Monthly Archives: August 2008

Pain, death, and limits.

Barbara Warren, the 65 year old athlete I saw prone on the Santa Barbara long course being attended to by volunteers, died Tuesday night after having her ventilator turned off. She was an epic athlete, a world champion, and someone who clearly attacked life with zeal. After the accident she was paralyzed and kept alive by a ventilator, and able to communicate her wish to be allowed to die. Do you know your limits? Do you know at what point it’s time to stop? Do any of us really have the presence of mind to know when to back off before something horrible happens? Continue reading


Coach Brian’s Pool Workout (YMMV)

I went to bed thinking about doing a one hour ride the next morning in Zone 3. This morning I woke up with Coach Brian’s admonition in my ears, “train your weakness”. As I rolled out of bed I changed my mind and decided that I was going back to the pool and I would adapt Brian’s evil Ironman pool swim to my own distances and ability and work my weak spot: the swim. Continue reading

Fatigued? Who knows?

Fatigue is deceptive. I was up before the alarm today, felt kind of nauseated on my way to the ocean. Got in the water and did three clumsy laps in the ocean, zig zagging in the higher surf and cloudy sky. Still, three laps is three laps and I came out of the water feeling better than I went in. Reaching forward, not diagonal, kicking at the surface of the water, and coming in to the lifeguard station while other people went wildly north off course. All in all a slightly above average swim, slower than usual. I figured I was still tired from the race. But then came the run. Continue reading


I attempted a HIIT session this morning and had disheartening results. I couldn’t get my heart rate past zone 4.5, on a scale of 1-5, where in a normal HIIT session I alternate between a low zone 3 and zone 5 in the sprints. I must still be recovering from my race on Saturday, which is all the better that I have decided not to do the Olympic distance Malibu tri the day before the Sprint. I just won’t be able to recover that quickly. It turns out that the crash I saw on the bike leg of Saturday’s event was really as bad as I thought. Barbara Warren, an experienced athlete, suffered a broken neck on the downhill of Toro Canyon and is now in critical condition in a Santa Barbara hospital. I sincerely hope she recovers fully. It makes my two days of bike spinning and bodywork much smaller in comparison to having to learn to walk again.

Santa Barbara Long Course Race Report: 04:18:22

The Santa Barbara Long Course wasn’t on my race calendar. I didn’t even know about it until a few months ago, and wasn’t considering it until Ironman J. talked about it on our long ride at the beginning of the month. Shortly after our ride he started sending me taunting emails from the LA Tri Club with race ticket transfer offers. These emails started ending with the words, “pussy”. I’m not one to be goaded into doing things I don’t want to do – in fact, the more pressure applied the less likely I am to do something. But I had wanted to do another long course event before the end of the season, having loved the 70.3 distance. Perhaps I should have stayed in half iron shape. Continue reading

Pre-race brain dump.

Santa Barbara long course is tomorrow, and I leave in about two hours to drive up for my first solo endurance race. Time to clear the head and get organized, focus on the simple tasks at hand and put down the miles. Continue reading


Thus begins the carb load. This morning’s breakfast was 1.5 cups uncooked oatmeal with 3 cups of water made in the rice cooker, then mixed with ground flaxseed, applesauce, and whey protein. After eating it I was sweating, and then I realized I have to do this every few hours with more carbs for the next two days. I’m reminded of the time I tried to quit smoking by sitting down with a friend and smoking an entire carton of cigarettes.

Continue reading