Sunday, August 23, 2009

Great Ski Day and Blowing a Front Tire Blows

So I want to tell these 2 stories in order as to preserve the chronology and to illustrate how quickly things can change. So Friday was a beautiful day here in Spokane, clear skies and temps in the upper 70's. Jayne and Tony and I splash the Nautique about 9 am. We basically have the whole lake to ourselves. There was no wind so water was like glass, perfect. This is going to be the 1st time for all of us skiing in the slalom course for the year. So none of us is expecting to do much. Jayne started us off with some solid skiing for her. She working on skiing more aggressively and getting around those outside balls. Next up is Tony, better known on here as "the Hobbit". He starts at 32 mph and 15 off and runs his 1st pass, then his 2nd. Wow! Not that this is anything great but for 1st run of the year not bad. He runs 2 more and decide we should bump the speed to 34. His streak continues as he runs back to back 34 passes. Now its my turn, I too start at 32 and run 4 in a row, then bump up to 34 and run back to back passes. Tony and I ecstatic, we are both thinking hell if I don't ski again this year I would be happy with what we just did. The 2nd round went about the same for Jayne. Tony though decided to go out at 34 and struggle a little but not bad. So now that Tony was skiing more like we thought we both would ski I was less than excited but what the hell. So I go out at 34 and bada bing bada boom I ski just like I know what I'm doing. I put together 2 nearly perfect passes. At one point I had gotten behind a little but was able to remain patient and pull hard and I caught back up. We left the lake with a renewed excitement for skiing and were talking about when our next day on the water would take place....... Saturday was going to be a busy day. I was going to ride up Mt. Spokane with a group of Tri-Fusion teammates and Jayne was going ride Mt.Spokane on her MTB. So she dropped me off at 0830 and went on to her ride. Our group got on the road about 0900 for the grind to the top of Mt. Spokane. This is about a 45 mile total. Of coarse that means ~ 22.5 miles of climbing then 22.5 miles of descending. I'm not exactly sure how much climbing there is but my Garmin had it at ~4800 ft. training peaks puts it at 5900 ft. At any rate it was a lot of up. My goal for the ride was to keep my cadence above 90 as long as a could but to cap my HR at 150. At the beginning of the ride this kept me off the front of the group a little until we got to the base of the hill. Josh "the Machine" Hadaway then pulled a train of about 5 guys by me like I was parked. I was tempted to go with them until I noticed my HR had climbed to 161. I decided to stay with my plan, I need the aerobic work way more than I need to get anaerobic. So I fell off the back and just plugged along. It was an absolutely perfect day for a climb, not to hot. Shortly after I started up Summit road I was starting to fantasize about my protein bar in my back pocket, so I stopped and ate it. Greg and Natelie caught up to me about the time I finished the bar so I rode the rest of the way with them. It was nice riding with them during those last couple of miles. Once on top we joined the group and took a picture and waited for the last couple of people. Dave had missed the turn up to the summit but made it about 15 minutes later. After standing on top in the slight breeze we were all getting pretty cold. Now for the fun part. I love descending. My bike is so smooth and responsive it's like driving a Mercedes on a twisty mtn road. The very top section is pretty bumpy and narrow and the road surface is less than predictable. But once we got off of Summit road we were able to let em run a little faster. But there are some pretty tight turns so you really have to get on the breaks. Greg and I were off the front a little and running a real sweet line. We were on a straight away preparing for what looks to be a pretty tight left hand turn. I was on both breaks trying not to overload either one. When all of a sudden the handlebars are being yanked out of my hands and down I go. On my way down I had time to yell "FUCK" and that was about it. Boom crash bang head back elbow head back hands and knees, STOP! I wasn't sure how far the next rider was behind me so I was hoping they were not going to pile into me. I think it was Nate and he was able to stop. Everyone was great!!! They did everything right. They assessed my injuries quickly and got me and my bike out of the middle of the road. Then began a comedy of errors so to speak. A few guys on motorcycles came by and stopped and we decided to have Greg ride down with them to get his truck. After he left with them, I thought my car is just a few miles down the road because Jayne was riding her MTB bike. So we then sent a couple of guys with my keys to go get my car. But about 2 minutes after they left someone noticed that I had another key sticking out of the back of my jersey. And sure enough it was was the key to the Tahoe. So the guys that already left could get in the Tahoe with the remote but could not start the car. So we send someone else with that key. A few minutes later a ranger drives by and waves.....A few minutes after that he comes back and asks what happened and do we need any help. We thank him and he is on his way only to return about five minutes later with a lawn chair for me to sit in, that was nice of him. In the meantime we were finally able to reach Jayne on her cell. She had already left where she was parked and was headed back to where she had dropped me off. So now Greg was on his way back up with his truck. Matt, Craig and Dave were riding down to find a car that was no longer there and Jayne was in that car and driving back up the mtn. She rescued me and off the the ER we go. Long story, short, seperated AC joint. More commonly know as a seperated shoulder. Lots of bumps and bruises and some good road rash. Bike has bent handlebars and dinged up seat but so far that's all I've found. The real bummer for me, other than the pain, is that we are headed to Pentictin to watch IM Canada this next weekend. On Saturday I was going to ride the course with Heather Wurtele and Tony and Jayne. As I sit here right now I don't think that is going to happen. But we will see how fast I heal. I'll keep you posted. Enjoy the pics.
So remember when I was talking about how happy I was with my skiing. Turns out that just may be my only ski of the year.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Scenic Challenge

Saturday's race was my first triathlon this year. It was also going to be my longest run since the marathon back in May. So I really did not have any performance goals other than that I wanted to feel like I did my best for where my fitness is right now. This race has a wave start separated by 10 minutes and I was in the 2nd wave. So as I stood on the beach watching the 1st wave swim away. I set a new goal for myself, catch someone in the 1st wave. I remember when I did this race 11 years ago that I got passed by a couple of guys in the wave behind me, so I wanted a little revenge. When my wave started I went out pretty hard,for me. I was just trying to stay on Ron Crenshaw's feet. At about 3/4 of the way to the 1st turn I noticed that Ron had veered a little wide going into the turn as I was beside him. I took the shortest route and was headed for the next buoy. About 1/2 way to the 2nd turn I realized my 1st goal and passed someone wearing a neon green swim cap, color of the 1st wave. Then something weird happened. I passed a couple more green caps, then a few more. Then I was bitch-slapped back to reality when I was passed by a gray swim cap. He/she was in the 3rd wave. This turned out not to be an anomaly as I then got passed by a few other gray caps. I chugged along swimming a very straight line as smooth as I could and was soon standing up and running up the beach.
T1 was a complete disaster from a time standpoint. I have to wear socks, I hate blisters. Getting socks onto semi-dry feet is one of those things that the harder you try the harder it gets. Nearly 4 minutes later I roll out on what is sure to be a great bike ride. My goal was push hard for the whole ride. Since my run was going to be slow anyway I might as well try to push as hard as I could. I passed a lot of people on the way to Higgins Point. When we hit the big hill my legs felt good so kept left and continued to pass riders up the whole hill. I let it rip on the downs and kept my cadence up on the flats and continued to move through the "young" people. Did I mention that the 1 st wave was people 39 and younger. I does help the ego to pass a 25 yo guy on a hill. When we hit the final downhill I let the Serotta fly. I got right on the center line and let her rip, top speed 49.5 mph. Once we were back on flat ground I kept the cadence up picking off as many people as I could. T2 went better than T1 and as I took off on the run I was able to see Roger coming in for the win. You really need to read his race report, it's a good read.
As I said this was to be my longest run since the marathon in May. It was also my 1st brick run of the year. If you have never run right after riding your bike you need to. Until you get used to it, it's like running on a couple of canned hams. Jayne was all over the place taking pictures. I saw her at the beginning of the run. About 1.5 miles later I look up and there she is again. This really blew me away not that she was taking pictures, all of you that know her know that she is always taking pictures. But how in the hell did she cover the 1.5 miles fast than I did, I knew she could not have drove we parked to far away, she did not bring a bike, WTF. Turns out that she sprinted through the neighborhood, it was probably still a mile. The run went well no pain in my foot, but my run fitness was definitely not there. I just kept plugging along, I was still passing some of those 20 somethings though. However I did get passed a few times as well but mainly by team people. As I got back towards the finish line I saw Jessi and once she saw me, I was not in "uniform" she was screaming at the top of her lungs, totally pumped me up. As her voice began to fade I could then hear Jayne screaming, again this totally got me fired up. At the same time this guy tried to pass me, so I picked it up a little to get back in front of him. Apparently he did not like that so he passed me back and I was trapped behind him and next to 2 other runners. This pissed me off, as soon as I got and enough room I blew by that guy like he was standing still and finished strong.
Overall I was pretty happy with my race. I have made progress on the bike and the swim and I know that as I'm able to run more that fitness will return.
Speaking of running tonight is the 2nd race in our tri-clubs series Hot Summer Nights.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Hot Summer Nights 5K

Tonight was the 1st race of a series of 4 being put on by the triathlon club that I'm a member of, Tri-Fusion . The series is called Hot Summer Nights, and is each Tuesday in August. This was the 1st fast run I've done since before the marathon back in May. I also worked last night and only got about 5 hrs of sleep today. So my expectations were not that high. I hoped I could run 7 min/mi. The course is good in that there are some small hills, enough to get the HR up for sure, but not real steep or long. Otherwise there was minimal traffic and quite few people for the clubs 1st running race. So my 1st mile was in 6:48. I paid for that a little in the 2nd mile 7:37 and was then able to settle back down and # 3 was 7:07. Overall time 22:09 which is 7:07/mi. I'll take for my 1st real "hard " rune for a while. I think I got 4th in my age group.
This Saturday I'll be racing over in CDA doing the Scenic Challenge. This will be my 2nd time doing this race the 1st time was back in 1998. It will interesting to see how much,or little I've improved. The course is a little different than it was back then, but similar. this is an Olympic distance race so 1.5 k swim, 24 k bike and 10 run. I'll let you know how it goes.