Friday, July 20, 2007

My training plans have been screwed and it's pissing me off.

Yes that's right. In the last two days I've been going through motivation withdrawl ( although putting some new Michilens on the bike yesterday has me jones to hit the asphalt. ) The last two days I have hit snooze through the early morning time frame I had alotted for swimming. The rain/tornado yesterday ended my hopes for a short bike ride ( anything under 30 miles for me is short), and today a flat tire on my Subaru quite literally "screwed" me out of an evening pool work out. ( instead I did a 3 mile hill workout , even if I can't do Waramaug I want to be ready for it, or at least kick some ass at Niantic). My day at the bank was long and irksome, everybody and their brother was cashing checks, and I was sitting at the drive through counting down the hours until I would be set free ( until 8:30am tomorrow)to try to enjoy this beautiful day. Unfortunately I would spend the last remaing day light hours running an errand ( picking up bottled water,which I got then noticed my driver side front tire was pancaked) then rushing to the tire shop only to findout they were closed. Rather than risk driving to the Waterbury Y getting in my swim workout then having to change to a spare tire, in the ghetto, in the dark. i decided to do a nice 4 mile run to Wolcott High and back, but on noticing the sun was going down and people drive like idiots when they can see pefectly then get exponetially worse when they can't see. I decided it would be safer to do a mile and half warm up down lyman road and around the neighborhood, before doing 3 loops up a fairly short yet steep hill on Francis dr. All in all the run was about 3.5-4.0 miles and took me about 34 min. It was the first true hill work out I had done since high school track ( my coaches words "hills are your friend" "hill work is cheap speed" were ringing in my ears and with the first 1.5 miles at Waramaug being uphill this would be a definiate advantage on the competition, as well as Niantic in which the last 400 meters is run on beach sand.) All in all I felt pretty good, and hopefully I will have confirmation on if I can do Waramaug soon. My car will be getting service as I work tomorrow, and I have decided to ride the bike into work just to show off how hardcore I am. ( also concidered wearing the bike shoes all day in the lobby but I won't torture my boss as he conteplates the fate of my race in 2 weeks) So all in all there is nothing too interesting going on here. Monday's post should be more interesting as Angry Runner and I take on the "mother of all bricks" Two loops of the Pat Griskus olympic Triathlon bike course ( bike profile here: followed by a loop of the less daunting sprint course and a loop of the 5k run course ( 2 loops if I'm feeling good.) Angry gripes that he's a "sprinter type" and likes to hammer it out on the big ring. Personally I'm a climber and I think that even if angry is "master of the flatlands" the hills can only help his preformance" so needless to say when ever we reach an incline I'm going into attack mode (granted my climbing this year could use a little more work I've been out of the saddle more than I like.) So as I said Sunday's post will be more interesting. As for tomorrow I have work, followed by a quick swim, "short" 20 mile flat time trial ( ie going on rails to trails in Cheshire-Hamden and going as hard as I can in the big ring), followed by 5:30 mass and rest for Sunday afternoon's death match against the steepest hills between Woodbury and Bethelehem.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Trying to stop the hate or showin' the boss man some lovin'

Ok in my last 3 blogs I have been kind of harsh on my boss for possibly not giving me Aug.11 off ( and possibly wrecking my Nutmeg State sprint Tri experience). Most would seem to get the impression that my boss is ( a dick, prude, ass... insert insult here) not the most pleasant man to work for. But I can't really bitch. For the most part he's been pretty cool with my racing schedule this year ( even thought about doing a charity ride that me and some of the company's more athletic types took on. Yes this is the one I wiped out in and got caught like one of those break away riders on a sprint stage. Also I don't think a wal-mart special mountainbike would have handled the hills we tackled. Try sports authority they've got a little more higher end, I also tried talking him into going to my supplier The Bike Rack of Waterbury. If he will buy a bike remains to be seen, but I say he should do it. Then he'll truly understand my addiction) and last year when I was forced to take a Saturday course he helpped me out by adjusting my work schedule so I could take a full time course load. So for any misgivings I have given about him I apologize profusely. The main cause of my rumblings is that when I originally signed up I thought the race was scheduled for Sunday morning, not Saturday, and now I am starring at the fact that I might have to eat an $80.00 race fee, ( when I could have signed or might end up signing up for a race that I know takes place on Sunday and saved $80.00.) So my gripage has mostly been due to this fact ( proof once again that money or lack thereof is the cause of most of life's problems.). So before I get 90 comments on my boss or me being an ass I would like to apologize and blame the whole sorry affair ofmy rage on the true culprit: my meager race budget.

Ok with that out of the way I'll comment on how today went.
Work was slow until about 3:30Pm, ( my branch closes at 3 but we usually leave one teller on drive up which closes at 4) Suddenly it was if somebody flashed the bat signal that " the bank is closing in 30 min. haul ass to the drive thru or lose your money forever." because seriuosly I must have had more customers in the last 30 min. than I had all day. after surving the deluge of customers it was a 3 min. back home, a quick change of clothes, planting myself infront of the tube to watch this morning's stage of Le Tour: an French Guy won. Not only that he was 36 and retiring this year and this was his first stage win in a decade, so it sort of started the good karma flowing. I went to the Waterbury Y and after waiting outside for 15 min. due to a fire drill. I was able to get into the water and do about 4000 yds. ( main set 5x 200 on 2:45 , followed by 200 pull on 3:00, 4x50 kick on 1:00, 200 pull on 3:00, 4x 50 free on :40 200 pull on 3:00, 4x50 kick on 1:00 ) The 200's were kind of slow ( I only held about 2:35-2:40) but I was pretty fast on my sprint 50's ( :35's and under for those 4 on :40).
All in all it was a good day.

Something not commented on last Saturday was the fact that I was made a eurcharistic minister in my parish ( St. Anne's of Waterbury) normally I have volunteered as a lector, and an acolyte ( fancy term for an altar boy), but about a month ago Father Hinkley put out a call that they needed eurcharistic ministers So the deacon ( Ordained position one step below a Priest in the Catholic Church, he can do everything a priest can do except say mass and hear confessions, for those who are Orthodox, Catholic, or from an Anglican community you know what I'm saying, for those who aren't bear with me, and if he's married before entering the deaconate he can keep his wife if his wife dies he cannot remarry but has the option to become a priest) 's wife and I volunteered, hauled out to Litchfield for trainning, attended a meeting on child abuse but on by the Archdiocese ( pretty much don't molest or abuse kids or the elderly and if you do we will kick your ass then the state will proceed to kick your ass.)So needless to say last Saturday my back round check and my theological back round check ( ie Did you take a list of 95 things you don't like about the church and nail them to the Cathedral door, did you argue with the pope over dissolving a politically motivated marriage, commit any acts of hersey, star in a porn flim, marry several women and men at the same time..etc.) cleared through the Archdiocese and I am now allowed to hand out Holy Communion at Mass ( for Catholics this is a sacred duty because WE (Catholics) believe that bread and wine through the power of the Holy Sprit becomes the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ... before I get 20 angry rants from any evangelicals, or persons of other faiths this is MY theology this is what I believe brings me close to God and I am not attempting to convert anyone to Catholcism rather share a moment that I felt brought me closer to the force which I believe has a hand in running this world the cause of life whichsome of us call God ( ok so I paraphrase Thomas Aquinas, but he can't sue me he's been dead for 700 years.) ( on a more personal note I believe that if a person follows the 2 universal principals of any religion ( 1) pay homage to the awesome force (god, the force, random proability, Brahama, Cronous, Mr. Potato Head...) that created this ball of dirt we call Earth. 2) Treat other people ( regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual preference, general everybody) with the same kindness, compassion, and respect which you yourself would wish to be treated and I think God( or force named above) will not be a cruel,and condemn you to Hell for believing a different message or messenger. ( I've been taught that this guy/girl/diety has infinate mercy and is pretty cool unlike mankind which has a huge stick up it's ass.) . If not me and Judas Iscariot will be sitting in the 9th layer playing Texas Hold'em). So in either case under the tennants of MY not THE , My personal religious preferneces, I had a recieved a pretty huge honor and experienced a deeper communing with the force that I believe guides us. Ok that was my crazy, religious, philosophical rant. I know for putting it up I'm going to recieve some hate, some people will call me a heretic, say I'm condemned, or I'm a prude, but those are my beliefs and I know they are not everyone's and personally what ever anyone else wishes to believe is fine with me ( as long it does not involve using me as a victim for human sacrifice, I' m skinny I don't burn well.)
So until next time :
"May the force be with you."

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

I have joined forces with HEAT.

Yep that's right this solo assassin has formally sent in his $25 big ones and joined the Hartford Extended Area Triathletes (HEAT). Was it the pimp uniforms? Was it the strategic racks at Waramaug? Was it the not so subtle hints from Pat, Ken, Cristano, and others? I'd have to say it was a combo of all 3. But anyhoo I am now a member of this illustrious organization and its time to stict to Team Mossman North End style.

Waramaug Update: My boss is making it clear that I will most likely end up working Aug. 11. So now I'm trying to compromise with him (ie see if he'll let me into work @9:00am I figure I should be off course at the latest 8:10am and it takes 45 min. to an hour toget to Wolcott) and become eligible for the Gretta Garbo Award (no media publicity after the race), Clark Kent Award ( Go from tri suit to shirt in tie in under five min.), The Race and Run award (not bothering with the pre race just going from the finish line to the showers or the lake then quickly changing in the car to haul out to Wolcott), The Bat out of Hell Award ( for the quickest car ride down 202, 118, 254, and route 8 in order to be at my desk taking deposits and withdrwals as soon as the doors open.) and the Intersting foot wear award ( showing up with my racing flats on to get back at "the man". )
If this happens the Angry Runner will be responsible for picking up any bling I might earn. ( don't try stealing that gift card to the Hopkins Inn, I check brightroom.)
Either that or I'll just end up eatting my race fees and show up at my desk at 8:30 muddle through 4 hours of work and call Angry to find out how the race went and seethe with anger to unleash at Park City or the Litchfield Hills Olympic ( which If I have to sacrifice Waramaug I will do out of frustration, and the fact that let's face it I'm a fire breathing competitor.) .

Ok so now that my frustration of not getting any clear answer from my boss is out of the way. I managed to get in about 11 miles running ( I still have Niantic next week), watched Le Tour and saw Discovery get back vestiges of their former glory. ( Alberto Contidor is my hero, Levi is America's only hope, and Poppo is just plain nasty) and some kid (Solar ) from that South African team lay waste to the field, and Michael Rasmussen held onto his yellow jersey. Seriously he could be a Wizard of Oz-esque character ( he could have his own theme song " If I could only ride a good time-trial").
Well that's all for tonight happy blogging.

Monday, July 16, 2007

It's Monday

That's right today July 16 was Monday, that lovely day that marks my return to the real world (work). Today was spent aking care of customers (most of whom were quite pleasant.), drooling over a QR ultrafill wetsuit that with the right finagling can be mine, and desperately pleading with my boss to get Aug. 11 off so I can lay waste.....umm....enjoy "friendly" competion in Washington, CT . ( he gave me a "we'll see" Translation: "Damn it Rob I need you to work on Saturdays can't you just put this tri shit on hold." I can't really bitch he's been understanding so far.) After going up to CCSU (Central Connecticut State University (the Harvard of Centrally Located State Universities in Connecticut)) and getting the paperwork necessary for additional Financial aid ( yes I commute and my tutition is mostly taken care of by my current package ( all but $1.5k roughly $400 for this semester and $1.1k for next.), I do need money for books, new tires, some summer classes for next year, and I'll be honest perchance a tri bike. (hey it's an educational expense it will help me gain a better understanding of the geography of the state, or it will pay off the credit card that I used buying my educational tools so I can buy said tri bike)). It will be a loan so before I get 50 pissed off emails saying I'm abusing the system a vast majority of this money will be re-embursing me for cash spent out of pocket on books, and will be saved for the summer course, and when I graduate in 3 semesters I will pay this all back, and hopefully when I establish myself I will set up the Robert Edward (last name kept confidential) III charitable trust for student triathletes, In which I will award grants to student s who participate in triathlon and show skill not only on course but also in the class room. Ok that's covered. Now back to the day at hand. I managed to get an easy 7 mile run in ( @ about 8:45 mile pace). Followed by a difficult 3000 yd. swim (main set 10x 100's on 1:20(I made all but 2)). All in all it was a pretty good day , except for uncertainity about my race on the 11th and a slight pain in my hip from where I bashed it against a file cabinet earlier. okay and now for what every one's waiting for bike Pjorn:
my current ride:
note this is without my aero bars and clipless pedals

My dream ride:

What I'll probably buy next season:

more pictures of my pimped out Marin will be posted on the blog.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Will Work for Entry Fee into Eagleman!

August 1, is rapidly approaching and at 10am I will find myself trying to enter in between customers and my manger's dirty looks. Yes I am doing Eagleman 70.3, my goals are simple:
1)the most important: Finish the damn thing!
2)be there first hand to witness the Dr. Jodi vs. Angry Runner duel. Jodi is the long distance goddess, and the Angry Runner well... he's angry and he doesn't like to get beat. It should be entertaining.
3) 3 words: KONA OR BUST! that's right this race is take no prisoners I want a Kona slot and when the cannon goes off to enter the water I'm attacking the swim like a blood thirsty savage, the bike is getting attacked, the run is going to be go hard or go home. I'm either leaving with a Kona slot or they're going to be burying my cold dead ass. I'm probably taking a week off for this one because there is no way I'm going to be able to drive home the night of.
Now comes the problem of funding it. Well I work at a bank.....hmm 5 to 10, kona glory....5 to 10 ....kona I'm not going to rob the bank tempting as it is. (IM entry fees, BMC TT1 Time machine, BMW M3 with bike rack, training bungelow in Hawaii ( at least the downpayment). ) Well my student loan can take a partial payment this paycheck I can give the rest on the next one ( as I get paid by- weekly ) man I love how I problem solve in blogs. Anyway, anyone out there work for companies that sponsors crazy endurance athletes? Leave a post.

And on the seventh day Bob rested...

after a week that involved two sprint tris, several hours on the bike and on the road, and more laps in a pool than I dare attempt to count, I have decided to take a well deserved rest day. Yesterday I cut my pool work out to about 4000yds. not great but better than my normal average work out which was hovering around 2500 to 3500 yds. I cut the bike short to only about 45 miles after doing one loop of the Griskus Olympic Tri course, which can best be compared to CT's Alpe du Heuz. The nine miles of climbing took its toll as I muscled up CT-132 in the middle ring watching cyclist from the top of the hill take the much easier route down. After a descent down Route 61 which I took way too slow ( I kept seeing all these road work ahead signs, and instead of taking the risk that I would turn a corner going 40 and hit grooved pavement and crash like Stuart O' Grady in this morning's stage of the tour, I kept my speed down to a reasonable 20-25. When I saw that the work was being done on the side roads I was pissed. DAMN YOU CT DOT! YOU COST ME 20MPH ON A WELL EARNED DESCENT!) After completing the 24.5 mile loop I began to do loops of the less difficult sprint course (for which my battered legs were thankful) which was only 10 miles around. After about 2 loops my 32oz. Water bottle was dry, my 20 oz. of Powerade was history and I decided it was way too hot to continue without either. So I threw my bike back in the car. I showered went to Mass (a Catholic Religious service not the New England State. Shout out to No Wet Suit Girl.) Then proceed to chill with my homies afterward. When I got home an collasped watching the replay of yesterday's tour stage I decided to take today off. My legs need the rest, I go back to work tomorrow, and now have to go through the daily grind of Work, cram in time to fit in a work out, do the other shit I've got to do, and number crunch how to finagle my finances to enter the 2008 Eagleman 70.3 and buy a fuel belt, more body glide and a new wetsuit ( once again shout out to no wet suit girl.) Seriously the rest of the day will be devoted to tabulating all my race results past and putting them into my USAT profile and sending out resumes to potential sponsors. I figure even if I just get partial sponsor ship (discounts) I'll be able to upgrade my tri weaponry for my sprint, olympic, half-iron, full-iron, and perchance Kona gloriousness next year. The debate to join HEAT (Hartford Extended Area Triathletes) also weighs heavily on my mind. I am a co founder of CCSU's Tri squad and I do not know what kind of conflict of interest this will cause. Well enough for now. Keep doing the vodoo that you do. Leave some love, or hate, or whatever you feel like writing.