Guilty Swim

As I woke up this morning I was not quite sure what the day was going to hold. I was feeling pretty good after a long nights rest so I packed my bag with my running and swimming gear. You just never know what you will need or when you will need it.

I sat through work wondering what I was going to do for my workout. I know many triathletes have detailed training plans that they follow religiously, but at this point I have not taken those steps. I completely understand the importance and soon enough I will bit the bullet and hire a trainer. I have talked with multiple people and all they can do is praise the support and structure having a trainer provides.

As I was on my way home I decided to head to the gym. Since I was a big slacker yesterday and skipped out on the swim I decided it was time to make it up. After a quick call to Greg and Natalie to write down yesterday’s workout I hit the pool. The workout was a tough 3,500 meters swim with ladders.

Once again, going to the pool in the middle of the evening is NOT a good idea. This was the picture I took shortly after arriving (just kidding but it sure felt like that). After standing on the edge waiting for the three women standing in the lap lane to move, I had to just jump in and swim in the middle with all the kids. There was some lady playing fetch with a few kids and would deliberately cross right in front of my path. Eventually she left and the aerobics class surged into the pool. I had been trying to get over into the lap lane but I really need to finish my set and was dodging water dumbbells. Ohh boy was it exciting, these damn people think they own the pool.

Finally the three ladies that were in the lap lane shuffled on over to the aerobics side and I thought I would finally be able to get in a good set. Unfortunately I was not the only one needing the lap lane. There were two very nice but slow ladies who worked with me to make sure we could all get our workout in. Why can’t everyone be so nice.

The workout was extremely tough. All I could think about was the WTF faces I received yesteday and how that can't happen again:) I was pretty shot after the second ladder but had about 1600 meters to go. I finished strong and even threw in a few flip turns during the workout. They were definitely not pretty but it was sure interesting try to flip when you can hardly breathe.


Young and Dumb

After a long night of being young and dumb I rolled over to look at my clock: 8:05. Shit, I am supposed to be in the pool right now getting warmed up for the Sunday swim. I knew I was going to hear it. As you can see from the photo, this is the WTF face you get when you don't show up.
I was fortunate to be invited to the post swim workout breakfast even though I didn’t swim. It was great to see everyone even though I felt like a complete (lazy)ass. I really take it to heart when I say I am going to be somewhere and then don’t hold up my end of the bargain. After a great breakfast at Twigs (huckleberry pancakes rock, even if you have to eat every last bit), I headed home. Somewhere in my morning stupor I agreed to join Jessi and Tiffany for a nice 1.5 hour trainer ride. I am pretty sure this must have occurred right after eating my awesome pancakes because this would have never happened if I wasn't on a sugar high. I am looking pretty tired. Oye.
When I got home I decided it would be a good idea to take a quick nap before the ride. It was nice to actually feel the comfort of my bed (since I can’t remember how it felt last night). When the alarm went of about 45 minutes later the last thing I wanted to do was climb out of bed. All I could think about was that I wouldn’t let them down twice in one day. Pulling myself out of bed I loaded up the car and headed to Jessi’s.
It was a fairly good workout. It was definitely a tough one and I would probably have wasted the entire day if I didn’t schedule it before I left breakfast. I really rely on Tri-Fusionites to help get me motivated on the days when all I want to do is absolutely nothing. We had a great time but you could definitely tell on everyone’s faces that they were glad it was over.

After I got home for the second time, I ate some dinner and pretty much hit the sack. Today marked the first time this year I went to sleep before it got dark. This will occur many times, especially with the morning training, but it is always strange.


Snake River Triathlon- Part Bike/Run

So when you go to bed before a race you want to make sure you get a nice deep sleep to help prepare you for the day ahead. This is way easier said then done. After laying on the awesome bed for 5 minutes at Motel 6 I knew I was in for a long one. The blankets sucked and don’t even get me started on the dang pillow (if it can even be called that). I had one of the worst nights of sleep I can remember. I looked at the clock for the first time around 3:00 am and then every half hour until 6:00 am when I finally got out of bed. On any normal race day this would be just about perfect but not when the race starts at 10:00. So after pulling the curtain back expecting to see about 3 inches of fresh powder, to my surprise the ground was clear and the weather looked pretty good.

Since this was a Saturday my roommates took the opportunity to sleep in. I headed over to the store and then walked around the motel trying to find some Tri-Fusionites in the same sleepless predicament as me. After waiting around for about an hour and a half my roommates finally rose from the sober sleeps and we started getting ready for the race. It is definitely interesting to see some people’s pre-race habitats vs. your own.

Finally 8:15 rolled around and we loaded up the gear and of course made our stop at Starbuck’s for some coffee. I am no longer drinking Starbucks but I still laugh every time we pull up and leave. We headed up to the race site and started to unpack all the gear and started get it set up. The transition area was actually pretty nice and was pretty wide open which helps when coming in off the bike. It was great to sit around and talk with everyone. Some people were excited some were nervous but you could definitely see the smiles on everyone’s faces.
Since we had already done the swim portion last night there was no need to change into your bike gear. In this race everyone was already dressed with helmets, shoes, shoe covers and TWO watches (ok just me) and we all lined up in the order of our swim times. I have to admit it was kind of hard to sit and watch as 33 people run off in front of you as you watch the clock waiting for it to hit 7:52.

So off I go running through transition and jump onto my bike. Everything is going good and I even pass a few people before the top of the hill. I am not sure if this was legal but I am pretty sure one bike had training wheels. Damn kids who are fast swimmers :). The bike portion was pretty good. I felt pretty strong throughout the entire ride. The small snow storm was a nice added touch and even the 1975 flatbed that jumped out in front of me. I wasn’t close enough to use him for drafting but I think the exhaust gave me an extra little boost. I am thinking of marketing it as a HGH (Human Growth Hormone, for the non-baseball people), what do you think? I passed quite a few riders and was only passed by 4 people. All of which had really nice bikes and as I watched them pass, I think they probably totaled about $20K. I was ok watching those awesome pieces of engineered genius go flying by.

Earlier in the day I told my self that I was going to give it all I had on the run. I was going to push myself to the limit. When I jumped off the bike my legs felt pretty good. Usually I have to run about half a mile before they feel like they are under me. Today it was right off the bike; I am pretty excited about this. The first mile was pretty tough but I was able to pass I think 3 people. The run was an out and back which really helps to give you an idea on how far your competition is ahead of you. This also allows for you to cheer and high 5 your teammates as you pass each other.

I ran the first mile out in 7:00 minutes flat. I was hoping for a bit faster time but still pleased with the pace and how I felt. On the way back I was able to pass one more person. There was one girl in front of me that I just couldn’t track down. Supposedly she is come college athlete but I really wanted to run past her. In the end she beat me by 5 darn seconds but that is racing and that is why I look forward to the next one. I ran the last mile in 6:36 which I am extremely excited about. After the race we hung around and cheer the rest of the Tri-Fusionities to the finish. I was able to finish in 12th position and took 3rd in my age-group. I am happy with the results but not satisfied. I know there is a lot more work to do and I can’t wait to get started next week.
We all headed out for some great pizza and conversation afterwards. It was great to hear some of the race stories and how everyone did. Before Greg, Nat and I got back on the road we headed over to get some ice cream and hit the road. The drive back was pretty relaxing since we were all pretty worn down from the race.


Snake River Triathlon- Part Swim

Where to begin? The day at work could not get over fast enough. All I could think about was getting down to Lewiston for the race. This was the first real race of 2008. I have put a lot of time and effort into my winter training and I wanted to see if it has all paid off.

The Snake River Triathlon is a very unique race. Since it is held so early in the year the swim is inside at the pool and the bike and run our outside. To even mix it up even more the swim in on Friday night and the bike and run are on Saturday morning. It was nice to have them spilt up so you can push yourself on the swim and have a nice break before the other two disciplines.

So after sitting at my desk thinking about the race, 2:30 finally came around. I was heading over to the Gallagher’s so we could carpool down. Thanks Nat and Greg for allowing me to ride with you. After we loaded up the truck with gear and bikes we were heading south. This wouldn’t have been an official Tri-Fusion road trip without the mandatory stop at Starbuck’s. I wonder how they stayed in business before Tri-Fusion.
Since this is such an early race the weather can still be a huge factor. At the Workout with the Clock I had to stick socks over my shoes to help keep my toes warm during the ride. After talking with Greg and Natalie we made a stop at REI to grab some shoe covers. You wouldn’t think it but those are one of the greatest inventions of all time. We all three grabbed our covers and heading off to Lewiston. Not long after we hit the road the snow started to come down. This is every triathletes dream to go and race in the snow. We were so pumped we could barely hold in the four letter words of excitement.
Once we finally made it down to Lewiston we headed to the aquatic center to get ready for the 500m swim. I had previously done a few time trials and was around 8:45. I wasn’t really ecstatic about this time but you have to start somewhere. It was great watching all the Tri-Fusionites swimming. In a normal triathlon you all swim together and if you tried to cheer each other on you would probably end up swallowing half the lake. It was awesome to see how each person pushed themselves like never before.
My swim was pretty good. I didn’t want to take off to fast because during my trials I would get pretty tired near the end. I was just focusing on good long strokes and keeping good form. I have a huge problem of forgetting what number I was one and I would like to thank Jessi for yelling out 100m left. This allowed me to push myself even harder and I finished with a time of 7:52. As I look back I think I could have gone a few seconds faster but I was definitely happy for breaking 8 minutes. It would have probably been a whole lot easier if I was doing flip turns. I am not sure why it looks like I am getting out of the pool during my swim.
After the swim portion we all headed out to Tomato Bros. for some good food and great company. We had a great time talking about our racing experiences and how excited everyone was for the first race of the season. I would like to tell Emma that next time she won't be so lucky in Tic-Tac-Toe, she beat me 4 times in a row. After dinner we headed up to our rooms for what was suppose to be a good night of rest.


The Sweet 16

Today was a pretty up and down day. I woke up this morning extremely excited because the Cougars were in the Sweet 16 for the first time in history. The game was at 4:30 so I was going to get to leave work a bit early. I had reserved a table at a local food and beverage establishment and we were going to cheer the Cougs to victory. You know the saying, “You can’t hit the broad side of a barn”, that was the Cougs shooting effort tonight. They were never able to get on any role and when you are playing the best team in the country, you need to be making your shots. Long sad story short, we did not win the game. But they did make it to the Sweet 16 only two years after being last in the Pac 10 so it really was a successful season. It was great to see many of the Cougars come out of the woodwork and show their support. If I have learned anything during my time at WSU, it is to cherish moments like this because it can be gone in a flash.
After the game I headed north to the Gallagher’s for our weekly headlamp run. Since headlamps are no longer needed I will now refer to them as the TPR (Thursday Pizza Run). Since a good portion of us were heading down to Lewiston the weekend the group decided to turn it into a short brick workout. Brick workouts consist of doing two of the three triathlon events back to back.

Since I had to watch the game I did not make in time for the bike workout but it was good to join everyone for the run. I did the first loop with Natalie, Tia and Tiffany. This was more of a recovery run so the pace was nice and easy. It was a good time to talk about the upcoming race. After I finished with them, Roger and Jessi were heading out for their loop and since I missed the bike workout I decided to join them and actually felt like I did something for the day.
Afterwards we all sat around and had some pretty interesting conversations and talked about the race in Lewiston. I am definitely excited to get down there and race.


Holy Butterfly!!

So I was able to get up nice and early this morning. It amazes me how easy it is for me to get out of bed when I have someone relying on me. Yesterday my coworker Kryssie and I decided to meet at the pool at 6:15 am. She first asked me when I would like to meet and 5:00 am did not work for her, so I had to let her pick the time. I was able to get a quick rotator cuff workout in before she showed up and then we hit the pool.

Once we warmed up I had her look at my stroke and give me a few tips. She echoed what I have heard time after time, REACH. I really need to make sure that I stretch out my body on each stroke. I have a problem of short arming my stroke which increases drag and your efficiency in the water.

After a few more laps at the freestyle stroke she had this brilliant idea of teaching me the butterfly. A few weeks ago I watched my fellow Tri-Fusionites attempt the butterfly after one of our workout sessions. It was pretty fun watching them and I could only image what I was going to look like, this was going to be my first attempt. So she started out trying to explain how you are supposed to do a little dolphin kick followed by a big dolphin kick. Sounds pretty simple right? WRONG!! I have never been a very flexible person so it took me quite some time to figure out how your legs are suppose to work. I have a pretty strong upper body but really wanted to make sure that I didn't rely on my arm strength to do this stroke. After a few attempts she actually gave me a compliment but I think it was out of pity.

After causing half of the water to splash out of the pool in my futile attempts at mastering the butterfly we switched to the breaststroke. I have done the breaststroke a few times and thought I knew what I was doing, apparently not. After a few tips I think I figured it out. Kryssie even made a comment on how fast I picked up the sequence of kicking, pulling and gliding :). Watch out US Olympic team you may have some competition.

After splashing around like a beached whale trying to figure out these new swim strokes, we headed down to the end of the pool to work on flip turns. If you have been reading my posts, I have been trying to figure these out for a few weeks now and I am slowly making progress. Kryssie was able to give a few great tips and hopefully in the near future I can bust these out in a Sunday swim. OK maybe not but someday it may happen. Thanks Kryssie for all the help and hopefully I can use these new swim strokes to help increase my overall water fitness.


No Training Today

Today was a day of rest. I am going to work on trying to find some other triathlon information to post on the days I do not train but as of now I don’t have anything. Today was a pretty long day at work and my mind was pretty shot. I felt pretty lazy and was not near as productive as I would have liked. I was able to talk my coworker into getting into the pool with me. She was a swimmer from about age 9 through high school so I am pretty excited about any little tips or techniques she can show me. I will let you know how it goes.


Easter Sunday started out like the last few Sunday’s with a swim at the Oz. As Tim and I looked at the workout board we both thought it would be easier that the last couple weekends. The distance was a bit longer but it definitely looked doable. The swim started out pretty strong and I was able to keep up in Lane A for the firsts few sets. When we got to the 250m sets, I started to fall behind. I had to sit out the final 50m of each of the first 4 reps leaving me 200 meters behind the rest of the group. The final ten 100m reps were pretty good. I could feel myself getting a bit stronger near the end but I could definitely tell this was a long swim. That is me in the back of the middle lane, this lane is sure fast.
After finishing the 3,750m workout, I had to finish with a 200m swim to complete the entire workout. I actually did four flipturns at one end of each 25m and the first three were pretty good, the forth was not pretty. Tim, Jessi and I stayed after for a bit to get these darn turns down. It is pretty exciting to see how each person is improving but after a few submarine breaches we definitely have some more work to do. These are a few of the guys I have to try and keep up with during the workout. I know someday it may happen but I sure have a lot of work to do. After swim I headed out to my parents to hang out. We had a bunch of family and friends out for some food, Easter egg hunt and just mingling. It was really good to see some of the family. I came home pretty early and was in bed for a nap around 5:00 pm. I considered it a nap because I woke up around 8:00 pm for half an hour but was back to bed for the night. It was kind of nice to get the extra sleep. Maybe it will help take me through the week. This has to be my most productive week of working out I have ever had. It is exciting to see the change.


Workout With the Clock- 2008

Today was the 2nd annual workout with the clock. This was my first appearance and it was a great time. The morning started out showing up around 7:30 am for an 8 o’clock start. Well we didn’t start right at 8 but that was ok because the morning was pretty cold. After we let the sun come out for a few minutes we started the race.
The race consisted of a 2-mile run, 12-mile bike, 2-mile run. The first run started out pretty good and the pace felt pretty fast. I was hoping to keep Roger and Eric somewhere in sight but that was not going to happen. They were off like rockets and it was up to the rest of us to chase them down. The first two miles were at 13:53, sub 7 splits, which is one of my fastest times to date.

For my first transition, even though it wasn’t from the swim, it still went pretty smooth. I have recently purchased new cycling shoes and it was good to try and put them on as fast as I could. I followed Traci into T1 and was surprised how fast of a runner she was. I was forth into T1 and forth out with Tim Swanson and Traci switching places. After the first 2-miles we headed out on the bikes.
Out on the bike Jessi, Tim and I joined up to try and catch the leaders. I am pretty sure Jessi was wishing she didn’t have to pull my ass the entire way but I have to thank her. This was definitely not how a race would go but you race the rules and it was nice to ride with some very fast people. We did a good job of chasing down Eric but there was no way we were going to catch Roger. After we caught Eric the four of us raced back to the starting line getting ready for the next 2-mile run.

The second transition, T2, was not near as smooth as the first. I forgot to get out of my shoes on the bike and almost forgot to unclip from my pedals. After almost coming to a stop I unclipped and raced to my tree or staging area. Not your normal staging area but it worked for this day. The first mile was pretty good running about 20 yards behind Tim. At the turn-around I decided it was time to turn up the speed and see if all this training was paying off. I caught Tim and finished the second 2 miles in 13:55, my second set of two miles with sub 7 minutes splits.
I was pretty excited about the times. It is funny how you train so hard to get faster and faster but when it comes to racing you forget the simply things like your transitions. I know I need to keep working on my fitness but it was good to get out and race.

My afternoon was spent at my parent’s house visiting family in town for Easter and watching the Cougars take on Notre Dame. This was the Cougs second round game in the NCAA tourney. The Cougs have not won two games in the tournament since 1941. Through some tough defense they were able to keep their high powered offense guessing all game and pulled out the victory 61-41. Off to the Sweet 16. How sweet it is!!


What!!! Really!!!

Holy Crap!!! I was able to get up and make it to the gym by 5:05. Yes that is in the morning, is the sleeping slump over? I highly doubt it but you wow did it feel good to get to work and know that I was done with my workout.

I needed a little help from a quick phone call, thanks Sheena, but I did get out of bed and hit the pool. Sheena and I spent about 45 minutes in the pool before the spin class. I showed her a few of the drills I have picked up and then we swam a 500m to end the pool session. I think I swam it in 7:45 but it could have been 8:45. I didn't have my watch and the big pool clock was kind of hard to read. Either way it felt pretty good and I was definitely not as tired as I was during my last 500m time trial. We are both heading down to Lewiston along with about 20 other Trifusionites for a great little triathlon next weekend.

After getting out of the pool I thought it would be ok to join a few of my winter workout mates in a spin class. I haven't been for a few weeks since I have been getting outside on the bike. Overall the class felt pretty good and I think my fitness level is at a good stage for this time of year. Still lots of work to do but I am heading in the right direction.


Two Great Events

Today was a great day. I was able to get the best of both worlds. The Cougs played at 4:30 this afternoon so I was able to leave work a bit early to get over to Fizzie’s in time to watch the game. I met a few friends and we enjoyed a great first round victory over Winthrop. The game was awesome and we held the Eagles to just 11 second half points. Overall it was a good time as long as you don’t get me started on the service.
After the game I headed out to the Gallagher’s house for the HLR (Headlamp Run), except for this time no headlamps were needed. It was nice to get out and run during the sunset. This was the first HLR we have had in quite awhile and it was good to see everyone and meet a few new runners. Tonight I ran with Natalie, thanks Nat. It was a good pace and we added a new little loop to reach 10K. So far this week I am up to 14 miles, the most I have ran in one week for a very long time. I felt a bit sore afterwards but by the end of the night I was good to go.
We had some great food and company after the run. I stayed after for a bit to discuss the trip to Boise with Greg and Natalie. Greg and I are both racing in the Boise 70.3 on June 1st so there is planning to do with hotels and race day preparations. This is the first race I have flown to and I am trying to figure out how to get my bike down there and hope that I don’t forget anything else. It should be a great trip and one of the races I have been training for all winter long.


Rest Day

Today was the first rest day since last Friday. My training has been rejuvenated lately and I am feeling pretty good. I know these days are important even though you feel guilty. I would have probably squeezed in a small workout but are two reasons I didn't train today:

1) There still has been no progress getting out of bed before 6:30 am.

2) We had our monthly Tri-Fusion meeting.

It was really great to see all the familiar and not-so-familiar faces and eat some great grub. Thanks Twigs for providing an awesome buffet. Who new fried egg-plant patties (I first thought they were fish) could be so good. But when you live by yourself and cooking full meals is a pain in the ass, a catered buffet is a sight for sore eyes.

I would like to say how great the people of Tri-Fusion are and how they keep such positive attitudes towards life.


Ride and Swim

This morning I packed up all my riding gear cause I thought there might be a group ride on the northside. I couldn't remember if it was Tues/Wed or Wed/Thurs. Well there was no scheduled ride today so after work I decided to head out on my own. After my long run yesterday I just wanted to make sure that I still had my legs under me. I guess you could call it a recovery ride. The recovery ride idea is a rather new concept to me. I used to think of recovery as laying on the couch after a long workout and watching TV. I have recently realized the importance and keeping your muscles stretched and moving even it you are sore from the next day. I had a nice 10 mile ride out Highway 2 and back. It was a pretty quiet ride because I thought I left my Ipod at home (it was in another bag in my car, crap!) but that is how you have to race to it was good practice I guess.

After my ride I headed to the gym for a quick little swim. My shoulders were still sore from my long workout on Sunday but it was good to get back in the water. I worked on a few drills and still tried to do flipturns. My first two were pretty good then it was all down hill from there. I am pretty sure once I start to practice I think too much but I know eventually it will come around.

Another good day of working out down and looking forward to the next.


8-Mile Loop

Well I have all but abandoned the weekday morning workouts. It is just not happening at this time. So now I have to sit at work all day and think about how I haven't done my workout. Today was no different and since all I did yesterday was swim I decided to head out for a run when I got home. This was one of my first long runs in a few weeks and it felt good but not great. I could really tell that I need to do a lot more work.

The run started out pretty nice and my pace felt pretty good. I did a quick cadence check at about 3 miles and I was right on 90 steps per minute. I started to feel a bit tired about 4-5 miles but pushed on. At about mile 6 my stomach started to bother me. I think it had to do with the Chi tea yesterday at Starbucks but we will have to wait and see. I was able to hold my stomach together to finish the 8 mile loop.

Last time I ran the loop in 1:04 and had to push pretty hard for the last mile or so. This time was a bit slower at 1:08 but my legs were feeling pretty good for the last 1.5 miles and if it wasn't my for my stomach I think I would have been on the same pace as before. I am also sure I would have felt stronger but that is the way the human body works. There will be days when you feel 100% and days when you don't. As long as you can push through the hard days you get to look forward to that day when you feel awesome.


Good Ole Sunday

Well last night was one of the biggest party nights in Spokane with ALMOST everyone out at the bars drinking green beer having a good time. I didn't exactly stay home and do nothing but at about 11:30 pm I decided to call it a night. I had to get up and join the Sunday swim group. I have really enjoyed these swims because it pushe myself farther than I could if I were in the pool all by myself.

Once again I was able to get pass the front desk without paying. I am not sure when but my luck will eventually run out. I just hope that it happens after it is warm enough to swim outside in the local lakes. As the Tri-Fusion members filed into the pool it was quickly becoming apparent that Lane B had way to many people. So TEAM Superstar, aka Pheadra and I decided we would jump in at the end of Lane A. I was just glad Roger decided to take this day off which helped out in our transition. Pheadra and I were talking earlier in the week and decided our goal was to join Lane A in about a month and do our best to keep up. Well, if you ask me that was the fastest month I have ever lived through.

Pheadra and I were able to finish the entire 3500 meter swim and still had a tiny bit of energy to practice our flip turns. Everyone else seems to have picked them up pretty quick, me on the other hand is still struggling. I had a few ok turns but I really need to keep practicing. I would like to thank Jessi, Tiffany and Greg for all the tips and encouragement. Eventually we will all be doing flipturns like Flipper.

After the swim we all met at Starbucks and had some good conversation. I think that there is something in Chi Tea that does not agree with me and I think I may have had my last one. I don't look at this as a bad thing, just a way to save a few extra dollars each week.
When we all left I headed out to my folks place to check out the damage from the fire and build myself a small table to raise my monitor off my desk at work. It was good to see the parents and I was pretty excited about how the table looked. Here is a picture of the almost finished product.


Saturday Brick Workout

Today I tackled my first Greenbluff loop of the season. The weather hasn’t really been cooperating for the outdoor riding season and during the last few rides I have borrowed some shoe covers to help keep the toes warm. Well it was time to buy my own since they are pretty much a mandatory item for cycling up here in the northwest. I really can’t believe how much crap there is to buy for this sport. It’s not like you are only buying gear for one sport but three and there always seems to be something that I don’t have and really need. That's me trying to figure out my new toys.
So after taking forever to get ready and everyone seeming to wait for me, we were ready to go. We had a pretty large group as six of us headed out for a loop that included the following: From Wandermere Starbuck’s (of course), to Mead and out Peone Rd, up to the top of Greenbluff and down the back side, out to Highway 2, north about 10 minutes and back to Wandermere. It was a nice 43 mile ride.

So back to these shoe covers. I am not sure what it was but my feet turned into blocks of ice. I am pretty sure it was because my shoes were too tight but there was nothing I could do to warm them up. You would think after the 3 mile or so climb up Greenbluff your entire body would be warm. Well, it was all except for my feet. But I was able to make it back and all I could think about was pouring a hot cup of coffee on my toes. Isn’t that what you are supposed to do with a $5 cup of coffee from Starbucks.
The warm toes were going to have to wait as Jessi, Steve R, and I headed out for a 25 minute run. The first half was pretty pathetic as I could only feel my heals. The last half was better but the tingling feeling you get as your feet thaw is not very comfortable especially as you are running down the road. We made it though and I was kind of glad to hear that Jessi’s feet were in the same condition:)
I ended the day hanging out with a few friends for St. Patties Day. In the past I may have went downtown and braved the crazies out at the bars but this year we decided to take it easy. We all went over to my buddies place and chatted it up and had a few beers. It was a pretty relaxing evening and nice to avoid the bars and a typically out of control weekend. Plus I have to get up to make the sunday swim. Don't worry the kid is not mine, I just happen to be holding it when we decided to take the picture.


Cougar Basketball Friday

I know this blog is centered on my triathlons and training but today neither of those happened so I am going to write about another very important part of my life. Washington State Cougars. I am a diehard Coug and I bleed crimson. Tonight I headed up to Morty's on the south hill to watch the Cougars take on the Stanford Cardinal for the third time this season. We had lost the previous two, third times a charm right?

Yesterday I was suppose to head up and meet the same group to watch the Cougs take on the Ducks but was not able to make it, because of the many hours I spent cleaning my bike:) So over the course of last night's game they sent me a number of text messages and I thought I would post a few (thanks for the idea Jessi). I had a pretty good laugh:

1) Don't be lame! Come watch the game!

2) Come cheer and drink some beer!

3) Don't be dumb. Come get ya some.....Drinks!

4) Take a ride and come show your pride.

5) Get off the can and come be a Coug fan!

6) Quit stretching your legs we're tapping the keg!

7) Stop crying me a river and come ruin your liver!

8) I'm feeling so low that u did not show :-(

9) Quit being a phony come root for Tony!

I must admit that I was pretty bummed I didn't join them but I did listen to the game. To avoid the future onslaught of text messages and to hang with a few friends I went up and joined the crew. It was great to hang out with everyone even though we lost for the third friggen time. We are going to make the NCAA tourney for the second year in a row and we can root them on in the next game.


Thursday Bike Cleaning Session

A few weeks ago a fellow triathlete, Roger posted a blog about how to clean your bike after a dirty ride. There were all these techniques on how to start at the top and work your way down. Also to make sure you wipe it clean when you are down. Wait a minute is this a post about clean your bike or should you be paying to read this website? Well since I have been pretty busy (lazy) and haven’t had a chance to clean my bike I decide to give everyone else the poor man’s version of the “How to properly clean your bike” tutorial.

After my ride yesterday, Jessi said she was going to head out today for another 1 ½ hour ride. So I packed up my bike before I left for work and was all ready to go. I had a late meeting and was unable to join her, plus it was raining pretty good. That didn’t stop Jessi, of course. Hard core.
So since I neglected to clean my bike and my bike was on top of my car and I missed my ride time and it was raining outside, I decided to just head for home. Normally when it rains in Spokane that means my car gets a carwash. Well today I killed two birds with one stone. Not only did my car get washed but my bike received a much needed cleaning. After I got home all I had to do was wipe off the remaining dirt and it was good as new:)

Keep posted for more informative methods for taking care of your bikes.

Ohh yeah, the cougs played the Oregon Ducks today at the Pac 10 tourney and beat them. GO COUGS!


Wednesday Ride

Today I went on my first mid-week ride. In the morning I received an email from Jessi Thompson asking if I were up for a ride at 5:00 pm. I did not have my bike with me but the weather looked awesome and since I have been slacking a bit in the training department, I was excited about getting out on the road. So I left work a bit early and headed home to get my bike.

After arriving at the Thompson's house to meet before the ride, I was excited to hear that Roger and Tiffany were going to join us. I was feeling pretty good and knew Roger has been a bit under the weather so I thought maybe today was the day I could possibly keep up. So we took off and headed out towards Highway 2. And just like before when I think there is the slightest possibility that I can draft off of Roger and Jessi, they began to pull away. This was not after like 5 miles or even 10, but after maybe 2, those two are crazy.

So as they began to ride off into the sunset, I thought well I will just slow down for a second and ride with Tiffany. I had only recently met her and thought it would be a great time to get to know each other. As I turned around there was no Tiffany. Apparently while I was trying to keep up with the Thompson's for those 10 seconds, she missed one of the lights and decided to do her own ride so once again I was alone on the group rides. WooHoo.

If it were not for red lights I would have rode the entire ride completely alone. Fortunately for me but not her, Jessi missed one of the lights that Roger rode through and I was able to catch up. We rode the rest of the hour long ride together. It was actually a very informative ride where Jessi explained to me the importance of "power" while you are pedaling. I am by no means an expert but the amount of power you exert during each pedal should be about the same whether you are ride uphill or on flat ground. I definitely have not been doing this right and was shocked to see how slow you should really go when going uphill.

I am thankful for all the information everyone is willing to share to help each of us reach our highest potential. I can definitely say without everyone in Tri-Fusion I would not be where I am today.

Thank You, Everyone


Quiet Little Swim

So I finally figured out why it is impossible for me to get up in the mornings and do my workouts. The friggen day light savings has me all screwed up. Even before Sunday it was all I could do to get out of bed before 5 am. Now that 5 am is actually coming at 4 am, I just can't seem to adjust. For the second straight day of not going to the gym in the morning and being to busy to workout during my lunch, I sat at my house after dinner feeling pretty crappy. It was pushing 8:30 pm and I had yet to workout. I was full of a big dinner and really didn't know what to do with myself. If you want to picture the scene, remember Al Bundy and the way he sits on the couch, all except for the hand-down-the-pants bit.

So I started to read some of my fellow triathletes’ blogs and realized how dedicated they were in their training. On days when one did their first brick workout and another was taking care of a sick husband, raising a 4 year-old and working her job, while at the same time still finding time to get her training in. I have a pretty simple life and realize that I really can’t come up with good excuse to not get my workout in.
So off to the gym I go. I decided I was going to get my swim in no matter the time of day. As I walk into the pool room I quickly realized that it was family hour. There are about a dozen little ones swimming, screaming and playing all around the pool. The nice thing about Global Fitness is that there is always a dedicated lane for lap swimmers. The only problem tonight was that a young girl was trying (playing) to swim laps and I really didn't want to invade in her space. So I was looking around and deciding if it was worth even trying to swim in the main part of the pool. I think it would have been very similar to a race experience by bouncing of bodies but I knew the parents would not have been happy if I "accidentally" punched one of their kids while taking my stroke. Just kidding I wouldn't hit a kid.

So I took my time to get all dressed down and rinsed off, and fortunately the nice father of the girl in the lap lane realized my predicament. He asked his daughter to get out of the lane and after a brief "why" he said cause I told you so:) It was awfully nice of him since I would have had to wait about 20 minutes for the kids to leave. The picture above is when I am the only one left in the pool room.

I decided to night I would work on drills and technique. After swimming a few laps of various drills it was time to work on my flip turns. At this point all the kids were out of the pool and it was just me and the regular old men that are there every single evening I come in. When you are really old, is there not some law you need to be in bed by like 7:00:) I can say I gave those damn flip turns a 100% and yet I really didn’t have much to show for it. I will continue to work on them but should probably seek some more advice. I finished my swim with a nice 500 meter time trial with a time of 8:40. I know this is definitely not record breaking pace but I will build on it and improve in time for the Snake River Triathlon at the end of the month.


Live Each Day

Today I was pretty lazy as I struggled to get out of bed this morning. I have recently stopped attending the spin workouts on my Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings. I really feel they helped get me in better shape throughout the winter but now that the weather is changing I would rather get out on my bike. The problem being is that I have been slacking on the bike rides too. Right now it is still a bit too chilly to ride in the mornings before work and now that the landscaping season is picking up, I have been really busy with my clients at work and haven’t been able to ride in the mornings. I really need to quite giving myself reasons to not workout and remind myself of all the reasons I want to workout. It was a long and tough winter but now with the nicer weather it is time to get going.

I want to make a quick note to my parent's neighbors. They have lived next to my parents for over 12 years and this last weekend they lost their house because of a fire. Some of you may have heard it on the news, out in the 7-mile area. The latest update is that the house is a total lost, but the fast actions of the firefighters were able to stop the fire from spreading to their basement. Fortunately that is where they kept many of the personal belongings including years and years of photos.

Many of us take our day to day lives for granted and we worry about missing one workout here or there. Having something like this happen so close to home makes you truly realize what is really important in life. Enjoy the moments you have because things can change in the blink of an eye.


This morning started out very early. When I went to bed last night I set my alarm to make sure I would get up on time for the Sunday morning swim workouts. I recently got a new phone and somewhere around 2 am I heard a beep I hadn't heard before. Naturally I grabbed my phone and tried to open my eyes just enough to read it. After looking and the bright face of the phone, or the face of the sun I couldn’t tell which, I realized I had yet to set my clocks for day light savings. All I can say is thank you Super Phone for making sure I got up early and not miss the workout.
So I was off to the ATM to get money to pay for the workout, as described in my first Sunday swim blog, I am suppose to pay. The first ATM was out of service, since I was running a few minutes late and was wondering if I was going to be able to get to the pool in time. So off to the next bank, thank god this one was working and I was able to get the money. Last time I was able to use my charm to get around the front desk and I though why not this time.

As I was pulling up, I say Phaedra and Laura getting out of their cars. I was like this helps my chances. Walking through the front doors, trying to get into Mr. Smooth mode for the girls at the front desk, to my surprise the girls were not working. I was like this is NOT good. As the young man was distracted by Phaedra and Lauria (who conveniently couldn't find her little pass even though she didn't know it) allowed me to sneak by at Phaedra's insistence. Two for two now, hopefully my luck will continue.
Today was my second workout with the group and today a few of the elite Lane B swimmers decided to upgrade to Lane A. This allowed me to lead our lane for the entire workout. I was pretty stoked to lead and still finish the entire 3000 meter swim. Afterwards Jessi, Tim, Tiffany and I worked on our flip turns. I learned two things during this training session.
1- Practice is very important when it comes to flip turns, as seen in Jessi's improvement over mine.
2- Do not swim behind Jessi when she does her flip turns, just as Tim. Skin was broken and nails ripped off. OUCH.

All that wraps up the morning workout.

This afternoon I went on my second outdoor bike ride. I was really trying to get my stupid Ipod all set up so I had some tunes for the ride. A long frustrating story short, NO friggen music for the ride. Phaedra offered to sing, but I couldn't keep up with her, so no music for me.
We headed out seven mile, back to my old stomping grounds and out Coulee Height Rd. It is a really nice ride and could have been very pleasant. After making it about 20 miles from my house; Roger, Phaedra and I decided we would head back. After a brief conversation from Roger explaining how he was riding with only one lung and that we would all ride together back, we took off.
After about, ohh maybe 20 seconds, Roger and Phaedra started to pull away. All I could think about was how I would trade both of my so called good lungs for the one lung that was powering Roger. Well, after a few minutes of going through every option, none seemed to be feasible. About 25 miles into the ride, I started to get a few stomach pains. I was not sure if it was the pain of watching those two ride away from me like they had gas motors on their bike or something else. I felt like the movie Alien when the little creepy thing comes out of the stomach. The pain didn’t feel very good but if the alien did jump out of my stomach maybe it could help me peddle and catch up. No such luck. I was finally a few miles from home when I got a nice honk from a passer-by. It was Phaedra, she had been back so long that she was able load up her bike and start heading for home. Thanks for pouring it on :) It was great day for a ride with great people.



Today’s word is perseverance. I had the awesome opportunity to join a few friends and head down the Pullman for the Cougar/Husky basketball game. I was up pretty late last tonight and decided I would sleep in. After getting up way to late I made an executive decision to not workout before I headed down for the game.

The game was awesome. I had not attended a Cougar basketball game in maybe 4 years. For being such a Cougar fanatic, I know it seems strange for not going but when I was a student there we were REALLY BAD. The past is the past and now we are a darn good basketball TEAM. After watching the game all I could think about was how the Cougars persevered throughout the entire game.

Don’t get me wrong, there were times when the Cougar players were really slacking. I watched them during game and all I could think about was how much it looked like the Huskies were out hustling the Cougars. It seemed like an individual player from the Huskies wanted it more, but basketball is not an individual game. You really need to rely on your teammates to help carry you to victory. Triathlons on the other hand are very individual. You are out there pushing yourself relying on your own courage and will to finish each and every race.

There are people that help to cheer you on and are definitely needed. On multiple occasions hearing the cheers from family and friends helped me finish a race but it is really up to you and how bad you want it. Tonight the Cougars did not play there best game but they did persevere and came out on top. Throughout the season I know there will be times when I do not have my best performance but as long as I persevere I know that I can accomplish anything. I leave you tonight with the idea that as long as you believe and never give up you can accomplish your goals. Remember when it gets difficult that you can persevere.


My Mini Triathlon

Well if you read this week’s posts on my blog you will quickly realize that I had a bit of a slacker effort on working out. There was really no day that I pushed myself hard and I made a decision when I went to sleep last night that today was going to be different.

I was able to wake up on time and was at the gym just after 5:00 am. I spent about 35 minutes in the pool which was actually pretty nice. There regulars obviously do not workout real early on Friday mornings so I was able to share the pool with a couple of nice people. I can really tell my stroke is started to come along. I feel smoother through the water every single time I get in. The endurance is not there right now but I know that will come with time.

After jumping out of the pool I joined the spin class for a nice hour workout. My legs were sore from the squat workout I did yesterday but I still felt pretty good throughout the class. Recently I posted about the importance of showering after swimming in the pool and I probably should have done a better job. I did a relatively good rinse off but probably should have used more soap. I really needed to get on the bike so I didn't take the time I need. Long story short chlorine in the eyes as you sweat your ass off is not fun.

Shortly after the bike I jumped on the treadmill and ran about 1.5 miles. I would have really like to go for 3 miles but I didn't have anything in my stomach and started to feel pretty crappy. I pushed through the last .5 mile and felt pretty good about my day. I know the importance in building a base for the triathlon season but after such a lazy week I knew mentally I needed to push myself. I am looking forward to the weekend to continue my training.


My Week Is Over

I know it is only Thursday but for me it felt like after today the work week was finally over. It was a long and stressful week but I got through it and am now looking forward to the weekend. The weather is going to be beautiful which means it will be great to get outside and workout.

This morning I did my Thursday weight workout, which I showed up a few minutes late for, surprise surprise. But it was great to get the small workout in and I am starting to feel the benefits of strengthening my rotator cuff. The shoulder no longer bothers me in day to day activities and only every once in a while do I even notice it is sore. :)

Today was not my most productive workout day but I did get to the gym and that is a great start to every day.


One Long Day

I barely made it to the gym to workout in the spin class but knew I had a long day ahead of me so I new it was important to get the workout in. It felt really good to get back on the bike and get a great sweat going. I was not as sore as I thought I would be from yesterday's workout but it was awesome to talk to everyone who attended and they definitely were.

Today a friend called and had an extra ticket to the Cougar vs. Husky game this weekend in Pullman. For those of you who don't know me, I am a huge Washington State Cougars fan. After all, it is my alma mater. I really didn’t get to make it down to many football games in the fall and haven't been to a basketball game in years, so I am extremely excited. It should be great.

I spent all night at work getting a project finished and left about 8:00 pm. All I wanted to do was get home and go to sleep. So that is what I did. Sorry for the short post but once I get all the family gatherings behind me, don't get me wrong they are great but boy do they screw up your training schedule, I will be back in action soon:).


Morning Weight Workout

At last Thursday's weight workout I was elected to write the workout for today. After getting home from the gym so late I really didn't feel like looking through a few books but I knew there were people counting on me and I wasn't going to let them down. We had a great hour workout and after looking at all their faces, I think it was pretty effective. We did a great mix of legs and abs.

This was my sister's last night it town and we all decided to meet up at a pizza place and enjoy some great company. My parent's, sister, brother-in-law, aunt and uncle all meet up to eat some dinner and play some pool. I use to be pretty good at pool, no shark or nothing but could actually make the ball in the pocket. Well, tonight was just not my night. I had one good run of about four shots in a row and that was really the last time I made more than one in a row. Sounds like I need to practice. It was great to relax and hang out but I had to leave early so I could make it to the gym in the morning.

I really like morning workouts. I do not like the getting out of bed but the feeling I get after really helps me throughout the day. Plus there are some times after work I do have energy but the landscaping season is beginning to take fold and my days will only get longer. I am really looking forward to the season and seeing how it unfolds.


Finally Back At It

The work week is going to be very crazy. I have a few projects that need to get done; I still have my family in town and today was my dad's actual birthday. I didn't make it to the gym this morning, there was really no excuse, I just didn't get out of bed. It was nice to take my time getting ready but this definitely can not last.

I went out to visit my parents again so celebrate my dad's birthday and wasn't able to leave until about 8:45 p.m. My family definitely thought I was crazy when I told them I was going to the gym. Any normal Monday, I would have been at the gym in the morning and probably would have gone home. Since it was ALMOST my third day of "Taking it Easy" it was time to get going again. I went to the gym and did a great 50 minute workout in the pool. I am slowly beginning to feel stronger and was able to complete half of at Martin workout. I took workout reps and cut them in half. I was still pretty exhausted but it was nice that I set my goal for that workout and finished it. It was definitely something to build off of and I am looking forward to getting back in the pool.


Relaxing Sunday

Today was a very uneventful day. This was my second day of not training in a row :(. Since the family has been in town it has been pretty crazy. I was able to sleep in a bit and then head over to my parent’s house to see of some family and hang out with my sister and her husband. We helped my dad set up his new TV which was pretty cool and just relax. It was very weird to not do some sort of workout today but hopefully this next week I can back in the groove. I may have not had the energy to do a workout but I am glad to be excited about the next.


First Complete Day Off

This was the first day I haven’t trained in quite some time. It was kind of nice but I really felt guilty. I woke up knowing I had to finish a slide show for the party and it was difficult to think about working out. There was probably time to squeeze in a short workout but with the stress of the party, making sure everything was done was workout enough.
The party went great and it was awesome to see all the family and friends. It was my dad's 50th birthday so we tried to make it a big one. We made the party western theme get everyone to dress up as cowboys and cowgirls. It was fun to see the hats and boots that everyone was wearing. There is one thing I am not is a cowboy. I love country music and even riding horses but the clothing, Not So Much. The picture above is three generations of Andersons.

I was able to join a few friends after the party was over and relax for some UFC fights. We went out for a few beers after and it was kind of nice to know the party was a success.