Friday, August 31, 2007

Pre race confusion

Ok so I am getting ready for this race and man oh man it is confusing. they have two transition areas, so your gear has to be distributed to both. To assist in this the organizers has given "transition bags" to all athletes. 1 Swim bag, 1 Bike bag and 1 run bag. I am supposed to put what I need for each part of the race in each bag. It does not sound like much of a big deal, but I never put that much thought into transitions, I simply bring everything I have in my race bag and worry about it on race day when setting up the transition area.

In this case I will not even see the run transition because for all practical purposes it not a traditional transition area, its a tent with a bench so I can change shoes. Thats it.

In a way its probably good because it forces me to think about what I am doing, but its different and that makes me nervous.

Another thing I never even considered. They use the British system here for driving ( drive on left part of road) So the race is following that. So for this race you have to stay on the left side of the road and pass on the right. Otherwise they will give you a "Out of position" penalty. This means that instead of being able to zone Out and worry only about the race, I have to keep myself from following my natural instinct to stay on the right and pass on the left. Also it seems they are going to be very strict on the rules here. In fact being its Singapore you can almost bet on that.

Overall its not overwhelming stuff but its different.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Training in Singapore

Here are some photos taken during my training runs and time here in Singapore. My stay here has been busier than I expected. Aside from the work I have to do which has been extensive. I made myself busier by forgetting and losing key pieces of gear. So I ended up having to seek out these things here in Singapore. This was not as bad as it could have been thanks to Darren, a Triscooper that Adam had introduced me to online, who was gracious enough to drive me around to different bike shops in search of a multi-tool, and tire changing gear ( which was a strange adventure in itself!).

Darren and me at the Japanese barbecue place


During my run in Ft Canning Park, this is the "14th Century Walk"

A Building viewed from Ft Canning Park

One of the few peaceful moments in my ride in Singapore

Sunday, August 26, 2007

18 Hours

I embarked on my journey to Singapore on Friday evening. It is an 18 hour direct flight from Newark. also they are 12 hours ahead. Thus I am leaving Friday and arriving on Sunday. Anyhow, as I was entering the airport terminal wher Singapore airlines is and immediatly I hear " hey you must be going to Singapore for the race!" I look over and sure enough there two triathletes. They were two women, asian, and they were checking into Singapore airlines.

Aside from the fact that they spotted me first, I would have spotted them for what they were pretty quick, they had more baggage than anyone should ever have: 1 Gigantic box carrying the bike. 1 suitcase which may have half clothes for normal day to day stuff, the other half the same amount if not more workout clothes. 1 very large sport bag, full of empty water bottles, energy drink powders, bike and running shoes+ all other race gear. Another carry-on which turns out to usually be the zipp wheels. A Backpack with the helmet strapped on and flip flops( which will probably be the same one used top walk to the swim start).

While waiting in line we all exchanged all the pertinent information in just 5 minutes. What races we had done in the last year, what HIM experience we had, whether we packed our own bikes or paid someone (I packed mine, they had a bike shop do theirs), what clubs we belonged too ( they to Terrier tri in NYC, me a mercenary of charity organizations TNT, Race with purpose etc). After having established our credentials we then exchanged names By that point we were able to easily chat for an hour while waiting around to board the plane. Conversation was mostly about How the race refs were going to be, about drafting penalties and other really important stuff. We also had established the informal "Tri team" mentality in that one would stand watch over all the gear while the others went to the bathroom or looked around. A sort of T1 area in the airport if you will.

Once we boarded the plane we pretty much went on our separate ways, though we agree to email each other to see if we can get a group for a ride around Singapore. Whether it happens remains to be seen.

The flight itself went without any events. I started to see "Hot Fuzz", but fell asleep because it was 1AM and I was tired. I slept pretty well for maybe 6 hours. Woke up watched TV and slept some more maybe another 2-3 hours. I definitly, took advantage of the flat bed seats they have in Business class. It helps that they make it pretty dark in the plane almost the entire ride. Whatever they do it works. Almost all were asleep.

everyone is asleep in Business Class

I can say I slept almost the whole ride. I had enough time after waking to see an Indian Film, that was OK. I take advantage of these flights to see foreign films so I can get me some "culture" :) All else on the flight went smooth even baggage pickup and the ride to the hotel.

Once I got there what did I do? Why naturally I put Dusty the bike back together!

Dusty is ready to roll

Friday, August 24, 2007

Preparing for Singapore

Well tomorrow night I am leaving for Singapore. So this evening I started to pack the Bike and triathlon stuff up. This is the first time I travel with the Bike so it was a bit unsettling taking the bike apart not 100% certain that I will be able to put it back together. I am 99% certain I can. In fact I went through a practice run the other day so that I could feel confident about putting the bike (AKA Dusty) back together. However, some things I did NOT take apart then such as the rear derailleur, or the aerobars and handlebar. I made sure to put tape everywhere just so I know what position to put things back at, but its still just not natural!

Anyhow I am probably packing too much. But since I do not know what to expect when I get to Singapore, I am bringing everything I have sports wise. Now I know that Singapore happens to have GREAT shopping ( locals tell me shopping is their national pass time), so I am sure if I could find a bike or sports shop I could replenish anything I need. Its just the finding of the stuff is the problem.

Since I am going for work purposes, I will not have allot of time to explore prior to the race. So I would rather have everything with me. Better safe than Sorry.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Extensor Tendonitis

Over the last few days I have started to feel an ache across the top of my foot when I run, and it seems to be getting worse. Up until now It was not so bad that it actually hindered my running, it was an ache that just was not supposed to be there. Well today I was doing a 9 mile run at around 70% HR and the ache just kept getting worse and worse until towards the end of the run I was favoring my left foot. I looked online and found this website:

What are the symptoms of inflammed extensor tendons?
-Pain on the top of the foot (dorsal foot pain).
-Diffuse swelling on the top of the foot.
-Pain along the top of the foot which is worse during running. ***
-Pain when the tendons are passively stretched.

Well aren't I the Lucky one! I happen to have all of these symptoms. I will try the treatment suggested before it gets worse:

What can the athlete do about inflamed extensor tendons?
-Rest until there is no more pain. <---- This could end my marathon plans for Oct 7th
-Apply ice or cold therapy.
-Alter shoes or get shoes that fit properly!
-Ensure shoe laces are not too tightly tied.
-Pad the shoe in the forefoot to take the pressure off.
-Follow a rehabilitation programme including strengthening of the extensor muscles and stretching the calf muscles at the back of the lower leg.

I feel I have caught this early enough that I can do something about it. In fact tonight I am icing the foot. I think its also time for new running shoes. Anyhow its better to get this under control before it gets worse. I will just focus on my swimming and cycling. for the next few weeks. I am hoping that the pain will subside enough for me to be able to run well in the Singapore 1/2 IM on Sept 2nd.

Ironman or Not?

The recent furor over comments made by a reader at Triathlete magazine regarding the right to get an IM tattoo has made me think. His stance is that if you have not done the Kona championship race then you are in effect not really an Ironman. A statement that was met with tremendous disdain and outright fury by the other readers. I agree with them. Anyone who can complete ANY ironman distance should have the right to call themselves an Ironman.

In the same light I feel that the Ironman name has become synonymous with the distance of 2.4 miles swim, 112 mile bike and 26.2 mile run. As such I feel that anyone completing ANY race of that distance whether its a Ironman branded race or not can call themselves that as well.

I have posted a thread in regarding this to see what others opinions are regarding this. Lets see what the results are.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

First step on Road to Fame and Glory

I actually need to register for an Ironman race before I can even get started on this journey to IM. From my recent experience registering for IM Lake Placid, that will not be so easy. On Monday, July 23rd I received a call from Adam saying that online registration for IM Lake placid had just opened. Up until that point I was not sure if I wanted to do an Ironman. However, that call just kicked something in and in a split second I decided I wanted to do it. I immediately logged on to register, BAM! I saw the message "registration is closed". It took only 7 minutes for online registration to sell out. Its my understanding that IM Wisconsin goes pretty fast as well.

I will have to develop a plan for being ready instantly to register the second it goes on, maybe a training plan is required, work on speeding up typing skills? Clearly some kind of threshold and speed work will be required. Must think!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Singapore Sling coming right up!

Well I finally made my decision. I am doing the Inaugral Singapore Ironman 70.3. Just signed up, I took one of the last 100 spots left in this the first Asian qualifier for the 70.3 world championships.

To be honest one of the driving forces of making me sign up is my current business trip. Its BORING! I have decent enough company, but after you do enough busines travel, you realize that after the workday there is nothing to look forward to except restaurants, and that gets old. I have to go to Singapore for two weeks on business, the weekend in between being Sept 2nd. which is perfect. This triathlon can occupy a large portion of my weekend!
Tri's are always fun, especially large and BIG events like an inaugural triathlon for a whole country! Here is the link for the triathlon: Singapore 70.3

Here is the course map, isn't it great looking? Makes me want to stop at the Bowling center during the ride :)

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Beer and good

Well today after work I wanted to catch up with a friend at my job. We agreed to meet up at a bar after work for a few beers. I had maybe 3-4 beers.

Then I went home and was planning on doing a 7.5 mile run and then work in a 1 hour swim session. Even before starting I had an upset stomach, headache felt other words I had a hangover. I started my run and realized that 7.5 miles was not going to be good. So I did 5.25 miles instead. I normally finish this at 42 min. Today 49. My heartrate was very high basically at threshold with just an easy pace.

I decided to ditch the swim and do it tommorow. Lesson learned. If I plan on seriously training for the IM, there can be few of these types of days. Or at least train...THEN drink :)

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Special day for Dusty!

I took today off and decided it was high time Dusty the Bike got cleaned. Some of you that have ridden with me in the past may at this tiem be in shock ( Dusty is called "Dusty" for a reason). I have in the past wiped Dusty down before but never a thorough cleaning. Iwas driven by the fact that I have to take my bike apart in order to travel to Singapore, and well I did not look forward to the massive grease stains that I will inevitably end up with. Heck I end up like that even just picking up the damned bike!

Above: Dusty as he is ready for a cleaning.

Anyhow, once I got started, it was like a chain reaction. I would clean one piece only to realize that there were multiple layers of crap on this bike. So I would take off the front wheel so I can clean it better. The the rear wheel so I can clean the bike chain.

On left: Dusty in a sad state

Anyhow, once I got started, it was like a chain reaction. I would clean one piece only to realize that there were multiple layers of crap on this bike. So I would take off the front wheel so I can clean it better. The the rear wheel so I can clean the bike chain.

When I arrived at the chain ring. Well that was just a disaster. the oil and grease was just caked on it. I was appalled! I hate to admitthis, but I might as well. I had noticed the "black" teeth before and just thought that they were carbon "tipped". Imagine my surprise when the "carbon" came off!

May not be too clear but on the left of the chainring the teeth are still black. Those MUST be carbon tipped right?

It took quite awhile, and I may have ended up with more grease on me than on the rags. But I think I managed to get a substantial amount wiped off. I actually ended up taking the chain off and using a toothbrush to get to the caked grease between the chainring and gears.

After all was done, here are the victims, once clean white rags and paper towels.

After, I finished putting the chain back on and the wheels back in place, I then lubricated the chain with my "Prolink" chain lube. This process irritated me becase the oil was splashing onto the bike again, which meant I had to wipe it down again. Sigh... After maybe an hour and a half I was done. :)

Dusty is happy

Como Se Dice

Prior to the NYC Triathlon I was actually interviewed by NY1 News Latino. I was selected due to my amazing athletic skills and agressive competitiveness. Welllll.....OK I was chosen because I was one of the few athletes they could find that spoke spanish ( Shhh..don't tell that to my wife she she actually bought the "it is my unparralelled success at the sport" story, I need to keep the funding going!)Anyhow, it was an interesting experience. Myself and one other woman were interviewed I just know her name was Valentina. We were interviewed by Felipe Klint, who is a news anchor but on occassion he goes out to do a story that interests him. In this case he was doing the race himself for the first time.It was funny its started off with Felipe interviewing me for about 5 Minutes.

The questions were about why do triathlon, whats the interest etc
I was so worried that I was going to botch up my spanish and say something stupid like "Bueno Mio me Gusta becauso, como se dise..loseo el weighto mucho" But I actually pulled it through and spoke well enough. After my interview and Valentina's interview they took some action shots of us stretching and doing activities.
It was odd because they had us stretch like in front of benches which nobody ever does, at least not on concrete. So we were there stretching trying to look like we were seriously doing it. You can see us speaking, what we were saying is:
"Now what do we just continue to do this?"
"Well when the heck do we stop?"
After that they took some shots of me running, which felt odd because the camera was in front of me and they did not want me to look into the camera. I had to resists the urge to wave at everyone! or stick my tongue out. I finally have the video of the footage but am trying to transfer it to a format I can edit so I can post it here. It has about 2 hours of unimportant news coverage about world hunger, the environment, other useless news before getting to the important stuff ( me).
It was fun

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Hunt for the Ironman begins

Well This week was the week I made up my mind. I am going to seek to finish an Ironman race in 2008. After two years of slowly working my way out of my "out of shape" status, I now feel ready to take on the ultimate physical challenge, an Ironman distance race. Thats 2.4 miles of swimming, 112 miles on a Bike and to cap it all of ... a Marathon. God help me......

I have lost my mind.