Friday, January 21, 2011


So, Cath and I were recently invited to participate in our friends Ross and Diana's Ragnar relay team. Apparently, they think that we will bring a bit of speed to the squad. Little do they know that we've been doing nothing but drink beer and watch football for the past four months. Oh, well, Ragnar is all about fun, right? No podiums, no medals, no Kona slots.

But we're actually very excited - I had my heart set on Hood to Coast a couple years ago, but we didn't survive the lottery, and I frankly forgot to get an application in for 2011. Huge registration fail. But leave it to Ross (// - who has recently taken the triathlon world by storm - to set up a team that will, no doubt, finish squarely in the top 90 percent of the field. It should be a hoot.

The relay "race" goes from Madison to Chicago, 193 miles, and is broken down into multiple legs. Each of the 12 participants runs three legs, varying in distance from three to eight miles per leg. The only kicker is that the race goes all night, so sleep will be in short supply, and the 11 non-running runners are stuffed into two econo-vans for 30+ hours. Like I said, should be a hoot.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

New Years Fail

Can we just all agree to push "re-start" on 2011?

I don't know about you, but this year has gotten off to a ridiculously poor start - the weather blows, work blows, and it seems that - overnight - the number of duchebags in Chicago has more than doubled (from what was already a huge number...).

Anyway, I had silently decided to blog more in 2011, but that hasn't really happened due to a number of pending issues, mostly related to work - personnel issues have dominated my days, leaving less time to ponder training plans, workouts, nutrition and other triathlon silliness. But I'm going to try to be better. You - my three or so loyal followers - deserve better.

Exercise-wise, I've been pretty good - swim, bike, run has taken a backseat to higher heart-rate training, and using a greater variety of gym toys has been a ton of fun. We're still hitting that Boot Camp class once a week, and have been doing a bit of TRX training, as well (that's some random guy using the TRX straps in the figure to the right). The TRX stuff is strength-based, using your body's own weight as resistance. It's great for the core, and gives you a nice cardio burn, to boot. Good stuff. If you have access to a TRX class, I'd definitely check it out - it's much harder than it looks, and the results are awesome.
Other than that, I've been swimming just once per week, and just over a mile at a time (which is about as much swimming as I ever consider "fun"). I run about once a week, as well, for about an hour. Biking is more-or-less my recovery activity, so I'm afraid my first time back on a real bike outside will be beyond painful. But it is what it is. I decided this year to really step away from tri stuff in the off season, and it's been great for me mentally. Physically, I'll probably pay a price, but I'll deal with that later.
Later, taters!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Vacation fail

Well, so much for a winter vacation.

Southwest decided - 11 hours before takeoff - that fog was on the horizon, and cancelled our flight out of Chicago. Which would have been fine - the flight was scheduled for 6:40 a.m., and I wouldn't have minded a later morning or even afternoon flight instead. But that's not what Southwest offered up as an alternative.

Instead, they insisted that they had no other flights out until January 3. Unfortunately, our family gathering was centered around New Year's weekend, and everyone was leaving on the 3rd. So, with no other option available, we bagged the trip. Pfft.

Thanks, Southwest. I hope your 2011 is filled with enormous financial loses and eventual bnakruptcy. You suck, just like the other "big" airlines that you think you're so much better than.

On the bright side, the wife and I were able to spend a relaxing weekend at home with the dogs, watching hour-upon-hour of bad television and rarely venturing out of doors. The weather has been colder than ususal for this early in the winter, but we went on a great group run with friends last Sunday and it felt great - beautiful, blue skies and very little wind. Lovely. I'm hoping that this becomes a weekly event.
Tonight we are taking a class at our gym called "Peak Performance," which should really be called "Death in 60 minutes." It's a bootcamp-style workout, with equal parts cardio and strength exercises designed to break both your mind and spirit. At least, that's what it feels like. As you can imagine, it's very popular - despite starting at 5:30 p.m. on a Friday night - and as much as I dread it, the class is addictive like the ol' crack rock. Or so I've heard. I mean about the crack rock thing. But it's a good class.
Hope your 2011 is off to a crazy good start!