Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Cue the awards music…

Ladies and Gentlemen – from Jacksonville, Florida…the VMS Crew :)

I don’t know if have room to write all of the results…

Let’s start with the tough guys...

Jeff, Sween, Curtis and Karel went to Albany Georgia 2 weeks ago for 3 races in 2 days – a TT, a crit and a road race.

albany race weekend 121

In the TT, Jeff was 4th, Curtis 6th, Sween 16th and Karel 23rd.


In the Crit, Karel was 5th, Jeff 9th , Sween 11th and Curtis had Lead duties to the sprinters and they came up 2nd and 4th.

albany race weekend 141

Because the 3 races where part of an overall “stage” race – the cumulative time put Jeff in 9th Overall and Sween in 15th - congrats guys.

If you’re a Time Trial Specialist there are only a few “real” races locally…

OK – maybe not so local unless you consider a 3 ½ hour drive local :)


Jeff loaded up the sled and sped southwest to Squiggy and blasted a 28.3MPH average speed for a 4th place finish in the Pro 1,2 – congrats man!!!


Apparently the only thing faster than your TT is the driving…Sheriff Buford T Pusser is looking for you :)

The long haired patchouli hippies have a new rider in their ranks and he is fast – Congrats to clean cut VMS Hippie - Radulian Pop for the 6th place finish in Gainesville – way to go man – time to grow the dreads out!!!

This weekend there are 2 races in Tampa – a crit on Saturday and a circuit race on Sunday.

VMS has a BUNCH of people racing - new addition Mike Bowen, Velobrew, Cat V, will be on the course on Saturday and Sunday.

Also look for St. Pete, Clearwater local Will Larson back from a broken “wheel” and rehab and absolutely firing in training – good luck Will.

Curtis, Jeff and Karel will be on hand for the Pro 1, 2…it should be a GREAT venue and very fun to watch – Kia Kaha!!!


There are 12,903 people (allegedly:)) who finished the Gate River Run and I have no doubt I will pi$$ off someone by missing their name or time so I apologize as it is not intentional…special Congrats to Saswata (Dr. Run too Fasta) and B. Hart – you guys earned that one – 180HR and a 5:10 pace for the last ½ mile – I have NOT gone that hard in a LONG TIME or maybe EVER and still couldn’t close…

river run

Here is a “partial list” of Finishers and Times:

Greg Carr 52:00
Danny Domingo 53:25
Walter Campbell (He only runs like once a month – damn – I wish I was that fast) 56:58
Kerry Mowlam 58:15
Lyndon Box 58:55
Joey Pinto 57:56
JC (she is injured and still smacks us all) 58:19
Andy Woods 59:03
Billy Hart 59:43
Saswata Roy 59:45
Shawn Burke (hey – that’s me and yes Saswata and Billy both beat me in the chute) 59:51
Paulie “fitness” Wilson 1:01:05
James Sweeney 1:01:21
Peter Litsky 1:01:54
Tony Maniatis 1:01:55
Mike Smirnoff 1:01:56
Kelly Smirnoff 1:02:37
Sean Crichton 1:03:06
Michael Mohseni 1:03:34
Joy Murphy 1:05:00
Will Taylor 1:08:07
Marni Rakes 1:08:55
Pete Loftis 1:10:56
George Joseph 1:26:42
Susan Wallis 1:28:20

ONLY once a year do I do an all out running race and I never feel good until it’s over – tri’s are way easier…


So that the RRR – R cubed - River Run Recap… until next year - only 362 days – I can’t wait!

Until then Saswata I am your BEAAACHHHE :)

As usual – stop reading here unless you REALLY have nothing better to do…if you read on – the time you lose is your own :)

My spring training is starting to get pretty heavy and that also means it’s time for “race sim” workouts…ah….I get queasy just thinking about them.

This morning was my 1st of these and it was a dozy.

I had a 3 hour descending ride on the trainer (an Alan Special…this text is actually from an email he sent me – “Mwahaha (coach's evil laugh :-)” probably why I like him)…

Anyway – it is a descending workout which for me means go harder every hour…

1 hour at 210-230 watts, 1 hour at 230-250 watts and the last hour at 250-270 and a t-run off the back.

These can be so hard both physically and mentally that it makes racing seem easier.


We train with power and there is no hiding – you can’t “fake” it…you just press the pedals until the numbers move in the right direction.

The are also no excuses…do the workout…produce the file…or show him the bucket...and it better be full :)

With the pain cave all set up last night and a movie picked out…Rock and gotta have a guy flick for these.

No Terms of Endearment or Bridges of Madison County BS – it must have violence and good sound track…this had both.

Up at 4am – coffee – emails - more coffee – more emails – Twitter update just to make sure I didn’t quit I wrote it on the board…

Take care of bid-ness…bottles filled…gels picked out….5:15am…time to go.

From the very beginning I was struggling a LOT!!!

My problem was due to overheating and my ceiling fan broke in the "pain cave" - I figured it would be "ok" without it...WRONG!!!


It got hotter than 2004 Gulf Coast Run course at 5:45am and I was only 30 minutes into it and I was sweating all over the place.

At just over an hour I was toasted and ready to pack it in but I thought about the twitter post and pedaled on!!!

My sons finally got up for school at 6:15am and I asked him to turn on the A/C (they looked at me like I had 2 heads but did it) and Shane set it at 60 degrees and opened both the doors.

I went from a PE of 7-8 to a 4 every time the breeze would blow through the house - it made it almost bearable for second hour.

Finally at 2:00 into the ride I cooled off ala Floyd Landis Style (I had to apologize later to Andi for the mess I left her to clean up) I dumped a full bottle over my head and it resulted in making a small swimming pool in the cave :)

I felt normal again and was able to hang on for hour 3 (NP 250) - actually felt better the last hour than either of the previous 2.

To show you how much heat management plays a role in HR - my power went up 40 watts from hour 1 to hour 3 and my HR only went up 6 beats as I was able to keep cool during hour 3...


In total - I drenched two full towels and lost 5 pounds total while taking in 8 x 20oz bottles (ok maybe one was over my head :))


Normalized power of 226 including the warmup with just under 200TSS and 2371kJ (before the run).

"1st Rack Session" of the season is in the books and I am GLAD it is over...

The good news - my timing was INCREDIBLE and I finished the bike portion at 8:25am and at 8:28am I was headed out on my T-run with C-Bone...

He rides his bike to school...I jogged along and walked him into class smelling absolutely AWFUL :)

I love it when a plan comes together :)

Speaking of plans...I am shopping for a ride and I have all over the internet and local stores to see the latest bike “bling”…

These two really look great…


This is a “one of a kind” REALLY as the rear wheel has a PowerTap in it and those are not on the market yet…very frosty…Trek Stores of Jacksonville.


I wish I could claim this but it’s not my Photoshop handy work…someone else has a good sense of humor…

It may be the fastest bike in the galaxy but hey – looking cool counts too…

BTW - Unless it is the 70’s…which it’s not…

Unless you are over 6’6” …which I am not…

Unless you play for the Sixers…and have a BIG fro…no on both counts…

Over the calf socks and short shorts are just WRONG :)

Looking cool counts…and I won’t be in a Mankini and no compression socks either :)

That's all for this week - Kia Kaha and if you can' least look cool...I was styling as Saswata blew by me :)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Getting 23:59:59 hours out of every day :)

This entry has been a little while in the works – ahhh – 6 months :)

I started this entry last October and I somehow lost it…and not even with Google Desktop – (one of the all time greatest applications I have EVER used…if it could only find my keys) – could I find the original file – so here we go…the sequel.

I try not to brag – ok – except about my Bread Pudding which is


This is NOT a biased opinion but moreover it is actually a scientifically derived observation by a trained observer – errr – me :)

With the exception of an Indian Mango Bread Pudding at a restaurant in San Francisco which I just could not muster up the courage to try – I have been trying Bread Pudding at EVERY restaurant that I have eaten that offers it on the menu.

Seriously, if it’s on the menu, I order it. I order it and I eat it to make sure I don’t bias the results of this 9 year continuous study. After 9 long years of grueling research, the results still stand.

My bread pudding, my recipe, is the best in the free world…period.

In 2nd place is Montego Bay in Panama City Beach...


and 3rd goes to Red Fish Grill in New Orleans...


I have to admit it has been a while since I have been in the Big Easy (pre-Katrina) and I am not sure that they are still even doing the same menu that they used to have. An internet search let me know they got rid of the best Main Entre ever created – Sweet Potato Catfish served over blanched collard greens with an andouille cream drizzle. Quite simply, if I had a “last meal” with access to ANYTHING from ANYWHERE in the world - Sweet Potato Catfish from Red Fish Grill would be my choice – it’s simply just that good.

After stopping for a few minutes to re-read what I have written so far (I read slow and C-bone actually proofreads better) I realized that I must be hungry :) This entry has absolutely nothing to do with nutrition or lack of it or anything like that…sorry…Bread Pudding is a passion of mine :)

Let me try again – I try not to brag except about my bread pudding which I am proud of (better? :)) but I also get a secret inside smile at days like today.

People often tell me that they don’t have time to fit in their training or couldn’t do it as they are traveling. I travel a great deal for my work and often it is a last minute deal and only for a day or a single overnight. I will admit, it is hard to be consistent in your training when you have these variables thrown in but there are ways around it.

Today, for instance, was an 8am departure to Chicago (20 degrees and snowing and windy - probably not running outside in this) and a 6pm return flight that got me home at 10pm. Nowadays with my 4.6oz bottle of Crest toothpaste and the 88 year old great grandparents in the wheelchairs representing the two biggest threats to our National security – it takes a little while to get through the airport security. I could write a book on the stupid sh!t I have witnessed in an airport security line…note to the TSA…if you have to help grandma or grandpa out of their Rascal scooter…they probably do NOT pose a hijacking threat – just a hint :)


Back to my day…

My military training taught me backwards planning…flight leaves at 8am – I need to be at the airport at 7am – that means leaving my house at 6:20 and today I need to be dressed like an adult, in a suit as opposed to my normal jeans and t-shirt office attire which means in the shower at 6am. I had 1:30 minutes of “planned training” for Monday and that would mean getting up at 3:30am to fit that in…hmmmmm….nope…not today. I have done this before…I know…I have issues…but not usually on Mondays and the flight to Chicago is only 2:30 so I can’t count on a big nap.

So what do I do?

I actually planned to move my training to Tuesday / Wednesday and just take Monday as a recovery day. BUT – in the slim chance that my meetings would get moved around and/or cancelled – I took a pair of running shoes, shorts, socks and shirt and stuffed them in my brief case. I was actually very surprised at how little room this actually took.



Arriving in Chicago at 9:45am, I was picked up my good friend Tomas and we drove and chatted our way to Cook County Hospital. I met with the head of CT surgery for 1 hour from 11:00-12:00. My follow-on meeting from 12:00-12:30 we did in the lobby of that hospital. The last meeting for the day was tentatively scheduled for 3pm but that was a maybe all along and it didn’t go. At 1pm I was left with 4 hours until I had to be back at O’Hare to fly home…time to hit the gym.

A few phone calls and a favor from Tomas and Joe and I am into Equinox on Michigan Avenue (super HIGH end facility) and at 1:30pm I am grinding out my bike intervals and even squeezed in a 32 minute 4 mile t-run. Caught a quick shower, put back on the monkey suit, grabbed a smoothie and caught a cab back to O’Hare at 3:30pm – relaxed, refreshed and very smug that my back up plan worked.

I have done this a bunch of times and it works…


I have used gyms near the airport in St. Louis, snuck into hotel gyms in Los Angeles, pools in La Jolla, paid a day use fee in Salt Lake all to get in a 2-3 hour block of training rather than sitting in the terminal stewing that I didn’t get to train that day. Google maps and athletic minded traveler ( work perfectly together to create options and all you need is running shoes, shorts, t-shirt, 3 hours and a desire to fit it in.

Sometimes this 23:59:59 philosophy even allows use to practice transitions.

I was San Francisco a few weeks ago and I did a long run before work (1:45) and got back to the room at 8:10…I needed to be at my booth at 8:30 and it was a 5 minute walk from the hotel which - you do the math - meant leaving at 8:25.

8:10 in running clothes...



8:21 in a suit and out the door – showered – shaved (not the legs this day:)) and ready to go :)


after_1's good transition practice :)

Last few ideas for you – Point to Point rides and runs - Family support runs.

I have ridden from Atlantic Beach to Palm Coast / Daytona to meet the family to drive to the Keys. They sleep in - I leave in the dark and I meet them when they get close to me. I have been dropped off in Daytona to ride home from an Orlando weekend. I have ridden up and down the California coast to and from surf breaks while the munches got breakfast or lunch or slept. Again – it all works – you just need to be creative.

My favorite runs of the week are with my support crew. It usually starts with a request "Anyone want to keep the old man company?”

Shane and Josh will usually groan but they will ride a beach cruiser with me and we can just chat.

C- Bone digs his role as water bearer and now I don’t worry about him riding so much so it’s great.

We catch up on school, girlfriends, complaints and requests for money…think about it from their side…I am running…they have my water…they ask me for money – what I am supposed to say – no? Ok – there goes my water :)

I will close with this…


It also really helps to have a GREAT travel agent and mine is a close personal friend…she takes INCREDIBLE care of me and my family. We met in Vegas last week as I was there for the Orthopedic Meeting and we grabbed breakfast before she went to the track – yes – she is a Neck Car fan and we still love her :) If you want to give her a try – Travel Leaders is her company and she is 1-800-826-6644 – ask for Cindy.


Almost forgot – I got hear Floyd speak at the meeting at the Smith and Nephew booth - they did his hip – VERY COOL – that guy is tough!!!


After re-reading – like I said – I don’t do this well - I guess it does sound a little like bragging and I don’t mean it to be.

Fitting family commitments, work and training is hard sometimes but it can be done…

By the way…I started this entry after writing the recap of my meeting and sending my work emails that I needed to finish…sure it is after 8:00pm and I am working but I don’t mind at all because I did all my work and I got in my training and I don’t mind.

Now I get to do what I want to do - albeit at 35,000 feet and at a strange hour again…

Tonight I’ll go home, kiss C-bone on the forehead and go to bed.

The next few weeks I am at home and training will be MUCH easier to fit in. I have control over my mornings…I can always get my training in if I just get up and get out of bed…the alarm is set for 4:45am…it’s just that simple. For me - after work is family time and my time at lunch is not reliable so I get up and get it done before my outside commitments take exert their influence.

There are 24 hours in a day and I admit I try to use at least 23:59:59 of them – I know – I could get more done if I used that last second – but hey – I need to relax too :)