Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Back on Track

I know I haven't posted anything here for a few weeks - I have some notes and will put something in regarding mid August to mid September, but in the meantime I'll pick things up with the Tri2Remember sprint tri held at Laurel Park in Gainesville, GA on 9//18/10.

Tri2Remember - Laurel Park
This was the first anniversary of the first tri I ever did – and it’s the first race I’ve ever done twice. The Tri2 Remember group (which benefits Alzheimer’s) has been a good one to train with and I’ve had an opportunity to do lake swims, weekend bike rides, race in Chattanooga, and attend a couple group dinners with them over the past year. For this event they pull out all the stops including having an open water swim training a couple weeks before and an open ride on the bike course a week prior to the race. It’s a great race for a first timer – I think at least half of this year’s field indicated this was their first tri. Hats off to Denise Novicki and the rest of the Tri2 group for doing such a great job and turning a single event into a series of events this year.

My goal for this race was simply to beat last year’s time. The weather was great – especially considering the rain that we had last year. The swim was a time trial start, two at a time from opposite sides of a dock. Unfortunately, I ended up swallowing a couple gallons of lake water at the start and never really recovered from that. And again this week I was all over the place and probably ended up going an extra hundred meters or so on the swim (I guess that’s good for training). As a result after making the last turn I ended up looking at the sky, trying to catch my breath, and mentally preparing for the transition and the upcoming ride. (Yes, that means I was floating on my back – "sculling" being the appropriate swimming term I think, although at that point several other terms were coming to mind). In my post race note to myself I stated "swim was horrible" - I meant it. Fortunately, it's the shortest leg of the race.

First transition wasn’t too bad – BG was a bit high – likely due to being off the pump longer than I would have liked. And although the bike course was only a little over 12 miles, the first several miles were heavy on the hills. I felt slow, but I was passing some people as well. There was one area where traffic caused some problems (what does USAT say to do when a car that is blocking faster riders won’t pass a slower bike)? At any rate – without being specific we’ll just say that both of them were passed in some way/shape/form by several riders. Since I’ve been on this course a few times it felt good to have an idea of where I was at all times – and where that put me in relation to the next transition.

BG was over 270 getting off the bike and my second transition was extremely slow. Though I had the Dexcom with me, I knew that I better check on the glucometer too - and that slowed things down a bit. In this race I had no cramps and I felt faster on the run, in fact I didn’t really feel the sluggishness one usually feels when transitioning from bike to run (maybe because of the extra transition time - it's a thought anyway). In this race I was actually passing people on the run (a relatively new experience for me in the triathlon world), and even though the BG started out of whack – it was in the 150s when I was done with the run. I patted myself on the back because I was under a nine minute mile pace (stop laughing - this is a good pace for me - especially considering the swimming and biking already completed).

The end result – 8 minutes faster than last year, due in part to faster transitions (believe it or not), and finished in the middle of my age group. When I looked at half a dozen others in my age group - only one other person had improved his time - and his was by 2 minutes. So I was fairly happy overall. At this point this is the last tri I plan to do this fall. The Chicago Marathon is up in 3 weeks. My body is tired, my brain is tired, and I know I have one more hard week of training before the taper begins for Chicago. At this point I’m feeling good about the Chicago event.

After the "hard week" and in starting the taper - I'm still feeling good (amazing). Even a bit "rested" after last weeks 20 mile run (before work). Hopefully 1 more update on this topic before 10/10/10.

The big announcement for all the Triabetes athletes has finally been made - our Triabuddies are on board! Peter Reis, an 11 year old lacrosse player, will be my triabuddy this year. Peter lives in Birmingham, AL – not too far from Atlanta. I had an opportunity to meet him in Orlando at the Friends for Life Conference this past summer. In talking to Peter and his mom, I know he’s pumped for the Kidz Tri event in Florida in early November. Having worked with lacrosse players and learned something about the game over the past 2 years myself – I know he’ll be up for the challenge. I’m looking forward to working with Peter and his family to help spread the word about Insulindependence and the Triabetes/Triabuddies program in particular.

Atlanta Dawn Phenom
This past weekend we had our 2nd Atlanta Dawn Phenom Event. To liven this post up a bit I've included a shot of some of the folks who attended the first event: Nicole, Jolanta, Martin, Amber and Dan. The first 3 being primary support team members for me (and familiar faces if you've read other posts) - and the latter two being great supporters of what we're doing in the Atlanta area.

The second photo shows Amber and Dan with Aimee Minton and her family. The big question here is where is Amelia hiding? Seems she is a bit camera shy - but she's been a great trooper, attending both events and walking several miles with her mom both times. Thanks all (and to Sue from CHOA who attended our most recent event at the Silver Comet Trail last weekend) - and if you're reading this and know diabetics (T1 or T2) or their supporters in the Atlanta area - have them contact me - we're planning our monthly events for October, November and December now!