Sunday, August 27, 2006

Watch what you say

I have a Timex Indiglo Expedition.

It is lightweight, water resisitant to 100m, has a stopwatch, and is cheap: in other words a great triathlon watch.

I was in a meeting last week where lots of Very Important People were discussing lots of Very Important Things. Just as we were adjourning, someone from across the table calls out "hey Mister P, is that a man's watch?" At which point all eyes were staring at my wrist. "I mean, it's just so small."

Why yes, it is a man's watch, thank-you-very-much. What made the comment sting particularly bad is the fact that one of reasons why I bought the watch is that it has a velcro strap and could fit around my skinny wrist. But thanks for bringing attention to it.

And people wonder why I have a complex.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

WNF (Will Not Finish)

I'm dropping out of the Santa Barbara Triathlon this weekend.

Although I was undertrained for it, I was still willing to give it a go. Then I pulled my Achilles Tendon, and decided it would still be fun to at least do the swim and bike. But then I had a very rough week and it's just not worth the added stress to worry about doing a race early Saturday morning. I'm still going up to cheer on some friends who will be doing it, and it will be a nice day trip to Santa Barbara.

The next scheduled race will be my second go at the Nautica Malibu Triathlon in September.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

We'll always have Paris (subtle)

We have a problem.

I injured my heel and/or ankle while on vacation. I'm not sure how, I don't remember it happening. It feels like a "compression pain", as if I stomped down on the ground too hard and compressed my ankle and knee together. It has been moderatley sore for a week, and I tried running on it for the first time tonight. I made it about 2/10 of a mile and said "nope, I'm done."

I am no stranger to injury. I've learned that the best thing to do is just let it rest. You won't lose any fitness gains by taking a week or 2 off if you have to. However, here's the problem: In 10 days I'm supposed to do the Santa Barbara Triathlon. It's a bit of a doozy. It's somewhere between an Olympic and a Half-Ironman; I'm calling it a One-Third-Ironman. One mile swim, 34 mile bike, 10 mile run. It was just a month ago that I completed the New York City Olympic Triathlon, and I ran out of steam during the run. If I was completely injury-free I would still be way behind in my training to complete this event.

I can only assume that my fott will be completely recovered by next week, although I don't know what effect the loss of training will have. I'm still go for launch, but this could be a serious problem.

In Greek mythology, Paris killed Achilles by wounding him in his only vulnerable spot, his heel.

Hit me with the digits

I received an L.A. Marathon finishers packet in the mail yesterday. It had a cheap (but nice gesture) certificate giving my time and placings, and a booklet with the complete results. All of this information is online, but I thought it was cool seeing it in print. Here's my complaint, and this holds true for ALL race results. They tell you your placing by division, gender, and overall, but they never tell you how many total people there were in the race. I was 5720th male and 7665th overall. If I want to know how many people competed, I have to add up the numbers of all the individual age groups. That's ridiculous.

They have computers. It would be nothing for them to include a race summary with the results stating total number of racers and numbers by gender. Without that information, the placing is meaningless.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

How I Roll

I wear New Balance 1221s. I think I'm on my 5th pair. I dabbled with some other running shoes, but after the blisters I always went back to the NBs. The fact that I trained for and ran a marathon without losing a single toenail is strong evidence that I found the right shoe for me.

The 1221 is discontinued. It is being replaced with the "new and improved" 1222. Yikes. I tried on the new shoes this weekend; didn't like them. I'm sure they are a wonderful shoe, but the pressure points don't fit my feet the way the 1221s did. Fortunately they still had a pair of 1221s in the store so I picked them up. I feel a strange urge to go around to every running store in L.A. and stock up on all the 1221s I can find.

Some time soon I'm going to have to find a new running shoe and that makes me very nervous. I just want to postpone it as long as I can.

Monday, August 14, 2006


I spent a week in a beach house in Sunset Beach, North Carolina. I did a pretty good job sticking to my workouts; I ran 3 days (includnig an 11-miler in horrific humidity) and swam laps in a channel between two islands. I don't know the distance across the channel, but I'm guessing it was at least 100 yards and I did 10 laps (20 lengths). I was also fighting the tide going out, so it was probably the longest swim I've ever done. The Channel:

Because of my new-found confidence in the water, I am now able to do things I've never done before, such as chicken fights. And because I had no experience, I did some pretty dumb things. I had a friend on my shoulders as we went into battle. All was good.

He managed to knock down the other guy, but then started to fall backwards. It's not a victory if both players fall, so I naturally backed up to help him regain his balance. I was very happy when I could feel he had regained his balance and we had won. However, it didn't take me long to realize that I had stepped into deeper water and my my head was still completely submerged. I had no idea which direction was the shallow water. Kind of a scary feeling to realize you're being held underwater. I had a mini-panic-attack, and sort of tossed him off my shoulders. On to a jellyfish. Which stung him. So I ran to shore gasping for air, he ran for shore gasping in pain.

But we won.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Trimming the fat

I found a "Predicted effect of weight loss" calculator:

Basically you tell it your weight and the time for a recent race, and it calculates your new finish time based upon weight changes. There are lots of caveats saying how un-reliable and unrealistic the calculations are, to which I say BAH! If you can't trust the internet, who can you trust?

I'm doing my 2nd marathon in November, and I want to cut 30 minutes off my L.A. time. That sounds like a lot, but I wasn't having a good day. According to this site, for every pound I lose I will lose 90 seconds off my marathon time. So I figure, all I need to do is shed 20 pounds and I'll be good to go.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Olympic Scandal

(This is in the "too much information" department. You have been warned.)

Mister P. is a fraud. Remember when I won a gold medal in The Feet Olympics? Well, I didn't deserve to win. You see, I've had a plantars wart on the heel of my right foot for about 3 years now. It was never too much of a problem, although it would hurt a little bit on long runs at times. I was basically just sick of it so I had it removed. Last week I had it wrapped in an acid bandage which bore a hole in the bottom of my foot the size of your fist. Then on Tuesday I went back and had it frozen with liquid nitrogen. Ohmygod does it hurt, and it's only getting worse. The problem is that it hurts to step on the heel, so I'm kind of walking on half-tippy-toes. But that's stressing a whole bunch of muscles/tendons that don't normally get much use and it feels like I've badly strained my foot. I can't walk on it without pain, so running is out of the question. I'm hoping I'll be able to put my full weight on it in another day or two.

Once the heel heals (ha ha), I will truly have beautiful feet and then I will proudly wear my Olympic Crown once again.

New L.A. Marathon part II

Check out the elevation: (click to enlarge)

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Los Angeles Marathon goes wimpy... hooray!

I'm very angry. No, I'm very excited. No, I'm frustrated. Happy. Frightened. I dunno.

The 2007 Los Angeles Marathon will have a brand new course. It will start at Universal Studios and proceed down the hill. It will continue down a hill, and then will go further on down a hill. After that, it levels off for a while, then goes down a hill. Rather than taking you of a tour of all the Taco Bell Strip Malls in L.A. like I did last year, this new course runs past Universal, The Hollywood Bowl, down Hollywood and Melrose Avenues, past the Coliseum and into downtown L.A. (the last section is still a bit of an uphill incline.)

I had a lot of issues when I ran the L.A. Marathon; many were purely internal, but the sucky course certainly didn't help. This new course is 10 times better. It is intentionally designed to be faster, and it attempts to hit more Los Angeles landmarks. I fully support this new route, but I'm mad they didn't come up with it a year earlier. I had no desire to run L.A. again, but this might be worth doing some day.

I will miss the schnauzer though.