Thursday, September 27, 2007

If I were going to dope...

I'd talk to this guy. Fabian Cancellara defended his world championship Time Trial crown by 52 seconds over a 44.9-km course. wow.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

You might be taking yourself too seriously...

If you're 70, and you're cheating at triathlons. Seriously? Seriously.

Triathlon growing in Lexington

Lexington is finally growing up a little bit. The Tri for Sight is now second in size (in KY) only to IM KY. Not bad.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Tri for Sight Pictures

Dave (one of my bosses) and Myself Looking alert and sessy before the swim.

Dude who wouldn't let me pass him for the last 250m. Little frustrating, but oh well.

Me in T2 wasting time on the watch. I don't think I've ever come back to that empty of a rack.

Coming in on the run. Man that was painful

Getting my award (a piece of glassware)

Cheesin' at the finish line

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Tri for Sight Race Report

So one of the goals I had set for this year was to podium at a race. I thought this would push me to train harder and work for some goals. That said, let's get on this race report, shall we?

I wasn't quite as strict with the diet this week. I had already put in 90+ miles on the bike prior to the race. I drank beer on friday, I ate pork and beef at the company picnic on saturday. I just didn't care. I told a couple friends friday night that I was either going to podium or blow up on the run. Saturday night, I had a splitting headache. I think it was due to large stressors in my environment the past few days. Dealing with the fallout of getting run off the road on thursday afternoon during my long run, having to call 911 for a guy having a stroke or heart attack at my company golf scramble, etc could have both contributed to it. Thankfully, I have a great girlfriend who took care of me and helped me get ready last night while I was laying on the couch, hurtin'.

7 am races are early, so I got up at 5 still with a bit of a headache. I popped an Excedrin Migraine, drank some coffee, a diet coke, and ate some cereal. I was ready.

Swim: 800m, 14:29 (1:47/100m)

It was a pool swim, and I felt really good. Passed about 3 or 4 people, was passed by one. these times seem long to me, but everybody's times are slow. Maybe I need to swim more. 500 yds this week is a bit thin.

T1: Long run from the pool to the Community College included: 4:14

Bike: 18+ miles, 49:55 (21.6 mph)

I didn't feel all that great on the bike today, and apparently I need to take a class on gear shifting. I threw my chain again. It's a pretty hilly course, but fun day out there regardless. Guy I know caught me at the end of the bike, and I knew I was going to have to hammer the run if I was going to beat him.

T2: nothing much to tell other than dropping my bike into my leg and gaining a nasty cut. 1:01

Run: 4 miles, 25:04, (6:16/mile)

I didn't know I was running this fast, but I was trying to hold true to my blow up/podium promise. It hurt, but I kept passing people and finished pretty strong. I beat my friend on the run by 2:30. Beat him overall by 12 seconds. whew!

Overall: 1:34:41, 7th overall (out of about 300 I think) 1st/23 in AG.

One guy in AG actually beat me, but he won the overall and is trying to qualify for nationals. Dude's fast. So I got the AG trophy (pics later). Needless to say I'm pretty stoked.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

The Trail Beckons

On mornings like this, the gym doesn't have a chance to win the toss - I've been away from my beloved Pinellas Trail for over two weeks - and the overcast sky and cooler air brought on by whatever tropical storm is out there right now makes a convincing assertion that summer may actually be coming to an end.

I'd been biking our rails-to-trail for many years before I realized that trail cyclists considered it one of the best "urban" trails in the country. Kyle and Sam were young homeschooling tykes when we first hopped on our bikes to ride the very first completed sections in the middle of our long thumb-shaped Pinellas county. Now it's 34-36 miles end to end with several off-shoot spurs, it connects a bunch of city and county parks, and travels through a wide spectrum of commercial and residential neighborhoods from the housing projects to upper class Belleair with "white trash" and retiree mobile home parks and scores of middle class neighborhoods in between.

I can take the Gulfport spur near the southern end to eat lunch on a rooftop overlooking the Gulf of Mexico or watch the swing dancers at the pavillion, then cross the inter-coastal in the section pictured above, then much farther north, paralell the Gulf again in Dunedin, Crystal Beach and Tarpon Springs, smelling the briny air across the mangroves, even when I can't see it. You can bike for breakfast, lunch or dinner in downtowns made for day-trippers (Gulfport, Dunedin, and Tarpon), and the food is so good at some of these places, that it will take you quite a few bike trips to sample them all.

On my relatively short ride south this overcast Saturday morning, I mostly passed or was passed by other "serious" cyclers (road bikes with helmets, bike shorts, tops, and shoe clips) riding in small groups, with relatively few walkers, runners and skaters. I also encountered a tyke on one of his first rides without training wheels being coached by Grandpa and Grandma who crashed into the fence pictured above just after I passed, a couple of homeless dudes with bikes having a chat by one of the overpasses - a pretty regular occurrence in certain sections of the trail, an assistant cook heading to work with a dangling cigarette, an orange Fanta, and a serious hangover clouding his face, and the best part of my coffee break: a blue/black crow who strutted around the Starbucks patio like a gun-totin' outlaw, forcing the tiny wrens to safer ground.

I like passing commercial buildings sporting murals on several sections of the trail (St. Pete, Clearwater, Tarpon), a homeless dude who routinely reads the paper on a bench just over the fence from the swankiest neighborhood in the county, women who walk the trail barefoot in their Sunday suits and hats with high heels in hand on their way to the African Methodist Episcopal church, compact Mexicans on their way home from work, middle-schoolers clad in baggy blacks who clump together for identity and power, and cast-net fishermen hoping to snag supper from the Anclote River.

It's our trail, its my trail and I love it.

Friday, September 21, 2007

At least we're better than Mississippi, West VA, Alabama, Louisiana, South Carolina, and Tennessee

This post is mainly meant to be a provocateur for Steve. State obesity rankings are in.
So my question is this: what's it like to be a vegetarian in the fattest state in the union?

Thursday, September 20, 2007

It's baaack...A short photo essay

So It's certainly mainstream, violent, and whatever derogatory moniker one would like to choose, but the author can't help feeling a little like the two in the photo below now that football season is back.
It's even more fun when it doesn't totally dominate your saturday or sunday. However it feels like this when your alma mater pulls an upset on a top ten rival.

And it's bound to happen at some point in February, the no football blues will come...

But take heart, because before you know it, Mike "Toast" McKenzie will be back with his ridiculous hair and being shown the back of numerous players' jersies on their respective ways to the endzone.


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

More Music City Pics

Exiting the swim
My supporters (minus 1) looking moderately confused

In T1 wasting time.

Rod and Myself Running step for step.

Me on the verge of puking but putting in the kick

Monday, September 17, 2007

Music City Triathlon Race Report

This is the second Olympic Distance Race of the season and really the final prep race for Miami Man in November (I'm doing the local sprint this week, but I don't really think it qualifies due to its short distance).

The weekend began with the drive down to Nashville to stay with Amber's very hospitable family (A big Thanks to the Leslie's). Saturday, we went over to get registered since I signed up late and was on the waitlist. I was pretty sure I would get in, but didn't want to leave it to chance, so I showed up before they opened. I got in, got the right size t-shirt and a blue cap (you'll see below why this was so interesting-it did help the spectators find me though. I might try to do this in other races). Race Report Below: The pic below is me hangin' out before the race. I'm easy to find with my blue cap. If you look directly to the left of me, you'll see a guy who I think is related to Mr. Miyagi. Dude was whipping out some dojo stretches before the race and Steve and I shared a few good-natured laughs over it. Steve also gave me some swimming tips on streamlining my body in the water. Thanks brotha!
Swim: 1500 m (I think + run to transition, not sure) - 27:32.87 (1:50/100m)
I felt pretty good most of the swim. I also felt smoother in my stroke than I did a couple weeks ago. I still swam off course a little bit, but still an improvement. I'm hoping to keep getting better on the sighting. It'll come. I got out and my adoring fans were cheering me on the run to transition. It was pretty cool.
T1: 2:08.9 - No big deal. I ran out the wrong way at first and had to turn around. I just need to keep getting quicker.
Bike: 22.5 miles - 1:01:28.43 (21.96 mph)
The bike was really good. It was a hilly course, but most of the hills were shorter than the ones here in KY. Honestly, I just had one of those really good days where I felt like I had juice in my legs in almost every gear. At about mile 16, I thought a big climb was coming up and tried to gear into my small chainring. As I did this and threw the chain, I swore at myself for being an idiot. I had to slow down and stop to put it back on and lost probably a minute to minute and a half. In hindsight, this was a painful mistake. About 10 people I had passed in the last 5 minutes passed me when I stopped. I was pissed, but decided I was going to use it for motivation to track people down on the run. All in all good bike, but I need to not have mistakes like that
Run: 10k - 40:12.21 (6:29/mile) PR by 6 seconds for a 10k!
I got out of T2 and almost fell down on some uneven ground. Ran about a quarter mile and then went up a 1/2-mile switchback hill that was brutal. At the top, I fell back just a little bit of some skinny dude that looked to me like he was going to put together a good run. So I latched onto him a little bit to try to keep a good pace. After a while we got out to the dam and I was running next to another guy named Rod. It was an out and back and we ran over a dam and down a large hill that we had to come back up (also painful but we made it). On the back, Rod pulled me up one hill and said "hang on and get up here!" I'm grateful for that as I would not have had the run I did without him. As we were getting back to mile 5, I knew it was mostly downhill and I wanted to repay Rod for his help, so we started picking it up to try and catch dude in gray who was in Rod's AG. On the .5 mile steep downhill, I just let it rip striding out fully and going about 5min/mi pace. Rod yelled at me from behind "It's not even fair with those long legs you've got!" I told him my large arse was pushing me down the hill. At the bottom of the hill, I was hurting bad, but still had about .3 miles left. We had passed gray suit dude on the hill and all I wanted to do was beat him. We caught another old guy at mile 6, and I poured on almost all I had. At about 50 yards out, we went in through the fence (and my cousin Steve said he thought I would get kicked at the end), I decided I'd worked too hard to lose at the end, so I poured on everything else I had and finished strong in front of rod and old dude. We must've dusted gray suit dude (or he was demoralized by watching me stride past him like a bloated camel), because he wasn't in the video that Amber took.
Total Time: 2:14:06.25, 4/29 in AG, A really solid race for me. The real twist now as I look at the race results is if the guy ahead of me is really in 3rd place since he had a 2 min drafting penalty (cheater). If his penalty has yet to be assessed, I finished 3rd. Oh well. Good day regardless. I'm asking the RD if I'm reading the results correctly and will update when I find out.
Summary: I need to keep getting better on sighting in the water, keep speeding up my transitions, and not do stupid crap like throw chains on the bike. However, I do believe this HR training/base training really works. I feel so much better running at that speed now. It's uncanny. I'm really looking forward to lower volume, smooth pace base work this winter in hopes of really cranking it up for next spring at the Louisville Triple Crown and St. Anthony's.
I've attached some pics below of Amber and Myself after the race, and Steve messin' with my bike with me thinking I was leaning out of the picture.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

So I Love Dogs, But

Sometimes they get their comeuppance. I was riding today, and I heard a dog come up on me. I've learned in the past year that if you want to keep a dog out of your spokes, you have to scare them off and keep them away from your bike.

So without even thinking about it as the dog came up next to me on the right (running full speed), I let out a strong "HEY!"....I definitely scared his butt, because he tried to stop on a dime. I kid you not, he had so much momentum when he stopped that he literally somersaulted right next to me. I was a little worried at first that he was hurt, but then he got up and looked at me. I smiled to myself with a great sense of accomplishment. Today's Score: Sam 1, Dogs 0

Racing into Shape...or Something like it.

So one way to work in some speed when you've been struggling to get the speed workouts in is to race frequently. I've got one this weekend, the Music City (1.5-K Swim, 40-K bike, 10-K run) and the Alcon Tri for Sight in Lexington (800-m swim, 18-mile bike, 4-mi run) next weekend.
One problem with the Music City: I signed up late and got put on the waitlist because the race is sold out. I should still get in according to race directors, so I'll be there. Look for the Race Report(s) coming up and then a little break for some ramp up to MiamiMan.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

A Good Week

The plan for the week was to recover quickly from the race the weekend before, then start putting in the miles on the bike. I didn't get any swimming in this week, but I'll fix that this week. The recovery ended up turning it into a bigger weekend. Friday involved just under 60 miles on the bike, Saturday had a 8+ mile really hilly run. Sunday was a ride up to the Blue Ridge Parkway for some more riding while those with me chilled at a waterfall picking blueberries (seriously). Suffice it to say, it was a long descent (about 3 miles) and steep from where I began. I did a couple of decent climbs going out and it was tough but fun. i took a picture on the way out, and below is what I look like without thinking about facial expression...

And this is what I look like 30 seconds later when I realize how horrid that first picture looked...

The final climb back to the beginning was a doozy. I'm not sure exactly of length and elevation because I forgot my Garmin. However, I was climbing for about 13-15 minutes in my granny gear. Good stuff. I got to the top and hiked in my bike shoes to a little overlook. Then I came back and hung out with my cool peeps (who gave me relatively no crap this weekend for all the training). We were going to eat at the BRP that night, and I told them about the overlook I found. So we ate turkey tacos/burritos on the side of the mountain. A look at the fare and the ambience is below.

We closed out a good ride home with some flowers in the hair (and a bike in the back :D )