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April 29, 2006

Whitecaps!

Whitecaps!

Good news: The swim will most likely be wetsuit legal.

Bad news: We'll be swimming in a washing machine.


Less than 24 hours to go

Karen and I made it to St. Pete safely yesterday. Took us a little longer than it should have, because 3 miles after we got on 275, all traffic was at a complete standstill. Lots of emergency vehicles on the northbound lanes. Next thing you know, here comes Lifeflight. An Explorer wiped out and rolled through the median. Everyone was out of their cars walking around and watching the rescue. After Lifeflight took off, southbound traffic started moving again. Folks in the northbound lanes were backed up for miles.

We checked into our hotel. We had heard very good things about The Pier Hotel. It really is a charming 'historic' place. Nice breakfast spread in the morning and a happy hour in the evening, plus free high-speed Internet. It's about a mile away from the race venue, so very convienent.

After settling in and checking on the girls, we walked down to the Pier for dinner. VERY windy outside. The sun had set and the water was dark and choppy. Oh boy. I don't need to be psyching myself out. Especially with the rumor that wetsuits won't be needed. Sunday, I just need to remember to get in a rhythmn and stay steady in the swim and let it rip on the bike and the run.

Today, we slept in, grabbed some breakfast downstairs, and walked over to the race expo. Lots of folks running and biking, and saw some that had just gotten out of the water. It is still very windy, and the water is really choppy. Bought some fancy new sunglasses for the race tomorrow and won a drawing for a Zoot cap. Good thing, because Karen's hair was blowing in her face and she was commenting that she needed one. Also stopped by the massage tent for a quick lower back massage. I woke up this morning with some soreness down there. Not sure if it was the hotel bed or not. I was told that I have a lot of tightness around my hips and down into my IT band. I need to stretch more! I know I do, I just never do it. Need to add that as a bigger part of my training regime.

Back to the hotel for some final bike tweaking and then back to the venue for registration and bike check-in. Karen is going to grab a nap.

Almost time!

April 27, 2006

My friend John Morrett

John Morrett

A picture of John Morrett, a friend of mine from Rotary. He's an American hero. Why? He survived the Bataan Death March.

I took his picture because he was interested in my Treo phone. He couldn't believe all of the things it could do.


April 24, 2006

St. Anthony's: The Plan

Here is a breakdown of my race last year:

Swim:

38:17

T1:

4:15

Bike:

1:11:27

T2:

1:59

Run:

50:19

Total:

2:46:16

So, what are my thoughts for this year? Well, I would like to chop 6 minutes off of the swim. That puts me in T1 at 32 minutes. I think there is at least 1 minute of time that can be eliminated from T1, so let's call that 3 minutes. Not sure how much time can be shaved from the bike. Last year I rode the old Trek. This year I have the Kestrel. I will be riding with Mike's fancy wheels again, but my training mileage has been down. I'll be conservative and shoot for 70 minutes. With my new easy off Tri bike shoes, I should save 30 seconds in T2. Finally, I hope there is enough gas in the tank to run the 10k in 48 minutes. So what does that make the goal? Somewhere around 2 hours, 34 minutes and 30 seconds. That would be right in line with my 2006 goal of doing an Olympic Tri under 2:35:00.

James is betting on 2:32:00. I think he is basing that on quicker transitions and a faster run.

I hope at least one of us is right.

T-time: Less than one week

St. Anthony's is six days away and my tapering has begun.

Here is a comparison of 2005 v. 2006 training:

2005

2006 YTD

+/-

Run

236

316

81

Swim

13,300y

41,650y

28,350y

Bike

660

590

-70

Bike mileage is down, but swim yardage is WAY up and so is run mileage. The swim is where I have the most time to gain, so I hope the training pays off. I heard a rumor that the swim MAY not be wetsuit-legal, but I hope that's just a rumor. The extra swim mileage should also pay dividends on my aerobic capacity, so that should help the bike and run as well.

The only other wildcard is the weather. Last year, the weather was beautiful. For some reason, I remember the run was actually almost cool.

I plan on doing the Open Road group ride this afternoon, spin class tomorrow (with an easy 1000y swim), and then some speedwork on Wednesday. Maybe an easy jog or swim on Thursday and Friday. I'll make a visit to the chiropractor over the next couple of days and get a massage on Thursday. Then it'll be time to RACE!

April 21, 2006

My first River Run

My first River Run

Mom and Dad had this photo up at the cleaners. I figured I should scan it in for posterity. It's funny when I think of the amount of training I did back then. Not a whole lot. I wish I had trained more. I think my longest runs were usually in the neighborhood of 6 or 7 miles. I would have to get my Dad to drive the streets I ran to get the mileage. Too bad there was no GPS back then.

I usually ran at night, after the sun went down. Every now and then I would run before school. I can't remember ever being accosted. Sometimes Pete would ride his bike alongside. If anything, the only things in danger were the neighborhood garbage cans.

My route was typically to run down Belvedere or Avondale Avenue (depending on if Pete was accompanying me). From there I would turn left on St. Johns Avenue and run to St. Vincent's. I would turn around and run back down St. Johns cutting back through side streets after I crossed Fishweir Creek. Ultimately, I would run around the old Roosevelt Mall and then head home. I remember I would always run the last half mile home down Belvedere from Pete's house very hard.

Of course, at this time the Walkman ruled and there was no iPod. My Walkman (cassette with auto-reverse!) was a bit unwieldy to run with, so I would use my sister's little AM/FM portable stereo. Listening to the radio was OK, but I would think about how motivating it would be if I could run to a playlist I compiled. I once fantasized how cool it would be to have the local DJ play that custom playlist during the River Run. Now with iPods, the ability for every runner to be his own DJ is taken for granted. Funny thing is, I now rarely run with my iPod.

Glad I found the photo. Brings back a lot of old memories of training as a spry teenager.


April 20, 2006

Training in Kansas City

060412_Training_KansasCity

Here is the aerial view of my run last Wednesday in Kansas City. Reminds me of the Absolut vodka ads. It was dang hot in KC. They hit a record high of 92 while we were there. There were also a couple of inclines, while not super steep, they did wear you down. Nothing really notable about the run. I did run around the park that surrounds the Liberty War Memorial. Also ran past the corporate headquarters of Hallmark. I did a shorter 3-mile version of the run on Friday morning before I left to come home. The hotel we stayed in also had a pool with a couple of lanes roped off, so I was able to do laps on Thursday morning. Didn't accomplish as much training as I would have at home, but it wasn't a complete loss of 3 training days.


April 19, 2006

April 12-14: Trip to Kansas City, MO

Mike gave a presentation to the Midwest Chapter of the IASA. Met some nice people and got some business cards. Good trip.

Also, ate some really tasty barbecue, had a fantastic steak, did some training, and saw a really cool war memorial.

Abducted by aliens?

Nope. Just super busy the past week. Was in Kansas City last Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Then Saturday was a marathon yard day preparing for the Easter lunch on Sunday. And so far this week has been consumed by following up on last week's trip. Entries detailing these activities to be posted soon.

April 11, 2006

FSU is always trying to one-up the Gators

No charges will be filed against any players involved with a misfiring of a rifle outside former Dee Webb's apartment. WR Kenneth Tookes is said to have accidentally shot into the apartment of a neighbor. Nobody was injured.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for former FSU defensive back Lee Paige after his accident involving a firearm.

DEA Agent Who Shot Self In Foot Sues Uncle Sam

The videotape of the incident is surreal. He continues the presentation after shooting himself! As the Black Knight would have said "It's just a flesh wound."

Gotta wear a shirt in St. Anthony's

From an e-mail sent by the StA Race Director:

No Bare Torso Rule: (From USAT Website) Among the competitive rules targeted for special emphasis during 2006, USA Triathlon reminds athletes that torso (upper body) clothing is required during the cycling and running disciplines, and that chin straps must be fastened while wearing helmets. This clothing change will not affect female competitors. Male competitors will be required to wear a race top for the bike and run portions covering the area from the top of the sternum to the bottom of the sternum (xiphoid process).
Use of torso-covering clothing is an important rule that ensures male and females compete by the same standards. While cycling, light-colored, tight clothing is more aerodynamic than skin pores and helps minimize abrasions in the event of a crash. It also reflects ultraviolet rays from the sun, enabling better regulation of body temperature. The same is true for running, although loose fitting; light-colored clothing is more appropriate for that discipline (tight fitting clothing is an aerodynamic consideration related to cycling, but not the slower speeds of running).

Haha. This rule doesn't affect female competitors. I bet there would've been a lot more spectators in the past had this rule affected them for the first time this year.

I wonder if BFAST and HOT will enforce this rule this year? I wore a Tri-tank in last year's StA because I thought they always enforced the rule. Other than that, I can think of only one other triathlon where I wore a top.

Morning triathlon

Did the Tuesday Triathlon today. I might start calling it a double brick.

I started a little after 5 am in the pool. I swam for 30 minutes and then up to the spin room for Jane's class. We did intervals in class today. Really good class. Once it was time for everyone to cool down, I put on the running shoes and hit the treadmill for 2 miles. One mile at 7:30, then a half mile at 7:00, and the last half mile at 6:40. Then back to the pool for a 15 minute cool down.

As I was headed back to the locker room after the cool down, Jay was giving me a hard time for getting back in the pool. Doug saw me and asked me if I was starting all over and heading back to the spin room for another class. I guess they think I'm nuts.

April 10, 2006

Life's lessons

The girls learned one of life's lessons tonight, in a big way. Karen and I were weeding the flower beds in the front yard. Emily and Maggie were having a big time just rolling around in the grass. Karen warned them a couple of times it was going to cause them to get itchy. Sure enough, once they stopped, Emily was screaming that her body was itchy all over. She was inconsolable, so Karen had to quit working and take them both for a bath. Once I finished up and went inside, Karen gave me the recap. When she placed them in the bath, both girls skin turned red and resembled hives. Applying cool water and then moisturizing cream finally cooled their skin. Poor boogers. Another lesson learned the hard way.

40-mile ride on/off the Baldwin Trail

060409_Baldwin_trail

Good ride with Mike McLamb yesterday. About half of the ride was up-tempo speed stuff, taking turns pulling. Didn't know we came so close to the Georgia border until I looked at the map. Encountered only one road rage idiot who felt compelled to honk at us as we were on a short stretch of 301. The middle stretch of SR 121 was miserable. The road has been scraped in preparation for resurfacing. There wasn't a smooth place to ride at all. Hopefully, they will be done soon.


April 8, 2006

Annual Easter Egg Hunt at the Cofrans

DSC03304

Our neighbors Kevin and Julie Cofran hosted their annual Easter Egg hunt today. Lots and lots of preppy little kids running around looking for plastic eggs full of goodies. And this year the event was highlighted by a visit from the Easter Bunny. Too cute!

Of course, the Butler girls had to make the 1/4 mile drive around the block in style arriving in their pink Barbie Jeep.


April 7, 2006

Proving me wrong?

Magnitude Of The Moment Doesn't Sink In For UF's Noah

(At the White House Thursday) Florida was the last team introduced and Joakim was the last Gator to appear. His teammates had dressed like they thought they were doing something important, but Joakim sauntered down the steps like he was headed home from a big night in Vegas.

He had his arm around two women, and his shirt tail flapped in the breeze, unfettered by a belt or the waistband of his pants.

Tim Keown was three days premature with his article. The day after I defend the Gators as being classsy, Yoakim Noah somewhat validated Keown's argument that these guys are immature. Maybe the entire team shouldn't be painted with the same brush, but it does seem like the label fit Noah yesterday.

Maybe part of the blame can be applied to Donovan as well?

Donovan was asked if he dictated a dress code for the occasion, and the answer basically was no.

"I just wanted them to look neat," he said.

He didn't see Noah before he marched in?

However, one player's lapse in judgement won't tarnish this team's image. Let's just hope that it doesn't become a habit. If they want a legitimate shot at repeating, this attention grabbing behavior will have to be squelched.

April 6, 2006

Asics photo shoot

Jacksonville's Financial News and Daily Record

Znequet McGee wasn't running up and down Forsyth Street over and over and over Tuesday as part of some odd, new training regimen. She was taking part in a commercial photo shoot for Asics Footwear and Apparel's spring catalog.

Good thing she stayed on the sidewalk.

Pick up Emily, go to bakery

Pick up Emily, go to bakery

Whenever I pick up Emily from school, we HAVE to go to the bakery!


April 5, 2006

Hey jealousy

DISCLAIMER: I am a Gator homer. And I can't believe I'm wasting my time even addressing this.

ESPN.com: Page 2 : Florida fell short in final moments

From Taurean Green's hip-shaking dance in the face of UCLA in the final seconds to Joakim Noah's facial contortions and trash talking, a little bit was enough.

This is really pathetic. You expect to find this stuff posted by trolls on the message boards, but for a senior writer at ESPN.com to spew this kind of vitriolic copy is a disgrace. He could have the decency to provide a disclaimer at the beginning of the column that he is a West Coast homer.

So he's not happy with Taurean Green shaking his butt for 5 seconds at the end of the NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME? Gee, I guess Keown thinks they should have met with the UCLA players at center court after the game and sang kumbaya.

And what do journalists who cover the Gators for more than one game a season say about Noah? Here's a good example.

Teammates say Noah doesn't seek the spotlight -- "He'd rather it be all about the team," said sophomore forward Al Horford -- but Noah didn't look uncomfortable Sunday. Tampa Tribune columnist Joey Johnston calls Noah "the most compelling player ever to play in the Final Four," and he might be right. Noah is thoughtful like Shane Battier, enlightened like Lew Alcindor, rebelliously curious like Bill Walton.

I'm also surprised that he didn't complain about the majority of UF's field goals coming by way of layup or dunk. How disrespectful of them to not do the honorable thing and try more difficult shots?

He speaks of the almighty "tournament moment" being when one UCLA player helped another UCLA player up at the end of an emotional win. Obviously, being a West Coast snob, he watched all of the UCLA games. By the same token, based on his nearsighted assessment of the UF team's character, he didn't watch too many other Gator games during their improbable run. If he had, he would have seen the way the UF players gave new meaning to the term teamwork and unselfish play.

The bottom line? It's scary, but a bunch of folks that I know that can't stand the Gators (most as a result of various intense football rivalries), have said how impressed they were with this group of basketball players. The usual descriptions I have heard include humble, respectful, team-oriented and classy. In his column, Keown makes a snap judgement on a fine group of 20-somethings who just won the arguably toughest championship to win in collegiate athletics. Tsk tsk.

Photo by chasingfun.

Marketing Ploy II: Funny greeting

Just called the clock store on St. Johns Avenue to see about having a band replaced. The fellow answered the phone: "It is 12:43 pm. Thank you for calling Clockworks, how can I help you?"

Very cool.

Time to buy the Video iPod

by Apple Computer

I told myself if the Gators won the National Championship, I would have to buy a video iPod so I could buy the CBS Season Pass to the tournament for $19.99. Well, they won (pretty convincingly), so now I need to pony up.

April 3, 2006

CHAMPIONS!

CHAMPIONS!


Running at Disney

Caution: If you ever stay at the Pop Century Resort at Disney World and want to do a long run, be careful. There is not very many good places to run directly from your hotel room unless you like doing laps in a parking lot or want to take your life in your own hands. Apparently, every minivan and SUV driver from the Midwest received the memo that you defend your lane at all costs. I always try to run facing traffic so I can see what's about to hit me. All I ask is for the foot and a half on the side of the road between the white line and the curb. I think these jokers would come zooming past me trying to see how close they could get. Usually, they would have a full empty lane to the left of them. It must be a matter of pride, honor or something that prevents them from relinquishing one inch of their lane. If there was a pack of cars coming, I would hop in the grass and run there, because I understand they might not have anywhere to go. Other than the folks who feel like they should drive like Mario Andretti at 6:00 am, the run was pretty boring. Not much to look at, save a couple of bunny rabbits and an armadillo. The air was thick but cool.

April 1, 2006

Gators in the championship!

George Mason did their best to stop the Gators by defending the paint and trying to keep Noah and Horford from getting their points. That's OK. Lee Humphrey, Corey Brewer and Taurean Green ate them alive from the perimeter. And the Patriots are supposed to be a good outside team? Well, they made 2 of 11 from beyond the arch. Admittedly, those 6 points caused some Gator heartburn because they were part of a run that cut the lead to 9, but it was too little too late. And what the heck was up with the technical foul on Taurean? He was getting roughed up by the GMU defense, but he runs his mouth (probably saying "Look at the scoreboard"), and gets T'd?

Ding dong. The big hand and the little hand are both pointing to the 12.

GO HOME CINDERELLA!

GO GATORS!