Saturday, December 20, 2008

Winter Wonderland

Today was the 21st annual HoHoHo Holiday 5k in Bethpage. I've done this race a couple of times, but ever in the snow. Yesterday, we were blanketed with snow and today we had some cold winds. Just staying warm was going to be a challenge. The winds gave the illusion of 16 degree temps. I wore my new Nike running tights, a long sleeve black shirt and my cycling jacket. I made the mistake of wearing my regular running shoes. I really needed my running trail shoes. I had no traction and on the 2nd loop of the course, it was a challenge to not slide a little.

I waited inside the building so I could keep my feet warm as long as possible. Once I went out, I huddled inside a large group so the wind would not affect me. The gun went off and so did my warmth. My plan was just to stay comfortable and upright. I didn't care about my times because of the weather. The course consisted of two short loops adding up to 5k. Little did I know that the race started with the wind at my back. Once I came around to the back side of the loop, I was smacked in the face with just how cold it was outside. I wore a hat, but my face was freezing. It was hard to run faster because of the conditions, but I couldn't wait to get off this road.

Once I made the turn it was like a heat wave. Woo hoo, I'm warm again. The 2nd loop went just as uneventful as the 1st. I cruised in to the finish and went straight to the car, changed my jackets and headed into the gym to the Russian food line. It's amazing how long the line is when the food is free. I waited patiently for my free bagel and banana and passed on the donuts. Then I headed into the main gym to wait for the raffle. Every year they have an ass kicking top prize and I am convinced it is my destiny to win. The prize this year was a 26in LCD TV. I walked past it before the raffle muttering "You will be mine, oh yes, you will be mine." But it was not to be. I was passed over............again. Next year. There is always next year.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

2009 Racing Season

Well, the year is coming to an end and of course I am already thinking about racing in 2009. This was a rough year because of school and recovering from some nagging running injuries. I would love to do another Ironman race, but the time is just not right. Once I finish school I will do another. But for 2009, this is a rough idea of what I am thinking:

  • Greenbelt Trail 25k - May
  • Montauk Sprint Triathlon - July
  • NYC Triathlon (relay) - July
  • TOBAY Triathlon - August
  • Steelhead Half Ironman (maybe) - August
  • Army 10 Miler - October
  • Some late fall Half Marathon
We'll see as this year comes to a close how things shake out. I am eager to get running more consistently again. Plus I think I want to add early morning swimming to my schedule in the spring. I have to wait for my school schedule though.

I was fortunate enough to meet a local triathlete yesterday after the Ridley race. I knew of him, but never met him. We met after the race and talked about different races. He was super nice. He is very competitive in his age group (M50-54). He can usually qualify for Kona each year, but passed on it this year. I guess it can be expensive to do. He said he was doing the NYC Marathon next month. I'm sure he will do well. 


Saturday, October 18, 2008

Looking for my Tony........

Tony Siragusa

Well, not exactly. Back in 2002, the very first road race I ever did was the Ridley 5k in Riverhead. I had been running for about a month prior to that race. I decided to enter it as a way to motivate me to run. The wingman could not run with me that day, so he came down to cheer me on. I was nervous about coming in last so I scanned the crowd for someone I thought I could beat. Then, my eyes found my target. There was a big (fat) high school kid with a football sweatshirt on. I had to beat him. If not, I was going to end my running career right there. So wingman told me "You can beat Tony over there." The real Tony is a former football player for the Baltimore Ravens. Well, no one has to guess that I beat the kid, my Tony.

Fast forward to 2008, and I still look for my Tony at the races. Today was my 7th running of the Ridley race. I've only run once in the last two weeks, so I set a very conservative goal for the race. I had a time goal in mind and did not figure to beat it.

Wingman and I get to the race site and we will be meeting his cousin and his cousin's friend there. Little did this friend know, but as soon as I saw him, he was to become my Tony. We got the pleasantries out of the way and made our way to the starting line. Today was so cold in the morning. I worried that it was so cold I would be under dressed. I wore a black long sleeve running shirt and my running shorts. I agonized over wearing tights. Turns out I was dressed properly. No matter what the temps are, once you get running, it will feel ~20 degrees warmer.

The gun went off and Tony took off down the road. I lost sight of him quickly. I just figured I'd better settle down and find my rhythm. I made my way down main street in the crowd. I passed people and people passed me. By the time I got to the 1st mile marker, I was quite warm and thankful I wore my shorts and did not change. Still I did not see Tony yet. I knew we were coming to our first turnaround on the course and that I would get a good idea of how far behind I was. First person I saw was Wingman's cousin. Then as I made my way down to the cul de sac area, I saw my Tony. He looked like he was lumbering along. I could smell the blood in the water. I knew I could catch him. I paced myself well and knew that by Riverside Drive, I would get him.

So I now look back to see where Wingman was. I could see he wasn't too far behind me and was looking good so far. I looked ahead and focused my efforts. Reel in the big one.

"We're gonna need a bigger boat"

At this point I feel like I am running on automatic pilot. My legs are working independent of my brain. I can't explain how this happens, but it's a nice disconnect. I am quickly coming up on my Tony. There is some strategy to be worked out. As I pass him, what do I do if he keeps up with me? Or, what if he sticks right behind me? I need to save a little something for the finish. I am not quite capable of dropping someone mid race. So as I pass, I know there is one last turnaround coming so I can see his response. Well I luck out. I pass him and make my way down the road to the turn around. He had no response. Mentally I relax a little. I see my Wingman one more time and give him the high-sign.

I make it to the 1/2 mile to go sign and some guy in a full cotton sweatsuit passes me. I think "oh no you didn't." I stayed behind him a little as I planned my move. When I got about 1/4 mile form the finish I put out a small burst of speed and passed/dropped him. As I made my way to the final turn I could see a woman pass from my left and I thought again "oh NO she did NOT just pass me." Needless to say at this point I broke out into a full sprint and blew right by her and beat her by 3 seconds.

Overall, I did very well surprisingly. I finished 1:30 faster than I thought I would. I was stunned. I felt comfortable the whole race and had a great finish.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Idiots aka "John"

Well, my last post blasted our elected officials McCain, NoBama and Tim Bishop. Some joker must be getting alerts to anytime Bishop's name is mentioned on the internet because he left a comment about checking out his candidate and gave a URL. My problem with that is this guy "John" has his profile blocked and I don't want to advertise for candidates unless I post something about them. I don't care if people post agreeing or disagreeing with me. Just don't hijack my blog with your comments and steer people away. I'm not out to help others endorse their candidate.

Shame on you "John".

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

This is how I feel.........

Yep, this sums it up right now. Starting at the end of next week I have 4 exams in 6 days. The material is not that difficult yet, but I just want to make it through unscathed. At least the jewish holidays will break up the time between the 3rd and 4th exam. Since it is a state university, we get the days off. Phew, two days of sleeping in, well sort of. 

Now that I am getting into a routine of school and how to manage my time, I can settle into a regular workout routine again. School is tough. Today I got to class for 9:30a and it ran until 12p. Then I get a 1 hour break and my next class begins at 1p and runs to 3p. Then I get a 30 minute break and the last class runs from 3:30p-5:30p. Seriously, I feel like I sit all day long. During the breaks (even the 10 minute break during class) I go out into the hallway to follow the "wellness walk" mapped out in the hall. I need to get the legs moving and blood flowing again. 

Tomorrow should be a good day as I get a 3 hour break and plan on doing a long run at that time. 

Monday, July 21, 2008


Well, where do I begin.

I went into the city on Saturday to do all the prerace garbage (meeting, bike drop off, expo, etc). What a nightmare. The hotel was on 6th Ave between 52nd and 53rd. This is where the expo and prerace meeting was. Of course when I got there my room was not ready so I had to check my bags and then check my bike. I could not bring the bike to transition until I went to the meeting. So, I head to the meeting with took 20 minutes longer than it had to. The guy went on and on talking about how fast the swim would be and how much of a PR you could set. In my world, the more you talk about something, the more it will not happen. It's called a jinx. So anyway, I get my race numbers and get my room key. Now I head up to Riverside Park (Riverside Dr and 72nd St) to drop the bike off. Wow, is it hot out. I am sweating just walking. Got back to the hotel and Wingman and I head out to eat. We found this little Italian restaurant a block from the hotel.

Oddly enough, I went to bed around 8p, which is really early for me. The alarm was set for 3:35a. I slept one hour at a time. Typical. Sleep, look at the clock, sleep, look at the clock, etc. Finally, 3:35a rolls around and the usual thoughts go through my head - do I really have to race today, why did I sign up, when was this a good idea, I'm never doing this again - you catch my drift.

Sooooo, we head up to the transition area so I can setup my stuff and walk up to the swim start. It's still dark out so I can't see the Hudson yet. It looks clean in the dark. I get my wetsuit and walk up to the swim start at 99th St (yes, more walking). I drop my sneakers and hat off in the clothing bag to wait for me at the finish. Why burden the Wingman with it.

I go into the coral with the rest of the sheep wondering who had the brilliant idea of handing out black swim caps. We're swimming in murky waters in black wetsuits and then add the black caps and there is no hope of finding anyone. Sheesh.

Once the wave before me goes off, we are moved down onto the pontoon to get ready for the start. I decide not to get into the water and hang onto the rope. I sat on the edge and waited to slide into the water. I hear the countdown, do a quick scan for garbage along the way, and then I am off. My focus was to just keep my mouth shut. I did not want to swallow any Hudson water. So I start swimming and am having difficulty getting a rhythm. About 100 meters in I flip onto my back, take a few deep breaths and then roll over and start swimming. That does the trick. Now I am ready to roll. I just keep swimming and I notice that the water does not seem as murky as I thought it would. I could see my hands the whole time. Interesting, but I still will not swallow water. I was cruising along when I noticed I was slowing moving toward the seawall. The lifeguard on the kayak was telling me to go more right as the current was stronger over there. Simple adjustment. I guess I was now getting a little overconfident in how fast I was swimming, a little cocky maybe, when I was quickly brought back to reality. Ouch, why is my face burning. Shit, my hand too. No, not the ankle. JELLYFISH!!! Damn those jellyfish. What the heck are they doing in the Hudson? Now I must swim faster and get the heck out of the water. I see the ramp and remember some advice a guy on the registration line told me - don't put your feet down until you know you are on the ramp. Keep your feet off he bottom of the river. Let the lifeguards pull you up. And that is what I did. Who knows what is down there.

So now I am out of the water and on my 400 yard run to T1. I take advantage of the showers to rinse off my face. I make it to T1 and prep for the bike.

The bike course was nice, but looking back, I wish I brought my rode bike. I can climb much better on that bike than the tri bike. So, anyway, I get up the first short steep hill to get out of the park and up towards the highway. First half of the bike course is usually harder since it is "more uphill" for lack of a better term. I hit a nice stretch on the West Side Highway that is paved smooth and I feel like I am flying. Then I notice the wind is at my back, which is not what I want. This means the ride back will be into the wind. Oh well, at least it is slightly down hill on the return (hahahaha). So I passed a few people on the way up and got passed as well. I make it up to the Henry Hudson bridge toll plaza and realize, hey, I forgot my EZ pass. So I joke with the police as I pass through if it's OK that I don't pay, they said they'd let me by today, but next time I should have my pass ;-) Nice to see they have a sense of humor as well, though I am sure they heard the same joke 100 times already that day. At this point I'm thinking the turn around must be near. Nope. Keep pedaling. Finally when I get to Mosholu St, I turn around. Now I am ready for the "easier" return trip. Not quite. I happen to see my shadow on the way back and notice, hmm, something is missing. Why can I see the outline of my bottle cage? Oh, that must be because the bottle got launched from the cage somewhere along the way. I use bottle cages mounted behind my seat so can't see what happens back there. So I have to make do with the one bottle I have instead of two. The return trip sucked and I wanted to get off the bike so badly. My legs were getting tired and I still had 6.2 miles to run. Yikes. So I conserve myself and finally make it back, very thirsty I might add.

I hit the transition area and swap out bike shoes for running shoes. In my head, I am trying to think positive thoughts as the heat is climbing. Did I forget to mention it was 80 degrees at 6am that morning? All I am thinking now is "All I have to do is run 6.2 miles. I can do that. Piece of cake. Mmmmm, cake. I like cake. I could use a piece right now. Focus Susan, focus."

And with that I am out on the run. I have to run across 72nd St to Central Park. It's almost 1 mile to the park and the street is lined with spectators. What a way to get me going. I had to run or feel like a fool walking in front of al these people cheering me on. So I run figuring once I hit the park I can walk if I need to. At the entrance to the park is the first water station. I grab some of the sport drink they are serving (yuck) and 2 cups of water. I am sweating profusely and behind on hydration. My strategy for survival is walk uphill and run the flats and downhill. Oh, I love those downhills today. I felt like I was cruising along. Central Park is a far cry from flat. The downhill seemed to last forever and then it was over. Here is the first hill. I'm walking. Still walking. The entire run is like this. At each water station I take 2-3 cups of water and one sport drink. I was upset with myself that I did not bring any money with me. There were ice cream vendors all over the place. I could have had an ice cream to cool me off. Now that would have made for an awesome finish line photo. Me crossing the line with ice cream in my hand.

I had poured so much water over my head that my feet were squishing around in my shoes. Felt weird when I ran. When I passed the 5 mile sign, I knew I was in the home stretch. All I had to do was one more mile. So I kept my feet moving. At this point there are so many turns to go through I was getting disoriented as to where the actual finish line was. Right turn, left turn, over the bridge, left turn and final right turn towards the finish line. My god, can they make this any more difficult. I can barely think at this point I am so thirsty and hungry.

Well, I did finish and it was one heck of a hot morning and it was only 10a. I had a good time and was able to find the Wingman with no problems after the race. I must have been talking a mile a minute when we caught up. First thing I did though was change my shoes. What a huge relief. We start walking out of the park and I am telling him how I want to do it again next year. But as a relay. I would swim, he could bike, and we could recruit my cousin to do the run. He seems up for it. Now I just have to convince my cousin to run....................

Friday, July 18, 2008

My rides and NYC prep

Cervelo P2C Tri bike, 51cm
FSA compact cranks (50/34 - 172.5 mm cranks) with 12-27 cassette
Vision basebar with s-bend
Flashpoint 60 wheels (700 clincher)
Fizik Arione Tri2 seat

Specialized Tarmac (carbon frame)
SRAM Red groupset w/compact cranks ( 50/34 - 170mm crank arms) 11-26 cassette
Mavic Ksyrium ES wheels (700 clincher)

I'll take some better pictures later on, but for now, you can see what I am spending my time riding on. I got the SRAM installed on the road bike earlier this year and what a sweet ride this bike has now. I prefer to spend more time on it (like my 2 hour ride today). Well, I am just about packed for the NYC Tri (Cervelo will be tearing up the West Side Highway). Now I just have to go over the logistics with the Wingman!!! 

I'll report when I return (as long as I don't swallow any Hudson River water). I told a friend of mine that if I was to swallow some water, I will be carrying a flare gun with me to speed the rescue people to get me. I want my stomach pumped ASAP. No way do I want that stuff making it's way out of my stomach and into the intestines. 

And to Joanie who told me to say hi to the fishes in the Hudson, um, I don't want to see what can survive in that water. If I remember my Godfather history, Luka Brasi sleeps with the fishes. They claim that it is the cleanest body of water in NYC. Wow, they might want to keep that information quiet. I mean, I'm not impressed by the competition the Hudson has. And if anyone has any influence with mother nature, can you hook me up with a strong southern current in the Hudson?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

NYC Triathlon and other thoughts

I sit here, avoiding my studies, worrying about the tides in the Hudson River for Sunday. Usually this race is advertised as a super fast swim due to the currents in the Hudson. I've been getting some not so good feedback that the current may actually be AGAINST the swimmers this year. Oh man, the last thing I want to do is stay in the Hudson River longer than I have to. I can only hope that the current is so strong they change it to a 5k run. That I can deal with more than swimming upstream. For pete's sake, I'm not salmon!!!

Race details:
1.5k swim in the Hudson from 99th-79th st
40k ride up the West Side Highway to the bronx and back
10k run through Central Park

So, I have my first anatomy test on Monday (the day after). I'm mostly up to speed on the information, it is just tying it all together. For the last two days I have been almost elbow deep in male and female genitalia. Ugh. I will say though, some of these cadavers were pretty sick people (cancer, aneurysms, etc). Our little lady was relatively heathly. She died from renal failure and cardiac arrest. You can actually see where they broke her ribs when they tried to revive her. She was 88. When we first unzipped the bag to see our body, it looked like a man from behind (the head was shaved). We named "him" Ned because we were table N. After two days we had to flip Ned over to get into the thoracic region. When Ned was flipped, I blurted out "Oh my god, Ned has breasts!!"  So now, Ned is Nancy. We are fortunate that everything is good with our cadaver. After looking at the inside coloring of other people's dissections, it makes me think twice about what I eat. I'm talking discolored internal organs. It just does not look healthy to me.

So come Monday, I will have to answer 50 multiple choice questions and then head into the lab and identify ~60 structures. Can you guess what I will be doing this weekend besides racing? If I thought I could carry some index cards on the run, I would!!!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Montauk Sprint Tri

Well, this past Sunday was the Montauk Sprint Tri (1/2m Swim/14m Bike/3.1m Run). I have done this race twice before and always enjoyed it, so why not again this year. Well, my training has not been up to par. And to add insult to my injury, I had some bizarro cold or allergy thing kick in on Monday. I got a great run in on Monday morning, and then as I sat down to prepare for school, I suddenly felt really bad. I felt run down and beat and it was only 10a. Oh no, please don't let me be getting sick.

Bingo!! I was sick alright. I could not train all week. I had hoped to get to the pool or some good running in since my leg was better, but that was not to be. Oh well, life sucks. But I was feeling much better on race morning.

Now, usually I have some sort or pre-race nightmare two nights before a race. Usually it has me going off the bike course, getting lost, or missing the race start by 30 minutes or more. Oddly enough, no nightmare this time. That made me nervous. I am superstitious and for me to miss a bad dream scared the crap out of me.

So the morning of the race comes along. I wake up 1 minute before the alarm goes off. I peek out of one eye and check the clock. Close my eyes, then open them and almost scream. I forgot to turn on the alarm. I set the time, but never turned on the alarm. Bad omen #1.

So we get up, get dressed and pack the bike in the car and head out to Montauk. We get there, park and setup my gear in T1. Now this race has two separate transitions so we drive up to T2 to drop my run gear off and take the shuttle bus back down to T1. Of course now I look at my watch and realize it is getting closer to the start time and we are going slow. Bus driver stops TWICE to pick up spectators. I stand up and pleaded with the busdriver (OK, snapped at her) to not stop anymore and get me to the start. Of course I apologized when I got off the bus. Looked at my watch, I have 15 mintues to put on my wetsuit and get to the start. So I get the wetsuit on and start walking down the beach. Oh crap, left my goggles in T1. Bad omen #2. Run back, get goggles, head out to swim start. I give my Wingman my sandals, etc to hold. He asks if I need anymore bodyglide and I said "nah, I'm good" - totally forgetting about my neck. Bad omen #3.

So I make it with 3 minutes to start. When my wave finally goes off I have to swim into crashing waves to get out into the ocean. The swim is parallel to the shore (out and back course). So I head out into the sun, can't see a thing. Thank goodness the lifeguards in the water rocked. They were directing swimmers where to go and how many buoys before the turns. If it wasn't for them, I think I'd be halfway to Europe by now. The swim sucked for me because I could not get a good rhythm. I kept bumping into people that were backstroking or stopping midswim. I swear, I have never seen so many people doing the backstroke in one race. Did I not get a memo that it was the new way to swim? Anyway, the swim was uneventful, yet slow for me. Got out of the water and headed up to T1 to get ready for the bike.

Once out on the bike course, I just wanted to stay comfortable. I had not been on my Cervelo (tri bike) much this season so I was not used to being in the aero position. Most of my riding was on my road bike.

So, this year was a major accomplishment. I managed to not lose my water bottle taking the bike off the rack. Whooo hooo. I was riding really well and then around mile 9 or 10, somehow I fell apart. No clue what happened. I don't believe it was a nutrition issue and the wind was not a factor, but somehow I lost my ability to ride fast. Hmmm. Oh, and there was a big hill coming up. Made it up and over with no issue. Phew. The funny thing was as soon as I got comfortable again and riding with some zip, I was near the dismount line. Unreal. I finally pull it together and people are shouting to slow down and prepare to dismount. Arghhhhh. Well, I make it to T2 and change into my running shoes.

I make my way into Camp Hero to begin the run. I just had so much trouble keeping it together for the run. I know my running has been inconsistent, but I just wanted a steady effort here. at each water stop I get some water, drink some and pour the rest over my head. Cold water feels so good. Now, I am a little squeamish when it comes to getting cups of water from the volunteers. I really don't want to see their fingers in the cups/water. Now, my philosophy is if I don't see it, it didn't happen. Needless to say I was careful with what cups I grabbed. At this point I am hanging on for life (or so it feels like it) and see that I am almost out of the park and heading towards the finish line. Last water stop coming up. I decline it and then out of the corner of my eye I see one of the male volunteers from the water station head into the woods to RELIEVE HIMSELF!!!! Oh man, I did not need to see that. Now all I can see is him coming out later and putting his fingers in the cups of water. Nasty.

Anyway, I see the Mile 3 marker coming up and know I am almost there. All that is left is the hill up to the lighthouse. When I made the turn, I was convinced the hill was higher than last year. Did someone raise it? I really wanted nothing to do with running up the hill, but there were spectators everywhere cheering so "I would have much shame" if I walked it. But as soon as I crossed the finish line, I found the Wingman and we walked a little so I could cool down. Once again, he has proved himself to be a world class Sherpa!! He knew where to be to see me at each transition, had my gear from the beach stowed away in the car, and helped me get my stuff at the end of the race. But more importantly, he woke up early on his day off just to Sherpa for me - at least that's what he tells me ;-) and he drove us home using his super secret routes through the Hamptons.

And to show for my efforts, I have some kick ass wetsuit kickies on my neck. They burned for days.........

Next week, the NYC Triathlon and my swim in the Hudson. Please, let there be a good current so I am not in the water too long.

Sunday, July 6, 2008


Had a nice 3 day weekend to rest (and study).  It feels like it's been a while since I could sit and relax for a weekend. Almost the entire month of June I was traveling each weekend. Now I am home. Yipee!

Well, I got in some good riding in the last week. I have a great road bike that I got last year (Specialized Tarmac) and recently swapped out the groupset on it (shifters, derailleurs, brakes, shorter crank length, etc). I got a sweetheart of a deal from my local bike shop (Carl Hart) on SRAM Red components. What an upgrade! Of course my Wingman made out the best because he got my "hand-me-down" components (Dura-Ace/Ultegra mix) at no charge. Hmmm, where did I go wrong. Anyway, the benefit to me is I now have a great riding partner. In the past it was kind of lonely to ride by myself. Now he comes out with me and we can ride together. Definitely makes it easier to get out the door when someone is there with you.

My bike rides soooo much smoother now. Of course now I am in trouble because I will want to upgrade my tri bike, but that will have to wait until next year. Tuition comes first.

Finished my first week of school. I am only taking Anatomy at this time, and it is quite the class. Much more involved than when I took it two years ago. I am dreading the first test we have in two weeks. At least the teachers are great and give you quizzes that don't count so you can see where you are with your studying.

The first week we dissected the Thoracic region (front and back). I believe tomorrow we dive into the pleural cavity (lungs). Our cadaver is an 88 year old female that died of cardiac arrest and renal failure. From the looks of it, she had a few ribs broken where they attempted CPR. Overall though, she looks like she took care of herself. She does not have much body fat at all. Though she doesn't have much in terms of muscle bulk either. Reminds me, I gotta go lift some weights now............... 

Monday, June 23, 2008

Shelter Island 10k - a lesson in survival

Well, on Saturday we headed over to Shelter Island to run the 10k race. Wingman and I met up with some friends (Liliana, Tammy and family) and chatted about an hour before the race. Finally, I was able to crack the hard exterior of a 3 1/2 year old. She was animated and happy to talk with me. For as long as I have known her, Tammy's daughter has barely said boo to me. She has been shy whenever I saw her. But today, she was 'a buzz' with her post race experience. She participated in the kid's fun run and got a medal and shirt. Lucky bastard.

Anyway, it's time to line up for the adult's race and I suddenly notice how incredibly humid it was. I dressed very lightly for the race and thought that I hydrated properly. Oh how foolish I was. Nothing I could have done would prepare me for the next 6.2 miles.

Gun goes off and I head out. Slow and steady was my goal. I did not start my watch and just wanted to enjoy the scenery. I did this race a few years ago and was trying to remember where the hills were. I found out soon they are everywhere. Within the 1st mile I was sweating profusely. The water stations were at mile 2, 4 and 5. At mile 1 I considered bailing on the race. I mean, how much fun can a sufferfest be? But, since I was not hurting and nothing was really wrong, I had to keep going. I wasn't really ready to deal with a DNF at this time. So I soldier on. At the 1st aid station I grab two cups of water - one to drink and the other over the back of the head. I had to be careful because I was wearing a white shirt and Shelter Island is not prepared for my version of a wet t-shirt contest. At this point I turned the music off and tried to keep the feet moving. I think it was more of a shuffle than a run. I had my eye set on 76 year old man. I could not let him out of my sights. He was going to get me through this race.

I just kept thinking "man, where the hell did these hills come from. I swear I remember flats on this course." Finally at mile 5 the old man made a tactical error - well, he had no idea he and I were racing - we were approaching a left turn on the course. He stayed on the right side of the road and I moved to the left to stay to the inside of the turn. It worked!!! I was able to pass him. HaHaHa!!! Eat my dust. At this point I was focused on staying ahead of him. I ran the last 1.2 miles in fear of him catching me. I would keep looking over my shoulder just to see where he was. I had to keep him at bay. I did have one scare less than 1/2 mile from the finish. My shoe lace untied. I stopped and frantically tied it. I did not want to lose any precious seconds in case he had a 'move' in the finishing shoot. Hey, I am not afraid to knock anyone down or use some elbows. But I was lucky. I had enough distance between us that I could cruise into the finish. Phew. Beat him by over 1 minute.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how I managed to survive the Shelter Island 10k..........

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Photos from our nation's capital

We took a garden tour of the White House and were allowed to walk along the south lawn at the White House.

This is just outside the oval office at the White House.

The White House rose garden, which is just outside the oval office.

California trip photos

Here are some shots from my trip earlier this month in California:

The yellow 'spec' in the middle of the shot is Xantusia, the compound I stayed at for the bike fitting course

Some nice shots from the road on one of my rides:

'Xantusia' is a small lizard native to the area:

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Bike Riding

"I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride my bike
I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride it where I like" - Queen

All day at work today I kept thinking about the bike ride I was going to take when I got home. Well, 4p rolls around and I am leaving work, but instead of being full of energy and excitement about riding, I was exhausted. I drove home hoping that would change, but no. Got home, hit the recliner and took a quick nap. 20 minutes later I woke up and changed. I figured I had ~1 to 1.5 hours to get a decent ride in. So I grabbed the road bike and went out. From the moment I clipped in, I felt great. It's amazing how quickly your mood can change. I took my usual route and figured I would do ~18 miles today, focusing on my pedaling/spinning (think - "the wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round, round and round, the wheels on the bus go round and round, all through the town") . I was flying the whole way out and back. I probably could have gone longer tonight, but I wanted to be sure I was home before dusk (I have no riding lights). When I did get home, I was starving. Made a quick dinner and then had to do some food shopping.

The weather was perfect. The last few days we had some wicked heat, but it broke last night and I could not ask for better weather to ride in. No wind and perfect temps. I woke up early yesterday to run 4 miles before it got too hot, but no such luck. it was hot and humid. Tomorrow I will get up early again and get out for some more running.

Tomorrow night, the Wingman comes home!!! He's been away for almost a week and before he left for his trip, I was away. So, it's been ~1 1/2 weeks since we really spent much time together.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Another trip

Heading out this weekend on another trip.  Wingman and I will be going to Maryland/Washington DC. for a concert and then some sight-seeing.


I'm in the process of planning the touring day.  We'll probably just walk around and see what's new.  Last time I was down there I saw the area while running the Marine Corp Marathon.  It will be nice to see it without having to run ;-)   Of course we will be back there in October for the Army 10 Miler.  

I guess we'll check out the war memorials (WWII, Korea, Vietnam) and whatever else is in walking distance.   Little known fact there Normie, ~30,000 objects are left at the Vietnam wall each year and every night it is someone's job to pick it all up and catalog it.   

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Back from the West Coast.......

Well, made it back. I wish the flight back was uneventful. We were delayed on the 2nd leg from Vegas to NY due to a storm in the area.  Sat on the runway for an hour then finally took off. There were storms across the country so we had a little bit of a bumpy ride - which is not good if you easily get motion sickness........

* Learned a few things about bike fitting and can't wait to test it out.  Met some interesting people from Trek bicycles (fitters and engineers) and got some good input from them.   The "Boss" and I have to sit down and figure out how we can improve upon the process and really tailor it to each client - making it a unique fit.  There's more to the Tri position that just "what feels good".  So, we'll work on a plan and find some guinea pigs to practice on.  There will be no shortage there ;-)

* Just a few more weeks and I begin the DPT program at SBU.   Got my supplies in for the anatomy with dissection course (scalpels, forceps, scissors, etc).

* Been riding well since I got home.   Went out early on Saturday to avoid the heat, but still managed to get a little red.  Didn't realize how much I missed the flat lands of Long Island.  Out in CA, we were at ~45oo' and it was hilly.   It wasn't too much fun to ride because I am not in 'climbing' shape.   I am sure if I was doing more hills I would have enjoyed it more.  I ran well, though, go figure.

* Dropped the Wingman off at the airport for his trip to FLA.  When he gets back we head out on a short weekend getaway.  Can't wait!!

* Got the deck cleaned (mostly) and cleaned my BBQ.   Grilled up some chicken.   Love chicken.

* Stopped in at the bike shop to innocently pickup my gels and could very well end up with a new component set for my road bike.  Ice water running through my veins.............

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Sports Medicine Conference

Well, I went to Hilton Head, SC for the Advances on the Knee and Shoulder course. Since I wanted to fly from an airport near home, that left me flying into RDU in NC. That means a 5 hour drive to Hilton Head, SC. Flight and drive was uneventful.

Pretty interesting stuff. I sat through 3 days of seminar and breakout events. The first day covered the shoulder. I got to see some great stuff from top shoulder surgeons in the field (namely Dr. James Andrews) and what procedures they use and why. This is important to know because from a rehab standpoint, it makes a difference in how you treat a patient. The breakout sessions were of most interest to me. I got to see Kevin Wilk (amazing PT and author) and get some useful tips from him.

Day 2 was shoulder and elbow. Interesting surgery they covered was UCL reconstruction, AKA "Tommy John" surgery. The sad thing about this surgery is that kids are having it done and they are way to young to be in this position. It stems from playing baseball all year and throwing waaaaaaay too much. Dr. Andrews has done a lot with youth baseball and getting pitch count restrictions on young pitchers as to how often and how much they can throw. Though with the pressures parents put on their kids today, I doubt it will make much difference.

Day 3 was ACL/Meniscus repair. Good stuff. Many athletes tear their ACL's each year and it's a long rehab process. They reviewed the whole process from when the patient walks in the MD's door to when they are discharged from rehab. I have started to work with one patient at work (16yr old female with an ACL tear) but the problem is I am only there part time so she sees other therapists. There is no continuity in her care. She had started a plyometrics program called "SportsMetrics" but I am not sure where she is at since I am not there everyday.

Overall it was a good conference. I learned a lot and have some good ideas that I can implement with patients that I am treating. When I get home, I have to go through two 4" binders that I got at the course and put together my ideas for treatments.

This course helped me confirm that sports rehab is where I want to be. I enjoy athletes of all levels - kids to the weekend warriors. I have to sit down at home a come up with my 'roadmap' of how to achieve my goal.

Next weekend, I am off to Valyermo, CA for the F.I.S.T. tri bike fitting course..................

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

"Run, Rabbit, Run....

....dig that hole, forget the sun
And when at last the work is done
Don't sit down it's time to dig another one" (Waters/Gilmour)

Prepping for the last of my finals for my grad school pre-req's.   Seems like it never ends. As soon as I get one test done, time for another.  Motivation is waning for these courses.  I just want to get on with the courses I want to take, not have to take.  Glad a break is coming up.  I will actually have a good month with no homework, studying, classes so I can have somewhat of a life again.  

My serious tri training will begin next week.  I'm looking forward to some good structured training.  I am traveling a bit over the end of May/June so that will make for some creative scheduling, but I'll manage.

I am taking some fun courses soon.  End of May I am heading down to Hilton Head SC for "Advances in the Shoulder and Knee".  June is the F.I.S.T. triathlon cycling fitting course.   

Saturday, May 10, 2008

1st race

Well, last week I ran my first race in quite a few months - the LI Marathon 'Festival of Races' 10k. I have been running sporadically for a few weeks after nursing a nagging lower leg injury for a while. My longest run to date was ~3.5 miles so this would be a challenge to get through it a live to tell about it ;-)

I woke up and my Wingman/Sherpa drove me to the race. I told him that I was going 'old school' for this race - no HRM or watch. I was going to run on perceived exertion. Since I hadn't really been running much, I had no time goals. So the gun goes off and so do I. I had my iPod shuffle on just to have something to listen to.

Oddly enough, I ran a nice even pace throughout the entire race. A woman even came up to to me afterwards to tell me she was running behind me and I paced her well. Phew, I was afraid that she was going to tell me I spit on her during the run or something.

When I crossed that finish line I actually had a great sense of accomplishment. It felt like the first time I had a really good run in a long time. I almost felt like the running I had done over the last few weeks was just junk miles. It was like I had finally run with a purpose.

Back where you started..........

These days I'm reminded of The Kinks song "Do it again"

"Standing in the middle of nowhere
Wondering how to begin
Lost between tomorrow and yesterday
Between now and then
And now we're back where we started
Here we go round again
Day after day I get up and I say
I better do it again"

It's been two years since I've updated people with a blog 
(  My life has taken some crazy turns with decisions I've made, so I will be keeping everyone up to date with school and training via the new blog.