This will (somewhat) chronicle the next, and so far best, chapter in my life! I've moved to Hockessin, DE with an amazing woman that I am happy to call my fiance, and soon my wife. I also have a great house, dog, and couldn't be happier!

23 August 2008

20 August 2008

Not quite Michael Phelps, but...

I was pretty proud of it!

Here I am in first place of the Male 30-34 Age Group at the Patriot's Triathlon.
There are more pictures (action shots) from the race here.

Sad Day for Music

Another one of my favorites has suffered a huge loss.

LeRoi Moore, the saxophonist for the Dave Matthews Band (and arguably the most talented of them all) has died.

He was 46.

Gary Lee "LeRoi" Moore
7 September 1961 - 19 August 2008

18 August 2008

Race Report - North East Triathlon

North East Triathlon, Olympic Distance. North East, MD 17 August 2008

Swim – 1500m
Bike – 23.5 miles
Run – 10 k

The problem with this race is that I really didn’t prepare as well as I should have! Fortunately, I had enough “residual in-shapeness” to get through it. After the Patriot’s Triathlon (the pseudo-half-ironman race two weekends ago), I needed a couple days rest. Then, I went up to New Hampshire for my cousin’s wedding. I intended to at least run while in NH. For anyone reading this, you’ll know that when my family gets together (and especially with my cousin’s family….oh God…), moments of exercise are rare. I give huge props to Holly and John for running while on this vacation! I, however, was not strong enough. Then, the following week, I knew I should be tapering to get ready, but I took that a bit too far. I ran once….and that’s it. My overall time for the race wasn’t spectacular, but I got through it. My hamstrings are killing me (and were on the run), but that is purely my fault. No lingering injuries, etc. I just haven’t been stretching enough and I know it!

The overall race setup was good, but the bike course was a bit scary. I understand that races can’t close entire sections of highway, but this was borderline ridiculous. After the car hit me two years ago, I still hate traffic when it’s too close. And on this race, it was VERY close. Not to mention that there were a lot of downhills on the bike course. This means that you start going very fast. There are a couple problems with this. For one, you easily approach speeds of 40 mph. For those who have never fallen off a bike, next time you’re going 40 mph in your car, imagine stripping down to your underwear and jumping out of the door. To say nothing of the fact that when you wreck on a bike, it’s like wrecking on a ski slope – you turn into a yard sale. And if a car is right behind you when you wreck, it will likely run you over.

There was one guy who buzzed me pretty close, and I’m sure I made my displeasure known to him. He was in a convertible, so I know he heard me tell him that I thought he was a procreational human solid waste orifice. If by chance he didn’t hear me, I’m sure he got the message when I gave him the universal gesture to go forth and be asexual. What a jerk.

The final general comment was on the announcers at the end of the race. These CGI folks (the company who puts on this series of races) are pretty cool. When I was finishing, I heard, “…and from Philadelphia, here comes Armour – makin’ it look easy!” To another kid who was wearing his visor sideways: “…and now finishing is Josh. You know Josh, if you straighten out the bill of your visor, you run faster!” They also asked people to get them beers from the local food tent. Maybe you had to be there, but I thought they were pretty funny.

And here we go…

Place: 78 / 286
Place Age Group (M30-34): 16 / 29
Not to make too many excuses, but this race attracted a LOT of very good triathletes. Elites, Pros, etc. Competition was the toughest I’ve seen this year!

Swim overall place: 104/286
Swim age group: 16/29
Pace - 2:17/100m

Have you ever been driving and wished that one particular driver had two things:
1 – cruise control?
2 – a f-ing clue as to where he is going?
Because that person keeps drifting in front of you, and just when you think you’ve passed them for the last time, they reappear, only to slowly list in front of you again. Makes you want to drive them into a bridge abutment…

There was a guy doing that to me throughout the swim. Granted, this was an open water swim in a triathlon, so you have to expect stuff like that, but I really wanted to stop and drown this guy so that he’d quit getting in my way.

Not the best swim time, but I think the way they did the start and finish times were part of it. The mat for the timing was pretty far from the swim exit, and then you had to run about 500m to the transition area! Ridiculous! Wetsuits were legal, but it was the gray area ,which means that if you wear one and do well enough to place, you technically can’t place (the wetsuit would give you too much of an advantage). I decided not to wear mine, because this was a good excuse to not have to deal with taking the damn thing off. I really don’t think it hurt me, I felt good, even though my times don’t really reflect a great swim.

Transition 1:
T1 overall place: 132/286
T1 age group: 17/29

Obviously, the timing folks went a little overboard with their tracking of our times and places, but I figured what the hell. I’ll include it here!

Not a bad transition. No wetsuit to contend with, but a very long run from the swim out to the transition area, and another long run to the bike out.

Bike overall place: 42/286
Bike age group: 8/29
Pace – 22.1 mph

Good bike other than the aforementioned comments on the course. Definitely a rolling hills course. The good news is that for every 12 mph uphill, there was an equal 40 mph downhill. Fortunately, I once again employed the Lance Armstrong method of a lower gear and pedaling with a higher cadence. Hmmm, might be something to the fact that the guy won 7 consecutive Tours de France. I felt good on the uphills and still had plenty left for the run. The hamstrings started to tighten up even at the beginning, so I knew the run was going to be tough. Other than that, pretty uneventful bike.

T2 overall place: 184/286
T2 age group: 21/29

Obviously, I need to work on my transition times. This one was terrible. I knew it too. I was having problems with my socks and took forever to get them on. Ugghhhh

Run overall place: 124/286
Run age group: 18/29
Pace – 8:10 / mi

If nothing else, I was consistent in placement within my age group. I was fairly happy with the run. Again, lots of hills with very little flats at all. On the bike, that’s nice because you can rest and make up time on the downhill. With the run, the downhill doesn’t take your wind like the uphill, but it’s still tough on your legs. I felt okay most of the run until about mile 5. That’s when the left hamstring really started to tighten up. At one point, pulling up one of the last hills, I wasn’t sure if I’d finish! I did though, and I’m glad I did.

Even though I should have trained a bit more for this race, I’m not sure how much faster I would have been. Maybe a bit on the swim and run, but I was happy with the bike.

Good race, pretty good organization. Definitely a race I’d do again in the future!

15 August 2008

New Blog Link

A classmate of mine recently finished a pretty impressive line up of schools, culminating with passing the New York State Bar Exam!

I supposed she decided she deserved a much needed break (I know I would!) and decided to spend nine weeks abroad.

Her "travel blog" is linked over to the right - Seeing and Remembering.

It's just started, but there is a map showing where she'll be going, as well as updates while she's on the road.

I just thought it was very interesting and actually....I'm very jealous!


05 August 2008

Another Race.....

Well, I was talked into another one...

North East Triathlon

This is an Olympic distance (1500m swim, 23.5 mi bike, 10k run) race down near the Chesapeake Bay. A friend of mine that I bumped into in my triathlon club suggested we run this one. He's much faster than me, but it will be nice to travel to a race and compete with another person for a change.

It's kind of cool - we vaguely knew each other in IOBC, and hadn't seen each other until we crossed paths at the club tent after the Philly Tri back in June.

Since I can't find anyone at work to even consider a triathlon (to most oil workers, any physical exercise is an anathema), it's nice to be able to find someone to push me to race!

Expect another race report in about two weeks!

03 August 2008

Longest Race So Far!

Patriot’s Triathlon

1300m Swim (.81 mile), 41 mile Bike, 7.6 mile Run

Awesome race overall. I still want to do the half-iron distance, but this is a great length for a race.

This was the longest distance I’ve done to date. It was a good indicator and progress check for me in my hopes to complete a full half-iron distance race later this year (half-iron: 1.2 mi Swim, 56 mile Bike, 13.1 mile Run). I discovered that I’m in much better shape for it than I thought! I was very concerned about the run, as I’ve never run that far after a bike that far, but overall I was very happy with my results. Here they are:

Overall: 25th out of 105

Age Group (Male, 30-34): 1st out of 9

I also finished first out of everyone in my triathlon club!

My individual splits are here.

1300m Swim (26:39, 1:52/100m, 50th)

Great swim, but way too crowded. It was a two loop course in an old gravel pit, so there was no running or wading to start or finish. The water was warm (about 78 deg F), and wetsuits were allowed. The two bad things were the crowd and the sun glare. The longest leg on each loop was right into the sun, so you had to give it your best guess to stay on course. They should have split us into two waves because going around every buoy was a nightmare. It was so crowded; I was basically treading water and waiting for people to get out of the way. Otherwise, I felt relaxed and good on the swim. I averaged about a 1:52 / 100m pace which isn’t bad for the crowds and about what I average on good training swims.

T1 (2:18)

Not a bad transition. I did take my time a bit as I wanted to get plenty of food down prior to the bike. As usual, the damn wetsuit took forever to get off, but otherwise, a pretty smooth transition.

41 mi Bike (1:57:28, 20.9 mph, 18th)

Good course. As described in the pre-race brief, definitely a lot of rolling hills, with only one or two notable climbs. Of course, when Norine reads this, I’m sure she’ll think, “…hills? You mean those speed bumps you have out there on the East Coast?!” (Norine lives and races in Colorado Springs and now Denver, by the way). Anyway, there were a lot of turns and a lot of down hills to make up for the climbs. It was pretty windy but due to the constant changes in direction, the wind ended up being a non-factor. The course was one big 20 mile loop, followed by two shorter loops – about 10 miles each. Those courses are good and bad: good because you know about where you are, and what’s in front of you; but bad because… know where you are and what’s in front of you! I was only passed a couple times, which I’m okay with on this distance.

T2 (1:43)

Not bad. Could have gone a little faster, but this was the part I was most nervous about – the transition from bike to run.

7.6 mi Run (1:04:09, 8:27/mi, 32nd)

I couldn’t believe how good my legs felt at the start! Granted, the run started out downhill, which was huge. At about mile 2, the first uphill hit us and I felt every single mile of that bike ride! I couldn’t believe the difference from downhill running after that ride to the uphill running. Around mile 3, there was a long downhill and I just remembered how much I wasn’t looking forward to running up that hill on the way back. It was an out and back course – plenty of shade, good breeze, and a slight uphill at the end. The best part of the run was that I saw a guy in my age group pass me right in the first mile. At the time, I had no idea what my place was overall or in my age group. But, I managed to keep the guy in sight the whole time. Around mile 6 (coming up that big hill) I gained a lot of ground and then blew past him! I ended up beating him by about 2 minutes and secured 1st in my age group. Felt great!

I think they were taking pictures for this one. Once they’re posted, I’ll follow up with whichever ones I can find.

I was really surprised at how well I finished! Now I can relax, take an easy week, and party like a rock star at my cousin’s wedding next weekend!