Tuesday, June 24, 2008


The results are in - Brian Gilbert - You are an IRONMAN!!!

Seriously - this is a TOUGH way to earn that title!!!

Ironman CDA was Sunday and the beach start there is VERY tight.

The swim temperature was also 55 degrees so I am sure everyone was huddled together to stay warm...anyway - Brian had a great train up and was looking for a great race and here is his recap:

Hey Man, Thanks! Not a great day but I'm glad it's behind me. I'll fill you in later in the week......I'm packing up and heading home this afternoon. Long story short, 2 mins into the swim, crack! broken nose.......blood everywhere (if it was ocean swim i'd have quit for fear of sharks).....the cold water was probably good for immediate numbness Didn't really have too much trouble on the bike, the course is definitely challenging but I made sure to dial it back a bit on the 2nd lap. The run, well, that's another story, too much pounding and I just didn't have anything. Thanks for the note, definitely look forward to a couple days off.

CONGRATS again Brian - you also get the WTFU award!!!

Congrats also to the West Coast Shawn Burke - 10:44:09 - NICE JOB!!!

This is getting kind of Seinfeld bizaro world strange - I raced there last year and went 10:49:24 - cue the Twilight zone music :)

In keeping with the concept of it is better to ask forgiveness than permission, Lyndon Box also raced this weekend and CRUSHED IT!!!

He was 3rd Overall in Jax Tri Series and 2nd in Marineland... Congrats Lyndon!!!

Hey wait a minute - you did ask me and I think I said it was not a good idea - see - just goes to show you - what do I know? apparentently not too much :)

For the Shaved leg tough guys - Karel was in LaGrange for a TT, Crit and Road Race...He took 5th in the TT, 4th in the Crit and 2nd in the RR - AWESOME!!! Enjoy the time off!!!

Last - and speaking of cyclists - the future Mr. Phelps turned in his goggles and his training wheels - Look out Lance.

Thanks Curtis and Miles - the no pedals trick worked perfectly - that was the KEY!!!

Do they make Newtons in size 1? :)

Monday, June 23, 2008

Its official – the “off-season” is over…

And by the way…I’m over my credit limit !!!

Most of my blogs are about results, rants or random streams of consciousness and very few of them are actually about me…this one is…but much like the Cosby show of my youth – it might just have a lesson in it.

Whether it was meant to be or not - my summer vacation is OFFICIALLY over!!!

I had two more weeks but a Sunday morning blurry eyed glazed over like a Krispy Crème Donut scale reading and early morning beat down by a 92 pound midget has forced me to re-evaluate where I am and where I want to be.

What did I do during my break?

I played with the boys result: they are pretty sick of me but hey they are teenagers – Coen still thinks I am cool :)

I surfed in overhead surf for 10 straight days… result: I have a sunburned nose and bruised ribs and shin but my barrel time is plus 1. Oh yeah – surfing does NOT equal swimming.

I rode my road bike…a lot…200-250 miles a week and up some good hills…result: my butt hurts but my cycling legs are pretty strong – 70-80 miles is no problem – FT is closer to 300 and I had fun.

I read (only partially so far) 3 new books…result: armed with the newest philosophy of brain training – I am seriously dangerous.

I rested and got my couch turned back around to the proper angle for old man naps – result: I feel ready to get back to training and have my recover venue properly realigned :)

I lifted a few times but not as much as I wanted – result: Jay – Lo is growing but quite not big enough yet – soccer mom is scared.

I ran (too little, too infrequently and most of it too fast) result: midget kicked my a$$ yesterday – 10 miles was fine – 12 was WAY TOO long – we did 12 – speed is ok – endurance – not so good.

I swam (once – really – only once – surfing as an alternative to laps was seriously not good a plan) – result: this morning I swam with Hercules – no REALLY – I swam WITH HERCULES – I have a LOT of work to do here – it was EMBARASSING!!!

Lastly - I ate…ok a LOT…I needed to gain back some IM weight and apparently I did this well – ok TOO WELL …I learned to cook some good new dishes – again apparently TOO well – 13 pounds in 10 weeks since AZ …it is DEFINITELY time to establish a reasonable upper limit and this one is a glass ceiling with finger prints all over it from me trying to paw the cookie jar. (Think Kung Fu panda only in a Speedo)


Ouch - time to mix in a salad and cut out the cookies…my 20 watt increase in FT is EXACTLY what I need to get my new larger frame to the same point at the same time…so much for the cycling advances. :)

What are my lessons?

To quote a friend – Fitness is like a materialistic girlfriend – tough to find and a lot of work to keep and getting back in shape sucks way worse than staying in shape!!!

Long course may be cool…but if you’re out of shape it’s a VERY long way to the other end of the pool – REALLY – if your out of shape – the wall is your friend.

Perceived exertion is a very good training tool and so is the complete humiliation swimming next to the 12 and under’s…

Hercules and I are going back there on Wednesday and if they laugh at us again we are going to hang them by there Speedos from the towel rack in the shower – these little sh!tz may be fast but Hercules and I can fight dirty – “mommy mommy mommy” – see if you can get down from here – don’t make fun of the old guys.

Plan from here forward:

Two weeks of preparation – getting back to training – getting back on a cycle and getting focused on the fall – mix in a salad.

Three swims this week, four runs and three bikes – it’s back to basics with the basic week.

I kick started it yesterday by letting Josh cut my hair – Coen did it before AZ and they get a kick out of it. (imagine a Dr. Evil laugh)

I now look like a cross between natural born killa and Charlie brown but hey – hair is transient…it will grow back hopefully and it changed my mindset…I am back to training



16 weeks to Hawaii – 19 weeks to Florida…

I owe:

342 training hours …

190,000 Meters in the pool,

3800 miles on the bike,

855 miles of running

9:59:59 or better in Florida and get back under my credit limit – Priceless!!!

It’s out there – that’s my goal :)

I’ll make the Kool aid – you decide if your thirsty :)

Iron buttz starts this weekend :)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Results and rants

The results are in and Velocity just killed it last weekend!!!

I am sure I will miss someone but I hope not to - but when I do – I apologize.

This is all YO MTV unplugged style again from 35K above the Gulf of Mexico flying back from Houston – more on this is a few.

Hello Angels – Hello Charlie!!!


First props go to the angels – JC, Joy and Kellie. Joy named them this and I love it…in the BFAS - JC 2nd Overall, Joy 1st in AG, Kellie 1st in AG – nice job angels!!!

Mayo Nation showed up in force with Steve, Tyler and Michael all having GREAT results – I am pretty sure that this is their 3rd race ever for all 3 – they all have speed and just wait until they have more experience!!!

Mixing it up for the Overall and the AG places were James Sweeney (2nd Overall), Billy Hart (2nd AG), Sean Crichton and Lyndon Box – Congrats guys.

Later on Saturday, JC and Joy both backed up their BFAS races in the Run for the pies 5K where JC went sub 18 for 2nd overall and Joy did great with a 20:35. Vann Simmons has been logging a LOT of miles training for IM Wisconsin and did a great job representing the VMS men – nice race Vann.

The shaved leg tough guys were in Ocala for the State Road Race and Curtis, Jeff and Karel all did great. Curtis took 2nd on Saturday and Karel was 9th on Sunday and Jeff 15th. Awesome results guys – enjoy the down time – you earned it.

FL_State_RR (65)

FL_State_RR_team meeting

Evan was the unlucky victim as they cancelled the Cat V race due to thunderstorms… look for him in the Jax Cycling Classic which is back on the schedule for Aug.

Coming next weekend – IM CDA – Brian Gilbert will be racing and he should have a great race – good luck Brian. Also, Shawn Burke from Washington will be racing – good luck Shawn.

Karel will solo up in Georgia racing in the Georgia Cup and I think Jim will be teaming it up for the Jax Tri Series – good luck.

I am sure that I missed someone – I hope not and if I did - it was NOT intentional.

Hello Houston – we have a problem – a 35,000 foot 4:30 rant :)

Freddie – this is mostly for you.

To say I have gotten to experience peaks and valley’s of traveling over the last 24 hours is an understatement.

I got to Houston in time to check in and watch the final 3 holes of the US open while finishing some emails. It was incredible sport!!! I love to watch Tiger. Definite Peak.


The room I had was fantastic – a Westin Workout room complete with weights, exercise ball, yoga mat and a – YES – a real spin bike – this place rocked.

It even had DVD’s and DVD player (not that kind- Hercules) – they were Yoga and cycling. I could not get over the attention to detail – they even had a Clorox wipes for Mr. Howard and Starbucks Coffee :) Peak!!!


I had a great workout – made a big puddle and created three new workouts aptly titled Trainer Pain I, II, III – all designed to push the mental threshold and they work - but more on this in another post.


I was in surgery all morning and the early afternoon with one of the best heart surgery teams in the US and probably the world, Texas Heart. They were using a device we created for closing the chest after the cut it (midline sternotomy).


Anyway – case went great…patient is doing great…HUGE PEAK!!! (This pays for my bikes:)

My plan was to be done by noon and hop on a direct flight at 2:15 – slight delays and this is not working out so well. Small Valley.

So – I miss my flight.

No other flights available with seats so I get on the standby list. I get the last seat on the plane (Peak) – get on the plane as the last passenger.

Now it gets good.

I get to my seat and someone is in it.

I ask her nicely what seat she has and she pretends she doesn’t know…

Then it gets really good.

She just tells me to take hers – the window seat – in the corner of the plane.

To avoid conflict – I do.

It is next to a VERY large shouldered guy who is trying as hard as possible to shrink himself as together we are ended up in the aisle…I later find out he plays for the Jags.

I then proceed to get told off by this same lady who happened to have plopped her butt in my seat as I apparently did not seem overly happy with her solution…

I listen to her tell me off – I say nothing.

She is still not happy so she packs up all of her stuff and says that she wants her seat back.

I try to say – it’s no problem but she makes me move…

The guy sitting next to me says, “Yo man – I would just move if I were you”

All of this and I am working on 4 hours sleep and I am pretty cranky.

Besides – I am just embarrassed that this is happening and I just decide to continue to say nothing to further this.

Now everyone is uncomfortable and the weather is closing in.

We sit on the ground for 2:20 minutes while we move only 50-100 yards and this lady’s 2 incredibly spoiled kids are creating more drama than a Springer show.

Blankets are flying…pillows are flying…pens are flying – there is screaming yelling and crying.

The lady in front of her kids actually stood up and said – “Lady Can you please control your kids.”

I, of course, love this as the true character of this pretentious spoiled SoCal mom with way too much money and meds is beginning to be seen by all around.

She may have had them fooled with her plastic smile – but not me…it is now my official mantra – Reality is Reality and screw them all if they don’t see it…I just saw it first :)

So Ms. Bad Overteased Eyebrow Barbie mom – we all now you meant to take my seat and had no intention of moving as you really wanted to be farther away from these BRATS!!!

We are finally up in the sky and my journey home is starting to become more real than surreal.

The flight attendant announces that they will be serving a small in flight snack – Turkey and Tuna sandwiches. I laugh as I have NOT eaten Tuna in like 20 years since I spent 3 days in the bathroom in Monterey CA after a bad fish lunch and I am in the last row – the last seat – right next to the bathroom…

What is left – you guessed it – Tuna surprise.


Life is about highs and lows and if yesterday and this morning where a highs – the homeostasis of my being is now complete as it just doesn’t get any better than this :)

I live by the half full glass mentality and also with the knowledge that it can’t get much worse…tomorrow has got to be better…

Brat #2 just spilled her soda – twice – I laugh my a$$ off and again am renewed :)

My low battery light just came on – I guess I will sit and listen to a chorus of are we there yet, are we there yet, are we (computer died – big time valley :)

(This is written today – the next morning but I am still laughing)

As I am walking down the terminal to get my car – I see the guy I originally sat next to (Jag’s player)…

I say “Hey man – sorry about that – I tried to stay seated but…”

He cuts me off…and starts to go off about the kids.

“That was the worst 4 hours of my life…I feel sick…I need a shower…those are the worst kids I have ever seen…and don’t you even smile at me…I should beat the crap out of you for moving…man…that was awful…If I had kids!!!”

He just shakes his head…I am still laughing…

Saturday, June 14, 2008

How I spent my summer vacation…

Seeing Things_Page_1

Jakob Dylan ROCKS!!! His new CD “Seeing things” is EXACTLY what I wanted as a soundtrack to our trip and it was released on Tuesday – perfect timing. He has definitely found something within himself that is refreshingly fresh yet rooted in namesake’s confusing lyrics that make me want to be more creative. Hell – Bob is THE original poet - how can he not be good?

My 1st few weeks of the “off-season” have been fantastic…lots of surf and lots quality time with boyz.

Warmer water and good air temperatures along with the arrival of the southern hemi swells create the image of California that most people imagine and school kids draw on their notebooks. Long thick corduroy lines march up the coast from Baja causing a lot of “sick” days – we used to joke about it being the southern hemi flu :)

This is California surfing at its best!!!


In the afternoons when the wind turned on the surf – the boys turned to the San Diego version of a liquid ½ pipe – Wave House. If someone had proposed this business model in ANY business school – it would have gotten laughed at and shot down but in San Diego – this works and it ROCKS!!! Lifeguard chairs, cool tunes, hammocks and table service create the audience area for the “wave”…this just a cool place to hang.



Baja, Mexico was off the agenda this time due to the current border situation but maybe the will get their $%* together and it will be safe to travel there again. Apparently the Policia and organized crime have decided to target American’s traveling on the road from Tijuana to Rosarita and kidnapping and extortion are at ridiculous rates.

We decided to stay “local” in San Diego and that also allowed me a chance to get in a few VERY early morning rides on some old and new routes in and around town. It actually gets light enough to ride at like 5:15am so I rented a Cervelo Soloist from Nytro in Encinitas and it was actually a nice bike for a rental. The only problem is my Florida legs – their gearing choice and the La Jolla grades where not completely aligned.


I did a few repeats up Mount Solidad and I paid for it…


Riding and surfing are what I want to do - so for most of the week that is “off-season” training was but I did mix in a few runs (3) as per Alan’s advice…

My 1st run was a quick 6 mile trip around Coronado Island with my sister and the newest addition to the Velocity Team West. She is fantastic swimmer and runner and is working her way up to being a not so scared cyclist…she just purchased her 1st pair of “REAL” pedals and broke 24mph – this is a big deal for her.


She still refuses to “dress like Lance” for training and makes fun of me and anyone else who does not bike in oversized Nike Basketball shorts…I am still working on this one. She is training for 2 sprint races and has told me I am her coach – not that she really needs a coach for a sprint but apparently I am easily bribed…Chocolate Chip Toll House Brownie Squares – OMG – I could race Clydesdale.

My 2nd run was much different than anything I have done lately and I am really glad I had a chance to do it. I took the boys to the beach on our last day and the surf was “ok” but not great. Shane wanted to use my longboard as the waves where big but a little less push than usual and that was fine with me and I decided to run. No time goal – no distance – no GPS – no HR – no iPod – no nothing - just a nice run on a nice day on the road next to Swami’s. This is triathlons training ground and I have seen Faris, Michelle and a BUNCH of other people too fit to not be in the mix running the loop that is Encinitas to Solana Beach…I figured it must be a pretty good run and it was!!!

I had a chance to think back over the season and try and figure out what I did that worked and what I did that didn’t. I made a mental list of things that I NEEDED to make sure that I did this fall. I also had a chance to think through what I wanted to accomplish with the athletes I work with – how could I get them to their “next” level…how can I get them to break through? This run allowed me the chance to refocus my training and my goals for the rest of the season and look at what and how I wanted to help other people achieve their goals.

My 3rd run was a chance to catch up with a great friend and Velocity’s original client – Paul Cantin.


We have worked together for 14 years and he was my boss when I was REALLY NOT a good medical salesperson in California. In the beginning I was COMPLETELY convinced that I could sell our products from the scrub sink about 10 feet outside the operating room…for anyone who has ever been in or around the Operating Room – this is a ridiculous proposition and would be impossible but that is how much I did NOT want to go into the actual OR.

Paul, of course, was very understanding of my anxiety – he looked at me and said –

“Your job is in here – if you want your job – come in…”

Obviously I quickly got over my fear of stepping on the cord that kills the patient – I had bills to pay :) He has taught me more about my profession in medical devices and management than anyone else I have worked with and I was really lucky that he allowed me to “coach” him some 2+ years ago as my original lab rat when he decided to start racing triathlons.

His early feedback was always very positive and supportive, “you have no idea what your doing do you? You’re trying to kill me.”

The good news was that he made me back up my stupid ideas with a scientific reason and made me research new methods – basically he made me tell him why we were doing this training – he made me learn how to coach and in watching him progress - I also realized how much I enjoy it.

Anyway – we were in Palm Desert for his regions sales meeting and decided to meet at 5:45am for a run. The sun was just coming up over the mountains and the temperatures that would approach 110 were still a very reasonable 70 something.


We yip yapped (mostly me – I talk a lot) about what the next few race goals, schedules etc. Paul just did Alcatraz and also did IM Arizona in April and CDA last year and is completely capable of going 10 something – this is all in 2 years – the dude does the work.

The conversation turned to what we would be like to do for this year and next year but then we started talking about the impact on our racing and training on our kids and how we both tried to achieve balance by mixing in fun to the races we chose.

I told Paul a story about my dad Mike’s commitment to completing this 50 mile swim over the course of a summer and how I think somewhere in this I learned a lesson about commitment toward a BIG goal. His daily straight mile long swim workouts he would log seemed SO INCREDIBLY boring to me as a kid but he would mark the chart that hung by the pool office with his latest laps. This was all done on the “honor” system and I remember he would sometimes go twice a day to get in a little more to mileage to close the gap to the leader. I am not sure but I think he was the 1st finisher to 50 miles…

Paul and I both agreed and hoped that maybe some of our commitment to training and racing would someday influence our kids towards accomplishing their goals whether they are athletic, scholastic or artistic.

As anyone who races knows, it is hard to train – especially for an Ironman with family commitments. That being said - we both make it to 99% of our kids events and move our training around to make sure we can be there to watch them swim their 50 free even if that means riding the trainer at 4am for a 24 second race – it is worth it to us.


Maybe we would be better parents if we didn’t train – maybe we would be a little less tired – maybe we would have time to sit and talk about what we should have – would have or could have done…


Maybe…just maybe…by doing it instead of just yapping - we will have taught them is something they will take foreword as a positive in their lives and hopefully teach to their children…

Thanks Mike for teaching me the 50 mile lesson – I hope that I have passed this lesson on to the boys…

On this eve of Father’s day – I am flying back to Florida with a sleeping “Sir Surf A lot” and his smiling brother – happy that I was able to spend the week hanging with them and getting a little more balance…I am very proud of them…


as I am sure Bob is proud of Jakob…

On up the Mountain – Jakob Dylan

You’re old enough to know well
The better things are all up hill
Bitter songs are never sung
In the highlands where you belong
In the smoke of cannons below
Men they bury each other in rows
People come people go
Work in numbers and leave alone
There’s a light making its way
On up the mountain night and day
You’ll get tired and you’ll get weak
But you won’t abandon your masterpiece
Off to sleep you’ll go
Through the halls and opened doors
Silver bells swinging low
Strung in branches of the unknown
Soon morning comes
To warm the world and wake you up
Night is gone awful fast
It ain’t wrong to be sad
There’s a light making its way
On up the mountain night and day
You’ll go down and you’ll go deep
But you won’t surrender your masterpiece
Here it comes and there it goes
The unbearable sound
Of the earth making men out of boys
First you learn then you’ll teach
About the bright light

Friday, June 6, 2008


Tom Clancy probably sits along the banks of the Potomac gazing at the monuments as he conjures his next adventures for Jack Ryan.

Anne Rice can smell the hot oil and powdered sugar of the beignets as she pictures Armand's thirsty nocturnal wanderings.

Stephen king just goes back to the dark attic where his parents locked him to create the latest incarnation of – oh my god – who would do that characters. I don’t think I want to hang with him. Anyone who can think of gluing some to a wheelchair and then lighting them on fire prior to pushing them down a hill has issues.

What does any of this have to do with anything?

I get to write my blogs and your training plans in some pretty cool places.

On the front porch of a cool B and B in St. Pete, on the plane at 35K enroute to Chicago and now from a venue that I will probably NEVER be able to top.

I am in California at the California Plastic Surgery Conference, there are a few of these surgeons on this coast. Breast implants in California – really? They have those here? The meeting is held at the St. Regis Monarch Beach and this place is actually rated - 5 stars.


I have heard the expression before, 5 star resorts but I don’t think I ever really experienced it before. You check in and really – it is different. No one says no…they just fix things. It is incredible!!! The view, the room, the area and if I have to work - this is really where I want my office.


There is a surf break (Salt Creek) that is 1/2 mile away with some of the best performance conditions around...Shane, Josh and I scored some good ones (just overhead on the sets) yesterday before I had to work...this is Shane...

So – here I sit overlooking the Pacific Ocean drinking perfect coffee and chowing down on what I can only describe as a Scomuffin…yes – it is not a scone and it is not a muffin. Hell, it might be the best breakfast food ever created unless you include the Uglies on Cape Hatteras but those have the surgeon general’s warning on them.

These Scomuffins are small but incredibly dense – they kinda look like Plonks but they are chocolate and covered with sugar – really – I CELEBRATE the off season – I am already up to my off season weight and a few weeks laid up here with the Scomuffins and I could race Clydesdale.

Much like my waist size post Scomuffin - the Velocity crew is growing and we welcome a few new additions…

Joy Murphy, Lyndon Box, Paul Rudzitis (my 1st swim coach) and shaved legged tough guy turned tri-geek James Sweeney.

Joy is focused on IM Florida, Lyndon on Hawaii with a quick stop to pick up his slot in Louisville, Coach Paul is doing Miami man ½ in November and I will take anyone’s $ that he will be top 3 in the swim and Sween is got a race schedule through 2010 – I thought I was organized. No Freddy – the term is organized - NOT anal :)

Racing and Results:

For the shaved legged tough guys – the Lindner crew was ON FIRE last weekend in Georgia. The last person to roll so fast through Georgia was Sherman – ba dump chiiiiishhhhhhh….I’ll be here all week. As predicted, Jeff Kopp dominated the dojo in the TT and was 2nd overall.


Curtis led a 29 lap breakaway to finish 2nd in the circuit race leaving the boys in 1st and 3rd in the general classification.


This is HUGE!!!

This also means that anyone and everyone are gunning for you. Karel Sumbal, Adam Baskin (king of all bike fits) and young addition Cat III Cody Vance tried to block and control the race but the attacks were relentless. The entire field attacked the boys and over the course of 90 miles a breakaway stuck and Curtis and Jeff had to be content with their stage podiums and 2 spots in the top 15 in the GC.

To say the RR was hard is such an understatement – the files these guys produced are the hardest efforts of their year to date. Nice work!!!

The boys race this weekend in Stuart on Sunday and then in Ocala next weekend for the Florida State RR.

For more text check out http://www.abrt.blogspot.com/ and http://www2.snapfish.com/thumbnailshare/AlbumID=231821283/a=49603030_49603030/t_=49603030 for pictures.

For the Tri geeks -

Double D Danny Domingo, James Sweeney and Joy Murphy raced in steaming conditions in Macon. Danny ended up 6th Overall and James 15th despite the heat. Joy hit a PR in finishing 21st overall with those conditions so look for great things from her in PCB in November.

That’s all for the racing and results for now – coming up…

Paul Cantin - Velocity Client #1 is jumping off the boat and swimming in from the Island in Alcatraz - good luck Paul - the sand ladder is fun :)

Beaches Fine Arts #2 next weekend.

The tri geeks join the shave legged tough guys for the State RR on Sunday in Ocala. UFC contender Shawn (Hercules), Clancy (I did some curls), Evan (FAST FAST FAST), Kerry (mate) and yours truly (only a slightly larger version :)) will be on the line without a swim or run result to hide behind – this should be fun :)

I’ll close with this…

Most people spend there days working to go on vacation. A better solution might be to work where most people go on vacation…I am going to try this for the next 10 days…I’ll let you know how feels. If my blog entries start to sound like Robin Leech, “I am yelling and I don’t know why”, I know I can go home to the “real” world without implants and change my perspective and probably my perception – but I am not going into the attic with Stephen.

Gotta run – there are taking away the Scomuffins :)

Kia Kaha