Monday, February 28, 2011

Workout of the Week (WOW)

There comes a time in a man's life when he feels the need to reach out and spread his seed knowledge to those who are willing to accept it, and you seem willing. With the impending IMLP looming over me like Olympus teemed over the ancient Greeks, staring down at me, laughing like I'm a pawn in this grand scheme of pain, pointing it's ugly finger, bullying me into submission, willing me to give up the fight before it has even started, holding the back of my head into the swirly of triathlon (for those of you who did IMLP in 2008, this reference makes a lot of sense, even if I am getting off topic), I need to get the leg strength ready and available for the hills. And, given that Jack Frost refuses to move out of my town, even briefly, I am stuck with the trainer.

The difference between 'working-out' and 'training' is having a plan
In theory, hills are simple. Hold your form. Set upper and lower cadence thresholds while coupling them with heart rate. For example, if you were competing in a shorter race (sprint or oly), don't drop below cadence of 70 or go into HR Zone 5. Don't go over cadence of 98 or into Z3. This is a short race, you don't need to conserve much. In the Ironman, I change the HR to Z4 as the upper, spending as little time there as possible and don't have a lower HR (conservation is good). Use your gears to maintain the thresholds, downshifting when the cadence becomes low/ HR high and upshifting when the cadence becomes high/ HR low. Seems like a good plan.

“No Battle Plan Survives Contact With the Enemy”- German military strategist Helmuth von Moltke
The hill is the enemy and if you don't prepare for it, the hill will spank your saddle-sore, lycra covered bottom and make you cry like the proverbial newborn. I'm pretty sure Helmuth was a triathlete or at least a coach. He recognized that, at some point, you run out of gears. Now what, smart-guy/gal? This is where strength training comes into play. Understand that I have tried the weight room, and if ever there comes a time when, right in the middle of a race, you are forced to single-leg squat a dumbell 10 times, this seems like a good plan. Should they ever replace the bike with a quad extension machine, I may start hitting the weights more ferverishly. Unfortunately, weight training hasn't really translated into improved bike ________ (anything) for me in the past. Nothing substitutes for good ol' fashioned grinding up a slope. The kind that teaches... (ah, never mind, I was hoping to insert a lewd comment about nads being shoved into your chest due to the hill gradient and aero position but it wasn't working for me).

Bike Hills on the Trainer
I'm not sure if you are aware of this, but my basement seems completely devoid of hills. I checked again the other day and,sure enough, it's mostly flat. There is a very slight, almost Florida-type slope leading towards the dry-well, but when I tried to bike it, well, let's just say that I have a wall to fix. Enter this workout. This is a workout designed and geared (pun intended) to make the legs work and teach the body to recover in Zone 2. Here's how it works:
  1. Warm up 0:15 (I tend to do a longer WU pre-strength)
  2. Spin for 3 minutes in good form, low Zone 2
  3. Shift into highest gear that will give both a cadence in the 60s and HR in Z3
  4. Continue low cad/ Z3 work for 2 minutes
  5. Repeat steps 2-4 for the duration of the workout
  6. Cool down 0:10
I did a total 60 min of work, meaning 7 reps at this pace.

Check out the profiles (click to enlarge).

My Zone 2 is 140-154.
My Zone 3 is 154-161.

You can see the warm-up gradually bringing me up into Z2. With the drop in cadence, there is a rise in HR and vice versa. As the HR approached Z4, I controlled my HR with cadence by slowing my spin if the rate climbed too much.

Quick quiz: 
Can you pinpoint the moment when I stopped the clock, had to get off the bike and go pee, and then tried to hide it by spinning up before restarting the time?
Hint 1: It's not after the 50 minute mark. Those were for crotch readjustment. Ignore that data.
Hint 2: It, ahem, may have happened more than once. See, I have the bladder of a 4 year old. I am seriously waiting for Depends to make a bike friendly product.

Post-ride I went for an easy 5 mile run. I try not to go too hard on the run if I just did strength work on the bike. I haven't mastered the get-out-of-bed-early-to-workout concept and am readily happy doing bricks. I'll save the hard run stuff for another day/ post.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Road Trip- Numbers

Arrived back yesterday afternoon after spending the week in Oklahoma with the Banter in Law, Mrs. BIL, outstanding niece and awesome nephew. Fantastic trip all around, minus the part where the Super 8 Hotel bed fused a couple of the vertebrae in my upper back making it painful to look anywhere but straight ahead. Here's some data from the trip...

Number of miles driven- 2701
Number of miles with a head wind- 2350
Average mile per gallon- 26.8
Number of times stopped to refuel-9
Number of times stopped at Starbucks- 8
Cheapest fuel- Southern Missouri- $2.95
Funniest place to get fuel


Average wind speed for biking- <20 mph
Warmest temperature to bike- 74º
Coolest temperature to bike- 48º
Warmest temperature back home- 32º
Biggest reason to take the road bike instead of the tri-bike-

Number of hours spent cleaning bike- 1.5
Number of hours spent riding bike- 5.25
Number of dead skunks passed while biking- 6
Number of hours spent running- 2.75
Average pace while running- 7:26 per mile
Average pace back home- 7:48 per mile
Number of hours spent swimming- 1.0
Number of hours spent 'swimming'- 1.0

Recovery Food
Number of Mexican restaurants visited- 2
Average calorie of fajitas- 900
Average calorie of chips/ salsa-125
     (per 7 chips according to one resource; who eats just 7 chips?)
When you eat chips/ salsa Banter-style- 1250
Approx excess number of calories needed to gain 1 pound- 3500
Post-trip weight - pre-trip weight= +3 pounds
Estimated number of weeks it will take to lose 3 pounds- 2

Number of casual shirts brought, but not worn- 5
Number of bike shorts brought, but not worn- 0
Number of shoes brought- 5
Number of shoes worn- 4 (left VFF in the bag)
Number of clothing items brought back not belonging to me- 2

Family Time
Number of board games played with niece and nephew- 4
Number of times Banter won-1
Number of kid's movies watched- 2
Number of books read with niece and nephew- 3
   (still never finished the ending of 1)
Number of pages read of my own book- 15
Number of attempts at playing WII against 4 year old- 1
Number of minutes it took for me to get frustrated and quit- 2
Amount of enjoyment gained from trip- unquantifiable

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Lazy Triathlete

Last post before the big Oklahoma Road Trip. Packing/ decisions not quite done. Here are some thoughts on my lifestyle...
“And even if he's a lazy man – and the Dude was most certainly that, quite possibly the laziest in Los Angeles County, which would place him high in the runnin' for laziest worldwide”
- The Big Lebowski
These lines are part of the opening sequence of the classic Coens’ movie. If you haven’t seen this gem, stop reading right now, go rent it, watch, and come back. I’ll wait.

Here's a Simpson's quote on laziness for the rest of us while we wait
'Ah, relax. I don't wanna work. I'm so lazy, I took lessons on a player piano.' 
'Wow, that's really lazy'
-Said Larry Burns with Homer's reply.
Now that we’re all on the same page, I must admit that I am a lazy man. Not Dude lazy, he’s still got me beat. He wrote a check for less than a dollar. I've used the credit card for similar amounts. Still, I get dressed on a daily basis. I view The Dude as my next big challenge, right after Kona. While I’m training, I’m quite focused on the triathlon thing. When I’m not training, I gunning for the Dude. 

Take for example, my morning beverage. In a perfect world, I would not be making it myself. Since I cannot afford a butler, I am stuck concocting the brew myself. This morning I was using the microwave and I noticed that I punched in 9-0-start instead of 1-3-0-start. Both will cause the machine to run for the same amount of time (a minute and a half). It’s just that 90 is only 2 buttons while 130 is 3. You could translate this as 30% more efficient, but in reality, why press 3 buttons when 2 will give you the same result. You have to admit that refusing to punch one extra button on the microwave is pretty lazy.

Even more microwave evidence... If 2:30 is my goal time, I'll settle for 2:22 so that I don't have to lift my finger and find other buttons. I need to only find the 2 and press 3 times. Saves both time and energy.

FYI- one minute thirty-nine seconds is the maximum amount of time in the 2 digit configuration (99 seconds) should you be willing to increase your own personal efficiency.

I’m pretty sure that, if you ignore the triathlon thing, I'm lazier than you. Prove it. In what ways could you win the Dude award?

The Dude Abides!

P.S. The blog is neither evidence for or against my laziness, so don't bother pointing it out.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Road Trip

On Saturday, the Wife and I will be road tripping it to beautiful, sunny Cancun Oklahoma. The forecast is for temps in the mid-60s. Good. No, Great! Beach weather compared to New England. Unfortunately, there are zero beaches in the entire state, according to certain resources. No beaches, fine. I'll be biking and running. Plus, there's something that Oklahoma has that no other state in the union can boast: the Banter-in-Law and family.

The BIL is a legitimate triathlete (unlike Darwin, Mendeleev, and Newton who are honorary triathletes). He started triathloning a couple of years ago and hasn't stopped since. I truly enjoy(ed) watching him obsess and grow (or shrink, he's a former clydesdale). He ain't done yet. He's as motivated as any athlete I've ever seen. We'll often discuss training and racing strategies. The BIL is the only member of the family that can handle the Banter in triathlon speak. In fact, he seems to relish in it. He'll forward on some concerns about equipment/ training/ aches and pains and I'll do my best to offer up the best advice I can muster. This is going to be a great trip. I get to see family and workout. Win/Win.

As the voyage deadline approaches, I am finding my stress levels climbing. I am concerned about the implied competition with another triathlete obsessing about all the things I need to pack between now and then. Such as:

Required Packing Items:
  • Wife
  • BanterDog
  • Big Dog (the non-running dog, more on him later)
  • Wife's stuff (not sure what that means yet)
  • Nourishment (people and doggie)
  • Espresso Maker (more on this later)
  • Pillow
  • Street clothes (both Wife's and Banter's)
  • Toiletries
  • Banter (yup, dead last on the list)
There's a lot more to consider when embarking on an exercation (exercise + vacation).

Packing Training Clothes
-Do I bring my cold weather biking stuff (booties, bibs, lobster gloves, earmuffs, wool socks, thermals)?
-Do I bring running pants or just shorts?
-Long-sleeved or short-sleeved jerseys/ running tops?
-Do I pack my full swim bag or just the suit and goggles?
-How many shorts for each discipline?

Which Bike?
-Do I bring my aluminum road?
-My carbon tri?
-Aerobars on my road bike?
-Training wheels or race wheels?
         (leaning towards training as OK is a full-sized wind tunnel experiment and bike skills are literally in the basement)
-Aero Helmet or regular one?

How many shoes are enough?
I do not wear my running shoes except when running. So add sneakers to the list, and then:
-Regular bike shoes or tri-bike shoes?
-I just bought the Saucony Mirage and so far love them. But I haven't done much Mirage Mileage. Do I take advantage of OK to break them in?
-Do I also bring my Mizuno Wave Riders, which are well broken in?
-Or, just the Mizuno's and save the Saucony's for racing?
-I'm addicted to my Vibram Five Fingers and have 2 pairs. I don't run in them (at least not yet, more on this later). Do I bring them both, one, or none?
-Sandals? Especially for showering after a swim, should we decide to pool swim (see comment above on beaches).

The high temps are predicted to be in the 60s, but the lows will be considerably cooler. I'll have my NY jacket but may need workout jackets for running/ biking.
-Shell jacket or wind breaker?
-Separate for biking and running?
-Rain jacket? (Long range forecasts are unreliable, rain is always a threat)

-The Garmin and HR monitor (I should put this on the required list)
-Timex watch for pool swimming?
-Bike lube? Wet or dry?
-Bike tools?
-How many spare tubes/ CO2?
-Body Glide?
-Wet suit? (I hear that OK has some outdoor holes filled water, not quite a 'beach')
-Nutrition? Bars, gels, powders?

After all this, I still feel like I'm missing something. I've got the swim, bike, and run stuff covered, right? What else? Further, where do I put it all? Some of this stuff will be covered by the BIL, so that helps out. I have a box that I can put on top of the SUV and a bike rack for the back. It may not be enough. I'm assuming that the space limitations will dictate the amount of essentials I will bring. What do I eliminate? So many decisions.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Perfect Running Partner

I've had the pleasure of running with some of the greatest runners in the world. When you become a triathlete and sign up for the big events, you get to participate with the top dogs in the sport. I recently got to run with the greatest running partner in the world. I had this thought while running with said partner and immediately started pondering this question...

What makes the perfect running partner (PRP)?

Here's the mental list that I've compiled...

  1. The PRP is ready to run at a moment's notice. I'm kinda flighty when it comes to running. It's good to know that the PRP is alright with that.
  2. Pace is wholly unimportant. The PRP is just happy to run.
  3. Hill repeats are no problem. Number of repeats is of no concern. In fact, the more the better (see #2)
  4. Morning runs. Afternoon runs. Evening runs. No problem. (OK, this is the same as #1, but worth repeating).
  5. Any distance is good. The PRP is good to go no matter how far you need.
  6. Gotta stop and take care of business. Fine by the PRP. The PRP has unequivocal amounts of patience.
  7. The PRP is non-judgmental. Bad form. Bad hygiene. Pass gas. No deodorant. Clothes don't match. The PRP doesn't care.
  8. Any weather is good. The PRP doesn't complain about the cold, rain, snow, heat, etc. (I.E. much better than me)
  9. Conversation is not necessary. The PRP will run not matter what and won't bog you down with unnecessary quips about anything. Yet, the PRP won't hinder you from babbling on and on and on.
  10. The PRP is always in good spirits. Humble and uplifting concurrently. The PRP is motivating in this respect.
Hopefully, you have had the opportunity to run under special circumstances. I would like to take this opportunity to introduce the greatest running partner of all time. Truly perfect. Introducing Westley (yes, named after the Princess Bride), the BanterDog.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Newton's Laws of Training

I'm pretty sure Sir Isaac Newton was a triathlete, despite the obvious liability that he died a good 250 years before the sport was invented. A little known fact: Newton's Book 'Principia Mathematica' was originally called the 'Principia Mathematica of Triathlonia' but he was under pressure by the Royal Society to focus his efforts on Universal understanding in lieu of multisport.

History has a way of obscuring the details, so allow me to enlighten you... People accuse Newton of gaining his idea of gravity from the fall of an apple. Despite his depiction as Noble and the moniker of 'Sir', Isaac was a regular blue-collar bloke. In reality, Newton fell off his bike while waiting for on-coming traffic. He spent a copious amount of time rehabbing allowing him to develop his now famous Laws of Training.

Newton's First Law of Training
Newton, as a lad, could not compete with the older boys in town. He realized that he would not be young forever and watched the professional triathletes and amateurs alike. He noticed distinct patterns in their training and recorded them diligently. His major breakthrough arose when he realized how athletes got inspired to train. He noted on several occasions that triathletes were a lazy bunch. Once you got them moving, they worked-out hard. At the end of the session, athletes would resume their pre-workout positions. This epiphany lead to his first law, which originally was quoted as saying, "Triathletes in motion will stay in motion while triathletes at rest will stay at rest unless given direct orders from their coach or spouse."

Newton's Second Law of Training
Cervelo's Original Areo Fram
When Newton was old enough, he entered the labor force. His first job was as a design engineer for Cervelo. Cervelo made several advances in bicycle technology in the late 1600s that go mostly uncredited.  For example, most bikes came customary with a 100 cc wheel set. Cervelo believed that a larger front wheel reduced air resistance and provided a smoother ride. They hypothesized that a 10x increase in diameter was ideal. Since Newton was a hands-on kind of guy, he had many a conversation with the athletes that were being measured for bikes (back then, all bikes were custom). The common understanding at the time was that only the rich could afford the carbon fiber rides and the lower classes were dealt in steel (not much has changed, apparently). Due to the weight differences, the steel rides repeatedly had a difficult time keeping up with the carbon fibers in a 40k time trial. Newton proposed a second law of triathlon that stated Force is proportional to mass and acceleration, all of which were directly related to the amount of money spent on a bike. This is the expensive law. Cervelo was mostly displeased with this law as they believed that all of the bicycles, regardless of materials, were top notch. Once Cervelo moved away from custom bikes to manufactured bikes, Newton left the company. Aluminum frames were later found in Newton's lab as a prototype in one of his many efforts to bridge the class system.
Newton's Aluminum Proposal
 Newton's Third Law of Training

Note the rudimentary swimmer
Upon leaving Cervelo, Newton noticed that the swim portion of the triathlon was largely neglected. And, since he didn't have a swimming background, Newton wanted to learn the difference between good swimmers and bad swimmers. He became a regular at the local YMCA, showing up for Masters classes and club practices with his pen and notebook. Some of the parents became concerned about the way Newton frantically scribbled notes. Newton assured the nice Christians that his intent was strictly academic and showed them a copy of his discoveries (right). They accepted his explanation and went out of their way to aid in his cause. Parents will do anything to help their kids get faster. Newton noted that the better swimmers used their entire arm efficiently, from the elbow on down to the tip of the fingers. Propulsion was induced by pulling the arm backwards, not forwards. The harder the swimmer pulled, the faster he went (mind you, this was when the YMCA actually meant Young Men's...). He also noticed that whatever the right arm did, the left arm surely followed. This observation lead Newton to the conclusion that for each swimming pull, there was and equal and opposite swimming pull.

Other work by Newton

Newton's Wetsuit Prototype
Newton was much more than a 3 law kind of guy. His work in the pool lead to more profound thoughts of swimming improvement. Newton observed that the better swimmers had a higher proportion of their bodies at or above the surface of the water. This concept allowed him to consider possible flotation devices that enveloped the entire body. His works later inspired Dan Empfield towards the creation of the first triathlete-specific wetsuits, as seen in one of Newton's original drawings. (Note- Newton was not an artist and not ashamed to tell you so.)

 There is a rumor floating around was that Newton eventually migrated to the United States in the mid-1700s. He was believed to have been survived by several heirs who inherited some of Newton's more advanced training techniques only allowed to be seen in the family. It is possible that Sir Isaac and Mark Allen may be related. You decide...
Sir Mark Allen-Newton?

Sir Isaac Newton

So there you have it.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Lucky 7s

Here's all the details that I know at this time...
It happened on the 7th day.
It happened during the 7 o'clock hour
It happened to be in the 7 pound range

There is a new Banter in the family. My little sister gave birth to the first nephew on my side of the family. Introducing Baby-Banter. Congratulations little sis!!

Monday, February 7, 2011

LTHR Test Results

The Problem

First, I haven't officially calculated my heart rates since, well, ever. The last time I had planned a test was during a race in 2010. I had pre-programmed my Garmin for the race, including transitions. Unfortunately, the multisport function crashed the device requiring an update on the firmware (which at the time was not available). I could get a display but not record any data. I ended up guessing at my lactate threshold based on the few times I glanced at the device. I estimated my LTHR at 171. Using the chart provided by Friel in his Triathlete's Training Bible. Here's a link to his blog, lots of good stuff there. I extrapolated my zones. There were 2 issues with the system: the estimated LTHR and technically your are not supposed test during a race. Second, I am Un-American and need something to do during the Superbowl.

The Hypothesis
I think that my zones are too high. This is further supported by my Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE). While biking, I feel a shift in energy around HR 150, when, according to the data, it should happen at 153. Minuscule difference, sure, but I still want to know.

The Procedure
1. Queue up a testosterone, laden mid-80s combat movie (Commando)
2. Warm up. I did 4x2:30, increasing gearing. Then 5x(1 min hard/ high cadence: 1 min spin). 5 min easy Z2 spinning.
3. Pee. Hydrate. Reset watch. (It's best to do this off of the bike)
4. Start spinning and bring HR into Z4. Start watch again.
5. Ride as hard as possible for 30 min. At the 10 min mark, hit lap. Stop timing at 30 min.
6. Spin comfortably for 20 more min.
7. Laugh at cheesy special effects and one liners by the Arnold (whom I believe is a triathlete)
8. Limp off bike holding hamstring.

The Data

The Conclusion
The hypothesis is refuted. My former LTHR was 171. According to the results of this test, it is 172. My zones do not change more than one heart beat. My next test, try and figure out why I am such a pansy at HR 150. Not sure how to measure this yet.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

I am Un-American

For those of you who have the pleasure to know me, it's apparent that I am not like normal folk. The most blatantly obvious oddity is that I am a triathlete. Most people can accept this. The next 2 reasons are harder for the average person to swallow:

Second, I hate bacon. It's true, I am a freak. I don't like the taste, smell or even look of it. Everything about bacon makes me nauseous. Bacon is like an obnoxious virus that has brainwashed the rest of the country and only a few of us are immune to its evil. I am sure that, if you tested it for addictive drugs, bacon would test positive. I am petitioning the USAT to include bacon and bacon related products on its banned substance list (this would make me a very popular person, right?). Worse, go to a restaurant and everything has bacon. Pick any food and want to make it better? Add bacon. Got another meat on the menu? Wrap it in bacon. Bacon is one of the few foods (if it can actually be called a food) that has permeated breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Can't eat pork. Fine. There are imitation bacon products such as Turkey Bacon, Bacon Bits and Beggin' Strips. Okay, that last one is for dogs but I'm sure they got the flavor right. Taste it and let me know. There are a few disgusting deserts out there, such as bacon ice cream, that have not gone mainstream yet. I am sure it's only a matter of time. I went to out to eat yesterday and the restaurant actually covered vegetables in bacon. I had to specially request that my vegetables come without bacon. The waitress backed away a couple of steps.

Third, I do not enjoy football and I will NOT be watching the Superbowl tonight. This unofficial American holiday is completely lost on me. Whereas I applaud the need to invent reasons to drink beer, eat fat/ cholesterol/ cheese/ bacon laden food, I cannot get past that there is a football game ruining the experience. Here's a fun thought: Consider how many chickens that had to die just to support tonight's hot wing quota. Maybe they should wrap hot wings in bacon. Yum! A couple a years ago, I went to a Superbowl party and we ended up playing Rock Band. Cheap Trick was the highlight of the evening. I was disappointed that we stopped rockin' because the game had started up again. "Don't Be Cruel," I rang out, but they turned off the game for the game. That was my last Superbowl. I used to not mind the game just to watch the ads. With the commercials posted on the internet, I cannot justify it anymore.

Instead, I have planned an hour and a half bike ride on the trainer during which I will be testing my lactate threshold in an effort to properly calculate my heart rate zones on the bike. This test is long overdue. I'll put in a movie (uncertain and uncaring if it will be good) and bring over a trash can, just in case there is exercise induced vomit. I actually think that this test will be less painful than if I had sat down to watch football, which would most certainly induce vomit. Football induced vomit is not pretty.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Periodic Table of Triathlon

I'm pretty sure Dmitri Mendeleev was a triathlete, despite the obvious liability that he died a good 70 years before the sport was invented. A little known fact: Mendeleev's Periodic Table of Elements was originally called the 'Periodic Table of Triathlon' but he was under pressure by the Russian government to focus his efforts on chemical and physical understanding in lieu of multisport.

History has a way of obscuring the details, so allow me to enlighten you... Dmitri Mendeleev was born to a poor family in Russia and is believed to be one of 14 siblings, 12 of which were triathletes. Since he was the youngest, he struggled to gain attention of his parents and older siblings, many of whom had moved on from local sprint raced up to as much as a 70.3. Mendeleev had bigger aspirations.

One day in St. Petersburg, there was a race, which was supposed to be the inaugural Ironman Russia (it never fully materialized). Mendeleev was an intern in charge of recording times and places of finishers. Since ChampionChip refused to provide timing for the event, Dmitri was forced to record data manually. He devised a system in which he would record the initials of the finishers and the amount of time after the leader (in seconds) in which they crossed the line. He was working solo and was not able to catch all of the data but still managed to put much of the information into a finishers chart.

Finishers Chart with some gaps

This gig did not lead to permanent employment with the WTC due to all the missing data and Mendeleev had to hunt for a job. Since he was poor, Dmitri took a job researching food products for the Gatorade Sports Science Institute. His work there was intended to discover the hidden secrets buried in food and to explain why the University of Florida football players were such pansies in practice. Through careful analysis of bloodwork from football players, Mendeleev was able to isolate the first known evidence of carbohydrates, proteins, and electrolytes in pure forms. His work yielded inconclusive data, but the GSSI CEO's were able to spin the numbers in their favor. According to a Gatorade Sports Science Institute press release:
"The weather and other climatic conditions caused the heavy sweaters on the University football team to increase the release of glucose and sodium. This was later confirmed by lowered hematocrits as compared to the control group. Thanks to the work of senior scientists, we have drafted a beverage in an effort to replace these vital nutrients. We shall call this brew 'Gatorade' in honor of the Institute."
"Take it off," -Dmitri
Well, Dmitri was flabbergasted that his name was omitted from the release. He had serious issues with the content as well. First, the 'heavy sweaters' in his caution to the football team were actual sweaters made of polyester and emblazoned with the school's logo. The football team was exceptionally proud of their school and refused to stop showing their spirit, even in the high heat and humidity of the Florida climate. Second, Dmitri was dumbfounded that the 'control group' the CEOs spoke of were the Gators' Championship Hot Dog Eating Team. Back then, the NCAA had less stringent rules as to what qualified as a sport and the GatorDogs practiced daily. Everyone in the universe had lower glucose and sodium. Third, when Dmitri concocted his sports drink, the original name was Placeboade, in honor that the drink did not actually do anything for you other than give you water as the amounts of sodium and glucose were too low to make a difference in your blood. Fourth, Dmitri hated that he was being paid to hawk a product that he invented as good science. He was quoted in an analogy saying, "If the Beef Producers of America hired me to invent a cow-based beverage and claim that it cures cancer, people would be suspicious. It should be tested and evaluated before being put to market." He believed that such testing should be done by independent labs to provide reliable data. Regardless, no such testing was ever done by an organization outside of the Gatorade Sports Science Institute. *Note- the team actually did remove their sub-sweaters and consequently won several National Championships. The Americans were sold on the hype of the drink and have been so ever since.  Dmitri was later released due to confidential reasons.

Ironically, Mendeleev took his notes and dignity back to Russia where he worked in an independent lab. His non-disclosure agreement along with his non-competitive agreement forced him to abandon the hopes of negating the Gatorade legacy. He dropped his dreams of making a miracle elixir that could help himself compete at the 140.6 distance so he went back to less important problems, such as inventing, isolating, and predicting elementals based on physical and chemical properties. He later had children who went on to succeed at the Iron distance. Some of his descendants were rumored to relocate to Germany and may have given rise to the al Sultan clan. You decide:
Dmitri Mendeleev

Faris al Sultan

So there you have it.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

2011 Race Schedule

With the threat of a pending blizzard and in the heat of a recovery week, my motivation to do anything resembling physical activity is pretty low. Therefore I decided to let my credit cards do the work tonight and paid out for a bunch of races. As I live in Western New York, most of my races are local. I plan on adding a race or 2 later in the season but I feel rather set between now and IMLP.

Here it goes:
The schedule has a couple of points of interest for me. First, the Flower City races are back to back, giving me a discount and option for a 'special' prize. I'm not much of a duathlon kind of guy as they purposefully get rid of the swim and replace it with a run. In the runner's world, I'm average at best. But, the challenge of the weekend appeals to me so I will cope with the lack of swimming for the weekend festivities. Second, I would like to add another tri in June. I generally do not like to drive more than 2 hours for a race (except for IMLP). I've not been having much luck finding a <2 hour race. Ironically, instead of racing, I will more than likely drive the 5 hours from home to Lake Placid to camp and train on the course. I won't drive to race but will to train. Gosh I'm weird. Third, except for the duathlon, I have done all these races in the past and enjoyed them. There's comfort in familiarity and I am sitting comfortable right now. (Although, that just might be the lazy boy talking.)

After IMLP, there are a few more local races that I've yet to register but am considering. There's a formula 1 style triathlon in mid August. I may do that race or visit my parents in Indiana. It's too early to tell at this point. There's a nice sprint triathlon in one of the Fingerlakes in September. Registration for this event is not yet open and there is a very high probability I will do this event. The big post-season race may be Ironman Syracuse 70.3. It's within the 2 hour window and would give me the chance to do all 4 major triathlon distances in the same season (sprint, intermediate, half, and full). I'm not sure how many other people can boast having done all four in the same season, so I'll be Banter-style superhero in that sense. Even without the bragging rights, the Syracuse event still looks fun. It also marks the last triathlon in the area for the year. The last hoorah. Yeah, I'll probably do it. Probably.