30 September 2009

september totals

september 09

in the water> 24313 M in 8h 45m
on bella> 463.6 Mi in 29h 37m 55s
in my asics> 93.05 Mi Mi in 15h 15m 53s

total training time> 53h 38m 48s

28 September 2009

totals 09/21 through 09/27 and photos from CMAQ

IM training> week 10
(09/21 - 09/27)

in the water> 6213.00 M in 2h 18m 01s [2 workouts]
on bella> 164.60 Mi in 10h 28m 58s [4 workouts]
in my asics> 24.01 Mi in 3h 43m 40s [4 workouts]
total training time: 16h 30m 39s

transition ^getting ready to swim ^go ! ^
the beautiful choptank (and swimmers)

26 September 2009

chesapeakeman aquavelo [race report]

chesapeakeman aquavelo > 2.4 mi swim/ 112 mi bike
overall> 8h 27m 41s
swim> 1h 29m 06s
t1> 9m 12s
bike (with stops)> 6h 49m 25s

I was really apprehensive about this race. I didn't view it as a 'race' so much as a 'really long training day' but I knew my performance at CM-AQ would be a pretty good indicator of where I was for IMCOZ.

thursday night I decided to read the spectator's guide. packet pick-up closes at 6 pm. leaving work early to get to Cambridge: not a problem. doing so on a court day: problem. with a judge that goes slowly: a big problem. the tri gods must have been smiling down on me because I had a very light afternoon docket and I was able to head over to Cambridge around 2:30.

I got into Dorchester County after an uneventful drive (hit a teeny bit of beach traffic), and picked up my race packet at the Hyatt after meeting up with my race buddy Cathy. we got THREE tshirts -- all tech (2 short sleeved and 1 long sleeved), a crappy water bottle, and bags for bike gear, post race clothes, and bike SN (=special needs). then went to Great Marsh park to get my bike inspected and rack it. it was strange to rack at such a small race -- I think abougt 250 did the iron distance and 140ish for the AquaVelo (and 50 for the swim only). bella passed (of course she did, she's my good girl) and Cathy and I headed back to the Hyatt for the pre race meeting. Met up with Shaun -- a(nother) bt-er -- and sat through the meeting.

Then: dinner. we did the "carb load" all-you-can-eat buffet at the Hyatt. .. delicious! several different types of pasta, grilled chicken, salmon, salad, etc... plus "dirt" for dessert (chocolate pudding with oreos).

Stopped by Rite Aid to buy water to fill up my Infinit (put the powder in the bottles before I left), tried to check in at the Holiday Inn, realized I was supposed to be at the Comfort Inn, checked in at the Comfort Inn, put all of my gear in its bag: post race/ pre race clothing, bike gear, bike SN, watched a re run of the pilot for Modern Family (hilarious, btw), read, and fell asleep at 10:30.

Woke up at 4:30 (thank you wake up call and cell phone alarm) after a decent night's sleep. ate my poptarts, put on my swimsuit and sweats, and headed out to the high school to drop off my bike SN and take the shuttle to the swim start at Great Marsh Park.

got to the swim start.. "pumped up my tires and I oiled my chain" . waited in line for the port o potty, as per usual, then shimmied into my wetsuit and headed down to the water for the swim start.

it was a mass start (no waves) but with only about 300 swimmers total it really wasn't that bad... there was the usual kicking/ punching/ grabbing going on, but nothing too awful. the first 'leg' (the first straightaway in the photo) was good... and then we turned the first buoy.


all of the sudden I understood how the Choptank river got its name (okay maybe that's not why but I'm too lazy to look it up) - It. Was. Choppy. everytime I turned to breathe I got a mouthful of salt (okay, brackish) water. I started lifting my head out of the water more to make sure I got air and not water. had trouble sighting because of the mini-waves, too. oh, and I kept grabbing handfuls of jellyfish ! I didn't get stung but it was a very 'eeeeewww' feeling.

I glanced at my watch a couple of times and realized this was not going to be a 2:00/ 100 swim. I was okay with it, though ... it was my first 2.4 in open water (my first more than 1.2 in open water), it was a rough swim, and it was a training day.

I walked up the boat ramp as soon as I started feeling the conrete... stood up sloooowly after being horizontal for 90 minutes and someone yelled out my number so another volunteer grabbed my bike gear bag.

I decided to do a full change (1) to be more comfortable on the bike, and (2) to see what it will be like for Cozumel. I went into the women's tent and, well, just changed. Peeled off my swimwear and put on my bike gear. Grabbed some water to rinse the choptank taste out of my mouth and headed out to the bikes to grab Bella and go.

I must have been really doofy from the swim because I had a lot of trouble clipping in... and then more trouble putting my water and infinit bottles back in the cages. I have no idea what was going on in my brain... I'm so used to taking them out and putting them back in - it's not like these are new cages. the first photo will be of me trying to stuff my water bottle back on the bike - nice !

the course is flat flat flat and windy windy windy. the first part is an out and back ... and I got my first taste of a nasty tailwind on the back part. I've ridden this course twice before (well, most of it), so I knew what to expect, but I swear the wind wasn't this bad last time !

I was getting passed but it didn't bother me... I'm used to it, it just means I got out of the water faster :) and this was, of course, a long training day more than a race. I stayed in aero most of the time but came out every so often to drink and stretch.

Special Needs was at the high school at mile 66. I was SO happy to get there -- just to reach a milestone. I can't look at races as one long day (I don't think most people can or do) and hitting SN was a good "more than halfway" point. I threw away my trash from my pocket and got my second bottle of Infinit and second payday. also resprayed myself down with Off!

After SN I passed a few people (yay!) and stopped at the port o potty again... I didn't really have to pee that badly but I wanted an excuse to get off the bike.

A lot of the race went through Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge. I kept thinking blackACRE and getting property flashbacks. then I tried to remember the rule against perpituities but all I could remember was "an interest must vest, if at all, within 21 years..."

I sang. Out loud. Mostly showtunes.

There were some puddles which were just delightful - nothing like wet socks.

Nutrition: 250 calories of Inifint per hour (3 hours in one bottle) and half a payday bar at miles 25, 50, 75, and 100. I had some Infinit left over but overall I felt REALLY good with my nutition. I didn't feel hungry or overly full and my energy was good.

I hit some low points mentally but I think that's to be expected. they were along the lines of "why the eff am I doing this?" and "how am I only at mile x?" and "am I on the course? because I haven't seen anyone in a while." thoughts on how to deal with these from my loyal readers? I just tried to pull myself out of the funk, focus on the good, etc.

Oddly the worst part for me was mile 105. I thought once I hit 100 I would be good to go but hitting that big milestone and THEN having 12 more mi was almost more than I could handle.

I just kept going and thought - not for the first time - the faster I go, the sooner I can get off. Oddly enough, the end snuck up on me ! I saw the high school and went left into the "bike finish" lane. yay !!

dismounted my bike and then walked over the timing mats - wheee ! a volunteer - they really were world class! - took my bike from me . someone else gave me a medal. I went into the gym to get food and a massage. (love free post race massages).

I am now 2/3 of an Ironman ! I am completely and utterly exhuasted but I am now pretty certain that with the rest of my training AND a proper taper I will ROCK IM Cozumel. It's a big confidence booster to know that I can do the full swim and the full bike.. all that's left is that tiny matter of a 26.2 run ;)

to remember for next time: advil (I had a slight headache for a while) and my chamois cream! I can't believe I forgot it !

20 September 2009

week 9 totals | a kickass relay | a glorious long ride

week 9 totals

in the water: 7500.00 M in 2h 35m 47s [3 workouts]
on bella: 83.60 Mi in 5h 50m 55s [3 workouts]
in my asics: 14.47 Mi in 2h 58m 02s [4 workouts]
total training time: 11h 24m 44s

a kickass relay

yesterday me, my
bt.com (and now IRL friend) James, and my AR/ cycling buddy Greg, headed down to Indian Head, Md for the General Smallwood Triathlon. Greg does adventure races and has a beautiful road bike that never gets to race, I love an open water swim, and James is the fastest person on two legs (okay, second to Bolt).

Greg's girlfriend Christine drove us - at 5:30 am, natch - 90 minutes south to the park. we got there without a problem... and then there was a problem. I realized I forgot my wallet (am totally blaming this on IM-brain) and when I went to get our packet the race director wouldn't give it to me. great. he said to talk to the USAT ref - she said it was fine - but he still wouldn't give us our stuff. James had the brilliant idea to show him my facebook page - complete with photos of me racing - and he said that counted as photo ID.

phew !

then: problem 2 (again, IM-brain). I went to dig my goggles out of my bag. they were stuck, so instead of gently working them out from under my wetsuit, I kept yanking.

they broke.

Amy (also from BT, aka 'bushy' and don't ask) had an extra pair of goggles - the same Speedo Vanquishers I wear - that she kindly lent me.

we were taking pictures at the start - christine as our photag - when she said "um, your camera just popped." then it started smoking. no good. well... have been coveting a new camera for a while and I guess this was the catalyst to make that happen !

after being sure I understood the swim course - it was a weird set up: swim one circular loop, then back out, then swim back to the exit - I jumped in the water with the rest of the relay people and the women. ... and we're off ! for a small race this was a really crowded start! it took a while to break off from everyone and settle into a pace. because this was it for me I really tried to push it. sighting was okay but I got a little turned around on the way back to start the second loop. headed toward the finish --- easy to find thanks to the
wacky waiving inflatable arm flailing tube man at the boat ramp.

hit my watch at the swim exit with a time of 29:07 - woot ! that's a pace of 1:56 / 100 meters... amazingly good for me.

ran uphill to transition, got off the chip and onto greg's leg, and he was off on the bike. about 70 min later greg got back to T2 -- transfered the chip to James' ankle -- and off went James ! Greg, Christine, and I headed over to the finish (ate pizza and Mike&Ikes.. mmm). we saw one relay runner finish -- and then a few more runners .. and then James, in his Terp Runner kit.

Team That'sWhatSheSaid placed second (Greg got a 2 min penalty for illegal passing, but even without that we still wouldn't have gotten first, so he is forgiven) out of ten relay teams! yay !

overall time> 2:25:07 (rank: 2/10)
swim _ 1500M > 29:15 (rank: 2/10)
t1> 2:18(rank 6/10)
bike _ 24 mi> 1:11:34 (rank: 3/10)
t2> 0:26 (rank: 3/10)
run _ 10K> 39:36 (rank: 1/10)
[penalty> 2:00)

dozed on the way home... what a fun fun day. I think more relays are in my future -- they are a fun, low key way to enjoy tris with friends. nice going, guys !

a glorious long ride

because I am so awesome Greg decided he would ride with me for 3 hours. we met in Linthicum and headed out on the B&A trail. beautiful day... mid 70s, sunny, blue skies with puffy clouds. the kind of day you would pick if you could pick riding weather.

we rode down the trail .. kind of a pain to avoid the people who don't know not to ride all over the trail but so nice to not be avoiding traffic. got to the end of the trail (the furthest I've gotten) and followed the route out to downtown annapolis.

the best best best part of this ride [really, I think, the best part of any ride, ever] was when I was at the top of the Severn River bridge. blue sky, blue water dotted with sailboats, beautiful houses on the water. it was one of those it-is-so-damn-good-to-be-alive(-and-I-love-my-bike-so-much)-moments. can't really put it into words .. I just felt so. damn. good.

we got through downtown naptown slowly - a lot of traffic, both vehicular and pedestrian - and then went through this amazing neighborhood. if I had .. oh, I dunno, about 1-2 mil laying around I would totally buy a house there. .. big but not obnoxiously so, lots of windows, interesting architecture, lovely gardens, and right on the water. stunning. stopped for a snack (payday bar, yay!) and turned around to head back.

3h 23m 33s
53.30 miles
15.71 Mi/hr

finished the ride then headed to checkers to replenish the body with that wholesome high quality food.

life, my friends, is good.

16 September 2009

diamondman half iron [full rr]


Saturday I got in a short run. I didn't really [okay, I didn't at all] taper for this race. I planned to view it as a training day where I'd go fast. Goal was sub 6.

My friend Scott got to our house around 12:30 and we set out for Bear, Delaware (Hi... we're in ... Deleware). Got there and checked into our luxurious hotel - the Newark Sleep Inn. hey, it might have been a pos hotel, but each room had a microwave and fridge. ... and our room didn't stink like Deb's. ew. Then to packet pickup, which was the most bare bones low key packet pick up I've ever attended... got our shirts and numbers [chips were to be picked up on race day]. No expo. .. pickup was in a tent. We walked down to see how far the swim exit was from T1... the answer? far. .25 mi.

saw the buoys being taken out:

Starving, we then headed to TGIFriday's for a late lunch. I had chicken and pasta. It was yummy. Then: a group trip to K-mart. Scott wanted a fleece for the chilly race morning, and can you beat this for $17.99?

and I got chocolate poptarts for race morning. Really, I think that's why I race. It gives me a legit reason to eat chocolate poptarts and payday bars and call then the misnomer NUTRTION.

back to the hotel to rest [anyone surprised to see J like this?]

then we were hungry again so we went BACK to TGIFriday's [it was next to our hotel] and I got a Chips Ahoy Cookie Sundae [see above, re: "nutrition' ^].... and then, time for bed !

Sunday - race day !
after the wake up call, in room alarm, and James' iPhone went off, we [I] were awake. got dressed and headed down for breakfast --- brought - and toasted - my poptarts and started hydrating. grabbed the bikes and packed the car and drove 15 min to the race start.

pre race panic
started putting air in the tires --- had to use the headlights from the car as the sun had yet to show. lazy sun. then.. why is no air staying in my tire? WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH MY TIRE? TRANSITION CLOSES IN FORTY MINUTES AND I DON'T HAVE AN INFLATED TIRE AND THE MECHANIC LINE IS LONG AND NOT MOVING. I tried - with Deb's help - to change my tire, but we couldn't get it off the rim.

IS(=IronSherpa, = James) came, of course, to the rescue. He stood in line while I ran to the port o potties, got my wetsuit, laid out transition, etc. grabbed the tire with minutes to spare, threw it on the bike (front wheel. thank god.) and ran - literally - to the swim start.


me, deb, and deb, pre swim (who doesn't look good in a green latex swim cap?):

swim start:
our typical pre race photo:

we started walking (shallow lake) to the start when we heard ONE MINUTE TO START and then people started swimming. water was chilly but not too too cold. I felt good during the swim - strong, smooth, decent sighting ... until I got out of the water. I looked at my watch: 44 minutes. FORTY FOUR MINUTES? I went 36 at Rhode Island. What did I do - take a nap during the swim? I mean, REALLY.

here is a flattering picture of me running the 1/4 mi to T1 from the swim exit:

swim time> 46:30
overall place> 128/ 213

not too bad... peeled off my wetsuit, put on socks and bike cleats (clipping in while riding may happen in a couple seasons...) , helmet, sunglasses, and ran off. not the fastest T1 time ever but not bad for me, esp. for a HIM.
time> 2:40

here's deb in t1:

the bike was billed as "flat and fast" although I have come to learn that people's definitions of words like "flat" "fast" "rolling" and "hilly" vary greatly. ... with the exception of one tough bridge, the course was pretty flat. I mean, if I was averaging 18.4 mph.. yeah, flat.

aero trish:

aero trish thumbs up:so, like I said, cruising along pretty well, getting passed, of course [maybe everyone had a bad swim?] ... and then we got to this HUGE bridge. it was beautiful and it was over a lovely river, but man did it suck. I had to come out of areo and out of my big chainring. .. at least I wasn't the guy I heard say "is this the sprint course?" no, sir, it most certainly is not. the course was pretty nice, very well marked, lots of volunteers and and police officers.

going BACK over the bridge + headwind = yuck. headwinds in general kind of suck. you feel like you are pedaling normally, same amount of effort... and then look at the bike computer which reads 14mph. wtf? during the bike I thought about how long 112 mi was on a bike (or, um, in a car).

time> 3:04:52
pace> 18.2
overall> 171/ 213

when I saw the bike dismount I was elated. so was my butt.

time> 2:02. pretty good

I am always so so happy to start the run. running is my first love and, unlike the pass, I can pass and am not too often passed (plus, those fast guys on the bike are already way ahead of me. or, well, finished).

the run was an out and back --- a mile around the national park and then several miles on the C&D Canel.

starting the run is always a big of a downer though... so happy to be done with the swim and the bike but it's daunting to have 13.1 mi to run. I fell into a very comfortable 9/mi pace, walking through the water stations and getting water + gatorade. miles 1-5 flew by and I was passing a lot of people. I got to the turn around at mile 6.55 and then, around mile 8, I was feeling.. well, finished. the thought of running 5 more mi - in the sun - was not appealing. still, I tried to stay positive. I took it mile by mile and told myself that I could have a walking break at the next aid station (they were at each mile).

at mile 6 I told myself that sub 6 was an almost-definite -- all I needed to do was keep 10 minute miles and I could do it ... but it would be a photo finish.

and then I realized, at around mile 9, that it probably wouldn't happen. I was slowing down, I was tired and sore and hot. shoulders were tight and feet were sore.

time> 2:04:22
overall place> 97/ 213
pace> 9:30

I ran the last mile hard and saw my watch turn to 6:00:00 when I was about 100 yards from the finish. at that point I played the whatif game (whatif I didn't walk that aid station, whatif I didn't have such a shitty swim) but I tried to push it out of my head and finish strong.

coming down the final stretch .. with always flattering photos:

Scott finishing -- and my awesome photog skills:Deb finishes strong:
overall time> 6:00:24
ag place> 10/14
gender place place> 27/ 61

post race

saw James, got our POSTrace photo:

post race with Scott --- both of us PR'd by 15 minutesmatt WINS his ag and goes sub 5:

post race mickey d's .. showing off deb's new fancy Barbie purse that came in her Happy Meal.

post race thoughts:
conflicted. I was so [so so so] elated to go 6:15 at Rhode Island.. I felt like I had an unbelievably great race [and I did]. my goal there was to go under 7 and to smash that by FORTY FIVE minutes was great. I was beaming at the finish line.

.. and I miss my goal here by 25 seconds - and still PR by FIFTEEN MINUTES - and I feel meh. that's how I feel - meh. I had a pretty good race - a shitty swim but a very solid bike and run - and I feel meh. maybe I wasn't as excited for this? there wasn't as much (or any, really) pre rae build up. the pre race and post race activities were... non existent.

a big-huge-mega THANK YOU to my IronSherpa.

anyhow, onward and upward to IMCozy.

13 September 2009

fifteen minute PR.

deleware diamondman tri.
2.1 mi swim/ 56 mi bike/ 13.1 mi run

overall time> 6:00:24
ag place> 10/14
gender place place> 27/ 61

time> 46:30 (YIKES... it did include a long run - .25 mi - to T1 .. but still - YIKES)
overall> 128/ 213

time> 2:40

time> 3:04:52
pace> 18.2
overall> 171/ 213

time> 2:02

time> 2:04:22
pace> 9:30
overall> 97/ 213

12 September 2009

diamondman in t minus 21 hours!

bella is cleaned.
transition bag is packed.
directions are printed.
lunch has been eaten.
need to go to the grocery store to pick up poptarts/ plastic water bottles (for bottle exchange).
waiting for racing buddy and his friend.
packing is almost finished.

ready go to sub 6h at

08 September 2009

external motivation.

the journey is the reward .. most of the time.

sometimes, when the journey itself is not enough of a reward - when you are tired and hungry and would rather nap and maybe clean your dirty house - you need an external reward. something tangible. something now.

my sked called for a 3600M swim - that's exactly 2.4 mi (IM distance). told myself that if I did it I would treat myself to a pedicure post swim.

and I did.

and it was delightful !

06 September 2009

totals 08|31 > 09|06

swim> 7800.00 M in 2h 42m 21s [3 workouts]
bike> 130.20 Mi in 8h 03m 10s [3 workouts, including one 75 mi ride]
run:>20.41 Mi in 3h 11m 26s [3 workouts]

total training time: 13h 56m 57s

02 September 2009

happy run/ smooth swim/ fast bike

my past three training sessions have been amazing.

I think it's the weather... it's been mid 70s, sunny, and clear all week (unheard of in swampy Maryland).

last night I headed out for a 45-50 min run. all of baltimore, it seemed, was running (I don't know where these people are when it's 95* and humid or 30* and windy, but I digress). I met a bangel cat (beautiful animals) that lives with her owners on a boat. they live in texas but cruise all over and stay in each city for a couple months. the cat can swim ! also met two westies. people actually smiled/ waved back when I smiled/ waved. just a lovely happy run.
5.41 miles in 50m 17s // 09m 17s/Mi

this morning I dragged myself out of bed at 5:50 to swim. it was cold and it was dark and the warm comforter called to me.. but I ignored her siren call. when I got to the pool there was only one other person there. shocking, I know, since it was 55* this morning. swam a 200 and 8 x 50 for my warmup, a 1000 TT (19:23), and a 200 warm down. the air was chilly but the water was warm and I love seeing the sky turn a beautiful pink just before the sun comes up.
1800.00 meters in 36m 15s // 02m 01s /100 meters

tonight I met up with two people from
bt.com and one other guy (who really should just join) to ride the Columbia course. more amazing weather and an amazing course. saw the sun set over the fields in Tridelphia. saw horses, sheep, and a donkey. good conversation with delightful training buddies. fastest avg on that course for me .. ever.
25.20 miles in 1h 35m // 15.92 Mi/hr