Moving Body Atoms is a Slow Process

The Texas Round-Up 10K wasn't on my radar this year. The only reason I ran it was that was the race my training group selected as it's goal race this spring. As a coach I needed to run it and support the other runners. Somehow last week the race went from one of my "C" races to "A" race just before the start. I don't know if I got caught up in the pre-race adrenaline or that my 10K time needed such improvement so I decided to put forth the effort. Effort as in ready at the start but no effort the night before drinking beer and wine.

Men 45-49: 25 of 51
Overall: 199 of 998 total 10K timed runners
Time: 50:03.1
Pace: 8:04/M
PR: 04:04 faster than the 2006 Capitol 10,000

Each 10K improves by four minutes each time. It points out to me that this will take time to get where I want to be. That muscles don't change overnight or even in one year. This 10K was a challenge with the hills. I think my next 10K will be one that's mostly downhill or at least flat.

I forgot to post last week about the Nuun tablets. I took a couple after running in the heat and doing an hour of hills. Just when the dehydration headache was coming on, I popped a couple of these and they worked great. I even used them this weekend after working in the yard and working up a tremendous sweat. They will definitely be with me at the traithlon and throughout the summer.

Labels: , ,

New Swim Duds

Found a new wetsuit for the upcoming Capital of Texas Triathlon on Memorial Day. As I said in yesterday's post the shoulders just didn't have enough room. From what I read yesterday online, this is a common problem for the single piece suits. I stopped by a second-hand sporting goods store and they had quite a few suits. I tried three on and ended up with an older version of the current O'Neill Hammer Spring wetsuit. A very snug suit with some wear but my shoulders felt little resistance with repeated arm movements. I don't have the benefit of the full suit, but I think that'll be ok for the temperature I'll be swimming in this year (+67). And best of all it was only $29.00.

Iron Wil posted the Top Ten Things not to do in a Wetsuit, yesterday. I added this one to her list.

If it reads "S", it's a small 
and if you're an "L" and get it on, 
two or maybe three other individuals 
will need to get you out of it.

No lie, I was about fifteen seconds away from the embarassing situation of having to ask the guys at the desk for some help. Didn't even see the "S" until after I had the suit off.

Also on my list of new gear are a pair of TYR Hydrovision Metalized goggles. I tried them at Barton Springs yesterday and they were very Yippie-yi-yo-ki-yay. I wouldn't necessarily wear them in the pool as the TYR Socket Rockets work great, but for the head bobbing that happens during the triathlon, the Hydrovision does provide more visibillity.

Labels: , , , ,

Barton Springs Morning

The steam coming off Barton Springs this morning.

I decided this morning to get another wetsuit. I was bummed as the one I have fit great, except in the shoulders. Another half inch added and it would've been neoprene nirvana. Without that extra half inch it felt like I was pushing a stretchy band so after a few thousand strokes, my arms were shot.

I swam the first 2,000 feet this morning with the wetsuit on and the second 2,000 with it off. Amazing difference. New doubt about it.

Labels: , ,

Run-Far Time Trials On For Another Year

Last night's event was cancelled with the storms that rolled through but it's good news that Run-Far Racing Services and the time trials are back for another season.

Labels: , ,

Wheel Trade-Out

I'm making a change to Salsa Verde. I never was very comfortable with the Spinergy back wheel (noise) and although I have the spokes and hardware to match the front's Shimano WH-540, it's time to make a change. I arrived on the eBay cycling page and noticed a wheel set with one minute to go. I clicked on it, read the description and clicked a bid of $125.00 as that was the amount I paid for the current two wheels on Salsa Verde.

I refreshed the page and Bing-Bang-Bong, cha-cha-ching, I won the auction. So now Salsa Verde will be outfitted with a slightly used pair of Rolf Vector 700C Clinchers for the same price I paid for the other two wheels.

Labels: , , , ,

Last Four Weeks to CapTexTri

The workout schedule is shifting again with four weeks left before the Olympic-distance CapTexTri. Although I'm psyched to do the xFit workouts with the rest of the gang, I can't seem to stay on course as other tri-workouts come first, especially if the weather's nice. And the weather has been great!

This morning I decided to check out Barton Springs pool to see if I could handle the 68-degree, spring-fed water and how it would work out driving to an early morning swim. Absolutely awesome!!! I had read stories of the regulars who swim through the winter at the pool and became a little anxious over whether others would look at me weird with my wetsuit. About half of the swimmers had wetsuits on this morning so no worries.

The water was definitely crisp. It took my breath away getting in but after a couple of minutes I lost the thought of how cold it was and got into a good rhythm. Before I new it, I had reached the end of the 1,000-foot long pool and turned around. Having no lane lines and being 125 feet wide, the pool mimics what it will be like the day of the race, except that there will be something like 200 more athletes within 20 yards of me. So even if there was one swimmer per 200 feet I could still get an idea and had to do some gopher-head bobbing as to not run head into someone else.

The pool was more crowded than I thought it would be. I mean 68-degree water at 6:30 in the morning? It could easily have been half triathletes getting ready for the season. Regardless of the weather or the number of people, this is where i'll be every Tuesday and Thursday mornings until the race. It makes for a very nice way to wake up and get charged for the day.

The challenge for these last four weeks will be to increase the intensity and number of bike/run miles while at the same time increasing the swim miles.


This Friday So Much Better Than Last

How can it not go better with a bike commute into work? I tried out my new Topeak Joe Blow sport pump this morning and dang, what a difference over the crappy pumps I've had all my life. It's a twin head pump so no losing the adaptors like I did last week. That was the reason to go get another pump anyway. I haven't tried it yet on the Presta valves. My commuter/beater, single-speed bike is Salsa Roja and it's equipped with Schrader valves, while Salsa Verde, my tri-bike has Presta valves. The Joe Blow pump Schrader head was a great fit and no air leaked out.

Some notes on the commute.

  • You feel alive descending 370 feet while getting upwards around 30-35 mph going with traffic.
  • It was cool how all the cagers were polite today and gave me room.
  • Learning how to ride with no hands again took me back in time. What a great feeling.
  • Climbed the hill towards the Amtrak station with two young, hairy legged women sporting backpacks filled to the brim and with water bottles dangling off the side.
  • Salsa Roja is an awesome steed. Not one dropped chain this morning.
  • Passed Runtex Chief Paul Carrozza cycling up the Shoal Creek trail. I always wondered where he ran.
  • Cycling shorts underneath my khaki pants worked best for the commute.
  • The humidity was pretty high. My shirt was soaked by the time I arrived at work.
  • I saw a place on Lamar Blvd. I want to check out called Earth Art. Pretty cool sculptures on the side of the building.

People's Pharmacy breakfast tacos taste sooooo good after the commute in. I bought two and also picked up some Nuun tri-berry, active hydration tablets. I'll let you know how they work out.

Labels: , , , ,

This Whole Week Was Different

This whole week was different. It started out with a normal gym workout on the legs last Monday. I stacked the Smith machine with too much weight and pulled a muscle in my back. That set the stage for the rest of the workouts for the week. It wasn't until Friday that my back felt normal again.

I got in a good run on Town Lake Trail before the storm rolled through last night. I ran right past that tree in the photo that fell from the wind today or last night. Although windy today at 30 mph, I still got out and did a 20-mile ride with a friend. His route included a lot of neighborhood streets which kept the speed low but included enough hills to call it a workout.

Monday's going to change things a little. I've joined a group kind of like crossfit that includes exercises from that program, as well as exercises from the P90X program. We'll also collaborate on other routines we find here and there. I think the others in the group are following the workouts to the letter for each day. I'll have to move them around and try to blend them into my triathlon prep. So far I don't think anything is coming from the "300" exercise program but who knows...maybe. If you haven't checked what the actors and stunt folks did to get ripped for the movie 300 you have to check it out. Google 300 or go to and search for the 300 videos. Pretty intense.

As I can't afford to lose another week for pulled muscles, I'm done for the season for heavy weights lifting until next winter.

Labels: , , , ,

New Green Smoothie Recipe

Last week out Runtex training group decided to have a smoothie party after our run. I brought a mixer and a juicer. They brought veggies and fruits. We gathered in the hospital conference room (we train in the ED parking lot), plugged in the machines and started cutting the fruit and veggies into juiceable chunks. We then put the juice of each veggie/fruit into a cup and after we were done, everyone mixed they're own drinks. One of the favorites created the recipe below. It's a green smoothie with a combination of fruits and vegetables.

1 cup apple juice
1 cup cucumber juice
1/4 cup spinach juice
1 cup strawberry juice
1 banana, non-juiced (blended)

I was amazed at the bright colors the purple cabbage, spinach and carrots made. Being the week before Easter, it looked like the cups of dye used for Easter eggs.

Labels: , , , ,

First Ten Pounds

The scale read 176 pounds this morning. Finally!!! This first ten pounds have been exceptionally difficult to lose, compared to last year or the year before. I've pinned down a few reasons but don't know if any of them or all of them contributed to the difficulty. First, I think the switch that's supposed to tell you you're stomach is full... is broken. No lie, I'd sit there at my desk at lunch and munch and munch and munch until bags and bowls full of food were gone. Only when the bags were empty was I able to stop. I have no idea where this new eating disorder came from but I have a hunch. Supposedly, tobacco suppresses the appetite so when I quit tobacco last May, I also cut off the thing that acted as my switch. As I used tobacco for over 25 years, my body was accustomed to it acting as the switch. Looking back at last year, this was when the weight started to go on.

Second thought. Ever since I had food poisoning and e-coli poisoning my body adjusted it's chemistry somehow and certain foods were off my desired list while others appeared on the list as new cravings. Example, to me meatloaf = food poisoning and that means I'll never eat a bite of meatloaf again. Even though meatloaf caused my food poisoning, I lost my cravings for chicken. Chicken has reappeared on the menu. Another change was the appearance of a salt intolerance. For me salt = headache. Fries = migraine. I've managed to stay away from salty foods but with my endurance training the headaches have disappeared as my body needs the sodium. The biggest change in the last year has been the new cravings for beer. I was never a heavy beer drinker and for some reason last fall beer cravings came on strong. And with beer cravings, came beer drinking which brought added pounds in short order.

Since last August, 30 pounds appeared out of nowhere. Actually, that's not true as beer was a big contributer. So I tried to quit beer on Fat Tuesday, which was also the day I reached 186 pounds. I weighed 156 last February for the Austin Marathon. Quitting beer sounded good but I didn't realize how strong the cravings would be. I cut back quite a bit but not down to zero like I'd hoped. I wanted to pick beer back up after the season in October, say around Octoberfest time. Perfect I thought! My plan lasted one week and so did the weight loss. So the weight would go something like two pounds off one day, two added the next. In the meantime, my "full switch" was busted and I was eating a lot and working out sometimes twice a day.

I was doing some research for one of the articles I was writing for and came across a piece on fiber. I knew what fiber was about. Yeah, it's that old person, Metamucil drink, twig cereal thing. I had heard that people needed it in their diet. What hadn't clicked or what I really didn't know was that fiber was indigestible carbohydrates, either in a soluble or insoluble form. A big light bulb went off in my head thinking that now, even though the switch was busted, that I could fool the switch. I could fill up on indigestible carbs (fiber) and see what happens. Basically, it worked! It worked so well that my new cravings for chocolate and sugar (cookies) could be given into and the fiber took care of enough stuff that the weight melted off a little at a time. Even a beer or two couldn't reverse the trend downward.

So I now have another tool in my arsenal of training weapons: fiber. I chose to get it from cereal as that was bulky enough to fool the switch. Specifically, Kashi Good Friends High Fiber Cereal. I eat it once or twice a day. I noticed I'd have really strong cravings two times a day; at lunch and after coming home from work. Once I felt the cravings coming on strong, I'd break out a bowl of cereal with blueberries or banana slices and I'd be fine. In most cases the bowl of cereal was enough to keep the other cravings in check.

I need to lose another ten pounds before the Memorial Day triathlon. That should get me close to 8% or 9% body fat (currently 10.6%) and around 165 pounds. I don't think I can get to 156 pounds again as I've added some muscle weight over the winter. Measuring the right bicep, an inch was added since last year so body atoms are definitely getting moved around.

Labels: , , , ,