Monthly Archives: June 2009

One week to go

Finally, the last hard week of Ironman training.  Doesn’t mean it is the last week, and tapers are for some reason very fickle things to get through healthy, but at least from here all the ‘hard work’ is in.  The plan for this week is to get about 23 hours of training in.  Body seems to hit a point where it has responded to the increasing workload, and the mind is getting numb to the fatigue.  I guess that is the place you want to be.

The only other part is the near sense of panic that comes with the end of hard training.  Always wonder if you did enough, if you could have done more volume, more quality, if a couple of missed workouts are going to make the difference.  Can’t worry about that though,  Did the best I could with the time I had.  So, with that we’ll have to see where things go on race day, which is under a month away.

Big props to the West Side Swim Club crew that went to Middlebury and all set PRs.  You can read the full story here.  The comfort level that I now have in the water is all because of swimming with that group.  It’s hard, it’s long, it can be miserable, but gliding through the water at a race is priceless.

Really cool new LiveStrong Nike ad.  Whenever I don’t want to train or am feeling lazy, it is pretty humbling to think about those who are struggling because their children are being born with some kind of chromosomal condition.  The kicker is that there is nothing you can do.  There’s no ‘cure’.  There’s no hope (at this point) of eradication of the ‘disease’ because it is not a disease.  It often is the cosmic lottery.  For Trisomy 13, the odds of having it are 1 in 10,000 to 1 in 16,000.  A small percentage of those have mosaicism.  Bingo.  According to the death odds table, you have more chance of dying in an airplane accident or a flood than having a child with Trisomy 13 mosaicism.    Thinking about those families who all they want is their baby to make it to term and be born alive so they can hold it for a few minutes (many children live longer than the odds say), having sore legs doesn’t seem so bad.

Thanks to all of those who donated so far to the fundraising for Minuteman ARC.


Two races in two weeks

Big update is the joy of tapering, followed by the agony of racing. I was pretty fired up to do the Patriot Half Triathlon, which is a 1/2 Ironman distance race, only you can’t call it that because “Ironman” is trademarked, meaning that any reference to distance other than “Half Triathlon” risks legal action.  It is a great race that keeps improving every year (third year in existence).  I’ve done it every year, if you want to count last year’s aquabike (Swim – Bike).  The organizers moved up the race from July 4th weekend to mid June, making it the perfect tune up for Ironman Lake Placid.

Long story short: I got a flat at mile 4 of the bike.  Of course, this happened just after my friends in the Landry’s van rolled by me.  I kept thinking “Do I have a flat?  I hope I don’t have flat.  I think I have a flat.” And the comments of “That sucks” as people rode by was a big confidence booster.

I remember a triathlon that was televised, where a French guy was leading, only to get a flat tire.  He then cried (literally) to the camera: I got a flat.  Kind of funny.  It wasn’t that bad.  Although it did bring to mind some wonderful flat tires in triathlon history, just this gem from Norman Stadler in the 2005 World Championships:

You gotta love the big German.  Although, when I was trying to fix the thing I was tempted to do this:

But, since I don’t have the money for a new one or repairs, I resisted and just got back on the bike.

Overall, the race went well.  A solid swim where I was 25th overall (big improvement); an even bike split for the two loops (sans the wheel change) and a 2:32 time (22.5 mph average); and the 6th fastest run split at 1:29 low.  I was grinding all day, and ended up 18th overall, and 4th in my age group.  The great thing about being fourth in your age group is that you don’t have to stay for the awards.  Minus the bike incident, I would have probably been in 7th or 8th overall and 1st in my age group.  Oh well.  First flat in a triathlon for me (don’t ask about cyclocross malfunctions).

Previous week did the Ashland tri, in the rain, again.  Another much improved swim, faster bike, and faster run than last year.  Got me 8th overall and 1st in my age group.  If you subtract the pros from QT2 that came out to entertain the wet masses, I was about 4th.  All in all, great training for Lake Placid.  Now three more weeks of large volume and tired days.  But only three more weeks, and then onto the show.

Back in the Saddle for IMLP 2009

It has been a while since I updated this, about 5 months to be exact.  Hard to find time to put your thoughts and updates on a page when you spend your time chasing two girls under 4 years old.  And now that Ironman training is in full swing again, it is even harder to find the time. But, the updates will begin again, and with more frequency, because I am doing Ironman Lake Placid to support an important organization, Minute Man ARC for Human Services.  As many of my friends know, and probably many more don’t know, my daughter Hailey was born with a rare chromosomal condition called Trisomy 13 mosacism.  Without going into the genetics (I got a C in high school biology), we are all Hailey eating popcorn at Minute Man ARC Walksupposed to have 46 chromosomes, with each set of 23 being an exactly duplicate of the other.  When that doesn’t happen, things can go wrong. How wrong they go depends.  Sometimes it can end in miscarriage.  Other times babies can die shortly after being born. They can be plagued with a variety of congenital defects and developmental delays.  Or the anomolies can be relatively unnoticeable.  It all depends, and there can sometimes be no way of knowing what the impact is going to be.

We were lucky in that we found out relatively quickly that some of Hailey cells have an extra 13th chromosome.  Since this was found through a blood draw, we don’t know if this is limited to her ‘blood line’, or extends to other parts of her body (I said this was complicated stuff).  Anyway, the upshot is that because we found out right away, we were able to begin to receive services from a wonderful organization called Minute Man ARC, which provides a range of assistance to families and people that are in needed of extra help in learning and doing many of the things that most of us take for granted.  Like most organizations that do good work, they are underfunded.  So, I decided to take on IMLP one more time (I swear just one more time) to raise money for them.

So far, the training is going well.  I hit about 23 hours of total training time last week, which breaks down to around 4 hours of swimming, 12 hours of biking, and 7 hours of running.  This week will be a bit of a minor recovery and travel week, and then ramping things back up to 20+ hours again.  The goal for time is to be last year’s 10:38. The more important goal is to raise money for Minute Man ARC.  So, if you are so inclined, you can go to and make a donation.  The money you give will go a long way toward directly providing assistance to those who are very much in need.

Amelia and Hailey at Easter

Amelia and Hailey at Easter