Tuesday, April 29, 2008

So THIS...

... is what your freestyle stroke should look like! Take a little lesson from Ian Thorpe! Talk about pulling down a butt-load, (technical term), of water! Nice.

Health update! No news. Everything works. Goin in to see the specialist on Friday to be poked, prodded, and scanned. In the meantime training continues at a lower volume this week while preparing for the Eugene 1/2 Marathon on Sunday the 4th. My allergies are completely out of control right now and seem to have settled on making my lungs pay the price. I swear I sound like I smoke at LEAST one pack a day... and its freakin SEXY! Just ask me. Anyway, despite that, I don't think the allergies have significantly impacted my training. I just feel tired and cranky and stuffed up all the time... which is fun.

You know what I like? A really good haircut.

In defiance of nature and pollen, I did my last long, fast run on Sunday. This after spending the hours between 7:30 am and 1:00 pm listening to my three children natter at me while I single-handedly assembled a new trampoline! Yeah. Even the instructions said that it takes, "3 adults in good physical condition". Good times. Anyway, during the heat of the day I threw down 9.4 miles in 1:06:04. I was pretty happy with that and it gave me a bit of a confidence boost... I wasn't sure how much fitness I had lost with all the illness... so I guess its time to put it out there...

I'll finish Sunday's race in 1:30:00 or less. Some might argue that that isn't enough of a stretch for me. But notice I said, "or less". Believe me, if its in me, I'll crush it.

There ya have it! It's out there... no hiding for me...

Soccer season is in full swing and once again I've had the pleasure of coaching Lila's team. Notice my sweet, precious, beautiful, smart, athletic little girl and the skill with which she dominates THREE of her opponents! Oh yeah.


Sunday, April 27, 2008

Here's the Funny Part...

I had an 1:45 ride scheduled for yesterday. Due to other commitments... I couldn't head out on the road and had to slap the bike on the trainer for the workout. This is good and bad. Good b/c the workout I was doing had very specific intervals and wattages to hit and that's a LOT more easy to do on the trainer. Bad b/c well... it's the trainer... AND it was a beautiful sunny day! ARG. Oh well right? I set up the trainer on the back deck thinking that I could still be out in the sun and train in the heat. In addition to sweating my arse off... about halfway into the workout it occurs to me, "Hey bonehead! You didn't put on any sunscreen!" Unlike the Bigun, us Oregon folks are pasty white at this point in the year! Not good. My wife snuck out and took a couple of candid pics of the "Emaciated White Ghost" or EWG... rarely photographed in the wild let alone in the near buff. Later that night, while getting ready for bed, I happened to glance at my back in the mirror... nice tan line. I had the wife-a-roony take a picture for your entertainment. Good times!

On tap for today? Trampoline assembly AND a 1:10 run. I'm going to preview the Eugene 1/2 Marathon course with my buddy Scott. First half of the run... Zone 1-2... second half Zones 3-4. Ought to hurt a bit which is not a bad thing. I'll be curious to see how things go considering I haven't been terribly healthy over the last week... what with the peeing blood stuff... Bah Ha HA! By the way, I feel fine. A little low energy but other than that I've been pretty good. Not that I'm ignoring anything... I'm still getting scanned and poked and prodded next week... but I figure if I feel like doing some training... I might as well!

I think I'm gonna have me some noodoo's an pok tonigh. Rong tine.


Friday, April 25, 2008

The Thin Red Line!

Yeah.  You know what my primary care doctor is good for?  He's good for referring me elsewhere! THAT'S what he's good for! Ok ok.  I know that he's just trying to be thorough and get me the best care possible, (read: save his own ass from making a mistake), but come ON!  Tell me to pee in a cup, send me on my way, and "Wait for the Urology office to call and schedule an appointment"?  Doesn't he know that this is ME?  I mean... It's ME right?  Chop Chop!  I need to be fixed YESTERDAY!  Screw everyone else... me, Me, ME!  Fix ME!  Whew... thanks for listening.  I needed that.

Alright, so here's the deal.  I have no news.  I have to go into the Urologist and get things scanned and prodded next week. Whatever.  Why worry about something that I have extremely limited information on?  I can't control it right?  SO... why worry?  All I really have to do is breathe... and things will happen as they're supposed to.

On an UPBEAT note... I swam 3000 yds today and felt fantastic!  All this rest is KILLING ME! You'll be happy to know that Coach Liz brought the smack down on me the other day and told me to listen to my body AND her... if you can yell in an email... she did... and I love her all the more for it.  Fairly light weekend of training to include some trainer time... blah blah blah.

To everyone that's racing this weekend... test your limits....


Thursday, April 24, 2008

Is It Bad...

... to pee blood after your run?  Hmmm.  So I get back from my 45 minute run.  Felt great the entire time... threw in some tempo work at the high end of my Zone 3... it was good.  It's the first time that I've gotten any quality work done since last Friday!  I'm optimistic about being over the hump of my illness.  Anyway... get back to the Y and grab my recovery drink before heading into the gym to get some core done... stop off at the bathroom and am shocked to see a steady stream of dark red blood hitting the back of the urinal!  HOLY CRAP!  What the HELL man!?  No pain, no nausea, no signs or symptoms that ANYTHING is wrong... except for the crimson stream flowing from my manhood!  I made some calls to some docs that I know and started hydrating. Everything  cleared up after about 30 mins.  All systems are a go... but GEESH!  That was just plain ODD!  After doing a google search about Hematuria (that's all scientific n shit huh?), apparently its not all THAT uncommon!  I've just been lucky.

Aint trainin FUN!?


Wednesday, April 23, 2008


... you just need some freakin cake.


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Back At It...

... sorta. I was SUCH a good boy over the weekend! If you read my last post you know that I was pretty sick for a couple of days. Instead of moaning and whining and complaining I listened to my family, coach, and friends... and just embraced the sickness and rested... like on my ass on the couch or in bed rested.

Monday's are my normally scheduled rest days and I really felt like I'd be ready to hit it hard today. I had some "business", (what a JOKE... you know what I mean Sarry Son), in Bend so I took off late Monday afternoon and made the snowy/trecherous drive over the pass. DREW? Where the heck WERE you man?! I left a message... wanted to see you eat another raw quail egg! I had a serious solo sushi feast (SSSF), and hit the rack early chomping at the bit to get into the 50m pool in the morning! Liz had a killer "breath-control" workout planned for me... which means pain and discomfort. The thing is, I got in the pool, got halfway through the workout, and had absolutely NOTHING left. I literally almost pulled myself across the pool on the last 50m using the lane lines! That's RIGHT! 1,500 meters and I was D-O-N-E. I spent the rest of the morning freaking out and mentally crucifying myself for being such a pathetic weak-gened candy-ass pansy sicky boy.

I also had a run scheduled for today... so I called Liz and she talked me out of my tree. She reassured me that I would NOT loose significant fitness and that if anything... once I get better I'll be REALLY ready to go after all the rest. SO... I ended up running 20 min in Zone 1 and doing some core work in the gym. Felt good to be out running... cleared my head... made me realize that all is not doom and gloom... that everything is NOT terrible and awful and horrid and unfair and that I have a pretty freakin good life to INCLUDE my wife and family and dear dear DEAR friends. Whew. See. Rob not do so good without consistent exercise.

The Eugene 1/2 Marathon is less than 2 weeks away. I'm gonna throw it out there! I'm gonna predict a PR. I haven't decided how MUCH of a PR... but it's gonna be a PR. Last year's race I ran a 1:35... and felt like I had a lot more in me. SO... when I decide what my time is gonna be... I'll be sure and share. I'm REALLY itching to race tho... hungry even.

Enjoy some pics!
Snow? In APRIL?

Alpha Puppy Wolf Squad. GO!

THIS is what I woke up to today!

Look at THAT!

Hope everyone is happy and healthy!


Sunday, April 20, 2008

Spring Training?

This is what I woke up to yesterday! Can you believe this?!  I saw the forecast earlier in the week... but I didn't believe it!  I mean really, what do meteorologists know?  I did call Coach Liz just in case for a backup plan.  I didn't really relish in the thought of riding for 4 hour in the snow and sleet!  You know what she said to me... and I quote, "You're not really complaining about a 4 hour trainer ride to the girl from Chicago are you?"  Bah ha ha!  I wasn't complaining per se, I just didn't realize that people actually DID 4 hour trainer sessions and NOT have their head explode.  Seriously?  You Ironman types in colder climates do that?  That's just plain bonkers!  Well guess what?  I don't have to do it anyway.

Friday I woke up not feeling so hot... sore throat, really sinusy, pretty crummy.  An interesting factoid about Eugene is that it has the highest pollen counts in the nation during this time of year... and I happen to have pretty bad allergies.  As a result, I tend to feel like crapolio all through Spring.  SO, when I feel that way I tend to not take it too seriously this time of year. Liz had a GREAT trainer session scheduled and I really didn't want to miss it.  Essentially it was a 15 min warm-up follow by descending intervals at various wattages at 50-60 rpms starting at 200 watts and ending at 300!  The last 15 seconds of each you stay in the saddle and up the cadence by 5-10 rpms.  NOT a good idea when you're sick!  I finished and I was so shakey I just had to sit there for a second.  My HR was totally out of control but I nailed every interval and ended up averaging 191 watts over the hour.  I'd like to get that up to 210... but I was happy that I even finished the workout!  Yeah, that's how stupid I am... because guess what?  I went to bed that night at 8 o'clock and spent almost all of Saturday in bed!

LISTEN TO YOUR BODY PEOPLE!  If you feel sick... take break. It's Sunday morning and I'm beginning to feel slightly human again.  I'm NOT training today.  I'll be taking tomorrow off too, (normally scheduled rest day), and hit it hard starting Tuesday.  I'm not sure any of this could have been avoided... but I KNOW that Friday's workout didn't help.

Today's training? Nasal Rising, Hyper Hydration, and Speed Napping.

Stay healthy everyone!


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Are You Willing?

I first saw this video on Lewie's blog. If you haven't seen it, watch it, then answer the question above.

Do you have a willingness to suffer? A willingness to put it ALL out there? A willingness to risk failure, and possible humiliation? Really... look inside and ask yourself the question. Be honest. Let me be clear, you don't NEED "it" to participate in sport... although, I can say with some degree of confidence that if you're reading this blog and participate in the sport of triathlon... you ARE willing to do all of those things to a degree. For me? I need the suffering. I need the risk of failure. I need to push and sweat and scream and puke and cramp and cry. Am I willing? Hell yes. All the time? Honestly? No. BUT... I guarantee that if you make a push to pass me... you may do it... but you're going to pay... and its going to hurt... and at the end of the race... we'll both laugh about it.


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

In the BANK!

First off... check out this piece by J.D. Casten!  He's been in a rut apparently... but I'm thinkin a "rut" is all relative.  I like this one... particularly b/c the Buddha is sitting a little crooked... how Zen is THAT?  Cool stuff J.D.!

Had a GREAT sunny weekend!  Unfortunately for me, Saturday I had a swim workout... INDOORS!  Just figures huh?  I got some sun mowing the lawn though!  The swim was a total of 3,000 yds. and combined some 25 and 50 yd sprints with 10 seconds rest as a pre-set as well as 7 X 300 yd at the fastest pace I could sustain.  Yeah... that hurt.  I held a 1:19 pace for all but the last one!  The last one I held a 1:10/100 yds and almost lost my cookies... literally.  It was bitchin.

Saturday consisted of a 3 hour ride followed by a 25 min run off the bike.  The weather was perfect for a longish ride... sunny to partly cloudy and mild.  Coach Liz had me choose a really hilly route and told me to "attack" the shorter hills out of the saddle and to sit back in the saddle and grind out the longer hills at 50-60 rpms.  Two points to that... leg strength AND learning how to work with my PowerTap and what different inclines/cadences/paces do to my power.  Overall I covered 52 miles with my buddy Scott and got some REALLY good work done on the hills.  The run off the bike was fine... I clocked a 6:45 fist mile in low Zone 3... happy with that.  Legs felt fresh-ish despite the hilly ride.

Heading into a fairly high intensity week ending in a 4 hour ride on Saturday.  My run tomorrow?  Liz has hill repeats prescribed and has told me, and I quote, "the last 2 hills are totally out of control: just work that hill hard and make that hill your bitch.  Yes, I just said that."  Is that HILARIOUS or WHAT?  I love that girl!  And I will work that hill... heck... maybe I'll even puke.

Happy training...


Saturday, April 12, 2008


It was SUNNY and 70 degrees yesterday!  I had to check the paper and make sure that I was still in Eugene.  PERFECT day to get some good road work done.  Coach Liz had a longish run scheduled for me.  Essentially I was to warm up for the first 2 miles in Zone 1-2.  Following that for the next 6 miles I was to negative split each mile by 5 to 10 seconds.  The remainder of the run was to be done in Zone 1-2 to cool down.  The run, in its entirety was to be 1.5 hours OR 10 miles in total... whichever came first.  I found a rolling stretch of road that had mile markers and was completely exposed to the sun... heaven!  Here's how it broke down, tempo descend is in red:
  • 1 - 7:48
  • 2 - 7:40
  • 3 - 7:37
  • 4 - 7:10
  • 5 - 7:06
  • 6 - 6:56
  • 7 - 6:51
  • 8 - 6:34
  • 9 - 8:11
  • 10 - 7:40
Total time for the run was 1:12:06.  Felt great the entire time.  What I'm most pleased with is not the speed necessarily... but the pacing.  I didn't blow up early and I was able to consistently knock-down the times at each mile.  I consumed 2 Hammer Gels and 12 oz of water during the workout... could have used more fluids... but I didn't want to stop to fill my flasks... bad Rob. Good to get these results... 3 weeks out from the Eugene 1/2 Mary... feeling confident about a PR.

Thanks for stopping by.  Train hard.  Train Smart.


Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Monday, April 7, 2008

What I Learned...

is that my hair really doesn't look good like this.

I also learned from my Sunday run that I can very comfortably stay in mid Zone 2 and throw down 7 minute miles.  All I can say about this is "WHEW". FINALLY... I'm seeing the results of focusing on a solid base!

Sundays run was one hour total.  I had thought it was all easy Zone 1-2 but on closer inspection of the training schedule it broke down like this: 
  • 20 min in Zone 1-2
  • 20 min in Zone 3 (164- 172 BPM)
  • 20 min in Zone 1-2
You know what it does in Eugene in the Spring?  I freakin RAINS... A LOT!  Sunday was no exception!  The REALLY cool thing was, (read sarcasm), that when I started into my Zone 3... I started on a gradual incline, a head-wind kicked up, AND it started pouring AND sleeting!  YES! It was like suckin down a shit sandwich and asking for seconds!  No matter though... it's better than sitting on the couch.  Overall it was a great run and I was surprised at how my legs functioned considering my power test on the bike the previous day.

Robby is a happy boy.  Robby likey the trainey.  Robby gettin fit.

OH!  This is a Tulip Tree!  Have you guys seen these things!?  We may not have Cardinals here... but we have some kick ASS trees!

Headed into another 4 week build!  I'm ready.  Hope you are all ready too!


Sunday, April 6, 2008

Holy CRAP!

You guys know my youngest son Tom right?  Well, this afternoon we all went to the pool for rec swim at the YMCA. Tom... who's 4 1/2... jumped into the pool with a kick-board and did 125 yds! Kicking!  Straight leg, no BS kicking! Just for the heck of it!  He laughed and whooped the entire time!  I just watched and cheered... completely in awe of the raw energy and enthusiasm!  I am DEFINITELY going to think about that little dude's smile the next time I'm not having any fun during my training... maybe you will too.


Saturday, April 5, 2008


First of all... check out my eyebrows man!  Holy CRAP!  Those suckers are exactly like my Grandpa's!  When the heck did THAT happen!  I need to take the weed-whacker to 'em!

No, this post isn't about my eyebrows.  It's about my power test!  Coach Liz had me do another bike test today... with the Power Tap!  What was really weird about this test was that I had no idea what I was getting into.  I mean, you could tell me that you push 2.4532 watts for 2 hours... and that would mean absolutely nothing to me. The good thing about being ignorant is that you can't over-analyze... you just GO!  You just go as hard as you can without collapsing in the first couple of minutes.  SO... I set up in my really fancy training studio... aka my garage... and got to it. 

The test consisted of a 30 minute warm-up, (just spinning in the small ring), followed by 30 minutes HARD, followed by a 30 minute cool-down.  The only portion where I collected data was in the middle... where I was going hard.  Liz wanted me to record average watts, average HR, and total mileage.  So here are the results:
  • Avg Watts: 207
  • Avg HR: 156
  • Total Miles: 9.3
Ouch.  Yeah.  Nauseous.  I didn't smile... not even once during this test.  SO... besides a lot of sweaty clothes... what did this little test get me? Information.  That's it.  It's information that Coach Liz is going to use to make me stronger on the bike.  I now have a power base-line to work from.  She'll set power zones for me that I'll be training in from here on out... without the variability of heart-rate!  A watt is a watt is a watt regardless of how hot it is, how stressed I am, or if I ate a 1/2 lb cheeseburger 3 minutes ago... there's no cheating with watts.
Regardless of what the above numbers might say about my current cycling performance... I KNOW that I'm going to be making some HUGE leaps in biking fitness over the next month or so!  I'm PUMPED!

Tomorrow is a 1 hour zone 2 run!  I'm curious to find out how many miles I can put in in an hour in that HR zone (154-164 bpm).  Ought to be fun... except for the pouring rain and chilly temperatures... I know I know... I'll put away my pink tutu and stop whining.

Hope you're all doing well!  Thanks for stopping by...


Thursday, April 3, 2008

Recovery Week!

OK...  remember a few posts ago when I was boring you with my verbal diarrhea regarding not training enough?  I take it back...  I take it aaaaaaalllllll back.  

Coach Liz spanked my booty last week!  The big difference between training on my own and having a coach guide me through the process is that I'm becoming intimately familiar with the word, "quality" rather than "quantity".  At the beginning of last week, I looked at the total number of training hours expected of me and thought, "10.5?... are you joking???  Dat's nuffin."  Lemme tell ya something... by the time Sunday rolled around my body was READY for a rest day and my current recovery week.  Don't get me wrong, I am looking forward to piling on the volume... but this quality stuff is WORKIN!

This week has been defined by less volume but higher intensity.  I'm diggin getting to go a bit faster... It's much less boring... however, I'm staying well within the assigned zones.  That's another thing!  I LIKE having actual "zones" to work in.  I mean... I kinda sorta paid attention to that last year... and still had a decent year of races... I just feel like I'm so much more on track this year!

Highlight of the week?  I got to do a 1 mile time trial in the pool.  So... that's 1,650 yds or .93749999996419ths of a mile.  A total of 66 lengths in a 25 yd pool.  I predicted that I'd come in between 25 and 28 minutes.  Considering the fact that I STILL haven't remotely mastered a flip-turn (what's UP with that?), I thought that was a realistic goal.  Well guess WHAT?  I came in at 23:43.  Yup.  The boy's swim is GETTIN THERE!  YAY me!

Did you know that the brighter the plumage and coloring on a Cardinal... the more virile they are?  It's true.  It's a fact.  Ain't nature neato?

This coming weekend I have another bike test. The difference between this one and the last is that I will be using the new PowerTap to get a better picture of my power output!  Ought to be a good time.

Physically, I'm PRIMED to hit a tough training cycle.  Mentally?  Honestly, I'm a f-ing nut-ball right now... which is REALLY fun for my family and friends!  The thing is... sometimes you just have to sit there and just BE.  Ya know? You don't have to figure it all out... the only thing you really need to do is sit there and experience it. So that's what I'm doing... I'm experiencing it... not fighting it... and trying to be patient with myself.  Bah ha HA!  Isn't that a funny thought?!  ME?  Patient?  Hee hee... uh.  Yeah.  I'm tryin.

Thanks for stopping by!  Hope you're training is going well... and that you're being patient with yourself.