Wednesday, May 30, 2007

"That's life...."

What a buzzkill...

I have now learned that I am too nice of a person, and I have issues saying no. Why is this? Because I feel I have always been a team player and just a helpful person in general. I figure that somewhere down the line that I will get something back out of what I do for others. Does it usually occur? Nope, but I always hope it will.

How this relates to this blog?

Tuesday I am all ready for my ride. 25 miles with the Sandy Springs group, and my boss from my 2nd job is planning on showing up (the uber good duathlete/triathlete).

About 2 'o clock, the front of house mgr comes over to tell me that two people are not showing up for work and she could really use the help. Insert "Mr. Good Guy/Team Player" here...

I told her I would do it for her. I get there at 5:30 pm in a kind of bad mood, but decided if I was going to be there, I would work. 45 min later, she says, "You know, I'm sorry it is really slow, do you want to go home?" Hmmm let me think... YES! So I literally run out to the car and get my gear, come back in and change, then head up to the ride (which I will be late for, more on that later). As I am on the way I call my boss to let him know plans have changed yet again (it went from riding to not riding back to riding again), and if he is still up for it, to bring it on! He says traffic is bad, but he is on his way. As I am pulling in the parking lot, he calls and is about 10 min away, but that is not the problem. The problem is that he forgot his bike cleats(shoes) at home. He said he had his running shoes, and was going to the Chattahooche to run instead.

So I am off at around 7:00p, and I immediately decide that in 10-15min the A group will be starting the 2nd half of the course, so I might as well start there. Not to mention the fact it would be almost completely dark outside if I tried to do the whole ride. Tried pushing it, but was not working (due to hard workout weekend?). I did ride in some bigger gears spinning just as hard as I would normally in a smaller gear, which was an improvement on some hills. And there was a roller section where I pounded through without gearing down.

I got caught almost halfway around Chastain park (almost done with the ride) and came to the last section of big rollers. When I got to the bottom of the first, I moved to my small ring......and the chain came right off!!! And it was not just that the chain came off, it did in such a way that it got stuck around the bottom bracket and the chainrings. Needless to say this killed my momentum. It took an extra few minutes to fix, and luckily somone was passing me by and I sucked their tail all the way to the finish.

Better some training than none, right?

On a positive note, I changed my entire schedule for June at my 2nd job to be more tri friendly!!! Only 3 days a week, and no Tuesday/Thursday (in case I actually want to do those group rides. Also I have that next tri on June 23rd. I have been really thinking about doing the Callway Gardens with Wes, but the distance is even shorter than a sprint, and I don't feel like getting up at 3am for a race! I also don't want to get a hotel room for a local GA event. So that leaves doing a race that is closer. I used to camp at Indian Springs/High Falls State park(s), so I know how to get there, and I know the area fairly well. Should be some nice hills on the bike course. Maybe we will even go over the bridge on the ride by the waterfalls, that would be cool.

Talk to y'all soon...


Monday, May 28, 2007

A long Memorial Day Weekend...

It's Almost over (writing this at 10:00p on a Monday night).

It started on Friday, where I had to work at both jobs, and the same went for Saturday. Sunday after work, I went out for my brick workout (the stats are below). Jackie just rode for a straight two hours.

Sunday morning, it happened...


And who was it you ask? Well it was none other than Wes, who just happens to be up the road from me (actually about 45 min up the road). Wes has been talking about getting some open water swims in, something that I am much in need in, and so I thought I would oblige. Sunday I thought I would send him an email to see if he was still interested, I knew he had a pretty busy weekend scheduled. Lo and behold on Sunday evening I had and email that was in my inbox, and started like this...

"Woo hoo! It's on :-) Dee Dee just asked me the same question. I guess I can't back out now ;-) ..."

Needless to say I was excited. I did not get a great night of sleep since my roommate is having issues with the HVAC running cold, so I did not actually get to sleep until about 3:00am. Up at 6:45am, I quickly got ready and headed out. Made a wrong turn on the way, but Wes quickly guided me back to where I needed to go and soon I was at his humble abode and met him and his wife, Dee Dee. Nothing but wonderful, I tell you!

We were then off shortly thereafter ( I got to see the new ride in person as well, it was sweeet!) and got to the lake close to 8:30. There were a number of cars in front of us, and the gate booth is not as quick and high tech as most things I am used to, so it took a bit longer. There were about 20-30 cars in there as well, and people already grilling, children swimming, etc. Off went the exterior clothes and there we all were in our swim gear, goggles and caps.

I asked Wes how he wanted all of this to go down, and it ended up being like a rectangular swim, close to shore. Which was fine with me, I was not about to get run over by some drunk people piloting jet skis and boats (come to find out later I had some friends at lake Lanier that experienced something similar). We completed 4 laps of somewhere close to 400 meters per lap. We thought it closer to 350, but on the last lap, after the final turn, I stroke counted similar to what I do in the pool, and I came up with about 150M from pole to shore. Who knows.

I think I finished everything in about 42minutes, with breaks inbetween each lap, so in all, not too bad consider we collectively swam about a mile. Wes was sporting some great form, and his sighting was great. He was usually ahead of me, and I would end up about 50 yards on either side of him. For those of us who joke about adding a few meters to our final distance due to getting of track, that was definately me today. Thought I felt a snake in the water at one point, but I think it was a piece of rope coming off one of the shallow bouy markers that I got close to (I hope). Dee Dee was not so fortunate, finding a dead snake in the water, and she was done.

Wes, it is so on for the rest of the year until it gets cold again!!! It is great getting away from the pool and swimming in an element that you will compete in eventually.

That is about all for now, more to come later. Due to the holiday weekend and such, I will forego posting my stats and just let you know that Sunday afternoon I bricked it with a 17mile ride and a 5K, and then Monday was the (some where close to a) mile swim with Wes.


Saturday, May 26, 2007

Aaannnnnnnnnd There Off!!! (And I really mean I am off and going!)


So, I came up with this brilliant plan a couple of weeks ago, and announced it to you recently...

So far, so good! I put the Stats so far this week at the bottom, so that if you do not want to bore yourself with my data, I don't have you scrolling through everything.

I hate to say it, but after the back to back weekend workout (and lets just say I have not exactly been consistently working out), I actually felt great on Monday, and could have done a workout. However, I am having electrical problems at the house, and I also just did not want to go (I had more important things to do). This morning I got up and ran (you can see the breakdown above) and it was great. Not quite light yet, I got to use my Valentine's Day gift for the first time (other than fumbling around in my dark bedroom this morning). And LED head lamp!!! It was great, since it was cool, and there were no people out there to run into.

The other night was Tuesday night ride with the Sandy Springs Cycleworks group. I was not able to get my hill repeats in before the bike ride, since I was trying to get my cadence/speed sensor to work. This was my endurance ride for the week, so I would not have been worried if I had destroyed my legs before I went on the ride. Instead of killing the first hill like I usually do trying to keep up with the pack, I held back, and I was able to hang until I got up and around the golf course into our next set of elevation changes. There were two other people that I rode with in the back (one of which was on team Cycleworks, must have had an off day if they were riding with me). I also saw one of my Fraternity brothers, Kevin, with one of his GA Tech team cycling buddies. They got a flat in the first 4 miles, and they passed me again around mile 11-12. Kevin said that his teammate was pulling him at around 21 mph both UP and DOWN hills to try and catch up with the front group. They got lost at one point and put in a couple of extra miles, so they never actually caught up with the group.

I don't know why, but I got blisters from my Tuesday morning run. I hate blisters. They always put a cramp in my training. I had Wednesday off, since I was working a double, and then Thursday I was down and out with the flu. I could not keep down breakfast or lunch, and then I finally made it through dinner. It made Friday even worse, since we had a potluck to wish someone off on their last day at the bank. Tons of food, I was directed to the chicken noodle soup, ham sandwhich, and a couple of chicken fingers with no sauce for saftey. Worked both jobs on Friday.

Wes, you are the man! I am going to try and get in with you for Memorial Day morning swim, and then after that we can play it by ear...

As for everything else, I have my eyes on the horizon for the Tri the Parks towards the End of June (Indian Springs???). I have not signed up for it yet, but after the next paycheck, depending on training, it is looking pretty promising.

Hopefully soon I will be able to get back on my computer at home. We have had a change of email policy at work, plus some other stuff going on in my extracircular life, and so I really need to play catch-up and sift through all the emails I just forwarded to my gmail account.

Now to my workouts this week. I need to work on a spreadsheet and some weekly totals, I think I will "borrow" some of your blogger ideas.

05/19/2007 (Saturday)
Workout - Endurance Run
Time: 52:29.00
Distance: 5.50 mi
Pace: 9:32.54/mi
Tot Cal: 727 calories
Avg Hr: 171 bpm
Max Hr: 186 bpm

05/20/2007 (Sunday)
Workout - Brick (Bike Run)
Total Time: 1:25:14.00
Bike Time: 57:00.81
Bike Distance: 17.08 mi
Avg Speed: 18.0 mph
Max Speed: 26.6 mph
Avg Hr: 136 bpm
Max Hr: 169 bpm
RPE: 5
Run Time: 28:14.00
Run Distance: 3.02 mi
Run Pace (AVG): 9:21.00/mi
Avg Hr: 169 bpm
Max Hr: 179 bpm
RPE: 7

05/21/2007 (Monday)
NONE - Rest Day

05/22/2007 (Tuesday)
Workout - Light Run
Time: 30:58.00
Distance: 3.13 mi
Pace (AVG): 9:53.00 /mi
Avg Hr: 163 bpm
Max Hr: 174 bpm
Cal: 446 cal
RPE: 6-7

05/23/2007 (Wednesday)
None - Both Jobs

05/24/2007 (Thursday)
None - Sick - Flu

05/25/2007 (Friday)
None - Both Jobs

Workout (05/22/2007) - Endurance Ride (Sandy Springs Tue Cycleworks)
Time: 1:35:27.80
Distance: 24.93 mi
Avg Speed: 15.7 mph
Max Speed: 39.3 mph
Avg Hr: 147 bpm
Max Hr: 175 bpm
Cal: --- (not accurate on bike, calculates based on speed as well)
RPE: 5-8


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Jumpstart (Mondays!!!)


I would say my friend who I train with, but I should actually call him my pseudo coach (for kicking my butt!!!), James, was nice enough to go out with me on my run last night. We went over to Chastain park and took the Garmin so that we could finally get the exact mileage for the loop.

Workout: Endurance Run
Distance: 5.12 miles
Time: 50:59.00
Avg Pace: 9:58 min/mi
Tot Cal: 707
Avg Hr: 177 bpm
Max Hr: 192 bpm

Basically I blew my wad in the first mile and a half, and then struggled the rest of the first loop (which has the majority of the elevation). By that time I had decided to let him go and get his workout (as nice as he was to stay back with me, I did not want to feel as if I was holding him back). He went and did two more laps, and I completed one more. I had to stop twice for about 45 seconds or so to get my heart rate back down to below 160 before I got started again. For some reason, no matter how slow I was running/jogging, I could not keep my heart rate below 180 bpm.

2nd lap was just miserable. I can tell you why though

1. Treadmill in temperature controlled gym.
2. Silver Comet Trail (technically flat)

Yesterday's run. 85 degrees and humid, and hills. What a difference a course makes!

After we both finished we sat down a talked for awhile, mostly about base mile training and staying under a certain heart rate max %. I think that makes a lot of sense, considering that I usually do not jog at an easy pace, even when it is a fun run.

I got caught up on my blog reading over the weekend, and it is nice to see that everyone seems to be finding themselves in races and other tri events.

I am considering volunteering for the first time soon. There is a free Sunday (I think) that I will have coming up soon, and I would like to see if there is any way I can get in there and volunteer.

I don't know if I previously mentioned, but I signed up for the Tri-PTC (peachtree city GA) on Sept 8th. I do not know how many years that they have been hosting this event, but it has been selling out now, and it has quickly jumped to a not selling out 300-400 people to a sell out of just over 700 people in 3 years.

I think next week I am going to sign up for one of the next Tri the Parks series races in June/August. There is Indian Springs on June 23rd, and then there is High Falls on Saturday August 18th. There is an event in July, but It would take me about two hours to get there, and I really do not want to get up any earlier/obtain a hotel room, for a race I want to be considered a "local event." Yes, I know that will decrease the number of events that are available to me, but we all know that this is an expensive and time consuming sport. Anywhere you can cut costs and save time/santity can be well worth it.

Next week begins week 1 of my 20 week HIM training schedule. I am kind of excited. I was not able to get to the pool this morning. I have to go and get a Bike pump after work since I left mine in NJ (present for uncle Les). tonight is speed work/hills on the bike. Depending on what time I get home, I might be able to get the swimming in as well. Otherwise I can move the swim to tomorrow morning.

(Quads screaming, Hammies screaming, we all scream for ice cream!)

On some of the other blogs, people (the Kahuna) have been posting about future potential races. I am all about me some Nevada triathlons, especially when they are near my family, I mean Las Vegas...


Friday, May 11, 2007

The Plan!!!

I am writing this on one of my few free nights, but I am not sure if I will finish it tonight (not that you will know anyways, it will all show up at the same time).

I began listening to the GYGO podcast last night before I went out to run some errands, I did not get that far through it, and I was only halfway paying attention, until I heard Iron Wil exclaim something about flashing. I will have to spend some extra time to listen all at once.

In other news, my youngest sister's graduation is Saturday morning at my old Alma Mater, the University of Georgia. I cannot believe that she is already graduating. She has a job already lined up in the fall, and will be moving to Atlanta in the late summer.

Also, I might not have mentioned in previous posts, but I have found some fraternity brothers (whom have moved back to Atlanta since graduation) that are participating in endurance and multisport events. It seems at this time that our schedules conflict, but I hope to be able to trian and maybe even complete a few races with them.

Ok, now on to business (right....).

Since my last race and the bike tour last weekend, I have been working on a plan for the rest of the year. It involves only 2-3 races later in the summer and is spread out through October. I have only signed up for one of them, due to selling out early, and the fact that I have made a point to complete the race every year (Tri - PTC). The rest of the races I am going to completely play by ear, so that if I don't want to do them or can't, it will make no big difference.

It is a 20 week program, and I have about 2-3 weeks before it begins, and hopefully will culminate in either a Oly or Half Iron distance race at the end of the 20 weeks. I am also trying to get some sort of consistent schedule going with my second job (if that is possible) so that planning my training on a week to week basis is not so screwed up. Usually I do not find out my schedule until around Friday afternoon for the following week. I am also planning to take a full week off of my second job before I start this whole "PLAN", so that I can make sure I have all the little things taken care of (I need to get caught up on some stuff anyways.

When I look at last year as compared to this year, I see many differences in what was/is going on in my life, but one major difference is that I had some sort of gameplan to take me throughout the entire year. This time around (2007) I just decided to wing it. Fast forward to today, and I can see now how that just was doomed for failure, combined with what all is going on.

Another certanity is that I will promise to use and rely on the support of my family, friends, bloggers, (i.e. anyone) who is willing to help me with this small cause in my life, as well as all other aspects of my life. As some other people have stated in their blogs (and i whole heartedly agree with them), this is a loner sport at times, and you tend to become selfish, self-sufficient, and/or individual-centered due to that fact. There are some ways around it, such as joining a club/team, masters swim programs, yet at the end of the day it will be the course and yourself. Because of this I have unconsciously shunned the support of my family and friends who have wanted to provide support that would most ultimately lead to my own personal success and betterment (not just in triathlon, but in general).

This week I have tried to put everything in perspective (including your comments) and I have greater positive mental attitude about things than in previous weeks. Happy Andy is back :-) (not that he ever really left...).

The Picture Nazi (he he he, just could not help myself J, sorry!) still has not let loose on her death grip of the pictures from the last two weeks, but I promise that I will get them out there as soon as possible (she distracted me last night by making me replace the fixed tire back on her Jeep).

I am going to take some of you up on that open water swimming offer here in the next few weeks if I can find out when I get some free time on the weekends. I still owe Wes a ride on the SCT, or I need to get up on Kennesaw and ride around the mountain with him.

Mutha out...

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

30th New York Bike Tour - May 6th, 2007

Hello All,

First off, thanks for all the responses and support after my last post. I think I am stressing out over nothing, but I just need to focus where I am at in my life right now, and adjust accordingly.

I hope that everyone got a great start to their week. I just got in late tonight from my trip back from NY/NJ where I completed a bike tour with Jackie and her Uncle Les. Here is the story...


Left for NY at 5:00am - Nice ride until we got to VA. It takes forever to get through VA. We stopped there for lunch in Petersburg at around 1:30p. Just being off the freeway for that short period of time scared me. No one in VA knows how to drive (at least off of the freeway)!!! It was plainly crazy. Not knowing how to yield at a 4 way stop, not knowing how to properly merge, etc...

Hit rush hour in both DC and Baltimore. We got in to Red Bank about 9:30 to meet up with a fraternity brother for dinner and coffee. We would have went out for drinks if we would have had more time, but it was late and we only got 3 hours of sleep the night before.


Visited both sides of Jackie's family with her uncle, and then picked up some bike gear which Uncle Les was nice enough to get on his dime (I appreciated it very much if you read about race day). That evening before bed we set up all our gear, portioned out our nutrition and bottles, and then went to bed around 10:30-11:00p.

Sunday - Tour Day!!!

Did I tell you that this was the NY Bike Tour, or the NY Bike/Walk/Stand Tour? Well it was more of the latter. We parked at South Beach on Staten Island at around 6:00am and I had a banana (for those of you who know the NY area) and then biked five miles to the ferry. Oh and that light windbreaker that I got the day before ... I wore that on top of a long sleeve tee and a bike shirt, regular bike shorts, summer gloves, and the wind chill was 33 degrees. How about them apples? The ride to the ferry was a warmup, but then we waited about 20-30 minutes to get on the ferry since there was a crowd of cyclists that filled the car ramp. After we got on the ferry I used the facilites, took some pictures and then we arrived in lower Manhattan. Got off and went about 2 blocks north before we stopped dead with all the rest of the people waiting to start... We would walk and then stop, repeated the process until around 9:00 where we were up to the world trade center area, and then we were able to get on our bikes and slowly ride to the start line. We passed the official start at around 9:20am. Felt numb at that point but excited abou the ride.

Somewhere between miles 2-3...

We stopped!!! What, stop you ask? How could you possibly stop during a bike tour. Well here is your answer. Have one in the Greater New York City area. For some reason (later to find out there was one street where the police and race marshalls had to let traffic and pedestrians bleed through a particularly heavily traveled street (somewhere between 51st and 55th Street on 6th Ave). It took us almost an hour to complete a 5K. We then again got on our bikes and traveled north to Central Park only to be stopped again dead in our tracks. This time the bottleneck was due to the fact of 1)pedestrians trying to get to and from Central Park and 2) they were splitting the riders into two different parts of central park (later to be merged again), which caused us to have to stop again.

Central Park ...

We rode through a quater of a mile of Central park and then again had to dismount and walk another half mile or so before we could start biking again. We got through Central Park and it was almost 12:00p. At this point it began to thin out.

Bridges, Bridges, and Freeways Oh my!

I think the best part about the ride other than the sightseeing portion, was the ability to go on roads, bridges, and freeways that on the other 364 days of the year, are for the most part a no-no for riders.

We had multiple stops for me (it seems that if I get too much potassium in my diet in the morning with a combo of hydration, I need to make frequent stops), and witnessed some really bad accidents, which in some places were kinda crazy since it was uphill or somewhere where riders were going really slowly.


This also brings about the point of the casual rider. Those of us who have decided to take the next step and make riding more serious in our lives (at whatever level, cycling, triathlons, etc) have taken the time to figure out riding etiquette, tips and tricks of cycling, etc. Those of whom are of the more casual rider alone on their street, or some large park, do not know what in the heck they are doing when they get on a tour or race.

1) I saw more weaving by sober cyclists than drunk drivers leaving a Falcons Football game. How hard is it to ride straight when you are able?

2) Certain bikes should not be allowed on tours/races. These include tandem bikes, the kid add on bike to the back of yours, tandem with the kid add on the back, and seated two wheel bikes. Oh wait and those kid carrier 3 wheel ones you hook to the back of your bike. I personally witnessed these devices wreaking havoc on other cyclists!

3) Do not bring kids younger than a certain age to ride, or kids that have not learned how to ride in large groups. I saw one kid get plowed because he wanted to take a break and just stopped right in front of this guy that was 6'2" and riding about 15mph. Was not pretty.

4) DO NOT STOP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD FOR ANY REASON OTHER THAN EMEREGENCY!!! If you were riding where I was on the tour, and you decided that you needed to stop for some reason, did it not enter your head that there might be about, oh a combined 15-20,000 more riders coming up behind you collectively? There was an asain guy who wanted to stop for some reason, and literally stopped fast (in the middle of the street) and a 15 year old girl slammed right into him, almost endoed over her handlebars.

Other than all the previous stuff written, both good and bad, I had a wonderful time!

The whole entire ride (standing and walking) took just under 5 hours. I have not looked to see any stats, just due to the fact that this was not really a race in nature, so what is the point in analyzing the data when there is really nothing to analyze. I know that I did not push that hard due to the pace we were going, and I am fine with that.


Then there was the 5 mile ride back from the Staten Island Park (not too far away from the Varazano Bridge (?), which was the home stretch of the ride) to South beach where the truck was to take us home. I am glad that we did not park in Manhattan, since there was a 45 min wait to get on the ferry to get back to Manhattan.

However, I did sleep for almost 12 hours Sunday night!!! I was just plain worn out! Which is really funny considering that I felt I did not do much of anything. Post race pizza and beer was great (compliments of Jackie's uncle). I think I had 8 slices of pizza. Still did not feel full when I was done with those, but I knew better than to continue. That was to make up for all the actual food that I did not eat during the race.

That is all for now. Someone has the camera hostage right now, which has prevented me from posting any pictures from either event. I will remedy that as soon as possible. Bye for now...


Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Ford Ironman Florida 70.3...........NO MORE

Hello Everyone,

So I told you that I would have an announcement to make pending an email that I was supposed to be receiving. Well, I never received the email from NA Sports, so I decided that I would go ahead anyway, and inform all of you what is going on.

During the last mile of my race this past Saturday, I realized that if I was completing the Ironman Florida 70.3, I would have to do what I was doing then 4 more times (to equal the 70.3 distance, roughly). I then thought to myself, "Andy, if you really drive your butt all the way down to Orlando and attempt to do this upcoming race, you are either a) going to be in the medical tent DNF with multiple IVs in you, b) in one of Orlando's finest Hospitals, or c) possibly worse than the first two."

Nice positive mental attitude while attempting to finish a race, eh? I thought so too. On the car drive home, I told Jackie of my intentions, and she was in full support of me no matter what I decided. On Sunday I composed an email and sent it to NA Sports (after reviewing their NEW cancellation policy), and my heart sunk just a bit further knowing there would be NO REFUND, and most likely NO RACE TRANSFER. I have yet to hear from NA Sports concering this matter.

I have now had plenty of time to let this marinate in my head. I know I made the right decision, but it has led me to view my 3rd year in the sport as uncertain. Just yesterday there was an incident at work that prevented me from getting in my afternoon workout (on top of the fact I did not get up early enough to go swimming), and then my other job called me to try and pick up a shift someone dropped. Being the nice guy (sucker) I am, I said yes instead of going home and "taking care of business."

Training is spotty, motivation is not there everyday, etc...

I have seen a few other posts from people's blogs having this same situation occur. I would like to see how they panned out.

I am still going to complete the NY Bike Tour this weekend (due to the fact that I will probably be riding 12-15 mph for 42 miles will not be a problem for me), but the rest of the season is really up for grabs. I still want to do the South Carolina HIM in October, but I am not sure about my race schedule for the rest of 2007, and if I do complete any other races, they will probably only be sprint races to save my sanity.

One phrase, mental turmoil, describes it all.

One person cannot do it all, and like the prelude to my race report in my previous post, triathlon has definately not been my priority of any sort this year.

I am working on a schedule (about 22 weeks to South Carolina HIM) that should have me ready for the race, but the problem can and will most likely be the execution.

Now I am just ranting... I will leave this subject for now, I know it is a downer for the rest of you and I want this blog, as well for all you reading it, to be a most enjoyable reading experience. And while reading both the ups and downs are great, it seems as of late there have been more downs than ups.

Good Luck training/racing,