Monthly Archives: April 2004

Week 4 And Dragging

 Here it is the finish of week four of training for Ironman Wisconsin. Only 20 more weeks to go. Run this morning was 10 mi and felt great after a dismal 4:21 bike yesterday. Fought the wind again and it took all the spunk out of my legs. The last 12 miles was into the wind or slight crosswind and was not much fun. Glad to see the driveway. Went to church (sorry Grandma Walker, Saturday still isn’t church day) and almost fell asleep during the sermon. Wouldn’t have been the first time, but would have been the first time lately. Beats getting reprimanded from Dad after making too much noise in the front row playing the dots game (Mom was playing the organ or piano for the service so we were on our own).

Those of you who received e-mails about final training for IM Florida in 2002 may remember stories about Caspersen Beach. From the condo it’s our 6 2/3 mile loop for running and biking. It’s a pristine beach where many go to pick up sharks’ teeth. It’s famous for that and is also where I saw the Bald Eagle that I wrote about. Mom wrote that she thought I left Venice too early because they had arrested 13 people at Caspersen Beach for nude sunbathing and lewd sexual encounters. If you know me well you know that I believe the nude body is a thing of beauty and that you don’t have to look like Angelina Jolie, but it certainly helps. However, the thought of watching people nude sunbathing and bending over to pick up sharks’ teeth has caused me nightmares. Thanks Mom.

Not much else is happening here. The closing is due to take place soon on the condo in Florida and we haven’t found any lake property yet here. We had a place we liked at Gun Lake, but between the sellers stuck on a selling price that was plucked out of mid-air and there being only 28 feet of frontage, we are on to brighter pastures. Something will come along.

Jean and I are at odds on what we’re looking for. She doesn’t want lake property where the houses are so close to each other, but doesn’t mind living in the house she grew up in on one of the busiest streets in town where you can hear the neighbor’s toilet flush and the dog next door barks either when clouds go by or when they don’t. I have always grown up around water and it gets in your blood. Lake living is lake living and you just have to get used to it. And the thought of finding a lake cottage on a wide lot (or two lots) is next to impossible.

These days you can find a nice place but expect to pay top dollar (at Gun Lake it starts at around 300K for an old cottage and the prices go up from there). The good places seem to get snapped up in a hurry and what are left are the places with something wrong (28 feet frontage) still stuck on the high prices. Oh well, we’ll keep looking. If you hear about anything, let us know.

Just (Feeling Fit But Eyes Are Half Closed) Jack

Week 3 Recovery

 Every third week in the training schedule is a recovery week. Supposedly the training gets easier that week so your body recovers from tough training in the other two weeks. The only difference I see is that Friday is a day off, not just an optional day off; the other days seem just as hard.

When you are training at the level it takes to do an Ironman race, bodily functions become an integral part of the training process. So if this part on human activities grosses you out just skip through it, hit the delete button, and spare yourself nightmares.

This part of the year, from now until mid-June, is allergy season for me. After mid-June things settle down but now I’m in the middle of a constantly runny nose. That coupled with the cold weather on the bike rides and runs and I look like our kids when they were babies with snot everywhere. You know I’m not as dainty as many in our group and am not averse to blowing “snot rockets” to clear the nasal passages; in fact I do it all the time.

Lately I’ve not been sleeping well. I wake up at 2 in the morning and just can’t get back to sleep so I think about everything under the sun. Most of it is time wasted but every once in a while I strike an epiphany and this is the one for this week. My nose is running while I lay there so I lay on my back so I won’t drip on my pillow. Of course the mucous (snot) runs down my throat and, to put it socially acceptable, my body reprocesses it.

I’ve been trying to lose some weight over the winter and have gotten down to the mid 180s but I’ve been in a plateau stage where I’ve stayed at the same weight for two weeks. I’ve been hungry this past week and, since Jean has all kinds of snacks around for temptation, I’ve eaten everything in sight. I got on the scales after four days of “binge eating” that included pie, cookies, dinner rolls, peanuts, peanut butter by the spoonful, and meals in between the snacking (my digital ones that coincide with the scales in Dr. Weatherhead’s office) dreading the results and had gone from 186 to 184.5, hence the epiphany.

I may enlist Becky to help me figure the exact measurements involved but, for now, I’m just estimating. I think I left at least a gallon of snot on the roadways last week on the ride to and from Hopkins (I hope there were no accidents; those snot spots are slick like black ice). I’m guessing that snot has a different weight per volume than water but we all know that “a pint’s a pound the world around” so that’s like leaving eight pounds of body weight behind. I drank around 40 ounces of G-Push on the ride and another 40 ounces when I got back. I added some calories by eating peanuts and the Chocolate Mint Manure Clif Bar but I think I left a net one pound of body weight on the asphalt.

When I write the book I’ll call it the “Trilander Snot Diet” and donate the proceeds to charity (payback for my inappropriate thoughts about overweight people in last week’s note).

My Saturday long ride was a shorter 2-3 hour at a lower intensity (HR1) than the last couple of weeks. Jean, Diane and I left together and, as expected, Jean took off and left us in the dust. When we pulled across M-37 from Heath Road I pulled out in front of Diane (not on purpose) and we rode out toward Gun Lake. We planned the “Wayland loop” which worked out well for the terrain and the 44 miles of length.

When I got to Yankee Springs Road I stopped, looked back, and Diane had dropped back a short distance. We all know that Diane is master of her own domain and, as she came up to the corner, said “If you’re going to blow snot rockets you should be behind me, not ahead”. We swapped spots and things worked out well.

That brings me to bodily function number two. Well, it’s actually about number one, but it’s the second one in the e-mail. Now I’m confused. Anyway, we got to the McDonalds at Patterson Road and I had to pee. I had just gone before we left home too. I stopped and Diane continued. I caught up with her at Bradley when she stopped to take her jacket off. We continued through Wayland and as we went up the long hill out of town, I had to pee again. I found some evergreens near the road, drained the overflow, and caught up with her again as we turned onto Payne Lake Road. When we came up to the Yankee Springs corner she said I should go ahead and I told her I had to stop again. For some reason my body was getting rid of excess fluids.

Daughter Sara stopped by later in the day and we were talking about hunting mushrooms. She told me about a recent episode while she was driving a friend’s car. Her friend was in the back seat (sounds like “Driving Miss Daisy” to me) and a wasp was on her friend’s knee. She flicked it with her finger to get rid of it. For some reason Sara was leaning forward in the driver’s seat and the wasp went down her back, into her pants, and stung and bit her several times on the butt. They were on a dirt road when Sara stopped the car, rolled out the passenger side, and dropped her pants to get rid of the wasp.

I don’t know where she gets that because, as you know from these reports, nothing like that ever happens to me!


Just (Getting Fitter By The Minute) Jack

Week Two In The Bag

 The second week of 24 weeks of training is history and I feel like it’s going well. I’m a little bushed after last week but I’m getting back in the groove.

Slight mistake at the pool this week. Since I right-side breathe, my right ear always fills with water and I have difficulty getting the water out. Always in the past I would bend over, tilt my head so my right ear was down, and shake my head back and forth to loosen the water. Has worked well except this week I’ve gotten that pesky post bike-dive dizziness back. If it was canaliths out of position before, I’m apparently getting them back out of position now (look it up on the internet or ask Diane if you don’t know what I’m talking about).

I have been staggering a bit when I walk and Jean thought I may have gotten back into the Johnny Walker Black (ask her about the day I returned from Florida) so she and Becky decided Thursday to drink all the wine in the house so alcohol wouldn’t be a temptation. I was tired so I went to bed at 10. Jean said she and Becky and Rocky were singing along with the oldies on the computer. I thought the neighbors left the cat out and it was howling to get back in.

If you remember in last week’s note I told about the bike ride from Hell. This week I rode the same route (56.33 miles), turned around at the same spot, had some peanuts mixed with raisins and a  Chocolate Mint Clif Bar and came back. This week’s ride was 3:24 while last week’s was 3:50 which brings me to the question. Do you think the time improvement was a) A miraculous increase in fitness level from one week to the next, b) Because this week’s ride was in HR2-3 and I pushed a little harder, or c) There wasn’t a 15-25 mph wind in my face? Hint-choose c.

Slight mistake there too. I turned around after the hill past Hopkins which is always a good training hill to ride. The spot where I turned around was right before a dairy farm with fields on both sides of the road. As I stood there I smelled something and looked at the bottoms of my shoes to see if I stepped in anything. Now I didn’t grow up on a farm but when I lived near Three Rivers (ages 5 to 11) our house was next to a field that often held cows (more likely steers but, at that age, they were all cows to me) and I know in the spring and winter they spread the manure from the barns in the fields for fertilizer. I looked at both fields and they had both been recently sprayed with manure slurry. I will send a note and recommend that Clif Bar should not decide to come out with a new flavor called Chocolate Mint Manure in their energy bars. Sometimes even the good bars are hard to gag down and this made it even tougher.

It was cold so I didn’t leave on my ride until around 11. Jean was supposed to do a short recovery week ride and she and Becky went out around 10. On the way over I ran into them just before Hopkins. After I turned around and came back I stopped near the Shell station on M-179 (12 miles out) to finish the Clif Bar in a daintier setting and along came Jean and Becky. We rode in together. So Jean’s short recovery ride turned into a 4 1/2 hour marathon ride and still people don’t understand why we don’t train together.

Today’s run was good but I ran into fatigue at mile 7 out of 10. Diane was my sitter this week (the sign-up sheet is on the Trilanders web site) and I told her I would stop soon and walk in. For some macho reason I kept running until I got to the hospital ER and walked the three blocks from there to here. I was frozen when I got done and physically exhausted. All in all it was a good training week and now comes the first recovery week. I’m ready!!!

Two down and twenty-two to go.

Ta Ta,

Just Jack

Training Continues

 Week 1 Training is done – only 23 to go to IM Wisconsin.

My swim workouts are somewhat like starting all over again. I swam some in Florida but had many bouts of “stuffy nose” and sneezing after each workout. Now is no exception but it’s a small price to pay for the training. My whine of the day-my swim muscles ache!! 

Last Wednesday in the pool I was doing 7-300s as the main set in the 3500 yd swim workout. Problem one was, since I still have some short term memory issues, I would lose count of how many laps I had done. A volunteer counter would help. No thongs are allowed in the pool area so dress appropriately.

Secondly, a very large woman and man were doing walking workouts in lanes one and two while I was in lane three. In an hour and a half workout it’s hard to stay focused on form and all the other things you should be doing so I watched them under water when my breathing turned their way. The woman stood at the edge of the deep water and slowly raised both arms up and along her body, up over her head, and spread her arms like a sun salutation. At first I thought to myself that she probably burned one calorie doing that and if she did it 389 more times she would burn off the Krispy Kreme Glazed Devils Food Doughnut she probably had for breakfast. Immediately I felt guilty and angry with myself. I know we have a problem with obesity in this country but we’re not going to solve it ridiculing overweight people. Sorry!!

After a while they retired to the Jacuzzi as many do so I thought they were done. After a while they came back to the pool and resumed their workout only this time they were only about a foot apart facing each other. She leaned against the side of the pool with her feet spread about three feet apart. It’s kind of like an accident on the highway; you don’t want to look but you can’t look away. Luckily two swimmers came in and things settled down. Thanks Jenifer and Paul.

The long bike on Saturday was tough. The wind was strong from the WNW at 15-25 mph. Rode out and back past Hopkins (yes, I did the hill past Hopkins). Went 2:08 into the wind and my quads were toasted. Came back in 1:42 and really tried to hold the effort down due to fatigue and was trying to keep it in heart rate 1. No cramps but plenty tired. At the last 50 meters of the hill past Hopkins I dropped to 7.5 mph. I let it coast down the other side and didn’t get above 17.5 mph, still into the wind. After a bag of peanuts and some G-Push I rode back up the other side. Was on the brakes all the way down the other side and still did 31.5 mph.

So that brings me to the math question of the week:


The time to the turn-around was 2:08. The time back was 1:42. I looked at the average speed at the turn-around and it was 13.2. The total was 56.42 miles.


# 1) essay question – How sore was my butt? ( Jean says I won’t honor any requests to feel it to measure the soreness).

#2) counting question – How many dead possums, raccoons, skunks and squirrels did I see?

Rules for question #2:

a) Record your counts separately by species.

b) Since the ride was an out and back, I saw each one twice, but each animal counts as 1.

c) If you’re not sure what it was, call it a raccoon.

d) The same animal scattered over a 20 foot radius counts as 1 (keep in mind that it could be more than one animal-CSI:Miami could tell you how many animals there were, which one died first, and what they were talking about when they were hit)

#3 Ciphering question – What was my average speed on the way back and if I had continued my same average speed on the return trip, but continued to 2:08 and not stopped at 1:42, how far would I have gone past my house?

Send your responses to me and I will forward them to the Institute For Insanity Research.

The track run on Thursday was difficult for me. There was a 20 minute warm-up on the streets until I got to the High School track. The track workout consisted of 2-400s, 3-800s, 2-400s, and 3-800s all at 5k race pace and each separated by a 200 yd easy run. There was also a 15-20 minute cool-down back on the streets. My last 800 seemed fast to me but was probably at a light jog pace and my cool-down consisted of a walk from the track to my house (whoops, Jean’s house).

In a few e-mails back I said that I’m not overly anal but now I think I’m morphing into Tony Shaloub as Monk (USA Channel Fridays at 10 PM-no promotion intended). The other day I was at the Fitness Center doing bicep curls. I was looking over at the rack next to the Smith Machine. At the lower end there are two beams where you can rest the weight bar when you are doing a barbell scapular elevation (what do you mean you don’t know what that is?). I noticed that one side was anchored in the fifth peg from the bottom and the other side was anchored in the sixth. I thought it was unusual but no big deal. Not so! The longer it went the more anxious I got. There was a weight bar across them both at a slant and it just looked wrong. I finally had to go over there and raise the one side up to be even with the other. I walked back to my machine smugly thinking that now all was right with the world. How sick!!

On to week two!

Just Jack

P.S. One of you graciously (I won’t name names) loaned me two nipple clips for the problem I had been having with my heart rate monitor slipping down and giving false readings. The good news is that the chest band now stays in place. The bad news is that now my resting heart rate is 161. I am leaning toward plan B which is spending money for a new band.