Saturday, August 16, 2014

Big Oops! & a few random pre-race ramblings

I was looking back at the last post I made and noticed 1/2 of it vanished into thin air.  Either I'm getting senile and didn't really write up the race report portion of my post, or it went to the great Internet trash bin.  I know I did write it, but it's gone. Maybe I'll get to rewriting it, but then again probably not.  Tomorrow is another day and another race.

My comeback so far has consisted of two sprint races on a pretty small scale.  The Sleepy Hollow Sprint Triathlon had a few hundred racers.  The Marshmallow Man Sprint triathlon had 34 individuals and 5 relay teams.  Now it's time to hit the major leagues.  West Point Triathlon is the big leagues.  We'll see it goes.

I think I last did it in 2004,  It was lot different back then. It was still very laid back, and reasonable entry fee. Now it's become one of the big boys.  USAT sanctioning and an entry fee that's about double of what paid in '03 and '04.  Triathlon boom strikes again.  I won or placed high in my age group back then.  Not sure how I'll do now that my running has slowed down considerably.  This is just another step towards my Olympic distance comeback in September.

I need to go to bed.  It's about an hour's drive and I can't decided whether I'm going to be totally neurotic and get there before 6:00 am and stand around for 3 hours waiting my wave to be called.  I'm in the 9th of 11 waves.  Race goes off at 8:30. I don't hit the water until 09:10.  Practicing my military time.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Another Trip, Another Race - Blogger Meet Twitter

Wow where did July go?  On July 3rd, I reported on the first race of my triathlon comeback. Suddenly it's August 10th, and I haven't written another word.  Did people think I took my Sleepy Hollow Sprint Triathlon gold medal, and ran?  Or perhaps decided this triathlon thing was not such a good idea after all?  Au contraire!  The fact of the matter is, I think I'm becoming a full-fledged tri-geek again.  However before I could even think about starting my Jardin Westchester Triathlon training there was something called vacation I needed to attend to. Two and half weeks in Alaska!

Bike training was not going to be an issue since for 6 days I would be on a bike tour.  Running and swimming on the other hand.....I had great intentions in terms of doing a little swimming and running on the trip.  I brought a bathing suit, cap and goggles.  I also brought running shoes.  The swimming gear never came out of the suitcase.  The running shoes got used for walking.  My hiking boots got more use then my running shoes.

The biking was everything one might expect in a place like Alaska.  Incredible views, long climbs, headwinds, screaming downhills, rain and run ins with the "official state bird" (mosquito!)

Cresting the top of Thompson Pass.  
That was followed by a screaming descent into Keystone Canyon. I hit 45 mph!

Then there was the matter of rain.
a. Get wet and stay in the headwind
b. Get wet and sit on a tall rider's wheel and get muddy.
I chose b.

No matter where we were riding there was always amazing views and scenery. This was taken at Sheep Mountain Lodge.  Beautiful place in the middle of nowhere.  Although a few days after we left a big bike race would be starting there.  The Fireweed 400.  Various distances are contested.  The 400 mile option being the longest.  I did not do 400 miles, but I did end out with around 260 miles for the 5 days of riding.

The 6 day bike tour was followed by some amazing trips to Seward, Spencer Glacier and Denali National Park.  Yes, Denali is a totally amazing place.  I was fortunate to be part of the 30% who actually see Mt. McKinley on their visit to the park.

 The clouds are starting to roll back in.

Close encounters with bears.  Fortunately we're in a bus.
Don't mess with momma grizzly and her cubs!

Okay so I had to throw in some Alaska pictures and pretend this a travel blog.  I just had to show off some my travel pictures.  At least I didn't try to post all 2,000+ pictures.  Anyway that was the first part of July.  I got back from that trip on a Tuesday. By Thursday I was already thinking about my trip to New Hampshire to take pictures at Camp Onaway.  This was my second summer going up there to take pictures of the campers and staff for their "yearbook".  It's not a paid photo gig.  However being able to spend almost week on Newfound Lake, hang out at the camp I attended as a kid and spend time with my sister is not such a bad deal.  Not to mention, amazing sunsets! This shot was done on my iPhone.  The pictures taken with the real camera are on the other computer.

While looking at the triathlon calendar I happened to find a race in New Hampshire. I wasn't looking for a race to do necessarily.  I was checking on a race in New Hampshire that I'm planning to do over Labor Day weekend.  Other races in New Hampshire showed up and one of them happened to be  on the day I was planning to head back home.  So I decided I would do the Marshmallow Triathlon in Laconia, NH.  Sprint distance with a 1/4 mile swim, 14 mile bike and 5K run.  These are distances that are little more to my liking as opposed to the way too short bike leg of Sleepy Hollow.

I guess the old neurotic tri-geek decided to make an appearance as I left at 5:30 am for a race that was 40 minutes away and wasn't starting packet pick up until 6:30.  That's kind of typical for me when I'm going to a new location.  I have to factor in getting lost.  GPS makes it less likely I'd get lost, but I still manged to get lost using GPS.  I was the first one there.  When I arrived there was nothing resembling a transition area.  One of the race organizers said the equipment guy thought the race was the next day, so the racks and such were not there yet.  He was called, so the racks were coming, but a little late.

I love the charm and simplicity of small hometown races.  One of my favorite ones was the Dutchess County triathlon in Hopewell Junction, New York that was held back in the 1980s.  It was sponsored by the local chapter of the Sons of Italy.  It was held at the town park and the swim was in this tiny lake.  It was advertized as a 1/4 mile swim, but probably more like 1/8 because I always had these ridiculously fast swim times.

I'm not quite sure what happened here, but I seem to have lost 1/2 of this post.  I did write about how the race went.  It was rather detailed, but since I have another race tomorrow I don't have the inclination to rewrite the report at this point.  So here's the Twitter version. 

Time: 1:30:49 5th woman overall out of 21. 14th overall out of 34. No age group awards. #smallrace.