Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Training Dungeon

Pre-run - heat training picture. I ran 7 miles dressed in full winter gear. The temp? 75 F.

Living on the edge of civilization here in Chicago we have great places to train. Unfortunately, our weather usually doesn't cooperate. So on a race week which is not my "A" race where tapering and shaving would be in order, we do what we can preparing here.

Currently, it is 48 F and raining. Sunday it will be 95 F, sunny and about 60% humidity - roughly a 105 F heat index. I know that it takes me about 10 days to fully acclimate to warm weather. 14 days is even better. I like the heat. When it was 106 F and humid here in Chicago and people were dropping dead - I went running with the dog. We did jump in the lake and when we got home we both got hosed down - Max first, then me. I'll never forget how he just sat under the cold water and looked perfectly happy. I gave him a small amount of boiled ham as a treat and to give him something salty. You are what you eat right? Max was a ham. After his cold bath, he got brushed out but he wasn't very happy about being outside as he was now pretty warm, so inside we went.

This week, I have read through my training log. Not bad. Not great, but certainly better than last year. I endured CompuTrainer Power classes twice a week and sometimes three times, getting up at 4:05 am starting in January and then going to work. Well, at least until 2/13! At home I have 1/3 of the basement as "training space". I've added some pictures to show you.

The first picture is of "The Wall". It is still a work in progress. I want to change this to make it all pictures of my friends around the world and a map. The map will have two pins. One for where I've raced, another for where my friends live in the world. What better motivation than seeing your friends going to your workout?

The second picture is of the entryway to the basement. It has pictures of all my Ironman race finishes except for one. The guy who took the picture wanted $172 for the shots he had of me. No thanks. Also on the wall are my race bibs from Ironman Hawaii and Ironman Canada as well as the C_RE - a picture from the folks at ALS TDI who sent me a note that says, "Without U there is no cure." A touching card which was signed by the entire group.

The third picture is of a finish banner from the last Tour de France that Lance Armstrong did. Now, originally I was told that this was from the Alpe d' Huez time trial finish line. Mike (my friend who sent it to me) now thinks it is from the finish in Paris. Either way, I think it is cool. I want to get this framed so it doesn't discolor. That will have to wait until I'm working again.

The last picture is of the entire "facility" - VASA, treadmill, CompuTrainer (hiding on the right) and electronic entertainment.

We have a saying in the house, " You know you've trained about enough when the basement spiders look like they have stop watches and start giving you advice."


  1. Bob, your blog is very inspirational. I don't know how you do it all but when I read it I really get a true sense of what it takes to be a high caliber triathlete.

    Question for you. I was asking Matt Wade how much of a discount a person normally gets when they get a 'pro deal' on a bike. He said you would be the person to ask.
    Thanks! Chris Barnes

  2. GOOD LUCK this weekend!!!! No wonder you've been online more this week, you're tapering. Look forward to following your progress!

  3. Hi Chris - A "pro deal" can be as good as wholesale cost or as light as 30% off of retail. You need to know what you are shopping for. Things, as you would expect, are marked up. The manufacturers and shops need to make money in order to stay in business. For me, it comes down to service and who these people are. If they are good people, involved in the community I give them my business. Every shop will match prices. It comes down to who do you want to give your money to?