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September « 2010 « Brandon Marsh's Blog

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Archive for September, 2010

“Healthy” Water

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

Water is water, right?  Well, if you read the forum you will see a post about a project that a couple of triathletes helped out on.  You can read the forum post here.  You can read the blog post by Neil here.

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Kind of brings me to this blog.  A good friend of ours at the Master’s swimming group gave us a new water filter to try out.  It’s made by Aquasana…they even have a Facebook page!!  I just installed it today, and it was pretty easy…at least for me!!  So, if you have a water filter, or are thinking about getting one, consider these guys.  And, I’ll spare you the enginerd talk or any kind of anti-bottled water or chlorine or anything else non-interesting!

Smoothie Time

Monday, September 27th, 2010

I had lunch with a good friend of mine the other day.  He asked for the three non-triathlon things that we liked most about Switzerland.  One of them was definitely the fact that we were car-less for 3 months.  That meant that we either walked or rode our bikes everywhere.  We can ‘sort of’ do that where we live in Austin, but it would be quite a long walk to the grocery store…about 2 miles instead of 0.5 miles.  And it would be an even longer walk to the nearest pool that is open year round…probably 5-6 miles instead of 1 mile.  But, we can/could/do ride our bikes to these places at times.  Definitely we do not ‘have’ to have the 2nd older car that we have.

One thing that I kind of missed in Switzerland was my sometimes daily smoothie.  Amy really missed this.  I was perfectly ok replacing it with some good cheese, and I continue to do that here.  But, sometimes you just need a smoothie.  Here’s a video about my smoothie prep…

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The actual recipe…10 ounces more or less Almond Milk, 1 banana, frozen strawberries…obviously, 1 scoop chocolate protein powder, and as much almond butter as you want which for me is a LOT.

PS…we don’t plan these videos, but Amy just heard banging outside the door and came to see what it was about and then video’d the final steps of the strawberry massacre.

Saturday In Texas

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

Well, we are back in Texas.  Adjusting to the heat.  Back in the swim of things with our local Master’s program.  Adjusting back to having a car and having a grocery store that is a bit over 0.5 miles away.  This last Saturday wasn’t a normal TeamTBB training Saturday…but that’s all I can say about that.  And, it wasn’t a normal Saturday for Amy and me.

When we were in Leysin, the FIFA World Cup was going on.  Horns blared all the time.

Back in Austin, we had this little thing called the Round Rock World Cup.  I shot a video…surprise, surprise…

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When I was growing up, soccer (football for the rest of the world) was just making it into Texas.  Now it is huge.

Stay tuned for more updates from Austin.

Ironman Wisconsin, Take #2

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

Writing a race report for a good race is easy, and it’s fun.  Writing a race report for a race that goes less than stellar is tough.  Heck, it’s easier to just wipe it under the rug, and not even bother with it…the race report that is.  Or, just go hide and wallow in self-pity.  Self-pity really gets you nowhere fast.  DH Lawrence “I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself.  A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough without ever feeling sorry for itself.”

I started this blog before Tamsin posted hers, but maybe just go read hers first…or maybe I should just link to it for my race report.

Certainly, I wanted my race to go better.  I had a good swim leading the pack with the exception of one John Flanagan III (or II or IV I’m not quite sure).  Out of the water, up the ‘helix’ crowded with screaming spectators, and it was onto the bike.  I was in 4th for awhile and riding fairly well.  Joe Gambles passed me and asked who all was up there.  I continued to hold onto 5th and started the run 6th or 7th with 2 guys directly in front of me and one pretty close behind.

About 7-8 miles into the run is when it started…and Tamsin talks about it.  At Ironman UK, my pace slowed and I lost some time, but I told myself to just HTFU and run a bit harder.  There it worked,my last 10k was one of my strongest.  Here in Wisconsin, I just let my mind wander and my pace slow.  Instead of working on bringing the race back, getting my head back into the game, in hindsight I was focused on the growing soreness in my legs, the miles that were left to go, the fact that I’d lost several places and wasn’t where I wanted to be.  It could have been as simple as a short slow down through a couple of aid stations to re-fuel, collect the thoughts, and get moving again only faster this time, but I didn’t.  I crossed the line as the 12th pro about 1 minute quicker than last year, but certainly not the race that I wanted.

So, I’ll close this one with thanks to TeamTBB, coach, Amy, and all our sponsors.  The season isn’t over yet, and that big race is out there.  But, it won’t be easy, they never are.  Back at it sooner rather than later.

The Farmer in the…Wisconsin Dell

Friday, September 10th, 2010

One of the beauties of Facebook and this whole interweb thing is the potential to link up with past contacts, whether they are class mates, teammates, first mates, or any other kind of mate that you might have or have had.  Anyway, after a week in Madison I went up to Wisconsin Dells the other evening to have dinner with a friend of mine from high school who now lives in Wisconsin.  Wisconsin Dells??

I wasn’t sure what a Dell was…other than the family in Austin that has a way with computers!  And, I knew that there was a nursery rhyme called “The Farmer in the Dell.”  So, I thought that maybe the Wisconsin Dells had something to do with farming.  After all, the other day on a ride, I was surrounded by almost 360 degrees of corn…or soy…or alfalfa!  I could bore you with some farming info about why those three crops are planted together or sort of together…but I’ll pass.

Apparently a ‘dell‘ is a small wooded valley.  What would a blog be without a video!  I was going to try to find a farmer in the dell, but I wasn’t able to do so today.

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A few pictures of the Wisconsin countryside…a Rocky Dell anyone?

The Road was Rocky, so picture only

Rocky Dell Rd = Rocky Rd, so no riding here

Some corn and alfalfa growing together…

Corn is the tall stuff, Alfalfa not so much

And, last but certainly not least, a little bit about the Wisconsin Dells.  Like I said, I headed up for dinner with a friend of mine.  Anyway, this place was crazy.  HUGE resorts, indoor water parks, restaurants, you name it.  Here are a few pictures of the inside of the Kalahari resort.  I did not check out the indoor water park…

Arcade for Kids and Adults

Indoor Ropes Course

Mini Golf Anyone...also Indoor!

And, last but not least was this modified White House.  Yep, the White House as in the one in Washington D.C.  I don’t know if you can make out the presidents there, but I snapped a picture of George, Bill, and Barack.

George, Bill, and Barack Hanging Out!

A Little Incident it Appears

So, there you go.  A little bit about the “Farmer in the Dell” and the Wisconsin Dells.  Stay tuned.  IM Wisconsin on Sunday.

Madison

Monday, September 6th, 2010

I left Leysin for Madison, Wisconsin a few days ago.  From Switzerland, the country of cheese, to Wisconsin, the cheese state.  I’m not here to critique the cheese, but I will eat some Wisconsin cheese while here.  I am here to race Ironman Wisconsin on the 12th of September.  I did this race last year and finished 9th.  Naturally, I am here to improve on that!

If you aren’t good with words (translation…you don’t like reading), then scroll down and look at the pictures and vid.

I’m not staying in Madison proper, but out in Middleton…pretty much “generica” if you will.  There is a Chipotle across the road which is good and dangerous.  There is a grocery store within walking distance…or at least that is what I think now that I have walked almost the entire village of Leysin on a daily basis.  And, the grocery is in a big box haven with a Target, Old Navy, and maybe even a PetCo.

From where I am staying to where we are headed…

So today, I rode into Madison proper to snap a couple of pictures.  The course is awesome as it starts and finishes in downtown Madison.  The bike goes out West of town through Verona and Mt. Horeb.  The run is through the State Street district as well as campus.  The Capitol building…

I’ve been told to try the “squeaky cheese” here in Wisconsin.  “Squeaky Cheese” is (I’m told) cheese curds.  That might be a post race kind of thing, but I doubt I’ll wait that long.  At times I wonder if Texas can be out-done with the fried food delicacies…the State Fair has a fried food contest every year.  But, not only do cheese curds exist, you can get them deep fried as well, or a corn dog, or fries with cheese if that’s your poison.  Turns out the “Taste of Madison” festival was going on today, but I didn’t have the necessary funds with me to see just what they tasted like!

After the Capitol, it was through the state street district.  Austin has 6th street.  Memphis has Beale Street.  Madison has State Street.

From there it was through campus on a lazy Sunday PM…much different than my Friday ride through Madison…to see some of the course as well.  College football started yesterday.  One of the unique aspects of the run course is that it also does a loop around the field at Camp Randall Stadium here at the University of Wisconsin.  The gates were all locked up, so I wasn’t able to get a picture IN the stadium, but  I don’t think that there is any doubt who lives here!

How about it Nike, Adidas, Avia, or anyone else…want to make a TeamTBB trailer for us?

And, what would a blog be without a video?!

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“Impossible is Nothing!’

ChChChChChanges

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

I’m writing this blog from NYC…New York City.  More precisely, the New York Laguardia Airport.  Like TMac’s blog about catching a train, to catch a plane, to eventually get to a race, today has been one long travel day that is not yet over.  I’m on my way to Madison, Wisconsin where I will stay and do Ironman Wisconsin on September 12.  By the time I get to Madison, I will have traveled on 2 trains, 3 planes, 1 shuttle bus, and 1 taxi and will have been through 5 airports.

So, being in NYC is definitely a change from Leysin.  Way more cars and people.  And the training in Madison will certainly be different.  I am staying where I should be able to continue to go carless for at least a week and walk or ride my bike everywhere.  It will be good.

Pictures and videos are worth a thousand words, so here are a few for your viewing pleasure…keeping with the changes theme!

We have an inside-out view of the train heading up the hill to Leysin.  You can see our ‘home’ for about 3 months.  It is the top right hand unit in the pink building.  Amy is waving, but I think that the sun gets in the way.

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And for a change of scenery, the outside-in view of the train heading up the hill to Leysin.  One change that I will have is NOT hearing the train come up AND down the hill once per hour between about 7AM and 11PM.  But, between the hours of 530AM and 700AM, I believe that it makes 2 trips each up AND down the hill each hour!!

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And lastly, it seemed that with the end of August in Leysin, came the end of the warm-ish weather!!  Sunday and Monday were COLD and rainy!  I was up at the top of the village yesterday afternoon and it was sleeting.  When we woke up this morning, all the neighboring mountains had more than a light dusting of snow on them!  So, that is why I am dressed in fleece before I catch the train to Aigle and then Geneva!

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Stay tuned for an update from Wisconsin.