Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Training like I used to.

The past few weeks have been good on the training front, especially in the pool. I'm back up to over 4000 yards per session, well ok I do a slacker workout ( 3000-3500) as a recovery workout.

I did attempt the Spinervals 2 hr. Base Builder on Monday only to give up 15 minutes into it. Sadly again the reason was not physical, it went down sort of like this:
Coach Troy: Alright let's kick it into the big ring 15 for 30 seconds.

I would try to shift and it would take nearly 30 seconds for it to get into the big ring. Not to mention the gears felt like they were slipping the entire time I was pedaling. The problem is I know my cassette and my chain are shot but I was hoping to change them in the spring, after Monday's Fail it looks like there is a trip to the bike shop in my future. ( So Santa if you can drop off an Ultegra 11-25 10 Speed Cassette and a 10 Speed Ultegra Chain, you would make Bobby Very Very Happy this year.)

The running has been a little lack luster due to the freezing temperature and the fact that I get out of work later at night. I did get a 11 mile run in on Sunday and I have been starting to use the treadmill for my shorter weekday runs inorder to throw in some tempo and speed work. I think I already mentioned my beastly 52 minute 7 mile workout.

So today since it's my last day off for the year I've got a long run on tap I'm hoping for 10-15 miles I'm debating if I should do it in Wolcott where the traffic is psycho or if I should move it to Middlebury where the roads are a little more peaceful. In either case there will be rubber hitting asphalt today.

Happy Training

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Wishlist

So children if you believe in Father Christmas, like your Uncle Billy does
please buy my festering turd of a record.- Billy Mack

Dear Jolly Old Fat Dude with a Wad of cash ( peferably on the board with Timex):

Alright I've been good for me and I have somethings I would like to see under the tree this year.

First, I've cashed in some frequent flier miles to go to Louisville for the Ironman KY this year but I still have to come up with the entry fee, so I'm hoping the income tax check comes in before the genral entry closes, so I'm asking for one of three things.
1. A lot of people are able to get their community fund slots for Ironman Canada leaving the entry pool smaller for KY.
2. A $500 winning lotto ticket so I can put my entry in early.
3. Timex to give me a nice sponsorship.

Secondly I've dropped the hints to my family that I'm going to need to do some work on the bike this spring. My chain and cassette are shot, so I've dropped hints to friends and relatives that "Hey did you know you can get a Shimano Ultegra Cassette for $50 on" "Hmmm nothing says Christmas like the humming of Bobby's bike trainer in the background."
"On the 12th day of Christmas my true love gave to me a SRAM RED drivetrain...."
ok I haven't been that bad but I have mentioned it alot.

My laptop is going on seven years old so I know one of my next purchases is going to be ditching the Dell for an HP with wifi.

While I'm on the wish list:

can I get six pack abs.....
A villa in Kona would also be well as a sub 3 hour marathon, a life time qualification to the big dance, and a permanent upgrade to first class on any flight...and oh yes world peace.

Ok I'll have more serious posts coming up Happy Holidays Everybody.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Thinking about Ironman and other things

Well, my deepest apologies for not posting in a while. It's just been hard to post with the job, Christmas shopping, and the million other things in life that get in the way.
On the training front things are going well. I'm starting to get back into a routine. I'm averaging nearly 9-10k yards swimming per week. I'm trying to get back on to the trainer, likewise I'm running 2-3 times a week, although the sub freezing temperatures of the New England Winter have kept me limited so far. Wednesday I managed to do a pretty killer workout on the treadmill. It was 52 minutes long ( I was hoping for one hour but accidently hit the stop button.) I was doing it as an interval session. 4 minutes at 7.5mph or 8min/ mile pace followed by 4 minutes at 9.0 miles per hour of 6:40/mile pace. It felt good as it was the first speed work I had done since a 10k road race on Thanksgiving. Tomorrow I'm hoping to take advantage of warm temperatures to get a long run in, during a rain storm, because the temperatures are expected to go back into the frigid zone.

Throughout most of this year I have been thinking about the mindset and training I did when I was doing the Ironman in 2008 and 2009. Those years I trained like an animal through the cold, the darkness and the bad weather. I looked at my American Airlines frequent flier miles and I had a bunch I had to use up since my last trek to New Zealand. So I cashed them in for a one way flight to Louisville ( I will have to buy a return flight.) The goal is that I will hopefully have enough of my income tax check leftover and there will still be entry spots left over to get me into Ironman Kentucky. I've already been number crunching the flight would cost about $150, hotel and rental car would come to $606, I'm debating whether or not to use tri bike transport, but booked my flight out of LaGuardia on a larger plane in case I decide to hoof the bike with me. So my training will take an Ironman focus.

Likewise I've been trying to figure out what to do with myself. The Navy hasn't gotten back to me so I've started taking a look at what I want to do with my life. As much as I would like to go back to school part of me is wondering would it be worth the expense. A few people have told me to get into triathlon coaching. While part of me would be excited to do it, the other part of me is like am I skilled enough? Let's face it I train low tech, I race low tech, I'm not a pro, I've never won anything overall, I don't have degrees in biology, or exercise science. Part of me wonders am I qualified to be a coach? I mean people listen to me when I give little pieces of advice but would someone trust me if I'm asking for cash for it? Maybe I second guess myself too much, but despite my passion for the sport I just don't know if people would trust me to coach them without a pro card, or race win on my resume, but I haven't discounted it completely. For now I have holiday gifts to get and details to iron out, but more maybe coming on this coaching idea.


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Unleash the Cracken!

I don't know why that phrase was stuck in my head today as I ran 8 miles of the Middlebury Rev 3 Half Iron run loop, but it seemed to motivate me. For those of you who don't know about the Rev 3 course it's hilly. I figure that next year this is going to be my season opener as I didn't do any long distance races in 2010. Anyway I've been trying to train on the Rev loop whenever I have the chance. Today the weather was an absurdly warm for November 65F. My initial plan had been to run the full 13 miles but since I ran 8 miles yesterday and didn't really eat much today I bailed after 9 miles. The opening 3 miles are flat to down hill, and follow the bike loop for the Pat Griskus tris. At mile 4 or 5 the road goes from tar and chipseal to a weather beaten trail for about a mile to a mile and a half, likewise the trail rolls. There's a quick detour through a housing development to the turn around and then the loop continues around the backside of Lake Quassapaug. The changing leaves yet warm temperatures made it feel kind of surreal, that it was late November but it felt like spring again. It was good to run in short sleeves on a training run, granted since we got our first snowfall of the season on Monday I have a feeling winter is going to be pretty crazy, probably frigid one day then unseasonably warm the next.

But back to today's run. Today my focus was on just getting some miles and hill work in as I have two short road races. A five miler in Waterbury next Sunday, then the Manchester Road Race on Thanksgiving. I kept thinking ahead to next June, when I would be trying to attack on this leg of the race. I kept thinking about what some of my training partners had said during the summer. One comment was I'm one of the most underestimated local athletes. Let's face it at 175lbs. I'm not one of these skinny, anorexic, cyclist, marathoner types. I don't eat tofu, Ice cream is not the devil, and I'm pretty sure I eat enough red meat to be declared PETA's public enemy number 1. But where was I oh yes, I'm underestimated. Many a muscled bound athlete has looked at me at the start line and is like "No Prob I've got this pudgy kid beat I'll collect my medal, and probably have two beers and a few tofu burgers under my belt before this kid leaves T-2." Only to see me huff and puff by them on the run, or just not see me period until I'm going to the award least that's how it used to be. 2010 was the first time I felt vunerable. My training wasn't where it should have been. My mind wasn't with it and I was in a constant state of adjustment. So as I ran today I was trying to focus on staying positive, I was focusing on becoming stronger, I wanted to be that determined SOB that wasn't intimidated by distance, pain, or the fact the guys running against me had better muscle definition and six pack abs. Essentially I wanted to get back to the point where I would be able to take my run to a whole nother level. I guess the best motto for it would be "Unleash the Cracken." After all if the Cracken was a mythological beast that would bring about a difficult situations and shake the strongest of heroes to their core, then that's what I want my run leg to be. I want the uber cyclists looking back with dread. I want to be back at the point I was at Ironman New Zealand a few years ago, when I was passing more people on the run than I was being passed by. I want to know if I get beat that the people who beat me truly were the better athletes, so as I churned out the miles today I was thinking about how best to attack the hills. I was debating on how I should plan my runs, if I should start surging. I was trying to get back to a place where I was in 2007 when I was training for my first Ironman, I'm hoping 2011 will be the year I'll be able to get back to where I was in before I got tossed a life curveball.
Today's run was good my legs took a beating but they needed it, the soul needed it, the mind needed it. In general I needed the run because it's helping get back to where I belong. So this week I'll prep for my 5 miler, in another week I'll get a 4 mile road race and some turkey in my system and then the planing for 2011. Rev3's there and maybe a marathon before it, it's taken me a while to try to fight it but sport is my life and I need to take it back.


Monday, November 8, 2010

I think the blogger police is coming...

to arrest me for blog negelect. I could give a long story on why my posts have been more sporadic and not as interesting as usual. One reason is my laptop has now become the family comunal internet connection which now means it is subject to the Almighty Family Internet Connection Curse. Apparently everytime one of my family's laptops becomes the primary log on the power cable, unable to deal with the browsing activity of 7 individuals inexplicably gives up the ghost. That's right the AFICC has claimed my computer as yet another vicitm, wear and tear and the fact that I have had it since 2003 finally took their toll on it. My power cord finally bit the dust so now it is sitting in the corner of the living room on top of the heap of my other relatives laptops wating for a new cord to arrive from Dell. So as I write this I'm logged in at my local library.

I have some other news some from the Navy. As I was waiting to hear from the board last month, I was counting down the days waiting to year my fate. As the calendar switched over from October to November and I still hadn't heard the go, no go, I called my recruiter. Apparently because I had smoked the reffer a little more than recomended in college I need a waiver. Yes kids take a lesson from Bob if you eventally want to serve your country or become a federal employee stay away from the mary jane. So I have to wait until I'm granted a waiver before the Navy will look at the package. Add to that some drama and change of commands, so it looks like my Navy package will be on hold for another few months.

On the training front things are moving along but not as quick as I would like. I did set up my bike trainer so I can start riding again and my pool yardage is increasing. I did have a couple of posts in the works about night running, and strategies to avoid the dreadmill, and not become road kill. Likewise I did have a whole post dedicated to the hopefully now deceased Ironman Ponzi Scheme...I mean rip off, I mean Peferred WTC membership...hopefully i'll be able to get some of these down but in the mean time to quote a memroable character from Monty Python....

I'm not dead yet.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

It's autumn in Connecticut

Which for Bobby means it's road race season. The run mileage has been increasing and my weekly mileage has gone up dramatically as I've gone from barely scraping out 20 miles per week to just over 30. Last week I only got a 10 miler in as I tried to add more yards in the pool. Today I decided to focus more on speed. I went down to the Cheshire rail trail and cranked out 5.6 miles on the flat and fast surface. In fact my last couple of runs have been on this rail trail as I could run after dark without having to worry about traffic, and if my reflective vest will keep me visible. So today since I know I have at least 2-3 road races on tap and they are more of the short distance variety I decided to really push speed over mileage. I managed to cover the 5.8 miles from the trail head to the Hamden border in 42:32. I began at a strong pace and in the middle sort of moderated especially at the cross walks. When I hit the Hamden border the sun was really beginning to set so I hustled the way back. My stride opened up and I really focused, getting my breathing back to race rate. I ended up slowing a little at the end as I tangoed with a cyclist. I stayed right and he zoomed around me like he was cutting off the trail then cut back on Cyclocross style came back on I cut left to give him room only to have him shout back " I'll go around on the right if you want me to." " Hey I didn't know where you were riding." " I didn't know where you were going either." he replied back. I made it back to my car and stretched. Tomorrow I'm hoping to get a longer run in as well as get back to the pool. I do have a trainer set up so this winter I'm going to train like I did the years I did Ironman New Zealand. I'm hoping to have a better 2011 than 2010 on many levels.

Likewise not to keep everything focused on training my friend Josie gave birth to her first child. Her daughter Amelia Kay was born at 1:30 this afternoon weighing in at 8lbs. 14 oz. At last check Mom and baby were doing fine.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A lot's happended since I've been away..

Well first off I'd like to say that my Kona Predictions were shot. Macca proved that he's not dead yet..and can still throw down a lava burning marathon. So to him congrats. He made it interesting with his big move on the bike to get just enough distance on Crowie to win the thing. The big battle will be next year to see if Ralert will break through to win or If Macca or Crowie will join Peter the great, The Grip and The Man as the only men with 3 or more titles. The men's race proved to be amazingly competitive, and the run splits seemed a lot faster than last year as Chris Lieto was only 4 minutes off his 2009 marathon time that got him a Gutsy second place, but this year couldn't keep him in the top-10. Likewise Andy Potts looked strong in the early going but faded as well as another prerace favorite Rasmus Henning.

Likewise an unfortunate case of food poisoning made the women's race a little more interesting as Chrissie Wellington sat out and Mirinda Cafrae was able to run herself to her first world championship. Dibens scraped a podium, but other favorites simmed to fizzle on the lava. Essential Kona proved that given the right circumstances everything you thought you knew and could predict can go right out the window.

But enough of my pro- punditing. On the personal front I sent in an application to the Timex Triathlon Team. I'm still waiting to hear back from the Navy but if I can't serve my country I might as well try my luck at getting on the most recognized tri team on the planet.
I've been increasing my running and swimming and will be starting spin classes to try to get myself ready for next season in what can best be described as an all out war on myself.

Indeed two nights ago while out on a routine 4 miler my body gave out about 2 miles in. I was going at a fairly good clip but all of a sudden got a light headed feeling, then a cold sweat, I managed to walk for a mile to get myself settled and managed to run the last mile or so home but it was frightening. It was if my body just said no mas. The next day I managed to run the same route with no issue, so it put me at ease. It's just scarry anytime your body just gives out on you for no apparent reason, granted I had been fighting off a little head cold.
The swimming is gradually getting longer this week I've gotten in a 3500 and a 3700yard workout in and I'll try for 4000 tomorrow as I'm trying to get and keep my weekly yardage at over 10k yards.

I could go more into depth on the home and personal life front, but right now things are really complex...also add in some unpopular policy changes at work and the stress factor goes up about 20 notches so for the time being I'll just keep quiet on them. Although having training as an outlet has helped me to keep what's left of my sanity.

Tonight was pretty productive in the weight room, I was able to increase both my squat and bench weights. My squat is still a measly 8 reps at 135lbs. but I've been trying to focus on form, before I build on weight. Likewise my bench is at 125lbs, for 6 reps. I've been working on my breathing and am now able to do more than 20 push ups at a time, and my sit ups are averaging about 3 sets of 30-50. So the strength is coming back I just need to keep working on it.

All in all there's a lot in the works and it's just taking one day at a time.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Kona Predictions for 2010

Well I'm noticing a spike on my blog especially on last year's who will win Kona Post. This year I've been sort of out of the loop as I didn't race long course or spend hours looming over Slowtwitch and Xtri. I didn't really pay attention to Ironman results or spend hours tabulating and cheering and following some of the best athletes in world in their massive athletic endeavors. essentially my participation in tri has been pretty lackluster this season. Part of it is envy of the guys going out and living the dream, the other part has been I've just got bigger worries this season.

Still people are looking for Kona predictions so I guess I better not disappoint.

The men:

I'm going to err on the side of caution and state the obvious: Craig Alexander is the clear ,hands down favorite and Lord have mercy on anyone who thinks they can woop him. Crowie can run and unless your name is Alberto Contador or Andy Schleck, he will run you down no matter how good your bike split is. Lieto knows it, Sindbale knew it, and at Rev3 Matty Reed and Terenzo Bonzone learned it. Still since Mark Allen retired no man has won 3 in a row. Not Peter Reid, not Tim DeBoom, No body. Trends are made to be broken and Crowie will have a stellar field gunning for him but he has the skills to pull the hat trick.

Still as much Crowie is the favorite I like Terenzo Bonzone. Kid's been tearing it up on the 70.3 scene this year, and he had a pretty stellar run at Ironman New Zealand. Other guy to watch out for from the land of the Long White Cloud is Cameron Brown as much as Cam maybe over the hill he can still bring the heat if he wants to. Likewise Macca's struggled the last two years and this year he has been off the radar, still he has passion and you can bet he'll bring his A-game.

Sentimentally I'm hoping Chris Lieto can haul some ass and try to get the good ol' US and A back to the top step of the podium. Although the Andy Potts showed his balls at Ironman CDA and might be the best hope for the stars and stripes. Lieto is my go to guy. I fully expect him to go after Normann Stadler's bike record, and hopefully he'll have enough padding to get the job done.

Others to watch for:

Rutger Beke, this guy is a sleeper but he always performs well. He won Cozmuel last year and has one of the best run legs in the sport. If something happens to Crowie He can pick up the slack.

Eneko Llanos dude won Abu Dhabi, and is making an LD comeback, and speaking of comebacks what's the deal with Faris Al Sultan? Not to mention Henning who seems to be keeping the trend of Scandanvians who do obsurded well alive. Homeboy knows how to win in the heat, although this is only his second Kona race. I say in a couple of years he'll be the favorite although I still think he'll top 5.
I'm going to go out on a limb and here's my prediction for the men's top 10.

1. Craig Alexander

2. Rutger Beke

3. Chris Lieto

4. Andy Potts

5.Terenzo Bonzone

6.Rasmus Henning

7. Enenko Llanos

8. Macca

9. Faris Al Sultan

10. Michael Lovato

The Women: I guess the women's race should be classified as Chrissie Wellington versus the world. try as I might I just can not hate this chick. It's as if she's Paula Radcliff, with a splash of Alberto Contador, a smidge of Rebecca Adlington ( women's 400m free gold medal winner.) mixed with Mother Theresa. Seriously she'll stop in the middle of a race to help a group of orphans build a school still set a world record and then give half her prize cash to charity...seriously she's in the dictionary under the definition of Girl Scout. Everyone is throwing around comparisons to Paula Newby Fraser but PNF still had strong competition from Erin Baker, Karen Smyers and Natascha Badmann, Chrissie's in a league of her own.

So then the argument is who can give Wellington a run for her money.

Sam McGlone is coming back strong, Mirinda Cafree is fast and powerful. Then you've got women like Belinda Granger and Rebekah Keat who are proven and strong. Gina Crawford is quick, then throw in Canada's secret weapon Magali Tisseyre Bree Wee is always a sentimental favorite, seriously want to see the island explode watch a local girl win the Ironman. Lindsay Corburn is an animal, and just got her taste of the winner's circle. Then there are sleepers like Jo Lawn who's always solid, Van Vlerken , seriously the fight for second in the women's race is almost as competitive as the men's race, granted maybe someone will step up and come out of nowhere and challenge Queen Chrissie's dominance....

Women's Top 10 Predictions

1. Chrissie Wellington and she'll top 10 overall.

2. Yvonne VanVlerken

3.Magali Tisseyre

4. Sam Mc Glone

5. Belinda Granger

6. Lindsay Corburn

7. Rebekah Keat

8. Mirinda Cafrae

9. Gina Crawford

10.Bree Wee

I know I'm leaving out some big names, and likewise crazy stuff happens on the big island, but for the limited research I was able to do this year these are my Predictions. To everyone racing on the Big Island Good Luck this weekend.


Sunday, September 26, 2010

Hard week of training: Reflections

The journey of 1000 miles begins with one step- Chinese Proverb.

This week kicked off the begining of my training for 2011 season 1 race is on the list so far The Rev 3 Half at Quassy. This race is in my backyard so much of the next 18 months will be spent getting myself acquainted with it's lay out. I've already started joking with some training partners I should toe the line at this bitch wearing Under Armour with " Protect this House" etched on the back. Essentially this race in one my normal hunting grounds so I have some homefield advantage. It's like living in Kona and doing repeats of the Energy Lab, you can work the hardest parts of the course and get prepared for what it's going to take to perform.

So needless to say I've been spending alot of time in Middlebury. I also took a good hard look in the mirror and a good hard look at the scale. I'm pushing a heavy race weight, I've been training like garbarge and eating like garbage because I've been feeling like garbarge, and quite frankly that garbarge has got to stop. So this week I wrote a training plan and decided to stick to it. I managed to swim about 10,000 yards in a week for the first time in months. On the running front: I did two 9milers and about a 12 miler on the Rev3 course this week. The 12 miler came on a 90 degree day. As I cranked out the miles, that video in my head started playing that one that always comes out when I'm running the one where I'm in Kona and I'm going to win the damn thing. Now maybe it's only a dream, but I felt pretty damn strong as I ran along. I got out of my daydream and I started taking notes of what race day will be like at Rev, I started making notes of how I felt in different sections. Trying to make notes of hills, pavement quality and how I felt. I did pretty well on the first 8 mile stretch, it's well marked and shares part of the route with the Pat Griskus Sprint Bike loop. I ended up taking a wrong turn at about mile 10 and ended up on the back half of the old run loop/ Griskus Tri Run loop. I was feeling pretty tight and running out of water so I finshed on the route I was going on. I managed to get the 11.5-12 miles out in about an 1:43. Not blazing for a race pace but pretty damn good for training day.

Today my buddy Alex and I went for a 72 mile bike ride from Middlebury up to Lake Waramaug. I think I still have a bad habit of going too hard to early, as my legs were pretty fried by the last 10 miles. The loop was pretty challenging as we rode the back half of the Old Lake Waramaug tri route. The race has changed venues but I still remember the old route, and the hills are just as tough. The loop took you around the lake and then up a short steep hill by the golf course then down hill to a flat section before you climbed another short little wall and then shot back around the lake. We then rode up into Bantam and around Bantam Lake and got back on the the Griskus Olympic route and finshed off the ride. Things went pretty well except for some toatsy legs and a frightening flat. As Alex and I were heading down a pretty fast downhill in Washington at about 35 miles per hour my front wheel felt funny, I could feel a lot of vibration, and the bike became harder to control. The front tire went flat. I immediately began feathering the brakes, to slow down as the tire lost air, hoping it would stay on the rim. I switched to using just the back brakes to stop on flat road as I felt myself losing control, and nearly took a header. I unclipped called for Alex who was about 200 meters up at a stop sign, to let him know I didn't beef it. We changed the tire and got the rest of the ride done with with no further incident. On the cycling milestone note: This was the first flat I've gotten on a ride that I was able to change on the road and salvaged a ride finish.

While Rev is on the list and I'm still waiting to hear from the Navy, I debating Ironman again. I'm not planning on going anywhere crazy or exotic this time around granted I do want to head back to Taupo eventally, but I've been noticing IM Louisville hasn't sold out yet. Part of me is tempted. Likewise it's late season one of the last races before the Kona Qualifying cut off. Part of me is screaming do it, another part is saying "hold your horses cowboy...remember what happened the last time you went with your gut. You had some good racing but buried yourself in debt, and eventually you do want to buy a house, marry, possibily pop out 1.5 offspring..." I'm stuck on this decision do I go with the idealistic dreams of a boy or the wisdom of a man.

I mean I know I could get a good flight deal out there with those IM NZ induced frequent flier miles I need to redeem by Decemeber, but now I've got X-factors, a girlfriend, a more important job, hefty bills, hopefully a place. Real life that surpasses the fantasy. One of my training partners was saying to me after the Griskus Sprint where I was in the top 30, "You're getting to a point where you're becoming a contender. If you bring your "A-game" you might actually have a shot to win some of these local things." I shrugged it off but he went a little further " Seriously you're doing this well with no coach, old equipment, just think of how you would do it if you could take this a little more seriously." "Dude I can barley afford my car note let alone a coach." I retorted. "Have you thought about tracking down some sponsors? Seriously you're reaching a point where either you'll be the local guy who top 20's every year or you could go beyond where you could be a serious threat." As much as I wanted to block his rationale out of my head I couldn't. One of my dreams has always been to go pro, and for the first time this summer I was really beginning to think it was just a stupid dream, I'd been left homeless, was getting hounded for money I didn't have essentially the whole idea of taking $50-$100 of my paycheck and tossing it down so I could play speed demon was feeling kind of pointless. ParkCity didn't go well, I took a little break essentially just running and swimming to stay in shape, essentially this whole year has been about just trying to stay fit while I'm in holding pattern. And then two weeks ago I looked in the mirror I was looking fat and lazy. I read through some blog posts, looked at some of my race photos, and looked at my races from this year...nothing Long. Next year that changes.

Everyone keeps telling me Kona will be there when I'm older but quite frankly I don't know if I'm going to be there when I'm older. Eventally I will have to grow up and become a respectable, mature responsible adult...whatever that is..... If I'm going to make a run at it it has to be before I'm 30 because essentially in the 30+ age groups I'm going to need pro speed to get a slot. So I'm debating do I go to KY and give it a go....

Until then let the flogging continue until morale improves.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Reving Back into Gear

2010 was in some ways a disappointment. No long distance races which for me is frustrating ( as I live for the LD.) Right now I know there is no way I'll be ready for the Hartford Marathon ( which is in 2 weeks). I'm debating the Manchester City Marathon in Manchester, NH in early Novemeber but I'm still in play it by ear mode. So far my longest run is a 13 miler and after straining my achilles nearly 2 years ago I've been a little leary on major increases in my running in a short period ( yet I still managed to clyde crash cup a PR at Hartford last year.) Likewise I've still got bills to pay, I've got to find a place and I've got to wait for the Navy to give me the Go/ No Go for OCS. I should know by the end of October ( one thing that is true about Government projects is there is a lot of "hurry up and wait.") If I get taken for an OCS class it won't be until early 2011,so I may be commissioned in enough time to be able to do some racing next year. If I'm not commissioned, I want to do at least a Half Ironman next year. Which has me thinking " Which races will motivate me to train through the winter? Right now if I don't get selected for OCS I have two races on the short list.

Rev 3 Quassy or Eagleman.

Rev3 has a lot of benefits, don't have to get a hotel. It's on home turf ( essentially I'm riding portions of the route almost every time I head out on the bike.) I'm training myself on it's run course because it's a measured 13.1 miles. I know the race won't sell out until well after I have news on OCS,and even after that it has a flexible transfer/ deferment policy. There are a lot of pros to the Rev. Likewise my supporters get free access to the Quassy Amusement park ( which isn't as good as Lake Compounce in Bristol, CT but at least riding the bumper cars or the water slides for a few hours beats waiting for me to finish in the middle of nowhere.)

The big cons: a hefty price tag for no qualifying slots to Kona or Clearwater. Also the bike course is on my least favorite terrain, massive New England Hills, granted with all the big gear work I do climbing is becoming less of a weakness ( but it's still painful.).

Eagleman is another one that's on my radar, it does have some cons. WTC doesn't have as lenient of a transfer policy as Rev so if I end up in Pensacola for Flight training in early June ( or Newport for Surface warfare) and I can't get leave then I'm out $250. Likewise nothing against the wonderful people of Cambridge MD but there's not really a lot for supporters to do for the 4-5 hours while I'm competing. Add to it it's hot and humid, it makes it a long day for my friends and fam, if they come down. The other big issue is even though it hasn't sold out as quickly as it has in year's past, it will sell out before I get news from the Navy boards to see if I'll be in Newport this winter earning my bars. Likewise despite the fact this race has Kona slots it will be really hard to get one. The competition is firece, not to mention drafting is epidemic on the bike course.

The pros for Eagleman: The terrain is favorable for an excellent bike splits. Vigo and the crew from the Columbia Triathlon Association put on a pretty good show. If I decide to do it and I need to go the Community fund route, the proceeds go to the Blazeman Foundation for ALS. Likewise the prospect of Kona slots is always a huge motivator to get you using your A-game.

So the debate is raging right now on which race and one is going to happen in 2011, I need to get my workout plan in place. Starting in the next posts I'm going to outline my plans to get myself back into shape and ready to haul ass.

Stay tuned

Friday, September 10, 2010

Getting back into gear

You have three options: Lead, Follow or Get out of the way.

Well this week I've been trying to get back into shape. I managed to get a 5 mile run 3500 yard swim, in on Wednesday and my run mileage is up at 18 miles for the week. Not much done in the way of cycling but I don't have any major races coming up until next year.

I had my Navy Physical, good news I'm healthy bad news I need a letter from a therapist I saw twice when I was in High School in order to get cleared. Essentially the Navy wants to make sure I'm not crazy, or I won't snap easily. Called the Therapist, she destroyed her records of my visits about 5 years ago so I need her to write a letter saying "yeah I saw Rob, essentially he was feeling a little socially awkward like any teenager and just needed to talk out some issues. I didn't put him on meds or anything so he's about as sane as the other applicants." Hopefully that'll be good enough to get me cleared. Also studying up for my ASTB round two. Reading up on my aviation knowledge and getting my math skills back up to par.

Tonight I flaked on my swim, but I decided to get my lift on. Seriously I've lost some muscle. I could barely bench 110 lbs. I managed to get up 4 reps then a set of 3 reps, I bumped down to 95 lbs. and easily pounded out 6 reps. I managed to get some decent reps out squatting 110lbs. ( 3 sets of 10). Also did some lat pulls, bicep hammer curls ( yes I know the muscle is the size of a baseball but it needs some strengthening so I can crank out some pull-ups.) Inclined Pec flys, and some leg extentions. Also managed 30 push ups and 120 sit-ups and crunches. Essentially I want to plan out my workouts. Next week is sort of a burnout, as I'll be on vacation in Maine with Steph for a few days. I do plan on getting some runs in but not much is going to happen on the training front. Next week I want to start planning my workouts so I'm hoping to set up at least 2 days of lifting, 3 swims, 3 runs and 3 rides. Essentially I'm going back into Ironman training mode because I need the fitness back.

Likewise I hope everyone sees the new link. My friend and High School Track teammate Chris is getting himself ready for 2011 Long Beach Marathon. It looks like it's going to be an interesting journey as this guy is a speedster.

Well that's all from me, I've got a drive up to York Beach awaiting me.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

New Pair of Shoes

Well I got myself a new pair of treads on Thursday. A pair of size 11 Saucony ProGrid Ride2's. I'm not sure if they're the right shoe for me but the initial runs have been promising. These shoes make me feel like I'm running on air. Seriously not sure if it's the build or the fact that my previous shoes are really broken down, but I've noticed a lot of spring in them. Anyway these shoes are cushioned but built for neutral runners. Normally I use a stability shoe so it's sort of an experiment as my stride has changed a little over the past few seasons and noticed my feet have been feeling a little tired using the stability shoes, also their size 11 instead of 11.5's ( the 11.5's had a little too much slippage in the heel.) Likewise it's a departure from my brand loyalty to New Balance, so I'm going to give them a try.

I ran a 10k in them Thursday night. Then on Sunday I went for a 4 miler on the Cheshire Rail trail. Steph had come up for the Labor Day weekend and we decided to run. We started off together and I managed to get way ahead so at the first high way crossing I doubled back, I caught up with her then ran ahead again to the end of the next segment. I managed to see her on the way back. She was like "you're already on your way back?" as I strode past. I got back to the highway crossing and doubled back to her at the turnaround. I had managed to get about 35 minutes or 4 miles in. We ran/ walked the last mile together. For Steph it was the longest she's run/ walked and hopefully she'll keep up with it.

On Monday I got the longest run in my new shoes in. I did my normal 8 mile loop in Wolcott. I managed to get it done in 1:12:36. I'm hoping to get another longer run into them and hope to compare times to see if a neutral shoe has been what I needed all along.

Likewise got my physical done for the Navy this morning I'll go into the bloody gory in another post, but things are beginning to fall into place.

Well that's it from me

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

It's getting to be that time again....

Well after doing a 12 mile run on Sunday, I noticed that my shoes were getting to the point that there going to need replacement. Likewise I've been reusing old tri shorts and bathing suits to the point of being see through, I'm desperately low on nutritional goods, my bike shorts are full of holes. Essentially it's time for some of the equipment purchases I've been desperately putting off.
The first thing on the priority scale is the running shoes and I'm left with a debate. For years I've been devoted to New Balance, they've been a good shoe for me. They have decent longevity, great support granted they never seem to have racing flats in my size anymore. So I'm left with a decision to I stick with the tried and true or do I experiment with something new for the up coming off season?
One part of me has heard wonderful things about Saucony, and I've been wanting to try them to see what all the hype is about. Their shoes are pretty equal to New Balance and they tend to carry flats in my size for competition. Another part of me knows Asics have great variety and an all, but you pay a premium for the name. I looked into K-swiss and the infamous Newton, but am really tossed up between New Balance and Saucony, essentially because I know I can get a good deal on them both at Sports Authority.

In second priority,I need nutrition because quite frankly I'm getting tired of dishing out $1-$2 for a bottle of gatorade every long ride or run. Also I need to stock up on power bars because lets face it a man can not live on gu alone.

Swim suits, I can get by for the next month or so,using last year's tri shorts, but I know I'm going to need those soon otherwise the lifeguards will be getting a bird's eye view of the Grand Canyon.

On the training front, I'm starting to tack together more long runs and rides but have pretty much resigned myself to the fact that this will be the first time since 2007 I will not have a long distance race on tap. Part of me really wants to do Mightyman Montauk, but I know there are bills that must be paid and other needs that have to be met before then. I might tow the line at something shorter and local but I've got to play it by ear. Likewise I've gotten some New riding partners in my friends Alexei, Max and Justin. Also speaking of training partners Josie's baby girl is due in late October so she may be back into training by December/ January.
My 12 mile run on Sunday went well despite the heat, as it has been downright hot in New England,almost 90F everyday. Part of me is wondering if I should do my infamous crash course in marathon training, and tow the line in Hartford again.

On the Navy front I'm scheduled to take my physical within the next two weeks and I want to retake my ASTB so I can become a pilot. Likewise it looks like my application may not be good to go until the October board,as more new paper work has been added to the fray. Part of me feels this is a good thing that it gives me more study time and the other part of me is like let me know if I made it already or if I should start searching for more options on the civillian side. Essentially what happens in 2011 is all based on if I'm an officer canidate or a call center agent looking for advancement.

My one hope for 2011 is that I will have more stability than 2010, hopefully a stable roof over my head, meaningful work, a solid training and racing schedule and a better outlook on life.


Sunday, August 29, 2010

Somebody Call the Psych Ward.....

Bobby's got some crazy ideas...

Well the last few weeks have been pretty crazy running around trying to get my Navy Application together, trying to get my training together,trying not to loose my mind with life issues. Essentially I feel like I'm still living in Limbo not knowing what's coming up. The next month leads to more waiting on my future as I wait for an answer from the Officer selection board. If they take me I'll have a solid job lined up for the next 4-10 years, granted it does have a hectic schedule, and I'll be living a semi-nomadic existence. If I'm not taken I've got to start start job hunting for something with a little bit higher pay or at least suplement it. Enter crazy idea #1.

After talking to one of my training partners, Alexei, a personal trainer at the Waterbury Y, he sort of planted the seed of becoming a coach for beginner triathletes. His arguement went along the lines of "Dude you've been doing this for years, you have a lot of knowledge to share, have you thought about coaching?" My counter was "but yeah dude # 1 I'm not USAT certified. #2 You've seen my training plans I race on the edge of my seat on a wing and a prayer, eating what ever is on sale at Stop and Shop. #3 I'm have absolutely no clue on how to get faster on the bike. My rides are mostly LD with some spurting TT work,and Spintervals in the winter. #4 I'm the most anti-tech guy on the planet I don't us a heart rate monitor or power tap, I train old school off of precieved exertion.
His counter was "Yeah but Rob, beginners don't care about a cert. ( and seriously get a couple of clients and you'll be able to pay for one.) Your crazy training system has worked for you so far, and being less tech is not necessarily bad for newbies. The average beginner triathlete is not going to be throwing around tons of cash on equipment, maybe a HR for $50-$100 but not anything too crazy." So I'm thinking about it. Not as a full time gig but as something to help offset my racing costs.

Crazy idea #2 One of my friends Dad works for a limo company and was rolling some big wig from Timex around and they got to talking about Ironman and somehow my name came up and before he knew it he got me a contact with Timex. The problem: when he got me the contact I was in no mood to discuss triathlon. We were losing our house, I was stuck in my teller job and I was quite seriously thinking of pawning my bike and calling it quits until I was in a better place. I thanked him for the phone number and it disappeared into the masses of paperwork and boxes that I was throwing my life into. This may now be the biggest regret of my life, as I have until October to apply for Team Timex, and if I don't get into the Navy I'm going to be looking for some sponsors. Timex is at the top of my list, but they only take the top 45 athletes in North America, and let's face it I'm good but not that good...granted I was the fastest dude under 25 from the Northern Hemisphere at 2009 Ironman New Zealand...

Crazy idea#3 / #4 Reading on some of the other blogs, and seeing some of my teamates train for Ironman, watching them travel and essentially live their lives to the fullest,it's made me reflect. I used to be them. I used to have dreams and goals. I used to have confidence. Lately I've felt like I've just been waiting for the next disaster. That essentially I've been plauged by Murphy's Law. I felt like I'm working my butt off just to get nowhwere. First I know I need to get my own place. Next I want to race Ironman again, and likewise I want to travel again. I talk to Steph and we talk about the plans of what we want to do places we want to go, and quite frankly I don't want that to be something that is said and not done. I was thinking of going to either Austrialia or New Zealand in 2012 or 2013. Figure it gives me time to get crap in order and save up. If it's Oz I wanted to do something Romantic like New Year's in Sydney. If it's NZ I want to race Ironman again, let's face it I guess I just like riding on the left side of the road and I've got a network down there. I have a feeling Steph and I are going to be long haul and quite frankly I'd like to do some of this traveling stuff done while we're still young, because we may not be able to do it again until we're retired...and from experience traveling is a lot easier the younger you are.

So those are the crazy ideas that have been batted around my head hopefully some of them will come to fruition.


Monday, August 23, 2010

Park City Mossman Race Report

Well It's a well overdue but I was able to sit down and get my thoughts together and write a race report for the Park City Mossman. I will first start by apologizing if I sound a little sadsack, as I was about 10 minutes slower than last year. In some races 10 minutes ain't much but on a perfectly flat bike course it definitely is a big margin. Granted given my training and crazy life situation it wasn't too horrible.

We arrived in Bridgeport with my massive support crew of my sisters Melissa and Julia and My GF about 6:30AM. Unfortuately I overslept so I was not able to get my prerace coffee and Corn Muffin which may have made the difference on this day. I managed to get my packet and chip pretty quick and had to make my way over to Transition with only 15 minutes to prepare. It was then I noticed that my shorts felt a little funny I couldn't find the draw string and felt a tag against my hips..."Great I have my shorts on backward" I muttered to myself I did a quick towel change and tried to find space for my bike on a cramped bike rack. After squishing my gear into place I took a quick sip of gatorade and got my wetsuit half way up as I made my way over to race start. I managed to get it on and got some help from a fellow competitor on zipping up my Blue-Seventy Helix. I will say this about my helix it is a pain to clip together but once clipped it's very easy to zip down...likewise coat it with a fine layer of suit juice and it's a breeze to get off. But enough talking about my wetsuit, this year the Young guys were the first wave and joining us was CT triathlon legend Chris Thomas of Team Timex. I will say this about Chris he's very soft spoken and one hell of an athlete...if you don't believe me check the results from last year's timberman. He was 8th and I don't mean 8th in the 35-39 AG he was 8th overall.

The swim: 500 meter wade followed by a 1000 meter swim.

After the formality of the national anthem and having to be hand counted in a makeshift swim corral. The race got under way with the sound of a bull horn. As the rest of the field waded in the shallow water toward the first buoy, I decided I definitely swim faster than I run in Neoprene so I cut narrow and swam toward the buoy, by the time the rest of the field was swimming I must have been back in about 50th spot. I decided the cross leg was where I was going to make up ground. Since there were only 2 buoys on the long cross leg I sighted some of the kayaks and paddle boards, one of the guards pointed me back on course as I was cutting a little wide. I managed to pick off a couple of swimmers as I made it to the beach. I was expecting to be in 20th or further back but to my surprise as I ran on to the sand toward T-1 I heard one of the spotters calling out I was in 9th place. I managed to get my wetsuit off and leave into T-1 in 8th place picking up a spot with a quick transition.

Swim Split 20:22 17th fastest counting all waves 1st in my AG.
The Bike: Where is the Magic?

As I slipped my feet into my shoes I was desperately trying to get my speed up but I had really skipped on the bike training the week before the race. I managed to average 19mph on most sections of the course but I just felt like I couldn't get moving. I tried mashing power gears, I tried high cadence but my legs just could not get the Stomper to be up to speed. I manged to go by cheering section to complete the first loop and watched as the faster cyclist went by as I tried to find someway to pick it up. I managed to get passed by one guy in my age group and I tried to hold with him but was dropped after about 400 yards. I did pass one Heatster racing in a Newington Bike Jersey. "Hey you're Bobby Doogs ?" she said as I went by on her left. I nodded and I think I said something to her as I tried to get up to speed. I reached for a gel in my back pocket as I had nothing to eat. My pocket was empty "Shit I left it in transition." I said to myself. I decided to guzzle on Gatorade as it would be my only source of calories. I managed to pass some lap traffic on each loop but was passed by the faster cycling types and I just tried to suck it up for the last 3 loops of the bike. On the fourth loop I managed to get a good little race going with one guy in my age group. He didn't get out of sight and it helped me get my pace up a little. I hit T-2 and over shot my bike rack in my hurry to get out on the run. After re-racking the bike I managed to tear my race number as I turned my race belt around.

Bike Split 1:13:47 nearly 7 minutes and 2mph slower than last year.

The Run: I'm giving her all she's got Captain...

I hit the run at a good clip and felt that maybe I might be able to salvage a decent time but as I got to the first turnaround and took my split it wasn't looking pretty. One guy from my AG ran past like I was standing still. I ate the hammer gel I brought with me and it helped get a little perk in my step as I started the second loop. At about the 4 mile mark a 27 year old from the Yale tri team came along side I asked which loop he was on "my second he said nearly effortlessly." I tried to serge to keep him behind me. It wooked for about 100 yards and then he passed and was out of sight. I got to the turnaround and began the 1.5 mile straightaway back to the beach. About half a mile from the beach a guy from the Bethel Tri club got around me...I decided that I had to beat this guy to save my battered pride ( as I looked at my watch and saw that I was going to be lucky if I broke 45 minutes.) I tucked in behind him and then got along side him at the second aid station. We matched each other's pace as we started the last stretch to the finish with 200 meters left, I started sprinting for the line. I barely edged him out. I hit my watch and saw the split 44:45 one of my worst 10k s ever.

Run Split 44:44

Total Time 2:20:49 Nearly 11 minutes slower than last year.

10th place in my AG 64th overall.

While I was disppointed to say the least there were several things that were good. One was having the GF and my sisters down to cheer me on. The second was I had very quick transitions in relation to year's past. The third never underestimate the power of Java and a Corn muffin. And the Biggest thing I learned :ALWAYS BRING GU WITH YOU ON THE BIKE!

Well that's it for now I've got my Navy officer application submitted so I'm waiting on what the board says in September. If I'm go for flight school then I may not have another race this season. If I'm rejected then I'll be looking for a late season long course race to try to give me a springboard to 2011. Either way I'll feel the need...the need for speed.

Happy Training.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Sorry I've been away

Well I've sort of been slacking off. I did the Park City Oly last weekend and I'll have a race report coming soon. Part of me was a little disappointed, as I was a little off from last year...well ok I was a lot off fromlast year. Part of me can blame it on some of the issues I've been through in the past year, but that's a cowards way out. The good thing was I did have a pretty hefty support crew just wish I put on a better show for them.

Along the lines of other issues I've been litterally paying the piper for some of my past endeavors/mistakes, part of me thinks I should have listened to reason or some of my more conservative minded friends but upon analysis even if I knew then what I know now I probably would have made some of the same mistakes, did some of the same stuff because such is life.

Essentially part of me is trying to recover from this recession which has sort have put me in a state of depression. Essentially I find myself second guessing myself alot, putting myself down alot, and pretty much going through life sort of zombified. Part of me feels that people who have any sort of belief in me are building up hopes that are just going to be crushed when I let them down as always. I know I shouldn't think that way but I seriously feel like I just can't get out of this sprial and the more I try to move ahead the further behind I fall. The more I hear the news, the collection calls and the tales of doom and gloom, the more riding my bike off a cliff seems like a good idea,but somehow I still find the guts to get my ass out of bed in the morning to face the day, battered, shaking and wondering how much longer I can take it.

The Navy officer gig is offering hope ( goes to the board this month.),but I'm trying to lay back up plans as well. I'm thinking about becoming a swim ref and my buddy Alex has been trying to talk me into tri coaching. While part of me is tempted by the coaching idea, I seriously wonder do I have what it takes to coach? I mean seriously I have the world's most hodge podge training plan. In fact my advice to my athletes would probably be "If I've done it don't do it." Granted the 90 day Ironman training plan might catch on.

The other thing I find myself working on is how to balance training and a relationship. Up until recently I've been a solo assasin and my weekends were devoted soley to the bike, my shoes and the road. Now I'm trying to balance life with a GF with my training blocks. It's an adjustment but I think I'll be able to give Steph and the Stomper quality time,without either getting jealous.

There's more going on here maybe I'll mention it in another post but for now I've got a race report to work on and a long day at the office ahead.


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Hardcore week.

Well the last few days have been busy. I spent the weekend with Steph up in Boston. I managed to eek in an 8 mile run on Sunday morning before taking my ASTB on Sunday. My scores weren't too bad but they weren't too competitive either. So it looks like I might not be ready for the September Aviation board like I was hoping. Either way I'm going to brush up on my physics and Avionics and hit the ASTB hard the next time I figure it took me two attempts on my SAT so now I know what I'm up against. For a first time I still managed to meet the minimums to get accepted for Aviation and was above the minimum score to go for my commission. Likewise my 2011 plans are now in limbo.

On the training front my buddy Justin has moved back to CT from Utah and we've started to do weekday rides, as I try to whip my weak leg back into shape. I've been developing new routes through Litchfield County, and actually got a 65 miler in last weekend. Yesterday Justin and I managed to crank out about 40 after I got 4000 yards in in the pool. I'm hoping to do the Park City Mossman, but I know spots are limited and the bills are due. Likewise Steph and I are planning a weekend in Maine the weekend of Pumpkinman, and I'm looking at making that my season ender for the tris this year. I had wanted to do Nats but I'v got bigger fish to fry. Today I managed to get in a 10 miler through Wolcott and Terryville. The run was rolling granted the way back home is a lot rougher than the way out. Likewise the heat and humidity made it a tough day out. I still managed to get it done in 1:37 , it feels good to get my longer runs back and depending how everything is going in October I might sign up for the Hartford Marathon, likewsie Steph may attempt the Manchester Road Race on Thanksgiving, but we'll talk more on that.

All in all things are moving forward I'm just hoping I'll just be able to blog more and have more interesting posts.


Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Teacher and the Student.

" There comes a day when the Student Surpasses the Teacher."
-Me to Alex on our draining ride this morning.

Well this morning my buddy Alex and I went for a quick 40k ride. He just bought himself a new full carbon Felt B-16 and today was it's christening. As we left our normal riding spot in Middlebury he managed to build about a 30 sec. lead on me. I still remember when he had bought my old road bike off me 2 years ago, and was hardly keeping up. Now he was riding like a master and leaving me in his wake. As we climbed up into Morris he would slow to let me catch up. His progress has been amazing. The kid's got a talent in cycling. I can't say that I've ever been a better athlete than him as he used to school me when we swam in high school, but he has developed greatly as a triathlete. he's gone from an also ran to a contender, and on today's ride he's proved how much his skills have developed. As we turned around from Morris there was a stretch that I was leading on a down hill, he proceeded to blow by me and open up a 30 sec. gap. While part of me was like "Holy shit yet another guy that bikes faster than me." another part was proud to see him develop a strong bike leg ( as his run leg is his weakness.) While he assured me that I have plenty of tricks in the bag ( a solid run leg.) I was going over strategy for our next race. We're both planning on doing the Park City Mossman in Bridgeport in August. The course is flat which fits my ride in the big ring riding style. I seriously believe Alex maybe top 5 or even podium material but he's going to have to throttle the bike for all it's worth.
Today's ride was an eye opener, but it was a little tough. It was 40k with plenty of climbing. Likewise the 90 degree heat and humidity didn't help, but that's what rides on Hot days are for. They acclimate you to the weather and force you to adapt to different conditions.

As for my training I'm trying to settle into a rythym I've got a longer ride and a run on tap for tomorrow. To everybody Rocking Lake Placid tomorrow good luck and kick ass.


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Making the Best of my Surroundings /TDF Smack.

Well, as mentioned or not in previous posts my family is crashing at the home of a family friend until September ( or we get our lives together whatever comes sooner.) As a result I've been having to go to map my run to try to adjust my mileage from my new start point. Also I have started riding from my home. Well ok I've just done 1 ride from the homestead to Thomaston ( about 3 towns over) but the point is I've started finding new routes, and the new routes are hilly. I'm not going to say they rank up there with Alpe Du Huez or the Tourmelet but they do work the legs. In fact in the 20 miler I did last week I did notice the significant drop in speed on the back end of the ride ( crawling up hill a 10mph or less instead of screaming down at 30 mph.) Likewise it did prove to be a good platform for a 10 mile run as there is an intersection at exactly the 5 mile mark. So while the situation may be less than ideal I am making out good in the training realm likewise the house is absolutely georgeous but it is a temporary stop over.

On the life in general side...I'm scheduled for my Aviation Service Test Battery ( ASTB to you military folks.) in the first week of August so I'm trying to give myself a crash course in high school math. The test will essentially determine if I can make it as an officer in the Navy or if I'll get the "thanks for playing " from my recruiter. Likewise my creditors have started coming after me in force which has been adding to the stress cycle. ( granted this is a mess of my own doing.) All and all things are moving forward just got to see where the path ends.

Likewise in the tour I could make comments on the whole Contador, Schleck thing. I feel for Schleck especailly because I would love to see him win this year's highly entertaining yet unpredictable Tour De France, but let's face it if someone dropped a chain in a tri, a training ride or anyother bike race, the odds of the whole field slowing down for him and waiting for him to catch up are about the odds of Lance Armstrong making up his 20 minute gap in tomorrow's stage. Likewise on Lance... I mean ok dude beat cancer and has been raising awareness, and he had a good break yesterday...but WTF? Where's the support been for Levi, I mean he is the highest ranked rider on Radio Shack, where has the support been especially on the mountain stages where he can get back sometime? Alright my comments on the workings of team Radio Shack over. My predictions for tomorrow's stage, Schleck and Voight go on a break at the 20km mark and try to pull Hinault. ( ie go out like their lives and GC positions have no meaning and just try to dominate.) to get time back on Contador, because essentially unless the Saxo bank docs really roid up Luxembourgs's national hero there's no way he'll touch Contador in the TT...but then again this year's been so odd ball that I might almost pick Dennis Menchov to go beserk and end up in yellow. It's going to be a good stage tomorrow so get the Tivo going.


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Behold the Amazing Flying Schleck!

Well today was a slow day at work, so I was able to watch the athlete tracker of Le Tour. I was glued to the updates as I watched Cadel Evans hopes and dreams disappear with ever kilometer up the the Col de le Madeleine. I watched as Contador and Andy Schleck dropped the hammer and unmercifully ran down the break away. I watched as Lance regained his old form and Levi established himself as a contender. Essentially I had enough motivation to get me pumped up to ride for the next week. Ok so the Tour maybe full of the best medical enginering known to man but still I'm drawn to it. I love seeing guys push it to the limit, it's awe inspiring. Essentially it's a motivator, because let's face it 90% of us have the Paul Sherwin, Phil Liggett commentary going in our heads when we're out on our long rides. We push that little bit harder on our group rides to try to summit before the other guys and gals. When we feel good we are "dancing on the pedals and turning ourseleves inside out not to be denied." So where was I oh yes Andy Schleck. Homeboy is the real deal and he's making Contador look bad. Back in 2007 Contador won both the Yellow Jersey and the White for best Young rider, and Schleck looks like he's going to do it this year. To day he was flying, he essentially grabbed Contador and said "let's grab that breakaway." and they nearly did Sammy Casar just barely held on, as they caught the break in the final Km. Schleck is my pick for this year as much as I would like to see Levi shock the world, Andy is the real deal, and barring Contador making a massive charge, he is an unstoppable force.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

A decent into Hell: The 24th Annual Pat Griskus Sprint Triathlon

Alright before every one thinks that this a race report bashing Tom Wilkas and company, it's not. The race is one of the oldest in Connecticut and runs like clockwork every year, this year was no exception and we even caught the eye of NBC 30 out of Hartford who, ran a story about the event. Likewise it's an oddball among the major races it's run on a Wednesday night.

The conditions however where a different story. Over the last 4 days the mercury in the Northeast has been climbing in the upper 90's and low 100's. Yesterday was no exception. It was HOT people. I believe temperature at race time according to my car thermometer was a brisk 97F.

I took the day off from work and showed up to registration about 4:30PM got my bag and topped off the water bottles, and did about a 10 minute spin on the bike. I got back to Transition and met up with New Heatster Ken. My buddies Alex and Max from the Waterbury YMCA tri club were there, with Max itching for a little payback from the Griskus Olympic, in which Alex beat him by a little under a minute. As hot as it was the water was still wetsuit legal so I pulled on my Helix in the sweltering heat. I got some razzing from some of my training partners from the Y about not having a sleeveless. As usual I was in the first swim wave along with Alex, Max, Vin from HEAT and essentially all the old time regulars.

The swim: Welcome to the bath tub.
As Alex and I scouted the swim course there was a noticeable absence. The "Speedo Army" of high school swim champs didn't show up in their massive numbers this year. I seeded myself just wide of the buoy, to avoid the carnage that usually engulfs the inside track. When the starting gun went off, I had a couple of bumps and tugs, but overall not a lot of contact. By the third Buoy I was able to cut back inside and at the turn around I could count only a handful of swimmers in front of me. I managed to pick off one or two, and got out of the water in 5th place. I hit the Timing mat at T-1 in 12:55.

The Bike: Hammer Hammer Hammer!
I managed to get out of T-1 in about a minute flat and just began to pedal like a mad man. I decided to ride barefoot down the first hill until the 1 mile mark when I would be good and up to speed and could slip my feet in comfortably. I got passed by two guys ( ironically enough these would be the guys who would finish first and second overall. Chris Thomas and some kid John from Old Saybrook.) I was surprised at how well I was riding early in the ride. I managed to tear through the early down hills loosing very few spots. I managed to pass a guy from my age group at the toughest hill at mile 4. After this point the wheels started to fall off. After the down hill and three rollers at mile 5 I got picked off by a pack of 4 riders including the women's leaders. At mile 6 another group of 4 riders came around and then 1 guy on a Red Specialized that I would leap frog with over the last hill. He passed me going up I passed him going down and he passed me on the straight back to the park. The ride took about 32:26 just averaging a tick under 20mph.

The Run: This side hurts and that side hurts and my lungs feel like they're on fire.
I tore out of T-2 in :37 seconds ( my transitions are a far cry from the minute and change they were last year.) and took off trying to run as fast as possible. I took two cups of water at the aid station just outside of transition and tried desperately to find a rhythm. I ran the first half mile with my eyes closed. Just trying to keep myself in a happy place. It was oppressively hot. All I could flash back to were the Kona highlight shows where they talk about the heat and humidity. I got passed by a relay runner, as I went through the first mile at about 7:22. I was starting to get a stitch in my side, likewise my face and lungs felt like they were on fire, but I had to push harder. I saw the runners coming back from the turnaround and I knew I had to push it if I wanted to break 22. I went through the turn around and I saw a guy ahead of me doing the run walk. Mike Maxemenko came along side me and we paced through the next aid station. I grabbed some more water and tried to pull away on the flat hoping I would have enough in the tank to pull away on the hill. I managed to pass the guy in front of me. Mike got around me on the hill as I started to get another wicked side stitch. At the top of the hill I tried to reel in Mike but he had too much of a gap to bridge. I didn't dare look behind. I managed to come across the line in 1:08:27 pulling a 21:32 for my 5k one of my slower runs but just about average.

A few minutes later Max came across 1:11:39 ( he managed to get 3rd in his AG as 2nd and 3rd overall were in his AG.) Alex got pipped by Vin at the line as he crossed in 1:13:08. ( Max and Alex had been neck and neck on the run the last time I saw them.)

At the award ceremony I found out I had earned 2nd in the 25-29 AG and was 22nd overall. I held off 3rd in my AG by only 11 seconds. The performance marked the first time I had finished 2nd in my AG since I silvered in the 17-19AG back in 2003, hopefully this will not lead to 2 years of medal anguish as that result did.( 2006 and 2007 I finished just outside the medals.) Alex managed to pull a top 5 in the 25-29 and Max as mentioned Earlier got 3rd in the 20-24 overall it was a good night in Middlebury, now it's off to begin planning the next endeavour.


Saturday, July 3, 2010

Getting back into gear.

Well as I write this Steph has come down to Connecticut for the 3 day weekend. My training has finally started to get back on track granted today was sort of a lazy day, but I have a long brick on tap tomorrow. This week I was able to get two swims in, a run and a 30 mile bike with 3 mile run brick. The 30 mile bike went well as I refamilarized myself with the Griskus Sprint bike course. This Wednesday night I'll be towing the line at the Griskus for the 7th time (5th in a row.) My 30 miler consisted of a lot of big gear work trying to increase my overall power. I found that climbing with a bigger gear in training has really helped my climbing in races. I'm not competing for the polka dot jersey in le tour, I was able to keep some tabs on the competition in the Griskus Oly. As for my season after the Griskus Sprint I'm hoping to get some more races in. I'm thinking of volunteering at Mossman to get half off my entry into Park City. Likewise I'm debating a late season Iron or Half Ironman. For the Ironman I'm tossed up between Firm-man Narragansett, Pumpkinman in Maine, or the Vermont Journey. Vermont Journey is the cheapest, but charges for spectators. Pumpkinman has a nice course and is more spectator friendly but has a slightly higher cost. Narragansett, well I learned with the Providence 70.3 that Rhode Island isn't flat.
Depending on how my Navy boards go in September, I may be heading off to training at the end of that month. If so it would put the cabosh on Ironman, as I have been batting around the idea of entering Great Floridian. Like I said it's just an idea at this point,but I want to try to get the miles up there so I would survive it. If anything it would get me in decent shape for a September half. So the training mileage will be getting upped So the challenge lays in the distance and I've got to start reaching toward it. I've done Ironman on 4 months training before and I know I could do it again. So here it goes.I'll either be towing the line in Clearmont, Narragansett, or else where but I'll be in good shape to do it.

Happy training everyone.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Holliston Lions Sprint Triathlon Race Report.

Well yesterday was my second race of the 2010 Tri season. Just like the Griskus Oly it was a game time decision, in that I entered the week of. I had been looking forward to doing this race for a while because it combined visiting my girlfriend and racing. So Friday night I braved the Mass Pike and made my way up to Holliston to Steph's place. On Sunday morning Steph drove me to Stoddard Park and helped me lug my gear about a quarter mile through the woods to transition. She took a seat next to the bike rack as I set up my gear and started communing with my fellow tri geeks. I took my bike out for a quick spin so I could mount my shoes to the pedals and get my gearing right for the hill leading out of the transition area. I got my bike back on the rack and slid my self in to the wetsuit. I had really greased the calves of the suit up with suit juice. Funny thing about suit juice is it looks a lot like snot and other slimy sticky body fluids... I had gone for a swim the previous day on the swim course and Steph had round two of the "Honey could you zip me up?" After a struggle in which another athlete also tried to get my zipper together Steph and I managed to my neoprene beast zipped and ready to go. After meeting up with fellow HEATster Raf, I got a few yards of warm up swimming. The space between the first and second buoys was sort of a weed bed but the water cleared about the third buoy in. I swam back to the beach just as the national anthem started playing. After the anthem and the pre race announcements the field was set to go.
The swim: Was it 400 meters cleverly disguised as 1/2 a mile?

A just a little after 8AM the first wave received a "Ready Go!" and we were off. The beginning was a little choppy and again I found myself bunched up in traffic until we cleared the weed bed. By the 3rd buoy I had found my groove and started to reeling the leaders. By the turn around I found myself catching some of the stragglers from the lead group. I started trying to catch the leaders and managed to get some distance back to the main group. I hit the beach in 8:06 and tore to transition. The wetsuit came off easily and I managed to get out of T-1 in just about a minute.1:03 even.

The Bike:

The bike course was a 15 mile/ 3 loop crit. I managed to get my feet into my shoes about a half mile in. I was amazed that I was still pretty high ranked on the bike. I didn't see anyone in front of me. So I tried to find a rhythm. By mile 2 the train started to roll on by first one rider. Then 2 then 3 or 4 at a time. By the first real "hill" I had fallen back to 5th or 6th. Then the course flattened out and at mile 3 there was the only true climb and a descent into the center of Holliston. I managed to keep some spots on the descent and was slowed up by volunteers as we made a hard right from MA 16 past a crepe shop, the fire station and about 4 body shop. About a 1/2 mile down the road there was a right hander and a false flat and small rollers back toward Stoddard park. By the beginning of 2nd loop I had dropped to 10th overall and was beginning to come up on lap traffic. The traffic served as sort of a pump up in that I was able to get some passing in. I managed to get around the 2nd kid who came out of the water. I shouted out some encouragement to him as he was racing the way I began, doing the local sprint in a pair or running shorts on a mountain bike. I sort of reached equilibrium as only 2 or 3 more riders got around and I was able to keep a few of them in sight. By the third lap I was in about 20th spot. I managed to roll into T-2 and perform my dismount, flawlessly. The bike course took me about 42:57. I tore through T-2 in 52 sec. as I got my shoes on a took off on the run. It was sort of a pump up as Steph cheered me out of T-2.
The Run: Do you guys have any gatorade?

The run was a loop of the bike course in reverse. I left T-2 with a runner from the Cyclonaunts tri club just in sight. I made it my goal to reel him in. Like with the Griskus the week before it took me a bit to find my rhthym. I got passed by a flying 30 year old at the one mile mark. We hit the first aid station and I grabbed a water. I was still closing in on the cyclonaunt but was losing ground to the the other runner. Likewise a runner from team Amino Vital passed me at about mile 2 and I had to let up in my pursuit as a tow truck pulled right out in front of me and was not going to yield. I had to jog in place as it slid into traffic. Once again proving that "traffic control" is a relative term. After my mini time loss I took off in hot pursuit. Partially filled with rage at nearly being struck down, the other with determination at trying to salvage a top 20. I kept the Amino Vital runner in sight and noticed that the Cyclonaunt was within striking distance. I really pushed up the last hill and caught the cyclonaunt as we passed the third aid station. "Got any gatorade?" I asked knowing I needed the salt. " "Just water." the volunteer responded. I took it as I needed to hydrate. I got around the Cyclonaunt and in my head kept trying to tell myself that "once you make a pass late in the race it doesn't get undone." We made our way up the last little hill and I could still hear his feet fresh on my heels. As we passed the last aid station he came along side. "Thanks for pacing me the last mile." He said. " Thanks for giving me a target for the first two I said back." We started to talk and pace one another running shoulder to shoulder for the last mile. I found out the guy's name was Steve and that he'll be running at the Griskus Sprint next Wednesday. As we turned into the park he looked at my calf "You're not in the 45-49 Age Group are you?" We both sort of laughed. "25-29" "Well you can go on in ahead of me." he said back. As we hit the down hill back into the park I really started to sprint. I could hear Steph cheering for me, and saw the clock ticking away. I made it over the mat in just under 1:29. Steve was in about 6sec.behind me. My totaltime was 1:28:56 my run Split was a 35:56 not a PR for 5 miles but good considering.

After the race I got a finish line kiss from Steph. Met up with Raf as he came in about a minute behind us, and won the Cyldesdale division. After waiting for the results to post, I found I had finished 19th overall and 3rd in my age group. ( the over all winner was 25-29 and second was only 3 minutes ahead.). Steph and I made our way back to her place after awards to chill for the rest of the afternoon. Then I had a 3 hour car ride back to CT which was an epic in itself due to the traffic from the Nascar race in New Hampshire.
All in all it was a good weekend.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

I'm shipping up to Boston... ( and other tales)

well ok Holliston for the weekend. I'm up in Holliston, MA visiting my girl friend and getting some racing in. Tomorrow I'm doing the Holliston Lions Sprint tri tomorrow. For a sprint the distances are a little longer than most. 1/2 mile swim, 15 miles on the bike and a 5 mile run. The course for the bike and run is the same. Runners turn left out of T-2 for one loop Bikes turn right out of T-1 for three or vice versa on the direction. I went down to the race site with Steph today to swim the course and ride a loop of the bike. The bike loop is decivingly tough for a short distance. It's fairly flat but it has some little hills to make it interesting. Likewise the swim course has some major weedage, but having the GF support me in her hometown race is a nice bonus. My training this week had been a little off a 7 miler and a 10 miler, and about 8k in the pool. I did a 20 miler on the bike before I had to send it to the shop for a new deraileur housing. ( I had the cable changed last week but we didn't touch the housing and on my 20 miler on Wednesday I noticed some wires mixing with my shifter cable on my shifter lever. )Needless to say my mechaninc made quick work of it on Friday morning.
This week after this race I've got to get some hard core mileage in. I'm not signed up for anything particularly long, but I would like to do a half or a full Ironman to close the season. Next week Steph's coming to CT and I don't want to make her a "triathlon Widow" So I may attempt to do some longer rides during the week or on Saturday after work. The longest ride I've done so far this year is a 75 miler at Calhoun so I want to get a century in by late August.

On the Navy thing. I spoke to my recruiter I've got to sign some papers and take my physical and tests, and then submit my application for OCS. Hopefully I'll have a good package and I'll be wintering in Newport, RI. Otherwise I'll be playing the wait game.

Life seems to be moving at a rapid pace and I'm just trying to keep up with it right now. As I'm trying to catch up on bills, find a place for the fall,( the place I was looking at I'm not going to be able to come up with the security in time.) and juggle the job, training, and a relationship.

Well all that said and done I'd better get back to the GF and get some shut eye. It's going to be an early morning tomorrow.


Saturday, June 19, 2010

And so it begins...The 2010 Pat Griskus Olympic Triathlon Race Report

Well this year I've Age Grouped up. I'm no longer in the "I just came here from a kegger." Age Group. While I was hoping my first Foray into the 25-29 Age group would have been at a half Ironman, circumstances and the fates had a different plan. And so for the first time since 2007 I kicked my season off at the Pat Griskus Olympic Triathlon in Middlebury, CT. For all of you who did REV3 we race out of the Quassy Amusement Park but this course is just a tad more forgiving. If the race name sounds familiar it should. I do the Griskus Sprint every July but when the schedule of the Patriot Half in Freetown, MA changed last year I decided to shoot at the longer distance. This year with scant resources and scant training I rolled into Middlebury just hoping to get through the race in one piece, hopefully in the top half of my AG and try to gauge where I'm at at this stage in the game.

The Swim: 23:51
The swim for this race is somewhat easier than the Sprint as it is a point to point loop instead of a straight out and back. Still the dash to the first buoy might as well have been the Ironman. It was a really chaotic jostle for position, and I found myself stuck in traffic for a while. After the first buoy I broke a little wide and found some free water and began to close in on the leaders. By the third buoy I had found my rhythm It took me half the swim to reach the chase pack but I managed to get out of the water in 8th place nearly 3 minutes behind the leader in a time of 23:51.

The Bike: 1:16:59
I had a really quick time in T-1 as I had really loaded up both my calves and wetsuit with suit juice so I could yank it off fast. I had just had my cleats redone on the pedals so I was able to do the whole preclipped pedals mount maneuver which also helped save some time. The only thing that might have cost me was I forgot to take my Gu's out of my transition bag and as this was an Oly, I didn't mount my bento box to the frame. As I pedaled out I sort of realized thhis mistake and decided I was going to have to take my calories from Gatorade as I had no substantial nutrition. The first mile was kind of hesitant as I slid my feet in my shoes. I know I'm going to have to work on this for next weekend's sprint and the Griskus Sprint coming up in July. Once I got in I developed a pretty good pace. I lost some positions on one of the major down hills at mile 4 but I was surprised at how much my power climbing had helped me develop. For some of the major climbs at mile 6-10 I was leap frogging with a guy from my age group, an older guy on a guru and a kid Chris on an Orbeca. The older guy and the kid on the Krestel got away from me on the descent and Chris got around me on Weekeepeemee Rd. ( probably the ancient Indian word for many pot holes.) Weekeepeemee is dangerous as most of the road is pitted and patched but it is also a downhill so it turns into a risk vs. reward area. You can make up a lot of time going aero and hammering but just as easily find yourself going over the bars. The course marshalls sent us up a detour as one of the sections on the course was covered with pea gravel. The detour took two miles off the bike course but sent us up a brutally steep grade. I managed to get around Chris again and tried to climb the best I could. My lower back was killing me and I was really needing a Gu/ Hammer Gel/ Banana some sort of nutrition. We were rewarded with a much shallower grade up Flanders Rd. Once we were directed back to the Original course and then the descent down Rt. 61 ( where Josie had crashed last April.) I managed to stay infront of Chris on this section and pulled away as we went back up Middle road Turnpike and up the familar hills of the last 4 miles of the Sprint course. It was about this time I got passed by the women's leader. So I made it my mission to keep her in sight. I got passed by a kid from Georgetown on the final climb and managed to limit my losses. I had started the bike in 8th and maybe lost about 20 spots which for me isn't great but isn't horrible either.

The Run: 41:32
I managed to execute my dismount perfectly and got in and out of Tranasition really quickly. Josie was working as a transition marshall and was screaming for me along with Robin Griskus and some of the other race directors. I started the run really hard granted part of me felt like I was running on an empty tank. I managed to catch up with and pass the kid from Georgetown on thhe downhill at the first mile marker. He caught me by the turnaround and would run the hill together. We passed some volunteers and I made a comment about more cowbell. That seemed to give a little light hearted ness to the situation. We talked about pace and strategey and how sweet that beer was going to be at the finish. As we ran up the hill I knew my opening pace had been too hard as I got a wicked side stitch. I managed to keep Mike from G- town in my sights at the turn around at the park, but he left me in the dust as we began loop 2. The second loop I find tends to be a little better as you have more targets to try to catch. Indeed I was starting to regroup and was feeling a little bit better at the bottom of the hill. People kept screaming I was flying and crusing on this run but I wasn't feeling it. My legs felt like lead, I was bonking hard core, essentially I was just hoping to match the 42 minute run I did here back in 08. At the aid station before the uphill. I caught Marc from Staten Island. Marc and I had swapped the lead in the 20-24 AG last year at Park City. We touched base real quick and then I was past and started cranking up the hill. The entire second loop I noticed I kept gaining ground on the women's leader. If I could just get up to her and around I might salvage 42 minuutes. I also nooticed the guy directly in front of her had a "C" on his leg the symbol for the 25-29 AG. I had to pass him. As I ground up the hill the gap got closer and closer. At the top I managed to get around the guy with the "C" on his calf and set my sights on Cassie Maximenko the women's leader. The gap dwindled and as we approached the park I was on her shoulder. Part of me thought " Maybe I should back off and let her celebrate her victory as there is not another chick in the same zip code." The other part of me was thinking about the dude I just passed I didn't want to get punked at the line yet again. I kicked it into gear and got around Cassie, she kicked right back and got me by a foot on the timing mat. I looked at my watch 41:45 ( I had hit start in T2). It was my fastest 10k ever.

Total time: 2:23:57 66th overall 10th out of 27 in AG

Looking at the stats from the race which also was USAT's Northeast Regional Championship I'm pretty pleased with my performance. I did take away a few lessons that I sort of already knew:

1. Take gels with you on the bike!
2. Pace sensibly
3. In a short race it's alright not to use every one of the aid stations, you don't always need water or gatorade every mile.
4. Practice the barefoot mount as it might have cost me 30sec.-1 min. in the opening mile.
5. Ride more.
6. Lift more.

Likewise I have made some major improvements:
1. Big gear work on the bike means more climbing power.
2. Work on transitions pays dividends.
3. A properly executed dismount is not only a thing of beauty but quick and pain less.
4. Lift more.

I still have a somewhat long training season ahead and I'm hoping to do a late season Iron or hopefully I can iron out some of the bugs and get my first AG win since 2007. It's been a while but if I can pull a 10th in the midst of a meltdown, what am I capable of when everything is together.


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Homelessness, Stress, and I want to compete damn it....

Well the past three weeks have been an emotional roller coaster to say the least, I've been thrown through the ringer and on top of it all I just want to sign up for a couple races and get some primal rage out of the system.

Three weeks ago my parents lost their house. A friend of the family offered us a place to crash while he vacations on the coast for the summer so that was an exceptional act of kindness on the part of him and his family. I'm still planning on moving out but to know I've got a semi stable roof over my head while I scrounge together a security deposit is a good thing. I've had some anger and resentment building and it was approaching a head but thankfully I didn't do anything too rash.

Josie got married last weekend and found out she is expecting a baby girl.

After Josie's wedding my car's battery died so I was left car less and homeless in the same week. Without the car ( which was storing my bike) there was no way I was going to get to the pool or go for rides so my training nosed dived as did my endorphins leading to a massive break down on Tuesday night.

I spent some time with the GF but I had a mini melt down mid-week. Seriously this girl should be up for the medal of honor for having to deal with my crap. essentially my breakdown was I felt unworthy of her. The breakdown went along the lines of she comes from a decent fairly stable family. She has worries that would be considered more or less normal. She cute, she's smart, she's emotionally stable what does she want with a freak like me that's homeless, car less and living off the stop and shop 2 for $0.89 Ramen Special, when she could have a strong, stable, financially secure gentleman ( read : Angry Runner.) that could buy her anything her heart desires annd give her the time attention and stability every girl should have. So essentially I just sort of broke down because I felt like she could do better than me. Which led to a whole long tearful conversation which I will not discuss here but essentially that girl is a keeper.

My plans to keep my perfect steak alive at the Patriot Tri came to a violent end as I looked at the bank account this morning and there was no way I was going to swing the $200 entry fee. I still have meek hope for the Griskus Olympic but I've got to see what hits the account overnight. Despite all the crap that has happened to me in the last 3 weeks I still want to race. I'm a triathlete it's what I do. It's in my blood. For too long I've sat round as a whiny bitch I've got nothing left to lose so I should go out and make my competition pay for my pain and pay dearly.
People have always marveled that I can take the beating of half and full ironman's pretty well, essentially it's because the physical doesn't hurt as much as the mental. I mean you run a marathon your legs cramp tough shit. I'd rather run 3 marathons back to back than to try to keep the stoic face and try to keep it together on the outside like I've had for the last couple of months. People speak of mental toughness, I'll be the first to say I'm not mentally tough I just know I've got to get up in the morning and go to work, and try to do something. I sulk, I bitch but I got to keep moving though I feel like I can't. There were days still are days I look at my situation and feel hopeless, but I still get up and still keep doing what I have to do, because nothing is going to change if I sit on my butt crying and watching CSI dvds all week.
So I really want to compete this year...maybe because it's an escape of the torture daily life has become or maybe it's my way of "sticking it to the man" I've got talent and somedays it feels good to know you just laid the smack on the guy with a $10k P-4, a $200/month training plan, personal massuse, thearpist for his cat, and the executive challenge grab bag hanging from his handle bars. It makes the ramen taste a little better and go down a little smoother on Monday afternoon.


Saturday, May 29, 2010

Moving Out

"It seems such a waste of time, if that's what it's all about, Good Luck Moving up cause I'm moving out!"- Billy Joel.

Sorry for the delay in posts but life has been kind of hectic. My family is in the middle of losing our home and he have been for the past several months. Right now it's getting down to crunch time and I have some major stuff to mull over. As my parents are desperately searching for a place as a result of the poor economy I too am finding myself in the market for a place. Part of me is like maybe I should stay with them until I figure out my Navy hitch, the other part is like Dude you're 25 put on the big boy pants find your own place, you've got your own messes to deal with and if you stay with Mom and Dad you're going to be dealing with their crisis as well as your own. I don't mean to seem like I'm bad mouthing them but I've got scant resources that can barely support myself let alone 5 other people. My mess with my parents is complicated they really are sweet caring people but some of the things that have happened over the past 4 years have sort of soured the relationship a tad. They took me in through my college years and while I may gripe about this that and the other thing they did keep a roof over my head until I got my degree. Part of me wishes I could help them more but I just don't have the resources at this time. Likewise some of my prior aid and personal poor choices ( some high rolling when I couldn't afford it) have left me in my own jam that I'm slowly clawing my way out of. Essentially why it may not seem the wisest move to go tack on more bills to my already straining paycheck, piece of mind maybe worth the extra cash. The piece of mind of knowing that I am responsible for my own destiny, and not "along for the ride." I've made my mistakes and this might be another one but I can't keep living the same old slag anymore. So for the first time since 2005 I'm thinking of going out on my own for success or for failure I have to try. I have several doubts and several fears but the life I have been living for the past two years hasn't been mine. I've found myself regressing into a pit of fear and doubt I thought I had cast behind me years ago. I've found myself becoming a person I don't want to be not because of my parents but because of the constant stress of being helpless to help them, helpless to change them, helpless to prevent the mess we're now in. Essentially I can only offer so much and while they to have helped me in my life I feel that there have been times they have not helped themselves. I don't want to cast blame on them I don't understand all the crap they've been through, I don't know how difficult it is to raise children work a job you are good at but hate, then get crapped on by your employer and let go after 23 years. Maybe I've been too hard on them but to sit for two years and not try to find anything seems hard for me to swallow. Like I said I haven't been in the house day in day out I don't know their struggles I don't know what's been going on behind the scenes so how can I possibly judge. But when I keep hearing the same old song and dance and nothing ever changes how can I keep faith. When I came back from my first attempt at college in 2005 with my tail between my legs I was given the ultimatum you have 1 month to get a job. I took on a crappy gig at a convenience store while I searched for something better and in the month I worked at that place I realized I was better than the crappy hard work, long hours, lowing paying gig I was in. I got a chip on my shoulder and got myself the hell out of there and into a stable better paying position with the bank. Now I'm finding my self with my pre- 2005 attitude feeling hopeless that I somehow deserve this bad crap , that people's faith in me is misguided that I'll be nothing more than what I am, a broken down, somewhat smart, struggling bum. That I didn't help enough that I still need to help more, that I didn't give absolutely everything, that how dare I do this to them in their hour of need. Doubt has tried to consume me But I can't let that happen. I've got to move on. I've got to move up, I've got to move out. I have done what I can do and now I've got to start on my own path. because the longer I stay in the present situation the more stuck I will become. So I'm taking the deep breath, opening the door and starting down the road...the first step is always the hardest.