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Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Back in the early '90s I used to own a pool hall.  The constant interaction with the public made me an incubator for every germ that came into the room.  I was sick constantly.  Now, I probably wasn't the picture of healthy living at the time and even though I've never smoked, back then I second hand smoked more than anyone alive.

Flash forward a couple years and I don't think I got sick one time between 1996 and 2006.  I was an accountant and stuck in an office and generally took a little better care of myself. 

Now I have 2 kids and training and I'm back to catching everything that comes around.  When you punish your body as much as I do all your energy goes to healing your joints and muscles.  There's nothing to spare for your immune system.  Last year I went and got a bird flu vaccine on the premise of a compromised immune system.  I had to explain that I didn't have AIDS but that my body just doesn't have the energy to fight anything.

Right before the race in November I started getting sick and by the week after it I thought I was afraid that I was going to die.  I had caught a pretty bad cold/flu and with my body being in the shape that it was it really knocked me for a loop.  I read in an article by Chris Carmichael that the probiotics in yogurt help to fight off colds and flu.  I've had a yogurt almost every day since then and I haven't been sick once this year.

Knock on wood.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

A real rest week

Rest weeks aren't really for resting.  A typical rest week should include 5 or 6 hours of riding, 3 hours of running, and an hour or so of swimming.

I did...nothing this week except for the swim on Wednesday.

I roasted coffee twice and made a batch of beer but I didn't do anything exercise-wise.

Back to the grindstone tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Decent Swim

I didn't say great. I said decent. I need to swim more over the next month. A lot more.

Water was about 80 degrees and calm. There were about 20 of us out there. I got out there with no wetsuit and did the first 1/2 mile or so pretty well. Then a little wind picked up and I had my usual panic attack in the water. This was the first time I've been open water since my little incident in Flagstaff.

Anyway, I made a beeline to shore and when I got there I realized I was in the wrong place so I had to swim out again and get over to the beach where all my stuff was located.

Probably got in a mile or so in 30 minutes. I felt good, no real fatigue to speak of. Just need to get more comfortable.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Some thoughts on the matter T-60 days

I'm in a rest week now about ready to start my last big full month of training and I thought I would jot down some observations and stuff about myself.

Swim - I haven't been in the pool much in the past few weeks.  The reasons are not worth noting.  I think starting in the very near future I need to get in.  Tomorrow I'm going to do an hour in the open water at Bartlett Lake with Tri Scottsdale.  I'm interested to see how I feel after an hour in that chop.

Bike - I am in fine shape.  I think a 100, 110, 120, and a couple 130 mile rides will finish out my Saturdays with some intervals during the week.  I have no real concerns here, it's just a matter of getting on it.

Run - OK, I'm going to say this out loud.  I am in the best running shape of my life.  I've done the distance, I've done the speed.  There should be absolutely no reason, given a reasonable bike ride of course that I don't run the entire marathon in a sub 9:30 pace. 

That said, Sunday did not go so well.  Katie is out of town at a funeral and my sister in law volunteered to watch the kids in the morning if I wanted to run.  I did an hour on the treadmill and then took Paige and Ken over to Keith and Vicki's house and headed out.

It was insanely hot for mid-September.  I didn't drink enough while I was on the treadmill and I felt like crap immediately.  I was planning a simple little 6 1/2 mile out and back but my pulse kept going through the roof.  The run out was uphill, completely in the sun and the temp was approaching 95 I think.  I ran out of water and nutrition at the turn around and this particular out-and-back didn't take me out, back, to, or past a convenience store or drinking fountain. 

I limped my way home and stopped 1/2 mile from my front door to stand in the lobby of the CVS and enjoy the A/C.

So, back to my observations - I actually am quite confident.  I'll see how I feel tomorrow after the swim.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Some days are better than others...

And today was one of those days.
With a view like this of the sunrise how could you expect any less?

The schedule called for a 16 mile run.  Don e-mailed Friday that there was a 10K down at the Reach 11 Park at 7:15 am.  He suggested going for a 5 or 6 mile run afterwards as well.  He's increasing his mileage gradually preparing for PF Chang's Marathon in January.  Needing a few miles in addition to that I got out on the trail at 5:45 for an early six miles.  I never really drifted out of HR level 1 and still managed an average pace of 9:14 min/mile.  Pretty fast for me.

I finished and found that I had parked in the wrong place so I had an additional 1/2 mile run over to the 10K start line.  I met up with Don and his brother Dave.  The race took off for a 2 loop trail that followed part of the run I had just completed.  I covered the  covered the first loop in 25:21 and the course in 51:54.  I spent the majority of the race in level 2.  I'd have to check but I am sure that's my best 10K time.

After a few glasses of water Don and I headed back out over part of the course for a 3 mile out-and-back.  At the 1 1/2 mile mark we were just running along at a conversational pace when I went to jump over a stick.  GEEZ!  As I got over the stick I saw that it was a snake!  I assumed this snake to be dead.

Don described my movements as screaming like a 7 year old girl looking like she was in a crazy jump rope competition.  He was about to ask what was wrong but as my left foot struck the ground and I started hopping forward the snake sprung to life, coiled, and struck at me in less than the blink of an eye.  By then I was about 20 feet from the critter.
We threw a few stones at it hoping to scare it into the brush so that any other runners behind us wouldn't get surprised but it just sat there tightly coiled and rattling up a storm.  Finally Don hit it with a reasonably sized piece of wood.  The wood just bounced off the snake and seemed to make it more angry.  We thought it best just to move on.

We completed the 6 miles in just over an hour at a 10:09 pace.  Don is a lot faster than that and could have left me behind. 

Total distance covered was 18.73 miles in 2:52:39 or a 9:13 pace.  I'll take that come November anytime.  Family went to church afterwards and had a pancake breakfast then I took Ken to a birthday party for a friend of his.

It was a really great Sunday.