Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A Bug's Life (in our home)

A few weeks ago I showed the kids how you can take a bug (bigger is better) put them in a container and then freeze them and then thaw them.  Greta's mom (a teacher) wasn't a believer and there were skeptics throughout the house - so I HAD to do the experiment immediately. 

We found this 'buzzy bee' that was the size of your thumb (the fat part) and we put him in a glass and then into the fridge.  It didn't seem to be cold enough there - so we put him in the freezer.  Sure enough, he stopped buzzing and walking around the glass.  See the frozen bee below in the wine glass.

April08 005

It turns out that it takes a while for this size a bee to thaw out.  In the meantime, you can prod and poke them - but no one dared to touch this week.  I gave him a few swirls around the glass just to prove that he was indeed asleep.  The whole time the girls sit and watch with Piper asking in the sweetest voice 'is he seeping' and I said yes, he's sleeping (she says seeping). 

After about 15 minutes of staring at the glass, the bee's legs start to twitch, his wings give a buzz and he wiggles a little.  After about a total of 18-20 mins, he's back to buzzing around like a fool.  You can repeat the process depending how long you want to occupy your kids.  But wait there's more...

April08 004

Near our home there are a lot of ladybugs - all over the place, I don't know why, but there are.  The girls now like to find bugs and mess with them.  Piper who isn't very gentle will find ants and pick them up and then will walk over to me with a smashed ant on her finger asking if the buggy is sleeping (seeping)?  Sometimes I say yes and other times I say that no, he's dead.  She just looks at it and says 'he's dead' - I don't think it matters to her.  She also thinks all bugs are happy.  I know that the bugs she generally meets are not happy after a few minutes. 

Sada found a ladybug last weekend but it was dead.  I told her it was dead but she wanted to put it in a little glass bowl with a cover so he wouldn't escape.  I told her he wouldn't and could live in the bowl without a cover because if they're happy they won't leave.  She'll carry the dead ladybug around the bowl and he lives in the bowl on her nightstand.  Sometimes she'll let Piper carry the dead ladybug in the small glass bowl around the house.  He sometimes falls out but they just put him back in the blow.  This morning the ladybug's head fell off.  This didn't bother Sada much and she though that he was just thirsty and that perhaps with some water his head would get better.  So now, there is a well hydrated headless ladybug on Sada's nightstand.  

Monday, April 28, 2008

Sacramento International Triathlon Race Report

'if I eat any more, I'm going to poop' - Sada, age 4, at dinner on Friday

Sada had it right, except the night before the race I ate a small pizza and a large beer and there was no poop that was going to stop me.

It was a rough week:

1) I lost my wallet (great anxiety) (Monday PM)

2) I found my wallet, but only after going to the DMV and getting a new license (less anxiety) (Tuesday AM)

3) I got my stuff locked in my desk at work and somehow the keys were locked in the desk too (Wednesday)

4) My training partner and very good friend Ian was diagnosed with cancer of the blood (Multiple Myeloma).  (Thursday) 

5) My wife was gone for 2 days on a business trip and I missed her a lot (Tues/Wed)

6) My wife threatening in a COMMENT to write a blog post about choosing the right nail polish gets more responses than my hours of heart-wrenching blog posting. 

westsactri So, after all that - I was ready for a good race.  I did this race 1 year ago as my first triathlon. 

It was going to be fun because I could finally meet Kelly and Sarah - both prolific commenters on this site as well as writers of their own fine blogs. 

There wasn't much to my strategy except go as fast as I could - I sort of stuck to that plan.  Also racing with me was Chris in his 2nd tri! 

The Swim - started ok, but when I got into the middle of the pack it got choppy and I slowed down to just go my own pace.  I held back until I could get into a spot where it wasn't choppy and then the paddlewheels kicked in.  Turns out I was better than mid pack- finishing around 34 out of 100.  The spirit of Courtenay was out there getting me through it.  I clobbered a few folks out there - so I would stop with each clobber to see that I hadn't killed anyone.  I think I swallowed a small fish at some point. The swim exit was a little rough (gravely) and Chris and I had put shoes at the exit to put on and wear up into T1.  When I got out of the water I figured I'd mess with him and leave my shoes there right next to his, making him think I was still out there wishing I was Mr. Limpet.

The bike - it started SO SLOW.  I'm a bit of a diesel motor - so it takes me 15-20 mins to get rolling (which is relevant).   I grabbed a 2x caffeine GU (Espresso LOVE) to help (actually 2 of them).  The road was as bumpy as Desiree's muffins - but it was flat for the most part - I think I shifted 4 times.  I left my Garmin Edge 305 at home, so I only had HR to give me some quantitative indication of pain.  I caught a few folks and kept going hard hoping to get the #1 bike split.  I saw the race leader(s) on his way back and found I was in 4th and they had about 2.5 mins on me.  I pushed a bit harder on the way back and made up at least 1.5 of those minutes and was in 3rd overall about 2 miles from the finish before I got passed!  I held the gap at about 100m because I knew I could transition quickly (which I did) and he had 20m on me heading out after T2.  It turns out not only could he bike, but he could run.

The run - realizing I was in 4th meant I had to run harder than I had before - mostly because I've been running like a little baby girl and stopped pushing when it hurt.  I knew I could push 190+ on the HRM, so I used that as a guide rather than pain in my power sticks.  There was one guy behind me by about 30 seconds that I was hoping I could hold off - but he was skinny and didn't look slow, so I would at least make him earn those 30 seconds.  Around mile 3 he passed me and I held him about 50m.  I definitely felt better in the final mile but didn't have the mental guts just yet to push it harder - leaving me 5th overall. 

I finished 2nd in my age group, 5th overall and had the #2 bike split.  My goals were to be top 5-10, top 3 in my AG and have the top 1-2 bike splits - so I got pretty close. 

Chris finished 8th in our AG and 23rd OA.  Kelly was 2nd in the Olympic distance race and Sarah 4th!  I'll have to post the pictures I took tonight. 

Keep Ian and his family in your thoughts as he starts his chemo treatment tomorrow AM (Tuesday). 


Friday, April 25, 2008

Damnit Beavis!

I loved Beavis and Butthead.  I have 3 or 4 DVD's of the show that I can watch once the girls go to sleep -otherwise they'll learn stuff like 'Damnit Beavis', 'Bunghole', 'Fartknocker' and so on.  Stuff I don't want to explain or make up terms like this 'damnit beavis'.... no sada he said (think quickly....) he said 'flim flam fleatus'.  Then you have to explain that. 

For some reason I gave Ben a whole bunch of tags on my blog.  I even got comments that I put TOO many tags and then these same hypocritical people (courtenay and soda) cry as to why I haven't given THEM a special tag.  Very special thanks to greg who didn't say anything but he did quote Napoleon Dynamite which is automatically going to get him a special tag.  Ben gets a few different tags because he's lived here more than any other guest.  He also suffered through the great vitamin c incident.  (hint: take about 5 vitamin c x 3 a day and then spend an hour or two in a garage mounting tires). 

Much of my blog traffic comes from search results.  The rest comes from most of you hot dogs who link to me.  In order to help those readers who really want to read about my top posts, I use tags.  Sometimes I use more than one tag because for instance if someone is searching for Zoot sneakers they might use different terms for the same thing - I know from search logs that people get to my site by looking for Zoot shoes, Zoot Ultra or Zoot sneakers.  Thus all of the tags. 

Here are some top pages on my site based on search results:

  1. My Zoot Ultra Shoe Reviews: There are a few: One, Two and Three
  2. Treasure Island Triathlon Photos
  3. Race Reports: Oceanside 70.3 (part 1, 2 and 3), UVAS (which includes the story of the black panties),
  4. Team Zoot Gu
  5. Macca's Triathlon Camp that I was putting on with him

Here are the top terms:

  1. Loren, Lorpeedo, Loren Pokorny
  2. Swimbikerunguy, swim bike run guy
  3. zoot shoe review, zoot running shoe review, zoot ultra race, zoot triathlon shoe review (and about 10 versions similar to this)
  4. Tom Boonen, Tom Boonen Song Lyrics
  5. Chris McCormack (I'm a fan but also have a few of his bikes,my garage is full of waterbottles from him, like 300 of them), clothing, etc... he and Scott (his agent) are generous and good. 

Top Traffic Sources:

  1. Search
  2. Direct
  3. GREG REMALY!!!! WHOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOO
  4. Ben 'Huli Chicken' Collins
  5. Courtenay Brown

I'm an analyst - a web/pricing/advertising analyst - so I'm saving you some significant boring reading.  This is the sort of stuff I find interesting in my day job as well as in my former career at Microsoft where I was a web analyst.  It's sexy in fact.

Now to bring it all together - here's a great video with Bill Gates and Napoleon:

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Shapoopi (Sha-poop-pee)

I'm watching 'The Music Man' and because it's got the 'root' word poop - the girls LOVE this song.  'Shapoopi, Shapoopi...'  A good movie for kids and adults.  It's better than What it Takes.  Piper just danced her diaper off in fact - at this very moment, she's dancing an Irish Jig type of thing while lifting her dress showing me her pasty buns. 

April08 078Greta has been in beautiful Columbus, OH working on a pitch to an insurance company - this means 1) I miss her terribly 2) I'm responsible for 2 kids by myself.  I woke up at 6am with 2 kids on me and a cat on my feet.  Maybe they know better than to mess with mama when she's sleeping but apparently dad is fair game to tackle. 

So far I survived - I even made Desiree Ficker's pumpkin muffins from the recipe (Greta, Tracy said Ben was cuter than Desiree, so don't worry - Ben, Tracy is a heterosexual married guy).  They turned out excellent.  I substituted flax seed oil for the vegetable oil and ignored the gluten free stuff since Soda won't be visiting for another month (she, as far as I know this week, does not eat gluten and if you're lucky can make you some of the flattest cookies ever).  I was so impressed that I took a picture.  I will make sure that Ben has some on hand prior to Alcatraz. 

I'm feeling better than I have in the past few weeks - I've survived a 13.1 mile run on concrete, being surrounded by sick kids and was able to fight off a minor cold early last week.  I've been drinking a bit more milk - skim milk and I've been sleeping better and my legs feel great. 

I'm in a foundation phase and I feel like I could be doing more - which is exactly why I have a coach, I don't have to think much about what to do - I provide feedback, my race schedule and goals and then trust him.  I now looking forward to racing this weekend and even though it's a 'C' race, I'll not dilly dally in the transitions quite like I did at the Ice Breaker tri.  The Sacramento Triathlon was the first race I did last year - so it's sort of a 1 year anniversary for me.  I'll also get to see many of the folks who comment on this blog - so I'll have to ensure we get some photos done. 

April08 057Last weekend after my long-ish run we all went up to Sonoma to do our quarterly wine club pick up at the wineries we belong to and then to the park at the center of downtown Sonoma.  Before that - we all went kayaking and learned that we'll never do that again with 2 kids who panic when it comes time to disembarking.   Here's a picture of a pleasant moment aboard the SS Lorpeedo.  The less pleasant moments can only be captured like this:

Me:  ok, come her Piper let's get out (reaching)

Piper: NO!!!!!  I DON'T WANT OUT!! (death grip on greta)

Sada:  I'M GOING TO FALL IN, DAAAAAAAAAADY!

Me: Piper, OUT! (Grabbing piper by life jacket)

Piper: (AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH) (screaming at top of lungs which is really pretty loud)

Greta: Honey don't slip (watching me slip), etc...

Good times.  When Ben gives me a swim lesson, it pretty much follows the same script. 

Congrats to Jillian Petersen who won the ITU Race in Mexico - she's a great athlete and a first year pro.  Ben also built her site.  Be sure to visit it! 

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

2 Quarters and Lost Wallet

Today Sada had 2 quarters and said 'look, there are seagulls on one side and a man on this side.' 

1932-D_Quarter_Obverse 1932-D_Quarter_Reverse

I lost my wallet yesterday or it was removed from my bag.  Either way, I've got to take a day to replace everything.

----------------------------------------

UPDATE: Wallet found.  IRS is auditing now - at least they play nice music when you sit on hold.

it's only tuesday. ugh.

Monday, April 21, 2008

I Got Shot

I came home Friday and that is what Piper ran over to tell me.  She really got 'shots' at the doctor's office.  They say funny things all of the time like that.  Yesterday I was the 'strongest daddy' - which is probably true. 

The weekend was pretty good- did a hard run with a mix of 10k and 5k pace - it was fun until I hit the headwind we had here on the return.  Using my Garmin Forerunner 201 I can set up a training partner and have it go a set pace or time and distance.  I figured I'd do a 10k with him (it looks like a guy) and started strong - started creeping ahead by 40 feet and slowly crept all the way into the 500 feet ahead and then I turned around.  The winds here this weekend were brutal.  I went from a pace running 175-180 HR staying ahead of the pacer to running 190+ HR and dropping behind, eventually finishing .12 miles behind him at the end of 50 mins.  I'm not sure if that was good or not but seeing as though I could hold a Z5 HR for 50 mins is pretty good. 

I rode about 100k yesterday - again with the headwind.  I was supposed to meet up with Kelly but somehow I confused towns and meeting spots and missed her completely.  She ended up riding with our ZteaM's group ride while I slogged 3 hours solo out to Pt Reyes and back.  Due to the wind I was a bit off my pace a few weeks ago - but not that far off.  I spent all of my time in Z3 and the climbs (3,500 feet of them) in Z4+. 

desIn between all of the time I spent with the family and training I had to catch up with 3 friends who were racing around North America.  Soda was doing her first race of the season down at Collegiate Nationals in AL where she had a decent race and got out some of the early season cob webs (Courtenay and I got ours out last weekend when we dropped chains and wheels fell out).  She finished with a strong run and some good things to work on for the next few weeks. 

Brain Fleischmann was racing for an Olympic spot at the same venue at the University of AL.  He and I worked together a bit over the winter on some sponsorship stuff as well as coaching.  He's a very nice guy who is incredibly focused on making the team - taking every distraction out of his life.  It's pretty amazing what focus all of the pros I know have.  He hung with the best and finished 4th behind Reed, Potts and Kemper - which is not a bad performance.  He races again in 8 weeks - with a final shot to make the team.  I'm definitely cheering for him.

Ben was also racing at the ITU down in Mexico.  Since the Triathlon.org site doesn't always update quickly I usually have to wait for his call after the race.  Most of the time he makes up a story about something happening or how he overslept and missed the race - so I never know.  He calls, gives me the race report which includes a "hospital visit".  I can't do it any justice, so you have to read for yourself.  The positive out of the whole thing is his strong swim, bike and start of the run.  It's hard to stand in 100 degree heat let alone race a sub 36 min 10k in it.  I think he did incredibly well and can't wait to see how he does in his next few races - it's going to be a great season for him.  

Desiree Ficker was in Boston where my friend Tracy now lives.  He just moved from Austin, TX where he trained in the same circles (track) as Des and he sent me the photo above of her race start.  How many of the girls above could run a marathon after riding 56 or 112 miles and still have a solid run?  I'm always impressed at how solid triathletes are in the 3 sports- many can/have compete at the highest levels.  Back when I started racing in 1989 you didn't even have to know how to swim in order to have a good race.  I rode a bit, maybe 100 miles, swam 1x a week if I was lucky and ran 50+ miles a week.  No more.

I should have a guest writer this week and idea Ben had.  Unfortunately, Greta is considering 'how to pick the right nail polish color for an ad campaign pitch' as a topic.  This is a topic that might actually be of interest to the readers of this blog.  I know Ben has really been struggling with this lately. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Motivation

I'm sure we're all out there looking for it.  I can't really figure out what motivates me - either I don't know, I don't want to know or I'm not going to talk about it (probably). I hate getting older, but fellow blogger Roman has even figured out a way to make it fun (more fun that eating cake and feeling guilty).

I think most of it is to get out and see how much of our own asses we can kick and if there are a few others out there as a result, that's just icing on the cake.

Winning is fun.  Not in the sense 'you're all winners' but really winning, finishing first.  That's the poo. 

Losing is worse.  Not in the sense of finishing last but in not doing what you could have done.  I think that's losing.  I lost my hat, I hate that too.  Leaving something on the table is what I mean.  Unfinished business, that sort of thing.  You don't give it your all - well, I said it.  Loser. 

When I should be getting out of bed, it's dark and probably cold - why?  Because I know some guy is down in San Diego doing the same thing - except he's at his race weight and USAT doesn't care - we're in the same group.  I'd also be a fool to waste a decent V02 Max on so much sleep.  Also watching the pros is motivating - the dedication I see with friends like Ben and Chris and by blog extension Greg and Courtenay, it's inhumane and humbling. 

Once I'm out there - I use my iPOD interval playlist or long run playlist to get me home again.  I'd like to think that music taste is subjective and opinion-based, but it's not.  If you're old- you're not into the new stuff, if you're young, you're missing the classics.  I listen to different stuff - depending upon the goal.  There is no room for Fergie anywhere.

Winter gets me a lot of U2, never too much fast and I FFW the slow.  I usually just have to get home but not at 25mph, so U2.  Live U2 is better.  I brought some CDs for Greg to have at Ice Breaker (Live U2) but I forgot them in the door of the suv. 

Right now I'm listening to the following and BTW, because I'm older than you probably are, I'm more right -opinions can be more right.

  • Top Gun Soundtrack - even found a remix of Playing with the Boys.  Turns out Kenny Loggins dines at Bungalow 44 just like Greta and ME.
  • Motley Crue - depends upon what I have handy - but usually the live stuff.  Makes me want a tattoo.  Best concert ever - Carnival of Sins.  Ever.
  • Van Halen - got to be selective here, none of the old stuff.  Greta saw Sammy Hagar a few weeks ago, he lives a town over.  Still on my list of bands to go see one day.
  • Disturbed - 10,000 Fists, w/Land of Confusion, great remake,  I even have the extended version of the original because of the video. 
  • Sixx AM: The Heroin Diaries.  Just got it.  Best CD I've ever heard out of the box.  Usually a few times and then I like stuff, no.  not here.  Thanks Greta.

See that wasn't bad.  That's what motivates me when I'm training.  Not to mention things like my daughters, my wife (who supports me leaving her at 5am, saying 'hi' around 7:15 on my way to the ferry, and then returning 10 hours later to a killer dinner she's made - I picked a good one) and making the Lorpeedo faster. 


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

More...

I had to post this.  A few of you know the girls - here they are with their exact personalities shining through as they sing happy birthday to Greta.

Also, at my house we don't talk about playing nicely or doing your best.  We say 'crush' - as in 'did you crush her in Chutes and Ladders?'.  So the other day Sada says 'daddy, do you crush uncle Ian' and I had to answer truthfully and said 'yes, I crush uncle Ian'.  Except he's sick now and it's not as funny, but when he's better, it will be funny. 

Tuesday's Edition...

I'm really writing this on Monday since I'm on the ferry boat to and from work (so that's when I write these Greg).  I would still talk about the Ice Breaker Tri - but there's other things to write about other than triathlon, sort of.

Ian is sick.  He was out running Thursday and was in the hospital twice before midnight on Saturday.  Somehow while exercising he managed to get strep into his blood.  It then attacked his knee - requiring immediate surgery and now is in the hospital being tested from head to toe for other sources of infection.  It's a serious condition which came out of no where on very healthy guy.  The good news is that there isn't an infection around his heart - but I think there's still a ton of concern.  Keep him in your thoughts when you're out training. 

Ben kicked some major butt on Sunday - finishing only 45 seconds down on Chris Lieto and 2 minutes on 2007 Ironman Champ Chris McCormack!  Now he gets to go run with the ITU gang who insist on drafting while riding at the Mazatlan ITU Pan-American Championships.  I don't disagree with Greg who called it (ITU Triathlon) a disgraceful bastard child of the sport - though from what I can tell, they don't sit out there sipping champagne on the bike - but I think the guys who can swim, bike and run on their own merits would shine brighter if it was truly and individual effort.  It's just not spectator friendly watching a non-drafting race, thus - draft legal triathlon.   

Chris "Symphony Boy" Westall is now a triathlete.  I'm sure everyone remembers their first race -well he did his yesterday and I hope he's hooked.  It's nice actually having some racing under the belt for the season to really know where things stand with your training. 

Chris Tremonte rocked his swim meet this weekend (the USMS PNA Championships) - it's been a lot of work for him to train like a pro and work a full-time job at Microsoft (which is a 50-60 hour a week gig at a minimum).  I expect to see some good things out of this guy's camp this year!  When he's ready to lay down some slick 1:45 100s - I'll be there for him. 

Speaking of which....

I'm back on it for the week - with a bit more interest in my running.  About 2 weeks before Oceanside I was sick of running.  Weekly half marathons for a few  took it out of me.  I am finally keen on running more than 1x a week just because I have to.  Tomorrow I'll be out while Greg is still dreaming of Tiger Woods doing my fartleks at 5:30am, in the dark, by myself, with no heart rate monitor BECAUSE MY POLAR DIED.  It died during the swim warm up yesterday in the worst way - drowning.  I got set to start the timer for my race and I looked down to see a gray slate of nothing but water.  I ordered a Polar 625x today - Greta will be happy to see something new on my wrist after 10 years of seeing a beat up blue and red 520.

I've made no progress on 'The Fountainhead'.  So because I've got nothing else to say, I'll throw down some filler to drive some comment fire:

Favorite Authors/Books:

  1. Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
  2. F. Scott Fitzgerald, This Side of Paradise but I love his short stories (I hate the short story format for the most part, but his are special).
  3. David McCullough, John Adams (though Ben Franklin and 1776 are right up there)
  4. Peter Mayle, ok, sort of fluffy, but I love his stuff; Up the Agency, A Good Year, A Year in Provence) you can't get even a few pages into one of these books before opening a bottle of red. 

Favorite Movies:

  1. Boogie Nights, yup - it's a masterpiece (Magnolia, Punch Drunk Love are some others by Paul Thomas Anderson),
  2. The Royal Tenenbaums, Bottle Rocket, Darjeeling Limited, Rushmore (all Wes Andersen)
  3. American Beauty (Sam Mendes)
  4. Caddyshack - no explanation necessary:

Danny Noonan: I gotta go to college.
Ty Webb: You don't have to go to college. This isn't Russia. Is this Russia? This isn't Russia.

These are movies that I've watched over and over and OVER with Greta, the director's commentary and then the movie over and over again.  One day, the script that my wife and I have been bantering about writing will see some finality.  Everyone has a script in them. 

BTW - I finished around 11th for the Ice Breaker.  There were 19 people spread over 2 minutes.  I should have not worried about getting the sand off my shoe and probably shouldn't have dropped my wheel. 

Monday, April 14, 2008

Ice Breaker Triathlon

Yesterday I did the 2nd race of my season.  I wasn't going to do this race at all until early last week when I noticed it wasn't a time trial and was in fact a triathlon.  I wasn't feeling great both Friday and Saturday and my coach had suggested I skip it if I wasn't feeling better by Saturday night.  I ended up feeling much better after taking those 2 days off - spent gluing tires for Soda's Collegiate National's bid in 2 weeks. 

The best part about this race was that my whole family: Sada, Piper and Greta were all going to come with me to watch (as much as 2 kids under 4 will watch).  I didn't know anything about the race except Courtenay and Symphony Boy were also going to be there and that it was on a pretty tight course with very few straights. 

March08 047The swim was in Folsom Lake which is so low we had to walk about .3 miles or more to the water.  The water temp was perfect and likely around 60 or so.  We jumped into the water for a quick warm up and it felt pretty good - except my HRM died.  This was slightly troubling because I have a terrible time racing without a heart rate.  My RPE scale is off and when I think I'm going at a 7, I'm really about 2 beats away from my max OR I think 'this is really hard' and my HR is 173.  So when I race, I go by HR on the bike and run.  I try and bike at 175-180 and run 175-205.  Not to mention I'd have no idea of my time and run pacing.  Oh well....

The swim went fine - I went a bit harder than I've raced before and felt fine - stayed at the back of the pack until the first buoy where the water was so shallow, we all stood up, ran around the buoy and swam back to shore.  On the way back I got a little off course for some dumb reason (like me refusing to site on the right thing) and lost the back of the pack.  I eneded up making it to shore - my only goal was to not still be in the water where Courtenay could find me.  I had lost Westie somewhere in the water  - I figured he was in front.  

Because of the long run - I dumped my suit in the water and carried it on the long run back to T1 where I ran in my sandals but 1/2 way up, I changed my mind and ran faster without them. 

I got onto my bike where I figured I'd make up time and catch the front group as usual.  I didn't know this course was a roller coaster ride with very little room to put your head down to hammer.  Just when I got rolling, I'd hit a hill or corner so sharp I'd need to get on the binders to keep was washing out.  Not to mention the road was a trail with riders coming the other way!  It was narrow and 2 bikes could barely ride next to each other anywhere.  I felt ok but not fast on lap 1 - even when I stood up to get over a short riser and managed to rip the back wheel out of my frame.  I stopped (I had little choice) and got the wheel back in only losing 2 spots which I made up in the next 2 minutes.  By the time I got into the 2nd lap, I felt better and spend the next 16 minutes saying 'left, left, left or move or c'mon man ride your bike!'.   Having a few years of biking racing experience definitely helped on this course.  It wasn't my ideal course and I'm not sure I'd do the race again for that reason alone. 

I zipped into T2 where there was no dismount line - so T2 was fast.  I got out onto the run and began picking guys off about 5 or more in the first mile.  The run was on a sandy trail - which I figured would turn into a paved or dirt trail.  It turns out this was a full-on Xterra course for the next 4 miles.   Because I've run tons of trails it was nice to let it go on the downhills - but it was dangerous.  There were steep and sandy downhills - most were gullies where water has washed out much of the best footing.  I managed to get a side stitch around mile 1.5 and had to back off a little which was fine because I got jammed up behind 2 slower guys.  There was a lot of up and downhill portions - so it was incredibly hard to get into a rhythm - so I kept pushing and ran the uphills where many folks were walking.   I ended up letting 2 guys go who caught me around mile 3 but I was able to hold them at about 50 yards to the end. 

S8MRS01-1-md-yangtze_silverI felt ok - happy about parts of the run and my T2.  Not sure how I ended up, but I suspect those numbers will be posted soon.  Courtenay finished 2nd overall in her 3rd triathlon and Chris (Symphony Boy) is officially a triathlete. 

Other things: My Zoot Ultra Race flats definitely were better over the short distance.  No blisters and they're fast to transition with.  I will definitely use them again for any sub 10k race I do. 

I'm really grateful for Greta and the girls coming out to watch.  Poor Sada had strep throat which I spent the evening following the race with her chasing doctor appointments and 24 hour pharmacies  until almost 9pm. 

Congrats to Ben who finished 2nd to Chris Lieto at the Miami International - where he beat Chris McCormack.  Ben had the fastest swim, lost a minute to super cyclist Lieto on the bike and had the fastest run of the day. 

Friday, April 11, 2008

That Special Time of Year

My kids would say Christmas (I would too) but the next best part is the few weeks where the Spring Classics are held.  My most favorite being Paris Roubaix.  Many of you know I raced bikes for years and for many teams in between my triathlon career separated by a dozen years or more:  Control Tech, Raleigh, Excel Sports, Mongoose and I'm sure there are more - my closet full of team kits would give you some clues.  This Sunday is not just a good day for triathlon (Ben, Chris and Macca are racing the Miami International) Courtenay, Symphony-Boy aka Westie and I are doing the Ice Breaker but it's the day they race the cobbles. 

pimp These guys are as tough as it gets and a few of my favorites are gone - but live on as server names at Microsoft because I got to name the servers I bought - so people were always like what's \\ballerini\user\share?  Who/What is that - then I'd point to my poster of Franco Ballerini.  Johan Museeuw also got a server - but not nearly as big as Ballerini.  I loved watching the videos (because there was no cyclism sunday back then) of these guys romping the cobbles and crushing the peleton.  Lance was great but he wasn't a tough guy like these fellows.  The Tour is different. 

The best edition was the 1998 Paris Roubaix where Johan Museeuw, Andrea Tafi and Wilifried Peeters finished 1-3, all Mapei-Bricoi.  They crushed it.  I'm also sure they were all probably doped to their eyeballs - but I don't care, who other than Greg LeMond wasn't back then? 

One of my new favorite sites is: http://www.belgiumkneewarmers.com/ .  Not a speedo, swim workout or pair of Zoot Ultra Race shoes on the site.  It's all bikes.  There's also a lot here: http://www.pezcyclingnews.com/ just in case. 

Goooooo Boonen! Tommeke Tommeke Tommeke.....

Thursday, April 10, 2008

各方對西藏地區的範圍所提出的説 or My Olympic Bid

Gosh am I hydrated - thanks Base Water!  (BTW, if you become a friend of Base on Facebook, you can get 10% off). 

I work about 1 block from where the Olympic torch was supposed to be yesterday on part of it's 85,000 mile journey.  So I figured I could walk that far to see something sort of rare and historic - sort of like me doing yard work.  I also wanted to see some good Free Tibet-Chinese national gang rumbles - but it turns out only white people get really mean and nasty when it comes to protesting. 

So here’s the closest I came to a confrontation:

White Lady Carrying Tibet Flag: SHAME ON YOU CHINA! SHAME ON YOU CHINA! SHAME ON YOU CHINA! 

She says this at the top of her lungs about 5 inches from some lady carrying a China flag

Chinese Lady w/China Flag Lady: (nothing, no response)

Chinese Lady w/Tibet Flag: (walks over to White Lady Carrying Tibet Flag and says something calmly and lady suddenly becomes very quiet and walks along): (nothing)

There you go. First-hand account of the protests.

Closest I came to violence:

I got my foot stepped on.

Hypocritical Moment of the day:

Many, let’s say a majority of the protesters for Tibet were walking. Many, let’s say 60% of them were wearing sneakers – I looked at the brands New Balance and Nike were what I saw. If you look in the tongue of either of these brands it will say: Fabrique en Chine and Made in China.  I think that is hypocritical.  It's sort of like a Hummer with a "Al Gore for President" sticker on it. 

I always feel better about things after that.

Based on the looks of many of the non-Asian people protesting, I’d wager money many didn’t know where Tibet (I didn’t see a single non-Asian campaigning for China) actually was.  So below is where you'll find Tibet (I didn't know either). 

Tibet-claimsIn the end, it turns out they ran the torch down a completely different route that I don't think anyone saw AND I missed my chance to actually see it.  I know some Olympians (not well) and my friend's dad was the head of the Salt Lake Olympics - but that's about as close as I get to the whole thing. 

When I'm not talking about any of this nonsense and I'm not too tired to read, I'm now reading 'The Fountainhead' which is not as good as the greatest book I've ever read (Atlas Shrugged) - but probably since I'm only on page 163.

 

PS - I've been so hungry.  For lunch I had a tuna sandwhich, a bowl of fruit and a Clif bar.  I also had 3 cupcakes last night but figured I burned that off watering the garden last night.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

(Insert Title Here)

I had no title to captured the random post for today - maybe someone will give me one. 

Got in my first fartlek session of the season yesterday AM in the pitch black.  On the way home (about 45 mins long) the sun started to show it's face over Berkeley, Brandon (who lives in Berkeley) and the water.  It felt pretty good and is my most favorite workout - though years ago, I'd just do telephone pole, run 3 (in rural NH, they're not that close) and jog one or something like that.  Yesterday's was a bit longer - but I got it done.  Also had a decent swim this AM! 

On the way home yesterday I noted some police at the entrance of the Golden Gate Bridge walkway/bikepath.  I figured they were there to keep the tourists not on bikes off of the western side of the bridge which is for cyclists only.  So with the Top Gun soundtrack still going (it's my new favorite training playlist for some bad reason, perhaps only Greg will agree with this) in my iPod, I blew past him.  Turns out they were inspecting everyone's bags for fear of terrorist actions/violence/torch protest and they went into hot pursuit.  They caught up with me and Kenny Loggins to let me know the badness I had caused. 

computer I thought I was immune for terrorist consideration since I was in red/white/blue Spandex and a bright red Fuel Belt transition bag on my back.  I'd probably be the first guy to pound someone who went after an Olympic torch carrier - unless of course I was in the middle of an interval or recovery session.  If you want to protest again China, trying cleaning 'made in China' out of your house since that will matter more in the grand scheme of things than your stupid sign that no one in China will actually ever see. 

If you want to see some good protest signs, check out this site and this one.

I've also decided to race this weekend - mostly because I guess I didn't know about the Ice Breaker Triathlon - it's small but fairly close and it starts at 9am!  Even more exciting is that Greta and the girls will head over to the race to watch the Lorpeedo in action.  It's a short race with a .5 mile swim, a 13 mile bike and a 4 mile run.  The bike is a double-looper so not a bad course to watch the race.  I'm excited not only for the short swim but also to have all of my girls out there. 

I got to work today and went to put on my shirt and found out that my cat must have peed on it sometime between it living in the laundry basket and the floor of my closet.  That is not a good way to start things out (I actually started it with a swim but you know what I mean).

sign09

Monday, April 7, 2008

More of the same...

I stayed home today - the kids are sick, the nanny is sick.  I hate missing work - I did as much as possible while watching these two beat the snot out of each other by taking a stuffed animal and running.  When you watch 2 kids who are sick, you are exposed to a lot of bad things:

1) I got my laptop stickered to death with Little Einstein stickers,  23 exactly, then they wanted them back!

2) I got gassed out by a kid who insisted on sitting next to me denying the fact that she was floating some SBDs my way for a good 90 mins.

3) We bought lemonade from the kids across the street who knew we were in our fenced front yard because the girls would say real loud 'WHAT IS LEMONADE $0.25?'.  Since we live in a cul-de-sac with about 3 people who ever drive down it - I felt compelled.  So I grabbed some quarters (thinking they were really $0.25) and found out, lemonade had gone up (likely due to the cost of gas these days) to forty-five cents!  I shuffled over the the stand, staffed by two four year olds and a five year old and said I'll take one.  I handed over $0.50, got no change and one of the four year olds hands me back a cup with a bug and no more than 2oz of lemonade.  Luckily before I asked for my money or kicked over their stand, grandma lemonade stand came over and said 'you can give them more than that'.  So I feel good about that.  2 for 1, plus a bug.  I should have called the health department. 

4) I changed 2 poopy diapers before noon.  Not a good sign.

5) they took more of those Little Einstein stickers and put them on the kitchen table.  Sada said 'Piper did that', and as always I responded with 'is that the truth' and she says 'I did it'.  Issued beating, scrape stickers off with razor blade. make ham roll ups for lunch. 

Side note: Ham when rolled up is more appealing to kids than ham on a sandwich.  Actually, you can do anything with food so long as it's not recognizable as a sandwich, call it something funny and they'll eat it - this is the key to both McDonalds and Starbucks.  Crappy meat, high fat buns, call it a Quarter Pounder and you're done.  Take milk that you have at home, take coffee that you have at home, put it in a paper cup because you couldn't possibly use one of the 32 coffee cups you have and ask for a 2.50*.  Roll up ham, put on plate call it a Johnny Rolly Pants and they eat it.  Tell them it's ham and forget it. 'I don't like ham'. 

*We have $1,200 espresso machine and yet we went to SBUX yesterday.  I also had 3 Johnny Rolly Pants for lunch today and McDonalds after my race last weekend.  Kiss that hypocrisy and make it your own to abuse with your own kids, dog, cat or pig.

6) kids down for nap, work on spec.

7) kids wake up and now one is back asleep next to me, not gassing me out though - she's saving that for her sister.

8) Piper is running around crop dusting the house with what I believe to be 'a real beauty' by diaper standards.  That makes 3.  She's insisting that nothing is wrong as she walks around with a boot on, a barefoot, a cow, a monkey, a runny nose, uncombed hair - all insisting that her toy cow is stuck in this toy while I insist that if she takes her hand off of it and stops shoving his head in the toy that he'll be better. 

9) Greta is working late, I'm missing my company meeting and my wife.

"Butter gives me diarrhea"

This is what you hear at the dinner table when you dine regularly with kids under the age of 5.  Greta thought it would be a great title for a blog post - so here you go (personally, I'd use it for a song title or band name but I've already got a band name and we don't write any songs).  By the way, butter doesn't really do that. 

My week of recovery after Oceanside is over and mentally I'm ready to get back at some hard training.  I went pretty easy last week - culminating with 2 missed workouts on Friday and a date with my wife over at the Left Bank for dinner.  I really had a cassoulet in mind, but had the Boeuf Bourguignon with a decent merlot. Belgium

When I worked for Microsoft, I got to visit Europe enough that I think we got tired of eating great food in some amazing places (it's impossible and probably illegal to not have apps, dinner, dessert and at least a bottle of wine and an aperitif) .  Despite the fact that Paris is the absolutely worst city for exercising (the 3 Americans running around the city stick out like a sore thumb) - it's my favorite.  I did love Munich for running on some wonderful trails and through enormous parks and Amsterdam for being able to run past 100+ brothels all before breakfast.

I could probably fill a blog with the stories we've got from 2-3 analysts traveling around western Europe and Scandinavia, one day waking up in Paris for breakfast, having mussels in Brussels for lunch and dinner in London - all with meetings and high speed train travels in between.  Hopefully Greta and I can get to Paris again in February 2009 for a week or so while the girls have a break with Grandma and Grandpa in Seattle.  I do miss that part of the non-triathlon life greatly and Greta misses my return with latest Parisian fashions - after all, who wouldn't think a $130 t-shirt was reasonable.

I got out yesterday for a climb up Mt. Tam which I bravely did in a big ring to keep strengthening the power sticks (aka my beautiful legs) which felt pretty good strong.  I followed the 40 mile effort with a 1 hour run where the power sticks looked good but felt more like I had been eating butter.  The next few weeks will be spend on doing some more foundation work and getting into some speed in the later part.  I'm doing a sprint race in Sacramento because it's the first triathlon I did (last year) and I wanted to see how I've improved year over year - plus it's close and I don't have to taper at all.  I'll follow that with just two more races, the UVAS (almost Olympic distance and a race I did last year) and San Jose International  - which was scheduled on the same day as Alcatraz (so I'll be sending fast thoughts to Ben and Greg).  After those races I'll be taking the speed into my ramp up for Vineman where I'll be focused on trying to hit 4:30. 

Friday, April 4, 2008

Now What

I'm still a bit beat from Saturday's effort and the lack of sleep surrounding it.  Missed a few workouts in favor of 9-10 hour sleeps - I suspect I have the blessing of my coach but won't actually ask for it.  I do have a sprint race coming up but it's just training - so no rest even before that.  Since I don't have any 3-5 hour rides + brick runs to complete on the weekends for a while, I'll probably get some work done around the house and maybe even moved into our new home (we moved a month ago).  I'm also able to cut back on the food in order to get to a reasonable race weight for Vineman where I should be in the 157-160lb range, just over a few lbs from my decade of racing bikes at 153.  Be sure to send me good weight-dropping thoughts and comments.

I'm still surprised at how organized the 70.3 race was and how many volunteers were out there.  There was easily 1 volunteer to every 6-10 racers.  I guess I'm just grateful going into a strange town and not having to worry much about anything but my race.  I'd best describe the helpfulness as very Disney-like except no silly costumes and not as much smiling. 

March08_Oceanside 012Speaking of which... I'm driving BACK down to LA to take everyone (not literally everyone) to Disney for the girl's 5th and 3rd birthdays (if you're slow, this means one kid is turning 5 and one is turning 3).  I think we've got visiting Disney with 2 kids under the age of 5 down to a scheduled science.  Right now they've both been sick with fevers over 101 - so I trust they'll be 100% for the trip, we're going anyway damnit. 

In the meantime I'm working on some sponsorship deals with technology and a bike company for a certain pro triathlete.  It's always great fun to deal with companies who say 'I've got no budget for that' and then you redline their contract, double the stuff they offered and hand it back.  You can tell they're used to dealing with athletes more than folks who have been in the advertising game for over a decade, it's a crime what they offer to budding professionals sometimes.  Some of the pros I've worked with said, "I can't ask for that they'll drop me for sure".  To be fair I also get to hear the other side of things from the various companies whose biggest complaint is that athletes don't make much of an effort to sell their product.  It's not hard and the advice I've heard given, which I also pass along is to only work with companies you love and want to work with in the long run.  One pro I know wanted to ride for Trek and it took him 3 years of hounding them before they'd sponsor him (you also have to perform too).  The career of a pro triathlete isn't very long (compared to an advertising analyst or a muffler installer) and the sponsorship side of things can be a lot of work - luckily much of it can be done sitting down with a laptop or phone. 

Above is Sada on her pink Trek - she is a monster on the bike and loves to ride that thing.  You can't see that she's got Power Cranks (thanks Mark for noting this) and a sweet pair of Sidi Genius 5.5 like her papa.  Hopefully this weekend she'll be well enough to get out for 2-3 miles.  I could toughen her up with a brick run after but I'm sure she'll take Mary Poppins or coloring her Dora activity book over a run with me.  I won't even mention some of the other new movies we got since they'll be a big surprise for Ben when he visits soon.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Oceanside 70.3 Part III

For part one and two - visit those tomes first.

By mile 10 of the run I simply wanted to finish and get my shoes off.  I picked up the pace to something I knew I could handle + a little extra from the people packing the final few miles.  I dropped the conversation I was having with a girl on her first lap (Laura) who was running the same pace and discussed the col_mistycookie she had eaten while I told her about the Dairy Queen just around the corner.  I had to explain a Mr. Misty before I left though- I figured that would have tasted the best (apparently they are just 'Misties' now). 

I got through the finishing chute and through the finish banner they rip across the line for probably everyone.  Then they take your picture, someone runs up asks what size t-shirt you want, someone else gets you a finisher's medal and another person hands you a finisher's hat.  It took me at least 15 seconds to understand what the t-shirt sizer wanted and I muttered 'LARGE' - I'm sure it sounded like 'larrrse' (I'm sure you're thinking that's related to the cankle but it's not).  I also wanted to know what face I made for my photo because I know my friend Tracy will find it and send it to me -I simply wanted to know how worried I should be. 

I think I looked at my watch and confirmed I had a bad race.  I had actually confirmed it when I was hitting mile 10 or 11 at the time I figured I'd have been finishing AT THE VERY WORST.  You get shuffled into a food tent where you could eat pizza, bananas, bagels, and other stuff that didn't sound good - but now sounds like a perfect post-workout meal.  I simply asked for a coke and NO DIET.  I sat, drank my regular coke, 2 waters and shuffled off to my transition area so I could get going.  That's right - get going. 

I packed up and put on a few layers since I was chilled and probably dehydrated.  (I was wondering a few days before the race exactly when I'd have to pee on the course - it turns out the last time I even felt like it was about 1 min before jumping in the water).  I made my way through the crowds where I ran into Chris Lieto and gave him the short version (if you can believe it) of my race since he's a sponsor of our team. I then resumed my search for Scott Fairchild who had come out to watch me race but never saw the Lorpeedo.  After a 1/2 mile or mile walk to the car, I changed, sat down and finished another 2 bottles of recovery drink and Base Amino supplement.  I checked my phone where I had a half dozen calls and about as many text messages me - all with varying degrees of 'congratulations' and 'um, it's like 1:30 where are you'.  I completely missed Scott, packed the car and made a b-line for the McDonalds at the top of the hill.  My legs were coated with a nasty layer of salt but I didn't care as I ordered my #2 with a shake on the side.  It's the only no-guilt meal I've had there probably ever.  I doubled checked my HR monitor to see that I had in fact burned 5,576 calories, so it wasn't all that bad. 

Armed with my #2 and a milkshake, I hit the road and headed for I-5 north and home which was 490 miles away.  You'd think that was crazy but after 5 cokes and a triple venti latte - you can pretty much do anything that requires staying awake.  I had been awake since 3:18 am and finally arrived at 10:30pm where I had a small glass of port and headed for bed. 

Fun observations and nifty things I learned:

  • Ace of Base isn't nearly as bad as I thought
  • Never thought I'd see a sign that said 'Tank Crossing' -but when you race through Camp Pendleton, this is normal.
  • The US Marines have a LOT of people -I think most were out as volunteers, they rocked and I said thank you a lot.
  • The 70.3 series is incredibly organized - they mobilized more people who knew exactly what to do - I never once had any questions about what to do or expect.
  • Marty's Best Western wasn't that bad of a hotel, I owe them 1 bath towel, it's not fancy but I'd stay there again, they definitely went out of their way for anyone racing last weekend... like having breakfast out at 4am.
  • Never underestimate anyone older than you.  They have lots of time to train. 
  • I could have eaten 1-2 more gels and had 1 more bottle of water, definitely more electrolyte pills - say maybe 10 total.
  • I cheered for at least 150 people along the way (most people had their name on their number) - I cheered mostly for the women because I hope someone cheers for my daughters when I'm not around, I think this matters but since I've only got a woman's name, I can only assume that it's nice to cheer for them - including Sam and Alexis who both seemed to be having rough days out there.
  • I'm grateful for the dozens of good luck emails, text messages and phone calls.  The highlight of which was my wife calling at 4:15am to wish me good luck.  All of my friends and teammates are good people. 
  • It was hard but very fun.  I'll be at Oceanside again in 2009.
  • I missed qualifying for Clearwater but less than a few minutes (<10).
  • I saw people out on the bike drafting like you wouldn't believe - I left them with a clear opinion of what I though of them.  Jesus did not love me for those few seconds.  Since they were drafting at about 18mph, I'd never see them again. 
  • I'll be ready for Vineman 70.3
  • People like Greg, Courtenay, Sarah, Kelly, Chris, Ian, Ben, Soda, and about 1,021 others have actually read all of this.  Thanks. 
  • My wife and daughters are wonderful and supportive and patient and I'm lucky.

I'm already back training.  Next race is in 25 days I think.

UPDATED:

Some shots of the transition area and swim- I've marked the swim start in the bottom right, turn and turn around points.  You can see how long the transition area is - I turned my Edge 305 on about 1/2 way through the bike out (T1). 

OC703swim

The 'hill' on the bike course - it wasn't dark out when I did it.

OChill1

the elevation profile for OC 70.3.  It was barely 2,500 feet of elevation gain - too bad there is no measure for the cubic feet of wind you experience on your face for this part of the event.  I've done 3,500+ feet of climbing at faster paces!

OCelevation

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Oceanside 70.3 Part II

Here's part one in case you missed it.

The Bike:

After getting out of the water I had to run down the length of the transition area which was about 100+ yards long.  Since I didn't know how cold it really was, I erred on the side of warm and put on my SS bike jersey and arm warmers - I saw Potts leave with a vest on, so I figured a jersey would be ok.

The goal for the bike was to stay settled and ride in my Z3 for the duration - saving it for the final 10 miles and then the run.  So much for a plan.... With about 2,000 people on course and after my not-so-impressive-swim, there were a lot of folks I needed to pass before getting up with the guys who are racing the event.  Before the race I was warned about a few hills.  Since few people seemed to have data on the grade of the hill, I had to guess and bring a 27 which was pretty extreme.  The bike course was rolling - but the first hour or so is relatively flat and the roads were wide open.  I quickly settled into my ride and grabbed some food. 

Noticing that my HR was about 8-10 over what my coach has provided me as an optimum effort - I tried to relax and get into a steady tempo but kept coming back into the higher HR range.  It was also tough to not want to pass as many people as possible -which is what I ended up doing.  Since I came out of the water with about the 1,300th best swim and concluded the ride with about the 250th best bike split - I spent the entire ride in the left lane, passing about 1,000 people (really 1,028) and only saw 3 guys pass me.  In the first hour I was averaging about 23mph- not bad, but decent and it was on pace with where I wanted to be. 

The rest of the course would prove to be much more challenging.  It was littered with rolling hills but more annoying was the constant headwind.  I amused myself by making a few friends out there and cheering for people (which was a good way to keep myself 100% positive for the duration of the effort - it works and I never once had a single 'bad patch' that I had to work through).

The hill which was mythical was indeed a good one.  People who brought a 39x23 suffered badly.  The climb was covered in carnage and suffering - I suspect it was 14% or so but no more than a 1/2 mile.  I relaxed and spun up the hill (there were actually 2 decent climbs but one was indeed mythical for a triathlon) which took less than 3-4 mins at most but easily 2x more for folks who were over-geared.  For once I felt great climbing - I think I probably even smiled. 

Many others also seemed to fall off pace around the 40 mile mark - a few guys who shared the pace making with me also disappeared.  I kept my head down and pushed on knowing I had burned a lot of matches on the bike and didn't save much for the run.  I ate everything I brought (1/2 Clif bar, 5 gels, 2 bottles of juice and 4 electrolyte pills, and one water).  In the last 1/2 mile I relaxed, shifted down and got ready for the run. 

The Run:

I love the bike portion of the race because I generally do well in it - though I do love the run because there is no hiding, no disc wheels, etc... running is the same for everyone and you can only run well with genetics and hard work.  Unfortunately, I had blisters that I hadn't anticipated on returning so quickly.  The transition from bike to run was a blur and I felt great- setting out likely around a 7min pace so I could ease into something faster if I felt ok.   About mile 3 my feet were hot and asleep as I had snugged my Zoots up too much.  Since I knew there were going to be blisters, having my feet asleep wasn't so bad but by mile 6 or 7 I stopped and loosened them a tick.  I took in water and over 13 miles my 3 gels and 3 electrolyte pills + water (a few sips) at every water station.  I actually felt better on the 2nd lap and tried to pick it up but my feet were on fire.  I ran with a few people sharing a few brief comments about the race and as I got close to mile 10 I pushed it a bit just wanting to get my shoes off quicker. 

Part III coming soon - I've got to sleep 7 hours before I swim at 5am. 

Zoot Ultra Race Shoe Review - Post 70.3

Since no one fell for the April Fool's post below, I'll post this - which I wrote earlier since I haven't finished part II of my Oceanside Race Recap....

S8MRS01-1-md-yangtze_silver

As I've covered this shoe before - it's all been just training with these shoes.  I'm also sponsored by Zoot.  So for that, I'll apologize. 

Now that I've raced in them, I've come to the opinion that these shoes are not for me, at least not for me racing a 13.1 mile race at 175lbs.  After mile 3 of the Oceanside 70.3 run course (which is concrete and pavement) my blisters returned (from the previous week's barefoot effort in this same shoe) - even with ample helpings of powder and socks (just a single helping of socks). I also got my shoes too snug and ran with no feeling in my feet for the first 10k-which was fine by me, the less I felt the better.  I stopped and loosened the shoes -which was easy, but it didn't help much.  There simply wasn't enough cushion for a runner with a mid-foot strike to enjoy the best part of the triathlon (the run).  I saw a ton of these same shoes out on the course but not a single pair passed me - so I suspect many others may have felt the same way after 13 miles concrete pounding. 

Not sure what my plans are next -whether to try their more cushioned products or simply go back to the Brooks that have done a decent job.  I think the Zoots are great for sub 5 mile races because 1) I've not had any issues in training with this low volume 2) they're incredibly easy to get on and snug up the laces. 

Final Overview:

  • Fit: 1/4 size too big, very comfortable otherwise
  • Feel: good for 10k and less for someone 175lbs or more, I suspect this shoe is better for folks 165lbs and less
  • Raciness: decent - they're not as light as my Brooks racing flats but easier to put on. 
  • Marketing: they claim you can run in these barefoot - but they're hot and your feet sweat = blisters.  Unless you've got hard plastic feet, bring some socks.  3 coats of liquid skin didn't help me a bit. 
  • Score: 2.5 out of 5 Lorpeedos (This is a Twopeedo)

UPDATE 4/14:

I raced a triathlon with these shoes with 4 mile run and these shoes performed much better.  The run was a trail run with limited pavement - it was essentially an Xterra off-road run.  No blistering and my T2 was incredibly fast - no fumbling with a tongue or laces.  I was much happier with these shoes on the short course.  I'll be racing again in them again with a 5 mile run in 2 weeks.

UPDATE 4/29:

Here's another review I found from inside tri: http://www.insidetri.com/article/71114/zoot-ultra-tempo%2B

Sad News

My wife has been pretty supportive and I figured that was lucky for me.  It turns out taking a few days off for Oceanside (not to mention the past few months) was about all she would take.  Last night I get the ultimatum to either race or have a family but not both - so despite my weak performance it will be my last for a while and I'm not going to be racing any more this season.  I've got nothing else to say.  I'll post more later.