Wednesday, January 31, 2007


I'm not particularly driven by visual presentation of information, but for those who want charts (*cough*Bold*cough*), these amused me:
Indexed - by Jessica Hagy

[Hat Tip: Cafe Hayek ]

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Two Words

I have two words for the end of low heartrate training:

OK, maybe AAAACK!! shouldn't count as a word.

Monday, January 29, 2007

The Week That Was

Recovery week:
  • long trainer session: 2hrs.;
  • long run: 2hrs.;
  • 1 Masters swim session;
  • trainer drill session: 1hr.; and
  • additional easy run: 1hr.
Informal sea swim cancelled due to high(ish) waves.

That's the end of this round of full-blown low heartrate training. My speed at low heartrate hasn't moved up a lot, but I am more bonk-resistant, so presumably better at burning fat. I'll allow bike and run heartrates to go as high as Friel zone 3 in the next four week cycle.

Left foot is demanding an additional stretch in the repetoire.

Friday, January 26, 2007

The Sun Also Sets

My balcony faces West.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

What Does 200 Calories Look Like? Pictures!

A pictorial: What Does 200 Calories Look Like?

[Hat Tip:, where Virginia Postrel points out the interesting doughnut/bagel trade-off]

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

As Pledged

Here's a photo from my balcony, as pledged. Someday I may get a handle on the appropriate lighting and camera settings, but that will have to do for now. The cruise ship loomed a lot more to the eye than the photo shows.

Monday, January 22, 2007

The Stroke

Saturday afternoon's stroke clinic had 8 members of our Hammerheads Masters swim team and a handful of additional folks coughing up a fee to attend.

Swimmer/Coach Jeanine ran the session with Coach Alex assisting (and I suspect supervising). Swimmer/Coach Jeanine is a Masters swimmer and coaches the youngest members of the local age group Stingray Swim Club. Coach Alex is subordinate to the Head Coach of Stingray (Dominic Ross). Masters Coach Mike did stick his head in for a bit, but said nothing.

After a few easy laps of freestyle we went into drills across the width of the pool. Several drills were ones that Total Immersion folks would be very familiar with, starting with side kicking with arm extended. Some drills heavily featured extended intervals of side kicking - along with my six hour trainer ride earlier in the day, that may have impacted my run on Sunday morning. There were also a couple of sculling drills, and swimming with fists, all designed to work on initial catch.

There was little individual attention, but just doing the drills was worthwhile. Coach Alex made two comments to me: to not keep my mouth out of the water at all times in the side-kicking drills, and that my finger tip drag drill was very good. I think after the first correctional comment he felt compelled to make a praising comment.

The optional end of the session was some work on flip turns, which I did.

Post-session we had pizza and energy drinks - woo woo, calories!

A good day. Swimmer/Coach Jeanine pledges that there will be more.

The Week That Was

Long trainer session: 6.00hrs.
Long run: 2.50hrs.
1 Masters swim session, 1 stroke clinic.
Additional trainer drill session: 1hr.
Additional light run: 1 hr.

I'd looked for a 3.00hr. long run on Sunday, but I was getting a definite complaint from a tendon in my left foot and a touch of inflammation in my right knee. I talked myself into believing that mitigating injury risk was more important than exercising mental toughness - that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Today, just some minor muscle soreness - tendons, ligaments, and joints all quiet. Pleased to be in a recovery week.

A very few words on the stroke clinic yet to come.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

I Get By With A Little Help From My (Virtual) Friends

Taconite Boy posted Part I of his Ironman Florida video opus. It's a great reminder of what pre-event can be.

Kona Shelley posted a notice of a tri on Provo, Turks and Caicos.

Put those two together and now I'm thinking about extending my season... I already have a place to stay on Provo....

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

In My Inbox Today

Being a member of my local Masters swim club (Hammerheads) has its privileges:
From: [Swimmer/Coach Jeanine]
Subject: Freestyle Stroke Clinic
To: undisclosed-recipients:;

Dear Members

I'm just confirming that I did get your email and that the following members will be taking part in the clinic this Saturday at 4pm:

[7 other names elided]

Remember, eats and drinks to follow on the pool deck. Nothing formal, just a quick chat and a chance to fill some hungry bellies.

I don't expect that there will be video, but I will post a report at least.

For me the timing is pretty good. Only last week did I increase intensity. Also, I have just started tinkering with hand entry, bringing them into the water earlier.

Monday, January 15, 2007

The Week That Was

Long trainer session: 5.25hrs.
Long run: 2.75hrs.
1 Masters swim session, 1 informal sea swim.
Additional trainer drill session: 1hr.

Pulling myself together.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Cayman Tri-Life: Stride Against Cancer 2007

Today the Cayman Islands Cancer Society held its Stride Against Cancer 2007.

There were two distances (6.5 miles and half-marathon). Aid stations were placed approximately every mile. Entry was $25CI (or $31.25USD). It isn't a race; there's not even an official clock.

I did the half-marathon as a (low heart-rate) training run. Even with the 6am start for the long course (1 hour earlier than the short course) and catered hydration, it took me 2:45. Parking my car at our office gave me a 1.5 mile walk before and after, so that overcame my tendency to not do suitable warm-ups or cool-downs.

It was a great day. It's a family-friendly event: lots of strollers on the (short) course, some kids-in-tow, and a few dogs. Overall, there were more than 1300 participants.

My thanks to the organizers, sponsors, and volunteers.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


No, I'm not trying to horn in on Tammy's science-geek role, but this bit stuck with me.

From The Economist newspaper (dated December 23rd, 2006, on p. 33 in my edition):
Mr. Kahneman's most notorious experiment took place in a Toronto hospital over a decade ago. He and a colleague asked patients undergoing a colonoscopy (in which a probe is passed up the rectum) to report their level of discomfort minute by minute. Later, they were asked how they felt about the procedure in retrospect. Their answers were surprising. The test left a worse impression on patient A, for whom it lasted less than ten minutes, than on patient B, who suffered for 24 minutes. Patients' recollections were heavily coloured by the procedure's worst moment and its last moment. The duration of the pain did not seem to make much difference. Patients were happier about a colonoscopy that lasted longer but ended better.

Notes to self:
1. Choose a longer grinding event over a shorter more painful one.
2. Really enjoy the finish chute.
Hence, Ironman.

Yes, I acknowledge that this post would probably have been happier to be on Nytro's blog, where the topic would have fit right in.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Shameless Self-Promotion

After two months of low heart-rate training, and with the IMAZ countdown clock under 100 days, yesterday I made my first real step change in this season's training.

At the outset of the season, I dropped hypoxic sets, bumped myself down a lane, limited my exertion, and worked form. Yesterday I returned to swimming hypoxic sets hypoxically, promoted myself to lane leader (staying in lane 3 for now), increased my exertion, and simply tried to hold form.

I buy the arguments in the literature that hypoxic sets deliver minimal training benefit for freestyle swimmers. However, I also buy the usefulness for technique and importance of desensitization.

Monday, January 08, 2007

The Week That Was

Long trainer session: 4.5hrs. Long treadmill session: 2.5hrs. Short week.

The return to regular eating patterns did occur on January 2nd. This week I'll see about doing better with training during the work week. I'm deriving some comfort from Rich Strauss' event-based volume notion.

I see that Comm's is looking to turn a corner too, although he already put in pretty serious "Boot Camp" going into the holiday season (shout out!). Perhaps I should take a leaf from his book and go with the theme "Gotta Step It Up", although I'd look for improvement in my execution of training, not perfection. Our IMAZ clocks continue counting down....

Sunday, January 07, 2007


As pledged, yesterday I went to Cayman Camera and purchased a digital camera.

The acquisition list:

The 2GB card may well be able to store all the pix I will ever take with the camera.

No sign of buyer's remorse today, but I acknowledge that there are lots of pros and cons to any such purchase. I've spent a certain amount of money and come away with a good point & shoot camera for dry land and an acceptable casual novice package for scuba diving. A minor downside is that I don't have a convenient camera for snorkeling - if I'm ever to snap pix of the views along our informal sea swim route I will have to put the camera in the housing, as the camera on its own is not waterproof. I'll probably end up buying another carrying case someday, but the current one will do for now.

For those who are interested, here is a review of the camera and a review of the housing using the 740.

Before month's end I will at least post a pic of the view from my patio.

Friday, January 05, 2007

The Traditional 99 Days Post

When their countdown clocks drop to 99 days people often post.

To summarize my situation, I'm:
  • undertrained;
  • carrying significant excess bodyfat and
  • doing OK on the endurance front.

I'll get through IMAZ, but it won't be pretty. Which reflects my priorities reasonably well, I suppose.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

The Week That Was

A belated summary of last week: not much. One session on the trainer (1.5hrs), one informal sea swim on December 31st to wave goodbye to 2006, and a perfunctory tri on January 1st.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

New Year's Day Report

My New Year's Day triathlon was perfunctory - minor stroke work in the pool at my condo, a little spinning on my trainer and a few steps to count as running. Stroke work featured experimenting with a Christmas present from my sister, the pool toy known as a Tech Toc.

I'll do a report on the Tech Toc when I've used it some more. Overall preliminary impression is favourable.

Had what was labeled New Year's buffet brunch at 1:15pm at the Ritz-Carlton restaurant 7 - for me it was truly lunch. Attendees were me, business partner Gord, his wife Enoka, Gord's son Andy, Enoka's mother (visiting GC for a month), organizing couple Brian and Mindy and another couple they know (Hunter and Helen). Nice company, good food, pleasant surroundings, and my seat faced out to the sunny patio.

Now, back to my regularly scheduled life.
[nervous glance at countdown clock]

Monday, January 01, 2007

New Year's Eve Report

On New Year's Eve I wandered over to my local pub, Fidel Murphy's, for dinner.

Per my post of yesterday, New Year's Eve slammed up against the Music and Dancing (Control) Law; the Law pretty much won. I hadn't enquired as to the plan at Fidel's, nor had I noticed the sign on the front door outlining that plan (friends and family feel free to roll eyes).

It was a cunning plan: they celebrated Irish New Year's. By 7pm the bar was full, glasses were charged, and we rang in the New Year synchronously with the Irish five time zones away.

And then I went home. A good night.