Sunday, May 30, 2010

Race #4 and final recap

This race started like all the others..... late and with piss poor music. You gotta be kidding me...Pasty Cline for pre race music? Good lord that was a kick in the stomach.
The swim this time around was a 2 loop course for 1.2 miles. By this time around I was getting used to the gross water , poor visibility and cooler temps. Overall the swim went well with little issues. But I was sure tired coming out of the water. My arms just did not want to get moving. Wonder why? :)
The bike was tough. It's a road cyclists dream. The course was a 2 loop, very hilly and curvy course. Bike handling skills were a must for everyone. It takes you through the park on single lane roads that weren't closed off but did have very little traffic. Most sharp turns were marked but at mile 21 there was one corner not marked and that spelled the end for many riders. The event people totally should have marked the was wicked dangerous. With that said.....yes, I went down on the corner and somehow managed to drive ride into a ditch that saved my ass. I just rode the ditch as long as I could (Kurt....I was thinking cyclecross the entire time I was shitting my pants....CROSS RULES!!!!). At about 10 mph my front wheel kicked out and I endoed into the ditch. No major damage except for a bruised knee and some scuffs. The bike was ok but it just wouldn't be the same for the rest of the day. Unfortunately for the guy about 45 secs behind me his luck wasn't so good. He went down hard and ugly. I saw the entire thing and he skidded to a stop about 2 feet from me. The guy was a mess. I dropped everything and checked on him. His helmet saved his life and that's what they are supposed to do but his body was bleeding all over the place. I was joined by a couple of other people and we got him off the to the side of the road cause bikes were coming and it was a blind corner. No one would have seen us until it was too late so I sent someone to the beginning of the corner to yell for people to slow down. Doing a quick check of the guy you could totally tell he was in shock as he wanted to get back on his bike when that was the last thing he needed to do. An EMT who was racing stopped and started asking him questions like name, bib # and where he was. He did ok with the questions but then came the biggie..."who is the president?" He looks at me and says "I don't care...I'm freaking Canadian!" Hahahahahahaha...we all had a good laugh so I ask him who won the Canadians/Blackhawks game the night before. He gets all worked up and says he doesn't know because he's been staying in a tent for the past 3 days but don't tell him because he tv'oed the game and wants to watch it when he gets home. Hahahahahahaha....he's totally ok in my book. Needless to say he never got back on the bike and was taken out of there by an ambulance. Poor guy.
Once back on the bike I took a huge step back and said to myself......just get me to my family and get me back to Pain alive. I never got back into my big chain ring and never hawled ass for the rest of the ride. I just lost all confidence in my bike and was worried that it would fall apart at any time. By the second time around on the bike course they had that corner where we went down marked up like a blue light special at the K-mart. There were ribbons, spray paint and even a police cruiser there now. You could tell it was a bad corner because there were water bottle all over the place that launched off of peoples bike.
The run was interesting. Again it was another out and back but twice through this time. By the time I got on the run it was about 90 degrees and the rain mixed with the mudd on the trail made for a nice sauna. The first loop was just getting my legs going as I did not run with anyone and as I knew my goal time was shot from the issues with the bike. The second loop was great. I got hooked up with this guy Mike from Columbus. He knew about my cousins coffee shop there so that gave him some cool credits.
The run course was very hilly. Not really any flats sports and some of the hills were long and painful. I could hear someone behind me running at the same cadence as I was so that kept me going and by the turn around the guy was yelling at me to keep killing the hills. I told him to hang on til the finishline as we were running at about a 7:15 pace. I could hear him fading off a couple of times and would motion for him to get up beside me and keep pushing. A few f bombs were exchanged but each time he would crawl back up onto my heels. We hit the final stretch and he said go ahead. Screw that shit... this guy just busted his as and I'm not going to show him up. I told him to get his ass up with me and we finish this damn thing off together. It was a good feeling having him next to me when we finished. You could tell he was wiped but very very happy with his run time. Thatta boy.
Post race was the same as the other races. Grab a water, soak in the creek and talk shop. I really enjoyed this part.
Once done with the soak I grabbed my bike, said my goodbyes to my rack mates and loaded up the Edge for a 2 hour drive to Yellow Springs, OH to see the family. It was great seeing them all. Very very good people and I just love Yellow Springs....reminds me of Mayberry. Teresa gets me a beer and there was some awesome guack that was made. All the girls totally took care of me and got me back to feeling normal. The food was awesome...thanks Tommaso. My 9 year old cousin William joined me for a game of Cornhole and we rocked the world. Too bad we couldn't hit that board to save our lives but man that was fun. Thanks to Jason for driving me to Jo's house as the beers were a little too good that evening. I stayed at my aunts house that night and got some great sleep. Sooooooo good!!!!!! Thanks Jo and Rocky. Rocky is her German Shepard who was just a joy to be around. Next time Rocky I won't try and give you a heart attack while playing Kong. The next morning it was off to Dino's Cappachino's, my cousins coffee shop. Dean....those pastries were off the chain. Thanks my man.
My final stop for the trip was a night at Dean and Sheila's in Columbus and of course Wings was our dinner spot. Ending the night watching the Celtics game and drinking Scotch w/Dean and Sheila was a great way to end an eventful week. Thanks again everyone.

Race Recap-

Overall I was glad to do the race but will probably never do it again. The race organization was poor to say the best. There were no bathrooms on the bike course and no water hand ups. Just a water refill station where you had to stop and refill your own water bottle. The blind corner was the nail in the coffin. They could have someone seriously hurt on that corner. Having it marked the second time around was good but that didn't help a lot off people from getting hurt. The post race massage was a joke as the massage therapists we not all that great. Totally not worth the $$$$ spent by me. They ran out of cups and water on the run course....who does that!!!!!!!
My biggest issue was the music during the event. It was just absolutely horrible. There was never any upbeat fun music just back woods folk music that killed the possibility of a great mood for the event. If another company took the same concept of the event I would do it again but I'll never do another race that was put on by this race company.

Next up is the Prairieman 1/2 IM in Sept....should be nice and hot by then. :)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Race #3.....warming up is a good idea.

The 3rd race of the Triple T is a reverse tri (as they call it). First you bike, then swim and you finish off with the run. The swim is never last as there is a damn good chance of someone drowning.
I awoke from my 20 minute nap (needed like 2 hours) and made my way back to the race site with plenty of time. My main concern was finding a parking spot. There is not a lot of parking and a lot of the parking they had is wet and muddy. I am a car rental genius! I rented a Ford Edge and you know what....that son of a bitch is all wheel drive plus I bought all the bring on the mud!!!! Having the AWD is coming very handy as I am allowed to park near the race site where it is muddy and wet. No long walks for me.
Bike: The bike was a time trial start from transition with 2 people going at a time about every 8 seconds or so. About 90 secs before JP and I get to the line I realize I have to take a wizz real bad and I already cycled this morning having to pee the entire ride. I wasn't doing that again (there were no port-o-jons on the bike course). JP grabs my bike and I haul ass in cycling shoes to the nearest head and take care of business. I jump out and we're about 15 seconds away from take off and we made it with flying colors. We bikes the same route as this morning and it was much of the same. The roads weren't wet but they were washed out a bit and a lot of loose gravel on them. I took it easy in those areas. My bike time was .1 mph off of my time this morning so I pleased with that.
Swim: This was going to be interesting. I have never done something like this before and a huge thanks to Todd and Joseph for telling me about the trash bag trick. Joe Blackistone brought it up a couple of years ago and I thought he was nuts but this shit worked. You stick your feet in 2 plastics bags and then they just slide through your wet suit with little struggle. Wicked awesome!!!! I wore my sleeveless wetsuit this afternoon as I did not want to deal with getting my hands in through the sleeves. Just knew i was going to be tired. As I took off out of T2, huge thanks the volunteer kid who told me I still had my sunglasses on. I rarely ever take them off so I didn't even realize it. Thanks kid. I run/waddle to the water and I make my entry. HOLY SHIT...... this water is freaking freezing!!!!! WTF! It felt great on my body but my toes and face were suffering. I almost stopped swimming to get my head out of the water so it could warm up but I knew I would have to stick it back in the water so I pushed through it.
The "adjusted" the buoys from this morning so now the swim was a little longer. Gee thanks guys. The swim was going fine up until about 250m from the finish when someone hit my leg from behind. My calf cramped up like crazy. I was very concerned because I couldn't kick (not like I kick much anyway) but I had to point my foot down instead of back because it would cramp again if I did. It was like I was dragging a dead body behind me.....not that I have done that. Also there wasn't a life guard in sight so if I got into trouble I was done for. Believe me.... I was a bit frightened of having some issues. But as you should always do, I didn't panic, slowed down and made damn sure no one hit the other leg. I finished the swim and was happy to be out of the water...back to it tomorrow. Ugh!
Run: The run was fine. I had a hard time getting my legs going but by the turn around I was back in the game. I jumped into a group of kids from MSU and they kept me going for the final 2 miles. I started to have stomach cramps around mile 5 but I rallied and finished off the run with a solid effort.

Checking the results from this mornings race I was 119th from just that race. I again started in 166th so I moved up a couple of slots. This isn't an RunFar operation so who knows when I'll actually know what I did for time. I have not been wearing a watch in the swim and I am too damn tired to do the math.

Post race was a massage (had to pay for it :() and then a run to my fav Italian food place in town. I called in the order and it was ready when I got there. Made it back to the not so Super 8 and sat down for a beautiful meal of bread, chicken parm without the cheeze and red win out of a Super 8 plastic coffee cup. I reek of class!

Race #2....flat...what flat?

The first Oly is done and in the books. I am currently in my motel room with my compression socks on, feet up and I just finished shoveling some food down my throat. It was a good race today.
Swim: Yet again they were late with the start and no one seemed to give a shit. It rained like crazy here last night and there was also a Tornado warning issued for the evening. Since it rained the water was much higher than it was yesterday and it was freaking cold!!!!!! Even colder then CDA last year. The swim is a time trial start with 2 people going every 3 seconds. JP and I were paired up and we took off. He's not into the swimming so much so I pulled away from him within the first 100m. Note to self...... work more on swimming and long distance swimming. Once warmed up I got into my grove and made my way through the swim.
Bike: The course was not flat to say the least. The roads were wet so I was very cautious on the ride today. I never really pushed it too hard and recovered when needed. According to the gps I avg 19.2 and I feel as though that's where I'll be tomorrow and this afternoon. Only one thing to note on the bike. Some knucklehead passed me twice. Both times we were going about 40 mph downhill and when he passed he passed withing 1 foot of me. meaning he was 1 foot from my side. No one else was around us....not even close!!!!! If either of us moved just a little it would have been the end for both of us. Total assclown and he made it appear that all he cares about is himself. Jerkoff!
Run: Thank the lord Todd Gerlach told me to bring my trail running shoes. The run was 6.55 mi and 6 mi of it was on an old fire trail that was total mud. Big thanks from me saved my ass. The run was just as hilly as the ride and it didn't help that I made 3 stops. When you gotta go you gotta go! The gps says I averaged 7:23's but that does not include the 3 stops. We'll see later what my real time was.
Overall: Good race today and the rain brought in nice cold water for the after race soak. Had a 15 min massage after that.

I am currently watching my clothes dry in front of the heater in my motel room and all I want to do is take a nap. Not sure if that's going to happen since race #3 is in 2.5 hours.

Yesterday I started in 166th place. I was 106th by the end of the race. I amde some more advancement this morning. Once I find out the times I'll let you know.


Friday, May 21, 2010

Race #1.....wicked short dude.

Today has been a very long day. The first race didn't start until 5:00 p.m. You may say, "Wow, that's late for a tri." Yeah it's late but not for this tri. The first race of the Triple T is a supersprint. 250m swim, 5 mi bike and a 1 mile run. Here's the break down.
Pre race- I love it when people wear their Ironman shirts to races. No offense but I do find it a bit funny. I'm walking around with a Fore Play Sports Bar t shirt with stains all over it and I'm next to a guy w/ a Cozmel IM shirt. I like not fitting in.
With bike racked it didn't take me long to make a friend. Met a guy named JP from Chicago. He's an adventure racer and wanted to try something new. His dad used to play for the Blackhawks of the NHL so we hit it off with my mad hockey knowledge. Cool guy.
So this is no J&A's event because the start was a mess and it was late. Dan would never have stood for it. The sound system sucked and not many race officials seemed to care about being on time. Oh well.....I figured I'd be done in less than 30 minutes so I didn't care.
The swim was horrible!!!! The water was shallow and the mud was thick. It was like someone put black tape over my goggles because I couldn't see shit. The water was cold so that made it tolerable.
Bike: The bike was so damn short I never really got even close to going. I just kept my HR well above normal and pushed with what I could. It was more like a crit because there were many turns. There was one long hill at about mile 1.5 and I made up some ground on it over other people. I was cautious heading back down because it rained all day and people were flying down it. I didn't want to end my weekend on the first race so I enjoyed the rest. Funny thing was....there were 2 guys in front of me in full areo with areo helmets and they never pulled away on the hill. I was on my handle bars just relaxing and these 2 guys were over the top serious. I had a good laugh at their expense.
Run: A 1 mile run is freaking painful!!!!! It was on wet soggy grass and then a trail in the woods. Never caught my breath and never got my legs going but I did ok. Passed a few more people than passed me and I was happy with that.
Finish.....25:30. No idea what place that puts me in but I really don't care about that. Just here to see if I can survive the pain come Sunday.
After the race there was a creek just past the finish line and the water was cold. A bunch of us sat down in it for a while and yapped about the race. I told folks that there was no way in hell this would happen in Texas because of snakes. Not too much of a worry about that in Ohio.

Overall it was a good time and I feel as though I have not earned my lasagna for the evening. That should be made up with tomorrows horror show. 2 Oly' in the morning and one @ 3:00 pm.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Day #1 of Triple T race week

Today was a travel day. The flights to and from the airports were ok. Only real big deal was Ronnie freaking Milsap was on the same plane as me from Nashville to Columbus. Now that some real shit right there!
Once in Columbus I picked up my rental car and made the 2 hour journey south to Portsmouth, OH. Portsmouth is a nice little town with not much going for it unfortunately. You can tell that back in the 50's and 60's this used to be the place to be but not any more. They do have this loving Super 8 motel. It's a little shady but so am I and I am ok with that. Once here at the hotel I immediately put my bike together. What a mess that was. The chain was all sorts of tangled up and the damn headset wouldn't go back together without feeling loose. Thank the lord Geoff from J&A's was working today. I called him and he told me how it was originally and that totally saved my ass. I wasn't about to race with a shaky front end.
After the bike was built and test ridden I went looking for a grocery and food. I found the local Kroger and a nice small Italian place called Melini Cucina. Now, if you are ever in Portsmouth, OH ask your self why in the hell you are here and then if you are hungry check this place out. It's wicked small but the chix parm was the best I have ever had. I'll probably go back again tomorrow night for some take out.
So this my vibe of the place so far....
-Accommodations are on the shitty side but it's $55 a night and since I am by myself it's all good.
- My allergies are kicking up a little so this may suck just a bit.
- I love hotel....check that....MOTEL high speed Internet.
- There is not a lot of physical fitness going here in Portsmouth, OH.
- McDonalds is the closest food to the motel by over a mile. Guess I'll be seeing more of Portsmouth.
- The train tracks run across the street...and yes...the trains use them.
- Guice and Jess sent me up here with choc chip bars and some notes of good wishes. I almost coughed up the cookie thing when I read one of the notes: "I'm Logan Delaware......I'm a BIG fucking deal" .....holy shit that still makes me laugh.