Tuesday, May 18, 2010

We Don't Start Slowly Around Here

Today marks the first official day of Ironmn training. Apparently all that other stuff was just a warm up. If so I'm a bit concerned about how time management is going to work over the next few months.

Today started out with a 4000 yard swim. That's right folks. First day back and I'm at approx. 2.25 miles swimming. It was interesting too. After the warm up the main set included 30 x 100 yard on 15 seconds rest and then 300 kick. That was a hell of a workout. Remembering where you are when you have to count to 30 is a tough job.

What made it worth it was the guy in the lane next to me. When I got done with my laps he asked me when I was going to be back in the pool. I told him my usual swim days and times and asked him why. He said he enjoyed pacing and racing against me. That's a nice little bit of encouragement. At least I'm on the right track.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Gulf Coast Triathlon 2010

Yesterday I participated in my first half ironman of the season. My main take away is: ouch. I'm sore in parts of my body I didn't know I could be sore. It was one heck of an adventure otherwise.

Like all triathlons we start with the swim. Devra woke up with me at 4:30 and helped me get ready. The morning was a lot warmer and more humid than I would have liked but it is Florida we're talking about. The water temp was 78 degrees fahrenheit which is the highest temp allowed for wetsuits. Being brave (insane), I decided to take this one without a wetsuit. I've never done the 1.2 mile swim without a wetsuit so it was a nice change of pace to do it without a wetsuit.

The water was very choppy race day. In fact it was so choppy and wavy we lost sight of the buoys with each wave. On top of that the undertow was so strong it stopped us in our tracks every time a wave passed by. On the way back to shore a lot of people got dragged off course. It was really difficult fighting the currents to make it back to the right spot but I managed and got the swim done 15 minutes slower than anticipated.

The bike portion was the best of the three. I averaged 20 mph over the length of the 56 miles which was amazing for me. The course was flat and fast. We were also blessed with overcast skies which kept that brutal sun at bay. Otherwise nothing was special about the bike.

The run was the worst part of the race by far. At it was the one part I was the most disappointed with. I more or less walked over half the run. The heat and humidity were too much for me to take. There was an aid station every mile with water, Gatorade, ice cubes and sponges. I used at least two sponges at every station to cool off but it wasn't until mile 5 I started to open up, cool off and get my heart rate under control. From then it was slow and steady to the finish line.

Other than a bad run the race was great and I'm glad I did it. Now I need to focus on my run and second transition and I'll be ready for ironman. At this point nutrition is my worst enemy.

Now it's time to enjoy a few nice Florida days with my lovely lady.

Here are my stats from the race. Not good but at least I finished.

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Friday, May 7, 2010

First Impressions of Panama City

So far so good. The area is gorgeous. I rented a condo on the 17th floor of the Boardwalk Beach Resort. It has a breathtaking view of the Gulf that my dad and mom can't get enough of. What's even better is the resort is the host location of the race. In the morning my parents and Devra only have to walk out onto the patio to see all the swim action instead of fighting a mob to get a glimpse. They can then just take the elevator to the main floor, head out the door and boom. They're right in front of transition. The setup almost couldn't be better.

The first thing I did was to stop and see my bike. The bike shop did a great job putting it together and having it ready for me for pickup. I still need to pick up the box from them so I can ship it back out but so far all is well.

I also took a few swims today, both without a wetsuit. I did a few because I want to get as much experience in the open water before race day. Today was my first open water swim of the season and needless to say it was a bit scary. But once I got the timing of my breathing down with the waves I was feeling much more confident.

Right now I'm trying (and failing) to relax, stay out of the sun and keep hydrated. Once 3:00 rolls around I can pick up my registration stuff. Transition will open up around 4:00. I'd like to get my bike over there and have everything ready to go so I don't have to worry about anything until tomorrow morning.

That's it. Here's hoping for a fast race. But won't beat myself up if it's not. It's all about having fun.

P.S. No wetsuit for me tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


My first race of the season is this Saturday and this is the shit I have to look forward to:
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Not to mention this race is in FL where, lo and behold, the Gulf of Mexico has more oil in it than water.*

I'm trying to remain hopeful and optimistic but cannot help in noticing the cards are stacked against the day: thunder storms usually mean calling off a race altogether. Not having the swim - the one part I was actually looking forward to - will be annoying if that's how it plays out.

So far the only thing I'm really looking forward to is spending a few days with my mom, dad, brother and girlfriend. My sister isn't going be able to make it. I didn't extend her a formal invitation because it was my feeling with as much as has been going on in her life it would be best if this financial burden wasn't added to her plate. I'd love to have her there but want to be conscious of her fiscal well being.

*Don't get me wrong. What's happening in the Gulf is a traumatic experience and my problems would be the most brilliant of dreams for any of those people down there. My heart goes out to all of the fishermen and locals being impacted by the oil spill. It's nothing short of the utmost tragedy to an area that's already seen more than its fair share of disaster. But I also want you to know I'm not at all pleased with the way things are going for this race either.