Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Weird Parents (p)

Well a few weeks ago Nathan figured out how to use his thumb and forefinger together to attempt to pick up very small objects. It so funny that these little things get parents excited. I remember hearing these things when I didn't have kids and I thought it was stupid to talk about these things and thought the parents were...well...just plain weird.

Funny thing is...there are just some things people (like me) don't understand until they are in that particular situation. I am now officially, "That Weird Parent" and our son is truly an amazing, growing human being. It's so incredible to witness.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Bike Day

I'm fighting some bug or something.  Ever since I did that hard Lactate Threshold test a few days ago on the bike I've been VERY tired and felt like I was getting sick.  Yesterday was the worst day (went to bed at 8:00am) and today I still feel a little under the weather but a little better than yesterday.

I decided to take it quite easy on the bike today and did a very easy zone 2 workout on the Computrainer.  I experimented with creating my own workout file (ERG file) on the Computrainer and it worked pretty well.  Very cool!

I hope to feel better tomorrow and maybe get a weight training workout in.  I haven't been to the weights for almost 2 weeks I think.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Black Friday (p)

First things first. Check out the little cutie:

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone (a day late). I went to Best Buy today with Joanna in the early afternoon and it was still busy busy busy there. Anything that was remotely a good "deal" was sold out (probably by 6:00am this morning). People waiting outside in 20 degree weather for hours and'd think they'd be giving stuff away at Best Buy!

I came across a site that looks interesting. It is friendly/motivating competition for people with Computrainers.

You take an initial "test" which is an all out effort for 11+ miles on your bike then you get "handicapped" from the results and over several months you continue to upload your weekly rides and "tests" then a winner is determined at the end of the competition; which I think ends in May.

I won't be able to stick to it that long as I'll be well into my Ironman training by then, but I thought it was interesting since it gives people (like myself) some motivation to work hard during these cold winter months on your bike while cooped up in your basement.

My initial test was pretty bad (I got like 14th out of 19 people) but I think I should improved rapidly over the next couple months since I haven't been riding my bike much and so there really is only one way to go...and that's up! (ha ha ha)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A Slow Week

The past 7-10 days have been nothing but nothing (regarding training).  Heading into the holidays my head has been elsewhere besides training.  However, I did get my first "real" computrainer ride in today of 45 minutes.

Nathan is being cute as usual and my wife is being the incredible mother that she is.  I know no other mother that is as great as her.

Tomorrow we'll be having Thanksgiving at our home.  It will be the first family gathering in our new home and it should be fun.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone !!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Computrainer Ride #1

Well I finally hooked up the Computrainer; which was a bit more involved than I anticipated.  I'm glad I have 2 road bikes so that I don't have to disconnect/dismount the bike that's connected to the Computrainer because there are wires you have to run along the bike frame, cadence sensor to mount, and the rear tire has to track perfectly on the rear roller in order to avoid the tire slipping when climbing.  What a pain that was.

Anyway, I did 30 min on it and it wasn't that great of a workout because I was trying to figure out how to get the computer cyclist I was riding with to stay with me or not get too far ahead of me.  I guess I need to read the software manual more now.

The one cool thing I did find is a website that I can click on a map and generate ANY route in the United States and use it on my Computrainer.  VERY VERY cool.  I plotted a ride out of Jackson Hole up through Teton Pass that will be fund to ride and I also plotted my normal 1 hour route from my house as well.

Check out the website:

Saturday, November 17, 2007

My New Computrainer

I've been a training slacker this week. Oh well.

The good and exciting news for me is that my long awaited Computrainer ( finally arrived. I've been wanting one of these for about 6 years now and just never had the dough to buy one. Now that I have my dream tri-bike as well as 2 road bikes I figured I don't need to spend anymore money on bikes (at least not for a couple months...ha ha ha) so I went out and bought the Computrainer.

I haven't been on it yet since I'm still hooking it up and reading the manuals...but I hope to get on it either today or tomorrow.

Guaranteed increased speed of 2-4mph HEAR I COME!!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Prairie Dog Tri Club

I was able to get on the bike for an hour yesterday...outside!  It's been so warm in Chicago this fall, we've been lucky.  I went exploring Lake in the Hills trying to carve out a nice hill workout that's not to busy with traffic with just enough hills.  I ended up having to ride on busy roads for a bit because I didn't really know my way around yet.

This evening I went to the Prairie Dog Tri Club ( meeting in Hoffman Estates for the first time.  People there seemed to be very warm and personable and it'll be nice to meet more athletes in this new area Joanna and I moved to.  Once the spring and summer come, it'll be nice to have more Ironman athletes to do rides with as well so I can learn new routes for long the bike rides.  There is such great riding around Bull Valley, Barrington Hills, etc.

I wanted to get to the gym last night and do my weight workout but I remembered about the tri club meeting.  I'll try to get to the gym tonight so I can get my 2 weight trng workouts in this week.

My Computrainer ( should be coming in at the end of this week.  I can't stop thinking about it!!  I'm very excited about using it this winter especially with the new video footage they shot so when you ride Ironman Wisconsin or Ironman Arizona, or Ironman Kona or whatever it'll be the exact scenery that you'd see if you where on course.  Very exciting stuff!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Navy SEAL in Training

I bowed out of biking yesterday with the group because it was 41 and raining and way too early in training to burn myself out riding in that kind of weather. Now if it was April and 41 and raining I'd be riding...but not in November. I know how these Ironman training seasons go for me and if I get off to a rock-and-roll start, I'll burn out (mentally) by June.

Made it to the pool today. The pool workout today was a measly 1200 yards but I felt quite good and can definitely tell I'm getting back in the groove...but we'll see if I keep up the pool swim since my focus over these next 3 months will be (1) weight training, (2) cycling, (3) running, and the pool is last on my priority list until at least February.

I met a guy in the pool today training to get accepted into BUD/S (Navy SEAL training). He was doing all side-stroke and no one does that much side stroke unless they're in SpecOps of some sort. So we had a little conversation and I told him about the SEALs I had the opportunity to meet from Class 162 when I was at Jump School in Ft. Benning in 1990. I wished him luck and told him to try to connect with another SpecOps guy (SF, SEAL, CCT, Force Recon, whatever) in his area and have him help him with the mental aspect of training that almost always gets overlooked by guys going into these schools.

I wish I hadn't lost touch with my friend Shannon who was CCT and would definitely have been a good mental trainer/teacher for him. He's the ONLY guy that I know to this day that ever graduated from OL-H indoc training for the Combat Control Teams with a mustache (back before CCT and PJs went through the same indoc course) even after the instructors "motivated" him and his classmates on a DAILY basis to shave it off. He paid dearly (VERY dearly) for never shaving it off...but it didn't matter because he made it through and has the graduation picture from OL-H to prove it. He's a bad ass in my book.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Nathan is Learning Polish

Nathan is beginning to recognize some works, although none in English yet, but it's cool to speak a word or two to him and he reacts. Now all I gotta do is get him on the bike and treadmill and doing some laps in the pool. (ha ha ha)

Did the Friel Anatomical Adaptation workout again today. 2 sets of the exercises he prescribes in a circuit format. Spent about 50 min at the gym including 5 min jog warmup and 5 min jog cooldown. I definitely can tell it's been a while since I've been a regular at the weights but the feeling of muscle soreness is something I'll never get tired of liking. Feels good.

Spoke to my friend Ted today and ate lunch with my other friend Tim. It's great to have friends who understand and support what you're undertaking. They are such positive energy. I'll never forget when I told Ted about my silly idea of 2 Ironmans in 1 week...he just replied "Oh, you'll be fine. Just take the first one easy" That was the first person whom I told my idea to that actually was on the same wavelength as I. Ted is good people.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Nathan's Shadow

Today was the first day that my son Nathan (7.5 months old) realized he could create a shadow with his hand.  It's something small that probably can only be appreciated by his parents, but realizing that he made the connection between placing his hand up in the air so that he could follow the shadow it made on the floor (as a game) made me very excited and continued to solidify the fact that I am a Dad that will think his child does amazing matter how small those things might be.

Oh, yeah, today's workout was just 40 minutes of weight training.  First time weight training in...well...I'm not even quite sure.  Probably at least since May 2005.  It felt good but strange all at the same time.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Monday night swim

Made it to the pool again today. (I see a trend forming)

I felt a little stronger than I did on Saturday in the pool. That's a good sign. I was able to put together 200yd swim without stopping. That's good!

My swim workout was with my friend (also named Steve). He did a little more than I.

If you're interested in viewing my workouts. You can view them here:

Sunday, November 4, 2007

A Sunday Ride

Today I went riding with the Elmhurst Bicycle Club (  I don't get to ride with them too often and it's always great catching up with friends I see there.  I wish I didn't live so far from there so I could ride with them more.  They are just a great group of people.  Genuinely caring and very personable folks.

Temperature at ride start was 45F with 9mph winds.  We rode for 2.5 hours and got back just before 11:00am.  Temperature at ride end was 50F with 12mph winds.

This was my 3rd time on the bike in about 9 months and it felt great to be back in the saddle.  I felt a little stronger today than I thought I was going to be since I had so much time off the bike.  I'm hoping that my cycling legs come back and I have a good base formed by the time February comes around.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

2nd Swim in 16 months

Ok. I made it to the pool today. It was the 2nd time since July 2006 that I've been swimming. The 1st time was 3 months ago.

As I'm sure many people have experienced, going to the pool after such a long time away is a pure humbling experience. I couldn't even make it 100 yards without gasping for breath and having to take a break. Craziness! And to think that I used to swim 8,000 to 10,000 yards a week on a regular basis.

It truly is amazing how the human body is able to adapt and man I have a lot of "adapting" to do over the next 10 months before my crazy goal.

I think the only saving grace is that I have not be completely sedentary since I ran the Chicago Marathon in 2006 and also just a couple months ago. I think my cardiovascular fitness gained from training for the marathon keep me from drowning today in the pool. (ha ha ha).

Please don't feel bashful and donate!