Tuesday, January 29, 2008

It Aint Your Local Pool...

Hey... guess WHAT? Swimming out in the ocean is a bit more difficult than swimming at the YMCA! DUH!

As soon as the meetings let out around 5 pm yesterday, I sprinted up the stairs to my room, changed, and sprinted down to the beach. The water was hovering around 69 degrees and felt really nice as I toed in. There wasn't too much chop at that time but the wind was kicking up pretty quickly. As I started out... and the sun was reflecting off the water... I realized that this was the first time in my entire life that I'd actually swum... uhhh... swam... ummm swimdid? in the ocean. I mean yes, I've played in the waves and screwed around... but I've never entered the ocean with the sole purpose of getting a workout. It's also quite a bit different than swimming at Dexter Reservoir... there's waves... and currents... it was totally bizarre to me. I did find a nice rhythm eventually and enjoyed 40 minutes of non-stop, no turn-around type swimming. What I found coming out of the water was two things: 1) I was freakin COLD, and 2) I was WAY tired! It really took it out of me... surprisingly so. I hustled off the beach and into the jacuzzi poolside.

After warming up a bit I had to run up to my room, put on the monkey suit, (suit n tie... barf), and get my fanny to the President's Club dinner where I rubbed elbows with the big-wigs and watched people consume copious amounts of alcohol. Good times...
This afternoon I've got a high cadence run (96/min) for 40 min. Supposed to be in the high 70's! Time for the pale, skinny guy to terrorize the board-walk again!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Florida Sun Shine!

I left Eugene at 6 am yesterday with snow coming down and got into Florida by 4 pm to bright sunny skies! I had forgotten how fun it is to run with no shirt on and be able to listen to the waves crashing on the beach! I got a LOT of strange looks running down one of the board-walks. I don't think they see a lot of tall, skinny, really PALE guys running around with heart-rate monitors strapped to their chests... I even heard someone comment, "That's the smallest bra I've ever seen.". HEY! Whatever it takes to harness my man boobs!

"Ran" 60 min, 6.5 miles at an average HR of 157. Average was jacked due to the relative heat and my lack of sleep... but it was fun anyway! Coach Matt has me on a pretty relaxed schedule out of necessity this week.

Meetings all day today. Snore. Fancy schmansy dinner tonight. I'm hoping to get in an open-water swim before the dinner though... the water is GORGEOUS here! Ahhhhhh...


Saturday, January 26, 2008

Corporate HELL!!!!!

Ok... so first of all... here's another piece from my buddy J.D. Kinda cool and dark... like me... Bah ha HA! J.D. is the creative MAN! Gotta love that guy! Check out his site AND he has stuff for sale! Could it get ANY better?

I'm off to Florida at O dark thirty tomorrow morning. I would rather pluck my own butt-hair than spend an entire week with these people... but alas.... I must. You know what's funny? J.D. pointed out to me that maybe all those sales people that I bitch about constantly might complain about ME too! YEAH! I freakin hate it when other people are right!

What's REALLY KILLING me is that I'll be missing Lila's 8th birthday! Doesn't my company understand that anything important that they have going on immediately takes a back seat to even the most miniscule occurrence on the family front? Geesh! The unmitigated gaul of them to schedule a meeting on my daughter's birthday! Bastards.

Training will continue with the exception of biking. I hope to get in some open-water swims just for shits n giggles. This week went really well. I know that Coach Matt will start ramping things up here pretty soon... something that I'm REALLY looking forward to... I WANT the extra work-load. Ended the week with:
  • Running: 16 miles
  • Biking: 27 miles
  • Spinning: 1 hour
  • Swimming: 10,515 meters
Looking at that makes me wonder why I'm tired. Apparently I'm a pansy... kinda like Blink.

OH! I had a dream last night that I raced IM CdA in '09 and came across the line at 8:49! Bah ha HAAAAA! Now THAT is hilarious! In my dream I couldn't figure it out... I was in complete shock! I ran over to my wife and said, "HEY! I think I got a Kona slot!". She was like, "Yeah... that's great honey. Ready to get goin?" Don't you just LOVE dreams?


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

10.1% and the Base Continues

HEY! Turns out that the fattest part of my body is my HEAD! Weird huh? How do I know this little factoid? Welllllll.... one of the physician's offices that I do business with has a DEXA machine. This particular machine has the ability not only to measure you're bone mineral density but can also measure your Body Mass Index! Well... the office manager offered to have me scanned for FREE for a baseline and then to do another 5 months down the road! Pretty sweet huh? I especially like the free part. What's really cool is that my nutritionist can use the data provided and further tailor my dietary needs during peak training times. Turns out that my body fat % is in the double digits... which I was actually quite relieved about... NOT good to be too skinny at this point in the season. I have a whopping 10.1% of fat on me! YIPPEEEEEE! Me likey dah fat... or is it phat?

Base training continues... and I continue to complain about it. Today?

  • Warm-up: 1,000 (400 swim/drills, 300 kick, 300 pull)
  • Main Set: 3 X (4 X 50's decending on the 1 min) 1 min between sets. Consistent... but could be faster. Basically hit 42 sec, 40 sec, 36 sec, 32 sec in each of the 3 sets. Need to push a bit harder... didn't take much effort to hit those times.
  • Cool-down: 400 (200 kick, 200 pull)
  • Total yds: 3,000
  • Distance: 4.76 miles (yes Bigun... I measured the distance)
  • Total Time: 45 min
  • Pace: 9:27/mile
  • Avg HR: 148 BPM
  • Attitude: I hate myself
Patience Rob... patience. This is literally the slowest I've ever run in my life. Except for that time at band camp when I was carrying 50 lbs on my back. As Stewart Smalley from SNL would say, "I'm good enough. I'm smart enough. And doggone-it, people like me."


Friday, January 18, 2008

Truckin Along...

You know what I hate right now? My digital camera. What the heck does, "System Error" mean? Those two words explain the distinct lack of interesting photos.  I guess I shouldn't complain. My wonderful wife bought it for me about 4 years ago and I've definitely put it through it's paces. It's funny... with technology developing as it does... I can get the same sort of camera tripling the available megapixels for roughly $100 bucks! BUT... I've got my eye on THIS:
It's any Olympus Stylus 770 SW... but that doesn't matter! What matters is that its WATER PROOF to 30 feet, shock resistent from a drop of 5 ft AND someone like BigUn can sit on it w/out crushing it! Isn't that COOL! I figure something like this would be perfect considering I take my camera everywhere I go!

Sorry... that wasn't very triathloney.

Had a good, solid, slow week of training!  Does that sound a bit negative?  Heck no!  I've completely put my faith in what all of you have been nagging me about... "Build your base Rob... build your base".  So here's what I did over this past week from Sunday to Saturday:
  • Swim: 7669 meters
  • Bike: 3 hours on the trainer, 2 hours on the road totaling 5 hours for you math geniuses.
  • Run: 16.25 miles
All of this... with the exception of some of the swimming has been at a HR under 145 BPM. Actually, looking at in now... in this format... it doesn't look like I trained all that much.  I'm a pansy apparently.

I took a look at next week's training that Coach Matt sent me and it seems like he's stepping it up a bit before I take off for my company's annual meeting.  OH!  YEAH!  All you blog-types that are in the great state of Florida... if you wanna hook up for some training the last week of January.... drop me a note!  I'll be in Hollywood, FL for that entire week... and it BETTER be sunny and warm!  I'm actually staying HERE ... its right on the water so I'm hoping to get in a few open-water swims while I'm there!

Anywho... 55 min Zone 2 run tomorrow!  And guess WHAT... it's supposed to be cold AND rainy!  Joy.  Rapture.


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Drooling Mouth Breather...

Yeah... that's what I feel like when I'm on the trainer grinding out my prescribed rides b/c the weather outside is too freakin frigid to even consider going for a ride. Then again... maybe... as I have been known to be... maybe I'm a pink tutu-wearin cry baby and I just need to get out and do it. Yeah... I'm goin with the cry baby thing. Waaaaaaaaaaa!

Anywho! Cool week so far! Monday was a day of rest... which is always good. Unlike most of you freaks who begrudgingly give up a full day of training to reap the benefits of real recovery... I really like my day off. Mostly b/c its the one day a week where I don't have to juggle anything to make sure that I get in my training. I'm not much of a juggler so a break from that aspect is nice.

Monday evening I headed over to Bend for some business and hooked up with Coach Matt for some killer sushi downtown. We went to a place called, "DEEP"... and its pretty freakin hip. A couple of triathlon type dorks drinkin waters and staying away from fried foods... we stuck out like a couple of sore thumbs! This was the first time that he and I had been able to sit down face to face and talk about training and racing since he started me on, as he calls it, "The Program" (say it with a deep booming voice). Really good stuff. He's a pretty insightful guy and truly has a passion for the sport... really glad he's taken me on. One of the things that he wants me to do is write down my goals for this season. It's funny... I'm pretty goal oriented in everything I do... but I never seem to really write them down. Writing them down solidifies them... which is a good thing. I'm giving it some serious thought... and I'll post them here... so everyone, including myself can hold me accountable... I'm sure I'll regret that!

Next morning we met at the pool and to my great surprise he was, "REALLY happy" with my swim. He made a few tweaks and gave me some great drills to work on as well. Then we headed into the gym to outline some core strength exercises that he wants me doing 3 times a week at this point in the season. Good stuff. I truly feel like things are beginning to click. Might be a bit early for clicking... but I'm clicking at the level that I should be right now.

Great trip to Bend. My only regret is that I didn't get time to visit with my buddies Drew and Jim while I was there... next time guys!

Got back to Eugene where it was a gorJESUS sunny winter day! COLD... but just too glorious to pass up! Hooked up with Scott for yet ANOTHER aerobic run! Scott's an animal! I'm totally pumped that I have such a willing training partner here in town! He's ALWAYS up for a training session regardless of what it is! Here's the mind-numbing stats:
  • Total Distance: 4.78 miles
  • Total Time: 40 min
  • Pace: 8:22/mile
  • Avg HR: 153 BPM
Failed miserably at keeping my HR down. I don't know what it was but even while we were walking out of the parking lot my monitor was reading 163 BPM. Obviously there was a glitch in my system somewhere... b/c I was NOT working hard at ALL on this run. Scott and I run the about the same HR and he was consistently below 140 BPM. So despite what the freakin computer says... I KNOW I was under the target HR of 145. Good stuff... base training is working! I'm REALLY looking forward to throwing down sub 7's at a HR of 140 bpm!!!

Coming up? GREAT news about nutrition and getting a Dexascan for body composition AND bone mineral density... all GRATIS! Whoop WHOOOOOOP!

OH! Check out Agatha! She's a MONSTER... and still the sweetest girl in the universe!


Sunday, January 13, 2008

Weight LOSS!

CRAP! I'm a light guy, (read, "skinny"), so loosing weight really isn't a good option for me. The most weight I've ever carried on my 6'1" frame was right before Ranger school while I was in the Army. I weighed in at a grand total of 165 lbs and dropped to 132 lbs after finishing! After that I quickly shot up to hover around 155 lbs. These days I stay right around 163 lbs... but last week I dropped 4 lbs. This is NOT good. It comes down to not eating enough to keep pace with my training load. While last week consisted of roughly 12 hours of training... not a huge load... my food intake didn't match the effort and I crashed HARD last Friday! I couldn't train, I skipped a bike AND a swim, and I went to bed and slept for 11 1/2 hours! I guess my tank was completely dry. I spoke with Coach Matt and he told me not to sweat it... that we're so early in the season that missing a couple of sessions for a legit reason wasn't a big deal. Then he laid into me about not eating. I needed that. I was able to resume the training schedule yesterday and ate like a maniac the entire day. I feel much better but the trend in weight loss has me really bothered... I just can't loose weight at this point in the season!

I spoke with a nutritionist friend of mine and she agreed to work with me for the entire year! I'm really pumped about that! I'm one of those weird people who can skip meals no problem... but it always catches up to me. I gotta stop that! Ingrid really knows what she's doing and has been the team nutritionist for both the University of Oregon Football team and Oregon State Universities athletic department. I'm super lucky to have her support!

It was also good to read through Jameson's most recent post about recovery and nutrition... its nice to know that I'm not the only one thats challenged by this stuff. I need to take a page out of his book about those two aspects of our sport. Recovery is a challenge considering that my kiddos don't really give a flyin fohootie that I just got done with a long ride... they wanna play! It's all good though... b/c before I know it... they won't wanna play with me anymore AND they won't appreciate my sweet dance moves at random moments throughout the day... boy will THAT be sad.

Ok... SO... today I just had a "long" run. I'm doing as I'm told. I'm going slow. I'm keeping my HR down. I'm a good boy. Scott joined me again and we held each other in check... thank GAWD for Scott! Here's what we did:
  • Total Time: 57:49
  • Total Dist: 6.4701 miles
  • Avg Pace: 8:54/mile
  • Avg HR: 143
Yeah. So base training is working. Last week's "long" run was 50 min, we went 5.5 miles, we averaged a 9:04 mile and my avg hr was 147 bpm. Yeah... its working! My head hurts but its working.


Tuesday, January 8, 2008


I'm not big on New Year's resolutions.  As a matter of fact, I rarely come up with one that holds any true significance whatsoever.  They usually run along the lines of: I will not pick my nose.  Or: I will only allow my radio dial's volume to rest on even numbers.  Last Sunday I had a 1.5 hr trainer ride... you know the one... where you have a LOT of time to sit there in your own head and think about "stuff".  It occurred to me that there are at LEAST two things that I'd really like to do better as a husband/dad/employee/human-being.  SO... in front of God and blog-dom... here they are... my New Year's resolutions:
  • Be more "thoughtful" in my reactions.
  • Eliminate "Mumble Cussing"
See... when I was in the military, something that was ground into us as young, malleable (read, "stupid") officers was to make quick decisions.  Right or wrong just make a decision and go with it... DON'T STALL! GO!  That's a really hard habit to break!  Now that I have the time to really think before I react... I'm going to give it an honest to goodness try!

The "mumble cussing"?  Ok... you know how there's times when you're really really PISSED and you want to unleash a torrent of expletives that'll embarrass Andrew Dice Clay but there's other people around including children... so you quietly unleash the torrent under your breath. Well... kids have REALLY good hearing.  Case in point, Tom... my 4 1/2 year old... he was playing with Aggie and she got a bit too rough with him... and that's when it happened.  Tom... under his breath but clearly audible says, "Stupid-ass dog".  I had to run to the bathroom to laugh my fanny off but then I was like, "Holy CRAP!  He learned that from YOU Rob!"  So the "mumbling cussing" has got to stop!

Oh... training?  Yeah.  Today:
  • Run:  4.5 mile, 40 min., 8:43/mile pace, 143 HR!  YAY!  I stayed in the zone! (I was bleeding out my eyes with boredom while doing it... but I did what I was told.  I know Bigun... you told me so)
  • Swim: Warm-up: 400 swim, 300 kick, 300 pull, Main set: 50, 100, 150, 200, 250, 300, 300, 250, 200, 150, 100, 50, 20 sec rest between intervals, stretching the climb, working the decent, Cool-down: 100 easy swim. Total: 3200 yds.  Kablooey!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

1 Week Down...

30 something to go before my "A" race! Yippee!

Here's a piece of artwork by my buddy J.D.! This is one of his last pieces of digital art from 2007. I thought it was pretty cool so I wanted to share! You can check out the rest of his stuff right HERE! Thanks J.D.!

So... one week down folks! The training was light but it felt significant b/c of the plague. Yesterday was the first day that I felt semi-human and had semi-normal energy levels.

Friday's training consisted of an hour on the trainer in the a.m... 10 minutes of which were spent doing "one-leggers". If you've never done these I highly recommend them! In addition to building positive cycling strength its an outstanding drill to point out flaws in your pedal stroke. The idea is to keep the entire stroke fluid with no significant gap in power output. Easier said than done. I was a bit surprised at how uneven my stroke was... especially with my left leg. By the end of the drill however... things had evened out. Good stuff.

In the evening I headed over to the pool. Here's what I did:
  • Warm-up: 400 swim, 200 kick, 300 pull
  • 5 X 150s on the 2:30 (decending on 2,4,6,8,10 - stetch it out on the odds). I was supposed to do 10 of these... I cramped so badly on the 5th one that I couldn't kick anymore! CRAP! So instead I finished with:
  • 500 pull on the 2:30
  • Cool-down: 200 swim
  • Total Yards: 2300
Eh... at least I got in the pool!

Yesterday I "ran" with Scott. You probably remember me bitching about having to keep my HR down at 145 BPM and how difficult that was for me to maintain without simply walking. WELL, Scott and I went out yesterday and focused on form, cadence, and keeping the HR DOWN! We ran for 50 minutes as prescribed and I ended up with an average HR of 146! I was so pumped about that... don't know why... I just was. Anyway... I think we covered a grand total of 5.5 miles... a bit embarrassing... but the true accomplishment for me was doing what I was told by Coach Matt and keeping my HR down! It'll pay off later right?

It snowed late yesterday afternoon... just enough for people in town to freak out! Aggie thought that was pretty cool. We also had another family come over for dinner... which is always fun... a total of 5 kids running around like maniacs is very entertaining!

Today? 1.5 hr trainer ride and 2,000 yds in da pool...


Thursday, January 3, 2008

And So It Begins.....

My 2008 season has officially begun! Wednesday consisted a visit to my doctor who promptly prescribed a 10 day course of a powerful antibiotic as well as a 5 day course of steroids! YUCK! The stuff kills your stomach AND disturbs your sleep! Good times!

Coach Matt sent me my training schedule for the first week keeping in mind that I've been pretty sick. He kept it light and wants to see how I do with it. So far so good... yesterday was just an easy spin on the trainer... but he insisted that I bring the trainer out of the cave in the garage and into the house for the sake of warmth! I'm all for that... I set it up in front of the boob-tube and watched, "Running On the Sun". Its a documentary about the Badwater ultra marathon. Essentially its a 135 mile race that extends over barren desert, across three mtn. ranges and through temperatures upwards of 130 degrees! Yeah... not something I'm remotely interested in doing. I think... like my homey Blink... that I'd me more inclined to do an ultra ironman than the straight running thing.

Anywho... here's what I did today:

  • Warm-up: 300 swim, 200 kick, 300 pull
  • Main Set: 2000 yds (including 300 kick and 500 pull)
  • Cool-down: 100 swim
  • Total Yards: 2900
Just felt low energy the entire time. Probably has something to do with the meds... oh... and being sick! I was pretty pleased that I did the whole workout... you know that sometimes the pool can just suck the life outta ya and its tough to put in the yards. This was a very conservative workout but MORE than enough for me at the moment! Had a recovery drink, picked up Tom and played with Legos! What's better for recovery than THAT I ask ya?!

  • Distance: 3.75 miles
  • Pace: 8 min/mile
  • Total time: 30 min
  • Avg HR 152
Matt told me to keep it flat and super slow! He also told me to keep my HR below 145... HUH? Yeah... ummmmm... if my HR is below 145 bpm then I'm basically walking... and walking slowly. But I think that being sick raises your HR by at least 5 bpm... I like this being sick stuff... gives me LOTS of excuses! But seriously... it felt good to run... even if it did have to be on the freakin dreadmill, inside, next to one of those runner hippie guys. You know that guy that has a LOT of body hair, tends not to bathe too frequently, breathes really really loud, and runs FOREVER??? Yeah... that guy. Or maybe those guys are just in Eugene.

Overall it feels really really REALLY good to have a plan and be working toward a goal. I don't do very well mentally when there isn't something hanging in front of me that I'm working toward. Good stuff...