Friday, March 28, 2008

Longggggg day today. The day before these 70.3s always ends up being really busy even though I always think I never really have that much to do. Oh well. Stupid triathlons are such a pain in the ass...

Saw Andy Potts and Craig Alexander (among others) at the pro meeting which of course only reminded me of the fact that I'd be lining up against them in the morning. Pretty cool though, that I get to race against the guys who are the best world!

Up, time for dinner!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

So I've been slacking a bit on the blog but I was surprising busy the last few days. Although I (luckily) didnt have to work out too much, I had quite a bit of stuff I had to get tied up before the trip.

Anyway, I'm now out in sunny Carlsbad, CA at the Mathios household. These kind folks were kind enough to give me a place to stay for which I am very thankful. We even had an awesome dinner tonight with steak, shrimp, mushrooms, peppers, and asparagus all prepared on the grill in addition to a salad.

Well, thats it for now as its time for bed. Tomorrow will include the circus that the expo for a 70.3 so it should be entertaining if nothing else. I am however looking forward to seeing some friends from Cville who are doing the race as well as Coach Paulo!

Monday, March 24, 2008


S: 26,900yds
B: 7h 21min
R: 5h 55min

Total: 20h

Well looks like the string of 70 mile run weeks ended as I started to back off a bit for the race this weekend. Pretty much all of the workouts went as planned which certainly helps the confidence coming into the first race of the season. Overall I'm feeling pretty good and looking forward to testing my fitness against what appears to be a pretty loaded field. Bring on the taper!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

So yesterday was a week out from the Cali 70.3 I was eagerly looking foward starting to taper. The workout(s)? Oh, just a nice little 4h 55min training day consisting of a 5000yd swim in the morning and a 3h ride + 40min run in the afternoon. Just a little something to stretch the legs out before the race next weekend... Oh, I guess that wasnt the start of tapering. Maybe that'll happen this week some time...

I finally got the new bike put together and took it out for the ride yesterday which was a lot of fun. Even though its basically the same frame as I had last year, there is always some worry that the setup is a little off. Luckily though it felt good and I'm excited to test it out next weekend. I'll post some pics of the race setup along with some good (and not-so-good) features.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Went 5:18, 5:22, 5:15, 5:17, 5:20 for the miles during the 5x6min w/ 1min rest tonight out on the Rocket City Marathon course. I felt relaxed the whole time and was really pleased with the times so it was a nice confidence booster with the race coming up a week from tomorrow(!).

I definitely am lacking some top end speed in all three sports but that is to be expected at the beginning of the season. Then again, I also race 70.3s so how much does "top end" speed really matter???

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Just another Wednesday long run but this week with the Cali 70.3 a mere 10 days away Paulo was kind enough to shorten it by 10min. What a guy. Just as well because it was realllllly windy out there, much like I here it is out at the LCHPTC right now (which of course is where I'd much rather be right now). David and I did the normal long run loop and as it turns out there is a sharp left turn where we head out of a neighborhood and onto a larger, slightly busy road with a sidewalk. Of course this also happens to approximately coincide with the beginning of the Zn3 fun. Well today we turned into a HUGE headwind and had to fight it for the next 35min. Needless to say, it was not much fun. Just as we were finally about to turn out of it, it even decided to gust up a little harder, as if it was trying to prove a point. So then of course we hauled ass the last 10min of the tempo which was a lot of fun.

Now it is bike assembly time. Have I ever mentioned I really dont like carbon fiber? It should really be banned from use for making bicycles... Anyway, hopefully I'll have thing together sometime in the near future so that I can actually take it out for a couple of rides before the race.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Had a pretty good hard ride today although that has yet to be determined as I havent got a chance to look at the power file. However I kept the power numbers up where I wanted them so I think they'll look pretty good.

Its so much easier to get the hard ride in when you can head outside rather than being stuck at home on the trainer. After all, one of the few fun aspects of biking is that you get to move fast and no matter how hard you are going on the trainer, you just dont get the sensation that you are really hauling ass like you do out on the road.

In movie news I just finished 300 which was really cool. I wasnt sure how the CGI integrated with real actors would work out but it was really cool. Some of the scenes were spectacular and the action sequences were really exciting.

Monday, March 17, 2008


S: 28,100 yds
B: 7h 38min
R: 7h 39min

Total: 22h 19min

Always good to have more time running than biking and it looked like it happened again this week. Incidentally, as it turns out, it looks like I had about 7h swimming as well so looks like a pretty even amount of time in each of the three sports.

I was glad to get through last week as it was (hopefully) the last big week before Cali 70.3 which is now less than two weeks out. Even though the race is early in the year I did get in some quality workouts last week so I'm feeling good about my fitness level. Now I just need to hope that it is unseasonably warm in Oceanside on March 29th and I'll be all set.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Christmas in March

Exiting times here in Huntsville. Yesterday my new bike came(!) so today I'm heading up to the bike shop to get the finishing touches put on it and get it dialed in. This shouldnt take too long as the frame is the same as my current bike but with a new, bad ass paint job. I'll post some pics once I get it all built up.

I also got a new computer a couple days ago and just got to put it together last night. For all you nerds out there, it is a Dell Inspiron with an Intel Pentium Dual 1.8 GHz CPU, 3GB RAM, 500GB HD, and a 19" widescreen flatscreen monitor. It also has Window Vista which I'm really liking so far. Overall its a lot of fun, especially considering my old computer was a laptop which I purchased in the summer of 2004. As computers go, that is ancient!

Finally, I got my bound thesis in the mail on Thursday as well. Its really cool to see those 2.5yrs of hard work all bound and official looking. I'm sure the chics will love it....

Friday, March 14, 2008


Muffins are great and all, but they go much better with some ice cream. So here is the desert I've been having the last few days (just dont tell Paulo).

First, take a couple of muffins, break them up, and put them in a bowl:

Then they go into the microwave for about 38 seconds. Then, add some Breyer's Vanilla Ice Cream, dizzle some honey, sprinkle some cinammon, and drop some walnut pieces and you are all set:

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

New shoes and a fast long run

Well I got some new shoes, Asics DS-Trainers, a couple days ago from my pals as First Place Athletics here in Huntsville. Although I've only had a couple of runs in them, the verdict so far is a solid 'B'. They run a little short so I had to go up to go up half a size and unfotunately I think that may have made them a bit wide for me. However, I have pretty narrow feet so they are probably fine for most. Other than that they have a really nice ride, especially for DS-Trainers. I would almost say they are a little too soft but they are still nice and light, so its all good.

As for the run, today I had a nice 15 miler with 9 miles at tempo and I felt awesome. I wore the DS Trainers and was just floating along during the tempo, keeping the HR where it needed to be and staying relaxed. I ran the last couple of miles on the marathon course so I could see how fast I was running as the mile markers are painted on the road. I ended up running 5:53 and 5:50 while keeping my HR about the same as it had been for the rest of the run so that was a good sign. Overall it was great to have a nice solid tempo with the Cali 70.3 just over two weeks away.

Doping... its about time!

"The Mayo Clinic reports that 2.4 million testosterone prescriptions were filled by U.S. pharmacies in 2004, more than twice the number filled in 2000. Mayo also estimates that three million people in the U.S. use anabolic steroids, the synthetic versions of testosterone that are illegal when they are used for nonmedical reasons such as building an impressive physique and increasing endurance for training." -Jack McCallum in a great article which was posted on yesterday regarding the prevalence of performance enhancing drugs in our society. Its good to see some light being shed to this subject after years and years of track and field and cycling getting singled out for PED abuse.

Be Great!

Last night I got an email informing me I've been choosen as a member of PowerBar's Team Elite for 2008-2009! I'm really excited to have been given the opportunity to represent PowerBar and I cant wait to start spending some of my plethora of PowerBucks. In addition to the food, Team Elite members also are sent nutritional information, get to participate in product testing, and attend special events. All in all I feel really priviledged to be a part of the team!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Hooray for daylight savings time

As strange as it sounds, I'm actually looking foward(!) to biking today. Much to Paulo's chagrin I'm heading out to join the Spring City Cyclists in their Tuesday Night World Championships. So basically I'm going on a group ride with some roadies. I'm really looking forward to it because I've been doing quite a bit of cycling by myself with most of it on the trainer so it'll be fun to get out there and mix it up a bit. Hopefully the ride will be a solid pace rather than just a few really hard accelerations, but you never know with these things. Either way it will most definitely beat the hell out of any trainer session!

Monday, March 10, 2008


S: 28,200yds
B: 6h 55min
S: 7h 43min

Total: 21h 41min

Another week in the books. The volume hasnt been extravagent but the intensity has been pretty high and was especially noticeable on Friday as I lacked some 'pop' in the workout Friday night.

I did however sneak in a few extra miles (dont tell Paulo) to get in 70 for the week on the run which is probably the most I've done since my second year of college. It does feel good to be back running a decent amount and hopefully this early season focus will provide a nice base for the rest of the year.

In other news, while I'm elated that daylight savings time began last weekend, it was a little weird finishing up my swim workout before the sun came up this morning. Yikes....

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Pool is closed? Better have muffins and ice cream instead.

I awoke at 6 this morning (without an alarm, I might add. Pathetic, I know) to find a nice layer of snow blanketing the ground with more gently falling. Thats right, I said snow. Its March 8th in ALABAMA and there is snow on the ground. I thought this was the so-called "deep south." Apparently not. Anyway, I had my usual coffee and PB&J and headed to the pool for a swim. To my dismay, there was no one to be found when I arrived. The head coach, who usually opens the pool in the morning is at a meet so apparently the assisstant coach didnt feel safe driving. This upset me as not only was biking going suck (or not happen at all) due to the weather but the swimming prospects were looking questionable.

I headed home, considered my options and ended up jumping on the trainer. The reasoning? I had already planned to run with the guys at 5:15 and I figured the pool might open up later in the afternoon as the public lap swim time is 1-5 so as long as the roads clear up a bit by then the pool should be open. Additionally the hight today is only 35F meaning even if the roads do clear up some, I'm still not going to want to ride outside is the high is only 35.

After slugging through a trainer session I went ahead and made some muffins from Aunt Jemima Whole Weat Pancake mix. When they came out of the oven, I couldnt help but break a couple up in a bowl and scoop out some ice cream. Thats perfectly acceptable for 9:30AM, right??

Friday, March 7, 2008

Again to Carthage update

I'm in the middle of Again to Carthage and author John L Parker hasnt lost his excellent grasp of terribly vivid imagery. Also similar to Once A Runner are the references to actual places even though the book is fiction. While most of these places in OAR were towns and spots surrounding Gainesville, Again to Carthage includes quite a few Orlando area references which is really cool for me since that is where I'm from. In one part of the story, Cassidy goes back home, drives down Bumby Ave, sees the TG Lee plant, remembers the cows that used to roam around it, and finally arrives at Glenridge Middle School. All of this is still in existence except that while there is still a TG Lee plant on Bumby Ave, there are no cows anywhere in sight. Whats cool though is that Glenridge Middle School is only about a half a mile from my house, and that, we find out, was the first track Cassidy ran on!

Another funny part was when Cassidy and one of his coworkers, Roland, have lunch at the Ocean Grille in Palm Beach and Parker is describing the typical clientele. They were described as from "families who had so much money for so long that the last several generations didnt know what anything cost and didnt really understand the difference between a hundred-dollar bill and a quarter." The funny part though is later in the narative when he says, "The ones with some brain or spunk might have gotten into an Ivy League school and done politics or philantropy. The others knew that even as legacies they couldnt compete with the turbocharged and outrageously ambitious scions of of the professional classes and so were caught in a soul-draining no-man's-land. They went to Rollins or College of the Atlantic where they dressed like Copenhagen drug dealers..." Love it. Rollins College is only about 1.5 miles from my home in Orlando and I'm glad to see the stereotype put in print.

So yeah... so far, so good. Now I just need to finish it...

Thursday, March 6, 2008

So yeah.... really didnt want to get out of bed this morning. This was one of those, "but my bed feels soooooo good and its cold outside and I really dont feel like swimming" mornings. But alas, I climbed out of bed and made my way to the pool. Of course now that the workout is over I'm glad I did as I ended up having a decent 5x400 workout. Decent but not great or even good really because I've been having a hard time replicating the intensity from last year. I think its the combination of swimming both by myself and before the sun comes up that makes it hard to get in a really high quality workout. Typically when I do the 400s, for example, I end up dropping about 10 sec from the 1st to the 5th simply because it takes so long to get going. I think from now on I'm just going to have to really HTFU and work the first couple really hard without worrying about the later intervals since I dont think I could even positive split them if I wanted.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Last night was the always dreaded Zn4 session on the trainer but it actually ended up going pretty well. Surprisingly enough I managed to read the schedule right this time and did the prescribed 5x8min (as opposed to the 8x5min I did last week) while churning out some decent numbers. While I was pleased with them, they are still relatively pedestrian which is why I'll refrain from posting the actual values and keep the post qualitative. Maybe if I improve some I'll be able to start posting actual numbers that I'm not embarassed about, but dont expect that to happen anytime soon...

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Running fast = GOOD, Ethanol = BAD

First, the good. Last night I had a pretty fun run. The workout was 30min + 24x(30sec fast + 30sec jog) + 10min. Although it took just about the whole 30min to start loosening up, I felt great once I got into the accelerations. The best part was the second half when I turned into a tailwind and was really flying. It was really windy last night and it was awesome to have the wind at my back as I was running the hard 30sec intervals. Its rare that you really get to feel the effect of a tailwind when running because usually the wind isnt blowing that hard and you arent running that fast but last night was an exception. It was a lot of fun... the flats felt like downhills!

Now to change subjects a bit, I heard another story this morning on NPR about how great the ethanol craze has been for the economies of rural Iowa. The problem? While I truly am glad for the people of corn country, ethanol is bad in so many other ways. First of all, the only reason ethanol is economically viable is due to the massive government subsidies which simply encourage more farmers to grow corn rather than other crops, such as wheat. This decreases the supply of corn for other products(food, feed, etc.) as well as other crops such as wheat, driving the price of those commodities up. Of course, the increased prices then get passed onto consumers, not only through increased prices for bread, pasta, fritos, etc. but also things such as beef, pork, milk, and eggs as most of these farmers rely on cheap corn for feed.

More importantly however, the idea behind using ethanol is that it is supposed to be more environmentally freindly than gasoline because it gives off much less CO2. While this may be true when analyzing only the combustion of the final product, overall that is not a correct assessement. In order to make an accurate comparison, you have to look at the entire process. That is you have to compare the amount of CO2 produced from drilling and refining oil, and then burning gasoline compared to the amount produced of CO2 from growing and harvesting corn, converting it to a liquid fuel, then burning that fuel. Recently there have been studies that suggest what has been thought for a long time, that biofuels really arent any more environmentally friendly than oil.

So if ethanol does not have any environmental benefits, why is the government pouring $1.4 billion in subsidies to keep it afloat?

Monday, March 3, 2008


S: 28,100 yds
B: 7h 30min
R: 7h 11min

Total: 21h 42min

Another one bites the dust. Not a bad week but the Zn4 biking and swimming sessions couldve been a bit better. Luckily though it was really nice out yesterday so I got in a really solid ride on what was a beautiful day. Should be just a couple more hard weeks now before the taper for California 70.3.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Just got in from the usual Sunday ride + transition run and it was awesome out there. I actually had to take off the arm warmers as the temperature got up to the low 70s and I was even sweating quite a bit at the end. Today I had 3x(35min Zn2 + 25min Zn3) on the bike + a 40min run. I felt really strong on the Zn3 portions of the bike although it took me a little while to get into a good rhythym on the run. Something tells me those two things might be related...

Saturday, March 1, 2008

It has finally warmed up a bit today and it made for a great ride. It really is nice to be able to go out for a bike ride and not have to worry about your toes falling off. Even better, when I got home a had a nice little package waiting for me from Amazon. I had ordered Again to Carthage a few days ago and it arrived today so now its time to start reading. In case you dont know, Again to Carthage is the much awaited sequel to the greatest running book ever written, Once a Runner. While Again to Carthage likely won't be as good as the originial (few sequels are) it doesnt have to be... OAR was just that good.

So now its time to start reading! I'll let you know what the verdict is in a few days...