The Fastest Thirty Days

The last month has absolutely flown by for me.  Just thirty days ago I was getting ready in Portland to head down to Phoenix for some great training in great weather before flying back to Portland for about 18 hours and then continuing on to New York.  Once in NY last week I spent a couple of days in Upstate and then was off to Southern Ohio for the Triple T race festival last weekend.  It’s now almost 4 weeks since I set off for Phoenix and I am back on beautiful Keuka Lake in Upstate New York, my home.  I will be here for the rest of today and then will be flying back to Portland tomorrow afternoon.  Once back in P-Town I will have the honor of seeing my big brother graduate from Med School and become a true MD!  It will be a great time in Portland as the weather is really getting awesome and both my mom and sister will be making the trip to see the graduation.

Shortly after that on June 7th I will once again become a Nomad as I will pack up my trusty Subaru Wagon and head East with all my belongings (Most importantly my bike).  Along the way I will be racing the Boise 70.3 on June 9th.  Many of my new friends from Portland will be at the race so it will be a good way to wrap up my time on the west coast.  I have made some great friends over the past few months in Portland.  Since my life kind of revolves around triathlon and I worked at a tri shop my friends are all pretty much in that circle.  I just wanted to give a little shout out to all those who made the move and the past fall/winter/spring a really awesome time.  Eric, Danny, Chris Boudreaux, Scott, Gary, Bagg, Damian, Tom, Brittany, Mike and all the rest of the Athletes Lounge contingent, both employees and loyal customers.  Athletes Lounge is top-notch and I hope it always will stay that way, I will proudly be wearing the “A” on my kit for the rest of the season and beyond as long as you will have me.  I could go on and on about thanking each person individually but that would be a pretty long post.  I mean it would start out with something like, Eric – for all the rides, runs and swims….Danny – for the countless times your fixed something on my bike and got it running like a top…..Boudreaux – for welcoming me to Portland and showing me everything it has to offer.  Coffee, restaurants, running trails, biking routes…etc..etc..it won’t be forgotten.  Scott and Gary – thank you a 100x for giving me the opportunity to work at your shop, it was a privilege. (That one can be for you to Boudreaux :)) The list could keep going but I am going to stop their with my Athlete Lounge friends for now.

Anyway, where was I?  Ah yes, I will be racing the Boise 70.3 on June 9th and then continuing my travels back east the following day as I cross the country once again in the opposite direction from last fall.  I think the weather will be a bit better than it was then…which will be very nice.  The week following Boise is going to be my “mid-season” break.  I am going to take that week pretty much completely off and try my best to re-charge before turning my attention on the rest of my season.  With 3 70.3’s and a full Ironman in Hawaii on the schedule I will certainly be training my butt off and the week off after Boise will be a great way to get my body and mind recovered.

Once back on the East Coast I am going to hunker in on Keuka Lake with the plan of training myself into the ground, and the recovering of course 😉  One of the best half Ironman in the country awaits me in mid July when I will once again take part in the Musselman weekend by racing the Half-Iron on Sunday.  This will be my fourth year in a row taking part in some race during that weekend.  My triathlon career really started in full thrust at this race in 2009 when I jumped into the half-iron with no real knowledge of what I was getting myself into.  5 and a half hours later I crossed the line feeling pain and fatigue that I had never experienced before…this year I will look to feel that pain and fatigue again,  just a bit sooner though 🙂

In August I am happy to say I will be in NH for the Timberman 70.3 before turning my focus to the World Championships in Vegas and Kona.  Yes, it will be a busy second half of the season for me but I can’t wait for the challenge.  I have an opportunity in front of me that many would kill for and I promise I won’t take it for granted.  My job is to get myself as fully prepared for these races as possible, not just in training but in everything around it as well.  I am extremely excited to have the opportunity to be home on Keuka Lake this summer as well.  Other than the fact that Penn Yan does not have a pool everything is ideal…but I mean really I do have a lake right in front of my bedroom so what am I complaining about? Might have to adjust some swim workouts 🙂  But if you do know of a way I could get into Hobart William Smith’s pool let me know!

That’s all for now.  I am going to go take advantage of the beautiful morning here in Upstate NY by getting out for a nice spin around the Lake.  Life is good today and I hope everyone else’s is too!

-Turbeau

Triple T Triathlon Weekend 2012

Last weekend I once again made the trip down to Portsmouth, OH to participate in one of the best triathlon events on the planet.  The HFP Triple T Triathlon, held in beautiful Shawnee State Park is in my opinion what triathlon is all about.  Lots of racing, lots of camaraderie and a true “grass-roots” feeling throughout.  The word to describe the weekend that best suits it in my mind is like going to camp.  The first time you go you are a little nervous at the beginning but by the second day you are cutting it up with new friends and loving life, wondering why you had never been before.  In the second year and beyond it becomes a ritual where you get to share the same joy and excitement you have known in the past and you are able to rekindle friendships with those racers who have made the trek to OH once again.

One great thing about this race is that everyone who comes to the race means business.  It itself is a hard enough race as it is since it covers over 140 miles in basically 2.5 days.  However, add to that a drive of 8+ hours for most of the competitors and you truly get the people who WANT to be there!  Which is how it should be right?  I will wrap this introduction up by saying that once again this race was special in many ways…including the fact that top-level talent was once again present giving myself and my good friend Mike Corona a great challenge.

The 2012 edition of the TTT saw beautiful weather in the low 80’s for both Saturday and Sunday and the lake was a comfortable 60’ish degrees.  The water temperature was a good 10+ degrees warmer this year than in 2011 which made it much more enjoyable and easier to stomach on Saturday and Sunday morning.

Super Sprint – (Individual Event – 22:01, 6th OA)

This is such a short race that you hardly have enough time to breathe, and the type of event which is pretty challenging for me.  However, I was able to drop my time by about a minute from last year so that improvement in a sub 25 minute race was good enough for me to be happy with.  The swim was a bit of a mess as I dove in way to early putting my hands right down in the muck of the lake and making my garmin HR strap go down to my waist.  After fussing with that thing so I didn’t lose it I made my way around the buoys, my arms churning like windmills….my form was anything but good.  Out of the water and onto the bike was next.  I avoided any disasters on the climb and decent and finished the race up by running around a 5:30 mile.  Its a fun way to start the weekend but I wish it was a bit longer…25 minutes is really short!

AM Olympic – (Individual Event – 2:12, 7th OA)

Since I was a part of a team this year the first two events would be my chance to go relatively hard and try to put us in the best possible position.  I guess you could say its a delicate balance because you want to save a little something for the 2 other races since you want to have enough in the tank to lead your pulls on the bike and run up the hills.  Because let’s be serious you still have another OLY race in the afternoon and a 70.3 the next morning.  None the less, I still raced pretty hard by biking around a 1:10 on a very hilly course and running 40:xx which comes out to 6:15 miles on again a hilly trail run route…which I absolutely loved.  This effort was good enough for 7th Overall and kept us in around 4th or 5th overall team.

PM Olympic – (Team Event, drafting allowed – 2:22)

This event kicked off the true Team Race where by which teammates had to start and finish together and were allowed to draft while on the bike.  Working together Mike Corona and I managed a 1:06 bike split for the first leg of the event.  In a bit of a different style Olympic distance race we quickly transitioned into the swim which is by no means easy as you have to quickly get off your bike and put your wetsuit on before make the run into the lake.  We were pretty proficient with the change and were in the water quickly.  After completing the two loop swim we headed out to the run course to finish the day off.  The PM Olympic on Saturday is definitely a hard race as it take a lot of effort to execute correctly.  Not only do you have to deal with the fact that you did a race of the same distance just 4-5 hours prior but you have to be on your game in regards to nutrition during the time between.  If you screw that up you can pay for it big time in the afternoon race.  Mike and I really didn’t have any issues on the course and we brought it home with a respectable 2:22, putting us in 4th place OA team heading into the half iron on Sunday.

Sunday Half Iron  – (Team Event, drafting allowed – 5:03)

As always the Half Iron had a late arriving crowd and started a couple of minutes after 7:00AM.  Many will say it is a bit of a death march for some as they make their way to transition and then to the swim, however I wouldn’t quite go that far.  I would have to say that last year was worse because the water was still so cold that hardly anyone even wanted to warm up in the freezing water.  However, this year with the warmer temperatures everyone was in getting loosened up for the final event.

As for our race, Mike and I took off in the TT style swim start together and swam the two loop course together, utilizing drafting to ensure that we were going as fast as we could.  My watch gave me a split of a little under 12 minutes for the first loop which was about 150m short of a true half lap.  This was fast and it was confirmed when my watch said 25:xx when we exited the swim and made our way to transition.  I am anxious to see the split times for the race because I think the swim was probably a good 200-300 yards short.  But it was the same for everyone…so on we go.  The bike course is a beautiful one with about 4k of climbing included.  The two laps were pretty steady for us and we ended up splitting around a 2:50.  Yeah, pretty slow for most 70.3’s but this is not like most 70.3’s 🙂  This left us with only the run to complete.  I’d say we eased into the run taking the first loop relatively conservative and then completed the second loop a bit quicker but overall relatively at the same pace…just a bit more exertion was required.  Nothing to crazy happened on the run…at least nothing exciting enough to mention here.  However, the fact that we stayed pretty steady throughout the half gave us a 5:03 finishing time.  We were shooting to be under 5 so I guess 3 minutes on the other side isn’t to bad.

The 5:03 pushed us into 3rd place.  We really would have been 4th place team except for the fact that the team which was ahead of us had a few issues during the half.  But then again that’s why you race, you just never know whats going to happen.  Ultimately placing top whatever team really isn’t what this race is about.  It’s great to be among the leaders and score some swag for the efforts but the real reward is the experiences that this race provides.  There is just no event like this one, it is simply UNIQUE.  I personally feel that every triathlete should take part in this event at least once.  It’s different from an Ironman even though the distances are similar…some say its tougher others don’t.  Me, I just think its different…and in a good way.  So do yourself a favor and find a year to fit this race in.  At less than $250 for the entire weekend + $100 for lodging in a cabin with your buddies, you won’t find a better deal!

Here are a good batch of pictures from the weekend.  Three of them are from the finish line of the Super Sprint on Friday night which consisted of a 250 meter swim, 6k uphill bike and a 1 mile run.  The guy I am running to the line with started right next to me in the TT style swim start (he was #32 and I was #31) so since he got ahead of me in the swim I felt the need to make up a little ground on the run.  We ended up crossing the line at exactly the same time, however my name showed up first on the results sheet so I am gonna say I got him by a couple of inches 🙂

Build your own Cathedral

I wish that I was the one who wrote this story, however I did not.  Please take a moment and read this short story, you will be better for it.  I promise. -Turbeau

Many,many years ago in England, in the days of yore, when men and women who were not Lords and Ladies were yokels and vassals, a traveller was riding his horse through the English Countryside.As he rode he heard the sound of chipping stone and as he came over the crest of a hill he saw a stone mason, a most “unhappy chappie” with a scowl on his brow, chipping away at a block of stone.

“Pray tell me”, said the traveller to the stone mason,”What are you doing to that block of stone?” “Well, if you must know”, said the stone mason,”I am hewing it into blocks for some huge structure being built down the road. I haven’t got time to talk.I’ve got to finish another six stones by nightfall.And my back is starting to kill me!’ “Oh, so I won’t hold you up then”, said the traveller and he rode on.

Soon the traveller came to another stone mason on the side of the road also hewing a stone.This stone mason was a little happier then “old sourpuss”, down the road.The traveller commented on this to the stone mason.”Well”, the stone mason said,”this stone I am working on today is reasonably good.See how smooth I can make these blocks.With this smoothness they should fit together reasonably tightly and make a water-tight wall for the huge new church I hear is being built down the road”.”However, I am certainly getting a few blisters from this hard stone”.”Interesting”, said the traveller, and he rode on.

 

Soon he came across a third stone mason.This young fellow was singing his heart out as he chipped away on a stone and the chips were flying faster than at a McDonald’s restaurant!.”Well”, said the traveller to the third stone mason.”You’re certainly a joy germ but why are you so happy at just chipping away at blocks of stone?” “It’s simple”, said the stone mason.”I am building a cathedral!”

 

Does our work make us chip at stones or does it allow us to build a cathedral.

 

~unknown
If your doing this “life” thing or “triathlon” thing right than this story should resound quite loudly for you.  I know that it did for me.  Often times it is hard to get things done, whether it be a project for work or a weekend workout in preparation for your next race.  If your view is to narrow you will miss the meaning of what you are doing.  It is important to be present in the moment and execute at all times, but you also need to balance this by keeping everything in perspective and not losing sight on the “BIG PICTURE”.

Phew…

It’s been a few days since I’ve been in touch with the rest of the world.  I haven’t had much “extra” energy to ride to the coffee shop after my workouts over the past few days.  However, I made it through the two biggest training days of my life (back 2 back) and am now on the other side.

The rides and runs were pretty tough so no cool pictures of anything right now…hopefully I will get some videos uploaded from the trip soon and that will be a little better content for you all.

So what is next?  Tomorrow, Eric and I are being picked up by a cab at 10:45 am which will end our 15 days here in beautiful Arizona.  I can’t believe it has been 15 days!  It was certainly a great experience and provided an amazing platform to train our butts off.  Perfect weather and as much time to recover as we could fit it.  It doesn’t get much better than that.  I previously have never had this much time to devote to training and recovery specifically.  This makes me very optimistic about what is ahead this year and the years to come.  I literally have no excuses so its definitely a put up or shut up kinda time.

So for now I am going to get rolling along and kick out a nice easy ride and run combo.  After that it is packing time…yuck!

Portland tomorrow and New York on Monday….to those that I will see, SEE YOU SOON!

Still kicking it down in Phoenix

Regrettably, the blog has been neglected over the past week due to a couple factors.  One being that I did a great job of tiring myself out over past few days along with the second factor and probably the more pressing of the two is that I have no wifi connection at the house I am staying at.  Yes, I have my iPhone for the important things like Facebook checking, occasionally twitter updates and of course keeping up with my “Words with Friends” games.  Words being the most important of those very important things 🙂

It has been great training here in Arizona, where the weather is absolutely magnificent.  Sure the heat does make the workouts and keeping hydrated for the workouts tough, but really those are minor things.  It just boggles my mind how nice it is every single day here.  The weather forecast for any fay on the calendar is pretty much, “Sunny and warm with no clouds and no chance of perception”.  It really is the place to be if you want great consistent training.

So with the miles adding up from last weekends rides and this weeks training workouts I got pretty beat down by Thursday and it finally came to a head with a horrendous swim workout that I actually cut short due to absolute fatigue.  It was a fatigue I had not really experienced since sometime last year when I was working a lot and trying to fit in lots of training.  This time the fatigue was curbed by a solid nights sleep and the fact that I didn’t have to go to the office the next day or get up for another workout at 5am because I had to go to that office.  So the simple fact is that I am being blessed with a special opportunity to do this sport right now and I am not going to waste it, nor do I want to take it for granted.  I want to squeeze every ounce of goodness out of my chance.

After a good nights sleep the fatigue was mainly gone and since then I had a solid weekend of training.  Todays brick session rounded out a great training week that was the biggest of the year for me.  Now the challenge is to back it up with an even bigger week, which will have some challenges as I will be traveling back East on the weekend after the flight from AZ to Portland on Saturday.  But those “challenges” aren’t so bad and the end result is that by next Monday morning around 11AM I will be riding in the car with my Dad after he picks me up at the airport…which is pretty nice.

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