Friday, May 30, 2008

s-Inking Feeling

I feel sick.

I just put down a $200 deposit to get an Ironman tattoo.

I had a consultation with an artist at Zulu Tattoo. "Lantz" (as in lance) was pleasant enough, but I think he was too open to ideas. I don't know what I want. I think I was half hoping he would just tell me "well you can't do this this or this, so you should do that." I don't have a final design but I have an appointment July 1st. That stresses me out.

You might think this means I still have a month to work on a design. Well it doesn't really work like that. For starters, I already have enough to worry about this month. Also, as much as I would like to I can't keep sending the artist design tweaks for him to work with. His time is my money.

You might also suggest that I push the appointment back a few weeks. But July 3rd is my 40th birthday, and I think it would be cool to have the tattoo before then. Besides, if I'm going to go through with this I want to do it while I'm (hopefully) caught up in the excitement of Ironman. Not months later.

I gave Lantz the M-Dot Whale logo and told him "something like this, yet not this". I had trouble being more specific than that. But he's going to work on some ideas and hopefully come up with something. I apologized to him in advance for being a "big baby with OCD" and promised I would try not to be too much trouble.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Moms Know Best

My dear mother, Bless Her Heart, really has no idea what an Ironman is. She went into New York City to watch me do the Olympic Tri there and was overwhelmed by everything. The Ironman is beyond her.

I was talking to her on the phone today and she asked me "tell me again, how far do you have to go?" I told her "Swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles, run 26.2 miles." Then she asked "and how long is all that going to take you?" I said "well I should do it in about 15 hours."

She gasped.

"15 hours?! That's two night's worth of sleep!"

Leave it to Mom to put everything in perspective.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Do you guys like the whale logo? Stupid- um... I mean "Dutch" drew it for me. I really like it. The whale comes from the awesome squeaky horn on my bike and the even more awesome inflatable whale at California 70.3. Some version of it will be on the sign I pin to the back of my jersey in Coeur d'Alene. If you see anyone with a killer whale in Idaho, say hello.

The big question is will this become my tattoo? If so, it needs some work. I want an M-Dot with a killer whale, but this logo is more of a killer whale with an M-Dot. I don't want the M-Dot being overwhelmed by the whale. And the tricky thing is you can't really use white ink, so the white parts of the whale have to be non-inked, or possibly I'd go with a grey or light blue. I'm working on some variations.

I know I'll be putting my tattoo on my calf, so I thought I'd try to simulate what this might look like. I figured I'd do a quick google image search for "calf", grab the first picture that popped up and put this logo on it. Just to get a rough idea how it would look. Well, the first attempt looked ridiculous:

OK, so I changed the search to "calf leg" and grabbed the first image that came up:

This time, I thought "wow, that looks great!" But then I released that getting a tattoo wouldn't make my legs looks like that. However, while I'm there I might as well look into getting some definition inked right on to my legs. I may get an abs tattoo while I'm at it.

I'm going to schedule a consultation with a tattoo guy and see if he has any other ideas. Getting just a basic green M-Dot is still on the table, as is not getting anything at all. Basically, I'm spending a lot of time obsessing over the tattoo to take my mind off of the actual race.

Monday, May 26, 2008

The Long and Lonely Road

Most of my riding partners were too busy partying down in Brazil this weekend and they left me all alone to do my workouts.

I went out to the San Gabriel River Trail and did a 60-mile ride today. It was a little unusual. We've had some stormy and windy weather here in L.A. this weekend, and I got to see the aftermath. For starters, there were these giant cables thrown right across the path. I don't know if they were phone lines or power lines. I just knew not to mess with them.

Then I had to deal with mini-landslides covering sections of the road and some badly flooded tunnels as well.

Some of you are familiar with the steep climb up the dam along the SGRT. Well imagine how fun it is to climb when it's covered with rocks. This picture is just one small section of the coverage. I had rocks shooting off my rear wheel all over the place. As far as I know I may have killed someone with one, but it's not like I was about to stop and check once I started climbing. (Did I snap a photo while riding? Absolutely not. I climbed back down on foot a bit once I reached the top.)

As usual, it got a bit windy along the southern part of the trail but all-in-all it wasn't a bad ride. Turns out, I'm excellent company.

My original plan was to do a 14-mile run Sunday morning. But I got completely caught up trying to refresh the Ironman Brazil pages (which were hardly updated anyway) so I skipped the run. Which meant I had to do it today. I came home from the bike, had a 3 hour transition, then went back out. It's not exactly the ideal way to do a brick, but at least I got my Bike and Run miles in for the weekend.

Brazil, Part 2

OK, so I've been sitting on this clip for several months. Now that Ironman Brazil is over, I can share it. It's a clip from the Simpsons where the family visits Marge's favorite vacation spot as a child, only to discover it is now completely run down:

Simpsons Clip

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Ironman Brazil

I know 9 people who did Ironman Brazil today: 8 people from my tri-team and fellow-blogger Monica. It was a busy day tracking them all on

Of course, as anyone knows who has tried to use the race tracking, the site should really be called The splits and results are not updated in real time. Instead, they gather data, keep it to themselves for a while, and then release it all at once to the online database. Several hours after the entire race is over, they STILL haven't posted split times for 2/3 of my peeps. Fortunately, I found out that everyone finished the race because one of them called us from Brazil. I don't mean to sound greedy here, but it seems to me that a site that promotes "live tracking" should be able to post updates a little faster than that. It gets a little nerve-wracking when the cut-off for the bike passes and the website still shows your athlete being at mile 70.

But no matter. The important thing is that they all went down and kicked butt. I am in awe of all of them. And a little bit jealous that they're finished.

Saturday, May 24, 2008


Yes, I am this compulsive.

To try and predict a reasonable Ironman finishing time, for each leg I have a good time, a great time, and a "wow did I really do that?" time. Note that there is no such thing as a "bad" time for each leg. Anything that gets me to the finish line within 17 hours is good. But I'm trying to narrow it down a bit.

I will spend 15 minutes combined in the 2 transitions. Possibly 20. You can lecture me all you want about how if I just planned ahead or got organized I could have better transitions. It will not happen. Anybody who has seen me on race day knows that I need the stress of transition to get my adrenaline going.

I'm not a fast swimmer. 90 minutes would be a little more than double my California 70.3 time which would absolutely thrill me, but I expect it will take a little longer. And if it takes a lot longer, so be it.

If the weather conditions were good and I went all out, I have a fantasy of doing a sub-6-hour bike. But it would kill me and I wouldn't have much left over for the run. I think the smart move is to try to do a 6:30-6:45 bike. If takes me 7 or 8 hours, that's OK.

I will crash during the marathon. Physically and mentally. It's what I do.  A big problem for me is that I don't take in enough calories during a race and then I just run out of steam. I'm hoping that I can force myself to eat more during the bike and run (mostly liquid calories) and then see how my legs react. My last marathon was about 4:30. I think I have a 5:30 Ironman marathon in me, but I think reality is going to hit pretty hard fairly early during the run and so my money is going on 6 hours.

So these are the different scenarios (click for slightly larger version):

My best guess is I'll take the golden path and come in at 14:45.

Friday, May 23, 2008

A special message for the Axis of Evil

Lay off with the goons.

I was out for a pleasant mid-distance run this afternoon when all of a sudden Evil Gerald pulls up next to me in his car ordering "Faster! Faster!" (By the way, I know it LOOKED like I was just starting out since I was by the parking lot, but the truth is I already finished a 6-mile loop and had 3 miles to go.) Then, a mile later I ran into Evil Andre along the running path coming in the opposite direction. A mile after that, I saw Evil Andre AGAIN in his car.

Guys, seriously, I'm doing my workouts. I promise. You don't need to keep sending out your thugs to look after me.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Big World, Small World

Big world:
Jill from my tri team just did the Great Wall Marathon. As in China. As in how cool is that?! I would love to start doing "event vacations" like that, although I can't imagine how bad it must be for your shins to run along that stone wall. Check out her blog for cool pictures and stories from her trip. Great job Jill!

Small world:
I got a call from Ben who was in the Miami airport waiting for a connecting flight to Brazil. Who was he with? Fellow-blogger Monica, who I finally met briefly at the Cali Half. They were on the same flight together and made the Tri Connection. The race is still 5 days away and she's already on an emotional roller coaster:

Monday, May 19, 2008

Bad Workout

I confess, I watch a lot of bad reality TV. Or at least I did. Because of Ironman training, this season I gave up on my usual viewings of Survivor, Big Brother, and American Idol. But apparently I still have a taste for it. A couple weeks ago, a friend of mine (who will remain nameless so as to not embarrass him for being a fan) was talking about the reality show "Workout" on Bravo. He laughed as he told me I would absolutely HATE this show. Or more specifically, the people in it. Well that's too tempting an offer to pass up, so I had to watch.

Yeah, he was right. Man I hate these people.

I would have just watched the one episode, but then they teased next week's show where the trainers did the Camp Pendleton Mud Run. That's the same race we did last year so of course I had to watch. I'm still not sure why the trainers feel this compulsive need to take their shirts off all the time, but seriously: don't you think we made a much better looking team than they did?

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Objects in goggles may be farther than they a-pier (sorry)

I did my Longest Swim Evar today.

About a dozen of us did the Pier to Pier swim from Hermosa Beach to Manhattan Beach. The official distance is 1.8 miles. I cut back to the beach a little early, but because of my poor swim navigation I went out farther than everyone else, so I'm pretty comfortable saying I did 1.6 miles. (Previous max distance was 1.2 at Wildflower & Oceanside.)

It was a difficult start. The surf was pretty rough, with big and frequent waves. It took a lot of energy just to get out to the "start" of the swim, but I made it and we all headed up the coast. I can honestly say I did not swim in the back of the pack. That's because everyone else was so far ahead of me it was like I started 3 waves after them. Now I know what you're thinking: being way in the back is the worst possible place to be, because the sharks eat the slowest swimmers. Well that's true when you're in this situation:

But when I'm in the water, I like to think that THIS is what's happening:

Suppose we're swimming TOWARDS the sharks? The back is the BEST place to be. Let the fastest guys get munched. (Sorry Steve.)

My biggest problem with swimming is that it's just SOOO boring. I lose focus very easily and I keep having to catch myself and correct my form. Things are a LITTLE better on race day when you're swimming past buoys and lifeguards on surfboards. When doing an ocean swim, there is NOTHING to look at. And I swear, no matter how long I swam that darn pier never seemed to get any closer.

So what did we learn today? Not much. I'm a slow swimmer. I knew that, and I'm pretty OK with that. Maybe the one thing I got out of today's swim is that I'm glad Coeur d-Alene is a 2-lap event. I had always thought that doing one large lap would be much better, but now I realize that mentally I NEED that break in the middle. They can make it 8 laps of .3 miles as far as I'm concerned.

On a sad note, this was the last time I'll see the Ironman Brazil team before their big race. I miss them already.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

I Can't Believe It's Butter

This story has an interesting twist at the end, so "stick" around.

I ran 18 miles today. Actually 18.1; I want credit for every last step! I was supposed to run Sunday, but we have an ocean swim in the morning and L.A. is having a bit of a heat wave so I figured I would be better off going out early today.

I didn't start as early as I would have liked; it was about 8:45. The first 8 miles or so felt pretty good, but then I started struggling a bit. Things started heating up and it became a pretty rough run. To make matters worse, two of my regular water fountains along the path were dried up. I was literally licking the spout trying to get moisture out of them. Gross, I know, but I was desperate.

Originally I was hoping to finish in 3 hours, give or take, and started to get frustrated when I passed the 3-hour mark with several miles to go. I was pretty miserable both physically and mentally by the time I got back to my car. However, I immediately started feeling better when I drove off and saw the thermometer in my car:

102 degrees.

Now then, was it REALLY 102? I don't know. When I got home I checked the current conditions online and it said Glendale was 97 degrees. Griffith Park should be pretty close to that, and a lot of my running was on open dirt trails that heat up pretty quickly so it probably was pretty close to 100. No wonder I wasn't keeping up with my original pace!

And here was the other good news: I finished in about 3.5 hours. While I was running, I was trying to do the math in my head but the heat must have been throwing me off. In my brain, I thought I was doing a 6-6.5 hour marathon pace. Which means that after a 112-mile bike, I'd be looking at over 7 hours for the Ironman run. That's not terrible, but I was hoping to do better than that and that's why I was feeling so down. Turns out, once I got home and let a calculator do the math, I was on pace to do a 5 hour marathon. I would be THRILLED to do 5 hours in Idaho. I'm predicting closer to 5.5-6, so this hot run today was actually very, very good.

Now for the interesting twist of the story. When I got home, I was exhausted. I was hot, and thirsty, and tired. As I got out of my car I noticed a bag of groceries in the back seat which I forgot to bring in from last night. I had too much to carry already and didn't feel like carrying the whole bag, so I grabbed the one thing which needed to go: the one-pound box of butter.

Now you do the math: 1 pound of butter. Three-and-a-half hours. 100 degrees. I grabbed the box and it exploded in my hand. It was little more than a brick of yellow liquid. I was amazed it managed to maintain its shape in the box at all. It burst all over the seat and continued to pour all over the place as I ran to the garbage can.

I was too tired to deal with it at the time, so I just let it sit, soaking into the cloth seats, for about 45 minutes until I went back out to clean it up. But I suspect that every time it gets hot in my car, I'm going to start smelling cookies baking.

Here's the butter in the back seat, and the trail of butter I left running to the trash can:

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Smart Shopper

Triathlon is an expensive sport; we buy lots of things. Here are some of the best and worst purchases I have made over the years, from all price ranges:

5 Best Purchases

1. Yankz Laces
I couldn't understand these things at all when I first saw them but they are amazing. My shoes fit the exact same way every time; I never worry if I maybe tied them too tight or too loose.

2. Nip Guards
Yes, you can use Body Glide or Vaseline or Band Aids or electrical tape. But nothing makes my nippies feel more safe and secure than these little octagonal pasties.

3. iPod Shuffle
It has its own built in clip so I don't worry about needing a carrying case or an arm band. It's small and light enough to clip on to my hat. It's the perfect running companion.

4. Bike Fit
Who knew that riding a bike isn't supposed to hurt? Well, at least not your spine. The farther you ride the more important the geometry of your bike becomes and getting a good fit makes a world of difference.

5. Aerobars
Yes, you have less wind resistance and your body is placed in a more efficient cycling position. But there's also a big psychological advantage to aerobars. Sometimes when I drop into position, it's like I'm adding NOS: I have this mental feeling of "OK, now I'm getting serious about the ride".

Five Worst Purchases

1. Support Braces
When I first started running, I had some problems with my knees and wore knee supports. And I think they helped. But as I started getting other injuries I bought ankle straps and shin stretchers and all sorts of stretchy-bandage things which didn't do a gosh-durn thing.

2. Joe Friel's Triathlete's Bible
WHAT?! How dare I say this was a bad purchase! This is a fantastic book for serious triathletes who take their races seriously. I take my races seriously, but I am not a serious triathlete. I started reading to set up an Ironman program and all it did was freak me out and make me feel like I was a wimp because I wasn't going in to test my lactate threshold every 2 weeks.

3. Ironman Passport Club
Last year I paid a fee to get an extra chance at the Kona lottery. Dumb. While the lottery is a great idea, it's fixed. Maybe not 100%, but let's face it: the single mother of 4 in Omaha who just survived breast cancer is going to get in long before a 40-year old single guy in Los Angeles.

4. L.A. Tri Club Membership
I'm sure L.A. Tri is a fantastic group. But after I did my first triathlon I went crazy and started getting all the magazines and buying hats and joining L.A. Tri. I never did a single event with them. Why not? Because everything I needed I already had with my existing Tri club. (awwwww, shucks.)

5. Masters Swim Program
Many people get great results from swim clubs, but it just didn't work for me. The pools were literally slimy. The coaches would call out drills "OK, 4 laps of the backstroke" and I'd say "I don't know the backstroke". And they'd say "well, just try anyway or swim normally." Not exactly helpful.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


I'm starting to lose it.

I am tired and sore and hungry all the time. But the true stress of Ironman Training has little to do with the actual workouts; they suck but you go out and do them and go home and recover. Very simple. No, the big problem is that the rest of your life continues to move forward.

I was supposed to get my oil changed in March. When am I supposed to do that? Yes, I can certainly find an hour to take care of it. But I also need to find an hour to buy groceries. Or pick up birthday presents. Or vacuum. Pretty much every day after work I have to do one or two workouts. On the weekend, do you think I feel like sitting at Jiffy Lube after riding a bike for 5 or 6 hours? And if I DO have some free time, I feel guilty if I try to enjoy it. If I can afford to go to the movies, I can afford to do laps in the pool, right? I'm way behind on watching TV. I can't even play Grand Theft Auto. And God forbid somebody invites me to go out for dinner: "OK, we need to meet after 7:00 because I have to get my run in beforehand... but I have a real early ride to do in the morning so we better eat dinner early instead, then maybe I can my run on the treadmill after dinner..." And then I go to dinner, eat too much bread and get bloated and skip the treadmill run, which then makes me worried that I'm not stretched out enough for my longer run the next day.

I can do the workouts. I just feel this great sense of paralysis with the rest of my life. When I have some free (ie non-workout) time, I have too much to do and can't figure out what to do first and I wind up doing nothing. Which puts me behind with everything.

Something is going to snap. I suppose I should just be thankful if it isn't a tendon.

Saturday, May 10, 2008


My brain has been so fried lately I can't even tell if this was a good day or a bad day.

Last week I rode 40 miles. The week before, I rode 30. I haven't been doing long distances lately, so this weekend I figured I'd start ramping up again and do 60 or 70 miles. But then Rich (who is doing C'oeur d'Alene with me) emailed me asking if I wanted to join him for a 100 mile ride.


This was the last long ride for the crew that's doing Ironman Brazil in 2 weeks, and some of them wanted to do 112 miles.

Crap Crap.

A group of us left Zuma beach together, some doing a shorter 60-mile ride but I stuck around for the 112. (In for a penny, in for a pound.) We had some headwinds riding up the Pacific Coast Highway. I mentioned to Michael W, who was dong the shorter ride, that I was starting to worry about the Celery fields coming up, which are notoriously windy. He wasn't hearing any of that, telling me to put it out of my mind and yelled at me to just "look at the peaceful ocean!" After a little while the 112 group pulled ahead a little bit and we wound up taking a secret spy road that bypassed the Celery fields together. I don't think the other group saw us make the turn, and I was feeling pretty guilty that they'd be suffering and we weren't. Sorry guys.

After 51 miles, we ran out of road. Basically, the bike path continued for one pseduo-legal mile along the freeway, but that seemed a bit gnarly. I kept saying "well there's no shame in doing 102 miles!" but Stupid Ben made us ride back 5 miles, then turn around and redo the 5 miles and back again so we'd hit 112 by the end. It sucked to be more than halfway finished with the ride and STILL be riding farther away from our cars.

I started to fade a bit around mile 70-75, but we stopped at a gas station and I pumped myself up with Mountain Dew. ZIPPPPEEEE! It gave me a few miles of really good riding.

On the way back, we stopped along the secret spy road at a... rocket park? Not really sure what to call it, but they had a bunch of missiles and fighter planes on display. Very cool.

I was pretty much done after mile 100 and basically limped back to the car. However, it was probably a pretty good ride overall. On typical long-distance rides I maintain a 16-17 mph pace, and my average speed on this ride was 18.1. We had some bad headwinds and some good tailwinds so I don't know which played a bigger factor, but by the numbers I can't complain about the bike.

What I CAN complain about is the run afterwards. I wasn't looking to run far at all. But after my bike rides, I try to run at least 1 mile afterwards, just to get the legs used to the transition. I don't think I've ever felt worse starting a run. Everything felt completely wrong. You ever watch people running in a pool, and notice how funny they look? That's how I think I looked, only I was on dry land. It was like I couldn't remember how to run, and if I could, my legs wouldn't respond to my commands anyway. I did the 1-mile, and finished up thinking "oh dear God how on earth am I supposed to do a MARATHON feeling like this?!"

So who won the day? I have to go with Ben. First, referring to the predicted conditions in Coeur d'Alene this year he told me "have a good swim in Lake Iceberg." Later, after 20 miles on the bike sporting his new stormtrooper-inspired aero helmet, he declared "if you guys are gonna keep up with me the entire ride I'm returning this helmet!" (He'll be keeping it.) Good stuff. Sorry Greg, you just didn't bring your A game this time.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Getting Cold Feet

Spokane Al shared this little gem with us:

Ironman athletes prepare for frigid waters in June

It seems that there was record snowfall in the Idaho mountains this year, which means the lake is still being fed by melting snow. Typically, the lake temperature is in the low 60s in June. This year, they're predicting it will be in the 50s. Possibly the low 50s.

The swim was the leg I was actually the least worried about. I want to have a fast bike and a nice even run, and was just going to do the swim slow and steady. But now they're sending out hypothermia warnings and saying that the swim could be worse than last year, when they offered a Duathlon option for people who were concerned of the choppy water. (Of course, we could have both icy waters AND wind this year.) So there's more to freak out about.

Somehow global warming must be to blame. Where's Al Gore when you need him?

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Iron Nightmare

Had another nightmare...

I was at mile 24 of the marathon, and somehow I took a wrong turn and wound up back at mile 2. Which meant I still had 24 miles to go. I had my bike with me, but was worried about breaking the rules by riding my bike along the run. I figured that since I already ran the first 24 miles, I could just ride my bike back to that point and then start running. But then I had a flat tire and couldn't ride my bike. I went around asking everybody I saw if they could drive me back to mile 24 so I could finish the last 2.2 miles but nobody would take me.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Death to Iron Man; Long Live Ironman

There is a lot of information out there about triathlons and Ironman. I signed up with some "news alerts" which scans the internet and finds new articles, blogs, etc. for me. The internet is not perfect however; sometimes the search engines don't distinguish between "Ironman" and "Iron Man", or the writers will add/remove the space accidently. So I get some false hits from time to time:

"Iron Man" is a song. Every time some college kid learns to play it on guitar and posts a YouTube video of his performance, I get an email.

"Iron Man" is a bodybuilding magazine. Every time a bully kicks sand in the face of some runt, I get an email.

"Iron Man" is a comic book character. Which became a movie. Which is on target to become one of the biggest blockbusters of all time. And every time there's a new article about it posted somewhere on the net, I get notified about it. It's a little annoying.

I can't blame the movie. They had the name before triathlon made it one word. Maybe they should have made it the "Leadman Triathlon" or "Steelman" or "Kryptoniteman". But so help me, if I hear them playing Black Sabbath at the finish line in Coeur d'Alene, I'll wait till the next song starts before crossing the finish line.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Sit and Spin

This season, my Tri Team decided to add Spin Classes to our workout schedule. We had our first class last week and, well, it was a disaster.

There were two sessions: Beginner and Advanced. The Beginner class actually went pretty well. Alicia showed up prepared and ready to ride and had an excellent workout.

Then it was time for our so-called "Advanced" riders. What an embarrassment. Evil Gerald showed up wearing sandals for the class.

Ben and Michael came wearing jeans and dress shoes.

And after only 5 minutes on the trainer, Ben was ready to pass out.

What kind of example are these guys setting for the rest of the team?!

OK, OK. So maybe this wasn't really our spin class (although we will be doing them later in the season.) Our local Bike shop hosted a special sale event and the festivities included a Trainer Challenge; 4 people climbed on the bikes, and whoever pedaled the farthest in 5 minutes won a gift certificate. None of them knew about the challenge ahead of time so they weren't exactly prepared. But they all did a great job just the same.

And who won? Contestant #4. Some random guy at the sale wearing a full bike outfit: jersey, shorts, and bike shoes clipped to the pedals. Not exactly a fair fight.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Thirty Degrees of Separation

I had a Good/Bad run today.

It was 68 degrees when I finished, or a staggering near-30-degrees-cooler than the run I did last week. I wound up running 16 miles today in less time than it took me to run 15 miles last week. I figure that at this rate, if I can get it down to about 18 degrees in Idaho I should be in great shape. My pace today was quite a bit faster than what I expect to be doing in Coeur d'Alene so I was feeling pretty Good about that.

As for the Bad, OW OW OW! I've had some rough bike rides where my legs were sore, but there just something special about the pain after a really long run. I think the difference is that after a bike ride, you can walk around a bit and you're using different muscles so you're stretching your legs in a different way. After a long run, you walk it out. Which is pretty much more of the same motion that caused the pain in the first place, only slower.

Funny how the brain blocks out the memories of the pain from previous marathon training. But it's coming back to me now. I get a bit of a break next weekend (only 12 miles), but then it's 18 miles (and more pain) the week after that.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Striking Out

Triathlon isn't just about swimming, biking, and running. We do other activities as well, although we still need special shoes.

This weekend a group from my Tri Team participated in the "Bowling for Angels" fundraiser to benefit Project Angel Food. Robert, Heather, The Original Michael P (OGMP) and myself formed the "Triathlon Bowlers" team, and Volunteer Extraordinaire Rene was also there to help out. I can't say we were particularly competitive, but we certainly had a lot of fun.

OGMP brought his swim googles with him, and they had some sort of magical powers. We shared a lane with another team, and when one of their members was in a bit of a rut he borrowed the goggles for a frame and whammo, his bowling improved. I had some of my gear in the car so I went out to get my bike helmet and glasses: I swear to you, I put them on, rolled one ball and got a strike. Do not deny the power of good Tri-Gear.

We had free pizza and drinks, and I even got a cool beer in a bowling pin bottle.

But the best part of the tournament was a special Strike Contest. Every time you got a strike, you had to call for a "Strike Hottie" (yes, that was the official name) who would give you a sticker. Whichever team had the most stickers won. We did not win, but had fun screaming "I need a Hottie!"

(We were "Triathlete Bowlers", listed as team "TRIA" on the chart.)

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Easy Come, Easy Go

Brad's neighbor went to Tempe to do Ironman Arizona this year. The day before the race he went to the race site for the practice swim. He climbed down the stairs into the water but didn't realize there was a sudden drop-off. He slipped and fell on to the railing, dislocating his shoulder and tearing a tendon and had to go into surgery. He never made it to the starting line.

He trained, he dieted, he did everything he needed to do to prepare for the biggest race of his life and then *poof*. All gone. Not that it makes me worried.