Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Geithner to take over your bank account

I have opened a twitter account, because I like to pretend I'm important and have something so worth saying that you just have to read it as soon as I write it. You will now be allowed to follow my idioting on twitter with the username martygaal. It will be amazing, stupendous, world-changing stuff like you've grown accustomed to here.

In other news, you have all been nationalized and are now being processed for soylent green.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Bri has a website

I am proud to announce the exciting launch of www.brigaal.com, a brand new site dedicated to your favorite athlete, Bri Gaal.

It will take you to her blog, in case you forget how to find it.

Saturday, March 28, 2009


Big day. Ran half marathon in the morning. Was humid. Had poops at mile 10. Lost a minute or so. Many hills. Hills bad! Too many. Last hill say "I beat you Marty." I say "Goddamn you hill." Final stretch good. Feel better. Kara friend. She run with me. She good pacer and encourager. Even come back after I poop. We hold good pace. Maybe too fast in beginning. Many hills. Need more warning or less hills. Arrrr. Final time 1:35.23. Good for now. Many miles run. Then give Powerstroke clinic. Talk for six hours straight. Good clinic. Good peoples. Brain hurt. No more big words. No more analysis swim stroke. Sit. Beer. TV. That is all.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

weekly update

It has been a quick week. This weekend we have a full plate. On Saturday I'm running a local half-marathon, while Bri runs the 5k. Immediately after we are hosting a Powerstroke clinic here in Cary. We'll finish that around 5PM. I suspect our Saturday night will consist of coming home and going to sleep. On Sunday I'm going to get a long ride in somewhere.

Sunday at 1pm we're doing a photo shoot for Joe Miller of the News and Observer, as he is writing an article on the open water series. We need volunteers to pretend we're starting/finishing a race at Jordan Lake. Email me if you're interested.

My weekly stats so far:
swim 7k
bike 60 miles
run 21 miles
no kung fu, unless you count watching Kung Fu Panda on the tube.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Training, detraining, and retraining

At 37 years young I don't snap back quite as quickly as I did in my late 20s and early 30s from a longer bout of time off and detraining. Last season I toned it down a bunch, which kept me 'fit and healthy' but not competitive at a top age-group level in this nutty triathlon sport. Now we're heading into the spring season, and I'm just beginning to feel like I might be able to nudge the speed and effort up a bit.

The literature on sport and aging has always pointed out these sorts of things, but now I'm living the reality of getting older while still attempting to be somewhat competitive on a regional, if not national (amateur wise) level.

A few issues of note:
>I require more recovery time from intense workouts like track intervals or Kung Fu, which is very anaerobically demanding. If I run hard on Tuesday, riding hard on Wednesday is difficult.

>The weight is not coming off like it used to. Part of that is related to living in a colder climate, but the other part is strictly being older. Fortunately I am down ten pounds from my Christmas peak, but I have another eight to ten to go to ideal race shape.

>Good sleep is required. You twenty-five year olds can burn the candle at both ends for weeks at a go, but these days if I'm not getting near eight hours everything suffers - mental acuity, drive, physical performance, and my face sags like an old hound dog.

>Top end speed disappears much more quickly and takes much longer to regain. It is taking a lot longer than I expected to regain my quickness on the track and top end power on the bike - what little I had to begin with. This is worth noting in particular, in future years I will not forego some year round speed/power work.

>Bri is getting hotter as she gets older, which totally rocks.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

training data

swim: 7,100 yards (2.15 hour)
run: 34 miles (5 hours)
bike: 8 hours
kung fu: 1 hour
total: 16 hours
chicken wings: 0
burgers: 2
beers: 18

stock update

This week we saw a rebound in the stock market, along with options expirations. I had a couple oil related batches (USO, UCO) called away, missed out on the continued upside but made some money regardless as I wrote calls above my purchase price. Opened up a Roth IRA to defend our future selves from inordinate taxation without representation. Haven't picked anything there yet. Took a beating on ERX as it plummeted a few weeks ago and I foolishly held on, this week I put a stop on it to lock in the ground it made up. Made some and lost some with FAZ, that one moves around like a rabid squirrel lately.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

new post

So I am making this post just to get the dude with the big quads and shrunken weenie off the top of my blog. Too many of you were enjoying that.

The sun is finally making an appearance here after 5 days of disturbingly cold and shitty weather. I was starting to get pissy about it.

Tomorrow I will ride big miles since I am out to impress my numero uno.

I am lobbying Bri that we should buy a cabin in the mountains of Western NC. There are some nice log cabins coming online as people go belly up left and right. Like 100K for some brand new, good locations, and acreage in an accessible area. Anyone want to go 50/50 on one? Drop me a line for shizzle. No freaks or weirdos. Wait, that disqualifies all of you who read this. Damn.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Bri says...

Bri took one look at the bike splits from the Azalea sprint triathlon this past weekend, turned to me and said:

"Marty, this bike split is totally unacceptable. You've got to get going!"

So I have taken a new vow of biking a lot this summer, and biking hard/fast a lot, so my baby doesn't leave me for some dude with big quads and gnarly bike splits.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Azalea sprint tri report

Today was a nice day to do a triathlon, if you're a polar bear. It was drizzling and about 45 degrees over in Wilmington. Bri and I started around 8:03 AM. I had a good swim. My first transition was as slow as it could be. I put on a rain jacket, socks, gloves, and a hat.

I really didn't need the socks and gloves, which took 45 seconds or so, but at 37 and having done 150+ triathlons over the years, waaaaaah, fugheetaboudit. Just racing in this weather is a success.

Anyway, I had a decent bike and a decent run, but am definitely lacking the top end speed I need to be competitive with the elite field around here. Going to have to crank up the total training time, the addition of daylight and group rides will definitely help.

I wound up finishing 7 seconds behind Bri (who was 3rd elite female) and 4 minutes off my time from 2 years ago in 53:35.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Azalea sprint tri

Bri and I are planning to race the first NCTS event, the Azalea sprint tri, this Saturday. I write 'planning' as if it is cold and rainy Bri has reserved the right to sit under an umbrella somewhere. I will tough it out either way.

In other news, since I am a dreamer (re: visionary genius) and Bri is the realist (re: sensible, responsible, conscientious), she has convinced me it's not a good idea for her to quit her stable well-paying job so we can spend the summer at the Jersey shore. Something about the economy, money, blah blah blah. Instead we'll take a week-long vacation to the beach in late July, watch Night in Venice (a big boat parade in OC), then catch the Brigantine Island sprint triathlon the following weekend. Every time we've gone to the shore it is 2-3 nights of boozing with my buddies while Bri gets bored, so I thought it would be good for her to see what a 'normal' week is like.

I am hard at work lobbying for a 2010 return to beach lifeguarding in NJ, before I'm too old to retry out.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

weekend update

I wound up flying to Fort Myers for a last minute Powerstroke clinic on Friday night. A former OSB athlete had asked me to put one on a few weeks ago, so we made plans and opened registration. On Monday we didn't have the minimum number signed up so I canceled the event and my plane ticket. On Thursday one of his friends guaranteed that we'd get 8 more people and that he would personally guarantee it if they didn't show up. I was not convinced but decided to go ahead and run it, bought a new plane ticket (2x the cost), and went down.

No new people signed up. We went ahead and had a good clinic regardless and my buddy was a gracious host. The one fella paid a bit more to cover things.

I would complain about the opportunity costs but complaining about getting work is like pissing into the wind.

In other news, the week's numbers:

run 4.33 hours
ride 3.25 hours
swim 2 hours
strength 20 minutes
~10 hrs total.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

number crunching

I have been crunching the numbers since I made the decision to leave our IRAs invested in the market throughout this painful crash. We were 100% stocks, and overweight in foreign stocks. Still are but they are all down. We will need to save at our current rate for four years to make up the losses we've incurred since January 08. That assumes what is invested stays flat for the next four years. It would be nice to save more but I'm not sure that is going to happen.

In good news, I am still pretty healthy and can go dig ditches as needed in order to pay the bills.

I'm going to open up a Roth IRA this year as future tax burden is likely to be higher than present day. I'll probably put everything into agricultural commodity index funds and oil if it stays low.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

St Pete camp review

Karen, Bri, and Ray enjoying the beach on our first day, Reservoir Dog style:

A nice shot of the sunset from a local pub:

Me having some fun with the Sun:

Bri having some fun with my head:

I would rant about the stock market but you know that story.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

back in NC

Tassie and I had a nice drive from Ormond Beach to Cary today. Tassie is a good co-pilot. Dog is my co-pilot. Ha ha. We saw the snow as we approached and realized it was still winter time here in the Triangle. That is OK though as we only have a few days until daylight lighting time and summer is just around the corner.

I will post a picture summary of our week and what we missed tomorrow.

Monday, March 2, 2009

camp wrap up

Day 6 - we were shut down by a big squall this morning, so did an easy hour run through the alleys of Pass-A-Grille, went to breakfast, and called it a camp. I couldn't talk anyone into doing some rough wave body surfing with me. Ah well.

Total camp numbers:
140 miles riding
34 miles running
9,500 yards pool swimming
3 miles open water

We would have had closer to 200 miles on the bike if not for the Sunday weather.