Thursday, September 30, 2010

Great Give-Away

Diana is giving away some goodies in a "pay it forward" fashion and I think it is a great idea. So please go visit her site!

Monday, May 10, 2010

TheWeakend Report

Since Dr. Steve doesn't like to see the sats for the weakend, I will not mention that I rode Saturday 40 miles in the blistering heat and 30 miles Sunday. Steve still holds that records for quickest shower and shave during the weak.

The Weakend Report

The was one of those hazy,hot and humid Southwest Florida weakends. Since it was so hot early rides are a must for me along with a lot of fluids. So I got up early to ride to the Lowes shopping center to meet the Estero Flatlanders for the Saturday ride. There were 30 riders of all shapes and sizes but most, if not all, look FAST. The Saturday ride started at a nice easy pace of 18 mph for the first 2 maybe 3 minutes then jumped to 22 mph. One we reached the 5 mile mark it was 25 -26. So needless to say once the group split with the faster riders, 28 mph +, leaving the slower riders in the dust, I was in the slower group.

I rode 20 miles with the B riders. By then I it was time for me to work alone as most of my training should be in aero position. I rode back toward home alone but all in all I felt it was a good ride for me, of course I used both bottles of Endurance and still felt thirsty.

Sunday being Mother's Day I planned to take J to the Mother's Day Luncheon at the Country Club so my long Sunday ride was shortened to 30 miles. once again I started out with the Flatlanders on 20 riders this time and again I dropped out to ride the final 15 alone.

Friday, May 07, 2010

May is Melanoma Awareness Month

Although melanoma accounts for only about 4 to 5 percent of all skin cancer cases, it causes most skin cancer-related deaths. However, if detected and treated in its earliest stages, melanoma is often very curable.

In men, melanoma is most often found on the area between the shoulders and hips or on the head and neck. In women, melanoma often develops on the lower legs. For me it's been in odd locations...back, arm and lower back.

The chance of developing melanoma increases with age, yet it is still one of the most common cancers in young adults.

Skin cancer affects one in five Americans, and more than 1 million new cases are diagnosed each year. Of these cases, more than 65,000 are melanoma, a cancer that claims nearly 11,000 lives each year.

Melanoma often develops in a pre-existing mole that begins to change or a new mole. It is estimated that 20% to 40% of melanomas arise from an atypical mole. This is why it is so important to be familiar with the moles on your body and perform regular self-examinations of your skin.

When looking at moles, keep in mind the ABCDEs of Melanoma Detection:

1.) Asymmetry. If you could fold the lesion in two, the two halves would not match.

2.) Border. Melanomas often have uneven or blurred borders.

3.) Color. Melanoma typically is not one solid color; rather it contains mixed shades of tan, brown, and black. It can also show traces of red, blue or white.

4.) Diameter. While melanomas are usually greater than 6 millimeters (about the size of a pencil eraser) when diagnosed, they can be smaller. If you notice a mole different from others, or which changes, itches, or bleeds even if it is smaller than 6 millimeters, you should see a dermatologist.

5.) Evolving. A mole or skin lesion that looks different from the rest or is changing in size, shape or color.

It is important to realize that a mole may have some of the characteristics described above and not be a melanoma. A biopsy is often necessary to distinguish an atypical mole from a melanoma.

Other warning signs of melanoma include:
  • Change in the appearance of a mole, such as the spreading of the pigment from the border of the mole into the surrounding skin

  • A mole that looks scaly, oozes, or bleeds

  • Itching, tenderness, or pain in a mole or lesion

  • Brown or black streak that appears underneath a nail or around the nail

  • Bruise on the foot that does not heal.

Here is a linky on How To Perform a Self-Exam

Thursday, May 06, 2010

To Short For My Weight

Joe Friel the author of The Triathlete's Training Bible has a great post regarding Power and Weight. Here is a linky if you are interested. Here is an interesting quote:

The typical, high-performance, male triathlete is in the range of 2.1 to 2.3 pounds per inch (0.38-0.41 kg/cm) with high-performance female triathletes generally being 1.9 to 2.1 pounds per inch (0.34-0.38 kg/cm).

So does this mean that I'm to short for my weight? My docs want me to lose weight - 20 lbs now but this means I need to lose 40 lbs. Wow!

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Swimming Weakly

Swimming is not my strong suit. Floating maybe but swimming...nope! I'm convinced that it has to do with many factors: 1. Upper body strength 2. Technique - hip rotation, balance & upper body strength and 3. Weight along with upper body strength!

I have been looking at ways to improve my upper body strength as a means to getting faster in the swim. I'm not one that likes the gym or weight room but I occasionally go do weights and find it BORING. I have been wanting a pull up bar for my garage for sometime. So in doing a little research I found an article called the Armstrong Pull-Up Program.

In the article Maj. Armstrong suggests a morning routine of push-up and I quote

Each morning perform three maximum effort sets of normal pushups. The pushup is one of the best, single exercises for strengthening the entire set of muscles that makes up the shoulder girdle. Major Armstrong described his morning routine in the following manner. “After rising, I would drop onto the deck and do my first set of pushups. I would then move into the head (bathroom) and start my morning toilet. I would return after a few minutes and do my second maximum effort set after which, I would go back into the head to shave. After shaving, I would return to the bedroom and complete the third and final set. Having completed all of the pushups, I was awake and ready for a relaxing shower. “

This routine should be followed during the entire training period. Since it takes most of us at least four weeks to reach our goals, you will probably find that you have inadvertently established a morning routine that is easy enough to keep as a lifetime habit, if not, you will at least appreciate the morning shower a little more.

It has been noted that this pushup routine helps to alleviate any soreness during the first couple of weeks. It is recommended that you use the pushup routine everyday during this period so that you feel more comfortable during your initial adjustment to this regime of exercises.

So I have embarked on a push-up program before investing in a chin up / pull up bar. BTW I did borrow my buddies pull up bar only to find I can do 3 pull ups! I have been doing the Armstrong 3 sets of push up with a maximum effort in the middle set. Plus I've added 3 sets of sit ups and 3 sets of raised scissor kicks in hopes of getting stronger in the swim. I'll let you know.


So today was No Draft Wednesday for Tony and I and anyone who wants to join us from the Flatlanders. We both felt a little tired from yesterday's sprint tri which Tony finished. As usually Tony pulled away doing from me doing his 27 mph plus after we passed another pair of bike riders. On the return a car making a u-turn nearly wiped me out! She had her window down and I yelled "You almost hit me!" to which she replied "Didn't you see me!" Well I guess it's all about her and I should have stopped to let her make her u-turn taking up two lanes plus the bike lane!

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Today's Tuesday Sprint Tri

So today we, (Tony and I), decided that every Tuesday we will do a Sprint Triathlon. A Sprint Tri for us is 1/4 mile swim 12 mile bike and 3 mile run. Since there is a bike rack at the pool that is out of the way but close enough to the pool to make it like a real race we thought this would be a great place to hold our first Tuesday Triathlon.


I loaded my necessary stuff...running shoes, run hat, small towel, GU, and sunglasses into my backpack for the bike ride to the pool. As usual I did my 3 sets of sit-ups, chin-ups, push-ups and scissor kicks had a sip of PowerBar Endurance and was off on the bike at 0'dark:30 for the 2 mile ride to the pool.

At the pool I set up my transition area --- hey I know it is a pretend race but I thought this would be good practice --- run shoes, sunglasses here, bike shoes & yamaka skull cap there and a small towel over the rack. Since I always swim in a one piece bathing suit to keep the scars on my back from showing and keep the sunlight off my back, there is no need for a clothing change.

I went into the pool area to take a warm up lap or two and wait for the late Tony.


Tony arrived 10 minutes late and took a warm up lap. We then discussed the course, 2 loops of the 9 laps of the Island Sound Pool, 2 laps Pelican Sound Bike Course and one loop Island Sound Circle along the golf course to the potty house and back to the Island Sound Pool for the finish!

Since Tony still can't operate his Polar watch, he did a countdown for the start and we were off on the swim. As usual, I started to hyperventilate after two laps trying to swim to fast. I then concentrated on swimming my own pace not trying to beat Tony. Before I knew it the laps were done ad it was out of the pool for the run to my bike with Tony just ahead of me.


When I got to my bike I looked at the swim time, 10:20 and told Tony how slow we were in the pool. So now it is time to get my socks on my wet feet! OK I have a hard time biking and running sockless. But other than the socks, it was and easy transition --- yamaka, helmet, sunglasses and I was off on the bike.


Our bike course is very challenging as we have to dodge people walking, people walking dogs on long leashes (some of you might remember our battle with Collie and Coffee Drinker), golf carts and people in golf carts walking dog with long leashes (it seems you get to much exercise walking a dog on a leash so you must use a golf cart with the dog on a long leash running or walking).

As I turned onto my street Tony, now ahead of me on his much fast Trek Madone 6.9 in spite of me in aero position - yelled about shorting the course... cut out 2nd loop at masters and no Pinehurst... so of course I'm now confused.

I found it hard to get my speed up above 20 mph... no just the course but my legs. I drank some Endurance and tried to spin my way to 20 but I found it difficult. After the first 3 miles my leg functioned properly and I was able to do 20 - 22 but with the turns and obstacles - people, dogs, golf carts, golt cart dogs - it was still hard. I think this is good practice as most Tri courses are not flat, and contain multiple turns. On the second loop I was just getting into the groove of riding when the ride was over... but the miles on my odometer was 16 not 12. HUH? we need to get the course fixed.


When I got the transition area at the pool I felt I didn't have time to run since I have to be back at the house no later than 8:05 to get showered, shaved and ready for work being out the door at 8:25! So on my first Tuesday Triathlon I was a DNF! I packed up my stuff and rode back to my house. Thinking about what I learned in my training tri.


Course - hey we need to agree on the course ahead of time!

Start Time - we need to start at 0'dark:30

Transition - socks or no socks? The socks were difficult as always and they got really wet in the beginning of the bike as I was still wet from the swim. So perhaps try to ride and run without socks.

Bike - gotta get more time in the saddle

Run - need more time running

OK if I didn't work then I could train more.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Inviting Someone to Ride - Chris Lieto

OK... I'm driving home from work last nite minding my own business when I see a guy riding a tri-bike turn into our community driveway. So being the friendly person that I am, I pull up along side roll down my window (I was running the AC for those up north) and say Hi.

Now the guy is riding a nice Trek TT bike wearing Discovery Channel shorts and a K-Swiss aero top. Nice wheel set too! He looks pretty fit but not as fit as Tony or Jack.

So I proceed to invite him to ride with us tomorrow at 7 am meeting at the Walgreen's at Williams Road. Hey it is 25 miles of fun then again on Friday plus Sat a ride of 45 miles and Sunday a 100 miler. He says I ride pretty fast... No problem we have a 28 mph plus group that will give you a good workout. He replies "I can pull at 28 for about an hour and a half....I train with Lance!" O... well come out anyway we would love to have you...BTW how are you? "I'm a Triathelete..." Kewl... we have a lot of people that rain here you will fit right in. I live on Masters Circle..." "I'm staying on Southern Hills Drive... I'm doing a local triathlon this weekend"... Great hope to see you out...

So I invited 3 times Ironman winner including US Ironman and 2nd place at Ironman Kona 2009 holder of of the FASTEST time on the bike Chris Lieto to ride with the Estero Flatlanders. I just hope he can keep up with us!

Monday, March 08, 2010

Flew Weak

I wrote about my cold / flu last weak, boys and girls. I am still hobbled by muscle spams in my hip so bad Saturday nite I thought I would never walk again. But, thank the God of your choosing for Advil and Bio-Freeze! I can somewhat walk. So much so, I was able to do 2 miles on the elliptical and a mile on the dreadmill. A far cry from the half mary I was planning for this weakend, the Hooters to Hooters Half. Now if we could just get something like that for my headaches, maybe I should mention it to my brain surgeon?

J and I went to the Philharmonic in Naples for the Ravel to Rachmaninoff which included Rachmaninoff 's Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini performed by 23 year old Joyce Yang, wow! All I can say it was Naples Philharmonic at it's finest! The closing Bolero stole the show!

Tomorrow is a swim day with it being Paddle Tuesday and Wednesday is now famous since Tony crashed, broke 8 ribs and destroyed his Trek Madone, NO DRAFT WEDNESDAY RIDE! The fastest 25 miles before work anywhere.

Did I tell you I can't wait to start open water swim on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I think my dolphin friend misses me! We will start as soon as the Gulf reaches 70* which should be in a couple of weaks. So get your wetsuits ready.

This is 8th Ave where we swim at lunch time and I shower in the morning after ow swim

For anyone in the area we will be riding our Friday morning causal rides again, 25 miles at 24 -26 no drop. But bring your blinky and lights. We meet at the Walgreen's on Williams & Hwy 41 7:00 am sharp.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Cold or the Flu?

I have been under the weather. It all started boys and girls last weak after I picked up some friends at the airport Sunday. They were spending the weak with me hoping to enjoy the sunny warm weather in Southwest Florida. Monday morning I went o'dark thirty to the dreadmill and ran. However, boys and girls, after 3 miles I stopped because I felt poorly like crap. Tuesday I woke up to a full blown cold flu and worked from home. Wednesday I went to the office only to leave early with Thursday not being able to get out of bed! Once again, on Friday I tried to work at the office only to feel like crap again. Along in there, I think Wednesday, I pull a back muscle in a coughing spell fit. Now my hip flexer hurts like hell and a walk funny. So that brings us to today when I tried the dreadmill again. No deal! 1 mile in an I knew there was no way I could do six miles at a 8 min pace. It just goes to show you when you have a good weak of training it is followed by a cold. Let that be a lesson to you boys and girls.... no good training weak goes unpunished.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Six Things We can Learn for the Olympians

I was reading H2O Audio's Blog that link to an article on Newswise entitled Six Things We can Learn for the Olympians. I thought it was good and thot I would share it below:

“The Olympics symbolize the chance for all of us to push the boundaries of human potential,” said Chris Sebelski, assistant professor of physical therapy at Saint Louis University. “As I tell my students, if you want to compete at a high level, mimic the strategies of those at the top.”

1. Set a Goal and Break it Down
Olympic-level athletes train for their next gold medal as a part of a four-year process. After setting a goal to medal or set a world record, athletes and their coaches will break the process down into tasks and time periods with smaller goals that mark progress along the way, Sebelski says.

For instance, if you’re training to get in shape for a cross-country hiking trip, you might aim to walk three miles a day for the first two weeks and build up to ten miles a day by the end of ten weeks. Break it down, and you’ll find that a goal that seems unreachable is obtainable.

2. Cross-train
Olympians may be unrivaled within their skill-set, but they use other skills along the way. Cross-training reduces risks of overtraining and helps avoid injury. It also enhances muscle performance and stimulates the mind so you don’t become bored by too much repetition.

Cross-training is also useful to prepare for sports you can’t practice every day. If you’re planning a ski vacation and your goal is to graduate from blue runs to black diamonds, don’t be discouraged because you live far from the mountains. In the months before the big trip, prepare by going to the gym, focusing on lower extremity strength training, balance activities and cardio workouts, like the elliptical machine. All of these activities will help you get the most from your ski trip.

3. Workout with Others
Olympic athletes don’t train alone and they don’t train only with those at the same skill level.

Not only will you find that the spirit of competition and encouragement will keep your motivation high, but there are also training benefits to working out with others who compete at different levels.

If you’re a runner, mix it up and run with different people. Partner with someone slower than your normal pace, and on that day, you’ll stay out longer and practice endurance. Another day, run with someone faster than your average pace and experience a more intense cardio workout.

4. Create a Team
Olympic athletes are under no illusions that they can do it on their own, and you shouldn’t be either.

“While we’re enamored by the idea of an Olympic athlete as a hero, we forget that that person is standing on shoulders of so many other people. It takes a village to put one Olympian in front of the world,” said Sebelski. “We shouldn’t forget that we need those resources, too.”

Think about the people who can help you accomplish your goal. You might find that you’ll benefit from working with a trainer, a nutritionist, a physical therapist or a physician. Recognize that help is available in all different forms and find what works best for you. It might be a face-to-face session with a trainer, a nutrition class, or an online chat room of like-minded people.

5. Find your Motivation
You may feel silly rocking out to your Ipod at the gym, but remember how gold medalist Michael Phelps made music a part of his mental preparation, psyching up with Lil’ Wayne before he hit the water.

Take a page from Phelps’ playbook and embrace your inspiration. You can feed your passion by finding the method that motivates you most, whether it’s music, visualizing success or a pep talk from your coach.

6. Put on an Olympic Attitude
For most of us, our jobs, families and personal commitments mean we can’t devote as many waking hours to training as a world champion might. But you can adopt the mentality of an Olympian during the time you set aside for training, approaching that hour with the single-minded focus of a full-time athlete. The results will be encouraging, Sebelski says.

“Train for a couple of weeks with focus and discipline, and lo and behold, you’ll be surprised by what you can do,” Sebelski said.

Sebelski says that the sense of accomplishment and pride that comes from striving to improve upon your personal best is something everyone can experience.

“It’s been said that running a marathon is now everyman’s Everest. But that’s true for every sport,” Sebelski said. “You can train for the Sunday night bowling league, if that’s your passion. The bowling championship may be your Olympics.

“Regardless of the scale of your goal, you should have the experience, at least once, of training for and accomplishing a physical goal you set for yourself. Crossing that finish line is a feeling unlike any other.”

Cold and then Cold followed by COLD!

Did I mention it has been cold? Here is Southwest Florida it has been right around 45* to 50* most mornings this month. Last week I only go one swim in as the pool is heated to 83* but with the air temp 50* I can't make it from the chair where I take off my shirt to the pool without freezing! I did make it the past Tuesday but tomorrow's swim is in question because it is going to be 42* at sun up!

Now riding is also the same. I only got two rides in last week due to the cold! Sat and Sun were suppose to be 45and 75 miles respectively but due to the cold the blankets called me back to bed! Well I did run on the dreadmill but after an hour or so I get BORED!

So let us just say that I have been focused on improving my running during the recent cold snap! Hey that's it....

On the other front, I have been putting off seeing my Brain Surgeon. Well it is the PET Scan ($9,000) and the MRA (Magnetic Resonance Angiograph $3,000) as I don't want the argument with my health insurance. Since I have had any major events... just ignore it! but I did get a clean bill of health from the dermatologist. This is the longest I've gone without having a tumor removed... over a year now.