Monday, August 25, 2008

Cranberry Country Race Report

Oh man it just wasn't there yesterday.

I know I'm not a good swimmer. But coming out of the water behind the rest of the Elite men (and the Elite women) pretty much set the mood for the race. I was feeling good in the mix for the first couple of buoys...okay for the first buoy...but then i was swimming next to Kim....and then right behind Kim....and then next to and behind the last little pack of women swimmers. And then just poking along by myself....sweet.
Looking back on the rest of the race it all seemed pretty automatic and uneventful. Flawless T1. (I was worried my new wetsuit would be hard to get off) I plunked along on the bike and picked off a couple of people, but it pretty much felt like a solo time trial. Those races with laps seem more exciting now. Flawless T2. (After watching UCI transitions I got a couple new ideas which worked okay)
I did have a runner about 20 seconds up but nothing was happening in the spunky legs department. I sucombed to the curse of the six minute miles and let the mile markers pass me by. My pre-race idea of body-glide-ed insoles led to slippery soles and lots of tiny little blisters from holes in my insoles. Which kind of sucked while I was running, but they look kind of cool.
So my crap day on the course ended my in 13th (1 second out of 12th...doh!) Guess these days happen. Onward and Upward.

Shwag: Finishers medal......sweet
Results are here

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Banish Bad Goggles

Oh man I fell victim to TYR's back cover advertising campaign and bought myself a pair of Nest Pro Metallized goggles. And yeah, they pretty much rock.
Purportedly they're designed to look like Beijing's Bird Nest, but I'm not so sure. But they are really comfortable and do look fairly bad ass. I wouldn't think that bad ass could come in "Lunar Metallic" but it does. One of the nice touches is that the hard plastic of the frame is set far away from your eye sockets. Plus it's got a thin profile. Oh so comfortable.

I also got a new pair of Aqua Sphere Kaiman's. Up till now my favorite goggle. So comfy and pretty good peripheral vision. The vision through the Nest Pro's took a view laps to get used to. But that could also be because I've been swimming in some r to the o the the u to the g to the h goggles (which brand shall remain nameless [it starts with an s and ends in o]) which really hurt my eyes. They have a narrow field of vision and when I pull them off I have to be really gentle because it feels like I've had a couple of soup spoons zip tied to my head. (with the rings to prove it) They did get me through a couple of races though and I was glad for the dark lenses on sunny race days.
But seriously there's just no comparison to the Nest of the Kaiman. (plus they don't leak)

So don't swim in pain! Good goggles are out there!

Monday, August 11, 2008

The other side

So I woke up early on Sunday morning and headed over to check out the Salem Witch City sprint Tri. I got there just as the leaders were jumping on their bikes. I was hoping that there might be some depth in the field to watch some fast transitions and some exciting racing. Nothing too tight out of T1 and then Dean Philips crushed the bike and basically jogged to a win.

But the real excitement was watching all the triathletes try and mount their bikes coming out of T1. Oh man!!! I didn't realize how entertaining it is to watch people "run" in their bike shoes. Clack, clack, clack clack. One lady totally wiped out taking a turn out of transition on to the exit alley. Watching this whole spectacle solidified my belief that shoes on the bike is the way to go.
Plus it seems that in the excitment of the race people forget how to get on a bike. Forget doing it every day. That's all for not when you're running down the transition exit, cross that mat and are trying to get those pedals moving. There were pile ups, helmets on backwards, stalling and falling and a couple of sweet Cyclocross mounts too!

It was nice to have another weekend off from racing and I'm getting pretty antsy for Cranberry County. Humor aside, it was great to see all those people getting out there and tackling the Tri.

Thursday, August 7, 2008


So when I'm working out, there are like a zillion blog entries that i think I'm gonna get home and post up: Equipment I like/don't like; trails/roads/swimming spots that are sweet; Triathlon tips; Training dos and don'ts; how bad "The Happening" was etc. But most of the time they're lame ideas or I just don't get to it.

But I do want to comment on some of the cool wildlife that I've seen over the past couple of weeks.
I was running up on the Retreat Trails here in Bratt through a wooded section that was free of undergrowth when I saw a decent sized animal running in the same direction as me. It wasn't moving too fast and I tried to breath quite, run quite, and get closer to it. I must have been within thirty feet of the Bobcat before it heard me, took a look at me and tore off through the woods. It was pretty cool looking. Pointy ears and stuff. I was pretty surprised at how long I was running behind it before it heard me. (you know like 15 seconds, but it kind of seemed long)

Monday up on the Retreat Trails I saw a big old owl. Pretty sure I have no idea what kind of owl it was. It flew across a side trail seemly away from something in the tree of departure (like another owl perhaps). It was chilling twenty feet up in this big pine. I had a great view, but it was defiantly checking me out too (and hootin'/screechin' ). He looked like he was on his haunches ready to swoop down on me. He was cool to watch but I was in no mood to get dive bombed and took off.

Up at Marblehad last weekend I saw some crabs hunkered down on the sandy parts of the ocean floor. I also saw a Flouned flopping around after the sand turned to rocks and "sea moss". That was an interesting sighting. If he wasn't "swimming" I totally wouldn't have seen him amongst the rocks. Wide and flat, and I could see his jacked up eyes. I thought that was pretty cool (the Flounder, not his eyes).

I was ridding through Guilford...well I guess I was technically in Leyden....but I turned to head up this steep hill when I saw this little gray creature ambling across the road. At first glance it held the resemblance of a scorpion. Upon stopping and further review it was a little crayfish. I couldn't figure out where he was coming from. There was no notable water source on the uphill side of the road where it he was coming from. But he was moving at a pretty decent clip downhill towards the ponds....little guy.
That same ride I also saw a big ass snapping turtle on the edge of the road (clearly coming out of a road-side pond). This guy was chilling there mouth wide open with his hinds still in the tall grasses. Def wasn't stopping to check him out.

That's the stuff of note for now. Also saw tons of cows, dogs, chipmunks, some cats, roadkill (namely 'coons, possums, and skunks, oh and chippies too, oh and occasionally a cat here in this category too), some horses, chickens, anglers, birds and I saw a shoe when I was swimming in the west river.