Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Friday, November 16, 2007
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
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though, way too many rude people, horrible food selections (nothing healthy), and Disney seems to be getting outdated and rundown compared to Universal theme parks.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
Monday, November 5, 2007
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
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
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
And now we are hurriedly packing for
Saturday, November 3, 2007
Friday, November 2, 2007
Thursday, November 1, 2007
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
Sunday, October 28, 2007
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
Thursday, October 25, 2007
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
Monday, October 22, 2007
Yes mom, we'll be careful.
Saturday, October 20, 2007
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
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
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
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
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
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
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.
Saturday, September 29, 2007
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
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
Thursday, September 20, 2007
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
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
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
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.
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.