Thursday, February 22, 2007

On the bike

I replace the crappy 20 cent pin that held together my bike rack with a decent bolt and cotter pin. So I was able to take the bike with me to work and ride during lunch.

Near the Los Alamos High School.

During Lunch.

I was ascared! Sheesh. The sight of all of those teens driving like loons (3 out of 4 were on a cell phone) scared the crap out of me. Last time I go there during lunch.

Short ride, only 9 miles. I am supposed to ride in Albuquerque this weekend but they expect more snow. Damned groundhog got it wrong. So we will spin inside.

9 miles beats nothing so I am a happy camper. A happy camper with a sore neck, tight calf, painful knee, insomnia, yadda yadda. Man, all I do is WHINE!

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Running and Swimming Yesterday

I tried something new. I have an Ace knee brace. I placed it high on my thigh to try to stabilize my IBT band. It worked for a while. The brace was slightly to big so it kept slipping down. Also, it just was not shaped to go that high up. But it did a pretty good imitation of a Pratt Strap. It helped a bit and I was still in pain 10 minutes into the run but I was able to go much further. When I was done (I ran over lunch) I iced up my thigh. I also rolled my IBT band with a co-worker's can of soup. Hey, use what you got!

I swam for about 1 1/2 hours with all sorts of drills. Lessons took me for a loop. I appear to be doing everything wrong. It is a wonder I do not sink to the bottom of the pool like sea weed. Actually, I understand all of the components that I need to do. It feels very awkward but it will take practice. Actually, I am enjoying the swimming. I just need more time.

Linda and the girls were at the pool as well. They had fun time. It was good getting them some exercise.

I am having a bear of a time with goggles and my masks leaking, especially on the right side. My eyes (I can hear a friend of mine laughing already! But this has always been a problem with me) are a little closely set. It is worse than annoying. I will keep trying to fix this problem.

Got my bike rack for the truck. I am bringing my bike with me to work and will try to bike over lunch.

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Walk Dale Walk

Linda and I walked twice on Monday. First in the morning (it was 40 degrees. Woohoo!). And then down by the stables with the girls and all 4 dogs. Good day.

I tried running again yesterday and only got a few hundred yards when my knee started to really hurt. It hurts on the up swing, a sharp pain. On the outside. My reading suggests that it is either Runner's Knee or ITB syndrome which is what I suspect. It seems to fit.

Ice and rolling the IT Band are the top two treatments. I will try a Patt Strap and see if that works. If I cannot get this pain to stop beats me how I will be able to run the race.

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Sunday, February 18, 2007

Carol's Triathlon Training Blog...From Couch Potato to 5K!

I stumbled across Carol's blog while looking for other Team in Training Triathlon participants. No, carol is not a TNT member (that I can tell) but she has a pretty cool site. She talks about getting in shape to run a 5K and just kept on going. Now it is second nature to her. She has many great tips for swimming, running, and biking as well as gear reviews and race reports. Her style is easy to read and has become integrated into my Google Reader.

Go check out Carol's Triathlon Blog. No. Put down the donut and do it now!

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New Bike and Old Bike

Three years ago I decided to be a kid and buy a bike. The problem is that the last time I was on a bike was when I was a kid. So, it was off to the local bike shop in Santa Fe, Rob and Charlie's. I bought a nice comfort bike by Raleigh Bikes. It is a 2004 SC 40. It is very comfortable, has a zillion speeds, takes the road and trails nicely. I really enjoy this bike and know that I can complete a Triathlon easily on it. But I am interested in going a bit faster, taking bigger hills (there are no lack of hills in Northern New Mexico!), and maybe entering in longer endurance bike rides (like the Santa Fe Century). In many ways I regretted this bike. I decided that I really wanted a road bike. I do not want to blow several thousands of dollars on a bike. I knew my price range and what I was willing to settle for.
So, yesterday I went back to Rob and Charlie's and looked around. I ended up coming back to Raleigh bikes, in this case a Grand Prix. This bike is pretty high tech compared to what I am riding now. It is no kick ass all out racing bike but it will do as need. I am not used to the shifters in the brake handles. The ram bars are taking a little getting used to. I am not as stable on this bike as I am on the comfort but I am getting there. I added a few tools and a computer (you know I am a nerd, right?), and I am ready to go.

Finally, after lunch I was able to get on and ride. Clara rode her Schwinn and we looped around White Rock for seven miles. Then she was off and I went for another 13. Twenty Miles Total! I was thrilled. I know that one can sign up for shorter routes in the Santa Fe Century including 25 and 50 miles. I easily hit 20 today so doing 25 is a no brainer and a 50 is doable (one goal at a time...I am not mentally ready for 100 miles...give me a month or two!).

So far I love the new bike. Will take some time getting used to but, hey, one can say that about all of life!

Tomorrow, I must run. Run Dale Run. G-d, I hate running...

But I love being fit so run I do.

Until later, Love and Sweat,

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Dale and the TACO man

Dale and the TACO man
Originally uploaded by dalehugo.
Taken 2 years ago at my first (and BEST!) 5k, the Albuquerque Run for the Zoo. I plan on running it again, this year.

Spin Class

So I made it easily to Albuquerque early Saturday morning to meet my team (hey, I am on a team?!?). We did a Spin Class at Riverpoint Sports.

The class went well. I kept my heart rate where it should go and did just fine. I pushed and pushed. This will be okay. I might go back on late Tuesday night for swimming. Will get me home around midnight, though....

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Back in the Gym. Weight Training for 2/15/07

Simple Circuit

  • Combo "Sissy" Squats and Should Presses: 50/3/12
  • Cable Row: 110/3/12
  • Leg Curl: 200/3/12
  • Fly: 60/1/12 70/2/12
  • Tricep Behind-the-neck Press: 45/3/12
  • (Machine) Fench Bicep Curl: 50/3/12
  • Standing Calf Raises: 95/3/15

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The Funeral (or why I hate Florida!)

Actually, I like Florida but DAMN this funeral was hard.

My Aunt Adele (who is not my aunt but really my Mom's first cousin) was the matriarch of the family. She has been pretty sick since Thanksgiving. A few weeks out she decided to stop all medication. It was clearly explained to her that she would die. She understood that and my discussions with her children demonstrate that she was very ready to go. It was hard for the family. We knew her time was to be measured in days or maybe a week or two. We were ready for her death.


I got the call just as I was leaving for work on Thursday, 2/8/07 . She was only gone for a few hours. But the wheels were now set in motion. We learned her funeral would be on Sunday. That meant we had to fly in on Saturday. Direct flight to anywhere from Albuquerque, NM, are difficult. We were going to Tampa, Florida. We had to stop off in Dallas DFW. My parents would end up getting on the plan in DFW. My parents and us (my two kids, my wife, and myself) all on the same plane. There are not enough of those little liqueur bottles! Then into Tampa. Rent a van, get a hotel. Oh pack, gather the kids, notify work, find someone to watch the menagerie in our home. Getting a little more complicated,

So, we get a very good deal on tickets. The problem is that our flight leaves Albuquerque at 6am on Saturday. Los Alamos is just under 100 miles away. We decide to drive in Friday evening, buy some last minute items (tiny shampoo, toothpaste. heaven forbid we piss off TSA!), eat a nice meal, spend the night in a hotel, get up ear;y, be at the Sunport by 5am. Nice, casual.

Not on your life. There is a reason my friends talk about "Dale Trips." People think I make this stuff up. Nope, bad luck follows me on travel like dirt follows Pigpen from Peanuts.

We check into the hotel on Friday evening at about 9pm. Nine hours until the flight. Linda informs me that she left her Driver's Licence at home (which would surely piss off TSA!). A frantic one hour phone call to AA confirms we are screwed. Her warped, out of focus Sam's Club card will probably not get her on the plane.

So I leave them there. I drive back to Los Alamos and get in around 11:30 (6 1/2 hours until the flight). I grab a quick nap and am back out the door at 2:30am (3 1/2 hours until the flight). I get back to the hotel at 4am. Grab a quick shower. (2 hours before the flight). We make it just fine. Hey, this Tri is about endurance, right?

The plane sucked. A retired TWA jet. we had the very back seats. Bulkhead, next to the ROARING engine. My kids were upset. I slept.

My parents got on the flight in DFW just fine. Off to Tampa. More sleep. We rented a huge Ford p.o.s. 12 passenger van. A boat on wheels. We get stuck in major traffic due to the Florida State Fair. We get lost going to the hotel (I have a love/hate relationship with Google Maps). We get to the hotel...the WRONG hotel. So back in the van, more circling around. We get to the room. We check in. Good news, they did not lose our reservation. Bad news, the room is not ready. We are all cranky. we decide to go across the street to get lunch at Panera Bread Company which is in the mall.

Bad mistake. Very bad.

I did mention the fair. Well, it seems they were using the mall parking lot. It took us an HOUR to get through the parking lot. To make matters worse, Panera bread was inside the mall but because of (de)construction at the mall we could not get close enough where I felt my parents could walk. we killed way over an hour in bumper to bumper traffic to go about 1 mile and in the end eat at the Outback in front of the hotel.

Hey, I am just getting warmed up.

We finally check in and rest for about 45 seconds. We are off to my cousin Frannie's home. We cannot find it. Actually, we can see it but this major car wreck prevents us from crossing the road. My cousins have to come and get us (we wre sitting by the Tae Kwan Do place watching the girl roller skate in Sonic). The wreck was a drunk teenager in a Ford F150 pickup truck that hit an off duty Sheriff's officer. One fatality. The first of several bad wrecks we would see.

We got to see family and friends and ate and laughed and cried.

The next day, Sunday, was the funeral. Now I knew the best way to get to the home. Easy. We have my "cousin" Ronnie and family in tow, we cruise on down and almost make it to Frannie's home.

Another wreck. A bad one. Cars and body bags are sprawled out over the pavement. Turns out some kids were drag racing and hit and old man who was making a U turn by Florida 310. More fatalities.

The funeral went well. My Mom and Dad insisted on putting earth into the grave (part of the Jewish ritual of burial). The ground was uneven and I had to really hold on to my Dad to keep him from slipping and joining Aunt Adele in the open grave. While it may have been hilarious later on, at the time I felt it was prudent to keep him above ground.

One the way back we saw another major wreck. Looked like a rear-ender. The next day the paper totaled about 5 fatalities. It became a mission to get out of Florida alive.

In the end I am very glad all of us went. My family is small. It was very good seeing people I have not seen in a while. Some not for many years, others just a few months ago. Family is important.

We got home at about 1:30am on Monday. Tired. Grungy. Melancholy. But satisfied.

Florida kicked our collective asses. But I am glad we went.

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Balance in training. Fitting in sleep, family, work..the essentials!

I have figured out that this Triathlon is about balance. Everything I have read and talked to with other people confirm that. I have trained for other events in the past, but this Tri is overwhelming in a it when one is starting from a position of lower endurance like I am. I have no doubt that I will make the end and reach the goals but it is difficult to get it all in balance.

And then there is life in the way. The funeral was a whirlwind and very draining, in more way than one (I promise a later post. Trust me, it was hilarious at times!). But it killed about 1/2 a week.

I love weight training. It is a very focus activity for me. I must clear my mind of all of the outside world and focus. A few weeks back I went in very, very distracted and dropped a 100 pound weight off of a leg press machine on to my big left toe. It is a miracle I did not break the toe or lose a nail. That is one of the very few times I have been hurt in the gym. I pay a lot of attention to what I do. The end result, beyond a healthy body, is a mind a spirit that has been free from the demands of every day for an hour. I love it.

This Tri changes things a bit. I usually go into the gym and focus on single body parts. So legs only one day. Chest and back the next. Shoulders and arms the next. Abs somewhere in between (and actually mixed in. I firmly believe strong Abs are they key to overall performance).

Not for the Tri.

I do not have 90 minutes to kill on just my back and chest. I have changed my training to lighter weights at 3x12 reps. enough to feel the weight but not enough to really push. I also am doing circuits so I am hitting all of my body in one shot. 30-45 minutes not counting warm-up and stretching.

Balancing back and forth between muscle groups helps you move forward quickly since one muscle can recover as you work the other. And I am working larger to smaller muscle groups. So, my typical Tri weight training workout looks like this:

  • Warm-up
  • Glutes and Quads (usually squats. I hate squats. Everyone hates squats. Except your body. Your body LOVES squats!)
  • Back
  • Ham-strings
  • Chest
  • More legs (Lunges, Step-ups, etc.)
  • Shoulders
  • Triceps
  • Calves
  • Biceps
  • Cool-Down and Stretch

I try to work in "super-sets" where you work two muscle groups at the same time. For example, dumb bell squats with a shoulder press. Tricep-pullover with a chest extension. Arnold Presses (Biceps and shoulders).

Speaking of balance, somewhere in here I need to add in my run, bike, and swim. Considering that it is still winter in the mountains of Northern New Mexico it is difficult. I am often out the door at 5am to walk or run but it is still pitch dark and very bitter cold. The dogs love it (stupid Husky!) but my muscles tighten up fiercely in the cold. I have figured out that the pain in my knee is due to tight ham-strings. I usually do not warm up enough in the bitter mornings.

Swimming puts me out in the dark at night in the cold.

Have you figured out yet that I hate being cold?

So, balance. I have not been able to bike because it is difficult to get through the snow and ice!

And April seems really, really close!

Well, I know I will make it. Just whining a bit for now! Balance. works for Tris and works for life in general.

Now go do a full circuit in the gym!

Help donate to Dale's Race to Fight Blood Cancers!