Saturday, August 29, 2009
"Flail, Flap, Flee...Triathlon is not for chickens!"
You have to like a race that has a sense of humor. And I've got zero complaints about this shirt. High-Quality tech, 55% Bamboo fiber, 45% polyester, a nice color that matches with everything, good graphics. And although it seems sort of silly to give away a long sleeve shirt in August, I'm sure I'll enjoy it in another month or so.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
About that photo...
Nick over at A Year of Amazing Feats says he not only lost his water bottle, but also lost his tire kit while hitting one of the killer potholes at Sunday's Portland Triathlon. Hey Nick, I think I see it there!
The photo shows just a few of the water bottles lost in the huge cracks and crevices of the downtown streets of Portland. These were collected by a Portland Police Officer, stopping traffic at an intersection, where a particularly nasty pothole resided.
You know what I say?
The sidewalks don't have potholes - get off your bike and let's run!
RACES FOR WEEK OF AUGUST 31st TO SEPTEMBER 7th (Labor Day!)
September 5th / Scoggins Valley Olympic and Sprint Triathlon and Duathlon / Forest Grove, OR
September 5th / Lake Padden 10.35 mile Run or Relay / Bellingham, WA
September 5th / Umpqua Ultimate Olympic and Sprint Triathlon, Duathlon, 10k and 5k runs / Sutherlin, OR
September 5th / MTCC Garden City Olympic Triathlon / Frenchtown, MT
September 5th / Sunrise to Summit (3 cool but weird races - go to the website and check it out) / Bend, OR
September 5th / Titanium Man Olympic Triathlon / Richland, WA
September 6th / Steve Braun Memorial Sprint Triathlon / Eastsound, WA
September 7th / Little Cross 5k / Pasco, WA
September 7th / Wildwood Trail Trial 10k / Portland, OR
September 7th / Super Jock n' Jill Half-Marathon and 4 Mile Runs / Woodinville, WA
Monday, August 24, 2009
This Little Piggie Had None.
Hey, I finished the Portland Olympic Tri yesterday, and today I'm only limping slightly with a sore left knee and a broken next-to-little-toe on my right foot.
A perfect race!
So let's review:
The race day started out beautifully. All signs pointed to perfect weather for a race, but then what would you expect for late August?
Temperature readings from earlier in the week had the Willamette at 72 degrees and I had all but talked myself into swimming without a wet suit. As I slouched around the transition area on the morning of, however, they announced the river temp at 69 degrees and I saw a whole lot of people suiting up...so I gave in. As you may know, the swim is the only reason for me to do triathlons, I don't need the extra buoyancy and I'm faster without it, but I'm also a bit of a wimp about cold water, so I usually err on the side of warmth.
As we gathered down by the river for our pre-swim briefing, I realized that the crowding in the first wave was going to be even worse than I had imagined. There were a lot of white swim caps around. Since we were starting the swim from a boat dock, with no ladders or ramp of any type to get back onto the dock, the race official giving the pre-race brief assured us, "we put a 2 x 4 under the dock and netting over the edge. Just put your foot on the 2 x 4 and pull yourself up with the netting. You'll pop right up," she said.
There was much laughter all around. Then we realized she wasn't kidding.
For some reason, they didn't let us down on the dock before the swim, so we had no warm up time. Ah well, with my total lack of preparation, warm up time doesn't really matter one way or another. So we went straight down to the dock, jumped into the water and had about two minutes to try to find enough room to line up over 150 of us along the dock. As we all squeezed along the dock, holding on with one hand, they started a countdown from ten. When they got to five, I thought, "I'm not going out with this mass hysteria. I'm fast enough in the water, I'll just wait for these guys around me to take off, then I'll get behind them and pick my way through once everyone loses their early speed. 5,4,3,2,1...go! I hang there and look at the guys beside me...they hang there and look back. No one is moving. Everyone is staring.
Crap. I take off.
And immediately get into a maelstrom of arms and legs. I got to the front left pretty quickly, but not before I kicked some guy, really hard, in his leg (I think - it's hard to tell one wet suit part of the body from another). So under the Hawthorne Bridge and to the turnaround without trouble. It was pretty cool, you could hear the cowbells they gave out ringing from up on the Bridge as you swam under it. Then back under the Hawthorne Bridge on the way back to the dock. And there was the netting...and the infamous 2 x 4. I got my foot on it and realized a small problem - it was about a foot from the top of the dock...if it were two feet lower, it would have done some good. I struggled up the netting and went across the timing mat at 23 minutes and change. Good enough.
Into T1, and the first thing I do is forget to unzip the calf zippers on the wet suit before I tried to pull it down off over my feet. Crap. It's been too long since I did a tri with the wet suit. I yanked it back up to my waist, undid the zippers, and yanked it back down again. Threw a shirt and my helmet on and I was out onto the bike course.
The bike course consisted of three 8-mile loops. Started at with a slight uphill, then a little steeper uphill, then a short but nasty uphill that had some people throwing their chains. Finally, made it to the top and had a super fast, and a bit scary, long curvy downhill. Two 180 degree turns, which are never welcome in a bike race, and a section of potholed downtown streets where I almost lost a wheel were some highlights, but over all the bike course was decent. I'm just slow.
Felt a little tired on the first loop, really good on the second loop, and my bum started to hurt by the third loop. After dodging one biker that just fell over right in front of me going up a hill, I finally finished up the bike leg.
Into T2 and I was dragging a little bit, but got the running shoes on and headed out.
The run leg was fun, with us doing two 5k loops. First across the Hawthorne Bridge, then down to the Steel Bridge and back across the Willamette for the return trip. The first loop was full of runners, but not so many on my second loop...I was clearly bringing up the rear. By that time the sun was out and the scenery was fantastic.
I also had a serious pain in my toe by the second run loop. I figured it was just a cramp...until I finished the race and saw how bruised and swollen it was. That's right! I kicked that guy during the swim. Man I hope I didn't break it, but it doesn't look too good.
So anyway, a good race with a few quirks, but overall, a winner.
Still to come, a review of the very cool race shirt, and a iMovie of the Portland Triathlon!
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
I mean, just...what?
So we got an e-mail from the Portland Triathlon yesterday, stating that they had split us up into our waves for the swim leg. Cool beans, right? So I check it out. Hmmmm...they split the Olympic Tri Swim into two waves. OK, that's over 100 per wave, seems like a lot of people in the River, but whatever. Then I look more closely. They've got us split up into two waves alright: men and women. Hmmmm...OK, that's not so good. That means the women's wave will have 69 swimmers (good, good) and the men's wave will have (wait for it) 144 swimmers! Wait...what?
Come on...that's really the best they could come up with? 144 guys - in the Willamette River - starting at the same time - beating and smacking each other for the first 500 meters...I'm not real happy about that.
The Willamette River temperature is up to 72. I'm happy about that! I might just do it without a wet suit.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
And I had my last long workout before I start to taper a bit. Went to Dixon today to do all three legs, but they had already closed the pool for the annual maintenance work...Doh! OK, so we'll do a bike-run brick instead! Did a 20-mile bike and a 5-mile run. Didn't feel too bad. I think as long as I rein myself in during the swim and the early part of the bike, I'll be ok next week. Looks like we've got 206 in the Olympic race and 231 for the Sprint, but you can still sign up on the day of the race! So get out there! Swimmin' in the river! It just doesn't get any better than that! I'm really using a lot of exclamation points!
RACES FOR WEEK OF AUGUST 24th TO AUGUST 30th
August 29th / Hells Gate Duathlon / Lewiston, ID
August 29th / Another Dam Run 5k / Cascade Locks, OR
August 29th / CIS Whatcom Race for Education 5k / Bellingham, WA
August 29th / Lake Sammamish Sprint Triathlon / Issaquah, WA
August 29th / La Center Centennial/Our Days 5k / La Center, WA
August 29th / Newcastle 5k / Newcastle, WA
August 29th / Run-a-Muk 10k and 5k / Mukilteo, WA
August 29th / Foster Kids 5k / Redmond, WA
August 29th / Run for Your Rights 5k / Bellingham, WA
August 29th / Cutthroat Classic 11.1 miles run / Winthrop, WA
August 30th / Tails of Summer 6 mile run / Portland, OR
August 30th / Paws in the Park 5k / Tacoma, WA
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
You know, it's really not that easy to be cool when you're working out with a bunch of college kids that are in the best shape of their lives without even trying. There's usually more posing going on at Dixon than exercising, but I'm always in there, sweating, panting, gasping for air while everyone around me flexes and tries to find a date for Friday night. But hey, I still try to be cool...
So I'm at Dixon last night, just got changed into my running stuff in the locker room and I'm walking out to hit the treadmill. They've got a nice full-length mirror just before you leave the locker room so you can make sure you've got your pants on. As I go by, I notice I've got a Bounce sheet from the dryer hanging out the leg hole on the back of my right leg. Jeez, how embarrassing - glad I caught that one before I made it out.
So I go do a nice little five miler on the treadmill, sneer at the college kids putting in their mini workout/poses. That's right, you want to see a man working out? Right here. Check it out, Holmes. You gotta keep these kids in their place.
So I finish up and strut out to the lobby. The basketball team is hanging out - Hey guys, how's it going? Man, I'm feeling good. I'm showin' these kids what an old man can do.
I head back into the locker room to shower up and glance in the mirror on my way through. I'm heading the opposite direction now, so the mirror is on the other side of me. Hey look! I've got a Bounce sheet stuck hanging out of my shorts on that side too! Ya know, if you just glance at it quickly, it sort of looks like toilet paper sticking out of my shorts. Nice.
Yep, I'm cool all right. Maybe I'll just start working out at home.
Friday, August 7, 2009
A scant two weeks until we're in the, hopefully, clean water of the mighty Willamette River for the Portland Tri! I swam a 1500m in the pool today in just over 27 minutes. Not great, but I'll take it. The River swim will be a bit different than the pool though. I've done swimming races in pools, lakes and oceans...this will be my first swimming race in a river. Bring it on!
RACES FOR WEEK OF AUGUST 17th TO AUGUST 23rd
August 21st / Aquaman Duathlon / Richland, WA (Friday night swimmin' and runnin')
August 22nd / Running with Hat-titude / Corvallis, OR
August 22nd / Booking It 5k Run / Lakewood, WA
August 22nd / Anne Jackson Memorial 10k and 5k / Burlington, WA
August 22nd / Kelly Butte Classic 8k / Springfield, OR
August 22nd / Tase T. Lentil 5k / Pullman, WA
August 22nd / Run Like a Dog 5k / Olympia, WA
August 22nd / Snoqualmie Railroad Days 10k and 5k Runs / Snoqualmie, WA
August 22nd and 23rd / Apple Capital Sprint and Olympic Duathlons and Triathlons / Wenatchee, WA
August 23rd / Portland Triathlon, Olympic and Sprint / Portland, OR
August 23rd / Summer Madness Sprint Triathlon and Duathlon / Elma, WA
August 23rd / Lake Union 10k / Seattle, WA
Thanks to Eve for the Photo - go visit her site already!
Monday, August 3, 2009
Yes, it's that time again. Time to bump your running up a level with the help of some sweet, sweet music.
This month I've got something just a touch slower than my usual, but the energy in this song is just so great, you can't help but kick your pace up a little when it comes on the iPod. The song is called "Johnny Appleseed" and it's by none other than the great Joe Strummer! Long after the Clash was a memory, Joe Strummer hooked up with some younger guys calling themselves the Mescaleros and they seemed to energize Strummer's music. This song just has an amazing vibe. It actually gives me chills even after hearing it 100 times. Great, great song.
If you're looking for a version with a little less energy and a little more soul, check out the version from Letterman...nice.
Joe, rest in peace, buddy. I hope they have some old Clash vinyl up there.
Past Best Running Songs:
July: Deathray / "I Wanna Lose Control (Uh Oh)"
June: Raconteurs / "Salute Your Solution"
May: Tea Party / "Save Me"
April: Bloc Party / "Like Eating Glass"
Ever: The English Beat / "I Confess"
Sunday, August 2, 2009
Go Kara! Um, Go Oregon...Go Running! Whatever. Go Kara!
Where were we? That's right, running, training, racing...must concentrate.
RACES FOR WEEK OF AUGUST 10th TO AUGUST 16th
August 14th / CATnip 5k / Sherwood, OR (Friday night run!)
August 15th / Rush Sprint and Intermediate Triathlon / Rexburg, ID
August 15th / XTERRA Portland / Forest Grove, OR
August 15th / Covey Run 10k and 5k / Woodinville, WA
August 15th / Pace of Courage 10k and 5k / Portland, OR
August 15th / Race for Literacy 5k / Bremerton, WA
August 15th / RAT Race Redmond Area Sprint Triathlon / Redmond, OR
August 15th / Bonney Lake Days 5 mile run / Bonney Lake, WA
August 15th / Tillamook Bay 10 and 5 mile Trail Runs / Tillamook, OR
August 15th / Friday Harbor 8.8k Loop Run / Friday Harbor, WA
August 15th / Beaver Lake Sprint Triathlon / Sammamish, WA
August 15th / Bridging the Gap Fundrun 10 and 5k / Tigard, OR
August 15th / Mt Hood Jazz Run 5k / Gresham, OR
August 16th / HulaMan Half-Iron Triathlon and Half-Triathlon / Hillsboro, OR
August 16th / Lake Stevens 70.3 Ironman Triathlon / Lake Stevens, WA
August 16th / Olalla Lake Swim 1500m and 800m / Newport, OR
August 16th / Law Enforcement Fun Run 2.17 miles (!?!?) / Oregon City, OR
Thanks to Nick Laham for the photo.
Saturday, August 1, 2009
Yes, the new issue of RaceCenter is out and a certain writer has a new article therein. The article is titled "Northwest Trails Great and Small"...catchy, right? And it's about, well, trail running in the NW - who would've guessed?! So grab a copy fast and check it out; there are some nice trails listed in there. Do it quick before our amazing summer weather goes away.
So what else is in the new issue? Let's see:
-"Boom Time, Women!" I'm guessing it's about the rise, care, and feeding of the women's running boom? Not sure. Haven't read it.
-"The Couples Who Play Together..." Probably about couples that both run. And other stuff. Don't know. Haven't read it.
-"Nike Lunar Glide+ from the Inside Out" Some new Nike running shoe. Supposed to be special. Looks normal to me. Don't know why it's so special - haven't read it.
OK, OK, I know I should be reading the mag a little more carefully there, but I've got a little problem. I'm having some trouble physically opening up the magazine. I'd really rather just stare at the cover...
Yes, I've got a little crush on Kara Goucher. I'm not afraid to admit it. Those legs, that tummy, those eyes...
Sorry about that, back on track now!
So go grab your issue of RaceCenter and I'll see you out on the trails.