Sunday, September 23, 2012

INSPIRATION

So, I am in week one of my new goal to complete an Iron distance race. I am looking for inspiration to shed my weight and become fit.  Basically to be disciplined and motivated.  I see many of the people I know looking to professional triathletes or elite triathletes as inspiration and talking about what great human beings they are.  How do they know this.."well she seemed really nice when she was hocking Newtons...or he took the time to have a picture with me after the seminar his sponsor made him put on.."  Yes..much like Mother Theresa these people should be given sainthood.  However, I just can't derive any inspiration from them.  When a pros biggest problem is his "ethical" dilemma whether to race in the same even that the cheater Lance Armstrong is racing in for charity..I can see we do not have a lot in common.  I also cannot get inspiration from people who overcame the odds to finish the race even though they had to use borrowed race wheels..or God forbid..their training wheels.  If you have more than two hours to train on a daily basis..I really don't have a lot in common with you and personally cannot derive a lot of inspiration.  I personally get much more enjoyment out of having another cyclist say ..Hi!! on your left...then I do from meeting some Kona winner.

Thus who do I see as inspirational?  People who have a lot to overcome..people who deal with life's obstacles everyday.  People who don't own a $5000 tri bike but kick the ass of those who do. (My friends Greg and Doug)

For weight loss I have New Jersey Jen who just had a write up in October's Health Magazine.  She lost over 100 lbs and turned herself into a runner.  Jen is also a wife, mother and documentary filmmaker. Trying everyday to juggle her weight, training and family. You can see her story on her blog here  seejenroerun.blogspot.com/ . 

Jen's picture in Health Magazine
And then there is Maine Jen..who also dropped over 100 pounds and is now a serious triathlete and motivator. Jen is also a mother and wife.  She recently got her husband Casey motivated to start training.  In fact, Casey is pretty inspirational..in that he actually has to put up with Jen and works long hours yet is still finding time to train.  Maine Jen is also in Health Magazine in October and had a write up in her local paper.  Here is her write up.. Jen in the paper.


Making the big time
I just reconnected with a friend of mine Patty who I last saw 25 years ago when I worked at Hardees. She is in the middle of a weight loss journey ..losing over 100 pounds with more to go.  She just completed a 5k and is looking at doing a 10k.  How awesome is that?  Again, I can derive motivation from hearing such things and wanting to help out with what little knowledge I have with racing and nutrition.

My wife's cousin Maureen also took it upon herself to take care of herself and become healthier even while raising a family.  And now my wife and her friend Amity are making me look like a slacker by working out everyday rain or shine and finding ways to get workouts in, even if it means my four year old has to pace them on her bike as they run.

I have all of these wonderful examples of perseverance, overcoming odds and keeping a smile on your face no matter what challenges rear their ugly heads.  However, the role models that I derive most of my inspiration from and the one closest to me are my parents.

My father is an immigrant from Denmark who came to this country with his family when he was a child.  He served in the Army during Viet Nam and after getting out of the service became a carpenter and has had his own business from that point on.  My mother and him raised four children who all got their college degrees and I think became pretty good human beings  This despite my mother having a stroke almost 20 years ago at the age of 44,  when I was 25 my brother was 23 and my younger brother and sister were in their early teens.  The stroke left her in a wheel chair, unable to communicate very well with those outside the family and with very painful issues with her extremities.  My father would carry her up and down the stairs of their bi-level house by himself. Obviously the event was physically, emotionally and financially devastating.  Even with this horrific event my mom and dad never complained but looked at the next challenge in life.  They got my younger siblings through high school and then through college.  Then 6 years ago my mother was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer and given only a few months to live.  Again..they looked at the challenge and how to overcome it.  Only 3 months later my brother Michael was killed by a drunk driver.  These events left me in a shell. I honestly don't know how Mom and Dad handled it.  However, my Mom and Dad were able to keep moving forward.  Mom is still around..still fighting cancer..even through many trips to the ICU..and surgeries and chemo.  And Dad is still right there with Mom..as well as taking care of the people in his town that he was elected a trustee of. 

I honestly cannot think of two more inspirational people when it comes to dealing with what life throws at you and not complaining about whether the universe is fair or not.  They are also two of the friendliest people you would meet and my dad is the first person to help a stranger in need.  This is why I have zero tolerance for people who cannot say "good morning" or "on your left".  I learned common decency and respect from my parents and they are still firm believers in it after all that they have been through.

Dad, Mom,Kristine,me and my daughter after Racine 70.3 last year


Thus the long and short of it is that I just need to look at friends and family for my inspiration and how to act.  I think I am also more grounded when I look at their examples.  If you get your inspiration from pro triathletes, celebrities or others you do not know then more power to you.. Different strokes for different folks.

Who do you get your inspiration from?


Monday, September 17, 2012

OFF SEASON PLAN

OFF SEASON PLAN..LOL..Like I had  an ON SEASON this year.

This is the time of year when I usually sit back, watch football, eat like I did in college and pack on all the pounds that I took off during the summer. I have decided that this is not going to happen this year. I pretty much made the decision while watching the Badgers play a horrible football game against Utah State. I figured that while watching a good football game and eating crap may not be worth the weight gain..watching crappy football and putting on weight definitely is not worth it. So, thank you Badgers in helping to show me the light. The pathetic play calling and offensive line were the major factors in my decision.

However I am also turning 45 in a couple of weeks and although I am not feeling any older I have come to realize that I may have put on a few years without knowing it. Luckily I continue to get better looking with age but at some point I am sure that will start to reverse also.

I am newly invigorated for the sport of triathlon by my trip to Maine and the people I met. Thus I have made the decision to try another Ironman distance race next year. My hope is to do the rev 3 Cedar Point race next September with Jen from Maine. So what am I going to do different this year to make sure I get the results I want?

First of all I am going to hold myself accountable by weighing in online each week.Weight loss is the key to my fitness. Weight loss depends on better nutrition which will also hopefully keep me gout free.  My goal weight is 180 lbs.  I think I last saw that number in 1993..20 years ago!!  I'll figure out a day of the week and post my weight on that day along with my goals for the following week.  Feel free to mock or scold me if you deem it appropriate.

Second, I have come to know some experts in weight loss and fitness and have enlisted them to help me on this journey. With my nutritional habits I am sure I will be their biggest challenge to date. Thus, if I fail to meet my fitness and nutrition goals I definitely have people to blame.  (Including you Taco Bell and your tasty Dorito Tacos!! You are the devil.)  I will even share some of their nutritional tidbits, recipes and training tips with all of you.  And we all know this guy isn't going to be eating kale on a regular basis or become a vegan..so hopefully I will have nutrition tips for everyone..including my peeps in Wisconsin to benefit from. Thus my blog will be educational.

Note: I had a friend from Wisconsin post on facebook she was picking up salads to go with dinner.  Dinner was brats and the salads were "apple taffy salads" meaning apples, snickers bars and whip cream.   I checked with Dina at fuel4mance and she indicated to me that even though there were apples in the salad..this probably would not constitute a salad to anyone outside of Wisconsin or possibly the South.  See..you all learned something already.  But just in case you are interested..here is the link to the recipe...Apple Taffy Salad (This is not a nutrition tip)

Lastly, I plan on hitting the weights the next three months to try and get some lean muscle before 2013.The triathlon training does get me fitter but I do not feel like I am in good shape. More importantly I have come to the conclusion that I am never going to be fast..thus I just need to look good in lycra.  I am not going to try anything like crossfit (been there....done that) since the risk of injury and embarrassment is high. Instead just some good old circuit training and weight lifting with some help from my friend Jen.

UPDATE..yes to a blog I have not posted yet...The weigh in day will be Mondays.  Today I was at 220.2 lbs.  Also, I did a weight circuit today at lunch.  I cannot believe how weak and out of shape I am.  I apparently can swim 1.2 miles and ride 56 miles but bending down to pick up a 5 lb barbell almost caused me to have a heart attack..not to mention the stress of actually picking it up.  Then I did 25 sit ups..people were actually stopping  to see if I was ok because I was breathing so hard.  Good thing I had on my 2011 Barking Dog Duathlon shirt so everyone could see I was an athlete.  

Take care all.

Friday, September 14, 2012

REVIEWS - travel, food and entertainment.

So I thought I would do some reviews for the places we ate at and visited during our trip out East.  The rating systems is based on monkeys with 5 being the best..because obviously the more monkeys the better.

TRAVEL

United Airlines - what can I say..there is a reason I do not fly United unless there is no other option.  I am so glad I did not believe the representative who told me 35 minutes between flights was enough time for me to deplane in New Jersey and switch planes.  You forgot to mention that I would need to take a shuttle to get to a totally different terminal.  Fortunately we took a 5 a.m. flight and had three hours to sit at the wonderful New Jersey airport.  While there we changed gates no less than five times and had to get on the shuttle twice to change terminals.  If Orbitz had not texted me that there were gate changes we would still be sitting there. Oh..and they had a line for first class passengers and one for peons for getting on the 80 passenger plane to Portland. The first class line had a mat to walk over and the other line did not.  They actually yelled at a guy for making the mistake of walking on the mat..even though all the "better" people had already boarded the plane. Seriously?  United gets 2 out of 5 monkeys. 

Portland Airport - This airport rocks..it is tiny and the first thing you notice getting off the plane is the white wood Adirondack chairs scattered around the airport for you to sit in.  I also may be biased as this is where we met Jen, Lola and Marc.   4 out of 5 monkeys.

Hertz Rental - Norwalk.  Yeah. went to return the car. Walked into the office and there is a sign on the desk which says "Back in 15 minutes". Some other woman said she had been waiting there for 20 already.   So we put the keys in the drawer..put our number on a post it note and left.  Most painless return ever..although I have yet to see the bill.  3 out of 5 monkeys.

EATING ESTABLISHMENTS I put on 10 pounds in the week following the race since I finally had food I love instead of the CRAP that I have eaten in Denver.  Heck I did not even see one mexican restaurant and the chains were few and far between. For the most part, every place we ate was privately owned instead of the chain food I am used to and there was actual Polish, Italian and German restaurants and bakeries. What a concept.  


The Run of the Mill Public House and Brewery - We ate there on Saturday night before the race. We sat on their outside patio with a view of the river.  The food was adequate and the staff was friendly-ish.  Although we did have to refill our waters ourselves more than once.  What really gets me is that this place had an inside and outside menu which they did not explain to us before we were seated.  I have not idea what this is all about but do know that the specials they were running were more expensive outside than inside. Really? I should pay more to sit outside with the pasty white Canadian tourists? With the other options in Saco and Biddford I would not go back here.  OH..and apparenlty the dress code for the waitresses is that their shorts can be no longer than the 4 inch apron that they wear. This was both a positive and  a negative depending on your server.  2 out of 5 monkeys.

Pizza By Alex - The number of pizza places in Maine was stagerring, only outnumbered by the places where you can get lobster rolls, which included citgo stations. Unfortunately most of the pizza places serve NY style which I find disgusting.  Luckily my buddy Casey turned me on to Pizza By Alex.  They serve smallish pizzas but they were down right awesome.  The place is a hole in the wall across form the Biddeford Post Office but the food hit the spot.  4 out of 5 monkeys.

Brewhouse - Norwalk Connecticut - We ate at a number of other places but by far and away the favorite was the Brewhouse in Norwalk.  Yes I may biased since our friends Jen and Lou are part owners but the food really is amazing. Plus they have a ton of beers.  We ate here many times and I had scallops for the first time along with risotto.  I also had pasta and learned a new word.."aioli".  However, the brunch was amazing. Yes the natives were drawn to the clams, oysters and salmon..but I ate half my body weight in corn beef hash and eggs Benedict.  Unbelievably good. If you are ever in the area you need to stop by. The food and service is impeccable. 5 out of 5 monkeys.

ENTERTAINMENT

Seven Seas Whale Watch - Gloucester.  This was a blast. The trip takes four hours total and we saw a number of whales.  My understanding is that on many of the trips the whales come right up to the ship. Being later in the season we did not get within a few hundred yards but it was ton of fun.  Plus the city if fun to hang out in for an hour or two....max. 4 out of 5 monkeys.





Norwalk Aquarium - This was a fun time which took about an hour to go through. The exhibits are informative and there is interactive stuff for the kids.  The only downside is the price of tickets for the number of exhibits.


Jen and Angela - This was by far the best entertainment of the trip.  We went to dinner with them at Wormwoods Restaurant (3 out of 5 monkeys) in Biddeford and were totally mesmerized by there stories. Angela's life stories were hilarious..until we found out they were all true..and then we kind of just felt sorry for her.    Jen was the physical comedian of the duo.  Her attempt at eating lobster was worth the price of the dinner alone. Definitely 5 out of 5 monkeys.




So - if you are ever nearby any of these establishments you can rely on my 100% accurate reviews.  Of course the Jen and Angela show travels around a bit so it may be hard for you to catch that act.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Rev 3 Maine Race Report

Ok finally the good stuff..or the boring stuff based upon your perspective.  As you probably figured out from my last couple of posts I was very impressed with the Rev 3 set up and its people. I was very relaxed for this race because I knew I did not have to run.  A 1.2 mile swim and 56 mile bike ride seems like a walk in the park to me..but add in a run and it becomes an entirely different beast. Honestly I felt like a complete wuss hanging out with everyone else that was doing the full half. But when all was said and done I made the right choice.

My swim wave went off at 6:23 in the a.m.  I was not happy about this. An 8:30 start would have been great.  Thus I needed to be up at 4:00 a.m. est.  Luckily for me Jen's BFF Dawn was also racing and offered to pick me up from the hotel.  This worked out great and at 4:50 we were on our way to transition.  I am terrible about eating before races..I have the awful feeling that if I eat anything I will end up in the porta potty for 2 hours and miss the race.  However I was able to eat half a banana.

A quick note on Dawn..or "Don".  She had decided to race the Olympic distance aquabike only the day before..when I found this out it helped me to feel like less of a wuss.  However when I found out that the day after the race she was scheduled to have microfracture surgery on her knee I felt like even a bigger wuss. (She also took second in her age group)

Dawn getting the gear out of the truck to walk to transition

 We got to transition and I set up my gear..which was a lot less than usual since I did not have to worry about my race belt or nutrition for the run.  The nice thing about Rev 3 is everyone has a preassigned spot.  Mine was some what near Matt..who is way too freaking chipper before a race.  Once I get through the nerves and anxiety of finding out where the nearest porta potty is I tend to be calm..but MattyO is down right pumped up.  After I dumped my gear I went and found the rest of the crew.

Jen, Angela, Jen and Jason at transition. Angela was the only one smiling
Jen's fake smile for the camera - Thank God I get better looking and slimmer as the day progresses.
 I must say that Marc was nervous..it was his first half and I could tell he wanted to do well.  Jen was not her chipper self but was pretty intense. She wanted to PR on her home course and the fact that the film crew was there probably intensified things a bit. Jason was also pretty intense and you could tell he was calculating the race out in his head before hand.  Thus I annoyed the crap out of everyone by spewing continuous gibberish.  Luckily for the athletes Jen Roe and Angela were at the transition area to film Jen so they got the brunt of my chatter.

We had to walk about a quarter mile down the road to the swim beach..which I did not care for since I had to do this in bare feet.  Once down on the beach everyone got ready for their swim waves.  Jason's went first followed by my wave with Marc and MattyO and then Jen's wave followed four minutes later.  I am guessing there were about 100 people per wave. 

I usually don't worry about the swim until I am about 15 minutes into it, then I wonder what the hell I am doing. However, the week before we left for Maine I watched Shark Week on t.v.  They showed Great Whites eating seals off the Massachusetts coast. I had no idea Great Whites swam that far north..and of course I look like the biggest slowest seal of all in my wetsuit.  What made matters worse was the night before the local television station was showing a Great White ripping into a seal off the coast of Cape Cod.  Luckily my daughter was there to calm my fears...Hope the sharks don't eat you dad!  Thanks..

MattyO, myself and Marc
The family made it down for the start of the race. (Kristine helping me keep my gut sucked in for the picture)
Our wave went off without a hitch.  There were a few rolling waves coming in but nothing too serious..and after we swam out about 50 feet we only had to deal with the swells.  And the water temperature was a perfect 65 degrees..nice and cool but not too cool

Of course, within 40 feet my left goggle filled up completely with water so I swam with one eye the entire race.  My hope was to get on somebody's feet and follow them around the course so I didn't have to sight..this did not happen.   I am guessing I added a bit of yardage to my swim from being off course. 
Coming back in..the furthest buoy is the half course and the closest was the olympic.


The swim was pretty much uneventful. I worked but not too hard. I only got swamped by one wave where I took on some water. Other than that the only real issue was making the last turn towards shore.  The current must have been pushing a little harder than I thought since I kept going towards the pier. I would put my head up..sight for the Ferris wheel and the next time I looked I was staring at the freaking pier again.  Also, our wave had spread out quite a bit so I couldn't tell who was around. I do know that Matt beat me out of the water and Jen ended up passing me and beating me out.  I did notice one guy who was completely off course and I am glad I didn't follow him.(Marc).

Exiting the water
Had to stop to say hi to the family
I had no idea how I did in the water. It turned out my swim time was 43:30 for 1.2 miles or 2:04 per 100 yards.  Not the fastest and I was hoping for sub 2:00.  However, after talking with a few guys with garmins as well as some of the people with Rev 3 the actual race course was 1.4 miles..so conservatively I was swimming 1:46 per 100 yards..which rocked.  Now I am guessing the current had a bit to do with that time..but I'll take it.

So out of the water, up the beach and through the streets we ran.  As I described in detail in my last post we had to run about a third of a mile to the transition area..this turned out to be nothing.  I ended up talking to 2 different people on the run up and the crowds made the distance feel like 50 yards.

I got into transition and I took a long time. I wanted to make sure I had everything with me as far as nutrition. Since I knew I just wanted to finish the bike without feeling like crap I double checked everything and even wore a cycling jersey. I also had a camelbak with about 70 ounces of water in addition to 2 - 24 ounce containers of Skratch.  I probably could have ditched the camelbak and rode with another water bottle but since I did not have my bike set up with behind the seat cages I did not want to try and ride with a bottle in my jersey pocket.  Obviously anyone who has read one or two of my blogs knows about my hydration issues.

TRI-DORK ALERT only info triathletes might be interested in.   I have been working with Dina from Fuel4mance as to my race nutrition and she basically wanted me taking in about 250 calories per hour on the bike along with about 1500 mg of sodium.  I was taking two salt tabs every 30 minutes and that coupled with the sodium in the Skratch got me to the goal.  I was also supposed to eat half a clif bar at 30 minutes the other half at 1:15 and then take gels at 2:00 and 2:45.  I took two salt tablets immediately at the transition area and drank some Skratch out of a 3rd bottle I had in my transition bag.  I was able to eat the first half of the clif bar but could not get the second half down so I took a powerbar gel instead.  At 2:00 I ate some powerbar chews that I had in my jersey pocket just in case and then I had my last gel at 2:45.  Unfortunately at one of the bike stations I yelled for a gel, opened it up and started to take it without looking at it first. It was double latte.  I freaking hate the taste of anything coffee like and almost puked right on the bike.   I ended up going through all 70 ounces of water as well as the 48 ounces of Skratch and took probably about 8-10 ounces of water at two of the bike stations.

Seriously how un-color coordinated can a person be?

I was off on the bike and feeling pretty good.  I wanted to average about 16.5 mph. This is what I did at Racine last year on a totally flat course..so I though if I could maintain that on a course with a couple of hills I would be happy. My coach had called me the night before the race and asked where I would try and keep my heart rate..I was thinking to myself..115 sounds comfortable..She was not happy with that answer so I kept upping it until she reluctantly agreed to 140 to 145.  When I checked my garmin after the race I had averaged just about 140 for the entire bike portion.

The course was beautiful for the most part. Country roads with trees protecting you from the sun for most of the day.There were rolling hills that required some effort to get up but rewarded you with a great downhill and some free speed on the other side.  There was only one hill that was a problem..it was short but steep.  The real issue was that you didn't see it coming..you were on a downhill in your large gear when you suddenly hit a hard left turn and out of nowhere is this hill.  Thus you need to frantically downshift hoping your mechanic did a great job with your gearing or try to muscle up.  The guy next to me tried to muscle up and actually ended up falling over on the bike.  I also spent most of the day playing cat and mouse with a group of about 10 women which kept things interesting.

I actually felt good enough on the bike with enough energy to pass a number of people in the last ten miles and ended with an average speed of about 17.5 mph.  So I was super happy, especially since the course had about 1400 feet of elevation gain.  I also slowed down/stopped twice to give stranded cyclists my extra tubes. ( I could also probably cut some time off by learning how do that whole farmer blow thing...however I just can't..so I end up carrying a package of kleenex in my jersey pocket and slowing down to use those..what can I say..I'm just civilized.)

Getting back to the transition area and not going out for the run felt very weird. In fact I almost thought about going out on the course and seeing what I could do.  However I wised up, handed my timing chip in and went to hang out with the family and watch everyone come in.

TRI DORK ALERT  This was probably a good choice because even though I felt great on the bike I did not really fuel or hydrate the last 30 minutes where I was pushing it. I had taken in a lot of water and had not needed to use the restroom. In fact I think the first time I did was about 4 hours after the race had ended and I had been drinking post race beverages.  Thus the nutrition/hydration is still an issue..but we are improving.

So..how did the real athletes do.

MattyO came in at 5:21. I hate Matt since he is doing that kind of time at 205 pounds  His wife Heather came in at 5:53. Jason manged to finish in 5:36 and that is with having a broken spoke on his bike that he had to repair.

Matt, Heather, Jason and myself

Marc ended doing a 6:09 for his very first half.  He probably could have done a 5:45 but he swam off course on the swim, took a wrong turn on the bike and when he left transition to start the run he turned and went down the finishers chute instead of on course...thus he probably did a 72.2 rather than a 70.3 mile race...We love ya Marc!!

Marc after the race getting some well earned R&R
Lastly Jen did beat her PR by over 15 minutes coming in at 5:42 and averaging almost 21 mph on the bike.

Jen and me..(See I do get slimmer and better looking as the day progresses)
The race was a blast..it was well run and fun. What made it even better was the people I met.  We are already planning on coming back next year. My wife Kristine wants to run the olympic distance as well as Angela and Jen Roe.  I really hope it all comes together.
Jason with two potential triathletes for next year's race

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Big Race

All right I promised everyone a run down on the big race which occurred on Saturday.  Just let me start by saying that this is the first Rev 3 race that I have done and they were true professionals.  You felt like a person rather than a number.

The site of the race was Old Orchard Beach.  This is a beautiful public beach with great sand and lots of fun in the water.  And I mentioned public beach since my family drove to Kennebunkport to visit our old friends the Bush's but unfortunately they were not home.  Thus we drove the coastline back to Old Orchard Beach with the intention of trying out one of the other beaches.  Apparently, except for Old Orchard Beach, none of the towns in Maine with beaches want any part of tourists.  There are miles of beach..but unless you have a permit with the city you cannot park within five miles of the beach and your car will be towed..not ticketed if you dare park with the natives.  So I say BOOO!! to Kennebunkport and Biddeford.
(make sure you check out their web page with pictures of all of the beaches they don't want you on).

Swim cap I was going to wear around my homies in Kennebunkport..but never got he chance


On a side note..Biddeford (pronounced Bittefawd) and Old Orchard Beach frown on beach volleyball..all that sand and not a net to be found.  I was informed by the town muckraker Dawn (at 4:30 a.m. on the way to the race Sunday, so I may have gotten some facts wrong) that there had been one challenge net on the beach..but unfortunately her pro volleyball husband and his friends would play on it and obviously beat any tourists who wanted to play.  Thus hogging the net to themselves.  This caused quite the stir which ended in a small uprising.  To this day volleyball has been banned and is punishable by 5 days in stocks in the town center.  Again... BOOO!! Dawn and your husband...ok mostly your husband and his friends.  By the way..apparently Dawn is pronounced "Don" in Maine.  Who knew? 

Back to our story..Thus anyone looking to actually enjoy the beach must go to Old Orchard Beach.  The Beach has a nice pier much like Santa Monica..except it really isn't that nice and Old Orchard is not Santa Monica. Oh..and obviously no volleyball nets.

Now between the beach (the end of the swim) and the transition area is an amusement park...a pretty sketchy amusement park with pretty sketchy people (apparently all of them from Massachusetts).  However, there were fried twinkies being sold by the vendors which makes up for a lot of sins. There were also  railroad tracks running between the beach and transition.  I was informed that the train was the way the Massholes came to Maine to enjoy the beach and/or get drunk. Anyway..the swim ends on the beach near the pier and then we were supposed to run up the beach and then 2-3 blocks up the road and then 2-3 blocks over to get to the transition area and avoid the amusement park and train tracks.

Click on this link  to see exactly what I am talking about.and have so meticulously mapped out. I scoped this route out on Saturday and was pretty annoyed considering I would need to do all of this in bare feet and I seldom shower with bare feet let alone run down some street where we watched two separate sets of people vomit their deep fried twinkies and alcohol up. I hate bare feet.

End of swim.you can see pier on left

road we had to run on - pic taken from beach the left turn is way up there
Transition area on Saturday.. you can see the train

What is really annoying is that none of this has anything to do with the race on Saturday.  The race on Saturday was for the kids. They called it the Little Rev Adventure Race.  Thus while everyone was enjoying the expo and putting their bikes in the transition area for the race Sunday morning, the kids and spouses could entertain themselves.

Of course my wife and daughter signed up along with Evil Jen and her daughter. At first they were going to compete..but the two girls then decided they wanted to be a team. 

You can see in this picture Jen's child already trying to get an advantage over everyone else by starting over the line
My child..the law abiding one..showing Jen's daughter where her feet should be. Also note how seriously Kristien and Jen are mapping out their path to victory.

Since both Evil Jen and my wife are introverts I was very concerned that they would not get along ..luckily they seemed to both come out of their shells at the beginning of the race.

video

And at the end of the race my daughter was in first..as you can clearly see in the below video..but my wife made her wait up for the rest of her teammates..where is that killer instinct her father has?

video

In the end my daughter..representing abekatANARCHY was part of the winning triumvirate of teams..but yet at the awards ceremony abekatANARCHY was third..somehow Evil Jen was second and the owner of Rev 3's kid was first...now I'm not one to say the fix was in..but...just let the videos speak for themselves.

The kids all had a great time and my daughter did not take her medal off all weekend.  They even had an awards ceremony..

Winning team
Film crew immortalizing aA's victory..yeah..that's how we roll.
abekatANARCHY representing





With the victory I knew there was nothing I could do on Sunday to top the excitement, so we went out for a victory dinner. Burger and sweet potato fries was my pre-race dinner in case anybody cares.  Unless my nutritionist or coach  actually reads this..then I had grilled chicken and a felafel and plenty of water which amazingly enough tasted like diet coke with lime.  (No - seriously I had water- I was just kidding).  I actually got to bed before 10 p.m. Saturday night and even had all of my gear packed for the morning.

Isn't this story just getting downright exciting?



Sunday, September 2, 2012

Back from Maine

Well we finally made it back from our trip to Maine for the Rev 3 race.  I must say that it was one of the best races/vacations that I have ever had.  We had so much going on the last 11 days that I will probably write a few posts to cover it.

We're on a boat..yes..vacation was good.


To start with, we left for Maine on August 23rd via Newark and then Portland.  We were to be met at the airport by Evil Jen. Although Evil Jen and I have corresponded and talked I had never met her..so I was hoping she wasn't actually some psycho..much to my surprise she was fairly normal.  Not only was Jen at the airport to meet us but also her 3.5 year old daughter and her training partner Marc.  If anyone actually reads Jen's blog they know that she takes lots of pictures while training..most of these pictures are taken by Marc..thus he is never in them.

We knew we would like Maine since we saw all of the beautiful greenery and trees as well as the rivers and ocean when we were flying in.  Marc and Jen also seemed to be nice people. After hanging with Marc and Jen for a while we left the airport and went to the hotel in Saco Maine for the evening. I was amazed by the vast number of Canadian license plates and French being spoken at the hotel. I then realized that Maine is actually Florida to the Canadians.

The next morning I awoke to a facebook message from Jen inviting us to go swimming in the Atlantic Ocean.  We went down to where the race start was and prepared to jump in.  With Jen and Marc was Jason.  Jason is a blogger and has become an accomplished triathlete. He was also meeting Jen for the first time.  Jason is originally from New York but lives in Texas now..thus the 64 degree ocean waters were a little chilly for him while they felt perfect to me.  I only had two issues with the swim course. 1. I was taking in gulps of salt water when I got swamped by a wave..disgusting and disorienting. I made note not to do this on race day.  2. The buoys were going to be on my left side for the whole race..I breathe to my right...During the practice swim I was able to swim out to sea while everyone else stayed on course.  I hoped that there would be somebody slow enough for me to follow on race day.

Jason, Jen and the never before photographed Marc before our swim

After the swim we all piled in the car and headed to breakfast. Jason and I talked about how friendly the Maine people were..but that we couldn't understand a word they were saying.  Apparently if there is an "r" in a word it is silent and if there is not an "r" you are supposed to add one.

After breakfast we got the group together to head to one of the fantastic sand beaches and do a little r&r. I must say I was really amazed by how beautiful the beaches were.

Kristine, Jen and the kids enjoying the rocks by the beach.




We ended the day by going out to dinner.  At dinner I met Matt and Heather who are also bloggers and were doing the race. They are actually from Ohio..so my four year old discussed the fact that a Badger is a much superior mascot to a Buckeye. 

Heather, Matt and Jen


The whole crew at dinner - Jimmy the Greeks..



Everyone went home after dinner to rest up except for me and Marc. We unpacked my bike and spent the next two hours putting it together.  It should have probably taken us 30 minutes but we were both tired and not seeing straight. Luckily everything seemed to work.

I also want to mention Angela and New Jersey Jen (not to be confused with Evil Jen) who I met on the first day.  NJ Jen has a blog (Has everyone made the connection with this group yet?) and further has lost a ton of weight and began running. Not an actual ton but close enough.   Read her blog (yes click here) and you can get all of the details.  Anyway, Jen and Angela came up with an idea to do a documentary film which would track 12 people who have lost a significant amount of weight and have changed their lives.  Those twelve people..pretty much strangers to each other, would do a run relay in January covering 200 miles.  Evil Jen was chosen as one of the twelve and NJ Jen is also going to run.  The name of the documentary is called From Fat to Finish Line.  Angela and Jen were in town to meet Evil Jen and do some filming.  They also turned out to be two very cool people.  And since they are such cool people and have a great project I would ask everyone who reads this to check out their fundraising page for the film on kickstarter by clicking on this link..kickstarter fundraising page.  If you can, please become a supporter of the project.  The people that I have met that are involved in the project are just wonderful...yes even though Angela is from L.A. and Jen is from New Jersey..they are still down to earth and funny.  Further, the 12 people that they are highlighting are very inspirational.

Angela at work..filming Jen

I hope everyone is enjoying their Labor Day weekend and I'll actually get to the race in my next post.