Wednesday, January 18, 2012

i moved!

there is still a lot of work to do design wise over at the new blog but the basics are up and running. of course, the most important part was getting KC's kick a$$ playlist on there and i'm happy to report that it was a success. we have music! still, there is sooooo much to re-learn. i was a blogger pro and now i'm nothing but a wordpress virgin ...sigh!

please come see me HERE!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

baby steps ...

i've been kicking something around for awhile now, but fear was paralyzing me. everytime i tried to finalize the process and hit that button to seal the deal, i chickened out. i think it had something to do with losing everything i've built up over the last 2 years. i'm talking about migrating from blogger to wordpress. something about losing all of my posts, comments and followers really scared me. this was, until a good blog buddy/IT expert came along and helped me see the light. basically, he has emailed me the process of migrating, bit by bit, and so far, it has been a smooth process. i'm still clinging to blogger by my fingernails and told him that before i really hit that button to migrate everything over, i wanted to finish this one last post on blogger.

so, this shall be my last post here on this site. once i have figured out my way around wordpress and how to actually do a blog post on it, you can come visit me. i will post my new blog address on this "old" blog as soon as it's ready.

yay, success! only 1 scratch from mountain biking all weekend!
guess what i've been doing a lot of lately? mountain biking! well, not really, because we don't have any mountains to speak of here, but we sure have some gnarly, technical single track, with tree roots bigger than my head. as the J-man and i were riding this weekend, i realized that we have been mountain biking since 1992 ...20 years! it feels like just yesterday sort of. we started off on $200 Schwinn hardtails, which totally cracks me up. i couldn't imagine riding a hardtail on those trails ever, but we did. we graduated a long time ago (read: came to our senses) to full suspension and once you've gone to full, you never go back, for real.

the coolest part of Saturday's 21 mile ride was that we did it 5 minutes faster than the week before. i can feel my bike handling skills coming back more and more after each ride. Sunday's weather was rather crappy (too windy and cold) for a decent road bike ride so we decided to ride the mountain bikes again but this time, we decided to do 30 miles. OMG, can you say, ouch? if you have ever mountain biked, you will totally agree with the statement i am about to make ...30 miles on the trails is like 60-75 miles on a road or tri bike. no joke! i've always said that but i really confirmed it again on Sunday. so far, i have been biking on the trails, 3 times this year and that is already 3 times more than i did last year. i would seriously consider doing some kind of Xterra or similar race if the timing is right. of course, the dangerousness of it all constantly plays thru my mind and the sensible, overly cautious side of me says, you are crazy, don't you know you could bust your ass, break something and not be able to do any races for awhile? then there is the daredevil side of me that says, RIDE ON SISTER!

here are some older pictures of the trails we ride on. i can't say enough about how peaceful it is to ride without kling ons, leeches, wheel suckers, or whatever you call them, constantly butting in on our rides. thankfully, they don't (and probably can't) ride a mountain bike.

a great escape from the hustle and bustle

ain't it pretty?
i was lucky to have yesterday off, so i did my long run (23 miles) and it felt pretty dang good. even with tired mountain biking legs, i wrapped it up in 3:05:13. i did half of the run on hard packed trails and then the other half on the paved trail at the local park. i made sure to keep moving, moving, moving throughout the day so i wouldn't lock up. as my good friend Matty O would say, "motion is lotion." that was my motto for the day. in sticking to that motto, i then did a 25 mile road bike ride with the J-man and everything was working like a well oiled machine. i woke up this morning, hit the foam roller for a few minutes and i was good as gold.

that's all i got for ya! much love and peace out!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

M-Dot races versus the rest

i've been kicking around whether or not i really want to do the HITS triathlon series in Ocala at the end of March. ever since i saw the first magazine ad last summer, i was intrigued. i thought, finally, another company that will give WTC a run for their money.  the turnout for the first 2 have been less than desirable (see total numbers below). keep in mind that they hold 3 races on Saturday, the "open" which I believe was like a super sprint distance and was free to anyone who wanted to do it, the sprint distance, and the olympic distance. on Sunday is the half and full distances. the numbers you see below are total participants (all men and women together) for the first 2 races of the HITS series:

California race (12/3/11 and 12/4/11)
open: 141 (remember this race was free)
sprint: 253
oly: 192
half: 119
full: 21

Naples, Florida (this past weekend - also Disney marathon weekend)
open: 83 (free)
sprint: 168
oly: 141
half: 61
full: 17 (4 females total out of this 17)

i have said this since the series first started advertising, that they are charging too much for their entry fees ...pretty much what an Ironman event is charging for their races. that is preposterous! if you are the new kid on the block of triathlon race organizing, regardless of how much experience your consultants have (read: six-time Ironman World Champion Dave Scott will serve as a key advisor and spokesperson for the HITS Triathlon Series), you should be trying to entice athletes to try out your events. once they can prove that they offer a quality product that can stand up to IM events, then maybe you can justify the registration fee but not when it's your first year and you have no proven track record. personally, i try to spend my money wisely and i do my homework before making any big purchase. shelling out $300-$700 for one single event is a big purchase to me and from the homework i have done thus far, my gut says that the HITS 70.3 event in Ocala, Florida is a no go for me. plus, i've been hitting the forums to see what others who have raced in these last 2 series had to say and it wasn't all that positive.

i did a little research online regarding the registration fees for similar off brand races of the 70.3 and 140.6 variety. the prices listed are the highest rates charged, not the price you would pay if you registered early and also how many total participants involved. here is what i found:

~Great Floridian (aka: GFT) 140.6 (200 participants) - $500.00
  No70.3 at GFT.

~Redman (in Oklahoma) 140.6 - $400.00 (100 participants total in 2011)
  Redman 70.3 - $300.00 (165 total participants)

~Rev 3 (using Cedar point as my reference) 140.6 - $525.00 (not sure how many participants)
  Rev 3 half iron distance - $250.00

~Chesapeake Man (in Maryland) - 140.6 - $375.00 (216 total participants)

~Beach to Battleship (in N. Carolina) 140.6 - $475.00 (674 total participants)
  B2B half iron distance - $250.00 (818 total participants)

most of the races listed above have been around a long time, so they have a proven themselves, regardless of whether it is an overall great experience, just okay, or not good at all. sometimes the numbers of participants doesn't tell the entire story. for example, i think that the first 140.6 that i did, the Great Floridian, is avoided by most triathletes because of the amount of elevation involved on the bike course and because it isn't an M-dot race, not because it isn't a well run event. and, before ironman came around, the Great Floridian was THE destination for anyone wanting to do a full iron distance race. back in the day, they used to have about 800-1000 athletes competing. now they are lucky to have 200.  in my experience, GFT cannot compare to Ironman Florida and that is why they can't and don't charge $700 like IMFL can. i did notice recently that HITS lowered the price of their full just a tad from what I remember first seeing, but they are still charging the same for the half distance that an ironman event does. crazy i say.

what do you all think?

much love and peace out!

Friday, January 6, 2012

you're going the wrong way!

it has been really cold here in florida this week. i know that 30's and 40's is not a big deal to my friends in the snowy, colder states, but have some sympathy for me. i really tried to get up early and run like i usually do but the cold  paralyzed me and i just couldn't do it. however, i did negotiate with myself and promised that i would do my run later, once it warmed up a bit. on Tuesday, i got home from work, and didn't dilly dally around like i normally do. i laced up my pretty orange running shoes, put 2 layers of clothes on top, shorts, a knit cap and then compression socks for warmth only. i looked so cute, lol!

this is just a re-enactment photo ...i actually had a little more on
ok, so back to my run; i promise this story gets better. i decided that i was going to do 10-11 miles and normally, i would do this in my subdivision but since i had daylight to work with, i decided to head to my favorite stomping grounds, flatwoods park. the loop is 7 miles around and the part to and from my front door to the loop is another 3.35 miles. this is the same park that i've had some run-ins (literally) with other "oblivious" cyclists and lots of near misses with headphone wearing runners and rollerbladders who don't look back before making a u-turn as you are passing them on their left. there are signs at both entrances to the park that clearly state, all rollerbladers and cyclists go in a counter clockwise direction only. it says nothing about runners and walkers. in the 20 years that i have been running at this park, i have always run in a clockwise direction because frankly, i want to see who is about to hit me. i don't trust a lot of the novice cyclists and families on their bikes coming up behind me. never once has anyone told me i was going the wrong way, until tuesday. the ranger came up in his truck next to me and says, "you know the loop goes in the other direction." i said, "yeah, and if anyone is coming toward me, i'll hop over into the grass like i always do." then he says, "well, it's just easier for us if you go the right way." easier? how? mind you, it was so dang cold, i never saw one person out there and this park is HUGE! i believe that this ranger, must have been a substitute for someone on vacation because i know most of the rangers out there and they always wave at me, never power trip on me so i don't know what this guy's problem was. and you'd be proud of me too because i kept running in the wrong direction for the rest of my run. in fact, he kinda irked me, which in turn, made me run even faster. this video kept going thru my head the entire time after my park ranger encounter, enjoy:

since we are on the running subject, i ran 22 miles today at a very nice clip of 7:58/mi. i waited until it warmed up and i even ran in the wrong direction. this time, nobody had anything to say about it and yes, the ranger went right by me in his truck.

i need to get off this computer and get to King Burger immediately. NO, no, it isn't for me. i don't eat fast food. as my best friend/best race sherpa, Angie would say, "that Joel is so cool." really? and i'm not because i refuse to eat hamburgers? whatevz! one more video and i promise you will pee in your pants:
i hope everyone has a lovely weekend planned out and as Bon-qui-qui would say, don't get too crazy now! much love and peace out.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

resolutions? pfft!

since i started this blog in December of 2009, it provided me a chance to do a rundown of the last 2 years and a look ahead into the upcoming year. this time, being the third year, i find myself with not a whole lot to say. not that 2011 wasn't a spectacular year, because despite being gimpy (read: injured) from mid April thru the end of June, i was very satisfied with the races and events that i did do. i got out of them, what i put into them. i PR'd at the half marathon distance, finally, after only 12 years of trying and kicked some butt at ironman florida. my total numbers for the year were good but never my primary goal. you can do tens of thousands of miles of cycling, running, and swimming but being good at something isn't always about quantity, quality counts too. finding a happy balance is key and i'm still working on that, especially with the swimming part, which is always a work in progress. for me, sometimes just showing up to the pool is a victory.

for 2012, my motto is, no injuries - faster - better -stronger. simple as that!

as for a resolution, i only have one and that is to mountain bike at least 1 time per month. i forgot how much fun and carefree it is and i was reminded of that on Monday when we dusted off the mountain bikes and hit the trails. there were a lot of yeeeee-haaaaw's coming out of my mouth and i'm pretty sure i had a smile from ear to ear the entire time, except once, when i went off the trail and almost ate a tree but managed to save it. that's called skillz right there, LOL! a couple of more rides and my handling skills are back. hell, who knows? i may throw in an Xterra race somewhere down the line. for realz!

in a nutshell, i'm ready to get this 2012 party started. oh yeah, and there may be a few surprise races up my sleeve that aren't listed on my blog sidebar. i may or may not be doing some secret/stealth training, heh!

i hope everyone had a nice holiday and i wish you lots of PR's in 2012.

much love and peace out!