Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Sean Taylor

I'm a big Washington Redskins fan. Sean Taylor was probably my favorite player on their 2007 roster. He really was coming into his own this year and likely would have made the Pro Bowl again, if he was able to return from a recent injury. But, I'll never get to see him play again. He died of a gunshot wound. Details surrounding the incident remain to be revealed. Another reminder that all we have is today. Live this day as best you can.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Flashback: Ironman Florida 2006

On November 4, 2006, I completed Ironman Florida 2006. My finish time was 12:51:39. I beat my goal time of 13:30. My total transition time was 22 minutes and change. My marathon time was 5:01. I believe by doing better on transition and the run, I can trim my time down to 12:15... my goal for Ironman Florida 2008. This video is a montage of shots from my 2006 experience.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Flashback: Timberman Triathlon Festival 2007

This past August, my sister and I took our respective families on vacation to New Hampshire fir the Timberman Triathlon Festival. My brother-in-law did the Timberman Sprint. My daughter did the TimberKids Tri along with my niece. My sister and I did the Timberman 70.3. The movie above documents the Sprint and the TimberKids race. As I was racing in the 70.3 (6:10 was my time), I didn't get any footage on the day of the long course. Team Hoyt was out there, too. Very inspirational seeing them on the course.

Desiree Ficker was the female winner of the 70.3 and a highlight of the weekend happened when Jessica Rose got a snapshot with Desiree at the hotel.

The 4th Discipline: Nutrition

Those of you who know me know that food is one of my weaknesses. I can eat a lot of it and I can eat a lot of the kind that a finely tuned athlete shouldn't eat. We have pizza day at lunch every Friday at the office. I have to physically leave the office to "avoid the 'noid" but if there is some left over upon my return, I will frequently slip. Also, life can get busy sometimes and it is so easy to order Chinese delivery and fall into General Cho's Chicken trap. Anyway, you get my drift... I would like to change my eating habits... I must change them to knock 36 minutes off my IMFL 2006 time.

I was talking to a guy at work today. He is doing some run training right now and he told me about how he has knocked double digits off his body fat percentage. He took a full 30 day period and TOTALLY eliminated junk food. Since then, he has had cravings but when he fed the craving, it made his body feel bad and the cravings have decreased in frequency.

Where am I going with this... I am going to attempt to eliminate the trigger foods that I have for a 30 day period of time. The month that I will do this is December. This is a time of the year when I can typically fall behind. And then it takes the first 90 days of the new year to get back into the place where I want to be. So, I'm going to give it a try... this means the following...

General Cho's Chicken
Candy/Cookies/Cake/Pie/Ice Cream
French Fries
Fried Food
Chips of any kind

I think it will take a miracle to make this happen. But, I'm willing to give it a try because I think the payoff can be big. First of all, it will enable me to not fall behind during the holiday season. It may also result in a decrease if not total 30 day elimination of these Improvised Edible Delicacies and if it can result in making it easier in 2008 to tune the diet when training volume starts to increase, that'll be a good thing.

Some people try to quit smoking. I'm going to try and quit junking up my body.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Training Begins

As I was eating a piece of "Death by Chocolate" with vanilla ice cream lopped on top at a dinner party last night, one of the other party guests asked me "when does training begin for Ironman Florida 2008?". I replied that it won't really begin until Memorial Day 2008. But, that isn't really true. I could argue that training has already begun and I'd like to share a few relevant items in my regimen here.

- I am in a heavy weightlifting phase right now. For the past two months, I was doing weightlifting that consisted of all body parts, twice a week with high reps, low weight. Now, I am in a phase where I lift three days in a row.
  • Day 1: Chest and Arms. Dumbbell press, incline dumbbell press and decline press. 4 - 5 sets with heavy weights. Sets of 10 down to 6 reps on last set. Curls of various types and tricep extensions to hit both sides of the arm.
  • Day 2: Legs. Squats on a Smith Machine. Leg extension. Leg curls. Calf Raises. Again, 4 - 5 sets with heavy weights. Sets of 10 down to 6 reps on the last set.
  • Day 3: Shoulders and Back. Arnolds, shoulder press, military press, lateral raises and a variety of back exerices. The idea is to get the shoulders and back tired out so it is heavy weights and multiple sets.
- Every other day, I'm doing ab and core workouts.

- Running: I'm doing short maintenance runs though I am signed up for a 10k this Sunday. I'm doing the Cold Turkey 10k in honor of Kati Fisher ( My running is 30 - 40 minute runs at a 9 minute mile pace to just maintain form an aerobic capacity. I've been running twice a week.

- Biking: I have not been outside on a bike since the Civil War Century on September 8. My bike is currently in a state of disrepair and I sense some blog posts soon about purchasing a new tri bike. I have ridden a stationary bike at the gym once week. I do an hour on the stationary to the hill program so I can get my average heart rate (hr) into the 140 range. I think time away from the bike will be good although I have to be careful about getting TOO FAR away from good bike fitness.

- Swimming: My gym has a pool. I've been in it. I haven't been in it lately. I'll probably start trying to get 1000 yard swims in a couple times a week. Mostly to work on technique.

- Nutrition: This year, I plan on doing better with my eating. Right now, I am trying to take it easy during the day at work. I am typically eating a bagel with peanut butter around 10 am, a protein shake (banana, strawberries, blueberries, yogurt, soy milk, whey protein powder) for lunch. Then, a Chocolate Chip Peanut Crunch Clif bar around 3 pm. Been pretty good with that plan the past couple of weeks. I have to rein in the food consumption when I'm *not* at work. Last night's dinner party did not boost my confidence.

So, training really has begun. I'm trying to build some muscle and maintain my run fitness. I start working on bike and swim technique here soon and am trying to apply a nutrition plan that keeps me from putting on weight during the "offseason".

Saturday, November 10, 2007

A 140.6 Mile Journey Starts With a Single Step

On November 4, 2007, I signed up for Ironman Florida 2008. The event will be held on November 1, 2008. The race filled in about 7 minutes. So, I am one of the lucky ones who got in.

This blog is intended to archive how a suburban dad will transform into a finely tuned triathlete that finishes the race in 12:15. Such a finish would improve my time by 36 minutes from Ironman Florida 2006. So, now it's out there. That is my goal. Finish in 12:15 or less.

Video of me preparing to signup for Ironman Florida. I was one of the lucky ones able to signup through

We learned this week that a woman in the 2007 race died after an incident during the swim. This is the second year in a row that an athlete died after the swim at Ironman Florida.

Here is the news as it was posted on the Ironman Florida Yahoo Group (


Re: Prayers for IMFL athlete
With sorrow, I share with you the news I just received from Dave Young:

It is my sad responsibility to be the messenger of unhappy news I
never, ever thought I would send.

Dorothy Barnett-Griffin, wife, mother of three, sister, daughter,
philanthropist, athlete, friend to hundreds and more of an Ironwoman
then all the Ironmen I have ever known, passed from this frail
existence today November 8, 2007.

Dorothy will be missed. She was a punctilious pink presence everywhere
she went. She opened her heart and her home and her purse to so many.
She was a woman of opinions clearly stated and a wit and wisdom
equally measured out in ample doses to lift or lead others as needed.
She was a magnificent woman.

She was intolerant of fools and incompetence but had a heart so big
that she became the epitome to many of faith and hope and charity –
but like Paul writing to the Corinthians, charity was her greatest
quest. As a result of losing her first husband to a sudden tragic
death, she became familiar with and then a huge supporter of the
Journey of Hope Grief Support Center in Plano. In fact she was racing
in the Ironman to race funds for this organization. (For more
information see

We honor best not with flowers and cards and well-used expressions of
sympathy but by imitating and emulating the worthy life of another.
You could do far worse than to follow the admonishment to go and try
to be like Dorothy. Be "Dorothy-Strong!"

On her way into Heaven I can hear her saying as she speedily passes
dawdling others shuffling slowly along - just like she did in many a race:

"Girl on your left."

We are diminished greatly by her leaving, we are all magnified for
having had her in our lives.

Farewell Dorothy.

Please pray for Mike and Dorothy's kids.