Sunday, November 30, 2008

Photos 11/30/2008

A few photos from our weekend training sessions, both included a swim and one included a bike and the other a run. This week was a hard one and included a hard swim, 2 bike rides, and 2 runs. Today's run was longer than our normal run for my level by 10 minutes and included instructions to maintain a 90 step / minute pace. That requires very short steps from me and really worked out the glutes - probably a good thing. The 90 / minute pace is something important because that is something you read about for biking cadence as well. More on that later.

Here are the photos.
On my bike, 2 weeks ago. Nice 65 degree day.

Swimming. Cold 50 degree day and thank goodness the water was heated! We ran after this for my first brick run (that's 2 events in one day for training, or I think that's the word). It felt good, but definitely harder than a normal run.

Swimming last week during the swimming stroke analysis. I know this is me because I'm not on top of the water, my legs are low, and yet somehow I I still look good...sort of.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

What is the triathlon training turning me into? (Commercial Break)

According to my roommate, an 85 year old Asian woman. There might be a slight paraphrase in there, but only a slight one. Here it is: a few months ago I had an incredible headache at work and since I was being ornery and grumpy (me? really?), my boss told me to put something called Tiger Balm on my temples to soothe the pain. "oooh," said one of my coworkers, "That stuff is great."

At the time, I had never heard of tiger balm, but it sounded exotic and fun. I immediately had this image of a tiger rubbing down his calves after a rough wildebeast hunt and thought, hmm, interesting. My boss said it helps muscles relax and since he is a former superstar rugby player, I told him I would give it a try. And I did. And it helped (I was still grumpy though just because)...

Anyway, I use it now on my shoulders or on my calves when they are sore, sometimes on my lower back. My roommate says I smell like her grandmother, who is and amazingly always has been, an 85 year old Asian woman. So the triathlon is turning me into my roommates grandmother, only taller.

I like it though. Tiger balm gets a thumbs up. I imagine it's like Ben Gay or Icy Hot but I have never tried those. I now need to try "body glide," which stops blisters and chafing in places I don't want to blister or chafe. I already use little band aids when running distances so my nipples don't bleed (learned that the hard way, maybe I can body glide the nips?). I need to buy jammers (bathing suit that looks like compression shorts), triathlon shorts (jammers mixed with biking shorts you can also run in), and other stuff. More on tri gear in another post.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Basic information, financial info, etc.

I'll add more information about this in a bit, but the process for Team In Training is as follows:
  • All donations are 100% tax deductible and I can provide you with a receipt and all other information. The emailed thank you response from the online donation or a mailed thank you if you send a check is your official receipt. Official 501(c)(3) number is 13-5644916. I can assist you with this if necessary. Donations can be anonymous if you would like, but then I can't properly thank you. That last phrase might be redundant given the anonymous part. The Department of Redundancy Department made me add that last line.
  • Donations can be made online or via check. If you would like to send a check, please contact me and I will provide information on the whose and the wheres.
  • 75% of all donations support research. 25% supports administrative overhead and my involvement, including my coaches, bike clinics, nutrition clinics (What! I can't drink every day now?!?!), travel, etc.
  • I am personally donating 25% of the total I need to raise so you can be comfortable your entire donation is being used for research. If I end up with more than the minimum of $4,900, good.
  • If you work for a large company you might have a matching program. Let me know if you are interested and I can notify you if your company is involved in the match.
  • I am fully committed to participating in the triathlon unless I am injured. Our training is designed to ensure we continually improve our endurance over the 4 months of training at a controlled and healthy pace to minimize injuries. They also say this will improve my golf game so watch out!
  • I will try to update this blog and my TeamInTraining homepage at least weekly, hopefully more. I will include information on my progress, my thoughts on endurance events, and articles about triathlons I find interesting.
  • Still reading this list? I got nothing else. Email me or post a comment to this blog with questions and I'll respond.

Thanks for reading this.

Friday, November 14, 2008

What is my triathlon?

I am doing the Lavaman triathlon, information linked here. It is an Olympic distance triathlon, which means a 1.5 K swim, 40 KM bike ride, and 10 K run. For the Philistines who never bothered to learn the metric system, it's approximately a .9 mile swim, a 24 mile bike ride, and a 6 mile run. I can already do a 24 mile ride and 6 mile run, but probably not on the same day, so I do have something to build on.

If I do well, maybe I'll try out for the Olympics in a few years! No promises though. Also I believe Lance Armstrong, who most of us know as somewhat of a bicycle specialist, used to do triathlons. No promises that I'll be wearing a yellow jersey in the future but wonders do never cease.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Why donate - Reason 1

The first in an ongoing series I call: Why donate?
Reason #1: Dylan will not only send you a custom, hand made one-of-a-kind triathlon drawing, he will address your envelope and lick the stamp himself!

Failed donation letter v13

Haiku's, limericks, and acrostics! Just a bad idea all around.

Haiku 1

A triathlon
Together as one, three sports

Like lines in haiku

Haiku 2

Race starts with swimming
Biking follows to dry off
Running and running

Limerick 1
There once was a triathlete named me
Who triathleted the best he could be
Now that you're reading my blog
Don't just sit on a log
I'd like to get a few bucks from thee

Acrostic 1
D - Donate?
Y - Y not donate?
L - Lots of money
A - and it's tax deductible and for a great cause!
N - No reason to say no!

R - Rah rah rah!
I - I can't believe how great this is
V - Verily much better than TV!
A - and Dylan is such a wonderful guy
S - Swimming! Biking! Running!

Failed donation letter, v7

This attempt followed the legendary advice of (I think) Yogi Berra who said something like when you get to a fork in the road just take it.

Dear friends and family,

For the past few months, I have been debating taking my life in a few different directions. The most practical and likely of these were to return to school or do a triathlon. To digress just a little, one of my great weaknesses but also one of my fondest habits is retreating into myself and over analyzing minor details to the point of near madness. Yes, I'm fond of that about myself and I miss it when I stop doing it. I've analyzed why and...

Anyway, I ended up framing the great MBA vs. Tri debate as the "get smarter vs. get better looking" paradox. I called it a paradox because it sounds intelligent (like I have an MBA!) and sort of makes me feel like I'm in a Borges short story or like Kafka is going to come to me in a dream and tell me what to do. An MBA would (hopefully) make me smarter and finally allow me to fire up those dynamic cranial nuero-processors rattling around in my head for something useful, like making a lot of money, crushing the every man, and finally having a reason to vote republican. A triathlon would get me into great shape, healthy, and maybe rekindle a little of my competitive passion. To put in the parlance of our youth, it's the great debate to get paid or get laid, to climb the corporate ladder or run the stairs, to make people green with envy or green with desire? So many choices...

I lost it there but nobody thought this was appropriate or that I could keep going. You know, I spent a few hours thinking about that and I...

Failed donation letter, v5

This was the authors attempt at being human in his donation request, trying to connect with the common man as it were. Let's look in and see if it worked:

Dear friends and family,

and nothing came out. Go figure.

Failed donation letters, v1

This is the first version of my donation request letter, but people said it was a little too aggressive...

Friends and family,
Have you noticed we are in the midst of a global economic meltdown? Did your retirement savings shrivel up into a little ball and hide under your covers? Are you worried about paying medical bills and electing socialists? It could be worse, you could have cancer. Lots of people do, and I'm trying to help them... then I was going to provide data about people who do have cancer.

They were probably right, this would not have worked.


Welcome everyone to my triathlon blog! I know I already have a Team In Training donation site where I can post information and I have personal blog, but this blog is intended to be something different. There are many reasons I decided to do a triathlon, some obvious and others more personal. I figured I would try to explore those feelings in this blog as a sort of addendum to my actual training log. The information I post to the official Team In Training website will be more rah rah and updates on training, like how fast I can swim (not as fast as a sea turtle), how fast I can bike (faster than a land turtle), how fast I can run (not as fast as a turtle in it's shell rolling down a san fran hill)! vroom vroom! This blog will be different. Maybe not better, but different.