Thursday, August 7, 2008

Bob-o's going back to Taupo....

Well upon running ye olde number cruncher, looking around at cheap airfare, desperate emails to Catherine, realizing that this year's winter training won't set me back as much as last year ( ie I have all my winter training crap.) When September roles around my entry into Ironman New Zealand will be confirmed and depending on what Ken Glah and the staff at EST can get me for airfare and a ground package,I'll either be rolling via United and Air New Zealand or racking up a bazillion AA advantage miles via American and Quantas. Catherine and the staff at the Times have offered me home stays so worst case I'll be couch surfing through Taupo, so the only things I need to focus on are my race entry and airfare, which if I'm booking with Ken I have until February to pay off other wise it will be the big hurt all at once to American...Ken is looking like my best option at this point and he and his staff run a good show.

Enter the "you're committing financial and scholastic suicide !" comments. Having sat and taken this year and all the crap that happened in. my race schedule will be limited next season 2 Ironmans, the Patriot, and maybe a couple of locals. As for the Scholastic suicide comments I'm looking at take either winter session courses or summer session classes through the community college system so I can get 9 credits for the price of 3 at Central, also I'm planning on Spring semester 09 to be 2 intro classes I need for my minor and core, my thesis, which will have to do with the British Empire anyway, and one BS history course for my major, after that I just have to rack up 6 more credits to graduate, realistically not so hard to pull off...although in 3 months when I'm complaining about living on espresso mixed with red bull, please remind me of this post and point and laugh hysterically.

Enter the " Kiwi's and Aussies are F**king Animals in this sport, so why are you going to risk life and limb competing up against them." Rant.
Well it's quite simple after last year's ass whooping and me whooping some ass...I now know the course and what I'm up against. The hills are no worse than my average Litchfield County training ride. My run is improving somewhat, and the course plays to my strengths, a mildly rolling run, a forgiving rolling and fairly fast bike course and a lake swim with a wonderful current back into the finish. Also god forbid I go down, I know the medical system in New Zealand is a tad bit better than Malaysia, that and I know the local language, some of the culture, except I can't for the life of me figure out cricket, rugby though, I get it, American Football with out the math and the pads. Also I have my own press corps down there I mean it can't get better than that.

So that's it in the house of Bob-o excuse me while I go collect my cans and bottles..and try to find a good cheap shrink....


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Finances of Ironman....

When I first began this sport I never understood why people who were more inclined to do Ironman Tris opted out of a lot of local races. I used to think these guys were being "M-Dot Snobs." Upon doing my first Ironman and several races out of state I now have a new understanding for why alot of athletes would skip the East Bum Kill Sprint Tri and hug-a-thon. For some yes it interfers with the Holy Gospel training plan that if you don't ride X miles on X day you will die a most painful and horrible death. Madam Pele will open a fisure on the Queen K turning you and your P3C into a cinder, all becuase you didn't ride X miles on X day. For others it is the fiscal situation. We only have X amount of dollars Y amount of bills and Z set aside for race entry, travel and other entertainment, so for some of us if it comes down to a Kona qualifier Kona itself or the local races we all love and adore some times and heart breakingly we have to choose what's more important. For some of us it's that qualifier it's that magical shot to get to the Big Island and see ourselevs on NBC in December and for others the reward of seeing friends, family and the homies from the tri club at the local tri are what moves them. Some of us have all the luck and we have a really large Z amount tucked aside and we can race whenever our heart's content others of us have small Z amounts and have to focus it what is best for us. The 2008 racing season has been a painful lesson in this reality, that sometimes one's racing season comes down to the finance game not the training.

In my case I need to start planning for 2009 now....

October and November will determine the fate of my 2009 tri season and which races will be set in stone, which races were pipe dreams and what I can reallistically expect, I figure if I set my race fund aside then I will be better prepared and won't be forced to scrap at the last second, also I can focus on saving for summer courses and tucking a little extra ( tax refund) aside in case I get lucky and good and find myself on the Big Island, other wise my budget for the late season as well as future life goals or unexpected expenses will be prepared. Bjoern has arranged a homestay for Arizona, so my odds of doing a double have drastically increased.

Recently my training has been stepped up, I've actually gotten some weight sessions in, and yes Angry I have worked "the Chain", granted my hip abduction workout got some stares, and my squats are dreadfully weak.

My running game has entered the track workout phase, still try to get one long run a week , a track workout ( usually a threshold workout, speed work will come at the beginning of September.) and a moderate run between 4 and 8 miles usually hill work.

With the cycling I'm looking to increase from 2 sessions a week to 3 -4 sessions a week to improve my stamina, speed and handling skills.

Swimming is down to 3 sessions a week, my distance has sort of stagnated at 3000-3500 yds. per workout, that yardage will go up in the winter, but for right now it's good where it is.

The main focus of the next two weeks is to work my running and cycling so I can hopefully top 10 at Nutmegman, a lofty goal with the pro field, but my age group might be slim pickins this year with Bjoern in Europe and several of the Young guns frightended off by the horrors of last year, regardless I'm going as an AG athlete because the Real Deal pros are coming to this one, that and all the men start in the same any advantage of racing elite is pretty much eliminated, that and I really want to win the AG, and end the season right.

Oh yes I opted out of doing the financial advisor position, I might be kicking myself in 5 years but with everything going on right now knowing my pay is guaranteed makes life a little easier, plus the training schedule would be a conflict with my college schedule and I need that bachelor's degree to do anything profitable with my life. Speaking of which Central is determined to keep me for an extra semester and its pissing me off.

Well that's all that's happening in my neck of the woods.


Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Cleaning out the closet....

Recently I've looked into becoming a Financial Advisor for a Fortune 500 Company. The first year would go well as I would be under base salary, but afterward it is all Commission and after my parents exploits in the real estate world I'm very leery of commission based salary. So if I am offered the position I am very uncertain if I should take it, especially in Today's bipolar economy.

By the Fall of 2009 I want to have my Bachelor's in hand and a profitable career, whether it will be in business or education I am uncertain ( although I'm leaning to business.)

Gulp here it goes....Upon reading my posts from New Zealand and comparing the way I felt then and the way I feel now ..if I can wing it I'm going back mostly to catch up with some friendsI have down there and up the ante in the Claire/Bob bike war. I figure some time out of the icebox that is Connecticut in March will help regcharge my batteries. I need to step out of the fiasco that has become my home life. I need a breather from school, the financial world and some time to regroup. Getting a Kona slot before I turn 25 would also help bolster some confidence, but quite frankly I need to go somewhere less uptight to chill.

Upon the fiscal crap that ran me into the ground this year I've decided at the most I'm doing 6 races next year 2 IMs, the Patriot, and the Griskus series, Nutmegman is a maybe, because I will need a tune up for Arizona, but it depends on how I look financially next Spetember.

I hope at this point next year to be either in my own place or saving up enough to get my own place, whether or not I stay in New England remains to be seen, but I would like to be some place a little warmer in the winter time...shove that in your pipe OPEC.

IM Arizona looks like it will be Bob and Bjoern take the West by storm. There will be a smack talk blog set up once our entries are confirmed.....

Still rebounding from the credit crunch, it is a slow, painstaking process, my parent's deciding a career change to an entirely commissioned based occupation and in one of the worst housing markets in decades ( granted if they survive they stand to make a lot in the rebound.) hasn't helpped and my digging into my credit to get us through until unemployment/severance kicked in, plus Eagleman hitting about the same time put me in a really bad spot all in all I should be fixed up by September, as most stuff is caught up, it's just trying to rebalance everything until my student loan hits then the big bills will be caught up and ahead, and I'll be able to eliminate some of my smaller money suckers, and I should have enough for summer courses, books for spring, and enough for gas that I can spend my hard earned coin for one trip to visit one hot photographer, her roomie and BF and smart alec sports writer and some crazy feat of strength in the Southern Hemisphere .

I seriously need to get in touch with my friends, Adam moved to NYC about a month ago and I haven't talked to him since Nashville Ryan came up for a week back in June. Angry seems to have dropped off the face of the earth although he's probably getting settled in the G-spot. My friend Greg's been trying to get in touch with me for months, but our schedules have been hit or miss. Bjoern's on Strong Island and then off to Austria. I met up occassionally with the guys from HEAT up at West Hill Pond but for the most part I've been a hermit since I got back from NZ in March, because at first it was papers, and classes now it's bills and training, maybe I'm just one of those guys that's meant to be alone....

So in recap
Applying for a more profitable job...but afraid of the risk.
Bob-o's looking to go back to Taupo
Catching up finally on the bills.
Need to get some human contact again....

So that's what's been bouncing through my head, and yes it is a scary place.


Sunday, August 3, 2008

55 Mile ride

In my never ending pursuit to up my cycling distance, I usually spend my Sundays at church then riding Lycra clad on the hit pock scarred, hilly roads of Litchfield County. Todaywas no different, after waiting out most of the afternoon to see if the good weather would hold, I managed to get out to Middlebury and did my usual loop out to Lake Waramaug, on the return loop however, I decided to go senic and took the long way through Morris and Bethlehem, then the back half of the Griskus Olympic route. The one thing I forgot about that detour ( which is the route for the Ride for Rick) is MORRIS IS HILLY!!! Ok so I'm being a baby Waaaa! The hills weren't that bad and were actually good for building strength, sadly I was still feeling my weight set from yesterday, so after one dose of hills my left knee was a little tight (probably from the lunges and my early ride gear mashing.) and I decided to bag the workout after 55 miles. I like the loop and I figure that I will do it often as long as the good weather holds out, I'm hoping to double it before the end of August to prep for Nutmegman and a possible early 09 Ironman, or at least my own masochistic desires. All in all it was an uneventful ride, I averaged 16.9 mph slow, but the speed should come as I focus on cycling over the next couple of weeks.