Running, Biking, Triathlons, Swimming, Snowshoeing; what's next? Sal's does it all.

Monday, July 21, 2014

WHTK Hot Talk Radio

This morning I filled out my "Best Sports Movie of All Time" contest entry on WHTK radio. I had a nice surprise while checking the leaders for prizes, I'm in second place! Out of 142 entries I moved up to second. The contest began with 64 movies.
What this says it that I may not be able to play sports well, but I have watched lots of sports movies throughout my life and pick the best. It's down to the final eight movies now;
The Natural vs. Miracle, Brian's Song vs Blind Side, Bull Durham vs. Moneyball and Rocky vs Major League.

My picks this week are, The Natural, Bull Durham, Brian's Song and Rocky.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Officially Finished!

Hooray! After five days I am an official Mini-Mussel finisher! It took awhile, but the backup reader did actually work for Score-This and they located my finish time, 1:41:14. Just as Jan had told me, I did have a great swim, 13:21, which was 11/48 in my age group. In previous triathlon attempts I was lucky to be in the top 60%. Lessons and practice paid off, who knew that would work?
Overall I was 26/48 in age group, not great, got destroyed on bike and transition 2 when I couldn't get my damn bike shoe unbuckled.
Next up, Shoreline Triathlon this Sunday. I hope we can actually swim in Lake Ontario.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Muscling Musselman

There won't be any long-term repercussions for my health from swallowing several large mouthfuls of water from the Cayuga and Seneca canal during the mini-Mussel sprint triathlon, right? I made sure back at the motel Saturday night to clean out my system with three beers and a glass of wine I stole from Jan, just in case some strange micro-organisms were floating around inside. As of Monday everything in my body seems to be working fine.

It was a great day for a tri and 800 people showed up on Saturday, July 12 to participate in the sprint (750meter swim, 16 mile bike, 5k run). We began in deep water near the border of where the canal and Seneca Lake meet. Plenty of room for the wave starts, though there was some congestion the closer we came to the finish, with faster swimmers from late starting waves overtaking slower people in earlier waves. I actually did this! It felt great. I was in the old man swim wave (55+) the second to last group to start the race, 25 minutes after the first group went. Over 50 swimmers were in my wave. I believe I was in the top 12 in my group. There is something to be said for months of lessons this spring and a new wet suit (one without holes).

The bike was another story. In the 55-59 group 9 men were 20mph or more, another 12 were over 19mph. I was a paltry 17.2. I lost 5-8 minutes on the bike. It is obvious I will only be an average, maybe, triathlete unless I can bike 2 miles an hour faster.

The run seemed harder than it should it have been. I averaged 8:34/mile, around 15th in the age group. Four years ago at this race I ran 1 minute a mile faster. Jan had my overall time at 1:41:14, around 25/48 finishers in the age group. It seems my chip didn't read when crossing the finish line and I'm not showing up at all. The timer on race day said she had all my splits but the last one, which is weird since the announcer called my name when finishing. Oh well. Jan has photographs, so I know I did finish.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Tupper Lake Tinman Triathlon

You call them hills, they are mountains to me, after all they call it Mt. Arab, not Hill Arab and there must be a reason for that! Maybe it has to do with the four inclines averaging 4-7% and up to a mile long before reaching the mountain road? It could be the mile climb on the road leading to Mt. Arab road? Or the turn onto the one lane road that climbs another 6-8% to the turnaround?
 The Tupper Lake 1/2 IM and sprint races were held on Saturday, June 28 on a beautiful, though ultimately hot, calm day. Three of us participated in the sprint, with MW being the ultimate victor. I won the swim (lessons paid off), Eileen crushed us on the bike, MW crushed me on the run. Results are here.
Truth is I did get scared coming down Mt. Arab, which is when Eileen passed me like an out of control 14 year old who was fearless. I was continually braking, scared of bumps, stones, cracks in the road or anything else that might make me fall. That is not a good strategy to have when trying to bike fast.
MW caught me just past mile 3 on the run when the temperature out on shade-free highway 3 seemed to rise uncontrollably. He was very encouraging though, saying "we still have a long way to go!". Exactly what one wants to hear when he is melting on the course. Bastard. How about, "hey Mike, don't worry, it's only three miles to go, no problem, you are looking good, keep it up?" Nah, bury a knife in my mental thinking and run on. Bastard.
The volunteers were great on the course, the water was calm, we had assigned spots by age group in transition, fluids at water stops were cold, we had a motel steps from the start/finish, the post-race beer and barbeque were tasty.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Tupper Lake Triathlon

The weather looks delightful for Saturday's sprint triathlon at Tupper Lake, NY, located deep in the Adirondack Mountains. Jan will be spectating due to a large boot holding her Achilles tendon secure, but Mike, Eileen and myself are competing in the race.
The sprint is actually more of an afterthought on this day, as the 1/2 IM distance is the star of the day. Typically 100 people do the sprint distance, .6m swim (or .5 depending on what you read), 18.6m bike (including a few rolling hills and climb up Mt. Arab) and a 6.6m run (or 6.2, depending on what you read again). Usually 400+ competitors are in the 1/2 IM.
The sprint is a mass start (though 100 isn't much of a mass nowadays), beginning at 8am. It will be nice to see where my main competition is throughout the race (Eileen and Mike).
I think these sprint distances favor a runner assuming you can come off the bike feeling peppy. Typically a sprint triathlon with an 800-1000 yard swim would be more likely to have 3.1 to 4 mile run.

Ten reasons to like competing in the Adirondacks;
1. Our motel is right next to the transition area. I mean hop a small fence and my bike is maybe 50 yards from my room!
2. Obviously this means no waiting for a port-a-john, I can use my own motel room!
3. The Adirondacks are beautiful anytime of the year.
4. I beat Mike a couple of years ago in the Tupper Lake 1/2IM. Oh, so he had a flat tire and drank hot Gatorade from a water stop and felt queasy. It's not my fault he has a sensitive stomach. A win is a win. Maybe I can make this a two-peat. I certainly can't beat him in a running only event anymore.
5. The Tinman events are relatively small. I almost finished the Disney 1/2 IM a few years ago, there were 2,000 people in the race. We were crunched in so tight in transition it was ridiculous. I don't need or want the big crowd.
6. Tinman will be a spectator friendly event for Jan.
7. An Irish pub opened recently in the village of Tupper Lake. I think that sounds like an after-race possibility for dinner?
8. It's always nice to ride a bike on roads when we are the main attraction instead of automobiles.
9. There are only two hills on the run course. Sure, they are more like mountains and one feels like a mile long, but still there's only two.
10. Did I mention this is the weekend someone close to me turns 55?

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Father's Day Video

This might be a  few days late for Father's Day, but it's a funny video worth sharing.