Thursday, April 30, 2009

Back in flow.....

After returning from St. Pete, I'm back in the swing of things and starting to focus on Florida 70.3.

Tuesday night saw a return to the World Championships at Williams Elementary. This is our "road course" as aside from a couple of small hills it is basically flat. Luckily the weather was awesome, leading to a huge turnout and a nice, fast pace. The hilly route we've done the last couple of times is nice and all but there is just nothing like cruising along at superhuman speeds with 30+ others. Coming off the race on Sunday, I was definitely sore at the end of the ride.

Then last night after a short ride I actually had a decent run... 50 whole minutes without any knee pain. It was actually a really nice evening for a run and even though I certainly wasnt breaking any records, I was just glad to be out running pain free. To top it all off, I had some incredibly kick-ass made from scratch lasagna waiting for me at home!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

St. Anthony's race? report

Well I'm not really sure how much I actually "raced" out there today but nevertheless, I toed the line at St. Anthony's Triathlon this morning. The biggest story de jour was the choppy water in Tampa Bay which lead to a cancellation of the swim for the AGers. RD Philip LaHaye made the call on this morning based on the fact that the water was too choppy for the kayakers to enter. Without kayakers, he wouldnt have nearly enough people to safely patrol the swim. Needless to say, this caused a bit of commotion, mainly from many of the elite AGers. Certainly most of them wouldve handled the swim fine but Philip was worried about the plethora of novice swimmers participating. So rather than swimming, they had a TT start with one person every other second by race number.

I actually chatted with Philip after the race and while he knew some of the athletes wouldve been fine, he just couldnt send thousands of racers out there, many of them beginners, without any kayakers. He is great athlete himself and does an awesome job with the race so I really felt for him when he had to make that call to cancel the swim as I knew it wasnt an easy one for him to make. I could tell he didnt like it but thats why he gets paid the big bucks: to make the tough decisions.

So where was I... oh yeah, the water was choppy! Apparently I need to practice swimming in a wave pool because once we were out in the bay swimming, I just felt like I couldnt get any kind of catch. My stroke was all out of whack and I lost the pack pretty quickly. So overall I was pretty dissapointed with the swim. It was tempered a bit by the choppy seas but I still need to be able to fight through the rough (but admittedly not terrible) conditions and maintain contact better.

Due to the slow swim, I "missed the bus" on the bike and was left to head out on my own. Flying through the streets of St. Pete, I actually felt really good and even passed a couple of people. I cant wait to look at the power file as I think it'll be pretty solid. Unfotunately though races arent won on power files and its a shame to think what those numbers wouldve lead to had I actually had a decent swim and been around some people... but such is life.

So thats it. Going I was under doctor's orders not to run, so I didnt. Rather, I took off my chip, handed it over to an official and headed to watch the finish of the race. It was a good thing I didnt have my racing flats there because if so I may have taken off...

Post race was awesome with great food, beer, and even a live band. The perfect weather didnt hurt, either. Thats all she wrote! Back to the grind tomorrow.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Quick hits from St. Pete

-The weather here is awesome. Its warm but not miserably hot and deliciously humid. Should be a picturesque day for racing tomorrow

-I really wish I could run tomorrow.

-The water in the bay was a bit choppy this morning but the temperature was fine. I think they had reported ~76 or so? All I can say is that I'm glad I dont have to face the option of wearing a wetsuit. While the cut-off for amateurs is 78, it is 68 for the pros, so we definitely wont be in the rubbers... which is a great thing. I was very comfortable this morning swimming in just my drag suit so it would have been an oven in the wetsuit. Sucks for the fast amateur swimmers...

-Did I mention I wish I was running tomorrow??

-Chipotle last night was as awesome as ever.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Back to racing

Packing the bike is never fun but when I finished up last night I was admittedly more than a little excited. Why? Because packing the bike means its time to race. Its been a while since I last got to race so regardless of the fact that I wont be able to fully compete (more on that later), I'm still looking forward to the opportunity to mix it up in water with some fast dudes down in the Gulf of Mexico this weekend at St. Anthony's. Adding to the excitement is the fact that St. Anthony's really is one of the all time classic races and it takes place down in my home state, sunny Florida. To top it all off I'll get to see family and friends so it should be a fun weekend!

The one downside, which I alluded to earlier, is that I'll be only swimming and biking. I think I could probably jog the 10k but that would be pointless. Its a race and if I was going to run at all, I'd be running fast (or at least trying to run fast...). However that would likely place a little too much strain on my busted knee so I'll just have to save it for another day. Hopefully that day will be May 17th when I hope to race Florida 70.3. After running 30 minutes without pain, I'm hopeful I'm on the path to recovery. Incidentally, as you can see, there is a lot of "hope." I'd be more concrete about it but I really just dont want to jinx anything...

Finally, I already have dinner planned on Friday night:

Monday, April 20, 2009


S: 26,200 yds
B: 9h 24min
R: 1h 18min
AR: 2h 30min

Total: 20h 6min

Finally getting back into the swing of things. After having some kind of debilitating virus and then traveling out to California for camp, I finally had a "normal" week last week. Tuesday was a hard, hilly World Championships and then Thursday I had a really solid 2x20 which bodes well for the upcoming race season.

As for the knee, I'm taking it slowly but am hoping for a full recovery in a couple of weeks. I did test it out on Sunday with a short run and didnt have any pain so the plan is to slowly build back up. I'm allowed to run as long as I dont have any pain which means there are lots of laps around the park next to the pool in my future. That way I can jet over to the pool to finish up any runs if I do start feeling something.

In other news, the move is slowly happening. It is taking longer than I had hoped to get moved out of the old apt but moving always takes longer than expected. Hopefully though I'll be finished moving by the time I take off for St. Anthony's on Friday. While moving has meant a bit of extra stress over the last couple of weeks, it will well worth it once the HHPTC is fully operational.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


I had the MRI on the knee this morning and got results back this afternoon. As it turns out, it appears that according to Dr. Bock I have a "tear of the distal collateral lateral ligament." Obviously this sucks. The good news, however, is that it is nice to know that there is something wrong with my knee and that once it heals, I should be back to running.

In the mean time, its back to the pool for the next couple of weeks until I can resume running without pain. Unfortunately, this means I'm officially listed as "doubtful" (in NFL speak) for St. Anthony's. I really want to race but at the same time dont want to risk further injury in the first race of the year.

Monday, April 13, 2009


S: 23,100 yds
B: 8h
R: 3h 23min

Total: 17h 28min

The past week's running is best summed up by the words of Katy Perry,

Cause you're hot then you're cold
You're yes then you're no

You're in and you're out

You're up and you're down

The first few days this week I had pain on every run. Then on Friday, I felt fine for 50 whole minutes... so who knows. Chiro/ART practitioner Nicole isnt sure what is up either so she thought it'd be a good idea for me to go in for an MRI this week. Even though I dont think the MRI will show anything, I need to rule out anything serious simply because this has been nagging for such a long time.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Timex Mulitsport Team Camp 2009 redux

Fun times were had at Timex camp in Carlsbad, California. A full summary would take way too long but here are some notes:

Lots of new people on the team this year, somehow producing an even more eclectic mix of personalities. From cool to serious to flat out crazy... we have it all.

Sugoi cloting is awesome. Sugoi is our new clothing sponsor this year and they hooked us up with a full cycling and running kit. Not only does the clothing look great, it fits marvelously and is very comfortable. The chamois they use has three layers of foam, two open cell and one closed cell, enabling it to protect your goods on even the longest rides. Additionally, when you purchase Sugoi custom clothing, you know you are getting good stuff because it is manufactured in the same building where their artists and sales associates sit. (The building is actually an old bowling alley!)

(Thanks to Jodi for the pic as I'm too lazy to take and upload my own...)

Nathan does a great job of tailoring their products to athletes' needs. The head of their product development team, Bryce Thatcher, is certifiably insane, allowing him to test the majority of their products in the harshest conditions. In addition to being a two time All-American cross country skier, the dude holds the record for the ascent/descent of Grand Teton. Oh, and their marketing director's strategy is quite "effective."

The weather in Southern California never ceases to amaze me. It was sunny and 70 degrees every day we were there. Then again, I guess that explains why the housing prices are so high...

Matt Reed is on fire... Miami International and now California 70.3. It will be interesting to see how his fitness holds up the rest of the year.

I need to get my hands on some of the new Bontrager Aeolus 9.0s. So hot.

The boys at Trek know what they are talking about. I'm proud to ride a bike that comes from a company that actually does testing and development and has reasons other than aesthetics for why their bikes are made like they are. This sounds like a simple enough concept but few companies actually do this. Why invest in R&D (manpower, hardware, facilities, etc.) and do your own testing when you can just make something that "looks aero" and 98% of the population won't have a bit of difference? Trek eschews this philosophy and can do the testing necessary because they have the capability to do carbon fiber layups in house, at the same place where the engineers sit.

Chris Thomas is the man. Dude has a family, a long commute, lives in the northeast, and still dominates the AG field in Cali. WTG!!!

Fidel's was worth the wait. After accidentally making reservations at the wrong restaurant, we finally made it to the right establishment and were greeted with buckets of chips and endless carafes of margaritas. For the main course I had the carnitas. I was hungry and it was delicious.

Monday, April 6, 2009


S: 28,500 yds
B: 8h 42min
R: 2h 2min

Total: 18h 42min

Last week saw the start of a new training block so it was nice to start some new workouts... especially in the pool. The swim volume is coming down a bit but is being compensated for by increased intesity. Zn4 everyday? Why not?? As for the running... the leg is still highly questionable. I had a couple of nice runs last week, but also a couple with a fairly substantial amount of pain. Making matters worse, I was stuck with the window seat on my Atl to SD flight on Saturday so it meant wayyy too much time without being able to stand up. I think I was able to get up once in the flight and by butt just cant take sitting for that long. Hopefully I'll get an upgrade for the ride home but that might be wishful thinking.

In other news, it's been a busy last couple of days as I'm out in SoCal for the annual Timex Mulitsport Team Camp. Lots of new sponsors this year which I'm really excited about. Hopefully I'll have a good wrap up in a couple of days but as for now its back to camp!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Silly roadies and DTS

On Tuesday my intention was to do the weekly World Championships. This week the "race" was to be held on a crit course on the other side of town. Normally the drive wouldnt have been that big of deal to get in a good workout but this week I was a bit pressed for time. Rewind a bit to Tuesday morning. When I woke up I was greeted with hail, lightning, and thunder. Unfortunately this meant swimming wasnt going to happen so I proceeded right into work in order to be able to leave early. I was pleased to make it in the office before 6 but was still going to be on a tight schedule to get in a swim after work but before the ride.

I got out of the office around 3, headed to the pool, and was in the water by 3:45. However, since the kids had practice I had to take the gutter lane but still knocked out a solid 5200. Out of the water at 5 after 5, it was time for a quick change before heading off to meet the roadies. After racing across town I thought I had arrived 5min early but to my dismay, no one was there. I waited about 10 minutes... not a person in sight.

Bummed out and figuring they had bailed due to the questionable weather, I headed home. I ended up finally getting out on the road around 6 and decided it was time to get some use out of my lights. With motivation lagging after the missed race, I headed over the Aresenal to still try and get in a decent workout. I ended up getting in a few hard efforts before riding into the night. (I should mention that the Aresnal is more or less dead after about 6:30 so riding at dusk or even in the dark is actually relatively safe.)

As it turned out, some people did show up to the TNWC but at 5:45 rather than 5:30. Apparently I cant read my email...

Meanwhile, on a totally unrelated topic, at work I went out to the Dynamic Test Stand today to get a water sample. This test stand was used for the Saturn V, modified for the Shuttle, and now will be modified again for Ares I. Its purpose is to test a vehicle's response to vibrations... basically, this is a test on a flight like piece of hardware to make sure the rocket doesnt shake itself apart on ascent.

In order for this test to be sufficiently thorough, the rocket has to be tested in a number of configurations for various amounts of time, around 2-6 months per configuration. Add these up, and this test article is exposed to the environment for much longer than any flight vehicle will be. For this reason, it is imperative that a more robust corrosion protection be employed, which is where I come into play.

Our organization has been tasked by the test folks to protect the Ares I test article from corrosion. This means I get to do some testing and then lay out a plan to detail how this will be protected. In addition to having to protect the outside from the environment, the inside of the mock liquid oxygen tank will have to be protected from the water which will be placed in it to simulate the weight of the LOX. Thus, my trip to the test stand to get a sludge, er, "water" sample of the solution that will be used during testing.