Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Ramblings ...

  • Ironman Texas is almost here. I am not racing this year but am volunteering as a bike catcher at T2 from 11:30-5:00pm. If you are going to be there come over and say hi. We have 16 athletes from my Tri Club racing and a group of us spent last Sunday afternoon making signs to place along the course for them - we also may have made a sign or two for a certain Vegan from Dallas! I think I am more excited about volunteering then when actually racing last year.
  • I raced in the Kemah Olympic Tri on April 30th. I wanted to put up a race report but have been extremely busy so will have to just give a little blurb here. My buddy Dave and I stayed at a hotel close to the race and when we walked outside at 4:30am and saw the wind already had big Texas flags blowing straight that it was going to be a tough race. And to make matters worse, at 4:30am it was around 78* with 97% humidity. Our Spring had been really nice and we have had little humidity until this weekend!  
    • The Swim: We got on the cool ass boat and relaxed for the 45min trip 1 mile out into the bay. Last year it took them 40mins to get about 750 people off the boat. The boat drifted and made the swim very long. This year they had a plan to get nearly 800 people off the boat in under 10 minutes. It was a time trial start for the Age Groupers and the way it worked was we walked over the timing strip and then made the 5ft jump into the water. Dave said it was like when he was in the Army jumping off of planes. This drill Sargent-like chick was at the front screaming out commands and we all jumped. Total time to unload was around 7 minutes. We jumped into the water and immediately found ourselves wrapped up in some pretty big waves. It was the hardest swim I have ever had to do. Never have I been in rough water like this before and I have to admit, most will disagree, it was pretty awesome. The waves and current kept pushing you left of the buoys and I spent as much energy trying to stay on course as I did trying to swim forward. Lots of contact as people were being pushed left and fighting to swim right. I actually swam right over top of a few peeps. No sharks seen! Extremely slow swim times for the field but I actually finished in an okay position. Time - 30:58, 30/80 AG
    • The Bike: I had an extremely fast transition (37 Overall) as I had my shoes clipped in and rubber banded. We made a right heading north out of transition and spun around under the Kemah Bridge (more on the bridge later) and headed right into the 25-30mph South winds. It sucked as the wind was steady to gusting the entire way. The swim had me pretty tired so I spun for a couple of miles and was actually passing a lot of people. After my bike legs were found I tried to make myself as small as possible and just work hard until the turn around. I saw my buddy Dave mounting his bike just in front of me and my plan was to catch him so we could work together in the wind.  Drafting can be done legally (3 bikes apart) and Dave and I ride together enough that it would have taken a head node for him to understand. I am fighting to catch him and see a pack of riders ahead and notice a guy in a black tri suit and a green bike (QR cd0.1) pull off to the side of the road. It was Dave and he flatted. Shit. New plan - Just keep small and ride hard. I hit the 12.5mi mark and my average speed was 17.5mph and the crazy part was I passed a ton of people. It was not a straight out and back as there was a little section where we had a strong crosswind but at about mile 16 I had the wind at my back and it was time to hammer. My Garmin split for mile 7 showed a 16.9 avg. For mile 20 (same section of road) it showed a 31.5mph avg! It was crazy, I averaged over 30mph of the last 7mi of the course. There was a sprint race as well and they merged onto the Oly course around mile 21 and I was passing them like they were sitting still. Anyway, tough bike with the crazy wind. Garmin time had me at a 21.2mph average and the timing mats (which were in the transition area) had me at a 20.6mph average. Time - 1:14:07, 19/80 AG
    • The Run: After another fast transition (55 Overall) I hit the run course feeling pretty good. I only carried one bottle on my bike (torpedo mount) and it was not enough. I did not account for the humidity and was literally pouring sweat on the ride. I grabbed some Gatorade from the aide station right outside of transition but I knew it was going to be hard to catch up. The first 3mi went pretty well. I was on pace to finish the 10k around 42-43 minutes but knew I still had the Kemah Bridge to run up, turn around, and run up again. This was going to slow me down a little but I figured I could sprint the last mile, which was flat, and make up the time. This did not go as planned. The heat and humidity took its toll as I started to ascent the bridge. It hurt and my pace slowed. Running up the bridge the second time kicked my ass and I had no kick left. I just cruised on in and called it a day. Time - 47:28, 7:39/mi, 15/80 AG
    • Summary: Great race by a great race promotion company - OnUrMark. These guys are putting on races in the Houston area that rival the best in the country. First class.  Overall I was pleased with my performance. The conditions probably added a good 10mins to my time but I like hard days and hard courses. This could be a very fast course if the wind, heat, and surf would cooperate but that was not the case on this day. Time - 2:36:16, 15/80 AG, 75/750ish OA
  • Why is it that when you are leaving the gym and need to get to your locker someone is always at the locker above/next to yours? You can be the only two people in the entire locker room and this will happens. FU Murphy's Law. F.U.
  • I am a Pittsburgh Pirates Fan. I have been a fan for as long as I can remember. Every year I follow this team and think this will be the year they finally get over the hump and have a winning season. They have not had a winning season in 19 years. It really sucks. Anyway, I saw a stat today that shows just how pathetic they are right now. In all of Professional Baseball there are a total of 150 teams (minors & majors). The Pirates so far this season are averaging 2.86 runs per game. That is the lowest runs per game average of all 150 Professional Teams. Yep, this is my team.
  • Training for Ironman Mont-Tremblant is going very well. As I mentioned above the heat and humidity has rolled in and is here to stay. Every year when this happens I always freak out about my run fitness. I shouldn't freak out because every year it takes me 3-4 weeks to acclimate to running in the pea soup. But with the added fatigue of IM training this year I have not been handling it very well. Until this evening: I decided to get out of the heat and hit the treadmill for my scheduled 55min hill run. I set the TM to a Hills Interval workout that has me top out at an 8% incline. I felt strong the entire run and when I checked my watch at the end of the run, 6.43mi, my average HR was a mere 129bpm. No longer freaking out about run fitness (-:
  • The big news today was that Pres Obama came out in support of Gay Marriage. All the talking heads on the cable news networks and radio shoes were overjoyed to have yet another social issue  to debate. The overwhelming theme seemed to be that Obama choose to show his support because it is an election year and it was a political maneuver. I disagree as I think it was a political maneuver when he was against same sex marriage in 2008. I mean did anyone really believe he wasn't for this in 2008? Whatever, I could care less. He just keeps trying to change the focus from the shitty economy and the even shittier unemployment numbers. Smoke and mirrors, aka - Hope and Change.
  • If you are considering switching from a standard crank to a compact crank on your Tri Bike. Do it. Best decision I have ever made. 
  • I need some help finding a new show to watch on the trainer. Over the last month I finished off Seasons 1-4 of Sons of Anarchy. It was pretty good (not great) and kept me looking forward to riding. Now I need a new show. I have an Amazon Prime account and it has literally 1000's of shows available. I am looking for something either Action/Drama or SciFi. Gimme some suggestions people!
Thanks for Reading,



  1. i like the diversity of this post, hahah. you covered quite the array of topics. i did kemah too and hell yeah, the swim was rough!!

  2. You totally need to make a sign that says "Bacon at the Finish Line!" for that certain Vegan from Dallas. haha!

    And here I thought the Tigers were sucking it up lately. I guess I can be happy that they aren't the Pirates. At least the Pirates have a kick ass stadium. Ran through it and Heinz field when I was in Pitt.

    They don't have Sharktopus on Amazon Prime to watch over and over again???

    I am totally hooked on the X-Files on Netflix. Started back with Season 1. I've probably seen most if not all of them at some point in time, but I'm enjoying the trip down memory lane. I went through the seasons of 24 (again) as well. I "watched" those while I worked for background noise.

    I enjoyed Weeds on Netflix. Sort of a less series/comedic Breaking Bad??? Hard to describe, but pretty good.

    What about American Horror Story? Not sure if it available yet. usually horror movies are bit cheesy, but the first season was pretty damn good.

    There are a couple of series out of the UK that I have wanted to check out: MI-5 and Dr. Who. I have no idea where to start with Dr. Who though because there are like 30 seasons of it.

    Oh, and maybe Dexter if you haven't seen that one yet.

    Wow. I really rambled there. Must mean I am getting tired.

  3. Freddy Sanchez
    Nate McLouth
    Jason Bay

    There must be others...

    1. Sooooo many others. McLouth is back on the team this year. ATL dropped him and we brought him back. His .210 BA is making it look like another spectacular Free Agent acquisition for the Pirates.

      My favorite Bucco of all time: Derrick Bell, famous for "Operation Shutdown" ... if you are unfamiliar with this Google it - it is pretty awesome and ridiculous all at the same time1

    2. OMG I remember D-Bell b/c he was a stud with the B-Boys in Houston with Biggio and Bagwell. He should have stayed there and kept popping the roids. Operation Shutdown was the funniest thing ever and 2nd to that was the huge baseball sized pile of chew he had in his mouth.

  4. 7 miles @ 30mph? Damn! U must have been running out of gears.

    Nice job on the race. U r in great form for IMMT. Keep it up!

    Id like to do Kemah one day.

    1. Yeah dude - was in the 11 the entire way back.

  5. Sounds like everything's keeping you busy. Glad you had a chance to write. I enjoy reading it. Good luck and hopefully stay cool as your training progresses.

  6. No sharks!? Maybe next year.

    1. Will be keeping my fingers crossed. Is it odd that I would enjoy seeing a shark while swimming?

  7. You and Leito
    Put the compact on mine a few months ago.. got the carbon one, supposed to add more power to the pedals.... I must be out of shape.
    Pirates? Me too.... 30 years ago when I went to WVU and Mom and Dad lived in Allison Park.... not so much now, Go Rays! Got to love a team that is no. 1 and brings in 10,000 to week day games.
    Obama is going to piss off his Black base with his gay stance

  8. nice work in the Oly! I loved SofA on the trainer....made my winter....I then switched to Prison Break which I never watched when it was on...that was good except the final season or so it fell apart...

  9. Nice work on the race man.

    Yeah, Obama ... yeah. haha. No one believes him on anything anymore anyways.

    Nice work on the run man, we are still not officially warming up yet. Another couple weeks hopefully.

  10. I'm sooooo tipping over the fence on the compact crank. Another race gone by (Knox) where my NP was too high. Frustrated to say the least.

  11. Great job battling the tough swim and windy bike! You rocked it in my opinion! I'm glad the training for IMMT is going well. It's only 100 days away, right? Keep up the good work!

  12. I am like you... I love swimming in rough water. Bring on the waves. I guess growing up and surfing here in the islands makes me feel at home in those conditions.

    While we probably don't get the heat you folks get out in Texas, it is hot and humid here all year long. I wish I could run in cooler weather during an "off season". When I am running in the heat and complaining, I always think about you and how you train in Texas.

    The GOP has to keep everyone's focus on the economy. The big "O" is trying to distract the country.

  13. Dude, I am laughing so hard at what those signs may say. I can't even imagine but if they are like From Fat Ass To Badass I will lose time from laughing so hard.

    SoA and I are in Season 2 and I'm enjoying it. I watched the first Season of Prison Break when it was on TV so I may have to take that up for IMAZ training per D's reco.

    Kemah would be great to do but I'm putting a fin on for the swim so people think I'm a shark and swim away from me.....don't want people swimming right over top of me.

    129bpm on a hill course? Yeah I don't think you have to worry about run fitness.

  14. Mad Men--awesome show and you can get the DVD of the first couple of seasons.

    Great job on a tough day for your Oly tri! Good warm up for the big show. When is that--September? August?

    Have a ball helping out at IMTX. I know you're going to be yelling loudly for that Dallas vegan!

  15. I am thinking about doing a triathlon in the somewhat near future! Any tips for a first timer?

  16. I love your randoms... especially when you can talk about your thoughts on Obama (or lack of caring) and then the next bullet is about crank size. Totally awesome!

    Congrats on that OLY... sounds like a beotch and you did great.

    So how long does it really take to get used to the heat and humidity? And is there an equation for hills? I've been here 6 weeks and I'm still dying on every run. :)

    Have you ever watched 24? It's a great series to get into if you haven't seen it. Would make the bike do super fast!