Monday, June 30, 2008

Bike Maintenance

So I work at a shop. I work on bikes. I often make light of the fact that customers don't notice silly little things before they go bad. DTP is a prime example of a person with lots of bike experience who doesn't know how to work on a bike much.

But, much to my chagrin I have been riding two bikes that have loose cranksets/bottom brackets. Not fall of the bike sort of loose--that is still only a DTP thing (in a triathlon last summer). Just so that the cranksets wiggled just a bit, maybe at most a 1/16 of an inch at end of the crankarm. On the Lapierre it was a bottom bracket issue. The cranks were tight against the bottom bracket, but the drive side bottom bracket cup was a half turn loose. I felt stupid. Not sure for how long that has been going on, but it is fixed now before there was any damage.

The other bike was the Fuji. The last time I rode it was at the Vikingman half ironman. The bottom bracket cups were tight, but the crankset was about 3/4 of a turn loose. Both Cranksets were from FSA and were carbon. One a K-Force and the other a SL-K. Both times it was my fault for not checking them and not the fault of the cranksets. I went over the Fuji before the race but did not check the crank for tightness. Silly me. Doesn't really matter if the bike shifts crisply if there is not crankarm to turn the cogs. That error could have cost me the race and all of that training.

Anyway, lesson learned. Check all the bolts on your bike often.

Also, in other news I am sick. A cough accompanied by aches and pains. Had to miss swimming today because of it. My boys are still getting over the same thing and we are all cranky because of it. It has been a "fun" day.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Weight update

This is the post where I pat myself on the back and get to express my pride in my accomplishment and think about what could be. So if this bores you, I apologize. But it is not like I can go up to everyone and tell them "Hey I have lost 9 pounds in less than 3 weeks and I am riding faster than I have since I was a teenager." I mean that is what a blog is for after all half the time--bragging talking more about oneself than would ever be proper socially.

Well, yesterday's three one hour rides seem to have done the trick. I have touched the 195 pound area this morning, the scale read 195.8., and I feel great about that. Another 11 pounds and my BMI will be within the normal range for the first time in about 14 years. Bridget says that I am probably OK with losing just another 5 pounds or so. I think she thinks that getting down to 180 pounds is unnecessary. I don't know if I will go quite that low, but I would like to be under 185. My legs feel really strong though--at least early on (they felt dead last night climbing home) and frankly they are looking pretty freakin' good.

The lowest I have been in recent history was probably about a half a pound less a year and a half ago. But I am certain that I am quite a bit faster now that I was then. That was mostly weight loss caused by regulating diet--I didn't have much time to exercise because of law school.

Yesterday I climbed up Springville Road from Leif Erikson to where it meets Firelane 7 in about 8 and a half minutes. Last fall it took me about 10 minutes or more to do the same section. So perhaps I might be able to race Master B's this fall in cross. Specifically race Master B's and not embarrass myself if I keep improving. Last year I raced Master C's and was finishing in between the 60th and 75th percentile. If I can finish in the top 1/3 of Master C's I will make the jump to Master B's. The reason is that there is not tons of difference between the two classes. The top of Master C's are a bunch of sandbaggers who should be racing Master B's anyway.

Anyway, the goal today is to not gain it all back and rest up a bit.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

When riding with DTP one thing is certain...

his bike will not be working well. Today he only had access to 5 of his rear cogs because his cable housing is fubar'd. I told him I had no mercy for him. It is not like it was running smoothly the last time we went out. We only rode for an hour--at least that was the riding time. It took longer than that.

Another point of amusement for me was the fact that riding up Springville Road in Forest Park he could go no faster than a guy walk up the dirt road. Now that is a sorry state of affairs. When they got up to the top the guy actually made an excuse for DTP, "Yeah, going up this hill a bike is just 30 lbs of dead weight, it must be hard work." Umm, no it is hard, but I promise you there is a mechanical advantage with the bike. But if you're out of shape because you never ride anymore and your finding switching gears on your bike nearly impossible there may be an issue.

Anyway, I am off to the glorious world of circle p.

UPDATE: approximately 10:30pm

I am tired. It was hot, work was mentally stupifying and todays rides took a lot out of me. I am just not used to the heat. 3 hours total of riding during three rides. Each one had about 1 hour of ride time. I rode hard this morning and this afternoon, and on the way home from work I just tried to go at a moderate pace. At the end there are some significant hills to get back home, but I just tried to take it easy. Anyway, I am pooped between the riding and running around the store all afternoon and evening.

If I continue doing these sorts of rides I really ought to be in great cyclocross shape and the weight should continue to drop. At least theoretically the weight should keep coming off...we'll see.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Future Plans and Dreams

I was told that I might hear back this week regarding a job with a firm downtown. Nope. Hopefully I will get an answer, an affirmative answer early next week. If so we are having a party, a big one. Actually, come to think of it, the size of the party will depend upon the amount of pay ;)

Tomorrow I am going to get a bunch of riding in. At least that is the plan. I am going early with DTP to Forest Park to do some climbing. Then I am riding to work. and then Riding home. All together that should be somewhere between 3.5 and 4 hours of riding. That will do nicely. I gotta work off the Thai food that I overstuffed myself with tonight.

In other news I have a new frame on the horizon. Yes, another one, somewhere around number 34 or 35 in the past 15 years (seriously). But this one will be especially special. You may ask how can this one be much more special than some of the fabulous bikes that I have owned. Is it going to be made out of some unobtanium material? Nope. Is it going to be the lightest thing I have owned? Nope. Not the heaviest either. Yes, it should be very easy on the eyes though if things work out. But the specialness is going to come from the fact that I am going to have a small hand in building it.

Neil is a retired Boeing engineer and he also likes to slum it with us in the shop for fun. He went to UBI some years ago and has lots of experience building and fabricating things much more difficult than bike frames. Yet, building bike frames is what he is going to start doing. His plan is to build about one a month. The first few are for members of his family. I am number 6 on the list. That puts me around the beginning of 2009. I believe that pretty much everything so far that he is going to build will be made steel and lugged. That is where I come in. He is going to do a drawing for me and then we will know the angles that the lugs need to be. At which point I am going to order some stainless lugs. I will be doing some customization of the lugs to personalize them a bit. That is the risky part. If they don't turn out I can order more, no big deal. But dang, I am really looking forward to this. I believe that within a couple of weeks I should be able to start playing with the lugs. We have a Dremel tool at the shop and I hope to be able to freehand some alterations to the lugs. I have done some stuff like this before long ago with a Dremel tool and hopefully it will turn out well. If not, there are back up lugs that I can get easily. Excited, yes I am very excited. I spend much of my spare time looking for lugs and figuring out what tubes I cam going to use. These are great problems to have. This is going to be fun.

Thursday, June 26, 2008


Today's weight 197.4 lbs. I was 204.8 about two and a half weeks ago soon after the Vikingman. 7.4 pounds down, 12.6 lbs. to go.

Heck yeah.

I have more than made up for last weekend's fatty burgers, the Melting Pot engorgement, and the Fat Salad. Guess you don't have to be perfect to lose weight.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Why Do Consumers Buy Bad Bikes?

Hybrids suck. No I write not the car of the future which has singlehandedly allowed many conspicuous consumers to feel good about themselves and superior to non-hybrid drivers while simultaneously ridding themselves of the guilt caused by fossil fuel burning, but of the do-it-all-but-do-none-of-it-well-bicycle (yeah, that was a run-on sentence, but so what--its a blog).

People often come in the shop and want a bike that can be ridden on fireroads or light trails; such as those that exist in Forest Park, near Portland. They also want to be able to use the same bike to commute to work. They want it to be quick on the road. They want it to be comfortable and not chafe their nether regions when riding in jeans, cut-off shorts, cargo shorts, sweatpants or any other garment that was not designed to be worn when sitting on the saddles that are typically on bikes. But they don't want to spend more than $300 dollars.

Yeah, this is where I mentally sigh and try to prepare myself to throw up a bit in my mouth when I have to sell something that I would never recommend to any of my friends and family. I have sold a couple of these bikes over the past two shifts at the shop and it irks me everytime.

I feel like I am selling a pile o' crap. Please notice that this bike comes with a suspension seatpost, a suspension fork and disc brakes! Wow! And the retail is just over $400 bucks. We sell it for around $350. Wow! With the suspension seatpost and the fork it is like getting a full suspension bike. Sweet! How could anyone go wrong?!?!

I could bag and bag on this bike. For instance, it is almost impossible to get the brakes properly adjusted. They constantly drag on the rotor on most of them. Also the fork barely works and has more slop in it than Old McDonald's pig pen. Basically, picking on this bike is sort of like picking on my friend DTP--it is really easy but not quite as fun.

I know that I am a bike snob, but I am not recommending that people spend thousands on a bike. With any budget, people should try and maximize those things that they really need. Do people really need disc brakes? No, not on a bike such as a hybrid/commuter/do-it-all bike. Do people really need a suspension seatpost? probably not. Do they really need a sloppy suspension fork for riding in their neighborhood or to the store? No. So maximize the stuff you do need--drivetrain parts, frame, wheels, etc. Stick to the basics!

Here is my favorite cheap bike and yes, the shop I work at sells them. Sorry to be a shill--believe me I have no desire to shill for Performance anymore than I have to.

The Fuji Saratoga is a great simple bike. This bike knocks off the Electra's bikes, but Fuji does it really well and for cheap. It looks like a cruiser, but it would be a good commuter or around the neighborhood bike, or whatever. Retail is just over $300, but it sells for less.

This bike is very comfortable bike. The forward pedalling position allows those who are not too sure of themselves on a bike to shed there fear of falling. The position of the bottom bracket allows one to have the proper seat post extension while allowing the rider to easily put both feet on the ground while on the saddle. Simply put, try this bike--you'll appreciate it even if you don't fall in love with it. And it doesn't have the crappy extra stuff that will cause issues further down the road.

Please, please stop your friends from buying crap bikes. Don't buy them at departments stores. Don't buy the bike the has the most bells and whistles for the lowest price. Get the simple bike done well. The above Fuji is just one example, there are others out there. The bike that is good quality parts and doesn't try to be everything to everybody. Take the advice of a humble grunt at a bike shop who sees what these bikes are like a couple of years down the road. Unless the bike is just one of those that just sits in the garage for 363 days a year, in which case by the one that looks coolest collecting dust.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Back in the Water and Off the Wagon (Temporarily)

Well, I didn't win the Fat Cyclist Raffle (I really didn't expect to win)and to add to this downer the next session of my triathlon swim class started bright and early this morning. I had not been in the water since Vikingman a couple of weeks ago. During one part of the workout he had us all swim ten 50's at a 1:05 pace. Uh...that hurt a little more than it should have. I was way too out of breath. Plus, there were three newbies in the class that showed up. All women and two of the three look like they are at least as fast as I am if not faster. Yeah, that sucks--still not in the top half of the class. Both of them have more tri's under them than I do, too, so I guess I shouldn't complain.

Now please excuse me while I obsess and continue my whiny weight talk for the remainder of the post.

Melinda, a friend of the wife and I, travelled to Utah to visit family. She raced in a sprint triathlon and came in 2nd out of 14 in her age group and in the top ten for women overall. And she rides on a crappy--or at least decidedly average--Tirreno road bike from a couple years ago. She doesn't have any aerobars or wheels or any other technological advantages that I employ. Yeah, and she still smoked the most the field. She ran a great run too. She is pretty thin and like it or not the more I get into tri's the more I realise that where I lose out more than any other reason is because I weigh more than most. The more you weigh the more effort it takes to run fast. She ran pretty fast despite having a running style that looks like Forrest Gump before the corrective braces took effect.

Weight does not seem to matter nearly as much on the bike. I can power past most of the flyweight weenies out there--or at least hang with them. After all, triathlons don't go into hilly areas and that is where I would start to drop versus a lighter rider who was equally fit because of my power to weight ratio. But the run...the run is where I just get thrashed. I really need to drop to around 180lbs. Getting there is going to suck. My weight has been stuck for a few days in the upper 190's, I need to keep the goal in mind when I am tempted (and then cave) to eat vile blue cheese bacon hamburgers fresh from the bar-b-q, fresh strawberries on pound cake with whip cream and other horribly tasty treats (yeah, that was last night). I have a valid excuse--Bridget's sister and her husband were in town from Virginia and so I had to join in, right? Dang, it is going to be a lot of self denial involved here to get down to my goal.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

How to Make a Salad Unhealthy with Mostly Healthy Stuff.

I started out with a bag of salad that has about 10 calories per serving. I think there are 4 servings in the bag. I ate 3/4 of the bag: 30 Calories

Add some low fat provolone cheese: 2 slices = 100 cal. Total is 130 Calories

Add some sliced pressed smoked turkey: 2 slices = 60 calories. Total: 190 Cal.

Add 6 slices of low fat salami: 12 cal/slice = 72 cal. Total 262 Cal.

Decide that is not enough meat. Add 4 more slices of low fat salami: 48 cal. Total 310 calories.

Add salad dressing. Ken's low fat, low cal Italian (very good stuff by the way). It is a big salad so I used between 3 and 4 tablespoons of the stuff. 50 Cal/tablespoon. Total maybe 200 cal. Total 510 Calories.

Decide that this is just not quite hitting the spot. I crave SALTINESS! The friendliest of my enemies is what I go with, I bust open a bad of Hot and Spicy Pork Rinds. Each serving is 80 calories. Eat about 5 servings while eating the big salad. 400 cal. Total for my salad is 910 calories. Yikes! By the way, pork rinds are a good treat for me. The are fairly low in calories, salty (which I seem to be craving lately), and spicy (which I always like). They have no carbs, which I normally get too much of, and I don't normally need to eat more than a few to be satisfied; just not tonight for whatever reason. I could have pounded the whole bag for some reason. My stomach would have let me know about it later--which it is doing right now, by the way--but they usually act as a decent stand-in for french fries, chips or anything else that is more greasy and are the usual suspects to satisfy my craving for salty foods. Not the healthiest, but not too bad in comparison.

I had eaten about 1400 calories before that so a total of 2310 is not terrible. I did run too, which has to count for something.

I hate losing weight process, I do love the results though. My running is easier even losing the 7-8 pounds for the last couple of weeks. Yeah, losing weight is good. I usually feel guilty if I feel full after a meal. But feeling full feels sooo good.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Caloric Intake, Another Elevation Profile, and my Lapierre

This morning I wake up and weigh myself. 198.4 lbs. Not too bad. I am feeling pretty good about things. Tonight we are going out to the Melting Pot to eat. I am not sure how bad I am going to gorge myself, but it could be ugly. I haven't been there before so I am not sure what to expect. Anyway, to compensate I am trying to be pretty good today. When I am home it is hard. Too much food laying around. Other than having a cookie it has not been too bad.

Food so far today after lunch:

*2 bowls of Special K cereal with fat free milk: 360 calories
*Can of albacore tuna in water (175 cal), tablespoon of light mayo (40 cal), 2 Wasa light Rye crackers (60 cal): 275 calories
*Beef Jerky: about 40 calories
* Wasa Bread cracker with Laughing Cow French Onion Flavor light soft swiss cheese: 65 Calories
* 4 Townhouse Crackers: 70 Calories
* 1 Pepperidge Farm Milano cookie: 70 Calories.

Total between lunch and dinner: 880 Calories.

The thing is I am still hungry. Or at least I am hungry because I am currently obsessing about trying to lose the weight ASAP. It is weird how I had virtually no motivation before Vikingman to lose weight, but now all of a sudden I am obsessed about it. Not sure why, but I am going to go with it. My track record over the past few years since I started losing weight is similar--I lose weigh about 10 to 15 pounds at a time and then level off for a while.

***Post Ride Update***
Today I rode around 1hr 40min. Below is the elevation profile for today's ride from the Map My Ride website(I am totally a geek for this--maybe it is time to buy a Garmin).

A couple good climbs--I think a good ride for the time I had. I definitely felt the last climb and my goal was to stay out of the granny--which I did, but dang it was close a couple of times. I burned 1740 calories according to my Polar watch. This means I can relax a bit when we go out to dinner tonight. But not too relaxed, I would really like to bust below 195 by the end of the month.

Also another note, I really love my Lapierre. I ride it mainly on the road, but it handles so well, and compared to the Fuji I can really feel the road. The carbon on the Fuji mutes the road much more than the scandium Lapierre. Even though it is a cross bike it feel very racy on the road. It was a lucky pick up for me. It is my jack-of-all-trades bike. It has been off-road, road, and my commuter bike. Freaking love this bike. The only downside is the Rival shifting. The SRAM shifters just take more effort than Shimano, especially the left shifter. I am used to it now, but if I had to complain about something that is all I cam come up with.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

2009 Ironman 70.3 California

I am signed up. It is official. Yeeeehaw. This triathlon things seems to be sticking.

I like the challenge that they provide, but I prefer cycling specifically. I am going to enjoy this summer's rides. I may do another tri a the end of august, but it won't be one that I stress about or do much training for. I mean I plan on riding a ton, and running and swimming occassionally, but I am just not going to let my life revolve around the Tri. Plus my wife is due to give birth around the time of that triathlon so if it doesn't work out--no biggie. I would like to get in a lot of miles this summer riding road and mountain. The tri's are going to take a back seat for a bit since I am going to be punishing myself this winter for that 70.3 in early April next year.

Sarcasm is the Lowest Form of Humor

I don't know who wrote or said that, but I can see why sarcasm bugs some people. That being said, I have found that I have been using it more lately, it bugs me a little. At work I seem to be more sarcastic than I normally am by a large margin. Maybe it is time to get a new job. Well, actually it is long past time--we need more money than what I can make as a shop monkey. I mean I like the shop, but I can tell I spend too much time there and that my heart is less in it than it should be. I still try and give just about everyone my best effort but there are little things that make me kind of make me realize that my attitude is changing for the worse.

Tonight was an example. A nice fellow came up to me and asked "How do I tell what size stem I need without my bike here?" He wasn't sure if his handlebar was oversized or not nor did he know what size steerer tube he had. It seems silly to have come in with no idea about what his bike had on it, but nevertheless, rather than ask a question about how old the bike was, the make and model, I just spouted off this totally lame remark, "Tarot Cards." Yeah, kind of immature and stupid. I did in a totally deadpan manner and he just stared at me for a second before I said I started asking the sort of questions I should have been asking without the sarcastic comment. I did try to go the extra mile with him from there because I felt a little ashamed that I would say something like that--it wasn't really even funny. Well maybe a little, but not much. I figured it out and he bought a stem and a bunch of other stuff that I tempted him with.

This sort of sarcastic/lame remark seems to happen about once per shift. Sometimes to employees and increasingly to customers. Sometimes it sort of surprises me. Usually the comment is the result of something odd or silly that the customer brings up.

Yesterday a totally whacky guy comes in needing advice. He finished an olympic distance triathlon last Sunday with a road bike that cost him less than $200 bucks, and it was even new when he bought it. Yeah, the bike is horrible, I actually can't believe they sell this crap at any department store even. He is proud that he has spent so little money on it. However, he wants some tools, Slime tubes, a seat pack, and some other stuff and is about ready to drop $130. Good for him, seriously. I respect him despite his whackiness, because the guy knows it is crap, but wants to ride it anyway and figures he will lose some more weight before buying something newer/better. Then as we head to the check out stand something odd happens. The guy is nearing 50 years old by the look of it, he is white and fairly clean-cut and wearing average joe type cloths. Other than the fact that he talks in a somewhat effiminate way he seems like an average guy for that age. But then he wants to fist bump with me like Howie Mandel on "Deal or No Deal" because he is "stoked" about the service I gave him. Yeah, he raised his fist in my direction wanting me to connect my fist with his fist. Yeah, I should have given him a fist somewhere and not where he wanted it either. But I was so taken off guard that I just went ahead and bumped fists with him. It made me uncomfortable. I am a guy that does not like physical contact with others that I don't know. Close talkers make me nervous, so actually skin to skin contact is a no-no. Shaking hands is fine, but for some reason a fist bump was too random to do with a stranger. It bugged.

As I am ringing him up, I ask him if he is a Team Performance member. "No" he says, but he "hopes that we consider him a part of the family, even though he is not on the 'Team'." I said "Sure, consider yourself the family bastard--we are glad to help you, just keep it to yourself." Yeah, I said that. Do you know what he did? He laughed loud enough that it startled the mechanics in the back. He thought it was great. This statement may seem like a risk when reading it here, but for some reason I knew he would roll with it. It was also my way of getting back at him for making me fist bump with him a couple of minutes earlier. Still a month or two ago I would not have said that statement. Maybe I am just feeling too comfortable with the job, but more likely I am bored.

I talked to the guy I interviewed with at a firm downtown this morning. A very nice phone call where I simply was pumping him for info on when I would hear back from them regarding possible employment. Next week the partners of the firm will meet and discuss this employment possibility. Please, please let me get this job before I go crazy working retail.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

"ironman california 70.3?"

That quote was the sole content of an email from Fish today.

This is what he was referring to:

My initial reaction was "That sonnofagun." I have a hard time saying no to a challenge from Fish. Not that I am out to beat him or anything every time, especially when it comes to triathlons--it is more like I enjoy the camaraderie that suffering at the same time as Fish brings. Yeah, not that I have ever been to war--because I haven't and I am sure that I have no concept of how horrible it is--but I would say Fish would be a good guy to be in a foxhole with. I mean, Fish can complain and so forth, but not so much that it becomes annoying, and he isn't one of those Rah! Rah! Guys that make you want to punch them in the mouth to stop all of the positive outlook stuff that they spew. Nothing worse than riding with the Rah! Rah! Guy on a death march. I will take the complainer every time if I have a choice. Anyway, Fish is neither, but he is steady and well, dependable.

Also, it is my opinion that if you are lucky enough to get invited to a death march you should consider it sort of an honor. It means that someone thought enough of you to think you can make it and possibly be of benefit to the rest that are also engaged in what could be a difficult, long, yet possibly thrilling event. It means that they don't think you are going to talk a bunch of smack and then back out after everyone has committed (see posts under "DTP is an Idiot"). But it also may be that you are to be the joke that brings everyone else comic relief through your misery and ineptness. Hopefully, it is not the later.

Anyway, despite all of this I was a bit of a whiner. April is pretty early to do a half ironman distance race. Ugh. Long training rides in the rain was the first thing I thought of--I don't really like to do those much at all. Then an ocean swim strikes a bit of fear into me as well. I raised these issues and more trying to back Fish down; just to talk some sense into him. Maybe he just isn't thinking straight, after all he is nursing a broken clavicle and he has not been able to sleep much. But really I was a little pathetic.

On the other end there was mostly silence. No real counter arguments other than the initial obvious ones--my family is down there and kids can go to Disneyland. I again tried to say that it was silly to go down there so early, Boise is in June and that is closer to both of us. On Fish's end--just silence. Which is basically saying well if you don't wanna do it--so be it, I am not going to try to talk you into something like this if you don't wanna do it. This is really the worst sort of card to play on me. The lack of any response probably means that the discussion is over and the plan is still to do that race with or without me. Damn it. It is hard to negotiate if there is no one to negotiate with. I have no more cards to play--if I even had any--so I cave in and call the wife for permission to commit. Yes, I recommend that any husband do this, especially since training for a half ironman is a big commitment for the racing and non-racing spouse. She has to be willing to let me go on these long training runs and rides while she hangs with our kids during times when I could be around to help out. But for some reason she gave her blessing (sort of, I think it she said something like, "you are crazy" but since that is a statement of fact which does not carry a negative connotation regarding the endeavor itself, I can safely take her silence on the specific matter of the event as a form of acquiescence. If I then rely on her silence when she had a duty to speak, she has naturally induced conduct on my part if I rely on her silence in that instance. If this is the case, she is then estopped to take advantage of any act or omission so induced to my disadvantage later. Basically, she can't say "no" or get me to back out later if she wanted have said "no" but didn't. Hey, I am a lawyer and this is a well known rule in some areas of contract law--silence as acquiescence). I email Fish and let him know that I am a go it he is going to do it. Damn him, but if he is in and he doesn't mind my company during this whole miserable experience, I am in. Oceanside, CA here I come.

All I know is that there better be some sweet cyclocross in between now and then to make up for this triathlon stuff. And now more than ever I am committed to getting my weight down in the 180's by then.

No longer a Clyde


Morning weight: 199.4 lbs.

For awhile about a year and half ago I was hovering around the 195-198lbs area. That didn't last as soon as I began my final semester of law school (the worst for me of all) and then studying for the bar exam during the summer. Still, I consider the fact that I kept it 208 and below to be a victory during that time.

While training for the Vikingman I pretty much gave a reasonable diet the finger. (Geesh, I think I lived on the Western Bacon Cheese Burger while working at Performance--Talk about FAT, that burger has it). Otherwise, I would have lost a good amount of weight over the past few months. The fact the weight is just kind of falling off--5 pounds in a week is probably a sign that my body is anxious to shed this crap that I carry around.

Here is a typical food intake for the day:

Low Fat generic Granola and skim milk. Probably a 1/2 to 3/4 of a cup total.

Salad with turkey or ham, low fat cheese, low fat dressing.

Snack of something like jerky, cheese stick, or celery with peanut butter

Dinner is whatever Bridget has on the table just in a smaller portion if it is a high calorie dish.

Dessert is often another bowl of low fat granola or perhaps another salad. Yeah, seriously that is dessert. Basically, late at night I usually get a craving and need to satisfy it in someway--not necessarily with something sweet either.

So, onward to the first goal of 190 lbs. I expect that getting to 195 won't be too bad, but getting below that will be a struggle.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day

It was a great Father's Day today. The kids were pretty good, there were steaks on the grill and family around. I like my wife's family so even that was a good thing.

Sundays are always a bit busy for us and so getting out to ride is usually difficult to do. Even today, Father's Day, I only got to get out for just over an hour. I decided to see how the legs were doing a little over a week after the Vikingman. Friday's singlespeed ride got me a bit worried about my climbing abilities and as a result I felt I needed another test. Not a big test, just a little test as I didn't have time to spend all day in the saddle.

I rode two loops that took me from home to Cedar Hills Blvd to Cornell then up to Skyline, south to Barnes/Burnside and then back to near the intersection of Cedar Hills Blvd and Cornell where I started the climb all over again. Below is the elevation profile for each lap--again, I did two laps of this profile.

Basically it was over 1600 feet of climbing during my 70 minute ride. I feel pretty good about that. Not that I am a hammer, but it isn't like it is the easiest ride to do during that time. The descents were a blast, too. I love it after I hit the top of Skyline and then drop down to where it meets Burnside/Barnes road. I caught up with some cars on my second lap.

I am ahead of where I was last year at this time. I better be after all of the training I did for the Vikingman. Also the weight loss is coming along. When I last brought it up I wrote that I weighed 201.6. That was an honest weight, but it was probably also the result of my not being able to eat much after having a tooth pulled. The next day I was back to 204 and change. This morning, after being pretty darn good about what I have been putting into my body (at least until tonight's holiday induced gluttony) I was back to 201.6. Tomorrow may be a bit higher after too much steak and some apple pie, but I am sure that the weight will continue its downward trend. For much of the past few months I was hovering between 205 and 207. With just these few pounds off I am feeling better. I can't wait until I get to the first weight goal of 190lbs. I would like to be there before my wife gives birth at the end of August/early September.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Browns Camp, DTP and Me

The weather was beautiful and the trail was in decent shape. Still sloppy in spots but good enough for us.

Self Portrait: I may not look it but I was very happy to be out in the woods!

This was my first real mountain bike ride of the year. I went a few weeks ago to Forest Park, but I don't count that as a real mtb ride. I had been training just on the road for Vikingman, and now that it is over I can do riding that is, well, more fun-oriented. Today I went with Dave.

This is Dave, also known--unaffectionately--as DTP. This was pretty much what he looked like everytime we stopped along the trail. He said he felt so out of shape that the effort made him want to puke.

Last year at this time DTP was training his butt off--in secret, lying to his closest friends about his training program--to do his first olympic distance triathlon. He rocked that triathlon. And then having done very well he decided to slow his pace down. He has probably averaged one bike ride a month since that time. Today he had to start paying the piper.

Having only done my first half ironman tri last saturday my legs still felt sort of dead. I did not have the power on the climbs that I was used to having last year. I don't know if that was because of the tri or because I have not been doing this sort of riding in months. I am used to spinning forever, but not used to the short bursts of power that are necessary riding a singlespeed offroad. Still, as the ride went on I started to feel better. However, I have lost much of my technical climbing finesse. I just sort of felt clumsy at times. But even at my worst I was doing better than DTP.

Here DTP is trying to put a good face one of the times when he said he wanted to puke. He looked pretty pale much of the time, or at least when we would stop after a climb.

It was not DTP's best showing. He felt bad for being out of shape and slowing me down he said. Admittedly, it was a little bit frustrating at times, since it was hard to get into a rhythm. But mostly I was enjoying seeing this guy suffer a little bit. Last year he whooped me at the Spudman Tri. I have some really good excuses that are hard to top as to why that happened, but the fact are clear that I was honest in my training and lack of it at times all last year, while he was a sandbagging liar. And sandbagging liars get bad knicknames and laughed at when they fall from grace. Sorry to say, but Dave's/DTP's suffering was amusing.

The following was how every climb went. He would pedal up and then collapse on his handlebar once he got to where I was waiting for him.

"I think I can make it"

"I think I can..."

"I did it!"

...and then collapse.

Or here is another little climb where I took a bit of video. The heavy breather is me--Hey I didn't say it was easy. I just didn't think that it would make a guy pass out.

Now that I have been a complete jerk, I will be nice to DTP. Oddly enough, I no longer feel bitter all about last year. Yep, your suffering today has pretty much made me feel like we are even. Thanks man!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Serious about Weight Loss

I just didn't really care about trying to lose weight for the past few months. I care enough not to gain much of anything but that is about it. I stopped updating the weight sidebar on this blog when I stopped caring, but I am serious now. I got a side shot of me in the aero position on the bike and decided that was enough. My weight when I arrived back home from Vikingman the day after the race I weighed 204.8 lbs. My current weight is 201.6 and the immediate goal is 195 and the stretch goal is 180 by the end of the year.

The hard part is planning meals. For some reason it costs me more to eat healthy. I just don't do it smartly for some reason. Anyway, look for frequent fatty updates.

Humity II: Swimming Class Evaluation and Video

Brian, my triathlon swim training instructor takes few short video of us a few weeks before the class is over and then at the end gives us an evaluation with the video on a disc. Below is what he had to say.

Body Position
Your body position is very nice

You have a strong kick, but when you breathe your legs kick wide.

Arm Stroke
Your stroke is fluid and natural. When you breathe you cross the centerline with your right arm. Work never letting your right hand cross to the left side of your body. As your arms exit the water do not throw the water behind you. You can see this in the first video.

Your breathing looks very comfortable

I think he was overly nice. I still think I look like an idiot. But since I am trying demolish my pride to become a more humble soul, I will continue to post these videos here. In the third video there are two other swimmers as well. The woman swims a 500 at 11:30 and the guy behind here swims it at over 12:00. As stated before I am now sub 10 (this is not prideful though, the faster of the swimmers in my class are a little over or under 9 minutes for a 500).

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

"Pawn of the Mountain" Jersey

In honor of those of us who are slow up any incline can someone please make this jersey. Basically a Tour de France King of the Mountain jersey with a black line going diagonally through the normal dot pattern. Sorry for the poor quality, but you get the point.

Yeah, this is a jersey I could feel good wearing. It would warn those around me that once I start heading up Cornell Road to Skyline that I will be dropping down to the small ring (at least it the small ring on a double and not a triple). It might protect me from being rearended by more fit riders that can just dance up the climbs in the West Hills area. Yeah, I would buy this jersey, so someone please make it. I only want a small cut of the profit--just enough to buy an extra Western Bacon Cheese Burger after a ride.


Monday, June 9, 2008


Race report is two posts below, but here are some pics. I ordered a set so I don't feel bad copying them from the web to post here now.

It was so cold with the wind and the temp hovering near 40 degrees for the start of the bike. But I am a Cross Crusader right?!?! Heck yeah, I wasn't going to put on any jackets or arm warmers like some pansies out there. ;) I chose to show this pic because it hides my gut better (Time to start the diet again).

This pic is my fave. I actually look like I am in decent shape. And yeah I was rockin' the pink jersey. This was taken at about halfway through the run.


First off, sorry about the long race report in the prior post. I looked at how long that post was and thought it should have been shorter, but that would take more work than I feel like putting in to it in order to edit it down without losing most of what I wanted to say.

I get hung up on numbers constantly. Admittedly I was a little bummed to finish 25th out of 33 in my age group at the Viking Man. In order to make myself feel better I turned to numbers.

Again here is how I did Saturday:
Overall, all Finishers: 122/207 or as a percentage, 58.9% (where 100% equals last place)
Overall, Men: 96/135, 71.1%
Age Group: 25/33, 75.7%

Looking at those numbers I got a little bummed. In the back of my head I had hoped to be nearer to mid pack in both my age group and among all men. I mean, sure my age group was probably the most loaded out of any, but I still would have thought I would have been at least average after all this flipping training.

But then I decided to look at last years results.

Spudman Olympic Distance Triathlon, my first triathlon at the end of July last year.
Overall, all finishers: 887/1125, 78.8%
Overall, men: 620/711, 87.2%
Age Group: 124/134, 92.5%

Scoggins Valley Sprint Triathlon
Overall, all finishers: 97/172, 56.3%
Overall, men: 60/77 77.9%
Age group: 9/11, 81.8% (I was registered as a clyde, but this is where my place would have been if I had been registered instead in my age group.)

At first glance there doesn't seem to be much difference. My overall percentage was best at last year's Scoggins race. However, at Vikingman my place among men and my age group was a bit better and much better than at Spudman. It sort of looks like there is an upward trend here. So I felt a bit better.

Then I realized something else, at Vikingman there weren't any fakers. Fakers? Yes, those people that are in good enough shape to do a triathlon even though they have done little training. I am proof that you can fake even an olympic distance tri. About 11 weeks prior to Spudman I had to have an emergency appendectomy. That knocked me out for almost 3 weeks. Then with studying for the bar exam I wasn't able to get in as many hours as I would have liked. Then with 5 weeks to go I got one of the worst cases of Bronchitis I have ever had. I wasn't able to jog 20 feet with hacking up pieces of lung. Then with about 5 days to go it went away. Even with all that I finished the race. And I wasn't even last. A half ironman distance is just too long to fake. Thus, the type of person that I beat at last year's Spudman and Scoggins races was not likely to be racing at the Vikingman. And sure enough just about everyone racing was skinny and looking like they were in great shape.

So the fact that most of my percentages improved over last year is a testament to a lot of training. I had to walk about 2 miles of last years Spudman and my cycling is definitely stronger than at Scoggins. Swimming has definitely improved too. In all I am much stronger all the way around than I was last year. If I had been in an olympic distance tri I am sure that there would have been more fakers, or at least more people at least as overweight as I.

I also wonder how I will do for cross this coming fall. I plan to ride a bunch this summer so that I can be in a good position to improve over prior years. I would like to do well enough to race Master B's and not be DFL. That is a little presumptuous, but you gotta aim high.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Vikingman: Race Report

First off here is a brief list of things which I consider good tips for a long distance triathlon based on my experience yesterday:

-Anti-diarrhea medicine taken before race to preempt any possible emergencies. I am certain this was probably one the two or three best things I did yesterday, at least so far as planning ahead.
-Don't spray sunscreen on or near face. Use rub-on stuff instead for the face, and keep it away from the area near the eyes.
-Plan out your race supplements separate them for each portion of the tri. I had my Sport Legs pills and pain relief pills in baggies. But for the bike this didn't work out well because of the severe wind. I could not open it without either stopping or losing control of the bike. So I chose to stop.
-Tie your tri short's waist band laces before the wetsuit goes on (duh!). I somehow forgot and had to stop near the beginning of the bike to pull them up, as they were starting to sag. And because my hands were still frozen from the swim I had difficulty tying the knot.
-When you see lots of white caps in the river or lake before your swim--either quit right then or be prepared for one of the worst swims of your life.


Pre-race: I was able to get up without too much problem. I had only had 5 hours of sleep that night, and 4 hours of intermittent sleep that night before that. Actually all week the Vikingman had been robbing me of sleep. It was stressing me as much as my bar exam last year I think. Totally ridiculous. Nevertheless, I was feeling decent that cold morning when I headed out the door of Fish's In-laws in Burley a little before 6 AM. The wind was evident, but it didn't seem too bad then. I got marked up with numbers all over the place and then put on the wetsuit, swim socks, and insulated cap. Yes I wore the cap, and I was glad I did.

Swim (Time 48:37): I was in the last wave and the water was colder than my trial at Hagg lake a week ago. We only had a minute or so between the time that we were allowed to get into the water and when the gun went off. That sucked. It was so cold my face hurt. I wasn't sure that this was going to work out so well. I started after most everyone had headed out. I did this on purpose so that I would not get mowed over and have time to get used to the water. I didn't care about time, just survival. I wasn't sure that it was going to be possible to finish at first.

So I started in and went to work. After a bit I had to stop. I was about 30 feet from shore and pause when I got smashed by a swell. It was hard to get into any sort of rhythm. When I turned to breathe it was not uncommon for water to rush in to my mouth instead when I would get slapped by a swell or wave. Also I would be swimming and then there wouldn't be any water around my shoulders--either the water would drop away or I was being propelled upwards. Either way it sucked. The water was fairly shallow much of the time so I could actually stand at times. I wasn't the only doing this either. I actually passed a fair amount of people from early waves, so I wasn't even close to the slowest out there. I was actually near the mid-pack at this point.

I did actually get used to the water. Really. I mean it was cold but it wasn't bothersome. That took about 10 to get to the point where it wasn't so cold that my face and hands hurt. I got out and the real fun began. Yeah, and I thought that swim sucked....

Bike (3:25:57): I had been looking forward to this part of the tri most. The course seemed like it would be pretty fast. Well, this would have been true had it not been for constant 20mph winds with additional gusts on top of that. 20 mph doesn't seem like much until you are heading straight into it. I could not manage much more than 12 or 13 mph on the flats going into that wind. Fish was riding near me much of the time. We would occasionally swap spots, him leading me by about 20 or 30 feet and them I would pop in front when I had some energy during the first 23 windy miles. As I mentioned the bike was not without some problems. I had to stop and tie my tri shorts. I had to stop and take some ibuprofen and sportlegs because the wind would have caused me to crash had I not. It was worth stopping though, because my back was starting to tense up way too soon. This was probably because of a combination of the cold (about 39-40 degree when we got out of the water) and because I was having to work way too hard on the bike because of the wind. Fish told me afterwards that it probably hurt the lighter people because the wind would tend to blow them easier. That may or may not be true, however, I felt like I was a big sail and the wind was just trying to beat me back. Staying in the aero position was key to conserving energy. When I popped out of it on occasion for one reason or another it was amazing what the difference was. Someone was ringing a cowbell about 10 feet from me as I was riding by and the wind was enough to silence it. I could tell the bell was ringing because the family was moving their bells up and down, but the sound never reached my ears. Yeah, the wind sucked.

Finally we made the first turn and then we began to ride with the wind on our left. I noticed a rider in front of me riding so that he leaned into the wind. It looked like he was tilted a good 5 degrees or more to the windward side. I think we were all having to do that just so that we could stay going mostly straight. I saw a couple guys riding with a full disc rear wheels. That had to suck with the wind at their side.

Also, I mentioned in one of my tips, not so apply sunscreen to your face via a spray. Even though I didn't try and get it in my eyes it must have gotten on my eye lashes or eyelids which then seemed to transfer into my eyes. Because of this for the remainder of the triathlon my eyes were very irritated. The wind made them worse. Much of the time during the bike portion I was riding I was doing it with a bunch of extra or with just one eye open. It sucked. The only thing that made it bearable was that everyone else was going just a slow and seemed just as miserable.

There really were some guys that were flying. The wind didn't seem to affect some of these guys. It really just sapped my strength. When we finally started to go with the wind at our backs it was great. 30mph was pretty easy to hold, which is why I finished in the time I did rather than at over 4 hours. For the men, I finished about mid pack during the bike. I feel pretty good about that, because for a variety of reasons (i.e. my lower back, eyes, dead legs, etc.) I was actually looking forward to the run, or at least getting of the damn bike. And when I did get off the bike I realized that my feet were still numb from a combination of the cold and possibly having my shoes too tight.

Run (2:31:10): I knew that Fish was pretty close behind me so I decided to wait for him. I thought that it would be nice to run along side him to take my mind of how much this deal was sucking. He had to go back to his bike to get his Garmin. That cost me a little bit of time, but no big deal. I was feeling pretty good actually and thought that it would not be too bad of a run. I didn't think that I would be holding Fish back on the run. Not to diss on Fish, but I figured that I could at least hold the same pace as him. Then Fish stopped to take a leak. I waited for the one time not the second time. He was also wearing his pink "" like me. I thought it might be a little too gay for me to wait nearby for him while he was relieving himself. So I ran on. He was never too far back, but by the first or second mile I realized that having him back there would help push me. I had wanted to run the whole half marathon without stopping. For time, I at least wanted to run faster 12 minutes per mile. I think I ended up running a little bit slower than 11:30 per mile on average. Again, considering the wind, I am happy with that.

But early on I started to get worried. By the end of the 4th mile I thought I might be in trouble. My thigh muscles started to feel like they were rocks. They hurt. And then Fish started to slowly creep up. At one time he was a hundred yards back around the 4th mile. By the 8th mile he was about 40 feet behind me. I just wanted to make it to the 10th mile before he passed me. Miles 9 and 10 were the miles when I was just trying to prolong the inevitable--Fish passing me. I was pretty much out gas and any reserves I had were just about gone. There was a turnaround at the 10th mile marker and when I hit it I expected to see Fish. But nope. He was nearly a half mile back. He said that his fingers started to feel numb and so he slowed down in case there was something wrong--well of course there was something wrong, we should have done by then. The 10 mile turnaround put us into the wind for the pretty much the rest of the time until the finish line. Those last miles hurt. Twinges of pain in both my calves letting me know that the cramping was about to begin. It was a victory that I made it until the 11th mile without walking. After that I started to walk about 25 yards and then run 100 yards. I did this until the final mile when I caught up with another runner. He and I ran the last mile together talking pretty much the entire time. A woman caught us and started to pass us right at the end and we decided to try and beat her to the line--and this was not because she was female but because no one wants to get passed at the finish. I started to take off too, but both calves went stiff and I almost went down in pain. I kept running but I did it trying not to use my calf muscles at all--which means I looked like an idiot when I cross the finish line. But I crossed. It was awesome.

Fish finished about 12 minutes later, and his wife, Cindy a bit after that.

Overall, it was a pretty well run triathlon. The finisher's shirt says "I conqured the Viking Man" and with the misspelling it kind of lessens the prize a bit. And the gave out medals as well, which had actually made it through a spell check.

The wind made the a difficult event more challenging--which was really not necessary. I realize that I could do the Hula Man out here, which is fairly hilly and is a lake swim instead of a river swim. I had shied away from it previously for those reasons. However, I am done with half ironman distance triathlons until next year at the earliest. This one was more than enough for this year.

Here are my stats for the race:

Total Time: 6:58:02
(and proud of it too considering the conditions)
Overall: 122/205
Men: 96/135
Age Group: 25/33 (5 of the top 10 were from may age group. There were some seriously fast guys in my group
Clydesdale: I didn't register for the Clydesdale class but I could have (I am 204lbs. right now). If so I would have been 5th out of 12.

Last year the fastest time was around 4:10 and this year it was just barely under 5 hours. I think there was only one or two guys that finished under 5 hours. I think that I would have been sub 6:20 had there been little wind. But, that is the way it goes, I feel I did a good race. My pacing was good and at the end I had nothing left. My eyes finally started to feel good again about 2 hours after the race was over. I was awfully sore, but three hours after the race I was on my way back home for the 600 mile trip back home.

Today I am walking but slowly...very slowly. Oh yeah, and everything hurts.

I plan on doing one more tri this year. Probably an olympic. I am thinking the Scoggins Valley Tri the end of August. For now, it is time to start mountain biking. It is time for a little fun.

Vikingman: I survived

I survived despite rough conditions. The faster overall time was 45 minutes slower than last year. It was very windy.

I just got back home, and now I am going to sleep. Yes, it is almost noon, but I have not had more than 3 or 4 hours sleep in a row for 4 days. I detailed report to follow soon.

Thursday, June 5, 2008


Leaving tomorrow very early.

I will survive. I will not freak out in the river. I will finish strong. That is about all I can hope for. I have some goals that I would like to hit, but in the end, I just want to have a good race.

Forecast calls for 20mph winds and it will be around 40 degees when we get out of the water. The water itself will be about 57 or 58. This promises to be less than ideal conditions, but whatever.

Report when I get back.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

500 swim time


That was including stoping to fix my goggles twice because they were leaking. At best it would have been 9:45, so not that big of a deal. Still it is almost 30 seconds faster than my last time a couple months ago.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Regarding the Previous Post

I neglected to write what prompted the thoughts about my Vikingman time in the previous post. Just days prior I was really mainly worried about finishing. Then I talked to Mr. Jerk Triathlete last Saturday.

I was at the shop and this yahoo, who looks like he is in his late 40's and is in pretty good shape, comes in and asks about changing his gearing so that he can climb better. I ask what gearing he currently has and he shrugs his shoulders and says, "It is a Cannondale System Six." He had no idea, but he thought that the mention of the bike would automatically clue me in to what his exact set up was. No, that info doesn't help, and he just dropped a notch in my eyes. I don't memorize bike specs and also each model comes with different parts spec's so who knows what he has, I sure didn't. But underlying that was this notion that because he has a Cannondale System Six, he had the best out there, because of the way he said it. Anyway, I got past that and gave him some options in case his bike was spec'd with a standard crankset with a 130 BCD or a compact crankset with a 110 BCD. If you don't know the difference, don't worry about it as it is not important in the story. And I also explained the differences in cassettes and why he couldn't use a mountain cassette on his road bike unless he also went with a mountain rear derailleur. Whatever, like I said, it doesn't really matter in this story except that the guy is not a cycling expert, definitely not a PRO sort of guy at all, at least not in the realm of cycling.

But apparently he knows all about triathlons. He purposely let it slip that he was going to do a full Ironman and that it was his second one. He has also done about a dozen half-ironman distance tri's. I told him that my first half ironman distance was going to be this Saturday. He got all excited suddenly. He started asking if I knew about tactics, hydration, nutrition, salt tablets, etc. Then I made the mistake of telling him that I was mainly worried about the swim. I told him about the training I had been doing for the swim and he said I would be fine, but gave me 5 minutes worth of advice anyway. Then he asked about the bike, and I said I wasn't worried about that. Then he said, "What about the run? You look kinda chunky for the run."

What did you just say?

I am sorry, but I don't even know your name and you are already busting on me for being overweight?

Yeah, but he was oblivious to the diss. To him it was just a fact and not a diss. I am fat and I should therefore be worried about the run. Then he just kept going on and on about tri's and his strategies. He then went on to state that sprint and olympic distance tri's were NOT real tri's at all. They were too easy and didn't really push a person.

I asked him what his times were for the Ironman he did and the half ironman events he had done previously. He said he usually finished around 5:45 for the half and he said 13:30 for the full ironman. This just sort of slipped by me until later when I was relating this story to Fish. When I told Fish the story and then related the guy's times he just started laughing. He stated that the guy was slow for a real "triathlete" or pretty average overall. Fish then explained that it was guys like this that give him reason to only say that he does triathlons, instead of saying that he is a triathlete. "Triathletes", he says, tend to be pompous idiots like this guy. That is when I started to wonder if I could beat any of these "triathletes."

Don't know if I can, but that guy lit a fire under my butt. And thus yesterday's post.

To clarify the obvious, I don't have a triathlete's build. I am 6'1" and about 200 lbs. I don't look fat, but I need to lose 20 lbs to get to where I would like to be. But at the same time, I obviously am not dedicated enough to lose it fast because I am not losing very much weight lately, if at all (working at Performance has reawakened my love of fatty hamburgers and french fries with 3 burger place within a 1/4 mile of the shop)

However, if you want to see chubby, look below. This was about 5 years ago soon after the birth of Number One Son. I was almost 40 lbs heavier than I am now

This is a pic from a couple of months ago. I haven't gained or lost much since this pic. Behind me is my younger brother and Number One Son and Number Two Son are also pictured.

Frankly, compared to 5 years ago, I look stellar. It has been a fairly gradual weight loss too, which I feel pretty good about. I would like to get near 180, but for now, I am feeling pretty good. I want to lose more weight and I would definitely feel better if I did. But regardless, the Jerk Triathlete can get bent.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Wishful thinking

Last night I had a hard time falling asleep. This has been happening more often recently for a variety of reason. Last night I was obsessing about Vikingman again, but in sort of a good way. I was trying to figure out if there is any reasonable expectation that I could bust a time under 6 hours. I decided that there is some remote possibility but all of the planets have to align and I will have to be feeling it Saturday morning.

Here is how it could be done:

Swim time: 35 minutes. This seems reasonable. Most of the times are at least this fast from last year. So I think it is possible. I am a much better swimming than last year for my first couple of triathlons. I just have to make sure that I am in a good state of mind so that I don't freak out. Last year only 9 of 45 in my age group went longer than 35 minutes.

Transition 1: 4 min 30 sec (Total 39:30). This should be possible. Not sure of the layout of the transition area, but this seems like a good middle of the road time from last year.

Bike time: 2hrs 56 min 30 sec (Total 3 hrs 36 min): This time is figured by my going roughly 19 mph. This would put me right smack in the middle of my age group for time last year. I am a fairly decent rider, I hope I can finish mid pack. During my other shorter tri's last summer I finished either at or near mid pack for men in my age group--and one of those tri's was done with no training for 8 out of the last 12 weeks prior to the tri due to an appendectomy and then bronchitis. So finishing mid pack should be possible here. 19mph is not out of the question, I average faster than that during my practice run in Central Oregon a couple of weeks ago.

Transition 2: 2 min 30 seconds (Total 3 hrs 38 min 30 sec). Seems reasonable. Most of the racers last year finished the transition in less time, so I am going with it.

Run time: This is the biggie. I ran a half marathon last year and exploded because I went out too fast. It was also slightly up hill almost the whole way. That was one bad experience; cramping, felt like I had to crap so I sat on the pot for a minute, a blister on the bottom of my foot. I was lucky to do it in the time I did--about 2hours and 38 minutes. But if I maintain a decent pace, don't blister up, don't blow up, and my bowels stay calm I think a much better time is possible at Vikingman. When I run around the neighborhood there are lots of hills. I have a difficult time gauging what I will do at Vikingman. Even with the hills I do at least 5mph and as well as 5.5 mph. On a track I can run 10:30 to 11:30 for a long time, without my heart rate going too high. I could have pushed it more, certainly. If I run 11:00 miles my total running time would be just over 2 hours and 24 minutes. This would put me over the 6 hour time limit by 2 min 30 seconds. So I have to be running a bit faster. I think 10:45 per mile is possible. The total run time would be 2 hours 20 minutes and 50 seconds. My total time would be 5 hours 59 minutes and 20 seconds. This is possible.

I want to finish. I want to be under 6 hours 20 minutes for a secondary goal. A sub 6 hour time is the stretch goal. Yeah, I can do this. Whether if I do, well, we shall see.