Wednesday, February 29, 2012

February finished!

Another solid month, and despite ending it how I started it with a cold I managed to hit nearly all my training days; one day sick and another for rest pretty much was my down time although I do now consider the Friday and Saturday swims as having some downtime during the week. Talking of swimming I am still hitting the pool four times a week and my sessions are now at around the 2000 yard mark, per my last post I got a page of observations and areas for improvement from my friend who watched my swim video and while it seems a little overwhelming I have plenty of time to figure it all out although I am sure the time will start to fly by!

My biking has been a improving slowly and I threw in a couple of TT efforts with runs off the bike and I managed to not experience the jelly legs of the first brick I can settle into a pace somewhere around the 8:00 mark. Finally my running is coming back into focus and I even managed to get out on the trails this month!

image Cheseboro Canyon; memories are made here!

So here are the digits:

  • 527 total miles (3 less than January)
  • 50.10 time, so about 12 hours a week (9 minutes more than January)
  • 71:75 miles running in 10:09 (January 57:58/1:19) Longest run 11/1:55 
  • 439 miles cycling in 26:06 (January 453/27:49) Longest ride 70 miles followed by a 7 mile run
  • 28,688 yards swam in 12:50 (January 25,525/12:35) Longest Swim 2500 and a wee bit faster!
  • Starting weight 172.4lb ending 172lb

Like I said another solid month, this is the third in a row, consistency is key!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Head down, ass up!

Sorry I have been a bit absent on the interwebs, a bit of twitering, logging on Daily Mile and that’s it. I have basically had a monster week at work, I’ll spare you the details and but it involved a 20 hour day, a night that lasted all of 3 hours, a fair few 5:00am starts and so on. I parked my social mediaing and prioritized my days into family, work and training. So with that set as my modus operandi I put my head down and set to it. All things considered I managed to hold it together for a pretty solid week.


The numbers don’t really tell the tale, Monday and Tuesday were doubles, Friday a triple and Sunday a brick, it tallies up as follows:

  • Cycling 137 miles
  • Run 12.5 missed one scheduled run otherwise should have been closer to 20
  • Swim 8000 yards (4.55 miles)

I have been carrying a cold for the last week, I think I actually had one on the way out and then caught another so it’s been if nothing a snotty week and after today’s ride had me asking on Twitter:

Swallowing the snot that is streaming out of your nose when cycling; does this count as hydration or cycling-recycling!”

I also passed the 1000th training mile for the year, this seems insane coming from a more running based background but for obvious reasons a lot of these are bike miles

Finally this week I was able, thanks to a friend, capture me on video swimming, this is just a short clip, the longer version is on it’s way to another pal who is a pretty accomplished swimmer and who has agreed to give me some tips etc. One thing I am pleased with it that I am slowly overcoming my my sinking lower body and managing to get my ass and legs up...I still have a long way to go, but what was a floundering splashfest that barely allowed me to cover 25 yards 10 weeks ago is a comfortable stroke that has me covering 750 yards unassisted…slow but steady progress!

So this week is a step back/taper week leading into my very first Triathlon on Saturday which then kicks off the season proper with basically a race every 60 days through to IMAZ in November!

Hold we go!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


No I am not Jack Bauer, if you don’t know who he is that’s probably a good thing! But it is the amount of time I spent in bed this weekend…well combined for Saturday and Sunday. Having just shrugged off a cold three weeks ago I was less than happy to find myself on the receiving end of another bio-bomb. When I found myself sat under a blanket while wearing a down parka shivering on Saturday night I knew that the family trip to San Francisco was not happening…at least for me. So Sunday morning after waving my family off to the airport I headed back to bed and tallied up a total of 14 hours of sleep, this was followed by spending most of Sunday on the sofa and another 10 hours of sleep Sunday night.

Clearly I was needing it but I was feeling 75% human come the next morning so I tentatively headed to the local pool and managed to get in a solid swim 2000 yards in 50ish minutes(good is relative for me). Later in the day hopped on the bike and cranked out a quick ride.

So 48 hours later I am still a bit snuffling but coming out of the back of the weekend I am approaching the 100% mark slowly but surely, one more week of training and then I step back for race day.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Friday night rush hour…

Image (1)

Got out of work early, dashed home jumped on bike was out the door by 3:30pm and this was my road at 4pm…2 hours and 34 miles later I was home!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Atta Boy!

I am not one given to self congratulations, there is always something that could have been better, but upon reflection I decided to give myself a wee pat on the back for this last week’s training. It’s by far the biggest week in miles and pretty close to the biggest in time for the last six months and it reaffirms the power of a step back week. I am also pleased because I wanted a big week and I managed to get one with being derailed. Here’s the breakdown, with the exception of today’s Monday through Thursday are before and after work workouts:

  • Monday Swim 1800 yards / Bike 21 miles on the trainer in 1:14
  • Tuesday Bike 21 miles on Trainer 1:10 / 5 mile Tempo run
  • Wednesday Swim 2000 yards / Core work and foam roll
  • Thursday Bike 31 miles on Trainer in 1:43 / 7 miles run including 8 x 400 intervals @6:30
  • Friday 2000 yard swim
  • Saturday 2300 yard swim
  • Sunday Bike 70 mile ride in 4:07 followed by 7 mile run average pace 8:12

Totals: 19 miles run, 143 miles ridden and 8100 yards in the pool, total time 15:06 total distance 167 miles

Some other mentionables: I hit 400 miles on my Newton Distancias.


A little worn on the toes and a little flat on the forefoot but plenty left in the heel! Just pre ordered next gen in same shoe for March delivery!

I am getting more comfortable on the TT bike and although this weekend I decided to mix it up and take my road bike although I have piled on nearly 300 miles on the new Adamo saddle in the last month

My swim is coming together and my plan to simply add 50 yards a week to my “non assisted” section is really working and I am up to 600 yards, still a long way to go to get to 2.4 miles, hell it’s a long way to to the 2.1 miles I will have in July but every journey starts with a single step!

Three weeks to race day!

Friday, February 10, 2012

I am 5!


771 posts…jeez I have a lot to say about nothing! Thanks for reading and commenting! Still can’t ride a skateboard!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Google 'n' Goggle!

There has been a shift in my goggles style over the past few months. As a “newbie” swimmer it was all about vision and non leakage, both are highly required as it is always good to see where you are sinking! A few years ago post 100 in the Hood while recuperating I swam in a good old fashioned pair of Speedos, I didn't know any better and had black tinted ones. Given that I was swimming outside (in a pool) in November and December this was, with hindsight, a pretty dumb thing, the tint would only be effective on a sunny day or during a sunrise or sunset, certainly not after dark which was when I was using them.

Above all beyond the lack of visibility due to light, (to whit I was oblivious to) they leaked…which was a pain! More than a pain it made swimming a misery and when you don’t really like something you really don’t want to make it worse! So when I started to go to the pool which some goals late last year I turned to my "mad Goggle skillz", did a bit of research and made several trips to Sports Chalet and the like in the area to try some alternatives on. After some trial and error I settled on a pair of AquaSphere Vistas, They worked, the vision was perfect, no leakage, zero, nada, nothing! Now as the yards have gone by, by my count a little over 70,000 since September, my form has improved and I started to notice that the goggles was a source of drag in the water. So back to Google I turned, this time I picked up a pair of AquaSphere Seal XPs.

I liked that the still had the semi mask seal but had a lower profile and therefore less drag…it’s actually noticeable when you swim. Nearly a month in them has confirmed that they too are pretty much leak proof, let me correct that, they are leak proof! The one complaint I have actually relates to the seal which is a little pinchy on my nose and after 40 minutes or so I am left fiddling with them and my experience has been as soon as you start mucking about with them they seem to fog up. Fine for a short course swim I thought but no good for a 70.3 or Ironman both of which are coming my way later this year!

So once again I went back to Google, well actually I went to Amazon and I went straight for a pair of AquaSphere Kayannes, I had tooled around on the AquaSphere’s website and these were the goggles (there are way too many references to Google and goggle in the post) of the likes of Amanda Beard, Terenzo Bozzone, Faris Al Sultan and the like.

gogglesTo be a swimmer…do what swimmers do!

And so I am still transitioning into them but so far, oh my they are nice, as you can see I got the smoked lenses thinking that they would be only used for race day, but they are so comfy I am now awaiting a clear pair for the pool. The decision also covers the train in what you race in angle.

image Top to Bottom: A goofball in; Vista, Seal XP, Kayanne

I suppose this is sort of a review but I have something a little more deeper planned for the future. So now I am left with several pairs of unworn Vistas as they were on special deal way back when!

Finally stay tuned for my Spring Cleaning post due soon…you know what that means; deal time!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Step back, move forward…

This week was a step back week for me, quite simply I planned to eliminate doubles. Somehow the planets aligned and I managed to pick some snotfest lurgy. I felt it coming on last Sunday and then thought I had shrugged it off on Monday, but Tuesday morning I woke up with what felt like my head in vice so with a pragmatic head on I missed Tuesday’s run and missed Tuesday’s commute and stayed at home! Come Wednesday I was back in work but I skipped the scheduled swim. By Thursday I was starting to feel a little more human I passed on the scheduled tempo run and took a somewhat sniffy cougy fiver miler before dawn. By Friday I was feeling on the upswing and was back in the pool for a slower than usual 1800 yards. I switched out Saturday’s swim for a return to the tails and spent a glorious two hours running around the local trails at Chesebro Canyon.

image This is an old picture but you get the idea!

With one day left of rest week I decided to ride short and fast and tack a run onto the end of it, the original plan was to head to the coast and hit PCH but after 30 minutes of being blown left, right, up and down and at one point I was blown clean into the middle of the road, it was no fun and was to be honest just plain dangerous so I threw the bike into the truck and headed inland. After a short drive I was out of the wind!

Here is quick video of the ocean, the waves are rolling in at around 6-8’, you get an idea of the windiness, there were some seriously scary gusts!

So Take Two. Four laps around a local lake, it measures a little over 5 miles and is essentially a square ride, one side is downhill and the other three are up, there’s not a lot of climbing but there’s not a lot of coasting either. The first mile was a bit fudgy as I was getting out a parking lot but I soon settled in. A little over an hour later I was done with 21 miles on the clock. Overall I was very happy with this as M2-15 was completed in 43:44 (19.31mph) my first Tri in 4 weeks has a 14m ride so hopefully I can hit 20mph+. I was hoping for 19mph+ as an average and prolly would have got it were it not for the start and few uncooperative traffic lights!

TT Ave HR 142 Ave cadence 93…me likey! Right on the red line of Tempo pace!

One thing I am noticing is that the hydration system is not encouraging me to drink, while its more aerodynamic to have the bottles mounted behind the seat I am not drinking from them! This is getawayable for shorter rides or cooler rides but cometh the Summer I am going to be blowing up left, right and center so I am rethinking my set up. After the ride I jumped into my Newtons and set of for another lap around the lake. Overall it went pretty well although I got a bit thirsty and went out a bit too fast but settled into my stride, it certainly was a lot better run than last week!

BRICK Picked up the pace in the last mile

So step back week is over and my cold is more or less gone…four weeks to race day, three to build one to step back!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Review; Hood to Coast, the movie

imageI missed Hood to Coast when it went in general release last year so when I was contacted to review the DVD I jumped at the chance, let’s be honest there are not a lot of movies about running so it’s good to see the ones there are.

For those of you who have not heard about Hood to Coast here’s a overview taken from the films website:

The annual Hood To Coast Relay has run every year since 1982. The race started as an inauspicious event for a group of dedicated runners to stretch their legs and expand on the everyday running experience. Bob Foote, the race founder, had run track with the famous Men of Oregon at the University of Oregon. Marathons had lost their appeal, and to keep himself interested in the sport he loved, he decided to organize an unheard of adventure, running from Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood to the Oregon Coast.

The idea was that 12 people would divide themselves into two groups of six, run three legs each and cover the nearly 200 mile distance from the mountain to the ocean. Running all through the night, it was an adventure for hard-core runners and sleep was secondary to striving for their fastest time.

In 1982 only 8 teams ran, but within a decade, the race had grown to the point where they had to cap the number of teams at 1000. The route shifted to avoid heavily trafficked highways as they needed to find convenient stopping points for the thousands of vans that now made their way through the Oregon countryside.

More importantly, the race had become an adventure not only for serious athletes, but amateur runners and thrill seekers. Team names began to describe not only the origins of the team, but the attitude they would carry with them on the course. Today, teams decorate their vans and take on a race persona, lending a carnival atmosphere to the nearly 200 miles of the race.

Sounds like fun right! In the spirit a picture is worth a 1000 words here’s the trailer;

So on with the review. The film is well made, the production quality is high and overall it makes for really interesting viewing, it’s a good mix of perspectives, history and interviews. The problem was with my expectations, I had set them in the wrong place. What I had failed to realize is that the movie follows four teams rather than the race and this I think is why I was left a little disappointed. The human element of the four teams is interesting to a point and they do cover the gamut of the teams; an over 50 female team; Heart N Sole, a rookie runners team; Thunder and Laikaning, veteran runners; The Dead Jocks and a team running to remember a team mate who died; RBowe.

There are the usual high and lows and funny and sad moments but the excitement of the “race” is lost, after all this is a race and by all standards a really competitive one and this element is given minimal coverage.

Overall I did enjoy the movie but I would sum it up as a movie that follow four teams that run a race rather than a movie about a race and the teams that run it.

It’s available to buy through their website here or you can rent it through Amazon Online here. These are the only places that I could find it although it is listed in Netflix it’s not available yet.

This product was provided free of charge by Hood to Coast. If you have a product you’d like reviewed, contact me at

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


Lauren from On the Run Tagged me, so hear you go warts and all, I will try to avoid repeating myself from prior iterations


  1. Post these rules.
  2. You must post 11 random things about yourself.
  3. Answer the questions set for you in their post.
  4. Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer.
  5. Go to their blog and tell them you've tagged them.
  6. No stuff in the tagging section about “you are tagged if you are reading this”. You legitimately have to tag 11 people.

11 Random Things About Me:

  1. At most I usually drink one beer a week, that’s it. I used to drink wine but totally lost the taste for it 5-6 years ago
  2. I have an insanely high tolerance for caffeine 3-4 espresso based drinks a day along with the same amount in drip coffee and I still fall asleep on the couch at 9:30pm
  3. Swimming with fishes freaks me out, I have snorkeled and managed to keep it together, scuba diving is a total no no! This will make open water swimming fun!
  4. My car has nearly 130,000 miles on it and I love it so much I don’t want a new one. It’s a VW Passat wagon but it’s comfortable has a kick ass iPhone stereo and tons of storage
  5. I have given up with voice dialing on my phone by peoples names and now assign them animals, don’t be surprised if you hear me say “Call Aardvark mobile”. Odd yes, works yes!photo (1)
  6. I am the eldest of three boys between me and the middle one there is 2 years 2 months and 10 days, between him and the youngest there is 2 years 2 months and 10 days, our birthdays 8/28, 6/18, 4/8 cue Twilight Zone music!
  7. Although I grew up with animals; dogs, cats, horses etc I have developed and allergy to cat hair?
  8. I always make the bed when staying in a hotel in the morning, the rational is that you pack your case on the bed and so it’s easy to loose things when it’s all unmade. That’s my issue and I am learning to live with it #virgo
  9. I put my clothes out at night, not just my running/biking clothes but all of them!
  10. I hate leaving the house untidy; “what would the burglars think”!
  11. Despite drinking copious amounts of coffee I hate coffee flavored food; tiramisu is undercarriage funk from the devil!

Now to answer Lauren’s questions:

  1. Short shorts or long shorts? hmm compression shorts mostly which by design are longer, current favorite are made by CEP and reviewed here
  2. How do you recover from a tough long run? Protein smoothie with coconut water, chocolate mile and frozen fruit, hot shower and compression clothing
  3. Favorite brand running shoe? Since transitioning to mid foot running I only run in Newtons, my Sir Issacs have over 500 miles and my Distancias nearly 400 miles
  4. Longest distance ever run? 98, timed out after getting injured during a 100 mile race, walked another 2 miles then was carried another 1 mile and got in an ambulance, later found out race measured 102 miles long!
  5. What would you do if a rattlesnake coiled up to strike a couple feet from you? Act like a mongoose!
  6. For women – do you wear make-up? For men – do you remove hair from anywhere other than your face? Yes, road rash sucks, trust me I know, so I shave my legs.
  7. Do/did your parents, guardians, siblings, children run? My kids have run a 1k and 5k, they are only 4 and 7 and I would really encourage them to run more if they wanted to, right now they are all about the new bikes with no training wheels, which is just fine too! They have their fair share of Wii and iPad too but I love that they love taking their bikes to the park!photo (89)
  8. How many days is your longest running streak? No idea, I have never streaked, I did run four half marathons in fours days? Does that count?
  9. Would you rather run in extreme heat or extreme cold? Cold, you can always warm up but it seems impossible to cool down sometimes!
  10. If you had to watch the same movie ten times in a row, what would it be? Inception or Sucker Punch, brain food or cheap trashy action!
  11. Vanilla or Chocolate ice cream? Vanilla…no brainer with apple pie please!

And now here are my questions:

  1. Finish this sentence; “Revenge is a dish best served…”
  2. If you could invite anyone who would you invite to dinner, (alive or dead) and why?
  3. If you could run a race anywhere in the world, which one would would it be?
  4. Sum up the bare foot, minimal running, normal shoes argument in a sentence!
  5. Early morning, middle of the day, in the evening? When is the best time? To run…get your mind out the gutter!
  6. Do you really read all those magazines you subscribe to, please be honest?
  7. What’s your favorite race distance?
  8. What does you family/friends think about your running/biking/swimming etc
  9. In the style of “Jeopardy” please answer this question “yes, at least twice a day, Alex”
  10. We all have our “Achilles heel” mine is my ITB, what’s yours?
  11. Stretching; do you…should you?

And now the lucky recipients, made somewhat easier by a reduced blog roll!

  1. Wes – A Code Geeks Tail
  2. Gretchen – Daily Adventures
  3. Tran – Think Tran
  4. Jenn – Junk Miles
  5. Laura – Frayed Laces
  6. Alex – Philosopher Runner
  7. Mike – Dirt Dawg’s Rambling Diatribe
  8. Mike – Michael Runner
  9. Aron – Runner’s Rambles
  10. Becca – See Becca Try to Tri
  11. Robin – Gotta Run Gotta Ride

Wow that was a long post!