Sunday, September 29, 2019

Feedback...

I'm back.  As promised.  Not gonna let five years click by before throwing some more thoughts together.
It has been an interesting week.  Couple of observations.  The first five people I heard from after writing my last entry were highly accomplished people that I respect greatly.  They said KEEP GOING.  So here I am.
The next bunch of folks I heard from ranged from people I hadn't heard from in years to folks that I see or interact with every week. They ALSO said KEEP GOING...So here I am.
Here's what I learned.  People are watching. And just because someone doesn't comment, doesn't mean they didn't notice... or read what I wrote.  Diving deeper... It's possible I helped someone and I don't even know it.  I ran into someone today that said " pssst... I read your blog thingy.. it was good... and it really hit home, so thanks!"   Wow.  Cool stuff.  So there... motivation to continue. It takes a lot to "put yourself out there" but what the heck, gonna roll with it.

Some other highlights from the week....and I thought about these as I was coming home last night in the Jeep, top down and heat on.... "The Big Chill Soundtrack" ripping through the speakers....
I talked with someone that quit drinking and had lost ten pounds and was feeling great.  One that finally got his small business spun around and is back feeling like he's in control.  Heard about a friend that found out her biological mother has ben looking for her for 43 years and they JUST connected.  Think about THAT one for a minute.  😳.  My daughter got the job.  Was there any doubt? Heheh.  She is now in the Scholars Program at Unum and on her way to getting some very good work experience.  Very proud Dad. Oh yeah... That Pat's released Trump and we are going to impeach Antonio Brown.  Something like that. 😉 Sox stunk it up, bring on the Celtics and Bruins. I have a few friends doing Ironman Chattanooga today and it's gonna be a hot one.  The Dempsey Challenge is today.  I did that once.. rode 100 miles in the rain with some friends to support cancer research.  McDreamy was there... They say he's good looking..... WHATever.... lol.  Fryeburg Fay'ah starts today.... Hot Apple Crisp anyone?



Here's one.... I ate SUPER CLEAN all week.  Did awesome.  Hopped on the scale and exhaled deeply JUST IN CASE air weighs something.....Didn't lose an OUNCE.  JUST about gave the scale  a "Bruce Lee"  right out the window.  HOWEVER.... I haven't exercised... still going easy on the heel... and... let's be realistic here... I didn't GAIN.  SO... as much as I would have liked to see some progress, it just didn't come in the form I was expecting.  So I will keep at it and realize this is a marathon, not a sprint.  I'll just gloss over the trip to Portland Pie last night ... let's not talk about that this time, deal? Rome wasn't built in a day right? On a more serious note though.  I ran into a friend tonight and was telling him about my foot... and weight... and being frustrated... blah blah sob story.... He nodded.  But then I said how funny it is that when you have an injury... a setback.. it can affect you mentally as well as physically.  For instance, I can't run right now.  I CAN swim.  I CAN bike and I CAN control what I eat.  I have not swam... haven't biked... and on balance could have eaten much better over the past few months.  So there you have it - control what you can control.  Easier said than done.  It's hard to sweat the small stuff when there is a dark cloud overhead.  I'll do better with this stuff this week.

Random thought.  Ever go to Hannaford and get started out in the deli section and you just don't have a good vibe about the people around you?  You know... you got this one guy clogging up the works at the deli counter... another lady with three little crumb snatchers running all over the place...then you get outta there and see the whole crew again in the next aisle over and you just know this whole trip is going to be a shitshow.   I mean, these are your "people", you're gonna be with them the whole way and you know that if it's not a good start it's only gonna get worse.  Like, if these guys can't navigate the Avocados and tomatoes, what am I gonna be dealing with when we get to frozen foods?  And the EGG WHITES???!!?  Good lord I'll be there an hour... get me out of here now..
Here's what I do.  I jump forward about 3-4 aisles... maybe hit the chicken and turkey burger.... shoot down toward the whole grain Scoops and then cut left and BOOM.... RESTART.... they are all GONE and voila' ... you have new people!  Works every time.  But just be sure to drag your feet a bit through that initial section to make sure they are gone... maybe check out the Kombucha or something.... peek around the Organic aisle... make sure they are gone.  Worst case, stop and grab some haddock, that'll tie you up for a few and let things stretch out a bit. LOL!  SEE?  it ain't easy being ME!   And lastly... the checkout line jockeying... I have heard that human nature is to go to the right in a crowd... so work your way LEFT... take a gander and see whatcha' got.  Don't be the "27 items in the 14 items aisle" person, but don't hesitate either.  Because the second you have a LOCK on the cashier you want (it's you and me boss, we are gonna DO this) sure enough, someone else will try to squeeze you out.  And DAMMIT if it ain't that lady with the three crumb snatchers!  LOL... I guess this could be whole post.  I could get into " Cart skills", "Parking in the middle of the aisle".... and WHY DO WE HAVE to bag our own stuff?   AND.... WHY in God's name is the Tomato PASTE not with the Tomato SAUCE???  All of it.. OK... moving on...

Alright.  I'm all out of "wisdom" for the moment.  Heading to Fatbike with friends.  It's a beautiful day. Get out and do something.  It's going to be a long winter so I am going to soak in these great Fall days while I can.  Have a great day! And if Hannaford is on your list... well.. you know what to do!
👊👊




























Monday, September 23, 2019

Bueller?

Wow.... 5 Years goes by in a hurry. Where do I start? OK.. I got to thinking about how many things have happened since my last blog post and it was overwhelming.  Life is HARD. Sheesh.  Here are just a few things (some of which are a blog post all on their own) that have happened since I last logged on.

I turned 50.  Whoah!  I REALLY thought I would have my act together by now. 😳

My parents continue to be the most supportive loving people you'll ever meet.  I'm a lucky guy. Both are retired, Dad is loving camp life and Mom is excited for football season and especially The Pat's.

My daughter turned 21.  Whoah! She is a Senior at USM.  First big job interview is tomorrow. She's got this.

Shut down my contracting business and joined MGM Builders, bought a condo and two Jeeps... sold a Jeep.  Completed 3 more Ironman races, some "halfs", two marathons and got lost on Katahdin... well, we weren't really LOST... well maybe just a little bit lost.  Went to Arizona four times. Won the Crank the Kanc bike race with Jared and Rick, climbed Mt Washington a few times.  Went to the Boston Marathon twice as a spectator having intended to be running it.  I tried to qualify and almost DID but it wasn't meant to be.  I might try to tackle that goal again at some point but for now I will go and support friends/athletes/clients.  Pretty proud of them too.  Opened "The Speed Lab" where we do our 207 Coaching and off season cycling. Gained 20 pounds... lost 20 pounds... gained 20 pounds.  And so it goes.  There's a lot more but honestly, my memory is terrible and it's probably GOOD for me to write stuff down so I can enjoy the memories again.

I have had folks ask me why I don't write more so I guess maybe there's something to it.  I enjoy it and it's a good way to keep people informed on things that I am involved in, adventures I take on and maybe have a laugh or two - mostly at my own expense. In the past I have shared mostly race reports and training stories when I have felt it was worth sharing.  I may begin to dive into some other topics from time to time but we'll see how that goes.  No politics or preaching, just whatever I find interesting and worth a closer look.  I drive a lot and things just pop into my head, so I will try to keep a list and be more active about sharing. I try to stay more with the motivational or uplifting stuff and not get into anything negative.  Life's too short!

In the short term, Rick Durgin and I are beginning year number 5 (I think) in The Speed Lab at the Dana Warp Mill in Westbrook.  We have been running off-season cycling training classes for cyclists and triathletes, successfully paying the rent with proceeds from the classes.  We are excited about getting rolling on October 1st and looking forward to a strong winter of good friends and training.  If you are looking for a place to ride regularly this winter then come and check us out.  Online we are at www.207multisport.com.  First trip for first timers is free so come and see what it's all about.  I lead the Tuesday and Thursday evening classes and Rick does the Wednesday and Friday morning classes.  We are both in the mix on Saturday mornings.  If you have any questions feel free to email me at bob@207multisport.com.


So there you have it.  First ramblings in five years.  I'll be back soon and I'll have something fun to share or discuss.  Until then, keep swinging for the fences and focusing on what's out in front of you, not behind!  Oh .. one last thing.  One of the things that kicked me over the edge on starting back at this blogging thing was a nice note I got today from my buddy Pete Finkle.  He's a musician and one hell of an entertainer.   He'll tell you he's no athlete but the picture below says differently.  I love this stuff.  Here's Pete out ripping up some road race just having a ball. LOVE this guy!  He always sends me notes about my Ironman races or whatever I am doing and how it keeps him going.  :). THIS is the good stuff....and the funny thing is... stuff like that keeps ME going.  And I'll tell you what, if I could do triathlon as well as he plays guitar, I'd be in Kona.  ;) Thanks Pete!

Alright.  No really... I'm out.  Until next time.  Keep showing up. And remember, anything worth doing is worth doing well.  
Thanks for reading. 👊
-BT

Friday, August 29, 2014

Hanging On...General ramblings....



It's that time of year again folks.  The time when we all start trying to decide just how much gas we have left in the tank for the 2014 race season.  Maybe you have been racing all summer and need a break.  Maybe you have NOT raced much this year and are just coming into good form.  Either way, there is still plenty of time to get out there and enjoy the summer.  Whether you decide to enter a few end of the season events or just mix things up by getting outside and doing some different activities, JUST DO IT.  We endure long winters here in Southern Maine and these are the days we long for as we log our off-season training hours on the trainer, treadmill or in the pool.  This is a great time of year to plan that hike you have been putting off, schedule that long bike ride to WHEREVER and back, or just jump into a few 5k's.  Whatever you decide, take the opportunity to enjoy your hard earned fitness.
A little post IMLP '13 relaxation

To that end, many of our 207 athletes have been working hard since last winter.  It is never a bad idea to step away for a short time.  This helps you take a moment to put the 2014 season behind you and look toward 2015 with some goals in mind.  Think about what you have accomplished, be realistic and set the bar for next season.  If you would like to talk with either Rick or myself about this we are available.  We are reworking our website too.  We have added our new rate sheet and have come to the table with a few different coaching options rather than the "one size fits all" approach.  Information should be available in the next day or so. We appreciate all of the feedback that we have received and will always work to improve every aspect our coaching and 207 Multisport.

We are planning to get everyone together at some point to celebrate the season and chat about upcoming events like our Tucson Training Camp, The Speed Lab/OA and other exciting stuff.  We hope to have a date picked soon so stay tuned.


I just wanted to give a shout out to all the kind folks from KBTC.  All of us from 207 Multisport and The OA Tri Team have felt very welcome at KBTC events!  We have tried to do the same, whether it be a training camp, OA classes or group rides etc.  I just thought it was worth mentioning that we appreciate the coexistence and the mutual support on the race scene.  It ALL good stuff!!!  Thanks again!

And while I am thanking people....THANK YOU to Stan and Jenny Skolfield for opening their home to us after the Rev3 event.  A good time was had by all!


SO, keep at it guys, let's enjoy a safe and competitive fall season and soak it all in before things start to wind down.

Train smart.

BT

(some parting shots....)

My favorite "Ebbrecht" photo.  IMLP '13
207 Headquarters, Island Falls ME. :)

Josh Freeman @ AZ Camp
John "Hollywood"Gendron racing the Rev3 Half

Thursday, August 1, 2013

IMLP 2013 Race Report


Ironman Lake Placid 2013.

This was my fourth crack at Ironman Lake Placid and I was looking to make it my best one yet.  In ’06 I went 11:39 for my first one.  In ’08 I had to stop after the swim due to illness.  That one stung but I rallied in 2011 for a 10:45 finish and a strong day.  So this year I was looking to improve upon THAT.  I felt that my training would allow me to drop down under 10:30 on a perfect day. As it turned out I was able stop the clock at 10:37 and I had a tremendous day.  Here’s how it played out.

Our trip to Placid went well after we were able to (ahem) depart.  It’s always an adventure travelling with my girls and due to my genetic make-up I really have to work at not  being a complete jerk about leaving on time.  I’m rarely successful.  After I wound the gums to them about how they had six months to get ready for this $&%*&$$ TRIP I drove out of the driveway having left the garage door open.  HEheheh….

We arrived in LP and checked in to our “best kept secret in town” motel.   We have stayed in this same place a few times and the girls give me a hard time EVERY time.  It’s not the best of places but it is CLOSE to the venue and only sets me back about $800 vs the $1,200-$1,500 I would be paying at a “good place”.  There’s really nothing wrong with the place other than the fact that the owner clearly makes no improvements and is barely holding the place together.  I view it as a place to sleep.  The girls, on the other hand are looking for a little more from their lodging experience than this place provides so I may be forced to upgrade if we visit again.  Pick your battles, right?

I did all the right things over the next couple of days, got to bed early,  rested, ate right, reviewed my race plan etc. 

Race morning came and I was still on the fence about a sleeveless vs full wetsuit.   I grabbed the full and headed to the venue plenty early.  Everything went smoothly and I was able to see two of my three athletes that were racing today.  Chris was right in a lather having dealt with a few curveballs in getting to the venue.  Jason was fine and I was able to lighten up their load by delivering their special needs bags for them.  It’s a delicate balance to be wearing both the COACH and ATHLETE hats on the same day but I think I did a pretty good job making sure they were all set and staying focused on my race as well.  I knew Marc would be OK as he has done this race before but I was worried about my first timers – Chris and Jason.  As it turned out, no worries needed!

The new rolling swim start program at Lake Placid had us lined up in a chute self seeding based on our projected swim time (see, Beach To Beacon Starting Line).  I was hopeful this would be a good thing and I would have open water all the way. WRONG.  I got POUNDED.  I was planning to swim 1:00-1:05 and take advantage of the work I have put into my swim over the past two years.  No dice.  I didn’t get a clean stroke the entire way.  I also got punched, kicked and pushed like never before.  Not fun.  Ironman needs to figure this out.  It is NOT an improvement.  And it wasn’t just me.  I talked with guys that are faster swimmers than me (ha, most are) and they felt the same way.  I ended up swimming two minutes SLOWER than in 2011.  The full suit was a mistake and I heated up again like in ’11.  I recieved my post race e-mail from Ironman yesterday and I’ll be filling out the survey and letting them know what my experience was.  Anyway, whatever, that’s racing and everybody had the same crap to deal with so I didn’t waste a lot of mental energy on it during the race, I just hung tough and kept my cool.   SO, 1:10 swim and off to the bike.

T1 was a little slow but I got on the bike and tore out of there for my 112 miles.  I saw all my peeps and had good energy.  I was soaked immediately by a steady rain.  Perfect.   I will take the rain any day over the heat.  I rode a smart ride and although I haven’t had a chance to break down the power file with my coach yet, I believe I nailed it.  I pushed it on the second loop but I felt I could and as it turned out I was damn close to even on both loops with regard to power output. Solid.  My only miscue was that I did not identify just how cool it was.  Given the weather leading up to the race I was ready for HEAT.  We got COOL.  I was losing a ton of fluids (that’s code for peeing a lot on the bike) and I was worried I was going to dehydrate.  I didn’t realize until later that I was not sweating as much.  As a result,  I dealt with a quad cramp after mile 100.  I dialed the wattage back and managed it into T2 where I took a couple extra minutes to get right.  I bent to put a sock on my left foot and my whole legs cramped.  NOT a good way to be staring down the barrel of an Ironman marathon.  Gulp.  I ended up posting a 5:33 bike split.  Pretty solid if you plan to run well after. J 


I took off on the run and decided I would take the first few miles easy and see if I could get by the cramping.  I saw Jared and told him what I was dealing with and he told me to fight through it.  I went into full-on nutrition alert and got my act together through the first loop.   Lots of fluids, salt and some luck got me headed back into town feeling pretty good.  I saw my friend Angela Bancroft and I knew I had to look tough going by her because, well, she’s tougher than me!  Ha!  Thanks for the support Ange.  I always like to run the big hill going into town MOSTLY because very few others do.  I turned the corner and saw my family and friends and pulled some energy from that.  I was now running well and thinking I might get this thing done without an epic implosion.  I headed back out of town with “only” 13.1 to go and I decided to take it up a notch and see what I could do.  I ended up posting a solid pace through 16 miles, hung tough through 21 when the wheels started to come off and then gutted out a strong finish.   I saw Ange one more time as I was coming back and I told her I was hurting bad…  I guess I just needed to tell someone.  She gave me some encouragement and I stopped whining and tried to kept turning it up.

I saw my friend Sean Snow closing on me toward the finish.  I had no idea who was ahead or behind due to the swim start but Sean was catching me at the turn around on the backside of the lake.  Damn.  I love racing this guy.  He never gives you an inch and if you think you’re going to beat him you’d better have your act together.  What I like most is that we swap punches all day long and then sit down together afterward and swap war stories, eat pizza and catch up.  He’s a class act and I’ve enjoyed gunning for him over the years.  So, anyway, here he comes in mile 26 of Ironman.  Crap….NOW I GOTTA try to drop a fast mile on this guy to hold him off.  Here we go…. 
I think I ran a sub 8 final mile and was able to hold off Sean.  Don’t get too excited though.  He out swam me but seven minutes, started well after I did and beat me overall by some 13 minutes!  And THAT is what SUCKS about the rolling swim start.  If I am racing I want to know where I am in the field.  Otherwise, it is nothing but a time trial.  I’ll have my say on it, you can bet on that.

So I had a strong finish.  Wrapping up the marathon in 3:42 or so. Overall time was10:37 for something like 158th place overall amongst 2400 or so.  Not too shabby.  Interestingly, my time would have me 24th in the male 30-34 age group but was only good enough for 38th in my age group (M40-44).  These old guys are FAST.

I am blessed with great family and friends that came out to support me.  I felt like I had an army of people helping me get this done.  Thanks to my wife and daughter for putting up with the training and the unconditional support.  Thanks to my parents who gave me the drive to do this stuff and continue to attend my events WHEREVER they are.  And thanks to all my friends that travelled out there to cheer me on.  The Grover Family, unreal support.  Thank YOU.  Love you guys.  Jenny, Melissa, Meg, Brackett, Durgin, Jared, Christina, Stan, Chelsea, Greg, Katie and many others.  Thanks to all you Facebookers for blowing up my page with support and thanks to my extended network of family, friends and co-workers for blowing up my phone with texts of support and congrats.  I am overwhelmed.

I also want to mention that my athletes, Jason Stokes, Chris Ebbrecht and Marc Dupuis all had great days as well.  So I double dipped.  Had a great day as an athlete AND as a Coach!  Good job guys, proud of you!  Last but not least, THANK YOU Jorge Martinez of E3 Training Solutions for both the opportunity to Coach with E3 AND the opportunity to race for the team!  Loving it!!!



So there it is. It’s in the books.  As they always say, I would have liked to have been a little faster but hey, who wouldn’t, right?  I know there are areas for improvement but right now those areas are family and work.  Time to right the ship.  Ironman takes a round out of you and those around you.  Balance.

Next up is the Rev3 OOB in August and I have a few people that I want to “trim up”.  Let’s see if I can get recovered and bring it!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Catching up...

WOW...That was a quick seven months! I can't tell you how many great ideas I have had over the past few months - all great blog post ideas. BUT, I simply have not found the time to reduce them to "paper". This past Triathlon season was a real character builder for me. It had me on the sidelines more than I am used to. When I did compete I still gave it my standard 110% but it was downright ugly at times. It really showed me how much I love my sport- that I'll get out there and compete even when there are guys (and girls) beating up on me that I have beaten in the past. I'll file it away and pull it out during some tough trainer rides this winter and use it for motivation. The Speed Lab is in full swing so I am rebuilding the beast! Speaking of The Speed Lab....We have moved our activities down to Orthopaedic Associates in Saco this year. This has been a great move. We have a bigger space, a bunch of CompuTrainers and plenty of energy for a long winter of offseason bike training. OA hired a top notch local remodeling contractor (ahem) to make some minor changes to the Performance Lab and BANG - New Speed Lab! We are equipped with a cranking music system and have a lot of laughs while we get some serious work done. Misery loves company! Check out our class schedule at www.orthoassociates/performance. The relationship with OA has been great. They have given me a wonderful platform from which to expand my coaching business. I have also joined E3 Training Solutions as an Associate Coach. I am working with Head Coach and Owner, Jorge Martinez to take my triathlon and coaching game to the next level. We are accepting new athletes for the 2013 season so let me know how we can help you with your upcoming season! So once again, I hope to be more active with this blog as I always enjoy writing. We'll see how it goes! Highlights for the summer, in no particular order: Watching three of my athletes cross the Ironman finish line in great shape. Standing atop Mount Katahdin with BOTH of my parents. Very proud moment! Signing up for IMLP 2013. Gulp. Crushing it at Turner Contracting. OK - More to come. Until then, keep your dreams alive and don't ever let somebody tell you that you can't do something! BT

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Active Recovery

So tomorrow is one month since the surgery. I have been doing what I am supposed to do and maybe just maybe, pushing the envelope a bit. I am pain free on the bike, other than the self induced pain of course. No running yet and I'm OK with that for now although I could use a few miles to shed some of the chub that has crept on during the recovery process. Yesterday I rode the "Raymond Hill Loop" with a great group of OA Tri Teamates. It was 75 miles of up and down with a stiff wind in our face most of the day. We had some "newbies" with us and it was great to see them step out there on the edge and take it the next level. The RHL is no joke. It can turn you inside out if you let it. I like the ride as it is loaded with tough climbs and is a great way to build early season fitness. It's also a great training ride for those that are competing in Lake Placid in July. Anyway, everyone did well and nobody got hurt - always a good thing.

Today I headed over to Scarborough for another crack at "The Crit". I wasn't sure how it would go as my legs were fairly well trashed from the 75 mile ride yesterday. I decided to get there early and get a good hearty warm-up in. My first few warm-up laps were awful. I wasn't sure I was even going to be able to hang on to the group. BUT, after a few trips around my legs started to come into it and I started thinking I might be OK. I decided to try to conserve as much anergy throughout the first half of the race as possible and see what happened at the end. So much for that plan. Jared was there and so were Callan, Kramer and Anthony. We had a good group of guys and we figured we could work together and try to break away from the group. The guy leading the points series showed up and that meant that if we were going to go, he was going to be with us. The first few laps were pretty friendly and then somebody took off. We responded and the group pulled back together. Then the fast guy went and Kramer told me to catch him so I did. He and I rode together for a bit before he backed off and the group reeled us in. Bummer. I just burned a lot of gas with no result. This happened a few more times before the big boy said bye bye and left us in the dust. It was now a race for second place with about four laps to go. I found myself leading the pack with no one looking too interested in going ahead. I dropped my effort to about 220 watts and waited. Nothing. OK. So we rode along like that for a bit until there was one lap to go. I got to the right which seemed to work pretty well the last time and I stayed there. I was still leading, still around 220w....Hmmmmm....it's about to get real ugly real fast......half way around the backside four guys come rolling by and head into the second to last turn. I grabbed on for the ride and caught them as they came up the slight incline into the last turn. I was catching a quick breath trying to be patient when Callan shot by me. Cool, we had a couple guys in the mix. I wasn't sure where everyone else was. I held my ground until the "200m to go" sign and then it was a full out sprint to the finish. I got by Callan and almost caught the other two guys as we crossed the line. I was fourth overall. I am pretty pleased with that given the tough ride I had yesterday. I should mention that MOST of these guys ride pretty hard on Saturdays too so it was likely relative.
So the crits are a good time. Nasty pain but a great way to jack your bike fitness going into the season. I stuck around again and watched the "A" race. Those guys are flying. I think I could probably hang in there for that one but I'm pretty sure I'd get tuned up in good shape. A good goal though. I always say "there's always somebody faster". Well, this is where they hang out on Sunday mornings. I commented to the Grover's (who came to watch and cheer us on) that some people go to church on Sundays, I get all the religion I need right here in these races!
So next weekend is the Polar Bear Tri/Du and I won't be racing. I have done well at the Du for the past few years but I'll pass on it this year and hope that I am recovered soon. Best of luck to all my competitors! I'll be back next year to make you miserable again. ;).

Sunday, April 15, 2012

"Post Op Post" & and a "Crit"

Anterior Decompression. That is code for "Grind that hunk of bone off my foot real quick so I can get back to training". Hey Doc, 'bout how long ya' think I'll be out? Oh.....'bout two weeks or so......Hmmmmm,,,,not too bad. I can deal with THAT. Go ahead...yeah, the left foot, uhuh...yeah do that one first.

So, I got the surgery on 4/2 after a tremendous trip to Tucson. The Tucson thing is another post altogether. In fact, I may not even share it as it was one of the BEST weeks I have ever enjoyed and I'm not sure a blog post could do it justice. Well, maybe....Hheehehe But first, the surgery. I won't bore you with the details other than to tell you that "fasting" after midnight is OK as long as you take care of business relatively early the following day. My 1:30pm surgery fell way beyond my ability to survive without food and by the time they came for me I was ready to gnaw my own arm off. The Doc came in and signed my leg and I was off. It was a successfull procedure and he was able to clean up a lot of scar tissue while he was "in there". I have two portals in my ankle that have healed up nicely and I start PT with Jared at OA on Tuesday.

I got a little jumpstart on my PT today by going over to the Scarborough Crit Series in the Industrial Park and racing my first crit. It was really cool. I have always wondered what the "crits" (short for Criterium) were about. I have stayed away in the past because I didn't want to tangled up in a crash and screw up my triathlon season. PLUS, I have a relatively low tolerance for road cyclists with attitude. Now I am looking at them as a way to build bike fitness (and race)while I wait to get cleared to run. I want to see where I stack up among the best "cyclists" in Southern Maine. At the Crits they have the "A" group and the "B" group. In cycling you are Categorized as a 1-5. When you first start you are a 5. The best guys are a 1. So I'm a 5 but I'm likely more like a 4. However, that's like saying you are a .300 hitter before you step up to the plate. You gotta work your way up. I'm fine with that. In fact, I LOVE that. More stuff should be that way. Keeps the riff raff out. I like it. So I rode the "B" race with a goal to not make anyone else crash and not piss anyone off by not "holding my line". See, in crits, everyone rides very closely and if you are a tool you can really hurt someone. So, eyes up, pay attention, don't be a tool. Everybody has to be to work on Monday ya' know?
I was lucky enough to run into a couple of tri friends that have been trying to get me to race the crits for a while now. They were quick to give me tips and let me know when I should push and when I should stay with the group. In crits it is good to have a few people to work with as you move through the group.

So we lined up at the start and I found myself in the back. Again, not trying to be a tool. The race organizer goes through the pre race announcement, he reviews the standings after two weeks of racing and then he makes another announcement. He says "I know we have several newbies here but it has been brought to my attention that we have a few people here that are very good at OTHER SPORTS. Please be careful and keep in mind this is a training race" Then he looked right at ME. I gave him a little wave and just kind of fluttered my fingers....you know, "Haaaaaaayyyyyyyy" that kind of wave. I probably shouldn't flatter myself by assuming he was talking to me but I got the point and decided to ease into the race and try to learn something rather than try to blow everyone up. See: "Don't be a tool"

I learned a LOT in the first few laps. There were some surges, some sprints and lots of jockeying for position. The "B's" is billed as a training ride - meant for first timers and folks like me that are ignorant about cycling etiquette(sp?), etc. HOWEVER, it's STILL a race and last I checked they charge you the same as the "A's" so I figure that I'll see how things go for a bit and then make a call. So, yeah, 13days off surgery to the ankle and here I am in a RACE. WTH? Bahahahhah!!!!! Say what you want but the foot is attached to my leg and only I know how it feels. Honestly, the last time I gave it a thought was when I clicked in. I simply had ZERO pain or discomfort during the race. It felt good to get the joint moving.
So we clicked off the laps, 1.3 miles at a time. I was in the mix and getting a feel for it. My friend Mike Kramer rolled up beside me and said to stay with him and Callan and Anthony. Cool. Looks like we got us a convoy! I did my best to keep the boys in sight, working in and out of the pack, picking a line, moving up, keeping the group together. Strategy, I like it. Kramer pulls up again with two to go and gives me a lesson about what happens at the finish. He says to get a good position, try to "jump a wheel" and then wait until there's 200m to go...then sprint for all you've got and hope for the best. Cool, I can do that...right up my alley, except for the "wait" part. One to go. Here it comes. I spent the first part of the lap getting good position on the right inside track. I had Kramer, Callan and Anthony right on my wheel. I figure I'll pull the boys and see what we can do when things get crazy. Second to last turn. Things got busted apart on a slight uphill. I got a good inside line at the top of the hill but got chopped off by a guy so I had to check up a bit. Then we were like 300m out after the last turn. Four guys in front of me. I couldn't wait any longer. I was afraid I'd get boxed in (inexperience) so I jumped on it. Up out of the saddle. Go, Go Go!!!! I was in third with 200m to go. Closing fast on 1 and 2. That's about the time things started to come apart. I just kept my head down and tried to hold on. I got clipped at the line by three smarter guys and I dropped to sixth overall. Kramer pulled alongside me on the cool down lap and I tried to talk. No dice. Perfect.
so that was my first "crit" race and I think it went OK. I didn't even have to play the "hey, I just had surgery 13 days ago" card. hehehhehe. Pretty pleased with the result. Ya' it's the "B" group but I gotta tell ya', these guys are quality cyclists for sure. It speaks to the level of talent here in Southern Maine that there is an "A" group that is a whole step above this group. I stuck around and watched the "A" race and decided that I will work my way up to that race. Got some work to do first.
So there you go. Crits. Fun stuff. I will go next week and have more fun, bring a few more friends. Hopefully the foot will continue to improve and I can splash some running in soon. Not going to rush it though. I'm fortunate I can ride without aggravating the ankle so I will focus on some biking for now. Looks like I'll ease into the tri season with an eye toward Rev3 in August. Good luck to all my friends doing The Boston Marathon tomorrow. Yes it will be hot. It will be hot for everyone. Run hard. Run smart.

-Giddy up.