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 www.ironmanlive.com 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.