Marty Gaal's Update Archive - 2003

Dec 30 - So we decided to treat ourselves to a little R&R and spent a couple nights at the The Penny Farthing Inn in St. Augustine. It was a good time and a nice vacation town, with plenty of touristy things to do. The Inn is owned by a fellow triathlete and his wife, so check it out if you ever need a break from the everyday routine.

My training continues to be uneventful. My hip is slowly loosening up, but what I thought was a shin splint might actually be a soleus strain, which isn't any fun. I can run but it remains very twitchy, so 2-3 x 30 minutes / week is the maximum for now. Will be doing some riding, lifting, and swimming in the interim.

Dec 28 - I made the Inside Triathlon All-American list. Cool!

Dec 28 - Whee, vacation.

Dec 24 - Happy Holidays to you, whatever you might celebrate. If you don't celebrate a particular religious event, then Happy No Particular Event Day to you. Brianne got me The Davinci Code for X-Mas, and after a bit of research, it would seem several dieties celebrate(d) their birthdays on December 25, including Adonis, Mithras, Osiris, and of course, Jesus.

Dec 20 - Not much for training this weekend. Did a 1hr10 minute spin followed by a 20min jog on Saturday. Still pretty tight, shin splint still there. X-mas party with some X-swimmers Saturday night. Did some home improvement work as well. Exciting stuff, I tell you.

Dec 17 - Just a few more days until I get a reasonable vacation. My last vacation involving more than 4 days in a row (2 of them being weekend days) was Thanksgiving, but before that, it was...last christmas. Sometimes I think I should have gone after one of those professions that involves condensed hours, like being a fireman/paramedic, or no work at all, like international playboy heir to the throne of Isengard.

Dec 14 - I did visit a PT and the diagnosis is essentially a muscle imbalance resulting in my hip tensor tightening up (which pulls on the ITband), which is what throws my stride off. So I'm stretching and doing strengthening exercises. I'm going to give it a couple more days and then will get back into easy miles. Tentatively rescheduling to do the Blue Angel Marathon in Pensacola on Feb 28.

Dec 13 - After reading Bri's latest report, all I can say is that I, too, am technically still in college, and can also say things like that! Hoo-aaah!

Dec 10 - So, in the quest to fix myself up before I completely fall apart, I'll be going to a physical therapist on Friday and will visit a podiatrist sometime next week to discuss orthotics for my horribly flat and pronating feet. Don't count me out just yet.

In other news, the beer gut is approaching escape velocity. The person speaking to you now bears only a slight resemblance to the picture you see above.

Dec 9 - Maybe I'll be ready to run this new race in St Pete Beach.

Dec 9 - In light of how things have been going recently, I've decided to take a week or two off from running and hope my body heals up. The Hops Marathon will be a TBD, maybe a scratch. If I need to I'll take the rest of December off then put it back together next year. Fortunately, my real goal races are still a ways away, but I would like to put in some decent runs this spring.

Dec 6 - OUC Half-marathon: I cried because I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet. First mile 6:30, last mile 6:20, average pace 7:18.

Dec 3 - I had a decent workout at the track tonight, was able to turn over reasonable speed and my ITBand did not snap my head off. Went for a mio-fascia release massage last night, my first professional massage in two years. It felt great, I mean horribly painful, you know what I mean? In other news, a discussion on strength/resistance training over at the Slowtwitch forums has inspired me to do a literature review/smart ass article on the subject. Meanwhile, in other, other news, my monthly training program has capped out for the first part of 2004. I will put together a waiting list for those interested. While there are those who might argue that I don't know what I'm talking about, I certainly do have nothing to say!

Dec 1 - FYI: My monthly training program is nearly capped out - 2 spots left for 2004. I will keep 2 premium slots available until filled.

Nov 30 - Had a nice holiday down in St Pete with the Harrington clan. We ran the Turkey trot 10k on Thursday, where I turned in a blistering 6:19 pace, then settled down for some food. I've been bothered with a tight hip in recent weeks, and this slowed me up again on Thursday morning (though my lack of speedwork is also a factor, to be sure). Brianne's sister Shana, a physical therapist, took a look at it and reported that my ITBand and hamstrings are tighter than piano wire, and my gluteus medius (lateral movement butt/hip muscle) is weaker than the whiskey they serve in Downtown Disney. So I've got a number of stretches and exercises to work on before the Hops marathon rolls around. I'll be running the OUC Half-marathon this weekend but if the hip starts to go, the run turns into a jog and I smile my way to the finish.

Nov 26 - Off to St Pete in a bit for some family fun time. Happy Thanksgiving to all you US Citizens checking in. Everyone else, whatever.

Nov 22 - The 30k went ok this morning. Goal pace was 6:30, acceptable pace due to being a tired, beat-up old washout was 6:55 pace. The reality saw me Gallow-stretching my way through the race - stopping about every 10-15 minutes to loosen up my left hip/ITB. This is an occasional issue with me in recent years despite a lot of focused strength work in the area. Time was 2:17.06, average of 7:21, with even pacing. Not bad but not exactly record setting. However, I'm pleased all in all as it was a good training run.

On the bright side, my quads, hamstrings, calves and energy levels were fine and I could have kept going for quite a while. Hope to get a good one at the OUC half-marathon in 2 weeks.

Nov 20 - I'll be racing in the Paul Debruyn 30k this Saturday. Been dealing with some minor shin splints but I hope that a day of rest shall get me ready for somewhere around 6:30 pace. Planning to run it pretty casually so if I don't feel good, well, I'll finish.

Nov 18 - My latest rant, not for the meek of heart: Why Vegetables are people too.

Nov 16 - Had a pretty relaxing weekend. Ran in Richard's Run for a Cure on Saturday night, then had some fine Columbia Restaurant cuisine at the post-race party. I snuck in just under 18, good for this time of the year. On Sunday, Bri and I went for an easy long run on St Pete beach. Takes my weekly mileage up to about 63.667. Not that I'm counting.

Nov 12 - I'll be spending a couple days reading through this Screaming Revolutionary's site. Nothing else interesting going on except that we finally watched Bend it Like Beckham. Good movie, but Arnold Schwarznegger didn't blow anything up.

Nov 9 - Today Bri and I ran in a 10k. I felt pretty heavy so gave Bri someone to chase for a couple miles before jogging into the finish. We're off to the Beer Fest in a bit. It's kind of like Oktoberfest, but it's in November, and it's not in Germany.

Nov 9 - Well, everyone met or exceeded their goal at IM Florida, what more could a coach ask for? Congrats go out to:

HandleGoal TimeAchieved TimeComments
Robert13:0011:53First IM
DanFinish16:50First IM
Ken10:3010:01Second IM
Doug11:3011:05First IM

Great work guys, I am very proud of you!

Nov 8 - Tomorrow we're running in the Celebration of Running 10k. Then we're going to the Orlando Beer Festival. What a glorious day it shall be.

Nov 5 - Well it turns out that Orlando area builders have been doing a questionable job with their new houses, as reported by the Orlando Sentinel in a 7 part exclusive series. I could have told you that a while ago.

But seriously, who cares about your new house falling apart? The big news is that four, count 'em, four of my coached athletes will be competing in Ironman Florida in 3 days. Guys, you've done the work. Knock it out. Here's one of the last group updates for your perusal.

Nov 2 - Just about matched by biggest run volume week with 60 miles for the past 7 days. Legs are feeling pretty good and I've been doing about 50% of the volume on soft surfaces. Would do it all on trails/beach etc, but that's just not possible. Today was about 14 with 9 at marathon pace.

In other news, check it out: Graham Fraser, of World Triathlon Corporation (Ironman) apparently has moved to Clermont and is a pretty able runner: He won the Howey in the Hills 5k over the weekend. Bea-Marie Altieri, who often runs by me in the closing miles of the local 5ks, was the overall winner of the half-marathon.

Oct 29 - Halloween is coming. I am going to be a 30-something, slightly balding, yuppie scum. How about you?

Oct 26 - Just got back from Iowa. Got to watch the Hawkeyes beat up on the Nittany Lions on the day Joe-Pa would lose the lifetime college win title to Bobby Bowden. Had a fun pub crawl in downtown Iowa City after the game. My liver fell out of our plane somewhere over the mighty Mississippi on the way home.

Iowa City looked like a fun place to live. If I ever decide to become a college professor, give up serious triathlon, and make boozing and schmoozing my full-time part-time occupation, Iowa City will be high on the list.

Oct 22 - Make sure you go race in the Fall Classic 5k in Lake Mary on November 2nd. The 5k run benefits the children of New Hope (for kids who've recently lost a parent). My Sis volunteers there and said if you don't run it, she'll put tacks in your shoes.

Oct 19 - Had a pretty decent run at the UCF 5 Miler, part of the Track Shack Grand Prix Series. On occasion my left leg gets a little wobbly from the hip and I had to slow down on the 3rd mile to keep it from really getting bad, but finished 4-5 at a decent clip.

But enough about me. Congrats to Central Florida's Jeff Cuddeback for his 45-49 AG win, 41st overall, AG record, 9:12.08 at the World Ironman Championships. Big props to Farshad Charmforoosh for his 9:49 as well. Great job guys!

Oct 18 - What are you doing here? Ironmanlive.com is showing a live Ironman Hawaii broadcast! You need broadband but it's the real deal!

Oct 17 - So, here's my season summary: It was good, it was fun, blah blah blah I am so happy etc etc etc I am great yack yack yack. Now give me some candy!

Oct 14 - Of course the end of the season wouldn't be complete without a retrospective, which I'll pontificate in just a few days. Meanwhile, amuse yourself with my winter running schedule. Once again I'll chase that 3:00 marathon. Dare to dream...

Oct 13 - Well we took test #2 in corporate finance today. This section covered costs of debt & equity, WACC, IRR, NPV, PI, and a few other bits and pieces. It's really not too bad...as long as you can remember what to do with the damn calculator!

Oct 12 - Brianne has 'gone live' with her page. Check it out.

Oct 12 - The triathlon season is over! And none too soon. Last race of the Coca Cola Triathlon series went pretty well, I swam, rode, and ran with Marc B-E until Mile 1, then hung tough to stay ahead of Bill P for 2nd in the series. Ric Rosenkranz caught me just past mile 2 (Marc stayed just ahead of Ric for the win). Brianne had a pretty good day to take 4th on the day and 3rd in the series. Now we are going to hang our bikes on the rack and the goggles on the wall for several months. The plan is to run during the winter-spring, then get ready for our wedding in May. We'll return to triathlon sometime next July. See ya then!

Oct 10 - Last race of the triathlon season tomorrow with the Port St Lucie Coca Cola Championship. If I can make it through without puking it will be a success. Still have to battle Bill Picc for 2nd place, but he's been out with a calf injury and has been taking it easy. Rob Skaggs has retired for the season, and Reback is off to Hawaii. In their place are Ric Rosenkranz and Marc Bonnet Eymard. I'm looking forward to racing against them. Yeah, right!

Oct 7 - Bri's Report is up.

Oct 6 - September training block is posted along with my Nationals race report. Maybe I should charge you to look at these. Nah. But please, feel free to hit the tip jar on the left side of your screen.

Oct 5, late - Just got back from Shreveport via New Orleans. We had a great time down on Bourbon Street with Mike and Suzy Mott. Then we hit Tallahassee for some chicken wings with Kiko and Bridget Cintron on the way home. Oh yeah, somewhere in this weekend I also managed to pluck out an overall bronze medal (but they don't give those out anymore) at USAT Age Group Nationals, while Brianne secured a top ten spot in her age group. It went very well, we'll both be putting up reports later this week.

Oct 1 - Maybe you're wondering how I'm feeling about USAT Nationals in three days?

Sep 28 - Another good run tonight, been keeping the HR down but getting faster (building my aerobic speed via MSS or AeT or Z2, Mark Allen/Maffetone aerobic or whatever you like to call it). Feel pretty good about next Saturday's race, like to think it will go well. My swim isn't where it was 2-3 years ago but should be solid. My bike is pretty good and could be anywhere from ok to great. I would like to get to mile 4 of the run and have another gear to drop a couple 5:30-5:40 miles on the way in, that would be a perfect race. However, history has shown that I could also blow to smithereens somewhere between 2 and 5, providing John Reback with the opportunity to laugh and kick me a few times on his way by as I crawl towards the line. Hopefully, there'll be none 'o that!

Sep 27 - Business as usual. Rode Errol Estates this morning (a 4 x 10k circuit course), Jeff Cuddeback is in prime Hawaii shape and will be shooting for the 45-49 AG record. I think he has a sub 9hr race in him. Feeling pretty good about my fitness as we head into USAT Amateur Nationals next weekend.

Sep 24 - Good couple days training, yesterday was light weights, ~8 mile tempo run, and 3k swim, today was a pretty good ~45m group ride with a 2.5 mile brick. Gonna put in a few more days of steady state work, some speed drills, and then have a good one at the upcoming USAT OD nationals in beautiful Shreveport, LA. We'll be heading out after the race to stay in New Orleans and have some Cajun cooking a la the French Quarter. Aren't I cultured? I said 'a la.' My Mamma said that alligators can get mighty ornery sometimes...

Sep 21 - Decent weekend. We both felt like crap at a Saturday morning 5k, but turned it around by having a good Sunday morning race and taking 3rds at Coca Cola #8 in Miami Beach. The swim was a mess, a couple guys were questionable on their 'lines,' but I caught them by mile 3. Had a decent gap going but Rob Skaggs was back there pedalling away, and Johnnie R wasn't going to let him go by without a chase. They caught me with about 2 miles to go, we came into transition together, and as usual, Reback ran away for the win. I was about 25 seconds behind Rob for 3rd. Had a good race overall so I'm happy with the results.

On the women's side, Lotte Brannigan won and Linda took 2nd. Brianne's highlight was being pummelled by the surf.

Sep 17 - Great time at the UCF ride tonight, I felt pretty good and attacked when a few of the better roadies were recovering from their attacks. Cat 2 Bill from Kentucky went with me and we put 200 yards into some pretty strong riders to the intermediate sprint. Good confidence booster. I also ran before and after to make it more interesting.

Sep 16 - Knee deep in Finance. I can tell you roughly if a bond is a good investment based on net present value, and that you're probably better off investing your extra cash flow in stocks rather than paying off a 5-6% mortgage, but every month I get my credit card statement and say, "Huh?" Irony, or some sort of cosmic justice?

Sep 14 - Talk about an event filled weekend. On Saturday, Brianne had a great race and finished second at the Tarpon Springs Rotary Triathlon, while first went to Mary Beth Shaw (getting ready for IMH and looking very fit). On the men's side Marc Bonnet-Eymard continued his domination in the Tampa Bay Triathlon series, while Rob Skaggs continued his streak...of getting lost at this particular race. Master's Clyde Ball took 2nd and Robb Gomez, former FSU track star, took 3rd.

On Sunday, for the first time in a triathlon, I got to the finish line ahead of Dan Domingo...as the volunteers sent him about 1.5 miles off course on the run! Dan would have beat me by 5-6 minutes, and despite the misdirection he came back to cross the finish line second, just ahead of Gainesville's Felipe Bastos. Dan was very gracious as he is training for the ITU circuit and this was just another training day for him. The race directors rightfully wanted to award him the win, but he refused it! (note: they gave it to him anyway)

A quick review of this new olympic distance event: Great location, on remote Little Talbot Island with little traffic. The two lap swim was fun but rough, the waves were big and the rips were strong. The bike was flat and kind of windy, and about 3 miles too long. The run was hot, about 1/2 mile short, unmarked, and there were only 2 water stations out on the course. My goal out here was to use it as a dry run for nationals in 3 weeks, tempo the swim and bike and have a good run. I did that until about mile 4, when my lack of sleep, total dehydration, and the heat caught up and I did the death shuffle to the finish. Good venue but they'll need to work out a few kinks. I'll go back next year if it fits the schedule. Total time: 2:09.35. (~22:30, 1:08, 37:15 + transitions)

Sep 12 - So this weekend will see Brianne racing in the Tarpon Springs Sprint Triathlon on Saturday, where I'll be her number one fan. On Sunday, I'll race in the new Hammerhead Olympic Triathlon in Jacksonville, where she'll be my number one fan. Aren't we horribly cute?

Sep 11 - Ah, the wheels were turning, so I busted out a good one. Another rant, that is. This time I take a piss on the RIAA for suing a 12 year old girl. Assholes.

By the way - U. Florida football sucks.

Sep 8 - Decent weekend of training, got in 46 miles of running last week, a recent max. Check out my latest bit of writing geared for some athletes training for Ironman Florida.

Sep 5 update - Yo, thanks to Dan Domingo for the news, the Hammerhead Olympic Triathlon has been postponed until next weekend due to big surf. Pass the news along if you know anyone who was doing this race, and then consider doing it if you weren't signed up!

Sep 5 - Happiness is: taking the afternoon off to go riding with my fiancee.

Planning to go up to do the first annual Hammerhead Olympic Triathlon on Sunday morning in Jacksonville. Entry was limited to 300 and only $55. Going to use the race as a dry-run for Nationals and keep my effort low on the swim and bike then (hopefully) run well. I'm sure local studs Dan Domingo and Greg Carr will be in attendance, as will former Jax resident Fred Costantini.

Sep 4 - But seriously. Dr. Phil Maffetone is the guy who put forth the theory on training that a focus on high-end anaerobic work will only get you so far, after which your fitness will start to decay. The summary of the theory is that athletes should train aerobically until they stop seeing signs of improvement, then switch to anaerobic-speedwork focus until they stop seeing signs of improvement...and back.

Over the past few weeks I've sort of ignored my lack of improvement (and perhaps signs of overtraining) and attempted to grind my way through additional interval training sessions, though I should know better. Made the same mistakes in 2001 but was able to come back and race fairly well in a couple of late season races.

So the plan for the next month is lots of base, Z2, low intensity training with a higher overall volume. For those of you who are wondering what to look for as signs that your improvement has come to a halt: more effort for same or slower speeds, unusual fatigue, staleness, unusual residual soreness, and perhaps some motivational difficulty. Do as I say and not as I do...when it doubt, go easy!

Sep 3 - Thanks to a couple of readers who have suggested the following additions to my prayer list: Tyr, Kahlie (sp?), Yahweh, Vishnu, and the lesser known diety, Guru Rinpoche. At this point in time, all greater and lesser dieties as well as higher plane demons will get a "shout out" from me as we head towards October. You here that, Bazaal? Yeah, you da-man!

Sep 2 - So maybe your wondering what my strategy will be to finish the season on a good note, since my last two races have sucked the big suckness? I'm gonna do this: 5 x 8 mile run, 1 x 40, 50, 60 mile ride, and 1 x 2, 3, 4k swim per week minimum for the next 4 weeks. I'm also going to pray to buddha, jesus, mohammed, zeus, thor, loki, cupid, and several other of my favorite dieties. if you know any good ones, email me.

Sep 1 - Well, it was a fun weekend. Brianne had a good race and took 3rd on the women's side. I started off strong, had a good swim and was off to a solo lead on the bike, but it wasn't my day. Dave Scott, Reback, and B Picciano caught me around mile 3, and R Skaggs around mile 14. Molina got me at around mile 1 of the run. Basically I'm just not training the amount I need to be able to compete with all these mutant beast-men. 20 hours a week average seems to be the magic number. 12-14 hours seems to bring up the magic 8 ball - "outlook cloudy, try again later."

Aug 26 - Apologies to all my faithful readers (all 5 of you, but hey, thanks for coming back!) for the lack of a weekend update. I was way too hung over from a great theme party on Saturday night hosted by the greatest running coach in the history of the Central Florida YMCA (to date), Dan Traver. Dan is heading back to his native Chicago to join "the Familia," and has passed the torch to Pat Marshall, who has proven himself quite capable as a fellow coach and erudite wordsmith. Pictures of the party may be up someday.

Saturday was a good 70 mile ride with the roadies at Errol Estates and a worthless 1.5k splash later in the afternoon. I'm now in full taper mode for the Bahamas Coca Cola race this weekend. Am hoping to lay down a good one and beat Scott Molina along with everyone else (Scott got me by 30 seconds last year in Tampa). So all I have to do is break away in the swim, then build an insurmountable lead on the bike...I'm unlikely to update again until next Monday, so everyone have a good holiday weekend, drive safe, and have fun!

Aug 20 - good track work tonight after a 30 mile lunchtime ride...4 x 1 milers avg 5:40 without hurting myself on 2:30 rest. Good fun...

Aug 20 - Well, the http://http://hq.mcafeeasap.com/dispVirus.asp?virus_k=100561 appears to have infected my web mail server (not my PC). If you get an email from me with any of these headings:

Delete it. Sorry for the inconvenience, you can thank the 35-year old pale-faced geek freaker with pizza sauce stuck to his ratty goatee.

Aug 17 - So I did a morning jog with 1000 buddies this morning...

Aug 16 - Bri and I had a nice little 16 hour vacation down in Key Largo for the 6th Coca Cola sprint (1/4, 15, 3.5). I basically had one of those days where I felt weak and couldn't get my heart rate/pace going on the bike leg. Had a decent swim (only 15 seconds behind UF lady speedsters Sarah McClarty and Ashley Carusone). Then the posse (Rob, John, Bill) caught me at mile 8, and I was able to hang onto the pace by the skin of my teeth. My run was probably the slowest I've been this season and basically turned into damage control. Did not rest up enough for this event, but that's life sometimes. I anticipate a different story in the Bahamas in 2 weeks. Bri felt she had a pretty good race all in all and took 4th, so we match places yet again. Aren't we cute?

Men's results: Reback, Skaggs, B Picciano, Me, Kutyak. Women: Neary, Brannigan, Ferriera, Brianne.

Going to run the first 5k of our local running series tomorrow morning. Will push it if I feel good, but if it is looking grim I am going to tempo it and call it "a morning jog with 1000 buddies."

Aug 13 - Got in another decent tempo run tonight, this time on the track - by 800s: 3:02, 2:59.0, 2.57.8, 2:56.5, 2:54.6, 2:49.2. Was happy that I was able to drop each 800, the last 3 laps were putting a hurting on me but still went well. Did a 4k swim at lunch. Feeling better after a couple of real off days from the long weekend of training.

Aug 11 - Congrats to Rob Skaggs for his third place overall in the New York City Duathlon. There were around 2000 people in the race, 3rd place ain't too shabby - so no complaining there Rob!

Aug 10 - Pretty decent 3 days of training. Got in about 160 miles of riding, 16 miles running, and 2.4k of swimming from Friday-Sunday. I was hoping to get another swim in...but took a nap instead. Now I'll never beat that Bruce Gennari guy!

Aug 7 - Here's my long awaited Ft Lauderdale Super sprint race report.

Good week so far. Tonight was a broken tempo run. In that I started at a local one mile soft trail with Rene and Pat (the fast guys), then wimped out (they kept running) when the lightning and rain rolled in and went to the YMCA treadmill to finish! Not the way I like to do things but with a recovering sprained ankle, lightning, and blinding rain, I'll take the Y.

Aug 2 - Day off yesterday, long run this morning, going for a 100 miler tomorrow. Ankle is getting better but still a bit swollen.

July 28 - put up an article I wrote a while ago: Triathlon Swimming in a Nutshell (originally written for Du Tri Events).

July 27 - You can read a newspaper article about how great I am here. Me me me! ;)

July 26 - Had a great race today and ran tough to win my first triathlon of the season, the Coca Cola Classic Super sprint in Ft Lauderdale. Had a good swim, strong bike, and ran my fastest split by 23 seconds at the venue to hold off all the regulars. With about 500 yards to go I got a bit excited about the prospect of winning my first Coke race in 2 years and stopped paying attention to my foot placement (on an off road trail). So, of course, I retwisted my previously sprained ankle (which I tweaked last week as well). No intervals for me this week. Though it is again swollen, nothing appears to be seriously damaged (besides weakening my already weak ligaments, but not much can be done about that anymore). Time for ankle exercises. Think my total time was 41:39.

Bri battled the elements to take 4th, while some Brazilian pro woman won (after drafting the men's field to a 24 minute and change bike split. You heard it here first). Lotte 2nd, Linda N 3rd.

July 24 - Good tempo run yesterday: 5:46, 5:43, 5:35. Now if I can just do that in the races. Off to Ft Lauderdale for the devastatingly painful Coca Cola Super Sprint on Saturday. 40 minutes of all out seeing red. Next year I'll just go run full speed into a brick wall and save myself the trip.

July 21 - Had a good weekend. Long easy training and some relaxation.

July 18 - My latest rant is a political commentary disguised as a short story disguised as a rant.

July 18 - it is early in the AM and i am eating pizza. oh yeah. envy my belly and all that it surveys.

July 15 - Well, I haven't quit just yet. Took Sunday off and drank a bunch of beer. Worked out all my demons and made peace with the world. Then drank my demons under the table. Lightweights!

Had a nice track workout/swim last night, got kicked out of the pool for lightning tonight. Planning to hammer a group ride tomorrow and figure out some time to run and swim. Tempo Thursday, easy stuff Friday, big weekend. Heart goes out to poor Beloki who got thrown into the pavement at about 50 MPH yesterday. Oh, the sheer frustration, pain, and misery that fellow must be going through right now. Makes my little waah waah waah pretty pathetic huh?

Congrats to fellow Seminole Brian Fleischmann for his 10th place finish at the ITU World Cup in Edmonton this past weekend. Take 'em down dude!

July 12 - I suck. No, I'm actually good. No, I suck. My plan almost worked as I had a good swim to come out a couple seconds ahead of guest star ITU racer Michael Smedley, worked hard on the bike to build my lead on the regulars, and then ran. I thought I ran pretty well as Michael had only put about 45 seconds on me at the halfway point. Unfortunately for me, John Reback and Bill Picciano are running like total fiends these days and caught me with about 400 yards to go. There is no worse feeling than being beyond your red line, your quads full of lactic acid, in sight of the finishing chute, and getting passed by two of your main competitors. I will have two reports up for this one: a feel good, G-rated, look-on-the-bright-side report, and an R-rated You suck I suck everybody sucks sucks waah waah waah report.

But seriously, my time was one minute faster than the Escape from Ft. Desoto race I did in April of this year, and that one was wetsuit legal, and I thought I did really good there. So you do the math.

Brianne took 5th in a field that included basically all of the fast women in Florida. She's looking to continue to improve her bike and regain some lost run speed (Bri has a 17:45 5k PR, FYI).

July 11 - Racing in the St. Pete Coca Cola race tomorrow morning. Pretty tired at 8pm here in Orlando, got nothing packed yet, so I'm gonna pack my stuff, have some dinner, then hit the sack. Will drive down in the AM while sucking down some of Starbuck's finest brew, then lay it on the line at Fort Desoto. Feeling good about the way training is going in general, hoping to creep away on the swim and extend the lead on the bike. We shall see what fate has in store. Planning an easy long run or ride on Sunday.

July 7 - Congratulations to the 2003 Margarita Mile Champions: Julia Hunt and Paul Duckett took the overall crowns at this second annual event, held at approximately 6:30 pm on a sweltering Monday evening. Julia has reportedly been in super stealth training mode for several weeks, while Paul has just returned from training at altitude in the mountains of Virginia. The race and festivities were excellent; pictures are coming soon.

July 6 - Let's hope all the St Pete Bike Club and St Pete Mad Dog members that got hit head on during a group ride today in St Pete are going to be OK. Be careful out there.

July 5 - Brianne and I would like to thank Richard Gonzmart and The Columbia Restaurant for our Cha Cha Coconuts team sponsorship. Our teammates will include David and Jen Picciano, who, by the way, should be getting married right about now! Congratulations!

Wrote a new article on Olympic & sprint distance triathlon training.

Happy July 4th! - Not much to note. We did a 5k this morning, let's just say both Bri and I need to start hitting some more regular tempo runs. Got in a nice 30 mile spin afterwards then took a nap. Plan to get in 50 tomorrow, 100 Sunday, and a long run Saturday PM. I am training geek. Hear me roar.

June 30 - Someone give John Reback a tranquilizer. This maniac won the Deerfield Beach Coca Cola sprint triathlon on Saturday and then jumped on a plane, flew to Texas, and took 3rd in the Buffalo Springs Half-Ironman on Sunday morning, less than two minutes off the overall win. And people call me "mad."

June 29 - Took 3rd at the Deerfield Beach Coca Cola race. My short course swim speed is still not up to par and a slighly long swim didn't do anything for me though it should have. Got bunched up on the bike. I threw in a couple attacks but a new racer on the scene, Carlos Perez from the Miami area (a good swimmer as well), wouldn't let me get away. Had a good run but John and Bill were moving too fast. Brianne also had a good race and took 3rd. The 2-lap run course made the second lap fun as I got to pick people off, something I rarely get to do.

June 26 - I work at one of the nation's top engineering companies. The people I work with are, ostensibly, real geniuses capable of incredible thought, imagination, and innovation. Apparently, though, that doesn't stop some of them from pissing all over the toilet seats.

Went for a short run on one of the sole remaining Orlando trails at UCF today. While tying my shoe I was attacked by large mutant horseflies, and in my haste to escape I failed to remember one of my own cardinal rules: Watch where you step. Twisted the holy hell out of my left ankle. It now matches my right (permanently slightly swollen). It is only moderately swollen so I should be OK for Saturday's race though it may be painful. Stupid roots.

June 23 - Had an article published on Inside Triathlon's website! You can read the full version by clicking here.

June 22 update - to add insult to injury I got my first ever drafting penalty in this fiasco.

June 22 - Something of a joke this morning. ITU developmental athletes, training in Clermont, decided to use the race as practice for their format of racing and a 12 man pack formed on the bike. Some of us older normal Florida racers were sucked into it and couldn't get away as these kids didn't bother trying to put 3 bike lengths between each other. I probably road a pace slower than what I would have done on my own because there was no way to shake these cheating bastards. I almost stopped after the ride and dropped out, that's how disgusted I was.

Anyway, had a good first mile of the run, then my lack of enthusiasm and rest saw me slow down and sort of cruise in for 10th place. Went for a 3 mile run and 30 mile ride after to salvage the morning and make me feel somewhat better about myself. I doubt I'll be returning to Clermont this summer. Congrats to Bill Picciano for taking the race with an excellent run and my fiancee Brianne who took 4th overall (the elite women did not form a big draft pack).

June 21 - nice easy 47 mile ride this morning, off to clermont tomorrow for the sprint and some extra before and after to keep the weekly mileage up. Should be fun, hoping to run well but don't feel particularly rested.

June 18 - Finally rode the Windermere Wednesday ride. Nice course with a few small rolling hills. Training is going fine, backed off on some planned intensity after the Sunday ride as I was pushing myself and I am still tweaking my position on the new road bike. Knees are a bit twangy. Need to dial it in. Will be training through the Clermont CFT Sprint this weekend. Got an 'A' in my Economics class, which I know you're thrilled about!

June 15 - New article on group riding dynamics, you new people need to read it.
Here's the top twenty signs you're a tri-geek.

June 12 - Man, I have spent the last few days studying the hell out of managerial economics. You wanna know about optimization in the short run and long run? You wanna know about competitive pricing in a oligopoly? Go ahead, ask me. It is some seriously confusing stuff but I managed to get it all down. Training has gone well for the past couple days, and I've written a couple new articles that may interest ya. Up soon. This weekend will be run long-ride easy-swim hard-sleep- ride hard-run short-party with birthday guy. Like that means anything to any of you!

June 8 - Davis island sprint went well. I ran 1 minute faster than last year and 21 seconds faster than I ever have in 5 attempts at the Davis Island crown. Only got me a 5th place. Competition was pretty tough with Ric Rosenkranz taking 1st, John Reback 2nd, new fast runner guy 3rd, Marc Bonnet-Eymard 4th, Bill Picciano 6th, Rob Skaggs with mechanical trouble 7th. I'm hoping at least 5 of these people decide to take up some new hobbies, like kite-flying, bowling, & losing to me in races, very soon.

Brianne had a good one and took 2nd to Lotte Brannigan, just ahead of Ric's wife Sara.

June 6 - got back into town early, heading to Tampa/St Pete in a bit for the race. It will be one of the more competitive sprints in the area and I hope to do well. However, regardless of my place, the post-race activities should be fun and life is too short to mope. So in advance, good luck and congrats to everyone, I hope I beat you freaking silly!

June 4 - Out of town for a couple days on work-related travel. Will use the time to a) work, b) catch up on studying, c) plot ways to defeat my Coca Cola competition. c you on caturday. ha ha ha. groan.

May 31 - Back to basics. Long run, easy ride Saturday, long ride-brick run-easy swim Sunday. And study...and clean the house...and have some fun...and -insert regular life thing here-...

May 26 - happy B day to my favorite fiancee this weekend. We had a nice time with all the sisters in town and finished the holiday weekend off with a dinner at Cha Cha Coconuts on The St. Pete Pier. Got in around 8.5 hrs of riding over the 3 days and a few miles of running and swimming.

May 22 - Oh the humanity. Spent the last couple days preparing for an Economics mid-term, in addition to my other duties. Some interesting stuff. But you wanna know what I learned? I learned it's time for me to buy a road bike! My utility curve has been breached! I'll be on a Giant TCR2 (Shimano 105) in a couple days. The Cervelo is grand for triathlon but man, I am sick of riding all hunched over all the time. Thanks to LocoMotion for the good deal and service as always!

May 19 - Managed to pull out a 3rd place at the Madiera Beach Triathlon. I gave it one hundred percent ... of the available eighty-two percent. Feeling better now and plan to get back into some big base miles. Brianne had a good one and won the open division, was 3rd overall after a couple of strong master's ladies.

Saw the Matrix Reloaded on Sunday afternoon. That was fun. Makes you wonder, since the space and time we live in are really governed by rules based on fundamental physics which in turn are based on the quantum mechanics, string, fabric, etc of our 'universal system,' who's to say that it ain't all stored in a black box somewhere? You and I and everything we see are really walking equations when perceived from a certain level. And beyond that, and you may need to take a leap of faith for this one, hah hah, you don't even need the black box to store the program in the infinite universe we live in. It all 'is,' forever. So make today a good one, because you may see it again sometime!

Too bad none of these thoughts are original...I'll quote you the sci-fi novels the whole "computer system" analogy is similar to someday. Imagine that.

May 14 - Got a bad cold on Monday. Taken a couple days off. Illness is what every uncontrollable triathlete needs every once in a while to level them out.

May 11 - Yowza, talk about bringing on the heat! The Gulf Coast Half Ironman Triathlon went very well all in all. The swim was rough, the bike was windy, the run was hot, and the beer at Spinnaker's was cold! Had a good time on the course and over the weekend, kept my pace under control on the swim and bike, and then ran strong (for me...no walking, cramping, or mental breakdowns) to finish 8th overall in 4:29.07. This was a big personal success, as GCT was my first 'big' triathlon back in '94. I melted that year, and a top ten overall finish seemed unreal to my 22 year old self. The usual suspects were in attendance. On the way back home we got to hang out with Kiko and Bridget Cintron in Tallahassee. Kiko helped me get ready for Gulf Coast in 1994 and it's always good to see an old friend and share the joy!

Brianne also had a good athletic weekend, winning the Orlando Corporate Run 5K on Thursday evening (18:59) prior to our departure for GCT. There were 5,000 people in attendance!

May 8 - The big one is around the corner, my goals are roughly : swim 24-26 (condition dependent), bike 2:18-2:22, run 1:28-1:34 for about a 4:15 to a 4:25. I haven't been to GCT in 4 years and am in better shape so think of me around 10:30 on Saturday morning. Think good thoughts, too, people!

May 4 - Had a good race in St Augustine, felt strong on the bike and had a pretty good run (18:17 5k)...but the competition is just off the chart. I led until just before the run turnaround, where John Reback and a healthy & fit Rob Skaggs passed me. Bill P followed a bit later. All these guys have improved their swims as well, only losing 30-40 seconds to me instead of 1-2 minutes. John (16:28 5k) outkicked Rob (16:42 5k) for the win and I nearly recaught Bill (17:19 5k) near the finish, but he got me by 3 seconds for 3rd. Dave P (16:42 5k) is on his usual plan, racing to fitness, and was 5th.

Basically, the only thing I can do to stay competitive with these guys on the sprints is to increase my volume on everything. My 14 hour/week averages are good and I'm as fast or faster than I was 2-3 years ago when I was training 18-22 hrs, but to compete at the new level I need to jack it up to 20+ again. I really can't do that until mid-June due to school, but I'll do what I can. My philosophy on the Coca Cola series is to race them all hard and see what happens. My philosophy on everything else is to go hard and have fun. Gulf Coast half this weekend will be an interesting change of pace.

Brianne had a decent swim, decent bike, good run, and took 2nd. The lead woman (Lotte Brannigan) got confused and turned around at the 1 mile mark and was DQ'd. Heather Butcher, back on the road to racing, took 1st.

April 30 - Well, a couple days of reflection on St. A's have made me realize that I worked it pretty hard, since my body was wrecked. Looking forward to the Coca Cola Series opener in St Augustine this weekend and the half-Ironman in Panama City next weekend.

April 27 - Managed 5th overall at St. Anthony's in a Olympic Distance PR of 1:56.39. I felt pretty good for most of it, but the way the race played out did not go my way. Ran on pace till about the 2 mile mark but had some ab cramps leftover from the swim (8k a week just won't cut it anymore...) and hurt the last 3 miles. Ah, still a good day. Bri had a solid swim and bike then faded a bit on the run but took 6th in the open category with a 2:18.53, also a PR. Good job to Fred C for a great spring race and to some stud from Maryland who took 1st overall in 1:53! Next up for us is the St Augustine Coca Cola series opener.

April 24 - This is your latest weekly update designed to inspire and amuse you. For St. Anthony's taper I have stopped all exercise and subsist on a steady diet of pizza, chicken wings, ice cream, and beer. My goal is to make everyone at the starting line laugh so hard at my bloated self that they cramp and are unable to complete the swim. I shall then waddle to the finish line victorious. It is the ideal taper plan and I recommend it to all my competitors.

Fear me....and my gut.

April 20 - something of a lazy weekend as we slept in both days. Going to do an easy swim and shorter ride today. Happy Easter!

April 13 - Had a good weekend of racing and training. Took 2nd in the Escape to Fort Desoto Triathlon, 20 seconds down on the state's new monster triathlete-cyclist, Marc Bonnet-Eymard. I ran well and was happy with both my swim and bike. Brianne also had a good race and took her first 2003 victory! On Sunday rode 90+ with Rob Skaggs and we had some fun with the St Pete riders, while Bri rode 50 on the trail. This week will be a high intensity/peak week in preparation for St. Anthony's.

Great Clermont 2003 race report is up.

April 6 - Ouch! That's how the race felt all in all. I felt strong but did not feel very energetic...no surprise there. I went 2:05.57 for 4th elite, 5th overall, with a near 40min 10k; it was ugly. Bri took 4th elite, 8th overall with a near 45 min 10k; that was also ugly! A recovery week this week should set us up well for the Escape from Ft Desoto triathlon next weekend. Congrats to Marc Bonnet-Eymard (1st, 2:02.41) for his stellar race..2nd year triathlete has two wins to start the season off. Watch out FL!

April 2 - things going well, looking forward to some fun at the Great Clermont Triathlon. Am not resting for it but will back off on intensity for a couple days prior. Well, 1 day prior...

Mar 29 - got in a good ride, 120 total, in 5:56. We did some 30 minute intervals - easy (Z1), mod-hard (Z2+), hard (Z4), 3x through then cruised the last 40k. Legs felt strong but are now toast. Great weather, hope it holds up for everyone else tomorrow.

Mar 28 - The MS 150 is tomorrow, Paul D and I will ride to the 60 mile mark then turn around. We decided that the full 150 is more than either of us want to chew. In other news, many, many thanks and congratulations to all who sponsored me for this event. If you can believe it, we raised about $700.00 for the MS Society. Think about it. Some of us complain about not having enough time to train, while others have trouble walking. Give thanks for what you've got and be good to everyone else. Peace out to you all and my most sincere appreciations.

Mar 23 - got rained out of riding this morning, slept instead. Decent week of training and will get in a long run and then an easy spin on the trainer later tonight. One week to go until the 150 mile MS ride. Should be fun.

Mar 15 - Winter Park 10k this weekend went well. Unfortunately the lead men were sent off course between mile 5-6, and everyone followed! It added somewhere in the vicinity of 300 yds or so. My 36:26 would actually have been...about a 35:30, which would qualify as a PR. Damn it! Took 10th, Bri ran strong for fourth in 40:22 (~39:30) and took fifth in the overall series!

Mar 8 - Well, Hell froze over, Albert Einstein rollled in his grave, and pigs and monkeys chased pigeons through the sky as I broke through the 17 minute barrier at the Casselberry Rock Around the Block 5k! Things really came together well as I ran very even and stayed strong through the finish, with a 16:52 official chip time and PR by 27 seconds. I don't need to tell you how long I've been chasing the 17 minute barrier, do I?

As a bonus, I also managed to win the event outright, and my fiancee took 1st woman overall in 19:00 to make it a great morning in our house! Happy training!

Check out Motion Sports Management. I am teaming up with them to offer Orlando area triathlon clinics.

Anything before March 2003 - I deleted it, check the old race reports & training logs for some stories.