Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Dirty Words

Today I had planned a post about my weekend and how I did sprints with a lawn mower this weekend, how I ran 15 miles and it SUCKED ASS, and how I swam outside for the first time this year and it was great.

However, as I scrolled down my reader a post popped out at me before all the others and I read it. LB wrote a post entitled Gray. It describes how she is feeling right now, she wrote that she wanted to share because these types of feeling aren't talked about enough. Depression is a dirty word. Her post inspired me to share. I want to make sure that she knows she is not alone. I thought about doing something similar after a post of Bryan Payne wrote after he returned from Kona last fall. I am going to go into some TMI details, but I am going to leave it all out here. I figure I will be judged by some, but I would rather take that gamble in order to support someone else.

If you read this blog often, and I figure of the 77 followers about 5 actually do (but again that's ok because this is for me), it is clear without me saying anything i go through ups and downs. Sometimes i drop off for a week. Sometimes I say I am in a funk and can't get motivated. These are often times I am going through something similar to depression.

I don't like to admit it because to me it is a dirty word. I have had coworkers call me bi-polar before but i don't feel that's what it is. I took multiple psychology classes in school and do a a bit more than light reading on the subject trying to self diagnose. If there was anything i would admit that is wrong with me I would call it a mood disorder. I would never call it depression because that is a dirty word.

The VERY few people who know both me and my family will tell you I am the most grounded person in my family. Many joke that unless you knew better you would have no idea I came from them. I am the first person to finish college (second to try), first  person to go to grad school, and the first person to have a career (not just a job). There is little known about my family history since it has been a little dysfunctional and for the most part I can only track our tree to my maternal grandmother. This grandmother has alcohol abuse and mental health issues. Of her children, one of my uncles has sever mental illness (schizophrenia, I believe) and has been institutionalized several times, another uncle has chronic depression, and my mother has substance abuse and depression problems. My oldest sister is bi-bolar and has drug addiction problems.

Since I was younger I have always strived to be NORMAL. That's all I want. I wanted to go to college, have a career, have ONE marriage with 2.3 kids, and be sane. For that reason admitting when I am depressed is hard. I hold  most emotions in and then shutdown completely when I get overloaded. A week or so ago i had a few days that after work all I wanted to do was go to sleep. Cb will tell me i am depressed, but I will argue with her, because as she knows i will never admit that. It's a dirty work to me.

To a degree I know what my triggers are. Mainly they are work, money, and marriage. YOU ALL KNOW I hate my job. I feel no sense of fulfilment. I dread going to work and having to wait on convicted murders who think they are entitled and are the center of my world. The only thing I enjoy is my SWAT work. I enjoy much of the training, but dislike the others on the team. I don't fit it. They are all mountain men with toughman complexes and I am not. As I have written before I hate money, or the lack there of, I hate struggling to pay bills, and eat, and have some sense of reward from going to the job i hate. Marriage is also tough. That sounds bad, but i am being honest. We have been together for almost 10 years, but only married and living together for 2 years.We are still getting used to each other's habits. I am anal retentive about clutter, she was raised by a hippie. I put money into fixing things in the house, she buys purses. I don't do dishes until the sink is full, she can't be in the kitchen unless the sink is empty. WE both get stressed out by money and our current economy makes it even worse with daily rumors of pay cuts and lay off. I think this part is no different than other newly weds, but it is just that- new.

Solutions to the problems would be better than treatment to me. If I could do anything in the world for a job I would work for myself. I tried to start up a back country guide service once but I realized I know trails and gear but not business. I also enjoy web design and have started building a freelance business for a little fun and money. I will reach out to my first potentioal clients this week. I am targeting small, local businesses. It has been a dream for a long time to teach karate for a living, I even have some ideas for creating a niche. I just have no financing at this time to start these endeavors. If had to work a nine to five I think the best fit for me would be a college professor or if i could go back to school i would try being a nurse. As far as the money is concerned having a job with better pay or being an err to a fortune my help. If both of those were solved i think not having work or money stress would probably make things easier on the marriage front. I also realize a stress free world is impossible- its life you just have to deal.

I have two natural treatments for illness and stress: sleep and exercise. These both work with this as well. The only problem is sleep makes me not think about what's wrong, but it doesn't change things. Exercise makes everything easier to deal with, increased endorphins I guess. However, sometimes 10 hours at work gets me to a low where I don't want to exercise. That becomes a problem. From a non-homeopathic standpoint I have never tried to medication because this would require admitting that I am depressed. I just can't do it. When I was younger my mom sent me to a psychologist for different reason, I enjoyed having someone to talk to. He eventually told me i was normal and that my family was jacked up. When it gets bad i like talking to a psychologist. For some reason talking to someone who is not related to my problems always feels good. I enjoy just getting things off my chest sometimes. 

 There it is- my TMI. It may be dribble to some but I hope for others they can see that they are not alone.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Peter Rabbit Organics Review and Giveaway

Quick note: I was glad to read on BDD's blog this morning that the comment issue was not just my having issues. I have read some great posts this week that I could not comment on, I wish I had the time to go back and comment on them all.

A few months back I was my "local" REI and I was standing in line next to the snack section when a product caught my eye. Next to the snack bars were these funny little pouches with a rabbit and fruit on them. I picked one up and took a look. REI had them labelled as fruit snacks and in my mind I thought, as far as fruit snacks go what would be better- pureed, organic fruit or molded, processed fruit snacks. The answer was obvious to me. I was intrigued so I gave it some thought when I got home and deiced to contact the company via thier website to see if they would provide me a sample instead of me driving an hour back to REI.

Here is what the website says about the product:
"We make delicious, organic fruit snacks and veggie blends. Our fruit snacks are loved by all ages, and our veggie blends are gulped down by hungry little ones. We use the squeezy pouches to make eating healthy food easy and fun....

When we started Peter Rabbit Organics we made 3 promises: that everything we make would always be 100% organic, 100% healthy (no added sugar, no added salt and nothing artificial) and always taste 100% delicious."

At the end of April I got an unexpected package with several pouches and a chance to do a giveaway. Here are my thoughts and yes, FCC, the samples were provided free of charge but the thought are still my own:

The company provided me with 6 pouches, each a different flavor. They included Apple and Grape; Strawberry and Banana; Mango, Banana, and Orange; Carrot, Squash, and Apple; Sweet Potato, Corn and Apple, and lastly Pea, Spinach and Apple.

Initial Thought
These are some interesting flavor combinations. Some of them will be amazing, some of them scare me. I took a look at the back of the packages.  Since I need to continue to add more fruits and veggies in my diet and expand the fruits and veggies I will try them. I think having these around will be nice. When the package came I was getting ready to walk out the door for a run, I looked forward to tying one as a post workout snack.

Strawberry and Banana- A+
This is the first one I tried. It is delicious. The consistency of the snack is thicker than juice, but thinner than gels. You can basically drink it down, but it does have a few small fruit pieces in it.

 Mango, Banana, and Orange- A
This was another post workout snack. When I was out of town for training. I thought taking these prepacked snacks would a safe snack to take out in the woods for the two days we would be out. I honestly don't remember anything about this flavor, that is a good thing. That means I had no quarrels with it.

Sweet Potato, Corn and Apple- A+
Honestly, This one scared me a bit. i know I need to try new things but I don't like sweet potato and although i brought it to work to try I couldn't do it. I did however, get my coworker, Ms.B to try it. She was apprehensive at first, but I talked her into it and showed her the website. She said the consistency was similar to baby food, but she continued to eat it. A few minutes later she came back in my office mad- she was mad it was gone, she said it was good and she wasn't ready to be done yet. She then went and told another one of out coworkers about the product. That's a win.

Pea, Spinach and Apple- F-
I opened this one with an open mind since the last three had been great. It let me down. I took the first taste and was not impressed. i tried it again just to see and it was not good. I took it home and shared it with CB, she agreed.

Apple and Grape- A+
This one was great, hands down, no questions asked, and all the other cliches.

Carrot, Squash, and Apple- A
I carried this one for three days, but since I am not sure what squash tastes like I was hesitant. I then deciding to have another female guest taste tester. I got my coworker 'Becca to try it. She heard the combination and told me "be glad I like you". I handed it to her and she made a hesitant face, like a child getting a shot, as she took the first taste. She immediately perked up took a second shot and said "that's actually not bad, you can taste the squash.., it tastes like a different flavor apple sauce". She turned back to her computer and put it up to her lips again. That is also a win.

I like these! The ones I like are great, good afternoon snack, post workout snack, or on the go food. On top of everything else it is organic and there are no preservatives. WIN, WIN! The only bad side is that at my Local REI are $2 a piece. I think that is a little steep, but maybe as the product grows the price will come down.

-------------------NOW THE FUN PART-------------------

Inside the package was a letter offering to give 12 pouches to a follower if i wanted to do a giveaway. How cool is that?

If you want one dozen fruit and vegetable delights from Peter Rabit Organics you need to leave a comment for each or any of the following by the end of Tuesday 05/31/11-

1. Follow me (mandatory)
2.Tell me the most interesting fruit and vegetable combination you have ever had (optional).
3. Share with your followers. (optional)
4. Tweet something about this giveaway with @superfatlete in it (optional and one per day).
5. Generate some leads for freelance web design. (optional)
6. Find me a new job. (optional)
7. Solve the North Carolina state budget issues.(optional)

Thursday, May 26, 2011


I been doing some thinking and am not sure how implement my ideas...

Does anyone know of any businesses or consultants that specialize in helping entrepreneurs implement business concepts?

OR if you have ever searched for one what would be the best search engine key words; I have tried several with no luck.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Three days in a row, I am making an effort!

Yesterday's 30 mile ride/5 mile run brick was a partial fail. We had very odd weather yesterday, at 5:30 When I got home we were under both a thunderstorm and tornado watch. Despite that it was bright outside, oddly bright, except you couldn't see the sun. There was a thin layer of light grey clouds as far as the eye could see. It was thin enough that the sun was still piercing through. Despite it being 100 degrees, I had every intention of riding outside until I heard about the watch on the radio. I got dressed, tweeted, and debated. i finally decided that if I got 15 mile from the house and there was a tornado, it wouldn't be good. I set up the trainer and popped in a disk of the Big Bang Theory to watch for a 2 hours spin.

After an hour I started thinking about how much i hate the trainer without doing a guided workout like spinervals, and about the church dinner I was missing. I usually do not attend the church dinners as it is always the old people from the church and the food is always horrible and they run out. Of all the ones to go to the May dinner is the best because it is the done by the old men's sunday school. When the women's groups do the dinners it is covered dish, not good, and not enough. When the men do the dinner it's catered by a local chicken and bbq joint. I was miserable on the trainer and starving despite my first gel. I decided to call the hour on the trainer a bonus workout and do the workout today since I am working 2nd shift. I had a good time at the dinner; I played volleyball, dodge ball,and football with the kids. They like me because i will play with them.

I was up all night thinking about race strategy for my first olympic, because of this I overslept by an hour this morning. Despite that, i still got up and got my workout in, but I only left myself 15 minutes to drink my FLUID recovery drink, shower, dress, and feed the dogs.

This workout is my longest brick ever. It didn't kick my ass, but it was no walk in the park. I was looking at it as a good dress rehearsal for my race next weekend. Similar distance and similar weather. I wrote three key goals on and index card and put it in my bento box. One of these was to do the bike in Zone 2 for the first half and zone 3 for the second (source). I was using last winter's HR zones as I have not retested. I put a note on the fridge that I need to reassess. Giving these zones the goal was to stay under 144 for the first half and above 144 for the second half. My other goal on the bike was to drink 4 ounces of Heed every 10 minutes (source). Last night I got out a measuring cup and marked my aerobottle at 2oz intervals.

The bike went smooth and was very enjoyable, I rode comfortably for the first 15 miles and watched my HR for the second. I found it hard to keep my HR up at times. There were descents that no matter how hard I pedalled in my biggest gears, my HR continued to drop. It would go all the way to zone 1 over a matter of seconds. Not sure how to remedy this or if this needs a remedy.

After the bike I made a decent transition. I wore bibs to ride so I changed in the foyer and headed back out. My goal on this leg was advice from Andy Potts in one of the same pages as above. I gave myself three minutes to find my rhythm and then closed my mouth and tried to breathe through my nose. If I couldn't do it, I was going too fast. Considering i was running at near my 5k pace, i new it was too fast. At that moment is felt good, but i needed to remember to pace myself. After a mile I got to a good rhythm and the effects of the bike were gone. Even with my rhythm, hills still floored me- dropping me to a 10 minute pace. In the end I averaged an 08:45 pace and my coach had called for 9:03- I am happy.

Today's workout is 6 x 1:00 for speed. I may put this off until tomorrow AM in order to clean up the house. I still have a bike and clothes in the foyer, heed and gel wrapper in the kitchen, didn't make the bed, and I am hoping I make it home before CB tonight.

Any olympic distance race strategies to share?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Happy Tuesday

Here I go again- force the positive attitude. I am feeling decent today although I do not care to be at work, I would rather be in the pool or somewhere else.

Got my bike back yesterday, I am happy, it looks great and clean, but I feel like a jerk.

Like I said yesterday I was distraught about my bike not being ready so I emailed the shop owner. Here is the basic outline of my email:

I. Love the shop and all the great things that they do for me.
II. Details of what happened when i dropped my bike off.
III. Details of (not) picking my bike up.
IV.How this effects my monetarily.
V. The implications that I am not as important as the big ticket customers.
VI. Not having my bike ready at the time you tell me to be there is like breaking your word.
VII. Past problems I have not said anything about because they have always taken care of them on the spot (as an example of how great they are).

About three hours after I emailed the shop owner, one of the guys (the same one I dealt with last week and weekend) called me at work to let me know that my bike was ready. He was very short and not very friendly. He and most of the others are usually very friendly even small talking before getting to business, not today.

About an hour later i got a call from the shop owner apologizing for the problem and telling my that it upset him tahat they even promised my bike to be ready over the weekend as they are not supposed to do that. He also said that without going into details that he did discuss ME and the problem with the guys. He said the guys described me as more of a friend than a regular customer and told him that they had already dropped the $50 charge for changing the bars and were only billing me for the tune up, bar tape, and bar tapping because of my relationship with them. I had no idea there was a $50 charge to change the bars to begin with. They must have already made the decision when they gave me the quote (I also though that was an absurd amount as I can change them and put the shifter back on in the same amount of time it takes me to type this thought).

After i got this email I realized why the guy had been short with me.

When I went to pick up the bike he was not as short, but not as friendly as usual and was clearly avoiding eye contact. In the end I spent $100 to get a tune up (sadly that was already ear marked for a wetsuit), make four trips to the shop, and apparently upset someone I value. I got my bike back squeaky clean but felt like an asshole. Not something I meant to do. I would never want to be on the wrong foot with my bike shop, it strikes me that no triathlete can really afford to not have a good LBS or mechanic in their pocket.

Despite the 90 minutes of driving back and forth to the bike shop i still made it home in time for some speed work in the pool. I felt hard which I LOVE. It also made it clear to me that i still need work as my time has not changed that much from my last time trial in February; I have a new time trial this week so i will have a definitive answer. Today is a 30 mile ride/5 mile run brick. I knew i had a brick today but was surprised when i saw the distance. Oddly now that I am preparing for an international distance event i have a workout of this length, but had none during HIM training. Oh Well.

What are your plans today?

Monday, May 23, 2011


HAPPY MONDAY!!!! I am starting this week with a positive mental attitude. It is not coming naturally, but I am forcing it. I am actually in a sort of slump, but I am forcing myself to start positive. Despite my training being rough this week, my slump actually has has nothing to do with training and more to do with some stuff in the rest of my life. In reality, all I feel like doing is working out and sleeping.

My weekend was so-so. I started off by getting up early Saturday and going to registration for the karate class i teach on Saturdays. I also did some make up belt tests for kids who were sick on test day. This put me in a decent mood as I really love some of the kids. One of my favorites came by with her dad and after they registered the hung out for a few minutes. This child is 6 years old and just got her green belt (aka has completed two semesters) she is about knee high to me and I'm quite sure she could take on kids twice her age. It's not because she is tough, but she puts 100% effort behind everything she learns. Although, I hate having to get up early on a Saturday I am glad to be working with these kids and this is the spending money I get for racing.

Afterward, jonesing for a bike ride I headed over to a local trail with my mountain bike. Our local state park has 3 separate mountain bike loops totaling 18 miles. I rode an alternate version of one of the loops and totaled 8.5 miles in what seemed like a blink of an eye. The trails were different than I remembered, but they flowed well. It took me a few minutes to re-acclimate to riding the mtb, it felt like I was pedaling a bounce house. I did fall one time early in the ride. When I climb hills with roots  I have a bad habit of death gripping the bars and leaning back or standing. I hit a large root, the front wheel bounced and since i was already pulling up the bike just kept coming. No biggie, I am well adjusted to falling on my mtb (not the road bike so much, however).

The trail ride was really just a ploy to kill time while waiting for the service on my road bike to be completed. When I dropped the bike off on Thursday for a tune up and to have my bars replaced, they asked me what time I wanted to pick it up and since i was going to be in town to teach karate that morning (my karate class and the bike shop are 30 minutes away). I told them lunch time would be great. The guy told me that it probably wouldn't be ready at noon due to the lunch time retail rush, but they could have it at three. When I arrived at 2:45 they told me they hadn't touched it yet. They might be able to have it done by the end of the day today or Sunday, but would most definitely by the end of the day Monday. This upset me a great bit, because that means that I wasted time today just milling around for 4 hours ( I still would have gone for the mtb ride, but it would have been on the way home), I will have to waste gas to come back, and in order to pick my bike up during their weekday shop hours I have to take off at least on hour early. Not to mention this messes with my training schedule. Although for some reason I felt I should be angry, i wasn't- it felt more like I had been hurt by a trusted friend. I told CB and she got angry- that's why I keep her around. I do plan to email the shop owner and let him know my concerns.

Sunday was kind of similar ups and downs. I had a good swim, but was nervous about my first long run (14 miles) since easter. My shoes are not built for long runs and ever since my knee injury long runs make me nervous. I still dedicated myself to it. I ended up doing a walk 30 second, run 3:30. Even with the walking I ended up keeping an 10:30 pace. This is slower than prescribed, but my pace dropped drastically in the last 30 minutes as my feet and hips got tired. Cold bath when I was done had me feeling good to go again. I was happy since I got in one way or another, the only tough thing about it was being bored out of my mind. This week the plans calls for a 15 miler and i am going to increase my run time and decrease my rest time, not exactly the real run walk training plan but I am just trying to get back to running 10+ non-stop again.

How was your weekend?

Friday, May 20, 2011

A New Low ????

After going through seven levels of bullshit in order get my workout completed last night (YMCA customer service sucks) I was able to get to the pool. My workout called for a 1800m swim, but since I am still trying to work on my kick I planned to swim it with fins a kick board as I had been directed.

Once I got in the pool I had roughly 17 minutes to complete the workout. This put swimming with the kick board out of the plan, my second plan was to swim with no fins, but I knew I couldn't swim it in 17 minutes, so my safety plan was to swim the 1800 with fins. This made sense to me since the fins will work on building an ergonomically correct kick, and without the kick board it will take less effort and that way I could concentrate on my pull. Even swimming with fins 1800m in 17 minutes was going to be a challenge for me. I swam  the first 50 solid but relaxed and with glide. After that I started cranking- no glide, hard kick, and pulling as fast as I could. At this time my dinner started playing with me and this is where it got complicated......

Earlier in the evening I had to take my bike to the shop, this requires a trip out of town. Across the street from the bike shop is Salsarita's. If you do not have one it is a chain tex-mex restaurant that is like a subway with mexican food. CB and I love their food and since I had to got he 38 miles to the bike shop I asked her if I should get us some nachos for dinner while I am out. I returned home smelling the delicious steak and chicken nachos. I was hungry and CB had been drooling since I first wrote Salsarita's in a text so we ate in in hurry and then headed to the gym.

After the first HARD 400 yards my stomach started to feel funny. I thought to myself, slow down a bit. I put in a little bit of glide and kept going, but the inevitable happened around 900 meters- A few strokes before I got to the far wall, my mouth filled with vomit. I have swam so hard I wanted to puke when I stopped, but never puked while I was going. I could taste the chip seasoning, steak, cheese, and jalapenos. Two thoughts went through my mind quickly. First and most importantly if I let this out of my mouth they are going to close the pool and I won't get to finish the workout. Secondly, I need to make the decision quickly as I was supposed to breath two strokes ago. With all of my might I swallowed what was in my mouth and opened my mouth to let in a little water while I rolled over for the breath. I gagged a little more when I swallowed, but no puke. I slowed to just faster than a catch-up drill pace for 25m, saw the clock and realized I needed to try to sprint to finish the workout on time. The sprinting led to a mouth full of puke one more time, but I instinctively swallowed it and kept going.

In the end I only got in 1600m before time was up, but the guards told me to go ahead and finish. I think they figured out they pissed me off. It was fun to learn today that my favorite nachos taste just as good coming up. 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

I'm at a seven

Everyday when I come in tot he office, as well as sometimes at other parts of the day, a certain coworker asks me where I am. She is referencing my scale of contentedness v. disgruntleness. Recently i have been averaging around a 2.5 and I rarely break a 5. Today I came in at a 7.

I don't know if there is anything particularly great about today or if it that I worked hard yesterday and my workload today compared to what is has been recently seems manageable. This month has been crazy at work. I have been averaging one day in the office per week. The last week of April I worked in the office on Monday, but then had to go our annual in-service training for the rest of that week in order to keep my certification as a sworn officer. The following week I returned on Monday and spent the entire day catching up on email and paperwork regarding only one of my duties. Tuesday and Wednesday were normal, but on Wednesday Day I was told I needed to take the rest of the week off.

The North Carolina budget is way past it's normal deficit and we have been banned from having any over-time. My boss takes this directive very seriously and makes me take off any overtime from travelling to training, etc as soon as he realizes I have it.  So he made me take the rest of that week off in order to clear our books of all of my time. The beginning of the following week started with going out of town for two days of tactical training. I returned on Wednesday to be told to take the rest of the week off in order to clear the books again. I returned this week to go to training on Monday and will be sent home one day this week.

It has been tough to complete a week's worth of work in only a day a week, but yesterday I was on the grind all day and got caught up on all of my paperwork and made a large dent int he counselling contacts i have to complete by the end of the month.

Training has not been as productive. I did not have time to workout due to leaving early and returning late on Monday, on Tuesday as much as I needed to workout I decided to take the day off from training as all the soreness of from the weekend finally set in.

Yesterday, I refocused and decided that what I would do is change my rest day from Saturday to Monday and pull an extra two-a-day sometime doing the week in order to make up for Tuesday's swim. Easy Peasy. I got home lat last night from work, given the limited time I was still motivated to get in SOMETHING. I started into the brick that had been planned for Monday. Knowing I did not have time to complete the entire thing, I decided to cut each leg in half but push harder.

Since my bike is slated for the shop, I had to ride on a trainer at the Y. The ride was only 7 miles, but I pushed myself into harder gears shooting to stay as close to 300 watts as I could while keeping rpm's over 95. The run was planned for 4 miles with a 2mile warm up and 2 miles at 10k pace, instead I ran the hilliest route I could find for 2.5 miles as fast as I could. Although it was short, I felt (and still feel amped) and am looking forward to lifting at lunch today and a swim this evening, with a speed work run a possibility if I have time.

I could of things are coming in the future: I got a new Hydrapak to test from Devon at Outside PR and will be doing a giveaway for Peter Rabbit Organics. Lastly, lately i have been watching my weight but not as much as I did last year- I have been more interested in watching my body fat percentage. It is at 17%. According to the chart I looked at that puts me in the fit bracket. I did not realize I had bypassed average and moved into to fit. This would be the first time in my life I have been in either of those categories. I am HAPPY! I would love to get down to the athlete bracket. Body fat percentage aside I would like to set my targets on losing my last 15 pounds. In fact, I will settle for 10 putting me at 170. Weight loss has been very slow going, but consistent, since the beginning of the year. Does anyone have any suggestions for breaking a weightloss plateau?

Also, a few other bloggers and my wife have suggested that i change the name of the blog. I will do this when my eight drops under 170 lbs. I have no idea what to rename it and would love to hear suggestions. I am thinking something with "or Die" in it as an homage to "manly" Chris, but I am not stuck to this rule. Maybe I can even talk someone in to doing a custom header for a new blog for me too so i can be just like him.... on second though maybe not.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Fun with Numbers

It is that time again. Time to analyze the numbers like I enjoy doing after every race in order to see where I am in my training, where I can work more, and where I am compared to others.

Swim- I had a chip time of 6:00. This was my goal. My coach predicted my time as 06:02. I hit my garmin 1/3 of the way to transition and  the Garmin read 5:55- this should actually put my time closer to 5:50. Regardless whether it was 5:50, 5:55: or 6:00 it is a new PR for 300m. Considering my coach has only had me doing short intervals twice so far this season, either I had an "on" day or the work with fins and kick boards I have added at the suggestion of both my college swimmer friend and my am lifeguard has paid off. I still  think this is the area that needs my attention the most and I will continue to add in extra workouts where I can and look for more resources for improvement. Using the 6:00 official time a 2:00 100m is still 30 second away from my goal pace and once there that 30 seconds will add up on those longer swims. After thought- I am happy that this time is faster than my time from last month's rce and as this was metered pool it was actualy longer slightly.

With the 6:00 time I was 3rd in my AG, while the #1 rank in my AG was 5:30 (slower than my goal time). The overall winner in my AG was last with a 7:09, but he made up for it on the run. The person who beat me for the #2 AG spot out swam me by 9 seconds. My swim rank was 21 and compared to my 26th place overall finish my swim is usually below my overall place.

Bike- Ag 4th place by a minute and a half and 35th overall. I assume I had a total of 2 minutes lost either on the ground, putting my bike back together, or on the course making repairs. These cost me. If you subtract the two minutes from my time it would place me 29th overall which is more inline with my average bike rank. I will also continue to work in this area. I feel that some interval workouts would be of a great benefit to me, my coach had me do my first one about  two weeks prior to the race and I loved it. I have been eyeing spinervals time trialpalooza. Anyone ever tried it?

Run- Not my best ever effort as I think I could have done better with better nutrition, however I am satisfied with it. I had the 11th best overall run. I recently heard someone say that for the age group triathlete it is all about the run- my AG affirmed this as our AG places mirrored our run ranking. The slow swimmer came back to dominate our division with a 20 minute 5k (2nd best run overall by the way).

Overall- I am satisfied with my overall performance although I did make some DUMB mistakes. Since busting my ass happened outside of transition and technically on the bike course I pride myself on having top 10 times in both transitions and T1 could have been faster had I not been dropping stuff. I was able to get my 3rd place finish by four seconds. What makes me even happier is that 4 seconds was ahead of the guy that beat me by 15 seconds in Wilmington. Had I not lost those 2 minutes my overall place would have been closer to 15th and I would have had AG #2. You live and you learn.

Series Scoring- Prior to the race I am in 12th place in series points from my first race. #11 in points is the guy who placed #4 in my AG. Although it has been about 5 days since the race they have not been updated and I am eagerly awaiting to see if the 4 seconds will push me ahead of him. Also, as we are the only two athletes that have completed two series races so far we will be #1 and #2 at this moment. I eagerly await the update.

Back to training hard!


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Statesville Rotary Triathlon

Statesville Rotary Triathlon- 05/14/11
Overall Time- 1:12:50
300m Swim- 6:00
11.6 Mile Bike 4:41:49
5k Run- 23:43 (11th Overall)

26th Place Overall
AG 3rd Place- That's not just a finisher medal!!

Pre-race- Walked to the venue, placed my bike on the rack at 06:00. Walked back home, ate my normal wheat toast with PB, honey, and bananas, showered and walked back to the venue to set up transition and warm up. It made me feel good to hear people trying to figure out how to set up transition and whispering "let's watch how he does it". I wanted to turn and help but I don't want to seem like I feel I know what I'm doing. You guys know better.

Swim- With a 6 minute flat time, I swam faster that I hoped I would because the 6 minutes includes getting out of the pool, leaving the Y, going down the stairs and running to transition. I was the first person in the third wave, following the elites in the first wave and the predicted race winners in the second. There was a two minute wait between me and the previous wave, this meant no one to draft behind, but no one to fight with for passing or and turns. The  kid person behind me caught up with me at 200m, but I always reserve a sprint for the last 25-50m and passed him back as soon as I started the sprint.

T1- Embarrassing. I had T1 problems reminiscent of my first ever race last October. I ran in smoothly, right to my spot. I threw my goggles, swim cap, and garmin on the ground. DOH!!! Pick Garmin back up. Grab bike and go. Knock helmet off bike to the ground. DOH!!! Why is my helmet not on????  Pick up helmet while cussing, place on head, buckle, and go again.

Bike- Crash and collapse a few feet after the mount line, Get passed while down. Try to get up and realize it hurt. Try to get up again. Run to bike. Realize shoe has been thrown backward, go get it. While running back to bike see my Aerobottle is on the other side of the road ahead of my bike, got get it. Put bottle back on and put shoe on. Mount bike. Try to pedal- chain is off. Get back off bike and fix chain. get back on bike and go. I started spinning and made the first two quick turns. During the .35 miles between the second turn and the third I see a guy get hit by a truck. Get to the corner and pause for a moment for the ambulance. Somewhere around now I realize I still haven't put my other shoe on yet.

After I the first mile things start getting back to normal and I was thinking to myself that if I push hard can make up SOME of the ground I lost with my fiasco. I was planning my shifting like chess moves and thinking about the course ahead. Everything was going smoothly. Every time I felt I was mashing too hard I shifted and increased my cadence. I tried to keep telling myself to save my legs for the tough climbs and the run. At the second large descent the elites and race leaders passed me on their way back. Just past mile five I entered the longest climb on the course (1.5 miles), I was averaging 17 mph and since my coach's plan predicted 18 mph I need to push, then I spotted the person who passed me in transition. I kept pushing and passed him. After the next curve I saw 6 more people and caught up and passed each one as they struggled with the climb.  One of them passed me back on the next descent. On the next climb, I passed that person again plus 2 more. A few miles later on the next to last climb I passed three more people.

Just after the last major hill I shifted to a better gear to for the last mile and lost my chain. I got off the bike to put the chain back on for the second time. Once I got back on I checked the Garmin and my average speed was 18 mph. I was happy considering that this avg includes the time I spent on the ground and the time I spent off the bike fixing the chain.

T2- In and out. BAM!

Run- Pushed as hard as I could. I was on pace for the first mile. Once I hit the large, half mile hill on the first lap I slowed dramatically. Dramatically for my planned pace, not too slow in general. I still managed to pass large groups of people going up the hill. The rest of that lap went smoothly. At the start of the same hill on the second lap I was holding an average pace faster than my planned pace when my stomach started to cramp. All of a sudden something felt like it was coming up my throat, I opened my mouth expecting to puke and let out the nastiest, wettest burp I have ever had in my life.  The cramp went away immediately. As I pushed up the hill, the harder I pushed the more it came back. Three quarters of the way up the hill a guy came up next to me and started talking to me- first time on this run that someone came from behind me. He bitched about the course and it having too many hills. He said he has done "a few tri's and this has been the hilliest, its like racing in the Alps". I decided this was a perfect time for me to use him as a carrot and stick with him to the finish. I worked as hard as I could to keep up- he would get 6 inches past me and I would surge back. It looked like a drag race scene from a 1950's movie.  The more I kept up with him the worse my nausea got and I started to feel something coming up again and decided to pull back a little- I decided I didn't want to finish with both blood and puke on my suit, one of the two is good enough :). This may be the closest I have ever come to a bonk. As I slowed I looked at my Garmin and was holding a 6:00 pace trying to keep up with the guy. As he pulled away I saw his age on his leg and bib number on his arm and realized he was one of the two guys in my AG, I reconned pre-race that I thought would be my biggest competition. Shortly after I slowed I started down the hill to the finishing chute, thunder clapped, it started raining, and I sprinted in to the finish. Great timing.

The results were just posted tonight and I have had my normal fun with numbers.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Shit Happens

Today was not a bad day, my second race of the season.

However, it did not start very smoothly.

More on the race later, but I thought I would share the non-smooth part of my day.

After a decent swim, I came out of T1 and mounted my bike with wet feet. I ran just past the mount line put one foot on my left pedal and swung my right leg over (still moving at this point). Just before my foot hit the shoe my wet, left foot shot off and I did a cartwheel to my left side. I landed on the asphalt and my bike did the same about ten feet forward from me.

I shook it off, got it together and went on.

I now have a bruised heel, ankle, hip, left butt cheek,right hand and right knee. Plus road rash on my left hand and knee.

I heal, to me this is not as upsetting as the other damage.

My front wheel is either out of true of bent.(actually, not to bad in this view, but I could see some movement when I was riding). I am hoping out of true as that is easier to fix.

My shifter is very askew. All the plastic on both of them is shattered as well. I am hoping it is just rotated and not bent.

I think my front derailleur is also bent. After I ??crashed?? I had a hard time shifting. I dropped my chain twice and had to stop to put it back on.

Lastly, my rear break is screaming like a banshee.


The good news is I still have half of the SRAM rival set I put together at Christmas, however I still need the crankset and cassette. That wont be cheap.

The bad news is that I contacted my local Specialized dealer and if the wheel is bent, Specialized does not offer the ability to purchase replacements.

If I have to buy new wheels, does anyone have a suggestion? I asked about upgrading wheels a few weeks back and I got a number of "don't do its". When I asked that I was looking for a lightweight set of race wheels, not the deep dish carbon types like Zipp or HED. I like the Bontrager Aero lites as an example. Any Suggestions?

Also, if I replace one should I replaced the rear so they match?

Lastly, can anyone tell me how to repair paint nicks? I googled it and came up with nothing.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Tri-ing to sleep

  • 8.5 hours until I have to be up for my second race of the season, I am struggling to sleep so I thought I would blog for a few minutes since I haven't been able to much this week.
  • Monday and Tuesday I spent training with the NC Prison Emergency Response Team. Once a year we go away as a team for a two days of 12 hours training plus after hours team building. No drinking allowed, so by this I mean fishing, campfire, and hanging out talking shit. I usually dread it, because although I like the time to be out of the office and have a physical components to my duties I generally don't like my team mates. With exception of me and one female office it is a group of type A, egotistical, hillbilly tough guys.
  • We had three classes total. The first class was search and rescue techniques for when we assist other agencies. This wasn't horrible but I have 13 years of being the other agency. Next we worked on slow and deliberate room clearing with our new Bushmaster M-4 assault rifles. The next day they set up a shoot house/course and we worked through in pairs with both out pistols and shotguns.
  • The situational shooting course consisted of a 200m run to get our heart rates up. Then we loaded into a van for our safety briefing. Once complete the whistle sounded and we dismounted the van and got our long guns. I was point and had to clear three targets 50m down and alley and then provide cover as my partner had to pull a downed officer (dummy) to the van. Once he was back, we proceeded down the alley, and then cleared the corner were two there were two more targets. We then moved to a close building for cover, the building had no door, just a door way and there were two targets when we got to it. Once go to the edge of the building we had to cover each other as we ran to the next building, on the way the instructors had a target wielding a knife rigged to charge you from around a corner. Once to the next building we had to breach it and clear two room before ending the scenario. Much better and more realistic course than last year.
  • Ever since I worked with our new assault rifle I have been very excited. I was loving practicing moving, room clearing, and transitioning between hands.
  • For the first time we are moving away from dynamic entry. Dynamic entry is the shock and awe way of entering a building in a stack as you see on TV. This is a very good method, but requires a lot of practice and requires working with the same people regularly so you can learn their rhythms. This method is silent, slow, and deliberate. This method makes it easier to work with different teams (as we often do) since it only requires that the individuals have their own competency. We did about a dozen scenarios and I was one of the rifleman as well as pointman/breacher/ team leader. i loved every second of it.
  • After training the first day I went for a 4x400m run with 1 mile warm and 1 mile cool. The run was tough, we were much higher up in the mountains than I am usually and the terrain was steep. I had to work hard to finish this one, it turned more to hill work than speed work. It was a nice gut check.
  • Many of my platoon mates said they would run with me, none of then did. Pussies.
  • When I got back to the office Wednesday my boss told me to take half the day Thursday and all of Friday off due to having too much overtime for the week already. This worked out well since I was taking Thursday morning off for Community service leave. In other words, Two days off and only having to spend 1 out of 5 days in the office.
  • Thursday I taught stranger avoidance to all the kindergarten classes in CB's school. I have refused to do this year for years, but am much less terrified of kids now.
  • Speaking of kids and karate, I am thinking of changing my race schedule to substitute Sunday races where I can. This way I don't have to take off from my part time job as it where i get my racing money. Once morning of teaching equals sprint/olympic race entry fees. Taking more Sunday races will mean dropping some easy, short, flat races and picking up some longer sprints with open water swims, and one more Oly.
  • My new tri shoes did not get here in time for tomorrow's race.
  • I hit everyone of my workouts this week, but not in the prescribed order. I even got in two extras.
  • I am trying a new method of mounting my bike. I have rubber banded my shoes on, but will slow down, place one foot on a shoe, push off and swing my leg over. I found this on an instructional video on youtube. I am working on the flying squirrel mount, but lose one of my shoes about half the time.
  • Tomorrow race is .15 miles from my house. After I get up I plan to put my toast int he toaster, walked my bag and bike to the rack, and then come back home to eat, poop, and shower. This way I get the spot I want since racks are assigned, but not spots.
  • We are in the middle of thunderstorm right now and it is called to keep going through the morning. The race plan is to change to a duathalon if the thunder keeps going. I feel if the swim is eliminated I have the upper hand with my increases in running and overfamiliarity with the bike course.

Monday, May 9, 2011

New Direction

My weekend plan was to start prepping the meal of pain I want to serve next saturday.

In the AM before going to my part time job I got up and did 45 minutes on the trainer. The main set was 10x1 minute in my hardest gear.

After I was done with my part time job, 6 hours of landscaping, and an early mothers day dinner I went home and went for a run. I went to the 1/2 mile hill that is the hardest section of the 5k. That should make it easier later.

Today and tomorrow I am away for tactical training, but brought my shoes with me to do some speed work. Maybe someone in my platoon will join me. On another note since I couldn't afford to travel last weekend (not an excuse by the way) I took my registration fee and bought some pearl izumi fly 2's. Look forward to having them this weekend.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Friday, May 6, 2011

Swirling Emotions and a New Plan

For the last week I have had a lot of ups and downs and my emotions have been all over the map. This makes it sound like there have been major qualifying events (stole that the insurance industry) going on in my life. There haven't been. In fact, all of these feeling have been provoked by multisport. It was during this time that I also realized it has evolved from something to do to lose weight, to exercise, to a hobby, to the beginning a lifestyle (or obsession).

Here is the journey of my last week....

Thursday- The beginning of self-doubt
I do not know what I did this day all I remember is that this is the day I think I started to wonder if I could really do a 70.3. I remember dwelling on the fact that between work and illness, I have missed three long runs and 3 long rides since I started training. With that many miles missing from my base, I am just not sure I have the training to back my goal. In retrospect I now realized that although I had missed these workouts, I had hit both the longest workouts of the training schedule to this point- a 14 mile run and a 60 mile ride. I may have missed a 35 miler, but it did not dawn on me that I had accomplished much bigger rides.

Friday- Moving further down the spiral
Friday I was off work and planned to make up a long ride, plus do my scheduled swim. I also had yard work that needed to be done. Well, more garden work and landscaping, less yard work. I flip flopped between what order to do them in, I even tweeted for advice. thank you Jon for the advice of "swim, bike, yard work, beer, pie". That did sound fun. One of the biggest worries on my mind was the fear of the open water swim. This would be my first open water swim and my longest race swim to date. Not sure I liked the combo. What if I get tired, or a cramp, or forget to HTFU?

Before I could decide I found out my in-laws were going to visit their great aunt who lives on a lake in a private neighborhood. I decided this was my perfect chance to go swim and then I would just bike home (30-50 miles depending on my route.) Perfect timing. Cb was going to go shopping with her family after we went to her aunt's so we waited all day for them to be ready.

At 5pm they were finally ready, at this point I did not think there was enough daylight left for a safe ride home so we told them never mind and started the grill for dinner.

Saturday- Cycling up and then crashing even lower.
Overnight we concreted plan to go to Cb's aunt's house. The house is located in a private neighborhood on a cove 100-400m across (depending on the angle) and 150m from the end. Due to its location directly across from the yacht club, it is in a no-wake zone and seems to me like a good place to swim. We got out there and I swam two out and backs totaling 415m. It took 17 minutes. Why? I haven't the slightest clue. I was having the hardest time keeping my form together and I could not breathe! I got done. Despite the challenges i was not upset. I was looking forward to my bike ride.

I set out and was happy as a clam. I was averaging 20 mph for 45 minutes of the first hour and wasn't even trying. Then it happened. Have you ever been driving and the map and the road signs didn't agree? I mapped the route out before I left and it was a straight shot. At 15 miles a sign had the highway number and left arrow. I noticed it and quickly crossed three lanes and made the turn, despite my mapping showing no turns. I followed the road and got to a location I recognized, I knew this was not the right way. I turned around and climbed back up the hill thinking I must have misread the sign. I got back and it said exactly what I thought it said. I explored past it just to see if the road would continue to have the sign for the road I meant to be on. It didn't. I doubled back and took the turn.

It dumped me out into a 4/5 lane road that happens to be the busiest road in Mooreseville, NC on a normal day, let alone a day with two different festivals going on. I got to the three way intersection and there were no signs about which way to go to stay on or get to the road I was looking for. I knew if the road is there it would be east, so I went east. After a little bit I decided this traffic was too sketchy to be out exploring in. I pulled over and got my phone out to use the GPS. Blackberry maps would find the location and every time I would scroll in the direction I was heading the screen would go blank. I got fed up with the GPS and did not want to explore any further on the road. I called CB who happened to be 10 miles away, heading towards me and had her take a detour to come pick me up. ride failed.

On the way home I asked her to let me explore, and in fact the next major intersection was the road i was looking for. I thought about just getting back out but that would be messed up since she came to get me. We followed my planned route home, but not before I took her and her sister out for Mexican, I went to the store and got oreos, and rented a season of lost and a season of house. I sulked the rest of the day laying in my chair binging on oreos.

Sunday- Not as low, but not as high either
After i went to church that morning we were celebrating my Grandmother-In-Laws birthday at a local seafood restaurant (I refer to this particular restaurant as hillbilly heaven). I decided to help ease my frustrations i needed a non-training ride. I rode my bike to lunch and back. When I got home i decided to sit down and take a minutes before i would go to the pool. 5 hours later the pool had closed and i had not been able to talk myself into it.

Monday- Euphoria
I spent the day very busy at work, however at sometime one thought came to my mind- If not now when? i realized I would probably always feel under-trained and nervous. suck it up and do it. i went for a long swim after work and was going to time it to guage what my time should be. I felt good about my swim, I was not putting in a tempo effort but felt i was moving smoothly. I however was feeling bad as the three other lap swimmer were flying past me. I worked hard not to get lapped by the guy next to me. When I got done I stood up at the end of the lane and had a breather before I got out (by the way when i stood up out of the water, it was the first time i have ever remembered felling WARM after a swim). When I stopped the guy next to me stopped and as soon as he broke the surface of the water he looked at me and said, "you must be a triathlete are you racing White Lake this weekend?". He then proceeded to tell me that last July he did his first race on his 50th birthday and between then and the end of October he race 1 sprint, 1 Oly, and 1 HIM. He told me he hates the bike, doesn't hate running but doesn't like it, but he loves the swim. He then gave me a long list of open water swim tips (without asking). This seemed like fate.

Tuesday- Frustration
So I have decided to go for it. Now, a few of my travel plans have changed and I must re-budget. Now it turns out that with my purchases on the way home Saturday and for my yard on Friday that I could not afford travel.  I could probably swing it, but would not have the money for my sprint the following weekend. I spent the afternoon scrambling  trying to call friends to crash with and do the like. Nothing worked out. CB volunteered to drive and make it a 1 day trip but i didn't think leaving at 1am for he race would be a good idea.

Wednesday- Depression, Anger, and Bargaining
The close of registration was at 7:00 am with 129 spots left. One of those should have been mine. Although feeling like going back to bed I got up and went to the pool. The plan called for a 1000m tempo. I decided since I wasn't doing the race i would prep for my sprint and do 50's instead. After 250m I still hadn't found my rhythm and decided to give up. Sometimes I find swimming very relaxing however it is not something I am in love with. It is one area that i can easily quit if I am not feeling it, so I did. When i got out the life guard talked to me for a while. She said that she thought i had good form but needed to work on my inconsistent kick coming from the knees and said i would be waster if I learned flip turns (clearly this won't matter in open water). She explained to me that she feels about running the way I do with swimming.

Afterwards I planned to go for a 4 mile run and  I was too angry to go. I was angry because I felt like I just wasted 20 weeks of training. Countless hours on like rides and runs. I was also angry because of three longer distance events I have planned two have now been crapped out because not being able to afford them, plus my February marathon being called off for injury purposes when my knee started hurting on my 20 miler. It made it worse that I chose this race in part because it was the cheapest 70.3 i was going to be able to find. As a non-multisport point of aggravation I have shared before. I get angry regularly, when CB and I have things that come up we can't afford. It makes me mad because having grown up on welfare, I put time and hard work into going to college- paying for it myself and working three jobs. Afterwards I went to grad school where I completed a two year program in one year, while working 50 hours a week while making $600 a month and being given a free apartment. After putting in a fair amount of work i have worked 5 years in an entry level position and still have a lower income than the guys on my city's trash truck- No really I have checked.

The other reason I chose this race was because it was a regional qualifier for the USAT long course championships and therefore 33% of every division gets to go. Even better, the championship race is just 4 hours away from me. I did my recent search and my 1.2 mile swim time, in a pool without a wetsuit, is neck and neck with last year's winner of the division i was going to race in. My run time of my last half mary was faster than the run leg of anyone in my division last year and i run faster now than I did then, in fact my last 14 mile LSD was only slightly slower than the winners pace. My average bike speed is slower, however my estimated total time per my coach was 15 minutes faster than the total time from the division winner last year. i felt confident I would be in that top 33% and therefore go to Halfmax. How cool would that be? Later this evening I started the bargaining process. I looked at the time requirements and realized that if i did a non-regional qualifier I would never make the time of 5:05 for my first 70.3. I then began looking at regional qualifiers. Sadly, there were several regional races that were within travel distance but they are the same day as this race. I realized my best chance is the special qualifier at REDMAN in Oklahoma. It takes the top 45% of each age group and is a mere 12 hour drive away. This will probably only happen if I get a raise and can do some serious saving, fundraisers, or get sponsorship to pay for it. All not very likely.

Thursday- Acceptance
I emailed my coach and let him know that I would not be racing. That stung a little as this distance is one of my goals for the year. He emailed me back his condolences but made the great point that although, not ideal as I could have spent more time focusing on short distance speed, however the long workouts were great base training for the rest of my year.

Now that I have accepted this set back, I am locked my sights on my sprint next weekend. I am going to put in some extra workouts this weekend just for fun. In the pool I will focus on my kick and intervals, on the bike I will work on speed, climbing, and getting even more intimate with the course, and on the run I am going to repeat the 1/2 mile hill that you must run twice during the course a couple of dozen times.

On the morning of 05/14/11 my race plan will be to prepare and serve a heaping portion of pain to anyone in my AG and for desert pain cupcakes. And anyone who I can't serve pain, the finish line and awards are a 1/2 mile away from transition, while they are getting their plaques and medals I will be slashing their tires and peeing on their handlebars.

Enough with weak emotions time to HTFU and GO TO WAR!

Monday, May 2, 2011

A number of authors have suggested that mood disorders are an evolutionary adaptation. A low or depressed mood can increase an individual's ability to cope with situations in which the effort to pursue a major goal could result in danger, loss, or wasted effort. In such situations, low motivation may give an advantage by inhibiting certain actions. This theory helps to explain why mood disorders are so prevalent, and why they so often strike people during their peak reproductive years. These characteristics would be difficult to understand if depression were a dysfunction.

Nesse R (2000). "Is Depression an Adaptation?". Arch. Gen. Psychiatry 57 (1): 14–20