Nov 30, 2009
Nov 29, 2009
So where will we get our next inspiration from?
Nov 28, 2009
I have to say, I really like the little Amoeba lights. They are so much easier to operate then the Nite Riders we use on the bars. It's just an on/off - no fancy setting that get confusing after 14 hours. I also like the fact that the light and battery pack both fit on my helmet. There are no cords to worry about. If you race 24 hour mountain bike races or commute to work in the dark, check out out http://amoebalight.blogspot.com/
Nov 26, 2009
Also, thank you to Challenged Athletes and Operation Rebound. I've met some truely imspiring athletes through my participation as a fundraiser and am honored to be helping make a difference in their lives
Nov 24, 2009
Nov 20, 2009
Nov 19, 2009
I promised that I would behave myself as I started getting back into training after Silverman and the whole pneumonia thing. Well, does running mile repeats with the girls count as taking it easy? I'm not sure about that, but it felt good to run hard. Hey, I didn't get to run the marathon, so... We ran a measured out and back mile on the Santa Fe trail. I ran faster then I meant to, but it felt really good. The last mile was a bit of a struggle and I did slow down by about 10 seconds from the first mile to that third mile. Not as consistant as I usually run. A little sore today, but worth it. It's always nice to get out and run with a group.
Even though it has been really nice and sunny, the trail was muddy. Left overs from Sunday's snowstorm. Of course, I wore a brand new shirt and now it's a little mud splattered. Oh well. I'm sure the mud will come out in the wash. If not, I got the shirt to run in and just made sure that it would be used for that!
Nov 18, 2009
Please visit www.teamorsilverman 09.kintera. org and help support the efforts of Challenged Athletes and Operation Rebound
Nov 17, 2009
Nov 16, 2009
Nov 15, 2009
As I was driving to work at 8:15 - it did not look like they had been out plowing at all. A few major roads were okay, but the rest - I really could have gone ice skating on them. Just thick, chunky ice with a layer of slush underneath. And the major roads? Well, it looked like the plow drivers had gotten up on the wrong side of the bed. Nevada was a mess - a long pile of snow ran right down the middle lane, ocassionaly wandering into the left lane. There was a Smart Car sized snowball in the middle of the road by the Myron Stratton Home. It would have been better if the plows had stayed home - just dropping de-icer does not help with clearing the roads. Plow on the pavement, not two inches above is the only way to get the snow off the road. Anything else and whats the point?
Anyway, this is Colorado. It will melt in two days and we'll forget how to drive on ice again.
Nov 14, 2009
The new move for the WTC is starting an “Ironman Pro Membership.” Unless you get their membership, as a pro, you can’t race any of their events. No Ironman races and no Ironman 70.3 races. If you’re planning on racing at least five 70.3s or two Ironmans, then it’s a great idea. But if you’re like me and many other pros and were only planning one or two 70.3s, it’s just not an option. Why? The membership is $750 + active.com’s fee. After paying that up front, the entry in to any WTC race is “Complementary” How can you have a comp entry if you’ve just paid $750 to join a club? But that’s just me whining. The point is, if you race 70.3s frequently, then it’s a financial bonus and will make it easier to race. But if not… I can’t afford to pay $375 for two or $750 for one 70.3 race. So I won’t be attending any WTC events next year, despite how interesting some of them sound.
It will be interesting to see the effects this pro membership will have on the WTC races. So far, the opinion seems split on it. People in my shoes hate the idea but others like it. The bigger issue that people are upset about are narrow time allowances for Kona slots (5% of the winners time) and for the prize money distribution (8% of the winners time). Not every pro makes money from sponsorships – hoping to pay travel expenses with prize money is reality for many new pros. And now we’re being told that if someone has a great race, our hard work might not get rewarded. That would be like telling a nurse that she won’t get paid for her 12 hours because she has fewer meds to pass then another nurse. I understand that the pro fields at some races were very weak – this is not the way to encourage new pros and development at the distances. At least that’s my opinion
Okay – rant over!
Nov 13, 2009
Every year, the race has gotten better. I love going back now and catching up with everyone, from the race staff to the volunteers to the other races. The same faces at the registration tents, asking how last year went. I’ve seen the same crew at the mile 7 aid station on the run every year. The announcers know the entire history of the race and aren’t afraid to tease you about something. And Frank is out and about the entire weekend, making sure things run smoothly. It’s a little family that is always welcoming to new members. You won’t find a better value for your race money, even if personal worsts are almost guaranteed!!
Nov 12, 2009
Everyone is making metal waterbottles now. Why not try the only ones designed for the active lifestyle we all lead? http://www.ecosportsbottle.com/
Nov 11, 2009
My wallet on the other hand... Will suffer from this episode, I'm sure.
I had had a nagging cough since I was sick two weeks ago. I really didn't think much of it, but noticed that it was getting worse on Friday and Saturday before the race. Woke up race morning, bright and early. I made my oatmeal (three packets of the Quaker Healthy Harvest instant) and some how managed to finish it all. Made some coffee and dropped two MotorTabs in a bottle for waiting at the swim start. I already had everything packed, so it didn't take to much time to get over to the Sunset Station to pick up the race shuttle. Yes, I was a lazy bum and drove the half a mile from my hotel. I would be going far enough in the coming hours.
Once we got to Lake Mead, there wasn't much that I needed to do. I got my water bottles on my bike, filled my aero bottle and made sure that I had my tools and my spare tubes. Last thing I wanted to deal with was the chance of a flat. There were a lot of people I knew wandering around, which made the time pass quickly. Soon it was time to fight with the wetsuit and get ready to swim.
The swim at Silverman has been challenging the last few years. This year, the lake was smooth as glass. The water level was quite a bit lower then last year, leading to a very narrow starting channel. As such, the start was a little more physical then in previous years, but I found open water quickly. There was a cluster of racers in front and another group right around me. For once, I could actually see the bouys in the water! I settled into a comfortable rhythm, siting every five to ten strokes. The bouys were moving by quickly, which was nice to see. Frank (the race director) has different colored bouys at the turns, which makes things easy. No thinking required! I lost a few of the guys in my group - they were swimming off in some weird directions - and struck out on my own. As always, there was plenty of support staff in the water, from Kayaks to Stand up paddlers and ski jets and motor boats. Despite not really having any other athletes around me, I was never alone in the water.
Thanks to the perfect conditions, I got out of the water in record time. I was actually a little shocked to see the clock at the swim finish reading 55:31! There was no time to celebrate - I wanted to get on the bike as quickly as I could. Before the swim, I'd greased up with Beljum Budder to make the (wetsuit) stripping as easy as possible. I have to hand it to the fabuloaus (wetsuit) strippers at Silverman. Always make that part of the race a bit easier.
This is the hardest bike course I have done. It is harder then Kona, even on a windy day on the island. My fastest time leading up to this year was 6:38:54 - the first year, in perfect conditions. I was hoping to ride between 6:20 and 6:12 this year, and the conditions were again perfect. I got on the bike and started up the two mile long climb out of T1. At that point, I noticed a rookie mistake - my aero bottle was on backwards! I managed to fix it without having to stop, but that was an indication as to how the rest of the ride would go.
At mile ten, that cough I'd been dealing with came back with a vengeance. I started coughing about every five minutes, hard enough that other athletes were asking me if I was okay. I continued riding, maintaining a comfortable pace, but I was unable to push on any of the hills. If I started working too hard, I started coughing. And what I was coughing up was not pretty. Think chewed up saltines mixed with chewed up pretzels and you've got a great visual. There were a few times that I was wandering across the road because I was coughing so hard. Just lucky there was no traffic or USAT officials around at that time!
I hit the halfway in 3:12. Slower then what I was looking for, but reasonable given the first half has a lot more climbing then the middle 30 miles. I knew I had a good gap on the woman behind me, and decided to just ride tempo home so I would be able to run well. At least, that's what the plan was. I continued coughing, with the spells coming more frequently and starting to really affect my ability to ride. My back was also starting to cramp up from the coughing, so I couldn't hold aero on any of the climbs.
At the exit off the road onto the River Mountain Trail, the first Age Group woman caught me. She slowed for just a minute, asked if I was okay after hearing me coughing my way up the first of the three sisters, then took off. I tried not to let her ride away - I was still planning on having a good run at this race. Gradually, she disappeared from view, but I knew that it had taken her 96 miles to make up 10 minutes - I wouldn't loose that much time in 18 miles.
On the road leading up to T2, Frank pulled along side me, driving a little Gator ATV. He waved and shouted "What are you still doing on your bike? Shouldn't you be running already?" I just smiled and replied "how's your day going?" He shook his head and drove off.
When I got into T2, the volunteers said I was about three minutes behind the leader. Normally, that amount of time is easy for me to make up on the longer runs. This would not be a normal day.
When I left T2, I knew that things were not going well. I was really having problems breathing and was coughing like crazy. The color was also starting to trend more towards the pretzel side of the equation. It took me 8:05 to run the first mile and I felt like crap. I stopped and walked for a little, then started running again. That did not last long. At mile two, I realized that I would not be catching anyone today. In fact, if I wanted to finish the race and still be breathing normally, I would not be running either.
So off I went, for a nice long walk. I turned into a one-woman cheering section for everyone else on the course. There were still people finishing the half when I was on the run, and they looked like they needed all the encouragement they could get. I made sure that I thanked all of the volunteers and the race staff. Just because I was having a crappy day does not mean I get to take my frustration out on anyone else. So I made sure that I was polite and cheerful. It helped that it was a good day for a walk.
I did manage to run a few miles - just enough to keep my "run" time under six hours. I was amazed at the number of other athletes who congratulated me on staying in the race and finishing. I was told by several that most athletes in my position would have walked off the course instead of finishing. My response? I have too much respect for this course, this race and for Frank to even consider walking off the course when I know I can finish. I have to thank every athlete who told me I was inspiring - I was just so disappointed that on a day where I felt strong and the weather was perfect, I was not able to succeed on that course.
Silverman is a humbling race. Two of the five years have been perfect, the others less then desirable racing conditions. The course does not let you take short-cuts, either with training ro on race day. If one thing is off, then things will become more challenging. On the other hand, the race organization - Frank Lowery and his awesome team - make suffering through the bad days more then tolerable. I am proud that I was able to finish this year and am looking forward to next year.
Nov 10, 2009
Nov 5, 2009
We stopped to run a little on the bike course, in the "flattish" part of the course. I felt really good running and was able to settle into a comfortable pace on the hills. Hopefully, that's a good sign for Sunday. The only issue was the heat. Much hotter then what I'm used to. It is also the hottest that it's been since the first year. I am still refusing to look at the weather forecast. I don't want to know what will happen come Sunday.
Tommorow will be a busy day. Short, easy ride on the course, then volunteering all afternoon, then the dinner. I will need to make sure that I have plenty of water, MotorTabs and food for the day. This is where the Motortabs are awesome - staying hydrated is much easier with something that tastes as good as the Fruit Punch Motortabs.
Nov 4, 2009
We finally got to ride in the Colo Natl Mont today. Timing was close - it was getting dusky when we finished riding. But Rim Rock Drive is pretty, espcially in evening light. We drove to the top and started at the visitors center. I had no desire to ride uphill or downhill for four miles before my race. Asking for trouble in my mind. What we did ride was perfect, hardly any traffic, gently rolling and views. It was also the perfect time to get out of the car.
Nov 3, 2009
I haven't checked the weather forecast yet. Almost scared to check - it seems that Silverman Sunday is always the black sheep in the week. I decided that I wouldn't worry about the weather, but just make sure I've got the clothes to ride in anything. The only thing that the weather will really affect is the finish time. If the weather's perfect, there might be some fast times. If it's like last year, with head wind both directions, hail, rain and thunder, then the name of the game will be survival.
But I'm looking forward to seeing everyone again. The Silverman staff is just the best and the racers are a little family. I'm volunteering with the aide station set up on Friday again. This will be my third year with volunteering. Yeah, it's not the smartest thing to do before a big race, but I wouldn't give it up. There's something about volunteering that makes you appreciate the work that everyone does to make a race run smoothly.
I'll get travel and race updates posted regularly. Wish me luck!
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