Saturday, July 26, 2008

More Short Takes

1) My coach, had an excellent post today about training and results. It has given me a better mindset for this triathlon thing. You know in the big scheme of things its not so much about the results but rather the process. Staying in the moment and appreciating just the fact that I get to do this stuff is gratifying in its own right.

2) I feels like my fitness is gaining some semblance of how I felt last year. I did a couple of local group rides recently (Firecracker 100K, Cup 'n Cone Tour) and spent a good bit of the rides w/ the lead peloton. Although I couldn't hold on for the finish, I felt good about hanging in there for the majority of the rides.

3) Lower your seat for back comfort. I dropped my sit a couple of 2cm and some of the lower back pain I had been having is gone. I rode a century today and my back felt great.

4) The best core exercise ever is lay on your back, elevate your knees (feet off the ground), hands over your ears, touch the opposite knee, alternating back and forth. I try to do sets of 50 and its very effective.

5) Develop a good strong, early, high elbow catch for better swimming. I had a really good lesson earlier this week from Marty Gaal, and came away w/ some good tips. Now if I can just develop the swim fitness to hold this stroke in the open water for 2.4 miles.

Check out the video:




Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Tony Dungy - A Man Among Men

I just finished reading Tony Dungy's autobiography, "Quiet Strength". My bud Ultra-Runner Lloyd had this book on his recommended reading list, so I knew I wanted to read it. The other day Lisa and I went by the library and Tony's book was in the stacks. I quickly grabbed it and checked it out.

This book was completely inspirational on so many fronts. But let me digress. The title of this post includes a saying my dad passed on to me. Every now and then, especially if I'm going through something difficult, my dad will extol me to be "A Man Among Men". He got the saying from his mom, my grandmother, who was an amazing woman in her own right. I mean she came up during the depression, and in spite of many hardships, acquired property, raised a strong family, mostly by herself as a single mom. She would give this advice to my dad, who is one of my heroes and he in turn gave it to me. I interpret it as standing strong in spite of whatever else is going on around you.

Tony Dungy is a man who has stood strong even through trials that would decimate many people. His book, while fascinating in its own right about his journey in the NFL and leading men to victory, it is also a story of leading his family, his community, and basically being an example of how the power of Jesus Christ can manifested in a person.

The book chronicles his highs, lows, joys, and pains. Obviously one of the highest points in his journey was winning the Super Bowl, but also the lowest point was the loss of his beloved son. All the while, Tony never lost his faith in God. His book provides so many lessons and examples of holding onto faith in Jesus Christ, especially when life brings incredible disasters. His book has had such a positive impact on me. I'm sure it has touched many others as well. I'm glad Lloyd recommended this one. I'm a better man for having read it.


Monday, July 14, 2008


Last Sunday I raced in the Triangle Triathlon. The TT is a Sprint tri (750m swim, 15 mile bike, 5K run). It was a local event here in Raleigh, so I finally didn't have to travel to a race which was very cool. Another good thing about it being local was I bumped into a bunch of friends and I picked up some good energy when somebody would call me out during the race.

You know this race was good in a lot of ways, except one. The Swim. Ugh, I've done this race back in '06 and swam a 15:50. This year I swam a 18:09. But I'm through whinning, the swim and race is in the books and I'm going to focus on the positives. But I will say this, my swim workouts are about to get real focused from now on.

My bike was really good. I held a 22.4 mile average on a course w/ rollers. It was a touch slower than '06, but I'm a couple of years older and I felt good so its all good. Also I felt good on the run, coming in at 21:29 for a 6:54 min/mile average. Again, it was a tad slower than '06, but again I felt good. I was able to run down some folks in my age-group and move up from 34th in my age-group after the swim to 12th out of 44.

As I was leaving the park, there was 61 years young lady who struck up a conversation w/ me about the race and she told about competing at the World Championships in Vancouver. I thought about her and looked up her results and saw that she finished in 1:25. I am so inspired by her. I did a 1:22 and I left it all out there on the course.

The race was hard, but all in all it was a blessing. I feel really grateful to be able to race in things like this and I hope for many more years of participating. Hopefully I can keep this thing going and hang around and be an inspiration just as I get inspired when I see others racing like that really fast 61 year young racer.


Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Short Takes - The Southern Version

Okay I totally ripped off this idea from my coach, Coach J did a recent posting called, "Short Takes", which I thought was pretty cool. I got in a 2:15 run this morning so I had a lot of time to think. So since there's nothing new under the sun, I thought I'd post my own version of "Short Takes".

1) I need to HTFU - Okay some of y'all know what that means. I feel like I've been whining a lot lately. My weight being up, my bike rides being slower, my race times being slow. Hey if I want to get faster, being in better race shape, I've got to put my mind to it and train my ass off. If I get the hours/miles/yards in, I'll get faster. No doubt about it.

2) I just figured it out on my long run this morning. The dopest, the best I-tune download I've got for getting through a hard section on my long run is Curtis Mayfield's, "Move On Up". Get the extended version. Man that came up on my Ipod at about mile 13 and my legs got a whole new life.

3) Triathletes, just athletes in general are good people. I've gotten so much encouragement, advice, help from others at races, it ain't even funny. Now if the rest of the world could just get with the program.

4) Don't keep charging forward when you're out on a training ride and get lost. It's much better to backtrack and reorient yourself. Last weekend, in fact on the 4th of July, I ended up on the 540 freeway off-ramp. That probably looked pretty strange to drivers that passed me. Then the same weekend I ended up on US70 near Brier Creek. For the locals, they know how insane the driving is on that road. I'm making a pitch to Lisa for that new Garmin 705. Just maybe...

5) Nutrition is obviously super important. I do really good for breakfast and lunch, but dinner gets me. Wait, let me more honest, its the deserts after dinner is what gets me. If I want to get faster, that late night sherbert, frozen yogurt, cookies, pound cake has got to be limited in a big way.

6) I got this Trigger Point Therapy kit last year and it works pretty good. It loosens up the muscles good and restores some elasticity when I'm stiff.

7) Stretching is important for me. I tend to forget to stretch, but when I do, my workouts are so much better.

8) Its summer now and we're having those hot and humid days. Fluid management is critical. I've found out the hard way that staying on top of my water intake can make the difference between a quality workout and a sufferfest.

9) Speaking of heat and humidity. I wish I could find a good product that protects my car seats after working out. I picked up a seat cover from Pep Boys that works good for moderate sweating, but after a good run, I practically look like I stepped out of the shower and my car seat get wet.

10) Okay I know the pool is for everyone, but 84 degrees is just too hot for swimming. I think the water aerobics folks complain if its too cold, but goodness 84 just makes lap swimming so tough.