Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Ironman Pocono Mountains 70.3

Here’s the quick and dirty of my Ironman Pocono Mountain 70.3 form Sunday:
Tri-bikes on the Jetta after the race.  Ryan's is the "Blue" one that he got only 2 weeks ago.  Mine, the trusty Sommers Titanium, has over 17 years worth of miles (probably close to 50,000 miles.
 Personal Best!!!
Total time: 5:34:26

1.2 mile swim: 30:54 12th of 121 204 of 1329
1: 5:04
56 mile bike: 2:54:36 27th of 121 322 of 1329
T2: 2:28
13.1 mile run: 2:01.24 35th of 121 375 of 1329

· Air temperature at start: 48 Burrrr degrees. After loading our morning clothes into bags and buses we stood for an hour in our wetsuits and bare feet at the beach. I hate that they “close” transition in these races. Swim start 7:34

· Swim start at abandoned resort, complete with weeds and trees growing where they should not, broken buildings and patios; at very eerie lake with fog (kept looking for “Jason” to rise up from water)

· Water temp: 64 which felt warm as we entered because we were so cold


Tri-friend Ryan Clift and I standing at Second Pond Lake on Saturday, the day before Pocono 70.3.  Notice our long sleeves and that no one is doing warm up swims behind us...yes, it is cold.  Ryan's time for the race was 5:22; he passed me on mile 48 of the bike and started 4 minutes behind my wave.

· Michael in lead pack gasping to settle into swim 2 minutes into race. Swim panick is close.  Just remembered that there was an Elvis impersonator at the timing mat who shook my hand as I entered the beach.

· After some mental struggle, Michael settles into swim half way to first buoy. Fog is a factor but my goggles stay clear and I can always see the next buoy but not the one beyond. I am 12th out of water of 121 in my division, but I don’t know that at the time, but, do know that I swam into 4 waves ahead of me.

· Its cold, so Michael takes his time dressing in T1 for bike; smart to be warm on bike, long sleeves and hat; long T1 at over 5 minutes.

· Michael feels very good during whole bike over very hilly, very technical course dodging potholes, road washouts, bumpy intersections, medical crews, orange cones in center of road, and hairpin turns at 35mph. Saw 2 wrecks including stretchers and neck braces, many flats.

· Michael nearly scares the piss out of himself while going 44.6 mph and stops at mile 36 aid station and visits the bathroom.

· One section of road is so rough there are dozens of water bottles scattered from falling off competitor’s bikes; more dodging

· At T2 the sun is out and temps are in the 60’s. Michael strips to his CMS tri-suit, wearing the green proudly!

· Michael forgets to wear race bib on run. Two minutes up run-course Michael returns to T2, takes off timing chip before mats, retrieves bib, puts chip back on and continues on course; probably lost 5 – 6 minutes on run

· On run after hitting the Porto pot at mile 2 Michael meets 33 year old woman, Kelly, who talks for 8 miles (yep, over an hour) of the run and helps Michael forget the pain of what he is experiencing. She left me while I was gobbling my last gel and water at aid station mile 10 and I never catch her again.

· Michael finishes in downtown Stroudsburg, PA feeling strong to the cheering of throngs, finishers medal, space blanket, water, and hug from Kelly

· Chicken broth, bagels, and chocolate chip cookies

· It starts pouring rain as we’re collecting gear bags from the buses and bikes out of transition; it is a melee….freezing too. Picture rain, a school bus with windows open, volunteers throwing identical, yet, individually numbered, gear bags out the windows to other volunteers who mostly catch the bags except for the few that explode spilling shoes and personal items on the wet ground.

· Definitely missed the friends and comforts of Eagleman’s simplicity and WARMTH.  Poconos helped me love hills; it was really a fun and exciting bike course through gorgeous country roads.

Pro triathlete, Jesse Thomas, whom I met at bike racking on Saturday, won Poconos on Sunday.  He was back in California for his wedding anniversary dinner with his wife the same night.  He said his race to the airport was nearly as tough as the race.

· Michael registers for Osprey Triathlon on Monday morning.  Michael does not know why he did this whole race report in the third person; will do better next time.

· See you at Snowhill on Saturday.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Experiment


Liv, me, El, and Cole on the Airline Trail, White Mountains, heading to Madison Springs Hut in early August 2011.

Okay, I just need to break the ice of such a long absence from posting to my own blog. Life is full of good stuff. Though I try not to write too much about my personal/family life on this post, I do want you to know my elder daughter is a freshman in college and loving every moment of it. My other daughter has adjusted well to her older sister’s departure and is continuing the strong Keene presence on their high school playing fields.


The Ironman Eagleman in June saw my return for a personal record on that course. I was thrilled to have competed and absolutely bowled over that I improved in the rankings. My one-word adjective for my Eagleman experience 2011 is “luscious”. The water was so warm and nice, the bike was sunny, calm, and beautiful, and the run was a bearable temperature with a light breeze to cool us in every direction, or so it seemed.

The summer saw racing the Star on Wednesday nights, racing the log canoe on the weekends, and keeping with a light to moderate activity level of swimming, biking, and running. The families reached the White Mountains in August for some gorgeous hiking. I spent a week in Utah with my sister where I got to do some trail running (Yay!), swimming, hiking, summiting, and mountain biking.

Me outside Moab near Dead Horse State Park about to venture onto my first solo mountain bike experience.  I went downhill for 8 miles here and it took me over an hour.  Some spots I had to walk they were too scary for this flat lander.


Two weeks ago my friend, Pete, and I towed Seabiscuit, my Star, to New York for a Centennial Regatta for the Star class in Larchmont. We had our chance to shine; we even led two of the races, but victory was not to be ours.

The experiment: Two weeks ago I signed up for a half marathon in Chestertown. What was I thinking? I have not been running, and I certainly haven’t run anything close to 13 miles since Eagleman in June. So, as the time drew near, I succumbed to the notion that I would simply make this race an experiment; one where I would do what I could in the hopes that all my other contortions of late would give me the stamina to finish strong. I’m happy to say that I faired well.

However, I made two mistakes. The first was forgetting to roll on anti-chafe protection. I have the worse case of chafe my underarms have ever had because of a rough shirt I was wearing. The second mistake was not eating anything immediately before the race and not carrying any fuel with me. To counteract this mistake I drank Gatorade at every aid station, and that saw me through.

I felt good at the start and quickly fell into an 8:05 pace for the first 5 miles in the warm, windless misty morning. Not knowing whether I would bonk later, I cracked off on the speed, but kept a good 8:15 pace going. All was well until mile 10 when my knee started to act up…nothing too serious, it was just talking to me to slow down. I finished around 1:51 for the 13.1 and felt very pleased with my performance. I didn’t think there were as many as 40 people ahead of me, but there was. I finished 8th of 22 in my 10 year age group. Now, because I am no stranger to injury, I did take it easy yesterday and with my recovery today. I’m very thankful for what I can do.



Me with Mikaela after her 2nd place victory at this year's Chesapeak Man Skipjack Triathlon.  At the same time I was running the half, down south in Cambridge a friend was running her first triathlon, Chesapeake Man’s Skipjack, a 70.3+ Ironman distance. Mikaela swam with us for the first time over 4th of July weekend when six of us met at MRYC for a swim in the Miles River at daybreak. We were wowed by Mikaela’s fitness level and speed in the swim and the bike that followed. I believe it was that day that we convinced her she needed to sign up for a triathlon, so she did in a large way by being 2nd overall for the women in yesterday’s event. So cool!

This is the season for the trails and I look forward to the first fall run at Tuckahoe with friends.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Full Speed Spring Adventures of Wood Frog


Wood Frog's chin after Sat. May 14th's bike wreck; 7 stitches and lucky as all get out!
Note: Sorry for the lack of text body lately, but hope you enjoy the pictures; its been a busy and productive spring.
The photos are not in chronological order; they're rather random :)

Wood  Frog, baby Paige, and proud papa Chris after completing the Nanticoke River Triathlon in Bivalve, Maryland on May 1st.  Yes, if you can believe it, they now have triathlons for infants, ha ha!

Davinder, Kim, and Keene 10 miles into the Six Pillars Bike Tour on Saturday, May 7th.  I won a bike in a raffle that day, Yay!

Adkins Arboretum gave "Race Day Trees" instead of tee shirts after the 5K.  Note: it has been a very cold spring, hence the post race garb in this picture; it was to friggin cold to stay in my wet running clothes.

The B&A Trail saw Wood Frog trekking along its course on a Tuesday afternoon bike ride.


A college tour for my daughter saw Wood Frog plodding along the banks of Lake Champlain, just outside of Burlington, Vermont.  It was a gorgeous morning.

This early morning ride in Durham, North Carolina provided opportunity for this great shot of the Chapel at Duke University where my niece just graduated.  Christie will play the quarter finals of the NCAA women's lax championship in Florida today.

Easter morning's 45 miler took me to Tilghman Island.

The Rise Up Runner Trial Dawgs crew for 2011: Liz, WF, Kathy, Tuckerman, and Dom.  April 30th.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Fort McHenry

Wednesday gave chance for me to take in a run at Fort McHenry and the Federal Hill area of Baltimore.  Sunny skies and 60 degrees followed me for the entire run.

Orpheus keeps watch at Fort McHenry.  He's been there for over 90 years.

The border trail at Fort McHenry is part of the Baltimore Marathon course.  Valliant, Pierre, Jim, and I plodded this very pathway on a beautiful October day in 2007.

Nearly an identical southerly breeze blew during my run this week as on the day of our Marathon in 2007.

Baltimore's skyline is not complete without the Domino Sugars sign.