Sunday, September 15, 2013

Star Crossed Cyclocross Cat 4/5.

The weather was super warm for Seattle Cyclocross, around 70 with higher than normal humidity.  Walking from the parking lot, all you could see is a few riders and a cloud of dust rising up. 

They stacked Qty (3) fields of 80 people in rows of 8 for a 240 person mass start on a 2.8K circuit.  Getting the privilege to start at the back of the pack, lets just say I wasn't going to get a hole shot and just wanted to not eat it on the first couple of corners.

The gun went off and took quite some time before I could even start and by the time I got to go, the leaders were at least 1000 meters into the course.  Taking off, I stayed with my line, but played it safe not wanting to go down with a stream of people behind me.

This is the first corner 200 meters into the course.  Imagine 240 people all taking this was a mess, but that is why it is called Cyclocross.  At least it wasn't pouring rain and super slick.

About 2 mins later was the token stair run up.  Luckily this race had a short stair climb, but watching 8 people wide scale these things was a sight to see.

After sending us all over the velodrome, they sent us down the field which left your arms feeling like jelly with the super bumpy track.  Now the dust bowl starts.  After rounding this corner, someone blessed the course with a giant drop of purple chalk, so as we went through, everyone got covered in purple dust, then sprinkled with light brown dust.    Lets just say my lungs were not too happy and took its toll.

As I was 2 mins into lap 5 I heard the announcer say the leaders of the CAT 4/5 were on their last lap....errg my goal was to stay on the lead lap.  Mid way through this lap the bouncing had taken its toll and could barely hold onto the hoods of my handlebars and had to slow down so I didn't go down.

Into the last corner I hear, "inside leaders coming through" as I went wide and sped up on the straight away, the top 3 of the CAT 4/5 took me in the last 50 feet and my race was done.  Soo close, almost held the lead lap.

True to form I had 1 bike part rattle itself off during the race, but all the bolts stayed fastened and my front wheel didn't fall off this time.  But the cap for my shifter had enough of life and bailed...

However, I take some solace that the start of the race had 1000 meter head start on me, and considering I haven't trained routinely since June I was pretty excited where I ended up.  It the end, that one beat me up more than usual.

Post race I took a walk down pit lane.  It is always interesting to see such a wide range of bike on the course.  From Carbon framed Shimano Di2 shifting bikes with MADFIBER wheels, to the generic REI brand cross bike.  In the end, if your motor works well, you are in business.  It still amazes me how strong those carbon wheelsets are and what they can withstand.

Until next time, keep the wheels down.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Banff Grand Fondo.

Got a blessing with the weather.  The night before it was blustery, wet and cold. 

Woke up to a surprisingly warm morning, barely a cloud in the sky.  This was going to be a great day.  Got to the race site early, switched my number from a jacket to a jersey and arm warmers. 

Getting to line up 15 minutes before the start and found this!  With 1500 riders it was packed.  Joined in the end of the 4.5 hour group for a 89 mile ride.  I was doing this for a fun, non-competitive  reason to keep in shape.

The sea of people were going to make for a crazy start.  My only experience with a mass start is cyclocross which is mad chaos.  The race was delayed for what I was told a monster Bull Elk blocking the path 1/2 mile in.  With problems like this it will make for a good start.

The ride was super hard to concentrate on riding, rather just looking around at the beautiful sights.  The route started off flat, then 1 mile in found myself around 12% grade for nearly 1/2 mile.  The folks in the 4.5 hour route were not 4.5 hour riders as the hill weeded out quite a few really quickly, but I was in for the fun of it and kept grinding up the hill.

For the entry fee, they gave us our own lane to ride in which was a super nice on the ride out to Lake Miniwanka. 

Coming back through town there was a lot of cow bell cheering us on.  Turned out by Vermillion Lakes and onto the Bow Valley Parkway. At the first aid station I pigged out on Honey Stinger products and enjoyed the atmosphere.  Below is a photo from the first aid station.

After riding 52 miles (at Lake Louise) I looked at the guys next to me and asked perhaps with a bit too much energy "who is ready to go run a 1/2 marathon".  I have never seen anyone look at my like I was from a new planet of crazy.  Kinda weird for a group that doesn't think twice about riding 89 miles.

So to keep things light, the nice folks of Banff provided a German ooompa-lumpa band for the last stop around 70 miles in.

I was able to pick up a pace line of ~13 folks or so and before could never figure out how someone uses 52x12 gearing until I got in the pace line.  Went from 19.5mph at 155 HR to 23.5mph at 141 HR.  Super fun, but had a lot of surging going on.

The views were hard to describe and no I did not photoshop this one.  Castle Junction.

Riding with a camera this sign said "watch for wildlife".  Some don't believe it but up in Banff Alberta be prepared for anything.

So What do you do when a Big Horn Sheep takes a land and stares you down.....give him the whole lane and slow to take a photo.  Super cool

After going around the corner I found the rest of the herd on the side of the road.  Note the length of the horn curl. 

Coming home around mile 82 or so my legs were feeling a bit tired so I stopped to enjoy the view on the way home.  Hard to take a bad photo of these things.  Typical views from the whole trip.

In all, felt pretty good for only training up to a 3.5 hour bike ride and not really training since June.  Will have to give coach Jason of SET Coaching credit for getting me fit earlier in the year before a shoulder and foot injury took me out of Xterra and Triathlon this year.

If you want an excuse to see unreal mountains, wildlife, a great relaxed vibe and a whole land for yourself between Banff and Lake Louise come check the Banff Grand Fondo out. 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Xterra Phillipines

Xterra Philippines-the Tour de France feeling in Xterra

A race is more than just a course. It is made up of the location, people and with those people in the location you get atmosphere. For Xterra Philippines, from the moment I arrived I felt a bit like a rock star. From the Driver at the airport with a sign with Xterra Mr. Mike Waring, asking about bikes, how long I train, to the welcome ceremony at the Cebu Convention center which was over the top like China’s Opening Olympic ceremony in 08, while at the race venue, you have shuttles to take you to/from the race site, guides to take you around the bike course. It never stopped.

A little background, the title sponsor for Xterra Philippines is Vaseline for Men. I snickered too when I first heard that, but there were billboards everywhere. Turns the make everything from shampoo, aftershave, soap, and a host of “skin whitening products”. Yes, just what I need, for my skin to be whiter. While the US thirsts for a golden brown, they want to get whiter. The world is a funny place. Vaseline for Men is like a Proctor and Gamble.

Pre-ride: Soo hot. I went from 34 with rain mixed with snow to 90 and 89% humidity and went out for a ride 2 days later. The course is two loops a has a lot of hardpack, road sections connecting trails, quite a few short steep climbs, a couple semi-loose descents (very reasonable), and about 15~20 mins of knarly slice your sidewalls lava rock. The graveyard sections had one nice short descent that you had to keep your speed and get off your front break and was bumpy with rocks. A very fast course that has just enough to keep a roadie on his toes.

Pre-Run: No way to find the race course here, it winds around villages.

Race Day:

We had a kind phone call to wake us up at 0345 to remind us breakfast was at 0400 and the busses left at 0445. Super early morning, but with that heat, no problem.

Arrived at the venue and the place was already packed. Made my way to transition, past the security with Machine guns (at least my bike was safe), set up transition, then plastered on Planet Sun Hawaii sunscreen went out for a warm up (super easy to get warm). Got back switched over to do a quick swim warm up. Noted Silicon swim caps are much warmer than the normal ones they give you.

Race start:
With a remote control helicopter with a camera filming us, the Governor of the Cebu prepared to start the race. I decided to line up front with the group since everyone was way too far back and found myself behind Coach Lance Watson. Figured I could follow feet for maybe 25 meters.

When the gun went off, I was doing pretty well for the first 200 meters, found some feet and hung on until I got a fist to the left goggle knocking the seal. I had to quickly drain water, put it back on, started swimming again, and got caught by the trash and smash swimmers and got eaten. The first lap was still in the low 13 mins so I thought I could salvage a good time out of this, but the jet lag, lack of sleep, hydration levels, and just plain “hot” feeling in the water I felt like I fell apart. Still exited the water right at 30 mins. When I took my silicon swim cap off it felt like hot tub water so I knew there was no cooling going on there.

Got out on the bike and started to hammer, caught quite a few people and was starting to make up ground when I realized my camel back was not providing water, the hose was pinched somewhere and I didn’t check it. After hearing an Xterra Pros story about a pinched water hose and the struggle, I pulled off, lost some time, got it right and went forward. While this is going on the course is lined with spectators everywhere cheering. As we passed schools, they had a whole cheer for us. At some point it was painfully loud, but soo cool. I however was not cool, I was cooking, melting almost shutting down. About ½ through the first lap I realize this went from racing to surviving. When we got on a ridgeline and the wind came, my HR dropped 10 beats and I could hammer until the next valley or lack of wind. Apparently I was the whitest person most of these folks had ever seen because the only thing I kept hearing was …”hes so white”, whoa-white, and a few school girls wanting to touch my skin…I was the tourist attraction.

By the time I got back to transition I was over 2 hours a bit disappointed, but I hadn’t passed out (worried a few times), had survived running out of water, a few hill walks where I wasn’t sweating (super scary), nowhere nowhere near enough electrolytes and was ready to go for the run.

Out of transition for the run I knew it was hot, so I grabbed my cycling water bottle dumped on my head, filled it out of transition and started running. Could hold 8:30 miles for the first 2, then the heat hit….even with the cheering crowds I was falling apart. This run course was so much fun…everywhere had crowds, we were running through back yards, chicken coops, past herds of goats tied, through another farm with peacocks, horses, all lined with people cheering. It was soo tight that you couldn’t see who was behind you but could hear the crowd erupting for the guy behind me. Turns out it was the towns mayor on the running relay blowing by me. By this time was barely managing 9:30~9:45 min miles and legs were starting to feel cramps coming on. Then got to have some fun on a super long raised bamboo bridge across fish ponds. I was expecting to keep getting caught but wasn’t getting caught by that many oddly enough. Then we had a beach run, only no beach, the tide came in and we were in almost waist deep water…the two guys in front of me were #4 and #5 in my age group, tried swimming, but the sea water was kinda gross.

Once back on land they both took off and didn’t see them until the finish line. I finished with a 60 min 10K, but I didn’t pass out (was really concerned about this), didn’t completely cramp out, and still finished.

As my radiator died before my engine died, I had a little extra for the finish line photo below.

Click here for a Youtube highlight video:  Xterra Phillipines

Xterra Philippines: If you want to go to a race to see the spectators, feel like a rockstar and I think Xterra Pro Will Kelsey said it best that this is the closest we will come to a Tour De France cycling feeling, then this race is for you. Logistically it is set up to arrive Thursday or Friday, race Sunday, leave Mon or Tuesday. I don’t recommend coming from 34 degrees to 92 degrees and 90% humidity with only 2 days to adjust. A bit difficult to train in local community due to location and traffic practices. Also recommend finding where the Whale Sharks are that time of year before you get there and have a plan to get there after the race.  The place is like no race venue you have seen, it has huge sponsorship money so they don't mess around making it look awesome.

Post Race:
Monday most people were leaving and I was looking for something to do. Talked to the local Hotels activity desk and they recommended Island Hoping. Turns out it is snorkeling, and cruising around the neighboring island. Sounded like fun and they quoted $82 USD for a day. My initial thought was man , that seems kinda steep, until I realized I rented the boat and a guide for the entire day. So I hoped on the boat, had a guide and 2 boat crew. Saw Dolphins, played with clown fish, had a crazy fish feed and then chilled onboard as we went to a bamboo floating restaurant. Enjoyed 6 large prawns and rice and went back snorkeling. The weather got rough so we decided to head back after 6 hours of snorkeling and chillin. Good day. Couldn’t get to the Whale Sharks down south, but that is ok, will have to get them another time.

Sad Part of the Philippines:

I usually would not write about this in a race report, but people need to hear that this is really going on today.   While waiting for the airport shuttle in the hotel lobby (had a couple hours) reading a book, another American in his late 50’s approached me and started chatting, no grilling me with questions. This guy creeped me out as a complete sleeze bag within 30 seconds. The types of questions he was asking were way out of line for casual conversation while traveling overseas. So I fired a few very pointed questions back and came to find out he was in Cebu with his Girlfriend that he met in Manila in an online chat room while in Arizona.  He Flew to Manila, flew her down to Cebu for a week, then sent her home and he was going back to Arizona. So I not so quietly repeated what he just said out loud for others to hear and realized he was a full blown Sex tourist. The type you hear about on a 60 minutes special It saddened me that this really exists. I was soo tempted to lay into further but he caught on that I saw what he was doing and he said by and quietly left. Errg this guy is part of the problem of why Human Trafficking exists.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Xterra Black Diamond

At 7 pm the night before the race, I went to the local Rite Aid and picked up a digital thermometer. Luckily I didn't have a fever. I bet you can guess where this race report is going.

Saturday Morning: I woke up and could not breath through my nose at all, completely plugged. Yikes didn't look good. By the time I got to the raece site, my nose had slightly unclogged, but breathing still was a bit of a struggle. Got a late start and my warm up was cut short--a couple 100 meter swim starts. not good.

Xterra Black Diamond is a tricky swim start. There is a 15 yard break in the lilly pads or a 5 foot break on the left side. I got squeezed last year on the right, so I went left. Oops. I ate lilly pads big time. The turn around was a 15 yrd run on an island. "Wilson" Tom Hank's buddy on castaway was on the island. I felt like I had put a lot of effort into the swim and when I saw 9:50 for a 500 I knew it was going to be a long race day. On the way back, the ability not to breath slowed me down and decided to just work on skills. I was shooting for right at 18 minutes. Oh well...

Getting into T2, I slipped on a brand new pair of Gaerne MTB tri shoes. Pulling a totally rookie move, I had only used these for a 20 minute MTB ride before the race hoping the lockttight on the pedal cleats was enough to hold the cleat on. I must say, my first impression I was blown away. Not only are they super smooth to put on, comfortable, but man they were as stiff as some carbon soled MTB shoes I have tried. Stiff is awesome for power transfer. I can get over the absurd "white" MTB shoe for the fact that they use the uppers from their top end road TRI shoes. I like it! I actually would pick these for a ride over my pair of SIDI Domidators for MTB riding. Can't wait to practice with these sockless.

But equipment is only as good as its motor. And this motor had its air intake filter completly clogged. I tried to take off and put down a good MTB ride since this is a super technical bumpy course where good lines can make up minutes. But no, all I did was make myself tired and cause a couple guys who didn't want me to pass to fall over going too hard. Still can't get over why folks, when asked to pass, don't let you pass, instead push themselves into failure and crash. Oh well. By the second lap I was feeling really tired, but the legs felt fresh, just no O2 going to them. I focused on a clean 2nd lap and it felt more like a good MTB skills day rather than a race pace. Took it easier. Overall, I was only 3 mins down from last year, not

I made it a point to going through T2 as fast as possible. Boy did those new MTB TRI shoes make a difference. So easy to slip off and leave on the bike.

T2: Mike 36 seconds: Mike's Coach 37 seconds(hehe)...BUT...he also ran 14 minutes faster than I did, so that 1 second only made Mike feel good. I give props to Coach Jason:
Set Coaching

Run: I went out and settled into a really good rythm. I was quite suprised as I picked off 6 people and felt like I could still push it. But by the time I got to the water, the hills and roots took their toll and my HR went into the redline zone and had to slow down. Took a gel shot and never recovered. I guess you can only run a motor without proper air intake for soo long before it shuts down. I got passed by 2 folks near the finish line, but really didn't care, because at this point it was all about the finish line photo.

At Ironman Couer D'Alene I was to weak to pull off a cartwheel, but at Xterra Black Diamond, my motor died, but my muscles were barely phased and quite strong still.

I pulled off the carthweel finish. Note: Make sure you finish before your timing chip crosses, otherwise it won't count.

I somehow managed to pull off a 3rd place age group finish. The best part of the whole day was when they handed out Podium finisher glasses and the manufacture swapped Xterra Black Diamond's with Anglea and Teddy's wedding. That will make for a fun wedding :)...note the photo next door.

Post race: I made it home and slept.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Ironman Coeur D'alene 2011

Race Morning:

With a 4am wake up alarm, I got ready for the day, made some oatmeal and at the advice of my coach, chugged down an ensure. Man 4am is early.

Getting to the race start, I ran into Scott Archibald from Multisport Ministry. After a brief chat, we got back to setting up the final bike stuff and prepping for a good start. Good to know there is at least one other MsM member out on the race today.

As I approached the start line, I realized this was the first time in many months, my legs didn’t feel sore-infact, they felt super strong. I was feeling good, fueled up by what seemed like a ridiculous amount of calories the previous couple of nights (thankful I did that) and ready to go. Photo" The start line is that way!

Swim: 2.4 miles, 2 lap course.

Having watched the Youtube videos of past IM CDA start, I didn’t want to get caught in the instant mosh pit of swimmers (I’m a newer swimmer), so I started toward the back of the pack. The announcer came on and said “the only thing you can control today is your attitude, so go have the race of your life” U2’s it’s a beautiful day came on and Boom, the cannon went off. Took me 35 seconds to even reach the water.

Swim Start link below: What does 2600 athletes mass starting into the water look like?

(Not sure who to give credit to for this video)

Instant chill with the 55~56 degree water, but I started off slow with my face ½ in and out of the water to slowly adjust. After 100meters, I settled into a grove and then hit a mosh pit of stopped swimmers ~250~300 meter mark. I popped my head up, saw the guy next to me going for it thru the maze, tucked behind him and made it thru. Soon I noticed I was passing everyone around me. I did a quick level of effort check and realized I was still really holding back knowing this was a long swim, so I went with long stokes with lots of hip rotation and glide. Continued to pass lots of people until the first turn.

Remembering back to the Xterra World Championships swim where 550 people turned in 300 meters, I decided to go really, really wide around the first corner and swam ~40~50 feet past the buoy to make the turn. This worked out great as I only had to do the doggie paddle for a short turn then got to swim between buoys. Later found out that it was a mess closer in to the buoys and I made a good choice.

When I got out of the water for the first lap/beach run, I was expecting to have gone 45~50 mins due to the traffic and feeling like I swam really slowly. Nope, 40 mins out of the water and at 41 mins I was back in the water starting lap 2.

At the first buoy my arms/lats could tell I had been swimming for awhile. Rounded the buoy just fine and on the way back only got a fist to the right goggle from a dude that decided to make a random 90 degree turn. Getting a little tired and a bit grumpy, I checked my attitude and decided to pray for him instead. Then smack, my arm ran into a lady that randomly stopped in front of me. Had a few toe taps from a guy drafting, but I guess I was going a bit fast for him as he soon dropped off. Way less physical contact/mosh pitting than I expected. The arms and feet a flying was much less than I thought.

I stood up out of the water in 1:20 shocked that I went that fast because I felt like I was swimming really really slow (remembering I had at least 10.5 hrs more to go). After navigating traffic to the exit arch, I had a time of 1:21. Very happy with the results. My Goal was 1:20 to 1:40. With all the traffic, I was really happy.

Transition: T1:

Controlled Craziness. Some dude took my bike gear bag, after searching for 30 seconds he came back handed to me and grabbed his. Got changed, was freezing, so I added a vest and arm warmers. Got a bit lost in transition (but found my bike on the first try).

Bike: 112 miles. Approx 3300 vertical climbing.

For the first 1.5 hrs, I tried really hard to stick to a HR of low 140s. This put me at 20 miles in 61 mins, just slightly under 20mph. The next 25 is where the rolling hills came in. Again tried not to spike the HR and focused on keeping to my eating, electrolyte, drinking routine I had practiced.

*Best quote of the day. “I am sure glad I have a disc wheel, aero bike, aero helmet, aero water bottle, and aero bars, so I can chug 7mph up this hill!” (random guy next to me).

First lap of the bike (56 miles) came in at 3:01 and I was feeling strong. Somewhere around mile 80 I started noticing something wasn’t right. I could blink and no longer get tears to form…looking at my electrolyte pill bottle, it was only 1/3 gone…oops, I should have been over ½ done with it. In the process of catching up on electrolytes, my energy started to slowly go down and my sustainable HR dropped from 146ish to 130’s. My first wall. Started getting foot cramps in the ball of my left foot (they went away after 10 mins or so). This is where I went from having lots of extra power in the tank, to this is about all the faster I am going to go. I just kept going knowing that it would pass and to just keep pedaling. Somewhere around mile 105 I started to get some strength back and finished out the bike (though my right ball of my foot started cramping randomly).

-Temps were prefect-mid 70’s, winds were barely noticeable, except when doing 30+mph and it hit you sideways… The course was gorgeous. Part along lake Coeur D'alene, part country side near Hayden Id.

Transition 2: No issues. Gave the bike to the volunteers, found my gear bag, got in the tent, someone helped me out, stopped by the sunscreen lady for a quick touch up on the shoulder's and off again in a little over 5 mins. Outside of an Ironman, I would be appalled at the transition time, but perfectly happy on this race.

Run: 26.2 miles: Approx 1700ft climbing (by Garmin 310xt)
Running out of transition, the crowd lined the streets, cheering on, really neat feeling. After 3 miles I had settled into what I thought was a reasonable pace for my energy level. Somewhere in the low/mid 10 min mile range. Felt ok until the Bennet Bay hill approx mile 5.5…my legs said walk time. Got to the top, ran down the other side, turned around, and ran back up the hill and kept going back. Started to feel a bit fatigued, but still doing ok. At this point, I could still pass few people. I was still following the 4 Hammer Nutrition Endurolytes an hour and 1 serving of Hammer Gel every 40 mins or so.

After the turnaround (2hrs 30min) I met up with the folks coming out of transition and got behind a big dude (my height &235lbs). We were running the same pace. I wanted to applaud him and ask about his story.

Here is where the amazing volunteers and aid station energy really really helped out. There was a little girl on a microphone (8 year old maybe), with the energy of a squirrel on Red Bull, cheering everyone on, calling them out by name...really nice.

Somewhere around mile 15ish, my legs (from knee to feet) decided they had enough. I lost the argument with them and walked. I had been playing leap frog running/walking the big dude trotting along and decided to keep with him for awhile. Got to the hill again and it was walk time. Actually, walked up the hill, down and to the turn around, back up the hill and back down.

On the final 6 miles I made baby goals, first to jog to the next aid station, then walk. I ended up jogging almost 4 miles there.

I had a song from the band Jesus Culture stuck in my head the whole time, so I kept singing and praising God along the way. The legs didn't feel any different, but man that gives you a complete refresh in mental energy.

As I would trot by other athletes, I would try to encourage them. One guy soon past me and said "Hey Multisport Ministries, you got me going again, feel free to send some prayer my way." Kinda Cool to see how my actions made a difference.

-Electrolyte wise I had taken 3~4 endurolytes an hour, still not enough, so I started sucking down Ironman Perform drink. Tasted like fruit punch flavored chicken broth-yuck. Outside of a race, I don't think I could enjoy that drink. I had gone through 5 servings of Hammer Gel in 4.5 hrs and took in powerbar gel around hour 5. Nutrition on the run I was happy where I was.

Between mile 24 and 25 my legs really told me NO this time. I could feel the big muscles were hammered and the stability type muscles were on the verge of failure as my feet were starting to not feel so stable. I power walked that mile.

Mile 25. To 26, huge crowds lots of energy and a frat house party (200+ people) with a huge, very drunk, cheering squad. I wanted to go by quickly so I trotted the best I could. I could smell the alcohol emanating from them…maybe my senses were hyper sensitive or they were just really really drunk. Will give them props for lots of energy cheering us on.

Mile 26 to finish: Hard to describe the feeling and excitement to almost be there. Turned to the guy next to me and said “we are almost there, we did it”. After a celebratory handshake we turned to the last ¼ mile finish down the road.

He busted out YMCA hand signals getting the crowd even louder and several of us started waving, little kids wanted hi 5s’, its like my legs sucked the energy from the crowd.

No real way to describe the energy running that last bit. Will never forget that feeling. I gave the guy some space in front of me, and decided my legs were too hammered for a cartwheel finish, though could have been really fun!

So I did the next best thing:

Spread the arms out and pretended to be an airplane giving kids hi 5’s along the way swooping from side to side of the road. Looking back folks must have either thought I was completely gone or I was a bit excited. Probably a little of both.

Crossed the finish line, was greeted by “the catchers”, got a heavy medal, finishers hat & shirt and a space blanket to keep warm.

They asked how I was and could only think of Forrest Gumps quote “I think I’ll stop running now”

They got a chuckle and helped me through until I looked coherent enough to be on my own. Sat down to eat some pizza (post race), got 2 pieces down, a banana and other snacks, then started to get cold and stiff. I looked at my finishers medal and saw 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run and my first thought is wow that is a long distance, who can do that…wait I just did…wow.

It doesn’t matter if you finish in 9 hours or 16:59:59, 140.6 miles is 140.6 miles. There are no shortcuts. Anything can happen come race day. You have to want to do the race, want to finish, even if the 70 year old guy passes you. If that happens, it should be inspiring enough.

Stopped by Sharis on the way home and very quickly got to the point where I could not control body temperature. Started shivering, then too hot, so I put on a jacket and went inside. Had 3 big Cokes, Hamburger and a salad. Still had issues with keeping warm walking outside and crashed soon after getting back to my buddy parents place.

The next morning I felt like a Hobbit, 1st breakfast, then smoothie, then 2nd breakfast, then lunch at 10, then again a 1pm, snack at 3:30, dinner at 5:30, and another small dinner that evening. It was like I could not eat enough.

Final Thoughts:

During an Ironman, one person physically races, but it takes a team of people to get that one person there. I want to make sure I say thanks!

If you ever get the opportunity to race an Ironman, take some mental time during the last 1/4 mile at the finish to take in the crowd, take in the energy, take in the cheering, work the crowd a bit, this is your time to shine. You spent the last 6 months to 2 years preparing for a race, don't forget to enjoy it.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Costa Rica-Day 3 part 2

Hi Guys,

As we were hiking, this was part of the beautiful country we enjoyed.

The further we went the mountains, trees, valleys and mountains were breathtaking.

Below is a shot of our trail as we went further into the jungle. The roads got smaller, muddier, the bugs came out, the bugs and birds got louder and louder.

Here is the village we stayed out one night. The village was quite small, had one covered area, a patio for cooking and a couple of tables. The people were very nice, friendly, and the place was spotless. A cold shower felt soo good. The surrounding areas were coffee fields, which are really mountains.

Enjoying electricy, I got a kick out of this meter. Note the 120V disconnect switch with exposed leads, bare wires going into the switch and cable right next to a metal roof with NO ground. Oh yah, the school was next door and little kids played here...

As we were walking a Tucan fly by and into a tree. The shot below is from 100meters with a 300mm lens. Give it up for RAW format for croping.

If it looks wet this day it was...90% humity and 90 degrees.

The higher we went the more mountians valleys and trees came out.

This creek was soo nice to stop and get some shade and cool. At 90 degrees and 90% humidity the shade is a welcome moment.

The higer we went, the more valleys were visable.

Jairo was our guide by day and chef by night. He wipped up some really good food.

The valleys, mountain ridges, trees and farming fields were everything and more like Athe image of Costa Rica in my mind.

Across the valley we spotted this waterfall. This was at least 1/2 mile away.

A closer shot of that Tucan. The stripped underside is more visable here.


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Delay in Posting

Hi Guys,

I haven't posted in awhile because I have been traveling like a mad man. A quick catch up. Once I got back from Costa Rica, I had an opportunity to go to Japan for a couple months and left the next day. After Japan, I used frequent flyer miles to visit Hong Kong and Macau. I've decided to stop traveling and enjoy a summer at home...or at least 1 days drive around home. Hong Kong Blew me away...never have I seen such a diverse place. No wonder English in the Business language, there are so many you have to have one common.

Should have pictures comming soon of continuing in Costa Rica.