Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Sperm counts lower with more TV time

Stories about sperm counts always get a guys attention. We're sensitive about our little swimmers. They represent a critically male mission and our fitness to fulfill it. 

This one talks about a small but "well designed" study that shows men who watch lots of TV have lower sperm counts than those who spend that time working out instead.

        Sperm counts lower with more TV time - Health - CBC News

While I'm sure there's some value there somewhere, I always like to read about these studies and poke holes in the conclusions drawn. 

This article seems to be well balanced, but the funny part is at the end. A doctor is quoted as saying something like "but be careful not to work out too much, because that can be bad too". What's funny about that is that, IMO, it would be virtually impossible for most average citizen to work out so much that you'd be creating a negative health effect. 

Most people have no idea where those limits are - and how far away they are. It reminds me of when I was just starting to do some serious conditioning for triathlons, I was worried about over-training because a buddy warned me about it. Funny.

I mean, really. If you were doing 10-12 hours a week of pretty tough workouts, to the point where the workouts themselves were stacking up and making the week's workouts harder as you go along, you are likely still a long way from creating a negative health effect. 

It's kind of like warning people that they shouldn't run a marathon every day before breakfast. Like that's gonna happen.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Pulled Calf Muscle

So I did a cardio stress test yesterday because my life insurance company wanted it. I've never done one before so I didn't know exactly what to expect. I knew I'd be running on a treadmill but I thought it was going to be pretty lightweight. Even so, I ran around the parking lot at the doctor's office a few times just to warm-up.

So I go in, they hook me up to an EKG harness and start me walking on a small incline. Then they speed it up a little and increase the incline. They do this two more times until I'm running at probably about a 9:15/min mile and a pretty good incline. My HR hits about 150 and we're done. Maybe 10 mins total. Then they pull me off and lie me down to see how quickly the HR recovers. The med tech remarked after a minute or two that it was already back down to 65 and that was "excellent".

All well and good - but the warm-up was minimal and the warm-down was non-existent. I didn't really think about it though because

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Race Report: Westchester Triathlon - September 25th, 2011

So this was a total unexpected bolt-on event. My friend Jess, who I drafted onto our Reach the Beach running team, convinced me to sign-up for it at the last minute. And I'm really glad she did, for obvious reasons I'll talk about below.

I know some friends were thinking: 
Good God, man! isn't it enough? You've done five triathlons and a running relay already this season - you really need to do another???
Although there's no good answer to that, I can say very simply that since I'm all trained-up, and I love the excitement of the races themselves, why shouldn't I do it (as long as Karen will let me)?

Since the event was booked up solid and there were no spots left, I had to call on a few friends for a favor (thank you, Julie at Pacific Swim, Bike, Run and Liz at Team in Training CT!!).

This is a local event - it takes place about 20 minutes from home in Rye, New York. God bless the local events. The logistics are so easy, so the preparation stress is low. Pack the night before, throw the bike in the car, show-up at the crack of dawn and go like hell...

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Race Report: Reach the Beach - September 14, 2011

Hard to do a race report for an event that lasts 24 hours. I could write a book. All the funny things that happen, and the strange little places we ran through, or pitched a tent in the middle of the night...

Team Rowayton Runners 2011 - at the beach!
The Reach the Beach running relay has got to be one of the craziest and most-fun things I've ever done: a team of 12 runs 200 miles over a 24 hour period. The race starts at Cannon Mountain, in the highlands of New Hampshire, and ends on the New Hampshire coastline at Hampton Beach. 

Each team member runs three or four segments - sometimes an 8-mile segment at 2:00 in the afternoon, sometimes a 3-mile segment at 3:30 in the morning. Everyone, and I mean every team member, of every one of 400+ teams - about 5,000 people, rides from staging area to staging area in vans. White vans. So many white vans.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Flying with a Bike

I went out to Colorado Springs last week to spend a cycling phantasmagoria long weekend with my brother Craig. Having never flown with the bike before, I needed to figure out how to handle that.

The BIKND Helium bike case.
Product review: real good possibly excellent,
but with a price.

So I got this kick-ass BIKND Helium bike case for flying with your bike. Great little item (okay, not so little). Easy to follow instructions on how to break down the bike, pack it and protect it. The thing actually has sides that inflate to protect the bike.

I did a little research, but ultimately, I just did what Nate told me to, and Nate said "get this". As usual, that worked out real well for me.

The whole adventure worked out pretty well despite the extra set of wheels (somehow, I picked up a great set of used Zipp 404's while I was in Colorado Springs, which is a major outdoor sports mecca) I had coming back putting the case over the 50lb limit - I just took my toolkit out of the bike case and repacked it into my - uh, sir, sir, may I have that bag back? the one that's on the conveyor belt

Monday, August 8, 2011

Race Report: NYC Triathlon, August 7th, 2011

NYC Triathlon
With 3130 competitors, one of the largest Triathlon events in the country
  Sunday August 7th, 2011
  Swim 1.5k in the Hudson River
  Bike 40k along the West Side Highway
  Run 10k in Central Park

Well, here it was. The "A" event of my season. All the training, planning, four previous events to increase my experience level, fund-raising for the American Cancer Society Team Determination, all done. Now within just a few hours on an early Sunday morning, it would all be over.

Honoring Friends and Loved Ones
During the race, I wore the tri-top colors of Team Determination, and carried ribbons of memory and honor pinned to my race belt. On these ribbons were the names of friends, family-of-friends, friends-of-friends and my own family. Cancer survivors and those struggling with cancer, as well as those who had succumbed to it. Honor and best wishes to them and thanks to the more than 60 people who donated so generously to support my entry in this event. We raised more than $5,300 to support the American Cancer Society.

From  my own family, I carried the names of my mother, Mary Lou Meese, who died of ovarian cancer, my father David H. Meese, who passed away earlier this year and survivied prostate cancer, and my beautiful wife, Karen, who is a breast cancer survivor, and with whom I celebrated our tenth anniversary this summer.

And if anyone has any video of me flying up the West Side Highway on the bike at 37mph Sunday morning, I'd like to see it! It must have looked wild with all those ribbons flying around!

Let's get this out of the way - the results

Overall time: 2:34:34
Place: 9th in division (out of 97), 413 overall (out of 3130)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Race Report: Massachusetts State Triathlon (Olympic)

Sunday July 17th, 2011
Dennison Lake State Park
Winchedon, Mass
Olympic Distance: 1.5k Swim, 40K Bike, 10k Run (.9 mile swim/24 mile bike/6.2 mile run). About 380 competitors. Race start time: a leisurely 8:00am.

Oh well, I guess it had to happen. Not a great race for me.
Beautiful day, sunny with a few scattered clouds, if perhaps a little warm. It wasn't any hotter than Stamford 3 weeks before. In any case, I didn't really feel the heat until the run.

I had a decent swim although I really had to shuck and weave through a lot more traffic this time, guys in my own wave and the pink-capped women in the wave that started 5 minutes before. This wasn't all bad because

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Race Report: Stamford KIC IT Triathlon (Olympic) June 26th, 2011

10:pm, Saturday, June 25th. Went to bed in the guest room so I wouldn’t wake Karen in the morning. Everything all packed.

Note the bare feet on top of the shoes coming into T2
3:00am, Sunday morning. Awake and drink a fruit smoothie that I had set up in a bucket of ice. Delicious and glycogen-orific. Go back to bed.

4:30am, Out of bed, make an iced coffee in a to-go mug. Drive 10 minutes to Stamford.
The swim waves were scheduled to start at 6:30am, so I arrived in downtown Stamford at...

5:00am. This event has a strange two-transition area setup: T1 was down at Cummings beach, and T2 was up in the middle of town at Columbus Park. That was disconcerting because it added a set of logistics to the race that I hadn't had to deal with before,

Friday, June 24, 2011

Prepping for the First Olympic Triathlon

Preparing for the First Olympic Triathlon: 
The Stamford KIC IT on June 26th, 2011

I don’t believe stepping up to an Olympic distance Triathlon is going to be incremental. The longest event I've done before now is a Sprint Tri with 1/2 mile swim, 10 mile bike and a 3.1 mile run. This would more than double that with a 0.9 mile swim, 24.8 miles on the bike, and 6.2 miles running.

But at least I had the good sense, or the good luck, to pick an event that takes place in Stamford, Connecticut, 10 minutes from home. That removed the travel/hotel part of the logistics. And I was able to prepare in ways that I wouldn't have been able to if the course had been three hours away.

Picked up the race packet Friday afternoon. Race number 392. I like it. Lot's of numeric integrity there. Two times nine is eighteen, which divided by three is six, making the sequence 2, 3, 6, 9. Okay, so I’m stretching things a little, but