Sunday, February 28, 2010

Little Timex Global Trainer Video

I made this video from some random clips I had from a ride I did with Jessi and Steve on a beautiful Saturday morning. The ride was magnificent, and the company was better. Thanks for the ride guys!

Steve and Jessi

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

TIMEX Team Camp

I really don't know where to start on this one, or what to talk about. Do I start with how amazing the experience was? Do I focus on the support that TIMEX and other sponsors provided? Do I talk about the phenomenal experience hanging out and working with New York Giant athletes and staff? Or do I simply try to share the attention to detail that was not spared whatsoever? Tough call. I think I will just post a bunch of pics and try to explain what it all was, and you can formulate what you want.

The entry area to the Timex Performance Center (TPC)

I am not too sure what a Superbowl trophy goes for on ebay...but multiply that by 3.

Uh, well, if you follow football legends, then you will know that this is Carl Banks. He judged our videos we made. Pretty cool.
New York Giants...literally.

One of the many classy touches that TIMEX corporate did for us. Too cool.

This is the locker room where our names were in place of the New York Giants' names. I was down a bit from Eli Manning's, but mainly because I wanted to give him a little room. I tend to spread my stuff out a bit.

The TIMEX Performance Center where the New York Giants train. There were dumbells that were 150 lbs. We watched some of the guys doing some high rep sets with 325lbs on the bar...ya, I could do that, if I wanted to.

This is actually an underwater treadmill with jets. Kind of like an endless pool, and could be used similarly but you can also run on it too.

This was part of an assessment that indicates the potential for injury in certain areas. Pretty cool. There are a couple areas that I am more susceptible in getting injured.
VO2 Max Testing. Ya, it hurt, but a nice gift. There is a guy on the team with a VO2 max of 85. Can't tell you who though.

The indoor practice field...full sized and all that fancy rubber composite grass. We played a few football games on it. You want to see something funny? Watch successful triathletes play football. There are really no winners...just a lot of funny pictures.

Medieval Times...and the entire TIMEX crew. Quite entertaining, both the sporting event and the team.

The Big Apple baby!

Out front of the David Letterman Show Studios.

This is a pizza place right next to the David Letterman studios.

Hanging out with some pretty amazing people. Tim Hola, Rachel Ross, and Trista Francis

Getting my first NYC hot dog and pretzel

It looks like a normal hot dog. But it's not. It's a New York Hot Dog...totally different.

Bright lights, big city

If you cannot read, the front of the New York Times.

As always, this short 4 day camp is always a great time. It's an opportunity to have all the athletes on the team in one place and making some great connections. We will see one another from time to time throughout the year, but not everyone. Obviously the support from the team is phenomenal. But you will see all the new clothes, bikes, wheels, and other equipment in time. The camp this year was like no other. And yes, I know how lucky I am.

Though I never have really followed football before, I am now a New York Giants fan.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

An Amazing Story about Coach Glory

I was first introduced, or came to know, Rory Buck about a year ago at Pirate Night at Whitworth. This was a swim meet against division nemesis PLU. It was at that time I heard about this guy from South Africa that was a 22 year old freshman who swam Division one times. At that meet he smashed the pool record, and jaws dropped on the pool deck. Not only from the challenger PLU, but from Whitworth swimmers and coaching staff as well. What did they have in their arsinal?

It was after that that our paths, or lanes, crossed a little closer as Rory would often join our Master swim group at 5:30am at the Whitworth pool. Rory would not swim with us, he would simply use the lane next to us... more importantly, next to me. It was very humbling to see a swimmmer doing a breaststroke kick cool down set faster than I could swim an all out 50 freestyle. It was kind of like snorkeling in the ocean and watching the fish dance around you. And I think from time to time Rory would look at me, like the fish do, and wonder what the heck I was doing in the water. I really enjoy watching great swimmers swim, and Rory was definitely one of them. He was all business in the pool with his coach standing with a stopwatch at the end of the lane. It wasn't until a bit later when I learned that Rory was a normal person. Well, simply had something in common with me at least. It was one morning when he stood on the bulk head and did not want to jump in to the water because it was cold. I have that experience every time I get in the pool, or hot tub. I hate the dramatic change in the temperature.

After that, Rory seemed to loosen up a bit towards the "Master Hacks," I mean "swimmers," and actually coached the group from time to time. As a coach, he was/is phenomenal. No doubt about that. There is no question that his coaching style is not for everyone, but if you want honesty, progression, and a no excuse attitude, look no further. If you came to swim when he was coaching, in his mind, you came to swim to get better and faster. That means lots of hard work.

Glory and Jessi

It was during those sessions, one being about 2 weeks long, that we got to know Rory a little better. Jessi is a magician with making connections with people and getting them to show their true colors. Between her and Tiffany at the master swims, they made him smile quite a bit.

It was also during this time that Emma's coach, Luke (who now coaches some of us on Sundays) moved on to a different pool. Taking his place was Rory. I was pretty excited about this because I knew what a phenomenal swimmer he was AND he was from a foreign country. And we all know that the further away someone comes from, the better they are as a coach (sarcasm). Emma was initially afraid of Rory because he was a little more "strict" and "down to business." Being in kindergarden, Emma took everything he said literally. Like the time that he said that if they stop kicking again, he was going to throw his shoe at them. That directly translated to, 'If I do this wrong, I will get hit in the head with his big shoe.' She told her friend Brynn, that started swimming shortly after that, that she needed to be very carful around him. I loved this! For some reason Emma never really grapsed the "R" in Rory. And always called him Glory...and still does, as do we. It wasn't that much longer before Emma was doing impersinations of Rory, and his South African (somewhat Australian/British/New Zealand) accent. She does a pretty good job.

This series of photos are from our backyard when Emma challenged Glory to a race
I am sure Emma is talkin' trash here

Emma, much like Jessi, does a phenomenal job making connections with people and was soon joking around with him and talking with him. She now loves the time she gets to swim with Coach Glory because he's a lot of fun and his expectations for behavior and performance are high. You might even see her sport some some new "glasses" that look quite familiar, like someone who's name rhymes with "story".

Another challenge from Emma

Over the year, we have got to know Rory, his girlfriend Carla, and brother Damon quite well. They even joined us for Thanksgiving this year. All of them are really great people.

Carla and Glory
Carla and Glory
Sitting around at the Thompson's at Thanksgiving

Hanging out at my birthday party (Jessi, Tiffany, Glory)

Carla, Glory, and Damon

After a Whitworth swim meet. Notice the shirts, that is his face on them. Steve made those.

They are an amazing group who's paths somehow crossed ours. Lucky for us. As I have stated in prior posts about Emma, she is so blessed to have so many great people in her life. Coach Glory is definitely one of them.


The following is an article from the Spokesman Review on Feb. 10th 2009 by Jason Shoot.

Rory Buck lost something that once had been an integral part of his life. He traveled halfway around the world to get it back.

After spending much of his life competing in swimming venues around the African continent, Buck now is a sophomore at Whitworth and a big part of the Pirates’ hunt for an eighth consecutive Northwest Conference championship.

The Whitworth men, who have rolled up 71 consecutive NWC dual-meet victories, can build on their dynasty at the Northwest Conference championships Friday through Sunday at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, Wash. The Pirates women are attempting to dethrone defending champion Puget Sound.

Buck’s time of 2 minutes, 3.1 seconds in the 200-yard breaststroke ranks as the fastest time nationally in NCAA Division III this year. Coincidentally, he posted that time in Federal Way in December at the same site as this weekend’s events. Buck also is the favorite in the 100 breaststroke, where his top time of 57.34 is an NWC-best and ranks 10th nationally.

Those are considerable feats for someone who mulled whether he wanted to continue his swimming career at all just 2 years ago.

Born in South Africa, Buck was 9 when his parents moved their family to Malawi, a narrow, landlocked country in southeastern Africa still finding its way in the world after seizing independence from British rule in 1964. A country of 15 million inhabitants, Malawi suffers from an elevated infant mortality rate (89 deaths per 1,000 live births) and low life expectancy (50 years). Like much of Africa, the underdeveloped nation is plagued by widespread HIV/AIDS.

“Malawi is run by agriculture,” Buck said. “Coffee, tobacco and tea drive the country. The two big cities (Blantyre and Lilongwe) are developing pretty quickly. That’s why my father moved there. He works for a construction company.

“Shopping centers, banks – they’re coming up. But Malawi is still very reliant on the agriculture sector. The agriculture sector is not the same as it is here. They’re very dependent on the weather and the amount of rain they get.”

It would be unlikely he could duplicate his experiences in this country, too.

“What Malawi has going for it I’ll be forever grateful,” Buck said. “It’s a very transient society and multicultural society. We had 52 nationalities represented at my high school. … To this day there are no movie theaters, no bowling alleys. What you rely on for entertainment is the people. People are what make the country. The people is what I miss the most.”

Buck graduated from St. Andrews International School in Blantyre, and his family uprooted and moved to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates on the Persian Gulf. Dubai and Malawi share little in common, Buck said.

“Dubai is like Vegas on steroids,” he said of the city – home to the world’s tallest skyscraper and a number of other architectural achievements. “The downside to Dubai is there is more of a focus on you. People are there to make money, and they want to live that lifestyle. … It’s difficult to find good social circles in Dubai.”

Buck returned to South Africa with his goals set on earning a roster spot on that country’s Olympic team for the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing. It also required another cultural adjustment. Black Africans compose nearly 80 percent of the country’s 50 million residents, but South Africa still contends with racism and discrimination issues even after the rule of Nelson Mandela ended more than 10 years ago.

“Once people my age get into power, things will start to change again,” Buck said. “They still don’t have the influence of a Nelson Mandela or a leader like that. As 22-, 23-year-olds get into those positions (of influence), you’ll see the ball start rolling faster.”

Buck, who also excels in swimming’s freestyle sprints, began working on his Olympic bid after graduating high school. He reconnected with a former coach running an Olympic developmental program in South Africa. Then, in 2006, his career was derailed by a serious groin injury.

“I went through two surgeries on my groin region,” Buck said, attributing the injury to too much training. “It took 13 months to recover. … I went to the (Olympic trials) in 2008, but it didn’t go quite as planned. I finished 21st in the 200 breaststroke, if I remember right.”

Buck, then 22, faced a choice of reloading for another run at the 2012 Summer Olympics or finding an alternative plan.

“I wanted to reassess everything,” he said. “When you’ve been bitten by the Olympic bug, it never goes away. But another thought that came to me was that I’d be 26 and not have a degree. I just thought, ‘If something happens, what do I do?’ ”

Buck’s brother, Damon, ultimately offered a solution. Buck’s mother, Alison, was a foreign exchange student in high school living with extended family in Salem, Ore. The Buck family made several trips to the United States over the years to visit relatives.

Damon visited Whitworth during one of those vacations and determined it was where he wanted to earn his college degree.

Damon’s older brother was not far behind.

“Swimming became kind of a job, and I wasn’t enjoying it,” Buck said. “I was in the pool from 5 to 7:30 every morning and from 3 to 8:30 every night. It started getting a little overwhelming, and I started to lose my love for the sport a little bit. After the (Olympic) trials, I decided I wanted to go back and study. I always wanted to study in the U.S.”

Buck found an ideal situation at Whitworth, which satisfied his educational pursuits in kinesiology and business management. The Pirates’ successful swimming program, meanwhile, rekindled his competitive fire.

“It all fit perfectly,” he said. “You’re swimming in a competitive environment, but at Division III, where you can be competitive but still take the edge off. You’re not competing for money. Your school work has as much emphasis as your swim work. That really appealed to me.”

Whitworth assistant coach Gary Kessie acknowledged Buck wasn’t a typical freshman. He was 22 and more developed physically and emotionally, Kessie said. Buck’s swimming – and life – experiences internationally shaped him inside and outside the pool.

“There was a little more maturity, leadership,” Kessie said. “He was a take-charge leader from the get-go, and that’s nice to have from an underclassman. A lot of it is his talent level, and others look up to that. He has experience at the international level and competed at a big-time level. He’s been there, he knows what to do and what’s expected.”

Buck still has work to do in the pool, though. Races in America are distanced by yards, not meters. He also is adjusting to short-course swimming, where the pool length (25 yards) is half that of Olympic pools. Instead of making one turn in a 100-meter race, short-course swimmers make three. Keeping his strokes in rhythm and transitioning through the turns are works in progress, Buck said.

Kessie said Buck’s physical tools help him compensate for any technical shortcomings, however.

“He’s built like a swimmer – big, tall and bulky but with lean muscle,” Kessie said. “He’s knowledgeable about what to do with his body. He’s a very good student.”

Buck wasn’t sure if he consciously embraced a leadership role, but he agreed it came naturally. His lifelong experience dealing with people of myriad backgrounds has served him well.

“There are cultural differences, sure, from where I’ve been,” Buck said. “When you’re in the pool, you’re doing your job and working hard. That’s the same whether you’re here, in Dubai or in South Africa. Anybody who puts in hard work gets respect. People are still people, whether or not their cultures are different.”

Friday, February 05, 2010

Are You Kidding Me? The Ultimate, and it even looks cool.

As many of you know, TIMEX has been designing a GPS watch that would not just be another multisport GPS watch. It's been done, why do it again? And for those of you that did not know, TIMEX was the one that really started the athletic watch with the GPS back in the early 2000. At that time, they worked with Garmin to establish the technology. At that time, TIMEX decided that there really was not much of a market for it. Oops. Guess there is. Obviously there are a few GPS watch manufacturers out there that have capitalized on what many multisport athletes want and/or need. So TIMEX revisited the idea to come out with not another mousetrap...but something better. Here is the little I can share:

Timex® Ironman® Global Trainer™ Bodylink® System with integrated SiRFstarIII™ GPS technology measures pace, speed, distance and more in real-time, allowing athletes to measure, review and advance their performance.

Customizable displays show up to four windows of information, and advanced online training log software analyzes uploaded data across several dimensions.

The water-resistant case and long-lasting rechargeable battery prove this is the only GPS-enabled watch worthy of the Timex® Ironman® name.


-Performance and Route Data Downloads to Online Training Software Powered by
-Advanced Desktop Software Manages Users Settings for Easy Customization.
-Battery Recharges when Connected to USB Port or AC Adaptor.
-Compatible with Windows® XP or Newer and Mac® OS X 10.4 or Newer.
-Compatible with Timex® Heart Rate and Bike Sensors Using ANT+™.
-Compatible with Third-Party Bike Power Sensors Using ANT+™.

Available at many specialty sports and sporting goods stores in September 2010.

Motivation...where does it come from?

This is a video I took of Emma on Thursday night. She did not go to swim practice because she wanted to take Steve, a good friend of Jessi and mine, out to a movie for his birthday. I know this was more of a gift to Emma, but she wanted to do this for him on his birthday since he took her out for an adventure for her's.

Often we have people come over a ride their trainers in our basement...otherwise know as the sweat lodge. And from time to time, Emma will join in. She actually puts in a solid effort. It's not like, get on your bike and pretend. She does a lot of the workout including the fast pedals (which are quite easy for her since her wheel does not hit the drum that creates the resistance) and the one legged drills. Then she sets her towel, her gels, and her water bottle on the bike...just like everyone else. Occasionally you will see her with her iPod on, but she likes the television more. She loves her Felt road bike. Again, a big thank you to Robin at Fitness Fanatics for getting her all hooked up.

I know that Emma does not get this from me since I have only been on the trainer once this winter. It's all the great role models she has in her life, and ours. We feel so fortunate that she looks up to some pretty amazing people and models all their great habits. What if every child had this?

So where does Emma's motivation come from? I am not too sure really. But I don't think that there is any "motivation" involved here. This is status quo for Emma. When people come over to ride in the basement, so does she. When in Rome...

We are so proud of this little girl.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

I do run sometimes...but rarely.

This is a video that Dave Erickson created a couple weeks ago when I got home from a ride. I was going to go for a run, and we decided to get some clips and then he put them together. It won't be long before I will be able to look back on this and remember when we had to run in tights and long sleeved shirts. To see more videos from Dave, go to www.daveerickson360.com.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Love this Shot!

This picture was taken by Michael Lee at the Spokane Triathlon last year. I will miss this bike... it seemed to go very well for me.