Monday, August 31, 2009

Things you will most likely care less about

...yet I feel compelled to share with you. The pool we swim at regularly is closed for 2 weeks to be drained and repainted...FINALLY!! It is so long overdue! In the interim, we have to chose a different pool to swim at while the SVY pool is closed. Let me first say, that I am thankful that we have at least 2-3 other pools to chose from that are very close by. Tonight Matt & I swam at the Raritan Valley Community College (RVCC) Pool. It is part of our local YMCA group of pools. While Matt has had his swimming lessons there before, this was my first visit.

Here's my report of semi useless info about my experience:
1. LOVE this pool water sooooo much better than SVY! I felt like I was swimming in water instead of a vat of chemicals. It was a nice temperature, clear and clean. I didn't even see 1 hairball at the bottom of the pool! Dare I say that I actually enjoyed swimming tonight...this could be a good thing!
2. The atmosphere was rather peaceful and subdued with nice acoustical panels on the ceiling. No screaming children in the pool or locker room.
3. I didn't feel like I was going to get a foot fungus by walking on the pool deck or locker room floor (I did still wear my flip flops to be on the safe side). No hair or wet garbage on the locker room floor.

In all fairness, I did miss a couple things about SVY tonight.
1.RVCC doesn't have a digital clock at the pool to time laps. As a matter of fact, there was not a lap timer at all.
2. The showers at SVY, while gross & dirty most of the time, are big enough to have room to move without fear of touching the slimy shower curtain and there is a shelf for my shampoo bottle. RVCC had neither of these.

But, I did feel right at home tonight at RVCC when I turned on the water in the shower and it was cold.

Not every workout is going to be good.

Went to the pool tonight. I thought I was going to get in and just swim for 50 min straight with hand paddles. Didn't happen. Couldn't make myself suck it up and get it done. Ah well.

When I got home. I knocked out my 5 sets of the 6 weeks to 100 pushups plan. Yesterday I started the 20 pullups plan from week one again. Too much time off with Timberman in there.
Then I see the 200 squats plan on there. I'll let you know if I get that on the schedule.
Feel free to join in ;-)

What does a new baby cost you?

I am not sure of the monetary figure to raise a child to 22 years or so, but I do know it cost me about six minutes.

I got an early starting heat because of last years time (1:04:15), 8:00 AM. So, none of the family came to see me off. Tamara had to work and the kids spent the day at Grandmas. So all by my lonesome I went to the Tri. Of course I know lots of people who do this race so alone is a relative concept. I got marked upped and set up in transition. I was in a heat with 8 guys from Romney, WV and a local guy I shared a lane with last year. They were fun guys. When the numbers get called to enter the pool they don’t call my number with this group. I walk in anyways, they inform me I was bumped and will start at 8:10. So I say farewell to my new friends. As the 7:50 group is finishing, they realize they only have 9 in the 8:00 am group, so I am back in. Funny note is all the other nine guys had black shorts on, I had blue.

Mark, set, go. I feel good for the first four lengths. Then I started to die. My lack of swimming is really showing up. I decide to push to stay close to my previous years time. In retrospect this was probably a mistake. About 10 seconds slower than last year.

I jump out of the pool and into transition. No socks, shirt on, helmet on and shoes on the bike. I jump on bike and go, feet on top of shoes. I should have practiced this fatigued a couple times; I rode for almost a mile before getting my feet into the shoes. I tried three times unsuccessfully to get them in. This probably cost me a minute somewhere. Finally going. This course is flat, but when I did the turn around I hit a head wind and started to really die. Three guys pass me in my heat. My lane mate and two guys from Romney. The Romney fellows are definitely drafting. I was thinking, good luck with that. Hope you get a penalty. They get a little ways in front of me, did I mention it was wet from rain even though it never rained during the race. The guy in the rear goes to take a drink from a water bottle, his rear tire drops off the tarmac into grass, he jerks back up on the trail. His rear tire goes sideways. He held it for a long time, then down he goes, he is sliding down the rail trail and bike off into the weeds. I have plenty of time to avoid him, but I sit up and quit pedaling “You all right”, “Yeah, I can handle it”. Off I go. I did chuckle a little bit, “Serves you right for drafting”. I did check on him at the end, he was Ok. I didn’t mention the drafting to him, but I did emphasize it to his teammates. Feet out of shoes last quarter mile, came to a stop before dismounting. Legs just couldn’t handle the flying dismount. 34:29 (almost 3 minutes slower than last year)

At this point I realize I am not going to match last years time, but am shooting for my goal of 1:07 or 1:08. Once again no socks, slide on shoes and take a big drink of water, out I run. After the first mile, which was a 9:30 or so, I realize no way am I going to get a 1:08, just hold on for the best time I can. My next mile was under 9 mins, about 8:45. Then my legs finally felt good, I went under 8 mins on the last mile. This was the only time I caught someone in my heat. I did pass about 5 others from previous heats, but they were just out to finish. No one passed me. My run was 26:56 (over 3 mins slower than last year) I am satisfied.

My training was dismal coming into this race. I was disappointed in the bike, I think I underestimated how much not swimming on a regular basis was going to affect the other legs. I over did it in the swim, which caused me to try to compensate on the bike, which blew me on the run. Again, I am satisfied, I wouldn’t trade playing catch with a baseball, playing Bocce in the backyard, going to Idlewild Amusement Park, or holding a baby while Tamara gets done things that she had to put off for the six minutes I lost.

Couple of fun notes – I was 15 seconds faster in my transitions, from last year.
Friend Noah Brak took 8th overall (Matt knows him) with a 55:57. Four hours later he ran for the WVU triathlon team and ran an 18:33 5k (two seconds faster than the 5k he ran in his individual tri), he had hoped to be closer to 17 he told me before he ran.
New SSS champion Derek Clark. Only champion other than Vinnie Monseau (who didn’t compete). Derek trains with Vinnie and I think was four time runner up prior to his victory, he did a 50:47, and like Vinnie won by over two minutes. Derek is a nice guy, met him last year, talked to him at the kids race, and when I started the run he was standing there cheering for me by name, not that he waited for me, but it just reminded me how great triathletes are at encouraging each other. On the run, I couldn’t remember one person coming towards me that didn’t say some word of encouragement. It was good to race, I hope to do more.

Sprint Splash Spin73/238 Overall 13th age group Total 1:10:17
Swim 330 Yds 6:52
T1 0:54
Bike 11 mile 34:29
T2 1:06
5K Run 26:56

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Rude Awakenings and Rainy Rides

You know, it's funny how most people would think that you would feel better and stronger at the end of the season. That isn't the case for me. While I have had race performances that I am proud of and show my improvement over the summer, I have been feeling tired and sometimes uninspired recently. The clincher came yesterday morning when I finally decided to step on the scale. Yikes! While it was "only" 8lbs, it was the incentive that I needed to stop all of my random eating and get back to tracking my foods. I am heading into the busiest time of year for me at work. I know that if I do not get a handle on this situation now, it could spiral into a bad place...especially as my workout schedule has the potential to take a back seat to my work schedule, or at least become"modifed" due to many more hours spent at work. (sigh....) So, back to Fitday and tracking foods & workouts. Honestly, it feels good to be back on a plan. The next step is creating a workout schedule for the fall season. I tend to be an "all or nothing" type person, so I need to learn that something is better than nothing... and not resent my work schedule. Easier said than done. One more race weekend coming up next month and my first season will be complete. It's been awesome! But I find myself thinking ahead.

I'm looking forward to continued focus on my running thru the fall months and maybe schedule in 1 or 2 5k races to track my progress. I am also ready for long weekend bike rides soaking in the beautiful views of colorful leaves in the crisp fall air. In terms of awesome cross training, I am super excited to incorporate more "Tiffany time" into my week...inten-sati, yoga, kickboxing, strength-sati, and aerobic dance moves (yes, that's right, I said dance. Ha! Stay tuned on that one folks!) My favorite part about Tiffany's classes is they not only work the body (in a BIG way) but they also allow me to refocus my mind on me and to most of all HAVE FUN!
And speaking of fun, Matt and I got soaked on our bike ride yesterday. We rode the Buckman course. Good practice in case it's raining in 2 weeks!

So now that I have rambled on about pretty much nothing, I have to go run.

PS: You'll notice that neglected to mention anything about fall swimming. don't will happen when it happens. I'm waiting for the snow to fly before I focus on that! :-)

Saturday, August 29, 2009

A bit more Timberman

Genine and I went out biking today. We got soaked. I got to wear the bike jersey she bought me.

Yup. I like it a lot.

Anyhow, so when I pulled the bike computer out of my bag it still had all my Timberman info on it. It had my finish time as 3:00:36. The timer stops if the wheels aren't moving, so it has some transition time in there as well perhaps. No big surprise there. What did surprise me was this. The downhill on 107 is crazy fast. The guy behind me said he hit 49mph on the way down. I wasn't going to take my eyes off the road to see my speed. Well I finally looked today. I hit 46mph. I believe I now own the in house downhill bomb record. Genine has had it since last year's Skylands Race when she hit 45mph. I just edged her out. :-)

That's it. Just thought I'd throw that out there. I'm wondering what Shawn hit on that hill!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

What I learned from doing Timberman 70.3

Timberman was a learning experience. I figure I had better list everything before I forget about them.

The Swim: Is being in the mix at the beginning worth it? Or is it always better to be to the outside away from the mess?

At our practice swim a few days before the race I felt really good swimming in my wetsuit. Then I took it off and just did a few shorter intervals. I was stunned at how much easier my arm recovery felt without the wetsuit on. I think I’ll be buying a sleeveless “DeSoto Speed Vest” to wear at warmer swims. Also I guess I need to time myself just wearing the bib john without a top. I have a feeling there would be more drag and that this would be slower, but it would be good to know for certain.

Biking the flats: As I was being passed by the awesome bikers, I felt that what they were doing differently was this. Bigger gear, lower cadence. It looked like the right thing to be doing and I was very tempted to try this out. I didn’t. I’m sure I wouldn’t have had the leg strength to pull it off. It definitely made me feel like I need to join a group ride so I could learn more about biking and my capabilities. I’m definitely having to err on the side of caution during the bike because of my lack of experience.

Shawn has bar tape on his aerobars. There were moments during my ride that I thought I also needed to do this. Then I realized I felt the same way in the drops or hoods as well. I think that I’ve decided for a 56 mile bike, it’s worth taking the time to put on my bike gloves.

I also had better add that I am a fool for not applying some sort of anti-chaffing product before the start of my day.

Running: I’m undecided about what causes the cramping. Was I under-trained for this distance race? Or is it really just a matter of learning how to use the Electrolyte pills? Or mixture of both? At the very least, I need to start using the electrolytes more often so that I know how they affect my stomach. I couldn’t bring myself to take them on the run because I didn’t know what they would do to me. Also I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone say they give instant or quick relief anyhow. Either way, not trying this out before this long of a race was a mistake.

Transitions: These bigger races have large transition areas. I need to start practicing leaving my shoes on the bike all the time. It would shave a few seconds off for sure.
I guess I don’t practice this because I figure I have bigger issues to deal with. That is no reason not to take care of something easy like this.

I need to add spare contacts to my transition bag. It’s only a matter of time before I lose one during the swim or bike.

The extra set of goggles is handy if you happen to have someone that can keep them around for you before the swim start

Racking the bike in Transition. The official walking through transition was saying the tire on the ground had to be on the same side as your number on the rack. I did this but it was my rear wheel. Someone changed my bike for me while I was gone so that it was my front wheel down on my side of the rack. Is this the “accepted” method everyone expects to be followed? Do you place your gear on the down tire side? Do you rack the exact same way when you return from the bike.?
None of this really seemed to matter but it would seem that being uniform would make it easier for everyone.

Abs were sore post race: I mentioned this to Tiffany at yoga last night and said that I think I need to do more abdominal work. She disagreed. She brings up my lower cross imbalance. She thinks there is a good chance my abs are sore because they are doing all the work.
If I’d strengthen my lower back and glutes, my abs would probably be able to relax.
Then she threw in the fact I could stand to work on my upper cross problem as well. I have to admit, it makes a ton of sense. So all my abs work is going to be stabilization poses for a while and my weight training will focus on removing this imbalance. I didn’t ask how long she thought it would take. Until I start doing the homework, there is no point to asking this question.

Bike fit: I am plagued by my lower back/hip on my right side during a long bike with hard effort. Part of me doubts that it is a fit issue. I figure it is a weakness and posture problem. Problem is until I find someone that is “The” Bike Fitting Guy. I really can’t see spending any money on another fit. I have to do some searching and find someone.

Gear improvements: I’m currently using crank brothers for my pedals. I think I’m going to switch to Delta Clips like Genine, Maija and Shawn. (Craig too?). I thought about the speed play but I think it just makes sense to have the same as Genine. This way if for some reason we have an issue on race day, we might be able to swap equipment.

Unless I can find some way to remove the nasty smell from my shoes, I’ll be buying new shoes as well.

I’m still riding the stock saddle that came with my bike. It’s time I do some homework here as well. I would prefer to find a local bike shop with a decent selection of saddles that would let me test ride a bunch of them. I know of at least one that would let me sit on a trainer in the shop to do this but their selection wasn’t very good.
I haven’t a clue as to will work for me, so I feel I want to go through a wide variety. I’ve seen places online that will send you a bunch and you can return all but the one you want. It’s just that I think you have to buy all of them initially, then get credited back once they are returned. Kind of a pain.

Edit: I'm going to toss in something I learned from the DC Tri back in June. Use some electrical tape to secure your bike number to your bike. In DC my number started to come off and I ended up trying to fix that problem as I was riding. So at Timberman I taped the number at the top tube and on the seams. It worked well, I think it helped keep it from flapping into my legs too.

Well that’s the list. It might be more useful than my race report. Hope it helps somebody and I really hope it helps me!

Sprint splash spin

Looking forward to what would be my first tri of the year this Saturday. Kids are all signed up for the kids version Friday night. I am very apprehensive about setting a goal. I went 1:04:20 last year. I did a little test the other day on 10.5 mile bike and 2.6 mile run brick. I went hard. I seem to be closer to doing a 1:07 if you add last years swim and assume I kept my paces. As a goal I would like to be around 1:06. Just haven't had enough swim to feel comfortable any faster than this.

Vinnie's name not on the list, so no matter what I do this year I will have a better time than him, this year. There is a longer tri south of here, but Vinnie's wife will be at the Sprint Splash & Spin, so it will be weird not seeing him there.

Need a Track Workout

Genine, Maija, or Matt-

Would one of you guys be willing to provide a basic (remember I was a thrower) track workout for me? Apparently I can sneak up to the high school track. Guidance from anyone appreciated.


Ready Craig?

How are you feeling? Any goals for your race this weekend? Do you plan on giving Vinnie Monseau a run for the title?
Let's hear some news from WV!!

Genine's Timberman Sprint Race Report

This is the first race of my season that I felt really confident and prepared going into. The swim distance of .33miles was my shortest swim so far (10mins and out I kept telling myself). The bike was 15miles that I knew I could knock down. The run was where I was hoping that my recent track training would pay off. This time I had set an expectation for myself of an 8:45pace for the 5k. I was hopeful, but still not solid with how my hip/hamstring would respond after the bike. It was a long weekend with a lot of back & forth travels between the house & the race site, as Matt noted in his report. A gigantic thank you to Shawn, Amy and Fiona for getting up early (yet again) to make the trip to see my race!! It was such a lift to hear you guys cheering for me!

Timberman transition at 5am...oh so dark.

Matt & I got up at 3:15am Saturday, left the house by 4:00am and arrived at the race site at 4:45am. Got stuff out of the car, bike unloaded and headed to get marked and transition. I took my time laying everything out in my spot and then covered it with plastic bags as the sky was not looking too favorable. Then the waiting game, "gotta go" porta-potty time started. Somehow my timing was such that I missed every line for the potties! Not sure how that happened, but thank goodness for little things! I grabbed everything I needed out of transition as it closed at 6:30am. I decided to remove the plastic bags covering my bike & run stuff. I didn't want to have to fumble with it in transition & I was hoping the rain would hold off. My wave started 7:24am and I didn't want to put my wetsuit on any sooner than necessary because of the high humidity...ugh. Matt & I walked over to the swim start and I put the bottom half of my wetsuit on. Then I had to go...again. I didn't want to race yet another race in "agony" and luckily there were a few porta-potties on the beach at the swim start, so I took advantage of them. Good call! Now I am ready to race!

Focused and ready to swim!

As my wave walked into the water, I lined up in the back outside left of the group. I tend to pull right and this also kept me out of the churn of the start. worked like a charm! As we started, many women were walking thru the shallow water. (probably could have walked almost to the first buoy because it was so shallow). Not me...I started to swim....and passed people!! This was a rather new swim scenario for me...NO DOG PADDLE!! I was totally focused and determined to remain calm as I swam. The water was nice, not as clear as Newfound Lake, but beautiful. I swam as far in as I could at the end and got out of the water feeling good. Into transition and ready to bike!

Finishing up my soggy ride....

I think my favorite part of the race is riding my bike out of transition and on to the start of the bike course. Mostly because the swim is over :-), but it is the one part of the race the I get truly excited about my performance. The course starts with a climb out of the park. As I neared the top of this hill, the rain started....a steady rain that lasted the entire ride. I just told myself to keep pushing and ride hard. I knew the course from riding it with Matt in July, so I knew what to expect and when. Since I started in the first wave of women, this was by far the most crowded bike course I have ridden on to date. But everyone was respectful to their fellow racers. I have to say, it was kind of fun passing all of the slow guys from the waves before mine! There were some awesome women out there. I managed to keep myself in with 3 of them for the majority of the ride. We were playing the pass and catch-up game on all of the hills. I think by the end of the bike I was #2 out of 4 of the "group". Not too shabby!

As I racked my bike, took off my bike shoes and went to grab my running shoes, it was then I remembered "oh's been raining for an hour" I had to turn my run shoes over to dump the water out of them! Ah feet were already wet! and I wasn't going to put on dry wet shoes it was! Next time I bike barefoot and keep dry socks & run shoes under the plastic in rainy situations. I think my blistered feet would agree!

Starting my run....

I started the run immediately feeling tightness in my hips/hamstrings...grrrrr. "That's ok, just work it out", I thought to myself. When I looked at my watch the pace read good. So, I started to think - fast feet - speed up my cadence. this seemed to help a bit(9:00pace), but as I started the gradual incline that was the first half of the run loop, and I tried to go faster, my hips got tighter. I stopped at the aid station at the turn around to stretch for about 30seconds. Not a noticeable improvement...ah well. Go, go ,go.... The second half of the run was a gradual down hill. This worked to my advantage as I let gravity help to speed me up. I was able to maintain an 8:30ish pace for the last 1.5miles. I finished the run with an 8:53pace. Didn't make my goal pace of 8:45, BUT was able to make my secondary goal of keeping it under a 9:00pace.

I ended the race feeling quite good. I didn't experience any of the "stomach issues" I felt at Mooseman & Tango after my final push to the finish. That was encouraging. All in all, it was a good race for me. It boosted my confidence in my swim, validated my bike training and it gave me hope for faster run times. As I am nearing the end of my first official race season, I thought it would be fun to go back to my first race in May (Jerseyman) to compare times. Even though both races were sprints, the distances for the swim & bike were slightly different, so I figured out my pace for each race as a comparison. Here they are:

Swim Pace:
JM (.5mi swim)- 38:35 mile pace
TM (.33mi swim)- 31:46 mile pace

Bike Pace:
JM (19.5mi bike)- 16.4mph
TM (15mi bike) - 17.6mph

Run Pace:
JM (5k)- 9:44 pace
TM (5k)- 8:53 pace

Matt’s Timberman Half Iron Race Report

What a crazy busy weekend!!

Race site is 45 minutes from our house. We drive over Friday for packet pickup.

We get to the race site at 4:45AM Saturday morning for Genine’s sprint race. Which she rocked. Check her race report for those details. We head home for about 3 hours. Then drive back to the race site to rack our bikes and then up to Gunstock for the 5:30 70.3 race meeting. Drive back to the house eat a bit more and go to bed sometime about 8PM.

Sunday: Wake up at 2:30 leave for the race site at 3:20. Arrive just after 4AM. We get a parking spot at the race site and we all fall asleep in the car for the next hour. (all being Matt, Genine, Shawn, Amy and Fiona).

5:15 Time to start putting transition together. Fortunately I hit the lines for the portajohn early. The next time I walk past it’s gotta be a 30 minute line. I walk between the car and transition a couple times. On my final trip back, I find the person beside me decided to rack my bike differently for me. I had kind of figured this would happen, but we were never there at the same time to talk about what was going to work out the best. Not a big deal to me. I’m just glad I saw that it happened and readjusted how my bike gear was hanging off of my bike.

We head to the swim start early. On the way over we hear them announce they are going to delay the start by 15-20 minutes because of a car accident that is out on the bike course. I hadn’t put my wetsuit on yet, nor had I eaten my pre race food. So all was good.
It was really very peaceful at the swim start. They hadn’t turned on the music or anything yet and everyone was just doing their thing. Genine had fun snapping pictures of the pros that were waiting for their start.

Chrissie Wellington

Some people actually swam over to them and started chatting with them, which didn’t seem to bother them. They all seemed pretty relaxed and cool about everything.

Once it looked like things were going to get rolling. I got into the wetsuit and started to swim a bit. My goggles kept fogging up. Fortunately, I gave Genine my 2nd pair and I changed to those and they were good. (I wouldn’t have had a 2nd pair had someone not been panicked the day before when their goggles broke, I thought, I would be at a loss as well)
I will admit that I have looked at all of my friends results when they raced 2 years ago. Of course conditions are always different, so it’s not a direct comparison but…. I am going into this race with the hope of having the “Title” for one of the splits. Realistically the swim is my best chance. I have to beat 35:13. Maija’s time from two years ago.
I line up near the front to the right side. (I tend to track left) Course is a clockwise 3 sided rectangle. This worked well for me at Mooseman… Not so awesome today. It was a tight start with a ton of contact.

This doesn’t bother me other than I’m sure it’s not the fastest way to go. I figure I just need hold my pace and the pack will thin out on it’s own. I didn’t use the tempo trainer. Instead I had my list of songs which would give me the right tempo. The Chili Peppers “Aeroplane” turned out to be the easiest song for me to groove to. I was cruising along about 50 strokes per minute until I got to the last turn towards the swim finish. At this point I still felt as if I had put very little effort into the swim, so I figured I should try to pick up the pace. It would seem when I try to pick up the pace I really track left. I was so far to the left a kayaker cut me off. I wonder how much time that added to my swim? The lake is quite shallow and many people were standing up and walking their way in. No way! I’m not standing up until they show they can run faster than I can swim! I felt like I passed quite a few people by swimming as far as possible. It’s a long run to transition, so I take the time to check my split on my watch. 33:27! Wahoo! Next decision, wetsuit stripper or not? I prepare as if I’m going to use them. When I get there 2 kids and 1 adult are free. I point at the adult and in a matter of seconds I’m running into transition. Now how about the sand on my feet? I was planning on walking through someone else’s water tray if I had to. It wasn’t necessary, just past the wetsuit strippers they had trays of water setup for us.

T1: 2:48 not bad. To improve this number I need to learn to put my shoes on the bike. I also think I may have considered sunblock for a moment or two. I went without.

Bike: Genine and I rode this course last month. She remembers it taking us 3.5 hours. My goal time is 3 hours. She was somewhat surprised when I told her this to help her plan when I should be arriving back to transition. Honestly, this is only the 2nd time I’ve biked 56 miles so I may be kidding myself.
I’m in an early wave, many awesome bikers will pass me during this race. I can’t allow myself to try and keep up. The hills are at the beginning and end of this course. I’ve practiced hills. I know how to climb without burning myself out. I’m not crazy fast but I should be alright.
There are some long climbs and the problem I was having was deciding when to pass the person in front of me. Often they would be pacing along fine, then just drop speed to a much slower pace. Which doesn’t sound like a problem other than the fact the “bikers” with the disc wheels and such were climbing by us quite quickly. I had to be careful not to block or to cut someone off, causing a crash. So on the outbound hills, I definitely felt like I lost some time. I’m sure it was marginal.
The eating plan was simple. Once I got to the “flat” part of the ride on 106, I start eating cliff bars. I figure I’ll probably manage to eat 2 or 3 of them. I also have 3 Gu taped onto the bike and 2 in my jersey, I also have 2 bottles of Endurance Formula Gatorade. All was going well. I was on the new pavement in front of the NH Speedway when I decide to get another chunk of cliff bar. I take my eyes off the road long enough to hit what felt to be something the size of a rubik's cube. I almost crashed. I was immediately stunned that I didn’t have a flat because of the impact. Less than 2 minutes later, I was flat. So with the sound of Nascar engines racing in the background. I went into pit crew mode to see how quickly I could change out this flat. I hit the lap counter on my watch and got to it. I was back rolling in 6.5 minutes. My only concern is the fact that my front tire is now very soft. I used the CO2 cartridge and it worked perfectly but what pressure are those things supposed to get my tire to?
So I’m back rolling again. Typically on my long rides, if I take a break like that, my right hip pain is relieved and I can get back to hammering. No such luck this time. My right side has been giving me grief and it didn’t give up.
My concern going into the bike leg was that by the turn around, I’d have nobody left to pass and I’d just be passed for the remaining 28 miles. That flat just fixed that problem. I was surprised when I actually started to catch up to people I had passed not long ago. Shortly after the turn around, I was in a line of 3 people. I had passed these 2 people no fewer than 3 times already but they kept getting back in front of me somehow. No big deal, I guess we are fairly evenly matched. Next thing I know, I hear a motorcycle pull up to my left just behind me. The 2 guys in front of me stop pedaling!! So of course I’m immediately in their draft zone and now I’ve got to jump up and make the pass or get a penalty. I was annoyed mostly because I don’t know why they both stopped pedaling when they did. I didn’t get a penalty and they passed me again shortly after the motorcycle left.
Once I got back to the hills, I knew I’d find out if I had paced properly. It turns out my legs were fine. I was still being passed by the awesome bikers but holding my own with the rest of pack. I just had no ability to take it up a notch and get through that pack. There was one girl that was very easy to spot because of her clothing. I’m guessing she was within my sight for the final 10 miles of the ride.
When I finished the bike, I hit my lap timer but because of the flat it didn’t give me my full bike split. So I finished without knowing that I had finished basically right on goal. 3:06:36. (Less the 6:30 for the flat….)

T2: 3:00. Again, I need to learn to leave my shoes on the bike and not on my feet.

13.1 mile run: The start of my run felt better than I had expected. I think I was energized somewhat just because I was off the bike. I couldn’t have been half a mile into the run when I caught up to the girl I could not catch on the bike. She was walking. Her name was on her back with her number. So as I went by I called out her name and told her that she was one heck of a biker, that I couldn’t catch her. She responded that she wished that she were now able to run. I said give it a mile and you might be surprised. I looked up her results. She finished not too far behind me. So she must have found her run legs.
Shortly after that Chrissie Wellington runs by going the other direction smiling ear to ear. She’s nearly finished. I said to the person beside me. “She makes it look way too easy”. She responded kind of gruffly “You aren’t kidding”.
When I got to the first aid station, I decided that I was going to walk through them. I wanted to make sure I got Gatorade and water into my system and keep cool. At this stage of the race it seemed that the majority of people were doing this.
I finished the first lap in 59 minutes. I had planned 1 hour. Right on time. As I’m running back out I hear Genine, Amy and Fiona cheering. Genine shouts out how are you feeling? To which I responded “So So”. I could feel that things were starting to get tight. I didn’t want her to be worried if I didn’t finish on schedule.

Not half a mile later, my calves start to grab. I instantly changed to a fast walk for 50 paces and then return to running. This worked very well for me. Although I can’t even guess how many times I ended up walking.
The best aid station of the day goes to the Laconia Hockey Team. They had a pile of snow and they were handing out snowballs. I took one, smashed it on my head and put my hat on over it. It lasted for 4 miles. There were a couple times I was almost shivering and I couldn’t figure out why, until I’d check and realize the snowball hadn’t melted yet.
At the turn around, I checked my watch and thought to myself it’s about 5K left to go. If I could just run the rest of the way in, I would be very close to my goal time. I’d just have to run through the cramping if it happened. I guess I was prepared for my calves to cramp up, but instead my right hamstring grabbed hold. I stopped dead in my tracks. I’m in the middle of the run lane and I’m a statue. I try to move off to the side but as soon as I relax even a little bit, the hamstring just grabs and causes me to grimace in pain. Oddly enough the Fire Department EMT in a 4 wheeler vehicle is heading down the road towards me. I can’t move out of their way. They didn’t stop to check on me, they just drove around me and kept going! Ha! After about 3 minutes the cramping gives up and I start walking up the hill. I realize I’m going to get to the finish when I get there. I can’t just tough it out and make it happen. I go back to run walking.
Once I got within listening distance of the finish line, I became somewhat frustrated. I wanted to be running. Fortunately, once I got into the crowds, I think some adrenaline kicked in and I was able to run it in without locking up in a cramp. Kids were sticking their hands out for high fives, so I decided to just high five the entire way down the chute.

2nd lap about 1:11:00. I thought it was so much worse than that. But I was done in under 6 hours and I was glad about that.
13.1 miles 2:09:54
Total race time 5:55:44

I’ll admit that for a while I was a bit disappointed about my finish time. I didn’t realize that I had actually hit all my goal times other than the final run loop. (If you take out the 6:30 for my flat.) I only missed my prediction by about 10 minutes. Over a 6 hour race? Yeah, I can’t complain about anything.

Genine had bought me a Timberman Bike Jersey at the Expo. I think that’s going to be my favorite bike jersey for quite awhile. Thanks!!!
Matt and Genine,

Good job at the Timberman! I feel like I'm ready for the Chicago Tri but I'm just a little unsure as to my taper. I never know if I'm doing it right or not. Matt, I wanted to ask you if you ride a tri specific bike and if so are you happy with it? I'm thinking about getting one and I just wanted to know if it makes that much of a difference. Thanks.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Trail Run to Benefit Hospice

I don't know if anyone is planning on coming to Warren over labor day but there is a trail run (proceeds to benefit Warren's Hospice Group)that looks quite interesting. I am compelled to run as it is in memory of "Cookie" Wiggers. I had the pleasure of working with her. She lost her battle against cancer on 9/6/08. She was a wonderful person.

Anyway - if anyone is looking for something to do on Sunday Sept 6...Warren has a trail run to offer.

Link to newspaper article:

Chicago Triathlon

Hey Chris, how are you feeling about your race this weekend?
Good Luck out there!

My race report is still in progress... I should be able to finish on the train ride home tonight.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Timberman Picutres

Here is the link to our photos.
In the next couple days we will post the photos of the Pros and other athletes.

We drive back to NJ today.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Timberman Half Iron Results

Timberman Half Iron Results Link

The short version from Matt. (this doesn't happen often...)
I was happy with the swim. I could have done better. Easiest swim I've done in terms of feel/effort.
Bike: 1:13 minutes in I got a flat. Took 6.5 minutes to change (yes, I hit my lap timer). My Bike Goal was 3 hours. with no flat I make it by about 6 seconds.
Run: 2nd lap was all about muscle cramps and I lose my chance at being closer to 5:30:00
Still very pleased with it overall. Now I know what it's all about.
827   583 70.3  Matthew Carlson 39 M  

1.2 mile Swim
409 Overall 33:27 27:53 mile pace

T1 2:48

56 mile bike
1177 3:06:36 18.0

T 2 3:00

13.1 mile run
756 2:09:54 9:55

5:55:44 147/262 M35-39 651/1246 M

1839 2400 70.3 Shawn Vashaw 40 M 1273

1.2 mile swim
40:45 33:58

T1 5:40

56 mile bike
1800 3:50:16 14.6

T2 6:38

He did finish. Results just aren't updated for some reason
47/48 CLYDES 1228/1246 M

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Genine's Timberman Results

Timberman 2009 Sprint Results
419 Overall  Bib#5637 SPRINT  Genine Carlson

500m Swim
347th Overall Swim 10:29 31:46 Mile Pace

T1 3:01

15 Mile Bike
372nd overall 51:01 17.6 mph

T2 1:46

5K Run
653rd Overall 26:39 8:53 min/mile pace

1:32:53 Final Time
27/111 F35-39
127/553 F

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Reviewing the rules

Drafting. Here is a graphical representation of this rule.

I'm reviewing this so I can avoid the Penalty Tent. Or at the very least be amazed at how many people should be penalized. Actually, a 4 minute break before going back to the final set of hills at Timberman might be kind of nice.

If you are in a rule violation, the official will call out your number. Notify you that you have received either a Red Card or a Yellow Card by showing you the corresponding colored card.
Instruct you to report to the next penalty tent on the course.
They will take your picture for verification that you were penalized. :-)

You report to the penalty tent tell them if you received a red (Drafting) or yellow card
register via the sign in sheet
Your race number will be marked with a Red Slash or a P.
If you are marked with a P resume the race immediately. Otherwise you remain in the tent for 4 minutes for the drafting penalty.

Failure to report to the next penalty tent will result in Disqualification.

Swim Lesson Leading into Timberman

I went into my lesson with some key questions this week.
1) As the distance gets longer, I feel that my form falls apart and I become very inefficient.
2) The tempo trainer / Swim metronome. I've been working with this for a couple weeks now and it's a very effective tool for me. I asked him to help me dial in my settings to maximize speed and efficiency.
3) I mention that with a pull buoy / wetsuit. I always feel I can be much more efficient. My cardio isn't taxed as much with a pull buoy or wetsuit. Should I up my cadence?

He must not have liked what he saw during my warmup. Because before we did any of this, he swam beside me and then had me adjust my catch position and the speed of my recovery stroke. This helped a bunch and I felt like I was swimming well within a few laps of this adjustment.

1) He has me swim 500yd and he's timing my splits. I'm working very hard to hold the slower cadence I had been finding so comfortable lately. When I finish he tells me the following.
I need to establish my breathing rhythm immediately. Once I start losing my breath, that's when I start to lift my head differently and pull differently as well in order to lift my head.
As a result of that other nonsense, my stroke count increases as does my cadence.
None of this is surprising to me but it's good to hear what the source of the problem is. I'm not sure I would have put that together. Always best to fix the source of a problem right?

2) Time to break out the metronome. He had timed my cadence during my 500 and gave me the beeper. I look at the setting and tell him that it's considerably quicker than the pace I've found on my own. He's surprised by this, seeing how my 500 time was fairly good and he figured it might be my natural rhythm. So....
200yd swimming the cadence from the 500, followed by 200 using "my" slower setting.
I was slower using my setting but only one second slower. So obviously using the lower cadence is more efficient.

3) Now with the pull buoy. Same result, only less taxing on my cardio. So he had me mix it up breaking away from the metronome pace for a 25 sprint, then fall back onto the metronome. From this we find that I need to catch much more water on my sprints and a 20 stroke sprint would be a decent count to start with when trying to break away from a pack.

Next he checks out my sighting technique and then has me close my eyes and try to swim a length. I knew what the result of this would be. I go to the left. He was amused by the fact I was pefectly straight for about 6 strokes. Then within 3 strokes of that I was into the lane line. So his suggestion here was not to learn how to swim straight in less than a week. It was to visulize the bouy being off to the right of where it really is. Good plan. I hope I remember to do this on Sunday.

So it was a solid lesson. Only one thing remains. He believes that the metronome is legal for triathlon. I'd like to know for sure before being Disqualified at Timberman. So I contacted the USAT head official. Here was his response.
"It is legal only if it is not worn under your swimcap or on your head."

Well that presents a challenge which I hope to find a solution to later today at the lake. Obviously if I can't use it, it's not the end of the world. Just checking out my options.

More later!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

New Pics from Tango

To all interested parties, the Tango website ( has a link to pic sets from the 2009 race. We are seen throughout. They included the pics of Bart and Vash at the finish line (Thanks Kathie).

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Sprint Splash Spin

Sprint, Splash & Spin, Morgantown, WV August 29, 2009.

Not sure I want to post this based on the overwhelming lack of training I'm getting in, but I have been hard on Shawn and feel I can take if I don't do well. Of course everyone, including me are so supportive after it is over.


Yesterday I went to the chiropractor. I really wish I would have done that a couple weeks ago. I walked out of there feeling like I was walking straight. I didn't think I was that far out when I went in. So I guess that was the bonus for the week and I'm glad that I do this leading into a race.

Last night I started my 2nd week of the pull up challenge. I guess it's not surprising that after 2 days off, they seemed much easier. I'm still doubtful that 20 is possible in 6 weeks, but that's not the goal anyhow.
After the pull ups we went to the pool and got some good work done in less than an hour. It's so hot out, really swimming was the best thing I could have done. It was quite refreshing. I think the longest set I did was 600m. It felt great. (I didn't look at the time).
I'm looking to stay out of the crowd at Timberman during the swim. The DC race was like bumper cars for me and I felt like I was working harder than I should have been. I don't practice my sighting enough (at all). I'll have to remember to do a bit once we get to NH.

I went for a 4 mile run this morning. I think it was 67 degrees but the humidity was still high. This could be race day temperture and humidity. I was soaked by the end of the run. It was a good run. My legs weren't complaining and I could turn it up without any trouble.
I got home, did some stretching then took a long shower trying to get the core temp down. A good way to start the day.
I will end the day with a swim lesson. I've got a few things lined up that I'm hoping he might have answers for. If he does, it would be another bonus leading into the race. More on that once it happens.

We drive to NH tomorrow. Wahoo!
Hope everyone is doing well!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Race List

I need to update our event list on the sidebar.
Post up your planned races. I'll get the countdowns going!

Exercise as a means of Weight Control?

Jim wrote a great response in the Warren Times Observing regarding the issue of whether exercise is an effective means for weight control. I am posting it here for anyone who might be interested in reading his letter (hope you don't mind Jim). Well written Jim. I am sure many of us here can attest to its value (weight loss aside) it brings people together, builds self esteem...the list goes on.


Dear editor:

Recently, an article in Time magazine has raised an important health question: Is exercise really an effective means for weight loss?

As a member and certified professional of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and a health and exercise professional, I can affirm that the answer is a resounding yes! A vast amount of research has definitively proven that exercise, when combined with a healthy diet, results in both weight loss and maintenance of a healthy weight. ACSM just released an updated, evidence-based scientific position stand in early 2009 that proves these exact points.

Further, there is little evidence to the claim that exercising produces hunger so uncontrollable that it leads to weight gain. In fact, a recent study from the University of Pittsburgh proved just the opposite: overweight and obese women didn't eat any more food after 40 minutes of exercise than they normally would when sedentary.

Exercise does require effort, and it does require self-control. But when these are combined to form a healthy lifestyle, the rewards are beyond substantial. Economically, expenditures are reduced (the recent Weight of the Nation conference reported that obesity accounts for some $147 billion in health care costs per year); and people lead more enjoyable, more energetic and happier lives.

Even for the non-overweight, exercise provides benefits that no single pill or prescription ever could. It treats and prevents numerous chronic conditions, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, type II diabetes, and even depression.

Exercise is a health tool we all need, regardless of our weight, and it is my sincere hope that the public takes its importance seriously. Further, advice about weight loss should come courtesy of a qualified health or fitness professional, instead of irresponsible articles that may not showcase the full realm of scientific facts surrounding the issue.


Jim Roberts, Ph.D., HFS-ACSM


Member/Certified professional, American College of Sports Medicine

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Good Luck

This your newest member, Chris Johnson.  I just wanted to thank you for the invite, and wish everyone who is doing the Timberman good luck.  I'll be looking forward to seeing the resutls.  

Sunday's Ride

I had better have better bike legs next Sunday. We biked the Round Valley course, 17 miles. I was not awesome. If there was a hill, I crawled up it. We finished it but it sure wasn't an inspired ride for me. Genine rocked it tho'. She should have a good race on Saturday. Hope it's a good day for taking pictures.

Word from the Lone Sprinter

I am pleased to say that my swim wave starts after all of the men (minus relays), but I will not be going last. Should make for a fun race...getting to pass all the slow guys! I know that the younger, faster women will make their way by me in the swim, but that will make for good incentive on the bike for me..."catch those fast girls"! On the run, I'm just aiming to come in on my goal pace of 8:45min miles. I really don't know if I have set an unattainable goal for myself here, but I figure I don't know what I can do until I try, right? Oh! The best part??? I will be wearing a PURPLE swim cap! Whew!

Timberman Prep

Just wanted to mention that you should have clothing to deal with temperatures ranging from the 50's to the 90's. Currently it looks like we will be getting wet as well.
I always try to have my running shoes covered in transition if it's raining. It's nice to have dry shoes, even if it's only for the first minute.

Nothing New on Race Day

I spent some time on Saturday cleaning our bikes. It takes much longer than you think it should once you start looking at how many tiny places you can't reach easily. Anyhow, my front derailleur cable is frayed. How frayed? That IS the question. I have a feeling once I get to NH I'll be stopping by the bike shop up there and having them replace it. That will give me a few days of riding and adjusting if it's necessary before race day.
Of course as I'm cleaning the chain, I'm realizing that it is very likely due for replacement as well. There are some spots that are rusty. I need to do a better job at cleaning/lubing the chain immediately after we drive through rainstorms with them on top of the car.
This replacement I'm very hesitant to do before race day. I see a chain gauge purchase in my future. Any thoughts/suggestions here are welcome.
I apologize for the lack of photos. Leading up to the mooseman, I needed a mental boost. Work had been crazy busy and I was fighting sinus infections and such. So we did the Photo Journal to have some fun. Fortunately, this time around I'm feeling good. Better than good actually! So we've been a bit lazy with the pictures. Race day pictures will be here soon enough!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Don't be prissy

I just thought I should put this up here to remind everyone that I am ahead of the curve.

Or behind the curve in this case. A nice, round, secure curve.

It's hip to be round.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Tough Reviews for the Spirit of Morgantown

I was kind of bummin that we didn't make the trip to WV this year to race with Craig at his hometown race. So I was looking to see when the race is scheduled for 2010 and came across this link of reviews.
I haven't looked at other races to see if it's typical that the reviews are always complaints but I was wondering if Craig had heard anything from friends that may have raced.

Newbies Plans to be a "Completer"

I've watched while many of my friends have taken on the challenge of triathlons. I've watched in the wings wishing it could be me. Well - now I am officially throwing my hat into the ring. I am going to go on record to state that my first official Triathlon competition will take place at the Brookville Tri in July 2010. Let the training begin.......

Given that I am the newbie-ya'll better be prepared for lots of questions.

I am also planning the following:

#1 Foot Race Series-Diane Kelly 5k, Cinco de Mayo 5 mile, Half Marathon (maybe---we'll see)
#2 Swim for the Mooseman (maybe join up with one of the current relays)(Trying to overcome my fear of open water swimming. What better way than to do it in a lake with depths that are still yet to be recorded...yeah--it's that deep! But hey--it's REALLY clean)
#3 Tango--I'm hooked. I would love to do the swim assuming I can deliver a great time. I don't want to ruin KB2's winning formula. Mooseman will help me determine whether this is at all feasible.

Until tri-training begins (found a 10 week plan for newbies that I think I'll use) I am going to focus on overall fitness (running, swimming, know). I am hoping to enroll in Thad's class(bootcamp). It may kick my butt initially but isn't that the goal? I need to build functional strength and that's the focus of the class.

All this while trying to keep two teenage boys on task. Balance will be the key to making and keeping this enjoyable.

So now it's official. Let Michelle's training begin. Encouraging words always welcome!!!

foot problems?

So, a year later I'm still in training for a 5k . I can hear you triathletes and Iron people scoffing but that's OK. I'm right at the point where I stopped training last year due to the freakishly quick passage of time. As the race caught up with me, I ended up walking 65% of the distance. I still have 30+ days to the race, with 14 workouts left on the Couch to 5k plan (interval training works!) so I should be able to get there. I have my fingers and toes crossed plus the additional pressure of the donations gets me to the track.

ANYWAY, my right foot falls asleep at around 30 minutes of the workout, every single time. I've tried new shoes (love my new BROOKS GLYCERIN- they feel like a cloud) new socks, new ways of tying up the laces to no avail. I tied them so loose today that my right shoe almost came off.

Luckily I had the track all to myself (it was drizzling. There were a few seagulls) so if I did fall I would not cause injury to anyone other than myself nor would I provide some slight entertainment that is badly needed at the track, at any time, all year around, if you ask me.

So I think I'll have to see somebody to check this mystery. However, in my search for answers I found this post. Lots of good stuff and advice from a podiatrist that some of you might find if your feet are barking you may want to check it out.

I gotta say I'm enjoying very much reading about all your races. You guys amaze me! Keep it up!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

slow speed crash

Don't let me sign up for a bike race where drafting is legal. Near the end of our ride tonight, we had to stop quickly and I didn't realize we were stopping. I didn't get my feet out and over I go. I thought I landed it pretty well but my knee has a bit of a gash. It just took it's time getting around to bleeding.
So I shaved my knee and it's bandaged. Kind of annoying but whatever, it could have been worse had I decided to go into the ditch. (It could have been better if my brain would tell my feet to clip out, without it being my idea).

The rest of the ride was pretty good. Overall I like where I am in terms of being ready for the Timberman bike. Of course I would have liked to actually bike 56 miles or more, more than once before this race but that really isn't concerning me at all.

In response to Shawn's request for what's next: Of course there is our NJ TriFest, Buckman and Skylands in the same week.
In terms of training, I've already started to look to the "off season". I have a bunch of off season goals. The first of which is to become "bulletproof" like Shawn and Jerry. Here are the plans.

20 pull ups
100 push ups
200 sit ups

I'd like to think I'll have the 20 pull ups in the bag by the end of the year and will be doubling the chart to work towards 40.
That's the preview, more to follow. Who's with me?!?!

Is this the end?

So what?..Is this the end of the road for everyone except Matt and I?

I admit, I might take a breather after the Timberman, but now we have all these new recruits who need to get in shape? Where are the burning questions? Where are the training updates? I want to see some chatter on this blog!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Sorry guys. Posting this here so I remember to map this later on.

For all of you who’ve done the race in the past, and have been biking the course this summer, there’s a small change to the bike course. On the outbound portion of the course, the turnaround on South Village Road has been changed. You’ll be turning left at the 129/South Village Road/North Village Road intersection now, about ¾ of a mile before the original turnaround. It’s a safer intersection to turn at now, with traffic lights and a turn lane for you.
The other change is on the return leg, about 1 mile past Jordan’s Ice Creamery. You’ll turn right on Brown Hill off of 106, then left on Farraville Road off of Brown Hill, and then a right from Farraville back onto 106.

We’re doing this to bypass some rough pavement on 106 between Brown Hill and Farraville Road. Both Brown Hill and Farraville Road are beautifully paved, with virtually no traffic. Nice and smooth. While most of 106 has been repaved and is in fantastic shape, this one mile section of 106 is beat up, and has only a narrow shoulder to bike in.

Monday PM/ Tuesday AM

Monday night. 7:30 and it’s still 90 degrees, I’d better run. If it’s going to be like this on race day, I’d better have an idea of how I’m going to respond. My run in the heat last week wasn’t good. So I find my HR monitor and head out the door for a 6-10 mile run. The first 5K goes by fairly easily, as it’s slightly downhill much of the time. I get there in 25 minutes. This is also the point at which I realize that because I didn’t bring anything to drink with me, we are looking at a 10K and no further.
So the way back is slightly uphill most of the time. This is where the HR monitor is going to come into play. I want to make sure that I stay in the low 170s (my HR max is 200). This required me to hold back often, I kept catching myself getting my arms into it and pushing the pace. Then halfway back, I nearly wiped out. On the way out I noticed there was a small “tumbleweed” of thin wire near the sidewalk. On the way back it was dusk and I was really searching for it so I didn’t get caught up in it. Well I found it the hard way. Fortunately not with both feet, otherwise I would have been down. (very exciting, I know). I finish the 2nd 5K in 26 minutes. I’m drenched. Quads feel like they are 200 degrees. Chug some Gatorade, then decide to hit the shower to get myself cooled off. An ice bath sounds like an awesome idea at the moment.

Monday morning. Jim told me a year or so ago that doing this exercise stuff requires quite a bit of injury management. I feel like I’ve done my best to prove him right. My right knee no longer seems to have a problem with me going running. Which is fantastic. Sadly now my left foot seems to have some plantar fasciitis or similar tendonitis. By some, I mean that the morning after I run when I first try to walk, there is a spot near my heel that is so in disagreement with this that I gasp in pain. I massage it for 2 or 3 minutes and it’s pretty much good to go.
I think that I need to consider putting in one of those Sole supports into my running shoe. The other idea is to change to a different running shoe. I suppose most people would suggest I give my feet a break. That’s a possibility too, but not yet.

Off to the pool. I’ve got a lesson tonight so I don’t want to go too crazy with my workout. So I warm up, then go right to the metronome. I had a tough time getting in sync with it today. 50m wasn’t a problem but after that it kept feeling fast (which it isn’t). Well actually I don’t know what pace I’m swimming while trying to keep up with the metronome. So I start doing 100’s and I’m finishing them on 1:40-1:45. OK actually this is 5-10 seconds faster than my normal relaxed swim. The difference here is that sometimes I’m incredibly relaxed at this pace because it feels slow. I’m willing to bet I’m 2 stroke counts lower per 25 using the metronome but I’m not able to concentrate on that right now. Because other times I’m feeling out of sync and then I don’t breathe properly and it all goes downhill from there.
Let’s try 200’s. These I finish in 3:30. Very cool. I realize that my feet are in a much better position to kick so I decided I’d better do some kick work.
100m with the zoomers and off with the zoomers. Left hip flexor was not thrilled with this idea. So I switched to 100m kick on my back, no fins. 25’s in 60 seconds haha! Nothing new here of course other than the fact I actually bothered to look at the clock. Good chance I’ll mention my horrible kick at my lesson tonight. I just have to remember. I see many kick drills in my future, but that will be after Timberman.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Go Go Go Go!

Saturday morning started out by meeting Todd at 6AM at the Y. We ran for an about an hour running our short hill loop 3 times. It was really nice to be out running with him. We were laughing at the fact all winter long we were looking forward to running in warmer weather in the daylight at 6AM. Instead we’ve been off schedule since April and now it’s starting to get dark again! Ah well, life happens. I think we are both looking forward to getting back on track. I know I am. I know when I run alone I think way too much about how I’m feeling and it always seems to lean towards the negative side. When I run with someone else I typically don’t think that way.

Then I go home relax for a while. Take a nap. Get ready to bike.
I should have been mapping out what our ride was going to be. Maybe then I would have been a little smarter about how I biked. I went out figuring that we’d cover 40-50 miles, if Genine’s hip was going to cooperate with her. It was a great day for biking. Low humidity and not too hot. I was feeling good and what ended up happening was this. I think I was pushing close to my Olympic Distance pace doing 8-15 minute intervals the entire way. Once we hit the 30 mile mark I was feeling like I had lost power. Our route only got us 36 miles in but that was enough. It was a good workout and served as a good reminder that I can’t start the Timberman hills attacking. If I do, it’s going to be a long miserable race once I bonk.
Oh, the other mistake I made was my hydration. My stomach was feeling sloshy on the bike. I think it was because I was drinking when I was stopped rather than while rolling along. A case of too much too fast.

Since we finished at the pool. We went in to swim for an hour. It was time to to try out the metronome. I started out doing a bunch of short stuff and the metronome was set at 1:15. That is slow, the idea here is similar to a stroke count drill. By following the slow click, it’s going to force me to finish my stroke and get much more glide time than I typically allow myself. The tempo was almost too slow unless I had hand paddles on. Which I didn’t want to do, I’d already done that workout this week. So I sped the timer up to 1:10 and that seemed to work out well.
I was fairly tired out so I wasn’t very concerned about my times. I was just looking to work on technique. Eventually I gave Genine the metronome and I just worked on holding my own slow cadence. It went well. I finished with a 500 and I actually felt much better at the end of the hour than at the beginning.

After that we were hungry! We decided to make Grilled chicken Salads, with a side of steak and a side of baked ziti. Sam Adams made an appearance as well. It was quite a dinner :-)

I had hoped to run Sunday morning before meeting up with Tiffany and Jimmy but it was raining and I didn’t have everything ready for our whitewater rafting trip. So that didn’t happen. The whitewater rafting trip was a really good time. The 4 of us had our own boat which made it fun. We could be as crazy as we wanted to be. At times it was hilarious. Genine and Tiffany got laughing so hard at times they were basically paralyzed lying in the bottom of the raft. I could see this trip becoming an annual event. It may take awhile before there are pictures. I'm hopeful there will be some good ones.
We got home at midnight.
Waking up for a morning run Monday didn’t happen.
Skipping Monday night masters swimming is likely as well. We need to get some sleep!

Kinzua Country Tango Bike Course

I have yet to ride this course. I have a feeling it could happen in the next couple years. So I'm curious. What is the ideal bike for the course?
Mountain Hardtail
Mountain full suspension

I question the cyclocross tires being wide enough to really feel like you can be aggressive on the downhills. I'm not sure how muddy the course gets. It seemed like we had a lot of rain this year and yet Genine's bike came in much cleaner this year compared to last.
I guess I should have been paying attention to the bikes as they rolled in. It's hard to know who the top finishers are tho' seeing how it's a staggered start.

I have a ton of ideas as to why I'd like to get one bike over another but I'd like to hear what you all have to say about it first.

Friday, August 7, 2009

More Swimming Instruction

The time off in Warren was great. We did a ton of visiting but not much training. My only workouts were the Tango Swim and an 18 mile bike which included the climb up Hatch Run.
Tuesday night I had my swim lesson. The girl being coached right before me looks to be about Fiona’s age. I could tell she was very good. It turns out she’s ranked 2nd in the nation in her age group for the 1500m. Her time being 18:xx /1500m.
We discussed my Tango swim briefly before getting started. I tell him that I bought the smaller hand paddles and the Tempo Trainer Metronome.
The metronome has 2 settings. The first is a beep for each stroke. The second is three beeps each time you should be hitting the wall if you are holding your interval.
I explain how I have a tendency to have a high “cadence” when I swim. I really have to focus to slow it down. So he hops into the pool and takes a look at what it is that I’m doing.
First off I’m not finishing the stroke and my finish isn’t even propulsive. At the end of my stroke, I’m pushing water up towards the top of the pool. I need to adjust my hand position so I’m directing water behind me at all times. This will reduce fatigue as well because I should be just lifting my hand out of the water on recovery rather than breaking through the surface.
This will increase my distance per stroke. It will also take me longer to complete each stroke so my “cadence” should drop a bit. Old habits die hard though. So I ask to try and find the right tempo using the metronome. I think he’s afraid that working on this will slow me down and he knows I have races yet to do. So after a bit of discussion he decides that we will do “big chain ring” work and we find a good tempo for me to try out this week.
Next we discuss how often I’m swimming and what my typical swim workouts are. He tells me that my most obvious deficiency is the long swim. To start he suggests that once a week I swim 100 laps non-stop with hand paddles. This will serve multiple purposes.
1) I’ll become confident with the distance.
2) The hand paddles will be a good strength builder
3) Using the metronome, I should improve my groove. If I’m not strong enough to hold a pace the entire 100 this will show it. I will learn my pace.

Following the 100 laps, he suggested 20x25 as speed work. The goal is to try and have the same long stroke that you had with the distance swim. Also I think he wants to make sure I keep working at higher cadences.

Then I mention to him that I often feel I’m trying to control my rotation using my arms rather than with my kick. To verify this he has me do one arm drills. First, swimming with one arm out ahead of me, breathing towards the stroking arm. Second, swimming with one arm against my side, breathing towards the non-stroking arm. They didn’t go so well but I’m sure he could see that I’m not always in sync with my kick. We were getting towards the end of the session so we didn’t really dig into this issue. I’m guessing we will be back to this next week.

Somewhere along the way, we also discussed my open turns at the wall, weight training and breast stroke.
Open turns: Prefers it for triathletes, at least at my level.
Weight Training: Lats, Triceps, Lats, Rotator Cuff, Lats. Seated Row, Lats, Dips, Lats…
Breast Stroke: To get more power from my arms, I need to get wider up front. Then I need to learn how to kick/glide.
Honestly, I think trying to work on something other than freestyle is just going to confuse things. Once I feel like I can swim freestyle without having to think about making changes or adjustments, then I’ll be more interested in adding other stuff.

I ran a slow 10K on Wednesday night.
Swam the 100 laps with paddles Thursday Morning.
Biked 15 miles with the "mountain road" climb in the middle Thursday night.

I'm looking forward to the weekend. Saturday will be a big training day. Sunday will be spent whitewater rafting for 5 hours. Wahoo!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Maybe next year.

ATHLETES: Allegheny Outfitters would like to sponsor local athletes who plan to compete in the Kinzua Country Tango adventure race Aug. 1, 2009 ( Sponsorship will include free canoe/kayak rental for the race, entry fees, t-shirt and a strong cheering section. Will consider solo racers and people who are teaming up to tackle the grueling race. We're a family-run company that believes in working hard and being creative; being good stewards of the environment and giving back. (We also think crazy physical challenges are fun). Interested in joining our team? Tell us why in a short email to

Shawn's Tango 2009 Race Report

Quarter-Ton Tango 2009 Kinzua Country Tango Race Report (Shawn’s Perspective)

This is going to be even longer than Matt's. Sorry, I must have the details for future reference.

I arrived at the scene on Friday night. I met my brother at the Y where we attended the pre-race meeting, then went for a big dinner at Pizza Hut with the Defenestration Administration, the team containing Bart’s kids and their friends. My dad, Greg and Jane, support team members for us and the D.A. joined us as well. Upon completing that wonderful meal, it was decided that Bart and I should test our canoe, since we had not canoed together in years, and had never been together in this particular canoe, which was a really nice (and not very wide) Kevlar Wenonah. It was getting dark.

We headed down to the old airport and dropped the canoe in the water. It worked great. Greg and Jane thought they should probably try it too since they were going to be called upon to be our safety canoe on the swim leg. They cruised around on the river for a bit in darkness, wearing headlamps. Okay, we were all satisfied that we could operate the watercraft. As it turned out, practicing in the dark may have been one our best ideas.

We got back to basecamp, known as the Cerra’s house, at about 10:30PM, already past my hoped-for beddy-bye time. We then had to arrange logistics for all of the transitions. When you are a Tango Complete team, you don’t have any relay members to help out, so everything needs to be figured out. We had to do this for two different teams, so we worked out the Defenestration Administration first so they could get some sleep. After that, Greg and I went over all my personal needs for the race. Greg had an extensive and detailed list by the end, which was nearly midnight. I then had to create the bags I told him he would have available after he went to bed, taking me about until 2AM. There are a lot of bags! Every transition has new and different requirements. When you are burning through calories and sweating like we do, you better have everything in order. I then went to bed in the attic on a wood floor and slept for three hours.

I got up and headed for the race. My pre-race nutrition was working surprisingly well already. I was awake. That alone is saying something after a night like that. I started with a sugar-free Red Bull to try to cover the caffeine deficit without the volume. I then downed a few Clif Shot Bloks with caffeine too. Okay, feeling relatively normal.

We tried to line up in the back of the pack, but people kept trying to get behind us. We assured them that they would not be slower than us, but they didn’t believe it. The race began and they all promptly worked their way around us as predicted, and within 50 yards we were in last place. As we progressed, there were two people ahead of us moving at a pace that was not much faster than us, but just a little. We dubbed them Green Girl and Blue Guy. We have incredibly inventive naming conventions. Kathy, the safety biker who brings up the rear was right behind us. She was essentially the sag wagon, but that name doesn’t do justice to someone as beautiful as Kathy. At about mile three, after we asked her numerous questions, she decided she was going to be riding with us for a few hours so she might as well talk to us. That helped pass the time for the next 9 miles. We kept our pace pretty steady at around 12-minute miles. We figured if we could maintain that, we would have room to walk up a few hills and still make the cut-off time of 10AM. Crossing the dam in the morning fog was delightful. That’s not something you get to see often.

We kept cruising along, and amazingly at about mile 12 we passed two people! Yes, they were in the race. One was Blue Guy, but we never caught Green Girl. She stuck it out, finishing a few minutes ahead of us. We glanced at their legs and found that the two people we passed were relay team members. Somehow these relay teams picked people slower than two middle-aged (!) 250 pound men to run this leg of the race for them. We stayed ahead of those two all the way to the end, meaning there was one mile of the race in which we were not in last place. One out of 52 ain’t bad!

Both of those relay teams immediately left transition, whereas we didn’t do that. Greg had my bike ready exactly as we had discussed, but we needed to consume some calories and change shoes. After a few minutes, we took off on the bikes. Thus began the most fateful leg of our journey.

It began on the climb up Longhouse Scenic Drive, when Bart tried to shift into his small front ring, and it wouldn’t go. We had to stop, flip his bike over, and manually put it on there. We then continued to the top of the hill at a slow but steady pace and upon reaching the plateau, Bart attempted to shift his rear gear into a smaller ring, and the entire rear derailleur exploded. We came to a stop. I thought we might be able to bend it back into place and maybe have a fixed gear bike, but it was totally destroyed. One of the guide rings had shattered, the hanging arm had broken in half, and the chain had split. There would be no more pedaling this bike today. Okay, it’s mile three. What are we going to do? We can walk up hills and coast down them. How long will that take to go 17 miles? If we average 5 miles an hour, we might make it in a little over three hours. Keep in mind that we both have SPD clip shoes on though, so walking is not the most comfortable thing to do, especially on gravel. After a few minutes, I propose we string together our spare inner tubes and I can tow him. He agrees to give it a shot. Everyone should try this sometime. It is quite a challenge for both people to steer with the strange forces of the big rubber band pulling both of you in different directions. At one point, going up a steeper hill, the tubes were stretching out pretty far and just as I was gasping for air trying to lug 600 pounds of manflesh and bike-metal up the mountain, Bart couldn’t hang on anymore and the tube slipped out of his fingers, snapping me smartly in the back and immediately spinning his handlebars around, causing him to crash. It was a low speed topple though, so he got back up and we walked to the top of the hill. After maybe 10 miles of that sort of thing, we were coasting down the big treacherous gravel decline on the way to Elijah Run, when I heard behind me another crashing noise. No sounds from the rider at any time. I turned around and saw a mangled bike lying in the road, but no brother. What the heck? That must have been one big pothole! How does a 250 pound man disappear from a road? I rode back to the bike and looked over the embankment and there he was, lying about 15 feet down against a tree. This embankment was nearly vertical, so I couldn’t safely go there, but I saw that he was moving, and asked if he was okay. He would determine that shortly, he said. He then tried to claw his way back up, and I saw that he was bleeding pretty heavily from his thigh, and had lots of scratches, abrasions and grass and dirt stains all over his shirt. We picked up his bike and my assessment was that it was now toast. The handlebars were severely twisted. The front tire was flat. The rim was bent. It would barely coast now, even if we could steer it.

Two race vehicles came upon us within minutes of the crash and asked us if we were okay. We suggested that we could use another bike if they could tell our support team. Bart decided we could try to get to transition and decide what to do then. I rode the crooked bike like a velociped with a lot of rolling friction, challenging body position, and difficult flat-tire steering, while Bart rode my bike so he could try to recover from the fall. After perhaps another hour, maybe 4 miles from the end, our support team arrived with another bike. This was great news. The only catch was that this bike had egg-beater pedals, which my shoes did not fit in very well and wanted to slip out constantly. I eventually found a way to wedge my cleats into the beaters in such a way that I could pedal somewhat efficiently, but not too powerfully. Bart followed on my bike. We made it to T2 with, I think, two minutes to spare before that cut-off. The officials said we were good to go if we wanted to continue. Jane did some medical work on Bart while I stood in the shade eating potato chips and drinking some G2. I told Bart that continuing was completely up to him. I would not be upset, nor would I pressure him. He decided that swimming might feel good. Lying down in the cool water, taking the pressure off his legs might be nice. I put on my wetsuit.

We all headed down to the boat launch, Greg and Jane got in the canoe while Bart and I readied our flippers and goggles. We both plunged into the water, and started swimming out into the lake. The first thing we noticed was the multitude of boats speeding around in the water. Mike Shine, the water safety guy, had apparently left the race. We were on our own, with our little canoe our only protection. As it turned out, Bart was not feeling as well as he thought, which we discovered after we were well out into the water. He was finding it hard to catch his breath, and couldn’t get into any kind of groove while swimming. Too many different parts were hurting and he was physically exhausted. I tried pushing him at one point, but we couldn’t get the steering thing to work without more practice. If we had brought the innertubes, I might have been better able to pull him, but we hadn’t brought those. On the good side of the coin, Greg and Jane were remarkably unruffled by the constant and significant waves, and tried to usher us along as well as they could. They seemed completely at ease out there, never once looking like they might tip. At one point, they gave us some Gatorade, (being careful not to let anyone touch the canoe!) which seemed to revive my brother a bit, and we struggled along, once again pushing the cut-off time.

Amazingly, we arrived at transition again with only minutes to spare before this cut-off. So far, a nearly perfect score! Every cut-off was moments away! The ladies here indicated there were still two teams that had not yet returned from orienteering. Woohoo! We might be able to catch someone!

The orienteering went off without incident. We took our time, walking the whole thing, and got a few helpful hints since we were last and all the race officials wanted us to finish so they could go home, but no one did anything too helpful. We found all the points in the loneliest orienteering I have ever done, and ambled back to the transition zone. Finally, we were an hour ahead of the cut-off time.

The second run became a 4.5 mile walk. Bart wasn’t up for running. My shoes had gotten wet during orienteering, and that didn’t make them all that comfortable, so I was okay with walking. Plus there is no point in me running if my partner isn’t. After a little while, Bart did start walking at a fast pace that I was not comfortable keeping, so I alternated between walking and running to stay even with him. We discussed how we really needed to knock out a good canoe split because we had nothing else to show for the day except his scars and some stories. I was up for it and still feeling pretty strong.

We hit the transition, took off our shoes, and ran down the hill. We threw the canoe in the water and just started paddling. This was it. The sun was setting as we took off. I was not excited about hitting the rapids in total darkness, so I was hammering as hard as I could. I did not remove my life vest for the entire leg. It was borrowed from some smaller people (not surprising) and chafed my armpits the whole way, but I was not interested in drowning this night. Swimming in a churning river with somewhat higher water flow than usual, and in the dark, is not a good idea, so I wasn’t taking any chances. Remember, I swamped our canoe in the rapids last year. We encountered cheering crowds at several places along the river (I think they were the same crowds. Thanks Crowds!), and then saw Greg and Amy at the Glade Bridge remarking that they barely made it in time to see our glow sticks floating by. They said we were going pretty fast to which we replied “This is the only leg of this race we can actually DO.” By the time we hit Flare Island, it was dang dark. For once I was happy for all the light pollution created by the refinery, and we made it through the rapids unscathed. Shortly after that, we hit a wall of water moving perpendicular to the flow of the river. I saw it about one second before we hit it and yelled “the water is moving sideways!” then the canoe lurched to the right as if a giant hand had yanked the front end toward the shore. I thought we nearly capsized, but we didn’t take on any water, so it mustn’t have been as bad as it felt. We pulled through that, and kept on paddling. Whew. Soon, we saw the hulking shape of the railroad trestle against the deep, dark blue night sky and gunned it for the Point. A light shone under a tree, and we slid into the (rather unofficial-looking at this point) finish. We didn’t know it then, but we had scraped out a first-place canoe split against all the complete Tango teams, and done a respectable job against most of the relays too.

It was nice to end on a satisfying note like that. All of our friends were there at the finish, the guys’ team, KB2, the doggies, Amy, Fiona, Greg, Jane, my Dad, even Kathy the safety biker was there! Thanks for all the support everyone!

It was a great race and a fun day. I was surprised to discover that I was in remarkably good condition after 14 and a half hours. Heck, I was surprised I made it through the half marathon running nearly the entire thing. The rest was icing. Time to start thinking about next year!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Matt's Race Report (long as always)

Kinzua Country Tango 2009 Race Report

Once again I am surprised at how closely the guys team matches up with the women’s team KB2. It makes for a very fun competitive day.

13.1 mile run. We are figuring Chris will finish in 1:35:00 to 1:45:00. Cindy running for KB2 told her team before that they shouldn’t expect her to be super speedy. I think she finished about 90 seconds behind Chris. I knew right then we had a race.
Chris 1:40:00
Cindy: 1:41:00

20 mile mountain bike. Craig started with a 90 second lead on Genine. While we were standing at the bike finish. Jim and Chris were asking me what I’d expect to happen here. I told them I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Genine showed up first. This isn’t a knock on Craig, this is because I know how many miles Genine has put in this summer. I also know that Genine usually gets stronger on the bike after about 40 minutes. It’s as if the first 40 are just a warm up. Then there is Genine’s race intensity. She matches up with Craig perfectly. I’ve watched both of them finish races where they have left it all out there, it’s impressive.
So sure enough, Genine rolls into the parking lot first. Maija turns to me and says “In your face!” Ha Ha!! Oh man, come on Craig where are you!! There he is less than a minute behind her. Time for me to try and catch Maija.
Craig: 1:28:00
Genine: 1:27:00

2.5 mile swim: I get down to the docks with all my gear. I’m looking at about 20 kayakers floating around in the water. I spot Craig’s mom and Jerry hands her my Gatorade and Gel. Here we go. I don’t even look to see how far ahead Maija is already. I’ve just got to swim my pace. Of course I’m not even sure what my pace is. I had just told my teammates to expect me to arrive in about 1:15:00 but added that with the addition of fins and hand paddles I really don’t know. Last year was 1:40:00 but I had run the 13.1 already. My 1:15:00 is largely based on Maija’s prediction of 1:10:00 for herself. I’m just hoping to stay close.
Early in the swim, I was swimming like a triathlete. I wasn’t kicking very much. I was just pulling myself along with my upper body. The nice thing is I had just bought hand paddles last week and they are grabbing a ton more water. The question is, will my shoulders allow me to swim the entire way with them?
Not too far along into the swim I pull my head up and Mrs Cerra tells me that I’m getting close to catching Maija. That is encouraging! I think this was the moment when I started kicking with a purpose. I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to continue kicking for a long time. It really didn’t tax my cardio as much as I thought it might and the fact that my legs didn’t cramp up right away was also an added bonus. (Note to self, train with fins and hand paddles more than once before the Tango).
After that one bit of communication, I just stayed on task. She would wave me in when I’d start to drift off line but I didn’t break for anything. When I’m in a pool swimming, I complain of having to deal with turning and getting back into a rhythm. Similarly, during triathlons I often find myself fighting through a crowd which also throws me off. I had to swim around one other canoe that was in my line. Other than that I just stayed in the groove.
My left calf finally cramped up on me just before I made the “turn” to the beach. So I dropped the kick…. Oh man, now I feel really slow. This is my only event today. Suck it up and get going!
I couldn’t remember how far the beach was once you make that turn where you could finally see the destination. It was closer than I remembered. I was feeling great so I turned it up. There was someone ahead of me and I wanted to pass them before the finish. I think I did but I’m not sure. I started to think about how I was going to manage to get my fins off and then run up to transition. My right calf was really unhappy with me.
I get through the buoys. Try to get my fins off while standing in waist deep water. Balancing was a problem. I need to remember just to swim to where I can just be sitting down to do this next year.
I “run” up the beach. I hear my dad cheering for me. Then I hear Genine, Michelle and Craig. He is psyched. Jim and Chris are in the transition box also cheering me on. I make the tag and they are off. I’m sucking wind from the run up the beach. Craig is telling me I finished in just over an hour and he had to go chase down Jim and Chris because they weren’t expecting me for another 15 minutes.
That right there is a big reason why race days are so much fun. The focus and motivation of race day is tough to match when training. Then the surprise of doing better than you had expected is the added bonus.
Maija finished about 5 minutes behind me. I think she was surprised that I was already there. I am surprised that she’s only 5 minutes behind me and she didn’t use fins or hand paddles. Also she beat her predicted time by one minute. 1:09:00.
Within a minute Genine and Maija were off on the orienteering. We still had a good race going on. KB2 beat us in orienteering last year!
Mrs. Cerra came over to tell me that we had passed 10 people during the swim. Wahoo! I only remember seeing 4 but people were all over the place out there.

Orienteering: Jim and Chris headed out 5-6 minutes ahead of Genine and Maija. We had planned a very aggressive 1:15:00 for this split. There are 5 points this year instead of 4. That will add some time. We find out the fastest so far has been 1:10:00.
Craig and Jerry hang around for awhile but eventually decide they’d rather wait down by the canoes. Michelle keeps checking in on Ellis to see how she’s doing. The 1:30:00 mark comes and goes and we haven’t seen either team. 1:45:00 here comes Jim and Chris! I hand Jim his Gatorade and he turns right back around to hammer out the 4.5 mile run.
I ask Chris if he’s seen Genine and Maija. He said that he had and they were looking strong. That’s good, I was worried about Genine’s hip on this run.
Not long after Joe Nelson comes running in. I ask if he’s seen KB2 and he says they are right behind him. Sure enough here is Genine running with everything she’s got to try and keep up with Maija. They tag Ellis and Genine disappears back behind the tents. Uh-oh, that’s not a good sign. She was definitely at her max and she just needed to catch her breath. Whew! They finished in 2:03:00

We drive down to the boat launch. Jim has already finished the 4.5 mile run in :38. Fantastic considering he had just done 1:45:00 of orienteering right before it.

Craig and Jerry are now in the canoe.
Michelle and Genine prep their canoe and wait for Ellis to show up.
Ellis knocked out a :40 minute run. She passed the other Women’s Relay team along the way. KB2 is back in first place! Michelle and Genine run down to their canoe and are on their way.
We check back in with Ellis, she is doing better. Again just another case of leaving it all out there.

Time to head to the finish line!
We get down to the point and before long. Jerry and Craig come powering into the finish line. Just behind team R100. They finished in 1:13:00 and they did it in a very normal canoe. Awesome Job Guys!
Our Total time is 7:47:00.

Now where is Michelle and Genine? They come cruising into the finish with a 1:23:00 Canoe Split!! Their final time 8:24:00. Fantastic!
This was a really close race between our two teams. The orienteering was the deciding factor. As we know from last year, this easily could have gone the other way.

That’s the day from my point of view, less the tale of the “Quarter Ton Tango”. I’m guessing Shawn or Bart will document their 14 hour adventure for us some time soon.