Sunday, January 25, 2009

Putting Together the Bike – I give up!

I started to assemble the bike this morning combining the components that came with the online order with some upgraded accessories that I bought separately. After about three hours of frustration, I gave up, packed everything off and headed off to the bike shop to have it assembled by an expert. Too much ventured --- nothing gained. Lesson learned when there is a job to do, give it to someone whose job is to do it.

This evening I received an email from Blake Norwood the RD at Umstead reminding runners that the withdraw deadline is fast approaching. I am depending on my performance at Rocky Raccoon and Iron Horse to gage my ability to finally get this monkey off my back. Ummie please be kind!

Speaking of Umstead, yesterday I joined two of my fellow snails on their last 10 miles of a 50 miler. They both looked very strong – I am sure that they will do very well in April.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

New Friends, New Toy, New Pain

Yesterday, I attended a meeting of the Baltimore Area Triathlon Club at the MAC. This appears be a nice group of people that I look forward to training with for the upcoming triathlon season. My only concern is that they may be a bit too intense for my laid back approach to training. I don't know if I can fully make the attitude adjustment from "hopefully finishing a race in the same day I started" to being concerned about "racing" and transition time splits.

My new Kestrel Talon Tri arrived today. It looks nice but it does not the sexy lines of its 20 year old Kestrel 4000 grandfather. I may be a bit myopic in my assessment - It is hard to fault your first real love! I feel like I am committing adultery by just having the new bike in the house. Heaven forbid the day that I have them both in the same room.

I met with the Trainer yesterday; she did some measurements and did not think we were progressing well enough. There is only one solution – She needs to kick my ass more. No more Ms. Nice – hello Madam Pain. Now it could be coincidental, but tonight the Swim Coach decided that it was time to kick up the intensity of the pool workout. I had my best workout in a long time – first time I can remember getting out of the pool and sweating! I hurt but it is a good hurt.

Time for bed I have a 15 mile run and a spin class in the morning.

Friday, January 16, 2009

What’s Up

I have been a bit remiss in my posting. This is mostly due to my readjustment to being a working stiff after a long Vegas vacation.

I started back with my workout routine. I am working with the Personal Trainer twice a week and the Swim Coach once per week. The PT is working mostly on posture and flexibility while the Swim Coach is focused on building endurance over the next two months. The MAC had an informational meeting for their Triathlon training group. I really hope that they are able to get this going for the 2009 season since I need all the help I can get.

As predicted the gym is overcrowded with the New Year's resolution crowd. There is a comical collection of newbies:

  • The obese twenty something's in the front row of the spin class who ask the instructor to slow down
  • The 40 something men that dress like Olivia Newton John in the 80's Let get physical video. Headbands and wrist bands are not needed to walk on a treadmill.
  • The creepy "lounge lizards" that hangs out in the stretching area and stare
  • The I prefer cologne vs showering guy that grabs the treadmill next to me
  • The "we are in love" middle age couples that need to be close to each other – I actually had someone ask me to move to another treadmill so they could be next to their spouse!
  • An my favorite - those who sit on the equipment and talk

What abyss did all these people come from? Did a Krispy Kreem or all you can eat buffet go out of business?     

My running is going well. I signed up for another ultra the Iron Horse 100K. This looks like a low key event that will be a good follow up to the Rocky Raccoon 50. Both of these races will give me a better feel if I should go for the 100 at Umstead or back off to 50.

Swimming is going very well. I am swimming 30 minutes nonstop 4 times a week. I am planning to increase this to 40 minutes next week.

I am doing a lot of spinning but not too much outdoor biking. This needs to change soon. I just ordered a new Kestrel Talon. So once it is received I will need to get some serious road miles in.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Back from Vegas

Well, I am back from my excursion to Las Vegas, all considering it was a restful week. The flight and hotel arrangements went as planned.

Last Saturday, I ran the Running from an Angel 50 miler. This is a nice low key race alongside Lake Mead which is about 30 minutes from the Las Vegas Strip. The Race Director Joyce and her volunteers give super service to all the runners.

Given my recent injuries, I decided to take this race real slow. I hit the 25 mile turnaround around the 5 hour mark and finished in 11:37. This was a little slower than last year but I finished injury free and that was the goal.

Time to start training for Rocky Raccoon.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Going to Vegas

I decided to keep my plans and head out to Vegas for the Run from an Angle. My back feel a little better and I am going to attempt the 50 miler.

I spent the afternoon packing for the trip-- two large bags that are barely below the weight restrictions. I always pack too much crap; believing that is far better to have it and not need it rather than not having what I need.

The limo is scheduled to pick me up at 4:30 for my 6 am flight. I tried to check in on line this morning but all I got was a message that the system could not check me in and an airport check in was required. Hopefully there is nothing wrong with my tickets. I pray that I won't be bumped from first class to cattle class. I am scheduled to arrive in Vegas in the afternoon and will be staying at the Hooters Hotel. Friday will be a pretty mellow day and early to bed.

The race starts at 6 on Saturday. The temperature is in the mid 40's to 50 with high winds. That sounds like a repeat of last year and is going to suck! My stretch goal for this race is 10 hours but I will be content if I just finish the race upright and without major injuries. Following the race I will head back to the hotel and out on the town for a steak dinner and a bit of light entertainment. I don't plan on doing too much movement…just want to sit in a comfortable chair and have someone bring me drinks. Depending on the damage done to my body, I may try to get a massage on Sunday at the Hard Rock Spa.

I haven't had time to do a reflection on 2008 and a new year's kick off posting for 2009. I will try to get something up over the next few days.