Saturday, May 3, 2008

12 miles......

Today the weather regally sucked. I was going to get my Lance Armstrong on and tackle the Hills of Wolcott, Terryville, Thomaston and Litchfield, but opted instead for a long run, so as to save the Bitch Stomper potential road damage.
As I ran my usual cross town loop, I decided to experiment with orange GU2O. It surprisingly wasn't bad although my mom commented that it looked like "rusty well water." My run was 12 miles of basically hill work. Claire once asked me on a training ride how I did it on the run. How can a guy whom my track coach stated " had no natural ability" ( let's face it my parents were 2 pack a day smokers before I was a twinkle in my father's eye. So yes I would huff and puff even on my training runs desperately trying to keep pace.)crank out sub 2 hour half marathons and a sub 4 hour marathon in the Ironman. We talked about hill repeats and no lie when I started I used to run up and down the steepest hill in my general area 10 times frightening the Hell out of my neighbors. As I became a distance whore I had to find a way to combine hills along with high volume training...I discovered one of the only good things about living in the rough rocky area that is New England, there are no shortages of hills. So my long runs have also become my hill work...and are actually, at least for me, a better simulation of climbing than hill repeats. Afterall anyone can tackle hills knowing they've got their car parked next to the track/ball field but to run 20 miles and know you've got a mountain between you and home and it makes the experience of knowing you've got a hill at mile 25 of the marathon more realistic...I could go on about this for eons but I'll save it for another post.

On my 12 miler today, thoughts of Ken Glah and his epic Ironman Marathons of the early 90's popped into my head. Now some crazy shit started going through my head as I was racing, at just how remarkable some of those races were. I mean guys like Glah, Scott Tinley, Paul Kiru, Scott Molina....these guys were running on coca-cola, gatorade and half a banana, also their sun glasses could serve as a wind shield for a compact car. The other thing that popped into my head was his nickname.." The Beast From the East" sadly in this sport not too many of us from the East Coast really go far..Glah, Karen Smyers, maybe a few others Jordan Rapp, Some of us defect to the better weather and training culture of the West Coast...but again back to Glah, when he started in the 80's he would do IM New Zealand and he would train for it in PA, which meant he was training in a New England/ Mid-Atlantic Winter, before fancy things such as computrainers and spintervals ( granted life got easier when he married an Aussie and his in-laws moved to NZ and he could spend two months on the island preparing.) But anyway, I started thinking, if he started similar to me, just a guy going out there and cranking this shit out, could I be following in famous footsteps? Alright maybe that's dellusional grandeur, I haven't run anything near a 2:40 marathon, my's improving...and my swim forget it, I've left half the field in the last zip code...and I'm usually in no man's land waiting to get caught by the faster cyclists, who should just be tearing out of T-1 as I approach the 2 mile mark.....hubris aside...that was what was running through my head as I set down the miles. Does a stressed out , heavily indebted, no talent bum like me stand a shot of going pro? I have often been told I'm a better triathlete than I was a one sport athlete...I was an ok swimmer, an ok runner, and competent cyclist. The thing was I had a knack at being consistent ( granted my bike really needs improvement). I guess at the end of the doesn't matter...the sport for me holds sort of a freedom, that for a few hours I can escape the office, the classes, the being a good wage slave/ son/ studying machine. That for at least a few miles, the man I am and the man I want to be meet up. Alright this is getting way to stream of conciousness on me.

I got the run in 1:50 not too bad, granted I want to get my mileage back up...I want to have Ironman style base and speed for my "Hell Week" in the beginning of July...because if I'm not going to Kona, I want a slot at Clearwater and damn it if I am going to either I would really like some of the prize money from the Patriot, to offset my travel, or a nice set of areo wheels.

The next " Beast From the East" ?

Friday, May 2, 2008

Finally back in the weight room.

Well after reading Angry spout on his weights, kettlebell, and slosh pipe, and noticing my bicepts and tricepts were looking a little saggy I made my way to the Waterbury YMCA for a session of lifting and some sweet sweet pool time. When I entered I was reminded that my memebership dues are coming well might be my last visit to the Y for a while, unless of course I sneak to other area Y's until next payday, but in any case I went to the last bastion of non-gangland testoterone in the dirtywater. My session began with some core work, 150 assorted crunches. Then 3x 16 DB arm curls @ 25llbs. 3x 10 DB Tricept press same dumbell. The next set on the tour of pain was some squats, 3x 8 reps at 95 lbs. I felt incredibly weak, and odd as a group of teenage gawkers looked on. The squats were followed by 3 sets of 8 reps same weight bench press. I tried to do lunges with a 25 plate in each hand. My knees felt it and as I attempted todo leg extensions I was forced to abort to same myself from injury. I ended my night in the land of Iron with 3x8 pec flys with free weights. at 25 and 30 lbs. respectively. Weak yes, but I'm an endurance guy.

I hit the pool and caught up with Cervelo Chick, who except for learning how to draft is tearing it up on the ITU U23 2012 she should be a front runner for the London games, and hopefully I'll be spewing some shit of I knew her when on some Pod cast from Lake Placid after I desimate the field on the run overcoming a 10 min. gap Macca style. ( I can dream can't I). Anyway tonight was a distance night. 1000 warm up followed by 500 pull, followed by the main set 4x500 on 7:00 3500 yards it was a good night except I lost count on all but the last 500, so I think I might have tacked some Extra yards on. ( I was coming in on the 30 and I know I wasn't going 7:30 for 550....) Regardless I feel that I am regaining some much needed strength and that if I can get in the weight room at least 1-2 times a week than all will be good in the land of Bob-o.

This weekend not much is on tap. A ride/run tomorrow, followed by school work, followed by a Serbian double bluff to the Crew at the Southington Y, and ride followed by mas paper writing on Sunday. I am beginning to get the sense that my weekends and afternoons will soon be mine and I can hardly contain myself.

Getting Stronger as we speak.

For those About to Rock St. Croix 70.3 ...I salute you.

Well that's right the St. Croix 70.3 is coming up and I have a few frieds down there as competitiors and observers. Ken has flown down to take splits and egg on his coach and Endureitmultisports Master of Ceremonies and lord of Lake Waramaug John Hirsch. Bree Wee last year's Kona age group champion is tackling her first 70.3 as a pro. Now why the big deal on St. Croix , sad thing was many moons and more years in college than I like ago, when I had the whole competitive swimmer thing going on, we went down to the island for some sun, some rum and some fun ( if you consider 2 a days in long course meters fun.) Needless to say I do not have to divulge the results of 40 something college athletes set free on an island where rum is cheaper than food. Also I noticed the lttle pamphlets for this tri when it was still known as the St. Croix International Triathlon, also that same year a couple of Candians decided to celebrate their divorce by winning Kona....

One day I will do it, and I will suffer on the moutains of this little island. Seriously, there are some climbs there that even our bus had problems climbing, so when they say bring an 11-27 bring your 11-27. But for anyone planning on going to St. Croix, the people are wonderful, the beaches are great, the cheap...and if you ever happen to find your way to Bongos Bar and Grill, if they're still open, you might see a Fordham Swimming T-shirt hanging in the corner, I'm pretty sure my name is on there somewhere...

Also Fort Christainsevern, or however you spell it ( sadly I don't know Danish.) is right on the harbor and makes for some good shots, as well several of the building in town with their candy colored pastel paint jobs. For nature lovers, there are several great beaches, and if you snokel or dive the place is a gold mine of good spots. If my thoughts are Vague I apolgize it's been five years and most of my time was spent in a 50 meter pool.

So for those about to tackle the island..good luck, I'm a little jealous, and have fun with THE BEAST!


Thursday, May 1, 2008

What's in a name.....

Well I could post about how I skipped class yesterday to do some much needed research, get in a much needed run ...and oh yes take a desperately needed nap...5 hour nights just ain't cutting it in point I slept through my alarm twice this own fault for being up late, being non productive but still.

Anyhoo that is not what this post is about. Rather after a brief discussion with Ken at the Nutmeg State Half about the Jodi/Bob throw down ( sadly I can't make it to Steelhead, but if we both qualify for Clearwater your ass is mine Jodi! ( Howard Dean Yell here!)) Ken has already placed his bet on the side of the good Doctor. " no offense Bob but I think Jodi and Mike Honcho will school you and the Bitch Stomper." Said the Cookie Monster. Well from this smack came the idea of what to name your bike. Is there an interesting story behind it?

I'll divulge mine:

Last summer or "DebtFest 2007" I decided to throw down on a tri bike. Afterall I was flying Halfway around the World for an Ironman and I wanted to haul serious ass, and sadly I don't think my 23lb. Sora equipped road Bike ( Trusty Enrico, or my sister's lover, she chose the name becuase she was the one crammed up against it when we traveled the state to my various races. )My local bike shop really didn't offer much in the way of financing and sadly I had to defect to the other area shops. First I checked at Newington Cycle, they're a co-sponsor to the CCSU tri club, I know Jeff who is almost as trustworthy as Al ( lets face it Al and Blair have taught me everything I know about bike set ups, tuning, repair, how to patch a freaking flat.) Jeff is my tour BS kind of guy...and these guys carried trek and lemond as well as the Trek card. sadly the Trek bikes I had fallen in love with were all out of stock, and the Lemond in my price range wasn't looking too appealing. I saw an add for the Biker's Edge in Bristol spitting distance from my homestead and they carried Specialized, Trek and C-dizzle ( I didn't know where Central Wheel was at the time and I didn't want to traverse the State more than I had too. ) Needless to say that's where I found it, a $2000 piece of aluminum speedass. a 54cm Specialized Transition comp in Chrome Black Metalic. It had a 105 Crank, front deraileur, and Calipers..which hey it's an upgrade and a half from Sora...and the vernerable Ultegra 10 speed, rear cassette and rear deraileur......I was in love. I was fitted nearly match perfect to the damn thing. ( If anyone does go to the Biker's Edge, Ed or Bob will take care of you, and there was this one mechanic who was pretty cool, some of the young guys come accross as used car salesman.) needless to say I threw down $1600 on it, along with $200 for a bike rackthat sees more use in the Summer on shorter trips like pan New England ( as much as I want to use the rack on my Maryland Adventure I'm afraid of NY and PA traffic crushing my beloved steed.) and about $1k in shoes pedals and other accessories. When I finally got home with my new baby, I found my self thinking WWARD? ( What Would Angry Runner Do.) what would he say about this slammin' new set of wheels. Only one phrase came to mind " You could stomp some serious bitches on that bike." Thus it came to Pass that my Specialized Transition Comp became know Hence forth as The Bitch Stomper..and since that day in August it has left a path of death in destruction in the 20-24 age group that has been unparamounted.... well alright I won my age group twice and finished 20th in my Age Group and in the top 400 at Ironman New Zealand...but this summer muhahahah! Now if only I could get an extra Cassette, and maybe upgrade to full Ultegra, maybe some Zipp 1080's...alright I'll stop dreaming over componets and future up grades.

Oh yes and Consider yourself write on your own bike naming experience ...or lack there of.

Back to the grind.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Swing low Sweet Stimulus Check......

Coming forth to carry my credit card balance back to an acceptable level......

Ok now that I have just killed that moving southern spiritual. Ironman New Zealand's registration opens on May 7th and I want in. Now I know what a lot of people are saying, Bob-o you're nuts do Placid, Placid's close, it won't cost you an arm and a leg to go there. It's in the summer when you can train for it. I just read Speed racer's post on the course.... I'm confident I could do it, granted I'd shit my tri shorts on that 9k descent...if it's a technical descent, a straight drop I can sort of enjoy, Especially on the second loop after climbing like a madman...I which case I don't care if the speed is lethal, I just want to get onto the run as fast as possible. So this July I'm planning on hauling up to Lake Placid on Saturday the 19th sleeping in my car and volunteering hoping it will get me a shot to enter. so next year there will hopefully be 3 Irons on the calendar..New Zealand, Lake Placid, and well you know.... aloha oi aloha oi......

So sadly that stimulus check will be spent, getting out of Debt, or at least trying to make a dent. So I can get ready to use it to pay for the 2009 Reign of Terror... and a few BS exams to get credits to graduate in 2009.

So that's all for now, Hopefully I'll have a more interesting post later on.
until then I gotts to get back to serving the rich peoples.


Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Nobody likes you when you're 23....

Well I've survived yet another 365 days and am now 23 years old......BIG FREAKING DEAL!!!!

Of all the stupid excuses we find to celebrate, why the hell do we celebrate birthdays....ok when you're a kid it's an excuse to eat cake and crap and get a few toys ( not the dirty kind.), maybe some cash, maybe a savings bond to use to celebrate your 21st birthday...I mean pay for college. At 16 you get to drive and 21 you and your friends go out and get wasted without having to use fake IDs..25 you can run for Federal office, 40 you're over the hill, 50 you're really over the hill, and past 75 you're sticking it to the man..for outliving average life expectancy... or you're a member of some royal family and it gives people the day off from work....those those cases it's ok to celebrate...but between 22 and 40 why do we there a all that CO2 I exhaled last year really worth a party, a cake, or chopping down a tree to make a card....I just don't get it.


Monday, April 28, 2008

Nutmeg State Half Marathon: Race Report

Well this morning I got my ass out of bed at the butt crack of dawn to run 13.1 miles in the scenic Litchfield Hills. I showed up at the start line 20 min. before the the scene of a bunch of local road racers and a few chicks in yoga pants doing their pre race warm ups. Now may be it was dumb of me but I really didn't warm up for this sucker. I think I jogged at a leisurely pace for about 5 min. after getting my number and taping my feet up. ( My flats are relatively new so I'm still a tad bit blister eventually I will have them properly broken in.) I also discover that we racers let old habits die hard. I waited in line for one of about 4 portolets for about 5 min. When I passed the pavilion where registration was still going on, I noticed 2 flush toilet rest rooms..the line for the women's room was short, about 3 people and there was absolutely no line for the men's room...I think there is something about being an athlete that we are sort of programed to bee line for the portolets, even though there is a better alternative ripe for the picking. There was a 10k event with this race as well and the 50 odd people that signed up for the shorter event made their way over to the start line the gun went off at 7:55 and they were off. The us gluttons for pain made our way over to the start, our gun was due to go off at 8:00.

The race.

We started at 8:00 running backward through the finish chute ( some guy put the banner on wrong.) and around the ball field on a little gravel path. There were at the most 100 people doing this gig and most of them were training for the Vermont City marathon next month. The packs broke up early. A lead group of 5 to 10 runners, then a pack of 7 guys and a chick in yoga pants as a chase group. Me and this Yale chick from Cali, were in no man's land, and then the rest of the field behind. We made it out of the park and crossed the bridge through the center of town. We climbed a slight hill into the Depot, before getting on part of my usual bike loop. I looked down at my watch as we passed the first mile marker 7:43. We continued along Route 47 passing the second mile marker, me and Cali chick, beginning to reel in some guy with a knee brace that had been dumped off the back of the second group. For a second I had to check my watch to see if the markers were we passed the second mile marker. My split was supposedly a 7:07. At the first aid station Cali chick and myself caught the dude with knee braces and at the same time were passed by two forty something who were intent on catching the chase pack. I decided it would be wise not to pursue, since I really haven't gotten many long runs in since the Ironman. We hit the 3 mile mark I did a time check 7:51..alright that seemed a little more accurate. I began to pull away from Cali chick as this forty year old guy and a 35 year came along side. They were looking to hold 7:20 and I wasn't really struggling to keep pace so we made sort of an unspoken agreement to pace each other. We hit the 4 mile mark 6:39...we looked at one another.." I think the measurement's off." the 35 year old said...." Yeah, because to hold that kind of pace at this point I'd have to be sprinting" Cali chick answered back huffing and puffing about 3 feet behind. A nineteen year old rookie came along side and we started to shoot the shit before he pulled away. We hit the 5 mile mark 7:00...We began our descent into town. the nineteen year old stud out in front, me in a pack of my own for about a min. then the forty year old, the 35 year old, a studly 35 year old chick, and Cali Chick starting to go anaerobic.We hit the 6 mile mark and Third aid station. 6:55...I started tossing water on my head, and then I saw it the first real hill. the forty year old got around me and accelerated, the 35 year olds saw the hill and attacked it pulling out of sight I cracked, my stride shortens on hills, that and I figured I still had 6miles to go and it wouldn't be worth it if I blew it on one hill....We hit the next aid station, again water and gatorade....still going up finally the 8 mile mark appeared I had checked my watch 8:40..The seven mile mark was somewhere in this mess and apparently I did 7:19...regardless. We hit the turn around Cali chick was closing as was triathlete Phil...I hit the aid station again on the way down. Phil ran past noticing my team Blazeman shirt. " The warrior poet." he said... for a second I didn't my oxygen deprived head it almost sounded like "what are you holding?" I gave him a confused look " the blazeman" he said "the warrior poet." It had been hard to hear him the first time. We continued down hill back to the center of town to the 9 mile mark. 7:21 the down hill helped..again through the center of town and the to the left onto our 3 branch of "the shamrock" as this course had been described. Again at the aid station gatorade for the system and water over the head...I was beginning to look like I entered some sick and twisted wet T-shirt contest. We began to climb once again and around me came Cali Chick, as if to say I'm Baack! We hit the 10 mile marker 7:41...the pace was holding pretty good, but me legs were begining to feel like shit. We ran past Ken's aid station, now there is only one bad thing about running my Ken's aid station, he will almost go to the point of insult and in some cases beyond to get the lead out of your ass. I ran by " come on Rob this run ain't shit. I began to pull away from Cali Chick a little going in to the last turn the back of my head I was dreading a mad dash down the finish chute because my legs just didn't have it. we passed the aid station...Ken shouted something out but I couldn't hear it, I had Cali Chick right on my tail huffing and puffing finally getting around me and beginning to pull away..there was no 11 mile marker so when we hit the 12 mile mark I got the 2 mile split 14.17....1 mile left. As we made our way down hill back to the center of town Cali Chick began to sprint the advantage beginning to legs just didn't have in them to catch her....We made our turn to the right and over the bridge, then a right into the school yard for a "victory lap" of the ball field the 50 meter gap between me and Cali Chick didn't grow and for a while it was almost as if I was catching her. We hit the 13 mile marker plopped in the middle of the baseball field 7:37....Cali Chick saw the finish line and took a hard right toward the finish, she may be cut 2 feet off the course but after 13 miles it's not that big a deal I took the right hander 2 feet past the mile marker and came in about 30 seconds behind her. 1:37.13 according to my watch...1:37.09 according to the timing mat.( they subtracted the 4 seconds it took to get through the crowded start mat.) Cali Chick aka Lauren ( found her name after the race) explained to me that she was pacing me for the entire thing and as a result qualified for the ING New York City Marathon ( time standard is 1:37 flat...Men's standard is 1:23..I missed it by about 15 min.)

So ladies for my airfare, race entry, and a $50 good will bonus I can get you to qualify for the NYC marathon....

I hung around for the post race, but I always feel I turn into" that guy", because I talk about races, ask questions about essence I believe I become an annoying little bastard at the post race...I just feel like I never shut up, then again if I say more than 5 words I feel I've talked too much...but out of the deal I got a box load of bagels....

So in recap
Half Marathon in 1:37.09 = roughly 7:24 min/mile pace on semi-tired, undertrained legs ( I haven't done a run over 10 miles since New Zealand)

Hopefully with a little more training I'll be Kona or Clearwater bound after Eagleman, I could still change my registration at Patriot to Open ( and eligible for cash prizes) as most of the big names are racing for more cash in RI depending on my Eagleman showing I might end up racing for cash.
Well that's all I can write for the moment.