Friday, June 24, 2011

The Birthday

Somebody turns six years old today! Hint: it's not me. We are so proud of our six year old eldest child!

Links to the other posts about her birthdays:

5 years old

4 years old

Who knows what's up next! 7 years old maybe? First grade? it's crazy time around here.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

A Good Time for All

Frayed Laces posted something today that is near and dear to my heart. must. add. link. Triathlon is just like smoking - yes that's a fantastic point of view.

Last weekend I ran June's half marathon. There are some wildfires burning on the coast, and the smoke is all around Raleigh too. So it was quite nasty outside. Tough to breathe anyway. And this week it's been in the 95-99 degree range the entire time, so there's no way I was going to be pounding the pavement. Treadmill gimme another good time please.

1:41:14 is a pretty good time. Quite speedy in my book. I'm getting much closer to that 1:39 goal time. And June's half marathon is in the books. It was on the treadmill, 13.1 miles, and it's done with now.

This is a special week, my eldest daughter turns 6 tomorrow. I'm sure there will be plenty of pics to put up soon enough.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

OWS and Cool Link

Today something really cool happened. Another Mother Runner is the blog for the book Run Like A Mother, and Sarah Bowen Shea (one of the authors who also writes for Runner's World and the NY Times) has been a friend of mine for a few years now. Kelley got a copy of RLAM for Christmas this year. Well for Father's day (which is this upcoming Sunday don't forget!) they wanted to feature a dad for the Follow This Mother feature and SBS asked me to fill in the spot! So Follow This..... Father and check out my interview. It's a really popular blog that I've been following for many years now. And welcome if you found me through the interview!

Jordan Lake Open Water Challenge

Saturday was the first time I had a open water swim only race. I've had so many new types of races this year it's kind of crazy. This was one mile in Jordan Lake. Kind of tough to do a race report on it.
Bodysuits are for suckas

I started swimming.

I kept on swimming.

A mile later, I finished and the race was over.

It started with a bit of a washing machine. I like using a water polo style stroke for that; it keeps my head above water until I can see where I want to go and the field gets a bit spread out. There were still plenty of people to bump into. I ended up going way off course to the right first, then way off course to the left. Then finally back near the course. It was a lollipop course, so we went out, around two turn buoys, and back down the same channel to the start/finish line.

After getting around the turn bouys and on my way to the finish, some tool kept trying to swim over me. Same guy came at me from both sides as he got off course and back on. The coaches at the Masters team I'm on have been working on me to get a higher elbow and increase my stroke distance and power, so I knew that three quarters of a mile in, I still had some kick left. I dropped that hammer and decided to leave the tool in the dust. I saw him come out of the water about 2 minutes after I did, and he didn't say anything about swimming over me.

So the really cool parts about this race is that I kept my stroke steady the whole time - no breast stroke or back floats at all to catch my breath. Sure I could barely lift my arms when I got out of the water so I think I played it right. I could have gone faster - just putting it out there. But I didn't want to burn out. My goal was to break 30 minutes. And with no rest breaks and picking up speed at the end, I thought I was going to be there.

35:49 finish time
2:03 per 100 pace
34/76 men
8/14 age group M35-39

Trip to DC

I had to go to Washington DC for work this week, and the whole story is too long for facebook. DC is only a 5 hour drive from Raleigh, or a one hour flight. I got up at 4:45 monday morning and was in the airport by 5:30; my flight left at 6:40. I checked a bag. I threw my car keys in the bag since I figured I wouldn't need them for a few days.

Security was so long and backed up that I got to the gate at 6:50. Obama was flying into Raleigh that day, and one of the terminals was under construction. So TSA was really really backed up. There were literally people standing outside; the line was out the door. I got on the waiting list for the next flight (full), then the next one (full) then the next one (full) damnit!!!.

Finally the office called and said to just come back into the office and take the next available flight with open seats, which was at 7:20 that night. All of the DC meetings got pushed back a day, and I headed back to the office. Except my car keys were in my luggage which got checked. for a stupid fee. Kelley came to the airport to pick me up, dropped me off at the office, picked me up again, and dropped me off at the airport at the appropriate time for the night flight. She's an angel.

8 pm I get into DC and head to the counter to claim my bag from this mornings flight. Guess what? My luggage actually went to the Bahamas. It had gotten mis-tagged in RDU. Ric Chandler's tag ended up on my luggage, and it followed him to St. Marten. This is going to end well, isn't it?

Tuesday morning I'm in a suit, tie, and tennis shoes going to meet with a client when the airline called. They had my bag, and were going to send it back. Luckily, the client loved me, and I would have clean clothes again that evening.

Midnight came and I still had no bags. This was supposed to be an overnight trip mind you. And they are playing the US Open golf tourney in DC right now, so every hotel was booked solid and I had to stay the second night in a dump in the ghetto. So now I'm in a dump in the ghetto in a foreign land (to me) with no clean clothes.

Wednesday about 11 am the airport brought the bag to the office. I finally got to go put on some clean clothes. I'm not sure I've ever been so happy to see my own underwear before. But something was missing. The very expensive dress shirt and pants I bought for this trip to make a good impression on this client with were not in my luggage anymore. Neither was the small camera. So while my luggage was in the Bahamas someone stole my clothes and camera. This is not cool.

And for the record, I don't normally look at my own boxers and think something is missing. Just putting that out there (no pun intended).

By 3 pm I had to check the half empty luggage back in for the return flight, and pay another fee. Those fees really stink. I had my suitcase for a total of 3 hours in DC out of a 2 night trip and didn't want to pay to let it go again. I double checked the tags this time. The return flight to Raleigh was quick and easy, and the bag was waiting there. I grabbed my car keys out before checking it this time just in case there was another problem.

Drove to the house with the top down glad to be home in one piece. Overall the trip was a success, but that airline stuff really left a bad taste in my mouth. Now I've got to go through all the hassle to file claims with the airline. I think I should also get compensated for the embarrassment factor of having to show up at the client's office in a suit and Chuck Taylor's. That was horrible.

So now life is back to normal so to speak. The kids missed me while I was out of town. I didn't get to run while I was up there, so it's back to swim practice, lots of running, and hitting the bike. That's all of my races until July as well, but we've still got some pretty fun times coming up in the next few weeks.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Mother of all Recaps

This is the Recap to end all Recaps. So many races. So many parties. So many pictures. This is insane, and long.

May's totals:

Swim: 8200 meters, 4 swims, 2050 m average, 1 sprint triathlon
Bike: 213.5 miles, 10 rides, 1 sprint triathlon
Run: 75.4 miles, 14 runs, 4 races
Strength: none, gotta do that sometime.
Yoga: 3 sessions, 30 minutes each

Wow is all I can say. Four races in total, plus the monthly half marathon and an Aquathon on 6/1. This was insane. The races included a mud run, small local 5k where I finished in 13th place, a sprint triathlon, and a foxhunt (race report below). Plus I did complete the May half marathon on the treadmill (report also below). All that and 213 miles on the bike? And a bag of chips?

Foxhunt 5k on 5/26/11

In the foxhunt races, we all chase after a fox. In this case, the fox was very fast. And it ended up being more of a skirtchaser, where all of the women left three minutes before the men and we had to catch as many as we could. This was supposed to be a small race, only 30 people signed up before me. We ended up with about 120 people total. I knew the roads well, so my goal was to win. Then the actual fast people signed up.

I started out in the front on the inside. I took off like a rocket. Again, planning to win. So I kept up with the actual leaders (hint: that was a big mistake). I stayed in 5th place for the first half mile or so before the wheels started to fall off. Actually it felt like my arms were going to fall off. My forearms started to really hurt. That's never happened before from running. And I was still less than a mile in.

By about .8 miles I was completely dry. Lips chapped, very thirsty, started sweating then stopped sweating, and that's when I got scared and started walking to catch my breath. I thought I had properly hydrated before starting so I didn't carry any water with me. For a 5k I really shouldn't need any. But I didn't count on the really high humidity. It sucked all of the pre-race lubrication out of me. Thankfully there was an aide station around the halfway point.

This course was an out and back with a lollipop at the end, so we circled a few blocks around this one large restaurant (Player's Retreat) and headed back to the finish line in downtown. This became more of a run/walk as my abs started failing in more painful ways. After turning off of Hillsborough st, there was only a couple of blocks to the finish, and thankfully the finish chute was downhill. So I did manage to muscle up a pretty decent kick at the end.

Finished with a time of 23:43. The winner finished in 16:39, which I don't even think is a legal time for a 5k. Holy Methamphetamine that's fast. I managed a 7:40 pace, finished 37th out of 82 men with no age group breakdown. I was really hoping for a 20:xx or 21:xx finish time, but after burning out in the first mile that was off the table. I mean my forearms hurt! strange. 7:40 is fast enough. It was also my first time racing at night, which I found out is not as much fun as you might think.

They had a good block party at the finish line, with free beer for the racers. I was sold.

Saturday - EG's Birthday Party

As of Tuesday our little Evil Genius has been reeking havoc and destruction for four years. Saturday we had the birthday party. You can only imagine how much havoc/destruction/general evil there was. It was awesome.

We had about 10 kids over, including some of my friends from work with their kids, and some of EG's friends from school. We turned on the sprinklers in the backyard and everybody went nuts. I had a few beers. Nothing is better than a cold brew on a hot day with good friends. There was cake and ice cream.

Sunday - May's half marathon

I am still plugging away at my half marathon every month plan. May's journey to 13.1 was uneventful. I ran it on the treadmill, got it up to a 7.5 speed and just held on. Ran 7 miles, then refilled the water bottles and ran another 6.1 to finish out the 13.1 total run. Finished in 1:45:19, which is my fastest time to date.

I really felt great the whole time going through this one. It was speedy, sure, but I never lost breath control. Legs never felt abused or worn out. This was really cool.

Monday was Memorial Day?

Saturday I missed the weekly long bike ride thanks to the party. So monday I made up the long ride, 42 miles in 2 hours. It was cool. Felt great.

Kelley and I went out for BBQ for dinner that night. It was romantic and wonderful. Our niece Kaileigh is staying with us for the summer, which I am very excited about. We love having her over, it's a built in babysitter for 2 months. And she's generally wonderful to have around anyway.

Tuesday had the normal double down. 4 mile run over lunch, 27 miles in 1:15 on the bike.

Aquathon #1 - 6/1

This is a race that I've been looking forward to all year long. It's old school. None of the distances are accurate, but everybody follows the same course. Just get out and do it. This is a series of three races going down on the first wednesday of June, July, and August, so they are all going to be in the heat.

This one had a half a mile swim in Harris Lake followed by a 2.6 mile run; it was in Harris Lake state park.

The girls look ready to race, don't they? The swim was way too crowded. All 66 competitors started at once. It was a waist deep start, one wave, so everybody was just churning in the washing machine. I didn't get kicked in the head, but I think I did swim over several other people.

I started out near the front but not in the front. My goal was top 20 here, not to win. I figured there would be some fast folks out there. I needed to pace my way through the swim and kick some ass on the run.

I got churned over a few times on the swim. It was a 2 lap triangle swim, we did not have to exit the water between laps. So the turns were short and fast. I'm not a very fast turner, so I ran into a lot of other people trying to make those. I came out of the water in 14:50, which is a 1:51 / 100m pace. That's pretty slow, I was hoping to be around a 1:40 pace or faster.

Transition time was 40 seconds. Out of the water, step on a towel, throw on the running shoes (no socks) and a running hat and take off.

The run came out of the TA onto a road, then turned onto a gravel access road - really double track gravel trail. the end of the trail had an aid station and turnaround, then the finish line was back on the road. This same access road was abused in the Triangle Triathlon that I ran last summer, and once I got on it I remembered how hard that run course was.

Stupid gravel double track. There was never a solid level footing to land on. Every step came down at a different angle. Made it really difficult to establish a steady pace. It also took a lot longer than I expected to get a rhythm established after coming out of the water. So the run ended up being harder than I expected.

Total distance was around 2.6 miles of running, which I should have been able to knock down in about a 7 minute pace. Instead, I finished the run in 21:16, or an 8:10 pace.

Total time for the race was 36:44. I finished in 31st place out of 66 runners, 19 out of 26 men, and 9 out of 10 men 30-39. Overall it was not a bad finish place, just a really competitive field. This is a series of 3 races, and I still finished in 19th place out of the series athletes, getting two points in the series competition! Only the top 20 series racers got points.

So that's a truckload of racing and one motherload of pictures and recaps. Thanks for sticking through to the end. If you are unsure what to comment on all that, feel free to use this template:

Holy crap your forearms?
Holy crap you got drunk at a 4 year old's birthday party? (hells yea)
Holy crap a 1:45 half marathon is fast!
Holy crap that seems like a fun memorial day.
Holy crap an aquathon seems like a real challenge! you still nailed it.

Come to think of it, I could have made that the entire post; it would have been much faster.