Monday, June 30, 2008

Well that was fun

I ran by Living Memorial Park last Friday just as the lane lines were being pulled out for the summer Bratt swim team swim practice. I stopped and asked if the lanes are up when practice is over. Turns out there's a lane up all afternoon and evening.
It was a beautiful afternoon and I decided to see how the swimming was at LMP. Feeling a little out of place in my speedo I made my way into the pool as quickly as I could. There was like a bajillion kids running around, eating notchos, splashing in the pool, jumping off the diving board etc. But, I mean who cares what a bunch of teens and grade schoolers (and some parents and guards) really think right? Yeah....Not unless you're wearing a speedo.
Any way.
The pool was pretty kicking. Not that I dislike the Craponial. But this pool felt so clean and fast. Granted being the public town pool with more kids than a J.T. concert, there was probably a very large urine to chlorinated water ratio. But I tried to block that out and enjoy the sun and open sky and fast water.
The pool's only open 'till the end of August, but man what a treat to be pulling laps out side. Plus there was only one large black girl that ducked under water to watch me swim by every lap. Bonus!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A win is a win....I guess

But when you win by a 10% margin, get lost for 4 minutes on the run and are in a first year race with only 80 people it somehow doesn't feel so special.
Arguably I've worked hard to be able to go as fast as I went. But I've been wanting to win a triathlon for a long time and it just doesn't seem to have that luster to it.
But my run felt really good and that's a positive sign. I had the fastest swim split and I think that'll be the only time that'll ever, I repeat EVER, happen. The Tolland sprint was a good race and I figured out a couple of things, so it was a good day.
Results are here: Tolland Sprint
Shwag: A bottle of '06 Sterling Vintner's Collection Chardonnay and a paper first place certificate

I also raced in the Putney Mountain bike race on Sunday.
Another pretty decent day on the ponies. I came through with a muddy 2nd place. The skies opened up (and I'm talking serious down pour, inch and a half of rain) on the 3rd of three laps and turned the dusty trails to slick mud. I was ridding Cary Fridrich's wheel for the first two laps and planed on making a move before the beginning of the technical section on the last lap. But he kept pushing harder than I felt like ridding on the ups. Kind of demoralizing to let some one take off because you don't feel like hurting. But after all I'm a triathlete right? Not a mountain biker. Hum.....well, that's what I'm gonna tell my self so I can sleep.
Results are here: Putney MTB
Shwag: A pair of west hill socks size medium and a Silver root 66 medal

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Double Up!

I'm no pro triathlete by far. But if a couple years ago you told me I'd be waking up early before work to get a morning swim in I'd have thought you were crazy. Not to mention putting in a full day of work and then getting out on the road in the afternoon. I used to think the idea of waking up at 5 to get in the pool before work was nuts. I still do.
That said I'm lucky that the Craponial doesn't open 'till 6, otherwise I might be getting up earlier. And getting up at 6 really isn't too bad (most mornings).
I guess I'm just a bit surprised that I've started to do something I swore against. I must just be wiser and faster than ever. Huh....

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Swimming SuperStar

Man, there is no better way to feel like a really fast swimmer than this:

You have to start by feeling slow and a little frustrated. Swimming at the Craponial is a great way to achieve this due to the slow water and poor general atmosphere. So I got this part covered.

After that you take your favorite wetsuit down to the river and swim downstream! I took a dip in the West river this afternoon and watched the rocks go zooming by underneath me. A tad of a current, a tailwind, a floaty wetsuit, a sunny nice afternoon....swimming just doesn't get much better.

...Of course I did have to turn around and come back up stream, but it actually wasn't that bad. Swimming in open water always draws up scary thoughts about the hidden stuff that's out to get you in water. I faired pretty well except for thoughts of two things: that guy who jumped to his half-death off the I-91 bridge last week (I swam right under the bridge in foot and a half deep water) and the 45 pound monster carp that was speared to it's death after an estimated 20 years of life. Man I am so glad I didn't see that carp swimming under me (or the dead guy).

Sunday, June 8, 2008


For me I think of the beginning of June as early season racing. I wanted to use this race to see how I could cut on the swim and roll on the new bike. And then just not hurt my self on the run.

Swim was delayed for an hour by fog, and then the course was shortened because we could barely see the second buoy from shore. The warm-up went out the window and it was hard to stay warm 'till we started. Once the face wasn't frozen any more the swim went well. I caught a couple of arms to the head, coughed up some water, and for a few seconds thought it was going to be a short race. But once I got out a ways I got into a nice rhythm. It was so nice to swim with other wetsuits around and to come out of the water in the top quarter of my wave. Maybe that swim training and Masters has paid off?

The roads on the Mooseman course are pretty rough but there are some good cruising sections and some tough little hills. But I felt quick sitting in the aerobars. Such a good feeling. Passed a slew of people in the first 10-15 mintues and then it turned into a time trial. Once in a while I had a glimpse of someone up ahead, but that didn't last very long.

I came into a very exciting T2. I don't think I can every remember such a pumped up and loud group of spectators. I think pulling into transition in third helped (Spectators get seriously less excited for the 443rd person). I had a pretty decent T2 considering I had to tie my shoes. I was expecting shaky hands, but they were actually pretty easy to tie.
I wore my regular distance trainers because I've been having some tight calves and was sure that if I wore my racing flats my calves would be decommissioned for a long time coming. It was interesting to note that half way through the run that the trainers really felt heavy on my feet. Because of some injuries and an inadequate volume of running I came into the racing thinking that I'd see what I could do on the swim and bike, I wouldn't push the run, I'd avoid injury and take this race as an early season benchmark.
The first mile spoke to this mentality in volumes. I had pebbles digging into my heals, my stomach was off, and I could feel a little twinge developing in my left calf. The run was a pretty good exercise in mental durability. It usually is. You know, "Just one mile at a time, okay the next water stop is right up ahead, only two more minutes to the next mile, you can do anything for 10 minutes, keep it up...." I didn't set my watch coming out of T2 and no idea how the first mile went except that it was rough. I tried to listen for the P.A. to see how far back 4th was. (My plan being to keep it up, until I got swallowed up, and then stop to take the rocks out of my shoes, give it a stretch and then jog it home.) But I ran it out 'till the second mile, then made it to the turn around, saw were the competition was and carried it through to the Finish. In the back half I felt remarkable good. I pulled down some unexpected 6 min/miles and felt comfortable enough. Ryan Kelly was out of sight and I couldn't pull in Jay Gump, but was pretty happy rolling in with a podium finish.

All in all a pretty great day on the course. I'm excited to get some more speed in and throw down in the next Olympic distance.