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Of training, typhoons, and Metal Gods

Posted Mar 07 2009 3:23pm
My marathon and 70.3 Ironman training is continuing and on track. A few little aches and pains here and there from time to time, but for the most part the old body is holding up pretty well and I’m feeling good. The one thing I do need to watch though is my weight. I’m currently sitting at my marathon racing weight…but my marathon is not for another eight weeks. So I need to up my caloric intake (beer has lots of calories, right?) before my wife starts complaining and telling me I’m too gaunt (no I’m not! I’m lean!) I know, I know, having to eat more is a real tough problem to have, isn’t it? So before I tell you about a typhoon and thee Metal Gods let me get updated on my latest training sessions.

Tuesday was trifecta day with a swim, run, and bike. At 5:00am I was in the pool for a shorter distance workout working on intervals. I tried once again to keep the sets times within a few seconds of one another and the last one was the fastest one. At lunch time I was outside in some decent weather for another easier paced run and it felt way better than Monday’s run did. No complaints. Then that night after work I climbed on the bike trainer for a spin doing some single leg and high cadence drill work.Stats for Tuesday’s swim: 1,800-yards in 35:39 (37:09 w/rest) 4x450 w/30-sec rests.Stats for Tuesday’s run: 8.2-miles in 1:04:34 @ 7:52/m pace.Stats for Tuesday’s bike: 17.3-miles in 1-hour.

I took Wednesday off as a rest day, so Thursday I hit it hard and got in a trifecta day once again. It started with another 5:00am swim of a little longer distance, but shorter sets again doing some intervals. The noon time run was cold and wet and nasty this time. But I felt good and nailed my target pace dead-on. And lastly, that night I hit the indoor bike trainer again for a little longer workout with plenty of seated and standing big-gear grinding. Stats for Thursday’s swim: 2,100-yards in 40:30 (43:30 w/rest) 7x300 w/30-sec rests.Stats for Thursday’s run: 8.2-miles in 1:02:53 @ 7:40/m pace.Stats for Thursday’s bike: 26.4-miles in 1:30:00 @ 17.6-mph.

And finally, today with the sun out in all its glory and just a few puffy white clouds I once again got my run on and once again felt good. On the mile splits I could check I was hitting my target goal right on and ended the run a few seconds under target pace feeling great.Stats for Friday’s run: 9.2-miles in 1:09:54 @ 7:35/m pace.
This week I finished reading Halsey's Typhoon: The True Story of a Fighting Admiral, an Epic Storm, and an Untold Rescue. It’s the account of Adm. William “Bull” Halsey and the 3rd Pacific Fleet and the first typhoon to ever be given a name – Typhoon Cobra. Halsey was taking his armada of 170 ships to the Philippines to support Gen. Douglas MacArthur who was setting up a base for the last push to destroy Tokyo and take Japan. Of course this was during a time when weather forecasting was pretty much non-existent (as opposed to today where it does exist, it is just wrong all the time!) and unbeknownst to the Fleet a typhoon was actually curving right into their path. MacArthur could smell victory so he pushed Halsey to keep moving and to keep his ships moving on the path that was set. But within days the winds were pushing 130+mph and the waves were cresting over 100 feet. Several Destroyers, Destroyer Escorts, and even an Aircraft Carrier were sunk by the storm. In all, 790 men went into the water and spent several days drifting with rafts or life preservers or flotsam from the sunk ships all the while still in a raging storm with high winds peeling their skin off and high seas drowning many of them. And if that didn’t get them…the sharks did.

Ultimately, of the 790 US Navy personnel that went into the South Pacific Ocean, only 93 survived long enough to be rescued. A National Court of inquiry was held to try to fix blame on someone as the military always wants to do, but in this case they could find fault with no one individual so there were no criminal proceedings. Interestingly enough, two survivors went on to do some famous things. One, First Lt. McCain spent took command of his ships, got married, and had a son who also was in the US Navy. That son also had a son who also went into the Navy and became a military hero and legend after spending 5 years as a POW in Vietnam. That grandson is, of course, Republican Senator and Presidential candidate John McCain. The other person was a young, athletic, and brave young Ensign that helped to save several bunkmates from certain death more than once. He also went on t o a public career in US politics and took that career all the way to the Oval Office in the White House. His name is Gerald R. Ford. This book is an excellent account of some of the Greatest Generation performing under the worst of circumstance. I highly recommend it.

And now I am on to Judas Priest: Heavy Metal Painkillers-An Illustrated History. While there are many great rock bands, there are few great Heavy Metal bands and Judas Priest is always mentioned at the top of any such list. The original Metal Gods were my first foray into heavy metal back in the 80’s and that love still burns today. I love it! Especially the old classic sounds of Priest and Iron Maiden and the Scorpions, etc… I’ve read a few pages of this book and already am enjoying it. I’ll let you know what I think upon completion.

Thanks for stopping by and have a nice weekend…

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