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.


Alecia said...

Yep, found you on the mom site. "body suits are for suckas" hahahaha!

Paul said...

pro tip: as long as your bag will fit through the security scanner you can "forget" to check it and they will check it for you plane-side. No fee, no chance of being on the wrong plane.

Wes said...

you are too funny! nice work on the open water!! every tidbit adds up and you're making great strides. I hate flying to begin with. When it becomes an adventure? NO THANK YOU!!

Some 70 lb 6.5 foot guy in the bahamas is wearing your suit ;-)

Colleen said...

I love that you are featured! :)

Great job with that swim. They used to have OWS races around here, but don't anymore. I'd probably enjoy it since it's my worst discipline and I could use the practice. You did great.

That DC trip sounds like a nightmare! And that totally sucks that stuff was stolen. I'd be writing the airline a letter for sure! :(

Kelley said...

You know, that wouldn't have happened on a train, just saying.

Mike Russell said...

John that may be one of the worst race reports I have ever read. :) What exactly should one write about for an OW race? Great work man.