Archive for November, 2008

#90 Brief Update

I can’t believe how quickly fall has zoomed by. We’re already at Thanksgiving & the Las Vegas Marathon is 11 days out. (*%@#) Two weeks ago I had my highest volume training week, since then I’ve been on a three week taper. Each week the volume is a little less & the run intervals are shorter but there’s more of them. (I’ve even had an off day)

Harmony & I are off to her parents house in Florence OR for the holiday. The only part I’m dreading is the drive, normally it takes forever but before or after a holiday it takes even longer than forever…

While we’re there I’ll get some runs in but I doubt I’ll take my bike. (Even though there are some great places to ride out there)

Happy Thanksgiving


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Last spring I posted a great video reminding drivers to keep an eye out for cyclists on the roads. The concept was a reminder of how easy it is to not see something your not looking for in the first place. Link to post.

Last week I got an email form the group that produced the Do the Test video, they sent along the second offering from London. Again their work is well done & effective in making the point.


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I’ve been using the TP plantar fasciitis kit long enough now that I can give a full review of the product.

Plantar fasciitis symptoms hit me pretty quick when my long runs got over 15 miles. I had the typical symptoms in the feet & my calfs were really tight. My first attempts at fixing the problem included the standard foam roller, acupuncture, stretching, ibuprofen & a few off days. I was already familiar with the TP products & had read many success stories from amateur age group athletes as well as elite pros.

Locally I was able to find the products at Waking Life Massage & Supply. (Prices lower than I expected) The first week there was a little improvement but nothing drastic. I had an idea I was on the right path though, as I used the balls & roller the flexibility/range of motion in my foot would improve. Week two I cut my long runs way down & continued rolling. Its definitely uncomfortable & feels like its working quite deep in the muscle. In the second week I upped the frequency of use to three times a day. (Normally before/after a run & before bed)

Now I’m in week three of using the TP products & I would say I’m at 95%. Yesterday I covered about 18 miles in 2:10, today my feet feel great. Another thing I’ve noticed is my calf don’t cramp when I swim, this was especially bad when I pushed off the wall.

Why does this stuff work so well? I theory is the depth & intensity of the treatment without having to see a therapist. For most people its not possible to see the Massage Therapist or Physical Therapist three times a day…

Without a doubt I would recommend the TP products to anyone having issues. Eventually I’ll get the quadballer for preventive measures.

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Warning: This post has nothing to do with triathlon or training & covers what may be one of the worst things imaginable.

If you’ve spent much time in Seattle, especially at the Seattle Center or any sporting event you most likely know of the “Tuba Man”. He’s a Seattle fixture just like Starbucks or the Space Needle for some. Rain or shine, win or loss the Tuba Man was outside events playing the tuba. He was easy to spot with his thick rimmed glasses, bushy beard, deep DEEP voice but most of all his crazy hats. The hats ranged from my favorite the Nemo fish, Uncle Sam, hard hats painted in team colors or just a big colorful wig.

Ed “Tuba Man” McMichael passed away November 3rd, 2008.

Ed "Tuba Man" McMichael

Ed "Tuba Man" McMichael

I honestly don’t know the details of his death, I’ve avoided reading the news reports because the more I learned the worse it got. What I do know is the Tuba Man was attacked by a group of teenagers & beat for the grand total of five dollars. He survived the initial attack but died later from the injuries. This happened in a week span that was full of senseless violence in Seattle.

Growing up I went to quite a few Seahawk games, I couldn’t tell you a single score, who played or other details of the game but I always remember Ed outside the King Dome, playing the tuba & yelling “go hawks” in his deep voice. Years later when I lived by the Seattle Center I would always see him when I was walking the dogs, when the Sonics left town Tuba Man was the first person I thought of & how disappointed he must have been.

I recently learned his musical talent went far beyond playing Ironman or Flight of the Valkyrie outside events. He was know for having perfect pitch & played with some impressive symphony’s earlier in his life.

Tonight I went to his memorial & it was really one of the saddest things I’ve been part of. Many people spoke of their experiences with Ed, his family was present, there were musical tributes & pictures of Ed. In every on of the pictures I could hear his voice & feel how much joy he got out of making people happy.


Its hard to believe he’s gone but even harder to believe the circumstances of his death. I’d like to thank Ed for all the happiness he brought to people myself included. Ed, your already missed…

I can think of a million I would have rather written about & I know I didn’t do him justice but I had to get it off my chest.

(Bank of America & The Seattle Youth Symphony both have memorial funds setup in his name)

Tuba Man Wikipedia Page

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Its Sunday night, another week down & another one about to start. I’m going to call last weeks training successful. The highlight was getting my feet close to 100%, there’s still a little soreness but not too bad.

This next week of training will be the biggest (volume & intensity) week in prep for the marathon. I have 4 run workouts scheduled & none of them could go in the easy column, my long run for the week in 2:15. There’s also three swim workouts & three bike workouts 😉 Its going to be a busy one…

I had an “oh shit” moment this weekend. I wanted to get a better idea of the Las Vegas Marathon course online. The event web site has a couple different views of the course, a map, virtual video along with some charts & graphs. I have been training under the impression that the course was relatively flat therefor I haven’t been too worried about running hills.

While I was on the web site I saw the elevation profile, the first thing I saw was the elevation of the highest point 2,300 feet. Racing in the NW most of the starting elevations are from sea level to a few hundred feel. My stomach dropped thinking that I was about to race a marathon with 2,300 feet of climbing…then I noticed the starting elevation was 2,000 feet. Talk about relief!

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#85 Las Vegas Marathon

I have a habit of waiting till the last minute to register for races. This is partially due to the typical no refund policies & the chance of injuries. In the past I’ve had races sell out on me or issues with accommodations, not this time…

Its official, I’m registered for the Las Vegas Marathon & all the travel plans are finalized. Harmony & I will be flying out on the 4th of Dec & returning on the 8th. While we’re in Vegas we’ll be staying with family & hopefully get the chance to visit with The Las Vegas Real Estate Tycoon. (Not Donald Trump but rather Troy Kearns)

29 days till the race!

Las Vegas Marathon

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Nothing all that exciting to report on. My workout volume has significantly increased, I’ve gone from 3 run workouts & 1 bike workout a week to 3 swim workouts, 3 bike workouts & 5 run workouts a week. The two biggest things I’ve noticed is the overall time required & wanting to eat (junk food) non-stop.

My plantar fasciitis has improved a bit, my feet & calf’s don’t feel as tight but the bottoms of my feet hurt like hell to the touch. (Scar tissue breaking up possibly?)

Last weekend I met up with a few friends to head out on a 2 hr bike ride. We decided to start by going around the north end of Lake Washington. That route put me on the same hill I broke my leg on a year and a half ago. Since the accident I haven’t walked, ran, biked or drove near that hill. Luckily I would be peddling up it this time rather than going down it. To add to the un-comfort the weather was the same as the day of the accident, gray & pouring rain. I guess it was good to finally go through there again but I’m not going to add it my favorite routes. (I guess the real test will be riding down the hill)

Google has recently added street views to the Seattle maps. Here’s a link to the corner or doom… (Click the image to link to that corner on Google maps, you can change the view & perspective)

This is the corner that I got "screwed" on...

This is the corner that I got "screwed" on...

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