Thursday, July 31, 2008

Smokey Mountain High

Dee Dee is tapering for her first Oly! Woot!

I'm still blog impaired :-)

We are off to (near) Maggie Valley, North Carolina this weekend for the Lake Logan Triathlon! This tri is put on by the great folks over at Setup Events and is geared towards first timers and new peeps to our sport. The course is supposed to be reasonably flat and the swim is wet suit legal. Yahoo! It's really hard to find a wet suit legal tri in the south this time of year. I guess ya gots to go to the mountains!

Training has been going fine. Coach actually gave me two days off this week (I think I love her!). I think its more of the fact that the race is on Saturday than Sunday, but she's promised me an off week next week, and I.can't.wait!

Yesterday, Dee Dee and I made it over to Victoria Beach for an open water swim. It seems the lake has receded a good eight feet or so. This made finding some deep water to swim in a challenge. The ends of the Day Use area was 4-6 feet deep, but the middle couldn't have been more than 2-3 feet deep in some places. I swam for forty minutes, but I forgot to keep accurate track of my laps. To top it off, when I went back and measured the distance on GMaps today, I realized it was 125 meters across, instead of 100 meters. Doh!! Who cares? Right? As long as I do the time, I'm good to go!

I've been banking some hours this week, and I'm working from home tomorrow. That means Dee Dee and I should be able to get out of the house relatively early.

I'm excited for Dee Dee! She's nervous! Y'all send her some love and tell her how much y'all can't wait to read her race report (hint, hint, Dee Dee :-)!!

Have a great weekend y'all!!!

Wes

OSN: Open water, 40 minutes, ~2000 meters

Sunday, July 27, 2008

So Many Challenges (so little time)

I left Dee Dee in bed with two of the dogs. I'd like to think she is getting used to the alarm going off in the wee hours of the morning, but the fact is she's been working hard, and I like to disturb her as little as possible when I leave. The goal for the morning was to make it out to the Silver Comet Trail by 6:30 AM. I actually enjoyed having time to eat a decent breakfast and pack my things before the ride. Not feeling rushed is a pleasant sensation and is a great lead in to a long workout.

Packing took a little longer than planned, and I arrived at the trail head at 6:35 AM. After setting up my bottles and gear, it was ten till seven before I finally pedaled off down the trail. Today was the first day I utilized my Aqua Rack from Profile Design. I had five bottles, three with Tiger and two with water. I had eight Gus and a Cliff Bar in my waist pouch. All I needed was a carving station and I'd a had a Silver Comet buffet.

The trail was surprisingly quiet for a Saturday morning. I expected it to be busier. This morning, I was pretty much riding by myself. My legs were feeling pretty good, finally recovered from the race in Chattanooga. My instructions for the day were to stay in zones 1-3 and build endurance. I started out relatively slow, passing the first twenty miles in 1:08:44. After that, I kicked it up a notch.

One of the things I love about going new distances is that I get to see new things on the trail. I was determined to not only exceed my previous distance on the Silver Comet, but also exceed my furthest distance ever (72 miles at the Bud Plant). When I hit the 35 mile marker, I kicked it up a notch and was flying. Little did I know, I was cruising at a downhill angle, which really helped me achieve my goal, but I would pay for it on the way back.

I passed the forty mile marker in an hour from my last time check. My reward was the quaint little town of Rockmart, Georgia. It took me all of three to four minutes to pass through the downtown area. The trail ran along the river, then through the back a cemetery (it actually shared one of the cemetery roads!), then through the baseball complex and out on the other side. I was careful not to go too fast. The speed limit on the trail there was 10 mph after all ;-)

Once on the other side of the sports complex, I rode across a wooden bridge. What a blast that was. Almost as much fun as putting your cell phone on vibrate and sticking it down your pants, not that I would know anything about that, mind you. The last two miles consisted of some serious rolling hills in an unshaded section of the trail. I really think this part took a lot out of me. When my computer reached 2:15:00, I had a little ways left to go to get to 42 miles. I went ahead and finished up and then turned around to come home.

I stopped off at the sports complex on the way back to use the rest room and eat my cliff bar. I have yet to learn to pee on the bike. I mean, geesh, I have bottles under there and stuff :-) After satisfying my hunger, I climbed back on the bike and began my trip home. The first eleven miles of the return trip was almost all up hill. By the end, I was begging for flatness. I laughed at myself however. I remembered my ride with Kevin last weekend, and I knew the only way home was to pedal the bike.

The mind is a powerful thing. When I came up to the twenty five mile marker, I shouted for joy in my mind and yelled, "I love twenty-five miles!" At the twenty-three mile marker, I was like "f*?!@ twenty three miles!"

On crossing the bridge near the twenty-three mile marker, I was again in familiar territory. I had done this distance quite a bit, and I knew what it would take to get home. I rested a bit on the down hills, and I kept my cadence high and easy on the uphills. More and more people were out on the trail now, and I was no longer riding alone. I really enjoy my out and back routes. I break them up into pieces, and it helps me to achieve goals and stay focused.

Around the eight mile marker, I realized my brain was shutting down...

Angrily, I sent telepathic messages to the chief hamster. I have a standard two wheel brain. Squeaker was sitting in a lazy boy drinking a beer and watching the Tour de France, and Chitter was playing pool with a cigarette dangling out of his mouth! Holy crap!! I had been spot on with my nutrition and hydration. I'm not sure why my brain decided to take a time out. I refocused and kept pedaling, while angrily pressing the reset button.

With four miles to go, the cursing continued unabated. Around mile two, I shocked myself by using the f-word and asking somebody to shoot me. I laughed about this later. I didn't even want to finish the last two miles, but I did. When I arrived at the car, I was toast. It took me five minutes longer to get home then it did to go out, but that is something I'm going to have to work on for another day. Total times 4:35:28 seconds, for 84 miles, 18.3 mph average.

Sunday morning, I got to sleep in until the delicious hour of 8:30 AM. Then it was off for my one hour and thirty minute run. It was hot and humid. I was sore. I wasn't sure how my legs were going to hold up. They did surprisingly well! I was going to do an out and back before I "picked up" two dogs that had gotten out of the fence. They ran with me for about two miles. I had to change my route because I couldn't stand the thought of them getting out into a busy road and getting hit. They obviously weren't car savvy. Eventually, I dropped them off at the library with the Sheriff's deputies who were directing church traffic. Over all, I did 8 miles in 1:28:14, for an 11:03 average pace. I lost 5.5 pounds of weight during that run, plus I drank 24 oz! Unbelievable. Coach says I need to drink more. I believe her!

Finally, Happy Birthday to my beautiful niece, Sayoa, born yesterday, around 12:30 PM local time, in Spain. Welcome to our world.

Bienvenido a mundo, bebe bonita!

Wes

OCN: 84 miles, 4:35:28, 18.3 mph
ORN: 8 miles, 28:13, 11:03 mm

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Power of Your Mind

I grew up an athletic child. I was never the best. More often than not, I was the third or even second best. But I could play everything. T-ball at six years of age. Football in first grade. Basketball in eighth grade (I was a late bloomer, but I made the first squad). Along the way I was an all-star second basemen (normally played catcher) and the quarterback for a champion football team.

During my youth, I was fortunate to have parent-coaches that not only loved the sport, but also truly cared about the kids. One coach in particular was the fire chief at a local station. I grew up in grade school in between grades of his oldest and youngest son. I was fortunate to have him as my coach for almost my entire career. It was he that believed in me and my abilities. It was his team that went to the championships and won. My last year of grade school he was gone, and I ended up playing tight end or something like that. The new coach's son got the starting quarterback position.

During high school, I fell out of most sports. The kids got bigger, while I seemed to stay the same size. I played baseball through my freshman year, and after that, nada. Fortunately for me, most of my jobs helped me keep my weight down, and joining the Army out of high school kept me in good physical condition.

Then I took up pool. I'm pretty good at that too. Almost second best good. I joined a league, and for some strange reason, when I was ranked a 7 (on a scale of 1-10), I always played better than when I was ranked a 5 or a 6. I realize now that I fed off the confidence placed in me by the team captain.

There are more examples in my life time of this. Some of them sports related. Some of them not. Swimming without a crutch, for example. The point I'm trying to make is that yes, it is very important that you have confidence in yourself and your abilities, but it really helps to have our friends and family believe in us too. That's one of the reasons why I {heart} this community. Never a discouraging word is heard, and if it is, you get kicked to the curb! and I love that.

A little expressed belief in somebody will go such a long ways, in running, swimming, triathlon, in life. Never lose sight of that. Never get so wrapped up in what's happening to you that you fail to see what happens because of you.

If anybody out there is feeling underwhelmed, I've always got room for one more peep on my blog roll ;-)

Alrighty then... 4.5 hour ride is leaving the station tomorrow. Can I make it out to the forty mile marker on the Silver Comet Trail? I believe so :-)

See y'all on Monday!

Wes

OSN: 2100 meters, 41 minutes
ORN: 2.65 miles, 30 minutes

Thursday, July 24, 2008

For What Its Worth

Thanks for the vote of confidence... It probably doesn't come as any surprise. I want you guys (and gals) to come around. I feel a bit of an obligation to deliver something entertaining, you know? It's not a chore. It's not like that at all. It's just... me :-)

It seems like most days now, I wake in the morning feeling the stress and fatigue in my legs. Coach tells me we are in the base phase of IM training. The real deal doesn't start until August 11. We don't really have time to taper proper for these "B' and "C" races. So far, they have basically been my recovery weeks. LOL!!! At first, I had a hard time mentally absorbing the thought of trashing myself at the end of a recovery week, but Liz has been real good about supporting my recovery after the recovery.

As my run yesterday proved, again, as long as I can shake off the fatigue and slugishness, then the training is coming along just fine. NO NEED TO GET YOUR BOXERS ALL WADDED UP! LOL... When the plan calls for (x) minutes of warm up, easy, then you can bet that is what I'm going to do. So far, I've managed to hit all my intervals, painful as they may be. Then for the cool down, I take it slow and easy. It keeps me coming back day after day after day.

Take this morning for example... I took the opportunity for the first time ever to work a second day from home. This required me to do my bike intervals in my hilly neighborhood. Controlling my HR in the neighborhood is always a challenge, even when "just riding". Today, I needed to do five minute intervals in Zones 3 and 4, then rest. Of course, more often then not, when I rested, I was coming up to one of my infamous hills, which invariably pushed my recovery heart rate way up to where its not supposed to be.

When I got home, I could have easily been disgusted with my sixteen miles per hour average, but ya know, that's not what its all about. It's about doing what the plan calls for, and MPH or miles travelled just wasn't one of the criteria for today.

and that's good enough for me :-)

Wes

OCN (yesterday): 7.35 miles, 33:14, ~13 mph, recovery ride
OCN (today): 20.10 miles, 1:15:45, ~16 mph, intervals

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Dried Up

I dunno, ya know? I feel like my blog creativity (blogativity?) is impaired at the moment. Everything is clicking along just fine (see previous post). It's just that everything seems so mundane now. Kinda like... been there. Done that!

I could blog about Dee Dee and my sex life! Nah!! Then my blog would be like Marcy's :-D I know. WE DON'T WANT TO GO THERE!!! ROFL!!!! How about cooking? Nah! Plenty of food blogs out there. How about some same ole stuff? LOL!!

I ran this morning. I ran easy. Then I ran fast. Then I recovered moderate. Then I repeated if necessary, eight times. Then I cooled down. Most fun I had running around in a half mile circle in a long time. The fast intervals were at the top of Zone 3, and I got a good workout. It was mah-velous.

One of my Iron peeps posted a really good story yesterday with some insights into Ironman. These are easily convertible into insights into triathlon in general and probably running and biking too. You should head over there and read it. The biggest thing I took away from that post?

It takes a long time to get good at this sport!

I'm down with that!

Wes

ORN: 6.25 miles, 1:01:24, 9:49 mmp

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Clicking

Something happened between my last swim test and my race in Chattanooga. I think I found my swim mojo.

The Tuesday after the race, I had two one thousand meter intervals in the pool. I did the first one in 17:23, and the second one in 17 minutes flat. They were supposed to be easy. I guess they were easy. Either that, or I was floating on top of race results :-)

Today, I did 3000 meters in an hour. That included the warm ups and rest breaks.

Shhhhh..... Let's keep this quiet. I don't want to jinx myself for Lake Logan.

Moving on to other things...

Does anybody want a male dog? He only snores for 70% of the night. It's not THAT bad, except when he makes the most gawd awful snoring noises. Anybody have any suggestions? Breath Right nasal strips? A sleep apnea (sp?) machine? Making him an outside dog is not an option. He's just spoiled like that.

P.S. Those rumors that he marks his territory on your swim bag are just that, unsubstantiated rumors...

Wes

OSN: 3000 meters, 59:31, 3x150 w/u, 3x800, 1x150 c/d

Monday, July 21, 2008

Good (for another year)

I don't know how you morning peeps do it. I got it up at 5 AM or so on BOTH days this weekend. Mark it on your calendar. It will be important later ;-)

Friday, it was the return to intervals on the bike, and I was not ready for it. The plan called for a low cadence interval (low cadence low heart rate), a high cadence interval, then one interval of my choice in Zone 3, repeat three times. I like to go to Columns Drive for these types of workouts. The flatness and safety of the bicycle lanes allow me to (almost) precisely control my heart rate. I knew shortly after the second cadence of the first interval that it was going to be a tough day. My thighs were still feeling the hills from Chattanooga. I struggled, and it hurt, but I got the workout done.

Saturday rolls around, and its time for my annual referee recertification. They have this every year in the bowels of Gwinnett County, Georgia. It takes me an hour to get there. I was instructed to warm up for twenty minutes before my 6:45 AM test. That means I had to at least get there by 6:15 AM. Yikes! I have no trouble getting up early on race day, but to go take a fitness test then sit through a class all day afterwards just ain't fun!!

After my warm up, we did the 12 minute running test. At my age, I need to run 2000 meters in 12 minutes. That's about 9:40 pace. Last year, I used this opportunity to do my "magic mile" and ran it in 7:23 and some change. This year I decided, since I was sore, that a more consistent less intense effort was called for. I ran the first mile in 7:45, but I covered the exact same distance as last year, 2500 meters in my 12 minutes (that's a sub-8 overall pace). Just goes to show you that you feel better when your pace is consistent over all! I passed my written exam with flying colors. I am good until the end of 2009!!

Sunday, it was off to the Silver Comet Trail for my four hour bike ride. I was up at 5 AM again. I wanted to meet Kevin and be on the trail by 6:30. Well, I learned that soup, even if not spicy, is not a good choice prior to a long day. I had a few GI issues getting going, but we were off and riding soon enough. I chose the Silver Comet because I wanted to compare this ride to my Bud Plant ride from two weeks ago, and it was definitely a more pleasant journey. I mean, hills are good and all, but the Silver Comet has enough elevation change to work you hard without further destroying my already shredded thighs. I had a good time. The weather was cool and crisp. I covered 70 miles in four hours and eleven minutes of riding time, and we made it back long before the heat became unbearable. I'm looking forward to my long ride this weekend. I seriously want to break through the 80 mile mark, for my longest ride ever!

That about catches us up! I hope everyone had a STELLA weekend!

Wes

OCN: 22.8 miles, 1:15:00, ~17.4 mph
ORN: 5 miles, 50 minutes, 10 mmp
OCN: 70 miles, 4:11:30, ~16.4 mph

Friday, July 18, 2008

Pics are In

The race pictures from the Chattanooga Waterfront Triathlon are in!!


I really like the peeps at Brightroom. They do a great job taking race pictures, and this set is no exception. If you are interested, you can see the full range of pics here. I realize these peeps need to make money and all, but I wonder if they would sell two to three times as many digital packages if they didn't make them so damn expensive? Just sayin...

ORN: 3.4 miles, 35 minutes, ~10:17 mmp

Thursday, July 17, 2008

My Review: Sof Sole Athlete Performance Insole

There are memories that are forever etched in my mind. They may have gotten fuzzy, but not even drankin has been able to kill the brain cells where they reside. The hardest training run I ever completed during my run up to my first marathon is painfully embedded in my brain. It was a fourteen mile run. Circumstances dictated that I run from work. I thought for sure that the flatness of the terrain around my office would make the run easier. Boy was I wrong! When I got done, my ankles and shins were killing me, and the ball of my left foot felt bruised and battered. I wondered how I would ever make it to sixteen or eighteen miles, much less twenty-six.

In order to ease my pain, I decided to replace the insoles in my Mizunos. While I researched and debated which insoles to buy, I went ahead and went to the local drug store and bought a national brand of "performance gel sports" insoles. While they were really comfy, they didn't do a good job of keeping my feet cool, nor pulling the sweat away from my feet. I knew eventually I would replace them with something better.

While visiting the expo for the Atlanta Marathon and Half Marathon, I purchased some Superfeet Greens. I used them for the half marathon, and again at Huntsville. They fit the bill nicely. I could really tell the difference between running with just regular insoles and performance insoles. My feet have never been happier :-)

Fast forward to today...

My new running shoes have finally arrived! I will review those later, but this gave me the opportunity to drag out my little box of surprises and try out the insoles from Sof Sole. Sof Sole was one of the companies I had reviewed during my prior search for insoles, and quite frankly, the only reason I picked Superfeet was because they were convenient. I was and am excited to give these insoles a try!


Last night, I hauled out the insoles and my new kicks and set to work getting those puppies installed. I checked the box for instructions. I wanted to make sure it was OK to cut the insoles to the right size. It was a little difficult to find, but I did find the place where it said this was OK. I used the insoles from the running shoes to outline the Sof Sole insoles. When doing this, it is important to line up the inside of the insoles. It was rather easy to cut the insoles with scissors to the exact size. I quickly installed them into my new shoes.

I should mention that one of the things that put me off about these insoles was the plastic looking bottom. I guess I didn't do my research well enough, cause I thought the whole insole was like that. The top of the insole is made out of the same kind of material as Superfeet. It is just the bottom that is gel/plastic. This made me happy. The lighter foam upper would keep my feet cool and dry. These particular insole boasts extra cushion in the heel and toe box. My running shoes said the same thing. I guess I'm getting a double whammy benefit here, but would it be too much?

This morning, I took them out for a thirty five minute run. When I put the shoes on, I noticed that my feet felt exactly the same as they did when I wore the shoes without the insoles. This is important. I don't want the insoles changing the feel of my shoes. I also checked to make sure my foot still fit comfortably. The insoles are obviously thicker than the old insoles, and I didn't want the top of my foot crammed against the tongue of the shoe.

To make a long story short, everything worked out splendidly. The insoles were very comfortable. I really enjoyed the added cushion on my race weary feet and legs. My feet stayed cool and dry, and the insoles did not add any appreciable weight to the shoe.

Over all, I give them a definite A+. I'm kinda of the mind that when I purchase insoles, they are only going to get used in one pair of shoes. Sure, I could transfer them to the next pair of shoes I buy, but I have at least three pairs of running shoes I cycle through. It is unlikely that I will buy the same model shoe ever again. Who knows, I may get lucky and next year's model will match this years model precisely! But, not likely!! Any who, these insoles fit the bill rather nicely, and they aren't nearly as expensive (about half) as competitive brands. I think this athlete has found a new insole for his LSD shoes :-)

Wes

OSN: 2900 meters, 56 minutes
OCN: 7.9 miles, 35 minutes

Monday, July 14, 2008

Follow the Yellow Brick Road

A Chattanooga Waterfront Triathlon Race Report

Busy, busy weekend. Friday night, I ended up solo. Taking advantage of the situation, I started texting Dee Dee at work about going out and causing trouble. One thing led to another and we ended up having a date night. We tried out the little Cajun restaurant in Acworth called Henry's. Maybe Cajun food two nights before the race isn't a good idea, and in retrospect, I probably suffered a bit because of it, but the food sure tasted yummy. Afterwards, we went to our new favorite dive and drank "Sex on the Beach" out of a gold fish bowl until early in the morning.

This whole drinking thing is a definite weakness, but you see how long my resolve lasts :-) Truth is, much like smoking, you either totally lay off, or you don't, and I'm ready to give it a best effort. I'm sure you guys are probably tired of hearing about it.

Due to the late night, Dee Dee and I didn't make it out to Columns Drive for our Saturday workout until around 11 AM. It was getting hot, but bearable. I had a twenty minute bike to do, followed by a ten minute run. After I finished, I put a chair in the shade and read a book while Dee Dee went around in circles on Columns Drive. She finished up her eighty minute ride with a ten minute run, then it was back to the house. Dee Dee had to go to work, and I had a bunch of stuff to get done before the race.

My tri-pal Brian came over around five-ish PM. He was spending the night at my place, then catching a ride up to the race with us in the morning. We went to the store and bought some stuff for dinner. I made this wonderful pasta recipe for the first time since the inaugural ING Marathon in 2007. It was just as good as I remembered, and I'm getting pretty good at this cooking thang too :-)

After dinner, I ran some food up to my son, who was working at the restaurant, then it was back home yet again to clean out the car, print out all my information, and finally pack my transition bag for the race. I think I finally got done around 10 PM. Brian and I watched an MSL soccer match on TV until around 10:30 PM, then it was off to bed for us.

I didn't really sleep very well. I broke a somewhat cardinal rule by not getting a good night's sleep two days before the race. The last time I looked at the clock was 1:30 AM, and the alarm went off at 4 AM. I'm getting used to this kind of stuff now. I knew I could make it through the race with little to no sleep.

While Dee Dee got herself ready to go, Brian and I went downstairs and had coffee. I had three Krispy Kreme donuts and a glass a milk a healthy breakfast. By 4:30 AM we were packing the car and loading the bikes. I think we pulled out of the drive way around twenty till. The ride up to Chattanooga was uneventful. The sun was coming up as we neared the Tennessee border.

We pulled into downtown Chattanooga shortly after six, just as it was starting to get light. I had wanted to get there before six, but it is what it was, and I didn't want to get all flustered trying to hurry. As we were unloading the car, Brian told us of his decision to not race that morning. He just wasn't feeling it. Dee Dee and I were totally cool with that. The last thing I want is somebody out on the race course involved in something like triathlon without having their heart in it.

It didn't take very long to get through registration and pick up my stuff. I walked through the grassy transition area and found my spot on the rack. I just couldn't believe what I saw there. Some jackhole, obviously a seasoned triathlete (he had the coolest felt bike), had laid all of his gear out underneath the rack. I put my bike on the rack opposite of his and put my gear in the front like you are supposed to.

Setting up transition next to my friend from Peachtree City

Dee Dee was waiting for me on the side of transition. I realized that I had better get my bearings. Transition was pretty big. My lane was right after the finish line. I had no trouble finding my space during transitions. We walked over to where the buses were leaving to wait for my number to be called. Kevin, who had gotten there early, was accompanying us. We had some good chit chat. I wasn't nearly as nervous or excited as I usually am on race day. While we were making small talk, I noticed Sarah standing across the street. We yelled at her and she came on over to join us. Sarah introduced us to one of her tri-club pals, and we had a lively time keeping busy before the race start. It was good to be amongst friends.

Eventually, I got tired of them waiting to call my number. I got on the bus over to the swim start. This swim was point to point. We were leaving from the University of Chattanooga Rowing Center and ending right beneath transition. The race peeps did a good job of getting us all over to the swim start, but it really was hurry up and wait. I went down to check out the swim start. On the way back, I ran into Steph and her husband Doug. Getting to see and chat with Steph and Doug at races is just a thrill. They are fun people and really enjoy triathlon and racing. After standing around for yet more time, I went up to the front of the line to hit up the Powerade. I heard someone call my name and I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Ryan. Ryan, you are nothing like I pictured you to be bro, and it was yet another thrill for me to get to meet you!! Sorry I missed you after the race, but I know our paths will cross again soon.

The race peeps got the line moving. They actually organized everybody in numerical order. It probably took twenty to thirty minutes for me to make my way down to the water. They gave us our instructions before the race. We were to slip in the water feet first, then glide down to the end of the peer. When they called our number, we could take off swimming.

While waiting to get into the water, I had rubbed my goggles with saliva. I did NOT need foggy goggles on this open water swim. When I put them on to get into the water, everything felt OK, but the minute I was in the water, I realized that my nose space had somehow shortened, and the goggles felt funny and tight. I yelled at the lady giving me instructions to wait a second, my goggles were messed up. I let go of the pier and took off my goggles. To my surprise, I could stand there along the pier. I fixed my goggles, then scuttled down the pier to resume my place in line. Almost immediately upon reaching the end of the pier, they called my number and I was off.

It's a little different, swimming that is, when you don't have a crutch to rely on. My Swimsafe belt was safely tucked in my swim bag back in Woodstock, Georgia. For a few minutes, I could see the bottom of the river, and that made me smile. Just like Beggars Canyon back home, eh Luke? I focused entirely on creating a box around myself, and I swam in that box. Eventually, I lost sight of the bottom and realized that I was in deep water. At first, I tried so hard not to get out of breath. Once I was comfortable, I began to push the pace.

Most of the other peeps were swimming out in the river along the buoys. I decided to take the inside track. I really wasn't trying to stay close to shore. The water was relatively clear there, and I had to pass very few people. A couple of times, I started to go off and course and made adjustments. One time, I felt out of breath and flipped over onto my back to breath deeply. After about the first four hundred meters, I had to pause to readjust my goggles. The right one had been leaking, and I really didn't realize that it was half full of water until I opened it up to drain. LOL!! After that, it all became about clean swimming.

How about that form? Long and smooth! See the reach?


Oops! Something to work on :-) Head is WAY too high breathing!

At some point during the first 1000 meters or so, I heard Brian yell at me. I raised my head long enough to wave, then took off swimming again. I had planned to judge my distance by the end of the island and the bridges, but evidently, I am a bad judge of distance. I guess not having a turn around and not being able to see the end affects your sense of time. As I rounded a big docked ship, I saw the stairs to the exit, and I picked up the pace. I didn't have to fight anybody to get out of the water, and the waiting volunteer was very helpful. I was up and on the stairs in no time. I didn't realize until much later that I had actually PRed the swim. I came in around 26:37 but had forgotten to start my own watch during the confusion at the swim entrance.

Being helped from the water by a wonderful race volunteer!

Brian and Dee Dee were yelling at me as I made my way into transition. I wasn't smiling on the outside, but inside, I was simply elated. I was glad to have such a good friend, glad to have Dee Dee and Brian there to cheer to me on.

Definitely tired after that swim!

Most of my T1 time was spent zig zagging from the swim exit into transition. I ran most of the way then walked down the aisle to my bike. It had started to rain a little on the swim, so my bike gear was damp, but that was no big deal. I slipped on my helmet, race belt, sun glasses, and shoes (no socks again) and proceeded to woggle to the bike start. I took my time getting mounted, had a clean start, and off I spinned on the bike course.

The short jaunt through the city of Chattanooga was uneventful. Eventually, the path went up an exit ramp and onto Highway 27. Someone had posted a video of the bike route, but me being the adventurous person I am, I totally ignored it. Sarah had felt good about the bike course, so I expected it to be mildly challenging. It was much worse. They gave us the entire left lane of the highway, but the right lane was open to traffic. We hadn't gone but for three to four miles when we hit our first hill, and it was a doozie. I mean, the hills in Georgia are sharp and sweet, but this one was long and gradual. At the top of the hill, you were rewarded by a nice downhill, but then came the steepest and longest hill of the day at mile 5. I laughed and thought Sarah was in for a bit of a surprise.

As we pedaled down the wet highway, I began to get passed by the usual plethora of people. I had managed to keep my heart rate relatively low during the first five miles, but the hills made that difficult. After the big hill, I just resolved to keep it as low in Zone 4 as I could and hammer. I laughed at one point. I was passing somebody when a big eighteen wheeler went by, and the poor chica in front of me got seriously sprayed with road water. By this time, I had taken off my sun glasses cause I couldn't see. I tried to put them back on, but it was just to dangerous. It seemed like there were hills, and hills, and more hills. We had a nice long downhill stretch to the turn around point, but I wasn't excited. I knew I was gonna have to climb that sum bitch on the way back.

The race peeps called out my race number as I made the turnaround. 13.1 mile to the run! The first thing I noticed upon turning around was the ominous black sky back in the direction of Chattanooga. I was under the impression that the worst of the rain had already passed. Oh well, nothing I could do about it now!! About two to three miles after the turn around, a really young chica came flying by me on the bike. It was Katie! The fifteen year old gal who won The Summer Sizzler I raced at in 2007. I latched onto her wheel and tried to keep up. I love being chicked on the bike! As a matter of fact, towards the end of the bike, I was getting chicked quite a bit by the twenty to thirty year old crowd. By this time, all the old guys who were faster than me had already passed me :-)

With about 8 miles to go, the skies opened up. The lightning crackled and the thunder boomed. The rain was coming down so hard it hurt. I actual braked on the first downhill in the thunderstorm so I wouldn't run up on the back of Katie's wheel. After that, I took all the uphills and flats in aero and all the downhills up right. I was really afraid of, you know, running off the road and crashing into a barbed wire fence or something. For the first time ever, I can really say I enjoyed climbing the hills. It was at that point that the rain stopped stinging! LOL!! Lucky for us, the rain began to let up within a couple of miles of transition. We rode back through downtown Chattanooga. When transition came into sight, I slipped out of my shoes and pedaled the rest of the distance barefoot.

Soaked to the skin, but smiling!

I heard Dee Dee and Brian yell at me as I passed under the bridge where they had taken shelter from the rain. I had the best dismount. Not having worry about my bike shoes just rocked. I was careful this time to put the pedals in the proper position so they did not drag. That was a mistake I had made at Cohutta Springs.

I ran through transition and quickly found my spot. I took off my bike gear, slipped on my hat and Zoots, and I was off. Even though I wasn't really trying, I had a really fast transition, coming in under two minutes. The run course started out up hill. We followed the street around the corner, then it was up the stairs to the path that ran along the river. I, personally, thought this was torture. I had to take the stairs at a slow walk, holding up the people behind me. The race peeps told us not to pass, but folks passed me anyways, and I didn't blame them!! They were racing, I was processing :-)

Once we got onto the path proper, there was a downhill, then it was all flat. Right after the downhill, there was a company that was handing out ice cold towels. Other than the torrential down pour, the weather had been perfect. It was slightly raining and drizzling during the run. The sun was hidden behind the clouds. Well, the ice cold towel was just wonderful. I wiped off my arms and face, then squeezed the towel on my chest. I thought about carrying it with me on the run, but I couldn't get it into a good place without holding on to it. I reluctantly tossed it and left it behind.

At the rowing center, I ran across Steph, who was on her way back, and she thought I would pass her on the bike! LOL! I was glad to get to see her and cheer her on. I kept looking for Kevin, but I never saw him. The run along the river was wonderful. I was very careful to keep my HR in the 156-160 range. This was unusual for me. I usually end up blowing up in the 168 range. I slowed down to walk through the aide stations, but other than that, it was just a consistent effort for me. I opted to pass the aide station before mile three. I wanted to keep running and knew I could stop back by on the way in. I reached the turn around, and the race peeps called out my number. 3.1 miles to go!!

On the way back, I allowed my HR to drift up above 160. I was just a running along, just barely getting out of breath. I tried to take in the scenery and enjoy being amongst my fellow athletes. When I passed the rowing center for the final time, the race officials were playing a mixed version of U2's Beautiful Day. That got me pumped up. The sign said I had just passed the five mile marker, but the dude on the microphone said that I had 1.5 miles to go. I seriously wanted to flip him the bird. "I have 1.2 miles, damn it! and not an inch more!!!" LOL!! I slowed down before the big hill and took another ice cold towel. They were SO good :-) When I reached the hill, I saw Sarah coming down. I was excited to see her!! I yelled, "Go Sarah! Rock the shiz!" We high fived each other. She asked me how my swim went, and I told her good! I told her I would see her at the finish and proceeded to walk up the hill.

All of a sudden, I decided it was time to start lifting up my fellow athletes. A few of them looked like they were struggling. I imparted a few words of wisdom from my coach. "Push! then rest. Push!! then rest! You got this!!" I said. Down the stairs we went back on to the street. Less than half a mile to go, now. I ran up to a younger guy in the 35-39 year old age group. He wasn't quite running my pace, but when I started talking to him, he picked up his pace. This was his first Olympic. I told him how great he was doing. We didn't have much time left. He said that he was trying to finish strong, but he didn't have anything left in the tank. He asked my about my races and seemed impressed that I had done a half IM (I was wearing my Florida 70.3 hat). "Let's take advantage of this downhill and pick up the pace!", I said, and we did. We ran side by side for the rest of the race. Up ahead, I could see the finish line. "There it is!", I said. "Are you ready? Let's go!" We picked up the pace to a sprint. There was still quite a few people along the finisher's chute cheering us on. When we got to within a hundred yards of the finish line, I dropped back behind him about ten yards. I wanted him to have his own finisher's photo.

My new friend, crossing his first Olympic distance finish line!

I raised my arms in the air, smiled, and crossed under the finish line.

I don't think I enjoyed myself more at any other race EVA!

The race volunteers practically ripped the timing chip from my ankle. What a relief! I high-fived my Oly first timer then walked down to the end and picked up my finisher's hat and water bottle. Dee Dee and Brian quickly joined me as I exited the race route.

After the race, I spent some time resting, hydrating, and eating. I didn't really want to partake of the free beer, so I did without. I managed to find Kevin at the food tent, which was awesome. We got to spend some time after the race together. I also did not want to leave until Sarah crossed the finish line. I'm just funny like that. I decided to go ahead and gather my stuff out of transition and watch for Sarah. As soon as I was making my way back to Dee Dee with my bike and gear, Sarah comes running down the race course. Her peeps from PTC Tri Club gave her a resounding chorus of cow bell, and Dee Dee, Brian, and I added our voices to the cheers. I found her in the food tent to say my good byes, then it was time to pack up and head off Georgia, but not before Sarah shoved a beer in my hand, muttering something about not drinking beer ;-)

Brian, Dee Dee, and I kept up a lively conversation on the way home. It made for a quick and pleasant trip, despite our being so tired. Once we got back to my house, Brian packed up his things and went home. I'm sure he was ready for a nap, I know I was. I eventually found my way to the couch and slept for three hours, totally blowing my plan to cook dinner for my kids! I settled for a dinner of chips and salsa, with enchiladas, rice, and beans for dessert :-)

After this race, I am basically aglow. I have a very smug sense of personal satisfaction. I did not PR, but I am in total agreement with my coach. It is hard enough to compare performance on the same course under the same conditions, much less a different course, under different conditions. Not only did I see The Wizard on the swim, but I had the most perfectly executed race plan ever. Everything just went like buttah!

With that kind of feeling in my heart, what's not to love?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Chattanooga Quickie

I finished in 2:56:47. Not an Olympic distance PR for me, but I had one of those races where everything just came together... Here are the splits from Team Magic:

Swim: 26:37
T1: 3:26
Bike: 1:23:43
T2: 1:49
Run: 1:01:14

Back with a full race report soon!!

Wes

Friday, July 11, 2008

Two Days

How appropriate...

Yea, it's two days until The Chattanooga Waterfront Triathlon, but that ain't what I am talking about...

I've had two days of good sleep. Two days of dream sleep. That's how I know I've slept good. I don't remember what the dreams were, but they were gooooood :-)

It's funny, yet ironic, that I know the cause, yet I keep subjecting myself to this torturefest. It's not the training. Sure, I'm being pushed beyond my limits. My body is being broken down, but it is not broken. Mentally? You can scrape the bits and pieces up off the floor.

The training didn't do that either.

The pattern is painfully clear. It's like having somebody screaming and yelling in your face. You are annoyed. You know it's true. You want them OUT OF YOUR FACE, but there's nothing you can do about it.

I've even complained about it before. The culprit is my alcohol consumption.

There's a difference now though. I might be able to slog my way through training sessions for an Olympic or half IM with a hang over, then dry up the week or two before the race, but that ain't gonna work for this level of training. I simply can't afford to get this mentally drained. The training itself is hard enough on my mind. Throwing in no sleep for three or four days after drinking, and I'm being assaulted from all quarters.

Last night, I went to the restaurant and had one beer. One beer. I still slept like baby. I hope that's a sign that one beer every once in a while is OK. That half full bottle of Vodka from the Fourth? It's still in my cabinet, untouched since the holiday. That's important.

This may not be the answer, but its a start. I {heart} sleep...

Two days until the triathlon. My training has come full circle. Last October, I went to find The Wizard on the swim at Cohutta Springs. I wore my Swimsafe belt then. The swim this Sunday is the last time this year I will race without a wet suit. It's a very important day for me in preparation for Ironman.

I'm off to see The Wizard. Wish me luck...

Wes

OWS: 1500 meters, 30 minutes
ORN: 2.3 miles, 20 minutes, 8:43 mmp

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Wanted: Triathlete Seeking Breakout Swim

I am a great swimmer. I am a great swimmer. I AM A GREAT SWIMMER!

Ironic, or maybe fortuitous is a a better word, that confidence has been bandied about the blogosphere a bit this past week. There's always Stef, whose entire blog is dedicated to confidence in herself, both in triathlon and beyond (look at how far you've come!!). Then, there's our fav Boston Socialite who is dealing with a last minute injury on her way to Ironman Lake Placid. It was her self doubts that prompted me to unleash the f-bomb. Finally, none other than the newly turned professional triathlete goddess Bree Wee recently discussed her own lack of confidence in her swimming. She decided to "fake it" and see what that got her! LOL!!! Yea, she did good.

Then there's me...

Ye who doubts hisself on the swim shall surely drown...

Yea, that me :-)

I kicked ass on my swim test yesterday. You know the one. You take it in the POOL, where the water is clear and the lines are marked (just to make sure you don't get lost, and you know, end up in the deep end or anything like that). I shaved forty-five seconds off my last swim time. Coach was happy. I was happy, albeit burned out physically and mentally. Liz says this makes me a speedy peep in the pool now.

We both agreed. I need to lose the belt.

Ho, hum... Blah, blah, blah. Yea. OK. I'm leaving it at home, Lucy!! Unless of course, I can't talk Dee Dee out of doing an Olympic she isn't ready for yet.... ahemmm....

The swim this Sunday is in the Tennessee River. I really really wants to figure out how to do better than a two minutes per hundred meter swim time.

I wonder... come Sunday... if swimming ten yards from the shoreline is gonna help, or hurt? ROFL!!

Not gonna do it....

Wes

OCN: 17.5 miles, 1 hour, 17.5 mph

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Rose Colored Glasses

I was reading through the latest issue of Triathlete Magazine when I came upon this article that espoused the virtues of exhaustion. Yes, exhaustion. It would seem that exhaustion is a good indicator that you have broken down your muscles. They are ready to be rebuilt stronger.

Which explains my recent series of workouts.

There are two important differences I have discovered so far to being coached versus self coached. First off, coach is focused on the big picture, and that basically means we are not pausing for these "little" races. I am used to tapering one week for sprints and two weeks for Olympics. But coach? She had me do my longest ride EVA the weekend before Chattanooga, then to rub salt in my aching muscles, she had me do a fifty minute run yesterday with one minute pick ups. Holy crap.

Second, she gets this whole exhaustion thing. She knows I need to be stronger both physically and mentally if I am going to cross the line in Florida and become Iron. Thusly, the repeat swim test this morning, "to see where I was at". Out of concern and curiosity, I spoke with some top age groupers (Kate Monster and Marni) at Iron Girl, and they explained to me that Liz wanted me going into Chattanooga slightly shelled. It would make me stronger. OK. I'm down with that. Understanding is almost as important as doing, in my book.

With that out of the way... Now I get to tattle on myself. I dropped the f-bomb in a comment on somebody's blog. I get SO fired up when people heap negatives on themselves when the reality I perceive is so much better. I know. I know. Why can't you people see yourself through my eyes and just agree that I AM RIGHT! LOL!!!

What EVA! Leave me to my rose colored glasses and I'll go through life blissfully ignorant, yet happy...

Wes

ORN: 4.7 miles, 50 minutes, 10:38 mmp
OSN: 2000 meters, 40 minutes, includes 10x100 LT test

Sunday, July 06, 2008

The Bud Plant Ride

Right in my backyard, which in Atlanta means within twenty to thirty minutes of the house, lies the quaint little town of Cartersville, Georgia. I don't know that much about Cartersville, other than its on the other side of Lake Allatoona, the people are country, and they have a Bud Plant.

A Bud Plant you say? Yea, that's where they make my favorite drink. Beer. Heck, during the Katrina crisis, they switched the whole plant over to water, unasked, and began shipping out cases of fresh water in Bud cans. How cool is that?

The nice people at the Bud Plant have opened up one of their parking lots to the bicycling community. You can park your cars there and ride the back roads of whatever counties lie to the north east of Cartersville. As a matter of fact, they have a century ride that I am planning on doing in September that leaves from that very place. The route is (almost) clearly marked with paint at every turn.

A group of peeps from Beginner Triathlete decided to have a group ride this morning. About eight folks were showing. Half of them would be doing the 45 mile option, the other half would be doing the 65 mile option. Since I had a 4 hour bike scheduled today, I joined the 65 mile group with the understanding that I would go back out again if I had time left over at the end of the ride.

I got up at the butt crack of stupid this morning, still tired from my weekend activities. I made breakfast, grabbed the coffee and jumped in the car. As I pretty much expected, it took me thirty to thirty five minutes to get to the Bud Plant. I almost ended up with wrong group. Silly me didn't know how popular this place was. I didn't fathom there might be more than one group leaving for a ride.

After realizing my error, I managed to hook up with BT'ers. Nobody really wanted to be in charge, but eventually we got the ball rolling. Three of the guys in the lead took off and set a very fast past. I was supposed to stay in Zone 1 for the first thirty minutes. After three to four minutes of this, I gave up and joined the tri-chicas bringing up the rear. They were doing the 45 mile loop and were in for a less intense ride.

I rode with the tri-chicas for a while. The route was beautiful. It wasn't too hilly. There were some really nice flat and downhill sections, and the scenery was just awesome. The morning started out cool, and much of the ride was under the canopy of the trees. Eventually, we met up with the lead pack. They stopped to wait for us across an intersection. One of the experienced riders told us there was a dog ahead. The dog was somewhat of a known nuisance. The experienced rider told us we should all stick together going past the dog.

The group took off and formed something of a pace line. A mile or two down the road, I saw this medium-large dog with wet fur standing on the side of the road. Evidently, this dog had some experience "playing" with cyclist. When he saw us coming, he went behind the bushes and setup his ambush. Now, everybody who knows anything about ambushes knows that you let the first couple of people by and jump the middle of the pack. Fortunately for me, I was one of those first two or three cyclist to go by. The dog came jumping out with a fury chasing down some of the peeps behind me, but everybody made it through OK.

At the thirty mile mark, the group split up. The 45 milers would continue ahead. The 65 milers would take off on their own route. I asked the three guys in the 65 mile group if they wouldn't mind slowing down a bit so I wouldn't like, die or anything. They obliged, and we took off on the rest of our ride. Ten minutes into the route change, the lead rider got a flat tire. We pulled off the road for about fifteen minutes to allow him to change his tire. We got back on our bikes and headed down the road two miles to a corner store. We refilled our bottles there and caught up on our nutrition.

Once everybody was set, we took off again to complete our ride. The hills started to get worse, and the effort was taking its toll on my body. I got seperated from the group and was struggling to catch up. I did not want to get caught out on the route by myself, even if it was marked. I came to a ninety degree right turn in the rode and ended up taking it too fast. As I hit my back brakes, the wheel started to slide out from underneath me. I didn't panic. What I usually do is just ride the bike off the road and into the grass. With patience and determination, I began the process of executing the same maneuver, when to my chagrin, I realized there was a barbed wire fence running along the road. I cursed under my breath, slammed on both breaks and yes, I rode my bike into the fence. Lucky for me, I escaped with just a minor scratch on my knee.

Shaken, but not defeated, I got back on road. The guys were waiting for me up ahead, and I was able to rejoin the group. Not ten to fifteen minutes later, I had a wasp fly down the front of my shirt! At first, I thought it might have just hit me and bounced off, but NOOOOO! He was squirming around in my shirt. Lucky he didn't sting me. I rode off the road, slammed on my brakes. Ripped my shirt off and got that sucker out of there!! LOL!

The rest of the ride back to the plant was uneventful. At times, I struggled, at other times, I carried myself along fine. I made it back to the plant and said good bye to the guys with whom I had ridden. I finished up the 65 mile route in around three hours and thirty five minutes. I rode back out of the plant to finish my ride. I admit. I did not have much in the tank. I think I went six miles in that twenty five minutes. On the way back, I wasn't paying attention to what I was doing and went off the road again!! There's nothing like off roading in knee deep grass full of cans, bottles, and hidden holes. Geez... Being tired is no excuse for getting killed!! LOL!!

I made it home in one piece, after stopping off at McDonald's for some fuel. I was SOOO hungry. I've basically made it through the day without any kind of nap. I took Matthew and Dee Dee bowling. Dee Dee kicked our butts the first game. She has a new nick now. Muscles :-) I managed to win the second game, the only game where I actually bowled over 100. Matthew did very well too. He got two strikes during the last game.

Tomorrow is normally my rest day, but I have a race coming up this weekend. Instead, I have a fifty minute run planned. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go cry in my Sam Adam's Cherry Wheat and butter pecan ice cream, the breakfast of champions.

Wes

OCN: 70.75 miles, 4:02:16, 17.5 mph

Saturday, July 05, 2008

The Tail of Two Swims

Part I

On the plan for today, a thirty minute open water swim.

Dee Dee and I had fun last night :-) We still managed to drag ourselves out of bed by 10 AM. I have this thing about sleeping past 10 AM. I know. Seems like most of the day is gone, but usually, I get up at 6 AM, and 10 AM with less than 8 hours of sleep ain't no benefit.

I felt bad about leaving the kids to go train, but they were still sleeping. I hoped we would get back by the time they too crawled out of bed. I needed to do a 45 minute bike as well. Dee Dee has been stacking her workouts this week, and she too needed to swim and ride. We packed the car and headed over to Dallas Landing. Dee Dee thought that cycling through Acworth would be a good thing.

The beach was pretty crowded. Heck... The whole park was crowded. There were tons of families cooking out and enjoying the lake. We laid our stuff by the side walk and hit the water.

As I paddle out into deep water, I recognized the fact that my arms were sore. I fully expected them to resuscitate after they shook off their fatigue. About the time this happened, I reminded myself how much I love to swim. I never got out of breath. Never worked myself up to an aerobic state. I just swam, and breathed, and loved every minute of it.

I wish I could bottle that feeling and take it to the races.

Another thing I realized was how much the water of the lake supports me. I can breast stroke, or roll over onto my back and float with minimal effort. Why then, during races, do I feel like I am floundering, sinking, about to drown when I do these same things? Is it the need for speed?

Dee Dee and I wrapped up our swim and hit the bikes for our cycling tour of Acworth. Old Highway41 is brilliant for cycling. The people of Acworth are used to riders, and we had good recovery ride.

I hope everyone is having a brilliant Fourth of July weekend!! Stay safe out there and happy training :-)

Wes

OSN: Open Water Swim, 30 minutes, ~1500 meters
OCN: 9.5 miles, 45 minutes, ~12.5 mph

Friday, July 04, 2008

Happy Fourth of July

To all men and women of the Armed Forces of the United States, past, present, and future, I salute you! You are my heroes...

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Drifting with a Purpose

After the excitement of Iron Girl, I find myself drifting on the Sea of Life. I am not aimless. Ah, no. Au contraire! (sp?) The current I am riding is pointed at Ironman Florida 08, and I am in a good place.

For those of you who have been following me for a while, you know I describe life metaphorically as a river. We are all riding it to the end. We are being pushed relentlessly. We can use our free will to steer the boat, and for a time, struggle against the current, but in the end, the path remains the same.

When is a funk, not a funk? When it's a happy funk? I'm doin the askin here :-)

On a scale of one to ten, I would put myself at a six or seven. Autopilot. All systems clicking. I am slowly but surely becoming sharp, like the proverbial knife. My training continues to surprise. I'm doing things like riding 58 miles in three hours and running 2.4 miles at an 8:30 pace. I continue to hit the training goals set by my coach, despite what I think are shelled limbs and a concerted effort by the E.L.F. to return my DNA to the primordial ooze.

Up on the horizon looms The Chattanooga Waterfront Triathlon, and I find myself questioning the wisdom of this decision. I don't do it often, but I am asking, Why? In looking back, I think the primary purpose was to close the gap in my race schedule. Is that sufficient a reason of itself? Being a "B" or even a "C" race is making it hard to answer the question. After working with Liz for the past month, it has become apparent that there are important questions (beyond why) which need to be answered, thus, giving some importance to this race.

My first, foremost, and only goal is to have a good swim. I'm sure Liz will add others. I am determined to swim Chattanooga without my Swimsafe belt. Yes, its time to wear the big boy pants!! Everything after that is gravy.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Fourth of July weekend. A bunch of peeps from Beginner Triathlete dot com is meeting at the Bud Plant for a group ride Sunday at 7:30 AM. There is a 45(+12) mile option and a 65 mile option. If you have nothing better to do, come join us!!

Now, if you will excuse me. The breeze is blowing. The music is playing. The beer is cold. The sun is warm on my skin. The boat is drifting. The current is flowing.

Life is good :-)

Wes

OSN (T): 1500 meters, 29 minutes
ORN (T): 3.4 miles, 35 minutes
OCN (W): 22.45 miles, 1:14:26, 18.1 mph
ORN (W): 2.35 miles, 20 minutes, 8:30 mmp
OSN (Th): 2400 meters, 53 minutes