Friday, November 30, 2007

Seuss Bike and Run

Enjoyed watching the network coverage of the Ironman World Championships. Having done 3 Ironman distances races, but none in the dot-m world, I still consider getting to Kona a lifelong dream. Well, dream since I began racing 22 years ago. However, I have never had the luck in the Ironman lottery and I am not fast enough to qualify. Someday, somehow, we'll find our way to Kona.

You can see the Dr. Seuss influence in this posting. Loved his books as a kid and, even today always get a chuckle from them.

So, folks...heres my tribute to the sport, through the influence of the late-great writer.

Three Legs and Jam

Where is my swim cap
Where is the water
I will not nearly drown
and get saved by my daughter

you cannot kick me and knock out my front tooth.
you cannot kick me and block off my swim route.
I will not let you..i will go faster.
I will not let you...go see your pastor.

you have no prayer
i can't be beat
you have no prayer
you can't compete.

i will not stop
i will not quit
i will not vomit
not even one bit

show me those pedals
show me that bike
I bend over cranking
down the long turnpike

racing is tough
racing takes grit
racing is sweating
and showing your fit

give me some gu
give me some exceed
don't make me stop
even when I plead.

I will not falter
I swim, I bike, I run
I will not falter
in the hot sun.
I am a triathlete
Few do what I do.
I am a triathlete
I slurp my gu.
You cannot stop me
I wont be denied
You cannot stop me
Many have tried.
If you are tough
if your spirit soars
Go grab your wetsuit
and head to the shore.
Will you be a triathlete?
Do you have the fire??
Will you be a triathlete
With burning desire???
Footnote on Fast Bees
Many posts ago, I lauded the Medina Bees State Cross Country Champs.!!! This past weekend, they fared very well at a prestigious national meet. The Nike Team National In Portland Oregon.
The team finished in 12th place out of 22 teams. Running for Medina :Donny Roys, Jeremy Arthur, Sam Maynard, Hunter Heaton, Kent Rankin, Lucas Walter, and Ryan Fallow. Roys was the top finisher placing 10th overall with a time of 16:30. Mike DeFelice traveled as an alternate and competed in the open race that included international participants with teams traveling from as far away as Kenya.
Congrats Bees on outstanding racing, triguyjt

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Of Mice and Men

Okay gang. We hear about needing new energy sources, and I agree.

These things aren't exactly cheap to build, plus theres always the "Three Mile Island" factor. Of course, Every nuke plant would blow up if Homer Simpson clones worked there, but I digress.

The way I figure, the solution to the energy problem and perhaps the source of all of our future sports heroes is right here in my lovely town of Cleveland, Ohio.

Credit the tremendous school, called Case Western Reserve with finding a way around the energy problem. Their researchers have messed with some lab mice and created the "Lance Armstrong" of mice. Click right here... Mighty Mouse

The article spells out what they did, but suffice to say, its amazing. The treadmill little mighty mite can go nearly 6 straight hours... They cover 20 meters a minute. Ha!! you say thats nothing!!! Maybe, but those little critters don't have the stride of you, Mr-Ms- triathlete. But.. the mice don't build up lactic acid like most athletes and they utilize fat in an incredibly efficient manner.

Energizer Bunny, take that!!!!

Think of the ramifications. I mean, there 10 trillion mice in America. No, not all of them are in Manhattan!! Have the Case Western Reserve U. researchers alter them somehow...I don't know...just do it. Then hook up all the little treadmills and you could power every city in America. Plus, the mice are tired of those mazes!!! There are solar farms and wind farms and there could be mice treadmill farms. How about a visual. Little mice on the treadmill, each with their tiny i-pods and their water bottles, running their butts off....for the betterment of the world.. Give em a cheese break every 6 hours.

If they do this on mice, could they fix me up so I can run forever??? Come on guys, alter my enzymes!!!! I dare you. Bring on Ironman Hawaii!!!!!!

Shoot...sometimes the solutions are right under our noses...our twitchy little noses.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Showering Gratitude

Hi there.
The man, pictured above, who has been responsible for much of our training and race day replenishment is gone. He died today at the age of 80.
Keep him in your prayers. We owe him a debt of gratitude.
Who was this man??
You can likely guess, by what he is sipping, but for the full story, click this link

Not being flip, but do you think anyone ever though of dumping a cooler full of his invention over his head??. You know, maybe at a party?? Perhaps as a show of respect. Probably not.
Do you have to be a football coach to get showered??? Wouldn't it be neat if business tycoons dumped coolers over each other when their stock goes up??? Or, when the president elect is sworn in he/she gets a bucket full. Why not???
And to think he invented what is now a sports icon, because Florida football players weren't able to take a pee after games. Because Johnny Football couldn't tinkle, we now have a 5 billion-gazillion dollar industry. Ain't this country great??

Going to BJ's to buy a case of the stuff. Tonight, I ask fellow triathletes worldwide to raise a bottle and toast the spirit of this pioneer.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

6 pack abs

So you want 6 Pack Abs??

I never knew it was this easy*

The miracle of surgery. Doctors etch the 6 pack abs. Now Thats Body Sculpting!!!! Are you kidding me???

Thanks to Lou and his cool website for alerting me to some interesting things in the fitness world.

Now I check his site out every day.

Would I ever do something like that??? I don't think so. I don't have 6 pack abs. More like "Keg Abs"!! And I don't even drink!! Its 6 degrees of 6 pack abs. I weigh 190 which means I could be a "Clydesdale" in triathlons. Clydesdales!! Budweiser!!! There it is. 6 degrees.!!

I have too much of a love affair with my dark mistress. If I looked That Buff, she might think I was cheating on her.

Can't give her up. Maybe thats why I run, swim, and bike so much?? You think???

Life without her would be cruel. I think of her all the time!!! Excuse me, I have a 2 hour run scheduled....then a date...with.....her!!!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A Bummed out Bike

Help. Its me again. J.T's Red Cannondale. Look what the heck he's done to me!!!!! Good Lord.!!! I cart his 190 pound frame all over from race to race and this is my freaking reward??? He hangs me upside down in the flipping garage!!! Its gonna get cold soon, and bet he won't take any mercy on me.!! Come on!!! All the alloy is rushing to my aero bars. I can't breathe!! I'm gonna throw a chain, you watch!!! And look at the bike hanging next to me. Thats J.T's bike from a few years ago. He's feeling blue and you can see why?? Many other bikes I know get to go into the house. The triathletes put them on trainers and they get to stay active in the winter. Not to mention warm. I'm gonna freeze my tires off. Now you know why i"m cranky all the time!!!!
His worst discipline in the triathlon is the bike and he puts me away for the winter??? Give me a BRAKE!!!!!!. Sorry. Play on words there. He should be on me all winter long. Would somebody please help me. Please!!!
Ohh yeah, I found out he's been seeing another bike..its a stationary bike from the gym, and he's got some hottie spin bike too from the gym, PLUS he likes to use one of those elliptical machines!!!! Do those machines ever see the outdoors?? Do they go Whump!! Whump!! over backroads. Do they scale hills and small mountains??? Have they seen the business side of a Cleveland pothole?? I think not!!!!!Has he no pride.????

This is me in better times. He pulled me out of the garage and took a picture. Wanted to brag about me, but I know better. Look at that. He won't even take my number off. Shoot, that race was over a month ago. Lazy, no good, triathlete.

I have a feeling he only wants me for maybe one more season.... its just a hunch. Maybe he's grown tired of me. Maybe he will blame his slow biking times on ME!!! How unfair. I want you to know I NEVER had a FLAT...EVER in any race. Period. Just a very dependable bike and I get treated like dirt.!!! Ha!!! maybe he should just train more.!!!!

Look at some of these bikes from the Maumee Bay competiton. Don't they look happy. Don't they seem fulfilled??? Those bikes are LOVED!!!.I tell you , but I get used for some training and then put in a dirty garage that LEAKS sometimes.

I"m letting Lance know about this??? He'll give J.T. a piece of his mind.

In the meantime, Happy Thanksgiving to all those hard working bikes in Triathlon. They should all be thankful they don't have to deal with Triguyjt.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

If you can't beat em.....join em"

Was finishing the Med Express Mountaineer Half Ironman this past summer. The announcer said, "Lets hear it for John Telich of the Cleveland Triathlon Club".

Actually, he was about 5-6 months premature. Today, I filled out the form and put the application to join the club in the mail. Looking forward to seeing what the Club has to offer...or maybe what I might have to offer the club. We'll see.

I checked out the clubs website. Theres forums, message boards. Theres various areas around Cleveland to train. Wednesday runs at North Chagrin Reservation. Other venues too. Theres a long course club, which I figure I would be a part of since, I did a Half Iron in 07.

Now, I just have to crank up the training. Get more consistent. Been doing different types of workouts lately. Did one that was all rope skipping. (shins are sore). Spent 30 minutes out of my 50 minute run at Chagrin River Park by charging up the steps at the sledding hill about 30 times. That got the heart rate going. Tommorrow, I will hit the weights extensively.

Thanks to those who made suggestions on where to swim. I'll be hitting the water soon.

But, I feel good about joining the Cleveland Triathlon Club.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Perspective Anyone???

(courtesy Cleveland Plain Dealer-Chuck Crow)

Covered Ohio States win over Michigan on Saturday at the Big House. Our station website posted one of my post game pieces. Try not to laugh at the goober-like beanie hat I was wearing. Hey, it was chilly. No style points needed. Heres the link

The fact that the piece got posted is part of my point on perspective. The game ended at 3:25 or so and I got most of my interviews with Buckeyes on the field. Okay, thats good so far.

But we joke that God never intended for pictures to go through the air. We were to use a satellite truck provided by our Fox Detroit affiliate. Waiting outside the Buckeye lockeroom after getting most interviews, I got the call that many of us in the business get, and it always gets our heart rates and stress levels maxed.

"The satellite truck is out of commission."

I say "cripe sake", or something a bit more blue and then things get really complicated.

"You gotta drive to the station to feed your stuff"

"Double Cripes Sake". The station is 45 minutes away. Its now 4:30pm. Ohh, yeah, theres 111,000 others trying to leave Ann Arbor.

We get in the car and myself and Dough Herrmann, our photographer are jumping out of our skin. Doug says we won't make it. I say, lets give it a shot.

Traffic is crawling. Its misty, rainy and miserable.

Somehow, while inching toward Southfield Michigan, we encounter better traffic patterns and now we are going 70 miles a hour. On the phone with the station.. Booking satellite windows and stuff. Will we make it.?? I'm stressed to the point of no return. We had all these great interviews but what good are they if we can't feed them.

Long story short..we arrive... 2 minutes before the window. Guys are meeting us at the back door. We get the tape cued and start feeding.

Stuff made it. Whew. It was the most important thing I wanted to do...get some postgame interviews on the air.

While finishing the feed, the station was doing a live interview with the family of a missing woman solidier in Iraq. I immediately came down to earth.

"You are an idiot", I told myself. I was so consumed about some interviews from a football game, I lost sight of the big picture. Yes, the work was important, but ask that family if they cared about the Ohio State-Michigan game. Their daughter is in harms way. God knows she could really be is a real bad way, and all I cared about was getting Beanie Wells interview back to our viewers in Cleveland.

I often times can't see the forest for the trees. My work seems all encompassing. My focus on training can be the same. I need to look at the big picture.

I thank that family for the reality check and I pray for their daughters return to safety.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Tough Ohio Kids

Back again..

How many of you can point to the video of Julie Moss, crawling across the line at Ironman Hawaii as one of the reasons that got you into the sport???? I don't know how you can see that and not have a strong reaction. Ditto for the first time you saw video on the Hoyts. Right? Yep.

Thanks to ESPNU and of course to the ever-in-your-face-we-have-every-moment-that-happened-in-the-course-of-human-events- YOUTUBE, we can check out the incredible fortitude of a young Ohio cross country runner at the State Championships.

Claire Markwardt of Berkshire High broke her leg in two places...just 40-50 feet away from the finish line as she posted a personal best. Amazingly she tried to finish. Yep, she crawled.

I warn you that the video is a bit much for those who may be sensitive. However, I know all of you fellow triathletes have had rough moments in your races and or your training. You can handle this.

Here is the link..

I salute Claire for her incredible toughness, and her spirit of competition.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Color Red

Read something in the Wall Street Journal today that caught my eye.

A study led by professor Andrew Elliot at the University of Wisconsin-Madison ,found that using red .....(a sample of the color, just in case your wondering), in various ways on testing materials hurt college students' performance.

Brain scans suggest this was because they saw the color as threatening. The professor is still trying to determine if this fear is because theres an association of red with teachers' marks. The fear could just be instinctive as well.

I associate all my papers in school with the color red. But, I never flinch when I see blood, or when I bought my tri-bike, it HAD to be RED..(again, a sample of the color). Red is Power!!!!

Above..... The Aforementioned bike. Don't have a name for him...or is it her??? For now, IT is simply "The Red Cannondale"

Over history, my fav entertainers or athletes. Red Grange, Red Barber, Red Skelton, Red Buttons. The Ohio State Buckeyes. (Scarlet and Gray) Scarlet is a first cousin of Red, and is invited to all holiday get togethers at the House of Red .

I do make exceptions. The Indians were beaten by the .....ahhhhhummm Red Sox.


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

C.C in a Speedo

Indians pitcher C.C. Sabathia won the American League Cy Young Award. Its always a buzz when kids (I can call them kids, he's barely older than my youngest, Joe) you have seen come up through the ranks get honors. Its a vicarious kinda thing.

courtesy Chris Chambers/Getty Images

Gotta confess. When he was starting out, we made plenty of references to his size. He is a few pizza's north of 300 pounds, I believe. We called him Captain Cheeseburger...blah blah blah.... I mean, come on...he was, like two triathletes combined. Not two triguyjt's. I've poked fun at my stocky build. But, two AVERAGE sized triathletes combined.

Anyway, I applaud him. He matured as a young man, and as a pitcher and heres hoping he has much success for many years. Hopefully all of it wearing a Tribe Uni.

So....I stumbled upon a blog today, some guy from Minnesota. Steve in a Speedo. Guy is hilarious. He's an Ironman guy. Cut his teeth at IM Wisconsin. Very funny guy. Twisted in a harmless way........I think.

C.C. and Steve melded together and..... tahhhhh dahhh. a Speedo.

I won't have the art department do a warped blow-up of the big fella. I will just leave it at that.

I will also say, success comes in all shapes and sizes. The team. The Media. The experts in baseball all wanted C.C. to lose about 50 pounds. He never would have been as successful losing all that weight. What he is now, works for him. God Bless.

And Steve can keep on wearing his speedos or goodness sakes, anything else for that matter to race in.

By the speedo for me.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Take it to the house ..or Cribbs

For the week.....4 hours of running--biking-and elliptical. most of it at heart rate between 135--145.. steady work. plenty of core work. balance on stability balls. 2 upper body workouts. one leg workout. good week.

Covered the Browns-Steelers game Sunday in Pittsburgh. Yes, the Steelers won 31-28, and yes, the Browns might have gained a little more respect, but a loss is a loss is a loss.

However, with all those high priced, highly touted players on the field, I was struck by the fact that the one player who caused the most fear from the other team..the one player who impacted the game in so many ways was a player considered not good enough to get drafted. Not good enough to earn the huge signing bonus. A player from a school known more for its basketball than for its football.

The player????Joshua Cribbs of Kent State University.

Cribbs photo-courtesy

Sunday he returned one kickoff 90 yards that set up a t.d. The rest of the game the Steelers tried several ways to kick the ball so he wouldn't get his hands on it.
They even squib kicked a ball, that he bobbled.. picked up at the goal line and.........................................
proceeded to run 100 yards for a T.D. It was electrifying stuff from a seemingly unlikely player.

Unheralded. Average height. Good speed. Nothing exceptional. But all Cribbs has done since coming into the league is outplay guys much more talked about. Guys with bigger reputations.

I thought about how teams try to keep the ball out of his hands. I thought about how this guy with a great personality, who even has his own tv show lights up a room when he enters. How he volunteers to do community projects. I thought how one couldn't be more grounded, if he were wearing lead boots.

I'm sure many thought the apex of his athletic career was at Kent State when he was the multi-purpose q.b., but Josh thought he could do more. Josh believed in himself.

We might at the moment, think that life can't get any better. That right now is as good as it gets. We might think that our triathlon times can't get any faster. That we can't possibly train anymore, or train with any more intensity.

When I think like that, I think about the Joshua Cribbs of the sports world. How anything is possible.

Are you a Joshua Cribbs waiting to break out and succeed???

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Go Berserk

It started to click today. Putting off hard workouts. Thinking what I was doing was "good enough". Pure and utter bull-poop. I don't know how I managed to race this year. 4 Triathlons. One Half Iron, 2 Olympic distances and 1 sprint. I know I should have raced better. Maybe I was caught up in the euphoria because my son got into the sport. I trained alot, but my sense of purpose could have been more defined.

When I had great seasons of racing, I always had a plan. Pretty detailed. But a plan. Not like most times this year.

triguyjt 07
"ahh, lets run for an hour"
triguyjt alter ego
" fast??? how many surges??"
triguyjt 07
"ahh, I don't know. I'll just wing it"
triguyjt alter ego
"gheeesh..what a wuss"
And thats how most days went. I would put in time, but what was I doing with the time. So... I will adopt the motto that was coined by one of the most thoughtful of scribes on the sport of running, George Sheehan.

If you want to win anything
-a race, your self, your life-
you have to go
a little berserk.

george sheehan

So in my own way, I went berserk today. Granted, it was a treadmill workout in the basement gym of triguyjt and "the pilates instructor"...but it was a solid, No frills, hard workout. 60 minutes. I mixed in strong tempos. I attacked hills. It was like i was "Pre" come back to life....but with ohhhhh 40...nahhh 45 extra pounds.

Felt fantastic. Felt alive and I have one person to thank for it.

My bride. Many posts ago, I talked about how she conquered her fear of flying. How she shows guts when she has to fly on an airplane. I thought of her doing this. Zip Lines down in St. Lucia this past March. How utterly fearless she appeared, when I knew it had to be agony inside of her, hanging by a line, 70 feet above the jungle floor.

I took racing for granted. I never put myself in that position of overcoming one fear to be great. What was I afraid of?? More mediocrity???
My bride goes to the gym every day and works her fanny off. She has purpose to what she does. When she teaches Pilates, or trains one on one she wants the experience to be just right. She prepares. She doesn't just show up and wing it. I respect her so much. Her type of prepartion is what I should have when I prepare to race.

I have one regret. She doesn't race triathlons.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Here Comes Shamu

The wetsuit won't be in lake erie anymore this year. believe it or not, I was in the lake 2 and a half weeks ago..temp was 62. Last week in October. Wasn't in long.Yikes. One of my goals is to swim San Francisco Bay. Escape from Alcatraz. THAT water is, what 55 degrees or so!!!!! Whew

Yep, Shamu won't be making any splashes. I mean come on. Check out my profile photo in the blog. I am not svelte. 195 pounds most of the time. Best races, I was in the 180's. But I compete. In my own, slow as molasses way.

Now I am in winter mode. Am checking around for places to swim this winter. Any area triathletes with any ideas??? I would appreciate any help. I hear its great at Cleveland State. Solon??? I took spin classes from Dr. Heather Petroff at Peak Performance in Broadview Heights. They have a good swim program.

Goggles are ready. The swimsuit and flotation devices too.

See you in the water

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Bee's Buzzing

Great week of training. Had 4 hours, 30 minutes of distance running, and 3 upper body workouts... will set my schedule for 2008. Will post that soon. Most likely, the first event will be the Buckeye Trail race on January 26th. I am leaning towards doing the Half Marathon. Will let you know.

Great job by the Medina High School Cross Country Team. They won the State Div 1 title on Saturday. Donny Roys, pictured in the back row, second from the left was the State overall champ in the Division One Race. Brecksville Girls won the Div 1 title.

Got any pics of your team or individuals in endurance racing, send them to me.. and I will be happy to give kudos to you.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Ryan, Alberto and Denzel

Thinking of three people.. each one because of their heart.

Ryan Shay. You may have heard. Collapsed and died at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in New York. Tremendous sadness. Cast a pall all over the Big Apple this weekend as thousands are there for the Marathon Sunday.

Alberto Salazar. The great marathoner was profiled in Sports Illustrated this week. Detailed his heart attack in recent times. And also talked of how he felt another one likely to come on. How he alertly sensed one was in the offing. How they needed to open up one artery that was 90 percent blocked. Doctors thought it was 30 percent blocked.

How Alberto ran his competition into the ground all those years and came close many times to running himself right into a casket. He taunted death many times.

The third person is 15 year Denzel Douglas of Lakewood High School in suburban Cleveland. Denzel had a heart transplant in Summer of 06. 3 weeks ago, the body rejected the heart and he spiralled downward. He lasted about 2 weeks. He was buried on Friday. Buried in a Braylon Edwards Cleveland Browns jersey.

I never knew Denzel, although I visited him at the Cleveland Clinic as he was fighting for his life. I met his cousin, Darla. I hugged his Mom Tara and tried to buoy her spirits. Denzel was unconscious, as the best heart professionals in the world did all they could to save him.

He was an immensely popular young man who always made everyone around him feel good.

I wonder why Denzel never got his chance to play basketball for Lakewood High. Why Denzel's picture had to be in an obituary column in the paper and why it came to a point where kids were wearing tee shirts with his picture on them. Why was his time so short.

I often think that we are given so many beats of our hearts. My ticker is in great shape. So might be yours. However there are no guarantees. Denzel had not a care in the world until last summer. Ryan Shay was trying to represent his country in the Olympics. Glory in athletics was what he was after. Alberto Salazar dodged death. He has a second chance and is turning young athletes into champions.

So, I guess what I am wondering come the big guy has allowed me to be here..right now...age 54... dreaming of racing triathlons .?? Why do I get each day?? What am I doing with each day??? Am I too consumed with training while missing the big picture.???

A heavy heart still beats, just the same.


Thursday, November 1, 2007

Fly High with Courage

Greetings from the other side of Halloween. Thought of courage last night as I watched dozens of kids gather the gumption to approach my neighbor, Scotti's home. He put all of us to shame. 50 lava lamps. A neon ghost that danced with the wind. Scary Music. Dark secrets waiting to jump out and scare kids.

In some way, the kids summoned up courage to approach the house. Some had their parents goad them along. Some tried to show their friends how brave they were. Many never came within yards of the home. It was too scary.

What did Eddie Rickenbacker, the famous pilot write about courage????

"Courage is doing
what you're afraid to do.
There can be no courage
unless you're scared."

The sport of triathlon and endurance is filled with people who stare at some kind of fear...and strike it down.

Open water swimming intimidates lots of people. I've have had many people tell me they could do a triathlon, but "swimming in a big lake is just not for me". They fear the unknown. They are away from a comfortable lane in their comfortable Y pool. Its a whole other ballgame. The open water stops alot of people from getting into our sport.

Joe Sanchez, one of my buddies at Fox 8 did a triathlon a few years ago, but not before he summoned up the courage, the strength to wrestle the demons of open water swimming. It was no small feat. Thats why I respect what he did.

I have always been comfortable in open water. I grew up on Lake Erie. Spent day after day in the lake. Swam out far from shore. Hung out on a raft. Then swam to shore.

My first Ironman distance race, The Pineman in 1999 began well. But as 400 of us racers were out in the middle of the lake, the fog descended. We had NO idea where the heck we were. I felt calm amidst all that. I knew I would reach shore sooner or later. For me to get to shore did not take any courage. But for others. Those who never swam that far before. Those who were freaking out in the fog. They had to summon the courage to get to shore.

My gorgeous bride, gathers her courage every time she flies. Getting into a plane is no small feat for her. She lived overseas from age 10-17. Over and back from New York to Europe many times. But then, one day, she just got panicked having to fly in a plane. Every time since then, she works up her courage when flying the friendly skies.

All around us are examples of courage. Standing up to a bully. Conquering the fear of heights. Telling your peers you don't need to smoke that marijuana or drink that booze. The list can be endless.

How high can you fly?? Whats holding you back???