Friday, June 26, 2009
Michael Jackson died and I feel like I should mention that. Since 2005 he's been holed up in Bahrain writing new songs, so now he's going to be all Tupac and release more albums after he's dead. I am a huge fan of his music and couldn't care less about his personal life. I wore out my Thriller LP back in the day. I have to wonder if the autopsy will reveal a plastic percentage? My money's on 30% in the pool. No? too soon for a bad taste joke? I also can foresee an Elvis move. We won't get to see the body, conspiracy theories will come out that he faked his death, nothing would surprise me at this point.
Farah Fawcett died on the same day, and she will be the Mother Teresa to MJ's Princess Diana. Completely overshadowed. I was a much bigger fan of Farah's Playboy appearances than I was her tv shows or movies. It's sad to see such an uplifting person lose a long battle with cancer like that. But again I have to remain fairly apathetic. My thoughts go out to their son.
Ed McMahon died a couple of days ago. He's going to be completely overshadowed now. Big Ed was the classic one line delivery guy for Carson, and all other talk show sidekicks pale in comparrison. Andy Richter can kiss my ass, he's no McMahon.
And don't forget Bea Arthur died. like a few months ago. A world without Maude has had far less funky attitude.
Sometimes I am just proud to be from South Carolina. From a national standpoint, we've been in the news the last few weeks. Maybe these dead celebs will keep our local dumbasses off of the front page. If you haven't heard, our govenor Mark Sanford is possibly the most boring govenor in history. Stephen Colbert called him a manilla envelope glued to a beige wall. He took off for 7 days without telling his wife or the Lt. Gov where he was going or when he would be back. If I did that, I would not expect to have a job when I came back. Then he admitted he went to Argentina for the week to screw around with some girl. I would not expect to be married after I came back from that.
Again, I could care less about his personal life, it just doesn't affect me. I hope his wife kicks him in the balls real hard, he's got several meat punches due his way. and hard ones. like 70% of South Carolinians think he should step down as Gov, including me. His personal life is his, he can put his dick whereever he wants to and it won't bother me. But that's why most people want to impeach him.
I want to impeach him because he used tax dollars to fund a trip to Argentina last year where he started sleeping with this girl. And because he drove our economy into the ground and blew our job base to dust. And now he wants to turn down federal stimulus money because he wants to use it to pay down state debt instead of the federally mandated education reform. Because South Carolina's educational system is already high quality (49th worst in the nation) and without the funding he will have to lay off 20% of the public school teachers. So if he thinks that eroding the job base is the best way to boost the local economy, I want him battered and fried. Impeached isn't good enough. Meat Puch Threat Level RED for that guy.
Btw, the state senate is suing him right now to force him to accept the stimulus money and put it for education so the teacher's jobs are safe. But everyone in his own party hates on him. He's soon to be a casualty of the conservative backlash in a post-W political climate. I can't stand those ultra-conservative assholes, and I never voted for Mark Sanford. So I will be glad to see them all go.
I LOVE Sanford's wife Jenny in all of this. So often those political wives stand behind their cheating husbands (Blagoyovich, anyone?), but Jenny's like "fuck him!" She's on the news today talking about how she doesn't care what happens to his career, she's trying to take care of her kids. and it turns out they formally separated two weeks ago anyway. So she's leaving his ass high and dry and doesn't care what happens. Throw in a few meat punches for good luck, and you've got a great news story about a strong woman. You gotta respect that.
On the CBS early show yesterday, IMMEDIATELY after talking about Mark Sanford, they break out this news story. An interview with a woman and her lawyers from Greenville, SC who had recently been arrested. She was charged with Felony Child Neglect for letting her 14 year old son get to 555 lbs. She claims that she has to work 2nd and 3rd shift and can't afford the medical help he needs. Weight Watchers isn't that expensive. The library has diet and cook books. He needs an apple every once in a while, not expensive medical help. As a parent, it truly amazes me how some people like that can have so little influence over their kids. I'm sure this 14 year old doesn't do his own grocery shopping. This woman is so lazy and inept that she can't learn about general health to the point where she has taken decades off of her son's life. More than just years, he has lost decades to her influence. I don't know that arresting her was the right move, but the boy is in custody of social services now and I do think that is a good thing. This is the kind of thing that comes out of the South Carolina public school system. Dumbasses. I feel surrounded by dumbasses today, and I don't want to leave the house.
So I am trying to stay positive. It's friday. For the first time in 4 weekends, we have no plans. no races or birthday parties. Just whatever we want to do. I'm hoping to get in a long run, maybe a bike ride, and maybe start cutting up that tree that fell down a few weeks ago. Should be fun.
Healthy Ashley has been posting a series of Proudest Moments from her friends. Last night she posted mine! It's a write up from my finish at the Greenville Sprint triathlon last year, my first tri. Ashley is an awesome young chick in florida, nutritioninst and personal trainer. Click on over and give it a quick read. It's a small write up, which is unusual for me.
Sorry bout the verbal flatulence today. Maybe more running would keep all of these strange things out of my head! Have a great weekend.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
June 24, 2005 is when Bigun was born, and our lives were
If you haven't read my post on how we got the babies, you should give it a spin. It really is an amazing story, and I went into too much detail. The end result:
That's Bigun on my chest in the hospital the day she was born. I was a good 40 lbs heavier then. It was the week after father's day, and everyone was telling me how I just missed it. People tell you all kinds of things when you're pregnant. We got so sick of everyone telling us how we had no idea how crazy it would be having a baby. You never knew you could love something that much. You only THINK you know what sleep deprevation is. It will change your life forever.
Then three months later we were wondering why nobody warned us how crazy it was going to be.
Father's day was this past sunday, and I didn't get the chance to send best wishes to the other dad's out there. While it's incredibly true that the bulk of parenting time falls on stay at home mom's including Kelley, it is nice to have a dad's day. Ironically, a lot of dad's including myself want to take father's day away from the kids when they are younger to go play golf, or get in a long run, or do something solitary. Something is hard coded into men that makes alone time a means to maintain sanity. Since I work from home, I get plenty of time with the kids and very little alone time. It's one of the reasons I love running so much. But I feel appreciated by my family every day when the kids get excited to see me come upstairs for lunch or after work. When they run to sit in my lap when they come downstairs on the way to the backyard. So I don't see a need to make a big fuss over father's day. I did call my dad and try to setup a dinner, but he had a thing to take care of and couldn't make it.
Life as I knew it when Bigun was born was completely different than it is today. And that was still completely different from the day before she was born. Becoming a parent is scary. You have the strangest realizations. People get married and thing "boy, I'm really committed now. I can't just leave this woman or break up with her and go back to my place. I can't leave now."
Then you have a baby and you know what you realize? Dang, I could have left before this happened. Not that you wanted to, it was just a possibility you never saw. Spouses can be replaced. Divorce, remarry, girlfriends, whatever. There is no way to replace a child or a dad. I'm always going to be the only dad she will ever have. She will always be my only first born child.
Having a kid instantly changes your perspective too. When she was born I had my entire childhood flash before my eyes. But this time I saw it from a provider's point of view. Paying for college, all of the trips I took in high school. Summer camps. Going to church. Every time as a kid when I was forced to do something or go visit someone that I didn't want to do, and your folks say "one day you'll understand"; in that very instant I flashed all of those memories and I understood. Childhood is wasted on the kids. They have no idea how happy they are, no clue what kind of sacrifices we make for them. Then when they grow up and have kids, they too will understand.
I've never told anyone this before, because I think it's incredibly sad. Bigun was born around noon, and that night after dark Kelley was asleep, and I was holding her while we were watching the Mets/Yankees game on TV. I'm a huge Mets fan because the Mets won the first baseball game I can remember watching back in 1986, and they beat the Yanks that night too. I thought it was really cool for Bigun's first baseball game to be a Mets win too. But there's nothing sad about the Mets. Well, maybe their numbers on the disabled list this year.
But, as us nerds are prone to do, my thoughts turned to math. I was thinking about my great grandmother, we all knew her as Mama G. Her and her husband bought the house at Tybee Island if you've ever heard me talk about it. Mama G was married and had 13 kids. They all got married and had kids (inc my mom), they all got married and had kids (ine me), and they all got married and had kids. Mama G passed away when I was in high school, and we were very close. When you add up all of the spouses and kids and spouses and kids, etc. her genetic lineage spawned 141 people. And her dad held her the night she was born and felt the exact same way I did right then. She was 93 when she died. And on that night in the hospital, all I could think about was how 93 years from now 141 people would be very sad that this little girl died. I would be a trivia question when some kid asked his/her great grandmother what her daddy's name was for a family tree school project. And I was ok with that, it's a natural circle that puts things in perspective.
Of course a couple of weeks later, I was all "93 years my ass, if you don't go to sleep in the next 10 minutes I'm going to choke a baby!"
It's a universal principal with small kids. When they are first born, you know exactly as much as your parents knew when you were born. Sure, there are books. But nothing can prepare you for the challenges you are going to face, because they are always different from generation to generation. Kids grow up too fast these days. I grew up faster than my parents, and so on. My kids are going to have to face a different set of challenges that we did, and we go from having parents that just don't understand to being parents that don't understand. I never understood why groups like churches here will separate adults that don't have kids from those that do. Then when you have kids you understand why. I keep saying that because it's true. You don't understand why people want to have kids until you have one yourself. And I don't judge people who don't want to have kids, they might just be smarter than I was. But I didn't know how incredible being a parent was until this day.
I also like to laugh at people that say it will change your life. We do tell people that it will ruin your life. It's not a bad thing, but life as you know it will be completely ruined. What were you doing last saturday night at 8 pm? I was putting pj's on a baby and rocking her to sleep. 365 days a year for the last 4 years. Now there have been maybe 3 or 4 weekends when we left them with grandparents. But the point is that nightlife is ruined. non-existent. Want to have dinner at a restaurant that is nice enough to have a waiting list? no you don't. Dinner comes at 6 pm every day if you are still in the car, the food takes too long to get there, the boss wants you to work late, you want to grab a beer with a friend after work. Doesn't matter. the kids eat at 6 pm or there will be hell to pay. the schedule is the schedule and it will rule your life. that's just the way it is.... ruined. and that's really not a bad thing.
So how can I do an oly triathlon and a marathon 6 days apart? Most people would only attempt one of those in any given year as an A race. Can I still be a hands on dad, supportive husband, and keep up with a training plan? Well, I wasn't worried about training specifically for the 10k run part of the tri. I found a training plan for an oly tri online, and decided that for my second marathon training cycle I wanted to use a FIRST plan because it only took 3 days a week of running. So I added the 3 days of running per week into the swimming and biking parts of the oly tri plan and I had something put together.
Then apparently I completely abandoned that plan. Since I knew I was running a marathon, I was fairly careful to stick to the runs as they were laid out. For the first half of the time, I only got 2 of the 3 runs in every week. Then I started getting in all 3 including the saturday long runs, and I changed thursday night's tempo run to be preceded by a bike workout, making it a brick. So every week had 3 runs and 1 or 2 bike workouts. I still have no pool to go swimming in, and I'm going to have to rectify that by the fall. So I was mostly reliant on my aerobic capacity and strength training/yoga work to get me through the swim and bike parts of the tri. I love the bike, so the swim was really the only tough part of the tri.
I think combining the training plans was the right way to go. Six days was enough recovery time from the tri. I did get in a small run during the 6 days just to be sure the legs were ready to go. And this time my marathon training held up. It made for interesting training from february to june, not just straight running like on the Hal Higdon plan I did for my first marathon cycle (I DNS'd the Myrtle Beach marathon back in february if you weren't a reader then). It was injury free thanks to the Tri Power strength training program and my new fondness for yoga. How did I work yoga and strength training into the schedule so consistently? I could do yoga in the living room in the mornings while Kelley is at the gym before I went to work. And I could do the Tri Power workouts behind my desk with just a swiss ball and a few sets of dumbells.
The oly was a tougher than expected course, and my results were right online with my training. It was an amazing experience that I enjoy telling people about. The taper was great. The week between oly and marathon was great. The marathon was also a challenging course, and my training showed in the results. The marathon was the result of 9 months of marathon training cycles (20 weeks higdon and 16 weeks FIRST), and to see everything culminate like that was truly an amazing and impressive feat. I couldn't have done it without enough support and understanding from my family.
Now let's look forward. What's next? perhaps something called the Seizure Head Slog Fest. It's an about 60 mile bike ride up Ceasar's Head mountain and back down to the starting point, but I think the route is a big circle with a lunch stop at the top of the mountain. It's a free organized group ride, not a race. but it's still 60 miles, and I've never gone more than 33 miles on the bike before. And it climbs the highest mountain in SC. I would LOVE to have someone else I know doing this ride with me. I mean anyone else. Some of you peeps want to come up from Atlanta? it's a higher elevation than anywhere in the georgia mountains. Great training ride. Maybe someone local? come on, tell me you want to do this one too. It's supposed to be great. It's JULY 25TH! That's one month from tomorrow, a.k.a. not much time for hill training. I might abandon this one, but I really want to do it.
Also August the 16th is the Greenville Sprint tri. The ceasar's head bike ride would be amazing training for this tri, as the bike part is pretty hilly. This is the same race I ran last year, and I can't wait to beat my time from last year. This one has an incredibly beginner friendly atmosphere, and if you don't think you can complete a tri (I didn't think I could do this one last year), then you want to make the Greenville Sprint your first one. It's great.
One other thing. Some of the slugs in the office in atlanta want me to take the bike leg on a relay team in a sprint triathlon down there. Any of you guys know of a sprint I can still get into?
Bigun wants to go to one of our races to spectate. So my target is to find a 5k and a 10k race in the summer/fall that I can run as standalone. My current PR's at those distances are all from triathlons, I've only run half marathon or longer as standalone races. I really want to find a 5k race with a 1 mile fun run or something that Bigun can run in too. She really wants to run in a race, and I think she can make it a mile. She would love it. And I think I could PR at a running race where I didn't have to swim or bike first. So that's what I have to look forward to. I hope you all have a great day. And I hope that you have as much fun reflecting back and looking forward as I did.
Monday, June 22, 2009
Kelley did a really cool job with the cake. It was her first time trying Fondent (sp?), that rolled out icing. it turned out awesome!
Kelley's dad printed more of the blueprint sized pictures so we hung them up everywhere. That is a really nice touch. All the other parents were impressed.
Michael made the trip up from Charleston, which was great. Here's Kelley's dad, my mom, Evil Genius and uncle Michael playing in a sprinkler. When we did the "what do you want to be called" name game after Bigun was born, Morgan wanted to be called "Unc" and it stuck. Michael wanted to be called "Grand Wizard", which I think may be the best uncle name ever.
She got a ton of presents. It looked like Christmas morning when it was all said and done.
EG got a few presents too. That was wild, she wasn't expecting it.
The biggest hit was the stuffed horse. They both went nuts over it.
I love this motion shot. Sometimes a little blur can be a good thing, you can see the pure joy on her face and the movement of trying to ride that horse. I wish I could be that happy again ever.
Some of her friends from kindergarten were able to make it. It is a blast as a parent to see their social skills develop, making friends of their own and just be able to form opinions about things. I'm sure that's going to get old, but right now it's still cool.
Kelley cut the cake and we all had a little dessert. There were also cupcakes and ice cream. yum!
My old friends Dean and Jenn made it down from asheville! Dean's one of the other guys I own the Banner Elk house with. And they just found out that Jenn is pregnant! That is so cool.
I actually got a natural picture of my neice Kaileigh. Like any good 13 year old, she can't take a picture without flashing a made up gang sign or sticking her tounge out, or pulling hair down in front of her face. It could be the only decent picture we get for a while, so I fully intend to torture her with it. She was pissed after she saw me snap the shot! hahahaha.
Here's the Flynn boys. Michael, me, and Morgan (holding EG). Funny part is you can see all of the other guys in the background. You wouldn't expect to see that many guys in a little girls birthday party. But it was all still fun.
The big thing she wanted was roller skates, so after everything was done she put on the skates and all of the safety equipment. 5 minutes later she was under the blanket with Kelley's sister Meri watching cartoons. That's how it goes I guess.
Sunday I finally got in a workout too. First run since the marathon last saturday, and it felt great! I did a 5 & 5, 5 miles on the bike in 15:04 just to warm up, followed by a 5k tempo run on the treadmill in 28:45. It felt so nice to get the legs stretched out again and get a good sweat on. My metabolism has been ramped since the marathon, and I've been eating anything I wanted to. After that run, I was really feeling hungry. So I dove right into the leftover burgers and dogs.
It's monday again, and I need more caffeine. Can't wait to watch the rest of the US Open today. This is when working from home has its advantages. Have a great day!
Friday, June 19, 2009
128th place out of 211 finishers
half mary split was 2:18:34 which is 3+ minutes faster than my half PR on a tougher course
full time 5:07:48, same as the garmin
11:45 per mile pace
Men 30 - 34 age group, 10th place out of 12 men
The first scary thing is that there were over 250 people that started the full marathon, so a minimum 39 people were unable to finish, or about 16% of the starters had to be pulled off of the course. I've never seen a race where more than 1% of the starters had to be pulled. Even my oly tri 2 weeks ago had 450 starting and less than 10 people didn't finish. So I guess the course was more difficult than I was anticipating. Second, with so few finishers it puts a full 60% of the field ahead of me. I was hoping enough people finished to put me in the top half. oh well.
Even going back to my days on the high school track team, I have never ever beaten anyone in my classification at a running event. So suck it, Patrick Cash and Larryu Croaff, you have the distinct honor of being the first people ever to eat my dust. This is very cool, I actually beat out 2 other people in my age group!
Yesterday Bigun came downstairs and announced to me while I was working that she would spend the rest of the afternoon completely nude in the king sized bed in the guest room, watching tv, drinking apple juice and eating a moon pie. I told her that one day she would find a man in a trailer park, and make him very happy.
Tomorrow we're having her birthday party, so I'll post lots of pics on monday. She's turning 4 on the 24th (next wednesday), but we're having the party tomorrow so people can come in from out of town. It's going to be great fun, having an outdoor birthday party with lots of kids when it's 98 degrees outside and a 30% chance of thunderstorms. Oh, and I still have a very vulnerable garden that needs weeding, and I still haven't cut up that tree what snapped in half last week. So I need about 3 days off from work to get ready and it's tomorrow. and i still have to work today. Well, we'll just have to see what happens. I'm sure the party will be fun no matter what.
Good luck to Dr Nic and Carrie running Grandma's marathon in MN this weekend. I can't wait to see how they do. Dr Nic is trying to break 3 hours, and I think he's got it in the bag. All of us runners have destination races that they would love to run one day if they could, and Grandma's Marathon and the Flying Pig are on my list. So I'm certainly going to live vicariously through those guys this weekend.
And big ups to my girl Run Bitch Run who is going to turn iron this weekend at Cour d'Alene in Idaho. I know Stacey is going to be incredible out there sunday. She's worried about beating the cutoff times, but I think she's got it in the bag. She's a huge inspiration to us all, and I can't wait to track her results and watch her plow through the course.
So have a great weekend! We're going to be busy, and it's going to be fun.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
The official results are not posted yet, but here's a pic of some of the prizes I brought home. The finishers medal has the Hatfield & McCoy logo with their pictures and is really heavy. The back has "Finisher June 13 2009 10th annual" on the back. The mason jar is supposed to be a moonshine jar. They put a peice of wood in there with the H & M logo on it noting my 128th place finish. Every finisher got one noting where they placed. The T-shirt looks neat, they said it was the first time they put a pig on the t-shirt. And the book on the left is an illustrated history of Pike county Kentucky. I won this as a door prize during the pasta dinner the night before the race! Kelley makes fun of me for being lucky with door prizes, and I won the first door prize given away! Of course, I'm not any more interested in a pictoral history of Pike County Kentucky than they would be of a history book from Greenville county, SC. but it's still nice to win. I know they are trying to promote tourism to the county.
This is the tree that snapped in half thursday night. I still haven't gone out there to cut it up yet. So there is 40' of trunk still in the ground, I'll have to cut that down after I get rid of this 30' piece that snapped off and fell down. It fell right on the gate out the back of the fence, so I also have to replace the gate, 1 fence post, some toprail that was bent. And it crushed and shredded my muscadines. Those vines were really looking good this year, and it broke 2 of the 4x4 posts, so I'll have to replace those, all 3 vines were ripped up from the ground too. There are 2 other sweet gum trees behind that one and some other ugly shrubs in that area of the yard, I think I'm going to cut it all down, level out the ground some and start over in there. Should take me until about October to get it all done. And that is not how I wanted to spend my summer.
The roads up in Ky/WV are all cut out of the mountains. This side of the mountain range is a harder rock base (I guess) than the eastern side. The NC mountains don't have anything cut out that looks like this for the roads. The way they cut the stone out left cool marks, all kinds of color patterns, it makes for some really neat landscape shots.
Right outside of our hotel room after the marathon, we started hearing all this weird stuff. Turns out it was a bagpipe gathering thing practicing before going to the H&M festival. Drums, bagpipes, kilts the works. Really cool.
Hot Mamas Maternity is a retail store near the hotel in Williamson, WV. Did I mention that Kelley's cousin Margot is pregnant with twins? This sign made us laugh so hard thinking about Margot. She's having one boy and one girl, and she's already got two boys. I already have sympathy for anyone who tries to date the girl and has to win the approval of her 3 brothers. But Hot Mamas seems like a trashy fun place.
Monday, June 15, 2009
Me with Randall McCoy (L) and Devil Anse Hatfield
Here's the old fueders with our friends from Wilmington, NC in costume as hillbillies. Turns out, they are good friends with our friends Jon and Kim down there.
Waiting to start
And we're off!
The scenery on the whole route was just beautiful. The start was in a town called Goody, Kentucky. We took off from the grocery store parking lot.
Notice the sweat line near the bottom of my shorts. I was that soaked.
Crossing the finish line, I got a high 5 from the Hatfield & McCoy guys. It was a pretty cool way to finish.
That's one happy marathoner! Sitting down at the finish line feels good.
Got another picture of me at the finish line with the Hatfield & McCoy guys wearing my finish medal and holding the moonshine jar with a cedar block noting my 128th place finish. that was a surprisingly cool award. close up pic of the medal and jar to come later.
Check out that elevation profile! notice the huge hill at mile 7? and you can kind of see where the rollers got really steep in the last half.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
The family fued between the Hatfield's and McCoy's is actually quite gruesome. In the early 1880's. A Hatfield (Devil Anse) got elected, then was stabbed and killed by some McCoys. As payback, 3 of the McCoys were tied to a paw paw tree and shot. This was a battle over coal mining land and how to treat it. For the run, everybody gets assigned to either the Hatfield Team or theMcCoy Team and the total group times are compared to declare one family a winner. I can't decide which team I'd rather end up on.
The course goes back and forth between West Virginia and Kentucky. It follows a route that takes you past a lot of the gravesites and homesites of the people involved in the fued, including past the paw paw trees where the McCoys were shot. I've already got a lightweight disposable camera that will stay in my pocket during the run so I can take pictures of whatever I can recognize. As much as I love gardening, I'm not sure I could pick out the paw paw trees that are somewhere in mile 6 I think.
The web site does have some info about the course, but not really a map. There is a half running as well, and they say the first half of the course is harder than the second half. When you look at the location (Matewan, WV) on Google Earth there are no straight roads, and tons of peaks. So this is a mountain marathon. I would love to see a map and elevation profile. There are 25 aid stations, and I'm going to carry the Camelbak. My plan is to walk the aid stations, walk the steeper uphills, and make it through to the finish line. The main goal is to finish and establish a time. I'm going to use the Garmin and set the lap counter at each aid station, so I should have an elevation profile afterwards. It would be fantastic if I can break 5 hours, but I'm not going to push that quite so hard on this challenging course. I just want to see that finish line.
You may or may not remember back in February when the germ factories kept me from attempting my first marathon. I've been on a marathon training plan since October of last year. When I got sick in february and had to miss the myrtle beach marathon (Kelley still ran it 5:56) I was very dissapointed. We had both spent 5 months on a Hal Higdon training plan running 5 days a week. She came through that one ok, I popped Advil like candy and ended up with knee problems and left shin problems. Occasionally some ankle stuff too. We both tapered and took some time off after the marathon I didn't run. That's when I found this race and put this plan together.
This training plan I combined a FIRST marathon training plan with an Oly Tri training plan I found on beginnertriathlete.com. Basically the oly tri plan had 3 runs a week, and I replaced the distances and methods with the FIRST runs. The FIRST plan called for lots of cross training anyway, so the bike and swim workouts fit right into the plan. Knowing that I had a marathon in addition to the oly, I would still skip a bike or swim workout and be sure to make all of the runs when family or other life got in the way. And I actually came through this entire training cycle injury free! I feel strong and balanced. Plenty of yoga and tri power workouts for strength training. I truly think this balanced concept is the key to having more fun, covering more miles, and having less pain. Sure, you can run 5 days a week or more, increase your speed/distance incrementally and regularly and still have fun. But it increases your chances for injury. In my head, cross training is a direct lead-in to triathlon. Biking and swimming are the two most complimentary forms of cross training to running. and if you're going to train in 3 sports, it can be fun to race in 3 sports.
So our plan: tomorrow morning Kelley's mom is coming up here to keep the kids for the weekend. We're driving to packet pickup at the race start location in Kentucky. Get checked into the hotel room and maybe the pasta dinner with the race organizers. Saturday morning run 26.2 miles through those mountains. I'm going to wear my Chopat knee braces b/c my knees still feel it anytime I get over 15 miles. And this time I will be able to band-aid the nip-nips and wear loose shorts, not running in a swimsuit like last weekend. I'm taking 5 gels and a granola bar in my pockets, and the Camelbak with Heed. Then recover and eat at the hotel. Our reservations are confirmed, and the pics on the hotel web site make it look like a really nice place. There is also a restaurant at the hotel. Sunday morning we're headed back to Greenville. I'll post a race report either sunday night or monday morning. I'll update my facebook status as soon as I can too. Kelley's going to be taking pictures, but running races don't usually have the kind of shirtless hardbodies that the tri's have. So I wouldn't get your hopes up for more man candy pics. Plus, we're talking about Kentucky and West Virginia here people. You never know what you're going to get.
So wish me luck, here goes nothing! I am so ready for today to be over. Isn't the day before a vacation day always the longest workday of the year? Good luck if you're racing this weekend, and have fun!
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Monday, June 8, 2009
First, the studs: Nick took 3rd in his age group at 2:13, 9th place men's overall. I knew he had gotten a lot stronger than last year, and he beat last years time by 6 minutes. Great job Nick! And coach Katie ended up 8th in the women's overall with a 2:24 time. Awesome job Katie. I got to speak with Katie several times which was great, but I didn't get to shake hands with Nick which was really dissapointing. I was looking for him.
Saturday Night: There is actually a festival of flowers going on in Greenwood. After packet pickup we went into downtown for some dinner, and found a car show. and took pictures. we don't care about cars, much less enough to take pictures.
There were also huge statues of floral designs.
Kelley with a flower swan
I'm hanging out with a giant flower elephant.
We made it back to Leigh's house for a nice relaxing evening to be rested and ready to go early sunday morning.
Yea right, my nerves didn't let me sleep much at all Saturday night.
5:30 came early saturday morning, but I was already awake. At my last tri I felt underfueled coming out of the swim, so I had more breakfast than normal this time. It worked, I was not underfueled. We got out to the state park, racked the bike, got bodymarked, and got my chip strapped on. Quick stop at the mens room and I got the bag unpacked while talking to my old friend Ashlee. I knew she was running the race with her husband, but you never know if you will be able to find someone you're looking for. And I didn't leave myself enough time to get TA setup at all.
The day started out cool and foggy. The damn swim buoys were so far out there you can't even see them from shore. That's when I knew I was in trouble.
Unpacking the car before heading down to TA for setup.
You people are a bad influence. Kelley said that after I posted pics of my last race that she felt an obligation to the fans of her photography to take lots of pictures of the male hardbodies at the race. Whoever was bib #28 was by far her favorite. I'm sure there's a few pics of him in here. Man candy, eye candy, call it whatever you want. I just know Glaven is going to enjoy it.
This guy just had a cool tri suit on. He looks ripped, huh?
More eye candy. I love how every other girl in this pic is also checking out this guy. too funny!
Still more eye candy. Oh wait, that's me headed down to the starting line. Notice how the other girl in this pic is not checking me out. I broke the cardinal rule here and raced in a new swimsuit that I just bought friday night. Now I'm counting on you, the unbiased public to tell me if it's a bad idea for me to ever wear this suit around other people again. I'd hate to show up for the next race in something less than flattering. Is it too short?
This race was the first time I had a deep water start, and it was certainly different from anything else I had seen. We got corralled into the water.
1500 meter Swim: goal 35 minutes, actual 42:28 fail
I really felt like I blew it on the swim. It was TOUGH!!!1! Not only was this the longest swim I ever attempted, it was not wetsuit legal. I didn't bring a wetsuit anyway, but I have to think that I would have made a better time with a wetsuit. I didn't really get as aerobically fatigued as I expected, but there was definitely a lack of muscular endurance in my arms and shoulders. You went out 600 meters to a buoy, then turned left. Then it was 500 meters in the middle of the lake to another buoy, then turn left again. That 500 meter part was where I really started to lose it. I vomited twice, both small. I didn't lose my entire breakfast. I rolled into a backstroke a few times, breaststroked a lot, just to let my lungs catch up and freestyle muscles recover a little. I got way off course, and had trouble sighting the next buoy a lot in the segment. One time, I looked up to sight and saw people swimming towards me, not with me. Oops, got a little turned around. Nothing like swimming in the wrong direction.
Getting into the water. That's me on the steps with my arm raised.
Here I'm the one with a fist in the air next to the steps. A deep water start, I walked off the end of the steps into water over my head. Kind of took me by surprise. Still, a fist pump gets me pumped up and ready to swim.
My wave getting ready to start
Finally I made it to the last turn in the swim, and it was only 400 meters back to the shore. I know it's a lake and there are no currents. But the water was choppier here, and I did a lot of swimming without getting any closer to the shore. I had gotten into a nice pattern of 6 breaths (3 to the right and 3 to the left) then breaststroking to sight and recover, then back into freestyle stroke. I swear I went through 4 cycles like that without getting any closer to shore. Finally I made it to 200 meters, then 100 meters left. That's when I started to cry. My goggles might have been too tight or not a good fit, but they were really hurting my face. I was soooooo ready to take them off and I could not get to shore!! My arms were ready to fall off. My hands hurt very badly. I didn't expect my face and hands to hurt like that. And crying into swim goggles really fogged them up, so I couldn't see very well either.
More eye candy coming out of the swim.
Coach Katie coming out of the water. She started 8 minutes after I did and finished way before. but that's why she's the coach. Did I mention she also ran the Ironman world championships in Kona Hawaii once? she's awesome.
Almost a mile is a fucking long way to swim.
Placed 213 out of 231 men. At least I still beat some other guys.
Being an open water swim, there were plenty of times when I would get passed on both sides by folks swimming into each other. That means they crashed into me at the same time. Like swimming into the middle of a V. The highlight of the swim was a really hot chick swimming into my ass. I was freestyle, and got a big smack on the ass, and I turned to get out of the way and it turned out to be a smokin hot chick. I think you know what she was really going for.
Swimming in my last tri, I came out of the water completely disoriented and dizzy. I was so glad I didn't have any of those problems this time. I had the goggles and swim cap off going into T1. on went the bike shorts, race shirt, socks and bike shoes. I took a gel and some water, caught my breath a little bit and it was off on the bike.
Transition times really should not be more than one minute. I need to practice this more before my next race.
24 mile Bike: Goal 1:20, Actual 1:26:31 I'll take it
The bike course surprised me a little bit. There were four long ascents that were steep enough to make me go back to the small chainring. I thought it was going to be flat enough to leave Jenny in the big chainring for the whole ride. What I got was a 16.64 mph speed. I feel like I managed the distance much better in this race than I ever have in the past. My gearing was smooth, I maintained a consistent cadence. I passed a few people, and got passed a bunch of times. Finally I got passed by this one girl keeping a steady speed, and tried to make my speed match hers. It worked really well.
Most of the course was small rolling hills. There were a lot of long slow inclines, no really fast descents and the four mini-climbs. But this time I was able to recognize sprint zones, gear up before the zone, then come into more of a standing position to really push the speed through the zone. 10 - 15 seconds later I was able to sit down and maintain that new speed until the next uphill. That was really cool. I've never really considered course management something to study in biking like it is in golf, but I can really see the importance of it now. And (like in golf) the ability to anticipate actions and prepare before they are needed is something that comes with experience.
I know I pushed myself on the bike course to turn in a fast time. I know my effort was well managed and calculated. I had a gel taped to the bike (which I took around mile 22), and went through both bottles of Heed like I had planned. The sun was out, and it was getting hotter. My hydration strategy was great. I am very pleased with my effort on the bike.
226th place out of 231 men
Apparently, all of the attractive men finished biking before me.
Damn it, more man eye candy. You people have created a monster here.
Wrapping up the bike, headed into T2
Total transition time: Goal 10 minutes, actual 7:45 Success!
Coming off the bike, I stripped off the bike shoes and bike shorts, threw on the running shoes and grabbed some water. Strapped on the Camelbak and took off on the run.
Again, transition times should be less than a minute each. If my 7:45 would have been 4:45 I would have beaten out 2 other guys. But when you have to tie your running shoes intead of using Yanx or something like that, it just takes a little while longer.
Man candy anyone? this guy was done before I started running. I can see why.
At least these guys were still running. Geez!
10k run: Goal under 1 hour, Actual 1:06:10 Good enough
Plenty of people were already done with the race before I ever started running. The finish of the bike course ran alongside the majority of the run course, maybe the first/last 2.5 miles. So when I saw runners while I was on the bike, I was very happy.
I set goals for these races, not expectations. While I was out running, I could see ahead and plan a strategy for speeding up and to be able to take the next hill. I know my pacing and speeds and what kind of stride length and cadence will get me the speed I need. So I can tell myself along the run course if I make this pacing I will break an hour. If I can keep this stride length, I will break an hour. If my goal was 1:10 and I came in at 1:06 it would be a clear goal met. But I wouldn't have pushed myself as hard as I did. When I had to walk in here, I knew that's not how I'm going to break an hour and I could pick up the pace. So mentally setting these high goals keeps me going.
Again I came out of TA and was running uphill. It's tough to let your legs stride out off of the bike when you're running uphill. So I walked some until I could really get my form into a rhythm. but that's not how you break an hour. I kept a nice short stride and quick feet, and had a good speed. It was really hot out there now, and I was sweating like crazy. About half of the run course was in full sun with some small rolling hills. I had to walk most of the uphills, but paced out most of that time during the downhills and flats.
Most of the time when I was walking for the first part of the run course, it was because of my abs. You never know exactly how much you use your core strength on the bike until it smacks you on the run. I knew I had been slacking off of my tri power workouts a little lately, and boy I felt it there. More core work to come!
This was near the end of the run. there was a good photo placement right before the last push to the finish line.
The run ends inside of the state park, right next to the swim start area. It takes a turn and finishes with a huge uphill that is more steep than anything else seen on the bike or run courses. that was tough, but I was so glad to see that hill come into view. There was the finish line and my first oly is in the books.
Proudly hitting that finish line!
Run placed 213 out of 231 men
I actually sweat the numbers off from above my knees. They body mark with a permanaent marker, and that's all that was left. that pic makes my knees look horrible, though.
Kelley helped me pack up the transition area. This might be the closest she ever gets to running a triathlon. That's her choice, I always encorage her to tri with me.
My nipples took a beating on the run course. I didn't want to take the transition time to put band-aids on. I've got to find a tri suit to race in, those are either one piece or have a skin tight singlet to prevent chafing.
Yep, that's what happy looks like.