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...

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
Medic – Army National Guard
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
Ice Cream


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

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

Places I Have Been on Vacation
New Hampshire
Cayman Island

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

Websites I Visit Daily
My list of Tri-Bloggers

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

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!