Thursday, January 26, 2012

Post Camp Reality

I thought I would post a short update about my progress since the Kona camp. I gotta say that my motivation is better than before I went. I continue to work out when I can, however, the work schedule and 24 hour shifts I’ve been doing are making it difficult for me to get into a training rhythm. I’m lonely here. I miss my family, I miss Tulsa and all my old training pals. I’ve joined the local triathlon club and hope to meet up with some folks that share my enthusiasm for the sport and help keep me focused in the right direction. The club is called Rufus Racing . They seem like they have a lot of energy.

I have started riding Erg videos on the computrainer. The trainer is a grind but those motivate me and make the time go by faster. It’s just like riding outdoors with a pack of pro cyclists. I set it to my FTP and the trainer sets the resistance for my fitness, present power level, the terrain and responses to what the pack does. I have also taken the mountain bike out for a spin a few times.

I haven’t made it to the pool yet. Joplin doesn’t have too many options and I really hate swimming in “hot” water. I’m considering getting a vasa ergometer and just try to get to the pool once a week to keep my feel for the water.

My running is coming along well. I have been running off road and on fire roads hitting some really steep grades. This is improving my strength and also limits the pounding my legs take on the roads. My legs don’t ache as much as they did when I started up again. I can feel the speed and endurance improving.

I have the P90X system and do that when I feel like killing some time and working on some core strength.

I have lost 5 lbs and now weigh 169. My body fat has dropped to 17-18%. My past race weight was in the 140’s so I have a little bit to go.

It’s a slow process. Trying to do this and balance my work schedule is difficult. I recently pulled a 24 hr call and it just beat me up. Hardish training and no sleep set me up to get sick. I currently feel like dog crap. Gotta keep going.......

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Kona Kickoff Camp

My Kona training camp was just what the doctor ordered. I am motivated and feel I got a big bump in fitness as well.

I arrived in Kona on Saturday evening, the 7th of January. At 8:00 the next morning, I was on the pier ready to swim 2.4 miles with Karlyn Pipes-Neilsen . I met her during my last visit to Kona but at that time I was in much better shape. It turns out she is dating my friend Petro so it’s a small world indeed. Karlyn toed me and a few others for the distance. My armpits were on the verge of bleeding after that swim. I rented a nice bike from bike works then got out on the Queen K for my daily rides. This was a goal; ride every day. By the end of the week the folks at Bike Works knew me on a first name basis. Kona feels like home.

My longest ride was 56 miles and shortest was 20 miles. One morning I was out cruising the Queen K and some really fit dude in a K-swiss kit on a Trek cruises up behind me. It turned out to be Chris Lieto. Kevin Moats was out there too. Chris was taking an easy recovery ride and we were able just to shoot the bull and chat a little. Kevin flatted out so I ended up riding with Chris alone for a bit. It was just like I was riding with an old training buddy. It turns out his wife is from Tulsa. His thoughts about the weather there are the same as mine.. too cold. He has moved to Kona for the winter. Just one crazy windy race day on the Queen K like Norman had a few years back and he will be the world champion. Riding with Chris pumped me up a bit more and I started thinking..... Maybe I could race here again?

It was a great camp for my kick off to fitness and I was able to do much more than I thought I was capable of doing.

My totals are as follows:

Swim 8.4 miles 4:05

Bike 234 miles 12:50

Run 20 miles 2:50

Total training time was 19:45. That’s a pretty big week for a fat guy just coming off the couch. The good thing about it was that I felt that I was getting stronger as the week progressed. On my down time, I cruised the Kona village and ate some great food that consisted of fresh fish, vegetables and drank some awesome coffee.

This was the first vacation I have taken alone. During my downtime, I drove around and visited places on the island that I had not seen before. I really enjoyed myself. There is something on this island that really makes me feel happy. It’s a very special place for me. It was tough leaving this island paradise but before I left I had scheduled my next training adventure with Petro. Stay tuned as this fat and out of shape guy gets fitter and is back on top again.

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Big Island Smile

When I was fit, training camps were something I used to do to bump my fitness level up a notch. I would pick out a cool place to go and just make a vacation out of it. I know, it's not most folks definition of a vacation but I enjoyed it. It's been a while since I have done this but I always admired how my Epic Camp buddy Mark Pietrofesa got around. That guy is all over the world riding his bike. According to me, Petro "lives the dream".

About a week and a half ago I shot Petro an email and asked what his next adventure was. He sent me his calendar and I saw that he was going to be in Kona the week I was on vacation. I have always wanted to come to Kona in the winter to train. So I thought, why not? There was nothing holding me back. I scheduled the hotel, flights, bike, and car rental and here I am. It was the best decision I have made recently.

Kona is a magic place for me. I've had some happy times here. Returning here has put a smile on my face and a spring back in my step. I needed this. It's also a great symbolic place to start my quest back to fitness. Whenever I have been here I have been in incredible shape so it's motivating to me too.

I'll report something about the trip and what I did when it's over. It's not going to be that serious. I'm just going to try to overload (which shouldn't be that difficult) and have a good time in a beautiful place doing it. Aloha

Monday, January 2, 2012

Baseline Data

I’m an applied physiologist ( Anesthesiologist ), I need some baseline data to work from. I love science and scientific method. Currently I'm in horrible shape and feel lousy. If folks just knew what it felt like to be really fit the obesity problem wouldn’t be a problem. Or maybe it still would.....I don’t know. I was lazy and let myself go. What’s another glass of Baileys or another Bud gonna hurt?

So I have a Tanita scale that measures all kinds of useless parameters. Having numbers like this at your disposal can make you sound like a geek with an eating disorder when you recite your latest visceral body fat measurement over dinner with your next date. (don’t do this) The scale uses Bioelectrical Impedance then multiple regression analysis. Sounds complicated, but for a fat and out of shape guy like me it gives me some baseline numbers to go from. I like numbers.


My current weight 174.2 lbs (79 kg) Ugh!.. This close to a record high for me. I think I got up to 180 lbs when my diet consisted of Nestle’s cookies and cream chocolate bars and Burger King from the hospital cafeteria during residency. This time...Uhhh.. maybe too much Baileys and Frangelico.

My body fat is 20.1%. It is on the border of being healthy and overfat for my age.

My BMI ( Body Mass Index) is 26.5 . This number places me in the overweight category. At least I caught it before I became obese.

Some other data gathered include:

Total Body Water 57.2%

Visceral Fat 9%

Muscle mass 132.4 lbs

Metabolic Age 38

Basal Metabolic Rate(BMR) 3827 cal

Stepping on the scale was the easiest part of the day. I just crawled out of bed and stood there. For the rest, I had to work for it.


For the bike, I got on the Computrainer and turned on the coaching software. A group of numbers and squiggly lines run across the screen showing my speed, cadence, heart rate, and wattage. I used my SRM for backup. To the average observer, it looks like some sort of science lab......Wait until I pull out my portable lactate analyzer and start testing blood;-).... Later

Computrainer settings: calibration number 2.33, Tire pressure 100psi

After a 20 min warm up, I tested 20 min at what I thought was FTP ( Functional Threshold Power) My goal was also to keep the cadence over 90 rpm. Normally, you should do two of these. I have an excuse.... Fat and out of shape.... I only did one.


Average Watts 206, cadence 93, Average HR147 ( monitor not functioning well it was 160’s at the end of the test.) 2.6 Watts/kg. Slightly better than untrained and falling in the Cat 5 cyclist category. I felt I got some good numbers to work from here.


For my run test I wanted to do a sub-maximal effort. I wanted to keep my Heart rate under 150 bpm and see what speed I could maintain at a 1% grade on the treadmill for 2 miles. This gives me a baseline speed and HR to work from. My speed should improve at a set heart rate. Right now I just want to concentrate on getting the miles in my legs and strengthening connective tissue to avoid injury. Later, after I become fitter and stronger, I will take my testing to the track and do test sets there.


HR 150 ( HR monitor didn’t work. Had to use one on the treadmill)

I maintained an 8:30 pace at this heart rate and it felt good.


My last test of the day was swimming. This is my forte and I still can maintain a good stroke despite my poor shape. After a 500 warm up I did a test set of

5 x 100 yards on the 1:45


  1. 1:10
  2. 1:12
  3. 1:14
  4. 1:12
  5. 1:12

After an easy 100 I did a 500 yard time trial. The time on that was 6:38. I felt that one!

So there it is. The baseline numbers of a 50 year old out of shape triathlete on the comeback trail. I will try to test periodically to measure my progress as well as change the intensity of my workouts. I also plan on changing my diet and laying off the alcohol. I’m too lazy to write about it. I’m just going to do it... Enough said. Some cool things are going to happen next week so stay tuned;-)

Sunday, January 1, 2012


After a two and a half year absence, in 2012, I thought I would bring Robsworld back. My life took a major turn for the worse on October 26th 2009. I have learned that you can never be complacent with life’s status quo. I had it all and life was all that I could wish for. Unfortunately, when you least expect it, things can change beyond your control. I suffered through a huge storm and I eventually hit rock bottom. I lost everything. If it weren’t for a few close friends, I probably wouldn’t be here. I won’t elaborate how it happened but I would never wish it on my worst enemy. The most important thing now is that I’m alive and ready to rebuild.

In August 2011, I landed in Joplin, MO. It’s ironic that Joplin is a town that has also been devastated by a huge storm and is in the process of rebuilding. It’s a 100 miles away from my kids but it could be further. I can’t complain. Joplin is a nice community and the hospital where I work provides a less stressful environment and my anesthesia group is lifestyle focused. I am truly blessed.

My depression has lifted and I have finally regained the motivation to workout and get back in shape again. I thought that it would be fun to bring back the blog and document my progress and new adventures. I’m planning to get the most out of what ever is left in my life. Documenting this should be a motivator for me and, hopefully, others as well.

My goals for 2012 are to lose weight, get cut again, be consistent with daily workouts (if work schedule allows), regain a base fitness, do some races to test my fitness, then cap the season off with the XTERRA World Championships in Maui, Hawaii in October.

I plan on traveling, racing and working out in exotic locations around the globe as well. My life is going to be an adventure. I invite my readers to join me on my journey back to life and fitness. Any words of encouragement are appreciated and if you aren’t fit yourself, it might help motivate YOU to get in shape too. Happy New Year!