Sunday, August 31, 2008

Bon Journee

DSC02028What a good day or even week it’s been!  Between the college cheerleaders football and the perfect weather (80 and sunny) – things are good.  Today started off with a horrible swim with Ian where I somehow managed to swim into the side of the lagoon twice (it’s at least 100M wide or more) and at times considered just flipping over and hope that the wind would blow me faster than I was going.  We were not bothered by Le Roy (though I’ve decided to re-name this menacing super fish to T’Sean’taye) so it wasn’t all that bad. 

After we swam – we went out with our kids Taylor (Ian’s son) and Sada to take Ian’s boat to the marina around the corner from us.  This was Sada’s first time on a sail boat and she was a strong little sailor – more comfortable than anywhere else I’ve seen her.  Taylor pointed out all sorts of neat things to Sada and she found at least 10 whales. 

It was a short sail – but a good one.  I look forward to more time on the water with Ian and our families – it’s a great time and is a good sport to be a part of. 

Did I mention I was looking forward to the off season?  I write this post as I sip an 06 Estate Chardonnay from Nicholson Ranch

Life is good.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Hooray for 2009

Even though 2008 isn’t yet done – I’m already looking forward to a killer 2009 schedule and to training with Greg and Ian.  Here’s my thoughts around my schedule for next season:

  • Oceanside 70.3 (4/1)

  • Sprint Race

  • Florida 70.3 (5/18)

  • 10 day --Break--

  • Sprint Race/Olympic Race

  • Vineman 70.3 (7/19)

  • Timberman 70.3 (8/16)

  • Have Baby (Greta, not me) – Break--

  • 70.3 World Championships (11/14)

See the girls are all excited already.


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Tubes and Mac and Cheese

In my great string of posts that barely have anything to do with training – he are some tasty tidbits:

  1. I forgot my belt today – so I’ve made myself an innertube belt.  In the past I’ve used rope and computer cables – but by far, the innertube belt is the best one I’ve made.  I’d go so far as to say ‘sexy’.
  2. We had a wildlife invasion lately – it’s been big jellyfish (which I found are really heavy and hard to lift out of the water with a paddle) and sea lions.  We saw a sea lion last night during dinner and Greta just reaches over and grabs a handful of macaroni and cheese off of Piper’s plate and flings it at the creature.  It turns out that they don’t eat mac n’ cheese nor do they eat bread like seagulls. 
  3. I’ve been reading Sarah’s site where she is covering Barbara Warren’s crash at the Santa Barbara Triathlon.  In the past I’ve reached out to folks badly hurt in accidents who find themselves paralyzed or badly hurt.  In Seattle a promising jr roadie named Barry Wilcox ended up paralyzed in a car accident and I spent a bit of time visiting him and his parents – since I was a former quadriplegic (of sorts) or at least paralyzed.  Visiting folks who didn’t have the same sort of luck I did (nearly 100% recovery, my left arm is about 30% weaker than my right arm – so I tend to swim not straight) wasn’t exactly fun because they got hope from me.  I try not to think about this and just send nice emails now. 
  4. I’m still going to race my final half-ironman of the season.  The trouble is that I’m pretty beat and my heart doesn’t want to do anymore.  I basically get no response from any type of effort.  Running hard uphill gets me to Z2.  This is great except for the fact that I can go for a while at that effort and then my legs simply don’t get enough blood and I have to slow down.  We’re working on a radical recovery effort so that I can make it to the start to get pasted by Ian ‘WaterBoy’ Charles and JP ‘So What If I Just Had a Baby – I’m Still Racing’ Ditty at the Big Kahuna Half Ironman on Sept 7. 
  5. One of my favorite blog writes is Chrisy Wellington – she spanked everyone at Timberman 70.3 and had a great race report – worthy of your attention.  I’m glad to know her opinion of the swim was much like mine – ok, she swims way faster.
  6. The swim kicked off at 7am. The temperature of the water miraculously plummeted from 73 to 71 degrees overnight (amazing what a bit of ice around a thermometer can do for temperature readings) and so it was a rubber legal swim. The pros had a separate start, although it needn’t have mattered because, as usual, I ended up in no-mans land, and wobbling around everywhere, taking in the sights and drifting about 10m away from all the buoys/boys. This wasn’t helped when we hit the waves. I am still rather baffled about how a (seemingly pancake flat) lake can suddenly resemble the Atlantic ocean. I was happy to come out of the water 26mins after the start, with Dede and Michael Lovato. I was greeted by a lovely stripper (of wetsuits that is) which meant that all I had to do was flop. One pull and the Blue Seventy rubber was off, which saved me from having to do my 10minute funky chicken dance in T1.

I have no idea how she sees so much on the race course though.  I see the few yards of road in front and nothing else.  Ever. Here’s her post.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Tortured Kitties

When I get up to swim or run early in the morning I am always met and followed by two hungry kitties.  So to torture them I put tuna on a plate and made them follow me around the house.  Turn up the volume to hear Fellini’s ‘space meow’. 

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Off Weekend

It was a big weekend for Ian, Soda, Sarah, Kelly and Greg – all with races of some sort from boats to bikes.  Here’s what I did:

Enjoyed a Tempranillo Rose from Gun Bun and a 2004 Chard from Nicholson Ranch

Aug2008 176














Closed down the Gun Bun tasting room in Sonoma:

Aug2008 122














I’ve thought about training – but on a day like this – I couldn’t do much but finish off The Fountainhead and enjoy our view:

Aug2008 168 Stitch

Sunday, August 24, 2008

A Few Thoughts

I was in NH last week (now a bit more than that) and I wanted to share what the typical New Englander brings to the table.

Aug2008 003 Aug2008 025

















I’d say this look represented about 20-30% of the guests at the Storyland theme park (a park for little kids up to 12).  At times there were people who I though for sure were looking at my skinny Sada thinking she might be a snack. 

It was hard to take these pictures and hope I wouldn’t get pounded by the husbands/fathers.

For more on this look:

Friday, August 22, 2008


Yesterday was Sada’s first day of kindergarten.  I was the only dad there in my bike kit – since I had to ride to work after. When I was in NH for Timberman – I stopped by the Saucony outlet and picked the girls both up a new pair of running sneakers – their first true pair.  Piper wants to do nothing but go running now. 


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Some Comparisons and Data Stuff

Below are two charts: Timberman 70.3 and a training ride I did about 2 weeks ago.  Timberman is directly below – I did that in 2:37.  The training ride below that I did nearly 50 mins slower.  My Vineman and Timberman bike rides were almost identical speeds 21.3 mph (Timberman) and Vineman (21.7mph). 

























And here is a comparison of my HR values from Vineman and Timberman – the lower of the two values (red) is the Timberman race (it’s longer than Vineman because I was out about 25 mins longer).  As you can see – I was racing Timberman about 10 beats (or more) lower than Vineman – I felt good but had no power anywhere.  In the meantime I’m not training except a little swimming to keep from getting cyclist arms. 



Monday, August 18, 2008

What a Piece of Crap

The Timberman 70.3 is done as am I. 

Here’s the short version.  I had a ton of well wishes – so thanks for the dozens of text messages I woke up to at 3:30am.

The swim was good – until I hit the water.  It wasn’t bad until I started to get into the chop and then the swells from the yahoos out riding in their boats at 7:30am.  It was just bad – swimming into the sun, foggy googles, keep em coming because it all happened.  I think I got out of the water at 45 mins or something pathetic like that.  I knew that with the hills on the bike I could make up some of it – but I threw out 7 mins in the great swim debacle of 2008.  What a piece of crap.

Below is my piece of crap race according to my Polar.  The highlights are T1 (big spike up) and when I hit 47mph on the long downhill.


I transitioned well got out onto the bike and the first bump I hit knocked my aero water bottle and it was rubbing on the tire.  I stopped to fix it since I hadn’t started riding very far but I couldn’t fix it completely – I must have take 2 mins to work on it.  I got it working enough to ride and got out on the hilliest opening 13 miles I’ve ever seen – including road racing.  It was hard but my HR was low – like Z2.  I avg’d about 18.5mph for the first 13 or so and I knew the next 15 were rolling but mostly downhill.  The next 15 were downhill and I avg. 24.5+.  A decent avg for this race was 20+mph – I figured I could go a bit over.  The ride back wasn’t too bad – but my HR would not leave Z2 – but as long as I was still putting the power down I didn’t worry about it.  It was around mile 35 where my hamstring injury from Vineman came back and I couldn’t ride in the aerobars – it would send sharp pains down my left leg – so I rode on the cowhorns or stood.  There were another few rolling hills and the climb up to the top and then some wicked descents where I was 47mph+, followed by a sharp turn at nearly every downhill end – my brand new brakes where half gone at mile 45.  The last bit was rolling and I held 22-23.5.  My avg as I recorded it was 21.5mph – but I’m sure with my 2 min stop, it was officially slower.  It was pretty much a piece of crap.

The run started slow due to my left leg hurting.  I shuffled until about the 5k mark where I started to feel blisters starting (I’m done with the Brooks racing flats I’ve got).  Since my parents and Sada were going to be there for the run final – I had to finish.  I knew that a good race was done and I went into survival mode – it was also a nearly exposed run with an 80+ degree day on my head.  The final 10k was hard.  I walked through every aid station and took water, coke, and salt tabs.  My feet were killing me but I knew with all of my runs – I could survive 45 mins.  I did.  But it was a piece of crap.  The biggest one ever.

My hr for the whole race was 158 avg.  At Vineman it was 168 and it was still low. It was just terrible. 

Aug08 051The highlight of my day and season was being able to run down the final .25 mile with Sada who was wearing my ZteaM shirt and her new Saucony sneakers.  The crowd down the finish chute was deafening and Sada held my hand and ran like a champ.  We hit the final chute and she looked at me and said “I love you daddy” and we ran.  The announcer went crazy, the crowd was yelling for her and she was beaming by the time she hit the finish line.  They took her picture, gave her the medal and a water bottle.  She asked if she won and she answered before I could say anything ‘well, they gave me the medal so I beat you’. 

With that, the destroyed feet and my hamstring injury – my 2008 season is done. 

Now I’m going to spend time with my family.  Hopefully my wife is as crazy about me as I am about her.

PS – the TImberman 70.3 was an incredible race (aside of my own).  Keith Jordan puts on an amazing race – there were 3 bands alone on the run course, more volunteers than athletes and incredibly organized.  The roads were good, transition was big and well marked and we have a towel, hat, water bottle, and t-shirt not to mention the best post-race food spread I’ve ever seen.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

When I Smell Pancakes it Makes Me Cough

THat’s what Sada said.  I thought it was a good title for a blog or for a band or at least the band’s song. 

I’m packing, sort of, and working and not packing my bike which I really need to do and watching olympics. 

I’m leaving around 2pm and land in Boston around 3:30am PST – but my tickets cost $20.  They won’t upgrade me over the phone – I have to do it in person which seems silly because they’re encouraging people to show up at the airport to stand around.  I usually stretch which I think weirds people out but it’s ok since I am an athlete and I might not win the ice cream cone bet I have with Tracy at Timberman.  I threatened to pants him on the run and then he threatened to DNF me if I did that, so I’ll just try and catch him in T1 because he usually takes a Sally Charles type of transition (which is about 6 to 8 minutes). 

Monday, August 11, 2008

Going Home

I think.  I’m not sure if you call going back to where you were raised going home or something else because my kids would say home is home, which is California, not New Hampshire.  Regardless, on Tuesday I’m going to NH, where my parents live with Sada our 5 year old.  It’s a great ‘home town’ and  a superior place to live – we had small classes (my graduating class in 8th grade had like 32 people), more forested acres than people and all of the back roads you could imagine – all settled into a town established sometime in 16XX. 

july08late 155I had pretty much a perfect childhood – the childhood was perfect, I was not.  I played little league, the clarinet (never getting beat up for it), spent summers at the beach (I think every day) and could ride a bike just about as far as I wanted to ride.  My dad worked and my mom raised 3 kids – along with my dad, dogs and cats pitching in.  I cut and stacked wood (using a wood splitter is still cool), brought coal in on –10 F January days, played hockey on a pond in the back yard and made about 3,000 tree forts.  I went to the stock car races with my dad, got ice cream on ‘dates’ with my mom, and went everywhere in a station wagon. 

If I had to give my parents any guidance on how they could have improved it I wouldn’t – except maybe more trips to Disneyworld, swim lessons, a dirt bike, and make me eat less cookies and more skim milk. 

I’ll be there a few days before I race at the Timberman 70.3 half iron on Sunday the 17th.  The race is about 53 miles from home and is near where we used to go skiing in the winter and for day trips in the summer.  We have to go register on Saturday (by we I mean me and my friend Tracy who is another guy with a girl’s name who is the first person I met in Seattle when I moved there but now he lives in Boston and for some dumb reason he’s agreed to do this race with no training yet he’ll still give me a run for my money… phew)  with a mandatory pre-race meeting at 3:30 on Sat as well as registration and bike racking.  The race starts Sunday at 7am with 13 waves.  This will be fun because it’s a 2 lap bike, 2 lap run – all with 13 waves going and I can only hope our wave goes 1st off behind the pros. 

When I’m ‘home’, I can hopefully squeeze in some quick hellos to friends (Jason, Art, Amy and Jeff) as well as visit with my sisters, parents, nana, training and a bunch of day trips to the best spots for a 5 year old: beach, lake, pool and anything else that involves water. 

I’m looking forward to riding and running on the roads I started running and riding on back in 1989.  

Friday, August 8, 2008

Don’t Do This At Home


Yesterday, like every other day I ate breakfast.  It was so good I had 2 bowls. 

I had Kashi Go Lean. 

It’s got all of the good stuff: Protein, Carbs and Fiber. 

Lots of Fiber. 

They aren’t kidding.  40% of your daily fiber needs in 1 serving. 

When you have 2 of them I don’t think that equals 80% of your daily fiber it’s like 640% of your lifetime fiber. 

It made for a long workday.  I don’t think I lost any friends. 

It made for what I would have called a test of endurance: a 1 hour massage in a small room at the end of a very long workday.

It was fine when my shoulders and back were getting worked on.  It was fine when my arms and calves were getting worked on.  It was really tough to not kill the poor woman when she took my foot and shoved it to my nose with her full weight stretching out my hamstring (think breech birth and me on a table covered in a sheet, sweating, trying to to kill the poor masseuse in this small, unventilated room). 

I got through being re-born as well as Nazila’s attempt to make me cry by putting her thumbs actually through my IT band and her entire body weight balanced in the tippity tip top of her razor sharp elbows – complete with skipping massage music (think pan flute and ocean sounds meet sir mix a lot…. swooosh swooosh goes the ocean followed by toot toot tooooooot on the pan flute and then a bing bing bing bing bing bing bing swoosh shoosh).  I thought it was over, the end was near and then SHE STARTS PUSHING ON MY STOMACH. 

There were tears, there was strain but I did not even let a squeaker out.  We survived. I will never eat Kashi multi-bowl feasts again.  40% of my daily fiber in 3 minutes is plenty for me. 

Thank you for reading.

All The Small Things

I’ve got so much to cover and only a 20 min ferry ride each day in which to write this – not to mention my blog competes with Ayn’s Fountainhead (yes, with Roark and Dominique) and the occasional friend or person who isn’t afraid to chat with the guy in spandex (there are at least 30 men sitting around me in suits and ties). 

I’ve had so many new products to try lately – mostly from meeting companies who are at triathlons handing out samples.  I love to chat with these folks and a few of them that are good products developed by good people have now got relationships with me or my friends.

Beyond FabricationsBeyond Fabrications is a bike company out of Mountain View, CA – run by Jim Klemmens.  It’s a one guy shop – but you can find him at any race in California with his tent and bikes.  You can’t get better service out of a company.  I emailed him on Friday night “bring me a hydrotail, please” and on Saturday afternoon at Vineman 70.3 he hands it to me.  He also sponsors Ben (who crashed and wrecked his Beyond frame – only to get the latest frame as a replacement in about 48 hours) and Brian Fleishmann.  We met Jim and Beyond at the 2007 Vineman 70.3 race that we went up to watch.  Coincidentally, I saw a girl there who was wearing a VAC bike kit – the same team my friend Katie rides for – and I said hi.  This same girl turns out to be Courtenay.  She was there supporting this tall guy (who is in a tie with Matt Reed as the tallest professional triathlete in the world at 7’32”, ok 6’5”) named Greg Remaly

neuro1As I’ve mentioned before, at the San Jose Triathlon I met the folks who make the Nutrition 53 products: Lean 1 (I’ve dropped 7lbs in 2 months with this stuff), Sleep 1 (best night’s sleep ever without feeling bad in the morning) and Neuro1: the new pre-race or hard workout drink for myself, Ben and Courtenay.  These  guys sent me a ton of product to give to folks to try and they keep sending it.  Courtenay has dropped 2lbs with it and Ben has written some great things as well.  I’ve honestly never tried products that work as well as these do.  I haven’t been able to drop any weight for a long time and Lean 1 really did the job.  My nanny Erika saw it and wanted to know more – I’ve been giving her some and she’s dropped 9lbs and is using the caffeine free version of Neuro1 before her evening workouts at the gym – followed by Sleep1.  I didn’t tell her what these were for – only when to take them and she loves them.  It’s good to have a nanny who is well rested, getting fit and happy! 

Right now they’ve got some good promotions with Free 15 or 30 day supplies as well as 50% off deals. Use the code “Triathlete” and you’ll get 50% off your first purchase.

ALCiS - The Science of ReliefAnother company who many in the Bay Area have seen is ALCiS.  They make a pain relief cream that you’d put on your sore spots after a race or workout.  They sponsor a team that beats the snot out of everyone in this area and you can get free samples at a bunch of races here: UVAS, San Jose, Folsom and Vineman.  I’ve tried the little samples and thought it was a bit hokey.  Then I got a hold of a few samples – allowing me to try it for a few days. I’m pretty skeptical about anything that isn’t illegal without a prescription.  At the Vineman pre-race expo I got a few tubes and samples to hand out to folks hoping they’d try it and blog about their findings (Sarah?).  After Vineman I ran into booth only 40 meters from the finish line where they said to sit down and they tossed me a tube to put on my legs.  At that point hitting me with an axe would have been welcomed but it was less messy to use the cream.  I definitely felt the difference.  I used it every day since Vineman and now Greta is using it – she says it smells good, not to mention that it works.  I’ve also heard and found out that it’s the best stuff to use on your arms and lower legs to get a wetsuit off.  Chrissie (yes, that one) wrote in her recent blog about struggling to get her wetsuit off – so I pinged my friend Scott and told him I’d send her a tube to try (not to mention the real benefit of the pain relief).  Turns out he had been on e-mail with her only minutes before my note.  She’s also racing Timberman 70.3 next weekend, so I’ll just hook up with her there and share the love.  If you see me, ask and I’ll give you some samples, at worst – here’s a coupon you can use at just about every drugstore in the US.

I’d write more about Base Performance but I’ve done that time and time again.  I’m hooked on Base Amino and won’t be ever training or racing without it.  A funny story about Base Water:  a blog reader has a wife who is pregnant and she’s struggling to drink as much water as she should.  He asked if Base Water would help with her hydration – so I sent a note to Chris Lieto, who wrote back within minutes that his wife (who is also pregnant) uses it to stay on top of her hydration too (basically it allows your body to absorb the water better – so you don’t have to drink as much to stay fully hydrated).  So once again, these products intended for athletes find additional users around house! 

So there is the tale of some great new products I’ve been using and have been overwhelmed by the results and people associated with these companies.  They’re out supporting triathlon at the grass roots level and support triathletes and teams all over. 

BTW – the Triplets of Belleville is a great movie – for kids (my girls LOVE it) and adults.  Netflix it.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

My Training Ladies: Ayn and Molly

If you live around here (Southern Marin County California) you’ve probably seen the guy in the ZteaM bike kit (think Captain America, but a helmet and no tall red boots) and the BIG RED BACKPACK.  This is how I get to and from work (I supplement with a ferry ride on the way in).  I get notes from people all the time about how they thought they saw me but then knew they were mistaken because they guy they saw DIDN’T have on the BIG RED BACKPACK.  So now you’ve wasted a lot of time reading not much….

In the BIG RED BACKPACK is Ayn.  Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead (probably one of my top 5 favorites of all time – better than Atlas Shrugged which I hauled around in the backpack for about 3 months last year).  I read it on the ferry and for fun I haul this 2lb hard cover monstrosity all over creation- climbing with her 1,200 ft per day on my commute.  I also tote my 4.6lb HP laptop in the same backpack along with clothes, food, and an iPOD.  On that iPod is probably one of the best songs for a spin class – Molly Hatchet’s ‘Flirting With Disaster’. 

I found that when I don’t ride with the backpack, I’m about 10lbs lighter – which is fun because on race day not only do I drop all of the bike repair stuff, pump, the training wheel that use Slime tubes and tire liners, but I get to lose 10lbs from my regular training routine and I feel great. 

Lately I’ve had some great rides – riding uphill, spinning effortlessly at a nice low HR as well as my fastest 9 mile run of all time this morning, even faster than I’ve ever raced (in the past 10 years).  I’m really ready and excited to be racing the Timberman 70.3 half on Aug 17.  The hard part is going to be bringing: a bike, 2 suitcases (I’m bringing Sada our 5 year old), a backpack (the BIG RED ONE) with a laptop, all of my race stuff, training stuff (still a few hours of stuff to do before the race), pump, wheels, kid seat and my latest dilemma – do I bring 2 bike helmets or just the one I’m going to race in?  I’d love to avoid the dork factor of doing the 2-3 hours of rides and have my regular helmet, but I don’t want to haul it.  I guess I don’t care much – I’ll be riding early in the AM and for like 1hour or so at a time.  It’s not like I need to pick up any chicks or impress anyone – my killer calves do that without me saying a word. 

Desiree Ficker is going to be at the race too and I’m going to bring her muffin recipe for her to sign.  Now that is retarded but I feel obligated to do this.  

The guy who used to get me those dolphin pictures quit our company, so I’ve got nothing. 

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Warning: There is Little Value in the Content of this Post

des If Chuck Norris were a triathlete. . .

traffic lights would change to green as soon as he approached an intersection.

he would race an Ironman . . .everyday . . .before 8am.

you could waterski behind him during the swim. A few lucky competitors would be caught in his wake, and would be awarded with an extra fast time.

he would ride 40km an hour . . .backwards.

he would perform double handed bottle catches on the bike course.

he could finish an Ironman on only a half bottle of tepid tap water, and a handful of Chex mix.

he’d never get flats. If for some bizarre reason his front tire went flat, he’d just ride a wheelie for the remainder of the ride.

he wouldn’t wear a helmet, just that same old crusty bandana, or a cowboy hat.

he wouldn’t wear a race number, he’d just pin his Texas Ranger badge directly on his bare chest.

he’d run barefoot over a specially designed course of hot coals.

no one would draft him because no one drafts off Chuck Norris.


I promised some wicked masculine posts.  Chuck Norris and Desiree Ficker’s muffins – you can’t top this.  Don’t even try.  I grew 2 beards writing this.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Warning: I will not refund the next 1:12 mins of your life

Le Roy

Le Roy is a menacing fish.  We don’t know what he looks like but we know he’s either dumb, aggressive or just curious.  He’s also big. Lately he’s been disturbing our swim group – composed of nearly all open water swim veterans including a few doctors and Ian who insists on beating cancer as well as everyone in the group.

Now normally we’ll get a few fish who will swim at your fingertips for the length of the lagoon – about .55 to .6 miles depending upon who you follow.  They’re usually harmless and if you think real hard you can consider them friends for the duration of the swim.  Some of the folks see them and others claim to have never seen fish.  We’ve yet to see Le Roy, but he’s there.  Lurking.

Last week the two best swimmers of the group, Ian and Richard were out and Le Roy gave Richard a headbutt.  Richard is a solid guy who swims in a speedo regardless of water or air temperature.  He’s an Alcatraz and Tiburon Mile swim veteran.  He’s solid and at 60 something isn’t someone I’d mess with – mostly because he wouldn’t let me swim with him if I did.  The report from Ian is that Richard stopped swimming – which I would consider something along the lines of Moses parting the Red Sea.  You can hit Richard swimming and he’ll turn and give you a look but won’t lose a beat.  This is how I know Le Roy is big.

Le Roy also gave Ian a bump.  He then gave Dr. Dave another 2-3 bumps along his body before moving on.  A few weeks ago I thought I had hit someone’s leg during the swim until I realized it was hard and slimy and swimming beneath me. 

So now I swim praying for .5 miles one way and .5 miles back that Le Roy is sleeping or eating somewhere else.  In between Amens, I try to swim between or next to the other people who will act as blockers for me should Le Roy decide he gets tired of bumps and decides to eat one of us. 

I only hope he goes after Ian (he weighs the least of us) because he’s first and then I wouldn’t have to worry so much about going so hard just to finish within 2 minutes of him (on an easy day). 

On a different note – I did a ride with a few of the ZteaM folks: Ian, Soda and JP.  My hamstring is bothering me, so I couldn’t do all of the efforts I had been scheduled to do – but it was actually fun to spin the last 30-40 mins of a ride without focusing on trying to keep my HR in Z2 or higher!  Ian is on the right, Soda (this is her only smile of the day) is on the left and Dr. Handsome (that’s me) is in the middle in the one-size-too-big vest.  This is the Nicasio Reservoir in the background.