Monday, December 03, 2007

I’m Still Around!

I haven’t posted anything for awhile I guess I just haven’t had anything to say or maybe it’s the 70 hour work weeks, but I still visit my favorite Bloggers.

I sold my bike just over a month ago… I miss her terribly! I’ve been passing the time with spin classes but it’s just not the same. Sure… I’m getting a great workout but I miss being on the road. Looking for a new bike has proven to be more difficult than I anticipated. I’m still trying to decide what bike to get. My bike shop carries Trek and Cervelo which are both great bikes… I can’t decide. Maybe I should start looking at other brands…. I don’t know!

See… this is why I haven’t posted anything lately… I’m starting to ramble!

Race plans
I need to make a plan for next year maybe that will motivate me. I know I want to do the New Bedford Half Marathon again and one full marathon later in the season, maybe the Bay State Marathon. As far as triathlons go I definitely want to do some half IM's next year. I had to drop my half IM this year because of a broken rib so it’s high on my list for next year. I just don’t know which one yet or how many. I would like to plan for two half IM’s next year and sprinkle in some local sprints and International distance.

Official Training Plans for 2008
None… I haven’t given it much thought lately. I’ve been kind of training by the seat of my pants. What ever I feel like doing that day, that’s what I do. I run about three or four days a week, spin class and weights, but no swimming. I haven’t been in the pool since the Buzzard’s Bay Tri… swimming is my weakest event… go figure! I guess once a pick my races for next year I can start planning out my training.

Well… I’m starting to bum myself out so I guess I’ll stop here.

Until next time…

Friday, October 05, 2007

Buzzards Bay Triathlon - Race Report

Buzzards Bay Triathlon was a great way to end my season. It may not have been by best athletic performance, but the whole even was awesome and I had a great time!

I was fairly relaxed on the morning of the race. The race didn’t start until 10am and the site was only 15 minutes from my house. Kate got the kids ready while I gathered my gear and installed my new cycle computer that I bought the night before. My trusty wireless computer decided it didn’t want to race with me and stopped working so I had to run out and buy a backup at the last minute. I mixed up one bottle of Perpetuem and one bottle of Nuun. I usually only use Heed for short races but I ran out, I also didn’t have my usual Hammer gels (orange) so I had to rely on what they gave us in our goodie bags… time to re-order!

We arrived at Demarest Lloyd State Park and I was amazed to see how organized everything was. There were people there directing you where to park and everything was well marked. I can’t say enough about Max Performance and the volunteers they put on a great event. While my family headed to the “Inspiration” tent to make posters I took my gear and went to setup my transition area. Kate and the kids came down to the transition and we headed to the beach to check out the water.



It was windy at the beach and the water was a little choppy, but the sun was out so I wasn’t worried about not having a wetsuit! We took a walk around and waited for the pre-race meeting.

It was time to head to the transition area so I gave Kate and the kids a kiss and headed out. I was rechecking my gear when I looked up and one rack over from me was Robin. It was great to see a familiar face. She introduced me to her friends that were also racing. After the pre-race meeting it was time to walk to the swim start.

The swim:
I’d only been in the water once since I broke my rib at Bayside so I was a little nervous. We were told that it was going to be a water start so we had to walk/swim out about 50 yards and then tread water. There were two waves three minutes apart in front of mine and I was starting to get cold waiting to go. Finally it was our time to enter the water and head out to the start buoys. The water was cold and I felt an instant chill…. Burr! The guy next to me looked at me and said “Your brave” I replied “no… just stupid” I’m definitely buying a wetsuit for next year! As we treaded water waiting for the start we all wished each other “good luck”! The horn sounded and we were off and swimming!



I was cold and I never really warmed up but swimming in the Bay was great. I exited the water in 13:25.



T1 2:03 Took one gel and some Nuun, put on my shirt and I was off! I’m not sure what took so long.

The Bike:
The bike course was great! I left the transition area and followed the long driveway up to the entrance where I hit the first hill. It wasn’t a long hill, but I had to get out of the saddle to maintain my speed. My plan was to maintain around 20+ Mph on the bike. I had done this bike course before so I felt that it was possible. After the small climb out of the park I hit the flat roads. I could feel my heart rate was much too high and I was sucking wind after that climb. I needed to calm it down if I was going to maintain my goal pace. It took a couple minutes but I finally calmed down and got into a good cadence. I didn’t see many people during the bike. I passed a few people in he beginning of the ride but for most of the ride I was alone. It wasn’t until the last few miles that I was passed by a couple people who were flying! Biking through farm land and along the ocean was beautiful. I had a great ride and I was happy with my time.



I entered the park and checked my computer, 20 miles! I thought it was supposed to be 18! After the race we met up with Robin who made the same observation… the bike course was 20 miles.

I entered transition 20.something miles 1:00:45

The Run:
Heading out on the run I was feeling surprisingly good. I didn’t have the usual heavy legs thing going on. Then I hit that hill, it was bad enough on the bike and now I had to run up it. I’m not a big fan of running up hills… something to work on in the off season. At about mile one of the run I saw a guy lying on the ground holding his hamstring. He looked like he was in some serious pain and cramping up. I asked him if he was okay as he got to his feet. He didn’t say anything… I don’t think he heard me. Volunteers were heading towards him so I continued passed him. I felt real bad for the guy he was so close to the turnaround of the run. At the turnaround I grabbed two waters, one to drink and one went over my head. I was still feeling good and tried to pick up the pace a little. I made the turn into the park and headed towards the finish. There’s something about heading towards the finish of a race and hearing the music getting louder and the crowd cheering that really carries you through the finish.




As I entered the finish I heard the announcer read my name and number… that was cool!


Final time 1:41:45

This was my final race of the season. It’s been a great year and I’ve learned so much about myself and the sport. My family has been so supportive of me by going to me events and putting up with my training schedule… Thank you so much Kate!

To my Tri-Blogger friends: Thank you for your advice and words of encouragement, they are very much appreciated. It’s been fun reading all your adventures and I’m looking forward to next season!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Buzzards Bay Triathlon Pre-Report

It was a beautiful day and a great end to my race season!

Results:
Swim .3 miles 13.25 (Slow!)
T1 2:03 (day dreaming again!)
Bike 20 miles 1:00:45 (20 Mph)
T2 2:20 (need to work on this)
Run 3.1 miles 23:14 (7:28 Pace)

Total 1:41:45
12th in my age group
92nd overall (out of 226 entered)

Full report with pictures and plans for the off season to follow!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Buzzards Bay Triathlon Pre-Race Weekend

On Saturday the family and I headed to Demarest Lloyd State Park to check out the site for the Buzzards Bay Triathlon. When we arrived the first thing we all noticed was the amount of rocks! The tide was low, but there were big rocks all over the place. Kate looked at and said... “You’re going to run up that!”



The second thing we noticed was how shallow the water was. Now I know it was low tide, but this was shallow. I just hope they planned on the tide for the race!



As we walked down the beach the rocks got smaller until we finally reached clear sand. I wondered if they would use his part of the beach for the swim exit because the sand was clear and it lead up to the side parking lot.



As it turned out I was correct. When we left the parking lot I saw someone measuring out the road. I stopped and asked him if he was with Max Performance, he said yes. I then asked where the swim exit was going to be because the first entrance to the beach looked very rocky! He agreed and said the swim will start there and exit down the beach. I was happy to hear that! I just hope they planned for the tide or we will all be walking in knee deep water!




Sunday I rode the 18 mile bike course. I started from inside the park where I thought the transition area would be and followed the long driveway up to the entrance. The first hill starts just before you reach the entrance where you take your first right onto Barney’s Joy Road. It’s not a long hill, but I had to get out of the saddle t maintain some speed. The next hill is at the top of Horseneck Road (mile 3) just before you turn right onto Horseneck Road North. Now I don’t want to scare anyone, but it’s a big hill! Now wait… the good part is that you start at the top of a hill and descend and then back up. I was able to hit 30+ before I started the ascent which carried me about 2/3rd the way up the top. When you get to the bottom of the hill look to your right, there are always two Swans in a small pond… Just look for a second! I only had to get out of the saddle just long enough to crest the top.



Once you take the right onto Horseneck Road North it’s mostly flat but straight with a few rolling hills. The only thing I could see being a problem will be the head winds. This is open farm land and the wind can really pick up some days.

At mile 11 you turn onto Fisher Road, this is where you hit a few more rolling hills before it goes down hill… literally! This is the fast stretch, but be very careful, the road winds for the next several miles. I was able to maintain 22+ mph for a couple miles and even hit 30 at one point.

Some points to remember:
1. The bike course is well shaded so be careful of sand in the shadows.
2. The roads are lined with Oak trees… Falling Acorns hurt!
3. Never mind the Jellyfish… look out for these little guys!



4. Most importantly Have Fun… it’s a great ride!

Friday, September 14, 2007

One more to go!

Well... I'm doing the Buzzard's Bay Triathlon on September 30th. My ribs are feeling good and I’ve resumed my training this week… more on that later.

I went down to watch the Firmman Half with my family and ran into Robin… that was cool! I was glad I went, but not being able to race was just killing me. We watched people returning from the bike and getting ready to head out on the run… I wished that was me!




The weather was great so we headed down to the beach to kill some time until the first athletes started coming in. It was amazing to watch. The last 100 yards of the run leading up the finish was through sand. This wasn’t the hard packed kind on sand, but the squish between your toes kind of sand. I give all the finishers a lot of credit!


1st Place.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Bayside Race Report

My plan was to treat this race like a training day. I was going to go as hard as I could without blowing up. Well… as you know from my previous post… the day didn’t go as planned.

On our way to Barrington RI we stopped to pickup my parents at their house. They were with me last year at this race and wanted to see me race again. On the ride down I was feeling great, I wasn’t a bit nervous. It was a little chilly but the weather look like it was going to be okay. When we arrived at the beach things were different. The wind was really turning up the water and it felt like the temperature had dropped a little. Still… no big deal!

I picked up my packet and went to body marking. I setup my transition area and went to check out the water. The air was cold so the water temperature didn’t feel that bad. That was good because I didn’t have a wetsuit for this race. As I walked around I could hear people saying that they must have shorted the swim a little because of the water conditions. It did look a little shorter that .5 miles, but I don’t know how much shorter it was.

I met up with my friend Manny this was going to be his first triathlon. He’s a strong cyclist and runner, but looking at the water conditions made this a tough “First” triathlon for anyone! He did awesome by the way!

The Swim (Cat 14, Ov 113, Time 8:43)
As we walked down to the water I could only see three different colored swim caps. There were less than 300 participants in this race so I guess they felt that three waves would be enough. We got the countdown and we were off! The water was rough so swimming into the waves at the start was kind of cool. We hit the first buoy then turned right and swum along the beach, this was the fun part. The waves kept hitting me every time I would come up for air. It took a couple minutes to get into a rhythm of breathing in between the waves. The waves weren’t the only thing to contend with on the swim. No… not Jellyfish! The current felt like it was pushing you back towards shore. I looked up a few times to find myself up against the buoys. Let just say I was more than happy to see the beach on this one!

The Bike (Cat 12, Ov 72, Time 37:09 with a crash)
T1 was quick… I put on my cycling shoes and my helmet and I was out of T1. I don’t know the time because they don’t post transition times… go figure! I clipped in and headed out on the bike. I was feeling really good at this point. I just had a good swim and there were still a lot of bikes on the rack as I left T1. Things were going to change… and quickly!

I was on the road and approaching the first turn. I could see a volunteer pointing at the turn, but I couldn’t hear what he was saying at this point. As I got closer I could hear him… slow down… sharp turn… take it slow. I looked down at my computer… I was going 24mph so I started to apply the brakes as I approached the turn. I’ve taken corners fast before and the path was clear of other riders so I felt that I could take this corner without any problems.

The plan was to start the corner wide and then head for the inside cone on the left when I exit the turn. Things were looking good until I saw it… a big pile of sand directly in my path. I was carrying to much speed to cut my turn any sharper and if I hit the sand while leaning I was sure to go down hard. I felt that I only had one option. The side of the road was grass and it looked a lot softer than the street if I go down. I figured I could hop the curb and run out on the grass. I started to straighten up and prepared to hop the curb. Now as a kid I’ve hopped curbs a million times on my bike so I thought this would be a piece of cake. Not this time… I got out of the saddle and pulled up on the handle bars while lifting the rear wheel. I cleared the curb with the front wheel but my rear wheel hit the sand before I could get it off the ground. This part is a little sketchy… it all happened so fast… yet it felt like slow motion. The rear wheel slipped to the right and hit the curd sideways. I remember thinking “This is going to hurt” the next thing I know I’m flying in the air. I don’t even think I put my hands down because I landed on my left side and rolled onto my back. At some point while in flight my feet came unclipped and my bike went flying over me.
This was the weird slow motion part… as my bike tumbled over me I reached up and grabbed the rear derailleur and lowered the bike to the ground. I don’t know what made me do it, but it saved my bike from tumbling down the road.

The rider behind me stopped… “Are you okay” I replied “Yep… I’m okay” He replied “Nice recovery” I can only assume he was talking about the bike!

I got up and did a quick body check. Nothing was broken… so I thought. I had a small cut on my index finger, probably from the derailleur and a little road (grass) rash on my shoulder and back. I picked up my bike and noticed my left brake lever was turned 90 degrees. I removed the grass, straightened it out and gave the wheels a spin, everything looked okay. I picked up my water bottle out of the road and clipped in… I had a race to ride!

The rest of the ride was great, I was able to gain back some ground and finish the bike without further injury.

The run (Cat 18, Ov 108, Time 23:08)
Leaving T2 I was feeling okay but my ribs were starting to hurt a little now. The 3-mile run course was flat and tree covered so sun was not an issue. The road was lined with people cheering and giving works of encouragement. The run was uneventful compared to the bike and I crossed the finish in 1:09:01.

As I went through the finisher shoot I saw my wife and kids. I was glad they were there to cheer me on! I told my wife about the crash but that I was okay. It wasn’t until the ride home that I started to get a little concerned. The pain in my chest was get worse and it was now hurting when I took a deep breath. I was starting to think that maybe I did injure myself. I didn’t land on my chest but that was where the pain was. I knew from my days as a paramedic that the pressure of landing on my side could have compressed my rib cage enough to have done damage to the front so after my shower we headed to the doctors. While I was explaining to the doctor what had happened she started poking around my ribs… she found the spot! She looked at Kate and said… “I think it’s broken but we should take some x-rays to confirm it”.

While we waited for the results we started talking about the time line for my next race. The Firmman Half was only three weeks away and the Doctor said the recovery time for broken ribs was about six weeks. I told Kate that even if it was broken, three weeks should be fine. She wasn’t buying it!

The results came back… I have broken a rib. Damn now what!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Bayside YMCA Tri Pre-Race Report

Rough seas...

24 mph crash...

Broken ribs...

and a PR 1:09:01.

More to come...

------------------------Update---------------------------
I'm working on it... I just haven’t had the motivation to do it yet. Maybe tonight!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Tri-ing this weekend!

This Saturday I will be racing in the Bay Side YMCA Triathlon in Barrington RI. It’s a sprint, Swim .5, Bike 12 miles and Run 3 miles. This was my very first triathlon last year so I’m a little excited to see if I’ve improved over the year. I had a great time competing last year, the bike course is flat and the run takes you down well shaded side roads. Last year my transition times were terrible… around 4 minutes for T1 and 3 for T2. I remember trying to wash off my feet and put on socks in T1. This year... like in Mooseman… I’ll skip the socks and gloves and just GO! This year I’m hoping to keep my transitions well under 2 minutes. I’m not wearing a wetsuit so that should help.

I have the Firmman Half just three week following this race so I didn’t taper for this one because I’m going to treat it as one of my training day. I plan to go as hard as I can without blowing up! My shoulder has been holding up during training this week, but it’s still very sore. I’ll probable take Friday off or just go for an easy run and rest before Saturday.

The weather forecast for Saturday is Sunny with a high temp of 77 degrees and a 10% chance of precipitation... wish me luck!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Tag… I’m it!

I’ve been Blog-tagged by Jamie. I’m definitely less interesting that some other Bloggers… so here goes nothing!

Jobs I’ve Held
Grill guy at Burger King (3 months… gross)
Veterinary Technician
CNA
Medic – Army National Guard
EMT
Paramedic
Engineering Tech
Network Administrator
Test Engineer
I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up!

Movies I Can Watch Over & Over
None – Don’t watch many movies.

My Guilty Pleasures
Cookies
Ice Cream

"Triathlon"

Places I Have Lived (in order)
Massachusetts (my whole life)


Shows I Enjoy
House
CSI (Las Vegas)
Survivor
Amazing Race
Anything on the Discovery Channel

Places I Have Been on Vacation
New Hampshire
Maine
Florida
Mexico
Jamaica
Cayman Island

Favorite Foods
Grilled chicken with pasta (no sauce)
Sea Food
Steak
Pizza & Beer (yes... it's a food!)

Websites I Visit Daily
My list of Tri-Bloggers
TriScoop

Body Parts I Have Injured
I’ve broken the following:
Left wrist (pole-vaulting)
Right Hand (can’t remember)
Nose (caught baseball with my face)
A couple Toes

Pulled, Sprained and Strained:
Ankle (dirt bike riding)
Knee (dirt bike riding)
Lower Back (diving)
Oh yah… Drove a nail through my right foot jumping off the shed!

Awards You’ve Won
Academic achievement (Actual trophy given in middle school)
You’re usual youth athletic trophies for soccer and baseball
Army Achievement Medal
Commanders Award (Just doing my job)

Nicknames You’ve Been Called
Jack
Johnny
JC

Pick 5 Other Bloggers

Still working on this one

Monday, August 06, 2007

Three more Tri's - Story from my weekend ride

I have three more Triathlons planned for this year.

The bayside YMCA (sprint) is in two weeks.
The Firmman Half Ironman on September 9th
The Buzzard’s Bay (sprint) on September 30th.

I’m a little concerned about the Half Ironman distance, specifically the swim.

My training has been getting a little better the past few weeks. I’ve been increasing my mileage on my long days and feeling pretty good afterwards. Unfortunately I think the swim is going to be my weak point.


Prior to Mooseman I was starting to feel good about my swimming. I was swimming around 5000-6000 yards a week and my times were improving. Shortly after Mooseman we went on vacation for two weeks in Maine. We had a great time, but my training understandably took a back seat. While on vacation I developed a sharp pain in my left shoulder. One morning I just woke up with it, no trauma, no warning… just pain! I could hardly lift my left arm up above my shoulder without severe pain... it sucked!
So... for the last 4 weeks I’ve been taking 800mg of IB 3 times a day and I’ve limited my swimming to once a week.

Before you say anything… I know I’m exceeding the recommended daily dosage for IB.

The pain has gotten better during the day, but I still wake up in the morning with severe pain. I had a similar pain in my right shoulder many... many years ago. The doctor just gave me a shot of Cortisone in the shoulder... that’s another story... and off I went. I was pain free in days!

I may need another Cortisone shot before I develop a stomach ulcers from all the IB… ouch!

This is my approximate weekly training leading up to the Firmman Half... I hope it's enough!

Swim 6000yds. (If the shoulder holds out)
Bike 120 miles
Run 24 miles

Begin taped two weeks before Firmman Half.

Story from this weekend ride.


This past Saturday I went for a 60 mile seaside ride through two states and four towns. As I entered Little Compton RI I reached into the back pocket of my cycling jersey to look at my directions. The last two times I rode this route I got lost... I wasn’t going to get lost this time. When I reached back into my pocket, all I felt was an empty power bar wrapper and my IPod shuffle... no directions! At some point during the ride they must have fallen out... now what. I had somewhat of an idea where I was, but I wasn’t confident considering my last two failed attempts.

You see the problem with Little Compton is that they have no street signs… none!

As I headed down the road contemplating what to do I noticed a woman working in her front yard. I got on the breaks hard and pulled into her driveway, she quickly stopped what she was doing and walked over to me... I think I startled her a little. I turned off my IPod and before I could get a word out she asked... you lost? I began to tell her about loosing my directions and not knowing exactly where I was because this town doesn’t believe in street signs... she agreed! She asked me where I was heading, but because I couldn’t remember all the street names I just said... I’m heading to Atlantic St. along the water. This must be a popular designation for tourists and lost cyclist because she gave me great directions and offered to fill my water bottles for me. I thanked her for her time and the water. I turned to get back on the road when...

This was the funny part.

Sensing my lack of knowledge of the area she asked me...

Where are you coming from?
I replied... New Bedford
She asked... Where did you park your car?
I replied... In my driveway (with a slight chuckle as not to offend her)
With a shocked look on her face.
She said... You rode all the way here from New Bedford

I replied... Yes... Yes I did!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Getting back to training UPDATED!

For the past week I’ve been feeling like a big slug! This morning I went for a run… 10.3 miles in 1:21.11 that’s 7:52 pace… not bad for a slug!

Tomorrow I’m going for a 60-mile ride…


Update on the ride:

I got lost! This was only the second time I’ve taken this route and I got lost… again! My planned 60 mile ride turned out to be 51 miles but I averaged 19+ Mph so I’m happy with that.

Funny thing...

I was riding down a back road, not a single house for miles when I started to feel the urge to relieve myself. I pulled over to the side of the road and headed into the woods to take care of business. In the middle of taking care of business I noticed a little mosquito had landed on my leg, I brushed him away. This must have made him mad because he brought back friends… lots of them. The next thing I know I’m being swarmed by dozens of little biting mosquitoes. I started running for the road… I wasn’t finished yet! I managed to complete the task at hand, clip in my pedals and hit the road with only suffering a couple bites!

Lessons learned…
1. Don’t Pee in the woods during peak mosquito season.
2. I can run the Pee at the same time!Mosquito bites itch!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Back from Vacation

My vacation is over... the weather could have been better... a lot better... but we had a good time. I'll post some pictures...

I've been back for almost a week now and for some reason I'm having a hard time getting back into the swing of training. It's not that I don't want to train, I'm just so tired all the time. I'm keeping up with the running, I just can't get myself up in the morning to go swimming.

This weekend I'll have to get my act together!

Question... Has anyone used the new tool for customizing your Blog template?

Friday, June 29, 2007

Going on Vacation!

It's time once again for our yearly vacation to Maine. We’re all packet and will be hitting the road bright and early in the morning. We will be spending the next two-weeks camping on a beautiful waterfront campsite. We have always enjoyed our time on the lake, boating, fishing and playing on the beach with our children. This will definitely be a much needed vacation for of us all.

I still plan on keeping up my training while I’m on vacation. I’m bringing my bike and planned some long bike routes… time for some more hill work! I have no excuse to skip my swim workouts, the lake that we camp on is beautiful.


Good luck to everyone doing the Patriot Half this weekend. I will be cheering you on from a distance... Have FUN! I’m looking forward to reading all your reports… if I can get an Internet connection in the woods!

Bye!

Monday, June 11, 2007

So what’s next?

Mooseman is over and my training is back in full swing. I currently have two more confirmed races scheduled to finish out the season.

My next race will be a sprint in August, The Bayside YMCA Triathlon in Barrington RI. This was my first triathlon last year. During that race I learned a lot about the sport and about myself. From that point on I was hooked on the sport of triathlon.

A few weeks after Bayside I have the Firmman Half Ironman in September. I had wanted to do Timberman, but it sold out before I could make up my mind… next year! I’m really looking forward to this race it will be my longest event.

I have this crazy plan to complete an Ironman in 2009.

2007 - This year the plan was to complete my first Half Marathon, International distance (see Mooseman below) then finish the season with a Half Ironman. I think I’m on my way to completing this years plan.

2008 - Next year… well next year is going to be fun. As you can probably guess my plan is to complete a full marathon and then fill the rest of the season with International and Half Ironman distance events… definitely Mooseman again!

2009 – This will be the year I hope to complete my first Ironman. I’m not sure which one yet, but I’m thinking Lake Placid!

There… No only have I said it out loud… but now it’s in writing!


Hey... Question... I have this 18 week Half Ironman training plan (Intermediate) that I got from trinewbies.com. I was wondering if anybody else out there used it or has something different. I like the program, but I have nothing to compare it to.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

2007 Mooseman International Triathlon Report

The plan was to head up the NH early on Friday to check out the bike course, check-in at the cottage, pick up my packet and relax for the rest of the evening. Things didn’t exactly go as planned. We got a late start and didn’t get on the road until 3pm which caused us to run directly into Boston traffic that lasted until the New Hampshire tolls.




The kids handled the delays just fine, they watched DVD’s and played video games, but I was starting to stress a little. Packet pickup was from 5 to7 pm and it was looking like we would be cutting it close. We arrived at the Welling State Park at 6:30 and I picked up my packet as they were still setting up for the event. We took a quick look around the park and transition area then headed for the cottage.

After checking in and unloading the gear, we headed out to an Italian restaurant that we had passed on the ride in. Dinner was good but it was getting late and all I could think about was getting back to the cottage because I still needed to get my gear ready for the morning. As Kate got the kids ready for bed I started to go through my packet. I placed my number on my bike and my helmet and then noticed something. My number was 5172, but the numbers in the packet read 172. What happened to my 5, did I get the wrong packet. I checked my chip number and found that it was correct. Registration would be there in the morning so I figured I could double check it then. I took a shower set the alarm… two alarms… and went to bed at 11pm.

Race morning!




Kate’s watch alarm went off at 4:30 am. Thankfully we set two alarms because the cottage alarm never went off… actually I forgot to turn it on. I had some oatmeal and a cliff bar, I wasn’t feeling very hungry. As I double checked my gear and checked my tire pressure, Kate got the kids up and ready to go!

We arrived before 6am so we could get a good parking spot and walked over to the registration tent so I could confirm my numbers. The registration guy said that I wasn’t the only one asking that question and maybe they should let people know when the pick up their packets… good idea!




I grabbed my bike and transition bag and we headed to body marking. It’s funny… once you get body marked the excitement of the race really starts. I racked my bike, dropped my transition bag and we headed for the lake to check out the water. The water wasn’t as cold as I thought it was going to be. I felt like the last hour before the race was spent going form porta-potty to porta-potty.




It was now 7:30 and time to get ready for the race. I kissed my wife and kids goodbye and headed to the transition area to get ready. The transition area was jammed with people getting ready. I looked around for my fellow bloggers with no luck, it was way too crazy. It was funny listening to all the different conversations going on around me. There was a group of 4 or 5 guys talking about how they just decided to do the race on a drunken bet. They hadn’t even trained that much and were joking about who was going to pass out first. I put on my wetsuit and after the pre-race meeting headed to the swim start…It was time!

The Swim 30:15

As we all headed out to the swim start, with bagpipes in the background, all I could do was look out at the orange triangle buoy. The fog was still coming off the water which made that buoy look so far away. The next thing I heard was 4…3…2…1…GO! The first wave of blue caps took off. Then it was our turn the green caps to head to the start line. In my first triathlon I lined up as far left and back as I could, I didn’t want my first time to be rough! This time I wanted to be in the mix so I headed for the middle of the pack. The announcer gave us the countdown 5…4…3…2…1…GO!


We were off… there were feet and hand flying all over the place. I managed not to get kicked or punched as I started my swim. I was about four or five strokes into my swim when I came up to take my first breath. That’s when it happened, I tilted my head took a deep breath… nothing happened… there was no air! I put my head back in the water took another stroke so I wouldn’t get swum over and tried again with the same results… I wasn’t getting any air. I had no choice, stop swimming or stop breathing. Apparently my wetsuit was preventing me from taking a deep enough breath. I reached back and removed the Velcro flap around my neck but it wasn’t enough. I then grabbed my zipper lead and pulled it all the way down. I could breathe again, but now my group was gone. I started swimming as hard as I could trying to make up lost ground… or water. I got into a comfortable rhythm and started to feel better as I was moving up the pack. Soon with every breathe I could hear music… the finish was getting closer. As I exited the water I could see my family on the shore… that was so cool! They were yelling “You’re doing great!”




I headed up the path and decided to bypass the wetsuit strippers into T1. I was able to pull off my wetsuit on the run, I put on my helmet and shoes took a gel and headed to the bike start.

The Bike 1:22:25 19.8 mph



I was feeling pretty good on the bike until my right calf started cramping up. I’ve felt this before on training rides and a little electrolyte drink usually takes care of it. I have a bad habit of not drinking enough during workouts and I wanted this cramp gone before “Devils Hill”. I’ve been training on hills at home, but not hills like this. As I approached the little devil dancing on the side of the road I could see riders walking their bike up. I shifted down stood up and climbed that Devil! As I passed people crawling up the hill I thought to myself… I’m going to pay for that later! From then on the ride went well and I continued to pass and get passed by the same group of riders. On one downhill point I looked at my computer… 40mph! We even got stuck behind a pontoon boat going way to slow. I looked at the woman next to me and said… can we get a penalty for drafting a pontoon boat! I didn’t expect to see anyone from blog land during the bike, maybe on the run since it was an out and back, but not on the bike. As I approached one rider I took a double look… it was Jamie. We said hello and asked how it was going… then it was time to go. Soon the fun was over and it was time for the run.



The Run 50:58 pace 8:13

Leaving T2 my legs were feeling like I had lead shoes on. I had a gel in my shirt pocket but for some reason I never used it. I need to work on my fueling during longer races. I took water and Gatorade at every stop. I would dump the water on my head and the Gatorade down my chin. I think more made it into my shirt than into my mouth. The run course went along the lake for a few miles… it was beautiful.

Side note: As I was running along the lake I saw this guy taking pictures. He looked so familiar to me I had to look twice. It was a guy from work that I see at the gym all the time. He started waving at me and took my picture. He was there with his son who was in the race… small world!



The turn around point on the run was a cruel joke. My fellow athletes know what I’m talking about. There was a turnaround at the halfway point of the run. Volunteers were directing you to take this little side road. You turned the corner all happy thinking you just run around the corner, but No… you then head straight down this steep hill to hell turn around and head back up hill. Not very nice!
The rest of the run felt good, my legs were coming back and people were starting to say two more miles… one more mile your almost there! I could see the finish and tried to pick up the pace a little and finish strong. I was done… I finished my first international distance triathlon.




The 2007 Mooseman was complete! Final 2:49:10


Monday, June 04, 2007

2007 Mooseman Preliminary Report



It’s going to take me a couple days to get my thought together. I’ll post my full report with pictures then.

Place 217

Swim 30:15
I had a little technical difficulty in the beginning of the swim… more on that later.

Bike 1:22:25
Rate 19.8 mph
This was a challenging bike course.

Run 50:56
Pace 8:13
Enough with the hills already!

Final Time 2:49:10
35th in male 35-39 Division

It was an amazing weekend!

Thursday, May 31, 2007

It's Time!

Well… The training is done, the gear is packed and I'm ready for Mooseman!

To everyone doing Mooseman… Good luck, be safe and see you up there!

Just remember... Have Fun!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Making a list...

Today I went for a 22-mile bike ride. I took it easy and didn’t push the hills as much as I wanted. Tomorrow I’ll swim 1000 in the morning and maybe run a few miles before lunch. I’m thinking about skipping the run, my right foot has been hurting me after my runs lately. After that… nothing until race day!

I'm starting to get my gear together for Mooseman on Saturday, this way if I’m missing something I'll have time to get it tomorrow or Friday morning at the latest.

Funny... before it was always "Mooseman on June 2nd" now it's just "Saturday".

I need to put a list together because I love to procrastinate about things like this and I always end up running around at the last minute.

The List
1. Confirm reservations for cottage
2. Wetsuit
3. Body Glide
4. Goggles
5. Ear plugs (I bring them but never use them)
6. Sunglasses
7. Bike (I still need to clean it)
8. Helmet, gloves and bike shoes
9. Water bottles
10. Repair bag (spare tubes, pump and tire wrench)
11. Tri shorts and shirt
12. Running shoes and socks
13. Hammer gels, Heed, Cliff bars
14. Transition stuff (Water and towels)
15. Directions to Mooseman!

Did I miss anything... probably!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Countdown Begins...

I went for a nice easy 25 mile ride on Monday morning. I road my usual loop through Padanaram Village through back roads of Dartmouth and Westport. I was heading up Elm Street towards the center of town when I noticed that there appeared to be a lot more people on the side of the road then usual. As I got closer to town the crowd got bigger, the road was now completely lined with people on both sides. This should have been a clue! As I road up the center of the street… no cars… people were waving and saying hello. I was starting to feel like I was riding in the Tour… only much slower! Now I know all these people didn’t come out to see me ride up the street… That’s when I saw two kids walking down the street towards me holding a sigh… Town of Dartmouth Memorial Day Parade. You would have thought the marching band music would have clued me in sooner!

My wetsuit finally came in this weekend from wetsuitrentals.com. I needed a full length wetsuit for Mooseman because I heard the water temperature will be about 60 degrees. When the wetsuit arrived I couldn’t wait to open it and try it on. I opened up the box, held up the wetsuit and said to my wife, there is no way I’m going to fit into this thing. I went online to check the sizing chart again… it’s the correct size! After some grunting and groaning I was able to get into it. I’ll need to pick up some body glide.

To everyone going to Mooseman this weekend… take it easy this week and be safe.


The countdown begins... I need to start thinking about packing!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Week in Review… Crash Avoidance!

Last week wasn’t great and this week is no better. Most of my department was at a training seminar last week so I had to pickup some extra projects. I was able to get the miles in, but not on my scheduled days. This meant that I had to double up some workouts in order to get them all done… I’m tired!

Next week is the start of my two week taper before Mooseman, I can’t wait! I’m going to run into a problem next week. I’ll be going for three days of training given by the International Software Testing Qualifications Board… Boring! This better not cut into my training again!

Enough about that…I almost went down on my bike… twice!

On Saturday I had my best 44 mile ride with an average speed of 18+. The weather was perfect, the birds were singing, the little baby farm animals were out in the pastures and my legs were feeling great. It was an awesome day… until I almost T-boned a car at 30 mph! It was entirely my fault… I must have been day dreaming about Mooseman. I was on a long winding stretch of road about 15 miles into my ride and I hadn’t seen a car all morning. I just crested a hill and was carrying about 16 mph when I started my descent… I was feeling great. I changed gears, got aero and pushed hard… 16...20...25...30...Woo hooo!

As I said this road is long and winding but then opens up at this weird intersection. Three different roads intersect with only one stop sign… my stop sign. As I came around the final bend heading for the intersection I could see in all directions that there were no cars coming… so I thought! As I approached the stop sign I thought to myself… should we stop… yes we should stop…I don’t see anybody… Oh shit! This car was flying up the road and he didn’t have a stop sign and I was going way to fast to stop. I braked as hard as I could while trying not to lock up my wheels… I was going to make it! That’s when my rear tire hit some sand and started sliding out for underneath me. Luckily I was able to keep control while in a sideways skid and stop within a few feet of the approaching car… that was close! I never even had time to clip out!

The second time (this all occurred on the same day) was fare less dramatic. I had just finished another climb and stopped at the top to check my directions. I clipped out of my right pedal as I always do and had my left at 9 o’clock ready to push off and start riding again. I was trying to decide, turn right and take back roads or turn left and go along the beach. I decided to turn left and ride along the beach. I pushed off with my right foot, but for some reason my left foot was already down and over I went. I was able to clip out of my pedal just in time to stop myself from falling completely over… that was close! I thought I heard some cows laughing!

Well… Mooseman is quickly approaching and I can’t wait. My training has been going well, I’ve put in some good miles and I’m injury free… for now! This will be my first Olympic distance triathlon so I’m not expecting to much… just have fun!

Totals from last week
Swim 4750
Bike 90 miles

Run 18 miles

Monday, May 07, 2007

Happy Belated Birthday to Me...

My birthday was last week… on Tuesday... no need to sent gifts! Unless you want too!

I’ve had the same Timex Ironman watch for about 17 years. My wife gave it to me for my birthday we were dating at the time… I loved that watch. In 17 years I’ve had to replace the batter only 3 times and the band about 7 times. They stopped making the replacement bands a few years ago so now the band is held together with sutures and surgical tape.


She hinted around at the idea of replacing my old watch, the tape was starting to fall off! I mentioned that if I was going to replace my old Ironman watch, just a simple one would be fine. Well this year she bought me a new Timex Ironman Data Link System watch for my birthday.

This thing is amazing it’s like a little PDA on your wrist. It has a crap load of features, Chronograph (200 lap splits), Countdown Timer, Interval Timer, Synchro Timer (not sure what that is yet), Schedule, Alarm, Appointments, Occasions (so I can’t forget anymore important dates), Contacts, Notes and a bunch of customizable options. Hey… it even displays the time!


It came with software so you can set the thing up on your computer and download the data to the watch… so cool!

I’ll add pictures tonight!

Totals from last week
Swim 4750
Bike 95 miles (40 of them in the rain!)
Run 22 miles

Monday, April 30, 2007

Recovery Week Numbers

... but first a quick story.

I’ve been swimming at this pool for about three months now and I’m getting more comfortable there. I see the same people, for the most part, every week and everybody is courteous about entering a lane. They’re supposed to have six lanes open for lap swimming, but for some reason they always leave the first two lane lines out. I’m assuming that this is to accommodate the “leisure” lap swimmer.

I usually get to the pool early enough to get one of the good lanes, but last week I was forced to swim in one of the first three open lanes with no lane lines. Normally this wouldn’t be a problem except for the “Runner Guy”. This name will make more sense in a second. Runner guy is about 70 years old by my estimate. He sticks to the middle of the lane and just slowly goes up, down and sometimes across the lanes.

On this day his lane was the only lane available so I waited until I could make eye contact with him and signaled my intention to share his lane. I entered the lane and began my warm-up. At this point he was now at the far end of the lane and was heading back in my direction. I tried to keep as far left as I could in order to give him plenty of room. As I approached him I noticed that he was not going to move over, he just kept on course. As I swam around him I couldn’t help but laugh, he was wearing a flotation device around his waist and ankle weights. His little legs just kept running like a hamster on a wheel. All I could think about was one of those National Geographic programs where they use an underwater camera to film hippopotamus’ swimming across a river. He never did move over!


Last week was supposed to be a recovery week for me. I was scheduled to swim 2750, bike 45 and run 15. I missed my swim the previous week because the pool was closed, so I added a few yards each swim to try to make up for it.

Totals for last week
Swim: 3250
Bike: 47 miles
Run: 12 miles

This week starts the speed work and quality phase of my training plan… this should be fun!

Schedule for this week
Swim 6000 + optional easy 1000 (yah right!)
Bike 95 miles + optional easy 20 miles
Run 20 miles + 60 min. walk

Five more weeks until Mooseman!!!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Things are looking up!

Last week started out on the down side. I arrive at the pool 5:30am Monday morning only to find out that the pool was closed for renovations. The girl at the desk informed me that they had signs up all last week. I informed her that at 5:30 in the morning I’m lucky just to find the front door, forget the little sign at the desk. She handed me a swim schedule for the Franklin YMCA and said they would honor my membership. Now I’m already driving 45 min to get to this Y (it’s on my way to work) so another 15 minutes was pushing it a little.

The weather was also not cooperating, it rained most of the week which made riding a little tough… hence the low totals.


Totals
Swim: 0 (the pool was closed)
Bike: 53.8 miles
Run: 16


This weekend was awesome!


Saturday I headed out on a great 6 mile loop from my front door and was back in time get some much needed things done around the house.


Sunday was another great day. My training plan called for a 30 mile bike so I loaded up two bottles of fuel and headed out. I picked a new route that would head out to Horseneck Beach and loop back to the house. The weather was perfect, I must have passed three or four groups of riders… they were going the other direction. The route was hilly, but I was able to average 17.8 mph for 33.8 miles… I got a little lost!

When I got home, my wife and I loaded up the kids and the dogs and headed to the beach. We walked for a couple miles while the kids collected rocks and the dogs played in the water. We ended the day with ice cream… it doesn’t get much better!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Not so good - Week in Review

Last week started out great, my swimming was getting better and I was looking forward to putting in some big mileage on the weekend. Unfortunately, after my swim on Thursday I started to feel like I was coming down with a cold. I was hoping it was just a headache and would pass, but it didn’t. As the day went on it started getting worst and eventually settled in my chest. I ended up not running that night and I had to skip my weekend long bike and run. What a crappy way to end the week.

Totals
Swim: 3250
Bike: 35 miles
Run: 5

On the bright side I was able to book a nice cottage for Mooseman!

I hope this week is better!

Monday, April 09, 2007

The week in review

My training went well last week, it was great to get back into the pool. I'm starting to work in more swim and bike time into my workouts. My next event is quickly approaching and I need to pick it up.

Totals
Swim: 2500
Bike: 45 miles
Run: 10.5 (missed one day)

Thursday I met up with my friend Manny and a group of guys for a 20 mile ride. I was a little nervous at first to be riding with an experienced group, but I did well. I usually train alone so I stuck to the back at first so I wouldn’t take anybody out. It didn’t take long to start feeling comfortable riding with them, they are a great group of guys. I started getting a cramp in my left calf at about mile 8. I would finally get it worked out and then it would move to the other calf...frustrating! I was wondering if it was the 1000 yard swim from that morning.


I went for a 4 mile run with my son on Sunday. We went to the park so he could follow me on his bike. We had a good time and I told him we should make it a regular thing. He should have no trouble keeping up on my longer runs… just watch out for the goose Bren!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Very Busy Weekend

Saturday

I entered my family in the The SimplyStu Worldwide Triathlon II on March 24th, 25th. I thought this would be a great way to introduce my children to the sport I enjoy so much. It was snowing here in Massachusetts last weekend so we had to postpone it until this weekend.

We loaded up the bikes Staurday morning and headed to the beach. The beach has a large closed parking lot that was perfect for the race. We setup some cones in a .25-mile circle with a transition area close to the car. We headed to the water for the swim start, but the kids decided to skip the swim due to the fact the there was no lifeguard on duty. Safety first!



Everybody lined up at the start for five loops of the bike course. Brennen and Kaitlyn started out strong, but everybody caught up at the end. The kids need to work on their transition times!





We headed out on the run, five more loops. This is where the field started to open up and everybody was giving it all they had.



The finish was very close with Cullen edging out mommy in the end for the win!



I think Cullen summed it up best “This was the best-est day ever!”



Sunday

I ran the Officer Thomas Giunta Memorial 5K



I finished 103 out of 753 finishers. My official time 22:35

Friday, March 23, 2007

Race Report - New Bedford Half Marathon

I got up on race morning and looked out the window... it looked cloudy and windy! I checked the temperature...32 degrees! This was going to be fun!

We headed to Kate's parents house to drop off our two youngest children. It was going to be to cold for them to stand around waiting for the start. The route went right past her parent’s street and they would be able to see me there.
We headed down to the start at about 10:30 and we met up with a friend who was also running. We tried to warm up a little before they announced runners to the start. They corralled all 1816 of us into the starting area, everyone was jumping up and down trying to keep warm while the Miss.New Bedford sang the National Anthem and the Mayor said a few words about our fine city! Let go already I’m getting cold again! A quick wave and we were off!



The pace was a little quicker than I had planned for. I was thinking 9 minute miles would be a good start for me. They had pace counters at every mile, so when I reached the first mile and heard 7:58, 7:59…8:00 I thought crap…I better slow down. Mile two and three was about the same… 16:03, 24:00. I was trying to slow it down a little, but running in such a large pack carries you along. Then I hit the first of two hills. The first major hill on Hathaway road was the only hill that I was a little worried about. It was long with a significant grade and I hadn’t fully warmed up yet. The top of the hill was mile 4…32:20! It must have been the pack of runners that carried me up that hill.

The next 6 or 7 miles were relatively flat and I was able to get into a comfortable pace… thankfully. My whole family was waiting for me at mile 6, it was great to see them all standing there cheering me on.



We headed down Rockdale Avenue towards Rodney French Boulevard, along the beaches. This is where the wind really started to pick up. Gusts of wind would come and push you sideways, you had to just put your head down and push through it. I had a guy that kept using me to block the wind for him, I would move to the side to let him pass and he would follow…it was funny!

Did I mention I forgot my IPod… well I did and I definitely could have used a little distraction at this point. The crowds of cheering people were gone, most likely the cold was keeping them away. I was now approaching the 12 mile marker, the breaking point, the final big hill! This mammoth hill had reduced many runners to a slow walk while others could only manage to crawl in a desperate effort to complete their own personal journey… just kidding It wasn’t that bad!

The streets were lined with people again cheering you up the final hill. Runners who had finished already were on the way back “to rub it in”… I mean to give us support. Just one mile to go to the finish, you can do it! The music was getting louder now and I could hear the announcer reading off names as they crossed the finish line. I rounded the final corner and saw the finish. I could see my wife and son waiting at the finish… they were smiling! After I crossed the finish, volunteers where waiting to take my chip and pass out finishers metals… My first one!



My official time was 1:49:11.



I did learn a few things during this race.

1. I “can” handle a faster pace on race day.
2. Water running down your neck while trying to drink at a water stop in 32 degree weather is cold!
3. Puffy yellow jackets in the wind acts like a sail. (Not in a good way)
4. When you feel the urge to P before a race…do it! It doesn’t go away!

5. Have more confidence in my abilities.

Mooseman Here I Come!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Pre-Race Report: New Bedford Half Marathon

It was cold, it was windy!

I finished 862 to of 1816 finishers. My official time was 1:49:11.

Full Race report to follow... with pictures thanks Kate!

Monday, March 12, 2007

New Bedford Half Marathon just days away!

I completed my last long run (13 miles) before the New Bedford Half Marathon on Sunday the 18th. I ran about half the actual course and then headed to the park to finish some loops. I wanted to run along the water and hit some of the hills so I would know what to expect on race day. It felt great and my knee did fine, but I could have used another water stop. I hate running with anything in my hands so I parked my car on the route so I could stop about half way and take in some water and a gel. It was a warm day about 47 degrees and the park was full of walkers and kids on bikes. I had to run in the street most of the time, but it was great to just be outside on a nice day.
For the rest of this week I plan on taking it easy. I have a few short 3-4 mile runs planned and two rest days before Sunday’s race.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

2007 Schedule

I have my 2007 schedule finally worked out... for now!



30th Annual New Bedford Half Marathon
The SimplyStu Worldwide Triathlon II
Mooseman International Distance
Bridgton Four On The Fourth
Bayside YMCA Sprint Triathlon
Firmman Half Ironman

My first race this year is the New Bedford Half Marathon on March 18th. This will be my first half marathon and I can't wait to do it. My training has been going well, except for a chest cold last week that had me coughing up techno-colored sludge. I'm back on rack with my training now.
I entered my family in the The SimplyStu Worldwide Triathlon II on March 24th, 25th. I thought this would be a great way to introduce my children to the sport I enjoy so much. When I completed my first triathlon last year two of my three children were there to cheer me on and see me cross the finish line. I was so happy to be able to share that experience with them. When I finished, my son turned to me and said “That was awesome, when can I do that!
I was looking for a race to test myself with early in the season. I know I wasn't going to be ready for a half ironman this early, so I thought I would try a quarter distance. I entered the Mooseman International Distance on June 2.
My wife and I take the kids on vacation in Maine for two weeks in July. We have done this now for the past 15 years. Wow... that's a long time! Last year was the first time I noticed that the town we stay in has a local road race, The Bridgton Four On The Fourth. I'll enter this year!
The Bayside YMCA Triathlon was my first triathlon last year. I had an awesome time and it was a great event. My wife was unable to make it so I wanted to do it again so she could be there. The Bayside YMCA Triathlon will be in August
I wanted to end my season with a big race... big for me. I entered the Firmman Half Ironman in September. This will be my longest distance race, nervous about being ready for it. If I find a good training plan and stick to it, I'll be fine. It's all about having fun right!
Wish my luck!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Restored faith in my knee

My long run was scheduled for Sunday this week. I'm working this weekend so I decided to knock it out today or I should say yesterday because its 1:40am now.

I ran 8 pain free miles on the treadmill during lunch today. I was waiting for the pain to start around mile 4 as it always does, but nothing. Mile 4...5...6 still no pain, could it be possible that my knee is getting better. Mile 6...7...8 still no pain and I was feeling great. I felt like I could have kept going but I needed to get back to work some time.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Newest members of the family

My wife Kate is a volunteer at Habitat for Cats, a no kill cat shelter in our town. We adopted our third cat Emma there three years ago and since then she has always wanted to get involved with the shelter in some way. I suggested writing a check, but she was looking to do something a little more hands on. The shelter cares for and provides adoption services for approximately 80 cats.

It started so innocently... I get a call from my wife at work, someone has found two little kittens running for their lives on a busy road and called the shelter for help. The kittens are too small to be left at the shelter alone and will need to be "fostered"... short pause...what do you think?


Now, the Cambridge Dictionary of American English defines “Foster” as follows.

Foster (TAKE CARE OF)
Verb: to take care of (a child) as if it were your own, usually for a limited time, without being the child’s legal parent. (Substitute “child” for “cat”)

When Kate brought them home she kept them separated from our other pets for health and safety reasons. They had a health check from the volunteer Vet but still needed to be vaccinated before being released into the general population. This also prevented our three children from getting too attached to them. After all we were just “fostering” them and eventually they would be placed up for adoption.

As time passes the two little kittens now named Bella and Brady are starting to grow and starting to develop little personalities or felinealities whatever it’s called for cats. Brady is the more outgoing and aggressive one while Bella, being the smallest, likes to just sit on your shoulder and purr in your ear while you walk around the house. It actually kind of cute, you would be standing in the kitchen and she would start climbing up your leg and back then onto your shoulder like some kind of little mountaineer and then just curl-up in a ball…. but I digress.




One day I started to notice that in all our conversations regarding the two kittens the word “foster” had been replaced with the word “adopt”. I wasn't completely against the idea, but I thought it went against the entire meaning of the “fostering” process and once you cross that line, you can never go back. So for us I’m happy to say that the word “fostering” is no longer in our vocabularies and Bella and Brady are now a permanent part of our family.

In conclusion… The fostering process is a great one and I recommend it anyone with the time and ability to provide care to an orphaned animal. My only warning… If you get attached, be prepared for either heart break when you return them or adoption!


Here are a few pictures of the family…




Molly our 11 year old Black Lab and Bella sleeping in front of the fireplace.




Hanna is our 7 year old Yellow Lab

We also have three other cats Samantha, Emma and Maggie. I will post some pictures of them when I can.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Week 6 and 7

Week 6 of my half marathon training is complete. Week 7 has just stated and my knee is doing better thanks to my new Asics GT-2110. It started to give me a little trouble during my 10K on Sunday, but the pain never got bad enough to stop. I was thinking that the cold weather had a little to do with it, I could never get my legs to warm up with a 11 degree wind chill.

Week 7
Mon - Stretch & Strengthen - Done!
Tues - 4.5 mile - Skipped, worked last night!
Wed - 8x400 5K pace
Thur - 3 mile run + strength
Fri - Rest or easy run
Sat - 4 mile

Sun - 9 mile

Week 6
Mon - Stretch & Strengthen - Done
Tues - 4 mile - Done
Wed - 40 Min tempo - Done
Thur - 3 mile run + strength - Done
Fri - Rest or easy run
Sat - Rest
Sun - 10 K - Done! Ran the two mile loop around the park... cold!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Free cycling gear...

I just got $150 dollars worth of free cycling gear from my local bike shop. I did go over budget a little and had to chip in a couple bucks, but this is what I got...

Pearl Izumi Charger R1 cycling shoes and...




Look KEO Classic Road Pedals...


All I had to do to get this free stuff was to buy this...

2007 Trek 2100



I ordered my bike and it came in a couple weeks ago. I went for my fitting last week and picked up a few things while I was there so they could have time to mount everything before picked it up.

I bought 2 Bontrager Race Lite bottle cages and a Serfas 9 function wireless computer. They had a 13 function computer that was actually cheaper, but this one had the cadence function that I wanted.


9 - Functions
Wireless Cadence
Current Speed
Average Speed
Pace Indicator Arrow
Maximum Speed
Trip Distance
Elapsed Trip Time
Programmable Odometer
12/24 Hour Clock


I can't wait to pick it up, I have place to keep it in my office all picked out.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Week 5

Week 5 of 12 and my training is going well. I've had to modify (skip) it a little because of my work schedule.

Mon - Stretch & Strengthen - Done!
Tues - 4 mile - Done!
Wed - 7 X 400 5K pace - Skipped

Thur - 3 mile run + strength
Fri - Rest
Sat - 3 mile
Sun - 8 mile

Monday, January 15, 2007

Half Marathon Training Schedule

I was searching the web for some help on training for my half marathon in March. I found this web site "Hal Higdon's Half Marathon Training Program" it looked ok and it was free! He had programs for different levels and distances.

I'm currently in week 4 of 12
Mon - Stretch & Strengthen - Done
Tues - 3.5 mile - Done
Wed - 35 min tempo - skipped
Thur - 3 mile run + strength
- Done
Fri - Rest
Sat - 3 mile
- Skipped
Sun - 7 mile - Done
Total for week 20.5


What do you think?

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

New Ride

I'm looking at buying a 2007 Trek 2100. I would appreciate any suggestions or comments on this bike. The guy at the bike shop took the time going over the different bikes they offered. He measured me for frame size and went over the fitting process. I like the bike, but I'm having a hard time making the final decision...


Sizes: 54cm
Frame: ZR 9000 Alloy w/TCT Carbon seat stays
Fork: Bontrager carbon
Wheels: Bontrager Select

Tires: Bontrager Race Lite, 700x23c
Shifters: Shimano 105 STI, 10 speed
Front Derailleur: Shimano 105
Rear Derailleur: Shimano Ultegra
Crank: Shimano 105 52/39
Cassette: Shimano 105, 12-25, 10 speed
Saddle: Bontrager Race Basic
Seat Post: Bontrager Carbon
Handlebars: Bontrager Select VR, 31.8mm
Stem: Bontrager Select, 7 degree, 31.8mm
Headset: Cane Creek Integrated w/cartridge bearings, sealed, alloy
Brakeset: Cane Creek 3 w/Shimano 105 STI levers

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Happy New Year Everybody!

Here’s to a great Triathlon Season!