Sunday, March 28, 2010

#34 CoolBreeze Triathlon, Sunday March 28

Holy crap that alarm went off early....although truth be told - I didn't sleep much after we got home at midnight. Tri bag prep (prior posts go into my concern over that) and getting the bike ready and rack on my car...hit the rack around 1 AM - woke up pretty much every half hour concerned I slept through the alarm.

Then when it did finally go off at 5:15, I over used the snooze - assessing "what is the latest I can get up and make it to the race to get set up and ready?" Turns out that was 5:45....

Grab some pre-race chow and head for the race. make it to the site at 6:45 - plenty of time before the race starts - and even more before I have to jump in the pool. Get set up in transition, bike racked, clothes set up, all stickers/numbers affixed properly. Go get my numbers written on me at body marking....this is when it hits me - once again - we're so close to the end of the 40 in 40.

In Triathlon (and apparently in the race on Saturday) they do what is "aging up". If your birthday occurs after the race but during the calendar year of the race, they mark the age you will become (in my case 40) on your right calf. The reason for putting ones age on their leg is twofold....

One - to tell everyone just how old the person who just dusted you on the bike or run is
Two - to know if you should chase them - if they fall into your age group (5 year groupings - I am now in 40 -44)

Back to transition - and the guy next to me in the racks informs me my bike is racked incorrectly - to those of you who haven't done a tri - this could result in a penalty of 2 minutes - which in any tri - especially a short one - can make a big difference...not that I'm going to win - but still.

So I explain - no its not and - he feels he doesn't have enough space for all his transition stuff...waa waa waa. So I double check the rules - and no I am in fact racked properly. So I leave it.

About 15 minutes later - they announce incorrectly racked bikes and other potential penalties over the PA system "#426 your bike is incorrectly racked"...guess who #426 is...ME.

So - I move it - but as I do a USAT official ( the folks who figure out who is potentially in penalty - and record/report it accordingly) is walking by so I ask my bike incorrectly racked this way? He's like nope - you're good....

OK - I'll catch this little bugger, #425 on the course and make up for him tattling (incorrectly) on me...ya big space hog baby.... :-)

I am somewhat sympathetic as for many this is a first time tri - short course, pool swim early in the season - and while it's my first of the season, and I clearly could have made a mistake - however, just like there's no crying in baseball, there's no tattling in triathlon. I did in fact move my bike to accommodate #425 - not wanting to make his first tri (or one of his first tri's) a bad experience.

Today was like a TNT reunion of sorts....ran into and chatted with Jay Reid TNT Coach and husband of the wonderful Cat Reid - who was a Tahoe teammate from last year (his first tri EVER - as prep for the Austin TX Olympic), Abby Miller - TNT Director, John McLean, TNT Alum and Full IronMan finisher (I haven't done that...don't imagine I could) and Cheryl Reid - also a Tahoe teammate who is doing her first (I believe) TNT Tri in June....

Also saw Theoden Janes, Charlotte Observer blogger and running aficionado who just completed his third marathon in 4+ months last weekend....

All of them - with the exception of Jay - were all out volunteering to help make this a great event. John McLean of course was giving me grief on the run...."come on, get up this hill"...but it helped.

Net - net...

Swim - which was short (250M) was harder than it should have been
Bike was fast - due in part to the fact that pieces of the course were familiar due to other training rides and previous tris
Run was good - especially given the fact that we did the 5K yesterday...and I pushed a little harder than I expected to.

I passed #425 (mr tattle tale) about mile 5 on the bike - and saw him come in from the run...I was already hanging out drinking water and stretching and chatting with Jay....go re-rack YOUR bike pal.... (sorry - just an irritant)

I also met Patrick (didn't catch his last name - maybe he didn't have one - like Fabian....) who was doing his first ever Tri today and Jennifer - a mother of 3 who was doing her first tri too.....I love meeting folks who are just getting into a sport - their enthusiasm, their nervousness, their energy....and questions - help me feel like - no matter what - if I helped them get through this race - or prep for another one - or give them something else to think about - such as the 40 in 40 and the LLS mission - then - it was a great day. And I know - based on seeing them at the end - they'll be out there again and again.

Official times aren't up yet - but based on the clock - looked like about 1:14...not my best time - not my worst - but #34 is in the books and we're getting closer to home.

Also - #33 - yesterday in Raleigh (also - official results aren't posted) Sheila came in under 27 minutes, Mike around 30 and Denise around 35.

It was a great race - but some technical issues with the start time, the actual start - they counted down out loud versus using a horn or gun...and the course....the first half was fine - but as we looped back we literally ran across the stream of outgoing runners to get back on the road heading to the finish....I mean...we're running - "they're headed right for us" and you'd hate to impede them at all or break up their pace. Come on Raleigh and the race had several hundred out there for the 5K - possibly close to a thousand including the half marathon - and this is what you offer? I'll be submitting feedback once official results are posted.

Thanks to everyone out there today with kind words, support and cajoling.

Thanks also to Denise and Mike for training for the 5K and letting me come in ahead of them- and more importantly - organizing and planning the fundraising party where we raised nearly $500.

Thanks also to Mary and Al - for hosting the party and helping to organize and make it happen
Thanks as well to Sheila for getting us home as early as possible and making sure I got out there and made #34 happen.

You all ROCK!

Congrats to all finishers today. Will be providing heroes and folks I am doing these races in honor of shortly.

Go TEAM!!! We're over $25K - who gets me to $30K?

Let me know how I can help.

Next up - looks like the Elizabeth 8K - April 17, 2010.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

#33 Raleigh Rocks 5K, Saturday March 27

Another one in the books. A great 5K in Raleigh. Got to run with Sheila. And got to run with my sister and brother-in-law - who were doing their first 5K EVER.... and they did great. While the results aren't posted yet for some reason - there was a half marathon that took off about 30-35 minutes before us and the winner of that race came in in about 1:05 - 1:10...holy shnikies!

Anywho - chilly race morning, mid 30's and some delays at the start led to us standing around in the cold for a bit. Good course for the most part - came in around 23 minutes.

Mike and Denise (brother and sister-in-law) and Mary and Al (mother and father-in-law) arranged a fundraising dinner party around the event. 50+ people turned out from their church, tennis team (Denise's) water polo team (Mike's) and neighborhood...PF Changs catered - and donated the delicious food...

Got to meet some great folks - many who were truly interested in hearing the story of the 40 in 40, asked great questions and several called me "the crazy man".

We raised nearly $500, with promises and commitments for more donations from folks who forgot checkbooks, etc.

I want to thank

Denise - for her persistence and training for her first 5K - and for pulling the event together
Mike - for training so hard and helping pull it all together

Both of them for reminding me how much they love me - and seeing as I "made them run" I get to go play water polo and tennis with them someday soon

Al and Mary - for hosting the party at their home - and helping make sure it all came together and driving us to Mike and Denise's at 6AM this morning after little sleep.

Glyn Jones from PF CHangs for donating the food - and making it all gluten free.

More later about the event tomorrow...#34 is tomorrow AM - CoolBreeze Tri - which after returning to CLT from Raleigh at midnight - is gonna come OH SO EARLY....

Thank you all - GO TEAM! Off to bed

Saturday, March 20, 2010

#32 Shamrock 4 Miler, Saturday March 20 - in the books

Whew - very relieved to have done the race and had a blast doing it. Large field (about 1000 runners) but very well run event.

Heading into the race, I was feeling a great deal of trepidation. Training of any sort over the past few months has been less than optimal. Training of late has been slow and difficult. Not a ton of enjoyment - but I hadn't been able to determine exactly what was going on with me....after a disappointing race in January (the trail run) and two non-races in February...the fire in the belly was weak. I'll be honest - self doubt crept in this morning when the alarm went off at 5:30.

They sent us off with some Dropkick Murphy's (click their name for the song) which was only appropriate for a "Shamrock" race. Great tune and I took it as a good omen. Along the way - between snippets of songs from folks over volumized iPods - there were moms and dads encouraging their sons and daughters - with pace advice - mentioning expected finish times, 40 minutes, 50 minutes...whatever - not pushing - encouraging them... It was great. Reassuring. And it energized me about running again.

As we continued on the course, the reason for the 40 in 40 really came back to me - not racing for this long - and with a bit of a crazy work schedule, while I hadn't truly forgotten why - it had dimmed a bit....part of what weakened the fire in my belly I suppose. But today - as we were running - it came back...and so did I.

Everything kind of clicked - the Karhus were light and bouncy - almost like they were brand new (maybe because I haven't been running that much) - the Craft gear - kept me the right temperature - it was a B-E-A-U tiful day for a run...the fire came back - and I thought about all the folks I am doing the 40 in 40 for...not for me - for the patients, survivors, families and those who have fought the battle and lost.

With 8 more races to go - we have $15K left to raise - and a little over two months to do it. We'll get there and the renewed energy and focus - a good race can do that - will make it happen.


Go Team!

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Drought

The span between # 31, January 23, 2010 and #32, March 20, 2010 - was a drought...a drought of races, training, discipline....but not of work or fundraising. We're at $25K - $15K to go to reach the goal....and less than two months to go - to complete 9 races. Admittedly, due to schedules,race availability and timing, the last 9 will not be as grandiose as I expected.

A Half Marathon scheduled for February was canceled due to weather ("lots of snow" in Myrtle Beach in February) and a fun event (Krispy Kreme Challenge) was canceled due to my inability to travel from CLT to Raleigh (also due to weather) - so I am under the gun....

Regardless, bring it on...three events scheduled for the next two least three in April - and a jam to get the final three in the first couple of weeks of May (I granted myself some time due to the weather situation here in February) - we'll get to 40 races.....can you help me get to $40K?

Follow up corporate sponsorship/donation requests are going out next week...please get the word out to your friends, family, companies...let's make this a reality.

The battles that LLS patients, their families, their friends struggle with and the need for your support make this so attainable..and so very worthwhile.

Get me to $30K - my head will be painted purple and green (Go TEAM!!!) TnT colors for my races.

Get me to $35K - purple and green noggin - and the last 10 donors to get me there gets their names scrawled on my arms, legs, head

Get me to $40K + - I wear a purple and green "greenman" suit for all remaining races. (pending approval from race directors and pending any safety concerns....) I will post a video of the suit and me - regardless - everywhere I can.

Come on, let's do this. I am asking for your support....find 10 friends, ask them to support this cause with $10 each. It has been a grassroots initiative to begin with - let's keep it going and get to $40K.