Tuesday, April 27, 2010

St Anthonys weekend

St Anthonys Triathlon kicked me in the face and stole my lunch money on Sunday morning. It was a good time nonetheless. The conditions were windy, warm and humid. The swim had a mild chop to it but nothing too terrible. I had a good start and felt like I swam well, coming out in 20:31. This put me first in my wave and onto the bike. There were not many people around and I passed a few men from the M3034 age group. Only one rider from that group passed me. It was very windy and we had a terrible headwind for the first 2/3 of the race. I opted to grind out a big gear and thought my fitness would allow me to do that and still run well. It was a calculated risk that did not work well this time around.

I finished the bike in 1:03.33, still in front of my wave, and started the run. The legs were heavy and controlled breathing was difficult. The first mile held together, but my form and ability to lift my legs in any fashion resembling running was out the window by about 2.5 miles. I turned around at 22 minutes and would have liked to stop there. I am in good shape…for a sprint triathlon, but not a windy, hot Olympic distance race.

The 2nd 5k was an exercise in pain management. I gasped my way to the finish with a 48:35 10k split. Not my best day. 3 or 4 guys from my age group passed me in the last 1.5 mile of the run. The preliminary results placed me 11th with a 2:16 flat.

We hung around for awards and social time as Bri raced pretty well and scored a 10th in the elite amateur women, which is great. After that we took off and later found out that I had moved to 10th in my age-group. So not a bad day when you put it all together.

It was great to see a lot of our Floridian friends and family. We finished the weekend with a few drinks at the post-race festivities on the water.

I drove to Miami on Monday morning to spend some quality time with my dad. We played poker on Monday night (and lost), and then went fishing this morning (Tuesday). We did not have a bite but we had a good lunch afterwards.

I’m now making my way back to NC via a pitstop in Ormond Beach with an old college buddy of mine. Tomorrow night I’ll be back to grinding the grindstone with Kung Fu and Masters swim practice.

That is all.

Friday, April 23, 2010

St Anthonys weekend

I drove from NC to Orlando yesterday in order to spend the evening and morning with my 9-months pregnant sister, her hubbie, and their adorable 2.5 year old daughter, to whom I am known as Da Godfather. We had a rocking time telling stories about financial armegeddon, the curiosity of what sex their new baby will turn out to be (they have opted to be surprised), and other myriad topics. Today my mother (Nanna to the little one), Cate and I played in the backyard pool for close to an hour and talked about bugs, and where bugs come from, and swimming, and why splashing is so fun.

After that I hit the road to St Pete.

It is a good time to race St Anthonys; the race is sort of gigantic but I exercise caution on the roads and enjoy seeing a lot of friends we've gotten to know over the years here. Ten years ago I placed 3rd overall in the amateur race to future pro Brian Fleischmann and Jacksonville legend Dan Domingo. Nine years ago I placed 2nd to Dan in a 1 hour 57 minute battle that came down to a 15 second kick in the last half mile, and in 2003 I took 5th overall to a handful of future pros and amateur world champions. With the level of competition these days among the amateur elite the opportunity to repeat that sort of race is slim, unless I quit my day job (ha ha) and train 2x the amount I am doing now (which I'm not interested in).

However I am looking forward to one of my last big battles royale in the M35-39 category, as many of us are in our second decade of racing against each other, and the shit talk knows no end. I am hoping to come near the 2:00 flat mark with something like a 19 / 1:00 / 40 + transitions.

It is hard to believe that next year I will be moving onward to the first official old guy category - I think I may qualify for movie ticket discounts and get a seat at the front of the bus as well.

If you read Bri's blog you know that our good friend Wendy Johnson of St Pete passed away this week after a battle with melanoma. Wendy changed my life permanently and for the better by putting me in touch with my future wife and your favorite blogger Bri. I will hope to see Wendy again in whatever life may wait us after this one and thank her again for her kindness. She and her husband Al were at our wedding and we were able to thank her properly. My thoughts are with her and Al in this time of grief.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Today's sign of the apocalypse

AN overseas holiday used to be thought of as a reward for a year’s hard work. Now Brussels has declared that tourism is a human right and pensioners, youths and those too poor to afford it should have their travel subsidised by the taxpayer.

Under the scheme, British pensioners could be given cut-price trips to Spain, while Greek teenagers could be taken around disused mills in Manchester to experience the cultural diversity of Europe.

The idea for the subsidised tours is the brainchild of Antonio Tajani, the European Union commissioner for enterprise and industry, who was appointed by Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian prime minister.

“Travelling for tourism today is a right. The way we spend our holidays is a formidable indicator of our quality of life,” he said.

The full nonsense

I have no further comment other than to refer you to the title of this post.

Monday, April 19, 2010

bionic splits

Centennial sprint 2009:

swim 09:36
T1 1:33
Bike 27:52 22.6
T2 0:37

Run 20:26.5 6:36
total: 1:00:03

Centennial sprint 2010:

swim 09:37.5
T1 1:35
Bike 27:53.2 22.6
T2 0:36

Run 19:25.5 6:16
total: 59:05.9

further proof that I am a robot.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Centennial Sprint tri report

The Triangle Orthopedic Sprint tri at Centennial campus this morning went well. I wound up second overall, just a few seconds behind local Dan Young's winning time.

The race was a time trial start format. Several Wolfpack swimmers were in the house and they led off the swim. I went in 8th place. I felt good on the swim, in Lake Raleigh, and came out of the water in 5th place. Passed a couple more of the swimmers in T1 and then hit the hills on the bike. This bike course is very hilly and has several relatively steep climbs. After a couple of miles was in first place and pushed the pace as well as possible.

I think the hub in my Renn disc is starting to have issues, the disk is about 7 years old and it was making a lot of noise, but I don't think it slowed me down other than being distracted.

I came into T2 alone and headed out on the run. I have been running better than the past two seasons and felt good on all the flat sections. Again this course has some hills and my HR skyrockets running hills. At the halfway point I could see Dan was about 40 seconds down. He had started 2 spots behind me so it would be close.

The 2nd half of the run is mostly downhill, with a slight uphill finish. I pushed the downhills and survived the uphills, then sprinted in to the finish. My time was a minute faster than last year, which is great, and my run was sub 20:00, which is also great, as I did not break 20 last year on a triathlon 5k. My official split was 19:26.

After the results were tallied it showed that Dan had beat me by a mere 5 seconds. It would have been nice to win but when you do your best there is nothing too lose sleep over. I raced in a competitive series in Florida for several years as well as the NCTS and have been 2nd to 5th more times than I can count. I used to get worked up about this but now I am all zen monk and sh*t.

Tassie and me being all zen

We had a lot of OSB athletes and friends in the house - it was a bit chilly at the start, but nice and sunny as the day went along.

After the race we went to Natty Greene's Brewpub in downtown Raleigh, a new local here in the Triangle area.

Next up is St. Anthony's Triathlon, where I plan to totally demolish at least half the field.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Weekly update

This week has flown by with weekly being busy things, as some weeks do. Had a couple of good workouts and I'm looking forward to racing at the Triangle Orthopeadic sprint triathlon on NC State's centennial campus on Sunday morning. It will be good to test the legs out prior to St Anthony's triathlon the following weekend.

Tomorrow morning Bri and Tassie will run in the Umstead Coalition 4 mile race at our local park, Umstead State Park. This is a fantastic 5,000 sq acre park and many local runners and cyclists use it year round. We gave Tassie a special aerodynamic haircut for the race.

Monday, April 12, 2010

5280 swim

The 5280 Swim went very well. I would post a bunch of pictures here but we (I) lost our camera. We had 59 people do the swim with several first timers and a handful of superstars in the field.

Kevin Gerlihy won the overall in 19:38 and Kim Rice was first female in 20:45. I was on a surfboard to lead the swimmers to the first buoy about 700 yards down the lake. Kevin was swimming fast enough that he caught me and I had to jump off so he could pass. Either I need to train more or that dude is fast!

TAC-OSB Masters represented well with a 2nd overall male and 2nd, 3rd and 4th overall females.

The t-shirts turned out great as did the awards.

The next swim in the series is the Jordan Lake Open Water Challenge on June 13.

Last week's trigeek training numbers:
swim 6,000 (2 hours)
bike 130 miles (7 hours)
run 25 miles (4 hours)
kung fu 1 hour
total: 14 hours

This weekend I'll be racing the Triangle Orthopedic Sprint Triathlon on Centennial Campus. I took 2nd last year and hope to improve on that. Last year's winner is out with an injury so I am watching out for the young guns.

Blog migration headaches

we have been hosting our blogs on our website (martygaal.com) via FTP. Google and Blogger are discontinuing support for this method next week, so I am in the process of moving things around. They are pushing folks to host blogs on their domains (imagine the traffic numbers for anyone hosting ads) but will allow us to continue to host on a redirected subdomain (blog.martygaal.com) which then pushes to ghs.google.com.

Confused yet? I can barely speak English and they do this to me. If the blog disappears for a while, don't be surprised.

2008-April 12 2010 will stay frozen as is at martygaal.com/blog, and Bri's will be at martygaal.com/briblog. The new direct links to our blogs are blog.martygaal.com and briblog.martygaal.com.

The 2003-2008 old blogs are here and here.

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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Triangle Swim Series Awards

In case you need additional motivation to get out and brave the cold waters of Falls Lake this weekend, here is what the age group awards look like.

I had to make sure they work as planned.

The temperature is skyrocketing due to our heat wave, so the water temps will probably be in the mid to high 60s, which is pretty comfy with or without a wetsuit. Hope to see you there!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

training this week

We had a good weekend of training and week in general. On Saturday, myself, Bri and three of our friends did a 3 x 13 mile bike / 2 mile run, with the last round being hardest. Today we did a 15k run followed by a 45 minute easy ride. For the week my trigeek training miles were:

run 32 miles (4 hours)
bike 115 miles (6.5 hours)
swim 8,100 yards (2.5 hours)
kung fu 1 hour

14 hours total

Tassie is watching you.

Friday, April 2, 2010

weekend update

We have skipped right over spring and are basking in the heat of the summer in central NC. It is going to be in the mid to high 80s this weekend so we are going to spend most of it outside. Tomorrow morning Bri, myself and a couple of our buds will join forces for a triple brick (3 x 12 mile bike /2 mile run). These are good for sprint or long distance athletes, ours is short course focused. On Sunday I'm either going to go for a long ride or a long run.

This morning I broke 1:00 on the 100 yards freestyle a couple of times but it was not easy.

I am enjoying an uninterrupted stretch of staying at home on the weekends. This is going to be the first week in a long time where I have very little actual "work" to do on Saturday and Sunday, meaning I can just read a book or worship my wife as she demands. I have a stack of books waiting to be read and there is no end to worshiping the Bri.

Here is one of my favorite pictures of Bri and Tassie (from our 5 year anniversary), since no blog post is complete without a picture.