Friday, September 28, 2012

Friends, Please meet Kseniya, my new Russian Girlfriend

For those of you know remember all of those wonderful russian girlfriend scammers I’ve had in the past – FORGET THEM!  Please meet Kseniya.  In her own words:

Do you really want my own image?


That’s all she wrote.  So of course, who DOESN’T WANT MY OWN IMAGE!  So I wrote to this very capable and floatation device ready Russian beauty…  from me:

Hi, you are really quite stunning!  I like your braids.

Then the dear Kseniya responds quickly:

Hello! :-)Thank you. it's very nice! I was sure that you will answer to my letter. 
Now I write to you from my personal box (before I wrote from working) 
... if you do not mind I will write you  a long letter tomorrow, or later today  .. 
I'm sorry .. I'm in a hurry, and I hope that you like my photos :-)


And then I responded as quickly as I could:

Wow, thank you very much for the photos.  You are beautiful – like a sunset but with legs and a wicked belt.  I hope to know you more, your name is confusing.  How do you pronounce it?  Like K-mart – Kay Seniya or silent K and Seniya?  Or is it something else?  Where do you live?  It must be near heaven, for you look like an angel!  Tell Jesus hi!  Where do you live?  Your design style appears Russian aka random crazy style.  I’m guessing you’ll send me bikini photo next?  Yes?  I know a few things you know, but when I see a girl with a belt like that I say ‘is this the WWF’?  I’m not speaking of the world wildlife foundation.  I’m speaking of the greatest sport in the world, Professional Wrestling.  Anyways, I don’t want to sound crazy.  Gotta Rick Roll. 

Looking forward to your letters!



And that is where we stand.  You’re welcome.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Cyclocross Race Report: MFG Cyclocross Finn Hill aka Bike Racing Sexytime

Not a triathlon race report but cyclocross does include running and biking. 

So my Hagens Berman teammate Chad made me buy a cyclocross bike and do this.  Mostly he just would ride his road bike over curbs and I wanted to be able to do that.  Plus my friends said cross was the most fun ever.  I thought it would be worth it to try, so I got a team bike, a Blue Norcross EX.  My only exposure to cross was actually standing where the famous Joey video was shot.  It didn’t look like fun.  Plus I heard there was beer. 

So I did a clinic on Sat with this guy Morgan Schmitt who apparently rides cross and a road bike pretty good but he must have spent an hour or so showing me how to get on and off the bike, which I figured important and necessary.  I learned what happens when you miss your saddle and land on the top tube and I learned what happens when you eat it just riding along.  I didn’t cry, not once.   I did fall into a raspberry bush, smashed 2 legs and need an oven mitt on my inner thigh for the next 2 weeks so I can get on my bike.  I swear I saw a unicorn which made me fall.  I had 32 candy corns when I got home as preventive medicine. 


Then I showed up at the park and even signed up for the race.  They suggested based on my physique and 60 mins of cross experience at the clinic the day before that the Cat 4 35+ crowd would be good for me.  I didn’t know this was like 50+ guys. 

I pre rode the course about 5x because it seemed like the more experience the better.  I practiced lines and found some areas where I was good (going downhill is apparently at the top of my skillset).  Then I had a gel because I’m pretty sure my warm up was about the same speed as my race and I needed a snack.

Then it was time to race, so I just stood where they told me to.  And then I looked back.  I was right next to the pole position with about 302 guys behind me.  Small panic as I didn’t really want to end up screwing up turn one which happens at the end of a 200 yard uphill sprint, so I went to the back of the entire field, behind the cupcake and laughing/mullet group.  See diagram:


So then I was ready.  I had nothing to do but pass people for the whole race.   The back of the whole group is not ideal as I found turn 1 was a cluster and then going into the woods on a small single track with 2 whoopties was a standstill, like a Starbucks drive through.  I did a bunch of running around people that were in the cupcake group (i.e. they eat a lot of them) and then picked off a few people per lap that didn’t  embrace enough V02 max efforts this summer.  My guessing at tire pressure on the start line caused me to go with the wheels a tick low, so I was sliding sideways on more of the paved sections.  My worries about getting off and on the bike were for nothing as I figured out the cowboy dismount (I was told not to do my triathlon inspired “fancy dismount”) pretty quickly and hopped on the bike just fine with all boy parts in-tact.  I think one of the highlights was when I passed a jr rider who started to cry during the race when he saw his dad, something about needing his glasses.  I hope his dad told him there is no crying in cyclocross.  I don’t know what the hell was wrong with that kid.  I never once cried during a race this year, sniffles yes, tears no.

Some stuff I learned.

1. Vo2 efforts are necessary, keep doing them

2. Air pressure over 40. 

3. Weigh less

4. Do NOT start behind the cupcake group. 

5. Ride faster.  I had another 7-10 beats I could have added.  172 hr is for my nana.  I could have managed 180+ avg.

6. There actually is crying in cyclocross but there should not be.

7. IT IS FUN. 

8. There are a lot of people who don’t train enough.

9. I have probably the heaviest wheels on the planet. 

10. I do not have the largest rear end for men 35+.

11. There are a lot of people who own cowbells.

I finished 30th out of 82 and 3:00 back from the lead.

Monday, September 17, 2012

So I did that race

So I did that race on Sat.  Well actually a short bit ago, the Lake Sammamish Triathlon.

Except the whole week before I was sick.  Like I didn’t even go to work and it was a lot of effort to even play Xbox.  I had a cold, which probably explained some of the less than awesome I expected in the prior race.  So there, if you beat me last week, I WAS SICK!

So I woke up on race day.  The cat pooped on the laundry room floor which is NOT the way to wake up.  So before most of my fellow racers had their coffee, I cleaned that up. 

Because this race was flat (ish) I was going to race my TT bike, which is an S-Works Transition with the fancy wheels (Zipp 808 and Pro Disc).  This bike is pretty heavy compared to the S-Works Shiv TT module I’m selling WITH SRAM Red cranks (let me know if you’re interested!).  It’s more fun than just about anything in the world to ride, except when it hurts.  Then it’s mostly fun. 

Note: folks the bike is like 14 miles.  You don’t really need 2 water bottles, a gel(s), Bento box and a flat kit.  I saw more than a few people and aided the 1st time triathlete next to me who had planned on drinking an entire quart of Gatorade on the bike.  I should have let her but it’s a horrible lesson to learn. 


So the race is basically every male over 29 in wave one and then other people later.  Awesome.  I also got kicked in the face except I have special ninja reflexes and got my arm in front of my face just in time.  I saw one guy cut the buoy, the shame on you mister is UNGODLY: SHAME ON YOU.  Then I finished which is always pretty much my goal of the swim and to not have some sort of water plant on my face giving me a weird mustache.  Finishing before the next wave passes me is a secondary goal.  I finished that sucker in 116th  out of 305.  Again, I don’t swim.  I don’t believe in swim training this year.  I didn’t even use my swim cords all week because I was sick.  SICK!  Then I saw my friend Ed who beat me out of the swim.  Which is awesome for him except he only has 1 leg to run on.   I’m pretty sure he swims.  I’m considering it for 2013.   I did beat him running to my bike though. 

I also noted earlier in the week that I weighed 190.1 lbs.  If you see my race photos, you will not find this hard to believe.  You will not find it hard to believe I like pumpkin scones, cake, ice cream, frosting, nachos and beer.   Remember this key point.  I’m also not 6’3” which might make it ok.  I’m 5’11”.   I am 11.9% body fat.  This I’m told is good if I’m not a guy.  I am, this is not as bad as the 190.1 lbs. 

See, me:


So this gets us to changing out of the wetsuit.  I was NOT in a hurry really because I came out of T1 in 9th.  My glasses were foggy because it was about 11 degrees out.  9th for T1 is a great shame for me.  Then again, could have been the lingering cold.  Or some effect from cleaning up cat poop at 4:45am.    I’m also including the teams “The Sunday Drivers” and  “Sprint for Jesus” in this ranking.  I spanked ‘Shrek’s Wetsuit Strippers’ and they were a team.  Seriously all you had to do was run and change over the timing chip people.  Renewed focus on T1 next season.  I promise. 

So then I get on the bike.  I passed people because the disc wheel makes it lots of fun because of the racket it makes.  Plus if you don’t go fast (ish) I’d feel like a jerk.  I passed a bunch of people and saw the guy in first place didn’t have disc wheels or fancy anything.  I felt a little like a jerk.  I finished the bike 5th overall.   But first in my AG.  5th overall includes the relay team where they guy who rode ONLY HAD TO RIDE.  He wasn’t all wet and 190lbs and didn’t have the smell of cat poop lodged in his head.  So really, I finished 4th off the bike. 

This means T2, which is more fun than T1 because I get to leap from a speeding bike and people are watching and I learned NOT to do this over 12mph.  Ever.  I was 11th.  But this includes Jesus and the Drivers.  They only beat me by 0.3 of a second. 

Then I had to run.  Which I don’t do really, except when I race.  Plus I was SICK ALL WEEK.  Did you know every 1lb = 5 seconds per mile?  I noticed this.  Every mile.  I did see the top group of 4 about 200 yards away – I WAS CLOSE!  I bet they didn’t have carrot cake the night before.  Mine was awesome. 

Then I ran and ran.  While I’m not embracing ‘training’ I do believe in running as if I was being chased by someone dangerous or just being scared in general.  This is my technique for running 7:32 miles.  Zombies run closer to 9:15s so I imagine something faster.  This pace I ran, is the equivalent of a school bus doing 0-60 in 7 seconds.  Let’s say I get to my former race weight… 167.. that’s 23lbs x 5 seconds or rather 1:55 faster if I just gave up cake and beer and frosting and…. and yeah, that’s about 5:37 miles.  But I’d have to buy new shorts and pants and it’s economically more sensible for me to maintain. 

So I got passed.  And passed again and blah.  I actually ran under 7 min mile for the last mile because I got passed by a 14 year old kid and I felt better knowing I could drive myself home and I probably could play as much Xbox as I wanted.  I also had a piece of cake in the truck with name on it.  Seriously.   Actually I got passed by 4 people I think.  The cake was delicious.

I ran somewhere in 11 millionth place.  But still I was 2nd in my AG.  20th overall including the teams and crap. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

I did a triathlon (includes jokes)

I was so hooked on racing without investing anything into training that I wanted to actually train and see what would happen.  

So I ran a few times, maybe 50 miles between my last race and this one.  So divide 50-60 miles and divide by 3 weeks. 

So I ran a little and still commuted by bike and stopped drinking wine for 3 days.   I raced a crit on the Thursday before the race which put a solid 41 miles into my legs and a lot of 0 watts, then 700 watts, then 0 watts.  Do this twice a lap for about 20 laps and your legs get tired.  Lots of hard efforts and recovery which is what I read about in triathlete magazine all the time.  Except I think they mean for more than 7 seconds. 

I also got swim cords because I don’t want to swim but while swimming in a race, my arms get tired and my arm warmers barely stay up these days.  So I did a lot of those swim cord pseudo swimming reps the week before the race.  Don’t forget I don’t really want to embrace actual training.  My wife says she can tell a difference btw.  She didn’t say killer lats, just ‘I see a difference’.  I also asked my 7 year old and she said no she didn’t see more muscles.

So here’s my base training up to now: 150 miles+ a week of cycling including at least 1 race.  Ran 50-60 miles over 3 weeks.  No wine for 3 days.  Swim cords, 300 reps a day every day for a week. 

So now we race and the 40-44 males are in the water, I’m not the only one in their first trimester – a few baby bjorns appear to be under some wetsuits which make me feel better. 

I swam just fine, I did forget how to breathe and about halfway through remembered I should be exhaling IN the water.  I seriously needed a helicopter mom yelling at me “BUBBLES LOREN BLOW BUBBLES” the whole time.  My kids swim team does have some benefits of sitting there for hours and hours each week….

My boss also showed up to cheer for me. 

I swam the same triangle that everyone else did.   See.  Mostly a triangle, 28th in my AG, something like 176th overall.  It’s fine because I wasn’t last and I didn’t cry even once.


Then I got out of the water and T1’d my buns off.  T1: 3rd (I think 5th overall or so).  I also tore my wetsuit taking it off.  Though I take pride in having a faster T1 than fellow softie Jilani who didn’t even WEAR a wetsuit.  Remember, pretend it’s on fire and you’ll get it off fast.  Plus lots of baby oil. 

Then yay, the bike.  I brought my road bike, with Zipp 808s.  Not just to prove that I’m not a triathlete but that it’s about 14.5 lbs and I heard there was a hill and some turns.  During mile 1 I was sort of hoping for my TT bike but then I saw a hill and passed about 11 hundred people on TT bikes.  Then the course went downhill and I used my ‘as seen in the Tour DEY France ‘ downhill crazy position (put your upper body over the bars and get as small as possible).  I passed lots going downhill, coasting while also updating Facebook and thinking about my next Jamba Juice.  Bike: 8th (5th-8th were within 3 seconds of each other which is my way of saying that if I tried for 3 more seconds I would have been 5th), I think top 30 overall.  Not great for me, but I felt like I tried.  My avg HR was 173 for the bike.  185 on the climbs.  I got passed by no one.  This makes me feel ok. 

Then more changing: T2: 2nd, I think somewhere top 5 OA for T2.  Again, there’s a fast way to do stuff. 

Then there was running and it was on the grass and a little uphill and my body and lungs and soul did not want to do this.  I saw dead people and felt awful.  Then I got onto the road, my HR settled and I was RUNNING.   I passed a bunch of people but they didn’t have the right ages on their legs.  Then around mile 2 I heard footsteps and 5 guys ran buy all with 40 on their legs.  If you’re wondering, I was really running an 8:11, 7:42, 8:07 and 7:33 miles.  Then I got passed by two women running and having a conversation.  In a race.  This was almost as bad as the time I was first bike racing and got beat by a guy racing in a button down oxford w/short sleeves.  Run: 16th.  HR on the run was 185-192.  In case you were wondering, I weigh my HR. 

Final: 11th.

Then I got super sick and haven’t stopped coughing or needing to sleep 12+ hrs a day.  So there, I was actually sick too. 

If you didn’t know, I have a 2nd place and and 11th place this year.  Spoiler, I did one more (that I haven’t written up yet) and got 2nd.  So that’s 2nds and one 11th.