Thursday, January 31, 2008

Last night after the run I went up to Donatos with Twig, David, and Steve, the guys I had run with, for pizza. Just out of curiousity, I thought it might be fun to look up the nutritional information on the meal. Note that the above serving is 1/4 of a large pizza and comes to 791 calories with 342 of those from fat... too bad I had 1/2 of a large pizza. I'm no math major, but that sounds like 2 servings. Plus some ice cream when I got home. Oh yeah, and cereal too. I better stop adding up calories now...

I wonder what the food nazi will say about this...

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Since we here at the Wide World of Andrew believe in giving everyone his/her say, I figured it would only be fair to post Paulo's response to my letter last night. It went something like this:


You do know one of my favorite quotes?

"It is better to be feared than loved, if you cannont be both." -Niccolo Machiavelli


So there you have it. And I was expecting a simple HTFU...

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

This evening's workout was not much fun at all. And by not fun at all I mean it really sucked. 9x4min is a hard enough workout to begin with but for some reason the PE seemed even higher tonight. As I was slugging through it, I composed a little letter for Paulo. It went something like this:

Dear Paulo,

I hate you.

Yours truly,


There were also some choice words in there but we'll omit those. Of course afterwards looking over power file it turned out to be a pretty good workout, but Paulo doesnt get off that easy.

State of the Union

Last night I went ahead and tuned into the President's last State of the Union address. One of his introductory lines set a nice tone,

"In the work ahead, we must be guided by the philosophy that made our nation great. As Americans, we believe in the power of individuals to determine their destiny and shape the course of history. We believe that the most reliable guide for our country is the collective wisdom of ordinary citizens."

Hooray for less government. Other highlights along these lines included the elimination of 151 "wasteful or bloated" government programs, the demand for Congress to rein in "pork-barrel" spending, and the promise to veto any bill that raises taxes.

It was also nice to hear him tout alternative energy, carbon sequestration, and nuclear power. Quite a change from a couple of years ago when the Administration wouldnt even admit global warming existed.

However, the best part of the whole speach was when he suggested we double funding for basic physical science,

"To keep America competitive into the future, we must trust in the skill of our scientists and engineers and empower them to pursue the breakthroughs of tomorrow.

Last year, Congress passed legislation supporting the American Competitiveness Initiative, but never followed through with the funding. This funding is essential to keeping our scientific edge.

So I ask Congress to double federal support for critical basic research in the physical sciences and ensure America remains the most dynamic nation on earth."

Gotta love that. Having just finished graduate school where I received funding from such a DOE grant , I can appreciate the need for money for the sciences. Without it I, and many others, may have pursued other interests. These grants are crucial for keeping more American students in the engineering and science fields and keeping more top level professors here, in the US, developing new technologies.

Of course all this has to be taken with a grain of salt as lets face it, how much of what is said in the State of the Union actually gets accomplished??

Monday, January 28, 2008


S: 30,000yds
B: 8h25
R: 7h28

Total: 23h 23min

Pretty darn good week, of course it helped that last Monday was MLK Jr day and I didnt have to work. It has also been nice to get back into a routine of running everyday. I've felt pretty good on the hard stuff and Saturday morning's trail run was a lot of fun. Hopefully this block of run training will lay a nice foundation for the rest of the year.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Yesterday was the Mountain Mist 50k here in Huntsville and while I certainly wasnt up for running 50k in the woods, I was up for the after party was at Duffy's Deli. Duffy's, a local place here in Huntsville, is famous for their white chili and I was excited to try it as I've seen it advertised while running by on numerous occasions. The chili was good, and so was the company.

After Duffy's Melanie, Cheryl, and I headed downtown looking for some trouble. We ended up at Mason's Pub which is a pretty nice place. It was clean, had a nice selection of beer on draught, and had plenty of widescreen TVs. My only complaint was the rediculously overpriced chips and dip.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Last night I went to see Spirit of the Marathon with the crew from Fleet Feet. The movie followed a couple of elites as well as a few "weekend warriors" who were training for the 2005 Chicago Marathon. Overall the movie was good but not great, especially since I paid $12 to see it.

One of the highlights was hearing from Deena Kastor, especially when she gave specific workouts she had just completed (7mi tempo run @ 5:32 pace @7000ft). It was also cool to hear about her training when she is injured. Unlike most of the rest of us, she has an underwater treadmill which she gets to use when she is hurt. Having one of those would beat the heck out of aqua jogging. There was also some cool information about the history of the marathon along with interviews from Frack Shorter, Joe Henderson, Joan Benoit Samuelson, Paula Radcliff, and others. Overall I'd recommend watching this if you are on the fence about whether or not to do a marathon or if you have one coming up as it will definitely get you pumped.

The movie also got me thinking about doing a marathon and while it is something I'd like to eventually do, I feel like if I was going to run one I'd have to train properly for it. That would mean cutting back big time on the swimming and biking and bumping up the run volume but that wont happen any time soon because I have some other goals on the triathlon front I'd like to accomplish first.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

I had some company on my long run last night, which was nice. With this running everyday nonsense, its certainly helps to have someone to meet to get you out the door. Anyway, David and I ran for 1.5h with some tempo and even though he is a bit faster than me, he was kind enough to keep it under control and let my HRM dictate the pace.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

It is almost Super Bowl time, isnt it? The pizza, beer, and TV commercials have commenced and the over analyzing of the two teams is getting under way. This is all normal. This story, however, might be a little overkill...

Monday, January 21, 2008

Not a bad day at the office, especially since I didnt have to work. Thanks to Martin Luther King Jr and the fact that I work at a government facility I got today off. This meant that I had plenty of time to work out a few times, make pancakes, and even get some new shoes.

It was nice to get outside for a ride even though it is still really cold here. Worst of all the LCD on my PT went out which I'm guessing was due to the cold. This meant I got to rely on go old RPE which is always fun.


S: 23100
B: 7h 25min
R: 6h 52min

Total: 20h 4min

Another week down and its hard to believe there is only a week left in January meaning the Mercedes Half is right around the corner. Luckily, it feels like the running is starting to come around just in time. Hopefully I can get in a few more quality workouts and put together a decent race.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Saw a bumper sticker this morning while I was out freezing my ass off on a run which reminded me that regardless of the weather, this is still the south. It read, "If guns kill people then spoons made Rosie O'Donnell fat."

Well I was lucky enough to get out on the bike yesterday but I just dont think its going to happen today. The projected high is now only 33 and I just dont have 33F cycling apparel. Looks like I'll end up watching football, either the live version or "We Are Marshall." Fortunately, Paulo has given me a reprieve and allowed me to only ride 3/4 of the prescribed time. And people say he is a hard ass...

Friday, January 18, 2008


Seriously.... wtf? As they say, "a picture says a thousand words"...

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Not a bad day at the office... The day started with 5k in the pool this morning with 20x100 Zn4 then 1h 30min on the bike with 8x4min Zn4 after work and finally it was finished off with an easy 40min run. After that the frozen pizza and ice cream tasted pretty damn good.
Yesterday after returning from Slidell I hopped on the trainer and followed it up with a short run. Nothing to exciting except for the fact that it was SNOWING during my run. Unfortunately (or fortunately) it was about 38F outside at the time and it only lasted for an hour or so, so nothing was sticking. It was kind of fun though to be out running in shorts while the snow was falling. I ran by a school where there mustve been some after school day care and needless to say the kids were pretty excited about it as snow isnt exactly a regular occurance here in Huntsville.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Today I had some meetings at and took a tour of the Michoud Assembly Facility (MAF). This is where Lockheed Martin makes the External Tank (ET) for the space shuttle. Basically all the pieces get shipped here and are then welded and bolted together before being placed on a boat and sent over to the Cape. The facility is huge and it was really cool to see some of the enormous tooling made just to manufacture ETs. Of course this means a lot of these tools are nearing the end of the their lives as there are only a handful of tanks left to be manufactured as the shuttle program is winding down fast.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Hanging out here in Slidell, LA, a small town near New Orleans. All I have to say is that if I lived here, I would be VERY worried about global warming. The first floor of my hotel couldnt be much, if any, above sea level so I'm glad I'm on the third floor. Also, the sidewalks are considerably lower than the street and roads without sidewalks have NO shoulder, whatsoever.

Tomorrow its over to MAF (Michoud Assembly Facility) to check out an External Tank which mayve been partly damaged by Katrina. I guess we'll see how bad it is tomorrow.

Sunday, January 13, 2008


S: 26800
B: 6h 55min
R: 6h 13min

Total: 19h 50min

The week started with the fitness tests which I missed out on last week. With those out of the way, its time to start some more race prep type training. My first race of the year will be the Cali 70.3 which is earlier than usual for me, so we'll see how that goes. The only thing I'm really worried about is temperature... hopefully it wont be too cold since lets face it, having to get on a bike when it is 55F and you are all wet just isnt fun.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Friday, January 11, 2008

Blissful ignorance comes crashing down to reality

Just got in from some more fast running and just like Wed, it was nice to open it up a little. While Wed was some Zn3 fun, tonight was 20min Zn4 which of course means I got to run a little faster. Tonight however, I made the mistake of running part of the run on the Rocket City Marathon course. So after 10min of blissful ignorance, I timed my last two miles and sure enough they were slower than expected. Of course "slower than expected" is the nice way of putting it... 12 yr old girl speed is probably more appropriate. Oh well, at least its January. Wait, that means the half marathon I'm doing in February isnt that far away!
Watched Transformers last night while pedaling away on my little bicycle inside my apartment. While I have to admit I was a bit skeptical, it actually ended up being a pretty cool flick. If you havent seen it, I'd describe it as a mix between Independence Day and X-Men. I loved the cartoon on Saturday mornings when I was growing up and the movie did not disappoint. Even though the plot was incredibly reminiscent of Independence Day, the movie is still definitely worth seeing due to the awesome action sequences which were top notch.

In slightly more triathlon related news, Paulo has put up an interesting article regarding interactions between training sessions. This is something I think about quite a bit. For instance, if you swim hard in the morning, does that affect the adaptations you will make after the easy run you have in the evening? Or how about time between training sessions? Is it good or bad to schedule training sessions back to back and if not, how much time is needed in between to recover from the first? I could of course drive myself crazy worrying about these kinds of things, but luckily I have a coach to do that for me. ;)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

After only easy running the last few weeks, it was nice to open it up a little last night. Of course one of the advantages of training with HR is that you can be blissfully ignorant about your actual pace and just pretend you are running fast. Eventually of course I'll have to face the music and head to the track, but no need to worry about that yet.

I also just decided to do the Mercedes Half Marathon on February 10th. It should be a good fitness test and a nice way to break up the training monotony. Hopefully I'll have a decent showing.

In other news... I got my Alabama driver's license this morning which means I am getting close to full assimilation to Alabama living. All I need is a pickup truck with a gun rack and I'll be all set!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Got an organzational chart of the Marshall Space Flight Center today containing 3 organizational levels and probably 100 names. Unfortunately, I didnt quite make the cut. But then again, neither did my boss. Or his boss....

I guess I should just look at this as plenty of opportunity for "upward mobility." Yeah, thats it...
Finished up the fitness tests last night with the test on the trainer. Fun times.

I then watched Good Night, and Good Luck which was decent. It was pretty interesting to see the social and political climate of the time but unfortunately the plot wasnt all in that compelling. And of course the black and white got old after a bit.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Great news

This is AWESOME: "The president of the University of Georgia is calling for an eight-team playoff system for college football's top division." Its about time one of the presidents saw the light!
"If you've ever seen lions maul a water buffalo, you've seen the last two title games. You've seen a fierce pair of SEC teams -- Florida last year, LSU this year -- blow the vulnerable Buckeyes back to the Bratwurst Belt by a combined 41 points. You've seen the best of one league flex, and the best of an inferior league collapse." QOTD from a GREAT article by Pat Forde. In fact the article was so good, I had trouble picking just one QOTD. So...

QOTD #2: "Then, once again, it was time for southern-fried dominance."

QOTD #3: "It's a tough thing, putting together an overachieving season and seeing it end in embarrassing fashion. Especially since the Buckeyes know what this means -- another year of "S-E-C" chants and barbs about flopping on the big stage."

Monday, January 7, 2008

BCS Title Game

I got home after the treadmill test and it was 10-0 Ohio State. Apparently however, my watching was just what LSU needed because they looked pretty much unstoppable for the rest of the half. Unfortunately I have to go to bed now which worries me because I dont want LSU's fortunes to revert back to whatever was happening before I turned it on. Luckily though, LSU appears bigger, faster, and stronger (kind of like a team last year in the title game against OSU...) so I think they'll be OK. It appears it just took LSU a little longer to get going than it took the Gators.

Unfortunately, unlike last year, I wont be getting the day off tomorrow...


S: 22100
B: 5h48min
R: 3h30min

Total: 14h50min

Well,a little low this week but that was due to a couple of fitness tests which were planned but didnt actually get done so maybe we'll just call this a "rest" week. Yeah, thats it, a rest week. I wonder what Coach Paulo's view on "rest" weeks is?

Saturday, January 5, 2008

New Year's Day: Gator Bowl fun (Pt. 2)

Live from LAX, here comes part duex of Jacksonville craziness. New Year's Day started with a quick run around by the river down to the stadium and back. Some fans had already begun tailgating but for the most part this crowd was much more subdued than the southern skirmish formerly known as the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party. Back at the hotel, I cleaned up and pretty soon the McEwan's and I were ready to go... with a quick stop by the gas station for some sodas, of course.

At the stadium we had a great parking spot and really enjoyed pregame activities. These included football tossing:

greeting the band:

socializing with cheerleaders:

meeting the horses:

and congratulating a fellow hoo on an awesome sign:

Finally, it was gametime. The weather for the game was perfect and even though Texas Tech scored first, UVA matched quickly and was actually controlling the game and holding the lead through the second and third quarters. At the same time, Eden and I were checking the Gators game on the TV in the lobby. They were in a tight game as well but for some reason I had a little more confidence in the Gators than the Hoos....

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end and our day came crashing down very quickly. Virginia lost the lead with 3:10 to play, about the same time Florida fell behind for the last time. Then, about 15 minutes later what had been up to that point a delightful day all of the sudden went to shit. Dejected, we trudged back to the car and Jim was curtious enough to drive us home.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

So yesterday I arrived here in LA with all my Christmas goodies in tow. I had been in Orlando for Christmas and New Year's and I was planning on heading back to Huntsville after a few days here in SoCal. Because of this, I had too much stuff to carry on the plane so I had to check bags... always a sketchy proposition.

Sure enough, only one of my bags came out on the carousel in LA. I went in to talk to the lovely Delta representative and she informed me that my bag was taken to Cincinnati and will be here at 3PM. They'll deliver it then but that may take a while, or I can pick it up. Well, the place I'm staying is about 40min from the airport, without traffic, so I told them to deliver it.

Fast foward to last night after work: still no bag. Good thing all my workout stuff was in the bag which was missing. No big deal... I found a Sports Authority and bought a bathing suit and goggles. Got in a couple of swims and hoped my bag would be at the hotel when I returned from work today. It wasnt. Luckily however I had worn my Adidas trail shoes on the plane. I got these shoes because I thought they looked good but as it turns out they are servicable running shoes as well. So there I was, running through LA in trail shoes and dress socks I had just worn all day. Awesome.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Happy New Year! (Pt. 1)

I'm a little late on this post but a couple of days ago was New Years which means, of course, bowl games! I made a last minute decision and went up to Jacksonville with the McEwans for the Gator Bowl to watch UVA play Texas Tech.

The trip began a little after noon on News Years Eve with Hunter and I enjoying the luxorious back seat of Eden's Mustang.

Finally after a few hours on the road, we arrived in Jacksonville, checked into our lovely Extended Stay hotel, and headed off to the Landing to have a few roadies and check out the parade.

After the parade came through, we were off to dinner. For this adventure we were escorted to a little seafood restraunt located somewhere on the St. Johns. They had some interesting decorations, both Christmas

and "normal."

Dinner was awesome and included great fish, grits, and even some fried pickles. Then it was off to the Landing for some New Year's Eve celebrations.

Here is a nice shot of the McEwans:

And Hunter and I having fun:

I even got to hang out with the Hero while I was there!

So it was a great New Year's Eve but I've got to go now, so check back later for the New Year's Day fun!