Friday, June 8, 2007

Triathlon Pictures Part 2

The professional photogs from the Issquah triathlon just posted their pics from the race last weekend. I found 3 pictures of me by sifting through the unidentifiable pictures. Having my number on my back was convenient during the race but made it hard to find my photos later since they had no way to identify me. There were two from the run and one from the bike. Thank goodness they didn't take any photos of me during the swim. I wouldn't want to drive people away from this site with those...



Monday, June 4, 2007

Triathlon Recovery: Day 1 & 2

Day 1 - Sunday June 3
Today went pretty well. Muscle soreness is much less than I expected. Took some ibuprofen before church to make sure I could make it through 3 hours without much misery. The biggest issue so far is the recurring muscle spasm in my shoulder that has been acting up for some time: it got a lot worse starting last night but nothing serious. I am continuing the elevated calorie diet which should return to normal on Tuesday.
Day 2 - Monday, June 4
Feeling much better even though the heat at night kept me awake (no one in Seattle has A/C). Shoulder spasms are almost gone.
I talked to my parents Sunday night and found out some interesting things about my Dad. I knew he was a distance runner back in High School and College but Mom told me some things I didn't know about my Dad:
1. He held the record for the 2 mile run at his High School for several years
2. He won the west coast regional meet in the 3000 and 5000 meters while attending Lassen College in the late '60s (NAIA?)
3. His fastest mile run was 4:05!
4. On his 50th birthday he ran his fastest 10K ever at just over 32 minutes.
5. At his 40th high school reunion they still remembered him as the "fastest man on campus"
Way to go Dad! I used to go with him to his races when I was a kid (10K fun runs and such) but I didn't know he was this serious about running. I guess I should have pursued it a bit more when I was young.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Issaquah Triathlon Results

Wow, I actually did it and achieved my goal (finish in less than 2 hours). I arrived just in time to sit in traffic as the over 1000 participants waited to get into the parking lot at Lake Sammamish State Park at Issaquah, Washington, just east of Seattle. There was plenty of time for me to set up my bike and other things in the transition area and meander over to the starting area. While waiting in the line for the restroom I found a friend of mine from church who was participating in the Tri with his wife. It was nice to know someone else who did the race.

The swim start for my heat was at 7:18 am sharp. I stayed in the back of the pack and then did the breast stroke for just about the entire 400m swim. The water temp was perfect (for me anyway) at around 70F.  This was my weakest of the three events by far. My time coming out of the water was about 18 minutes (more on that below). The first transition went well considering I didn't have a wet suit to fool with. I put on my shirt, cleaned my feet, donned my shoes, and off I went.

As I was just starting my bike run I saw the race leader coming back from his bike run. He won with a time of 58:35, almost 1 hour faster than me. To put that into perspective, I did the bike portion of the race in just over 55 minutes. The next closest competitor to him was almost 5 minutes behind. I did pretty well on the bike. I noticed that a lot of people around me didn't use their downhill gears: I passed a lot of folks on the downhills with minimal effort. The one hill we had to go over and back on was a slow rise up about 300 feet. Lots of people looked at my funny as I sang Christmas songs to pass the time (i.e. "Walking in a Winter Wonderland", "Frosty the Snowman", and "Have yourself a merry little Christmas"). I was feeling really good coming out of the second transition.

The run felt really good except for one thing: of the entire course, only 1/4 of it was paved. The remaining was over grassy fields, dirt roads, or sports fields. My ankles were really bothering me as I approached the finish. Most of the course was shaded which turned out to be a blessing as the sun came out near the end. As I broke out of the trees for the final time I saw Wendy and the boys there to cheer me on. I sped up and somehow found the energy to sprint across the finish line.

Here are my official results:

Swim 00:18:23.6  T1 00:06:27.9  Bike 00:55:05.8  T2 00:04:37.9  Run 00:27:49.1  Finish 01:52:24.3  

Overall I am very happy with the entire experience and my performance in this, my rookie race. The 5K time is less than the 5K I ran last month (29:37). The only thing that went wrong for me on race day was that I forgot my shoes. I had to turn around and drive home about 3 miles from home. Good thing I remembered. I can race without a shirt; I can race without socks; but I certainly cannot race without shoes.


Friday, June 1, 2007

Triathlon Training: 1 Day to go!

The Triathlon is tomorrow. Yesterday and today I have been resting with no workouts. My diet today has been pretty heavy as I "carb up". The race starts at 7:18 am for me. My race number for tomorrow is 205 and I am wearing an orange swim cap for my heat.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Triathlon Training: 3 Days to Tri

I'm down to 3 days left until my Triathlon. The one I picked for my first one is the Issaquah Triathlon in Issaquah, Washington, at Lake Sammamish State Park. Today was the last day of training before 2 days of rest leading up to race day. My training regimen up to this point has pretty much been my exercise schedule: 3-5 days of various types of exercise including swimming, jogging, cycling, elliptical trainer, etc.
I did a "dry run" last Saturday, although it wasn't all that dry. I did 8 minutes in the water at Lake Sammamish followed by 15 miles on the bike, and 15 minutes of jogging. I wanted to test out my preparedness on the following:
  • Can I swim in the chilly waters of Lake Sammamish without a wetsuit?
  • Will my Pearl Izumi Tri Shorts work well on the bike after being soaked during the swim?
  • Can I run for a sustained period after biking for 15 miles? (it's harder than you might think!)
The dry run was a great success. I only swam for 8 minutes due to the choppy waters. It was Memorial Day weekend, after all. The many boats out on the lake were sending in a steady stream of 2 foot tall wakes. I swallowed so much water during this test that I had to cut my swim short. The cold shouldn't be a problem. I'm sure that if I was trying to place or shave 30 seconds off my overall time that using a wetsuit would give me some benefit but for this first race I'll forgo it.
The shorts worked much better than I thought. I was able to wear the shorts during the swim, bike, and run sections of the workout. Running after the biking is now much easier than it was 2 months ago.
Here are my estimated times up to this point:
1/4 mile swim: 18:00
15 mile bike: 60:00
5K run: 38:00
Overall estimated time: 1:50:00
I'll post pictures and results this weekend after the race.

Monday, May 14, 2007

First 5K in about 15 years!

Over the weekend I participated in the "Pig Jig Run" at the Apple Blossom Festival in Manson, WA. I did the 5K run, finishing in 29:37. The weather was great (sunny, temp in the low 70's) and the course was moderate. The first mile was a lot of up and down but then it really flattened out for the rest of the race. If you are in the area next May this is a fun event as part of the Apple Blossom Festival. The small-town parade and atmosphere are outstanding.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Mount Rainier Climbing Blog Site

 I went to a lecture today given by Mike Gauthier, head climbing ranger at Mt. Rainier National Park. He presented for over an hour regaring the flood damage from Nov. 2006. The estimates to repair the damage are in the $36M range right now and will probably go up from there. To put that number into perspective the entire maintenance budget for MRNP for last year was just under $2M. The park will open on May 1 but with limited services, parking, and camping/hiking. The climbing routes were the least affected although it may be difficult to get to some of the base camps due to trail damage.
As Mike put it, "It may be easier to summit the mountain this year than to hike the Wonderland Trail" due to extensive and broad ranging flood damage.
Anyone who wishes to donate time or money to the park restoration can contact the Park Service directly or the Washington National Park Fund.

Link to Mount Rainier Climbing

Friday, March 9, 2007

Issaquah Triathlon

I finally did it. I am doing something I have always wanted to do but have never had the time or physical conditioning to do: compete in a triathlon. The one I picked is a short even, the Issaquah Triathlon: 1/4 mile swim, 15 mile bike, and 5K run. I registered yesterday.

A couple of my friends have done it in recent years and had great things to say about it. This feels weird since I haven't been in an athletic competition of any kind since High School and I haven't been in a foot race since long before that (Jr. High?).

I have been running pretty regularly since I did the 20/20 program at the Pro Club back in 2005. The other day I discovered just how difficult it was to run after being on a bike. I spent 20 minutes on a stationary bike and then tried to jog on a treadmill. I stress the word "tried". After 4 minutes I had to slow down to a walk to finish my official 20 minutes. Yesterday I did my full hour of training, 40 minutes on a bike followed by jogging/walking for 20 minutes. I have a long way to go and only 3 months to do it.

One of things I really like about my Dad is the way he showed us how important exercise and competition was to him. In my years growing up he was always running various 10K runs around the area, even through my High School years and our moves all over Northern California, Oregon, and Washington. If there was any money to be made in professional distance running I'm sure Dad would have been in that business. He always seemed to be happier on the trail or road somewhere.

I hope I can pass along to my sons that same spirit. The open road and the trail are wonderful places to see what you are really made of. The 50-mile hike I did last summer showed me that I do have quite a bit of endurance and determination if I can tap into it.

Friday, February 16, 2007

The Worst Best vacation EVER!!

On Monday, Nov. 27, we returned from what I am calling our worst best vacation ever. What was good about it? A lot of things-

1. Lots and lots of fun relatives: My Grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and even my sister were there.

2. Large amounts of incredibly good food.

3. Good conversations and visiting

4. Some low-key site-seeing on the American River and old town Sacramento, CA

There are lots of photos available in the photo gallery.

Now for the "not so fun" part.

Our trip started off entirely on the wrong foot. We arrived at Seattle-Tacoma airport nearly 3 hours early for our flight which was to leave at 9:45 am. When I tried to check us in they informed me that the twins were old enough to require their own tickets. (Long story short) $600 later we are checked in to a different flight to San Francisco instead of Sacramento, leaving 3 hours later at 12:30 pm. After touring the airport for 6 hours, and finding a really cool childrens' playground in the central terminal, we finally boarded the plane bound for California. The boys were sleeping before we took off.

Traffic getting out of SFO was incredibly slow. It took over an hour just to get onto the Bay Bridge, and another hour to get out of Oakland where Patrick informed us, "Mommy I don't feel..." <insert child vomit noises>. As luck would have it we had just passed a nice shopping area and ended up stopping in a more seedy part of Oakland to clean things up at an auto repair shop. They were nice enough to give us lots of paper towels and let us fill our water bottles. We arrived in Fairfield very late and went straight to bed.

The next couple of days went very well: lots of visiting with relatives, joking around, and, of course, FOOD! We got to visit a train museum (much to Patrick's delight), watch the salmon swim up the fish ladder on the American River, and do a little Christmas shopping. I did find one odd thing: my brand new smart phone was not functioning properly. I could make and receive calls but all the other cool functions were simply not available. The start menu was gone and so were all the on-screen icons. I called Cingular and they said to just bring it back to the store where I bought it for an exchange since the phone was literally 5 days old. More on this later...

We left Fairfield early Monday morning the 27th to arrive early at the airport in San Francisco. We arrived 2 hours early for our flight to find out that it had been delayed an hour. After running around the terminal trying to find a good restaurant, we decided that Wendy and Patrick would go back through security to a Chinese place next to the ticket counter (lesson learned: when at SFO, eat before going through security). I sat with the twins at the gate eating snacks and checking my email. After eating dinner, thoroughly checking email, and a lot of waiting we found out that the flight was delayed yet another hour. I started looking at news from home and we found out it was snowing in Seattle, and boy was it ever! We finally took off 2.5 hours late.

After circling Seattle for 30 minutes (now 3 hours late) we landed at 11 pm. Our baggage came rather slowly but all in one piece. A quick bus ride later we were back at our van at the parking lot. The snow was about 3-5" deep around the airport and still coming down. It was then while listening to the radio news that we found out just how bad the situation was: snow and freezing rain all over the area. That evening was a Monday night football game at Seahawks Stadium as well so the evening commute was still going on even at midnight. We got in the van and discovered another shock: my cell phone was now completely non-functional. So now we had to drive home in the snow and ice late at night without a cell phone. We would have stayed at a hotel but they were all filled to capacity. After a quick prayer we went off into the night.

The first couple of miles were the worst: there is one stretch of freeway where Hwy 518 comes up to I-5 and goes underneath. As we approachd that area idle speed was too fast. I was riding the brakes at about 3 MPH for over an hour. We crawled along as we passed South Center Mall and then downtown Renton. We were able to speed up to 15 MPH coming out of Renton, and then up to 50 in Bellevue where the snow was very light. As we approached Issaquah the snow and ice were again quite heave and we had to slow down again. We tried 2 different paths up onto our plateau but were unable to go up the hills due to blocking accidents. On the third one we finally made it up and then to our very chilly home at nearly 3 am. What a day.

The short of it is that we made it home safely and without incident, although very late. The area was completely shut down for several days. I traded in my phone after a couple days and it has worked flawlessly since (more on that in a post to come).

So that was our worst/best vacation ever. The traveling was the absolute worst I have ever experienced. Of course it could have been worse: no one died, we didn't loose anything except time, and everyone arrived safe and happy. The non-travel part of our vacation was wonderful. We try to focus our thoughts on the good parts.

New Photo Site - Flickr

 I started a new photo site over at This site allows for more flexible storage and presentation of my photos than I can upload the full sized photos and organize them into sets and even put them on a map.
My pictures site:

Flickr: Photos from LeeDo