Friday, August 28, 2009

More Music

Gets ya going,

And this is good too

Timberman Race Report

Okay. So in retrospect Sunday turned out to be a pretty good day. Overall my goal was achieved; a spot to Clearwater. I had a good bike an as expected swim and I learned a lot on the run.

The water was warm during the swim and in between dodging passed swimmers and tapping toes (Sorry Mr. Schweihs) I started to get toasty. Wet suit stripping is fun but it is always nuts. A quick, but not too quick, transition put me on my bike and a straw sip away from some refreshment.

For such a challenging bike course I had a pretty enjoyable ride. I was worried that the turns at the bottom of every downhill were going to zap away potential speed but managing to stay aero and fast made for fun bike riding. Although I shutter to think what would be if I was another inch closer to the cones on the last turn onto route 11. Also I made it up to 52 mph on hill down on 107...I thought that was pretty good. Yah?

Starting in the 10th wave makes for an interesting disposition on the bike. You're passing tons and tons of people and feel pretty studly. But it makes it that much more difficult to settle into your plan and hold a straight line. If nothing else it abolishes any monotony. But you have absolutely no idea of where anyone in your wave is, and you get held up on the technical sections. But climbing the 'monstah' with all those people and rolling down 106 with a huge line of bikers in front your is pretty cool.

I tried to cool off with and drink a bottle of water at each aid station but realized a little too late that I needed to reload with more liquids. With twenty five minutes to go I choked down my last salt pill with my last squelch of Gatorade. At the top of the final hill I almost asked a guy with two full bottles for a sup of his water. Maybe I should've.

After another quick, but not too quick, T-2 my plan was to keep it reserved for the first couple of miles and maintain consistent splits for the rest. I managed to achieve the former but quickly realized that my legs were in no shape to attain the latter and my times consistently slipped over the last 10 miles. And, by the way, did anyone else have an insanely long mile 6 to 7 split? I can't tell if I just was really slow through the turn around chutes and over the grass or if it was marked wrong.

Despite pulling out my D Game on the run I managed to offer up a 1:30 half. Fortunately the heat repressed everyone and I still can't believe I didn't get passed. I kept waiting for it, especially towards the end.

You ever watch The Biggest Loser when they have the option to eat a whole plate of their favorite food that's sitting in front of them if they just give up? Me either. But those cold cups of Gatorade (not so much the warm ones, each aid station was a crap shoot, dagg) were like a little temptress offering up her goods. "You can go forth unto this heat and land of suffer or stop here under this tree. Take a seat and soak up this cold sweet nectar laid here before you as a gift from Kuahana, watch your compatriots suffer and give unto the relaxation my darling." Must...not...stop...

Dude, I just could not turn my legs over faster. I was all, "Okay I crested that hill, lets get smooth and turn it over on this slight downhill here. That sounds good.'re doing it, picking it up, high tempo, nice....feeling good...keep it up...uh oh...waiiiiit a sec...that lady's catching back up to me. Crap. Go faster, by any means!!!"

Didn't cramp though! (Thank you salt) Even though I was sure my quad twinges on the bike were going to take me into the hurt box. Lucky...

So any way. I want to give a couple of props to the Works crew for cheering me on and for the post race bevvies. It was great to have a strong showing.
And a big Thank You to the Fam, Sarah and Boog for supporting me through the weekend. Now it's on to the future! Tally Ho!

Bradley-Palmer and Willowdale Recon

I know, I know. I should be putting up my Timberman post. Sooooon.

I decided to skip the repetition of pounding pavement in MHD and head to one of the nearby trail running locations. A couple of weeks ago a did a jaunt in the rocky disjointed mess of trails known as Lynn Woods. I kind of know my way around there from several outings and still don't really enjoy the place. The maps are insufficient, trails are seldomly marked and tons of unofficial trails add to the mess. But as an alternate opinion some people think that there's some good ridding there. Plus there is a cool 'mural'. On a brief continued note of positivity I might enjoy the place better if I knew the trails more. But I still think the ones I've been on don't flow that well.

'Nuff about Lynn.

In my quest to find some trail running on the north shore I found these two websites. I was leaning towards Manchester because of proximity but decided I wasn't really up to another stop and go Frost workout. Dogdown sounds like a pretty sweet spot. But sounds equally heavy on the guesswork unless you stop in Gloucester for a map. I guess there's nothing wrong with getting on a trail blind and trying one intersection or another. But I find that you end up doing loops, on crappy trails and often have to retrace your steps. Which is fine for an adventure, but not for a workout.

So I pointed towards Willowdale and Bradley-Palmer. They're technically two separate parks but are only separated by a road. They're also connected to Georgetown-Rowley if you're interested.
Any way the ample amount of trails plus maps to follow make this trio appealing.

I got maps at the 'Park Headquarters' in B-P by the Willowdale estate. (There's an outside map box) And then started running on the B-P trails. Which were fair but not very lengthy and inconsistent. Plus they frequently open into fields where the trail just kind of seeps into the grass.
But what's really cool about the area is the obsticals setup for Hunter-Jumper (Cross-Country?). Big fence like obstacles that barricade most of the wide field-trails and dot the open fields. Looks like an awesome place to ride...if you have a horse.

I worked my way up to the Willowdale trials and found them much more enjoyable. I tried to follow most of GAC's 10k directions which I only read once, briefly, and did a pretty good job of running the course. If you try it be heads up around intersection 15. I think this is where the trail turns left and it goes up a semi-washed out jeep trail that's also is intersected by a bandit single-track trail and going right takes you to the edge/end of the park and a dirt road.
Also, up near Marini's field it gets a little screwy. I jumped onto a spot of single track on the left as I came into the field. Which was a ripper of a trail by the way. But presumably the 10k trail goes straight up into the field.

The trails up on the Willowdale section are pretty well marked with the intersection markers. Some have disappeared, but there are some additional markers for the Bay Circuit Trail and others. Most of the trails are on the flat side of thigns, are bridal baths/jeep trails and are smooth. There is also some clean single track here and there. Overall it actually looked like a really excellent location to bring your Cross bike. B-P would also be good to ride through although neither one is particularly technical if you bring your MTB.

That said, I hope to return, explore more and see if there's some tricky stuff nestled in the woods...or bring a horse, that would just be so awesome.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Timberman Footage

I've got to get a race report up here soon. Tonight perhaps?

Until then I've got some quick footage of my riding out and running of T's 1 and 2.

Timberman Clips from Toby on Vimeo.

Monday, August 10, 2009

My Take On the FINA Suit Ban

Again, I'm tagging up some not exactly headline news here...
As I'm sure you've heard FINA will ban (well, restrict really) polyurethane swimsuits as of January 1st 2010.

Personally I think it's a great idea. I know technology plays a huge role in many sports. And often times it elevates and improves sports. Sometimes not. But with the advent of the LZR and other suits, world records were getting demolished left and right.

With the exceptions of running and swimming most sports use a tool to create the game. A ball, a bike, a glorified/modified stick (cue, club, pole), a car (?), a pair of skis, a deck of cards...wait... And in most of those sports the technologies are kept in check and check and check to create a somewhat level playing field. And in some cases it's not so clear.

But isn't swimming really a sport that's about how fast a person can move through the water? Although it would be ludicrous and social unacceptable, shouldn't swimmers compete in the nude? Right. Not gonna happen. But if it could then it would really be about how quickly one can do the butterfly, yes no?

Congrats Jarrod

This isn't exactly late braking news.

Nevertheless, Jarrod Shoemaker put down an absolutely phenomenal run in Hamburg to win his first ITU World Championship Series race.

After staying right in the mix for the swim and being up at the front for the bike Shoemaker put the hammer down after about 3k on the run and just took off from the field.

Watch the full Tri here. Shoemaker takes off at about the 1:32 mark. Highlights are here.

Such a nasty run. Nicely done Jarrod.