Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween 2013

It's the 2013 version of Halloween pumpkins!

Jesse made a donut - or an Ohio State logo!

Dave S. made a ghost peeking out of a door.

Dave D. drew free hand a baby head down in the womb! (He just had a baby so it makes sesne)

Matt carved a ghoul hiding behind a door.

I carved a kitten ontop of a pumpkin in a pumpkin.

The best part of this year was that I got a lot of help!

Anna really wanted to be part of the process!

She even decorated her own pumpkin!

Anna's pumpkin. So proud! I think it's a globe. I can see Asia.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Little Miami Triathlon - Fall 2013

The FALL 2013 Little Miami Triathlon on October 6th results blog!

With rain in the forecast the weather turned out WET but warm fort his time of year at 66-70 degrees.

This time we had 2 team participate:
Dave and Jesse were STILL TAPERING.

Annie and Julie were our ATHLETIC SUPPORTERs to cheer us on in the rain at the start.

I also want to comment that althought the cost of the tritahlon was back to normal there were even less participants this time(591 instead of 1,150). I think the rain may have kept some away but hopefully they didn't alienate too many people by raising prices so much last time.

After 7 trithlons with great weather we knew eventually it would catch up with us. It rained all night before and all morning. We actually had to get ready at the start in the rain. It stopped pretty much for the actual triathlon but we were already soaked. A few cars got stuck in the mud leaving including Dave and Scott.

This picture sums up the race:

On to the results: I didn't end up using my new bike because of the rain, and I may wish I had because it was windy on th bike ride and I missed my PR by 90 seconds. No doubt this bike would have helped :)

Canoe ~6mi [54 min, -10 mins from SPRING]
Scott and I had the TIPPIEST CANOE I have ever used. We had a tough time not tipping just sitting and paddling. We did a great job just making it without getting in the water though we came close a few times. One time we tipped so far over we took on water but somehow we stayed up. I think with all the rain the river was high and running fast which helped out time. Scott and I had the fastest canoe time I have had in the Little Miami Triathlon!

Running ~5mi [64 min, -3 mins from SPRING]
Not much exciting to say on the run. I didn't run much before the Tri so I didn't expect to set a running record anyway. If anything the sool weather helped. It was fun too because Scott and I ran the whole way together so I had company for the Canoe and Run.

Killer Hill + Transition ~0.5mi [11 min, +1 min from SPRING]
The course up killer hill was MUDDY. There was running water across the bottom of the trail and there wasn't a way to avoid dipping your shoes in it. The hill was slippery and not easy to climb but the new stairs helped.

Biking ~18mi [76 min, -1 mins from SPRING]
Since the canoe time was so fast and I did OK on the run I thought I had a chance to set a PR on the bike. The first 7 or so miles I was averaging 15 mph and on pace to set my record. Then I hit the wind. It was a pretty strong wind and it was in the LMT classic direction where every turn in one section you seemed to be going up wind.

There was a section where some bikers crashed and one was taken off in a stretcher. I was biking when the ambulance and firetruck went by. It was a bit tricky to bike around the scene but the women who fell looked to be doing OK as they were putting her on a stretcher.

For most of the bike ride I was yo-yoing with a guy on a red masi bike. I ended up finishing first and he complemented me as being good motivation for him to go fatser so that was nice.

I also passed a lot of people and wasn't passed by too many on the course which was good. If not for the wind I think I could have been around 3:22 but intead I finished with my second best total time.

Other side note: This was the first time I raced without my HRM. While that may be good because I just pushed myself I like having the feedback. I'll get a new battery this week. See you in the Spring 2014!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Emerald Ash Borer

Well - I didn't think it would happen so fast but the Emerald Ash borer is in our back yard :(

As you drive around Mason you can see hundreds of dead trees on the side of the road or highway.

And now my back yard. Out of all the Ash trees only 15 are being treated (about $100 per tree).

The only upside was that I thought 100% of our trees were Ash but it turns out only 90-95% of them are!

I took some pictures to remember our backyard at it's peak.


Friday, June 07, 2013

Little Miami Triathlon - Spring 2013 Results

The SPRING 2013 Little Miami Triathlon on June 2nd results blog!

With rain in the forecast the weather turned our sunny and 72 at the start and 78 at the finish. Maybe a little hot but overall great weather.

This year we had 2 team participate:
Dave and Jesse were STILL TAPERING.
I was alone in a kayak.

Again we didn't have any ATHLETIC SUPPORTERs to cheer us on but the athletes had a good time.

I also want to comment that there were noticeably less participants this year (850 instead of 1,150). I think the increase in the cost of the race was a big factor. They were continuously selling out in previous years so it makes sense to rainse prices but they may have gone too far.

Also the new timing chips attached to the back of the race numebrs had a double sided sticky tape that when it got wet it bled blue ink on my white (expensive) jersey. We have washed it and stain sticked it a few tims but there is still some ink on there :( Next year I will remove the tape backing before the race.

As we were getting out of our cars and putting out stuff together I saw someone wearing a yellow Boston Marathon 2013 official shirt. It caught my eye becase it was so recognizable from TV and all the coverage this year. I guess if you raced in the Boston Marathon this year it would stick with you.

On to the results: I heard that Jesse had a Personal Record (PR) and Dave was a few seconds from his PR so great job by the STILL TAPERING team. I found out that they had a secret training program the week before by snow-shoeing in Alaska. I'll have to try that next time.

I ended up generating data to prove that if you don't exercise much you are slower than when you exercise. Hopefully that motivates me to find more time to exercise even with a baby todler. It had been a year since I raced the Little Miami Triathlon (LMT) because we attended a wedding in Boston the race before.

Side note: This was the first LMT that I didn't wear my Apple Jacks jersey. While it is a crowd favorite I am cooler in my Garneau breathable jerseys.


Kayaking ~6mi [64 min, +5 mins from last SPRING]
This was my first time ever kayaking and I think I prefer canoeing with a partner. The advantages to kayaking woud be that your time is not dependant on yourpartner and therefore more consistent year to year (to track improvement etc).I also believe that in theory the kayak could be faster than a canoe. The disadvantages to kayaking are that you have no one to talk to for an hour, it takes more effort and energy to kayak, and you can't really grab a quick drink or eat anything because no one else is paddling.

While I was grabbing one of the old or normal kayaks someone who works at Morgan's canoe told be to grab one of these green kayaks. he said they were faster. That is probably true. But he forgot to mention that the shallow wells would quickly fill up with water. I spent an hour sitting in water with my shoes mostly under water. With every stroke water dripped down into my kayak. This is the first time I realy ever got wet in this triathlon. Fortunately I had tri shorts on and good socks so it wasn't an issue but more of an annoyance.

Next time I will try to find a canoe partner, otherwise I will grab one of the older kayaks.

Running ~5mi [67 min, +4 mins to last SPRING]
I remember feeling good on the run considering I hadn't run much. I think the weather was cool enough for me to feel pretty good and not get my heart rate too high. Not much else to say. I wish I could run a 10 min mile. Probably time to see a pulminologist.

Killer Hill + Transition ~0.5mi [10 min, -2 min from last SPRING]
The course up killer hill was new with more stairs built in. I think it was a little longer but not as steep and I liked it. It seemed easier and I set my best time. That being siad I saw more carnage on the hill than I remember seeing before. Usually I am the one leaning against a tree to catch my breath but there were multiple people around me suffering against a railing or tree. I felt great when I got to the top and I was ready for the bike.

Biking ~18mi [77 min, +2 mins from last SPRING]
I knew getting on the bike that I wasn't going to break my PR. I was pretty far behind my times. Dave and I started the bike together and I went out and gave it a strong effort and Dave stayed right with me just about the whole time which is awesome. I ended up cramping a bit on the hills at the end and Dave finished the bike first. Jesse was already in the club house for 40 minutes.

I noticed that more of the bike ride was tar and pitch surface (the cobbles) and I think mile 3-11 and 14-16 are now rough road. Also this year the wind was in a different direction which was nice for some of the typically harder parts in the wind but I think it was subtly tougher as you were headed into the wind later. But nothing could be as bad as when Jesse and I biked 50 miles in 20-25 mph winds so the wind was fine.

As for the temperature it was a bit hot by now on the bike and I finished both water bottles but it was fine overall. I was basically slower all the way around so it is time to work out this summer.

If you read this blog to this point you must be interested enough to try it in the Fall of 2013! I'll see you there!

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Calvin's Challenge 2013

I had this on my radar fora while but this year Jesse, Dave and I participated in Calvin's Challenge.

Calvin's Challenge is a 12 Hour Bike Race is held each year on the weekend before Mother's Day, starting at Shawnee High School in Springfield, Ohio. It's a race to see who can bike the furthest in 12 hours. There is also a 6 hour bike race, a 100 mile time trial and a 50 mile time trial.

One of the things I like is that there are TONS of different tipes of bikes at this event.
• 3 Tandem classes
• Singlespeed/fixed gear
• Recumbents
• Hand Powered Vehicles (HPV)
• High wheelers
• Triples
• Trikes
• 2-person team
• 4-person team
• Ellipticals

Or one of those crazy old bikes but with aero bars!
This year we even saw some scooters (kick bikes). They were a debacle in the wind. Which brings me to this year's race. This year Jesse and I participated in the 50 mile TT. Dave was recovering from being sick and still tapering for the next event so he did the shorter loop TT.

It was cool at the start and WINDY! It was 60 degrees and cloudy with 20-25 mph winds in the begining. It was weather where you question why you are doing your first long event under these conditions. If that wasn't bad enough the first 30 miles in almost all seriousness was into the wind. At the 25 mile mark we were on pace for a 5 hour time trial. I thought maybe we should have just enetered the 6 hour race! I recall really long stretches where I was working hard and going 8 mph. Fortunately the last 20 miles was away from the wind and it was warmer and sunny. I think I was averaging 18-20mph the rest of the way and finished in under 4 hours.

All in all I was glad I did it. I hadn't ever spent 4 hours on the bike and I was surprisingly not that tired at the end. I ate plenty of energy bars on the way which really helped (about 1 entire clifs shot block per hour). I wore bike shorts but wish my seat were more comfortable. Either my gel seat is too worn in or a slightly stiffer seat would work better with padding from bike shorts (tri shorts actually).

I was really glad Jesse wanted to do the 50 mile TT with me and I plan to add Calvin's Challenge to my annual events. I plan to eventually step up to the 6 hour race and the 100 mile TT.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Vegas 2013

This year Dave, Vishad, Adam and I got a Suite in the Venetian with a strip view. The Venetian was nice but it is weird how you have to take an elevator to another lobby to then get in an elevator to your room.
Just about as soon as we put our stuff down and started walking the casino Dave found a gave giving away WILDS.
Good news is he won a bunch - bad news is they took his social sec # on a post-it note and have him a W2-G
We also found the mechanical ponies on our trip. I think our room spent 6 hours there with the same 2 other couples.
After "breaking" the machine 2 times each and being hand paid for all the quarters they owed us our room took out over $2,000 from this machine. We all had already won too much and while they were hand paying us we all hit the 200-1 winner.
Everyone won so much that we had to pose with our buckets of quarters!
On this trp we also passed a roulette table in the Mirage that was DUE!
It was so due that there is a red number off the screen. Everyone at the table was betting black. So much so that they lost their shirts and when black came up no one had money on it. After 19 spins in a row without a black it finally came up. The "dealer" said they had never seen anything like this and they were motioning to the other roullette "dealers" to check out their wheel!

Monday, March 04, 2013

Sh*t Triathletes Say - I'm Totally Busted!

This video is so funny because it contains stuff I've heard other triathletes say, things I'd say, things Meghan would hear me say, and the one thing Dave S says...

Friday, February 22, 2013

Lifetime Fitnesss Indoor Triathlon - 2013

Last weekend we completed the Lifetime Fitness Indoor Triathlon and it was a good time!
I did the same event 2 years ago and enjoyed it so I was glad when Dave's girlfriend Jesse tried to get a group together to do it this year.

This year Dave and Jesse, Jesse's friend Katie and I participated. Although I have a competitive streak in me it is a good thing I can focus on just competing with myself because I knew Jesse was a good athlete from her Little Miami Triahtlon, but it was also a last minute surprise to find out that Katie was an Ironman finisher as well. Needless to say the girls in our wave did awesome.

While I usually focus on my own results but I want to give a quick shout out to Jesse for coming in 4th overall and 1st place for Women! Also great work to Dave for finishing his first swim triathlon. Maybe he'll get the bug like I did for swim triathlons. Katie did great too and was the most consistent performer across all 3 events of our group.

OK on to my results. Note: Pictures are from the 2011 Indoor Tri when Meghan took them.

[ 10 min Swim ]
I'm in the far right lane -
and blurry because I am swimming so fast!
The last time I did this triathlon I swam the breast stroke nice and easy the whole way which is a bit relaxing and keeps my heart rate down, though I only did 13 lengths in 10 minuets that time.

This year I decided to start out swimming freestyle and see if I could get a few extra lengths in before switching to breast stroke. It turned out to be a bad strategy as I got my heart rate up and it never really went back down so I ended up catching my breath here and there and only finished 11 lengths in 10 minutes this time.

My swim rank was tied for #58-61 out of #62 which is terrible. Good thing someone only did 9 lengths otherwise I wouldn't have gotten any points for the swim.

Next time I will go back to a nice and easy pace the entire time - or of course I should just take SWIM LESSONS already!

[1st Transition ]
The 10 min transition time seemed shorter to me this year. I also realized in the locker room that I forgot to bring my bike shorts. Good thing I swam in tri shorts so I just wore them the rest of the way. I got ot the bike with about 1 minute to spare but the guy running the spin bikes didn't know how to set it up for my clips so I ended up using my sneakers in toe straps.

[ 30 min Cycling ]
I'm blurry because I am biking so fast..
I knew what to expect from the spin bike from the last time but I was disappointed with a few things. First of all the scale for how they calculate "mileage" was changed again so I didn't know what was a good distance this time unlike last time. This time most people were in the 50-55mph range.Secondly the spin bike guy told me that if I went over 55-56 mph that my computer could reset my distance and mess up my score.

I can't say this effected my score much but a few times I went over and slowed down. The guuy also told me not all bikes had this issue so I think I could have tested this on my bike more and pushed it a bit. Overall I averaged 53 mph which was just OK. I also proved I could keep my heart rate between 195-202 for 30 minutes staightso I wasn't anaerobic yet at 195 bpm. I saw V02 max testing going on at Lifetime Fitness so maybe I should sign up for that and see where my zones are.

My biking rank was  #20 out of #62 which is about even with last time I did this event. I also earned 44 out of my 61 points in this event. I need to improve my swim and run.

[ 5 min transition ]
This transition was pretty straight forward and you just walk over to the treadmills. There was plenty of time to get ready for the next event.

[ 20 min run ]
I'm blurry because I am running so fast...
The run was pretty straight forward - 20 minutes on a treadmill. I felt much better this time than the last time I did this event and I was able to run / job the whole time. Last time I walked more. I wonder if that means I pushed it more on the bike last time versus this time.

I was able to finish 1.57 miles which gave me  a (sad) #51 out of #62 competitors on the run. Believe it or not this was an improvement over my 1.51 miles last time and an improvement in rank.

Overall - I came in a not-too-great but expected #48 out of #62 competitors. It was a slight improvement in rank percentile over last time so I guess that is good. Also I didn't get much of a chance to exercise beforehand. The best thing out of this event is it lit a fire in me to start exercising again and I hope to do more events this year than last year.

Also I again wish that the Lifetime Fitness Triathlon was more than once per winter as there isn't much else to do AND I always have the bug to do a little better after I figure out how to do the indoor tri again. I know I could have gotten into the Top 10 on the bike had I just known I needed to squeeze out 0.5 fake miles more out of my 26 fake miles total.