Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Cats in Drawers

Cats love drawers! When I open my drawer to get socks or shirts out - there usually is a cat jumping in before I can close the drawer! This is one of my favorite pictures:

I'm surprised they can both fit in there!

It looks like it can get a little crowded in the drawer!

BONUS Picture: Sometimes the cats just sleep together - here they are touching paws!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Bruins and Boston's Embarrassment of Riches

This just solidifies this as the best decade or so in Boston sports history and I think one of the best for any one city. To have all 4 major sports win during my adult life is just amazing!

ESPN just confirmed that Boston is the first city in history to have all 4 major sports win a championship in a 7 year span.

Since 2001 to have:
Red Sox (x2)
Patiots (x3)
Celtics and now...

all win championships!


UPDATE: The Patriots now have the longest championship drought in Boston!

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Little Miami Triathlon - Spring 2011 Results

The SPRING 2011 Little Miami Triathlon on Sunday was a great time! The conditions for the biking were actually pretty good without too much wind and in some friendly directions. However we all agreed this time the run was the most difficult - in part because of the heat and humidity.

This year we had 2 teams participate:
Julie(Aunt-in-law) and Sean(cousin-in-law) and were the SHJULIE MCGUIRES
Dave (brother) and I were DOS GEMELOS which means two twins in Spanish.

We are putting our best foot forward...
Meanwhile Molly (sister-in-law) and Dave (fiance-in-law) were there as the ATHLETIC SUPPORTERS.
Esposa Meghan was under the weather and watching my GPS online. My parents always track us by GPS too which is awesome! (Don't worry if the dot stops moving - I am fine - just lost the satellites for a second!)

"Are you the guy with the blog?" - YES I AM!
As more and more people I know are starting to do triathlons, especially canoe triathlons which make it easy to join, I found my self giving them tips from the 4 times I have participated in the Little Miami Triahtlon. Then this turned into a Tips & Tricks blog for the Little Miami Triathlon.

Anyway - while I was on the run I started walking for a bit (it happens) and I heard these nice girls next to me ask "Are you the guy with the blog?" which was totally awesome because it was their first triathlon and they were looking for some info and found my blog! Good thing I was wearing my trade-mark Apple Jacks Jersey! Over 100 people read that blog the week before the triathlon which is pretty good considering only 1200 people even participate in the race! We saw the girls at the end of the race too and they finished and seemed to have really enjoyed it which is awesome!

On a side note Dave had a flat tube on his bike right before the start. Fortunately we had time to change it and had an extra and everything went well. 

On to the results.

I love having an event to benchmark progress over and over...

Canoeing ~6mi [56 min, -3 mins from last FALL]
This was the first time Molly wasn't my partner on the canoe. Molly and I made a great team because we both get really competitive when the gun goes off and we usually peel out of the start and try not to look back at the rest of our heat.

This time Dave and I were a team and it was great! If we were still kids we might have fought all the way down the river but instead we did the peeling out from the start and left our heat in the dust!

With all of the record setting rains we have had the river level seemed high but the river was surprisingly slow. There were some large sections with seemingly no current. I think because the water level was so high we didn't see many if any canoes tip over so the river carnage was minimized this year.

I drank 2 water bottles during the canoe as it was getting hot.

Running ~5mi [65 min, +4 mins from last FALL]
Not a lot to say about the run. It was hot. It was uphill, and it was tough. One of the most impressive things about the run was when I was in a crowd of folks who were running / jogging / or walking at a ~12 min mile pace while Cousin Sean came running by so fast (~ 6 min mile pace) and made everyone look like they were standing still. For comparison Sean finished the run in somewhere around 36 minutes!!! I wish I had his speed. It is a bit demoralizing to see just how far away I am from being in good running shape but hopefully I'll just steadily improve. I am motivated to do more running now to improve in this area - which is good because my usual default is to bike over running when training.

One complaint about the run is the last water area on the run was out of water when I got there and it would have been welcomed as I hit every water area on the way.

Killer Hill + Transition ~0.5mi [14 min, +1 min from last FALL]
The hill is never good. I was hot and tired from the run and knew I was giving time back, but I still stopped several times for ~10 seconds or so to try and catch my breath or let my heart rate get below 200. Dave actually caught me on the hill which was fun to get to the transition area together.

If I could do it again I would have drank a water or Gatorade here before getting on the bike.

Biking ~18mi [75 min, -2 mins from last FALL]
This was the first LMT with clip in pedals. It's a bit of a pain to change shoes at T2 and then get your shoes at the end but I think it's worth it. I always get cramps on the bike ride and while this year was no different they didn't seem as bad. I also think they help me turn over gears a bit easier so it may have been the reason I had my best bike time yet.

I knew I was in trouble from a water standpoint when I finished my first water bottle at mile 4 and then finished my second at mile 7.5! I have since started looking at how I can get more than 2 water bottles on my bike but that may be crazy-talk. I just keep pounding the fluids and still get cramps which is frustrating. If I do a longer biking triathlon I may want 4 water bottles on my bike so we'll see. I ended up taking water at the 2 water stations on the bike which requires you to slow down a bit as they hand you water. One girl gave me blue powerade - ew!

Also - Sean and Julie kept their water bottles for their bikes in a cooler of ice beforehand - I thought about that but didn't do it - might be a good idea next time.

All in all I thought the bike went well - I wish I could have gone even faster but I felt like I pushed it as much as I could that day. Overall I tied my fastest triathlon since the introduction of the "cobbles".

This is a picture of the road surface for the 2.5 miles near the end of the bike section. It gets bumpy and slower which is why we call it the "cobbles".
Well - it was another great triathlon and I look forward to breaking my PR (Personal Record) in the fall!
If you read this blog to this point you must be interested enough to try it in the fall!

Thursday, June 02, 2011

1st Bike Race - Colavita-Zipp Time Trial

Dave and I participated in our first bike race a few weeks ago. It was the Colavita-Zipp Time Trial Series which races about every few weeks somewhere in Ohio. Most time trials are almost completely flat - so we were surprised this one was hilly. Fortunately Dave had is "King of the Mountains" jersey on for a time trial which is bike-sarcasm but it was appropriate for this race.

I liked the idea of doing a time trial because I wanted to do something for a formal bike race but I knew I couldn't compete in a road race with a group of riders. I think if you are a novice you are asking for trouble in a peloton. So a Time Trial (TT) is great because one rider starts every minute on a 10 mile course and you just race the clock. Also there are categories of riders form Cat 1-5 pros to our division which was "standard non-aero bikes".

There were about 200 riders which were of all abilities from novice to Category 1 semi-pros. However out of the 200 riders I think 170 were like Lance Armstrongs and we were definitely in the minority. It seemed like everyone had a $10,000 time trial bike with wheels that cost more than my whole bike. Here's a picture of the of the type of equipment we were up against.

Apparently these riders are "super serious" and not that friendly to new comers. Also they all had "staff" and as soon as they pulled up in their car they got their bikes out onto a bike trainer and were pedaling in the parking lot for hours before the start! They then stayed on the bike while asking those around them to put sun tan lotion on them so they could keep pedaling! In fact on our way to the bathroom one guy stopped us and asked me to pin his race number on him while he keeps pedaling on his trainer because his buddy left him already. So I managed to try and pinch of some sections of his SKIN TIGHT suit around his right hip area and pin his number on him. I hope he re-adjusted it because I am sure it was a little loose for a serious TT person because I didn't care to get that close to him while he kept pedaling. It was crazy!

As you can tell from the GPS elevation graph it was a bit hilly - as in all uphill for the first part. My heart rate tends to be too high anyways - and especially when you are launched from a "Tour De France style" starting house with a crowd of people yelling "GO GO GO!". Within the first half-mile my heart rate was over 200 and I was like "why am I trying to go so fast - I need to slow down!"

While climbing the hill me hear rate was 210 and I don't remember looking at my heart rate monitor and seeing it below 200 but it must have been at some time because my 40 minute average heart rate was 199 (yes - 199!).

But it was well worth it as I made it on the podium (where the top 3 finishers stand)!! Of course I was up there before the race started... but who's counting! I'm holding what looks like a wine bottle of olive oil as Colavita makes olive oil I guess.

Though I didn't race as Bolt Speedman they did think that I raced for the cycling team "APPLE JACKS" which is good enough for me!

They gave away some good prizes like bike seats and about 20 Road ID's but Dave and I only got Zipp water bottles for being newbies. Here's a video of the action - the guy finishing is as serious as most of the people there.