Thursday, April 30, 2009

Online Again

5k race tonight, should be a hilly coarse around a golf resort. I want to run it, I am sure it will preview part of the run in the 70.3

Now if I can just remember to get a picture when standing next to some of these pros and celebs.

Did I mention I swam with Sister Maddonna!

My birthday present, my very own hammock. I am so glad I brought this along. This is how most of my afternoons are spent. I have to remember to reapply that sunscreen stuff. Notice the fine Ohio State colors. How did I manage to find such an object in all the Orange of Knoxville?

Buckeye Nation Baby!

Today, I woke up again around 5am thinking about this swim. Can't seem to get it out of my head. Oh well, maybe I will try some Cruzan rum tonight.

Here are some pictures from the first couple of days.

Flying in, we both felt like little kids seeing Christmas gifts for the first time.

Here is the view from our first room. Yes, that is where I have been swimming. I see lots of fish, conch and even a ray or two.

Looking left off our balcony

The first sight out our door! can you believe my luck!

Bad shot, but on top of that hill with a 360 degree view is a mamoth castle.

Up for a sunrise ride one morning

I promised some video of the bike route. Here are two of the first 1/4 of the ride. This will be the easiest part of the ride, all down wind and only a little climbing.

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

First Five In St. croix

No pictures today, I am blogging from the resort computer. I have taken many great pics for you to dream over.
We have been here for five days and I am officially lite red.
Sun is hot and the wind, well lets just say it doesn't ever stop. I have managed to ride most of the course, the first day I set up the bike and headed out for a loop around the east end of the island. It is mile 37 - 50 of the race. 1,000 ft of climbing at 19 mph ave. I felt good, but hot. Water will be a key in this race. I must force myself to stay hydrated.
The next day I braved the waters of the Divi. The winds blow in from this side and the water is way rough. I jumped in and like a fool began to swim straight out into the blue waters headed for the reef. It looked to be about 300m-400m out. About half way, the little devil popped up on my shoulder and told me I would not make it. He was right, I turned around and headed back toward shore. I kept looking for the pool side to grab. NO LUCK
When I got back in Jennifer said that I looked like I knew what I was doing. Ha ha ha
The next day, the wind was blowing hard, so i set out with the wind and the thoughts I would ride west along the course until the main hwy and then turn around and get in about 1.5 hr ride.
The time was the only thing that turned out the way i planned. I turned left out of the resort and headed up to Grassy Point Hill. Unbelievable views, I have pics and video just wait. The the fun began, I rode with the wind at about 27-28 mph for the next 12 miles. Loads of fun! I turned around and headed back, directly into a 30mph steady head wind. This is the way the race take you, and I was only going 17-18 mph. I got back at the resort in 1:20 and 19mph ave.
Today was the practice swim day. Surprise, i was the only one in a wet suit. I am so glad I have it, I would never have made it with out it. A 1.25 mi course laid out in the ocean is huge. Now I know why they usually make you swim a course twice. I could barley see the end buoys. I had Phil's butterfly's, my butterfly's and someone else's running around in my gut.
Jennifer came with me to be the official race Sherpa and she zipped me up. I was worried about this because Dawson seems to have such troubles with this at swim practice. Without much prep, it was time to start jumping in. I started my watch and jumped. I told myself just swim buoy to buoy. I had no idea how hard it was to go straight when there are no lane lines. I am sure if you had me on gps, I swam 1.5 mi. When we reached the turn around point, I was really relieved to be wearing the suit. I took many rests along the way, I even flipped to my back a couple of times and did the Clothier. I kept telling myself, You will finish! I had to, there was only a couple of small boats watching all of the swimmers. One seemed to hand around me, not sure why. On the return back, I found my stride. I had a woman to my right and I decided to just follow close to her and I would follow her lead. bad mistake. After about 100m I stopped to spot and we were way off course. We looked at each other and I shouted out GOD DAMN IT!
We were swimming against the current now and it seemed like I was standing still. I just kept taking about 15 strokes and then spot. it seemed like I repeated this 20 times. Finally, I reached the shore.
I did do one thing right during this swim, I managed to keep my cardio in the aerobic state the entire time. Never once did I push my self to the danger zone of the bonk in the middle of the ocean. Smart don't you think?
Oh, I did learn one other thing, don't drink so much salt water, it doesn't agree with my stomach. Would be real embarrassing to brown out at this race.

One really cool thing happened, I swam with Sister Madonna!

How many of you can say that! No shit, I didn't take a picture and I could kick myself.
I hooked up with Vinnie Monseau after the swim and met his wife. They were nice and offered some more advice. He went down on the bike at St. Anthony's last Sunday and got to the run and did a 32min 10k. 5:18 / mi pace. He lost by 11 seconds! Bummer

Tomorrow, I am doing a 5k that I should get smoked in, and have a blast doing it because it doesn't take place in the water.
As I sit here, my body still feels like it is rocking with the current. No shit, I am serious!
Oh well, no problem mon, as they say on the island. Sphere: Related Content

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

History Repeats Itself!

Last night I threw caution to the wind. I know, what crazy adventure am I about to describe?

Let me bring you up to speed, about a month ago, I saw that an old friend was a very successful Triathlete. So much so, he won the US National Amateur Title in 08' ! Yes, that is fast
His name Vinnie Monseau
During my review of his races, I find that he has done St Croix many times and has been very successful. So last night, I decide I would call 411 and track down Vinnie.

Not to my amazement, because Vinnie was always a stand up guy, he phoned me back last night. We spent 30-40 mins talking about the race and me asking him silly rookie questions.
Funny, 32 years ago, not sure if Vinnie will remember this or not, my parents decided to take me to West Liberty State College to attend wrestling camp. yes, I was just heading into 2nd grade. I think it was for a weekend but maybe for a week. The only reason they even took me there was for Vinnie's Hall of fame, father. You see, my father had grown up down the street from Vinnie's in Weirton, Wv. upon arriving to the camp, my father made sure to introduce me to Vinnie and his dad. I can't remember much about that camp but I am sure they looked after me.
How history repeats itself, jump forward 32 yrs and Vinnie is once again offering his advice and help in the St. Croix 70.3
I will never be able to repay he or his wife for their time and hospitality. but wanted to take this chance, in advance, to thank them! Sphere: Related Content

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Longest Week Ever

The overall results came in from the Trideltathon:
Phelps 9th
Me 15th
Phil 117th

Great job boys. We have picked up another competitor for the next tri, The Birdman
Some say he glides like a pigeon, others say he eats like one.
We will see which one shows up at the end of May.

I so many things to do this week and it seems to be just creeping by. I am in what ever mode and I am just taking things in stride.
I could list some 40 things I need to do before we fly out on Sat. I just want to get there and begin to enjoy this trip.
I did a 4mi run yesterday and felt strong. I pushed the last mile and my legs responded. I really think I am ready for this event. If I survive the swim, I expect a respectable finish.

The truth is, I have never swam in open water. I am a certified scuba diver and am comfortable in the ocean. I believe more so than dark lakes, but that is where the boogie man lives we all know that. So, the swim is a crap shoot. I have my wet suit, good by Kona, hello survival. I will take a practice swim or two when I get to the island. Other than that, I have searched the intranet for advice and of course there is plenty. Like golf, just relax and let your body do the trick from memory. When all else fails turn over and backstroke. Sphere: Related Content

Monday, April 20, 2009

First Tri Complete

Can you believe the day has finally arrived. Six months ago, I decided to start training for a half Ironman. Sunday, I completed my first triathlon. A very short sprint in some heavy rain. Below are my training partners. Without there push at swim practices, this would not be possible. Thanks to both of you.
Can you believe on such an historic day, I forget my camera. Thses were taken with my trusty cell phone.

I have to admitt, I did not feel very nervous setting up. Both Phelps and I got there early and the bike racks were first come, first serve. We picked a rack that required less running in bike shoes and a longer exit in running shoes. We saved a place for Phil and the three were set.

Once set up, I snapped this picture of road bike turned tri-steed. A faithful animal ready to slay any and all who get in it's way.
This is the 25th yrs the TriDeltathon has been ran. It is sponsored by the tridelta of Univ. Tenn.
It is a fundraiser for the Children Hospital.
We decided it was time to warm up the swimming arms, I am not sure if this really helps me. I always feel great the first 200m of the warm up. The whole swim was only 400m. I think at age 38 7/8ths , maybe I only have so many meters in my arms to sprint? I have only been swimming for 6 months. I have never swam competitively.

Ok so it is time to race, all contestants 384 of them are lining up on the side of the pool. Supposed to be by swim time. Problem is, too many think they are going to all of a sudden swim 3 mins faster than they ever have. I began to look around trying to find a good spot not to get ran over and not to be behind a Sasquatch. I ask a young man what time he would swim and he tells me 6:30 - 7:30min. I pause and try to understand/rationalize his comment. The swim is only 400m you should n\know your ability to within 5-10 secs. At this point I am thinking to myself of shit it is going to be a cluster in this pool. The swim starts on one end of the pool and you have to swim done in one lane and back in the next. Racers start every 5 secs.
I settled into a bunch of racers, a couple I Knew from spinning class and just watched as the event evolved. I was right, there were people way too far up in the line. Some standing on the walls, just like I like to do, and others bunched together trying to maneuver around each other. It wouldn't be so bad but every 50 you have a wall turn and that leads to more confusion. The next thing I know I am watching Phelps move up on another swimmer. he is on the left and they are coning up to a right hand turn. He has a half body length on the other swimmer. He dives to his right and takes the turn. I cheer and think to myself, it is going to be rough out there.
Next thing I know, I am at the start. I have not thought about my stroke, pace or breathing. I jump in and am off. I am following a young swimmer and we begin to move up in the first 25m. We pass one swimmer and then head down the second 50. I move up on her left, STUPID MOVE, it is a right hand turn coming up. I know her and decide I will not cut her off. Now I realize, I have swam 100m and not yet got into a pace or rhythm. My breathing is all over the place and I am anaerobic for sure. I wisely get on her feet and swim the next 50. As we turn I am all over her feet. She is slowed by 3 other swimmers. I start to panic and am looking for a hole. I move left , no not a good move. I decide to go with Sara and go straight up the middle. I am swimming side by side with some poor girl and I am not moving. I take a stroke and pull hard. I am back on Sara's feet. Three more hard pulls and we are threw. Over half of the race is complete, we turn and head down to the 300m mark. I realize at this point, I am very anaerobic. We reach the wall and there is a road block of sorts at the turn. At least that is what I saw and the reason I stopped for a brief 4 sec rest. I dove under the rope and was now all alone finishing my last 100m. I got to the end and pulled my self out of the water to run to the bike. I striped my goggles off and began to run. I then dropped my goggles and had to stop and pick them up. I was worried if I put my head down, I might pass out. Things are a little blurry at this point.
I got to the bike and it was raining hard. I was not sure if I would put a shirt on or not, now that decision was made for me. Too wet to even consider trying. I jumped on the bike and had my sunglasses in my hand. I tried to put them on and it was a no go. With a quick toss, there go by back up sunglasses. Ok, my heart still running around 160bpm, I am off on the bike. This is a very short bike course only 6mi. I start to overtake riders almost right away. This continues until I believe I have passed all those who thought they could swim 6min 400m. The road is sketchy, I almost go down on turn 3, luckily I have cat like balance and saved the fall. Rain is pouring and wind was 6-8mph. Being this is my first event, I did not know how much I needed to hold back on the bike to feel great on the run. I finished the bike strong and transitioned into the run. I must have left some strength because as soon as I began the run, I passed about 10 more racers. So far, I have not been passed. Then a 21 yr old goes by. I see his age and let him go. I am very reserved today on the run. It was a hilly coarse that I had never ran. I wasn't sure how much to hold back. Looking back, I left too much in the tank. I came in 15/384 racers. Not bad for a old man who just started this sport. I know one thing for sure, I want a longer course with much less anaerobic time. My body like it right at about 87-89% heart rate. I can sustain that pace for hours. It doesn't like 95-98% efforts for 48mins.
I am happy, now just a week away before we leave for St. Croix. So much prep work to do before we fly out on Sat. morning. Sphere: Related Content

Friday, April 17, 2009

R U Shitting Me?

Now I know what you must be thinking, but there almost certainly been times when this phase jumped into your head. I have experienced it too many times over the past couple of months.

Like these:
I woke up this month only to have my 6 yr old vomit all over my wife and I.
The time my daughter's heart check up was not perfect!
The last set of report cards and it looks like both children will end with straight A's.
Almost every time I get to the pool and look at the UT masters workout I have to do.

So you get the idea, the first qtr. of 2009 has been filled with these. And this morning I got the latest one. If you read my post yesterday, you will see I referenced one Bree Wee Pro triathlete. I check my blog each day, mainly to use the links to other blogs. Today, I notice I have a 13th follower.
How , Why, Who - all these things are running through my mind. And then it happened - R U SHITTING ME - BREE WEE IS A FOLLOWER OF LOVE AND TWO WHEELS.
How cool is that!

Now wait, I check my comments from yesterdays post and she even left a comment. - R U SHITTING ME!

This month has been full of these type of moments. My first half marathon, my first tri and now my first half IM. I can only image there will be many more over the next two weeks. Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, April 16, 2009

It Is Official!

I have a new favorite blog. You have to check out this young ladies posts about her life and training. Her name is Bree Wee. You can check out her blog site here.
The really exciting news is she is also competing in St Croix. I am sure, I will only catch a glimpse of her backside. Unless, I cut the swim short.

The bad news is Craig Alexander caught wind I was racing this year, and decided he wanted no part of me. He will not be there this year. Looks like it is now my race to lose? HAHAHA
Here she is, riding in St Anthony's. This race is next weekend. Eric Bell from Knoxville is making his Pro debut in this race. Good Luck Eric!
I also think an old wrestling friend from WV, Vinnie Monseau might be racing in both. He won the Best in the US amateur last year.
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Monday, April 13, 2009

New Profile Picture

Hows does everyone like my new profile picture? Why you ask? Let me tell you, it just happened. One day I woke up with this new hair dew. I think it has something to due with my training. I have completed my 6th month of triathlon specific training. Yes, I said 6 months.

How did I get to this point? Lets review
Last year I formed a coed relay team for the Atomicman Half Ironman. You can review the results via this link. Well, if the link actually had 2008 results listed vs the duathlon. Racedayevents is sometimes challenged. We came in second place coed division. We then laid down the challenge. We would all return in Sept 09' to compete solo.

I knowing, how much training I needed, decided to try an event earlier than next Sept.

This is how I began the search for a 70.3
It just so happens the St Croix event is on my birthday. It is also my 15th year married to my wonderful wife Jennifer. I would post her pic, but she would make me remove it tonight. So off we go to St Croix for 2 weeks! Not to rub it in but check out the resorts we will be staying at
The first week we will be at the Divi and then onto the secluded Carambola.
Carambola Beach resort

Divi Carina
How do I even focus on training?
I made up my mind I was going to have a respectable finish. What this means depends on who's shoes you are in. I will be honest, I started off hoping to finish under 6hrs, now i hope to come in around 5:45. I have no idea what it will be like to swim in open water or the ocean. Oh shit, that is the first thought every time I think about it.

This is when I began laying out a training plan. I decided I would train and run the half marathon in Knoxville as a pre-race event. I did, and finished 24th in my age group, 178 overall, in the top 10% range. Respectable first race.

Now less than 7 days away, I will compete in my first ever Triathlon. Yes, you read correctly my first ever triathlon. A very short, all out sprint version. 400m swim, 6mi bike and 5k run. Each event alone would be an all out effort. But together, how will I pace myself? This is the question of the week. I am racing Phelps, you know him.
Here is a pic of his back, notice the webbed shape, this makes him 1:45 faster than me in a 400m swim. This means I will have to flatten his tire while he warms up! the bet, a cycling jersey of his choice from the guys at Twin Six They put out the best jerseys and t-shirts. I looked the other day into my nice t-shirt drawer and it was full of Twin Six shirts.
Phillis, our other training partner has wimped out and will no longer compete in the Trideltathon. Yes, the beginner triathlon, the one 80 yr olds do. He is not mentally strong enough to swim 400m. yes, I know, every 50m you get a chance to hold the wall and rest. He sill claims he just cant do it!
Here he is practicing his Boob swim technique

I think that brings you up to speed on my training, that reminds me we started off talking about my new profile picture.
You see, after 6 months, 121,000m swam, 1,750 mi biked and 300mi ran
I have decided I like Hamburger. More importantly Wendy's single with cheese, ketchup/mayo only.

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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Truck Smells

Many times over the past 6 months, I have opened my truck door and found a very strong ass smelling stench. How bad you ask, well so bad, you only have smelled something this bad one other time.
Think back in your life and remember the worst smelling, foul, rancid odor you can remember!

You know the one,
Yeah that's the one,

lately it has been missing from my truck. Why you might ask, well I have bought a new organizer bag that helps me store all three sports clothing and equipment neatly and cleanly.

or it could be because it has been cold outside! More to come on this smell thing later Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, April 2, 2009

March Training Recap

March's Training Reward

Training in March was a little more balanced than February.
Swim - 18,000 m
Bike - 441mi
Run - 51.5mi

Swim - 58,250yds and meters (not perfect)
Bike - 1066mi
Run - 169mi

With only 2 1/2 weeks of hard training until the St. Croix 70.3

Hard to believe it is coming so fast. I am starting to finalize all the little things. You know, how will I get my bike there, clip on areo bars installed and now I am training in my wet suit. Yes, I am wearing a wet suit for this swim. I have never swam in open water let alone the ocean. The only thing I give up is my spot in Kona. Of course I would have to post a time around 4:45

I notice as the event gets closer, I am beginning to worry about injury and over training. I also, because of being a rookie, sometimes doubt my preparation. In two weeks I am planning on a sprint tri. here in Knoxville. Phelps, is looking strong for this event. I have also caught word that Davis Tarwater and Eric Bell are putting together a dream team. I guess they will finish in close to 37min. The event is 400m swim , 6mi bike and 5k run. I hope to finish under 50 mins.

Off to run 10k

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