Saturday, July 7, 2007

T-76 hours and what your gear says about you.

Well today was an interesting day, and for anyone counting the angry runner out of a strong placing in the Pat Griskus sprint Tri on Wed. You have quite a shock in store. Today started out with my usual 3k swim at the
Waterbury Y (let's face it you know it's bad when all the lifeguards know you on a first name basis and they have a coffee mug for you in the office). It was then out to Middlebury for a 30 mile loop ride with the angry runner before heading to 5:30 mass at St. Anne's. Well the angry runner didn't show so I started my ride and I ended up meeting up with the late and angry runner @ about mile 7 on first of 3 loops of the ten mile bike course. This is where AR showed some cycling skills. On my second (his first) loop he took off like a bat out of hell on the first 3 miles of the course leaving me in a cloud of dust until I finally caught him at mile 8 . On my third ( his second loop around) AR caught a lead at mile 2 and began to pull away on the descents. This time however, ( my body conditioned from training for 70.3 goodness) I caught him on the climb at mile 6 and never looked back . When I reached my car after nearly 2 hours and 31 miles in the saddle I had a minute advantage over the angry runner or shall I now call him the pissed cyclist. Neddless to say his performance on the opening loop won't neceesarily make him the fastest guy on two wheels but he will be able to erase the gaps some of us faster swimmer types might open up and set some interesting duels for the run.

Ok enough of kissing the angry runner's ass. Now it's on to the comic relief portion of this blog What an gear says about an athlete:

You walk into transition and see a pimped out BMC TT1 timemachine sitting on the rack it states one of three possibilities:
1) Floyd Landis, pissed off at the WADA has decided to enter the sprint tri scene to prove his man hood and attempt to clear his name. (note if you see more than one BMC expect drafting penalties as he ,Tyler Hamilton, and some other banned Phonack riders work as a pack)
2) Angry Runner has been made a CEO or at the very least has gotten a significant raise
3) Some dude from Greenwhich is trying to buy an overall win so he can feel manly at the Greenwhich Cup tri, discussing on how easy it was to beat the "disadvantaged" athletes in the Northern parts of the state.

You see an athlete wearing only a speedo and swedes.
1) They are one of those beginner triathletes or one of many high school swimmers just begining to dabble in the tri scene. Their swim split will be respectable and after a few years and more equipment dollars their results will improve exponetially.(note this is how I started out)
2) They are a D-1 Swimming super stud who believes wetsuits are for pussies, they will jump into the water clad in only 3 inches of lycra and make your efforts look like a joke. They will take that $500 Ocra Apex and smack you with it enroute to a course record. ( of note their bike probably sucks so despite the hurt pride in the swim you should be able to spank them on course)
3) They're one of the newbies mentioned in #1 and they made the unfortunate mistake of borrowing goggles from me. ( note : swedes do give you that look of I'm a hardcore swimmer and I'm gonna mess you up.)

You see a pair of Nike, Newbalance, addidas, insert brand here XC flats in the guy next to you's transition area.
1) They are either a highschool or collegiate XC/track runner and they will fly by you on the run like you are standing still.
2) same for #1 except insert former XC/track runner turned triathlete. And I have some sort of clue of what I'm doing, to the mix.
3) They had money to burn at mickey finns and they wanted shoes in a color that would match their tri suit.
I could go on and on mocking people's gear and reasons for their gear but the list would be way too long and it would just lose humor after a while. And to all those tri newbies out there who can't afford the biggest and best stuff out there this post is being written by a guy who uses his flats from high school, a bike he bought on clearance, and a surfing wetsuit. so happy training and if you do happen to see a couple of guys on BMC time machines in green and white jerseys at your next tri, remember there is no shame in letting them pass you afterall one of them is probably an ex- Tour de France Champion*

Friday, July 6, 2007

As I write this I am on my way out the door for a 3,000 yard swim work out. I spent yesterday as a rest day (trying to think up a witty retort to Angry Runner's Triathlete or guy who does tris debate: note I have classfied myself as a superhuman warrior, any sport, any distance, any equipment. ) July 4, I celebrated the independence of my nation by biking 20 miles ( I know a weak day but hey I just did a half iron)and ran about 6 the dreary weather thwarted my plans to blow a small chunk of it up. Today I ran about 4miles and will tack on about 2 more in the pool. I'll probably set up a more interesting post later including what everybody wants to see....more bike porn!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Coming off the Post-Half Iron High.

Well today I got out and rode ten miles before doing and "easy" 3k workout in the pool. Work sucked as it usually does before a holiday, people coming in trying to cash and insane amount of checks to buy beer and explosives for the festivities tomorrow. My mind now is set on the Pat Griskus sprint. Now this race owes me one, in fact it owes me a couple. The last time I medaled in this thing I was 18 and heading off to college ( a two year hiatus ensued after my entrance to Fordham due to drinking, not enough fundage, and attempts to be a D-I swimmer). the sad thing is I finished second in my age group and lost plain and simply because of the bike. I seriously schooled the other guy in the swim and the run but because I was using a 10 speed that was two sizes too small, I lost almost five minutes ( I had a two minute lead from the swim, but only was a minute faster on the run). and in a sprint that's lethal. Last year when I made my glorious return to the sport (on better equipment) my attempt to win my age group fell on its ass quite literally. A crash on the rain slickened bike course, and fear that I had bent my back wheel caused me to ride ultra conservatively . Despite posting a PR in my 5k ( sub 21 min.) the damage had been done and I finished 8th out of 16 compeitiors in the 20-24 scene last year. So this year I head to Middlebury a man possessed. My recent good fortune at the Griskus olympic, Waramaug, and the Patriot half have me ready to kick some ass on July 11. My bike leg contiunes to improve and my swim and run prowess are as strong as they ever were. Part of me is beginning to think that I might have a slim, insane hope and going for the overall. If that happens I will be the happiest memember of the Angry team.

Monday, July 2, 2007

The Day After

Well aside from a little tightness in the legs I feel pretty good. (unlike the marathon in which I was limping for almost two weeks). I'll probably get in a pool workout and take the bike for aquick spin tommorrow. I read angry runner was debating doing an IM in08 and personally I think he should, It would give me some more motivation to move it on the bike. But all comments aside it's still hard for me to take in everything that happended yesterday. The finish was a blur except for my weak attempt at the log roll and the volunteers thinking I was having a seizure( man I should have played that up maybe some hot chick from the massage table would come over and attempt to give me mouth to mouth.) I only remember having one weakly emotional thought on the run as I turned in to the camp for the last 400 meters, that I was actually finishing a half-iron man. Taking a look at this year it's incredible. I've gone to just schlepping through life to going back to school ( after a year off), doing my usual light training sprint and Olympic Tris , masters meets and sprint road races, to doing marathons and half-ironmans. Seriously, If I get a Kona slot next year I'm going to be writing my will in 09 because I'm accomplishing some of the major life goals I've wanted too within the last two years, and it seems like it's all happening in quick succession, like I'm going to get smote with something terrible. But as it is life seems pretty good right now except for some crap at work, but then again there always crap at work, and a little edginess at home, but everything seems to be going well so far. Ok that was my emotional touchy-feeley post for the day. now it's time to get back to trainning, I've got a sprint tri to win next week.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Post Race Report.

Well as metioned in my earlier, mis-spelled ramblings from this morning I did my half-iron man and I kicked its ass. Here's a split by split analysis:

Swim: Why do they start the youngs guys in the back? About 20 minutes after the elites took off I sped to the Water like a bat out hell. The first quarter/third of the swim was pure hell, white caps coming up in your face waves, feeling like you're being blown of course, by the turn around everything was going smooth and on the way back those white caps were pushing me toward the finish. I managed to pass alot of the 34 and under women (5 min. ahead) and a fair chunk of the 35-45 men (10 min ahead) and a couple of the older 35+ women who left almost 15 min. ahead. I was the sixth guy from my wave out according to the play by play from my "coach" the Angry Runner. my Split 25:03 good enough for the 23rd fastest swim split on the day.
Bike: Rough road, cross winds and 3 extra miles.
I left T-1 ready to haul with Angry Runner's words ringing in my ears "hydrate and use the freaking aero bars" For the first part of the bike loop it was near immpossible. Parts of the road were so pitted it looked like a scene from Bastonge-Leige. I lost the stopper for my "aero-drink " bottle at mile 5 after hitting a rut. By the tenth mile the road smoothed out and the wind kicked up At mile 12 the course when over an inlet between two lakes and the wind nearly blew me off the road (think a milder version of Kona). Once past the first drink station one of my gu packets exploded in my hands leaving me to lick up a chocolatey mess, I placed the other packet in my jersey to consume on the second loop. After a modest little decent I managed to hit some smooth fairly flat roads in which my aero bars came to good use. When we passed the camp for the second loop Angry runner was among the legions and could be heard shouting over the crowd, " take in your electrolytes and for crying out loud get aero" On the second loop the wind really kicked up especially on the rough spots in the first 5 to 10 miles, still I managed kick up some serious speed in the big ring. For once it seemed like I was passing more people on the bike than were passing me. After about 10 miles in the second loop I ran out of water and was drinking my Hammer HEED, when I got to the first water station at mile (12) 40 or soI was expecting to get some Poland Spring to refill my Aero bottle and continue as normal. To my Chargrin they only had heed ( if I wasn't getting electrolytes before I was certainly getting them now). After going down the shallow descents ( and nearly having the guy next to me taken out by a speeding Dakota) it was back in to the areo bars and into a duel with a couple of 30 and 40 somethings and a few of the women. When I entered T-2 angry had my split 3:02 not bad for a 60 mile bike ( almost 2 miles were tacked on to the loop due to road construction).
Run: Say hello to Macca Jr. or 8 miles to the porta-john by Willie Make it.
t-2 proved to be a somewhat touching moment Angry Runner and my sisters were standing at the fence next to my transition spot. After a quick pound and a "my fairfield split was 1:52 beat that" from angry runner and some sweeter sounding versions of go kick some ass from my sisters, I left T-2 for what was supposed to be a 13.1 mile Odyssey ( it would end up being 14 miles). When I first left transition I knew I was going to need some "gastric relief" but I figured I could man up and survive. I started out well keeping a steady pace my first mile was a 7:41 and the subsequent ones varied between 7:45 and 8:15. I felt great but at mile 7 I knew I needed to use the facilities and soon. At mile 8 I spotted it the lone porta-john on the course, I think I gave Tim Montgomery with the mad dash I made for it. After taking care of my excess electrolytes from the bike course, I sprinted out feeling lighter, and trying to make up for lost time. At every other aid station I was taking water or heed and I was usually dumping water over my head to cool down in the increasing sun. When I came to the finish line I attempted to do a "blazeman" style log roll as a tribute to probably one of the most balls out atheletes of our time ( sure he wasn't as fast as Stadler or Macca but hey to complete an ironman when every muscle in your body is being shut down by ALS takes balls). Because of the narrow finish line it turned into more of a corkscrew and had the EMS staff worried that I was going ito convulsions. Still I think some where up there Jon Blais had a smile, or a good laugh that I screwed that roll up beyond recognition. Still the extra mile and messed up finish combined, I finished the half marathon in 1:49 My overall time was 5:22 good enough for 107th overall and 3rd out of six competitiors in my age group.So Angry Runner who's ya daddy!

Game Time Bitches!

It's 4:55 in the morning I'm showered up, I'm lubed up, I'm eatting a cliff bar as I type this . I'm ready. The Rocky music is going off in my head, part of me keeps asking myself "why do I do this?" My answer is simple "BECAUE I CAN!" Now it's a half hour ride, going through body markings, and waiting for the start. My heart is throbbing out of my chest and part of me wants to just get back on to I-195 and head home, but I'm not. Maybe I'm psycho, maybe'm a glutton for suffering or maybe it's just I like the bragging of doing more in a few hours than most people do all day. All I know is this, AR (my "coach", ) MED, MJD, HD, CD RD and RD2 HM, MM, LD, the blazeman, all the people who can't do what I'm about to. Now it's 5:00 it's time to hit the road and kick this pig. It's game time bitches.