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May 31, 2006

Track workout, swim

Getting back in the groove.

After my 46 mile bike ride Saturday, I did a 4-mile run on Crescent Beach with James later that afternoon. Unfortunately, I didn't do anything Sunday or Monday. Sunday was a planned rest day, with a remote possibility of doing a swim. Monday was Karen's birthday and I hoped to do something, but instead did my husbandly/fatherly duties by helping the girls fix breakfast in bed for Mommy. The rest of the day we hung out at my parent's pool and I couldn't break away for a run or ride. No biggie. Tuesday morning I'll get back in the groove.

Nope. Karen was up all Monday night with food poisoning. It had to be, since no one else had any problems. She started feeling the symptoms about 6 hours after we ate lunch at Chick-Fil-A. No one wanted to hear Chick-Fil-A and food poisoning in the same sentence, but we can't identify any other cause. So needless to say, my usual Tuesday morning swim and spin was replaced by caring for Karen and keeping the girls out of her hair so she could rest. By yesterday afternoon, I was going nuts. No exercise since Saturday evening. I was able to break away later in the evening for a 2000y swim. Amazing how you can condition your body (or your mind) to crave exercise. I felt much better after the swim.

This morning, I met Jay, Doug, Bill, Julie and Teresa at the cleaners for a track session. We did a 1-mile warm-up and then did 800, 4x400, 4x200. I felt really good throughout. We did a 1-mile cool down, and then I headed to the Y for a swim. Was only able to get 1850y in before I started feeling the stares in the back of the head of the folks who coordinate the aqua-aerobics class. Probably could have finished, but decided I wouldn't push my luck.

Three good workouts in the last 16 hours. Yeah!

May 27, 2006

Bike ride with Mike McLamb and Kevin Cofran

Bike ride with Mike M and Kevin

Good ride this morning with Mike McLamb and Kevin Cofran. We left the neighborhood around 7 am and headed for the Baldwin Trail. When we got there, we took turns doing 1/2 mile pulls to the end of the trail. We got to the end, turned around and headed back.

Six miles from the end of the trail, we had to stop at an intersection. We looked behind us and there was a group ride bearing down on us, about 200 meters back. We decided if they wanted to catch us, they would have to work for it. We all put the chain on the big ring and started putting in monster efforts, still at 1/2 mile intervals. Finally, when we were 1/2 mile from the end, we looked back and the group was splintered and most had exploded. The three of us averaged around 26 to 27 mph for that stretch, and by the time the group got themselves organized, they would have had to do 30 mph to catch us. Stuff like that makes training fun.

My legs felt pretty good. I did a short track workout last night with James, Josh and Mike Maddox. We did a 1.5 mile warm-up, then 6x200 at faster than mile pace, and then a 1 mile cool down. Getting lots of high intensity training done to help with the sprint and olympic triathlons. I will miss these workouts when it is time to really start focusing on the half IM and working on sheer endurance.

May 25, 2006

Emily graduates from playschool

Marshall, Mom, Emily and Karen

Today was Emily's graduation from the pre-K program at Ortega Playschool. Hard to believe our little girl will be starting kindegarten next year. Lots of weepy parents and family members at the ceremony. Mom was able to attend, but Dad and Betsy had to work. Karen's Mom and Dad were there, as well as Grandmama and Hope.

Hopefully, the kids will all be able to stay in touch. I know Emily, Maddy and Sullivan will be at John Stockton Elementary next year. Chrystian will probably join them, he is the first name on the waiting list for Stockton. Corbin and Olivia will be at St. Matthew's.

We asked the girls where they wanted to go for lunch. Emily and Maddy wanted Chick-Fil-A. The McDonalds of the 21st century. Can't really complain, the food is very good for fast food. Their buddy Olivia wanted her parents to take her to Biscottis. My money was on her picking Pastiche. The kid has sophisticated taste.

Bike-Swim-Bike brick

Bike-Swim-Bike brick

Woke up early and rode my bike to the Y. Swam 2000y. Hopped back on the bike and rode over the Acosta Bridge and then home for a total of 11 miles on the bike.

May 24, 2006

Track workout this morning

I have led interval workouts on Wednesday mornings for a couple of months now with folks from the Yates Y. In the past, we would meet up at Memorial Park shortly after 6 am to run laps around the park. Memorial Park is a mile from the Y, so it was convenient and allowed for a nice warm-up and cool-down. Running around the park wasn't the greatest though. The lap around the park was a little under 400m, so I had to provide decoder spreadsheets to determine actual pace. Because it was short and pacing was hard to nail, I also never included workouts that were longer than approximately 800m. Plus, the lighting was terrible, and the concrete surface was uneven and unforgiving to the legs.

Today was different. Jay and I convinced everyone to meet us at the Lee High School track, about 2.5 miles from the Y. We were able to park in the parking lot of my parent's dry cleaners, 3 doors down from the school. Everyone met up shortly after 6 am and did a couple of warm-up laps around the track. Then it was time for a good interval session.

First we did a 1600 at 8k pace, followed by an 800 at 5k pace, and then wrapped it up with a 600-400-200 at mile pace. A solid effort was exerted by everyone. Jay sandbagged and said his legs were feeling heavy. Well, they were heavy fast legs. He was moving pretty good. After the intervals, Jay and I ran a cool down mile around Willowbranch Park.

Doing the speed session at Lee was great. It was dark when we arrived, but became lighter as the session progressed. There was quite a bit of humidity, but the temperature was actually pretty mild. I had a good session, doing the mile in 6:37. That's a little faster than I want to do the Harpoon Brewery 5-miler, but it didn't feel super hard. I did the 800 in 3:09, and then did the 600 at a 6:00/mile pace. I picked up the pace incrementally for the 400 and 200. I did the 400 at 5:44 pace and the 200 at 4:40. Yeah, I'd be able to sustain that for a mile. Sha-right.

Good session. Thanks to everyone for coming out. Wednesday morning sessions on a real track will be terrific.

May 23, 2006

Grumpy morning

As usual, woke up at 4:30 for my Tuesday morning swim/spin/swim brick. Sometimes it's a swim/spin/run/swim brick. Today it was a wait for lifeguard/spin/finally get to swim brick. At 5:10, after setting up my bike in the spin studio, I headed for the pool. Nice big empty pool all for me. The one lifeguard who was there told me I couldn't get in until the other one showed up. She was noticeably uncomfortable, I'm sure she was aware of the wrath she was going to incur until the other lifeguard arrived. So I sat on the bench and tried to stay awake. Leah and Dave came down and waited for a while as well. Finally at 5:30, we decided even if we did get in, we wouldn't accomplish much so everyone went their separate ways to do something productive before spin class.

I went to the stretching room to do some easy leg and hip stretches. After that, I went to the spin studio to do some extra warm-up. Jane put together a great class, as usual.

Back to the pool. There were now 3 lifeguards present. The 2 that are supposed to be there, and their boss. Doubt he was very happy to get called in. Not sure what time the tardy lifeguard arrived, but when I jumped into a lane with James in the now full pool, he told me that when he arrived at the Y around 6 am, Dr. Wells was leaving and not very happy. James said he came to the pool and there was still only 1 lifeguard, so he went and shaved and came back to find enough lifeguards to satisfy the insurance company.

I ended up only doing 1600 yards. In a work-out on Sunday, Josh told me that I wasn't sticking my head far enough in the water and I was dragging my rear (Jay told me the same thing months ago, guess I'm a slow learner). And I have no length to my stroke. I am now working on putting my head way under and swimming downhill, pushing the T, whatever. In the short-term, it will make it more difficult to breathe, but in the long-term it will make me more efficient and give my stroke greater length. Josh told me to concentrate on my head for now, and the next piece to correct is the body roll. I appreciate the coaching. Things can only get better.

The good news is this is the first time this year I have had a swim work-out delayed at the Y. Last year, tardy lifeguards and faulty pool equipment frequently interurban the swim schedule. Because of that, one delay in the first 5 months is not that big of a deal.

May 19, 2006

Running in Pembroke Pines


I was in Pembroke Pines yesterday for a meeting. Stayed at the Grand Palms Resort.

Word of advice#1: Never stay at the Grand Palms Resort. Yecch.

Word of advice #2: When selling real estate, hire the marketing person responsible for the Grand Palms Resort website. Reminds me of the old Mad magazine section "What they say/What they mean." I was afraid to walk on the carpet in my 'luxurious' room without shoes on, and there is no way I was swimming laps in the 'Olympic pool.' There was so much trash floating in that pool, I could've skipped breakfast after taking in a couple of mouthfuls of water.

My run yesterday morning was pleasant enough however. The community the resort is in has some nicely paved paths alongside the road. Was able to do a pretty good 4-mile tempo run, alternating the pace. It felt like I was going slower than I was, maybe an effect of this pesky cold. The heart rate never got out of control either, which is a good thing. Actually, looking down at the HRM a couple of times, my heartrate was in the low 150s, when I was sure it was going to be in the 160s. Weird.

May 14, 2006

Bass fishing with a Barbie fishing pole

We went over to Karen's parents late Sunday afternoon so she could spend some time with her Mom. When we got there, the girls wanted to fish in the lake. I met up with them after a brief stop in the den to watch the chariot race from Ben Hur. I love that scene!

When I got to the water, Karen had just caught a small brim. The girls were very impressed, but afraid. It was 'slimy and stinky.' My turn. Karen went back to the house with Emily and left me with Maggie. We promptly caught another brim. And then another one that was slightly larger. By the time we caught a third, we had attracted attention from the house and in the water. A bass was trying to eat the brim we had hooked! He made a couple of lunges for the brim, who was swimming for cover in some reeds. I had to drag him into the deep water to have a chance at the bass. Finally -- paydirt! I had a nice sized bass on the line. The Barbie fishing pole was bending in half, so I grabbed the line to prevent the girl's fishing pole from breaking.

Snap! The line broke. Emily started crying. At first I thought it was because she had just witnessed a small part of the circle of life watching the bass eat the brim. Actually, she thought I had broken her fishing pole. She was consoled and found out that it wasn't broken, so she would be able to fish again in the future.

As for me, I was disappointed I missed out on the chance to haul in a big bass on a Barbie fishing pole. I don't have a fish, but I do have a great fish story!

2006 BFAST #1


Ho-hum. Another breakthrough PR. ;-)

This one by nearly 10 minutes. It should be noted that this breakthrough can be partially attributed to conditions and timing more than anything else. My previous PR for this race was my first triathlon ever in July of 2004. The three BFAST races in 2005 are not true apples to apples comparisons. One race I was the running leg of a relay and the other two races had horrible ocean conditions (we ended up doing a run-bike-run duathlon in one). Because of this, the PR stood too long. My abilities and fitness levels last year far exceeded my abilities of the previous year, but other factors impacted the results.

That being said, I broke my PR by 9:54, and I'm not apologizing.

Going into the race, the goal was to break 1:06:30. This was a very doable goal, but for some reason I felt the bike prediction was a bit of a stretch. When James and I arrived at the race, a sign was posted saying the water temperature was 70 degrees. Wetsuit legal. Awesome. You also can't see the ocean from the registration and transition areas, so we didn't know just how good the swim was going to be. James and I were near each other in transition, so we went and set up. James then met up with eventual women's champion for the day, JC Hanley-Pinto. I needed to stop off at the pottie. Good move on my part (pun intended).

Race time was getting near, and I wasn't sure what wave I was in. I was a bit worried about missing the start, so I ran down the sand trail through the dunes to the beach. Oh my gosh. Is that a lake? The ocean was eerily calm. Sweet. As a I walked down the beach to the starting area, I didn't see many white swim caps. Uh-oh. And I did see a bunch of guys lined up in front of the water. Keep running. Finally, I saw that my age group wasn't the first wave, but the 34 and under men were. The 35 and over men would be the second wave. As I put on my swim cap and goggles, and noticed that I was one of the few wearing a wetsuit, someone pulled my zipper cord. It was my neighbor Peter King who had just returned from Europe after a 10-day trip. He complimented me on my race at St. Anthony's, and fixed my zipper so it wouldn't kill me in the swim (something Karen forgot to do at St. Anthony's).

The first wave went off, and it was time to start mentally prepping: find the buoys; determine where to start; comment on the smooth water conditions to a couple of the other racers; 3-2-1-GO!

I ran into the water in the middle of the pack. Finally, when the water was at my hips, I started swimming. No dolphin kicks for me yet. Maybe soon. I got into a rhythmn pretty quickly, but I couldn't find any free water or someone to draft. I kept hitting feet. Whenever I did find a free space, I was quickly joined by some others. I don't think I was passing a lot of folks, I think I was just in an uber-pack of mediocre swimmers. I was passing some, but it seemed like there was a large pack that stayed together for the entire swim. I guess this would be a new phenomenon for me, since I'm used to being the tail end of the swim, with the only traffic concerns being presented by the wave that starts 5 minutes behind me. I ended up crossing the mat into T1 at 8:56, an improvement of 4:08 over my previous best swim. I was also 19th out of 32 in my age group in the swim, so I am now a member of the middle of the pack on the swim.

I grabbed some water while running into T2, and yelled out my friend Sherri O'Brien, wife of the race director (he is an excellent triathlete). I had stripped the wetsuit down to my waist as I ran to the rack, and jumped on my ankles a couple of times to get out of the wetsuit. On with the shoes, helmet and sunglasses, and off we go. T2 took 2:00. Not bad, but it could be improved.

Again, I had a problem clicking into the pedals. Either I need to practice clicking the suckers in, or I need to practice starting with them already clicked in. Maybe the latter. The bike course is a big rectangle, with the first and third stretches the shortest. I started picking people off immediately. I started thinking that I might be a little anxious, and these people were going to catch and pass me immediately. Never happened. My speed fluctuated throughout the course, depending on what the wind was doing. There were a couple of good stretched where I ratcheted it up to 25. Then there were some other stretches where it was an effort to keep it at 21-22. Thak goodness my bike computer decided to work for the entire ride. I paid more attention to cadence, and made sure I didn't let it drop below 95 rpm. On the last stretch home, I passed my neighbor, Peter. He is a great swimmer and a very good biker. I knew I was kicking butt if I was able to catch him before the run. We yelled encouragements to each other and sped towards T2. I think on the entire bike course, maybe 4 or 5 folks passed me. And the ones that did were absolutely flying. I felt very good about that. Not sure exactly what my time was for the bike leg. Nobody does. If you look at the results, there was a serious glitch with my bike time.

T2 was a nightmare. As I ran towards my rack, I couldn't figure out which one was mine. They were so empty. I couldn't find my shoes either, because I has thrown my wetsuit on top of them. I went to the racks on either side of my own before I finally found mine. On with the shoes, and off I go, putting on my cap and race belt as I ran. Peter and I left T2 at the same time. I was griping about the time I lost, with him laughing at me. Not sure what my time was for T2. Not sure I want to know.

The run felt good from the start. As the running muscles started to warm up and stretch out it became more comfortable. Again, I started picking off some more people. Just before the one mile mark, the leaders from the first wave were heading back. As I pass the one mile mark, I look at my watch. I think it said 48 minutes and some change. If I average 8:30 miles I'm going to make my goal. A little while later, I saw James heading back. During the run, I have realized that today's conditions are about as good as it's going to get: calm ocean, slightly breezy bike course, and cool temperatures for the run. There is no doubt I will break 1:06:30, but can I break the stretch goal of 1:05:00? I reach the turnaround, and realized I haven't seen my friend JB heading back. I have never beaten JB in a race. As I start back towards the finish, I pass JB heading for the turnaround. One and a half miles to the finish. Knowing that JB is behind me motivates me to pick up the pace. He is a terrific runner and I would like to beat him. With less than a mile to the finish, I hear footsteps. I try to hold off whoever is behind me, but ultimately I get passed. Not JB. As I get closer to the finish, I really start picking up the pace. As I near the curve to the finish, there is about 200 meters to go, I start the kick. I cross the finish line with my arms raised triumphantly. Woo-hoo. 1:03:39. I finished the run in 22:10.

Walking through the finish area, Sherri O'Brien and Guy Cudihee are collecting the chips. I chat with both of them and then go looking for a drink.

I think everyone had a really good race. Bill Bishop finished in 1:12:00, which is right around his goal. Peter was very happy he broke 1:10:00. JB told me he has some training to do, specifically on the bike. I ended up beating him by 30 seconds.

Looking back at the results, I completed the bike leg in 42:44, and didn't have a time for T2. However, if you add my swim, T1 and run times together and subtract from my finishing time, bike and T2 took 30:32. Based on the problems I had in T2, I don't think it's unreasonable to estimate that transition taking 1:32. That leaves 29:00 for the bike leg. Smoking! And even if T2 was less than 1:32, I had a sub-30:00 bike leg. I thought it was a stretch before the race, but perhaps my bike fitness is stronger than I thought.

Except for the transitions and the bike mount, it was a terrific race. Looking forward to June's race, I willl continue to work on the swim and spend some time practicing jumping on the bike.

May 12, 2006

Emily is a daisy in this year's recital

Emily is a daisy in this year's recital

Not sure you can sense her daddy glowing through this post. What a little angel! Tomorrow evening will be her second ballet recital. Apparently, the dance moves are top secret because Emily has been hesitant to show me. "Daddy, you will just have to wait until tomorrow night."

Her little sister Maggie is very excited that she will be allowed to attend the recital this year. And to think, next year we will be watching Emily and Maggie dance.

I am a very fortunate guy to be surrounded by beautiful girls (their Mom included).

Race tomorrow

Thinking about the race tomorrow. My best BFAST triathlon ever was my first one in July of 2004. I finished in 1:13:33. I had a 1:12:21 in the June race last year, but it was a run-bike-run due to ocean conditions. The other two times I have done the race include last year's May edition where I did the running leg for a relay, and last year's July edition where the swim in the ocean was insane and very LONG due to incredibly windy conditions and a moving buoy.

That being said, I think I have a good chance of breaking 1:10:00 tomorrow. The stretch goal is 1:05:00, but I doubt that is in the cards for tomorrow's race. Maybe in June. Here is the prediction breakdown:

Swim (1/4 mi)




Bike (11.5 mi)




Run (3 mi)




I think the bike prediction is a stretch. Also, according to the website, this year's run is 3 miles. It has been a 5k in the past, so it will be interesting to see if they have shortened the course. Of course, their 5k course in the past always felt long (and measured long according to the Garmin).

The water is supposed to be cool tomorrow as well (70 degrees). I'm still debating whether it will be worth it to wear a wetsuit for such a short distance. Their is a bit of a run from the swim finish to the transition area, so I could certainly be halfway out of the wetsuit by the time I get to the bike. It will probably be a racetime decision. If the water is rough, I will certainly wear it.

Good luck to everyone who is racing tomorrow (including those racing in the GC Half!).

I found Jared's jeans

Before and After?

My parents own a dry cleaners. They have customers who are every size imaginable. They once had a customer who was a midget. Mr. Pillsbury passed away several years ago. However, he paid the same amount to have his pants cleaned and pressed as the fellow who wears these size 72 jeans.

May 11, 2006

With 2 full days to spare. . .

. . . I have Mother's Day cards and gifts out of the way. Woo-hoo.

Glad I won't have to rush around Saturday afternoon. And the choice of cards you get when you pick them up early (a relative term here) is amazing.

May 10, 2006

Actually did what I was supposed to do today

On the training schedule for today was speedwork and swimming.

Speedwork? Check. Meet up with Bill Bishop at the Y at 6 am and ran down to Memorial Park. Nothing too strenuous today, 3 days before the race. We did 4x400 at mile pace. Wanted to get the legs moving fast. Was pretty consistent hitting the laps at a 5:30/mi pace. Not sure I could keep up that pace for a mile though. Ran back to the Y for a total of 3 miles.

Swimming? Check. Did 2000y, alternating 400 yard sets with and without the pull buoys. Starting to feel pretty comfortable in the pool. I think a lesson or two might be in order now that I'm not obsessed with survival and doing the windmill stroke. I was consciously working on the pull through the water, making sure I wasn't going too deep or crossing the midline.

Yeah! Back on track! Tomorrow morning will be an easy recovery run or bike ride.

COMING SOON: Epic weekend

James proposed we do the Epic Weekend this past weekend. Coming off the race, and trying to fend off a cold, I declined. He went for it anyway and while he only hit 100 points on Saturday, his totals for Friday and Sunday were both north of 70. I can't remember the exact numbers. I do know the weekend included 130 miles on the bike and 8000y in the pool. Go James!

What is the Epic Weekend?
James got the idea from Gordo's Epic Camps . The idea is you get 4 points for each running mile, 1 point for each biking mile, and 1 point for every 100 meters in the pool. We set an arbitrary goal to accumulate 100 points per day for a weekend (or for the real masochists, try it over a 3-day holiday weekend).

I haven't completed a full Epic Weekend yet, but when looking at the calendar the next couple of months, there are a few that might work. The first is Memorial Day weekend, but Karen's birthday is on Memorial Day, and I'm not sure she'll think that's the best way to celebrate her birthday. The other is the weekend before July 4. That is also the weekend before the last sprint tri. August looks wide open right now, but I don't want to wait that long.

Anyone else up for the challenge?

May 9, 2006

Motivation levels still low

@#$%! cold! Almost over it, but I still have some congestion that hasn't completely worked itself through my system.

Joe Reger is also still sick, and he is racing in the Gulf Coast Triathlon on Saturday. Good luck and feel better Joe!

Intentionally took it easy last week. This week, I wanted to start ramping up the training again. Off to a less than spectacular start.

Yesterday, I wanted to run 10 with 10-12 100m strides at the end. I did 5 miles.

Tuesdays are always a hard day. Usually 2000y in the pool, Jane's spin class, and a 2-mile fast run on the treadmill off of the bike. Today, it was a 1300y swim, the spin class, and a 1-mile run that wasn't especially fast. However, I did do something that will now be a priority in my training regime. I stretched for about 15 minutes after running. I really worked on the hips, the hamstrings and the lower back. Something that I need to focus more on according to several massage professionals. I ordered a book yesterday to help me identify the stretches I need to do and allow me to incorporate more of them into my daily routine. Today I stuck with a few of the more common stretches that I already know.

I'll still be OK even if this week ends up being a light week. The sprint tri Saturday morning will be a good baseline to see where I'm at in terms of faster, shorter stuff and it should prove to be the motivation I need to work towards my goal of breaking 1:05:00. I don't think I'll be breaking it this week. I'll put together a prediction before the end of the week.

May 8, 2006

Pete is a full-time professor at UCF

Pete called to let me know he is now officially a member of the University of Central Florida faculty. He has taught a couple of anthropology classes the last couple of semesters, but didn't have a full time position. Now he does! Not quite on the tenure track yet, but this is another step.

Apparently, his students like him as well. But looks like they don't quite find him 'hot.' When grading professors, students select whether the instructor is hot or not. A hot vote gets a point and a not vote subtracts a vote. To be nice, they don't show negative scores, so zero is as low as you can get. With 26 ratings tallied, Pete is hanging on with a 'Hotness total' of +1. Haha.

Pete should also wrap up his PhD soon. I think all he has left to complete is his thesis.

Congrats Pete!

May 7, 2006

45.5 mile Saturday morning group ride

May 6, 2006 group ride

Did the full short loop for the first time in a while. Definitely gets the heart racing when you are doing 28 - 30 mph in a pack of 30+ riders. I found myself near the front of the pack a couple of times and even pulled through once. I pulled through right before a little hill and I was losing gas quickly. The next person to the front of the main line didn't peel away, so I was still pulling the line on the left. Fortunately, James was right behind me and jumped in front of me so I could grab his wheel and avoid dropping to the back like an anchor. Mike McLamb made a couple of spectacular attacks on the ride home, but was caught both times. Riding over the Acosta Bridge 5 miles from home really showed me how much I need to work on inclines if I want to do the Florida Challenge in October. Overall average for the ride including the warm up and cool down was just below 20 mph.

Yates Tri Club featured in Y Life magazine

Yates Tri Club featured in Y Life magazine

The tri club we started this spring at the YMCA is featured in the current edition of Y Life. The photo they selected is pretty funny. They asked us to stagger swimming down the lanes. Reminded me of that cell phone commercial where you always get 'more bars.' This photo was taken at about 5:15 am. I'm the second swimmer from the bottom. They also took some photos of us in the spin studio right before the 6 am class. I guess they were afraid to show our faces at that time of the morning.

I have one quote in the article, where I refer to sharing 'nuggets of information.' Pretty funny. Kelly Brown and Greg Yarborough can tell you that many of the nuggets shared during the warm-up for spin class aren't always tri-related, but they are entertaining.

My wife wants to know what's up with the term 'nugget.' The day after this issue of Y Life was delivered, we received a fancy engraved invitation from our bank inviting us to a special luncheon where a local historian will share 'interesting nuggets from Jacksonville's past.' She just didn't know that my vocabulary is so trendy.

Back to the article. . .

I was really impressed to read about Dave Pierson's lifestyle changes. He is an inspiration to many folks. I often see him in the pool working on his stroke, I always see him in spin class, and I know he is doing a lot of running. He isn't doing the sprint tri this weekend, but is aiming to do the second or third one in the series. He said he still needs to get more comfortable in the water before he tackles his first race open water ocean swim. He did say he's gone out to the beach a couple of times to practice. The man is on a mission! I can't wait to watch him finish his first race. Go Dave!

Go Yates YMCA Tri Club!

May 5, 2006

Racing in Boston

It's not THE race, but it does look like fun. I'll be in Boston on business the first part of June, and was looking for a race to do that Saturday morning. The Harpoon Brewey Five Miler raises money for The Angel Fund. I'm trying to convince my friend Trevor to run the race with me. He is recovering from an injury and is unsure if he will be able to run.

Based on the 2005 results, in order to crack the Top 50 Men, I would need to break the 5-mile PR I set in the Ortega Run a couple of months ago by a couple of seconds. In any event, it looks like it will be a good time.

Cinco de Mayo

Thanks to our friends the marketers at Tostitos and Corona, the 5th of May is now widely celebrated. Of course, it has been celebrated my entire life. It is my birthday after all.

Good day so far. I woke up early and went to Del's 6 am spin class at the Y. After that, I was going to hop in the pool and do 1000 - 2000, but ended up chatting with Jay and Doug about St. Anthony's instead. Talking to them was a great excuse, since I really had no desire to get in the pool. I will get back in the groove next week.

Headed home and when I opened the front door, Karen and Maggie were coming down the stairs. Maggie immediately wished her Daddy a Happy Birthday. While reading the paper and having my coffee, my birthday cheesecake was delivered. Hmmm. I know what I want for breakfast. It's kind of like a danish isn't it? We also found out that our favorite cheesecake maker, Cherrylean, is getting married in September and moving to Massachussetts. Yikes! We'll have to order a few more cheesecakes before she moves, and then hope shipping won't be expensive after she moves.

Mom called to wish me a Happy Birthday as well.

I guess when you turn 35 you officially begin the second half of your 30s. However, when you turn 36, it is MUCH more obvious. Only four more years until that widely recognized milestone.

May 3, 2006

Maggie gets the ENT full meal deal

Maggie gets the ENT full meal deal

This is a photo of Maggie in the OR prep area. You can't tell in the photo, but she is starting to act loopy as a result of the Versaid. She was cracking us up. Very giggly.

Next time we saw her she certainly wasn't giggling. She had her tonsils and adenoids removed, and tubes placed in her ears for the second time.

We returned home from the hospital a little after 10 am. She is doing fine, just a little groggy from the sedation. We have plenty of Dora the Explorer popsicles for her recovery.

May 1, 2006

2006 St. Anthony's Triathlon


What a race! The conditions were not as good as last year and I STILL destroyed my Olympic Tri PR by 14 minutes. All of the yardage in the pool paid off. I dropped 7 minutes off of my swim time in rough conditions. Add in incrementally faster transitions, and 2 minute improvements over last year in both the bike and the run, and you get a 9% improvement in performance.

We left the hotel at 5:30 am and walked over to Vinoy Park. I got body marked and went into the transition area to organize my things. On the way out, I spotted fellow blogger and triathlete Joe Reger. I have read Joe's blog for a while, and it was cool to get to meet him. On a funny note, I finally remembered how I found Joe's blog later yesterday afternoon. In a past sprint triathlon, the goodie bag included a sample of Nair for Men. I did a Google search to see what other triathletes had to say about this goop and found an entry on Joe's blog. Joe's Nair entry is the 3rd result on Google for the search "Nair triathlon."

Karen and I then casually walked over to Spa Beach and waited for the start. No lines for the potties so I took care of business and put on the wetsuit. Next thing you know, I'm swimming. For the first time ever, I didn't freak out 200 meters into the swim. I was confident in my ability and knew I belonged there. Speed of course is a different story. With this confidence, I didn't worry about swimming wide. I stayed right in the middle of the pack and got into a rhythmn. I did get off course a couple of times with the rough seas, but for the most part I didn't stray too far. The only blunder was forgetting to start my watch. I remembered about 3 minutes into the swim, but didn't know for sure what the difference was between my watch and the race clock until I asked a guy on the run.

Climbing up the stairs at the seawall wasn't as difficult as last year. There were volunteers pulling folks up onto the stairs, and I didn't see anyone fighting to get on the right side of the railings. Swim time was 31:13, as opposed to 38:17 in 2005. I heard Karen yell at me as I ran into T1. Yikes! Lots of bikes missing from my rack. The wetsuit came off very quickly, shoes and helmet on, and I'm ready for the bike leg. For some reason, the rest of my body had not yet caught up with my head. I couldn't get my shoes to click in to save my life. Finally, they did and I was rolling. I saw Karen on the left after the first turn and yelled at her. She wasn't expecting me to be off so quickly. T1 time was a snappy 2:13, 2 minutes faster than last year.

060430_StAThe bike portion featured some wind, but it seemed like I really hammered on the sections where I had a tailwind and just kept it steady when I had a headwind. I know I had some serious adrenaline flowing because I never felt like I was getting tired. The only downside is I forgot to bring a Gu. I had placed one in my bike shoe so I wouldn't forget. In the future I am taping a gel to my bike. Having the aero bottle also helped. It didn't affect bike handling and I was able to stay hydrated without reaching down. My cadence was very consistent and it seemed like the bike portion flew by. I knew I was doing well when I heard the Garmin beep for mile 22 and the timer was at an even 60 minutes. The goal was to average 21.5 mph and I was at 22 mph with just 3 miles left. I had a duel going with a guy on a Cervelo P3. Seemed like we passed each other a dozen times. I also need to remember to time passes better back in the area around the golf course. A couple of my passes included fun rides over the speed bumps.

The only other notable things to happen on the bike course was a SOB in a big Cadillac who decided he needed to back out of his driveway in front of me. To his credit, he punched the gas to back out, but I still had to slow down a bit because I didn't want to get creamed. Fellow Hammerheader and future pro Will Pearce passed me at mile 16 of the bike. Finally, a squirrel with a death wish darted in front of me right before the turn at the airport. If he had been a step slower, we would've both been toast. Even with these adventures, bike time was 1:09:19, another improvement of 2 minutes.

Hopping of the bike at T2 was an adventure. Putting your foot down on the bricks is like stepping on ice. I thought about sliding my feet out while rolling, but again, I didn't want to wipe out on the pave'. Run in, rack the bike and slide the shoes on. My insole slid when I put my left shoe on, so I had to take it off and put it on again. I made sure I grabbed a gel, my race belt and off to the run. T2 was a respectable 1:26.

The first mile featured a nasty headwind. I saw the lead women heading for the finish. At the first aid station, I took the gel with some Gatorade. I think my first split was around 7:36. Not bad considering the headwind. My pace remained even until about mile 4. I could sense my body slowing down. It was around mile 2 when I had a chance to ask a guy who was my age what his watch said. I determined my watch was off by 3 minutes. It was good that I now had that information because it allowed my brain to focus on splits and calculating what I needed to do to hit my goal and my stretch goal instead of how my calves were feeling. At the 5 mile mark I knew that 2:30 wasn't going to be possible, but I could still beat 2:35. What a sense of excitement knowing that I was obliterating my PR. Of course, I kept wondering if my calculations were wrong and it wasn't as good as I thought. Or maybe I wasn't 3 lengths back somewhere on the bike course and got a penalty. None of that panned out and I crossed the finish line with thumbs up for my girls in a time of 2:32:28. I finished the run in 48:18, a full 2 minutes faster than last year. Karen forgot about the 15 minute delay in start time and wasn't sure I was happy with my time until I explained to her how the time is calculated in a triathlon.

Race day was a very pleasant experience. Staying downtown made a world of difference, as did leaving Emily and Maggie with my parents. Karen was now able to concentrate on helping me get ready for the race and actually watching the race. Afterwards, she was very excited to tell me about everything she saw. Describing how fast the pros are, telling me about the bike wipe outs on the bricks, and actually getting to see her husband 5 different times during the race.

The good news is I get to mark off another goal from my list for 2006. The goal was to break 2:35:00 in the Olympic distance. Based on the confidence I have right now, I might get to check another goal off in 2 weeks and go under 1:05:00 in my first sprint of the year.

Hmmmm, and there is also that lofty goal of completing my first half Ironman.

Google Earth file now available.

Forgot to upload my heart rate statistics. My average heart rate for the race was 158 bpm. The highest it ever got was 171 bpm. I haven't modified my zones since I had to reset the watch a couple of months ago, so my default Zone 1 is still 80 - 160 bpm. I was in that zone for 1:38:33. I was above 160 bpm for 53:44, and below the zone for :11. The only place I can imagine having time to allow my HR to drop below 80 would be in one of the transitions. Might just be an anomaly. I think I might need to invest in the new Forerunner 305 with built-in HRM so I can actually see my HR as it relates to where I'm at. ;)