Sunday, September 30, 2007

MS 150

I signed up to ride in the MS 150 with four friends from the Seminole Cyclist bike club. Jennifer wasn't able to make it, so the rest of us met up at the horribly early hour of 4 am to drive up to St. Augustine where the event started. After parking and going through registration formalities, we were set to start with the 2000 or so others also doing the event!

We opted to skip the first rest stop, to get in front of the bulk of the crowd. From there, David and Bob did most the pulling, while I settled in the drafted relentlessly. David and Bob were taking turns in front and didn't seem to mind, and I didn't feel strong enough to take a substantial turn pulling, so it all worked out. We made great time, averaging just under 19 mph for 81 miles. It was scenic and windy, but at least the wind was mostly from the side.

But I was tired. After grabbing my bag and checking into the hotel, I took a nap. Greg called and we went to have lunch, and after that I took another nap. I had been doing some consistent biking, but not enough to casually shrug off an 81 mile effort. I thought of how grueling a long stage race like the Tour de France must be.

After taking it easy, we met with David's and Bob's wives, and had a huge meal at the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, a restaurant styled after the movie Forrest Gump. The winds picked up and we joked about how tough a day it would be tomorrow. This didn't faze David, who was more interested in the football game his alma mater, the University of Florida, was playing.

I got up the next morning about 5:30, to pack and be ready for the start. Greg called up and said I should check the weather, so I turned on the TV and found that the day's forecast included 20-25 mph winds from the north, with gusts up to 40 mph. The return trip would be north, straight into this. I thought of how brutal it would be, when Greg mentioned a plan B: he would call his cousin to drive him back to St. Augustine. And by the way, would I be interested?

It didn't take me long to think it over and leap and this chance. Greg and I reasoned this was a great charity event, we had already turned in our money, and David and Bob wouldn't really miss us since we would lag behind anyway. After all this rationalization, we felt better about skipping the return trip.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Disney Olympic Tri

I had a pretty good race at the Disney Olympic tri - 3:47:21. Yes, nearly four hours for an olympic... that's partly because the bike leg was 58K instead of 40K. I finished 66th out of 141 in my age group, which for me is a great result - above median!

I drove down yesterday with Diana. We checked in, picked up our packets, racked our bikes, and then went to meet up with the tri group for dinner. Diana split a cabin in the Fort Wilderness campgrounds with some others, while I opted for the luxury of my own room at Fort Wilderness Lodge. I thought I would see how it is staying on Disney property the night before, rather than have to drive down at 4:00 am to get there in time. Overall impression: while the room was nice, it isn't worth $180 to not drive down again. It is pricey, and for that the check-out time is still 11 am, so if you are in the event and not staying another day, you can't even get a shower afterwards! Bah.

My swim went as usual, 40:36 for the 106th in my age group. Someday I'm gonna really try to improve my swim.

The bike leg was an extra 18K as I mentioned, and it went pretty well. I did 1:56:58 over the distance, 85th in my age group. For me that was a good result, since I averaged 18.8 mph.

The run was OK, hot and humid, exactly what to expect in Florida. My Garmin apparently had major problems getting a good GPS signal, since the route it captured is literally all over the place. Despite the map, I assure you the run didn't take us back into the middle of the lake. My run time was 1:01:21, decent in the conditions. What I'm really happy about is that fairly slow run time was 29th in my age group. So no matter how crappy I felt on the run, more than a 100 of my immediate competitors felt and did even worse. :)

The tri season is winding down, my next event will be a relay, where I am doing the swim. A friend of a friend put together a team for the Florida Challenge, a half ironman in a few weeks. Their swimmer backed out so they were looking for another, just so they could participate. I find it funny that as slow a swimmer as I am, there is a team that was happy to have me join them for the swim leg!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Fantasy Football

My friend Paul started up a Fantasy Football league and a few of us at worked joined up. I used to be a huge football fan, watching entire games and poring over stats. That was back in high school when I must have had a lot of free time. ;) These days I watch part of a game at the most, and generally don't do much other that read results and follow in the paper. Usually I get more interested during the playoffs.

So I thought this would be fun - I've heard of these leagues but never took part. My first dilemma was coming up with a team name. Since I live in Lake Mary I went with an animal that has both an L and M in the name: the LLAMAs.

A few days ago the league auto-drafted for us, and this weekend we had our first matches. I have an assortment of players, most of which I've never heard of, and my team defense is Miami's (starting) or Green Bay's (benched).

I did pretty well this week, by not touching what the autodraft gave me. I'll probably jigger around my team in the upcoming weeks.