Friday, October 30, 2009

self restraint

Sometimes when my legs feel super good at the beginning of a run my brain thinks that I can just go hard from the start and maintain it through the entire run. Unfortunately my brain can be very short sighted and will not see the long term.

Take for example this morning, when I went a bit faster from the start and ate it @ mile 2. Fortunately by mile 3.75/4 my legs came back to life.

And I guess that its for early morning dark runs? Daylight savings time ends this weekend. Good thing, because my runs are going to start getting longer in a couple of weeks.

Today's route:

Thursday, October 29, 2009

involuntary sleep

So say you go for a 6 mile run @ lunch in some awesome weather. You get back, shower, eat, then you have a meeting @ 3 in a dark room with a bright projection screen in front of you.

What do you think is gonna happen! haha!

I was looking at one character, closed my eyes, opened em back up and suddenly there was a different character up there. Oops! Good thing they weren't mine :)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

pitch black run

I have only ran once in the dark before. I thought I was going to trip on every step. Fortunately I didn't.

Yesterday morning I headed out for a run @ 6:30 in the dark, but I came prepared with an LED headlight. Aaaaah, I can see! Did an easy 4 miles. Upon finishing the run, the natural light started to arrive and the atmosphere was pink! It was totally surreal!

Then this morning I hopped onto the trainer @ 7AM and spun for an hour. It was easier this time than Saturday.

Finally I went to the pool @ lunch today. We did:

400 WU
10 x 150 on 3:00
4 x 50

The 10 x 150 was harder than it looks since I haven't been putting up much yardage lately. I will probably end up with a whopping 10K yards this entire month. Still, I am in MUCH better swimming shape now than I was this time last year.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

just going going going

So on Friday I did 3 miles in 27:00 flat. Just took it easy and felt REALLY good after my hilly-ish 5 miler the day before.

Yesterday it poured all day long, so I spun my legs out for an hour on the trainer. I think that did the trick, because....

this morning I just got back from a 6 miler in some perfect perfect PERFECT fall running weather. I ran up this short but really steep hill around mile 5 and my breathing was perfectly under control. That is one of those hills that totally takes you above and beyond threshold. So in other words, it was a good run. I did it in 54:28 for a 9:05 pace. Perfect.

I have really been trying to go slower on my runs. I realized the other week that running sub 9 min miles right now day after day on short distances makes me feel so much more tired than running a 9:00 min pace and doing more volume. Its all about load.

Load = volume * intensity.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

5 mile lunch time run and yummy sandwich

Another gorgeous day in fall paradise. Fall is really making up for lost time. I did 5 miles @ lunch today (my longest run since Timberman, I believe) and finished up that gigantic .5 mile hill. Been awhile since I have gone up that thing in running shoes. A good run. I hurt @ the beginning but the legs opened up around mile 3.

But I made a yummy sandwich for lunch today:
Grilled chicken and roasted red pepper on a kaiser roll with balsamic vinegar and mixed spring greens, with provolone cheese

So you grill the chicken with salt and pepper. I have stove top grill pan that makes those nice grill marks.

Roast the red pepper in the oven under the broiler. Once out of the oven, toss the pepper into a container where it can steam. This allows the skin to come right off. Slice into thin strips.

Sprinkle an appropriate amount of balsamic vinegar on one side of the roll, or mix it in with the mixed spring greens.

Assemble and enjoy! If you are making it for immediate eating, you can melt the cheese on the chicken.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Homemade Uncrustables

So my Pampered Chef Cut N Seal finally arrived today. I didn't waste any time and bought bread on the way home from work.

After some experimentation I figured out a workable recipe that also matched EXACTLY the caloric amount of the store bought brand: 210 calories. It came out to be:

2 slices of white Wonder Bread (28 grams per slice, but you end up with 13 grams per slice after its cut)
1 Tbsp smooth peanut butter
1 Tbsp Jelly

I found that the unmixed PB & J makes it hard to assemble (i.e. the peanut butter slides off of the jelly, etc)

So I mixed it into a paste, which makes it a much more "workable" material.

Plopped the resulting 2 Tbsp's of material into the very center of the bread

Sandwiched it (don't spread the material out when you sandwich it)

Press down REALLY hard, and turn the lever

When you pull off the Cut N Seal, it should look like this:

And voila!

The first time I had a successful sandwich (below on the right), the top wasn't packed down and it was "loose" which I fear would break apart easily on a ride. It should look like on the left:

So I cut out a piece of carboard to go inside the Cut N Seal to add as some extra "packing".

Empy interior of Cut N Seal

Carboard inside Cut N Seal
4 sucessfull attempts, one mishap. The added cardboard worked perfectly!

Thinking about making bread pudding with the leftover crusts. I used some Pepperidge Farms white bread as worked, but I wish the bread was a bit bigger. Otherwise, as long as the slice of bread is larger than 3.5" squared, you can use a whole wheat or whatever you want. Im going with white bread cuz it digests easier for me while out riding, which is the purpose of these things.

I plopped each into its own ziplock bag and stuck em in the freezer. I'll find out tomorrow how well they froze.

We taste tested one, and honestly its the same taste and texture as the store bought brand.

Mission accomplished!!!

not complaining

Got out @ lunch today in partly cloudy, 67 degree weather for a 16.5 miler on the bike. Man oh man these are the kinds of rides that make you enjoy riding. Fall, you have arrived?

Also hopped into the pool this morning for 1100 yards before I ran outa gas. I guess I can't swim on an empty stomach?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

yummy (and cold) breakfast dessert

Got out for a slow and easy 3 miler this morning. Good run. But what was waiting for me @ home was a simple yet tasty (and cold!) breakfast dessert.

Last night I took a spotted banana, cut it up into coins, and froze em in a ziplock bag. I dont really like the taste of a banana when the skin becomes spotted, but freezing one @ that state changes the taste to simply yummy!

Plus, a frozen banana lasts for quite a while.

Caution: might cause brain freeze!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

the only good thing about the treadmill is...

when you got off of it you feel like you are walking 1000 mph!

Not sure when I was on a treadmill last time, but its still the same: BORING!

Did 45 mins. on it while watching "Hancock".....what a terrible, terrible movie.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Mooseman HIM Bike Course Preview

Im up in NH for the weekend visiting my folks. Im only 45 mins from Newfound Lake so I previewed the Mooseman HIM bike course today. It was 42 degrees and sunny, but I still had on multiple layers of clothing. I was warm though! and the wind was pretty dead, so I think that helped a lot.

Good course. Hillier than Timberman and it has enough turns and ups and downs to keep your brain occupied. There are only a few sections of road where its that boring wide highway stuff where your brain starts to wander.

Im glad I previewd this course this early, because its going to drive how I train on the bike leading up the actual race next June. Here are some bullet points that I need to work on:
- climbing while seated...there are two nice walls between miles 4 and 7 that could ruin your ride if you go too hard up them (i.e. hammer up them standing up with 50 miles to go)
- transitioning from big gear on downhill to small gear to climb, and yet maintain speed during transition....there are a lot of these short but steep downhills where you can gain a lot of speed, but quickly the road pitches up @ the same angle.
- stay in aero position as long as possible on training rides.
- HILLS! you can never do enough hills.....this course is hilly, and you do it 2X. The second go around is gonna HURT!....and I need to do a lot of climbing on the TT bike.

Here is the course:

And here is the power file. I used my TT bike today. Might as well, as I will be racing this course on it.
I took it easy on the ride, only averaging 157 watts and held a 17.6 mph average.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Ok weather, you win

Uuuuummmm, its the middle of October and we were surprised with some thick sleet yesterday. Fortunately I got out for my run yesterday morning and did 4 miles before this utterly nasty weather began....still it was definately the coldest run yet since the summer....I had on a vest, gloves, head bandana thingy, and running pants.

Now for this morning, I threw in the towel. Woke up @ 6:10, heard the pouring rain and didnt even want to contemplate getting onto the dreadmill.

So Mr. Weather, you win! :)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


I got a package in the mail from The Pampered Chef. My Cut N Seal arrived!

Well not really....they shipped me 2 $69 Dutch ovens instead. Hmm, so now the ethical question. Keep em? I mean, I payed $9 for the Cut N Seal and received almost $140 in merchandise instead. I even bought Wonder Bread and jelly on the way home! Man!

Im doing the responsible thing and sending em back...


"are you ready for an ass kicking?"

My super-really-is-a-fish-swimmer-coworker is back and we hopped into the pool @ lunch today. He calls me before we leave and simply blurts out on the phone, "Are you ready for an ass kicking?" I asked what we should do, since my longest swim back has been a measly 1350 yards. He responded with, "How bout 9 x 300's?" I said, suuuuuuuuure, thinking I would go as long as I could until my arms die.

We finished 6 300's before we stopped with the distance. I finished the 6th in 5:17 for a 1:46 pace. I'll take it considering how bad my form in the pool still is. Still looking to drop that pace! We finished with 4 fast 50's. The last 12.5 yards on each felt like I was swimming through molasses. I was just dead!

Good swim and a reminder that I CAN get back to 3000 yards soon.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

half the battle is just getting outside

Its getting darker and darker outside by 7AM. My brain started playing games with me this morning when I saw the darkness. First it was suggesting I go hop onto the dreadmill. Then it suggested I just run @ lunch. THEN it suggested I just take the day off. Sorry brain, but I win this morning!

So I did my usual 3 mile route, but backwards, which saved the day. 48 degrees is some fine running in its hard to overheat. 26:17 or an 8:46 pace.

Monday, October 12, 2009

lunchtime ride and good swim

Got out for a colder 18 mile ride @ lunch today. Just went easy.

And then after work I hopped into the pool for 1350 yards. This was a comeback type of swim, in that I was hitting some times that I was hitting pre-Timberman. I did:
300 WU
4 x 200 (3:21, 3:21, 3:17, 3:23)
2 x 100.....went easy
50 CD

So that 3:17 200 yarder....yeah, thats pretty good for me right now. I'm hoping to drop that back into the 3:15 range yet again. My super-swimmer-coworker has been out for a few days and I hope to get back into the pool with him again and have him whip my butt back into shape!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

how do you cure a headache?

Say you wake up with a hangover headache one morning and you want to get rid of it. Well, make sure that morning is 56 degrees and sunny with a cool breeze and you go out for a 4 mile run in around 35 mins. Then you get home, chug a lot of water and eat a few cider donuts.

That usually works :)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

35 miler and fall has arrived!

You can smell fall, thats really how you know its here. Fall isnt here because of the color of the trees, which btw are crap this year! Every tree looks like it went on a 3 week bender and its result is a sick liver that is spewing puke colored leaves. Fortunately there are a few pink lady apple colored trees out there saving the day.

So I still have my cycling fitness. I went for a 35 miler this morning and my legs picked up from where I left them off. Here is where I went:

Friday, October 9, 2009

run, swim, and google spreadsheets

Went out for a 5K this morning and finished in 26:15 or an 8:28 pace. I wish I had my HRM on to determine how hard I was going. It felt like a steady effort and my legs are still feeling great. Im really enjoying running right pressure!

Then after work I jumped into the pool for 1250 yards. After a 3 x 100 warmup, I did an 850 yard time trial to figure out where the heck I am with my swim fitness. Finished in 15:00 flat for a 1:46 pace. Not bad I suppose. Something to improve on. I have really lost a lot of swim fitness since Timberman. It'll come back!

And finally!!!

I have recently discovered Google's spreadsheet (I am a HUGE spreadsheet junkie) that I can use through my Gmail. I am always looking at my training plan which is on an OpenOffice spreadsheet, but its a pain in the butt to modify it at either work or at home and then update in the opposite place. Now I have a spreadsheet in a centralized location that I can access anywhere I have internet.

Here is my current run schedule.

I am currently planning out next year and so far I have this.

Pretty soon my master training log is gonna wind up online as well. Talk about exposing yourself to the world! I have over a year's worth of EVERY swim, bike or run that I have done since August '08 when I really started tracking my progress. All of this is my type A personality shining through :)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

swim and run

Did 1000 yards in the pool last night. My feeling for the water is slowly coming back and last night's swim was a LOT better than Monday night's swim. I miss those 3000+ yard day I will be back in that territory.

Then this morning I got out for another run. This running 4x a week thing is already starting to pay off. I did 3.4 miles in 28:51 for a 8:29 min/mile pace and I was just going @ a steady pace and not pushing it at all. Maybe because I am not biking @ all that my legs have been so fresh on every run?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Have you tried one of these?

Sooooo tasty and I can eat a PB&J @ any time of day. I have been using them as fuel for an after work swim (they are 210 calories a pop). They come frozen, so they are perfect on a ride as well. By the time it thaws out in the pocket of your jersey you are ready for some more fuel. And the great thing is that because its sealed, no sticky mess!

However, @ $2.99 for a box of 4 of em, or 75 cents a pop, I think I can do better. I was pointed to the Pamered Chef's Cut N Seal tool. So now you can make yourself! Im gonna give it a shot. The tool is only $9. I wish it was a tad larger than 3.5 inches.

But now the question is how do you seal em? Well I will want to make a bunch @ a time and seal and freeze them to last for a few weeks, even up to a month, so it looks like I have two options.

The frisper: looks like it is a bit complicated, but MUCH cheaper.

Or the gold standard of vacuum sealing food, The Food Saver: which would cost approximately 40 boxes, or 160 individual uncrustables. supermarket only sells the grape flavor, and Im a strawberry jam kinda guy...what to do, what to do. The OCD and type A in me says make em yourself! The practical and realistic side says go buy em, they are pretty cheap. Your thoughts?

A food sealer isnt just for making PB&J Sandwiches. You can marinade steak or chicken in 2 hours because with no air, the liquids have no choice but to fill the meat. I do have one of those 20% off coupons somewhere....

back on the trainer

Seems these past two weeks have involved a lot of "back to the...." or "back in the...."

I guess that I am now in the post-Timberman period of my season and officially into the maintenance period of my season leading up to the start of next season.

I am reconfiguring my weekly workouts to get 4 runs in and leave room for 4 bikes if I can. Still only going to leave the swim @ 3/week. I doubt I will get in 4 bikes, but if I do, that's GREAT. If I don't, oh well, not that much of a biggie.

BUT!!! I HAVE TO RUN 4 TIMES A WEEK! If I want to redeem myself in the run @ Timberman, thats what I need to do. There was a thread on about "what sport would you do 4X a week". The common reply was your weakness. Well, my weakness is the run, and that is whyyyyyyyyyy, I am doing these races coming up:

Nov 8th, 10K down on Long Island
Jan 24th Manhatten Half Mary
Feb 7th, Bronx Half Mary

Those two Half Mary's will involve a lot R&D into how to race that distance rather than just finishing it, like in all three of my previous Half Mary's.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

ticking off the runs

Knocked off another 3 mile run. Did it in 25:55 this time. Took it nice and easy. My legs felt really smooth. Broke out the arm warmers and gloves for the first time with the 47 degree temp. I learned my lesson! and I was nice and warm this time. Can't wait for those 17 degree runs again in January! haha

Monday, October 5, 2009

back into the pool

The last time that I got into the pool was 9/14 and I did a whopping 250 yards before I threw in the towel. Ouch.

Tonight I got in and did 1000 yards. The first 200 felt too easy. After that I started to pay for it. Ouch.

Time to climb back up the mountain!

my favorite post workout meal

I eat one of these about 3-5x per week after a hard workout. I never get burned out on em. It has a pretty good ratio of carbs/fat/protein and it tastes YUMMY! its around 500 calories for the burrito.

Jon's Breakfast Burrito

3 eggs
1 large flour tortilla
1 oz shredded cheddar cheese
1 tbsp salsa
Glass of OJ.

- scramble the eggs with fresh ground pepper.....that is, beat the ever living $h!t out of the eggs till they are the consistency of water, helps cook em perfectly.
- nuke the tortilla for 20 seconds to soften it (helps you fold it without it cracking)
- add cooked eggs to middle of tortilla and cover with shredded cheese and salsa
- wrap by folding in thirds (like a letter), then finish ends off like wrapping a present. There should be no openings.
- nuke for another 20 seconds to melt everything together
- enjoy!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

taking it easy

Went out for a suuuuuuper slow 3.2 miles this morning with a friend down towards the beach in Greenwich, CT. It was a wonderfully relaxing run.

I was meaning to go for a ride yesterday, but I felt really sluggish, so you know what, I just didnt go and had no regrets about it.

Ahhhhh, the off season!

Friday, October 2, 2009

didnt realize how cold it was...

I did a big OOPS this morning. I thought it would be in the low 50's so I just wore my usual shorts and short sleaved jersey on my run this morning. I got outside, and yeah, it was cold(er) but not too bad.

I get running for my 3 miler, and I feel better. By mile 1 my hands are still cold and by the time I finish my hands are STILL cold. My body is warm though.

Get home, look on

41 degrees. YOWZA!

Time to break out the cold weather gear!

Had an excellent run. 25:50 for 3 miles or an 8:37 mile pace. My legs felt WONDERFUL!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Next year's race schedule is made

Amongst a number of duathlons and running races, these will be my three main races for next year:
June 6th, Mooseman 70.3
August 22nd, Timberman 70.3
November 7th, NYC Marathon

I just registered today for the two half Ironmans and I have qualified for NYC already. The great thing about the two HIM's is that they are home territory for me. I used to ride the roads of Mooseman in high school when I was on the cycling team.

I mean, I LITERALLY learned how to ride a road bike around Newfound Lake when I was 16. I remember bonking for the first time ever on one cold ride ride around the lake where we were sprinting for town lines to build up pizza points. i.e. you win a town line, you get a free slice of pizza. Unfortunately (and fortunately) one of my teammates at the time was a guy named Robbie King, who just destroyed everybody on that ride and that season and took overall honors for our region that year. His brother, by the way, races for the Cervelo Test team and was supporting the 2008 Tour de France winner, Carlos Sastre, in this past year's edition of the Giro d'Italia.

I rambled off a bit there, but it shows that this is another home comfort race for me, just like Timberman, which is on the lake I grew up on.

Oh, and Timberman, my goal next year is to improve on the run, so your so-called half marathon is going DOWN!!!!

camping pictures!

My friend took some pictures while camping the other weekend. He used his iPhone and shot some amazing panos. They came out SWEEET!

Morning after a long drive. This spot was only 30 miles south of Lake Placid. It was COLD. Be happy the Ironman doesnt take place in early September!!!

We made land. Such a sweet camping spot. The lean to is behind can camp on that island if you don't mind high winds.

The lean to, before we inhabited it.

My friend Dave. Give him a toothpick, send him out in to the woods, and he will build you a shopping mall.

Me trying to start a fire using a bow and a stick. We got smoke, couldnt get a coal going. I did get a fire going with flint and steel.

Sunset on our first night out on the lake. The wind was LOUD that night.