Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Half way point.

As I sit here writing this I'm at LAX I'm surrounded by a lot of business travelers, cell phone talking teeny boppers and screaming they'll let anyone into the Admiral's Club scruffy looking triathletes from the East Coast that fly economy...seriously what is the world coming to.

Well my travels to JFK and Beyond were uneventful except I left the key to the bike box in my car. Luckily it's a simple lock and a regular screw driver will do the trick...or TSA will have added another scar to this well traveled case ( note: starting an active giving site for the buy Bjoern and Bob a new bike case fund.) Oh there was no extra charge for the case...two years in a row I am the Ben Gordon of baggage check! ( I would have mentioned Thabeet but he is nowhere near the prowess of Ben Gordon in his UConn hayday...ok random mentioning of UConn Basketball in a travel post done.)

Flight wasn't too bad granted I think I might have started spitting Lil' John's "Role Call" in my sleep. Also there was this 2 year old on the flight who was screaming every 5 minutes. Thankfully I had the i-pod on high.

It is a beautiful day 80F (26C) in LA and if it wouldn't be a comedy of errors getting through airport security or just general fear of having my carry-ons stolen I would be tempted to get out and run...instead I'll just sit here and take advantage of the complimentary internet and beverage service.

My flight leaves in 4 hours so my next post will be from the Land of the Hobbitts, and as Pants once stated " Nothing native can kill you." Now I've got to recharge everything and prep for 12 hours over the Pacific.

The Riff-raff that somehow sneaks into fine establishments.

Friday, February 27, 2009

That coaching gig in July....yeah...uh ..well...& Packing adventures...

Well I lost the coaching gig in July and August as there was not enough interest in the tri camp...stupid economy....the plus side from this is I can reclaim my vacation days...

Last night I decided to pack the bike Al was out of town and Dave was going to charge me to pack it. so after a late night of classes and budget crunching with Bjoern and Erik...Erik being the new President of the Central Tri Club, I got home at about 11PM and decided to pack the Stomper.

I managed to tackle the tricky business of getting the handlebars off, the front brakes, the seat post, derailleur hanger ( Dan told me to take this sucker off last year unless I wanted to risk cracking the frame.) But I almost had a Speedy Claire moment with the pedals. ( note this is an old post...she has since mastered the art of bike packing.) I managed to get one off relatively easy, the other took some torque. Turned it one way wouldn't budge, tried the other barely moved, finally contorted myself over the bike and got a cloth to grip my bike tool and after about five minutes of battle my pedal and crank parted company. Total bike dis assembly and packaging took about 15-20 minutes. Then began the 2 hour, epic of how do I make my pump, nutrition, water bottles, and spare parts, fit in the case and not go over the 25kg/ 50lbs. weight limit, as well as wrap and protect crucial exposed moving parts. Hence it was 2 hours of taping, wrapping, compressing, adjusting, and weighing by feel.

I also packed my carry-on. I remember the fiasco that awaited one poor guy last year when his luggage ended up on a different flight and his bike and wetsuit didn't show up until day of check in...hence everything I need to race but the bike ends up in my carry, helmet, wetsuit, tri suit. If anything goes wrong it's a hell of a lot cheaper and relatively easier to have to try to rent/ borrow just a bike at the expo, than to have to buy/borrow/rent ALL of the necessities. I also bring about 2-3 days clothes, easy in a warm weather environment cargo shorts have atleast a 2 day lifespan, and basic toiletries.

Tonight, I haven't trained in about 3 days, I would like to get a half hour run in this afternoon, but if I can't no biggie...I'm tapering, besides I have 5 days that I can do some light running, and cycling in a warm weather environment. I need to finish packing, and then I'm taking my sister out for her birthday.

Part of me is a little nervous heading into this, my run training is nowhere near where I would like it, but for as weak as I feel there I know my swim and bike are strong, hopefully the racing gods will smile on me and I'll be able to go a tad bit faster than last year. For months this has been a distant thing, and uncertainty, a maybe, as I packed last night the reality set in that this is really happening....I just hope the prep and the sacrifice was worth it.

Hoping re-packing in NZ will easy as it was last night.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Ironman New Zealand Update: I'm Freakin', Freakin' Out Man!

Judi commented that I was sitting there with 9 days until my flight and I wasn't freaking out. Which she's right I wasn't here it is 4 days before my flight and now I've hit freakout mode.


  • Tri Club budget is due I have to get intouch with Jane to see if it's ok if I make Bjoern Treasurer...otherwise I have to use doctrines of executive it's good to be President.
  • Get to the shop and pack my bike.
  • Pick up shorts from Modells, Sports Authority, or Dicks... any where cheap...I really hope they're running that 2 for $24 sale again....check the website..nope damn you economy!
  • Retrieve my suitcase from home, clean it so it doesn't smell like mildew, pack.
  • Christina's birthday is on a combined birthday/ farewell dinner with her and Melissa.
  • Two bills are due while I'm in NZ thank god for online bill pay :)
  • 5 page paper due for history of Germany class...thankfully it's only a 5 in high school that seemed like a lot...
  • Shave my legs before flying down or night before the race, that is the question...
  • Somehow have to fit two swim sessions, two runs, and a couple of short spin sessions in.
  • Jot down all my contacts for this gig.
  • Call my bank's ATM department and let them know I'll be out of the country....I wish we had better hold music....alright did as I typed this.. that was easy...
  • Price out compression socks... I heard they're good for recovery.
  • Flowers for the lady at baggage check...maybe that'll get my bike on for free :) [just kidding on this one.]
  • About six billion other things weighing down on me.

I know a lot of these are much ado about nothing but at least spouting them off keeps me from getting even more gray hairs, that and it makes them real to me. It's easy to put off something that's just a thought, it's much harder to put off something you write down on paper.

I've just got to settle down and take care of the list. On a more positive note some of the work that I was going to have to rush in to my professors this week has been pushed back, until after NZ....whew...also my income tax refund will hit any day now... a huge bonus.

I picked up a cold from my Grandfather... I know hell of a going away present...but I've been treating it with cough drops and orange juice...maybe increased vitamin C will compensate for lack of proper sleep and nutrition. ( I'm on the college student diet, where the 5 food groups are caffeine, grinders, pizza, fruit, and whatever's in the vending machine.) Also I don't know why. but I sleep like a baby on airplanes...maybe it's the idea of if the thing explodes/crashes while I'm asleep I won't feel it, maybe it's I'm just an easy going traveler, I don't know but I won't knock it.

So that's all from here


Also I have not been put on TSA's DO NOT FLY LIST so apparently Barack Obama does approve of me going to New Zealand ;)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Catching up.

Well today I didn't train. I didn't get on the bike, I didn't cram out another run, didn't panic and run down to the pool for laps. Instead I caught up on some more important things in life.

First I went to Mass for the first time in 3 weeks.

This picture is a little dated they re-did the altar at my Church last Summer and now the wall behind it is pink with a really cool design.

The last couple of weekends I had to hit the road early to get my long rides in. So this weekend I sort of went back to church to try to commune with God so my bases are covered...just in case my plane plunges into the Pacific, I'm in a lot of pain during the Ironman and suddenly find my self in a green field with an old guy at a desk next to a wooden gate. Also contary to popular belief the Holy water did not boil when I stuck my hand in it, or burn my forehead.

After mass I chilled with my brother

This picture is also dated my brother is into skateboarding and has started lifting weights in the past year. Also I lost my old digital camera this summer so I couldn't up load new pics.

Mike has been in older bro withdrawl mode since I moved out so we went to breakfast. It was good catching up with him but at the same time it's almost like looking in the mirror. Mike and I are a decade apart so there is a bit of an age gap, but the personality and especially our senses of humor are very similar. Granted he's in better shape than I was at 14. After breakfast it was a retreat into an ultimate test of will :Halo on the Xbox...Age and cunning overcame youth and skill. Also we cranked out a few rounds of Fifa world cup...I have found out one thing...he's good in penalty kicks. After two 3-0 trouncings at the hands of New Zealand and Pakistan Mike got revenge in a penalty shootout in a New Zealand/ Canada match. I lost by a lucky block. I managed to get revenge for the Kiwis soundly defeating him in a rematch 3-0 granted I scored all my goals in the second half, and two of them were pure luck.

Third thing I did was study for an exam I had to push forward due to my Ironman escapade. I also have to get some homework done in advance because quite frankly I don't know how much I'm really going to accomplish on the plane. so everything is getting in order, but for a little while it was nice to have a day outside of the cycle of work, school and training.