Ironman Canda '05 is in the books

Ironman 2.0

I can't wait to look up Technorati for other folks who blog about Ironman Canada up here in Penticton. I doubt there will be many entries there were "only" 2400 participants (largest so far) and of course thousands of spectators and 4500 volunteers just amazing.

Quick Summary: I finished, doing it again next year, it was a pretty cool day outside of my own race and this is not an easy day.

Ironman Day started for me at 3am with breakfast. I prepared my race food, had some Peet's coffee from Alex and headed off to take care my bike and drop off my gear/food around 5:15am w/ Kris. (By the way, I did the race w/ Team in Training's Ironteam a one of a kind). I had a flat tire when I went to pump up my bike and a friendly bike barn technician took care of it for me. I watched as my teammates went by and headed off to the start line.

Right side! You know like the movie Remember the Titans. I helped my friend Alex on the swim to the first buoy with Jeff, one of my heroes who already did Ironman Couer D'Alene a couple months before. This was Alex's third try at making the swim cut-off and this year he made it, the highlight of this whole race — you just wouldn't believe.

The swim, otherwise, was pretty boring except I was able to a good chunk of it with my friend Jeff by my side. The bike ride (especially on a new double crankset) was pretty hard but aero bars which I used for the first time was great and helped me shave some time. I caught up with a lot of my teammates and as I walked the marathon, they caught up to me which was nice. The highlight of the bike ride was seeing Alex on the bike, it was beautiful sight. When I left him at the first buoy, I honestly wasn't very confident he'd make it. I was just crossing my fingers the whole time.

Anyhow, the marathon/walk was uneventful. I was doing a lot of math just to make sure I squeaked in on time. I hung out with Colin most of the evening, a Canadian Mountie, and we chatted and had a good time. He's a big dude like me, and it was his first Ironman. I also had never seen so many ambulances before on a race. There were also about 200+ people who didn't finish the race.

I came in with 23 minutes to spare. Katina walked the last mile and a half with me and I took her by the arm and cross the finished line (wearing my Firefox t-shirt, if I may add, can't wait to post the photos). I got a couple slices of pizza and hung out at the finish. I gave a hug to Alex, Susan, Kris, Gina as they all made it to the finish. It was pretty incredible. It's the big perk for being so slow this year.

The team was great! Everyone, from all the familes and staff cheering us on through the wee hours of the night. I'm getting my massage today, hopefully can walk and drive to work by Wednesday. And I'm signing again for this for next year and signing up a friend as well. While I'm signed up to be on the team next year, I maybe on the fence.

Oh, so some takeaways:
– The best kisses in the world are: wedding day kiss, and Ironman race kisses at the top of mile 100 on the bike and at the very end of an Ironman race. Those kisses are just amazing.
– People in Canada are so nice. This is such a great country and very pretty too.
– I need to train next year and actually lose some weight, I can't carry all this weight around with me next year. I need to at least drop 20lbs.
– Opera CEO's 1 million download publicity stunt where he said he'd swim to the USA was so dumb and I took it as a personal insult as I actually do swim and that would've been pretty cool. The CEO ended up blaming his PR Manager. The whole thing was just absolutely lame. Our (Mozilla's) PR manager, mcolvig, did his darn Ironman race. We don't do publicity stunts here, we just get our stuff done and try to do big things.

the replacement

So my bike broke, so here's the replacement. A little bit lighter and now just a double chain ring. Riding a new bike at Ironman Canada is going to be interesting. (not supposed to do anything new)

chasing Tim Deboom

It was a good weekend, not perfect, or great, but it was good. Spent the weekend in Guerneville for the 1/2 Vineman Race.

We left late on Friday evening to stay at this bed and breakfast the Ridenhour Inn. I can't say I can recommend the accomodations, Garden View was more like view (and sounds) of the major thoroughfare but it was 3 miles away from the start of the race and the breakfasts were really good (also, 1/4 mile away from Korbel).

On Saturday, Katina and I had a full day. Woke up late, had breakfast, wine tasting at Korbel and Roshambo, lunch in Healdsburg, shopping at Macy's, race registration in Santa Rosa, and dinner at an Italian restaurant.

Sunday was race day.

Highlights included: seeing Tim Deboom and Peter Reid do a swim to bike transition in 30 seconds (I took 8 minutes), seeing most of my teammates, seeing this fairly good looking woman athlete let out this major belch, seeing this dude with bloody nipples (blood dripping down his shirt), learning that Jeff Kutash got a drafting penalty (after I told him I was trying to get one), finishing the run even though I couldn't push off of either feet, getting Doug and Glen a primo parking spot, and seeing Katina at the end. The prior week was actually harder. While the Vineman race was a 7 hour workout, last week was a 9 hour workout.

In any case, not a bad way to spend a weekend.

City of Guerneville


Trying to strike a balance with this post, too much web stuff lately. This weekend I'm going up to Guerneville with Katina, for the 1/2 Vineman Race. Guerneville is supposed to be a gay and lesbian destination, but I wouldn't call it the West coast equivalent of Provincetown. I was there last year but for the race so didn't get chance to see Guerneville that much. I think Guerneville is on the Russian River and there's a lot of great wineries in the Sonoma/Russian River area. One of them is Roshambo. There's a bunch out here (that's why they call the triathlon Vineman).

The Bedroom Closet

When we first moved into our house, our bedroom closet had a deadbolt lock on it – on one side a key hole, and the other a knob (some deadbolts have key holes on both sides). What was weird was that the key hole side was inside the closet and the knob facing the bedroom. If you can't visualize that, you could essentially lock someone in the closet if they didn't have a key. Freaked me the hell out.

When we got the locksmith re-keying all the locks in the house, he turned around that deadbolt so that the key hole side was facing the bedroom. We were thinking of removing it but he said to keep it because it's perfect if you had people coming over to work on the house or on vacation, you could just put everything in the closet and lock things up.

Every once in awhile, when I think about the lock, I still get freaked out. What the hell was that used for? Who was locked in the closet? Is the paint on the door covering up finger nail scratches on the door from someone clawing their way out? Was it one of those kinky closets? I kinda want to know and kinda don't either. The locksmith had said maybe it was for some crazy kid or crazy older person. Who knows except for that person who put that lock in there in the first place.

The Lure of IronTeam 2006

Probably not going to do IronTeam 2006. For anyone wanting to do an Ironman, it's a big time suck and it's very costly. To even get started you need to buy the following:

– bike gear ~$3,500 ($2k for the bike, the rest for clothes/shoes and maintenance)
– run gear ~$250 (shoes)
– swim gear ~$300 (wet suit, goggles, etc)
– other gear ~$200-300

Then there's the race entry which is $500 at least, and travel to the Ironman event, and races/travel in between at $100-200 a pop. Then there's food and stuff.

Once you get past that initial expense, it's still costly to keep doing these Ironman events. Still need to pay for travel and race entries, maintenance, and tune-ups. It's not a cheap sport (but it sure is fun!).

new car at the dealers…

Yea. Our BMW X3 is at the dealers. We'll be paying the Cars Direct price thank you very much. It will be nice to have real windows, leather seats, and a stereo system where I don't have to carry around the damn face plate.

dead snakes at mile 35 and 65

Don't play with dead snakes is Jim Barksdale's rule, so why is this entry in "ironman training". Well, that's because I encountered some dead snakes this weekend at Lake Berryessa, another weekend with the IronTeam. It's funny how tempting it is to actually play with dead snakes. If I hadn't heard JB's saying, I probably would've checked those snakes out.

I left for Lake Berryessa on Friday around 7pm. I got there at 10:30pm but should've gotten there at 8:45, 9pm, it was a bad night. The next morning we did roughly a 2 mile swim in the lake (we started at 7am). The swim was fun, 3 loops around a couple buoys and this one weird structure. After the swim, we went on an epic 92 mile bike ride that was over 7500 feet of climbing (Ironman Canada for example has a little over 3500 feet of climing over 112 miles). The bike ride was very beautiful with hawks flying about, vineyards, a couple dead snakes (deer, rabbit, etc), a dog chasing after me, several creeks we had to cross on foot, a tunnel, a downed motorcyclist that had to be helicoptered out of the area, lots of climbing, long descents, and a bit too many potholes.

When we got back, I ate my ice cream, we had a very nice dinner (hamburgers, potato salad, berries, pie), and there was even some entertainment our very own stand up comic on the team.

The next morning, we went out for a 2 hour run. I cut it a bit short, there was some waffle, bacon, and eggs that was calling for me back at the cabin. After that, headed home and didn't get lost this time. Awesome weekend.

Much to lucky to be part of lots of great teams over the years.

Recovery Week


So much for recovery week last week (well, ends today). Next week is back up the pyramid with Week 33 of Ironman Training. This coming week supposed to be doing 8700 yards of swimming, 100 miles of bike riding, and up to 22 miles of running. Joy.

Yesterday was a good bike ride: Claremont Ave, down Wildcat Canyon, Three Bears, up Wildcat Canyon, and up South Park Drive. Going up South Park to end a ride really sucks but I actually started to use my core muscles to push through to the top. The difference is amazing when you shift your power to your hip flexors, stomach and back from just your legs.