Friday, July 25, 2008

The rest of the weekend

While volunteering at the IM and registering for next year were the main points of our trip to Lake Placid last weekend, Hannah and I also took the time to wander around.

On Saturday we went for a hike to the top of Mt. Hurricane. We hadn't planned that in advance -- a few weeks ago I picked up a map of the High Peaks region of the Adirondacks (one of four or five maps for the whole park -- it's big) -- we just looked at the map and decided that was as good a trail as any. There are so many trails up there that it would probably take years to get to them all... and then we'd have to get one of the other maps and start all over in a new section.

The hike was tough but not killer. Lots of scrambling over rocks and crossing some bogs (remember all that rain I mentioned last time?). Despite a mostly overcast day, we got some decent views at the top.
I used to think that I photograph terribly, but in looking over all the pictures, I think it's actually the fault of the photographer. There were probably 15 pictures of me from the hike and these two are the best of the bunch.

Obviously, this is me about to do my Tyrannosaurus Rex impression. Why she didn't wait to capture the moment in it's glory, I don't know.

I suppose this one isn't so bad, although right before, a hawk had landed on my shoulder and a bear was eating out of my hand. Again, bad timing on Hannah's part.

But contrast the shots of me with this one of Hannah (I only took three, all superbly excellent). Clearly, I'm a much more talented photographer.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I'm in

After volunteering in the pouring rain at Sunday's race and getting in line Monday morning at 5:45, I'm all signed up for the '09 Ironman in Lake Placid.

The volunteering was a lot more enjoyable than I expected it to be. Hannah and I handed out water bottles for over six hours to lots of soaked, frozen and exhausted -- but mostly appreciative -- athletes.

The weather was absolutely miserable. It started raining about ten minutes into the race and didn't let up all day. What was somewhat shocking was how many people either didn't prepare for the bad weather, or chose to forgo warmer clothing. High 60s/low 70s in the rain is not ideal weather for a sleeveless tri top and shorts. I wonder how many people blew up their races by not taking the time to dress warmer.

We did see a number of people wearing their special needs bags on lap two of the bike, which was probably a smart, last resort thing to do.

It's always neat to see this, even if I've never actually seen it live.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Big Plan

On Thursday night, Hannah is flying up from Texas. On Friday morning, we're driving to Lake Placid to volunteer for this year's Ironman.

On Monday, I'll be in line bright and early to sign up for the 2009 race. That may not seem too exciting to you, but it is to me. I've been saying that I wouldn't return to IM until I knew I could achieve the fitness I need for a breakthrough race. All that happened this year -- much quicker than I thought.

I've been laying the groundwork. Next year will be a big year.

In case you're wondering, no I didn't post that entry in August of '07, although I did write it then.

Of course, there's always the possibility that despite volunteering and lining up super early, the race might fill before I can sign up. I've been trying to tell myself it's not a big deal if that happens. There are other races out there.

Monday, July 14, 2008

My buddy

Despite great weather, I spent most of the weekend indoors on my bike trainer.

On Saturday, after a night spent throwing up (it had nothing to do with the quality of my brother's play that I went to see on Friday; more likely, it was a result of the bar RDM and I went to before the show -- either the food, beer or Red Sox paraphernalia), I opted to ride my bike indoors on my trainer. If I was going to get sick again, I didn't want to be 20 miles away from my car.

I figured, "No worries. I'll get a decent ride outside tomorrow." But my trainer had another trick up it's sleeve. Twenty minutes into a ride that started at the Watchung Reservation (I stopped by on my way home from church in New Hope), my seat post started to slip. Normally, I'm used to my knee tapping my chest while I ride, but that's when I'm on my tribike and I'm leaning forward over my aerobars. It's not supposed to happen when I'm sitting up on my road bike. I think I might have been more comfortable on a BMX bike. Since my trainer had slyly removed my multitool from my seatbag, I had to stop when I came around past the car.

So, after an 8-mile run, it was back to the apartment for another afternoon with the trainer.

My trainer. Seen from three exciting angles, each conveying the thrill of riding your bike without actually going anywhere or seeing anything interesting.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

I love the Olympics

Say what you want about commercialism and politics, but I still love the Olympics.

I've never seen any greater drama.

Or more genuine excitement.

And this is only the trials.

Also, I'd like to thank NBC for streaming everything live on the Internet. I'm actually looking forward to their coverage for the first time.

You know, every once and a while I delude myself into thinking that I could make a swimming trials qualifying time if I dropped everything in my life and focused on training. Then I look at the times of the slowest people racing. So maybe, if I dropped everything in my life and focused on training, I might be able to make the women's qualifying time... assuming, of course, that they made that cut slower by about 10%.

Ah well, a man can dream... ummm... of being a fast woman.