Thursday, September 29, 2011


Professional athletes use coaches to make sure they are as good as they can be. 

But doctors don’t. I’d paid to have a kid just out of college look at my serve. So why did I find it inconceivable to pay someone to come into my operating room and coach me on my surgical technique?...

Self-improvement has always found a ready market, and most of what’s on offer is simply one-on-one instruction to get amateurs through the essentials. It’s teaching with a trendier name. Coaching aimed at improving the performance of people who are already professionals is less usual. It’s also riskier: bad coaching can make people worse. -Atul Gwande, from this article in the New Yorker

As a practicing surgeon, Dr. Gwande has given many novel insights into the health care industry, effectively diagnosing big picture problems and suggesting practical, effective solutions. For this article, though, he speaks to professionals in all industries. His thesis simply states that if you want to get better at what you do, you need a coach.  This may come as a shock to those professionals in industries where coaching is traditionally not used (Gwande uses teachers and surgeons as examples), but is also a good reminder for professionals in traditionally "coached" industries (ie sports) who think they can be "self-coached". Simply put, if you are "self-coached" you're accepting the status quo and leaving potential improvements on the table.    

Article here.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


S: 28,400 yds
B: 6h 57min
R: 6h 2min

Total: 20h 27min

Its nice to be running again, but after an attempted tempo run on Thursday, I certainly still have a way to go to get back to being competitive.  So it looks like the triathlon season will pretty much be done for me, as it doesnt make much sense to go to Miami or Cancun if I'm not in shape. (EDIT: It makes plenty of sense to go to Miami or Cancun when not in shape, it just doesnt make sense to go there for a race...)  Meantime, I'll jump in a few local running races in hopes of making myself run faster.  Should be fun and painful.

Monday, September 19, 2011


S: 28,100yds
B: 9h 45min
R: 5h 16min

Total: 22h 25min

Last week was a little larger than previous weeks due to my lack of employment coupled with the century on Saturday.  The century was the Spring City Cycling Club's All You Can Eat (SCCC's AYCE) Century. It was a beautiful day for a ride, and the scenery didnt disappoint.  The pace was pretty chill for the first hour or so with me, Timo, and a couple other taking pulls.  In the second hour, things slowly started to heat up until over 2h into the ride, we hit a 3 mile long, 1000ft high climb which totally broke things up.  I made it up first, and stopped at the rest stop close to the top.

There was a bit of a regrouping at the top, and about 8 of us set out for the trip home.  We stayed together down the hill, but around mile 55 we turned onto a bumpy, hilly road. At this point I was wishing I had been on a mountain bike, as I'm not sure if the race directors couldve picked a worse paved road for us to ride.  Pretty soon, we were down to three as we all just wanted to get off that road.  The rest of ride was pretty steady, with Timo, me, and a guy from Nashville in an old school MaiPei kit just pushing to the finish.  Considering I couldnt remember the last time I had ridden longer than 3h, I was definitely hurting.  I was fine on the flats and gradual hills, even taking pulls, but the spikes in power required for the steep hills were killing me; I just didnt have an extra gear.  We finally rolled back into the parking lot at Madison County High School 101 miles and ~4h42min of riding.  

Then it was straight to the couch!

Monday, September 12, 2011


S: 26,900 yds
B: 10h 23min
R: 3h 52min (~33miles)

Total: 21h 20min

In my last post, my "long" run for the week before last was 40min, whereas this past week I went a solid 57min.  Additionally, I ended up with around 33 miles for the week, which although not spectacular is not trivial, either.  So while I'm pleased with how things are progressing, I realize there is still quite a bit of work to do before I'll be able to race.  I haven't even started thinking about pace yet, and I'll first need a couple more weeks of "just running" before I can (hopefully) start incorporating some faster stuff.  But, after watching all the great racing last weekend, especially the 70.3 World Championships, I'm definitely chomping at bit to get back to competing.

In other news, I start a new job this week! Beginning Friday, I'll be a MP&P Engineer at The Boeing Company. I'll be developing materials and processes for the Space Launch System (SLS), NASA's next heavy lift rocket. I'm excited to get started, but hopefully it won't get in the way of training too much...  

Monday, September 5, 2011


S: 24,700 yds
B: 9h 18min
R: 2h 36min

Total: 18h 26min

I'm in Orlando, so here is a picture of Mr. and Mrs. Mouse.

Happy Labor Day!  Updates may start to sound a bit Groundhog Day-ish, but in this case that is a good thing.  The slow build in running miles continues unabated, and I'm now able to handle a whopping 40min at a time. This is nothing to write home about, but at least it constitutes an actual run. 

Similarly, the new position hasnt gave me any issues thusfar.  I havent had any problems adjusting to the 165mm cranks, and in fact I think the shorter crank length was just what I needed to relieve some of the pressure on my lower back/upper leg area which led to the injury.