Saturday, July 19, 2008

Learning from 08 Planning for 09

Well 2008 has been a hell of a year, granted it's still not over, I have at least 2 races left on tap. From my ambitious schedule this year with life and the economy wrecking havoc on well laid plans I have decided to start planning ahead for 09 now. I have done some big name races and know what they're all about so now I figure is the best time to set my race goals for next season, that and start getting my logistics straight, as I bring myself back into a comfort zone.

Goal 3 A Priority races!

Also learned from this year pay for my season ender before the season, and wacky summer finances hit the fan.

Ideally I'd like to do 2 Ironmans in 09 I'd love to go back to New Zealand ( mainly as it doesn't sell out, and I've already got a place to crash down there, and the Kiwis rock!) so that's on my short list. Enter the" you moron it will cost you a kings Ransom to go down again...and you'll be living in a cardboard box." rant. I've already told my parents, relatives to talk me out of it, to tell me to focus on school, my career, my financial health,their future nursing homes, but instead got the "go for it while you're young, dumb, and full of ......enthusiasm." Dang 5 years ago my parents were telling me the Griskus was a waste of cash, when did they become cool and I become such a tightwad? Other reasons fueling this decision are hearing about Iron Matron's condo experience in Placid, for most people it costs about $3k to do an Ironman anyway, I might as well do it and have a passport stamp out of the deal.

Another Foreign IM on the radar is Western Australia in Brusselton in December 09,

Pros: All Summer and fall to train. Aussie chicks are HOT! Flat as a pancake! Kona would be 10 months off if I qualified.

Cons: I only know one person in OZ and she's in Brisbane, King's Ransom Rant again, Also do I really want to spend Christmas alone in a foreign land, spend the money there that I would be spending in the malls here, for my loved ones.

The last of the Foreign Canidates is Bob and Claire tackle the Carnaries. Lanzorate. Claire has wanted to do it , and I couldn't do it without a translator, so if I do this one I'll be tagging along with Speedy Claire and hearing about how her bike split obliterated mine, the entire flight back. That and Melissa will have to tag along as well so this one might be just as costly.

The Domestics don't prove to be any cheaper unless I decide to weekend an Ironman.

CDA is out...already filled

Lake Placid.....I won't have the cash


Wisconsin: The weather is iffy, it's hilly as all hell, Jodi will most likely show up for us to have an Ironwar, I might reallistically have all my ducks in a row to register for it, but if I qualify for Kona I have to finance and recover in a hurry. On the fence on this one.

Arizona: They moved it to November, so hopefully all those " I was popping salt tablets like m&m's" stories willl be at an end. There are a few hills in this sucker but for the most part the toughest battle is against the heat also if I don't have $500 by November I'm in deeper shit than I thought. This one is on the short list.

Florida: Flat, fast, the swim has a death toll meter, retirees clogging the roads. I heard mixed reviews on this race, some people love it some people hate it, I would like to do it just to pull an absurdly fast bike split, but I know at least 1500 other tri geeks are thinking the exact same thing....

So those are the ideas for which Ironman my lycra covered, timex using, finely tuned athletic ass is contemplating throwing down for, remember I'm contemplating doing only one or two on the list not everyone of them, I know I'm not made off money, unless 6 strategic numbers get pulled by the CT lottery tonight.

Next year I'm also planning on doing RI 70.3 again, it was a nice race and I really like having one close to home. WTC if you want to put on a full iron in NE Call me I know some great spots and race directors in CT aching for 140.6 mile (226.2km) love fest. Also doing the Patriot Tri, I want to keep my perfect streak alive. The Griskus's series are my hometown races so they're in so my tentative, no entry fees paid yet, bookings made yet, all subject to change cancelation or obliteration schedule looks like this

March 7 Ironman New Zealand

June 13 Pat Griskus Olympic

June 20 Patriot Triathlon

July 8 Pat Griskus Sprint Triathlon

July 12 Amica Rhode Island 70..3

August TBA Park City Mossman

September Nutmeg State Half OR Ford Ironman Wisconsin

October Kona?

November ( If not doing Wisconsin or not making Kona) Arizona OR Florida

Remember this is the ideal. All subject to change with financial situation, economy, war, family distress, natural disaster and other acts of God and man. I want to keep my peak phase of June and July of just doing the local races August Park city thrown in to keep me motivated, The Ironman's are an if, but hopefully can and will happen.

Other than that my rest week's been going pretty well got in the pool twice to swim off the excessive quanitities of bad for Bob food, tomorrow I'm going up to the Litchfield Hills tri to play photographer. Monday begins my hellish prep for IMNZ 09 ( throwing it out there hoping good things will happen.)/ Nutmeg man/ what ever comes my way phase. I figure if I ever want to compete on a higher level I've got to start training on a higher level, the high water mark 08 season is over time to finish strong and blaze into 09.

The methodical planner.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Amica Ironman Rhode Island 70.3: The Race Report

The main event of my 3 races in 8 days was the inaugural Rhode Island 70.3. Now when I told Bjoern about this on a training run in March his reaction was " 2 half irons in a week! You're nuts." Of course this didn't phase me, I was in the middle of getting the "you're doing an Ironman half way across the planet in the middle of winter, you're muy loco dude!" But regardless I had signed up for it and now the day of reckoning was upon me.

(Scroll to the bold letters to avoid all the pre race Crap)

I hauled up to Providence on Saturday after checking into a Day's Inn just outside of Pawtucket ( next year I'm either crashing with the Lombardi's or checking in to the Holiday Inn in S. Kingston), I waited for what seemed like an eternity in the registration line but free cups of gatorade and water from the Amica Gotta Girls helped. I managed to BS with Mike from NJ and Mason From Narragansett ( a LD newbie). After getting my number, chip, gear bags, medical info, and a good luck, I went over to the War on ALS booth and BS ed with Bob and Mary Ann Blais, now I met them at Eagleman and Bob is surprisingly more laid back than one would think, and Mary Ann is a sweet hear, both of them would be working as finish line catchers the following day. I also met up with Blazeman warrior Mark and caught up with him on thing since the Griskus...regardless, I went to the capital and checked my run bag, then made my way to the shore and checked my bike and bumped ito James from Weston who ironically enough did the Nutmeg State Half last year. Then it was off to dinner with my sister Melissa and her friend Caitlin. After some confusion on the highways and a helpout from Caitlin's dad I, made it back to my hotel and got a grand total of 3 hours sleep as people made their way back from the Dropkick Murphy's show.

I woke up at 3:00am packed my crap, left my key in the room to effectively check out, and made my way to Narragansett. I decided to do my usual URI route to avoid the droves of people that would be taking Route 4 also I needed ice and coffee. When I got to Richmond ( my usual rest stop in this state) stop and shop was closed, Dunkin Donuts was open and seriously for the amount of times I've been through there in the last week I should have an engraved mug and reserved parking space. I hit a Cumby's close to get ice for my cooler and GU2O. I got to the State Park and it was bumper to bumper traffic. Finally I got up to the booth and paid for a daily pass ( I figured I have my sister drop me off on our way home.). After finding a parking spot, I gathered my race gear and pre swim bag, and made my way to transition. It was nearly 5:15AM and I had half an hour before T-1 closed and almost 2 hours until my wave started. I borrowed a pump from a guy down the rack but it had an odd valve lock and flattened my front tire, I returned the pump to him and borrowed another from a guy a little further down and inflated my tires to 115 psi ( I heard the roads were a little gnarly.) I bumped into Leo from Miami ( we had raced together at IM New Zealand and he and his buddy were the ones who took me on a loop of the run course and got me back on the bike course when I got utterly and hopelessly lost.) We shot the shit as he pulled on his wetsuit, he made some comment on how it was still cooler up here than it was in Miami. I bumped in to Mandy, John Hirsch's Girl friend and race director for the Nutmeg State Series, found out which number John was so I could keep my eyes peeled for him as I waited it out for my swim wave.

The swim or I should have brought a surf board.

At 6AM the pro men went off at the sound of a cannon and the inaugural Amica Ironman 70.3 Rhode Island was under way. Every Five minute the Cannon would go off and another wave entered the water. I made my way to the toliet and then to the beach to wait out the 65 min. until race start with fellow HEATster Tony , and his mom, brother and I think his girlfriend or sister.Tony's dad Bill was already in the water and we shot the shit until our wave, the last wave made it's way to the beach. I looked for Leo was was far Right and wished him luck as I put my cap and goggles on, as I walked out of sight I heard him say something to the crowd, " That guy I just high fived is going to win this wave!" We got to the water's edge and lined up, the surf had gotten rougher as time went on and the guys infront of us had to charge through a swell. I put myself on the inside figuring if this was going to be a physical/ washing machine start I might as well have an inside track. The cannon went off for the last time after the race director stated " These young guys really cook. Gentlemen the 3 most important words you will need today " On your left." and we were off. While a majority of guys tried to run through the surf I decided to get my swim on. My idea of sticking to the inside work as there was a slight current pulling you away from the buoys. Also much to my surprise there was very little contact on the swim and no jellyfish. On the return leg, the current shot us back like a cannon as I picked off several guys from 3 of the waves in front, unfortunately the massive wave I rode back into shore was a little frightening and I was afraid I would end up beefing it on the rocky bottom. As soon as the water was only calf high I ran it in, to my surprise not many purple caps were around me, maybe Leo's prophecy was right.

Swim Split 26:29 30th Fastest overall 3rd in age group.

T-1 Strippers Alright!

As I made my way to the transition area the race organizers set up a group of wetsuit strippers, since I figured it couldn't hurt I sat down and had two girls pull my huge honking calves out of the neoprene and made my way to my bike. I crammed my swim crap into the black wetsuit back and threw on my helmet sun glasses and race belt. I took off out of transition and due too the flat terrain outside of the mountline was able to do my barefoot mount with very few issues. Total T-1:1:16

The Bike: Hit the deck!

For the first 5 to 10 miles I thought the race would be like racing along the CT coast fairly flat, some rollers after all the hardest climb went up 300 feet, so I was feeling like this could be a hammer fest kind of day. I had plenty of GU2O on the bike, I had taken a GU at the 10 mile mark perhaps everything was in order for a pretty uneventfull bike. Wrong! At about 15 miles the road went off the edge of the planet in a hurry, I felt kinda invicible so I stood in the aero bars, kinda muttered a silent prayer and I think I "let if fly "unintentionally. After the big insanely fast descent, and nothing bad happening I figured I was in the clear. We pulled up to the first bottle handoff, I cut left as I had plenty of hydration on me, the guy infornt of me grabbed a gatorade and it was suddenly as if the Paul Sherwin in my mind was broadcasting " The feed zone is the most dangerous portion of any bike race." As he fought to get it in his bottle cage he hit a pot hole and went down hard, I was in full aero, there was no time to hit the brakes I turn hard left in the on coming lane and prayed that no one was coming, no one did and I made it through without any futher incident although I was traumatized for the rest of the ride. Every aid station I cut the widest left I could and kept an eye out for empty bottles. The roads from this point on were borderline, we had some smooth stretches and we had some Paris-Roubaix stretches, also the climbs kept coming. I would gain time on some of the smaller climbs my legs toned from Connecticut's hilly goodness, lose some spots in some of the turns then make up some as I tucked on my bullhorns on technical descents and stood aero on the short ones. At about the 20 mile mark we rolled through a busy intersection and I saw a cop and course marshall croutched next to a rider who had gone down. He was concious but was flat against the ground , broken collarbone most likely.The cop was radioing for an ambulance. Rumor had it he was hit by a car but from what I saw it looked like he pulled a Badmann and hit a cone, in either case it wasn't too much longer in the ride that we saw an ambulance making its way up the road. Mile 25 brought the second aid station, I tossed my empty but cut wide left again to avoid any trouble. There were a few more edge of the world descents which really picked up the average speed. Then as if by design we hit the motherlode of hills. As we approached Providence the rooad seemed to incline in a hurry. A guy I had been leap frogging with came along side as we began up the worst of the hills so far. "When will we be done with these hills." I felt his sentiment but realized that I might be able to make up time on these open non technical sections. We hit the top and were rewarded with a short descent, then we hit the wall an 800 meter climb that must have been at least 8% grade I kicked it into the low gear and began to pass more of the guys from earlier waves sadly a lot of young guys were getting around me, One guy was walking up the hill Volunteers were shouting another 100 meters to go, seriously you don't know how long 100 meters is on a hill, we got to the top and were rewarded with a breakneck descent it was very similar to the last descent at IMNZ, it went down, flattened out , went down again and rewarded you with a sharp turn at the bottom. As I got into to Providence we were treated with a tour de ghetto, cars stuck in traffic honked at us and shouted explatives that we were wrecking their Sunday, coops kept them in line as we began an urban Crit. I came alongside on of the Blazeman Warriors yet backed off as we approached a series of switch backs, on the next flat section I was able to get around. After a few more turns and a mild descent we ended up in T-2 the thing was T-2 popped up so fast I couldn't slip my feet out of my shoes, I un clipped and ran.

Bike Split: 2:44.21 average speed 20.4 mph 344th overall, 22nd in AG.


Find my rack find my rack, shit I blew past my rack , shit no I didn't, crap how did it end up up there? Helmet off, bike shoes off, bike racked, flats on visor on, race belt around , find my way out of this place.

T-2 Split: 2:08

Run: I thought Rhode Island was Flat!

When I left T-2 which was right next to the Capital, the road was fairly flat, now yes I knew the run course was hilly, but nothing prepared you for College Hill. We ran through down town and I was passing some of the older competitiors like it was my job at the same time a few hard core runners would get around, we hit the first aid station at about 3/4 of a mile, now these guys were organized handing out sponges water, gatorade, and coke. I was a good customer at the first aid station, water, gatorade and two sponges, then it came into sight the hill, Nearly everyone around me was walking, I dug in and ran up the first hill was steep the second was steeper, I still ran, I got to the top and looked at my first mile, over 8 min, but I blame it on the hill. The wind had been going all day but now it was a head wind my visor blew off, I went and got it back and pulled it down lower, second aid station had coke I took it, if they had it I was taking it, water sponges and coke every aid station. I passed Bill Lombardi ( Tony's dad) from HEAT. he was on his first loop as well, he gave me some quick encouragement as I set off after some kid with a 23 on the back of his legs. I got to the top of that blasted hill again and saw the gradient sign 7% 7%? that's it? Southington Mountain is steeper than that! I ran back down careful not to hammer too hard, I made a mantra for loop 2 that hill was my hill, and that is where I was going to power through. I made it back toward the capital grounds encouraging HEATsters and Blazeman Warriors or anyone that looked like they needed a kind word. Made the turn around and set off for the hill. As I passed T-2 I saw a kid from my age group walking, "1st loop or 2nd?" "1st" "Don't worry first aid station is close take some coke and you'll be in business." That's what happens to me when I'm on Caffeine I get all happy and feeling invincible for about 5 min. then the high dies. First Aid station again coke and sponges and attack the hill. My legs went in to charge mode, sure my mile pacee was probably at power walker but I was passing the walkers I got too the top and knew the hard part was over. I passed Sean as we approached the turn around, " Looking strong man. " I said as I went by. " Bob are you going to break 5 ? " He said with a chuckle, "I'm cutting it damn close." I said as I went around. Every aid station I was taking coke water and sponges at the second to last they ran out of sponges and were handing out ice. I got around a kid in my age goup and got passed by Colleen a 24 year old who had been leap frogging with me the entire run. She made her move before the hill and was gone. I made it down the hill and hit the last aid station, ice, water and coke, I was no where near my half marathon PR pace but I might be able to pull a 1:45. I dug in there was only a mile left, and i felt fairly good, much different than Patriot. I made it to the 13 mile mark 1:47 I gutted up the hill to the finish and log rolled across.

Run Split: 1:48.00 8:15/mile pace 238th fastest overall 16th in AG

Total Time 5:03.48 197th overall out of 1200 finishers 16th out of 63 in AG.

I got my finisher's medal and a hug from Mary An Blais, Bob Blais came along side gave mme a water as another Vollie grabbed my chip and walked me up the side line. " Bob you take a spill he said looking at my knee." I looked down and it was sliced up pretty good. " the timing mat, when ever I log roll the mat kinda cuts my knee, it happened at Eagleman too." We sort of shot the shit for a little bit until a massive scream broke the air, Tony the Wildman Lombardi Crossed the line in 5:06 and when I say crossed the line I mean leaped in the air a good 3 feet air and nearly took out the finish bridge. " Bring on Louisville Baby!" was his war cry. It was his first half finish and he was stoked. After a quick congrats to Tony, I watched as Leo came in and was quickly escorted to medical. Medical came and got me too, a quick good bye to Bob and Maryann and I was up to medical too patch my knee and blistered feet. The Foundation Photographer got a couple of pic as I was patched up and we talked briefly, the enndorphins were wearing off. I made my way oover too massage and caught up with The HEAT contignent finished so far Tony, Bill, Sean, Mike, John, and Todd. Mrs. Lombardi went down and claimed Tony's gear and mine as we waited for Massages. Melissa and Caitlin found me, and stated that they had just missed my finish, Melissa also made a couple of comments on Tony's hotness. The postrace massuse was awesome Trish, i think her name was, she really worked out my knots. Also I made small talk with the chick across from me. I told her about my crazy week in which her parting remarks were "someday you'll be on the cover of Triathlete magazine." After a rub down finding out my position annd claiming my bike, Melissa ,Caitlin and I made a 2 mile trek through the Ghetto to her car. After some creative packing, we went to Caitlin's place I showered and then Melissa and I made our way back to the beach and home. All in all it was a hell of a week.


Miles Swum: 2.9

Miles ridden: 124.5

Miles Run: 29.3

Times stopped for gas :4

Times stopped at Richmond RI Dunkin Donuts: 6

Gu's comsumed:8

Gallons of Gu2O consumed:1

Number of times I thought I was going to puke: 8

Cute girls that I wanted too get digits from: 6

Digits gotten:0

Rest days planned 7

do it all again if I had the bucks HELL YEAH!

The glutton for punishment.


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Curse What Curse? or Bobby Ends his medal drought.

On July 11, 2003 I placed second in the 17-19 age group at the Pat Griskus Sprint Tri, and since that rainy Wednesday I have not medaled in either of Middlebury, CT races since. 2004 and 05 I didn't race, 06 I wrecked on the bike, and in 07 I got picked off while in 3rd place in my AG on the last hill of the run, fast forward to this year. Normally the Griskus sprint is an A priority race, full taper, trash talk, shaved legs the whole shabang, this year it was a speed workout before RI 70.3, I was in the elite swim wave for the first time at this venue, ( after a quick desperate email to race director Tom Wilkas telling him how I always have one of the top 30 swim splits.) Needless to say after some BS with Alex, who is buying my beloved Road bike Enrico, and rode it in this race to 8th in the age group, Mike C. and Mike B. from my masters group ( coincidentally both have done all 22 Griskus races at Quassapug and Mike B. has done all 23 including the inaugural on Bantam lake in Litchfield.), Sean from HEAT, my former swim coach, (told me I'd never swim DI the proudest day of my life was when I walked into pick my sister up wearing my Fordham swimming Tee boo-yah!) Ray, one of my former teammates, Justin, probably the sickest runner in our age group. I could go on with the meet and greet, but I really don't want this post to drag like the last one.

The Swim: Jack and Jill......
Standing in the elite wave with all the white caps you got the feeling that this was more like a high school swim meet than a tri. Sure loads of us were wearing our neoprene, but there was a line of first timers and high school studs decked out in Jammers and Speedos, a few guys with fast skins. Also the swim is a little bizarre they have two sets of buoy, women start on one side men on the other and we meet in the middle on the return leg. I lined up to the inside and when the air horn went off realized this was a mistake as the swarm of high school studs swam over and around me. For a good 2 minutes, I was really wanting to be on the bike to make up some of the positions most of these guys would gain in the water. By the first buoy the field sorted out and I was on the tail of the lead group, and the leaders were setting a break neck pace. At the turn around the reason I hate this swim course became apparent, I began to sight off the women's buoys widening my approach to the beach and costing me valuable spots., I managed to get back to the inside but it was a frightening proposition as caps from the 3rd wave were getting off course and nearly collided with us guys and gals on the return leg., after a harrowing 11 minutes in the water I got out in 14th place I ran the 400 meters to T-1 and hit the mat at 12:42.

T-1: Wet Suit off, Helmet on, number on, Lift bike over dude next to me's back wheel, it was cramped quarters but I made it out. 1:05

Bike: May God Have Mercy on my legs.
I tried once again to do the bare foot mount, sadly it took me about a half mile to get both my feet in the shoes and it cost me about 3 spots, when a kid went whizzing by on a mountain bike that got my pissed, I got my foot in the shoe and sped off after him hammering down the opening descent like a man possessed. I managed to get around two high schoolers and then was caught by the women's leader, I followed her line through that pesky S-curve which thankfully was closed to traffic so I could apex, granted I still used the brakes a tiny bit. At the 4 mile mark the hills began, I managed to get around a couple of the dying swim studs and was passed by some of the more avid cyclists, one guy in my age group went by and I tried desperately to persue. Slowly I was reeling in some of the weaker riders, but the hills made it difficult ( note to self buy a climbing gear.) I managed to get Mike from HEAT in my sights on that dreaded last hill. I kept him close on the descent to the park as I slipped out of my shoes and did a rather cautious shoeless dismount and tore into T-2 total bike split 32:21 not the fastest on the planet but for all the climbing I'll take it.

T-2 Shoes on, helmet off, Timex Hat on, race belt around, Catch Mikey! T-2 took all of :53

Run: The heart is strong but the legs are weak.
As I took off in Hot pursuit of Mike, I could already feel a tightness in my legs, this was not going to be a PR run, but it would be a quick one. I caught Mike before we left the park. As we made our way down Route 64 I began to get some of the faster cyclists in my sights, yet at the same time I was caught and passed by another runner,from the rival shore line sharks. I made it through the aid station at mile one and forgot that I was wearing a hat not a visor so when I dumped a cup of water over my head it did nothing just beaded off the top. I made it to the turn around and began to reel in some younger looking guys, I wanted a medal and I didn't care how bad I was suffering, made a surge for the young gun ahead of me and passed him by the second aid station, again I forgot I was wearing a hat. ( note to self, go with the visor unless there is ice on course.) I got passed by two relay runners duking it out as I made my way up "the hill" No one in the same zip code with me, which meant no pip out this year, but I needed to finish strong , as there were alot of guys in my age group in the second wave and the stagger would be deducted from the time. I got up the hill and back on the home stretch as droves of runners were making their way from transition. I turned down the service road and kicked it into high gear across the line. Run Split 21:18 not my fastest but respectable, Overall time 1:08.16 4 minutes faster than last year. Good enough for 27th overall and 3rd in my age group, behind some dude from Hong Kong and the guy from Southbury who went flying by on the bike.

At the awards I got my usual Guinness from Mike B. Shot the shit with the HEATsters, Alex and Justin and for the first time in 5 years got a medal and a pimp Timex watch for my efforts. ( debating on whether I'm going to sell it on ebay or keep it as a spare to my other Timex.) and also like always I still didn't win crap in the raffle, but it was a good night.

Next Report RI 70.3

The Long winded one

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Patriot Triathlon, a tale of the good, the bad and the ugly.

Well On Saturday July 5th I competed in the 2nd Annual Patriot ( longer than half iron) Triathlon, as most people know Speedy Claire was racing and it was my first race as an elite. Now a lot of people looked at me crazily when I decided to enter as an elite, but I figured it was worth the gamble, if I won the Elite Division I would win $300 if I was second $200 3rd a picture with the guys taking home cash and 4th or lower I'd be the smuck taking the picture. There were only 9 guys in the elite ranks so a top ten was assured, I showed up to the race expo early on Friday to claim my gear, and get a quick swim in. I was shocked when I looked at my number. Popping out at me on the front of my run bib a huge black #1. #1? No way, I'm good but I'm not that good, oh man I don't know how to take this. One part of me is thinking cool this will be a great psyche up, another part is thinking now I have to go fast because I will look like a total poseur if I finish in 107th like last year, the other part is having replays of DeBoom passing a kidney stone in Kona in o3, Stadler's Flat F**king tire fiasco of 05 and his orange puke all over his bike from 07, what did these two star crossed triathletes have in common they wore bib #1.

Trying to keep the curse of bib #1 out of my head I began to BS with some of the Volunteers and other racers, gave Claire a quick call, then stripped down to my HEAT shorts and went for a swim. Now this lake was warm, they had measured the temp at 76 degrees 2 degrees below the no wetsuit mark, I was going to practice sans wet suit just to be ready for a no wet suit swim, which might work to my advantage. I couldn't go out to the first buoy due to some powerboaters and jet skiers tearing up the calm waters, so I resigned myself to swimming between the start buoys and the last buoys at the finish They must have been the grand total of 100 meters apart but 200 meters after a long car ride isn't too shabby. My stroke felt pretty good because I went hardcore on the swim practice last week, so I was hoping for a good result. After BSing with Jonas a frist timer from New Haven it was off to Claire's place, I will say only one thing Boston Traffic is crazy. NYC is turn your blinker on and go, Boston is look for clear asphalt and make a break for it. I could write about the commute but that's for another post. Long story Short I got to Claire's place ate, crashed, we got up, got to the race site,after I missed the exit again this year. Anyway Claire went to register and I went to set up my rack. For some odd reason I thought that they gave the low numbers to the elites because it looked all of us red cappers were on the front rack. After a some quick BS and finding Raf I went off in search of a toliet The ones by the swim start were ten people deep, I spied the ones at the end of transition and made my way over with my wetsuit half on. When I got there there were 5 age group ladies waiting for the next empty portolet. " Do you mind terribly if I cut infront of you , my swim wave goes off in 6 minutes." I asked doing the pee dance the girls let me ahead and I was able to relieve myself , then make a mad dash for the swim corral a few ounces lighter.

The Swim: ie the good or Bob-o goes out like a champ.

In the swim corral the other elites and I started to size one another up. Most of us were pretty friendly, one guy, Tom and his wife entered in the elite wave to race together, One kid Mike would couldn't have been much older than me was a bike and run phenom so he was just looking to survive the swim another guy was doing this a a warm up for Placid and wanted clear water and roads for most of his long training day, the rest of us were looking to do battle for the overall. I took a postion at the front and inside so I could power ahead, and since there were only 12 of us elites including the women I decided that the inside was the way to go. The ten second countdown went of then the air horn then the sound of splashing and first elite race had begun. As I approached the first buoy only one chick and a guy in a flaming red Pro-motion wet suit were in front of me. The thing is they were going outside so I glued myself to the inside of the course by the 3 bouy I was on their feet and as we made our way down the cross leg I glued my self to the fast chick's feet and let her lead the way.When we made it to the last buoy on the cross leg both of us stopped for a second trying to get a bearing on the return leg buoys Pro motion dude and I spotted them first and had a good old fashioned drag race, I was going to be first out of the Water I needed to be first out of the water my manly worth rested on it. At the second buoy I surged going so hard I thought that the crossaint I ate on the ride up would rear its ugly head and become fish chow. Luckily it didn't the last buoy came into sight but it took an eternity to pass, seriously I must have taken 20 strokes and sighted 4 times and got no closer, finally after what felt like forever I reached the boat dock ripped off the cap and goggle and started on the wetsuit, as I ran to T-1 the first man out with the day's best swim split.


T-1 No time to lose!

I got into T-1 with a 20 second lead..not as much as I was hoping for but then again I was with elites, just having the lead was a big deal.The wetsuit came off the cycling shoes went on, as did the helmet, my race number, and I was off. 1:31

The bike: Let's just say Volunteers are like all other human beings some good, some bad, and some you wonder how they made it this far.

The guy in second ran along side as we tried to find the mount line which had been washed away in the deluge of rain coming down on us, funny this year in Halves I haven't caught a break, either heat and humidity, or a down pour, irregardless we got half way up the driveway and mounted, the best sight in the world was that police motorcycle leading us out granted the new leader was gone in a flash, following the less soaked piece of asphalt created by the motorcycle.

We got to the Route 140 interchange and shockingly I was greeted by two cars tunring infront of me. ( Note to race director, Please put a cop here next year.) Needless to saw it was about this time the women's overall leader showed up, and got around, then we leap frogged, that was about the time the good cyclists started showing up. One Gentleman (Bib #3) came by and was going about my pace So he became my target rider I took off in pursuit of him and the girlie chick was toast. Me and bib 3 began to leap frog at one point I thought I get an overtaken penalty ( I also had a bit of Bike envy he had a fully pimp Felt B-12.) because we were going the same pace with different strengths, on descents and short power climbs I was quick, but at turns or shifting savy ascents ( the grand total of 1 hill at the bottom of down hill turn) he was more proficient, but I digress The good cyclist began to show up starting with Mike and a dude in a full lime green jump suit, then another full pimp rig flew by at about the 20 mile mark. I managed to dust bib #3 for a little bit but he caught up as we began loop 2. Loop 1 went well and it looked like I might be able to finsh the bike in the top 5 , my strategy of turning this thing into a hammerfest might work.... Loop2 turned into a loop of doom and gloom I didn't really drink much on loop 1 and I only ate 1 GU, so on this loop my body began to scream for fluid and sugar. The first 5 miles went well, bib #3 came back and we started to leap frog again, he was feeling a little fresher and my semi roasted butt, then Bib # 9 Jason from Trisports got into the fray, it became a 3 way leap frog between a kid on an entry level tri bike and two middle aged warriors on high tech equipment. needless to say the warriors won, by the first aid station the two guys were barely in my sights and after the rough bombed out stretch they were gone, my legs were shot and the rest of the ride went into survival mode. I had tried to go out hard on the bike because I know my half marathon isn't in the same zip code as most of the elites, it was a gamble that didn't payoff.
Bike Split 2:45.16.

Now I'm going to go on my good, bad, ugly rant about the volunteers on this bike course, the first aid station the guys were pretty good, but sadly all they carried on loop1 was water. Also at some of the intersections some of the guys they had out there were in the zone. Usually there was at least one person making sure that you stood on course, but at some intersections I was asking straight, right, or left, just to make sure. The guys at the bottom of the steep hill were good and made sure everyone got through safely. Aid station #2 was ok although on the first loop they were kinda of disorganized, but by the time the age groupers got going they were in full swing. Also there was one intersection that a couple of guys got mis directed then they had to make up a mile that they had been directed off course including Mike (who would go on to finish second.)

T-2: Shoes, belt turned around, visor on, trying to find the running legs. T-2 split 1:31

The Run: Let the suffering begin!
At the pre race meeting we were told that there would be flat coke on the run. Now some people ask "flat coke?" After two and a half hours of sipping Gu2O or HEED, or Gatorade, the body starts to revolt against anything fruity flavored, so I took off on the run expecting salty caffinated goodness to be awaiting me at the second aid station, ( I didn't take anything leaving transition) I was told I was in 7th and 6th was only a minute ahead, I tried to settle into a quick race pace I hit the first mile at 7:25 and was passed, my legs felt like crap and there is no other way to put it I felt like crap and ran like it. I hit the second aid station no coke I figured ok maybe every other one, gulpped some HEED ( at least it was watermelon flavored and not lemon lime so the stomach could handle it.) The humidity was getting intense so I was expecting a rain shower to come along and cool things down but it never came, another runner got around, I tried to keep pace but was soon dropped, 3rd aid station no coke, maybe at mile 6 , In no man's land for the next 3 aid stations age grouper Jamie comes along side huffing and puffing I mutter something about my knees feeling like garbarge and he's looking strong and try to keep pace with him I do so for a couple miles then get dropped, I have never felt this bad on a run well ok I have ( Eagleman). Another elite or age grouper comes along at about 9 miles and passes me Jamie takes off after him and I'm back in no man's land where I stay for the next 2 miles. at the aid stations it's the same story, no coke, I take a gu to get some more sugar into the system finally mile 12 shows up I get into Braveheart mode and decide to up the pain threshold a little bit, I start to really push the last mile I break the tape in 5:03.36 My half Split was a 1:47.39 my run was about average but it hurt, penance for going hard on the bike.

I could go on about the post race but this post is way too long already, needless to say I feel like I made a Douche bag out of myself ( while still in a hypoxic state) I mentioned something about the race leader riding in the wake of water created by the motorcycle and called it drafting not the illegal sucking wheel kind of drafting by using the bike to block the wind. which I had to clarify before I got my ass kicked, ( seriously the elite winner bicepts as big as my calves, one punch and I would need dentures. Also upon talking with him he was like dude the motorcycle wasn't even worth it, I nearly got off course 3 times following it.) I need to come up with a term for trying to ride in a dry line, needless to say karma got back at me and I sliced my foot open on a tent post so all in all I felt like an ass. Met up with Claire and Raf post race and we sat at a table with a bunch of the run volunteers, for as hit or miss as the bike course was the run guys were spot on. I just wish they got the soda there quicker. Claire won her age group and was shocked. Raf was third in his division, he's doing Placid next week so it should be interesting to see how it turns out. I found out the time of the kid that won the the 20-24 age group a 5:44, I felt glad I went elite I'm all for winning my age group but I don't want to win by a huge margin, first I don't want to embarass anybody, second I needed to really push myself to see what I could do, and how to strategize a race, not having to worry about how I fared with all the other 20 somethings. this race report is way too long and way over due but I needed to get it out there I should have the Griskus Report up on Wed. and the RI 70.3 on Thurs.I'm running a week behind due to travel so please bear with me. Also I couldn't get any of the photos to up load so check them out at Capstone enter bib #1

The Road Warrior