Wednesday, July 25, 2007

I think I'm losing it.

So here it is, Wednesday, and I've already run 9 miles and change and swum close to 3. This is since Monday...

Am I crazy? (Hint: I think I could have been going harder.)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The photos have arrived!

So here are some pictures. They're not hi-res or anything, but you can start to get a feel for things.

What? It's 7AM on a Saturday.
Look at all the cool stuff you'll get to buy. No, you don't need the plastic feet...

Woops! Somebody ate it.

Look ma! I'm flying!

Yes, this is Del Dios, and I'm one of those people.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Here sharky, sharky....

So we started ocean swimming as a team, complete with our nifty, TNT-branded wetsuits (logos on the inside and out, so when you peel it halfway down, they still know where you got it.). We swim from La Jolla Shores, as opposed to La Jolla Cove, where the tri club and other people swim. This is good, because we get to practice surf entry and surf exit, which we apparently won't really have to deal with in Pac Grove. Makes sense, right?

Even so, it's cool. It's high summer here in San Diego and there's sea life a-plenty even in the shallows. Guitar fish, stingrays, bait fish, leopard sharks. Yes leopard sharks. They're not real big and they're bottom feeders, but still...friggin' sharks! How cool is that?

I almost grabbed one last night by accident. I was just charging along, trying to catch a wave in to shore and I looked over at my right hand. Not a foot away was a leopard shark. A couple of feet long, just darting away. So awesome.

At about that point, I looked down and through the sediment I could see all these stingray wings flapping away. I couldn't really see the rays, just their wings moving. It looked like the ocean floor was the skin of some giant fish, all scaly and rippling. Never seen anything like it.

Apparently, when you go out from the shores and you get into the deeper water, if it's clear enough you can sometimes see schools of leopard sharks and even the occasional dolphin. Can't wait to find out. And me in my wounded seal costume....

Saturday, July 7, 2007

On the subject of masonry....

Brick /brik/ n. 1 a. block of fired or sundried clay, used in building. b similar block of concrete, etc. 2 brick-shaped solid object. 3 block, cube, chunk. v. tr. close, pave or block with bricks. adj. built of brick

So sayeth the Oxford Desk Dictionary and Thesaurus (American Edition). They conveniently left out the triathlon (or at least Team in Training triathlon) definition.

Brick /brik/ n. 1 A workout comprised of two of the sports making up triathlon, specifically cycling and running.

The brick workout is interesting. It's essentially a way to let you feel what it's like to hop off your bike after a ride (minimum, race distance) and start running. Sounds simple. It isn't. Try it, but don't ask me for a band-aid if you fall and break something. The first time you try it, it's a little like having a couple of shots of tequila, closing your eyes and shaking your head really hard, then trying to walk on a balance beam. Your legs won't do what you tell them to. This is because they know you are insane. You should stop. Sit down. Have a stretch, maybe a pretzel. Not go charging off to run a couple of miles.

Even so, when you're done, it feels kind of good.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

...And now with adolescent humor. (potty jokes)

So I ran the Scripps Ranch Old Pros 10K yesterday. (Yes, by the time I post this, it will be two days ago, but bite me, I started it on the 5th.) It was my first race since the elementary school jog-a-thon, unless you count that time'm not supposed to talk about that, not if I ever want to see my goldfish alive again. It's only been ten years. There's still hope right?

Where was I? Yeah...10k. I ran it in 59:13. It's important to note that that is an unofficial time, marked on my watch. I looked at the race website today, but apparently they're still tallying the 2006 results. So here's the thing, I was curious about my time, and using the shiny new Ironman watch I bought, so I took splits at each mile marker. This is how I scored:

Mile 1: 9:46
Mile 2: 9:03
Mile 3: 8:59
Mile 4: 11:21
Mile 5: 9:18
Mile 6: 10:43

So this is interesting for a couple of reasons, notably, mile 4, in which Ryan, who ignored coach's recommendation to make two pre-race porta-potty stops, got to learn how to untie the drawstring on spandex shorts 4 miles into a run on a sunny day...Let's just say that pioneering merit badge came in handy.

And mile 6? Well, I choked a little. I thought I was pacing myself properly, but apparently not so much.

Still, 59:13 isn't a bad place to start, even if the mysterious druids who calculated the "race pace" on coach's spreadsheet say I should do 10k in 53:35. I've got two more months to get there and then some, right? All I need to do is stop getting blisters and run faster. Piece of cake...very painful, sweaty cake.

That's all for now. G'night everyone.

PS: When the nice man at the running store says you don't need to break in your shoes, take one of them, hit him over the head with it and then go break the damn things in.

Monday, July 2, 2007

What's happening to me?

This whole tri thing is getting under my skin. We're coming up on recommitment time, which for anyone who hasn't done TNT, is the time when we have to put up or shut up. This is the last chance to pull the ripcord and bail out, because from here on in we're on the hook.

(Which reminds me, anyone have rich friends or inroads at benevolent corporations? I could use a little help.)

I knew as soon as I got my first donation that I was going to finish this thing, but that's really all I was planning on doing. Turns out that just finishing is kind of like just taking one breath, or just eating one potato chip. Can't be done. Once you're in, you're in deep. some examples:

  • A couple of weeks ago I went to New Mexico on business. I was scheduled to get back at about 11PM. We wound up on a flight that got in about three hours earlier. My first thought? "Now I have time to practice tire changes."
  • I had lunch with some friends (not TNT or tri people) and as I was reading the menu, I found myself wondering which items might be good on race morning. Never mind that the race is 2 months away and nothing on that menu will even be an option.
  • I know the day of the week by the scheduled workout.
  • I just bought a 24-pack of Gu.
It's funny, but I don't remember drinking any kool-aid at my info meeting. Somebody must have spiked my water bottle....