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Milford Stay Dry Tri 2010 October 6, 2010

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I realized that someone came across last year’s blog entry on this race, so I am kind of rushing this entry out. Plus, they just posted the official results on the website today, so I validated my results.

What a fun time! The weather was much better this year. Of course, waiting for the canoe start in 45 degree weather was a little cold, but as soon as we got going, it was great. Having done it last year, I was well prepared clothing-wise. I took off my fleece zip-up prior to our heat starting and with two shirts and a fleece vest, I was comfy.

At the start of our heat #6, we pulled right into 2 second place – a vast difference from last year when I couldn’t steer the boat straight until the last mile or so. Eric had us in a perfect line and I just rowed as hard as I could. At the first questionable curve in the river, the lead team was indecisive and got turned around. We took advantage and took the lead for the entire canoe, with that team and another breathing down our necks the entire 3.5 miles. We even past two teams and closed a big gap on three others from heat #5. It is amazing that we almost made up the five minute lead on five different teams.

Once we landed, we opted to trek the .25 mi to the canoe drop off. It was certainly not worth the 15 minute penalty to drop it on the beach. It is harder than it looks, though with that 75 lbs canoe bouncing on your head and neck. Once into the transition area, I untied my jacket from my waist and debated on switching gloves, since they were now soaked once we turned the canoe onto our heads and all the water dumped down the sides. Next, I decided to get my nylon pants off before the bike. Unfortunately, I didn’t think to loosen the ankles and I struggled to get them over my shoes. I finally sat down and got them off, but by that time, my partner had a one minute lead on me. You can see on the Garmin graph, it was the only time my heart rate dropped below 140 bpm for the whole two hours.

Once on the bike, things went well. Last year, it was lightly raining, so traction was questionable. But with rain the prior day, it was actually better than it being completely hard and dry. In the beginning, there was not a whole lot of other people, but I seemed to catch a few people and other faster people from my heat got up to me. I did not have any falls, but certainly slipped off the pedals a few times and have bruises on the front and back of my ankles to prove it.

Back into the transition area, I had to get my helmet, gloves, Camelback and fleece vest off. That went pretty fast and I was in my run. I started out super (read: too) fast, and gradually eased back into a more comfortable pace. I picked up some water/energy drink before the turn and almost immediately picked up a cramp/side-stitch. I keep plugging away and in the end was amazed at my time, just over 26 minutes. I barely broke 26:00 in a 5K alone over the summer. That was really a great time for me.

The Final Result was 6 minutes faster on the canoe and 2 minutes faster on each the bike and run as compared to last year. We placed 9th out of 18 in the Male 80 and Under teams. And I placed 34th out of 86 entrants doing the full event (not relay). There is certainly room for improvement, but I was very happy with our time.

Here is the link to the Garmin Connect Event

Milford Stay Dri Tri 2009 October 7, 2009

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I am getting closer and closer to participating in a real triathalon. A few years ago, I did an indoor tri that used the pool, stationary bike and treadmill. It did not have measured transitions, so the intensity of the combined disciplines was reduced. I also did a few outdoor duathalons that year, but no swimming. Maybe next year, I will get in the water outside.

This past weekend, I joined a friend in a team triathalon. – although this one was a little different – instead of being in the water, we were on the water… canoeing 5K from Proud Lake to Milford. Once we beached the canoe (for the last time – there were several run-ins with the river banks!) we carried thr 75lb aluminum canoe about 1/3 mile to the transition area where we jumped on our bikes. I left the transition area a few seconds (22 secs) before than my partner who has real triathalon experience. I had a feeling I would be seeing him shortly. From that point, it was a 10K mountain bike ride on a tight single track trail through the woods in Milford. Although I did not recognize him, he passed me in the first mile or so, but we stayed close after that. In the midst of other faster riders passing us, I ended up passing Jeff with a mile or so to go in the bike. As I dismounted my bike, I heard our support team (our families) cheering him on, so my lead was about the same as when I started the bike. I heard later he had crashed right at the end of the bike trail.

After we survived that, it was a 5K run on the new paved Milford Trail. Jeff took a few seconds to put on his MP3 player, but after I racked my bike I grabbed some water and got out on the run. (It turns out he gave me 43 second head start.) I knew from the Milford Memories 5K, he was about 1:30 to 2 min faster than me, so I suspected I would have to have great run to hold him off. Unfortunately, right away, I knew I wasn’t going to set a blistering pace when I could feel the wobbles in my hamstring and then tightness in the calves. Sure enough, at the turn-around, he was only about 10 seconds behind me. He caught me and slowed down as I could keep up with him, although I have to say I would have stopped if we wasn’t there, so he kept me going. I finished the 5K in 28:04 which is decent given the prior bike.

After we finished and caught out breath, the rain started. It had been threatening and spitting all morning, but the skies really opened up. We were quite lucky to have gotten it in before that, because the bike and run would have been tough – it was on 50 degrees at the time. That being said, this was a really fun event. We really pushed ourselves and got to enjoy the outdoor activities Milford has to offer… this is yet another example of why I like living here!

Fall is here already? August 30, 2009

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I usually get some good mountain bike rides in once fall hits. This year, I have been able to take the boys in the trailer on a few. And today, I managed a 2 hour ride around the trails of Milford.
MilfordKensingtonTrails

It felt like a nice cool fall day. I wore my long sleeve cool max shirt and wind breaker. I am not sure it got above 60 degrees before noon when I finished. It was a fall day for sure, except, it is only August. I am not sure what is happening to the weather.

Weekend Bike Riding July 21, 2009

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This weekend I took the training wheels AND pedals of Alec’s bike. For some reason he decided he was ready to try to ride without them. I read online that one method of developing this balance is to remove the pedals. This allows him to use his feet without worrying about if his feet should always be on the pedals or the ground. He did pretty well coasting down the slight decline of our street. Kim and I cheered him on the whole time so even though he feel over repeatedly, he definitely did not seem to feel like he was failing… which is our big problem with him sometimes.

Then on Sunday afternoon, I took Ian for a bike ride. It was his first time in the bike carrier for him (the one that sits on the back wheel – he and Alec have been on a couple of rides together in the trailer). He seemed to have fun – although he was mostly quiet for the first hour – he managed to stay awake the whole time. At this age, I think Alec always feel asleep after about thirty minutes. But then again, Ian sleeps a lot less than Alec.
Ian Bike Ride

We road down to the park and around one time. It was relatively nice day so there were plenty of people to watch for him. It was only about 70 degrees, so I was surprised to see so many people at the beaches. I guess they were just taking adavantage of the nice days we have having here this year.

Father’s Day Bike Ride with the Boys June 22, 2009

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I really need to get a picture of the boys squeezed into the bike trailer I pull for them. But below is the map of our adventure for Father’s Day. It ended up being a longer trip than I had planned, but that is in part because we spent about an hour at the park playing on the jungle gym and slides and throwing the frisbee around. I stopped my watch during that time – which messed the graph up for some reason. We also stopped at Dairy Queen on the way back. Of course Alec loved that and Ian wasn’t sure about ice cream… that’ll change.

FathersDayRide

The graph is messed up from the stop at the park. I am not sure what happened with that, but otherwise… kinda cool. Not too bad for pulling 75lbs of boys.

FathersDayRide-Graph

Bad Triathlon Dream January 14, 2009

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Let me preface this recollection of a dream that I had last night with several things. First, I have never participated in a (real) triathlon, although someday I would like to. And I say “real” because I have done an indoor triathlon, but that really does not count as there is no timing of transitions. I have done a few duathlons (run/bike/run), but again there is so much less involved. Second, yesterday I was listening to a couple of podcasts about triathlons and such, so it makes clear sense why this would have popped into my head overnight.

In any case, this is what I can recall:
I go to my first triathlon. I get there late by normal standards – probably 30 minutes or so before race time, but this doesn’t seem to cause me any sense of urgency. I proceed to get my shoes on and prepare for the run. The announcer calls for participates to start lining up. It was at this point that I realized that I didn’t even have my number and other registration. After I casually get my registration info, I then realized I had to swim first (duh…) , which caused me to remember I hadn’t set up my transition area -laid out shoes,… oh, wait… I then realized my bike was still on my car.

As one might expect, my brain was going nuts. I had to figure this all out and the gun was about to go off. My recollections of dream are usually vague, but especially so under this circumstance. So, I think what I ended up doing was yelling to my family that I needed them to get my bike and what my registration number / transition location was as I crazily got prepared for the SWIM – my worst event by far. I was going to be tired before I even started.

I woke up a couple of times during the dream – which I think is why I remembered it this time. This was not a good night of sleep! But as much as I kind of knew I was dreaming and tried to keep it going, the dream never got to the actual race. I certainly hope this bad dream is not a preminition of my first try at a TRI, but rather an opportunity to realize mistakes before they happen. The list of things to do and not to do is growing!
#1 Swim First
#2 But don’t forget to get the bike!

New Forerunner 4 Christmas December 29, 2008

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My other great gift I am grateful for this holiday season is a new Forerunner 305 GPS watch. I am very excited about this, what is an upgrade to my four year old Forerunner 201. I made great use of the 201, putting over 1,000 miles on it – many of which were training for my second marathon on May 2005.

However, this newer model has some awesome improvements and accessories that I plan to make use of. While it uses the same software, Garmin’s Training Center, these accessories should make that so much more useful.

First, the Heart Rate monitor will allow me to track and monitor that with the run. I had a separate monitor but having them incorporated should be very cool. Next, is the cycling cadence monitor. I have started biking more and I hope this will help me get into it even more.

But the accessory I am most excited about is the foot pod. The Training Center software does not have a place to add workouts not imported by GPS, so treadmill workouts have to be tracked separately – until now. I get many of workouts done on the treadmill, in front of my computer or TV while the kids are asleep – and it is too cold outside.

I have only taken it out of the box and charged it so far, but I look forward to making use of all the features and sharing my experiences here. Pictures to come!

Why I enjoy living in Michigan October 11, 2008

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So, remember when I said it would be too muh of stretch for me to join the local group for a 34-mile ride…

well, 39.6 miles and 4 1/2 hours later (3 hours and 50 minutes of riding) … It was a beautiful day here. Blue sky, barely a cloud… I saw 5 deer, a few chipmunks, countless lakes, endless trees… I see deer in our yard just about everyday, but it never gets old. And I hope it never does. This is the best of Michigan… even if U of M lost to TOLEDO (what?), it was still an amazing day!

I cramped up at mile 35. Even after training for and running two marathons, that is the first time I have ever gone through that. I could barely straighten my legs. I was fortunate to stop in front of a lovely older couple’s house (actually their house was from the 1860s and owned by the same family). Her daughter runs ultra marathons, so she knew what I was going through. She offered me water and an opportunity to rest. I took 10-15 minutes to stretch and get some more water in me (after finishing my granola bars). It was all I needed to get those last 5 miles.

A Weekend Alone October 10, 2008

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Tonight I dropped off the boys at G-ma and G-pa’s house. LBM is doing quite well with his new ear tubes – a little leakage, but that is a good thing – they are working. LLM is also healthy. It was certainly with mixed feelings that I dropped them off. I do realize I need the time to myself, but I also know I am going away for a whole week next weekend.

So, what I am going to do with myself? First, I have to drop-off Daisy for an extremely needed grooming appointment. Next, I think I am going to go for a bike ride. There is a local “Athletic Club” that gathers mostly for cycling and tomorrow they are doing a 34-mile ride. I am not quite in that kind of shape, but I might see if I can tag along for a little. Finally there is a lot of yard clean that I would love to get done. I have made so much progress this year, I am looking forward to continuing that.

…. watching the Micheal Moore movie called “Slacker Uprising”. It documents his tour of the country leading up to the 2004 Presidential Election. It is amazing to me how much buzz he was able to generate about all the misrepresentation Bush had made and yet Bush still won the election. I really don’t understand why Micheal Moore gets such a bad rap. He cares so deeply for this country and it’s people and our freedoms. It seems like he his keeping a quiet profile this year in hopes of not stirring up the Republican base. It seems to be working – see my next post.

Anyway, this movie is really about his efforts to get people to vote. The movie is not necessarily motivating at this stage, but for me it really illustrates an interesting point. Despite the effort he put in, the voter turnout was still VERY VERY low. I am hoping that this year’s election finally does show a CHANGE in that trend.