Monday, August 28, 2006

I did it on the bike!

I've heard pro's do it. I wondered how it's done. I thought you would have to get into some sort of contorted position to be able to do it. Well, I had to do it during my 32 mile ride home from my brothers birthday party.
I was hoping to leave the party around 6:30 in the evening so that I would make it home before it got dark. It began to rain around 6:00 pm and I was hoping the rain would blow over before 6:30. It never did and it looked like it wasn't going to clear up soon either. While I was waiting for the rain to clear up I got involved playing table tennis. I was holding the table tennis championship but after 7:20 I had to throw in the towel and get on my bike.
The rain was coming down as a fine midst and the roads were wet but I was able to ride at a hard effort pace. After riding in the park around 8:30 in the evening I had the urge to pee. It was dark and with no street lamps to light my way I wanted to get the "H-E- double hockey sticks" out of the park and onto the lighted streets. I did not want to stop to relieve myself so I thought if people figured out a way to do it, so will I. It may not be the right way but it worked for me.
(note: sorry, women have a disadvantage to perform such a feat.)
While coasting at about 15 miles per hour
With my right foot on the pedal in the forward position
I bunched up my right biking short pant leg way up.
I pointed my aimer straight down and all was relieved.
Ah! With a smile!
I know I need more practice to perfect my new trick but that will come in time. If anyone has any pointers please feel free to share them.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Why the stork stands on one leg.

I have been learning the yoga exercises in this DVD and can manage to work through the routines but when it comes to standing like a Dork I mean a Stork on one leg performing the exercises with 5 lbs weights, boy oh boy, the pain.
After 2 minutes of standing on one leg like a stork I am ready to fall over. You think it's easy? Try it. Stand like the handsome couple in the picture without weights (try dumbbells later), arms out shoulder height, palm face out. Inhale with a 4 count and exhale with a 4 count. Then swing your left arm strainght in front at 90 degrees while inhale 4 count. Swing back to starting position while exhaling 4 count. Repeat with right hand. Then swing both arms to your center with 4 count. Hold and breathe in another 4 count then as exhale 4 count return arms back to starting pose.
My goal is to do this and the other challenging one legged routines in about 3 weeks. If I can stand on one leg for all the routines then I should me able to run a 3 hour marathon.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


This week is the beginning of week 9 in my 16 week training for the Columbus marathon.
The schedule I am following is from the Furman Institute of Running and is the FIRST to the Finish program.

The workouts are not ideal for the faint-hearted. Running pace is the crucial component that make up this program. The workout pace times are all calculated on your current best 5K race. There are 3 key run workouts which include: track intervals, track tempo runs, and the long run. The other three days of the week are for cross training, which for me is swimming and biking. A well deserved rest day for me has been on Mondays.

I am not sure what the hardest workout on the schedule is because some days I run on pace and some days I fall off pace. The falling off pace could have something to do with the hot & humid weather, we've had this summer, playing a mental and physical drain on me. As the days get cooler I hope to finish this training schedule in great shape and ready to tackle the marathon.

My cross training workouts are similar in intensity as in running. I bike 3 days a week with hill repeats, tempo or intervals, and the long ride. I swim 3 days a week with intervals in the pool and long open water steady swims.

I will be running my third 20 miler this Saturday. Nice to be half way there. It should be down hill from here.

Thank you for all your prayers and well wishes to my son serving in Iraq.

Sunday, August 20, 2006


On Saturday, I ran 18 miles in 2:10:34. It rained on and off but the last 3 miles, which is pretty much up hill, was in a torrential down pour. The rain was refreshing to run in.
On Sunday, we drove to Baltimore early in the morning to spend time with my son and to wish him Godspeed on his 3rd tour duty to Iraq. Again, we are hoping and praying for a safe journey and to return home soon.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Why wear shoes?

Here is a little movie clip from NIKE advertising the Free running shoe but 95% of the movie shows people performing athletic events without shoes. If so many people are doing things barefoot why would they or any one else need to spend $75.00 on shoes they can do without? Just run barefoot. But, if anyone uses these pups let me know what you think of them.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Greater Cleveland Triathlon

I had some concern for today's sprint distance triathlon. I wondered if my legs would be tired or sore from running yesterday's 13 miler at a 6:44 per mile pace. Normally, I would take the day before a race off but since I'm in the middle of training for the Columbus marathon I didn't want to miss a quality long run, so I ran it. I am glad to say my legs were not complaining in today's race.
The swim was in perfect 74 degree calm waters. I felt like I swam so fast and smooth that I should have past everyone, not. I probably had the slowest time but I felt good anyway.
I had no time to sit around and fiddle and fumble with things in transition. I threw my goggles and cap into my bag, put on sunglasses, helmet and race belt with race bib turn around my back. I ran while pushing my bike to the bike mounting line and hopped on with my feet on top of my already clipped in bike shoes. The trick was to get my feet into the shoes before I had to climb out of the park which was a few hundred feet ahead. My feet made it in before I began to climb up the hill. After about 4 miles into the ride I squeezed a gel into my mouth and washed it down with water. I felt like my legs were flying on the bike. I passed so many people that were not in my age group and I wondered where were all the people in my age group. Only one 55 year played cat and mouse with me. Maybe because his bike cost more than mine he got away from me. I made sure my feet were out of my shoes and on top of them before we had to go back down the hill into the park.
The second transition was even faster. All I had to do was toss my helmet into my bag and slip my already tied running shoes on and go. I heard lots of good cheering from club members at the start of the run but the greatest cheering came from fellow CTC, track buddy, and blogger Elizabeth. Thanks Elizabeth, I don't know anyone that can out do you as a cheering and encouraging fan. I think that's why the first mile flew by. Again, I was looking for all the people in my age group, that did laps around me in the water, as I passed so many people on the run including overall 1st place female (YES!!)
Just to let you know I don't think I'm a meanie. I try to always give my best wishes and congratulations (probably more to the ladies) to all those that I pass. The people I pass become my strength.
I couldn't stick around for the award ceremony but I did notice on the preliminary results posting that I placed 10th overall and 3 rd in my age group. I guess since those 2 other guys got out of the water 5 minutes before me I didn't have a chance to catch them on the 15 mile bike ride or on the 5 K run. That's okay, I was happy my legs held out for a great triathlon race today!
Final results from the Race. The officials adjusted the times for people stopped by a train crossing. I went from 10th to 13th place and got beat by 1 woman, but still held 3rd place in my age group.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Grandson's first multisport event!

The start of the 8 year old boys and girls. Jeremiah, has the green goggles on.
Jeremiah, waiting for the sound of the horn to start. The other kids took off after they heard ready, set...
Jeremiah, had the fastest transition time of 24 seconds. Most kids were around a minute and half. We practiced transitions last night and it definitely paid off. This was suppose to be a kids triathlon but the bike portion got cut because of the park roads were closed due to flood water damage.
Coming into the finish area.

Watching other kids coming in for the finish. Jeremiah, had a great time and is looking forward to next years race. His sister who watched the whole thing thought she would like to do it next year. My son on the other hand is waiting for a relay race so that he can run and not have to swim or bike.

Hand stands in the water for fun!
Jeremiah finished 17th out of 32 total boys and girls in the 7 to 10 year olds. Oh, and five girls beat him. Final results can be view here

I ended up running my scheduled 13 mile run today even though I'll be racing a sprint triathlon tomorrow. I felt it more important to run than to skip it because of the race. I was able to run it at a 6:44 per mile pace and finished it in 1:27:38.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Umm, Smooothieees!

Today's power smoothie drink was:
about 1 cup (I don't measure) skim milk (we were out of soy milk),
about 1/4 cup Stonyfield Farm fat free french vanilla yogurt,
6 ice cubes,
6 frozen strawberries,
2 tablespoons whey protein powder,
about 1/2 cup cooked oats.
Put it all in a blender and mix for about 2 minutes.

I had this around 6:30 am with my son for our "morning ritual breakfast time". If I don't wake him for breakfast I get the long face from him. We have breakfast together but when he is done he goes back to bed. Normally, we eat some healthy cereal, plus I eat my "gotta have a banana" but I find I get hungry around 9:00 am. When we do smoothies my hunger is curved until 10 or 10:30 am.

Have a great weekend!

My grandson is doing his first triathlon this Saturday and I'll do one Sunday.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

A few Demotivators.

Friend: Papa Louie, how did your race go for you today?

Papa Louie: It went well, only 1 woman beat me. And she trains full time. So, what I can expect? I do have to admit when a woman beats me in a race it's a great motivator for me to race harder the next time so she doesn't beat me. Persistence will pay off, eventually. I hope.

I will not succumb to defeat all the time. I am a winner! I guess we need to keep telling ourselves this because one day victory will come to us! I hope.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

2nd 20 miler in the bank!

Today, I ran my second 20 mile training run for the Columbus Marathon. I began to run with my new Fuel Belt, that was graciously giving to me from fellow CTC member, DaisyDuc, but found the belt too loose around my waist and it had so much bounce and jiggle that I felt funny holding my jugs, so I handed it off to my wife as she drove past me in the car, while on her way to meet me at the 2.5 mile mark.

A comparison of the 2 runs.
The course was the same for both runs.
1st RUN:
Start - 2 weeks ago at 7:00 am
Weather - light rain, 65 degrees
Company - Brian
Fuel - water from fountains on the trail and 2 packs of gel.
Pace - 7:12 per mile average
Finish Time - 2:24:01

2nd RUN:
Start - 8:00 am
Weather - sunny, 78 degrees
Company - "she who must not be named", (my lovely wife) on her mountain bike, keeping pace with me for 15 miles. She met me at the 2.5 mile point which was past the 2 major hills.
Fuel - plenty of water, no gels
Pace - 7:28 per mile average
Finish Time - 2:29:25

I think my pace suffered today because it was a hotter day and no gels to eat. I have 3 more 20 mile runs to get acclimatized to the heat and figure out the nutrition aspect of running long before the race. I think I'll learn something along the way.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

No beating the HEAT! Yet.

No matter how long one has been running, no one can beat the heat when it comes to running in projected times and pace. I am learning this lesson even after 20 years of running.
Today's workout was a track run of 2 x 1200 meters and 4 x 800 meters with 2 minutes of rest between the all the sets.
I knew the temperatures would be rising throughout the day so I decided to take an early lunch break around 10 am and run to the track. Before I took off running I squeezed a jelly pack (raspberry Hammer Gel) in my mouth and washed it down with some water. After running for about a mile and half to the track I was dripping with sweat and feeling the heat.
The splits times were as follows:
Scheduled: Actual:
2 x 1200m @ 3:56 (1) 1200m 4:03
(2) 1200m 4:12

4 x 800m @ 2:31 (1) 800m 2:53
(2) 800m 2:53
(3) 800m 3:02
(4) 800m 2:57
As you can see the actual times do not match the scheduled times. After the first 800 I felt like bagging the workout and just run for an easy 6 miles. But, as it has been said, "If you want to run fast you've got to train fast," and even in various conditions like the scorching heat we had today.