16 February, 2014

Married Life

Category: Cats,Exercise,Relationships,Triathlon,Work — Moose @ 10:07 pm

As I approach nine months of married life, I find it treats me well. We’re mostly into our routines of living together, with the occasional bump, but for the most part we’re handling living together in a far-too-small-for-two-people-with-all-the-stuff-we-both-have apartment pretty well. Having an external storage unit has helped somewhat with the level of stuff, but there are still regular discussions about how much more we could do with, say, the kitchen if we had a larger place.

Tri training hasn’t been my largest priority, though I am starting to settle back into a routine, with two races scheduled for this summer. I do need to figure out a strength training routine, which isn’t new, but given that I’m starting over with an extra (far too many) pounds, and I’m over 40, I need the extra support and strength that a strength routine would add. It’s more a matter of finding the time to fit it into my daily/weekly routine so that I’ll do it than it is a matter of knowing what I need to do – I know how to train, it’s getting myself motivated to actually do it that’s the difficult part.

Let’s see, what else? The kittens we adopted last summer (Benjamin and Ezri) are doing well. They’re just about a year old this month and next. They’re definitely more attached to me than to the boy, much to the boy’s annoyance, since he was the one who wanted to adopt them. They tolerate him if I’m not in, but they glom onto me if I’m home. I’m the one they like to sleep on, both at night and when sitting still. They’ve grown up nicely, not as large as my previous cats (Boris and Natasha – they were HUGE for house cats), but nice and healthy. It’s been nice having cats again, and I’m glad the cult co-op changed the rules last year to allow them in legally.

Work’s okay. Settling into being a supervisor, still trying to get a handle on the new areas of law I’m in charge of now. I’m finally booked for the mandatory training they require of new supervisors, which will be mostly a repeat of training I took three years ago, but hey, the rules are the rules, and I’d prefer not to get dinged for not doing something so simple. If only learning the new legal areas were as easy. The personalities are relatively easy to deal with, I like all the folks on my team and they do good work, which helps a lot.

So, yeah, not bad for now, and drama free life doesn’t make for the best writing, hence my quiet of late on here.

20 June, 2011


Category: Club,Dating,Edumacation,Habits,Home,Triathlon — Moose @ 9:30 pm

The dishwasher works well. The boy is still around. I’m running again. I’m almost done with my coaching exam. Work is boring at the moment, but that’s not a bad thing.

That’s the short version.

My newbies finished their first race this past weekend. Got out there, took a bunch of pictures, wore down the battery (discovered the power saving settings a bit late), and generally had a good time seeing them finish their first race. Sad that I’ll be missing the party this weekend for them, but family duty calls – instead I’ll be down at the parental units’ place for a family reunion. Whee. I’m sure I’ll be happy to see them all once I’m down there, but in the meantime I’m just annoyed at the timing. First world problems. But the race was a good bit of enthusiasm to finish up the coaching exam, too. Almost there, just a couple more questions. Then comes to fun part of working on a new plan for next year’s newbies.

The boy. What to say there? I’m smitten. Really, really enjoying dating him. Makes me a bit frustrated that I own my apartment in a building that doesn’t allow dogs, as there’s no way to get out of here easily, and no way to move him in (were his job able to allow him to). Yeah, that smitten that we’ve talked moving in already. And I’d do it in a heartbeat, were I able to. I had a five year plan that I was developing before I met him to fix things here (kitchen!) and give myself some more options. That’s still here, but there’s more of a sense that it’s truly a five year plan with a more definite outcome than just ‘options’. Funny how that works.

In the meantime I’m spending a lot of time up at his university home (walking the dog). We’re running together in the mornings (he asked me to help him get started on running). Cooking more up there (I missed cooking for someone else – it tends to focus me more on doing something more than just convenience foods or last minute stuff). I’ve seen more movies in a theater in the last 2 months than I have in the last 3 years (when I can look at listings and think, ‘damn, seen all those already’ you know it’s bad). I actually miss sleeping next to him when I stay down here at home (he’s spoiling me there). So, yeah, smitten.

15 April, 2011


Category: Diet,Edumacation,Exercise,Food,Government,Stress,Triathlon,Work — Moose @ 5:42 pm

Left work, left DC, headed out to the midwest this weekend to get the training I need for my coaching certification from USA Triathlon. So far, it’s been really good. Lots of stuff to process and internalize, both for my newbies and for myself. The presenters have been good, though it was obvious the first was an educator as well as a coach, where the second was just a coach without so much of the educator vibe.

My back is complaining from the awful chairs they have us in, but some stretching tonight should help.

Getting to see my friend Troy this evening, part of the reason I chose this locale over Baltimore last month. He’s been out to see me a couple times in DC, so I’m returning the favor.

Debating a nap before we head out.

Work, with the shutdown drama, was absolutely nuts. The craziest I’ve ever seen it for my office. And it’s likely we’ll get to go through this in September/October again, unless Congress can get their collective act together and pass the bills on time, for the first time in well over a decade. Highly unlikely, so I imagine stress levels will rise again in 5 months. Plus we have to update all the old guidance we were forced to rely upon in the meantime, to reflect the new legal realities of the structure of the Big Gubm’nt Agency. Thank heavens we hired the 2nd appropriations attorney. I don’t think we could have done it all with just myself and my two supervisors.

Finished the 2nd book by Taubes, Why We Get Fat. More accessible than the first book, much less dense, but no less annoying in regard to bad dietary advice from much of the establishment. Not quite sure how to work in any of the changes, if at all, but I suspect I shall be modifying my diet a bit in the coming months. Again. In addition to modifying my training. Need to dial down my expectations, do some strength and flexibility work, and slowly build myself back up. Looking back now, I just wiped myself out with the IM, then backed off way too much without a recovery plan, didn’t modify my eating sufficiently, added all the work stress, and just killed my body. And then expected to pop back to “normal” runs and what not without any sort of base. Dumb, dumb, dumb. So, time to slow down, come back slowly, and build myself back properly.

30 November, 2010

Starting to Plan

Category: Club,Exercise,Food,Friends,Habits,Triathlon — Moose @ 9:31 pm

After a month break from writing, and three months off from regular exercise, it’s now time to get back to both. Monday is six months (24 weeks) from my next triathlon, and the beginning of training for the same. I’m trying to set out a manageable plan to work on getting faster (3:12 is the time to beat!), including weights for once. Gonna be an interesting season.

Also been working on the training plan for our new triathletes this year. I have the times and most of the heart rates, it’s just plugging in extra stuff like swim workouts and the like now. Plus setting out the stuff for their weight workouts. No pressure. This year should be the most difficult, once this is laid out it’ll just be a matter of tweaking it here and there.

I hosted friends at my place for Thanksgiving this year. Just a couple of us, but I did the majority of the cooking. I enjoyed that, it was fun getting everything together and timing it all out to be ready approximately at the same time. May do the same for the christmas holiday if there are folks in town.

13 October, 2010


Category: Body,Health,Ink,Pics,Triathlon — Moose @ 9:22 pm

Good thing my annual physical was before I got my latest “annual escrow account disclosure statement” from my mortgage servicing company, because it’s put my blood pressure through the roof (again). They’re showing two missed escrow payments, and one double payment, with the result that the spreadsheet I put together to track their nonsense now includes the fields “check number” and “when payment cleared the bank” so I’ll have that info in front of me when I call them tomorrow. Can’t wait for the explanation as to why they’re showing missed escrow payments when they had the funds in question 1-6 days before the payments were even due. They’ll probably tell me they couldn’t pay it because they didn’t know what to do with money that shows up on time. Ugh.

Otherwise the annual physical, 6 month dental checkup, periodic podiatrist visit, and dermatologist’s skin check yesterday showed me to be healthy as the proverbial horse. Cramming them all into one day is a lot of walking, but nicer on my leave balance. So, another year of fooling mother nature into thinking clean living will keep me going. To celebrate after the clean bills of health, I got a tattoo:

Actually, that was simply the last of five appointments I had yesterday, made over a month and a half ago, upon returning to DC after the Ironman. Convenient timing, with the planned day off. So far it’s healing well, a little sore today, but not itchy. I’m told day three can be fun, but so far I’m okay with this beast. Taking the picture was the hardest – it’s awkward to snap a photo of your own ankle/lower leg.

23 September, 2010


Category: Club,Drinks,Knitting,Leisure,Triathlon — Moose @ 9:06 pm

So, after finishing the season last month I made the conscious decision to indulge in a lot of stuff I’d been putting off, either purposefully (drinking – yay for good bourbon) or out of a lack of time/energy (knitting, gaming, socializing). It’s been fun going back to some of these things, especially catching up on long- delayed knitting projects (I finished sock #1 of this pair, and I’m in the midst of the arch increases on #2), and getting back to seeing some of the folks I let slip along the way. I’ve by no means gone back to my previous social life, and it’s unlikely I ever will entirely, but I have caught up with a person or two in the last month.

It’s funny, they warn you that IM training will mean putting your social life on hold for a year, and you hear that, but it doesn’t quite take hold until you’ve done this. It really did retard any hope of a social life, though. Which is why I want to focus on shorter races next year, and more specifically to train for faster race times. It seems like the better course than trying to go for long again next year, rather to build up a better base for future years, and get back to what it feels like to train for the olympic distance along with my newbies next year.

But in the meantime, I’m enjoying the bourbon.

20 September, 2010

Catch Up

Category: Commuting,Dating,Music,Triathlon — Moose @ 8:25 pm

Still working on my race report from Ironman Louisville. I did finish, in 16 hours, 20 minutes, 3 seconds. I can honestly say that was the most physically demanding thing I have ever done to date. And one of these days I’ll get the race report done and posted.

The boy broke things off two weeks ago, in the middle of dealing with the post-race blues. Not that there’s ever an easy time for such things.

Been listening to a ton of country music since I went out to Louisville, and enjoying it quite a bit. There’s a fairly good country music station on the radio, those few times I drive. Otherwise now it’s what I have on iTunes. Or find through Shazam. Which isn’t so bad. Even been walking to work so I can listen to some music (as opposed to bicycling in).

3 August, 2010

Replacement Parts

Category: Biking,Knitting,Stuff,Triathlon — Moose @ 8:43 pm

I swear, by the time this season is over, I’m practically going to have a new bike. The tri bike is in the shop to have the bottom bracket replaced overnight. Hopefully this will solve the ‘creaking’ problem it’s been having. Replaced the tires last night after blowing out the front one on Saturday’s ride. They were five years old, and I’d had new tires, just hadn’t replaced them yet. Did discover I need to shift the back one around a little bit so it’s lined up with the stem – makes it easier to see where there might be an issue, evidently.

Dropped off the commuting bike as well. I’d had it in for a yearly checkup & got the bars retaped. In doing that, they didn’t put everything back evenly, so the steering ergonomics were all off. Thankfully this annoyed the manager almost as much as it did me, so it’s getting fixed. In the meantime, I’ll walk to work again. Fun.

Feeling this week like I just want the IM over and done with already. I feel like I’m ready to move on from the mega-long workouts back to more normal stuff, and focus on some different goals. This is one of the definite downsides to the planning aspect of triathlon – while you’re in the middle of one phase/season you have to start planning the next one. It’s almost as bad as Federal budgeting, always trying to anticipate what you’ll need a year and a half before you need it. Trying to just focus on what needs to get done now, but thoughts of fall training intrude.

I’m also feeling this odd urge to knit a sweater. I don’t know why, I don’t particular enjoy wearing sweaters, but I feel like I should knit one. I suspect it’s all the talk of knitting from my new attorney at work, she’s been on a tear lately. Of course, I have several other projects I could do/finish before I should even think about buying more yarn, so I suspect I’ll just let the sweater urge die again until I’m finished with some of the other things I can do with already invested resources.

14 June, 2010

Eagleman 2010 Race Report

Category: Racing,Triathlon — Moose @ 5:07 pm

This was my second attempt at the half-Ironman (or “Ironman 70.3” as they’re now insisting on calling it) distance. The first (Diamondman in 2007) was an almost complete meltdown; I finished that one fourth from last overall, and I was determined to do better than that this time, aiming for better times in all three events.

The day started out fairly warm and only got warmer, and despite multiple assurances at packet pick up the race director called for no wetsuits for the swim. Not a huge deal, I’ve done a non-wetsuit race before and I’m feeling much more confident on the swim in general (though I’m still slower than I’d like to be). Did remember to put lots of body glide on my underarms so there was no chafing this time. Popped into the water, started out fine. Discovered that I was consistently pulling to the left and never seemed to be able to correct without overcorrecting and subsequently zig-zagging all over the course. That had to be the most frustrating part of the swim for me – not being able to swim in a straight line no matter what I did. Zipped out of the water and hit the lap button on my new Garmin 310xt, and saw a very, very disappointing 1:00 time. I had honestly expected to do a hell of a lot better than that based on my Columbia time (forgetting how much of a difference a wetsuit can make). It was very dispiriting, but still faster than Diamondman by over 3 minutes, as well as not feeling completely blown out after the swim, so I took it and ran.

I was expecting wind on the bike, having done rides on the Eastern Shore before. The bursts of speed and slow just seemed to come at random, however. I’d be zipping along at 20+ MPH and then suddenly *bam* the wind would hit and I’d be down to 16 or less. This was the first race where I picked up bottles from volunteers, and I thought it went pretty well. Slowly enough and I was even able to pick up from the first volunteer and fill the Aerodrink and toss the bottle before I was out of the area. Tried that at the second one because I found the grabbed bottles annoying – they didn’t quite fit the water bottle cages, so tended to slip over and hit my calf while pedaling. Also, being able to stop at a port-a-john at the aid station at mile 23 was a godsend. I’m willing to pee during the swim, but I’m not hardcore enough to do so on the bike. Nutrition followed as per plan, lots of water and shot-bloks (I like that I have to chew them). Next race I think I’m going to alternate the margarita ones, which have extra sodium but which seemed to upset my stomach when I popped only them down at regular intervals, with other flavors and see how that goes since the stomach did seem to calm when I switched to the sleeve of mountain berry. Anyway, got in at 3:09, about 6 minutes faster. So far, so good.

The run? What else to say that other club people haven’t? It sucked. No cover, hot as hell, just miserable. I did do a lot better on nutrition this time, paid a lot more attention to how I was feeling, and never felt like I was going to bonk. I carry a hand strap water bottle when I do long runs so I can sip as I feel like I need to rather than depending on aid stations, so I had that on me, and several gel packs in my pockets. I sucked down a cup of Gatorade at almost every aid station, and still managed to almost empty my own water bottle between each station. I must’ve been sweating like mad, ’cause there was never an ounce of pressure on my bladder even with all that liquid. Insane. I never touched the gels, the Gatorade and water were enough. Club support, from other racers, from club volunteers/spectators, and from random folks yelling out “Go DC Tri!” was a huge boost. 90% of the run at Diamondman was completely devoid of spectators because of how the course is set up, so this was a welcome change. Thanks to the multisport time mode on the Garmin I knew with 2 miles out that I was going to get the PR, even if I walked the rest of the way. That felt really good, and provided a little bit of boost to get into the chute. Absolutely fried my shoulders and neck in that sun out on the run, though. Hell, even the top of my scalp is burnt, though the hair! Very glad I wore a visor, so my face isn’t really burnt, but I think a full hat will be in order for the next hot race of any distance. Finished the run in 3:04, a good 10 minutes faster, securing my PR.

Overall, I shaved about 15 minutes off my Diamondman time, finishing in 7:19:18, and nowhere near fourth from last. That felt really, really good, and cemented my record for the season with 4 distance PRs in the 4 races I’ve done to date (half-marathon, 10 miler, Olympic, and half-Iron). Two more races to go, both new distances for me (Total 200 next month, and IM Louisville in August), but so far I’m really, really happy with how this season is turning out.

23 May, 2010

Columbia Triathlon 2010 Race Report

Category: Racing,Triathlon — Moose @ 9:11 pm

The day started with a bit of lightning.

A storm moving through the area woke me a bit earlier than planned, so I went ahead and got up around 2:30 to start getting ready. Got the car loaded up and took a slower than usual and much, much wetter than usual drive through the storm system up to the race site, where we parked on a sort-of grassy-sort-of-muddy field. Grabbed the one bag, got it down there and unpacked, took it back to the car, then brought back the pump to inflate my tires, then back to the car and off to the club tent from there. Got there with oodles of time to spare, so was very glad I had my portable chair for under the tent. The rain continued as we lead up to the swim start, and the weather report was threatening more as the whole race went on.

The water was particularly muddy once we got in, lots of feet having churned up the start area, so the beginning of the swim was like plunging into utter darkness. Where normal lake water lets you see to a little bit past your hands, this seemed to cut off around the elbows. It cleared up after a short bit, but it was a freaky way to start a swim, even for someone used to doing open water swims.

Only managed to get kicked once, going around a buoy. Otherwise I did fairly well with a steady-ish pace. Did tend to pull to one side or the other, and couldn’t quite get into my head which way I was pulling at any given time. In any case, the steadyish pace paid off in terms of coming out of the water not completely sapped of energy, and with a swim PR for the Olympic distance, 32:54.

The bike. Lord, what a mess. It was cold and wet, and as I believe I’ve observed before, drizzle stings at 20+ miles per hour. I had determined based on the rainy conditions that I’d focus on the swim and run and let the bike fall where it would. I did try to use downhills to the extent I could, and I suspect most other age groupers were riding fairly conservatively as well. Only one freakout moment, where a guy I was pacing down a hill veered suddenly off to the left in front of me (and I suspect may have gone down – someone did around that area), leading to a bit of “holy shit” on my part. Made it through okay, and the rest of the ride was without incident.

As I came up toward the end I glanced down at my time to see how I was doing, and was quite surprised to see that I was coming in faster than my previous top bike time on this course, and a good bit faster than I’d rode it in practice a few weeks earlier. Got a huge grin on my face and started laughing as I came up to the final turn, then into transition and another PR, though only for this course, 1:26:56, about 9 minutes faster than my previous best, though not as quick as the very flat Nations course. Still, I came into transition feeling pretty darned good.

The run out went pretty well, keeping a relatively quick pace for the first mile as the rain died out (not to return during the run), then gradually slowing with some walks on most uphills. Ran every downhill on the course, keeping to my new mantra courtesy Ken Mierke – “downhills are free speed” (use it on the bike, too, but learned it in the run context). I need to practice hills more, but as I came up to mile 5 I realized I could take almost 18 minutes to finish the last 1.2 miles and still meet my prior run score. Final score, another Olympic distance PR: 1:03:52.

Finished the entire race in 3:12:52. Overall, I shaved 21 minutes off my previous PR at the Columbia course, and about 4.5 minutes off my previous Olympic distance PR at Nations last fall. Completely not what I had been expecting out of this race, but I’ll take it!

This means so far I’m three for three this year for PRs at the distances I’ve gone. Barring a DNF next month at Eagleman I know I’ll PR there as well (simply because I was so unprepared for Diamondman that I have to do better than finishing third from last!). Pretty good way to spend this race season, I have to say.