Mr. Scott VS Mr. Allen

I just finished reading Ironwar. While I feel like I’m not really going to do this topic justice, and I always get nervous about writing blog posts like this, I’m just going to do it and hope for the best. So, I read that Ironwar was not endorsed by Dave Scott and Mark Allen. Because of this I was actually going to just not read it. Heck, I’ve got a big enough pile of books waiting for my eyes as it is. But I was talking with one of my athletes Kelly and she had just finished it and her opinion made me want to read it. So I did. I actually found some of the chapters that weren’t talking about the race, just studies done on pain threshold and what not to be very interesting…but that’s for another blog.

Having read it, I can totally understand why Dave and Mark (am I allowed to use their first names?), I mean Mr. Scott and Mr. Allen weren’t too keen on the book. For one, they are portrayed as extreemly one dimensional…and not exactly of a good dimension. I think Fitzgerald plays into the average athletes desire to typecast the athletically successful as unbalanced, unstable, and cut throat. Not cool. These men paved the way for the sport we know and love.

What interested me even more than the personal facts about the lives and backgrounds of Mr.Scott and Mr.Allen was the differences in their training. I mean in 1989 these two duked it out side by side for a 139 miles, and the training they did was so different from each other. What is even more cool in my mind, is that now they both coach, and they both tout their philosophies as the way to harness your true potential. What’s even more crazy is that their two philosophies are the two major roads that athletes take to train for Ironmans.

Long and Slow?

Intense and less volume?

That is the question…which road will you take…because less and slow leaves you unfit, and more and intense leads you to a stress fracture. Yes, if you want longevity in this sport and you are doing Ironmans, you too (or your coach) will have to make this decision.

Not only were those two opposing forces responsible for two of the greatest athletes ever to bless the Ironman, but now they are responsible for oodles of athletes standing on the Kona start line every year. Mr Scott and Mr. Allen are still out there battling it out on the lava fields in the eyes and hearts of their various athletes.

What really got me thinking about these issues is where I stand in my own training. It’s no secret that I spent 2010 and 2011 under the guidance of Chuckie V (who’s blog I really can’t link to any more because he took it down, which makes me very sad…very sad). Chuckie was of the Mark Allen side of the coin. I have read every book that Phil Maffetone has written (advisor of Mark Allen) and I have recommended them to you all on many occasions, along with Brad Kearns book, that I love as well. I train athletes in a manner that will build their aerobic base and I watch them get stronger and faster as I do this. I watched myself go from a 10:47 at my first Ironman in Canada in 2009 to 10 flat at Cozumel this past november. That jump was via long and slow training. No intensity, none.

However, I now am trained by Dirk, who has essentially rocked my world (after he tipped it upside down). He makes me swim and bike and run fast and it was really uncomfortable and partially responsible for my less than enthusiastic blogging over the last few months. It’s bad form to write a blog post that says “WTF” over and over and over again!

I recently watched a Webinar that Dave Scott put on through USAT. Dave does not do these webinars…ever, so it was a rare glimpse into how he trains himself and others. Boy were there about 3 million ahh hah moments during that, and I finished watching understanding where Dirk was coming from a lot more. It’s another way to do things, a way that I thought I understood, but I didn’t.

I wrestled around the intensity versus aerobic model in my head many a night. Troy and I stayed up late discussing things over and over. When Beth was here last week we had such an enlightening conversation since she came from Mark Allen Online for 4 years before working with Dirk. It was such a fruitful talk.

My final feelings: TIME and PLACE….WHERE ARE YOU DEFICIENT….WHERE DO YOU EXCEL?

I look at Mark Allen Online and he got 29 athletes to Kona last year with 4 under 10 hours and 8 under 11 hours. That’s A LOT. I look at Dave Scott, he works with Chrissy, Crowie, and my personal favorite…Terry Nugent (who is an X NFL player, huge guy, and went 9:46 for 3rd in his AG at Kona last year). Dave…Mr.Scott I mean, seems to take strong consistent athletes and make them Va-Voom! Mr. Allen seems to take the masses and make them Kona worthy.

As I sit on the edge of these two training programs I am excited. I think from a coaching perspective, it’s exciting to be an experiment of one. I learn when I am challenged, and I have definitely been challenged. I wonder how many athletes have taken both approaches and in what order? How have they settled into what they know and believe and how do they adjust their programs for different athletes, backgrounds, and goals? Is anyone really using both Dave and Marks philosophies and applying them to athletes depending on where the athlete is in their own progression? Does a coach have one athlete doing Mr.Allen style and another doing Mr.Scott style? I don’s know the answer to that.

What was once a nervous spot for me to be in, has now turned exciting as I realize just how much my knowledge can be expanded over the next few years. I feel lucky to have this opportunity. One thing I know is that I am a beast, a diesel engine, and that makes me sturdy to trying different things.

Like all training changes, it’s a wait and see game. Make a change, stick to it, and watch the results.

Around the Corner

I have had such a fun week! Beth was on a layover between training camp and Oceanside 70.3 so she came to hang out with me for a few days. We had so much fun, swimming outside, making new recipes out of the Feed Zone Cookbook, and focusing on recovering. It was really fun to talk to her about her decision to turn professional and to hear about her goals. She has such a calming demeanor, it was just nice to absorb a bit of Beth this week. I’m hoping that when I dropped her at the airport today she felt rested and well fed, ready to tackle her first PRO race. Go Beth!!!

The weather this week has been amazing and I have been treated to many sports bra runs and rides without knee warmers. The outdoor pool has been wonderful to swim in and I even hung out on the deck for like 5 minutes before getting in the water. The sad thing is that it’s March and the probability that this weather will stick is slim to none.

These taper weeks are definitely pretty fun. Dirk is a fan of rest and so this week has been all about chilling and moving a bit here and there. The timing was perfect since we just ordered a California King size bed. This thing is sleeping central, it’s got all sorts of down this and down that…plush, microfiber, etc etc. Any sort of bedroom associated buzz word is currently on my bed. And let me tell you, I have never slept better!

After my victory against Troy in the great sleep challenge he threw down I got my prize. A zeo, which, by the way we have all decided I am the last person on earth who needs one since I sleep like a hibernating bear.

However, Zeo has definitely helped with my decision to kill my inner night owl. Once you put the Zeo headstrap on your forehead and get the tracking started…IT’S BED TIME. Not “talk time”, not “snuggle time”, not “check your email on your iPhone one last time” time. No, it’s GO TO SLEEP TIME. Well, maybe snuggle time is still allowed, but I tell ya, that little Zeo make me want to snooze.

No shocker, it turns out as long as I get to bed early, I am a SUPER SLEEPER. The average adult 30-40 years old gets a Zeo sleep score of 80….my average is 110. The average time spent in REM is 1:31….I’m 2:45. Super sleeper….right here. Despite the fact that while everyone else is being productive…I seem to be sleeping… I’m still happy to be sleeping so well, and hopefully recovering nicely. I am getting some valuable information from the Zeo, along with following the little sleep coaching program it was with it which has some great stuff in it. It’s cool to see a chart like this that shows how my night went.

Apparently, I can go from REM to “have to pee” and back to REM in a single bound. That’s it, I’m quitting triathlon, surely there’s got to be some sort of sleeping competition, like amount of REM in an 8 hour period (I would so win).

Anyway, data junkie over here has been enjoying the Zeo and having fun with it…and sleeping!!!

This weekend, it’s business time! Galveston 70.3 is this weekend and I am heading out there to race without PIC (insert sad face) but with my athlete Audra (insert happy face). It’s the first 70.3 of the year and I’m EXCITED. These early season races are fun, there is this excitement for the “potential” of the season. Everyone is looking to see how everyone else came out of the winter, and then you always look back and see who is still running strong 7 months later…no easy feat!

Here’s to putting myself out there 100% so I can see where I am at. This will give me a good feeling of what needs work and what I am doing well with. The finish line, is the bottom line!

The Sleep Study of One

So I made it through Troy’s challenge to get to sleep before 9pm for 2 weeks straight. It wasn’t easy, there were many times that I was turning off the lights at 8:59, but I really learned a lot.

Some nights I simply couldn’t get to sleep and would lie awake for 10-40 minutes before finding sleep. That was frustrating for someone who usually is comatose shortly after laying down. There was also the frustration of putting down a good book, or not responding to an athletes email because I just didn’t have time. I like to have a sense of completion at the end of the day and sometimes I felt like I was going to sleep with things left unresolved. I also started to see that how close I ate to going to bed was having an effect on my ability to sleep. This recognition is a good thing, but because I’m not quite sure what the parameters of eating/good sleep are, I found myself laying there awake wondering if it was because I ate 30 minutes ago.

So, that was the downside. Here’s the upside. I think I found the holy grail. I have felt so rested, and so fresh and ready to train, especially last week. In fact, on RestWise I had 2 days with a 100 score which means you are ready to train hard. I’ve never had a 100 score before. This was the biggest week that Dirk has given me since we have been working together and I got through it with ease and pep in my step, seeing some awesome watt and pace numbers along the way, and feeling like it was generally a breeze. Friday I trained for 8 hours…2 hrs swimming, and 6 hours riding, and I felt awesome. Just full of life and strength.

A tweet from Matt Dixon (@purplepatch) the other day really resonated with me:

I’m bemused by the focus placed on compression+ice+stretching, but ignore proper fueling, sleep + lighter training sessions.#fingerinthedam

I’ve been one to get 10 hour nights of rest before. But never 2 weeks straight of 9-10 hours sleep. That made all the difference, extended periods of good rest. Wow, is all I can say! The quality of work that comes from lots of good healthy sleep, rest periods in your training, and good food is awesome. I think that until you really feel the gift of extended great sleep, you don’t know what you are missing out on.

Speaking of good food, I just picked up the Feed Zone Cookbook. I have been highly impressed. Thank you Biju Thomas and Allen Lim! I haven’t been eating vegan for awhile now. I went through a period of time where all I could think about was eggs. Eggs Eggs Eggs. I just wanted eggs. A few months back I broke down and bought eggs, and I ate tons of them. About 2 days after that I felt so so so much better. I find that sometimes I eat like crap and then I say “I need to go vegan to get my veggie count back up”. So I do that and I feel great, but then some time after that, I find that I am eating worse than I was when my veggie count was down. I end up eating a lot of hummus and pita chips, guac and chips, and veggie burgers (processed junk). I just have to spend a lot of time in the kitchen to eat vegan and so when I don’t make time for that I eat crappy.

I have a wonderful recipe for vegan scrambled eggs. It’s super good and I love to eat it. It takes me 35 minutes to make. I have a great recipe for non vegan scrambled eggs, it takes me about 5 minutes to make. That, my friends, is where I crumble currently.

Anyways back to The Feed Zone cookbook. What I have made thus far…YUM!

I did some sweet potato cakes for breakfast and then made up some sausage rice cakes and some bacon cashew rice cakes for snacks this week.


Everything turned out really good, and I can’t wait to experiment with more recipes. It was just a stroke of luck that we recently bought a really nice rice cooker (a Zojirushi) and when I tweeted that, everyone started asking me about the Feed Zone cookbook. That’s when I purchased the book (thanks for the heads up @SkratchLabs I love twitter).

There is a fairly lengthy introduction to the cook book which I highly recommend reading, it really resonated with me. My feelings on the matters of athlete nutrition were very similar. A few quotes really stood out to me and I will share.

The context with this first one was that he was talking about bars and quick convenience training “food”.

Though these products are convenient and can play an important role in supplementing an athletes diet, this convenience belies a simple truism about athletics: Being an athlete is hard. And if you want to reach your potential, it’s unlikely that the best way will be easier or more convenient.

—Allen Lim, The Feed Zone Cookbook.


The other quote that I just love really sums up the obsessive nature that we all can get with this sport.

While there is sometimes a large chasm between science and practice, success in either is a lot more about the process of discovery than the regurgitation of facts or techniques.

—Allen Lim, The Feed Zone Cookbook.

It’s true, isn’t it. It’s so easy to get hung up on the idea of what we should do, what science, or slowtwitch, or articles say we should do. When we arrive at what we should do via personal exploration, then it really sticks. Because we are all an experiment of 1 and if we give up on trying new things and experimenting, then I think average is what we will end up. Granted, the “average” triathlete is a pretty darn awesome way to live your life.

Last night (when I stayed up until 10) and this morning as well I have been thinking to myself….how am I going to convince myself to go to sleep before 9 as a long term solution rather than a short term way to score a Zeo? I think about the night owl that I am, about how much I love reading great books deep into the night, and I wonder, how…. how??

Being an athlete is hard. And if you want to reach your potential, it’s unlikely that the best way will be easier or more convenient.

Dang it! I know that my training is more effective on a steady stream of 9-10 hours of sleep. I did the experiment, I convinced myself. Now it’s down to the “do what’s hard” phase of being an athlete.

So, from now on, I will endeavor to kill the night owl in me. DEATH to the night owl.

2012 Runnin’ of the Green 7K

Running races hurt! Last weekend I ran a race that I haven’t for a few years (4 actually). The Runnin’ of the Green 7K is a fun one because they get 6,000 runners and it’s in downtown Denver and you get two free beers which combined with Michelle’s 2 free beers makes for one happy Troy!

Andrea was there doing marketing for her Cheyenne Mountain 25K and 50K. She puts on a really awesome race in a great location, check it out.

Michelle was racing too, which was particularly exciting because it’s her first run race in several years. Her foot is in a really good place, she has been running really well the last few months. It’s been so nice to do lots of running with her recently. She’s getting fast too, which kinda frightens me…I must work harder on my swim :)

You know who else has been working on her running? Annie! She is quite the little runner and last weekend was talking a lot about her “training” and how she doesn’t train for races, just for muscles. That made me laugh. She got her first pair of running shorts this weekend. My long legged idget is just made to run.

I lined up about 3 deep in on the start line and hit it pretty hard from the start. I did not want to go out too fast, but it’s really easy to on this course. The first mile is really down, then #2 is really up, then #3 is mostly down, then #4 has quite a bit of up, and there is an uphill kicker just before the right turn to the short finish stretch.
I also realized that I have a fear of the sub 6 minute mile. Unless I am running 1 mile or less, I am afraid of anything under 6 min pace. I need to get over this fear. I do Ironmans, they are hard, this is a silly fear. I’m thinking of changing my watch over to kilometers this year…that way the 6 minute mile is just a random number.

Mile 2 was painful and I settled into my effort level and tried to think about nothing (very hard to do when you are trying) and run as hard as I could. Mile 3 I got to go back down hill and my fear of the sub 6 returned. There was an out and back in the 3rd mile and I got to see for the first time the female leader, which was so cool because it was 2008 Olympic Marathon Gold Medalist Constantina Dita. I was in awwww. She is gnarly and awesome!

I counted what place I was in on that out and back and I was in 14th. The next lady was a good 20 seconds up, and I wasn’t quite sure what to do with that information. I came out of the out and back, and checked my 5K split 19:40. Uh Oh. That’s a PR. I still have 1.3 miles to go. And a hard 1.3 they were.

One part that was really neat was running at about 3.5 miles against the course traffic in the other direction. On my side of the road there were just a few of us, scattered about 5-7 seconds apart and on the other side of the road there were so many people they didn’t even fit in one lane of the road and were swelling into my side of the road. It was amazing, so see all those people huffing and puffing together.

I can only imagine that at the big marathons that’s how everyone feels. I must run one some day just to experience that feeling of cumulative simultaneous effort. I think that would be really neat.
I also realized that in a 6000 person race, when the gun goes off I was at the front of the race. So many people running and only 106 of them were faster than me. I really felt that feeling coming in that final mile. Like I was at the front, like I was fast. It was kinda cool to actually acknowledge it while I was running.
Just before the last turn I saw Troy and Annie hanging over the guardrail taking pictures and cheering. I tried to give it that last ummph into the finish line. 28:04 was my watch time. Ouch! Mega pain!

But then of course, about 10 minutes later, the pain goes away and you are just left with the “that wasn’t so bad” feelings. And then the endorphins hit you and the rest of the day is spent in happy land. No wonder we all get addicted to racing. What a high…and only after such pain!

PIC had a really good race too, top 10 in her 10 year age division and solid form start to finish. Good job Ford!
It was great to see Sandy, Richard, and the kiddos out there as well. They gave me some awesome cheers when I was on my way in, and congratulations to them (they know why)
All in all, I can tell that I am getting strong this year, things are coming together nicely. I’m feeling good and grounded (and rested with all the sleep I have been getting). This week the weather is amazing and Dirk gave us a nice big training week to enjoy all the sun.

It was really fun to get on the start line in a run race that was short and fast. I am definitely more naturally suited to the long trail racing, but I think it’s good to break out of the norm sometimes and give it your all. Only 2.5 weeks until my first big triathlon and that puts a huge smile on my face.

Challenge!!!

Troy threw down a challenge last week that has rocked my world. I’m a night owl big time. If left to my own devises I would be up until 1am or 2am every night. In fact at about 8pm I usually get my second wind for the day and start to perk up, it’s really quite unfortunate. It’s right about the time that he winds down for bed time.

I also sleep like the dead. It usually takes me about 30 seconds to fall asleep. It doesn’t matter if I go to bed a 10pm or at 1am, head hits pillow and I’m sawing logs. I sleep deeply and soundly most the time and I tend to have a very hard time waking up.

When I wake up in the morning, whether at 7am or at 11am, I’m grumpy. I’m sloggy, quiet, don’t like to talk, and feel like I am traveling through mud. I also don’t drink coffee or anything caffeinated in the morning so I just have to wait for my stupor to wear off. As the training picks up, this process tends to lengthen. Drag drag drag, then then by 9:30am or so I’m usually rocking’ and rollin’.

So, we are walking through Best Buy last weekend and I see one of those ZEO sleep monitors. Oooohhhhh, me likely, me want!

Again, I’m going to reiterate here that I am a junky for data items like this. I think at some point I’m going to need to go back to college to study physiology.

Zeo Inc. was originally started by a group of sleep-deprived students at Brown University.  Looking for a way to fight grogginess and perform at a higher level during the day, they learned that the stage of sleep from which a person awakens has a huge influence on how that person feels in the morning.  So, they developed a comfortable way to track sleep and help people wake up “on the right side of the bed.”

Needless to say I wanted to buy one right then. That’s where Troy stepped in and put the smack down. No way Sonja, why do you need that?…. he said as he slipped a new ginormous iMac into our cart. Seriously?

So I used my female ways of persuasion to say “If I go to sleep before 9pm for a week will you get me a Zeo”? Yes, we’ve been married for 10 years…

He said “1 month”.

I knew I had him then….”two weeks?”

“Okay, two weeks”. He thought he had this in the bag. So he thought.

Upon arriving home I immediately made a sticker chart. These sorts of things are best executed with a well thought out intermediate reward system. Case in point:

Let me tell you, this is probably one of the harder things I have ever endured and I have a new appreciation for those who have trouble sleeping. The first few nights were fine. Then there was a hiccup and I needed to take a call that would extend past the 9pm barrier. That night I had to use my true female persuasion for that damn sticker. But then after that night, back to the plan. And here’s what I found.

First off…in 7 days I slept 66.5 hours. That’s a lot of sleep!!!

I could not get to sleep later in the week. Wednesday and Thursday nights it took me over an hour to get to sleep despite the fact that I had trained a lot those days. I was rested and just laid there and tossed and turned for an hour before sleep found me. Then I woke up about 10 times each night and was AWAKE, but forced myself to count back to sleep. That’s something my mom taught me when I was little, she would tell me to count to go to sleep. Thursday night I told Troy “I just hit 109” I usually don’t make it past 12. He was a little pissed, I think because I woke him up, and he said “just go buy the damn Zeo”. Hahahha! I know how to break him!

Last night I almost didn’t make it. I shut the lights off right at 8:59. Troy comes in, and I say “Shhhhh, I’M SLEEPING” and then erupt into giggles. But, a magical thing happened. I was out in 15 seconds  and I woke up naturally 10.5 hours later without waking up a single time. 7:30 this morning I was fresh as a daisy and felt so alive.

So, next week will be interesting. I’m not holding Troy to his resignation of the bet. I want to see this one through. But it is OH SO HARD to turn off all the lights at 8:59 when I am in the middle of a really good chapter in IronWar and I’m not tired, and I just WANT TO STAY UP ALL NIGHT. Ha!

I’m not even going to tell you what I have to do if I lose the bet, because honestly, the probability that I will lose this bet is ZERO. Take that Troy!

(Troy snickers in the background knowing that by getting me in bed by 9pm every night means he has already won)

So, does anyone have the Zeo, have you played with it, what do you think? Also, does anyone have advise on the differences between the Zeo with the little clock or the one with the iPhone instead? I’m excited to learn more about sleep and about what kind of sleeper I am.

Tightening the bolts

Dude…..things are really good.

These last few weeks things are really starting to approach a nice flow with training. I’m still sorting out my work/life balance (I seem to be a slave to my iPhone…it does EVERYTHING). This year I took on some more athletes, actually a few more than I intended. But they are like kids, and once you have them in your life, you can’t imagine not having them. Well, sometimes I dream about not having a few of them. EHEM! Just kidding!!!

It’s been fun seeing them meet each other and create a little network of support within themselves, but then again, in this day and age, small electronic networks of support are readily available. It’s the person to person connection that we seem to be lacking.

That is one reason I love triathlon. During this off season my schedule has been relaxed enough to meet some new people, make some new friends, and really enjoy the energy I get from long slow runs full of lively conversation with some great men and women. I haven’t had so many swims like that, but it’s probably just me. The energy I get from connecting with others always puts me in such a great mood. It’s been a productive Pre-Season in many ways.

I signed up for another race on a whim. This is starting to get addicting…maybe I should try for that Elite card so I can sign up for things on a whim all the time. No No No, this mama enjoys the sport just like it is. I prefer to cheer for Angela and Beth and Beth and Kim etc etc etc rather than seeing them on the start line and turning the other way and RUNNING!!! Which is probably precisely what I would do. I’ve been asked why I don’t get my elite license…’cause I’m scared to death of those girls. Heck, I was scared of those girls when they were AGers and I had to race them. Hahahahhahah!!!!

Oh sorry, I got off topic, back to whims. Yea, long story short…back and forth with Dirk…and boom, I signed up to race Texas 70.3 in a just a few short weeks. Honestly it’s time to get the party started and this little diesel engine is ready for a test run. After a few months with a new plan, it’s good to get out there and race. It gives you an idea of what is working and what isn’t, and it give your coach some good data to run with. I’m excited about it.

In the past I tend to come out of the “pre-season” a bit slow. It takes awhile to get the engine warmed up. I don’t feel as much like that now. I feel like I’m ready and it’s as good a time as any to go race.

Michelle isn’t doing Texas, but we are going to NOLA to do the 70.3 there on April 22nd. That trip will be a little racing and a lot of Beignets (I will never spell that even close to correctly). I’m kidding, I meant a LOT of racing and a little Beignets (spelled it right that time, but I cheated). My mom may crash the party with us as well which makes for a very nurturing, and sherpa-ing PIC#3.

So, that’s really what’s new in my world.

Oh, I also wanted to tell you about my morning routine, so you can make fun of me next time you see me. I signed up for RestWise. I remember when Chuckie and Angela were talking about it and it took me MONTHS to find it online. WiseRest, Restful, resting site, log your rest site….yea, I was confused. Finally found it and signed up. I love taking my Pulse Ox in the morning and watching to see what my resting heart rate is.

In addition to that I have been using the ithlete for about a year. It measures your heart rate variability while you take a breathing test that takes about a minute.

Also add into there the fact that my scale wirelessly uploads to Training Peaks. That’s not entirely relevant, I just wanted to gloat again.

Oaky, so here’s where you get to make fun of me. I wake up and acknowledge that I am awake. I sit up in bed, prop up on a few pillows, and put my heart rate monitor on. I plug in the ithlete thingee and take the 1 minute test. Breathe in, then out, in out, in out… Then I put on the pulse Oximeter and breathe deeply, let it even out and memorize the numbers. Then I open RestWise on my phone and log the pulse ox and heart rate. Then I get up, go pee, while doing that I answer all the RestWise questions. How are you feeling, how did you sleep, are you hungry, are you hurt, do you have a headache, what is your mood (sometimes I have to go back and change that later) ….it’s like a therapist! I note the color of my PEE in Restwise, oh yes, it asks, as would any good therapist, and I put my contacts in. Why put my contacts in you ask? AH! I can’t see the scale without them! Then I weigh, note that in Restwise and punch the “upload data and give me my results” button. It tells me my Daisy ranking…fresh as a daisy….dead daisy…no, actually it just says 80% or 50% or something like that. I write everything on my handy dandy clipboard that lives in the bathroom…because electronics FAIL ALL THE TIME and I don’t want any data loss. Then I crawl back in bed to check my email.

Oh the life of an endurance athlete, you’re so jealous, I know it!

 

#14 of 33 before 33: The Sweat Dungeon

When we bought our new house last May one of the really exciting parts about it was the dungeon. There is a sub-subterranean room in the house that is buried beyond the laundry room. The house is 4 levels and the sweat dungeon is the bottom level. Nice and cool, a place where you can blast music loud and not even hear it on level 1..or 2..or 3!

Since Michelle and I have been spending a lot of time on the trainer I worked on getting the sweat dungeon all set up. It started with a table. Then we added towels, and food, and EFS…and NUUN. Thanks to the new Kurt Kinetic I have two trainers. Michelle started just leaving her bike at my house permanently. Why take it on and off the trainer? Plus, the girls get in less trouble when they are together.

Then we had some really really hard intervals. I found that my little plug your iPod into speaker system just wasn’t cutting it. Not loud enough to drown out the pain. So I got a sweet Bose speaker system for the dungeon that hooks into the iPhone. Michelle and I were so excited and it was such a perk for the dungeon. We did a happy dance for a week over that one.

Then we had some long rides and we were watching movies. Both of our necks were getting a little stiff because we were staring at my tiny lap top computer screen. So I begged Troy to get us (us meaning PIC and I) a TV for the dungeon. We don’t even own a TV. Don’t worry I’m not signing up for cable or anything. I wanted one that would plug into my computer and play whatever your computer was playing so we could watch Netflix, Hulu, iTunes, etc etc. I wanted it mounted to the wall. SO FANCY!

I’ve been addicted to Big Bang Theory recently. Cracks me up…plus I am married to a guy who belongs in the show.

The walls were still pretty bare so last weekend I pulled out all my race numbers over the years that used to decorate the hallway in our old apartment and got them up on the walls. I figure when I get to the bottom of the wall, I will retire!! Looks like about 7-10 more years. I put up posters and medals and tried to make it all over kinda inspirational. It’s like a race number wave, and now that I see it here, it’s very lopsided looking. Oh well, it’s not HGTV!

The final touch was thanks to Audra and Troy. A TRX mounted into the ceiling! Now if I can just get Audra back here to teach me how to hurt myself! I think they have classes at Greenwood Athletic Club so I am going to have to attend a few.

It’s really nice to have my own space for all my TRI stuff. It even has two closets for me to stuff all sorts of extras that have added up over the years. Michelle and I have put many hours into the dungeon this winter and even though spring is in the air, I sense that there are many more hours to come in here. Time just has a way of disappearing down there, sometimes we emerge from the dungeon 4 hours after going down, only to find it has snowed several inches, or it’s gorgeous outside. It’s nice to have a space to contain the pain…and our stench!