Aug 23

Leaving It All On the Course

I finished the Ludington Triathlon today.  I gave it my all and went hard the whole way, pushing all the way to the finish.  It paid off.  It is my best finish of the season and I am very happy with how it all went.  We are back home and resting now; the lack of sleep is getting the better of me.  I’m not quite up on doing the full race report now, but I finished in 2:24:49 placing 7th out of 11 in my age group and 35th out of 87 overall. 

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Stay tuned for a full race report!

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Aug 22

Crazy Garmin

My Garmin 405 went a little haywire yesterday.  I knew something was up when I finished my standard Reeds Lake loop and my watch was reporting that the course had mysteriously gotten .15 mile shorter than the last time I ran it.  When I loaded the workout data on the computer, this is what I got.


Apparently, not only did I start from someone else’s house, but then I proceeded to cut through a few peoples’ yards rather than follow the road.  Then, rather than following the logical course around the lake, I took an angular route through more yards before getting back on the course.  Weird.  I don’t remember doing that.  The good thing is that SportTracks does a pretty good job of route error correction and fixed the route to show that I did the full 6 miles.

Maybe this is just a sign of things to come.

Anyway, I had a good 6 mile run yesterday, followed by a nice and easy 10 miler this morning.  It is very nice to be building up my running base again.  This will be my first week in a long time where I will surpass 30 running miles.  YAY!

Tomorrow is the Ludington Triathlon, so time to get all packed up and ready.

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Aug 18

Ludington, Here We Come

I finally signed up for the Ludington Triathlon for this weekend.  This is sort of my makeup race for the canceled Millennium Triathlon.  It is an Olympic distance triathlon rather than a Sprint.  I really haven’t backed off my training much since Steelhead, so I should be ready for it.  I am hoping that I can best my Grand Haven Tri performance, which shouldn’t be too difficult because there won’t be the long run between the swim and transition area like there was in Grand Haven.  That alone should cut 7 minutes off my time.

We haven’t finalized our plans yet, but we may take my boss up on an offer to stay at their cottage on the night before the race so that we are bit closer to Ludington on race day.  Either way, I am sure that we will spend some time relaxing in Ludington after the race.  We spent some time there last summer, and it is a very fun and relaxing city.  It has a great touristy Main Street, but isn’t overwhelming.  Plus, there are lots of good eateries that we will have to decide between.

More details to come as we figure them out!

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Aug 18

Long Ride

I went out on a long bike ride today.  I have been wanting to get out and ride the Kent Trail and they have finally reopened a section of the trail where I get on, so I figured today would be a great day to give it a whirl.  It was a beautiful day for a ride.  A little windy, but not too bad.  Trail riding is definitely different than riding on the street and to be honest I almost enjoy riding on the street a bit more.  The trail ride was a nice change, but it seemed bumpier than the roads I ride on and there were more road crossings than I remember from the past.  I pretty much had to stop and unclip at each road crossing.

My 40 mile Tour de Grand Rapids

For the ride, I headed out towards John Ball Zoo to hop on the trail.  This part of the trail is brand new and was as smooth as butter.  From here, I jumped on the trail to take me out towards Byron Center.  The first half of this portion of the trail was a combination of bumpy trails and riding on the shoulder of the road.  However, once I got to 44th street, the trail opened back up and was much smoother.  There was also a lot more tree cover on this portion of the trail and it was actually refreshingly chilly in the shade.  It also made my sunglasses unnecessary.

After getting to 84th street, I stopped by Houseman’s Ice Cream for a soft serve ice cream.  It is a good thing I carry “emergency” money with me for just these occasions.

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Houseman’s Ice Cream and my mid-ride snack

After finishing my snack, I got back to it and headed back down the Kent Trail and picked up the new M-6 trail which runs along the expressway.  This is less than a year old, so again, very smooth.  However, because it is along the expressway, it isn’t very scenic.  Also, it is very hilly when it comes to trail riding.  No complaints here though.  It felt good to push the legs a bit on the uphills and fly down the downhills.

I looped around back towards home finishing the ride in 2:11:20 for a total of 39.44 miles, which averages to an 18mph pace.  Overall, I am very happy with the ride.

AND the lovely Jennifer brought home a giant Slurpee for me.  I was craving one yesterday and she remembered.  Isn’t she great?

The remnants of my post race Slurpee

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Aug 17

You Know You Are A Triathlete When…

Steve in a Speedo recently posted a list of 85+ reasons of how to tell if you are a triathlete.  I am reposting the list below and taking a cue from Steve by bolding the ones that apply to me.  Which ones are true for you?? Enjoy!

  1. When asked, how old you are you answer 20-24.
  2. When asked how long your training was today you answer: three to four hours.
  3. Your training is more limited by available time then how far you can run.
  4. Your first thought when you wake up is how high your rest HR is.
  5. You go for a run even though there’s a thunderstorm and you enjoy being wet and dirty.
  6. You think it’s natural to do your ‘business’ behind a tree in the woods.
  7. You go for a 5 km cool-down run after a 5 km race just so that you can call it a training session.
  8. You consider work “regeneration time” between training sessions.
    • Nothing like an lunch swim followed by a two hour rest at work and then back out on the pavement for a run
  9. That “something hard” between your legs is usually a pull buoy.
  10. You have a water bottle when you drive your car.
  11. You’ve forgotten how to drink out of cups.
  12. You spend your 2 weeks annual vacation at a training camp.
  13. You know inside out how much Protein each energy bar has.
  14. You seriously consider applying for citizenship in Tonga, Jemen or Tschad so that you can participate in the Olympic games.
  15. People praise you for being able to run 15 miles, but you feel insulted.
  16. In the summer your legs are smoother than your girlfriend’s.
  17. In the winter your legs are still smoother than your girlfriend’s.
  18. You need a picture for a job application and you only have race pictures.
  19. You use running T-shirts to clean your bike.
  20. That charming "cologne" you wear to work is chlorine.
  21. You take more showers in a locker room than at home.
  22. 6:30 am is “sleeping in.”
  23. The dog runs and hides when you get the leash.
  24. You think there are only two seasons during the year: racing and off.
  25. You shave way too many body parts for a guy.
  26. You can’t change the oil in your car but you can completely rebuild your bike in 45 minutes.
  27. You spend more $ on training and racing clothes then work clothes.
    • I really don’t have to buy work clothes though, so that is my excuse
  28. You spend 7 days going to 8 stores in 4 towns before buying a pair of running shoes but you take 1 afternoon to go to 1 car dealership and walk out with a new car 4 hours later.
  29. When you see some lady watering her flowers and ask her if you can borrow the hose for a minute so you can fill up your water bottles.
  30. You clean your bike more often than your car.
  31. You’ve been stung be a wasp or bee in your mouth but carried on running or cycling because "your split times won’t go down by themselves."
    • Not the mouth, but experienced the middle-of-the-ride-sting
  32. Your car smells like a locker room.
  33. You have everything needed in your car to be swimming, biking or running with 5 minutes notice.
  34. When asked to mow the lawn in 90 degree heat, you say that it’s too hot to do that (and you mean it) and then an hour later you go on a century ride because it’s so nice out.
  35. You tell your co-workers that you are going to "do a long brick" on Saturday and just expect that they know what you are talking about.
  36. When a co-worker asks if you are racing this weekend, you say "yeah, but I’m just running a 10k, so that is not REALLY a race".
  37. You consider you bike saddle your "couch."
  38. You consider Clif Bars as one of the four food groups.
  39. You are sick to your stomach at 2:00 in the morning and check the back of the Pepto Bismol bottle for caloric content and grams of carbohydrates, fat and protein.
  40. You have plenty of water bottles, safety pins, and t-shirts.
  41. You have trouble keeping lunch under 2000 calories.
  42. You usually wake up at 4:00 in the morning but do not get to work until way after 9:00.
  43. You like going swimming the day after a race with the permanent penned number still visible on your legs and arms because the feel like a medal.
  44. Your car has at least one Power Bar wrapper and two sets of work out clothes!
  45. You have a $3000 bike strapped on top of your $1500 car.
  46. Your laundry continually smells like someone locked the cat in overnight.
  47. Instead of Marie Clare, People, and Cosmo, you have piles of Runner’s World in your bathroom.
  48. You leave your apartment or house in the morning with your swim bag on one arm, bike on one shoulder, a change of clothes in another bag, and your running stuff in another bag in case you can get away at lunch for a workout.
  49. You wave at other cyclists, because all triathletes are friendly and if they are not, they are probably purist cyclists trying to get into triathlons and they do not know that triathletes are friendly.
  50. You have not one, not two, but three permanent chain ring scars on your right calf. \
  51. You are walking along a street and you signal left.
  52. You have far more pairs of shoes in your closet than your non-tri wife does in hers.
  53. The one "suit" you own has “Orca” written on the chest.
  54. You wear your heart rate monitor during sex….
  55. …and you keep within the right HR zone.
  56. You hear "T2" and don’t think of the film.
  57. When "foreplay" is 15 minutes on a turbo trainer.
  58. Your living room has the "swim pile" and the "bike pile" and the "run pile" and the "weight room pile" and you pick and choose kind of like a cafeteria on your way out the door.
  59. Your kitchen cupboards are organized into "protein", "carbs" and "etc."
  60. Your company announces mandatory unpaid shutdown days – every other Friday throughout the summer – in order to cut costs and stay in business. Your response is "Great – now I can do two long workouts on the weekends and still have an easy day."
  61. Your 8 year old comes home with the school record for the mile and says he took it out in a nice pace he could hold… everyone else died.
  62. You can ask your mom and your sister and all other girlfriends for shaving advice…
  63. …no wait, THEY ask YOU for advice!
  64. You say that you went to a race last weekend, and somebody responds "running or biking" and you are again forced to explain.
  65. You wear your bathing suit under your work clothes to make a fast transition from work to swim on your lunch hour.
  66. You show up at the neighborhood pool on your bike in a Speedo and embarrass your teenage daughters.
  67. Your idea of fast food is a Powerbar and Gu.
  68. Somebody hands you a cup of water and you have to restrain yourself from pouring it on your head.
  69. You catch yourself about to blow a snot rocket while walking around the office.
  70. You have no FRIGGIN idea what to do with yourself on your off day.
  71. You feel like you took the day off because all you did was swim 3000 meters then go for a short run.
  72. At any given moment you know exactly where your heart rate monitor and your swim goggles are, but cannot remember where you left you car keys. (turns out 90% of the time they are in your bike bag)
  73. When non-racer friends tell you they ran/rode, you automatically calculate their pace to see if you’re still in better shape. 
  74. Cars pass you on the road when you’re driving and you either drop back to get out of draft zone or speed up to attack!
  75. You have no trouble converting mph into kmph.
  76. You’ve stopped buying high-heels because your feet are too swollen from long runs to fit in them anyways.
  77. While your less athletically-inclined girlfriends are gorging themselves on plates of lettuce, you’re occupying yourself with a plate of pasta and chicken (white meat, of course.)
  78. Having a period has become less of a nuisance since menstrual cramps don’t feel that bad when you’re hunched over a bike.
  79. You’ve stopped wearing dangly earrings because they just get in the way when you’re ripping off your clothes to squeeze "just one more" workout into your already cramped schedule.
  80. Your girlfriends are insanely jealous of your tan legs. Until they realize that the tan stops at your bike shorts.
  81. You’ve given up trying to go on training runs/rides with your boyfriends because they don’t take it too well when you kick their butt.
  82. A female friend gets a new bike and tells you that it’s a really pretty shade of blue…
  83. …you get a new bike and can tell her the chain ring ratios.
  84. When checking out people on the street, your friends notice eyes, hair, build…
  85. …you notice if they have shaved legs, if they have runners/bikers legs, and if they’re wearing a race t-shirt.
  86. (from Beth:) When you keep your nails trimmed so you can put on your wetsuit without tearing it.
  87. (from Marit:) The "Check Engine" light comes on in your car and you ignore it for a few weeks. But AS SOON as something feels "off" or goes awry with your bike, you bring it into the shop ASAP.
    • My Check Engine light has been on for years

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