Tuesday, December 9, 2008

watching a basketball

I'm sitting at a basketball game blogging just like a real blogger.

Things right now are pretty darn good... a few weeks until Christmas break which is three weeks long, and I'm really looking forward to it.

I'm building support for the splash and dash as well as the Pi Day run and just need to be looking at more sources for grants and money basically... will do that in a bit. While i'm watching the game to support some students I figure I'd get the "extra" work done now. I know when I go home I'm not really in the mood.

After a great 3 mile sprint workout yesterday and an easy 2 mile run today with the kids to stretch things out, I decided it was time for new running shoes. So I got some nice new Nike's the same Air Structure ones I've had... just new! Tomorrow the plan is to do 2 long runs, not really caring about distance just an hour each. HOPEFULLY in the morning and another in the afternoon before night school.

night school, which I'm teaching twice a week 3 and a half hours each time, is a bear but the financial reward will be worth it. The kids are alright and I'll probably have to kick a couple kids out tomorrow to set the tone. So far they are great.

Today in Algebra II we did our last new stuff; from here on out will be just review and getting ready for the final next week! woohoo! I'm starting to relax a bit. This weekend will be an Ironman party with the Visalia Tri club on Saturday and family reunion with the lady friend on Sunday!

Monday, December 8, 2008

getting ready...

break from the beginnings story to copy and paste an email i recently sent to friends and supporters:


Just a SHORT holiday note to catch you up to speed on what's going on
for next year.

In early 2009 a new company which we're calling Ascension Multisport
will be formed to further the goal of the triathlon team - to increase
the opportunities for exercise of at-risk youth in Fresno. The last
two years have been fantastic but success thus far requires more
people to continue being a success.

We are planning on two events thus far - a March 14th Pi Day run which
will be a fun run. The idea as it stands now is to have teams of
"millipedes" - runners grouped together connected by a thin, loose
rope - running about a mile. The reason for that is mainly because
March 14th is Pi day..(3.14...)

The big event on the horizon for us is the MAY 30th Splash and Dash.
At this point all i should say is we'll have a 400 meter swim and 5k
run. We are also hoping to add a version that is twice that distance;
I'm in the USA Triathlon and Millerton events sanctioning process
currently, but the date is set. Please mark it on your calendars.

Funding-wise, once we incorporate and then apply for non-profit
status, we are hoping to rely mainly on grants and fundraisers like
the splash and dash instead of the generous support of people like who
you helped us get going.

We plan to work closely with PAL, group homes (especially Valley Teen
Ranch), and of course continue recruiting from the general population
in our target area of McLane and surrounding schools. We certainly
want to spread the joy and benefits of triathlon to our target
students, but need to have the infrastructure (Volunteers, money,
etc.) to be ready for them to continue to change lives.

There will be an informational meeting JANUARY 6th at 7pm at the
Me'N'Eds Victory Grill (Cedar and Ashlan) conference room for
interested parties. Please let me know and thank you for an amazing

Friday, November 21, 2008

2 years ago

2 years ago this week was the beginning of the relationship that would form the triathlon team.

A student, we'll call him Dustin, was in my geometry class my first year teaching. I made acomment that if 'they' didn't understand slope, they should have failed Algebra I. He came up to me (big, 6 foot plus football player) afterwards and admitted that he didn't know anything and had somehow slipped by.

So he came in for about six weeks every day at 7:30am and we went back to the basics. And the focus of the conversation was the occasional 'how's it going' etc.? But after a while, we started talking a bit more. I challenged him to do winter water polo, and he accepted (mostly because his girlfriend played water polo at that high school so he'd get to see her for 10 minutes before practice started.).

The week before Thanksgiving break, we decided to do some running to stay in shape between water polo/football ending and winter water polo. We decided to run the five miles between Fresno State and McLane. But he asked a few questions about life as we started, and we pretty much jogged/talked the entire way there and back. I was a new teacher, and he was thirsting for an adult to talk to. He's lived with his grandparents most of his life and because of the teacher-student relationship we had due to the math tutoring, the seed was planted. At the end of the run, he informed me we'd be doing it again the next day. And we did - more running, but still tons of talking before and after the run. I hardly said a word; just listened. I remember going up to my parents that first thanksgiving break being very excited about this new opportunity in teaching - already I could tell I was actually forming a helpful relationship with a real student. For sure the first teacher-student relationship of any substance.

The first day at water polopractice, even though he had a swimming background, he just about drowned, but started to get better. After six weeks he was a proficient water polo player. At one point I knew he was comfortable with me when he noted as we were running during Christmas break, "what kind of deodorant is that?"... could have been awkward but I thought it was quite disarming and showed the level of comfort he had with me and the other kids that were now running with us.

So we were sitting as a class before Christmas break in 2006 watching a movie, and he asked me the question as a teacher you want to always hear:

"So Mr. Dorman, what can you do to challenge me next?"

Prompted by my inability to compete with a friend in mountain biking a couple of months before, I suggested we try triathlons. We did an internet search and found the Ice Breaker Triathlon in April 2007. We learned that not all triathlons were ironman distance... but that there were sprint, olympic and half ironman distance ones too (news to us.). So without bikes, running shoes, or any idea of what was going to happen next, we set a practice schedule for Christmas break and shook hands.

And the Triathlon team was born.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thanksgiving Break

It's almost thanksgiving break! We're doing imaginary numbers in class right now, and the kids seem to be kind of enjoying learning something cool. I'll be posting today's quiz up on my website with answers after the day is done. http://www.mrdorman.com

Unfortunately, last night I went for a run and after about 2-3 miles, my left knee really started hurting again. IT Band. So I started walking and immediately iced it on both sides. Then i did some single-knee squats nice and slow to strengthen the muscles around it. I knew i'd been favoring my right side because of the plantar faciitis which hasn't been flaring up since the half marathon which is good news. So... a day or two more of rest and these exercises and I should be back on track for 20 miles by December 1st.

The guy in charge of things at Millerton is 'really' supposed to call today... the ladies in the office know it's me now when I call because I've left about 3 voice mails and called every day for the past week. I've also sent two emails... all of it talking about the splash and dash. I will be meeting with some more people tonight to talk about what needs to be done. This weekend I'll be looking over some documents with my dad (former attorney and registered CPA) in order to incorporate at the beginning of the year.

Some more donated bike gear came in yesterday! The plan is to bring in some bikes for repair on Tuesday of next week! run on monday at 2pm.

Monday, November 17, 2008


Ok, so after the marathon in February:

- I'll be doing as little racing as possible to save $$.

- Kids won't be doing Olympic Distances as much as possible.

The latter advice from a couple of leading USA Triathlon people, so I figure it's time to stick to it!

- Meetings every day this week regarding triathlon stuff; which is great but already getting a bit too busy. Good thing next week is thanksgiving break and I can try to get ahead on school stuff! (I'll make myself!).

- the back of my left knee started to hurt running yesterday. I iced it again today and then went also to a hot tub and did some walking/'running' motion stuff underwater. tomorrow will do absolutely nothing except go to a concert with meagan for a guy named Matthew West. very cool guy/music; we saw him in february too. best song is probably either 'More' and i really like 'life inside' and 'You are Everything'. he's a christian dude so if you're not into that don't be offended/you've been warned.

Starting next week I'm going to kinda recount the history/specific cool stories of the Tri club thus far. Two years already. just an FYI. I'm going to also work on growing the readership of this blog by trying to comment more on other's; I'd really like this to be a place for others starting up youth tri clubs/interested in the movement to be able to come for community and I've really been realizing lately that I do have a formidable leadership position in the Fresno tri community when it comes to kids doing triathlons. Time to really start developing my Program!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

social justice, environmentalism, and triathlons

Few things it seems to me are more connected than the aforementioned topics.

Triathletes swim in lakes/oceans, bike on roads and on trails, and run... well, everywhere.

And I see a lot of tri-companies promoting environmentalism. (blue-seventy changed their name to reflect the 70%ish nature of the Earth, etc.)

But I wanna see more. Not just because that is part of the focus of my new company to be formed in 2009 (a tentative mission statement reads:

"The goal of ________ is to enhance the lives of students in the Central Valley to experience the benefits of a healthy lifestyle in fun, safe, and supportive environments. Through challenging physical and social activities, we hope to foster a spirit of social and environmental justice in the lives of young people."

social justice is becoming more and more one of my life focuses (insight) - some focus on africa (google invisible children) and well, I focus here in Fresno and spreading that focus across california and perhaps further.

Today i was able to spend 4 hours at school grading papers and am all caught up. Now it's just a matter of doing a good job preparing for new lessons and good quizzes for the future. going to bed now to go on a nice run tomorrow morning...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

another half marathon

It still does strike me as somewhat odd when i felt myself thinking after sunday's race, "that wasn't that bad!"... or maybe it was when I realized I'd been running for over an hour and I wasn't even tired. of course, those things conspired together to mean my time on Sunday wasn't super fast - but just two days later I did 3 miles and could do them injury free still!

Of course, the real awesomeness of the day was that my student and athlete Albert Noyes finished with a time of 1:30! Wow! He arrived to the race site a bit late so was getting up to the line just as the gun went off, so raced hard to try to catch up to me... after about 5 miles he hadn't seen me so figured he'd passed me after all! And he had... but he kept running! he ended up placing 26th overall in a field of almost 2000 runners! this coach was very proud and hope that albert gets to recognition he deserves... just gotta keep his ego in check, his grades back up to the 3.0+ range, and ... no little alberts running around anytime soon! (sorry bad joke. albert's a great kid and i'm not worried about that really.)

Oh yeah, I got 1:59. At least I broke 2 hours :-) I'm going to run again tomorrow though and keep on trying to push myself both distance and speed wise for sure! Tomorrow probably will try to six miles if I'm still feeling ok and try to do another half marathon perhaps this coming weekend on my own and see how fast I can do it in. It's time to bust out my USAT Coach book and really put together a good plan for myself complete with goals and all that stuff... just as when I coach my students!

I was informed indirectly this weekend that fresno PAL will no longer be able to sponsor the Triathlon Club. This saddens me if it's true (hasn't been confirmed yet) but regardless, I will be creating a non-profit corporation soon in order to handle the Splash and Dash. So I've been looking a lot @ the IRS and Secretary of State websites for articles of incorporation, etc. I'll have my kids help me define purpose of the corporation as well as picking a good name... pretty exciting though too I think. Just adds to the work I'm trying to get done in the offseason. However I will be able to apply grants now too as a stand-alone 501c(3) instead of as part of PAL which will expedite the process of writing them and also reimbursement stuff because I'll have the finances under my control (as well as a Board of course!).

anyone with cool ideas for names?

teaching-wise, things are humming along in algebra II with factoring/translating quadratics. to me, more of what I remembered liking from algebra II and I think I did a good job preparing the kids for it when we spent a TON of time working with distributive property earlier in the semester as well as absolute value graphs/piecewise functions. Sorry non-math people reading this... basically what we're doing now is when you change where a graph goes.

Geometry is doing proofs and I have a cool activity for them tomorrow if I have time at lunch to finish it. if not, Friday. I'll have a sub Thursday as my small learning community, Turning Points Academy , meets.

names i'm thinking about include:
Youth Adventures
Fresno Triathlon Club
Youth Multisport

... something that demonstrates we don't just do (nor do we just want to do) triathlons/duathlons/aquathlons/races, but camping and living a healthy lifestyle is a big part of what we do too... things like community service, going to the zoo, etc... it all fits. and of course i wouldn't tell the kids, but the mentoring is the biggest focus part of it for me... it's the part that makes me committed to it all! (and often seeing their grades rise/attitudes get better simply because they've involved in something new/cool and have positive peer pressure as well as adult pressure to do their homework/study hard!)

Friday, October 31, 2008

Half Marathon coming up


I cancelled my comcast internet a few weeks ago to save money, but after two weeks i realize how much I actually do need/miss the 'net at home, so will be starting up next week again with At&t internet for twenty bucks a month. Still saving $50 a month. Combined with saving fifty bucks a month for turning 25 on car insurance, it's nice to know that I'm $100 richer every month to apply toward that credit card payment - and I saved another $100 this month in unrelated cost-cutting (like doing better on making my own healthy food... low-fat mac and cheese mon/tues and baked chicken with greenbeans and corn on wednesday! Yesterday I did buy a teriyaki rice bowl for dinner and did some upper-body weights at the gym.

I've been training for a local half marathon november 9th. 9 miles on Monday, 6 miles on Wednesday and will do 11 miles this saturday. Next week will see a few speed-based 5K's to be ready for 13.1 next Sunday! I'm doing it with my student Albert and good friend Dave Castro is doing the full marathon. I've really been enjoying running these past couple of weeks but am sad I seem to need new shoes every few months/the bottom of my feet start to hurt. I figure these shoes have about 100+ miles on them but didn't keep a running journal or anything.

A placeholder website for the race is up at http://www.splashdashfresno.com I'm still waiting for official confirmation from the Fresno PAL board of directors before going further. (they'll handle the financial side of things.)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

USAT coach!

i'm an official USA Triathlon certified Coach now!

- and will be PUTTING ON A RACE (Aquathlon most likely) sometime between April and August of next year! (with proceeds to benefit my triathlon team).

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Two Tri's in a weekend!

Ok, so here is the race report I've been waiting to write!

This past weekend I did two triathlons - the Tulare Triathlon (sprint; pool swim) and the Golden State Triathlon (also sprint, river swim/criterium style biking). Both went great overall I would say and I wasn't even that tired Monday from them so apparently my post-race stretching and such is getting much better! not to mention I tend to be better prepared for races...

I obviously wasn't ready for the bike (I'd been on the bike one time since August; not even any spinning or at-the-gym bike trainer stuff) but was feeling ok for the swim and run... Tulare was with the Fresno State Tri Club and at the last minute I decided to take a handful of kids with me to Sacramento to volunteer with TBF Racing on Sunday.

Tulare Triathlon
- on the way there we saw a fellow Fresno State Tri Club'er with their bike on the bike. Jokingly I accelerated behind them saying, "the race starts now baby!" and someone in the car made a joke about their bike falling off.

Then it did.

Well, not off but one wheel off and the rest was dragging as we were on the freeway at 5:30am going 75mph. so we honked and flashed our brights to get their attention and it was all ok.

It was butt-cold as we readied for the swim, and the pool deck was SUPER slippery. During the olympic race part which we watched first a lot of people almost fell hard and we had to scream at them to SLOW DOWN!

I got in the third-from-fastest lane because I hadn't trained as much as I normally do for even a sprint distance swim; but I knew I should be ok because I get in the water with my kids "enough".

I was first out of the water! I couldn't believe it but the guy counting laps and my internal counter matched up as I finished the 400 yard swim and hopped out! Very cool. I did good on the to-bike transition and headed out.

Things were going ok considering... then on the way back a group of 3 of us got led astray by the CHP. Seriously... there were quite a few turns getting out of the pool area to the main road part, and as I was with the pack going out and just with the group of us coming in got turned around. So we went straight intead of turning in! I found out later the guy right behind us stopped to ask the police officer guy, "are they going the right way?" to which he replied, "nope," but he waved us to go straight and didn't say anythign when we didn't! So... after at least a 10 minute detour we went through downtown tulare and found our way back to the high school. I was pretty upset because I certainly passed people on the run and was feeling quite good overall. Still got 1:24 overall which isn't bad but... ah well :-)


It was great seeing my good friend Luis there and tons of people from the Visalia/Tulare area there (I basically grew up in Visalia but haven't gone back a whole lot since I graduated college in '05, so fun to see people I knew including teachers and old friends!).

SUNDAY - Golden State Triathlon

After going to a students' quincinera saturday night (interesting experience...) I got about 4 hours of sleep saturday night (fri-sat night about 4 too because we went to the Fair on Friday night to see Randy Travis), i was awake at 3am to pick up the students and leave fresno by about 4am. Pretty much everyone awoke and called me like they're supposed to (kids I mean). I got meagan and we took off right about 4:10, and made it to Sacramento at 7am as planned. I got the kids set up volunteering and Meagan was body marking. Met a first-time triathlete next to me who was really cool and we had a good time talking tri and stuff. I kept seeing him throughout the race too which was fun.

Because I've done a lot of TBF events over the past two years with kids and by myself, I love going up there and still have it feeling like home. the TBF Staff could not be more awesome to my kids... it really makes the whole trip worth it. Two kids (Edna and Albert) even got to do the kayak thing for water safety! They totally loved it and got to help a few people too which was a good experience except Edna got wet.)

My arms were really stiff on the swim part (perhaps not enough practice with the wet suit/improper stretching of the arms/warm up before hand?) but I was still 8th out of the water (about 100+ in my field) which was alright but oh man, it was ugly! The bike I loved especially after the first of three laps. I started passing more people in my age group and everything; usually on the bike portion of a Tri I just count how many people pass me...! I felt pretty good on the run but lack of sleep, nutrition and doing a tri the day before/being not in the best of shape caught up to me and I could not lengthen my stride to save my life. I estimate a 26 min 5k on that part, but oh well. the broken-down-results should be up soon, but for now here are the overall results:

So overall I would definitely love to do this more often! I loved it. Tomorrow morning the plan is to run about 6 miles while it's still dark. We should have a water polo game at school tomorrow against our arch-rival Roosevelt High School, but something's wrong with their heater and ... our pool too is all messed up. so... we'll see.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

New Algebra II test

I did not wake up to go biking this morning at 4:30 like I was hoping, but did make it up for morning water polo practice. but only 2 kids showed up so we went to mcdonalds. and got iced coffee! so i'm all jazzed today.

http://mrdorman.com/alg2/alg2unit1.html is a new algebra II unit test they will take tomorrow. they've been learning the stuff with quizzes thrown in for a month and a half now. they just finished a "benchmark" three-problem test where they had to more explain than do the math for each of the main types of problems (inequalities, graphing/modeling, and slope stuff/piecewise functions). so today it was super easy to them, which was certainly gratifying to see! On the pre-test most of them got like 2 right out of 11...

then tonight go to go to Fresno State and swim along with my asian Josh and myself. tomorrow is bike to work day and we also play clovis north in water polo! Big day! It's 10:40 and i better get in bed if i have any hope of waking up around 5 to actually get a 10-20 mile ride in before school starts and get there early too! and safely :-)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

more water polo - and Triathlon - and teaching news

It was once again a very busy and productive week!

Teaching wise my kids worked on their "understanding by design" units and i am getting pretty pleased with the results! It's basically focused questions that make them explain their results more and show their answers in a variety of modalities. so one problem will have them getting an answer by graphing, functions, and explain what it MEANS. pretty cool. i will probably try to scan some of them in for work-related stuff, so will post a link. algebra 2 is cool!

Water Polo established a website at http://www.mclanewaterpolo.com which links to the existing google site. we officially split up into JV And Varsity.

Friday night: Fundraising (made about $70 but hey, better than nothing).
Saturday morning from 9-11am when it was raining!: Scrimmage! (http://picasaweb.google.com/mclanepolo/Fundraising_scrimmage#)

Saturday afternoon: Took two kids to work on computers for the fresno seniors computer lab! http://picasaweb.google.com/brandon.dorman/FRESNOSENIORS02#5253880204609849058 a 2005 article. great to see people are still using it 3 years after i left it and almost 8 years since i started it.

Sunday morning: A trip with 4 kids and my girlfriend to Merced for a triathlon! We just watched it, which was pretty cool actually! It's been a while sine I just watched a race and cheered friends on... so pretty cool. Also made contact with the Merced Jr. College water polo coach and will probably try to send a couple of kids his way next fall...

Then this afternoon took a nap, hung out with meagan, made dinner, did some swimming at the gym to prepare for next saturday and sunday's triathlons (just two sprints), and now am doing laundry and will prepare for the week some more! two polo games; both away against tough teams but it will be fun!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Water Polo Game

The water polo season is upon us. Today mclane water polo battled Edison HS and well... it was 11-3 them, but the score doesn't tell the whole story! We had nine kids out of 22 that had never played a game of water polo before which led to quite a bit of confusion when they were in the water but it was really good times and we learned a lot.

some other stuff happened this week that made the week kind of stressful so after the game i went on my first solo run in more than a month. i ran twice last week but it was with kids so it wasn't really hard and we stopped a bit to talk etc.

so it was a 24 minute 5k but it was fun and i'm not sure. then afterwards i cooked a great spaghetti dinner (well i just have spaghetti with butter and parmesan cheese) and a pluot(cross between a plum and an apricot... i'd never heard of it before last tuesday when i bought some at a farmers market. before meeting Meagan, I'd been to exactly zero farmer's markets in america. now I've been to one like 5 times!) it was really good but at the end i accidetnally dropped my bowls on each other and they BROKE! one was my favorite bowl ever i bought at target a year or two ago. the other was from the family home i smuggled to myself during college at one point. so that was sad. but it inspired me to clean up the living room a bit and i invited meagan over to feel like a regular 25 year old to watch The Office. Meagn's not a huge fan of the dry humor, but i enjoyed it. of course, i'm also a HUGE fan of xkcd.org ...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

it's been a while!

Indeed, it has been a while!

Things have been busy with school and water polo starting, my brother getting married, trips to Yosemite and the like. All good though.

Teaching algebra 2 this year and geometry has been pretty tough. I feel like I'm working harder than the previous two years and not getting further. But I'm finally caught up on grades so now can focus on just the future. So that's good.

Water Polo we have been lucky to have about 20 kids out there which is a great thing! Actually the most McLane water polo has had in about a decade. So I'm quite encouraged. Slowly they are all getting the hang of egg beatering and passing and driving and swimming head-up freestyle and plays and all that stuff... our first game is Thursday, so we'll see how it goes!

I got really bad poison oak a few weeks ago on my ankles so that running made it bleed and hurt a lot. but after 3 weeks i was able to run last week for the first time and it felt GREAT! I hope to run again tomorrow (3 miles) and am making myself ease back into things! My marathon hopes in november are off but i should still be good to go for a half marathon. and i've got two sprint tri's coming up in october.

Saturday, August 16, 2008


- The Olympics have been great for publicity for swimming! (and a bit water polo...)
- Michael Phelps is awesome
- Hell week for McLane Polo went great!
- school starts monday!

i'm tired that's it.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Turning Points Academy

At a meeting today for TPA (Turning Points Academy). Not bad so far... but i'd rather be sleeping/working out! basically school begins now...

Thursday, August 7, 2008

last race

It was the last race of the season for the Fresno PAL Triathlon Team.

Normally i copy and paste the race report as I type it to my growing army of supporters, volunteers, sponsors and athletes. And mom and dad :-)

This time I'll type it out anew. Basically we left at around 1am on Saturday MORNING to make the three hour drive up there. Well, i started picking kids up at that time after napping a bit. We actually did leave Fresno at 3:30am after stopping to get a bite to eat at some all-night taco place called Robertitos. It was very crowded too!

I sadly lost my $500 (last year) JVC Everio harddrive video camcorder as i placed it on the back of the suburban at a gas station that morning. i obviously don't have the cash to replace it so i was quite saddened by that fact but realized once we drove off, this is south Fresno so it would have been gone.

Once at the race the kids racing did great. We did have a problem with Edna getting into a crash but she was ok. As far as we can tell she was slowing down for a speed bump (the race starts out coming out of a campground) and a guy behind her ran into her. Looking at the pictures of the bike/tire, I'm amazed she was ok with just some bumps and bruises. Still, the runner on her relay team (daniel) was probably the most excited for this race so he still ran after we got permission/he knew his time wouldn't count.

Special Moment #1: Daniel helped billy run through the 5k even though billy was cramping (i didn't feel bad for him... told him not to eat that breakfast burrito but he'd already bought it and his other friends - not racing that day - had one...). It was amazing almost out of a movie!

then we set up camp and all kinda slept for a bit. i don't remember much except crashing on the grass. (sleeping)

For my olympic distance triathlon, i'd been doing more bike work so obviously wanted to improve on that. i'd done enough swim work but didn't feel great about it. normally i do 10x 100's on the 1:20 to make sure i'm ready for a long distance race but i hadn't had a chance to do those, so was kinda nervous; just relying on natural swim ability and my shaved body.

here are my own two times:
2007 2008
Age 24 25 (by USAT)

Gndr. M M

Division 21-24 25-29

Swim Split 23:20 23:24

Swim Rank 27 40

Swim Pace 1:35 1:34

Bike Split 1:35 1:22 (13 minutes ain't bad)

Bike Rank 228 heh 160 getting there...

Bike Pace not given 18.1 mph (my half ironman pace was 16

Run Split 1:08.53 1:03.26 (almost a minute per mile...)

Run Rank 206 199 (still not much better)

Run Pace not given 10:14 :-(

Finish Time 3:07 2:49.01

my goal was 2:30 but perhaps that was overly optimistic. Still, i beat my time by a substantial margin and improved the most in the bike. Gotta love looking for those nuclear cooling towers (a pic of my team with said towers should be below):

I've mentioned before i developed some planter faciitis after my quick-to-trot half marathon in may. it's been getting much better with regular icing and stretching. what bugged me most on this run was that my feet just HURT. i need new running shoes that have actual arch support or get insoles that have it. my breathing wasn't labored, my legs felt fine and didn't cramp, my feet just dang hurt and i had to stop a couple of times to rest them. But it was ok. my students that raced in the aquathlon did excellent (run times for the 10k of 35 minutes and 40 minutes, respectively... so i'm training someone correctly!).

most positive for me was the rave reviews and the chance to say THANK YOU to the volunteers and staff at TBF Racing. from bill driskill, the co-owner and main guy we work with:
"Thanks for your email. It was great to have your team at the events this summer. Thanks for the letter and the cards to our staff this weekend, it meant a lot to them.

I am going to post a piece about your team with a link to your website on the home pages of TBF Racing and Total Body Fitness.

Congratulations Brandon on the success of your program and the success of your athletes."

so that was nice; through our kids working as volunteers we've raised a lot of money through them... and it is indeed changing lives. (had a meeting with the director of the police activities league and she is committed to the triathlon program too... good stuff!).

- i've enjoyed being on vacation this week. it's nice to just sit and clean sometimes! i officially put away all of the triathlon stuff so it's clean here:

yes... that's much more organized than it was before! ok i'm out.

for more pictures and fun see http://picasaweb.google.com/paltriathlon/Triforreal3

Friday, August 1, 2008

amazingly true

i couldn't have written it any better myself. click the title link - long read but explains a ton about my kids... i thought of a particular kid at almost every description! (sadly, even the one talking about kids cutting themselves...)

- great "taper" run today, tomorrow last little swim and bike along with some transition training. getting ready to leave


i couldn't get it to export to pdf for some reason tonight, but i'll be distributing color copies of that this weekend at the triathlon in sacramento in an attempt to build more support and perhaps sponsorships for next year.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

getting ready!

Getting ready for the (official) last camping/racing trip of the 2008 season.

I'll post something sentimental afterwards, but this season has seen:

it hasn't been the easiest of seasons - balancing a new girlfriend to the incredible pressures of coaching and teaching math in a low-income, high need school has been challenging. i had to quit church involvement with the jr high group after 6 years of faithful service. Had to kick out about 6 kids from the team due to disciplinary issues including issues related to sexuality.

- got to help a team member move from his house. i was one of the first persons his mom called when he went to the hospital later that night (and was ok).
- was told by a mother, "my kids life is in your hands, and that's ok with me."

but my personal favorite thing thus far? Despite my fallacies as a coach, taking a step back and realizing that no matter what, I hope they've improved their life as much as they have improved mine. Through these kids, I've become more patient, more firm and effective, and more cognizant of my place in life - it is so EASY For me as a white middle class male to become complacent, and these kids expose my "unfairness", my lack of seriousness or my over-seriousness as it may be. The Triathlon team has been the best thing that's ever happened to me, and no matter what happens to it after this point, this has been a season of incredible triumphs amidst incredible odds. Can the kids do better? Absolutely. Can I be a better coach - both athletically and sponsorship-wise? For sure. But that's not the point!!


It really is and has been and will always be about the kids and them showing themselves THEY CAN do this sport called Triathlon.

- for those who still read, what are some things that as an outside observer you'd like to see happen next year? if you were in my shoes, what would you dream for?
(hint: I am looking into putting on at least two races as fundraisers... = no more asking for donations and car washes/yard sales etc...)

Saturday, July 26, 2008

bikes are bad!

Yesterday, I watched as a bicyclist was hit and drug by a car... we tried to help and i called 911, and the police came within a few minutes too... i keep replaying the scene in my head but at least she's ok!


then today i was out biking with some of the kids, and one of my athletes (albert) got a flat in his back tire and lost control - literally jumping off his bike as he fell to avoid hitting a light pole. he wasn't going super fast, but fast enough! it was pretty scary for all involved but he was ok aside from a few cuts and i'm sure bruises. could have been a LOT worse! we only did about 8 miles max today, but that's more than most of them bike in a month so it's cool. at least we tried, and they learned how to fix a flat tire...

(the tall hispanic kid is Justin - his first time biking! the shorter one with the red shirt is Benny, also his first time biking. Albert is the shirtless one, Eric is the kid putting the bikes up on the car... and is becoming an amazing athlete! I'm excited to see his sprint tri time next weekend!)


wednesday: flat 20 mile ride to test new tires
thursday: Hilly! 20 mile ride with friend (Justin)
friday: great 3 mile hill run and mile swim brick with the kids

saturday: easy bike ride followed by either a strong swim... or cleaning the apartment?

olympic distance tri next sunday! i will shave for it! :-(

Sunday, July 20, 2008

USAT Level 1 Clinic

Reflection from the USAT conference

You can find out all about what a USA Triathlon (USAT) coaching certification for Level I is. But to actually be there was really one of my favorite non-kid-related parts of what I’ve started to call the Triathlon experience of the past year and a half.

Some people there (43) were professional coaches, but most weren’t yet. That was encouraging to me. Many of us expressed an interest of turning this triathlon training stuff from more than just the hobby it is now into something that is really making some side (or full-time) money. Obviously my goals are a little bit different, but that’s for a different time.

Each day was 2-3 topics ranging from pretty technical but useful nutrition, mental focus for athletes, the business side of things, the protection our USAT Coaching Level 1 Certification provides us, Running by Bobby McGee, Tactical parts of cycling, swimming and the sport as a whole. Todd Waldner from Fresno was also there and we found at least one other youth-oriented coach but heard rumors of several others throughout the country. So that was encouraging and disappointing at the same time.

Basic Synopsis:

Nutrition: Eat to Train, don’t train to eat (so I can’t justify drinking mountain dews any more by saying, “oh well I ran 6 miles this morning…”)

Sports Physiology: I have a lot to learn about how the body works

Psychology: Good here, but I should be able to talk to my kids about it without smirking.

Swimming: rotation, learn to ADAPT to different conditions.

Biking: I want to better learn how to “fit,” someone and get my kids fitted for the bikes we have.

Running: Lean forward about 5%, pretend that you’re pulling strings down from your face. Bobby McGee is a god among men.

Coaching: Time=Money. Most people coach because they love triathlons, but this conference wasn’t free after all… (hint: I’m still very committed to keeping my club the only one in the country that I know of taking low-income youth and teaching them triathlons)

Training: Periodization baby… (I don’t really do this for my own athletes… need to do a better job about that.)

Two ideas for next year immediately:

1) Divide things up into “sessions” as Todd does… make them pay like $10 up front but then give it all back if they come to all the practices and stuff. This will take more donors and fundraisers, but hopefully ensure more commitment.

2) Less races, more training. I love how we were able to do a ton of races this year, but it was a lot of money and time that perhaps didn’t need to have happened if we really want to focus as a triathlon club.

3) I need someone willing to help organize camping trips, HELP apply for grants, keep the records of the kids times, etc… which could all be done on the web hint hint? Email me if you’re interested.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

USAT conference

Tomorrow I head to New Mexico for a USA Triathlon Coaching Clinic. It will be three days of classes, demonstrations, lectures, etc. so that I can take a test at the end to be a certified Coach. Crazy. I'm very excited and have been preparing pretty extensively...

In other news, the triathlon last weekend was amazing! I wish I had time to express how great the kids did, not just performance-wise (2nd and 3rd in the relay division both days!) but maturity-wise (with a few exceptions of course...) and looking at the big picture.

Water polo this week continues to go well, with more kids coming to all three programs going on - jr high polo, Masters, and regular high school polo. Two kids from summer school have come every day this week and are getting to become better and better swimmers.

Summer school will be over this time next week. That's a relief. I've loved it but am really regretting having the USAT conference making me miss this Friday... it's so close to the end and I only get Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of next week to do stuff. Tomorrow I'll end confusion on similiarity in geometry as well as volume and maybe surface area?! Either way they won't be ready for a test on Friday so i'll make it a double-point quiz then they can watch Numb3rs when the sub is there. (the sub who is having problems getting himself authorized to sub - he guaranteed me he was in the system even though he didn't show up when i checked on monday... it's thursday pal!).

We will do one more triathlon weekend after all because we have so many USA Triathlon volunteer vouchers and stuff left over. So that's cool if we cna figure out how to pay for the transportation costs and such. I am in negative numbers personally thanks to some unexpected expenses recently (the USAT conference being about $1,000 of it and that will be paid for when I get my summer school check...) and last weekend ended up costing too much although $200 cheaper than expected which is a good thing! August 2nd and 3rd.

I am definitely going to get some armadillo's or something... went out on a ride today with a friend and hit a pothole while passing on a down hill... both tires went flat instantly and i'm surprised i didn't crash hardcore. he had to ride back and bring his truck because of our two spare tires the first one had a tear in it and thus the second wouldn't have done any good either.

but these are the original tires and i figure i've done several hundred miles on them, so... pay more for better tires this time around!

Friday, July 4, 2008


I've read books on mentoring (To Own a Dragon, Mentoring: a Framework, Raising Cain, to name a few...) and considered myself a mentor to a number of kids ranging in age from 11 (and now 18!) to 21.

It's pretty much never not "messy." Asking a kid to open up with trust takes a lot of time the longer i teach/coach the more i sometimes almost want to say, "wait, please don't tell me everything," - yet they sometimes do knowing full well I'll have to "report" what they say to others...

So this one kid on my triathlon/water polo teams I met around October of last year - just as one of the messiest periods of my personal life was ending. Partly because of that, I made a conscious choice to just be seen as, "coach," to this guy.

After a few weeks, one time his mom asked me to take him home after water polo practice and because the mom had been really good about taking him home normally/picking him up, I said sure. he mentioned how hungry he was and that his mom wasn't gonna be home (working), so we stopped at mcdonalds and talked. i don't remember what we ate, i don't remember most of what we talked about, but that was when i stopped being coach and started being mentor.

I began to ask about his grades. About his goals in sports and life. And he began to realize that someone cared about him enough to make him not play water polo if he ditched school, got suspended, or got caught lying to me. But I always made sure to provide a, "next time," to see him and let him back in the activities to be clear I wasn't giving up on him.

Yesterday I spent about 7 hours with the kid through a variety of activities ranging from riding bikes at the group home, swimming, eating taco bell, water polo, and taking him home again. While helping me out at the group home, I noticed how proud he was to say, "I've known Coach Dorman for almost a year now," and stuff like that. The group home kids were in awe of his athletic ability - which I can take some credit for :-). His attitude was great and he worked out hard in both biking and water polo.

At the end of the time, he made a comment that really made me pause - "i don't have many people to just... talk to." and went on to explain how his dad didn't speak much english, his mom kinda expected him to be a good big brother/chores, etc. and his uncles were drunk all the time. I try not to bring it up (bad experiences with some kids in the past), but he talks to me about his parents fighting and stuff sometimes too. I rarely prod (but sometimes it's needed!).

A great reminder as we celebrate America's Independence that the best moments are usually the ones we don't plan for. Ironic given this. No matter what happens to this kid in life, I hope he'll always feel he can just "talk" to me or someone about what's going on in his life, and even with his future kids.

p.s. If you know me, my new title picture makes perfect sense... that's me running on the beach after the California Ironman 70.3 March 29th. The ocean seemed to cold by that time though even though I'd swam 1.2 miles in it at 6:30 that morning... hope no one's offended :-) doing an olympic-distance aquathlon this sunday which should be cool even though i'm not ready for the run really.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


Triathlon Practice (swim, bike, run this week): Check

First ever Junior High Water Polo Practice for McLane: Check

First ever Masters Practice for McLane: Check

Sports is going well! Tomorrow will take some bikes and a kid helper out to Valley Teen Ranch, where I worked full time in 2005 and part time until I became a full time teacher in February of 2006. I still help out occasionally because I love the group home environment. i'm pretty excited about it... that and we get Friday off!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

social justice

I'm just in Fremont (Bay Area of California...) for tonight and then off to Oregon for a family reunion this weekend. Mexico was fantastic and I feel more refreshed than probably 2004. even got in some running on the beach (harder!) and ocean swimming, along with healthy-ish eating and drinking. Visited Sr. Iggy's and the other big bar in Rosarito beach.

Read a book on the trip by a Brit named Craig Borlase, called God's Gravity. It was about thinking bigger about social justice in the world. (the basic idea being that God's gravity calls us toward Him: love, joy, peace, patience etc.; while the world's gravity that pulls us away are things like pride, greed, etc. Read it - I finished it in about 2 days and it's easy_but_not_light, engaging reading.). I was really inspired. For example, it talked about how perhaps we can't make sure every thing we buy doesn't have a sweatshop somewhere down the supply chain - but we can try to make sure at least one shirt we buy doesn't. Same with foods and other things. (a water bottle instead of tons of gatorades... rainman :-)

So for my group of triathlon kids, I'm stewing over ways to incorporate that into the fray. Definitely thinking about getting my "regular" math students involved next year in the work of something like Blood:Water: Mission but will need to wait for approval that. My friend Matt is currently in Africa doing work with Invisible Children and working with the Education Ministry of a country there to improve their teaching methodology. Social Justice was the theme of his history class this year.

Hey... doing "regular" teaching and yet getting our kids to reach out to the wider world? To know that they aren't the only kids in the world who like Chris Brown and Fergie?

That they can make a difference to make the world a better place.

Now THAT, is changing the world. (fellow bloggers: know any good triathlon companies that are eco-friendly and worth supporting? We are already sponsored by Oomph Sports and Xterra Wetsuits, at least last year... or math curriculum that might help support this?)

Also am thinking more about how perhaps I want to re-focus my life on the "tentmaker," strategy... teaching and coaching to support things like the Triathlon team, more administrative and integration with Turning Points Academy, etc. This is going to be a great summer of change and focus.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

week after

It's been a great week of teaching and coaching.

Teaching-wise we have been working at a workshop all week. A bit more of Understanding By Design but with a math focus! It's been hard work especially after school just ending but good preparation for me teaching algebra II next year!

Athletically, it's also been busy but good. Running a few miles on Monday, a good water polo practice on tuesday, a vigorous run complete with sprints and lunges and wall-sits yesterday (in our new clothes from Oomph Sports!) and today will be more water polo. Mexico starts tomorrow and i'll be back june 29th...

Saturday, June 14, 2008

22 mile ride

good afternoon!

went on a nice 22 mile ride with one of my students, and a kid from church and his dad. a nice 22 mile ride - good for the first of the season in quite a while. (we took pretty much all of May off - myself included). my speedometer wasn't working but it was a nice rolling hills with some big ones too.

tomorrow is a one mile open water swim for me and the goal is to hit 25 minutes perhaps.
Albert taking a break @ the Millerton country store.

Friday, June 13, 2008

end of school!

Wow! It's over!!! (still a few paperwork things to take care of, but...)

I didn't realize how tired and ready I was for the end of school until it happened yesterday. I had a chance to actually go to starbucks with a friend last night to talk about a great book on Humility and not set time limits on when I had to go!

today i slept as long as i wanted too, went on a medium-tempo 3-4 mile run with a friend and then kinda hung out. cleaned the cars (suburban still smells from... something... a bit.), did laundry, played starcraft on the computer... dinner with Leo at 6:30.

the summer:
- USAT Level 1 coaching conference in Albuquerque, NM in July!
- Water Polo practice Tues/Thurs 6-8pm
- Triathlon practice M/W/F 4-6pm
- Adult triathlon practice!
- Summer School July 1-22 (geometry review! a lot easier than full-on Geometry all summer!)
- Math conference in July 28-Aug 1
MEXICO with Meagan and family in just over a week!!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Mud Run

It was a very successful (and relatively cheap!) mud run today as 10 students and 3 adults went down to Lemoore Naval Air Station for the Mud Run!

5 miles of running with mud-laden shoes.
Climbing over 8 foot tall walls.
Sliding through 2 feet thick pools of gunk.
Good times had by all!

Pictures are located here:

Some great pics of myself, fellow McLane Turning Points Academy teacher Erin Pullen, Meagan Friedrich and 10 students from McLane(5), Roosevelt(1), Duncan(3), and Buchanan(1) high schools!

Please visit the Website for a preview of our new logo - currently being professionally produced by Jeffery Scott Advertising in-kind for the team! Founding team member Sovann Mey created the version you see on the page.

Since the article, we've also picked up sponsorships from Training Peaks training software (10 licenses), Oomph Sports sent us a box of cycling/triathlon gear for the kids, and several of you generously donated your money to the cause. Your donations helped directly with this event and our upcoming Tri for Fun and Tri for Real events in July. It's been a great few weeks for Fresno PAL and McLane High School!

- one week left of School!
Monday: Graduation at 7pm and I'll be staying up all night to help out with Sober Grad. partly because I live next door to Blackbeards, the Family Fun park so can take a nap if I have too real quick.
Tuesday: TPA field trip day! (church @ night)
Wednesday: Bbq (my responsibility - including the TPA olympics!)
Thursday: last day!!!!
Friday: relax. well, plan for summer school...

Sunday, May 25, 2008


let me know what you think about a "vision" page i just added to the site in preparation for May 3rd's "After School Program Provider Conference."

http://paltriathlon.googlepages.com/vision i should probably post our mission statement and stuff sometime too...

good news!

after doing what i was supposed too, my foot feels tons better! I even rode my bike a bit with the kids yesterday and did a bit of running (we are talking 5 miles of biking and 1-2 miles of running, then a quarter mile swim... but its something!)

yesterday at millerton i took up 7 kids, another teacher(miss renfro!) met me there as well as a dad and his son (who goes to a higher-income school and i know him from church.) it was a great time and the first time in a while we got to have the bikes out on hilly terrain. (jose, billy, albert, eric, omar, edna, austin, joseph!).

On tuesday june 3 i will attend a conference for after-school programs and will present a plan to replicate this program at other schools in fresno county... and beyond? phase 1 in "making triathlon accessible to everyone anywhere".

Friday, May 23, 2008

hats off

my hats off to the McLane baseball team - 2008 division 3 valley champions!


- a good week for McLane in the media... the triathlon team last week, the baseball team this week... water polo next fall?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Shedding Wait

I spelled the title correctly.

Last week I decided i wouldn't go play Masters Water Polo anymore. After six years, I'm also stepping down as a leader in junior high ministries at my church (www.riverpark.org). BTSA is done. The swim season is over. Fresno State Triathlon club is over.

For the past nine months, those events have taken up at least 2 hours every Monday-Thursday night. So tonight, free of obligations, I really, really enjoyed!

Oh, and Rainmaker - pretty sure I have Plantar fasciitis. It's been hurting about since my half marathon a couple of weeks ago and tomorrow I'm going to see a specialist in the morning. Bummer. So I lifted some weights tonight and tomorrow if I wake up early enough I'll go for a hard swim.

A question I asked myself today and now ask you:
1) After the past few weeks, I really feel like I'm making a difference. but what do I really feel? What will they remember a year from now?

Sunday, May 18, 2008

A few weeks left...


Good things are indeed happening at my high school (I'm trying not to mention the name/geography any more). We got back California Exit Exam results last week and good stuff:
from my department chair:
"Our new 10th grade pass rate is 72%!!!!!
This is only 3% behind E_ HS which has the computech kids, and a full 10% and 11% ahead of F_ High and R_ respectively. I realize a lot of factors can contribute to these variances, but we should all be VERY proud of ourselves and our students. "

when the test first came out a few years ago the average pass rate for our demographics was around 50% (which not coincidentally is the average pass rate for 9th grade algebra... we're working on it!)

- had a nice lake practice Friday for the tri team as the temperature soared to over 100 for officially the first time this weekend... yesterday hit 106 or 107 i think. but it will be back down to the 90's by the end of the week. I know Nevada we got nothing on ya...

I did a cool assessment on Friday where I let them pick how they responded to questions - either they could raise their hand and tell me, they could write it out, they could show it like normal, or they could use pictures. For example, there are plenty of ways to show the pythagorean theorem (which we used as an example of how to use the different modalities)...

- one of the questions i had them do were:
"circles and squares are very different. Why do both have 360 degrees in them?" (they had to show why using perpendicular tangent lines and such...)

some GREAT responses; if I have time i'll scan them in tomorrow but i probably won't. but they showed a lot of maturity in geometrical/proof thinking (so i guess all those two column proofs last semester paid off!) and i couldn't have been happier with some of the things those kids wrote - wow, they understand some stuff!

but it was such a great weekend, with the kids throwing a "surprise" bbq for me on Saturday due to the article and hanging out with my girlfriend all day Sunday I kinda just feel like calling in sick tomorrow! ha ha.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

all three areas...!!!

By all three areas, I mean the three areas of my professional life:

1) Teaching (Math)
2) Water polo
3) Triathlon

Teaching: Last week after a couple days of different word problems involving volume, surface area, and manipulating variables to solve for different things, I too was getting tired. So... after I went to a fantastic conference last WEdnesday night with Alan November, I decided to have my kids make a wikipedia page for our high school, which didn't have one yet! (they allow ones for HS'ers)

it took some classtime and a lot of collaboration, but it is turning out pretty well. Now that we've got the bare-bones, I emailed some other teachers and am hoping to get their students to work on it too.

Math-wise, it was a great project to get them to learn how to better work WITH each other... building off of each others work rather than copying it, etc. And it was fun. Probably a dozen of them came back on Monday and told me they'd shown it to their friends/family... and we think they don't always care about what they do in class!

The page is here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/mclane_high_school

2) Water Polo started yesterday! We had a handful of kids at the meeting, and about 4 stayed for practice. Good stuff! We're about a week away from being an official USA Water Polo Club which will allow us to expand to Masters, jr high, and the High schoolers (including those from other schools) to enter into tournaments.

3) The follow-up to last year's Fresno Bee article should happen tomorrow! Check www.fresnobee.com and it will be under "sports" and the columnist Marek Warszawkski! He came an interviewed me and the kids yesterday... he'd even dug up an article done in 2005 about my work with the Senior Citizens Village near Fresno Pacific... I mentioned my faith was the motivation so i'll be curious what he puts down.

We've also gotten 3 newly-donated bikes in the past week and a half; always exciting! Took some kids up to Millerton last friday for some SWIMMING and running; good times. This Saturday we're having a little party thing and will soon start training for the Mud Run in June.

Lots of BTSA stuff to do by tomorrow! :-( Could be a Rockstar night!

Monday, May 5, 2008

no standardized tests left!

So last weekend was a milestone of sorts...

After 5 multi-sport races in the last six weekends, I have none now until June! I did a half marathon last weekend and while my time of 2:02 wasn't great/didn't hit my goal, proportionately how many people can say they did a half marathon then hopped in a car and went to another triathlon festival (wildflower)? and i wasn't sore today! Tomorrow morning i may try for six miles, depends on how long it takes for my sheets to get dry/me to get to bed. i may just bust out the sleeping bag cuz i'm getting tired and want to go to bed before 11...

Well Standardized Tests finished last week, as well as the swim season! So without swimming this week I have an extra 15 hours or so which is cool. today i cleaned my apartment, and cooked a great salmon, green pasta, and strawberries(!) dinner with milk. a full meal on a weeknight... probably a first for me! but i also wasted a lot of time...

i was going to take a picture but a type of emergency came up so i had to go. then Triathlon club meeting (for Fresno State) and then home to clean some more and talk to the girlfriend for a bit :-)

Today we did a great problem experiment that went something like this:

Sale price of grain: $10 per cubit ft.
you have a 30x30 plot of land to build a grain silo on. Assume you will sell all of your grain at the maximum price. For this problem, you are only talking about the FIRST year.

You have four options on how to build your silo:
1) Rectangular prism: Cost is $100,000
2) Cylinder: cost is $90,000
3) Cone - 60,000
4) Pyramid: $50,000

(they could have figured out surface area and all that cost stuff, but i wanted this problem to get done in one day.) overall there were some kids that really understand it and were into it - and turned in some GREAT looking papers, but by and large the kids got confused because hey, they had to use their brains and re-frame the problem and do the work, etc... no one was telling them the radius was 15 ft, etc.

I was going to give them bookwork tomorrow (as evidenced on the website, mrdorman.com) but i think i may give them another performance-based task like that tomorrow. i mean they ahve the formulas already and know how to plug and chug... it's good for them to be confused sometimes!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

half marathon training

Probably hard to see, but 11,2 miles yesterday at a sub 9 minute pace. that's the longest i've ever run-the-whole-time. my legs are sore today, but after another visit to the hot tub tonight i should be ok. tomorrow or thursday i'll do a 3 mile sprint session to be ready for saturday's half marathon!

Standardized tests

Lately most of my posts have been coaching related, so here's the teaching part.

We're taking standardized tests this week. Not fun for me or for the kids. The good thing is I feel comfortable with what and how deeply we've covered the things in geometry they need to know. But testing all day zaps energy, motivation, and morale!

The only good thing about it is there's no homework for them to do or me to grade, and I can try to get caught up on stuff like BTSA paperwork and kinda relax too. All of my lesson plans and observation are done for BTSA, now it's just a matter of doing the paperwork and compiling the student work, which is cool.

Last night i ran 11.2 miles! My last big run before the half marathon this Sat. about a 9 minute mile pace but that was with a mountain dew and just a granola bar for a snack and stuff. it felt good though! I'll do some speed work(3, 1 mile sprints) on Wednesday or Thursday (probably thurs. morning, as i have morning swim practice on wed. and night tri-club swim practice on wed.)

I'm also dreaming up lesson plans for the next month and and doing research for water polo starting in a couple weeks in my spare time.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

4th Annual Kids Triathlon a smashing success!

The stats:

Medals: 3rd place in boys 15-17 division (Aaron). 3rd place in girls (technically she skipped the last lap, so we're kinda guessing here...) Edna Martinez


Albert (hurt knee but still did fine) - 5th triathlon

Eric: 3rd triathlon

Edna: 4th triathlon

Angel: 3rd triathlon

Daniel: 2nd triathlon (first one by himself)

(14 - goes to Sequoia middle school): Ebony Esparza: first triathlon

11 yrs old: Eliset - first triathlon

8 years old: Gerardo - first triathlon!

Josh couldn't run due to a hurt toe but came to support us anyway!

It was an amazing morning! Partly due to this being the third triathlon in a row (and the fourth triathlon in the past 5 weekends starting with the Half Ironman March 29th) I wasn't as organized as I usually am in terms of registration (thank you thank you Alma!), but we got there early enough to get all set up in transition and doing so many recently really helped the kids know what to do and help each other.

I was most excited though that the PARENTS of Angel, Daniel, Albert, Eric, and Aaron were there! Edna's parents helped transport bikes too. Thank you!

The Fresno Bee was there for us and will publish a follow-up story sometime in the coming months. Marek was there on his own time; he'll come out later as part of his job to interview etc. Pretty amazing!

Pictures with some comments are here:

Kids Triathlon Pictures

Next weekend I will be running in the Visalia "End of the trail" half marathon with friends David Castro and Joey Hull. Then Meagan and I and others will head up to Wildflower to cheer on our friends doing an Olympic Distance Triathlon.

Next stop: June 7th Lemoore Mud Run! Today marks the one year anniversary of having the Suburban available for transportation to and from events! Forever grateful!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

bike repair day

Well, there were four of us out there today cleaning and fixing up the bikes! Good times and a great exercise for the kids. Amazing what a little wd-40 and chain cleaner will do to things!

Afterwards we registered for the kids triathlon and that was good times. i'm afraid from an ititial sign up of 17 i'm down to about 11 depending on who wakes up tomorrow :-( A lot of it they can't help though...

Most of them are super excited for tomorrow's super-sprint kids race and so am I! They're gonna do awesome. Pictures from the day are at http://picasaweb.google.com/paltriathlon

Meagan (girlfriend) and I ran 6 miles in the afternoon then i rested, ate, and did some weights and light swimming at the gym. then came home and cleaned up a bit, did laundry, and played old-school starcraft! am reading a great book right now too about love languages (Dr. Gary Chapman) to try and communicate better in a relationship...

Monday, April 21, 2008

new article goodness


updated with the USA Triathlon Life Article :-)

i'll take it down if i hear otherwise from USA Triathlon. Thanks guys!

- Bike Repair day this Saturday at McLane (Cedar and Clinton in Fresno), 9am-1pm. Bring your own tubes, tools etc. and we'll provide the people with the know-how and some supplies too. Also some technique drills, probably some running biking and swimming too... all getting ready for the Kids Triathlon on Sunday!

new article goodness


updated with the USA Triathlon Life Article :-)

i'll take it down if i hear otherwise from USA Triathlon. Thanks guys!

- Bike Repair day this Saturday at McLane (Cedar and Clinton in Fresno), 9am-1pm. Bring your own tubes, tools etc. and we'll provide the people with the know-how and some supplies too. Also some technique drills, probably some running biking and swimming too... all getting ready for the Kids Triathlon on Sunday!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

USA Triathlon Life article

If you get the USAT members magazine Triathlon Life, check out page 44.

I was pretty pumped to finally get the magazine after responding to a bunch of emails, phone calls and such back in October. Unfortunately it mostly focuses on me, but also talks about the fantastic kids and their improvement. I'm hoping for more interest and visits to the website at http://paltriathlon.googlepages.com if people search for Fresno PAL Triathlon Team or Brandon Dorman Triathlon in google. (right now it points them to the right sites...).

Reading the article, it was cool to sit back and just kinda enjoy a job well done in the midst of aiming for higher and higher aspirations for my students (and myself!).

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

a more somber post

Officer kills young attacker at Roosevelt High

- not my high school, but 2 of my triathlete students go to that school and it's less than two miles away from where I teach at. In other words, just down the street.

Scary as hell in some respects. A student (sure, not the brightest idea to go after a cop with a baseball bat...) is dead tonight. I can't even imagine. And to think just tonight I took 4 kids to swim practice for triathlons and tomorrow will take even more running... which is GREAT. And certainly probably the main reason I take them on everything is to keep them away from that stuff.

So I guess that's good motivation but not the kind I want to see every day...
Yesterday: easy 2 miles, then some sprints, pushups, squats, and the PLANK for 1:30.
Today: about 2,000 yards but mostly focused on technique (like breathing) with the noobs Josh and Daniel. Angel and Edna came along too.

Tomorrow we'll try for 2-3 miles at a bit of a faster pace. More kids from my classes should be coming too! Millerton triathlon this weekend!