Monday, March 30, 2009

Swim Class Day One

Easy Peasy.

Warm up.

16 25's 45 seconds each

8 50's 1:15 each

4 100's 2:15 each

He started up with an easy day to see where we were all at. He asked me if I had been in the pool since my last class ended 6 months ago. I said "Nope!" Then he asked what event I was doing, "Are you doing another Half Iron?"


Coach smirks and shakes his head. Cause he knows and I know I have been procrastinating the day of my return to the pool. He knows I am not the biggest swim fan. Anyway, so it begins.

I was able to swim each length of the pool between 25 and 30 seconds regardless of whether the total length was 25, 50 or 100 yards. However, when you have at least 15 seconds and once nearly 30 seconds in between each 25, 50 or 100 yard interval that isn't too hard.

My right shoulder pops occasionally while I extend, which means I am weak. My stroke is coming back quickly otherwise. Not that it is a great stroke, but it is much better than it was a year and a half ago. Hopefully my endurance will comeback quickly.

After the swim I went to 24 Hour fitness where I began a 7 day trail membership. I ran 4.5 miles in 42:30. Including a warm up, but almost no cool down because I had to get going to work. My last 2 miles were at a 7.3 mph pace. HR was at 170-172. Not a great place to train for a long triathlon, but I wanted to hit my mileage goal before I left for work. I felt great all day. No soreness. I had a pretty good amount of energy all day, too. It is weird how that works. I worked out for a total of an hour and a half, but I felt better than I did yesterday when I did nothing at all.

I really feel strong. I think I am nearing the sort of shape I was in when I did the Scoggins Valley Triathlon (sprint distance) last August. At that race I beat my previous time on the same course the year prior by 13 or 14 minutes. I still need to lose some weight, but I feel pretty fit. I like it. Not that I don't have days when the legs are rubber or dead, but overall--things are going nicely and I feel more confident that I won't die (literally) at Ironman Boise 70.3.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

As if I don't worry enough already...

I read this article tonight:

Triathlons Can Pose Deadly Risks...

Cold water constricts blood vessels, making the heart work harder and aggravating any pre-existing problems. It also can trigger an irregular heartbeat. On top of this temperature shock is the stress of competition.

"It's quite frightening — there are hundreds of people thrashing around. You have to keep going or you're going to drown," Mosca said.

Swimmers can't easily signal for help or slow down to rest during swimming as they can in the biking or running parts of a triathlon, said Harris, who also has competed in these events. Rescuers may have trouble spotting someone in danger in a crowd of competitors in the lakes, rivers and oceans where these events typically are held, he added.

I hate triathlons.

Swim Class starts tomorrow at 6:30am.

Friday, March 27, 2009

In the Middle

BLAH, BLAH, BLAH.... Why working in a bike shop can suck.

Right now I am in the midst of a long streak of consecutive days spent at "Circle P." 9 days in a row to be exact. Then I have two days off. Then I work a day or two and get off for another 2 days. It could be worse. But lately, work has not been particularly fun.

There's lots to do, not enough people to do it and people are coming down from corporate. They are coming down to pass judgment. And even though there are a great many things to get done, I only have so many hours each week. A couple of guys have put in time off the clock to get a few things done. I won't do that. For one, I am working for a large corporation--one that is trying to make as much money as they can. They only let us have so much payroll which is based on how much money we bring in. I have no issues with this. But I am not sure that this hourly budget is realistic. I don't like feeling like I am not getting my work done. So my mental conversation usually ends up with something like this, "I will do the best I can during the time I am scheduled. I will not work anything extra unpaid, this is NOT a charity. If after learning what has to been done and doing my best I cannot do what they want me to do during the time I am scheduled then they need to find someone else." Screw 'em. At least that is what I try to say to myself to releive what stress I feel. The weird thing is that stress is coming from a stupid bike shop, not even the practice of law.

I am willing to be taught more efficient ways to do things. Not that others know too many faster ways to get things done. It gets to be where helping customers is a burden. Customers--which pay for me to be there--are a total bother lately. I have all sorts of crap to do (such as rolling out our new way of pricing everything in the store and then the next sale set up has to be completed) so that when Mr. Newbie comes in and wants to know what the differences between a $30 helmet and a $200 helmet I just want to give a flippant answer to blow him off so that I can get back to other matters. That is not the way it is supposed to be.

Oh, and then while at work I start thinking about Mr. & Mrs. Soandso. I am doing a little bit of legal work for them. They need their estate planning work done, but...I really don't know what I am doing. But, I can fake it pretty well. There are lots of resources so that I don't screw anything up, luckily. I am pretty good about learning on the fly. Law school teaches you how to figure stuff out, thankfully. It doesn't teach you how to hang your own shingle though. Lots of little stuff to get done (and here I sit writing a blog entry). It will be nice to start broadening my horizons to things other than the bike shop as more legal work comes in. It will be even better when I can disentangle myself from the shop completely.

More stuff to do, too. I still gotta get my website up and other law firm related materials together. I have registered my entity with the state. I feel good about that. Now I just need to get the federal and state tax stuff set up and blah, blah, blah...the list goes on.

And then there is this little triathon in June I am training for...and Reach the Beach...and I plan on doing STP in one day....

I must be crazy. Did I mention I have 3 boys and a wife at home too?

ON THE BRIGHTER SIDE, Sacha White is Gathering Fodder for PackFodder:

Packfodder Jim came into the shop today. When he comes in it is sort of like recess. I get to take a brake from crappy bike stuff at least for a little bit and talk about cool bike stuff--like cyclocross. Jimbo has a Vanilla on the way. He just got done with the fitting and boy am I jealous, but not in a bad way. I am sure it is going to be cool. I imagine tubes and other bits and pieces have or are going to be ordered by Sacha very soon. End of May is the due date I understand.

A friend of mine at the shop builds frames, Neil is his name. I have talked about him previously. He sent me pics of some of his works in progress. Really nice lugged steel goodness. My drawing is done, but there may be a couple of tweaks. I am jealous about that frame, too. What? Why I am I jealous when the frame is going to be built for me? Well, because I would love to be able to have the time, space, money and ability to do it myself. That would just be sweet to "roll your own" so to speak. Nevertheless, I am geeked. Neil does great work.

In Other News: I AM TOO POWAHFOOL (must be spoken in a Schwarzenegger-ish accent)

A week ago I noticed my rear wheel on my Voodoo was out of true. So I trued it up. This week I broke a spoke in the rear wheel. Twice. The wheel is built with DT Revolution spokes on the non-driveside and DT Supercomps on the driveside. I broke one of each. Some people might say that I broke them because I am too fat. Or I am not a smooth rider. Or that I am doing things that this custom-built 1500 gram wheelset was not built to do.

They might be right.

But I choose to believe it is because I am too strong. The Voodoo is a singlespeed and I believe that because I am just so SO POWAHFOOL and put so much torque on the wheel that I am pulling the wheel apart when I rip up hills with my 42/16 gear set up. I HAVE TOO MUCH POWAH.

Eye witness accounts of my strength support this theory. About a week and a half ago I noticed some significant creaks coming from the crank/bb area. Neil looked at it, but couldn't find anything. After everything was cleaned, lubed and tightened to spec' I went out to the parking lot of Circle P to see if I could get it to make some noise. I put on my ol' Sidis and started hammering.

Neil and Lane came out to observe. After I tried differing amounts of power I couldn't hear the noise anymore, thankfully. Then I really got after it, just to make sure. I was just pumping as hard as I could from nearly a dead stop. The acceleration coming from my legs felt pretty good that day. Both Neil and Lane were surprised at how slack I could get the chain to show as I hammered out of the saddle. My single speed has a drop-out adjustment to tension the chain correctly. I don't have the chain too tight, but it is not superslack that is for sure. When looking at the bike from the side you don't see the chain sagging much if at all. But they said that as I was pedalling the chain would become so slack at times that it looked like I needed a derailleur on it to take up the slack. Their theory was that I was getting a great deal of frame flex. Either I can really twist that chainstay or otherwise flex the frame so that the distance from the dropout to the center of the bb is shortened and thus the chain slackens.

I thought this was an awesome thing. I think I made some sort of gorilla-like grunt (a la Tim Allen on Home Improvement) after they were expressing their dismay at my POWAH display. I have TOO MUCH POWAH! Not even a steel frame, and one that is nearly 5 pounds heavy can contain me. Kick Ass!

Other evidence that I have TOO MUCH POWAH.

I once broke a Ritchey WCS Carbon crankset. Both sides of the crankarms had fractures near the pedal threads.

I broke an FSA K-Force (Older ISIS-style) crankset. I broke the aluminum spine in the driveside arm during the final sprint a cross race a couple of season ago. Bitchin'.

I broke a carbon saddle during a cross race this past fall....wait. I don't think that proves I have TOO MUCH POWAH. I think that just shows I am a fatass with no finesse. Move on please.

I bought new Sidi shoes last weekend. They looked way PRO! All black and shiny. So what did I do? I shaved my legs for the first time since probably October. It is spring time after all. And what goes better with new Sidis than shaved legs and a nice kit. I don't have any pro-kits but I do have some nice Pearly Izumi bibs and jerseys. I have actually ridden with bibshorts two or three times so far during the past couple of weeks. Anyway, After shaving my legs I was WAY impressed with my PRO look. After the long winter, my legs emerged ripped after so much time on the singlespeed. If I do a Schwarzenegger-style pose with my legs they look totally ripped. And they are all natural, too. No designer drugs or doping here (Just a dope). All sorts of muscle definition exists that I have never seen before. Freakin' Awesome!

Again, I know that there are guys out there with legs that are way more defined than mine. But for a guy that is still slightly overweight, eats WAY too much Taco Bell, and generally never rides over 30 miles a day, it was pretty impressive.

Conclusion: I AM TOO POWAHFOOL. (and too fat, too ungraceful, and way too vain for how ugly I am).

Have a good weekend everyone!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I hate it when life gets in the way of what you want to do. Too much stuff going on yesterday and by the time I could go it was after 8pm and I really didn't feel motivated to do anything. Then I was going to ride and then swim, but because my schedule was different than what I had planned I had to drive instead. Then I get home and I have stuff to do to get the firm legal. Oh, and I am pissy. That never helps.

But I did have a great desert. Eggo waffle, vanilla ice cream and maple syrup. I don't know what possessed me to eat that, but it was great. I don't feel too bad. My calorie intake today was way less than normal if you take that out.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

8 Miles

Longest run of the year so far tonight. I did it on a treadmill. To me that is sort of cheating (effort-wise--not bordom-wise.  I would have rather been outside if it hadn't been dark). I ran with the treadmill inclined just a bit to make up for the fact, but it was still easier to run in front of a TV in the gym than in the hills around my house.

8 miles takes a while. Especially at the beginning. I started the run at a 5.0 mile per hour pace. After 1/2 mile I increased the pace to 5.1 mph. Then after another 1/2 mile it went up to 5.2 mph. I eventually topped out at 6.4 and then I brought it down the last 1/2 to cool down. My max heart rate was about 161 I think. I wasn't comfortable much the last bit at 6.4 but hey I was running that pace after I hit 7 miles so I don't feel too bad about that.

Sure there are lots of folks faster than me out there. There was one chick that must have been running at a 6 minute mile pace for nearly 40 minutes while I was there tonight. I was impressed. But I was impressed with myself too. I think that I should be over 10 miles for my long runs withing the next 2 or 3 weeks.

If only swimming were going this well...


I bought some new Sidi Genius shoes for 119 bucks at Performance yesterday. This was only about 10% better than what any shmoe off the street could get though. Let me explain.

In the store they are on sale for 199 bucks. BUT, has them on clearance for $149. The walk-in store will honor that price if you ask. THEN, there is a coupon float around out there called a "RIDE" card that give an additional 10% off on your entire transaction, further reducing the price on the shoes to around $135. IF you are a Team Performance Member you are going to get 10% of that purchase back in the form of team points that can be used on a future purchase. This effectively makes the price of the shoes just over 120 bucks for the Team Performance Member.

The problem: quantity is going fast. The Tualatin store was low in inventory. I don't know about the other stores. Good luck out there.

Friday, March 20, 2009


The goal tonight was to run about 7 to 8 miles on an indoor trainer. I was scheduled to be off at 5pm at the latest. Umm that was what I thought until about 12:30 when those of us at work realized that we were screwed. Our manager didn't schedule anyone to close the store so I got to stay until after 8pm. Bastard owes me now, I stayed there open to close. However, After leaving to work at a little after 8am and then standing on my feet until close I didn't really feel like running. I arrived at home in time to watch the last bit of a couple of really good NCAA tournament games. I sat and watched them and had no desire to stay up late to run. I am a little bent about having to be there for 12 hours, but whatever. I really don't like my schedule getting messed up. I am very peevish right now about it. It is not the being at work all day that irks me--it is the messing up my schedule that is a big no no.

Tomorrow I ride to work and back, which will put me at over 100 miles for the week on the singlespeed. I will have to run Sunday--my usual off day--to make up somewhat for today.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

A Couple of Observations

#1) I waited too long to get back in the pool.

I am feeling good about where I stand regarding the bike and the run portions of my training for the Boise 70.3 Ironman. My swim sucks. I went swimming for the first time in about 6 months today. I didn't expect any personal records, but I thought I would have been able to swim more than 800 yards before I was toasted. Actually, it was my arms and shoulders. I totally felt like a wuss. My breathing wasn't too bad, and my form was probably only slightly ugly. I had moments when I felt smooth. But my right shoulder was popping, which it did before swimming 2 or 3 times per week strengthen it early last year. I am almost back to square one in that regard, though my overall fitness is much better.

But at least I am back in the pool. Have I told any of you that I dislike swimming before? Why I persist in doing triathlons is beyond me at times.

#2) After training 9 of 10 days I still feel pretty darn good.

Three days in a row commuting on the Voodoo singlespeed. I felt great this morning when I rode about an hour after I finish my swim. It took me about 20 minutes and then I opened up my effort a bit and found that my legs were there. It was nice.
I am surprised at how good I feel considering I have only had one rest day out of the past 10.

Before this stretch, I had nearly 3 weeks off due to injury and illness. I was worried about coming back too quickly, but I have so far been pretty good--especially this week. I have moderated my efforts so that my average speed riding has varied as much as 2 mph between days while riding the same route. That has saved my legs. My runs have been at a slower pace and effort than earlier this year. I hope this holds up. As my load increases I will start mixing in some higher intensity workouts as well. At this moment I am pleased. Despite this, I still think that Dave (formerly DTP) and Fish may very well whoop up on me in Boise, but I can deal with it.

#3) My wife is happier when she is able to workout. Life is better for all of us here in the Flynn household when Bridget is able to workout. Her stress level is more manageable and she doesn't seem quite so eager to toss Colin, our 6 month old, out the window on the bad days. This is a good thing. Note to self: save all future bad news and news of bike related purchases until she get back from the gym.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Long-ish Run

A good long-ish run today. Good hill climbing. I ran slow--about 5 mph. I could have run faster but that was not the point. I haven't done a run with these sort of hills at this distance since last year. I was not trying to max out my heart rate either, especially since I can't tell what my heart rate since my HRM batteries need replacement. I just went by perceived exertion. My breathing wasn't too heavy, and were it not that my legs felt like toast by the time I neared the end (or the hail hitting me in the face) I could have run much longer. The hills just sort of fried me more than I thought.

In the end I ran 5.9 miles according to

Here is the Elevation Profile.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

It could be worse...Thanks to the Fat Guy

I have been a little bummed about my recent weight gain. I haven't gained tons of weight, but 10 pounds in 4 months ain't cool. It is time to get serious. I went to the store last night to pick up some leafy stuff, Wasa Light Rye Crispbread, Light Mayo and some Tuna. Stuff that will help me lose weight. At one point I was obsessing about what salad dressing to buy--what would make the leafy stuff the most edible while not being too bad for me (Ken's Light Italian is what I ended up with) when something simple happened that immediately helped me feel much better about my situation. Fat Guy wobbled by and picked up the biggest bottle of Ranch dressing to go along with a 12 pack of Dr. Pepper, Lays BBQ chips and Tyson's wings. I realized that it could be much worse...this guy made me look like an anorexic. I know that finding happiness in someone elses problems is at the very least rude and mean-spirited, but I felt much better about my current weight (198) after standing next to him. It was weird, I felt downright giddy when I was on my way to the check out stand.

It was like he was a martyr, one that is there to make the rest of the population feel not quite so bad for being slightly overweight. What a giver. He is putting that extra cupcake in his mouth just so that the rest of us don't have to feel so bad about ourselves--Because, no matter how fat I am, there is no way I will ever be that big. At least I don't think so. I went home and had a handful of Chex Mix and felt good about it instead of guilty.

Bottom line, I am still below 200 and I went years and years sitting around 220 to near 240. I keep riding and running and I'll be just fine.

By the way, I was a pound lower than the day far so good.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

5 Good Days in a Row

My last 5 days: Run, Bike, Bike, Run and Bike. Body feels sore but, with the exception of my lower back near my hip, I feel pretty darn good. Even if I am fat. Next week I add swimming to the mix.

...and getting fatter

I am up to my heaviest weight of the year. Packfodder can celebrate now.

Time to lose it.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

I suck

Basically, 3 weeks off due to my crash and illness. That, my friends, is all it takes to put my in a world of hurt commuting on the singlespeed. I feel like I have no legs and my lower back kills because I don't have the fitness I should have at this point.