Wednesday, October 31, 2012

psst wanna buy some Oakley sunglasses?

Alternative titles “Shady Shades”, “Fakebook” or “Jokelys”!

Like a billion other people I have a Facebook account, I don’t use it that much, I was a fairly early adopter, my account was born October 2007, a mere 13 months after it was launched public wide…it seemed so quaint back then!

But I digress, as many of you are pretty internet savvy I am sure you have seen those Sponsored ads on the side of your Facebook feed and wondered “hmm really Oakleys for $29…scam…or not?!?!”.


Well I did too and now I have in my hand a pair of Oakley glasses! But first I did some homework…

I looked around the vendors website…looks legit right I highlighted the suspect things… I especially  like the Hotmail account, I mean who uses Hotmail these days!



Then I did a search for the “parent company”…again this all seems kosher!



Just to double check I did some research on the acquisition of Oakley, this seems like a bona fide claim!


So I had a look through their catalog and I hit the button and purchased a pair…through PayPal, I mean who else would a multi billion dollar company use for merchant services…no offence PayPal!


And lo and behold about 10 days later I got a box of genuine made in America Oakley Jawbones from…China!

I’ll be honest and say my expectations were pretty very low and they were met, trust me had these been real I would have been writing all about that! The quality is shocking and as anyone who has a pair of Jawbones knows they open to accommodate different lenses etc., these are solid framed, this is the real Oakley website


The list goes on and suffice to say they are not Oakley Sunglasses…YEAH SHOCKA!!!.


As a follow up I reached out to Facebook, Oakley, Luxottica and NPR’s Planet Money…I’ll keep you posted!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A little Halloween horror!

I have used my FuelBelt H20 on and off since I was sent it to review back in August 2010 . I have run a couple of marathons with it, I wore it for Vineman 70.3 back in June and it has countless training miles on it. Sometimes I fill it with water other times Cytomax, Gu Brew, Nuun or more recently High5. After use it gets hung up and the bottles are thrown in the dishwasher. I was, therefore surprised, actually disgusted to see the buildup of what I will call “goop” on the inside of the lids

As this is Halloween it the perfect time to share with you this little horror…

Old on the left new on the right

Yuck right! TGF Amazon, $7 and 2 days and I have a pack of 5 new lids, or Halloween eyeballs as someone called them!

Wanna give yourself a scare, have a look inside yours this Halloween!

Monday, October 29, 2012

IMAZ training Week 14

Another week, more miles, this is the penultimate build week and then I have two weeks taper. I am not counting the days…much!

Last week was big; big miles, big hours. Not the biggest mileage week but by far the largest in terms of time. I finally blew through the 1000 minutes mark, 1044 to be precise. That’s 17 hours and 24 minutes, and that includes no core work and a missed 30 minute swim. That’s the first missed workout since starting the plan…it had to happen eventually but one out of literally 100s is not going to kill me.



A couple of notables from last week in typical S/B/R fashion;

  • I matched my longest swim of 4300 yards and managed to shave 8 minutes off of it; the main set was 3900 yards non-stop and the whole thing was done in 2 hours. I am not fast but I am relentless!
  • I rode my longest ride (ever) 110 miles in 6:13, two miles short and 13 minutes slower than my race day target; I am finally getting used to the race wheels although it’s still a bit sketchy going fast downhill and side-winds are a royal pain. The nice thing is that with a wee tail wind I can zip through 20 miles in less than an hour. Keep your fingers crossed for race day! Also a good opportunity to dial in my nutrition, imageI managed to eat all of these and a banana too! I had a three mile run at the end and felt soooo much better  than last weekend! On my ride I came across this pretty cool Missile Museum on the side of the road and had to stop to grab some photos;




  • I had a mid-week 3 hour run where I clicked off just over 21 miles, this was the perfect race pace for me; 8:30. What’s very pleasant to find out is that without any real focus my running has really come back to form

So now I am tying off the loose ends; a new Hammer race kit, same as my existing one which is now south of the border due to the frequent rinse and repeat, a new pair of shoes to put some miles on before race day as well as some new socks (I got a blister during the 20 miler and looking back my socks probably have an average of 700 miles on them!). Some new lids for my Fuel Belt bottles…I’ll show you why in the next post. I am also booked in for two Lactate Threshold tests; one for the bike and one for the run, this will allow me to dial everything on race day based on my HR and avoid blowing. My HR is pretty low for these rides and runs, the long ride and run mentioned above were 122bpm and 138bpm respectively. The bike will get a service and clean and I am sure there are a few more things to square away.

I’ll leave you with the view from my run at the end of Sunday’s Brick;


19 days to go!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Planning 2014!

I have a pretty good straw man plan for 2013 so now its time to think about 2014! Planning races is like planning vacations; you need to have one or two on the horizon at any given time!

So thinking ahead I signed up for Ironman Lake Tahoe as a wetsuit stripper…rationale; fun, it has finite time span – so I can go and watch some more of the race later, be part of a someone’s day!

You gotta think ahead…this event sold out in a couple of days and volunteers get primo priority for signing up for the following year!


Monday, October 22, 2012

IMAZ training Week 13

Another week another blog post…that’s what this has become, it must make for scintillating reading! Truth is training is full on; daily double and even triples, and so most other things are taking a side seat, I am sure you understand, if not sorry and yes this sentence three commas and semi colon and not one period!

Nearly sixteen and half hours added to the barn, I still haven’t quite broken through the 1000 minutes in a week mark; that’s 16:40 in case you were wondering. Looks like I will this week, in fact if it comes together I will blow right by it with over 18 hours on tap including one triple and four doubles of which one is a 6:00 bike and a 30 minute run. This is the penultimate build week. They say the best way to fill a jar 100% is to put in the big stones, then the small stones, then sand and then water, there is no space left; total saturation. That’s kinda how I am starting to feel. Two more build weeks and then a taper…I can’t wait!


I think I can honestly say that I have never followed a plan more meticulously…of course now the doubts are starting to creep in. A sub 6:00 100 mile ride this last weekend helped, I want a sub 6 hour 112 mile ride in race day! But running off the bike was hard, too hard, harder than it should have been…next Sunday I’ll be smarter, easier on the bike for a better transition But have I done enough? Did I go hard enough, far enough, fast enough…coulda shoulda woulda…lots of too lates. The remedy now is to stick to the plan; be safe and do nothing silly, that’s the vehicle to the start line, try as best as I can to park my brain, start to visualize the course, the swim, the bike the run, the transitions, the finish…27 more days waiting for the gun to go bang!

Here’s the graph…it’s getting kinda silly!


Yeah I am a bit excited!

Monday, October 15, 2012

IMAZ training Week 12

A pretty vanilla week this week in terms of volume. The one real change was having to front load my week due to other commitments, fortunately I had Monday off and was able to pull my long ride from the end of the week to the start, in fact I ended up burying myself in the first four days completing the whole week with the exception of a swim by the end of Thursday. It went like this;

  • Mon 4:45 bike/30 min run – Brick
  • Tue 45 min run/75 min swim
  • Wed 75 min swim/2:30 run
  • Thur 2:00 bike/1:00 run – Brick


Here’s the fancy graph


So yep, buried! I was very happy to have two days off! And that’s it really. This week is another build and I am able to keep things mostly on the right day…


34 days to go…oh and this arrived in my inbox!

10-9-2012 9-24-59 AM

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

IMAZ training Week 11

Recovery week…ahhhh! A foot off the pedal week and I was grateful for it. The real change to the plan was basically that the durations and doubles were scaled back but the intensity remained during the workouts. As you can see compared to last week the overall time is almost half (56% to be precise). I shortchanged myself on my running by 30 minutes and one run had to be converted to an elliptical workout but the variety made a nice change. I also cashed in a birthday massage certificate on Friday; like I said ahhhh! There is something to be said that recovery week is the same as Week 1 Training I think!



Nothing too noticeable during the week, I managed to exchange my Garmin 910xt (the second one) as the altimeter went crazy and put me at 65,000’, the same issue as before. I really like the 910 but this is a problem, I have decided to get a Garmin Swim, it has all the same swim metrics but is less than a third of the price than the 910 and according to DCRainmaker it’s a solid buy, I can use the 910 for running and biking and on race day of course.

Talking of race day, I did run a race, I did not race a race but I paced Becca from TriBeccaTO at a local 10k, I had never run this before so it was a fun day out and it was on a Saturday for a nice change which freed up the rest of the day to go to the zoo! Without too much shouting at she did great and hit her target of <50:00. I was very happy with my run, the route was a bit rolly and I set my watch at a pace of 7:50 (much to Becca’s protests) and my splits were pretty even given the terrain, also very reassuring was that other than the pick up at the end my HR was very under control in the 150-155 range.


It was also a chance to meet up with another online friend and increase my IRL (in real life) count. Lisa from, who like Becca is going to Boston next year and who both run track workouts at the High School near my house!


I now only have 40 days until race day which is basically four more build weeks and then a two week taper, this mushes together a recovery week and a third taper week that the plan calls for (in case you missed it I am fitting a 20 week plan into 17 weeks), cos I have mad excel skills here is the spread of the workload over the last 11 weeks.


I hit my 4000th training mile last week, I only hit my 3000th in week 4, that’s 1000 miles in 7 weeks!

This morning I got my Ironman “Athlete Guide” and like someone said…this shit is getting real!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Pocket motivation!

Seeing as most, some, lots (that’s the median of most and some) of us have a smartphone these days, we’re no longer confined to watching re-runs of Judge Judy on the overhead TV or grainy images on the built in TV while on the treadmill. There’s a plethora of stuff available on You Tube to watch, here’s a couple of my favorited subscriptions:

Ironman Ali’I Drive, a miniseries from the Official IM Channel

They also post some pretty good coverage of the IM races; 2012 70.3 Worlds

CycleFilm, from the folks who brought you Eyes Ride Shut, previews of their training videos and a mini series that follow the NetApp Pro Team

Park Tools how to…got a question about your bike, these guys have the answer! Here's how to remove a cassette!

Fog & Smog…white men can’t jump but they can rap!You can thank TriBeccaTo for this!

But for those of you who miss Judy…

Now set it to 1% and go!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Review; The Secret Race by Tyler Hamilton & Daniel Coyle

imageI’ll be honest and say I am not really sure where to start with this review, if you haven’t heard about Tyler Hamilton, Lance Armstrong, PEDs, blood doping, USADA, Travis Tygart…well I hope you have come in peace and you do not shoot to kill!

I have my own opinions and I will keep them to myself unless you really want to know, but suffice to say if 10% of this book is the truth well, it’s another sad day for professional cycling.

In terms of Tyler, the writing and the narration, it is pretty bare bones, he was a gifted cyclist, the best…prolly not, without PEDs definitely not, but he had talent, guts and heart in spades. But he couldn’t say no, went over to the dark side and was caught and that was that! Like most biographies the story starts with Tyler’s youth and his start in skiing and his introduction to cycling. The book spends a lot of time covering his time with US Postal but also goes into more detail on the subsequent teams he joined (and also doped on), his trip to the Olympics winning his medal and subsequently returning it.

There is a level of smugness from Hamilton, specifically at the height of his doping which essentially comes across as “well everyone was doing it and I was doing it (EPO etc) better”. There is a lot of detail about the intricacies of doping, the complexity and the subterfuge required, a lot of names are mentioned, dates and times etc. are mentioned, this either adds to the credibility of the story or the complexity of the lie!

There was a lot of fallout from his interview on 60 Minutes last year as laying the ground work in terms of publicizing this book but it also took the lid off of a whole new can or worms. See for yourself;

If you have any interest in cycling, the furor around Lance Armstrong, the US Postal Team and the other teams he rode on and professional racing in the late 90’s and early 2000’s then this belongs on your bookshelf (or iPod).

I have read a lot more in the last month or so on this and here are some links to some really good articles, posts etc that explain things a lot better than I can or want to.

This product was purchased by me. See previous gear reviews in the Reviews tab above. If you have a product you’d like reviewed, contact me at

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

September; consistency is key!

September is done, I’ll cut to the chase this was my biggest month this year, in fact it’s may be my biggest month ever! The totals look like this;

  • Swim 18.63 miles 32,800 yards in 15:18
  • Bike 515.78 in 29:37
  • Run 106.51 in 15:10

Add in the core work I did and it totals to 641 miles in 63:26. That beats the next biggest month by over 95 miles or 11 hours. Two big bike sets added to this, the first was the trip to Tempe at the beginning of the month were I racked up 120 miles over 2 days and the second was the last week which was bike focused.

Overall I am really pleased with this, I am injury free, not even a niggle (touch wood), at times I feel tired and achy but usually a decent meal and a good night’s sleep is all I need.

Talking of sleep and food, now’s a good time to touch on those a bit more. I downloaded a sleep app for my iPhone called Sleep Cycle, I have no real idea if it works but being the over achiever I am I am now looking for a good “number” in the morning and to some extent that is prompting me to get to bed at a reasonable time.

image image
Bad night Good night

On the food front, I am now in Week 6 on my one month vegan experiment! I have lost 7-10lbs depending on the time of day I weigh myself and my energy levels are high. My only concessions have been milk in my tea and half-half in my coffee and that’s it, I’ll have more to say on this in the future but right now I really can’t see myself reverting back to meat anytime soon…there may be a concession to vegetarianism but even that is not on the radar right now

So when I started 2012 one of my goals was to be consistent in my training, I have almost met that with the exception of May-July when I was flirting with injury, avoiding over training and had two races.

image image



There’s three months left in the year and it’s all still to play for!