Monday, August 31, 2009


I am toasted. I had the most lackluster 25 minute weightlifting session on record after work today. Very uninspired. Should have taken off the Ironman hat I was wearing.

EZ swim tomorrow probably won't get it in until after work.

Philip Schmidt, a DC Tri Club member, did a 9:50 at IMLOO. Awesome.

-- TJ

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Sugarloaf... Again

Willie is doing the Bay Country Century on Saturday, September 5. I have talked about joining him. Rather than wait for next week, I went ahead and rode a century today.

Chad was heading out to Sugarloaf so I decided to join him. Some highlights from the trip include:

1. I rode from home alone down to Georgetown. Left at 6:45 am and got there at 7:22 am. I met someone on the way down who lives in the neighborhood. Looked like a good rider.
2. Bobby Grohs, Paul Delvecchio, Eric Goetz and Travis Seindahl all joined us. Bobby, Paul and Eric are elite riders and Travis is no slouch, himself.
3. Though cloudy and only in the low 80s, it was extremely humid. I was drenched with sweat the whole ride. I mean like dripping sweat. I don't think anyone wanted to ride behind me.
4. Chad, Travis and I headed out to Sugarloaf from the T without the other guys. Thank God. Because, there is no way I could keep up with that pace. I hung on for dear life from Georgetown to about Glen Echo. We were doing 25 - 27 mph. I finally had to hang back. Didn't see those guys again until we got to the top of Mountain Gate.
5. We hit all the hills, but I got a flat just as we were about to climb Black Rock.
6. I averaged 17 mph over the whole 101 mile ride. I hadn't ridden 100 miles since 7/26... much better this time having some company.
7. Chad made me ride River Road on the way out... and we rode it on the way back, too. All the way from Mt. Nebo to Falls Road. I really hate River Road. Thanks a lot, Chad. You're a real "team player". ;-)

View Larger Map

-- TJ

Friday, August 28, 2009


My HydroTail broke again. Before my 65 mile ride this past Sunday, I noticed that it was cracking. I set out anyway and just over halfway through the ride, I removed the bottles because I could hear it getting worse. It was rattling around. Less then 10 miles later, the dang thing broke off.

As I'm heading out to Sugarloaf this weekend, I went to Conte's and bought a new hydration system (that's what they call it) yesterday. I picked up the Xlab Sonic Wing. This guy seems to be more stable as it is two pieces screwed together. Hopefully, it'll be less brittle. I'll post some pix of it on the P2 later.

I've had a little cold this week. Didn't ride Tuesday and rode only about 10 miles yesterday. But I managed to swim Tuesday, run long on Wednesday (10 miles) and am heading over to the YMCA for a 45 minute swim this morning.

Only 12 weeks and 2 days until IMAZ. The days are flying by.

-- TJ

Thursday, August 20, 2009

One Year Ago Today

I still have floaters and my vision is worse than before it happened.

Detached Retina

-- TJ

Monday, August 17, 2009

Intake Update

I need some reinforcements. My food consumption is spiralling out of control, and may have contributed to a poor run time yesterday. I even ate some pie last night! KDOG and I have resolved to keep a food diary so there is some accountability. We will try it out and see how it works.

I had oatmeal and coffee this morning. Big lunch from Big Greek Cafe. Quarter chicken, Greek salad, roasted potatoes and pita bread. Water to drink.

-- TJ

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Northeast Triathlon Update - Results

TJ at body marking

If you like to run a 10k on asphalt in 90+ degree weather with no shade after a hilly bike ride, you should do the Northeast Triathlon.

I had a lot of fun and the course is very challenging. No wet suits were allowed on the swim as the water was 85 degrees. But, it was very calm and I didn't feel any current. My swim time wasn't all that bad. I was passed by about a dozen people in the wave behind my wave. I felt a lack of energy the first 10 miles of the bike. But then I remembered... all the Ironman training makes it hard for me to "warm up". It usually takes a while to get it going. The last 15 miles of the bike ride, I passed people who had passed me earlier in the ride. Then came the run... Jesus H. Christ... what a disaster... a hour long 10k is just unacceptable.

There was no "good part" on this run

The good news is that the DC Tri Club won the USAT Regional Club Championship for the 5th year in a row. I have been in 4 of those races (missed the 2007 edition... at the Northeast Triathlon). And though I did take 5th place in the Clydesdale division, I am still disappointed in my performance. I obviously need to work on the run. Swim time was actually better than my Oly Tri last year. And, I have swum a lot less this year than last. My bike is cool... I just need to get going earlier. It definitely took me about 30 minutes today to get my legs going like they should. Once they did, I started picking people off on the bike. Especially on the hills. Had a some good power and turnover.

Incentive to work harder and smarter

Congratulations to my "Bash Bro" Simon Hernaez for taking 3rd Place in the Clydesdale division. You earned it, big fella! I took 3rd last year and Simon was 4th... this year, the tables got turned with a new guy, Hans from DC Tri Club, earning 4th place. He passed me on the run at mile 1.5. He wasn't the only person to pass me on the run...

My "Bash Bro" Simon showing off his 3rd Place Medallion

Some final observations...

1. My transitions suck. Look at that T1 time. No wet suit, either. Again... simply unacceptable.
2. AVG HR data... swim - 140... bike - 157... run - 150
3. As bad as the run was, I didn't walk. I ran the whole time.
4. A big shout out to my new friend Lennie Phillips who had a time of 2:47:02 in his 3rd tri!
5. New googles worked out fine. No problems at all.

-- TJ

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Northeast Triathlon Update - Bash Bros

TJ and Simon (Bash Bros) riverside in Havre de Grace

DC Tri club tied on the feedbag at MacGregor's. We had a good turnout... at least 60 people. Loaded up on pasta, chicken and salad. I sat with Ed Moser and some other long time DC Tri club members. The newly minted Ironman finishers were on hand, too. It was great to hear the stories.

OK, I'm about to turn in. Get some good shut eye and then rise and shine at 5 am.

Follow your bliss. The Sky is the Limit.

Artwork in downtown Havre de Grace

-- TJ

Northeast Triathlon Update - Hilly Bike Course

Northeast, MD from satellite

The bike course is hilly. I rode it in my car this afternoon. Encountered Ed Moser out on the road. He's not racing tomorrow but has volunteered. He said he didn't remember how hilly the course was. You can find the elevation for the course here.

My strategy will be to push it on the early hills and then suck it up between miles 18 - 23. They aren't steep but they do roll and will take some effort, especially if it's hot.

I did a 25 minute ride followed by a 10 minute run this afternoon. Getting ready for dinner. The DC Tri Club is eating a meal together at MacGregor's in Havre de Grace. Food...

-- TJ

Northeast Triathlon Goggle Update

TYR Technoloflex 4.0 goggles

Do you know why they say don't try anything new on race day? Because usually, it fails abysmally, whatever it is that you're trying new. That is why you try new stuff in training. But, I'm dumb as rocks, so I am always willing to throw caution to the wind (not). I didn't order a new pair of Aqua Sphere Kaiman Clear Lens goggles on time for delivery prior to this weekends race. So, I took a chance that they'd have a pair for sale up here at the race site. The closest thing they had was the technoflex. Check out the cool TYR logo on the head band.

Looks like cat ears to me.

I always like to wear a new pair of goggles on race day because they don't fog up. New goggles never fog on me. We'll see how these do. I do have two old pair of Kaiman's in my bag. I can accumulate some goggles. Check out this pic from the week before Ironman Florida 2008.

You should see all the pairs of Nike Shox NZ I have, too

-- TJ

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Discipline Makes the Difference

Paul Timmons and I at his gym, The Firm

Back from the beach. Had a great vacation that included a training build throughout the week. I rode with Paul Timmons on Sunday. We did a 65 mile ride in windy, high heat and humidity conditions on flat roads. I went through 4 bottles on the ride, which included a 30 minute run afterwards. Paul just did the ride. A 3 time Hawaii Ironman veteran, he's a great rider. If you're ever in Rehoboth, check out his gym, The Firm Fitness Center.

Two ocean swims, four bike rides, three runs (including the brick) and two weightlifting sessions later, I'm ready for the Northeast Triathlon on Sunday. To me, that's a great vacation. Swimming in the ocean is a rush. Tuesday's swim found me stung three times by jellyfish. Seeing the countryside from the seat of your bike is a great way to get to know an area. The ride Thursday found me pedaling as fast as I could through a thunderstorm. The ride in the rain has been a theme this training season. And the satisfaction of completing a training run isn't called a "Runner's High" for nothing. Running along the Atlantic Ocean coastline and on Rehoboth Beach's Boardwalk on warm summer days just heightens that sensation.

Workouts go a lot easier when you don't have to worry about going to work later that day, or even the next day. I could get used to that sort of life.

Though I was disciplined with my workouts, I was all over the road with eating. Yes, I had french fries and nachos. I even ate ice cream twice. Bad TJ. I really have to start getting it together and being more disciplined with my eating habits. I am hovering around 200 lbs. right now and don't think it would take much to get down to 190. Readers of my blog from last year know this is my "white whale"... getting down to 190.

Lastly... while I'm laying in bed, writing in my blog on my MacBook computer and worried about how much food I've been eating, Marines are on the offensive in Afghanistan. I can barely fathom the discipline it takes to do what they're doing right now as I'm writing these words.

TJ at USMC Memorial on 8/12/2009. Semper Fi.

-- TJ

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Change of Pace

TJ, Willie & Marcia. All 140.6 finishers.

Back in 2007, I did some training with Marcia, a friend of some training buddies from previous seasons. She did Timberman that year, and we trained for it together quite a bit. She and her husband John drove my bike up and back to New Hampshire that year (thanks John!). Last year, Marcia & John had a baby, so she took the year off from triathlon. Today, Willie and I cycled with her today from her new home over in Davidsonville. Funny thing is that I've ridden by this house (her new house) many times as have many of my tri buddies... it is right on Patuxent River Road, a favorite back road for cyclists wheeling through Anne Arundel County, MD.

It was the first time I did a training session with Willie since the Tour de Cure back in May. I thought many times during the ride how much better bike shape I am at this time then I was back in early May. We rode down some back roads to Deale, MD and then climbed some hills over to Route 261. We stopped for a bit to nourish and regroup as we had gotten in about 30 miles at that point.

Willie, mile 30 @ Route 261 & Fairhaven

We turned right on 261 and headed back towards Route 2... as we had been through some rolling hills and heavy tree cover, the sky to the west had been out of view for at least 45 minutes. Now that we were headed back west and were on semi-open road, we could see the gray clouds that were rolling in. Low and foreboding, rain was definitely on the way. And, seriously, within two short miles, the temperature dropped at least 10 degrees and the air went into that silent, static mode that precedes a thunderstorm.

And, it came... after we headed north on Route 2, it wasn't long until we were in the middle of a deluge. Willie had his Zipps on his Cervelo P2 and as the wind was coming from the west and we were headed north, he was definitely having a hard time holding a line. We stopped at the 408/422/2 intersection and took cover at a mini-mart gas station.

Its hard to tell here... but it was POURING and WINDY

We were still about 10 miles out from Marcia's house and though there was thunder and some lightning, we had to get going. I actually felt the best I did the whole ride over this 10 miles. I dropped Marcia and Willie and at some points of this flat stretch of road, was going 27 mph for sustained periods of time. A little tail wind, perhaps?

When we got back, I took off my shoes and socks and wrung all the water out of the socks. It is amazing how much water can get into little ankle-high socks. Also, when you cycle (or run) in wet conditions for more than an hour, your feet get a strange waterlogged look to them.

TJ's waterlogged feet

A cool thing about the new house is there is a pool in the back. That felt good after a 50 mile ride.

I've cycled and ran about four times this year in driving rain or thunderstorm conditions. I don't think I did that once last year. Typically, when it rained, I stayed inside.

We got in 50 miles in about 2:45 of ride time. My average heart rate was 120... just what I needed today. I've really be working it hard and I needed a long bike today that wasn't crazy long or hard. I'll take the next couple of days off and then I'm heading down to the beach... I have a nice 5 day training set lined up and am very much looking forward to it.

NOTE: IMAZ is 16 weeks from today.

-- TJ