Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Don't Panic!

I recently realized that using a competition environment to attempt swimming 1.2 miles of open water in a wetsuit for the first time is pretty asinine.

Since I don’t have a lake in my backyard and there’s not even a desperate, begging, pleading chance that I’ll take a dip in the East River it seems I'm not going to have the opportunity before the Tinman.

To eliminate at least one of these variables (open water + wetsuit) I took my wetsuit and jumped into the pool. The good news is that wearing a wetsuit makes me more buoyant, reduces drag and makes me a faster swimmer. The downside is that it is harder and requires significantly more effort from my triceps and latissimus muscles.

Great! So now I know what swimming in a wetsuit is like. Now all I have to do is not panic when I hit the open water on Saturday.

“A wave of panic passed over the vessel, and these rough and hardy men, who feared no mortal foe, shook with terror at the shadows of their own minds.”
-Arthur Conan Doyle

Friday, June 22, 2007


Sometime early this morning I had my 10,000th visitor...

Don't you people have work to do? Just kidding!

Thanks for stopping by, reading, commenting and giving me a warm, fuzzy feeling of virtual-popularity!

"Please all, and you will please none."

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


The Tinman Half Ironman is less than two weeks away. Last week was my last hi-volume, hi-intensity week before tapering and I was on a tear!

A couple of big swims, hard rides, long runs and a serious brick workout that finished with a fast mile and a 400 meter kick.




MondaySwim - 1700 MetersRun - Hill Repeats
TuesdayBike - 30 MilesGym - Weight Training
ThursdayRun - 13 MilesOff
Swim - 2100 Meters

Brick - 54 Miles Bike + 9 Miles Run




But now I am sick and can hardly pick my head up off the couch.Grrrrr.....

This is not my idea of a taper!

"Exercise is bunk. If you are healthy, you don't need it; if you are sick, you shouldn't take it."
-Henry Ford

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Washington D.C.

To celebrate Salena's birthday we took a long weekend and paid a visit to our nation's capital, Washington D.C.

We splurged a bit and stayed at a swanky, upscale hotel in Penn Quarter, which is just steps from the National Mall and the Capital Building. The hotel has a pet-friendly policy so Harry (or "Mr. Harry" as the doormen referred to him) was welcome to join us. On check in "Mr. Harry" received his very own water bowl, Voss bottled water and copy of Urban Dog Magazine - all hand delivered on a cloth lined tray.

Through a connection at the State Department, we were able to arrange a guided tour of the Mall with a Park Ranger. Ranger Mike chauffeured us from monument to monument and shared his wealth of knowledge at each of the monuments in a charming and insightful manner.

We hit the Jefferson, Washington and Lincoln Memorials. Then moved on to the Korean War Memorial followed by the Vietnam Memorial and concluded at the World War II Memorial.

We also visited the National Archives to view the Magna Carta, Declaration of Independence, The Constitution and the Bill of Rights. I found it absolutely fascinating that our entire civiliztion and way of life is based on a four page hand written document.

Also on display were Ronald Reagan's Presidential Diaries. The diary was opened to his entries on June 4 - 6, 1984 and recall the 40th anniversary of D-Day were he spoke at Pointe du Hoc, France. The entry is profound and moving.

Of course I spent each morning running and found D.C. to be a great city for runners with ample green-ways and paths around the Mall and along the Potomac River.

"Life, liberty, and the pursuit..."
-Declaration of Independence

Tuesday, June 05, 2007


It has been suggested to me that I run at least one sprint triathlon prior to attempting the Tinman Half Ironman. It is sage advice from a fairly seasoned multi-sport athlete. So I took the advice and signed up for the first race of the SBR Triathlon Series.

This race would serve as my first opportunity to swim in a wetsuit and as a trial run for Tinman. I could work out the kinks of the swim-to-bike transition as well as the bike-to-run. Finally I was looking forward to this race as a test of fitness - competing against more experienced athletes on the bike and swim.

The race took place on Sunday in New York's Harriman State Park - which is a lovely and picturesque place. Unfortunately the directions I got were poor and I proceeded to get lost. I made it without a moment to spare. I was quite literally the last person to set up my transition area and I had to run to the start at the edge of the lake!

I arrived at the beach to hear the last of the final instructions when thunder could be heard rolling in the distance. Per USA Triathlon rules, thunder is an automatic 20 minute delay. Wetsuits provide great warmth in cold water but are probably weak at preventing electrocution by way of lightning.

The thunder did not cease and the swim portion of my first tri was canceled. I have been told that "something unexpected" happens at every triathlon...

Instead of the swim we did a short beach run and then proceeded into a 16 mile bike and a 3.1 mile run. The beach run's only purpose was to allow for a waved start to spread out the field (and to get sand in every ones shoes).

The beach run was fine but the sand was soft making it a little challenging. My transition was slow but I did manage to get out reasonably quickly because my transition area was near the exit. Fortunately I had no flat tires this time around! I hammered on the bike up rolling and undulating hills.

Then down... Ohhhh, the down! I like the downs. I was doing 40+ miles per hour down twisty backwoods roads and I loved it. The element of danger, the competitors on my back the lead pack up ahead!

The beloved down hill ended abruptly and was replaced by a loooooong, hard climb. Finally at the top it was only a few miles to go to the transition... Happily for me it was mostly flat.

The transition from bike to run went much quicker! I was thinking no problem... just push and take that guy up ahead. We turned the corner and the run course became a trail run and went straight up a hill covered with loose rocks, boulders and tree roots. Hmmmm, well that's "interesting."

I ended up passing one male runner but was totally smoked by some other hyper-fit guy. Seriously, I was going pretty fast but this dude blew by like I was standing still.

At the finish stretch I was cheered on by a former colleague and gave it my final push for a total time of 1 hour, 14 minutes, 47 seconds. Here are the full results.

Finish TimePace
Beach Run

16M Bike
19.4 MPH

3.1M Run21:47


I was able to finish in the top 15 over all and got an award for placing 2nd in my age group which I am pretty geeked about!

Unfortunately, I don't think there will be another opportunity for me to practice swimming with the wetsuit prior to the Half Ironman... Alas, I guess I'll have to improvise come race day.

Now, it's back to training and later a change of scenery. We're headed to Washington D.C. to celebrate Salena's birthday!

"Too much improvisation leaves the mind stupidly void."
-Victor Hugo