Monday, December 21, 2009

Russell is an Athlete

Russell from Survivor didn't win the title "Sole Survivor" but he definitely earned respect on the playing field. However it all went down... props to Russ.

Who is SuperGo Sam

A husband, a friend, an entrepreneur, a guy who used to be quick.
As I'm entering a new city's cycling community; I'm doing my best not to name drop, or rely too much on past experiences... but there was a time when I was an individually sponsored athlete who had a little respect on the start line. And as my training dipped a little this week; this blog is to remind myself who SuperGo Sam really is; an accomplished competitor, dedicated, disciplined racer :)

Once upon a time, I thought about placing my race resume on here because somebody called me 'inexperienced'...However googling "Sam Dumcum Duathlon" reminds me that that's not the case;

US National Duathlon 20-24 Grand Prix Champion
8 World Duathlon Championships (U/23 & AG)
45 Top Ten finishes... and many more to come!

"SuperGo Sam" also reminds me about how much fun I had getting into the sport.

In 2004, my first job after the US Marines was working at SuperGo Bike Shops, in Oceanside, California  and I loved it!  We carried everything from house brand Scattante to TdF brands like Cervelo and Cannondale in the road section, kiddie bikes, BMX bikes (that I NEVER touched), and a host of mountain bikes that took me a couple years to get a handle on.  It was such a great experience helping people get their first bike, or change their first flat or upgrade because they wanted to go faster, be more comfortable... I loved it and talked to everyone about what I did because I had so much fun.

And I had SuperGo everything, bottles, cages, tubes, locks, computers, shorts, jerseys... I was a walking billboard and thought it was the greatest thing ever.  "SuperGo Sam" actually came from our name tags; it said "SUPERGO" on the top and then there was a spot to write your name beneath; and thus SuperGo Sam was born.

It wasn't just about the bikes, it was the community and the people - hopefully that's what this space can be about a bit to; discovering the joy of cycling 'with' people again.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Day 41: Dec 19, 2009 - Grossness

OK, so I complain about MY gym a lot - I guess I should be counting my blessings because the one at a local mall is way worse. At least I feel my is clean; where-as the gym I went to today was dirty, sketch, and didn't have spin bikes. Instead of being completely bummed, I swallowed hard, turned up my headphones to drown out the disgusting music and construction workers and managed to bang out a decent weight workout.

Super Sets:

1) Leg Curls & Seated Row
Start with base weight, + 20 lbs each set (target of 15 reps)
As it got closer to the end I was dying and could only do 10 reps but I made it through 4 sets.

2) Leg Extensions & Pull Over Weight Machine
Start with base weight, + 20 lbs each set (target of 15 reps)
Usually I like to do individual legs on the extensions but today I did them together. This worked well as my left had to try and keep up with my right.
Pull Over - lean forward a little more than the guy in the picture and it really rocks your core.

4) Calf Press & Butter Fly
Calf press is always fun and kind of confusing but the sting came. Maybe because it was the end of the work out but you just have to grit through it.
Butter Fly - okay, I don't want to be big and bulky; but I do want to be able to throw my bike around on the hills and lean into the corners with sprinter power... And I can't stay a skinny white boy forever :P

Even though I spent 1/2 as much time in the gym as I wanted to - I burn
And as I write this blog 28 hours later; I still have a bit of soreness.
Note to self: Always remember to warm up doing a bit of cardio and stretching before hitting the weights, even if the gym is disgusting.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Day 38: Dec 16, 2009 - Gym, Spin, Die

Today I did my 'fitness assessment' at Premier fitness.
The numbers I remember are:
Body Fat Percentage: 16.8% (YIKES)
Weight: 186
Height: 6'1.75"
Biceps: 11.5"
Calves: 15"
Quads: 36.5" (hmmm I must have remembered this # wrong)
Chest 37.5"
Resting Heart Rate: 45 - WHAT? I think it's 66 and the guy just got it wrong.

Strength Test:
16 push-ups
I was actually almost happy with this after not having done them for so long. I felt a twinge in my shoulder at 15, but I think that's something that should go away. Definitely need to build back up some upper body core strength.

27 static sit-ups (chest to knees)
This was surprisingly good. I used to be able to do 120 crunches in 2:00; but these are a different ball game. I felt pretty good and maybe could have squeezed 1 more but...

Leg Curls: 15
(I'm not sure what the weight was but this was a max effort)

Leg Extensions: 15
(I'm not sure what the weight was but this was a max effort)

Leg Press: 42+
Mild fatigue - I don' think the trainer guy expected that.

Sit back against the wall:
:35 seconds

This was a super set - upper and lower body - kinda crazy

Took a little break - 10 dips / pull ups with 70lbs of help x 2

Off to the bike.

Premier Fitness has a selection of Reebok and Spinner NXT bikes. I like the Spinner bikes because well; it's spinning and I think Johnny G knows what he's talking about. The adjustment suites me well and the WTB looking saddles aren't to bad to sit on.

Work out:

5:00 easy spin - after the exertion in the gym I needed to catch my breath
5:00 - 1/2 turn increase.
5:00 - 1/2 turn increase.
5:00 - 1/2 turn increase.
5:00 - 1/2 turn increase.
2:30 - 1/2 turn increase.
2:30 - 1/2 turn increase.
5:00 - easy spin (3:00 backwards, 2:00 forwards)

Now this is the thing with spin bikes; you can't see your watts, but you can feel your output, so by adding 1/2 a crank on the 'resistance' knob, I don't know how many watts I was increasing my watts by, but it was definitely working 'something'.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Day 36: Dec 14, 2009 - gym, spin

Today I decided to get back in the gym and work more than just my legs :):

Shoulder Press (15 reps @ 75% of max) x 3
Seated Row (15 reps @ 75% of max) x 3
Arm Curl: (15 reps @ ____) x 2

Leg Extensions (15 reps single leg at x, x+20, x+40, x+40)

Then it was off to the pull-up / dip machine (with assistance)
10 pull-ups / dips
1:00 rest
x 3

I don't really remember what I did on the bike because I don't have my heart rate monitor here today; so I'll have to update that later; but my legs were pretty smoked the next day.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Day 31: Dec 9, 2009 - Spin HARD (1:50)

Well today was the last day of my 'first month'.
There's a "guy" who calls himself "the bike guy" and says its hard to stay on a trainer for more than 90 minutes... You'll see me quote this "guy" a lot and do a LOT of his workouts. Most of the workouts I already know and do because they're good workouts; but its nice to know other comebackers are on the same page. None the less, my goal today was to break the 90 minute barrier.

Anyhow, today was 110 minutes on the bike.
Read: 12 mins
Music: 50 mins
I wanted to do the majority in silence because I needed to do this, for me.

There wasn't a real 'plan' but I wanted to work, hard.
Plan not to burn out, but plan to accomplish some serious work. There's no hills, no coasting, just you and a bike, you can do this. Get into your head. Forget about the boredom. Think of attacking a hill, think of bridging a gap... If you're having a tough time getting into it, STAND, burn your legs off for a few seconds, sit down, recoup and do it again.

Sunday drive on Sunday; today is NOT Sunday. No scenery; nothing pretty to look at, just you, a bike, a wall, and a stuffy gym - GO RIDE!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Lance, Logos and Team Radio Shack

Now that I've officially completed my first month of 'getting back' into cycling... I re-instated my free online subscription to "RoadBikeRider" e-zine. For signing up, you get a free e-book, "29 Pro Cycling Secrets for Roadies" which is full of good info.

This week was a pretty entertaining issue as there was quite a bit about Lance Armstrong. I know I'm on my own 'comeback' starting a point way behind where Lance was when he left the sport (obviously) but he's almost TEN YEARS older than I am. Surely if I train my butt off for 10 years I can get close? Don't think so? Guess we'll have to wait and see.

Anyhow - here are some smiles for your day courtesy of Lance:

NBC Philadelphia - Lance Can't Stand "StillerStrong"
Stiller and Armstrong are going head to head in a YouTube war. Who knows, maybe it will end in a walk-off like the LapDogs Christmas party for 'best legs'...

Looks as though Team Radio Shack has been pretty busy this week. It almost looks like they've only published their fan site within the last couple of days. This is one of the best cycling team sites I've seen. It's seriously excellent; easy to navigate, relevant information, user feedback all over the place... The bust is I don't think they bought enough bandwidth as when I tried to go back on a few minutes after finding it via google...

Here's some fresh photos posted within the last THREE HOURS (Dec 10, Lance Armstrong, Livestrong and Team Radio Shack release previews of the new Trek Madone). There's a place on their forum to vote. While requesting a "Thumbs Up" or "Thumbs Down" vote - I voted "TD for design and TU for parts. Why?

In a drive for branding and sponsorship; "Team Shack" shows just how many logos you CAN fit on a bike.

Seriously, how many R's do you have to put on a bike before it's too many? (How many are on there now -10, maybe 15?) And get off the wheels! Lance's yellow discs were a think of beauty; true design. If they need "Radio Red" make a cool design that makes your eyes bug out when the boys are flying by at 45mph.

We all talk about how it's the 'clean' bikes that are the beauties of the tour. Radioshack, if you're listening - EVERYBODY will know that you're sponsoring Lance and an incredible team; you don't have to splash it all over the bike. "Quality not quantity", I think a little more class would be nice.

Parts - great kit set-up. Worked well last year! (I just wish I could get a set of Pro Team SRAM Red cranks; I'm hoping to swap my retail version for a stiffer set of Dura Ace 7900s). I recall the guys at Toyota-Fuji United saying the Bontrager wheel's were the stiffest out there. Everyone knows tours can be won on Trek's Madone model... Don't think you can really go wrong there anywhere, well except for the design.

You can vote on the bike design yourself here and see more photos here.

Online Info: (amazing interactive fan site) (ad spalsh page) (official twitter) (fan twitter)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Day 27: Dec 5, 2009 - Track

Today is the day.
As we wind down the first month; I made the 2 hr drive out to London Ontario to get back on the track. Forest City Velodrome was hosting a Level 1 Track School, and with it being my first time on a track bike since my accident, I was a little excited and scared.

My weapon of choice was a 57 cm KHS Flite. Once I connected my Look Keo's, we were instantly friends and away we went.
Rob from Ontario Cycling was there running the clinic and he did a great job.
1. Starting & Stopping
Some guys were ambidextrous but I wasn't able to unclick my right foot, so I was left dominant.
2. Cones on ground level.
3. Riding on the track / cote
4. cones on the Cote
5. Cones on the track
6. Group work

Feeling the speed and fluidity of the track was so refreshing.
Even though this little KHS loved me; if you're going to get a "base level" track bike; you NEED a Fuji Track Comp. Not only does it look fast; the rear wheel cut out and aero downtube help you cheat as much of the wind you're cutting through as possible. Fuji sports their own three piece isis bottom track cranks and 30mm deep wheels. For 'base level' you get a whole lotta pro built into it; no doubt with a lot of input from Advanced Sports Pan Am Games track girl. One day one will be mine!

In the skills session I was a little uneasy taking my hands off the bars; but that was because my collar bone was still a little sore from the other day, and the guy behind me went down. By the end I was okay to ride with my hand behind my back but it was still pretty unnerving.

I just wish it wasn't so far away - I can't wait to go back!

(there were three separate track classes - but here's the curve from the last one)

Day 17: Nov 25, 2009 - bike

With yesterday being a bit of a full day (with a bike and a run) I took it a little easier today.
I biked back to my buddy's house to get some air in these tires!
WOW did the bike ever ride differently. 30psi makes a huge difference. One thing I'll say for the Lightspeeds - they don't always feel the snappiest; but dang do they have great 'road feel'.

Got lost for about 10 minutes on the way there. There was a huge police check point in this small residential neighborhood (and I'm talking huge - 15 cops minimum, cars getting towed; INS on the scene, it was a pretty big deal) - anyhow it got me a little turned around. This made for a big negative split. That and I now had some proper air pressure in my tires.

Either way - my legs fell off on the big wall on the way home - check this out:
HR 144 / 174
Speed: 22.8 / 68.1
(avg / max)

Day 16: Nov 24, 2009 - Bike & Run!

Ahhh Atlanta
Home of the 2003 National and World Duathlon Championships. Well, Alpharetta was, but I doubt many folks would know where that was. I made a great friend here who's an assistant coach of the Emery Woman's Swim Team. Amazing guy, even after all these years he still had a bike for me to borrow to get some training miles in!

It was a beauty trainer, a 56 Lightspeed with Campy Daytona shifters and a Maciv Cosmic Elite front wheel and CX 32 rear. It was great for the rides I was going to be doing. The bust is when I picked it up... I didn't have a pump so I rode home at 80 psi :P Safe enough for the tires; but a slug fest for the legs. This was really exciting for me though as this had been my FIRST ride on the road since my accident that cost me my collarbone and bike.

And then in the evening there was a run, with my best friend Billy. If it wasn't for him I wouldn't have been able to push it this much. I know I know, I USED to be a duathlete, but now it's all WORK. Not that it wasn't fun; but check out those hills. I think my legs started screaming after 15 minutes. Lungs were working over time; but we're getting somewhere. Check out the elevation change - love it! Check out the heart rate - yowza.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Day 26: Dec 4, 2009 - Run in High Park

Last week I ran in Atlanta at my pace, where I didn't know where I was going, at whatever time I wanted to. Today was very different. Running with my buddy Ryan who's training for TPS is much quicker than running with Billy, who's an APD guy. I don't know why I only run with cops; maybe because they have time for it.
Either way, this pushed and pulled me outside of my comfort level and the heart rate was working again. Even with the frigid temperatures; I still had to take my top off because I was melting.

This is a great beginning to a Toronto Training Regime.

Day 25: Dec 3, 2009 - Spin

Today was a bit of a time crunch.
Bad day at work - politics in the office - hate it. I got out of highschool 10 years ago, seriously people.

Alas that left me 40 minutes so I went for a little spin.

10:00 warm up
7:00 single leg drills (left 1:00, both :30)
5:00 spin
10:00 spin more
(I broke this into 5:00 segments just to feel like I was ging somewhere and to track my hart rate better. I wanted to kind of ramp up, but wasn't too bothered because I had a crap day at the office and wanted to leave some of it at the gym before I went back.)
5:00 spin backwards

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Day 23: Dec 1, 2009 - VOMIT IN MOUTH

Yup that's right.
There's working it; and then there's throwing up in your mouth.
Now understand that's not quite as rough as spewing chunks; but today I graciously made up for yesterday.

5:00 - row - nothing too drastic, but the blood got pumping.
10:00 - Superman Sets -
5 pull-ups (feet start on box/ground)
focus on negative resistance
10 Spiderman pushups
Push up - when in 'up' position
raise right knee towards elbow
raise left knee towards left elbow
(down / up - repeat)
15 Body Weight Squats
:30 second rest between sets

Repeat as many sets as possible in 10 minutes.

When doing pull-ups; I like to alternate between 'overhand' and 'underhand' grips every set. I find this helps out balance out the shoulders and back a bit more in this work-out.
I've taken it easy on the upper body and core since breaking my collarbone; so this was no joke.

10 Spidie push-ups were too many for my shoulder as I started to feel the stress where the fracture was. Instead I did 6 push-ups, followed by the body weight squats, and then 4 more push-ups; rest, start over. This really reminded my arms, shoulders and back that they were part of my total body.

As for the 'leg lifts' during the push-up... this is for your core. Kind of combining everything. I'll do more research and get back to you; but for not having done crunches for three months; they reminded me just how deep my abs were burried. I would recommend 'lift-hold-lower', really squeeze your leg at the top. This not only gives you a bit of stretch, but your muscles a chance to really get into the work out and support your weight.

And then it was on to the bike.
It was getting late; and I hadn't really had dinner but I wanted to get something good in.

20 minute warm-up (12:00 reading)
1:00 hard
1:00 soft
2:00 hard
2:00 soft
3:00 hard
2:00 soft
2:00 hard
2:00 soft
1:00 hard
4:00 soft (2:00 reverse)

sweat on floor, vomit in mouth.
Wrecked, shattered, lungs burning - what a feeling.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Day 22: Nov 30, 2009 - A gym is not a . . .

freaking circus.

For me going to the gym is like watching Grey's Anatomy with my wife. If I'm in the mood - it's AMAZING - if I'm not, it's a chore, and today... it was like the forth sink full of dishes.

I was looking forward to coming back from my week long training in ATLANTA and wanted to follow it up with some good hard sweat in the iron chamber. But NOOOooo it had to be 'customer appreciation day'. I work out at a Premier Fitness because most of them are really nice; but there's a reason my club has a website that looks like 'this' (pathetic I know).

A quick list of circus acts acts I endured today whilst wanting to work out:
Live DJ
Tony Roma's free snacks
(which the whole neighborhood came to check out)
50" TV give a way (donated FREE by local business)
Christmas Lights
(oh and let's not forget the club manager running around in a suit clapping saying "it's almost time for the draw people")

Put 125 extra people into a gym that aren't dressed for the gym. Added to the extra 40 people not usally there on a Monday night and you have one squashed work out. Couldn't get on a pull up bar to save my life, the weights I wanted were all taken, or moved somewhere I couldn't find... I mustered getting the heart rate up for 10 minutes but seriously.

10:00 on the rowing maching
(2029 meters)

Yup - that's it, a whole trip to the gym for 10 minutes!
Hopefully tomorrow we can get in a double work out.

PS - free tip to gym owners and managers out there.
You want "Customer Appreciation":

1) Call up some sports supplements companies and get some free samples
(not fried food from next door)

2) Get a guest speaker or fitness celebrity in to speak.
(as 2010 is Canada's time - an Olympian might be nice. Oh you don't know where to find Olympians? Check out Agenda Sport Marketing - or ask the people you got the above free supplements from).

3) Prizes - TV's are nice; but what about a couple of 12 month memberships, or perhaps some of those over priced 'Personal Training' sessions you're constantly trying to sell?

Sorry folks; no quirky pictures, just whining.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Day 18: Nov 26, 2009 - Turkey Day Atlanta (Ride & Run)

Turkey Morning - out on the bike. 90 minutes or so - more stats to come later. Click here for a map link. I LOVE Atlanta elevation. This was just a fun ride. I actually road a lot of the Atlanta Marathon route. This meant closed roads and lots of runners.
The pace wasn't really fast; I was just enjoying getting to go for a ride.
I also did a lot of one legged drills because with the constant elevation changes I realized how mush stronger my right leg was than my left and that's definitely something that needs to be worked on for next race season! (PS - this is now my longest outdoor ride of the year and I had a great time just having fun - even though I had to wear my arm warmers the whole time!)

HR 146 / 176
24.7 / 52.7

AND - then there was another run... with Billy, because, well - we can't go on rides together, so running it is. 2 a days are kinda nice and a little intense! But the bike comes FIRST.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Day 15: Nov 23, 2009

Not a 'HotLanta' day but definitely nice. At 10C it's quite a bit cooler than I was hoping for, but it was still pleasant none the less. More rolling hills, great grass to run on and a high heart rate (avg for 45 mins was about 170 and again; not going that fast!).
Today I really feel like I made a bit of headway. After yesterday's rest day, I did a lot better on the run. Less sore muscles, less walking (potentially due to better stretching and not running with the dog).

The laps are where I WALKED - yes I'm still walking during my runs. It's not that I can't push myself; I'm on vacation, heart rate is through the roof; and I'm okay to give it time. When I've forced my fitness to come back too fast; it's always hurt me in the long run; so I'm learning. Taking it easy in the beginning is OK!

Equipment: Layers
10C is a great temp to run outside in, especially after a rain.
Good clean air, crisp and refreshing, great for your muscles, and you're not over heating.
The bust is; once you warm up and start sweating; it's easy to develop a bit of a chill. Many runners like to wear a long sleeved base layer; but I think I found something better. Today I ran with my ARM WARMERS and regular running gear (short shorts & loose sweat wicking dry fit top). I was completely comfortable the whole time. For the first 10 minutes when I was a little chilly I wore the arm warmers; then when I warmed up, I tucked them in my shorts.
No need to take off the shirt and be TOO cold, and I was in my comfort zone. It's a little cycling/running gear cross over, but give it a try!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

day13: Nov 21, 2009 - Run

Atlanta Day 1
This year I'm having an official fall training week while visiting friends in Atlanta.
Today I took the dog out for a run but it didn't go so well :(
About 8 minutes away from the house the dog got tired and wanted to go home.
Alas - work out.
The stats on this one are pretty sweet. I was just out for a jog, and my heart rate was through the roof. This lets me know I'm out of shape... way out of shape. A heart rate of 187 bpm used to let me know I was moving, fast; now it just means I'm going up a hill, and not even working hard.
Lame. But we'll see how this progresses over time.
Either way it was refreshing to be outside, running on grass the WHOLE time, with no shirt! Amazing.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Day 9: Nov 17, 2009 - Spin

The world's been a crazy place.
Trying to finally kick the sick so I took it easy for a couple days.
Back on the Spin Bike.
This was a bit of a fun one.

15:00 Warm - Up (10 minutes with book / 5 mins without)
5:00 Escalate
5:00 Single Leg Drill
(:30 left, :30 both x 3, :30 right)
5:00 kick
(:30 hard, :30 spin)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Day 8: Nov 16, 2009: walking

Sometimes life happens
Sometimes sick happens
Sometimes we have to make the best of whatever it is.

I walked a whopping 2.6km.
To the coffee shop with my wife where she was meeting friends.
Home from the coffee shop.
Up four flights of stairs... followed by a repeat trip to pick my wife UP from the coffee shop! What can I say, it's fun hanging out with my wife and I wanna kick the sick so I stayed home and ate ginger tea and ate chicken soup.

It did give me a chance to test out my new MapMyRide account AND show you the route I walked :)

Day 7: Nov 15, 2009 - Sunday

Sunday's are supposed to be a day of rest... and it was.
Today my Spirit got the biggest work out of the day. Don't think this isn't important. A weak spirit does your mind and heart no good! If you don't recharge your Spirit, you'll find your life tank running on empty and it won't matter how fast your legs can pedal!

Day 6: Nov 14, 209 - trail run

This was my first run of the season, so I took it easy, REALLY easy.
It was a little bit interesting start, because going down the front steps of my building; my legs let me know they were still recovering from the stairs workout on Day 4!

5:00 warm-up / STRETCH
Does anyone else feel weird stretching in public after you've fun? It's like you pass a bunch of walkers; and then they catch up... maybe it's just me but it makes me self-conscious.

5:00 - warm-up jog
Having to pick up my wife's cell phone from a friend - I made it a "destination" jog :) It was a great stop-over because it was close High Park and I prefer to run on trails.

10:00 - easy trail jog
That's it - a whopping 10 minute run.
My legs haven't ran in over a year, and as I'm getting older I'm learning taking my time over injury is important, and I'm still a little bit sick. But I feel as though my muscles got to remember some important things.

To me, trail running is like free weights for your feet. The natural undulations, quirks and lumps make your feet and legs react to your weight as they're supposed to. This gives your ankles, supporting muscles, and joints a chance to stabilize your perpetual motion and build your body into a lean mean racing machine - or at least one that works in cohesion with itself. Right now, with just getting back into shape, it's very important that all of my muscle groups become friends with each other again :)

Not to mention the pre-permafrost grass and dirt also act as a shock absorber for your joints! Athens Olympic Bronze Medalist, American athlete Deena Kastor shared with Life Time Fitness that she too prefers trail running. "On the physical side, the trails absorb some of the shock that hits my joints when I run on asphalt and concrete, so trail running helps me stay fresh." Another physical benefits of trails that there's often less pollution, and beautiful scenery. Or in my case today, LEAVES!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Chicken Soup - Secret Recipe Revealed!

When I was sick; one of my wife's healing remedies was home-made Chicken Noodle Soup.
How do you make this healing recipe:

4 Chicken legs (with bones)
1 red potato
1 red potato
2 carrots
3 stalks of celery
3 cloves of garlic
1 onion (medium)
4-6 green onions
rosemary (fresh)

Spices: Dried Basil, parsley (fresh), sea salt, ground pepper corns, garlic powder.
If you like it spicy add: Chile Powder, chili peppers, peprika, cayenne pepper


In large pot, cover chicken legs with water and bring to boil.
Let boil for approximately 3 minutes. (You'll notice some 'foamy' stuff coming to the top - that's what we're getting rid of at this step).
Fill pot with clean water (We like to have a side pot boiling water to dump on top of the 'clean' chicken to help speed up the process).
Once chicken has fully cooked - pull the meat off the bones and put in side bowl.
Continue boiling bones in pot for a LONG time - this is your broth base.
During this time, chop your vegetables to whatever size you like.
Remove bones (and save in case you want to make more soup later!)
Add vegetables and spices. You pick how much spice you want to make it delicious for you.
(I usually like to save the celery for a few minutes because I like it a bit crunchy).
Continue scraping 'froth' off the top.
Boil until the potatoes are soft.

Now that you've been boiling your broth for about an hour it's time to add the chicken! Cut your pre-cooked (boiled) chicken into smaller pieces and add to soup so it can soak up your delicious broth. Continue to boil for about 5 minutes and serve!

As you continue to get stronger you'll want more meat, add rice, all those good things.
This is tasty and hardy and is a great source of natural vitamins your body needs to help you recover.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Day 5: Nov 13, 2009 - Sick

Apparently I overdid it a bit yesterday and today I was home yet again.
Even now @ bed time I'm still not over these stinking swine flu symptoms.
This isn't helping.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Day 4: Nov 12, 2009 - Stairs

OK - so I'm still home sick in bed - but I couldn't handle doing NOTHING for another whole day. Hmmm I can't go out, I don't want to make people sick, so what can I do at home.

Living in a 30 story apartment building has it's advantages. A short elevator ride took me to parking level B1 from whence I began my ascent.

Lap 1 - 30 flights UP
6:13, 129 avg bpm

Lap 2 - 30 flights DOWN
4:27, 138bpm - 105 bmp, what a drop!

Lap 3 - 30 flights UP
4:54, 160 avg bpm

Lap 4 - 30 flights DOWN
4:16, 147 avg bpm

Muscles worked: quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteal muscles, hip flexors, and calves.

I walked back up the few floors to my appartment after having finished in the basement as a cool down. A little short on breath, both from the work out and the local tenants that don't pay much attention to the "NO SMOKING" signs, it felt as though it had been a decent work out. Then the NEXT DAY I was walking down the front steps of my building and wow, my quads burned! Pretty exciting!

Some research on stair climbing led me to a quote by Martica Heaner, Ph.D., M.A., M.Ed., for MSN Health & Fitness. "climbing up stairs will not bulk up your legs. Rather, how muscular your legs are depends on your genes". She went on to expand that, "it is very unlikely that stair climbing provides enough resistance to encourage muscle growth". No wonder the article was listed on a website entitled "Free Diets . com", you couldn't pay me to listen to that advice.
After 1 day in the stairwell my legs feel like they want to bust out of my jeans. So maybe it's not quite Rocky.... but it's a start.

Check out these peaks!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Day 3: Nov 11, 2009 - SICK

I had planned on taking Remembrance Day off - well, because it's Veterans Day and that's just how it goes. But I didn't plan on spending the day in bed. Started out with a head ache last night, then crazy tired and cranky, flem in throat, feverish... SWINE FLU started running through my mind. Around noon my body started aching all over (another SF symptom); but I didn't really want to take a pain killer because I wanted to know what my body was doing and going through.

SO, I remedied it with my wife's tea and some crazy vitamin intake:

Wife's Get Better Tea: (additions noted by *s)

Raw Ginger Root slices
1/4 Lemon sliced
1/4 Lemon squeezed
1/2 Lime sliced
1/2 Lime squeezed
1/4 Orange squeezed*
(vitamin C)
1 tablespoon of honey (or more if you like)
4 cups water
Bring to boil, let reduce and serve

Today I learned that ginger root:
Aids in Digestion, Alleviates High Blood Pressure, Treats Nausea & Morning Sickness, and lowers LDL Cholesterol. also said that it's originally used to cure things like menstral cramps, sea sickness, food poisoning and even body odor! Talk about a handy root to carry around in your jersey pocket!

Day 2: Nov 10, 2009

Slightly more glamorous than Day1. Except today the reason I was out of bed @ 6:00am was to take my mother in law to the airport... Alas, after husbandly duties were completed; it was off to the gym.

Warm Up - ROWING
4:05 (very short, running late)
120 - 135 bpm
44 calories burned
30 strokes/min average
824 meters
(Why Rowing?)

Work Out - Bike
12:00 - daily Bible reading (120bpm)
3:00 - finish warm up (escalate to 130 bpm)
5:00 - escalate to 145 bpm
5:00 - 40 secs hard, 30 secs soft
* wow - haven't done one of these for a while
5:00 - paceline tempo (moderate)
5:00 - 1 leg drills (3o secs left, 30 secs both x 3 +1 30 secs right every 4 sets)
5:00 - cool down (pedaling BACKWARDS - helps smooth out stroke)

40:00 mins today - now we're getting somewhere.
Now if I only remembered that I needed to be somewhere when I was on minute 10!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Why Row ?

I first started rowing as a warm up with a friend - but it's rapidly becoming a staple in my pilgrimage back into race shape. So far my rowing sessions have all been 5 minutes or less. But they're growing. A learning point for me has been that I don't ALWAYS have to row 35 strokes per minute.

Here are some benefits I've found from rowing:

1. It's a killer warm up
Rowing can get my heart rate through the roof and tell my body "it's time to work" before I even get on the bike. It uses so many muscles not just one area is targeted. This is a great lead-in for stretching. (if I stretch cold; I feel like I don't get anywhere, but while warm, I'm like Gumby - okay not true but closer)

2. Total Body
As eluded to in 1. the fact that it works the whole body is good for many other things.
Weightloss - I have friends who are 250lbs+, ride 5 hours per week and can crank out 345 watts on the flats, which is great, but you always have to wait for them at the top of hills, or even overpasses. Rowing seems to burn calories 'everywhere'
Definition/Muscle Building - In cycling we need strong arms and backs to help us go fast. It may be cheating as I don't enjoy free weights that much; but I can row and have already felt it start to make a difference. (Zabel's a ripped little dude, and it seems like a lot of OCup races are crit and sprint finished based so this will be important).

Is it REALLY total body?

As you catch the handles of the rowing machine and begin to pull forward, you are engaging your pelvis and thighs. As you pull, your arms, shoulders, back, and abdomen get involved. As you slide back, your legs, hips, and torso do the brunt of the work. The backs of your upper arms, shoulders, and butt also get a good workout with proper rowing form.

3. It's not a bike.

There are times when it's good to just not be on the bike. Here you can get your anaerobic work out in. Build your lung capactiy, work your body, and not be sitting on your saddle. Had I not lived in Toronto; I likely wouldn't have discovered rowing machines, but since you can't be outside all year round - you gotta rock what you got.

4. Low Impact
Let's face it - the road can beat you up some days. If you want to have smooth fluid motion - this is a good way to go. It's great when you're building muscle around injuries - like the broken collar bones many of us experience. ( Here's a pic from my late July 2009 crash where I miss navigated some street car tracks).

People may make fun of me for using a 'machine'- but at least it's not an elliptical :P

Nov 10, 1775 + A Few


United States Marines represent the best young men and women our Nation has to offer. To be a Marine is to be a member of America's warrior class - to be one of the few who steps forward with the courage and conviction to face whatever dangers await. Our Nation expects her Marines to be ready when the Nation calls; to leave family and the comforts of home behind; to march into battle and thrive under austerity; and to come home under a victory pennant.

From Al Anbar in the west of Iraq, to Helmand Province in the south of Afghanistan, our Corps of Marines can always expect to be found where the fight is toughest. Such is our history. Today, as we write the final chapter on our victory in Iraq, we will increasingly take the fight to the enemy in Afghanistan and add new pages to our legacy in places called Delaram, Now Zad, and Garmsir. One day, we will return to our naval heritage and patrol the high seas with our Navy brothers. Such is our future.

To all who have gone before, to those who wear the uniform today, and to the families that give us the strength to forge ahead - I wish you all a heartfelt Happy 234th Birthday!

Semper Fidelis,

James T. Conway
General, U.S. Marine Corps

ALMar 033/09 (Complete script here)
Video of Commandant's Birthday Message.

The saying, "Once a Marine, Always Marine" is true - so today it's my birthday too.
To all my brothers home and away, kick ass and have a Happy Birthday.

In case you're wondering why Sgt. Major Kasal is in the video so many times... he's part of the new breed of heroes to come out of Iraq. He was my Gunny in 2002 with 1st Bn, 4th Mar, 1st Mar, 1Mar Div in 2002. When he was promoted to 1st Sgt, he moved over to 3/1. November 14th, 2004, First Sergeant Kasal showed the world what being a Marine is all about. You can read the story here, or his Presidential Citation for the Navy Cross here.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Day 1: Nov 09, 2009 - Lame

I'll be honest - I was hoping for a little more grandeur as I started my trek from 'office guru' to cycling super star... but alas. 6:00am came and went and I didn't get to the gym until 6:00pm.

5 minutes on the row machine.
This aint no warm-up; heart rate kicked up to 186bmp.
1212 meters rowed...

25 minutes on the spin bike.
Escalating heart rate.
0-5 mins (sub 137bpm)
5-10 mins (140 - 145bpm)
10-15 mins (single leg drills)
15-20 mins (150+ bpm)
20-23 mins (spin)

Ok so that was a lame blog, but so was the work out.
Seriously if the rest are this bad I wouldn't read my blog; but then again - it's not for YOU yet; it's for me - to make sure I work out and do more on day 15 than day 1. So check back then!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

SuperGo Sam Searches for a New Ride

Living on Bloor Street West in Toronto, there are plenty of bike shops wanting a racer's business. Here's a summary of the help I got and didn't get along the way. Note that I'm a bit of a weenie and know what I want. I've been sponsored and worked in a shop; so I had high expectations for service, pricing and selection.

Wheels of Bloor was my first stop. I'd been in a few times and knew they had the ideal bike I was looking for. I've had a love affair with the Cervelo Soloist (Now S series) since the 2003 US Duathlon Championships in Alpharetta, GA. A training crash two days before nationals meant I needed a bike FAST - the owner of All3Sports leant me his Soloist and I rode one of my fastest 40K splits EVER. Aside from Thor winning the Green Jersey at this year's Tour, Carlos winning yellow at 2008's and every other reason to buy a Soloist... I was a believer. $3699 will get you into a S2 (on special) but that was a little outside my price range for what I wanted in an Ultegra set up.

I was also more than interested in a Felt AR Series frame as ridden by the Garmin-Slipstream boys. Felt used to be a SuperGo brand and their rides were rockin light. Having heard the history of Jim Felt and knowing that a lot of thought and science goes into his bikes; I would have likely done what needed to be done to make this buy happen. I really got a hard-on for this bike during the Tour as I loved it's curves. The sprinters and climbers all riding the same frame - that was hot - but in 2009, they only produced higher end component groups and were 'exclusively' priced. Now in 2010 they have the AR Team - AR5 AND a frame set available for sale. But again, the price was a little much for just getting back into the sport.

If you have the money to spend - Out of the shops I visited. WoB DEFINITELY had the most the most comfortable atmosphere to shop in. No gimicki sales, no bs about the price of carbon going up, the least buying pressure of anyone and staff that really knew their stuff. Whether you wanted to look by yourself, or ask questions, they were flexible to give you your space, or offer their knowledge, I really appreciated that.

If cash is a bit of an issue - like it is with most of us - keep an eye on their SPECIALS:
Look (585 built with 105 for $2500) Orbea (they're Orca offer was VERY tempting!)
Argon 18, BMC, Colnago, Devincy, Ridley and Time also adorn the shelves.

Memory Bike Lane

Right now I don't have a bike, at all.
What! How is SuperGo Sam going to ride again if he doesn't have a bike?
Hopefully research and experience have helped me figure out how to best fulfill the needs of a Toronto racer - in one bike.

Stiff frame for crits.
Aero for time trials, light for the hills (which there aren't many of)...
Rapid Response brakes to help contend with crazy traffic.
Some form of comfort for our should be condemned roads.
Crisp shifting for twitchy group rides...
This bike is going to be the most important bike I've ever owned - an everything bike. Road races, TTs, crits, training - one bike, one goal "to see if I still have it".
The Fuji SST 1.0 (above) would be a perfect choice, but it's not being available until Feb 2010... And if SuperGo Sam is gonna ride again - I need to get on the bike yesterday. To help determine what's needed in my new bike, I decided to take a look back at the bikes of SuperGo Sam.

Let me introduce you to the bikes of my past when I did "have it" as we take a walk down Memory Bike Lane.

Bike # 1. Russ Denny 2002
Custom tube selection, angle design and candy red paint. Sexiest bike I've ever owned.
Colubmus aluminum aero down tube with razor sharp seat stays. Easton S-Bend chain stays got all the pedal power straight to the wheels. Aero seat tube extended to add some stiffness. Note the cut out near the seat collar; this was the ONLY bike like this as I wanted my frame to be UNDER 3 lbs :) And when you're training for worlds in Switzerland - you want a light bike!
2nd - US National Championships 2003
17th - U23 World Duathlon Championships 2003

This was the last of my bikes to be sold; August 2009. Having a multi-sport geometry doesn't quite fit with what I want to do this year. Unfortunately this picture doesn't do it or Russ justice; but it is truly a beauty.
Bike # 2. Scott CR1 Limited 2004
As the world was the rage with carbon - I made the leap. A pre-season race in February left a lot of the field in my dust and an Arizona shop was more than happy to help me into the "Bike of the Year". This was seriously the stiffest bike ever. It did it's job; qualified for Worlds, did well at nationals... but it didn't fit me too well and was too stiff for long training rides (kinda harsh) so I sold the frame the next year (but kept the DA 7800 parts).

Bike # 3. Kestrel Talon SL 2005
THIS was a phenomenal ride. Comfortable, aero dynamic, fit great (55cm)...
I did my first 5 hour ride on this bike and loved it. Training miles didn't feel like near as much work - it was amazing until...
January 4, 2006 I face planted into a Mercedes' windshield while making a left through a green light. Somehow we didn't see each other and I wound up in the MRI machine with a fractured helmet, major concussion and 3 chipped teeth.

With working at Performance, we had just picked up Fuji bikes, and I was excited to try one of their steeds. On Dec 29th I had bought myself a Christmas present with my employee discount - perfect timing because I needed 'something' to help me get ready for my dream season:

Bike # 4. Fuji Roubaix RC (now the Fuji Roubaix ACR)
Stiff aluminum frame with carbon seat stays for comfort.
Shimano Ultegra's work horse strong components
Put on my Dura Ace crank set to lighten the pedal bearing load a little.
This was my training road bike and San Diego 'winter' bike, and came in handy for a few speedy crits I wanted to race in.

You can see the complete stable here as I'm loading up my Hyundai Elantra for the long trek from Oceanside, CA to Winnipeg, MB.

Sold in 2008 to help pay for WEDDING!

With the crash toasting my Kestrel Talon SL, I needed a new racing rocket. And Fuji delivered - again. In a miracle sponsorship arrangement - Fuji completely changed my life by providing me the frame of my dreams. It looked like my Scott CR1, was light like my Scott CR1, but this frame... this frame was built for all day business (or in my case, running once you got off the bike). A call to Profile-Design took care of the rest of my needs and I was off to the races.

Bike #5. Fuji Team Issue
Frame set: 2005 Fuji Team Issue
Fork: Fuji 330 Carbon
Handlebars: Profile-Design Lava OS
(clip-on compatible - great bend)
TT Bars: Profile-Design T2+
Stem: Profile-Design Lava OS
Seat Post: Profile-Design Elite Strada
Wheels: Reynolds 45mm DV-UL's with White Industries hubs
Group*: Shimano Dura Ace 7800
Saddle*: Fizik Carbon Winf Flex
(*still from Bike 2)

Sold in 2008 to pay for wedding :(. This one was a tearful goodbye. It went to a wonderful woman named Karen who I just heard a few days ago is taking good care of my memory maker. Together Fuji TI and I took on the world.
2nd - 2006 US National Duathlon Championships 20-24
FASTEST BIKE SPILT in AG "What, you're riding a road bike?"
US National Duathlon Grand Prix Champion (10 races across the US)

Many consider Fuji a 'lesser' brand because they haven't had the big names riding their bikes. Their development has been two steps ahead of where a 'non top 5' brand should be on the technology curve. This year Servetto's on their bikes and already making waves.

The Intro - but not yet the beginning

Once upon a time, in sunny SoCal, there was a young man who worked at SuperGo Bike Shops;
which was quite fitting because he road bikes really fast, his name was Sam. Sam didn't just ride his bike - he SuperGo'd it. After years of training hours per day - a lifelong feat of goals was accomplished; a course record, a national grand prix series victory AND a national title in the sport of duathlon had all been secured!

This meant success for his incredible sponsor Fuji Bikes, who was just entereing the world of multi-sport. Everyone always wondered how someone could have the "fastest bike split" on a road bike; but they'd never sat on a 2005 Fuji Team Issue frame - this thing was truly a rocket on wheels. His friends at Performance Bike, which had bought out SuperGo, were incredibly supportive and liked having a home grown racer around - and life was good :)

Waking up at 6am to train wasn't a big deal for Sam as he had just finished four years as a Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps... but as time went on Sam became very tired inside. The racing and traveling was great but there's only so much you can do on your own. After a seemily successful career; Sam traded in his cycling shoes for a ticket to return to his home and native land of Canada.

Two short years later, Sam's life was filled with a beautiful bride, great friends, and a job that is continually expanding his horizons.

But there was still a tinge of his past that needed to be dealt with. Three years later a question has consumed him, "is there any fire left in these legs?". After a go-ahead from the wife, and from God - the quest for the answer has begun.

This blog is an online accountability record of the journey to finding out if the fire still remains. It's one thing to work your heart out when there's a coach checking up on you; there's another when you get up in the morning, put your feet on the cold floor of life, and get out and train yourself. It's 6:00 am - again - let's do this.