Sunday, August 24, 2008

Vacation Wrap up

That was a great week. There was lots of laughs, a few tears, plenty of micro-brew and a record number of lost fishing lures by yours truly.

Ten of us hiked Mt. Major, and 4 yr old Cory outpaced more than one adult. She delivers some unsolicited love to her big brother at the summit.

Here's the earliest stages of the 2009 IMLP training. Anyone who knows me through triathlon knows I suck at sighting in the open water. Here I'm either practicing that or showing the least efficient way to do the crawl. Thanks goodness that I'll be able to follow that buoy line in the race.

While out riding Friday, I saw that the next town over was having an Old Home Day on Saturday, complete with a pancake breakfast. The flapjacks were delicious, and while dining I was talked into running in the 5k that evening by one of the locals. I made a brick work out of it, and met my brother in law at the start to do the race. My 20:44 was good enough for 22nd overall and a podium spot in my age group. Tommy was just :30 behind, but the tough 40-49 age group meant he'd be 4th in that category. 

The weather was beautiful for the entire week and we spend hours upon hours swimming off the docks. We even managed to get the patriarch of the family out in the water, though it was a bit scary for those of us watching. He had a great time this week with all of his kids and grand kids.

My oldest two sister in laws each had two boys, then the next sister and my wife each had a boy before the first grand daughter was born into the family. She was soon joined by our youngest and here are the two of them fishing in full princess attire.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Open Water Swim vs. The Author II

I had my escort take the gps this time. 

The lake was much calmer in the early morning, and the swim was great.  It was .9 mi in 28 minutes. Not great, but I'll take it not having swim at all in a year plus. 

Friday, August 22, 2008

Open Water Swim vs. The Author

Wednesday morning I decided to give the lake a go. As the sun rose over Rattlesnake island, the water was clear, cool and smooth. I had the foresight to bring my wetsuit for this trip, pulling it out of retirement as it hasn't been used in over three years, and a good choice that was. The suit reluctantly stretched over my legs and can and was much tighter than I recall, but as a parade of kids emerged from the water with chattering teeth and blue lips I was grateful to have the insulation.

The lake has been calm at daybreak, choppy during the day time, and calmer again at sunset. Wednesday followed a similar pattern, and I set out with CJ in a kayak as my escort, the wind picked up. My objective was to swim for 30 minutes total, 15 out and 15 back. That would get me out of our cove and into the open water of the lake for the turn around. The water was much calmer in the cove than out towards the island. The wind was picking up and so was the chop.

The calmer water and fresh muscles made the initial leg of the trip easy, and in 5 minutes or so I was out beyond the protection of the cove. The wind was whipping now, and I looked up to see that Ali had replaced CJ as my escort. She had correctly calculated that he wouldn't be able to control his boat and sent him back to the dock. I'd surf down the back of one wave and swim up the front of the next. Sighting isn't my strong point, and it was impossible with the white caps rolling over me in rapid succession. Ali was struggling to keep her boat upright, our angle into the waves made it hard for her to stay near me and keep water out. 

We turned around at 12 minutes because it was way to scary to keep going out. We surfed the waves back and made the return trip in 8 minutes. I think I took in 1 litre of lake water, and collapsed exhausted on the dock.

So just four of those, 6 hours of riding and a marathon and I'll be done with the iron man. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

busy month

Wow. Work's been crazy. I took 5 days off in late July to go watch Ironman Lake Placid and it was like I had left the country for two years. Two more days in NYC last week and once again it seemed like months. It's good to be busy though, I'm really happy with the recent changes at my place of business.

I skipped the PMC this year, wanting to give my donors a break. People tell me that it is an honor to make donations to that cause, but I can't help but thinking that I'm a huge PITA in asking people for money. 

Marcia and Judy are never far from my thoughts. I jumped into the PMC ride this year for a bit to give the guys at the front a bit of a push and wish them well. 
We drilled it for 35 miles and then I had to turn around. That is such an incredible event, and even in the face of tougher financial times, they are still raising incredible amounts of money for cancer research.

Ok - Ironman. I went to watch and ended up signing up for the race
 in 2009. The onsite registration opens at 9:00 am the day after the race and each year it fills up faster and faster. Five years ago it sold in 4 days after they took care of all of the onsite registrants. Four years ago it was 18 hours. Three years ago it was 90 minutes after onsite registration. Two years ago it was 20 minutes and last year it sold out in 180 seconds. This year, they started to line up for registration at 1:00 am. Franqui & I jumped in line with a Andy who had been waiting since 6:00 am and was about 300 people back. The line extended down the road about 1/3 of a mile. 

In the end, we all got in for 2009 but some people didn't. These were all on site registrations. So if you want to race the Lake Placid Ironman... plan two trips. One to register and a second for the actual race. 

Hopefully my knee holds up to the training.

I jumped in the Ninigret training crit last week and after a few silly efforts tried to get up the road, I managed to find myself in "the break." There is something ironic and cruel about calling the group of riders that gets away from the main pack in a road race a "break."  There was nothing restful or relaxing about it. My eyes were bleeding as I tried to hold the wheel of the nice young fellow in front of me who was riding me into the ground on a bike made of my crushed bones. I lasted about 5 miles with that group and then got spit out. 

On to the here and now. I'm in NH, Alton in fact staying in a hug
e house with my wife's entire family on Lake Winnipesaukee. Here's the view from the deck:

Also found a good route today, but it was super windy. Just under 4k of climbing in 42 miles and the traffic was much better than I recall. 

Tomorrow we'll be swimming in the lake for 30 minutes. My first open water swim of the IM 2009 training. 

I'm loving the new Garmin in case you couldn't tell.

Five weeks until cross season... are you going to be ready?

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


seconds last hours
the view from here is unchanged
top tube and asphalt

Saturday, August 2, 2008


Two days ago I was reading my friend Scott's journal. What an amazing adventure he's having riding across the country from Vancouver BC, into the Pac NW and then due East across the heartland. Equipped with only a small trailer of gear and his natural charm, he's experiencing much more than a couple of thousand of miles of top quality USA asphalt. He left sometime in early June and has been solo the entire time, putting in 120+ miles on the average day. As of Wednesday morning he I knew he was somewhere in Indiana or Ohio. 

Knowing that our friends the Zanconato's were driving West this week to spend a year in Wisconsin, I emailed Scott and suggested he should call Zank as they may be crossing paths that day. 

Scott wrote back that he would try Zank's cell. He was at that moment enjoying breakfast at this IHOP

I then called Zank to find out how the trip was going and to mention that he should call Rosey. He said he'd call Scott right after we got off the phone.

Mike and Rebecca were having coffee at this Dunkin Donuts.

They got in touch and had breakfast together. Scott had been having rear wheel problems on this trip, a cracked rim was replaced with a cheapo that wasn't doing much better, and more broken spokes had resulted earlier this week.  At our last get together with the Zanconato's before they left, Mr. Kenny delivered Rebecca's recently repaired rear wheel, but not in time to get it into their portable moving unit, meaning it was the only bike part stuffed into their car.

Of course the wheel was compatible with Scott's relatively unique Campy drivetrain, so now that wheel's journey to Wisconsin has been postponed as it is now helping Scott get back to Massachusetts.