Tuesday, June 30, 2009

That's right...Gettin serious now...

Well, I am starting to push it.. It feels good..

Friday I went out and did a brick consisting of a 20 mile loop bike loop followed up with a 4.5 mile run. During the run, I was extremely hot. When I got home, I looked at the thermo. It was 90 in the shade. No part of the run was in the shade.. I am guessing 100. Man that was rough. Felt good though!!

Saturday, after reading about someone else (Ange) doing her 100+ mile ride, I told myself it is time to change gears. If I am going to do this 1/2 iron this fall, I need to start acting the part. We put the kids down for nap. I told Crystal nonchalantly I was heading out for a 40 miler. She gave me a few encouraging words like "Don't be stupid" "Your going to hurt yourself" and off I went. You see, I have never biked more than 25 miles in my life. She means well. Last year, I increased mileage too fast and was injured most of the season... She had to listen to me complain about being injured and sore all the time.. Love ya hun :)

Anyway... after the first 20 miles, I felt great. I was averaging close to 18 MPH. The weather was in the mid 70's and the sun was actually out. Those of you not in Maine, this is a rare occasion lately...

As I started on the second 20, I kept saying to myself this can't be right. I should be in much more pain than this. I should not be able to maintain this speed... The wind started picking up...25 miles, 30 miles, 35 miles pass by on the bike computer. I am still going????!!! When I pulled back into the house after 40 miles, I could still walk. I averaged 17 MPH over 40 miles. I could still communicate with people and I was fine. Absolutely fine... I dare say I could have done 20 more... Maybe next week....

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Time to get Serious

Over the weekend my buddy Trevor flew his dad from Vegas to Buxton for fathers day. We went over Saturday and visited. I drank several six packs of Shipard, along with a couple of lobstahh drenched in butter. On Sunday morning, Crystal and the kids made me breakfast in bed. 4 homemade Belgian waffles drenched in syrup... Last night I sat on the couch and finished a pint of Ben and Jerry's that I had just purchased an hour earlier. I got on the scale this AM assuming I would see the results of my weekend splurge. What, how could this be true??? I lost 3 pounds over the weekend.. Weight loss is a complete mystery to me!!!

I have been running almost every other day. Today I ran a tough 5.2 loop. I have been alternating between either a tough hill climb run or a fast 3.4 loop. I have been staying off the bike and out of the pool. On July 4th, my father in law and I are running in the LL Bean 10K. I have heard the course is hilly. We shall see I guess. Thus this is why I have been running on the hills of Hollis. There are only a couple, so I just keep running up and down them!!..

I do need to get out on the bike and back in the pool though. I think as I start to taper for the Bean 10K, I will get back onto the bike and into the pool for a few light efforts. Right after the 10K, I need to get my ass in high gear to get ready for the Urban Epic tri.. .5 mile swim, 13 mile bike and 3.7 mile swim. Should be a fun, fast race... I have never done the Epic. It was an Olympic distance in the past. They shortened it this year..

Overall, I am happy with my progress this year. I feel good. I am stronger on every run. Faster on every bike ride. I did read an article today that was talking about getting to the next level in personal fitness. This could be running a faster 5K, a longer long run or a faster or longer bike. They compared it to transitioning from a teenager to an adult. It is a difficult transition. You will make mistakes. I am at that point. I feel I am close to breaking through. I am ready.... I guess I just need to spend less time with Shipyard and Ben and Jerry's though... Maybe not though. Maybe they are the key to my weight loss??! Nothing will change though if you do not get off the couch. I have never regretted going for a run or a bike ride. I have regretted sitting on the couch... Does that motivate you Sonya :)??

Monday, June 22, 2009

I know an IRONMAN

It is a pretty cool thing to be able to say you know an IRONMAN. My cousin Logan (pictured here)completed another full Ironman this weekend. Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. Although this was not his first, it is an amazing feat to me still. As I read his blog and others aspiring to be an Ironman, I am amazed and inspired.

10 years ago??? Logan moved away from Maine. At that point, Logan was not much of an athlete. Unless you consider beer drinking and having a blast with friends a sport.. Neither was I by any means either. I was usually drinking with him on the weekend.. I was smoking 2 packs a day and drinking several six packs a week. I then started getting e-mail from my cousin Logan. He was running in races. These were not normal races. He had to run or crawl through mud pits, climb walls or something weird like that. I thought the TX sun was getting to him for sure. It sounded like he was having fun though!!

Then I got an e-mail that he was doing a Triathlon!! I had no idea what triathlon was really about. I knew it was on TV once a year. It looked impossible.

To get a better understanding of what it was about, I volunteered at the Wildbear Sprint tri here in Maine. I was amazed that people of all shapes and sizes were competing. I decided then and there, this was something that I had to Tri...

I entered the Polar Bear the next year and have been competeting in Tri's since.. My wife got the bug too. We train and race together now. It is an amazing spot and has changed my life in so many ways. Thank you Logan!!
His blog can be followed here:

Monday, June 8, 2009

Pirate Tri Race Recap

This was my first Sunday Race. Crystal's parents had taken the kids Saturday afternoon and they were spending the night. This worked out great. Crystal and I went into packet picket, stopped by Amatos for some spagetti and then hit the grocery store on the way home. We were able to leisurely get our gear ready without having to worry about who was going to give baths, who was going to change diapers, who was tucking who in.. It was nice.. This was my 6th tri in the past three years. My First was the Wild Bear with my sister Rhonda. As I went to bed that night and thought about the race, I realized this was the first time I truely felt confident in my training. I knew I was going to finish. I knew a lot of the competition was in NH for the weekend. My only concern was the funeral home.. I will explain in a bit...

The alarm went off at 5:30. I think we both were awake around 5:00 though. We were on the road by 6:30. Things were just going really smooth. Everything just felt right.

We arrived at Point Sebago around 7:15. There were no lines. We got right to the parking lot and unloaded. There were no porta potties. There were actual bathrooms. This was a welcome change! We got to transition and I was on the first rack. No one else was there so I grabbed the outside spot. Crystal was on the next rack. We took our time in setting up, getting marked and then getting our wetsuits on. Around 8:40, Crystal's Mom and Dad showed up with the kids. The kids were excited to see us. That is always cool.

Fast forward to 9:00 AM. Crystal and I are both red caps for the swim. Red caps are wave 1. Men red caps start at 9:00 AM. Female red caps start 30 seconds later. At 9:00AM, the canon fires. Yes an actual canon. It is the Pirate Tri...

The swim was crowded. of the 225 or so, there was only 4 waves. The water was brisk, but not too bad. I never really got into a comfortable rythem due to either swimming up onto someone or being swum?? up onto.. Chalk it up to first open water of the year.. I was out of the water in a little over 9 minutes. I was extremely happy with that, A PR for me for 1/3 mile..

T1 was rough. I was extremely winded. I struggled getting my wetsuit off and my Jack and Adams race shirt on . Thanks TX cuz for the shirt.. a disappointing 3 minutes...

Off I go on my bike. I am passing people left and right.. OK, settle down.. I do after about 2 miles.. We take our first right off 302. We start to climb. We continue gradually climbing for the next 6 miles or so. These climbs are seperated with short downhills or at least gradual uphills. We then take the right onto Quaker Ridge road. The sign says Hall Funeral Home 3/4 mile. There is a reason there is a funeral home at the top. By the time I get to the top, I am thinking about going in to the funeral home to check their prices... It was tough. A lot of people passed me. I need to definately spend some time doing some hill work. The view was great though. Clear views of Mount Washington. You could also see Sebago Lake. As the decent started, I realized just how long we had been climbing. I looked down at one point and was cruising at 40MPH. I pulled off the aero bars and slowed a bit. 40 is pretty fast. There were a few bumps...

As I approach T2, I felt good. The crowd was great. I passed a few people right before dismount. My confidence was high.. Bike time was 49:21. Since I do not have clip ins, T2 was fast. Dropped of bike and grabbed race bib. 36 seconds..

I took off fast out of transition. As I approached the 1/2 mile mark, I realized I was starting to cramp in the calfs. I ran through it and was fine by mile 1 marker. It is a lollipop course. I saw Kyle, a guy I work with heading back from his loop. He was cruising along. I realized that I was too.. I was passing people left and right. I then saw Crystal heading her her way out on the run. She was looking great. She hates running. She looked like a runner!. We did a quick high five as we passed. It was a nice boost.. At mile marker 2, I passed a girl who was my age and was in much better shape than I. I do not think she was impressed. She stayed on my ass all the way to the finish. I was not going to let her get by. She propbably took close to a minute off my run time. (She did get by, right at the finish... My run was 23:45, hers 23:44.)

I ended up 49th out of 105 men. 75th of 226 overall and 8th of 25 in my age group. I was extremely happy with that even though a lot of the competion was in NH. It was a great event and hope that it is held again next year..

On the weightloss front, I lost 8 pounds since the Polar Bear. Hopefully another 8 - 10 by Urban Epic...