Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I am Hurt

The problem with my back continues. I did a 6 mile walk-run yesterday and everything on my right side hurt from my rib cage (side stitch) to ankle. Primarily, there is a deep dull pain in my right glute. Time to break out the pharmancy! I will start with good old Ibuprofen and work my way up from there. Currently, I am still planning on going to Vegas for the Angle. I will reassess my condition tomorrow.

If I end up going to Vegas, it looks like it is going to be a long 50 mile run on Saturday, I many have to exercise a bit of common sense and bail out early. God, I hate being old and broken!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Pop goes the Angel???

I took the last few days off as part of my taper for the Angel. This morning I decided to do a easy pace 6 miler just to get the legs moving. I was about 2 miles into the run when I heard and felt a pop in the lower back that had enough force to knock me to the ground with a spasm in my right leg. After I stood up I had a shooting pain that went from my gluts to ankle. My guess is that I tweaked the Sciatic Nerve. I loosely blame the posture and lower back exercise the trainer has me doing. Anyway, I hope that this does not screw up my plans to run the 50 miler this weekend. I am going to do a 4-6 mile walk in the morning followed by a sauna and soak in the hot tub to see if this loosens thing up a bit.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas 2008

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Healthy New Year full of running, swimming, and biking... Train hard!

Be safe but take some risk, Celebrate Life, Support your competition, Thank your coaches, crews, volunteers and pacers. Together we have "promises to keep and miles to go before we sleep"

2009 is going to be fun!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Rant

It is beginning to look like Christmas – thankfully it is almost over!

Well Christmas is almost here and I just don’t have the spirit. I haven’t sent a single card, opened any of the cards I have received, gone to any of the parties, or bought any presents except for my younger nephews and nieces. Lacking a family of my own has caused me to really dislike the whole Christmas thing.

Enough of the gloom – After Christmas comes the happiest time of the year for an ego centric ultra runner with a love for Vegas. We are only 10 day from the Running from an Angel! I only have to run 50 miles of penance to pre pay for a week of sinning in Las Vegas! For me the finish line is not boulder beach… it is my first Scotch on the rocks at a steak house following the race!

I did a very cold 12 miler yesterday morning followed by a Spinning class. In the evening I did another Spinning class, a half hour of stretching and a glorious 40 minutes in a 200 degree sauna. It felt soooo gooooood. I am still not doing enough in the pool. I got to get motivated or the triathlon season is going to be a painful experience. I am taking today off to get a massage and hair cut, Tomorrow the gym has stupid hours of 8 to 1 so this pretty much blows the workout for the day. The way things are working out I wont have a session with the Trainer or Swim Coach for nearly three weeks. Nothing like a forced taper!

Speaking of triathlons, I am being lured further and further into the cult by all the shiny, geeky toys that is see advertised. I want them all! I want an bicycle, a tri suit, a power meter, a fancy set of wheels, a new helmet, a wet suit …. Please Santa, I have not been that bad! Maybe I better count on getting a few good cards in Vegas to pay for my rebirth as a triathlete.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Two Weeks to the Angle

In two weeks I will be in Vegas doing the Running from an Angle 50 Miler. I am looking forward to this race to test my new commitment to training and see if the knee will allow me to continue to run ultras. Next week I will start a mini taper and will most likely take off most of the week prior to the race.

My work with the Personal Trainer continues to go very well. She hurts me in ways that I have never been hurt so I know that she is targeting areas that need improvement. I been a bit negligent with my swimming in the last week due to just not being motivated to get into the pool. I will kick up the swim over the next two weeks while I taper for the Angle. With the cold weather I am enjoying the sauna training. Initially this was in preparation for possible heat at Rocky Raccoon, but with the cold and wet weather it just makes my old and tired body feel good.

Speaking of my old and tired body, I received a gift package for a massage, manicure and hair cut an FX studios. I am using it next Tuesday night as part my taper. I usually don't do the massage thing, by why not give it a try?

I am leaving for Vegas on following the New Year. I usually fly first class for the extra room and free drinks. Unfortunately, I will not be able to drink booze on the flight to Vegas due to the race being the next day. I will be good and drink water and juices. I have a limo meeting me at the airport. While this is a bit excessive, I like having someone there to handle my bags and keep me from having to fight the long taxi lines. I am staying at the world famous Hooters Hotel. This is a cheap, fun place just a block away from the strip. Friday will be a fairly mellow day, check in, pick up the rental car, a stop at the MGM buffet, packet pickup and back to the hotel for a few hours of rest. I hate going to bed early on a Friday night in Vegas.

Saturday, will be an early 3 am wake up and a drive to the race. At 6 am the gun will go off and I will do an 11 hour tour of Lake Meade. If the planets align correctly, I will be out on the town Saturday evening. Don't think I will be moving too much but I just want to go somewhere where I can sit down, be entertained, and have someone bring me drinks.



Sunday, December 14, 2008

Goals – Gotta Have Them

Here we are with two weeks left in 2008. Between the eggnog and cookies it is time to ask yourself what will be on your plate for 2009.

Have you set any goals? Have you signed up for any races? Have you outlined a training program? I encourage you to start planning early. Many of the popular Triathlons, Ultras and Marathons fill up six or more months in advance.

Try something new.

In business jargon we sometimes talk about setting stretch goals. Don't underestimate the value of lofty goals. We all know of the stories of a person that started out in the mailroom and became president of a company. Most likely, this person was not much smarter than his cohorts in the mailroom. The difference was that they had goals and made a commitment to improvement.

If you keep doing the same thing, you will always be the same person. Challenge yourself, find a race that you would like to do that is a bit beyond your current abilities and commit to training for it. What is the worst that can happen? A DNF? To me a DNF is far more a sign of success than a Did Not Start.

By selecting a challenging event we have set a goal to work towards. It helps organize your training and wellness activities.

Do good deeds.

If you are in a club like the NCR Trail Snails you should find out what races other are doing. While, I like to do races some of my fondest memories have been on a in the middle of the night on a dark lonely trial, waiting for my runner to come into an aid station. There is a special and often silent bond between a runner and crew that leaves them both better for the experience. Don't underestimate the value of to crewing, pacing and volunteering to help others achieve their goals.

So what?

So, what are my goals for 2009? Well my racing plans are posted for the world to see. But, my goals are a bit more personal, I want to have the opportunity to meet new training partners, establish new friendships, travel to new places and celebrate myself and my achievements.

I hope everyone has a healthy and safe 2009. See you on the on the trail!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Random Thoughts and Stressed Induced Ramblings

The Job …

My Company announced a reduction in force last week. Approximately, 800 employees were slated to be severed from the company. Over the past few days there has been a lot of meetings and rumors of who got terminated. Everybody has been walking around in a daze, silently praying that they were not one of the designated employees. I survived the reductions in force but I lost a few friends and cohorts to the cuts. Hopefully the carnage is over.

The Economy …

I have taken a lot of economics courses, I read the Wall Street Journal and many other business publications but I just can't get a grip on what is happening. Today, I looked at the 3 week Treasury Bill Rates. They are paying 0.01%! This is equivalent to stuffing money in a mattress. How do we encourage saving for a rainy day with rates like this. Obviously, the government does not want people to save. We need to get out and spend money to stimulate the economy. This is a hard thing to do when you are part of a kamikaze workforce where "every paycheck could be your last." I have considered cancelling my upcoming vacation to Vegas, but with the extremely cheep hotel rates and using frequent flyer miles for free 1st class airfare; I can't afford not to go.

I need a Vegas trip to decompress and reload for 2009 and will do my best to stimulate the local economy.


The most dreaded time of the year is approaching. Soon and without preamble, a plague of soon to be new year's resolution breakers will infest gyms throughout the nation. Like locust they arrive on schedule and die off in a few weeks. This is one of the reasons I take the first week of the year off, I just don't want to deal with the overcrowded gyms.

Training is going very well. I won the company's Shape up the Nation competition by logging over 300 hours of working out in the past 12 week. I am the proud owner of a new IPod for my efforts.

My personal trainer has been a godsend. She knows what I need to do and I obediently follow her instructions to the letter. She has made significant corrections to my posture. We still have a long way to go but I look better than ever. I feel alive and invigorated. People are noticing a new aura of confidence in the way that I present myself. Likewise, the Swim Coach is working her magic with me in the pool. I am a lucky man to have these professionals assisting me in my training. I am going to reengage their service for at least 3 more months.

I have started to add sauna training to my daily workouts in preparation for possible heat at the Rocky Raccoon 50 in February.

I am feeling very strong with my running. I am diligently running 10 miles every morning followed by a spinning class prior to going to work. I think the spinning is helping me increase my running cadence. We will see if this helps with my attempt at the Angel 50 in 3 weeks. If my knee holds up, I think I should be able to break 10 ½ hours which will be an hour better than last year's performance. The quicker I get done, the faster I will be able to get to enjoying Vegas.

The MAC is offering a Triathlon Training Program to start in the early spring. This program will be lead by 2 dynamic instructors and will consist of 8 hours a week of group training over an 8 week period. I am looking forward to this program to help me kick off the 2009 season with a bang.

Monday, December 1, 2008

One More Race Added to the 2009 Plan

I had a bit of trouble sleeping last night, so, I decided to surf the web for triathlon sites. Well, I stumbled across the Beach to Battleship Triathlon to be held in November 2009. This would be a perfect taper event between the Marine Corp Marathon and the JFK50. As fate would have it, registration opened today. This had to be a sign, from some divine power, that I need to do this race. Not to tempt fate, I signed up for the IM distance event this morning and have already made my travel arrangements and hotel reservations. 2009 is going to be a fun filled summer.

On the training front I, did an early morning 10 mile run followed by a spinning class before work. After work, I had a training session with the Personal Trainer and did the evening spinning class as well. I closed out the day with a half hour of pool drills. All considered it was a fairly good workout. This routine will either kill me or turn me into an IRONSNAIL!