Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Midweek news and midweek blues

An aside before I get into todays update: I try to keep this blog focused on my training, my weight loss, and all other things triathlon (or the sports that make up triathlon). But it's with a heavy heart that I learned last night of the passing of Ernie Harwell. If you don't know the name, he was the radio and later TV broadcaster for the Detroit Tigers for over 40 years. To me, the man was the voice of summer, the voice of baseball and the voice of my youth. Last year he acknowledged that he had inoperable cancer of the bile duct, and was headed to another place. He passed last night at the age of 92, with his wife of 68 years Lulu by his side.

He lived one of the fullest lives I've ever heard of. He had a patent for a bottle opener, had 66 songs recorded and worked with some amazing artists, he was a multiply published author and of course  a broadcasting hall of famer. He was the only announcer ever to be traded for a player. Further, he was a living history of baseball having met, interviewed, or known every ballplayer of any significance from 1930 on including Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Jackie Robinson and on through all the heroes of today.

What I reflected on most last night when I learned of his passing is that it was Ernie who introduced me to sports. Even before my father and I started playing catch, it was Ernie who relayed the magical exploits of the heroes of my youth. An amazing man who faced even death with dignity and grace. When I think of all the athletes I've admired and longed to be like, Ernies life (and death) is a reminder that you don't have to play the game to be of the game.

Thanks for being patient with that. Now on to what you came here to read:

- A lot of folks seem to be finding the blog because of my review of the Look Keo Easy pedals. I've gotten significantly more time in the saddle since I wrote the early review, and I've found I've pretty much fully adapted to them. Further I feel even more strongly that they are a good product, especially at their price point. I'm a heavier rider and the pedals don't seem to be having any trouble with my weight. Plus I definitely feel like I'm getting more out of my effort all the way through the pedal stroke. I'm still figuring out what my review system is going to be but at this point I would give it 4 gears out of 5. The main sticking points are that the cleats wear down a bit easier than I'd like and the instructions for installation are basically non-existent. Otherwise, they're an excellent entry level clipless pedal set.

- I'm making a doctors appointment for next week. My sinuses and therefore my breathing have been significantly affected by this years allergy season (a first for me). I would have done it before the race, but I'm concerned that what I'll be prescribed will likely be listed as a banned substance for in-competition testing. Not that I'm likely ever to be tested, but without a medical note and assurance that I am conforming with the laws of my sport I wouldn't dream of taking anything that could lead me into trouble. It's becoming slightly more common that amateurs are being tested, and even if I didn't get tested, I'd know I was taking something that WADA or other organizations feel can improve performance. It will likely be over a month before our next race so I should have plenty of time to get my symptoms resolved.

- Ran again last night and did a 12:30 mile on tired legs. I pushed myself to run a full half mile last night and managed it in just over 6 minutes. I was pretty burnt at the end and my walking was pretty slow to follow it, or I likely would have been under 12 minutes. Based on how my training has gone I've decided on a 3 minutes run, 3 minutes walk strategy that might allow me to even be under my current goals.

- We got in the pool this morning and my swim was significantly better than our trip to the lake on Sunday. My overall stamina seems a bit iffy right now, but I did 800 yards in 30 minutes including some intentionally slower laps and 100 yards on the kick board (90 year old women with walkers could pass me when I'm using a kick board). Gives me faith that my swim on Sunday will be in line with my goals.

- We'll be riding tonight and then dropping bikes off for a tuneup immediately after. At least Rachelle's for sure. I'll probably give mine the once over myself to save some $$$.

This mornings weight: 319. I'm pretty sick of shedding these same 5 pounds just to put them back on from a week of eating like crap. I did well yesterday and I'm going to do the same today.


  1. Have you taken any over the counter meds for your sinuses? That might give you a temporary break from the not being able to breathe and get you through the race. Great job in the pool, sounds like you're ready for the swim!

  2. I've been taking the equivalent of Claritin on the days I actually remember (say 4 out of 5). I was taking the equivalent of Claritin-D, which seemed to be doing more to help, but Claritin-D is banned via WADA and therefore USAT. I don't have time to see my doc to get a medical clearance note (and I'm not sure Sudaphed ever gets cleared by USAT anyways) so I'm going to just get through using what I've got. I'll probably look into a few other things on the cleared list and see if any make sense for me.