Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Race Report: Timberman

The Timberman race was ranked the best sprint race in the US by Triathlete magazine. Thus, it was sold out months in advance. Luckily, knowing a few insiders, I was able to fill in for a friend of mine at the race. So my bib said "Sionan" on it, but otherwise, I raced as me.

The race was a slightly shorter swim (1/3 mi), slightly longer bike (16 mi), and slightly shorter run (3 mi) than an traditional sprint. The weather was warm, but a stormy. I was surprised to see how many people were wearing wetsuits. The water in Lake Winnipesaukee was around 75 degrees, but well over half of the competitors wore wetsuits. I figured for such a short distance, the advantages of the wetsuit would be overcome by the struggle with taking it off. However, they did have wetsuit strippers available, and I was a little jealous that I didn't get to utilize them.

Next came my first gumby moment of the morning. I chucked my sunglasses on my towel, cause it was starting to rain when I emerged from the water. I threw my helmet on and got moving. Out on the bike, I remembered that I had had a gu in my helmet, but I hadn't seen it when I put the helmet on, so I figured it must have fallen out somewhere. Low and behold taking off the helmet, I found my gu, still there. Nice one.

My run felt pretty good. Getting to the first mile marker, I checked my watch, 8:44. I had felt a little faster than that, but ok, I'm not in shape. A few minutes later I checked the watch again, 8:46. Ah, gumby moment number 2: my watch was displaying time of day, not lap time. Sweet, I had actually run much closer to an 8 minute first mile. The last mile, the next person to try to catch was much further ahead of me, I focused and got determined to take her down. Turning into the shoot, I passed her, and sprinted to catch the next two people ahead of me. Overall time was sub 24 minutes, which I was thrilled with, but after the fact I discovered it was not quite 5K, so my overall pace was 7:58, still not too shabby for me.

So best sprint in the US? Well it was superbly organized. Tons of volunteers. But the real kicker was the post race food: the typical fruit and bagels, then salad, pasta, antipasto, cold cuts, clam chowder, yogurt, ice cream, soda, margaritas, beers! And I got a nice insulated water bottle and mini towel! My first towel from a tri! And so appropriate that the sprint gives you a tiny towel.

Special thanks to Andrea for helping me get into the race, putting me up for the race, letting me drive her car and entertaining me on the drive. And to Sionan for giving me her number.

Monday, August 17, 2009

The beginning

In preparation for Paul's big 3-0, we're getting fit. Paul's going a bit more hardcore than I am, but I think we're both excited to get into "the best shape of our lives."

To start this journey we, like any good nerds, needed a good quantitative baseline. After some thorough internet research, Paul made appointments at the Bod Pod. Tucked away, in the one of the largest sports clubs I've ever seen in Weymouth, MA (about 30 minutes drive without traffic, an hour the day we went - Thanks, Country Music Festival!), was the space-age looking device:
Using some combination of air pressure and Jetsonian design, the Bod Pod determines your precise body fat. The whole process took about 2 minutes after the traffic and using the phrase "bod pod" about 30 different times in the gym itself ("Excuse me, we have an appointment for the bod pod," "are you here for the bod pod," "which way to the bod pod?"). We stripped down to bathing suits, and sat still in the egg-shaped machine. Then it printed out our results.

Both of us were in the "moderately lean" category. My body fat percentage was 23.1%. My weight 122lbs. I'm now very curious as to what my stats were when I first returned to the US. I certainly haven't been training or eating as well as I was in oz. I was a little surprised that I weighed so little, as I feel like I've put on more weight, but my weight in oz was consistently 122lbs.

My body fat percentage goals aren't as clear as Paul's. I'd like to get into the "lean" category which is 18-22%. I think being at 20% or so would be nice, but I don't really have much reason for that other than just seems like a nice round number.

My real goals are for the Olympic distance race in September and the half marathon in October. I'd love to do a Mooloolaba time at the Lobsterman, and a sub 1:50 in the half mara. I've engaged an Aussie friend of mine to help me write up a program. I'll be doing less cardio than I did in oz, and more weights, so it will be interesting to see how my performance fairs.

We're going back to the Bod Pod in 6 weeks and again in 12 to mark our progress. For now, it's just the beginning

Thursday, August 13, 2009

And we're back...

... With new fonts, new colors and a new title.

I'm no longer living in oz, so it seemed the right time to rebrand. Instead I'm living in... Boston. But more importantly, I'm living with Paul. Our new place is right in Davis Square in Somerville in a turn of the century school house. We adore it.

Also, I'm a year older now. So we celebrated last weekend with a lovely dinner party. Here is the slide show demonstrating both my new age and my new apartment:

Hopefully, I'll have more triathlons to report in the coming weeks and new adventures in Boston.

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