Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Back in Panama

Stepped off the plain and the familiar smells and that relaxed attitude hit me hard. I love Panama. It took 24 hours to get here yesterday. I got maybe 4 hours of solid sleep last night. I can't wait to go for a wake up run and then work with all my Latin American buddies today.

It's a good life...

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Lot's of Time

Sitting in the Airport in Amsterdam with nothing but time on my hands. Heading to Panama the long way this time. 3 hours here in Amsterdam than 5 hours in Newark and then a 5 hour flight to Panama. Roughly arriving 24 hours after I left the house in Grossenseebach. For some reason on these long flights my mind opens up. I have pages and pages of notes in my journal from long flights and long layovers. I guess it's time well spent if I can spend it reflecting on life that has happened or life I intend to happen. Personally I'd rather reflect foward than reflect back. Sometimes that is more difficult than it sounds but rarely do I reflect back on something that was outstanding. It's usually on misstakes I have made. So with that I give you my short list of foward refection for this trip:

1. Marco - He's growing up fast but fighting to stay that little boy. I want to support both with him.
2. Mary - That unreal dynamic wife of mine. So dynamic and yet so simple. I'm going to focus on the simple this trip.
3. Life - I think some thought on what it looks like 5 years from now is in order. I'm hitting a mid decade point in my life and 5 years from now will come fast. Crap, I can't believe I'm that old.

It's a good life....

Saturday, March 28, 2009


Yesterday was a big reminder to me. Marco and I spent 1/2 the day together just doing things. Mostly doing one of my favorite things in the world hanging out in a public place. We hung out in the city center of Nuremburg. We had coffeee at a coffee shop. We cruised through stores. We spent at least an hour in the book store reading side by side. We finished the day off with dinner and an IMAX movie. Individually none of the events were super specail. In total though they amounted to lots of time together. The reminder is that kids and people in general just want your time. It's a precious thing your time but if you give it, you get so much more in return.

It's a good life....

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Helping Others

Our great friends in Encinitas, Chris and Janet are doing something absolutely amazing.

Check this out:http://www.anewlegfordedan.blogspot.com/

It's a good life....

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Risk Management

I recently received an email with a marketing plan. The first bullet point of the plan said we will do this to manage the risk. I got rather upset with managing the risk. I wanted to know what risk we were managing. So I looked up Risk Management on google and I got this:

"In businesses, risk management entails organized activity to manage uncertainty and threats and involves people following procedures and using tools in order to ensure conformance with risk-management policies"

Just to note the other isntances of Risk Management were in things like war, space exploration, building infrastructure, things where life was at risk. The business risk management says I'm going to manage uncertainty. I just want to go on record that unless life is the question risk management should not be in question. Risk Management in a marketing proposal says I don't know (Uncertainty) or I'm afraid. It's our job in Marketing to know. We don't manage risk we manage opportunity. Opportunity says so much more. Please for the sake of my sanity don't use Risk Management at the start of a marketing proposal.

It's a good life....

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Weekend in Pictures

Marco Getting Ready for the 2K Brave kid chooses shorts

Returning from the Warm Up with Mary

Game Face On!

Always Prepared for down time!

Having Fun

Dad I'm Cold...........
It's a good life......

Sunday, March 22, 2009

What are you Reading?

As you know I'm a big fan of putting good stuff in. If you put good stuff into your head you have a great chance of having good stuff come out of your head. I don't think that process ever ends or will ever end. In fact as I age I think the process is more important. It keeps the brain alive. My favorite way of putting good stuff in is reading. I am constantly on the search for finding the good stuff. I love book stores for this reason alone.

The last good stuff book I read was Fit Soul - Fit Body - By Mark Allen and Brant Secunda

Mark is the 6 time winner of the Ironman World Championships and Brant is a Shaman. Mark credits Brant with saving his racing career. It's well documented in Triathlon world that Mark struggled at the Ironman. My old college roomates loved the 1985 race where Mark begins struggling at the front of the race starts walking, gets passed and then on camera, pulls his shorts down to squat. It was either stomach issues, flat tires and much else that stopped Mark in Hawaii. Then in 1989 it all came together and he started winning. He won the remainder of the races he entered in Hawaii. Mark credits all those victories to Brant and his teaching. You see Mark had a fit body and Brant taught him how to have a fit soul. How to move away from the negative and go to the beautiful world. I'll read this book again just to soak it up once more but I use it all the time. I won't spoil it but if you hear me talking about the Sunrise or the Sunset just know there is more meaning for me than before.

As much as I am a big believer of putting good stuff in I also believe you have to escape as well. Reading for me is a total escape and I'm always on a search for books to escape into. Right now my book of choice (found at the local bookstore) is Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith http://www.amazon.com/Child-44-Tom-Rob-Smith/dp/0446402397/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1237783634&sr=1-1

This book is based in Stalinist Russia and it's great. There are twists and turns on every page. It's a good picture of what the time was like under Stalin. Apparently this is Tom Rob's (I just like saying that) first novel. If he can continue like this he'll be up there with all the other paperback suspense novelists.

It's a good life.....

Ouch, That Hurt!

Today was a bit crazy. Mary had a Half Marathon planned and Marco wanted to run the 2K before. So we packed up the car and headed to the event. Only rain would have made the weather worse. It was 6C and the wind was blowing. This made it seem much colder and there was no way to stay warm. Mary braved the 1/2 marathon in the wind and cold. Marco and I shivered waiting for her.

Then of all the crazy things, I rode my bike back from the race. 2.5 hours in that cold wind. I think I'm tired of layering on for the cold. Running or riding it doesn't matter. I'm probably still 6 weeks away from shorts on the bike and arm warmers are a must even in July. At least in the morning. On the run, maybe 3 weeks away from shorts. The guys are wearing shorts at noon but since I don't run in the middle of the day it's tights for me. Anyway back to the ride. It couldn't end soon enough which was exactly 2.5 hours. I didn't feel comfortable the entire way. Maybe I need new clothes. Maybe that's the problem. I had 4 layers on top. That makes for one tight fit on layer number 4. Anyway I got the thing done and then went for a 45 minute run. I felt like my legs were 70 years old on the run, but by the time I was done they felt ok. Again, I never really got warm on the run. The wind just took the warmth out.

Soon, it will be warm, soon it will be warm, soon it will be warm.

It's a good life.....

Friday, March 20, 2009

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Winter Pictures

Marco's Prized Icicle.

Hey this snow thing is easy. I dare you to join me here, Dad.

Time to clear the driveway and sidewalk.....again!
It's a good life...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

My Coach

Worth a read!


It's a good life.....

Pizza Meat

Every day is an adventure for lunch. The cafeteria at work affectionally known as Stipes (Get it, 3 stripes) is the adventure land. Like most cafeterias you are not sure what you are going to get. The Daily fair is something like this, Soup and Salad bar, International Fair (Thai, Mexican etc.), Regional Fair (Bavaria) and then Pasta. Since I am looking for lean protein for lunch I'm usually either in the International or the Regional fair. Yesterday as I entered Stripes (Through a rotating door that will take your foot or head off if you aren't quick) there was the standard long line for food. The pasta looked terrible and the Regional fair was Potato pancakes. The long line was my choice, Pizza Meat. Yes, that's right folks, pizza meat. I forgot to ask which country Pizza Meat comes from because it was in the international section. My guess is they hide it as American but I've been all over the states and even in the South I've never seen Pizza Meat. Pizza Meat is Chicken (isn't is always) stuffed with diced Salami and Pepperoni with cheese. Then they top it off like they do most of their meat with some kind of sauce (gravy). To tell you the truth, it wasn't all that good.

I wonder what today will bring?

It's a good life....

Sunday, March 15, 2009

I feel Like Bob Geldoff

Not the loving, caring save the world Bob Geldoff but the "I don't like Monday's" one. He wrote that classic song and now that's all I can think about. Maybe it was watching that show, This American Life, last night or maybe it's just actually my age but this Monday has hit me hard. The show followed 7 guys named John Smith all at different ages from 11 weeks old to 79 and in a Assisted Living home. It was a sobering look at life. Good Television too! That's not my point though. Today I woke up hard. I usually don't need the alarm, I wake up. Not today. In fact I struggled to turn that darn watch off. Then I took the first step, Ouch! Simultanious pain shooting through my low back and my left foot. Did I do too much yesterday? Maybe I did too little and my body is kicking me for this. Maybe I am old! In general I like to think of myself as the youngest 44 year old I know but maybe it's catching up.

No, just kidding around. Yes, it's Monday and Bob is singing away in my head. Yes, my back and foot hurt but no I'm not getting old. In fact as I sit here and type this I can feel all that stuff leaving my body. The fog in my head is gone, the pain in my foot is gone and after a few flip turns at the pool the pain in my back will be gone as well.

It's a good life....

Saturday, March 14, 2009


True self-confidence happens when we are willing to risk it all even if it looks like we might lose everything in the process …… Mark Allen/Brant Secunda – Fit Soul, Fit Body

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Now we are talking!

Long run Wednesday is becoming my favorite day of the week. As long as it keeps going the way it did yesterday. At least on the running side of it worked great. It was my normal long run schedule. 105 minutes broken into even 35 minutes of easy, steady, moderate. Also still rolling with 9 minutes of running and 1 minute of walking. Yesterday was one of those days I really didn't want to run. I sat around the house mulling it over knowing I would do it but not really wanting to. I was dreaming of 50 degrees and sunny but I knew it was 35 and raining/sleeting. I just struggled with the thought. Out I went though right on time.

As I started the run, the sleet started to come down hard. The wind was blowing hard in my face and I had that what am I doing out here attitude. I continued on. I'm really paying attention to my hear rate monitor during this run. 135 was my cap for the first 35 minutes. If I got above that I needed to slow down. I'm becoming much more comfortable with this pace. It's slow but now I just work on perfect form to keep my mind off the ultra slow pace. I noticed by the end of the 35 minutes that I was behind where I was the last time I did this. Could it be possible I'm actually running slower?

The next 35 minutes are all on pavement. The first half is on a bike path linking village to village. My HR cap is 145 on this section and over the first half it was difficult to stay around that mark. I was either too high or too low. This in the section that also has the most adidas people driving by. I can't help but think that they see the guy from the running unit, running so slow and wonder if the running BU is in the right hands. I know that's really stupid but it does cross my mind and it makes me laugh. The second part of this run is on the road to the beer garden. For about the next two miles it's up hill. It starts gradual and gets steeper until it finishes 1/3 of a mile past the beer garden. I found hitting my 145 HR was easier on the steady climb. Another thing I noticed was on my walking breaks. During each of my walking breaks my HR dropped quickly. During one section it dropped below 100. Roughly just at the beer garden village I switch to the final 1/3 of the run. By this point I was right on pace with the last time.

The final 1/3 of the run starts at the steepest part of the 2 mile hill. Once at the top in the middle of the forest, the trail starts a super long section of long gradual down and then long gradual up. It's a good place to let the legs go a bit. By this point I've been running so slow that my legs can't wait. Now I'm actually running. Important to note that I'm running controlled, watching my form all the time. No Heart Rate cap on this final section, just running by feel. I like the forest, it's quiet with only the sound of birds, my feet and my breathing. Running fast feels good in the forest. Coming out of the forest I realized that I was now ahead of my pace from the last time. Maybe I'm running too fast! The only way to know is continue on and measure at the finish. So that's what I did. By the time I got the the bike path that wraps around the World of Sports I knew I was way ahead. My stopping point is the intersection on the bike path that takes me to the front door of adidas. I stop, take a deep breath and look at my watch. 99:44. Scheduled run was 105 and I'm 5 minutes and 15 seconds faster.

So to recap I started out super slow, slower than I had gone before. I stayed course even though I knew I was running slow. I made up some of the time on the next section but not all of it. My HR was dropping super low on the walking breaks. Then I opened it up a bit. With an improvement like that I must have really driven the HR up over the last section. On the last run, I ran 106:35 with a HR of 142. Yesterday I ran 99:44 with a HR of 143. That's a really telling sign. My slow can be slow and the slower it is the faster I can run at the finish. I think it mean's I'm learning how to pace myself. Finally after how many years, I'm still learning stuff in running.

It's a good life....

An addendum: The whole experience doesn not end with the stopping of the watch. Recovery starts right away and at my age recovery is harder. I got to my desk where I have my recovery powder wating. Mix the drink and start the process. I have a few conversations on the way to the shower. Stop at Stripes to pick up breakfast and then head back to my desk. My boss stopps me and says do you have a minute. I look wide eye, yes. I see on the table one of the women in the office has baked pastries. I grab one and go into the office. The minute turned out to be 20 or more. No big deal just a impromptu planning meeting. Then there is another sidebar meeting and finally another one as I head back to my desk. I sit down famished now and start eating. I look at my watch and it's 10:15am. 1.5 hours have already passed since I stopped my watch. This is not good. At 4:00pm the birthday boy brings in his birthday treats. Here in Germany it's your job to bring your cake. So I have another sugar laden white bread treat. It was really good. Oh don't worry I had a normal lunch in there somewhere. By the time Mary and Marco pick me up at 6:40 I am crashing hard. My diet went in one day from a strong protein base with good stuff around it to a mixture that included bad timing and then wasted pasteries. My ability to focus at 7:00pm is gone. As I type this 12 hours later I can still feel the affects of the run + bad diet. Bad Dave, Bad Dave, Bad Dave.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Dream Big

"Everyone on the starting line dreamed of winning, but only one won - but this is not important - the journey was what was important. Dream big,but let your dreams inspire how you live today. Dreams should not be about the end goal, but rather about day to day living." - Ryan Hall - 2008 Olympian

I posted a letter to Marco awhile back. One of my thoughts for him was to Dream Big. Dream sounds so much better than set your goals. Dream-Goal-Dream-Goal......I think you have to have a Dream to get up in the morning. Ryan is right it's not the end result that matters it's the Journey. If you focus on your dream the learnings gathered along the way will make a better you. I know it's a bit heavy for a Wednesday but it's true.
Watch Ryan on April 20th as he chases yet another running Dream. Americans don't win Boston anymore. Ryan is Dreaming of putting a stop to that thought. He'll be on the starting line of the Boston Marathon trying to make history. It should be fun.

Right now I'm dreaming of the very very near future. The weather will be 50 and sunny for my long run today.

It's a good life...

Monday, March 9, 2009

Food Coma

As I write this I feel like I just got out of a food coma but that's not possible. It's 5:30 am and I haven't eaten since 8:00pm last night. The food coma however is my topic for today. There are some good and some bad. I'll start with the good. On Sunday I did a two hour workout that consisted of 90 minutes on the bike and 30 minutes running. It wasn't hard but the weather made it a hard effort. It was cold, raining and muddy. When I returned I was really hungry and made my favorite breakfast of all time, Migas. Or at least my version. 3 eggs scrambled with refried beans, cheese and Salsa. I ate really well. Then I sat on the couch to read (I had takend a shower so I was clean) and I must of been there 10 minutes and I was out cold. For 30 minutes I slept and slept hard. Maybe nothing could have woken me up. I woke up not even knowing what day or what time it was. A beautiful food coma. I loved those when I was younger and had more time. It was a Saturday and Sunday ritual. Today it's just a luxury that happens every once in awhile.
This brings me to the rest of the world. Ever noticed how after lunch meetings are terrible. Generally only the holder of the meeting is awake and ready to go. You can thank that to the overly large lunch people eat and the subsequend food coma. Although their eyes are open, they can't hear a single thing you say. I think the Spanish have it right. It's inevitable so why fight it? Let the food coma happen and then get back to work. What I don't get is why do I only get them after long or hard workouts. Why does everyone else get them daily? I know the answer to that but I'll let you ponder it.

It's a good life...

I say no more!

I asked my buddy Craig to share this with me. I say no more!

Lincoln and Corina
So I was asked to by Lincoln and Corina to reflect at their wedding about their love and find a literary passage that i felt spoke to it as well. A bunch of folks asked to have a copy (which might have just been them being polite). Doesn't need much more of an introduction than that i guess...
Plus One
When we first started talking about the wedding itself, it was on a run of course, I recall Lincoln letting me know that I would be allowed to bring a date. I was quite excited to have the glorious suffix "and guest" added to my name ("the good ol' plus one"). As we all know each person here represents a part of Lincoln or Corina's heart, each person is one whom they love and who loves them in return; each of us carrying a piece of their hearts with us as we arrived. And there is no greater expression of love than the sharing of love. How amazing that I should be offered the gift to bring someone into the love shared here today, not by my will but by the invitation of these two.
Sharing their love has been something they have practiced with one another for quite some time. Lincoln and Corina share in the other's passions and joy. It at times becomes hard to tell who has accomplished the goal because the other is so thrilled. It is a love that inspired Corina to run a marathon and Lincoln has an iron man coming up
Lincoln and Corina are joined in our minds and hearts such as only love can... seamlessly and without the sacrifice of either's full measure. They are so much a part of the other now; I even argue it is hard to say one name without immediate addition of the other. And here today we see their love and lives become one in marriage, though their hearts have been so since I have known Lincoln and Corina and perhaps since the pair has come to be.
And so here we are to celebrate the marriage of two people we all love so dearly and whose friendship we all treasure, I know to me they are family. And as we celebrate their union I think back to that good ol' plus one. And realized how blessed each Lincoln and Corina are to know that their plus one is forever set, that they will never have to fill that seat again or despair at its emptiness, that invitations from here forward will be addressed to "Lincoln and Corina", to "Mr. And Mrs. Davis" to a family- not individuals. And so it is in the marriage of two loving children, a cherished sister and a steadfast brother, and treasured friends that we see the union of two hearts always meant to be one.
I would love to say I have the words to describe this love or the time to tell you all how much I love these two and what I have seen to make me know that forever exists. Instead I will share with you the words of ee cummings

I carry your heart with me(I carry it inmy heart)
I am never without it(anywhereI go you go,my dear; and whatever is doneby only me is your doing,my darling)
I fearno fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)
I want no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows(here is the root of the root and the bud of the budand the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which growshigher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart
I carry your heart(I carry it in my heart)
ee cummings

Words by Craid Vanderoaf - adidas running

It's a good life....

Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Oscars

Yesterday, Mary and I had a really nice day. We dropped Marco off at a Birthday party/sleep over and headed to town (Nuremberg). While there we shopped for shoes, drank coffee and of course went to the bookstore. For dinner we went to the most popular Mexican restaurant in the area, Enchiladas. It wasn’t real Mexican (there is something missing in the spices) but it was really good in its own kind of way. After dinner we walked down to the movie theater to see The Reader. It’s interesting how things happen. We didn’t know much about the plot of the movie, only that Kate Winslet was in the movie and that she won an Oscar for it. Earlier in the day Mary, Marco and I sat on the couch finishing the book The Boy in the Stripe Pajamas. Mary is great with teaching Marco the big things. She chooses not to thrust him into it but to ease him into it when he’s ready. We live in Germany and the reminders of the Holocaust are everywhere. In the Museums (we avoid those areas), in just about every big city, everywhere. But we managed to get to this point of his life without too much trauma. So Mary chose The Boy in the Strip Pajamas as the vehicle to introduce this to Marco. It was amazing to listen as the two of them read the book out loud. It’s a great book for everyone, worth the read. Anyway we start our day with the ending of that book and the subsequent discussions with Marco and then we end our day with The Reader. I’m assuming that anyone reading this Blog has seen the movie. It was a sad but great movie. What a difficult story to tell.
Kate Winslet was simply stunning in this movie. However Actors do their thing she was just great. And she made that movie great. The storyline was there but her acting took it from a good story to a great movie. Now go to the Best Supporting Actress Penelope Cruz. We watched her Barcelona movie the other night. It was so bad I decided to go to bed instead of finish the thing. I hated it, no plot, poor acting and just bad. Now maybe Ms. Cruz was really good in her part but I think the Oscar should go to the person who made the entire movie better. She wasn’t going to save that thing. It’s why I hate anything with Judges. Gymnastics, Diving, Boxing and the Oscars. Generally the best person wins but my gosh they are full of “What was that?”. Many times it’s like the judge is watching something else. Kate Winslet, I didn’t see many other movies last year but you deserved the award based on that performance.
Yesterday I also got in a swim. The swim called for a 1000 yard swim. Just execute the swim it’s for endurance not time. 8 weeks ago if I were asked to swim 1000 yards it would have been a daunting task. 8 weeks ago it just seemed like a long way to go in that long pool. Yesterday 1000 yds (meters actually) seemed easy and short. It was done almost before I knew it had started. I think that shows the kind of shape I’m getting in to. Hopefully I’m not too close to the peak of my fitness. Maybe there’s more to come.

It’s a good life….

Friday, March 6, 2009

Mud and Such

A few months back I posted about Mud. For a number of weeks Mud was our life. Mud on the Dog, Mud and Marco and Mud on me daily from the bike or running. Well the Mud is back and I'm happy! That's right, I'm happy the Mud is back. Yesterday I had to ride my mountain bike home from work. It was raining and the trails were thick. Mud in my face covering my glasses in my ears. I loved it! It's amazing how you can hate it one time and then it doesn't seem so bad the second time around. I even predicted it would be back and I don't mind. During the ride yesterday my hands didn't hurt from the cold. I could feel my toes. I was actually riding on trails and not on Ice. During the 6 weeks of Mud last year, I was asking Mother Nature to bring snow. Something to cover the mud for even a few days. A couple weeks ago I hit a patch of Ice on my mountain Bike and went down hard, sliding across the "Trail" into a ditch. At that point I asked her to return the mud. Perspective I guess. The cold wasn't so bad this winter until the Ice came to the trails. For about 6 weeks it was difficult to run on the trails and you most certainly couldn't ride a bike. Now the Ice is gone and we have Mudd and I'm happy.

Facebook-Linkin it's all a little strange to me. Yesterday was one of the strangest days of my internet life. I got two invitations on Facebook from names in school a few years ago. It was just shocking to see these names appear on my invitation list. It took me a few minutes to even place where they were from. Then I accepted the invitation. I'm kind of a freak that way, I'm interested in what everyone is doing. OK, then over to Linkin. I got an invitation from the guy that hired me at Road Runner Sports. He left just about 1 year later so it's been 13 years or so since we had conversation. Then I get an invite from him. Turns out he's a consultant and is working on a project he thinks is good for Road Runner Sports. Really weird. But that's not strange enough. One of the hardest jobs in the business world I've found is to be the President of a company with a Founder who is heavily inolved in the day to day business. So as President your decisions may not hold water if the Founder wants to do something different. Well it's no secret that Mike G. the founder of Road Runner Sports is tough to work for. He's not a bad guy at all he just is involved in everything and has an opinion on all of it. So to work there you have two jobs, manage your duties and manage Mike. As President that pressure is immense. Yesterday I got an invitation from a former President of RRS. It totally shocked me. This guy and I respected each other for sure but we did not see eye to eye on much. When I look back, he did a great job of managing Mike. You never knew who made the decision. Direction was generally final. But we really didn't see things the same way when it came to my department. There was some tension there. So I was a bit shocked when I got the Linkin Invitation. I accpeted of course. I good way to mend bridges that maybe were on the verge of collapse.

It's a good life....

Thursday, March 5, 2009


Yesterday Herbert Heiner gathered all the employees at adidas together. Herbert is the Chairman of the Board of the adidas Group. He's been an adidas employee his entire adult life. His presentation style is hilarious. He just has a way of telling you like it is and making you laugh at the same time. He had done the same presentation earlier in the day at our other facility in Herzo. When he got to us and we didn't clap on something he said, he turned it into a competition. "Well I got applause from the other group" he said. Aside from his dry sense of humor he gave us great news and then challenged us. 2008 was a record for the company in sales and net income. Both rose double digits and have done so for 9 years in a row. So, adidas will be paying bonus this year! Legitimate hard earned bonus money I might add. 2009 is a challenge. Retailers have run out of ink in their pen. It will be a very interesting year watching the results. As always there will be big losers and really big winners, there has to be.

It's a good life.....

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Run Test

Wednesday was run test day. The goal here is to run the same place the same way and review where you stand. Hopefully to see improvement. I love to do tests. I actually hated them in school. I didn’t study correctly, I rushed through the test and I didn’t check my work. Therefore I didn’t do very well on tests. That is of course until I got to Marketing then the tests were easy. But I love running, swimming, bike tests. The older I get the more I like them. I think partially, it shows that I can still do it.
My testing ground is a loop in the forest. It starts at the trail head just out of town in Grossenseebach and runs into the forest and back out the other side heading back to the start. It’s slightly uphill on the way out and slightly downhill on the way back. One lap is 1.32 miles. I like it because it’s close to home and it’s random. The coaching calls for the test to be on a controlled track but I prefer the dirt and the 1.32 mile distance. Less laps. The test protocol is to run the first two laps at the top end of your Aerobic HR and the second two laps at the top end of your moderate Hard HR. For me that’s 150 and 160 respectively. A special note, the last test on this course was longer and all at or below 150 beats on the HR. There is improvement:

December 14

Lap #1 10:15
Lap #2 10:15
Lap #3 30:56
Lap #4 41:16
Lap #5 51:26
Lap #6 61:46

March 5 - Total 5.2 miles each lap 1.32 miles
Lap #1 9:43
Lap #2 19:17 or 9:26
Lap #3 28:21 or 9:04
Lap #4 37:25 or 9:04

Some additional notes. Temperature was roughly the same on both tests. 35 degrees F. The only real difference in my attire is that I wore Zoot compression tights yesterday and regular adidas tights in December. I know, I work for adidas . I firmly believe people in brands get brain washed by the brand. In other words if you only run in your own brands products how do you ever know your stuff is any good. The Zoot tights are a test on compression. Does this stuff really work? I’m not ready to give it the reason for the results award but I will admit that my old legs like the feel of the compression when I’m running.
Final note for the day and this could be a full note on its own. It’s tough out there in the economy. Unless you live under a rock you know it. There really isn’t anyone it hasn’t hit. So why does a person have to lead off every discussion with giving us the bad news. I say to mister grumpy who does this, buck up little buddy. Go outside and listen to the birds. They’re singing today. They don’t know crisis. They only know that winter is over and it’s time to sing. This crisis will not last forever. If we work together in rolling forward perhaps even singing our way through it won’t seem as bad as it looks on paper.
It’s a good life…

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Sun

That was the sun yesterday. I swear it was. For more than one hour the sun was out from behind the clouds. It's been a long time! Can we go for two days in a row?

It's a good life....

Monday, March 2, 2009


Recently I've been reading a great deal about swimming. From pro triathletes going to swimming camp, to coaches writing about their philosophies to bloggers talking about their killer workouts sessions at Masters. Swimming, Swimming, Swimming and more Swimming.

I didn't swim when I was younger. In fact I almost drown but that's another story. My entrance into Group swimming was Masters in California when I got serious for Triathlon. If you asked me today in Germany it's the one thing I miss a great deal of about California. I really liked going to Masters practice. The swimming was always good but Masters is also a place to interact with people of your own ilk. The closest thing I've found in Germany is the Triathlon club swimming. The other day they were swimming in the lane next to me. 13 people in one lane. Yes it is a 50 meter pool but 13 people, give me a break. Only swimmer #1 is really swimming. The others are just along for the ride. The thing I liked about masters was the group workout, the accomplishment on the day and the speed. I got caught up in swimming fast. I always tried to work on moving up to the faster lanes, until the set would be longer than 200 or on a shorter interval than 1:20 per hundred. When it got really long or really fast I had to move back down. The issue I had was I could swim fast in the pool but it has never translated to Triathlon. If my pool times did transfer who knows what might have happened. But they haven't. So for a long time I decided there was no point in concentrating on the swim. If I swam twice a week, and then raced, my race swim times would be comparable to when I was swimming lots and going hard. I decided that was not the way to address 2009 so when searching for a coach I really wanted one who had a philosophy on Triathlon swimming not just one who gave you workouts.

Well I think I found the system. It hasn't been easy to make the adjustment but it seems to be working. At Endurance Corner the focus is on a few things:

1. Regular Volume - Swimming is a small part of any triathlon but a strong swim can keep you fresh on the bike.

2. Pace Changing - No Triathlon swim is steady pace and you are not all out for any long period. There is a great deal of pace changing during the swim. Hard start, settle in, sprint for those feet, stay steady on those feet, move around those feet because they slowed etc.

3. Bilateral Breathing - Even out your stroke. Learn to relax in the water. Have better control of your swimming.

4. 400's - More 400 meter swims in a week than I probably did in 4 months in masters. Because of the number of people in a lane most masters sets have shorter swims more often. People get lapped in a 400 and get really ticked off when they get lapped.

5. Finally the system really stresses doing the workouts and staying away from the grind of masters.

I'm committed to this program so I'll give some regular updates on how it's going. It hasn't been easy. I miss masters but then again it's not here in Germany. I miss going fast. I just love the feel of being on top of the water for 25 yards. Heck I went so far as to swimming only in the 50 meter pool. There are no 25's. I can also see improvement.

1. I breath every 3rd stroke. Even when I'm going fast I stick to every 3rd. If I find myself creeping to every stroke I slow down.

2. I can now change pace. I'm not perfect but it's doable. Example.

5 x 400 on the same interval but Fast, Moderate, Steady, Moderate, Fast. Faster at the end.

My interval (400 meters in a 50 meter pool) 7:00 minutes. (by the way rest is usually short in this program).

Number 1: 6:35

Number 2: 6:40

Number 3: 6:50

Number 4: 6:38

Number 5: 6:25

To know how to change pace like that is very gratifying. Never in a Masters set did we ever do that and never if asked did we really do it. Believe it or not the hardest one of those was the 6:50. In Masters there really is no swiming slow. Why rest 10 seconds when you can rest 20 by swimming faster. So going 6:50 was hard. But as you can see the 6:50 on short rest set up the next two.

My first race is still roughly 3 months away. I'll report on these 400's since I know they are out there lurking in a swim set in my future. I'm confident right now that they will translate to a faster and more confident race swim.

It's a good life...


Sunday, March 1, 2009

Hawksley Workman

Happy Monday to all. Yesterday was a banner day. I road my bike outside for the first time in 2009 and I found new music. Add to that playing soccer in the back yard with Marco and the day was complete.

The Music

I'm a huge fan of music in general. I can listen to anything and I love to go hear it live. Yesterday I was introduced to Hawksley Workman. I had never heard it before, just read about it on a blog and bought it. I think they are from Canada. It was great. Our Ipod is full of single albums of bands. Sure we have lots of bands with multiple selections but the majority is one band one album. Some of it I'm bummed that I don't have more and some I'm just happy having one. In general if I've seen you live and you were good, I've got all your stuff. That's why we have all of Cheap Trick.

The Bike

Finally a day that wasn't bitterly cold or roads covered in Ice. I could have ridden other days if I were one to go later in the morning or later in the day. But I'm not, I stick to my early morning schedules. It allows me to play soccer in the back yard if I want to. So I tend to leave before the family is awake and get done by the time they are ready to go. Besides I enjoy the mornings roads with no cars. Anyway I over did it on the bike yesterday. I road every hill I could find and some of them I charged up. Just the feeling of flying up the road felt good. One thing I noticed and probably not the first time is that my Bike doesn't fit me all that well. I'll have to take some pictures and to find out whear the problems lie. I guarantee it's got something to do with my ultra long torso. I seem to be all over the front of the bike on the road. We'll see what can be done.

The Sun

The last two days the sun has been trying to push through the clouds. About the same time each day 3-4pm it's been that big glow through the clouds. Yesterday while Marco and I were kicking the ball around, there was the sun. Trying to stage one of those great German sunsets. So Marco and I stayed out as long as we could. Just soaking up the power and beauty that the sun is. The clouds ended up taking over before the big glow appeared on the Horizon but it was great while it lasted. Even when it's cool ourside (45F) and the sun is just fighting through the clouds, it can bring warmth to your heart if you just ask. Love that thing!

It's a good life...