Saturday, April 14, 2012

Denver Training!

Been in Denver, CO for the past couple of days. Heading home tomorrow morning.  It has been fun to workout in a different city and have to find routes and ways to get it done.  When I arrived on Wednesday, I had to go and pick up some equipment for the convention I am working.  After looking at the distance from where my hotel is to the company I needed to visit, I decided that riding one of the city's bikes for rent would be the way to go.
It was a 15 mile round-trip ride that ended up being pretty fun although the bike wasn't what I am used to riding.  The bike has three gears and none of them were very fast.  I was able to average 15 mph so it wasn't too bad.  But, as you can see from the picture, the bikes are cruisers meant for just tooling around town.  However, the basket feature was perfect because I was bringing back a box that would fit just right.  (You can see the route I took here:

Thursday meant I needed to find a run.  Denver is built around the South Platte River and the city has done a great job of building a bike/run/walk path along the river and some of the waterways that run into it here in the city.  In fact, as I go around Denver, they have lots of bike lanes and things that make it very bike friendly here in the city.  Anyway, back to my run.  Headed out past the convention center and got onto the Cherry Creek Trail, headed towards the South Platte River Trail.  (Here it is: It was a good run and went pretty fast.  I was surprised I wasn't sucking more air than I was but my heart rate was pretty high, I think due to the altitude here.

Friday meant I needed a swim.  The hotel's pool was like all hotel pools, not meant for exercise.  So, I found a club nearby that had a pool and headed out early in the morning.  The pool was saline rather than chlorinated.  Really different, and nice, to swim in.  It was also a 25 meter pool rather than the yard-length pools I am used to swimming in.  Well, because of that little bit of extra distance, my usual 60 laps put me over the 2 mile mark.  So, thrilled that I swam over 2 miles continuously during that workout.  Was swimming pretty well it seems too.  Did the main part of workout, 60 laps/120 lengths/3000m in 58:25 so that was pretty fast for me.  There is always the possibility I miss-counted one lap but even still, I felt good about the swim.

Also on Friday I went for a short run during lunch.  I also discovered that the app I use for tracking my biking and running has an office here in Denver that wasn't too far away.  So, I made part of my run a stop over at their office here just to say I appreciated their app and used it regularly.  That was kinda fun to do.

Overall, the workouts have been good.  Haven't gotten one in today but hope to by the end of the day. Race day is now less than one month away!
16th Street Mall in Denver
Loved the look of this
Where I have been spending my time

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Agony but no defeat!

Today, for the first time in a VERY long time, I went for a run with a friend.  The nature of my schedule is such that I rarely have people to run with.  We were having a fantastic run along the water, beautiful sunrise, really everything you want on a crisp February morning.

Then it happened!

The friend I was running with is Deaf and we were talking as we ran (kinda the point of running together, right?).  Because I was watching him sign, and because the path had a slight slope towards the river, I drifted to the edge of the path and stepped right on the edge of the path.  Down I went. Hard!  It really felt like there were hot needles being pushed into my ankle from many angles.  I have sprained my ankle before, pretty badly actually, and this was as bad as any of those other times for sure.  My running partner had to run 20 minutes back to his car and come rescue me.  So, what started out as a great run, with a great friend, and a beautiful sunrise over the water, turned into a potentially race-ending injury for this May.  However, I am going to be optimistic that I am going to recover and be able to get back on track for this race.  I will not be de-feeted!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Technology and Training: Love - Hate Relationship

I love tech!  I really do.  When it works.  When it isn't working, it is maddening to the extreme.

I have been sporting a Motorola Droid X for about 18 months now.  Android operating system, fully integrated into my "Google Life" and all that.  But it is glitchy!  Case in point:  Today I went for a run.  GPS wouldn't sync up (a frequent problem with my phone) for a long time.  Couldn't wait so started out. Finally it synced up but only for about two miles.  I know this because it talks to me while I work out.  Every mile it updates me on distance, average pace, average speed, etc.  Got the two mile update, nothing after that.  That is until I got about 300 yards from home and I hear, "Total distance 734 miles, average pace 5-5-5.34 miles per hour..."

No lie!  I don't know what happened but suddenly I was not only the fastest animal ever to walk the planet, I was giving jet airliners a run for their money.  I felt very manly to have run so far and so fast.

I think I am going to stick it out with my phone, for now.  I have until June or July before Verizon says I can upgrade my phone and sign another two-year contract.  I probably won't be buying another Motorola phone, however.  This is my third Motorola phone in about 6 years and they all seem to get glitchy at some point.  So, for now, I will limp along, doing battery pulls and the like to try and get past the glitches and then upgrade to a great 4G phone (Samsung or HTC probably) this summer.

Anyone have your own phone glitch stories?  Recommendations for my new phone?  (Don't say iPhone, not going to do it, I am too much of a 'Googlephile.')

Monday, January 23, 2012

Back At It!

Is a year and a half too long to be away?  The answer is yes.  Well, I am back.

In November I decided enough was enough and I needed to sign up for a race and get back to training.  I had put on all of the weight I had lost in training for the first two triathlons and was definitely unhappy with how I felt and looked.  This time, however, I decided to up the ante.  I loved doing the two sprint distance triathlons.  I had so much fun training and racing but decided it was time to do more.

Looking at the international distance races out there, I found that most of them were on Sundays.  I don't race on Sunday.  Really wanted to do the Nations Tri, here in DC.  Sunday.  How about the Tri DC?  Sunday.  Other races were sprint on Saturday, international on Sunday.  Then I noticed there was a half-ironman, or 70.3, on a Saturday in May.  I knew that was going to be my race.  Five months to train for that distance, I felt, was plenty of time.  But I wanted company again.  I guess I am a social racer.  So I sent out some texts, emails, etc and got a couple of friends to join me.  Now there are six of us all signed up for the race and training.

I am really looking forward to the race and am enjoying the training.  I am losing weight, feeling better, and scared to alive of doing 70.3 miles.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Echo Triathlon Results

I am still alive!  I did not die from lack of oxygen. But I can tell you that I still don't think Utah has much oxygen for us sea level dwellers.  

The swim was, again, tough!  My time in the water was far too long, 20:41.  That's a full 3:17 longer than my first race.  I was sucking air big time.  Could only do about 20 strokes before needing to take an oxygen break.  I made it to the first buoy in about 6 minutes and knew I was going to have to really pick it up if I was going to match my first race.  About halfway through, I just focused on getting to the end and not worrying about the time.  It seems a lot of people struggled with the swim as the top times weren't where I thought they would be.

Transition this race was slower as well - 4:22 today compared to 3:12 in May. I think it was because I couldn't get my left leg out of the wetsuit!  There was also time spent getting into sandals because it was a long, rocky run to the transition area.

The bike was fun but hard.  Culprit: Oxygen! However, I did a bit better than my first race.  Today I made it in 38:28 and last time it was 39:34 so a whole minute faster.  Felt really good about the bike but was hoping to be closer to 35:00.

T2 was really about the same, 1:37 as compared to 1:35.  So that's good.

The run was just a bit faster this time as well: 24:40 today and 25:24 first race.  I, again, had to stop and stretch my calves after about 200 yards.  Not sure if that is something I will always have to do or not but I will just file it away.  I should probably count on stretching at the bike rack, in transition.  Might be faster there.  The run was good, I didn't walk at all this time and was able to pass some people so that felt good.  

Overall time was 1:29:49.  That's slower than my first race of 1:27:07 but still under the 90 minutes I never want to go over.  I ended up 68th out of the field of 357 who did the sprint distance.  That's in the top 25% of all the racers.  I feel pretty good about that.  In my age group I placed 10th out of 22 so top 50% there.
So, race day has come and gone and I am still alive.  I didn't die from oxygen deprivation, although it was nip and tuck there for a while in the water, grin.

I appreciate so much the support I got today.  Heather and Xander came to cheer me on and that is huge motivation for me.  Also my sister Theresa was there to cheer Blaine (her husband) and I along.  Blaine did great for his first sprint distance tri.  And my sister Karen came as well.  It makes such a huge difference to have people there cheering me on.

So, another race done and now I have to decide where and when the next one will be. 

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Crashing -- Not a recommended training technique

So, a week ago I went for the long bike ride you can find in my training log.  It was a fun ride, but came with some unwanted excitement.  Actually, the excitement wasn't long lasting and wasn't of the good kind.

I went riding in "uncharted" territory.  Around the beltway on local streets until I got to a run/bike trail.  While doing my ride, I had a very good idea of where to go because of driving those streets.  I decided, however, that I wanted to try going through some residential streets rather than on the busy streets with no shoulders that were the major roads I could have taken.  Probably should have accepted the danger of traffic over the danger of a quiet neighborhood with no traffic, only squirrels.

Anyway, to make a long story short, I was trying to get my bearings on these local streets, drifted into the curb cut and ended up head over heels across someone's driveway and onto their front lawn.  It was a stupid crash.  Shouldn't have ever happened.

Result was I jammed three fingers on my left hand.  Thumb, index, and ring finger.  Yeah, I know, weird.  So, at any rate, it put me out of commission on the bike and swim until this week.  Still today my hand aches and I can't really grip anything.  Fingers are still swollen but not as badly as they were last week.  Signing with my left hand is a joke.  Can't make handshapes that require me to make any kind of fist or pinching motions.  Also have to be careful about signing things that hit my left hand.

Anyway, back on the bike tomorrow morning and we will see how it goes.  Swimming today was ok for the hand and running isn't a problem so working hard to take advantage of the last few weeks before the race on July 10th.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Killing the Dog - Almost

If you look at the training log you will see that I went for a run the other day and took Max with me.  I should have left him home.

It was HOT out.  90 degrees or so.  Humidity was low for around here so the temperature wasn't as bad as it is on some days.  But it was hot.

Max and I drove down by the river, you know 19.7 feet above sea level, and started to run.  From the parking lot at Belle Haven to mile marker 7 is about .8 miles I think.  That's a guess.  I haven't measured it but pretty close.  We warmed up getting to mile marker 7 then took off.  I wanted to run a quick race pace for the next three miles. Thought Max and I were up to it.

I was, Max wasn't.

At the end of the first mile Max started breathing really heavy.  Wasn't making his piggy noises that means he is really working hard but he was breathing hard.  By the time we got to mile marker 5, he needed a rest.  He was in full piggy snort mode so we walked back to the "comfort station" that is right there by mm5 and I let Max drink some water.  We walked the first 2/3 of the mile back towards mm6 then jogged lightly.  At mm6 I picked up the pace but the piggy snorting was pretty bad.  He made it to mm7 running the entire mile.  It was a much slower mile, I think over 10 minutes, but he ran.  We walked and slow jogged back to Belle Haven where another "comfort station" is located.  Before we got to the comfort station, Max stopped.  Didn't want to move.  We were, literally, 200 feet from water and rest for him and so I coaxed and begged and he made it to the water.  But he was unsteady on his feet and breathing hard.

The comfort station has a spigot and slow-drain dog dish specifically for dogs.  Really great and it gets lots of use.  The spigot is leaking and so the area around the bowl was covered in water and the bowl was full.

Max wouldn't touch it.  He was so unsteady on his feet.  He sat down first and I gathered some water up and threw it in his mouth.  He drank it but wasn't interested in the effort to lap it up on his own.  After about a minute he lay down in the water and I started covering him with the cool water filling the dog bowl.  His sides were heaving in and out and the piggy noises coming from his breathing were awful!!  I really thought I killed him.

We hung out for about 15 minutes there, him laying in the running water and me showering him with cool water and trying to get some in his mouth.  His breathing was still very labored but he showed signs of life and got up.  We made our way to the van and he was able to get himself in.  I breathed a sigh of relief.

Got the poor thing home and let him hang out in the cool basement until he was feeling better.

Only good thing about the run was now I know I can beat my dog in a distance race on a hot day.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

No, I am not dead! (yet)

As far as the blogosphere is concerned, I may as well be dead.  I haven't posted.  I haven't generated little tidbits of information to spew into cyberspace for the consumption of the few who I force feed this blog by signing them up to receive automatic updates. (If I didn't then NO ONE would read it! Grin.)  But, I am happy to report, I am not dead.

In fact...

I am training again!  Training for a race that just may kill me.  Then I will be dead.  And then I won't be able to post.  Sorry about that.  Just how it goes when you are dead.

Ok, maybe a bit of an exaggeration.  Just maybe.  However, here are the stats.  My house sits at, according to a cool site called at, 170.6 ft above sea level.  I often do my riding and biking, aka training, down along the Potomac River which sits at 19.7 ft above sea level.  Currently I am doing my swim training in our pool at the bottom of my street: 150.9 ft above sea level.  Why do you care?  Because on July 10th at 7:00 am, I will be jumping into a freezing cold lake to swim 750m, then biking 20k and running 5k at, drumroll please...

5567.6 ft!!!

That is why I might die.

So, enjoy the last few weeks of my life.  I will try and come up with some vaguely interesting things to post and then you can all show up at my funeral and say nice things about me like: "Wow, he really knew how to take an idea and milk it for a really long and pointless blog posting."  And I will be looking down (or up) and giving a little fist pump.  Mission accomplished!

Til next time...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Amazing Race!

Sleep came late.

When it came it was like a much needed cool breeze on a hot day that flutters curtains, tantalizing you with its touch.  Sometimes lingering long enough to bring refreshment but often beat back by the heat, leaving you wanting for more.

Upon the umpteenth waking and seeing the dawn approaching through the farmhouse windows where we were staying, before the alarm had its chance to declare "RACE DAY!," I got up.  That cool breeze of sleep had lost all strength and the heat of the race beat it back one final time.

Despite the never-ending night of restless slumber, I felt alive.  The dreams of the night had been priming my system and endorphins were flowing freely as pre-race excitement gripped me.  I dressed for the race, I ate my breakfast, I fixed my running number to my race belt, I checked my bag to make sure everything I needed was there.  Nils and I left the farmhouse and headed to the race site.  An agonizing 40 minute drive.

Arriving at the race site my excitement was amplified by the parking lot filled with cars carrying bikes, people in race gear, and banners proclaiming starts and finishes.  Because Nils wasn't able to arrive early enough the night before, we had to pick up his packet before bringing our gear to the transition area.  We walked the swim course entrance and exit, path to the transition area, bike start and finish and run start, mentally creating our maps so we could move quickly between the stages.

Stowing our gear in the transition area, we stopped to get marked and then we headed out for a warm-up run.  The morning air was crisp and cool. As we ran, we reviewed with each other our preparations and hopes for the day.  It was good to finally be there, running the course, getting ready to race.  After running, we jumped on our bikes for a short ride.  Not much talking now.  The start was looming closer.

After a final check of the gear, and making mental notes on the order of operations during the two transitions, it was time to put on the wet suit and tackle one final warm-up.  The 64 degree water was refreshing after the light exertions of the biking and running.  The wet-suit provided every bit of insulation from the chill waters I had hoped for and the water felt pleasant to be in, not cold as I was afraid it might feel.  As a part of the novice group of racers, my swim cap was white and I gravitated to other "white caps" as I exited the lake in preparation for the start.  With approximately 400 racers, the beach start would go in waves.  4 minutes between each wave with mine going last.

As the race began and the first group headed into the water, Nils and I searched the beach for our families.  Both of us were relieved when Emily, with kids in tow, headed towards us at the swim start.  Heather, Lizzy, and Xander were still at the van since poor Lizzy got car sick on the twisty road from the farmhouse to the race site and threw up all over herself and her car seat just before pulling into the park.  I said a quick prayer for Heather and Lizzy and wished that I had time to help.  The air horn announced another wave of swimmers, however, and my time was fast approaching.

As us "white caps" made our way into the starting area, I went to the water-line, concerned that being at the back of the pack would be too difficult to navigate through all the swimmers.  The fear of  the swim was gone but I was nervous about the waves, anxious about the bodies surrounding me.  When I first began my training, I could barely swim 50 yards without needing to rest and there I was ready to swim 750 meters in a lake.  No blue line guiding me, no calm pool waters at 82 degrees, no bottom to stand on if something happened.  The butterflies, adrenaline, nerves were wound tight as the air horn blew.

Six or seven quick steps into the water, a dive forward and it began.  Bodies surrounded me and I became very concerned about getting kicked in the face or gouged by a stray hand.  Taking a breath was difficult as the waters churned in a cacophony of splashing and kicking.  Looking up I found myself already veering off to the right of the course, finding it difficult to get my bearings without my pool bottom to guide me.  Mentally I was severely distracted from the measured, practiced, strokes of the pool and I found myself short of breath, unable to maintain my breathing patter of three strokes to one breath.  Course corrections were difficult as I realized that I had not given enough thought to the motor movements of looking forward when taking a breath in order to maintain course.  I wasn't even 100 meters from shore and the obstacle of the swim was taking a toll on me mentally and physically.  Where I was energized and keyed just a few moments before, I now felt taxed and weak.  I needed to take some time so I did the equivalent of "walking" by keeping my head above water, doing some doggy paddling and engaging in self-talk to beat back the onslaught of negative thought and emotion.  And then I went on.

The swim was tough.  After 250 meters the crowd had thinned and I was no longer running into people regularly, feeling guilty about impeding their progress and causing them the same mental and/or emotional anguish I was feeling.  I was still having difficulty with breathing and course corrections but was no longer as anxious about it and decided to just swim and get through it.  After about 400 meters things got better and I was able to maintain a breathing pattern and confidence was returning.  I looked at my watch when I figured I was about halfway through and realized that, although I wasn't swimming fast, I wasn't doing as badly as my battered thoughts and emotions would have me believe.  I rounded the final buoy and headed for the exit.  I had no idea how many "white caps" were behind me but I saw plenty ahead of me and hoped I wasn't ruining my chances for a 90-minute or better finish.

Exiting the water I made my way up the beach and steps, to the cheers of three little girls.  My energy level immediately went up and the joy at having them there, cheering me on, truly gave me a boost that was sorely needed after the trial of the swim.  Transition to the bike went well.  Helmet first, then socks and shoes, oops!  I forgot to put my shirt on before the helmet went on.  Too late, I decided, I will bike without it.  Running up the slope to the mounting line, my legs felt good and I was eager to be on my bike, my strongest leg of the race.

From the very start of the bike portion, my legs felt good.  I got into a good gear and didn't have much problem at all with getting up to speed.  I had my computer on my bike and knew I wanted to maintain about 30 km per hour as my average speed.  I was able to get there quickly and didn't feel sluggish.  Within the first km I was able to start passing people.  That is a big motivator for me.  I hate being passed and love passing others.  The bike leg had several hills that had people in their granny gears to climb.  With those ups, there were some fantastic downs as well and I think my maximum speed was over 52 km per hour at one or more times during the bike leg.  Riding is pure joy for me.  I love to be locked onto my pedals, conquering hills, feeling the wind rushing by and knowing that wind is me moving swiftly through the course.  My focus on the race was intense but the beauty of the course was not lost on me.  Lake views, trees, and warm spring air were all part of the sensate experience of the bike course and it was magnificent.  I remember very distinctly as I made my final turn around and was heading, finally, towards the finish line rather than away from it, a significant hill where many bikers were moving slowly up.  As I drew nearer and began to pass I asked if they were having fun.  Some of them groaned but most of them laughed and I was so glad I was there doing exactly what I was doing, at that moment.

Coming into the bike finish I was finally able to see Heather there, standing on the sidelines.  Her smile and encouragement, along with the girls (Emily too, smile), energized and invigorated me.  I wanted to make her proud of me and be able to look at her and tell her I did my best.  I realized just how important it was to me that she be there, sharing the race with me.  I flew past her on my bike and into transition with even more determination.

Transition to the run was easy.  Put the bike up, rip off the shoes, put on the running shoes, remove helmet, put on hat and glasses, down my energy gel and go!  It went pretty fast and I was feeling really good.

Exiting the transition area and after starting the run I looked at my watch. The chrono function showed something like 1 hr 2 min.  I was worried I wouldn't make it under my goal time of 90 minutes.  After 200 yards, I stopped to stretch my calves.  I am not good at doing my stretching when I work out.  I want to move, to sweat, to "get on with it" and so I don't take the time I should to stretch.  However, I knew that if I didn't stretch at that time, I wasn't going to do well in the run and figured the time to stretch would be won back by not cramping up.  It was a good decision.

The run was hard.  It wasn't that I was concerned about finishing.  I was now racing against the clock, trying to get in under that 1 hr 30 minute mark I had set for myself.  My legs were tired after the bike ride, I had pushed hard on the bike, and they weren't really that interested in running.  This is when the determination to make my goal time really helped me keep moving.  I was also glad I had started my watch at the beginning of the race and let it run.  Glancing down at my time helped me pick up my pace and push up some of the small hills that were part of the course.  Hills that, a few minutes earlier on the bike, weren't much at all were now much bigger.  It was great as I ran up one of the hills to have a woman headed towards the finish line yell out, "Don't you let this hill beat you!  You are stronger than this hill!  Push it!"  I don't know who she was, or even her number, but her encouragement was welcome and helped!  Again, as on the bike, I hate being passed and wasn't ever passed on the run.  I was passing others and having a person in front of me to pass helped me keep my pace strong.  As I would pass one, my gaze would shift to the next and I would let them draw me forward, working to pass them.  In the last km, I have to admit, I walked some.  Only about 25 yards but I walked.  The small hill I was going up was taking its toll on my legs and I walked that short distance before glancing at my watch and realizing that, if I started running again, I could make my goal.  The watch got me going again.

I came running into the parking lot area towards the finish and there was my family, standing together, cheering me on.  I was tired, my lungs were burning, my body was protesting but the joy I was feeling at nearing that finish line and having my family there cheering was incredible.  I ran.  I crossed the finish line with hands in the air and my own cheer escaping my lips.  I had done it.  I had become a triathlete.

I started out this journey thinking that finishing would be enough.  And it was.  But as I trained, felt stronger, and lost about 30 pounds in the process, I wanted to do more.  I wanted to finish with respect for myself, the effort and achievement had to be significant to me and so the timer became part of my goal.  It was never about being faster than the next person, it was about doing my best.  And so, it was with a great deal of surprise that I discovered I had placed third in the novice men category with a time of 1:27:07.  There was no regret at not being first or second, just joy at the achievement and opportunity to race.  In fact, my third place finish in my category meant I was 104th out of all of the men and 126th out of all of the men and women.  There could be no conceit for my prize.  There was only happiness at the journey and the accomplishment of something done well.

I look forward to doing it again.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Race Week!

I can't believe it!  Race Week is HERE!

Got an email from the race organizers tonight and it has me totally pumped for Saturday.

Swam in my wetsuit for the first time on Tuesday, will get another practice swim in it today.  Feels very different!  Buoyancy is wild, much easier to keep good body position.  I think it was cutting 4 seconds off of every 25 yards, that's pretty significant over the course of 820 yards.

Actually looking forward to the swim portion of the race.  It still isn't my best event by any stretch but I feel like I have made the most improvement there so am excited to be "tested" by the race conditions.

Will be posting how things go on race day, I hope, here and on FB.  Phone is synced to both of them so will depend on how busy Heather is with the kids.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Cool App and a Good Run

Heather has a cooler phone than I do.

I can admit it.  My manliness isn't threatened by it.

I am just glad she lets me play with it once in a while.

Her phone, the Droid, has lots and lots of apps that can be downloaded and used on the phone.  I was looking around on it for something that could log my runs using the GPS.  Success!  JogTracker!

Took it with me and found out a route I was enjoying running was 4.4 miles.  Good to know.

Now I just have to convince her to let me take it with me more often.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

That Dog Won't Hunt!

So, I have a dog.  Australian shepherd to be exact.  5 years old.  Overweight.  And mentally ill.

You think I'm kidding?  Exaggerating, maybe?  Au contraire.  My groomer thinks he is too.  Lucky for me it is the good kind of mentally ill.  Oh, there is a good kind, make no mistake.  Anyway, the virtues of my mentally ill canine are for another time.  What happened today, however, shocked me.

Max is an Australian Shepherd, as I mentioned.  These are working dogs that love to run and play and have fun. Despite his mental illness, Max likes these things too.  Normally, I get the leash out and it is all I can do to calm him down enough to get the darn thing on his collar.  Today, not so much.  So, we get out the door and head to the woods.  Max LOVES the woods.  Lots to pee on in the woods.  TONS to pee on in the woods.  He is happiest when he is peeing on things so the woods are Disneyland.  When we are in the woods, he is off leash.  He pees, then catches up.  (He may be fat but he is still and Aussie and can run faster than spit in a tornado.)  This works fine and I can run as fast as I want and know that he will not be far behind.

Today, for whatever reason, he decides that running through the woods isn't his thing.  From the get-go he wasn't keeping up.  But I ran on, called him, and he came.  We saw some people in the woods and he wouldn't go past them.  Sigh, there's that mental illness I was talking about.  We get past that huge obstacle in his psyche and head out again.  Get to our first creek crossing and he won't cross.  Finally, after squatting down and making that sickly sweet baby voice you use when you really want your dog to behave, he came.  I put him on leash and he ran right next to me the rest of the run.  Slowed me down in the woods cuz the trail is really on person wide but other than that, didn't really resist running.  It was weird!   I had never seen Max act that way about going for a run before.  He is normally so enthusiastic.

Maybe he remembered the other day when, at the end of the run, he was wheezing and hacking far worse than I was.  I did say he was fat, right?  I can't always take him with me on my runs so he doesn't get the exercise he needs, but we are working on that.  I love having him with me on my runs and hope that we don't have a repeat of today.  I love having him running through the woods ahead of me or behind me, off leash, just the two fat guys in the family out pounding it out.
Only picture I had on my laptop but that's Max!

I highly recommend taking a dog along with you on a run.  Especially if you can let them off leash to run with you in the woods!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Was that a Fish in the Pool?

Whoa!  I don't know what happened.  I don't know how it happened.  I don't know why it happened.  All I know is that it happened.  Today, while doing my swim workout, I cranked out 825 yards (approximately 750 meters) in 16:11:49.  I couldn't believe it when I looked at my watch.  Now, it is possible that I was off by 50 yards and had only done 775 yards.  If that were the case then you would need to tack on about a minute to that time.  But I don't think I miscounted the laps.  The swim felt good today.

I decided to run before getting in the pool so did about 17 minutes (15 min run and 2 min cooldown) on the treadmill before heading into the pool.  Did 100 yards of warm-up with a lot of rest (4.5 min) then decided it was time to get it done.  Had to so I could be back home to help get the girls off to school.  Away I went.

Today was different.  I could feel myself pulling myself through the water.  I could actually feel some speed at times.  Normally I claw my way through the water without feeling like I am really making forward progress.  There is lots of movement but not much propulsion, if you know what I mean.

So, overall, things were good!  Happy with the swim and looking forward to getting faster these last couple of weeks before the competition.  Maybe that 15 min mark during the swim really is within my reach... only time will tell.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Way to Go!

Blaine and Theresa completed their first triathlon on Saturday and both felt great and are looking forward to doing more!  Congratulations!!

Woo Hoo!