Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Tiny Tim

You might think there's a Christmas thing going on - but there isn't. Even though Sada and Piper are watching Rudolph, Elf, Frosty, etc..already - I'm not ready. Here's my ride this weekend (I'll have to borrow someone's Motion Based account to upload a pretty map).

Ben's coach calls it Tiny Tim. It's a fantastic climb up Mt Tam - via Alpine Dam.

It was a quiet ride - up a big hill that you'll see a lot in magazines in the Garmin ad (even though my friend in marketing at Garmin had no idea what I was talking about when I mentioned this ad - it's possible it's just me reading the same magazine over and over). I'll probably do this climb every other weekend for a while - alternating with another ride (aka the Nicasio loop) to get some horizontal distance rather than vertical. I'll have to compare future rides for all 3 readers.

Because it's Tuesday, I'm crazy and my training starts in 48 hours here's a gratuitous picture of Scott Tinley.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Tis the Season

Since the race season is over I either have to think about last season or next season. Here's last season:

I think I did more races but I can't remember now - I also did two bike races with results not worth mentioning until next year. I also have a USAT Ranking of 75.95 ranking and Ian (who is one of 3 readers for this blog) has a 76.27. Next year will be better since I had one good race of the four used for this. Tracy, despite your ability to swim and run and talk smack doesn't hide your 66. Punk. Out of the 4 races with rankings I had one good one - so I am happy with the number.

I had 2 great days this weekend - a good ride with 3,800 feet of climbing in 40 miles and then a brick run afterwards for 45 mins with another 1,000+ feet. Sunday was an 11 mile run - 20 min easy Z2 then 40 mins Z3/4 (164-176 HR) followed by 20 mins Z2. It was fine until around 1:09 my calf got pulled and I had to hobble (via walking) the last 1.5 miles (the last .9 miles were aided by a ride from Ian). A good run - but I'll have to keep it under 45 mins for a few weeks until I'm light enough to take on a longer distance.

Friday, October 26, 2007

I Know That Guy (yes, another post about Ben Collins)

It's Friday and I've had a good week of sleeping in and just enjoying a week of Z2 commuting by bike. This weekend I hope to get out and do a Mt Tam ride and run brick and then Sunday a long Tiburon run loop of 11 miles.

Ben made it into Sports Illustrated this week!

A few weeks ago he called and told me and then asked what he should do for a headshot. His mom took some pictures and here's what came out (I may get punched for this. Congrats Ben - this is a nice string, 4 Inside Triathlon issues, Sports Illustrated, New York Times, Seattle PI....

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Double Post Day

I sort of hate these things - but felt compelled to post it since it's been sitting in my 'things to post' folder:

You Might Be A Triathlete If . . .
Spend any time at all on triathlon blogs (including this blog) and you will see a recurring theme: pensive wanderings about who am I, am I a "real" triathlete, can I accomplish my goals . . . (I know that Tracy reads this blog but spends most of his free time at the Superficial or worse.

Triathlete-ocity is not an on or off kind of thing. It is more like a virus. It can be dormant, somewhat active, or in full blown rage throughout your body. I have developed a test that involves no bloodletting by which you can tell if you are a triathlete, and if so, how "bad" a case of triathlonitis you are carrying. I offer this as a public service.

You might be a triathlete, if:

1. You or your spouse have ever asked the question "Honey, does this wetsuit make me look fat?"

2. You use words like "hydrate" and "hydration" rather than "drink" or even "beverage."

3. You have referred to "breakfast" "lunch" or "dinner" as "nutrition" rather than "breakfast" "lunch" or "dinner." (I do know that Tracy believes that hydration = 3-6 brews the week of a half-ironman).

4. You have ever calculated how many grams of carbohydrate or protein per kilogram of body weight are in that peanut butter sandwich. (Give yourself two points if you knew how many kilograms you weighed before starting the calculation.)

5. You and your spouse each have a special razor for shaving something other than your face. (Loren: even worse when my daughters know how to shave their legs from watching me - I can only imagine what Ian will do to his boys).

6. You have ever thought about installing "yankz" on your dress shoes.

7. Your daughter has, at least once, referred to your swimming attire as "panties." (I'm sure they've thought this about Ben's purple swim panties)

8. Your car always, or nearly always, contains a bike, a swim bag, and a run bag--just in case there is time to squeeze in an extra workout.

9. You have leaped off your spin bike at the end of class, yanked on running shoes and sprinted for the treadmill. (Give yourself two points if you either timed yourself in that interval, or if you referred to it, even in private, as T2).

10. You have strong feelings about the proper or best workout or recovery drink or gel. (Give yourself two points if you have ordered said condiment online and in bulk.)

11. Your heart rate elevates when you surf for bike porn and charts, and you surf for those instead of, well, . . . other stuff.

12. You insist that any list of the world's sexiest women is not complete absent Jessi Stensland, Mel McQuaid or Lindsay Benko (I'd also add in Sarah Haskins on a good day, Sam McGlone or Sarah Sweetland. Ben has this belief that Macca is constantly trying to seduce him - so I'm not sure what to say).

15. You have a tan line across your back from a heart monitor strap. (Ben and Tracy (Austin, TX) one day hope for a tan line of any kind).

16. Your online friends have names that include terms like "Iron" or "Tri" or "Geek" (Give yourself two points if you already knew Iron Wil was a "girl"). (Let alone: Soda, Huggy Bear, Uncle Huli, Aquaman...)

17. When you leave the house, you not only have a briefcase, but also a transition bag and a food bag. (Give yourself 2 points if you also have a "special needs" bag and an additional point if you shower at home less than twice each week).

18. You know what GYGO stands for and pine for it at the end of every week.

19. You don't actually think spending 3 hours at the IHOP is any fun. Ian's House of of Pain is open 24/7.

The Glamourous Life

Not every professional triathlete can have their hair cut in the sun, sitting poolside with a glass of Cabernet. Huggy Bear - we can take care of your hugginess when you're ready!

That's about all I had. I'm trying to find a light system to use for my winter commute. I got a Top Peak Moonshine Commuter system - except the battery wouldn't charge. I stopped by a fantastic shop, Bicycle Odyssey in Sausalito on the way home and Tony (the owner) gave me a new battery and charger to see if that was the issue. I kept having to unplug and plug in the battery - it would say that it was charged after 5 mins when the directions said it would take 3-5 hours.

I got the new battery and charger home and when I pulled into my driveway - the light stopped working. So now I've got 2 batteries, 1 works - sort of and 1 does not and a light that needs to be replaced. I can only hope they got some new systems in that I can just return what I've got and get a Nite Rider system which worked for me for years.

In Seattle, it seems like when daylight savings changes it gets dark and wet very quickly. We'd usually go out and ride around 3 or 4pm - to have 1 hour of light and then we had our light systesm for the 2nd half. We would do 10 mile TT efforts in the dark or some really enjoyable hill repeats on Norway Hill in the rain and in the pitch black. My friend Sarah remembers the good old days. Sometimes she literally took 'go straight' to mean never turn which put her about 5+ miles off course because she never stopped to wait, or she'd go into ditches, flip into sewer grates, beef it on man hole covers (while leading a race), or hit a pot hole and flat in the dark during the hill repeats (all the while I thought I was really doing well by putting such a gap on her). I'd put her against Ben anyday in a heads up TT to see who would win. They both come from very talented gene pools.

Last night I also had a dream that my bike was stolen and that my insurance company was going to cover the loss and that I got a new Specialized Transition.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

As American As Mom's Apple Pie

Well here it is - mom's apple pie and my sweetie pie Sada. This is the pie I probably ate 1/2 of before I left. I'm back in California - sitting by the pool, it's 70 and sunny. I'm thinking about 2008 but really putting more effort into the Pinot to my left. I'm going big next year - skipping anything resembling an Olympic distance race - much to the dismay of the world champ who likely views this as heresy.

Here's what I've got down for 2008:
March: Ford Ironman 70.3 California Oceanside, CA
May: Ford Ironman 70.3 Florida Orlando, FL
July: Vineman Ironman 70.3 Sonoma County, CA
Aug: Santa Barbara Long Course Triathlon, Santa Barbara, CA
Sept: Big Kahuna Triathlon Santa Cruz, CA

I don't know anyone who has done the Ironman 70.3 California Oceanside or the Ironman 70.3 Florida Orlando but have good things about the other races (and I did do SB long course). I hope this makes for a more family friendly season and when I'm bored I can sprinkle a few sprints in between for fun. I was at the Vineman race where Ben Collins met Jim from Beyond Fabrications who eventually ended up giving Ben some of the sweetest and unpublicized frames. I'm excited about doing the same length swim but having almost 60 miles on the bike and 13 on the run to make up for what will likely be a 30 min swim in the 70.3 distance. My bike and run will be really good - so I'll keep focusing on those and will strive to make a few improvements in the swim.

I had a good week - ran about 35 or so and finished up yesterday with 10 miles - running it in 1:18. My achillies has been really sore which is an old injury but one that I can stay on top of with plenty of stretching and weights. I'm really looking forward to getting a super strong run in my quiver for 2008 now that I've had my apple pie.

That's all for now - I'm back on the bike and will be running 5x this week with weights on the off days starting in a week.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Good Gravy

2 nights in a row I've had pot roast stew. It's good. I've also had 3,203 candy corns and about 432 pumpkin-shaped candy corn thingies. I had 2 punkin ales and am going back for 2 more - then I'm done, off season over. I'll probably have to sleep in my wetsuit for a few weeks to help shed some pounds. It's been fantastic fall weather here in New Hampshire - cool in the AM and a bit warmer around noon. I saw 3 more cyclists but one of them was a kid on a BMX bike and I think he was on dope. That makes about 11 cyclists in a week. I'm off for pizza and ale and some hot suppa.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Hot Suppa

I learned this too. It's mostly just fun to say a lot with a New England accent. My wife hates it and she's only heard me say it on email (which you really don't hear). I didn't actually have a lobster roll, I just saw about 3,230 signs for them at $8.99. I had a chub of cheese and a muffin if you really wanted to know. I wanted to get in an easy 5 mile run today but got tied up working due to a case of chicken little running around the office.

The image above showed up when I did a search for Hot Suppa. Here's the site - I'm sure it's one of Ben or Tracy's favorite. It wouldn't surprise me if Ian didn't know this show well - then again, if he could tear himself away from his Fergie CD, then we could find out the truth.

Maine's Best Seafood and Roast Beef

Yup - it's true, all at the same place too in York, Maine. I learned this today. I leaned a few other things:

- going rate for a lobster roll is $8.99 (mostly because mayo is so prohibitively expensive)
- 24 oz of pumpkin ale does help with recovery - you'll miss your next day's workout
- Def Leppard is still hanging in the top 40 here (then again, so isn't Jewel and the Hey Yah song)
- They don't do soy milk unless it comes from a cow
- I have seen 8 cyclists in 5 days
- The roads are all fantastic for running and biking - the people in cars on those roads are not
- You don't see the *Healthy option much on menus, lots of gravy though
- The Lone Oak closed about 3 weeks ago

I got out for a run today - it was cold in the low 40's so I panted up and got out for 10k - easy for 1 mile, 25 mins of Z3 and then the rest in Z1/2 (45 mins). My legs were better - I'll probably shoot for 2 x 5 mile runs tomorrow or just one 10 miler (I prefer the later). I fly home with Sada on Saturday - just in time for a nice ride on Sunday.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Curse of the Punkin

I figured that while on vacation for a week with little training that I could get myself some 'Punkin Ale' (aka Pumpkin Ale). All I can find are Pumkin shaped candy corn flavored treats. I also found that you can make a 4 year old do just about anything (in the same vein as Santa) with Punkin Corn: get up, get dressed, zip up the coat, finish your lunch, etc...

I didn't run the 5 miles I wanted to today because my thighs and calves are still sore from my 8 miler on Sunday. Tomorrow I'll try for 2x 4.5 miles - one easy and one with intervals. I went with Sada to check out some very old cemetaries, a playground and downtown Portsmouth. I'll have to post some pictures when I get back to my download cable in CA.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Live Free or Die

Sounds pretty extreme - but when you're on vacation in New Hampshire (it's near Vermont) you see it everywhere.

I'm here in Greenland NH, though I just tell people it's Portsmouth where I'm from - it's bigger and likely more noticable. I started my multi-sport career here in 1989 - so what better place to get out and start my run program here for 2008. I know many of the mile markers here from a long time ago and the routes are all the same - except a few more houses and fewer apple orchards. After a whole week off (last week) with no bike, swim or run - I'm starting back easy with some running. I'll be focusing on getting my half marathon legs under me for the next few months and then my swimming in the early winter.

I got out for a few runs already (6 and 8 miles) and ran an easy 7:15 or faster pace. There aren't many hills to speak of when compared to the roads back in CA - so the running is flat and the roads are empty. I hope to get in about 40 miles this week - with a few more 5 mile efforts and then another 10k and a 10 mile run later this week. The weather is your typical fall in New England - cool, crisp with lots of orange and red trees along the way.

I'll post more later on today.

Congrats to Ben Collins and Aaron Scheidies who set the World Record for a blind athlete at the Olympic distance on Sunday.

Monday, October 8, 2007

It's Over

The last race of the season is done. I did the Napa All-Men's Triathlon (yes, that seems a bit odd - but the day before was the 500+ Napa All-Women's Triathlon).

It was a .5 swim/15 mi/ 4 mi race.

I drove up with JP Ditty - an Ironman guy who decided to get in a sprint workout with me. The men's race had just a bit fewer - with about 150 entrants. The weather, like it's been all year was perfect. The swim was a self seeded wave start - faster up front and slower in the back - 2 waves. I'm not a fast swimmer but figured I'd have to pass fewer people on the bike if I started at the back of the fast wave. The swim was good - I sited well and there were a LOT of buoys out there for a .5 mile swim. I'm not sure where I came out - but I had to stop to put on shoes in order to run up this massive boat ramp and through a parking lot because my foot was still really sore from the cut in it suffered in the previous race. The good part was that it was the best swim I had all year - solid all the way through.

The mount line for the bike was really far from where I was racked, so I hobbled a bit in bare feet to the line where I hopped on for what I thought would be a flat 15 mile TT effort. (i'll post what they showed and then what the Garmin Edge I was using showed). It was hill after hill - some you could muscle over in a 53x19, others were 39x23 grinders. I just went after it and tried to pass as many people as I could. I rode somewhere with a HR of 174+ and saw up to 195. Because I had my computer on I knew where I was relative to the turn around a 7.5 miles and I saw the guys in 1st and 2nd about 1.5 mins up when I hit the turn around. I had managed to get from about 30-40th place to 3rd on the road. I went back and forth with a kid who rode pretty strong who eventually took off with about 1 mile to go.

We hit the park entrance where I was directed right (along with the guy in front) - then I heard STOP - which I did. I turned around and was told to go back that I had mistakenly been told the wrong way to go. I lost about 30 seconds because I was at the bottom of a small but steep hill in a 53x14. I hit T2 after one guy had snuck through - putting me now into 5th place overall.

I ran out onto the course that we had just biked on - but whoops, forgot the 'run equalizer' which forced everyone to run the same distance in T2. I had to turn around, run around the cone and back out - luckily I hadn't gotten too far before they caught me - I've been used to just bolting from the bike out onto the run course.

Once out on the run I faced about 4 climbs up a 200 vertical foot hill. I ran at a pace I knew I could sustain on the flats and hills and would save a few beats for the return trip. I held soldly around 182-185 with the tops of the climbs at about 192-195. 4th place in front was pulling away on the climbs - he was a bit lighter and obviously having an easier time getting up and down the hills. Once at the turn around I was still 5th but saw a few guys about a min back - so I pushed hard on every downhill and kept steady on the flats - not closing but hopefully not giving up too much. I NEVER looked back (when people do it's a good time to attack them) and kept to the side of the road as to keept as much out of site as possible from the pursuers behind. I made it to the park entrace with about a 1/3 mile to go when I looked back to see 6th place about 100 feet back. He pushed it and I couldn't go any faster. I ended up 2nd in my age group and 6th overall. A good race for me and not a regret to keep me down in the off season. I'll definitely have to drop some more weight - hopefully high 150's for the 2008 season and keep working on the swim and run. I don't know what my bike split was but it had to have been top 3.

Below are the course maps
The first one is the one the race organizers put out as the elevation map. The second one is the course map as recorded by my Garmin Edge. It's the same course - a good lesson in the presentation of data in a chart.

JP was 14th which was a solid place for him - even though he ran 7 miles the day before.

It was a much better way to end the season and a good start for my first season.

I should also say hi to my mom who has now found my blog and is reading and commenting on all of them. Hi Mom - you should be making lasagna, pumpkin pies, split pea soup, and fish chowder for our visit next week.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Ben Collins - Son of F1 Driver?

I doubt many F1 fans and triathletes know much about each other - I know a bit about both. Something I've noticed is that Ben Collins looks suspiciously like F1 great David Coulthard. No wonder why he's so fast. Ben just needs to work on that sneaky raised eyebrow and his Scottish accent.

Racing Sunday

I thought the cut in my foot was going to end my season prematurely - rather than just the race. I think it's ok to race on after having to run about a 1/2 mile to catch the ferry. It hurts to walk but not to run. I'll just have to watch out for rocks! Here's the race I'm doing.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Tinley's, Ben's and Loren's Adventures - part II

The air was cold, real cold. I had my wetsuit on and was shivering. The water was warmer - so I got in it. I did a warm up but suspect my nerves were getting the better of me as I slowly swam back to shore thinking about how slow I was going. (the photo is Ben's new Nuvi computer from Garmin, at one point it said 'turn in 184 miles').

The male pros took off - then the women's pro field took off. then ALL men left - that included me. I got tacked, mounted and punched - stopped, got going again and slowly got around the 1st buoy. I looked into the distance and due to the fog on the water and sunlight hitting the fog - you couldn't see anything. I looked right (because that's the only side I can breathe on) and just hoped that somoene else could see. I swam, doubted my swim and swam some more. At some point (halfway) I got OUT of the water because it was a 2 lap swim and then got in the water. I stepped on something, rock like which really hurt. I figured a rock was stuck to my wet foot - I ran some more (the total run was about 15 steps in and out) with the rock stuck to my foot then it came out after I stopped and wiped my foot clear of it. I jumped back into the water and tried not to notice how many times I had already been 'chiced' (passed by the women's field behind you). The 2nd half sucked. I felt me feet falling, I swallowed so much water in a breath that I had to cough it up - scaring one of the guys in the boats, then keep going. My goal of sub-30 min swim was gone. It was terrible and before I even got out of the water, I got a cramp in my leg which basically flapped my leg for me - it hurt but I kept going figuring the spasm would help me go forward.

I got out of the water to a pretty empty T1. I rode and rode. I passed a male with 70 on his calf. Man was that a bad swim. I passed a lot of people - it was downhill for about 3-4 miles and I had a disc wheel. I saw 39mph for a while and just flew. Once the course flattend I struggled to ride hard - I felt absolutely no aggression to push it and rode about 10 beats lower than I normally would ride. I finished the ride in about 1:07 or so, not fast at all.

I came into T2 with Lara Brown right in front of me - starting her 2nd lap of the run course. I T2'd and got going on the run - pretty demoralized by the swim still but hopeful I could have a good run and have something positive to bring home. I ran out onto the course - my foot hurt like hell. I thought it was a cramp as I've had some issues lately with that - so I slowed a tick. Over the PA I heard Greg Remaly come in 1st, followed by Matt Chrabot and then Ben Collins 3rd Great race for him - but my foot was killing me. I slowed even more... then walked... the cramp was not going away. I stopped. I took off my shoe, then saw a bloody sock. Ick - I took off the sock and saw a slice in my foot about 2cm long and when I touched it - about 1cm deep. It made sense why it hurt. I considered walking the course but thought 1) I'm going to kill my USAT ranking 2) it could get infected 3) ben is going to wait a long time for me 4) is it ok to DNF? 5) it's the end of my season and Ben had a great race - so these things happen

I took the low road and walked back to T2. Disappointed - I have never DNF'd in a triathlon. Since it wasn't Kona, I figured I would live. I definitely didn't ever want to do that again. It was the lowest point of my season for sure.


I saw Ben, gave him the story then headed to the med tent. They (click away now if you're squeamish) took out a scrubber with medicine on it and had me hold open the cut so they could scrub all of the dirt and rocks out of it.

They then finished scrubbing the open wound and took out a surgical scooper of sorts with a sharp point and dug into the cut to get out a few bits of rock that the scubber didn't get out. They do this with no regard for the recipient of the injury. They then saw a few more pieces they couldn't get out - so I had to get Ben's tweezers to get the last bits out.

They had me hold open the wound some more so they could pull out the rest of the junk with tweezers. The last little bit just would not come out - they tried and tried then they got it. My eyes felt like they crossed in the back of my head as they yanked on what I think was a vein. I said 'I think that's good enough' and they bandaged it and sent me on my way.


I caught up with Lara (5th), Kelly (3rd), Ben (3rd), Amanda (10th) and Chris (16th) -all did well on a hard hard course. My foot hurt and we then had to drive about 280 miles so I could be home for my birthday party and to be there for some friends who were coming into town (which meant Ben got the Princess Bed again).

I'm still bumed about the race but home I can end the season on a high note next Sunday in Napa.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Tinley's, Ben's and Loren's Adventures

This weekend we did the Tinley's Adventures race down in San Luis Obispo. Our portion of the Adventure began on Friday morning when Ben and I hit the road on a 300 mile adventure south. We had a new toy to get us there and help make the time go by. Between seeing an airshow, a prison, lots of veggie fields, even more brown hills and about 14 bottles of water - we were grateful to pull into SLO around 4pm or so.

We checked in to the hotel and then raced over to the race site about 20 mins away. Tinley's Adventures is in the middle of almost nowhere. It was based out of a park at Lake Lopez - at the top of a nice little grade in between mountains. We picked up our packets (the pros get a 2nd t-shirt) and Ben went for a ride while I went for a run. Both my kids had been sick in the past week - so I wanted to take it easy.

After the warm up we went back to the hotel and then out to dinner with a few fast professional ladies; Lara Brown, Kelly (and John) Couch and Amada Feldman (PhD). After a fantastic but long dinner we all retired to our respective hotels.

Ben and I put our bikes together, got the race numbers on and taped a half dozen packets of gel to our bikes. Ben prepped his race morning oatmeal in the coffee pot (remember to cover it next time), I nu-skinned my feet and complained about why someone felt so compelled to run around in his underpants.

Race morning started about 5am with Mr. Underpants awakening to eat his now crusty oatmeal and the coffee burning my mouth. The weather was cold and clear. We headed over to Lake Lopez and got our bikes racked and transition areas set. I was surprised that this was such a small race - I would have guessed 100 people in the Olympic distance race, 100 in the sprint and 30 or so of the Olympic distance athletes were pros! It was definitely a high quality field with a lot of solid athletes.

Stay tuned for more... (I have to get breakfast).