Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Fay Fay Go Away !!!


Right out of the blocks – RESULTS – we got ‘em!!!

2 weeks ago (yeah – I know I am little late with this one) – Tony Maniatis – aka Dr. Green Speedo did a tough guy performance that Rocky Balboa would have been proud of. All month long he was suffered with a nagging foot injury and he was very close to pulling out of the Timberman 70.3. His normal training load was reduced to only biking and swimming and almost no running. On race day though he decided to compete and finished up in the Top 20 of his AG and Top 100 overall with a 4:50 something and a very strong 1:37 run – congrats Tony – enjoy the off season and heal up !!!

That should have gotten him the tough guy award but skin wins and this weeks winner goes to no other than Billy Hart. The road surface in Nocatee had just been grated and Billy took a big tumble hitting the floor hard and donating some large patches of flesh to pavement. He pulled himself up, checked out his ride and finished up the last 30+ miles with us looking more like a rugby player than a cyclist. Billy stayed out of the pool all week but hit the water at the HOT this past weekend and was in the TOP 10 overall and 2nd in his AG with a PR. Tough Guy award goes to B. Hart.

Speaking of the HOT – Congrats to Double D – Danny Domingo – it doesn’t get any better than a wire to wire win and Danny crushed the field by 5 minutes. He has game!!! Clair (his wife) had a great race and finished 2nd in the women’s field – BTW – she still owes me $2 dollars :)

The VMS Crew and friends were out in force and bunches of great performances. JC came in 3rd OA, Joy had a PR of over 10 minutes, Vann hammered out 3rd in the 40-44 with almost no speed work as he has IM Wisconsin in 10 days, Aaron was 3rd in AG, Michael 5th, David 7th, Juan 11th and Carl 12th…awesome results!!!


In what will probably be overlooked by almost everyone checking the results except for the true geeks like me, one of the most impressive times on the course on Sunday was a relay bike split thrown up there by Jeff Kopp. I have been coaching Jeff for 9 months and there is no doubt that the guy is good, he has the work ethic and logs the miles and can suffer like a dog. Those are given. What you probably don’t know is that Jeff is a geek too and he looks at his power files and really has learned how to race a TT exceptionally well. We have tested – we have practiced and we have trained for TT’s for a lot of the summer in preparation for a 40K TT in October. This was “tune up “ race and I figured I would set him up a little with an “unreasonable goal” in the notes for the race and I put “:56 :)” in the comments…never really thinking that he would be able to hit that on rolling technical course but sure enough…56 and change!!! His normalized power output was actually EXACTLY what we predicted and his split was almost 5 minutes faster than the 2nd place cyclist and the relay got the win… Congrats Jeff!!!

Coming up this weekend (yes Hercules – this weekend :)) is IM Louisville and Hercules and I will be there to cheer on Lyndon and the Midget. They are both in the mix for Kona spots and I am 100% sure they will leave nothing on the course. Good luck and we’ll be there as IM Sherpa’s.

Is it just me or does the Midget make Hammy look mellow :)


Vann Simmons has IM Wisconsin in 10 days and he has REALLY ready for this race. His swimming is solid, his bike is fast and a strong run he will be in the mix. Good luck Vann – we will be watching.

That’s all for results, if I missed anyone, sorry, it was not intentional.



Fay pretty much screwed up everyone’s training last week and I was forced to log 11.5 hours on the computrainer - 244.5 miles and NONE of it outside.


If you think an hour is boring – try 2 hours Tuesday, 3 hours Wednesday, 1.5 on Thursday and 5 straight on Saturday. OH YEAH – IT SUX’D!!!

I love the expression – I would rather eat Bee’s – yeah – really – a bowl full of yellow jackets with soy milk before I do that again.

Mix in 6 miles on the treadmill – more boring TV and 10 miles on treadmill on Friday and I was cooked.


By the way – in case you didn’t know…World Gym is not really a Gym…it kinda like the Ocean Club in workout clothes and I am just guessing that I missed the sign that said no sweating.

The Jacksonville “Ballet” Dancer in full make-up, Capri pants and no sock Nike Fashion sneaker was HIGHLY offended at my sweat rate and smell.

After the week I was having I just embraced it – put on my Eminem and poured half a water bottle over my head all flash dancer style as I finished up mile 9 of my 10 mile tempo run.

Yup – 10 dollar entry fee – that $1 a mile and I was not cleaning up after myself :)

I said goodbye to Savannah, thanked her for inspiring me and squish squashed my way to the Ark and rowed home…

What did Fay do to JAX – it dumped rain and wind for 72 straight hours.

We lost a few trees in our neighborhood…streets were filled with leaved and debris but more importantly:

I ran out of dark corners of my mind to explore and they are not nearly as scary

I ran out of movies to watch but I am almost caught up on Generation Kill – the best show on TV right now.

I now know all of the CNN anchors by voice and even watched the Aviator – yeah I know – the irony is quite ironic :)

I also realized that I do not want to do that again anytime soon…


Oh great Jim Cantore is on my plane – NICE– say hello to Gustav…

Hello Gustav ii!ii :)

Monday, August 11, 2008

Man – what can I say…?

If you meet your goal…I would say you did great!

A New PR…Fantastic!!

Score a win…Awesome!!!

Two wins for the Team…in ONE day...in front of a home town crowd…That is Perfection!!!!

Both of those wins by the same guy – PRICELESS!!!!!

It was a day where all of the hard work and training paid off…literally.

In the Jacksonville Cycling Classic held over the weekend, the shaved leg tough guys were on a mission.


The road race was held on Saturday in the heat of the day and a break away of 10+ guys went up the road and it would stick. Karel Sumbal rode strong and finished 5th in the overall – very nice.



On Sunday, the venue moved to the other side of the road for a fast, hot criterium loop race where in the 35+ field, Curtis Long smashed the field to take the top spot on the podium with his first win of the season.

Having worked with Curtis for almost 2 years, I can easily look at the numbers and say, this guy is “on” form and this win was well deserved. The guy does the work, he does the miles, he rests, he recovers…

This year he has had a lot of 2nd place finishes…and don’t get me wrong…that is great…but in Cycling…a win – well – that’s the shitznit :)

In between races I had a chance to yap with him, give him some BIG props, and Curtis told me he hoped he had enough left for a good effort in the Pro 1, 2.

The race went off at over 90 degrees and these guys all were firing.


After doing a massive solo bridge to an early break, Curtis worked hard and had enough left for perfectly executed tactical sprint.

Survey says – WIN – TOP PODIUM - PRO 1, 2!!!

pro12 cutis wins2

Dude, you smacked it, you scorched it, you rolled it in flour, deep fried and baked it…


Two wins in one day…that is something!!!

Way to go…enjoy the day off today…you deserve it…back to intervals tomorrow :)

Besides the Pro’s ...

other shaved legged tough guys, tri-geeks and Iron Buttz also made it around the course (safely) on Saturday and Sunday with some strong showings from Evan, (5th and 2nd), Clancy (7th), Kerry (8th) along with Pete Loftis, Danny Domingo, Travis (top 10 +- in both days – DUDE NICE!!!), Carl Zeilman, Jim Wadsworth, Sean Crichton, Jackhammer et al and the rest of the BVS crew. Great job and a special congrats to the tri-guys for staying upright in the turns – we go straight really well :)


In case you were wondering – yes I did race and I finished EXACTLY were I wanted to – FLAMME ROUGE BABY – safe and sound – dead last :) Kerry Mowlam and I broke away twice (ok – 1 and ½ times) and we couldn’t make it stick so my job became lead out for the sprint (Clancy, Kerry and Carl). I did my best Hincapie impersonation for around ½ mile at 32MPH and pulled off and loudly proclaimed – I QUIT!!! Short of launching a red star cluster (old military term for cease fire) – I made it absolutely clear that this tri-geek/iron butt wanted ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with a shoulder to shoulder 35mph + CAT V testosterone riddled mayhem. Seriously – I was yelling “I am out!!!” from the last turn…I needed to make sure EVERYONE knew I didn’t want to play anymore :)

There are very few things in my life that I wish I coulda, shoulda, whoulda done…but in a younger body who might bounce a little better – I wish I had raced more cycling races…it is really SUCH a different sport - totally cannibalistic and totally tactical…and…(as Rich made me aware) it scares the shitznit outta me and being outside my comfort zone is a place I like to be. :)

Enough excitement for me for the year – back to my aerobars, trainer and straighter roads with 7 meters in between – Hey but at least I get Angelina’s butt to keep me company :)

Friday, August 8, 2008

What have you done lately?

Over the past few weeks my blog entries have been more focused on training and training concepts, you know – the geeky stuff.

Let’s just say…I have had a LOT of complaints :)

Against the advice of my client, friend and cardiologist, Dr. Lyndon Box, I have consumed this morning…3 SIGNIFICANT servings of the sweet nectar that the Starbucks gods have bestowed upon us.

Known to us mere mortals as a Tall Pike’s Place Roast Red Eye with Cream and 2 Splenda, I have allowed the caffeine coursing through my veins to unravel the twisted wandering thoughts that are best sequestered or expressed only underwater at VERY DEEP end of the 50M pool.

“HUH, what did you say Willis? You were talking to me in the pool this morning? Was that on the 100’s or during the cool down? You’re so fired, What’d I miss?”

So, having succumbed to the peer pressure and through the benevolence of the barista…

I bring to you an over caffinated rambling with ABSOLUTELY NO POINT…

but also…no geekiness involved :)

People are crazy – everyone is crazy.

Scratch the surface and you’ll find it.

Some of us wear this more on the inside while others don the overcoat with reckless abandon that is the emperor’s new clothes.

In the drive thru line at a Carl’s Jr’s in Newport Beach, CA, 12-13 years ago I sat and watched a homeless ballerina dance pirouettes in the street. She was actually quite graceful. I sat there eating my lunch, DEFINITELY something that was not good for me, watching her solo performance of Alvin Ailey Dance Theater. She never noticed me… but I did applaud.

Cut to the guy in the cube toiling away for hours on mindless spreadsheet calculations that in the end of the day, week, month, year of his life only result in totality of his work being shredded by an overbearing manager focused on TPS coversheets.

Who is crazy – which one?

I offer this...

Both…They…We…You…Me…All of us are…

It is just to what level we employ our coping skills…daily.

If you have made it this far you are probably asking yourself, where is any of this going?

The answer…Angelina Jolie’s butt…that’s where.


3 hours on the trainer.

Yup – that’s right.

3 solid hours straight. One BIG puddle!!!

Is that crazy? Hell yeah that is crazy. Even by IM standards that is crazy.

What is more crazy?

It was nice outside.

Seriously, I took a ½ day off from work to do this and what’s worse…I actually enjoyed it.

OH YEAH – that is crazy.

Anyone who has ridden a trainer knows that it boring. It is painful. It is like the triathlon equivalent of the priest from the DaVinci Code that beats himself and that is for only a “normal” workout of 1 hour.


3 hours…we are talking Silence of the Lambs Crazy…


“It rubs the lotion on its skin. It does this whenever it is told.”

3 hours allows you to find (Billy’s quote which I love) “the deep dark corners of your mind where it’s a little scary”.

So what makes a ride like this even bearable – back to the point - Angelina Jolie’s Butt :)

In the movie Wanted, there is a fantastic scene where she gets out of the “recovery” tubs – yes I am tempted to make a geeky point but I am resisting, and walks away slowly putting on a towel as she looks back over her shoulder at Wesley.

It is…if I was allowed ONLY a single vote…the best butt – period!!!

Actually, the movie is/was fantastic.


Mindless violence with deep concepts and Morgan Freeman – anything he does is great.

This doesn’t spoil anything of the film…the ending dialogue is the best…

Wesley: “This *is* me taking control; from Sloan, from the fraternity, from Janice, billing reports, ergonomic keyboards, from cheating girlfriends and sack of sh!t best friends. This is me taking back control of my life. What the F have you done lately?”

One reviewer said it will have you leaving the theatre pumping your fist…

If I were reviewing it, I would say it will have you content on the trainer for 60 minutes at over 240 watts :)

So what does 3 hours on the “rack” get you…what does it offer me?


My inner ballerina is a little more tired than usual and chooses not to dance…my TPS obsessed coworker a little less bothersome…and my Fava beans with Chianti are much more flavorful :)

The more balanced I am…the more I tend to see the craziness that is around me…

The woman that allows me to hold the door for her walking in to the Starbucks and doesn’t say thank you or even consider that I would have been in front of her in line as she orders a Grande non-fat Chai Latte with not too much foam in a Venti cup extra hot and offers up a coupon and fat fingers the .07 change back into her fake Gucci purse.


The contractor discussing at full volume on his cell phone his dissatisfaction with the current bid while the check out clerk at Publix tries to tell him he needs to hit OK on the CC machine as the line grows longer by the minute.


The man next to me at the Fresh Market who is completely obsessed that I am taking TOO long to sample their free coffee and decides that if he stands closer to me that I will move faster.

(This actually pi$$ed me off enough to be completely childish and stand there for an extra 30 seconds slowly stirring my free Dixie cup of Kona Brew :) - I took great pride in my 4 year old passive aggressive behavior – this is ABSOLUTELY true and my mellow was significantly enhanced through his frustration :))

So, amidst the haze and single minded preoccupation that follows an IM athlete in the middle of their training, there are the chance random encounters with the crazier outside world.

And while we may appear ourselves to be crazy…we are…as Ben Harper so eloquently put it, “painfully sane”.


The pain that we endure in training makes us more sane and more balanced.

Soooo….here’s to 250 mile weeks, to 50 miles of running, to 12K in the pool, to the left side of the menu, to 10,000 headless monkees dancing, to Angelina Jolie’s Butt and the balance that all of this achieves.

My caffeine buzz is wearing off…lunch is over…time to go back to my TPS reports and daydreaming about Angelina...


What have you done lately? :)

Friday, August 1, 2008

Seriously Geeky Stuff Part II

Props first…


Patchouli boy, Sean Crichton, did absolutely fantastic at the xTerra race last weekend in Hanna Park finishing 3rd overall. The swim was won my Owen “I swam at Auburn” (sorry – don’t know his last name) and Hercules and I were sure that he started in a different wave. This guy put like 2-3 minutes on the field over 1/2 mile – really impressive.

On the bike – Sean reeled him in and was in 1st overall by the 2nd lap. Going in T2 Sean held the lead and race would be decided on the run. Sean went out fast but by the time Owen had made it out of transition the 1 minute lead was down to 30 seconds and Sean was racing for 2nd or 3rd. Sean held on for 3rd overall and a REALLY strong race – congrats!!!

I promise – this is the last of the heavy geek entries – I hope :)

I have really been fascinated by a formula that Lyndon Box turned me on to and it predicts Ironman run performance as a function of bike leg effort.

This requires that you use a power system to monitor your race performance.

If you know your FT (Functional Threshold – the power you can sustain for 1 hour) and your projected time on the course, this formula will give you a % of your FT to ride and a total TSS (Training Stress Score) in order to give you a good shot at running the whole marathon.

It will actually give you green, yellow and red ratings:

Green, your probably running the whole marathon at your desired pace.
Yellow – maybe – just maybe - if your fit – really fit – your run will be ok.
Red – probably going to be walking – say hello to the Monkeys :)

The guys who developed this used data from over 100 athletes to create the table and I have used it to predict performance and forensically to see what training and racing files looked like. I would say they nailed it.

If you want to see more from them check out Endurance Nation.


Anyway – one of the keys to using this chart and formula effectively is to minimize the surges in your power and keep your VI (Variability Index) as low as possible.

People often refer to this as riding “cheesy”.

You use to lowest power possible to get where you want to be and by doing this wasted effort is minimized.

Why does this matter?

Imagine driving your car 100 miles and every minute or two you stomp on the gas and then let off the gas completely and coast then repeat until you get there.

Most cars have a monitor for fuel consumption and if you did this you would see that the MPG would be really low when you floored it and really high when you cruised but your average MPG would be really low.

No one would drive this way but people ride like this all the time.

Now instead – imagine you set the cruise control on 70 and then put on some Snoop and just chilled. Exactly, you would arrive sooner on the cruise control and you would use less gas which means more money for the Gin and Juice.

Point is – your body reacts the same way when you are cycling and it takes more or at least equal energy in the surging ride style BUT it results in a with slower average speed.

My test of this was totally unintentional but it completely proved the point.

Last weekend I had a 90 minute effort at over IM pace and my average wattage was 232 and my Normalized power (what my body felt) was 234. My VI was 1.01 – pretty cheesy. My AP (Average power) is the power that was applied to the bike and using a spreadsheet we can calculate the speed and time it would take to go 112 miles if I held that power (which - by the way - I could not).


Interval steady:
Duration: 1:29:18 (1:30:49)
Work: 1244 kJ
TSS: 99.9 (intensity factor 0.819)
Norm Power: 234
VI: 1.01
Pw:HR: 2.86%
Pa:HR: n/a
Distance: 0 ft

Min Max Avg
Power: 0 298 232 watts
Heart Rate: 0 162 146 bpm
Cadence: 30 97 83 rpm
Speed: 0 0 0.0 mph
Pace 0:00 0:00 0:00 min/mi
Crank Torque: 0 381 237 lb-in

On Wednesday, I also had a 90 minute effort but this was done at 5 minute on and 1 minute off. The result was an average wattage of 221 but a Normalized power was 232 with a VI of 1.05. Basically these two rides were identical in the load on my body BUT the power to the bike was lower resulting in slower speed and I was 5% inefficient.


Interval 5 on / 1 off:
Duration: 1:29:04 (1:30:21)
Work: 1181 kJ
TSS: 98.2 (intensity factor 0.814)
Norm Power: 232
VI: 1.05
Pw:HR: 4.76%
Pa:HR: n/a
Distance: 0 ft

Min Max Avg
Power: 0 310 221 watts
Heart Rate: 0 169 141 bpm
Cadence: 29 104 76 rpm
Crank Torque: 0 491 248 lb-in

That lower power to the bike in the on/off style resulted in a total 5 minute slower ride than if I road steady but the cost on my body was the same – nothing gained – 5 minutes lost.


It is nearly impossible to ride really cheesy across a 5-6 hour effort without a power meter. Perceived exertion, HR and pace are all too variable to be reliable with varying winds, heat, fatigue and hydration.

But if you use a power meter and you get your Average power closer to your Normalized power, the lower your VI and the better your pacing – the more gas you could save for the run.

This does not mean riding easier – really – sometimes it actually feels harder but it will end you up where you want quicker and at a lower or equal energy cost.

So – listen to Snoop or Chamillionaire and ride “cheesy “not surgy and you will be in the hot tub before it’s full :)