Sunday, October 31, 2010

IM Texas

We did 112 miles this morning. In the RCV camera car. Here is the first report (of many to follow) on the day, the shoot, the course and the crew.

A mentioned in this quick video wrap-up, special thanks to KJ at WTC, Coach Dana Lyons at Finish Strong Coaching, and Jake Brannigan for his excellent navigational skills.

To answer the immediate question, we are shooting for a 2/1/2011 release of the RCV.

RCVman, from The Woodlands, TX, out.

Oh yeah, and always remember folks, you can watch this and the other 126 RCVman videos at YouTube by clicking on the Video ID ( at the upper left of the cropped blogger upload window. There, it is in HD and full 16:9 aspect ratio. The way RCVs are supposed to be seen!! Try it.

Friday, October 29, 2010

RCV price increase?

Frankie is 83. We have been neighbors for almost 30 years. You have heard me speak of him often. The reason being simple. I admire the guy. We share the uncanny and rare circumstantial trait of being able to make each other laugh. I laugh with him about the state of the state and he laughs with me about the state of me. The poorness of the material and richness of spirit. He is undergoing yet another round of radiation for a cancer that the doctors can't quite figure out. Frankie grins his way through the treatment, sitting in his cozy kitchen nook doing the NYT crossword (in pen) watching the hummingbirds, stellar jays and raccoons frolic outside. When I travel he collects my mail.

Yesterday afternoon, I visited our local sustainable food co-op to purchase, and share some organics. We had a nice chat as I dropped off the suitable-for-framing swiss chard, bagged spinach, juicy red tomatoes, long stem beets and range free eggs from happy island hens. Frankie was ho-humming the day's radiation treatment with the same nonchalance that, say, Yo Yo Ma might after a particularly perfect performance.

I went back to the cabin to check on the progress of the four RCVs currently in production (simultaneously): Branson (mastering), Oceanside (rendering), Timberman (log & capturing) and Lake Stevens (cueing).

As I looked out the window I saw Frankie heading my way between the giant cedar trees as the northwest sunset glowed orange and yellow behind. I smiled and met him at the door.

In his hand he had a section of the New York Times. The article was on triathlon. He had, like many others, taken special note of the average income of the long course triathlete (Ironman) at $175,000 annually, and edited the page with red felt pen to read: "Kevin-You don't make enough money for this."

Smiling, I push the play button on the finished Branson 70.3 RCV and think to myself, "very true, but I know people who do."

Picture is from the Oct 20 NYT. Mr. Goodman, in the middle picture sure looks like he might be training with the NewYork City Triathlon RCV, doesn't he? (RCV available here, but you better hurry, looks like we need to make a price adjustment).

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Point is B

Bicycles and ecology. Ya gotta like that synergy. Do no damage: Ride. Sometimes we take on the mindset that the only reason we saddle up is to see how fast we can go from point A to point B. And please don't get me wrong, I am all for that. BUT, there are other, and perhaps, more important reasons.

The obvious:

Reduce our consumption of fossil fuels.
Pollute less.
Exercise more.
See the world.

The utilitarian:


The economic:

Cheaper than cars, scooters, those goofy Sedgeway thingy's.
No (or lesser) insurance.
Less dependence on drugs as a result of a healthy heart
No parking fees

The social:

Chicks dig fast dudes.
Dudes (seriously) dig fast chicks.
Maybe that sums it all up and I need say no more.

Bicycles and ecology. Point A to point B. Dig?

This is a very cool video about organic farming and how we can all help. Today.

Tomorrow we will have updates on Sunday's Ironman Texas RCV shoot and the CompuTrainer Mexico Cruise.

Until then, ride your bike. Even if it is indoors. Point B beckons.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Race Across the Sky 2010

The Bainbridge Cinemas are pleased to be one of the presenting theaters for the 2010 showing of Race Across the Sky. Next Thursday night at 8pm we will screen the live new version of this classic event.

Also will be a mini-expo in the Bainbridge Pavilion lobby before the screening from 5-8. To date we will have demos and displays from:

BI Cycle
Bainbridge Athletic Club
Poulsbo Running

Interested parties wishing to participate are asked to contact the RCVman immediately to reserve the limited space. Expo cost is ten thousand dollars. But I can get you a deal if you act fast. To Foxtrot Romeo Echo Echo.

I also have a pair of tickets ($12/ea street value) to give away. So let's have some fun with it shall we? How about a contest? Trivia.

Question numéro uno (for one ticket): How many days left until the CompuTrainer Cruise to Mexico departs from San Diego?

Question numéro dos (for the other one): What Colorado off-road century race will be filmed next year (2011) for a CompuTrainer Real Course Video?

Submit answers via comments please. Void where prohibited, one entry per household. Must be 12 or older to participate, and possess a valid library card or NORBA racing license. All decisions of the judges are final, enter at your own risk and lastly, absolutely, no whining. Ever.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


This just in:

October 26, 2010

CompuTrainer to film Ironman Texas for Real Course Video.

This Sunday, October 31, starting at 8am the CompuTrainer Real Course Video crew will follow and film the entire 112 miles of the Ironman Texas bike course in The Woodlands, Texas. After many months of speculation the official course was announced this week allowing accurate video and GPS capture.

The inaugural event will take place on May 21, 2011 leaving little time for athletes to train indoors in preparation.

"We used this formula for the first St. George, Utah, Ironman, and the results were very positive", says RCV producer and videographer Kevin Lynch, "the CompuTrainer Real Course Videos allow athletes to train indoors while watching the course as resistance levels continually change with the actual topography of the course. When they say that knowledge is power, this is that."

The ride will start at the official swim to bike transition at Town Green Park and travel all 112 miles, ending back at Town Green. Riders wishing to participate in the ride can start at several locations along the route. The RCV camera car tries to maintain a constant speed of 20-25 miles per hour in order to best capture life-like footage. Start time is 8am with an estimated finish time of between 5-6 hours.

Coach Dana Lyons of Finish Strong Coaching is assisting with local arrangements and feels this is a win/win, "First, local athletes get a sneak preview of a huge event, and second everyone else gets a chance to see this beautiful course once the video is produced and released by CompuTrainer."

As additional motivation to ride the preview on Sunday CompuTrainer is offering a free RCV (DVD) of the event once it hits the streets, as well as a comp entry to the IM AZ drawing for a free top-of-the-line CompuTrainer Pro 3D. Riders unable to sign up for the RCV and CT can get a pdf entry form by sending an e-mail request to:

For additional information please call CompuTrainer Real Course Video at 360.674.8128 or Coach Lyons at 281.682.8719.

Ironman is an official trademark of WTC. CompuTrainer is the official bike trainer of Ironman. More at


That's what learning is, after all; not whether we lose the game, but how we lose and how we've changed because of it and what we take away from it that we never had before, to apply to other games. Losing, in a curious way, is winning. RICHARD BACH, The Bridge Across Forever

I have always liked this quote. Almost as much as I appreciate all of Mr. Bach's work. It's what we take away from the game, race, event, session that we can then apply towards the perfection of the next game, race, event or session. Learning the lessons of losing.

To get better, to evolve, to turn losing into winning.

Have you won every time you played? Nobody has. How do we get better? Paying attention to the elements that contributed to our losing. And changing them.

There is a very interesting situation currently taking place in Seattle that perfectly illustrates this paradox. It is known as "The Jake Locker Syndrome". In case you don't know, Jake is a fifth year QB at the University of Washington. He turned down a million-dollar contract to return to the Dub for his senior season. This after four tumultuous, painful, injury-plagued years, including the ignominy of a 0-12 season in 2008. For the sake of an accurate accounting, Jake broke his thumb in game four that year against this week's foe Stanford, so he wasn't entirely responsible for that debacle. Jake is also an outstanding student, role model, community organizer and baseball player. Heck, the Angels gave him 60K just for his hardball rights.

But the Huskies keep losing games. Football, especially at the D-1 level, is a team game. There are 10 other guys out there on offense with him on every play. And eleven guys on the other side of the ball in different colored uniforms that know if they take Jake out, their chances of winning are dramatically enhanced.

Yet despite his phenomenal tools, leadership and will, Jake can't get his team into the W column consistently. Yes, there have been stunning victories, including USC twice, but no bowl games, no winning records and no return to the glory days of the UW.

Still, he presses forward, battered, bruised and beaten. With the firm belief that Saturday will be the stage where he and his teammates demonstrate the collective acumen that only this type of education can provide. The lessons are painful, the tests brutal.

Until losing becomes winning.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Jellystone Park

In response to current topical stimuli, here are a few items for your consideration:

We took a poll this morning (albeit a brief and none too scientific one) asking what contributed more to our propensity to weighing more than our ideal. How delicate was that phrasing? The informal poll asked whether diet was more responsible for excess caloric storage or lack of exercise. The vote was split. The interesting thing about he margin of error factor in this poll was that according to researchers at the Us of Chicago and Wisconsin-Madison, the correct answer is…


To some extent. Seems that sleep is. Or lack thereof. After class this morning, we talked a little more about these findings and I came away with an add-on question for the researchers. Simply, if these findings are irrefutable, can an optimum diet and impeccable exercise regimen counteract the results of too little sleep?

I, for one, hope so.

Secondly, is this little gem from the Boston U School of Medicine. Wanna be happy for the rest of your life? All you need is a little Yoga. Seems people that are regular Yogis are happier than those who are mere Boo-Boos.

And we all know that Yogi liked to eat and he liked to sleep. Maybe we can all take a few lessons from our cartoon friends, eh?

That is it for this morning. We are putting the finishing touches on Sunday's preview ride on the Ironman Texas course in The Woodlands. I will have lots to announce in that regard later today, and with little time left to promote, will take full advantage of this forum to do so. Please help us spread the word.

Cause I know your are smarter than the average bear.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Always Something

It's always something. Like thinking you have all this training mumbo-jumbo figured out only to be blindsided by a muscle pull, ankle sprain or upper respiratory infection. Or like thinking you have put (cleverly) al the pieces together for an event, only to see one of the pieces (most of the time an important one) disintegrate. Or like thinking that an expensive software upgrade (with the adjacent expensive hardware) will provide smother, quicker, clearer and less troublesome video? And lastly, how about thinking that your long downtrodden, but rebuilding, college football team is actually making progress and WINNING a game or two?

How about all of the above AT THE SAME TIME?

Such was the life of the RCVman yesterday. A lot of always somethings, causing, creating and confounding an oft challenged and fragile state of perpetual imbalance. Ouch indeed.

But like any credible and self-respecting Ironman, we work through them. Don't we? One foot (challenges, issues, problems) in front of the other. Until we have made it, however worse for wear, to the finish line. Then we take a retrospective look back with our 20/200 shades and find:

That some additional faith and trust goes a long way towards making the journey more enjoyable. Was that a collective duh I just heard? Yuppers, it ain't cardio, neuromuscular, VO2, ftp, or even power-to-weight potential, it's all attitudinal.

Have a little faith that there will come a solution. A tad more trust in your preparation, training, base and support group. And deep commitment to the FACT that the world will not end tomorrow just because your butt hurts, they changed the course on you, the software has bugs or the Huskies bark is bigger than their bite.

Cause you know what? Once the piriformis heals, we get all 112 miles filmed, I figure out a compression/codec work-around and the Huskies win another game, there will be soothing else.


From the "You Saw it Here First" Department is the just released, official, Ironman Texas bike course. We will be riding and filming ALL 112 miles, next Sunday, Halloween, Oct. 31. Starting times, aid stations, schwag and other pertinent details will soon follow. You can count on that.

Saturday, October 23, 2010


Just finished up a rocking 90 minute session in the House of Mirth (formerly known as the House of Pain). For the first time ever I asked the kids to get to 105% of max. For 10 seconds. The real interesting part was when I asked for 80% about twenty minutes later, and the efforts across the board were closer to max than 80%. All this as gauged by RPE. There is good news here.....but

What is it about the human psyche that provides this response? Why is it that when I tell you that you can't do something, you will, or when I tell you to do something, you won't? Is there nothing between on and off? Is the opposite of challenge death? Additionally.....

I was very impressed with all of the athletes and coaches we interviewed in Kona. Their takes on training, and in particular to coaches, and the role they play, (either for positive or negative) in the ceaseless pursuit of speed.

One of the coaches, who for this drill will remain nameless, uses the huge volume, buy into the program 110% approach, and has had phenomenal success with, somewhat surprisingly, female triathletes more than male. Including the last two world champions. The 110% part includes, nutrition, focus, rest and recovery, massage, PT, the soup to nuts approach, unquestioningly and completely. Kinda like boot camp. You buy into what the DI says, and why, or you go home to Mama.
The example I like the most to illustrate this point is that if the coach says that you need to push a peanut down the highway with your nose, you don't ask why, you ask when.

So when I ask for 80%, don't give me 105. Conversely, when I ask for Max, don't give me Mary.

There will be no peanut push today, however, and thankfully.

As promised, here is a sample of the Mt. Hood Time Trial course we filmed Thursday down in The Dalles. It was a perfect day, nice blue skies, quiet stretch of challenging highway and a very talented rider out front of the camera car. David Zimbelman, former UCI World TT Champ, State and National Champion, blistered the 18.5 miles in less than 50 minutes. I am finishing up the master video but managed to grab some iPhone video (through a dirty windshield) of Dave and the course, which is also Stage 3 of the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic.

Big thanks to Chad Sperry at Breakaway Promotions and to the gang at Oregon State Parks for their help and support. Stay tuned as we launch the CompuTrainer Time Trial Series using this course as beta very, very soon.

That's your Saturday folks. Huskies at Arizona tonight for a game that will decide UW Bowl fate. I have but one syllable to snarl: WOOF!

You may eat those peanuts as you watch.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Ifs, ands or butts.

The literal definition is a pain in the ass. Major league PIA. A sore butt. Some people have a pain in the neck (or are a pain in the neck) but runners, bikers and triathletes usually have a much lower symptomatic response to training. And I will squeeze in praise for swimming at this point as a marvelous therapeutic alternative to the pounding of the run and the grinding of the spin. But back to the butt.

Today's topic is already behind us. If you have a sore caboose, it is most likely due to one of three reasons (or a combination of them): They are:

1) Overuse.
2) Weak supporting muscles.
3) Too much too soon.
4) Sitting or driving too much.

Oops that is four. That is the combination complex. You might have gluetenal pain due to your ramp up towards an important event coupled with sitting at your desk for eight (or more) hours per day. Or maybe you hit the weak hip abductor/trail runner/truck driver trifecta. All kinds of possibilities, contributing at best to minor irritants to, at worse, debilitating injury and time spent away from your chosen sporting passion. I know, I have been there. Still am to a degree.

The gluteus minimus, ilio psosas, piriformis and the sciatica nerve are all players in this dark comedy. They meet in a film noir of sinister circumstance at (or near) the outside hip. See chart for an illustration. With all the movement, flexation, torque and repetition in this sensitive area, is it any wonder we sometimes succumb to devious biomechanical plots? Inflammation? Stress and strain? Worse, when we Type A (undercover and covert) personalities deal with pain, we sometimes "Train through it", thusly making matters worse. It's like getting used to water boarding. Personally I deal with pain by refusing to admit that it exists. Which is like trying to listen to your body with headphones on (at full volume) to Black Sabbath. (talk about pain).

So listen up friends. Here are a few links to info, stretches, exercises and strengthening sets you can do to ensure that your butt isn't a limiter to your running. Video from Livestrong. Dr. Hoffman on seated stretches. All of the above from the Stretching Institute.

I don't want to hear anybody say: IF my hip wasn't so sore AND if my piriformis wasn't so tender, I would run today, BUT……

No ifs, ands or buts. Stretch, strengthen and solidify.

Now that THAT is behind us........I hope to have some video of yesterdays terrific time trial up later, after I drag my lazy caboose out for a 5K.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Mt Hood TT

The drives were boring, down to The Dalles, 270 miles and back. But the 18.5 Mt. Hood Time Trial course was worth every bit of it, and more.

Met up with former National and Masters Champion Dave Zimbelman who also owns Salmon Cyclery in The Dalles, and Race Director Chad Sperry of Breakaway Promotions, for our shoot, set the protocols and away we went.

You can see from the photos how spectacular this course is, remote, some technical portions, nice mix of elevation gain and loss, a few smoking descents. The last five miles in the beautiful Memaloosa State Park featured a tunnel that was almost too tight for my tiny Hundai rental. Dave and I duked it out, with him taking the preme with a final burst of power that my rice burning four cylinders couldn't match. Was a great ride!

Dave put in a stellar sub-50 minute effort and we came away with what I expect will be some groovy visual accompaniment to the first CompuTrainer Time Trial event. (Coming soon to a laptop near you).

I am rendering out the footage and should have a sample or two ready for tomorrow.

Pix: Dave and Chad at the start. Part of the scenic course in The Dalles, Or.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Somewhat a rarity today. Used to be in the old days we'd workout twice a day as the norm and thrice as a treat. For a year my routine was a spin in the morning, alternating weights or swim at noon and a run in the evening. Ah, the good old days. With the travel and video schedule these days I feel lucky to get in one solid session per day.

You play the hand you're dealt as the saying goes, and the plan is to extend the sessions in 2011 to two 70.3s and then make the glorious return to full Ironman in 2012, the year we age up. That is the blueprint.

Meaning that everything plays a part in that grand scheme. Every workout, no matter how short, every stretch, each roll with the foam, every ride counts and contributes towards the 2012 season. Sound like a long way off to be worried about my base fitness today?

It isn't.

The three biggest changes I have seen in my training over the years, are:

1) It takes longer to get warm, race loose,
2) It takes longer to recover, and,
3) I have seen diminishing range of motion.

Speed, endurance and power could still be there is varying degrees on any given day, but the time it takes to recover, the muscular soreness and adjacent recovery are now matters that need addressing.

That being said, the new and improved dynamic plan of attack, is to:

Workout whenever possible. Stretch more, recover better. Add some core strength work in the gym over the winter, and moist importantly,

Keep at it. Like todays spin/run/spin triad. A nice change.

We leave for the Dalles/Hood River shoot at 3am so there won't be a grate opportunity stretch in the morning or afternoon. I am hoping to get in a run at sundown tomorrow, with the Mt. Hood Time Trial course safe and secure in the cam.

No photo or video today, mea culpa.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Jaws 40

Well, that's over. The event I had been dreading for many years has been bucket listed. Of course, now that its over, I don't know why I was so apprehensive. I tried to explain a couple of times when asked Saturday night but never got it right. Lots of strange looks and raised eyebrows. I will summarize in three sentences. It was great to see everyone again after all these years. You still make my heart beat faster Liz. And my jaws actually ached that night from smiling and laughing so hard. Big thanks to Steve and the Sue's for all their hard work.

Now back to work.

Three big events upcoming:

UNO: On Thursday we head down to Hood River, Oregon to shoot the first in our new series of CompuTrainer Indoor Time Trials. We'll traverse the scenic Mt. Hood Cycling Classic Stage three TT, 18.5 miles and 1974' of gain following some seriously fast masters. If you would like to join us LIVE for the shoot, drop me a line and we'll seed you a slot. Route shown above.

DOS: On Halloween we'll be in The Woodlands, Texas to preview the upcoming, and already sold out, Ironman Texas course. So far we have put together about 40 riders, but for this Real Course Video purpose it's the more the merrier. Sunday morning start, about nine. More details to follow as info comes available. Again, if you would like to ride the 56 miles of one loop, PM me or hit the comments button below. Local arrangements are being handled by coach Dana Lyons.

TRES: The December 4-11 CompuTrianer Cruise to Mexico is now sailing along with a full head of steam. We are nearing maximum capacity and if you are are interested the time is NOW to get signed up. Departure from San Diego stops in Mazatlan, PV and Cabo, indoor training on the CT, outside rides and luxury accommodations aboard the Holland America Oosterdam. Go to for additional info or call Carmen today at 800. 550.0135 to book your stateroom. Here is a little spot we cut to promote the fun. Watch it uncropped and in full HD here.

Really, my jaws hurt.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


The echo has diminished like the denouncement of A Day in the Life. A single chord losing its volume over time. What used to sound like a cannon shot, ball meeting bat, now nearer resembles Play-Doh falling from five feet to a marble table top. Plop.

It has been forty years. In 1970 St. Bernard's fielded a make-shift, do-the-best-you can, rag-tag farrago of Southern California high school kids and called them the varsity baseball team. We were coming off several successful seasons of high caliber championship play, routinely feeding the local colleges and MLB with talent. But not that year. The cupboards, while not completely bare, were no longer jam packed with experience. The tool kit barely contained one, let alone 'the five'. Speed was absent, power scarce, arms were sore and bats woefully silent. Worse, we played porous defense and didn't laugh a lot. That was 1970.

Things had changed. Last night at our pre-reunion BP, we laughed about it. We argued a little about our record, did we play 500 ball? Did we beat Crespi? What ever happened to DeWitt? We looked at the left field short porch and wondered why the team leader in HRs had but one. For forty years we had blamed the coach, now we just laughed, knowing that it wasn't even remotely his fault.

It was nobody's. We did the best we could. We played hard. We had our moments. We suited up and went out to battle. That team produced lawyers, teachers, programmers, bankers, brokers and businessmen.

Last night we took a couple of cuts, played a little catch, shagged some flies.

It was fun.

It was fun seeing the guys again. Being out there once more. We may not have won a lot of games in 1970, but last night as the last note of forty seasons of cracked bats decayed, it was OK. We can't change the record books, but we can change the way we interrupt it. A different, softer spin on the same pitch.

Last night, forty years later, we won both ends of a rain delayed double-header. Cressman went deep, Krier tossed a shutout, and Lynch, Billups and Soto went 6-4-3. Kavanaugh ran another one down, Brannigan tripled.

We left the field winners, headed into the MPB for diner with 200 of our classmates, that sound not as distant as it once was.

The 1970 SBHS Vikings Baseball Team: Back row, l-r. Kevin Kavanaugh, George Soto, Joe Krier, Pat Hays, Joe Gehley, Randy Billups. Front row l-r: Kevin Lynch, Steve Cressman. Terry Brannigan.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

It's What We Do

Some interesting links and news today. First is the video on butt issues. Seems that we multi-sport athletes are victims (of our own design) of muscle imbalance in the glutenal region. In my case that translates specifically to the piriformis, the small horizontal muscle that regulates lateral movement of the hips. This imbalance affects our endurance as often the major muscles will tire and ask the minor muscles to do some, or all, of the hard work once the infamous fatigue factor has joined the party. Outside of deep tissue massage, the best options are stretching, foam roller treatments, ice, and strengthening exercises. I was counseled by a coach last week in Kona to take these two simple steps:

1) Get a professional diagnosis, and then,
2) Increase the strength of the major muscles while, stretching the minor ones.

This video shows four easy and effective stretches you can do at home to get "a triathlete's butt". Hey I want one of those.

Second piece is on the (advanced) use of our old friend the foam roller. This is more for ITB but can be used for many other muscles and fascia as well.

Third is a call to help. Your support is just a click away. This is "our" guy: Michael Leader - ACT

Lastly is advance news of our local showing of the Race Across the Sky, the Leadville 100. I have seen the trailer and it looks like a killer doc, so put this date on your calendar, and join us for an evening of off-road cinema fun at the Bainbridge Pavilion November 4th at 8pm. We will have a mini-expo in the lobby from 6-8 as well. Details to follow.

All for now. Stretch, roll, help and enjoy.

It's what we do.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Final Kona thoughts.

WTC: It's a business. OK. Successful business' try their best not to alienate customers and partners. You need a PR department gentlemen.
Macca: The lessons of a vet play well when the chips are down. Experience trumps youth once again.
Chrissie: Nice call. You will be back.
Rinni: No need to thank us. But it sure would have been nice.
Dibbs: Nice effort gal.
Michael Blue: Welcome back my friend.
Lew Hollander: How right you are: No need to out run them, simply out live them.
Bill P: WTF?
Simon: Great job all week pal. BBC calling.
All athletes who stopped by for interviews: Thank you. You have topped off your Race Day Karma for 2011.
GB Gals: You rock.
Folks who signed up for Mexico: The free beer shall floweth (after our power sessions).
Airport TSA and Security. Hang a little looser eh brah?
Enterprise shuttle bus driver: Thanks for the uke lesson.
Jolie: See you next year.
Mile Riely: YOU are a Ironman!
Chuck & Kurt: We got it done mates!
All 2010 finishers: What a day. Cherish. Be proud. Ohana.

Everyone who wants to do this: It is the best of the best. You need to qualify. To qualify you need to be fast. To get fast you must train hard, smart, correctly and consistently. You must drink lots of water and sleep uninterrupted. You must use all the tools, read all the books, hear all the advice and then be able to process the data into your body and soul.

Or like, Lew Hollander, just keep going until there is no one else in your age group.

Final Kona pix (By Kurt): My favorite Tri-gal Aussie Kate Major at the finish. The crack Kona CompuTrainer Crew, RCVman, Chuck, Kurt and Simon. RCVman, for once, agrees with the rules and shall obey.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Somewhere over the rainbows.

How hard is it to leave Hawaii, knowing full well what weather awaits in the Pacific Northwest? One would think that after a dozen October returns I would be acclimated to this seasonal occurrence. But no. Almost always make me sad.

Eight-five tropical degrees suites me. You can run in it, ride in it and swim in it. As well as pretty much anything else you can think of, in it. According to a couple of locals, real estate has taken a turn for the "right size" making it almost affordable. As in, almost do-able. Key word being almost.

Meaning that until that almost transitions to a phone call, it is a dream. One I don't mind dreaming about when the rains force us inside for training, when another log gets tossed on the fire, or when the cedar trees are dusted with snow. I could do part time, a 50/50 easily. Condo on Alii Dr. and the infamous Cabin in the Woods in the GPNW. October thru February here and March thru the run up to Ironman in Seattle (and all other RCV locations).

Dream on. Train on. Save a few more nickels. Fight the good fight. Enjoy the Ride. Keep the thoughts positive. Smile more, whine less. Bluebirds sing.

Got my ukelele last night. Can't wait to play in front of the fire with frosted windows.

"Why, oh why can't I?"

Parting shots: Simon and Lou Collins. Looking South from Hawi, the Queen K looms. Last sunset from Kona 2010. This is the new camera I want (NBC style). Mahalo.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Race Day 2010

This one might play a touch better in the cropped format, but if you really want to see it BIG, watch on the RCVman YouTube site, here. We just completed the final interview (Louise Collins, F24-29 Age Group Champion), and on way back out to airport to drop Simon at the curb. I will try to get another video done before my flight tomorrow morning. It has been another great visit to the Islands. We have already begun the plans and preparations for next years trip.

I, for one, plan on getting here in 2011 in better shape, with a new camera and hopefully on a new ride. We have eleven months, three weeks and four days. If by now you are the slightest bit confused as to which indoor cycle ergometer best gets you heading down the long and windy road to Kona, I have failed in this years primary objective.

Remove all doubt here.

IM Soufle

Monday Morning. Another beautiful sunrise on the Big Island. This is why God invented T-Shirts and shorts. Awards banquets last night, always nice to have VIP passes and sit up front. I am re-working the race day video due to some audio issues and hope to have it posted later today. Most of the crew is out today, so I'll make the run out to the airport twice today, hauling bags, hanging leis and bidding alohas. In between I would still like to take a run up the Saddle Road and maybe even hike to the Observatory. Worse case time wise, might do it at sunset.

The obligatory Pro Champion pix, Men & Women. Top Ten. We had a great day on the girls side, with six of the ten CompuTrainer sponsored athletes (you saw and heard from Julie, 3rd, Rachel 5th, and Leanda, 10th, earlier in the week). On the Men's side we had Raynard Tissink (5th) and Enekos Llanos (7th) make the hallowed podium.

It was another Kona wrap-up spectacular. This years video took a particularly edgy approach, high on drama, extreme close-ups and racing intensity that defines the Pro race. Unfortunately it was overshadowed by an unbearable overdosing of schmaltzy melodrama at the age group finish line. "This is your moment"……..cringe. Overall I gave the video, which a team of editors had less than 18 hours to cut, a 6. I know firsthand what one cheesy song can do to stink up an otherwise delicious souflé.

Back to work on the race day video, then off to Kona International. Hang loose.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Skinny Lady has Sung

The aria sung, the curtains closed, the floors swept. The 2010 Ford Ironman World Triathlon Championship is history, to be looked at, examined, dissected and discussed for days, weeks, to come. Mike Rielly's baritone echoes as backdrop as does 120 degrees of radiant asphalt heat from the Queen K. We spend one complete day every year traversing 104.6 miles to determine who can overcome, sustain and manage pain at world class levels, the critical mass of aerobic effort.

Yesterday it was a pair of Aussies, Chris McCormack and Mirinda Carfrae getting back to the pier first. Chris has been here before winning in 2007 before Craig Alexander's terrific two year run, and for Mirinda, her first.

We would like to take this post event opportunity to congratulate the World Champions, those in the top ten, age group winners and all those who braved the day to set a PR, on this course, or any.

But perhaps more importantly, and certainly more important to me, is my sincere congratulations to every participant who made it here. To the big dance, the closing night in a operatic run that started for many over a year ago. You made a commitment. You created consensus with those little voices inside and said to them, 'we are going to do this.' You trained hard, smart and consistent. You bettered your eating habits and incorporated quality rest and recovery into the routine. You managed stress. And all through the bricolage of this training you kept your day job and even improved your personal relationships. Only on a couple of accessions did you bark at the ones you love. You never kicked Fido, and perhaps even found a new running partner. Over the course of this amazing journey, color, sound, vision and smell improved. For the first time in years the mirror didn't have to lie. A hypercatharsis was under way, from man to Ironman. From thorn to rose. From the former to the latter. You: New and improved.

It is a process. No map can guide you there overnight. Garmin has no coordinate. Of the 1,800 athletes out in Kona yesterday, there are 1,800 stories of how. They all share a single thematic commonality. Here it is:

Get started.

Take the first step.

And then another.

And another.

Keep going.

Do not stop.

Eventually, you will get there.


Pix: AG'ers hammer the Queen K opposite direction of Montana's Pro Linsey Corbin.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Ausie Aussie Aussie

It's over for the Pros. Macca and Rinni take the 2010 IM. Great day out there. I am back at the condo recharging batteries, taking shower and prepping for the swing shift at the finish line. Going to try to catch some Husies action on Alii as well. Here are a few stills from the day which is predominately a video day, but I tru top whip out the iPhone on occasion and snap a few as well. Congrats to Chris and Mirinda. More, much more later.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Let's Race

Friday night in Kona. The work has been done, fitness in the jar. All that is left is to go out in the morning and 'au 'au kai 2.4, paikikala 112 and holo holo 26.2 amongst and against the best age groupers, elites, neo-pros and Professionals that this planet can produce. They call it appropriately, the Ironman World Championships. In less than 15 hours, a cannon will ceremoniously sound sending a smoke ring into the Kailua Bay leaving no doubt that this grand event has officially begun. From the frothy mayhem of the swim to the heartbreaking finish at Midnight, 1,800 athletes will remember this one day among their best. It's found somewhere between 8 and 18 hours of all you got. Hot, humid, treacherous and long. Add it all up and it is 140.6 miles of a test the likes of which you get maybe once or twice per lifetime. There are tears, there is sweat, there is pain and there is a joyous epiphany that comes from both the competition and the completion. Some won't make it back. Madame Pele can be that way. She plays no favorites. It is work, play, life, death all rolled into one journey in the web of magic known as The Big Island.

All week we have mixed it up with the best of the best. I have had the great pleasure to watch this spectacle for ten times now and I am always awed and amazed at the complex mix of personalities assembled. We spent the week filming some of the fittest people, the smartest coaches and the happiest amateurs. This is my job.

Here then is that last pre-race installment of CompuTrainer TV Live form Kona, Episode 5. We wish to extend a huge mahalo to Simon Ward for his untiring efforts in front of the RCVman camera all week. If you have been following you know how good he is and how naturally the talented group of British athletes take to his questions and leads. It was a blast getting up and down Alii Dr. all week conducting these interviews and I think the end result, the audio quality and overall value to you, our viewers, was obvious.

Thanks to all the gals who gave us their race-week time to talk about CompuTrainer. Thanks to Chuck and Kurt for holding down the Expo fort in our absence and thanks to all the athletes who stopped by the booth to say hi and exchange notes. Thanks for your comments on the Real Course Videos and thanks to those who swore to sign up for the Mexico Cruise as soon as bags get unpacked.

Thanks to WTC for their partnership and thank you for watching.

Now let's go race.

Pix: Simon and Leanda Cave. Everything is AOK, and we are Good-to-Go.

We start tomorrow at 0400 and I will try to get up some commentary and stills after the Champions are crowned. I saw Chrissie running tonight and she looked as if on a mission. But, (and that is a BIG BUT) I am going to bet with my heart on this one and predict an upset in BOTH races. You saw 'em here this week folks, you looked into their eyes and souls. 2010 Men: Fraser Cartmell. Women: Julie Dibens.

(It's why we race)

Kona, Enjoy the Ride

Installment IV of the staggeringly popular CompuTrainer TV Live in Kona series. now rumored to be about to be picked up by the BBC for the Fall season. In this dramatic episode host Simon Ward talks with Abu Dhabi Triathlon Team star Rachel Joyce. Rachel was out for three months earlier in the year as a result of a freak accident suffered while hustling out of T1 in Abu Dhabi in March. She then talks about her rehab, return and now racing in Kona. We also get to meet Abdul.

It is now Friday of race week, last day at the expo and less than 24 hours to the start of the 2010 Ironman World Championships. The weather has been calm and mild all week and should be ideal for fast racing conditions tomorrow. Crowie and Chrissie will be gunning for repeats, his third and her fourth. They are the overwhelming favorites and barring mechanical disaster, should be back to the King K on Alii Dr right about the start time for the UW/ASU game.

Typically we start our race day coverage at 0400 from the pier and wrap up well after dark. We have a chance of getting out in one of the swim leg support boats as a result of a CompuTrainer sale to one of the boys from Jacks Dive Locker so water coverage could be special this year. As always the bike, run and finish will get our serious attention. Posts tomorrow could be sporadic, but we will give it the old college try. All this before the Dawgs take the field against the Sun Devils (and then again after).

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the folks who stopped by our booth, stood intrepid in front of the RCVman camera and took the time to share some Kona love with us. CompuTrainer users are a passionate group, as witnessed by the video testimonies, and we have long felt the responsibility to provide you with the best training products available in order for you to reach your racing dreams. For a LOT of our users than means being here, now at the 2010 Ford Ironman World Championships. You have earned it, now..…..

Enjoy the ride.

Pix: A few shots from the Kong K. Farris and Rachel, cool new mural in the breezeway and the finish line scaffolding going up. Mahalo.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


Another installment of CompuTrainer TV. This episode featuring Catriona (Cat) Morrison of Scotland. Simon leads the discussion that flows from random drug testing to Blur (maybe not the stretch we think). Also, please note the offer of a signed Real Course Video jacket of the St. Croix 70.3 by none other than the 2010 female champion. Always fun stuff happening at Not to mention at RacerMateinc.

Episode four is being processed and will feature yet another GB star, Rachel Joyce. That and more from the folks that bring you the official indoor cycling ergometer of Ironman.

Hang loose.

Simon and Cat. Farris Al-Sultan, 2005 IM Champion.


Here is the second installment of 2010 CompuTrainer TV live from Kona. Simon asks up and coming GB triathlete Fraser Cartmell about his racing history, riding for the Trek-K-Swiss team and why he chose the CompuTrainer over the many other power ergometer options.

In CTTV segment three we'll visit with Scot Cat Morrison and find out how she is getting on with race preparations on Thursday of race week.

I will again explain the link format in use for this video. YouTube allows a high definition aspect ratio upload of 16:9, the best format for our purposes. That is the good news, however, upon imbedding the video to the RCVman blog site, the template crops almost 25% of the horizontal image (the 16 part of the ratio) to fit in on the page. The way that we are staging the interviews, with Simon addressing the athlete side by side, the crop takes the star almost out of the frame altogether, not a very good way to present them. So we simply add the link back to YouTube so you can watch in high quality and see who Simon is asking to. Sorry for this minor inconvenience.

Lastly, WTC (Ironman) just sent all media reps an e-mail saying that they will be posting video for our use starting later today, so I hope to access that feed and post asap.

It is Thursday of race week, and things are heating up. We have more CompuTrainer user testimony and some entertaining and cogent Age Grouper comments coming up later today, so stay tuned folks as we steam-roll towards Saturday morning at 0630 (yes the Pros get a thirty minute head start this year).

All for now. Aloha & Mahalo.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Live from Kona for the 2010 Ford Ironman World Championships. Our first installment of CompuTrainer TV, this episode featuring the incomparable Simon Ward and the phenomenal Julie Dibens. Julie talks about the CompuTrianer and how it has helped transform her bike into something OX-like. You'll just have to watch to see what I mean.

Coming up next: TheTriathlonCoach interviews Fraser Cartmell and Cat Morrison. In episode three join us at the IM Expo as the RCVman talks with some of his, ahem, fans.

This, and a lot more coming. Live from Kona. CompuTrainer TV, steaming streaming. Aloha.

Here is the link to the RCVman YouTube site. When embedding the video from YouTube to the Blog site almost a quarter of the 16:9 HD aspect ratio is lost, meaning that in the case of the way we shot the interviews, the subject is cropped. So please excuse this tech glitch and CLICK HERE to watch the Julie Dibens interview. Let's just say we are working on a solution. Thanks and Mahalo.

Type AAA

Wednesday of Race Week. It gets serious from here. There remains the Type AAAs out on the Queen K or on Alii Dr. uncorking blistering runs, but for the most part it is time to put the taper plan into play. The work is done, no one is going to get ant fitter or faster in the next three days. It is truly a matter of managing your emotions and trusting your training plan and its potential.

That potential will manifest starting Saturday at 0700 and reveal itself over the long, hot, windy, demanding, cruel, and magnificently glorious day we call Ironman.

Bring it.

A couple of shots from the parade and expo open last night. Two of my favorite all time favorite triathletes, Silva and France Cokan. France is 78 and back for another shot at the AG record. He missed the swim cut by less than two minutes last year and hopes to settle that score Saturday.

Louis Alverez has done 10 IMs this year for a total of 69 in his storied career. That is NOT a typo folks, sixty-nine Ironmans. Hopefully Louis is going to stop by the booth today and do a little promo with us on the Mexico Cruise. He lives and works in Mexico City and has some great stories to tell about training there.

Kurt gives a demo of the new Racer Mate One software as the IM Canada RCV place in the background. A couple of Canadians stopped by and did a running commentary to the stretch along Skaha Lake. I can't wait to get back and give THAT one another go.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Woof & Aloha

Out on the Streets of Kona today. Lot's to do. Expo opens immediately after the Parade of Nations, officially marking the start of race week. Weather is perfect, a blue 86 degrees, slight off-shore winds and little vog.

First order of business was to round up the UK athletes and get them committed for interview sessions with the incomparable Simon Ward, The Triathlon Coach. We cornered Julie Dibens and Fraser Cartmell out at their Condo and managed to get in two colorful interviews as the birds sang and grounds maintenance trimmed coconut trees in the background. Working on the video as we speak, hopefully up later today before the festivities.

The gang is all here and ready to rock and roll, Alii Drive is abuzz with the world's best triathletes and the action is virtually non-stop. Glad to be back for my tenth trip to the Isle of Pele and the event they call The Big Dance.

One last non-triathlon comment, if I may (although I will set the context with a tri start). I hopped an early flight out of Vegas Saturday afternoon after the LV Gran Fondo with the specific intent to get to LAX, get a rental car, drive to the Coliseum and watch the Huskies play USC. I accomplished the first part and was in my Suzuki Avevo at precisely 1500. I had a splitting headache and a 0400 wake up call for the next mornings LA Triathlon shoot. Game time was less than 2 hours away and I had to drive two freeways and scalp a ticket. So.....

I bailed and chose to watch the first half at OBs in Manhattan Beach, nursing coffee and ice water. At the half I wandered across the street to Sharkees and watched the game fighting off sleep while the incredible college football game was unfolding. By nine I HAD to go get some sleep and when SC took the ball to the Husky 30 with less than three minutes to play, leading by two, I headed for the door, sad, but pleased that The Dawgs had put up a noble, fearless and totally entertaining fight. I, however, was cooked.

You know the rest. Here is a clip of what happened while I was driving to Debbie's couch with one eye. WOOF and Aloha.

Pix: Kona Day Uno: Last nights sunset from our lanai. Simon interviews Julie Dibens and Fraser Cartmell. Chuck, Si and Kurt at the kick-off strategy luncheon.

Monday, October 4, 2010

History Here

Dateline Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). October 4, 2010.

I have some history here. Was 10 when they built it up, stealing the surrounding properties for pennies on the dollar. We lived a couple of decent T-shots from the noise and pollution. When commerce dictated that another runway be built to accommodate the gigantic tourism dollars they dispensed headphones to the locals as brain damage compensation. You lost 30% of your hearing? Here is a pair of cheap headphones, thanks for your home and have have a nice life.

People born in LA in the 50 and 60s say "what?" a lot. Try to pull this corporate chicanery off today and its more like 'SAY WHAT?" The noise level at the beach makes it good practice for those who conduct business meetings at Hard Rock Cafe. Mouth to ear at max volume. Worse is the fact that you get used to it. My former in-laws (from the other side of the runway in El Segundo) once commented that on fogged-out evenings with no arrivals and nary a departure, they couldn't sleep. THAT is seriously Pavlovian.

As a footnote, when they were building the infrastructure, laying the huge concrete half-rounds as storm drainage, we used to sneak in after school and skateboard. Got chased off several times, and it might have been at that time I developed a turbo-charged sense of the thrill of the chase. Of course now I like to be the one doing the chasing, but, one needs to start somewhere.

And for all editorial purposes, I got my traveling jones passport first stamped right here.

It was a flyby this time, two days covering the Los Angeles Triathlon after three days in Vegas shooting the LV Grand Fondo. And today we're off to Kona.

Another getaway day. The Big Island. Ironman.

Got some history there, too.

We're going to try something a little different this trip. From the CompuTrainer booth at the Expo we will attempt a few (ambiguous number that THAT denotes) RCVman blog updates as they happen. So you might get one in the morning, one by noon, and two from the sea. I'll use all three cameras and try to get as completed "posts" as I can to reduce edit and render time.

The work-flow will look something like this: Interview, shoot, add graphics, links, text, upload, post. I think we will have some great opportunities to get you some cool Kona action. And there is plenty.

Another new feature of the RCVman blog, hence, will be……

RCVman answers the mail. Send me your video requests and I and the crack CT Road Crew (the infamous FBI) will do our best to answer your questions thru the clever use of these powerful mediums.

Wanna see some early morning swim practice at Dig-me Beach? Ask for it.
Wanna hear Kate Major talk about IM St. George? Ask me.
Wanna see some of the bike course on the Queen K? Ask.
Wanna see the new CompuTrainer RaceMate One software in beta operation?
Wanna know how to increase your cycling wattage?
Wanna see some underwater 3D test footage?
Wanna see turtles, dolphins and sharks?

You get the idea. Whatever you'd like us to send you from Kona, go to the comments tab at the post bottom and fire off your requests. The FBI (Fun Boys International) know this place.

We have some history here. Aloha.

Pics: The LAs Vegas Gran Fondo on Saturday.
The Los Angeles Triathlon on Sunday.

Hawaiian Airlines HA1to Honolulu is boarding. RCVman, off.