Doing More With Less Since 1972

Tag: triathlon (Page 1 of 7)

Daily Reading List — September 24th

Five Useful Cooking Techniques No One Teaches You

Going to need this article in spades once the Whole 30 session kicks in.

Technique is for peaches.

All Boards Need a Technology Expert

Only a multi-year, board-level sponsored effort can ensure a responsible IT overhaul. But without IT expertise at the director level, how can a board truly make an educated decision and, more importantly, follow it through until the end of the project, adapting the design of the overhaul over the course of years to take advantage of rapidly changing technology and consumer behavior?

If your industry hasn’t been completely disrupted yet…

We cain’t have NUTHIN’ nice! Ferrari dealership at Wynn Las Vegas to close 

Tires, coffee and people

And mostly, we run classified ads to find the cheapest common denominator employee and spend all our time building systems to protect our customers from people who don’t care.

Ouch.

I like to relate everything to rugby and triathlon though:

Spending money on jerseys instead of spending time on fitness.

Buying an expensive bike, instead of riding the piss out of the crappy one you already have.

Also, yoga pants. Wait…no…I like yoga pants (not on me).

New IBM Tool Wants To Bring Shadow IT Under Control

I hate the word “control”, but “managing” this stuff is crucial. Management helps you set you direction and figure out what capabilities you need to be driving toward.

The Unexpected Influence of Stories Told at Work

It seems we are especially lifted up by stories of those at the bottom behaving generously and particularly discouraged by stories about higher-ups misbehaving.

I’m just going to leave that right there.

Why Wrestling Matters

I get chastised about being a wrestling fan a lot. Well, not chastised, but I know people are making fun of me in their heads. Just read it.

What is your decision making style?

I did some research and determined I’m a data driven decision maker.

And that was before I took the assessment.

Daily Reading List — June 19th

3 Trends That Are Changing The Way We Work Today – Yes. Yes. And yes.

"People don’t share because they like a project or brand … they share to help people who they want to see succeed."

To it's logical end…if you're only sharing with yourself, you only want to see your self succeed. Q.E.D.

Five Libertarian Lessons in HBO’s Game of Thrones – I would say there's a sixth lesson as well…the rule of law binds everyone. At least everyone with honor.

After Ned lost his head, there probably wasn't a more honorable guy in all of Westeros than Stannis Baratheon. Not the most charismatic to be sure, but he at least respects the rule of law. I mean, the guy didn't even really want to be king…he was just doing it because it was his duty.

Stannis acts on principle. And it doesn't really matter to him how many people have to die for the principle to be followed.

I'd better stop. That last sentence is a pretty good argument for political pragmatism.

The DOs and DO NOTs of running your first marathon – DO chase down people in your office who are trying desperately to get away from you talking about your training. Sprinting after these people counts as intervals.

Google Fit: Another Try At Health Data? – Until I can get an on-the-wrist HRM that doesn't spend more time completely dead in the water *cough Garmin cough* than it spends monitoring my HR, I'm going to sit it out.

Then again, I guess my only real option is to continue struggling with a HRM that is usually completely dead.

Cartagena, Colombia added to 2014 World Cup schedule – This would be a really cool place to race! #jealous

Everything Is Broken–All Software Is Bad – Hello World! At least the Pinboard->Twitter->WordPress plugin that will autopost this onto my blog works.

Well…most of the time.

School cancels reading program rather than promote “hacker culture” – Related…I'm currently reading "Natural Born Learners", which is about homeschooling/unschooling and very hacky itself in a lot of ways. Every kid is different, and every family is different. But I'm more and more convinced that your best bet at getting an education (whatever that means) is to hack it together yourself.

Focus – "Success comes from doing the hard part. When the hard part is all you've got, you're more likely to do it.

And this is precisely why it's difficult to focus. Because focusing means acknowledging that you just signed up for the hard part."

Word.

Daily Reading List — June 5th

Android vs. The iPhone: It’s All About The Cloud – Um…yeah. I'm a little shocked to read this epiphany from a tech writer who didn't realize this difference years ago. Am I taking it for granted that people understand the difference between Apple and Google's focus?

4 Habits Of The Most Resilient People – There's actually a 5th habit: Habitually post motivational posters/quotes to social media.

Sharks & Minnows – Punching and kicking on purpose isn't acceptable on the swim–too dangerous for everyone involved. On the other hand, as the guy who once grabbed my ankle and used me to pull himself forward found out the hard way, I ain't no punk either.

The 9 Biggest Reasons to Embrace Solo Running – I'm mostly a solo runner. The only downside to running solo for me is that I'm the only person I get to spend the time with. I don't like myself as much as I do my running partners 100% of the time.

As IT’s industrial age ends, the humanist era begins – Power to the people!

Remember when Mark Zuckerberg gave New Jersey schools $100 million? OOPS!!! – Fortunately for Zuckerberg, all most people are going to remember is that he wrote the check. #ForTheChildren

Roku Remote Stopped Working – Easy Solution – I love the internet on most days. Today is one of those days.

A Bachelor’s Level Computer Science Program Curriculum – If you want to learn it, here you go. Good for review too. And there are countless other resources available as well!!!

Chicago halts Uber try at airport pickups – Translation: taxi companies and airport upset that people don't like price fixing.

Triathlon, Do You Live And Die By It? – Anyone who ever accused me of this isn't aware of my results. Still, I could benefit from a healthy dose of it right about now.

What Ancient Cave Paintings And Teen Spirit Teach Us About Where Social Media Is Going – Of course, everything is alternative. Until it isn't.

Daily Reading List — April 25th

Triathlon Fatalities Aren’t Going Away – Really hope someone can figure this out. Everything I've heard is that most of the people who die are fit and experienced, but have an undiagnosed heart condition.

And, uh, we also really need to do something about the number of people getting mowed down by cars when they are out training on their bikes. I stay inside the house because of that. Also there is Netflix.

Inspiration and Outrage in Boston – Outrage! If you're worried about the integrity of bandit runners, stop using your company's computer and bandwidth to try and track down bandit runners using Twitter and Facebook.

Ronald McDonald gets a makeover – Ronald McDonald now *serious* about being creepy. No more messing around.

American Teamwork–How Ryan Hall Helped Meb Win Boston – Great story about sacrifice for your teammates. Ryan Hall has smarts real good.

Why There Will Be A Robot Uprising – Some touch screen devices seem to have already achieved the desired outcome of preventing people from turning them off. #NoDisassemble

Drone Footage of a Rocket Taking off and Landing is Spectacular – The takeoff and landing is amazing on its own. Drones for the +1!

Post-Run Yoga – I blindly clicked, guessing low lunge would be the first thing on the list.

Google’s Secret Weapon To Keep Amazon And Microsoft On Their Toes – Race to the bottom of prices with a concurrent race to the top on speed? Sounds good to me!

4 Manly Lessons from the Minor Leagues – Some great stuff in here for triathletes too, even if you aren't trying to be a pro or get some sort of sponsorship. "Dominate the things you can control." and "Action without vision just passes time." are two of my favorites.

Unfollow Chocolate Milk! – It's about time someone with a louder voice than me said it. I bet Kool Ade, Tang, and every other sugary drink company wishes they'd thought of this scam before the Chocolate Milk cartel did.

Weekend warrior: mastering the art of the triathlon humblebrag – Really, there's no reason to be humble about it. If you're going out and doing ultra distance events regularly, or kicking ass in your age group in short and mid distance events, you are a bad ass. You are MUCH more of a badass than 90% of the population.

Flaunt it while you have it. You're not getting any younger.

Penn State Rugby Team Suspended – Here's the thing–college kids like to drink cold beer and, apparently, set things on fire.

When you have a problem with scholarship Division 1 athletes behavior, you can expect to have similar issues with non-scholarship club sport participants.

Ok..it's probably fair not to expect them to set things on fire because they aren't happy with their coach, but still.

Daily Reading List — March 10th

What Parenting and Running Have in Common – There's more here than just "People who don't run/parent aren't very interested in hearing about your running/parenting."

Is College for Everyone? An Introduction and Timeline of College in America – This questions is being asked more and more. That's a good thing. Nice short review of how we got to where we are.

2014 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival FULL Food Booth Menus – Awwwwww Yeah!

Houston Issues ‘Cease-And-Desist’ To Uber To Stop Houston Residents From Communicating With Their Government | Techdirt Lite – If you think uber ISN'T going to come to your city, you got another thing coming. In looking at you Vegas.

Framers and polishers – I'm pretty confident I know where I am here.

Disney park prices to jump again Sunday – Was there over the weekend, and by the looks of it the extra few bucks wasn't keeping anyone away.

How to Make a Drinking Glass From a Bottle – Maybe I'll skill up good on this, then start an ETSY.

12 Of The Coolest Offices In The World – We've been sharing photos of our work spaces on our yammer network. Haven't seen any that look like this.

Startup Quanttus Makes a Wristband That Tracks Several Vital Signs – HRM on the wrist!!! Faster please, also please sample my blood periodically to give me an idea about glucose levels. Thanks.

Daily Reading List — February 18th

Helmets not even in top 10 of things that keep cycling safe – Have to agree with this. My biggest fear on the bike is that it will somehow come dislodged from the trainer in the middle of an interval and I'll go slamming into my desk.

Dispelling Lactic Acid Myths – Gyah! I learned a ton reading this article!

"The takeaway? Concentrate on exhaling."

5 Myths About Running That Are Ready to Be Retired – "Chocolate milk as a recovery drink" needs to be added to every list like this.

Calf Heart Attacks – Ouch! Glad I've never had this. You'll never believe what the number one thing you can do to help this running injury get better. Yep…stop running.

Tour of Sufferlandria recap – Best. Haiku. Every

Angels Haiku
Pain pain pain pain pain
Pain pain pain pain pain pain pain
There were no Angels

The Pleasant Places to Live – Cool map! Take into account the sea breeze, and I'd argue that our June and July on the East Coast of Florida is pretty dang nice. Boost our numbers!

Cycling ‘much safer than playing rugby’ – Well, now that's finally answered.

Google Releases Chromecast SDK To Developers – Avalanche of game updates coming in 3,2,1…

Daily Reading List — January 17th

NCAA Welcomes Women’s Triathlon – A little bit of a different view here from me, but I can't imagine why you'd want the NCAA involved in your favorite sport. Stay away from my beer pong.

Steven Lord Blog: The Rhythm Of Life (and drafting) – I see people drafting in races all the time. And I really don't give a ladybug if they do it. Eventually, this is going to result in a really big pileup in a really big race. Besides, virtue is its own reward.

From Victim to Villain in a flash – As they are fond of hollering in East Tennessee — "Git off the rowed!"

I <3 Trainerroad.

6 Simple Habits To Keep You Consistently Happy Every Day – All very easy to do. I'd add another–Just.Slow.Down. That probably falls under disengagement.

Narcissists tweet more often and crave followers on Twitter – So younger narcissists are more likely to post to twitter, and middle aged narcissists are more likely to update Facebook.

Unanswered questions here: what about middle aged people who update twitter a lot? Was Instagram even considered in the narcissism scale, out did they run out of space to measure it there?

10 Tips for Dating a Single Mom – Hilarious. Read the comments first, then go back and read the article. The comments are pure gold. Gold Jerry!

Van Halen’s 1984 Turns 30 Today — How Does It Hold Up? – Best quote from this whole (incredibly good) post:

"Does it ['Panama'] hold up? Embarrassing question. Yes, it holds up. It might be holding this entire goddamned country up."

Happy People Count Their Current and Future Blessings – "View living a spartan lifestyle as temporary, merely a prerequisite to joining the ranks of the socioeconomic achievers in America."

This is Sparta!

Daily Reading List — November 13th

OK, You’re a Runner. Get Over It – Haters gonna hate, but I actually agree with this for the most part. I go on the assumption that the only people who care about my fitness exploits are keeping up with it on my blog or DailyMile. Based on the feedback I receive on each, no one care that much about it. I'm cool with that.

New Half-Ironman race coming to Lake Logan in 2014 – This will be a tough course. Guaranteed.

I just may have to…

Splunk Spawns Hunk Hadoop Tool

One step closer to a two-hour marathon – Hopefully I'll survive in a Google data center long enough to see this.

Self-Supported 140.6 – And So It Begins

For the last couple of months, I’ve been thinking a lot about doing a self-supported 140.6 mile race event in 2014. Unfortunately for The Missus, I’ve been talking about it too.

A lot.

First things first–why do a self-supported event instead of an official race?

There are quite a few reasons. The biggest reason is just a matter of convenience. The costs and logistics of traveling to a race I have no hope of winning are hard to justify. I’d also have to tow four other people along with me, and they probably would rather do other things than sit around all day waiting to see if I survive.

There are a few races that are within a reasonable distance like the Great Floridian and HITS Naples that are doable, but anything the WTC puts on is off the table. Actually, WTC is off the table anyway, just because they are so cost prohibitive. Seriously, why pay hundreds of dollars a year in advance for some race nutrition and hydration (and a t-shirt, backpack, medal, etc)?

Ok, fair enough. The WTC perks are pretty nice. And you get to hear, “[Your name here]…you are an Ironman!” announced by Mike Reilly. I get the draw there. Really…I do get it, and it’s valid. And maybe one day I’ll be in a situation where this makes sense.

But my current situation is that I don’t really care about the medal or the t-shirt or whether or not WTC considers me to be an”Ironman”.

I just want to do it.

And doesn’t it make sense to take all that money I’d spend on an entry fee and put it towards a good cause instead? Maybe even use the event as a way to raise even more money for a good cause?

Yeah…that sounds better to me.

That’s crazy talk–where do you get the idea to do something like this?

I know this can be done and be a great event, because Coach Brett does it with the Iron Baby every year. Cruise over to his place and check out. It’s an amazing story, and he’s a true guru of self-supported racing. He’s done 9 Iron Baby events already, and he’s a great resource for information on what it takes and ideas.

I’ve also been inspired by some other events I’ve done (or missed out on) locally over the past year. There are the Bridge to Bridge and John R. Mathers swims organized by Rob Downey (events, not races) and the Wickham Park Ultra Marathon (event, not a race) Matt Mahoney organizes going on just a few miles from my house. These are yearly events with great participation. And they don’t need medals or official timing chips to make them great.

In fact, I’d argue that the absence of all the frills is one of the things that makes them great.

I could go on and on about the beauty of self-supported and non-sanctioned events, and I probably will in subsequent posts. There are lots of other things I’m going to have to figure out and plan over the next year as well, and I plan to document these activities as a go. Just a few of the things that will be covered:

  • Event Date – I’m thinking some time in November
  • Race Course – Will need a few different options I think
  • Sponsors?
  • What charity to support — that one is easy
  • Aid station placement and manning
  • Prizes?
  • Publicity and fundraising

I’m really looking forward to this adventure, both as a (it’s not a) race director, as a participant, and as a guy trying to tackle this distance for the first time. Stay posted for more information!

Daily Reading List — October 29th

Why Proprietary Big Data Technologies Have No Hope Of Competing With Hadoop – It's a good time to have procrastinated and not gone with a proprietary vendor yet.

Copy that Race: 5 Lessons from Kona – 34% of the bikes at Kona had power meters on them. I don't want to hear any more about Ironman (capital 'i') being for rich people.

Does Bigger Data Lead to Better Decisions? – HT @jfloyd.

The CEOs Are Wrong: Smart Machines Will Replace Millions Of Jobs – Millions. *pinky finger next to mouth*

Daily Reading List — October 10th

Is the internet making you (think you’re) ill? You’re a cyberchondriac – Finally! There's a word for it!

US adults are dumber than the average human. – Our representation has known this for decades.

What makes triathletes so tough? – I always thought it was the crappy food choices we resort to during races.

“Best of the Fest” at the 2013 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Marketplace Booths! – I expect I'll be doubling down on the kimchi dogs.

2013 Battle Of The Bridges Race Report

I did this race back in 2010 when it was called the Health First Triathlon. It’s one of my favorite race courses. Check that…I think this may be my favorite race course. The race has improved since 2010, when then run was definitely short, and the swim course more confusing.

The re-branding as Battle Of The Bridges sounds more cool as well. I like.

Packet Pickup

As always, when you have packet pickup at Running Zone, you know it’s going to go super smooth. They have an area of the store dedicated to packet pickup. It doesn’t hurt that it’s so close to the house. I also appreciate the fact that you are able to pick up your packet beginning on Wednesday, so you aren’t wading through a crowd of people the day before the race when you should be resting. This year’s bag included another nice t-shirt and a really nice hat with a little extra sweat band inside–very important feature to me.

Race Strategery

Pacing: I was planning on using Neighbor Ben as something of a pacer for this race. I didn’t tell him about this, but I’m sure he was plotting my demise for weeks too. 🙂 We’re really close in everything–pretty much dead even on the swim. I think he’s a faster runner than me, and I’d guess I’m faster on the bike if we were time trialing for 40k.

That’s in stand-alone races…but tris are a different animal, and he and I approach them a little differently. I think I’m much more conservative on the bike to try to get my optimal run. I subscribe to the idea that it’s impossible to have a “great bike and a horrible run”. “Bad run” indicates over doing it on the bike, at least for me. My expectation was to finish pretty close to him on the swim, that he’d give a little more than me on the bike, and that I’d hopefully be able to close down the gap again on the run.

The best thing about Ben is that he’s a competitor. I think I’ve been missing out on pissing contests for quite a while, and I’m really happy the guy who got my attention by easily taking the ball away from me at rugby practice when I first moved here now lives right down the street. I already knew from doing some training with him that there would be no quarter given and no mercy on race day.

Oh…and he also likes old school rasslin’.

Anyway, I’ve been doing plenty of intervals on the bike, so I decided it fit nicely to attack the hills and the sections of the course with headwinds to get my intervals in for the race, relaxing a little on the flat sections and a lot on the tailwind sections. Physics says this is the correct way to ride for optimal speed if you’re interested in reading about it.

TIP: Physics is the most reliable thing in any race.

Fuel: This has been my biggest change recently. I’ve cut waaaaaaay back on sugars and grains in my diet. It got me over a hump to knock off another 5 pounds–mostly visceral fat I think. I’ve been running and riding on zero fuel to try and switch over to using fat for fuel (I have plenty) instead of sugar. I went with a banana and a Laura Bar pre-race and planned on another Laura Bar at the beginning of the bike. I had a couple of packs of Gu in my shorts, just in case, but I wasn’t planning on eating them.

Diesel racing. No bonking.

Race organization and start

Ben picked me up at 5:45 to make the haul down to Eau Gallie. We talked about 80s hair metal and our favorite Rock and Roll Pump Ups the whole way. He understands the power that is Motorhead.

Parking was simple and ample, plenty of body markers at transition, plenty of space for everyone to get set up, and no lines for chip pickup. Even the port-a-potty lines were reasonable.

I was expecting the turnout to be a little bigger. There were only 3 waves for the Olympic distance race, and my wave was 2nd to go off with 15 people in my age group (40-45), and 103 participants overall. I like being in later waves because it gives you more people to chase on the bike. Not that I’m ever in the top swim pack in my wave, but the more people you can hunt on the course, the better.

The sprint had a larger field with 204 athletes.

Swim (1500+)

00:34:27 (5th in AG, 26th overall)

Ben and I swim this spot every Wednesday, and the buoys have been out for a couple weeks–no surprises showing up race morning and wondering if the course was laid out long. It was. No looking down at my watch at the finish and wondering why it took so long–I already knew it was long based on my training swims. I usually do 1500 in 28:00 +/- 30 seconds, but I knew this was going to be somewhere around 34:00. It actually felt shorter, especially on the leg going north. I thought it was maybe sub-30:00, but it didn’t worry me at all to look down and see that big number on my watch at the finish.

I think this was important because I didn’t feel any need to try and make up time on the bike. If I’d expected 28:00, it could have changed the complexion of the race. I was hoping for some rougher water because I’ve been out there training in the evenings when the water is typically much choppier and the current stronger. Anything that would give me an edge, you know?

Turns out, I did get a little bit of an edge on the swim–the edge of a rock. I cut my big toe on my right foot open when I took a dolphin dive at the very start of the swim. It played a little bit of a factor in the rest of the race, but I’m very happy with how I handled it. It was stinging for the whole swim, so I knew it was a cut, I just didn’t know how bad it was. But it had zero impact on my swim, so I decided to deal with it if and when it became an issue.

T1

00:1:17

This was the best transition I’ve ever had. I went really minimal for this race. T1 consisted of of putting on a helmet and going! Shoes in the pedals already, no HR strap, etc.

I also committed to sprinting T1 and knew to (TIP) stay to the right coming off the pier to take advantage of the shower. I ran by a lot of people in T1 with the plan of jacking my HR up as high as I could. The thinking being that cranking it up would work to my advantage since I was going to put on my shoes and grab a bite to eat early in the bike. A higher HR would get the blood pumping into my legs, and I could let it recover while I was dealing with food and shoes.

Ben was turning into his bike rack about 4 steps ahead of me, so I knew I was right on track. I got to see some of my cheering section coming out of T1. It’s been reported that I wasn’t my usual smiling, cheery self. Part of that was that this was a shorter race, which made it a much more intense effort. Also, I was now thinking about dealing with the toe.

Bike (27 miles)

1:17:36 (9th in AG, 39th overall)

I love, love, love this bike course. It’s fast, with only three 90 degree turns. Not much more than feathering the breaks until the dismount is required. It’s not hilly, but the four small causeway sections keep the low-country people honest. I relish those “climbs”.

Tip: I like to eat solid food at the beginning of the bike. I wasn’t using a bento box for this race and didn’t have any electrical tape, so I just crammed a Laura Bar into my helmet. This worked great! Once I was going on the bike I just reached up and grabbed the bar and started munching. Adding this to the back of tricks!

My heart was racing pretty hard when I mounted and started north on Pineapple. I revved up to about 18 mph and put a shoe on, revved up to 18 again and put the other shoe on, grabbed the bar out of my helmet and started a high cadence pedal staying over 18 while I ate and took in some liquid. I started putting some pressure on the toe to see if I could get some new information. It felt like there was a big knot/blister on the bottom, but I couldn’t tell if it was still bleeding or what was going on. I decided I’d check it at T2 and figure out what to do about it then.

Ben passed me about a mile and a half in, and I was all the way to US1 before I could feel the HR start to come down. I knew he’d be going at it pretty hard, so I thought I was in good shape as long as he was in site. By the time we reached Pineda Causeway (6m) I was riding easy and ready to attack the climb. I took it at over 19 mph, but made sure I was riding high cadence and not mashing big gears (thanks Trainerroad!!!!). I passed a bunch of people, including Ben, on those first two bridge bumps and soaked in the recovery on the downhills.

I was going at a nice clip headed south on 513 but not pressing the HR. I estimated the wind was at our backs and that I’d need the juice when we headed north on Tropical Trail. I knew I was in a good spot when Ben passed me back about 3 miles into that stretch and I was going 23 mph.

Sure enough–headwinds as soon as we started up Tropical Trail. I focused on ignoring the numbers on my bike computer and concentrating on my effort level instead. This was going to be a 5 mile stretch of effort, and I approached it as a 15 minute Trainerroad sweet spot interval. I can’t adequately express how much Trainerroad has benefited me on the bike. I’d really like to ride this course as a straight up time trial to see how fast I could do it. I’ve done this course faster in a tri, but never as efficiently and never with so much left over for the run.

The second trip down 513 was more of the same–relatively high speed with lower effort. Ben pulled out of site, but I didn’t chase. I knew I had a little bit of work left to do on Eau Gallie causeway. It’s a little steeper and longer than Pineda, but I kept it at a high cadence and went up pretty quickly. As I crested the top I pulled my feet out of my shoes and tried to see if I could learn more about the toe. Speed picked up pretty quickly, so I wasn’t really comfortable trying to get a good look at it. Instead, I decided to spin the legs out and wait to see how my  towel looked in T2 after I wiped my feet. I also realized at this point that more information wasn’t going to change anything unless I was absolutely gushing blood.

T2

00:02:00

A little slower than I’d have liked, but there were extenuating circumstances. I cleaned my feet off like I normally do and saw I was definitely leaving some blood on the towel. Nothing too bad, but I made absolutely sure my socks were going to protect me as best they could. The best thing about this race was leaving T2 and seeing the oldest offspring smiling and screaming for me at the timing mat. I heard her for a looooong way down the road!

Run (10k)-High Drama

00:51:50 (4th in AG, 30th overall)

If you’ve read this far, you won’t mind how long this section is. With every triathlon I do, I become more and more convinced that it’s just a running race. This is where all the action happens.

My favorite thing about this run course is that the last three miles feature two hills. Well, they aren’t really hills, just a big bridge. They aren’t huge or anything, but that’s all up to perception, and I don’t perceive those to be insanely big hills. “You can take the boy out of Tennessee…” and all that.  Again, a slight advantage for me against the lowlanders. I actually enjoy running on hills, and it just so happens that we run intervals on this bridge every Wednesday right after we swim.

As soon as I left T2 and headed up Pineapple, I could see Ben a pretty good ways up ahead. I was hoping to be a little closer at this point in the race, but the only thing I could do about it was to run. I focused on two things–high cadence and toe evaluation.

I’m not going to lie. It hurt, and the first thought I had was that I shouldn’t run and end up injured with a marathon looming in the future. I decided to keep running for a while and have a discussion with myself to help me decide what to do. Here’s that whole conversation broken down into bullet points:

  • What hurts worse..the toe or the rest of your body because you just got off the bike? Rest of body.
  • DNF is off the table, so what are you going to do…stay out here and walk a 10k? Uh…that sounds horrible. No.
  • You’re almost a mile in now. Look down…is your shoe bloody yet? No.
  • Ok, now you are a mile in. The rest of you body feels better now…is the toe pain enough to make you stop? HELL NO!

Decision made.

I was expecting/planning to run the first mile in 8:30 +/-10 seconds. The plan was to spend the second mile doing some math to figure out what kind of splits it would take from that point to go sub-50:00. My first mile split was 8:04. Oops.

I tried to let off the gas a little, but I think I got a little psyched out by the fact that I didn’t seem to be closing in on Ben. He’s a faster runner than me, but I thought I would have a shot at catching him if he’d overspent on the bike and I hadn’t. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any information about the gap between us at that point. There’s a turnaround in the 2nd mile and I noted where he passed by me on his way back and took a split to see how long it would take me to get there. I was just less than a minute behind him, but it didn’t seem like that was going to close anytime soon. Mile 2 split was 8:07.

But all of a sudden, he seemed closer. I watched him cross into the shade of a tree and took another split to see how long it took me to get to that point. Surprisingly, I was only down 35 seconds! I realized I was probably going to catch him pretty quickly at this pace, so I decided to slow down just a tad. I was 99% sure I had gone out too fast at this point and was not going to make it under 50:00–not with those hills coming up. The best thing I could do was try to regroup and get ready for the hard part. The hills were going to be my best chance to pass other people in my age group.

Mile 3 split was 8:13, and I passed by Ben just as we went up the little hill at Creel Street. As we turned onto Highland, I spotted another guy in my age group who had BLOWN by me on the bike. His head was bobbing a little, and it seemed like that small bump in the road had taken a lot out of him. I regrouped a little and passed by him, trying my best to appear fresh.

After that, I felt like I was running on my own for the most part. It’s a little scary not knowing what’s going on behind you, and there’s no way to see the gaps between athletes again on this course until somewhere around the 5 mile mark. I let the unknown of what may be happening behind me drive me forward. Whatever was going on back there, I wanted to be as far away from it as possible. Also, I knew that there were plenty of people in my age group in front of me, and I wanted to apply as much pressure on them as I could. I’m making a huge assumption here that I even entered someone else’s mind. I’m sure I didn’t, but it was helping at the time.

Mile 4 finishes near the top of the causeway, and I got there in 8:32. I was pretty happy with that split considering the hill involved, and I estimated that most of my competition couldn’t take that hill at the same pace I had. It was nice knowing that I’ve run that thing a bunch of times and have never quit on it, even when doing intervals. Race day is not the day to set a precedent like that.

The pain of a 10k was starting to build up, but I realized I’d completely forgotten about the toe!

Mile 5 is all downhill and flat, but I only ran an 8:37.  I think I lost focus a little on that mile, thinking it was a gimme. Disappointing, and something I need to make sure I don’t do again, but I knew I had one more hard effort to go, and I’d soon be happy I’d given myself some breathing room.

Mile 6 up and down the causeway was an 8:32.  On the climb I saw another guy in my age group (who’d also smoked me on the bike) walking. I set my sites on him and gauged that I could catch him before the top. If I did, he’d have a hard time catching me back on the downhill, leaving me about a quarter mile to hold him off. I could not believe it when he started running about 2/3 of the way up the hill. I took another shot at him, but realized he’d gotten a rest during his walk, and now the tables were turned–it was going to be tough for me to catch him on the downhill and last quarter mile.

When he glanced over his shoulder and saw me, I knew the jig was up! He ended up beating me by 17 seconds. I talked to him afterwards and we agreed that both of us had dug just a little deeper from that point. He was visiting from south Georgia and said, “man…those causeways humbled me.”

Finish Line and Post-Race Analysis

2:47:09 (6th in AG, 30th Overall)

I was spent at the finish…veins pumping battery acid just like they are supposed to be. They had nice cold towels and water for us and, as is the case for just about every race these days, nice medals. Honestly, I’m not sure a race of this distance warrants a medal, but the kids get excited about it.  I’ve decided they should only give medals for races that make me consider quitting several times during the event and to swear them off forever. Or if it’s something I haven’t done yet because I don’t feel ready. So basically marathons and ultras for running, and 70.3 and up for triathlon.

Kidding, but not really. I wouldn’t mind if they gave you the option to pay a lower entry fee and opt out of the medal. I’d do that for just about every race. I’d have immediately traded my medal for an extra cold towel and a cold cold beer. Personal preference–finisher medals just don’t matter that much to me. The Missus says it’s important for the kids to see them as a physical reminder of the effort that went into getting them. I get that part of it, so let the medal awards continue!

There was plenty of fruit, water, and baked goods at the finish line. Additionally, they had beer and wings at Squid Lips after the race was officially over. We didn’t stick around for that though–opting for better quality beer by the pool at the house instead with a soundtrack featuring more Motorhead and rasslin’ conversation. I was honored to be crowned the Davidia Dr. World’s Heavyweight Champion of Endurance Sport.

I have no illusions about my ability in the short term to win my age group (2:30:00 won it). My strategy is long-term. I plan to simply out-live everyone in my age group. See you punks in a few decades.

But I’m seriously motivated by the fact that the difference between 3rd and 6th (me) was only 3 minutes. It lights a fire under my booty–I think I can find 3:00 minutes somewhere in a 2:45:00 race. I felt like we were really fighting it out the whole way (at least I was) and I’m planning to come back to this race next year faster, and maybe with a (more) decent bike.

I think I lost a little time on the run because I failed to manage my pace correctly at the start, and I also gave up a little on that 5th mile. There’s a chance I went a tad too hard on the bike and took a little off my run, but there’s just as good of a chance that I didn’t go quite as hard as I should have and left some time on the bike course. That’s really hard to tell without a power tap.

The People Who Made It Happen

As always, I want to thank my family for coming out and supporting me on race day and working their schedules around my training when necessary. I try to minimize that, but sometimes it affects them. Also, thanks to all the volunteers and the Brevard County Sheriff’s Department for keeping us safe on the swim and in the intersections and manning the aid stations.

I am especially appreciative of the folks manning the medical tent who tended to my foot after the race. My toe box and sock were bloody, but luckily no stitches required. If you want to get a look at how nasty the situation was, click here. When I say “nasty” I’m mostly referring to the foot itself–not necessarily the cut. They cleaned it up (the cut, not the foot) and wrapped it for me. As I told the medic, I wanted to squeeze in as much quality medical care as possible before October 1.

Lastly, I want to give a shout out to Coach Brett Blankner at Zentriathlon.com. His podcasts have made a huge impact on my training, nutrition, and race management over the last two years. A little secret:  most of what he talks about applies to life in general, not just triathlon. Especially helpful for this race was an episode from a few weeks ago in which he discussed Zen racing and your ability to deal with the unexpected. What if the swim gets cancelled? What if your goggles leak? What if you accidentally drop a water bottle? What if you cut your foot open as the horn is blowing at the start? This episode was the first thing that crossed my mind when I felt the sting, and I was able to remember what I’d learned from it and remain calm.

Thanks a ton Brett! You are doing a good thing and making a difference for people!

Finally Hit A Goal Ahead of Schedule!

Actually two, but one goal was really important to me, and  matters for a lot of people too.

This summer I was so excited to sign up to run the Space Coast Marathon with Team Miles of Love. I set a goal to raise $500 for this great local charity and kicked off the fund raising by making a contribution of $70 to cover my race entry, which was paid by MOL. I really didn’t know what to expect, and I thought there was a good chance we’d be dipping into our own pockets again to fill out the goal. Not a problem at all, because we really believe in the MOL mission and are super excited about what they do in our community.

I’m very happy to say that with 9 weeks left before the race, my kick aise friends have already put me at the $600 mark for fund raising. I can’t express how excited I am about this and how fun it is to have so much fund raising momentum!

The top fund raiser on our team wins entry into another race in February. That, I’m not exactly excited about, but I wanna win!

Oh…and the other goal I hit was comfortably falling below race weight a week and a half before Battle of the Bridges on Sunday. Looking forward to a great race!

Another Brain Burp of Cool Triathlon Stuff

Trainerroad

First things first…if you have even been considering joining Trainerroad, this is the week to do it. You can get in for $89/year instead of the usual $120. That’s good for as long as you’re a member, and it was already the best deal in triathlon training. This is not an affiliate link, and I don’t get anything for sending you to them except that I feel I owe it to them for the great strides they’ve helped me make on the bike. Their website was updated yesterday and now has even more great features.

Battle of the Bridges Olympic Tri

This is an “A race” for me, and it’s two weeks away. I only race “A” races because that’s what a race implies to me…that I’m going to do my best. The work I’ve put in on Trainerroad will hopefully pay off big here. I’ve been focusing on the run for the last couple of weeks because I have 10 weeks to go to a marathon after this race. I’m thinking the grunting, groaning, sweating, and near tears I’ve already put in on the bike are going to get me out of T2 fresh and ready for a special 10k.

Hardcore History

The best thing I’ve found in a long time to listen to while running. I love the ZenTri podcasts, but I need more hours of audio, and these are incredible. Dan Carlin is a great story teller, and this stuff is amazing. He also has the Common Sense podcast. These are going to come in very handy as the run miles start increasing for marathon season.

 

 

 

Daily Reading List — September 6th

The student loan bubble is starting to burst – HT @instapundit People will still be able to take equity loans against their homes to pay for their kids' college, right? Assumption is that they have equity. #creditbad

Why The Perfect Nap Makes For The Perfect Workday – I was once asked in a job interview about the single thing I'd change about every job I've ever had. I instantly replied, "I'd implement a post-lunch nap."

Whatever helps you get work done effectively.

$10,000 bike disappears from Ottawa event – Worse than keying Vincent Vega's car.

Key West may impose $50 fine for vomiting in cab – Adjust your travel plans accordingly. I think I'm out regardless of whether or not this passes.

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