Friday, February 29, 2008


Just got word that our new Trek Equinox TTX 9.9 frames are ready and will begin shipping pretty soon which is super exciting, especially since daylight savings time is coming to an end. Whats even more awesome is the bad ass orange custom paint job the guys at Trek did for us to match our uniforms. For a sneak peak, check out Trek's "Up The Road" blog (or just see below...)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Race with candy?

Today published a pretty interesting email they received from one of the top scientists at PowerBar. Basically he said there was a study published recently by a well respected scientist in which it was concluded that for efforts under 1h (where you dont have to worry about glycogen depletion) performance is increased by simply tasting carbohydrates (aka something sweet). Phenomenologically this makes some sense. I mean think of all the times you've finshed a long ride or run, been totally drained, and had to have a coke. Almost immediately, as soon as you taste the coke and before the soda has even reached your stomach, you start feeling better. Surely the CHO has not yet been absorbed, converted to glycogen, and is replenishing your muscles while it is still in your mouth. Anyway, pretty interesting stuff.

Dyslexia and riding like a 12yr old girl

This is what I found out this morning after looking over my power profile from last night's workout and my schedule for the week. Not only was the workout I did pathetic (like my-grandmother-could-do-it-with-one-leg pathetic), but as it turns out I did 8x5min when in fact the schedule said 5x8min. WOW. Weak AND dumb. Quite the feat. Oh well...

Tonight is everyone's favorite 1.5h run with 50min @ tempo and oh-by-the-way its 32F with 15mph winds. David has agreed to join me so hopefully he wont push the pace too much. After all, when you are a 1:09 guy like David, 5:50 pace is just plain pedestrian.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


So yeah... Tuesday has to be the worst day of the week. First of all, its Tuesday, which is not exciting in any way, shape, or form, and is way too far from the weekend. More importantly Tuesday is the day of the dreaded Zn4 intervals in the bicycle, today it is 8x5min, which means I just spend all day abhoring the thought of the agaony that awaits when I get home from work. But then again, lets face it, if it were easy everyone would do it...

Monday, February 25, 2008


S: 27800
B: 9h 10min
R: 7h 6min (62 miles for you runners out there)

Total: 23h 13min

Back in full training mode and had a really solid week. The extra ride on my day off (Monday) helped pad the weekly volume but the intensity was there as well. I hit a bit of lull in the middle of the week but that happens from time to time and luckily it only lasted a few workouts. Next week I'll have to work on getting Thursday's swim a little better and possibly pushing the Wednesday night tempo run a bit harder.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Pretty good weekend, training and otherwise, although the ride today couldve been better. The batteries on my old PowerTap have been popping out which has been frustrating. So after screwing around with the hub for a while I finally rigged the case so that it would do a better job of holding the batteries and I was back with power for my ride today. It started out pretty well but then some clouds moved in and the last couple of hours were just not fun at all. I got in the workout at the prescribed power levels but HR was low and RPE was pretty high. Just not a fun day in the saddle. I did have a really good ride yesterday so that may have been taking a toll but I'm also not discounting the change in weather. Its really strange (and totally mental) how something like that can have such a drastic effect on a workout. In theory the lack of sun a few degrees drop shouldnt have any bearing on the outcome of a workout, but yet, it did. Its just so much nicer to be out riding in the sun rather than this dreary, drab, winter weather.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Felt like total crap this morning when I got in the pool and started swimming. The arms just felt like they werent working at all. After slugging through the warmup and first set I still felt pretty shitty. Then it was time for the main set: 3x800 (easy, moderate, hard) w/ 1 min rest. I started feeling good towards the end of the first one and ended up feeling really strong on the last one, coming in at 9:47. Moral of the story? If you feel like crap in the pool... just swim faster!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Interesting story this morning on NPR about how old-fashioned, unstructured, play time helps child development. The premis is that unstructured play time forces children to talk to themselves and organize thoughts, abilities which will allow them to learn to self-regulate. This is a good thing because self-regulation is a better predictor of success in school than most other metrics, including IQ. The problem recently there has been a push towards structured play and that this type of play limits children's private speach and therefore limits the development of their self regulation. Pretty interesting stuff. For those that want more details, the full story can be found here:

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

2 days, 6 workouts, cant complain. Although admittedly I was STRUGGLING today at work. Not sure why, but some days its just impossible to stay awake. Today was one of those days. Maybe it was because I had 8x5min Zn4 to look foward to on trainer when I got home. This for me is the most painful workout of the week so I always dread it. Today was no different except the that PT wasnt working so I had to do it solely on HR and RPE. I probably ended up not going as hard due to the fact I didnt have the numbers right there staring me in the face, but it couldnt have been too bad as it was still the usual hellish experience. Well, I get to take it easy tomorrow. Only a 5100yd swim in the morning followed by a nice 1h 25min run with 45min @ M pace tomorrow evening....

Monday, February 18, 2008

Happy President's Day!

Thats right, its another holiday and therefore another day I dont have to work. Gotta love the government operation. For the occasion, Paulo was kind enough to give me an extra ride for the week. What a guy...


S: 25800yds
B: 7h50
R: 4h12

Total: 18h 29min

Pretty good week as I was recovering from the race. I was still a bit sore through about Thursday morning but was fine by the weekend. Overall though it was good to have the race there to break up the training monotony a bit. Now itll be prep time for the Cali 70.3 which I'm actually starting to look foward to.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

At the bar at 1:10AM; At the pool at 5:30AM

Had a lot of fun last night. A friend of David's is in a band, Seducing Alice, and they were playing at a bar last night so a group of us went downtown to enjoy some music and drinks. As David said, "I never even got to celebrate my race!" Well put, David. The band was great so we drank, and drank, and drank some more and all of the sudden it was 1:10 in the AM. To most normal people, this isnt that late to be out. However, when you have to get up at 4:55 that same morning to go swimming, you should be home and sleeping at 1:10. So I headed home, got to bed, and at 4:55 dragged my butt back out of bed and headed to the pool for a nice 4500yds. Then it was off to meet some people for a nice 1h trail run before pancakes and an incredibly awesome nap. Surprisingly enough I made it though the morning workouts OK and of course the nap was money.

BTW, according to David, two of the band members majored in aerospace engineering at Auburn. Only in Huntsville do you hear a band at a bar which has multiple aerospace engineers as members...

Friday, February 15, 2008

Netflix = awesome

Last night was more trainer action during which time I watched Mr. and Mrs. Smith. On Tuesday, it was Ocean's Twelve and last week I saw Pulp Fiction and The DaVinci Code. All in all, I have to say signing up for Netflix was a great investment. Riding the bike on the trainer still blows enormous goats, but at least it is slightly palatable with a movie to watch. And of course the best thing about Netflix is that they ship them right to your house so you dont even have to waste time going to ghe video store.

In other news, my mom shipped me a huge plate of brownies for Valentines Day... Thanks, Mom! Of course, the required an immediate trip to Publix where I picked up some Breyers Vanilla Ice Cream. I mean, if youre going to have brownies, you might as well heat them up and put some ice cream on top, right? Paulo's response? "DIYOOODE..."

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Mercedes Half pics!

So I realize these are a few days late but what can I say, I'm lazy! These first couple of shots of me running around mile 7.5 and are courtesy of Katherine, Philip's GF:

Next are a couple of pictures of us at Chipotle. Because there is no Chipotle in Huntsville I had to hit up the one in Birmingham while I was in town. So for lunch on Sunday Philip, Katherine, and I swung by the lone Chipotle in metro Birmingham as I was on my way out of town.

Here is me and Philip:

And Katherine and Philip, arent they cute?

Finally, smaller, less personal, but more action packed pictures from the race can be found here.

jonnyo speaks

So I was chatting with Paulo yesterday and he says, "jonnyo and I were talking... and we decided you should quit your job and train full time."

My response, "Easy for jonnyo to say..."

As exciting as that would be, I (unfortunately) have a few minor expenses, most notably rent and food, which would be a bit difficult to cover on just triathlon earnings. Unfortunately jonnyo, not all of us are hot-shot 8:3x professional triathletes who have finished 2nd in an IM... So until that happens, I wont be quitting my day job.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


S: 26000 yds
B: 5h 20min
R: 4h 33min

Total: 16h 23min

Nothing too exciting this week. I had a nice little taper for the race but still got in some decent volume. Obviously the biking was a little slack but that was to be expected considering over half of my weekly bike volume is usually done on the weekends and a Sunday running race kind of gets in the way of that... Honestly though, cycling sucks anyway so it was nice to have an excuse to not ride 3h on Sunday.
Well it seemed that the 13 miles in racing flats finally caught up to me yesterday. I didnt feel too bad on Sunday after the race but I think that was due to the fact that I started drinking the complimentary beer after the race before the adrenaline could wear off. So yesterday the achilles/soleus area on both legs was pretty sore. I guess that is to be expected though since I hadnt run at all in my racing flats since my last race last fall. Therefore because I dont have a personal masseuse I decided to hit up the TP Massage footballer last night. I found a few really tender spots to work and even though it was quite painful it will definitely help prevent potential achilles problems. I also took the quadballer to my IT band which was also exceedingly painful but that is pretty much par for the course. Hopefully though with only an easy ride this evening and easy run tomorrow evening I should be pretty well recovered within the next couple of days.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Mercedes Half Update

The official results were posted today and thanks to chip timiing, I snuck across the line in 1:11:59. Oh so sweet. Now I ran a 1:11 instead of a 1:12 ;)

Results here

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Mercedes Half Marathon Race Report

Just got back from Birmingham and the Mercedes Half Marathon. Overall the race went really well and the weekend was a lot of fun. Here is the written report, picture updates will follow tonight.

I headed over the race site around 5:45 for a 7:00 start so I could find a place to park and warm up. After jogging around a bit and taking a few restroom breaks, it was game time. The weather forcast at the start was low 40s and sunny and it actually felt surprising warm. I went with shorts, a jersey, and gloves as I remembered last year in the half I did Brendan decided NOT to wear gloves and he ended up regretting it big time. I also saw my running buddy, David Riddle, at the start so we decided to take it out together even though I had a pretty good idea he would be dropping me before too long.

So the gun finally went off and we were on our way. About halfway into the first mile, David says, "just to let you know, the first mile is notoriously fast so dont freak out." I thought he was referring to races in general when people go out too hard so I thought maybe we'd be 5:20-5:25 pace (since I wanted to run 5:30s at the beginning.) First mile: 4:52. HA! Wow, he wasnt kidding. Must be downhill. Anyway, I settled in and was still feeling really good. David took off around mile 2 which was fine with me as I knew he was in better shape.

I knew there were hills between miles 4.5 and 9 so I was trying to take it pretty conservatively up until that point. After about 3 miles I was more or less in no man's land, clicking along, waiting for the hills to start. Finally there was a long uphill between 5 and 6 which, looking back, I probably couldve pushed a little harder. Up until that point I was still ahead of 5:30 pace but that mile was around 6:00 which really hurt the average. At that point I was 33:20 which put me 20 sec off 5:30 pace. At this point I decided to pick it up a bit and try to get my head in the game a little more. Luckily I saw a guy up the road so I set my sights on catching him. That happened around 6.5 and I came through 7 in 38:46 (5:25) and wanted to try to get to 9 in 49:30. That way, I would have 4 basically downhill or flat miles leaving me well under 5:30 pace.

7-8 was partially rolling which transitioned into a long climb and then 8-9 was more of the rolling stuff leaving me at 49:56 through 9 miles. I was still feeling pretty good and had up my effort a bit but I believe those miles are both net uphill which caused them to be a bit slower. After passing the 9 mile marker I had a steep uphill to crest then it was all down. I kept it under control up the hill and then opened it up on the way down which, BTW, was really steep. IMHO, this is what cost a lot of time. Its so hard to make up time when you are going down a really steep hill.

So I came through 10 at 55:30 which meant I was 30sec over 5:30 pace, which was my minimum goal. That meant I just had to run at least 5:20 pace for the last three to get those 30sec back. So I took off and it felt great to open it up a bit. The last three miles took us back into downtown and I ran them in 5:11, 5:23, 5:52 (including the 0.1) and best of all I passed two guys in the last couple of miles. The last I passed was a Kenyan with about a half mile to go. I'm sure he had already mailed it in for the day so he can go road whore somewhere else next weekend, but it still felt good to pass him.

As I came across the line, I thought I had snuck under 1:12, but alas, the results said 1:12:00 for a 5:29 average. Oh well, still a PR on a hard course so I cant complain. Better yet, I felt REALLY good the whole time. Totally in control the whole race which gives me some confidence heading into the season. Now if I can only learn to ride a bike I'll be all set...

Splits: 4:52, 10:23(5:31), 15:30(5:07), 21:35(6:04), 27:15(5:40), 33:20(6:04), 38:46(5:25), 44:23(5:37), 49:56(5:32), 55:31(5:35), 1:00:43(5:11), 1:06:07(5:23), 1:12:00(5:52 for 1.1)

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Nothing like a nice 4500yd swim and 1.5h ride the day before a half marathon. So much for a taper...

After the swim this morning I'm headed over to Birmingham as thats where the race tomorrow is. My buddy Philip lives there so it'll be fun to get to hang out with him. I'm planning on riding with him when I get there so that should be fun, especially since the weather is awesome here today. All in all I've felt pretty good this week so I'm looking foward to a good race tomorrow. My running buddy, David Riddle, signed up for the race kind of last minute so I think we are going to run together for a while until he decides to pick it up and drop me like a bad habbit. At least I'll have some company for those early miles.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

After missing yesterday morning's swim due to a tornado warning, it was nice to get back in the pool this morning. Actually it wasnt, at all, as there is nothing "nice" about waking up at 4:30AM. I remember when I used to make fun of people that did that...

Anyway, on the bright side at least I had a good workout. Come to think of it, it was really the first time since last spring that I really felt I had gained some appreciable fitness, which is always good. Last summer and fall I was just kind of maintaining as I had to cut back on the volume to finish the thesis which caused a bit of a plateau in my fitness. But now that I've had a couple of solid months back in the pool, it appears that I'm back on my back to getting faster in the water. Naturally I dont expect the gains to comes as fast as they did when first started swimming, but its always fun to get faster... and that is worth getting up in the morning for!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Last night was another evening of fun on the trainer. This time it was 6x6min Zn4 which caused me to draft another letter to Paulo:

Dear Paulo,

Please see the post from Jan 29th. Not much has changed.

With Regards,


The thing that I dont understand is why Zn4 workouts on the bike are so much more painful than those when running. I really dont get it. If someone has an explanation for this I'd love to hear it. Or who knows, maybe I'm just the only person whose Zn4 RPE is vastly different between the two sports. If so, maybe thats why I suck so much at biking? In the end it doesnt really matter at all but it would be nice to have an explanation. Maybe this is one to take to mobs of ST...

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Monday, February 4, 2008

If you want to rest, you have to race

I think we've been over this, but Paulo isnt a huge fan of rest weeks. So, if I want some rest I have to race. Luckily this Sunday is the Mercedes Half Marathon and it couldnt be coming any earlier. I was feeling a bit worn down after the last couple of weeks so its nice to have an excuse to back off a bit this week. Hopefully all of those consecutive days of running will pay off but we shall see. Unfortunately, this course isnt the fastest (see profile below) but the weather is looking to be perfect so hopefully I can at least get close to a PR.




S: 30,000yds
B: 7h 35min
R: 7h 21min

Total: 22h 26min

Another pretty good week aside from the glaring lack of biking which is starting to become a trend. Of course its winter, which means short, cold days which tend to lead to a serious lack of cycling. Lets face it, one can only spend so much time on the trainer before going insane. At least the swimming and running are coming along well.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Whats the phrase, Sergio?

When it hurts is when it feels good

I think that is it. Well, it was hurting and feeling good last night. I had the usual 5 x 6min Zn4 with 1 min rest (running) and I ended up hitting around 5:25-5:30 pace on the roads while keeping it nice and relaxed. Its always good to feel good on the last hard workout before a race so hopefully I can have a decent one next weekend. After the workout I had a delicious Publix GreenWise 10 oz sirloin. Nothing like a little salt and pepper and a good piece of red meat. I might just have to start making that a Friday tradition...