of a temporary adjustment – and then I can get back to my ‘normal’ routine. Come on, we all know that does not work. The ‘normal’ routine has to be the lifestyle that allows you to achieve your goals. I once heard someone say that the lean body mass and six pack abs were the result of their lifestyle not the goal of their lifestyle. That is my philosophy. Anyway, back to the 3 rules:

  1. Stick to 400 calories per meal.
  2. Never go more than 4 hours without eating.
  3. Eat a MUFA at every meal.

I have been loosely following these rules for years. This program is just providing structure – and a whole bunch of great 400 calorie meals.

I have been drinking the cucumber / ginger / lime / mint firewater – I call it swamp juice every day and I have come to like it. It is no sugar added cucumber limeade. I also went to the farmers market this week and picked up some farm fresh eggs and honey. I have also not put a single packet of sweetener in anything that I have consumed. I have been using the pink and blue packets of evil for years and it is time to wean myself off of them. I am off to a good start!  I have had no problems following the plan.

On the exercise front I actually did a nice recovery ride this morning. I did NOT push the pace. I just rode a nice and easy 20 something miles. I had a nice chat with Steve (the postman) – he was riding 50 miles. We talked about running fast marathons and slow ironmans. We had a good time. I played some intense racquet ball at lunch. It truly wore me out. I was dragging the last couple of games – and it showed.

Last note – I am falling on the contest band wagon. I will be posting a review and a chance for someone to win something – ohhh – ahhh. I know you can’t wait!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The return of the STADIUMS

Flat Belly Diet! for MenI slept in just a little bit this morning. I got up at 5:30AM instead of the usual 5:00AM. It felt pretty good getting the extra sleep. I have a cup of coffee (no sweetener or anything – not on the diet) and prepared my meals for the day. The structure of the meals has been good for me. I like many concepts and had previously adopted them – so conforming to this diet has been easy. I like numerous small means. I like healthy food. This has simply refined the process. I made myself breakfast, lunch and an afternoon snack. I will report after the first week on what has worked and what I need to improve on.  But so far it has helped me redefine some of my habits! 

I then hopped on the bike. I took it easy this morning and just rode the bike to work.


English muffin, two eggs, tomato, and avacodo - yum

Well, I’m still playing and not training. But I am having good time. I was planning on swimming at lunch but I got to the gym and noticed that my goggles were at my desk. Well, the race was last weekend so I guess I could go ahead and kill it for lunch. It was supposed to be 98 degrees outside and it felt like it.

We made our way to the STADIUMS. It was hot. I have not done the STADIUMS in several months. I will be sore tomorrow from the stairs. I like to run up every other stair as fast as I can and control the recovery. There is no lollygagging. Every rep is intense! The fastest that we have done this is 15 seconds up and 1:15 recovery – the amount of time it takes for you to get back down the stairs and ready for the next set. If you run down the steps you will have about 40 seconds to recover. As will all intervals the first few are no problem. It is only with the building work load that you start to suffer. I ended up doing 21 sets! I was pleases with the result considering that I have not done the in so long and the intense heat!
One of the early reps - Vic right on my tail.

I really had second thoughts about the Wednesday night race ride. My legs were fatigued from the STADIUMS. As I left campus Steven (the guy visiting from Purdue) joined me at the stop light. We rode out to Jackson Station together for the ride. When we arrived I was surprised at how many people had come out considering the heat. There were 8 or 10 of us and we picked up a couple more while on the trace. As soon as we left the trace Sam sprinted ahead. There was a huge gap opening up and I gave it a hard effort to bridge it. So, there I was, only a minute or two into the real ride and I was blowing up. My heart rate reached 181 BPM – it is not often that my heart beats that fast during cycling. I was happy to have some riders join me. I quickly grabbed a wheel. I would spend most of the rest of the ride holding on to the end of the train. I never got dropped but I sure didn’t pull much during the ride. With my commute I again got about 39 miles on a Wednesday. You add that to the 30 I get on each of the Tuesday / Thursday rides (including commute) and my weekday mileage is adding up – I am getting about 100 miles a week Monday – Friday. The weekends are just gravy! I really should be logging this stuff better – no training equals no longing. I guess I still have the Garmin website!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Morning Ride and Afternoon massage

I went for an early morning group. There were five of us. I thought about doing 20 minute tempo rides with a short recovery in between. So after a quick mile and a half warm up I jumped to the front of the pace line. I picked up the pace but after just about half a mile I was already cooked. But by jumping to the front I primed the pump. Everyone continued with the hard pulls. It was tough to hang on!

I had taken a lap when I first started the hard tempo. I clocked the slight uphill from Lake Thoreau to Epley (which is the first part of our time trial course) at 14:33 which was 24.5 MPH. We then attacked Epley Road. This is out king of the mountain route. It was another tough ride. There was a lot of hard riding and drafting. We were going at a good clip. I sprinted ahead just before the last hill. I was out front for a short while and then Raland came around me. I was working hard and should have jumped on his wheel. I just did not have it. I continued to pursue him from about 15 feet back. I caught him about half way up the last hill. We were neck and neck sprinting for the line. We were both pushing as hard as we could. My heart rate was climbing to never before seen levels. I gave it up. Raland was king of the mountain today. I did see 187 BPM on my watch. That is the highest ever for cycling!

I have continued to follow the diet. I will post a follow up and list some of the meals later this week. But the meals are keeping me satisfied and I am able to reshape some of my eating habits!

This afternoon at work I got a call from my good friend Ben. He puts on the local triathlon race here in Hattiesburg. He said that there was a graduating class at the massage school and then need another person for their final in sports massage. He asked me if I was available. I jumped at the chance.

I have only ever had a massage at the end of race – at the end of IM Louisville in fact. That massage consisted of about 10 or 15 minutes of very light touching on very tender muscles. This was much different. This was much better. It was very relaxing. There was a lot of stretching. It was not strenuous at all. My legs were a little sore from the weekend, yesterdays run, and this morning’s ride. The massage felt good. The massage school was Healing Touch.

You can’t pass up a free massage.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

New diet - Flat Belly Diet for Men

I went to the library last week and picked up a few diet books. I love looking through these types of books. I also enjoy self help books. I have read so many of them. Most are garbage but a few have very good advice. I have even read self help books about self help books – no joke. I started a blog a couple of years ago where I was going to do a ‘New Year’s’ resolution each month for a year. I think I got about four months into it before the ironman training started to consume too much time.

Anyway, I ran across this diet book called the ‘Flat belly diet for men.’ It is a follow-up to the same book for women. There are also a couple of recipe books in this series.
Flat Belly Diet! for Men
The premise is pretty close to what I already do – multiple small meals throughout the day. This book has a four day kick start plan. In the kick start phase you have four 400 calorie meals a day. After this phase you start the normal diet which is five 400 hundred calorie meals a day.

Like I said, this is close to what I already follow. The difference is the meals themselves. The book is big on MUFA’s (mono unsaturated fatty acids) – pronounced MOOFAS. Every meal needs to have these good fats. In my normal routine I already follow this to an extent. For a very long time I have been eating oatmeal with peanut butter. Healthy carbohydrates and MUFA’s. However, I have become dependent on that one meal. When I am hungry this is the meal that I grab. There have been days when I have had this one meal four or five times. I am fortunate that I can eat the same things day in and day out but I do need variety. This is where the book is going to help me. There are about 50 different balanced meals that have approximately 400 calories.

There is also this drink concoction called ‘fire water’. It consists of the following:

½ teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 small cucumber
1 lime
6 mint leaves
3 -4 dashes shot sauce

It does not taste bad. In fact it is a little bit refreshing - it smells like a fancy lotion from bath and body works or something. I am, however, not sure if you are supposed to drink all of the chunkiness. I filtered it through a coffee filter the next day.

With the recipes in the book I am going to make up my own deal-a-meal cards and mix and match. I will keep you posted on the results. Also, since the book does not require exercise I will continue with what I have always done – add a few post exercise meals into the mix. Otherwise I get into this deep calorie deficit and consume everything in sight.

I will keep you posted on the results of the diet!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Sunfish Triathlon Race Report

I have a confession. I have been talking the talk but not walking the walk when it comes to training. I preach about following a training plan – any training plan but I have lapsed. You see, if I do not have big goals then I let things slide. After I qualified for the Boston Marathon at the end of February I have been in the need of a new goal. I half assed it with the half ironman in New Orleans. I coasted on my existing fitness and finished in 5:08 – A PR but not my goal time. That is what happens when your longest ride of the year has been about 45 miles.


Just some of the Hattiesburg Crew!

Then I found a new goal and that was the pump and run challenge. I actually trained for this event. I was back in the weight room and back on the track doing speed work. Working the plan, as always, paid off – I won that challenge. Since then I have now raced two triathlons with less than stellar results. I have just gone through the paces and not actually followed a plan. And my results show this lack of attention. Now, my fitness is not in question. I am still exercising and eating a healthy diet. But exercise without purpose is not training. To do my best I need to train. Running haphazardly with friends, doing whatever in the pool and attacking at group rides will not pay the bills – so to speak.

So after the Sunfish Triathlon on Saturday I was upset with myself. This has been the first year that I have failed to have PR’s at all of my races. I have only myself to blame. The races have simply not been as important to me. In the Sunfish this year I was 1:12 longer on the bike and 23 seconds longer on the run. The swim was also a lot longer – 1:59 – but everyone’s swim was longer.

Enough whining. The weather was great for the Sunfish and I had a decent swim. I went a little wide out in the lake but with the time trial start I had no contact with any other swimmers. I swam an easy pace. I tried to keep Robin in sight and was right next to him for 2/3 of the race. Going wide on the last buoy I lost him. He ended up finishing the swim about a minute ahead of me.

I had a good transition and jumped on the bike. I pushed the pace from the start. There are some large hills on the bike coarse and they had me huffing and puffing. I attempted to attack each of the hills and keep the intensity high. I was only passed once on the bike, however, it was from someone in my age group. I was not going to let them go but once I crested the hill I never saw them again.

The bike was over before I even knew what hit me. I had remembered previous years where I thought the hills and 16 something miles would never end. It was like BAM – that’s all folks. I really thought I had put together a solid effort on the bike. I thought that I was faster than last year and I still had legs that I could run on.

Leaving T2 I saw Robin about 100 yards in front of me. I knew that I could not match his speed. I did not even try. I watched my GPS too damn much and kept my heart rate in check. This is a race – I should have let everything fly…

With about a quarter of a mile left I picked up the pace. I simply had too much in the tank. I ran fast and hard and finished much too strong. After the race my friend Ted said that I looked to comfortable. He was exactly right. For this race I only went through the motions.  I finished overall 1 postion better (24th out of 300 something) and one better in my age group (5th).

Still, we have a good turn out from Hattiesburg. Sam won the race. Chris won the masters. Robin placed second in age group. Brad placed second in age group. Raland placed 4th in Clydesdale (missed third by one second). We also took home the relay title by 25 minutes!

2010 Sunfish Results

Friday, July 9, 2010

Re-post from last year - My mother 1946 - 1999

This is a re-post (word for word) from last year.

So, I was talking with my sister the other day and she commented that yesterday would be the 10th anniversary of my mother’s death. My sister could not believe that it had only been 10 years while I feel like it has been forever – I guess my sister and I were at different points in our lives and different things have happened since that time.


The death was tragic and sudden – my mother was only 52 years old. I have always been very date oriented – I do not forget birthdays, anniversaries, special dates, etc – and this event – this date was so significant. This was the first true death that I had to experience. It really drew a line in the sand for me – it was one of those dates where my mind catalogs everything as either before or after.

Before my mother’s death, looking back, I was really in poor health and I did not care. I was just like everyone that I worked with – everyone that I hung around. Everything was super sized and the more fried or the more bacon the better (I would have loved the baconator!). My favorite places to eat were the “all you can stand” variety – the more food the better. I also had been smoking since high school. There was no exercise in my life – none – I didn’t even make excuses. I would drive the 1/2 mile to the gas station to buy my cigarettes.

So, when my mother died, I was 27 years old, I was about 50 pounds heavier, I did no exercise and I smoked heavily. I also put back a lot of beer. My mother was in better shape than I was – she walked her dog daily and was more active. However, she also smoked and believed that everything went better with a stick of butter. I also, for the first time, realized that I didn’t have any grandparents anymore – heart disease runs in the family. The writing was on the wall - I was headed down a road to disaster.

I took my mother’s death at such a young age as a wakeup call. My health was deteriorating – I would not be able to maintain this unhealthy lifestyle of a 20-something much longer. I was scared. I took responsibility of my actions and within a few months I had successfully quit smoking – it was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I rewarded myself negatively with food but I was fighting one battle at a time. Once the cigarettes were out of the picture I had to drop the weight. I had ballooned up –the last straw was when I had to stop on the way to a bar-b-queue to get a pair of 40 inch shorts.

I started to make small adjustments to my diet. Just by cutting out the very worst parts of my diet I started to see results. I cleaned up the diet even more and the results were so encouraging. Then the exercise started. There was a park near my house that I started to jog around. It took months but I remember the immense gratification I felt when I could run around that park without stopping – it was only 8 tenths of a mile!

I started to run 5k’s and ride bikes and enjoy the outdoors. I started to play sports at work – softball, volleyball and soccer. I was feeling great and my self esteem was sky rocketing. The TV set was never on anymore – fast food was a thing of the past. I was in the best shape of my life and just getting better – just feeling better. I hate the fact that it took something so tragic to make me wake up and evaluate my life. I miss my mother – but I have gained tremendously from her death.

I cannot imagine where my life would be without the changes that I have made. I believe that exercise and a healthy lifestyle saved my life. Years later I would once again use these life skills to overcome huge obstacles.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Birthday Ride

This was just another day for me. I had an easy ride to work and then swam at lunch. No one at work got the 38 BFD t-shirt joke but the guys on the ride did. I rode from work to meet up with the Wednesday night ride (race?). I was running a little late but was pleased to see about 8 people at Jackson Station waiting for me – thanks Raland.

As soon as I got to the station we took off. We picked up a couple of extra people as we went out. There were some strong pulls from Matt and Butch to shake up the legs. We pulled off the trace into the country side. The ride was pretty sedate – fast but no attacking. The pace picked up and there were several surges. I attempted a couple of break aways only to be reeled back in a couple of minutes later. Like I have said before, I am never going to break away but I do like to force the pace at times. I just think of something I read a long time ago, “You don’t attach when you are fresh; you attack when they are tired.”

I got 28 miles for the Wednesday night ride plus another 10 miles in my commute. Not bad for middle of the week mileage.

I got home I had a wonderful grilled chicken salad and helped Jodie decorate some cupcakes. We then had a relaxing evening together. I had a pretty darn good birthday.


I didn't eat any cupcakes!

The Wednesday night ride might have been a little too aggressive considering that I have the Sunfish Triathlon this weekend. The Sunfish was my first triathlon four years ago. One of the reasons that I picked the race is because it fell on my birthday in 2007. I have not missed this race yet.

I was looking back on my last year’s race report. By the way, if you are not writing your race reports you need to start now – in a year’s time I have forgotten so much that happened. At last year’s race Robin beat me by 51 seconds. I had a great race. It will be tough to top the improvement that I experienced last year. I was in the closing six weeks of ironman training and I was feeling so strong. Looking at the volume of last year is just nuts – I did the Sunfish on a Saturday and then road 110 miles plus a short brick on the next day!

From my race report last year:

2008 SWIM 10:52 T1 1:17 BIKE 47:41 T2 1:02 RUN 22:26 TOTAL 1:23:18
2009 SWIM 08:40 T1 0:57 BIKE 45:20 T2 1:03 RUN 21:15 TOTAL 1:17:13

Last year I remember looking out over the water and thinking about how far it looked. I swam the course the night before and it really calmed some of my fears. The distance did not look so far this time – I am amazed at how different my perspectives are a year later. I swam the course again this year and was about 2 minutes faster than last year.

I stood up in the cranks and took the hill – I would do that for all of the hills. I was not going to hold anything back – I was redlining the entire bike. On the down hills I was flying – there were a couple of occasions where I was spinning out – no more gears to grab. Post race I noticed that I topped out at 42 MPH! I did not let up the entire bike – I flew into transition and my legs were shaking.

I ended up meeting or almost meeting all of my goals for the race:

Swim a good race – better, faster, stronger – DONE - better by 2:12

Bike a hard race – DON’T LET UP – DONE – better by 2:21

Run a better than 7:00 minute pace – ALMOST – my watch indicated a 6:53 but race results showed a 7:03 – STILL – better by 1:11

Finish faster than last year by 5 + minutes – DONE – better by 6:05
Last year I finished 36th overall - this year 24th.

Beat Robin - Not a good goal - I can only control myself - CLOSE BUT NO CIGAR – DEFEATED BY 0:51 seconds

This will be a tough race to top!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

38. BFD.

I had a package on my door step. My father had told me that it had stuff that I would not purchase for myself. This peeked my interest. In the box were all kinds of ironman goodness. It had all things IM Louisville – socks, stickers and bandanas. It was pretty neat stuff; my father was right – I would not have purchased the items myself but I will definitely wear them. In fact the ‘head sweats’ IM thing is simply awesome under my helmet. No more sweat dripping in the eyes!

Jodie got me a new unitard but it was too big. She also got me a lot of stuff for organization. I have been complaining that I want to be more productive and now I have a lot of the tools to make this happen.

38. BFD. - not photoshopped

On the exercise front I sent an email out to the crew to for a cycling Time Trial for Tuesday morning. When I woke up but my legs were dead tired. I looked at the alarm clock and it was already 5:30 AM – I had about 5 minutes to be out the door. Oh yeah, there was also a light drizzle. I did not make the ride. I did however jump on the trainer for a recovery ride. This was an easy 45 minutes while watching yesterdays Tour de France finish.  The legs did not want to go even at the easy pace.  After about 15 minutes they felt better.  I was glad I did the trainer ride.

At lunch I met up with the running crew and did intervals. Even if my legs are tired I can always get them to perform while running. We knocked out 6 quarters, 3 1000’s and 6 200’s. These were all solid.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

More contests - golite.com

I ran across this the other day and thought that I would share - 93 days of give aways.  golite.com




I really like this picture - I think the same way in the mornings -

Monday, July 5, 2010

Holiday weekend - running and riding and fireworks

We had a good group for the Saturday ride. We met on 28th and headed out. The weather was cooler than last week. It is funny but it did not feel like Mississippi in July. The temperature was in the high 80’s. It was still humid but not 100 percent. In the first ½ mile JD started yelling. I sounded like he said “I lost my helmet.” I looked back and his helmet was on – we all pulled over to see what was going on. It turned out that he had a wasp in his helmet. He got stung a couple of times but this did not seem to affect his ride any. There are a couple of us that call ourselves the B-Team (because we are not as fast as the A-Team). JD made that joke a couple of times.


The first 25 miles was at a rather sedate pace. We just rolled on. We were hitting hills and looping back and forth through the countryside. About half way the pace picked up. I enjoy being the rabbit and attacking. I am never going to get away but I like to keep the group honest. They always chase me down but we end up getting out average speed up. In these rides, I am not the fastest; I just don’t have that top end like some people (I’m working on it). But I do have a little bit of endurance. I have fuel in the tank after 30 or 40 miles when so people are starting to get tired.

Saturday Group Ride: 50.74 Miles
1579 ft elevation gain
19.0 Ave moving speed

I got up Sunday for a run. I wanted to do 4 miles fast with a warm up and cool down. I had a rough time getting started. I messed around for nearly an hour just trying to get out of the door. I bricked my MP3 player. It got stuck on docked and I could not get it unstuck. I looked up how to reset the device and got a paper click to punch the button. The whole dang button went into the MP3 player. I had to look around and grab the girl’s player. (I am stealing ‘the girl’ idea from DC Rainmaker.) I loaded up some of my music on her player. So after an hour I headed outside. About half a mile into the run I realized that I did not have my heart rate strap. Oh well – I had wanted to see where my heart rate was at the pace I wanted to run – to see if it was above or below my LTHR.

I paced myself out at 7:30 pace then picked up the pace. I wanted 4 miles at 6:30 pace. The weather was still cooler than it has been but not cool by any stretch of the imagination. The miles clicked off easily. I want to be able to run this pace during my next triathlon. I seem to be stuck at 3 miles for this run. I have attempted it several times and always stumble at 3 miles. I do not know where my heart rate was but I made the decision to slow down. I slowed the pace. My fourth mile was at 7:04. My splits were as follows:

7:30
6:28
6:32
6:37
7:04
6:51

I am going to keep trying this workout until I can pull off 4 x 6:30. It should not be that tough. That is right around 20 minute 5k time. I am faster than that. I mean, during the winter I did a 12k (7.45 miles) at 6:39 pace and a half marathon at 6:53 pace. I need to work on the speed. I have the endurance but I need to find that high gear.

Sunday Run: 6.00 Miles
179 ft elevation gain
6:49 Ave moving speed (includes warm up)

The afternoon would be another group ride. There were only about 8 of us on this Independence Day. Several riders from the day before. We headed out to Sumrall and then went north. Once we left the trace the pace picked up. I was not needed as a rabbit – it was just a good fast paced ride. Riding during the afternoon was much hotter than the morning ride the previous day. My legs were a little tired but nothing bad. I was able to do a few pulls. I felt strong the entire ride.

Sunday Group Ride: 57.24 Miles
1085 ft elevation gain
19.5 Ave moving speed

My neighborhood has its own fireworks display. It is put on by Ron who lives just down the street. I guess Ron is just a fireworks aficionado. He has a big BBQ party that culminates with a 45 minute firework show. People drive to my neighborhood to watch! We had some friends over and had the lawn chairs in the front yard. We had food and drink and good company. It has been a fantastic Fourth of July!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Enjoy your Independence!

I took this in Boston a couple of weeks ago - Happy 4th!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Running, Biking, Master's Swimming?

I have been happy to get back into my routine. The travel is fun but consistency is the key. I got back on the mountain bike and the road bike over the weekend.



It looks like a garmin ad - but these are our mountain bike trails!



I also won a cool camera from Jason at Tech-Tri! Jason had a contest and he asked for ideas regarding his taper.  He gave me and a couple other people extra entries for the plans.  I got lucky and won the camera!  I hope some of my suggestions help Jason meet his goals at the Rhode Island 70.3!  Jason is also raising money for make a wish - click here to help out.

Also, make sure you check out his blog and cheer him on!  Last week he did a brick consisting of a 3 hour ride followed by a 2 hour run - I am sure he is going to ROCK IT!


Speaking of contest - I have added a gadget on my sidebar to list some of the current giveaways! Check it out. 

The Tuesday / Thursday morning group ride has been powerful. This has been a lot of fun. Unfortunately the Wednesday ride (I mean race) was cancelled due to the rain. Also, trace intervals started back up on Thursday. We mixed it up a little bit – 6 x ¼ miles, 2 x ½ mile and then 4 x 200 concentrating on high leg speed. The rain started just as we finished up. We were already soaked from the solid workout!

I also got back in the pool for two really good sessions.  I have been working on breath control.  I hate doing this but I am seeing progress.  Not faster but the same speed with less effort - that is solid improvement!

Speaking of the swim, I recently met the new aquatics coordinator at the Payne Center. This is the fitness center here on campus. This is my base camp. If I did not have this facility I could not run or ride into work. Having a locker to store my work close is fantastic. However, it has made me reluctant to join the master’s swim team at the YMCA. You see, I know that I would benefit from the undertaking but I dread the idea of getting in the car and driving across town.  The coach at the YMCA has a great reputation.

So, I met Jessi Hobart, the new aquatics coordinator at the Payne Center. She recently contacted the running club inquiring about places to ride. We spoke a couple of times on the phone and she has made it out to several of the group rides – she even took a spill last weekend. It happens to the best of them.  A couple of weeks ago I mentioned to her how a master’s swim team would be great on campus.

Well, she did a whole lot of leg work and it looks like it will happen in the fall. This is all unofficial – I am not a decision maker - but it looks like the swim coach at the YMCA will be able to conduct the master’s swim sessions at the Payne Center -  Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings! The travel to the YMCA has been my only hold out to joining the master’s swim team. I know that my swim CAN and WILL improve with direct coaching and competition!

These are preliminary numbers but we need to have 13 people commit to the sessions to keep the cost reasonable ($150 a semester). If we get more people - the cost is even less. I think I know about 8 people already. Let me know if you are interested and I can get you more information.  I bet we can get a great team going!