Friday, March 30, 2007

Tragically Inescapable

I move to the Cayman Islands, and still CanCon hunts me down:
Tragically Hip play Grand Cayman


Yeah, I'll probably go....

Thursday, March 29, 2007

How Odd

Yesterday after work I took my bike, the poor little blue Cannondale, to Alberto. He's the mechanic at Uncle Bill's (the closest thing the island has to a LBS), for some minor pre-IMAZ attention.

At all other times when I'm at home the poor little blue Cannondale is either on the trainer or clamped to the stand next to my television. Watching a DVD last evening I was acutely aware that the poor little blue Cannondale was Not There.

I think I actually miss it.

Me with the poor little blue Cannondale at Florida HalfIronman 2005

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

What Will Your Obituary Say?

Monday, March 26, 2007

The Week That Was

Mon.: 1.0hr. Masters swim session
Wed.: 1.0hr. run zone 2 with zone 3 surges morning; 2.0hr. run zone 3
Thu.: 1.0hr. trainer ride zone 3
Sat.: 3.0hr. trainer zone 2 (clinging by my fingernails to the bottom of the zone)

Friday morning should have been a hint that I required recovery time. After shaving, I washed my face and then proceeded to slather on shaving cream again. Yeah, I'd zoned out and gone onto autopilot, and Otto was set for shaving. The first razor stroke went clean and close easily - too easily. That brought back some of my attention. After the second stroke I realized what I'd done.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Apparently, My Taper Has Begun

Spent 3.0hrs. yesterday on the trainer, clinging by my fingernails to the bottom of zone 2. Still held out some hope that I had one more pre-IMAZ quality long workout in me. This morning disabused me of that notion.

Not sleepy, but if I could sleep it would seem preferable to pretty much anything. As a near substitute, I note that there will be golf on TV this afternoon.

Thursday, March 22, 2007


Yesterday was for me a demanding workout day. Morning: 1.0hr. run, zone 2 with zone 3 surges; evening: 2.0hr. run, zone 3. With heat, humidity, and low calorie intake, the evening run left me pretty wiped. Enough so that after showering I filled the bathtub and soaked.

OK, pushing past the "too much information" and "shameless public self-congratulation" elements of the above, it occurs to me that I have a vague mental category for such workouts without a convenient label.

"Shower then bath"-level workout, while descriptive, probably isn't going to make it as a private mental label, let alone in communication with others. "Double S" workout - shower then soak?

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Secret, Tested

Last week, we saw a post by Comm's, that inspired another by Bold. Both were in the vein of The Secret.

As an empiricist, I am pleased to note the following natural experiment:
The Secret Tested

Update: comment #2 by Comm's provides context for his post, and a serious outlook on dreaming and achievement.

Monday, March 19, 2007

The Week That Was

Mon.: 1.0hr. Masters swim session
Wed.: 1.5hr. trainer ride zone 2 with drills
Thu.: 1.0hr. run zone 2 with zone 3 surges morning; 2.0hr. treadmill run zone 2 with extra simulated hills evening
Fri.: 1.5hr. informal sea swim
Sat.: 6.0hr. trainer ride zone 2
Sun.: 2.5hr. trainer ride (1.5hr. zone 2, 1.0hr. zone 3) plus 0.5hr. run-off

A good week in the context of my current level of preparation. Sunday would have been a brick, but after 0.5hr. of running my legs were telling me that they would charge a big recovery price; I bailed.

With the U.S. shift to DST, I was able to get out of the office and enjoy a longer sea swim on Friday: out and back along the shore from the dive ladder at Sunset House to Don Foster's Dive, repeated three times, done at a "go forever" pace. Being around shore dive sites, I'm swimming over coral reefs, so have various tropical fish (and sometimes other marine life) to entertain me - it makes the time go faster.
Next time I go that long I'll know where to apply BodyGlide first. That water has salt in it - there's the rub!

Four weeks to IMAZ, and this week (even considering Sunday) shows that my current base is enough to grind through. Risk of doing too much is now more noticeable than risk of doing too little.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

St. Patrick's Day

My local pub, Fidel Murphy's, claims to be the only Irish pub in the Caribbean. It's a necessity to make a big deal of St. Patrick's Day, so apparently they installed a cage this weekend for pub brawls. :-)

OK, really they just fenced-in an extended patio area.

Of course, there's always the local Music and Dancing (Control) Law and licensing issues to figure in. As St. Patrick's Day fell on a Saturday, closing was at 11:45pm on Saturday night, so as not to have public drinking on Sunday morning - at least, not *before* church. Friday night they had extended hours until 3am Saturday morning, so they did cover as many of the 24hours as they could.

While there's no local recycling program, I note that they did put a blue box on their extended patio:

Thursday, March 15, 2007


Outside the triblogosphere I've seen a few links to this Wired article on the Pentagon's "human enhancement project".

There's lots of nifty stuff, but here's one for athletics: the Glove.
Grahn and his research partner, biologist Craig Heller, started working on the Glove at Stanford in the late 1990s as part of their research on improving physical performance. Even they were astounded at how well it seemed to work. Vinh Cao, their squat, barrel-chested lab technician, used to do almost 100 pull-ups every time he worked out. Then one day he cooled himself off between sets with an early prototype. The next round of pull-ups — his 11th — was as strong as his first. Within six weeks, Cao was doing 180 pull-ups a session. Six weeks after that, he went from 180 to more than 600. Soon, Stanford’s football trainers asked to borrow a few Gloves to cool down players in the weight room and to fight muscle cramps.
In trying to figure out why the Glove worked so well, its inventors ended up challenging conventional scientific wisdom on fatigue. Muscles don’t wear out because they use up stored sugars, the researchers said. Instead, muscles tire because they get too hot, and sweating is just a backup cooling system for the lattices of blood vessels in the hands and feet. The Glove, in other words, overclocks the heat exchange system. “It’s like giving a Honda the radiator of a Mack truck,” Heller says. After four months of using it himself, Heller did 1,000 push-ups on his 60th birthday in April 2003. Soon after, troops from Special Operations Command were trying out the Glove, too.
I'm still not taking ice baths. :-P

[Hat Tip: for highlighting the money quote]

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Cayman Tri-Life: CITA and World Gym

Cayman Islands Triathlon Association (CITA) scored some local publicity covering its "teaming up" with World Gym. Good work by our Membership Director, Larry Walters!

Half of the members of CITA are also members of World Gym (yes, they give us a group rate). I have spent many hours on the treadmills there, and look forward to many more!

Best Laid Plans

My sister outlines part of the IMAZ plan.

I'll arrive in Las Vegas late afternoon on April 8th. She'll arrive very late on April 9th; on April 10th we'll drive to Bullhead City AZ to visit our uncle. On April 12th we'll drive to Tempe.

So, for the initial part of race week (April 8th to 12th) I'll be staying at casino hotels. Food, alcohol, noise, and lights all around 24 hours a day. And for the first day (and a half), I'll be on my own, staring down a 27-foot tall fountain of cascading chocolate.

Taper madness. Live the dream.

Monday, March 12, 2007

The Week That Was

Mon: 1hr. Masters swim
Wed.: 1hr. trainer drill session zone 2
Thu.: 1hr. run zone 2/3 morning; 2hr. run zone 3 evening
Sat.: 5.0hr. trainer zone 2
Sun.: 4.0hr. brick (3hr. trainer zone 2; 1hr. treadmill run zone 2)

A relatively good week. I blew off the notion of a sea swim on Friday, but otherwise solid. Enough work to nap on Saturday.

I went with the trendy split run day. During the workweek a 3-hour slot is tough to manage, and I wanted the Sunday brick. Also, I do think folks have a point about the recovery issues associated with a 3 hour run.

Noticable training time in zone 3 on Thursday. That is often discouraged, as the cost/benefit ratio of recovery requirements versus training effects doesn't look good when compared with zone 2 or lactate threshold work. However, in my week it looked as though I could afford the cost for the extra training benefit (limited though it may be) on Thursday, and my model for get-it-over-with-on-base (Gale Bernhardt's 13/13 plan) has lots of room for zone 3. Looking back, it was a good session. Beyond conditioning, I probably got some benefit from desensitization; various muscles were signalling exertion effects in the last half-hour, calves were giving pre-cramp twinges (electrolytes required if I do that again), and I had to work at holding anything resembling form.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Spring Forward Looms!

Less than five months ago I was celebrating Fall Back. Now I mourn the approaching Spring Forward.

To jog memories: Cayman does not observe Daylight Savings Time, but our business schedule is dominated by the U.S. and Europe, hence Spring Forward shifts my day an hour earlier by the local clocks (and I'm not a morning person).

A huge plus is that my business partner (Gord) is now on-island. He is very much an early-to-rise fellow, so he'll mostly be opening the office at 5:30am-ish local time.

Anyhow, all the best to those who'll benefit from more daylight in their days!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Cayman Tri-Life: Website!

Cayman Islands Triathlon Association (CITA) has a new website:

Fine work by Dave LaMay!

My own little bit of helpfulness is to manage CITA's buy & sell ad listing. It goes out via e-mail to our distribution list, but it now has a link on the website too.

Monday, March 05, 2007

By Request

Nigel asked, "With 40 days until IMAZ, is the plan being revised again? How is the training looking wrt to completing the event?"

After extra recuperation post ski trip, I'll go with a variant of option (c) in the time remaining: three weeks of solid base work, 1 recovery week, 2 taper weeks.

Long rides and long runs are on track to see me through, per Gale Bernhardt and Rich Strauss. Shoulders won't be happy with the swim, but they get a long break afterward! I'll have to stay restrained on the bike.

I think the period of exclusively low heart-rate did well in building soft-tissues and promoted some bonk-resistance, but next time around I'll look for my base phase to feature smoother intensity ratcheting. Less-so Maffetone, more-so Hadd.

The Week That Was

After the ski trip I was not in condition to hit training hard. In retrospect, I should have done drill sessions during the workweek. What I actually did was nothing.

Saturday: 4.25hr. trainer ride, zones 2/3
Sunday: 2.5hr. group ride zones 2/3 morning; 1.0hr. treadmill run zones 2/3 afternoon

I feel too good today. Apparently, I should have gone longer; that wasn't depletion I was feeling, just intensity. Of course, a month ago I made the opposite mistake....

Friday, March 02, 2007

Travel (Mis(s))Adventures III: Pick-up Lines

Travels featured a few lines of dialogue that may amuse some.

At the end of dinner with the gang Friday night at The Cadillac Grille (certainly not a down-scale spot) I felt a tap on my shoulder. An attractive woman (late twenties?) stood there; she proceeded to ask me (paraphrased), "What kind of drugs do you sell, or where do I know you from?"

I could not believe that anyone would deliver that line to a stranger along with his 5 dinner companions, so I floundered as I tried to place her (again, wine is a big part of dinner). I eventually disavowed any prior interactions. I'm still shaking my head over that one - undergrad friend MB says it was hugely amusing watching me mentally spinning through my rolodex and coming up blank (ObStarTrek: Norman, coordinate!). Later intel confirmed that the woman and her female companion were out on a man-hunt.

Maybe I would have avoided that scene if:
(a) it hadn't been my turn to pick up the tab, requiring me to call for the whole bill on my credit card; or
(b) I'd had a haircut more recently.

Sunday night I plunked down toward the end of the bar at the Crowne Plaza Airport Hotel in Atlanta for dinner, drinks, and the Oscars. Eventually a woman took the (pretty much last available) seat next to me at the very end of the bar. We had an entertaining 2+ hours of watching the show and talking about movies.

I wonder whether my answer early in the evening, "I'm just in from skiing at Jackson Hole on my way home to the Cayman Islands," functioned as a pick-up line. OTOH, maybe it's the watch. You never know.

Anyhow, as she was preparing to retire after the Best Picture Award, she dug into her purse saying to-herself-but-out-loud (paraphrased), "What room am I in? Here I am, room [number elided]," pulling out her key card envelope. Tough not to read into that one.

She seemed nice - but she smoked. At least our parting was much more graceful than the one at the Cadillac Grille.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Travel (Mis)Adventures II: Phone Lines

Another trip detail for those few with a vicarious interest.

Background: of the seven of us on this trip, four of us graduated MBA together; of the other three, JK was a prof at the B-school; one was the father of one of the four MBAs (JB's father, for those who know the gang); and the last was a friend of mine from undergrad days.

By coincidence, another of our MBA classmates happened to be on the Wednesday afternoon flight with two of our MBA gang - that's from a graduating class of about 180. I exchanged cell phone #s with the additional MBA classmate (he was also there to ski) at the airport on Wednesday. My local cell coverage proceeded to die on Thursday.

I blame Cable & Wireless. Ah well, workarounds were available if we'd been sufficiently motivated.

Travel (Mis)Adventures I: Airlines

Just some details for those who want to follow along.

Seven of us were on this trip. We had a few snags, but nothing major.

I got in on Tuesday evening on the same flight from Denver as JK; my checked bag got in on Wednesday afternoon. I had packed my carry-on with two days of ski clothes and planned to rent equipment, so that was manageable.

Three arrived on the same flight from Denver on Wednesday afternoon; JK and I met them at the airport after our day of skiing. The last two to arrive Wednesday evening both faced some delays on their separate flights (one almost had to overnight in Salt Lake City).

JK departed on Thursday afternoon without incident (heaven forfend that he stay in one place for any length of time).

When the remaining 6 of us departed on Sunday we were somewhat fortunate that our planes were there. Some other folks had flights cancelled, and no rebookings were available until Wednesday. I was fine on my direct flight to Atlanta, where I planned to overnight. The other 5 going to Toronto hit delays; they arrived significantly late and one had her checked bag go astray - the airline located it Tuesday.

Atlanta airport was swamped on Monday, but with a priority ticket I made it to my gate 55 minutes after arriving at the airport. Staff were commenting that they hadn't seen such lines; I assume that a lot of economy fliers who arrived at ATL one hour before their flights missed them.