Wednesday, January 31, 2007

And now for something completely different...

Many things come out of the mouths of young children that are entirely unexpected. This morning was one of those moments. Of all the possible greetings I figured I could get from Alexandra, her pointing up at the skylight and exclaiming, "Seagull Poop!" was not one of them.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

It's not all about me...

On Saturday Feb. 10 I'll be helping out at the A.L.S (Lou Gehrig's disease) spin-a-thon at Foundry Sports Medicine in Providence, RI. The event proceeds go to the Blazeman Foundation. Jon Blais is the man I ran into at the Airport in November.

If you'd like to show your support, you can click on the picture below and you'll be taken to the donation page. Thank you.

Week 4

Four weeks already?! Actually was a decent week. I'm trying hard to not try too hard. 5 mile run Tuesday, 4 miles on the indoor track at Brown on Thursday, and 12 miles this morning. I also upped my Saturday trainer ride to 45 minutes. I've been thinking about when I will resume racing this year. I had planned to start with a duathlon in Central Park on April 1, but I think I'll wait until the end of April to start racing (I might run in March, but that isn't quite the same). I'm liking the routine I'm in now and mentally can't come to grips with racing again in only two months.

Currently I run 3 days a week (Tue/Thu/Sun) with Tuesday being fairly easy, Thursday alternating between speed work, hills, and really easy jogging, and Sunday as the long day. The Sunday following an easy Thursday is the day when I up the distance of my long runs (stands at 13 miles right now). I'm adding a morning trainer ride this Wednesday (30 minutes), and lifting at lunch either Wednesday or Friday. I probably won't hit the pool for a few more weeks.

Runs: 11
Mileage: 5/4/12
YTD Mileage: 82.6

Walks: 2
YTD Mileage: 7

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


While the Pats losing on Sunday was a bit of a downer, by the time the game was going south I was already wrapped with other concerns. You see I had fallen on our stairs while carrying Alexandra (I was going up the me if you've seen my stairs you'd know that that's not far fetched). While I didn't drop her, we both hit the deck and her forehead smacked into the edge of the iron railing. It left a dent and a cut. Dadda was freaked and upset. Mamma was pissed at Dadda (I was not doing anything irresponsible). Alexandra was just upset. Long story short she's fine and no worse for wear. When she's a teenager, if the scar doesn't fade, I'm sure she'll be telling her friends that it's from the time her Dad dropped her.

I'm sorry sweetie.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Week 3

Stressful week at work. It caused me to lose A LOT of sleep. As a result I skipped my typical Thursday run. I've found that if I try to run on the day after a night bereft of sleep, a large percentage of the time I end up hurting myself. Thursday night I again slept poorly so I didn't run Friday at lunch, either. I did however run the 1 mile to a meeting on Campus, and then the one mile back. I'm counting it in my run total and not my walk total because I did run. Friday night we traveled to the in-laws in CT., and Saturday I just did very little. I thought about running, but was just too tired from the week. Instead Leanna and I went ice skating for about an hour, and then I took a nap when we got home. So Sunday I was back and ready to go. While not 100%, I was feeling pretty good and despite the cold weather cranked out my hilly 13 mile run (it feels more like a 15 mile run becaue of all the hill work) in 1:37. Definitely an acceptable pace for this time of year. The run had it's "Holy Sh-t" moment as well. Around mile 9, I reached for a bottle on my trusty FuelBelt and behold, an ice cube where once my gatorade had resided. I reached for a second bottle...same thing. I grabbed my third and final bottle, the one riding on the back of my body, and alas it was not yet solid. Yes it was every bit a 7-Eleven-esque slurpy, but at least the fluid came out. Now the sinus headache that ensued, that's another story!

The numbers:

Runs: 8
Mileage: 6/2/13
YTD Mileage: 61.6

Walks: 2
YTD Mileage: 7

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Fun looking back at old posts

I was reading an update from a year ago concerning Alexandra ("Ahoy mates, ready the Ark") . She is so different from that little toddler of a year ago. We're not playing "Boo" too much now. No, we're arguing, and I'm assuming we'll be doing that now for the better part of the rest of my life. She's been sick this past week, so it's been tough, but she's getting better. After my run I went upstairs and she was napping with Leanna in our bed. Reminds me of the first time they slept together, on the train in Russia.

Here's a recent picture of my little muffin with her friend Ben:

Week 2

Three run this week. It's the schedule I hope to maintain: Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday (with 30 min. on the bike trainer Saturday). Felt pretty good this week. Today's run was 5 minutes faster than last week (same course). I wasn't killing myself, but I was trying, so it was a good time. I put also put in one hard 400M interval during last Tuesday's run at the Hope High School track (1:19), and Thursday did 3 hill repeats up Angell St. in Providence (~ .25 miles at 12% grade), before continuing on my run.

Overall I'm feeling pretty good. The challenge may prove to be not reaching a peak too quickly. I'll probably put in a mellow week for week 4.

**Update: Reviewing my posts from last year, I found one from January 21st which recounted my running of this same loop. Like today it was timed. That day I nearly matched my previous best for this time of year, 1:12:38 (my best was 1:12:18). I also weighed in at 167 pounds pre-run. Today I was 166 pounds and ran a 1:10:39. That's a new January PR.**

The numbers:

Runs: 5
Mileage: 6/6/10.8
YTD Mileage: 40.6

Walks: 2
YTD Mileage: 7

Saturday, January 13, 2007

2006 USA Triathlon Rankings

I was ranked 229th out of 3686 men between 40 and 44. Good enough for a USA Triathlon "Honorable Mention".

Friday, January 12, 2007

Giada or Rachael?

You know, Giada De Laurentiis or Rachael Ray. Someone called them the Ginger and Maryann of the Food Network. Yeah, if you're blind and deaf! Dammit, even when I turn my TV off I can hear Rachael!

Monday, January 08, 2007

It takes two

"To set a World Record you must be arrogant enough to believe you can be faster than any person who ever lived, and humble enough to do it." (paraphrased)

It's very common in our society for people to dream to be someone great or do something outstanding. It's encouraged in commercials. People stress the importance of "aiming high" all the time. I call this the "I wanna be a Champion" attitude. It is very important to have dreams and goals. Unfortunately very few people stress that second, equally important part of the equation for which a second, distinctly different type of motivation is required: the part where you spend the countless unglamorous hours of work and preparation. There are no crowds. There are no awards. Frequently people tell you what you are doing is strange...not normal. They ask why you would do this (because let's face it, they can't). There is frequently nothing more than a cold cellar wall staring at you while you work. In these humble moments, out of the limelight, you find what it takes to be great.

For whatever reason, I find great enjoyment in the long hours of hard work, especially during the winter months. It's meditative. Sure by March I'm dying to be out racing again, but I've always taken great pride in the hard work. During this period the training can be very programmed, very methodical. Racing and traveling to races tends to mess with the schedule, as does the mere fact that warmer weather begets more temptation to do other things. During the cold months, however, there are fewer distractions. It also helps that over the years I have found a direct correlation between how well I've prepared during the winter and how well I race that year. There is no leap of faith into the hard work. I know it is the key.

Because of that motivation to do the hard work, when April 1 rolls around and I line up in Central Park for the first duathlon of the year, I'll transform into that (borderline) arrogant 20 year old and I'll do so with the strength and wisdom gained through 41 winters. Should be fun!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Week 1

I think I'll probably log training by week this year. I'd like to devote a little more time to other topics as well. This last week was odd. My body is out of whack with the warm weather we're having and clearly it is also confused by the reduced activity. So after I put in my 10 all-purpose miles on Tuesday, I had a rough day on Wednesday. I started getting muscle aches and chills at work and by the time I got home was sure I was coming down with the flu. However after getting about a gallon of fluids into me, including some REALLY SALTY Campbell's Chicken Noodle soup, I started feeling better almost immediately. When I woke up Thursday I felt as if nothing had happened. I've been fine since.

Friday I went for a 4 mile walk instead of a run and Saturday finally put my bike together (it's been in pieces since Clearwater) and rode the trainer for 20 minutes just to make sure everything was working. I also checked to see that my bike worked as well! I have a bit of a dilemma.

Does a 4 mile walk count as run training or cross training or none of the above? Purists would pick option 3. I'm thinking option 2, though option 1 would be ideal. I'm actually sending the question to "Ask Miles" at Runner's World to get their take on it. I'll let you know what they say.

Anyway I'm preparing for a 10.8 mile run right now. It's sunny and 45 degrees right now, so I've got to go out and take advantage of it.

Talk to you later.

The run was rough. It took 36 minutes just to find any sort of rhythm. I never really got going well and I'm pretty spent now. Just so you know, however, the fact that it didn't go well doesn't phase me. Tough days happen and anyway it's January 7, not June 7.

The numbers:

Runs: 2
Mileage: 10.8
YTD Mileage: 17.8

Walks: 2
YTD Mileage: 7

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Happy New Year!

Okay, this post is really part II of closing out the year, but I just took the time to read what I wrote in 2005 before 2006 started. Pretty interesting reading from my chair anyway. 2007 won't be a Kona year, maybe 2008 (the whole 2nd adoption thing makes planning Hawaii unrealistic in many ways). I did go to Worlds. I did break 3 hours, at Boston even. Yes I did turn 40! I did get an age group podium spot again (2nd).

I still need to improve my competitive swimming. I'm actually okay int he pool but freak out a little at races. I want to become even beastier as an endurance athlete. I can go and go, and now I want to do so faster and longer. Bold yes, feasible...we'll see. I don't miss bike racing. I kind of dig running races, especially the previously despised 10k. There's something about it that now appeals to me. It hurts a lot, but is such a welcome change to the long death marches to which I have become accustom, that I plan on throwing a few more in this year. It's similar to why I enjoy being a strong triathlon runner. When you pass someone in a running racce, they usually aren't coming back. And the discipline is so basic, so primal, it is more gratifying than cycling supremacy where equipment advances have really created an "arms race" atmosphere.

I also found it interesting that I concluded last year with the same run as this year (unintentionally). 7.1 miles by my house. I'm fitter and faster this year, largely because I did not take significant time off after racing. That has to do with my physical health which has been very good, and my mental health which is also much improved. I changed jobs in 2006, just as I indicated I must in 2005.

Finally, I put in a 7 mile run today, as well as 3 miles of walking. Hey, it's January 2nd and it's almost 50 degrees. You gotta take advantage of it. The construction zone by the Washington Bridge is still a little hairy, however.

The numbers:

Runs: 1
Mileage: 7
YTD: 7