Monday, December 28, 2009
Woke up this morning…
Swung my legs off the side of the bed… as I fished around for my flip-flops at the side of the bed I could feel the pain in my calves… Decide… no run today
First few steps around the end of the bed… hamstrings tight… definitely not running today.
Sit down at my computer to check my email really quick… getting up is unpleasant… quads sore…. I’ll just ride the trainer tonight… no run… I’ll work thru lunch and leave early.
Get ready for work… grab my gym bag “just in case” as I head out the door.
Glance out the window a couple of times this morning… sunny…
Look out again around noon… looks nice but I’m too busy shirking… uh I mean working…
1215 I go outside and get my gym bag.
“Now I know, I should say no, but It's kind of hard when she's ready to go”
1230 I’m running… but just an easy 3 mile jog nothing more…
1240 decide to run the *middle* 3 miles at marathon pace
“I may be dumb, but I'm not a dweeb I'm just a sucker with no self esteem”
Trainer later... watching the 1992 Giro.... I don't know who's gonna win so don't tell me.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
It had been my first, and most painful athletic achievement, a 4:44 in 1997. What I considered to be my best endurance sport achievement of a 3:58 in 1998… a day when I cruised for 20 miles then kicked for the final 6…
I’d toed the line a couple of other times… more recently… times when, because of being undertrained and/or overweight, my finish time had started with a 5…
But 2009 was to be different… I’d run almost 1500 miles so far in 2009… and the 20th of December had been circled very early in the year as my A race….
Long runs were in the books… I’d not run them as fast, or as well as my training plan had mapped out for me but… I had done almost every one of them on Sunday afternoons after riding for a couple of hours on Sunday morning.
The weather was near perfect at 40F and windy… my weight was down 13 or so pounds since my last marathon… and even a few less than back in 1998.
All that taken into account, I had come up with a plan… I decided to run the first mile with the 3:45 pace group… then slip away up the road and try to hold them off. Apart from that, my plan was to run… not think… not about pace… or miles completed… or miles to go… just run mile by mile until the finish.
Towards that end I lined up pretty close to the 3:45 pacer… and proceed to run the first mile with the pacer just off my left shoulder. I could hear him talking with a few of the runners in his group… I then picked up my pace just a bit until I could no longer hear them.
Things were going great… just according to plan but… I had to pee…. I ran a couple of miles… putting time into the group. Then on mile 5 I spot a tree to hide behind and stop. When I emerge and rejoin the race… guess who is just off my left shoulder… 3:45 guy… I had gained, then thrown away, a minute…
It took a few miles but I finally got far enough from the 3:45 group to where I could not hear them anymore… but I had picked up a companion. We had leapfrogged each other a few times and eventually struck up a conversation… her name was Dawn, she’s a kindergarten teacher from North Georgia and she was nailing 8:30s every mile. We talked little but for the next 14 or so miles reeled in a few dozen runners and I don’t think anyone passed us.
My JFR plan was working quite well… passed mile 20 without really thinking about it… Mile 21 brought the pain, however, and it took a good deal of focus to stay with Dawn. I hung on thorough mile 22 as well. I didn’t want to hold her back… and holding on hurt too much so I put everything I had into mile 23…. I got a half step on her and tried to hold it… In my mind I was running a 8:05… while in reality I was simply working really hard and maintaining pace. Just past the 23 marker, Dawn passed me and pulled away for good.
I can’t say I fell apart in the last 3 miles… my pace slipped by 30 seconds per mile… but I was fighting the 500 lb gorilla that jumps on your back in the final miles of a marathon. I knew that I had a PR in the bag… I just wanted to be finished… but… I had one more goal that pushed me along. I’d not clocked a 9+minute mile all day… even the pee break mile had been an 8:58.
Mile 25 was a 8:59… I told myself that mile 26 would be faster and I would run the table on this mofo with all sub 9s. I used every fiber of my being to move myself along that mile but to no avail. My Timex showed me 9:06.
The disappointment was short-lived, however, as I entered the stadium and headed for the finish line.
I hit the line at 3:43:17 and change with a chip time of 3:42:57
I was really too tired to think at the finish… Just gathered my stuff up and went home.
But today looking back… I mean… what a day… what a d@mm day!
I left it all out there on the road… and that’s a lot of road….
Friday, December 4, 2009
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
My daughter and I get up early on Thanksgiving and run.
The race is the Outback Distance Classic. Masey does the 6k and I do the ½ Marathon.
The night before the race I went out… wine with dinner.. then somehow I found myself sitting in a bar drinking Crown Royal well past midnight… embracing my inner John Young no doubt…
I had a goal… 13 sub 8s… but without any pressure of actually trying to run at any precise pace. The weather this year was a near perfect 50F. Being that we dressed appropriately we huddled close together and shivered while waiting for the race to start.
Once the gun went off we quickly settled into our own races. I could still see Masey just off to my right… and whipped my head around when I saw her heel get kicked in the mass of runners…. She quickly regained her balance and was on her way without incident. Soon thereafter she was lost in the crowd… and at the 1 mile mark the 6k and ½ runners parted ways.
I missed the 1 mile marker which was fine… I didn’t want to know… I heard someone around me comment about 7:30… I felt good… and just wanted to run blissfully unaware of my pace for a while.
During the second mile I passed a lone runner wearing a shirt that said “I’m running with the rockstar on chemo” as I passed I almost commented on the fact that he had lost his star… a couple of minutes later I was happy to have remained silent since… he may have lost this person to cancer… sometimes being shy and reserved keeps me from being recognized as an idiot.
I ran the next few miles with a couple that obviously run a lot… and run together a lot…
I used their conversation as a distraction tho… yet kinda wished I had some music.
I had been taking splits with my Timex but not looking at them. At mile 4 I peeked. It was a 7:35. I was shocked. I thought to myself and may have even said out loud “I’m running out of my mind”. What I know now but did not know then is that mile 4 was the slowest I’d run so far.
With that thought in mind I tried to run the next few miles at a steady pace… but I was beginning to notice that more people passed me than I passed…. But the splits kept coming in at 7:4x so not much to complain about.
By mile 9 I could feel myself slipping… whereas the first few miles had been smooth and seemingly effortless speed I was now turning my legs over by force of will and still slowing down… even if by only 5 or 10 seconds per mile.
Miles 11-13 were all above 8… but only just…
As I rounded the final corner my daughter was waiting there for me… big smile, high five, then a glance at the clock… 1:41:37 is what it read in the distance… I smiled when I knew that I could close the distance and finish under 1:42 gun time…
All in all a good day. A 5 minute or so PR… Masey was happy and we each took 2 naps later in the day.
14:48 (miles 1&2)
Monday, November 9, 2009
The problem started back during the summer... and at first it wasn't much of a problem at all. After years of cycling alone or with one or two other people, I found not one, but three groups that I enjoyed riding with. So I started to ride on both Saturday and Sunday.
That was not optimal when I was training for triathlons but not too far off the mark.
But now... it's running season. I have Marathons, Ultramarathons and even this crazy RATS thing on the horizon. http://geminiadventures.com/DesertRATS.html
My motivation is there... training is going well... especially during the week.
Problem is I still want to ride on Saturday *and* Sunday...
So far I've been doing okay... last week I ran 18 on Friday night... I ran my 18.5 yesterday afternoon having ridden for 2.5 hours in the morning...
Love'll make you do crazy things I guess... but I think I may have to scale back the riding a bit for a few months.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
This race was actually a couple of weeks ago... but It's one of my favorite road races and I wanted to record my thoughts...
It had been a hot week... in the 90s almost every day... and Saturday was no different.
I went for the Saturday group ride... and sweated to the point that my socks were squishy in my bike shoes... at 0900 in the morning.
I was therefore surprised when I walked outside on Sunday to a slight chill in the air ~60 F temps.
Warm-up and port-o line and I'm ready to go. I did not get a chance to line up as close to the front as I would like... I was basically hanging out talking with friends until the gun went off... Being near the front is extra important in this race because it takes place in a cemetery... and the roads are single lane... between the graves...
In the first mile I did run alongside the road for the most part trying to find some elbow room... hopefully I did not disturb anyone "resting in peace"... No iPod or Garmin just a Timex... saw 8:0X on the clock at the first marker.... Settled in to whatever pace I was on and kept going...
Mile 2 has an out and back so I got a chance to see some of the costumes... the Banana guy, the gladiator, and some idiot running in tightie whities and a motorcycle helmet took my silent top 3...
At the mile 3 mark the 5k and 10 mile courses split... and my companion, big-dude-in-princess-Leah-wig
and I parted ways.
For the next few miles I tried to just relax and stay with the folks around me... I found it interesting that one lady would pull away from me on the straight-aways and I'd close on the turns... thanks again Coach Mike for the "run the tangents" lesson.
At around the 7 mile mark she caught me... Her name is Elfrieda... she has fiery red hair... quick turnover, and is the fastest 65-69 year old female in these parts... and she has beaten me plenty... I tried to stay with her... and found that I could... With 2 miles to go I decided to pass her... I did and decided to just keep going at that pace.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Monday, October 26, 2009
They have a purist veiwpoint of training and racing... Sometimes they tick me off... rub me the wrong way... but sometimes... make me take a little bit harder look at myself.... Sometimes make me want to be... despite myself... more like they are.
Sometimes that look was unpleasant...
When I started this endurance sports thing... oh... 15 years ago almost... I thought that I could be good... I was motivated... I liked to train... I figured if I put forth some effort I'd be up near the front in no time...
Well... that was not to be...
I found out that I'm not a natural... or extraordinary when it comes to endurance sports.
So... I figured well... I'm stubborn so I'll go long... I can be good at that just because it's far... and I like to train... I won't quit..
Still... not to be... I was not really that good... successful... MOP to BOP...
I kept going... doing stuff... because I liked it... never getting any great results or improving. This lasted a decade.... I'd gotten older... into my 40s and I figured my best years were over. But I was still out there "doing my best" Oh, I persevered... always put the best I had into the race.. I gave my all.
Then one day I called my beliefs into question... why couldn't I go faster?
And I started analyzing my answers:
1. I'm a big guy - at 5'10" I had been around 215# for a decade or more... that's a lot of weight to carry around... It was a lot of muscle... some extra fat.... but do I have to be this big? No I do not...
2. I avoided training on the weekend mornings because I drank too much... I always had a hangover on Sat and Sun morning... getting a 30 minute workout in on Sunday afternoon to flush out the toxins had been a small victory.... I could train more... and smarter
So even tho I had been out there racing and giving my all... It was simply my all on raceday...
It's like the quote "The will to win means nothing without the will to prepare."~Juma Ikangaa
I was prepared to give my all on raceday... I was simply half stepping in my preparation....
Well... I have changed... lost 30#... quit drinking... Training harder... riding with the roadies... taken up bike racing.... posted a double handful of PRs.
So thanks to all of you who have made me challenge my beliefs... and challenge myself
It's like this quote from Gordo...
"The path to improvement from each step is simple. However, walking the path is challenging -- that's what makes it rewarding when we improve -- we _know_ how tough it was to overcome ourselves."__Gordo
I think that's all that we are all trying to do... I think we just need to get our perceived limitations out of our way.
I am yet... a work in progress... I am, however, making progress.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
You catch my eye
I see your sparkle
I see your shine
We’ve not been together
In quite some time
I straddle you
And reach out
My hands find you
No glance required
I know just
Where to touch you
And how you will respond
With a firm
But gentle thrust
We have begun
The world around
Speeds by in a blur
My heart beats faster
Your frame flexes
Under my weight
I touch you again
Our pace quickens
This is it
What I’ve longed for
Together as one
Friday, October 23, 2009
I ran this route Tuesday night:
To view Plymouth Meeting 10/20/2009 Route, follow the link below:
it was dark in some places but all in all a nice trail and a beautiful run.
I do not often get the opportunity to race in faraway places.
Work and family obligations keep me close to home… and… Home is where I like to be…
I had an opportunity. Work took me to Syracuse New York… I found a little ½ Marathon put on by the local YMCA 30 or so miles south… on Sunday…
The race did not start until 0930… which I guess is just fine up north… the temps at 0700 had been in the high 20s… but by 0930 they had reached the high 30s… good running weather.
The race was pretty small by any standards… I guess maybe 300 participants… Before the race started a megaphone crackled to life describing the course… “It’s basically an out and back… on the highway for a mile… then past the dirty horses and then the muddy cows… turn around and head back”
What the race director left out… was the hills…
I seeded myself near the front and soon we were off… I wore my Garmin… since this was such a small race… and not really a planned or peaked for event I thought I would gather a little data and time myself etc.
I didn’t look at it tho… that was the deal I made with myself… I just started running… I passed a few people early on but soon we were pretty strung out. We ran along the highway… on the shoulder for a mile and a half or so… then turned on tho a country road… the road stayed pretty flat until about mile 4… and yes… lots of cows… horses… fields… farms… silos… Old McDonald… eie… freakin’… io
I knew that I had started on a pace that was right near the edge of my capabilities… but… I just put the brain in neutral and kept going… I didn’t have anything to think about anyway… I’d brought no gels… I had no splits… so I concentrated on the backs of the runners in front of me.Mile 5 brought the hills.. and there were about 4 of them… which it being an out and back course… we hit each twice. I don’t have any idea how to run hills I just tried to spin (short steps quick turnover) up them and kinda controlled freefall down them.
My brain dreamed up this idea… that I had 4 solid miles left in me… and I knew that with 4 miles to go the course was pretty much flat… just what my diesel engine needed… furthermore I decided to use my heretofore un-consulted Garmin to pilot me to 4 sub 8s to finish strong.
At the 9 mile mark I quickened my pace a bit… ran a couple hundred meters… then glanced at my pace… 8:05… and I was pretty close to my limit… not good news…. That little catch in my throat… the beginnings of an asthma attack… The last four miles which were to be my show of strength… were just the opposite… I fought hard but still got passed by a dozen or so runners and barely managed 8:30s…
As usual… my asthma stayed at bay until I stopped… Final time 1:48:54
No PR, No T-shirt, goodie bag, or expo but one of the most enjoyable racing experiences I’ve had.
Monday, October 12, 2009
Smile on my face hands thrown above my head
Sometimes I hit the gas in the final corner
Leaving my rival as if he were dead
Sometimes it’s about minutes per mile
Interval and fartlek and tempo
Sometimes it’s about heartrate
And zones and aerobic threshold
But sometimes it’s just feet and a road
And I don’t need all that stuff
And sometimes I’m just putting in the miles
And sometimes, that, is enough
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
It’s Raceday… but it feels like any other weekend day for the past few months… up way before dawn… preparing for a long day… I have been a triathlete for 12 years… and there are many types of triathletes… for the first 11 years of my “career” I’ve been a finisher… a completer of triathlon courses… and I have trained to complete not necessarily to compete… this is different… I’m ready to race over distance… I’ve put in the training… averaging 12.5 Hours a week over the past 4 months…
A little more than 6 hours later… I’m sitting about 30 meters away from that curb… in the Med Tent… no I do not need medical attention although like most of my competitors I am pretty dehydrated… it’s just that the med tent is the only shade anywhere near the finish line…
I’m sitting next to a red haired girl appropriately named Ginger and… as triathletes do… even tho she is a cute… and we both are single the conversation goes quickly to pooping, puking and chafing…
We discuss how miserably hot the run was (88F and high humidity) and how much it sucked… and how much fun it was…
After she leaves I gather myself first… then slowly gather my junk from the transition area… As I drive home (yes I left the race site within 30 minutes of crossing the line… I had to check on my kids) I reflected on the day.
The swim was wetsuit legal… and was fairly uneventful… I guess I swam a pretty straight line but… in the ocean with even a small swell it’s sometimes hard to see more than a buoy or 2 at a time… I finished in 48 minutes… a PR for the distance. I said aloud as I exited the water that I was glad that I did not waste any time training for the swim.
The bike had been danm near according to plan… I have no computer on my bike… it broke and I’m too cheap to replace it…. So, like almost every Saturday all summer I rode with my Garmin strapped between my aerobars…. Kept the HR below 130 and the RPMs high… staying on track with hydration and calorie intake… even dropped to the little ring riding into a headwind for the last 15 miles…
Coming through a roundabout with less than 10 miles to go I felt my front wheel take an odd wobble… I came out of the aerobars and onto the cowhorns quickly enough to keep everything upright and headed in the right direction… but a quick stop confirmed it… my front tire was flat….
Now I had pitched a shutout so far… not a huge deal for a crappy swimmer like me… and a small race such as this… but nonetheless… as I up-end my bike and yank the wheel off… the riders I have passed start to whiz past… I did not perform too badly on my pit stop, however, and I was back on the road in 5ish minutes… I fought back the urge to push it and make up the time… just kept spinning into the headwind. In the end I still averaged 20.4 even with the pit stop…
Now I’ve never really held back on the bike… which means that all of my triathlon runs have been sufferfests… so leaving T2 with spring in my step was nice…
Well… that’s where good sense gave way to Leroy Jenkins…
I took off like a scalded dog… ran the first 3 miles at about an 8:15 pace… the next 2 at 8:45ish.. then a few ~9:15s… a couple of 9:30s (recognize a trend yet) mile 10 was my first over 10 minutes… a quick look at my trusty Timex and some math revealed that if I could run 3 nines I’d finish in under 5:40… so… I ran mile 11 as if it was the only mile I had to run… tangents… everything… mile marker… beep!.... look… 11:30.. dam… miles 12 and 13 followed the same trend… 12 and 12:30… Run time 2:06… really wanted sub 2 hours.
All in all it was the race I had trained for. Steady swim, strong bike, and decent run for a 5:47… good enough for a 40 minute or so PR.
I’d been a bit lax on my long runs… choosing instead to ride with the tri group on Saturday and the roadies on Sunday. That fact coupled with the heat and my dumbs#!t pace in the early miles… that’s really my biggest mistake… if you want to call it that…
It was a fun 4 months preparing for the race… the racing itself was a blast.
Monday, September 21, 2009
I've never run with a headlamp... or a flashlight.... maybe it's from my Army days where the emphasis was light = target.
I have done a bit of running in the dark/semi darkness.
Once while doing an interval run by mostly moonlight and the occasional postlight I had quite a scare.
During a speed interval... in oxygen debt... legs churning... I looked down lust in time to see this chasm... only one step away... a quick crow hop.. and my best imitation of Renaldo "Skeets" Nehemiah... and I'm flying thru the air... I barely clear the obstruction which I recognize as I touch foot to earth on the far side...
I had pulled the herculean feat of jumping over... a shadow
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
I have a whole bunch of races in the coming weeks and months… I feel like I should have done more.
Saturday I had gone down to St Augustine and helped the bike club set up a crit course… after seeing the course I was glad to have not signed up… turn 1 was a double dogleg… yikes.
After getting set up… I only had about 3 hours to train before I had to get back to parenting… I used my time pretty wisely by doing a 50 mile bike and 4 mile run at close to race pace for my upcoming ½ Ironman…
Sunday morning had brought quite a momentous occasion. Went on a 30 mile ride with my two best friends… had a good time giving each other heck… and riding and running our mouths…
So… back to early Sunday afternoon… part of me wants to lie on the couch and watch the Vuelta and/or football… but that little voice tells me that I had yet to earn my rest.
So… I decide to do a ½ Marathon… in the afternoon Florida heat
A few clicks on Mapmyrun.com and I had a route… I live on Hilsdale Harbor Ct where the race will start and finish… and thus the race is named
at 1630 I leave some instructions for my daughter (to get dinner started) and tell her that I’ll see her in 2 hours.
That is my carrot… my goal… my competition… 2 hours… for 13.1 miles
Before I start running I ride my bike out and drop water and Gatorade off at strategic intervals. With this done… and with it a warm-up of sorts.. I set out on my quest.
I’m a horrible 1st mile runner… I think I manage a 9:15 or so… great… In the hole already. Miles 2, 3, and 4 are all under 9 but my stomach hurts… I’d eaten a sandwich an hour and a half before I started running… bad idea.
The next 3 miles are all just under goal pace… right around 9:06 each… stomach feels no better… I take a gel at around mile 6 and a salt tablet… the gel helps the energy level and the salt keeps me from exploding with the fish sandwich in my gut.
Mile 8 I slip… I stop to pick up a bottle… then monkey around with a way to try and carry it… and I record my first mile over goal pace… 9:18
I manage to rebound with a 9:07 on mile 9 but the wheels are coming off. Mile 10… stomach is killing me… really think that if I could throw up the ½ bottle of Gatorade I’d had over the last 1.5 miles that I’ll feel better… the 9:56 split is a bitter pill… I see my goal slipping away… I’m pissed… but I am doing all I can to hold it all together.. and all in…
I don’t quit tho… I keep fighting… and running… I stop at a water fountain… splash my face… and basically run this mile like it is the only mile I have to run… when I turn in a 9:37, even tho it’s way off pace I am proud to have reversed the downward spiral of the previous mile and HTFU.
My pride was short lived however… mile 12 involved a couple of major intersections and uneven running surfaces… I let that get in my head and posted the only double digit mile pace of the day… 10 even.
Last mile… I had long since given up on 2 hours… but.. I looked at my watch… just to see what my finishing time might be… quick calculations told me that if I ran 1.1 at an 8:15 pace… I could still do it…
After a few seconds of debate with myself I decided to just run as hard as I could… as long as I could… when I had the pace up to around 8mpm.. I realize that I am not going to die… on the contrary… running fast feels kinda good… so I keep going… all the way back to my house… I know it’s going to be close… I drive… drive… fluid, fists pumping… around the last corner… even with my driveway… I hit the stop button…. Look down and see…
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
I have two… funny thing they both wear skirts kind of… one wears a checked blue dress… the other a loincloth
The chatty one in the blue dress is all doubt.. and fear… and about avoiding pain.
I call her Dorothy:
Her counterpart… is stoic. Reserved… and speaks seldom… but he’s always there
I call him Tonto:
Thursday means… speedwork day and this week’s schedule called for 7 miles with 5 @ 8:03.
Well… work got in the way… I headed out late and only had time for 5.
Dorothy: “Maybe just an easy day… you ran long on Tuesday… remember how much that hurt… you had trouble walking straight when you got back (she exaggerates…) you rode pretty hard last night… in the rain… 5 easy would be okay… just get in the miles”
Tonto: “Run Kemo Sabe”
So I take off.
I decide quite on my own (thankyouverymuch) to run a warm-up mile then a sub 8s for mile 2 and 4. I wanted to get *some* speedwork in.
Mile 1 passed in 9:53 and even tho my legs are a little sore from Tuesday I feel pretty good. I pick it up on mile 2… I feel smooth and strong. Running a 7:30 or so pace.
Dorothy: “Take it easy! Don’t burn yourself out on the first one… remember that run 2 weeks ago”
I kinda ignore her this time… I feel good.
Out of nowhere Tonto speaks up.
Tonto: “If one mile you can run at this pace three miles you can”
Sometimes Tonto tries to channel Yoda…
I think about what he said tho… and decide to run miles 2, 3, and 4 all under an 8 pace.
Dorothy freaks out…
Dorothy: “IF YOU ARE GOING TO TRY THAT YOU MUST SLOW DOWN NOW!!!!”
I do so immediately (sheesh lady) slow down to about a 7:55 pace. Mile 2 is a 7:45
The next mile or so passes without much chatter… Ricky Martin is on my iPod… and I’m too busy “Livin’ la Vida Loca” and mile 3 is right on target at 7:59
When mile 4 starts I can feel the pace slipping… Dorothy pipes up:
Dorothy: “You know… you can run an 8:15… and still *average* under an 8 pace”
I mentally glance at Tonto out of the corner of my eye… he has his arms folded across his chest… and a tear coming out of his eye like the Indian in the litter commercial.
So… I decide to do what I can with what I have left… I increase my turnover…. Try to flow and relax… that does the trick… I manage to lower my heartrate and pick up the pace at the same time… hmmm.. I think I just learned something… that’s why they call it training. I hold it together… neither voice says anything… ( I think Dorothy was pouting) and finish in 7:56 for mile 4. Cool down mile and a shower… and I’m back at my desk.
My adrenalin tells me to go for it… my head tells me that I’ve already hydroplaned a couple of times… Reminds me that I’m already doing 32 MPH and that there is a roundabout that I have to navigate ¾ of in just about a minute… I have no idea how fast I can do that and still keep both tires on the pavement.
I reach the roundabout with the shattered back of the field… cautiously coast thru the 270 degree turn… as I exit I see the field moving away at a pace much more rapid than the one I find myself maintaining…
This was not how I envisioned my first bike race…
How did I get here?
After much angst… and indecision I finally signed up for the Nocatee Stage Race last Friday. OK so I did not sign up for the whole thing. I did, however, sign up for the road race and TT stages.
The Time Trial was no big deal since I have done one of those before and it was only 6ish miles. The Road Race… well I have been racing bikes in triathlons for a dozen years but have never done a mass start bike race before. I picked this one because it was a Road race with few corners and had a specific Cat 5 35+ race.
To say I was nervous would be accurate… having never done this before, my greatest fears were crashing, causing a crash, and getting dropped.. probably in that order.
Packing the Suburban for 2 races was a bit odd… in that it required 2 bikes… at present my road and tri bike have different pedal systems… and I use 2 different pairs of shoes.
Well.. I got all my sh!t together and got it all to the race site a couple of hours before the race. I watched the pro/Cat1/2 race come by a time or two
The clouds rolled in about the time I went back to my car to start getting my act together and get a warm-up in. By the time I was ready to pull my bike out of the car the sky looked ominous so I decided to wait… As I sat there I watched the Cat 4 guys getting ready to race… a serious looking bunch all carrying a set of spare wheels more expensive.
Rains came… and along with it an electrical storm of biblical proportions…
In 30 minutes the rain let up a bit and the lightning moved off… work of mouth spread that the Cat4s/5s/and Juniors would all start together and the race has been shortened to 4 laps of a 7.4 mile course. Before I really had time to get nervous again 40-50 of us were standing at the start.
Okay back to the race:
So I’m out the back… 2 miles into my first road race so… I put my head down and start pedaling… I weave thru a few riders falling back and before I really know what I’m saying I’m yelling at them to help me catch the Peloton. A big guy from Kingsland Cycling club and I trade a couple of pulls… and we almost reach the draft of the service vehicles when I start to get cooked and slide to the back of the paceline that had formed behind us. By the time I work my way back up to the front… the peloton is gone.
For the next 2 laps I kill myself taking long pulls… in part as punishment for having no balls earlier… in part because I wanted our little group to lose as little time to the peloton as possible… part stupid… part anger…
On the 3rd lap I start to open my eyes… not literally.. I’m still squinting… peeking over the tops of my Rudy’s as it’s still p!ssing rain… but I start to take a good look at our situation. We are in a bike race… off the back of a peloton we’ll ever see again. I quit the stupid long/hard pulls and start to get back below redline. As we get to the final corner I calculate how far it is from the finish line.
On the back side of the circuit on the final lap for some reason the guy on the front of our group sits up… I don’t know why but he goes from 24mph to 20… I was 3rd wheel at the time so I decided to just pick it back up and so I roll off the front… I knew we were a forgotten bunch of dropped Cat 5s but… it was a bike race d@mmit... Oh they caught me.. a couple of minutes later. I was not really trying to solo away… just testing the water. As I work my way through the paceline I think on my strategy. I want to be near the front for both the two final corners… on the next to last corner I find myself on the front… cornering confidence has taken a quantum leap in just a little over an hour and I hit the corner hard and accelerate out of it. What is just a little punch for me strings everybody else out. Now… I just try to rest up for the final corner.
Just before the corner the Kingsland guy works his way up the left hand side… I hop on and follow… he passes the lead guy right on the corner… as he does I hit the gas… slingshot past him… I can tell that I have a gap… and only about .3 miles to go. Kingland Guy rips past me just a few seconds later… I’m on his wheel where I stay as we cross the line… the rest of our group comes in 10-15 seconds later.
As we roll down the starting straight… where just an hour and a few minutes earlier I had been terrified.. I have this feeling of elation… even tho we raced for 37-43d places… we had ourselves a bike race. When I finally got off my bike my legs were trembling to the point where I had to lean on my bike for support.
In the end we averaged 24.7 in the pouring rain… not too bad for a bunch of guys who got dropped.
I’ll be back to try my hand at this again… it was just too much fun!
Thursday, August 20, 2009
I had it in my head all morning that’s what I was up against and kinda psyched myself up for it.
When work finally let up enough for me to think about getting outside I looked at my schedule. No speedwork scheduled... It's *easy* week...
I only had time for 5 miles anyway (dang work) so…
I *started* easy on mile one… knocked a minute per mile off that pace for mile 2…. Then knocked another minute per mile for mile 3… then descended by the same scale on the way back.
It was nice and painful. Calves and hammies tingling… Now it feels like Thursday
Monday, August 17, 2009
I don’t really know what I’m training for…
My training log is b!tchin’….
I’ve never put up these kinds of numbers before:
10 straight months of 100+ miles running
June saw consistent weekends of 60 miles cycling and 10 miles running
In July I had a goal of 3,000 minutes of training for the month…. I hit over 3,500…
Averaged over 100 miles of riding and 10 miles of running every weekend.
August is more of the same with 95 mile rides the past 2 weekends followed up with by a long run. Yesterday was a 20/12 brick.
Ironman training is going great… except for 2 things…
1. I am not signed up to race *anything*
2. My 3 swims this year were all in races.
I have considered B2B… and it’s still open but…. My oldest daughter turns 16 on the day after the race… I think that puts that out of the question… I’ll do this one day… the swim with the current is too sweet to pass up.
GFT is Saturday, October 24, 2009… a possibility… although Lake Minneola is not my favorite swim venue.
The ½ IM route is much easier.
The Florida Challenge Triathlon is Sunday, September 27, 2009
ATLANTIC COAST TRIATHLON (another ½ IM) Saturday October 3, 2009.
I might simply do both of these races and call it a season.
Input? Ideas? Advice?
Monday, August 10, 2009
Saturday, August 1, 2009
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Last Friday was my birthday.
As lunchtime approached I got an idea that I might test myself a little… on “my day”
My idea… since I was scheduled to run 5 at lunch why not try to run that under my age. I thought hmmm…. 43… that’s like 8:35s… doable even factoring in the heat… a high mileage week and some tough speedwork the day before.
A few minutes later I had a revelation… with both fabulous and disappointing news. I was turning 42… not 43… someone who knows me well sent me happy 42nd wishes… and they were right….
Ya see… in triathlons they write your age on your calf… not your age at the time but your age as of December 31st… so even tho I’d been getting a 42 tattoo all year… I’d really only been 41… woot! Oh.. uh.. wait?
Now my goal time was 42… like 8:20s much more of a test.
1st mile was hard… from 0 to running a sub 8:30 pace (at my age J) is not easy… I think I hit 8:28 or so… great already behind.
Mile 2 was easier… almost always is… about 8:06 and mile 3 still smooth at around 8:12.
The heat started wearing me down on mile 4… but managed an 8:20…
Fought like hell for the last mile to hang on… all of the precious seconds I’d banked on miles 2 and 3 evaporating way faster than the sweat off my brow…
managed to bring her in coughing, sputtering and smoking (~8:44 mile) and finish with 14 seconds to spare… 41:46
only for this run… and in my childish mind… do I yet remain, under 42.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
It helped that they were going to ride a route that I was familiar with… had not done in quite some time… and that I was anxious to do again.
The “B” ride was supposed to leave at 0715… towards that end I had gotten to the gathering point at 0645… I don’t think anyone else showed until just after 0700… in fact I was just before going home and doing a solo ride…
As anyone who has showed up cold for a club ride as an outsider can tell you… roadies don’t exactly rollout the red carpet… I introduced myself to a couple of folks who showed up.. no one was anxious to give me an overview of anything… or introduce me to anyone else… so I just stood around in the proximity and waited.
At about 0725 I asked someone if there was going to be an A and a B ride… He looked at his watch and said… hmmm it’s 0732… I guess there isn’t going to be a B ride today…
FORK! Now I have been lurking here… looking like a dork for 20 minutes… carbon fiber and fit looking roadies everywhere and now… no B ride…
Now I have no particular aversion to getting dropped… but… I have not ridden in a truly fast paceline in… well… a decade… I just don’t want to be a Fred… Much easier to avoid Fredness in the B group… It’s easier to ride than it is to pack my s3!t and leave so off we go.
There are about 30 riders in our group… we picked up a half dozen or so more in the first couple of miles… guys I guess who lived or parked a little further south… about 4 miles in we reached South Ponte Vedra Beach and most of the traffic/intersections were behind us and the boys at the front started whipping up the pace…
I stayed close to the back… not wanting to be in the way… but careful to hold my line and the wheel in front of me. We were up to 24 mph in no time and I was not really sure how long I might hang.
About 5 miles in we reached the 210 bridge over the Intracostal… a major hill for us flatlanders… I was poised and ready determined to not get dropped this quick…
I was quite surprised to find that the group splintered apart like it did… I found myself passing 6 or 8 people and covering a gap to get back with the group… they weren’t really nailing it tho… so I found myself safely tacked on the back at the top…
Of course we went screaming down the other side and hammered for a mile or so until one of the super fit looking dudes in full team kit turned around and started riding back… I figured out later that he went back to the 6-8 dropped riders to see if any of them wanted a tow back to the group… he came back with one guy.
We picked it back up to 24 or 25 once they got back. I still had no idea how long I could hang with these guys and was steadily moving up the paceline (still about 25 strong) to the front.
I made it to the front about the same time as we met a train headed the other way… no it was not coming directly at us but it was only about 35m away running parallel to the road. It basically generated a headwind where none had been before… I got the bit between my teeth tho and put in a respectable pull for 2:30 at 24… then a flick of the elbow and I drifted left and got a chance to watch the bunch go by…
Feeling pretty good at myself and beginning to gain confidence that I might yet finish with these fellas, I decided I needed a snack and a drink right quick while I was at the back again… I did and when I went to put mu bottle back in the cage I missed… aaaugh!!!! What a stupid Fred move.
I slammed on the brakes… and turned around to get my bottle. It was a nice Polar bottle or I might have just let it go.. Once I retrieved my bottle I got a good look at just how far ahead the group had gotten… I was still trying to recover from being on the front and now I was going to have to chase…
And chase I did… after about a minute I saw the tam kit dude headed my way… he offered me a tow… I hopped on and he pulled me at 26-27 for a mile or so until we caught up…
We stopped a few miles later and I thanked the “Dude” who pulled me back and generally tried to recover a bit and take on some calories… knowing that with my (lack of) handling skillz I’d probably do best to eat now… and just steer and pedal later.
After we left the store.. still 24 or so strong we were met with a nasty crosswind… and since we were on A1A… right along the beach we had no protection… the speed went back up to 24 anyway and in just a few miles I was already beginning to feel the effects of the effort… I’d been spinning along nicely most of the morning in the 39 but decided to shift to the 53… Remember this is only my 3rd ride on this bike… well.. I slipped my chain… I immediately pulled out of the line and waved everyone through…
The Fast dude came by me and told me to shift and pedal slowly… I wanted to tell him that I *knew that* but this being at least my 2nd major Fred move of the day I just said thanks…
I had fallen almost all the way to the back with my shenanigans and when I got my s#!t back together and got a chance to look up the road again… the group had split… and I was on the wrong side…. I was not sure whether or not my mechanical problem had been part of the cause… no matter… I moved up to the front of my little group… about 6-8 of us and hit the gas… I was hoping to pull the group back across the gap.. and in so doing perhaps I could redeem myself… if only a little
I was making progress back to the main group… thinking we were probably going to make it… then I looked over my shoulder and I was alone… halfway across the gap… and all by myself.
I sat up for a few seconds and thought about going back for them and trying again… I did the calculations in my head and surmised that If I waited for them… they (and me) would not make it back to the group… so I got back in the drops and just concentrated on making the gap smaller… it took a mile or so but I finally closed down the gap. When I got back on… the guy in last wheel asked me if there were any other back there. I said that there were and he and the Dude went back for them… 5 minutes later only the Dude returned.
Although I was back in the group I was pretty fried…. It was all that I could do to hold onto the wheel in front of me… I did take another pull… and another 6-8 riders dropped.
I knew that as soon as we got back to Ponte Vedra that we would slow down and soft pedal the last 3 miles… I was never so happy to see a stop sign as I was the first one in PVB…
For those guys… it was a group ride … in my Walter Mittyesque mind it was more like the Tour of Flanders… and I finished in the group of 12 out of the 36 we started with…
today… Thursday the soreness is finally beginning to leave my legs.
I can’t wait to do this again.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
I had a ride scheduled with Chris on Saturday… bu1 #1 I had a new bike and wanted to ride it. #2 I wanted to work out any technical problems with riding a new bike with new pedals and shoes and saddle…
So I rode 18 or so Friday evening… and man did I ever suck… I thought I must be over trained… undernourished… vitamin deficient… my new bike was awful…. These thoughts went on for 15 miles…. Until I finally decided to check my brakes… yeppers… the brake pads were rubbing… I guess I had misaligned when I put the back wheel on my bike… well… that repaired and I felt like a new man…
Saturday was a rare near perfect day for training. Overcast with a high of like 84F… We rode 2 loops of the local rails to trails, basically 60 miles. For the first loop his GF’s son Aaron came along… good kid… 18 years old… never complained… or fell off… or pulled =;-)
It rained for much of the second loop… we did not really care. Low traffic on the trail meant that we could softpedal side by side and chat like the old friends that we are.
After we finished I packed up the bike and went for a run. Since we rode pretty easy I decided to run 6. Since it was relatively cool… and overcast I took no water… only one gel. Two miles in I started to feel a little bonky… so I ate the gel I brought… then I got thirsty… by the time I hit the turnaround I was completely parched. Then it started raining… cue “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”
Water, water, every where,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, every where,
Nor any drop to drink.
I run for a while with my mouth open and facing the sky… I catch a bit of moisture but not enough to quench anything…. I probably look like a laboring… lumbering… overgrown baby bird…
Then I had this idea… I’d just run with my hands cupped in front of me… at this point it was pouring… I was making good progress in the water collection area… then I saw a bike approaching… and knowing what kind of idiot I looked like I dropped my hands to my sides and lost my precious drops of water…
After all of these shenanigans I decided to just HTFU and finish my run… I had a couple of bottles in the car… chilling in my cooler. I finished both of them off before I got in my car to drive home.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Jay dropped me immediately it appears...
But not quite ready to go home. Did a nice 40 mile ride with my old friend Chris after the race.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Rode on the Rails for Trails on Saturday of July 4th weekend… holy mother of God was it hot… 40 miles and I was cooked… which was fine because by 0930 the trail was bustling with rollerbladers and jog strollers…
Went out to Mickler’s for a brick. I had three hours before I needed to pick up my oldest daughter from a friend’s house. I hoped to do a 40/3 brick.
Left right at 0800 the computer on my tri bike went out a couple of weeks ago… it’s been finicky for years and I think it finally gave up the ghost for good… I had my Garmin but it too was on the blink… it would only output the current speed… so… I set out to ride to the Vilano bridge and back… pretty close to 40 miles on the dot. As I topped the first dune in South Ponte Vedra… and just as I pass someone else I get passed… It’s a fit looking dude on a tricked out Cervelo. I thought I’d try to stick with him… although I left 2 bike lengths… just to stay “legal”
And stay with him I did… all the way to Vilano… at ~22mph… Pulled up next to him on the bridge to chat. His name was Tom and he was doing his last long training ride for IM Switzerland… Nice guy.
On the ride back north I was riding with Tom… enjoying the day and hoping I could hold this speed all the way back… I took a sip of water then missed my bottle cage… there it goes… my water bottle skittering down the bike lane on A1A…
Figuring It’s over now… and I’ll heve to ride it back solo I turned around and retrieved my bottle… Just for kicks tho I thought I’d try to catch Tom… I worked my butt off for about 10-12 minutes but eventually I got back…
Since I’d gotten my ride finished early I had time to run 4 instead of just 3.
3 day weekends are nice…. Had no kids Sat nite… both spending the night with friends… so I went out myself… and stayed out too late… slept late… Ended up doing a brick 1 hr ride and a 9 mile run in the evening.
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Easy day… I’d had Monday off from running… and the weather was mild… only mid 80s… so I decided to run a little faster than the 9:25s on my training schedule. I thought 5 9s would be good. I hit the first mile in 9:40… then ran solid 8:50s to finish in 45:xx.
Supposed to be easy again… it was hotter but I felt really good… another 9:40 mile started things off… on the second mile I decided that I was going to run mile 3 fast… but relaxed watching my form… Mile 3 was a 7:20… with the rest of the run at a ~9:15 pace I came in at just under 45.
Tempo day. Warm-up mile, 3 mi @ 8:04, cool down mile.
Warm-up… felt better than expected. Mile 2 – 8:02… hmmm… that’s pretty close… as I’ve been timing my runs all week with the trusty Timex because my Garmin lost it’s mind….
Mile 3 – 7:59 – I would have put on a smile had I not been on the rivet…
Mile 4 – I could feel my pace slipping… the legs felt good but my heartrate was pegged… the heat getting t me too…. 8:40… the cooldown mile was not fun… I think I stumbled to an 11 something… final time north of 46.
All in all… I’m happy with the lunchtime running for the week…
Monday, June 29, 2009
Saturday was supposed to be my first workout with the club. I’m not much of a joiner… somewhat of an introvert I guess… But I have decided to get out, be involved and meet new people…. Okay so I haven’t done it yet… But I will.
Well… I was really planning to start on Friday night… as the club was participating in a Pub Run… but it rained earlier in the evening… and that’s all it took… I decided against that.
So… I bailed on the group workout Friday and Saturday too… I had reasons.
I did, however, train at the beach. I rode 70 miles. The sprint tri course and A1A to St Augustine and back. Then ran 4… Felt pretty good the whole time.
Sunday morning I got up early again. I’m not an early morning runner… so I decided to ride 10 miles or so then run 9.
The ride went fine but when I started running I felt like a draft horse… heavy footed plodding. Funny thing happened tho… after a couple of miles I had a nice endorphin rush… nothing like it really… only experience has taught me that these normally precede a bonk by only a few minutes… I hoped that this would be an exception to that rule and it was… and while I did not run very fast… or very pretty… I did run relaxed, and steady, and strong… like a long legged mule.
Friday, June 26, 2009
0415 – I’m awake. Not sure why. Alarm is set for 0430. I get up anyway… turn on the coffee pot and get moving.
The plan is to pick up my kids from their annual summer visit with their mom at 2 PM…. And I have this adventure I’ve got planned to do before then.
0515 – Everything loaded and I’m on the road.
0800 – pit stop for supplies etc. I notice the headline of the regional newspaper it reads “Miserably Hot Weekend”
0815 – I pull into the parking lot of the Quincy Rec Center. Thanks to Google maps and the street view feature I know just what to expect down to the shady spot under which I park. The temp is already in the mid 80s.
0825 – I’m on the road. I only have one tube for a spare and that thought worries my mind from the start. I’m alone and with just a map and a phone. The first few miles are pretty slow. Lots of turns stop signs and redlights as I leave Quincy. Not a big deal… I’m in it for the long pull and not in a hurry.
The hills start about 5 miles in… a couple of pretty good sized ones then it’s back to kinda flat…. Not much later I passed a house that looked like a fake castle… “towers” and all… only problem being that the person who added this “look” had used stucco over plywood and had not bothered to even secure the structures to the house very well… I wish I’d taken a picture.
17 miles in I reach Greensboro, FL which means water stop #1. I went into the store to buy some water and a pack of crackers. I ask the lady ringing up my purchases “where Graves Street”.
She points answers “Just on the other side o the railroad tracks”
I nod and say “oh, at the dead end? I thought I might have passed it”
She says “no it’s right there.” “Where are you headed?”
I answer “Chattahoochee”
She replies “how are going to get there?”
I say “on that bike leaned against you wall out there”
“Why would you want to ride your bike to Chattahoochee?” she asks
“Well, that’s where I’m from” I say with a smile. It only takes me a second or two to realize that my joke has missed its mark… Chattahoochee, FL is famous for only one thing… It is where the state mental institution is located. I really am from there tho… that’s where I grew up. We moved there when I was 5 and left when I was 14.
She and her daughter both comment on why anyone would want to do such a thing. I just gather up my stuff and say “this is what I do for fun” and go outside.
I look back thru the window a couple of times and I can tell that they are talking about me in there. At one point a good ole boy even sticks his head out the door to gawk at me.
Soon I’m back on the road and have found Graves Street. I had assumed that the street was named for a famous Greensbouran named Graves. I pass a lot with hundreds of headstones… hmmm… maybe not.
About half way to Chattahoochee I begin to feel it… that little squirrliness that means I’m losing air in my rear tire. I ride and look… ride and look… yep… it’s getting soft. I get off and check. Yep… no doubt.
Decision time. When I stop and lean over sweat literally pours out of my helmet. It’s already in the mid-nineties and it’s not even 1030 yet. I have one spare tube but I do have 4 CO2s…. so I decide to top it off and keep riding… and see how long it will last. The answer is not too long… 10 minutes later I can feel it going soft again. I keep riding while I think about what to do. I also kick myself repeatedly for coming out alone w/o proper equipment. It does not help that this is the hilliest 10 miles of the ride… even a sweeping descent with a switchback… perhaps the only one in Florida. I take all of the descents slowly because I only have about 50 lbs of pressure in my rear tire.
This continues until I reach Happy Town…. Yep it is a real place. A suburb, if you will, of Chattahoochee. I get off and check again…. Probably 40 lbs now… but I decide to limp in to Chattahoochee anyway.
I stop in town to asses my situation… I decide once again to just top off the tire with CO2. Lazy… fear of blowing my last tube…
I then spend a little time riding up and down the hills of my old home town. And it is hilly. I tell my kids that as a child I had to walk to school… uphill both ways… and it’s true. I lived in one little valley and the school was in the next.
Another stop at a convenience store where I get a few odd looks… fail to talk them into cutting a watermelon and giving me a slice… and I’m on my way… I have an extra 40oz Gatorade stuck in my jersey because I know that it’s about 25 miles to the next store. Minutes after leaving the store I also leave Florida. The route I have chosen cover about 20 miles in Georgia… right along Lake Seminole.
It was not long before a couple of things had my attention. Number 1 my tire is low again… and #2 I am in bum fork nowhere… I’ve not seen a half dozen cars in the 30 minutes since I left town and houses are getting fewer and farther between.
So… still somewhat disgusted with myself about the one tube thing… 40 miles in with 20 to go I stop and changed the tube…
Once I had decent pressure in my rear tire again I realize just how crappy the chipseal road is…. But with decent air pressure and not constantly looking down at my wheel I am making much better progress. I cross the state line without even knowing it because there is no sign… I only realize that I’m back in Florida because I miss a turn that is marked below the state line on my map.
By mile 50 I am almost out of fluids… the temperature is right at 100F… I’m bonking because it’s just too hot to be hungry… At about mile 54 I pass a country store that I’m not even sure is open. I stop anyway and find that it is. I get a coke, some water, and some Gatorade. The cashier asks me if I live on SR 267. I answer him back that I live in Jacksonville… He just stares.
Back on the bike with a coke in me I feel much better. A few more hills and I’m back in Quincy. I decide that doing a brick would just be ridiculous and pack it in.
And as I told the lady in Greensborough… this is what I do for fun… and I can’t wait to do it again… only this time I’ll bring another tube or 2.
Thanks for reading.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
It didn’t even begin well. I had a bunch of other stuff going on in my life during the week. But I did manage to get to the race site with a chip, goggles, a bike, and some shoes.
Got all set up and got to the port-o-potty line…
Time goes by… line does not get much shorter…
I make it to the start about a minute after my wave start. Nothing to do but swim… so I did. Straight as an arrow too.
T1 was uneventful… and I was ready to light up the bike. I had a new wheel. A disk… and I was all set to use my newfound aerodynamics to maximum advantage. Just started passing people. No computer on the bike so nothing to do but put my head down and pedal. Felt strong over the bridge… on the way down my back end started to feel a bit squirrely. I tried to put it down as crosswinds and the disk but… a mile or so later all doubt was gone rear flat.
Even tho I know that my race is effectively over… I still want to finish. Change the tube and… pfffftttt! Immediate puncture… no more tubes so I give up. I would tell the story about a race official and another tube and how I tried to get going one more time but… there you have it. My first DNF.
So – after I got back into the transition area I packed up my junk… dropped it off at the car and set out on a ride to St Augustine… I had planned to ride after the race anyhow. I decided to add another 10 miles or so on to my ride to make up for not finishing the tri. I also decided to run the “run” course of the triathlon too… it was getting on to early afternoon by the time I finished I was completely baked.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Decided that since almost everyone was gone that I'd skip the wearing the shirt... normally just a formality anyway.
Had a nice run. Got back in the building... went to badge into the lockerroom and... "beep" "beep" *blinky* *blinky*... denied!
Spent the next 20 minutes... soaking we and shirtless wandering the building trying to find the supervisor of the cleaning crew.
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Yesterday I had a chance to try it.
My parents moved to Jacksonville last year and bought a house with a pool a few miles from my house.. As they had invited us over for dinner last night it afforded a prime opportunity.
I was hot yesterday... not sure of the actual data to back it up but it was warm... I spent the entire afternoon outside... yard work... washing both vehicles (Suburban and Tahoe)
At about 1645 I finished my chores... changed clothes... and set off to Grandma's house.
I was not really sure how far it was... but I did know that I had less than an hour to get there because mom said supper would be ready at 1800 (okay she said six o'clock)... I thought it was 4 or 5 miles... so I set off.
I really like running in quiet low-traffic areas. on trails or asphalt... I avoid sidewalks. redlights. etc. well this course was not for me.
The mile was on Tiger Hole Road... Not too much traffic but no shoulder or sidewalk... I'd taken Sunday off for some family time and it felt really good to be moving.
The next two miles was on Bowden Road which included 4 redlights and passing underneath I-95... It's such a pain to try and time a road crossing... looking over my shoulder to see if anyone is making a turn into my path...
The next mile took me up and over the railway lines... a decent sized bridge and 4 or 5 more redlights. this was about the time I realized that it was *definitely* more than 4 miles and I would be cutting it close to make it on time.
Almost every step so far had been in the broiling afternoon sun and I was running due west with the sun in my face to boot... Finally at around mile 5 I took a turn which gave me a little relief from both... glorious shade... what I did not remember and therefore did not expect was the ½ mile of false flat uphill. ..I could feel that I was at my limit but.
A. I was having fun
B. I was running late
So I soldiered on.
Finally I took the fork in the road that put me on a straight shot to their house... I could soon see the road sign that sits in front of their house... I knew that I should probably do a cooldown but my mind said... "That road sign is the finish line. don't back off" so I pushed all the way.
I'll try to beat that next time.
In the pool for 5 minutes. dressed and right on time for dinner.
Monday, May 18, 2009
How can something so familiar be so different?
I toed the line at this race for the first time 10 years ago… and I’ve done almost all of them (it’s a three race series) since.
For only the second time, however, I’d be racing age group. The previous time I’d raced age group was to race my (then) boss head to head… now… for the first time I *had* to race age group as opposed to Clydesdale because I no longer qualified…
“Well that’s totally cool” you might say and… I’d partially agree… fact is, however, I’d gotten used to getting or at least competing for hardware.
It’s an ocean swim, and that’s really my only strong suit in swimming… the ocean is my friend… and I’m normally pretty good at navigating the breakers, spotting the buoys, and swimming a straight line in a choppy surf.
Yeah… I said normally… you see… I’d not placed a pair of goggles on my head since July of last year… and when I dove into the first wave, my left (buoy sighting) goggle half filled with water. The swim course was open box shaped… quite frankly I’m not exactly sure how I got from point A to point B. I think ended up swimming something shaped more like a house…
I was happy to get to the beach:
As soon as I clipped in… it was, as my redneck friends say, “on like Donkey Kong”.
The racecourse is a kind of out and back with a bridge in the middle. You non-flatlanders might call this a small hill… We are looking for KOM points.
I’ve pitched shutouts (not been passed) in this race more times than not in years past… but that was not that big of an accomplishment when I started in the next to last wave (just ahead of the novices) and I was one of the slowest swimmers to boot. Going off in wave #2 would make this a bit harder. All the way out to the turnaround, I passed a steady stream of riders. I knew that I was pushing it but… well it’s a race, right?
A mile or so past the turnaround… just as I was going through a roundabout, it happened… a guy on a Cervelo… Zipp wheels and aero helmet passed me… hmmm.. I thought I might have to let him go… not two bike lengths later a lady sped past too… great… chicked to boot..
They did not zoom on by but I did back off all legal like… We leapfrogged a time or two… then we hit the bridge…
I figured the two skinnies would leave me on the uphill… and they were both ahead of me at the base… I just kept spinning and upshifting… I felt a little rub, so I touched the front shifter and “clink” into the small chainring… didn’t mean to do that… nothing to do but pedal faster… so that’s what I did… at about 110 RPMS the rest of the way up the bridge… I passed both of the skinnies and gapped them pretty well by the top.
I went screaming down the other side as fast as my 194# would propel me and never saw either of them again… I think Cervelo guy is in the distance in this picture:
So… I get of the bike and even have a (for me) excellent T2… I hit the run and…. Mo is gone…
I, once again, rode a little too hard and was feeling a bit crappy… but that wasn’t it… I was in tourist mode… just running along…
like it’s a long training run or something… I was not racing anything… trying to PR… racing anyone… or for any hardware… so I just ran… I even stopped to pick up a pair of sunglasses someone dropped and turned them in to the aid station… at the run turnaround I snapped out of it a bit and chased down a few runners on the way back in
Well… I guess I’ll be back next month to try and run the tourist version of me into the ground.