22 October 2008

Rider's block

...now if I could only get the "d" to sound like a "t," which would make the title sound more like the double meaning I intended.

The last weekend in September, my next older brother, Charlie, flew down from Atlanta to Orlando to help me pack up all my belongings and move to Chattanooga, TN. I am now living in with my oldest brother, sister-in-law and two nieces back in Chattanooga. I kind of feel like Uncle Jesse from the TV show "Full House," except I'm not married to super hottie of the 80's and 90's, Lori Loughlin, who also starred in one of my favorite movies all-time, Rad. But, I digress.

I've skipped a few races and updates over the past month, so 'lemme fill you in on a few goings on in my life, athletically speaking:

1.) August 30th - I competed in and was overall winner of the Crystal River Triathlon in Crystal River, FL, which was a great, hot and sweaty sprint triathlon on the west coast of the sunshine state. The swim was roughly 400 meters of gulf water, which helped me feel more buoyant, and I was able to come out of the water first. Onto the bike, where I had just been fitted by fit guru Adam Baskin, I was able to sustain my lead. The run was flat and hot, but I was able to hold a pace a big boy like me should be happy with, which carried me to the tape. At this point in the season, I had experienced some injuries and other issues, so it was extremely motivating and encouraging to be able to win a race.

2.) September 7th - I competed in and was overall winner of the Silver Springs Triathlon, in Silver Springs, FL, which was again, a hot and sweaty sprint triathlon in central Florida. I have never raced consecutive weekends, so it was nice to get the blood pumping again. The swim was in a beautiful spring fed, 75 degree, crystal clear oasis in the middle of a sleepy town. I took the 700 meter swim out conservatively, then progressively picked up the pace until the exit. Onto the bike, where there was nothing fancy to write home about; nonetheless, I kept up the intensity and came into T2 with a good lead. The run was through a theme park, which means there were 180-degree turns and serpentines to contend with, but I was able to run faster than the previous weekend, thanks to mother nature, and my coach who figured out I wear too much clothing; I raced in only tri shorts, and miraculously was able to stay much cooler ;)

3.) September 20th - I competed in the USA Triathlon Amateur National Championships in Portland, OR. The race is contested at the same venue for two consecutive years, with this year being the second, so I was familiar with the course having competed there in 2007. When the gun (air horn) sounded, all us 25-29 year old men took off in a clockwise rectangular swim around Lake Hagg. I layed the hammer down for about 200 meters, then calmed the the 'ol blood pumper down a bit as I approached about 1000 meters, when I picked the pace up again. I was able to come out of the water with a decent swim time, quite eager for the hard bike course which ensued. I wanted to negative split the two loop bike course, while still pedaling at a decent clip for the first loop. I was able to retain my position and, I think, pass a swimmer who came out of the water ahead of me. I began the run in third place, I think, and was able to run quite a bit faster than last year, which landed me a 15th overall finish, and sixth in my age group. I'm happy.

4.) September 27th (move day) - I ran a 15k in Orlando. I'm not sure why I subjected myself to such torture, but my coach and I are onto this whole "racing" idea ;) I like it. I was able to run a 53:52, which, as a self proclaimed amphibian, elated me. Very inspiring for my final races of the season.

5.) October 11 - Hickory Knob International Triahtlon in McCormick, SC. In the middle of the week I accompanied my dad on a business trip to the nether-regions of eastern South Carolina. That about sums it up. On our return, we detoured and found a sleepy golfing community on Strom Thurmond Lake which hosted an impressive amount of athletes in an end of season race. I was first out of the water by a solid 75 seconds, and mounted the bike faster than the Lone Ranger mounted Silver. I hammered the first two miles of the bike and found myself at a major intersection, where I was directed by the local Sheriff's department to turn right. I hammered the next three miles and found myself at an even bigger intersection, except this time, there were no officers, chalk marks, volunteers or any other persons telling me which way to go. The officers at the first intersection sent me the wrong way. By the time I had returned to the point to get me back on the right course, I was already four miles out of the way, and my race was over. The race director from Setup Events was more than accommodating and understanding of my situation. Put this one in the redemption tank for the last race of the season, which is a half ironman in Wilmington, NC, also hosted by Setup Events. I'm ready to go.

Until next time, keep your rubber roadside down and enjoy the ride!