Thursday, November 29, 2007

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Tempe, Arizona

After driving for 3 straight driving days we arrived in Tempe, Arizona. We are going to be hanging around here for a little while. The drive to get here was definitely a long one. Along the way we found a Dairy Queen in Texas that still writes up your order with a pen and takes about 20 minutes to make a chicken salad (we also learned to order a child size pop in Texas). We are looking forward to checking out the Grand Canyon and a little non-driving time now.


Friday, November 16, 2007

What happened to the heat?

We are back in Panama City Beach now and have woke up this morning to a cold front that moved in yesterday. It was 5 degrees this morning and now it's only up to 15 degrees. Thats cold for Florida!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


It's now officially the offseason, 4 cheeseburgers in 4 consecutive days. I'm starting to worry I'll have to buy new clothes if this trend continues.

We have been traveling around Florida since our race and have visited Orlando for a few days (Seaworld, Universal, DisneyWorlds Epcot and Animal Kingdom). Seaworld and Universal parks were great. We were quite disappointed with Disneyworld though, way too many rude people, horrible food selections (nothing healthy), and Disney seems to be getting outdated and rundown compared to Universal theme parks. After Orlando we watched the 70.3 World Championship (November 10) race in Clearwater and cheered on Monique and Carl. Since then we have traveled into the Florida Keys, Key Largo for one night and now it's been 3 days in Key West.

Key West has been interesting, it's the only place where I get looked at more than Tammy, by the men (and it's not because I have cheeseburger bits on my face). I seem to be safe if I am right next to Tammy. As soon as she's 5 feet away it's like I'm 'fresh meat' on the market, and guys are trying to sell me male thongs. I'm kinda relieved to be leaving this place today.
Here Tammy is pointing at a popular bar in Florida, Hog's Breath Saloon. Coming from Penticton we remember Hog's Breath Coffee and can't help but wonder who had the name first.

We are traveling again today up to Fort Lauderdale, then onto Daytona Beach before heading back to Panama City Beach.

We are starting to map out our route from Panama City Beach back up to Canada (Yes we are driving). It's going to be a long trip but we are going to try to make short driving days so we don't wear ourselves out. So far our plan is to hug the Southern part of USA and then drive up the California, Oregon, and Washington coastlines. If anyone has a suggestion of a neat place along the way to stop into, let us know.

I've gotta get packing.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Tour de Florida?

Are these guys drafting? You decide...

This video is shot near the 70 mile mark.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Ironman Florida 2007 Race Report

Chad's Ironman Florida 2007

10:51:57, 56th in Age Group


I lined up on the far right (outside) since this was the closest I could get to the start line. I was about 3-4 people deep at this point and I was fighting for my position while waiting for the race to start. A few guys near me were saying that they were swimming around a 57 and 58 so I knew I was in a good area. When the gun went off, it was very apparent that the people in the front of the line were not sub-one hour swimmers. I swam between/over/around for the first 200 meters till I had open water again. This swim consists of a two laps of a rectangular swim, where we have to get up and run around a marker on the beach to start the second lap. The second lap is a bit longer than the first as there is a huge diagonal that was need to swim (into the current too) in order to hit the first of the buoys again. It always surprises me during the swim that even a few fast swimmers (under the hour) have trouble navigating a 90° left hand turn. I must have swum into and over 3 swimmers that were stopped (or doing breaststroke) on the outside of the turns. The end of the first lap I saw on the clock that I had 28:xx on the clock, I thought that was good but I wasn't sure if I could break the hour as we still had a large diagonal to swim. Diving back into the water after running for 15 seconds sure does feel strange, I felt like I couldn't get my swim groove going again. Managed to get my arms moving after a while and then at the farthest point of the course I got a jellyfish sting across my ear. My ear burned a bit but it wasn't too bad. Suddenly I got another jelly straight across my nose and cheeks. That was hurt! I was glad to be done the swim and was stoked when I saw the time was under the hour.

Bike (headwind the whole day)

The plan was to start the bike easy for the first half and build it up for a few good miles between 90-110 miles. I did start relatively easy, which meant that everyone seemed to be passing me. I was sure that nearly 800 people went passed me at before I hit 40 miles. About 2/3 of the people that passed me were drafting! I saw packs that were 50 people large, but most of the draft packs were 20-30 people large. It was sure interesting watching the packs go by with people sitting up and talking to each other in the middle of the group. Yeah they knew there were drafting. There aren't really any hills on this course, but, there are some tiny bumps that require a downshift or two. My training from Victoria must have set me up well for these as I powered up the hills with relative ease and passed clumps of people that were starting to blow-up from trying to stay in a draft-pack that was a bit fast. I tried my best to not draft, so it really aggravated me when I would notice a wheel right behind me for an extended period of time. I had some thoughts about dropping a water bottle, but I didn't want to cause an accident. The best course of action that I found was to turn around and stare the offender in the face for a couple of seconds. That would normally cause them to fall well behind and I wouldn't see them on my wheel again. What was really upsetting was a lot of the drafters were in my age group. I got to special needs and had to stop to grab my bag (the volunteer was quite ready), then pulled into a port a potty. The race officials had warned that anyone relieving themselves on the race course, and is caught by the county police, would be arrested and thrown in jail (now that would have been an interesting race report). Back on the bike, I was happy to hit the second half and seemed to be passing back a few people that were blowing up. There were still draft packs coming by me though. I punched it from miles 80-100, and passed a pack of 30. Somewhere around mile 90 my left foot ached really bad, it's related to my pedal/cleat position, and on training rides it usually disappears after a while of loosening my shoe. Today the pain was going away. It was manageable, but, made a mental note to check my cleat position before I ride again. Oh and it was certainly windy out there! I think that it contributed to some of the draft packs to form.



I started the run feeling awesome. The run is two out-and-back loops, with the special needs section next to transition. I made a real effort to start slow and build into the run. At about 3 miles into the run, my left foot was telling me to stop. I knew this was a continuation of my cleat problem from the bike so I did my best to ignore the pain and continued to run. With every mile marker that went by the pain got worse and worse, but I was still running and passing a lot of people. I got my special needs and thought I had left enough in the tank to pick up the pace for the second half. At 16 miles the good news was my foot pain was gone, but the bad news was, it was replaced with seizing calves and a hurting stomach. I started to walk the aid stations to grab more gator-ade for the salt and some ice to cool down. I found and passed Tammy with 4 miles left. I knew something wasn't quite right with her race since she was just heading out on the run course, but she told me not to stop and to keep going because I was almost there. Seeing her there really helped me push it that little bit more. That finish line seemed to take forever to reach. 4:03 for the marathon, a PB by about 15 minutes.

Overall, it was a PB by about 5 minutes (2002 IM Canada 10:56:xx). I found the IM Florida bike course very demanding, there are no breaks when it's so flat and windy. I enjoyed the run course (yes even through the pain), I found I was passing more people than had passed me. We are both struggling with the amount of drafting on the bike course though (packs up to 70 people), with very few penalties given out.

As for Tammy's day, here is her summary of what happened.

So the day started off pretty good: During the first lap of the swim, I found open water on the inside and made my way comfortably around the course. As I stood up to round the course, I checked my watch (38 min ) and was stoked. Even though I had been going easy, I noticed I was weezing a bit. Dived in to the second lap and this time got caught in a bit of the washing machine chop. I had settled in enough to be ok with this and decided to stay with this group since I was getting a good draft and had enough space to feel comfortable. Finally, made it around the last turnaround to see shore. Once again had open water closer to the buoys and remember feeling so excited that the swim was going so well. I got closer and closer and then only three buoys from shore started to wheeze heavily and realized that I wasn't taking any air in. I made my way over to the bouy to recover and hung on for I figure 3-4 minutes. I slowly made my way to shore and exited to the transition. For the rest of the day I kept thinking I would recover, but I just never did. I had my inhaler on the bike so I got through it, but starting the run was wheezing so heavily. I thought hard about what to do, along with all of the consequences, and although I'm disappointed, feel that it was the right decision. I have never DNF'd from anything before, so it feels strange, but I am elated for Chad since he had such a great day, and our time here has been so amazing. I have to admit, I've had some emotions and feel overwhelmed by everyone's supportive words. One thing is for sure, there will be other days!

And now we are hurriedly packing for Disneyworld. We will be in Clearwater on Friday evening to watch the 70.3 race Saturday morning.


Saturday, November 3, 2007

Owwwwww -- 10:51:57

Kay that hurt.

I am sorry to report that Tam suffered a huge Asthma attack during the swim that affected her throughout the bike and the start of run. She was wheezing terribly and has decided that her health is too important (she DNF'd)

Friday, November 2, 2007

Can you find our bikes?

Race day approaches

Tomorrow (Saturday) is race day. For those on the west coast we are 2 hours ahead and our race starts at 7am. You can view our progress on and we are #416, and #2355.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

We've Moved

To our new location closer to the race site. We are in a 1 bedroom studio suite that we used for the Gulf Coast Half in May. It's small, but very convenient to the race site. The transition area is right below us, so on race day we can get our body marking done, check our bikes and gear, then we can run up to the room to finish our breakfast and put our wetsuits on. The best draw to staying here is we won't have to wait in any toliet lineup in transition, we can use our own.

Today we swam a bit of the swim course, I managed one lap (it's two laps on race day) with some stops, sightseeing, and a few jellyfish stings. Today's swim conditions were excellent, with very little swells/waves and a mild current running parallel to shore.

Here's some pic's that Tammy took while I was getting ready.
And here's two showing the view from our new place.

850-233-8039 (new phone number) -- phone isn't working

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Waffle House

In Panama City Beach all the Starbucks that you're used to seeing have been replaced with Waffle Houses. And many local Floridians show signs of visiting Waffle House frequently.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Too funny

I saw this on TV last night and thought I should share it.


I got Crabbed

This picture shows a blue crab and a cannonball Jelly, both of which we saw during our hour long swim in the gulf. Though we didn't see this exact image of a crab stealing a free ride. We are very aware after yesterday's swim about watching the sandy bottom for stingrays (we didn't see any today), I had stopped to observe a cannonball Jelly swim. They are about the size of a softball and strangely feel like a softball on the round head (I alway thought it would be squishy). We decided to move on and continue the swim, so when I pushed off the sandy bottom I immediately felt something sharp on my foot. During my "freak out" I looked back at what got me, and saw a blue crab scurrying away back to hide in the sand. The little bugger had clawed my big toe. It hurt for a good 20 minutes, and hurt my ego pretty good too. Tammy thought it was funny, but, I noticed that she never put her feet down after that.

Other than my crab encounter, the rest of the training went well. I tried a quick run in my compression socks (I'm thinking about racing with them). I noticed they helped to minimize my shin issues during the run, so I might have just race with them. I'm sure it looks odd, but once I start passing people on the run it won't look so weird.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Tammy said she wanted to suntan today

I came back from the beach and this is what I found.

I guess 25 degrees is now too cold.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

8 days to go...

So we are now down to 8 days till race day and the weather here is very different from when we first arrived. Yesterday was very cold, the temperature never reached above 19 degrees Celsius. Today and for the next few days it is projected to get increasing warmer, up to highs of 27 degrees Celsius (still a lot cooler than we are now used too). We are in taper mode (very easy and light training) that really helps settle the anxiety that builds before the race. Tammy and I are feeling ready to race, but we have to wait another week which is killing me. I think I am driving Tammy crazy, she seems to tolerate it well. I need to go buy some more books and magazines for the next few days (Anyone have any recommendations?). Yesterday we bought a couple of DVD's to watch as we try to relax next week. One movie is "Peaceful Warrior" which I am excited about as it's based on the "Way of the Peaceful Warrior" book (it's a great inspirational book series by Dan Millman).

The outdoor pool is starting to get busy. Tammy and I both had our own lanes, but we saw about 3 lanes with double occupancy (now thats busy for this pool). There was a friendly German team training with a coach on deck. They also had a few people training in their wetsuits in the pool. During the week we have also noticed a few more triathletes on bikes, so it's starting to happen.

Oh and we believe the red tide is now gone, as with the sharks, however we still can't get in the Gulf waters. There are double red flags along the beach which mean absolutely no swimming allowed. We think it should calm down enough for a Saturday morning swim though.


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Random Strip Search

Tammy has always claimed that the reason she carries rubber gloves in her saddle bag is for changing flats. Now I have proof that she uses them for that purpose and not for random strip searches.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Sharks in the water

Yep, that title is correct. We have been watching the sharks feeding in the morning and late afternoon. Mostly we know where the sharks are by looking for fish jumping and splashing around. Carl and I were talking to a ret. navy diver this morning and he thought the sharks could be Black Tip Sharks, they aren't a danger to humans (but can be found in really shallow water) I guess that means that red tide is gone so we can start swimming in the Gulf again (Um, maybe we'll wait a bit first). Yesterday the fish and sharks were nearly beaching themselves during the hunt. I'll try to get the camera ready for some action photos later today. Thats all for now.

Yes mom, we'll be careful.

Saturday, October 20, 2007


Finally! Another day when Tammy is blown.

Carl arrived last night, and today we headed out for a 4 hour ride. We made it 30 minutes until Carl slashed his tire (along broken glass road) and I motored home to grab the spare tire and supplies. After his "welcome to Florida riding" moment, we continued on and finished the ride. Tammy seemed a little disorganized heading over to the treadmills for our "Brick" run (run off the bike). Everyone knows how organized Tammy likes to be, so this was quite unusual. Looking at Tammy now, she has bloodshot eyes and very disorganized thought processes going on. All signs of a solid, hard effort today. Finally it is not just me that blows up.


Thursday, October 18, 2007

Rain Delay

It's raining hard here today. Thought I would post some pictures and hope that it stops raining soon.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Red Tide is back

Locals tell us that this red tide outbreak is the worst they've seen in years. If you aren't familiar with Red Tide, it is an algae bloom (algae here have a red tint, in high numbers the water becomes red) that typically occurs in warm waters and is quite common in the Gulf of Mexico. It scares off fish, and any fish that didn't leave, eventually die as there is a lack of Oxygen in the water. Red Tide also can cause respiratory problems (coughing, sore throat, etc...), and is especially bad for asthmatics and anyone exercising near the beach. It seems like it's been a month since we've been able to get into the Gulf for a swim, and it looks like it may be only the week of the race when we get into our wetsuit or speedsuit (Water temp is still 83-86).

Yesterday was a huge rain day, so we ran indoors on the treadmills for an hour rather than risk tropical rainstorms on the bike (we've learned from earlier mistakes). My shins are holding up well with all the treadmill running, so I'm hopeful for an awesome run in the race.

As always Tammy is doing great and never seems to have a bad day training (except our first day riding here, when she was keeled over her bike at the 60 km mark - dehydrated and majorly BONKED).

Our friend Carl is traveling down to stay with us on Friday. He's racing the weekend after Ironman in Clearwater at the Half-Iron World Championship race. The warm weather should be a great change as we have heard that Winter weather is starting in the Okanagan.

Oh and a couple of you have pointed out a blunder in my last blog posting. I am a bit surprised that spell checker allowed it, but I had meant to say "2 people rode disc's (wheels)".

As Norman Stadler once said, "Bed by 9:00, I win!"

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Ironman Hawaii Today

Today is Ironman Hawaii. I'm sitting here cursing as we have a slow connection so we are having trouble watching the live coverage.

Well the temperatures have finally dropped enough so we aren't drenched in sweat anymore. That is great news for myself (Tammy does better in hotter temperatures so she's not as happy). We had a flat and fast 3 hour ride with a 20min run this morning. When we started our bike ride we were riding against the flow of a sprint distance triathlon. It was great to see there are other triathletes around here, even if they are sprint distance athletes.

Some interesting observations, out of around 150 athletes:
3 rode fat tire mountain bikes
2 rode skinny tire mountain bikes with aerobars
2 had their helmet on backwards
2 people rode dics (both were behind a "backward helmet" rider)
2 people rode beach cruisers
only 1 person yelled at us to tell us, "You are doing awesome!" Everyone else gave us a puzzled look and a smile, they were happy that they were ahead of the two cyclists on Cervelo P3C's.

Now it's time to get back to watching ironmanlive.

Oh yeah, best of all, we had zero flat tires today! Score!


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

23 days to go...

This last week has been rather interesting. I am getting really good at changing flat tires. I had 6 flats on my bike this last week, Tammy had none. A couple of flats were on the new HED race wheels and the rest were on the standard training wheels. I broke a saddle bag, and lost extra CO2's due to the rough roads on the course (HWY 388 is not smooth). Tammy even lost an arm-pad on her aerobars from going to fast.

I managed to get nearly zero flats when riding around Victoria these last few years, so I guess it's all starting to catch up with me now.

We've managed to by-pass the ocean swims for pool swim as there is a bad case of red-tide in the water. The gulf water temperatures are still really high at 83-86 degrees Fahrenheit. It needs to drop to 78 degrees Fahrenheit for a wetsuit legal swim. So it looks like it might become a wetsuit-less swim. With that in mind we ordered some speed-suits that are will be legal for any water temperature. We've been hearing a lot about the new speed-suits and the advantage that it could give someone versus swimming without one (no wetsuit). I think that they will even come in handy for our ocean swims, when the red-tide is gone, because it's just too warm for wetsuits and the jellies are still out there waiting to sting.

I sure miss the hills and smooth, glass-free roads. I've got to go and inspect my tires, I may have flatted again.


Thursday, October 4, 2007


Last night we visited the local Wal-mart to stock up on some supplies (we've been there a few times). We've been told by locals that this Wal-mart holds records for the largest amount of overall sales for all the Wal-marts, and it sells the largest amount of beer/alcohol in the US. And it is HUGE! This is definitely a super Wal-mart. They sell bottles of wine for $3. It's not likely to be a great wine at $3 a bottle, but as soon as this race is over we will try it. They also have Acer laptop computers for something like $390. You can get prescription drugs, a haircut, visit the Wal-mart spa, buy car/house insurance, buy all your groceries, at the same time you buy your regular Wal-mart items. The only thing I couldn't find was a restroom, but we didn't explore the entire store.


Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Swimming with the Jellies

It seems that every time we venture out into the gulf for an open water swim we can only make it about 2 minutes before we've wrapped a jellyfish around our wrists, ankles or any exposed skin in the water. They don't sting really bad, but they do sting enough to leave some bumps on the skin for a couple of hours. These jellyfish are so translucent that we can't see them before we hit them. With that in mind we thought we might try to swim in the very warm waters with our wetsuits on. Tammy's new zoot wetsuit arrived a couple of days ago (mine just arrived last night). It didn't feel too hot with the wetsuits on but it was definitely warm. Tammy felt great in her new suit, it is amazing how the technology has changed in 5 years (since we got our last wetsuits). The wetsuits protected us a bit from the jellyfish but they still find the pieces of exposed skin.

I talked with a local triathlete this morning at the pool, he mentioned that the Gulf has been unusually warm and has an excessive amount of jellyfish recently.

You should see the strange looks we get from the tourists and locals on the beach when we put our wetsuits on. They think we are crazy and I am starting to believe them.


Sunday, September 30, 2007

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Week Update

Sorry it's been a while since I've updated this blog. Not much exciting has happened this week. It's been normal in terms of training. Coach Mike has recommended that since I've been having some shins issues while running that I spend some extra time on the bike. Since I've not been running, my calves have loosened up considerably while using the TP Roller, The Stick, Compression Socks and icing. All this extra time on the bike has unfortunately led to getting more flat tires though. It seems that since we started riding here we have two flat tires a week. There is a lot of tiny broken glass on the roads here. It really is a party town. Especially this week with Thunder Rally (the Harley Biker Week) going on. It's cool seeing all these bikes in the parking lots and streets but it's starting to wear on me at 1 am when all you can hear is these Harley's on the strip. We've bought some new Michelin bike tires with greater puncture resistance online for a great price at (I just couldn't believe the prices from this website, it took only about 4 business days to receive the order). I've already had a flat with these tires, but the tire didn't shred itself to pieces like the original Vittoria tires had.

We've spent a good amount of time at the beach this week and Tammy's started calling me the sandman with the amount of sand that I track into the condo.

This week and next week are probably are busiest in terms of training hours, we are focusing on getting through these build weeks and probably won't have much to report for another week.


Monday, September 24, 2007

I think I'm in Trouble

I don't know how this happened. Tammy was gone for a couple of hours and when she came back this was in the sand just below our condo's deck.

Today was a swim and an easy bike. The swim was fine itself but it was made difficult by the pool staff not being organized in the morning and claiming that we've been swimming for free for two weeks. That wasn't the case, but, it was still an hour and a half of stress and extra time this morning.

Today is also the unofficial start of Bike Week here in Panama City Beach. Thursday is the official start and we aren't sure if we are looking forward to this. Basically bikers, Harley's not Cervelo's, descend onto the streets by the thousands. Most of the friendliest drivers to us have been these bikers, so it shouldn't be too bad. It's weird though, with Florida's laws allowing motorbikes to ride helmet-less, Tammy and I are usually the only people here that wear helmets.


Sunday, September 23, 2007

There is blown and then there is really blown

As the subject line has it, today was a really blown apart day. The schedule called for a 3:30 bike with a 15 minute run. Well yesterday I ran 20 minutes until my shins stopped me. I'm not risking running further than I have to right now so I already decided that I won't be doing the 15 minute run today. We rolled out just after 8:00am this morning, and it was hot and humid, within an hour Tammy and I were both drenched in sweat from an aerobic effort. With about an hour left in the ride the rise in temperature hit me hard, and my perceived effort and heart rate went up dramatically. Tammy came by and I clung to her wheel (draft zone) like a fat kid on a smartie. After that effort I ate some food, napped, and played in the surf. I am off to do some stretching and self massage to my calves (the source of my shin problems).


Thursday, September 20, 2007

Dark Shapes in the water

These pictures of rays were taken right along the shore. I would've gotten in the water (our camera takes underwater pictures) but I was wearing pants and didn't want to get soaked. These rays are a common sight along the shore here. We have also seen dolphins hunting schools of fish (no pictures, sorry).

Tammy and I have a rest day tomorrow so we went to the 16 screen movie theater. We expected it to be packed like it always is in Victoria. When we walked in to the theater it was like we had rented the entire theater to ourselves. The theater is really nice too with reclining seats and wide isles. We saw The Bourne Ultimatum. We liked it. I just can't see how that movie theater is in business, or at least taking business away from the older 10 screen one.

Thats it for now. We are watching the water for those dark shadows.


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Lovebugs everywhere

There are billions of these little bugs everywhere in Florida, just standing around outside you will have on average one a minute land on you. They don't bite, or sting, but they are very annoying little bugs. Doing a little internet research (Lovebugs), they are around for 4 weeks twice a year and 2007 is a really bad year. They don't have any natural predators in Florida so they get outta control fast here.

Other than the lovebugs problems, things are going well here. The temperatures outside are starting to comedown from 38 to 32 during the day. Tomorrow we are supposed to have a huge rainstorm hit us for a couple of days. Hopefully it won't last too long, but maybe it'll help with the lovebug problem here.


Monday, September 17, 2007

Recovery Week

Today is the first day of recovery week. It's a much needed rest from the last of the building periods and lets our bodies recover. Yesterday Tammy rode the bike course (approx 173km from our condo), and had another awesome day. I drove support and took pictures of the day.

The last picture is the one "hill" on the ride. It's a bridge that we ride up twice. This is a flat course. Being so flat we have to contend with the winds and riding in an aggressive aero-position.

Today was a simple swim in the outdoor pool at 7am. It still amazes us how fast that warm water exhausts us.


Saturday, September 15, 2007


So today's run wasn't looking good to me. I started out well, but with all the asphalt running we have been doing here my shins let me know that they have had enough. I returned to the condo after 40 mins. Tammy came in a while later from having an awesome run. She then cheerfully said to me, "Why don't you bike the course today?" I told her, "I don't like you." Then I quickly got my bike gear and water bottles from yesterday's disaster ride. I was out the door ten minutes later at 10am. It was going to be a hot ride. Tammy drove support and was everywhere on the course that I needed her to be. She drove through the plague of lovebugs that have overtaken Florida (these things are everywhere). While I could only close my mouth and be glad to be wearing sunglasses.

As the day got hotter, and I got faster with the headwind out of the way, I stopped for my special needs nutrition and some extra sunblock. A kilometer later I figured out that I was leaking air from a puncture that I repaired last Thursday. It was a busted tire, and without a spare tire I hoped in the car and we drove on back home. It was a bit of a disappointing couple of days with the rainstorm, shin splints and busted tire. But it was still a hard day of training. Tomorrow Tammy is riding the course and I am driving support.


Tropical storms and biking don't mix

We have been in Florida just over a week now. And we thought that we should write a blog to let family and friends now how we are doing here.

We bought a 2002 Suzuki XL7 for our transportation down here and it suits us well. We feel we got it for quite a deal and the dealer that we bought it at was an Ironman athlete so we were also able to get the Ironman deal and poke his brain for information for Ironman related products.

Life in Florida has been quite the adjustment. We have found that we need to be doing long runs starting at 7am as the "feels like" temp at 9am is near 39 degrees most days. We also discovered that swimming in a very warm outdoor pool in the Florida heat has drawbacks as well. Mostly that if you are doing a hour long set at 11am you should have put on sunscreen. So we are trying to swim at 7am there also.

Our open water swims in the Gulf have been very interesting, Tammy's been stung by a jelly and just after that happened she motored to the shoreline. I swam over to talk to her about why she was stopped, just as I got to her we saw some dark shadows swimming very close to us. We got out of the water just as some stingrays jumped the surface of the water. Rays are pretty docile creatures but we don't want to be near them when they want to jump.

Tammy and I had planned on doing our long ride this Friday and Saturday. We broke the days up so we could each have a support vehicle for the ride. Well I started Friday at 7am, and I was mentally focused that this was going to be the day I set a new PR (personal record) for the 182km's. I flatted 3km into the ride, changed it quickly and was on the bike with the same determination. Then the weather started to look quite different from anything that we have seen before. There was lots of lighting and thunder and even more rain. This was the type of rain where if you were driving you would have to pull over and stop, and hope that when you stopped you didn't park in a 2 foot deep puddle. We had a short run through something like this earlier in the week so I thought it can't last too long. But as the road straightened out, I saw that I was to be heading directly into the heart of the driving rain and lightening. Not fun! Just then I spotted Tammy in the support vehicle and I quickly loaded my bike in the back and we slowly made our way home. So it was a weather induced day off. The day was awlful all day but we made the most of it as we managed to get in for massages and do some shopping (Tammy really did the shopping).

Well today we are running so I have to finish my coffee and brekie (the weather looks like it'll be good), Sunday and Monday we are going for a second long ride attempt, hopefully minus the tropical storm in the area.