Saturday, December 8, 2007

New England Winter and 12 page term Paper...I Am BOB ALMIGHTY AND THY WILL WILL BE DONE

Okay I have officially given the finger to mother is supposed to ice, snow, freeze and be just plain miserable for the rest of the week. But I will have a lovely strech early Sunday morning to crankout a 15 miler..( I'll most likely blow off Mass, but may the good Lord forgive me and give those poor starving kids in Somolia something to eat.) Last night I had to skip masters due to an" Alberta Clipper" that made roads in my part of the state down right impassable, or was it those kids in their Imprezas that think that because they got 4 wheel drive they can do 70 mph on ice.

The above photo is a common sight in Wolcott in the winter. Any hoo I decided to stay home and pop in my new Spinervals 2 hour aerobic DVD....I was in the blue zone the entire time yet I was still sweating like a sumo wrestler in a sauna... granted my bike is set up right infront of my yes I have kona-esque conditions to train in....a cool breeze and people handing out water bottles, and coasting will make IM New Zealand seem like a heaven...until I do something stupid like go anaerobic at the 50 mile mark....or get fed up with going nowhere on the trainer. Today I woked and froze my tail off. My printer on the drive through will not operate after prolonged periods in the cold so the heater at my window was permenately affixed on the printer as my co-workers and I froze ( I tried moving the heater at one point but the damn printer froze after about 3 the machine won out over homeostasis) I got to the local Y and did a 3100 yard work out my first pool time since Tuesday.

Now part of me feels like I'm undertrained...I've never done a century ride yet I'm trying to race one and throw a marathon ontop of it. I've done long runs so I know I can handle the run, I was practically born in the pool so the swim will be the fun part...despite the greco-roman wrestling at the start....start wide cut mantra to avoid elbows to the face. But the bike the "easy" part is what's giving me anxiety...over and over I've read the articles about guys who've gone into Ironman's completely read to rumble yet have suffered on the ride and had been shot to hell on the run. The fact that I have had to rely on the trainer for the last two weeks, and will most likely rely on it for this week are running through my mind along with the words of Roch and Paul , and Cycling Guru from the cannot not expect to tackle the Ironman bike doing all of your long rides on a trainer...yet for me this seems to be grim reality as mother nature bitch slaps my training program, Yes I do need to get on the road when and where it's possible ( hoping for a January Heatwave..I don't need 70's like last year but a couple of ice/snow free weeks with some 45-55 degree days would be ideal... I only need 3 Sat/Sun. 1 for the long ride 2 for the long bricks.)but the constant spinning on the trainer should help my legs get used to 5 hours of suffering in the saddle...the words of Jeff, the Newington Bike Shop's, multi Iron Finisher when I told him my longest ride so far was only about 70 miles , were encouraging..." You'll be may not win it but you should finish." Well the finish was never in doubt...barring injury....but it's just I don't want to be a back of the packer...I have a medal streak going that I'd like to uphold...also I would love a non-lotto Kona slot to add to my wall of achievements...but I still have a shot at Eagleman...but that will be a day of untold pain/pushing to the absolute limit/ and going anaeorbic until the latic acid fills my eye balls and gushes out my ears... and that might not get me a slot with some of the speed demons that show anyone at the office don't expect me on on June 9....the Ironman in NZ seems a little more realistic but my main worry is the bike...I know I will come out in the mix on the swim...I could have a good shot in the run ( granted they've got some sub 3:30 runners in my goal of a 3:45-4:00 marathon might not be enough.) but it is that 5 to 6 hours of mystery on The Bitch Stomper that has me leary....will I come off "fresh" and ready for action...or will I be getting passed by power walkers....will my training be enough to meet the cutoff....will my body be ready for road vibration... all the's like I'm standing at the swim start and looking into the ocean and I don't have a clue which way the current is flowing...the only thing I am sure of is the Start Saturday March 1, 2008 7AM ....and I have until 12:00AM Sunday March 2 to get it done.

Friday, December 7, 2007

The Man's got me down.....

Yep, the MAN has struck again and has wrecked my training plans plus given me a little more added stress at this already lovely time of year.

First, anthropology project due Tuesday. I've done research and will be able to crank out the project and paper, its just time consuming....hours spent at computer = hours not spent on the road...ugggg!

Second, Mid-East History Take Home Final due on the 16th: Pretty much a long winded rant on Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the Arab Israeli Conflict.....this could be fun but could also make me a target on several hit lists.

Third, Got in trouble for doing laps while lifeguarding . There was no one in the pool and the other guards and I have this "unspoken agreement" that we will cover for one another if anyone wants to do laps when there is no one in the pool but I can see from my boss's point of view too liability, liability, LIABILITY

Fourth, A lot of Christmas Shopping to do and not enough dinero to get it done. I've got 9 family members + 3 co workers + 2 chicks I guard with + 1 Hot Young thing + 3 brothers from other mothers + 1 femme sans I have roughly 20 people to shop for...if You don't get gifts until Jan 7 bear with me.

Fifth, It's supposed to be one of the best Saturdays in the last 3 weeks and I have to spend it typing instead of riding....or do I...... if you see me at WalMart grabbing a 24 case of RED BULL you know I will be pulling an all-nighter after getting in a brick of gloriousness.

Sixith, I am seriously falling for Hot young Thing, a 20 year old Cross Country goddess/competitive cyclist. as Ken would say, she's "a girl that gets it." The only thing is I want to play this on the down low because I don't want to screw this up and have what has happened with 4 of the last 6 girls: I've crashed, burned, and barely been identified through dna and dental records. 2 of the last 6 girlfriends I was able to keep up descent friendships but the other 4 was ugly and I don't want that....I don't like walking into a room and making everyone in it feel of the reasons I normally stay as isolated as possible, also part of it is guilty Catholic boy syndrome; whether I was at fault or not I believe I'm always the one at fault...and therefore must suffer the consequences, and the fact that I can get too emotionally attached over a short period of I try to keep how I feel on the down low, although alot of time hormone and emotion takes over and I come on too strong....oh crap I just showed emotion , time to run 20 miles without water and a 50 pound weight on my back to prove I'm still callus...then retire to my room for the rest of the year....coming out only for food, work, class, and training.....just kidding on that last part...but I don't want to screw things up, granted I probably just did bearing my soul on an internet blog......( pounds head against wall)

So yes that is what has been going on in the life of this overtaxed Ironman to be. Yesterday I got in a 7 miler, first time I ran since Monday and it felt good. Also you know you're hardcore if you can run in 20 degree weather in shorts, a long sleeve shirt, and gloves...yes I did that yesterday and did not get pneumonia so I AM BADASS!

For those of you that read my last post and my rant on the slow pace of ALS research, AIDS research and my frustration with the American Medical Research was just a rant based on the early stages of my research for said anthropology project, and not a fully conclusive study...although I still am frustrated by the slow moving pace of research and drug/insurance company agendas playing a major role in health care....rant over.

Well those are my ramblings for the day.....

The Triathlete of the Tundra


Wednesday, December 5, 2007

I'm not in high school anymore...more ALS stuff.

Last night I did my weekly distance swim session. 4000 yards ( warm up 500 on 7:30 500 pull on 7:30, 3x 1000 on 14:30 main set.) Now in the middle of the main set I noticed that during the second 500 of the last two 1000's my head would start to ache in my left temple. Now assumed it was my goggles were too tight so I adjusted them accordingly but the ache still persisted in the second half, making me believe it might have been lack of electrolytes that was causing the throbbing sensation, so it now seems I will be toting Gatorade Endurance formula with me every where. Now this is sad, back in the day, I could crankout 5000 yard practice on 2 swigs of water, I could run 10 miles in 90 degree weather at 9 min/mile pace holding a conversation with my teammates and not need a drink during the duration.....I think I've gone soft in my "old" age. It seems my age and thirst or ability to sweat are both on the increase, granted so is my speed. If someone told me in High School I'd be holding sub-nine minute miles on a twenty mile training run I'd laugh in their face... as it was I was barely holding 8:30 miles on a four mile training run. I kept running in College ( or the two years I had a "normal" co-ed life.) my runs were rarely longer than 6 miles, and that includes a 6 mile tour of Central Park. The years of college Athletics and the 1 year of purgatory between Fordham and Central in which I held 3 jobs and had a particularly short yet miserable time as a gas station cashier working 50+ hours a week, have made me mentally hard. In high school I was almost ALWAYS guaranteed that I would be swum at least once per meet and in track, except for NVL and state Championships I was assured a spot on the starting line for the 2 mile. ( In my junior and senior years I was ranked 5th in the Waterbury City Track and field championships, weird thing was they counted the Catholic schools , who had a majority of students from the suburbs with the city public was sort of irony that the Waterbury City Champion in the 110 high hurdles was a native son of Naugatuck....our best two miler and City champ was from the dirty water so he really was the city's best, but I digress.) At Fordham I had to fight to get a slot on our "D" Relay, for home meets, If we were swimming any team that matched up well against us I was usually swimming exhibition, riding the bench, or swimming the D lay. This lack of competition time helped me grow harder. I appreciated the times I was actually swum in my "signature" events, so if I had a lousy time in the 1000 of the 500 Free, I didn't gripe as much about not doing well as I did in High School, afterall I was swimming my events maybe 3 to 4 times a season, so there wasn't the pressure to do better than last time, or your need to get points, or qualify for states, it was just swim as fast as possible because you may not get another shot. After sacrificing health and sanity working in a "gas-n-go" for two months when I left Fordham, I got back into running and biking. I still remembered being on the day of the Pat Griskus Sprint tri, watching some of the locals come in for Gatorade and power bars...I had done the race in high school and made it a point to do it the following season. The end of that summer I got my current job at the bank and left the 50+ hour hell-hole, where my days off where not guaranteed ( I remember constantly being called in on my days off and being called in hours early...I tried using the "my dad borrowed my car"excuse and the manager replied " Where you live, I pick you up.") By the end of that year I had started Master's swimming was up to full time at the bank and ditched my other part time gig. It was last summer that I did my first two olympic tris as well as about 4 sprints, this year I did my first two half irons, ( I notice I keep increasing by pairs so does that mean 2 IMs next year.) and more races I have ever done in my lifetime. Next year looks to be about a 10-12 race season with a possible marathon, and/or local road race tossed in for flavor.

Well tonight I had an hour run on tap but that will most likely be cut out. I have research on an ALS project due Tuesday. 12 pages about how it's been 70 years since The Iron Horse was struck down and we still don't know crap on this thing although they now think it may be related to over exposure to electromagnetic if I get these disease in the next 70 years I'm blaming it all on Dell and suing for mucho dinero...which I will not be able to enjoy. Also they believe there are two types of the disease, an acquired type ( Electromagnetically or environmentally caused)and a hereditary type in which a there's a deformed gene on a certain chromosome and it cause the nervous and muscular system to fall apart after x number of years. In either case they're just beginning to crack the surface on this stuff. Another thing I've found out in doing research on this is there are at least 6 major charities and several neurology programs linked to ALS research yet each one seems divided and almost in competition with one another. Example You have the MDA ( muscular dystrophy association...*Jerry's Kids), you have ALSA ( Als association, *Kurt's Pitch to Strike out ALS,) ALSTDF(ALS therapy development Fund now ALSTDI Therapy development institute which was getting proceeds from the sale of team Blazeman gear from TriSports) (*=main charity) TeamBlazeman, then you have the universities competing with one another for research grants, so you have guys at Yale and John Hopkins med duking it out to one up one another for the money to do research. each of the groups is giving money to different groups for research and in essence you end up with 20 different researchers doing research on the same disease in completely different parts of the country /world and not alot getting done to find a cure. The same can be said for other diseases not just ALS just look at cancers, AIDS, MS, Parkinson's, you have so many fragments that no major progress can get done. What needs to happen is there needs to be one giant database of info and research, and one pool for funds for each disease, this includes public and private donations, that way research teams can compare notes and there would be one large unbiased source of funding for any research that could lead to a major break through...but alas I am living in a perfect world with out CEO's Drug Company Contracts, Universities trying to attract more admissions, insurance company and government agendas, and the cogs of modern capitalism. Competition brings progress, yet at the same time it can hinder it. Well that's it for my rant on Western Medical research and treatment, and well political bull shit...(.Duguay '20... running on the Democratic ticket unless I;m hit with " you're too conservative"bullshit in which I will run Libertarian.)..Well I'm hitting theboolsand hitting them hard.peace. Also if you have not done so and would like to give a donation to the War on ALS please click on the link or visit the web sites of one of the other associations mentioned..also if your an American Express card holder looking for more points and a tax deduction you can donate through GivingExpress, and also also has links to donate. I encourage anybody reading this blog to give to the war on this disease, and as mentioned earlier it can be as little as $1 itwill help make a difference.

The ALS Warrior

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Let the Floggin' contiune until morale improves.......

If any phrase describes Ironman training this is it. This week I have the lovely chore of tying paper writing and training. So far this week I've gotten in a 2 hour trainer session a 3 mile run ( after an ice storm mind you.) and 1000 yards pool time ( for the 15 min. it was slow last night.) Tonight I have at least 3000 yards on tap. Tomorrow, with no foreseeable ice, sleet or white stuff on the Doppler, I might get in an eight mile prework run (possibly 12 if I can drag myself out of bed at 5am.) Tomorrow afternoon has a possible post work swim on the agenda ( 3000 yards.) Thursday, has the same ( 8 mile run or hour trainer ride, and an afternoon swim. ) Friday I have Masters, and my lovely trainer, Saturday, the long run or long brick ( either a 60 mile ride/16mile run or a 2 hour trainer/15 mile treadmill Odyssey. or just a straight up 16 miler . Sunday begins the new week with the hope of some warmer weather and some more cycling damn it. I would love to ride but it will most likely end up as swimming and the trainer, so I guess the next 2 to 4 weeks will be Run/ Swim phase with periods of Special High Intensity Training (SHIT) on the trainer, and the occasional long ride/brick if the weather warms up enough to allow it. I have now come to the rational conclusion that I am most certainly in the wrong climate, and I should move to an area with weather that is more suitable to my activities/personality upon graduation....Kona,HI ....ahh I can dream as I look at real estate listings that show I can buy a condo on the big island for what it would cost me to buy a farm in Southbury, yet on the island I am not hit with as high of a property tax, but the mortgage and insurance plus cost of living would probably kick my ass. on the plus side though I could most likely ditch the car and ride my bike everywhere, although this means taking my life into my hands as most of the island is the ghetto, the work of us rich New England Whiteys that came over took over pineapple plantations, overthrew a sovereign monarch, an pretty much turned an island paradise into a commercial I hate it when we do rant on how Europeans/ Americans of European Descent have gone off and wrecked nation states and entire cultures ( the Inca, the Aztecs, The Filipinos, the Hawaiians, the Bannana Republics we set up in Central America, then overthrow when they start favoring their own interests rather than those of American tycoons....I mean...their now over. But no a warmer climate is hopefully in the future for this New Englander....and a violent overthrow of the current leadership is not in my plans. but no Hawaii with all of its possible ghettoness, looks lovely, California ( all the warmth, Ghetto and added bonus of earthquakes) is another place I'd long to hang my hat for a while, or the Arizona Desert ( warmth, drive 2 hours north I've got cold and snow, drive 2 hours back to Pheonix, I've got warm and dry.) might be alternatives to continued life in the Tundra that is Connecticut. (Despite the fact my parents say I'd miss having the cold weather....seriously if it didn't snow another flake up here I wouldn't cry...well ok I MIGHT MISS IT, just a little at Christmas, but I can't take 4 months of the crap.) Well those are my rants and ramblings for the evening. I've got some research todo and a practice to crank out.

The California Dreamer

Monday, December 3, 2007

Rocky IV Trainner workout.

Okay I have fallen into the cliche of Cold Weather Training Montages inspired by the classic movie Rocky IV, In the last two weeks I have been forced to run in sub-freezing temperatures, cycle in the same conditions ( and have finally resigned myself to the fact 2 to 3 hour trainner sessions will be the norm.) Luckily my local pools are indoor and heated, other wise I would be pulling the Parka to Jammer to Parka deck change, which is never fun. Well anyway, the "seasonable" weather has shown up Snow flurries and light sleet yesterday, more sleet, rain, freezing rain, this morning so the roads are dangerous enough in my ironclad subaru let alone on a tri bike with slick tires. Yesterday I cranked out a 90 min. trainner session on TBS to the movie Rocky 4 ironically enough. I really pushed in the trainning montage in which Apollo's Creed's trainer starts shouting, "There is no pain" and Rocky claws his way up an ice covered mountain after ditching his KGB escort, now seriously what does clawing up an ice covered peak have to do with boxing?( about as much as a boxing moive has to do with the Ironman. could be a witty retort.) Needless to say this session with a ready to go out and kick the world's ass kind of feeling. Went and grabbed dinner than decided hell, I'll try to put in another 2 hours, well I got 30 min. into the Motorcycle Diaries before my legs screamed "No mas." so in total I managed about 2 hours on the trainer, which according to Triathlete Magazine's all knowing gurus Paul and Roch equates to a 4 hour ride.( due to constant spinning and no coasting on down hills or flats.) As mentioned before the falling ice made geting a run in impossible, I might squeeze in some running time this afternoon before Class but we'll see ( it all depends on how good the walk ways are.) otherwise some pool time on a dead night seems a better alternative. The forecast for the rest of the week shows mostly cold and clear, with a chance of snow on Wed. and possibly Sunday into Monday. So I might not be a slave to the treadmill and trainer after all. We'll see.

The Count of Monte Fisto, the Master of Disaster, the terror of the tundra....