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Archive for May, 2009

One Step Back, Two Steps Forward

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

“Fall seven times, get up eight.” – Japanese Proverb
“Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.” – John Quincy Adams
“The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials.” – Chinese Proverb
“Never give in. Never. Never. Never. Never.” – Winston Churchill

One Steop Back, Two Steps Forward was what went thru my head as I crossed the finish line in the Columbia Triathlon in a very disappointing time of 2:11. This was the message Doc was trying to get thru to me while in Subic Bay. He stressed that I was going to have to be patient this year and that I might go thru a period of adjustment. Tinkering with the swim stroke, adjusting to the raised volume on the bike and run, might prove to be a trying first half of the season. Boy was he right once again.

Race morning brought us cool temps with light rain but with the water temp over 68 degrees that meant no wet suits for the pros. One of the main reasons I wanted to do this race was to get some more experience racing in the pro division with the hopes that I can work on swimming in the pack. As the group of 25 or so of us were treading water in the cool water I kept thinking about how aggressive I was going to be in the first 400m. Gun goes off and I try and get on Michael Lovato’s feet, slowly I find the pack drifting away I see that I with my good friend and training partner Jacquie Gordan. I settle into the pack with Jacquie and 3 other women. Not sure if it was due to the cool water or still adjusting to the new stroke but I just didn’t feel quite strong enough to hang with the group in front. It seemed like the swim took for ever, I was anxious to get the swim over and see how my cycling legs felt. Finally we approached the finish shoot and I saw the clock tick over to 24:00, “Man that was crap”, I thought. I quickly exited transition and began chasing the riders in front of me. At first I was feeling pretty good, then it started to rain and the wind picked it up. With some pretty big descents and tight turns I found myself holding back quite a bit trying to avoid going down. As the bike carried on, I started to feel a bit tight and cold, legs were not feeling like I had hoped. But I pushed on hoping my run legs would carry me to higher finish.

Coming out of T2 my back was very tight and it took me about 2 miles to find my rythem. I could see the leaders coming back on the run and I began to realize just how far back I was. I must admit, I was pretty disappointed but reminded myself that I needed to still get in a good workout. So I pushed on, finally by mile 5 I was starting to feel stronger. The good thing is I crossed the finish line and I thought, “well, can we do that again?” This is a good sign that I am very strong from all the training the past few months, but my swim and bike are still far behind where they need to be if I want to be racing with the big boys.

I wanted to wait a day to write my thoughts because the usual 12-24 hour period of depression after a bad race is not very condusive for thinking clearly. The learning continues and I will carry on. One thing for sure, I will not be racing another International Distance race for quite some time. I will chalk this up to take my lumps and and gaining more experience.

As I woke up yestery morning, I had very little fatigue from the race. I got back in the pool, with Jacquie once again swimming next me, feeling fresh. I know I had way more in the tank but I did not play the cards I was dealt very affectively. I have been home for 3 weeks and I am now ready to get back to camp because I have a ton of work to do if I am going to have a good IM come November. I have 2 1/2 weeks to continue the Cam and Reinaldo Bike Program Doc has put me. Must get strong because the Swiss Alps are approching in a hurry!!!

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Jacquie Gordan, Super Bike Andrew Yoder, and I, click to enlarge.

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Mission Accomplished

Saturday, May 9th, 2009

Newport 10k

Priority #1 win some cash so I can enjoy some of the delicious food at Swiss Camp.

Priority #2 get in a solid workout in preparation for next weekend’s Columbia Triathlon

Result: 31:55-13th overall, 2nd American, 2nd New Jersey Athlete. Doubled dipped for a nice pay day.

Last year I ran 31:22 here and apparently this year the course was roughly 200m long due to some construction on the course, so roughly same effort and the same result but all in all I am very pleased with today’s run as I have not been feeling very good since returning home. Jet lag has really smacked me in the face, getting in up in the morning has been absolute torture and my body has felt a bit out of whack. Earlier in the week The Ole Doc reassured me it was due to the travel and I should let my body do it’s thing and just let the ghosts take care of race day. Well wouldn’t you know, he was right.

The last few days I have started to feel my old stride returning and I woke this moring at 5:45 with no problems, Dunkin Donuts coffee in hand for the drive I was really excited to go to work. The Newport 10k is a great race held in Jersey City, NJ. For those not familar with Jersey City, it is right across the river from lower Manahattan. The race draws a slew of African Athletes who use this race as a tune up for next weekend’s Healthy Kidney 10k race in NYC’s central park. Brother Rob’s running shop is also one of the sponsors of the race as he is has the only specialty running shop in Jersey City, www.runners-high.com
From the gun, the dozen or so Africans took off, much faster than years past. I hung back coming thru the first mile in 4;55. I realized that 2 Americans had gotten away, along with Eduard Gapak, who is from the Ukraine. Eduard is a 2:25 marathoner who runs for a team in NJ while he is over here for the summers, he and I have had some good battles over the last 2 years. I stayed calm running 5:00-5:10 per mile while trying to drop the 3 guys that were with me. By half way one of the other Americans from the NYAC and Edward started to come back. By mile 5 we were in the homestretch and had caught the NYAC guy. The last mile runs along the Hudson River with a nice view of NYC. I could sense I was pulling away from the 3 guys with me so I began to surge with the hopes of catching Edward and being first NJ and second American. As we made the final turn I ran out of real estate and came up 6 seconds short of catching him but was very pleased to hold off the 3 behind me. All in all a good day and great preparation for next weekend’s Columbia Triathlon.

I was styling in my new pink Avia Bolts. I can’t seem to escape the pink. Pink ISM saddle, pink shoes, pink team colors. Because Avia does not make a men’s size 7.5 to fit my smurf feet I am wearing a women’s size 9, thus the pink. When they arrived I was about to go to the Oakley outlet store near by to purchase some new shades and was very tempted to get the pink blades that Bek and The Bean rock but I decided to stick with some grey shades.

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So the question is, do I take my winnings and head down to Atlantic City to try my luck at the craps table? Probably not the best idea, maybe if I had of walked down Edward….I will settle for watching the Giro on TV!!!

Summer In April?

Sunday, May 3rd, 2009

So I made it back to the Jersey Shore after a long 3 days of travel and apparently the hot weather from Asia followed me. I was pleasantly surprised to find 90 degree temps and sunshine. It was late April but from the looks of it seemed like late July.

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My Sis, Dad, Niece, Nephew, and Stephanie enjoying a summer like day at the beach.

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My Sister Heather with Nephew Connor

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My Niece and Nephew

The nice weather was short lived however. The last few days it has been raining with temps in the mid 50s to low 60s, which has actually felt pretty refreshing. It’s been nice being home, catching up with friends and family and doing some of my favorite rides and runs. There are a few races on the horizon as I begin to lay the base to prep me for Swiss camp.

SD