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Archive for October, 2010

November…Already!?

Monday, October 25th, 2010

Or should I say “MOVEMBER”?

Amy doesn’t know about this yet…otherwise, we’d have another catch phrase “what are you doing video” here!!  I am sure by mid-November I’ll be sleeping on the couch!!

November 1 starts the month of Movember.  Don’t know what it is?  Well neither did I until a few years ago.  Apparently, the month of November has for all practical purposes become the month of Movember, a celebration of the moustache…aka the ‘mo’.  Leave it to a few Aussies and some beers to come up with a way to bring the moustache back ‘in’ and bring it back as a way to highlight some aspect of men’s health.  You can read a bit more about it here.

We all know that the Doc saw the ‘real’ doc awhile back…this post from the Doc as well as some little nuggets on the forum here and there!  And, one of my good friends from Austin had a similar appointment with a doc some 10 years ago as well.  So, on October 21, 2010 I signed up as an official participant in Movember in honor of Doc and Rainer.  Officially the money raised in Movember goes to the Prostate Cancer Foundation as well as Livestrong.

It’s official.  Let’s shoot for $1,000 at least.  That gets me to the Platinum Club and a copy of Debrett’s Guide for the Modern Gentleman that I’ll be sure to pass around at the next training camp.  BUT, I am sure we can do better than that…the question is how much better?  Click here to donate and see my ‘mo-space’ that will be updated as we go!

I’ll document my progress here.  I just have to decide on the stylistic approach that I will take.  There are definitely several options; however, I may be limited by the speed of my facial hair growth as I am supposed to start November 1 clean shaven…all donations must be in by December 9, 2010 at 5pm EST.

I did a little research for stylist suggestions, and you would not believe the number of websites dedicated to the mustache…or moustache!

The Hulk Hogan…possibly, but without the gray.  I call this one the ‘truck-stache’.

Hulk Hogan

The Magnum P.I…my mom likes this one…actually I think it is less the stache and more the guy.

Magnum P.I.

The Wyatt Earp Mustache…no time or desire for this one!!

Wyatt Earp

The Freddie Mercury mustache…probably better suited to Stephen since he looks more like Freddie.

Freddie Mercury

The Pre mustache…definitely ‘fast’!

Prefontaine

And last but not least…the baby stache…

Baby Stache

There you go…stay tuned for updates!

Kona from the Sidelines…Day 3.5 to home

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

I covered the first few days already.  I’ll pick up at 6:15am 9 October.

9 October, 6:15am.  I thought to myself after the announced Chrissy’s withdrawal that it probably wouldn’t change the way most of the women would race.  After the swim started, I headed down Alii Dr. with Lars from Competitor and stopped at Lava Java for only the 2nd time ever.  Their omelet was pretty good, but honestly, didn’t live up to the Lava Java hype that I was expecting.  Maybe I’m biased towards Kerbey Lane or Magnolia in Austin!!  We watched the pro swim, and you could see Andy Potts leading with a large gap towards the main pack.  Of course, it was anyone’s guess who was where if you weren’t watching the jumbotron…I wasn’t!!  Once they exited the water, we headed up through the Coconut Grove shopping center to Kuakini to watch the through town out and back.

The pro men were ROLLING on this stretch of road, and it looked more like the start of an Olympic distance race than an Ironman.  It was also an indication that the dynamic of the race, the men’s race in particular, was changing.  If you weren’t with the first bunch out of the water, you were likely to be in for a long day unless you were able to really punch it the first 15 or so miles and then settle in with the bunch.  The 2nd main pack was not too far behind the first bunch on the way out…probably less than 1 minute.  On the way back to town, the group had become one big mass of cyclists, and they were hammering.  Several guys who might have typically been in the top-10 were noticeably absent from this front group of athletes. In looking at the final finishers, only 5 of the top 20 did not come from the first or second group of athletes to exit the water.  So, to really succeed and not come out with the bunch you have to either have a super bike and be able to follow it up with a good run, or a very good bike/run combo…and you need to be able to punch out the first hour HARD and then settle in, and expect for there to be another move made after Hawi.

The women came by mostly in 1s and 2s with Rachel Joyce and Julie Dibens lead the group with Caroline in third.  Amy, TMac, Rinny, and a couple of others were a bit behind.  Again, the dynamic of the women’s race also appears to be changing, and with the 30 minute head start that the pros had this year, it definitely made for a much cleaner ride for the contenders in the women’s field.

After that, I was off for a run back to the house.  I watched the race online…which is the best way to watch the race for anyone considering the trip to kona just to ‘watch’ the race.  And, I started my second run in time to see Amy and the others head out for the out and back on Alii drive and the stretch up Kuakini to Palani before hitting the QueenK.  I caught up with Jack and Dan from Jack and Adams and High Five Events as well as Brian from FastSplits.  Good to see those guys.  Of the men, Macca definitely seemed to be moving the best, Lieto looked to be a bit off.  For the women, Rinny was flying and Julie looked to be struggling a bit.  Caroline and Amy came by and both looked very strong.

You know the rest of the story.  I have to say that spectating is harder than racing, especially if you try to add in some training in there.  You’re on your feet for over 12 hours solid.  You don’t get an hour to swim and 6 hours to ride…you get to walk around and stand out in the sun most of the day.  I was beat after the race.  But, I still couldn’t sleep the night after the race…just like if I had raced.

10 October.  Amy was beat up!  Moreso than after any race that I’d seen her race.  Her feet…and mine…were both swollen from all the work they had done the day before.  We both went to the awards banquet that evening.  Honesly, it had a bit of a ho-hum feeling for me.  Not because I didn’t race, but because it was kind of the same as it was 8 years ago when I race and 5 years ago when Amy raced.  I guess there’s not a lot you can do with it, but even the video was a bit of a letdown.  Me being the sensitive guy that I am usually have some good laughs at the video as well as some near tear moments…but not this year.  Macca and Rinny did a good job on their awards speeches.

After that, we pretty well chilled out and headed home on Tuesday.  I did a bit more training, but it was bye to the big island for another year, or at least that’s the plan right now!!

Kona from the Sidelines…days 1-3.5

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

I mentioned it earlier, and unfortunately there are no real pictures to document it, but the last time I was here was 2005 to support Amy.  I had coached her to a 3rd overall at Lubbock 1/2 Ironman that year, and she headed to Kona despite not really ‘wanting’ to race.  After her Wisconsin win last year, she was headed to the Big Island again.  After some back and forth, I decided to head over to support once again.  This time though, my pro racing had focused more on long course as opposed to the mixed bag of short course drafting, non-drafting, and Xterra that it was focused on in 2005.

So, I thought I’d post up a day to day blog of what I saw in Kona.

6 October, Wednesday.  In and out was what Amy wanted.  We had a leisurely breakfast at home, went to the airport and looked for triathletes leaving from Austin.  No luck, just Dave from ISMSaddles.  Dave and Melissa were on the same set of flights as we were.  Looked for triathletes in Dallas too…just Dave again!  Looked again in Honolulu…jackpot.  Compression socks, shorts, M-dot tats, and more galore.  I’ve tried to think of a tattoo that I would like to get.  I can’t come up with anything that seems to be ‘that’ much of a defining moment in my life.  I thought about a picture of Amy, but thought that she’d look a bit weird when I got old and wrinkled.  Then I thought about one to do with Texas, but again…I just can’t come up with something ‘that’ cool.  Each to their own I guess.  We tried to get an earlier flight, but apparently we were not alone in arriving relatively ‘late’ to Kona…I guess something was going on there!

7 October, Thursday.  Woke up and went for an easy jog.  Way too many people running way too fast on Alii drive.  Take note…the race is 2 days away.  Chill out, take it easy.  Sometimes it annoys Amy when I run with her, but I made sure I didn’t half step her and didn’t talk much except to ask if she wanted to catch every person that passed us!  Including the lady pushing the double wide baby stroller.  Poor kids.  Man, as I type this I realize how busy Thursday was.  Sat in the Cervelo booth as well.  Met the nice folks, saw the 2011 models, and just generally chatted it up.  I ended up doing some last minute mechanic work on various bikes including making one into a single speed after he broke his rear derailler.  We also hung at the Louis Garneau booth as well.  They’ve got a few really nice new helmets coming out for 2011 not to mention their already cool shoes and cycling clothes…check them out!!  Did a swim too…but stayed away from DigMe beach.  We opted for the pool.  We were a little surprised when they said it was free.  So surprised that we asked twice if it was for the week only or if they were joking.  Did not go to Lava Java, but did have Outback for dinner.  Note for you Outback fans in Kona…they do not have sweet potatoes…bummer.  Watched Bones on TV.

8 October, Friday.  Went for a ride to make sure the Cervelo worked well.  It did.  Got passed by way too many people going way too fast again!  See note above!  Amy swam, I ran to the pool from the house.  Outback dinner #2 for Amy, and then I headed to the pool for a dusk workout.  I pretty well had the whole pool to myself, and it was pretty nice.  Oh yeah, I crashed the pro meeting hoping for some entertainment, but it seemed like the pros were either too nervous to ask questions or things were just ho-hum since a pro meeting is a pro meeting.  Did NOT go to Lava Java today either.  I was trying to get psyched up for my day of spectating.  I event carbo loaded with some post dinner ice cream.  I was ready to spectate and train!!  It was also to be a run day for me training-wise.  In fact, I was SO ready to spectate that i could hardly sleep all night!!

9 October, Saturday.  Race day.  I was up with Amy, Marla, and Kent at about 4am to head to the race.  Marla is from Austin and it an athlete that I have been coaching for the past few years.  Kent was here in a supportive role as well.  Dropped them off, parked the car at the same super secret location I used 5 years ago, and headed to the KingKam hotel.  It must have only taken Amy about 15 minutes to get ready because she was waiting for me when I got there.  We did some people watching…one poor guy must have walked past us like 5 times looking for his fiancee, but didn’t find her!  Amy got into the new Blue70 swimskin, and then headed to the swim start.  About the time I got down there, they announced that Chrissy was not racing.  I thought to myself that it wasn’t really going to change the way anyone raced that day, but there will always be speculation as to how the day might have unfolded with her in the race.  My mom even called to tell me that she was not racing…Chrissy that is, my mom (mum as Stephen would say) does not race.  OK, I’m going to stop here, and pick up at about 6:15am Saturday morning in the next blog.

Kona Bound!

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

Every triathlon website is littered with news of this weekend’s upcoming Ironman World Championships!  I have been to the ‘big island’ twice, and this will be my third trip there.  It will be my second trip to support and watch Amy race.

In 2002 I qualified for IM World Championships by finishing 1st in my age group and 3rd overall at the Buffalo Springs 1/2 Ironman in Lubbock, TX.  Back then, there wasn’t much $$ in it for the pros, so the field was quite a bit ‘weaker’.  Anyway, I went to Hawaii and had a good experience, but not a great race finishing in 11:09 or so.

3 years later just a few months before Amy and I got ‘hitched’ we went to Hawaii for her race.  Our families were worried that we’d just up and get married there!!  She went on to finish in 10:48 or so…yep…she beat my time.

She says it took almost 5 years to recover from that one…and she qualified last year at IM Wisconsin in grand style.  She won the whole shootin’ match as we say in Texas.  So, once again, she’s off to Hawaii for IM World Championships.  I had a couple of near misses…or near hits…last year and didn’t qualify.  And once again, I’ll be going to the big Island to support Amy.  I’ve actually also got 2 athletes that I’ve been coaching who will be racing as well…so it will be good to cheer them on.  I can’t forget our teammates who will also be racing.  I suspect that my phone will be ringing off the hook as Scottie and James buzz and text me to find out how the 8 TBB athletes are doing!!

We’re headed to the Island soon and will make sure that no one is left in the airport since judging by tweets, facebook, etc. Amy will be the last one to arrive.  Today was spent doing a few of those race week workouts and some housekeeping for the bike.  Since the nearest US Bike Boutique is in Wilmington, we had to do the bike work at the best Cervelo dealer in Austin.

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It was a group effort.  Amy took care of the real ‘dirty work’ by getting the dirt and grime off the bike.  I took care of the details by doing some adjusting for the race wheels and to just give it a good once over with lube, etc.  Tomorrow will be the test ride to make sure that everything works before it goes into the bike case.  And of course, we’ll check it all out again in Kona before race day!

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Stay tuned…we’ll try to get some footage from Kona!!