Friday, December 4, 2015

Christmas is coming - so let's talk about me

Yes, yes, yes, I am sure you're all wondering what has been going on in our very important lives. Many, many, super duper things have been done.

1) I finished Wool and Shift from the Silo series, and read the Thrawn Trilogy which was the first series of books in the Star Wars expanded universe.  If you didn't know, there is a new Star Wars movie coming out. I do not have first night movie tickets or an outfit.  Holler.

2) Junior Awesome picked up on Star Wars somewhere so now instead of telling stories about Gru and the Minions on their adventures, we've been making up Star Wars stories.  Except I like Gru and the Minions better, because those don't always end with multiple stormtroopers getting killed dead by a blaster.  Paw Patrol adventures are not too bloody either. There is some definite editing going on with our ongoing Star Wars narrative.  I also don't want to ruin the experience when he's allowed to watch in a few years.

 Junior Picasso

his buddy Girlie Awesome

watcha doin?

3) Bri hasn't packed up and run for zee hills despite number 1), which is good.

4) We have posted our 2016 clinic dates and updated to be mobile friendly, which apparently is a thing.  Like the cloud and sh*t.  Only better.

5) I am dealing with a soleus calf strain that is keeping me at a very easy jog pace on runs at the moment. Not fun but not awful.  Swimming and biking are fine. Still heading out for the Run at the Rock 7 miler tomorrow morning.  Super, duper easy. Haw River Brewery after with buds.

5.1) Other races
5.1.a) Pittsboro 5k on December 12, UGTB .
5.1.b) UGTB Grinding 10 miler January 30
5.1.c) early January TBD - maybe Little River trail run 10 miler
5.1.d) Umstead Marathon March 5. I received an offer for half priced entry since they cancelled it last year and thought that sounded better than driving somewhere for a half-marathon.  I am getting sort of lazy about travel for races.  When you're 22 it is exciting.  When you're 44 it's a pain in the ass.

6) I turned 44.  Duh. Reading comprehension. Some people celebrated with us.


7) We had a nice T-day with some friends in town, none of us had family in (and weren't going out!).  Bri won the local Turkey Trot 5k that morning.  I super slow jogged with Junior.  After he did the 200 yard dash!  Despite stumbling and getting some boo-boos, he finished strong.


Primal screaming



7) We had a quick visit to my sis and Mom in O-town for my Mom's 70th bday. It was nice.

8) Junior Awesome is becoming a pretty good bike rider.  We went from the balance bike directly to an islabike on the recommendation of a friend.  He is not quite 4 and you can watch a bit of riding here.

9) We wish you happy holidays and all that stuff.  No Christmas cards from us but we'll send something online.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

More racing and 2016 plans

I competed in the Swim the Loop 3.5 miler a couple weekends ago and felt strong.  Finished 4th overall but moved to 3rd after one competitor in front of me was penalized for having a personal kayak escorting/guiding her.  This is not OK in open water unless the race specifically mandates a guide. The swim was choppy for the first 1/3 then pretty calm for the remainder, other than a bit against the tide for that portion.  I finished much closer to the overall winner than in years past and was happy about that!

We had to postpone our own open water swim from October 3 to October 11 as the Carolinas were being swamped by rain.  Our safety rescue boats could not commit to being on the water with us if there were potential emergencies elsewhere.  Our final swim went off without any issues, it was a little choppy but that's what wind and open water can entail.

A bunch of us also ran in a local 5k on Saturday, the morning before the swim. I haven't broken 20 this season but guess what?  Guess what?  You'll never guess. Oh, you guessed it.  I did break 20!  Yay for me! By 12 seconds. But, who's counting?  Oh, you are. Whatever.

Next season is shaping up to be an in-depth return to long distance events. A couple of our friends have talked us into doing the American Triple-T in Ohio in May.  This is a 3-day 'stage' race where the total distance adds up to the same as an Ironman.

Day 1: Super sprint
Day 2 morning: Olympic
Day 2 evening: Olympic
Day 3 morning: Half-Ironman.

If that sounds nuts to you, that is because it is.  Bri and I have entered as a team, meaning we can suffer together and do some bike drafting on the final two events.  Our plan is to start slowly, then ease off.  This will take the place of our 12-year anniversary vacation.  Ha!

But wait, there's more!  I have signed up for Ironman Chattanooga in September, 2016.  So there will also be a big block of miles in July and August.  I plan to be pretty dedicated in March and April, then take late-May early-June pretty easy.

So 2016 is already planned out.

March: half-marathon either Wrightsville Beach or Tobacco Road
April: local race or Charleston Half
May 20-22: Triple T & Low Country Splash 5 miler
June: OSB summer training camp
July: local event only TBD + long rides
August: local event only TBD + long rides
September: Ironman Chattanooga
October 1: Swim the Loop

Do you know what you'll be doing one year from now?

Monday, September 21, 2015

Last two races of the season mashup race report

I totally did two more races this season but haven't told you all about them.  Battle at Buckhorn, followed by the FS Odd distance triathlon (~1k, 36m, 10.6k).  My fitness has been slowly going from high at Lake Logan to low(er) but I never hit zero and enjoy getting out there.  I got a few 12+ hour weeks in for Lake Logan but have dropped back to 6-10 depending on the week.

Battle at Buckhorn is a great venue and I really do like the course.  You need to be in shape for the bike as it is 17 miles and rolling hills.  I was in decent shape but the week prior was very exhausting for a variety of reasons and I felt wiped out the night before.  During/after the race I also discovered and confirmed my seat post had slipped a bit.  This happens every season with my Cervelo bike and I'll be damned if I can figure out how to stop it.  I have marked the level but it's not the sort of thing I check every time I ride, although now I do most of the time, so I guess I do check it every time I ride, really.  F**#.

Anyway, I raced, I was a little tired, but had a decent run split and was happy with that, and finished 13th and more importantly, ahead of my wife Bri Bri the almighty, who won her first belt buckle.  Super happy for her.

Onto the next one which was the FS Odd distance.  I new the run would not be great for me as the past few weeks the long run has only gotten into the 5-6 mile range and it is tough to run a hard 10k+ on those sorts of miles.  Whatever.  It was fun.  I felt great on the swim, much better than expected on the bike, and felt decent till mile 3; OK till mile 4; and then pretty poo-poo-ey for the last couple miles of the run.  Finished 3rd and was happy with that.  My overall pace on the run was 7:30 but my last half mile was like 9:00 pace, the wheels were coming off.

All in all, I try to stay happy about racing, because life is too short to be sad about recreational activities. As in, imagine all the other horrible stuff you might have to be doing rather than playing around on your bike, in the lake, etc.

Bri went on to win the Wilmington YMCA triathlon over this past weekend, and that was fun to watch.

Bri rocking the bike

Bri rocking the run

Next up for me is Swim the Loop, a 3.5 mile against the tide open water race in Wrightsville Beach. This is a great open water swim if you're into that sort of thing.  I finished 5th the last 2 years and would like to improve on that, but we'll see.  Have gotten in a couple 5k swims in training so far.

And finally, Junior Awesome rocked out another 50 yard dash!  Pictures:

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Lake Logan Half race report

as promised before
this report is written in
poem haiku form

lake logan was cold
brrr, so chilly. not really
'twas seventy-two.

i swam very fast
swoosh, speedily through water
with my cool wetsuit.

then ran to the bike.
got on the bike. and started
pedaling the bike.

up the hills. slowly.
down the hills. more quickly like
a bird with the wind.

a dude passed me at
mile twenty-two. then two more.
those f-ing bastards.

there were many hills.
so many god damn hills. bah.
agh, where is the end?

i finished the bike.
and was happy. clouds and sun
the trees are all green.

time to run. up hill.
stay smooth like creamy butter.
peanut butter rocks.

three miles up. three miles
down. then do it again. roll.
keep your head down. grunt.

to the finish thus
we sprint across to look cool.
we cross the line fifth.

four hours and forty five
minutes of moderate hard
zone three to four pace.

geek out on numbers.
time is meaningless. Logan
joyful and happy.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

This year's A race!

Oh my gosh.  My big race for the year is just around the corner and I haven't told you all about it. Are you so excited to read this?!?? OMG.

But seriously.  We have lots of goshes and gollys and oh boys up in this household. No potty mouth talk with a 3 year old running loose.

This Saturday is the Lake Logan Half-Iron triathlon near the Asheville / Hendersonville / Waynesville area of North Carolina. Lake Logan is in the Blue Ridge Mountain range, meaning it is much cooler than the external east coast.  Much more mountainy, too. While the 'feels like' temps have been regularly hitting 100+ in the Raleigh area, Lake Logan is predicted to have a high of 77 on Saturday.   I think that's super neat!

It is a beautiful lake and the whole area is really nice.  We usually get over this way one or two times a year for a weekend visit.  Asheville is the bomb for beer knurds, and there are tons of hiking, running, and cycling options.  The Waynesville Recreation Center has a fun kids pool and nice lap pool.   We spent at least three of our anniversaries around here.  We did look at moving to Asheville when we relocated from Florida to NC, but opted for the larger Raleigh area for more work possibilities.

Anyway.  There's a race.  I'm doing it.  Training has been going well.  A few ups and downs but mostly a steady progression of fitness. Riding at a moderate hard level for 56 miles does not induce mild panic, like it did earlier this year.  Running comfortable fast for 13 miles doesn't make me break out in a cold sweat. I have been mildly aware of eating a good diet and am closer to ideal race weight than I have been the past couple of years, which makes running and riding up hill a lot easier.  I did a 3:19 300 yard swim a couple days ago without killing myself.  So all in all, I think I will do somewhere between pretty good to really good.
I would tell you all about my power numbers on the bike, but instead of getting a power meter this year I got us a summer family vacation and another weekend at Tweetsie Railroad in a couple weeks.  Boom.

The swim is flat and will be wetsuit legal as it is mountain-stream fed by some super duper chilly water.  The bike is mostly rolling/peaceful with just a couple of tougher climbs as they manage to stay in the valleys for the majority of the course.  The run is about a 2-4% grade for 3+ miles and then back down, then do it again. My goal is to be able to push the last 3 miles downhill without feeling nauseous.  I don't know about you, but my Half-Ironman events are almost always about managing effort and staying on top of nutrition so that I can race the last few miles rather than survive.

Time predictions:
swim: 26-27
bike: 2:35 +/- 10 minutes (not sure how tough it will actually be)
run: 1:37 +/- 6 minutes

I did break down and buy a Wheelbuilder Aerojacket and a new Mavic Cosmic Elite a couple of weeks ago.  My old Renn disc has just seen its day - 12+ years of racing.  Had a lot of fast races on that thing!  The Mavic Elite has some good wind tunnel results against much more expensive wheels, and the Aerojacket runs 100 bucks.  So I get about 90% of the gain of a disc with about 12% of the cost.  The rest can go to Junior's college fund.  I tested it out at the Buckner Mission Man Triathlon a couple weekends ago and it did well.

Holy moly, I love to hate writing these things.  My post race report will be entirely in haiku form.


Saturday, July 25, 2015

Mission Man Triathlon, new race gear, + random thoughts

We've had a lot going on the last couple of months and writing a blog about it has not been the top of my thought list.  Bri wrote up a nice summary a couple of days ago so I'll just skip ahead to some of the more recent stuff.

We had a nice family vacation in New Jersey with my sis, her hub and kids, and his siblings and their kiddos.  Between the families there were 7 kids under 10 running around together for a few days. Logan has a blast mimicking the other kids and they were pretty tolerant of him, all things considered.  He's the youngest by a couple years.

I took him to visit with a long time athlete of mine in the DC area while Bri stayed home to make some dough.  Her husband then ventured into town with us to see the Smithsonian Natural history museum and the DINOSAURS.  We love dinosaurs around here. We love cars more though.

After that we made the drive from DC to Ocean City NJ.  It could be a ~4hr drive if traffic is not out of control, but we had some typical beltline DC traffic and then hit a 2 lane accident on I-95 15 miles south of Baltimore.  Instead of getting to the OC boardwalk at 630, we rolled up at about 830 after checking into our hotel and all that.  830 is Junior Awesome's bedtime but I had talked up the amusements and we were both looking forward to it.  We rode race cars and super swings until about 1015, when we both pee'd our pants and had to go home.

The following morning we visited the beach and had some fun playing in the surf for a couple hours, grabbed some lunch on the boardwalk, and then packed up and made the drive to Avon-by-the-Sea for our family reunion.  Bri flew in the following day.

We had a lot of fun with the gang, read Bri's blog for more.

I swam in the Ocean City Masters Swim that Saturday, and finished 23rd out of a couple hundred.  It was good to see a few of my old work buddies from the Ocean City Beach Patrol and take a quick stroll down memory lane.  Ocean City still feels a bit like a second home though I don't get to spend much time there these days.

We had more fun with the family.

The drive back was a bit more peaceful as we took the Cape May Lewes Ferry and the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, to overnight in VA Beach.

This weekend Bri raced the Washington Sprint triathlon and I had a sitter come over to watch Junior while I did a quick trip to the Mission Man Triathlon.  My old Renn disc wheel has been having issues so I had ordered a Mavic Cosmic Elite + a Wheelbuilder Aerojacket to get close to a disc at less cost.  It seemed to work well.  I had a good swim coming in 2nd, then led the bike for 12 miles, came in 2nd off the bike, and finished 4th or 5th overall (I think).  Felt pretty good despite a bit of a cold going around the house.

Just a couple weeks until the Lake Logan Half so I am looking forward to a couple more long rides and runs, racing, and then getting back into the HS cross country season.

Pictures and links forthcoming when I can be bothered.

Peace out.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Tassie has gone.

Our family dog Tassie, Bri and my original baby, left us last week.  She had been dealing with congestive heart failure for a few months and things got progressively worse.  We were able to do a lot of medical management, but in the end her heart gave out and we had to euthanize her.
 A really difficult part of this for me is that she suffered a 'straw that broke the camel's back' event while Bri and I were maneuvering her in order to get an ECG reading at home.  Anything could have done it, but I hate that it was the two people she loved most in the world.  I hope she forgives us, and I'm so sorry I didn't share one final beer with her.

Our vet was good enough to come to our house to let her die at home.

My sister put together a nice video memorial.  I watched it last night and wound up crying like a baby.  You can see it here.

Save some kisses for me Tassie, where ever you are. We love you.

Monday, May 11, 2015

TOA sprint & White Lake intl reports

It was nice to do a couple of races over the past couple of weeks. Once upon a time I would do some sort of race/event 2-3 weekends out of the month.  It's hard to maintain that sort of pace indefinitely but is fun to return to once in a while.

My fitness on the bike is slowly coming back around.  During the TOA sprint I was able to keep ahead of the field, but at the White Lake 28 mile international course my spirits were crushed by folks riding much stronger than I.  A few years ago, I rode the 56 mile course at a pace faster than what I was able to do the 28 mile course in.  That is what time and lack of volume/intensity will do to a guy!  Say la vee, you know what I'm sayin'?

I managed a 2nd overall at TOA sprint and an 8th overall at White Lake olympic.  The run course was about .4 mile long which was tough for a guy who doesn't like running hard 10ks anymore.  It was the first international+ triathlon I've done since a tough run meltdown at USAT Nationals five years ago.   Ran much better at this one, my 10k would have been about 43:15 which is totally acceptable to me!

A couple pictures of the finish line at TOA - Junior Awesome was there to cheer us on and I thought he might enjoy running in with me.

You can see my training logs here.

Next up is the Cary duathlon this weekend.  Local - will ride my bike to the site!

Friday, April 24, 2015

what's new

We have been going non-stop here at One Step Beyond HQ.  Many things have happened.

We ran a beach camp with our athletes/buddies in Ocean Isle Beach.

We started our open water practices and open water swim clinics at Jordan lake.

We had a team cookout.

We ran our triple brick training workout.

We found some dandelions and helped promulgate the species.

We did an international dance.

We have kept at it with swimming and biking and running and cleaning the house and mowing the grass and pruning the shrubbery.

We have watched some TV and read a few articles in our periodicals.

We're both racing in the TOA sprint triathlon tomorrow morning at Beaverdam Recreation Area on Falls Lake.  Expectations are to have fun and get a little sweaty.

Until next time!