Sunday, May 31, 2009


Its all about attitude: "I just told them when they wake up today, think about dominating. When they come to shootaround, think about dominate. When they get to the gym for the game, think about dominate.'' -Dwight Howard, describing his message to his fellow Magic players before Game 6 of the NBA's Eastern Conference Finals. The Magic never trailed in their series ending victory over the Cavaliers, winning 103-90.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


Long gone are the "relaxing" 18h weeks. Here to stay, for a while anyway, are 3h training days during the week and just plain stupid weekends. Similarly, unlike only a couple of months ago when there were days I was itching to do more training, now its just a matter of dragging my sorry butt from one workout to the next, simply GingTWD and trying to stay awake as best as possible in between. Of course complaining about this to Paulo is about as effective as trying to bargain with the devil. Case in point? A recent conversation:

Paulo: feeling less tired?
me: no.
Paulo: good
I'd give you more training if you did
me: believe it or not, that 4h day yesterday didnt help...

On a more agreeable note, though, I did get some new shoes yesterday courtesy of Shawn and AVIA so once I try them out I'll get a review up.

Monday, May 25, 2009


S: 21,500 yds
B: 9h 26min
R: 2h 52min

Total: 17h 58min

Not a bad week considering the travel and FL 70.3 recovery. As usual, just as I was starting to feel "normal" Paulo made sure there would be none of that by inserting a nice 4h ride (3h Zn2 + 1h Zn3) into the schedule. St. Louis was a lot of fun, and I still need to get up some pics from Sidney Street Cafe, my extraordinary dinner on Thursday evening.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Checking in from STL

Last week it was PHX for shuttle issues while last weekend was Orlando for FL 70.3. This week I'm in STL for an ACE (Aerospace Chrome Elimination) team meeting at the Boeing facility here. Doesnt that sound exciting?? It was kind of cool touring the final assembly facility for the F-15 and F-18 and seeing the wings, fuelsalages, nose cones, and other parts individually and then part as a seriously BA fighter.

While traveling can certainly impede a bit on training, this is actually a pretty good week to have to go, due to the relatively light training as a result of the race last weekend. Also, the weather here has been awesome and I found a sweet pool to use. The City of Clayton Aquatic Center has a nice 8 lane, 25 yd pool that is actually kept at a reasonable temperature (I'd say 79ish). Also, they have a solid Masters group that meets there from 5:15 to 6:30, allowing plenty of time to get back to the hotel for breakfast before heading off to meetings.

In other non training news, I'm really looking forward to dinner tonight at the Sidney Street Cafe with my friend Aimee. The place is owned by fellow posse member Kevin Nashan and looking over their menu, I simply cant wait. Hopefully I'll actually remember my camera and get some pics.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Hot & Cold (but mainly hot!)

FL 70.3 RR, Orlando, FL- The day began before dawn with an extraordinary rendition of the Star Spangled Banner by RD Tom Zeibart. Then just as the sun was preparing to break the horizon, the cannon fired and we were off. I took it out hard and after a few minutes of fast swimming intertwined with pummeling, I thought I had made the front pack. A couple of minutes later though I looked up only to be disappointed. There were two guys in front of me swimming next to each other and a gap had formed between them and the pack ahead. In an effort to mitigate the damage, I moved to the outside to try to catch the group that was now slowly pulling away. Unfortunately I couldn't quite close the gap and ended up swimming the rest of the way alone. Somewhere around 1200m or so I began feeling the effects of my earlier efforts but hoped I could still maintain a decent pace all the way through to the finish. Coming out of the water, I wasn't sure if I was behind the first pack or behind second pack but someone yelled that I was around 9th place, so I assumed I had snuck out in front of the second pack.

Swim: 9th, 26:28

Out on the bike, my suspicions of a decent swim were confirmed. Within the first few miles pre-race favorites Paul Amey and Santiago Ascendo came riding up beside me, validating my effort in the water. Here is where I usually comment on how many people go by me like I'm standing still and I'm left to ride alone. Not this time! I settle in and find that I can stay with the group at a very reasonable PE. Throughout the ride we see head ref and overall BA Jimmy R on his moto numerous times but everyone was riding legally and no penalties were given.

Bike: 12th, 2:10:46

With the bike ride finished, it was out on the run. Immediately, Katie Perry's "Hot & Cold" popped into my head which I realized was a great metaphor for the rest of my race in a number of ways. For a refresher:

"Cause you're hot then your cold // You're yes then you're no // You're in then you're out // You're up then you're down"

HOT: At the beginning of the run, I was stoked. There were three guys up the road and then I came off the bike with a group of about 15. This was the closest I'd been to the front of a 70.3 (with pros) this late in a race and could smell blood. First mile: 5:20!

COLD: "Wait a minute, I haven't run over an hour since November!" Hmm, something has to give…

As the race progressed, the suffering insued.

UP: My body temperature

DOWN: My pace

The second and third laps were a total sufferfest. Luckily, I apparently wasn't the only one hurting as the aggressor also known as the beautiful Central Florida weather was impartially brutalizing.

IN: Passing Rhodes to move into 7th

OUT: Getting passed by a steadily moving Marsh to fall back to 8th.

After somehow holding off the competition for most of the run, Brandon Marsh passed me around mile 11. By this time I had long ago stopped looking at my splits and was really just trying to not fall over. All my energy then turned to simply making it to mile 12 and back to the pavement. Running scared, I made it there and somehow managed to drag myself through the last mile to hold onto the last "money" spot.

Run: 10th, 1:20:20

YES: Having friends and family at the race

NO: Not being able to have a coherent conversation after the race due to a severe lack of oxygen and sugar in the brain.

Overall: 8th, 4:00:49

Full results can be found here.

PS I'll end with a baby picture because everyone loves pictures and everyone loves babies. This is Eloise, Bernd and Kelly's little one. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Checking in from PHX

Although over the last year or so there had been some debate over the possibility of extending the Shuttle program, that was quickly shot down due to what would be exceedingly large costs. These costs would be derived from the necessity of "turning on" many vendors who have already delivered the last of their hardware for their respective shuttle components. The shuttle is made my a number of prime contractors and hundreds of subcontractors so needless to say there are a lot of different manufacturers! Trouble is, some of these companies have either stopped making certain parts or just gone out of business altogether.

With that having been said, there are still a few pieces of hardware being manufactured for the program. As some of you may recall, I had to go out to LA last year for a problem with an electroless nickel plating process for the Solid Rocket Booster (SRB) separation bolts. Well, this is the same process with likely the same problem but for a slightly different piece of the hardware, the separation bolt retainers. Basically, these parts hold the munitions inside the bolts. (Background: These bolts are about 2ft long and 6" in diameter. They are hollow, made of high strength steel, and eight of them hold each solid rocket booster to the External Tank. Once the SRBs are done burning (about 2min after ignition) the bolts explode and the SRBs fall back to the ocean).

So anyway, Phoenix is hot. 93F in my rental car last night at 9:00. Luckily though that means that it also has lots of outdoor pools and I got to swim in one this morning. Also, being the desert, it is not raining, which is a welcome change from the 10 inches or so we've had in Huntsville in the last week. So while the run this afternoon wont be fun, at least it will give me a little chance for some acclimation before heading down to Orlando on Friday. Reports from the area indicate that a lack of rain over the last couple of weeks has resulted in record highs. So lets see... no runs longer than an hour + course with lots of sand + hot and humid = this should be a pretty awful run this weekend... cant wait!

Monday, May 11, 2009


S: 25,000 yds
B: 9h 35min
R: 3h 56min

Total: 20h 6min

Last week almost looked like a slightly more regular (if there is such a thing...) triathlon training week... just in time for Florida 70.3 (more on that later...). It even included an always delightful, patently awful day, Friday, when I was struggling so much that a nap was required after work before the PM run. Other than that though most of the workouts went pretty well and even though I still haven't logged much run mileage, I'm finally starting to feel a bit more like a runner.

Monday, May 4, 2009


S: 20,400 yds
B: 10h 2min
R: 4h 35min

Total: 19h 59min

Thats right kids, thats four and a half hours of running. Unfortunately though the longest single run was only 50min which means the 13.1 mile run in less than two weeks at FL70.3 should be interesting, to say the least. On the brightside, you have craw before you can walk (or jog before you can run, in this case) so hopefully I'm moving in the right direction.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

3rd? How about 5th time is a charm

Take 1: Up Friday morning at 4:30 as usual. As I'm getting dressed though I hear a slight rumble. Thinking its thunder, I head outside in an attempt to confirm but before I can make it to the door I see a flash of light. Sure enough, its storm time, which means no swimming. While I'm a bit upset, I am not too distraught over the reasonable excuse to procrastinate on the 6x400s. So I head into work with the plan to get in early, leave early, then swim and run before catching a movie at 7.

Take 2: Head to the pool after work and arrive a bit after 3:40. Although open swim doesnt start until 4:30, the kids practice from 3:30 to 6 and Brook, the swim coach, doesnt mind giving me a lane if necessary. As I walk to the door, though, I see a sign, "No one under 18 allowed." Ahh... the swine flu scare. NBD, I'll just run first then swim.

Take 3: After I nice little 40 minute jaunt I return to find the pool open for business. The guy taking money checks my ID to insure I'm not in HS before gladly taking my single day admission money. After a quick change, I'm finally out on the deck, ready to get started when... thunder. Everyone out. Looking at the radar on the TV in the office, looks like it'll be a while before the storm passes through. Even then, its 20 minutes after anyone hears thunder before anyone can get back in the pool. So I call it, as the chances of actually getting to swim this evening look bleak at best.

Take 4: Up Saturday morning for the usual Saturday morning swim except this time I still have those 400s to make up. I finish my coffee without hearing a clap of thunder or seeing a flash of light so I think I'm in the clear. On the drive to the Natatorium, although the sky is grey it is a light grey rather than the daunting dark grey which is usually associated with lightning. I get to the pool, get changed, and get warmed up. Then, its go time. Its 400: 4:44.

Wait... the title of the post is 5th time is a charm and we're only on #4. So you guessed it, after finishing 350yds of my second 400, I'm instructed I have to get out of the pool. I'm to impatient to try and "wait it out" so I head home to ride my bike in the rain, determined to get the set in later in the day.

Take 5: Arriving back at the pool at a bit before noon, this will be my last shot to beat down the set until Monday. The pool is closed Sunday and I have to be home for the cable guy from 2-4 later in the day. Luckily, the sky holds it together for about an hour and a half and I get to knock out my set. The best part was that it actually went pretty well: 4:41, 4:38, 4:36, 4:35, 4:35, 4:35.