Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Some CX Riding & Mtn Biking Pics

I thought I'd give my tri bike a break for a couple of days, so my cross bike and mountain bike got a little loving...

My mobile locker room...

The trails look nice here

Love that bike!






The trails got a little sketchy...which equals fun




Mountain Biking in December

Before...

After...

Not sure how it still shifted, but it did


The aftermath...


Thursday, December 15, 2011

My First Run...

...in the Zoot Ovwa's was awesome!  I usually like running to a destination, so yesterday I set out from school to run home...at the start of the run it was super nice, the temp was comfortable, no hat or gloves needed, it wasn't raining and I was running easy in my new Zoot's.  So I decided to go a little longer, yep I was getting greedy, that's when the sky opened up.  Luckily it wasn't cold, and I always wonder what people in cars think when they see this idiot running in the pouring rain.  When I witness it I'm usually jealous and wish I were out there!  If you're looking for some new running shoes I would definitely recommend the Ovwa's.

Today is Day 15 of the running challenge, the challenge is going well, and I'm ahead of my goal mileage for the month.  Acutally I'm pretty dead on for swimming, biking and running.  I might be a little behind on the bike, but with winter break only a day away I am sure I'll be putting in extra miles in the next two weeks.  I'm also kicking around a challenge within the running challenge for break.  It's kind of over the top, but I wouldn't have it any other way...that's why it's a challenge right?

So if you're looking for a little motivation to get started again here is Simon Whitfield helping you out...



Wednesday, December 14, 2011

An Early Present for Me...

Yesterday I got home from work to find a big box on my doorstep.  I was pretty pumped to come home to a box of goodies from Zoot.  I'm all set to take on my winter training thanks to Jake and the crew!


I'll get some better pictures later to throw up here, but I wanted to get this one up right away. Inside of my awesome package I had a pair of Ovwa's (which I'll run in later today), a pair of Ali'i 3.0's (those are in the middle and are pretty sweet!) and another pair of the Ultra Kalani 2.0's (which have been my go to shoe for long training runs).  In addition to the sweet shoes I got a few running jackets and a pair of running pants too.  I feel extremely fortunate to be able to work with such an amazing company, and their gear is by far the best I've worn!  If you haven't checked them out this would be a great time to cruise over to http://www.zootsports.com/ and give them a try.

Last night after swimming I'm not sure what it was, but Winther was absolutely crazy!  I know he's feeling better because he keeps on bringing a ball to me and dropping it in my lap wanting me to throw it for him.  Unfortunately I can't do that yet...soon enough though.  I'm glad he's feeling better though!



Yea and I really wish this rain we're getting were snow right now!  It's mid-December!!  Why the heck don't we have any snow yet????

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

An Experiment Continued...

I've been pretty fortunate to have trained relatively injury free throughout my triathlon career (if you can call a hobby a career...I just had no better way to describe it I guess).  I dealt with some plantar fasciitis for about a season and a half, and luckily it's gone now.  Because I've been pretty lucky (maybe it's not luck and it's proper training) I haven't really needed to have treatment on anything.  However, I have been told (and now sold) on the fact that some treatment can help to keep you in top form...from what I've learned I don't think I've been able to train and race in that top form.

For some reason Brittany likes to inflict pain on me...not sure why but I can tell she takes great pleasure by pressing on muscles until I'm nearly in tears.  So last night she worked on my right leg...well I asked her to and I wanted to see how it would feel with a hard bike workout in comparison to my left leg.  The difference was like night and day. My right leg felt loose and fluid and ready to rock.  My left leg didn't feel bad...but it didn't feel as good as my right.  She just finished her Graston certification and its amazing how much this helped.  Little does she know that she just opened pandora's box.  If you've got some aches and pains I would definitely recommend it, if you don't know who to go to I might have someone for you.

The running challenge rolls on...day 13 and 30 minutes...here we go!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Dangerous

So heading over to my parents house is usually pretty dangerous.  It has gotten better but whenever I go drive up to Niles there happens to be much tastier food than I keep at home...and by tastier I mean desserts galore!  I'm pretty sure I know where I get my "go big or go home" attitude from...when my Mom bakes, she goes all out...and she bakes a lot so it's like a mega exercise in self-control which I usually lose.

Thanks to training yesterday I didn't feel as bad about eating some cookies at my parents house...ok and some on the way there that Brittany had made too...it's like this conspiracy against me.  By no means am I complaining...keep the good food coming, just make sure I keep getting workouts in otherwise I'll be a blimp.

The running challenge is on day 12.  Just an easy run today which will be nice after a pretty tough weekend of running.

Friday, December 9, 2011

It's Fender Time

Well we did get a dusting of snow last night.  I always love waking up and seeing the ground white. Obviously I wish we would have had a little more snow, but I should just be satisfied that we have some.  Riding in to work was awesome this morning, but reminded me that I need to get some fenders for my bike...the spray coming off of the rear wheel can get pretty bad and I keep telling myself that I need to get a fender.  So I just went online and ordered a fender.

The running challenge is cruising along...day 9 already.  Kind of crazy. I'm looking forward to getting my run in, the sun is out, the temperatures are cold and my legs feel pretty good.

Ironman Hawaii will be on NBC tomorrow at 3:30, should be cool to see how the pro race plays out, and to see some of the footage from the race!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

It's getting cold...

I would say that winter is arriving in Chicago...this morning on my ride in my hands were cold.  I wanted to hold off on wearing the lobster mitts as long as possible, and I'm thinking if it gets much colder I'm going to have to resort to them.  I haven't had to throw on the down jacket yet to ride with so that's a bonus...and hopefully that will stay in the closet for a while.  I have no problem with cold weather...as long as there is snow!  We have yet to get any snow and it's December 8th...what's up with that?  Not to worry though there is already salt on the roads.  Why...I'm not really sure.

The running challenge is now in its 8th day...and I haven't been out for a run yet today, but I layed down a nice base last week.  The consistency will pay off.  I like where my mileage ended up...and without even having a long run thrown in there.  It's the first week in quite a while that I haven't had a "long" run...but that's alright, I definitely feel good with where my running is right now.  Today's run is 30 minutes...that's pretty simple, and I may go a little longer...then again I might not.  My legs are feeling this mornings computrainer effort a bit.

Time to bundle up and embrace the cold while riding.  I think some more mountain biking might be in order!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Getting over the hump...

The running challenge is now on day 7.  I am ahead of where I have been in the past, and I'm not putting in a terribly high amount of effort.  Actually I'm just kind of keeping things low key as when volume increases I think you have to be really careful with the intensity of workouts.  Seeing as some bike and swim workouts have been more intense I'm glad that I'm keeping things in check running.  After 6 days complete (I'll run later today) I'm really enjoying running right now.  I ran right before swimming last night and the temperature was awesome...a little chilly to start but after about 5-10 minutes I was good to go.  My Zoot Ultra Race 3.0's were clicking off miles super easily and I sort of got into the zone, I wanted to keep running and was kind of bummed that I was out of time.  Part of it could have been running in Naperville too...its always nice to have a change of venue to run.  At this point I think I'm over the hump of initial fatique and I'm good to go.  I anticipate another short bit where it will be tough to get out the door to run, it's usually days 16-20...but knowing that going in helps my mind prepare for it.


The Zoot Race 3.0's...I raced 2 Ironmans this season in these and they are awesome!

I need to pick up the bike training a bit...in terms of volume that is.  I have some intense sessions throught the computrainer classes, but I need to start laying down more base miles.  I'm not going to lie though, it's tough to get up and ride on the trainer when you've been up swimming late.  I just need to suck it up and get it done though.

If you're looking for some holiday gifts for triathletes/runners/BAMF's...whoever check out the stuff over at Zoot.  They have free ground shipping on orders of $50 or more through 12/10/2011.  Trust me their stuff is amazing!  I wouldn't wear anything else...I have well over 1300 miles running sockless in Zoot shoes this year and would do it no other way!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

My Find...

On Sunday I met up with a couple friends to swim early, since I wasn't going to be able to swim at masters later in the day.  It's always nice to get workouts done early in the day.  Anyway, as I stepped out of my car I looked down in the parking lot and there in a puddle was a $20 bill.  Sweet!  I was the only car there, so as they say finders keepers right?  What better way to start the day than to find twenty bucks!  Not going to lie I was pretty pumped about my find, and it made for a solid swim set.

The running challenge is now on day 6.  Today's run is 25 minutes.  I've really tried to keep the intensity in check since the volume will be up a bit...like I said I've "tried" but I'm not always successful with that.  Typically if I run on my ghetto treadmill I can keep things in check because it doesn't tell me how fast I'm running...yesterday was the ghetto treadmill day.

Not too much else going on really.  Ready for a couple weeks of relaxation over the holidays.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Cory's Triathlon Training

Apparently Cory wants to race an Ironman...here he is preparing...

video

Friday, December 2, 2011

Songs...

I get songs stuck in my head pretty easily.  They could be good, bad, whatever...they just get stuck.  Last night on the way home from swimming I heard the new Jay Z and Kanye West song.  I'll refrain from posting the title since it's not the most "PC" thing to put up.  Certain lyrics are hilarious to me as well...again not sure why but they are.

So I had that song running through my head all night and I thought to myself that I needed to go onto iTunes and buy it today.  Right as I was thinking that I turned on my iPod pressed play and what do I hear...exactly what was playing through my head.  Apparently I had the album on my computer already, thanks Chad, and I didn't even realize it...so you better believe I listened to the song on repeat the whole ride to work this morning.  Not only was it an awesome morning to ride, I was pumped to have some good tunes along the way.

Today is day 2 of the running challenge, 30 minutes.  Last night I had a nice and chill run with Chad before swimming, it's amazing how much nicer it is to run with someone.  Yes I know come race day I'll be solo, and I'm fine with that, but training with people makes it so much easier and more fun.  Thanks Chad, this might have to become a routine before swimming.

Winther has been doing well at home, we definitely miss having Roxy around though.  It's probably better because he wants to play all of the time.  His limp has gotten better, but I don't want to risk him hurting himself again this early...it's only been 3 weeks since his surgery.  So he's stuck with me...looks like he's living a tough life doesn't it?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

December Begins

It's crazy to think that today is December 1st.  I needed to hit up a little bit of work last night in order to hit my November goals, I was happy to hop on my bike to finish off that goal, but not all that motivated to run.  So thanks to Brittany I jumped on the treadmill to finish off what I had set out to accomplish.  I'm not going to lie after the strength session that she dreamed up it wasn't all that easy to ride or run!  I did take my Ridley Dean on the rollers for the first time...and let me tell you riding a tri bike on rollers can get a little sketchy.  I went down into the aerobars for a short period of time, but didn't want to fall and embarass myself so that was short lived.  This might be a new little challenge though...I should have had a video camera on me because I'm sure it was humorous, and I probably had a super serious look on my face because I was trying not to fall.

December brings a new challenge...the running challenge.  This is the third year that we're doing this (I say we because I think it was Chad's idea originally).  I think there are far more people on board this year which should make it fun.  If you want to know what it's all about shoot me an email or leave a comment here.  Along with the running challenge I have a few other goals that I want to make sure to meet this month.  So my spreadsheet is all up to date and ready to roll.

This morning on the way from Endure It to work I jumped on that little super short trail again.  Today I decided to try to take a video of it, and although it's not the best quality (pretty good though considering it is shot from an iPhone) I'm glad I had it running because a huge hawk flew out in front of me towards the end of the ride and I actually got it on video.

Enjoy, and get out to run...today's run is only 20 mintutes!!

video

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

November Done...Bring on December

The month of November flew by!  I set out to hit some certain goals, and by the end of today I will have met those goals, which I feel pretty good about. I guess it's time to raise the bar a little because these weren't that difficult to hit...not that goals have to be hard to hit, but I'm typically up for a challenge.  The December Running Challenge starts tomorrow, that will defintitely get hard, as I'm sure there will be days where I don't want to run. But knowing there are other people out there doing the challenge you can bet that I'll get my butt out there too!

Something funny happened on my ride home yesterday, my friend Vic and I were riding together and we were both on single speed 29ers, which are pretty awesome.  I commented on how the bikes were amazing and how you could take them anywhere...at which time I took off to take a short cut up a curb, over some dirt and to the otherside.  Well I guess that Vic was thinking the same thing.  Luckily for me I won the whole shot and hit the section of dirt first, unlucky for Vic was that I jumped on the pedals before him as he took a little digger and I grabbed the tree.  We were both laughing the whole time...but the best part was that there was some little kid, probably like 5th or 6th grade that came up to us to ask if we were alright.  It was really nice of the kid, but he totally had a look on his face like we were a couple of idiots.  That little mishap definitely makes me want to hit up some more single track.   Hopefully this weekend I'll be able to get out to the trails.

Roxy continues to like her stay at my parents house...as you can see by this picture of her and Gus chillin on the couch watching TV...must be rough.



And then you have Winther who gets so excited to show me all of his toys that he totally crashes out right after...and even sleeps covered up under blankets...

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

My Windy Detour


The weather has officially turned nasty here in Chicago...gray skies, the wind is howling, and you start to get bummed out pretty easily because of it.  So this morning as I was leaving computrainer and riding to work there is this super tiny trail (like mega tiny maybe .25 mile long) I've cut through it when I've run before, but never on my bike.  I made a total spur of the moment decision took a right hand turn and bombed down into the trail.  The problem was I carried quite a bit of speed onto the trail where there are a couple of wooden bridges over a small creek.  The bridges have no railings...so when rubber meets wet wood something happens...you slide. Luckily for me I was able to keep the bike on the bridge and the rubber side down, but wow that was fun!  It's amazing what a little 30 second stint in the woods on a bike can do for you.  I always say how I need to get out onto my mountain bike more...and I really do.  This might have to be a regular occurance now on Tuesday and Thursdays.  It also got me out of the nasty head wind which I felt like I was riding hard yet going no where.

Anyway, in two days we're kicking off the December Running Challenge.  Chad and I have been doing this for a couple of years now, and it's a great way to stay active during a busy time of year...and a great way to throw down a decent base!  I've included the challenge below...it's based off of time and you're on the honor system.  If you need to switch days around...go for it, if you miss a day (which is discouraged) double up on another day.  Enjoy!


12/1 - 20 minutes        12/2 - 30 minutes      12/3 - 25 minutes
12/4 - 35 minutes        12/5 - 20 minutes      12/6 - 25 minutes
12/7 - 20 minutes        12/8 - 30 minutes      12/9 - 25 minutes
12/10 - 25 minutes      12/11 - 40 minutes    12/12 - 20 minutes
12/13 - 30 minutes      12/14 - 25 minutes    12/15 - 30 minutes
12/16 - 30 minutes      12/17 - 25 minutes    12/18 - 45 minutes
12/19 - 25 minutes      12/20 - 30 minutes    12/21 - 25 minutes
12/22 - 35 minutes      12/23 - 30 minutes    12/24 - 50 minutes
12/25 - 30 minutes      12/26 - 25 minutes    12/27 - 35 minutes
12/28 - 25 minutes      12/29 - 35 minutes    12/30 - 25 minutes
12/31 - 35 minutes





Monday, November 28, 2011

Snowflakes in the air...

As I was riding in this morning there were snowflakes in the air.  Not going to lie I love snow. I really have no use for the cold if there is no snow!  So bring it on.  Rumor has it we might get some tomorrow night, which would be totally awesome, I'm not going to count on it though.

This weekend was great, it was nice to relax and to see Katie who was in town for Thanksgiving.  Winther got his stitches out, and though Roxy isn't back home yet (she's enjoying her little vacation at my parents house) they did get to hang out together this weekend which was nice. Did I mention that Roxy is getting extremely spoiled right now?


Yea it must be rough to be her huh?  Not that Winther has it that bad either...



There are some wheels in motion for next seasons races, looking forward to hearing more about it, and about getting to work!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Let's Ride

The weather is awesome, and will be for a couple of days.  So I guess that means I'm supposed to use that time to ride outside. I thought my outdoor riding was going to be limited to commuting and mountain biking...I thought wrong and am pumped about it.  60 degrees and sunny on Thanksgiving...sorry Mom I might be late (I know she's going to be ticked about that so I better not) but how are you supposed to sit inside and eat when the weather is this nice so late in the year?

It's kind of nice not having any structure for workouts right now, and just doing what I want to do.  The key is to remember that I'm not racing ironman anytime soon...so I don't need to be training like I were.  Someone remind me of that every so often please.

On a completely separate note Winther is getting his stitches out this week...so that means he won't have to wear the cone when I'm gone.  And maybe soon Roxy can come home from her little vacation to grandma and grandpa's...though I don't think she has it too rough there.  Walk, play, eat, repeat...rough life for her.  We do miss her though and can't wait to have her back. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Are We Spoiled?

As I was watching the news this morning I saw something pretty incredible...the weather.  Sure I've complained about the gray crappy days, what can I say I love the sun.  But when I saw 56 on Thanksgiving and 60 on Friday of this week, the first thing that popped into my mind was the fact that I could get outside to ride...and that I will do.  Friday just turned into a long ride day.  It might be a solo long ride, but to be outside riding in 60 degree weather at the end of November in Chicago doesn't happen too often (or ever that I can remember) so I'm going to have to take advantage of it for sure!

I was kicking around the idea of signing up for IMAZ, but that idea was quickly shut down when it sold out in less than 10 minutes.  I have a feeling that signing up for Ironman races is going to get more difficult than racing them...alright maybe not more difficult, but it's going to be more stressful for sure.  See I can control my training and preparation...I can't control whether or not Active.com lets me click through things fast enough to get a spot in the race.  There has to be a better way.  I don't have a definite solution to fix that...but I have a thought or two.  Oh well, the WTC is making money hand over fist and they are a business so you can't blame them...it's just a little out of hand.  The prices of races keep going up, yet you aren't getting anything more from their races.  Shoot the finishers shirts in Kona were the worst quality I've received from a WTC event.  How does that work?  It's some no name "tech" tee where the sizing is all jacked up...my medium looks like it's an x-large.  For a race that costs that much they should customize the shirt to fit me, how about a "Retul" fit for finisher tee's...there's an idea.

Anyway, I'm ready for some nice weather this weekend...and I'm going to enjoy every bit of it. And here is the reason I want a Go Pro Camera...tell me this isn't sweet...



If only I could ride a mountain bike like that.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Keepin the Rubber Side Down

I always forget how much fun I have when I mountain bike.  I don't know if it's because it's a great workout, if it's because you're not dealing with a-hole drivers on the roads, if it's because the woods are a peaceful place to be, or if it's because I'm not sure whether or not I'm going to crash.  Mountain biking here this time of year is especially fun because the fallen leaves completely cover the trail...so you really have no idea what you're going to roll over...or better yet fall over.

Yesterday after a quick run at Waterfall Glen, Wanner and I hit up the trails there, no not the wide open trails that you're used to, but some over grown single track that's off of the beaten path.  We had a great time rolling through there and I love my 29er!

Wanner after taking a small tumble.

The Felt 29er taking a nap while we clear the trail a bit for next time.

Bombing the hill over the bridge, just to climb another hill...of which I was definitely in the wrong gear for.

Wanner eating one of his infamous energy bars

A handlebar mount would be awesome

The Felt 29er, I kept the rubber side down today, hopefully that will continue...

Friday, November 18, 2011

H2O Audio

Yesterday I found out that I'll be joining the H2O Audio (http://www.h2oaudio.com/) team which I'm excited about.  Swimming by myself during training should go by a lot faster now!  Check out their headphones and waterproof cases...not just for swimming, but all water sports and for those of you who sweat like crazy and could benefit from some waterproof coverage of your mp3 player/phone.  I should get some new gear soon, so as soon as I do I'll make sure to get the information up here.


The weather here has turned cold. Nothing unbearable and actually it's kind of refreshing (as long as the sun is out that is). So I figured it was time to start to get used to the cold weather a bit more.  I've been wearing 3-4 layers when I've been riding in to work every morning...this morning I decided I needed to start to "winterize" my body for the long winter ahead.  All I wore was a tech t-shirt and a cycling jacket (usually I'll have a t-shirt, long sleeve shirt, light cycling jacket, normal cycling jacket and maybe even a vest) and though I wasn't all that warm...I wasn't really cold either.  I found it funny when a woman was walking her daughter to the bus stop in Sorel Boots, a huge winter parka, mittens, hat (alright so I understand the hat and mittens), a scarf and a blanket...all while the kid had no hat or gloves.  Really lady?  You're dressed like it's below zero and your kid has no hat or gloves on...strange. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Dizzy Kind of Hurt

This morning I decided to test my threshold on the bike. Red lining for that long is a tough thing to do.  I will say that it was a fight for minutes 17-24, but then it came back around.  I'm satisfied with where I'm sitting right now and feel good about where I can end up with some hard work.  It's always nice when you push so hard that you can't see straight at the end.  It did take me a couple of minutes to get back to normal.

I'm on a mission this winter...I need to either find a cheap scooter or find someone who has one that would be willing to let me borrow it in the summer once a week...I mean how much fun does this look?



Now that I have a current number on the bike...the real work begins!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Beautiful Pain

Last night masters swimming started up again.  It was great to start swimming with a group again, and I realized how much I do truly despise the backstroke!  It feels like I'm trying to swim through quicksand...and the quicksand is winning.  There were definitely some new faces last night, and a decent sized group of swimmers.  I'm not sure why but the coach put me in a lane swimming with Chad and Brian...both of whom are much faster than me.  So needless to say I was in the hurt locker pretty early on, and stayed there for the duration of the set. The best part about it though is that I thoroughly enjoyed the pain!  I know it's weird, but I did.

There are still spots available with the group so if you're interested  in joining us let me know and I can point you in the right direction.

On a different note, it's been very strange to only have 1 dog at home.  Winther is still recovering from his surgery last week and he's missing Roxy.  The poor guy looks lost when I come home (part of that might be the cone that he has to wear so he doesn't tear out his stitches).  He has a sad face when I leave, which kills me to see...but my Mom said that Roxy is having a great time walking 4 times a day and playing with Maverick and Gus.  Only about a week left for Winther to keep his stitches in, and then I'll feel a little better about things.  Maybe we'll go and see  Roxy this weekend, the hard part it that they can't play though...and keeping those two from playing is nearly impossible!

This is a "break" from playing ball this summer.  Hopefully Winther will be ready to go again soon.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Testing

This week at computrainer everyone is working hard to complete their threshold tests.  I have a pretty good idea as to where my power is right now, and because I want everyone to do well I think it's kind of selfish for me to test with the class.  So I rode hard for about half of the test to see where I was and then backed it off and tried to encourage people.  I'm alright with where my power is right now, and definitely have a goal to shoot for.  So now the fun part is creating a plan to get to that goal. 

I put the Ninja to work last night and tried some different combinations in my smoothie, well I'm going to spare you the ingredients because it tastes crappy.  Back to the drawing board with that.

Masters swimming starts tonight, should be fun and painful all at the same time.  I haven't swam with a group for a few months so this will be a nice change of pace.  I will say that I've been more consistent in the water so hopefully tonight won't be a complete shock to my system.  I'm sure it will  be painful, just maybe not as painful as it's been in years past.  I'm really going to aim to swim 5 days a week...3 days with the masters group and two days on my own...who knows maybe I'll even have a double swim day.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Life Is Good

I've been pretty busy, but life's been good. Friday morning I had to take Winther in to have surgery on his knee.  The poor guy was not too happy about it, and still isn't the happiest, but he's getting better every day.  By next summer he should be ready to rock and should be good as new.  He already wants to run around, and keeping him chill is tough!  Roxy is having a nice vacation at grandma and grandpa's house though...so Winther is kind of lonely I think.

Beyond that things are rolling along nicely.  I'm starting to solidify my schedule a bit for next year, and am excited about it.  I have a lot of work to do though...a lot of work!

Yesterday I went and ran Waterfall Glen with the boy's. We decided to run it "backwards" which is a nice change of pace, and I even took a couple of different access roads to get a different view.  Not going to lie though I almost hit the deck about half way through when I heard gun shots...the Lemont Police Shooting Range is nearby and they must have been practicing, or the thugs of unincorporated DuPage County were "offing" someone in the woods...I'm guessing it was the Police.  While we were running I saw the dude who "raced" me there last week, kind of funny...I decided not to race him again this week as we were going opposite directions.  I think I've only missed one weekend of running there since I've been back from Hawaii. Kind of funny because I don't think I ran there this much all summer.  The soft surface is great, and something about running there in the fall is awesome! 

Here is Winther on his way to the Vet...not too thrilled!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Looking for it...

This morning I found myself looking for power on the bike.  I'm not sure where it went, but it was not moving from my legs into the pedals. I tried everything I could to snap my body out of the funk it seemed to be in...but it wasn't happening.  I did stay the course, and went for it the entire time, so I'm just going to have to chalk this morning up to a character builder.  Remember you can't have an awesome workout every time right?  But that's what gets to me...I want that workout every time.  I suppose I've been greedy in that regard lately.  I want to improve every day, and I want to see improvement...well today just doing the work was improvement.  I'm glad I waited to write this because right after I was not the happiest.  There were moments I wanted to bag the set...but I stayed with it, even though I didn't nail it.  That's alright, I put in work this morning.

We had the coldest morning of the season here in Chicago this morning and I'm not going to lie it was quite refreshing riding in.  Maybe I'm whacked (ok I definitely am) but there is something awesome about having tears stream down the side of your face from the wind while riding that I really love!  I can't wait to get some of the new Zoot winter running gear...from the looks of it I'm going to need it soon!  Yesterday I  was able to run in shorts and a long sleeve shirt...might not have been the best idea as I never warmed up...so I think it's time to get some new gear.  If you haven't checked out the new Zoot running gear you're going to want to...it looks awesome and because it comes from Zoot I'm sure it performs amazingly well too! Check it out at http://www.zootsports.com/ and while you're there you might want to pick up some new running shoes as well.  I mean you can't run the Thanksgiving Turkey Trots in old kicks can you?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Snow?

So there are rumors that we might be seeing some snow flakes later today.  Obviously the snow won't stick, and we won't get to do anything with it.  But it means we're one step closer to being able to go skiing, snow shoeing, sledding.  I've been watching Warren Miller movies in the pain cave during the morning, and I totally have the itch to ski!  I've seen tons of pictures out west where they are getting snow already, and I'm not going to lie I'm a bit jealous.  We've had nothing but gray skies and rain...not my favorite.  I'm guessing it's not on anyones high list of weather either.  I do need to get my ski's into the shop to get them tuned up, and I'm going to buy some cross country ski's too.  I can't decide whether I want classic ski's or skate ski's.  Last year I went out and did some classic cross country skiing and I loved it...well besides the fact that my heels had huge blisters from the rental boots that is.

I have to take one of my dogs, Winther, in for knee surgery on Friday.  I'm not looking forward to it, the poor guy doesn't know it's coming.  Hopefully though after a few months he'll be good to go again and he'll be back to his crazy, happy self.  Roxy, my other dog, is going to be super confused without having her brother around.  The real question is how am I going to keep that psycho dog chilled out...they are going to need to give me some tranquilizers or something because he's nuts!

He's finally tired...but he hoards toys as you can see.

Putting on a show, I must have been holding a treat

Happy dogs waiting for me to come running by in a 10k, not sure how my Mom got them to relax, I'm sure after I went by they were pulling her to try to chase me.

Roxy chillin...she'll be happy to see Winther again on Saturday after I pick him up.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

It's Time for the Ninja

A while back my blender bit the dust.  Seeing how I love to make smoothies this was a hard pill to swallow.  Now I didn't want to buy just any old blender...but at the same time I couldn't justify $400 for a Vitamix or BlendTec.  So I was in this holding pattern for quite a while.  I'm not sure what prompted this, but last night I decided that I was going to go out and get a blender.  I think I just came to terms with the fact that a Vitamix wasn't in the cards for me and I just needed to suck it up and get a blender.  When I got to the store I was checking out the blenders on the shelf when it hit me...THE NINJA!  No the blender didn't actually hit me, but as it was displayed there on the counter I couldn't help but think of the good times blending we could have together...frozen fruit, fresh fruit, ice, protein powder, chia seeds, ice cream...oh the possibilities!  So I went for it.  Now you can see it in pictures because it's not in "true" ninja form.



The Ninja made this smoothie faster than I could take it out of the box...less than 10 seconds and I was in business.


video

Needless to say I'm pretty pumped about the Ninja.  I'm also pumped (no pun intented here) about the "Strength Training for Triathletes" book that I had ordered.  Hopefully I'll get a good jump start on it tonight before I get a swim in.



On the training front we had a solid class this morning at Endure It.  My legs felt fresh as I took yesterday pretty easy and just spun on the rollers for 60 minutes.  Work works!

Monday, November 7, 2011

That Guy...

We had a great weekend here in Chicago, and along with that was some solid training, a new grocery store and an impromtu race which I wasn't planning on doing.  The "race" wasn't really a race...more like some dude running who didn't want his ego bruised (and yes I totally took the bait to race this dude, more on that later). 

There is a new grocery store in Westmont called the Standard Market, it's definitely nice, clean and healthy, although (not to sound snobbish but it's going to come off that way) there isn't a whole lot of organic produce there.  Though the prices on meats are pretty good.  And the quality is great as well.

Saturday morning was the typical computrainer long ride followed by a little run.  Though it never felt good I was able to get the work done which is important.  Thanks to Chad I have an Apple TV now and I set it up this weekend, it's pretty cool, and definitely something I've already put to good use.

Sunday morning I met the boys to get a little swim and a run in.  The swim went well, and it's amazing how much faster time goes when you're swimming with a group!  After our swim we headed out to Waterfall Glen to get a loop in.  I was planning on taking it easy, and I think I did a pretty good job of that for the most part...until the last mile that is.  So I have this weird thing that if I see someone I need to pass them.  Now I've gotten better about not dropping the hammer immediately to pass them, and I have started to let the people come back to me slowly.  So at about mile 8 of the loop at WFG I saw a guy ahead of me.  I knew that I had about 2 miles to run, and that's a pretty good amount of distance to be able to make up time, so I wasn't worried about catching and passing this guy because I knew that I would.  Well it started to get a little interesting as I was about 20 yards behind him.  He must have heard me coming and he started to pick up his pace.  How do I know this?  Because I wasn't closing space anymore, and I could see his footspeed increase.  I thought I had a pretty good idea as to what he was doing (also read, he wanted to throw down) so I started to slowly increase my pace (I was sitting about 6:45 pace when I was 20 yards behind him).  As I slowly increased, so did he...something kind of clicked in my head...twisted I know.  I had just been sucked in to this race with some dude on the trail.  No words were spoken...no fees were paid...but for some reason this guy was not happy with me for catching him.  So I decided to tighten the screws, I dropped down to just below a 6:00 mile pace to run right behind him...I figured why make the pass right then, I wanted to see how much he was suffering.  He was breathing pretty hard and I could see his form starting to suffer so I figured I'd pass him, and I wanted to be done with my run anyway.  I picked up the pace, and made sure to go hard enough so that it was a definitive move, and went by him.  It didn't take long (a few strides) before I had gone by him and opened a little gap.  I stayed on the gas for about a quarter mile and then settled back in.  He wasn't coming back.  When I finished the loop the guy arrived about a minute later and ran straight to his car, started it and drove away...I couldn't even congratulate him on a solid effort.  A couple of friends were sitting there when I finished and totally knew that something was up when I finished my run, they laughed as the guy got into his car and drove away immediately.  So I guess you can say that I was "that guy" out racing during training and that I took the bait, that's fine because it's true.  But I'm pretty sure he was trying to race me as well, so that makes it a little better right?

Friday, November 4, 2011

Bam!

I was pumped yesterday when my legs decided to make an appearance on my run.  I found myself trying to slow down because my legs just wanted to go.  It's funny how your body responds at different times.  During my ride yesterday my legs never felt good, I hit my numbers but had to work for them.  I was able to fit a quick lift in during my lunch (loving lifting once again!) and hit up a quick 7 mile run after school in the crappy weather we had yesterday.  For some reason I kind of enjoy running in crappy weather, I'm strange what can I say?

Ironman Florida is this weekend, and though I'm not sure my body wants to do an Ironman right now, I'm sure I'll be jealous of everyone racing.  How sick is that?  Ironman Arizona is a couple weeks away so now the question is should I register for next year?

I hit up the rollers in the pain cave this morning.  The time seems to fly by while I'm riding rollers, I'm really starting to enjoy it, and it's a great excuse to ride my road bike.  Sorry for the completely random post here...thoughts aren't coming all that fluently right now.  I probably need to head out for a run as that always seems to clear my head.  I do need to get into the pool today.  I'm anticipating a big swim weekend with some decent sets tomorrow and Sunday morning.

There are some awesome triathlon videos online which I've been watching lately...mainly the "Training Day" types of videos so I'll share some of them here.  Here is one with Macca motorpacing on the Queen K in Kona...how awesome would this be?



And I'm totally hooked on that song too...who is it?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

It's Not Always Easy

Do you ever have those days where immediately you know the workout is going to be a struggle?  Yep this morning was one of those sessions.  I had to focus far harder than I typically do in order to hold numbers.  A number like 70% shouldn't take as much focus as it did today...but races won't always be easy (and they shouldn't be) so I'm glad I stuck it out today.  Trust me there was a voice saying to just bag the workout and to just spin.  If I would have let that voice win then it gets stronger for the next time I'm not feeling the best.  The set wasn't killer, but my legs just had no pop at all.  Oh well, I'll chalk it up to a character building session.  I think I've had a few too many of those sessions lately.  The problem is you get done with Ironman, take it easy for a couple of weeks and then expect to be performing at the same level you did before...which was when you were peaking.  I need to remind myself I'm not peaking right now, and that's ok.  Every workout isn't going to be awesome, and that's ok.  It's about putting in the work, I need to keep putting in the work.

The November goals are coming along well...so far the totals are:

Swim - 1500.  38500 to go
Bike - 3.5 hours - 21.5 to go
Run - 9.5 miles - 110.5 to go

I plan on getting in the water today, tomorrow, Saturday, and Sunday.  Hopefully Saturday and Sunday I can get some bigger yardage in.  I need to get a strength session in today as well...and I'll get a run in.  Work works.

And when I need a little motivation as to why I'm doing this again I check this out.  A friend of mine sent it to me before Hawaii...and it definitely helps!!



Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Work Works...and Someone Who Taught Me That

First of all I should start with sending some birthday wishes to my Dad...Happy Birthday Dad!  I have to say that I owe a lot to my Dad (and you to Mom because I know you read this and he doesn't) because he (and this does include you too Mom...that will be my disclaimer from here on out haha) taught me one of the most important lessons in life...you need to WORK for what you get.  Sure there are times where life isn't fair, and although you worked harder than someone else, and are probably more deserving than someone else they may get what you desire.  But he instilled in me the crazy work ethic that I have...so when he nods his head and thinks I'm crazy for doing the things that I do...he has no one to blame but himself. 

My Dad has always worked hard, I remember when I was a little kid he'd be working in the shop in our basement well after we had already gone to sleep.  He would get up on the weekend early to get work done so that we could play hockey, go to college, ect...  He taught me that work works, and nothing else is going to get you to your goals.  I wouldn't say that I've ever been the most gifted athlete, but I will say that odds are I worked harder than anyone on my teams.  Thanks to this life long lesson that my Dad taught me I was able to live out a dream and race in Kona...and because of that race I now need to work harder to get back there. 

Thanks Dad and Happy Birthday


On that note, I had a solid day of "work" yesterday and it started right back up this morning with an hour ride on the rollers.  Nothing too tough, just spinning and getting the day started off right.  The new pain cave is definitely an upgrade and motivation to get work done.  Running yesterday didn't feel all that great, but I'm hoping that changes with time...as I know the more I run the better I'll feel.  We have amazing weather right now in Chicago for November, and it would be great if we could keep it like this for a while, or if the snow would come.


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

November Goals

I don't know why but time has been flying by lately!  It's crazy to think that today is November 1st.  With that in mind it's time to start getting into more structured types of workouts, and to hit some "base" distance/time goals.  With that said here are the planned base distances for the month of November:

Swim - 40,000 yards (I'm thinking about doing 50,000 though...we'll see)
Bike - 25 hours (Our November Challenge)
Run - 120 miles (I need to prepare for the December Running Challenge)
Strength Training - 2-3 sessions weekly

This isn't all that crazy, and should be attainable, especially with Masters Swimming starting up in a couple weeks.  I'm definitely looking forward to swimming with a group again.  I know I can do it on my own, but it's much more motivating with a group.

I kicked off the November Bike Challenge with the Tuesday morning Computrainer class.  It took some focus, but was well worth the effort.  I'm liking where my bike fitness is right now.  I need to work to hit numbers, but that work will all pay off.


The Best Part..."Shut Up and Ride"

I know this weekend we "fall back" and turn the clocks back an hour, so it will be nice to have an extra hour of sleep, but at the same time I'm going to kind of miss walking out of Endure It in the morning after class and seeing something along these lines...

Knowing that you've already put in a solid effort on the bike and seeing a sunrise is a great feeling! 

Time to figure out how I'm going to hit all of these goals I set forth for November...less than an hour riding a day (let's be serious that won't be an issue), 4 miles running (should be easy), and about 1400 in the pool daily...yep this is going to happen!

Monday, October 31, 2011

The Pain Cave

I needed a change in my basement.  I'm not sure why...but I needed a change.  So yesterday I went down there and started moving crap around.  What I ended up with was a new and improved "Pain Cave"

Treadmill, Rollers, Trainer...All Ready to Rock

TV, Boombox, DVD Player...

Weights, TRX and Roxy's Butt

I'm pretty pumped with how it turned out, and can't wait to get down there to get started on the off-season work.


This weekend was great as well (besides the construction of the pain cave). I was able to get some serious cleaning done, filed some stuff away, got some stuff ready for good will...that kind of fun stuff. My parents came over on Saturday and while my Dad and I put up a new light and put together the grandfather clock my Dad made for me, my Mom cut the grass. I mean how awesome is that? My parents are pretty awesome!!

I haven't carved pumpkins in a long time...needless to say my skills are lacking. But here they are anyway...

Mine is up top with the crooked face, Britt's is in front.

I swear it looked straight when I was carving it!

Yesterday we went to Extreme Trampoline...really fun, and I'm not going to lie I'm sore today.  Trampoline Dodgeball should be an Olympic Sport.  So much fun!  I mean who wouldn't like whipping balls at little kids while you're jumping on a trampoline?

The November Bike Challenge starts up tomorrow.  Looking forward to having a goal to work towards.  I may even do a little November Run Challenge too...do I have any takers for that as well?

Friday, October 28, 2011

Dodging Squirrels...or Not

I don't know what the deal was but the squirrels yesterday were crazy.  I was riding home from school, taking my typical route when all of the sudden this squirrel darts out of no where.  Well I was rolling along too quickly to hit the brakes...so if you happen to see a squirrel with a whacked out crooked tail in Westmont it may have been me that hit it.

Squirrel -vs - Bike Scoreboard

Rick - 1              Squirrel - 0

The weather here is starting to get colder.  I don't mind it, and I really need to get used to it considering my fingers were a bit chilly riding in this morning.  Looking forward to an awesome weekend.  It still feels really weird not having to ride 100 miles tomorrow.  I kind of miss it...sick I know!

I'm quite jealous right now because my sister sent me a text last night saying that it was snowing in Boston.  I have also seen pictures of Boulder...with snow.  I have no use for the cold if there is no snow...so let's bring on the snow.  I want to get some cross country skis this year...so maybe November would be a good month to get those, that way when we do get some snow I can hit up the trails.  Altough I'm guessing that with my luck as soon as I get them we won't get snow, so I don't want to jinx myself.  So not sure if this could get any more random...so I figure some random pictures will help things continue this theme going...but there are a couple of pics of some sweet things that Zoot has on sale right now at the end of this.  Check out their limited edition Kona gear on sale right now.  Totally sweet!!  http://www.zootsports.com/

Winther wanting to give some high 5's

Mom, me, and Katie after her surgery...she still blames me after like 20 years

After Kona

Zoot Special Edition Kona Jersey

Zoot Special Edition Kona Shorts