Thursday, July 31, 2008

A few notes before Tango

• Genine and Scotty will arrive Friday 1-2PM if all goes as planned.
• Matt and Maija will arrive 9PM or so. So Craig/Genine must go to race meeting
• Print out waivers. Maija will have to turn hers in Race Morning.
• Craig please contact Genine about checking out the orienteering section again.
• My dad has 2 canoes ready to go.
• Scott will have a trailer to put canoes into. It should be easier than loading them on top of cars?
• If the trailer fits 3 canoes should we pick up the Cerra's as well? Friday sometime?
• Oars and Life vests.
• Genine please contact Jerry and work out details with him and Scott.
• I plan on using Craig's Car as a transition area. Genine will be using our car as their transition area. Not sure when I'll be able to load the stuff into Craig's car. We will figure that out.

•Craig if you want to go with a team uniform. I'll have my WV Yellow Tech Shirt, Red Mooseman and the Runners singlet from Dana Farber with me.

• Scott will have our camera. During the Swim we need to find someone else to take over until Scott is back.

• Who's idea was it to do 2 person relay teams?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Now we are in trouble

Last I knew Maija was going to let me know if she was going to want to swim tonight. Well I hadn't heard from her at 7:30 so off the pool I go.
I haven't been to the pool by myself in months. I actually have to come up with some sort of workout on my own for a change. Here's what happened:
300 wu. I put fins on for the 2nd 100, didn't feel too good on the legs. Off they go.
So what's my mainset going to be if the fins aren't happening?
10x100 on 2:15 holding whatever my first 100 pace is.
I really expected to be on about 2:00, instead it was 1:50. Hmmm can I hold 1:50??
2nd one was 1:50, 3rd was 1:54... Nope! Not going to let that happen! 4-7 was 1:50. 8 was 1:52, 9-10 1:50.
This was encouraging. I stayed very relaxed, had good balance tonight and good arm recovery. I decided I didn't want to mess with the feel I had just accomplished by doing a bunch of sprints. So I did 200 cool down and headed home.

This is where the trouble begins. I get home, scan for updates on the blogs. Maija has a new post, I'll check it out.
Uh, oh.... I quickly checked my last email from her to make sure I wasn't going to get my butt kicked. By both Maija and Genine. (Genine because I'm messin' with her team).
Fortunately I found the email from Maija....I'll let you know about swimming tomorrow."
Next time I'll make sure I call no matter what. :-)

Lastly, I went to the chiropractor for my pre-race adjustments today. My right Hamstring is still problematic. He did some type of electrostim on it along with some heat therapy. I'm going to continue with the heat therapy, it seemed to help. The Chiropractor thing seems to be part of my routine. The other races have gone well. I hope the streak continues!

NY Times Article

Recent Triathlon Deaths Have Experts Searching for Answers

Rode Last Night

I did about a 15 mile ride. I did two pretty good hills and then went back and forth on a pretty flat gravel road to simulate the forest service road. My legs were aching from the weekend runs. I might get a couple runs in this week, but mostly take it easy.

Jumped on the inversion table, did wonders to stretch out my hips and leg muscles. This might be the ticket for Genine. I don't think I can fit it in the car for her to try. Maybe some other time.

I saw a picture of Majia in the NJ triathlon in a bathing suit that said Who Rocks? (front) I Rock! (back). Since she backs this up, I thought it was pretty funny.

I came up with an idea for a tri suit for men, especially in light of the KB2 (original design). The back would say "Who HAS Rocks?" Front "I HAVE Rocks!" With a small subtitle reading, "I hope they don't get kicked!"

For Shawn, I came up with Bike , Schmike , Hike, Schmike (see how I used it again), Run, Schun, Swim , Schwim, Canoe, Schanoe. It is like the name game. Last Verse, same as the first verse. Shawn, I wanted to mention that you are more than welcome to stay at my Mom & Dad's. I don't mind sharing a bed with you, but no Spooning!

Monday, July 28, 2008

My Grandma

Just so you all know, Grandma Kinley (my mom's mom) passed away Saturday. She was 92. So, my week became a little busy on the driving side. She was struggling with her physical health, but still lived alone and mentally real sharp. Had made clothes for my kids as late as this past Christmas. She was in the hospital for what they thought was fatigue and medication issues. I spoke to her Friday and she thought she might go home by Monday because she felt so good. She had done her cross word puzzle, the sudoku puzzle, watched both Jeoapardy & Wheel of Fortune, and read her bible that day. My brother talked to her Saturday morning and she told him she still felt good. Saturday afternoon and evening was a different story. Her heart just ran out of ticks as she would have told me. A little shock when I got the call, but not totally unexpected based on her health.

I spoke to my mom last night, to let her off the hook on getting back to Warren for the race. She told me I didn't need to do that that she would be there for the race. She said she has Ron setup to help move canoes and please bring Eleanor, because Sandy can watch her during the swim. She also said Dad has commitments to the Warren County fair, so they have to get back. She said she will be back to Grandma's many times to take care of all the affairs, that she would enjoy helping us.

I ran yesterday which helped keep my mind in good perspective. I did a 4+ mile run with a good downhill run and a good uphill run in it. My legs felt rough. The 5k the day before had a nice hill in it and my buttocks hurt from running. I hope to rest a little this week, but want to get in one good bike ride tonight.

I know I will get comments with condolences and I thank you in advance for your thoughts.

HHO Anyone?

Has anyone ever done any research on oxyhydrogen kits for automobiles? I don't know a thing about it, but I think I will try to read up on it. Supposedly one can build and install a kit for about $100 in parts and a few hours of spare time. My brother plans to make an attempt at it on his truck in the near future.

Here is a sales pitch:

Sunday, July 27, 2008

NJ State Triathlon

Genine and I went to the NJ State Triathlon today to take pictures of our friends racing.
I was using the "Old" Canon 300D and Genine had the new Canon 40D. Good news is it's tough to see the difference in the photos. The difference in the speed of the cameras is amazing though. The 40D is awesome.

Well even a fast camera isn't good enough sometimes. It's amazing that they can still Swim, Bike or Run past us without us seeing them. They have to be within 10 feet of us as they go by!!! Ah well, we did our best. It was a fun day and we learned a few more things about the new camera.
On the drive home I was saying we needed a spotter to give us a heads up a minute or so before they are going to be in "our areas". Frank had this awesome horn from the Ironman Lake Placid race last week (you can see it in the pictures), I figure next time he just needs to be a minute in front of me at all times. Once I hear the horn, I know I've gotta be on my toes. You could hear that thing from a mile away. :-)

Oh, I added a set of "Fun links" to the side of the main page of the blog. You can find the photos of our friends there. I'll be posting all the other "random racers" sometime tomorrow.

Gloves have shipped

My "secret weapon" for the Tango, webbed gloves, supposedly shipped yesterday, so hopefully they will arrive in time to try them out a couple of times before the race. Alright, so it's not so secret anymore. I haven't tried these yet, but I hope they live up to my expectations. The cool thing about webbed gloves for surface swimming is that you can instantly adjust the amount of surface area with which you are pulling, rather than being stuck with one size as is the case with the paddles. I don't think you would want really big paddles for the whole swim because it becomes pretty anaerobic after a while, so this way I can choose to engage whatever muscle fibers I have available on a constantly adjustable basis, like a high-tech constantly variable transmission. I also did some swimming workouts yesterday, and got some more lessons, so Craig can rest easy. I am going to be okay. Above average split is all I can say right now.

I discovered a second potential secret weapon yesterday, but I have to try some things out before I decide whether I will use that or not. It shall remain secret until race day. I can't be sure if it will work at all, so tests must be run. Not much time. This biking before the swim is also kind of an unknown quantity. Never did that before so who knows how it will affect us? Ah, well. I'm not worried. I hope my safety canoe can keep up.

Boom Goes the Dynamite!

Eleanor was not able to pull off a third consecutive year being first in her age group at the Rainday 1 mile run. She was second. What she did do was run a 10:37 mile as a six year old. This was about a minute faster than last year. She also beat her older brother and sister. I think what happened was Levi went out way to strong he was leading all three. At the turn around he cramped like a big dog and started to walk, but since he was in the lead Eleanor decided to catch him. She did.

I believe Maddy was pacing Eleanor, but seeing Levi in trouble stayed with him as Eleanor pulled away from them. Maddy was not hurting and wasn't going to. Levi's time was slower than last year, but we have a few things to work on. Maddy was slower, because she was helping the other two. They had fun, I was proud of all three and we got free passes to the local water park because we participated in the race.

Here is the Boom part. My father-in-law asked "How fast do you think you will go?" I said if I am under 24:30 I will be happy. Boom, I did a 23:13, I repeat a 23:13. I was stoked at the two mile mark because I was sitting at 15:30 minutes and felt good. My breathing was awesome and I had punch left in my legs. To some this time may seem a little slow, but you have to understand my fastest 5k race was 24:37. I had done a 24:13 once as a test run, but that is unofficial. You had to crest a small hill at the end then you could see the timing board at the finish. A guy I knew screamed at me to sprint and I could get 23:10, I looked up, and thought the clock must be wrong despite seeing a similar time on my watch. Boom!.

Friday, July 25, 2008

OK. That's it. I'm going to post it

I had started a post that was basically me complaining how I was having a tough time getting the workouts I had scheduled in this week. Then I decided you guys have way more distractions than I do so I shouldn't bother.... Well, I've had it, so here it is.

Monday: Stuck in Traffic for 3 hours making our trip home from NH 9 hours.

Tuesday: They canceled my train going into the city in the Morning. So I got to the city about a half hour later than I was hoping. Another welcome back to the real world. I did get a swim workout in after work tho, that was good.

Wednesday: No trains leaving Penn Station after work. No power on overhead lines. So I take a subway down to WTC and take the Path to Newark. 2 hours to get to Newark from the time I left work. Fortunately, I caught my train in Newark right away. 3 hours to get home but I was going to make Masters Swim after all! Um... No. It's canceled because of lighting. Grrr

Thursday: 5:30 Am swim for about 90 minutes. Good workout. Wahoo!
After work. I go out to run 5 miles. Was at an 8:15 pace or better after the first half mile. Everything is feeling good. Then I get a stitch in my side. Ah well, turns out this was my best workout day of the week.

Friday: Get home, run some errands, head to the pool. Someone Pooped in the Pool! No swim. It's too late for me to go bike. I'm not feeling like I should run. UGH!

Bad week of workouts. Really makes me appreciate the great week in NH last week.

Looking forward to the next couple weekends

I'm curious about tire selection. Genine's bike currently has a "road slick" on the front and a knobbier tire on the back. I'm not positive that is the exact spec of the rear tire but the tread appears to be right. Good combination? She did some riding while in NH but I'm not sure she was in as much gravel. I would like for her to complete the bike without tire issues, as it is the event she is most looking forward to. The thing is I have more confidence in the smoother tire's puncture protection.
I just did some reading. on tire mixing. Now I'm considering the small knob tires front and back. She just isn't going to have time to try all this stuff out for herself.

I think I'm going to pass on my scheduled 12 mile run Saturday. My hamstrings have been tight all week. So I'm going to run more often and shorter. Then really work on stretching them back out. I will probably get on the road bike to do the longer cardio workout.

This Sunday Genine and I will be taking pictures at the NJ State Triathlon. We will both have a camera this time. We are hoping to get some fun shots of our friends. Should be a nice relaxing day for us. I'm really hoping it doesn't rain!

Bike, Run, Bike . . .

I am alternating between Bike, Run, Bike ... etc. for Tango training. No Swimming, so I hope Matt doesn't throw out a rotor cuff during the half marathon, because I'm not prepared for the swim.

Runs are about 5 miles. I have a 5k race tomorrow (Rainday 5k) then I think I will bike home from there to get in some more training. The kids are running the 1 mile fun run. Eleanor is going for the third year in the row as her age group winner. She will have to step it up this year. The female 5 and under has been a week division, but the 6 & 7 year old female division, the cream is starting to seperate. Don't tell the other two, but they are usually "also-ran" in their divisions, of course that is what I am too, so the only historical placer in my family is Eleanor.

Back to my training. I have exclusively been riding the mountain bike. I did 19.9 miles in 1hr 25 mins last night. The big hill I did lacked the distance, but was more intense than the Jakes rock hill and dogs were present. I am sure the Tango does not have this obstacle. Sometimes they startle me when they don't bark until they are right on me. Man it makes my heart pump!

I also have been making sure that gravel is part of every ride. It is exciting sometimes, even on the flats. I have only come out of the pedals once, and no harm. If only I had no fear and could be a bomber, I could take back a couple more minutes or receive a nice helicopter ride. They can get me to the hospital in time and still make it back for the search and rescue at Rim Rock.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Tango Post Race Party

So is everyone up to going out to my Dad's cottage again after the race? Or did someone have other plans?
All are invited of course, friends/family. Very kid friendly, my dad can take people up the river on the boat. I believe Levi was hoping to do that last year but there were technical problems with the motor. It's running well this year. Maybe he will get to see the eagles up there.

Also we could get a mean game of croquet going. I won't be surprised if Scotty shows up with his own mallet this year. :-)

Let me know how many people and what kind of eats people would like to have.

Watch out Boys!

Thought the guys competing in the Tango next Saturday would want to get a sneak peek at the image they will see as the girls are leaving them in the dust!
Ok..... I can't even type that with a straight face!! :-)

I actually just wanted to share the team name and logo that Maija and I will be sporting on the back of our race shirts for the Tango. The name KB2 (pronounced KB squared) stands for "Kicking Boy Butt". The image is borrowed from the C5 studio manager at Matt's work. The original image has the guy turned around facing the girl, so she is kicking him in the unmentionables. While funny, I thought it was a bit too vulgar (as this is all intended to be in good, clean fun) so we flipped him around and added the team name, You know how girls are...we always have to co-ordinate our outfits! Besides, it' all fun and games until some girl kicks your butt!! ;-)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Swim Pace

Last night at the pool, Esther decided she wanted to time her mile swim. She competes in her first Olympic Distance Tri this Sunday (NJ State).
So we do a 300m warm up, then swim 64 laps. She lapped me 3 or 4 times, not surprising. I'm not sure what my time was. Then she says she wants to do it again with a different approach to see if there is a time difference. So off we go again. She lapped me 4 times and I finished in 34 minutes.
Using this time to provide a worst case scenario for the Tango, I'll guess 74 minutes. I hope to do much better than this. The wetsuit alone should drop that time for me. I'm comfortable with the new fins as well. The question there is my ability to use them after running 13.1.

Also, I'd like to mention that Esther and Armando drove up to the Lake Placid Ironman this past weekend. They both registered for IMLP 09. Good luck with your training!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Sad News from Kinzua

My dad had to run rescue boat last week under the Kasey Bridge. A kid jumped off the bridge and got hurt. He was drowning so the older brother jumped to help him and drowned trying to save the younger brother. Link to Story

Very sad. They jumped off the top. I guess they had done it in the past. They were from the Pittsburgh area and made an annual fishing trip up each year. I think the worse part was some of their friends were down below videoing from the shore.

My dad worked 12 hours that day, mostly running support boat for divers. He said it was rough watching the kids being pulled up together, they think because the uninjured one wouldn't let go of his injured brother.

Say a prayer for this family, very tough situation.


I am going to put in a formal request for ice-cream at all the Orienteering check points. I didn't know if I should do this in email form to Thad, so he doesn't think we got soft on him with our lack of questions, or if I should just stand up during the pre-race meeting and explain how I was promised ice-cream last year and had none, so I hope he won't disappoint us this year.

Shawn have you started your pre-race correspondence with Thad yet.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Finally back in NJ

9 hour drive back to NJ today. We had a 4 mile stretch which took us 2.5-3 hours to complete. That puts a dent in your mood, day, plans...

Craig I'm going to apologize now for the hole I'm going to put us in during the first leg of the Tango. I feel I should make sure that they will let us continue if I don't make it in 2 hours. If that's truly a cutoff or just a "suggestion". If I can stay somewhat "in the mix" of runners and some race day adrenaline is going.... maybe I'll surprise myself.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not terribly disappointed by my lack of speed, how could I be? I haven't even been running for 2 years.
I'm looking at it this way. After the first event, we have everyone to pass. Passing is fun. Of course on the bike you can see who you are passing, I'm not sure I'll see anything while I'm swimming. Maybe I'll have the people in the safety canoe keep telling me, "You're only 50 yds from passing the next swimmer!"

Speaking of which,
Where are we with Canoes, safety people and crew to get the canoe to the boat launches?

I know Scott and Jerry are both planning on helping out. Who else do we have? The real "problem" is getting the canoes to the boat launch for the final leg. I'm not sure who they have be your safety canoe if you pay the extra $25. Hoping we don't need to find out, but it is an option.

12% Effort

I am not sure what 12% grade on a hill looks like, but I found what I believe to be the steepest paved road in the county I live in. It could only be a little over a kilometer, but the switch backs were awful. Aerobic threshold is a concept that I became aware of. I did this ride Friday, part of a 12 mile ride with another nasty hill, less steep but longer. These are roads I would never take the road bike on. On the steep hill I could not breath. I was really wanting to stop, but I just remembered how mad I was when I got a flat and thought I will be faster if I don't stop. I feel good afterwards, which means not too much pain the next day.

Hard, fast run yesterday. 5 miles @ better than 9 min/mile pace. Trying to keep up with the running. Kids here there every where is keeping my running time to a minimum, but getting every other day in, and am doing long runs, for me, so TANGO isn't so much a shock. I am hoping the TANGO is not 90 and humid, but if we are fast enough it won't effect us nearly as much. We will be canoing during the hot part of the day.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Sunday in NH

This morning is the 11 mile run. From the farm over to "East Hebron", right where the Mooseman bike course meets 3A. I ran across the south side of lake then up the East side. No need to run Devil's Hill.
It was a foggy, damp with some rain showers type of morning. I decided there is a good chance it will be the same weather the morning of the Tango, so I'd better just run. Well the last 20 minutes was Craig's kind of weather, it was raining pretty good on me at that point. My feet were feeling really heavy because of all the water in my socks and shoes. It didn't help that it seemed like it was more uphill than flat or down at that point. I'll have to map it and see. The good news is that I got there very close to the time I expected to be there and I didn't use my footpod today.
Genine was there waiting for me and we zeroed the odometer to see what the distance was. 10.8 miles in 01:39:30. Didn't drink much along the way, but I did eat 2 GUs.
More later.....

Saturday in NH

Friday was a full day off from working out.
Genine and I rode the Mooseman Bike course. The west side of the lake and the north side of the lake are newly paved, which makes it nice for bombing the downhills.
I stopped about 5 times to let Genine catch up. She didn't have tire repair stuff with her, so I didn't want to leave her stranded. I finished the ride 1:28:49, about 4 minutes slower than race day. I stopped my watch each time I waited. I'm not surprised it was slower, it's pretty tough to get going again after a 3-5 minute break.
We then went back to the farm and had to get more of the fields mowed. I think I was within an hour of finishing when it started to rain again. So we got to play some UNO for awhile before it cleared up.
Eric and Ryan headed to Newfound to do some fishing, Genine and I eventually decided to swim rather than run. Lake temp was 76 degrees! I didn't have a problem going with the full wetsuit and fins. I only did 4 lengths of the beach, figuring we were going to spend a good part of Sunday at the Beach.
Grilled Chicken and Steaks for dinner with a bunch of Veggies and Salads. Then we were back to playing UNO with Ryan :-)

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Aeros successfully moved

I have transfered the aero bars onto the mountain bike and took it for a test ride. Everything seems acceptable, though the elbow pads are a little crooked due to the shape of my base bar. Not a problem. My arms still fit in them comfortably. I'll just have to get used to lifting them up a little more before settling back down onto the pads.

Did a little work with my swimming get-up today. Looks like that should be the most entertaining leg. Can we beat the high school kids?

Speaking of those, I told a fresh and local State High grad today about the Tango in the hopes that my home town crew would win the cash, but I don't know if he will round up a team. The Tango folks and Warren's Chamber of Commerce need to do a better job advertising. Heck, I think I could probably single-handedly find enough entrants to pay myself thousands of dollars for the work I do. Maybe I should ask Thad if I can work on commission.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Thursday in NH

Shawn and family headed out this morning. We didn't even schedule a 7AM run or anything before they had to leave :-).
Genine and I were planning on riding for a couple hours this afternoon. They have paved about halfway around Newfound Lake so we decided we would take advantage of the perfect roads. We started at the park and headed north to Hebron. When we stopped there Genine was telling me her hip was bothering her. Of course she wasn't asking to stop, she was hoping it would work itself out. So we headed back the other direction. I decided I was going to hammer this stretch, about 5.4 miles in 16:22, avg speed 19.9 mph. (I really thought I had managed above 20 finally, ah well).
Genine caught up and was upset that she was not able to make this hip problem go away. She didn't want to quit so we went towards Alexandria because it's flat. Once we got there she decided it wasn't worth it, so we headed back to the car. It wasn't a bad ride, just not what we were hoping for. I finished 15.3 miles in just under 50 minutes.
Eric and Ryan arrived shortly after we got back to the house, so we packed up and headed to the beach. I didn't swim laps today, my shoulders felt like they needed a break. I continued to work on my Fly Kick. Nothing new to report, still flailing.

All are well

Eleanor came through flying colors. Her eyes are bothering her, but she was a great patient and very positive about the experience. Thank you for your thoughts. Funny thing is we won't know the end results until 4 to 6 weeks. She has an appointment on Monday, so we will know better than.

Now, I ran last night 3 miles. NO SOCKS! I am looking past the Tango a little. I have determined that in the Morgantown Sprint, I can do without socks. My new Nike shoes worked well. I tried this two years ago and got blisters. I think all runs under 4 miles may be sockless to get them conditioned for it.

Tuesday rode a tough mountain bike course. I went the opposite direction of my last ride. I realize why I was so scared going down, because it was super steep going up. I was burning. The downhill was nicer this time. All gravel road but controllable. I am going to add a long level ride before this hill on my next ride. No flats, tires are taking a beating. I will switch out with new tires and tubes before the TANGO, but no skinnies this year.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Wednesday in NH

Start off with a hike up Mt Cardigan. I think it was 3:30 of hiking. Great day for it, so often you get to the top and have no view. It was one of the better views we've had in awhile.

Matt, Genine, Amy, Fiona, Shawn

We then went back to the house, had a quick lunch and left for Sculptured Rocks again. It's amazing how popular that place is now. Again there was no chance for a photo without people.
But here is Shawn landing the can opener.

After we finished up at Sculptured Rocks. Shawn and Amy headed to Bristol to pick up groceries for dinner. Genine and Fiona went to the beach. I decided the only way I was going to get a run in today is if I would run from Sculptured Rocks to the Beach. So I ran the 7 miles back to the beach, for as hot as it was it was a pretty good run (86 or higher is my guess). I forget what the pace was, just under 9 min/miles probably. The part I liked was my frame of mind. I could have run a long way today, I was in a running mood. If I could have a similar mindset for the Tango run, even if the pace isn't there, at least I'll be ready to take on the next event.

At the beach, Fiona was running Genine through a swim workout. They were on kick board sets shortly after I arrived. Just my luck.... I decided I'd put the fins on and work on fly. Still pretty ugly. I think I'm not fast enough to get 2 kicks done at the right time. Well that's part of it anyhow...
Shawn showed up very close to park closing. So we got 2 lengths of the beach in. With the fins, my toes ended up cramping and crossing. I eventually couldn't take it anymore and had to pull the fin off to get it to chill. It cramped because I was trying to keep up with Shawn. My shoulders were pretty shot and my legs were too. I should have just kept it to a recovery swim and focused on relaxing and staying in good form. We didn't have much time anyhow, so it wasn't a big deal.
Shawn and Amy cooked salmon for us for dinner. Fantastic dinner! It was a great meal to finish a very busy day. They head back to Pennsylvania tomorrow. It's been great having them here.

Now that Genine has seen the road leading to Cardigan, she wants to get her Hybrid bike out tomorrow and give that ride a try. She wants to be ready for the Tango bike and this would be a good test.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Tuesday in NH

Shawn, Genine and I went out to ride around the lake this morning. It definitely took me a few miles to get my legs feeling like they should.
Genine or Shawn led the ride most of the time. I had to pass them on Devil's Hill because I don't have a triple. So I can't spin that hill. As I was passing Genine I asked why she was on her 52 ring on the front. She groans and says she thought something was wrong. She's not totally familiar with the shifting on her new bike yet. Meanwhile, Shawn's bike wasn't allowing him to hit the 2nd front ring. So he was either on the big ring or the tiny ring. I don't think he likes the tiny ring at all, so he was hammering it out.
When we got to the south end of the lake we were going to cut across and go back to the park. Well they started the paving today. So we sat for about 10 minutes waiting in traffic. There was only one lane open. When it was finally our turn. We started out on hot, freshly rolled asphalt. It felt like we were sinking into it, very odd feeling. Because of the break, I really don't have an estimate on our average speed, but at least we got about a 16.6 mile bike in this morning. Genine is loving the new bike. :-)

Shawn, Amy and Fiona then left to go to the Ocean in Maine. I went to work raking gravel on the driveway. Fun, Fun! It's amazing how much damage rain can do.

My brother arrived a bit later and we planned on starting the mowing of the fields. Then he said we should probably pick some of the wild blueberries in the field before we do that.

4 cups of Blueberries

I guess we should be calling them "Organic" Blueberries so we can feel even better as we eat them. Although they will probably be loaded into something "evil" like a blueberry buckle. I love blueberry buckle. (kind of like a coffee cake if you aren't familiar)

So we never did get to mowing the fields because after we did the picking we decided it was time to head to the beach.
When I got to the beach I realized I forgot my fins. So I just pulled on the wetsuit and did 6 lengths of the beach. I didn't have a watch so I'm not sure how much slower I am without the fins. The first 2 laps the shoulders were feeling kind of rough, either from swimming yesterday or from raking the driveway. After that, I hit a pace and could have kept on going for a long time. 74 degree water. I went without the swim cap today and I think I felt cooler.

I would have liked to have run today but I just couldn't figure out when to make that happen. I know Genine was hoping to as well. It kind of felt like an easy day after the last couple, which I suppose is a good thing. Tomorrow we climb Mt. Cardigan.

Little Eleanor

I don't know if I mentioned Eleanor is getting eye surgery tomorrow. You might have seen her with a patch on at one point. Her vision is great, the patches did what they needed to do, but the eyes don't track together. So, this is the surgery to fix it. Not suppose to be a real stressful surgery, but can be a little scary for a six year old. Just think about her or say a prayer for her. Our eye doctor/surgeon is great and Eleanor gets to take a stuffed animal in with her. The animal gets a bracelet just like Eleanor.

Real early in the morning, why would you want to be a surgeon, you have to get up so early to do such a stressful job?

Just thought everyone would want to know.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Boot Camp might be more appropriate

This morning we started a bit later but we all went down to the Bristol Bike Path to do some running. Genine and Shawn paced each other and got in 4.2 miles. I was thinking I'd do 4.2 and call it quits, but I ended up doing 10K. Again, I'm really breaking the rules on how quickly to ramp up the miles but hopefully I'll survive and will be stronger from it. :-)

Then we went home. Grabbed a quick lunch/snack and headed to the beach with fins and wetsuits. It was forecast for rain all day and it was still overcast so we had the entire beach to ourselves. Well there was a camp of kids but they were at one end and were very contained.
So Shawn started with hand paddles and fins. I just went with the fins. We were very evenly matched. Which I think should be considered good news. I really thought he'd be killing me once he had fins on. He dropped the hand paddles after about 20 minutes and was just as fast without them. We swam with fins for about an hour. The worst part was we would occasionally run into the ropes marking off the swim area. They are old hemp ropes and we both now have hemp slivers in our hands.
I had some calf cramps but they were manageable and expected. I just can't seem to keep myself relaxed enough when trying to up the speed.
After taking a break, I went back in with the fins and was planning on doing fly work. Nope, that was really not happening. Genine and Amy showed up and I just crashed on the beach and relaxed. Tomorrow is another day.
Sorry no action shots today. I'll try to remedy that tomorrow.

Training Pretty Good

Did my mountain bike ride last Thursday. Kids were all with Grandparents on Friday. Tamara, I and the unknown child went Rail Trail riding. We did a nice 14 mile ride. I think Tamara felt it Saturday. Our pace was not great, but this would have been her first ride of the year. Stopped at a nice park at the turn around and ate some dinner that we had packed. Went by a cool power plant, and by a dam/lock I hadn't been to yet. Very nice.

I ran 8 miles on Saturday. Nothing killer, except the heat. I walked at the 4 mile mark to eat a gel thingy which got me into a conversation with a guy weed whacking his bank. Over 80 yrs old, I was talking to him a minute when his hand came to his mouth and he took a drag off a cigarette. He must come from a good gene pool. Over 80, weed whacking on a 90 degree day with close to 100% humidity and taking a break to smoke a Lucky Strike, go figure. He still had a lot of work to do and it was about noon. It was done when I came to work today. Good for him.

I did feel the effects of the run later in the day. Couldn't get enough to eat. Eating plan is always a challenge, especially when so hot.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Rimrock scouting report

Went up to rimrock for a while yesterday. I think the trail to Rimrock is between the 2 "upper " parking lots of Kinzua Beach. Oddly enough, it is only .8 miles from the beach parking lot to the rimrock parking lot. That is of course if you climb completely straight in one direction.

Most interesting of the trip was the thing that was seen just a couple hundred feet from the road and about 1.5 to 2 miles in the main access road ( see actual image above).

The next picture was taken of a friend of mine that teaches at Slippery Rock. I believe this was taken between Ridgway and Slippery Rock, but I'm not certain. maybe the whitecaps are a little further west??

Training Camp

Well as you might expect, I didn't wake up as early as I'd have liked but 7:15 is still somewhat impressive for me while on vacation.
I started running at 8:30 and ran to Hebron. Which wasn't as far as I should have run but there were some good hills on the route. I believe it was 8.5 miles at a sad 9 min/mile pace. Ah well. I plan on it being a rough week of training. I'll be crazy fast by next weekend :-)
Genine drove to the bike path and did her running there. Then she met me in Hebron to drive me back.
We then had a bit of a snack and we then had to decide what we could get done before my Dad, Brother and Nephew showed up. So we decided it was time for Sculptured Rocks. Wahoo!

The "Can Opener"

We didn't take any pictures of the rocks today as it was very busy and wouldn't have made for a good photo anyhow. As you might guess from this picture it is a place where you can do some jumping off of "cliffs" into a pool of water. (probably 10 feet max). The water temperature was probably close to 60 degrees and it was overcast so it was jump in, get out quickly, jump again. The cold water was probably good for the legs right? Even with so little time spent in the water, I left with a much lower core temp, probably not as low as Fiona's, she was a Popsicle by the time we left.
We then went back to the farm, ate a quick lunch and then went to the beach. I didn't do a workout swim today but I did mess around trying to figure out "fly". I can't report any major breakthrough there but I tried.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Soooo Peaceful

We left NJ about 10:30AM Saturday. I was shooting for 9AM departure, so we were actually 30 minutes ahead of schedule. (It's typically 2 hours from my plan).
Easy drive up. Only surprise along the way was when we pulled into Bristol. I notice that the bike rack has shifted all the way to the back of the roof rails. (Yikes!). The roof rack has been on for a couple months, I guess loading it with 3 bikes and at highway speeds?? Everything was fine. There was still no way that thing was going to break loose.
Unfortunately we are here just late enough that going for a run or a bike just isn't in the cards for tonight. So instead it a recovery evening, sitting on the front porch, listening to the birds, drinking a beer and typing up this blog. It's amazing we can sit on the porch. When we were up here for Mooseman we would be down a pint of blood in the time it's taken me to type this up. Thankfully we are back to the "normal" mosquito levels.

I'm trying to decide how to work my 9 mile run tomorrow morning. An out and back is too flat other than the run up the hill to the house. A run to Hebron would be perfect, I would need Genine to go pick me up tho'. I'm not ready for the 18 mile round trip.
Still curious what the dog situation will be. I saw a runner tonight on the section I was concerned about so maybe it's okay. Running the ledges portion along the lake could be tricky. I'll just have to choose the right side of the road so that I am not on a blind turn.
Of course the first trick is waking up early and getting these runs in. This isn't easy for me to do. If I know people expect me to be there, like our Swim Club, then I can usually make it happen. I'm on my own this week for the running. I'll have plenty of company on the biking and swimming. That's why I'm trying to get the run in before they all wake up. Running is my first priority.
Swimming is second. I need to see about whether swimming with just the bibjohn of my wetsuit is good enough, or if I need to wear the whole thing. How hot will it be after swimming for an hour? Then of course there's the kicking with the fins/cramping issues, and trying to figure out butterfly. Do I sandbag my swim when Shawn is around so he never sees how fast/slow I really am? :-)
Oh, I did get to try out the new fins last night at the pool. They are a huge success. We did kick drills with fins and I was nearly keeping up with Maija and Esther. Without fins, I'm half Maija's speed. OK. Maybe not even that good.... Anyhow, point is the fins are great. Maybe I won't lose as much time in the tango swim as I thought I would ;-)

Friday, July 11, 2008

Scared away?

I think Shawn has been scared away by the animal and fish discussion. Maybe he hasn't thought about the thousand of fishes and other unknown creatures lurking in the green abyss below you in Kinzua. The divers at the base of the dam did see a muskie almost as long as them. They said one dude would not go back down. That was years ago, it must be bigger by now.

That felt good!

Took the mountain bike on a excursion last night. I found my own "non-technical" mountain bike course. Paved to gravel and back to paved then gravel then bringing it home on the Paved. It had over a mile hill climb on gravel. Interesting? When I would stand on the pedals the back tire would spin without going anywhere. I had to sit down and put weight back to get traction.

I did almost died, as my son would tell me. On the down hill it was bad. Recent rain had gullied out some holes, exposed a pipe that crossed the road, and left tree debris on the road. Of course I didn't notice this until I had cranked hard on the flat at the top of the hill and started down. I was doing good handling the holes and rocks and loose gravel until I went over the pipe which I couldn't tell was there until I hit it, this wouldn't have been as bad if a broken piece of tree branch wasn't right there, which I ran over. I may have caught air. I am not to proud to admit, I was a little scared. Tamara was out for the evening and had made me promise to wear my ID ankle thing if I was doing this ride, I had put it on, but this was the first time I thought I would need it for others to identify the body.

All I knew was to stay upright until the road leveled, which I did. Whey! I wonder how long 38 yr old bones take to heal, I'm glad to not find out. I know you expected me to tell you how I wrecked and did something bad. This is a good story about lessons learned, despite the knot in my stomach during it.

Getting somewhere in one piece is much better than getting there in record time. The good news is the mountain bike sustained some pounding and no flats. That is what felt good!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Time flies....

It's incredible how fast weeks/months go by when you are busy. I'm not complaining. We are having a great summer.
As we are getting ready for our NH vacation, I'm hoping for some fantastic weather. I need to be in that lake every day! We did some IM during Masters Swimming last night. I'm still without a clue on the Butterfly. I need to spend some time working on timing that kick. I can't say what the other lanes looked like, but the 3 of us in my lane were making a mess of it. So Butterfly practice is on the to do list. I'd like to think I might come back with a clue.
Also on the list: Climbing Cardigan, Biking as much as possible, sticking to the running schedule as best I can. Then of course there is mowing the fields, Painting the house... Oh! Relaxing, making mountain pies and Smores, maybe buy some port and cheddar (Cabot of course).
Living the good life for a week.
Here is hoping time slows down for the week we are there!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

About 17 days to prepare for the Tango

About 17 days
I figure I will need a very easy week leading into the Tango. So I figure I’ve got to work hard for 16-17 days, while trying not to hurt myself in the process.

The run plan is in place. I just grabbed onto the Hal Higdon Half Marathon plan. After running up to the cottage the other day, I realize I should do most of my running on somewhat hilly terrain. I haven’t decided where to do this in NJ. (not that I’ll be there much). I would love for my legs to feel as ready to go as they did for the Brooklyn race. Just leave out the 2 month recovery please.

Swimming: Weather permitting, Newfound Lake will provide the training grounds and inspiration I need. Looking forward to it.

Canoe: Craig, I’m thinking you should be in the back of the canoe. Do you disagree?

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

I have heard . . .

I have heard little rumors that a couple of ladies believe they might do well in a race in August. Times have even been posted and accepted as their own.

All I have to say is home court advantage. I know a thing or two about the bike ride. I actually have more experience on that ride than anyone else that did it last year. I turned over almost every rock on that bike ride, unfortunately right into my tube three, four or six times. I really lost count after I ran out of patches. But I will have the advantage of knowing how to ride on rims if this should occur again.

Also, I have been training my partner on how to fend off Kinzua Carps and Monster Muskies. They have only lost two or three adults (some say the last guy was drinking and went under on his own, but I know better) in the past couple years. I am sure you are safe if you are near Shawn. He would be a way better lunch, you will realize this once you stand next to him.

If I had a little time to pass on my pathfinder knowledge some people may be able to keep up with us, but remember over 4 hours is possible when using the compass at Rimrock, that may be difficult to make up on the canoe.

Final note: Warren is listed as one of the best places for a Big Foot citing. I know up until now he has been harmless and "more" scared of us than we are of him, but you might want to think about this. You might happen to use up your lottery chance by running into a sasquatch .

This is from Wikipedia, it has to be true, anyone can type something on this page, why would it not be credible.
Don't insult us, a bear with mange. Obviously this "Game" Commission person doesn't know anything. I bet is degree came from some university like Penn State. West Virginia grads know better.

May you do your best, you will need it.

Spirit Pro Pics

MC additional

SV additional
More SV

CC additional


Your steering problems stem from the rear (stern) person gets more bang for there buck. You must learn the "J" stroke if you are the rear person or you will overrun the ability of the front person, unless the front person is a very experienced paddler.


Paddling Technique (just like swimming)

Intro to Different Strokes

This is probably about all you could handle. My Papa told me "If want to learn how to weld you need to burn rod." So I give the same advice on canoeing, but you don't need to load the MIG welder with leads, 50# of wire and a generator on the boat, that would be silly.

Monday, July 7, 2008

More from Matt

Genine and I went riding this morning. We started out doing the easy part of the ride, which was good. I needed a warmup before going up hatch run road. It was a good ride, Genine is really enjoying the road bike. I think I was over 40mph on the downhill, Genine started to use her brakes around 34mph she said. I'm guessing she will be more comfortable on the bike when we are there again in August. The road is in great condition, a really good place for her to gain confidence on her downhills.
Then we packed up to head out. I was a bit disappointed that I didn't catch up with Todd or Jim.
Well we stopped by Genine's parent's store to tell them goodbye and Todd pulled up with the kids. That was cool. I knew I'd catch up with him in August but it was funny that I was just thinking about it.
Then about 15 miles out of town Jim called. So we got to talk Tango. He and Shawn have talked and they have a plan. Jim will find a 3rd relay person to join them at the last minute if he feels that they are needed. Good plan.
We also need to find safety canoe people. Jerry can be half of one canoe. Todd thinks he will be working, so he's out. Scotty and Kryste will be home, not sure of their availability.
I do think I've located 2 or 3 fiberglass canoes this weekend as well, I figure the more we have to choose from the better.
Oh! The woman from the Tourism Board that sponsored Craig and I told me today, that it would be nice if we won the whole thing. Then said she was kidding, just go have fun. I told her having fun won't be a problem, can't make any promises on the placement. This is fun right?

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Busy Weekend

The reunion last night was nice. It's sad that more people don't show up. (I think about 35-40 people from our class.) Even with the limited people that were there, I didn't get to visit with everyone so I guess it works out.
Of course we didn't get home until 2AM again. Funny how I can stay up forever but can't make myself wake up for 6AM swim classes.
Next morning some friends of Genine's parents stopped over, we made a nice breakfast and it was a nice visit. I had to tear myself away and get my 10 mile run in. So I was out the door at about 11:30 to run to my Dad's cottage. Turns out it's only 8.9 miles. I could have run past it by a bit then doubled back but I figured it was one of the tougher run courses I have ever run, and I'm kind of breaking the 10% rule about ramping up the mileage. I was also out of gatorade. My 4 bottle fuel belt may not be enough if it's a hot day. Hopefully the 7AM start will help with that.
I got a short break waiting for Genine to show up. My Dad's place is amazing if you like birds. You will see a dozen different birds in about 15 minutes. We were treated with a bald eagle soaring up the river. It was probably no further than 50 yards away. It was perched up in a tree for quite awhile. Unfortunately we didn't get to see it grab a fish. It eventually moved on.
Genine shows up and it's time for the canoe lesson. I knew this was going to be challenging. I don't know how to teach this. It's very much a feel thing for me. I just do what I do, can't explain it very well. I have a feeling Craig would have been a better teacher.
Genine seemed to be able to steer the canoe from the back if only she was paddling. As soon as I would paddle from the front we were all over the place. Not sure why this is. There were many times we would end up sideways and then would do a 360 to get it back together. Again, I'm just not sure what was going on back there. Maybe we will spend some time in the canoe in NH. Or maybe Eric could go out with her and do a better job teaching her.
At least now Genine knows the course and might be able to recognize how to read the water in the fast shallows. She seems confident that they will be able to get to the finish.
The water was much higher than what it was for the race last year. So we never had to get out of the canoe and pull it through any of the shallows. I would recommend that everyone considers what footwear they need for this event. Old sneakers or water shoes of some sort. I would also recommend bike gloves. Genine's hands are blistered from today's effort.
We are taking it easy tonight. We hope to get some rest, wake up in time to bike in the morning, then pack and head back to NJ.
I'm hoping to be back in time to get a swim in tomorrow night. Looking down from RimRock at the "Swim Course" might not have been the best thing for my confidence. During races there a buoys. I always just look to the next buoy, then the overall distance doesn't get in my head. There are no buoys for this race...... Guess I need a new plan. :-)

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Checking out the Tango Course

Craig, Genine and I drove the Tango bike course today. I'm glad Craig wants to do this leg of the race. I certainly don't have the right bike to make that a very fun ride. Genine doesn't either but I think she will end up using her sister's or mom's bike.
Then we went over to the beach to check out the orienteering section of the event. We did not find any type of trail which leads up to Rim Rock. So that wasn't a very successful trip. We did drive up top, so Genine could see where the few trails are. We then walked around down the "Lord of the Rings" Stairs. If you go to the left down there, the rocks have some massive cracks in them. When you stood just below them, it was like standing in front of an air conditioner. It was pretty amazing.
Missed my 10 mile run this morning. We were out until about 2AM and there was Yuengling... Need I say more. Genine and I did get a bit of a bike ride in this afternoon which was good. She is enjoying the road bike. I can't wait to get to NH so we can get some longer rides in. She wants to try and recreate the race day scenario and hammer the course on the new bike so she can compare numbers. Should be fun :-)

Friday, July 4, 2008

Workout is Done / Time to Party

After my run while Genine was eating lunch, I figured I had better get the bike computer on Genine's bike. (she loves the numbers). So I got all that set up. Cleaned off all the grime from traveling on top of our car, everything is looking good. Genine has her bike shoes on, all we have to do is pump up the tires. Somehow I end up bending the stem and it won't hold air now.
We didn't have time for a tube switch, then a workout. So she switches to her running shoes and off she goes. I'm happy to report she didn't throw a stick into my tires as I passed her on my bike.
Sometimes things just don't go as planned. :-(

Now we go out to dinner with our parents. Then out with our friends. I'm going to try really hard to take it easy, I really do need to get that 10 mile run in tomorrow or the next.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Tango Training Plan

I am behind schedule with my run training and with the Tango a little more than 4 weeks away I’m getting nervous about it. So on the way to work today I pulled out the Half Marathon Training plan and put it onto the calendar. That should help me, I seem to do much better if I have a schedule. I feel compelled to “complete” it.

For the Swim Training, I guess I’m going to have to hope we have great weather while we are in NH. I need to spend a ton of time at the lake. Shawn and family will also be up there the first half of the week. I’m guessing I’m going to be able to see how I compare once we have fins and hand paddles. I should probably consider trying a snorkel, I think I’m going to need all the help I can get.
Here is some good news regarding the swim. Last night’s swim class was the first swim since May 3 (Brooklyn Half) that I didn’t have to lay off the kick. I didn’t even think about that until this morning.
Some of the race times: 50m in 44sec. 25m in 19sec. I thought my relay 50 was probably a bit faster but I don’t know for sure. I just hit the wall and needed to breathe so I didn't see the clock. I did get the high 5 from Joe on that one, so I know it was better than he was expecting from me as of late. It would seem that even as weak as my kick is, it does help me for sprints.

I digress, this is a post about Tango Training.

Orienteering: Craig has the map aspect of this covered. I will just do my best to help spot the points once we are close. My main concern on this stage is nutrition and cramping. I don’t typically cramp during the run but I can’t say that I’ve done much running following a long swim, which was preceded by a half marathon.
We do plan on scouting the rim rock area this weekend. We never touched the trail going up the front of the hill last year. We need to find out what that is all about for this year.

4.5 Mile run: This is not my leg of the race, I’m mentioning it because last year I was an anchor in the canoe with Shawn. My legs were cramping so badly, I was standing in the canoe trying to work them out.
So I feel that I should offer to Craig that if I’m not dead at the end the orienteering. I’ll trade him for this run if he will allow me to simply lie in the bottom of the canoe while he paddles us to victory. Ha ha.

Canoe: I expect Shawn will be taking his kettlebell to NH. I’m not sure I can even pick the thing up but the time has come to add some weight training to my schedule. (Insert Ad for totally ripped Abs in just 30 days).
Fortunately the gym Genine goes to just ran a special. For about $200 I am now a member for the next 2 years. I have use of the facility Wed-Sun. They have much better weight machines than what I have available at the Y which I’ve gone to about 3 or 4 times in the last 18 months.

There you have it. It’s all very simple. Just stick to the schedule.

Oh one last thing, if you need competition as inspiration. There is a very good chance that we will see Genine teamed up with Maija splitting the events the same way Craig and I intend to split them.
Once again, I will let Craig do the math to determine exactly what we need to do in order to win this thing. Ha ha.

For those that are going to be in Warren this weekend:
I have a 5 mile run Scheduled Friday and a 10 mile run scheduled on Saturday.
Genine plans on checking out the bike route, hiking Rim Rock and would like to canoe. I don’t see the canoe happening unless they drop the river considerably for the holiday weekend.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Moving Right Along . . .

Tango - 26 X 1.75 on the mountain bike, semi- aggressive mountain tread but smooth enough to keep me going fast on the paved. 4oz of Slime in each tire, with slime liners to protect the tubes. I need to order these tires and get them on the mountain bike. Looking at putting a double on the crank rather than the triple or at least a larger cog for the big one on the triple. With just the one hill that is not in the woods but paved road, this should do. Also looking to put aero bars on the mountain bike.

Starting to train like I have to do a half marathon (even though Matt is doing the Half). With 6+ orienteering and a 4 mile transition, after the bike, I will need the ability to run a Half. Matt will be close to 20 miles running and 2.2 mile swim before we canoe. Ughh! The crazy people doing the whole thing.

I was wondering about Shawn's partner. If Shawn bikes and swims, he is leaving his partner with a potential marathon. Better get someone who likes to run.

Looking at a sprint tri July 26, in Clarksburg, WV. Cecil Jarvis Memorial Sprint. It was listed in the HFP book we got at Morgantown. Only about an hour from the house. Don't want to fill my weekends. June has been very busy and some house work needs done, so I will see if I can squeeze in.

I am not taking my bike to Warren for the weekend. I want to scope out Tango bike, but will drive it, also want to scope out Rimrock area where the orienteering occurs. I will have me running shoes, and me wetsuit. Looks like an on again off again weekend with the rain.

High School Class reunion, 20 yrs, this Saturday. Looking to see who has changed or who has not, or who changed and is now back the way they were (I heard they can pay to have that done now, new teeth and everything). Genine was talking about at Bloomingdales they were celebrating or embracing the GLBT community. I hope the T is one thing I don't have to figure out at the class reunion (don't worry you will get it eventually, it involves rainbows).

My biggest problem will be recognizing people, well really putting a name with the face. A skill I am not good at. Do you think they will mind if I call all the men "Buddy" and all the woman "Honey". Makes it easier for me.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Spirit of Morgantown Olympic Tri Race Report

By Shawn

This was a much better lead-up than the last one. My training was going well, I worked on some of my weaknesses, did some very long workouts, including a 50-mile bike ride, and several targeted swims over a mile in length, all in an effort to fix some of the problems I had at the Mooseman. I also remembered to bring everything with me this time. I brought my homemade handlebar water-bottle, good nutritional options, and all my regular equipment. The Ramada Hotel was relatively close and of an acceptable quality and, at 72 bucks, hard to beat.

Headed to the race site at 5:45, I ate my breakfast consisting of 2 Go-Lean Crunchy bars with 2% milk. Matt was appalled as a non-dairy kind of guy, but I normally would eat cereal, so this was a pretty close approximation. I ate a Powerbar with some Gatorade at a half hour before the start. I realized at this time that I had not been given my timing chip, so I headed back to T1, which was now closed. I found someone and they gave me the strap. Thank goodness I noticed that was missing. I walked back to the top of the dock, tried to stretch out, did some calisthenics, though not enough, and headed down to the dock. We were the second wave.

The start seemed to go pretty well. The wave was small enough to avoid too much abuse, though I did get kicked in the eye, dislodging my goggles. I put them back in place and then I think I got a little overly excited and tried to sprint again. Well, that caused a bit of trouble with the HR and breathing, akin to what happened at the Mooseman, so I set about to nip that in the bud. I did flounder for a little bit, did some kind of breaststroke, trying to catch my breath, which I soon did, and then began crawling again with a particular focus on not moving my legs. This turned out to be pretty effective, and I began to feel quite good, so I kept accelerating through the rest of the swim, even kicking in the last couple hundred yards. I ended up coming out of the water about two and half minutes after Matt, which was very inspiring to me.

33:59 – 98th overall in the swim. Woohoo, I cracked the top 100!

I ambled up to the bike and got going. I came out of the transition into a wall of people trying to mount their bikes exactly at the yellow line, so I ran through them about 10 yards ahead and mounted there. Since I was feeling so peppy, I just gunned it. I felt like I was really moving for the first 10K, maybe averaging over 20 or even 21 by my speedometer, spurred on by the delicious healing power of the elixir in my oh-so-convenient handlebar water-bottle. That thing is a Godsend. But then came the long climb capped by a fairly sharp final ascent. I was reduced to 7mph there, and some people passed me. I should add that not a single person passed me before that hill. Not much to report for a while, though I eventually saw Matt coming toward me as I approached the turnaround, and I wasn’t that far behind, so I was once again inspired. I must be doing okay, I thought. Made it to the turn-around, and headed for the second big hill. I saw Craig coming toward me, which meant he wasn’t far behind. But the hill loomed. This is where I was passed by many people, including a rather rotund XL3 who toodled past me like I was sightseeing. I couldn’t do a thing about it. I thought for sure that Craig was going to catch me here too, but he hadn’t quite made it that far yet. Just as I made it to the top of the hill, the rain started, but I had my shooting glasses on, so I wasn’t deterred. I set a blistering pace down the hill, and indeed all the way to the finish from there. I passed a lot of timid people being pelted by the huge raindrops and got into a crowd at the bottom of that first descent. I set up behind a very fit woman in a pink bikini who was going pretty much exactly as fast as I was all the way home. At some downhill spot further on, I caught her, looked over and said “How’s it going?” Not a flinch. No look. Was she deaf, I wondered? A ripped deaf triathlete in a pink bikini. Ah well, not everyone has the ability to chat it up while riding their fastest like Craig and I do. She got away from me on the next uphill. I came into the transition still feeling good. I’m pretty sure I could do another lap at that pace. Whoever thought running should be in a triathlon was obviously skinny.

1:25:16 – 17.5 mph pace. 123rd overall.

Anyway, my T2 was quick, thanks to my trusty Sambas, and on my way out, Craig came jogging in with his bike. I knew then that I would be seeing him within two miles if not sooner. It turned out to be about one. I think I was doing pretty well on the run (for me) for the first three miles, probably averaging somewhere between 10 and 11 minute miles. Then I started to really feel like this running stuff was a dumb idea. Shortly after that, I encountered Devil’s hill, which is pretty dang silly. I walked, like everyone else we know. After that, I had to pretty much walk up every uphill for the rest of the race. As I came up the second sizable hill, I saw a pretty big guy behind me whom I thought just might be an XL3, so I tried to kick it up a notch. No one can pass me. Well, all those Half-Iron people can pass me, that’s fine, but not that big guy. I plunged down all the downhills with abandon, and slogged up the ups. I stayed ahead of that guy for the last mile, and just as I was coming into the finish, some little woman came up behind me, and I decided she can’t have me. So I sprinted to the finish and beat her through the gate. Whew, it was over. At that moment, I felt as if I had run a very good race for me. My body wasn’t hurting too much, yet I had done everything I could.

1:18:47 in the run -- 12:02 pace (although this is somewhat skewed for the worse due to T2 being lumped in there)— Total time for the race: 03:23:48

We were about to go pack up the cars, when someone thought to look at the results. Well, as it turned out, there were only two people in my age and weight class, which meant I was getting some hardware! More looking and we discovered that Craig was too. So now we couldn’t leave. We had to get the podium shot. I will grant you, it may not be that impressive to get second place in a field of two, but imagine all the fat guys in the world who are afraid to try! I beat them all.

So we waited, and waited. We called the hotel to extend our checkout. Finally, after literally hours, they gave out awards. No podiums to be seen. They called out the winners and a guy passed out the plaques. When we go up to him to get ours, he says “What place did you get?” I was tempted to say “First,” but I didn’t. The funny thing about the plaque is that there is no other information on it other than Second Place, Spirit of Morgantown Olympic/Half Distance Triathlon. Fine with me. Looks good.

Finally we got to leave, and had a wonderful post-race feast at the cabin home of Tamara’s parents. It was a great day and much more satisfying of an experience than my first attempt. I’m ready for more.

Matt's Morgantown Race Report

This is long. I apologize. Most of you should just skip the Saturday Journal :-).

Saturday AM:
Started out the morning by going to the garage to get the bike to put onto the car. Rear tire is flat… Should I deal with this now or later? I decide later I will have plenty of time. I put the bike on the roof rack and with the rear tire with no pressure really didn’t seem to be secured by the strap. (THULE). So I pull it back down and swap out the tube. The tube I pulled out was leaking through a patch from last summer, that’s not going to repair easily if at all. I have another spare with a hole near the stem…. Time to buy some new tubes. The one thing this accomplished was I decided to try out my new CO2 system. It inflated simply enough but it was as if it was frozen onto the stem and difficult to get back off. Not sure if that was really the case or if I just did something wrong. Whatever it’s done and it did the job.
We left about 7AM to drive to Morgantown. I believe we got to the hotel at about 1. Very easy drive.
I have been having problems with the power meter on my bike so I bought batteries for my wireless Speed and Cadence sensors and went to work installing those. That involved cutting a bunch of tie wraps and trying to get the batteries out of the sensors without breaking anything. Got it all together and went for a short spin down the road. I had to make sure that tube replacement was a good install as well. Everything checked out.
Next on the list: packet pickup, bike check in and dinner.
We follow Craig and Tamara down to the race site and pickup up the packet at the Waterfront Hotel, a very nice place. Definitely would like to take advantage of the triathlete discount in future years. The expo was one vendor. Ha!
Craig then shows us where the swim start is with the docks and then we roll our bikes over to the parking garage and rack our bikes.
Then it’s time for the Carb load. Nice place called Oliverio’s, right there between the swim start and transition. Craig picked up the check, Thanks Craig!
Craig then drives the Bike course with us. It seems really long to us for some reason and the roads are looking pretty rough.
We then drive the bit of the run course, which is not on the bike path. There is one monster hill. It is so steep!! Picture a steep set of stairs without the steps for an entire block. Ugh! I decide that I’m not going to go into the race thinking I’m going to walk it. I’ll deal with it once I get there.
Back to the hotel.
Because of our quick pack to get out of NJ. I need to consolidate all the stuff into the transition bag. I go through the checklist. Talk with Shawn about my need to be at the race site early. I believe we are total opposites in this area. I can’t roll out of bed and be racing an hour later. I’ve got to be up for awhile.
So 5:45AM is going to be the departure time. Transition closes at 7:30 our wave start is 8:03.
Time to ZZZZ.

Race Day:
It’s as if Shawn was standing at the door until exactly 5:45. He’s ready.
Fortunately the transition area was in the parking garage as it has been raining all night and is likely to rain during the race today at some point. So Transition is dry.

I get setup rather quickly. My stomach is not feeling like it should. I decide I’m going to take a quick jog to see what the result of that is going to be. It just feels heavy, I figure the run is still hours away and try to forget about it.

We go down to the Swim Start, I notice a guy wearing a race jersey from a town near where I grew up. I figure it’s one of the guys from the Trifuel forums. I go over and introduce myself to him. He had done the Triple Tri not to long ago and we talk about that for a bit before he’s off to do the Half Iron, which starts before our event. For the record he says the Triple T is tougher than IronMan distance.

Swim: 79/180 overall 00:31:34
I felt very relaxed again at the beginning of this race. I guess I no longer fear not being able to complete this distance.
My biggest problem on the swim is that if I really dig in. I seem to track to the left and lose my line. So what’s better? Swim slower in a straight line or faster and have to constantly correct? Well I decided to really focus on holding the line as we were going upstream. (there wasn’t supposed to be current but the rains made it so they couldn’t shut the locks, so yes it was swimming upstream for half the swim).
Again I feel that I get stuck in traffic time and again. I try to crank up the speed and get around people from time to time but I never feel successful at that. Maybe it’s working out better than I think?
Finally after finishing the upstream part of the swim we are “going with the flow”. I look at the caps out in front of me. Such a mix of colors. Sadly I didn’t make enough of a note as to which started when. So I can’t decide if there is a direction I should avoid. Well it didn’t matter. I decided to start pouring it on a bit, which of course pushed me to the left. I was basically in my own lane the entire downstream swim. I haven’t any clue if I added distance because of it but it was odd after spending the last 20 minutes or so smacking arms and legs with other people.
I get to the dock and as the people in front of me flop onto the deck to get out, I’m thinking “Seriously people, you need to MOVE!!” I would like to think when I got to the dock I was up and out of the way quickly and not looking like a walrus as I was thinking these people were.
Now I’ve got to run/trot down the bike path to transition.
I had my HR monitor during the swim. 171 Avg in very tight range the entire time. It doesn’t work in the pool so I don’t have anything to compare against. I’ll try some stuff out in the Lake in a couple weeks.

Bike: 73/ 180 01:17:26 19.2 mph
I get rolling out of town, across the bridge and then start looking for someone a bit better than me to try to push me. This took longer than expected. Most of the people passing me are passing me at a rate I can’t touch. My HR monitor is not working for some reason. So I’m not able to glance down to find out if I’m being weak or not. Oh well. Hey there goes that Noah Kid from the race last year! He’s going at a pace I might be able to hang with for a while. There is a woman directly behind him, as in “DRAFTING” for a long while. I decide that should switch to my 39 ring in the front. When I switch it the chain drops to the inside, Ugh!! The guy behind me thinks I’ve cramped up and says “Work it out! Get it Back!” I tell him my chain dropped and he says “Sorry dude” LOL.
I was hoping my watch would show how much time I lost here, it didn’t record anything yet so I’m guessing a minute stopped. I was really bummed about losing my Pacer.
So I get going again and am on the lookout for another person to hang onto. We are getting into that 5 mile hill when I look to my left to see who is passing me and I’m looking at the top tube of the largest bike I’ve ever seen. I had to look up to see the guy. Well I did my best to stay with him and did fairly well all the way to the turnaround. Where he was asking for tape and stopped to get it. So I’m in the one section of overlap and I see Shawn headed towards me. We both cheer a bit then back to work. Wasn’t too long before the super tall guy is passing me again. When we hit the steeper 1 mile hill I lost both him and the pack in front of him. Grrr. Then finally DOWNHILL!!! It’s going to be mostly down the rest of the way but then it decided to pour down rain. I have done no riding in the rain. So I do a couple brake tests just to get an idea of what I’m dealing with. The real trouble is puddles, potholes and wet sunglasses. Fortunately I didn’t have anything happen to shake my confidence but I was definitely holding on tight. Rain kinda hurts at 25+ mph.
Overall I think we all deserve some extra credit for surviving a pretty rough bike course.
Oh. Noah averaged 20.5mph and the tall guy did the half iron and averaged 19.6mph.
And paint on the road to indicate directions is of no help when it rains. The Mooseman signs again prove to be the proper way to mark a course. Morgantown did have many intersections manned though…. I’m just saying paint just isn’t the way to go.

Run: 67/180 00:59:03 9:01 pace. It was not a 10K run. It was 6.55 miles. Our T2 time was added into this time.
So here we go am I going to be able to crank out a good run? Well it sure didn’t help that the first person to pass me on the run was a woman that was just flying. I felt like I was standing still. It’s times like this I’m glad I have the footpod. I look at my watch and see that I’m at an 8:15 pace which is good for me. Sadly my stomach is back to feeling very heavy ah well. Just try to hold pace and get it done. I make the U-Turn and start heading back the other way. It wasn’t too long that I see Craig. Then directly behind Craig is Shawn!!! I am laughing, I’m just picturing these guys fighting it out for the last 2 hours. (that was not the case, but I didn’t know that). I run past our “fan club” and give them the update that Craig is now leading Shawn. The bike path run went fairly well for me. As I was nearing the Turn towards “Devils Hill” I see a girl that I think is the one that won the women’s division of the sprint last fall. I am stunned that I’m gaining on her and pass her right at the turn. I’m now looking at the hill…. I see the devil on the other side of the intersection. I hold pace going up to him. Give the devil a very low 5 on the way by and he wishes me luck on my climb. I almost immediately decide to walk up the stairway. Which is what it feels like. I get to the top. They have water and a tank to dunk your head into. It’s not that hot. I start running again.
I’m stunned that nobody ran by me during my walk and that I have 3 people in front of me which I might be able to reel in. As I get to the first guy, I’m needing to get fired up. So I say to him. “what do we have? About a mile left? Let’s catch those guys ahead of us”. I do well pulling away during the flats and uphills. Sadly there was more downhill from here on out. I couldn’t hammer the downhills. I gave up ground every time. So I didn’t catch the other 2 and the guy I passed got by me on the final down hill.
Got to the finish and the clock wasn’t at 3 hours yet so I was happy. I’m still amazed that I’m able to race for 3 hours. That wasn’t possible a year ago.
I hit the food tent and chowed down. Oranges, popsicles, about 3 bottles of water…
Then went over with everyone to watch for Craig and Shawn to run in.
It’s great to see Craig finish. You can just see that he’s leaving it all out there. Every second counts. I look at the pictures of me along the way and think that I’m not really pushing as hard as I could be.
When Shawn is nearing the finish line, he looks very happy. I’m guessing a combination of being glad he’s done but more likely he’s happy with the improvements he’s made since the Mooseman 3 weeks ago.

Final 71/180 02:52:21
I find it interesting that here my overall rankings are best for my run, then bike and then swim. I believe at the mooseman it was the exact opposite. (not that it means anything).

I was slower at all three legs of this race compared to the Mooseman. Different course, different conditions… I don’t feel badly about it. I really enjoyed the weekend and I finally got to complete a full Olympic distance race. So the bar has been set.

Next up: Kinzua Country Tango Adventure Race.

Spirit of Morgantown Race Photos

Shawn is looking short at 6' 5"

The Set

The Slideshow

Morgantown Race Report

I had great time racing. Like any athlete I had hoped to have better times. It was awesome to have Matt, Shawn, Genine, Amy, and Fiona in town for the race.

Swim: 43:43, 163/180. Ouch! Compared to the Mooseman, even with the shortened route I had calculated 35 mins for this swim on the slow side. I had not anticipated this. I don't wear a watch, mostly because I lost it two days before the Mooseman and haven't decided what to buy, hoping I will find it. So, I really had no idea I was doing this bad. You may think I was really struggling, I was not. I felt quite comfortable and that was precisely my problem. Two ways to go faster in the water: efficiency and stroke speed. I felt efficient, but I know I kept my stroke speed and count way down. On the good news side I did freestyle the whole way, no breaststroke. First Tri at any length were I did this. Seemed to help my legs and heart rate. I could easily hear my wife and Genine cheering, probably because they were in a small group of fans left by the swim.

T1: 3:42 Probably the best thing I did all day. It may seem long, but you had to run about 200 yds or better to get to the T1. I felt great after I rolled up onto the dock. I took off like a shot, still with no clue how far behind I was. I didn't see many yellow hats (my heat), and I did know it wasn't because I was ahead, but I continued on my carefree bliss.

Bike: 1:18:56 88/180 (still didn't beat Matt) I felt great. I jumped on the bike, put my foot on top of the shoe already clipped on the bike and started to pedal. Worked great. I blew by about three people right away. Gave me a shot. Got my feet in the shoes and I was off. This was the fun part. I started to pick people off. Came behind a friend I met two yrs ago when we were both volunteers. I told him to go faster, he looked at me and laughed. Then he said, "Hey I beat you out of the water", I smiled and said yes you did. I made the first turn and started a long steady climb. Near the top I saw my neighbor, and got next to him and said come on Smith get moving. He laughed and said good bike, then "Hey I beat you out of the water". Can you see the theme here. I laughed again. After the long steady climb I put the hammer down, small hammer by some standards, but I am working on it. Came up behind a woman I know, she was trying to pass a Ford Escape that got stuck on the road between the pack of bikes. This guy was nervous. He was hugging the yellow line, which kept us from passing him for about a half mile. I finally told the girl, I am going and swung out around them. Pointed to the guy to move over a little, he looked lost. The steep hill on the bike came up right after this, not as bad as I thought it could be. Started to beat down the rain at this point, OUCH. I pushed hard downhill. I blew by 5 people who had passed me going uphill. I went strong almost to the end. The road was rough and narrow near the end, and we had a lot of Half Iron people coming towards us. As I made the final swing in towards the transition, the cheering crowd were there. My wife was yelling "Way to make up time". I had no idea why she was saying this?

T2: ??? probably 2:00ish. I realized why my wife was yelling at me. Shawn came running by me in the transition as I was pushing my bike. I knew at this point I had accomplished one of my goals (which is always a goal), I was going to beat Shawn despite the near ten minutes he had put into me on the Swim. :)

Run: 1:08:42 129/180 (included T2) Started out good. Passed Shawn around mile 1, saw him again coming towards me after a turn around. Saw Matt just past the 1 mile marker, ahead of me coming towards me after he had turned around. It was flat for the first 4.25 miles. I was feeling good until about mile four. Then I started to suffer. I then turned off the flat rail trail and started up 6th street. Oh MY! I had driven Shawn and Matt up it the night before. The car made it feel easier than it was. I walked. Everyone else on the hill was walking. I kept a strong pace and was catching people but I walked. I had trouble starting again at the top, I ran, walked, ran, walked. One guy did coming running by me, he may have run the whole hill. Then a small downhill, which then went up again, I took a few walking steps again, felt like someone had strapped 20 lb weights to my legs. Then back down again only to go back up, again a couple walking steps then started to catch my stride. Mostly steady down hill to finish. I came in pretty strong at the finish, which led me to believe I had not left enough on the course.

3:15:04 122/180 overall, 3/5 XL2 Clydesdale division

I was happy with the race. I have no sense of what will make my times and races more consistent, but it was fun. I smiled a lot more than the Mooseman, even though the Mooseman was very fun. It was fun to get a plaque, even though Matt destroyed me overall. The race was organized until it came to getting results posted and awards given out. They told us one time then it wouldn't happen then another time and it still took forever. Matt and Shawn had to keep moving checkout times for the hotel and we couldn't get the hotel on the phone. I/We were not to happy how the day ended waiting for awards, but until then it was nice atmosphere, talked to a lot of people I knew and hung out seeing things happen.