Great Weather for the Weekend

The weekend is starting out to be a good one. My 1 hour run this morning was early before work and the weather was high 50’s and it was just great being out there and watching the sun come up. We are in for some mid 70’s in the afternoon all weekend which should make for some good cycling.

On my run I listened in to IM Talk and my HR started jumping with excitement as tri-season is fast approaching. Clearly I have high hopes for 2009, but hopes aside, I just love being out there and putting in the miles. IM Talk was all about their Epic Camp in New Zealand. For 2 weeks tri-junkies from serious age groupers to pros put in an insane amount of volume early in the season in New Zealand (They are in Summer). To hear their stories about 9 hour rides and 3000k open water swims gets you excited to take on the challenges of the season.

Beautiful weather also means time with the kids outdoors. Hannah has her girls run program fast approaching and we picked up some new shoes and clothes for her last weekend from Lukes Locker. I am sure she will be ready to run with me tomorrow. I also want to commend my friends at Lukes for taking such care with Hannah finding the right shoes. Hannah is only 9, and they worked with her as if she were toeing the line in Boston. I think every athlete dreams about owning a store like that some day. If you follow the blog and are new to running, don’t underestimate the importance of being fit in the right shoes. A store like Luke’s makes sure you are ready to run.

Parker should find out who his T-Ball coach is and what team he will be on this weekend. We have been throwing the ball at night and he has really improved the past few months. I look forward to his season and some more time tomorrow playing catch.

Great weather also means thinking about gardening! Thus, I am going to the Home and Garden show with Shani on Saturday. I am sure she will find some awesome ideas for our house. She had the front of the house painted this week and it looks beautiful. I did not think it needed it, but I was wrong. Always listen to a woman when aesthetics and beauty come into play. As men, we have no clue. Don’t fight it, just admit it.

Finally, I am grateful that I have a good job during these tough times. Tough times will mean doing things a bit different and it will get difficult as our economy changes from one of debt driven exuberance to conservative economics. All of these are changes for the better. I am also thankful that sport helps you prepare for so many life experiences. In Ironman, you have some great moments and some difficult ones in racing and in training. It is what you do during difficult times that make you stronger and better. Work is no different.

Break out the sunscreen because we will need it “down here” in Houston this weekend.

Good Training,

Partying with 9 Year Olds

My daughter had her 9th birthday party on Friday night. I wrote how they were doing a scavenger hunt around the neighborhood. This was Shani’s idea and I have to report that it was a huge success.

I never doubt my wife’s ability to connect with kids. She is a great pre-school teacher for a reason.

The girls loved the party and it ended with a dance off to Taylor Swift. As you get older, “partying” has a whole new meaning.


The Bike

Well,  I got  the TT bike out last night and put it on the trainer.  I was all excited, put the power meter on,  got my new shorts on and was ready to crank out a few hundred watts….not.

I lasted for a whopping 25 minutes before my thighs were burning and my wattage was struggling to get over 160.
Today however was a different story.  I was able to do the triple!  I had a 45 minute run and a swim followed up with a ride after work.  I actually felt great during all 3.  
I had no soreness in the legs from the marathon which is a good sign.  This ride had much better wattage than expected (thanks to trying to keep up with Michelle).  
The hardest part for me to train is the bike.  I have limited time and with travel,  that makes the bike even more difficult.  Thus with a layoff like I have had from biking,  it will take me a lot longer to get back to form than with running or swimming.
I plan on another easy run early tomorrow.  No rides tomorrow night, because we have a T-Ball clinic for Parker and Hannah’s 9th birthday party.  
Shani has a big scavenger hunt planned that will be a lot of fun.  My wife is so creative!  I feel she sets the standard that most mom’s should be judged against.   I am always amazed with the stuff she comes up with and the proof will show tomorrow night when you see how much fun the girls have at the party.
Sunday should be our first bike ride in quite a while.   I can’t wait to get back out there and log some miles on the bike.

Great Marathons!

Yesterday was a great day all around on the course of the Houston Marathon.
My friends Mike Huffine and Jody Gaddy both completed the marathon. Jody ran a PR breaking 4 hours with a 3:57 and Mike Huffine had an incredible first time marathon with a time of 3:47.33. Mike Huffine has done this all while dropping 50 lbs over the past 18 months. No doubt Mike will be heading to Boston soon. I have him down for a 3:19 on his 40th. Now that Jody is under 4 hours, he too was checking his calender for a Boston Qualifier.

In the Half Marathon, Mike Young had a huge PR with a time of 1:41, shattering the 2 hour barrier. He no longer has that monkey on his back. Also my training partner and friend Michelle LeBlanc ran a stunning 1:23 in the 1/2 marathon. I saw her out there at the turn and she was flying.

For me, I could not be happier. I had this monkey on my back from not qualifying for Boston back in 2002. I trained hard that year and tried, but fell apart at Mile 17 and ended up running a 3:22. Not this year baby, with the support of my family at mile 18 (I always race better when they are out there) and with the help of my coach, Dana Lyons and the support of countless other people, I ran a 3:07! That shattered my last time of 3:22 and gives me a Boston Qualifying time for both the 30 – 34 & 35 – 39 age groups. Who knows, maybe a trip on Patriots Day in 2010. What a great way to start the 2009 race season!

Congratulations to everyone that ran yesterday.

Lastly, I have to recognize my good friend Richard Kane for his awesome run at the Angel Island 25K in San Francisco, CA. He is now coached by one of the Legends in Triathlon Mike Pigg. Richard ran a 2:14 on a extremely hilly and sometimes mountainous trail. Richard is seen here with his new coach, Mike Pigg.

Shani Returns

Shani returned from Orlando today to my delight. Glad to have mom back in the house. We did our part to be sure the house was cleaned, kids laundry was done, and the floors vacuumed. Shani greeted the kids and they went right back out to play with friends.

Even though she was out this morning, I still managed to get a run in with my neighbor Jody Gaddy. Laura Gaddy watched the kids so we could head out for our last long run before next weekends marathon. I have Jody pegged to run a 3:40. That will be a big PR for him. He is running really well.

Jody and Laura also invited me and the kids out to dinner last night to Bucca Di Beppo for a little pasta. We had a nice time and enjoyed a great meal.

The last long run felt fine, I just kept it under my aerobic zone and averaged about 144 bpm. I was surprised how sore I felt this afternoon, but oh well, nothing you can do about it now. I do take our Wobenzym product all the time to help with the soreness and by the time I started writing this, most of it went away. It is mostly my calves that hurt and have the lingering pain after runs. I wonder if it is the Newton shoes at times, but my calves hurt in just about anything I run in.

Now that Shani is back, I have the feet up and watching a little playoff football. San Diego just scored the first touchdown in what appears to be some really cold and snowy weather in Pittsburgh. Hard to complain about our clear and 40 degrees that we ran in this morning here in Houston.

I have another busy week with work coming up with our sales meeting right around the corner and us launching our new CRM on Demand software. I also plan a trip to Chicago on Wednesday to see one of our best clients. That means Wednesday is definitely an off day.

Good Training,

Dad is in Charge – 2

I am still in charge! Hannah has changed her mood from a teenager back to an 8 year old. I got them off to school with no problems on Friday and found our morning to be quite pleasant. I understand why she gets so upset with some of the girls on our street. I hope she learns to deal with it soon as it is all part of growing up.

Since I was working, our neighbor’s the Paff’s picked them up and rode them home. That really helped me out since I was doing reviews with my sales team on the phone every hour.

Last night, Jody Gaddy came over and we shared some pizza and watched the Tivo copy of the IM from 08. It is amazing how fast Craig Alexander was running during the marathon. I read a blog post somewhere that he dropped down some sub 6 minute miles during the pass on Llanos. To do that after riding your bike 112 is awesome.

Today is Saturday and I have not been able to work out yet. Go read my other post Dad is in Charge as to why I have not worked out. I have found myself on the couch and in my office helping “Mi-Mi” get her new macbook up to speed. The coolest part about the macbook is the ability to use I-Chat and share a screen. I am controlling her macbook from here and I am able to move the files around that I need to move.

I will make today an off day and get out tomorrow afternoon when Shani gets home and do my run. During a taper, you can do too much, but not too little.

I did manage to get a run in yesterday when I took the kids to school. Instead of riding, I ran then did a short loop back to the house. I picked up the pace to add in some intensity.

Shani comes back from Orlando tomorrow. I can’t wait.

Dad is in Charge

Shani has had to head back to Orlando to be with her mom.  That has left my two adorable angels here with me.  Here is what I have learned,  I am only able to train because my wife is raising my children!

This morning was a disaster trying to get them to school.  I do well with early morning runs, not getting folders ready, dealing with the drama from an 8 year old, making breakfast and being sure my son decides to wear shoes to school.  Don’t get me wrong,  the job was done and off they went.   However,  there is no way I could train,  keep a job and do that on a daily basis. I know many athletes that do and my level of respect just increased even more.
For those that are married and enjoy an endurance hobby like me,  don’t forget the real reason we even get to do this silly sport.  That reason being our supportive spouse.  I love mine more every day and can’t wait till she gets back from Florida.
I hope to get a quick run in tomorrow during lunch to keep the legs moving for the marathon. Good thing it is taper time.

Home Office / More Cruise Intervals

It has been a few days since my last post,  mainly because nothing monumental has occurred-with my training.  

The big news around here is the investment in my home office.  I am fortunate to be able to work from home when I am not traveling so having a place to work is important.  For the past 7 years, I have been working on a desk that is a piece of crap purchased for $80.00 in 1998 from IKEA,  a left over kitchen table,  two old book cases $45.00 from IKEA topped off with junk laying all over the floor.  Well, Shani suggested I stop being so cheap and we went back to IKEA on Monday night.  Wow has that place changed.  We found an awesome workstation,  some new book shelves that are huge and an awesome new filing cabinet.  

The hard part was fitting all of it in the mini-van,  but we managed.  Like every other obsessive compulsive triathlete,  I was determined to put the stuff together when we got home.  We managed to get the desk and the bookshelves thrown together and got the old junk moved out of the room.  The only problem was it was close to midnight when we finally went to bed.  Now back to training.

I was supposed to do 7 x 1 mile at 20 seconds faster than marathon pace on Tuesday.  Because I was too excited about fixing up the office,  I only did a 40 minute run.  I will be heading out the door this morning and doing the intervals.  My legs felt good yesterday so hopefully today will be the same.

My diet however has lacked.  The holidays are a killer.  I read all the articles about snacking before parties,  alcohol moderation,  blah,  blah, blah.  Well,  I have enjoyed every moment with my family this holiday season including some nice meals at Rico’s for lunch and some good wine with Shani.  Kona is still a long way away.  Looks like I have a good New Year Resolution for myself to get back to healthy eating.

Early Run and a Texans Game

I got up early for a 1.5 hour run as this week was an off week, so I did not have to shuffle around for 3 hours this morning. The run felt fine, but I still feel that my fitness is lacking for this marathon. The weather turned cooler yesterday right during my recovery ride so the run this morning was in the low 40’s with some rain. Much more seasonal than the balmy 74 degrees on Friday. I did a mile at my aerobic max pace and was at 7:40 per mile. I am normally around 7:20 so my aerobic fitness is nowhere near it was prior to Wisconsin. I guess this is fine since I am not trying to peak until October.

After the run, Parker and I received some complimentary tickets from the Kiniffic’s and headed to our first Texan’s game. Parker loved it and we had a great time. Parker had an entire bag of cotton candy and a few cokes. Nothing like a sugar diet during a football game. Of course we were playing the Chicago Bears. What a surprise that bunch of drunk Bear fans would start a fight a few seats over from us. The good thing was Houston’s finest had them hauled out of there pretty quick. The Texan’s had nothing to play for and still managed to whip the Bears. Maybe next year the Texans can make the playoffs and give Houston some postseason excitement for the first time in quite a while.

Saturday is an Off Day

Today is an off day for my marathon training. It is hard to set here though with the weather so warm here in Houston.

Yesterday’s run was crazy with the temperature at 72 degrees at 6:30 in the morning with 100% humidity. It felt like a summertime run while trying to do the intervals.

I have found a large retention pond that is exactly 1 mile around and it has dirt which makes it a bit easier on the legs. I ran down to to the pond and did 3 x 1 mile intervals on the way down and did 5 around the pond when I got there. I met up with my friend Mike Young he did a few loops with me. One of those loops, Mike held 7:00 pace which he was very pleased with. Mike recently completed IM AZ back in April and had a great race season in 2008. He plans on doing the Houston 1/2 marathon.

The intervals went ok despite the heat with all of them at goal pace or faster of 6:50 per mile. On the last two, our local pro Michelle Leblanc showed up and ran them with me. She can fly. Michelle is one of the fastest female cyclist alive and can also light up the run. I do a lot of training with her because she really pushes me since I am like every other male athlete not wanting to lose to girls! However, she often leaves me in the dust as to remind me who the boss is while we train.

I finished the day up with a bike ride with my daughter on her new mountain bike from Santa. She loves cruising the trails and shifting the gears. She hit the mud pretty hard yesterday and had her first real tasted of getting dirty on the bike. Now my problem is that I don’t have a mountain bike myself. I knew it would not take long before I found some other piece of equipment I just have to have. Time to hit E-Bay!