Week 55 – The Hips




About a year ago, I discovered the importance of the use of hips. 

You needed to have the flexibility to rotate your core so that the force of the rotation would propel you forward.

So if you could imagine the smoothest nut going over the smoothest bolt that should give you an image of what your hips could feel like.

Mine feel like this:


A rusted, broken down, nut on a screw that can’t be moved without breaking it.

40 years of inattention, sitting at a computer, and biking have left me with what I believe are microscopic hip flexors.

And the weight graph

This week we made some progress. 2014-01-31_0747

Notice the dark blue trend line, we are down one pound week over week, and two pounds since the start of the training.

What’s interesting is a pattern has started to emerge. On Thursday and Friday I tend to drop down because of my long bike and run, while on Saturday and Sunday the weight goes up because of my rest day.



Week 54 – Hunger, Training and Failure to Lose Weight

If you’re from San Francisco you know about the all great and powerful Panda.


Pedro Sandoval, a great first baseman, has struggled with his weight.

One year he’s at the top of the world, the next year he’s so slow molasses can roll up hill faster than he can waddle from home to first.

Life just sucks.

And you look at this guy, and you think how much money he has riding on his body, that you think: Dude, lose some fucking weight, c’mon.

So he gets himself some professional help and he loses some weight, but then puts it right back on.

Because it turns out losing weight and being an athlete, even an amature one is hard.

Cry me a river, I suppose.


(cry me a river by alan rutherford).

This week was a pain in the ass. You don’t eat enough and you get so hungry so fast and so irritable that your co-workers think they are in a Hitler parody with you as Hitler and them as the Nazi high command. You eat too much and you’re not losing weight.

It’s a frigging fine line. And if you are a professional athlete, if you don’t eat enough and don’t perform well enough you lose your job, I just fail to complete my events.This makes your body feel like a frigging machine with no dial telling you how much gas it needs.

I worry that I am like an alcoholic to everyone, except my drink of choice is kale. And people who eat Kale are a lot less fun.

So anyways, this week was not a success. We didn’t gain any weight, but we didn’t lose any weight. And we had to write one “I am sorry for my flame” email…

And without further ado here’s the weight graph… to make this fun try and guess on which day I was most likely to have killed someone …2014-01-20_1521

If you guessed the 18th of the January you win 🙂


Let’s be more disciplined this week.


Week 53 – Back on the saddle

After almost two months of:

The training began for real for Vineman.

And on Saturday morning I felt like so:



I was feeling like there was a meaningful difference between you know… just training and training.

Sleep was deeper. Hunger is broader. Physical pain is greater.

In general it sucks.

What sucks even more is the slow and painful realization of how much peak fitness was lost and has to be regained over the next six months.

And that brings me to the weight graph of this week thanks to Withings.com…



Reasonable small amount of progress. Dark blue line is the trend. Scatter plots is my compulsive need to weigh myself every five minutes…

Week 52 – The end of downtime

After I finished my epic Athens Marathon my body and spirit were broken.

I got sick. I was in so much pain and so tired that motion felt painful. The idea of gearing up for another go at it was just inconceivable.

My coach agreed that I was baked.

So I took a break. And in reality this month-and-a-half break was the longest break I have take in my training since I started training. Pretty much continuously from 2010 I have been training for some reason or another to achieve some objective.

But now I am ready to go. The battery of desire is recharged, the spirit is engaged and the mountain looks appealing.

The long term plan remains, an Ironman in 2015. After reading about some epic attempts from folks I know, the challenge is that much more daunting.

The midterm plan, for 2014, is to do Vineman Half Ironman and the Athens Marathon.

The weight loss goal is to lose 30 pounds this year before the Athens Marathon and 30 more pounds before next year’s Ironman. After the Athens Marathon it was clear my weight is the single biggest obstacle to me pulling this off.

And because I am told that sharing you weight plan with a wider group encourages you to be honest, my plan is to put my daily weight graph in this blog…

The basic outline of the training plan is the following for January:

 Mon     Bike (pm)
 Tue     Run
 Wed     Long Swim (prefer Tues)
 Thu     Long Bike
 Fri     Long Run
 Sat     Rest Day
 Sun     Swim

And for February:

 Mon     Run am / Bike pm 
 Tue     Long Swim 
 Wed     Bike/Run brick 
 Thu     Swim / Long Bike 
 Fri     Long Run 
 Sat     Rest Day 
 Sun     Swim

70.3 here I come…

This looks like it’s going to hurt…