Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Things you take for granted

With my job I get to do some pretty cool things and most of the time I'm lost on how great they are to the regular guy because I'm working, away from my family and missing out on some other weekend activity.

This past weekend I rode in the LiveStrong charity ride outside of Philadelphia. We have a few clients that sponsor the event and as part of those sponsorships a few notable athletes and coaches attend.

I rolled out with the 100 mile group with all intentions of doing an easy 100...about 12 miles in I caught sight of the lead group containing Lance and Chris Carmichael among others. Chris is a part of our advertising program and the two of us have spent some time together (I'm also coached by Nick White of CTS) so I figured it would be cool to catch up with him and ride.

I caught the group, said hello to Chris and dropped into the pack. Next thing I realize, I'm on the front pulling the group with 7-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong on my right. This is where I guess I'm oblivious to "celebrity." I've met Lance before as a part of the sponsorships, so I strike up a conversation with him as we motor along (much harder than I wanted and intended to ride). We chat about Leadville, running, training, triathlon, people we know and work with in Austin, etc. Nothing really strikes me as odd during our conversation.

At about the 30 mile mark, Lance and College leave the group in the dust and I come up on the 70-mile ride turn off, just after burning a lot of matches with the Lance group. I decide to hang there and wait for Chris and finish the 70-mile ride with him.

Chris rolls up and we head out for the last 40 miles. We talk about Leadville, CTS and then the topic of Lance comes up and Chris says a few things that gets me to thinking...Lance might be returning to professional cycling...

This is where I'll keep what was said between Chris and myself but it sounds like Leadville was just the beginning of the reemergence of Lance to the competitive world of cycling and away from the hobby of running.

Anyway, it was a fun ride and in hindsight probably a lot of people's dream to ride next to Lance like I did...again, oblivious!
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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Tour of the Catskills

I just heard about this race today!

Hunter & Windham, NY - The Tour of the Catskills Cycling Race will be held on September 6 & 7, 2008 in Hunter & Windham, NY. More than 400 racers from around the region are expected to race the 2-day 'stage race' similar to the Tour de France. Racers will compete over 2 days for an overall championship and a yellow leader's jersey. Races for both amateurs and professionals will be held on various local, county and state roads in Greene County. Partial proceeds of the event will benefit local charities, including the Adaptive Sports Foundation. The event is hosted by the Catskill Mountain Foundation.
Route Maps:
I'm hoping to be able to do this race since these are the very roads I ride every weekend I'm up there. I'll for sure be riding the exact routes on Labor Day weekend.
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Monday, August 18, 2008

Product Review - Oakley Radar (Positive Red Polarized Path Lens)

This is a long overdue review of a product that is a "must have."

I had the opportunity to do a triathlon segment on the local Fox news station in NYC the Wednesday before Ironman Lake Placid. As part of the segment and for the race, my good friends at Oakley hooked me up with the new Oakley Radars with Positive Red Polarized Path Lens.

Right out of the box, these glasses look cool and fast. Once on, they are comfortable and the lens is outstanding. I was really excited for a good day at IMLP to try these things out.

I used them on my final run and bike workouts to check how they were in different light conditions...they made everything so clear that the road and its imperfections popped right out.

On race day, the weather was unbelievably bad with rain and clouds.

As I was riding along I could not tell you the number of people I saw who were constantly messing with their glasses, had them stuffed in a pocket or discarded them to the ground. I never had to give the Oakley's a second thought. The hydrophobic lens had the water just sheeting off and the polarization kept everything crystal clear.

This piece of equipment was the hero of the day, I just wish my results could have been better to match.
Worth every penny to make sure you have great eye protection!
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False start...?

Last week was to be "go time" and the week got off to a good start, but late in the week travel, fatigue and maybe some laziness dominated the schedule.
I had a couple of really good early week workouts, still ditching the pool sessions because swimming during lunch at the YMCA while they have youth summer camp is a bit like trying to do laps in the caddyshack pool...
Late last week I had to head to Chicago to give a 4-hour presentation on sponsorship for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS) and I had to spend all my available time finishing that presentation.

I flew back to NYC Friday and what was suppose to be a 2+ hour flight turned into a 7-hour ordeal with a lot of circling and a stop in Harrisburg, PA to refuel. Got home late Friday night and needed some sleep.
Spent Saturday with my wife and dog, sleeping til noon and then a picnic in the park followed by some tasks around the apartment to complete the move in.
Sunday, I got out for a great 2+ hour ride across the GWB followed by a good brick 25 minute run. Lunch at the 79th Street Boat Basin and some good puppy playtime. So, Sunday got the blood pumping again and I'm eager to have a good week leading into the LiveStrong 100-miler in Philly on Sunday.
A few observations from the (mostly on the 9W route home) ride on Sunday:
1. To the guy I passed on the left side going about 25mph after yelling "on your left" twice - your wife (or whomever was riding your wheel) clearly heard me, take the earphones out, and the screaming "ASSHOLE" at me = CLASSY!
2. Not sure what people's aversion to riding on the right is...
3. The oh so "pro" wannabes who think not wearing a helmet is cool - buddy, on 9W with those people and cars - I guess it is your melon, but pretty irresponsible!
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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

"ok buddy, its go time."

That was the message that greeted me Sunday night when I logged in and checked my training schedule for the next few weeks.

I have to admit that it has been nice to rest and have some easy light workouts since completing IMLP. I have spent more time with my wife, played with Chief, slept more and done a few things which were neglected while training.

Part of my recovery was a trip to Colorado this past weekend to hang with my brother and some buddies while playing in the ColoRyder Cup golf tournament. I'm not a good golfer, but all the matches are based on handicap (mine is a 22) and I had a great time.

"ok buddy, is go time."
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Tuesday, August 5, 2008


It was sad to have to say goodbye to our black lab KD a month ago, she was a wonderful companion who didn't care what kind of day I had at the office, on the bike or just in general, she was happy to see me as soon as I walked through the door.
I have missed that over the last month. We are in a new apartment and it has felt eerily empty every time I come home...
In steps THE DUDE!!!
We got a new puppy this past weekend. A Wiredhair Pointing Griffon name Chief. He is a little stud and has brought back the energy of KD and my nightly routine of picking up poop.
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Friday, August 1, 2008

Race Apparel

I read an interesting article the other day about race apparel and Ironman apparel in particular. The subject got me to thinking while I was on my run this morning.

Why is Ironman and Ironman 70.3 gear so amateur looking compared to that of the Boston Marathon?
Boston apparel has an air of sophistication and style, whereas the Ironman stuff looks like a Disney designer on crack. I hold the Boston and Ironman logos in high regard as to qualify, train and compete in those events is an honor and a great achievement.

It then got me to thinking that while an Ironman tattoo is a popular way to express your accomplishment, I have not seen any Boston Marathon tattoos...?
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