Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Mayo Lake tri

I did the Mayo Lake triathlon a couple of weeks ago.  Would have written a bit up before this but we have been in the process of moving to a new home in the area and that took precedence on my race reporting habits.  That'll be a separate entry.

Mayo Lake is a lake up near the border with Virginia.  The race is held at Roxboro community park, which is 3 miles from the border.  There are some kick ass off road running trails here.  A few years ago my cross country team had a meet with a local school.  The fastest kid on the team came back from the warm up, looked at me and said "I think our team will have some problems out there."  He was right.  That's another story as well.

The water is much clearer than our local lakes, you can almost see bottom.  It was raining most of the morning and we were delayed about 15 minutes.  Then it was time to go.  My training was up and down but I felt good that morning, which is sometimes the most important thing.  A couple younger guys took off at the swim start and I attempted to stay with the slower one, but they were both too fast.  Did my thing and got out of the ~750 meter swim around 10:45, which is not bad, until you know that my supposed 800 meter pool time 20+ years ago was the equivalent of 8:40 (1000 yard 9:40).  Of course, then I was swimming 50,000+ yards per week and now I swim about 6,000 in a good week.  Blah de blah.  factoids. hints. feints and parries.

I ran to transition and moved quickly.  Lo and behold I left T1 before both of the young fast guys.  I don't like to brag (sure I do) but I rock muddy transitions.  The end.

I would post pictures here but there are no pictures.  Only dirt. Rain. Mud. More rain. I rode as hard as I could as safely as I could for I am not just me; I am Daddy, and Daddy is more important than the Royal We.  We were first off the bike, as We had a good ride despite the safety concerns.

Then we ran into the trails.  It was awesome.  It rained but the leaves and trees subdued the raindrops fall from the heavens. We felt good.  We hopped and jumped instead of stumbling and taking hesitant little chicken steps.  We cavorted quickly rather than slogging sluggishly.  We enjoyed the moment and wished the moment could last, but alas, all moments end for that is what they are. Quick breaths in a long day. Something or other.  I need to work on that last analogy. Mudda Fuddas!

We crossed the finish line first, triumphant in our return to #championships.  It was a good race and We were happy to win.  Then We drove home to Señor Junior Awesome and the Lady Bri for more entertainment and rollicking good times.

Pictures schmictures.  This is not a graphic novel!

The end.


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Battle at Buckhorn triathlon 2014 recap

It has been a couple of years since I made it to the Battle at Buckhorn triathlon in Wilson.  It is a great venue and course, not too far away from Cary/Raleigh, and they award the overall winners with a kick ass belt buckle each year.  I was fortunate/in-shape/lucky no one had better races for 3 seasons and won the race in 2009, 10, and 11.  A former athlete of mine built a terrific wooden box for the belt buckles and they are on permanent display at Casa de Gaal.

This year was a little different.  I had some really good fitness going into the early season and Raleigh half, but it has slowly dissipated as my life has been consumed by the endless tasks that come along with buying a new house, financing a new house, getting an old house ready for sale, and so on.  Sort of the straw that breaks the camels back when you're already at maximum capacity on work/life/family/training balance, so training for me is the one that takes a backseat these days.

We were on vacation for a week at the Jersey shore with family as well, so what do you expect, 2 hr 5AM tempo rides before the family is up?  Yes, definitely a good idea - once upon a time, but not right now.

STFU and give us the race report, right?

I felt ok but not great on the swim and came out of the water 2nd about 20 seconds behind eventual winner Dave Williams of Triangle Multisport.  Dave would go on to break my course record by about 20 seconds, which is awesome, because I wasn't aware I had a course record.

On the way out I ran into this guy.

I was not the only one with a dedicated cheering squad: Momma Kasey had some fans in the house.

Out onto the bike I rode.  I don't know about you, but if you don't ride a lot and don't do some harder interval workouts along the way, you may not go as fast as you are otherwise capable of.  This is science-y type stuff and it makes my head wobble. But there you go. Four people people passed me.  I hated at them but they saw my hating and put up their deflector shields.

Fortunately, the bike does not last forever, though it is 17 miles and fairly hilly.  You're eventually allowed to get off and do some running.  Which I did.  I felt all right and held a decent pace and came in at 21:38 on a slightly long 5k course, virtually tying with long time competitor and buddy John Worden.  We wound up 7th and 8th overall (1st and 2nd masters) as a couple of age groupers got us by a handful of seconds.

OSB athletes Kari Mayhew and Kory Gray would podium, with Kari taking the belt buckle and Kory taking 3rd place!

OSBer and T3Tees Chief Architect Doug Cowell would go on to take 11th OA, 3rd master overall.

After the race, Junior snoozed hard in the car, then we all snoozed hard at home.  Battle at Buckhorn Triathlon is a great race and if you're nearby, you should join us in 2015.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

down the shore - summer vacation 2014 in Ocean Grove

We drove north to go down the central Jersey shore a couple of weeks ago. A long story short - my sister's husband is from Avon-by-the-sea and we have some good friends, Jamie and Judy, originally from Ocean Grove who now live just outside town.  They have a son just 2 months older than Junior Awesome and my sis has two young daughters.  We've been trying to coordinate a week vacation with them for a couple of years and finally managed it.

My brother in law has 2 brothers that still live in the area, and each brother has two young kids.  So between my sister, his brothers, and us, there were at least 7 kids running around, not counting Jamie and Judy's son or their other friends with kids.

Vacations with your children are much more enjoyable for everyone if other kids are around, if you didn't know that because you don't have kids.

I spent several summers on the Jersey shore during and post college and it is a great place to be.  I love it and would go back for the summer each year if it ever becomes feasible.  Like everywhere in life there are people and places to avoid.  We stayed in Ocean Grove which is a dry town and has an interesting history as the oldest continuous Methodist camp meeting ground.  I used to work as a lifeguard in Ocean City, which coincidentally is also a dry town.  These are good places for families to stay and there are nice shops, nice beaches, and generally pleasant people around - they don't attract the rowdy party crowds that have given some parts of the Jersey shore a bad rap.

Junior had a great time with his cousins, cousins-in-laws, and buds, and we had a nice time relaxing.  Our beach house was a 109 year old home that was cute, rustic, and only slightly off-center.  I was able to take part in a lifeguard tournament and volunteer-work a half day on the beach.  I also raced in the 34th annual Ocean Grove biathlon - a 2 mile run followed by ~300 meter swim - where I took 5th overall.   I think Bri has some pictures of that on her blog.

We spent a lot of quality time with our family, friends and other little ones.  All in all, what vacations are supposed to be like.


The tents at Ocean Grove.

 Judy watching the boys jump on the couch.

 Cars! Trains!
 Boardwalk.  Running.
!Mucho divertida!

 First steps into the cold NJ waters.

 Here we go

 Mucho frio!


 Rainy day fun times.

 Boardwalk surfing the skateboards.  I would not have thought of this.

 He's a baller!
 Sand cars balls yay!

 Bri: secret agent.


 Lifeguard races!

 Logan works on his ladies.

 Jamie with the boys

Line pull: she is literally pulling a swimmer in to shore

 Our kitchen/sink/bath

 A street

 Beach time

 Notice the slanted door frame?  For realz yo.

 More lifeguard races.

 No, my do it mommy.

 Line pull swim rescue

This event is super tough for everyone involved

 Our only family picture from the week!

 Logan and his crew

 King of the beach!

 Ocean Grove biathlon award winners - I was 5th OA

 My work view for 1/2 a day

 My stand partners

 Asbury Park dinner - last night in town

 The dragon boat ride!

 A picture is worth a thousand words

 So is this one

 Cape May Lewes ferry back home


Sort of sums it up, don't you think?