Monday, July 30, 2007

Hansgrohe Acworth Womens Triathlon Route Report

All righty then ladies... Here you have it. A somewhat detailed report on what you can expect on race day at the Acworth Women's Triathlon. Dee Dee and I did make it out there Sunday morning. We did the entire race route, except for the run part through town. The race actually ends in downtown Acworth, about 1.5 miles from the swim. Rather than do a six mile run, we opted to do an out and back on the run and check out the rest of the route from the SUV. We are lazy like that :-)

The Swim

From pole to pole on the beach it is about 125 yards. That means to get in the required 400 yard swim, you are going to have to head out into the lake for 140 yards are so, then down the beach and back in. Dee Dee and I simulated this on Sunday, although I am sure we cut it short a bit. It should be a pleasant swim, and the swim exit is right next to T1. This should allow for relatively (if not super speedy) fast transition times.

The Bike

You leave the park straight out the entrance. It is a slight downhill followed by a long gentle uphill to main street. You make a right on main street to head through downtown Acworth. You go over a very small hill right after the right turn, then its a long flat and downhill ride to the other side of Acworth. As I remember it, it is mostly flat or downhill until you reach Nance. I think I recall two small hills before Nance. Your first real test will be as you come to the end of Nance. There is a pretty decent hill there with a 3-4% grade. It isn't a long hill, just a short steep one. After you make it over that one, you have a slight uphill climb to the light at Hwy 41.

Highway 41 is a sweet ride with some long, long downhills. Take advantage of them. There are a few shallow uphills, including a long one before the right turn onto Third Army street. Right after you turn onto Army Street, you will hit another short steep hill before making a right turn back onto Main Street. From there on in, its a pretty shallow/flat ride back into transition.

The Run

All I can say about the run is have fun :-) You start out by going around the outside of the park and there is an immediate short steep hill there. Then its off through the neighborhoods around the park. The whole route is full of these short rolling hills that will sap your strength. You get a little downhill after making the right back onto Main Street. Once you turn right to run behind downtown Acworth, it is more of the same. The only true flat part of this route is the road that runs along the lake, although we couldn't really see the lake, we knew it was there. The run isn't really difficult. It's just not flat.

So there you have it. Here's one more bit of parting advice. If you don't eat dinner the night before the race, and you eat a Rice Crispy Treat for breakfast before the race, you are assured of becoming hypoglycemic somewhere during the middle of your bike ride. Don't say I didn't warn you :-)

Wes

OSN: 1000 meters (est), ~15 minutes, open water
OCN: 13.5 miles, 55 minutes, ~14 mph
ORN: 3 miles, 34 minutes, 11:20 mmp

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Bittersweet

Did I ever mention I hate getting up at 5 AM? I guess if I want to be a triathlete, I'd better get used to it. That's what time I had to get up this morning to make it to my physical test on time. The test is held in Gwinnett County. With no traffic, its a 45 minute ride. Last night, it took me forty five minutes to get half way there from work! LOL. Then there's the six hours of class time to keep us motivated! Good thing I was high on endorphins!!

Anywho... Yea, I smoked my test. I needed to run 2200 meters in 12 minutes, and I did 2500 meters. I ran a mile in 7:35, almost a full minute improvement over my last one mile test. Does this bode well for my next 5K? Who knows? The Hot Lips Hustle is rolling back around, and I will definitely be there to find out.

Let's see... How to wrap that up.... I did my 50 meter sprint in 7.56 seconds. I'm pretty sure that was a wash. I did my 200 meter sprint in 31.8 seconds, a six second improvement over last year. I am very, very pleased with these results. It is smugly satisfying to see such improvement after a year of hard work. But you wanna know what brought tears to my eyes? My referee buds were bragging about me! Talking about how fit I was and how I was setting an example for the rest of them. That was so.very.kewl!

Shortly thereafter, I found out that I didn't meet the qualifications for the upgrade. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. Me. Further more, it would take me about three years to gather the necessary qualifications. I wasn't quite heart broken, but it was close. I'm not sure where my refereeing is going to go from here. I have the rest of the year to think about it. Right now, it just isn't what I want to be focusing on.

A sweetness sandwich with everything bitter wrapped between. We got Dee Dee a tri-suit. Is she not HAWT :-)


To celebrate, we are going to do a mock tri out at Lake Acworth in the morning. We are going to do the entire course from start to finish. Not only will this help Dee Dee prepare for her upcoming race, it will help me get my training in, since my beautimous daughter is graduating from University on Monday. One down... Two to go :-)

Wes

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Whupped, I Say

I am truly thankful. Whether steered by the hand of God or maybe I'm just a blind squirrel that finds the proverbial nut, I am happy that my training situation has corrected itself of its own accord. If you guys know anything about me, you know that rhythm and flow means a lot to me, and this week, its flowing! and that makes me giddy! LOL.

It was a good thing that I got my optional run in Tuesday. That basically allowed me to ride my bike this morning. Now, I've been spoiled. I've been doing all my long rides at the Silver Comet Trail and hammering, hammering, hammering. Today, I did my long ride from the house. I did two loops of my 20 mile route, cutting off the return portion on the first loop. The hills kicked my butt. I have soreness I haven't felt in a long time. I could barely manage 16 mph. Open your mouth, Wes. Here comes a whole heapin helpin of reality with no sugar or honey to hide the taste. Tomorrow will be a rest day. Saturday, I have my 1.25 mile test (I'll probably do 2-3 miles for the day), and then Sunday I'll figure out how to get my long run in.

Yesterday, the boss lady allowed me to play hookie from the restaurant. We went open water swimming instead :-) Dee Dee is making excellent progress!!! She did three laps of the 125 yard beach without stopping. She says that she is ready for the big test. She is going to do a "best guess" of the actual swim route, over the deep part of the lake. I am, of course, going with her.

At this particular beach, they have no wake buoys about 175 meters off the beach. I used them as markers for my own swimming. I swam out about three quarters of the way, turned down the beach for 150 yards or so, swam into shore, then back along the beach to my starting point. Each loop took me about 9 minutes, so I'm guessing 500 meters. I did three of those, plus a 375 yard warm up, then another 750 yards of "lap swimming". Overall, I had a very good workout. My new clear Tyr goggles are awesome. I was uber comfortable being out over the deep water, by myself, and no panic attacks to speak of. Of course, it helped that I had my Swimsafe belt on, but that doesn't really count! Does it? LOL.

Wes

OSN: 2500 meters (est), 57 minutes, open water
OCN: 36.6 miles, 02:17:00, 16 mph

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Mill of Dread

Got home relatively late last night and embarked on a cooking spree. Actually, I've been on a roll since Friday. Here's what the menu has been:

Friday: Sweet and Sour Pork
Sunday: Rigatoni with Roasted Garlic Sauce
Monday: Pork Chop Casserole (sans Dee Dee)
Tuesday: Chicken Parmesan with Linguine Alfredo, Roasted Tomato Basil Soup

Needless to say, after eating and cleaning up the kitchen, it was getting late, and I almost bailed on my optional Tuesday run. However, it just didn't feel right. Maybe I'm funny like that. I decided to follow my own advice and give it five minutes and see how it went. Since it was late, I opted for the treadmill. I did a slow six minute warm up, then I did 3 miles at a 10:50 mm pace. I could feel my dinner sloshing around in my stomach. I persevered and got off the treadmill satisfied after a six minute cool down for a total of 46 minutes.

This weekend is my upgrade referee's class, and I'm wondering just how I'm going to get in my 2.5 hour bike ride. Inquiring minds wanna know ;-) I'm looking forward to the physical test. It will be great to compare the times to what I did last year.

Wes

ORN: 3.75 miles, 46 minutes, 6 min w/u, 3 miles @ 10:50, 6 min c/d

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

A Tuesday Musing

On Professional Coaches, Tri-Chicas, Safe Swimming,
and Dogs with No Patience!

Yesterday, I sent an email to The Sports Factory here in Atlanta. I wanted to see what a "professional" had to say about my desire to do a half ironman in October and then a marathon in December. We had a great, albeit short talk, and I was suitably impressed. The consensus was two fold:

1. I probably should not be mixing up my training for two different things.
2. I am probably taking on too much my first year.

In truth, the coach was only reinforcing things that I already knew. I'm going to put a lid on this half IM thing, although I can't promise it won't sneak out again between now and the first week of September.

Dee Dee and I were back out at Lake Acworth (Allatoona) yesterady for our customary swim. We ran into a couple of gals and a husband who were practicing the swim for the upcoming triathlon. They had brought some string with them and measured the beach. From pole to pole its 125 yards. Dee Dee got the chance to talk to one of the swimmers. I thought the conversation was rather amusing. She was an older lady. She told me and Dee Dee that she could run and bike all day, but the swim sucked :-) This was her fourth time swimming, and every time she went home after swimming she cried. This time, she had bought a tri suit to see if it would help her go faster! I didn't say anything to her directly, but I empathized with her. She has no idea what she is up against before the swim, and swimming 5 or 6 times before the tri isn't going to make things easier for her. Meeting the tri-chicas was a good thing for Dee Dee though. There will be people of all ages and abilities in this race.

While Dee Dee was practicing in waist deep water, I was doing four lengths of the beach at a time with the new SwimSafe belt. The belt will definitely drag if you wear it in the front. It will also drag if you wear it in the back but don't swim flat. That's a bonus! It basically forces you to push your chest down into the water to get your hips up and reduce the drag on the belt. Done properly, the drag is unnoticeable.

Remember what I said Saturday about the patience my puppies had about going outside? Well, today they sucked. Nuff said :-)

Wes

OCN: 20 miles, 01:25:00, ~14.5 mph
OSN: 2000 meters (est), 42 minutes, open water

Monday, July 23, 2007

Home Stretching

Good run yesterday. Thursday, I decided to do my entire run without the run/walk thing. I was rewarded with a 9:20 pace over three miles. Yesterday, I started out feeling a little sore after my bike ride Saturday, but after the first mile, I was feeling downright spiffy, so I kicked it up a notch. Recovery schmovery I say :-) Here were my splits:

1. 10:23
2. 10:16
3. 9:48
4. 8:58
5. 7:25 (.75)

I slowed down quite a bit on the final leg, including a two minute walk break at the end. That's the furthest I've run without stopping since the Chattahoochee Challenge back in February, and I haven't ever run entirely for two runs in the same week, much less back to back. I don't know what's gotten into me. Maybe I'm just trying new stuff, always pushing the envelope.

Speaking of pushing the envelope, this fifth and final month of my training program will be interesting. I've thrown in another race (Hiawassee), and I'm pretty darn sure from an endurance stand point, I'm ready to go today. While I intend to "do my time" this month, I doubt I'll really push myself like I have been for the past four months.

And then there's the email I sent to a professional coach about doing a half Iron distance race in October and then a marathon in December... It won't die! It's Dee Dee's fault! Really!!!! All good things in their proper place and at their proper time! LOL...

Wes

ORN: 4.75 miles, 47 minutes, negative split pace, 9:50 mmp, all run

Saturday, July 21, 2007

A New PR

I was lazy this morning. I didn't get out of bed until 7 AM. Well, OK. 7:10 AM then. I hobbled downstairs to make coffee and let the pack of hounds out the door. I've always wondered if they were jealous of the fact we get to go the bathroom first. They are such kind hearted animals. I went through the usual routine for me, a couple of cups of coffee, a few breakfast bars, making my endurance drink, setting all my cycling stuff by the front door.

I began loading the car as Dee Dee made her way downstairs to join me. I grabbed my bike and walked it out to the car. That's when I heard this strange noise coming from Aerowyn's back tire. Humor me here. Remember I'm still new to all this. As I reached the back of the SUV, I checked everything over carefully. Nope. Nothing wrong with the back tire. I began to walk her around the drive way. Suddenly, I realized what that noise was. The back tire was flat. Son of gun (PG version :-) Now how did that happen. She was fine when I finished my ride on the trail last weekend. Ah well. I pumped her up to 100 psi and decided to check her out when we got to the trail.

For the first time since riding at the Silver Comet Trail, I had to park at the school. It was super crowded today, no doubt inspired by the beautiful weather we are having this weekend. I went around back, and sure enough, the tire was flat. I laughed. I guess I should of gone to that class. Dee Dee helped me take the back tire off. I used my tool to undo the tire and removed the tube. I popped in the new tube, gave it a little pressure, put it back on the bike then pumped it up. Wow! That was really easy. I didn't even realize Dee Dee was timing me. It took me 6:42 seconds to change my tire. As in all things first, it's a new PR :-)

Some poor chap chose that exact moment to try to go over the speed bump behind us on his roadie. He came to an absolute stop and failed to unclip. He ended up on his side in the parking lot. I ran over to him to make sure he was alright, but he was more embarrassed then anything else. I laughed and told him it was good he got that out of the way early!

I had a nice 12.5 mile ride out with Dee Dee, then I hammered the return trip as Dee Dee made her way back by herself. I ended up riding back down the trail to find her around mile 2. A good day. A good ride. A good learning experience. One more piece of the puzzle.

Change a tire: CHECK!!!

Wes

OCN: 28 miles, 01:45:00, 16 mph

Friday, July 20, 2007

The Contemplative Blogger


ORN: 3 miles, 28 minutes, tempo pace, 9:20 mmp, all run

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Bingo!!

I got Dee Dee signed up for the Hansgrohe Acworth Women's Triathlon. That little snippet about there being only fifty spots open was just the final impetus she needed to do the deed. Well, maybe that and the arrival of our Swimsafe belt. Whatever her reasons, I'm excited for her, and I know she'll do fabulous!!! I can't wait to try out the swim belt. I'm going to put it on under my tri shirt and see how that goes. It should definitely reduce the drag to almost nothing. Sounds like a great excuse to head to the Dallas Landing for some mo open water training!

Yesterday I went to the pool for my recovery long swim day. I must've had some pent up energy from being off yesterday and my light swim Monday as I did my first 500 meter interval in 8:39. I just felt super strong and super relaxed in the pool. Not sure why, but it didn't take long after leaving the pool for me to feel exceptionally exhausted. I guess I went a little harder than I thought I did.

The hip is feeling much better, as is the thigh. I don't think the hip thing is an issue with the muscle at all. It might be, but for now, we are taking it easy and its starting to heal up nicely.

Wes

OSN: 2000 meters, 45 minutes, 1x300 w/u, 3x500, 1x200 c/d

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Open Water Mondays

I'm starting to get used to this open water swimming stuff. Dee Dee and I arrived at the Dallas Landing right around 6:30 PM. Nothing like being at the mercy of Atlanta traffic. As we pulled into the park, we weren't surprised to see that we were one of three groups of people who basically had the beach to ourselves. Worked for me. I got to change into my Jammer's in the car, without being a public spectacle.

Just as we got down the beach, we saw the news worthy pop-up thunderstorm making its way over the lake to the north of us. The trail of rain it was leaving behind looked like the bristles of a kitchen broom as it swept over the interstate. Rain doesn't bother me in the slightest when I'm swimming. The ominous roll of thunder does. Dee Dee and I waited for ten minutes for the storm to pass, and sure enough, a silver streak of lightening jumped out of a weaker section of the storm to strike the peninsula about five miles from where we were standing. The skiers didn't seem to care, but there was no way I was getting into that water with thunder and lightning. As a matter of fact, we chased the Mexican family out of the water too. I didn't want to see any ninos and ninas getting electrocuted.

After twenty minutes, the storm passed by and severely weakened. Dee Dee and I bravely ventured into the water to swim. I'm proud to report that this time Dee Dee did much better. She traveled several 100+ meter lengths of the beach without standing, one more arrow in the quiver of her decision making process. I, personally, finished my lengths first, then went back to join Dee Dee for her finish. I even bravely ventured out off shore into deep water, not that it mattered. At that particular beach you can't see the bottom in two feet of water, much less deeper water.

I'm not entirely sure how far I swam yesterday, but I'm reasonably comfortable after gmap-ing it that I did well over 1000 meters, and I do know that I swam for a full thirty minutes. Since this is a recovery week for me, I did a leisurely 12.5 mile bike ride in the morning to start off my day. A good start to a recovery week, I say. I plan on taking it easy and letting this hip thing recover a bit. It's not a pain or anything like that, just a dull throbbing once in a while to remind me that it is there. We'll nip this one in the bud...

Wes

OCN: 12.5 miles, 57 minutes, 13.2 mph avg
OSN: ~1000 meters, 30 minutes, open water

Monday, July 16, 2007

An Easy Thirty

Monumental! That's the way I would describe it. Dee Dee and I went out to the Silver Comet Trail yesterday. I was pretty sore after putting in 15 miles or so of running last week, a first in a long time. I promised Dee Dee that if she could do two hours of riding, I wouldn't push her, and I wouldn't worry about whether or not I was getting worked over :-) This time last year, I would have never dreamed that "Easy Thirty" would be the way I would describe a ride. Yes, I have come a long way.

We made it out to the trail just fine, and despite threatening weather, we got in our 2:07 minute ride, averaging around 14.2 miles per hour for the entire trip. I've been feeling a little irritation in my ITB and my right quad. Riding at that pace for long periods allowed me to work on my cycling form. I learned that by keeping my knees parallel to my shoulders, it pulled a lot less on my ITB. We'll file that one a away for future reference. Both my quad and my ITB are thanking me this morning for not pushing them too hard! Of equally important note, my buttocks were not sore after the ride either. Go figure!!

I just found out this morning that my man, Darrell has a confirmed registration for the Rocket City Marathon. Woo hoo! That is soooo on!! I've got to see when I can get registered. That's definitely added a bit of mojo to the rest of my year.

Thanks for the good Dee Dee vibes. She's asked me to take her back to the beach this afternoon to give it another go. I'm packed and ready. We'll see how it goes.

Happy training, y'all!

Wes

BTW: That is a two piece "outfit" in the picture below. I think "tri suit" may have been the wrong choice of words.

OCN: 30 miles, 2:07, 14.2 mph avg

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Tri Me Now

This will definitely help with transition!

I learned something important today. Footjoys != Running joy. For you non programmer types, that means Footjoy socks do not equal running joy. I have my first blister in a freakin year.

Go me :-)

Wes

BTW: Dee Dee is having second thoughts about the Acworth Tri (she didn't get a tri outfit). I think the swim has her (justifiably) concerned. Come'on everybody! Clap your hands and shout, "There's no tri like Dee Dee. There's no tri like Dee Dee!" :-)

ORN: 7.2 miles, 01:19:11, endurance pace, 11:04 mmp, walk as needed to lower HR

Friday, July 13, 2007

Doubling Down

Learn from past experience. That's a core principle to which most of the human population should aspire. Those of us who fail to learn from the past are doomed to repeat it. What makes it funny is when people don't understand how these things keep happening to them :-) I love people! Anywho... Instead of trying to get my swim in yesterday afternoon with the Silver Swimmer's Water Aerobic class, I dragged my butt out of bed and got to the pool early. I had originally intended to do 77 minutes of easy swimming, but once I got into it, I just couldn't resist pounding out the usual meterage, 3500 meters or so.

Dee Dee called me around 4 PM to let me know I was batching it last night. No wife, no kids, what's an endie to do? LOL. Go run :-) I knew that today would be tough to get my run in. It's my night to work in the restaurant, and as you can see from my stat table for Wednesday, getting anything done when I have to work at the restaurant is difficult at best. I came home, changed my clothes real fast, and headed over to Boling Park for some flat running. I thought, at first, that I would take it easy cause I felt so run down, but that didn't work out. My legs felt strong. My breathing was going very well, despite the 85 degree temps, and I managed to do 4.85 miles in my allotted 47 minutes, for a 9:41 mm pace.

In truth, I was being selfish. I wanted today off! LOL.

I regret to inform you that my tri suit has arrived. That means no more bare chested photos of me in action or otherwise posing in endurance related events. I know, I know. You will suffer in silence, but I will take special requests :-) and of course a picture will follow this weekend. How can I resist?

Going to get signed up for the Hiawassee International Summer Sizzler today! It's about an hour and fifteen minutes from my house in the pristine mountains of North Georgia. It should be a blast. After reading this article about the recent tragedy at a triathlon, I am going to invest in a SwimSafe belt. I could really care less how much drag it causes, and the piece of mind it will allow me is well worth the money.

Have a great weekend, y'all!

Wes

OSN: 3500 meters, 77 minutes, 1x300 w/u, 6x500@10:30, 1x200 c/d
ORN: 4.85 miles, 47 minutes, tempo pace, R4/W1, 9:41 mmp

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Hit by a Brick

It was comforting to see that I was not the only one suffering from the "I can't type a title into my blog post" syndrome. It would seem that I am a little more persistent than some of you however. I kept clicking things and hitting buttons until it let me :-) That's the inquisitive side of me that can get me into much trouble. I'm glad to see that the problem appears to have gone away...

I actually got home early from work yesterday for the first time in a while. I cooked dinner for my oldest son, but I still didn't make it out the door to ride until 8 PM. Fortunately for me, a nice bit of rain had come through and cooled things down a bunch. I tuned up Bags and went out for 20.5 mile ride in the cool, damp, summer air. It was awesome. I followed that up with a thirty-five minute run off on the treadmill. I was feeling pretty tired. Normally, I would do the same amount of time on schedule for my Thursday run. This time, I was feeling a bit sore, and because I was doing a brick, I decided to cut it short by ten minutes.

Thanks for letting me "think out loud" about the half iron distance. Originally, I had planned for this year to be my year of running, and I think it would be a good thing to stay focused on that. What has me in perpetual motion is that I'm not sure what next year will bring, and that scares me. The other side of that is I could try to do too much this year and muck things up pretty bad. In short, I will keep a half iron distance close to the heart, but I think I will definitely do that international distance tri August 4th. Two Olympic distance races may satisfy my urges and allow me to focus on completing my first marathon.

Happy hump day, y'all!

Wes

OCN: 20.5 miles, 01:24:12, ~14.5 mph
ORN: 3 miles, 35 minutes, easy pace, R4/W1, 11:40 mmp

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Trading Places

I've got friends that I admire very much. Heck, it would be much harder to find friends that I DON'T admire very much. Y'all rock so hard :-) These friends are contemplating or are on track to a half iron distance triathlon this year, and I'm excited. The half iron distance race they are looking at in South Carolina is a little early for me, but they have one in Florida in October that could fit very well into my plans. Come September 1st, I'm seriously considering trading in 5 months worth of Olympic distance training for 5 weeks of Half Iron distance training and giving it a go. (That leaves me with 8 weeks on the 13 week plan). Serious enough as a matter of fact to go out and purchase Gail Bernhardt's book with multisport training plans. These are the issues and concerns I face with this decision:

1. I have to have Dee Dee and the rest of the family's blessing.
2. I have to be able to afford the trip.
3. I have to be able to commit to a more aggressive training plan.
4. We have to be able to handle the logistics of the race itself.

Attempting to do a half iron distance in the middle of soccer season with my attempted upgrade in refereeing will pose quite a challenge. I'll let y'all know how it goes.

Yesterday, I repeated my 2000 meter swim from last week. I tried to be a bit more organized this time and did 100 meter repeats on 2:10, a five second improvement over my last workout. I'm not sure how much five seconds really counts, as I usually get 30 seconds rest between laps anyways :-)

Dee Dee called me at work and wanted to give the Acworth Tri swim a go. I met her at the park at 6:45ish, and we went for a swim in the lake. Where as Gault's Ferry was reasonably clear and looked like lake water, Dallas Landing was like swimming in a bowl of mud. For you tri-chickas doing the Hansgrohe Acworth's Women Triathlon, prepare to get diiiiirty :-) I tried to get Dee Dee to swim out into deep water, but she wasn't comfortable yet, so we have more work to do to get her ready for that particular triathlon.

Since I missed my bike ride yesterday, I am contemplating a brick workout today. Thank you America, for sucking all the hot air out of the south. We do preeeshiate ya!

Wes

OSN: 2000 meters, 46 minutes, 3x100 w/u, 15x100 @2:10, 2x100 c/d

Monday, July 09, 2007

Peaking

This is it. I have just about, but not quite, reached the pinnacle of my Olympic triathlon training plan. The minutes in each one of my disciplines are maxed out! I have one more week of the same this week, then a recovery week. In my fifth month, I have one more week with the same number of minutes as well, then two recovery weeks.

I forget to mention that I am the featured blogger in an e-zine callled Betasway. Go by and check it out. It's not life changing :-) but it does have a few other pictures of me and a few words of wisdom! LOL.

Yesterday, the plan was do my bike in the morning, then go out to Acworth to swim the beach there with Dee Dee. I saw that Murtha was going for an open water swim, so I invited him to join us on our grand adventure. We met at 7 AM in the morning on the Silver Comet Trail. It was wet and nasty which was all new for me. Dee Dee did 20 miles, and Andy and I did 50. I enjoyed riding with Andy very much. He was a lot more consistent on the little hills than I was, and I think we both got our butts kicked! When we got back, Aerowyn and I were covered in mud and dirt. Stupid me didn't bring a towel, change of clothes. Nothing. We'll just chalk that one up to another learning experience!

That afternoon, Andy got caught up at work and Dee Dee decided to bail on the swim as her ITB was bothering her. Since I was pretty much spent, it was all cool with me!! A nice, cozy, relaxing dinner at home for the two of us sounded like a great cap to a really cool weekend.

Wes

OCN: 50 miles, 02:40:00, 18.75 mph

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Its Over (for now)

Every once in a while, I like to wax philosophical. For this month, I think I have exceeded my quota! No more touchy feely for a while, as we all breath a collective sigh of relief. Its back to the grind and in the trenches with blood, sweat, and tears/fears.

Due to my travel day Wednesday, my training this week got pushed back a day. Thursday, I went by the pool after work. My kiddos are not at home right now. Jimmy is in Greenville, SC at a soccer camp, and Matthew stayed in Mobile with the g-rents. We are kidless! Woo hoo! Anway, back to the pool. I get to the gym at 6 PMish on Thursday, head down to pool, and lo and behold, there's a bunch of older people doing a water aerobics class in MY pool :-) They did leave a couple of the back lanes open. I figured. What was the worse that could happen? I could get started swimming and they could ask me to leave?

After about ten minutes, it became apparent that we had formed a symbiotic relationship. The aerobicizers got to watch little ole me doing laps, and I got to enjoy the lake like conditions they created with all their jumping and splashing. About half way through, two chicks decided to come and get in my lane and use it for recreational swimming. Talk about peeved. Come'on people! This is an exercise pool. If you want to lounge around, go do it by the steps. After swimming through them and nearly over them a couple of times, they got the message and left. All in all, for my main set, I did 3x1000, with a 300 meter warm up and 200 meter cool down.

On my way home last night, I stopped back off at the gym cause I wanted to try out their treadmills. I did an easy 47 minute run, clocking in 4.15 miles. I did a run three minutes walk one minute thing, aiming for 11 minute miles. What I did do, for fun of course, was increase my speed from 5.6 to 7 mph in increments of 0.2 mph. Then to cool down, I decreased it .5 per walk break. After running, I went up to the restaurant and rehyrdrated myself with Miller Chill. That is one yummo beer.

I got an email yesterday from the running club saying they were doing a group run this morning at 8 AM at Boling Park. I had yet to run there. Dee Dee asked me to switch my bike from Saturday to Sunday so she could go with me, which helped me to decide to join the group run this morning. The last time I ran with the running club was before the ING Marathon (this would be the second). When the alarm went off at 7 AM, both my calves immediately seized up in cramps. Oh the joy of rehydrating with beer. I shook it off, got dressed, and met the running club at 8 AM at the park. About 12 people ended up meeting there. We didn't really run as a group. Three of us guys ended up being the lead group and we ran three miles straight at a leisurely 10:50 mm pace. Most of the other runners dropped out at this point. Another gentleman about my age asked me how long I was running. When he found out I was going for 77 minutes, he asked if I wanted to run the trails with him behind the park. I agreed, and we set out along the single track trail. It was fun following this guy. He was working a lot harder than I was, and he was trying to keep his heart rate in the zone, which basically meant we walked every hill and bridge. On the way back, I lead for a bit and pushed him a little harder. Close to the end, he took back over the lead because I think he was getting a bit tired :-) All in all, we added another 3 miles in the woods, then I did another half mile around the track for a total of 6.45 miles in an hour and seventeen minutes.

That's it. All caught back up. Dee Dee and I are riding the Silver Comet Trail first thing in the morning, then we are taking advantage of the kids absence to swim the beach where the Women's Acworth Tri is in the afternoon. Should be a fun day.

Have a great weekend, y'all!

Wes

OCN: 3500 meters, 01:17:00, 3x100 w/u, 3x1000, 1x300 c/d
ORN: 4.15 miles, 47 minutes, easy pace, R3/W1, 11 mmp
ORN: 6.15 miles, 01:17:00, easy pace, walk as needed, 12 mmp

Friday, July 06, 2007

A Certain Kind of Homecoming: Epilogue

Going back home is kind of like stepping through the Looking Glass. You get to leave all your troubles and worldly concerns behind you. No one knows how to take care and love ya like Mama! But all good things must come to an end, and the cold face of reality is always staring at you, impatiently waiting for you to resume your journey in the real world.

Dee Dee and I didn't quite sleep in after our return trip from the casinos. We wanted to get home at a reasonable hour and have a nice dinner. Due to the travel time (5.5 hours), I didn't think we would make it to any fireworks. It has been so dry in GA that most of the small town fireworks were being canceled anyways. Instead, we opted for cozy steak dinner, cooked by yours truly, and a few more porter beers, brewed by Sam Adams.

I opted not to workout Wednesday. What a surprise! But I did get my swim in yesterday. That is a tail for another day...

There's a certain nostalgia in going home, where I no longer live. My own home, however, always calls to me. My bed is the most comfortable. The showers work the way I expect them to. The furry critters are there to lick me in the mouth and rake the back of my legs with their claws. My beautiful woman is there to share it all with. Yes. There's no place like home, and its good to be back.

Wes

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

A Certain Kind of Homecoming: Part III

When Matthew found out that we were going to Mobile for the Fourth, his first question was about going to the country club to go swimming. My family had been a member of this club off and on since I was a child. I found out yesterday that my Mom had worked in the club house as a teenager. The club and our family go way back. The two high dives at the pool was the attraction for Matthew. Simple enough :-)

Rousting the boyz out of bed, we headed over to the pool by 11 AM. Matthew and Jimmy headed off for the diving boards while I did my laps in the 25 meter section of the pool. At first, I had to dodge all kinds of kiddos, but since it was a relaxed day, I took it easy and just went with it. By the time fifteen minutes had passed, most families went home for lunch, leaving me and ten other kids to enjoy the Olympic sized pool.

The pool was very, very warm, reminding me of Lisa's story about the 90+ degree pool temperature out in sunny Arizona. That was another good reason not to overly stress myself. I finished up 2000 meters in about 45 minutes, and I was happy with that. I joined the boyz on the diving boards for a while before heading home to eat lunch with my Mom.

That afternoon, we went over to Dee Dee's sister for dinner. We had a nice dinner of hamburgers, hot dogs, and grilled sausages. Dee Dee's family had offered to watch the kids overnight so Dee Dee and I could go to the casinos in Biloxi. Naturally, we jumped at the opportunity.

It was quite an eye opening experience to see the fringes of the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina. Most of the casinos were gone, as were the beautiful waterfront houses along the beach. We went to the brand new Hard Rock Casino first. It was gorgeous. I waited an hour to get a seat at a five dollar black jack table, only to lose the first four hands and then have them switch the table to a ten dollar minimum. Talking about being pissed. We left there and went down to the Isle of Capri Casino. This was one of Emeril's places (he is associated with it). I managed to get on a decent table here. Dee Dee joined me. Within a couple of hours, I had doubled my money, while Dee Dee had tripled hers. As luck would have it, ours turned south shortly after that, and I ended up losing fifty dollars net for the night. That's a good night for me. I drink for free, and I'm willing to lose up to a hundred dollars at the black jack tables. Anytime I do better than that, its a win.

Wes

OSN: 2000 meters, 46 minutes, 1x300 w/u, 14x100@2:15, 1x300 c/d

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

A Certain Kind of Homecoming: Part II

Monday was the first time I have slept in in ages. It felt so good. The whole time I was eating my breakfast, I kept thinking the temperature was rising and would soon be unbearable. I attempted to work out the riding plans with Dee Dee, but she decided since we were starting so late in the day, she would pass. I'm more of a get'er done type of guy. I dragged my bike 350 miles, and by God I'm gonna ride it no matter what the temperature.

I went ahead and left the house around 10:30 AM central time. It was definitely warm, but that's what I like about the bike. It comes with a built in breeze. For the most part, I stayed off the main thorough fares. I cut through some neighborhoods I had frequented as kid and went by the old ball park where I used to play baseball. I hadn't been there in 26 years. It's amazing how I could remember the route through the old neighborhood after all this time. Then, it was down a busy highway to my Grandmother's quiet subdivision for some more reminiscing. I was meeting Dee Dee back at her mother's house, but I got there a little early, so I rode around the loop of her subdivision a couple of times (3.5 mile loop) to get in my hour and thirty minutes. It was after I got off the bike and went inside that I started sweating like a pig!

After rounding up Dee Dee and the boys, we came home, changed, and headed to the beach at Dauphin Island. Its about a 35 minute drive from my Mom's place. That's a trip to the store in Atlanta :-) Unfortunately, the jelly fish were out. Dee Dee got stung in the first five minutes we were there. I spent an hour and half in the water and never even got touched. Go figure. On the way out, some dumb arse in a dump truck forgot to put the pins in his gate. As he went over the hump on the only bridge off the island, he lost his load. We had to sit there for half an hour while they cleaned the highway. Then, to top it off, after we made it across the bridge, some jokers were moving a house in the middle of the day! Can you believe it? Normal people move a house down two lane highways at 1 or 2 AM. Not in Alabama. Then, to make it even worse, the dudes on the roof of the house were touching the electrical wires with their bare hands. OK.

Today, we are taking Matthew to my Mom's country club. They have two big diving boards there, and he has been asking about it for weeks. Good thing for me is they have a full 50 meter pool going one way, and a twenty-five meter pool going the other, in the shape of an L. I should definitely get my swim workout in today.

Hope everyone else's week is going splendidly!!

Wes

OCN: 25.5 miles, 01:30:00, 17 mph avg

Sunday, July 01, 2007

A Certain Kind of Homecoming

They call the place where I live...Hotlanta. The don't have anything on my home town, Mobile, Alabama. For those of you who don't know any better, it's also called L.A. :-) After getting up early for a repeat of my mini-EPIC ride on Saturday, we hustled out of town around noonish. I made it all the way outside Montgomery before the sandman was calling my name.

Dee Dee took over the driving duties, and I awoke on the outskirts of Mobile during a massive thunderstorm. You couldn't see twenty feet in front of you. Mobile isn't one of the wettest places in the U.S. for no reason. After safely exiting what proved to be a 2 mile storm, we made it to my Mom's house. After a few beers and a nice dinner, it was time to go to bed. My stepfather offered to get up at 6 AM and take me to the park for a run. He walks there every day, and he says that 6 AM is the best time to go. I thought, OK. I get up at 6:30 my time. Since we are an hour ahead in Atlanta, I wouldn't be sacrificing too much sleep.

The alarm on my watch went off at 5:30 AM Mobile time. I got outta bed and waited to see if my stepfather was awake. He came out of his room at about ten till. I came out to see if the morning jaunt was on, and it definitely was. I rousted Dee Dee out of bed, and she mentioned that Jimmy wanted to come with us. How about them cookies? Sunday morning, vacation, Fourth of July week, and four of the family was off to run at 6 AM in the morning.

We are nuts :-)

Let's just say we might as well have run in a sauna. Mobile is HUMID! We were doing a 1.8 mile loop, and every minute I ran, it seemed like more and more liquid poured from body. Dee Dee ran about 3.6 miles. I did about 6.4 miles in my allotted 70 minutes, and number one son Jimmy did three loops for 5.4 miles in around 42 minutes. He's such a stud. That's with no training too by the way.

Tonight, it was more beer, some gourmet hamburgers cooked by yours truly, and now its off to bed. I really need to find someplace safe to ride tomorrow! No rest for the wicked.

Wesman, out.

ORN: 6.4 miles, 70 minutes, normal pace, R4/W1, 10:19 mmp