Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Dedication and Commitment

I realize I post a lot of serious things on this blog...maybe I should be more fun...but lately, I've been in a pretty serious mood.

T and I were talking on Saturday about our last couple years in terms of working out. We checked out our workout history and realized that we didn't do nearly as much as we thought we did. Our running miles were low in 2009. The mileage numbers were ridiculously spiked some weeks and down to almost nothing in other weeks. My swimming was also very inconsistent in terms of mileage put in, as well as my cycling. Looking back on it, it's kind of amazing I was able to slug my way through the triathlon.

That got us to talking about our dedication and commitment to the sport of triathlon as well as our fitness in general. I think while we were committed to the triathlon, our dedication was inconsistent at best.

Personally, I'm determined to make sure that this year, I am not only committed to completing many races this year, I am dedicated to this cause as well. Reading my logs for January, this is becoming quite evident.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Something New!!!! (and enjoyable)

A few years ago, I was that guy who laughed at people who did yoga. I thought it was just a thing for hippies, middle-aged soccer moms, or Eurotrash people that wanted to be different. After all, how much can you get out of just moving your body around in various poses? Shouldn't you either have to put a ton of pressure on your muscles to feel anything?

Yeah...I was dumb...forgive me...

Fast forward to late 2008/early 2009. I bought Wii Fit and was most excited about trying...YOGA! Yes, me. Let me make one thing clear on Wii Fit yoga. It's good but you aren't really going to get what you should out of it. The exercises are too short in duration and there is too much pausing in between. Yes, it's a good intro to yoga, but that's all it should be treated as. An intro.

I did some research and discovered there are many different types of yoga. The two that most interested me were Ashtanga yoga and Hot yoga. Ashtanga is a type of yoga that builds muscle mass in large quantities. Adam Levine of Maroon 5 swears by this. The other is Hot yoga, where you are in a very hot room for 90 minutes doing yoga. It allows toxins to be released...same principle as a sauna, I guess...

In any event, T told me about a yoga studio near her work that was giving away a free yoga session for today. One of them was...HOT YOGA! I was hesitant at first, thinking I would be very out of place, but I pondered it and decided to man up and give it a shot.

I got to the place and was greeted by a nice receptionist. He introduced me to the instructor and told me I was going to have a great time. He asked my fitness level and when I said I completed a triathlon he was impressed. I went into the yoga room and stepped into another world.

It was dimly lit, but felt calming. There was some soft music playing. The floor was carpeted. There were maybe 8-9 other people in there, all rolling out their yoga mats and stretching. I rolled mine out and did some light stretching. Then the instructor came in and turned up the music. He told us to relax and we began.

For 90 minutes, I stretched my body out in poses I have done many times before and some that I have never done. I was sweating about 40 minutes in and had no desire to wipe the sweat off. This was feeling amazing! Not only physically, but mentally as well. I am not religious, but I do have a spiritual side and can understand how this appeals to people.

At the end of it, I felt very calm and now as I blog, my muscles feel amazing! I hope this is something I can try again in the future.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Lesson Learned: EAT

After a month (well, okay, three weeks) of decent works, I had a really shitty one today. Barely made 600m in the pool and then about passed out doing some lifting.

The worst part of all of this?

It could have been avoided.

Granted, part of the swim crappiness was due to a REALLY warm pool (85 degrees! seriously 24hr, you suck at regulating pool temps). However, I know the massive bonk I experienced was due to poor nutrition.

I woke up late this morning (day off from regular job; just had to write the ol' column) and didn't have breakfast until about 10:30am. I then wrote for the rest of the morning. 2pm rolls around and I think to myself, "Oh hey, self, you should probably go to the gym. Pool's probably not going to be that busy. You should go now and NOT later because you know later tonight you'll be waiting 20min for a lane."

So I listen to my inner voice and go ... despite not having consumed anything since breakfast except for a piece of string cheese. Oops. It's really no wonder why I bonked so hard.

Lesson learned, I suppose, even though it's something basic that I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN. Oh well.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Past Due Post

Sheesh, compared to our previous blog, I'm the slacker now instead of Brandon. Oops.

In any case, this month's training has gone fairly well so far. I'm getting in about two swims a week, one or two spins on the stationary bike (need to drag the real bikes in for a tune-up here shortly) and am averaging a little over four miles a week in running (which isn't anything spectacular for most of you, but it's a good start for me).

The main thing I need to improve upon is lifting. Lifting, lifting, lifting. I love lifting. I really do. I loved taking a weight training class in college. But, if you look at my workout logs from, really, the last four or five months, you will find an extreme lack of lifting.

I don't know why I've slacked off with it. I seem to only put in good iron sessions at the gym if Brandon and I are finally like, "SCREW IT WE'RE LIFTING" and we go. Otherwise, I "lift" using low weights/body weight utilizing quick workouts at home just so I can squeeze SOMETHING in some days. Needless to say, I need to stop with that and get to the gym more. I go there to swim/bike anyway right now; I might as well lift while I'm there.

Re: swimming: though my times have been good lately and remarkable compared to last year (and last year was amazing compared to the year before), I know I can't let myself get complacent. Last Monday, I had an 800m swim in 17:15. This is what I wrote in the comments part of my workout log:

"cruising! can't let myself get complacent with the increasingly faster times. all they mean is i'm going to have to put in a lot of open water swims come june."

And I mean that. Because I'm weird and am only breaststroking right now, I need to put in double the work because I'm not as efficient in the water.

Regarding running, I've been trying to avoid the old standby 1.36 loop and forcing myself to go for runs of AT LEAST two miles. There's a few reasons for this ...

1. I don't really start feeling good about the run until at least a mile in.
2. That short of a run really isn't doing me any good unless I sprint it.
3. I need to get into the longer distances. NEED TO.

So, the last three runs I've done have been: 2.12 mi, 2.72 mi, 4.12 mi. Sure, they've been slow (probably somewhere around an 11:00/mi average). But, I know if I keep putting in the miles, the times will go down. They always do. I just need to keep running.

And hills like this one (Timberline; last main hill of the middle distance above; gave up and had to walk part of it) and similar ones I encounter during EVERY RUN I DO will certainly help when during race season when very few races will match what I run in training in terms of hilly crappiness.

This hill is actually worse than it looks here. If anyone has tips for showing the true perspective of a hill with a point-and-shoot digital, please let me know.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

A Runners World Moment?

It's the type of thing you read about in Runners World. One of those feel-good stories that makes you happy to be a runner. It happened to me today! No I didn't get a bottle of water from a random motorist. No, I didn't find a 100 dollar bill on my run (although man, that would be nice and REALLY feel good). This was different.

Before anything else, I'm better...I think. Food stays down and although I might be a little bloated from my diet being all out of whack, I'm doing good for the most part. Since I was feeling uber antsy this morning from not working out the last 3 days, I had to get back out there and do something. So I decided to go for a longer run.

I had just started out and was running up the "Hill of Doom", as we call it, when I heard footsteps behind me. Since I'm keenly aware of my surroundings, I glanced back to make sure it wasn't some guy trying to sneak up on me. Not that he could have taken anything; I run with my cell phone and that's it. And really, if someone wants it, please take it. Yes, I'm planning on getting RoadID but that's going to have to wait a bit. But it was just another runner. An older dude. Maybe in his early 50's. He passed me cause I'm really slow right now and said "good morning". I returned the greeting and continued up said hill. He went straight at the light, I went left, and that was that.

Towards the tail end of my run, I was preparing to run up the Hill of Doom again to get home when I saw a runner on the opposite side of the street. When I run there aren't a lot of runners out, due to the fact I have an unconventional job with unconventional hours. So to see another runner out there is a little unusual. Lo and behold, it was the same guy! 25 minutes we were out doing our own thing and our paths crossed again! Then he yelled something that I usually only hear on race days:

"Good job! Keep it up!"

This guy and I probably have nothing in common. He's old, I'm young. He doesn't wear a hat, I do. He is fast, I'm slow. And yet, this total stranger and I shared a bond that is really special. Because at the end of the day, it doesn't matter how many races you've completed. It doesn't matter the distance you've run in a lifetime. It doesn't matter if you're a weekender or an Ironman. Because in the end, we're all runners.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Yeah, I'm sick right now.

On Sunday, we were up in Minnesota visiting my family for Christmas. It was nice to get back, but unfortunately, it seems to have come at a price. T and I were driving to the Mall of America when I started feeling a pain in my stomach. Not wanting to ruin our mall trip, I pushed it into the back of my mind. Yeah, that lasted about 10 minutes.

We went to the crepe stand to get T a crepe. She bought me one with strawberries and bananas, but I was only able to eat the actual fruit. She also bought me a Sprite. We started walking around, but about 20 minutes later, I had to hit the bathroom for the first time to void my body.

I kept struggling through the mall, trying to stay upbeat and pleasant, but I kept having to visit the bathrooms to cope with what were major stomach issues. No food sounded good to me. The only thing I wanted to do was to drink Sprite.

We went home where we had a frank discussion with my parents. I won't go into details, but we aired a lot of stuff out. All the while, I was still feeling sick.

We ended up leaving back for Colorado on Monday and I was still feeling awful. When we got back to the house, I tried some chicken soup but that came up about 10 minutes later. I was weak and tired, so I went to bed. At like 7:00 at night...

My big dilema is...I want to work out. Really bad. But I understand that it's about the worst thing to do when you are sick. But I'm getting really antsy...and I hate getting sidetracked...

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Zen of Swim

I've now done two nights of back-to-back swimming and it's funny how completely different they were.

Last night: stressful night, crappy dinner, had to wait forever to get in the pool, felt rushed, swim felt like poo.
Stats: 800m in 18:20.

Tonight: less stress, a more quality dinner, had the pool to myself, perfect temp (chilly, but not too much); felt like a torpedo gliding along.
Stats: 1000m in 23:40.

I've kept up my swimming off and on since July and our last tri but I haven't done a swim of 1000m or more since October 27. That swim: 1000m in 23:05.

However, with tonight, I felt amazing in the water. I kept glancing at the clock, astounded at the time, not believing how fast I was crusing along. Granted, I felt like I was moving in the water. If you don't already know, I do all my swimming (at this point) breaststroke. Yes, I know it's not that efficient, but right now ... it works with me and my sports asthma and my brain and everything.

Now that you know that, if you've ever breaststroked, you know that you can sometimes feel like a frog when doing so with your butt and legs hanging low in the water. Tonight, it felt like I was straight and streamlined in the water like a crawler. I kept consciously telling myself to slow down ... but I didn't need to. I definitely exerted myself and was breathing hard after the workout, but I felt amazing. In some respects, it was like I had a zen experience in the water, with just me and the pool.

It was definitely an awesome feeling to get especially this early into this year's training. I can only hope I have more of these zen/in the groove moments in the pool and that I might even be lucky enough to experience them while on the bike or while running.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

iPods, pushing myself, and an unlikely song

How many of you run with your iPods?

The iPod controversy is something I have always been interested in. I used to be one of those runners that swore I could not run without my beloved iPod with me. And when asked to explain why, I didn't really have an explanation except that it pumped me up...

As you all may know, iPods and headphones are banned by USAT. In fact, it's one of the most commonly violated rules.

I weaned myself off my iPod last year with running and am quite proud to say that I can run long distances now without my music. Not only is it safer but I feel I don't have that "crutch" that I have been carrying around. BUT! I'm a human being. And that means I'm not perfect, even though I wish I was. *tear* Seriously though, there are some things I like having my iPod for. Take today...

I'm in Tulsa and the Doubletree has a great workout room. Great treadmills, freeweights, and cold water. But no bike. I wanted to bike today. But I wasn't going to be deterred, so I got on the treadmill. Roughly 20 minutes into my 45 minute treadmill workout, a guy gets on the one next to me. Now tell me this has happened to're going along and doing good and suddenly someone goes blowing by you and making you feel inferior. Yeah, that's what happened. This guy starts running at like 7.3 and just eats up the miles. I'm like oh that's terrific. Grandpa marathon man is going to destroy me. As you can probably tell, this was getting distracting. So I made an executive decision. I put my headphones in.

Now I'm at the tail end of my workout. And by tail end, I mean I'm in the last 15 minutes of it. I was maybe one minute into the running interval when Hero of the Day came on by Metallica. For those of you who don't know, this song has a great guitar/drum rift around 2:25 into it, and it basically lasts the whole rest of the song. I don't know what exactly came over me, but I kicked it up to 7.5 and ran that the whole rest of the interval. It felt so good to not only kick up the speed, but to get a little "pump up" into me. I ended up finishing the 45 minutes with such gusto I had to actually "cool down" on the treadmill. I usually just walk around the hotel a little bit to cool down...not today. I know, right?

Anyway, I'm curious to hear everyone's take on the iPod discussion.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A Good Start

While I'm going to post (a few) pictures of the run Brandon talked about us doing yesterday, I first wanted to post my thoughts after my workouts today.

My original plan was to ride the stationary bike at the gym and probably lift. However, I modified my plans as it was just about 50 degrees out and is the warmest I'll see until next week (getting ass cold here and is going to be ass cold in minnesota this weekend where we'll be). So ... I decided to run. AND bike.

Neither discipline was anything to write home about - a fairly slow 1.75 mile run and a mind-numbingly boring 25min on the bike (9mi!), but I realized something as I was walking out of the gym.

Last summer, when training for the My Way or the Tri Way ... if I had put in a day like that (with either a stationary bike or a REAL bike), I would have been totally happy. I realize NOW that days like that aren't what one wants when one is in the meat of their training with mere months or weeks to race date. One wants a day like that now ... in the slow, formative phase of training.

Granted, it's still most likely going to be a while until actual two-a-day workouts kick in (unless you count cardio/lifting on the same day, which i don't). However, it was nice to get in something like that this early ... especially when I know I'm going to have to in a few years when I'm training for Ironman.

Now, on to the fun part: PICTURES! I missed a couple fun ones (like a GOOD picture of the hellish hills we had to run up and brandon slip-sliding on ice on the sidewalk), but here are a few anyway.

Being silly before the run. Yes, I'm on his back.

Me still attacking.

Part of Lone Tree Parkway. This was fairly early in the run. I know it doesn't look bad ... but it is. This is also part of the first monster hill of the stupid Lone Tree Firecracker 5K I've done every year since its inception.

Good morning!

Good morning blog followers!

For those of you following us from Inspiration Stardust Dreams, I figure I owe you an explanation as to why I/we started the new blog.

When we created IS Dreams, the idea was accountability. We would blog about our workouts and essentially keep ourselves responsible. Well, as some of you probably know, that got old. Real quick. Eventually my blog posts could have been copy and pasted and it wouldn't have mattered. Occasionally I would put something good out there, but it was rare. So I got to thinking...why does it have to be a workout-specific blog? Why blog about just the mundane workouts that I do? No, there's much more to both of us.

Last year, I did my first triathlon. My Way or the Tri Way. It was a sprint triathlon in Aurora, CO. There was nothing special to it...on paper anyway. 750 meter swim, 14 mile bike, 3.5 mile run. And my time wasn't exactly impressive (2:10:56). Yet something happened when I crossed that finish line. I became something else. I became hooked on this sport. And my dreams and ambitions soared.

My ultimate dream is completing an Ironman, but that's obviously a long way off. Instead, what I am shooting for this year is a 1/2 marathon and an Olympic triathlon. Other things will be mixed in there, but both those are the apex of my year.

So anyway, that all being said, the year has begun and in turn, my workouts have as well. I started out on January 3rd. I swam 800 meters in 17:20. You may wonder why only 800. Well, the idea for January is starting back at the beginning. A few months back, I bought us a whiteboard to keep in our room. We use it for our work schedules, our list of stuff to do for the week, and most importantly, our workouts. At the top, I write a theme for each month. For instance, December was continuation. November was explosiveness. And so on. Our theme for January is TBITEITB, or The Beginning is the End is the Beginning, a song by the Smashing Pumpkins. We're starting at the beginning. Breaking ourselves down and starting over.

Yesterday we both put in a 3 mile run, even though it's January and Colorado for some reason doesn't want to get warm. Bundled up beyond belief, we set out and ran 3.19 miles in 36:08. No, that's not very good since it's 11:37 per mile, but for being cold, and for starting over at the beginning, I'm really happy with it.

This morning, I woke up the same time T did and went to the gym to swim. Again, 800 meters. Today, it was in 18:40. I really concentrated on taking it slow.

There's a theme to my month. Breaking it down and starting over. Like a boxer. Boxers forget everything they know. They start over at the beginning numerous times. Train hard, train hard. Then start all over. That's the idea here. Here's what I hope to accomplish this month:

- Swim 800 meters twice a week
- Run 6 miles a week
- Exercise bike once a week or ride my bike once a week
- Treadmill sprint once a week

For those of you that don't know what the treadmill sprint is that I do, it's a 45 minute workout, alternating between 2 minutes walking and 3 minutes running on the treadmill. I set the incline at 2 or 3, I walk at 3.5, and I run at 6.5 usually. It is a great way to torch calories.

Anyway, that's all I got for now, but I'll be back. Continue checking in and welcome to Team Baby Dinosaur!

Friday, January 1, 2010


Welcome to our new blog! For those of you joining us from Inspiration Stardust Dreams, this blog will be somewhat of what we first started to try to be, in terms of workouts and everything.

However, as we've both made the transition over to triathlon as our main sport, we're hoping to have this as a way to chronicle our journey through our move onward and upward through the sport of triathlon as well as running. After all, we're moving up to the Olympic distance this year in triathlon as well as the 10K AND half-marathon distances in running. Trust me, we're scared too, but looking forward to the challenge.

So, join us here on our journey. We'll post workout updates, questions, problems and challenges that arise and whatever else we might feel like sharing, whether it be news or video or pictures (i'm going to try to do more of that here) or hell, even recipes.

So, once again, welcome! ... and excuse our metaphorical dust these first few days (weeks ...) as we get this new blog up and running for good.

And as for the name ... it's a long story. The Cliffs Notes (sparknotes?) version is that Brandon makes weird mmmrrraaing noises. I told him shortly after we first started dating that he sounded like a baby dinosaur. Therefore, he became baby dinosaur boyfriend (now fiance) and I'm baby dinosaur girlfriend (fiancee) and this eventually turned into us being Team Baby Dinosaur. I'm planning on getting us shirts and everything at some point, too.