Monday, January 28, 2013

Crashing Boulder - Rev3 Summit

I got back LATE last night (thanks Southwest) from my first trip to Boulder, CO.  Actually only my 2nd trip west of the Mississippi River (sad, I know).  What an awesome town, wow.  What an awesome time with the REV3 crew, connecting with old friends and making new ones!

The weekend had a recurring schedule...conference room, eating PowerBars, dinners, drinking, minimal sleep then repeat.  Pretty sure the whole town knew the group of 35+ strong had crashed "the party" in Boulder.  We were treated to some incredible weather (at least for this Northeasterner)!

The whole crew at the Boulderado.
On Friday after lunch we headed over to Pearl Izumi's facility which is just south of Boulder.  We just missed the "mandatory" 12:15 lunch ride.  They were gracious to open up the facility for us, giving us a tour then going over their product lines and new footwear line.  Tim DeBoom, a local to the area and big part of PI's testing and development, stopped in to chat with us as well.  The facility was unique with some great "memorabilia" that only endurance athletes could appreciate. 
Kristin Armstrong's World Champion kit.
 We had a great dinner in Denver on Saturday night and woke up Sunday morning for the best part of the weekend...getting outside, taking advantage of the great weather and exploring some of the incredible recreational assets of Boulder.  I was really impressed with their progressive network of multipurpose trails, bike lanes and recreation paths.  I had plotted a route from Camp Sharpie's to our group run from Chautauqua Park in Southwest Boulder.  It was nearly 8 miles of running on the paths and I only physically crossed two streets, pretty cool.
The Big "R" was in the house! 
Anthony, Dave and I headed to the trailhead.
  We made it to the trailhead and headed out in smaller groups to explore the trails.  Anythony, Tara and I decided we'd do an out and back to avoid getting lost.  Anthony had run there before (he's from Denver) so I was not worried about getting lost.  The weather was beautiful and it reminded me how much fun trail running is.  I need to do more of it.
Something from a magazine...
Something from a magazine Part 2.


We ran for about 45 minutes, grabbed some Power Gel and turned around.  My legs had 12.5 miles in them and I was getting tired!
 
I could certainly feel the altitude.  We started at about 5500' and turned around at 6500'.  I was really gasping up the climbs.  Maybe the "altitude training" will make me faster back at sea level?  Doubt it!
What a great opportunity.  I'm so glad I made it out.  It was great to interact with the sponsors and learn about their products.  Tri Swim / Tri SlidePearl Izumi, PowerBar, Biotta Beet Juice, Compex, Reynolds Wheels and Quintana Roo. Thanks to Carole for letting a bunch of us crash her place, thanks to my awesome wife for letting me go!  Now I'm excited to do some REV3 races, and volunteer to help out.  REV3 strive to provide a full family experience and I certainly felt like I was with family all weekend!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Lance Armstrong - There is no Santa

When I first started cycling circa 2000, Lance Armstrong was my hero.  The USPS team was BADASS.  The Tour De France was becoming mainstream on television, in the news, etc.  He would shred the bad guys like Jan Ulrich.  He could come back after being pulled to the ground by a fan's handbag or after riding cross county to avoid Beloki's crash.  He couldn't lose it seemed!

He would go on to win Seven Tours IN A ROW.  I believed the hype, after a "good guy" like him beats cancer, he returns to the top of the sport. "No way he would cheat" I thought to myself, hero's never cheat, he denied it so vehemently, he was never caught, never had a failed test result.

After I read his first book, I was torn. My gut was telling me he wasn't a good person, he was a lost soul, arrogant. He had rejected religion.  There was nothing "bigger than him" that could have saved him or given him new life.

BUT my mind was in awe of his unreal athletic accomplishments. I would defend him as "maybe not the nicest guy, but he's an incredibly gifted athlete. 

Then he started to run marathons.   "Awesome, I won't let a cyclist beat me in a marathon" I thought.  "His involvement would be a great thing for the sport" I thought.  I "toed the line" with him at the 2008 Boston Marathon.  I was running with a friend and training partner, Creighton, who idolized Lance.  Creighton was a testicular cancer survivor, he had three children just like Lance.  Lance was his source of HOPE.  
Now Creighton and I are similar in appearance, and we've both been told we look like Lance.  We both had yellow shirts on that day and we were both hoping to see Lance on the course (and of course to beat him).   As we were running along people were yelling at us "go Lance", and we're looking around trying to find him until another runner say to us "they're talking to you, they think you look like Lance"!  

Anyway, long story short we finally find out that Lance is BEHIND us at mile 8 and Creighton says "we've gotta turn around" to which I replied, "you can, but I'm not stopping".  So we continued on.  By the time we hit mile 17 it was clear that it wasn't going to be my day.  I told Creighton to go ahead and I'd see what I could muster to finish.  Sure enough, Lance and his crew passed me going up Heartbreak Hill.  Defeated by a cyclist, DAMMIT.  At least now I can say it was a cheating cyclist.

Well, it turned out that Creighton got his wish, he ran shoulder to shoulder with Lance for the last 8 miles or so.  On National television, with all of our family and friends at home watching!

Creighton running shoulder to shoulder with Lance.

This is how my day ended!  The course of Lance? Perhaps.

Anyway, by now I'm sure you've heard about Lance's interview with Oprah and his confession to cheating.  I feel like someone told me for the first time that Santa wasn't real, it hurts.  

But what hurts the most is Lance's motive for his confession (at least in my opinion).  Lance was banned from competition last year.  No cycling, no running, no multisport events.  Lance doesn't like to be told he can't do something.  So, for his own sake he's decided to confess, NOT because it was the morally correct thing to do, but because it'll help him get what he wants.

My gut was right.  Real superhero's don't exist, you can only find them in cartoons and movies.

This is a great read.  HERE

Monday, January 7, 2013

2012 in review - I'm a numbers guy

So here you have it.  The simplest way to break it down:


YEAR Run Mi Run Time Bike Mi Bike Time (total) TOTAL HRS
2008 2644 310:53 1654 88:03 398:56
2009 1961 233:09 3548 233:19 466:28
2010 1878 230:16 4337 257:02 487:18
2011 1889 225:53 4503 289:40 515:33
2012 2200 262:49 3802 221:19 484:09


You may be thinking "nice chart, but what the hell does that mean"?

The GOOD:

  1. 2200 miles of running was my second highest annual total (without digging into the vault of hand written logs).
  2. 5 marathons (3 of them pacing) was the most I've run in a year.
  3. I've hit the 25 mark of total marathons completed (7 of them Boston).
  4. I had a PR at the 5 mile distance.
  5. I had great bike and run splits at my triathlons.
  6. I directed the sold out Superbowl 10K for the 3rd year (550 runners)
  7. I directed the sold out Inaugural Saucon Rail Trail 10K (330 runners)
  8. I directed Town Hall Cross for the 3rd year which nearly doubled in size (400 riders)
  9. My races netted approximately $15,000 for local charities.
  10. I had a blast pacing three marathons!
  11. It was an honor to again be a part of the REV3 triathlon team, IMO the best triathlon series going.
  12. I got a new 29er mtb at the end of the year.
  13. Organizing the pace groups for the St. Lukes Half Marathon.
  14. I was honored to be involved with the inaugural Runners World Half Festival, organizing their pace groups.
The BAD:
  1. Two bouts of staph infection hurt my cycling miles and my overall multisport racing
  2. A lower back injury hampered my late season racing and required time off.
  3. My cyclocross season never got started, and ended with a couple of nasty crashes.
  4. I swam a total of 5 times, three of them were during races (two OLY's and a HALF).
  5. Did you hear that is was HOT as Boston?
  6. It REALLY rained hard for the REV3 Quassy OLY race.
  7. Seemed as though I was in peak shape in February, great for a 5 mile PR but not for the rest of the season.
  8. Square pegs just don't fit in round holes, that sums it up!
So, not the best but not the worst either.  I learned a lot about myself last year, definitely one of the tougher years for me.  I'm using that to be smarter and more efficient now.  

Goals for next year:
  • Get some damn momentum going!
  • Tackle B&B in the same weekend (Tour of the Battenkill 4/13 and Boston Marathon 4/15)
  • Actually train for the swimming portion of the triathlon!
  • Do some duathlons.
  • Race my MTB once or twice.
  • Pick up a running client or two to coach.
  • Recognize the square peg and embrace it, continue to skip rides or runs to go watch the kids practice softball or soccer, because that is what really matters.
  • Hit a few more REV3 races.
  • A running PR at one distance.
  • Continue to give back to the community through directing races.
  • Stay healthy and keep on smiling.



Wednesday, January 2, 2013

New Year, something new....

I'm putting together my typical 2012 look back and 2013 outlook post, but in the mean time I wanted to post a shot of something new for the new year....
2013 Specialized Stumpjumper 29er
After a pretty non existent 2012 cross season I decided that I really don't need two cross bikes at this point.  I enjoy the woods and I enjoy the motocross parallels so it was time to upgrade my circa 1995 Giant tank of a mountain bike, sell one of my cross bikes and this is what I ended up with.  Almost too pretty to ride!  A mountain bike race for 2013?  Not out of the question!

Hope everyone had a great Holiday and a happy New Year!